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Festivals Across the Toronto Area

From Jazz Music to Fairs & Santa Claus

A popular destination for Ontario travelers, Toronto is a metropolitan city filled with alluring attractions and features an eclectic blend of festivals and events fit for the whole family. You'll want to visit the Centreville Amusement Park, or experience the Toronto International Dance Festival in August.

When you visit in the fall, plan on attending the Toronto Santa Claus Parade.

A mid-November tradition, the Toronto Santa Claus Parade has featured as many as 24 floats, close to 1,700 participants, and dazzles audiences with live music spanning genres. Make the short drive in from Richmond Hill or Oshawa and treat the whole family to a festive, holiday experience.

On your summer trek into Toronto, make time to stop and enjoy a variety of jazz music selections at the Toronto Jazz Festival. Held in late June at venues throughout downtown Toronto, the Toronto Jazz Festival began in1987 and has thrilled guests ever summer since – drive in from nearby Milton or Georgetown and enjoy the tunes.

In September, make your way into Hamilton, a charming city southwest of Toronto – plan a day of fun at the annual Ancaster Fair. Held at the Ancaster Fairgrounds near downtown Hamilton, the Ancaster Fair features a blend of fun rides for the kids with games and hands-on activities for any member of the family – don't forget about the food. Drive in from nearby Burlington and have a fun-filled day.

Toronto Jazz Festival

Drawing over half a million people each year, the Toronto Jazz Festival is a ten-day event held in over 40 venues across Toronto, Ontario. Sponsored by TD Bank, the festival kicks off in late June and stretches through early July, with Nathan Phillips Square serving as the hub of the celebration.

The festival brings first-rate jazz, blues, funk, R&B, hip-hop and Latin performers from all over the world and past festival headliners have included household names like Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, Ray Charles, Tony Bennett, Rosemary Clooney, Etta James, Herbie Hancock and Blind Boys of Alabama.

Shaw Festival

Theater fans in the southern region of Ontario have a wonderful Canadian cultural icon in their midst. The Shaw Festival began its humble beginnings in 1962 due to Brian Doherty's love of George Bernard Shaw theatre productions. Each year, over 250,000 people attend the festival to see an average of ten plays performed in four local Niagara On The Lake theaters.

Festival patrons view the plays in the historic Court House Theatre, where the festival first began, along with the Royal Gorge Theatre, the Studio Theatre, and the Shaw Festival Theatre. All four theaters are walking distances apart. Check out the happenings behind the scenes of the productions, during a group backstage tour or attend of the theatre's hands-on workshops.


A two-day, outdoor festival for dogs and their owners, Woofstock is held each summer in Toronto’s historic St. Lawrence Market Neighbourhood. Woofstock is not only the largest dog festival in the Toronto metropolitan area, but also North America.

Woofstock is free to the public, and features contests, shopping, and live entertainment – not to mention Winter Woofstock held in November. Established in 2003, Woofstock offers everything from vendor booths, to pageants and "Yappy Hour."