The Top Festivals in Toronto to Catch on Your Holiday

posted January 21, 2019


festivals in toronto

You’d expect to find a lot on in Canada’s biggest and busiest city. Toronto doesn’t disappoint as it hosts dozens and dozens of festivals throughout the year. That means whenever you choose to visit, you’ll find a vibrant way to experience the best culture in the city dubbed “Canada’s Downtown”.

Toronto is lively and multicultural with a passion for food and the arts. Its festivals reflect this, celebrating everything from music to craft beer. The friendly locals and open-armed vibe of the city will make you want to dive right it.

Take a look at our pick of the best festivals in Toronto throughout the year and start planning when you’re going to join the party!

 

Spring Festivals

 

Canada Blooms

8th March to 17th March, 2019

See in spring with the largest flower and garden festival in Canada. You can stroll acres of gardens created by landscape designers and horticulturalists in a dazzling display of colour.

 

Hot Docs International Documentary Festival

25th April to 5th May, 2019

North America’s largest documentary festival showcases cutting-edge documentaries from around the globe. This is where beauty and hard-hitting storytelling meet.

 

Canadian Music Week

6th May to 12th May, 2019

1000 bands will play at more than 60 venues across the city in this festival. With a focus on new and emerging Canadian artists, as well as talent from the US, you’ll discover plenty of new music to keep your toes tapping.

 

Tastemaker Toronto

May 2019 (dates TBC)

There’s no better setting for a two-day foodie feast than the stunning stone brickwork of Toronto’s historic Kiln Building. Inside, Toronto’s hottest restaurant chefs will serve up their best dishes alongside the fare of dozens of fine food producers.

 

Summer Festivals

 

Toronto Pride

24th June, 2019

One of the biggest Pride parades in the world promises to be a riot of colour as it fills Toronto’s streets with music and celebrations. Beyond the parade, you’ll find Toronto’s best attractions have special Pride parties in the evening – DJs at A Night at the AQUEERium, anyone?

 

 

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NXNE: North by Northeast Festival

7th June to 16th June

At a dozen venues across the city, you’ll find world-famous music stars, new and emerging acts as well as gaming and innovation displays. One of the best summer festivals yet.

 

 

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Luminato Festival

7th June to 23rd June

Each June, the bright and beautiful Luminato festival transforms public spaces across the city. Hang out underneath the stunning artwork and enjoy a free lightshow.

 

Toronto Fringe Festival

July 2019 (dates TBC)

Give Edinburgh a run for its money with more than 155 indie shows of all genres ready to be discovered across the city. You’ll find comedy, plays, dance and even productions for kids.

 

Summerlicious

July 2019 (dates TBC)

More than 200 restaurants across the city will take part in this incredible opening-up of Toronto’s best gastronomy. Affordable fixed menus will let you sample the top restaurants in the city.

 

Toronto Festival of Beer

26th to 28th July, 2019

If there’s one thing Toronto does well, it’s craft beer. Also known as Beerfest, the festival will celebrate the best of Ontario’s and Canada’s rich brewing history.

 

Autumn Festivals

 

 

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Toronto International Film Festival

5th to 15th September, 2019

Described as “the biggest and brightest public film festival on the planet”! World premieres and cutting-edge films descend on Toronto in September. If you love film or just fancy spotting a celeb, this one’s for you!

 

The Word on the Street Festival

September 2019 (dates TBC)

This free festival champions the written word and the best in Canadian and worldwide literature. Keep an eye out for your favourite author on stage.

 

Toronto Oktoberfest

September 2019 (dates TBC)

Experience a taste of Munich in Toronto! This fun festival features a huge beerhall, or Festhalle, filled with traditional Bavarian dancers, polka bands, and of course, beer!

 

 

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Nuit Blanche Toronto

September 2019 (dates TBC)

For a few special nights, Toronto’s streets and public spaces will be transformed. Experience mind-bending installations, breath-taking live performances and stunning artworks.

 

Winter Festivals

 

The Toronto Christmas Market

November / December 2019 (dates TBC)

For a whole month in Toronto’s Victoria-era Distillery Historic District, a quaint German-style Christmas market transforms the cobbled streets. Come here for artisanal food and gifts, and your mulled wine fix.

 

Cavalcade of Lights

November 2019 (dates TBC)

Kick-off the holiday season with an explosion of light and sound! This Toronto tradition has existed nearly 50 years and turns the lighting of the city’s official Christmas tree into an event with ice skating, DJs, circus acts and a music concert.

 

 

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The Toronto Light Festival

18th January to 3rd March, 2019

Works by local and international artists light up the already-cool Distillery Historic District. Punctuate your tour of the illuminated artworks with stop-offs at independent eateries and breweries.

 

Winterlicious

25th January to 7th February, 2019

When the snowy weather means all you want to do is comfort eat, this festival is absolutely perfect. For two yummy weeks, nearly 200 participating restaurants across Toronto offer up value-for-money fixed menus to give you a taste of the city’s gastronomy.

 

Tempted to visit?

If you fancy seeing one of Toronto’s exciting festivals for yourself, book a Toronto City Escape Holiday with us.

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