<An up-to-date listing of what’s on in North America’s 4th largest city, and where to find it>

– August 29 – September 3 – Taking the ‘A’ Train Uptown Manhattan – Harlem, Soulpepper’s concert series, Young Centre for the Performing Arts, http://www.soulpepper.ca
– August 30 – Kanye West, Air Canada Centre, 40 Bay Street, 7pm, http://www.livenation.com & http://www.ticketmaster.ca
– September 2-5 – Buskerfest, Woodbine Park in the Beach, Labour Day Weekend, http://www.buskerfest.com
– Until September 2 – every Thursday & Friday, 6:30-8:30pm, Live on the Patio, Roy Thomson Hall, 60 Simcoe Street, for schedule go to http://www.roythomson.com/liveonthepatio
– Until September 18 – West Side Story, Lower Ossington Theatre, 100a Ossington Avenue, http://www.lowerossingtontheatre.com
– Until October 16 – Roald Dahl’s ‘Matilda’, Ed Mirvish Theatre, 244 Victoria Street, http://www.mirvish.com
– Until October 16 – Luzia, Cirque du Soleil’s Mexican-themed show, under the Grand Chapiteau, Port Lands, http://www.cirquedusoleil.com
– Ongoing – Friday Night Jazz at the Aquarium, second Friday of every month, included with general admission, Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada, 288 Bremner Rd, http://www.ripleyaquariums.com/canada
– Ongoing – A Chorus Line, Festival Theatre, 55 Queen Street, Stratford, Ontario, http://www.stratfordfestival.ca
– Ongoing – A Little Night Music, Avon Theatre, 99 Downie Street, Stratford, Ontario, http://www.stratfordfestival.ca
– Ongoing until October 19 – Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, by Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler, Shaw Festival, Niagara-On-The-Lake, Ontario, Festival Theatre, http://www.shawfest.com

– August 30 limited run – Come What Mayhem!, Second City, 51 Mercer Street, http://www.secondcity.com
– August 29-31 – Shakesbeer: The Complete Works of Shakespeare (Abridged), buskers, musicians and more in a tavern setting, Artscape Wychwood Barns, 601 Christie Street, http://www.shakesbeer.ca
– August 30 – September 10 – MILF Life Crisis, Anne Marie Scheffler’s solo comedy, dating after divorce, Red Sandcastle Theatre, 922 Queen Street East, http://www.milflifecrisis.com
– August 31 – September 10 – Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller, in Yiddish with English super-titles, Toronto Centre for the Arts, 5040 Yonge Street, http://www.ashkenaz.ca
– August 31 – September 11 – The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams, Theatre Centre, 1115 Queen Street West, http://www.howlandcompanytheatre.com
– September 23 – Roseanne Barr, the iconic stand-up comedian, Sony Centre for the Performing Arts, 7pm, http://www.jfl42.com & http://www.sonycentre.ca
– Ongoing – Shakespeare in High Park: Hamlet + ‘All’s Well That Ends Well’, High Park, 1873 Bloor Street West, free, bring a blanket, Canadian Stage, http://www.canadianstage.com
– Ongoing – The Hot Line Always Blings Twice, Second City, 51 Mercer Street, http://www.secondcity.com
– Ongoing – T.O. Tix, Toronto’s official discount ticket booth, dance, theatre, comedy, opera, Yonge/Dundas Square or http://www.totix.ca
– Ongoing – Shaw Festival, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, roughly 90 miles southeast of Toronto, fine theatre in Wine Country, for tickets and information go to http://www.shawfest.com
– Ongoing – Stratford Festival, Stratford, Ontario, roughly 90 miles northwest of Toronto, Canada’s festival of outstanding theatre and musicals, for tickets and information go to http://www.stratfordfestival.ca

