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December 22, 2014

Toronto Festival Guide - July 2014

Remember: Please ALWAYS check with website for exact dates, etc. as details may change after the listing is posted here. More festivals will be added once dates are confirmed. Past festivals

Festival of Festivals: A Celebration of Greece

Jul 3-8, 2014: 4pm-2am

Passports & tickets are on sale NOW!

link to Festivals of Festivals poster

Your ticket/passport will include star studded stage show, with 10 of the top recording artists from Greece. Authentic food, fun for the kids, vendors and a one-of-a-kind celebration of ALL that is Greek!

BACARDI Festival Libre

Jul 4-6, 2014

BACARDI, in partnership with Toronto’s Distillery Historic district will be putting on a 3-day cultural experience for the city while celebrating rum cocktail culture.

  • Friday: 2 - 11 pm
  • Saturday: 11 am - 11 pm
  • Sunday: 11 am - 5 pm

Bacardi poster

BACARDI Festival Libre will transform Toronto’s Distillery Historic District into the largest licensed outdoor patio, creating a feast for the senses that tells the story of the Bacardi family through Cuban inspired music, dance, cuisine and art. With 13 acres of village and brick-lined streets, the beautifully restored buildings set the stage for a Latin inspired cultural experience.



  • Evaristo
  • Henry Flow
  • Roberto Linares & The Havana Norte Band
  • RS Divas
  • Samba Heat
  • Starving Yet Full

Art & Vendors:

  • Julio Ferrer
  • Salt Matters
  • Heels & Bowties
  • Frank Correnti Cigars Ltd.
  • 1LoveTO


Jul 4-6, 2014: 11AM-4PM

Celebrate KidsFest at Centreville. Enjoy a weekend full of games, bouncing castles, clowns, face painting, colouring stations and live entertainment. The only thing you have to pay for is the ferry ride over to the islands.

Please note: Centreville rides and All Day Ride Passes are not included as part of this event.

Taste of Lawrence Festival

Jul 4-6, 2014

Three days of nonstop food and entertainment take over Lawrence Avenue East as 200,000+ people attend this festival. Experience nonstop international talent on two stages. Win fantastic prizes.

South Asia Calling

July 4-6, 2014

The festival celebrates the artistic brilliance, rich traditions and emerging voices of the contemporary South Asian community from Canada, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Tibet and Nepal. Highlights:

  • Sacred art of Sand Mandala (painting with coloured sands)
  • Hot Tea Vendors
  • Live music and dance
  • Killer Curry Cookoff: Fri (7:30–10pm) - should not be missed - only $8 for a sample platter.

Franco-Fête (French Festival)

Jul 4-6, 2014

French music festival bannerThe Franco-Fête showcases the many different cultural aspects of the Francophone community.

Franco-Fête will have an international flavour, featuring artists from European & African countries, in addition to Quebeckers & Franco-Ontarians. With a fairground ambience and live music, there will be a wide choice of activities throughout the weekend for kids & adults all weekend long.

For more information on performers, etc. you can visit their website.


Jul 5-6, 2014

The festival features music, dance, drumming and theatre, with over 35 bands – both local and international. Main stage artists include: Cheikh Hamala Diabate, X-Maleya, Ruth Mathiang, Madagascar Slim, Asiko Afrobeat Ensemble, Soukous Tchtcho, Amare Kante and many more.

The Baobab Stage will have music/dance workshops and performances by the rising stars of African music. The Creative Children's Village provides organized fun and educational activities for youth. In the African marketplace there will be an impressive display of African arts, crafts and traditional dishes.

The Fringe - Toronto's Theatre Festival

Jul 2-13 2014

The festival provides all artists, emerging and established, with the opportunity to produce their play no matter the content, form or style. It also tries to make the event as affordable and accessible as possible for the members of the community.

China Now

July 9-13, 2014: 10am-10pm

The inaugural China Now festival is an unprecedented exploration of Chinese arts and culture. The theme of artistic legacy guides this multi-disciplinary look at the country’s artistic traditions and contemporary trajectory.

