Press Release:
What’s New in Toronto: Summer 2016

Thursday, June 2nd, 2016

Contact info + PDF Version

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Tourism Toronto Media Relations:
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Download a PDF version of this press release: What’s New in Toronto: Summer 2016.

TORONTO, CANADA (May 2016) – Toronto is the centre of inspiration this summer and all year-round where entertainment, the arts, dining and shopping thrive. Adventures of a lifetime await you in this intimate metropolis, resulting in some of the most extraordinary experiences you can find. Our diverse neighbourhoods, inspiring entertainment, thrilling sports and attractions, and world-renowned cuisine ensure Toronto will provide memories that last a lifetime.

It all happens in Toronto, Canada’s Downtown, an unforgettable city alive with energy. Read on and find out the updates and latest happenings in Toronto or visit


Sheraton Hotels & Resorts completed an extensive $120 million renovation of the flagship property, Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel. The two-year refurbishment project included a full overhaul of all 1,372 guest rooms and suites, as well as the completion of function space expansion and meeting room restorations. All guest rooms and suites at Sheraton Centre Toronto feature completely new carpeting, vinyl, drapery, case goods, desks, chairs and LG® LED 55” flat screen televisions. Bedside tables come equipped with electrical outlets to charge devices and each room features bedside docking stations. Fully renovated bathrooms, many of which feature walk-in showers, include low-flow toilets, shower heads and aerated faucets. Additionally, the 300 Club Level guest rooms offer new refrigerators with higher efficiencies for guest use and convenience. Guests can expect a premium sleep experience with brand new custom-designed beds from Simmons®, offering a plush-top mattress and solid foundation with all white bedding and linens.
The hotel now offers more than 130,000 square feet of premium meeting and event space with the addition of the Willow and Provincial ballrooms. The Lower Concourse Convention floor, which includes the Grand Ballroom, Sheraton Hall and the Osgoode Ballroom, features a new state of the art Lutron lighting control system, allowing clients the flexibility to control and adjust lighting in the rooms via a loaned iPad. Upgraded acoustic walls, new carpet, vinyl and paint complete the convention floor refurbishment and upgrade. The eight smaller meeting rooms on the fourth floor of the Queen Tower were also redone, and all carpeting, vinyl, fabrics and upholstery in both the meeting space and guest rooms meet Starwood’s low volatile organic compounds (VOCs) requirement.

Courtyard Marriott Toronto Downtown completed a $14.5 million renovation in May 2016. Newly renovated guest rooms and meeting space are now available. 575 guest rooms feature a residential feel, tone-on-tone décor offering relaxation and abundant comfort along with stylish bathrooms, new corridors, new Marriott beds, in-room safes, mini fridges, 60 TV channels and free Wi-Fi. Redesigned contemporary function space accommodates up to 400 guests. The hotel also features a newly refreshed lobby with a bistro.

Le Germain Hotel Toronto completed an extensive makeover thereby providing guests with a stylish, convenient and comfortable experience. A total of 118 rooms have been revitalized with tasteful new furnishings, lighting, conveniences and more, all thoughtfully selected to create an environment which is as inviting as it is contemporary. The hotel’s hallways were also updated to complement the fashionable new look and feel of the rooms.

Nouvelle Maria Spa in the Omni King Edward Hotel will undergo a dramatic upgrade by 2017. After 27 years, the rejuvenated Spa will complement the new look and feel of the refurbished King Eddie Hotel and provide first-class spa services to hotel guests and locals alike. The Spa is introducing a new product, La Peau, the new anti-aging reave from Switzerland. Its revolutionary BeCell molecular complex steams from years of skin research by Swiss scientists.

Shopping & Spas

The Drake General Store is opening a new Toronto flagship store in July 2016. The 3-floor stand-alone multi- purpose space will be a lifestyle shopping experience with a fully programmed events calendar featuring: workshops, talks, screenings, rotating pop-ups, guest collaborators, artists, live music, experiential activations and a Crows Nest Barber Shop nook to launch their new Weekend Warriors summer campaign. The new flagship Drake General Store starts with Drake General Store’s in-house designed merchandise, limited edition collaborations, and international brands exclusive to Drake General Store. Also launching is the gourmet Nordic brand Nicolas Vahé which will introduce foodies to unique recipes inspired by French tradition but with Scandinavian twists. Another Nordic export is Meraki, a unique world of skin care products designed and developed in Denmark.

The new store will have a mini-café that celebrates some of the best coffee roasters across Canada as well as international favourites. Drake General Store’s coffee bar will offer in-house Drake commissary baked scones, croissants and cookies, Drake Pantry preserves, as well as bespoke chocolates and confections. For the summer months, Death in Venice gelato and sorbetti will also be available.

