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31 Things to Do in Toronto in the 31 Days of August

We're in the stay at home and shower three times before noon days of summer. Or, you know, not. ‘Cause instead of giving in to August in the city, why not get out and enjoy it instead? No matter what you’re looking for, we promise it’s happening in Toronto in August

Enter the dog days of summer.

The hot, suffocating, lazy days of summer. The stay at home and shower three times before noon days of summer.

Or, you know, not.

‘Cause instead of giving in to August in the city, why not get out and enjoy it instead? No matter what you’re looking for, we promise it’s happening in Toronto in August. So we thought we’d give you 31 reasons to look forward to the next 31 days.

You now officially don’t get to be bored.

If You Like Beer

Roundhouse Craft Beer Fest (August 9-10)
In its third year returning, this festival takes place outdoors to allow participants the opportunity to enjoy a cold one in the sun – for an entire weekend. Expect food trucks, grass to pass out, err, nap on, and more than 20 of our province’s finest craft brewers.

Session Muskoka (August 2)
Get out of town for the long weekend and hit this beer festival in Bracebridge, Ontario. You’ll find over 30 Ontario craft breweries on site and a lake or two as well.  

If You Like Street Food

Taste of the Danforth (August 8-10)
There’s no way you haven’t seen the crowds gather for this multicultural celebration of Toronto. 1.5 million people attended last year, and as Canada’s largest street festival, the sheer diversity of the vendors and food supplied makes it one not to miss. The 21st annual festival, this year is gearing up to be bigger then ever before, with more free activities and more food vendors.

Jerkfest (August 9-10)
A celebration of jerk cookery is hitting Etobicoke this August. Previously voted one of Toronto’s top 100 festivals by Festivals and Events Ontario, Jerkfest is now in its 13th year running. Head west and check out everything from jerk chicken to pork, rabbit and more.

If You Like Competition

Rogers Cup (August 2-10)
Your biennial chance to see stars Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray, Rafael Nadal, and Milos Raonic in person has come. The top male tennis players in the world are all bringing their A game to Toronto to battle it out for a cool $600,000 first-place prize.

Foam Run (August 16)
This is not an event for the faint of heart. Ignore the cute name. A 5K race full of obstacles designed to slow you down, including mud, foam, climbing, jumping, and sliding, is no joke.

Blue Jays Bobblehead Day (August 24)
Even if you’re only a part-time Blue Jays fan, receiving a free bobblehead upon arrival is a pretty sweet deal. Over 40,000 people will flock to the Rogers Centre for the chance to get one. Whether you’re going for the game, or just the six-inch figurine, we suggest you go early. Only the first 20,000 fans through the gate will get the collectible – don’t say we didn’t warn you.

Tough Mudder (August 16-17)
Attention all fitness junkies, this is the ultimate test of mental and physical strength, not to mention teamwork. Tough Mudder is designed to be a 10-12 mile obstacle course probably desgined by Darwin – as in, only the strong survive. If you’re reading this from your couch and your fingers are covered in potato chip dust, this might be one to skip.

FIFA Under 20 Women’s World Cup (August 5)
As the first country to stage the tournament twice, you know we’ll be pulling out all the stops. (And no, that’s not a goalie joke). The Canadian women’s national under-20 soccer team will be taking part and showcasing what we like to consider some of the best up-and-coming soccer talent in the world. We’re going to go ahead and appropriate #WeTheNorth for this one.

If You Like Concerts 

John Legend (August 8)
You may recognize him from his Billboard Hot 100 number-one single All of Me, his nine Grammy Awards, or from a decade ago. JL comes to the Air Canada Centre as a part of his All of Me Tour. Come listen to the Legend (see what we did there?) himself.

KISS and Def Leppard (August 12)
Do we really need to say much about legendary rock bands KISS and Def Leppard joining the stage? This bound-to-be-sold-out show is hitting Toronto as a leg of their Summer Tour. Get your face paint ready.

Arcade Fire (August 29)
The Canadian indie rockers join the stage this August as a result of heavy demand for tickets to previously announced dates. And they might just be the biggest band in the world right now. So they’ve got that going for them, which is nice.

If You Like Good Food 

Summer Sundays @ Malaparte (August 17)
Sit on the rooftop terrace, sip Champagne, enjoy a live DJ, and taste the delectable food prepared by O&B chefs. This is no regular brunch, this is a Notable brunch, so have another cocktail – after all, it’s five o’clock somewhere.

Pan American Food Festival (August 8-10)
A celebration of food from the Western Hemisphere is upon us. A visual art exhibition, a Totalmente Tamales Competition, a Wine and Spirit Salon, and sports tournaments don’t even begin to describe all the events taking place here. With 20 Pan American chefs from different countries, you’ll quite literally be walking your taste buds on a tour of half the world.

