July is a month of backyard BBQs, hot summer days, and a never-ending lineup of festivals. If you’ve got a day job, chances are you won’t be able to attend every single one – but no worries! We’ve combed through and picked out the ones that are definitely worth pulling out that floral headband and tie-dyed peasant top…
Toronto Fringe Festival
July 2 to 13
The Fringe Festival is a chance for both emerging and established artists to present their work to audiences, with productions ranging from musicals and dance shows to improv and dramas. With 150 shows at over 30 venues, there’s bound to be at least one you’ll enjoy.
Vans Warped Tour
Warped is a festival that needs no introduction. Come on, we know we’re not the only ones who went through that rebellious, but-mom-this-is-really-who-I-am phase (but we don’t have to talk about that, those were dark times). For those that still have a bit of that backstage-sneaking, band-tee-wearing teenager in you, grab your sharpies and get ready to ask for autographs from the bands you used to sing along to in your angst-filled days.
Bacardi Festival Libre
July 4 to 6
This weekend-long festival is a celebration of Bacardi’s passion for rum culture, and tells their story through a feast for the senses. Toronto’s beautiful and historic Distillery District will be taken over and designed to look like Havana, Cuba, with Cuban food stations, live musical acts, local Latino artisans, dancing, and cigar rolling.
July 4 to 6
The Toronto Urban Roots Festival is an eclectic mix of country, blues, pop, and indie rock artists. This year, you can bask in the lazy summer days with such acts as Neutral Milk Hotel, Sam Roberts Band, and Beirut.
Taste of Lawrence
July 4 to 6
You can never have enough food festivals, and Taste of Lawrence is one of the city’s finest. It provides Torontonians with a chance to try an assortment of cuisines, with everything from Indian and Italian to Asian and Jamaican. And once you shake off the inevitable food coma, you can dance to the live music, which includes flamenco, Armenian folk, jazz, calypso, and soca.
Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition
July 4 to 6
With over 350 participating artists, there’s definitely something for everyone. Art connoisseurs will be more than satisfied by the amount of contemporary paintings, ceramics pieces, and glass sculptures. And for those of us that just like to look at pretty things, the beautiful jewelry and photographs on display are sure to please.
July 4 to 20
Summerlicious is every foodie’s favourite culinary celebration, and for good reason. For just over two weeks, you can sample a variety of diverse and innovative cuisines at over 200 of the city’s top restaurants for less. Make sure to book your reservations and take advantage of the three-course prix fixe lunch and dinner menus on offer.
July 4 to 25
Cultura is yet another contribution to the city’s wide array of art festivals, but it’s not to be overlooked. It showcases acclaimed local and international artists and performers, with everything from musicians and dancers to chefs and buskers.
Ritmo Y Color
July 5 to 7
If you’re looking to experience a taste of Latin America in Toronto, look no further. This celebration of artistic expression from South and Central America includes visual artists, dance workshops in salsa and cha-cha, music, film, and block parties.
This summer block party promises good food and good wine – and really, what else do you need out of life? Toronto’s top chefs will be bringing modern touches to traditional pintxos that will dazzle and delight. If you’re looking to find an authentic taste of Spain on the streets of Toronto, look no further!
The Retailer’s Point of View
Art of Fashion & Fresh Collective present an exciting and educational evening for all prospective fashion designers. This event promises to inform, educate, and teach emerging Canadian designers the necessary tricks and tools of the trade that will set them up for success.
Scotiabank Caribbean Carnival (AKA Caribana)
July 8 to August 3
This festive three-week cultural explosion of Caribbean music, cuisine, and performing arts has become a major international event. The rhythms and melodies of reggae, hip hop, calypso, and soca are sure to bring a smile to your face, and the colourful parades are not to be missed.
Food Fight Trivia Night
July 9, 15, 22
CHEESEWERKS is a unique Toronto-based restaurant that places cheese and artisan products at the center of every menu offering. Simple and delicious, their selection of grilled cheese and house-made soups are the perfect comfort food. And now, you can enjoy their gourmet grub while participating in pop culture trivia! Grab a team of four or more, put your mind where your mouth is, and compete for the cash prize.
July 10 to August 28
It’s no secret that a combination of entertainment and food hot off the grill makes for the perfect summer lunch hour escape. Tasty Thursdays at Nathan Phillips Square will have all kinds of international dishes from local restaurants on offer, with a large variety of meals available for $7 or less. As you chow your way through BBQ chicken, gourmet ice cream sandwiches, and green curry chicken, make sure to enjoy performances by the city’s top Latin vocalists, salsa dancers, and breakdancers.