Elmwood Spa recently completed a $700,000 renovation of their second floor, now housing a bright and elegant new manicure-pedicure area and hair salon. The 1,990 square foot new space is equipped with 12 manicure chairs, 12 pedicure chairs and two chairs for the hair studio. The waiting area is lined with teal banquets and crystal chandeliers, offering a cozy, yet stylish space for guests to enjoy a beverage or food from the Juice Bar. This open and airy space with large windows is the perfect contrast of traditional and contemporary, complementing the historic design of the building by Gordon & Helliwell Architects, the same architects that designed Casa Loma and Old City Hall.

Nordstrom will open a flagship three-level store in the fall of 2016 at Toronto’s Eaton Centre. This will be the first of three Nordstorms set to open in the Greater Toronto Area. The Yorkdale Shopping Centre location (191,000 square feet) is scheduled to open in October 2016 and a third ocation at Toronto’s Sherway Gardens (138,000 square feet) is set to open summer of 2017.


Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport (Billy Bishop Airport) has been recognized through multiple passenger- driven, global awards, including the Airports Council International’s (ACI) 2015 Airport Service Quality Awards and Skytrax 2016 World Airport Awards, as being one of North America’s best airports. Billy Bishop Airport tied for third in the ACI’s Best Airport – North America Region category, one of only two Canadian airports to make the list. The 2015 ACI Awards were based on the results of the ACI’s Airport Service Quality Survey, which saw more than 550,000 in-depth passenger surveys conducted at over 300 airports across more than 80 countries. For Skytrax, the airport was ranked the ninth-best regional airport on the continent. For each of the awards, passengers gave the airport top marks for fast check-in times, ease of access to the terminal, the courtesy and efficiency of airport staff, and more. In April 2016 Billy Bishop Airport received its third award of the year, being voted by travelers as having the sixth Most Scenic Airport Approaches in the world. The airport was the only Canadian airport to be recognized in PrivateFly’s annual global poll.

Exhibition Place has installed four new electric vehicle charging stations (EVCS) in the Enercare Centre underground parking garage. The electric vehicle charging stations are EVLink Level 2 units, and capable of a full charge in 4-8 hours. Located on the east, west, and south corners of the underground parking garage, the charging station bays are marked with large graphic EVCS signage.
UP Express is the fast, reliable, comfortable choice when it comes to travel between Toronto Pearson International Airport and downtown Toronto. For $12, UP Express delivers a stress-free 25 minute journey with trains leaving every 15 minutes from 5:30 am until 1:00 am. A fully accessible service, UP Express offers a host of conveniences for travellers including complimentary Wi-Fi, comfortable seating with table trays, power outlets, luggage racks and flight information screens. UP has special fares for families, seniors and students (children 12 and under always travel for free). And if you find yourself waiting at the airport for your connecting flight, take advantage of the UP Express Long Layover Fare to spend up to 7 hours exploring attractions, restaurants and shopping in the heart of the city ( $12 individual / $25 for Families). Or, for the same price, greet family and friends at the airport with the UP Express Meeter & Greeter Fare (good for 4 hours of travel).

Last September, BMO Field underwent phase one of a $130 million expansion that includes the addition of 8,400 seats, new washrooms and concession stands, a full HD video board, upgraded suites and clubs. Construction of the $65 million second phase has begun with the ground breaking for the installation of the four massive super columns that will hold up the roof. Once completed, the canopy will cover all of the seats in the east, west and south stands. With the addition of the canopy this season, BMO Field will also introduce a rigging system for tifo displays, similar to those in European stadiums, as well as new sound and lighting systems. BMO Field also becomes the new home of the CFL’s Toronto Argonauts this season with the team’s first preseason game taking place on June 11, 2016. In November, the stadium will host the CFL’s Grey Cup Championship game as well as the NHL Centennial Classic on January 1, 2017 when the Toronto Maple Leafs take on the Detroit Red Wings.

Spacious and exclusive, The VUE Event Venues newest acquisition is the Royal Woodbine Golf Club and Lounge. This newly renovated space marks the city’s only access to the stunning greens of the Royal Woodbine Golf Course in this 9,000 square foot, million dollar project. Both The Vue and VUE Walkout event spaces are sexy, innovative, and exclusive. Dual spaces with separate entrances feature multiple bars, floor to ceiling windows walking out to the luxurious multi-purpose 4,000 square foot patio, banquettes, cool dining options, a fireplace and soft lounge furnishings.