The Toronto Underground Market (August 10)
A social food market that provides a platform for chefs, entrepreneurs and cooks to experiment and present new food ideas. This August TUM is taking on brunch, so forget your traditional eggs and bacon and get ready to be amazed.

TO Food Fest (August 10)
Returning for its third year, TO Food Fest is bringing both the best and the most promising up-and-coming chefs to one location. Featuring the city’s top burgers, oysters, milk tea, and more, this festival is built for the hungry. Come taste food from one of your favourite chefs, or find out what the next big chef has in store for your palate.

Hot & Spicy Food Festival (August 15-17)
Like it hot? We do. So join us at a food fest completely dedicated to the spicier side of life. An international Iron Chef competition is also sure to keep you on your toes – but this is clearly about seeing if you can (literally) take the heat.

If You Like Music Festivals

OVO Fest (August 3-4)
The annual music festival hosted by Drake where the majority of the guest musicians and DJs are a surprise. Last year included Lil Wayne, Kayne West, and TLC. This year Outkast is headlining, which means the surprises will also be huge.

Mad Decent Block Party (August 15)
The electronic music festival is returning to Toronto bringing some much-loved artists with them. This year’s festival features Chance the Rapper, Diplo, Flosstradamus, Grand Theft, Zeds Dead, and more.

Osheaga (August 1-3)
One of the most anticipated festivals of the summer has returned bringing headliners Outkast, Jack White, Arctic Monkeys, and more. It may be a trek for some of us Toronto folk, but this lineup’s worth it. And a weekend in MTL isn’t too bad either.

Boots and Hearts Festival (July 31-August 3)
As one of the biggest country festivals to hit Toronto (even though, technically, it doesn’t really), Boots and Hearts is coming back this August and bringing some of the biggest names in country music along for the ride. This lineup just keeps growing and now includes Luke Bryan, Blake Shelton, Toby Keith and more.

Veld (August 2 & 3)
With nearly 50,000 fans expected to show up, this is a festival no electronic music lover should miss. The festival is preparing for headliners (see: international superstars) Calvin Harris and Armin Van Burren. Are you?

Irie Music Fest (August 1-4)
A festival dedicated to the chiller side of music. Although it conflicts with many other music fests over the August long weekend, Irie stands out for its celebration of culturally diverse artists. Featuring music genres of reggae, Latin, African, and more, this is where you’re going to want to go to take it easy.  

ILESONIQ (August 15-16)
Montreal is welcoming the first music festival of its kind, which concentrates primarily on EDM. Although it is its first year, the lineup already has tickets flying off the proverbial stands. With DJ Tiesto, Iggy Azalea, Zeds Dead, and more, this is the MTL weekend for you if you didn’t make it to Osheaga.

If You Like To Be Wowed 

Cirque du Soleil: KURIOS (August 28-October 5)
Our favourite modern circus has released yet another show, Kurios: Cabinet of Curiosities. And while this latest production isn’t making its Toronto debut until the end of August, we’d suggest picking up your tickets now if you want to see what happens when Cirque cleans out their closet.

Sail-in Cinema (August 16-18)
The ultimate movie going experience has arrived – all you have to do is choose between watching from water or dry land. That’s right, bring your boat into the harbour and watch the films as they’re shown from a barge, or bring a picnic blanket and watch from the shore. This outdoor movie theatre offers a more unique experience than Waterworld. Though that’s not actually that difficult…

Wakestock (August 9-11)
As one of the largest wakeboard events in the world, Wakestock is truly an immersive experience. Not only does it provide an astounding wakeboard show for audiences, but it also hosts a music festival simultaneously. Wakes up, dude.

Buskerfest (August 22-25)
It’s one of Ontario’s largest street performers festivals as well as one of the last major festivals in Toronto this summer. So it isn’t that surprising that this festival is full of surprises and memorable experiences. And the fact that it’s hosted by Epliepsy Canada, making it their largest charity event of the year, is just a bonus.

Canadian National Exhibition (August 15-Sept. 1)
You know what this 18-day exhibition offers: days filled with parades, live music and entertainment, food, games, and amusement park rides. With activities for all ages, the Ex is one of North America’s largest annual fairs.

If You Like Pretty Things 

Artfest (August 29-September 1)
Come take in some culture while walking the cobblestone streets in the historical Distillery District. This outdoor art festival is emerging as one of Toronto’s favourite summer art shows. With 75 artists providing a range of jewelry, pottery, food, and live music, you have no excuse to miss out. Especially when admission is free.

Toronto Caribbean Carnival Parade (August 2)
The main attraction of the carnival brings vibrancy, colour, and life to the streets of Toronto. With over a million people set to attend, make sure to get there early to get a good view of the amazing show.


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Maggie Sylvester