Welcome to the July edition of the We’ve Been Expecting You eNewsletter – a monthly newsletter customized for members of the hospitality, tourism and service sectors. Each newsletter includes:

  • an e-guide to events for quick reference
  • helpful information on what there is to see and do in Toronto
  • details on the We’ve Been Expecting You initiative

In this issue:


Below are just a few of the July events taking place in Toronto this month! See a more complete list of what is happening.


Canada Day Events


Celebrate Canada Day at Mel Lastman Square

Attendees at Mel Lastman Square eventJoin the family-fun on Sunday, July 1, as Toronto celebrates Canada’s 151th birthday at Mel Lastman Square presented by Tim Hortons. The festivities run from 5 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. featuring the funky soul grooves of Kristin Fung, the spoken word, drum and melody of Los Poetas and the R&B blues of Shakura S’Aida. Visitors can also enjoy the DJ sounds of Brianna Olson-Pitawanakwat, Sean Sax and Nino Brown, a participatory sidewalk mural, hula hoops, as well as free face painting. The Canada Day celebrations conclude with vibrant fireworks at 10:15 p.m.

For more information on Canada Day visit toronto.ca/canadaday.


Canada Day at Fort York

children on historic cannonVisit Fort York for a Canada Day celebration packed with family-friendly activities, demonstrations, tours and performances. The Fort York Guard will perform demonstrations of musketry, artillery, and fife and drum music and children can enjoy music classes and a scavenger hunt. Volunteer historic cooks will demonstrate period-specific cooking methods and recipes, allowing visitors to see, hear and taste what life was like for the Fort’s early 19th century inhabitants.

Event takes place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free. Further details.


Canada Day at Mackenzie House

Historic Canadian FlagCelebrate Canada’s birthday with a visit to Mackenzie House, the home of Toronto’s first mayor! Visitors can use the 1845 press to print their own Maple Leaf postcard.

Visit between 12 p.m. and 5 p.m. Regular admission applies. More information.


Canada Day at Scarborough Museum

child holding Canadian FlagScarborough Museum hosts their annual Canada Day celebration in Thomson Memorial Park, featuring spinning, weaving and leatherworking demonstrations, historic treats, a vendor market and the annual pie-eating contest. Guests can visit the Scarborough Historical Society Archives tent and browse through archival aerial photos, maps, and information on the history of Scarborough.

Events take place between 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free. Visit website for more information.


Festivals and Events


Toronto Caribbean Carnival

logo Toronto Caribbean CarnivalThe 2018 Peeks Toronto Caribbean Carnival, Canada’s celebration of freedom and diversity, returns with events for everyone that include celebrations, festivities, and parties for the 51st year. Events, such as the Junior Carnival Parade and Family Day with the Grace Junior Chef Competition, continue to attract families for the entire day to the Scarborough neighborhood.

The Grand Parade, North America’s largest Caribbean-style Carnival, continues to draw millions to the City of Toronto to enjoy the culture, music, and art of the festival.

For more information, visit the website: torontocarnival.ca.


Toronto Outdoor Art Fair

Tents, attenddes, art fair, Nathan Phillips Square
Photo credit: 2017 event, by Andrew Williamson.

Canada’s largest and longest-running contemporary outdoor art fair returns to Nathan Phillips Square July 6 to 8. Toronto Outdoor Art Fair (TOAF) is a free event featuring over 360 artists. TOAF brings an array of programming including Art Talks where visitors can catch the exuberant Tiffany Pratt, as she shares her love of art or join a walking Art Tour to meet the talented artists of the fair. Henderson Brewing Co.’s Beer Garden takes over the stage at Nathan Phillips Square while Karen Kaeja of Kaeja d’Dance premieres a special contemporary dance piece, Calibrate.

If that’s not enough, there are nested exhibitions, adventures in photo darkrooms, exciting Power Kids workshops, and a special collecting program for young art lovers to keep attendees inspired and stimulated.

Hours: July 6th and 7th from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; July 8 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Visit torontooutdoor.art for the full schedule and programming!


Culinary Events


Experience Delectable Meals for Exceptional Value with Summerlicious

Summerlicious artwork - sushi, chop sticksToronto’s favourite foodie event returns from July 6 to 22!  Summerlicious, produced by the City of Toronto features tasty three-course prix fixe menus at 200 participating restaurants. Savour the fresh flavours of summer at three price categories: lunch menus at $23, $28 and $33 and dinner menus at $33, $43 and $53.

