August on the Cheap! 2018


There's still plenty of must-experience summer fun throughout the month of August, and we've got the scoop on what's Free and Cheap! This month brings many big annual favourites like Buskerfest, Taste of Danforth, Ribfests, TAIWANFest, along with many other activity-filled Summer street festivals. Get your calendars ready! Here are the top free and cheap things to do with kids this month!

Free Admission on Wednesday Nights at the AGO
Weekly on Wednesdays
The Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) is an art museum in Toronto's Downtown Grange Park district, on Dundas Street West between McCaul Street and Beverley Street. Its collection includes more than 80,000 works spanning the 1st century to the present-day. The gallery has 45,000 square metres (480,000 sq ft) of physical space, making it one of the largest galleries in North America.
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CITE – A Celebration of Skateboard Arts and Culture
Until August 12, 2018
A Summer-Long Celebration of Skateboard Arts and Culture! The Bentway and Build for Bokma announce CITE, a summer-long celebration of skateboard arts and culture launching on June 30 and officially opening The Bentway Skate Trail for the season. Free.
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Under the Stars: Movies in the Park at Regent Park
Until August 15, 2018
Our summer screening series runs every Wednesday from July 11 to August 15. Now in its fifth year Under the Stars has grown into Regent Park’s largest summer community event.
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HorseCapades at the CNE
Until August 16, 2018
A delightful and free introduction to horses, the CNE's interactive horse program returns this year and takes place from July 28 to August 16! Designed for the young and the young at heart, HorseCapades sweeps you away from city life and into the magical world of the horse. Giddy up! This year HorseCapades once again features free Pony Rides for kids. Free before the CNE opens (then included with admission.)
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Union Summer
Until August 19, 2018
Union Summer returns this year bringing an eclectic offering of food vendors, musicians, film screenings and live performances to Union Station. Union Summer-Presented by TD runs 50 days straight, 7 days a week with free programming on the TD Stage showcasing festival previews, free movie nights, World Cup finals and local arts and cultural organizations featuring the spirit of Toronto at its gateway.
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Tuesday Night Live! At Earl Bales Park
Until August 21, 2018
Enjoy a beautiful evening of free music in the park every Tuesday for the rest of the summer. Check out the line-up of our fantastic concert series. Events are weather permitting. Free.
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VR Filmmaking Workshop and Pop-Up VR Cinema
Various dates until August 23, 2018
Kids ages 8 and up are invited to join Toasterlab for a hands-on VR filmmaking workshop. Over two weekends at the beginning of the summer, workshop participants will devise and record site-specific short films in Parkway Forest Park using 360 immersive cameras. Free.
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Movies in the Park Whitby
Until August 24, 2018 
Bring your lawn chair, blankets and popcorn and watch a movie under the stars on a large, outdoor screen with concert quality sound. New for 2018 - Whitby's Movies in the Park will all take place at Whitby Civic Park (behind Town Hall). Movies start at dusk, but come early to reserve a spot!
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Downsview Park Jr. Forest Explorers
Until August 27, 2018
Join us at Downsview Park for a FREE caregiver and toddler nature program. Connect with the natural world through hands-on outdoor activities. Registration is required. Participants may sign up for one session or all the sessions.
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Summer Wednesdays at Evergreen Brick Works
Until August 29, 2018
Soak up the sun at Summer Wednesdays! Bask in the setting sun as you kick back with an ice cold drink, grab a bite of delicious summer fare and make the most of those warm summer evenings. The hottest place to spend Wednesday nights is at Evergreen Brick Works, nature's patio. Plus, join us for the Live Music Series. Free admission.
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Dancing on the Pier at Harbourfront
Until August 30, 2018
Learn to dance on Torontoʼs waterfront to the rhythmic beats and swinging sounds of live bands.You are sure to find yourself dancing all night long. Inspired by Harbourfront Centreʼs summer festivals, styles range from bolero to big band and everything in between. Thursdays from July 12 until August 30. Free.
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Family Fun Fridays at Ontario’s Legislative Assembly
Until August 31, 2018
A free, fun-filled afternoon awaits youth ages 6 to 17 at Ontario’s Legislative Building this summer. This program introduces youth to provincial parliament during a two hour interactive program featuring a variety of activities.
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Summer Music in the Garden at Harbourfront
Until September 16, 2018
The popular Summer Music in the Garden concert series returns for its 19th season by the shores of Lake Ontario. Treat yourself to 18 free concerts this summer, featuring outstanding artists and a wide range of musical styles. Free.
