Get your arts and culture fix at these incredible Toronto summer live-music festivals and events.

Listen up: music festival season is here! You’ll find live music of every genre celebrated in Toronto concert venues stretching from the shores of Lake Ontario to the fields of Downsview Park this June, July and August. 

Ready to experience classical music, EDM, jazz, salsa (and much, much more!) in some of the city’s nicest parks and green spaces? Here’s where to go.

Summer Music in the Garden

June 21 to August 27, 2023

Toronto is one of the best cities for classical music. Case in point: the waterfront’s enchanting Toronto Music Garden, which hosts Summer Music in the Garden, a free concert series on Thursday evenings and Sunday afternoons at the edge of Lake Ontario. 

Programmed by award-winning music director Gregory Oh with associate curator/mezzo-soprano Rebecca Cuddy, the list of Canadian and international performers represents an eclectic offering including Arabic jazz, Indigenous classical, folk, blues, baroque and chamber music ensembles. 

Toronto Jazz Festival 

June 23 to July 2, 2023

Celebrating 36 years of crowd-pleasing, international jazz in 2023, Toronto Jazz Festival is a 10-day festival that boasts four outdoor stages in the city’s upscale Yorkville neighbourhood and in a variety of venues across town. 

Signature performances this year include Jully Black, Molly Johnson, Herbie Hancock and George Benson, along with fresh local talents like the hip-hop-influenced BadBadNotGood and Haviah Mighty.

Electric Island

July 1 & 2, 2023, August 11 & 12, 2023, September 2 & 3, 2023

Make tracks for either RBC Echo Beach or Hanlan’s Point on the Toronto Islands to dance to eclectic beats under the afternoon sun and starry night skies at Electric Island. Three weekends are dedicated to pop, house and deep house by today’s hottest DJs and producers, such as MK, Dan Only, Recondite, Nora En Pure and Koki. 

Beaches International Jazz Festival 

July 4–30, 2023

Now in its 35th year, Toronto’s other summer jazz fest has grown into one of Canada’s largest jazz festivals. With many free admission events, Beaches International Jazz Festival is a local favourite in Toronto’s east end. 

Dance to the Latin cumbia or merengue at Woodbine Park’s Salsa on the Beach (July 14–16, 2023) or get lost (in a good way) at the closing weekend’s StreetFest (July 27–29, 2023) when Queen Street East transforms into a lively street party of music, vendors and performers.

Toronto Summer Music Festival 

July 6–29, 2023

With a schedule packed with Canadian and international chamber artists and art song performers, Toronto Summer Music Festival is a month-long celebration of classical music that also offers a concurrent academy for emerging artists. 

Artistic director Jonathan Crow, a violinist and Concertmaster of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, oversees concerts, master classes and talks, including the Hatch Ensemble, Ironwood Quartet, Christie Cheung and composer Gabriela Lena Frank. 


July 7–9, 2023

The largest free African festival in North America heralds its 35th edition, with three days of music and 55 performances in the Beaches’ Woodbine Park. Afrofest attendees can judge the beats of the DJ Soundclash competition and experience the latest addition, an African film night. 

The Baobad Stage hosts emerging Black artists, while the main stage showcases the sounds of the continent, like the Congo’s Kin Orchestra, Temi from Nigeria, Mafikizolo from South Africa and Salatiel from Cameroon.

TD Salsa on St. Clair 

July 8 & 9, 2023

Shake and shimmy through St. Clair Avenue West’s TD Salsa on St. Clair, an annual street party dedicated to Latin rhythms, culture and cuisine. 

From lunchtime until late, let the infectious sounds be your guide to established and up-and-coming singers, bands and dance companies, including Samba Squad, Latin Swing Orchestra, DJ IcePink and The Mexicans Folk Ballet. 

Veld Music Festival 

August 4–6, 2023

The tenth edition of this annual festival brings the world’s best electronic DJs and performers to North York’s Downsview Park to share driving beats, remixes and collabs. 

Veld Music Festival headliners include Tiesto, Loud Luxury, Above and Beyond, Rezzmau5, Illenium and Zedd. This outdoor dance party is fueled by three stages and 60+ international performers. Once the sun sets, expect mesmerizing pyrotechnics and fireworks to amp up the good vibes.

Carnivale Music Festival 

August 5, 2023

North America’s largest celebration of Caribbean culture, the annual Toronto Caribbean Carnival (August 3–7, 2023), is rooted in the joyful traditions of soca, reggae and calypso. 

Carnivale Music Festival is an affiliated live-music event in Markham (north of the Greater Toronto Area) that adds EDM, rap and hip-hop into the mix and features performances from Rick Ross, Jadakiss, Polo G and Lola Brooke, as well as DJ sets from DJ Envy, DJ C Lo and DJ Wikked. Bonus: Over 15 interactive art experiences. 

The CNE 

August 18 to September 4, 2023

Toronto has been marking the end of summer for the past 144 years with the Canadian National Exhibition (abbreviated as The CNE and also known as The Ex). 

With an annual obsession with what’s to eat (oh, those Tiny Tom Donuts!), attendees can always count on a memorable concert schedule, which has included The New Pornographers, Big Sugar, April Wine and Susan Aglukark. Stay tuned for this year’s unforgettable lineup at the Bandshell.