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The weather is finally starting to get warm, and I couldn’t be more excited about all the fun things to do in Toronto this summer!
After what felt like a never-ending winter followed by a wet spring, it’s safe to say Torontonians are looking forward to the next couple of months of sunshine.
If you’re planning a visit Toronto this summer, or just a resident looking for fun things to do, you’re in the right place. I wanted to see if I could come up with 101 things to do in Toronto this summer, and it was surprisingly easy.
This post will go over 101 ideas for fun things to do in Toronto this summer, to help you create your own ultimate Toronto summer bucket list. Even if you only have 48 hours in Toronto, you can still do a lot of these activities!
2020 Update: This post was originally written in 2019. I have updated it, but due to the impact of COVID-19, some of these attractions and events may be closed, postponed, or canceled this year. Specifically, most of the festivals are postponed until 2021, however, I have left them for future inspiration. I have linked out each event so you can read their official statement. There are still plenty of outdoor things to do around Toronto and as the summer progresses, things may reopen. Please follow the advice of local government authorities and stay safe. Thanks for reading! 🙂
Fun Outdoor Activities to do in Toronto This Summer
It’s not just a concrete jungle, Toronto has many fun outdoor activities to do in the summer.
1. Visit the Toronto Islands. My favorite place to be in the summer, the Toronto Islands are the perfect place to escape the city heat. To get to the islands, catch the 13-minute ferry from the Jack Layton Ferry Terminal at the foot of Bay St. and Queens Caye. Alternatively, you can take a ‘Tiki Taxi” from Queens Quay and Spadina for $10. This is a fun way to get to the islands. They are small boats that are ‘tiki’ themed, playing Caribbean inspired music along the way.
There are beautiful beaches to relax on the islands, including a clothing-optional beach at Hanlan’s Point. A bike is a perfect way to get around the islands. You can rent them from bike share stations in the city and bring it with you on the ferry, or you can join a guided Toronto islands bike tour.
2. Take in the city skyline from a boat. A perfect way to spend a summer evening in Toronto is on the harbor. There are several harbor boat tour options, including tall ships, dinner cruises over sunset, to open boat dance parties on the River Gambler. Keep an eye out for Industry night events, where you can cruise on the lake for free. It’s a blast!
3. Explore Rouge Park. As Canada’s largest urban park, there are endless trails to explore here on foot or bike. It’s hard to believe you’re still in the city limits walking around Rouge Park. You can even camp there! The best part? There is a free shuttle that runs from downtown Toronto to Rouge Park all summer long.
4. Take a walk through a ravine. You don’t have to go far away from the city streets to get into nature. Toronto is blessed with a large ravine system, offering residents a chance an escape from urban settlement. Some of my favorite ravine walks include the Humber Valley and Crothers Woods.
5. Visit Scarborough bluffs. This beautiful escarpment stretches 15km across Scarborough, standing above Lake Ontario. You can visit from above, but as the bluffs are fragile, the city has put limits on how close you can get to the edge. Instead, admire the bluffs from below on the beach.
6. Walk along the CN Tower. If you want to add some excitement to your summer, consider doing the Edgewalk along the CN tower. This impressive Canadian landmark used to be the largest free-standing tower in the world. Talk about an adrenaline rush!
7. Bike the city. Biking is by far the fastest way to get around Toronto, and it’s so enjoyable! The city is nearly all flat, so you don’t have to worry about hills. There are also bike lanes all across downtown. Toronto city has a bike share program where you can pick up and drop off bikes at various stations in the city. There are also guided bike tours you can join of downtown Toronto.
8. Visit a botanical garden. There’s nothing more serene than a stroll through a botanical garden. Check out the Toronto Botanical Gardens in North York near Sunnyside Park. For something closer to downtown, visit Allan Gardens on Gerrard St. East. Afterward, take a stroll through Cabbagetown, my charming neighborhood!
9. Visit a farm. While you’re in Cabbagetown, take a walk through Riverdale farm to see the cute farm animals.
10. Kayak around the lake. Another great way to see the city skyline is from a kayak on Lake Ontario. You can rent Kayaks and Canoes downtown at the Harbourfront.
11. Picnic in the park. There is no shortage of wonderful parks to enjoy in Toronto, and a picnic is a great way to enjoy them! Grab some snacks and a bottle of wine (Shh, it’ll be legal to drink the parks soon). Parks are the perfect place for fun during summer in Toronto.