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Sorauren Outdoor Movies in the Square
Until September 22, 2018
The Outdoor Movie Season returns the fourth Saturday of every month June to September. NEW! Pizza Dinners before the movies from the new Sorauren Park Pizza Oven, prepared and presented by Pizzeria Defina. Movies are free admission.
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Arts in the Parks: Grup the Clown in "At Work (and Play)"
Various dates until September 28, 2018. 
Through a blend of live storytelling and the art of interactive clown, Phil Koole invites park goers to join him on a hilarious and spontaneous adventure. With his ability of connecting people through play, he will bring both adults and children out of their shells to stimulate a sense of excitement and help foster a stronger community bond. Free admission.
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ROMwalks - Walking Tours of Toronto
Until October 2018
Explore the history, art and architecture, and notable (or notorious!) characters of some of the 6ix’s best-known neighbourhoods. ROMWalks guided walking tours take place from early May through late October, Wednesdays at 6 pm and Sundays at 2 pm. Most ROMwalks are free, with no need to pre-register: simply come to the designated spot and look for the purple umbrella.
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Waterfront Artisan Market
Until October 6, 2018
In 2018, the Waterfront Artisan Market (WAM), presented by The Waterfront BIA and operated by Scadding Court Community Centre, will bring together a carefully curated mix of local artisans, crafters, chefs and bakers. Free admission.
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Museum Thursday Nights at Gibson House
Thursdays, until December 27, 2018
Drop in on Thursday nights to learn more about the daily lives of the Gibson family and discover a different 19th-century activity each week, including dyeing, spinning, hearth cooking and more. Join the Community Quilt Group from 6 to 8 p.m. to explore historic and contemporary quilting techniques in a comfortable, social setting. Admission is Pay-What-You-Can.

Cineplex Family Favourites for August
Wednesdays & Saturdays in August
Join Cineplex on Saturday or Wednesday mornings at 11:00 am for Family Favourites. Watch a family favourite film each week for only $2.99. It's a fun and affordable way to enjoy the weekend with your family.
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Rouge Park Guided Walks
Various dates in August
Join us to discover the park's natural, cultural and agricultural stories with our friendly and fun Parks Canada volunteer leaders and staff. We have something for everyone, if you are looking for wildlife sightings, quiet nature walks, discovering the past, fitness challenges or just to meet new people! Free admission.
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Kids Bowl Free Program
Various Dates this Summer
Each year, the Kids Bowl Free program kicks off. This fantastic nationwide is program designed to give youth a constructive way to beat the heat. Sign your kids up to bowl 2 FREE games every day all summer long at their local bowling alley.
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​Movie Nights at Celebration Square, Mississauga
Various Dates in August
See a Free Movie at Mississauga Celebration Square during Summer Movies Nights. There's nothing better than the exciting lineup of free summer movies at Mississauga Celebration Square. Plan your visit, because movies are here, and they're starting now. You bring the blankets! May to September.
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Toronto International Youth Dance Festival
 August 3, 2018
Join us at 2018 Toronto International Youth Dance Festival. The Festival celebrates cultural diversity through the art of dance. Specifically, we focus on youth dancers, with participation ranging from local to international dance schools. There will also be food vendors and merchant vendors present through the two days. It is a great opportunity to enjoy a wonderful weekend with your families. Free admission. 
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Scarborough Ribfest
August 3 to 5, 2018
This year, Ribfest will have 10 incredible Ribbers from all over Canada and the US, along with 20 other food vendors, a midway, and over 50 other craft vendors! To keep you cool, beer and coolers along with pop and water will be available at the two Rotary tents. 11 fantastic live bands will be providing live entertainment free during the weekend .For the young and young at heart, open mike Karaoke will start each day at 11 AM. Free admission. 
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Island Soul Festival at Harbourfront
August 3, 2018 to August 6, 2018
Come to the waterfront to catch a little bit of that island soul and experience the rich legacy of Caribbean music heard through Canada and around the world. Free admission. 
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Toronto Food Truck Festival
August 3, 2018 to August 6, 2018.
Woodbine Park has never tasted this delicious before. Back for another year, The Toronto Food Truck Festival is serving up some real must-eats! As always, admission is free and there’s something for everyone. 
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FREE Screening of The Wiz at the Aga Khan Museum
August 4, 2018
Catch The Wiz, the disco-era remake of the classic film The Wizard of Oz, during a FREE, outdoor screening as part of the Aga Khan Museum’s Dancing in the Park series. Returning for a second season with performances and films sure to get guests moving, events within the series take place in the Aga Khan Park adjacent to the Museum.