Toronto Congress Centre (TCC), a division of Congress Centres Inc., announced world-renowned Chef Mark McEwan as their consulting chef for their in-house culinary operations. Chef McEwan will consult on all culinary activities for the one million square foot operation within the convention facility. TCC guests will be able to experience chef McEwan’s renowned taste and artistry within the many settings including the restaurants and menu planning for conferences, galas, meetings and events.


Meet the 1,000 new creatures now at Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada. Come face-to-face with Halloween Crabs and enjoy the calming view of Blue Blubber Jellyfish. From Flashlight Fish to Coral Catfish, be one of the first to explore these swarming creatures in the heart of downtown Toronto.

Song Dong’s Communal Courtyard, on at the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) from January 30–July 17, 2016, invites visitors to lose themselves inside a unique installation of 100 vintage Chinese wardrobe doors which transforms the exhibition space into a series of snaking walkways and small rooms reminiscent of Beijing’s traditional communal living spaces. Evocative of the contemporary urban experience from Beijing to Toronto, in which traditional architectures and ways of living together are being threatened by rapid growth, this thoughtful, playful installation invites audiences to reconsider how we might hold onto some elements of tradition while radically reimagining them for the present.

The Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) presents the Hurvin Anderson: Backdrop exhibit from May 19-August 21, 2016. Best known for his paintings of lush Caribbean landscapes and urban barbershops, British artist Hurvin Anderson portrays charged social histories and shifting notions of cultural identity with poignancy and great beauty. The child of Jamaican parents who settled in Birmingham, Anderson creates large-scale landscapes and interiors that are brightly hued meditations on place, memory and inclusion.

The Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) is partnering with the Hammer Museum to introduce Lawren Harris’s iconic landscapes. The Idea of North: The Paintings of Lawren Harris will arrive in Toronto July 1-September 11, 2016. The core of the exhibition features more than 30 of Harris’ most significant and rare northern landscapes from the 1920s and 1930s, drawn from major public and private collections across Canada.

Coming to the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) from the musée du quai Branly in Paris, where the exhibition received rave reviews, Tattoos: Ritual. Identity. Obsession. Art. explores the 5,000-year-old multifaceted world of tattooing, showcasing a visual history of body art and markings, ancient tools, and commissioned tattooed silicone body reproductions, inked by some of the most respected tattoo artists in the contemporary world.

A Third Gender: Beautiful Youths in Japanese Prints opens at the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) on May 7, 2016. Featuring stunning woodblock prints, samurai armour, a kimono, screen paintings, lacquerwork, and illustrated books, the exhibition explores issues of gender and tells a pivotal story of sexuality in Japan’s Edo period (1603-1868). A Third Gender is the first North American display on wakashu, featuring approximately 60 woodblock prints (ukiyo-e), visually representing wakashu. Many never before displayed, they are from the ROM’s Japanese art collection—the largest in Canada. Produced since the 8th century in Japan, woodblock prints, created collaboratively by a designer, engraver, printer, and publisher, became popular in the 17th century. The exhibition’s prints were created in early 18th to mid-19th centuries by major ukiyo-e masters including Okumura Masanobu.

On at the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) from June 25, 2016-January 2, 2017 CHIHULY is an exhibition exploring colour, light, and form by one of the world’s foremost artists working in glass today. Created by sand, fire, and human breath, these brilliantly coloured works of art produce a magical, sensory experience that will never be forgotten.

On May 2, 2017 the new Museum of Contemporary Art Toronto Canada will open and be devoted to the art of the XXIst C. The new museum will operate under the idea of the “agora,” a public space for working out democracy today by creating a “nexus,” a space for exchange and networking. This hospitable space will be the centre for new exhibitions of international calibre. Its collection will be based on innovative ideas. The museum will co-produce exhibitions and new works with national and international partners such as curators, museums, major galleries, collectors and foundations.

Segway of Ontario has re-branded to Go Tours Canada and is launching two new walking tours and a history podcast. The Old Town Toronto Booze, Politics and Guns tour will start and end in the Distillery District and include a walk past some of Toronto’s most famous historic sites. In addition to this tour, the company is adding the Distillery Deluxe Tasting Tour; it will feature food and drink tastings from multiple Distillery District vendors and a modified version of the company’s award-winning “Booze, Death and Cholera” tour content. The Real Canadian History Podcast will launch summer 2016 and feature ten episodes on the history of Toronto from the earliest Haudenosaunee and Wendat settlements to current day. Listeners will hear a keen take on the massive turning points the city went through from warfare to prohibition, bathhouse riots and the infamous Rob Ford.

