Toronto is vibrant all year round, but there’s no question that summertime is when the city really comes alive. Between outdoor activities and rooftop patios and events, there are not enough days in the season to experience it all. That’s where we come in with a definitive list of incredible summer 2021 activities in Toronto to make these glorious months count.
Whether you’re looking to impress a date at Casa Loma’s enchanting garden restaurant, throw on some retro rollerskates and glide through the city, or split a boozy tower with your friends on a patio, this list has you covered. You’ll be craving pumpkin patches and blanket scarves by the time you get through all these epic summer activities.
Toronto Kayaks is the city’s only transparent-LED-light-and-bluetooth-equipped-hybrid-kayak-canoe available. Whew, that was a mouthful! But every word in that multi-hyphenate is another perk this service offers. You’ll be straight vibing when you glide across the water in these glowing summer boats.
Where: Humber Bay Park & Humber Arch Bridge
When: All summer long
The ultimate way to enjoy the summer heat. Summer House is a 75,000-square-foot, three-floor rooftop patio that feels like a luxe getaway with sprawling views of the lake and city skyline. Enjoy a curated menu full of tropical-inspired eats, lounge by the pool, and soak up the Hamptons vibes. Staycation Saturdays are where it’s at, with live DJs and cocktails from 7 p.m. until the end of the night.
Where: Hotel X, 111 Princes’ Blvd
When: 12 p.m. — 11 p.m. Monday to Wednesday, 12 p.m. — late Thursday to Sunday
This outdoor oasis brings the effortless sophistication of the Mediterranean to Toronto’s own freshwater shores. The European-inspired menu and open-air atmosphere are perfect for sitting back, relaxing, and enjoying the summer sun. Pretend you’re dining on the seaside of Cinque Terre while you gaze out at the sun setting over the water.
Where: 1681 Lakeshore Blvd E
When: 4 p.m. — late Monday to Thursday, 11:30 a.m. — late Friday to Sunday
No trip to the Toronto Islands is complete without a tandem cruise on a quadricycle. Sure, it may be the nerdiest contraption ever invented, but you’ll be laughing the whole time. If you can’t convince your friends, you can also opt for regular bikes that cost just $9 an hour to rent.
Where: Island Bicycle Rental
Cost: $34 per hour
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Toronto’s biggest and brightest outdoor patio is back for another summer, and it’s one for the bucket list. It’s located in what was once a downtown parking lot and it features killer views of the city. Oh, and some awesome drinks and eats. The patio also hosts all kinds of events, from trivia to watercolour workshops to viewing parties.
Where: 229 Richmond St W
When: Hours vary
Did you really have a blessed Toronto summer if you didn’t go to The Porch? This spot calls itself “Toronto’s favourite rooftop” for a reason — stunning city views, mouthwatering bites and, of course, boozy towers! This summer, The Porch is serving up four versions of their famous 75 oz towers — Porch Punch, Watermelon Margarita, Pink Bubble Tower and Mimosa Tower. You’ll need at least three friends to share these with, so you better blow up that group chat ASAP.
Where: 250 Adelaide St W
When: 11 a.m. — 2 a.m., Monday to Sunday
Sky-high thrills with a side of funnel cake! When it comes to summer fun, Canada’s Wonderland is a no-brainer. The amusement park has increased its capacity to allow as many people to enjoy the rides as possible. There’s a new attraction at Splash Works too, a cliff-jumping adventure called Mountain Bay Cliffs. And you’ll want to return in October to sink your teeth into the epic treats on the 40th anniversary menu.
Where: 1 Canada’s Wonderland Drive
When: 10 a.m. — 8 p.m. Monday to Sunday, 12 p.m. — 6 p.m. for Splash Works
Pile onto a cozy blanket with your friends for the Toronto Outdoor Picture Show, a FREE movie night under the stars. The multi-week film programming will feature curated films and special screenings all August long. This year’s season is called TOPS & Friends, and it’s all about celebrating outdoor film and community. Advanced tickets are sold out, but you can still get same-day tickets for your preferred screening, and all of the details can be found here.
Where: Fort York National Historic Site, 250 Fort York Blvd
When: Late July – Labour Day
If Shakespeare in High Park is one of your favourite summer activities, you won’t want to miss the re-vamped programming at the outdoor amphitheatre this year. There’s a dynamic lineup of local shows to see, including theatre, dance, comedy, contemporary and baroque music, and more. You’re sure to find some live entertainment that interests you on their schedule.
Where: High Park Amphitheatre, 1873 Bloor St West
When: Various shows until late September
Skate your way through the city’s Bentway trail with a pair of retro four-wheel roller skates you can rent by the hour. The skates come in bright summer colours with matching protective gear. Spend an afternoon gliding around Fort York and snap some cute photos while you’re at it!
Where: 250 Fort York Blvd
When: Various times, Thursday—Sunday
Summer nights are for drive-in dates, and this spot has incredible views of the skyline. Make your way to CityView for live concerts, movie nights, and more. There’s a whole bunch of exciting events lined up for the summer. You can even bring your own food or order from the venue and have it delivered to your car, so you can settle in and stay cozy.
Where: 20 Polson St
When: Various shows
Imagine Dragons Light Forest takes place on the historic Casa Loma grounds. The 2km self-guided walk will take you through dazzling lighting and immersive theatrical medieval displays scattered throughout the gardens, tunnels, and stables. You can expect to see royals, dragons, and maybe even a wizard or two.
Where: 1 Austin Terrace
When: July 21st—August 29th
The Toronto Blue Jays are welcoming fans back to the Rogers Centre and you could be one of them. You’ll have two seating options to choose from — standard or physically distanced. Basically, seats in the 100L and 200L infield, along with at the TD Clubhouse are considered standard seating, while seats in the 100L and 200L outfield and bases are physically distanced with pods of up to four seats. Additionally, the TD Executive Suites will be open with a limited capacity and a minimum of six tickets. Keep your eyes peeled for announcements about ticket sales for upcoming games!
Where: Rogers Centre, 1 Blue Jays Way
When: Various season games
Dine like royalty at Casa Loma’s breathtaking gardens. Dig into some mouthwatering lobster ravioli or steak frites while you soak up the dreamy atmosphere, complete with twinkling lights and majestic views of the castle. It’s a peaceful escape from the busy city that can only be enjoyed in the warmer months, so be sure to snag a reservation while you can.
Where: 1 Austin Terrace
When: 5 p.m. — 12 a.m. Sunday to Wednesday, 4 p.m. — 12 a.m. Thursday to Saturday