– August 30 – Classic Plastics, Design Exchange, 234 Bay Street, Financial District, free, http://www.dx.org
– August 29-31 – Visions of Toronto, group show, Urban Gallery, 400 Queen Street East, http://www.urbangallery.ca
– August 30 – September 5 – Powder and Patches: Porcelain For The Boudoir, Gardiner Museum of Ceramic Arts, 111 Queen’s Park, http://www.gardinermuseum.on.ca
– August 30 – September 5 – ‘Tattoos’, ritual, identity, obsession, art, Royal Ontario Museum, Bloor Street West at Queens Park, http://www.rom.ca
– September 4 – Field Trip: Art Bus to the McMichael Gallery in suburban Kleinburg, pre-register, pick-up at 11 am, return by 5pm, from Gladstone Hotel, 1214 Queen Street West, http://www.mcmichael.com
– August 29 – September 10 – Vivian Maier, photography, Stephen Bulger Gallery, 1026 Queen Street West, http://www.bulgergallery.com
– August 29 – September 10 – Tom Forrestall, painting, Mira Godard Gallery, 22 Hazelton Avenue, Yorkville, http://www.godardgallery.com
– August 30 – September 18 – ‘The Idea of North: The Paintings of Lawren Harris’, curated by Steve Martin, Art Gallery of Ontario, 317 Dundas Street West, http://www.ago.net
– August 30 – September 18 – Bliss: Gardens Real and Imagined, Textile Museum of Canada, 55 Centre Avenue, downtown, http://www.textilemuseum.ca
– Until October 30 – Theaster Gates, Art Gallery of Ontario, 317 Dundas Street West, http://www.ago.net
– Until January/2017, ‘Chihuly’, Royal Ontario Museum, 100 Queens Park at Bloor Street West, http://www.rom.on.ca
– Until October 2017 – Standing Tall: The Curious History of Men in Heels, Bata Shoe Museum, 327 Bloor Street West, http://www.batashoemuseum.ca
– Until January 8 – Jack Bush and Colleen Heslin, McMichael Canadian Art Collection, 10,365 Islington Avenue, Kleinburg, Ontario, http://www.50years.mcmichael.com
– Ongoing – Toronto Maple Leafs Centennial Exhibit, Hockey Hall of Fame, 30 Yonge Street, http://www.hhof.com
– Ongoing – Black Creek Pioneer Village, the way life used to be, 1000 Murray Ross Parkway, 416-736-1733, http://www.blackcreek.ca

GLBTQ (gay, lesbian, bi, transgendered, queer, etc.)
– Until November 17 – A Third Gender, Edo period Japanese prints bring insight into sex and gender in another culture, Royal Ontario Museum, http://www.rom.on.ca
– Ongoing – ProudFM 103.9, Toronto’s LGBTQ radio station, http://www.proudfm.com
– Ongoing – Legit, second Thursday of every month, legal counsel for same-sex couples immigrating to Canada, 519 Community Centre, 519 Church Street, http://www.legit.ca
– Ongoing – Get Out! Running Group, every Sunday, people of all ages and experience levels, 10-11:30am, Fuel Plus 471 Church Street, free, http://www.getoutcanada.com
– Ongoing – Glad Day Bookshop, since 1970, oldest LGBTQ bookshop in the Americas, 598A Yonge Street, http://www.gladdaybookshop.com
– Ongoing – Out and Out LGBTQ outdoors club, http://www.outandout.ca
– Ongoing – Righteously Outrageous Twirling Corps of Toronto (ROTC), colour guard, band, drum corps, baton, dance, http://www.rotctoronto.com
– Ongoing – Metropolitan Community Church (MCC), 115 Simpson Avenue at Howard Street, http://www.mcctoronto.com
– Ongoing – Xtra magazine, gay community news in Toronto, Ottawa and Vancouver, http://www.xtra.ca/toronto.aspx
– Ongoing – The Pink Pages, gay, lesbian, trans, bi, leather, queer directory for Toronto, Ottawa, Kingston, Hamilton and Niagara/St. Catharines, http://thepinkpagesdirectory.com
– Ongoing – (CLGA) Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives, second largest in the world, research centre, art gallery, 34 Isabella Street, http://www.clga.ca

