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

Happy Canada Day weekend and week ahead…

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 152st, there will be great Canada Day events almost everywhere you go!

The forecast looks fairly good this weekend too!

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

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

 My original goal was to share fun things for you to do and since most of the people I work with are entrepreneurs, sometimes money can be tight and if you can still have fun at little or no cost, then that makes sense.

I believe in balance, that all work and no play isn’t healthy, so have fun this summer, get outdoors, enjoy, be healthy and well and now you don’t have to break the bank to do so! 

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 hot links for each listing…each link will take you to the website you’re wanting more information on!

Best wishes!

David Cohen

Harbourfront fireworks

  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…Jully Black is the headliner!!! Just 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 7 th-July 28th with free Sunday Night concerts and dancing
    Sunday Serenades will take place during four consecutive Sundays in July starting July 7th.  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…or this site too will work for the concert line-up on Sundays… http://www.northyorkarts.org/project/sunday-serenades/
  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! Plus the movies are back!!!

Also this year, Downsview Park has Friday Night movies…outdoors!  Lights, camera and action! The movies start on July 5th with Spiderman 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 Delhi to Dublin, and man various cultural acts and the buskers look great too!

“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:  June 27th through to early September 4th, 2019

Free social dancing with live music every Thursday evening. Featuring the West Coast Swing, Salsa Dancing and more!



  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! https://www.evergreen.ca/whats-on/?date=2019-06-26&category=0&view=upcoming

  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 19-21st- 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-18th, it’s the 22nd annual 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…    https://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. Scarborough has free Sunday Concerts right at the Scarborough Civic Centre in back of the Scarborough Town Centre Mall. Here’s what is happening in the near future!  https://www.toronto.ca/explore-enjoy/festivals-events/sunday-concert-series-at-scarborough-civic-centre/

  1. Every summer, the Prince Edward County Jazz Festival brings together top jazz talent, from local heroes to international stars in our beautiful wine-country setting.  With the generous help of local sponsors, the PEC Jazz Festival has gained a reputation as the true jazz-lover’s festival.  From classic to cutting edge modern and everything in between, the PEC Jazz Festival has something for every jazz fan. Log onto… http://www.pecjazz.org

  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. Psst. Wanna do yoga, see a movie and or an Indie Band? Yonge/Dundas Square has it all. All summer long… Here is the link to see what’s what…and heck maybe do a little shopping at Eaton Center for good measure…log onto https://www.ydsquare.ca for more info!

Talking about YOGA YOGA!

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

Here is the link…ok…downward dog on 3, 2 and 1  …  https://unionvilleinfo.com/event/yoga-in-the-square/

Also in old Unionville on Thursday’s they have The Thursday Night Bandstand Series…featuring some amazing cover bands! Log onto…  https://unionvilleinfo.com/event/thursday-nights-at-the-bandstand-2-2-2/ 

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!


To Rom with love, if you love art and walks, then off to the Rom you go!

  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 37th year.

Shakespeare in High Park, one of Toronto’s favourite summer traditions, returns for its 37th season with two adaptations of the Bard’s most popular and enduring works. The battle of sexes is on full display with a comedic tale of love and desire, Much Ado About Nothing, and the timeless story of morality and power, Measure For Measure.

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


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!

29. It is a Taste of the Kingsway in late summer… Discover international cuisines, continuous live entertainment and fresh food at Taste of the Kingsway! This Annual festival is a renowned culinary and entertainment experience. Over 100 vendors & exhibitors will be participating with demonstrations and interactive exhibits along Bloor Street West, from Prince Edward Drive to Montgomery Road, September 6-8, 2019. of Regent Park begins July 12th!

30. Brampton has some Canada Festivals too…plus check back for other happenings throughout the summer in Brampton too! Here is the link to the Canada Day Line-up!


2019 CanadaDay VOL hero banner

31.  Vaughan celebrates Canada Day too! 

Canada Day is filled with entertainment, inflatables, arts, crafts, live performances including the headline act MAGIC…a Juno Award winner and multi-platinum global reggae-pop quartet. Log on here for more info…


32. Concerts by the Pond- Mill Pond in Richmond Hill…relax with some music this summer in Richmond Hill…and the Concerts in the Park series, log on here for the 2019 Line-up…


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