Things you can still do in Toronto before Summer ends

A normal summer calendar in Toronto is typically filled with outdoor food festivals, concerts, patio season and other special activities that make this one of the most vibrant cities to be in from May through August. Despite the rough start, there are plenty of safe summer activities left to do in Toronto before the end of the season now that the country has entered stage 3 of the pandemic. Whether you want to stay within the core or take a short day trip to explore the city’s boroughs, there is definitely an activity on this list that will make you enjoy your summer again.

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Eat Your Way to Fall

After a long (and extended) hibernation, exploring the city’s food culture is an incredible way to dive back into that summer spirit. Luckily for us, there are many food events happening right now in the city! From food stands, ice cream shops to patio season, in Toronto there isn’t a shortage of food-related activities.

Patio Season

There’s no doubt that this summer is going to be the ultimate season for patios! Due to the restrictions caused by the pandemic, restaurants are opening up the patios to the public and even adding more outdoor dining spaces to accommodate the public. 

More and more, Toronto is going to see a surge of patios opening up. Here are only a handful that you should check out no matter the craving!
11 Polson St

The infamous Cabana Pool Bar is back in business and ready to serve up icy drinks and vacation style meals by the waterfront! You won’t have to travel far to feel like you’re on a resort vacation, complete with an extensive mouth-watering menu. Whether you want to go for a quick day trip or a night out, Cabana Pool Bar is prepared to satisfy the travel bug in all of us. 

If you’re curious about how they’re staying safe at this time, visit their FAQ page covering all things sanitizing and social distancing.
70 Fraser Avenue

Brunch is a good idea no matter which day of the week it is. If you’re from Toronto and have Instagram, you’d be lying if you said you’ve never seen this iconic stack of pancakes, overflowing with berries floating around your Instagram Explore Feed. 

The city’s beloved SCHOOL Restaurant is taking necessary precautions to keep their dining and kitchen staff safe as well as their guests. Visit their menu for cult favourite brunch items that are tasty and insta-worthy.
142 Cumberland St.

No bar does patio season quite like Hemingway’s. Here, you can expect to find 4 floors of patios and with their new floor plans, you can safely enjoy it in all its glory. Situated in Yorkville, this is the perfect spot to sip on a cocktail after trailing around the area’s picturesque boutiques. 

Even though there are restrictions on travel at the moment, lucky for us Toronto is home to a ton of international cuisine. At Hemingway’s you can enjoy New Zealand inspired food while basking in the sun on one of their four patio floors. 
150 Borough Dr, Scarborough

This summer MRKT summer series hosted by Scarborough Town Centre and Street Eats is bringing you weekends packed with culturally diverse foods until September 27. The experience comes complete with free admission and free parking with the exception that all attendees wear a facial covering. 

Street Eats Market, a concept developed to connect the best street food culinary experiences from different cities to the public. Vendors from Burlington, Kitchener, Newmarket and Toronto can apply to become one of Street Eats Market’s talents. 

Toronto is home to 6 boroughs, one of them being Scarborough. Scarborough Town Centre (one of Scarborough’s landmarks) is just a short 40-minute subway ride from downtown Toronto. 

There are 5 more weekends left of this summer market series. Expect to indulge in anything from summer BBQs, mac and cheese to ramen and much more. Due to Toronto’s extremely culturally diverse population, this Street Eats Summer MRKT series is the perfect way to experience the food culture of these ethnic groups. 

Check out the infographic for information on the themes, dates and time left of this summer market series! 

Arts and Culture

Escape the realities of time at these arts and culture events situated right in the heart of Toronto. Art has always found a way to be present even in the most tumultuous times. This summer started off in an unconventional way but the normalcy of art exhibits and events hasn’t stopped. Take a look at the following list of events taking place in the city if you enjoy conversing about the fine arts!
1007 Brimley Road

Discover what suburban life was like in the early 19th Century at the Scarborough Museum, located at the Thompson Memorial Park. This used to be home to an early settler family that decided to build a life in the farm fields of Scarborough. 

Tickets are priced at a pay-what-you-can rate and they can be found here. There are four historical buildings on location and house a handful of original furniture and house tools of that specific era. After your visit, you can take a walk on one of the many trails on-site at Thompson Park and observe the diverse wildlife for yourself!
1 Yonge St.

Experience Van Gogh like you’ve never before. This state of the art exhibit houses this one of a kind immersive digital exhibition, teleporting you to a fantasy of The Starry Night.  Whether you want to experience this by walk-thru or drive-thru, it’s definitely an event that you won’t want to miss out on this summer. 

Over 2 million people in Paris have discovered what it would be like to live in a Van Gogh painting. This immersive exhibit is unlike any other; the vastness and scale of the gallery make it the perfect social distancing art event for Toronto. 

Be prepared to have your breath taken away the moment you step into this augmented art exhibit. 

Walk with Nature

Despite Toronto being a city full of condominiums and buildings, nature is still very much present. This summer, check out these locations for some outdoor relaxation and fun!
Jack Layton Ferry Terminal (9 Queens Quay W)

The island has opened at 50% capacity! These precautionary measures are to keep everyone safe while enjoying the city’s precious gem. Aside from wearing facial coverings, visitors are required to purchase their ferry tickets online before boarding. 

Take out is now available on the island and with nature surrounding you, there’s no better patio than that! For a complete list of the island’s restaurants and cafes, click here

Some of the activities that you can do on the island are kayaking, walking around the garden, visiting the clothing optional beach, biking and, of course, enjoy laying down on one of its sandy beaches.    Boat House rental is located just east of the formal garden promenade from the Centre Island ferry dock. Here you can rent single and tandem kayaks for a few hours at a time.
1873 Bloor Street West

As mentioned, Toronto is home to many parks, trails and gardens. High Park is the trifecta, making it the largest public park in the city. Here, you’ll never run out of things to do or visit! From dog parks to the lakefront and even a zoo, it’s no wonder that High Park is a must-see location in Toronto.

In mid-July, the High Park zoo opened its doors to the public once again! Originally established in 1893, High Park has expanded its animal repertoire from its once deer-only collection. There is a surprisingly good number of animals at the zoo, including a bison!

Conclusion

Even though this wasn’t the summer many of us anticipated, the silver lining is that the city is still home to many unique experiences. From patio season to satisfy your craving to a walk in nature, the entire summer doesn’t have to be a waste. Whether you want to stay in the city or travel a little east, the activities are endless!