The city will be ablaze with spectacles, sounds, and sights now that we’re entering the halfway mark of summer. Toronto will always have something to keep your energy levels pumping, your mind stimulated, and your growling stomachs satiated.
There’s no need to be shy; there’s something for everyone to participate in and enjoy…
For the Party Animal: Still affectionately referred to as Caribana, the Scotiabank Toronto Caribbean Festival has no shortage of colourful costumes, rhythmic tunes, and opportunities to dance to soca and calypso on every street corner. With visitors topping out at over 1.2 million annually, there are more events offered than ever this year – running through the first few days of August. In different venues across the city, there will be everything from the King and Queen competition, Panorama (showcase of steel pan talent), Drake’s OVO Festival (where he will be performing alongside musical guests Frank Ocean and James Blake), followed by the famous Carnival parade on August 3rd with plenty of boom-basting Caribbean beats, jovial Mas players, as well as Beyond De Lime on August 4th, which offers a food festival and concert in the evening.
For the Thrill Seeker: High octane, adrenaline pumping action is only the tip of the iceberg for those who attend Wakestock in Collingwood (August 9th to 11th). A frenzied mix of amateur and pro wakeboarding will be the star events to lookout for. After the splashes, potential wipeouts, and champions are called to the podium, the party only just begins: live performances by rock bands such as Silversun Pickups, Death from Above 1979 and the Sheepdogs will be making eardrums vibrate and get bodies in motion as they play on the Monster sound stage. Many will also delight in the eye candy that is the Miss Wakestock Bikini Contest. For daredevils with a penchant for skateboarding, there will be a park set up as well as an action sport marketplace to appease your testosterone fueled ambitions. If that’s not enough to whet your appetite, there is an After Party Series at Blue Mountain to look forward to in the evening with a bevy of live DJ and band performances.
For the Pronosher: Freshly grilled souvlaki, meaty gyros, savoury kebabs, and nutty baklava are some of the Hellenic foods that will make their annual appearance at Taste of the Danforth from August 9th to 11th. As the 3rd largest community of Hellenics outside of Greece, everyone who parades up and down Danforth Avenue is considered to be Greek for a day. This year is the festival’s 20th anniversary, and there will be many special events lined up. These include getting into the Guinness World Book of Records with the breaking of the World’s Largest Yoghurt Bowl and the World’s Longest Zorba dance, which spans over 2km. Organizers are asking all festival goers (this means you!) to join 10,000 people to break the current dance record. Keep your eyes peeled for special celebrity appearances and opportunities to play hockey with the Maple Leafs.
For the Nostalgia Lover: For 18 days, from mid-August to Labour Day weekend, the CNE: Canadian National Exhibition is your best bet to get reacquainted with your inner child and send mind, body, and taste buds through a tizzy of a rollercoaster rides, carnies, clowns, midway games – and yes, the infamous foods. From last year’s Krispy Kreme Burger to deep fried whatever, this year we all will have something to chat about thanks to the Cronut Burger. A freakish delight created by those who have a love affair with sweets and their deep friers, only those who can channel some reckless abandonment and child-like spirit can boldly face all the challenges at this midway fair.
For the Wide-Eyed Wanderer: Be dazzled by a world of fire breathers, stilt walkers, daredevils, and more as you come out and support the talents performing at this year’s Buskerfest at their new home on Yonge Street. From August 22nd to 25th, Buskerfest is one of the last events of the summer that celebrates the art of street performance; busking is one of the oldest professions known in our society. Best of all, all funds donated will go to buskers as well as Epilepsy Toronto. Keep a lookout for acts such as The Flying Dutchman, Pyromancer and surrealists Giant Seagulls this year. It will be an eclectic mix of delightful entertainment that won’t cease to render you into a shock induced state.