Free things to do in Toronto this September will keep you well cultured into the early days of fall. A neighbourhood's 40th birthday festival, a Polish mega party, an important photography show and the Manifesto city-wide invasion are all on tap.
Here's what to get up to this September if your wallet is stuffed with lint.
Dan Mangan at Union Summer (September 5)
That non-stop action market in front of Union Station helps "ease you from sweaty weather into sweater weather" with a performance from songbird Dan Mangan. It's closing day for this fest, and they've done a great job! There are 18 local food vendors to sample from while you sit and listen.
Lunchtime Live! Featuring Lido Pimienta (Yonge-Dundas Square)
These free lunchtime shows have been happening all summer, but this one's a real treat. Lido Pimienta is a Toronto-based Colombian born interdisciplinary artist-curator and musician who marries art, music and performance.
7th Annual Toronto Bicycle Music Festival (September 10)
Starting at the Evergreen Brickworks at 11a.m., this is a movable concert that ends at Prairie Drive Park. The group bike ride will feature a mobile performance along the Lower Don Valley from folks like Jason Collett, Nhapitapi and Moon Runners Dance Battle.
Cabbagetown Festival (September 10-11)
Saving one of the best for last, this neighbourhood street festival is a biggie, and takes over many areas of the diverse neighbourhood. It's the festival's 40th birthday, and there'll be lots of local food, and many, many great music performances.
Ryerson Fall Exhibitions Opening Party (September 14)
The Ryerson Image Centre is one of the best places in the city to go see great photography shows. Check out their season launch with a stunning show called The Edge of the Earth: Climate Change in Photography and Video.
Roncesvalles Polish Fest (September 17-18)
Locals love this one, and even though it didn't make our list of 10 signs you live in the hood, it's a must-do for Roncy folk and their friends. There's lots of food, traditional music and Polish party fun. It's apparently now the world's largest celebration of Polish culture in the world! Who knew?
Manifesto Fest (September 18)
The Manifesto culture fest takes over the city from September 9-18, but it's this free show at Yonge and Dundas (starting at 3 p.m.) starring A Tribe Called Red that is going to be lit. Catch dance crews, a pop-up market, food trucks and live art all day in the meantime.
YIMBY Festival (September 23)
This one's for city lovers. The Yes In My Back Yard Festival brings 100 community groups from across Toronto in a social space to learn about what's happening, exchange ideas and strategies to make change, and turn the tables on politicians and policy makers. It goes down at Metro Hall at noon.
Pokemon Tournament in High Park (September 24)
Trainers, it's time to gather. The tournament will be arranged in several large cities around the world, and High Park is Toronto's hot spot. Starts at Noon, bring all your pals, dress in your team colours and watch out for real-life ants.
Word on the Street (September 25)
Honestly, since this book and magazine lover's festival moved from Queen's Park to the Harbourfront Centre, it just hasn't been the same. But with the hundreds of author events, presentations and workshops, a marketplace that boasts the best selection of Canadian books and magazines you'll find anywhere, you might as well head down to the water.
Did I miss a free event in August you're super excited about? Let me know in the comments.
Photo via Manifesto's Facebook page.
by Phil Villeneuve via blogTO