With the summer in full swing, the city is alive with events, restaurants and festivals you wont want to miss.
1. Ontario Place: Spanning the summer months, Ontario Place will be offering activities for all ages. You can watch a performance in Trillium Park, go skating on the outdoor synthetic rink, squeeze in a game of ping-pong or watch an IMAX movie at the Cinesphere. With free admission, you can do all that and more this summer.
2. Museum of Illusions: Offering up an experience like no other, this museum will be opening its first location in Canada. Visitors will be enchanted by the optical illusions and installations as they focus on the concept of fun. Make sure you keep your eye out for its grand opening later this summer.
3. Nobu Residences/Hotel & Restaurant: It won’t be long until Torontonians can revel in the Nobu lifestyle. With residences, a hotel and a new location of the renowned Nobu Restaurant under construction, Nobu Toronto is on its way. Located in Toronto’s Entertainment District, this iconic spot will soon be transformed by the revolutionary project.
4. Taglialatella Galleries: Taglialatella Galleries, a New York-based brand, is expanding its reach over into Canada with a new location in Yorkville. Renowned for its displays of pop and street art, the gallery is here to show Toronto all that and more. Opening in June, Taglialatella is going above and beyond the typical gallery experience with fine art and entertainment for all.
5. Scotiabank Arena: The Air Canada Centre (ACC) is getting a new name, thanks to Scotiabank. After having sold the naming rights for the ACC and making a 20-year deal with Scotiabank, this iconic Toronto sporting arena, will be renamed the Scotiabank Arena, as of July 1.
6. Mirvish Express: Get ready to hop on the Mirvish Express. This luxury coach transportation, launching in July, will give direct access to those attending Wednesday, Saturday or Sunday matinee performances at the Royal Alexandra, Princess of Wales, Ed Mirvish and Elgin Theatres. This service will be offered from London, Woodstock, Kitchener, Morriston and Milton, Ont.
7. McMichael Art Bus: Escape to the McMichael Canadian Art Collection this summer by hopping on board the McMichael Art Bus. Offered each Sunday, from June 10 to Oct. 28, this service heads out at 10:30 a.m. and returns from the McMichael at 3:30 p.m., giving you the entire day to appreciate what this art gallery and its grounds have to offer.
8. The Meadoway: Over the next seven years, the city will be transforming 16 kilometres of land in a power corridor into a linear urban park, soon to be one of Canada’s largest. Spanning from downtown Toronto all the way to Rouge National Urban Park, this revolutionary idea will not only support nature, but it will also foster connections within 34 neighbourhoods.
9. The Toronto Island Guide: Exploring Toronto Island has become simpler, all thanks to its new app, The Toronto Island Guide. This app will help you plan your trip and provide tips on what to do to make sure you get the most out of your day at this iconic Toronto spot.
10. The Museum of Contemporary Art: Sept. 22 marks the reopening of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Toronto. With its new location in the Tower Automotive Building, this 55,000-square-foot space will be used to communicate the museum’s mission to stay relevant to our times by displaying and supporting art that will address prevalent issues in society.
11. Scarborough Bluffs: The Scarborough Bluffs are one of Toronto’s most scenic locations, and this summer they’re even easier to get to. The TTC has implemented a new service, the 175 Bluffer’s Park bus, available every 15 minutes and running between Kennedy Station and Bluffer’s Park Beach. Take advantage of this route while you can, as it will only run until Oct. 6.
1. Kōjin: Momofuku has branched out with its new restaurant, Kōjin. Opened in June, this restaurant features dishes with various culinary influences, including features from Japanese and Latin cuisines. With a diversified menu, Kōjin fits in perfectly with Toronto’s makeup.
2. The Parlour: Originating in Vancouver, the Parlour has made its way to Toronto with its new location at 642 King St. W. Hoping to open in the coming months, this stylish yet laidback spot will be sure to please with specialty cocktails, craft-brewed beers, excellent wines and an inventive menu that has placed an innovative twist on authentic comfort food.
3. Sofia: With an enhanced interpretation of Italian cuisine, Sofia has become a destination you don’t want to miss. With quality ingredients, it hits the mark on what Italian cooking should look and taste like. Executive chef Christine Mast’s Italian heritage guides her to create innovative dishes that please.
4. Quetzal: If you’re looking for the next trendy destination, Quetzal, located at 419 College St., is sure to be it. Opening later this year, this Mexican-inspired locale will focus on fire-cooked dishes, with wood-burning ovens and an awe-inspiring 28-foot-long open flame running the length of the restaurant.
5. The Roof at SOCO: What meal isn’t better when paired with a great view? The Roof at SOCO can give you both. Enjoy incredible views of the Toronto skyline paired with anything from shareable plates to seasonal cocktails. Open all summer long, from May to October, you won’t want to miss this rooftop experience.