Visit toronto.ca/summerlicious for restaurant and menu details to plan your delicious booking now.


Pizza Fest

Variety of pizza, pastaMama Mia! For the first time ever, more than 20 of Toronto’s best pizza joints and Italian hotspots will come together to celebrate good eats and Italian culture at Pizza Fest!

Taking place at Ontario Place from Friday, July 20th to Sunday, July 23rd, this mouth-watering event is set to host a city-wide showdown that will crown Toronto’s best slice, although it’s not all about pizza. Italian favourites like fresh pasta, meatball sandwiches, calzones and ravioli will be in abundance to pair with classic Italian wines and the king of Italian cocktails, The Negroni.

To further the authentic Italian experience, guests will enjoy free hands-on workshops like pizza-making classes and wine tastings. You can also expect to see vendors like Pizzeria Defina and Noce Restaurant!

Don’t miss out on the tastiest event of the summer! Tickets available at www.pizzafestival.ca.


Union Summer

Union Summer artwork - woman with sunglasses, drinking through strawUnion Summer-Presented by TD returns to the Sir John A. Macdonald Plaza from July 1 to August 19 this year bringing an eclectic offering of food vendors, musicians, film screenings and live performances to Union Station.

The market will showcase ‘Where Toronto is Going’ with a curated mix of vendors who have already opened or soon to be revealed inside Union Station as part of the retail development of the station. Union Summer-Presented by TD runs 50 days straight, 7 days a week with FREE programming on the TD Stage showcasing festival previews, free movie nights, World Cup finals and local arts and cultural organizations featuring the spirit of Toronto at its gateway.

For the daily events schedule, please visit torontounion.ca.


Toronto’s Festival of Beer

logo - Toronto Festival of BeerToronto’s Festival of Beer, presented by the Beer Store features over 400+ brews, seriously good eats, live entertainment, and plenty of #BeerLove from July 26 to 29 at Bandshell Park, Exhibition Place. It’s Canada’s premier celebration of the golden beverage.

The 2018 edition of the festival will feature performances happening on the OLG Bandshell Stage which include: Broken Social Scene and The Rural Alberta Advantage on Thursday, July 26; Ludacris on Friday, July 27; Dwayne Gretzky on Saturday, July 28; I Mother Earth and Finger Eleven on Sunday, July 29.

For more information or to purchase tickets, please visit beerfestival.ca.


Getting Around


TTC Services Will Get You to Toronto Hotspots this July!

Bus in front of Union Station. Market in background.Looking for something to do in the city? Hop on the TTC and never miss out on any of the exciting concerts, festivals and events this summer!

Take the TTC services to summer events this July including:

  • TD Salsa on St. Clair Summer Festival on July 7 and 8
  • Beaches International Jazz Festival from July 6 to 29
  • Honda Indy Toronto from July 13 to 15

The TTC’s new 175 Bluffer’s Park bus route connects Kennedy Station on Line 2 to Bluffer’s Park and Bluffer’s Park Beach. This seasonal trial service operates from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. on weekends and holidays, until Saturday, October 6.

Get around the city with an adult cash fare of $3.25, seniors and students pay $2.10. Children 12 and under always ride for free. Start planning your trips today at ttc.ca!


Neighbourhood and Community Events


Taste of Lawrence

Crowd at festival, tentsTaste of Lawrence is a three-day food and cultural festival that takes place in the Wexford Heights BIA on July 6, 7 and 8. Enjoy the most enticing flavours from over 130 street vendors, midway rides, main stage and family stage with entertainment all weekend long.

For more information, visit tasteoflawrence.com.


Visit Toronto’s First Heritage Plaque District – Dundas + Carlaw!

Dundas + Carlaw infographicWith a rich industrial past, Dundas + Carlaw has seen a recent transformation. Now a vibrant creative and cultural community, this Toronto neighbourhood once housed the company that made the first bottle caps, and the factory that produced the first plastic toys in Canada.

Comprising ten new plaques and a self-guided tour, the Dundas + Carlaw area is the first in Toronto to be named a Heritage Plaque District. 5,000 tour brochures are available throughout the area, at local libraries and community centres, for residents and visitors to discover the fascinating stories and unique relationships between businesses and people that, over time, resulted in this distinct community.

Over 500 Heritage Toronto Plaques are located throughout Toronto, highlighting the city’s diverse and often little-known stories. Heritage Toronto holds several plaque presentations throughout the year. To learn where you can get your Dundas + Carlaw brochure, and for more about the plaques program, see the Heritage Toronto website.


