toronto: what to do, what to do?

Filed Under Events | June 30, 2011


Welcome to yoyomama’s weekend guide! Your go-to list of family friendly fun things to do with kids in Toronto and the GTA.

We all love birthdays, and this weekend is no exception! As we celebrate Canada’s Birthday on July 1st, there are plenty of themed activities for the whole family, such as the CHIN picnic, Toronto Ribfest, and Canada Day celebrations at Ontario Place. And with all the fireworks this weekend, plan for a few late nights so the kids can enjoy all that the City has to offer. Happy Birthday, Canada!

Crafting Through The Traditions, Evergreen Brick Works
Saturdays & Sundays, June 25th – December 17th, 10 am – 4 pm (Saturdays) & 11 am – 4 pm (Sundays), Evergreen Brick Works, 550 Bayview Avenue, Toronto
Visit the new outdoor children’s play space Chimney Court, for a morning of traditional crafting and seasonal cooking that connects children to the natural environment. Inspired by the four elements and drawing on themes of sustainability, community, the seasons and local history, children are guided through a variety of hands-on activities using traditional skills, materials and recipes. Kids and adults can join in to make a clay vessel, whittle utensils, or share a story around the fire:

Toronto Ribfest 2011
Thursday, June 30th – Sunday, July 8th, 11 am – 11 pm, Centennial Park, 256 Centennial Park Road, Etobicoke
The Toronto Ribfest is celebrating its 12th year with new family-focused events, two stages of entertainment, and lots of food and features – including a Haunted House! The entrance theme is “Eradicate Child Hunger”, and although admission and parking are free, everyone is encouraged to make a $2 donation to support children’s food programs:

Scotiabank CHIN International Picnic
Friday, July 1st – Sunday, July 3rd, Exhibition Place, Lakeshore Boulevard West and Dufferin Street Gates, Toronto
A wide variety of free entertainment and activities for the whole family, the picnic has something for everyone! Enjoy World Beat Music headlined by top performers from Italy, Portugal, South Asia, Hong Kong, Philippines, Caribbean, Latin America, sporting events with cycling races, a live boxing show, maximum Pro Wrestling Shows, a Team K9 Dog Challenge, birds of prey showcase, Zero Gravity Circus shows, a petting zoo, pony rides, and so much more:

Sherway Gardens Farmers Market
Friday, July 1st, 8 am – 2 pm, Sherway Gardens, 25 The West Mall, Etobicoke
Despite all the holiday closures, the Farmers Market will still be open for shopping! Pick up a basket of fresh fruits and veggies, and bring your reusable shopping bags to carry a great variety of baked goods, preserves, eggs, cheese, meats and flowers:

East York Canada Day
Saturday, July 1st, Parade at 9 am, Fireworks at 10:30 pm (see website for event listings and times), Stan Wadlow Park, 373 Cedarvale Avenue, Toronto
This is the 50th anniversary of this Canada Day event in Stan Wadlow Park (corner of Cosburn and Cedarvale Avenues)! There will be parades, bands, multicultural events, community group participation, food, a midway, and fireworks:

Canada Day At Ontario Place
Saturday, July 1st, 10 am – 11 pm, Ontario Place, 955 Lakeshore Boulevard West, Toronto
Enjoy Canadian culture and a variety of entertainment, including Lost Nations Dancers of Six Nations, fine artists, and more. The celebration is capped off with spectacular fireworks at 10:30pm. Free admission:

Free Canada Day BBQ, Earlscourt Park
Friday, July 1st, Noon – 4 pm, Earlscourt Park / Ampitheatre, Caledonia & St. Clair, Toronto
Hosted By Councillor Cesar Palacio and Parks Forestry & Recreation, this celebratory BBQ will have free hotdogs and hamburgers, family entertainment, and special performances by internationally acclaimed artists, Jessica Amara, Andrea Garofalo, The Spot Dance Centre, Enrico Capocci, and more:

Multicultural Canada Day Celebration
Friday, July 1st, Noon – 9 pm, Yonge Dundas Square (Yonge Street & Dundas Street), Toronto
The Community Folk Art Council of Toronto, a non-for-profit organization, is proud to present the 5th Annual Multicultural Canada Day Celebration. The celebration begins with the singing of Oh’Canada, followed by First Nations dance and many other international dance group performances. This year enjoy the special Bollywood Dance Party starting at 7 pm on the Square, and come and learn how to Bollywood dance live  :

Red White And Vinyl Canada Day Festival
Friday, July 1st, opens at Noon, events all day with fireworks at 10:30 pm, Woodbine Park in the Beach, Lakeshore Boulevard East & Coxwell Avenue, Toronto
Canada’s known for a few things. Hockey, being polite, not starting wars, beautiful scenery, room to stretch and great hospitality. Celebrate your Canada at Woodbine Park, in the Beach. There will be live shows from Dan Hill, Brass Transit, Alannah Miles, Andy Kim, Lighthouse, the world’s biggest Disco Party, and fireworks to close out the event. It’s a free, and family-friendly festival:

Canada Day At Mel Lastman Square
Saturday, July 1st, 8 pm – 10 pm, Mel Lastman Square, 5100 Yonge Street, Toronto
Come celebrate Canada’s 144th birthday with music and a spectacular fireworks display. The evening starts with musical performances by Canadian bands, and concludes with stunning fireworks choreographed to music. Free admission:

