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5 Toronto End-of-Summer Festivals Not to Be Missed

If you’re looking for some late-summer fun, check out these upcoming events in the city

The Toronto sign lit up at night surrounded by lots of people in downtown Toronto

Never mind Labour Day—summer technically lasts until September 21, and the next few weeks are packed with great events. From the world-renowned Toronto International Film Festival to the riotous Just for Laughs comedy fest, here’s a look at what’s on tap.

The Canadian National Exhibition's midway lit up by lights at night

Enjoy the quintessential summer event at the Canadian National Exhibition

Every year, upwards of 1.5 million people flock to the Ex, which organizers call Canada’s biggest fair. This year’s event features a smorgasbord of attractions, including an air show, casino games, carnival rides, live music and, naturally, robots.

When: On now through Sept. 3

Two men standing at a booth selling art at Fan Expo

Spot cult-favourite celebs at Fan Expo

Dust off your cosplay outfit: Canada’s biggest anime, sci-fi, comic book and video game event returns to the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. The extravaganza, which is expected to attract more than 100,000 fans, features an eclectic mix of celebrities, from Jeff Goldblum to Peter Mayhew, who played Chewbacca in the original Star Wars movies.

When: Aug. 30 to Sept. 2

Man on a unicycle as the crowd captures the act with cameras and phones in the daytime at Busker's Fest

Catch acts you won’t believe at the Toronto International Busker Fest

Some of the world’s best street performers will gather in Toronto’s Woodbine Park for this offbeat annual event. Artists include a robotic Elvis, Meow Mur, which organizers describe as a “cosmic cat from another planet,” and Wacky Chad. Comfort-food lovers also have reason to attend: this year’s event will run alongside the Mac + Cheese Festival, which will feature chefs cooking up more than 50 variations of the popular dish.

When: Aug. 31 to Sept. 3

TIFF volunteer captures a photo of man and woman by the 'TIFF' sign on King Street West

Watch a potential Oscar winner at the Toronto International Film Festival

The glamour of Hollywood comes to Toronto in this unofficial kickoff to Tinseltown’s awards season. Close to 200 films are on the docket for this year’s festival, including the Neil Armstrong biopic First Man, the thriller Widows from director Steve McQueen (12 Years a Slave) and American Dharma, a documentary on former Donald Trump advisor Steve Bannon.

When: Sept. 6 to 16

Woman checks a mobile ticket at the Just for Laughs festival

Get a kick out of comedy legends at Just for Laughs

Some of standup’s biggest names will descend on Toronto for this annual comedy festival. Headliners include Seth Meyers (Late Night), Hannibal Buress (Broad City) and Ken Jeong (Dr. Ken). The event will feature 42 shows (hence the official name, JFL42) that run the gamut from gala performances to more intimate Q&A sessions with comedians.

When: Sept. 20 to 29

Looking for more things to do?

Check out these five hiking trails that are a short drive from Toronto or find out which summer events across Canada are must-sees.

And if you’re a CAA Member, learn how your CAA card can help you get discounts on tickets to your favourite attractions.

Image credits: Courtesy of CNE, Rachel Parker/FAN EXPO HQ, Tourism Toronto and Courtesy of TIFF