If you’re looking for something to do in Toronto from May to August, the city has no shortage of arts, cultural and food events with a little something for everyone. Here’s our list of the top summer festivals in Toronto, so you can pick your favourite and start planning your trip!
Top Toronto Festivals
- Toronto Pride Month
- Dragon Boat Race Festival
- Hot Docs International Documentary Film Festival
- Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival
- Luminato Festival
- Canadian Music Week
- NXNE: North By Northeast Festival
- TD Toronto Jazz Festival
- Toronto Summer Music Festival
- Wine and Spirit Festival
- Grace Jerkfest
Throughout the month of June
In June, Toronto becomes home to Pride Month, where Toronto natives and visitors celebrate the diversity of sexual and gender identities. While many cities have a Pride Week, Toronto’s version of the event stands as the largest in Canada.
Celebrators during Pride revel in the history, culture, and lives of the LGBTQ2 community in Toronto. The celebration is one of the oldest for supporting those who are homosexual, bisexual, transgender, two-spirited, queer, or however someone wishes to identify. This event has taken place in The Village for 38 years and brings millions of visitors to Toronto annually.
June 15 to June 16, 2019
Who doesn’t love a good race? The Toronto International Dragon Boat Race Festival on Toronto Island is a 30-year-old festival that has become synonymous with summer in Toronto. Beginning in 1989, the dragon boat races have been organized by the Toronto Chinese Business Association.
The races bring together international teams of rowers who navigate their boats from the Toronto Centre Island in a heart-stopping race to the finish.
April 25 to May 5, 2019
Hot Docs International Documentary Film Festival is North America’s largest documentary festival, conference, and market with a selection of more than 150 cutting-edge documentaries from Canada and around the globe. All year long, documentary film lovers can visit the Hot Docs Cinema located in Toronto’s Annex neighbourhood to see some of the best documentary films from all over the world.
May 1 to 31, 2019
As the largest photography festival in the world, the Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival is a month-long festival of photography with over 1,000 local, national and international artists at more than 200 venues across Toronto during the month of May. During this popular Toronto festival, participants exhibit in a variety of venues, from major public museums to private galleries and on alternative exhibition spaces like the facades of significant cultural buildings.
June 7 to 23, 2019
Toronto’s Luminato Festival was born out of the cultural and creative energy of the city of Toronto for the month of June. The city becomes a performance space for artists to play, share and create with dozens of thought-provoking, outrageous and entertaining events taking place across the city.
Toronto’s Best Music Festivals
May 6 to 19, 2019
Canadian Music Week is a combination of informative, intensive conferences, a cutting-edge trade exhibition, award shows, a film festival, and a massive new music festival. This festival has become a way to showcase celebrated and established Canadian artists and emerging talent for a packed week of programming and performances.
June 7 to 16, 2019
North by Northeast (NXNE) is a 10-day Toronto summer festival for emerging artists and major-label headliners to have the chance to perform in front of other artists, industry professionals, and music fans. In recent years, this festival has also expanded to include digital interactive innovators to the gap between technology and the arts.
June 23 – July 2nd, 2019
Toward the end of June and the beginning of July, you can attend the popular TD Toronto Jazz Festival. The city comes alive and rhythm-lovers can indulge in some of the best jazz music of our day throughout the city. The festival began in 1987 and still brings in listeners by the millions. Take your pick with hundreds of artists performing over this 10-day summer music festival.
July 11 to August 3, 2019
Toronto Summer Music Festival is one of the city’s most eagerly-awaited classical music events with concerts performed by Canadian and international artists. Musicians and music lovers from all over the world come to Toronto in July for masterclasses, lectures, interviews, workshops and free outreach concerts for one of Toronto’s top cultural events.
Toronto Food Festivals
June 14 to June 15, 2019
During the warm days in the middle of June, Toronto celebrates the Wine and Spirit Festival. Located at Sugar Beach, this festival brings together brewers, wineries, and spirit producers for three days of fun and food. It’s the first wine and spirit festival in Toronto!
Each of the potent potables at this festival is world-class; you can try drinks like delicious Malbecs, sample Canadian whiskys from vendors like Forty Creek Whisky, and complex aged rums from Flor de Cana. The foods at this festival are also top-notch, so give it a try this summer.
August 10, 2019
Every August, Torontonians and travellers alike flock to the Grace Jerkfest to indulge in so much goodness at Centennial Park. With a big Caribbean population in Toronto, this festival celebrates the uniqueness of Caribbean cuisine and culture.
Visitors can enjoy the Grace Hot and Spicy Jerk Chicken Eating Competition, the Western Union Drop-A-Six Domino Challenge, and the Grace So You Think You Can Jerk Challenge. The festival even has a free shuttle so that celebrators can travel to the event from large, offsite parking lots.
Book your Toronto accommodation and prepare for an incredible summer in Toronto this year. Start your search for hotel deals below. 👇🏽