Arts in the Parks

Hundreds of family-friendly, inclusive free arts events in parks across Toronto, all summer long.

A photo of of three Japanese Taiko drummers in a park. Onlookers watch.


Arts in the Parks is an annual summer-long, inclusive arts initiative that brings arts events to parks in every corner of the city, from Etobicoke to Scarborough and North York to the downtown core. Events are free and family-friendly and include theatre, music concerts, film screenings and workshops for children and their families and neighbours.

Through Arts in the Parks, Toronto Arts Foundation runs an extensive volunteer program for people of all ages including youth, engages community, and promotes all events with a city-wide marketing campaign.


Toronto Arts Foundation has a clear vision for Toronto – a great city where all our neighbourhoods are connected to the transformative power of the arts. This vision sees our communities reflected in our arts, where adults can witness the joy on children’s faces as together they dance and create along with professional artists, where barriers are lifted, and arts are enjoyed and experienced by all. 

To better understand how we can fulfill and support this vision, the Foundation conducted extensive research into public opinion about the arts. We discovered that although 96 percent of Torontonians see benefits of the arts to the city, nearly 9 in 10 see at least one barrier to attending arts events. Barriers cited were cost, proximity, and lack of quality events in their neighbourhood. 

To directly address these barriers, Toronto Arts Foundation, with the support of Mayor John Tory, created Arts in the Parks.

The success of the program since its inaugural year in 2016 has been remarkable – Arts in the Parks, which takes place in over 50 parks each year, increased its number of activities from 249 in year one to 344 in year two, while quadrupling the number of participants from 35,000 to 155,000.


Ongoing evaluation of the program has provided insights on the benefits of the program including creating welcoming spaces, providing youth mentorship, connecting with the local community, creating learning opportunities for newcomers, building new skills and friendships through the volunteer program, and engaging seniors in new experiences. 

View Arts in the Parks Evaluation Reports




Photo of Mayor John Tory sitting on a park bench playing a guitar. A man sits next to him and watches.

"Arts in the Parks is an incredible program that makes it possible for Torontonians to enjoy exceptional arts programming against the backdrop of our city's beloved green spaces. Knowing the importance of access to the arts, I'm proud of the work Toronto Arts Foundation is doing to deliver the arts to communities across our great city." 
Mayor John Tory




"I see myself in a lot of these children, these young people. When I was growing up I knew I wanted to be in music, but I didn't really have someone to show me how to do it." 
- DJ Eloquence, Workshop Leader

"Arts in the Parks brought spirit back to the park. It brought the whole community back."
- Jacky, Youth Participant

"My son is seven years old. We are not used to going to arts camps in urban areas like this. This was the first time for me to see a small forest. He says to me,  "Mama, I went to the camp, and now I have friends." 
- Syrian Refugee Participant

Ready to make your own contribution to our shared vision? Consider a sponsorship, or purchase a table or ticket to the Mayor's Evening for the Arts, or simply make a donation towards Arts in the Parks today. 

To learn more about Arts in the Parks, upcoming events and activities, volunteer opportunities and more, visit

Questions? Contact

To view photos from the 2019 Arts in the Parks Season Launch at Lee Lifeson Art Park, click here. 

Arts in the Parks is made possible by thanks to individual donations and the generous supporters of the Evening of the Arts, and is presented in partnership with the following: