Ontario Festivals & Events

January to June



Ready to party? Ontario festivals and events offer something for everyone, from Caribana, to the Toronto International Film Festival, to the Niagara Wine Festival and more.

Our festivals come in many shapes and sizes, from small block parties to giant spectacles that attract millions of people.

No matter what season you're here, there's always something special happening in Ontario.

According to FEO (Festivals and Events Ontario), there are more than 3,000 annual community events celebrated in Ontario.

If you have any favourite Ontario festivals you'd like to share with others, please contact me here with details. Thanks!

Here are a few favourite Ontario festivals in date order:

January:

New Years Eve Festival - January - I've always wanted to go to the outdoors concert and fireworks at Niagara Falls but I'm afraid of freezing my -- well, you know -- off. For the courageous only. (Well, not as bad as the Polar Bear Swim)

New Year's Polar Bear Dip - January 1 - All over the province. Not for Polar Bears. For humans who race into the half-frozen lakes to raise money for charity.

Niagara Ice Wine Festival - January - Now this sounds more civilized. Sample wines from over two dozen Niagara wineries. Wine and food pairings. Decadent delights.

Chinese New Years - Varies from year to year based on Chinese lunar calendar but typically January or February - Celebrated with great enthusiasm and spectacular dragon dances, music, food, etc in Toronto and other cities.

February:

Family Day - Falls on a Monday in February. An official statutory holiday, giving us a long weekend just when we need it.

Winterlude – February – Ottawa

Black History Month - All month long, all over the province. Celebrating the historic contributions of Black Ontario citizens. Events include exhibits and performances.

March:

St. Patrick's Day – Celebrated all over the province with parades, parties and green beer. A festival for those of Irish descent and those who wish they were.

Canadian Maple Syrup Festivals – Celebrated all over the province with tours and sampling of maple treats. Pancake breakfasts, wagon rides. To find a location near you, visit http://www.ontariomaple.com and look at the bottom of the navigation bar for different regions.

April:

Maple Syrup Festivals continue - See notes in March.

Stratford Shakespeare Festival opens - see more: Stratford Festival

Shaw Festival Theatre opens - see more: Shaw Festival

May:

Lilac Celebration – May – Royal Botanical Gardens, Hamilton - A breathtaking display of one of the largest lilac gardens in the world.

Ottawa's Tulip Festival - May - A gorgeous festival with millions of tulips covering this already green city. Music, ethnic food, artists in the gardens.

Terroir Wine Celebration – Picton – May

Victoria Day Weekend - May - This statutory holiday is held the Monday before the 24th of May. It's in honour of Queen Victoria. This used to be the ONLY summer holiday in Ontario. Now it's one of four long weekends (Canada Day, August Civic Holiday and Labour Day). It's celebrated with fireworks, barbecues, art shows, concerts and more in communities across Ontario. The unofficial kickoff to good weather in Ontario.

Gregor's Crossing Medieval Faire – May-June - Chatham

June:

June's the start of summer weather and the province celebrates with lots of outdoor concerts!

Collingwood Music Festival – June - Collingwood

Welland Rose Festival - June - Welland - A family festival celebrating live music, history and heritage and roses!

Ottawa International Jazz Festival – June

Sound of Music Festival – June - Burlington

Toronto Jazz Festival – June

Pride - June - Toronto's Pride Festival is North America's LARGEST gay and lesbian festivals. Ontario festivals and events are diverse and exciting and open to all.


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