Ontario boasts festivals to satisfy every passion imaginable, from beer and jazz concerts to butter tarts and cacti displays. Here are a few of Ontario’s finest.
Dance to pulsating beats at one of Toronto’s world-class EDM festivals or discover new tunes at Lake of the Woods; Ontario festivals offer something for every taste, mood and curiosity! Taste delicious treats while exploring Ontario playwrights or rock out to world-famous musicians at these exciting celebrations.
Taste of Asia
Taste of Asia in Markham is a three-day festival dedicated to Asian culture and cuisine, featuring over 150 food vendors as well as cultural events and family-friendly attractions. Plus, international stars as well as leaders of the community perform at this celebration of culture!
This festival takes place annually on Kennedy Road between Steeles Avenue East and Clayton Drive near the border of Markham and Scarborough, near Steeles Avenue East and Clayton Drive. It has become a favorite destination among both visitors and residents, serving as North America’s largest outdoor Asian festival.
In 2021 and 2022, the festival took place over June 23-25th weekend and featured many local food vendors as well as dance and martial arts performances. It offered attendees an excellent way to explore Canada’s Asian cultures and cuisines.
At this festival, you’ll find many delicious food options like grilled meat skewers, steamed dumplings and roti canai. In addition, there are various stalls selling various varieties of bubble tea; many franchises exist as well as independents.
This festival provides many activities for children under 12, free for those aged 12-and-under. Additionally, this is a great place to meet people from the Asian community; be prepared to wait in line or stand behind someone to get your table reservation.
TD Taste of Asia Festival is an absolute must-see for Asian enthusiasts and families. Discovering new cultures and cuisines of Asia while tasting delectable treats is easy via public transit, with daily passes costing $10 or $15 for two-day passes available for purchase.
Redpath Waterfront Festival
The Redpath Waterfront Festival is an annual summer event designed to promote Toronto as a premier waterfront destination, by featuring on-land and on-water programming including music, food, nautical programs and entertainment – plus welcoming a fleet of tall ships every three years!
This year’s theme for the festival is “Waterfront Stories”, offering visitors an opportunity to learn more about Toronto’s waterfront history as it connects us to past, present and future. Visitors will have an opportunity to visit various exhibits and experiences to gain insight into its legacy and evolution over time. Your guests can witness an exciting array of local talent on both stages: RBCX Music Stage at HTO Park and Bayside Village Stage at Sugar Beach. Children will also have the chance to say ‘Toot Toot!’ to Theodore TOO Tugboat, the 65-foot working replica from CBC series; test their strength on Navy-themed Obstacle Course; and play games such as Pictionary! Children will have an opportunity to play games with Parks Canada team members and learn about Ocean Literacy while snapping selfies with a giant inflatable Beaver. Furthermore, they’ll meet crew of the Royal Canadian Navy to learn about their careers before creating art with Mississaugas of Credit First Nation and Indigenous Tourism Ontario.
Billy Bishop Airport will provide attendees with delicious food during this year’s festival in Food Truck Alley – featuring local eateries like Get Your Own Taters, Buster’s Sea Cove and Osmow’s. Festivalgoers can also relax with a picnic on HTO Park lawn or Canada’s Sugar Beach: an urban beach featuring plaza, tree-lined promenade and Muskoka chairs!
Boots & Hearts Country Music Festival
Boots and Hearts Music Festival is Canada’s largest country music event. Known for its lineup of artists from across Canada as well as its food and drink offerings, this year will bring several new venues and events – such as hosting a comics fair as well as presentations by Toronto artists – into play at Boots and Hearts – such as Brad Paisley and Eric Church among many more! Tickets for this festival can be found through TicketSmarter.
Boots and Hearts 2023 will take place August 10-13 at Oro-Medonte’s Burl’s Creek Event Grounds and has announced its initial lineup of performers: Nickelback will headline, followed by Keith Urban, Tim McGraw and other artists such as HARDY Riley Green Dallas Smith Josh Ross Lauren Alaina with Tim Hicks performing at Thursday night’s kick-off party!
