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August 03, 2015

Toronto Festival Guide - August 2015

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

Changes: Hot & Spicy Food Festival has moved to September

Scotiabank Caribbean Carnival Toronto

Jul 7-Aug 2, 2015

See July for details.

Pan American Food Festival

Jul 30-Aug 3, 2015

The Pan American Food Festival celebrates the best food and great cultural diversity of the 41 countries of North, Central and South America, and the Caribbean. It showcases leading restaurants, food producers, chefs and the variety of national and regional cuisines of the Western Hemisphere.

Pan American Food Fest logo

Island Soul

Jul 31-Aug 3, 2015

Island Soul, presented in partnership with Festival Kompa Zouk Ontario, returns this year to Harbourfront. Explore the rhythms, mythologies, histories and delicacies of the islands with a diverse lineup of artists and thinkers striving to leave their mark on Caribbean cultural identity and catalyze an emerging generation.

Island Soul banner

Scarborough Rib Fest

Jul 31-Aug 3, 2015

Organized by the Rotary Club of Scarborough, Scarborough Ribfest is an annual community favourite over the August long weekend. It's East Toronto's largest community event. There are Free shuttle buses for seniors and handicapped at the parking lot. Leave your pets at home.

Where: Thomson Memorial Park (Corner of Lawrence Ave. & Brimley Rd.)
Times: Friday-Sunday (11am-11pm) || Monday (11am-8pm; Entertainment ends: 10pm)
Parking: FREE. Highlights:

  • Enjoy delicious ribs, hot dogs, french fries, corn on the cob and more...
  • Midway rides
  • Skill testing games
  • Karaoke competition everyday
  • Creative designs by crafters and vendors
  • All day beer garden and much more!

Planet IndigenUS

Jul 31–Aug 9, 2015

This contemporary 10-day festival showcases over 300 Indigenous artists from around the globe. For 10 years Harbourfront Centre and Woodland Cultural Centre have worked alongside one another to create the world’s largest multi-disciplinary Indigenous arts festival, Planet IndigenUS.

image - Planet IndigenUS logo

The 2015 festival takes place at Harbourfront Centre, Woodland Cultural Centre, and more than 25 sites across the GTA, including the Bata Shoe Museum, Fort York and the McMichael Gallery. There will be a shuttle bus available to the public from Harbourfront Centre to the Woodland Cultural Centre, as well as other participating venues. The festival kicks off with a gala performance by Cree music legend Buffy Sainte-Marie at the historic Sanderson Centre in Brantford (July 31).

TD IRIE Music Festival

Aug 1-2, 2015

The TD IRIE Music Festival is a multi-day festival that takes place over 2 weekends at 2 different venues:

  • Jul 11-12: Celebration Square, Mississauga (near Square One)
  • Aug 1-2: Fort York, Toronto (Change of venue)

Join the celebration of music from Reggae to Salsa, Soul to African; dance from the African Diaspora presented in association with dance Immersion, spoken word, visual arts exhibition, delicious tropical food & drinks and more.

Pirate Festival

Aug 1-3, 2015: 10am-6pm

This festival has pirate stages with entertainment for the family, interaction with pirates, a marketplace, games of skill and loads of fun and of course, there will be food 'n' drink. Entertainment with a pirate flare, provides a little bit of everything for everyone!

The Captains Keg on Saturday night will be overloaded with piratical enjoyment for adults after the children are tucked into their hammocks.


Aug 2-3, 2015

jambana logoJambana is an exciting 'Fun for the Family' event with the opportunity for marketing, networking and socializing with delicious food and excellent entertainment to celebrate Jamaica. Experience the rhythms of Gospel, Dance, Comedy, the "Lick A Six" Domino Tournament and Entertainment.

CNE HorseCapades

Aug 2-20, 2015: 11am-2pm

HorseCapades introduces horses to the young and the young at heart. This is a FREE CNE interactive horse program. Once The Ex begins (Aug 21), this attraction is still free but you must pay CNE admission. Groups of 10 or more should make reservations.