My favorite parks in Toronto are High Park and Trinity Bellwoods, which also happen to be two of the best places to see cherry blossoms in Toronto, which usually happens in early May!
12. Do Yoga in the Park. If you prefer a more active experience in the park, check out the Flying Yogi. This company offers yoga classes in various parks throughout the city during the summertime. Payment is made on a donation basis!
13. Join an outdoor Bootcamp. If you want to get whipped into shape while not spending beautiful days inside a gym, then an outdoor Bootcamp is the perfect thing to join! The classes are tough, but it’s honestly fun being outdoors with others. After all, misery loves company! I recommend Urban Core, I’ve never been so fit as when I did this boot camp!
14. Stand Up Paddle Board (SUP) on the island. If you want to practice your balance and be out on the lake, check out Toronto Island SUP. They run SUP classes from Toronto Island.
15. Watch the sunset. Don’t let the city skyscrapers take the sunset away! There are still many places where you can see the sun go down in Toronto. Check out River Park East to see the sunset over the city. Polson Pier and Leslie Street Spit also have great sunset views. And of course, the islands always offer amazing sunset views.
16. Get involved with a beach clean up. Help out the city and get involved in a beach clean up! I did this last weekend and was shocked at the amount of garbage and plastic coming from the lake. We can all do our part!
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17. Sign up for a summer run. Runs aren’t my thing, but I know many people who love it! Check out this Toronto Run Guide and find the perfect run to crush this summer.
18. Cool off in a pool. If you don’t want to swim in the lake (I don’t blame you), Toronto has a number of public outdoor pools to cool off from the heat in. Check out the Olympic sized pool in Woodbine Park. For a pool with a view, check in to the Thompson Hotel and enjoy their incredible rooftop pool, just for guests.
19. Take a helicopter ride over Toronto For the absolute best view of the city, take a helicopter tour over the city. I did a helicopter tour in Victoria Falls and Las Vegas, and loved every minute of both experiences.
20. Take an evening walking tour. See the best sights of the city in this small group walking tour.
Music Festivals in Toronto this summer
Music festivals are my favorite part of summer in Canada, and I always make it to a least a few! Luckily for me, Toronto has no shortage. Dance your heart out at these festivals:
22. Promise cherry beach. Another long weekend summer special, join this electronic music and arts beach party and make some new friends.
23. Harbourfront Concerts. Every summer Harbourfront will put on a number of concerts and live events for residents and guests to enjoy by the water. Check the website to see this year’s schedule.
24. NXNE. Discover new bands at this music and gaming festival across the city in various venues in June.
25. Summer Daze. Join this 3-day experience where “the concept of time loses its man-made significance and you belong in a flowing state of existence…” Sounds fun to me!
26. Toronto Jazz Festival. 10 days of Jazz all across the city.
27. Bud Light Dreams Festival. Hate the beer, love the music. Formerly Digital Dreams, This electronic music festivals features great electronic headliners.
28. Veld music festival. Another one for electronic lovers, VELD runs on the long weekend in early August. Personally, I’ve never been because I’m always at Osheaga in Montreal, but I hear it’s a blast!
Arts & Culture
29. Royal Ontario Museum. Find out at what’s on at the ROM! This museum always has something interesting to see. During the summer, they host dance parties every Friday. And yes, dancing with dinosaur bones is as cool as it sounds. You can buy skip the line tickets here.
3. Art Gallery Ontario. This beautiful art gallery always has an interesting exhibit going on. If you’re under 25, it’s free to visit! And if you’re over that age, check out the free night on Wednesdays from 6-9pm. Get tickets here.
31. Christie Pits Film Festival. Every Sunday evening during the summer you can come cozy up in a blanket and watch a movie in Christie Pits Park. Perfect date night!
32. Celebrate Canada. July 1st is Canada day and the city knows how to throw a party. Find free events all over Toronto and at night enjoy the free fireworks over the city. This year, the government is hosting virtual events.
33. Celebrate Pride on the streets. Toronto loves pride and it’s celebrated all through the month of June. Head to Church St during that time for what’s sure to be a fun time.
34. Toronto International Dance Festival. Celebrate the amazing world of dance across all cultures.
35. Toronto Fringe Festival. During July theatre takes over the city during the Toronto Fringe Festival. Performances are held at various Venues all around town. After the show head to the Fringe Tent for drinks, it’s a great time!
