Top 10 Things To Do in the GTA this Summer

Enjoy summer in the GTA with this list from the 2022 Essential Summer Playbook.

Summer is here in the GTA and along with more sunshine and days spent strolling along the waterfront, it also means our highly anticipated Summer Guide is back (cue happy dance)! We want you to have the best summer ever, so we scoured the internet to curate a jam-packed list of the hottest things to do across the GTA this sunny season.

You’re bound to find loads of fun activities to keep you entertained throughout the summer with our guide in hand! Featuring classic summer staples like the CNE and TIFF, plus an assortment of unique adventures like the Oasis ZooRun and Lavazza IncluCity Festival.

1. Toronto Pride. June 1-30. The long-awaited return of Toronto Pride Month and the Pride Festival will feature all your signature favourites, including the annual Trans March, Dyke March, Bi+ Pride Programming, Blockorama by Blackness Yes, Pride Parade, StreetFair, and multiple stages featuring over 300 2SLGBTQ+ artists.

2. Lavazza IncluCity Festival. June 27-July 16. Toronto’s Distillery Historic District will be turned into an open-air cinema village! Outdoor theatres and patios will line Trinity Street and a new innovative theatre space will offer a magical vantage point for festival goers. The festival will showcase heartwarming films, captivating installations, visual art exhibits, panel discussions, gourmet tastings, and live performances!

3. Beaches International Jazz Festival. July 2-24. This music festival showcases internationally acclaimed jazz performers, local talent and “new generation” jazz musicians. Now celebrating its 34th anniversary, the festival has blossomed into a month-long mid-summer event that attracts hundreds of thousands of fans and promotes Canadian jazz excellence.

4. The FRIENDS Experience: The One in Toronto. July 14-January 2, 2023. Featuring 12 set recreations, iconic props and costumes from the hit TV show. Yorkdale Shopping Centre. $44.50.

5. The Fair at CNE. Aug 19-Sept 5. Let’s go to the Ex! The Fair at the CNE, affectionately known as “the Ex,” is embraced annually as an end-of-summer ritual by more than 1.4 million visitors who reflect the rich diversity of Toronto and the region. Head on down if you want to enjoy games, concerts, rides, food, live music and more!

7. Oasis ZooRun. Offered virtually (Aug 17-Sept 17) or in person (Sept 17). Lace up your shoes and join the 2022 Oasis ZooRun in support of the Toronto Zoo! With a 10K, 5K, CubRun (1K) & Tiger Trek Challenge (15K), there’s an event for everyone to enjoy. Over the years, the ZooRun has raised over $573,000 to support the Zoo’s crucial wildlife conservation work—and you can help them raise even more! .

6. Catch a film at TIFF. Sept 8-18. As summer comes to an end, make it memorable at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). The festival offers 11 days of international and Canadian cinema, special events featuring some of the biggest names in film, and TIFF’s Industry Conference, offering diverse and innovative perspectives on the art and business of film.

8. Celebrations at Canada’s Wonderland. This summer, get your thrills at Canada’s Wonderland with roller coasters, games and special events. Along with rides and thrills, experience signature events like Celebration Canada, Brew & BBQ, KidZfest and a scrumptious global tasting series.

9. Bang Bang Ice Cream. Cool down with delicious local ice-cream this summer—listed in the top 10 for Toronto’s best. Grab a cone or their famous ice-cream sandwiches and head over to nearby Trinity Bellwoods Park to relax under some trees and enjoy your tasty treat.

10. Burger JABS. A burger pop-up that started out doing pop-ups in backyards is now finally opening its very own permanent physical restaurant. Burger JABS has become known for their smash burgers, serving them at festivals like Street Eats Market (bonus: check out their special event list for more fun celebrations like Fried Chicken Fest and Ice Cream Fest!) and the Eats Night Market. This is a must-try spot for delicious eats this summer.

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