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Toronto weekend: Summer festivals, partial DVP shutdown, TTC disruptions

Last Updated Aug 23, 2019 at 1:23 pm EDT

The on-ramp to the northbound Don Valley Parkway from Dundas Street East is closed due to weather on Aug. 21, 2018. CITYNEWS/George Joseph

Summer is winding down and it will be over before you know it, so don’t wait around and make the best of the season this weekend. As usual, there are several events to choose from, scroll below for some suggestions.

As you plan your weekend, plan ahead for the subway disruptions and road closures, including a partial DVP shutdown. Below is a list.


‘I want to ride my bicycle’
Ask any cyclist and they will tell you the pure joy of riding their bicycle — even though it is tricky at times to ride in the city. This Saturday, the freedom of the bicycle awaits you at the Toronto Bicycle Music Festival. Starting at 11 a.m., riders arrive at Bell Manor Park near Park Lawn and Berry roads in Etobicoke. Some can opt to stay and jump on stationary bikes as they listen to live music, or take part in the group ride with Cycle Toronto at noon. The group will ride the around eight-to-nine-kilometre stretch to Trinity Bellwoods Park. The second party starts at 1 p.m. at Trinity Bellwoods Park, featuring more stationary bikes and live music. The festival is free for all ages but those taking part in the group ride need to register. In the event of rain, the event will take place on Sunday.

Food and drink festivals
Starting on Friday and into the weekend, enjoy the best of summer relaxation at three food and drink festivals. First up is the Toronto Cider Festival, which is being held at Sherbourne Common on Friday and Saturday. Sample some ciders and munch on snacks as you listen to live music, learn about food and cider pairing, hang out the outdoor fire pit, check out the live art show, and more.

The Beer, Bourbon & BBQ also starts on Friday but this country-esque event runs until Sunday at Ontario Place. Indulge in a barbecue feast with some craft beers or bourbon cocktails on the side. There will also be live country music and line dancing.

And if you prefer a more street party atmosphere, the Leslieville Beerfest will be held on Dundas Street East between Carlaw and Logan avenues on Saturday. Taste some local brews and food vendors, and browse the artisanal market.

Summer in Kensington
Another edition of Pedestrian Sundays returns to Kensington Market. The party starts at noon on Sunday, featuring live music, dancing, yummy treats, an array of vendors, and more. The area will be closed off to traffic so pedestrians and cyclists can roam freely.

Put pen to paper
If you are looking to buy supplies to catch up on your correspondence the old-fashioned way, or if you like to buy unique greeting cards, then head to the Toronto Stationery Show at The Great Hall on Sunday. The event, which is hosted by Q&A Letterbox, showcases the paper and stationery goods from several vendors.

Cultural experiences
There are four cultural festivals taking place this weekend at different parts of the city. First up is the Afro-Carib Fest at Albert Campbell Square in Scarborough. Check out some live music, drum and dance performances, a vibrant parade, and of course, the food.

Also taking place in Scarborough is Tamil Fest, which is being held on Markham Road between McNicoll and Passmore avenues. Explore Tamil history, arts and culture, and cuisine at the street festival. There will also be a kids zone for who else, the kids.

As you make your way into the downtown core, stop by Mel Lastman Square for the Korean Harvest Festival. The name the festival is derived from Hangawi, also known as the Korean Thanksgiving. Watch Tae Kwon Do in action, enjoy traditional dance and music performances, take part in interactive games, and eat some great food.

If you are downtown this weekend, the Mabuhay Philippines Festival awaits you at Nathan Phillips Square. Learn about Philippine culture, check out traditional and contemporary arts and entertainment, and taste the delights of the cuisine.

Road closures

Section of Don Valley Parkway (Saturday-Monday closure): The northbound lanes of the DVP from Lake Shore Boulevard East to the Dundas Street East on-ramp will be closed from 12:01 a.m. Saturday until 5 a.m. Monday. The five on-ramps leading to northbound DVP from the Gardiner Expressway, Don Roadway, Eastern Avenue, Queen Street East and Dundas will also be closed, as well as around 500 metres of the southbound lane near the work zone near the Dundas on-ramp. Driver can get back on the northbound DVP at Bloor Street East.

Tamil Festival (Friday-Sunday closure): Markham Road between McNicoll and Passmore avenues will be closed from 10 p.m. on Friday to 5 a.m. on Monday.

Fan Expo Canada (Friday-Sunday closure): The southbound curb lane on Front Street West from Simcoe to John streets, the southbound curb lane on Lower Simcoe Street from the Intercontinental Hotel driveway to Bremner Boulevard, and the westbound curb lane on Bremner from Lower Simcoe to Ceremonial Drive will be closed from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday, and from 8 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

8 80 Cities (weekend closure): The westbound and eastbound curb lanes on Danforth Avenue from Woodmount to Woodbine avenues will be closed until 5 p.m. on Sunday.

Leslieville Beerfest (Saturday closure): Dundas Street East from Logan to Carlaw avenues will be closed from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Saturday.

Kensington Pedestrian Sundays (Sunday closure): Augusta Avenue from Dundas to Nassau streets, and from Nassau to the south side of the lane south of Oxford Street, will be closed from 12:01 pm to 7:30 p.m. Sunday. From 12:01 p.m. to 10:30 p.m., Augusta will also be closed from Oxford to College streets, Baldwin Street from the west side of the Green P exit to Augusta Avenue, Kensington Avenue from Baldwin to Dundas streets, and St. Andrew Street from the Green P exit to Kensington.


TTC riders can expect another weekend of subway disruptions. On Saturday and Sunday, subways won’t be running on Line 1 between Sheppard-Yonge and St. Clair stations due to rail replacement work. Then on Sunday, subway service on Line 2 from St. George to Broadview stations will start at noon due to beam replacement work on the Prince Edward Viaduct.

Shuttle buses and Wheels-Trans service will be running during both closures.