Ive lived in the greater Toronto Area for 14 years now. About 5 years ago when I used to go, there would organized dances and the parade would be quite entertaining with a nice diversity of cultures. NOW, oh my. I went 2 days ago, and it was literally a HOT MESS. If you are coming from far do NOT waste your time. Especially if you have children. The parade walkers were just grinding and twerking on each other and getting drunk. If you want to turn up shamelessly during the afternoon, than Carabana is for you. Otherwise, do not waste your energy. And I know people say like oh even tho this is just a review you should take the time to see it yourself, honestly dont. I almost forgot to mention that 1 hour into the parade people just opened the gates and started walking in the parade. 2 hours into the parade you could barely even see the parade walkers, it was just spectators walking and interacting and dancing on each other. I would seriously rate it 2 out of 10. and 0 out of 10 if you have kids.
This year, the biggest Caribbean-styled carnival in North America will be held for its 42nd time. Caribana is a well-attended festival in Toronto attracting approximately a million participants.
Its origin was in Trinidad and Tobago and eventually become an international festival. Experience a parade of Jamaican reggae, Brazilian samba or African rhythms alongside with Latin Salsa, Haitian zouk or urban sounds, all blended with calypso and soca vibes.
Last year, 2008, Caribana Parade was a success. It was held:
Location: Exhibition Place (Lake Shore Blvd)
Date: Saturday, August 2, 2008
Timings: 10:00 am - 6:00 pm
For the year 2009, please watch out for the schedule by visiting their website.
Photo posted from the website.
Caribana is probably the most popular festival in Toronto (rivaled only by the Taste of of the Danforth). The festival is a tribute to Caribbean culture that are so prominent in the multicultural flavour of Toronto. It is held on over the last week of July into the the Simcoe Day weekend, which is the first weekend of August. The festival was begun in 1967 by the local Trinidad community rand has since become one the most important Caribbean festivals in North America. Caribana brings in 750,000 to 1 million tourists into Toronto and usually fills up the hotels. There numerous parties around town during the festival but the highlight of the event is the huge parade that is held on Lakeshore Boulevard on the Saturday of the Simcoe Day weekend. The parade has many colourful floats and bands and is quite spectacular.
Naturally the event draws a massive amount of spectators. So much so that until 2007 I have been avoiding the parade but that year I decided to see the parade and take some photographs. The parade crowds were not quite so unmanagable as I thought they would be. My major complaint about the proceedings is that the parade moves very slowly. I stood in the crowd for almost two hours and I think the floats advanced but 500 meters during this time. So be patient if you visit. Also bring suntan lotion and a hat. Toronto can get very hot on this weekend, something that surprises foreign tourists.
Caribana (Festival end of July), Molson Indy (Cart Car Racing,July), Beaches Jazz Festival (July). Cn Tower (tallest free standing structure in the world),
Watch hockey or basketball in our new Air Canada Centre, Watch a baseball game at Sky Dome (retractable roof), Take in a play
Caribana is a celebration of Carribean culture. Kinda of a North American Carnival and the LARGEST street/cultural event in North America. The event just clogs the downtown core for a few days with sights and sounds and traffic as well.
Caribana is one of the highlights of summer in Toronto. It is a fantastic display of Caribbean music, costumes and (my favourite) skin. Happy faces are everywhere for the entire week of this festival, which has its climax with the annual parade of fleets.
I'd suggest using toronto.com to check daily what is going on in Toronto. Like any large metro area, the talent is always changing. Caribana is a fun event during the summer, also the Toronto Jazz Festival runs for a week, The Royal Winter Fair in the fall, and the many cultural and sporting activities during the winter. There is always something you will ejoy in Toronto.
More like THESE activities. Don't forget to enjoy ROM (Royal Ontario Museum), Roy Thompson Hall (everybody from Oscar Peterson and Tony Bennett to Evgeny Kissin). Rock and blues groups constantly infiltrate the Queen St. W area. Plan using toronto.com and you will really enjoy yourself.
Caribana includes many night time events as well as a great parade. If you like Caribbean music at all, it's a great event. Had the time of my life!!!