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Revelry in the 6IX: The Must-See Annual Festivals in Toronto


Festivals in Toronto can get hotter than a summer sidewalk. Whether you’re looking for high-spirited street parties like what Caribana provides or tempting delicacies dished out by Winterlicious, the 6ix’s festivities are a taste of unabashed revelry.

Curious to know more? This article has the inside scoop on all the happenings—schedules, locations, highlights, and more!

Cavalcade of Lights

Address:100 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M5H 2N1

Contact Details: 416-392-9315

Dates: Late November to early January


Since its inception in 1967, the Cavalcade of Lights has been an ultimate holiday extravaganza.

This festival’s opening night is always phenomenal. It kicks off with toe-tapping musical performances and reaches its climax during the lighting of Toronto’s official Christmas tree.

After the opening night, you’ll enjoy free (free things to do toronto) ice skating rinks, cutting-edge light installations, and more artists performing bangers every day.


Avoid bringing your private car to downtown Toronto during the event. Opt for public transportation or park at a GO station (e.g. Oakville) or a shopping mall like Yorkdale.


Address: Various venues in Toronto

Dates: Late January to early February


Winterlicious will make you forget that winter is usually a downtime season for restaurants. This annual food fiesta is where the city’s culinary maestros throw down, offering a lip-smacking lineup of three-course prix fixe lunch and dinner selections.

The festival is a late-January to early February celebration, beckoning you to gather your squad, loosen your belts, and go on a foodie escapade through 200 local eateries.

As for the prices, they usually start at wallet-friendly $20 bites to $75 gourmet grub.


You can check the participating restaurants by checking Winterlicious’ official website. Some notable names in the past were Lapinou, Joni, and Piano Piano.

Toronto International Film Festival

Address: 350 King Street West, Toronto, Ontario, M5V 3X5

Contact Details: 1-888-599-8433

Dates: September 5, 2024 to September 15, 2024


If you’re a movie buff, you better set out plans to visit the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), which will run from September 5 to 15, 2024.

TIFF is an 11-day film fest highlighting premier Canadian and international flicks. There’s no strict genre rule here, so you’ll enjoy a diverse bunch of pictures, from quirky rom-coms to tear-jerking dramas.

In addition to the movies, the event is always star-studded. You can even chat with the big shots of the film biz by attending the conferences.


Arrive 30 minutes to 1 hour early for your movie at the Toronto International Film Festival. In addition, be mindful of your budget as ticket expenses can range from $19 to $80 or more per movie.

The Toronto International Boat Show

Address: Enercare Center, 100 Princes’ Blvd #1, Toronto, ON M6K 3C3

Contact Details: 905 951-0009

Dates: Mid to late January


The Toronto International Boat Show (TIBS) is a nautical fete that has been sailing through the city since 1959.

Stealing the spotlight in mid to late January, TIBS is a gathering of maritime enthusiasts involving around 450 boating-related exhibits and over a thousand boats.

Here, you can also see an indoor lake, witness a wakeboard tourney, and even snag a boat, which you can use to enter a raffle. On top of that, there are crash courses on all things nautical—boating guides, fishing tips, and more.


You can bring seeing eye or helper dogs into the indoor venue. However, other dogs aren’t allowed.

Canadian Music Week

Address: The Westin Harbor Castle, Harbor Square, Toronto, ON M5J 1A6

Contact Details: 1 905 858 4747

Dates: June 1, 2024 to June 8, 2024


When Canadian Music Week (CMW) is on, Toronto is in full music mania mode; just ask previous attendees who might still have beats and symphonies echoing in their minds!

Trailblazing up-and-comers typically rock the festival’s stages, but you can also expect heavy hitters. Some notable artists who once performed here are Post Malone, Our Lady Peace, The 1975, Katy Perry, Janet Jackson, and more.

The artists’ performances are undeniably the highlight, but you also can’t miss the conferences, especially if you’re a rising talent dreaming of bright lights.


If you’re an artist, joining the live in-person showcase and conference is a golden opportunity. Both provide a platform to showcase your talent and connect with music professionals and media journalists.

Doors Open Toronto

Address: Various locations in Toronto

Dates: May 25, 2024 to May 26, 2024


If you’re eager to discover the finest landmarks Toronto has to offer, look no further than Doors Open Toronto. This festival is a tour-of-the-city type of activity that has been shedding light on the 6ix’s wonders since 2000.

During the event, you can explore nearly 700 unique locations for free (you can go alone or with a group). Concerning operating hours, each place will usually be open from 10 am to 5 pm.

This year’s theme, Hidden Histories, will put the spotlight on forgotten or overlooked sites. Think Indigenous footpaths, Canada’s oldest surviving queer space, and even lost rivers.


Wear comfortable shoes and dress appropriately for the weather. You’ll do a lot of walking, and some sites may have uneven or slippery terrain.

Toronto Jazz Festival

Address: Various locations in Toronto

Date: June 21, 2024 to June 30, 2024


If you’re a jazz connoisseur, missing the Toronto Jazz Festival is a terrible mistake. This jazzfest will hit the downtown scene from June 21 to 30—bringing ten days of live performances to Toronto’s heart.

The festival kicked off in 1987 as a simple eight-day jazz showcase, but it’s now a massive gathering, annually drawing in over 500,000 fans looking to get their groove on.

This year,  you’ll vibe with certified jazz heavyweights, including the three-time Grammy-nominated Hiatus Kaiyote, the South London drum savant Yussef Dayes, and the guitar maestro Al Di Meola.


Ensure a seamless festival experience by downloading or viewing the official map. This will help you navigate the festival effortlessly.