Play the Parks is back for the 6th season!

performer with mic, logoDowntown Yonge BIA invites you to sit back relax and enjoy the music of Toronto artists at free concerts in the Downtown Yonge BIA district all summer long.

With 50 free concerts happening at seven different outdoor locations, the 2018 concert series curated by Canada’s Music Incubator, has something for every musical taste! Play the Parks is presented by TD Bank and is brought to you by the businesses in the Downtown Yonge Business Improvement Area.

For more information and artist line-ups, visit, downtownyonge.com/playtheparks or follow on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, @DowntownYonge.


July Heats Up in Old Town Toronto

band performing in park, fountainThere are many free activities and performances in July in Old Town Toronto. Berczy Beats brings lunchtime music to Berczy Park every Wednesday (11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.).

In St. James Park, lunchtime yoga is presented on Wednesdays from 12 p.m. to 12:45 p.m. so bring your mat and join in.

Music in St. James Park features the Venuti String Quartet with a special performance by Opera Atelier on July 5th, Latin jazz artist Eliana Cuevas on July 12th, and Bertie and the Gents performs at the Swing Night on July 19th which includes a free swing dance class.  All concerts are from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

The 2018 Academy Award-winning Best Animated Feature film Coco will be presented on July 26th from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. as part of Movies in St. James Park.

Lastly, keep an eye out for the historical re-enactors and artisans every Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Market Street and around Old Town.  Go to oldtowntoronto.ca for full details.


The Junction Farmers’ Market is Proud to Present the Junction Night Market

logo junction night marketA community celebration showcasing local food, drink, and music in The Junction and surrounding area! Featuring prepared food vendors and craft beverage artisans from their weekly farmers’ market, local restaurants, breweries, cideries and distilleries. Visit the website or Facebook Event for full details including vendor and musician listings!

Proceeds from the Junction Night Market go towards helping local people gain access to fresh and healthy food, including members of the community through programs such as the Junction Farmers

Market Food Voucher Program in partnership with The Four Villages Community Health Centre. Last year the market was able to help over 160 families receive access to healthy food through the voucher program.

Food and drink tokens are only $5 each! Cash only. Visit junctionmarket.ca/night-market for more information.


BIG on Bloor Festival

performer in a colourful tent
Image info: Credit: Krystle Merrow. Sydanie performing at the 10th Annual BIG on Bloor Festival next to Lido Pimienta’s stage installation.

Arts. Culture. Bloordale. BIG on Bloor Festival brings urban sounds, creativity and performance to Bloordale, one of Toronto’s most diverse neighbourhoods. Saturday July 21st from noon to midnight, a car-free Bloor Street from Dufferin to Lansdowne comes to life with participatory art, activities, live music, fanfare, shops, curated vendors and great eats. Experience site-specific installations by celebrated Toronto artists Ness Lee, Camille Jodoin-Eng, Janine Miedzik, and Polaris Prize winner Lido Pimienta, plus murals by Brent Hardisty (Niiwin Binesi) and Lauren Pirie. Don’t miss “dancehall-inflected R&B” by Bonjay, garage rock princess Luna Li, Brandon Valdivia’s solo project Mas Aya, Juliana Flores, Jeff Burke, TRiSH, collective doesntmatteritsokay and more. All this alongside curated family-forward Card-Yard, ParkSite by How We Live in Cities, and FIGMENT Toronto. Experience the best the neighbourhood has to offer, from craft brews to vegan treats! Artsite x Bloordale extends throughout the week.

Learn more at bigonbloorfestival.com and @bigonbloorfest.


Parks, Sports and Recreation


Skating Returns to The Bentway

logo The Bentway CITEFollowing its popular winter skating trail, The Bentway will trade ice for concrete with CITE, a contemporary art installation and skatepark. Toronto’s nonprofit Build for Bokma will construct original, interactive sculptures, providing a landscape for skaters to show off the artistry of their sport.

CITE’s debut weekend will be jam-packed with programming like DJ sets, a marketplace of local skateboard merchandise, pop-up film screenings, a beer garden with tasty treats and ping pong from SPiN, skate demos and best trick showcases, open skates, and a meet and greet with the pros.

Programming continues throughout the season with skating tutorials and DIY workshops offered on weekends. Free admission – June 30 to August 12, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. For more information, please visit TheBentway.ca/CITE.