Penguin Books Day At The Zoo
Saturday, July 2nd, 11 am / 1 pm / 3 pm, Courtyard Stage (Zoo front entrance), Toronto Zoo, 361A Old Finch Avenue, Toronto
Peter Rabbit, Winnie the Pooh, Spot the Dog and Robert Paul Weston, author of the award-winning Zorgamazoo, are headed to the Toronto Zoo! Join Penguin Books and friends throughout the day for a meet and greet, storytelling, and for your chance to win a selection of books featuring your favourite Penguin characters:

Plasticine Art
Saturday, July 2nd – Sunday, July 3rd, 11:30 am & 2 pm, Kidspark, Ontario Science Centre, 4770 Don Mills Road, Toronto
Join this exciting new workshop and learn how to use plasticine in fun and creative ways. Kids become their own artist and take their masterpiece home! Ages 5 and up:

Mediatheque Mysteries! Animation Workshops
Saturday, July 2nd, Noon – 2 pm, NFB Mediatheque, 150 John Street, Toronto
Every Saturday in July & August, join the mystery-themed workshops and animation screenings for the whole family! On July 2nd, enjoy a screening of The Secret of the Ghostly Streetcar, followed by the animation workshop (for ages 6-13):

14th Annual Corso Italia Festival
Saturday, July 2nd & Sunday, July 3rd, 1 pm – 11 pm, Corso Italia, St. Clair Ave W between Westmount & Lansdowne, Toronto
Come down with the whole family for a weekend of food, arts, entertainment, and old world ambience! The festival boats a diverse line-up with over 30 bands performing everything from jazz to salsa music, rides for the kids, roaming buskers, fashion, food, and shopping. Local merchants will have an all day sidewalk sale Saturday & Sunday. Free admission:

Zookeeper Day
Sunday, July 3rd, Toronto Zoo, 361A Old Finch Avenue, Toronto
Celebrate the release of the new Kevin James comedy Zookeeper at the Toronto Zoo! Drop by for your chance to win prizes, and come meet the Toronto Zoo Keepers at the daily keeper talks. Learn all about what it takes to be the best Zoo Keeper, just like Griffin Keyes in the movie:

Farther Afield:

Kanata Summer Festival
Friday, July 1st, 8 am – 10 pm (fireworks), events at various locations (see site for details), Newmarket
Join the Kanata Summer Festival and enjoy a pancake breakfast ($4) and family fun, including inflatable bouncers, extreme bike demonstrations, live entertainment, and fireworks to close out the celebration. Newmarket Citizens Band performs at 7:30 pm, weather permitting:

Canada Day, Spencer Smith Park
Friday, July 1st, 9 am – 10 pm (fireworks at 10 pm), Spencer Smith Park, Downtown Burlington Waterfront, Burlington
Celebrate our nation’s birthday along Burlington’s waterfront.  The day kicks off with a 5 km run/walk at 8:30 am, and the fun goes on all day and into the night with fireworks at 10pm. Enjoy performances on two stages, children’s activities throughout the day, Aldershot Lion’s Club Beer and Wine Garden, plus the Scholars in Collars dog training show:

Celebrate Canada Day! Brampton
Friday, July 1st, 11 am – 10:30 pm, Powerade Centre, 7575 Kennedy Road South, Brampton
Celebrate Canada Day with an action packed day of midway fun, circus entertainment, Monster Truck rides, FMX, and more! Enjoy the main stage entertainment with Keshia Chanté, Neverest, and headliner Jann Arden. Take in all-day entertainment on the Kids Stage, Brampton Indie Stage, South Asian Stage, and end the day with spectacular fireworks set to music at 10pm:

2011 Richmond Hill Canada Day Celebrations
Friday, July 1st, Gates open 11am, Fireworks 10 pm, Richmond Green Sports Complex and Park, 1300 Elgin Mills Road East, Richmond Hill
Celebrate Canada’s 144th birthday with your friends and family at Richmond Green Sports Complex and Park! Join in a variety of exciting activities and entertainment, featuring The Wheat Kings and Cadence. Other exciting activities include a midway, Children’s Village, and Teen Zone. Then at nightfall, enjoy the fireworks display! Please remember parking on event day is limited, so take the complimentary shuttle service (information and schedule on website):

Canada Day Strawberry Social-By-The-Lake, Burlington
Friday, July 1st, 11 am – 4 pm, Joseph Brant Museum, 1240 North Shore Boulevard East, Burlington
Join in for sensational strawberry fun at this colourful event! There will be games, crafts, activities, and museum tours.  Enjoy the Children’s Activity Area, including helium balloons, a scavenger hunt adventure, fun festive crafts, bouncy castle, fair-style games with prizes, and other great hands-on activities! Special performances and entertainment will be taking place through the day.  Enjoy fresh strawberries and ice cream. Free admission:

‘On The Verandah’ Summer Concert Series
Fridays, June 3rd – August 26th, 7:30 pm, Benares Historic House, 1507 Clarkson Road North, Mississauga
The Friends of the Museums of Mississauga present a summer-long program of outdoor music concerts ‘On the Verandah’ every Friday evening at 7:30 pm. Bring along your lawn chairs or blankets, best sing-along voices, and a supply of insect repellent. A list of performers can be found on the website:

Do you have an event you would like to see in our weekend guide?  Then send us your details and we’ll help you get the word out.  Looking for a feature listing? Contact Erin, our Director of Sales and Marketing, for more information.

And we wanted to remind you to always call or visit the website for event info before you head out just in case any changes have been made since we posted it.  And of course, have fun!

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