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Toronto's Summer Festivals

By Viator, July 2013

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As Canada’s largest and most multicultural city, Toronto is the ultimate hub for summer festivals and activities. The city is host to various festivals celebrating lifestyle, art, culture, food and even dogs. Yes, dogs. Whether you are looking for calypso and doubles, souvlaki and mezes or yoga and cupcakes—Toronto has a festival for you. And, your uncle. And, your best friend’s cousin’s sister-in-law.

Toronto Pride


Toronto’s LBGT community is a large and thriving one and Pride weekend is a celebration of everything that they stand for as a proud people. Over a span of ten days, the festival features the Pride Parade, Dyke March, Trans Pride, Family Pride, Clean, Sober & Proud Place and much more. With nearly 1.2 million in attendance, it is one of the largest pride festivals in the entire world. Toronto Pride celebrates the history, courage, diversity and future of the LGBT in the city.

Toronto International Dragon Boat Race

The Dragon Boat Festival puts a fun spin on a great cause; participants race beautifully decorated and brightly colored boats through the scenic waters of the Toronto Islands while helping to promote awareness and growth of the Toronto Chinese Business Association and Chinese culture in the city. Dragon boat racing is a timeless watersport embraced by a modern world. Bonus points - this festival location has the best view of the entire city.

Woofstock

Had enough human interaction? Head over to St. Lawrence Market for the annual Woofstock Festival on the second weekend of June to hang out with your favorite Retrievers, Terriers and Beagles. This festival features all things “woof” including games, races and the adorable Ms. and Mr. Canine Pageant. Bring your kibbles.

Caribana (Scotiabank Caribbean Carnival Toronto)

Although the official name may have changed, Caribana is still North America’s largest street festival and as the largest Caribbean celebration festival outside of the Islands in the world. Prepare yourself for colorful performances, steel pan, soca, calypso and all of the dancing that your exhausted body can handle, or liming—as the Trini’s would call it. Don’t fill your belly too much on fried bake, doubles and Jamaican patties before the parade; you will want to start dancing all over again.

Kensington Market Pedestrian Sundays

While Pedestrian Sundays may not technically be a festival, it is popular Toronto event that takes place on every Sunday of the year. Visitors dance, eat, listen to music and play in the streets while creating business for local vendors. With everything from outdoor yoga lessons and market sweets to breakout capoeira, there is always a little something different for everyone.

TD Toronto Jazz Festival

In its 25 years the TD Toronto Jazz Festival has become known as one of North America’s premier Jazz festivals welcoming half a million Jazz fans to the city over ten days with 350 performances and 1,500 musicians. The heart of the festival is located at Nathan Philips square, but music lovers can travel around the city to smaller venues and unique locations.

Taste of the Danforth

With so many cultures colliding, Toronto boasts more culturally diverse and award winning restaurants than you’ll be able to count, so it’s no wonder that the city is host to numerous food and culinary festivals. The best of them all has to be the Greek Town’s Taste of the Danforth Festival on East Toronto’s Danforth Avenue where souvlaki meets mezes and Hellenic food, culture and music collide. Who can turn down a good Greek party anyway?

With so many great summer festivals to choose from, there’s no good excuse not to experience Toronto in the summer season. Whether you come for one or stay for several, the summer festivals of Toronto are just one more reason to love this incredible city.

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