Five things to do in Toronto on the weekend of July 18–20

Five things to do in Toronto on the weekend of July 18–20

The Beaches Jazz Festival returns this weekend. (Image: Chris Brooker/Flickr) The Beaches Jazz Festival returns this weekend. (Image: Chris Brooker/Flickr)

In this edition of The Weekender, a jazz festival, a block party with free (or, freeish) beer and three other things to do in Toronto this weekend.


Beaches Jazz Festival (FREE!)
The Beach has a reputation as an entertainment backwater, where residents sacrifice downtown delights (trendy restaurants, live music) in favour of nice houses and lake views. The Beaches Jazz Festival, which returns this year for its 26th edition, proves that the east end can, in fact, be pretty exciting when it wants to be. Ten days of music kick off on Friday with free concerts by acts like KC Roberts and Jay Douglas. Visitors will also have a huge assortment of food trucks to pick from. Remember to bring lawn chairs; seating is al fresco and first-come-first-served. Until July 27. Admission FREE. Various locations,


Amsterdam (416) Block Party
This Kensington Market block party is promising free Amsterdam beer for everyone who shows up and pays cover (provided they’re of drinking age and the beer supply holds up), which is as good a reason to go as any. With all that alcohol flowing, the organizers promise that the event “is gonna get out of control and quick,” which probably isn’t what they wrote on their liquor-license application. July 19. $15 admission. 25 Kensington Ave.,


BIG on Bloor (FREE!)
Every year, the BIG on Bloor festival shuts down Bloor Street between Dufferin and Lansdowne for a weekend of food, crafts and general summertime outdoor partying. This year’s festivities will include a number of musical performances, including one by local MP Andrew Cash, who was a punk musician before he became The Man. July 19–20. FREE. Bloor St. W., between Dufferin St. and Lansdowne Ave.,


Girls Rock Camp Toronto Showcase Concert
Girls Rock Camp Toronto teaches girls and young women aged eight to 16 one of the most valuable lessons any young person can learn: how to rock, in all senses of the word. Campers form bands and learn skills from professional musicians. This weekend’s showcase will consist of performances by some of the camp’s talented trainees. July 20. Suggested donation $10. The Tranzac, 292 Brunswick Ave.,


Leslieville Gallery Crawl (FREE!)
Rouse yourself from your patio-beer-induced stupor this weekend and get a little culture at the Leslieville Gallery Crawl, where participants will be able to join a guided tour of six contemporary-art venues along the east-end strip. Self-guided tours are also allowed. July 20. FREE. Various locations,