36. Shakespeare in High Park. Visit the High Park amphitheater for a wonderful show of Shakespeare.
37. Toronto Caribbean Carnival. This exciting Carnival starts in July, celebrating Caribbean music, cuisine, and revelry. The biggest night of the event is the Caribbean Grand Parade. Masqueraders wind their way from Exhibition Place to Lakeshore Boulevard. It’s wonderful to watch!
38. Toronto Busker Festival. See entertaining performers in Woodbine Park. All profits go towards Elipsy Toronto!
39. Summerworks. Innovative theatre performances take place across the city during August.
40. Fan Expo. Embrace your inner nerd and dress up for this year’s Fan Expo at the Metro Toronto Convention Center.
42. Toronto International Film Festival. This annual film festival brings in some huge names. Discover new films or attend one of the many TIFF parties around the city in September.
43. JFL42. Guaranteed laughs at this Toronto comedy festival. Discover some of Canada’s best comics during September.
Toronto is a foodie paradise. From world-class restaurants to food events every weekend, there’s no shortage of fun food-related things to do in Toronto in the summer.
44. Taco Fest Toronto. Yeah, you wanna Taco about it. Tacos. Usually runs mid-june. No more needs to be said.
45. Foodalicious – A celebration of gourmet street food in June in Downsview Park.
46. Ribfest. Celebrate Canada (and Ribs) at Centennial Park.
47. Summerlicious. This program started to showcase Toronto’s diverse cuisine. It allows you to try some of Toronto’s best restaurants for affordable prices. Three-course prix fixe lunch and dinner menus are offered for $23, $28, or $33 for lunch and $33, $43 or $53 for dinner. Make reservations early!
48. Toronto Pizza Fest. Ontario Place is bringing together 20+ of Toronto’s best pizza joints for you to try. Let your carb dreams run wild.
49. Food Truck Fest. Food lovers rejoice. Celebrate the best of food trucks from July 31st-August 3rd in Woodbine Park.
50. Jerkfest. A huge festival of music and food in Etobicoke. And of course, award-winning jerk chicken. There will be a live stream August 8-9.
51. Beer, Bourbon & BBQ. Another Foodie festival at Ontario Place, come taste one of the most celebrated forms of cooking.
52. Toronto Vegandale Food and Drink Festival. Vegans can enjoy food festivals too! Come see how delicious vegan food can be at The Vegandale Fest at Garrison Common.
53. Canadian National Exhibition. Everyone loves the ex! Indulge your inner child and play carnival games, get views of the city from the Ferris wheel, and eat all the weird things. A perfect date night!
54. Eat all the ice cream. Not an official food fest, but eating ice cream deserves its own line. Toronto has many staple ice cream parlors. Some of the best include Bang Bang Ice cream and Bakery, Ed’s real Scoop, and Booyah.
55. Weekend brunch. Brunch and Toronto go hand and hand. The city has developed a strong brunch culture over the years with new and delicious brunch restaurants popping up in every neighborhood. The only problem? There’s almost always a line to get in the best brunch spots in Toronto, but it’s always worth the wait. Some of the best include Le Petit Dejeuner, Auntie’s and Uncles, and Saving Grace. You can even join a brunch tour.
56. Visit St. Lawrence Market – One of my favorite markets in Canada, St. Lawrence has a wonderful selection of food to try. Join a guided food through the market.
57. Take a wine & cheese tour with a guided sommelier and try some of Ontario’s best wine.
58. Take a guided food tour through Toronto. You can choose from Queen West, The Distillery District, Kensington Market or Little Italy.
Drinking & Nightlife
Because drinking and summer go hand and hand. Find the best places to for a drink this summer in Toronto.
59. Toronto Craft Beer Festival – Celebrate the boom of Toronto’s craft beer scene at the official craft beer festival in Ontario Place.
60. Wine Fest. Toronto’s first outdoor wine festival. Come celebrate all thing wine July 24th-25th at Stackt Market.
61. Beer Fest – Who doesn’t love a beer festival? Drink all the things at Toronto’s annual beer fest held in Juky.
62. Cider Fest. Celebrate 5 years of the Toronto Cider Festival.
63. Go for patio beers This is an absolute essential during the summertime in Toronto. Head to one of the city’s many amazing patios for drinks on a hot summer day. Some of my favorites include Amsterdam Brewery by the waterfront, Hemingway’s in Yorkville, and Trinity Common in Kensington.
