Weekend Warrior: Caribana heats up the Lakeshore, tornadoes tear up Christie Pits and more
When it comes to big weekends in Toronto, there's big, there's bigger, and then there's the August long weekend. Starting this Friday and going straight through to holiday Monday, Toronto's hottest weekend gets hotter as Caribana hits the streets, OVO Fest descends on the Molson Ampitheatre, and the Rogers Cup gets the city grunting and cheering with every fierce swing of the racquet.
We've got all that and more for you in this week's Weekend Warrior.
When: August 1, 8:00 pm
Where: Yonge-Dundas Square
Details: Still haven't recovered from the Beaches International Jazz Festival? Are you still trying to re-attach your face after having it melted off by the scintillating, blasting sounds of some of the country's best blues, jazz and rock acts? Well, don't get too comfortable with your newly-reconstituted features. This Friday at 8:00 pm, KC Roberts and the Live Revolution—the biggest, baddest brass sound to come out of Parkdale in recent years—plays a live (and free!) set at Yonge-Dundas Square, kicking off Caribana and the weekend to end all weekends. If you haven't heard these truly original masters of funk, get up on YouTube and search to your heart's (and ears') content, or check out our profile from before StreetFest here. Or, just show up at Yonge-Dundas Square on Friday night. Be ready to dance, though. A lot.
When: August 2-10
Where: Rexall Centre (York University)
Details: If, like many tennis fans, you're just too eager to stop counting every second until the Rogers Cup comes to York University's Rexall Centre, you can always just go to the event's website to watch the ticker scroll down to zero. It's the biggest weekend in Canadian tennis, and it all starts this Saturday, August 2, with gates opening at 9:30 am. Among the highlights this year—and there are many, at least more than we can fit in this paragraph—is the homecoming of Milos Raonic, Thornhill's golden son of the game, who recently shot to number 6 in the sport's world rankings at Wimbledon. Check out our interview with him here.
When: Saturday, August 2
Where: Exhibition Place & Lakeshore Boulevard, 15 Saskatchewan Road
Details: Since 1967, the sensual, calypso-hopping beat of the Caribana Festival has been a high point of the local calendar—that beautiful part of summer when Toronto explodes in a burst of spectacle and music. Its own highlight, if you ask any number of sun-drenched spectators each year, is the parade. If you've never been, it's close to six hours of non-stop, unabashed, hip-swinging celebration, during which Lakeshore Boulevard gets swarmed with dancing, sound, colour and the infectious rhythm of the Islands—and even that reads like an understatement. Just be sure to bring plenty of water, or stock up on H20 while you're there. This party sizzles in all the best ways imaginable.
When: Sunday, August 3, 7:30 pm - 11:00 pm
Where: Christie Pits Park, 779 Crawford Street
Details: The weirdest story about when Twister was released—which was about eighteen years ago this summer, in case you wanted to feel really, really old this afternoon—had to do with a real-life tornado messing up plans for a drive-in screening in Thorold, near Niagara. Knowing all the crazy weather we've been having lately, we almost feel like we should knock on wood when we say that, hopefully, that won't happen when Christie Pits Film Festival screens the 1996 blockbuster on Sunday night. In all seriousness, a sultry summer night in one of downtown's best parks seems like the best opportunity to watch it. Even better, it's free—or pay-what-you-can, at any rate. You can safely bet you'll see a few wandering pairs of eyes watching the sky as attentively as the movie, though.
When: August 3 & 4, 2014
Where: Molson Amphitheatre
Details: Whether you love him, you sort-of-kind-of like him, or you still just think of Jimmy Wheels from Degrassi: The Next Generation when you hear his name, you can't deny that Drake loves Toronto. Sometimes it's even landed the homegrown rapper in a bit of hot water, like it did when an album promo of his included a slightly-more-than-passing imitation of Toronto's municipal logo. In any case, his heart's always been in the right place, it seems—and that heart bleeds every kaleidoscopic colour of Toronto's rainbow. That's the idea behind the OVO Fest, in so many words. It's a gift to the people of Hogtown who made him who he is, a mainstay of the August long weekend since its first iteration back in 2010. This year, Outkast is on board as OVO Fest returns to the Molson Amphitheatre. Others on the ticket? Apparently Drake also likes surprises.