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Top 20 Summer Festivals in Toronto

Sitting indoors while the weather is warm and welcoming can get boring. Instead, explore Toronto during the summer of 2023. This city hosts exciting summer festivals and promises new experiences for people of all ages.

Close up of a flag flying at the World Pride Parade

If you are confused about which event to visit, Canadian Train Vacations can help you. With more than twenty festivals planned in Toronto during the summer of 2023, you can rest assured the city has a festival suited to everyone. From Pride Toronto to BrazilFest to BIG on Bloor, we can guarantee your days off will be packed with adventure.

If you liked our article on the best restaurants in Toronto, keep on reading for our selection of the city's summer festivals. Make sure you add these to your 2023 calendar!

1. Toronto Outdoor Art Fair

If you are a contemporary art lover, don't miss the Toronto Outdoor Art Fair. In 2022, the fair showcased original works by nearly 350 artists. Past editions of this summer festival have attracted 100,000 visitors! The range of local and international art on display here makes it an ideal stop during your visit. The festival will indulge your aesthetic senses and introduce you to new artists. What's better than finding your new favorite artist while on vacation?

Location: Nathan Phillips Square
Dates: This festival is traditionally held in July. 2023 dates are forthcoming via TOAF's website (1).

2. TD Salsa On St. Clair

TD Salsa On St. Clair is a Latino-themed summer festival. It stretches across St. Clair Avenue West and transforms the street into a large dancing party. This free festival is a celebration of Latin American culture, food, music, and art. It hosts dance classes, workshops, and a Salsa for Seniors program. This is the perfect place to learn basic Salsa moves!

Location: St. Clair Avenue West
Dates: July 8th-9th 2023

3. Toronto Jazz Festival

If you are a music lover, do not miss the Toronto Jazz Festival! (2) The festival hosts around 500,000 guests and features the biggest names in jazz. Festival stages are spread out across multiple outdoor and indoor venues, providing visitors with several options to choose from. The event also includes both ticketed and free shows. We recommend this summer festival to everyone, because who doesn't love some smooth jazz?

Location: Festival map and venues
Dates: Details of ticketed shows are already available here. Further details are forthcoming, so make sure you keep checking the festival website.

Audience watches a performer on the outdoor Toronto Jazz Festival stage at night

4. BIG on Bloor

The BIG on Bloor Festival of Arts & Culture draws nearly 100,000+ visitors. This festival was established as a community-building venture by Bloordale's residents. The event showcases local artists and hosts interactive activities for all. We recommend this festival for a unique and wholesome summer experience. The music and dance performances will keep you entertained, and you can also witness the impact of community-building initiatives.

Location: 1140 Bloor Street
Dates: In 2022, this festival was held in July. Follow BIG on Bloor for news of 2023 dates.

5. Pride Toronto

Pride is an annual event hosted by Pride, Toronto, a non-profit organization. This is a historically significant event for the city's LGBTQIA+ community. The main center of this festival is Church and Wellesley Village. Marches and parades are also held along Yonge Street, Gerrard Street, and Bloor Street. Toronto celebrates this international festival like no other city, attracting nearly one million people annually!

Location: Church and Wellesley Village, Toronto
Dates: This event is usually held in June. Keep an eye out for 2023 dates via Pride, Toronto's website (3).

A red sightseeing tour bus in the Toronto Pride Parade goes past a crowd

6. Port Union Waterfront Festival

Located along a scenic waterfront, the Port Union Waterfront Festival is a community-building initiative. It includes children’s activities, music and dance performances, and live barbecues. You can also participate in rock climbing, local rides, and walking and running marathons. We recommend this festival to those interested in the city's local community ventures.

Location: Port Union Village Common Park
Dates: This event is usually held towards the end of June. 2023 dates will be announced here.

7. Toronto Dragon Boat Race Festival

Have you ever seen a dragon boat race? Toronto's Dragon Boat Race Festival is the perfect place to witness such an event! This festival was established in 1989 to promote Asian-Canadian cultural relations. Nearly 5,000 athletes have participated in the race so far, and the event attracts around 65,000 visitors each year. The festivities also feature performances by local artists alongside the dragon race. If you want to watch an adrenaline-filled race from the stands, this summer festival is perfect for you.

