Photo courtesy of Rob Milne

Our top pick for Toronto: Beaches International Jazz Festival
What makes the Beaches Jazz Festival so amazing? The five bands per day playing jams non-stop for your entertainment? The photography exhibit? The feel-good charity run for Toronto’s waterfront? Everything, really! Come soak up the sun or cool down in the water in between concerts and Queen Street shopping.

When: Now until July 24
Where: Kew Gardens (main stage), see website for more
Cost: Free!


Photo courtesy of Basil Kolani

Our top pick for Ottawa: Chamberfest
Chamberfest is back for its 18th year to add some class to your life. Key shows include Asphalt Orchestra in Byward Market and Juno winners David Braid and Jim Campbell collaborating with Phil Nimmons for a night of improvised jazz. Aptly described as “Glee for grownups”, Swingle Singers reinvent the classics with a modern twist. The most interesting choice of the weekend definitely goes to Mozart: Song, Dance…and Serenade! with Karina Gauvin and the National Arts Centre Orchestra exploring the genius of Mozart this Saturday night.

When: Now until August 5
Where: Throughout the city, see website for locations
Cost: single tickets start at $35, two-week passes are $380