7 Summer Favourites You Can Experience Now

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Feel like a VIP as spring offers visitors a preview of what's happening this summer. Toronto-based travel writer, Natalie Preddie, tells you how to get a head start with these warm weather must-do's to enjoy now.

Spring brings more sunshine, warmer weather and longer days – perfect for a sneak peek at all this dynamic city has to offer ahead of the summer crowds. Here are some of the best ways to enjoy the excitement and renewal of spring in the 6ix.

A Different Type Of Date Night

AGO Friday Nights

Every Friday, the Art Gallery of Ontario stays open until 9pm as does shopAGO and their award-winning restaurant, AGO Bistro. Picture strolling through the gallery, taking in unique exhibitions from artist Georgia O’Keefe, the country’s largest African art collection or European impressionists before heading to AGO Bistro for a glass of wine, and fresh and local fare. How romantic!

#FNLROM at the Royal Ontario Museum

If you’re looking for something a little louder, the Royal Ontario Museum hosts Friday Night Live (#FNLROM), a night of live indie bands, DJs, food and drinks. Each Friday is a different theme and guests can explore an exhibition or collection such as dinosaurs, photography or fashion throughout the party. Tickets are available online or at the door.

Friday Night Live at the ROM.
Friday Night Live /
Royal Ontario Museum

Music On The Beach

Electric Island

This outdoor music festival series takes place from May through September on Hanlan’s Point, Toronto Islands. Now in its fifth year, some of the world’s best EDM artists such as Bedouin, Soul Clap and Ben Klock, take to the stage spinning essential techno mixes for excited crowds. Bring a picnic and don’t forget your glow sticks.

CBC Music Fest

On May 27th, the CBC Music Festival will celebrate spring and kick off summer on Echo Beach. This year, an all-Canadian line up will feature some of Canada’s top talents, including Serena Ryder and Walk Off The Earth. During the concert you can grab some delicious eats and drinks from some of Toronto’s favourite culinary talents. This year, the concert will also be streamed on YouTube and Facebook Live.

Take Me Out To The Ballgame

Toronto Blue Jays Game

Toronto has winning sports teams and over the past few years, our Boys of Summer have made us beyond proud. Our famed Toronto Blue Jays play at the Rogers Centre downtown all week long. Catch a fly ball, kiss on the ‘Kiss cam’ and do the 7th inning stretch in the stands while world class players slide into home – hopefully. At specialty games you can leave with a gift: Some people have gone home with jerseys, bobble heads, or even umbrellas.

The Toronto Blue Jays playing on Rogers Centre field.
Toronto Blue Jays /
Rogers Centre

New this season, onsite concession stands offer Toronto neighbourhood inspired foods such as FOUR ONE SIX, six savoury options available on a hotdog or fries. Options include toppings called Queen Street (a poutine inspired mix), Entertainment District (a tribute to late night eats),The Danforth (Greek food focused), Financial District (lots of pork), College Street (Italian inspired) and Bloor Street (Indian spices and meats). Food at the dome also offers themed eats:  To celebrate National Grilled Cheese Month, the Rogers Centre offered “Fire up the Grilli” with the Grilli Cheese sandwich. Designed by Jason Grilli himself, it was a special take on a classic staple with a portion of the proceeds going to Jays Care Foundation. New and exciting food themes arrive at the dome all throughout the season.

Stalls throughout the dome offer local craft brews and ciders, as well as classic beers and bar rail. The Blue Jays at the Rogers Centre is not only a sporting experience, it’s a Toronto culinary experience too!

Outdoor Eats

Toronto Beer Festival

May brings the spring session of the Toronto Beer Festival. Historic Fort York will host live bands, Toronto’s favourite food trucks and most importantly, Canada’s top craft brews, all for you to taste and enjoy. Try ten beers and ciders or fall in love with the first one you try and drink it all day. Fresh Ontario corn-on-the-cob, juicy burgers, delectable poutine and more are also available all day and into the night. As the sun sets, pair your beer with marshmallows and chill by the campfire. This is authentic Ontario cottage life in the heart of the city. Live music, beer and burgers make for the perfect spring evening.

Women celebrate at Toronto Beer Festival
Toronto Beer Festival

Pedestrian Sundays

Starting in the spring, vibrant and diverse Kensington Market celebrates the warmer weather with car-free Sundays. You can walk through the colourful foot-traffic only streets and enjoy tantalizing food, watch engaging performers and explore vendors with unique and eclectic collections. You are almost guaranteed to discover something new. Filled with other happy pedestrians; Kensington Market is the ultimate version of your Sunday stroll.

About the Author

Natalie Preddie is a Toronto-based travel writer and has been featured on Cityline, Visit Toronto Star, CAA Magazine, Travel & Leisure, Travel & Style and The Baby Post. She’s also a new mum to a beautiful baby boy who already shares his mother’s love of exploring. From backpacking to luxury resorts, Natalie has travelled to over 30 countries and looks forward to visiting many more with baby in tow. Natalie captures her growing family’s adventures on her blog, The Adventures of Natty P.