The Best Summer Street Parties In Canada

It’s that all-too brief time of year when we want to do everything outside, including party. Here are five excuses to eat, drink and meet the neighbours.

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Colourful illustration depicting people at a street party. People are eating food, talking, walking around.

(Illustration by Michael Byers)

Vegandale Food and Drink Festival

Fort York, Garrison Common, Toronto,
August 10
The food fest that birthed an entire Toronto neighbourhood brings plant-based deliciousness to ethical eaters and anyone else who wants to try burgers, ice cream sundaes, fried “chicken” and a whole bunch of other treats that sound too good to be good for the planet.
vegandalefest.com

Photo of Mural Festival at night. There are two murals on either side, with a large crowd of festival-goers in the middle.
(Photo: Courtesy of Mural Festival)

Mural Festival

Saint-Laurent
Boulevard, Montreal,
June 6–16
With its plethora of galleries and street art, this neighbourhood is a go-to spot for art fans. And for 11 days every summer, graffiti greats from around the globe cover buildings, parking lots and pretty much every other nearby public space. Live music, artist talks and food trucks are also part of the fun.
muralfestival.com

Festival-goers at the Manitoba Sunflower Festival waiting in line at a food truck.
(Photo: Courtesy of Manitoba Sunflower Festival)

Manitoba Sunflower Festival

Altona Centennial Park, Altona, Man., July 26–28
It features a petting zoo, a farmers’ market, live music, a beer tent and—oh, right—a picture-perfect backdrop of yellow and brown blooms. Last year’s event proved so popular (#sunflowerselfie) that the town and the fest have joined forces to create a dedicated spot for pose striking.
manitobasunflowerfestival.ca

Spectators watch as a dancer does a handstand at the Ottawa Asian Fest in Ottawa's Chinatown.
(Photo: Courtesy of Ottawa Asian Fest)

Ottawa Asian Festival

Chinatown, Ottawa,
July 26–28
The capital’s biggest night market is an ode to Eastern (and Insta-friendly) eats that go well beyond chicken balls. Think mac-and-cheese-filled bubble waffles, squid on a stick and rou jia mo (tiny Chinese hamburgers). Live music and dance battles provide plenty to look at between binges.
ottawaasianfest.com

Festival-goers walking down a car-free road at the street festival. Golden balloons spell out "Car Free Day."
(Photo: Courtesy of Main Street and West End Car Free Day Festival)

Main Street and West End Car-free Day Festival

Vancouver, June 15 and 16
Vehicles are banished at two festivals scheduled back to back over the same weekend—both filled with local food vendors, artist booths, live music and kid zones. The West End event is on Saturday, and Main Street is Sunday—choose the one that’s closest (or furthest if you’re a truly devoted pedestrian. carfreevancouver.org