Island Getaway in the City: Toronto Island Park

Toronto Island FerryVisit an island getaway in the city. There’s so much to do on Toronto Island Park. Visitors can have a picnic, explore the William Meany cedar maze and Franklin’s Children Garden, take in views of the City and more! Toronto Island Park has some of the best swimming beaches around including four of the City’s Blue Flag beaches. Cool off at Centre Island Beach, Gibraltar Point Beach, Hanlan’s Point Beach and Ward’s Island Beach. It’s easy to get to the Toronto Island Park by ferry. Ferries leave daily from the Jack Layton Ferry Terminal, located at the foot of Bay Street at Queens Quay.

For more information and ferry schedules visit toronto.ca/islands.


Take a Swing at Fling Golf

Toronto has five award-winning golf courses. Each offers a unique experience for players of every skill level. Open seven days a week until mid-November, it’s easy to fit a round into your day. Looking to try something new? Fling golf is a new sport played on a golf course with a fling stick and a golf ball. It’s scored the same way as golf, without having to carry clubs. Fling golf is now available at our Dentonia and Tam O’Shanter golf courses.

More information about the City’s golf courses and fling golf is available at toronto.ca/golf.


Cool Off in One of Toronto’s Many Outdoor Pools

Outdoor poolCool down at a City of Toronto outdoor pool or splash pad this summer! Toronto offers 58 outdoor pools, 100 wading pools and 93 splash pads at locations across the city. All outdoor pools and wading pools are on their full-time summer schedules and will remain open with varying schedules until Labour Day weekend. Each wading pool will operate on individual schedules until September 2, weather permitting. Over 90 splash pads are open across the city and will remain open until September 16. Splash pads operate daily from 9 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. and are activated through push-button features. Supervision or swimming ability requirements are in place for children under 10 years of age. Leisure swimming is free for all ages.

More information about pool hours, operations and locations, is available online at toronto.ca/swim or by calling 311.


Film and Literature Events

Summer in Japan at TIFF Bell Lightbox

Image info: Makioka Sisters (Janus).
Image info: Makioka Sisters (Janus).

Running July 5 to September 1 at TIFF Bell Lightbox, Summer in Japan is a TIFF Cinematheque programme that will showcase 30 of the country’s most celebrated films, making it an essential primer on Japanese cinema.

From samurai epics to intimate family dramas and every genre in between, this vast survey includes not only some of the best-known titles by the five most celebrated Japanese auteurs – Mizoguchi, Ozu, Kurosawa, Ichikawa, and Naruse – but also the stars of the Japanese New Wave, as well as rarely-screened yet immensely gifted directors.

Curated by TIFF Cinematheque Senior Programmer James Quandt, and co-presented by The Japan Foundation, this cinematic feast features 16 titles in 35mm, two digital restorations, and several introductions by guest speakers, including Japanese film expert Linda Ehrlich, and celebrated Canadian novelist and screenwriter Kerri Sakamoto. Tickets and all details can be found at tiff.net/japan


ReelHeART International Film and Screenplay Festival

logo wordmark poster artworkLove Film…?

The ReelHeART International Film and Screenplay Festival is a worldwide, fiercely independent, film festival held in Toronto, the 1st week of July. Established for over 14 years, and run with ‘real heart’ ever since, they screen films from every genre, and every country.

Filmmakers and screenwriters often attend ReelHeART Week, enjoying screenings, live script reads, professional development functions; as well as networking opportunities with actors, plus emerging talent wanting a serious career in the Film Industry.

The Programming style arranges blocks of shorts and features screened together according to their themes. They also host very competitive Screenplay Competitions for Short, Feature and TV Pilot Scripts.

2018 Films and Screenplay Premieres are from USA, Canada, China, France, Brazil, Finland, Austria, Kenya, Italy, Australia, and the United Kingdom. ReelHeART only screens Film and Documentary Premieres from the best in independent filmmakers from around the block and around the world.


Open Roof Festival (ORF)

Open Roof Festival logoToronto’s Open Roof Festival (ORF), celebrating an eclectic mix of film and music, returned for its ninth season on June 20 kicking off 10 weeks of Wednesday night screenings. The Festival offers urbanites an al fresco take on cinema from across the globe, paired with live music by emerging artists in a variety of genres – a combination that has established ORF’s reputation as Toronto’s ultimate meeting spot.

