It’s summertime and the living’s easy, especially for your bank account. There are so many free things to do in Toronto this summer and you can fill your days with adventure without spending a dime.

From outdoor concerts to street festivals to movies in the park, we’ve got you covered with the very best cost-free events and activities around the city.

Have a look at our picks of the very best free things to do in Toronto this summer and give your wallet the vacation it deserves!

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Toronto Caribbean Carnival

Toronto’s Caribbean Carnival is back in full swing and we have a massive celebration to look forward to this week!

This year, the event is celebrating its 56th annual Grand Parade and there will be over 10,000 masqueraders performing.

Visitors will get to enjoy live performances, food, drinks, and incredible vibes at this longstanding Caribbean tradition here in our city.

When: August 3rd to 7th, 2023
Where: Lakeshore Blvd W & Exhibition Place Grounds, 115 Princes’ Blvd

Taste of the Danforth

The city’s most beloved street festival, Taste of the Danforth is officially coming back to Toronto this summer.

This iconic event will take over the Danforth with delectable cuisine, entertainment, and fun for the whole family.

“From savoury street eats to delicious dessert creations, our festival promises to be a delight for all,” says the description. We can’t wait!

When: August 11th to 13th, 2023
Where: GreekTown on the Danforth

Taste of Manila 2023

Taste of Manila 2023 will take over a piece of Bathurst Street at the corner of Wilson Avenue this August. The beloved festival kicks off on August 19th and will stick around until August 20th for two days of fun.

Over 400,000 visitors from across North America are expected to join in the festivities. Attendees can expect live music, cultural arts, and delicious cuisine.

When: August 19th & 20th, 2023
Where: Bathurst Street & Wilson Avenue

TD Jerk Festival 

It’s back and better than ever! This August, the beloved TD Jerk Festival promises to be an even bigger celebration than in years past.

The festival will feature delicious food, interactive food demonstrations, and iconic musical headliners. It’s not one to miss!

When: August 10th to 13th, 2023
Where: Centennial Park, 256 Centennial Park Road, Etobicoke

Free live jazz in Trinity Square

Music lovers, you’re in for a treat! A summer concert series with free live jazz shows is taking place in Toronto.

Every weekend from now until Labour Day, visitors can enjoy free, live, outdoor jazz performances in the charming Distillery District.

The concert series will be “packed with a lineup of top jazz talent,” and is curated by Grammy award-winning Music Director Kevin Ray Clark.

When: See events schedule
Where: The Distillery Historic District

Toronto Food Truck Festival

We love food trucks and we love food truck festivals even more!

The Toronto Food Truck Festival is returning this week with incredible vendors that are sure to make your mouth water.

Admission will be free, and organizers say there’s something for everyone.

When: August 4th to 7th, 2023
Where: Woodbine Park, 1695 Queen Street East

Summer Music in the Garden

Toronto’s iconic music garden will once again host free live concerts throughout the summer and all are welcome to stop by.

The series presents 18 free concerts in the Toronto Music Garden on most Thursdays and Sundays throughout the summer, featuring a wide variety of musical styles from emerging and established artists.

Concerts will kick off with a live performance from Canada’s first Inuk professional classical singer, Deantha Edmunds, on June 21st in honour of Indigenous Peoples Day.

When: June 21st to August 27th, 2023
Where: The Toronto Music Garden, 479 Queens Quay West

Toronto Outdoor Picture Show

Toronto’s beloved summer tradition of free movies in the park is making a comeback! Toronto Outdoor Picture Show (TOPS) is returning for its 13th year this June.

There will be 21 films to see this summer and they will be played at four public spaces around the city — Fort York, Corktown Common, Bell Manor Park, and Christie Pits Park.

The movie screenings are free to the public and will run from June 22nd to August 27th.

When: June 22nd to August 27th, 2023
Where: See the full movie lineup here

Pedestrian Sundays at Kensington Market

The Sunday street parties we know and love are back at Kensington Market.

Pedestrian Sundays is returning for its second edition this season and will continue well into the fall.

The sounds of live music and smells of street food will fill the air and visitors will be treated to live performances, entertainment, art showcases, and displays from local creators.

When: August 27th, 2023
Where: Kensington Market

Aga Khan Museum Free Wednesdays

The Aga Khan Museum also offers free admission to the public on Wednesday evenings from 4 PM to 8 PM.

No pre-registration is required, just show up in person to receive your free ticket and enjoy!

Where: Aga Khan Museum, 77 Wynford Drive
When: Wednesdays from 4 PM to 8 PM

AGO Free Wednesday Nights

The Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) has a longstanding tradition of allowing the public to visit the gallery for free every Wednesday evening.

Free general admission tickets must be booked in advance, online.

If you don’t manage to get one, be on the lookout on Mondays when a limited number of free timed-entry tickets are released for the following Wednesday.

Where: The Art Gallery of Ontario, 317 Dundas Street West
When: Wednesdays from 6 PM to 9 PM

Smorgasburg Toronto

Attention, foodies of Toronto! The largest weekly open-air food market in America, Smorgasburg, is gracing our waterfront for the second summer in a row.

The market, which is popular in cities like Brooklyn, LA, and Miami, has announced that it will be returning to Toronto every Sunday from late June to early September.

Admission to the “food flea market” is free and there will be over 50 hand-picked vendors on-site showcasing their delicious cuisine.

When: Every Saturday from June 26th to September 9th, 2023, 11 AM to 6 PM
Where: Captain John’s Pier, 7 Queens Quay East

 

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TD Union Summer

Toronto’s busiest transit hub will once again host a summer-long lineup of free events and experiences this year.

Stop by for food, drinks, music, and a variety of activities in the heart of the downtown core.

From blues to salsa, Motown to movies, Union Summer will have a little bit of everything!

When: June 27th to August 28th, 2023
Where: Union Station, 65 Front Street West

Backyard Festival

Stackt Market is bringing back its annual free community festival series this year.

Backyard Festival is back in full swing and each edition will feature a different theme.

There are five events taking place in total, with vendor markets, music, food specials, performances, workshops, and good vibes.

When: See events schedule
Where: Stackt Market, 28 Bathurst Street

Waterfront Night Market

Another beloved food fest returns to the city this summer. Back for its fourteenth edition, the Toronto Waterfront Night Market will take over Hotel X at the Stanley Barracks with a huge variety of pan-Asian food vendors and craft beer to try.

Where: Hotel X – 111 Princes’ Blvd
When: August 11th to 13th, 2023

Japan Festival Canada

Japan Festival Canada is said to be the largest Japanese cultural event in North America and it’s taking place in Mississauga this August.

The event will celebrate the best of Japanese food, culture, technology, and heritage with a stacked lineup of programming.

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 19th & 20th, 2023

SummerSeries in Trillium Park

A summer-long event is back at Trillium Park and it’s free for visitors of all ages.

This park on the waterfront is the perfect spot to enjoy music, arts, wellness, and nature.

Featuring Ontario-based and international artists, this season’s program features cultural events, live musical performances, and outdoor yoga classes.

When: Until late September 2023
Where: Trillium Park, 955 Lake Shore Boulevard West

Yorkville Murals

An incredible art-focused event is transforming the Yorkville area this August.

Yorkville Murals will feature interactive art installations, inflatables, pop-up retail containers, exhibitions, dance battles, art talks, screenings, sips, bites, and a block party.

Most importantly, however, the neighbourhood will showcase a variety of mesmerizing murals. They don’t call it “Toronto’s most captivating art and muralism festival” for nothing!

When: August 26th & 27th, 2023
Where: Yorkville Avenue from Bellair Street to Hazelton Avenue