Location: Toronto Centre Island
Date: June 17th-18th 2023

8. BrazilFest

Does your idea of a perfect summer vacation include learning about new cultures? If yes, make sure you visit BrazilFest during your trip. This summer festival is organized by the Brazilian community in Canada. It is a celebration of Brazilian food, music, dance, and art. The festival also includes activities for people of all ages, from children to retired music enthusiasts!

Location: Earlscourt Park
Dates: July 21st-23rd 2023

9. Do West Fest

The Do West Fest (formerly known as Dundas West Fest) is a combination of art, music, dance, food, and shopping. In 2022, the festival featured performances by Jimmy James, Jay Douglas, Ramon Chicharron, Adis Rodriguez & Havana 1950s, and many more. The event also hosts local food trucks and interactive projects. If you want to visit local businesses and also experience a fun day out, this festival is a great choice.

Location: 204-1457 Dundas Street West, Toronto (all 14 city blocks)
Dates: 9th-11th, 2023

10. Toronto Caribbean Carnival

The Toronto Caribbean Carnival will celebrate its 56th anniversary in 2023. It is organized by the Caribbean community in Toronto as a gift to Canada (originally to celebrate its centenary in 1967). The key event is the Grand Parada, a colourful street party with music and dancers. The festival also hosts a junior king and queen showcase. A junior parade for children is also organized.

Location: Exhibition Place and Lakeshore Boulevard
Dates: August 3rd-7th 2023

A man stands next to a woman in a pink and yellow carnival costume

11. Fairbank Summerfest

Fairbank Summerfest is a free summer festival in Toronto. It offers entertainment options to people of all ages. This popular festival hosts nearly 20,000 people annually. The festival's main attractions include folk exhibitions, art shows, live performances, and shopping opportunities. If you want to experience a medium-sized festival with food trucks featuring typical Canadian food, this should be your pick!

Location: Eglinton West of Dufferin, Toronto
Dates: This festival is usually held in June. Make sure you check Fairbank Summerfest's website for 2023 dates.

12. Redpath Waterfront Festival Toronto

Redpath Waterfront Festival Toronto is an annual event famous for nautical programs, water acrobatics, and circus performances. It features music, food, and activities both on land and water. Once every three years, the festival also hosts large ships. We recommend sticking around for the guided workshops by acrobats. If you want to enjoy water acrobatics and even try them first-hand, this festival is an ideal choice!

Location: HTO Park and Sugar Beach
Dates: This festival is usually held in September. 2023 dates will be announced via Redpath Waterfront Festival's website.

13. AlohaFest Toronto

AlohaFest Toronto hosts nearly thousands of people each year. The festival celebrates Polynesian art, culture, music, and dance. Here, you can indulge in both local Canadian food and traditional Hawaiian recipes. We recommend this festival for its food options and dance performances. It is a great pick if you want to sample a new cuisine while learning about Polynesian culture!

Location: Mel Lastman Square, 5100 Yonge Street
Dates: The 2022 edition of this festival was held in August. 2023 dates will be announced via AlohaFest's website.

14. Franco-Fête

The Franco-Fête Festival has brought together French speakers across North America for over forty years. We recommend this to everyone visiting Toronto during the summer. You can join in the festivities even if you don’t know French, and entry is free! What's better than an opportunity to brush up on your French skills while also attending performances by popular French artists?

Location: Rolyat St and Ossington Avenue
Dates: Traditionally held in August. Check their website for 2023 dates.

15. Waterfront Night Market

Have you been to an Asian night market before? If the answer is no, make sure you visit Toronto's Waterfront Night Market this summer. The market is famous for cross-cultural events, pan-Asian food, and craft beer stalls. If you want to try pan-Asian street food along a beautiful waterfront, this summer festival is the place for you. We think the street food and craft beer options make it a great choice!

Location: Ontario Place, West Island
Dates: This event is usually held between August and September. Keep an eye out for 2023 dates via Waterfront Night Market's website and Instagram account.