– Ongoing – TAPto free walking tours by Toronto Greeters, book online at http://www1.toronto.ca/wps/portal/contentonly?vgnextoid=e14d3a2f287c1410VgnVCM10000071d60f89RCRD
– August 30 – September 5 – Canadian National Exhibition, Exhibition Place, midway, concerts, Food, gambling, etc., http://www.theex.com
– August 30 – September 5 – Ashkenaz Festival, North America’s largest festival of Jewish music and culture, most events free, for tickets and more information go to http://www.ashkenaz.ca
– September 1-4 – Fan Expo Canada, Christopher Lloyd, Adam West, William Shatner, Mark Hamill, John Cusack and many more, Metro Toronto Convention Centre, 255 Front Street West, http://www.fanexpocanada.com
– September 5 – Labour Day Parade, from Queen and University Avenue, to the Canadian National Exhibition (free admission), http://www.labourcouncil.ca
– September 7 – Downtown Yonge BIA presents ‘Fashion Yonge”, live music, runway shows, food, vibe, 19 Trinity Square, http://www.downtownyonge.com/fashiononyonge
– Until November 6 – Evergreen Brick Works Farmers’ Market, 550 Bayview Avenue in the Don Valley, shuttle bus from Broadview subway station, Saturdays & Sundays, http://www.evergreen.ca
– Ongoing – Free Arts in the Parks, concerts, films and arts of all kinds, for full events listings and details go to http://www.artsintheparksto.org
– Ongoing – Canada’s Wonderland, rides and roller coasters, the works, 9580 Jane Street, http://www.canadaswonderland.com
– Ongoing – $5 Tuesdays, licensed cinema, Carlton Cinemas, 20 Carlton Street, http://www.rainbowcinemas.ca
– Ongoing – TIFF Bell Lightbox, 5 cinemas, movies that don’t play in the multiplex, for times and schedule go to http://www.tiff.net/whats-on
– Ongoing – Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema, specializing in documentaries and films seldom shown in the multiplex, 506 Bloor Street West, http://www.bloorcinema.com
– Ongoing – Revue Cinema, 400 Roncesvalles Avenue, neighbourhood cinema, second-run, docmentary & foreign features, http://www.revuecinema.ca
– Ongoing – Royal Cinema, documentaries, festivals, foreign, second-run features, 608 College Street, http://www.theroyal.to
– Ongoing – Ontario Science Center Omnimax,770 Don Mills Road, https://www.ontariosciencecentre.ca/imax
– Ongoing – Scotiabank Toronto Imax, 259 Richmond Street West, http://www.imax.com/theatres/scotiabank-toronto-imax
– Ongoing – ride the ferry to Ward’s Island & have lunch at the Rectory Cafe (only open restaurant on the Islands), 101 Lakeshore Avenue, 416-203-2152, http://www.therectorycafe.com
– Ongoing – Medieval Times, dinner and jousting tournaments, Exhibition Place, foot of Dufferin Street, http://www.medievaltimes.com or 888-we-joust
– Ongoing – Edgewalk, CN Tower, walk around the edge of our tallest free-standing structure, http://www.edgewalkcntower.ca
– Ongoing – Sunday Antique Market, free, Jarvis Street south of King
– Ongoing – Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada, 288 Bremner Boulevard, at the bottom of the CN Tower, http://www.ripleyaquariums.com/canada

PLUS1Check NOW weekly magazine (it’s free) and the daily newspapers for additional listings.

