August is shaping up to be an incredible month in Toronto. There’s so much to do in our vibrant and beautiful city again and there are simply not enough hours in the day to check everything off our bucket list. To make things easy, we’ve rounded up some of the most exciting events for you to check out, from live theatre to music festivals to 500,000 sq ft of breathtaking art.
Here are 30 of the best things to do in and around Toronto this August.
Events & Experiences
Live theatre is making a comeback in Toronto, but it’ll be unlike anything you’ve seen before. Blindness is a socially distanced light and sound show that takes you into a compelling story about a city gripped by a blindness epidemic. If Birdbox had you on the edge of your seat, you will not want to miss this unique production!
Where: Princess of Wales Theatre, 300 King St West
When: Wednesday, August 4th — Sunday, August 29th
Are you ready to be whisked away to the year 2099? Terra Lumina is making its return at the Toronto Zoo this month for more nightly magic under the stars. The immersive light show features an illuminated 1.5 km trail designed to make you feel like you’ve travelled to a “radiant” future world.
Where: The Toronto Zoo, 2000 Meadowvale Road, Toronto, ON
Cost: Adult (18-64) $29.99 + HST
If you still haven’t checked out Immersive Van Gogh, this summer is your chance to. The most talked-about exhibit of last summer is back this season. Stop by for a fully immersive display of the famous artist’s greatest works. This exhibit can be enjoyed in person or from the comfort of your car drive-in-style.
Where: 1 Yonge St
When: Re-opens Thursday, July 29th
This breathtaking new exhibit will take up 500,000 sq ft at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, making it the biggest interactive art installation in Canada. Over 400 of Claude Monet’s masterpieces will come alive through vivid 360-degree displays, “transforming the space into an ethereal representation of his life’s work,” according to the event’s description. Truly a sight to behold!
Where: Metro Toronto Convention Centre, 255 Front St W
When: Opening Thursday, August 12th
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.
When: July 21st-August 29th
Where: 1 Austin Terrace
Cost: $35-$50 per person
Pile onto a cozy blanket with your friends for 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
Toronto’s first post-lockdown music festival is coming to the CityView Drive-in grounds this month. Party like it’s 2019 again with amazing tunes from eight live DJs. The event is 19+ and tickets are standing room only. If you want to score tickets, you better jump on it before they sell out!
Where: CityView Drive-in, 20 Polson St
When: Sunday, August 15th
At Ontario’s largest sunflower festival, you have access to 2km of walking trails to view these beauties from every angle. But this festival has a lot more than just flowers, there are also photo ops for your Instagram feed and even the opportunity to have a luxury picnic among the blooms.
When: Begins July 24th
Where: 15770 Mountainview Rd. Caledon East, Ontario L7C 2V2
Cost: Adults 12+ $13.50, Under 12 Free
With movies every Thursday through Sunday, four giant murals to check out, and a series of food events and concerts, Vaughan’s ArtWalk Drive-In is something you definitely won’t want to miss to wrap up the summer. Activities and events will be taking place until September 10th, so you’ve got plenty of time to check them out.
When: Until September 30th
Where: 101 Edgeley Blvd
The same folks behind Immersive Van Gogh have got a magical exhibit headed our way this summer. Illusionarium is all about, you guessed it, magic! There will be live magicians, holograms, 3D projections, and more. Plus, all of it is set to span over a massive 300,000 cubic foot lot, so there will be plenty of room for physical distancing.
Where: 1 Yonge St
When: Opens Thursday, July 29th
A new immersive open-air experience with 40,000 sq ft of colourful candy-inspired installations is coming to Square One Shopping Centre. You’ll get to walk among larger-than-life candy art displays which will provide you with tons of Insta pic opportunities. Additionally, you can watch live performances, custom parade floats, and even bring your pup for the event’s dog-friendly days!
Where: 100 City Centre Dr, Corner of Duke of York Blvd & Square One Dr
When: August 6th-September 6th
This sprawling 20-acre field is just an hour and a half drive from Toronto and it has thousands of blooms for you to get lost in. The sunflower-shaped trail is new to the farm this year and it’s the only one of its kind in the whole province. Wander among towering fields of gold petals and snap some photos by the tractor while you’re at it. Because if there aren’t pics, did it really happen?
Where: Hwy 48 & Sideroad 17, Beaverton
When: Opens Friday, July 29th
After what’s sure to be an incredible run for Team Canada at the Tokyo 2020 games, the athletes will head to Etobicoke for homecoming celebrations with fans at CF Sherway Gardens. An outdoor drive-in event will be “the first chance for Canadians to gather to celebrate Team Canada athletes’ after their inspirational performances,” says the event’s description. There will even be special guest performers to make the night extra special.
Where: NE Parking Lot, CF Sherway Gardens, The Queensway & Sherway Gardens Rd
When: Thursday, August 12th, 7 p.m. — 10 p.m.
Be among the first to see the one-of-a-kind miniature Canada! Walk among tiny intricate recreations of iconic destinations, from the snowy streets of Quebec to the autumn landscapes of Ontario’s cottage country. You’ll even get to see a mini version of downtown Toronto, complete with thousands of twinkling LED lights and cars zipping around. If you want to do some more travelling around Canada, this new exhibit is the next best thing.
