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Top Summer Events in Toronto

As the weather heats up, T.O. comes alive with a number of festivals and outdoor concerts. From highbrow literary festivals to Caribbean street parades, a summer visit to Toronto during the festival season shows the city at her most exciting and cosmopolitan. Maybe you're planning a wedding in Toronto which means you'll also need some ideas for Wedding Bouquets too. Many travelers are put off from visiting in peak season by extortionate room-rates, booked up hotels, and crowds of other tourists. But if you start planning your summer vacation in Toronto now, you can cut the cost of a city break.

Avoid over-priced hotels during the festival season; instead choose from the wide range of budget accommodation and youth hostels in Toronto. Not just for backpackers and cash-strapped students, the hostels in Toronto are modern, clean and just as well-equipped as your average hotel – watch out for the top-rated hostels with private rooms, lounge bars and funky décor! Many also have free breakfasts, perfect for fuelling up for a day of festivities.

Another way to save is to book your tickets for popular events well in advance, and check out what’s on, what’s free, and if there are any discounts available online before you travel. To help you plan your summer break, here’s a guide to Toronto’s top summer events:

Toronto In June

Pride Week: Another large festival showcasing Toronto’s diversity, this week-long celebration of Gay and lesbian arts and culture draws 1 million revelers every year. This is one of the largest Gay Pride festivals in the world and the largest in Canada, and activities include a parade, music, theatre, a street fair, and a Flag Raising Ceremony at Toronto City Hall.

Toronto In July

Toronto Jazz Festival: The Toronto Jazz Festival has been running for the past 20 years, and is recognised as one of the best festivals in North America. Many of the events are free, and take place in hotels, lounges and outdoor stages across the city. Whether you’re a fan of traditional bebop or free jazz, you’re sure to find a show that’s easy listening.

Toronto In August

Canadian National Exhibition: The largest annual fair in Canada, this celebration of Canadian industry, commerce and the arts has been going since 1879 and attracts 1.4 million visitors every year. With nostalgic fairground rides, live music on the main stage, and art and cultural exhibitions, this is a fun day out for all the family. In the day, a huge Mardi-Gras style parade takes center stage, and at night there’s a firework display complete with music.

Caribana: Toronto is a cosmopolitan city, and nowhere is this more reflected than at Caribana, the largest Caribbean festival in North America. The city’s large Caribbean population prepare a lavish Parade, complete with calypso and steel band music, and a masquerade with a procession of floats carrying live soca and reggae artists through the city. The two-day Olympic Island Caribbean Arts Festival afterwards hosts outdoor concerts, a Calypso competition, stalls of Caribbean food and a Caribana King and Queen Pageant.

Toronto In September

Toronto International Film Festival: This world-renowned film festival is second only to Cannes in the film industry’s eyes. The decisions made here often reflect who will win Oscars in the following year, and plenty of big-screen stars are expected to attend. More than 350 films are shown in theatres across the city.

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