WALKEDTHRU2TORONTO SAVVY is now on the UK-based website ‘Walked Thru’ – http://www.walkedthru.com

ARTTREASURE1Art Nouveau stylized maple leaves created by GUSTAV HAHN in 1893 have been uncovered in the ceiling of the Ontario legislative assembly in TORONTO. Hidden from view for more than a century, the four-panel mural was protected by layers of horse hair, canvas and white paint. The orange and green maple leaves look as fresh as if Hahn had painted them last week. <PHOTO – Toronto Star/Metro>

 The German-born Hahn, who died in 1962 at the age of 96, was an important early TORONTO muralist whose work can be found in many churches and public buildings, including Old City Hall and Spadina House.

tapto2TAPto free walking tours by Toronto Greeters, book online at http://www1.toronto.ca/wps/portal/contentonly?vgnextoid=e14d3a2f287c1410VgnVCM10000071d60f89RCRD


Canada , Toronto CN Tower

The data arm of The Economist has again put TORONTO on its list of the world’s most liveable cities. Our under-whelming infrastructure has put us just behind Vancouver (#3), but ahead of Calgary (#5). The report gave us perfect scores for stability, health care and education. Culture and the environment came in at 97.2 and TORONTO’s infrastructure an unfortunate 89.3.


  CROSSTOWN4Some good news on TORONTO’s infrastructure front. Tunnel boring on the Eglinton Crosstown LRT line has been finished. 26,178 pre-cast concrete segments have been installed and a 10-kilometre (6.5 mile) east-west tunnel has been bored. The total length of the line will be double that. 3 stations are under construction with another 22 to go.

CROSSTOWN1When completed the Crosstown will connect Weston Road to Kennedy Station along Eglinton Avenue. On the line – 3 subway interchanges, links to GO suburban transit, and 54 bus routes. The Crosstown represents TORONTO’s largest transit project in a generation. Travel is predicted to be 60% faster than on the existing bus service.

KODAK2Building Number 9 <PHOTO ABOVE> was once the recreation centre for thousands of employees at TORONTO’s Kodak factory, which closed in 2005. The historic structure, built in 1939 and weighing 3,000-tonnes, has been moved 60 metres to allow METROLINX to construct a Crosstown terminus station.

Building 9 on the old Kodak lands is moved Thursday so that construction can begin on the foundation of the Eglinton Crosstown LRT's Mount Dennis station. Aug. 25, 2016

Once a new foundation has been poured, the structure will trundle back and be incorporated into the Mount Dennis station.


COUNTY9      About 2 hours down Highway 401 from TORONTO (around the corner by Canadian standards), you enter a world unto itself.

COUNTY3For the skeptics among us PRINCE EDWARD COUNTY seemed too good to be true. But after visiting for a couple of days I was totally won over by the rusticity of the countryside, the architecture in its towns and villages, wineries, beaches and views of Lake Ontario and the Bay of Quinte, restaurants, antique stores, art galleries and the locals themselves.  <PHOTOS ABOVE & BELOW – Oeno Gallery & Sculpture Garden adjacent to Huff Estates Winery, tours, lunch, patio>

COUNTY4COUNTY8<PHOTO ABOVE – Quaker Meeting House, 1885, WELLINGTON; last one left in The County, now a museum with a cannery exhibition and the history of the Quaker community>

COUNTY5<PHOTO ABOVE – Domaine Darius, 200 year old garden and unique winery run by a couple>

COUNTY6<The County’s Wine Trail features over 20 different wineries>

COUNTY10<Homemade County ice cream and winery tours in BLOOMFIELD>

COUNTY11<The sand dunes at SANDBANKS PROVINCIAL PARK on Lake Ontario>


PICTON8PICTON is The County’s largest unincorporated community. The town, originally named HALLOWELL, was settled in the 1780’s by Loyalists from America’s Thirteen Colonies.

PICTON1It was in PICTON that Sir John A. MacDonald, Canada’s first Prime Minister, managed a law office for his uncle. Pay your respects to Sir John on Main Street in front of The Armoury.

