This weekend: spice up your life with the Hot and Spicy Food Festival, a street fest shuts down part of Bloor Street, find out new ways to help the environment at Live Green Toronto, enjoy some Shakespeare outdoors, and more.
FOOD: For those of you who love to carry around your own bottle of spicy condiments, you’ll surely appreciate the 15th annual Hot and Spicy Food Festival. This celebration of culinary culture that pushes the limits of spicy food features an International Iron Chef Competition, Taco Takedown (in which top chefs put their spin on tacos), a food blogging conference, live music, and more. Harbourfront Centre (235 Queens Quay West), Friday to Sunday, times vary, FREE.
MORE FOOD: When’s the last time your culinary tastebuds were tickled? Doesn’t matter, it’s probably already been too long. The third annual T&T Waterfront Night Market is back for a weekend chock-full of multi-cultural cuisines, vendors, films, and live music. Do yourself a favour and save the pub crawl for another weekend; this is one night party that deserves to be crashed. T&T Supermarket (222 Cherry Street), Friday to Sunday, times vary, FREE.
MUSIC: It’s that time of year again—the time where buskers and pedestrians are about to take over the streets, and music fills the air. Before you prepare to wander down Queen Street East next weekend for some quality final performances, hop on over to Woodbine Park this weekend for the opening of the Beaches International Jazz Festival, where you’ll be greeted with multiple stages and dozens of acts all weekend long. And here’s a bonus: the whole thing is lakeside, meaning it’ll definitely get cooler at night. Consider this a great way to beat the heat. Woodbine Park (Lake Shore Boulevard and Coxwell Avenue), Friday to Sunday, times vary, FREE.
FESTIVAL: Perhaps in some magical future, we’ll get to see a world where pedestrians and bikes own the streets and cars are outlawed. But until the Gould Street effect becomes a thing, we’ll have to be content with BIG on Bloor, a weekend-long street festival that celebrates arts and culture in a vehicle-free zone. The itinerary includes musicians, vendors, arts and crafts, and games. Bloor Street (from Dufferin Street to Lansdowne Avenue), Saturday and Sunday, times vary, FREE.
ENVIRONMENT: Say what you will about global warming, but there’s really no denying that the past 16 years have been the hottest on human record. If you don’t think there’s anything you can do, well, think again. The Live Green Toronto Festival is bringing environmental awareness–raising back for another year of green products, busking, an eco-swap (as pictured above), live music, and much more. Yonge-Dundas Square, Saturday, 11 a.m.–9:45 p.m., FREE.
MUSIC: The summer music festival season powers on with the second coming of the Fast Folk Festival. This outdoor gathering is a folk show and BBQ that features musicians such as Darren Eedens, The Most Loyals, Merival, and many more. It’s a perfect afternoon for those who have been going to too many metal-head gigs lately and need something a bit lighter to help them come back down to earth. Parking lot of Knox Presbyterian Church (630 Spadina Avenue), Saturday, 4 p.m.–10 p.m., PWYC.
ART: The third SUPAFRIK Pop-Up Shop/Gallery is making its way to Toronto and is kicking things off with a launch party. The installation, which is centred around the theme “Urban Contemporary Africana,” is a pop-up concept that’s one part exhibit and one part shop. It features art work, textiles, fabrics, and more while the opening party will be accompanied by DJ sets playing Afrobeats. 627 Queen West (627 Queen Street West), Saturday, 8 p.m.–12 a.m., FREE.
THEATRE: If your only experiences with Shakespeare have been boring high-school affairs, perhaps you might consider washing your hands of that, and checking out this outdoor performance of Macbeth. The Humber River Shakespeare Company, which has been touring this show for a few weeks now, is finally making its first stop in Toronto to deliver Shakespeare’s bloody tragedy. Humber Bay East Park (100 Humber Bay Park Road West), Sunday, 7 p.m., PWYC. And speaking of outdoor Shakespeare, don’t forget that Shakespeare in High Park is still ongoing with A Midsummer Night’s Dream, for those looking for something with less violence and more comedy. High Park Amphitheatre, Sunday, 8 p.m., $20 suggested donation.
Urban Planner is Torontoist‘s guide to what’s on in Toronto, published every weekday morning, and in a weekend edition Friday afternoons. If you have an event you’d like considered, email all of its details—as well as images, if you’ve got any—to [email protected].