The Top 10 Free Events in Toronto This Summer

Nothing is more exciting than spending the Summer in the big city and it’s gearing up to be the best one yet! Toronto offers many opportunities to seize the season through an abundance of unique events and festivals that are sure to keep you busy. How could life get any better? Try marking your calendar with these top 10 free events and festivals, so you can enjoy the hot weather without breaking the bank!

1. The Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival (April 27th-May 31st)
Various Venues throughout Toronto

Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival Logo

Kick off the summer by attending the world’s largest photography event, premiering over 200 exhibitions throughout May. This all-ages not-for-profit event celebrates the art and profession of photography, displaying a diverse range of images from artists, documentary photographers and photojournalists. CONTACT partners with various museums and galleries to present the relevant artwork of today, as well as showcases the rich history of the photography medium. CONTACT encourages and fosters interest in photography through their community initiatives, workshops, portfolio reviews, lectures, discussions, film screenings and tours. Support the art of photography for free during the month of May and find more information on this festival on their website:


2. The Toronto Comic Arts Festival (May 12th-May 13th)
789 Younge Street, Toronto, Ontario

Toronto Comic Arts Festival Logo

The Toronto Reference Library is making way for over 400 cartoonists from over 20 countries this May for a weekend of comics, graphic novels and manga! The event offers a FREE weekend filled with readings, launches and various art events to showcase Global comic talent. Building on the previous year’s program, the Toronto Comic Arts Festival 2018 promises more engaging programming with a focus on compelling work being produced on a global scale. For more information, visit their website:



3. Spring into Parkdale Sidewalk Festival and Night Market (May 12th)
1313 Queen Street West, Toronto, Ontario

Spring into Parkdale Sidewalk Festival Logo

This year marks Parkdale’s 6thannual Sidewalk Festival and Night Market, offering a day complete with sidewalk sales, live entertainment and family-oriented activities that are absolutely free for the public. Experience the summer weather with a 1.4 km sidewalk sale by over 100 vendors and visit 5+ markets, including a large (10,000 sqft) outdoor Foodora Night Market featuring the diverse food from the best chefs of the area. Bring the whole family for a day of fun, food and friends. Interested? Check out their website for more details:


4. Toronto Poutine Fest (May 24th-May 27th)
Younge-Dundas Square, 1 Dundas St. East, Toronto, Ontario

Toronto Poutine Fest Logo

Free poutine? Really, do you need more convincing than that? Join your fellow Torontonians in celebrating the city’s first Poutine Fest! Sample some of Canada’s best food trucks with over 50 varieties of gourmet poutine. Spend the week sampling Canada’s signature snack with friends and family while discovering new flavours from across the country! Find out more at their website:

5. Roncy Rocks Music and Arts Fest West (June 9th)
412 Roncesvalles Ave., Toronto, Ontario

Roncy Rocks Music and Arts Fest West Logo

Join the West end at Roncesvalles Village’s own Roncy Rocks Music and Arts Fest on June 9th. The festival includes various activities such as a sidewalk sale, kid-oriented activities, family entertainment, an art party, BBQ and 10 hours of live music to get you in the summer spirit. Expand your entertainment tastes and get the most out of the season with this event! For more information, see their website:




6. TD Toronto Jazz Festival (June 22nd– July 1st)
Yorkville, Toronto

TD Toronto Jazz Festival Logo

So, you like jazz? Then you can’t pass up this premiere jazz festival happening so close to home! The festival features more than 1,500 musicians, showcasing a variety of musical styles that are sure to please every music fan. Be the first to hear emerging artists, get up close and personal with established jazz legends or sit back and relax while listening to the smoothest tunes in jazz. For a full list of performers and more information, visit their website:



7. Toronto Rib Fest (June 29th– July 2nd)
156 Centennial Park Road, Toronto, Ontario

Toronto Ribfest Logo

Support the Rotary Club of Etobicoke at their 19thannual Toronto Rib Fest! Eat ribs and feel good doing it, as more than $3 million has been raised over the past 17 years and has been put back into the community. The event features a dozen bands playing across three stages showcasing music styles ranging from country and blues to rock and jazz. There truly is something for everyone to enjoy, with a Kids Zone, celebrity food judging and a beer garden. Celebrate Canada Day with ribs, special performers, face painting and end the night with an elaborate display of fireworks! For further details, see their website:

8. Toronto Food Truck Festival (August 3rd– August 6th)
Woodbine Park, Queen Street East, Toronto, Ontario

Toronto Food Truck Festival Logo

Come see all that Canadian food trucks have to offer over four days at the Toronto Food Truck Festival! Bring family and friends, as this free event offers food, beer, live music and much more for everyone to enjoy! The festival hosts more than 50 food trucks supporting local farm fresh foods so you can enjoy yourself and feel good about it. This free event is definitely one you won’t want to miss this summer! For more details, check out their website:

9. Taste of India Food Festival (August 5th)
Nathan Phillips Square, 100 Queen St. West, Toronto, Ontario

Taste of India Image

Toronto is bringing the tastes of India to you for free this summer! Discover a plethora of flavours, as over 50 Indian cuisines will be yours to sample throughout the day. Accompanying the culture’s fine foods will be entertainment, such as street performers, live music and much more! Let your taste buds be seduced by the diverse sights, smells and tastes at this free event that cannot be ignored! To learn more, visit their website:


10. Taste of the Danforth (August 10th)
 Greek Town, Danforth Avenue and Pape Avenue, Toronto, Ontario

Taste of the Danforth Logo

Go Greek and celebrate the 25thanniversary of Canada’s largest street festival, Taste of the Danforth! This festival is truly one of a kind, as it celebrates not only Greek culture but the diverse nature of Canada’s multiculturalism. Discover new tastes, free entertainment and give back, as all proceeds go into supporting various charities. Check out their website for more information:

Author: Melissa Porter