It’s a summer sizzler and we’re trying to stay cool. Here’s what is happening in and around Toronto for the month of July. From communal dinners to Canada Day events — even a chance to hang out at a hotel pool all day! We’ve rounded up our favourites!
Summer Series at Trillium Park (Ontario Place): July 1. Kick of the season with a full day and night of family-friendly music and entertainment, including performances by DJ Shane, The Fuddles, DJ MelBoogie, River Christie-White (Hoop Dancer), Indigenous group, Manitou Mkwa Singers, Afropan Steelband, uRequest Live (cover band) and The Soul Motivators. Family-friendly activities include face painting, arts and crafts, airbrush tattoos, yoga classes for adults and kids, a henna booth, a photo booth, a communal bonfire, and food and beverage options($). Admission to the event is free for all ages. More info here.
Theatre & Entertainment Happenings:
Hadestown: Royal Alexandra Theatre. July 5 to August 20.
This musical intertwines two mythic tales — that of young dreamers Orpheus and Eurydice, and that of King Hades and his wife Persephone — as it invites you on a hell-raising journey to the underworld and back. Mitchell’s beguiling melodies and Chavkin’s poetic imagination pit industry against nature, doubt against faith, and fear against love. Performed by a vibrant ensemble of actors, dancers and singers, Hadestown is a haunting and hopeful theatrical experience that grabs you and never lets go.
Winner of eight 2019 Tony Awards® including Best Musical and the 2020 Grammy® Award for Best Musical Theatre Album, this acclaimed new show from celebrated singer-songwriter Anaïs Mitchell and innovative director Rachel Chavkin (Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812) is a love story for today… and always. Tickets here.
High Park Amphitheatre. Begins July 6. Produced and presented by dance Immersion as part of Canadian Stage’s Dream in High Park. Jazz: Reaffirming the spirit of what was, is, and will continue to be. Young, Gifted & Jazz is an electrifying immersive experience of true jazz culture, from fashion to dance with live music. Tickets and more info here.
Stackt Market. July 7 & 8. Midsummer is a celebrated event in Sweden welcoming the Summer days with friend and family. In honour of this annual tradition, Volvo is inviting everyone to join in this two-day family friendly event filled with workshops on sustainable floral trends, urban gardening, pollinator gardens, and more with Toronto Flower Market, The Bowery Project, and ReBloom. More details here.
High Park Amphitheatre. Begins July 21. Celebrating 40 magical years of Dream in High Park, Canadian Stage is bringing back one of Shakespeare’s most beloved plays, A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM. The first play ever presented in the High Park amphitheatre in 1983, this play has long been associated with the time-held tradition of Shakespeare under the stars.
On stage in the enchanting High Park Amphitheatre, nestled amongst the old growth forest of Toronto’s largest park, this anniversary production will be directed by Dream in High Park veteran performer Jamie Robinson and feature a dynamic company of performers including Louisa Zhu, Jadyn Nasato, Megan Legesse, Steven Hao, Ryan G Hinds, Shelly Antony, Stuart Hefford, Frank Chung, Aaron Willis, Julie Tepperman, Vincent Leblanc-Beaudoin, and Angel Lo. 2023 marks the 10th time A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM has been produced as part of the Dream. Tickets and more info here.
Casa Loma. Every Tuesday evening throughout the summer. Enjoy this incredible live performance under the stars at Toronto’s famed castle! Sean Jones, and his seven-piece band, The Righteous Echo, performs Motown, jazz, R&B, soulful hits weekly. The perfect date night or friends night out! Book tickets in advance! They sell out quickly!
Festivals & Fun Stuff:
The Bentway. July 8, 8 pm to 2 am. Artist studio Nocturnal Medicine, known for their recent “Rave For Eco Grief” in New York, present a contemporary festival that centres both joy and sorrow, dancing and meditation, as we confront our planetary health crisis. Equal parts DJ dance party and urban ritual. Party goers are encourage to stay for the duration of the evening’s events. Free. Register here.
10xTO at Hotel X July 9, 10 am to 1 pm. Join in this second annual exhilarating fitness journey, from high-intensity sweat sessions to mindful meditation cool-downs, at its Fitness Festival. Participants can take part in any or all 4 group fitness classes and get a chance to show off their moves. The event is BYOE – Bring Your Own Everything (Towel + Mat + Water Bottle) Snacks and beverages will be provided by event sponsors including Amino Snacks, Sap Sucker, Polar Joe, HER Sea Moss, Smart Water, and Normatech. Tickets and info here.
Varsity Stadium (U of T), July 16, 8:30 am to 2 pm. This popular day of fitness returns. The EPIC group-training experience that challenges you to push your limits, work as a team and SHRED limited beliefs. Join New York Celebrity Trainer James McMillan on the turf, alongside top Toronto trainers and special guests.
