Photo of a dozen kids dressed all in white standing on a stage and clapping at a Youth Day event.

Photography Courtesy Of Youth Day Global

6 ways to celebrate community in July

Youth Day, Indigenous games and a second stab at Pride—there’s something for everyone this month

When I ride the elevator with a colleague at work, we almost always talk about the weather. (There’s no better conversation starter than Mother Nature!) But, as Canadians, we’re a tough group to please: it’s too cold, too wet, too windy, too hot, too humid.

Still, the best way to guarantee you’ll enjoy the weather (no matter what the forecast) is to find an activity that makes the most of it. I’ve found six fabulous community events that promise to be a great way to enjoy your community in the heat of July—and the bonus is that the next time you’re on the elevator with a coworker, you’ll have something to talk about besides the weather.

Portrait of drag queens Fay anf Fluffy. Fay has orange hair and is wearing a purple blouse and Fluffy has blue hair, a beard, and a yellow dress with pink gloves.

Pride in the Square

When: July 8, 2018
Where: Garden Square, 1 Theatre Lane, Brampton
Price: Free

You might have thought Pride was only celebrated in June, when in fact communities in the region host Pride events throughout the summer. If you missed the festivities in Toronto, head up to Brampton for their family-friendly Pride programming, which includes the always amazing drag queens Fay & Fluffy’s storytime, live entertainment and community exhibitors.

(Photography by David Hawe)

A woman feflected in the glass of a framed photo.

It’s About Time: Dancing Black in Canada 1900 – 1970

When: July 11 – November 30, 2018
Where: Ignite Gallery, Kensington Market, 165 Augusta
Price: Free (donations welcome)

Curated by Seika Boye, “It’s About Time” is a deep look at the experience of being a black dancer in Canada between 1900 and 1970. With photos, artifacts, video, audio, costumes and playbills, it’s an immersive experience for everyone from novices to dance aficionados. ICYMI, we featured Boye in a Changemakers profile where you can read the story behind the exhibit and discover why she is so passionate about the subject.

(Photography by Genevieve Caron)

Black and white portrait of Indigenous female lacross player on a red background.

The Masters Indigenous Games 2018

When: July 12 – 15, 2018
Where: Downsview Park, 35 Carl Hall Road, North York
Price: Free

In its inaugural year, the three-day Masters Indigenous Games is guaranteed to be a spectacular showcase of Indigenous culture. Watch athletes compete in contemporary sports like track and field, as well as in traditional sports like archery and standing kick (if you don’t know what this is, you’ll definitely have to come to find out). You can also check out the Cultural Village at the Games, which features workshops, storytelling, interactive performances and the opportunity to participate in one of the traditional games yourself. You can cap off your visit on Sunday with the closing powwow where you’ll enjoy a community feast and a smoke-dance competition.

(Photography by Masters Indigenous Games)

tents at an outside market in a park surrounded by brightly coloured flags

After Dark Earth Market

When: July 14, 2018
Where: Celebration Square, 300 City Centre Drive, Mississauga
Price: Free

Many Feathers, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting food sustainability and environmental awareness, has teamed up with the City of Mississauga to host a new take on the traditional farmers’ market. From farmers and food trucks to crafters and creators, the After Dark Earth Market runs from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. and has a little something for everyone, while also helping to tell the story of how we can all work towards building a more sustainable city.

(Photography by Many Feathers Co-op)

Three rappers performing on stage at a Youth Day celebration.

Youth Day 2018

When: July 22, 2018
Where: Yonge-Dundas Square, 1 Dundas Street East, Toronto
Price: Free

Part of International Youth Day, the Toronto edition is in its 12th year and welcomes some 40,000 visitors from around the world to Yonge Street to celebrate the positive achievements of young people—from art and dance to film and fashion. It’s a non-stop day from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. with two performance stages, an art gallery and a street market featuring a variety of vendors and community organizations. Best of all, the young person in your life can audition to perform or sign up to volunteer.

(Photography by Youth Day Global)


Vinatge chairs, wardrobes, and other furniture on the curb for sale.

Curbside Giveaway Days

When: Various dates across the region (July 28 is the next one)
Where: Your house in Aurora, East Gwillimbury, Georgina, King, Newmarket, Richmond Hill, Whitchurch-Stouffville or Vaughan
Price: Free

York Region’s Curbside Giveaway Days, hosted by communities across the region on different dates, are the perfect marriage of de-clutterers and treasure hunters. For residents, all you need to do is place your used (but in good condition) items on your property for others to take between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. And voila, let the recycling begin! But take note of the times. Items left out past the 5 p.m. cut-off date could be a by-law citation for you. Find the specific dates for your community in the link above and get ready to find that treasure you never knew you needed, but will cherish just the same.

(Photography by Fiedels/Adobe Stock)