We still have so much summer left to enjoy and you don’t need a big budget to make the most of the season here in our city. In fact, you don’t need a budget at all for these free outdoor events in Toronto this summer. From street-wide dance parties to movies under the stars, you can do it all without spending a dime.
Check out 12 of Toronto’s best free outdoor events this summer and save your hard-earned cash for cocktails on a patio.
Summer nights, outdoor movies, and a picnic — name a better combo, we’ll wait! Movies Under the Stars at Downsview Park is back this season and you can catch screenings of popular new releases for free!
The annual movie program is back for its 6th edition this summer and will take place at the lakeside this year, in between the Orchard Pavilion and the Lake inside the park. Be sure to get your free ticket in advance ahead of time.
Where: Lakeside, Downsview Park, 70 Canuck Ave, North York
When: July 28, August 9 & August 22, 2022, 9 p.m. to 11 p.m.
After a two-year hiatus, the Sunday street parties we know and love are officially back at Kensington Market. Pedestrian Sundays are back for the summer and will continue well into the fall. On the last Sunday of every month, Toronto’s most eccentric neighbourhood will host a FREE street-wide celebration of community, culture, and ecology.
Where: Kensington Market
When: July 31, August 28 & September 25, 2022
Japan Festival Canada is said to be the largest Japanese cultural event in North America and it’s taking place in Mississauga this August. Visitors can expect to see traditional and modern performances, live pop music performances, and plenty of delicious Japanese food.
Where: Celebration Square, Mississauga
When: August 20-21, 2022
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A street-wide celebration called The Bentway Block Party has been set for this August, which will take place under the Gardiner Expressway. This year’s block party will include performers like The Illustrious Blacks and Drag Race Canada winner Priyanka.
The event is described as a “celebratory street party across The Bentway site, featuring performances, music, street food and drink, family-friendly workshops, fashion shows, and more.”
Where: 250 Fort York Blvd
When: August 14, 2022, 12 p.m. to 10 p.m.
We love food trucks. And we love food truck festivals even more! The Toronto Food Truck Festival is returning this summer, with vendors like include The Kathi Roll Express, Pharaohs Kitchen, Food Dudes, Buster’s Sea Cove, and Craig’s Cookies.
Admission will be free, and organizers say there’s something for everyone!
Where: Woodbine Park, 1695 Queen St E
When: July 29-August 1, 2022
The August edition of this summer festival at Stackt Market is basically a giant outdoor party, complete with a local vendor market, music series, food station, a showcase of artists, and all things MadeinTO. What better way to enjoy summer in the city than with good tunes, good bites, and good company in an outdoor oasis?
Where: Stackt Market, 28 Bathurst St
When: August 20, 2022
Chinatown’s popular summer street festival is finally returning this August. This exciting event not only pays tribute to Chinese culture but also serves as a tourist attraction for visitors from all over to enjoy, says the Chinatown BIA.
You can expect a neighbourhood-wide celebration of Toronto’s local Chinese community, from multi-cultural street food to traditional dancing and dragon shows, Kung Fu demonstrations, and more.
When: August 20 & 21, 2022
Where: West of Spadina Ave, between St Andrew St & Sullivan St
The season of movies under the stars is back! The Toronto Outdoor Picture Show (TOPS) has returned with a new series of FREE programming called Curtains Up!. The films pay tribute to all of the performing artists we’ve missed seeing live during the pandemic, from dancers to circus acts to musicians and more. Check out the full movie schedule right here.
Where: See locations
When: Until August 28, 2022
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This year’s Caribbean Carnival will have a brand new hub called Grand Parade Central, hosted on the Exhibition Place Grounds. There will be over 10,000 masqueraders performing in this all-day event, as well as live performances, food, and drinks. Enjoy the festival for FREE along Lake Shore or you can get tickets to Grand Parade Central for the “ultimate carnival experience.”
Where: Lakeshore Blvd W & Exhibition Place Grounds, 115 Princes’ Blvd
When: July 30, 2022
Canada’s first and only floating arts and culture festival is running until September 5. “Toronto our outdoor, dockside summer performance series brings artists and audiences together to take in the sunshine and sounds of the city,” the description says. You can see the full lineup of performers here!
Where: 585 Queens Quay West & 1 Queens Quay West
When: Until September 5, 2022
Foodies are in for a huge treat in Toronto! Smorgasburg, America’s largest weekly open-air food market popular in cities like L.A. and Brooklyn, has arrived in the city for the first time ever, complete with an ice cream alley and fully-stocked SmorgasBAR.
Smorgasburg’s Toronto edition will run for eight weeks straight, bringing dozens of international food vendors to one place every single Saturday. Check out the full list of vendors here!
Where: 7 Queen’s Quay East
When: Until September 10, 2022
After a two-year hiatus, the fifth annual Taste of India festival returns to Nathan Phillips Square this summer. The two-day festivities begin on July 31, bringing a diverse exhibition of culture and culinary art.
This year, expect to experience a “foodie utopia” as well as classical dances, Bhangra, music, and musical melodies by singers and a live DJ from noon until 10 p.m.
When: July 31 and August 1
Where: Nathan Phillips Square, 100 Queen St West