ORF has moved to the city’s newest cultural hotspot – Lower Junction in Toronto’s Junction Triangle neighborhood – where it’s just steps away from the soon-opening Museum of Contemporary Art Toronto Canada (MOCA). The Festival has partnered with Toben Food by Design once again for an ever-changing food menu from their food truck; the perfect pairing with a refreshing beer from ORF’s long-standing partner, Amsterdam Brewery.

ORF tickets are on sale now for $15 each and can be purchased through OpenRoofFestival.com.


Attractions and Exhibits


What’s On at The Aga Khan Museum

Image info: Jazzamboka.
Image info: Jazzamboka.

The Aga Khan Museum kicks off the summer on July 1 with its second Dancing in the Park series, celebrating Canada Day with Jazzamboka and Fumu Jahmez Dance for an evening of Congolese music and dance. For a full listing of the free live performances, films and Chess in the Park this summer, visit the agakhanpark.org.

Also join in welcoming new contemporary works installed at the Museum that offer beautiful art and brave ideas. Tackling subjects as diverse as fine art photography, restricted travel, and lost libraries, the three artists who created these works, Aida Muluneh, Manal AlDowayan, and Wafaa Bilal, challenge us to think about freedom in its many forms.

Plan your visit at agakhanmuseum.org. The Museum is open Tuesday to Sunday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., with extended hours on Wednesdays until 8 p.m. The Museum is also open Monday, July 2.


Pennies & Purses

coins, purseThis exhibit explores currency, general stores and shopping habits in 19th century rural Ontario, providing new context for the lives of the Gibson family and the development of communities like Willowdale. See what people carried in their bags circa 1800 to 2000 and participate in the #whatsinmybag project.

On until August 31 at Gibson House Museum. Admission to the exhibit is free, while regular admission applies for guided tours of Gibson House Museum. Visit the website for more information.


Get Curious This Summer!

Multi coloured sea creature - shrimpDon’t miss out on the limited time exhibit, Curious Creatures! From rainbow-coloured peacock mantis shrimp to bioluminescent flashlight fish, Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada welcomes you to explore the wonderful life of Robert Ripley, the iconic “Believe It or Not!” cartoonist, explorer, adventurer, and collector. Included with general admission.

Purchase your tickets today.


This Month at the Royal Ontario Museum

spiderExplore the hunting, burrowing, and weaving world of spiders at the North American debut of Spiders: Fear & Fascination, opening Saturday, June 16. Featuring more than 400 live and preserved specimens, cutting-edge interactive experiences, and new scientific discoveries, this awe-inspiring exhibition debunks myths about one of the most successful yet misunderstood animals on the planet.

In the multi-faceted Spider Lab, trained ROM technicians – known as Spider Wranglers – will demonstrate live venom milking and engage visitors in hands-on learning activities with spider specimens. With the latest augmented reality and video projection technology, visitors of all ages will encounter virtual spiders as they explore the subterranean home of cave-dwelling spiders, compete in a mating dance ritual with a Peacock Spider, and create their own animated arachnid. This is a specially ticketed exhibition.


The LookOut Level at the CN Tower

CN Tower lookoutThe newly renovated LookOut Level at the CN Tower will open on June 26. The new space features more floor-to-ceiling window walls offering panoramic views of Toronto and beyond, and 3 new food eateries specializing in local and Canadian food and beverage. The highlight of the new space is the addition of a second Glass Floor located directly above the existing floor, offering a view 346 metres straight down! The CN Tower offers many great ticket packages to help make the most of your visit; a Sea the Sky combo ticket with Ripley’s Aquarium, timed tickets during peak periods or CityPASS. It’s time to visit the CN Tower and see all the amazing changes for yourself!


POPnology: Yesterday’s Fantasy is Today’s Reality

Discover how popular movies, books and art influence modern technology at POPnology, an immersive exhibition that reveals the impact pop culture has on our everyday lives. POPnology showcases the game-changing technologies that have brought us into the era of social media, virtual reality, and Artificial Intelligence. From the history of robots to the evolution of androids, explore the pop culture inspiration behind the world’s greatest technological innovations. And it’s your chance to snap a pic with the DeLorean Time Machine! Experience how science fiction and tech are turning dreams into reality.

Popnology® was created by Stage Nine Design and is distributed by Exhibits Development Group.


Bike City: How Industry, Advocacy and Infrastructure Shaped Toronto’s Cycling Culture

Bike City artworkToday, the bicycle is a mainstream mode of transportation for almost a million riders in Toronto, yet sharing the road has been a challenge for city builders and city users for well over a century. Showcasing over a dozen bicycles, archival photographs, early advertisements and artifacts from private and public collections, Bike City tells the story of the bicycle and its impact on Toronto, past, present and future.

