Toronto's best festivalsWe confess: we love going to summer festivals – it’s one of the best things about living in Toronto.  Get your calendar out and take note – these are our top 10 Not-to-Miss Toronto festivals and events:

Shakespeare in High Park (June 26-Sept 2, 2012) They may have changed the name this year, but this is the same Dream in High Park Torontonians have been enjoying for 30 years. Pack a picnic, sneak in a bottle of vino (you didn’t hear that from us) and settle in for some outdoor theatre. Featured this year: A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Click here for all the deets: Shakespeare in High Park 

the brel team at Ribfest

BREL at Toronto Ribfest 2007

Toronto Ribfest (June 29-July 1, 2012). North America’s best ribbers gather for Toronto Ribfest in Centennial Park (yes it’s worth the drive) for a weekend of ribs, ribs and more ribs. There are trophies, a beer garden and some bad cover bands – but it’s really about the ribs. Go early and go hungry – if you’re there at prime time (Friday and Saturday evening), expect to wait 30+ minutes for some ribs.  Try the bloomin’ onion – but don’t tell your doctor. Click here for the official website: Toronto Ribfest.

Canada Day at Harbourfront (July 1, 2012) This year, Canada celebrates 145 years of awesomeness and Harbourfront is the place to be with a whole weekend of music, food and family-friendly events. Click here for the official schedule of events: Canada Day at Harbourfront.

Pride Parade in the Village (July 1, 2012)  The Pride Parade is on Canada Day this year and who doesn’t love a parade? And Pride is pretty much the best parade out there – plus, it’s a guaranteed way not to run into Rob Ford. Click here for the official website: Pride Toronto.

Salsa on St Clair (July 7-8, 2012) Latin food, latin music, latin dance – who needs a winter getaway to experience it? You don’t need to be able to salsa to have fun – but it does help.  Click here for the official website: Salsa on St Clair.

Hot and Spicy Festival at Harbourfront (July 20-22, 2012) One of the best Harbourfront foodie summer events. A celebration of all things hot and spicy. This year they are planning a taco takedown! Click here for all the deets: Hot and Spicy Festival.

Beaches Jazz Festival (July 20-29, 2012) While the Montreal Jazz Festival is still our favourite (they serve poutine), the Beaches Jazz Festival is a not-to-miss event. From organized concerts to random street performers, there’s something for everyone – and it’s FREE! Click here for the official website: Beaches Jazz Festival.

the BREL team at the Toronto Beer Festival

BREL Beer Festival Dream Team 2011

The Beer Festival. (July 27-29, 2012) This is the BREL all-time favourite festival. They moved the festival to the CNE grounds  a few years ago, which is surprisingly an excellent spot to sample literally hundreds of beers. Our advice: buy your tickets early and get the hoptimized ticket (it gets you in early with no line-up). Group T-shirts are a nice touch. Click here to reserve your tickets: Toronto Beer Festival.

Summerworks Theatre Festival (August 9-19, 2012). After all the drinking you’ve done at the other festivals, it’s time for a little cultcha – more than 30 plays at various theatres and outdoor spaces. Try to catch at least a couple. Click here for the official website: Summerworks Theatre Festival.

Taste of the Danforth (August 10-12, 2012) A celebration of all things greek, it’s best to wear expandable pants to Taste of the Danforth. The crowds can sometimes be overwhelming, but the food and family fun to be had make it all worth it. How many souvlaki can you handle? Click here for details: Taste of the Danforth.

We think Toronto is a world-class city – so get out there and enjoy the best summer festivals and events!


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