Our annual list of fun, free and almost free things to do this summer!

Happy Canada Day week…

For the past several years I have been posting an annual list of fun free things to do on Canada Day in the GTA, but also throughout the summer. This year take advantage of the arts, the trails, the music, the movies…all free…Plus it is Canada’s 151st, there will be great Canada Day events almost everywhere you go!

Just watch the heat this weekend!


When I first started this list, I was lucky to find 10 cool things to do.

This year we have 30 free or almost free, very cool and different things you can do this summer…


As an entrepreneur, you want to have fun and save money…or if you work, well you want to do the same as well!


We live in an abundant world and country. It makes me proud to be Canadian. I love Canada Day…it is my favourite day of the year. It’s nice out, NHL free agency starts, the Blue Jays play during the day and there are so many things to do, summer is ahead of us. It is a day for fun, fireworks, friends and family. I hope you take advantage of our listings below and make it a fabulous summer ahead!

Don’t forget to tap into the hotlinks for each listing…each link will take you to the website you’re wanting more information on!


Best wishes!


David Cohen

  1. Harbourfront is a great place to go to on Canada and throughout the summer, they have free concerts, events, festivals, cultural events and more… log onto… http://www.harbourfrontcentre.com/ to learn more…
Canada Day celebrations at Mel Lastman Square
  1. Mel Lastman Square has Canada Day Events on July 1st with a good line-up of music, and things to do…log onto https://www.toronto.ca/explore-enjoy/festivals-events/canada-day/canada-day-at-mel-lastman-square/ to learn more about Canada Day happenings and once again the Sunday Night Music/Dancing Series is on in the heart of North York-the Sunday Serenade Series from July 8th-July 29th with free Sunday Night concerts and dancing
    Sunday Serenades will take place during four consecutive Sundays in July starting July 8th.

https://www.toronto.ca/explore-enjoy/festivals-events/canada-day/canada-day-at-mel-lastman-square/ for more information about Canada Day and this site for the Sunday Serenade Series…



  1. The City of Toronto has Summerlicious happening too! For more information just log onto… https://www.toronto.ca/explore-enjoy/festivals-events/summerlicious/summerlicious-information/… Summer is finally here! Time to get out during everyone’s favourite culinary celebration and taste some of the diverse cuisine Toronto has to offer. Summerlicious features more than 210 top restaurants offering three-course prix fixe lunch and dinner menus at exceptional price points.


  1. Downsview Park has Canada Day Events and Fireworks too this year on July 1st…log onto… http://www.downsviewpark.ca/ for more info on Downsview Park…and this link for the Canada Day fun!  https://en.downsviewpark.ca/event/Canada-Day-2018

Also this year, Downsview Park has Friday Night movies…outdoors!  Lights, camera and action!  https://en.downsviewpark.ca/event/friday-night-lights-2018




  1. Cultura Festival is back in July in North York at Mel Lastman Square…with music, food, buskers, and movies in the Square…Log onto… http://culturafestival.ca/ for more information. Each Friday night in July, you can be amazed, dazzled and have fun at Mel Lastman Square in North York. The music line-up this year has some great acts including a Leonard Cohen tribute event…



“My upbringing in Canada made me the person I am. I will always be proud to be a Canadian.”


Jim Carrey


  1. Harbourfront has “Music in the Garden” from now until September (all summer) with all kinds of musical genres…just log onto… http://www.harbourfrontcentre.com/summermusic/

This will give you the heads up on who is playing each week from now through to mid-September!




  1. Maybe you want to dance with that certain someone…well Dancing on the Pier at Harbourfront is back!

From:  July 12 – August 30

Free social dancing with live music every Thursday evening. Featuring the Toronto All-Star Big Band and Changui Havana.




  1. The Brickworks, on the Bayview Extension near Pottery Road…has a ton of stuff going on…both on Canada Day and beyond, oh ya and bring your bike! http://www.evergreen.ca/get-involved/evergreen-brick-works/  for more info and events

  1. There is nothing like getting back to nature and in all my years working in Durham Region, there are walking and bike trails a plenty…and believe it nourishes the soul and spurs on creativity to use in your business when you get those endorphins going…log onto… http://bit.ly/28ZoWSP to learn more…



“There are no limits to the majestic future which lies before the mighty expanse of Canada, with it’s virile, aspiring, cultured and generous-hearted people.”-

