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.

Festivals and Events

Canada Day

Canada Day Celebrations logoJuly 1 has events across the city with beloved Canada Day celebrations at Mel Lastman Square and Thomson Memorial Park, presented by Tim Hortons. These events feature music, DJs, performances, family friendly activities and spectacular fireworks. Highlights at Mel Lastman Square:

  • School of Groove performance and dance workshop
  • Performances by DJ Nino Brown,  Alysha Brilla and Jully Black

Highlights at Thomson Memorial Park:

  • Performances by Sonia Collymore, The Arsenals and Danny Fernandes

Fort York invites visitors to bring a picnic lunch while enjoying this 43-acre national historic site. Join free guided tours, enjoy music, crafts/activities, face painting and cooking demonstrations throughout the day. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Scarborough Museum opens its doors for visitors, sharing the history of the community, sampling traditional foods and activations from the inPrint Collective, blacksmith David Brandow, and Toronto Spinners and Weavers. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Toronto Outdoor Art Fair

White tents, many people attending outdoor art fair. Image taken from above.
Image Credit: Andrew Williamson

Canada’s leading contemporary outdoor art fair is returning for its 58th year and will welcome hundreds of artists across different backgrounds and disciplines. Running from July 12th to 14th, Toronto Outdoor Art Fair (TOAF) will take over Nathan Phillips Square once again, creating a space where artists and art lovers can interact and collaborate. The fair will feature the original work of 360 contemporary artists that were chosen out of 800 applicants and reviewed by a jury of artists and industry professionals.

#TOAF19 presents the theme, ‘Art: unwalled’, a nod to the fair’s dedication to being inclusive, accessible and radically welcoming to all artists and art enthusiasts, ensuring that innovative and free programming is available to all. TOAF is committed to facilitating direct engagement between artists and art lovers and inviting everyone to experience art without roadblocks or walls. As with every year, TOAF encourages the prosperity of the art community through the buying and selling of art and presenting artists with over $40,000 cash and in-kind awards.

TD Salsa in Toronto Festival

Many people dancing on St. Clair Avenue West.TD Salsa in Toronto Festival is the largest Latin-themed cultural celebration in Canada. Starting as a local two-day event in 2005, the festival has grown into a nationally recognized tourism driver that has attracted hundreds of thousands of salsa lovers from near and far to the streets of mid-town Toronto. The four-week calendar of events throughout the city in July includes the 15th annual TD Salsa on St. Clair Street Festival, the Hispanic Festival Parade, dance parties, concerts, Latin Art Exhibitions and free dance lessons at various schools across the city.

TD Salsa on St. Clair transforms a stretch of St. Clair Avenue West into Canada’s biggest salsa party featuring non-stop dancing in the streets, live music from the best local and international Latin talent, authentic Latin street food and fun for the entire family! Plan to attend Canada’s largest Latin-themed dance party. It’s going to be ‘caliente’!

The Toronto Caribbean Carnival Festival

Woman facing camera, in blue headdress, colourful costume.
Image Credit: Don Moreland

The Toronto Caribbean Carnival Festival, formerly known as “Caribana,” was established in 1967 as part of Canada’s 100th Anniversary celebrations by Caribbean immigrants as a cultural gift to Canada.

Produced by the Festival Management Committee, the Toronto Caribbean Carnival showcases the best in Caribbean arts and is recognized as a major international cultural festival, the largest of its kind in North America.

The Caribbean Canadian community that inspires and gives life to the Toronto Caribbean Carnival Festival is comprised of Canadians with heritage taken from Barbados, Bahamas, Guyana, Grenada, Jamaica, Haiti, Saint Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, and the other countries of the Caribbean.

This year, the festival celebrates its 52nd anniversary with 4 glorious weeks of Caribbean music, cuisine, revelry and entertainment. The Toronto Caribbean Carnival is an all-out spectacle of visual and performing arts. For more information visit: torontocarnival.ca.

Taste of the Middle East Festival

Man performing in front of crowd at Yonge Dundas Square - Eaton Centre in background, at dusk.
Image Credit: Nick Merzetti

Taste of the Middle East (TOME) is a multifaceted not-for-profit organization that strives to create connections through music, art, cuisine and culture. TOME believes that inclusivity strengthens communities and that diversity is a pillar to any culture.