Toronto Bicycle Tours is launching two new tours this summer. Ride an electric bike beyond the concrete and steel of downtown, up the Don Valley to the Toronto Botanical Garden, the Aga Khan Museum and CF Shops at Don Mills, where you will be treated to tastings, art and a different view of nature in Toronto. The tour will visit Toronto Botanical Garden for an experience full of natural beauty, country charm and wild elixirs. At the Aga Khan Museum, enjoy an introduction to Islamic art and discover how nature has inspired exquisite manuscript paintings, textiles, and ceramics. Petals and Pedals Bike Tour is available June 11-12, 2016. It is a guided tour of the private gardens in The Kingsway. Pedal your way to over 19 unique and beautiful private gardens accompanied by your own Master Gardener on Wheels and Architectural expert. From styles varying from urban chic to English charm, stroll through each garden while your guides recount the rich history of the area, highlight interesting plants and point out the unique design features. Midway through the tour, you’ll enjoy a picnic lunch created by a local, sustainable caterer in a private tented area.

Toronto Heli Tours has added a new, red helicopter with leather seats to the fleet featuring a rare floor-to- ceiling, all-window door for all seats. The viewing and photo opportunities from these spectacular new doors provide an amazing view of the city. Toronto Heli Tours has also acquired state of the art photography equipment and now features photo services onsite. The professional photography service includes high end printers for take-home prints, digital services and video onboard. They also now have online booking, which is connected directly to their flight calendar.

New for 2016 at TreeTop Eco-Adventure Park is using the Clic-IT and Safe Roller Smart Belay systems. With these systems TreeTop Eco-Adventure Park is now the safest aerial adventure park in the Greater Toronto Area and the only park in Ontario using both systems. The Clic-IT system works with a series of magnets and wires preventing clients from taking their life lines off the courses at once. The Safe Roller system was implemented on the children’s course, extending the age range from a minimum of 7-years-old to a minimum of 5-years-old and there is now no minimum height for the children’s course.

Mariposa Cruises is revamping the classic harbour tours of the city’s iconic waterfront with new GPS- triggered guided narrations in four languages (English, French, Spanish, and Mandarin) – the first in Toronto to offer guided harbour tours beyond English and French. Mariposa Cruises has updated their Scenic Harbour tours to paint a picture of a modern day, distinctive Toronto. The new tours aim to engage tourists and Torontonians alike beyond the standard tour experience, featuring entertaining music, and nostalgic sound effects like adoring Blue Jays fans cheering in the stands of the Rogers Centre.

The Beer Lovers’ Tour Co. is launching a new beer tour, The Toronto Rail & Ale Beer Tour, every Sunday starting June 19, 2016. The tour will explore Steam Whistle Brewery, Toronto Railway Museum (housed in the historic John St. Roundhouse), the CN Skywalk to Union Station, Mill Street Lounge, an UP Express train ride, the new UP Express Bloor St. Station, and an Art Walk to Henderson’s Brewery, Toronto’s latest addition to local craft beer. Almost every stop will include tastings and exclusive tours. The Toronto Rail & Ale Tour is the Beer Lovers’ Tour Company’s latest addition to their beer-themed cultural tours, celebrating the history of Toronto against the backdrop of our rich brewing heritage both past and present.

Experience Toronto like the locals do with Heritage Toronto Tours. Heritage Toronto has been around since 1949 and is a go-to resource for people wanting to uncover the beauty and history of Toronto’s many neighbourhoods, from Kensington Market to Old Town Toronto to Little Manila. Tours run until early October and upcoming summer highlights include: June 23, 2016 – Yorkville Music Scene walking tour led by one of Canada’s most respected music journalists Nicholas Jennings; June 19, 2017 – Lost Breweries of Old Toronto walking tour with beer author and expert Jordan St. John – includes a Mill St. Brewery tour and free beer tasting.

Bay of Spirits has been offering a wide array of First Nations artwork to Torontonians and tourists for over 20 years. The newly renovated gallery features works from Norval Morisseau, Daphne Odjig Carl Ray, Robert Davidson, Kenojuak Ashevak and many other Canadian First Nation artists. Bay of Spirits carries a strong collection of works from across Canada, including original paintings, prints, pacific west coast masks, sculptures, jewelry, and giftware.

Axis Freestyle Academy will be Canada’s first all-in-one, year-round dryslope freestyle training facility for skiing and snowboarding. Planned to open in late June 2016 and located conveniently in the City of Vaughan, the 20,000 sq.ft facility will be equipped with custom high performance trampolines, a variety of jumps and rails, foam pits, a gym and yoga studio. This facility will be designed with all athlete levels in mind, from the beginner riders who have the ambition to ride in the terrain park to advanced riders training for competition.

