2017 Toronto Events and Festivals Guide

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Your 2017 Toronto Events and Festivals Guide provides a fun-filled lineup of things to do in Toronto during the summer. The guide is divided into two sections. 1.) Events listed by date and 2.) Things to do in Toronto that happen all summer long.  Most of the festivals are free however some music/alcohol festivals do have an admission fee which is indicated below. We have provided you a short description of the event with links to some of our blog posts from past events to provide you more details.

We created this guide because we were unable to find a comprehensive listing of the up-to-date list of summer events and festivals in Toronto. So we created one for you by going to each and every event website to confirm the date and details. Please note that some dates are show as to-be-determined (TBD) because the event organizers have not updated the 2017 dates yet,  however we will update the dates as they become available.

Location and getting there. We have noted the location of the event and how long it takes to get from the Boatel. Don’t worry about the car because you can get to most of these events and festival by walking or streetcar access from Toronto’s only boat B & B but as a reminder please book your Boatel stay early so that you’re not disappointed.

A note to event organizers: if you wish any details updated or if you wish to be included in our guide please email us.

2017 Calendar of Events and Festivals in Toronto this Summer

May – October          Waterfront Artisan Market Every Saturday this summer HTO Park will play host to the Waterfront Artisan Market along the Toronto waterfront with arts, locally crafted merchandise and foo vendors.  See our blog post

May 1 to 31, 2017      Scotiabank Contact Photography Festival  Each May Toronto is host to the festival of photography with over 1,000 local, national and international artists at more than 200 venues across the city.

May 13, 2017         Parkdale Sidewalk Festival  11am-6pm enjoy musical & artistic entertainment, free activities, a sidewalk sale. New this year the 10,000 sqft Foodora Night Market’ from 4pm-10pm where you can enjoy some of Parkdale’s most eclectic food. Location: Queen Street West, between Dufferin and Roncesvalles. Free event.

May 19 & 20, 2017    Jewelry Making Ladies Weekend on the Boatel with hands on jewelry making class at the Harbourfront Metal Studio. See our blog post for more details.

May 20 – 22, 2017         Artfest 2016 is an outdoor art and craft shows celebrating painting, photography, sculpture, fine craft, live music and more from Canada’s top artists. Set throughout the cobblestone lanes of the Distillery District in downtown Toronto. FREE admission May 20 – 22 and September 1-4

May 27 -28, 2017        Doors Open Toronto Over 130 architecturally, historically, culturally and socially significant buildings open their doors for the weekend and highlight the people who built the city. Free event

May 28, 2017        Kensington Pedestrian Sundays takes place the last Sunday of the month from May to October. Streets are closed to traffic, vendors expand onto the streets and sidewalks and live music in the heart of the funky Kensington to celebrate the neighbourhood. Also includes the Kensington Art Fair which runs 12-7PM on the following pedestrian Sundays: May 28, June 25, July 30, August 27, September 24, October 29.

May TBD        Gangways Open Toronto Visitors can see and experience the excitement of the Waterfront and tour some of the ships along the waterfront. Free event

May 31 to June 4, 2017     Toronto Festival of Clowns celebrates their 12th anniversary. Ticketed event prices $16.50 to $21.50. Location: Factory Theatre on Bathurst

June 3 & 4, 2017       Field Trip is downtown Toronto’s community Music and Arts Festival.  The music festival offers a bit of everything including food, art, comedy, fashion and technology. Ticketed event for the all ages.  Location: Fort York a 15 minute walk from the Boatel or 8 minute streetcar ride.

June 3, 2017           Dundas West Fest  is a celebration of arts, community and everything local. The festival stretches across 12 city blocks and features 3 stages, 6 busker areas, over 40 patios, and shopping at over 200 different vendors. Free event

June 3 & 4th, 2017      Riverdale ArtWalk is a free fine art exhibition showcasing artists in Jimmie Simpson Park in Queen Street East arts district. 11am to 6pm

June 10, 2017            Toronto Art Crawl back for the 5th year at the Liberty Village Park with 65 artist and food vendors. Free Event. 11:00am to 6pm