Taste of the Middle East would like to invite you to another year of high energy Middle Eastern experience. Come down to Yonge Dundas Square on Saturday July 27, and let your five senses travel to a Souk in the Middle East for one day. Learn what a Jalab is or how Turkish Coffee is made. Try a sip of Arak or take a bite of a Manooshe. Purchase handmade jewellery or a vibrant piece of art. Tired yet? Then take a little break and stop by the coffee cup reading tent to get some traditional fortune telling done! For more information please visit: tasteofthemiddleeast.ca.

Celebrate the 16th Edition of the Toronto International Brazilfest!

Brazilfest poster - yellow, with blue and green graphics.Plan to attend the hottest Brazilian summer fest – the largest Brazilian festival in Ontario!

Being the largest country in South America, Brazil has a mixture of cultures providing an eclectic event to the city of Toronto.

With a full day packed with Brazilian culture, the festival presents great performers and bands that will take the stage during the 12 hours of entertainment.

The event also includes food vendors and exhibitors, Bar Garden (with the famous Brazilian cocktail – Brazil’s National drink (caipirinha), tropical juices, BBQ, kids Zone and much more.

The musical part will include great local and direct from Brazil artists and musicians who will present various styles of music from Forró to Samba to Bossa Nova, Brazilian Country Music, etc.  Also, there will be Capoeira, the Brazilian martial art and Dance group.

When: Sunday, July 21, from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Where: Earlscourt Park (1200 Lansdowne Ave, Toronto, ON)
Admission is free!

BrazilFest is organized and produced by Itabras Entertainment Productions Inc.

Celebrate Canada

Celebrate Canada - black logo, white backgroundFree events across the city celebrate Canada’s diversity and commitment to democracy, equality and mutual respect with Multiculturalism Day: June 27: This community event at Gibson House features family-friendly activities, food and dance performances. Families welcome! Take part in games, arts and crafts and engage with the local Willowdale community. 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.

June 30: Mel Lastman Square features an exciting roster of music and performances including Okavango African Orchestra, Nastia Y & DoVira, DJ Korea Town Acid, Capoeira Roda by Uma Nota and more. 2 p.m. to 6:30 pm.

Neighbourhood and Community Events

Union Summer is Back!

Union Summer artwork. Green background, white text.Union Summer – presented by TD returns to Union Station  May 31 to August 3. The event showcases the best of Toronto’s eclectic culture, talent and spirit with a curated mix of local food vendors and entertainment. Highlights:

  • Lula Nights with Lula lounge
  • Global music featuring Small World Music artists
  • Performances from emerging artists curated by Canada’s Music Incubator (CMI)
  • Motown nights, folk music performances and Toronto’s hottest up and coming DJs
  • Weekly movie screenings featuring a roster of beloved classics and blockbuster hits
  • Saturdays rediscover and celebrate the greatest artists that defined generations with MusicVaultz classic concert screenings

Some of the vendors include Union Stations’ own Bangkok Buri, Union Chicken, and Wvrst, as well as local favourites Cabano’s, Carbon Bar and El Catrin. There is a licensed bar from Moosehead Breweries, exclusive gelato from Fiasco Gelato, and a rotating booth offering treats from The Kathi Roll Express in June and Panchos Bakery in July.

The market runs daily May 31 to August 3, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. (Friday and Weekend hours may vary).

Taste of Lawrence

Taste of Lawrence poster. Ferris wheel, food on BBQTaste of Lawrence is a three-day food and cultural festival that takes place in the Wexford Heights BIA

As Scarborough’s largest street festival it boasts the most enticing flavours from every cultural community in the GTA. Locals and tourists alike come to the festival to experience the Taste firsthand as they celebrate their cultures and learn about the rich heritage of others. The event hosts over 100 food vendors, two stages, amusement rides and free entertainment for the entire family. You can’t miss it!

Come and visit Taste of Lawrence on July 5 to 7 on Lawrence Avenue East between Warden Avenue and Birchmount Road.

