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Civic holiday weekend in Toronto: What's open, closed & events

Welcome to summer’s second long weekend, as Ontario observes the civic holiday on Monday.

In Toronto, the day is also known as Simcoe Day, named in honour of John Graves Simcoe, who was instrumental in the creation of York, Upper Canada (which would eventually become the City of Toronto)

The holiday is also observed in most other provinces and territories, although it goes by different names and is often celebrated with different traditions: In Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island the day is known as as Natal Day, while it is Regatta Day in Newfoundland. Even in Ottawa the Civic Holiday goes by a different name, often referred to as Colonel By Day.

The civic holiday is not a statutory holiday under Ontario’s Retail Business Holidays Act so stores that may normally be closed liquor, beer and grocery can open, provided local municipalities do not object.

What’s open and closed on Monday, Aug. 6:


  • Tourist-designated malls (Eaton Centre, Square One, Pacific Mall, Yorkdale Mall, Vaughan Mills)
  • Some grocery stores (per owner decision)
  • Tourist destinations (Toronto Zoo, Ontario Science Centre, ROM, AGO)
  • Garden centres
  • TTC will run on holiday schedule and GO Transit will run on Sunday schedule
  • Some liquor and beer stores. Click here to do a search for LCBO locations that may be open; click here for a list of beer stores that will be open.


  • Banks
  • Most child-care centres
  • Government offices
  • Libraries
  • Post offices and mail delivery

Weekend events:

  • Scotiabank Caribbean Carnival: This Caribbean festival is celebrating its 45th year, featuring Caribbean food, dance and music and the annual parade held on August 4.
  • Island Soul Festival: Experience Caribbean culture with this event, part of the Summer Festivals at the Harbourfront; August 3-6, free admission at the Harbourfront Centre.
  • TD IRIE Music Festival: Features reggae and world music, Caribbean dance, food, arts, and more; TD Music Main Stage Nathan Phillips Square. Aug. 3-6.
  • Simcoe Day at Fort York: Tour Fort York, founded by Upper Canada’s first Lieutenant-Governor John Graves Simcoe. A parade and remarks from Ontario’s Lieutenant Governor, The Honourable David C. Onley, will cap the day. August 6, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., free admission.
  • Simcoe Day at Gibson House Museum: Children’s activities, homemade ice cream and more; August 6, noon to 5 p.m., admission is pay what you can.
  • City building: Simcoe to skyscrapers a Fort York historic district walking tour: A walking tour covering the Fort York area, the Battle of York (1813), the fortification and development of the harbour, and the eventual industrial, recreational and residential growth of the area. August 6, 11:00 a.m. to noon, free admission.
  • Scarborough Ribfest: The Rotary Club’s Scarborough Ribfest takes place at Thomson Memorial Park. Aug. 3-6, free parking and admission.
  • Toronto Argonauts: On August 6, bring the family down to Rogers Centre to watch the Argos play the B.C. Lions.

For all listed events around the city, click here.

Weekend road closures for Caribbean Carnival:

  • Both directions of Lake Shore Blvd West will be closed from Strachan Avenue to Colborne Lodge Drive from Saturday at 1 a.m. until 6 a.m. on Sunday.
  • The following Gardiner Expressway ramps will be closed at 12:30 a.m. on Saturday: eastbound Gardiner Expressway exit to Jameson Avenue; Jameson Avenue and British Columbia entrance ramps to eastbound Gardiner Expressway; westbound Gardiner Expressway to Dunn Avenue exit ramp.
  • The following streets will have a restricted access for vehicles: Dufferin Street south of King Street West; Dowling Avenue south of King Street West; Stadium Road south of Lake Shore Boulevard West; Queens Quay West west of Bathurst Street; Springhurst Avenue west of Jameson Avenue; Springhurst Avenue east of Jameson Avenue.

For a list of other road closures in Toronto, click here and here.