Cineplex is bringing its latest venture, The Rec Room, to Toronto in the form of an entertainment complex that will focus on arcade games and live entertainment. Moving into the Leon’s Furniture store in Roundhouse Park in early 2017, this 40,000 square foot space will feature an upscale casual restaurant, a bar with multiple high- definition screens, games, shuffleboard courts, pool tables, ping pong tables and an entertainment venue.

Playdium is a high-tech, interactive, virtual and physical entertainment center. The 40,000 square foot indoor complex features more than 200 of today’s newest and most popular attractions, simulators and games. The newest featured attractions and games at Playdium include Crossy Roads, Kung Fu Panda, Black Hole, Grand Piano Keys, Star Wars Battle Pods, Jurassic Park and Time Crisis 5.
TruExperiences Tours is adding a new small-group Toronto city tour in May 2016. The Toronto city tour features a maximum of just 15 guests per tour, transportation in a deluxe Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, one driver, and one expert tour guide.

2016 marks the Toronto Blue Jays 40th Season. The Blue Jays kicked off their 40th season at the Home Opener at the Rogers Centre on April 8, 2016 against the Boston Red Sox. The Toronto Blue Jays brought playoff baseball excitement back to Toronto in 2015 – selling out Rogers Centre almost every game in the second half of the season and ending a 22 year playoff drought.

Toronto’s newest sports team is the Toronto Wolfpack, which plans to play in the third tier of English rugby league in 2017. The owners are billing it as the first transatlantic professional sports team. The Wolfpack will be based in England for the most part, playing home games in three-week chunks at Toronto’s Lamport Stadium. The new team will be the 16th in the third-tier Kingstone Press League 1, which has 12 teams from England, two from Wales and one from France.

Two new eco-adventure attractions are set to open June 2016 at WildPlay Niagara Falls. WildPlay’s MistRider Zipline to the Falls is a rush that soars high and fast above the gorge from the Grand View Marketplace toward the breathtaking natural phenomenon of Niagara Falls. The new Whirlpool Adventure Course at Thompson Point is a fun and thrilling experience of suspended obstacles and ziplines in the midst of nature. Three self-paced courses include dozens of climbing, ziplining, jumping, and swinging aerial games for guests ages five to adult. The cliff-side Courses are a new and unique way to have a Niagara River adventure.

Dining & Entertainment

Miku Toronto opened last Fall and is situated on Toronto’s Waterfront at Bay and Queen’s Quay. This multimillion dollar project is over 7000 square feet, and includes a raw bar, sushi bar, and a large patio. The interior features a contemporary upscale design with its light-soaked main dining room, towering ceiling, and floor-to-ceiling windows. Corporate Executive Chef Kazuya Matsuoka along with Chef de Cuisine Michael Acero and Head Sushi Chef Kazuki Uchigoshi bring Aburi Cuisine to Toronto combining traditional Japanese flavours and techniques with local, East Coast elements to create a truly unique dining experience. The menu focuses on Aburi Sushi as well as fresh seafood, respecting the natural flavours of the ingredients while adding a signature Aburi twist.

Construction recently finished of Toronto’s first fully operational Beavertails year round store-front in the heart of Toronto’s waterfront. Located in the historic Pier 6 building at the foot of York Street, Beavertails Toronto serves up beavertail pastries as well home-made gelato, smoothies, frozen yogurt, poutine, and more.

Toronto’s Bellwoods Brewery is opening up a new space in the north end of the city. This incoming spot will include a brewery and a bottle shop. The distribution of beer from the new location is set to begin this summer.

One of Toronto’s lost architectural gems is set to be brought back to life in the form of a new brewery. Junction Craft Brewing announced that it has secured a lease for 150 Symes Rd., a former incinerator built in 1934 under the direction of public works commissioner R.C. Harris. At 16,000 square feet, it’s an amazing site for a brewery that leaves plenty of room beyond the brewing infrastructure. The plan is to open in early 2017 after restoration efforts are complete at the building.

Toronto food writer, Amy Rosen, is set to open a gourmet cinnamon bun shop later this year. The tentative name for the shop is Rosen’s Cinnamon Buns, and the place will be fashioned after an old Kensington market Jewish bakery. It will feature two main items: large and mini buns and cinnamon bun bread pudding.

