Illustrated Toronto skyline in pink on a blue background

Illustration by Michele Perry

5 ways to love summer across Greater Toronto

What to read? Where to shop? How to have fun while making a positive impact? We’ve got you covered!

There’s just no end to the fun you can have in the GTA this summer. Better yet, it’s fun with a purpose. ’Tis the season to enjoy fresh fruit and veggies at their ripest, so why not try your hand at gleaning to share that wealth with others? Or, if pick-your-own isn’t really your style, get the same feel-good vibe at a farmers’ market that goes that extra mile when it comes to giving back.

If all that sounds good to you, but you’re kind of craving more of a chilled out day on the water, we’ve rounded up the perfect books to stash in your beach bag—reads that entertain while delivering just a dash of social justice.

No? Feeling you’ve spent too many hours poolside and maybe even indulged in one BBQ too many? We have just the solution: Mark your calendar with the best charity runs and other local events that will get you out and about with the added bonus of giving back. While you’re at it, make sure to check out a Hong Kong-style night market in Markham. It’s the perfect way to spend your staycation—and you’ll be supporting local businesses while you’re at it. Like we said, there’s just no end to the feel-good fun you can have this summer. Enjoy!

Illustration of a beach scene with books floating in the waves

9 beach reads with purpose: A socially conscious book list

These books aren’t just great stories—they also shed light on important issues
Night scene of Hong Kong from Victoria Peak

Summer staycation: a taste of Hong Kong in downtown Markham

For everything from congee to karaoke, the GTA’s “mini Hong Kong” is just a short trip away
Woman seen from behind with two pink braids holding slice of watermelon

Summer events that give back across the GTA

Here are seven dates for your summer calendar that let you do good while you’re out there “doing”
Person in dress and jean jacket holding vegetables at farmer's market

How to find a farmers’ market that really gives back

Sure, selling local produce is awesome, but these markets do that *and* a whole lot more
Illustration of person in lilac coloured shirt howling a punnet of strawberries

Gleaning could be coming to a field near you

How picking leftover produce feeds families, reduces waste—and is a great way to give back