The top street festivals in Toronto this September are a diverse collection of artistic and cultural celebrations. From TIFF's closure of King St. to longtime favourites like the Polish Festival on Roncesvalles, the looming start of fall doesn't mean that street festival season is over. On the contrary, you can count on plenty of events to interrupt traffic and bring the party to the streets.
Here are my picks for the top street festivals in Toronto this September.
Taste of the Kingsway (September 9-11)
A dog show, a dance stage and Elton John, Journey, KISS, Tom Petty, Heart and Rush tribute bands all help bring the people to the streets of the Kingsway. From Bloor Street West between Prince Edward Drive and Montgomery Road, check out the 200 exhibitors on hand, plus food vendors and an ice cream eating contest (#brainfreeze).
Cabbagetown Festival (September 10-11)
This ultimate neighbourhood takeover of a street fest turns 40 this year! Help them celebrate by heading over and eating all their food, seeing all the live music, and walking around exploring all the local businesses. There's also a popular made-in-Canada artisan market, and don't forget that Riverdale Zoo!
TIFF Festival Street (September 10-13)
Open until 11 p.m. for all but its last day, the annual Festival Street closure of King is fitting for an event the size of TIFF. Commuters hate it, but pedestrians love it! From University to Spadina, it's a walking-only zone with music stages, cultural activations, dance parties, and food trucks.
Toronto Ukrainian Festival (September 16-18)
This is the "largest celebration of Ukrainian spirit in the world," according to organizers. The massive Bloor West Village (between Jane and Runnymede TTC stations) cultural celebration is more than just a food fest. This a a very tight and powerful community who love to celebrate their music, arts, costume, parades, and sure, lots of food and dance.
Roncesvalles Polish Festival (September 17-18)
A celebration of all things Polish on Roncesvalles with Polish bands and dance groups from across Canada and the United States, as well as a bunch of local musical talent on stages an inside tents along the strip. Stores will spill out on the streets, beer gardens will overflow and pierogi, kielbasa, bigos, cabbage rolls will fill you up.
ChristieCrawl Fest (September 25)
This is a new festival combining four annual events into one epic day at Christie Pits Park! Thought it doesn't officially shut down any streets, it does take over the neighbourhood's rich lane way system and features a musical parade led by Lemon Bucket Orkestra, a pop-up art market, and celebratory bike parade. Lots of food and drink and back alley fun to be had.
Pedestrian Sunday (September 25)
The streets belong to you from noon to 7p.m. in Kensington Market. I usually ignore cars when I'm there on a regular day, but on Pedestrian Sundays you could roll around on the street and no one would bug you. Look out for the Soul Sunday dance party, lots of entertainment and food and drink vendors galore.
Did I somehow miss your favourite street festival in September? Let us know in the comments.
Photo of PS Kensington by Hector Vasquez.
by Phil Villeneuve via blogTO