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17 Can't-miss festivals and events happening in Ontario this summer

Summer is nearly upon us Ontario, and that means it's time to get ready for a season packed with incredible fun.

Summer is nearly upon us Ontario, and that means it's time to dust off your dancing shoes, get your appetite ready to taste all the foods, and get ready for a season packed with incredible fun.

From sizzling foodie events and music festivals to celebrating love and furry friends, there's something for everyone on this list. 

So grab your tickets, best pals, sunnies, and sunscreen and prepare to make some unforgettable memories this summer.

Foodie Fun

1. London Craft Beer Festival (London): June 14-15

Craft beer connoisseurs, this one is for you. This festival is your chance to sample a diverse selection of local and international craft beers under one roof (technically under a huge tent!). Live music creates the perfect summer atmosphere while you sip the bespoke brews. Come hungry because irresistible food vendors will be there to dazzle your taste buds and complement your beer—or craft cocktail—of choice. Cheers to a fun-filled weekend in London!

2. Taste of Little Italy (Toronto): June 14-16

Calling all gourmands! Take a delicious stroll through Toronto's vibrant Little Italy and celebrate all things Italian and this foodie fest featuring restaurants and street vendors serving all of the Italian classics. Beyond the pastas and pizza, explore fusion creations and local favourites lining College Street. Come and enjoy live music, artisan vendors, and inviting patios that make this celebration of all things Italian too hard to resist. It’s truly bellissimo!

3. Toronto Ribfest (Toronto): June 28-July 1

Toronto Ribfest brings the summer vibes with a sizzling lineup of BBQ, live music, a thrilling midway, a dedicated Kids Zone, and mouthwatering ribs that will leave you licking your fingers and wondering if you should grab more for leftovers tomorrow. It's the perfect Canada Day long weekend celebration, so pack a ravenous appetite and prepare for a fun-filled, family day out.


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4. Sioux Lookout Blueberry Festival (Sioux Lookout): August 2-11

Get ready for family fun at this week-long annual blueberry festival. Join in on some activities, purchase blueberries, and enjoy over 100 events at the 42nd
edition of this beloved festival.

5. Pickering Food Truck Festival (Pickering): August 9-11

Calling all foodies with a love for sampling the flavours of the world! Esplanade Park will be transformed into a haven for hungry festival-goers at the Pickering Food Truck Festival. Here, you'll find an incredible array of food trucks serving up everything from creative international cuisine to classic comfort food. Bring your friends and family for a fun-filled day, complete with free children's games, a vibrant beer garden, and live music on stage. Admission is free, so come hungry and ready to food truck hop!

Music Magic

6. Niagara Jazz Festival (Niagara-on-the-Lake): All summer long

Get ready to be serenaded by the smooth sounds of jazz in the beautiful historic setting of Niagara-on-the-Lake at specially curated events all summer long. The TD Niagara Jazz Festival, now in its 11th year, is quickly becoming a must-attend event for jazz lovers. Spread over multiple locations across the Niagara Region, including Niagara Falls, St. Catharines, and Fonthill, the festival boasts over 30 summer concerts featuring both established and up-and-coming jazz performers you won’t want to miss. Check out the full schedule here.

7. Ottawa Jazz Festival (Ottawa): June 21-30

Treat yourself to a world-class jazz extravaganza this June at the Ottawa Jazz Festival. This iconic event boasts a lineup including many Grammy-award-winning artists like Norah Jones and Laufey, alongside rising stars and legendary acts. Beyond the main stage, expect no shortage of street performances, enjoy international cuisine from various food vendors, and experience the celebratory spirit of indigenous cultures. A dedicated Youth Summer program and VIP experiences with exclusive access and gourmet food options are other highlights worth checking out. This is a festival that caters to all tastes and ages.

8. Northern Lights Festival Boréal (Sudbury): July 4-7

The Northern Lights Festival Boréal is one of Canada's oldest music festivals set in Bell Park in Sudbury. The festival features live music centred around the genres of folk, roots, and world music and is beautifully located right on Ramsey Lake. 

9. Go North Music Festival (Richards Landing): July 25-27

This family-friendly, outdoor, camping festival features a variety of musical genres including new music, folk, roots, bluegrass, rock and pop. Browse through a wide array of food vendors, locally made beer, local art and activities for kids.

10. Live From the Rock Folk Festival (Red Rock): August 9-11 

This annual, grassroots gathering attracts over 2,000 music lovers to Lake Superior’s North Shore with world-class music, campfire jams, acoustic song circles, and more.

11. Blues on the Beach (Wasaga Beach): September 13-15

Let the soothing sounds of blues music wash over you as summer winds down at Blues on the Beach. This lakeside festival, held later in the season in mid-September, provides the perfect soundtrack for soaking up the last rays of sunshine. Renowned blues artists like Sandra Bouza and the Smoke Wagon Blues Band will have you swaying to the rhythm as the summer sunsets paint the sky with vibrant colours.

Celebrate Pride

12. Pride Toronto (Toronto): Festival weekend June 27-30

Spread love and celebrate the LGBTQ+ community at Canada's largest Pride celebration—Pride Toronto! This vibrant festival packs just about everything in the month of June, including the famous Pride parade and various street festivals offering live music, drag shows, and captivating performances by artists like DJ Sydney Blu and Tokischa. Pride Toronto is more than just a party; it's a powerful statement of inclusion and a celebration of LGBTQ+ rights. The festival also raises funds for important charities like the African Center for Refugees and LetsStopAids. Download the official guidebook to plan your perfect Pride experience.

Family Fun

13. Rotaryfest (Sault Ste. Marie): July 18-20

Rotaryfest, the much-anticipated annual celebration, is set to mark its 101st year with a sensational lineup and exciting attractions. The festivities will take place at Clergue Park, showcasing a diverse range of entertainment that caters to all musical tastes. From rock ’n’ roll to jazz and blues to captivating local originals, attendees can expect a lively atmosphere filled with top-notch talent.


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14. Cactus Festival (Dundas): August 16-18

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.

15. The CNE (Toronto): August 16-September 2

The Canadian National Exhibition (CNE) is Canada’s largest community event and one of the top five agricultural fairs in North America. Taking place over the 18 days leading up to and including Labour Day, it is affectionately embraced as an end-of-summer ritual by more than 1.5 million visitors.  

16. PAWlooza Fest (London): August 17

Calling all dog lovers! PAWlooza Fest is the ultimate celebration of all things canine. Bring your fur child or children for a day of tail-wagging fun with activities like dock diving, agility courses, and a designated off-leash zone to let your four-legged friend roam free. Don't worry; there’s something for the hoomans, too! Look forward to live music, food trucks of all cuisines, a beer garden, and vendors galore to snag your best friend one-of-a-kind memorabilia you’ll cherish for years to come.


A post shared by Pawlooza (@pawlooza)

17. Canadian International Air Show (Toronto): August 31-September 2

Canada's Largest & longest-running airshow located right in the heart of downtown Toronto. Over a course of three days, enjoy a jam-packed air display showcasing modern military jets, vintage warbirds, thrilling aerobatics and of course our beloved Canadian Forces Snowbirds.  

About the Author


Alicia is a journalist and editor in digital and print media specializing in health, nutrition, fitness, and wellness. She was previously the Editorial Director of Clean Eating and Vegetarian Times. Her work has also appeared in Hone Health The Edge, Yoga Journal, Women’s Running, and Oxygen, among others. In addition to being a content creator, she's an ISSA-certified nutritionist, certified personal trainer, and fitness studio owner in Toronto. Alicia loves spreading the word about helpful, science-backed health information, and she can be contacted via her website at