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August long weekend need to know: Caribbean Carnival parade, what’s open/closed

SAMANTHA KNIGHT AND PATRICIA D'CUNHA | posted Friday, Jul 29th, 2016

There will be plenty of dancing in the street, lively music and masqueraders in colourful costumes as the Toronto Caribbean Carnival parade winds it way along a stretch of Lake Shore Boulevard on Saturday.

The parade takes place during the August long weekend, and includes road closures. There are also road closures in place for TTC and road work.

Monday is a civic holiday – known as Simcoe Day in Toronto – but not everything is closed. Businesses are not required to close, so they may open at the discretion of the municipality. Below is a list of what’s open and closed.

Enjoy one of the last long weekends of the summer, because before you know it, winter will be around the corner.


Caribbean Carnival Grand Parade
Grab your masks, feathers and most extravagant costumes for the Caribbean Carnival Grand Parade. The event gets underway at 10 a.m. on Saturday.

The event attracts local, national and international attention, as it has been deemed the highlight of the three-week festival.

Paraders march down Lakeshore Boulevard at the Caribbean Carnival in Toronto on August 3, 2013. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Michelle Siu.
Paraders march down Lakeshore Boulevard at the Caribbean Carnival in Toronto on August 3, 2013. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Michelle Siu.


Masqueraders in colourful and striking costumes will wind their way from the assembly area at Exhibition Place along Lakeshore Boulevard. Click here for the route map.

Not only do ‘mas bands’ take part in the parade, it also features guest bands, cultural bands and steel bands. Click here to purchase tickets.

After the parade, masquerade bands will end up in Exhibition Place where they can party until 8 p.m.

TD Irie Music Festival
Come out and celebrate the best in reggae, soca and music from the African Diaspora at this year’s TD Irie Music Festival.

The multi-day music festival includes dance, food, arts, crafts and culture. It takes place in the heart of the city at Nathan Phillips Square, from 2 p.m. to 11 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday.

This year’s headliners include internationally acclaimed artists KI, Bushman and Steele. Dance Immersion will return to the IRIE Music Festival to present their summer dance showcase on the second day of the event.

OVO Fest
Drizzy is back in the Six this long weekend for his annual OVO Fest, and he’s bringing an all-star line up with him. This year’s event includes a performance by Snoop Dogg and Whizz Khalifa on Friday night at the Molson Canadian Amphitheatre, and Machel Montano will take the stage with special guests on Saturday at 7 p.m. at Echo Beach.

The ‘Hotline Bling’ rapper himself, along with Future, will take over the Air Canada Centre for a two-night concert as part of their Summer Sixteen North American tour. The shows get underway at 6:30 p.m. on Sunday and Monday.

Drake performs at OVO Fest 2012 at Molson Amphitheatre on Aug. 5, 2012 in Toronto. WIREIMAGE/Sarjoun Faour Photography
Drake performs at OVO Fest 2012 at Molson Amphitheatre on Aug. 5, 2012 in Toronto. WIREIMAGE/Sarjoun Faour Photography


Drake’s most recent album is ‘Views,’ which was released in April of this year. In 2015, the 29-year-old became the first rapper to ever crack the top 100 artists on the Billboard charts, with the release of his surprise mixtape, ‘If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late.’

Sailor Moon Pop-Up
If you were a Sailor Moon fan in the ’90s, or if you’re still one to this day, then this pop-up shop is for you. Hirut Café is hosting a Sailor Moon Pop-Up Café this Saturday from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.

For $15, fans of the popular Japanese anime series can enjoy special service from in-character Sailor Moon staff. A Sailor Moon themed menu will be served, along with parfaits and Senshi drinks.

There will also be artwork to be purchased and Sailor Moon karaoke.

Toronto Food Truck Festival
If you’re looking for some indulgence this weekend, you can head on over to Woodbine Park and immerse yourself in aplethora of food trucks.

