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Jan 10, 2023

The Toronto Event Calendar: 8 Must-See Events

Toronto is a city of incredible diversity and culture. Not only is it one of the world’s most multicultural cities, but it’s also one of the best tourist destinations in North America. The city is the largest in Canada and the fourth largest in North America, with over 6.3 million people.

As a result, there are endless events all year round in Toronto, Canada. From sporting events to food events, music events to cultural events, and dancing events to religious events—Toronto has it all!


Here are some of the best events in the city:

1. The Canadian National Exhibition

The Canadian National Exhibition—which takes place on the third Friday of August up to Canadian Labour Day—is one of the best events in Toronto. Situated within the Exhibition Place, the exhibition is Canada’s largest fair and the sixth largest in North America. The exhibition first started in 1879, and it’s become a yearly annual family tradition. 


As Canada has rapidly developed as a global city, the Canadian National Exhibition has started to promote the nation’s agriculture and technology. In addition, the exhibition shows the discoveries of Canadian agriculturists, engineers, and scientists. 



2. Pride Toronto

Pride Toronto is a huge yearly event in the city, and it’s currently one of the world’s largest organized gay pride festivals, featuring DJs, live performers, and several entertainment stages. The Pride Toronto team plans the event; they have been a non-profit operation since 1981. 


Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic in Canada cancelled the events in 2020 and 2021. However, the event is now back and attracting an estimated 500,000 to 1 million attendees yearly. The event usually takes place in late June. 



3. The Toronto Caribbean Carnival

Toronto is home to a massive Caribbean population. Therefore, it’s no surprise that the city hosts North America’s largest Caribbean carnival. The Caribana carnival takes place yearly in the first week of August, and an estimated 1 million tourists visit Toronto over the Caribbean carnival.

The carnival attracts families across North America, young singles looking for fun, and celebrities throwing Caribana parties around the city. The festival began in 1967, and ever since, it’s grown to become arguably the number-one event in Toronto. 



4. The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair

The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair takes place yearly in Toronto, attracting tens of thousands of locals and tourists. Whether you’re an exhibitor or a visitor, the fair has attractions and fun for everyone and every age. Better still, it’s the largest combined indoor agricultural fair and international equestrian competition globally. 


You can enjoy diverse local and international food, Canada’s best agriculture, and the best equestrians from across the nation. The food options include fine dining by Oliver & Bonacini and simple bites in the food court if you’re on a budget. 



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5. The Toronto International Film Festival

The Toronto International Film Festival is one of the world’s top film festivals. An estimated 480,000 people attend the event yearly with the event first starting in 1976. It had a simple mission to transform the experience of watching movies—and it has definitely succeeded. 


Every year there are thousands of film entries from across the globe, but the festival only chooses the best movies for the event. The festival takes place yearly in early September, and you’ll find the festival at the TIFF Bell Lightbox in Downtown Toronto. 



6. Luminato

The Luminato festival is one of the top art festivals in North America. In its first decade, the festival had 3000 performances from 11,000 artists from 40 nations. In addition, the festival has commissioned over 80 works of art. 


Some top things to do at the Luminato festival include concerts, performance art, musicals, art installations, and theatre. The Luminato Festival takes place annually in the summer months. 



7. The Cavalcade of Lights

The Cavalcade of Lights is an annual holiday festival in Toronto that incorporates fireworks, ice skating, and art. The primary goal of the festival is to transform Nathan Phillips Square into a winter wonderland. You can also enjoy lighting displays, live music, and food and drink. 


There are over half a million LED lights at the festival, including an 18m-high Christmas Tree. For the last twenty years, the festival has also offered free Saturday night skate parties, making it ideal for budget travelers looking for winter fun. 



Nathan Phillips Square after the Cavalcade of Lights  in Toronto, Canada. Cavalcade of Lights is an event that marks the official start of the holiday season.

8. The Toronto Food & Drink Festival

The Toronto Food and Drink Festival is the perfect event for any foodie with a love for good alcohol. At the venue, you’ll enjoy 3 days of superb food, drink, shopping, music, and much more. 

The event usually takes place in late March or early April at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. There are various food and drink exhibitions, the Chef Kitchen, hands-on mixology classes, food trucks, and the DJ lounge. There’s something for everyone. 


Toronto: A City of Endless Fun and Opportunity

Toronto is the best city in Canada for annual cultural and entertainment events. The summer and winter months have incredible events—meaning there are always things to do in Canada’s number one metropolis. 


However, the dates and venues of these events can change, so make sure to plan ahead, get the most out of your Toronto travel and have fun! 


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The Cherry Blossoms in Washington DC

Things to do in Toronto