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Taste of the Middle East Food Festival
August 4, 2018
Come experience the warmth and hospitality that are the core of Middle Eastern culture. Explore unique food and vendors that are found in the heart of the city at Yonge-Dundas Square. Join us in the height of summer to celebrate the tradition and energy that Middle Eastern culture creates. Free admission. 
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407 ETR Free Community Weekend - Rogers Cup
August 4, 2018 to August 5, 2018
Looking for the perfect boredom buster over the Summer holidays? Rogers Cup Presented by National Bank kicks off August 4th & 5th with the 407 ETR Free Community Weekend. With a mix of adventurous activities, entertainment and the chance to rub shoulders with some of your favourite mascots, the 407 ETR Free Community Weekend is a must-visit for all families. The best part? It’s FREE admission for the whole family!
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Power Kids: Family Features
August 5, 2018
Many of the works in Grada Kilomba’s exhibition, Secrets to Tell, explore language and its effect on how we see ourselves. In this workshop, families are invited to choose three words or phrases that best describe their family and then illustrate them using paper, paint and markers to create triptychs. Free.
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Sunday FUNday - Carried Away with Carriages at Oshawa Museum
August 5, 2018
We’re getting revved up for Autofest with this months Sunday FUNday at the Oshawa Museum. Check out our large collection of McLaughlin carriages and cutters that date back to the 1890s and have your photo taken with our showpiece carriage in the gardens. Visitor Hosts will be on hand to answer questions and show you around Henry House! This is a free event.
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Simcoe Day at Fort York
August 6, 2018
Fort York comes to life in honour of the first Lieutenant-Governor of the Province of Upper Canada (1793-96) and founder of Fort York and the Town of York – John Graves Simcoe. Walk the historic grounds and thrill to musketry, artillery and music demonstrations presented by the Fort York Guard and Guards from Fort George National Historic Site from Niagara-On-The-Lake and Old Fort Erie. Free admission.
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JerkFest: Jerk Food Festival
August 9, 2018 to August 12, 2018
JerkFest is an annual festival which takes place around the second weekend in August every year. JerkFest celebrates the world renown jerk cuisine. Its a fusion of jerk food, pulsating music, family friendly entertainment and good vibes – all under the throbbing Toronto sun. Free admission. 
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Grange Festival
August 10, 2018
Grange Festival is a FREE outdoor fair with performances and a range of fun-filled activities for adults and children. It’s a great day for everyone in the community. Free activities, Family Fun, Entertainment, Kids zone, Games, Prizes, Hot dogs, and more…!
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Sail-In Cinema at Toronto Port
August 10, 2018 to August 11, 2018
PortsToronto presents Sail-In Cinema™, the world’s first two-sided floating movie experience of its kind. In August, Canada’s Sugar Beach will transform into Toronto’s largest outdoor movie theatre over two nights. Movies will be shown under the open skies on a two-sided screen set atop a barge in Toronto Harbour. You can watch movies for free from Sugar Beach or Lake Ontario, and this year there are no tickets required to attend.
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Habari African Festival at Harbourfront Centre
August 10, 2018 to August 12, 2018
Habari Africa festival is a multi-disciplinary music and arts festival that displays the rich and diverse cultures of Africa. Join us for a weekend of exploration and engagement with the art, sounds and tastes of the continent. The festival will display an authentic African experience through presentations and workshops that celebrate the uniqueness, wealth and diversity of African music, dance, arts and culture. Free admission. 
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The Krinos Taste of the Danforth
August 10, 2018 to August 12, 2018
The Taste of Danforth will be celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2018 from August 10 to 12. It is Canada’s largest street Festival, welcoming 1.65 million attendees annually. The festival features dozens of free activities for visitors of all ages – and of course Food, Food and more Food! Enjoy free entertainment on three separate stages! Also features a Kids Zone! Free admission. Food purchases. 
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Pickering Food Truck Festival
August 10, 2018 to August 12, 2018
You’ll want to bring your friends and kids to Esplanade Park for some unbelievable food! We’re transforming the park to a foodie haven, jam-packed with a children’s village, beer garden and live entertainment stage. As always, admission is free and we’ll be beefing up the park with some good tunes. August 10 to 12, 2018. Free admission.
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Bridlewood Mall Comic-Con
August 11, 2018
Bridlewood Mall and Pop Culture Canada present Comic-Con - a comic book and pop culture convention featuring comic book artists and vendors, superhero characters, Batman and the live Batmobile! Join us for this amazing event - come in costume or as you are and join the fun! Free.
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Crawling Crayfish at Claireville Conservation Area
August 11, 2018
Get up close with these and other fascinating creatures who make their home in the Humber River. Help us examine the stream environment by collecting benthic invertebrates and as well water samples. Learn how to determine the water quality of watercourses that feed the Humber River. Free but registration is required.