On until November 17 at the Market Gallery. Regular admission applies. Details.


Live Performance


Beaches International Jazz Festival

Beaches Jazz Festival artworkToronto’s most beloved musical event of the summer, the Beaches International Jazz Festival celebrates its 30th anniversary with musical performances and activities from July 6 to 29.

The Riverside Block Party and Sounds of Leslieville and Riverside return to Jimmie Simpson Park July 6 to 8 with live performances by Kim Stockwood and Tringa.

The Latin Carnival runs July 13 to 15 at Woodbine Park.

On July 20 to 22, Woodbine Park hosts the SING! Stage and the TD Main Stage highlighting talent like Pretty Sharp and The Arsenals.

From July 26 to 28, festival favourite, StreetFest, takes over Queen Street East from Woodbine to Beech Avenue. With over 40 bands performing the best in Afro-Cuban, Funk, R&B, Soul, Ska and Big Band.

The 2018 season concludes at Woodbine Park with featured artists Jully Black and Crack of Dawn at the OLG Main Stage July 27 to 29. Swing Shift Big Band and The Jazz Mechanics will perform at the Big Band Stage.

For more information, visit beachesjazz.com.


Toronto Fringe Festival

Fringe Festival word markThe Toronto Fringe Festival showcases 150+ stage productions from Canada and around the world, at 40+ venues in downtown Toronto. For its 30th festival, the lineup includes dramas, musicals, comedy, improv, and more, plus special programming for families at KidsFest. Tickets are $13, the cheapest theatre tickets in the city! 5, 10, 20, and 30 Show Passes are also available for even deeper discounts.

After seeing some shows, come down to POSTSCRIPT, the Fringe patio. Located in the hockey rink at Scadding Court (Bathurst at Dundas), it is the largest pop-up patio in Toronto and a summer event not to be missed! Featuring live, outdoor performances by The Sorority, Bonjay, Moon King, Saye Skye, and more local favourites, as well as a silent disco, an 80s prom party, and stand-up comedy. Don’t miss the local food vendors and full-stocked bar with specialty cocktails. PS: the patio is FREE and open to everyone!

Toronto Fringe Festival takes place July 4 to 15. More information available at fringetoronto.com or call 416-966-1062.


Canada’s Ultimate Latin-Themed Dance Party Brings the Heat to Toronto Streets this July!

Canada’s #1 Latino-themed cultural celebration, the TD Salsa in Toronto Festival takes place throughout the month of July and features the TD Salsa on St. Clair Street Festival (Saturday, July 7 and Sunday, July 8) in addition to a series of city wide events that celebrate the Latino culture through music, dance, art and authentic cuisine.

The festivities feature Latin dance and art exhibitions, concerts and salsa dance parties all capped off with the main event, the 14th annual TD Salsa on St. Clair Street Festival. The annual FREE TD Salsa on St. Clair Street Festival takes over midtown Toronto transforming a stretch of St. Clair Avenue West (from Winona Drive to Christie Street) into Canada’s biggest salsa party featuring an international calibre of Latin music, non-stop dancing in the streets, Latin foods and fun for the entire family! What started as a local two-day event in 2005, has grown into a nationally recognized annual celebration that attracts hundreds of thousands of salsa lovers from near and far. Mark your calendar and get your dancing shoes out…It’s going to be ¡Caliente!

The TD Salsa in Toronto Festival and TD Salsa on St. Clair Street Festival are produced by the Canadian Salsa Festivals Project, a federally incorporated Not-for-Profit organization.


City Hall Live Concerts This Summer

City Hall Live logoCity Hall Live elevates its support of Toronto’s musicians and music communities with 25 free weekday, lunchtime concerts this summer at Nathan Phillips Square and Union Station.

City Hall Live returns to Nathan Phillips Square from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. on Wednesdays, from June 20 to August 29, and on Thursdays from July 12 to August 30 (except Aug 9 and 16).

View the performance schedule. Social media users can follow #CityHall Live for schedule updates.

City Hall Live is generously supported by TD Bank Group in partnership with Music Canada. On-site sponsors include Tim Hortons and Toronto Water.

City Hall Live also returns to Union Summer – presented by TD at Union Station with lunchtime concerts from 12 to 1 p.m. on Wednesdays from July 4 to August 15.


Kaeja d’Dance – Porch View Dances

people dancing in yard
Image info: Porch View Dances. 2016. Photo by Monica Salazar Arcila. Chor. by K. Alton.

