Toronto Weekender: July 31 through August 3, 2014

It’s official.

Your summer is half over.

We know – it’s as scary as it sounds. So when you’re given a day off, you have to earn it, which is why we’ve given you enough things to do over the next four days that come Monday all you’ll have enough energy left to do is sleep.

Sounds perfect, doesn’t it?


The 6th annual Hart House Craft Beer Festival is one fest worth hitting Craigslist for. Currently sold out, we suggest you find a way to get yourself a ticket if you want to start your weekend off on the right beer.

Bra shopping has never been so good – for men. 

Always wanted to understand Marxist Economics? Well, here’s your chance

What artist wasn’t inspired by a little imbibing? Find your inner masterpiece during happy hour at the Beer, Wine, & Paint Summer Party.  

The Canadian Air Guitar Championships will send the winner to the 19th annual Air Guitar World Championships in Finland. If you’ve ever dreamed that a dance floor was your own personal stage, you’re going to want to be here.

If you refuse to dance to anything but pop music, then The Drake Underground will basically be your heaven.

For all the voices you listen to but have never truly heard, the Open Roof Festival is offering an insightful experience.

Country music lovers unite: The Boots and Hearts Festival is not for the faint of (country) heart. So much so that if you’re headed here, you’re going to end up in Bowmanville. Why? ‘Cause Toronto can’t handle this many cowboy hats in one place.

Actor, singer, and writer Nick Cave (& the Bad Seeds) will be taking over the Sony Centre while Grammy Award winners Old Crow Medicine Show hit Echo Beach to show case their latest release, Remedy.

Jack White is playing. If you like music, this is probably where you should be.

Though we expect that this might just be the best way to enjoy a Hard Day’s Night



 If you like your music to maintain a chill vibe, then the Irie Music Festival is where you’re going to want to spend your Friday night.

The #1 reason to not be in Toronto this weekend starts now. 

Indie band (and now old men) Modest Mouse will be Floating On at Echo Beach and bringing Kevin Drew along with them. No word on Zach Galifianakis yet.

Tiff Movie Night at Evergreen Brick Works features Chocolat. Beer, wine, and snacks will also be available – and it’s probably best to bring a pillow you can bite too (every time Johnny hits the screen).

Island Soul Festival at Harbourfront Centre celebrates Caribbean culture. Expect four days of music, dance, food, film, and more.

One Direction has a concert. Wait, we’re not seriously mentioning this, right?

Well, we are serious about mentioning Gesaffelstein. Never heard of him? Wrong. Both Kanye’s “Black Skinhead” and “Send It Up” display more of Levy’s influence than the other producers who worked on those tracks. This guy makes brutally intense, beat-driven techno bangers (positive connotation on the word “techno” in this case). We’re talking about a night of layers and builds where, when the drop hits, you won’t know whether to jump up and down or run for your life. Totally your choice, though. We’re not here to judge.

Warning: You may not be able to handle this double bill. (Sharknado x2.)


Downsview is throwing a two-day party. VELD has Calvin Harris (who’s all about the summer) and international sensation Armin Van Burren headlining, while a strong supporting line-up of electronic music makers will also help keep you up for the next 48hrs.

Defending champ Rafael Nadal may be out but that’s no reason not to see the rest of the best compete at the Rogers Cup. Fresh off a Wimbledon semi-final effort, expect Canadian Milos Raonic to make a strong run on home soil.

Speaking of the Rogers Cup, there’s a free family option this weekend too.

A winner-take-all volleyball tournament with cash up for grabs? Yup, this won’t get competitive at all.

75 artists and artisans from across Canada will be setting up shop in the Distillery District for the 8th annual Artfest. Spread throughout the cobblestone streets you’ll find glass, leather, jewellery, gourmet food, textiles paintings, live music, and more. If you need to find a wedding gift that’s a little more unique than cash in an envelope, this is where to do it.

You have never been to a parade until you have been to the Toronto Caribbean Carnival Parade. More than a million other people are expected to be there too – so it’s probably best to go early.

The #2 reason not to stick it out in the city this weekend is happening today. Hint: it’s beer and it’s in Muskoka.


Want to bike 63km on a Sunday? Want to do it with other people? Obviously, Toronto has your back

Close out Caribana properly this year: by drinking in a park in Mississauga.

From our monthly Music in the Streets column:

Of course, we’d love to tell you all about the fifth installment of OVO Fest, Drake’s annual concert/mini-festival which takes place at the Molson Amphitheatre once more this year; but to be totally honest, other than the actual dates, what we’ve just written is pretty much all we know (OK, Outkast is also for sure). Famous and perhaps most impressive for its best-kept surprise line-ups of insane pop, RnB, and hip-hop heavyweights – which quite frankly causes one to wonder what Drake ever did to earn such industry respect? – we can only assure you that, if you have a ticket, you’re going to see someone you can’t believe you saw. And who doesn’t love concerts at the Amphitheatre on warm summer nights?

You know who won’t be hitting the stage with Drizzy? The Winery Dogsthey’ll be at the Phoenix.

The Christie Pits Film Fest is going to be showing Twister. Is there a better movie to watch outside when the weather is sketchy at best? Maybe, but not one that brings you so quickly back to your childhood. 

Only 200 people will be able to watch Dwayne Gretzky @QCYC. Better get your ticket now if you want to hit the island for some fine covers and ribs.

This might be the first time camp ever had a guest list and bottle service. And yet, the fact that the word camp is involved keeps us interested.

If VELD wasn’t enough for you, we have some good news: there’s more.

Well, that’s it, that’s all.
Four days and more than 35 ways to spend them.
Just remember: FOMO isn’t real if you’re there.

Stay Notable,

The Weekender 


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Top photo courtesy The Drake