This month’s City Girl’s Guide is lit- June is giving us summer vibes already, and we’re ready for all the festivals and patios! Schools are almost out and before long we’ll be right into BBQ season. Toronto’s favourite season (if you can ignore the construction) is coming in with lots to do. Ready? Here’s what made it to our City Girl’s Guide for June!

City Girl’s Guide to Toronto for June

Do West Fest is back celebrating its 11th year courting revelers to the west end of Toronto. Running from Friday, June 7th to Sunday, June 9th, join the expected almost 1 million attendees enjoying music, food and fun for everyone. Get more info @dowestfest

National Indigenous Peoples Day Festival and Na-Me-Res Pow Wow Toronto:

June 15 at Fort York from noon to 5 pm. The biggest traditional Pow Wow in the city hosted by the Toronto-based non-profit Indigenous organization Na-Me-Res, is a vibrant and inclusive family-friendly festival features traditional dancing, drumming and performances, along with crafts and food vendors that reflect the richness and unique offerings of Indigenous culture. The traditional Pow Wow celebrates the heritage, diversity, resilience and outstanding contributions of First Nations, Inuit and Metis cultures across Tkaronto (Toronto) and Canada. Admission is free and everyone is invited to attend. More details here.

LUMINATO Festival:

June 5 to 16. Across the city!  There are many events happening in this annual multi-arts festival. On my radar is R.A.V.E.It’s a dance party. It’s a theatre show. It’s a rave opera for desperate times! DJ Me Time one of Toronto’s favourite underground DJs, is known for her inclusive events and infectious energy on the decks. While DJs typically mix and blend tracks, this time she’s teamed up with Outside the March to remix live performance styles, bringing interactive theatre to the dancefloor to tell the story of a futuristic wellness start-up and a founder forced to face the music.

The result is an immersive mashup like no other. R.A.V.E. is parody meets autobiography; Black Panther meets Severance; and Oprah meets Daft Punk. No rave experience is required.

R.A.V.E. blends fact and fiction, imagining DJ Me Time’s alter ego, The Founder, as an Elizabeth Holmes-style character, and the performance itself as the product launch of a new “R.A.V.E.” (Real Audio Visual Experience) technology. Staged on a dancefloor in a cleared-out cubicle farm at Downsview Airport Lands, audiences are invited to dance for the entire performance as Me Time performs one of her signature sets. Through storytelling and a cast of four dancer-performers, the audience becomes part of the drama.

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Another LUMINATO event on my radar to check out is RESPAWN.  Witness a performance like none other with a one-day-only, 9-hour event on Wednesday, June 5th. Internationally acclaimed, Montreal-born, New York-based artist Miles Greenberg debuts a new durational performance in Walker Court.

Co-commissioned and co-presented by the Art Gallery of Ontario and Luminato Festival Toronto, RESPAWN is a day-long performance, inspired by first-person fighting video games. Set in Walker Court, Greenberg wields a weapon. On a mirrored stage littered with the silicone replicas of the artist himself, he will fight to exhaustion. The piece includes text by Canadian writer Jordan Tannahill. There is a conversation associated with this performance on June 7th to book tickets – click HERE.

Casa Loma Summer Garden Music Series: 

Symphony in the Gardens featuring Maestro Paolo Busato, his Casa Loma Symphony Orchestra and a roster of special guest vocalists and players — to the Glass Pavilion and Gardens, for performances on Monday evenings beginning June 3rd. General Admission tickets (first come, first served) are $45 pp; available at www.casaloma.ca.

In partnership with Canada’s Walk of Fame (CWOF) and Seeing Red Media, Liberty Group is thrilled to premiere a new fundraising program entitled Sunset Concerts, launching Tuesday, June 11th running weekly in the Gardens and the Glass Pavilion. The celebrity-studded line-up runs through August 27th; General Admission (standing room only, outdoors) tickets are $45 pp; Reserved Table Seating and theatre style tickets inside the Pavilion tickets $65 pp available at www.casaloma.ca, with $2.50 of each ticket sale donated in support of Kids Help Phone.

Wicked The Musical - Mirvish - Toronto

Austen Danielle Bohmer as Glinda and Lauren Samuels as Elphaba in the National Tour of Wicked. Photo credit: Joan Marcus 2024

WICKED The Musical:

June 5 to July 21. Princess of Wales Theatre. The Broadway sensation looks at what happened in the Land of Oz…but from a different angle. Long before Dorothy arrives, there is another young woman, born with emerald-green skin—smart, fiery, misunderstood, and possessing an extraordinary talent. When she meets a bubbly blonde who is exceptionally popular, their initial rivalry turns into the unlikeliest of friendships…until the world decides to call one “good,” and the other one “wicked.” This is a family pleaser!