At this summer festival, guests can experience all of the best country music. Alongside its main stage, multiple stages will host local and international artists from across multiple genres. Activities at the festival will include ferris wheel rides and carnival games; additionally, this year organisers have introduced reserved RV camping and tent camping as part of its offerings for groups camping together throughout the weekend.
Sam Hunt was scheduled to headline this festival but unfortunately had to cancel due to COVID-19-related travel restrictions in the US. Jake Owen will serve as his replacement, alongside other rising genre artists such as RaeLynn, Cam, and LANCO.
Over four days of the festival, guests will witness over 70 performances by top artists like Tegan and Sara as well as Hollerado. Furthermore, guests will also enjoy various art exhibits and workshops hosted at this unique festival.
Lake of the Woods Music Festival
Music festivals are an enjoyable way to experience amazing artists in an intimate venue, often featuring specific genres or up-and-coming acts. Many festivals also provide food vendors, beer/wine bars, camping activities and other outdoor fun that enhances the experience further.
Experience the best in country music at this annual festival held in Timmins. This lineup of established and emerging artists, local food vendors, and family-friendly activities is sure to please all attendees of this family-friendly event.
Hillside Music Festival brings incredible musicians from across Eastern Ontario into intimate, beloved spaces every summer for an unparalleled music festival experience. While Hillside has expanded to incorporate other aspects of culture like food and local artisans, its main draw is still music with a folky vibe and grounded feel.
The 14th “Maybe Annual” Coney Island Music Festival earned an Achievement Award from the Festival and Events industry for adapting to public health restrictions during COVID-19 pandemic. Due to high water levels at Lake of the Woods, this year’s festival was relocated from its usual home on Coney Island to Kenora Harbourfront due to health restrictions imposed by public health.
Canada’s annual camping country music mashup promises an eclectic musical feast. Held at Guelph Lake Conservation Area, this year’s event includes camping facilities, family programs and craft workshops as well as performances by both established and emerging artists.
Toronto’s Escapade event provides a day full of dancing to top international DJs at Hanlan’s Point, earning this occasion the prestigious Platinum ticket status from Pollstar – Canada’s leading entertainment magazine.
As part of Toronto Arts Festival season, Luminato provides an eclectic lineup of theatre, music, visual art and other events that are sure to dazzle and provoke. Held across various locations within Toronto and organized by an alliance of arts organizations Luminato has established itself as “an international platform for performance art” boasting world-renowned artists.
THISISPOPBABY performed on opening night of the festival and delivered an outstanding show that captured audiences through dance, song, aerial artistry and politically charged spoken word poetry. Their spectacular show offered something for all senses – truly memorable performance that marked an excellent way to kick-off season 7.
Luminato also presented the world premiere of Jorn Weisbrodt’s powerful and moving documentary about Hearn Generating Station, once an iconic industrial complex and now transformed into an arts centre and public park. Weisbrodt provides an insightful account of its past, legacy, and uncertain future – providing viewers a vivid look into this place with deep roots in American culture.
Other highlights from the opening night included an exclusive sold-out event featuring internationally acclaimed human rights lawyer and activist Amal Clooney in conversation with her father-in-law, veteran journalist Nick Clooney. They discussed their passion for social justice as well as storytelling’s importance.
Polaris Music Prize-winner Moneka will showcase her Arabic-influenced jazz, Princess Nokia will deliver electrifying rap performances and Tank and the Bangas will deliver soulful RnB. Finally, Zeca Pagodinho, known as Rio’s crown prince of Samba will make an exclusive visit to Toronto and showcase Rio’s incredible musical legacy while Sunn O))) will showcase their distinct sound with massed drone chords played through stacks of amplifiers modulated by feedback rather than beat or rhythm in Sunday performances – one cannot miss this weekend event!