June 11, 2017              Annex Festival on Bloor 21st year for this festival For one day a year, the stretch of Bloor between Bathurst and Spadina is transformed into a neighbourhood block party with live music, entertainment, buskers, theatre performances, a Children’s Village, and over 115 food vendors and local businesses and artisans. Free Event. Location: Bloor Street West between Spadina and Bathurst. From the Boatel take either the Spadina streetcar to Bloor Street and you can return via the Bathurst bus. Time 10:00am to 6pm

June TBD              Ontario Craft Beer Week celebrating Ontario beers. Location: Various locations

June 10 & 11, 2017      Beaches Art & Craft Show  For the 33rd year the annual festival is held in Kew Garden Park Free event. Location: 2075 Queen St. East

June 14-24, 2017           Luminato Toronto is an annual festival of Lights, Arts and Creativity. Free. Location: Multiple locations.

June 16-25, 2017        North By Northeast Music Festival (NXNE) is an annual music and arts festival that showcases 650 bands and 40 films in five exciting days. $ Cost for admission. Location: Multiple locations.

June 17, 2017        Roncy Rocks Music and Art Festival in Roncesvalles Village features an juried art show an sale, music, food and side-walk sale. Free Event: Location: Roncesvalles Village

June 23 & 25, 2017    Jewelry Making Ladies Weekend on the Boatel with hands on jewelry making class at the Harbourfront Metal Studio. See our blog post

June 2017          Waterfront Artisan Market Every Saturday this summer HTO Park will play host to the Waterfront Artisan Market along the Toronto waterfront with arts, locally crafted merchandise and foo vendors.  See our blog post

June TBD          CHIN International Picnic is the largest free multicultural picnic in the world featuring music, dance performances celebrating its 51st year. Free event. NEW Location: College Street & Markham.

chinatown festival

June 17 -19, 2017        Taste of Little Italy Is an annual cultural event in the heart of Little Italy with music, street performance and sample food from over 45 restaurants. Free event. Location: Little Italy (College  from Bathurst to Shaw). Take the Spadina Streetcar to College 10 minutes or 25 minute walk fro the Boatel.

June 16-18, 2017       Beach BBQ & Brews Festival is an annual event every Father’s day weekend at The Beach. Enjoy Ribfest, live music, children’s play area, craft vendors, grilling demonstrations and beer garden. Great family outing to celebrate Father’s Day. Free Event. Location: Woodbine Park at Coxwell and Queen Street East

June 17-18, 2017         Toronto International Dragon Boat Race Festival in its 29th year with over 200 teams from around the world. Location: Toronto Centre Island 10 minute ride on the Tiki Taxi ($10) or walk to the ferry docks.

June TBD              Harbourfront Centre Free Flicks presented by Billy Bishop Toronto Airport every Wednesday. Free Location: Harbourfront Centre outdoor theatre just a 10 minute walk from the Boatel.

June 15-18, 2017       Taste of Toronto is a foodie wonderland with 4 days with six half-day sessions that last between 4- 5 hours which gives our guests the time to enjoy their pick of restaurant dishes, browse the artisan stalls and enjoy some of the many attractions including the Taste Theatre, Metro Master Classes, the Tasting Room, a Delta Air Lines VIP Lounge and a Music Stage. Cost: $ for tickets to event  Location: Garrison Common in Fort York  – 15 minute walk from us or 8 minute streetcar ride.

June TBD       Dancing on the Pier every Thursday Free event  Location Harbourfront Centre – 10 minute walk from the Boatel

June 23-July 2, 2017      Pride Parade Festival celebrates diverse sexual and gender identities with many  events during the 10 day festival including the famous Pride Parade on Sunday July 2nd Free Event Location: Gay village Church & Wellesley.

June 23 – July 2, 2017         TD Canada Trust Jazz Festival celebrates all Jazz musical styles in its annual festival. 1500 musicians and 350 concerts  Location: Main Stage is at Nathan Philips Square (city hall) plus multiple other location

June 25, 2017        Kensington Pedestrian Sundays takes place the last Sunday of the month from May to October. Streets are closed to traffic, vendors expand onto the streets and sidewalks and live music in the heart of the funky Kensington to celebrate the neighbourhood. noon – 7pm. Also includes the Kensington Art Fair which runs 12-7PM on the following pedestrian Sundays: May 28, June 25, July 30, August 27, September 24, October 29.