TINA – THE TINA TURNER STORY:

June 18 to July 28 at the CAA Ed Mirvish Theatre. An uplifting comeback story like no other, TINA – THE TINA TURNER MUSICAL is the inspiring journey of a woman who broke barriers and became the Queen of Rock n’ Roll. Set to the pulse-pounding soundtrack of her most beloved hits, this electrifying sensation will send you soaring to the rafters. One of the world’s best-selling artists of all time, Tina Turner has won 12 Grammy Awards and her live shows have been seen by millions, with more concert tickets sold than any other solo performer in music history. The musical features her much-loved songs, TINA – THE TINA TURNER MUSICAL written by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Katori Hall and directed by the internationally acclaimed Phyllida Lloyd.

Motionball’s Marathon of Sport: 

June 8 at York University, Keele Campus. This incredible annual event will host sixty-four teams this year, each with a star Special Olympics athlete. The teams compete in various sports, such as football, giant pong, ultimate frisbee, benchball, volleyball, basketball, and soccer, all aiming to raise $450,000 net for Special Olympics. The event expects over 1000 attendees. There will also be an on-site afterparty at York Lion Stadium, live music and more.

Distillation at The Campbell House Museum:

June 20-23. Organized by the Canada Ireland Foundation. This journey through the Irish bog landscape through scent and touch is part interactive lecture and part performance. The audience is invited to sit around a large custom-made table and gently hold organic materials to smell parts of the Irish bog as part of the experience. Distillation is about the past, present and educated to the future of our broken landscapes –in the hope that by listening to them, we might be able to better understand them. Ticketed event.

Ninja Grill Jam:

June 1 at Harbourfront (225 Queens Quay West). Join a celebration of Canada’s delicious diversity and the joy of outdoor cooking. In collaboration with Amazon Music, Horizon Media and executed by Eat It Up Media, we bring an unparalleled experience that merges hot food, cool music, and the vibrant essence of Canadian summer. Grill Jam will be anchored by an Insta-worthy experiential activation in the heart of Toronto at Harbourfront. Canada saw its first BBQ glow up in the 70s and Grill Jam is throwing it back retro-style.

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Ninja will set up multiple cook stations—featuring Ninja’s Woodfire Outdoor Grills, Ovens, & Coolers —where we will prepare delicious free BBQ dishes to celebrate the start of summer. Next to the cook stations, a SharkNinja and Amazon Music party bus will heat things up with a DJ spinning the hottest summer hits. In addition, visitors can participate in fun games and chances to win Ninja prizes and giveaways.

ninja grill jam - shark - Toronto

Riedel Wine Tasting Event:

June 13 at One King West at 7 pm. Maximilian Riedel, the 11th generation CEO and President of Riedel, the nearly 300-year-old heritage glassware brand known for revolutionizing wine-tasting culture, is stopping in Toronto among other Canadian cities. Maximilian will host a series of consumer-tasting experiences. Tickets are available here.

  • Learn how you can improve your wine experience at home! A Riedel glassware tasting is truly a sensory experience that challenges your nose and palate and showcases the nuances a proper glass can deliver for the enjoyment of wine.
  • Maximilian will walk attendees through the glassware experience, tasting varietals in Riedel Veloce Glassware styles, offering a rare opportunity during which you’ll be able to pinpoint for yourself the exact glassware shapes that provide the ultimate expressions for each wine.

MOTIVE Crime & Mystery Festival:

June 7 to 9. Harbourfront Centre. Calling all crime and mystery fans! This is one you won’t want to miss! Join in this three-day festival with authors, films, workshops, and conversations. Check out screenings including Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None, free forensic science workshops, a conversation about the cultural phenomenon of true crime with Canadian True Crime podcaster Kristi Lee, a screening and conversation with Murdoch Mysteries’ creator Maureen Jennings and much more.

Over 50 notable authors in attendance including Walter Mosley (Farewell Amethystine), Ashley Audrain (The Whispers), Nita Prose (The Mystery Guest), and Linwood Barclay (I Will Ruin You).

magic men australia

Magic Men’s Lead Man Will Parfitt

Magic Men Australia comes to Toronto:

June 13 and 14. Queen Elizabeth Building, Exhibition Grounds. They may come from a land down under but the men from Oz (and elsewhere) are coming to TO. Rated ‘Best Male Dance Group’ and ‘No.1 Male Entertainment Show’ for over 10 years, Australia’s real-life “Magic Mike” performers have become a global sensation. Featuring social media star Will Parfitt, a renowned Channing Tatum look-alike, the Magic Men are excited to extend their reach.