Warm up with Toronto top trainers before experiencing an EPIC HIIT workout. Together, the crew will complete 90 minutes of work broken into 5 segments, capped-off with a cool down session. Following the workout, participants will have the opportunity to connect and refuel with leading fitness + wellness brands and local businesses. Participants also have a chance to WIN $2,000 in prizes.Tickets and more info here.
July 16, 3 pm to 6 pm. Downsview Runway. Now in its second year, Play on the Runway is one of Toronto’s most unique open-air events. Building on last year’s event which drew thousands of people from near and far, visitors can bring their own fun and play on 2 kilometers of open tarmac.
Guests are encouraged to bring bikes, skateboards, roller skates and blades, scooters, wagons, strollers, trikes — whatever gets them moving — to cruise on the runway to the funky beats of a live DJ. This strip is normally reserved exclusively for airplane take-off and landing. Expect some added surprises! Onsite parking available but public transit is encouraged. Limited time entry. Must register here.
all summer long! you can take in the fastest growing sport in town at this outdoor patio. Don’t know how to play? No worries! Clinics are happening. You can also take in the pro league at viewing parties. It’s a fun way to get your friends together. Sponsored by Vizzy.
July 7 to 23. The popular city wide dine-around festival returns. A great way to discover new-to-you restaurants and revisit some of your favourites. Prix Fixe menus offered for lunch and dinner (where applicable). Full list of participating restaurants here.
July, 7, 8 and 9. Rendezviews. Wine lovers get ready! The annual outdoor event celebrates the city’s wine culture with an incredible opportunity to try wines from all around the world. Passport holders will also have the chance to learn more about their favourite regions and maybe discover a new favourite! This “all you can taste” adventure happens in Toronto’s largest patio space. Food vendors will also be onsite. Tickets available in advance here.
various dates throughout the summer. Tickets released in waves. This year’s Thursday night communal dinners will feature cuisines from all over the world as well as a new partnership with Dashmaawaan Bemaadzinjin (They Feed The People), a Toronto-based Indigenous food sovereignty program. More info here.
Little Jamaica (Eglinton Ave West and Oakwood) July 22 and 23. Enjoy the culinary delights of the Caribbean brought to you by local chefs and vendors. Discover food, drink, artisans and travel businesses while feeling Caribbean vibes with live entertainment and more. For more information link here.
Nathan Phillips Square. July 22 and 23. Come hungry to the 11th annual festival celebrating the flavours and diversity of the Western Hemisphere. Stay for the salsa dance competition, Latin Jazz performances, chef demonstrations and more. Admission is free. Food and drink options available.
Bathurst and Wilson. July 22 &23. Explore the best of Filipino culture, music, food, and fun street activations along this one-kilometre stretch of the city. Family friendly and free admission. Food and drink options available.
Exhibition Place Bandshell. July 28 to July 30. Bring your besties to this all things beer fest presented by The Beer Store. Includes live entertainment with bands including Ice Cube, T-Pain, and Third Eye Blind. Tickets available here.
Monkey Shoulder Travelling BBQ with DJ Skratch Bastid:
The Bentway. July 29 & 30, 3 pm to 7 pm. The duo is travelling across Canada to bring the baddest BBQ party to every major city – and the next stop is Toronto! Add this travelling BBQ party to your summer plans. They’ll be serving up FUNKY summer-inspired cocktails to big-up the party. Think Monkey Mixed cocktails, BBQ flavours, and summer beats courtesy DJ Skratch Bastid and other famed hip-hop artists.
1605 Queen Street West, July 22, 12 pm to 5 pm. This indoor/outdoor event hosted by Toronto Dog Moms is a dog-friendly marketplace teeming with local vendors and artisans. Entry is free…unless you’d like more peace and space then opt for VIP entry. Yes, you can bring your dog. Yay!
(19+ event): July 30, 1 pm meet at High Park. Hosted by Toronto Dog Moms and Brew Bus. Start the day with a meet and greet with all the other dog pawrents. Then, hop on the tour bus and visit three dog-friendly breweries with your pup! Each location will include a guided tour by beer professionals. Two drink tickets and snacks included. Transportation included to each location plus pick up drop off at Keele Subway station.
All Summer Long:
CF Shops at Don Mills. SUSO Skate Co. has taken over the rooftop parkade (P4) and turned it into a 168-foot long skate trail all summer long! Open to ages 16+. Don’t know how to roller skate? They’ve got small group lessons too! New roller skates are available for rent or bring your own and reserve your time slot here.
Take a mini-staycation and book a day pass at this downtown location. Yes, locals can feel like a tourist and enjoy the summer vibes without having to pay for hotel rates. Non-hotel guests can pre-book to lounge around at the beautiful indoor/outdoor pool area any day.
Reservations can be made using the hotel’s new real-time booking system (this system can also be used to purchase day passes for the fitness centre) Cost is $170 for two people and includes: 2 lounge chairs with umbrella and side table, water bottles, a poolside snack-pack, complimentary wi-fi, and poolside mobile ordering via Dual Citizen, the hotel’s all-day grab and go eatery. Reserve here.