Is Toronto an enchanting city? At first glance, you’d probably say no. Our nickname is Hogtown after all, and the city’s biggest industry – finance – lives on a culturally desolate strip of concrete commonly referred to as Bay Street. But, like a glass of fine wine or the first Harry Potter book, Toronto takes a few minutes to get interesting. Sometimes, she can be downright magical.
This summer, there’s a full slate of enchanting events in Toronto that will undoubtedly add a little sparkle and romance to your life.
Summer Music In The Park
June 5 – September 12
Bloor-Yorkville will be hosting its annual summer series, Summer Music In The Park, this year at the Village of Yorkville Park. Accompanied by the lovely historical scenery of the Bloor-Yorkville neighbourhood, come take a seat and enjoy the lovely sounds of jazz, R&B, blues – the list goes on.
Hidden Gardens and Private Spaces Tour
Take a trip to Cabbagetown, one of Toronto’s most historic neighbourhoods, for a colourful tour of botanical gardens and timeless streets. Bonus points: gardeners will be present to answer any questions you may have, as the city life does propose a few problems when it comes to in-city gardening. Ticket price is $15.
Hamlet: The Bard’s Bus Tour
June 9 – 10
To go or not to go, that is the question. Come sit under the stars and enjoy the marvellous outdoor theatrical performance of Hamlet staged by the Driftwood Theatre Group. Held at the heritage site of Todmorden Mills in East York, you can reserve your seats in advance, and even upgrade from a chair to a blanket if you prefer to enjoy the performance in a comfier way. Tickets are pay-what-you-can.
Frida Kahlo Through the Lens of Nickolas Muray
June 10 – September 7
Besides visiting the AGO that hosts various art exhibitions year-round, take a trip to the Textile Museum of Canada to check out the timeless collection of photographed portraits of Frida Kahlo, taken between 1937 and 1941. Her charisma and iconic look has been captured for a lifetime by Nickolas Muray, and is still enjoyed decades after.
Open Roof Festival
June 17 – August 19
For the sixth year in a row, the Open Roof Festival 2015 will prove to be the most romantic date night in the city for Toronto’s indie folks. Music lovers and cinephiles unite on the rooftop of 99 Sudbury to enjoy an incredible view, live music by up-and-coming artists as well as cool flicks under the stars. The festival runs for 10 weeks, every Wednesday evening beginning at 7pm.
Gatsby Garden Party
Step back in time to everyone’s favourite depressing, plot-twisty 1920s novel, The Great Gatsby, at the Gatsby Garden Party. Party goers will dress in classic flapper garb while playing croquet and learning the Charleston at the Spadina Museum. Don’t have a ticket? Too bad. This one’s been sold out for weeks, and the 52,000 other Facebook attendees will likely fight you for a coveted spot.
Andy Warhol Revisited: A Mirror For Today
Indulge in one of the world’s largest art collection by the king of pop art, Andy Warhol. From the Campbells soup can to Marilyn Monroe’s selfie, 120 of Warhol’s culturally influential works will be exhibited at 77 Bloor St. starting on Canada Day, and will continue on until the end of the year, so you can come back and view the pieces over and over.
Summer Music in the Garden
July 2 – September 13
Another outdoor music event, the shores of Lake Ontario will provide space for classical music concerts hosted by the Harbourfront Centre. A diverse selection of cultural musicians will be performing, which is a great experience for those who enjoy music outside of their comfort zone.
TIFF In the Park
Wednesdays beginning July 8
Another outdoor theatre to attend this summer is TIFF In the Park, held at David Pecaut Square. In honour of its 40th birthday, TIFF will be offering forty free screenings throughout the year, starting on July 8th at 7:30PM with a free party with food, live music and festivities before the first TIFF in the Park screening of Strictly Ballroom (and catch Oscar-winning flick The Artist on August 19). So bring a blanket or lawn chair and sit back and relax under the moonlight for a wonderful evening.
Panamania: The Thirst for Love and Water
July 10 and onward
Introducing Panamania, a series of outdoor arts and culture events that is happening in support of the 2015 Pan Am Games held in Toronto this summer. Enjoy some fireworks and an acrobatics presentation at Nathan Phillips Square, or even a walk down a cobblestone path enriched with the culture of the Americas for a worthwhile experience. As stated on the website, the events will “showcase the diverse cultures and artistic excellence of Ontario, Canada and the Americas through music, theatre, dance, visual arts and fashion.”
August 20 – 22
This is definitely one event you do not want to miss. Experience a different way to watch movies: on the water. The shores of Sugar Beach will change into an outdoor theatre for PortsToronto’s Sail-In Cinema. Now here’s the cool part: The screen is double-sided, so not only can you enjoy the movies on land, but you can also sail up and drop your anchor in front of the screen on the other side!
Did we miss any of Toronto’s most enchanting summer events? Shoot us a message in the comments below, or tweet us @ViewtheVibe.