Get the Most Out of Your Toronto Trip: Top Cultural Tips

It doesn’t matter whether you’re an art lover, a book fan or a cinephile, Toronto has the fun festival experience for you. Find out about some of the best and most interesting special events to help you enjoy an enriching holiday in Canada.

Look beyond the usual tourist trip to Toronto by timing your visit to take part in some of the fantastic cultural highlights and exciting festivals the city is home to.


Toronto – CC Image attribution – Benson Kua

Summer Music Festivals

Summer in Toronto also means time for tunes. Every time the summer sun shines, the city is transformed with a range of fabulous music festivals catering to all different tastes. From jazz to indie rock, metal to electronic, you’ll find there’s a Toronto festival ready to help you rock your socks off.

Turf, 4-7 July

Toronto Urban Roots Festival, also known as Turf, is a popular music festival with an indie and urban vibe. This chilled out and well catered festival will be welcoming the Barr Brothers, Arkells, The Cat Empire, Dawes and lots more this year.

Edgefest ’13, 31 July

An indie rock festival that’s sure to charm fans of guitars and dishevelled crooners, Edgefest is a firm summer favourite. In 2013, rockers will be treated to tunes from The Lumineers, Band of Horses and many more.

Grove Music Festival, 3 Aug

Be one of the first people to enjoy a brand new festival by booking a trip to get dancing at Grove. The inaugural performers will include Phoenix, Girl Talk, Hot Chip, The Gaslight Anthem and more in this team up from independent music company Arts & Crafts and concert promoter Goldenvoice.

Canadian National Exhibition

If you’d like to understand what Toronto was like in the old days and you’ve got a craving for some wonderful, nostalgic experiences, visit Toronto between mid-August and early-September to have some fun at the National Exhibition. It’s an unusual combination between a massive farmers market and a modern expo and the exciting rides and great exhibitions dedicated to Toronto’s ethnic communities make it a great experience.

Toronto International Film Festival

Pay a visit to Toronto in September and you’ll have the chance to check out some of the hottest new releases at the city’s international film festival. Book your ticket for 10 glorious days of premiers, rare screenings and celebrity experiences. The whole city takes on a little of the glamour of the silver screen during the festival so it’s the perfect time to visit if you’re a film-lover.

Nuit Blance

Also taking place in September is a relatively new but already unmissable Toronto experience. Based on the regular White Nights in Paris, this is an all-night arts festival that sees the city open itself up to unusual installations which pop up everywhere – from car parks to swimming pools – and invite everyone to take part in the party.

Literature Festivals

Lovers of literature should really make sure that their visit to Toronto will coincide with the fantastic Word on the Street. Taking place in the lovely and lush Queens Park in September, this annual book festival tends to attract something in the region of 100,000 people, thanks to its great selection of author events and readings.

The International festival of Authors, which takes place in October, gives visitors and locals another chance to sink into a wonderfully literary couple of days. It attracts some of the biggest names in literature from all over the world, so keen readers are sure to be in for a treat.

No matter whether it’s music, literature or film that makes your heart beat faster, this city has it all. Be sure you book your hotel in Toronto early if you’re planning to visit during festival time though, as the city can get very busy.

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