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Five things to do in Toronto on the weekend of July 18–20

The Beaches Jazz Festival returns this weekend. (Image: Chris Brooker/Flickr)

The Beaches Jazz Festival returns this weekend. (Image: Chris Brooker/Flickr)

In this edition of The Weekender, a jazz festival, a block party with free (or, freeish) beer and three other things to do in Toronto this weekend.

MUSIC

Beaches Jazz Festival (FREE!)
The Beach has a reputation as an entertainment backwater, where residents sacrifice downtown delights (trendy restaurants, live music) in favour of nice houses and lake views. The Beaches Jazz Festival, which returns this year for its 26th edition, proves that the east end can, in fact, be pretty exciting when it wants to be. Ten days of music kick off on Friday with free concerts by acts like KC Roberts and Jay Douglas. Visitors will also have a huge assortment of food trucks to pick from. Remember to bring lawn chairs; seating is al fresco and first-come-first-served. Until July 27. Admission FREE. Various locations, beachesjazz.com

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Five things to do in Toronto on the weekend of July 11–13

Canadian Stage's Titus Andronicus. (Image: David Hou)

Canadian Stage’s Titus Andronicus. (Image: David Hou)

In this edition of The Weekender, a night market, outdoor theatre and three other things to do in Toronto this weekend.

FOOD

Night it Up (FREE!)
Going north of Steeles isn’t always easy (if you don’t live there, that is), but fans of Asian street food may want to make the effort this weekend when Night it Up returns to the Markham Civic Centre. As live musical performances happen in the background, vendors will be serving up treats in a traditional Hong Kong–style night-market setting. Newbies can sample relatively tame snacks like fried quail eggs, but fearless eaters may want to take the rare opportunity to try some stinky tofu—which, if possible, is even more foul-smelling than it sounds. The event’s proceeds will benefit Unity Charity. July 11–13. Admission FREE. Markham Civic Centre, 101 Town Centre Blvd., nightitup.com

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The World-Class Toronto Summer Guide: 14 things that are worth sticking around for

The World-Class Toronto Summer Guide: 14 things worth sticking around for

Click to view gallery (Image: Katrin Ray Shumakov/Getty)

What’s one of the best things to do in Toronto this summer? If you can, get out of Toronto. See the world. Find another city’s heat and construction and transit problems to keep you occupied—preferably a city that’s got a globally recognized art gallery or museum or horse race or something. Of course, if you find yourself stuck in the city all season, that’s okay: there’s a lot going on here that, if you squint your eyes and hold your nose (and sometimes, even if you don’t do either) could actually be comparable to all the world-class things you’d find elsewhere. You want art? We’ve got some! Ancient Chinese artifacts? You know it. Exotic fish? Sure, that too. We’re not suggesting you tear up your plane tickets or anything. But we do think that this summer, Toronto might just be able to compete with the big boys. Here, a brief guide to just some of what’s exceptional in this city—and how it stacks up against other big-ticket events around the world.

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Five things to do in Toronto on the weekend of July 4–6

A still from Drying up the Streets, playing this weekend at the TIFF Bell Lightbox. (Image: courtesy of the Film Reference Library)

A still from Drying up the Streets, playing this weekend at the TIFF Bell Lightbox. (Image: courtesy of the Film Reference Library)

In this edition of The Weekender, movies from Yonge Street’s seedy past, the Toronto Fringe Festival and three other things to do in Toronto this weekend.

MUSIC

Toronto Urban Roots Festival
Neutral Milk Hotel tops the bill at this year’s Toronto Urban Roots Festival, an annual celebration of all things folky and lo-fi. Anyone who works up an appetite wandering between the event’s three stages can snack on food from the likes of Caplanksy’s and Big Fat Burrito. July 4–6. $67.50–$329.50. Garrison Common, torontourbanrootsfest.com

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Five things to do in Toronto on the weekend of June 27–29

In this edition of The Weekender, the WorldPride parade, a festival of ribs and three other things to do in Toronto this weekend.