Waterfront Blues Festival

Jul 11-13, 2014

The Waterfront Blues – Metro Toronto’s only genuine Blues festival – will once again be presenting top flight talent! This year's performers include: Grammy Award nominee Otis Clay and Multi Blues Music Award winner Johnny Rawls will be performing together for the first time. Multi Grammy Award nominee Sugar Ray & The Bluetones and Multi Juno Award winner Jack de Keyzer with special guest Maple Blues Award nominee Erin McCallum

There are also the following to keep you entertained over the weekend [Friday (6pm–10pm); Saturday (Noon–10pm); and Sunday (Noon–8pm)]:

  • Outstanding supporting artists
  • Great Food with award winning BBQ
  • The “Don’t Lose The Blues” Contest with draws for free prizes including: A Waterfront Blues guitar; CD’s by top Blues artists
  • Children’s Fun Zone
  • Beer & Wine Garden

Toronto Triathlon Festival

Jul 11-13, 2014

Not your typical festival, but one worth mentioning. The TTF is a celebration of the ultimate challenge of human endurance and tenacity in the 'urban jungle' of Toronto. It ends with the Finish Line Festival at Coronation Park.

Last year, the triathlon race was: 1.5km lakefront swim, 40km bike ride up/down the Don Valley Parkway and a 10km run along part of the Gardiner Expressway. For more information, please visit their website.

Website  ||  Twitter

New Generation Steelband Festival

July 12, 2014: 3–8 pm

A celebration of Caribbean steel pan music featuring seven GTA youth steelbands, the award winning ensembles Pan Fantasy and Afropan, and the joyous Farmer’s Rhythm Section.

There will be great Caribbean food, all ages pan workshops and plenty of opportunities for audience participation – dance, dance, dance! Come celebrate Toronto's vibrant Caribbean community and support youth engagement with this proud tradition. Participating steelbands:

  • Pan Fantasy Steelband
  • Afropan International Steelband
  • Canadian Caribbean Association of Halton (CCAH)
  • Gemini Pan Groove
  • JK Pan Vibrations
  • Malvern Praise on Pan
  • Silhouettes Steel Orchestra
  • St. Jamestown Youth Centre Steel Orchestra
  • Symphonyx Steel Orchestra
  • Farmers Rhythm Section

Festival of India

Jul 12-13, 2014

Annual Festival of India (also known as Ratha-Yatra). This unique festival launches with a dynamic, high-energy parade down world-famous Yonge Street (beginning at Bloor and continuing south to Queens Quay). The celebrations then shift over to Centre Island for two days of festivities. 40,000+ people expected.

The festival is open to the public and is FREE for everyone.

Website  ||  FREE (except for ferry across to island)

International Street Food Fest

July 18, 2014: 5:30pm - 10:00pm

Expand your palate with gourmet street food from cuisines around the world prepared by Toronto's top eateries. Unwind on the lovely outdoor patio space alongside refreshing craft beer and live entertainment.

Event Tickets are $45 + HST per person and include: 6 cultural dishes of your choice and 2 full-sized craft beers (341mL each)

Corso Italia’s Mercato!

Jul 18-19, 2014: 10am-11pm

Corso Italia - Where the roots of European Culture remains strong and vibrant! There will be a sidewalk sale and live bands. The celebrations are on Friday and Saturday along St. Clair Ave W (between Dufferin and Lansdowne)

Habari Africa Festival

July 18-20, 2014

Habari Africa festival (Hello Africa in Swahili), is a multi-disciplinary music and culutral festival that features the rich and diverse arts of Africa.

Festival Bana Y' Afrique (Habari Africa Festival)

July 18-20, 2014

thumbnail of Bana Y' Afrique poster Celebrating its 15th year as part of Habari Africa Festival, Festival Bana Y' Afrique presents concerts, dance, theatre, food, a marketplace, and activities for youth and children. Traditional and contemporary styles of music by top international touring acts, African performing groups from across Canada and one international will be seen and heard. Live performances include:

  • Wake Up Madagascar Africa
  • Amadou Kienou
  • Toumkak Drummers
  • Donné Roberts
  • Mawa J and Rasselas (Hip-Hop artists)
  • Songs of My Mother
  • The Last Song Before the War (film)

Workshops include:

  • Saturday: West African Dance / Danse Mutuashi / African Voyage
  • Sunday: Come 2 Drum

Honda Indy

Jul 18-20, 2014

The Honda Indy Toronto, Ontario's largest annual sporting event, takes place on the streets surrounding Exhibition Place near Lake Ontario and downtown Toronto.

