The BEST Toronto Labour Day Activities for 2024

Get ready to soak up the sun, hit up some annual festivals and say good-bye to summer.

Growing up in the city, Labour Day weekend was always an exciting time.

It was a mix of fun and games at the CNE, watching the Air Show from Lakeshore and the anticipation of back-to-school. No Sunday scaries here.

From street fairs and fireworks to boat cruises and music events, there is something for everyone to enjoy!

Toronto Labour Day is one of the busiest holiday weekends in the city, so buckle up, and let’s get into the top activities.

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Rides at the CNE on Toronto Labour Day and the CN Tower in the background
Canadian National Exhibition

When is Labour Day in Canada?

Labour Day in Canada falls on the first Monday of September.

2024 Labour Day Weekend will be from August 31 – September 2nd, 2024 with Labour Day falling on Monday, September 2nd, 2024.

Weather for Labour Day 2024 Toronto

Early September is not yet considered fall in Toronto, the summer weather is still here and it is usually gorgeous out!

Temperatures in Toronto during Labour Day weekend usually getting up to about 24-26°C (75.2 – 78.8°F). Hot, hot, hot!

What Toronto Tourist Attractions are Open on Labour Day?

If you are visiting Toronto from out of town and want to visit the tourist attractions, don’t worry, majority of them are still open on Labour Day Monday!

Below are a list of attractions that have been historically open on Labour Day Mondays:

  • CN Tower
  • Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada
  • Royal Ontario Museum (ROM)
  • Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO)
  • Eaton Centre with reduced hours
  • Casa Loma
  • Ontario Science Centre
  • Toronto Zoo
  • Aga Khan Museum

For ideas on how to fit the above attractions into a couple of days, check out this Toronto itinerary.

Activities for Your 2024 Toronto Labour Day

Canadian National Exhibition (CNE)

The Canadian National Exhibition, also known as the CNE or The Ex has been held annually since the late 1800’s and truly it is one of those things that is quintessentially Toronto.

The CNE is a great way to spend your Labour Day weekend in Toronto.

It is the largest fair in North America, last year (2023), had over 1.6 million attendees, wow!

CNE at night, ferris wheels lit up
CNE at night!

This year the CNE will take place from August 16th, 2024 – September 2nd, 2024. Ending on Labour Day Monday

There are many shows, live performances, rides, carnival games, shopping, art exhibits, cool food trucks, I really can’t list off everything at the CNE. It would be impossible. 

It is one of those Toronto events that you have to experience for yourself and as a local, I can definitely say it is worth spending time at.

Foodies from around the world come to the CNE to experience some of the coolest eats. Each year there are new food items to try. 

Some foods from years past include deep fried mars bars, blueberry chicken sandwiches, peanut butter corn dogs and pickle cotton candy. Wild, right?

Check out this years featured foods here.

Slushy at the CNE
Slushy at the CNE! This is my friends hand, haha

Wherever you are coming from, I recommend you take transit (TTC) to the CNE. Parking is mediocre, traffic in the city is awful and it’ll be quite expensive. 

Buses & Streetcars that will get you to the CNE:

  • 504 King Street Car
  • 511 Bathurst Street Car
  • 29 Dufferin  Bus
  • 509 Harbourfront Street Car

Click here for TTC information, maps & fares.

Streetcar in Toronto at Exhibition Place Stop
Exhibition Place TTC Stop

Or, take (my favourite) the GO Train to Exhibition Go Station.

Children 12 years of age and younger are FREE to ride

If you would prefer to drive, despite my warnings, check out the parking situation here.

One of The CNE’s Labour Day specific events includes the annual International Air Show! 

Check that out next.

Canadian International Air Show

Annually on Labour Day Weekend, the Canadian International Air Show takes place. This is North America’s longest running air show.

If you don’t go out to see it, you will definitely hear it, haha.

This year, the show will be on August 31, September 1 and September 2nd, 2024 from 12pm-3:40pm.

You can purchase tickets to watch the actual Air Show from up close on the CNE grounds, or you can set up in different areas in Toronto to watch (recommended).

Tickets for the Air Show will include entry to the CNE for the same day. 

Unless you are an avid fan of air shows and jets, I personally don’t think you need tickets. You can watch the air show from many areas in Toronto, specifically around Lake Ontario.

Some locations include: 

  • Toronto Islands (Hanlan’s Point specifically)
  • Trillium Park
  • Humber Bay Park – my fave
  • Mimico Waterfront Park
  • Sunnyside Park

Or even on the lake itself! 

Note that those parks listed above will be busy!! People will have the same idea. If you know a secret spot, fill us in! 

VIP and General Admission tickets go on sale June 5, 2024. If interested, sign up to be an insider to get 50% off.

Click here for tickets.

