Need to get away this summer but can’t afford a big trip? The city has plenty of options:
Taste of Little Italy The 7th Annual Taste of Little Italy Festival is free for everyone and a great opportunity to experience the food and culture of Toronto’s own Little Italy. More than 20 bands will also be performing live on the street corners, patios and balconies. Runs June 13-15. www.tasteoflittleitaly.ca.
Distillery Blues Festival Held at the Distillery historic district, festival-goers will be able to indulge themselves with a relaxing break while taking in the sights and sounds of rhythm and blues music. Runs June 6-8. 416-698-2152.
Brass in the Grass Music Festival The Brass in the Grass Festival features entertainment for both kids and adults with free jazz, salsa, Latin, classical, blues and acapella performances starting both days at noon. Besides the music there will also be a marketplace onsite, a midway and petting zoo. Runs June 7-8. 416-201-7093.
The Worldwide Short Film Festival Some of the most outstanding short films from Canada and around the world hit the screen at this festival. Promotion and launching of films, as well as networking for filmmakers, is the goal at the Festival Symposium and Marketplace. June 10-15. www.worldwideshortfilmfest.com.
North By Northeast Music and Film Festival The NXNE festival showcases emerging artists from all over Canada, the U.S. and other countries from across the globe. Musical genres performed have included folk, punk and funk. The event takes place in clubs, outdoor stages and special venues in the downtown area. June 12-15. www.nxne.com.
Hope (Charity) Volleyball The 2008 Volleyball Charity Tournament will mark the tournament’s 20th Anniversary. Beginners to pros, everyone is invited to join in on the fun with proceeds of the event going to local charities that include Future Possibilities Canada Inc. and The Stop Community Food Centre. June 14. 416-972-7344.
Toronto Pride Festival Toronto Pride Week is one of the largest of its kind in the world and celebrates diverse sexual and gender identities, histories, cultures, creativities, families, friends and lives. The week-long festival includes a three-day arts fest, a weekend street fair, a Dyke March and a Pride Parade. June 20-29. www.pride toronto.com.
The Mitsubishi City Chase The Mitsubishi City Chase is an urban adventure that requires participants to exhibit teamwork, resourcefulness, determination and the ability to make decisions quickly as they scour for ChasePoints scattered in unknown locations throughout the city. June 21. www.mitsubishicitychase.com.
Toronto Dragon Boat Festival This annual event is held in more than 40 countries and in addition to the actual boat race, the event brings a number of multi-cultural events, international cuisine and large crowds. June 21-22. www.dragonboats.com.
Toronto Downtown Jazz and Blues Festival For 10 days a number of jazz types will be taking over Toronto’s downtown venues to enjoy the music of Toronto’s Downtown Jazz Festival featuring internationally acclaimed musicians. June 22-July 1. 416-928-2033.