Even though we’re living in the biggest city in Canada, doesn’t mean that you have to break the bank to have a good time. In July, there will be dozens of festivals, events, and activities around town that you can go to for free. Take advantage of those opportunities and try something different. Here are the best 10 free events to check out in Toronto.
Toronto Fringe Festival (July 5-16)
Experience the rich arts culture in Toronto by checking out the Fringe Festival. They offer many free and ticketed events. If you’ve never done playwriting, life drawing, tie-dyeing, or button-making before, this is your chance to discover your inner artist. Browse all the free Fringe Festival events here.
Beaches Jazz Festival (July 7-30)
This isn’t just one, two, or even three festivals, but six different festivals occurring over the span of three weeks. Come listen to good music, take part in music workshops and experience different sides of jazz at multiple venues around Toronto’s east end, all for the low cost of zero dollars. Plus, a fest isn’t a fest without good food and drink. Grab a glass (or two — we’re not judging) of Two Oceans and pair it with eats from one of the many restaurants in the city’s east end; Tabule, The Ceili Cottage and Breakwall BBQ & Smokehouse are our favourites!
Taste of Lawrence (July 7-9)
Although downtown Toronto is the epicentre of activity, there are some exciting things happening in uptown as well that shouldn’t be missed. Travel north to check out Scarborough’s largest street festival that runs from July 7-9. You’ll be able to taste flavours from every cultural community in the GTA, listen to live entertainment, and browse over 130 vendor booths.
The great thing about Toronto is that there are multiple outdoor spaces to take advantage of, and during warmer nights, some of those outdoor spaces also show movies! It’s the perfect excuse to get outdoors and hang with friends. So round up the gang, grab a picnic blanket and popcorn, and check out this list of all the free films showing in parks across Toronto – there’s one almost every day of the week!
TD Salsa on St. Clair (July 8-9)
Kick-start the summer with a little Latin flavour at the 13th annual TD Salsa on St. Clair Street Festival. This is a festival where you do more than just eat and watch performances – you’ll be busting a move as you take part in Canada’s hottest salsa party of the year. There are other cultural events throughout the month of July as well, including free dance lessons, exhibitions and concerts. See the schedule of events here.
Maker Extravaganza 2017 (July 8-9)
For one weekend, the city’s brightest and creative minds will converge at the Toronto Reference Library to present their latest projects and share ideas. It’s a celebration of technology, creativity and DIY spirit in Toronto. If you’re the type to “oooh” and “ahhh” over textiles or robotics, this is the event for you. Get more details about the event here.
Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition (July 14-16)
This is Canada’s largest, longest running juried contemporary outdoor art fair. The event will showcase works by over 320 contemporary visual artists and makers in various mediums. You don’t need to be knowledgeable about art to be able to appreciate the eye-catching aesthetics and the talent of budding artists.
Night it Up! 2017 (July 14-16)
When the pungent odour of smelly tofu greets your nose, you’ll know that you’ve come to the right place for the annual Night It Up! festival. This annual night market event is entirely run by youth, and since youngsters know how to have fun, they’ll make sure the festival is a blast. Admittance and live entertainment is free, and for a couple of extra bucks you can enjoy delicious Asian-inspired treats like matcha shaved ice and ramen burgers, and fun carnival games.
North American Indigenous Games (July 16-23)
Come support the 5000 Indigenous youth athletes as they compete in 14 sport competitions in the spirit of athleticism and good sportsmanship. You can attend the competitions for free, as well as enjoy the cultural festival and Indigenous marketplace to learn more about the diverse Indigenous communities across the Americas.
BIG on Bloor Festival (July 22-23)
A huge chunk of Bloor Street will be transformed into a sprawling marketplace on July 22-23 for the annual BIG on Bloor Festival. This year they’ll launch two new art initiatives and an ecology hub, in addition to their usual arts and cultural programming. Festival goers will also be able to enjoy an array of foods from around the world.
Featured Image: Fringe Festival via Instagram/@toronto_fringe
Did we miss any of the best free Toronto events happening this month? Share them in the comment section.
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