Play the Parks

People dancing in park. Trees, tent in background.
Image credit: Wendy Wei

Play the Parks is back and they are bringing you more music than ever before. Experience Toronto’s cultural diversity through the sounds of music, featuring artists of all genres. 50 shows, 50 amazing artists at 7 different locations, open to the public and free of charge.

The popular series, back for its 7th year, presents lunchtime and evening shows started June 10th and will run until October 7th. You can find the events at College Park, McGill Granby Parkette, Mackenzie House, 777 Bay, Chelsea Hotel Garden Patio, 1 Queen Street East, and Trinity Square.

Presented by the Downtown Yonge BIA, Play the Parks is sponsored by TD Bank Group and curated by Canada Music Incubator. For more info on artists and scheduling please visit www.downtownyonge.com/playtheparks.

BIG on Bloor Festival

Kids playing on cardboard playground structureBIG on Bloor Festival brings the 12th annual celebration of arts, culture and community to Bloordale! Join the pedestrian takeover of Bloor Street West from Dufferin to Lansdowne on Saturday, July 20th from noon until midnight.Discover live music curated by the Sonic Future Bloor team headlined by Keynes Woods, Harrison, and Baque de Bamba. Immerse yourself in a colourful new mural by Jacquie Comrie, large-scale installation by Christina Mazzulla & Shanna Van Maurik, and spontaneous live paintings by Mony Zakhour, Billy Franklin, Jordan McKie, Andre Kan, and KIZMET. Experience JOUEZ participatory/performance art projects curated by Carla Garnet, and the transformation of reclaimed materials into architectural creations at Card-Yard, presented by PULP: Paper Art Party. Plus, BIG games, collaborations, over 100 vendors, extended patios, and great eats. Artsite x Bloordale projects extend to July 27th.

BIG on Bloor Festival is free and open to all.

2nd Annual Bentway Block Party

The Bentway - under the Gardner Expressway, people sitting on grassOn July 7th, celebrate summer at the 2nd annual Bentway Block Party! From 12 to 10 p.m., visit The Bentway for a free all-ages party. Here’s what’s on: live music, food and drinks, art installations and workshops, family-friendly games, and more. The Block Party kicks off the Sunday Social series, featuring live music and drinks on the covered patio every Sunday until August 25.

When you’re craving visual art, try a Public Art Tour on select Tuesdays (6:30 to 7:30 p.m.), exploring artworks from the New Monuments for New Cities exhibition.

And for your dose of summer wellness, come out to recreational classes at The Bentway for yoga on Sundays (7 to 8 p.m.), and Tai Chi on Mondays (5:30 to 6:30 p.m.) and Thursdays (11 a.m. to 12 p.m.).

The Bentway is located at 250 Fort York Blvd. Visit their website for events: www.thebentway.ca/events.

The Guild Alive with Culture Arts Festival

The Guild Alive with Culture Arts Festival artwork. Columns and trees in background.The Guild Alive with Culture Arts Festival is an annual outdoor festival in Scarborough’s Guild Park and Gardens featuring all of the arts, artist, artisan vendors, art demonstrations and live music. This festival also features local community groups, children’s activities area and a beer garden. The Guild Alive with Culture Arts Festival takes place July 27 and 28.

Live Entertainment

Casa Loma Summer Evening Programming

Image Info: Soul in the City 2018. Night, people dancing, chandeliers, white netting on ceiling.
Image Info: Soul in the City 2018. Image Credit: Liberty Group

Toronto’s historic Casa Loma once again hosts its annual summer evening programming, Casa Loma After Dark, which will include a series of live performances on the WestJet Stage in the stunning Glass Pavilion. Guests will enjoy spectacular views of the city skyline, the majestic castle and its beautiful estate gardens, while enjoying special performances under the stars.  Monday evenings, back by popular demand is Sean Jones and his seven-piece band, The Righteous Echo, returning with an energetic live show, Soul in the City. Tuesday evenings, Casa Loma plays host to Symphony In The Gardens featuring the Toronto Concert Orchestra, under the artistic direction of Maestro Kerry Stratton. Wednesday evenings, following its highly successful inaugural series, Just For Laughs Comedy at the Castle returns for a second season. Several delicious al fresco dining options will also be available during these evening performances.

