The first Monday of August is coming up, which means many of us Torontonians are getting a much-needed day off. And while it’s always exciting to have a long weekend, the city is coming alive with so many events this year that it can get a little overwhelming. Luckily, you’ve got us scouring the scene to bring you the absolute best of what Toronto has to offer this civic holiday. Regardless of whether you’d like to admire fine art, dance to reggae, or sing along to some of your favourite bands, there’s no doubt you’ll find something fun and free to keep yourself occupied with…
Friday, August 1st
TD IRIE Music Festival
This vibrant festival begins on August 1st and runs until the 24th, so you have plenty of time to groove to your choice of reggae, salsa, world, and gospel music. This year performers include Steele, Alison Hinds, Richie Spice, and more.
For a taste of Caribbean culture, come out to Toronto’s waterfront from August 1st to 4th for four days of music, dance, film, and food. Attractions include Oware games and performances by Edwin Yearwood and Krosfyah and Dance Caribe.
Scotiabank Caribbean Carnival
From August 1st to 3rd be sure to drop by the Scotiabank Caribbean Carnival for three exciting days filled with music, parades, and slam poetry. This cultural explosion is a tribute to Toronto’s multicultural and multiracial society, and exhibits the very best of reggae, hip-hop, calypso, and soca.
Indie Fridays presents KC Roberts & The Live Revolution
Head on over to Yonge-Dundas Square and catch KC Roberts & The Live Revolution from 8pm to 10pm – admission is free! Make sure to look out for the Indie88 Street Team the night of the show, which will keep you hydrated and hook you up with free swag.
TIFF Pop-Up Movie Night
Johnny Depp fan? So are we, which is why we’re pretty happy that TIFF and Evergreen will be holding a special screening of Chocolat at 8pm. Get ready to ogle one of the sexiest Hollywood stars in his prime, and make an evening out of it by heading over at 6:30pm for some local food, beer, wine, and cider for sale.
Modest Mouse at TD Echo Beach
Over the last decade, Modest Mouse has become the indie rock standard and one of few bands capable of garnering massive popularity without sacrificing what made them stand out in the first place. And now you can see them live in Toronto. They’ll be performing at 7:15pm with fellow indie vanguards Kevin Drew and Mimicking Birds.
One Direction at Rogers Centre
For those of you that haven’t gotten over the magazine-hoarding, poster-collecting phase (no shame), the famed teenybopper band, One Direction, will be bringing their Where We Are tour to the Rogers Centre on August 1st and 2nd at 7pm. Opening both nights will be Australian pop rock band 5 Seconds of Summer.
Toronto Summer Music Festival
The Toronto Summer Music Festival celebrates the music of the early 20th century, from late romanticism to modernism. On August 1st at 7:30pm listen to the works of Prokofiev, Shostakovich, and Vaughan Williams, and on August 2nd listen to Prokofiev and Bloch at 4pm and audience favourites like Kodaly, Schumann, and Elgar at 7:30pm.
Summer Music in the Park
The classy neighbourhood of Bloor-Yorkville is excited to host another season of smooth summer sounds like jazz, Celtic pop, Latin, and swing music. On August 1st Endless Summer Duo will be performing from 11:30am to 2:30pm, and on August 2nd and 4th David Leask and the Johnson Chung Trio will be performing from 1:30 to 4:30pm, respectively.
Monty Python’s Spamalot
Spamalot takes the legendary tale of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table and really runs with it. Regardless of whether you’re into history or not, when a show promises to be “funnier than the black death,” you know you’re in for a good time. Tickets are available for purchase from August 1st to 3rd.
Chocolate & Cheese Crawl
If someone held us at gunpoint and demanded whether we preferred chocolate or cheese, we might have a bit of a problem. Fortunately, the Chocolate & Cheese Crawl means we don’t have to choose. With 6 stops and 9 tastings there’s no reason not to indulge in an afternoon of sweet and savoury delights. Tours will be held on August 1st and 2nd from 11am to 2pm – be sure to book online beforehand and bring a bag for shopping purchases!
