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What to do in Toronto in Summer

Things to do in Toronto in SummerPhoto from Unsplash

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Things to do in Toronto in Summer

Summer is almost here, and if you’re looking for a lively and diverse destination for your holiday, Toronto is the place to be! From bustling festivals and parades to delicious food and drinks, there’s no shortage of fun to be had in this vibrant city. Here are some of my favourite things to do in Toronto during the summer months.

Summer Means Festivals, Parades and Parties in Toronto

Toronto knows how to throw a party, and there are plenty of festivities to choose from during the summer. Here are five of the best:

Pride: Taking place in June, Pride month is marked by a variety of events, with the grand parade on the last Sunday.

Taste of the Danforth: Unforturnately, the Taste of the Danforth has been cancelled this year and potentially for the next few years.  Check back for updates as I get them.

Caribana: A two-week-long celebration of Caribbean music and culture, culminating in a massive parade.

Salsa on St. Clair: A vibrant and lively festival celebrating Latin music and dance.

CNE: A long-standing tradition, the Canadian National Exhibition is the place to go for rides, games, and more!

Summer Kicks off with Pride

Things to do in Toronto in June

If you’re visiting Toronto in June, Pride is a must-see event. But if you’re not a fan of bustling crowds, watching the parade from a comfy bar along Church Street might be more your cup of tea. Just be prepared to witness all sorts of shapes and sizes, as well as some naked folks sauntering or parading. If you’re up for it, though, get your dancing shoes on and join one of the many street dance parties! To find out more, check out the Pride Website here.

Jump Up with Caribana

Caribbean Festival – This Summer – Toronto

Caribana, or the Caribbean Festival, is North America’s largest cultural celebration of all things Caribbean. It culminates with a massive parade, or dance party, every first Monday in August along the picturesque lakefront in downtown Toronto. The festival features a variety of colourful costumes, loud music, and possible substance use (which is legal in Canada), so think twice before attending.

For the more mature crowd, it is recommended you scout out the parade route in advance and arrive early on parade day to sit back and enjoy the spectacle of colours and music. Similar to Pride, attend at your own discretion, as the costumes can be a little revealing. For more information, visit their website for much more information.

Taste of the Danforth

Cool Activities In Toronto this Summer

Cancelled for 2024

Doors Open Toronto 2024

Throughout the weekend of May 25th and May 26, Doors Open Toronto gives the public opportunity to get a look inside some TO’s historic buildings.  From the Aga Khan museum to Toronto’s first post office, get immersed in some of the city’s interesting hidden secrets. (that is this year’s theme).

Can’t make it? Check back here because I plan to be out and about taking some pics.

For more details and a list of the buildings involved this year check here.

Salsa on St. Clair

Each year early in July, St. Clair west is turned into “fiesta central”.  Take your significant other up to get some free salsa lessons, or just shake your booty at one of the many pop-up parties along the street.

For us old folks, there is plenty of food or art to pass the time away.  Remember it can be hot so bring water and plan out some shady areas.

Admission is free and it is very family-friendly.

Check out their website here as it approaches for final details.

The Canadian National Exhibition (CNE)

Fun Summer Activities in Toronto

For many Torontonians, the opening of the CNE marks the end of summer. But don’t despair – experience two weeks of carnival rides, food courts, animal exhibits, country fair, concerts, and entertainment of all types. Get there early and explore the food pavilion, where you can taste unique cuisine from around the world. With patios and picnic spots galore, kick back, relax, and prepare yourself for the highlight of the final weekend – an amazing air show (weather permitting).

To help you plan your time at visit the CNE website here.

The Great Outdoors in Toronto

Looking for a relaxing outdoor experience during your trip to Toronto? Look no further than these hidden gems!

First up is High Park, offering a serene setting perfect for picnicking, birdwatching, and taking in stunning views. Kids and adults alike will love the small zoo, while theatre lovers can catch a pay-what-you-can production at the park’s amphitheatre. Pro tip: bring mosquito repellent!

Next, explore the vibrant neighbourhood of Kensington Market, full of trendy shops and restaurants with sunny patios just waiting for you to stop in for a leisurely brunch.

Escape to Woodbine Beach and Ashbridge’s Bay, a popular spot with plenty of sand, shade, and scenic boardwalks perfect for people watching or beach volleyball. Refuel with snacks from the nearby food trucks or stroll up to Queen Street for a bite at one of the many inviting eateries. And don’t forget to check out Cherry Beach and Sunnyside Beach for additional great options.

