2018 Summer Festivals You Should Check Out in Toronto

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In Toronto, it is probably safe to say that summer is synonymous to festival. Of course, there are events of all kinds happening year round, but with only a few really good months of outdoor weather, summer in Toronto is the best time to plan a visit. No matter when you come, there is sure to be something going on, but here are six awesome events for Summer 2018 to pique your interest. Though they might be about different topics, one thing all of these great festivals have in common is their focus on diversity, a reflection of the city that hosts them.

North by Northeast [NXNE]: June 8–17, 2018

Downtown Toronto, Various Locations

NXNE is a five-day festival that’s mostly about music, but just in case you needed more incentive, there’s also a whole bunch of events that include screenings, installations, showcases, and comedy shows. NXNE is the place to be for bands, filmmakers, innovators, funny people, artists, and of course, all of their fans. What genres or styles will there be you might ask? Anything, and from everywhere. Expect to experience art that’s different, creative, intriguing, and really just brilliant.

Toronto Downtown Jazz Festival: June 28–July 7, 2018

Downtown Toronto, Various Locations

A must for jazz-lovers, the TD Toronto Jazz Festival started in 1987 and has grown into an event where 1,500 musicians will take over the city, performing over 350 concerts in just 12 days. A few names from the immense list include Snarky Puppy, Al Jarreau, Count Basie Orchestra, and Fred Hersch.

Pride Toronto: June 22-24, 2018

Downtown Toronto, Various Locations

Pride Week Toronto is an award-winning festival and one of the largest Pride celebrations in the world with approximately 1.2 million people attending. Celebrating the diversity of people—in whatever forms that may take—this ten-day festival is packed to the brim with extensive street fair (with vendors, food, and community booths), the famous Pride Parade and other marches, stages of live entertainment, conferences, a family program, and lots more.

Toronto Fringe Theatre Festival: July 4-15, 2018

Toronto, Various Locations

The Toronto Fringe is part of the “Fringe movement” – a worldwide network of indie theatre festivals. A movement to celebrate under-represented voices in experimental genres and styles, the festival welcomes all artists to submit their work and participating acts will be chosen by lottery. While it’s primarily a theatre festival, there’s also dance, visual art, buskers, site-specific performances, and more. It’s a great place to see artists at different stages presenting the stories they’ve worked on with no bias from a jury. For all you know, you might get to see the next big hit!

Summerlicious: July 2018

Various Locations

During these three weeks, close to 200 of Toronto’s top restaurants will serve up a prix-fixe menu of mouthwatering delicacies for much more affordable prices:

Lunch: priced at $15, $20 or $25
Dinner: priced at $25, $35 or $45

Keep an eye out for the restaurant list and menus once they get released and start booking reservations now. You might be able to walk-in at a few select restaurants, but it’s usually safer just to call ahead. On the other hand, other places might fill up with days of the list going up, so don’t miss out. It’s an opportunity that only comes twice a year (Winterlicious), with varying restaurants participating each time.

Toronto’s Festival of Beer: July 26 – 29, 2018

Bandshell Park, Exhibition Place

Toronto’s Festival of Beer is probably the largest summer beer festival in the province and have no doubt, there are many beer festivals in Ontario. Featuring over 300 different brands of beer, there’s going to be a beer for everyone, from big brewers to small, lagers to stouts, fruit beer to ales. Alongside the drinks, all three days will have plenty of food stalls of various styles and musical entertainment featuring a formidable lineup of Canadian acts including K-OS, The Trews, Matthew Good and more. Tickets are still available for Friday and Sunday but Saturday is sold out.

This piece was originally published in Affairs Today June 2015. It has been updated for 2018 dates.

 

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