Saturday, August 2nd
ArtFest at the Distillery
From August 2nd to 4th, 75 of Canada’s top artists and artisans will be gathering at the historic Distillery District and displaying handmade pottery, jewelry, paintings, and more. Even better? Admission is free!
If you’re a fan of tennis, or just in awe of people who can manage to make their racquet actually connect with the ball, make sure you don’t miss the Roger’s Cup tennis tournament going on from August 2nd to 10th.
VELD Musical Festival
On August 2nd and 3rd make sure to head on over to Downsview Park and participate in Canada’s largest electronic music festival. This year’s lineup includes top-ten artists Calvin Harris, 3LAU, and Iggy Azalea, and breakout artists Armin Van Buuren, Adventure Club, and Zedd.
Disney’s The Little Mermaid Jr.
Take a dive and journey under the sea with one of Disney’s most loved princesses, Ariel. Disney’s The Little Mermaid Jr. will be playing from August 2nd to 31st, and is adapted from the Broadway production for young audiences. Make sure to reserve a spot as soon as possible because this show is bound to sell out quickly!
Summer Splash 2014
Toronto’s nightlife scene is always thriving, and this long weekend isn’t an exception. On The Rox nightclub is holding their Summer Splash at 9pm, where there’ll be a live concert by Kranium.
Perfect 10 Presents: Long Weekend Special
Just because you’re not up at the cottage doesn’t mean you can’t have a fun summer. Perfect 10 will have an amazing line-up of comedians to end your Saturday night with, like Keith Pedro (of Video On Trial and MTV fame), Robby Hoffman (MTL Fringe), and Ben Bankas (Absolute Comedy). Tickets are $10 and the show starts at 11pm.
Sunday, August 3rd
Movies in the Park
This summer series of free movies will be taking place at Riverdale Park East, where the family-friendly epic fantasy film The Never Ending Story will be shown at 8:45pm.
Christie Pits Film Festival Days of Summer: Twister
If The Never Ending Story doesn’t seem tempting, the 1996 film Twister will be shown at Christie Pits Park along with two fantastic summer shorts, Blackout (directed by Sharron Mirsky) and July’s Wet Dreams (directed by Kara Blake). On-site food vendors include Caplansky’s Thunderin’ Thelma food truck and Wild Child’s Kitchen ice pops. Food service will begin at 7:30pm, and the screening will begin at 9pm. Be sure to bring your own blanket!
This free outdoor concert series at Mel Lastman Square features some of Ontario’s best live swing, big band, and jazz acts – perfect for date night. Be sure to join the Bob Cary Orchestra at 7:30pm for a fabulous night of music and dancing!
The Distillery Sunday Market
It’s never a bad time to stock up on organic produce, local preserves, artisan cheeses, and decadent delights. Every Sunday, rain or shine, the Distillery District will come alive with a farmers market from 10am to 3pm, and will feature only the most knowledgeable vendors that all come from within 100 miles of the market square.
Monday, August 4th
This concert and picnic event will be closing off the long weekend with performances by international and local talent at Centre Island. The lineup includes Seth Troxler, Bob Moses, Maya Jane Coles, and more, and food trucks from Sliced and Bacon Nation will be available to keep your stomachs full and your spirits high.
Wrap off your weekend with an all-ages performance by British rock band The Kooks at 8pm at the Danforth Music Hall.
Dim Sum Sampler at Mean Bao
Every Monday in August you can get your hands on delicious dim sum samples by Mean Bao as they introduce their new “Dai Pai Dong” dinner service. From 7pm to 8pm try a selection of their freshly made dishes for $12 (tax and tip included). And those of you that don’t eat meat don’t have to sit idly by – there are vegan and vegetarian options available!
If we missed an event you’re planning on attending, let us know in the comments below or tweet us @ViewTheVibe.