For a second consecutive year, the 2014 Honda Indy Toronto will feature 2 Verizon IndyCar Series races in one weekend, on Saturday and Sunday, for full points and prize money on both days. In addition to world-class racing, the event is a festival of festivals featuring the STIHL TIMBERSPORTS Series, SCOTT FireFit Competition, craft beer, food trucks, interactive games and activities, live entertainment, charity events and celebrity appearances.

Tickets: ON SALE NOW online or by calling 1-877-503-6869

FREE Fan Friday: Once again, the Honda Indy Toronto will be free for fans to enjoy on Friday, July 18. The only admission will be to generously donate to a wonderful cause - Make-A-Wish® Canada - so take lots of change (as well as the paper kind too!). Remember... there's no reserved seating on this day, so access to all grandstand sections is on a first-come/first-served basis!

Live Green Toronto Festival

July 19, 2014: 11am-8pm

Toronto's largest outdoor celebration of all things green. The Live Green Toronto Festival is one more way that Live Green Toronto promotes and supports the greening of the city. Yonge Street goes car-free from Gould Street to Queen.

Live Green banner

Thrill of the Grill

Jul 19, 2014: Noon-4pm

Six of the Danforth’s excellent restaurants and food shops are turning up the heat to out sauce, out flavour and out grill each other to claim the title of Toronto’s best rib. There's also a Corn Roast Throw Down between Pfizer Oncology and Metro and a sidewalk sale.


  • Allen’s
  • Factory Girl
  • Globe Bistro
  • Das Gashaus
  • The Combine Eatery, and
  • The Meat Department

Celebrity judges and the public will decide who is this year’s BBQ Master. Meet Chef Lynn Crawford and Tommy Smythe . Proceeds will go towards kidney cancer research at the Odette Cancer Centre, Sunnybrook Health Science Centre.

  • Where: Between Broadview & Jackman Avenues (Danforth Avenue will be closed to traffic)
  • Gen. Admission: $16.41 (incl. service charge) (link)
  • Tickets incl. 6 ribs, corn; ESKA water; Samples from SteamWhistle, Gnarly Head Winery

This event usually sells out long before the date.

Salsa on St. Clair Street Festival

Jul 19-20, 2014

Love to salsa? Well this is the festival for you. The street is transformed into a showcase of Latin Life where live music, dance lessons, fiery food and family fun take over.

The festival is very popular and can get really crowded as the day goes on. Go early - there's still lots to do! Times: Saturday (Noon-11pm) and Sunday (Noon to 9pm).

Tip: Best way to get there - take subway to either St. Clair Station, then take streetcar to St. Clair W. stn & get on #126 bus from there OR
Subway to St. Clair West station and take 126 bus - don't forget to get a "transfer" if using tokens - just in case! Parking will be a headache in the area and could be costly!!

BIG On Bloor Festival

Jul 19-20, 2014

BIG ON BLOOR celebrates arts, culture, community & small business with a unique community and city-building festival featuring hundreds of events, activities and exhibitions

  • The BIG Market Place: More than 200 arts, crafts, vendors and information tables
  • An eclectic mix of music, performance and dance
  • Institutions, collectives and artists creative events...see, touch, learn, participate
  • Savour Bloor: In the stores, restaurants, patios and the Bloordale Food Court
  • Games for children and adults

Toronto Chinatown Festival

Jul 19-20, 2014

Chinatown festival along SpadinaThe Toronto Chinatown Festival will be held on Dundas St. West (between Spadina Ave. & Beverley St.) as well as Huron St. (between D’Arcy St. & Dundas St. West) in Toronto Chinatown. Showcasing a mixture of Chinese culture including Lion Dance, Kung Fu Performances, Chinese street food, traditional Chinese arts & crafts.
Times: Sat: Noon–11pm and Sun: 11am–8pm.

