Summer is speeding by and July is here already (slow down, summer) and you definitely won’t be lacking options when it comes to finding something to do this month. From food and beer festivals, to music and culturally-themed events and street fests, there’s something for everyone on offer. Grab your calendar and mark down a few of the best July events in Toronto.
1. Toronto Fringe Festival (June 29-July 10)
Whether you love comedy, musicals, improv, dance, drama or puppetry, there will be a production that suits your theatre taste at the Toronto Fringe Festival. The city’s largest theater and performance festival sees over 155 productions take place at more than 30 west end Toronto venues for 12 days. Check out the Fringe Festival listings to see what’s on offer this year. There are always several shows with big buzz, but it’s also fun to just pick a show at random and see what you end up with.
2. TD Salsa on St. Clair (June 9-10)
Celebrate Latin culture this month at the 12th annual TD Salsa on St. Clair street festival happening between Winona Dr. and Christie St. The free event is a high energy street party with live music, dance lessons, family activities and flavours from over 15 countries – so bring your appetite and your dancing shoes. Salsa on St. Clair is part of an even bigger celebration, the TD Salsa in Toronto Festival, which spans three weeks and includes events across the city including a parade, salsa parties at Lula Lounge, a salsa cruise, concerts and more.
3. Beaches International Jazz Festival (July 2-24)
For almost an entire month the Beaches International Jazz Festival is the place to be see over 100 musicians encompassing both emerging and established artists and covering not only jazz but an array of musicical styles. Named one of the top jazz festivals in the world, the free event is celebrating its 28th year. Music will be spread out over several stages in the Queen east/Beaches area for a total of 700 hours of music programming.
4. TO Food Fest (July 9-10)
Food festivals are a summer staple and one way to spend a day sampling delicious eats this summer is to make your way to TO Food Fest taking place at the Chinese Cultural Centre of Greater Toronto. Established in 2012, this food-focused fest aims to spotlight the cultural diversity of Toronto’s food scene. Follow TO Food Fest on Instagram or Twitter to get an idea of what some of this year’s vendors might be doling out. Admission is free, but there is a suggested donation of $2 and food samples are cash only.
5. Lovin’ Local Food Fest (July 9)
Another way to eat your way through a summer day this season comes courtesy of Lovin’ Local Food Fest happening July 9 at Yonge-Dundas Square. The free, one-day event also features live performances, kids’ activities and family-friendly workshops, a marketplace and of course, lots of chances to eat and drink. Some of this year’s eats will be supplied by Lansdowne Cone, Gourmet Gringos, Bake Three-Fifty, Kung Fu Dawg, Chill Ice Pops and The Country General among others – so come ready to eat. Keep an eye on the website for more vendors as well as scheduled musicians and performers.
6. Summer Craft Beer Fest (July 14)
Beer festivals abound during the summer months in Toronto and Summer Craft Beer Fest, happening in Liberty Village, is one of the relatively newer ones. All the craft beer drinking action takes place from 5 to 10 p.m. in the Liberty Village Market Building Galleria where you can stroll the cobblestone streets while sampling from various craft breweries including Amsterdam, Great Lakes, Mill Street, Broadhead Brewing Company, Henderson Brewing Company, Sextant Craft Brewery and many more. You can also expect food vendors and deals from Liberty Market Building vendors.
7. Festival of South Asia (July 16-17)
Take a tour through South Asia without leaving the city July 16 and 17 by making your way to Gerrard India Bazaar for the 14th annual Festival of South Asia. The two-day fest is a jubilant celebration of the arts, culture and food of the region including India, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh and involves everything from folk dancers, musicians and buskers; to visual art, storytelling, a fashion show and delicious food from more than 20 area restaurants.
If you’re looking for July event of the music festival variety, WayHome could be your answer this month. While not right in Toronto, the second annual fest dedicated to music, as well as art, film and food is happening just north of the city at Burl’s Creek. WayHome is here via the team behind popular Tennessee music festival Bonaroo and some of this year’s lineup includes LCD Soundsystem, Metric, Arcade Fire, Arkells, The Killers, Haim, Beirut, Wolf Parade and many more across the three-day festival.
9. BIG on Bloor Festival (July 23-24)
Bloor Street between Lansdowne and Dufferin will be a car-free zone July 23 and 24 for the annual Big on Bloor Festival, a two-day festival of arts and culture that also celebrates small businesses in the area. There will be ample opportunity to shop local, sample some food from the eclectic array of restaurants in the area, listen to live music, check out some unique art projects and participate in hands-on projects to learn more about the neighbourhood and what it has to offer.
10. Toronto Food Truck Festival (July 29-31)
Find a great selection of food trucks all in one place at Woodbine Park July 29-31 for the third annual Toronto Food Truck Festival. Grab a hat and some sunscreen, bring a healthy appetite and get ready to sample from food trucks including Bacon Nation, Heirloom, Gourmet Guyz, Made in Brasil by Mata, Mighty Cob, The Vegan Extremist, Fidel Gastro’s to name just a few ways to chow down from some of the city’s best mobile eateries.