Patios, beaches, festivals, live shows, Summerlicious and so. much. more. Make the most of summer in Toronto.

Summer is magic in Canada’s largest city! With sunny days and sultry nights, now’s the time for outdoor fun from day into night. Here are 10 reasons why June, July and August are high times for a weekend escape to Toronto.

 

1. June is Pride month

Pride is a month-long celebration in Toronto. While the biggest draw is Pride weekend (June 28–30, 2024)—with its Dyke March, Trans March, Youth Pride, family zone, blowout street fest, block parties, drag ball, parade and more—this year’s lead-up includes a Human Rights Conference (June 22, 2024), too.

Stay near Church-Wellesley Village (a.k.a. Toronto’s queer HQ) to ensure you’re near all the action.


 

2. The weather’s never better

Whether you plan to explore Lake Ontario, sip drinks on a patio or catch a concert in the park, summer temperatures in Toronto are superbly on point.

June starts with warm days and mild nights (14°C–23°C), so pack your summer clothes with a cardi “just in case.” Beach weather arrives in July (18°C–27°C) and sticks around for August (18°C–26°C), so think: linens, sundresses, shorts and swimsuits.

Of course, you can always go shopping if you want to expand your summer style!

3. Patio season is upon us

With its vibrant bar and restaurant scene, Toronto is a top foodie destination. 

When summer hits, the dining scene moves outdoors, with patios for every taste: rooftop patios, scenic patios, café patios, vegan patios and even under-the-radar patios for those who want to find a secret patio far from patio-loving crowds.

 

4. It’s beach time!

Toronto is a dream come true for swimmers, paddlers and beach bums! With multiple lifeguard-supervised beaches readily accessible by public transit and beaches you can reach by bike, Toronto’s shoreline is a breezy, big-city alternative to cottage country.

#ICYMI, the car-free Toronto Islands are home to a clothing-optional beach.

5. Summer means arts festivals

Lovers of live music, theatre, dance, visual arts and all manner of creativity will have their curiosity piqued by Toronto’s non-stop arts and culture scene.

First up is Luminato (June 5–16, 2024), which shines a spotlight on avant-garde performance and visual art, music and theatre.

Next comes SXSW spin-off NXNE (June 12–16, 2024), with its focus on up-and-coming Canadian music acts.

Don’t miss the Indigenous Arts Festival (June 15 & 16, 2024), with incredible music, dance, theatre, storytelling, food vendors and the Na-Me-Res Pow Wow.

Grassroots theatre takes centre stage at the Toronto Fringe Theatre Festival (July 3–14, 2024). Think: comedy, drama, musicals, improv and children’s productions.

Weird, wacky and wild performances are what define Toronto International Buskerfest (August 30–September 2, 2024) each year, with performances by mimes, clowns, acrobats, fire jugglers and more. There’s a ride midway, too!

6. Prix fixe menus at Toronto’s hottest restaurants

Toronto foodies mark their calendars twice a year for the city’s Summerlicious (July 5–21, 2024) and Winterlicious restaurant festivals. 

With over 200 Toronto restaurants offering three-course prix fixe lunch and dinner menus, the biggest challenge will be deciding where to book.

 

7. Hot nights and cool jazz

With big-name performers, free and ticketed shows, and venues across town, Toronto Jazz Fest (June 21–30, 2024) is a fan favourite. 

This year’s lineup includes multi-Grammy winner André 3000 (June 28, 2024), Grammy-nominated wondercore soul band Hiatus Kaiyote (June 25, 2024), and Grammy-nominated multi-instrumentalist Cory Henry (June 29, 2024).

The Beaches International Jazz Festival (July 4–28, 2024) keeps the groove going into July with outdoor concerts, drag shows and a street festival (yes, there will be food trucks).

8. Dancing in the streets

Jump up at Toronto Caribbean Carnival (August 1–5, 2024), the city’s biggest street celebration with over 1 million participants each year. Soca, calypso, reggae, tassa, zouk and rap fill the air at the annual festival’s Grand Parade and lead-up events.

Smaller but no less spicy, the Salsa on St. Clair (July 6 & 7, 2024) street fest—also known as Salsa in Toronto—hits Midtown a few weeks earlier, with an outdoor celebration of Latino music, art, culture and food. 

Can’t dance? Don’t worry: free salsa dance lessons abound.

 

9. Non-stop festivals, fireworks and food

Kick off summer with your BFF at Woofstock (June 22 & 23, 2024), North America’s biggest festival for dogs and their humans. The pawsome vibes return later in the summer at Doggie Fest Summer Carnival (July 21, 2024).

Catch tribute bands all weekend long at Q107 Canada Day Weekend (June 29–July 1, 2024) in the Beaches, or live entertainment and bouncy castles at Downsview Park (July 1, 2024). Both events feature fireworks as their main event.

Loosen up at a yoga meltdown, catch a temple parade and explore a bustling South Asian bazaar at the Festival of India (July 13 & 14, 2024), with festivities downtown and on the Toronto Islands.

Beer, bites and beats? Experience the good life at this year’s Toronto Festival of Beer (July 26–28, 2024), where ice-cold craft brews, local fave foods and headliners Cypress Hill set the pace for a sweet summer escape.

With three stages, 60+ artists, light shows, eclectic eats and fireworks, the Veld Music Festival (August 2–4, 2024) is a rite of summer for electronic music fans. This year’s lineup includes Alesso, Marshmello and Subtronics.

Pan-Asian street foods, floating lanterns and cool lakeside breezes combine for a magical experience at the Waterfront Night Market (August 9–11, 2024).

Find your fandom fam at Fan Expo Canada (August 22–25, 2024). Meet action, sci-fi and horror stars like Danny Trejo, Giancarlo Esposito and Rose McGowan, throw down at the gaming booths or cosplay the day away with like-minded folk.

But that’s not all! Check out this list for more live music summer festivals.

10. Carnival midways and fair food

What’s summer without roller coasters, splash parks, carousels and belly-busting fair food?

Have a blast all season long at Canada’s Wonderland, which boasts the boundary-pushing Yukon Striker dive coaster (how does a 90-degree drop and four dynamic inversions including a 360-degree loop sound to you?). Chill afterwards at Splash Works waterpark.

Finally, the CNE (August 16–September 2, 2024) is an end-of-summer Toronto tradition. It is a must-attend event with its midway rides, live music and outrageous fair food.