Winston Churchill


  1. Love Jazz? The Waterloo JazzFest swings into full gear on July 20th-22nd- with both free and paid concerts…heat up your summer at the Sunlife Financial UpTown Waterloo Jazz Fest…log onto… http://www.uptownwaterloojazz.ca/ For more info…



  1. Want more Jazz…well then In late summer on August 16th-20th, it’s the TD Canada Trust Markham JazzFest, this is a top notch event and there is even a nice nature trail to go on by Togood Pond…log onto… http://www.markhamjazzfestival.com/ For more info on this event…



  1. If you want to bike it up this summer, check out the Ontario Road Bikingsite…at Trails Dot com… http://www.whitby.ca/en/residents/trails.asp

  1. Jazz on the Lake, It’s the Niagara on the Lake JazzFest…on 2 weekends this year!


The not-for-profit festival takes place throughout the Niagara Region and this year’s summer festival expands to TWO weekends! The summer festival will take place the last two weekends of July. (July 19th – 22nd and July 27th-29th, 2018) in St. Catharines and Niagara-on-the-Lake. And to celebrate its fifth year the festival introduces a NEW initiative: WORLD MUSIC on the BEACH at Lakeside Park in Port Dalhousie.

Come and sip wine, walk the town, get romantic or just see some good jazz…log onto…

http://niagarajazzfestival.com for more info

  1. Uxbridge is known as the trail capital of Ontario…if you want a walk outdoors or just want to bike…log onto the link to the many fabulous trails in Uxbridge…log onto http://town.uxbridge.on.ca/trail_maps for more info


  1. If you live in Durham Region, and want some fun things to do…here is the link to the event listings…there are some fun events happening all over Durham Region and so much more happening all through the summer! Log onto…



  1. It’s the NewMarket Music Fest too…on August 24th-26th…this is a lot of fun, doable (not overly crowded), fun and well organized…George St. Kitts puts his heart and soul into this event and it is great time…log onto http://newmarketmusicfestival.com/

  1. Check out Edwards Gardens (Botanical Gardens Toronto) for Music in the park at Edwards Gardens is a nice Thursday treat! Tap into the Edwards Gardens on Leslie and Lawrence…and catch music in the Gardens…log onto https://torontobotanicalgarden.ca/enjoy/special-events/summer-music-series/ for more   info…                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    
  2. All this music and biking makes me hungry and if you like food and music all in the cool downtown vibe of Metro Hall at King and John St.  all summer long on Thursday nights…log on here for more info!  https://www.toronto.ca/explore-enjoy/festivals-events/more-city-produced-events/indulge-at-david-pecaut-square/


  1. Want to go to free movies? Dundas Square has a bunch on Tuesday Nights in the Summer…here is the link to see what is in store! http://www.ydsquare.ca/city-cinema.html Hooray for Hollywood and Dundas Square for a slew of other summer fun events…this year the focus is on Rockumentaries…

School’s out for summer, which means it is time to rock on down to Yonge-Dundas Square for the city’s favourite outdoor screenings, City Cinema, every Tuesday at 8pm from June 26 – August 28. YDS is providing Toronto the ultimate summer soundtrack with Rockumentaries; a lineup of non-fiction films that are sure to cause treble as they explore the life and times of some of North America’s most beloved musical acts, featuring different artists and their signature sounds each week.


20…Plus…in Markham in Old Unionville…has Yoga in the Square…there is no place like OHM!

Here is the link…ok…downward dog on 2…http://www.unionvilleinfo.com/event/79-yoga-in-the-square-Sundays


Also in old Unionville on Thursday’s they have The Thursday Night Bandstand Series…featuring some amazing cover bands! Log onto… http://www.unionvilleinfo.com/event/80-thursday-nights-at-the-bandstand-3   for more information on these concert events!




  1. For those in the West…Mississauga has a ton of fun in the Celebration Square, movies, music and events…Mississauga Celebration Square hosts a dynamic mix of free events and festivals throughout the year. The summer season offers an eclectic variety of events, including weekly fitness classes and movie nights, concerts, a Canada Day Celebration, food truck rallies, festivals and much more. Here is the link! https://culture.mississauga.ca/content/summer-square



  1. In Durham Region, now we’re going East…check out https://www.durhamtourism.ca/ for a list of events all over Durham, Bowmanville, Clarington, Oshawa, Lake Scugog/Port Perry, Whitby, Ajax and Pickering! Each community has an event! So check out each community’s websites for more local fun, free things…

  1. Downtown Yonge St. has a ton of fun, called Play the Parks! Here is the link to all of the events happening this summer! Play the Parks is back for its sixth season! From June to September, we invite you to sit back, relax and soak in the summer sun as you enjoy free concerts at seven different locations in the Downtown Yonge BIA. Join us all summer long at seven different locations throughout the Downtown Yonge BIA! Log on here for more info!





