We get it: you’re busy. With so many things happening in Toronto every week, let alone every month, things can get a little overwhelming when planning your social calendar. Let’s keep it simple. Each month, Vv Magazine collects the top events in Toronto so that you know what you absolutely must attend. The rest, as they say, is noise.
Toronto truly comes alive during the summer months as the entire city bustles about, vying for just one more minute in the sun. Synonymous to the lively, summer vibes is the abundance of things to do. Whatever you’re feeling, we’re positive that more than one of these events will suit your mood – all is easy, breezy with summer in the 6ix.
Canada’s first-ever Pride Month will open on June 1st featuring an impressive roster of events and programming. To name a few, events will include First Thursdays at the AGO: Pride Month Launch Party, A Night at the AQUEERium at Ripley’s, the Pride Parade, The Final Play in Dundas Square featuring a concert by Joe Jonas and a pedestrian-only party on Church Street. Stay tuned for our round-up of the best Pride events or see a full list of events here.
The Urban Whiskey Trail
Every Thursday in June
Looking for a fun and historical foodie adventure? Then make sure to check out The Urban Whiskey Trail. Happening every Thursday throughout the summer, try Canadian Whiskeys paired with foods, all while brushing up on your terminology and historical knowledge of whiskey. The tour has a number of stops, but by far the most exciting is the wooden whiskey tunnel in a building dating back to 1841. Tickets cost $149, which includes all sampling, food pairings and gratuities.
If you’re a music festival goer then you won’t want to miss Field Trip. Not only is it conveniently located in the heart of Toronto at Fort York, but they have an amazing lineup of artists this year. Headliners include Robyn and The National plus a number of other gems for those indie music aficionados like July Talk, Of Montreal and Santigold. Round up your friends, find your biggest picnic blanket and get ready for some sweet tunes, art, food and more. Tickets start at $75 for a single day pass and $125 for a general weekend pass.
Toronto BBQ Week
Get your summer grill-fix at the 1st annual Toronto BBQ week presented by Samuel Adams. For seven days, 15 restaurants across the city will be offering $15 BBQ dishes served alongside an ice-cold pint of Samuel Adams Boston Lager, The Go To Beer™. Participating restaurants include heavy-hitters like Parts & Labour, Campagnolo, Hogtown Smoke and more, so you know it’s gonna be good. Get all the saucy deets here.
Can’t decide where your artistic passions lie? Luminato Festival brings all performance arts together so you don’t have to choose. Over 1000 performers in art, theatre, film, dance, music and literature will inspire across the city. Feature events include the must-see dance show Monumental, Rufus Wright performing works by Judy Garland and the Luminato Festival Opening Party. Prices vary by event ranging from free to $100 for the opening night party.
Ontario Craft Beer Week
Kick off summer with some beers at Ontario Craft Beer Week! The province-wide celebration begins with the not-to-be-missed launch party at Steam Whistle Brewery. Tickets cost $30 but you’ll be happy to hear that this includes unlimited sampling from a number of participating craft brewers. Participants will also have the opportunity to enjoy tasty treats from on-site vendors and enter for a chance to win exciting door prizes. See the entire lineup of events here.
Late Night: Beethoven 3
Get ready for a late night musical experience with The Toronto Symphony Orchestra (TSO) featuring two highly innovative performances at the Roy Thomson Hall. The concert will start off with Beethoven’s provocative Eroica Symphony, followed by the World Premiere of a new concerto for electric violin by R.E.M. founding member Mike Mills and guest violinist Robert McDuffie. The concert will then be followed by an epic after party in partnership with Pride Toronto. Tickets are $25.50 each.
If you have the itch to delve into some food and culture then don’t miss Toronto’s largest multicultural celebration, the CHIN Picnic. Back for its 50th anniversary, in conjunction with The Taste of Little Italy, the picnic will take place at College and Shaw. See numerous vendors and performers, as well as taste authentic foods. Be sure not to miss the balloon release ceremony on the main stage for some super Instagram-worthy photos.
The Trinity Bellwoods & Etsy 416 Hustler Spring Market
Summer market season is almost here, so skip the mall and shop outdoors at the Etsy 416 Hustler Spring Market. There’ll be a stellar list of the best Toronto vendors, including an entire section dedicated to the new and noteworthy (see the full list of vendors here). They’ll also be teaming up with Save our Scruff, a Toronto-based not-for-profit that helps foster and re-home dogs. So grab a $6 Mimosa, with some food from the on-site vendors, and get your shop on!
Much Music Video Awards (MMVA’s)
This one needs no introduction! We’re all familiar with the Much Music Video Awards (MMVAs) – one of the biggest block parties of the summer. With headliners Tegan and Sara, Macklemore and Fifth Harmony, as well as celebrity host Gigi Hadid, it’s guaranteed to be a good time. Grab your dancing shoes and head out to the MMVAs. Oh, we almost forgot… Admission is free!
Open Roof Festival
June 21 – August 24
Back for its 7th year, the Open Roof Festival brings a stellar line-up of movies and music to an outdoor space in the city each Summer. Alternating between Tuesdays and Wednesday between June 21 to August 24 at 99 Sudbury, expect movies by independent filmmakers and live Canadian music paired with beers from Amsterdam Brewery and food from trucks like the Food Dudes. Tickets are $15 per person and all profits are raised in support of Canada’s independent film production and music communities.
Taste of Toronto
While there’s no shortage of food-centric events in Toronto, Taste of Toronto promises to be one of the best! Sample fine wine and local flavours from some of the city’s best restaurants (The Drake, Antler and Barque to name a few), watch demos and Q & As with a star lineup of chefs, or if you feel like getting your hands dirty, try a hands-on cooking class. Tickets are going for $19, youth $10 and children under 12 free.
Want to see your event in our listings? Let us know in the comments below or tweet us @ViewTheVibe.