Some of what is on offer at this event:

  • Discover how a horse thinks, acts and reacts
  • Experience what it is like to ride a horse
  • Pet and feed a horse
  • Meet a mare and foal (mother & baby horse)
  • Learn about grooming and shoeing
  • Take a wagon ride
  • HorsePower Live! (Trick Riding Show) (2 shows daily - 11:30am & 1pm)

SummerWorks Theatre Festival

Aug 6-16, 2015

The SummerWorks Theatre Festival is the largest juried theatre festival in Canada, producing approximately 40 plays, 10 nights of music, performance and more from Toronto and across the country.

Held throughout Toronto in many different venues, this is definitely a festival for all theatre-goers.

Oakville Jazz Festival

Aug 7-8, 2015

Oakville Jazz Expect to see some of the finest artists and legends from all the roots and branches of Jazz perform at the Oakville Jazz Festival this year.

The festival takes over the downtown area of Oakville with six stages placed along Lakeshore Rd East from Navy Street to Allan Street. Parking is available, but as like everywhere else, you will have to pay.

Taste of the Danforth

Aug 7-9, 2015

Taste of the Danforth bannerIf you enjoy Greek food and everything associated with Greek culture, this is the festival to attend. Best way to get there - TTC (Broadview Stn, Chester or even Pape) as parking can be a nightmare. If you're not one for crowds, go early (10/11 am) as you will be able to see everything and still manage to pick out your spot on one of the many patios. Pick up a 'snack' or a full meal from one of the many stalls along the Danforth.

Fergus Scottish Festival & Highland Games

Aug 7-9, 2015

If you've never been to Scotland, attending this festival will make you feel you have. Held out in Fergus (map), it celebrates everything Scottish and you don't have to be part of a Clan to enjoy yourself!! There are children's activities such as dance lessons, story-telling; competitions, e.g., tossing the caber; Highland dancing; piping; scotch tasting and many other entertaining events to watch or participate in.

Lovin' Local Food Fest

Aug 8, 2015: 11am-10pm

The City of Toronto's first Lovin' Local Food Fest will be a full day celebration of local food and drink. Featuring the best of Toronto's local food and music scene — with Chef Lynn Crawford, chef competitions (you be the judge!), restaurants, food trucks, Ontario wines, beers and ciders, family fun zone, buskers, prizes and more — there will be something for everyone.

Lovin Local Fest poster

Performers on the main stage include Jully Black, The Spoons and Delhi to Dublin. See what's on the menu and get the full concert lineup at www.livegreentoronto.ca

The Roundhouse Craft Beer Festival

Aug 8-9, 2015

Steam Whistle celebrates craft beer and hosts The Roundhouse Craft Beer Festival! Showcasing beers from Ontario Craft Brewers. Created to provide beer lovers the opportunity to sample Ontario’s finest craft brews and delicious eats from some of Toronto’s best Food Trucks.

Time: Noon - 7PM (Sat); Noon-6PM (Sun)
General Admission: $20 in advance / #25 at gate (incl. sampling cup) - ON SALE June 1


Aug 8-9, 2015: 11am-10pm

JerkFest celebrates the world renown jerk cuisine. Its a fusion of jerk food, pulsating music, family friendly entertainment and good vibes – all under the Toronto sun.

Rogers Cup - Womens' Tennis Tournament

Aug 8-16, 2015

It's the Womens' championship this year in Toronto with many of the top ranked players confirmed to play. Tickets for the semi-finals and finals usually sell out - so pick them up as soon as you can! The Men's tournament will be held in Montreal (Aug 7-16).

Pizzaville Free Community Weekend (Aug 7-8): This weekend is FREE and will be filled with tennis and fun activities for the whole family including contests, games, music. You'll also have the chance to pick up a racquet and get on court! Further details of this weekend is TBA.

Habari Africa Festival

Aug 14-16, 2015

Habari Africa festival is a multi-disciplinary music and arts celebration. Learn about the rich and diverse cultures spanning the African continent at this weekend-long exploration of art, food, film, music and more.