6. Chotto Matte: Opening up later this year, Chotto Matte will exceed all your expectations. The Japanese-Peruvian fusion style it is known for, referred to as Nikkei cuisine, will enthrall you with vibrant natural colours and mouth-watering dishes. With a contemporary urban design and great cuisine focusing on quality ingredients and flavours, you won’t be disappointed.
7. Don Alfonso 1890: Liberty Entertainment Group is bringing the flavours of the Amalfi Coast to Toronto, thanks to a partnership with Michelin-star-awarded Don Alfonso 1890. This internationally acclaimed restaurant will be opening its first location in North America in the Rosewater on June 20.
8. Fat Choi: Toronto’s Malaysian street food restaurant, Soos, has opened its vegan counterpart, Fat Choi. Serving up a 100 per cent plant-based menu, vegans and vegetarians can get all the comforting Asian eats they could ever want at this new spot. Currently sharing its location with Soos at 94 Lower Ossington Ave., Fat Choi is only open Mondays and Tuesdays, but keep your eye out for its own location in the future.
9. Buca: Buca, one of Toronto’s premium Italian restaurants, is opening up two new locations later this year. The first near Yonge and Eglinton will be similar to the Bar Buca location with a casual menu, whereas the location at Yonge and St. Clair is featuring a new concept. With Buca’s impeccable reputation and focus on locally sourced, quality ingredients, we can only imagine what’s to come for these two locations.
10. Virtuous Pie: Who’s ready for pizza and ice cream? What about 100 per cent plant-based pizza and ice cream? Virtuous Pie will be offering just that. Opening soon at 611 College St., this elevated fast-casual spot will be offering up its incredibly original handcrafted products to all.
11. Madrina: From the makers of El Catrin and Cluny comes a new Spanish tapas bar, Madrina. Located in Toronto’s Distillery District, this new restaurant should be opening by the end of June. With sangria, aperitivos and delectable dishes featured on the restaurant’s Instagram, we can’t wait to see what is yet to come for Madrina.
12. Oliver & Bonacini Hospitality: Oliver & Bonacini Hospitality is embarking on an additional project with a new restaurant, Parcheggio. Opening at Bayview Village Shopping Centre during the summer, the menu will feature dishes ranging from handmade pasta, to antipasti, to steaks and even seafood.
1. Hotel X: This resort-style hotel has made its home in Ontario’s Exhibition Place. With a breathtaking view of the waterfront and incredible amenities —and with more on the way — you don’t want to miss your chance to experience this luxury location.
2. St. Regis Residences: Undergoing an incredible renovation, the Adelaide Hotel is soon to become the first St. Regis Hotel in Canada. Minutes from downtown Toronto’s hot spots, this is a premium location. If you want a glimpse into the future of this glamorous hotel, you can also check out the St. Regis residences that are now on offer.
3. Spa at Four Seasons: After undergoing a renovation, this spa will draw you in with its beautiful décor, making you feel at ease. The dedicated and highly trained staff will work to have your stress melt away, thanks to the vast array of treatments on offer.
4. Kimpton Saint George: Opening just in time for the summer, the Kimpton Saint George has made its home in Toronto’s trendy Annex neighbourhood. Channelling the bohemian energy of the Annex and the chic influences from Yorkville, this boutique hotel is the place to relax and take in the true spirit of Toronto.
5. Fairmont Royal York Hotel: The Fairmont is kicking the summer off right with the launch of an exclusive gin, created using products from its rooftop garden. You can taste it yourself on the hotel’s rooftop patio, or at any of its restaurants, lounges or bars. Come out and try it in one of Fairmont’s signature cocktails.
PERFORMING ARTS/ SHOWS
1. Mamma Mia!: The smash-hit musical Mamma Mia! is back in Toronto at the Ed Mirvish Theatre this summer. From Aug. 9 to 19, this summer, dance along in your seat to ABBA’s timeless hits as you enjoy this feel-good show set on a Greek island paradise.
2. Come From Away: Come From Away is back. This wildly popular play documenting a remarkable true story from Newfoundland filled with camaraderie and generosity has been re-extended until April 2019. Currently playing at the Royal Alexandra Theatre, it will be transferred to the Elgin Theatre in February 2019 until its last date in April.
3. The Second City: With a busy summer in store, the Second City is putting on two shows for audiences in Toronto. The Best is Yet to Come Undone, playing until Sept. 9, tackles the clichés and revelations of our generation; and a new show, Hogtown Heatwave, is playing until Sept. 3. These original shows are sure to have you begging for more.
4. The King and I: From July 10 to Aug. 12, 2018, experience one of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s finest works, The King and I, at the Princess of Wales Theatre. This enchanting story will have you transported back in time.
5. The Toronto Symphony Orchestra: One of Canada’s cultural institutions, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra (TSO) will be hosting numerous events during the summer. Committed to excellence, the TSO will be putting on the best of the best, including a free concert, Thank You, Toronto, and even Christopher Plummer’s Symphonic Shakespeare with narrator Christopher Plummer.