Because of construction with TTC's streetcar rails in the area, the intersection at Spadina and Dundas has been closed. You can find alternate routes via their website.

Website  |   FREE

Taste of Thailand

Jul 19-20, 2014: Noon-8pm (both days)

The Thai Society of Ontario is proud to present the Taste of Thailand Festival, the biggest Thai Community event in Canada. Highlights:

  • Experience traditional Thai massage
  • Participate in Thai Cooking demonstrations
  • Authentic Thai food by selected Thai restaurants
  • Participate in fruit carving demonstrations (Register: 416.414.1080)
  • Enjoy cultural Thai dancing
  • Muay Thai demonstrations and more!

Savour Stratford Perth County Culinary Festival

Jul 19-20, 2014

Savour Stratford poster“From Coast to Coast to Coast”: Several of Canada’s most exciting chefs from across the country will join more than 100 producers, vintners, craft brewers and culinary personalities to share their passion, knowledge and love of local food in Stratford, Canada’s award-winning culinary destination. Enjoy an outdoor festival with FREE music along the banks of the Avon River.

The Festival boasts a full schedule of culinary activities including:

  • Tutored Talks and Tastings
  • Taste of Ontario Artisan Alley
  • The Perth County Hoot, a night of swingin’ and rockin’ as country meets ‘celtibilly’
  • The Grand Tasting, an elegant garden party
  • JENN and Larry’s Emporium of Wonders, interactive children's educational culinary fun
  • Women in Food at Sunday Breakfast
  • Sunday Sunset Party, reflect and digest after an exciting culinary weekend.

Bacahta & Merengue Festival

Jul 19-20, 2014: 11am-10pm

Performances from local & international singers of bachata & merengue Bachata is a style of dance that originated in the Dominican Republic. The basic dance steps are three-steps with a Cuban hip motion. Merengue is a type of music and dance originating in the Dominican Republic which has become popular throughout Latin America.

Brazilian Summer Festival (BRAZILFEST Toronto)

Jul 20, 2014: Noon-10pm

Canada's Largest Brazilian Cultural Event. All sounds and vibes of this beautiful culture will be showcased with its food, music, dance, crafts and workshops. The Festival stage will be filled with musicians, dancers and singers that will take you on an exotic trip exploring Brazilian music and celebration without having to leave the heart of Toronto. The video below looks back at the festival.

This amazing event will also offer the famous Brazilian "Caipirinha", Brazil's national cocktail drink, mixing lime, sugar and Brazilian Pitu Cachaca (Brazilian spirit), a must-try cocktail with a Brazilian flare that will have you enjoying the sounds and dance moves of the Samba. And that’s not all! Enjoy some delicious grilled Brazilian "Churrasco" Barbeque, Tropical Juices and baked Brazilian goodies being sold by vendors at the festival.


Jul 20, 2014: 11am-11pm

Youth Day logoYOUTH DAY is a non-profit operated summer festival featuring over 100 live music and dance performances over 12 hours -- mostly by youth 14–24.

Also included will be a Youth Gallery showcasing art and photography, a live Fashion Show, and much more! Yonge St (pedestrianized between Dundas & Shuter) will be lined with a variety of vendors and exhibitors – from food to jewelry to face painting. Headliner performances and celebrity support also add to YOUTH DAY’s attraction.

Beaches Jazz Festival

Jul 18-27, 2014

The Beaches Jazz Festival will kick off July 18 at Woodbine Park where the admission is FREE. The Taste of Jazz (Jul 22-23) is also at Woodbine - excellent event for #Foodies who enjoy listening to some live jazz whilst enjoying the tastes from some of Toronto's finest Food Trucks!

The main festival will be the following weekend - July 24-26 (Streetfest) along Queen Street East, starting from Woodbine.


