We’ve been fortunate with summer weather earlier this year in Toronto. Cherry blossoms came a few weeks ahead of schedule and peonies are on showing us love. Patios are already busy and gelato shops are putting in the hours. Now is the perfect time to get out and explore the city! Grab your sneakers and bring your family and friends to see what’s new!  And if you’re thinking about golf, June is National Women’s Golf month!

Here are our top picks of what’s happening in Toronto this June…

Cassatt-McNicoll: Impressionists Between Worlds at the Art Gallery of Ontario until September 4. This groundbreaking exhibition brings together the works of two extraordinary women Impressionist painters. Mary Cassatt (USA, 1844-1926) and Helen McNicholl (Canadian, 1879-1915) were renowned artists known for their depiction of modern womanhood. This eye-opening exhibition features more than 65 artworks including paintings, prints and sketch books.

ᑐᓴᕐᓂᑐᑦ TUSARNITUT! Music Born of the Cold: Royal Ontario Museum, until September 24. A celebration of Inuit art, song and dance.Showcasing the creativity of a range of visual artists, musicians, dancers and performers, this exhibition will offer a panorama of artworks inspired by the vital role of music in Inuit culture. Spanning centuries of Inuit life, this exhibit reveals the breadth and diversity of musical expression in the visual and performing arts of the Arctic. NOTE! On June 1, explore the changing landscape of Inuit music in Canada with multi-award winning Inuk singer/songwriter and 3-time Juno Award winner Susan Aglukark. Hosted by Tim Johnson, curator of the current exhibition ᑐᓴᕐᓂᑐᑦ TUSARNITUT! Music Born of the Cold, this digital conversation highlights the changes in Inuit music in recent decades. The conversation will be followed by an audience Q&A.

Outside the March’s No Save Points: June 6 to 26. Lighthouse Immersive at One Yonge Street.  A joyous, high-octane, deeply personal adventure story, all experienced at the touch of a button, NO SAVE POINTS is created by and stars Toronto theatre veteran Sébastien Heins. In the show, video games, theatre and memoir collide as Heins places the control(er) in the hands of the audience, entrusting them to pilot his performance using state-of-the-art motion capture and haptic technology. Intimate and innovative, the piece is inspired by the real-life story of Heins’ mother being diagnosed with Huntington’s Disease, a rare genetic illness. No Save Points is crafted for gamers and theatre-lovers alike, and explores the universal question: “what do we do with the time that we have?”Outside the March - No Save PointsNational Ballet School Block Party: June 3, 400 Jarvis Street. Free admission. Celebrate the dance community at this open house with a festival feel and family-friendly atmosphere, Canada’s National Ballet School’s Block Party welcomes guests to NBS’ award-winning campus for a full day of pop-up performances, workshops, refreshments, and activities for people of all ages. Full schedule here.

Na-Me-Res 2023 Traditional Pow Wow: June 17, Fort York. Celebrate the arts, culture and heritage of our Indigenous communities at this event. In recognition of National Indigenous Peoples Day, the event will be full of dancing, drumming and performances. There will also be artisans, food vendors, and other Indigenous owned businesses and services on site. Free admission and all are welcomed. You can read our post on Pow Wow Etiquette here. 

Art Installation inspired by Harry Potter and the Cursed Child: until June 4, CAA Ed Mirvish Theatre Lobby.  When the 2020 pandemic was declared, it was only days from production work beginning and tickets going on sale for the Canadian premiere of the global smash-hit theatrical production of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Promotional materials were already made with the details of the 2020 engagement – including 50,000 bookmarks, approximately 10,000 for each of the four “houses” of the story’s Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. What happened to the thousands of bookmarks destined for recycling when Covid postponed the start date? No one wanted to see these go to waste. A design challenge was extended. Four young artists with VIBE Arts NExT, a Black youth mentorship program run by the Ontario charity VIBE Arts answered the call. The result? The incredible and unique art installation are now showcased at “Selfie Alley” in the lobby of the CAA Ed Mirvish Theatre.

Mirvish - Harry Potter and the Cursed Child - art installation - Kanisha Dabreo

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child – art installation by Kanisha Dabreo

Toronto Waterfront Wednesdays: all summer. Take advantage of what’s happening down by the waterfront with the opportunity to explore unique offerings and special promotions. Free and discounted experiences vary each week. We have our eyes on the plant-based picnic deliveries to Sugar Beach with Maverick Burger Co. There’s also a discount for the popular Immersive Disney Animation. Details here. 