64. Go on a self-guided brewery tour. Even if there’s not a beer festival going on, there’s no shortage of breweries in Toronto. Make a day out of it and explore some of Toronto’s craft breweries. Check out Amsterdam Brewery by the Water, Steamwhistle by the CN Tower, and Trinity Bellwoods Brewery by the park (that’s just to start…)
65. Join a group beer tour. Don’t want to go alone? No problem! You can join a guided group beer tour which is a great way to meet people if you’re traveling solo.
66. Go clubbing. It doesn’t have to be a specific event to party in Toronto! This city has some amazing night clubs every weekend of the year. Crawl your way through the many clubs on King St. West or join a guided cocktail tour.
67. Get day drunk at Cabana pool bar. The first time I visited Cabana pool bar I couldn’t believe I was still in Toronto. The palm trees and sunshine will have you feeling like you’re (almost) in the Caribbean.
68. Take in a drag show. If you haven’t watched a drag show before Toronto is the perfect place to try. Head to the village on Church Street and praise these queens. It’s a super fun thing to do in Toronto during the summer.
69. Track and Field bar. If you’re looking for a fun place to go out with friends, this bar is great! Play lawn games and drink local beers.
70. Play games at an arcade bar. Another great place to go for a night out with friends. My favorites are Rec Room across from the CN tower and Get Well on Dundas West.
71. Dance at the aquarium – Why just visit Ripley’s aquarium, when you can listen to music while admiring the fish?! Check out Friday night Jazz every second of the month at the Aquarium.
71. Go on a whiskey tour in Toronto and learn all about Canadian whiskey.
One of my favorite parts about Toronto is the unique neighborhoods we have. Each has its own charm, and the summer is the perfect place to embrace and celebrate them through all the different neighborhood festivals! This is one of my favorite things to do in Toronto in the summer.
72. Leslieville Food and Drink Festival. Come enjoy the art, music, food and drink of Leslieville while supporting the local community and businesses. Plus, 90’s music all night!
73. Dundas West Fest. Celebrate this vibrant neighborhood in early June starting with a night market on Friday.
74. Mel Lastman Square Festivals. This North York Square hosts festivals throughout the summer.
75. Taste of Little Italy. Head over to College Street, between Bathurst and Shaw, to sample on Italian cuisine, wine and cocktails on extended patios.
76. Junction Solstice Festival. Celebrate the longest day of summer (June 22nd) at the Junction, Dundas St W & Keele Street. All ages, and it’s free!
77. Pedestrian Sundays at Kensington. Enjoy this vibrant Toronto neighborhood car free the last Sunday of every month. Performers welcome! Kensington is also a great place to try food in Toronto.
78. Salsa on St. Clair. Join this Latin street dance party on St. Claire Ave!
79. Big on Bloor. Walk along this car-free stretch of Bloor between Dufferin and Landsdowne and celebrate local arts, community, and culture.
80. Ossfest – Ossington Ave (between Queen & Dundas St W) transforms to Ossfest with all the best things: shopping, dancing, live music, patios, eating, and drinking.
81. Taste of the Danforth – If you love Greek food, you do not want to miss Taste of the Danforth. This annual festival runs from August 9th-11th this year, always a great time!
83. Roncesvalles Polish Festival – Celebrate Polish music, food, and culture at North America’s biggest Polish Festival. Over 300,000 people attended last year!
84. Go to a Jays game. You can get Jays game tickets for super cheap and it’s a great way to spend an afternoon or evening. You can even bring in your own food so you don’t have to buy overpriced hot dogs! I once brought a Charcuterie board. It was awesome.
85. Rugby Match. Support the Toronto Wolfpacks at an upcoming Rugby game this summer.
86. Axe-throwing. Learn to throw an ax (with a drink in your hand) at the Backyard Axe Throwing League located in Toronto Stockyards. Makes for a fun birthday party!
Things to do in the summer outside of Toronto
We all love the six, but sometimes a weekend away (or even a day) is needed. There are so many amazing places to visit just outside of Toronto. With so many amazing attractions nearby, a weekend road trip is a perfect thing to do in Toronto in the summer.
Craving a longer road trip? Go on an epic road trip to Eastern Canada!
The town can feel cheesy, like a mini-Vegas, but it’s loads of fun with a good group of friends. Check out Groupon to score a great deal on hotels, which often come with passes for various other attractions.