PARADE

WorldPride Parade (FREE!)
If you were thinking about buying any condoms this weekend, don’t. Instead, just find a spot on Yonge Street and wait for the WorldPride parade to pass you by. Shirtless men on floats will toss you a month’s supply. Freebies aren’t the only reason to check out the parade, though. The techno-thumping, squirt-gun-wielding spectacle is legitimately one of Toronto’s most fun and vibrant public celebrations, and this year’s global status should make it especially spectacular. You don’t have to be gay to have a good time there (but it helps). June 29. FREE. Yonge St., between Bloor and Dundas, worldpridetoronto.com

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Five things to do in Toronto on the weekend of June 20–22

The Flaming Lips play Yonge-Dundas Square during NXNE 2012. (Image: JasonParis)

The Flaming Lips play Yonge-Dundas Square during NXNE 2012. (Image: JasonParis)

In this edition of The Weekender, free concerts in Yonge-Dundas Square, a Gatsby-themed garden party and three other things to do in Toronto this weekend.

MUSIC

NXNE at Yonge-Dundas Square (FREE!)
Yonge-Dundas Square rarely delivers on its potential. Pretty much the only time you’ll ever see it packed to capacity is during NXNE’s annual free outdoor concert series, which gets underway this year on Thursday, June 19. Major international acts will be performing throughout the weekend, and no wristbands are required: just show up and stake out a prime spot before someone else does. Don’t miss Friday-night headliner St. Vincent. Until June 22. FREE. Yonge-Dundas Square, nxne.com

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Toronto Life celebrates the second edition of City of Parks

parks-top
Photography by Gabriel Li

On June 11, Toronto Life launched the second edition of City of Parks, a special insert in the June issue celebrating innovative green spaces in Toronto. The insert was made possible by the generous support of our civic-minded partners including TD Bank Group, Mizrahi Developments, The Daniels Corporation, Chestnut Park, Burt’s Bees, Fairmont Hotel & Resorts and Mill Street Brewery.

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Five things to do in Toronto on the weekend of June 13–15

Raquel Duffy and Damien Atkins in Soulpepper's Angels in America. (Image: Cylla von Tiedemann)

Raquel Duffy and Damien Atkins in Soulpepper’s Angels in America. (Image: Cylla von Tiedemann)

In this edition of The Weekender, a Japanese film festival, a naked bike ride and three other things to do in Toronto this weekend.

MUSIC

North By Northeast
The annual NXNE festival returns this weekend. The schedule of bands, films, comedy and art doesn’t really pick up until midway through the week, but early birds can catch some worthwhile stuff on Saturday and Sunday, including performances by Toronto’s Shawn William Clarke and Barrie’s Lyric Dubee. Another point of local interest will be Saturday’s screening of Steve Bodner’s At the Corner of Queen and Bathurst, a documentary about the demise of the Big Bop. June 13–22. Various prices. Various venues, nxne.com

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Five things to do in Toronto on the weekend of June 6–8

The Matthew Barney film River of Fundament plays as part of the Luminato Festival this weekend. (Image: courtesy of Luminato)

The Matthew Barney film River of Fundament plays as part of the Luminato Festival this weekend. (Image: courtesy of Luminato)

In this edition of The Weekender, an outdoor music festival, a rare chance to tour some modern homes and three other things to do in Toronto this weekend.

MUSIC

Field Trip
Local record label Arts & Crafts brings stages its annual outdoor music festival once again. In addition to performances by headliners like Interpol, Fucked Up and Broken Social Scene, the family-friendly event will have food trucks, an Etsy marketplace and even a bouncy castle. June 7–8. $75 for one day, $125 for two. Fort York and Garrison Common, 100 Garrison Rd., fieldtriplife.com

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Five things to do in Toronto on the weekend of May 30–June 1

Sheezer, an all-female Weezer cover band, plays Lee's Palace this weekend. (Image: Sheezer/Facebook)

Sheezer, an all-female Weezer cover band, plays Lee’s Palace this weekend. (Image: Sheezer/Facebook)

In this edition of The Weekender, a festival of bikes, a chat with a movie star and three other things to do in Toronto this weekend.

