So what is happening around Toronto to celebrate Simcoe Day? Below is a list of what’s open and closed, as well as some event suggestions.

What’s open and closed (Monday, August 6)


  • Some liquor/beer stores
  • Tourist-designated malls (Eaton Centre, Square One, Pacific Mall, Yorkdale Mall, Vaughan Mills)
  • Some grocery stores (per owner decision)
  • Tourist destinations (Toronto Zoo, Ontario Science Centre, ROM, AGO)
  • Garden centres
  • TTC will run on holiday schedule and GO Transit will run on Sunday schedule

NOTE: LCBO customers should check individual store hours at by using the ‘Store Search’ feature, or call 1-800-ONT-LCBO (668-5226) and 416 365-5900 (Toronto residents).

Beer Store customers can check here for a list of holiday hours.


  • Banks
  • Most child-care centres
  • Government offices
  • No mail delivery
  • Libraries


City-run events

  • Simcoe Day at Fort York – Visitors are invited to tour Fort York, founded by Upper Canada’s first Lieutenant-Governor John Graves Simcoe. A parade and remarks from Ontario’s Lieutenant Governor, The Honourable David C. Onley, will cap the day. August 6, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., free admission.
  • Simcoe Day at Gibson House Museum – Children’s activities, homemade ice cream and more; August 6, noon to 5 p.m., admission is pay what you can.
  • City building: Simcoe to skyscrapers a Fort York historic district walking tour – A walking tour covering the Fort York area, the Battle of York (1813), the fortification and development of the harbour, and the eventual industrial, recreational and residential growth of the area. August 6, 11:00 a.m. to noon, free admission.

For all listed events around the city, click here.

Other events

  • Scarborough Ribfest – The Rotary Club’s Scarborough Ribfest takes place at Thomson Memorial Park. August 3-6, free parking and admission.
  • Scotiabank Caribbean Carnival – Formerly known as Caribana, this Caribbean festival is celebrating its 45th year, featuring Caribbean food, dance and music and the annual parade held on August 4.
  • Island Soul Festival – Experience Caribbean culture with this event, part of the Summer Festivals at the Harbourfront; August 3-6, free admission at the Harbourfront Centre.
  • Toronto Argonauts – On August 6, bring the family down to Rogers Centre to watch the Argos play the B.C. Lions.

Civic Day backgrounder
Every year on the first Monday in August, people in Toronto celebrate Simcoe Day.

In Toronto, the day is named in honour of John Graves Simcoe, who was instrumental in the creation of York, Upper Canada, which would eventually become the City of Toronto.

Across the country the Civic Holiday is also celebrated in most other provinces and territories, although it goes by different names and is often celebrated with different traditions.

For example, both Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island refer to the day as Natal Day, while it is referred to as Regatta Day in Newfoundland.

Even in Ottawa the Civic Holiday goes by a different name, often referred to as Colonel By Day.