Great Canadian Summer Movies

The August long weekend is upon us, and no doubt we’ll all be making the most of what remains of summer by heading outdoors. Should the unthinkable happen and the weather turn, we’ve got you covered with a selection of the ten best Canadian summer movies. So when the campfire’s too damp for s’mores, grab some popcorn!

Take This Waltz

Sarah Polley’s summer masterpiece brilliantly captures a budding clandestine romance in the sweltering Toronto heat.


An award-winning subversion of the classic road trip movie explores that well-travelled path between Québec’s two largest cities.

This Movie Is Broken

This film’s a two-for-one. A love story plus a Broken Social Scene concert. Can’t miss.

School’s Out

The finale of the original Degrassi follows the kids through the summer before university, and is of course fantastically retro.

Barney’s Version

Not a typical “summer” movie, this film based on Mordecai Richler’s classic novel recounts the life of Barney Panofsky, who spends an awful lot of very critical summer time up at the cottage. So very Canadian of him.

Lie With Me

Put the kids to bed and take a steamy tour around hot and sticky Toronto with two young lovers in this Clement Virgo film.


Very simple: give’r. ((But seriously, the film is considered a Canadian classic.))

My American Cousin

If you can find this absolute classic from 1985, where the American cousin is named Butch ((Such an American name.)) and visits family in the Okanagan, you must watch it. It’s an underappreciated part of the Canadian film canon.

Un 32 août sur Terre

Denis Villeneuve’s first film takes place in a desert during the summer, but don’t come here if you want to be carefree.


The feature film debut of Bill Murray, this cult camp classic launched a career built on raunchy wit. Ivan Reitman’s 1979 follow up to Animal House cemented the Canadian as the go to director for summer comedy. Summers at the cabin haven’t been the same since.

Image: Towne Cinema 8, AJ Batec, Winnipeg, MB, 2012. Flickr/cc.