Your guide on what to see at Exhibition Place this summer
Discover everything you didn’t know about Toronto’s iconic lakeside destination
When most Torontonians think of Exhibition Place, memories of the iconic Princes’ Gates and endless exciting events at the Enercare Centre often spring to mind. But Exhibition Place is so much more. As Canada’s largest entertainment venue, it’s an easy-to-get-to, 192-acre summer-fun destination with something for everyone to see, do, eat and experience.
“Exhibition Place offers Torontonians something that no other site in the city does: a combination of entertainment, history and community events,” says Exhibition Place CEO Don Boyle. “Whether you’re interested in the excitement of iconic festivals, sports, music, art or dining, there’s something for everyone at Exhibition Place.”
Here are six must-do activities to enjoy at Exhibition Place this summer.
Explore exciting events
With numerous innovative venues, Exhibition Place regularly plays host to all manner of events—including a seasonal highlight with the Caribbean Carnival and the CNE Fair. This summer, “planeswalkers” can build their decks and compete against the top Magic: The Gathering players in the country at the F2F Tour Weekend from June 2 to 4, while Collision 2023—one of the world’s biggest tech conferences—sets up shop between June 26 and 29. You can also book events of your own, from wedding receptions to corporate dinners, at Fountainblu, the Toronto Event Centre, Liberty Grand or Beanfield Centre.
Catch some action
Sports fans take note: Exhibition Place has you covered. If you’ve never attended a Toronto FC soccer match or a Toronto Argonauts CFL game at BMO Field, put that at the top of your to-do list this summer. Racing enthusiasts can enjoy the roar of the engines and a motor-sports festival during the Honda Indy from July 14 to 16. The Toronto Equestrian Downtown riding school—located in the historic Horse Palace—offers private and group lessons for beginners and more-seasoned riders. For basketball fans, the OVO Athletic Centre training facility is located at the west end of the grounds—home to the city’s beloved Toronto Raptors.
Discover decadent dining
Foodies may be surprised to learn that an array of fine-dining options await at Exhibition Place. Mexican-inspired fusion fare is on the menu at Roses Cocina, while Valerie Toronto serves up elevated Japanese cuisine and live music. For traditional Italian dishes in a cosy environment, make a reservation at Acqua Dolce Restaurant. Or relax over sushi, sake and shareables amid the beautiful architecture—including a 60-foot crystal dome—at the Grand Bizarre Supper Club, which transforms into a chic lounge after dark. In the summertime, you can enjoy a bev poolside on the patio.
Access the arts
Exhibition Place is home to Withrow Common, an exceptional multi-purpose community gallery offering exhibits, special programming and even art classes. Want to take in a show? Both the Queen Elizabeth Theatre and the Coca-Cola Coliseum host performers from Canada and around the world, including stand-up comedians and musical acts. Or, enjoy an under-the-stars evening concert at the Hollywood-Bowl-inspired Bandshell Park for a unique open-air-entertainment experience.
Find family fun
Exhibition Place has plenty to keep kids (and their parents) entertained indoors and out this summer. Enter via the Dufferin Gates to cool off in the splash pad or shoot hoops at the outdoor basketball courts at Centennial Park. Pack an appetite and a sense of adventure for the child-friendly chaos of an 11th-century tournament and feast at Medieval Times. Bring your bikes to tool around the grounds, or download a map for a self-guided walking tour, including one that winds through the limestone sculptures in the Garden of the Greek Gods. “It’s a Zen spot to reflect and discover public art from E.B. Cox, a celebrated Canadian sculptor,” says Boyle.
Lounge in luxury
Did you know that Exhibition Place is home to a luxury hotel and spa? Whether it’s a romantic stay for two or a whole-family getaway, Hotel X Toronto features more than 400 beautifully appointed rooms and suites, and exclusive guest-only amenities including a screening room, a world-class gym, a kids’ play centre and an indoor/outdoor rooftop pool. Bonus: pets are welcome, too! Guests and the general public can also unwind at the Guerlain Spa, which offers an assortment of treatments and packages.
For more information, or to plan your Exhibition Place experience, visit explace.on.ca.