For full program details and tickets visit www.casaloma.ca.

Driftwood Theatre Presents: A (musical) Midsummer Night’s Dream

 A (musical) Show poster: Midsummer Night’s Dream. Fuchsia background, white full moon.Driftwood Theatre presents their 25th annual Bard’s Bus Tour with A (musical) Midsummer Night’s Dream, an a cappella slant on William Shakespeare’s most popular comedy. A (musical) Midsummer Night’s Dream will run from July 19 to August 18 with 27 performances in 22 cities and towns in Southern Ontario.

Using Shakespeare’s text A (musical) Midsummer Night’s Dream is a colourful, rocking, rolling, funktastic, jazz-infused musical celebration of theatrical proportions; with everything performed live and entirely A Cappella. The Toronto performances will take place Friday, July 26 and Saturday, July 27 at Withrow Park, and on Tuesday, July 30 in Guild Park in Scarborough.

A (Musical) Midsummer Night’s Dream is an outdoor summer theatre experience for the entire family. Four lovers and one group of hapless tradespeople experience a chaos-filled night in the forest as they stumble across the mischievous Puck and the magical denizens of the faery kingdom.

31st Annual Beaches International Jazz Festival

31st Annual Beaches International Jazz Festival logoToronto’s beloved free music festival and summer mainstay, the Beaches International Jazz Festival, returns from July 5 to 28 to celebrate its 31st year of unparalleled music from both established and emerging artists. Featuring multiple stages and venues at Jimmie Simpson Park, Woodbine Park and Queen Street East, the return of festival favourites and leading musical talent, the 31st annual Beaches International Jazz Festival is one that can’t be missed. The 31st Annual Beaches International Jazz Festival takes place July 5 to 28. More information at www.beachesjazz.com.

Toronto Fringe Festival

Toronto Fringe Festival logoThe Toronto Fringe Festival is Ontario’s largest theatre festival, with 150+ shows at 37 venues in Toronto’s west end and (new this year!) Toronto’s east end. Running for twelve days every July, it is a place where everyone can access, discover and experiment with the arts. Who knows – you might be the first to see the next big thing!

Since 1989, the Toronto Fringe Festival has been a launchpad for the artists and actors that power Canada’s arts and media landscape. Some of Canada’s most successful theatre productions premiered at the Toronto Fringe, including Kim’s Convenience (now a hit CBC TV show), My Mother’s Lesbian Jewish Wiccan Wedding (the first production from the creators of Come From Away), ‘Da Kink in My Hair, The Drowsy Chaperone and Life After.

Want to bring your kids to the festival? Check out KidsFest: eight shows for young audiences and a free, outdoor clubhouse. Theatre tickets for kids are only $5!

Learn more at fringetoronto.com.

City Hall Live Summer Dates

City Hall Live logoCity Hall Live’s impressive line-up of free performances this summer, include lunchtime shows at Nathan Phillips Square and Union Station. Enjoy local live music at Nathan Phillips Square from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. on Wednesdays until September 11 (except July 3 and August 7). The full City Hall Live performance schedule is available at bit.ly/2WEpIvp and social media users can follow #CityHall Live for schedule updates. City Hall Live provides local artists with paid opportunities to perform on stages across the city, showcasing the diverse musical sounds of Toronto.

Shakespeare in High Park

Fox wearing Shakespearean neck ruffleCanadian Stage’s Shakespeare in High Park, one of Toronto’s favourite summer traditions, returns to the High Park Amphitheatre, July 4 to September 1. Enjoy a magical evening of theatre in the great outdoors with two contemporary adaptations of Shakespeare’s most popular and enduring works — the comedic tale of love and desire, Much Ado About Nothing, and the timeless story of morality and power, Measure For Measure. New this year, on Tuesdays and Wednesdays in July, experience Special Events Nights featuring free backstage tours, the best buskers in the city (Tuesdays only) and fantastic musical acts (Wednesdays only). Children can also enjoy free face-painting and other fun interactive activities in the Kid Zone tent.