Luc “Bim” Lafontaine, the former head brewer of Montreal’s famed Dieu du Ciel! microbrewery, has announced that he’s opening a brewpub on Toronto’s east side by the end of 2016. The 6,000 square foot space will feature a 20-hectolitre brewery, a 140-seat pub complemented by what Lafontaine calls an “unpretentious kitchen” and a retail store that will sell beer to-go. Lafontaine has been brewing beer for 23 years and recently returned to Canada after helping launch Japan’s Kyoto Brewing Co.

Events & Festivals

Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival celebrates 20 years in May 2016. CONTACT is a premiere cultural event in Canada held month-long each May in Toronto with well over 1,500 Canadian and international artists and photographers exhibiting at more than 175 venues throughout the Greater Toronto Area. As a leading proponent of photography, the Festival increases exposure and recognition for local, Canadian and international artists and is committed to advancing knowledge, creativity and innovation in photography.

Carassauga is a three-day cultural event showcasing over 70 countries at different pavilions throughout the city of Mississauga. In each pavilion there will be exotic foods, entertainment and culture of the associated country. The festival is taking place May 27-29, 2016.

Doors Open Toronto is Canada’s largest Doors Open event and one of the three largest Doors Open events in the world. The 17th annual Doors Open Toronto is scheduled for May 28-29, 2016 and will offer residents and visitors an opportunity to take a peek behind the doors of more than 100 architecturally, historically, culturally and socially significant buildings across the city. The Doors Open Toronto 2016 theme of Re-used, Re-visited and Revised will explore the adaptive re-use of buildings throughout Toronto’s architectural history.

Toronto is getting a huge open air food and artisan market this summer at HTO Park. The Waterfront Artisan Market (WAM) spreads out over six separate summer 2016 weekends (May 28-29, June 18-19, July 1-3, July 30-Aug 1, September 3-5 and October 8-1). Artisan vendors include jewellers, sunglass makers, photography, home and décor, and clothing. There will be over 20 cook-on-site food vendors over the course of the market including Caplansky’s Deli, La Fiesta, Loaded Pierogi, Come and Get it, Jamie Kennedy’s Kitchen, and many more. A new destination for visitors and a premium weekend outing for people across the city, the Waterfront Artisan Market presented by The Waterfront BIA in partnership with Toronto Market Company (TMCo), brings together a carefully curated mix of more than 50 artisans, crafters, chefs and bakers.

Launching June 1, 2016, Pride Month in Toronto will feature extended programming and provocative events throughout the city, culminating with the 10-day Pride Toronto festival, June 24-July 3. Pride Month will begin with its inaugural city proclamation and the raising of the Rainbow flag at Toronto City Hall, set to occur for the first-time at the beginning of June. On July 3, Pride Toronto will make Canadian history with the first time a sitting Prime Minister participates in the annual Pride Parade. 2016 also marks the 35th anniversary of the infamous Bathhouse Raids that incited mass protests and spurred the development of Pride in Toronto. The Festival will reflect on the community’s victories since 1981 and explore the issues that still require change, commitment and focus.

The Streetsville Founders’ Bread and Honey Festival, Mississauga’s longest-running festival, commemorates the founding of the historic Village of Streetsville. Taking place June 4, 2016, the festival includes a parade, children’s activities, fishing derby and live entertainment. Other traditions include the Lions Club Carnival, Rotary Consumer Market, crafters market and more.

Luminato Festival celebrates its 10th anniversary this year. Luminato is Toronto’s global multi-arts festival for the wildly curious showcasing performance, art, music, theatre, dance and more. The Festival will run June 10- 26, 2016 with a free and ticketed program of local and international artists delivering adventurous art in adventurous places. In its first decade, Luminato has become one of the preeminent arts festivals in North America, having commissioned close to 100 new works of art, with more than 3,000 performances featuring 11,000 artists from over 40 countries. This year, Luminato will transform the Hearn Generating Station, an epic decommissioned power plant and one of Toronto’s unique industrial landmarks, into a public art centre with a theatre, music stage, site-specific performance space, restaurants, bars and more.

Downtown Toronto will have two new outdoor food markets this summer. Running from June 13-August 5, 2016, Front Street Foods is a wide-ranging culinary market that will showcase some of Toronto’s best chefs, restaurants, food entrepreneurs, and their delectable creations. This market will take place in the heart of the financial district at Adelaide Place on York Street. The second outdoor food market is Union Summer. This Union Station market will run seven days a week from June 27-September 5, 2016 and feature 21 different food and drink vendors, a licensed area from the team at Parts & Labour Catering, a fresh produce marketplace and live music.

