Summer is finally here in Toronto and we are so damn excited. The weather's beautiful, the city is filled with new and exciting events, and everything is just so wonderful. This summer, Toronto is going to be bustling in arts, film, music, and plenty of food.
From PANAMANIA to Caribana to numerous food festivals, there are so many amazing things happening in the month of July. It can get a little difficult to keep track of all the summer events happening, so we've prepared this list to help you keep track of what's happening this month. Attend one, attend them all. Make this your best summer yet and cross all of these events off your list!
1. The Mouth Holds the Tongue @ Harbourfront Centre
The Power Plant at Harbourfront is hosting a series of commissioned projects by international artist collectives for PANAMANIA. The Mouth Holds the Tongue is one of them, and it's a collaborative project by Toronto-based artists Nadia Belerique, Lili Huston-Herterich, and Laurie Kang. The exhibition foregrounds the pleasures in representing and experiencing time and space. Check it out now until September 7th at The Power Plant gallery at Harbourfront Centre. For more details, check out the website.
2. Mine @ Harbourfront Centre
Mine is another exhibition being shown at The Power Plant for PANAMANIA. Mine refers to both the commercial activity that involves extracting valuable subterranean minerals and the possessive pronoun itself. Check it out now until September 7th at The Power Plant gallery at Harbourfront Centre. For more details, check out the website.
3. Eminent Domain @ Harbourfront Centre
Eminent Domain is another exhibition being shown at The Power Plant for PANAMANIA. This visual and sound installation investigates the ways human activity in the globalized age has a direct effect on ecological systems. Check it out now until September 7th at The Power Plant gallery at Harbourfront Centre. For more details, check out the website.
Photo cred – The Power Plant
4. (art)work(sport)work(sex)work @ Harbourfront Centre
(art)work(sport)work(sex)work is another exhibition being shown at The Power Plant for PANAMANIA. The exhibition aims to map how ideologies, socially accepted norms, and legislations govern the conditions of work and participation within the fields of contemporary art, multi-sports events, and sex trade. Bus rides will take place each Saturday from 2 to 3:30 P.M. as part of the exhibition, which will be hosted by people and groups based in Ontario who work within the fields of visual art, sports culture, and sex trade. Check it out now until September 7th at The Power Plant gallery at Harbourfront Centre. For more details, check out the website.
5. Multicultural Canada Day @ Yonge-Dundas Square
One of the great things about Toronto is how multicultural it is. The 9th annual Multicultural Canada Day celebration is happening at Dundas Square on July 1st, and it's all about the different cultures and ethnic groups that make Toronto so diverse. Enjoy ethnic folk dance and music performances, crafts, international foods, and more! Also, you can be part of the first ever Living Canadian Flag in Toronto to commemorate its 50th anniversary. You can find the full schedule here.
6. Canada Day Fireworks
Start off July by watching some sparkly Canada Day fireworks. Check 'em out at Ashbridges Bay, Harbourfront Centre, or Canada's Wonderland.
7. Taste of Lawrence
If you're looking to eat diverse, check out this international food and cultural festival in Scarborough from July 3rd to 5th. There'll be rides, live music and over 130 vendors ready to give you a taste of international foods from all over the GTA. Juno Award winning Canadian reggae group Messenjah will be headlining on Saturday. Don't forget to try the fresh oysters at Diana's!
8. Indie Fridays @ Yonge-Dundas Square
Every Friday night throughout the summer, enjoy free music at Dundas Square. Canadian alt hip-hop artist Buck 65 will be playing July 3rd and Toronto rapper Tre Mission will be playing July 31st.
Photo cred – Festival of Praise International
9. Taste of Jesus in the City @ Yonge-Dundas Square
On July 4th, head to Dundas Square for Taste of Jesus in the City. This live music and arts celebration is a preparation for the annual parade in September. There will be plenty of food, dance, music, prizes, and worship! Be sure to join the event page if you're attending! The Jesus in the City parade is happening September 12th at Queen's Park.
10. Salsa on St. Clair
Fierce, fiery, and full of fun – the 11th annual Salsa on St. Clair is happening from July 4th to 5th. Grab your fave pair of dancing shoes and get ready for a weekend of salsa dancing. Inspired by Miami's famous "Calle Ocho" festival, there'll be live entertainment, lots of dancing, and plenty of delicious food! The party stretches on St. Clair Avenue West from Winona Drive to Christie Street. Be sure to join the event page if you're attending!