Habari poster

Dundas Cactus Festival

Aug 14-16, 2015

The Cactus Festival of Dundas, Ontario is a large, street festival showcasing Dundas businesses & area artists. The festival includes 3 entertainment stages, event zones and over 100 street vendors and kicks off with the Parade. Highlights:

  • Parade
  • Musical Entertainment
  • Cactus Family Fun Zone! (King St - between Market/Church)
  • Fortino’s Baby Cactus Contest (with babies 3-17 months)
  • Robertson’s Midway
  • Art in the Alley

York-Eglinton International Street Festival

Aug 14-16, 2015

This festival is a family event providing international experiences that include Caribbean, Italian, Portuguese, Latin to name a few.

Please note there will be street closures: Oakwood Ave. to Dufferin St.

Wheels on the Danforth

Aug 15, 2015: 11am-11pm

Toronto’s only "on the street" judged Car show featuring Classics, Exotics, Tuners, Muscle Cars, Hot Rods, and Motorcycles all lined up on the closed section of Danforth Ave/Danforth Rd. Local cycle groups will be participating in a structured ride to the event. Highlights of the day/evening:

  • Variety of vendors and artisans in the Market Place
  • Food Trucks along with local restaurants offer food
  • FREE Kid’s Zone
  • Rides and bouncy castles and lots of family entertainment
  • Main stage: Emerging local talent
  • Beer garden
  • Tuner Show in the evening
  • Summer street dance party (evening)

Festival of South Asia

Aug 15-16, 2015: Noon-11pm

Much like the Italian and Greek festivals, this festival offers the taste of South Asia. If you are interested in sampling their food, it's a great way to.

The main stage features dancing, fashion shows, and authentic South Asian cultural programs reflecting Indian, Afghani, Pakistani, Bengali and Sri Lankan cultures. There are several stores along Gerrard St where you may pick up a bargain or two.

Fusion of Taste

Aug 16, 2015 [change of month]

Held at the intersection of Albion Road and Islington Avenue, Etobicoke, this all day/night [Noon-10:30 pm] celebration hosts entertainment and an array of tantalizing tastes.

Website  ||  FREE Streetfest

Tirgan Iranian Festival

Aug 20-23, 2015

Tirgan returns to Harbourfront Centre, bringing together artists from around the globe to showcase the richness and diversity of Iranian art and culture through a mosaic of world-class talent. The theme for Tirgan 2015 is Homeland, the anchor with which we settle in the diverse ocean of humanity, spanning across history and nurturing our identity as human beings.

Tirgan festival banner

The Canadian National Exhibition (CNE)

Aug 21-Sept 7, 2015

The Canadian National Exhibition (aka The Ex) is an 'end of summer' celebration for Torontonians but not for the kids (cos it's a sign that 'going back to school' is near!). Once you've paid the entrance fee, all entertainment is FREE. But in order to go on the amusement rides, you must either purchase single ride tickets or the RAD pass (unlimited but does not include admission when bought on-site).

The Midway

The following are some dates you should keep in mind:

  • Buy your tickets before Opening Day and SAVE $$ (avail from June 8) - this special ends Aug 20
  • $8 @ the Gate Opening Day Special: Grounds admission is only $8 on Friday, August 21
  • $6 after 5pm: Just pay $6 after 5pm each Mon, Tues, Wed and Thurs (except Labour Day Monday)

Bandshell Concerts

The following are artists performing FREE concerts (with admission) at the CNE.

  • Aug 21: America
  • Aug 22: Alan Doyle
  • Aug 24: Boogie Wonder Band
  • Aug 25: Chubby Checker
  • Aug 26: Rick Springfield
  • Aug 27: Leroy Sibbles
  • Aug 28: Foghat
  • Aug 29: Scott Weiland & The Wildabouts
  • Aug 30: The Last Waltz - A Musical Celebration of THE BAND
  • Aug 31: Big Bad Voodoo Daddy
  • Sept 1: Cody Simpson - YOUTH DAY (TBC)
  • Sept 2: Brett Kissel
  • Sept 3: Tokyo Police Club
  • Sept 4: MKTO
  • Sept 5: Monster Truck
  • Sept 6: Dallas Smith

Special Events

The following are just some of the special events.

