Summer is in full swing and some of Toronto’s most anticipated events are returning in person after two years of pandemic cancellations. From concerts to street festivals, here’s a sampling of events to enjoy in Toronto this weekend.
TD Salsa in St. Clair
Canada’s largest salsa dance party returns to Toronto this weekend and everyone is invited. TD Salsa in Toronto street festival in St. Clair will host many musical artists, dancers, and street food vendors that highlight and celebrate the cultures of the Latinx community. The festival will be held on Saturday from noon to 10:30 pm and Sunday from noon to 8:30 pm on St. Clair Avenue West between Winona Road and Christie Street. Admission is free.
“It’s going to be huge,” said the festival’s ambassador, Camila González. “Once you go, you understand why people come back every year.”
So put on your dancing shoes and head to town. The program is packed with performances by dancers and musicians: there will be Colombian contemporary dance, bachata, Brazilian samba, and Peruvian folk dance, just to name a few.
For the past two years, the street festival had been canceled due to the pandemic. Now that restrictions have been relaxed, people are excited to celebrate together again.
“We have all been at home waiting for the opportunity to be together, dance together, eat together, sing together,” González said. “We are excited that everyone is back dancing in the street.”
The festival has something in store for the whole family. For $20, the Kids Zone offers a bouncy castle, rides and other activities for children.
There will also be a book giveaway for children of all ages this weekend as part of the TD Welcome to Canada literacy program, which supports newcomers and their children with books about Canadian history and culture.
St. Clair Avenue West will be closed to traffic this weekend, so plan to park in a nearby municipal lot or take the TTC to the St. Clair West station.
Here are five other fun things to do this weekend.:
taste of lawrence
Savor the flavors of world cuisines at one of GTA’s biggest street food festivals this weekend. taste of lawrence will host more than 130 street vendors highlighting the cuisines of cultural communities from across the GTA. Walk down Lawrence Avenue East between Birchmount Road and Warden Avenue for great food, live music, and family fun. The fair takes place Friday from 6 pm to 11 pm, Saturday from 11 am to 11 pm, and Sunday from 11 am to 7 pm Admission is free, so bring your appetite and get ready to eat.
Afrofest at Woodbine Park
Afrofest, one of the largest free African culture festivals in North America, returns for 34 years after two years of the pandemic this weekend in Woodbine Park. The three-day festival will showcase genres from across the African diaspora and feature musical artists from more than 45 African countries. You can also explore the kitchens and artisan crafts from the 75 food and merchandise vendors, take the kids to the Children’s Creative Village for arts and crafts, and watch the drum circle. Festival director Peter Toh says that while the festival is a place for community, music and celebration, it is also an opportunity for cultural exploration. “Get ready to learn something new,” Toh said. “Get ready to interact with diverse cultures: both from Africa and the Caribbean.” Learn more at afrofest.ca
Bob Marley’s One Love Experience
In sync with Toronto’s Caribbean Carnival season this month, “Bob Marley One Love Experience” is now open for its six-week run at Lighthouse ArtSpace in Toronto. The show features six rooms showcasing art, music, photos, memorabilia, and immersive exhibits. Through August, visitors to the exhibit can listen to Marley’s music in a virtual concert experience, see a huge portrait of Marley by artist Mr. Brainwash, and delve into Marley’s personal interests, including his family and the football. The exhibition was organized in collaboration with the musician’s family and will be open until August 14. It is presented with the support of the Toronto Caribbean Carnival and is produced by Lighthouse Immersive and Terrapin Station Entertainment. Timed-entry tickets start at $20 and are available at bobmarleyexp.com
Go to excursion
After a three-year hiatus, the Field Trip music festival returns on Saturday with a lineup of musicians that includes Peach Pit, Kurt Vile & the Violators, Lucy Dacus, Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats and others. Doors open at 1 pm and sets will take place on two main stages. And, for the little ones, the festival’s “day camp” offers hula-hoop and arts and crafts activities, as well as a number of fun kid-friendly performances. Tickets start at $114.50 and accompanied children 12 and under can attend free. Learn more at fieldtriplife.com
See a show or concert
Many shows are happening in Toronto this weekend. The Weeknd will kick off his much-anticipated After Hours Til Dawn tour at Rogers Center on Friday with opening acts Snoh Aalegra, Kaytranada and Mike Dean. If you want a laugh, Australian comedian Hannah Gadsby will take the stage at Massey Hall with back-to-back shows on Friday and Saturday. For some folk music, Lucy Dacus, who will also play Field Trip, will put on a show at the Danforth Music Hall on Sunday night. For a bit of ’80s post-punk, The Psychedelic Furs return to tour their new album at History on Friday. And for country fans, Keith Urban will play the Budweiser Stage on Friday and Saturday with Ingrid Andress.
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