11. Afrofest @ Woodbine Park
From July 4th to 5th, check out this huge African festival happening at Woodbine Park. There'll be workshops, dance groups, a children’s village, and market place with over 70 vendors. Enjoy live performances with artists representing both traditional and modern African music. The headliners for this year are Zouk group Kassav, king of Makossa San Fan Thomas, and the dynamic Congolese group Wenge Musica Nouvelle Generation. Join the event page if you're going!
12. Youth Day Toronto @ Yonge-Dundas Square
Young people of Toronto, rejoice! On July 5th, Youth Day Toronto will be entering into its 9th year. This free summer festival is held at Yonge-Dundas Square, and over 100 live music and dance performances on two non-stop stages will be going wild for over 12 hours. There will also be an art gallery, live fashion shows, an opening flag parade, and much more!
13. City Cinema @ Yonge-Dundas Square
Who doesn't love FREE MOVIES?! Enjoy a movie under the stars at Dundas Square. Grab a seat or bring your own. On July 7th, two films will be playing: Be Kind Rewind and Block Party. On July 28th, Dream Girls will be playing.
Photo cred – Scotiabank Caribbean Carnival Toronto
14. Scotiabank Caribbean Carnival Toronto
Our favourite street festival Caribana is back! The Caribbean Carnival is three weeks long and it's happening July 7th to August 2nd this year. Celebrate Caribbean culture with all the fun events and shows! Check out their website for a list of everything happening at the festival. Don't forget to join the event page if you're attending!
15. Free Flicks @ Harbourfront Centre
Do something different than the conventional indoor movie – watch a movie outdoors by the lake at Harbourfront instead. Every Wednesday at 9 P.M. from July 8th to September 2nd, enjoy a free outdoor screening. For a full listing of all the films and their screening dates, visit their site.
July 8 - Raising Arizona
July 15 - Win Win
July 22 - Young Frankenstein
July 29 - Stories We Tell
16. TIFF in the Park @ David Pecaut Square
To celebrate their 40th anniversary, TIFF is hosting free screenings from July 8th to September 2nd at David Pecaut Square. On July 8th, enjoy free food, cupcakes, live music by a special guest band, and a screening of the first TIFF in the Park film of the summer.
July 8 - Strictly Ballroom
July 15 - Whale Rider
July 22 - Annie Hall
July 29 - Watermark
August 5 - The King's Speech
17. Water’s Edge @ Union Station
From July 9th to August 16th, check out this photography exhibition at Union Station, which will explore the relationship we have with our natural water supplies. Pan American photographers Edward Burtynsky, James Balog, Sebastião Salgado, Cristina Mittermeier, Jorge Uzon, and Gustavo Jononovich will have their work displayed.
Photo cred – Franco-Fête
18. Franco-Fête 2015 @ Yonge-Dundas Square
The most important Francophone event in Toronto is happening at Dundas Square on July 10th and you can be there to enjoy it! This year, Franco-Fête de Toronto will be happening for 14 days instead of 3 in honour of the Pan Am Games. See dozens of French-speaking Ontarian, Canadian, and Pan American artists on stage. Zachary Richard, Ariane Moffatt, Marie-Josée Lord, Pirate Del Sol, Stef Paquette, Patricia Cano, Kevin Parent, La Chiva Gantiva, Shawn Jobin, Isabelle Longnus, Lisa Leblanc, Hay Babies, SWING, and Radio Radio are just some of the artists who will be there.
19. Beaches International Jazz Festival
Couldn't get enough jazz from the TD Toronto Jazz Festival in June? Get more jazz from July 10th to 26th at the 27th annual Beaches International Jazz Festival, happening right here in the Beaches! Here is the event page.
20. YOUNG World Faces of Pan Am
See the diversity of the 41 participating Pan American countries and territories in this collection of large-scale photographic portraits by Canadian artist Robert Young. Pay a visit to the gallery at Commerce Court West from July 10th to August 15th.
