Toronto Weekender: June 19 through 22, 2014

It’s summer this weekend.

That’s right. After all our whining and complaining, the season we wait all year for has finally arrived. So when we say we’ve got four days filled with Pride, wine, festivals, wine, block parties, music, wine, and ninjas, you don’t ask questions – you just go.


The Central Canadian Barista Competition promises a java throwdown like you’ve never seen. Top baristas compete for a spot in the nationals. Expect losers to cry over spilled milk. 

More than half a million people will attend over 350 live performances by some 1,500 musicians for the TD Toronto Jazz Festival. Just don’t forget to take the bass out for a walk.

The Great Heart Festival will take over Trinity Bellwoods all weekend long, promising a completely unplugged alternative to that ‘other music festival’. 

Speaking of which, this is your last weekend to get all of the NXNE you can until next year. You should probably take full advantage.

The Wine and Spirit Festival offers a weekend of sampling the city’s best booze, waterfront views, and live music. See you there. 

Wait, people actually hike without beer? Fools. Do it right and join the Ontario Craft Beer Week charity hike tonight. 

Journey & Steve Miller Band will be playing together at the Molson Amphitheatre. Which means you should settle into some, sorry, on the grass, and enjoy letting old people show you what rock n’ roll used to sound like.

Opening Night of Open Roof’s 5th Anniversary Season will kick off with Denis Villeneuve directing Jake Gyllenhaal in Enemy. Go get psychological outside.

Get Well Bar is turning 2. You can drink there.


WorldPride Week is likely the most important social, political, and cultural event to hit Toronto every year. It’s one of the main reasons why we get to consider ourselves a world-class city. Head to the opening ceremonies today. 

The largest Women’s World Wheelchair Basketball Championships in history will be taking place over the next week at Mattamy Athletic Centre.

It’s National Aboriginal Day, which means you should head to Fort York to check out the Indigenous Arts Festival that’ll be happening all weekend long.

The Redpath Waterfront Festival aims to show you everything the waterfront area has to offer. See next entry… 

The Dockdogs World Qualifying Championships is apparently a real thing. Dogs compete against each other (and obviously their über intense owners) in three main events: Big Air, Extreme Vertical, and Speed Retrieve. Once again, this is apparently real. 

Schmooze. It’s how Fridays first end and then start.

Pride on Screen will showcase four classic LGBT films over the next four days with outdoor screenings.  

The Keating Channel Pub & Grill will be hosting its annual patio party. Picture Budweiser girls, food from Rodney’s Oyster House, and beer.  

TEDx. It’s like TED, only local and self-organized.

The AZ Awards will be held at Evergreen Brickworks. Contrary to what you might think, they’re for design, not literature.

Friday Night Live this week is Sun BURN. Let’s hope they’re right (not about the burn so much as the weather being nice enough to cause it).


IT IS FINALLY SUMMER. Celebrate with a festival, yoga, or, you know, Dragon Boats

Of course, who are we to stop you from spending the longest day of the year at Toronto’s Third Annual Ninja Parade. Just how ninja is this parade? We can’t tell if it’s even real.  

The GlobalMedic charity beach volleyball tourney hosted by Off Limit Sports also sounds like a solid way to celebrate the new season. 

Although a boat cruise that’s part of NXNE and boasts DJs, drinks, and about 500 lucky people does sound pretty convincing… 

Feel like keeping your feet on dry land? No problem. That’s what the Amsterdam (416) Block Party in Kensington Market is for.

Older, wiser, better? You be the judge when Arctic Monkeys hit the stage.

Speaking of which, Ms. Lauryn Hill will also be playing Sound Academy. No word yet which Lauryn Hill will be showing up though


Everybody’s always saying their party is going to be really Gatsby-ish. Well, finally someone’s telling the truth.   

This event is calling itself the greatest wine show on earth. NBD.  

Fresh City Farms is launching their season with a farmers market, scavenger hunt, bees, beer, and live music. And everyone knows there’s nothing like beating a kid in a scavenger hunt to make you feel like you’ve really put your Sunday to good use. 

The MLS Team Up Challenge lets you pick 8-10 of your athletic friends (see: all the ringers you can find) to compete in a full day of basketball, soccer, and ball hockey. There are both pro and recreational categories, so just make sure you’re more than a legend in your own mind before choosing. 

Not enough wine at the greatest wine show on earth? No problem. The 7th Annual Ontario Wine Fair is taking place at Drake One Fifty and will help you sample your way through Sunday night.

If you’re going to be part of a club, a kimchi club sounds like it’s worth it.

It’s too late to apologize for being a OneRepublic fan. Just go see them already. 

That’s it, that’s all. Four days and nearly 40 ways to spend them. Like we said, it’s summer – you don’t have a choice anymore. 

Stay Notable,

The Weekender 

#LYNL | (Live Your Notable Life)

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Top photo courtesy Maison Mercer