16. Honda Indy

The Honda Indy features a temporary 11-turn street race course. It is the perfect summer festival for those seeking a thrill from the stands! This event also hosts 'Rookie Racers', a safe activity for junior riders who want to try out street racing. Here, you can enjoy exceptional stunts and even receive autographs from athletes.

Location: Exhibition Place
Dates: July 14th-16th 2023

17. Habari Africa Festival

The Habari Africa Festival is hosted by the Batuki Music Society. It features artists and peformers from various African countries. In 2022, the festival featured prominent artists such as Gloria Nankunda, Adam Solomon, and Grammy award-winner Dobet Gnahoré. The festivities include both live performances and workshops. This is our pick for visitors interested in African music, dance, art, and culture!

Location: Harbourfront Centre
Dates: The 2022 edition of this festival was held in August. 2023 dates are forthcoming via Batuki Music Society's website.

18. Toronto Craft Beer Festival

The Toronto Craft Beer Festival celebrates the city's independent craft brewers. In 2022, the festival hosted over forty craft beer vendors. Alongside beer stalls, this event also includes live music performances and food stalls. You can purchase tickets both in advance and at the door, although the former is advised. Only 19+ individuals (and babies in strollers) are allowed at the event. Don't miss out on this festival if you are a traveler with a taste for craft beer!

Location: 955 Lakeshore Blvd. West
Dates: In 2022, the Toronto Craft Beer Festival was held in June. 2023 dates will be announced via TCBF's website.

19. Taste of Asia

Taste of Asia is Canada's largest Asian food festival. In past years, this popular summer festival has hosted nearly 150 food vendors and 300,000 visitors. The festival also hosts traditional performances, featuring artists from the local Asian community. If you are interested in Asian food, then you must visit this three-day celebration while in Toronto. You can try cuisines from a variety of countries and also learn about Toronto's Asian community.

Location: Kennedy & Steeles
Dates: June 23rd-25th 2023

20. Taste of India Festival

Are you a fan of Indian food? Are you keen to experience Indian culture? If yes, make sure you stop by the Taste of India festival during your visit. This festival hosts nearly one hundred food vendors and restaurants. It also showcases live performances by local Indian artists. The event is a great way to acquaint yourself with Indian food and culture in one place.

Location: Nathan Phillips Square, Toronto
Dates: In 2022, this festival was held between July and August. Follow Taste of India on Instagram for news regarding 2023 dates.

Close up of a plate of samosas and a green chilli

Final Thoughts 

Toronto offers visitors a wide array of summer festivals. From music and dance to food and beer, new memories await you this summer. If you are curious and want more information, Canadian Train Vacations can help you plan the perfect summer trip. Make sure you pack your hats and sunscreens - You will need these while heading out to your chosen summer festival in Toronto!

Frequently Asked Questions

What events are happening in Toronto this summer?

Toronto hosts a variety of events during the summer. Options include live bands, solo performances, and outdoor art festivals. The city also showcases several cultural festivals, including dance performances and food stalls. There is a lot to experience in Toronto during the summer!

How many festivals are held in Toronto?

Toronto hosts multiple events each year! This article highlights popular summer festivals planned for 2023. We recommend Toronto Outdoor Art Fair, the Toronto Dragon Ball Race Festival, BrazilFest, TD Salsa on St. Clair, and Pride Toronto.

Are all summer festivals in Toronto paid?

No. Toronto hosts both free and ticketed summer festivals. While several festivals on our list are free, make sure you check each festival's official website before planning your trip!

How long are summer festivals in Toronto?

The length of Toronto's summer festivals is varied. The city offers several one-day and two-day events for those who are short on time. Several events are spread out over a weekend or over a week. Depending on the length of your stay, you can visit multiple venues during your vacation.

How do I reach these festivals?

If you live in Toronto, we recommend traveling by public transport. You may not find parking easily due to the popularity of these festivals. If you live outside Toronto, we recommend traveling by train. A train journey will allow you to experience Canada's breath-taking countryside, making your journey memorable from the start.

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