Stay in an ice hotel, attend a winter festival and wander through an ice castle.
Summertime in Toronto is nothing but lively as locals and visitors, alike, try to maximize their time outside, making the most of the city’s hopping patios, vibrant street festivals, and inviting parks and beaches. Here are some of our favourite reasons to hang out in Toronto during its sunniest season.
1. Pride Month
Home to Canada’s largest Pride festivities, Toronto’s celebrations have always been a big deal, now things are bigger and better thanks to the city’s Pride Month, which launched in 2016. Events happen around the city throughout June, and they culminate with three days of street fairs, drag shows and marches.
2. Local Breweries
There are few things better than a cold beer on a hot day. Luckily, Toronto is the city of breweries. Steam Whistle Brewing, Bellwoods Brewery, Great Lakes Brewery—there are more than 20 breweries within the city limits alone and most welcome visitors for tours and samplings. See how many you can pack into a weekend visit.
3. Pool parties are a thing
To beat the heat, Toronto has honed its pool party scene. For a party that rivals a Vegas dayclub experience, the chic Cabana Pool Bar delivers, with well-heeled crowds dancing to live DJ music. For a more low-key vibe, the pool at the Radisson Admiral Hotel (open to non-guests for a fee) offers great people-watching and poolside cocktails.
4. It has its own island
It technically has a few islands, but Centre Island is the place to go. Known locally as “Toronto Island,” Centre Island is the largest urban car-free community in North America—accessible only by ferry—and it’s packed with amenities. Kids love the Centreville Amusement Park for its waterslides and mini-golf, while Ward’s “Island” beach, on the easternmost point, is popular with sunbathers. On the western side, Hanlan’s Point has volleyball courts, baseball diamonds and fire pits. No matter which spot you choose, there’s something pretty cool about standing waist-deep in Lake Ontario and looking up at the CN Tower from a different angle.
[This story appears in the June 2016 issue of WestJet Magazine and has since been updated]