July is hot in Toronto! From a theatre festival to food or beer festivals to Indy car races, Toronto offers a wide range of events that will keep you busy during the summer days. With something for every taste, check out our list of top events in the city for a bit of inspiration. See you around Toronto!
1. Toronto Fringe Festival (July 3 to 14)
The Toronto Fringe Festival is among the most important cultural events of the year in Toronto, and it attracts thousands of theatre and arts lovers every season. In 2013, the festival is going to celebrate its 25th birthday, and the organizers boast that the program will be bigger and better than ever. We can expect more than 148 performances by Canadian and international artists that will be hosted by 35 venues all over the city. Ticketed events are supported by an extensive outdoor program that includes busking performances, free concerts, and the popular TentTalks sessions.
2. Toronto Urban Roots Festival (July 4 to 7)
The Toronto Urban Roots Festival (TURF) is going to brighten up the warm summer nights with a program packed with great musical performances. The Fort York Garrison Commons hosts two outdoor stages and an indoor program is ensured by two affiliated clubs (Lee’s Place and the Horseshoe). The list of performers includes such names as Scottish duo Belle & Sebastian, the hip She & Him, Neko Case, and Flogging Molly. Besides the musical aspect, TURF is also a feast of food and drinks, and visitors will have a chance to choose from several vendors run by local businesses.
3. Summerlicious 2013 (July 5 to 21)
Summer without Summerlicious wouldn’t truly be summer at all! All fine food enthusiasts always look forward to checking out the innovative menus inspired by the summer season and its ingredients. For over two weeks, top restaurants in Toronto offer special prix-fixe three-course menus that celebrate seasonal products. In 2013, foodies can choose from $15, $20, or $25 options for lunch and $25, $35 or $45 menus for dinner in each of the participating venues. The reservation system is already up and running, so be quick to book your place before it’s too late.
4. Honda Indy Toronto (July 12 to 14)
If you like fast cars and the excitement of live races, Honda Indy Races might be the right place for you. The famous races return to Toronto in 2013 and bring the top indy car racers from all around the world. The 1.75 mile circuit is located near Exhibition Place and it’s one of the six indy race circuits in Canada. The races in Toronto aren’t just about the competition, as the main event is supported by a week-long program featuring the fastest cars, celebrity appearances, and live entertainment.
5. Americanarama Festival of Music (July 15)
Bob Dylan, one of the most influential songwriters of all times and a voice of the entire 1960s generation, returns to Toronto to deliver a concert as a headliner of the Americanarama Festival of music. He is expected to perform a mix of his old hits such as “Blowin’ in the Wind” and his later works. Dylan is coming with several other performers that include such names as Wilco (especially notable for their album featuring songs of Billy Bragg) and My Morning Jacket. Tickets range from $46.25 to $106.25. The doors at the Molson Canadian Amphitheatre open at 5:30 P.M.
6. M.I.A. Concert (July 18)
The shining star of indie hip-hop and electronic dance music, M.I.A., is coming to Toronto with her energetic show. The British artist of Sri Lankan origin likes to cross the borders of styles and mixes influences of funk, electro, hip-hop, dance hall, and alternative together with elements of traditional Sri Lankan music. M.I.A. stands for “missing in action” and references her youth as a refugee. Some of her biggest hits include “Paper Planes,” “Bring the Noize” (released in June 2013), and “Bad Girls.” Tickets for the show at the Danforth Musical Hall are $46.75.
7. Beaches International Jazz Festival (July 19 to 28)
The Beaches International Jazz Festival belongs among the most important jazz events in Canada. Since 1989, the festival has celebrated jazz and the best jazz artists together with millions of fans who visit the festival every year. The ten-day event tries to showcase much more than pure jazz music and includes such styles as reggae, blues, big band, Latin, and hip-hop. The festival site is located at the Queen East and Beaches area, which provide a magnificent setting for the outdoor concerts. Some of the big names of the 2013 festival are Jesse Dee, Jazz Run, and Roberto Linares Brown Orchestra.
8. BIG on Bloor Festival (July 20 to 21)
Come over to Bloor Street West to spend a weekend right on the street together with your friends. The BIG on Bloor Festival reclaims the public space for the community by closing off all the vehicle traffic during the weekend-long event. The program for locals and by locals includes many fun games and activities for both kids and adults as well as artists’ performances. Visitors can also look forward to the unique Bloordale market, featuring arts and crafts by local artists, together with delicious food and drinks provided by the restaurants from the area.
9. Toronto’s Festival of Beer (July 26 to 28)
For many Canadians, hot summer days and nights would be very hard to handle without the most popular alcoholic refreshment — beer. The last weekend of July at Bandshell Park in Exhibition Place will belong to beer and everything connected to the drink. Tens of thousands of beer lovers will get a chance to savour more than 100 different beer brands and specials from Canada and all around the world. Visitors can take part in tutored tastings, learn a few tricks during grilling demonstrations, and taste true southern barbecue.
10. Edgefest (July 31)
Edgefest is back and with its ambition to get as close to the feeling of the legendary 1960s festivals as possible. The most anticipated names on the line-up include folk rock heroes the Lumineers, the Seattle-based Band of Horses, the Neighbourhood, Vancouver locals Mother Mother, and many more. Edgefest has earned its name as a unique meeting place for bands and their fans, so don’t miss your chance this summer. Tickets for the festival are $63.25, and the event takes place at Downsview Park, rain or shine. Gates open at 11:00 A.M.