21. Challenge and Triumph by David M. General @ Ontario’s Celebration Zone
Witness the unveiling of a brand new sculpture to honour one of the world’s and Canada's most celebrated athletes. At the 1907 Boston Marathon, long distance runner Tom Longboat gained international recognition for his astounding victory, smashing the previous record by more than five minutes. Longboat was born near Brantford, Ontario, and he remains an inspiration to both Aboriginal and Canadian people. Check it out from July 10th to August 15th at the Celebration Zone as part of PANAMANIA.
22. Toronto Cosplay Beach Party Gathering @ Woodbine Beach
Get your swimsuit/beach cosplay outfits ready for this special cosplay event happening at Woodbine Beach on July 11th – the first ever to happen in the city. Make new friends, jam out to kawaii tunes, and have your pictures taken. Join the event page if you're going to be there!
Photo cred – Toronto Pan Am/Parapan Am Games
23. Watercolour @ Sugar Beach
Watch as Lake Ontario comes alive with the colour and vibrancy of the 41 participating countries and territories in a sail-past, which will herald the opening and closing of the Pan Am sailing competitions. Original designs by artists will celebrate the collective spirit and culture of the Games. See it July 12th and July 19th at Sugar Beach.
24. Requiem of Water: Underwater Photo and Video Exhibition @ Brookfield Place
Explore our relationship to water and its importance in this conceptual photographic series by award winning photographer Meaghan Ogilvie. Check out Requiem of Water July 13th to August 14th at Brookfield Place as part of PANAMANIA.
25. InterNations/InterSections by Planet IndigenUS 2015 @ Fort York
This assembly of large-scale installations explores the adaptability and ingenuity of travel and transportation for First Nations people in a post-colonial world. First Nations artists Kent Monkman, Kevin Lamure, Douglas Smarch Jr., and Kelly Greene will have their work displayed. See it for yourself from Aboriginal Pavilion at Fort York National Historic Site from July 13th to August 9th as part of PANAMANIA.
26. Under the Stars: Movies in the Park @ Regent Park
Why watch Netflix alone at home when you can watch free movies under the stars with hundreds of other people? See Dear White People on July 15th, Bend It Like Beckham on July 22nd, and Boyz n the Hood on July 29th. The screenings are happening every Wednesday from July 15th to August 19th. Arrive early for Taste of Regent Park, which will showcase the food, art, and culture of Regent Park. Join the event page here.
27. Cuttin’ Style Caribbean @ HTO Park
Celebrate the flair of the Caribbean with this outdoor fashion show! Witness the elegance and sophistication of “island-chic” on the runway. Check out this PANAMANIA event at HTO Park on both July 16th and 17th!
Photo cred – Ward's Island Beach Party
28. Ward's Island Beach Party
Who can say no to a free beach party? There's even going to be an egg toss for those who are daring. It's happening July 11th at Ward's Island. Be sure to join the event page if you're going!
29. PANAMANIA @ CIBC Pan Am Park
The CIBC Pan Am Park is home to five competition venues hosting sixteen sports, as well as a hub for free entertainment, activities, and athletic demonstrations. From July 11th to 25th from 10 A.M. to 10 P.M., enjoy free live entertainment from both well-known and emerging artists from across Ontario, Canada, and the Americas. Experience the number one street party of the summer in Toronto right here! Here are the performers:
July 11 - Five Alarm Funk, The Fruits, USS
July 12 - Joaquin Diaz, The Fruits, Gypsy Kumbia Orchestra, A Tribe Called Red, Bajofondo (?)
July 13 - La Chiva Gantiva, The Fruits, The Heavyweights Brass Band, Radio Radio
July 14 - Manteca, The Fruits, Nation Beat's Carnival Caravan, Cha Wa
July 15 - Factoria Circular, Wesli Band, The High Bar Gang
July 16 - Factoria Circular, Adonis Puentes & the Voice of Cuba Orchestra, Inti-Illimani, Kassav'
July 17 - Factoria Circular, Juan de Marcos & the Afro-Cuban All Stars, The Devin Cuddy Band, Colin James
July 18 - Kytami, Factoria Circular, Rafael & Energía Dominicana
July 19 - ChocQuibTown, Dragonette
July 20 - La Bottine Souriante, Yaima Sáez, Pupy y Los Que Son Son, Half Moon Run, Lights
Jul 21 - Dr. Draw, The Mariachi Ghost, Palenke Soultribe
Jul 22 - Jay Douglas & the All Stars Charles, Bradley & his Extraordinaires, Antibalas
Jul 23 - Running Red Lights, Jully Black
Jul 24 - Battle for the North, Black Violin
Jul 25 - Lula All Stars, Barra MacNeils
30. PANAMANIA Live @ Distillery District
Stroll down the Distillery District and take in the sights, sounds, and tastes of the Americas for PANAMANIA. Check out the unique artisanal products at container pop-up shops and bask in the delicious culinary sensations. Happening July 11th to 25th excluding Mondays.
