It’s the first official weekend of summer, and it comes along with a suitably jam-packed roster of events. Read on to see what you should be doing this weekend, including a punk-rock-circus-beer-fest, an outdoor Junction extravaganza, and a free, truly Miraculous mowtown show.
Friday: Smokey Robinson / Martha Reeves and the Vandellas play Nathan Phillips Square
Alright, is everybody ready? Alright now, here we go. A one, a two, a one, two…
Smokey Robinson. Martha Reeves and the Vandellas. Free Concert. Toronto Jazz Fest. If you don’t take advantage of this show, you don’t deserve to live in Toronto. There, I said it.
When: Friday June 21st, 8p.m.
Where: Nathan Phillips Square
How Much: Free, Ain’t it Baby?
Friday: Strange Brew
Nothing screams summer more than people literally screaming it into your ears.
Hey bro, you ready for Strange Brew, bra? The folks at Young Lions Music Club (the people behind the incredible Great Heart Festival) paired up with Mill Street Brewery to provide a night of fun, music, beer, and sideshow freaks. Plus, there will be street food (buzzword!) and beer from over 10 local breweries (buzz!). The whole night will be hosted by Mysterion the Mindreader, and will feature performances by Dwayne Gretzky, The Golden Dogs, and Jumple. Some come on by to the nearly sold-out show, grab an ice-cold-cruiser, and watch Dolly Berline, the bearded lady, do her thing. For more details, check out the extravaganza on Facebook or on their official website.
When: Friday June 21st, 8p.m. – 2a.m.
Where: The Junction’s power plant-turned-steampunk furniture warehouse (buzz! buzz! buzz!), Metropolis Living Factory, 50 Edwin Ave.
How Much: Depends! Check the links above to see if tickets will still be available. This one’s hot stuff.
Friday: Om T.O.
Go get your butt in shape, and shape the shape of butts everywhere. Om T.O will feature a full day of free yoga (to celebrate the summer solstice, of course). More importantly, the event has the noble goal of raising some serious funds for colon cancer treatment and research. 40 minute sessions will be offered to participants of all skill-levels starting at 10 a.m. and finishing at 6 p.m. The event was created by the founder, publisher, and editor-in-chief of Tonic Magazine, along with the folks down at Spynga Inc., a Toronto yoga studio. A suggested donation of $10 (or pay-what-you-can) to Colon Cancer Canada is recommended, which you can of course make at the event itself. For those wishing to make a larger contribution, mats provided by Lululemon can be reserved in advance. Find more zen here.
When: Friday June 21st, 10a.m. – 6p.m.
Where: The Distillery, 55 Mill St.
How Much: Pay What You Can
Saturday: Summer Solstice Festival
Come for the ferris wheel, stay for the flea market
Come and make the most of the year’s (second) longest day of the year at The Junction’s Summer Solstice Festival, a community-run event that provides Torontonians with the perfect opportunity to explore the city’s happenin’ area. Plenty of art, music, and design will be on display during the day, which will evolve into a nighttime film screening under the stars and an outdoor flea market at the ferris wheel spins ’round and ’round. That’s right, there’s a ferris wheel. Get more info on the event here.
When: The year’s (second) longest day, Saturday June 22nd from noon – midnight
Where: All around The Junction
How Much: Free
Saturday: A Literary Picnic (Luminato)
Like Woodstock for book nerds
60 authors are taking to Trinity Bellwoods Park for group presentations and one-on-one discussions about writing. You can catch up with these authors on their very own picnic blankets, and really pick their brain about their past works, and get some writerly advice of your own. Also involved will be a free book-exchange, an author signing area, and food trucks. If you’re a food truck operator in Toronto right now, and you’re not booking events seven nights a week, you’re doing something wrong. Get a full list of participating authors here.
When: Saturday June 22nd from noon – 4p.m.
Where: The green grass of Trinity Bellwoods Park
How Much: Can you really put a price on knowledge and the free flowing exchange of ideas?
Sunday: Toronto Dragon Boat Festival
Row, Khaleesi, row…
Spend your Sunday catching up on the second day of the Toronto Dragon Boat Festival: an event which draws 200 teams and 5,000 athletes from countries around the world. The event is also a great excuse to explore the Toronto island which can be a pretty daunting destination during busy weekdays. More info here.