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Waterfront Festivals and Events in June

Jun 17, 2014

Festival-goers sit on the rocky outrcroppings at Canada's Sugar Beach. (Image credit: Nicola Betts)

Candy-striped granite rock outcroppings at Canada’s Sugar Beach create amphitheatre-style seating with great views of the EMERGE Artists Showcase during The Redpath Waterfront Festival. (Image credit: Nicola Betts, courtesy of Waterfront Toronto)

By: Meghan Hogan

It’s pretty amazing to live somewhere that can be described as a city within a park. Toronto has no shortage of parks and green spaces – more than 1,500 to be exact – where you can relax, be social, engage in some fun recreational activities, and even find refuge from your hectic city life. But parks are more than just superficially beautiful. They play a vital role in connecting our neighbourhoods and strengthening our vibrant urban identity – and we believe that a park with a design flexible enough to accommodate large festivals and city events is more likely to be successful in empowering its community.

This weekend, the Redpath Toronto Waterfront Festival and the Port Union Waterfront Festival will take place on destinations across the waterfront, drawing thousands of visitors who will see just how these public spaces are transformed for community celebrations. Another highlight for June is the the celebration of National Aboriginal History Month, with a series of events organized by Museum of Inuit Art.

Redpath Waterfront Festival

Canada’s Sugar Beach, which includes a plaza, tree-lined promenade and urban beach, is the perfect venue for this year’s Toronto Wine and Spirits Festival. Small gathering spaces beneath the signature pink umbrellas create an intimate atmosphere for guests to sample wine, spirits and craft beer. The plaza’s large candy-striped granite rocks and grassy mounds create dynamic amphitheater-style seating where visitors can enjoy prime viewing of the 2014 Flyboard North American Championships taking place on the lake or savour the live music from the EMERGE Artists Showcase.

Sweetness Pride Beach Party will also take place at Sugar Beach, where guests can stroll the promenade, cool down in the playful splash pad area or enjoy the beach bar on white sands while celebrating WorldPride and listening to some of the city’s hottest talents perform.

Sherbourne Common, a dynamic multi-purpose park in the emerging East Bayfront neighbourhood, is hosting the 2014 DockDogs World Qualifying Championships.  A portion of the park will transform into a pool where pooches will compete to beat world records swim retrieval. Park-goers can wander the wide open green space to watch the distance and height jumping competitions or simply relax and cool off by the park’s playful splash pad.

Port Union Waterfront Festival

In Toronto’s east end, Port Union Waterfront Park will host this year’s Port Union Waterfront Festival. The Lions Port Union Waterfront 5km walk/run and 10km run will take place on the park’s 3.8 kilometers of continuous waterfront trail, while 13.5 hectares of park green space will accommodate the large crowd and festival activities including carnival rides, a BBQ and local business displays. After hitting up live entertainment at the parks amphitheater, visitors can tour the cobblestone beaches as they take in the spectacular lake view.

Celebrate National Aboriginal History Month with the Museum of Inuit Art

This Saturday, June 21 you can take a self-guided historical tour of highlights from the Museum of Inuit Art's art collection before joining curator, Alysa Procida at 3 p.m. for a public lecture on the historic development of modern Inuit art.

In addition, a film screening of the documentary Martha of the North will be shown at 4:00 p.m., as part of a series throughout the month of June highlighting important historical moments for Inuit. Visit the events page on the museum's website for more information.


The Redpath Waterfront Festival opens Friday June 20 and runs all weekend through Sunday. Port Union Waterfront Festival will take place Saturday June 21 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.  The Museum of Inuit Art is open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Be sure to stay tuned for an upcoming post highlighting waterfront festivals taking place next month!

post contributor

  • Meghan Hogan

    Meghan Hogan was previously a communications and public engagement manager at Waterfront Toronto.