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Weekend summer fun in Toronto: Food festivals and street parties

Last Updated Jul 5, 2019 at 6:36 am EST

People dancing in the streets at Salsa on St Clair in 2016. Image Credit: salsaintoronto.com

Happiness is the weekend. To celebrate the short week that led to this momentous occasion, there is no shortage of fun to be had in the city.

As you make your weekend plans, keep in mind that road and TTC closures will be in effect. Scroll past the events for more information.

Featured events

Beaches International Jazz Festival
Listen and feel the vibe of the local jazz scene at the annual jazz festival in the Beaches. The festival, which is held outdoors at various venues, starts on Friday and runs until July 28. This weekend, the festival comes to Jimmie Simpson Park for the Sounds of Leslieville & Riverside Stage, and a portion of Queen Street East for a block party. Other themed events will be held during the almost month-long music jam at Woodbine Party and the streetfest on Queen later this month.

Summertime in the city means the return of the foodie festival. Starting Friday and until July 21, around 200 participating restaurants will be serving up three-course prix fixe lunch and dinner options priced from $23 to $53. This year, learn about the city’s past through food at several historic sites around the city. Reservations are required for the restaurants and special events.

Taste of Lawrence
A three-day street party will take over a stretch of Lawrence Avenue East in the city’s east end this weekend. Sample food from various cultures in the GTA, listen to live music, take part in family-style fun, and check out the more than 130 vendors.

Salsa on St. Clair
If you want to learn how to salsa, this is your weekend to do just that. It doesn’t matter if you have two left feet because top-notch instructors will show you the way. After you burn off those calories, stop by one of the many food stalls that will be offering the best of Latin American cuisine. The event also features live music and folk performances.

The Bentway Block Party
A block party under the Gardiner Expressway? Anything is possible in Toronto. The family-friendly party returns to The Bentway in the Fort York neighbourhood on Sunday, for the second year. There will be live music, art installations, ping pong tables, ice cream sandwiches and other yummy treats. The party also marks the start of the “Sunday Social” series, where you can listen to musical performances while sipping on drinks. The social series runs until Aug. 25.

Road closures

Taste of Lawrence: Lawrence Avenue East between Birchmount Road and Warden Avenue will be closed from 10 a.m. on Friday to midnight Sunday.

Beaches Jazz Festival: A section of side streets near Queen Street East will be closed daily 11 a.m. to midnight on July 5-7. They include Booth Avenue, De Grassi Street, Lewis Street, Saulter Street and Boulton Avenue.

Salsa on St. Clair: St. Clair Avenue West will be closed between Winona Drive and Christie Street from 8 a.m. Saturday to 11 p.m. Sunday.

Fusion of Taste Festival: Islington Avenue will be closed between Albion Road and Wardlaw Crescent from 6 a.m. Sunday to 1 a.m. Monday.


Subway service will be affected on lines 1 and 2 this weekend for TTC work.

On Saturday and Sunday, trains won’t be running between Lawrence and St. Clair stations due to construction on the Eglinton Crosstown. Riders travelling south on Line 1 who require an elevator should exit at York Mills Station.

Then on Sunday, subway service between St. George and Broadview stations will start at noon. The late start is so that workers can conduct beam replacement work on the Prince Edward Viaduct.

Shuttle buses and Wheel-Trans service will be running.