Sail Up to Toronto’s Annual Aquatic Film Fest

Now in its 6th year, Sail-in Cinema puts a nautical twist on the movie-in-the-park tradition.


Everyone loves an summer-evening movie in the park. Except this time, you can watch your favourite films from Sugar Beach with sand under your toes, or from a sail boat as you cuddle up under your favourite cozy blanket. From August 18-20, Ports Toronto’s Annual Sail-In Cinema will attract boaters, tourists and locals alike, for three evenings of family-friendly movies under the stars.

“The goal of this initiative is to bring people to the water’s edge this summer,” says Sarah Sutton, Manager of Communications at Ports Toronto. And it’s completely free of charge.

Since launching 2011, Sail-In Cinema has grown from 2,000 movie goers and 70 boats across three nights of films, to 11,000 people landside and 100 boats in the water. If you’re worried that you won’t be able to nab a spot on the beach and get an unobstructed view of the show, fret not: The double-sided, cinema-quality HD screen is nestled on a barge in the middle of the water, and it’s four stories high.

In past years, attendees would have to grab a ticket from the Sail-In Cinema website to attend, but Ports Toronto has done away with the tickets to make the event more welcoming: “People should show up before the movie starts at 8 pm, and it’ll be a little smoother,” explains Sutton.

Feel free to arrive as early as 6 pm, to take advantage of the pre-show entertainment and snacks. There will be coffee and ice cream from Aroma Espresso Bar and Kawartha Diary, and entertainment in the form of virtual reality stations and giant Lego games.

As for the film lineup, Ports Toronto asked Sail-In Cinema devotees to choose. Using an online poll, users were asked to choose the final lineup from a “Books-to-Big Screen” themed short list. The ones that came out on top? Hook, Jumanji and The Princess Bride, screening on August 18, 19 and 20, respectively.

Sail Up to Toronto’s Annual Aquatic Film Fest
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