Brunch Fest:

June 15 & 16 at The Grounds, Hotel X.  10 am to 7 pm. (19+ Event). Presented by TasteToronto — the city’s top restaurants offering 150+ mouthwatering dishes, and mimosas at the Mimosa Bar or Ultimate Caesars from the Matt & Steve’s Caesar Gardens. With smoothie bowls, freshly squeezed juices, and plenty of vegan options, Brunch Fest is a brunch lover’s dream come true! Experience Toronto’s brunch culture like never before while enjoying live music by the St. Royals, DJs, live performances, interactive games and much more!

hotel x - brunch fest - photogonist

Brunch Fest. Photo by Photagonist.ca

Toronto Main Street Mosaic Tours: Exploring Heritage and Hubs:

June 15 launching Cabbagetown. This innovative app-guided tour invites locals and visitors alike to embark on a captivating journey through the historic main street of Cabbagetown to uncover the rich history and stories behind the dynamic neighbourhood and its small businesses.

Utilizing the state-of-the-art, free-to-use mobile and web app platform Driftscape Main Street Mosaic Tours provides an interactive, user-friendly way to explore the diverse attractions and historical gems of Cabbagetown. From architectural splendors to historic landmarks, participants will gain a unique insight into the past, present and future of one of Toronto’s oldest and most cherished neighbourhoods.

Running daily from Saturday, June 15 through mid-August, the free app-guided walking tour is around 1km long and can take participants anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours to complete. Over a dozen local businesses, including The Epicure Shop, Super Bargain, St Jamestown Steak & Chops, Noushe, Playground Cafe, Rapid Photo, Thairoom, Revolt Hairshop and Parliament Optical Inc., will provide special offers exclusive to tour takers.

Japanese Film Festival:

June 6 to 20 at The Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre’s 13th annual Toronto Japanese Film Festival will be held at the JCCC’s Kobayashi Hall. The festival has now grown into one of the largest film events of its kind in the world and is recognized by the Japanese film industry as a vital conduit for bringing Japanese film to the world. JFF is programmed to reflect the rich diversity of the world’s 4th largest film industry and the 2024 edition will feature 23 films including the International Premieres of Kosai Sekine’s mystery drama STAY MUM.

The opening night film is the North American Premiere of Hayato Kawai’s comic retelling of the 47 Ronin story DON’T LOSE YOUR HEAD! The closing night film is the Canadian Premiere of Mitsuhiro Mihara’s heartwarming foodie flick, TAKANO TOFU about a troubled generational succession of a traditional tofu maker.

Japanese Film Festival 2024

Bloor-Yorkville Exotic Car Show:

June 16 in Yorkville. Super, luxury, classic, and vintage cars line the streets of Yorkville in this annual Father’s Day event in Toronto. This year, the show doubles up to features some of the world’s dreamiest cars. Admission is FREE and family-friendly. The event also supports Melanoma Canada (donations accepted on-site). Expect to see over 130 examples of classic and exotic cars including, Ferrari Lamborghini, Porsche, Aston Martin, Super Cars and more. Live entertainment throughout the day.

TD Jazz Festival:

June 21 – 30. Bloor-Yorkville area. More than 100 free live performances together with a selection of ticketed performances from world-renowned local and international musicians. Line up this year that’s already caught our attention includes André 3000, Kellylee Evans, Amanda Martinez Recuerdo, Shuffle Demons, Kuruza and more.

Rosé Picnic:

June 21 and 22 at the Stanley Barracks grounds, Hotel X Toronto. This popular two-day celebration kicks off summer with the finest rosé wines and culinary delights! Start with the Summer Solstice Party on Friday evening and the fun continues throughout the next day! Expect partner activations, photo opportunities, live entertainment and more. Partnered with Barbados Tourism this will definitely bring all the summer vibes! Part of the ticket sales will go to the Women’s College Hospital Foundation. Tickets are available here.

rose picnic - hotel x - toronto

 Main Street Mosaic Tours: Exploring Heritage and Hubs

Launching on Saturday, June 15. The innovative app-guided tour invites locals and visitors alike to embark on a captivating journey through the historic main street of Cabbagetown to uncover the rich history and stories behind the dynamic neighbourhood and its small businesses.

Utilizing the state-of-the-art, free-to-use mobile and web app platform Driftscape Main Street Mosaic Tours’ provides an interactive, user-friendly way to explore the diverse attractions and historical gems of Cabbagetown. From architectural splendors to historic landmarks, participants will gain a unique insight into the past, present and future of one of Toronto’s oldest and most cherished neighbourhoods.

