Hot Summer Guide: Cool free stuff

As the best athletes on this side of the world get set to descend for the Pan Am (July 10 to 26) and ParaPan Am Games (August 7 to 15), it’s worth noting that tickets for the premier sporting events are still available. 

But don’t forget that, for free, you can be a spectator at some of the coolest events, for example, sailing at Sugar Beach and cycling time trials at the velodrome in Milton. 

The marathon, road cycling and triathlon are ticketed venues at the start and finish area, but find someone you know who lives along the routes: residents can watch from their lawns or front porches, while others can spectate from the sidewalk. Note that access to the field of play is restricted to athletes and officials.

Fortunately for those who aren’t into sports, this honkin’ event is accompanied by the cultural component called Panamania, with more than 250 performances and exhibitions, both free and ticketed, from July 10 to August 15. (See Hot Summer Dance, Hot Summer Theatre and Hot Summer Comedy.)

We have our eye on the series of killer free concerts at Nathan Phillips Square by, among others, Charles Bradley, Death from Above 1979, Cold Specks, Joel Plaskett Emergency, the Flaming Lips, Tanya Tagaq, the Roots and A Tribe Called Red.

And watch out for Ontario’s Celebration Zone, launching in conjunction with the Games at Harbourfront Centre, where visitors can find interactive exhibits, culinary demos and, for thrill seekers, a 400-foot zip line and 40-foot rock climbing wall.

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