One thing is for sure, Ontarians love their street festivals, and when the weather warms up, the first thing we do is take to Google in search of fun festivals to check out over the weekend.
From beer and jazz to butter tarts and cacti, there's a festival for nearly every passion.
And, if festivals are your jam, look no further than this comprehensive guide to the top 12 festivals to check out in Ontario all spring and summer long.
The Canadian Tulip Festival - Ottawa | May 12-22, 2023
Ring in spring and enjoy the beauty of Ottawa's parks and gardens with a visit to The Canadian Tulip Festival. This 10-day festival features over a million tulips in bloom across the city—the largest public display on the planet!—as well as cultural events, music, and food.
The Bread and Honey Festival - Streetsville | June 2-4, 2023
If you’re in the GTA and in the mood for a little culture discovering Streetsville’s agricultural roots, then head on over to The Bread and Honey three-day Festival in Streetsville Memorial Park to enjoy live music, a petting zoo, and of course, plenty of bread and honey for visitors to sample and purchase. Here’s a full lineup of the festival’s events.
Butter Tart Festival - Midland | June 10, 2023
Calling all butter tart lovers! The Butter Tart Festival in Midland celebrates one of Ontario's most celebrated—and Canadian-pioneered—desserts. This one-day festival features over 200 vendors selling butter tarts in every imaginable flavour, from the old faithful classic to maple bacon, and if you have dietary restrictions, there are plenty of alternatives such as gluten-free, too. There's also a butter tart bake-off, live music, games, and activities for the whole family.
The Grilled Cheese Challenge Festival - Toronto | June 10, 2023
The Grilled Cheese Challenge Fest in Toronto is a celebration of one of the world's simplest yet most satisfying sandwiches. This one-day festival features local chefs and food trucks competing to make the best grilled cheese sandwich with plenty of beer tastings to wash it all down. The only thing better would be if Tom Greene was on site reciting his famous line, “Delicious cheese sandwiches” from Last One Laughing—but in case he doesn’t show, the main stage will feature plenty of local entertainment.
Niagara Grape and Wine Festival - St. Catharines | June 16-18 & 23-25, 2023
You had us at “wine”. The Niagara Grape and Wine Festival is a celebration of Ontario's wine region. This two-part, two-day sipping fest features wine tastings, grape stomping competitions, a tailgate party, a “breezy brunch by the lake”, and more. It's the perfect way to experience the beauty of Niagara's wine country while indulging in some delicious local wines.
Ottawa International Jazz Festival - Ottawa | June 23-June 30, 2023
The Ottawa International Jazz Festival is one of the largest jazz festivals in the world, attracting over 300,000 visitors each year. This 7-day celebration of music boasts multiple sound stages and this year’s musical lineup goes far beyond traditional jazz with artists like Lord Huron, Feist, and Little Animal! If you’re an aspiring artist, there are workshops and masterclasses to take in too. The festival takes place in the heart of downtown Ottawa, making it easy to explore the city's many attractions while enjoying the music.
Northern Lights Festival Boréal - Sudbury | July 6-9, 2023
The Northern Lights Festival Boréal is one of Canada's oldest music festivals set in Bell Park in Sudbury. The festival features live music centered around the genres of folk, roots, and world music and is beautifully located right on Ramsey Lake.
Toronto’s Festival of Beer - Toronto | July 28-30, 2023
Toronto’s Festival of Beer takes place at the Bandshell Park at the Exhibition Place in Toronto and celebrates all things—you guessed it!—beer. Take in the city’s vibrant beer scene with tastings from countless breweries and sample a wide variety of foods while taking in live music.
Taste of the Danforth - Toronto | August 11-13, 2023
Back for the first time since 2019, the Taste of the Danforth is one of Toronto's most popular food festivals. This three-day food-lovers fest features endless vendors serving up delicious Greek and Mediterranean cuisine, as well as sound stages blasting live music and other attractions such as a rage room, dance lessons, and a full-blown midway.
The Waterfront Night Market - Toronto | August 11-13, 2023
Taste and celebrate Asian street food and culture at The Waterfront Night Market in Toronto this August! This three-day festival features food vendors serving up delicious dishes from across Asia, as well as live music and entertainment.
Cactus Festival - Dundas | August 19-21, 2023
The Cactus Festival in Dundas is a unique celebration of the town's history and culture. This three-day festival features live music, food vendors, and a parade—and in case you’re wondering what all of this has to do with cacti, Dundas is internationally known as the Cactus Capital of Canada thanks to the late famed cacti producer Ben Velduis, so it's only natural that the festival has its cactus-growing competition. This fun street fest is a great way to experience the charm of this small town while enjoying some local entertainment and food.
The Redpath Waterfront Festival - Toronto | September 16-17, 2023
The Redpath Waterfront Festival in Toronto is basically one big party on the waterfront and festival-goers will be thrilled to know that this year, the quack is back! That’s right. the World’s Largest Rubber Duck, Mama Duck, towering six stories tall and weighing 30,000 pounds will make her appearance in Lake Ontario where the festival takes place for the first time since pre-Covid. This two-day festival also features live music and food vendors—but let’s be honest—we’re going for the duck.