Under the Neon Stars: Pride Dance Party in support of CANFAR: June 2. El Mocambo. Dance the night away at the newly restored iconic “Elmo” with a special LIVE performance from the Voice of Love Inc, Simone Denny, drag performances by The Star Vita Love and YOHOMO DJs and special guests. Details here. 

Click Clack at the Bata Shoe Museum: June 7. Get your shoe-stopping best out because the Bata Shoe Museum is hosting its first-ever after-dark Pride Party! Enjoy a performance by Miss Moço, a runway show by Fashion Art Toronto, and music by DJ Sophie Jones.Get your shoe-stopping best out because the Bata Shoe Museum is hosting its first-ever after-dark Pride Party! Enjoy a performance by Miss Moço, a runway show by Fashion Art Toronto, and music by DJ Sophie Jones. While you’re there be sure to check out the stunning exhibition IN BLOOM: Flowers and Footwear.

Bata Shoe Museum

Luminato: Various locations. June 7 to 18. This annual international arts festival always has interesting experiences to check out. And it’s a great one to take in with friends or even alone. What caught my eye so far? Scott Joplin’s Treemonisha, Walk with Amal, Aalaapi, Belonging is, and Nuit.

Luminato - Walk With Amal - photo Lizzie Coombes

Distillery District Queer Marketplace: June 5 to 11. For the first time ever, the historical area will showcase local makers and artisans from the 2SLGBTQI+ Community. Also, visitors are invited to enjoy live performances in Trinity Square with talents including Jump She said, Ori Dagon, Kenny Kirkwood Band, Trash Panda, Seraphin, Mandy Goodhandy, and Jenna Marie. Distillery District will also have live outdoor jazz performances all summer long. Check their IG for news on musicians, dates and times.

Perceptual Archaeology (or How To Travel Blind): Crow’s Theatre. June 1 to 25. Ever wonder what it’s like to travel blind? Blind artist Alex Bulmer welcomes you to her five part “talk” exploring this question. Adapted for theatre from her original blind travel essays, Alex sets off on a dramatic journey that playfully twists and turns across differing geographies and unexpected emotional terrain. Imagine a play created by blind and sighted artists. Imagine a play developed with a love of improvisation, sound, the absurd, and the uncertain. PERCEPTUAL ARCHAEOLOGY (OR HOW TO TRAVEL BLIND) is designed and created for blind and sighted audiences.

Joni Live at the Park Hyatt Toronto: every Wednesday night. Ready to discover new artists and indulge in live music weekly every Wednesday? Whether you’re looking for a new date idea or your next get-together with your friends, consider Joni as your next destination for more than an unforgettable culinary experience. Joni Live will have a diverse and vibrant lineup of Toronto talent – with artists such as Shannon Chapman, Fernanda Cunha & Reg Shwager, Ammoye, and many more.

Nagata Shachu Flow フロー: June 10.  Toronto’s preeminent Japanese Taiko and Music Group, will present Flow フロー, a modern, boundary-pushing take on traditional Japanese taiko featuring Masayuki Sakamoto at Hart House Theatre. In this final concert of their 25th Anniversary season, Nagata Shachu and next-generation Japanese taiko soloist Masayuki Sakamoto will embrace flow – the mental state in which a person is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and enjoyment in the process. This spell-binding season finale will weave together Nagata Shachu’s traditional taiko rhythms with Sakamoto’s rebellious rock n roll influence, while hypnotically immersed in the flow state.Taiko Drums - Nagata Shachu - Japanese

SMASH: SOLSTICE at The Gardiner Museum: June 15 The annual party and fundraising night is always a “smash”. Live performances, access to the galleries, DJs and nibbles keep crowds fuelled. This year’s theme, celebrates the summer SOLSTICE, the longest and brightest day of the year, with show-stopping installations by GUNNAR Floral, sets by DJ Dre Ngozi, contemporary art, cocktails, cuisine, and more, including access to the International Ceramic Art Fair.Gardiner Museum Toronto

Beyond Concrete at The Bentway: until September 24. As Toronto wrestles with important questions about the Expressway and its future, The Bentway invites the city to dive “beyond the concrete” and explore the nature of the Gardiner. Visitors will discover a thriving urban ecosystem beneath the highway, where human-made infrastructure intertwines with resilient wildlife, growing in spite of, and because of, the concrete. Beyond Concrete includes a collection of artworks, performances, parties, and conversations, including the first North American commission by Filipino artist Leeroy New; the North American premiere of Brazilian choreographer Clarice Lima; new and existing works from Torontonian artists Alex Sheriff, Lisa Jackson, Public Visualization Lab/Studio; and an array of free talks, tours, and workshops.