From June 15-19 2016, Toronto hosts the North by Northeast Festival (NXNE), one of Canada’s most anticipated summer music events. This year marks 22 years of celebrating not only up and coming local musicians, but some of the hottest acts on the global scene today. Programming also includes film, comedy, and art for industry folk and culture enthusiasts alike. Some of the headliners this year include Blonde Redhead, Atlas Sound, and Willow Smith. The performances and events take place in venues all over the city, with a couple of concerts free to the public happening at Yonge-Dundas Square to add to the five-day party.

Now celebrating its 20th year, the Mississauga Waterfront Festival is recognized as Mississauga’s Signature Family and Friends event. They have achieved a Top 100 Festivals in Ontario ranking for ten years and received praise for consistently providing new and fresh performers and attractions. The Mississauga Waterfront Festival takes place over a three-day weekend with live outdoor concerts, family activities, food and entertainment. This year’s Festival will take place June 17-19, 2016 at Port Credit Memorial Park.

Taste of Toronto, featuring Toronto’s most celebrated chefs and rising stars, foodie entertainment and a boutique food and drink market, is back for the third year from June 23-26, 2016. The event will take place over four days inside the historic walls of Fort York. Comprised of six half-day sessions, featuring some of the city’s latest, greatest and most unique restaurants, top local and international chefs, over 50 local artisan exhibitors, and a range of interactive culinary features.

The TD Toronto Jazz Festival is one of North America’s premier jazz festivals, not just for music lovers but for some of the greatest jazz celebrities in the world. The hub is in the heart of the city at Nathan Phillips Square and with 1,500 musicians performing at 40 venues, downtown will be groovin’, swingin’ and jumpin’ for ten days, from June 24-July 3, 2016.

The Toronto Fringe Festival features more than 155 indie shows in more than 25 venues, in every genre with local, national, and international artists. There are new plays and old favourites, experimental works and fresh hits. Dance lovers can check out dance productions, and families can look forward to FringeKids! shows. This year’s Toronto Fringe Festival is happening from June 29-July 10, 2016.

Bud Light Digital Dreams is the largest electronic music festival in Canada. Set on the shoreline of Toronto with one of North America’s most iconic skylines in the background, Bud Light Digital Dreams and the Flats at Ontario Place offer party goers a sophisticated festival experience, July 2-3, 2016.

The Redpath Waterfront Festival is an annual summer event that provides on-land and on-water programming for people of all ages and interests with the goal of promoting Toronto locally and internationally as a premiere waterfront destination. From July 1-3, 2016 enjoy music, food, nautical programs and entertainment.

As the largest of its kind in Canada, the Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition offers a fresh-air and free alternative to conventional art shows and galleries. Approximately 500 artists participate and over 100,000 visitors attend the exhibition every year. Side-by-side, established artists, undiscovered talents and innovative students sell their work directly to the public and make lasting connections with art dealers and collectors. The Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition will run from July 8-10, 2016.

Unfolding from July 8-24, 2016 in the heart of the lakeside neighbourhood, the Beaches International Jazz Festival’s celebration of music features a dynamic musical roster, multiple stages, and an enticing line-up of gourmet food trucks.

The Salsa in Toronto Festival is taking place July 9-10, 2016. The street festival is a free celebration of Latin culture that transforms a stretch of St. Clair Avenue West into a salsa party featuring live music, dance lessons, Latin food and family fun.

The Honda Indy Toronto takes place on the streets surrounding Exhibition Place near Lake Ontario and downtown Toronto from July 15-17, 2016. This is among the most respected motorsports events in North America and features a week-long festival-like atmosphere that includes the fastest racing series on the planet, celebrity athletes, live entertainment and interactive activities.

Toronto’s Festival of Beer is a celebration of Canada’s rich brewing history, hosted by experts of the brewing craft from around the world. Join the fun which features 300+ brands onsite at Bandshell Park Exhibition Place, July 22-24, 2016.

Rogers Cup presented by National Bank is a prestigious professional tennis tournament organized by Tennis Canada. Since 1881 for the men and 1892 for the women, the best players in the world have showcased their skills on Canadian courts. Montreal and Toronto share the task of hosting the best men’s and women’s players in the world, with both tournaments played at the same time, during the same week. From July 23-31, 2016 the men will be in Toronto while the women will play in Montreal.

The Toronto Caribbean Carnival is an exciting three-week cultural explosion of Caribbean music, cuisine, and revelry as well as visual and performing arts with a Caribbean Carnival Grand Parade & Carnival Island grand finale celebration July 24-25, 2016.