July TBD        Dancing on the Pier every Thursday. Free event Location Harbourfront Centre – 10 minute walk from the Boatel

Toronto Streetcar

Getting around Toronto is easy using the TTC Toronto Transit Commission streetcars.

July 2017          Waterfront Artisan Market Every Saturday this summer HTO Park will play host to the Waterfront Artisan Market along the Toronto waterfront with arts, locally crafted merchandise and foo vendors.  See our blog post

July 1 – 3, 2017      Redpath Toronto Waterfront Festival. The annual festival in celebration of Toronto’s vibrant waterfront. Free event. Location: Queens Quay from Spadina to Jarvis. The Boatel is the best place to stay for this festival. 

July 1, 2017      Canada Day Events Celebrate Canada’s birthday. Join us to celebrate the nation’s 150th birthday with exciting musical performances and activities for the whole family, culminating in a fabulous display of fireworks over Lake Ontario. Events at multiple locations including Harbourfront Centre and a fireworks extravaganza in Toronto harbour. Free event. Best view of the fireworks is at the Boatel.

July 8  & 9, 2017     TD Salsa on St. Clair  The 13th annual festival is a 2 day fiesta which includes food, dancing and more  Free event Location: Woodbine Park.

July 2, 2017       Toronto Pride Parade celebrated in the streets of downtown Toronto. Canada’s largest Pride parade. Free event.

July 2, 2017           Queen’s Plate  Join the Hats and Horseshoe Party at Woodbine Race Track for live thoroughbred racing of the annual 158th running of the Queen’s Plate. Cost: $ for admission. Location: Woodbine and Lakeshore

July 5 -16, 2017            The Fringe: Toronto’s Theatre Festival. The largest theatre festival of its kind with 150+ shows in 30 venues with more than 1100 performances featuring local and International theatre companies over 12 days. Max ticket price is $12. Multiple locations

July 7- 9, 2017     Sounds of Leslieville & Riverside – part of the Beaches International Jazz Festival  Free event Location: Jimmie Simpson Park @ Queen Street East and West of Logan avenue. Take Queen Street car.

July 7- 30, 2017         Beaches International Jazz Festival – free annual music festival features a mixture of latin, soul, and traditional jazz with more than 100 bands.  Free event every weekend in July. Location: The Beach.

July 7 -23, 2017         Summerlicious  Once again features over 200 Toronto restaurants that offer three-course prix fixe lunch and dinner menus at exceptional price points. Reservations recommended. Various locations.

July 16 – 23, 2017        Indigenous Games . This year Toronto plays host to the North American Indigenous Games  which supports self-determined sports and cultural activities which encourage equal access to participation in the social / cultural / spiritual fabric of the community in which they reside and which respects Indigenous distinctiveness. Various locations

July TBD              Harbourfront Centre Free Flicks presented by Billy Bishop Toronto Airport every Wednesday at the outdoor theatre. Free Location: Harbourfront Centre just a 10 minute walk from the Boatel.

July  TBD             Dancing on the Pier every Thursday Free Location Harbourfront Centre – 10 minute walk from the Boatel

July 14-16, 2017          Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition Since 1960 this an annual outdoor exhibition has been held at Toronto City Hall. A juried exhibition with 500 artists is an alternative to arts shows and galleries. Free event. Location: Nathan Phillips Square at Queen & Bay streets.

July 14-16, 2017        Honda Indy Toronto returns to the streets of Toronto around Exhibition Place with world class Indy Car racing. $ for admission. Location: Exhibition Place Lakeshore Avenue and Strachan. 20 minute walk or 10 minute streetcar ride from the Boatel.

July 20-23, 2017         Toronto Burlesque Festival the 10th annual festival returns with workshops where you can learn from international stars, art reception, and the famous burlesque ball to celebrate this classic art form. Location: Revival Bar and Virgin Mobile Mod Club.

