Don’t miss these one-of-a-kind Toronto events this summer

Conceptual wigs, a conceptual obstacle course, Sailor Moon cosplay and nerd embroidery - our lifestyle events would also make really great challenges on a reality competition show


Get crafty at Maker Fest

Toronto’s maker community is large and diverse, with people of all ages who do woodworking, 3D printing and everything in between at maker spaces across the city. To celebrate their creative work and encourage others to join in, the community organizes Maker Festival Toronto, a month-long event from July 6 to August 6 filled with workshops, demos and parties and more, where makers show off their best projects. Sign up for day-long a list of courses to learn podcasting, pottery, laser-cutting, jewellery-making, robotics, coding and other topics. “This community is made up of people being genuinely interested in something and then following through – building it or tinkering or talking to a friend about it or making some weird art project,” says Ceda Verbakel, the creative director of Maker Festival and director of culture at STEAMLabs. “It’s one kind of breeding ground for human flourishing.”

June 6-August 6 at various venues, prices vary, makerfestival.ca

Design a conceptual wig and show it off at Wiggle

Toronto doesn’t have enough wig-centric events, which is why wearable art, fantasy wig and headpiece runway “extravaganza” Wiggle is one of the summer’s more intriguing events. Created by Montreal-based performer Michael Venus, the show just marked 20 years in Vancouver and has taken place in Montreal for the past two years. Wiggle is part of queer art and performance festival Nuit Rose.

June 16 at the 519 Church Street Community Centre and adjacent Barbara Hall Park, pwyc, nuitrose.ca

Pink Market - NEW FRDM.jpg

Support queer craft at Pink Market

Toronto’s biannual queer craft fair gets a sizable upgrade this summer. Pink Market takes over two floors of the Gladstone Hotel on June 18 during Pride Month. Shop from 50 vendors and queer creators of crafts, fashion, art and books, including Book Nerd Embroidery, Felt Melons, Queer Supply and Rancid Yogurt. Admission is pay-what-you-can, and the market is open to all ages. 

June 18 at Gladstone Hotel (1214 Queen West), pwyc, pinkmarkettoronto.com

Become a Sailor Senshi for a day

If you love fighting evil by moonlight and winning love by daylight as much as the next Sailor Moon fan, then head to the Ontario Science Centre on June 24. Back for a third year, the Toronto Sailor Moon Celebration offers a cosplay contest, video games, the chance to pick up the latest merch, as well as panels and presentations with Sailor Moon voice-over actors and famous cosplayers. Don’t miss Jennifer Cihi with SeraSymphony in a live Sailor Moon musical tribute, and of course, wear your favourite anime or manga character costume to the festivities.

June 24 at Ontario Science Centre (770 Don Mills), $30, adv $25 + $7.50-$20 concert ticket, sailormooncelebration.com

Shop and swap at the Bunz Flea

Get your Bunz off the internet. At the massively popular bartering community/app’s quarterly flea market, you can negotiate trades on the spot. Bring stuff to trade with the assembled lineup of awesome local artists and vendors (they’ll also accept cash), or put your stuff up for grabs in the open-trades area. It’s a dizzying but uniquely exhilarating flea market experience – guaranteed you’ll walk away with stuff you didn’t even know you wanted.

July 4 at Gladstone Hotel(1214 Queen West), free, facebook.com/thebunzflea

Load up on pins and patches

Is your denim jacket looking a little naked? Do you not have your minimum 30 pieces of flair? The Pin + Patch Show, a brand-new local market, promises to be a wardrobe-decorating one-stop shop, with local designers Queenie’s Cards and Sparkle Collective curating a scintillating lineup of artists and vendors.

July 29 at Narwhal Art Projects (2104 Dundas West), free, pinandpatchshow.com

Get messy on the Color Run

Do you get off on things like obstacle courses and getting dirty outdoors? You may want to bring the family to The Color Run, an American (which explains the spelling) recreational course that tours the continent each summer. This year’s event is a 5-kilometre “Dream Tour,” on which runners navigate a foggy tunnel, a foam area and colourful powders reminiscent of India’s Hindu springtime Holi festival. Finishers are greeted by giant unicorns and receive a medal.

August 12 at Woodbine Entertainment (555 Rexdale), $34.99-$39.99, ca.thecolorrun.com

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