Kaeja d’Dance proudly presents the award-winning Porch View Dances (PVD), a unique and family friendly on-site production that showcases real people dancing in real spaces. This year, PVD has a strong focus on diversity in dance, with performers from all backgrounds, and levels of experience. PVD will also feature local dancers with various kinds of unique disabilities, who love to dance! PVD runs from July 18 to July 22, 2018 in Seaton Village, Toronto.

PDV is a community dance festival that engages everyday people as creators, storytellers, and performers. PVD will take audiences on a walking tour of Seaton Village in the Annex of Toronto, to witness new dance works created by professional choreographers, and performed by local residents on the front porches and yards of their homes. During the event finale, audience members have the opportunity to become active participants themselves, as they are invited to join the Flock Landing, a large participatory ensemble at the end of the production that is 100% accessible to all ages and abilities.


Soulpepper’s Summer Season begins this July!

illustration - woman holding fan, pink backgroundJuly is the start of the Summer-long microcosm of what Soulpepper does best – stage and song! Orlando, Virgina Woolf’s fantastical journey to find love, starts off the Summer Season followed by two musical masterpieces. One of Soulpepper’s most popular concerts, The Secret Chord: A Leonard Cohen Experience, celebrating the legacy of Leonard Cohen in a way you’ve never heard before is back. Performances also begin for a brand new concert, The 27 Club, featuring the music from artists that tragically left us at the young age of 27.

How many lifetimes does it take to find love? Destined to never age, Orlando’s fantastical journey crosses continents, centuries, and genders to find true happiness. Virginia Woolf’s timeless masterpiece is adapted by one of today’s most celebrated playwrights. Orlando runs July 6 to 29.

The Secret Chord: A Leonard Cohen Experience runs July 7 to 29, and The 27 Club runs July 14 to 28.

To learn more: visit soulpepper.ca; follow Soulpepper on Twitter; or call the Young Centre Box Office at 416-866-8666.


Toronto Bicycle Music Festival

Toronto Bicycle Music Festival logoThe annual Toronto Bicycle Music Festival is a series of free outdoor pedal-powered concerts in and between our city’s community parks and streets.

The festival is hosting the Sunset Series of evening rides and concerts on the following dates:

  • Thursday, July 12: Memorial Park (rain date Thurs. July 19)
  • Thursday, July 26: Bell Manor Park (rain date Thurs. Aug. 2)
  • Thursday, August. 9: Parma Park (rain date Thurs. Aug. 16)
  • Thursday, August. 23: Flemingdon Park (rain date Thurs. Aug. 30)

Then, on Saturday, September 9, the Toronto Bike Music Festival will be making music and travelling from Trinity Bellwoods Park to Humber Bay Park West for the main event.

For more information, please visit torontobicyclemusicfestival.com. Bring your bikes, your dancing shoes and your positive energy.


Canadian Stage’s Shakespeare in High Park

Doves. one wearing crown.Now in its 36th season of outdoor theatre magic, Shakespeare in High Park presents adventurous adaptations of two of the Bard’s most popular and enduring works, under the stars, all summer long. The tragic romance of Romeo and Juliet and the frolicking comedy of A Midsummer Night’s Dream immerse you in tales of rebellious love in the face of authority – the best way to spend a summer night in Toronto, and the official start to Canadian Stage’s 18.19 season of live performance.

“A must-see summer attraction in Toronto and one of the most successful festivals of its kind in Canada.” – The Globe and Mail

Shakespeare in High Park runs June 28 to September 2. Pay What You Can or Reserve a Premium spot online. Performances take place at High Park Amphitheatre, 873 Bloor St West, Toronto. Performances at 8 p.m. Romeo and Juliet: Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday. A Midsummer Night’s Dream: Wednesday, Friday, Sunday.

Tickets and information at canadianstage.com or call 416-368-3110.

A Canadian Stage production in collaboration with The Department of Theatre, School of the Arts, Media, Performance & Design at York University.


Toronto Summer Music: Reflections of Wartime

illustration - white flowers on red / blue backgroundTo commemorate 100 years since the end of World War I, the 2018 Toronto Summer Music Festival will explore some of the most beautiful, emotional, and challenging music written during or inspired by times of war and conflict. The festival will offer over 60 concerts and events from July 12 to August 4, featuring incredible artists from around the world. Performers include the Borodin Quartet, Syrian clarinetist Kinan Azmeh, German tenor Christoph Prégardien, Canadian favourite Ben Heppner, the JUNO Award winning New Orford String Quartet, Toronto Symphony Orchestra Chamber Soloists, and many more.

