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August long weekend need to know: Caribbean Carnival style; what’s open/closed

SAMANTHA KNIGHT AND PATRICIA D'CUNHA | posted Thursday, Aug 3rd, 2017

A masquerader performs on Lakeshore Boulevard during the Grand Parade at the Scotiabank Caribbean Carnival in Toronto on Aug. 4, 2012. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Michelle Siu
Good news: The August long weekend is upon us. Bad news: It is the second-last long weekend of the summer. But let’s not dwell on the negative. Instead, put all your energy into planning your much-needed three-day weekend. That’s three days of fun in the sun.

The highlight of the weekend is the Toronto Caribbean Carnival parade, which dances its way along a stretch of Lake Shore Boulevard on Saturday. Road closures will be in effect.

Civic Day goes by different names in other provinces and even in different cities in Ontario. In Toronto, the day is known as Simcoe Day. Since Monday is a civic holiday, most stores and malls will be open. Below is a list of what’s open and closed.

If you plan on exploring the city this long weekend, the TTC is extending its weekend day pass, allowing individuals or groups to have unlimited travel for $12.50. The pass can be purchased between this Saturday and Simcoe Day on Monday. Children under 12 ride for free. Another bit of good news: no subway closures this weekend.


Caribbean Carnival Grand Parade
As the Caribbean Carnival prepares to come to an end this weekend, the party is ramping up for the annual Grand Parade on Saturday. The parade is the largest event of the Caribbean Carnival, bringing out thousands of masqueraders in colourful, striking costumes, along with steel pan bands. Those taking part will start at Exhibition Place and travel east along a 3.5-kilometre stretch of Lake Shore before returning back to Exhibition Place. Festivities run from 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Caribbean Carnival in Toronto.

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


Rogers Cup
The world’s best in women’s tennis will be taking over the Aviva Centre at York University for the Rogers Cup. The tournament runs from Aug. 5 to 13 and features Canadian Genie Bouchard, Serena and Venus Williams, Angelique Kerber, Simona Halep and many more. Qualifying rounds kick off on Saturday and Sunday at 10 a.m. and the first round of play gets underway Monday morning at 10 a.m. During the first two days of Rogers Cup, families can also take part in the free community weekend, which offers various activities and entertainment.

American Serena Williams celebrates a point during the final of the Rogers Cup against Romanian Sorana Cirstea at Rexall Centre in Toronto on Aug. 11, 2013. AFP/Getty Images/Geoff Robins



Veld Music Festival
Electronic music fans will be flocking to Downsview Park for the 6th annual Veld Music Festivalthis weekend. The two-day event features over 30 dance music and hip-hop acts, with headliners Future, Major Lazer, Tiësto, Zedd, Migos and Tory Lanez. Ink Entertainment announced new safety measures for this year’s festival, including a designated space for women who may feel unsafe, a strong medical presence, man-made shade areas and accessible washrooms. Naloxone, which acts as an antidote to the opioid fentanyl, will also be permitted. Saturday’s show gets underway at noon and the show on Sunday is set for 1 p.m.

Toronto Food Truck Festival
Woodbine Park will be bursting with flavour this Civic holiday long weekend. The annual Toronto Food Truck Festival is taking over the park from Thursday to Monday. It features some must-eats, including 32 Below, the Apple Fritter Factory, Canadian Corn Roasters, Eva’s Original Chimneys, Smoke’s Poutinerie and Hogtown Smoke. There will also be local talent Friday through Monday and live-eating challenges. Admission is free.

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


Art & Music Ontario Festival
Celebrate creativity this long weekend at the Art & Music Ontario festival. The four-day event showcases the province’s artsy side with activities, entertainment, food and beverages. Programming includes Martk’d, which uses art and sneakers as an engagement tool to connect with contemporary culture, a pop-up art competition, and a DIY art and music zone. Some of the musical artists on hand will be Lowell and The Johnnys. The free festival runs Thursday through Monday on the West Island of Ontario Place.

What’s open and closed


  • 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, 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.), 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.), and Yorkdale Shopping Centre (10 a.m. to 6 p.m.)
  • Select Beer Store locations will be open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Click here for a list.
  • Several 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 outdoor pools, splash pads, golf courses, historic museums, High Park Zoo, and the Toronto Island Park. Click here for more information.
  • Garbage collection: Curbside pickup is not provided on any Monday, but other solid waste collection will be afffected. Click here for details.



  • 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

Caribbean Carnival Grand Parade: Lake Shore Boulevard West from Strachan Avenue to Colborne Lodge Drive will be closed from 12:01 a.m. on Saturday to 6 a.m. on Sunday. The on-ramp to the eastbound Gardiner Expressway from Lake Shore will also be closed.


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