A pay-what-you-can event, Shakespeare in High Park is an accessible, unforgettable, and convenient theatre experience just steps from the subway. Premium seats can be reserved in advance with a $30 donation.  Visit www.canadianstage.com or call 416-368-3110.

Toronto Summer Music Festival

Toronto Summer Music Festival artwork.Black background multi colour illustrated instrumentFrom July 11 to August 3, the Toronto Summer Music Festival will liven up Toronto with the sound of classical music.  Featuring 50+ public events, including 28 mainstage concerts, the festival will welcome dozens of renowned Canadian and international artists who will perform at Koerner Hall and Walter Hall; along with leading masterclasses, free outreach concerts, lectures, and workshops.

The 2019 Festival theme, Beyond Borders, explores and celebrates the cross-cultural influences that have pervaded classical music from the times of Mozart and Mahler to today.  Along with string quartets and solo chamber musicians, this year’s festival will welcome a klezmer band and other artists who go beyond borders to merge classical with other styles of music.

The 2019 Festival features highly-anticipated performances by soprano Adrianne Pieczonka, pianist Angela Hewitt,  Grammy Award-winning tenor Anthony Dean Griffey, and Ensemble Constantinople’s thrilling blend of world music and storytelling. For more information about this memorable experience that can become the soundtrack to your summer, visit www.torontosummermusic.com.

Best of the Fringe

Best of Fringe Festival logoThe Toronto Fringe Festival is the largest theatre festival in Ontario, showcasing 150+ productions at 30+ venues around downtown Toronto. But, what if you’re overwhelmed by the selection?  Or, you don’t know what to see?  Or, you just heard about a really great show that you desperately wanted to see but it is now completely sold out?

Don’t worry. The Best of the Fringe affords “the Best” a remount at the Toronto Centre for the Arts providing artists another opportunity to: showcase their work; to perform for an uptown audience; and give patrons — who may have missed their initial Fringe run — a second chance to see the show.

Dates: July 19 to 21 and 25 to 27. All tickets $20 plus applicable service charges. For information, visit www.tocentre.com or call 1-855-985-ARTS (2787). Location: Studio Theatre, Toronto Centre for the Arts, 5040 Yonge Street.

Celebrate Americana with a Summer at Soulpepper!

Two people embracing. Wrapped in orange rope, turquoise background. IllustrationOn July 12 performances begin of the brand new concert The Promised Land: Steinbeck Through Song. Bruce Springsteen, Nina Simone, Sam Cooke, and Bob Dylan and more – America’s master storytellers and songwriters have captured the struggle to realise the American dream. Soulpepper has reimagined their music to illuminate the works of famed novelist John Steinbeck and the search for The Promised Land. Onstage July 12 to 27. July 13 is the first performance of Sam Shepard’s classic Fool For Love, running all the way through until August. You won’t want to miss this as things get heated in the desert.

Some people you just can’t quit. On the edge of the desert, passions are buried deep, and secrets even deeper. Eddie has come to bring May out of hiding and win her back, no matter who stands in the way. This celebrated work from Sam Shepard combines his characteristic dark humour with a raw energy that won’t let go. Onstage July 13 to August 4.

Visit soulpepper.ca to check out all the upcoming programming! To learn more follow on Twitter; or call the Young Centre Box Office at 416-866-8666.

Culinary Events

Surprise Your Taste Buds with Summerlicious

Sushi cone. Wordmark,, dates, person wearing blue shirt in backgroundExplore Toronto’s food culture at this year’s Summerlicious from July 5 to 21! Toronto’s favourite foodie event, created by the City of Toronto, features prix fixe lunch and dinner menus served at nearly 200 of the city’s favourite restaurants. Lunch menus are priced at $23, $28 and $33, and dinner is priced at $33, $43 and $53. Visit toronto.ca/summerlicious for more information and follow @LiciousTO.

The Inaugural Wine Fest Toronto Celebrates the Best Local and International Wines

People drinking wine - surrounded by treesThe inaugural Wine Fest Toronto, the city’s only outdoor wine festival, is coming to the Town Square at the CF Shops at Don Mills this July 5th (from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.) and 6th (1 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.)!