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Feast of St. Lawrence
August 11, 2018
Join us on Saturday, August 11th for our Market Street Celebration. We celebrate the world famous St. Lawrence Market and Market Street with outdoor food stalls and seating areas, farm fresh produce, live music at the Audi FEAST Stage, a pig roast from the Farmer’s Market, kids entertainment, games and activities at the FEAST for Kids sponsored by TD Bank Group, and much more! 
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Free Building Workshops at Home Depot
August 11, 2018
Kids will learn how to build projects with easy to follow step-by-step instructions. Takes place the second Saturday each month from 10am to Noon at The Home Depot locations across Toronto. These free DIY workshops for kids allow them to build toys or other projects. The workshop is for kids ages 4 to 12 and they must be accompanied by an adult. On August 11, Kids can learn how to build their very own bookworm bookends.
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Humber Bay Shores Waterfront Festival
August 11, 2018
Activities for all ages, talent shows, music, artisan booths, Farmer’s Market booths, a kids zone and a plethora of attractions entertain you and your family on Marine Parade Drive. Free admission. 
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Sweets Food Festival
August 11 to August 12, 2018
Celebrating the world of confectionery is what this festival is all about. Our very own local chefs and students will be showcasing their culinary talents at David Pecaut Square. A variety of sweet treats and summer eats will be ready at your pleasure. Bring out your friends and family and try a variety of innovative creations. Features live entertainment. On Saturday Night, Sweetery will be hosting its very own movie night right on the lawns of David Pecaut Square! Admission is free.
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Small World Music Festival at Harbourfront Centre
August 17, 2018 to August 19, 2018
This year’s Small World Music Festival is inspired by and celebrates the 30th anniversary of WOMAD – World of Music Art and Dance festival. August 17, 2018 to August 19, 2018. Free. 
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Garlic is Great Festival
August 18, 2018
​Take part in the annual celebration of Ontario's garlic harvest. At the festival, visitors can enjoy cooking demonstrations, musical entertainment and garlic vendors at the Newmarket Farmer's Market. This year's Garlic is Great Festival will feature garlic vendors from across Ontario who will be offering fresh garlic and garlic related products for all to enjoy. Free admission. 
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Taste of the Trail at Rouge National Urban Park
August 18, 2018
Craving a taste of the great outdoors? Get your fill at the Rouge with our signature summer harvest event! Join us in celebrating our rich agricultural and cultural heritage by sharing in the tastes and tales of the Rouge. What an appetizing way to explore Canada’s first national urban park! Free with donation of non perishable food item.
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Tommy Thompson Park Butterfly Festival
August 18, 2018
Late August is the prime time to get a glimpse of the Monarch Butterfly before they start their annual migration to Mexico, where they spend the winter. This incredible 3,500 km migration takes place between August and November and begins with the gathering of the Monarchs at places like Tommy Thompson Park, Toronto's Urban Wilderness.  Join us to celebrate this incredible migration as we welcome children, families and nature lovers to learn more about butterfly conservation and biodiversity. Free admission.
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Richmond Hill Food Truck Festival
August 18, 2018 to August 19, 2018
Richmond Green won’t just be serving up some greens! Get ready to entice your taste buds to something delicious. We’ve got the parking, free admission, a children’s midway, food, drinks and entertainment… all you need to bring is your appetite! Trucks will be dishin’ it out all weekend! 
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TD Festival of South Asia
August 18, 2018 to August 19, 2018
The TD Festival of South Asia creates a window into the East to celebrate and experience the culture and cuisine of South Asia. Activities for all ages including a Kids Zone! Free admission. 
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Toronto Chinatown Festival
August 18, 2018 and August19, 2018 
This 2-days event is filled with many performances, foods and goods to be explored on Spadina. It's a great weekend to spend in Chinatown for fun experiences. The theme for 2018 is “Leaped through The Dragon’s Gate.” In the folktale the Carps swim upstream to try hard to jump through the dragon’s gate; it reminds people to work hard in order to being successful. Free admission. 
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Pathways: Following Traces of Indigenous Routes Across Ontario
August 18, 2018 to October 28, 2018
See a free exhibit at the TD Gallery, Toronto Reference Library. Land and water routes across what is now Ontario reveal layers of Indigenous knowledge, resistance and presence that connect from time immemorial to the present and the future.
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The City of Burlington’s Children’s Festival
August 19, 2018
Come out to the 27th annual Children's Festival! We're celebrating being a kid with activities, interactive games, bouncers, face painting and more! Free admission. 
