Get out of the city for festivals

Summer festivals don’t have to be confined to the regular run-of-the-mill events in the city. This year, get out of your comfort zone and explore the surrounding areas of Toronto. There is an abundance of festivals that vary from the usual to the outrageous just outside the city that guarantees to break your annual summer fest cycle.

• Celebrate the tastes and sounds of the globe at the Carassauga Festival of Cultures in Mississauga, just west of the City of Toronto. Running from June 3-5, the festival is Ontario’s largest multicultural festival boasting over 25 pavilions representing over 64 countries. Visit [url=][/url] to learn more about the festival.

• Cheese lovers unite at the Great Canadian Cheese Festival. Cheese connoisseurs and culinary enthusiasts will get together, on June 4 and June 5, to celebrate Canadian artisan cheese. Wine, beer, cider and artisanal food sampling is guaranteed to satisfy any palate. The festival held annually in the beautiful Prince Edward County located in southeastern Ontario, is an hour and a half drive from Toronto. Visit [url=][/url] for more event information.

• Learn about Celtic culture at the Unionville Celtic Festival from June 8–10. Live bands on Main street will be kicking the festival off on Friday night followed by a Saturday night “ceilidh”, a Gaelic word for social gathering. Dance Sunday night away with an Irish “feis”, meaning arts and culture festival, which showcases Irish dance competitors. Unionville located near Highway 404 and Highway 7 is a 20-minute drive from downtown Toronto. For more information, call the Unionville BIA at 905-477-0117 or e-mail at

• Indulge your sense of hearing at the annual Cicada Fest in St. Catharine’s, located west of the city in the Niagara region. The three-day music festival has featured impressive lineups of musicians from all over Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom. To name a few, Juno winner Julian Fauth, Canadian Folk Music winner Ariana Gillis and Texas Music Award winners The Dust Devils have all taken the stage in previous years. Head over to [url=][/url] for more information.

• Enjoy the spirit of the Caribbean Island at the annual Caribfest in Barrie, between August 12 and August 14. The event promises food vendors, live entertainment, art and merchandise, along with non-stop dancing to reggae, calypso, steel pan and soca music. But a parade extending into downtown Barrie featuring vibrant dazzling costumes will be the highlight of the festival. Visit [url=][/url] for more information.

• If you’re looking for some good “Olde Tyme” fun check out the Binder Twine Festival in Kleinburg held annually on the first Saturday after Labour Day. The most popular activity of the day calls for eligible “young ladies”, age 16 and upward, to compete in the Queen contest where they call a hog, flip pancakes, hammer nails and milk a cow to win the title. It is guaranteed to be a fun-filled day of food, entertainment, crafts and activities for the whole family. Kleinburg is just a stone’s throw away north of Toronto in the City of Vaughan. You can find more information at [url=][/url]