Congratulations on making it through the long weekend without melting. Between the heat, the holiday and our natural propensity to make hay while the sun shines, it’s a pretty quiet week in the city. Where are you turning for respite? There are always the movies, of course, and shopping malls, the ROM, the AGO, and may I encourage the use of your local library?
If you’re still determined to stay outside, being near water is a must. I just discovered that “Blue Flag Certified” Toronto beaches meet high standards for water quality, environmental management, environmental management and safety. You can check out whether the beach you’re considering leaving the house for is Blue Flag Certified online.
Perfect for families with hits proximity to Centreville, Centre Island Beach is one of my favourites. The swimming area is protected by seawalls, and well served by snacks, drinks, lockers and bathrooms. Ice cream carts are, of course, plentiful. If you’ve got the energy to leave the water, you can rent a bicycle too.
Nearby Hanlan’s Point offers those who would prefer to stay cool by staying naked (although I don’t see that strategy working in this heat) a beach of their own. The other notable Island beach, at Ward’s Island, is a quiet option with a nearby café.
The Scarborough Bluffs are, of course, spectacular and the sandy beach at their foot is a great place to take them in while enjoying a picnic and a dip in cold water. Kew-Balmy Beach is one of the city’s most popular and close enough to Queen Street to do a daytime beach outing combined with an evening meal or patio cocktails.
But Toronto is home to many more lovely beaches than most of us know. Drink lots of water and do some waterfront exploring — between the air conditioning in the car and a dip in the water, maybe this heat wave can be endured.
July events in Toronto
The Fringe Festival starts today and goes until the 15th, giving theatre-lovers a chance to binge-watch live performances. At venues throughout downtown, the Fringe features more than 155 indie shows, and FringeKids! shows for the littlest Fringers. The hub of the festival is Scadding Court Community Centre.
The Toronto Outdoor Art Fair runs July 6 to 8 at Nathan Phillips Square. More than 360 artists will be participating in the outdoor show, and as the website points out, there’s beer!
From the 6th to the 22nd, you can get a taste of some of the city’s most enjoyable restaurants without breaking the bank at Summerlicious, in which more than 200 restaurants offer prix-fixe menus from $23 to $33 for lunch and $33 to $53 for dinner.
Beginning on the 6th and running to the 29th, the Beaches International Jazz Festival is always a huge draw and this year marks its 30th anniversary. There’s more than just concerts afoot, too, with workshops, a fun run and Streetfest rounding out the roster.
If jazz isn’t your thing, maybe TD Salsa in Toronto Festival is. And there are dance lessons! The festival parades kick off at 3 pm on Saturday and Sunday on St. Clair West.
However you’re spending time in Toronto this summer, make sure you stay hydrated, stay safe, and have a great time!