Toronto Events Summer 2013

Folk singer John Mayer, photo by Julio Enriquez
John Mayer, photo by Julio Enriquez
Folk singer John Mayer, photo by Julio Enriquez
John Mayer, photo by Julio Enriquez

Toronto certainly has a lot to offer all year round, but the city absolutely sizzles during the summer due to the wide range of festivals, concerts and events taking place. Whether you’re a Toronto Blue Jays fan, jazz aficionado, race car enthusiast or enjoy Toronto concerts, you may have a problem deciding what to do in Toronto among these many must-see events.

Molson Amphitheatre Concerts 2013

One of the most enjoyable ways to spend a summer evening in Toronto is at the Molson Amphitheatre at Ontario Place enjoying a summer concert on the shores of Lake Ontario. The following musical acts have been scheduled for the 2013 season: John Mayer, Barenaked Ladies, Dave Matthews Band, Kenny Chesney, Phish, Train, Matchbox Twenty, Depeche Mode, KISS, Brad Paisley and Goo Goo Dolls.

Toronto’s Festival of Beer

Toronto’s Festival of Beer is a popular event that takes place at Bandshell Park at Exhibition Place. Running from Fri., July 26 to Sun., July 28, 2013, you can sample different types of malts and ales while listening to musical performances from De La Soul and Spin Doctors / Escort. Tickets are $39.50 and include five sample tokens, a festival sampling cup and guide. For an additional $10, you’ll receive a Hoptimized ticket that allows you five additional sample tokens and early access to the beer festival. Buy your tickets now because the Beer Festival sells out quickly.

Centre Island

Centre Island in Toronto, photo Shahnoor Habib
Swan rides at Centre Island, Toronto, photo Shahnoor Habib

If you’re wondering what to see in Toronto, you may want to consider visiting the Toronto Islands, which are a short ferry ride across Toronto Harbour. Also known as Centre Island, these Toronto Islands offer green space and beaches only 15 minutes away from the bustle of the city. You can rent a bike or tandem bicycle to ride around the islands among the year-round cottages and yacht clubs or rent a canoe or kayak and paddle among the lagoons. For the less timid, Hanlan’s Point Beach, located on the westerly end of the islands, is clothing optional. Don’t forget to check out the Gibraltar Point Lighthouse. If you have the kids with you, head over to Centreville Amusement Park and visit the petting zoo. Centreville all-day ride passes are $37 for over 4′ tall and $25.95 for children under 4′.  The ferry ride, which you can catch at the foot of Bay Street, is Adults $7.00, Seniors/Students (14-18 with student card) $4.50, Children (2-13) $3.50, and under 2 Free.

Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre

If you’re trying to choose among the many things to do in Toronto and you’re a baseball fan, you’ll definitely want to visit the Rogers Centre (formerly known as the Skydome) on your Toronto vacation. Sporting the first retractable roof, this stadium is home to the Toronto Blue Jays and is located right downtown. On most game days, you can purchase tickets at the Rogers Centre Box Office although it could be a bit more difficult this year since the Blue Jays have lined up a hot team for 2013.

Toronto Jazz Festival 2013

Folk singer Willie Nelson, photo by Larry Philpot
Willie Nelson at Toronto Jazz Festival, photo by Larry Philpot

One of the must-see events in Toronto in the summer is the TD Toronto Jazz Festival. Festival headliners perform at Nathan Phillips Square at the Toronto Star Stage, as well as other venues throughout downtown. This year’s TD Toronto Jazz Festival takes place June 20 to 29, 2013. Some of the musical artists announced so far include Willie Nelson and Family, Mavis Staples with Dr. John and The Nite Trippers, Nikki Yanofsky, Bob James, David Sanborn, Boz Scaggs and Steven Martin and The Steep Canyon Rangers featuring Edie Brickell.

Honda Indy Toronto 2013

This year’s Honda Indy takes place Friday, July 12 to Sunday, July 14, 2013 at Exhibition Place. Free Friday will continue again this year. Dario Franchitti, Alex Tagliani, Helio Castroneves, Danica Patrick, Paul Tracy and Helio Castroneves are expected to race. Reserved admission is Upper Row (2-Day) $165; Lower Row (2-Day) $125; and $85 for a single day. General admission is $50 (2-day), Saturday $35 and Sunday $35.

Caribana Parade 2013

The largest Caribbean festival in North America, the Scotiabank Caribbean Carnival Toronto includes a King and Queen competition at Lamport Stadium on Thursday, August 1, 2013, a festival gala at Liberty Grand Entertainment Complex on Friday, July 26, 2013 and the grand parade on Saturday, August 3, 2013, as well as various other club events and boat cruises during the festival.

Beaches Jazz Festival 2013

Kew Gardens Stage at Beaches International Jazz Festival, photo Beaches Jazz Festival
Kew Gardens Stage at Beaches Jazz Festival, photo Beaches Jazz Festival

Celebrating their 25th year, the Beaches International Jazz Festival runs from July 19-28, 2013 in the Beaches neighbourhood of Toronto (Queen St. E. and Woodbine Avenue). Free outdoor performances take place at Woodbine Park and Kew Gardens while local venues host various jazz acts. The 2013 line-up includes among others Sugar Ray & The Blue Tones, Shuffle Demons, Saidah Baba Talibah, Selena Evangeline, Eric Lindell & The Sunliners featuring Anson Funderburgh and Iroko Project featuring Jane Bunnett and Hilario Duran. If you’re heading to the outdoor performances, bring a blanket or folding chair, hat, sunscreen and umbrella since the shows go on in the rain. 
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