It’s summer time, and there is no better place to be at this time than Toronto! With all of the festivals, concerts, and amazing activities to experience, why would you want to be anywhere else? Granted, with so many things going on, it can be a little overwhelming if you are new to the city. Don’t stress. This guide is going to give you some great pointers on what to look for, where to eat, and where to stay. Read on to ensure that you will have the best possible experience in one of the most exciting cities in the world!
First off – how to get there. If you are coming from the UK, check flights to Toronto from Air Transat for great non-stop deals. For all other international routes, Hip Munk offers great flight comparisons.
During the summer months, Toronto has a concert going on almost every night! Here are some of the highlights that you should definitely check out when you are in the area.
North By North East is probably the biggest indie festival that takes place in Canada. This summer will be the 19th edition, and it promises to be a memorable one. There will be around 800 bands performing, which is an insane. Highlights include The National, F*cked Up, Why?, and punk rock icons Social Distortion. If you are a fan of movies, the film festival portion of NXNE will feature 30 films. Laughter junkies can also take advantage of the 75 comedians that will be performing during the week. Best thing of all, prices for attending NXNE events can be as low as $20. If you are only going to one festival in Toronto this summer, make sure that it is NXNE. You will not regret it, and that is a promise.
TD Toronto Jazz Festival
Jazz: the music that feeds the soul. At the TD Toronto Jazz festival, you can get your jazz fix at various locations around the city. Many Canadian and international acts are expected to perform many types of jazz including fusion, blues, and free jazz. Artists include Steve Martin, Nikki Yanofsky, Willie Nelson and many more. The Jazz Festival begins on June 20, 2013 and ends on June 29, 2013. If you love jazz, this is the place to be.
Vans Warped Tour
If you love punk rock, then surely Vans Warped Tour is something you look forward to every single year. Every major name in the punk rock genre tours on the Vans Warped Tour, and many of the artists even say that it is their favorite tour ever. This means that every performance has an insane level of energy. This year’s performers include Hawthorne Heights, Forever the Sickest Kids, Motion City Soundtrack and Tonight Alive.
Edgefest is the pride and joy of indie rockers in Toronto and throughout Canada, because it is a chance for them to listen to their favorite bands and discover diamonds in the rough. The concert takes place at Downsview Park on July 31, 2013 rain or shine. Prices are around $63, which is very reasonable. This year, standout performers include The Lumineers and Band of Horses.
Places to Eat
Toronto is great for the international traveler that is on a budget. There are a plethora of places to fill you up and keep your wallet full too. The variety here is insane, so here are some of the highlights of places you should definitely try depending on the situation.
Everybody loves happy hour. More food and beer for less money is what it boils down to, right? In Toronto, there are a plenty of places to eat during happy hour that will save you some cash. The Drake Hotel’s “Apres Work” special lets you snack on sushi and sashimi for as low as $5. Pints are also $5 during this time, so it’s a wonderful place to go for cheap eats. Biff Bistro’s “B’Oysterous Oysters” special lets you have oysters for $1 each! This place is near the Sony Centre and the St. Laurence Centre for the Arts, so it is a great place to get something to eat before you enjoy some music. Lastly, if you’re out of money, there’s a place where you can get free food! York Station at the Fairmont Royal York Hotel offers free hors d’oeuvres during the week from 12-7 pm. I don’t care what anyone says, you can’t beat free.
If you came to Toronto’s festivals with your sweetheart or even happen to meet someone at a concert (why not?), there are a lot of places where you can impress your date. 7 West Café is in the heart of the city and it is open 24/7. At night, they dim the lights low to create a romantic environment. If you want a classic Toronto restaurant, Peter Pan will not let you down. This place has been here for more than 100 years, and the comfort food and ambiance provides the perfect environment for a romantic evening.
Places to Stay
Since Toronto is a world class city, finding a place to stay should be the least of your worries. The city is full of hotels of varying prices, so you can stay here on any budget. Downtown, you can stay at the Hilton, the Urban Living Suites or the Sheraton Centre. If you prefer to stay near the airport, you have the Marriott, Sandalwood Suites Hotel, The Westin Bristol Place and many more to choose from.
As you can see, summertime in Toronto is a blast. There is almost no way that you can hit every festival that you would want, but this makes it possible for you to come back every year! After all, you will never get tired of the music, art and great food that you will find here.