FOLLOW2<An up-to-date listing of what’s on in North America’s 4th largest city, and where to find it>

– December 9-30 – Seussical, all-ages musical bases on the classic books by Dr. Seuss, Young People’s Theatre, 165 Front Street East, http://www.youngpeoplestheatre.ca
– December 9 – January 7 – Sleeping Beauty, Elgin Theatre, 189 Yonge Street, http://www.rosspetty.com
– December 9 – January 8 – ‘Come From Away’, musical, aftermath of 9/11 in Gander, Newfoundland, reopens the Royal Alexandra Theatre, on its way to Broadway, http://www.mirvish.com
– December 9-11 – The Man in Black: A Tribute to Johnny Cash, Panasonic Theatre, 651 Yonge Street, http://www.mirvish.com
– December 10 – Joey DeFrancesco Trio & Jensen Restivo/Vivian Trio, organ jazz renaissance, Koerner Hall, 273 Bloor Street West, 8pm, http://www.performance.rcmusic.ca
– December 10,11 – The Good Lovelies celebrate Christmas, Harbourfront Centre Theatre, 235 Queens Quay West, for tickets http://www.masseyhall.com or 416-872-1255
– December 14-17 – Tafelmusik’s original Messiah, Koerner Hall, 273 Bloor Street West, 7:30pm, http://www.tafelmusik.org
– December 18 – Le Vent du Nord and De Temps Antan, two of the finest fiddle bands from Quebec, traditional Quebecois music and fresh original compositions, Koerner Hall, 273 Bloor Street West, http://www.performance.rcmusic.ca
– December 19 – Colm Wilkinson in Concert, Ed Mirvish Theatre, 244 Victoria Street, http://www.mirvish.com
– Until January 8 – Roald Dahl’s ‘Matilda’, Ed Mirvish Theatre, 244 Victoria Street, http://www.mirvish.com
– Until January 29 – Avenue Q, adult musical puppet play, Lower Ossington Theatre, 100a Ossington Avenue, http://www.lowerossingtontheatre.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

– December 9-11 – Who Killed Spalding Gray?, Berkeley Street Theatre, 26 Berkeley Street, http://www.canadianstage.com
– December 9-11 – The Damage Done by George F. Walker, Ken Gass director, The Citadel, 304 Parliament Street, http://www.canadianrep.ca
– December 9-18 – The Realistic Joneses, neighbouring couples with the same last name explore the heroism of the everyday, Tarragon Theatre, 30 Bridgman Avenue, http://www.tarragontheatre.com
– December 9 – January 8 – Family Festival – A Christmas Carol, Alligator Pie, It’s a Wonderful Life, Hocus Pocus, A Very Soulpepper Christmas, Rose (a concert presentation), for schedule and other details go to http://www.soulpepper.ca/family
– December 13 – January 7 – The Illustionists, from Broadway, a magic extravaganza, Princess of Wales Theatre, 300 King Street West, http://www.mirvish.com
– Until January 6 – Eat, Buy, Repeat: The Second City’s Guide to the Holidays, 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

– December 9 – ongoing – Syria: A Living History, exhibition, symposium, lectures, performances, Aga Khan Museum, 77 Wynford Drive, Don Mills, http://www.agakhanmuseum,org
– December 10 – OCADU Book Arts Fair, small press and artist books and artisanal paper, 100 McCaul Street, 10am-5pm, http://www.fb.com/bookartsfair
– December 9-11 – Ryerson Artspace, photography by students and faculty to raise funds for the image arts program, 1214 Queen Street West, 416-538-3100
– December 9-11 – Form Follows Fiction: Art & Artists in Toronto, Art Museum of the University of Toronto, 7 Hart House, 15 Kings College, 416-978-1838
– December 14-17 – Off The Wall, preview the art Dec. 14-17; purchase a work for $125 at the gala December 17, Propeller artist-run gallery, 30 Abell Street, 416-504-7142, www.http://propellerctr.com
– Until January 8 – Edmund De Waal, True Nordic, Gardiner Museum of Ceramic Art, 111 Queen’s Park, http://www.gardinermuseum.on.ca
– Until January 8 – Alvaro Siza, Aga Khan Museum 77 Wynford Drive, Don Mills, http://www.agakhanmuseum.org
– Until January/2017, ‘Chihuly’, Royal Ontario Museum, 100 Queens Park at Bloor Street West, http://www.rom.on.ca
– Until January 12 – Small Wonders: Gothic Boxwood Miniatures, Art Gallery of Ontario, 317 Dundas Street West, http://www.ago.net
– Until January 15 – Beyond the Crease: Ken Danby paintings, Art Gallery of Hamilton, 123 King Street West, http://www.artgalleryofhamilton.com
– Until January 29 – ‘Mystical Landscapes”, masterpieces from Monet, Van Gogh and others, Art Gallery of Ontario, 317 Dundas Street West, http://www.ago.net & http://www.mysticalago.net
– Until May 1/2017 – Tributes + Tributaries, Toronto artists’ work through the 70s and 80s, Art Gallery of Ontario, 317 Dundas Street West, http://www.ago.net
– 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
– Until February 5/2017 – Sheila Hicks: Material Voices, organized by Joslyn Art Museum, Omaha, Textile Museum of Canada, 55 Centre Avenue, http://www.textilemuseum.ca
– 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 December 11 – Black Boys, SAGA Collectif, Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, 12 Alexander Street, http://www.buddiesinbadtimes.com
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
– Until December 22 – Toronto Christmas Market, live music, handcrafted goods, carollers, food, etc., Distillery District, http://www.torontochristmasmarket.com
– Until December 31 – A Victorian Christmas in an 1859 row house, MacKenzie House, 82 Bond Street, 416-392-6915
– 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 – Camera Bar Cinema, 1028 Queen Street West, Toronto’s smallest movie theatre, free feature films on Saturdays at 3:00pm, http://www.bulgergallery.com/camera.html
– 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


