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Bring it on, summer: Weekend filled with food festivals, Beach jazz

PATRICIA D'CUNHA AND SAMANTHA KNIGHT | posted Friday, Jul 7th, 2017

StreetFest on Queen Street. COURTESY: Beaches International Jazz Festival
Just because the Canada 150 long weekend is over, doesn’t mean that all the excitement has ended for the summer. In fact, it’s just the beginning. It’s like that old proverb: When one jazz festival ends, another one begins. There is no shortage of food festivals, as Summerlicious kicks off on Friday. This weekend is also your chance to meet up with the rhinos at the Toronto Zoo.

If you are planning to take the subway to the various events, a portion of Line 1 (Yonge-University-Spadina) will be closed for TTC work.


Jazz in the Beach
Summer would not be complete without the sounds of jazz in the Beach echoing around the city. The Beaches International Jazz Festival starts on Friday and runs until July 30. The festival kicks off with the Sounds of Leslieville and Riverside in Jimmie Simpson Park. It culminates with the mainstage shows at Woodbine Park and StreetFest at the end of July. During StreetFest, Queen Street East will be closed from Woodbine to Beech Avenues from 6 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. on July 28-30.

Summer lovin’ food fest
One of the best parts of summer is the annual Toronto foodie event that lets you try out various restaurants in the city at mouth-watering prices. More than 200 restaurants will be taking part in the festival, which starts on Friday and runs until July 23. It is part of TO Canada with Love, the city’s year-long program celebrating Canada’s 150th birthday. This year, there are 22 new editions to the restaurant roster, including Maple Leaf Tavern and Ricarda’s. Three-course prix fixe lunch menus are priced at $18, $23 and $28 and dinner menus are priced at $28, $38 and $48.

Raspberry Champagne Délice dessert from Ricarda's. Photo credit: City of Toronto


Salsa on St. Clair
Dance the weekend away at the 13th annual Salsa on St. Clair this weekend. The two-day street festival will see St. Clair shut down from Winona Drive to Christie Street. The event showcases Latin life in Canada, offering non-stop dancing in the streets, Latino beats and local and international entertainers. Guests can also enjoy authentic Latin American foods and a fiesta in the children’s zone.

Click here for the list of associated road closures.

Running with bubbles
Woodbine Racetrack will be overflowing with bubbles this Saturday for the Bubble Run. The 5K course offers four ‘foam bogs’ where there is enough foam to cover participants from head to toe. Each of the foam bogs has a different colour of foam. The first heat goes at 8 a.m. There are only three rules for race day: one, all levels of runners, walkers and strollers are welcome; two, wear white – that way your appearance will be more pronounced at the finish line; and three, enjoy being a kid again.

People taking part in the Bubble run in San Diego. Photo credit: Instagram/@BubbleRun5K


Food as diverse as Toronto
“Be there or be hungry.” The TO Food Fest is taking over the Chinese Cultural Centre on Sheppard Avenue this Sunday. The event is in its sixth year and celebrates the cultural diversity and creativity of the city’s renowned restaurants and chefs. Vendors include Pub Street Grill, Ice Volcano Ice Cream, Bao is Life and Curb Crave. Admission is free, but guests are encouraged to make a $2 donation.

Summer of Love Picnic
The Summer of Love Picnic is celebrating its 50th anniversary this weekend with an event at Trinity Bellwoods Park. The picnic brings together intentional, conscious groups of people from musicians to dancers, artists, shamans, yogis and psychedelic groups. The picnic will be held in the picnic area near Queen Street West and Gore Vale Avenue, from 11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday. Guests are asked to bring something to share before they spread out a blanket and relax.

Rhino-watching at the zoo
Catch up with the third largest land mammal – the white rhino – at the Toronto Zoo this weekend. The Rhino Open House features the rhinos Tom, Tony, Sabi and Zohari. With a donation, visitors can go behind the scenes and hang out with white rhinos. Proceeds will go to the Endangered Species Reserve Fund’s Bowling for Rhinos campaign, which supports rhino conservation. Rhinos are poached about three to four times a day. So far this year, more than 450 rhinos have been poached in Africa alone. The open house runs from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

A white rhino at the Toronto Zoo. Photo credit: Twitter/@TheTorontoZoo


TTC closure

Partial Line 1 closure
After last weekend’s break for Canada Day, the subway will once again be partially shut down on Saturday and Sunday. This time, it’s Line 1 between Bloor-Yonge and Lawrence stations. Shuttle buses will be running. Wheel-Trans buses will run upon request. Riders who need access to an elevator should exit at York Mills station.

Road closures

There are road closures for Salsa on St. Clair. Click here for details.

There are road closures for Taste of Lawrence. Click here for details.

Click here for the City of Toronto’s list of road work.


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