The best things to do in Toronto this weekend: August 27-29

Including Skratch Bastid & Friends, Blue Rodeo at Bud Stage, TAIWANfest and outdoor art on Ossington

A photo of Shad

Shad performs as part of Skratch Bastid & Friends at CityView Drive-In on August 27.

NOW critics pick the best in-person and virtual things to do in Toronto on the weekend of August 27, including Skratch Bastid’s must fest at CityView, outdoor art on Ossington and Blue Rodeo at Budweiser Stage.

Skratch Bastid & Friends

This event, originally scheduled in an early stage of reopening, has been delayed long enough that is no longer a drive-in concert. It’s still at CityView Drive-In, but it’s now a standing-room outdoor concert. So grab some open air and settle in for a new iteration of DJ Skratch Bastid’s special guest-filled parties. Shad, Haviah Mighty and re.verse are all playing, and likely a few unannounced surprises too.

August 27. CityView Drive-In (20 Polson). 7 pm. $55.

Spaced Gallery on Ossington

Arts and events company Banded Purple is turning a stretch of Ossington into an outdoor art show featuring the work of five photographers – including three who received funding via its Black Creators Fund initiative from last summer. The site-specific show, which is designed for walking, runs down Ossington from Dundas West to Queen West and showcases large-scale works that serve as a visual documentation of the last 16 months. The participating artists include Othello Grey, Jessie Emilie, Mallory Lowe, Curtiss Randolph and Jorian Charlton – one of our 10 emerging visual artists to watch.

To September 24.


The cultural festival featuring artist talks, panels, music and more heads into the weekend with a virtual concerts by pop group The Tune and Maestro Ken Hsieh.

Towards Rebirth

Nine artists from previous Shakespeare in the Ruff productions created this work for the company’s 10th anniversary season. Using Shakespearean text, original writing and new music, the show touches on the themes of rupture, resilience or rebirth – all very a propos this season.

August 27-September 5. Withrow Park. 3 and 6:30 pm. $20 (suggested donation).

Courtyard Comedy – The Boys Of Summer

The series of outdoor afternoon comedy shows wraps up today with a lineup of queer, male or non-binary lineup of comics including Kyle Brownrigg, Brendan D’Souza, Clif Knight, Ted Morris, Gerald Yeung and host Robert Watson. An hour before show time there are tastings from the show’s drinks sponsor Cottage Springs Beverage Co.

August 28. 3 pm. $20.

Let’s Get Shawn Mendes To Comedy Bar

Hey, crazier things have happened, right? Cody Crain and Emily Poulin host a night of comedy featuring Chris Sandford, Jackie Pirico, Hoodo Hersi and 2-MAN NO-SHOW. (And hopefully Shawn and Camila.)

August 28. 8 pm. $33.90 (for 2).

Blue Rodeo at Budweiser Stage

Canadiana faves Blue Rodeo have rarely missed a year with their big outdoor hometown concerts. That changed during COVID, but they’re back at Budweiser Stage for a big nostalgic singalong. This year, they’re bringing along Great Big Sea frontman Alan Doyle.

August 28. Budweiser Stage (909 Lake Shore West). 7:30 pm. $33.50-$460.

Tamil Fest 2021

The annual street fest pivots to drive-in and virtual formats with concerts by Shiannaz and Mega Tuners.

Aug 28-29. Chinese Cultural Centre Of Greater Toronto (5183 Sheppard East). 4-11 pm. $22.


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