416 Weekend: Things to do in Toronto (Jun.14 – Jun.15)

LuminatoRain, rain, go away…I think it did, just in time for the weekend. Summer has definitely arrived and the best thing about this time of the year is the variety of outdoor events – music festivals, street festivals, etc. This weekend is full of them, whether you’re into food, art or sports, it’s all there for you and your Dad, too. Don’t forget it’s Father’s Day this Sunday, so why not spend this weekend hanging out with Dad? Here’s my TOP5 to get you through the weekend. Have fun!

Luminato – This week-long festival celebrates the best and boldest of creative minds, bringing to Toronto the gift of cultural activities. This is the last weekend of the festival and it will be filled with musical performances, talks, visual art exhibits and even magic. Each year it gets better so if you haven’t been, now is your chance to experience something new, and don’t forget to stop by the Cardboard Beach installation at David Pecaut Square.

NXNENorth 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.

Roncy Rocks Music and Arts Festival – Roncesvalles is playing host to a surprisingly elaborate, multi-stage music festival on Saturday, to be headlined by none other than Treble Charger (which you may remember from the 1990s). Conveniently, the event coincides with the neighbourhood’s annual garage sale.

CafeDipTaste of Little Italy – Every year the festival transforms College Street, from Bathurst to Shaw, into an Italian piazza, with walking access to restaurants, shops and music on every corner. Hope you’re ready for BBQ, churros, and gelato (and soccer jerseys), because if you haven’t heard it’s summertime on College Street, not to mention World Cup fever. Live music and performances will compliment the eats all weekend. Keep in mind parking is limited so public transit might be best. If you’re planning to visit one of the restaurants on the strip, wait time may be longer than usual but with all the live music around you might just spend that time dancing.

HOPE Charity Volleyball Tournament – This volleyball tournament takes place this Saturday on Centre Island with thousands of participants, 40 courts, and a beer garden, of course. HOPE (Helping Other People Everywhere) is a charity raising awareness and funds for other local charities. This year, the support will impact programs at Kids Cops & Computers and Alzheimer Socieity of Toronto.  Except for the ferry ride back, it sounds almost perfect. You don’t even have to be into volleyball. There will be a silent and live auction, and even hot air balloon rides, so hop on the ferry and spend the day on the island.

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