Wine lovers will be able to savour the best sips – from refreshing whites to bold reds – crafted by over 60 international and local winemakers in over 12 countries. Attendees will learn industry secrets and participate in hands-on ‘Sip and Learn’ seminars, games and activations. ‘Sip and Learn’ seminar topics include: Lighter Wines, Sip and Sparkle, Malbecalicious, Mr. Cabernet, The Blanc OFF and Country vs. Country.

A DJ and live music will play throughout the day on the main stage while guests enjoy their favourite wine and food pairings and discover new ones!

For more information and to buy tickets, please visit: winefesttoronto.com.

Pizza Fest

Chef holding pizza on long serverPizza Fest is returning to Ontario Place to serve up authentic slices and other Italian favourites including spaghetti carbonara, meatball sandwiches and gelato from 20+ of Toronto’s best pizza joints and Italian hotspots. This carb-lover’s dream will immerse guests in Italian culture with pizza-making classes from the pros, wine tastings, and live music all weekend long!

Once guests have savoured the top slices, they can cool off with a limoncello cocktail, aperol spritz, Birra Moretti or a sampling of the top reds, whites, and rosés at the wine bar. Get your ticket today if you want a pizza’ all that!

Friday, July 19th from 2 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Saturday, July 20th from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Sunday, July 21st from 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Where: Ontario Place – West Island (955 Lake Shore Blvd West, Toronto)
Tickets: Available at pizzafestival.ca, from $7.95 (19+ event)

The Rosé Picnic

illustration wine glass and bottleThe Rosé Picnic returns this Saturday, July 27th and is bigger and better than ever! The Rosé Picnic’s 3rd annual event is dedicated to great wines and delicious food pairings by celebrity chef Mark McEwan. Canada’s top DJs and 30+ Instagram worthy activations will be on site to celebrate all things rosé!

Located on the Stanley Barracks grounds at the luxurious lakeside Hotel X Toronto, The Rosé Picnic will transform the lawn into a sea of pink and white as guests eat, drink, dance and relax all day. Let’s just say – the perfect picnic does exist.

Tickets start at $30. VIP experience tickets for groups of 6 or more are also available.

More information at rosepicnic.com.
Location: Stanley Barracks at Hotel X Toronto, 115 Princes’ Blvd, Toronto
Date: Saturday, July 27, 12 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Toronto’s Festival of Beer

People enjoying concert. Stage backdrop is fuchsia, coral with white circleToronto’s Festival of Beer, presented by The Beer Store features hundreds of brews, seriously good eats, live entertainment, and plenty of beer love from July 26 to 28 at Bandshell Park, Exhibition Place. It’s Canada’s premier celebration of the golden beverage. #TOBeerFest

This year marks 23-years of Toronto’s Festival of Beer and features performances by Public Enemy Radio, Ghostface Killah & Raekwon, Dwayne Gretzky, Ja Rule & Ashanti, and more on the OLG Bandshell Stage. The festival is also introducing, for the first time ever, a secondary stage that is completely dedicated to country music. The Complete Country Stage presented by Twisted Tea will feature Brett Kissel, Hunter Brothers, and more.

Toronto’s Festival of Beer sells out every year — consumers are encouraged to buy early. For more information on tickets and other festival details, please visit: www.beerfestival.ca. Toronto’s Festival of Beer is a 19+ event.

Getting Around

From the Subway to the Beach in 20 minutes!

TTC bus 175 at stop. People getting on busIt’s now easier than ever to visit the Scarborough Bluffs or enjoy a family picnic at the beach. The TTC’s 175 Bluffer’s Park bus route connects Kennedy Station on Line 2 to Bluffer’s Park and Bluffer’s Park Beach. This seasonal service operates from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. on weekends and holidays, until Saturday, October 14.

Parks, Sports & Recreation

Cool Down in the Summer Heat

Large outdoor pool with slide. People swimming Want to beat the heat? The City of Toronto’s outdoor pools and wading pools officially open on June 28, and 10 outdoor pools are already open part-time. Leisure swimming is free! Operating hours might be different at each pool and might be affected by the weather, so call ahead for schedules. Hurry in! Most pools close on Labour Day.