July 28-30, 2017         Toronto’s Festival of Beer returns with 200 brands of beer and 60 brewing experts from around the world. Hosted by the Beer Store. Ticketed event. Location: Exhibition Place at Lakeshore and Strachan. 20 minute walk or 10 minute streetcar ride from the Boatel. See our blog post

July 30, 2016        Kensington Pedestrian Sundays takes place the last Sunday of the month from May to October. Streets are closed to traffic, vendors expand onto the streets and sidewalks and live music in the heart of the funky Kensington to celebrate the neighbourhood. noon – 7pm. Also includes the Kensington Art Fair which runs 12-7PM on the following pedestrian Sundays: May 28, June 25, July 30, August 27, September 24, October 29.

July 4 to August 7th, 2017              Scotiabank Caribbean Carnival Toronto Festival (formerly Caribana). The highlight of this annual three week festival is the famous Grand Parade which happens on August 5th with Calypso, Steel Pan, Brass Bans, Soca and Reggae and Caribbean styled dancers. Location: Exhibition Place and along Lakeshore Avenue. 20 minute walk or 10 minute streetcar ride from the Boatel. 

August TBD                      Harbourfront Centre Free Flicks presented by Billy Bishop Toronto Airport every Wednesday. Free Location: Harbourfront Centre outdoor theatre just a 10 minute walk from the Boatel.

August TBD         Dancing on the Pier every Thursday – Free Location Harbourfront Centre – 10 minute walk from the Boatel

August 5- 13, 2017         Rogers Cup – Tennis anyone? This prestigious professional tennis tournament is organized by Tennis Canada and presented by National Bank and attracts the top ranked tennis players from around the world. This year the men will be in Toronto while the women will play in Montreal at the same time. $ for admission. Location: Rexall Centre at York University. Drive or 1 hour by public transit.

August 11-13, 2017       Krinos Taste of the Danforth celebrate Greek food, music, art and culture at the largest Greek Festival in North America. Free event. Location: Greektown on Danforth Avenue. Street car to subway.

 August TBD               Sail-In Cinema is hosted by Ports Toronto and is the world’s first two-sided floating movie experience. Movies are shown under the open skies on a two-sided screen set atop a barge in Toronto Harbour. You can watch movies for free by boat if you drop anchor in Toronto Harbour or landlubber can bring a chair or blanket. Free event. Location: Sugar Beach Queens Quay and Jarvis. 20 minute walk from the Boatel along Queens Quay.

August TBD                     Hot & Spicy Food Festival is back at Harbourfront Centre for its annual weekend celebration of music and spicy foods. Free event. Location: Harbourfront Centre 10 minute walk from the Boatel

August 18-September 4, 2017      Canadian National Exhibition (CNE). Since 1879 the CNE or the EX (as locals call it) is Canada’s largest community fair. It includes daily parades, talent shows, air show, free concerts, ice skating show, talent competition, midway, beer garden, rib fest, discount shopping, food vendor galore and a working farm. $ cost for admission TIP: $6 after 5pm Monday – Thursday.  Location: Exhibition Place at Lakeshore and Strachan. 20 minute walk or 10 minute streetcar ride from the Boatel. See our blog post

August 26, 2017     Coconut Festival will host its forth annual event for health conscious foodies with a love of all things coconut. The events includes stage presentation, dance interactive demonstrations, yoga along with vendors promoting healthy products and coconut based foods. Free event Location: David Pecaut Square 215 King Street West, 20 minute walk or 10 minute bike ride.

August 27, 2016        Kensington Pedestrian Sundays takes place the last Sunday of the month from May to October. Streets are closed to traffic, vendors expand onto the streets and sidewalks and live music in the heart of the funky Kensington to celebrate the neighbourhood.  Sundays from  May – September,  noon – 7pm

August 31-Sep 3, 2017       Fan Expo Canada Four days of celebrity guests and exciting family-friendly events await at Fan Expo Canada. Ticketed Event

chinatown festival 2August TBD                Chinatown Festival Immerse yourself in this Asian festival which annually hosts a street party in the heart of Chinatown on Spadina street. The festival features mixed martial arts demonstration, lion and dragon dances, multicultural performances and international cuisines. Free event.  Location: Spadina Avenue a 20 minute walk from the Boatel or 7 minute streetcar ride.  See our blog post

Sept TBD               Harbourfront Centre Free Flicks presented by Billy Bishop Toronto Airport every Wednesday.  Free Location: Harbourfront Centre outdoor theatre just a 10 minute walk from the Boatel.

