Toronto’s Top 20 Summer Festivals

Toronto’s Top 20 Summer Festivals

By Meg Sharpley

Summer ’16 is going to be a good one! With so many festivals, events and beautiful weather, it is almost impossible to decide how to spend your free time. Well, FW has you covered. With over 50 festivals in Toronto alone, we have rounded up a list of the top 20 festivals from around the GTA that you need to check out this summer!

Food and Drink Festivals

Taste of Toronto: June 23-26

For the third year in a row, Taste of Toronto showcases the true flavours of the local food scene. Over four days, foodies can enjoy signature dishes, learn the tricks of the trade, and sample gourmet food and drinks, all in one place.

Taste of Toronto

Summerlicious: July 8-24

Summerlicious is one of Toronto’s favourite culinary celebrations. For two mouth-watering weeks, take advantage of delicious three-course prix fixe menus served by more than 200 of Toronto’s top restaurants.


Food Truck Festival
: July 29-31

Hosted by the Canadian Food Truck Festivals, a not-for-profit organization, The Toronto Food Truck Festival is a three day event offering top notch food and drinks. In its’ third year, the festival also offers eating challenges and live music!

Food Truck Festival

Taste of the Danforth: August 5-7

Now in its’ 23 year, Taste of the Danforth is Canada’s largest street Festival, welcoming 1.65 million attendees annually! Head on down to Greek Town on Danforth to enjoy creamy tzatzik, rich gyros and sweet baklava.

Taste of the Danforth

Music Festivals

Digital Dreams: July 2-3

The largest electronic music festival in Canada is back again this year! Digital Dreams is set against the breathtaking Toronto skyline and offers an aural and visual experience unlike any other.

Digital Dreams

WayHome: July 22-24

Just north of Toronto, this event is back by popular demand for its second year. WayHome showcases an endless lineup of a-list artists including Neil Young, Sam Smith, Hozier, and Kendrick Lamar.


OVO Fest: July 29-August 1

The 7th annual OVO Fest will hold its star studded event from July 29 to August 1 at the Molson Canadian Amphitheatre. Some of the confirmed artists include Snoop Dogg and Wiz Khalifa as well as the third annual OVO Bounce basketball tournament.


VELD: July 30-31

Overlapping the OVO Fest, VELD offers an equally star studded festival series for EDM lovers with artists like the Chain Smokers, DeadMau5, and DVBBS.


Boots and Hearts: August 4-7

Canada’s largest country music festival is back this year with over 30 artists, ranging from global superstars to emerging artists. Headliners this year include Blake Shelton, Tim McGraw and Dierks Bentley.

Boots and Hearts

Lifestyle Festivals

Pride Week: June 24-July 3

Pride Week will be the culmination of Canada’s first-ever Pride Month launching on June 1, 2016. The festival will end with the much anticipated annual Pride Parade on July 3.

Pride Week

Caribana: July 5-31

The 48th annual Caribana Festival is currently North America’s largest cultural festival. Over a million tourists are expected in Toronto to experience everything Caribana has to offer.


Toronto Fringe Festival: June 29-July 10

The Toronto Fringe Festival is part of the “Fringe movement” – a worldwide network of indie theatre festivals. However, the festival doesn’t just feature theatre, as festival goers also get to experience dance, visual art, buskers and so much more!

Fringe Festival

Canadian National Exhibition
: August 19-September 5

A fan favourite for more than 135 years, the CNE is back this year and better than ever! An end-of-summer ritual, the CNE is attended by more than 1.6 million visitors annually.


Toronto International Film Festival: September 8-18

The world’s biggest film festival returns to Toronto this September to showcase some of the best up-and-coming films. Head on downtown to schmooze with visiting celebrities, catch the latest films and dance the last couple nights of summer away!


GTA West Festivals

Oakville Family Ribfest
: June 24-26

Chow down on world-renowned ribs at Oakville’s very own ribfest! Voted best tourist attraction in Oakville, this family fun event is sure to have something for everyone.


Midnight Madness: July 15

Enjoy Oakville’s largest retail event of the year, based on the popular American event! Midnight Madness features incredible sales, food, live music, entertainment and lots of community spirit! With over six blocks of brag-worthy deals and free family-friendly entertainment, this is an evening you won’t want to miss!

Midnight Madness

Oakville Jazz Festival: August 5-6

A take on the popular Toronto concert series, Oakville’s Jazz Festival is in its 24th year! The weekend long event features outdoor patios, great shopping, fantastic dining and excellent entertainment all at no cost!

Jazz Festival

Port Credit Buskerfest: August 19-21

This three-day event showcases International performers, live music, a kid’s zone and non-stop action in the heart of Port Credit. Stop by to enjoy a weekend of fun filled activities for the whole family!


Dundas Cactus Festival: August 18-21

Awarded “Top 100 Festival” by Festivals and Events Ontario, the internationally recognized festival attracts tourists from around the nation. The four-day event kicks off on the Thursday night with a parade followed by a weekend of fun!

Cactus Festival

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