If you’d prefer a quick cooldown, stop by a splash pad. They’re already open, every day, from 9 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. until September 15. Relaxing on sand more your thing? Stop by a Toronto beach, most of which are open and supervised by lifeguards from 11:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. until September 2.

Get Outside, Stay Healthy

Path through the treesMake fitness a priority! Run, walk or bike down a natural trail, or stop by a park to use the outdoor fitness equipment. Some places to find outdoor fitness equipment are Balmy Beach Park, Humber Arboretum and Trinity Bellwoods Park. Visit the City’s fitness webpage to find more.

Film and Literature

Open Roof Festival

Outdoor film festival. Tower Automotive Building (MOCA Toronto) in the background.Toronto’s Open Roof Festival (ORF) celebrates a decade of outdoor screenings with a knockout line-up of films including Canadian Jasmin Mozaffari’s hotly anticipated debut Firecrackers (2018) and hot button housing crisis doc Push (2019).  ORF will return every Wednesday evening for ten weeks to a new location on Sterling Road, Lower Junction, just steps away from the newly opened Museum of Contemporary Art Toronto Canada (MOCA).Over the last ten years, ORF has hosted 30,000 people, and are excited to continue that tradition in 2019. In addition to offering attendees an eclectic mix of the best Hollywood flicks, socially-conscious docs and Canadian indie’s, each film is paired with a live set from emerging local bands and musicians, along with delicious food, cold beer and wine – all summer long. ORF tickets are on sale on May 29 for $15 each and can be purchased in advance through OpenRoofFestival.com.

Attractions, Exhibits and Tours

July at the Royal Ontario Museum

illustration. hand, pinky, forefinger held up. green background, cemetery imagery.
Image Credit: Detail from R. Kikuo Johnson, Rock On, 2017. © 2017 Peabody Essex Museum

Metallica guitarist Kirk Hammett has created one of the world’s most extraordinary collections of classic horror and sci-fi movie posters from 20th-century cinema. Discover this collection and the connection between artistry, emotion, and pop culture when It’s Alive! Classic Horror and Sci-Fi Art from the Kirk Hammett Collection opens on July 13.

On July 14, join artist and ROM Conservator Heidi Sobol in exploring one of history’s most prolific and methodical painting techniques, at ROM U: Making it in Tempera.

Experience impressive, beautiful paintings by major 17th century Dutch artists like Rembrandt, Frans Hals, and Jacob van Ruisdael in the special exhibition In the Age of Rembrandt: Dutch Paintings from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, on now.

ROMWalks encompass the diverse aspects of Toronto’s vibrant neighborhoods including history, architecture, arts of all varieties, education and more. Here is a full list of walking tours available in July.

So Much To ZOO This Summer!

Tiger staring at camera
Image Info: Harimau Kayu the Sumatran Tiger

The Zoo is the place to be the month of July! Visit the Toronto Zoo over Canada Day Weekend for Saving Species Days taking place Saturday, June 29 through Monday, July 1 to learn about all of the “Breed and Release” conservation programs and meet some of the endangered Canadian Species they are trying to save from extinction. Plus, visit behind-the-scenes at the Zoo’s White Rhino Barn for the White Rhino Open House on Saturday, July 20 and Sunday, July 21. For a $2 donation guests can come and meet some of the white rhinos up close and speak with the Savanna keeping staff. Better yet! Join the Toronto Zoo in celebrating Global Tiger Awareness Weekend on Saturday, July 27 and Sunday, July 28. The celebration not only focuses on the plight tigers are facing in the wild, but aims to build appreciation for this beautiful carnivore.

Check out torontozoo.com for full details on upcoming events. Be sure to follow on Facebook and Twitter @TheTorontoZoo for all the latest news.*

*Events subject to change

Summer at the Textile Museum

Image Info: Galaxy in textile
Image Info: Galaxy by: Sandi Leibovici

It’s finally summer and the Textile Museum of Canada is excited to share it with you! They have two brand new exhibitions this summer – Nadia Myre: Balancing Acts (until September 15) and Tapestry of Spirit the Torah Stitch by Stitch Project (until November 17).

