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The 15 Best Events in Montreal and Toronto this August

From Highland games to a sail-in cinema, Canada's biggest cities have a lot to offer this month.

Your Montreal to-dos this month.

Montreal Highland Games
August 1–3 / Parc Arthur-Therrien

Best events Montreal August 2015 - Highland Games

Photo: Ian Aitken

Dust off your clan’s tartan for this celebration of all things Scottish with activities like piping, Highland dancing, caber (long log) toss and sheaf toss.

Fierté Montréal
August 10–16 / Various Locations

Best events Montreal August 2015 - Highland Games

Photo: Fierté Montréal

Get your heart racing at the popular Montreal Pride Race, then party with over 300,000 revellers at the Pride Parade with the rainbow-flag-inspired theme – Our Flag, Our Energy: YELLOW – at the largest LGBT gathering in the francophone world.

Montreal RibFest
August 14–16 /  Mairie d’arrondissement de Pierrefonds

Loosen your belt a notch, and devour succulent smoked offerings, including pulled pork and barbecued chicken, from rib trucks brought in from Ontario and the U.S. Bonus: The proceeds go to the Big Brothers Big Sisters of West Island, which rubs us the right way.


Rouge Gorge
1234, av. du Mont-Royal E.,

Best events Montreal August 2015 - Rouge Gorge

Photo: Lawrence Arcouette

It’s always wine o’clock in this French-brasserie-style wine bar, and the staff know the list by heart: Let them help you select a natural wine or a little red (on tap) to accompany your charcuterie plate or deconstructed banh mi. Cheers to that!

Best of the bunch

Garçon fleur
337, rue de Castelnau E.

Best events Montreal August 2015 - Garcon Fleurs

Photo: Justine Latour

Go wild for wildflowers at the bricks-and-mortar location of Garçon fleur, the online vendor that delivers floral arrangements on the prettiest of cargo bicycles. Florist Raphaël Gaspard, the garçon in question, uses whatever’s in season to create his bouquets, so don’t be surprised to find a bit of fresh kale or mint in the bunch.

Festival Mode & Design
Various locations / August 17–22

Best events Montreal August 2015 -Festival Mode & Design

Photo: Jimmy Hamelin

Downtown streets become urban catwalks at the largest outdoor festival of its kind in North America. Catch influential designer Patricia Field (of Sex and the City and The Devil Wears Prada fame) speaking at the conference series. Always in fashion: free outdoor concerts and DJ sets.

The World Film Festival

August 27–September 7 / Various Locations

The film selection will stick with you long after the credits roll, and this year’s forum features key players from China, the world’s second-biggest film market.

August 31 / Stade Olympique

Bring your best air guitar with you to watch lead guitarist Angus Young, in his trademark schoolboy uniform, duckwalking across the stage as Brian Johnson belts out some of rock’s biggest hits, including “Back in Black” and “Thunderstruck.”

Your Toronto to-dos this month.

Krinos Taste of the Danforth
August 7–9 / Various locations

Make some room for gyros and baklava. This annual Greektown festival features a weekend’s worth of events – tug-of-war, rock climbing, dance and musical acts included – but it’s the ample eats that draw the crowd to the neighbourhood.

Sail-In Cinema
August 20–22 / Sugar Beach

Best events Toronto August 2015 - Sail-in cinema

Photo: PortsToronto

Anchor your boat or tug your beach chair to the water’s edge to take in a free movie (chosen by online vote) under the stars. On a barge floating in the harbour, a double-sided screen ensures everyone has a great seat.

Shakespeare in High Park
Throughout August / High Park Amphitheatre

Best events Toronto August 2015 - Shakespeare in Highland Park

Photo: David Hou

Looking for a midsummer night’s entertainment? The Bard has your back, as Julius Caesar and The Comedy of Errors are staged on alternate nights throughout the summer in High Park. Roll out the picnic blanket and enjoy.


Bar Raval
505 College St.

Best events Toronto August 2015 - Bar Raval

Photo: Josh Chong

Once you get through the door, it’s easy to see why Bar Raval is at the top of Toronto foodies’ hot list. In his laid-back sequel to the award-winning Bar Isabel, chef Grant van Gameren serves up Spanish tapas – pig cheeks in cider, mushroom towers, Galician octopus – in a bustling atmosphere. The rippling mahogany ­interior, designed by local firm Partisans, is like Gaudí for the 21st century.

Canadian National Exhibition
August 21–September 7 / Exhibition Place

Best events Toronto August 2015 - CNE

Photo: Canadian National Exhibition

The CNE is a Toronto tradition for the entire family (2013’s cronut incident notwithstanding). This year, check out the ­parkour and extreme pogo performances as well as concerts by Dallas Smith, Tokyo Police Club and others. Celebrity chefs will take to the stage, the air show will roar overhead and the Farm will open its barn doors to the kids.

Taiwan Fest
August 28–30 / Harbourfront Centre

Best events Toronto August 2015 - Taiwan Fest

Photo: Jade and Artists Dance Group

Brimming with performances, fine art and cuisine, this festival celebrates the distinctive East Asian island’s culture. Find out how explorers from Portugal, the Netherlands, China and Japan contributed to the nation’s identity throughout its history.

Time to shop?

Consonant Skincare
120 Adelaide St. W., Unit / Local R12 (PATH Level)

Best events Toronto August 2015 - Consonant Skincare

Photo: Bohdan Chreptak, Erika Floysvik, FIA & Co. Interior Design

Consonant Skincare, a made-in-Toronto brand that favours organic botanical ingredients, brings its beauty secrets to the business crowd on Bay Street with a new location on the PATH. Basics like face wash and sunblock are complemented by body lotions in natural scents, such as orange-cinnamon and white sage-peppermint. Impromptu trip? Consonant offers an organic-cotton travel bag stocked with any combination of flight-size containers.



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