People hanging out at the Toronto Food Truck Festival. Photo via torontofoodtruckfestival.com.
People hanging out at the Toronto Food Truck Festival. Photo via torontofoodtruckfestival.com.


Toronto’s Food Truck Festival runs for three days straight, starting on Friday, and features over 30 food trucks. Some of the trucks include Bacon Nation, Chimney Stax Baking Co., Fidel Gastro’s, The Vegan Extremist, and of course, Beaver Tails.

The festival, which is in its third year here in Toronto, offers guests a chance to find a new truck to stalk, or an old favourite to visit.

Dusk Dances
Withrow Park in Riverdale will once again be home to a week-long outdoor dance festival that showcases traditional and contemporary dance.

Each night at sunset, the audience will be treated to dance pieces performed in different areas of the park. Each of the choreographed works are 10 minutes long and draw inspiration from the park’s natural habitat.

Admission is pay what you can. The festival starts on Civic Day and runs until Aug. 7.

What’s open and closed Monday

A closed on a storefront. GETTY IMAGES/huePhotography
A closed on a storefront. GETTY IMAGES/huePhotography



  • TTC will run on holiday service
  • GO will run on a Saturday schedule
  • Tourist attractions: Art Gallery of Ontario, Canada’s Wonderland, Casa Loma, CN Tower, Hockey Hall of Fame, Ontario Science Centre, Canada’s Wonderland, Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada, Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto Zoo
  • Major malls: Bramalea City Centre (11 a.m. to 6 p.m.), Dufferin Mall (10 a.m. to 6 p.m.), Eaton Centre (10 a.m. to 6 p.m.), Fairview Mall (10 a.m. to 6 p.m.), Pacific Mall (11 a.m. to 8 p.m.), Toronto Premium Outlets (10 a.m. to 9 p.m.), Square One (10 a.m. to 9 p.m.), The Promenade (11 a.m. to 6 p.m.), Upper Canada Mall (11 a.m. to 6 p.m.), Vaughan Mills Mall (10 a.m. to 7 p.m.), Hillcrest Mall (10 a.m. to 6 p.m.), Scarborough Town Centre (10 a.m. to 6 p.m.), Sherway Gardens (10 a.m. to 6 p.m.), Yorkdale Shopping Centre (10 a.m. to 6 p.m.), and select stores at Yorkville Village (10 a.m. to 6 p.m.)
  • Select Beer Store locations, click here for a list
  • Some LCBO stores will be open, click here to search your store
  • Select grocery stores, call ahead for your local store hours
  • City-run facilities like pools, splash pads, golf courses, historic museums, High Park Zoo, Toronto Island ferries
  • Garbage collection: Green and blue bin waste will be collected



  • Government offices, municipal buildings, and banks
  • All Toronto Public Library branches are closed on Sunday and Monday
  • No mail delivery in several provinces including Ontario

Road closures

Road closures for events
Toronto Caribbean Carnival parade: Lake Shore Boulevard will be closed between Colborne Lodge Drive and Strachan Avenue from 1 a.m. on Saturday to 6 a.m. The TTC is adding extra service this weekend so that people can attend the parade.

Road work

The intersection of College Street and Lansdowne Avenue is closed in all directions until Aug. 8 for streetcar track replacement, sidewalk repairs and road work. Click here for traffic detours. TTC vehicles will also be on diversion, click here for details.

Ongoing work

Gerrard Street, from University Avenue to Elizabeth Street, is reduced to one lane until Oct. 15 for watermain and other road work.

Richmond Street West is reduced to one lane of traffic between Church and York streets until Nov. 30 for TTC track work, watermain replacement, and road and sidewalk repairs.

One lane of Queen Street West between Spadina Avenue and Bathurst Street is closed in both directions for watermain replacement and reconstruction work until around Oct. 8.

Gerrard Street, from Yonge to Church streets, is closed until the end of July for watermain replacement, road resurfacing and bike lane and sidewalk upgrades.


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