BuskerfestSeptember 1 – 4, 2017          Scotiabank Buskerfest is the largest international street performance festival in North America with over 170 of the best street performers from Canada and around the world from daredevils, puppeteers, contortionists, clowns, music, magicians and more. $ Admission is a donation to Epilepsy Canada Each performer then passes a hat after their performance. Location: Yonge Street from Queen Street to College Street, and throughout the neighbourhood including Yonge-Dundas Square and the McGill Granby Parkettes. Street car to Union Station and then to Yonge subway stop or 27 minute walk.

September 1 – 4, 2017       Artfest 2016  Fall Fine Art and Craft Festival is an outdoor art and craft shows celebrating painting, photography, sculpture, fine craft, live music and more from Canada’s top artists. Set throughout the cobblestone lanes of the Distillery District in downtown Toronto. FREE admission also May 20 – 22

September 2-4, 2017        Canadian International Air Show returns to the Toronto skies with a dazzling array of planes from around the world and Canada’s very own Snow Birds. Shows daily. Location: can be viewed from the Boatel however there are various locations along the waterfront or Toronto Island that provide an unobstructed view. Various Toronto charter boat also offer public cruises during the airshow.  See our blog post.

September 7 to October 29, 2017          Cirque Du Soleil Volta Playing under the Big Top at the Port Lands. Tickets start at $49

September 7 – 17, 2017           Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) attracts Hollywood actors and visitors at this special annual event hosting more than 300 films from over 60 countries. $ cost for admission. Location: Various locations.

September 8-10, 2017            Cabbagetown Art and Crafts Sale is one of the premier art and craft festivals with unique made-in-Canada artisans and is held each year during the Cabbagetown Festival and Riverdale Farm Fall Festival. Location: Riverdale Park West, in the heart of Toronto’s historic Cabbagetown. Free event Hours Friday 1-7pm and Sat /Sun 10am to 6pm

September 9, 2017  Liberty Village Art Crawl with 50 vendors. 11:00am to 6:00pm free event at 80 Lynn Williams in Liberty Village.

September TBD            Toronto Vegetarian Food Fair has over 100 exhibitors which includes food, wellness, health and authors. Location: Harbourfront Centre Queens Quay Ten minute walk from the Boatel.

September 9, 2017      Toronto Bicycle Music Festival is a yearly series (since 2010)of free outdoor pedal-powered concerts taking place in and between our city’s great community parks and streets. Location: Making music and travelling across the city from *to be determined* to Prairie Drive Park.

September TBD         Toronto Urban Roots Festival (TURF) is located on the grounds of Fort York’s Garrison Common National Historic Park. TURF is a multi-day outdoor boutique summer roots music featuring food, vendors and music on multiple stages.  $ cost for admission Location: Fort York 15 minute walk or 8 minute streetcar ride.

September 15-17, 2017          Toronto Ukrainian Festival Bloor West Village closes down it streets to cars to celebrate North Americas largest Ukrainian festival. Now in its 21st year the festival features a parade, dance competitions, food and music celebrating Ukrainian culture. Free event. Location: Bloor West Village between Runnymede and Jane Streets.  Take the streetcar to the subway and get off at Runnymede Subway approx. 30 minutes See our blog post

September TBD         Toronto Beer Week (TBW) Attention beer lovers TBW features 70 participating bars, pubs and restaurants who host various beer tasting and food pairing events during the course of Toronto Beer Week. Locations: Various

September TBD            Toronto Food and Wine Festival is an epicurean delight with a three day food and wine extravaganza with food talks, culinary stage, cookbook market to showcase the expertise, creativity, and excellence of the world’s most renowned culinary, wine, and spirit virtuosos. Location:

September 21, 2017        Word of the Street Book and Magazine Festival is a not-for-profit which promotes Canadian reading and writing through this free outdoor festival and has Canada’s biggest outdoor bookstore. Location: Harbourfront Centre – Queens Quay. Ten minute walk from the Boatel.