PICTON7<Set for ‘HMS Pinafore’, Regent Theatre, PICTON>

PICTON6PICTON’s historic REGENT THEATRE is the arts centre for The County. This rare example of an intact Edwardian opera house presents a mixture of music, first-run movies and live theatre. It boasts one of the largest stages in Eastern Ontario and a 62-foot fly tower. Designed by TORONTO architects Warrington & Page, the Regent opened its doors in 1922.

PICTON3PICTON’s CRYSTAL PALACE is a replica of London’s original. Built in 1887 this smaller version in yellow and green is the only one of its kind left in North America. Over six years from 1990-96 this historic and architecturally significant building was carefully restored.  <INTERIOR PHOTO by Ross Winter>

FLOWER10PICTON’S restaurants – there are several. One of the finest in Ontario is located just down Highway #49 from the Crystal Palace. The BLUMEN GARDEN INN is outstanding and reservations are recommended at 613-476-0841.


TOWNS5There’s much to see and do on your way to Prince Edward County.  By following Highway #2 you’ll pass through several historic towns and villages – each offering lots of gingerbread architecture, galleries, museums – as well as better-than-average cafes and restaurants.          TOWNS6TOWNS4PORT HOPE – the Capitol Theatre, 20 Queen Street, is one of Canada’s last remaining “atmospheric” theatres. The interior gives the illusion of sitting in a medieval courtyard under twinkling stars and moving clouds. Restored to its original splendour.


PORT HOPE Drive-In Theatre, founded in 1947, is one of the oldest continuously operated drive-ins in Canada. 2141 Theatre Road, between Port Hope and Cobourg.

PORT HOPE is also home to the Canadian Fire Fighters Museum, 95 Mill Street South.

TOWNS7COBOURG – the largest town and county seat of Northumberland, founded by United Empire Loyalists in 1798. Standing in the heart of downtown and visible from just about everywhere, is Victoria Hall designed by architect Kivas Tully. Inside you’ll find the fine Art Gallery of Northumberland, the Cobourg Concert Hall and a courtroom now used as the Council chamber.

TOWNS8COBOURG is also home to Dressler House, 212 King Street West. At one time MARIE DRESSLER was the highest paid movie star, even earning more than GRETA GARBO. In 1930 she won an Oscar for Best Actress, and was the first film star to appear on the cover of TIME, August 7, 1933.

TOWNS14TOWNS12COBOURG boasts one of the largest collections of vintage architectural artifacts, hardware, antique lighting and building materials. It’s all for sale. LEGACY is open Thursday to Sunday at 540 Division Street.

TOWNS10COBOURG restaurants – there are many. My favourites were The Butter Milk Cafe for breakfast and lunch & 92King for dinner and sitting on the patio while watching the world go by.

TOWNS16TRENTON is quite large (population 20,000) and is the starting point for the Trent-Severn Waterway. It was an important film production centre around 1917 when a studio was built and a number of movies were made here. It’s home to the RCAF Trenton Air Force base, and Highway #2 passes right by it.


BELLEVILLE is the largest city in the region (population 50,000). It’s located at the mouth of the Moira River on the Bay of Quinte.

What fascinated me about Belleville was Front Street, which is being totally rebuilt this year. For aficionados of construction, unobstructed storefronts, and Victorian commercial architecture, this could be a worthwhile stop. Front Street is all about local business – no chain stores here.



RISEANDSPRAWL1A 128-page book – ‘Rise And Fall: The Condominiumization of TORONTO’ – by Dutch art historian Hans Ibelings and TORONTO architecture and design firm PARTISANS is now available on Amazon.

RISEANDSPRAWL2This is the story of the rise and fall of the condo tower in Canada’s largest city. The new buildings, their size, mass, volume and height and the speed by which they’re being built, is totally remarkable. The only thing not remarkable is their architecture. The result – buildings so similar that Hans Ibelings compares them to Soviet-era housing blocks.

RISEANDSPRAWL3PARTISANS website – http://www.partisanprojects.com