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Ride for Heart takes over Gardiner, DVP this weekend in Toronto

Last Updated Jun 1, 2018 at 12:28 pm EDT

Cyclists, walkers and runners take part in the Ride for Heart in 2017. FACEBOOK/Heart and Stroke Foundation

This weekend is a busy one in the city, with charity events including the Ride for Heart, cultural celebrations, as well as music and street festivals.

If this week’s heat and humidity was too much for you to bear, this weekend brings fresher air and temperatures in the low 20s. On Sunday, there is the potential for thunderstorms in the afternoon and evening. Listen to 680 NEWS for the latest weather reports.


Ride for Heart
Up to 20,000 cyclists, runners and walkers will take over the Gardiner Expressway and Don Valley Parkway on Sunday for the 31st annual Ride for Heart, which raises money and supports heart disease research at the Heart and Stroke Foundation. Runners and walkers are also invited to take part. Cyclists can choose from three different routes  — all taking place on the Gardiner and DVP. Runners have two shorter distance options, while the walker route is five kilometres — the running and walking routes are along the Gardiner. Depending on the routes, riders start between 6 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. while runners and walkers start after 10 a.m.

Canoe Heads for Kids
Around 140 paddlers and portagers will travel 15 kilometres along Toronto’s waterfront on Saturday afternoon to raise money to help send children and youth from low-income families go to overnight summer camps. Starting at 1 p.m., participants — who must be least 18 years old — will portage 7.5 kilometres from the Harbourfront Canoe and Kayak Centre on Queens Quay West, continuing west along the Martin Goodman Trail to Sir Casimir Gzowski Park on Lake Shore Boulevard West. After a rest at the park, they will paddle along the waterfront back to the canoe centre, arriving around 4:30 p.m. Afterwards, everyone will celebrate their accomplishments at an after-party. To date, the event has raised more than $830,000, with the money going to fund over 800 summer camps.

Dundas West Fest
The Dundas West community is inviting residents to come out and celebrate the opening of the summer festival season this weekend. The Dundas West Fest is taking place Friday and Saturday along Dundas Street West from Ossington Street to Landsdowne Avenue. The festival covers 12 city blocks. Organizers say local vendors will be out showing off the neighbourhood’s food and rich cultural diversity. There will be free music and poetry readings, as well as yoga classes and art exhibits. Last year’s event brought out approximately 80,000 people. The street festival is from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Friday, and 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Saturday.

Fast in the 6
Diversity and unity will be celebrated at Fast in the 6, as the holy month of Ramadan reaches the half-way mark. Doors open at 7:30 a.m. with the breaking of the fast at 8:54 p.m. Live performances start at 9:15 p.m. There will also be food and other entertainment. A portion of the proceeds from the event will go to the Daily Bread Food Bank.

Yonge-Dundas Square will be the site for a youth-powered South Asian music concert on Saturday, showcasing and bringing together local musicians, dancers, and other cultural artists. The 12th annual event takes place from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Aside from the entertainment, there will be food and artisans in the merchant market, a kids’ zone, and the ever popular bouncy castle.

Autism Speaks Canada Walk
Autism Speaks Canada will hold a walk on Sunday to raise money to support people and families affected by autism. Participants will gather at Nathan Phillips Square to walk a 2.5-kilometre path. Organizers say the square will also feature activities for kids, including face-painting and inflatable bouncing stations. It’s also an opportunity for families to come together and support each other by making connections. The event runs from 9 a.m. to 1p.m.

Riverside East and Beats Streetfest
The Riverside neighbourhood is hosting a big party on Saturday. It’s the sixth annual Riverside Eats and Beats Streefest, put on by the Riverside District Business Improvement Area. The festival takes place across 10 blocks along Queen Street East from Davies to Empire avenues. Organizers say over 50 local eateries and shops will serve food specials, and hold sidewalk sales. There will also be live music, with genres ranging from jazz to samba. It’s all happening from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Road closures

Emergency watermain repairs: The eastbound Gardiner Expressway ramp to Lake Shore Boulevard at Park Lawn Road is closed until Saturday. Click here for the story.

Ride for Heart: The DVP from the Gardiner Expressway to York Mills Road, and the Gardiner from the South Kingsway to the DVP will be closed from 2 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday.

Dundas West Fest: Dundas Street West, from Lansdowne Avenue to Ossington Avenue, will be closed from 3 p.m. on Friday to 3 a.m. on Sunday. TTC buses will be diverted in the area.