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Canadian Stage: Family Story-Telling Day
August 19, 2018
We are all made of story and we want to share in the bounty of narratives that our communities hold. Join us for an interactive day of poetry, spoken word, dance, and music. Fun for the whole family. Free.
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Open Streets TO
August 19, 2018 and September 16, 2018
Open Streets TO is the city’s largest free recreation program, unlike any other in Toronto or Canada. We've created a world-class program that connects our diverse neighbourhoods and people across the city. Open Streets are programs where the streets are temporarily opened to people and closed to cars. Free.
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Power Kids: On Wishes and Fountains
August 19, 2018
Throughout history, fountains have provided running water for cities and have been sites for gathering, rituals and making wishes. Participants in this workshop will learn how to create their own mini wishing fountains using clay and paint. Free.
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Wild Blueberry Weekend at Evergreen Brick Works
August 19, 2018
Celebrate this delicious super berry, indigenous to North America, at the Sunday Artisan Market. Learn, taste, eat and shop from more than 20 food producers, preservers, bakers and chefs, all featuring delicious wild blueberry products. Sample delectable wild beverages and snacks made with local ingredients at the Sunday local food court.Visitors can also take part in children’s wild blueberry cooking activities and arts and crafts in the Children’s Garden throughout the day. Free.
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TAIWANFest at Harbourfront
August 24, 2018 to August 26, 2018
From fashion, music, food and art to language and DNA – discover and celebrate what connects Taiwan, The Philippines and Canada across mainstream, niche and Indigenous cultures! Free admission. 
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Bloorcourt Festival
August 25, 2018​
The Bloorcourt Festival will take place on Saturday August 25, 2018 from 12:00pm - 10:00pm in the vibrant Bloorcourt BIA on Bloor Street West. This festival boasts one of Toronto's largest gatherings of artists, musicians, artisans, and masters of all crafts. A true modern Renaissance. There will be vendors displaying an exciting array of wares. It is a hub for emerging artists and veterans alike. There will be plenty of family fun complete with inflatables, crafts, and interactive entertainment for the children to enjoy. Free admission. 
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Solar Observing at Ontario Science Centre
August 25, 2018
Safely observe the sun with specially filtered telescopes. Learn about our nearest star and try your eye at spotting exotic surface features, including sunspots, spicules and prominences. This program is offered by members of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada.
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Coconut Festival Canada
August 25, 2018 to August 26, 2018
The festival highlights one of the greatest fruits in the world, the coconut! Experience the sights and sounds and immerse your senses in the wonders that it brings. Free admission. 
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Pan American Food and Music Festival
August 25 to August 26, 2018
The Pan American Food & Music Festival (PAFMF) is Canada’s only annual festival that celebrates the Western Hemisphere’s rich diversity of cuisine, music and art. Free admission. 
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Scarborough Afro-Carif Festival​
August 25 and 26, 2018
The festival brings you live musical performances, exciting entertainment from local and international artists, mouth-watering ethnic cuisine, vendor exhibitions and marketplace, visual arts, drum and dance workshops, kid’s zone, dance competitions, business expo and much more! Free admission. 
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Allstate Soccer Show
August 26, 2018
Please join us at The Hangar in Toronto, August 26, 2018 for the first annual Allstate Soccer Show presented by Allstate Canada. The Allstate Soccer Show will give players, parents, fans, coaches and officials access to athletes, coaches and development staff from Canada’s Men’s and Women’s National Teams, Montreal Impact, and Ottawa Fury FC. The event will feature photo and autograph signing sessions with ten players, on-stage presentations, interactive experiences, live entertainment, soccer-themed activations, contests and more! Free.
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Power Kids: DIY Zoetropes
August 26, 2018
In Nu-Nile, Ellen Gallagher uses both analogue and digital animation to activate images and create the feeling of being transported into new worlds. Inspired by Gallagher’s interest in moving pictures, kids will explore the history of film by creating zoetropes using wood, cardboard and paper. Free.
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August 31, 2018 to September 3, 2018
This year's BuskerFest is full of surprises that will make your jaw hit the ground! It's spontaneous, it's outrageous; it's fun, funny and fabulous - there is literally something for everyone at the Toronto International BuskerFest for Epilepsy. The festival features spectacular circus artistry, non-verbal shows that can be understood by all, and one-of-a-kind entertainment that will have you questioning your very eyes. Free.
More info

More Free Events in August
Our Events Calendar is always updated so there may be more free and cheap events taking place in August. CLICK HERE to get a list from our Calendar of Events. It's already been sorted by Free Events for the month. This page will also be updated so check back often.

Know of any other Free events taking place in August? Share below!

Photo Credit: Buskerfest
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