Pride Toronto

Address: Various locations in Toronto

Contact Details: (416)-927-7433

Dates: June 28 to 30, 2024


Pride Toronto started as a simple picnic of Toronto’s first queer organizations in 1970. Now, it’s a full-blown fiesta spotlighting the glittering and colorful LGBT community of the Greater Toronto Area.

During the event, expect stages buzzing with live performers and DJs dropping beats, licensed venues serving up liquid courage for the fabulous, and iconic events like the Dyke March, the Trans March, and, of course, the Pride Parade.

Whether you’re part of the LGBTQ+ community or an ally looking to soak up the love, Pride Toronto is where the party is at.


Check the Pride Toronto event schedule in advance (not yet revealed as of February 2024). Remember to plan which events, parades, or activities you want to attend to make the most of your experience.

Last year, noteworthy events included throwback concerts featuring hits from the 60s, a glow-in-the-dark party, and art fairs highlighting boundary-breaking installations and street art!

Just For Laughs

Address: Queen Elizabeth Theater, 630 Hamilton St, Vancouver, BC V6B 5N6

Dates: Late September


Those on the prowl for a festival packed with punchlines and hilarity shouldn’t pass up on Just For Laughs—the world’s largest international comedy festival.

You’ll enjoy over 40 top-notch acts, including comedic sensations from Canada and beyond.

In the past, a few of the festival’s most distinguished and rib-tickling performers were comedy heavyweights like Deanne Smith, Cassie Cao, and Leonard Chan.


Since the festival has over 40 shows lasting an hour each, you should pick a show that suits your preference best.

A few of the most-watched gigs and personalities last 2023 were “An Evening With the Office Ladies,” “Fun & Slutty With Jonathan Van Ness,” Andrew Schultz, Gavin Crawford, and Jim Norton.

Toronto Fringe Theater Festival

Address: 100 Broadview Ave Suite #322, Toronto, ON M4M 3H3

Contact Details: 416-966-1062

Dates: July 3, 2024 to July 14, 2024


Toronto Fringe Theater Festival has been turning heads and captivating audiences since 1989. Whether you’re in it for the laughs, the tears, or the head-bopping tunes, this event has something for everyone.

Specifically, you can expect an eclectic lineup of comedy plays, gripping dramas, enchanting musicals, witty improv shows, and delightful children’s theater productions.


Aspiring playwrights and composers can join the festival’s competitions. Winners will receive cash prizes and performance slots at the Toronto Fringe Theater Festival’s 2024 edition.


Address: Various locations in Toronto

Contact Details: 416-893-3323

Dates: August 1, 2024 to August 5, 2024


Hailed as North America’s grandest street festival and boasting a staggering 1.3 million attendees each year, Caribana is a party like no other.

From August 1 to 5, 2024, this pan-Caribbean Carnival is set to ignite the streets with Caribbean-themed live music, street dances, art displays, and theatrical performances.

There will also be a myriad of shindigs to choose from. Your options include daytime pool parties, carnival-inspired night fetes, and concerts delivering reggae tracks and beats.


Wear comfortable clothing and footwear suitable for dancing and celebrating. In addition, opt for clothing that you won’t mind getting soiled, as there’s a likelihood of it getting stained by paints or soaked with water during the festivities.

Toronto International Festival of Authors

Address: Harborfront Center, 235 Queens Quay W, Toronto, ON M5J 2G8

Contact Details: 416-973-4000

Dates: September 19, 2024 to  September 29, 2024


The Toronto International Festival of Authors is a bookworm’s dream come true. For over four decades, this lit-fuelled affair has been pulling readers and writers worldwide to the Harborfront Center every fall.

This year, the festival will run from September 19 to 29, 2024, promising an 11-day book bonanza that’s not just for hardcore readers but also for anyone who appreciates a good yarn.


Use the Toronto International Festival of Authors as an opportunity to discover new and emerging authors. Attend sessions featuring writers you may not be familiar with for a fresh literary experience.

Toronto Oktoberfest

Address: 100 Garrison Rd. Toronto, ON M5V 3K9

Dates: Mid to late October


When it comes to authentic Bavarian-style beer and bite revelry, Toronto Oktoberfest is unbeatable.

What sets Toronto Oktoberfest apart from the 6ix’s other boozy festivals, you ask? How about an exclusive hookup with ERDINGER’s Oktoberfest brew, jetted in straight from the beer-loving mecca of Germany? 

Then there’s the Bavarian Food Hall, a snacking hotbed serving up seamlessly endless plates of Oktoberfest treats like bratwurst, soft pretzels, and schnitzels.


Ensure to bring a valid government-issued ID for responsible drinking at Toronto Oktoberfest. Accepted IDs include a passport or a driver’s license.

Salsa in Toronto

Address: St. Clair Ave W, Toronto, ON M6C 1B7

Contact Details: 509-728-8632

Dates: July 6, 2024 to July 7, 2024.


With over 350 performers from all corners of the globe, Salsa in Toronto promises a caliente festival on July 6 and 7, 2024.

During this gala, the streets of midtown Toronto won’t just be for walking; they’ll be a music-filled dance floor for everyone. There will be salsa performances, free dance lessons, and a parade that aims to bring the spirit of Latino culture to life.

When the sun sets, you can make a beeline to Lula Lounge for more dancing and music. And for the artsy souls, an exhibition presenting masterpieces from the Latino and Hispanic creative scene awaits at The Little EGG Gallery.


Go for comfortable and supportive shoes with smooth soles to make those salsa spins and turns effortless.