25 Free Things To Do This August 2015 In Toronto
Ain't nothing better than free.
It feels like summer just started and now there's only a month left *tears*. How is it already August? Soon we'll get back to wearing heavy coats and complaining about the cold. We can never win. Don't get too worried though – we've still got another few months before we get to that. Just to make you feel a little better, we've prepared a list of free things to do this month. A lot of multicultural events are happening, so be sure to check 'em out! Here's a list of all the free things you can do this month in Toronto.
1. PANAMANIA Live @ Nathan Phillips Square
And PANAMANIA continues on! More than 130 performers and musicians from across the Americas will be performing for PANAMANIA at Nathan Phillips Square throughout July and August for the Pan Am and Parapan Am Games. Some of the performers include Chromeo, The Roots, Janelle Monáe, Jann Arden, and Austra. Here's a list of all the artists that will be performing. Also, the Parapan Am Games Closing Ceremony will be happening on August 15th.
2. Planet IndigenUS @ Harbourfront Centre
From now until August 9th, check out Planet IndigenUS, a festival dedicated to the exploration of contemporary Indigenous civilizations. Over 300 artists will be performing over the course of 10 days. From performances to dancing to exhibitions, there are a whole bunch of exciting things happening at this event by First Nations communities across Canada and Indigenous peoples from around the world! Here's a full list of events.
Photo cred – Nagata Shachu
3. Summer Music in the Garden
Ah, the sounds of harmony and peacefulness in the atmosphere of an elegant garden. Tune into this series of free outdoor concerts happening in the Toronto Music Garden from now through September, and enjoy classical and traditional music from around the world. From 17th century Italian instrumental music to traditional Chinese music from the Qing Dynasty, get a taste of international history and culture. If this isn't anything like you've done before, try something new! Here's a list of all the upcoming performances.
4. Scotiabank Caribbean Carnival Toronto Grand Parade
It's the grand finale – the Grand Parade! On August 1st, join in on the biggest and wildest event of Caribana and North America's largest Caribbean Parade. Over a million people are set to attend. The parade starts at Exhibition Place, travels down Lakeshore West, and ends at Lakeshore and Parkside. Be sure to join the event page and find out more info on the website.
5. Toronto Food Truck Festival @ Woodbine Beach
Holy truck, a free food truck festival?! Count me in! Sample farm-fresh food and organic beers, check out crafts by artisans in the marketplace, and try all the mouthwatering food trucks. There'll also be live music and a children's village. Happening August 1st to 2nd at Woodbine Beach Park. Here's the event page.
6. TD Irie Music Fest @ Fort York
Enjoy reggae, salsa, world, gospel, and much more at Irie Music Fest. In its 11th year, the festival takes place at both Fort York and Mississauga Celebration Square. There'll be dancing, visual arts, and international cuisine! Admission is free before 5pm ($10 after 5pm), free to those wearing a Toronto Carnival Parade costume, and free for kids under 12 years old. You can get more info on their website. Here are the headlining performers at Fort York:
August 1 – Bunji Garlin, Fay-Ann Lyons
August 2 - Junior Reid, King Ujah, Inner Circle
7. PanAmerican Food Festival @ Daniels Spectrum
Get excited for this massive outdoor street fair dedicated to the diverse cuisine and cultures of the Americas! There'll be food demonstrations by international chefs, food competitions, kids activities, Latin dance workshops, and a Pan American vendors market. The festival is in its third year, and it's the only festival in the world that celebrates the best food and culture of the Western Hemisphere. Everything will be held inside Daniels Spectrum, a cultural hub in Toronto, and on neighbouring streets. It's free to the public from August 1st to 3rd. Be sure to join the event page and check out their website!
8. Victorious Festival @ Yonge-Dundas Square
Held in support of the Canadian Cancer Society, the Victorious Festival will feature performances by artists from all over America, art, strongman shows, BMX, prizes, activities for kids, and a variety of diverse food vendors. Check out the event page and website for more info!
9. City Cinema @ Yonge-Dundas Square
More free outdoor screenings, whoop whoop! On August 4th, both Viva Las Vegas and Elvis: That's the Way It Is will be playing. Dick Tracy is playing August 11th. On August 18th, both The Wiz and the MJ documentary, This Is It, will be playing. Inside Llewyn Davis will be playing on August 25th. Don't forget to grab some popcorn.
Photo cred – TIFF
10. TIFF in the Park @ David Pecaut Square
In honour of their 40th anniversary, TIFF has been hosting free screenings at David Pecaut Square throughout the summer. You better check out this one, because the last screening is happening on August 5th with The King’s Speech. Here's the event page.
11. Free Flicks @ Harbourfront Centre
Aren't you loving all these free outdoor screenings happening this summer? We sure are. Boy is playing August 5th and The Descendants, featuring George Clooney and Shailene Woodley, is playing August 12th.