Visit the website to purchase your tickets now: torontosummermusic.com.


BRAVE: The Festival of Risk and Failure

Brave wordmark on skewed images of speakersBravery is the strength to face fear and danger. It demands risking failure in order to defy the expected and succeed.

BRAVE: The Festival of Risk and Failure, asks this question: If all we have to fear is fear itself, why be afraid?

Brave is presented because the way new ideas are created is by rejecting existing ideas. This takes courage and performing truth to power.

The artists you’ll see here are fearless and defiant. Some are flame-throwers. Others, exiled from their homes and native lands. All of them disrupt authority for a living. They know tears and pain, and still they persist.

They’re brave.

They have much to teach us.

From July 12 to 29, Harbourfront Centre offers up some of the world’s most courageous, outlandish artists, thinkers, writers, and musicians. They’ll share the risks, the failures and triumphs that have made them synonymous with daring. Their work and their stories are funny, sad, piercing and odd. They embrace risk, and failure is their constant companion. Yet here they are, telling us in a loud voice….

Don’t Behave. Be Brave.


YYZ Live Music Series Returns to Toronto Pearson International Airport

YYZ live logoBuilding upon the positive response from audiences and artists alike, YYZ Live, a musical celebration featuring live performances by local musicians, has taken to the stage again in Toronto Pearson International Airport’s Terminals 1 and 3.

The encore music series will run until the end of the year. Produced by the City in partnership with Toronto Pearson International Airport, YYZ Live will present up to six free, live music performances a week for the enjoyment of passengers. Shows are scheduled for 6 to 6:40 p.m. and again from 7 to 7:40 p.m. on Tuesday, Friday and Saturday nights at the YYZ Live stages in the Terminal 3 Departure Gate Area (past security) and the Terminal 1 International Arrivals meet and greet area (pre-security). The program was initially launched last summer and featured 150 performances in honour of Canada’s 150th birthday.

The YYZ Live performance schedule is available at www.torontopearson.com/yyzlive and social media users can follow #yyzlive for schedule updates.


What’s Bringing People to Toronto

Canadian Flag reflected in building glassEvents, shows and live entertainment abound – here are some to check out this month:

For more information on live performances across the city, visit www.whatsontonight.ca.

More venues to check out:

No matter what kind of music you enjoy or what kind of venue you like best, there’s always something playing in Toronto. Visit the City’s Music page for links to concert listing and information on the music sector.

Maybe catch a game?

Visit the websites of the major conference centres for information on other events, conferences and shows: Exhibition Place, Metro Toronto Convention Centre (MTCC) and the International Centre (in Mississauga).


We’ve Been Expecting You

WBEY logoTourism Services offers a variety year round programs to support the industry:

Event Calendar: www.toronto.ca/eventcalendar.
Promote your event on the calendar by submitting your information. Or stay up to date with what’s happening in Toronto.

Information Centres:
Year round at Union Station (part of the Ontario Travel Information Centre) or seasonal at key locations around the city. Drop in to find out more about Toronto or to pick up material and maps. To provide your material for distribution to the public email us at infotogo@toronto.ca for more information.

Visitor Maps:
Available free of charge. Contact us at visitorservices@toronto.ca to:

  • Request a supply to distribute to your guests.
  • Find out about advertising on future editions.

We’ve Been Expecting You (WBEY) Training:
Free training covering customer service principles and providing helpful information about Toronto. Available at www.wbeytoronto.ca and in face-to-face format for groups (note: this format is unavailable until fall 2018). Email wbey@toronto.ca for more info.


Are You a Subscriber?

News imageHave you subscribed to this eNewsletter…or do you have it forwarded to you by someone else? To make sure you don’t miss the next issue, please enter your email address. Watch for an email in your inbox and follow the instructions to verify your subscription. Once you have subscribed, you will receive the helpful information and industry news as soon as we release it each month. You don’t have to wait for it to be forwarded onto you!

Feedback and Ideas

What would you like to see in future editions of the Welcome to Toronto… We’ve Been Expecting You newsletter? Email us at wbey@toronto.ca with your comments and suggestions. You are receiving this email because you subscribed to email updates from the City of Toronto regarding event listings and the We’ve Been Expecting You initiative. Do not reply to this email. If you have received this email in error, unsubscribe here.