Finally, head down to Jack Layton Ferry Terminal and grab one of the ferries over to the Toronto Islands.  Beaches, picnic areas, everything you would want to spend a relaxing day with family or friends.

Visiting Toronto This Summer

Check Out Our Sport’s Teams

Are you a sports fanatic? If you’re in Toronto during the sunny season, we’ve got some amazing games you can’t afford to miss:

First on our list is a Blue Jays’ game. If you haven’t been to the Rogers Centre yet, you’re missing out. Previously known as the “skydome”, the stadium got a massive makeover during the winter. With its expanded outfield seating and additional activities, it’s now more inviting to fans. We haven’t checked out the refurbishments yet, but we’ve heard great things about it. Do let us know how it goes when you visit!  Check for Blue Jays Tickets here.

If soccer is your thing, you will enjoy a Toronto FC match at the BMO field located in downtown Toronto. You can watch the MLS (Major Soccer League) in action. It’s family-friendly, and the stadium is easily accessible by public transport.  Get your Toronto FC tickets here.

Check out a Canadian Football game with the Toronto Argos. We recommend the experience since CFL football is arguably the most exciting version of the game. Thanks to its larger field, the game is much faster and more action-packed. The games are frequently played at the BMO Field, which is a plus.  Get your Argos tickets now.

Don’t forget to get tickets for the National Bank Open presented by Rogers tennis tournament in August. It’s a warm-up for the US Open held at the end of August. The Masters 1000 and WTA 1000 tournaments mean you get to see the big guns, as most of the big names attend. It’s crucial to note that the Men and Women’s games alternate between Toronto and Montreal annually. This year, 2023, the Men will be playing in Toronto, while the women’s matches will be held in Montreal. It’s a must-watch for any tennis fan!

More Things to do in Toronto This Summer

What if it Rains?


When the weather takes a turn for the worse, it can be tough to plan your day out in the city with any confidence. But don’t fret – there are plenty of cool places to explore that are sheltered from the rain and offer a unique experience to beat the blues.

For the artsy type, be sure to hit up the best museums in town, like the Art Gallery of Ontario, The Science Centre, CN Tower, or Aga Kahn Museum. And if you’re feeling like you should indulge in some truly high-end dining, check out the high tea available at the King Edward Hotel, or brunch your way through the Royal York’s exquisite offerings. Don’t have a fortune to splurge? Not to worry – just head over to the Park Hyatt Hotel and make your way to the 17th floor Writers Room Bar for a cocktail or two. You’ll get a spectacular bird’s-eye view of Toronto’s mesmerizing skyline.

For those who like to indulge in some retail therapy, escape to the Eaton Centre or venture off into “The Path” – the city’s extensive network of interlocking pedestrian tunnels filled with endless shops, food courts and restaurants. Check out the Toronto Path Map for more information on how to access it all.


What to do in Toronto This Summer


But this is just the beginning. Make sure you check with your concierge or host to discover what else is going on around town during your stay. With so many activities and options, the sky’s the limit.

Please join our Facebook group to find and share your travel adventures.

Please note: The opinions expressed in this document should never be construed as advice.  The thoughts are based on my experiences after 40-plus years of business and vacation travel.  My likes and dislikes may vary drastically from yours.  Do your research and find products and experiences that align with your likes and dislikes.   Most of all have happy travels and see you out there on the road!

Al of Al Murray Travel & Photography:  From the time in my youth, when I would lay on our garage roof watching planes traverse the skies above me, I knew I wanted to see the world.

My passion grew after spending a semester of my university days in Barcelona.  I spent more time on trains and buses than I did in class.

After earning my BA from Carleton University, life got in the way. It wasn’t until my “middle age” did I start exploring the world again.  First, transversing the US and Canada to take part in tennis tournaments. Then later to complete my spectator “grand slam” of tennis.

I accomplished this while earning my certificate in photography from Toronto Metropolitan University.  I am now combining the two passions and now sharing with you my many lessons learned.

It is still under construction but please check out our photography website as we build it out.  Soon to come are pictures from our recent tennis junket in Europe: Monte Carlo, Nice, and Barcelona.   Al Murray Photography.

If you are looking to get in shape before you travel, we have suggestions here.

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