  • Main Stage local and international artists (Kew Gardens)
  • Youth Stage: young and talented artists will be performing in Kew Gardens
  • Latin Square Concerts: Latin performances, workshops, dance demonstrations & conga lines (beside the Leuty Lifeguard Stn, at the foot of Lee Ave)
  • Big Band Stage: Musical ensembles celebrating Big Bands from the 1930s-1950s (Beach Boardwalk, west of Leuty Lifeguard Stn)

Scotiabank Caribbean Carnival Toronto (Formerly, CARIBANA)

Jul 19-Aug 4, 2014

The Caribbean Carnival has its Official Launch on July 8 but many of the main attractions don't happen until mid-July and Toronto Caribana's biggest attraction is the Parade (Aug 2). Over 10,000 masquerades participate in the parade, strutting and dancing all along the 3.6 km route in fantastic costumes, to the vibrant Caribbean beats of the mas bands. There is an Admission for Exhibition Place viewing but usually you can watch the parade along other parts of the Lakeshore Boulevard for free.

Dates to Remember:

  • Jul 25: Caribbean Carnival Gala -- Liberty Grand
  • Jul 31 (7pm-12am): King & Queen Competition and Show -- Allan Lamport Stadium
  • Aug 2 (9am-6pm): Grand Parade -- Exhibition Plc/Lakeshore Blvd

Stage at Nathan Phillips & Official launch of the Carnival

Taste of Toronto

Jul 24-27, 2014

Taste of Toronto will bring the global excitement of one of the "world's greatest restaurant festivals" to North America for the first time ever.

The festival will feature 14 of the city's latest, greatest and most unique restaurants, top local and international chefs such as David Chang, Mark McEwan and Anthony Rose, local artisan exhibitors, and a range of interactive culinary features.

Toronto Burlesque Festival

Jul 24-27, 2014

Celebrating the best of burlesque! 4 hot nights of scintillating striptease, variety and live music branching from across Canada and beyond.

Expect to see the top names in international burlesque entertainment and more! For more information, please visit their website.

The Collingwood Elvis Festival

Jul 24-27, 2014

Fans of Elvis just adore this festival. Although it's not in Toronto, it's certainly worth mentioning as it attracts a huge crowd/following.

What's special about this year is that Priscilla and Ameruoso will be guests at several events during their time in Collingwood. More details on these events will follow as the Festival approaches but here are a few dates to remember:

  • Gala dinner (Thur, Jul 24: Ticketed)
  • Opening ceremonies (Fri, Jul 25)
  • Mayor’s cocktail reception (Fri, Jul 25: Ticketed)
  • Two book signings/autograph sessions (Sat, Jul 26)

There are just too many events happening so I have provided the schedule if you're interested.

Toronto Beer Festival

Jul 25-27, 2014

Sample beers from around the world as well as a number of local brands from the Ontario Craft Brewers. There's also music entertainment with well-known headliners.

Tickets ($39.50) for Toronto’s Festival of Beer sell out in advance every year (especially Saturday's) and can be purchased online. This is a 19+ event.

Leave the car at home. It's easy to get to via TTC [eg Bathurst Stn - streetcar] - allowing you to enjoy the evening with your friends.

Lab Cab Festival

Jul 26-27, 2014: 2-8pm both days

The Lab Cab Festival is a multi-arts festival. Music, dance, theatre, film, poetry, crafts, kids stuff, visual art and comedy are performed in the restaurants, bars, community centres throughout the Parkdale neighbourhood.

Acts range from 2-30 minutes and include a range of expertise in each field: from well established artists to those just starting. There are also Free Workshops, Free Childcare and a Free BBQ lunch.

Oakville Children's Festival

Jul 27, 2014: 10am - 4pm (gates open 9:30am)

Oakville’s beautiful lakeside park will be transformed into an arts and culture playground for kids of all ages with free live performances and fun events to engage young imaginations and foster creativity. Main stage headliners include: Sharon, Bram & Friends; Sheesham & Lotus; Jack Grunsky; and Corpus – Les moutons.

There will also be interactive building and art activities, yoga and dance lessons, reptile, magic and science shows, kids’ play zone and obstacle course, face painting, food vendors, and more!