Toronto’s Revival of Drive-In Movies

Park the car and adjust your FM channel to DriveInTO’s free movie lineup.

Fifties nostalgia anyone? As of late, drive-in entertainment made a popular comeback in and around Toronto. If you’re curious about the drive-in movie experience but don’t know where to start, you’re in luck because the choices are plentiful and the scene is thriving. 

DriveInTO, a City of Toronto program, offers free drive-in films in collaboration with local film festivals. From the comfort of your car seat, turn the dial to select features courtesy of the National Film Board of Canada, The Toronto International Film Festival, Hot Docs and more. For the remainder of summer, DriveInTO will take place at several locations throughout the city, each with different showings. 

Plan a date night at the CityView Drive-In (20 POLSON ST.)

Yes, you can in fact plan a cost-effective date without sacrificing romantic ambiance. Whoever decided that dating needed to be expensive anyway? We say it’s the thought and creativity that counts! 

With that in mind, head over to the CityView Drive-In by Polson Pier. This venue’s beauty is its scenic parking lot that overlooks the Toronto skyline. Time your outing right and you may even be blessed with a gorgeous sunset.

As part of the DriveInTO program, the CityView showcases films by the Reelworld Film Festival and the Regent Park Film Festival. Check out the lineup and purchase your free ticket in advance where you’ll then be assigned a designated parking spot. Food is conveniently sold onsite and delivered to your car, or you can bring your own snacks and alcohol-free beverages.

Pull up with your social circle at Ontario Place (955 LAKESHORE BLVD.)

Looking for staycation inspiration? Summer at Ontario Place now includes free films and documentaries, thanks to DriveInTO’s partnership with Toronto’s art and film community. Round up your trusted circle for select features from Hot Docs, TIFF and imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival. 

Online tickets must be purchased in advance and parking is on a first-come, first-serve basis. Arrive early to snag a good spot. Don’t forget your snacks and masks—in case you need to use the onsite washrooms.

Surprise your family with a movie at Sherway Gardens (25 THE WEST MALL)

Are you and the family still hesitant about visiting indoor movie theatres? If so, consider driving out to Etobicoke’s Sherway Gardens instead. The mall completely transformed its parking lot to accommodate the new Movie Night at CF Sherway Gardens. In collaboration with DriveInTO, notable films include kid-friendly favourites like The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature and the basketball-centric docuseries True North, among many others. 

Tickets at this location are $10.00 per vehicle with all proceeds going to St. Joseph’s Hospital. Purchase your ticket in advance and keep in mind that parking spots are on a first-come, first-serve basis. Food isn’t sold on-site but movie-goers are encouraged to bring their own snacks and beverages. Portable washrooms are accessible on premises. 

Celebrate #TGIF with Friday Night Lights at Downsview Park (70 CANUCK AVE.)

Start the weekend and your car! Friday Night Lights at Downsview Park is back for its 4th summer, this time in collaboration with DriveInTO, Canada Land and MADE|NOUS. What does all that mean for you? You’ll have access to free drive-in movies that are shot in Canada, produced in Canada or showcase Canadian talent.

This summer’s past films include The Addams Family and Arrival. Future films are still TBA until two weeks prior to their show date. Keep checking their website and social channels to snag your ticket upon release since parking space is limited.

Guests are encouraged to bring their own food, however funnel cake and popcorn are sold on-site. Washrooms are also accessible provided you wear your mask.

See it. Snap it. Share it. In every neighbourhood, around every corner, through every door there's something that begs to be discovered in Toronto.


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