What to do in Toronto this July

It’s been over year since we’ve felt comfortable about going out anywhere. Now that many in the city are getting fully vaccinated we can see a glimmer of normalcy. Not gonna lie, we’ve been excited as our inboxes are steadily filling up with event and opening announcements. With places transitioning in more ways than one, we’re looking forward to get reacquainted with our favourite outings with our favourite people . Here is what’s up and coming in July.

Gardiner Goes Outside: Missing visits to the galleries and museums? The Gardiner Museum is breaking down barriers and moving beyond traditional museum spaces safely this summer. The front plaza will be reimagined to create a outdoor space for pop-up window exhibitions, outdoor dining, and public art projects. As restrictions ease up, they will also include family daytime activities, wellness workshops, performances and more. The artwork in the window display will rotate three times throughout the summer. Visitors can also enjoy lunch and snacks among the art this summer (Wednesdays to Sundays) beginning June 24. The museum will continue to offer online programs as well.

Canadian Stage Company’s Dream in High Park: beginning July 2. Live performances in the park will resume (limited capacity) at the popular outdoor amphitheatre. The summer’s programming with Artist Director Brendan Healy and Executive Director Monica Esteves offers several productions. 25 for 25 Small World Music (July 2-3), Forest Dreams (July 5-10) will invite children to explore nature myths and stories through the magic of theatre all week long. Bat Night (July 6, August 3, and September 14) is a 30 minute interactive presentation where they’ll cover all things bat. Audience will then explore High Park’s trails using hand-held bat detectors. More details on the site.

The Bentway “Playing in Public”: beginning early July, The Bentway is transforming into a giant, art-filled playground. The massive lineup of free, outdoor, interactive public art exhibition will feature work by artists from Toronto and around the world. The reimagined public space will offer the opportunity for visitors to get outside, have fun all while enjoying art and imagining what the city could look like if we put more priority on the importance of play. Health and safety protocols in place which means no large gatherings or playing with anyone from outside your household. The exhibit has been more than a year in the making and includes 8 art installations, a connective Play Path, roaming and audio experiences and more.

Luminato Festival presents Splinter Dimensional: This brand new augmented reality narrative experience created by Planet Fabulous in partnership with the AR wizards at Astound Digital in this digital scavenger hunt happening downtown Toronto July 14 to 16 and July 17 to 18. Using your smartphone you’ll be sent on a quest through a downtown Toronto park to encounter and interact with a collection of animated AR objects and characters. Complete the quest by saving the Captain and you’l be rewarded with an innovation to a fun augmented reality dance party that can be enjoyed anywhere. Event is FREE but registration is required.

Hot Docs Drive-In Screenings at Ontario Place:  Beginning June 25, Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson’s documentary Summer of Soul (..Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised) recounts the legendary 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival that celebrated African American music. Other films to come. Tickets are $10 per person with 100% of the proceeds going to support Hot Docs’ film series For Viola, which centres around BIPOC-led stories and filmmakers, named in honour of Canadian civil rights icon Viola Desmond.

Outside the March presents Stupidhead!: The comic musical by the leading immersive theatre company will offer a multi-platform production beginning with a live streamed audio version( July 7 to 16)  and then being offered as an ‘at your place’ performance (July 20 to August 1) that you can book to come to your yard or porch. The premise deals with neurodiversity and mental health for women in particular. Stupidhead! is a first person account of creator/star Katherine Cullen’s personal journey with dyslexia. The show sounds like a really unique experience stemming from the edgy spirit of stand-up comedy as well as songs that are not presented to be perfect and polished in the traditional musical theatre sense. Full details and ticket pricing available here.

Collective 131 at The Colonnade (131 Bloor Street West): Seven artists spanning multiple disciplines including painting, sculpture and photography are collaborating to create a pop-up gallery in The Colonnade. The show titled “Intimate and Accessible” invites visitors to explore the diverse and original  works of art created and curated by the artists themselves. Artists include Morgan Jones, Mark Gleberzon, Todd Monk, Vanessa Drew, Adrienne Jackson, Jeff Turner, and Huy Lam. The  pop up takes over 3,300 square feet of vacant retail space. Following all safety protocols, art lovers will be able to interact directly with the artists. On view until August 31, 2021.