Labour Day Fireworks at Canada’s Wonderland

Wanting your long weekend to go out with a bang? Head to Canada’s Wonderland for some long weekend fireworks.

Wonderland is located in Vaughan, Ontario, a quick 40 minute drive north of downtown Toronto. 

Canada’s Wonderland puts on fireworks for many of Canada’s holiday weekends.

This Labour Day weekend Canada’s Wonderland will host the fireworks on Sunday, September 1, 2024.

Come to Wonderland for the day, ride the rollercoasters and then settle down for a night cap of fireworks. The show starts at approximately 10pm and lasts about 15 minutes.

The perfect way to end a day!

You can get VIP firework tickets to watch the fireworks with snacks at Lazy Bear Lounge. You will have the best seats in the house. 

Click here if you are interested in VIP tickets.

Other 2024 long weekend fireworks coming up: June 30th, July 1st, August 4th.

Nathan Phillips Square Dragon Festival

Nathan Phillips Square and the Canadian Association of Chinese Performing Arts host the annual Dragon Festival on Labour Day weekend in Toronto. 

This year, immerse yourself in Chinese culture on August 30th, 2024 – September 1, 2024. Not on Labour Day Monday.

Come for Asian street food, water shows, live performances, dancing, martial arts demonstrations, a dragon parade and so much more.

The cultural event is FREE and a great way to experience Chinese culture and Nathan Phillips Square, (including the Toronto sign), all in one!

T. U. Jazz Fest 2024

The Toronto Undergraduate Jazz Fest is hosted annually on Labour Day weekend, August 30 – September 2nd, 2024, at Mel Lastman Square in North York, Toronto.

The jazz event is FREE to attend. This year will be their 10th annual.

The performing musicians are all Canadian and most are under the age of 35 years old, so inspirational.

Come out and support local musicians, some are even JUNO award winning!

The closest TTC subway station to Mel Lastman Square is North York Centre Station.

There is Green P Parking nearby, however, this area is always very busy. I recommend taking transit.

Usher at Scotiabank Arena

Okay, so not specific to Labour Day… but this year go and see the KING, Usher at Scotiabank Arena!

Usher is here performing in Toronto on Labour Day Monday, September 2nd, 2024 and Tuesday, September 3rd, 2024.

I think this is the perfect non-touristy thing to do for your Labour Day in Toronto!

Head to Ticketmaster for Usher tickets.

Visit the Toronto Islands

A trip to Toronto Islands is an amazing way to enjoy Labour Day.

Visiting the Toronto Islands is great option for couples looking for a getaway, families who want to entertain their kids, friends looking to hang out together and singles running from the city!

Head to downtown Toronto’s harbour, grab a water taxi or ferry and head out!

Rent a bike or a boat, visit Centreville Amusement Park, walk down the many paths and head to the beach for city skyline views.

You can spend all day here, but make sure to check out the ferry schedules for your return.

Click here for the ferry schedules.

Take a Toronto Boat Tour

Take a boat cruise on Toronto’s Lake Ontario this Labour Day. I recommend visitors do a Toronto boat tour in the evening to have incredible views of the skyline at night.

However, on Labour Day, if you choose to go during the hours of the Air Show, you will have a great seat for plane watching!

Whichever time you choose, you are in for a beautiful city view. For reference, the photo below was taken on a cloudy evening. We could still see all of the lights.

TIP: It can get much colder on the water, bring a sweater or jacket.

Toronto Skyline on a cloudy night in Toronto from Lake Ontario boat cruise
Toronto Boat Cruise Skyline of Toronto

I have done a couple of boat tours in Toronto and they are all pretty similar. The above photographed tour was with the Toronto Tall Ship Kajama.

Book a boat cruise with Kajama here!

Day Trip to Niagara Falls, Canada

I asked my dad for some ideas of what to do in Toronto on Labour Day and his response was, “My idea is to get out of town on Labour Day”, haha, I do not disagree.

Take a day trip to Niagara Falls! Enjoy the falls, play arcade games on Clifton Hill, stop over to do some wine tastings at the Niagara on the Lake vineyards and end the day with fireworks.

Niagara Falls
Niagara Falls Fireworks

Niagara Falls hosts fireworks nightly at 10pm (from May to October) and Labour Day is no different!

If you are wanting to get even further out of town, I recommend a trip to Tobermory, Ontario.

Pin the Toronto Labour Day post for later!

Final Thoughts on your Labour Day in Toronto

Well, there you have it! Hopefully you found something on this list to do for your Toronto Labour Day long weekend!

I tend to get out of the city now as I get older and would probably recommend a cottage weekend, or Tobermory tour!

If I had to choose my absolute favourite from the above mentioned Labour Day activities, it would be spending the day at the CNE. The CNE is just such a part of Toronto’s DNA, it should definitely be on your bucketlist.

Enjoy & happy long weekend!

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