As Canada's largest city, Toronto offers its residents and visitors a full slate of summer activities to check out before the next winter chill sets in.
Toronto Fringe Festival
This year's Fringe Festival runs from July 4 to 15 in and around the Annex, one of Toronto's many downtown neighbourhoods. This year's kids' venue (the Palmerston Library) has eight shows just for youngsters. Although the shows have a minimal cost, there will be plenty of free entertainment in and around the venues to make for an interesting day! For more information, call 416-534-5919.
Toronto's First Post Office
Open from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. daily, this 1830s post office still has a postmistress who will show kids how to seal a letter with wax. For more information, call 416-865-1833.
Harbourfront is jumping during the summer months, kicking off with the Canada Day celebration. Upcoming events include:
• World Rhythms, July 13-15
• Good Girls Don't, But Indian Girls Do, July 20-22
• Emily Haines & The Soft Skeleton concert, July 25
• Secrets of a Black Boy, July 26-29
There is a small charge for taking the ferry to the Toronto Islands -- $6 for adults, $3.50 for teens and $2.50 for kids -- but once you get to the Islands, you'll find a great deal of green park space! Centre Island has the most summer events and includes an amusement park and animal farm. The swimmers in the family will love the expanses of beachfront. (Parents be warned: there is a nude beach on Hanlan's Point.)
High Park is Toronto's top pick for jogging, walking, biking and picnics. Free swimming is available and Colborne Lodge, a historical site with guides in period costumes, is also in High Park. And check out Dream in High Park, performances of Shakespeare in the outdoors -- this year, it's A Midsummer Night's Dream.
If you like calypso music, steel drums and dance, you won't want to miss Toronto's annual Caribana festival. The focus of this event is the parade. The event is usually held in mid-July; check the website for exact dates.