Sausage League “Premiere Series”
July 15, 22, 29
Marben, the elegant restaurant that we can never get enough of, is hosting the fourth edition of their wildly popular Sausage League series. It’s just as delicious as it sounds: an all-out round robin competition between Toronto’s best chefs and hottest restaurants for the best sausage dish. And you won’t just be a hungry onlooker, either. Participating guests will get to taste and vote during each round to award Toronto’s ultimate Sausage King with the Froman Cup.
The Edgefest summer concert series brings together some of the best Canadian rock bands for a day of incredible performances. With bands like USS, Said The Whale, and Bear Hands, this is one music festival worth losing your vocal chords for.
Beaches International Jazz Festival
July 18 to 27
Even if you’re not much of a jazz lover, there’s plenty reason to head lakeside and listen to live music from some of Canada’s best musicians. After all, where else in Canada can you find a festival of this magnitude… for free?
It’s A School Night at Earl’s
July 18 to September 9
Rebel a little and enjoy a night of great food and drinks at Earl’s. With $5 features every Sunday through Thursday, it’ll definitely be a night full of great eats and libations. Who every said that you can’t go out on a school night is 100% wrong.
Taking place in the heart of Toronto, Time Festival is a highlight of the city’s festival season. Canadian electronic artist Grimes will be performing songs off her Juno Award-winning album, Visions, while synthpop Brit Charli XCX (featured on Icona Pop’s “I Love It” and Iggy Azalea’s “Fancy”) will be turning out tunes that are sure to keep you dancing all day long.
Toronto Chinatown Festival
July 19 to 20
Not gonna lie, we’re already salivating at the thought of all the street food that’s going to be here. On a hot day, nothing beats sweet and savoury specialty treats like dim sum and General Tso’s chicken. While you’re munching away, observe the many performances, including the parading dragon and lion dances.
BIG on Bloor Festival
July 19 to 20
BIG (Bloor Improvement Group) is a non-profit coalition of community groups, politicians, artists, schools, gardeners, residents, and neighbours that will be coming together to improve the atmosphere on Bloor Street and celebrate the area. Events include henna painting, art shows, karaoke, street performers, and a parade, among many others.
The largest Brazilian cultural event in Canada, BrazilFest at Earlscourt Park unites and highlights the best food, talent, art and entertainment from the Brazilian community. It’s an opportunity for Torontonians to experience the richness and energy of this festive culture right in the heart of the city.
Toronto Burlesque Festival
July 24 to 27
This four-day whirlwind of performances, parties, and workshops is definitely not to be missed! The Toronto Burlesque Festival, held at both the Virgin Mod Club and Revival Bar, has been bringing some of the best international and Canadian headliners to the stage and presenting audiences with an incredible diversity of burlesque artistry that will delight and inspire all night long.
Taste of Toronto
July 24 to 27
Featuring world class chefs, 16 of Toronto’s top restaurants, and over 50 exhibitors, this is nothing short of foodie heaven. These four days will be full of eating, drinking, and entertainment in an al fresco gourmet feast for the senses.
Rockstar Mayhem Festival
If Warped isn’t a big enough throwback to your angst-ridden days, there’s always the Mayhem Festival. Featuring the best in metal bands, the lineup includes Avenged Sevenfold, Korn, Asking Alexandria, and Cannibal Corpse.
T&T Waterfront Night Market
July 25 to 27
This exciting outdoor culinary experience will feature enticing Asian street foods, merchandise, performances, and entertainment. More than 100 booths will be on display, with vendors selling everything from Asian delicacies to jewelry and art. There will also be karaoke, live cooking demonstrations, and amusement rides that everyone can enjoy.
Art Battle National Championships
Join in the fun and excitement as 20 of Canada’s best painters compete for audience votes to be crowned the title of Art Battle 2014 National Champion. This live painting event will not only be incredibly entertaining to watch, but also all of the paintings created will be available for sale via silent auction at the event.
The Sip & Savour Ontario Farm & Artisan Market
Until October 30
The Sip & Savour Market is a showcase of Ontario’s outstanding local wine, culinary, and agricultural industries. The vendors will be selling locally grown and produced goods, and providing a memorable destination for those looking for healthy, delicious treats. Here, you’ll find everything from pies and vegetables to maple syrup and loaves, so come on out and experience what Ontario’s vibrant farming community has to offer.
DJ Deep Fried Fridays
Until August 29
This free weekly event is ready to satisfy your craving for deep-fried delicacies while also ensuring you keep that bikini body. Every Friday evening, you can head to the waterfront and load up on decadent deep-fried goodies, and then dance those calories away to some of Toronto’s hottest DJs.
What will you be getting up to in July? Let us know in the comments below or tweet us @ViewTheVibe.