Morgan Jones, The Great Escape

Toronto Outdoor Art Fair: Toronto’s largest annual outdoor art fair continues online this summer with hundreds of established and emerging artists to explore. Representing a full range of art disciplines you’ll be able to discover and purchase something new to refresh your zoom backgrounds. Also available online will be artist talks and studio tours. Free to view online.

d|azur at Four Seasons Hotel Toronto: Patios are open and for these days that we’re not quite comfortable in booking any vacations far away, Four Seasons Hotel Toronto’s d|bar is bringing the feel of the Cote d’Azur to us! The all-new patio inspired escape invites locals and visitors to experience the South of France in this elegant setting. Starting with the towering mural created by local artist Jason Zante to set the scene at the corner of Bay Street and Yorkville Avenue. Then have a taste of the luxe French Riviera life with the tantalizing menu created by d|bar Sous Chef Horatio Macias Leon featuring the distinct Mediterranean seasonal dishes like, ceviche, grilled octopus and fresh vegetables, fresh oysters and more. Make sure you save room for the Taste Tropezienne, a specialty pastry originally created in St. Tropez. Reservation accepted.

The Junction’s “Patio Lover’s Paradise” returns: The popular neighbourhood will transform into a patio lover’s paradise with 52 unique patios as part of the City of Toronto’s CaféTO program. It will also have over 17,000 square feet of additional outdoor dining space and immersive activities. The main streets in the Junction will also be jazzed up with groovy 60s themed pop art and public parkettes will be compete with picnic tables, umbrellas, fencing for additional space to enjoy. Toronto’s first-ever interactive augmented reality mural designed with local artists will showcase the neighbourhood’s art-centric community. Also not to be missed is the Junction’s Butterfly Garden where visitors have a chance to watch butterflies progress through their lifecycle from egg to caterpillar to chrysalis to butterfly.

S. Pellegrino Chef Collective in Support of Restaurants: From June 30 to July 4 select renowned and emerging chefs have teamed up with S. Pellegrino to offer exclusive menus. All sales from the special menus will go directly back to the participating restaurants and each order will include two bottles of S. Pellegrino. The company will also donate up to $100,000 to nonprofit organizations that support the culinary community. To learn about which restaurants are involved link here.

Art Gallery of Ontario Summer Pop! Activities for Kids: Continuing online, the AGO is offering FREE online art activities during the month of July. Every Monday through Thursday, daily art making breaks are open to children of all ages. Led by a team of creative AGO art instructors, kids will discover fun new ways to express themselves with themes and activities inspired by Andy Warhol and the pop art movement. Materials will be listed each day – families are encouraged to  use what you have on hand. No registration needed. Sessions will be live-streamed on AGO.ca


Blindness: David Mirvish presents the Canadian Premiere of the Donmar Warehouse production that will begin August 4 on the stage at the Princess of Wales Theatre. The story line involves a driver who suddenly can drive no more. Suddenly without warning or cause, he has gone blind. Within hours it becomes clear that this blindness is like no other. This blindness is infections. Within days an epidemic has spread and the city is in panic. Blindness had its world premiere at Long’ s Donmar Warehouse in August 2020, where it received rave reviews. This socially distanced sound installation with the voice of Juliet Stevenson is based on the novel by José Saramago, adapted by Simon Stephens and directed by Walter Meierjohann. Audiences will be limited to 50 people per performance and will be seated in pods of one or two. Tickets go on sale to the public June 23.

Beyond Monet Immersive Experience: opens August 5 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre’s North Hall. The experience allows audiences to embark on a poetic and engaging journey through the work of Impressionist Claude Monet.  A 360 degrees cinematic experience fills the space from floor to ceiling for the first time ever inviting guests to explore the paintings from every angle complete with original score and sound along with stunning lighting. Step into some of the most iconic words including the Water Lilies series, Impressions: Sunrise and Poppies in this must-sensory exhibit. Tickets are currently on sale.



About Sonya Davidson 931 Articles
Covering events, openings and all the deliciousness in Toronto.