We’re slowly moving into more summer-like weather (finally) in Toronto and making more plans to be out. With events, both in and outdoors, there’s always something happening to fill your free time! Grab your friends or head out for a date night! Here are our top picks for what’s happening in, and around, Toronto.
Tribute to filmmaker Agnes Varda at Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema: June 18. She was known as the “Godmother of French New Wave” and the Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema is paying tribute to the late artist with a special screening of the Oscar-nominated documentary Faces Places. Following the screening will be a discussion led by Kiva Reardon, Hot Docs programmer.
Luminato Festival: June 7 to 23, various locations. Luminato is Toronto’s international arts festival and one of the preeminent arts festivals in North America, having commissioned over 100 new works of art, with more than 3,600 performances featuring 15,000+ artists from over 40 countries. Free and ticketed events throughout.
Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Mirrored Room – Let’s Survive Forever at the Art Gallery of Ontario: Permanent Installation. Toronto is the newest home to one of Yayoi Kusama’s famed work. The exhibit of the highly popular contemporary artist officially opened late May to visitors of the AGO. Entry included with regular admission. By the way, the AGO recently announced an incredible new offer for annual memberships. The new AGO Annual Pass offers a full year of unlimited access to the AGO Collection and all special exhibitions for only $35. Visitors 25 and under are free – all year, anytime. Full details on their site.
In the Age of Rembrandt: Dutch Paintings from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston at the Royal Ontario Museum: June 1 to September 15. 70 powerful paintings, including works from world-renowned artists Rembrandt, Frans Hals, Jan Steen, and Jacob van Ruisdael. From detailed still lifes, humorous genre scenes and striking portraits to impressive landscapes, cityscapes, and architectural paintings, In the Age of Rembrandt presents artworks that capture life in the Dutch Republic.
Writers’ Trust of Canada’s Rising Stars: In Conversation at the AGO: Jackman Hall, June 5, 7pm. The country’s next generation of literary talent takes the stage at the unveiling of a multi-faceted career development program that advances their careers and highlights their work with an endorsement from a proven, influential author. Five notable Canadian writers have each chosen one writer who is poised to produce exceptional and enduring creative work. Hear from the selectors: David Chariandy, Charlotte Gray, Taras Grescoe, David Adams Richards, Leanne Betasamosake Simpson, and the writers they have chosen: Melissa J. Gismondi, El Jones, Chelene Knight, Dana Mills, Deborah Ostrovsky.
Little Black Dress Musical: CAA Theatre, June 4 to 9. Calling all fearless ladies! Take a bite out of life and bring your bffs for a night out full of musical numbers and even improvised zany moments.
Dérives at The Bentway: June 7 & 8, 6 pm and 7:30 pm. Free dance performance featuring 60 performers and the public. This is a new work by choreographer Noémie Lafrance, who has worked with artists such as David Bryne, Feist, Justin Timberlake, and many others. Titled “Dérives”, this dance was created specifically for The Bentway site, and explores how we navigate architecture, urban infrastructures, and public spaces.
Women’s Soul Full Camp: Muskoka, June 21-23. Summer camp isn’t just for kids! Reconnect with your inner-child and get back with nature. Sleep in cabins, eat in a mess hall, tell stories by the campfire, yoga, and all the fun of being outdoors. It’s all about life-changing programming wrapped in fun, fresh air and freedom. Women connect the magic of play with inspirational and transformative activities to help them shift their own perspectives. This experience is founded and programmed by author and Strategic Intervention Coach Heather DelRosario, and Motivational Speaker and Inspired Life Coach Jenny McKee. Another opportunity happens in Haliburton August 25 to 27.
TD Toronto Jazz Festival: June 21 to 30 in various location across the city. From free to ticketed concert events this annual jazz fest brings out the best of the genre from emerging talent to globally recognized names including Diana Ross, Omara Portuondo (Bueno Vista Social Club), Norah Jones and many more.
Communal Dinners at The Bentway: Beginning Thursday, June 13, The Bentway will host weekly communal dining opportunities curated by The Depanneur. Featuring a roster of local chefs with exciting culinary creations, each Communal Table experience offers a distinct menu, a friendly welcoming vibe, and live musical performances. The first Communal Table dinner at The Bentway is with Toronto chef Jamie Kennedy, a pioneer of sustainable gastronomy, and features a Farm-to-Table menu showcasing local produce from Ontario farmers. Bring your own dishes & utensils. Pre-registration will help with minimizing food wastage. Walk-ins if available.
Free Yoga at Ontario Place: Every weekend morning and evening yoga sessions at Trillium Park. All ages, all levels of experience invited. Expert-led sessions will focus on 60 minutes of mindfulness, strengthening, alignment in a mix of vinyasa and hatha flow.
ON-venture at Ontario Place: New this summer at Ontario Place is the opportunity to create your own adventure. What is dubbed as Toronto’s own waterfront backyard, you can enjoy taking in the city’s skyline in a kayak or paddle boat at Lake Shore Boat rentals. Hop on a segway adventure courtesy of Go Tours Canada or take advantage of the recreational activities including life-size chess, table tennis and imagination playground, foam blocks for kids to build and create. Ontario Place offers something for everyone, including fire pit rentals that bring the cottage to you. Entry to the park is free.
Halston at Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema: Love documentaries and fashion? Follow the mighty evolution and epic dismantling of Halston, the prodigious American fashion designer who became a household name under the disco lights of the 1970s. Filmmaker Frédéric Tcheng (Dior and I) brings the style icon back to life through a rich archive, detailing his glamorous life—including his friendship with Liza Minnelli and the many nights spent at New York City’s famed Studio 54. A surprising cautionary tale emerges of a self-made artist who developed a wildly successful brand only to risk it all when Wall Street came calling.
Gatsby Garden Party at the Spadina Museum: June 22 & 23, from 12pm to 5pm. Get your 1920s style party dress on and step back into time at this popular annual event held at the Mansion. Learn the dances of the era and enjoy the sounds of live musical entertainment, bring your own picnic or purchase food onsite, check out some films at the Silent Film Festival Cinema, play croquet, and wander through the grounds.
New Kids on the Block Mixtape Tour: June 19, Scotiabank Arena. Our favourite boy band returns to the city on their 53 city whirlwind tour! Their high energy concert featuring all the songs we’ve loved. Plus special guests Salt-n-Pepa, Debbie Gibson, Tiffany and Naughty By Nature. We’re hoping the Donnie and the guys will stop by Wahlburgers while they’re in town too!
Hugh Jackman: The Man. The Music. The Show: June 25, Scotiabank Arena. Academy Award-nominated, Golden Globe and Tony Award-winning performer, Hugh Jackman, on his first world tour. See Jackman performing hit songs from The Greatest Showman, Les Misérables and more from Broadway and film, accompanied by a live orchestra.
Smythe Sample Sale: June 6, 11 am to 5pm. The Spaces 344 Geary Street. We are big fans of this Canadian designer label and when we found out there’s a sample sale, we had to share. Follow them on Facebook for updates. See you in line.
Pehr First ever Pop Up: 320 Davenport, Suite 300. June 8 to 30. Featuring modern, ethically made baby and kids decor, bedding storage, apparel, accessories and more. Produces are designed in Canada and ethically manufactured in India with a focus on natural materials and craftsmanship. 10% off entire Pehr store pop up opening weekend June 8&9 and gift with purchase for first 50 customers.