31. PANAMANIA Live @ Nathan Phillips Square
More than 130 performers and musicians from across the Americas will be performing for PANAMANIA at Nathan Phillips Square. Watch the Games live on the giant video screens and tune into the special live broadcasting of the Opening Ceremony on July 10th. There'll also be nightly victory celebrations and fireworks! Here are just a few of the performers that will be there:
July 12 - Death from Above 1979
July 15 - Lila Downs, Marianas Trench
July 16 - Luciano
July 19 - La Bottine Souriante, Flaming Lips
July 21 - Charles Bradley & his Extraordinaires
July 22 - Marie-Pierre Arthur, Stars, Café Tacvba
July 25 - Damien Robitaille, Calle 13
32. Toronto Bastille Day @ David Pecaut Square
Come celebrate the French national holiday, Bastille Day, happening at David Pecaut Square on July 12th. There will be gastronomy, music, a picnic and many more activities! Many prizes will be there for you to win, including a plane ticket to France. Check out the event page and visit their website for more info.
33. North Sur Photo Exchange Project @ Gallery 44
Check out this collaborative photo exhibition between Canada and Argentina as part of PANAMANIA. This collaborative cyber-photographic project features artists from Toronto’s Gallery 44 and ph15 from Buenos Aires and explores themes of local cultures in the age of globalism. Check it out at the Gallery 44 Centre for Contemporary Photography from July 17th to August 1st.
34. Annual Festival of India @ Centre Island
Experience the culture of India at the 43rd Annual Festival of India. It's happening July 18th to 19th and it kicks off with a vibrant parade down Yonge Street from Bloor to Queens Quay. Three ornate 40-foot tall floats will parade along amongst singing, drumming, and dancing. Chant along to the Hare Krishna mantra. The celebrations continue on at Centre Island, where there will be a free vegetarian feast, a huge South Asian bazaar, an outdoor yoga festival, and so much more. Visit their website for more information!
Photo cred – BrazilFest
35. Brazilfest @ Earlscourt Park
Mark your calendars, because Canada’s largest Brazilian Cultural event is happening on July 19th at Earlscourt Park! Get a taste of Brazil with Brazilian foods and dance along to tunes by Brazilian bands and performers. For more information, check out their website.
36. Art Battle Canada @ The Distillery District
Visual artists from the Americas will be competing in a live art battle as part of PANAMANIA. Take part in the excitement on July 24th. The winners will be chosen by the audience and will move onto the International Live Painting Championship at Nathan Phillips Square on July 25th.
37. Figment Toronto @ Olympic Island
Have you ever taken part in collaborative art? Check out this large scale interactive and participatory art event! Figment transforms the Olympic Island into a large-scale collaborative artwork. You can take part in art and activities in every medium available. Check it out July 25th to 26th and join the event page.
38. Waterfront Night Market @ T&T Supermarket
Asian food galore is what you'll find at the Waterfront Night Market. It's happening July 25th to 27th at the T&T Supermarket by Polson Pier. Over 100 vendors will be there with delicious Asian food for you to try for cheap. There'll even be live performances for you to enjoy.
39. Matsuri @ Yonge-Dundas Square
Check out this Japanese summer festival celebration, happening for the third year in a row! There will be live music and dance performances, a market featuring the best of Toronto’s Japanese food, and a Harajuku & Cosplay Fashion Contest. Happening July 26th at Yonge-Dundas Square. Join the event page if you're attending!
Photo cred – Kensington Market Art Fair
40. Kensington Market Art Fair
Are you looking to check out local art? Didn't get to check this event out last month? This annual curated outdoor art fair happens the last Sunday of every month from May to October, and it's happening the 26th of this month. The event features artists working in painting, drawing, illustration, photography, ceramics, jewelry, and more!