Free outdoor movie screenings in Toronto this summer

Toronto is a movie city at heart – they don’t call us Hollywood North for nothing! We’ve got major film festivals, including one of the biggest in the world, plus major blockbusters films here basically all year long. In the summer, we celebrate our love of movies in the best possible ways: outside in the sun, and for free. Parks, beaches and cliffs (seriously, cliffs) are all home to free outdoor movie screenings this summer. Get there early to grab a seat, and don’t forget the popcorn! [Photo credit: courtesy of Sail-in Cinema]

Free outdoor movie screenings in Toronto this summer

Free Flicks at the Harbourfront
The Harbourfront Centre’s annual summer screening series is focusing on CanCon this year, in honour of Canada 150. Check out movies that star Canadian talent (like Wayne’s World) or were filmed in Toronto with the city standing in for another city (like Baltimore in Hairspray). Movies start at approximately 9 pm.

Under the Stars: Movies in the Park
Regent Park Film Festival hosts this outdoor screening series, where you can enjoy activities like live music or yoga before settling in to watch a family-friendly film. Popcorn and other snacks are available for purchase as well, so you can make this feel like a real night at the movies. The eclectic film line-up includes the classic Bicycle Thieves, Disney’s Moana, crowd-pleaser Hidden Figures and Bollywood film Jaane Tu…Ya Jaane Na. Activities start around 5 pm. and the movies start around 9 pm.

Sail-In Cinema
Sail-In Cinema is a truly one of a kind movie experience: you can choose to watch the movie by land or by sea! Landlubbers can bring a blanket or chairs to Sugar Beach and watch the film on a floating screen on the lake, and those with boats can sail out and watch it from the other side! The movies are voted on by the public, and the winning films will be announced closer to the date. Each screening starts around 8:45 pm, but you can start setting sail at 6 pm.

Christie Pits Film Festival
Christie Pits Film Fest first kicked off in 2011, and has had many a free screening follow in its footsteps. The line-up for this film fest is focused on Canadian films, unique films and movies you wouldn’t always see at a public screening (aka, not the same ‘90s comedies each year). Catch movies like Bee Nation, The Maltese Falcon and Best in Show, plus the opening night screening of The Freshman with a live score.

Movies on the Common
The same team behind Christie Pits Film Fest is branching out to Corktown Common for an additional movie series. Movies on the Common will take place at the park (one of Toronto’s nicest) every Thursday in the month of July, with crowd-pleasing films like A League of Their Own and the original Hairspray.

Cultura Festival at Mel Lastman Square
Cultura is bringing a lot of action to Mel Lastman Square in July, including music, dancing and food trucks, but Friday nights will also feature outdoor movies. The whole lineup is past Oscar-nominated films: Hidden Figures, Arrival, La La Land and Moana. Before each show, different musical performers take to the stage, and warm up the crowd. The music starts at approximately 6 pm, and the movies start after sundown.

Movies in St. James Park
St. James Park in the summer has just about everything: music nights, yoga classes, history walking tours, and of course, free movies. The series kicks off in June with a Pride showing of Pride (2014), plus a drag show. July’s movie is the kid-friendly Lego Batman, and the summer wraps up with a showing of Grease. Movies start at approximately 8 pm.

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