12. Under the Stars: Movies in the Park @ Regent Park
Regent Park has been hosting a variety of multicultural and diverse outdoor film screenings this summer. Taste of Regent Park followed by pre-show activities and screenings happen every Wednesday from now until August 19th. On August 5th, Big Hero 6 will be playing. On August 12th, it's Bollywood movie night. There's going to be a henna tattoo booth! On August 19th, Do the Right Thing will be playing. For more info, check out the website. Look out for the Regent Park Film Festival's multicultural community film festival in November!
13. Dancing on the Pier @ Harbourfront Centre
Dancing on the beautiful shores of Lake Ontario? Sounds good to me. Harbourfront is holding a weekly social dance series on Thursdays throughout the summer. Dance contemporary ballroom and salsa with Cuban band Son Ache on August 6th and 20th. Jump, jive, and wail with the Toronto All-Star Big Band on August 13th and 27th. Don't forget your dancing shoes (and maybe a dance partner)!
14. TPFF Annual Outdoor Screening @ Christie Pits Park
As part of the Toronto Palestine Film Festival, they will be showing their annual free outdoor screening on August 7th. Will you be watching? Join the event page if you are!
Photo cred – Madeskimo
15. DJ Deep Fried Fridays @ Harbourfront Centre
Great music and great bites. Electronic music producer and DJ Madeskimo will entertain and bridge the gap between past and present generation of Indigenous music through modern DJ culture with throat singer, Sylvia Cloutier. Chef Clifton Robert Brant Sero will be serving up delicious $2 deep fried panko-crusted Great Lakes pickerel bites with spicy dill remoulade and tart apple slaw. Be there August 7th!
16. Krinos Taste of the Danforth
Mmm, is that chicken souvlaki I smell? The annual Taste of Danforth in Greektown is happening August 7th to 9th this summer. Try cheap delicious eats from local restaurants on the streets while listening to the sounds of Greek bands. Just don't die from the heat.
17. Indie Fridays @ Yonge-Dundas Square
Free music every Friday night at Dundas Square. Fast Romantics is playing August 7th, Zaki Ibrahim August 14th, and Grand Analog August 21st. Maybe you'll find your new fave artist?
18. Magnetic Beats @ Harbourfront Centre
Dancers, this one's for you: every Friday, Magnetic Beats combines urban dance and music in one interactive space. Perfect for emerging Toronto artists and dancers. On August 7th, celebrate TAIWANfest with Toronto-born dancer/choreographer/actor Fly Lady Di and Taiwanese EDM. On August 28th, Indigenous B-boy Tristan Martell and his crew will move to the electrifying sounds of DJ EFlip, as part of Planet IndigenUs.
19. Kultura Filipino Arts Festival @ Yonge-Dundas Square
Come check out the 10th anniversary of Kultura Filipino Arts Festival on August 9th. Enjoy live performances, traditional and modern cuisine, curated interactive art installations, and a bustling marketplace. We hope there's going to be halo-halo.
Photo cred – Rocky Dawuni
20. Habari Africa @ Harbourfront Centre
Experience the cultural diversity of global Africa at Habari Africa! Check it out August 14th to 16th at Harbourfront. Ghanaian music star and humanitarian activist Rocky Dawuni will be performing. There'll be art, food, film, music, and much more. Here's a list of all the events happening!
21. Sweetery Toronto Food Festival
Explore the scrumptious world of confectionary and culinary arts from all over the GTA. You'll be able to sample and taste sweets and take part in fun activities that will benefit the SickKids Foundation. It's happening August 15th to 16th at Front and Portland. Here's the event page and here's the website.
22. Tirgan @ Harbourfront Centre
From August 20th to 23rd, check out the world's largest Iranian arts and culture festival, Tirgan! There will be over 130,000 visitors and more than 200 artists from around the globe showcasing the diversity of Iranian art and culture. From a cooking demonstration with TV chef and author Ariana Bundy to Iranian folklore dances by the Vancouver Pars National Ballet, Tirgan is going to be amazing. Here's a full list of all the events and here's the website.
23. Scotiabank Buskerfest
Hey, have you seen the Fireguy? BuskerFest showcases hundreds of the most magnificent street performers all on Yonge Street. Check it out August 27th to 30th. In terms of admission, they do ask for a donation towards Epilepsy Toronto. Here's the website.
24. TAIWANfest @ Harbourfront Centre
Celebrate the food and culture of Taiwan at TAIWANfest from August 28th to 30th. From a beautiful symphony orchestra to a karaoke/dance challenge to a culinary competition, it's going to be a lot of fun. Check out the website for more info!
25. Kensington Market Art Fair
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 August 30th. The event features local artists working in painting, drawing, illustration, photography, ceramics, jewelry, and more. Check it out!