September 23-30, 2017       Invictus Games will be hosted in Toronto this year. This is and  international Paralympic-style multi-sport event, created by Britain’s Prince Harry, in which wounded, injured or sick armed services personnel and their associated veterans take part in sports including wheelchair basketball, sitting volleyball, and indoor rowing Ticketed Event

September 24, 2017        Kensington Pedestrian Sundays takes place the last Sunday of the month from May to October. Streets are closed to traffic, vendors expand onto the streets and sidewalks and live music in the heart of the funky Kensington to celebrate the neighbourhood. Sundays from  May – September,  noon – 7pm

September TBD          Toronto Food and Wine Festival is an ultimate Canadian culinary weekend with local and celebrity chefs at this amazing 3 day epicurean event.

September TBD          Toronto Oktoberfest is an experience with the best in Bavarian fare, German and European biers, entertainment inspired in Munich, Germany.

September 24, 30, 2017          Toronto’s JFL42 Comedy Festival includes a stunning array of comedians across North America. Location: various venues

September 23 & 24, 2017       Queen Street Art Crawl The main draw is the Outdoor Art Show & Sale which features 250 artists, food vendors, community booths and an entertainment stage. The event also includes The Parkdale Night Crawl and Parkdale Crawl, a walking tour with guest speakers. Free event.  Location: Trinity Bellwoods Park on Queen Street West and Parkdale various locations Walk 25 minutes or Bike share

September 30, 2017                Nuit Blanche means white night. For one night each year Sleepless in Toronto is the best way to describe this event as Toronto transforms in a city of exploration of art of all kinds. Various downtown Toronto locations.

 

 Free Things to do in Toronto All summer

May – October          Waterfront Artisan Market Every Saturday this summer HTO Park will play host to the Waterfront Artisan Market along the Toronto waterfront with arts, locally crafted merchandise and foo vendors.  See our blog post

June to September , 2017          Harbourfront Centre Dancing on the Pier every Thursday night during the summer with free live bands, social dance clubs and instructors. Come dance the night away. Location: Harbourfront Centre Queens Quay and York. See our blog post and detailed weekly information above.

June – August, 2017              Harbourfront Centre Free Flicks on Wednesdays at sunset with a cooling breeze near the lake and under the stars. Arrive early for a good seat because seating is limited Location: Harbourfront Centre Queens Quay and York.  See our blog post  Detailed schedule above

June  to September 2017     Toronto Music Garden free concerts in a truly magical setting. Most Thursdays at 7pm and Sundays at 4pm and are approximately one hour in length. Limited bench seating is available but very limited so just ask us for a chair or a blanket. Location: Just down the pier from the Boatel. See our blog post

Yonge Dundas Square Lunchtime Live at Yonge Dundas Square Free concerts on Mondays from 12:30 to 1:30 at Yonge Dundas Square. Singer & Songwriter Series Location: Yonge and Dundas.

Yonge Dundas Square Indie Fridays on Fridays from 8-10pm at Yonge Dundas Square. Free music concerts and Beer Garden provided by the Hard Rock Café from 4 to 11pm Location: Yonge and Dundas.

Yonge Dundas Square City Cinema  Free outdoor movies on Tuesdays at sunset. Seating is limited so go early for a great seat. This year’s theme: TBD.  Location: Yonge and Dundas.

Kensington Pedestrian Sundays takes place the last Sunday of the month from May to October. Streets are closed to traffic, vendors expand onto the streets and sidewalks and live music in the heart of the funky Kensington
Sundays from  May – September,  noon – 5pm

Distillery District Sunday Market. Features local artisan goods, including tasty treats like empanadas and organic maple syrup. Free event

Shakespeare in High Park Bring a blanket and a jacket to enjoy this Shakespeare production under the stars. $ Donation requested Location: High Park located south of Bloor and High Park Ave.

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About Diane Greene

Diane Greene stepped off the corporate treadmill in 2004 for pursue a life of traveling and adventure. 10 years later she is still operating Toronto's only Boat Bed and Breakfast and travelling with her husband on Boatel, their 65 foot trawler in the US and Bahamas during the winter. Diane has three wonderful children and 3 grandbabies. Diane loves photography, travel and scuba diving.

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