You can also join day tours from Toronto to Niagara Falls if you’re short on time!
89. Explore waterfalls near Hamilton. Another waterfall attraction not far from the city – Hamilton has several waterfalls you can visit and go hiking around.
90. Escape to the cottage. There’s nothing better to do in this summer then escape to a cottage for a weekend with friends. If you don’t know anyone with a cottage, you can gather a group of friends and rent out one on Airbnb! If it’s your first time using Airbnb, use my discount code to score $45 off your first booking.
Or for a more luxurious weekend, check out some of the luxury resorts you can stay in Muskoka, a beautiful area just two hours away from Toronto.
91. Boots and hearts music fest. I’m not a big fan of country music, but if you are then you want to be at Boots and Hearts, Canada’s largest country festival. It’s set in Oro-Medonte, the former home of Wayhome music festival (RIP). It’s a nice, clean campground just a couple hours drive out of the city.
92. Riverfest Elora. Come explore this beautiful area of Ontario and enjoy some wonderful music. This annual festival is canceled this year but returning in August 2021.
93. Visit The Thousand Islands. This beautiful area near Kingston is a nature lovers dream. Take a boat cruise to admire more than 1,800 islands in the St. Lawrence River, between the border of the U.S. and Canada. You can also join a private tour from Toronto.
94. Camp at Algonquin Park. Get lost in the lakes and forest of beautiful Algonquin, one of Ontario’s best natural parks. The canoeing and kayaking here is amazing. Plus, you might spot some of Canada wildlife including bears and moose.
If you don’t have your own vehicle, you can join a tour from Toronto.
95. Or any other provincial park. If Algonquin is booked up, check out one of Ontario’s many other provincial parks for a weekend camping trip. There are some beautiful places to visit!
96. Canada’s Wonderland. Get your adrenaline rush at Canada’s Wonderland featuring some of the biggest rollercoasters in Canada. If you love it, grab a season pass!
97. Visit Wine Country. Is there really anything better than drinking wine in the summer? Take a weekend or day trip to Prince Edward Country or Niagara on the Lake where you can visit these beautiful vineyards, and sample all of the wine.
98. Wasaga Beach. Check out this popular beach town just two hours outside of the city.
99. Tube down a river. Head to Elora Gorge Conservation Area just an hour outside of Toronto, and spend the day tubing down the river. If you want, add in a visit to the nearby Quarry for swimming afterward!
100. Visit Bruce Peninsula National Park. Just three hours away from Toronto and you can be transported to water that looks like a tropical paradise. It’s one of the best road trips for nature lovers from Toronto. You can also join a private guided tour to Bruce Peninsula.
101. Bouldering in Niagara Glen. Rock climbers rejoice! Ontario has some awesome rock climbing spots just outside of the city. Grab a crew and head to Niagara Glen Nature Reserve for a day of Bouldering. It’s just outside of Niagara Falls.
There you go – 101 things to do in Toronto this summer! And the craziest part? That’s not even half of the things there are to do. Find more things to do in Toronto below!
Where to stay in Toronto
There are hundreds of different places to stay in Toronto for all budget.
Budget: The Only Backpacker’s Inn. One of the most highly-rated hostels in Toronto, located in the wonderful Danforth neighborhood.
You could also try Couchsurfing or Housesitting with TrustedHousesitters if you’re looking for free accommodation in Toronto.
Mid-Range: Chelsea Hotel – I lived here for two weeks when I first moved to Toronto! It’s in a great location near Young-Dundas square and a subway station so you can get anywhere in the city.
If you are looking for more affordable options in Toronto, be sure to check out Airbnb. If it’s your first time booking, you can get $46 by using this link!
Luxury: The Westin Harbour Castle is located right on Lake Ontario with some rooms offering views of the water. It’s centrally located right in the Harborfront area.
There are honestly so many places to stay in Toronto it can be overwhelming trying to look! I would pick the neighborhood you want to stay and go from there. Some nice neighborhoods are the Harbourfront, the Entertainment District, Yorkville, and Downtown Toronto.
I can’t believe how many things there are to do in Toronto during the summer! There’s something for everyone, and I can’t wait to start checking these items off my Toronto summer bucket list.
I hope this post gave you some inspiration for your next trip to Toronto. If you know another fun thing to do in Toronto this summer that I didn’t list, let me know in the comments below, I’d love to hear it!
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