Where: 10 Dundas East
When: Opens Thursday, August 5th
This music festival will bring communities and cultures together in celebration of Toronto’s diversity. “Mixto is the representation of all the elements of diversity in our city, and our community of artists and revellers,” says the event’s description. The festival will feature live performances, works by local artists, and of course, food and drinks! Tickets can be purchased in advance on Mixto’s website.
Where: 260 Emerson Avenue
When: Friday, August 20th — Sunday, August 22nd
Summer ball games are back, baby! The Toronto Blue Jays are welcoming fans back to the Rogers Centre this month 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: Starting Friday, July 30th
Train for your upcoming Avengers mission at the new 25,000 sq ft tactical intelligence facility with the die-hard Marvel fans in your life. Wander through the multi-room space, get special access to your favourite heroes, and use real props like Thor’s hammer!
Where: Yorkdale Mall, 3401 Dufferin St
When: Thursday, July 29th — Sunday, September 12th
Food & Drink
Drive into a 50’s time warp at this retro diner pop-up event. Stop by for fries and a shake, stay for the disco tunes and old-school vibes. The event is drive-in only and “carhop” servers on rollerskates will cruise right up to your window with your order. It’s sure to be groovy!
Where: 1245 Dupont St
When: Friday, August 13th — Sunday, August 15th
Escape to a summer oasis right in the heart of the city. There are so many activities for you to try at this colourful garden pop-up, from indulging in bites and bevvies to painting flower pots to sharing stories around an open fire under the glow of twinkle lights. You don’t need to trek to cottage country to enjoy long summer nights in the great outdoors!
Where: 621 Richmond St
When: Until Monday, August 16th
You also need to pre-register to check out the Stouffville Drive-Thru Ribfest. But registration is now open so you can get on it early because you don’t want to miss out on the highly anticipated championship ribs with award-winning BBQ sauces.
When: August 6th-8th
Where: Hoover Park Drive & Park Drive, Stouffville, ON
This one you really have to check out because it’s only happening for one day! Not to mention it’s a community fundraiser held by the Rotary Club of Cambridge Sunrise and Cambridge North so you really can’t say no to that.
When: August 7th
Where: Hespeler Memorial Arena, 640 Ellis Rd, Cambridge
Cost: Varies/Donations appreciated
If you miss out on the Mississauga Night Market, don’t worry. All July you can hit up the Eats Night Market in Scarborough as well. Every weekend, head on out to the food truck set up of the century. It’s all socially-distanced for optimal COVID-19 safety. Plus, they’ve got extravagant late-night eats being served all summer. Yum!
Where: Scarborough Town Centre, 520 Progress Ave
When: Every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday this month
Here’s another double whammy rib fest weekend. But this one is definitely worth checking out as it’s one of the few none drive-thru rib fests happening. You can enjoy ribs as well as a rib eating contest and even an escape room! So if you’re looking for more than just ribs this is probably the event for you.
When: August 6th-8th
Where: Brantford & District Civic Centre, 79 Market St S, Brantford
The Rotary Club of Oshawa is having its 19th annual Ribfest during the time of COVID-19… How coincidental. Anyway, this Ribfest is also happening in a drive-thru format but its location is TBA so stay tuned!
When: August 13th-15th
Cost: Varies/Donation appreciated
Oakville’s largest outdoor event is happening this year as an equally delicious drive-thru event. That means you can enjoy those messy but mouth-watering ribs in the privacy of your own home or backyard.
When: August 20th-22nd
Where: Sheridan College, 1430 Trafalgar Rd Oakville, ON
This Ribfest says it’s back but in a “modified form”. There are no extra details as to what that modified form is but perhaps a drive-thru? You’ll have to check it out for yourself this August to find out.
When: August 27th-29th
Where: Centennial High School Parking Lot, 289 College Ave. W., Guelph
Outdoor Options & Travel
Or just hit the streets each weekend for an outdoor walk or run. The summer favourite from last year has made its return in Toronto. If you’re somehow still unfamiliar with ActiveTO, it’s the event that blocks of major roads each weekend so that pedestrians and cyclists can get out and get active while maintaining physical distance. It’s a great way to get a little exercise while enjoying a whole new perspective on the city.
Where: Find a map of road closures here
You can also get out of the city altogether when you take a trip to a nearby swimming hole. These Ontario spots are must-sees for the summer. There’s nothing better than an outdoor day hiking and swimming in a natural pool. All of these locations come with amazing views and great water to match.
Where: Check out our favourites here
When: Any day this month
For a more commercial road trip vibe, you can always head on out to Niagara. This nearby tourist favourite is loaded with exciting attractions and activities. Whether you’re zooming at crazy speeds on the Niagara Speedway, zip-lining over the falls, or enjoying a relaxing afternoon at a vineyard, there’s never a dull moment here.
Where: Niagara, Ontario
When: Any day this month
You can also mix things up entirely with an out-of-the-box Ontario destination. There are tons of easy road trips available that’ll bring you to all kinds of memorable locations. You may not have known that these weird spots were so close by, but after your weird and wild road trip, you certainly won’t forget it!
Where: Check out our destination recommendations here
When: Any day this month
There you have it, folks! 30 of the very best things to do in Toronto this August. Enjoy!