Stitched in Ages by Moya Garrison-Msingwana: Harbourfront Centre (North Orchard): June 6 to 26. Is an immersive public art installation by multidisciplinary artist, Moya Garrison-Msingwana (aka GANGBOX), in partnership with Canada Goose and inspired by the brand’s purpose platform, HUMANATURE. This collaboration was born from Canada Goose and Moya’s shared values of craftsmanship and sustainability, reflecting the importance of the human impact on our environment. The large-scale installation was inspired by Garrison Msingwana’s LAUNDRY series, consisting of five 3D 7-foot-tall figures, made of upcycled Canada Goose fabrics and materials.

Toronto Jewish Walking Tours: Kensington Market. Multiple dates/times between June 5 – 11. Explore Toronto’s old Jewish heartland around Spadina Avenue and Kensginton Avenue with reselling author Michael Wex. Details here. 

Screen Printing Workshop Kid Icarus (205 Augusta) in Kensington Market: June 10. Learn the basics of screen printing with this workshop led by Kid Icarus. Reserve your spot here. 

From Mr. Dressup to Degrassi: 42 years of Toronto Kids TV: ongoing located at Myseum 401 Richmond St. West. Free Admission. They don’t make shows like they use to! This incredible time capsule of some of the most beloved Canadian children’s television shows spanning from 1952 to 1994. Mr. Dressup, The Friendly Giant, Polka Dot Door, Degrassi and more are featured in this Toronto focused museum. Rewatch some of the old favourites on retro television sets, make your own puppets, try creating your own audition tape, explore the Tickle Trunk, and more. There are several great spots for photos here as well.

Myseum Toronto

Soul in the City at Casa Loma: Tuesday evenings starting June 20. Juno-award winner Sean Jones returns to Toronto’s famous castle with a 7-piece band, The Righteous Echo and often surprise guests in the Glass Pavilion. Plan ahead, his nights are very popular. Casa Loma also has Symphony in the Gardens performances on Monday evenings. Each week has a different them. Info and tickets available here.  

Casa Loma - Soul in the city

Kelly vs Kelly: May 28 to June 18. An original Canadian musical produced by the Musical Stage Company in association with Canadian Stage. Written by two leading voices – Stratford born Britta Johnson (Life, After) and Sarah Farb, a Stratford regular who is currently starring in Mirvish’s Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, and who starred in the Broadway run of Harry Potter as well and who also starred in Musical Stage Company’s award-winning Canadian premiere of Fun Home. The show is based on a real-life court case from NYC that took place around 1915 which Farb discovered in an episode of the hit podcast The Memory Palace, about a New York debutante whose mother had her arrested and charged with incorrigibility when she wouldn’t stop dating a tango dancer, and it explores a period in which the experience and expectations of womanhood were changing dramatically; not entirely unrelated to ongoing dialogues now about womanhood and gender.Britta Johnson and Sarah Farb 2023

In Conversation with…Elliot Page: June 16. TIFF Bell Lightbox.
TIFF proudly presents the exclusive Canadian launch of Elliot Page’s highly anticipated and groundbreaking coming-of age memoir Pageboy. A generation-defining actor and one of the most famous trans advocates of our time, Page joins TIFF in person to discuss his personal journey, his starring role in the hit series The Umbrella Academy, and the process of establishing himself as a key creative force behind the camera as a director and producer with his company Pageboy Productions.

Gin & Yin Yoga at Reid’s Distillery (32 Logan Ave.) June 17. Here’s a great experience that combines the best of two local small businesses! Bella Fit Yoga will lead attendees through a 50 minute Yin & Yang yoga class. Yin-Yang class blends two styles of yoga in one practice – passively holding relaxing poses mixed with dynamic sequences. Then, after the yoga session, Reid Distillery’s will guide participants in a tasting of their signature, citrus and spiced gins. Cocktails and food boards available for purchase in the Lounge after yoga and tasting! Tickets available here.

Vaughan Film Festival: June 19 to 22. Now in its 10th year, this festival offers a platform for independent filmmakers to share their work. The schedule presented in blocks includes titles from both experienced and aspiring creators.