Bundle your cultural experience and hotel for a curated vacation that makes the most of Toronto’s summer festivals.
Festival season is back, baby! Toronto’s summer festivals are must-attends. Staying at a hotel that’s just a short walk or transit ride away from all the fun means you can spend more time soaking in the arts and culture and less time commuting. Get set to get your fête on!
Luminato Festival Toronto (June 7–18, 2023)
Luminato is dedicated to performance, media and visual arts that go beyond traditional forms of art. This year’s events range from the nearly-lost opera Treemonisha, which is set soon after the abolition of slavery and originally written by Scott Joplina, a survivor of that era, to performances like 4th Wall: Making the Invisible Visible, which aims to amplify the voices of young people.
Location(s): Venues across the city.
Hotel Pick: Located in the heart of the Entertainment District, Sonder The Slate puts you a short walk from live theatre, the Bell TIFF Lightbox, Osgoode subway station and stops for the King and Queen streetcars.
NXNE (June 13–17, 2023)
Canada’s festival of emerging music puts the spotlight on over 300 new bands. This year’s lineup includes pop artist Tana from the U.K. and indie artist Ché Aimee Dorval from Vancouver, B.C. You’re guaranteed to leave the fest with so much music to add to your playlists.
Location(s): Shows take place in more than 15 of the city’s top live music venues.
Toronto Jazz Festival (June 23–July 2, 2023)
This iconic and international jazz celebration celebrates 36 years this summer! Enjoy classical sounds from Herbie Hancock, who will perform at Meridian Hall, while Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter, actor and author Ashanti will perform at TD Avenue Stage, to name just two of the stellar acts coming to town.
Location(s): Live music venues throughout the downtown core.
Hotel Pick: Located across from Union Station and a short walk to Meridian Hall, you’ll be well situated to take the TTC to your next live jazz fix from the Fairmont Royal York. You’re also close to delectable restaurants like Toronto institution, Terroni, and Top Chef Canada Season 2 winner Carl Heinrich’s Richmond Station.
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Toronto Fringe Festival (July 5–16, 2023)
This grassroots, non-juried festival celebrates the arts with a rich variety of performances, from comedy and musicals to drama, improv and children’s shows. Fun fact: Kim’s Convenience made its debut here before becoming a popular CBC television comedy.
Location(s): You’ll find performances in more than 13 downtown venues.
Hotel Pick: With The St. Regis Toronto as your outpost, you’re close to Queen subway station and a short walk to Yonge-Dundas Square, Nathan Phillips Square and CF Toronto Eaton Centre — all excellent spots to soak up the city’s buzzy summertime energy.
Toronto Caribbean Carnival (August 3 to 7, 2023)
North America’s largest Caribbean carnival returns this year with the King and Queen and Pan-Alive Showcases, the Grand Parade, and more.
Location(s): Carnival Showcases take place at Lamport Stadium, and the Grand Parade starts on the Exhibition Grounds and continues along Lake Shore Boulevard West.
Hotel Pick: With the luxurious Ritz-Carlton Toronto as your home base, you’re a half-hour stroll to the free portion of the Grand Parade, but much closer to the after-dark carnival parties in the Entertainment District.
TD Salsa in Toronto Festival (July 8 and 9, 2023)
The TLN Fiesta Parade and Salsa on St. Clair Street Festival combine to transform much of midtown’s St. Clair Avenue into one weekend-long open-air party, complete with Latin music, dancing and food.
If you’re here on an extended trip, check out the festival’s dance lessons, screenings, exhibitions and concerts, which run through June and July in venues across the city.
Location(s): The Fiesta Parade and Salsa on St. Clair take place on St. Clair Avenue West between Winona Drive and Christie Street; other events take place across the city.
Hotel Pick: The luxe midtown Kimpton Saint George Hotel is just steps from St. George subway, which will whisk you north to St. Clair station. Plus, you’re only a short walk from Yorkville’s haute spots, should you require any festival fashion finds.
Taste of the Danforth (August 11 to 13, 2023)
Canada’s largest street festival, this Greektown event has evolved to celebrate both Hellenic culture and the city’s multicultural mosaic. Over three days, eat your way through the festival (think everything from souvlaki and baklava to gelato and kebabs) while taking in the live music and culture.
Location: Danforth Avenue between Broadview and Jones Avenues.
Hotel Pick: The Broadview Hotel is a chic boutique hotel that is a 10-minute streetcar ride from the festival. Bonus: come golden hour, you can indulge in a Zen moment, cocktail in hand, on the Broadview’s rooftop patio after spending hours on your feet amongst 1.6 million other Taste of the Danforth attendees.
The Ex a.k.a Canadian National Exhibition (August 18 - September 4, 2023)
This beloved end-of-summer festival brings carnival rides and over-the-top gastronomic creations in the Toronto Star Food Building. Live music, talent and stunt shows, and the aeronautical displays of the Canadian International Air Show, round out the programming.
Location: Exhibition Place, not far from the Liberty Village neighbourhood.
Hotel Pick: Skip the Uber and stay at Hotel X Toronto with a super-short walk to the fairgrounds. Plus, when you need a reprieve from the crowds, you can take a breather in the rooftop pool, where you’ll score a phenomenal view of Toronto’s downtown skyline.