  1. Aww…time for a walk! How about a ROM Walk? Walking tours of Toronto. ROMWalks encompass the diverse aspects of Toronto’s vibrant neighbourhoods including history, architecture, arts of all varieties, education and more. Most tours are free. Here is more info… http://www.rom.on.ca/en/whats-on/romwalks



  1. It is the big bad Beaches Jazz Festival all month long! How cool is that! Music, outdoors, fun, food, friends! Here is the link to this wildly amazing event! I went last year and saw Bill King and company, with Michael Dunston, then Monkey Junk (Hot Blues) and Paul Reddick…these guys were awesome! Here is the link to this fabulous event!  http://beachesjazz.com/

Here is a taste of Paul Reddick, he is a local Toronto Blues artist and he packs a punch!




26…What about a little theatre? Shakespeare anyone? Canada’s longest-running outdoor theatre event, Shakespeare in High Park, celebrates its 35th year.

Canadian Stage presents bold new takes on two Shakespeare classics: Twelfth Night, where guests get transported from the enchanted musical shores of Illyria, and King Lear, one of the most monumental works of English drama – reimagined from a female perspective.

Now in its 36th season of outdoor theatre magic, Shakespeare in High Park presents adventurous adaptations of two of the Bard’s most popular and enduring works. The tragic romance of Romeo and Juliet and the frolicking comedy of A Midsummer Night’s Dream immerse you in tales of rebellious love in the face of authority — the best way to spend a summer night in Toronto, and the official start to our 18.19 season.

“A must-see summer attraction in Toronto and one of the most successful festivals of its kind in Canada”



June 28 – September 2, 2018

Tuesday to Sunday: 8 p.m. (Gates open at 6 p.m.)

The event is free for children 14 and under. Adults may make a pay-what-you-can donation with cash, debit or credit cards at the gate. The suggested minimum donation is $20 per person or $25 advance reserved seating.

Log on here for more info!  https://www.canadianstage.com/Online/


  1. Now if you live in the East end, you too can take in some Shakespeare…Shakespeare in the Ruff is a professional outdoor theatre company that breathes life and magic into Shakespeare’s works for Toronto’s diverse and contemporary audience. Our work lies at the intersection of Outdoor Theatre, Education, and Community Building.


Find us between the trees, in the middle of the park, just south of the fire pit

PWYC – Pay What You Can

(suggested $15)

Bring your lawn chairs, blanket & a picnic  log onto…this site for more info!



  1. If you live in the City’s west end…and want to tap into movies outdoors…This is all about fun for the family…check out Sorauren Park is the place to be and to then check this link out… https://soraurenpark.wordpress.com/outdoor-movies/   Roll ‘em!

  1. Roy Thomson Hall has an outdoor summer concert series after work, called Live on the Patio…I have checked out the line-up and it is really good…with a great mix of music too!

Here is the link!  https://www.roythomsonhall.com/tickets/series/live-on-the-patio


Last but not least…check out…


  1. A Taste of Regent Park begins July 12th!

Enjoying an evening at Regent Park with Taste of Regent Park followed by a free film screening at Under the Stars starting on July 12.

Every Wednesday from June 28 to August 30, 2017.

Taste of Regent Park includes:

A Good Food Market, where people can buy affordable fruit and vegetables, with local and organic options

Food Demonstrations where people can sample both new and familiar foods

A Community Meal, which will be prepared by local caterers in the CRC kitchen and offered to everyone for a donation of $3 a plate

The market begins at 5:00 p.m. Meal at 6:00 p.m. and movies at dusk.

Here is the link for more info!



Thousands gather to take part in Canada Day celebrations on Parliament Hill in Ottawa Sunday, July 1, 2007. (CP PHOTO/Jonathan Hayward) Canada


There are so many more things to do for free, where you can connect with your family, friends, business colleagues or co-workers…be sure to check out your city or regional websites and of course Ontario Tourism and your local government sites for events and what to do.


May you have a joyous and wonderful summer in balance, success and health!


Cheers!  David