25 things to do in and around T.O. this summer

Summer in the city is a time to stretch those legs – whether in relaxation or activity – and bask in the most-welcome heat. Whether you’re interested in summer festivals, day-tripping or just cooling off, here’s a list of summer activities to help you make the most of the season:

1. Play a game of Quidditch and experience all things Hogwarts at Ontario Science Centre‘s Harry Potter: The Exhibition (closing August 22)

2. Take a relaxing stroll through Edwards Gardens on a balmy, summer night

3. Catch free screenings of old Hollywood classics and international fare at Cinematheque Ontario (Jackman Hall, AGO)

4. Slurp a soy smoothie or freshly squeezed juice from vegan/vegetarian hot spot Sadie’s Diner.

5. Impress your date with a (free!) trip to the York University Observatory for a Wednesday night gazing at the stars.

6. Work those biceps, triceps and quadriceps while conquering your personal Everest at Rock Oasis rock climbing gym.

7. Head north to Barrie to pick plump, juicy, in-season raspberries and blueberries at Barrie Hill Farms.

8. Get your fill of souvlaki, saganaki and moussaka at the annual Taste of the Danforth festival (August 6-8). Opa!

9. Relax after a long day at work with pitcher of famous sangria (white or red…your choice!) at cozy Annex hideaway Boulevard Cafe.

10. Hop on the ferry to explore a collection of communities across Lake Ontario, the Toronto Islands.

11. See kangaroos, polar bears and tigers right after a picnic with peacocks at the Toronto Zoo.

12. Hoof it along the waterfront and catch a free concert or family activity at the Harbourfront Centre.

13. Have a sweet waking dream in High Park while taking in Shakespeare’s tale of star-crossed lovers, Romeo and Juliet.

14. Give in to your carnival food cravings (cotton candy and footlong corndogs ahoy!) at The Canadian National Exhibition.

15. Scoop up organic ice cream, fresh produce and out-of-this-world empanadas during Pedestrian Sundays at Kensington Market.

16. Munch on no-fuss food in the secluded back patio of West Queen West dive bar Sweaty Betty’s.

17. Settle in for an old-fashioned night out at the Polson Pier drive-in movie theatre.

18. Day trip to Cherry Avenue Farms in the Niagara Region to pick your own fresh cherries, plums, peaches and pears.

19. Sample locally brewed suds on a tour of the Mill Street Brewery in the Distillery District.

20. Cool down with a refreshing and slightly buzz-inducing Texas iced tea at Tortilla Flats.

21. See and be seen at the patio of Queen West staple The Black Bull Tavern.

22. Enjoy the sci-fi and horror film feast that is the Toronto After Dark Film Festival on the cushioned seats of legendary Bloor Cinema.

23. Learn to appreciate art outdoors at Toronto Sculpture Garden.

24. Pick packs of peppers at the farmers’ market during Fresh Wednesdays at Nathan Phillips Square.

25. Treat yourself to a giant helping of cookie dough ice cream at The Big Chill to close out a wonderful summer.


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