With Monday, August 4th declared an annual civic holiday (known as Simcoe Day) in Ontario, a host of exciting festivals, concerts and other events are scheduled for the August long weekend. Here are some details on what’s happening over the long weekend in Canada’s largest city.
Toronto Caribbean Festival – Previously known as Caribana, various events of this colourful and lively celebration of Caribbean culture (now in its 46th year) are held throughout the latter half of July. The explosive climax of the event is always on August long weekend, centred around the Grand Parade on Saturday, August 2nd from 10 am to 6 pm. The floats and amazing costumes will promenade through the Exhibition Grounds and west along Lakeshore Boulevard (which is closed between Strachan Avenue and Colborne Lodge Drive on August 2nd and 3rd). Caribbean music is also front and centre, with late night outdoor concerts at Wilson Park at Jane and Wilson on Friday, August 1st and Saturday, August 2nd and a daytime family musical event on Olympic Island on Sunday, August 3rd.
OVO Fest, VELD, One Direction, Boots and Hearts – In addition to the Caribbean Festival musical events, Toronto-area music fans are spoiled for choice this long weekend. Torontonian rap superstar Drake’s 5th annual OVO Fest runs alongside Caribana at the Molson Amphitheatre on August 3rd and 4th. Though only Drake himself and the reunited hip-hop duo Outkast have been officially announced as performers so far, numerous big names from the rap world are regularly surprise guests at these shows.
Elsewhere in the city, the VELD Music Festival returns to Downsview Park on August 2nd and 3rd, featuring many of the biggest names in electronic music. All-ages pop fans, meanwhile, will be exercising their lungs for the popular British boy band One Direction, on a two-night concert stand at the Rogers Centre on August 1st and 2nd. Further outside of the metropolis, Bowmanville’s Canadian Tire Motorsport Park hosts the Boots and Hearts Music Festival from July 31st to August 3rd, with major country stars like Toby Keith, Luke Bryan, and Blake Shelton topping the lineup this year.
Rogers Cup – Many of the biggest stars in professional men’s tennis – including Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, and Thornhill, Ontario’s Milos Raonic – arrive in Toronto for the only Canadian stop on the ATP World Tour. Held at York University’s Rexall Centre, the Rogers Cup is one of the premiere annual sporting events in the city and is a spectacle not to be missed for tennis fans. The excitement kicks off on Saturday, August 2nd and runs until the following weekend, with the final on Sunday, August 10th.