13 Great Outdoor Venues for Live Music
Summer celebrations heat up with sensational entertainment at outdoor venues sure to satisfy music lovers of all genres. Keep your eye on the upcoming schedules and announcements for these top venues.
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Ontario Place has two outdoor music venues Budweiser Stage and Echo Beach, which offer a fun mix of venue styles.
Budweiser Stage: Open from May to October each year, this iconic Toronto spot is one of the best places to see live music outdoors. With a capacity for 16,000 people, this spacious venue is where you will find big-name performers throughout the summer and autumn. Budweiser Stage has reserved seating in the open-air environment and reserved seating under a covered roof at the front of the venue. There is also capacity for unreserved ticket holders in the lawn area at the back of the theatre. Budweiser Stage has hosted many incredible live shows, including Dave Matthews Band, Sarah McLachlan and Drake’s OVO fest.
Echo Beach: Don’t forget your flip flops or and a beach towel before you go to this beach venue named after Canadian rock band Martha and the Muffins’ hit single “Echo Beach.” View the Toronto city landscape in the background as you vibe to great music.
Location: 909 Lake Shore Boulevard West, Toronto
Situated in Toronto’s Harbourfront, this venue has exceptional waterfront views and it’s the perfect place to enjoy summer months. Harbourfront Centre’s Concert Stage is recognized for hosting free shows and diverse music festivals.
Location: 235 Queens Quay West, Toronto
Countless events and festivals take place in Mississauga’s aptly named Celebration Square. From New Year’s performances to open mic shows in search of Mississauga’s next big talent, the amphitheater in the city’s public square has plenty of room for dancing and seating for those who want to sit back and enjoy the entertainment.
Location: 300 City Centre Drive, Mississauga
With a floating stage over the Welland Canal and stone seating for 750 visitors, Merritt Park Amphitheatre has the intimate feel of a real neighbourhood concert venue. But it’s definitely big enough to accommodate the buzzing summer music festivals that take place here each year.
Location: 151 King Street, Welland
On the banks of the Detroit River, this picturesque outdoor venue is one of Southwest Ontario’s musical treasures. The city of Windsor is right on the border to the United States, so it’s known to host big festivals that draw attendees and performers from the United States and Canada. You can admire the Detroit skyline from across the water, and the views are especially impressive on a sunny day.
Location: 1 Festival Plaza, Windsor
Ottawa’s urban park in the Glebe neighbourhood is surrounded by heritage buildings, stores, restaurants, physical fitness areas and even an apple orchard. The Great Lawn features expansive greenspace that are great for picnics, or the ideal place to pick a spot for a blanket and bask in the sun and admire the idyllic scenery. It’s also the venue for events such as CityFolk Festival and RBC BluesFest for a weekend of fun featuring world class musicians.
Location: 1525 Princess Patricia Way, Ottawa
The blend of music and nature continues at Westben’s 20 hectare property during the music season. In addition to the rich acoustics from the rustic timber-framed Barn, guests are treated to two additional open-air venues. Willow Hill is located north of the Barn, where music lovers are invited to bring their lawn chairs for gourmet picnic and beautiful tunes. Previous performers have included Serena Ryder and Juno award winning guitarist Robert Michaels. The Campfire is a more intimate venue near the meadow where guests enjoy entertainment and some treats by the campfire.
Location: 6698 County Road 30 North, Campbellford
Easily accessible by highway and close to Toronto’s subway and GO Transit, Downsview Park is Toronto’s urban park with diverse ecosystem and great trails. It is also home to many cultural and musical events, including the VELD Music Festival.
Located: 70 Canuck Avenue, North York
Located beside Little Lake, Del Crary Park is home to Peterborough’s award winning Musicfest. The festival hosts a lot of free shows throughout the summer months. The festival’s stage was named after festival founder, Fred Anderson. Many famous names such Tegan & Sara, Carly Rae Jepsen and Kiefer Sutherland have performed on the Fred Anderson Stage.
Location: 100 George Street North, Peterborough
Harris Park, in the heart of downtown London, is the venue for Rock the Park, London’s largest music festival. The biggest names in blues, hip hop, country and rock have performed at the festival. Harris Park has also been the venue to welcome top electric musicians and DJs who perform in Bud Light BlockParty. Located beside the Thames Valley Parkway, Harris Park is a pleasant place to enjoy outdoor entertainment.
Bell Park is Sudbury’s largest urban waterfront park that is located in the western shore of Ramsey Lake. Bell Park’s Grace Hartman Amphitheatre is the perfect venue to take in some sweet tunes in the summer. Popular events at the amphitheater include Northern Lights Festival Boreal and Summerfest. Whether you’re after a small family concert, a free local show, or a big-name performance, this outdoor venue is perfect for Ontario’s live music lovers.
At 237 hectares (585 acres), Burl’s Creek Event Grounds is Canada’s largest outdoor event venue that also accommodates overnight camping. Home to the popular Boots and Hearts Music Festival, large and small events take place at this venue. This natural area has an extensive green canopy and is located close to Highway 11 and cottage country.
Location: 240 8 Line S, Oro Station
Seacliff Park Amphitheatre is Leamington’s waterfront venue that showcases local and international talent. The electric buzz of the entertainment and the fresh breeze from the waterfront makes this a great atmosphere for a summer night out.
Location: Seacliff Drive West, Leamington