Today, Mayor John Tory announced the return of major festivals and events to Toronto’s streets, public spaces and parks.
The Mayor was joined by Deputy Mayor Michael Thompson (Scarborough Centre), Cameron Bailey, CEO of the Toronto International Film Festival, and Andrew Weir, Executive Vice President of Destination Toronto at TIFF Bell Lightbox.
Thanks to the progress Team Toronto has made on the vaccine front and other key health indicators, the city is ready to welcome back in-person events and festivals and to reignite the cultural vibrancy of the city.
The first upcoming events residents can look forward to include:
St. Patrick’s Parade returns on March 20. The city’s largest celebration of Irish-Canadian culture has been entertaining tourists and Torontonians since 1988. Everyone is welcome to attend this amazing afternoon of music, dance, floats and fun. More information available at StPatricksToronto.com.
Doors Open Toronto will take place on May 28 and 29, 2022. With favourites like Toronto City Hall, Aga Khan Museum, R.C. Harris Water Treatment Plant and Portlands Energy Centre, Doors Open Toronto opens the doors – in person and virtually – to over 100 of Toronto’s most significant sites. Additional details available on the City’s Doors Open web page.
Pride Toronto will be bringing Pride Month and Festival Weekend back in 2022, with the full month of Pride programming to begin on June 1, concluding with the annual Pride Festival Weekend on June 24 through June 26. More details available at PrideToronto.com.
Luminato Festival Toronto, the city’s international arts festival dedicated to performance, media and visual arts, returns June 9 through June 19 with free outdoor events and intimate experiences that cut across traditional art-form boundaries. More information available at LuminatoFestival.com.
TD Salsa in Toronto Festival will return June 1 through July 31. The largest Latino-themed cultural celebration in Canada, the festival features the annual TD Salsa on St. Clair Street Festival (July 9 and 10) and includes the best of Latino music, dance, visual arts, and culture with salsa dance parties, art exhibitions and dance lessons. Additional information available at SalsaInToronto.com.
TD Toronto Jazz Festival returns June 24 through July 3. The annual 10-day event, this year celebrating its 35th anniversary, always features some of the biggest names in jazz, blues, R&B, soul and more, keeping more than 500,000 music lovers entertained in free and ticketed settings throughout the city. More information available at TorontoJazz.com.
Taste of Lawrence, Scarborough’s largest street festival, will take place July 8 through July 10. The three-day food and cultural festival takes place in the Wexford Heights BIA. Additional details available at WexfordBIA.ca.
Toronto Caribbean Carnival will be celebrating 55 years of Carnival in Toronto from July 7th to August 1, 2022. North America largest Festival will be celebrating Caribbean history culture, music and cuisine. Details available at TorontoCarnival.ca.
TD JerkFest Toronto is one of Ontario’s most prominent and hottest summer festivals with a three-day international event celebrating jerk cuisine, music and family entertainment. JerkFest returns August 4 through to August 7. More information available at JerkFestival.ca.
Taste of the Danforth, Canada’s largest street festival, returns to Toronto will take place August 5 through August 7. The festival has become a celebration of both its Greek heritage and the multicultural nature of the City of Toronto. Additional information is available at TasteOfTheDanforth.com.
Canadian National Exhibition (CNE) will be back from August 19 through September 5 for 18 days of new innovative attractions, rides, music and exhibits for the whole family. More information is available at TheEx.com.
The Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) returns on September 8 through September 18, 2022 for its 47th edition – 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. Details available at TIFF.net.
Toronto Biennial of Art runs from March 26 to June 5, 2022. An extensive series of free public programs will take place at various locations across the city. More than 40 local, national, and international participants will lead talks, workshops, performances, and learning programs that intersect and extend ideas emerging from the 2022 Biennial, What Water Knows, The Land Remembers. More information is available here
Many of Toronto’s major festival organizers have confirmed plans to come back live and in-person for the summer of 2022 with the City of Toronto gearing up to also launch its slate of City-led major events.
Last week Toronto entered the Roadmap Exit step of the Province of Ontario’s COVID-19 reopening plan, allowing for the easing or removal of many public health restrictions. After two years of COVID-related cancellations or virtual events, the return of in-person events and programming signals that Toronto’s vibrant cultural sector, and the City, are back and open for business.
To slow the spread of COVID-19, the City cancelled in-person City-led and City-permitted major outdoor events, including Canada Day parades, festivals and fireworks for the entirety of the pandemic. City staff worked proactively with event organizers throughout the pandemic response to give them as much time as possible to make sound decisions and come back stronger when pandemic response allowed.
City staff are now working with event organizers across the city to plan their return to in-person events as soon as this spring and in line with public health guidance and direction. The City is taking in permit applications for review. Public health regulations around COVID-19 will continue to guide the City’s ability to issue permits. The City encourages organizers to have plans in the event that provincial health regulations change.
In January, the City announced a new Cultural Festivals Funding Program (CFFP), which aims to increase the accessibility, accountability and transparency of City funding to cultural festivals. CFFP is one way the City is supporting economic recovery for the arts and culture sector along with communities, businesses and marginalized community event organizations who have been impacted by COVID-19. Verbal notification of funding to recipients will occur by April 15, 2022, with funds released in May 2022. More information about CFFP is available on the City’s Arts and Culture Grants web page.
The City will continue to communicate about confirmed events, programs, services and grants, as we continue to move into new phases of the province’s re-opening plan. Residents and visitors can follow @CultureTO and @BusinessTO on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook and sign up for the newsletters to get all the latest information and start planning your social calendar.
More information about festivals and events is available on the City’s Festivals & Events web page.
“Today’s announcement marks a very important milestone in our reopening efforts. The return of in-person events to Toronto is a sign that we are ready to move forward after two very challenging years. This is all thanks to the resiliency, patience and strength of Torontonians who have stepped up to get their vaccine, to protect themselves and their community. Now we can open with confidence and move forward. We have truly missed these events in Toronto and can’t wait for them to come back this spring and summer. Welcome back to the Toronto we know and love!”
– Mayor John Tory
“Festivals and events add extra magic to the rich and dynamic cultural scene in the city. We are all excited to welcome in-person events back to the City and we encourage residents to keep up to date with all of the events happening in the city this spring and summer.”
– Deputy Mayor Michael Thompson (Scarborough Centre), Chair of the Economic and Community Development Committee
“Festivals and events provide some of the best opportunities to experience the vibrancy of our communities, both for visitors and for locals. And now as events return – from arts and culture to festivals to live performance – there’s a new way to find what’s on around Toronto. We have worked with the arts community to create a new dedicated web site for arts and culture fans to find events throughout Toronto, reflecting the diversity of our community, at NowPlayingToronto.com.”
– Andrew Weir, Executive Vice President of Destination Toronto
Toronto is home to more than 2.9 million people whose diversity and experiences make this great city Canada’s leading economic engine and one of the world’s most diverse and livable cities. As the fourth largest city in North America, Toronto is a global leader in technology, finance, film, music, culture and innovation, and consistently places at the top of international rankings due to investments championed by its government, residents and businesses. For more information visit the City’s website or follow us on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.
Please note, this news release was updated on March 8, 2022 to add information on the Toronto Biennial of Art.