  • Toonie Mondays: Kids 13 & under [Aug 24 & 31]
  • Free Till 3: 19 yrs & under [Sept 1: before 3pm]
  • Ribfest [Every day]
  • Food Products Day [Aug 26]
  • Food Truck Frenzy [Aug 28-30]
  • Canadian International Air Show [Sept 5-7]


Aug 14-22, 2015

The festival is a multi-discipline festival showcasing different aspects of the Rastafarian culture, history and lifestyle. The festival draws from the rich and diverse Rastafarian lifestyle and history.

Rastafest logo

The 4-day event features international reggae artists who will perform at a major concert in Downsview Park. Activities include: music, dance, drumming, market place, ital food demonstration.

  • Aug 14: TweenFest [FREE]
    - This festival is the children & youth component of Rastafest showcasing the talents of our children & youth performers ~ York Woods Public Library Theatre ~ 6:30pm-8:30pm
  • Aug 19-21: Rastafest Film & Video Screening
    - Feature Length Movies (Aug 19); Documentaries (Aug 20); Reggae Music Videos (Aug 21) ~ Carlton Cinema ~ 7pm - 11pm
  • Aug 22: Rastafest International Reggae Concert ~ Downsview Park ~ 3pm - 11pm

Mississauga ITALFEST™

Aug 22, 2015: Noon–11pm

Ferragosto in the City coming to Mississauga. With expectations of 5000+ attendees, the event will be filled with food, fun and festivities as you spend the day exploring all that is Italian! For the latest updates, you should visit their website.


Aug 22, 2015: 4-10pm {TBC}

Festival celebrating the best of Toronto's local talent, eats and drinks, urban art, and on-site experiences held in CityPlace. Line up includes DJs and local talent - still TBA

BIG On Bloor Festival

Aug 22-23, 2015

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


Aug 22-23, 2015

Experience the Caribbean in Vaughan: Family-friendly Caribbean festival, celebrating the culture with Live music, food, kids zone and beautiful carnival costumes.

Visitors can participate in culinary and rum,cocktail workshops.

Scarborough Afro-Caribbean Festival

Aug 22-23, 2015: Noon-8pm both days

A Fun-filled family event that offers live performances by local and international artists, visual art exhibitions, Afro-Caribbean cuisine and dance competitions for adults and children. There's a Kids Zone which includes games, face painting and more!

40 vendors featuring food, crafts, local businesses, Non profit organizations will be present to showcase their products and services.

Toronto Chinatown Festival

Aug 22-23, 2015

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.

If taking public transit, there are several ways to get there: streetcars that leave Spadina & Union stations as well as Dundas and Queen St streetcars.

Website  |  FREE

Coconut Festival Canada

Aug 23, 2015: 11am-7pm

A fun day awaits the foodies and the adventurous as hundreds of products from coco jams to full meals will be presented by a diverse lineup of vendors.

The festival will also feature artisan merchandise like jewelry, clothing, accessories, house stuff and amazing health books plus native music and everything else. Coconut games for kids will be held with exciting prices to be won! A great family activity!

Scotiabank Buskerfest

Aug 27-30, 2015

Spontaneous, colourful and bursting with the unexpected, the festival is a showcase for over 100 of the most remarkable street performers on earth.

Over 4 days and nights, Toronto’s international busker festival will entertain audiences along Yonge Street, as well as surrounding areas. There is a Buskerball on Aug 19.

Scotiabank Buskerfest is produced by Epilepsy Toronto as a fundraiser in support of people with epilepsy and their families. So it's no surprise that the proceeds collected at the festival will go towards Epilepsy Toronto. So, take lots of change for the performers - PLEASE GIVE GENEROUSLY!

Toronto Burlesque Festival

Aug 27-30, 2015

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.


Aug 28-30, 2015: 11am-7pm

TAIWANfest returns to Harbourfront Centre with a lineup of programming including Taiwan’s top EDM band in Magic Power, famous Taiwanese street food, an indigenous fashion exhibit in The First Impressions, a lifestyle craft showcase in The Art of Seating, a film screening featuring both Canadian and Taiwanese film directors, a contemporary dance telling you the story of “red” eggs, a children delight of Holy Sheep exhibit and lots more!

one of the concerts at TAIWANfest