After two years on hold, Toronto summer festivals are back in action.
From music to theatre, cultural celebrations, and family-oriented fun, they’re a perfect way to enjoy something new, discover a neighbourhood, or spend some much-needed time together.
Here are some of the shows, events, and festivals—indoors and outdoors—that you’ll want to see this summer.
Beaches International Jazz Festival
Big Band, Dixieland—the Beaches have it all. This year’s Jazz Festival is already on, but you’ve got all month to catch it at a string of locations in Toronto’s East End Beaches and Leslieville neighbourhoods.
The main stage shows are the prime attraction, but this year’s jazz festival brings a double handful of fun interactive activities. Learn to swing dance at Jimmie Simpson Park on July 8-9, or see Streetfest transform Queen Street East into a massive, blocks-long concert on the weekend of July 21-23.
The jazz festival runs from July 2-24, with most events public and free of charge. https://www.beachesjazz.com/
Toronto Fringe Festival
It’s the festival that launched Kim’s Convenience, Broadway’s The Drowsy Chaperone, and the team behind Come From Away. And it’s the most fun way to see what might be next.
Toronto’s 34th annual Fringe Festival takes over eleven downtown venues this month with theatre, comedy, storytelling, dance, and musicals, as well as a full kids’ program. With over 1,200 independent, grassroots artists, Fringe is the perfect afternoon for anyone who loves new, fun, experimental, and offbeat shows—and it costs less than a good restaurant lunch.
This year’s Toronto Fringe runs from July 6-17, 2022. Single or multi-show passes are available now, with discounts for kids and teens. https://fringetoronto.com/
Toronto Caribbean Carnival
Toronto has Caribbean roots—and every year, we like to show it.
Toronto’s Caribbean Carnival—or Caribana, for us locals—is the largest Carnival celebration in North America. While the major festivities kick off July 28th, Caribana is a month-long ode to everything Caribbean: from calypso showcases to kids’ events to crown junior kings and queens.
It’s all a buildup to the massive Grand Parade, a whole day of music, dancing, and some of the most incredible costume work anywhere. It’s accompanied by steel pan performances and Carnival Flavours, a showcase for Caribbean food and drink from across the islands.
The party runs from July 7-30, with tickets and event information available at https://www.torontocarnival.ca/.
The Canadian National Exhibition
How about an old-school county fair—but in the city? It’s a Toronto kid’s most beloved cheesy summertime destination—with plenty of room for all ages.
This year’s Ex brings back the traditional mix of fairground rides, a late-night midway, a Biggest Vegetable competition, kids’ sports tournaments, and everyone’s annual dip into weird food that is bad for you (deep-fried butter, anyone?). There’s also a few steps into the future: a dedicated Gaming Garage, complete with esports and FIRST Robotics tournaments.
For music fans, the Ex is also the place for shockingly cheap live shows. This year’s mix at the Bandshell runs from indie rockers Hawksley Workman and JJ Wilde to familiar Canadian musicians like Gordon Lightfoot, Bruce Cockburn, and The Spoons.
This year’s Ex runs from August 19-September 5, with all-day passes available. https://www.theex.com/
Toronto International Film Festival
Some events put a city on the map. The Toronto International Film Festival does it with a great big star.
2022 marks the 47th year of this internationally-renowned film festival—one that draws stars, media, and major industry movers and shakers alike to Toronto. It’s a marquee event for film fans—a chance to meet creators, attend Q&As, and see premieres from around the world—and a vital industry conference, wrapped into one. And with programming tracks like quirky cult favourite Midnight Madness or national showcases, it’s a chance for any kind of movie lover to see something sweet, gory, action-packed, incisive, or just plain awesome.
This year’s TIFF runs from September 8-18, and ticket packages are on sale now, with final schedules due at the end of August. https://tiff.net/
International Festival of Authors
Toronto’s most prestigious literary festival is back at the Harbourfront Centre for the Arts this September.
With a hybrid in-person/online format for its 43rd edition, IFOA is bringing marquee authors for readings, interviews, and panel discussions to highlight what’s important and vital about books.
The lineup’s due to be announced late summer, and the festival itself runs September 22-October 2. https://festivalofauthors.ca/
Whether you’re traveling from far away or just from around the corner, let us show you Toronto at its best. Call DelSuites at 647-370-3504 or email email@example.com to find out how we can open the gates to discovering Toronto’s festivals.