6. Casa Loma: Casa Loma has just added two new shows to its summer lineup. From June 18 to Aug. 27, a musical event Soul in the City will be hosted on Monday evenings, featuring Sean Jones, a seven-piece band and other special guests. As well as that, through a partnership with Just for Laughs Comedy, the venue will host live comedy performances on Wednesday evenings, from July 25 to Aug. 29.
7. Shakespeare in High Park: Celebrating its 36th season, Shakespeare in High Park will be presenting two adaptations of the Bard’s well-known works: the tragic Romeo and Juliet, and the comedy that is A Midsummer Night’s Dream. These tales of rebellion and love will whisk you away on an inspiring adventure.
8. The Sony Centre: The Sony Centre for the Performing Arts has made its mark on the cultural life of Toronto for over 50 years. Offering remarkable entertainment, this soft-seat theatre with 3,191 seats hosts a variety of dynamic shows. This summer, some notable shows include David Blaine Live and acts from the TD Toronto Jazz Festival.
EXHIBITS & ATTRACTIONS
1. The Art of Banksy Exhibit: Banksy, the anonymous artist, has become well-known around the world due to his controversial pieces. For a limited time, 80 original pieces totalling $35-million in value, have been brought together in an exhibition in Toronto, running from June 13 to Aug. 19, 2018. The Art of Banksy is the largest collection of its kind, so be sure to check it out before time runs out.
2. CN Tower’s LookOut Level: With a newly renovated observation level, the CN Tower will be introducing the LookOut Level. Consisting of two new floor-to-ceiling panoramic Window Walls, this revamped area will introduce even more spectacular views. Open to the public on June 26, the space can even be rented out to groups of up to 500 people.
3. ROM: The Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) is introducing two new exhibitions this summer. From June 2 to Oct. 8, 2018, you can attend Iris van Herpen: Transforming Fashion and experience original designs from the Dutch designer’s collections from 2008–15. As well, the museum will be introducing “Spiders: Fear & Fascination” on June 16. The ROM wants you to see spiders in a new light thanks to hundreds of specimens and new experiences.
4. AGO: The Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) will be opening its refreshed installation focusing on Indigenous and Inuit collections on July 1, called the J.S. McLean Centre for Indigenous and Canadian Art. This re-envisioning comes with two new exhibitions: Rebecca Belmore: Facing the Monumental and Tunirrusiangit: Kenojuak Ashevak and Tim Pitsiulak. Belmore works along the borders between art and politics, while Ashevak and Pitsiulak are some of Inuit art’s biggest names.
5. Canada’s Wonderland’s Lumberjack: Canada’s Wonderland invites you to come check out its newest ride, Lumberjack. Step right up and take a seat on the swinging axe pendulum, taking you on a 360-degree, foot-dangling, heart-racing ride. Reaching heights of 75 feet, Lumberjack will make you feel like you’re on an inverted coaster loop.
6. Ripley’s Curious Creatures: For a limited time you can travel through the life of Robert Ripley, the iconic Believe It Or Not! cartoonist, explorer, reporter, adventurer and collector, at Ripley’s Aquarium’s new exhibit, Curious Creatures. Through this exhibit you’ll travel from sea to sea and come face-to-face with interesting and extraordinary creatures and artifacts that Ripley discovered too.
7. Hockey Hall of Fame: Expanding its tribute to the Stanley Cup, the Hockey Hall of Fame has unveiled a new showcase, the Stanley Cup 125th Anniversary Tribute. Many famed artifacts will be featured, including Stanley Cup pucks dating back to 1901, a championship ring display, pre-NHL Stanley Cup memorabilia and even tools used to craft and engrave the trophy.
1. Union Summer: From July 1 to Aug. 19, 2018, TD will be presenting Union Summer at Union Station. Marking the reopening of Union Station, this event will showcase Where Toronto is Going with an extensive lineup of food vendors and entertainment like live music that will highlight Toronto’s talent and culture.
2. The Taste of the Danforth: From Aug. 10–12, the Taste of the Danforth will be celebrating its 25th anniversary. With entertainment, contests and food stations serving up a variety of cuisines, there will be something for everyone. But make sure you don’t forget to try out some of Greektown’s specialties like moussaka and authentic souvlaki.
3. Japan Festival Canada: Come out on Aug. 25 and 26 to experience Japan. This annual event in Mississauga Celebration Square will be bigger and better than ever, as this year marks 90 years of diplomatic relations between Canada and Japan. With entertainment, technology and food galore, you won’t want to pass this up.
4. MuslimFest: Featuring over 80 local and international artists, MuslimFest showcases the best there is in Muslim arts and entertainment. Through 15 years of sharing the Muslim culture with the broader community, this festival has fostered bridge-building opportunities. Come out to Mississauga Celebration Square from Aug. 31 to Sept. 2 to check it out for yourself.
For a complete list of annual activities, please visit the Annual Festivals & Events page on Tourism Toronto: www.seetorontonow.com