Between the Sunday at 2 p.m. tours* and the monthly Textile Teach-ins* (learn cross-stitch in July!) there’s always something going on. Thread Journeys is back again this summer with free* drop-in textile crafts every Wednesday in July and August. Want to learn even more about Tapestry of Spirit? On June 26 from 6 to 7 p.m., project founder Temma Gentles will lead a tour* through the exhibition offering insight into the inspiration, labour, and meaning behind the project.

Located just steps away from St. Patrick Station, they are open 7 days a week (11 a.m. to 5 p.m.) and offer pay-what-you-can evenings on Wednesdays from 5 to 8 p.m.

*Free with admission.

Retro Futures at Toronto Public Library

Illustration. Futuristic hover train, buildings in background. Mostly blue.Visit TD Gallery at Toronto Reference Library until July 28 to experience the library’s latest exhibit, Retro Futures. The 50th anniversary of NASA’s first crewed lunar landing, the Apollo 11 mission of 1969, is the inspiration for this nostalgic trip back to futures-that-might-have-been, as seen from the starry eyes of early science fiction writers. The exhibit features rare books, magazines, artwork and ephemera from the Merril Collection of Science Fiction, Speculation and Fantasy, and includes related programming, reading and guided tours. Explore more programs and exhibits at branches across the city.

What’s On at the Museum of Contemporary Art Toronto

Woman in lab coat using mallet and chisel on dead tee.
Image Credit: Gabriel Li

TD Community Sunday: On July 28, from 10:00 a.m.to 2:00.p.m enjoy free admission to the museum on the last Sunday of each month.TD Community Sundays are made possible by TD Bank Group through its corporate citizenship platform, The Ready Commitment.

‘The Life of a Dead Tree’ Free Workshops: In-house scientist, Alexandra Ntoukas, conducts research throughout the exhibition. Participate in the examination of the tree during these free workshops:

Saturdays – 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.: Invasive or not?
Sundays –  2:00 to 3:00 p.m.: Decomposers: Molds, Fungi, Mushrooms, Yeast

More information at museumofcontemporaryart.ca.

Meryl McMaster Brings Otherworldy Personas and Striking Landscapes to the Ryerson Image Centre

Woman with small boat on her shoulder. water,m vast sky in background.
Image Info: Meryl McMaster, On the Edge of This Immensity, from the series As Immense as the Sky, 2019, chromogenic print. Image Credit: Courtesy the artist, Stephen Bulger Gallery and Pierre-François Ouellette art contemporain.

In As Immense as the Sky, artist Meryl McMaster presents a series of performative self-portraits examining the overlapping cultures and histories of both her Indigenous and European ancestors.

Documented at ancient sites in Saskatchewan and the shores of early settlement in Ontario and Newfoundland, her images originate from her interpretation and re-enactment of patrimonial stories told by relatives, knowledge keepers, and friends. Wearing various designed costumes, sculptural garments, makeup, and custom-made props, McMaster’s otherworldly personas pose theatrically in front of these majestic panoramas, speaking to how inherited historical narratives inform her dual identity. Meryl McMaster: As Immense as the Sky is on view at the Ryerson Image Centre until August 4.

Free admission. Free exhibition tours daily at 2:30 p.m. More information at www.ryersonimagecentre.ca.

What’s Bringing People to Toronto

Canadian Flag reflected in glass windowsSports!

Check out some of the events, shows and live entertainment taking place this month:

For more information on live performances across the city, visit www.whatsontonight.ca. Or check out the venue event listings directly at:

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.

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).

Tourism Services News

Toronto Souvenirs

red tshirt. black mug. black baseball cap.Pick up your Toronto-branded t-shirts (and other items) at the Toronto Desk located in the Ontario Travel Information Centre in Union Station (west end of the station, near entrance to the Skywalk). Supplies are limited – get yours today!

We’ve Been Expecting You: We Can Help!

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. Currently available online at www.wbeytoronto.ca. Email wbey@toronto.ca for more info or to ask about face-to-face sessions.

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.


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