Toronto: Festivals, Parks, Sports & Recreation
Toronto's Old City Hall, surrounded by shiny skyscrapers
Toronto is a city with great recreational opportunities. There are so many activities to choose from and there's a festival or special event going on virtually every week.
Festivals and Events
- Film Festival: The Toronto International Film Festival is widely recognized as the most important film festival after Cannes and the largest and most successful public festival in the world.
- Celebrate Toronto Street Festival: 5 major intersections shut down for this summer extravaganza of live music, performance arts and food
- Caribbana: North America's largest cultural festival transforms Toronto into a Caribbean paradise of pageantry, music, dance and art, attracting over one-million people annually.
- Caravan: Toronto's annual around-the-world party at 30 international pavilions across Metro Toronto. Two-hundred shows, foods, arts.
- Pride Week: Toronto boasts one of the largest, most happening Pride celebrations in the world, and an entertainment scene that is as impressive as they come (in fact, Queer as Folk is shot right here in downtown Toronto!).
- The Toronto Downtown Jazz Festival and the Beaches Jazz Festival
- Winterlicious and Summerlicious: Toronto's summer and winter restaurant promotion events
- Molson Indy: One of Canada's largest sporting events, it features Canadian champ car superstars Paul Tracy, Patrick Carpentier and Alex Tagliani competing at speeds up to 200 mph through the streets of Exhibition Place,.
- Royal Agricultural Winter Fair: signature classics like the Royal Agriculture and Royal Horse Shows. One million square feet of vibrant marketplaces with 300-plus vendors, restaurants like the Vintner's Terrace and much more. Group and corporate programs available.
- The Canadian National Exhibition: The celebration continues as one of the largest fairs in North America gears up for its 126th year with over 500 attractions, 700 exhibitors and 60+ rides.
Here is more info on special events in Toronto: www.city.toronto.on.ca/special_events
Viewed from the CN Tower, Toronto is actually a very green city. Despite its large population and huge expanse, Toronto has preserved a large amount of green space and retained a great quality of life.
- High Park is the city's largest park, it stretches from Bloor Street down to close to the lakeshore and features a large pond, sporting facilities, a zoo and a museum.
- The Toronto Islands are a little recreation oasis in themselves with facilities for boating, canoeing, walking and biking trails and the Centreville amusement park. A 15 minute ferry ride from Harbourfront will take you over there. It's a little green enclave with a gorgeous view of the downtown skyline.
- The Toronto Waterfront Park System provides public green spaces all along Toronto's shoreline on Lake Ontario. Pack a picnic basket or go rollerblading. A fabulous place to relax right in the city.
- The Humber and Don River systems provide a large network of biking, walking and hiking trails and offer a breather in the middle of a large cosmopolitan urban centre. They connect into a system of smaller ravines where you can connect with nature, right in the heart of Toronto.
Sports and Recreation
- For fans of spectator sports, Toronto is home to 5 official sports teams: the Toronto Blue Jays (major league baseball), Toronto Raptors (NBA basketball), Toronto Maple Leafs (NHL hockey), the Toronto Argonauts (CFL football) and the Toronto Rock (Lacrosse).
- Being situated on one of the great lakes, Toronto of course is a mecca for water sports (sailing, power boating, canoeing, rowing). Toronto also has the largest facility for beach volleyball players in the country at Ashbridges Bay.
- Fitness aficionados will find wonderful facilities for cycling, rollerblading, jogging, skating and swimming. 210 public tennis facilities will also help keep you fit, and heck- we even have a ski hill.
- The City of Toronto operates 5 public golf courses where you can play affordable golf in the middle of the city.
All in all, Toronto offers a fabulous environment and an excellent quality of life. For more info check out these general Toronto links:
Useful books about Toronto: