Are you spending the rest of the summer in Toronto and still don’t know what to do? Well, don’t worry. There’s a huge variety of events to choose from. Whether you prefer concerts, dance performances, fairs, theatre, art workshops, or food festivals, Toronto has it all. Take your whole family and get outside to celebrate an amazing summer in the largest city in Canada. Here’s our selection of the best August events in Toronto.
Dates: August 2 – August 5
Location: Harbourfront Centre
The Harbourfront Centre is offering a variety of summer festivals from across the globe celebrating the cultural diversity of Toronto. The four-day Island Soul festival explores the cultures and artistic traditions of the Caribbean through music, film, and dance as well as other art forms and games. The lineup includes Kay-Ann Ward, Tabou Combo, Calypso Rose, Moko Jumbie: Dancing Spirits of Trinidad, and the Toronto-based Kobo Town. The festival targets multi-generational audiences, so don’t hesitate to bring the whole family.
Date: August 3
Location: Fort York: Garrison Common
This one-day musical event combines elements of larger music festivals with a small, community-based atmosphere. The festival is located at Fort York Garrison Common and its carefully curated indie lineup promises a diverse, world-class musical experience. Acclaimed promoter Goldenvoice and the Arts & Crafts music label have brought together an attractive group of artists including Phoenix, Hot Chip, Girl Talk, The Gaslight Anthem, Earl Sweatshirt, Wavves, Icona Pop, Palma Violets, and others. With its convenient location and compelling lineup, The Grove offers a great way to spend the first Saturday in August.
Date: August 3
Location: Exhibition Place
The Grand Parade is an outstanding finale of an exciting three-week celebration of Caribbean music, cuisine, and revelry as well as visual and performing arts. Scotiabank Caribbean Carnival Toronto is the largest cultural festival of its kind in North America and each year, it culminates in an explosion of colour, dance, and music in a masqueraded showcase of the festival. The parade starts at Exhibition Place and continues along a 3.5 kilometre stretch on Lakeshore Boulevard.
Dates: August 3 – August 5
Location: 55 Mill Street
Artfest Toronto has prepared a summer celebration of arts and crafts located in the magical Historic Distillery District during the Civic Holiday weekend. More than 70 artists and artisans from across Ontario and Quebec will be showcasing their handmade works, embracing the newest trends and mixing them with traditional art forms. The main themes of the three-day show are powerful design, rich textures, vibrant summer colours, and brilliant originality. Take a stroll through the cobblestoned Distillery District and enjoy handmade Canadian pottery, glass, leather, jewellery, gourmet food, textiles, and paintings.
Dates: August 3 – August 11
Location: Rexall Centre
Sport enthusiasts shouldn’t miss the opportunity to see the best women tennis players in the world trying to win this premier tournament. The men’s competition of the third oldest tennis tournament in the world is held in Montreal, while the women’s takes place in Toronto. The Toronto tournament will host eight of the top-ten players on the WTA tour, including the number one, Serena Williams, number four Agnieszka Radwanska, number five Li Na, and the defending champion Petra Kvitova.
Dates: August 8 – August 18
Location: Various locations across Toronto
Renowned among the theatre community, SummerWorks is entering its 23rd season showcasing Canada’s most provocative and exciting new works of theatre. Ontario’s premier celebration of cutting-edge, professional theatre has become the largest juried festival in Canada. SummerWorks boasts more than 30 plays, featuring mostly new Canadian works, off-site performances, workshops, and a mentorship program. It provides a great platform for young theatre arts creators as well as dedicated theatre professionals. This year’s lineup includes names such as Adam Lazarus, Guillermo Verdecchia, Kevin Rees, Sky Gilbert, Jordan Tannahil, and Cliff Cardinal.
Dates: August 9 – August 11
Location: Danforth Avenue
The Taste of the Danforth festival celebrates not only Greek cuisine and culture but also the multicultural diversity of Toronto. There are events reflecting the area’s Greek roots, but the festival has grown to encompass a wider spectrum of the Toronto community. Food lovers can enjoy a wide variety of delicious cuisine, ranging from Greek souvlaki, spanakopita, or loukomades to Thai, Indian, and Cuban delicacies. Plus, the festival offers lots of family-friendly activities, musical performances, and traditional Greek dancing.
Dates: August 9 – August 11
Location: Millenium Park, Collingwood Harbour
Do you love adrenaline, sports, and the water? Then you shouldn’t miss the Wakestock Action Sports and Music Festival. This three-day wakeboarding contest hosts some of the best wakeboard professionals from all over the world as well as features a tournament for amateurs. All the wakeboarding action is accompanied by live music, including bands such as Silversun Pickups, Death From Above 1979, The Sheepdogs, and Less Than Jake plus amazing after-parties with live DJs.
Dates: August 16 – September 2
Location: Exhibition Place Toronto
The Canadian National Exhibition has gone a long way since it began in 1879 as the Toronto Industrial Exhibition promoting agriculture and new technology. Today, the CNE is an 18-day fair offering an incredible range of attractions and activities such as acrobatic shows, air shows, cultural exhibits, parades, petting zoos, rides, games, concerts, and much more. It’s the largest fair in Canada and the seventh largest in North America, with about 5.3 million visitors each year.
Dates: August 17 – August 18
Location: York-Eglinton BIA
The York-Eglinton International Street Festival is a celebration of Toronto’s diverse communities. The family festival is gaining popularity and becoming one of Toronto’s largest summer events. The whole street boasts live music, dance lessons, spectacular sales, delicious food, and a street-level carnival. It covers a wide number of cultures, including Caribbean, Italian, Portuguese, and Latin. Take your families and enjoy exotic petting zoos, carnival rides, and the largest street dance floor in Toronto.
Dates: August 22 – August 25
Location: Metro Toronto Convention Centre
The country’s largest pop culture convention and the third largest pop culture event in North America started as a national comic book expo in 1995. But Fan Expo is no longer just for comic fans and science fiction lovers. The festival has its place among such prominent events as the San Diego Comic-Con International and the New York Comic Con. The convention provides vast displays, panels, seminars, and workshops on anything related to gaming, horror, comic, science fiction, and anime. Moreover, this year’s novelty is an ultimate sport celebrity experience — Fan Expo Sports. Visitors can look forward to famous guests, including original Star Trek’s George Takei and Nichelle Nichols, new Star Trek’s Zachary Quinto and Karl Urban, Walking Dead stars Norman Reedus and Laurie Holden, Princess Leia herself, Carrie Fisher, and Hulk Hogan.