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Where to See Free Outdoor Family Movies this Summer

Wednesday Jun 14, 2017 by Shannon Kelly

Christie Pits Film Festival
PHOTO: CHRISTIE PITS FILM FESTIVAL

See a movie under the stars this summer. Toronto has many options for free outdoor movies for the family. See a recent-release or second-run animated feature, a new documentary, or share a classic you loved as a kid with your own children.

Bring snacks, drinks, and blankets, pillows, and lawn chairs. All movies are rate G or PG unless indicated otherwise.

Note that there are additional outdoor movie venues in Toronto we haven't covered (like the Open Roof Festival at 99 Sudbury), because they show R-rated and adult-themed movies exclusively.

CityPlace Fort York BIA Movie Night Series

This free movie night will take place once a month in summer. Snacks and drinks available for purchase from 7 pm. Some films are family-friendly; on screen will be The Sandlot (PG), Half-Baked (R), Ace Ventura Pet Detective (PG-13), and a voter's choice (vote at the CityPlace Facebook page) in September.

Where: Canoe Landing Park, 95 Fort York Blvd., Toronto
When: June 17, July 15, August 12, September 16 at 8 pm

Under the Stars: Movies in the Park

Nearly all of the selections in the Regent Park Film Festival's outdoor movie series are kid-friendly, rated either G or PG. Movies this year include Moana, Space Jam, and Hidden Figures.

Where: Regent Park (big park), 620 Dundas St. E., Toronto
When: Wednesdays, July 12–August 16 at 7 pm

Sail-In Cinema

You don't have to arrive by boat to see the free movies at Sail-In Cinema at Sugar Beach, but it's cool that you can! The screen is mounted on a floating barge just off Sugar Beach, visible from land or water. Vote for the 2017 movie selection before July 11.

Where: Sugar Beach, 25 Dockside Dr., Toronto
When: August 17–19 at 8:45 pm

Free Flicks at the Harbourfront Centre

Every Wednesday this summer, beginning June 21, see a free movie on the waterfront. This year's selection features Canadian talent. Selections include Hairspray, Air Bud, and Wayne's World.

Where: Concert Stage, 235 Queens Quay W., Toronto
When: Wednesdays, June 21–August 30 at 8:45 pm

Movies in St. James Park

Three free movies are showing this summer in the park near St. Lawrence Market. Bring a blanket for lawn seating. Showing this year are PRIDE (drag show before the movie), The LEGO Batman Movie (plus two shorts), and GREASE!, with live performances by the Toronto cast of the musical.

Where: St. James Park, 120 King St. E., Toronto
When: Wed. June 22, July 27, August 24 at 8 pm

Christie Pits Film Festival

Shown on an inflatable screen at Christie Pits Park with lawn seating, this free festival showcases a range of films surrounding an annual theme. This summer's theme is Eyes on the Prize: films about competition and beating the odds. Some movies are R-rated but family-friendly options this year include Bee Nation, West Side Story, and Strictly Ballroom. An as-yet unannounced "sports epic" will be shown for closing weekend.

Where: Christie Pits Park, 750 Bloor St. W., Toronto
When: Sundays, June 25–August 20 at sunset (eats and treats beforehand)

City Cinema

Ten films will be shown at this annual cult movie fest at Yonge-Dundas Square. This summer will feature comedies—some double features. A numer of films are R-rated or PG-13 this year, but PG selections include Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Spaceballs, and Airplane!

Where: Yonge-Dundas Square, 1 Dundas St. E., Toronto
When: Tuesdays, June 28–August 30 at sunset

Movie Nights in the Beach Village

This year, come out to see Sing, Ghostbusters, La La Land, The Secret Life of Pets and other free, family-friendly selections on the lawn at Kew Gardens park. All films are rated PG or G. Free popcorn!

Where: Kew Gardens, 2017 Queen St. E., Toronto
When: Wednesdays, July 5–August 30 at dusk

Cultura Festival

This free outdoor festival celebrates cultural diversity through art, music, dancing, buskers, food, and movie screenings under the stars. Sheduled this year: Hidden Figures, Arrival, La La Land, Moana.

Where: Mel Lastman Square, 5100 Yonge St., North York
When: Fridays, July 7–28 at 9:30

Movies on the Common

From the same organization that organizes the Christie Pits Film Festival comes this free movie series, now in its second year. Head to  the lawn at the beautiful Corktown Common park with a great view of downtown as the sun sets, for family films  A League of Their Own, Hairspray, and Invictus (PG-13).

Where: Corktown Common Park, 155 Bayview Ave., Toronto
When: Thursdays, July 6–27 at dusk

Celebration Square Movie Nights

Bring your own blankets and snacks for a free family-friendly movie night nearly every week all summer at Mississauga's Celebration Square, with a weekly pre-show live event at 7:30. This year, you can see Sing, Matilda, Finding Dory, and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story among the 13 films scheduled.

Where: Celebration Square, 300 City Centre Dr., Mississauga
When: Thursdays, May–August at dusk (no movie June 29 or July 13)

Not Free...But Still Outdoors

The Docks Drive-In

Toronto's only drive-in shows double features at Polson Pier, where you can watch in the comfort of your own vehicle. A G- or PG-rated movie is always shown on one of the two screens. Snacks are available for purchase. Tickets for adults are $15 and kids ages 12 and under are $5, or $25/carload on Sunday.

Where: Polson Pier, 176 Cherry St., Toronto
When: Fridays–Sundays; first movie at 9:15 pm