The 2016 Ontario Summer Games are coming to Mississauga. Taking place August 11-14, 2016, athletes ages 13 to 17 from all regions of Ontario will compete against their fellow provincial athletes. The Games provide athletes with development and competitive opportunities that will prepare them for national and international sports competitions. The event roster now includes nine events from the Ontario Winter Games program making the 2016 Summer Games the largest in history. More than 4,000 athletes, coaches, managers and major officials participating in more than 32 different sport events including former winter sport events, Boxing, Diving, Karate, Kickboxing, Sledge Hockey, Table Tennis, Taekwondo, Women’s Hockey, Weightlifting and Wrestling.

Celebrate the fun flavours of Greece at Krinos Taste of the Danforth from August 5-7, 2016. Every year in August, visitors and residents flock to GreekTown on the Danforth. There are a number of exhibitors offering contests, prizes and free samples and, of course, dozens and dozens of tasty food stations from Danforth’s amazing array of multi-ethnic restaurants.

Sail-In Cinema by PortsToronto is returning to Sugar Beach August 18-20, 2016. The free, floating festival will once again showcase the world’s first two-sided floating movie experience of its size from a barge anchored in Lake Ontario. The theme for this year’s event is “Books to Big Screen” and will feature three films derived from books. The final line-up of films will be selected through a public vote being launched mid-June. A program of pre-film fun for all ages, including giveaways, entertainment and treats will once again be offered by Sail-In Cinema sponsors. This year’s event promises a truly memorable cinematic experience with custom configured audio and cinema-quality digital projectors. Audiences will have the opportunity to view their favourite films on a two-sided inflatable screen with a 40×20-foot viewing surface, which sits in a four-story frame and weighs more than 700 lbs. making it one of the largest outdoor movie screens in North America.

A popular end-of summer ritual, the Canadian National Exhibition offers a wide variety of colourful interactive experiences. From August 19-September 5, 2016 take in all the attractions including concerts, celebrity chef demonstrations, international performances plus comedy and animal shows. Interact with park entertainers, farm animals, colourful characters in Kids World and so much more. All the excitement culminates on Labour Day Weekend in a three-day air show.

Expect comedy, spontaneity and a dash of the unbelievable: four days and four nights of non-stop, action- packed, fun-filled entertainment at Toronto International BuskerFest from August 25-28, 2016. Comedians, contortionists, musicians, magicians, fire jugglers, acrobats, aerial artists, clowns and daredevils all come together for North America’s largest street performer festival, the largest epilepsy awareness event in the world.

Fan Expo Canada is the largest comics, sci-fi, horror, anime, and gaming event in Canada and the 3rd largest Pop Culture event in North America. Celebrating its 22nd year September 1-4, 2016, Fan Expo Canada has grown from a small comic book convention attracting 1,500 fans into a multi-faceted, 4-day citywide event that attracts over 129,000 people from around the world.
The Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) is the biggest and brightest public film festival. World premieres, galas, and parties comprise this illustrious event where stars, directors and industry honchos make the rounds. Join the can’t-miss festival from September 8-18, 2016.

This September, local groups, Art Spin and Small World Music Festival, will launch in/FUTURE, which is being categorized as a transformative art experience at Ontario Place. From September 15-25, 2016 in/FUTURE will host more than 40 contemporary artists who will create both indoor and outdoor installations. The Cinesphere will also be up and running and it’ll show a series of new films and videos as well as IMAX movies from Ontario Place’s archive. Along with dance and theatrical performances, the Small World Music Festival will curate a music series featuring local and international artists.

The 2016 World Cup of Hockey is happening in Toronto. Over 150 of the top players in the NHL® are coming to Toronto September 17-October 1, 2016 to face off in what promises to be one of the most competitive, highly skilled hockey tournaments in the history of the sport, exclusively at Air Canada Centre and featuring players representing over 15 countries. Eight teams — Team Canada, Team Czech Republic, Team Europe, Team Finland, Team North America, Team Russia, Team Sweden and Team USA — will compete in this best- on-best international hockey championship.

Just For Laughs (JFL42) is a pass-based interactive comedy festival running from September 22-October 1, 2016. It features the most hilarious, riveting and relevant comedy acts you can find over a 10-day period in Toronto.

For more information, please contact: Jessica Halliday, Tourism Toronto, 416-203-3812


About Tourism Toronto

Tourism Toronto is the destination marketing organization for the Toronto region – Canada’s Downtown. Working in partnership with the Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport and the Greater Toronto Hotel Association, markets and sells Toronto to leisure and business travelers around the world. For more information about Toronto please visit