Photo from Best of Toronto.
Toronto won’t stop getting better. As the city itself literally expands, so does its culture. And at no time of year does TO’s star shine brighter than during a warm, late summer evening. Pack a bag—a small bag—because it’s time for a staycation.
Here are a dozen flavours, places and events that will remind you why you live where you do.
David Chang’s new restaurant at Momfuku doesn’t offer the Asian food you’d expect from the famed restaurateur, but instead has South-American-inspired upscale steakhouse fare. Kōjin’s already getting rave reviews from food critics, so it’s the perfect place to take a date or your foodie friend.
The Rooftop Bar at The Broadview Hotel
There are few things more quintessentially summer than dining on a rooftop as the sun sets. While The Civic and the Café and Bar at The Broadview Hotel are also lovely, it’s The Rooftop Bar that steals the show. Enjoy meals made with fresh Ontario produce with a view right over the Don River and onto the city’s skyline. It’ll be a great reminder of what makes Toronto such a magical city.
Shakespeare in High Park
Ending on September 2, there’s still time to catch a performance of one of the Bard’s greatest works in Toronto’s High Park. This year’s productions are Romeo and Juliet and A Midsummer Night’s Dream, perfect for a dreamy midsummer night, one might say. Admission is by donation, or you can purchase tickets to reserve your seats ahead of time…to thine own self be true.
Berczy Park’s new dog fountain
If your travel companion prefers shaking a paw to Shakespeare, pay a visit to Berczy Park to see if you can find your fluffy friend’s cast-iron doppelganger among the 27 pooches that make up the new fountain (plus one cat). It’s got to be one of the strangest yet cutest fountains out there, and a summer evening is the perfect time to go to avoid the crowds and beat the heat.
Walrus Pub and Beer Hall
Walrus Pub recently opened in the Financial District with two rooms including a satellite martini bar, a patio, and an extensive menu of cocktails and draught beer. On the menu you’ll find some old favorites made with the best ingredients. Unwind with friends at the brushed-gold paneled bar, or make some new ones playing pool and shuffleboard on the third floor. There’s also a beer hall with ping pong tables in the basement, two things we never knew belonged together until now.
Canadian National Exhibition
From August 17 to September 3, the exhibition grounds will be transformed into a cavalcade of activities and shows for the whole family. Whether you’re enjoying the many musical performances, going to the amusement park, catching a robot battle at the Innovation Garage, or marvelling at Quatro, the aerial acrobatic and ice-skating show, there’s something for everyone.
Kensington Jazz Fest
For a more relaxing pace, head to Kensington Market on September 14, 15 or 16. For those three days the market will be host to over 100 of the top jazz and blues acts around. What better way to spend a warm summer evening than relaxing with a glass of wine while listening to some of Canada’s most talented musicians live? Here’s a taste from last year:
Midnight Madness at TIFF
If you’re looking for the perfect excuse to cuddle up with someone special, why not go for the tried-and-true horror movie method? Go to a midnight screening at the Toronto International Film Festival to see one of ten premiering horror movies, because these days the only way to beat the spoilers is by being the first to see it. It’ll also get you in the mood for Boombox 2018, TIFF’s costume party coming up in October.
This ice cream shop is getting a lot of buzz recently for having charcoal-infused cones and black soft-serve ice cream, because sometimes you just want a sweet treat that matches the darkness in your soul. For those whose goth days are behind them, they have a myriad of other yummy flavors to help you cool down at the end of a long day.
Kimpton Saint George Hotel
If you’re visiting from out of town, or maybe you just want to take a staycation, stay at the Kimpton Saint George boutique hotel in The Annex. Every corner of this hotel is beautifully decorated, mixing a bit of modern and bit of mod to create a space that feels much more welcoming and unique than your run-of-the-mill hotel room where everything’s just different shades of beige. You’ll have a hard time even forcing yourself to leave your room.
Fan Expo Canada
If you’re still lamenting the fact that Toronto ComiCon 2018 is over, Fan Expo is the perfect place to go to fuel up on all things pop culture from August 30 to September 2. It’s the biggest event in Canada for comics, horror, anime, sci-fi and gaming fans. You might even get to see some high-profile celebrity guests like Evangeline Lily and Michael J. Fox. You might recognize these guys too:
Just For Laughs Comedy Festival
Need we say more? The best way to stave of that end-of-summer sadness in the last week of September is to see your favorite comedians yuk it up. This year’s lineup includes Seth Myers, Wanda Sykes, Ken Jeong, Hannibal Burress, Margaret Cho, Nikki Glaser, and many more comedians (all of whom deserve to be named here, but there simply isn’t the space).
Date Posted: August 23, 2018