15 Free Festivals Coming to Yonge-Dundas Square This Summer
Yonge-Dundas Square has always served as a major hub for community events. Our summer 2019 calendar boasts some of the most exciting cultural festivals in the country. There will be plenty of opportunities to see some talented local musicians, try food from various cultures, and shop the intriguing art, crafts and fashion available.
Here’s a round-up of some of the festivals you can catch for free at Yonge-Dundas Square.
June 8, 2019
Since 2006, Desifest has served as one of the biggest platforms for South Asian youth culture. Desifest is a full day of music and art, helping to support young artists as they start their music careers.
June 9, 2019
Get wrapped up in the fun of Turban Up! hosted by Sikh Youth Federation. This event aims to promote awareness of Sikh culture with live music, martial arts demonstrations, food and of course turban wrapping. Volunteers will wrap turbans on attendees, while conducting a Q&A about Sikhism. Come join one of North America’s biggest celebration of Sikhism!
June 21-23, 2019
Pride weekend is always a summer highlight and this year is a big one! It’s the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots—the initial protest that broke out in New York City in 1969, launching yearly Pride festivals globally in its honour. This year’s festival will boast several food and drink vendors, musical performances and games. The festivities kick off with a parade ending at Yonge-Dundas Square, but will last all weekend.
Indigenous History Month
June 27, 2019
Indigenous history month is taking place throughout June, but swing by Yonge-Dundas Square on June 27th for a day of celebrating Indigenous culture. Speak to activists about their work in the community, bring your kids to the arts and crafts tent and shop the many creations from local artisans. With dance performances and a fashion show, the event will finish off with a live show featuring Tribe Called Red.
Multicultural Canada Day Celebration
July 1, 2019
This Canada Day, celebrate what makes our country so special: multiculturalism. This festival will have art, dancing, food and traditions from around the globe. Get immersed in the mosaic of cultures that brings our country together. Hosted by The Community Folk Art Council of Toronto.
July 6-7, 2019
This July, say bonjour to this fun day of Franco-Canadian culture. For the 37th year, Franco-Fete is back with some of the biggest names in francophone music. There will be programs for all ages and plenty of food options.
July 13, 2019
Get a little taste of Thai culture this summer at the Destination Thailand Fest. Enjoy traditional dances, get a massage and learn the art of umbrella painting—all while munching on some tasty cuisine.
Taste of Jesus in the City
July 20, 2019
Hosted by Jesus in the City / Festival of Praise International, this festival offers Christians of all backgrounds a chance to come together for a day of worship. With musical performances, dancing, food & prizes, there will be a plethora of Christian cultures represented.
July 21, 2019
Come celebrate the creativity of the next generation at “the largest festival of its kind.” For over 10 years, Youth Day has been an exciting platform for young people in Toronto (and now globally) to showcase their talent. Expect good food and various artisans to shop from, while taking in the amazing art, music and fashion.
Taste of the Middle East 2019
July 27, 2019
Get transported to the middle of a busy Souk this summer. This year’s TOME will see a traditional Middle Eastern marketplace appear in the heart of Yonge-Dundas Square. There will of course be delicious food, but visitors will also have an opportunity to buy handmade art and fashion while watching performances by local musicians.
Voices of the Nation
August 3, 2019
Voices of the Nations is an opportunity for Toronto Christians to come together and worship through song. With a goal to unite all Christian denominations and cultures through the power of music, it’ll be a fun event for all ages.
Indonesia Street Festival
August 4, 2019
Now in its third year, this colourful festival provides a day of Indonesian culture and food. Artisanal crafts will be available to buy and traditional dances will be performed. This festival may make you want to hop on a plane straight to Bali, so check out the tourism booth to get some tips.
Pan American Food and Music Festival
August 17-18, 2019
Winner of best festival at the Latin Canadian Awards, Pan American Food and Music Festival is sure to be an exciting day. This year’s program will focus on Cuban food and music, but it will also bring together and celebrate multiple cultures across the Western hemisphere.
September 1, 2019
This September, sink your teeth into some amazing Kothu Roti at Kothufest. With several local vendors to choose from, you’ll be able to see who really has the best Kothu in town.
Check out our calendar for a full list of events happening at Yonge-Dundas Square!
ABOUT THE WRITER
Robyn Bell is a freelance writer in Toronto.