Running daily from Saturday, June 15 through mid-August, the free app-guided walking tour is around 1km long and can take participants anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours to complete. Over a dozen local businesses, including The Epicure Shop, Super Bargain, St Jamestown Steak & Chops, Noushe, Playground Cafe, Rapid Photo, Thairoom, Revolt Hairshop and Parliament Optical Inc., will provide special offers exclusive to tour takers.

Kid2Kid Marketplace:

June 1 from 11:30 to 2 pm in the Beaches Neighbourhood. Toronto-based non-profit organization Kid2Kid is hosting its second annual Kid’s Marketplace at The Beaches Recreation Centre (6 Williamson Road). The family-friendly community market works to nurture and empower an entrepreneurial spirit in kids as well as raise funds for the Red Door Shelter in Leslieville.

Over 100 youth entrepreneurs (representing 45 vendors), ages four to 12 will sell their handmade goods, crafts, jewellery, birdhouses, art prints, mocktails, soaps, toys and more.  There will also be live music, a silent auction from local businesses, fun photo opps, a BBQ, face painting and more.

Soluna Summer:

314 Queen Street West. Inspired by the coastal memories this dreamy location in the city is fitting to kick off summer. Join the Day Party on June 22 with the one and only Gorje Hewek on the beautiful rooftop terrace of SOLUNA. Limited tickets are available for this event, advance tickets & tables are encouraged. Keep an eye out for more summer event announcements!

PUP EVENTS in Toronto this June:

Barkham:

June 15 from 11 am to 7 pm. As part of the Markham Village Music Festival, this event is considered York Region’s largest dog-friendly festival! The day will host dog-related vendors, photo opportunities, live entertainment, activities and more. Fun for the whole family.

Toronto Woofstock:

June 22 and 23 at Woodbine Beach. The 17th annual event for all things dogs returns with two days of non-stop fun. Check out the Secret Garden, fun activities including a sniffing adventure at the Bullwrinkle’s Barn Hunt, friendly doggy races, doggy dates, shop the wide range of curated exhibitors, live entertainment, meet a few dogfluencers and so much more. Be sure to have your phone batteries charged up! There will be lots of fun photo opps too! Sign up to be part of their VIP (Very Important Pup) list. Ticketed event.

And out of the city…

S.S. Keewatin: 

Now open to the public! This historic luxury streamliner is now docked permanently in Kingston, Ontario. Built in 1907 in Scotland and brought over to Canada by the Canadian Pacific Railway to be used as a passenger and cargo ship. Visitors can book a guided Passenger Experience tour and step back in time to the same era as the Titanic. This is probably the closest and most realistic experience to learning what life was like in Kingston and on a luxury steamship. Visit various passenger rooms, ballrooms, kitchen, men’s parlour and more. By the way, the Titanic began building in 1907!

SS Keewatin - travel - Kingston

Kingston Food Tours:

Hey foodies! Did you know that Kingston has the most number of restaurants per capita of any other Canadian city? Several themes are available but we highly recommend the ‘Tapas Tour’ that takes guests to five local and independently run delicious businesses. Along the walking route, learn about Kingston’s history and food culture through a warm and friendly guide.  Tickets must be booked in advance.

Niagara Canada International Film Festival:

June 1  & 2. Celebrating Canada’s diversity and their stories through film. The Festival includes feature-length films and shorts, Q&A with filmmakers and cast members, panel discussions, networking opportunities and more. Full schedule of screenings and events here.

Wander The Spa opening in Prince Edward County:

The first-ever lakefront Nordic spa in Ontario is opening in Prince Edward County this summer. Nestled on West Lake among the tall grasses of Wander The Resort (15841 Loyalist Pkwy, Bloomfield), unwind in the simple luxury of the 10,000-square-foot hydrotherapy circuit. An all-access Founders Pass and specially priced day passes starting at $65 are now available for purchase for a limited time.

Thoughtfully designed for both peace and connection, the intimate retreat includes four distinct pools and four fire experiences, two saunas, a steam room, an exfoliation cabin, a lakeside Whisper Beach complete with cozy hammocks and napping tents, as well as massage treatments.

Wander The Spa - PEC

Avalon Lavender Fields:

Opening June 21. This picturesque lavender field is popular for those looking for a day trip out of the city. With rows upon rows of beautiful purple blooms, you can book into for special events including Afternoon Tea, Yoga, or just simply wander the fields. Be sure to bring some home! Lavender is known for its soothing properties. More information and tickets here- https://www.avalonlavenderfarm.ca/collections/lavender-field-access-tickets

Hungry for more? Check out our latest visit to FICOA for an exciting new Tasting Menu experience. Read here.