CYCLING

MEC Bikefest (FREE!)
You don’t need nice weather for a bike ride, but it helps. Now that spring has finally arrived, Mountain Equipment Co-Op is hosting a day of bike demos, clinics and free tune-ups in Trinity Bellwoods Park. Anyone gearing up for an active summer may want to cycle by. May 31. FREE. Trinity Bellwoods Park, mec.ca

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Five things to do in Toronto on the weekend of May 23–25

The first Pedestrian Sunday of 2014 is almost here. (Image: Georgette, from the Toronto Life Flickr pool)

The first Pedestrian Sunday of 2014 is almost here. (Image: Georgette, from the Toronto Life Flickr pool)

In this edition of The Weekender, a Kensington Market block party, an LGBT film fest and three other things to do in Toronto this weekend.

DOGS

Woofstock (FREE!)
Dog lovers will descend on Woodbine Park this weekend for Toronto’s annual festival of all things canine. There will be plenty of vendors hawking treats, leashes and everything else a dog owner could possibly want, but even for those without pets there will be plenty to do. There are scheduled events, like the Running of the Pugs and the Woofstock Fashion Show—and the people-watching is always amazing. Keep an eye out for skateboarding bulldogs. May 24-25. FREE. Woodbine Park, woofstock.ca

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Five things to do in Toronto on the weekend of May 16–19

(Image: John Vetterli)

(Image: John Vetterli)

In this Victoria Day edition of The Weekender, a fireworks display, a chance to see some Japanese indie rockers and three other things to do in Toronto this weekend.

VICTORIA DAY

Fireworks at Ashbridges Bay (FREE!)
Show your undying loyalty to the queen (or just just hang out and watch some fireworks) at the city’s annual Victoria Day celebration at Ashbridges Bay. Don’t even attempt to drive: in decent weather, this rain-or-shine event draws a crowd of tens of thousands. May 19. FREE. Ashbridges Bay Park, toronto.ca

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Five things to do in Toronto on the weekend of May 9–11

We Are The Best plays this weekend at the Royal. (Image: courtesy of TIFF)

We Are The Best plays this weekend at the Royal. (Image: courtesy of TIFF)

In this edition of The Weekender, a comic-arts festival, an oyster-shucking class and three other things to do in Toronto this weekend.

COMICS

The Toronto Comic Arts Festival (FREE!)
Anyone who wants to take the pulse of Toronto’s comic-arts scene needs to attend TCAF, the annual two-day festival of all things illustrated. Exhibitors from Canada and around the world will be personally selling and signing their latest work, and a slate of after-hours events should provide ample opportunity for socializing with like-minded nerds, or whatever else. Among those in attendance will be Kate Beaton (Hark! A Vagrant) and Toronto’s own Chip Zdarsky (Sex Criminals), fresh off his recent Eisner Award nomination. May 10–11. FREE. Toronto Reference Library, 789 Yonge St., torontocomics.com

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Five things to do in Toronto on the weekend of May 2–4

(Image: Stacie DaPonte)

The Toronto Global Marijuana March is this weekend. (Image: Stacie DaPonte)


In this edition of The Weekender, free comic books, a giant party at the ROM and three more things to do in Toronto this weekend.

TOURS

Jane’s Walk 2014 (FREE!)
The annual tribute to Jane Jacobs returns for another year of free, outdoor guided tours led by community volunteers. Some sure bets include journalist John Lorinc’s tour of the remnants of Toronto’s first low-income neighbourhood, and councillor Adam Vaughan’s tour of Ward 20. May 2–4. FREE. Various venues, janeswalk.org

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Five things to do in Toronto on the weekend of April 25–27

Happy birthday, Wychwood Barns. (Image: artefatica)

Happy birthday, Wychwood Barns. (Image: artefatica)

In this edition of The Weekender, the Wychwood Barns turn 100, a chance to clean up the lakeshore and three more things to do in Toronto this weekend.

ART

Grow Op: Exploring Landscape and Space
For the second year in a row, the Gladstone Hotel hosts Grow Op, a display of 26 new art projects that engage, in various ways, with landscapes and urban design. Visitors will be able to view installations in the hotel’s hallways, rooms and stairwells. Among the participating artists is Bruno Billio, who has lived at the Gladstone for the past decade as an artist-in-residence. His Gentleman’s Palm Room attempts to recreate the effect of a genteel greenhouse. Until Apr. 27. $10. The Gladstone Hotel, 1214 Queen St. W., gladstonehotel.com

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