Check 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

streetcar-ad1TORONTO’s new streetcars make dandy advertising billboards.

torontozoo1Madagascar’s ring-tailed lemurs are the stars of December’s Enrichment Extravaganza at The TORONTO Zoo. Every Saturday at 1:30pm in the African Rainforest pavilion visitors can learn all about these bug-eyed primates.

sonycentre1<PHOTO ABOVE – new sculptures at the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts, 1 Front Street East>

toronto1Who has the hottest real estate market – TORONTO or VANCOUVER? The Greater Toronto Area (GTA) comes out ahead in a new outlook report for 2017. Average prices in the GTA are expected to rise 8% compared to 2% in Greater Vancouver, the first time in several years that TORONTO has come out ahead. MAY WARREN in Metro News writes “score one for TORONTO, but not for people trying to buy a home.”

globemail1The new GLOBE AND MAIL edifice makes a statement – Parliament Street at Front

toronto2TORONTO is a tough place to find affordable housing, and even worse for Syrian refugee families who are trying to find jobs, learn English, keep their children in school and pay very high rentals. Ontario has received more than 14,000 Syrian refugees in 2016, 5,500 adults have taken English As A Second Language classes and 4,600 children have been enrolled in schools.

doing646River Street dresses up for the holidays.


ago3The Art Gallery of Ontario, Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum and the Met Cloisters in New York worked together to assemble an exhibit of 60 rare boxwood carvings. These were made in Northern Europe during the early 1500’s and represent a substantial portion of the world’s inventory.

Palm-sized and without provenance or artist credits the carvings are 600-year-old fascinators. Several are in the Thomson Collection at the AGO.  Exhibition continues until January 22.

ago2<Netherlands, Prayer Bead (David and Goliath), 1500-30; boxwood with metal fittings. The Thomson Collection, Art Gallery of Ontario. Photo – Craig Boyko/Ian Lefebvre, AGO>

ago1<South Netherlandish, Rosary, 1509-26, 472mm x 57mm, Devonshire Collection, Chatsworth. Photo – Craig Boyko/Ian Lefebvre, AGO>


gladday3The world’s oldest LGBTQ bookshop – GLAD DAY – has settled in to 2,000 square feet of prime floor space at 499 Church Street. There’s plenty of room here for readings, performances, a cafe, bar and an outdoor patio – all at street level.

gladday6gladday7Founded in 1970, GLAD DAY has continuously fought against censorship of gay and lesbian books, magazines and videos. It almost went under at least once before, but now has a bright, new future in the heart of TORONTO’s Church/Wellesley Village.

gladday5gladday4WEBSITE – http://www.gladdaybookshop.com



fountain5Large pieces of land for parks are no longer available in the rapidly densifying centre of TORONTO. Berczy Park is the future – some grass, flowers and trees set in a hard-surfaced space designed to be used.

fountain1The park isn’t finished yet, but a spectacular two-tiered ‘dog fountain’ is taking shape. Twenty-seven cast iron dogs, one cat and a bone have taken their place in the midst of the forthcoming dancing waters.

fountain2fountain3The designer of both the park and the fountain, MONTREAL landscape architect CLAUDE CORMIER explained “It’s part of the identity of the city. This little park must cater to many different groups. It is the backyard for many people, a front garden for others. We have added a new plaza on the south side and a lawn where kids can play. We wanted it to be whimsical and fun.”



jazzmural7This giant mural, which covers one side of a high-rise senior’s residence, salutes the once vibrant Yonge Street music scene. In the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s jazz and rock greats played in several taverns and bars along the strip from Gerrard to Queen.

jazzmural8jazzmural9All the clubs and many of the performers are gone now, but the mural – still being painted – will help us remember the days when Yonge was ‘nightclub nirvana’.  You can’t miss it.

jazzmural5Three Yonge Street stalwarts – A & A Records, Steele’s Tavern & Sam The Record Man – all gone.

jazzmural6THE COLONIAL, sandwiched between two old bank buildings, was TORONTO’s #1 jazz club – demolished.

Friar's Tavern, c 1960s-70s (public domain).

FRIAR’S TAVERN, replaced by the ‘world’s original’ Hard Rock Cafe, Yonge & Dundas Square    jazzmural2LE COQ D’OR TAVERN, one of the strip’s largest venues – gone.

jazzmural4The venerable MASSEY HALL, still going strong.  This was, and remains, one of TORONTO’s top concert halls.




streetcarmurals3Colourful artworks between streetcars and the sidewalk have won this year’s $5,000 NXT City Prize.

streetcarmurals1Streetcar safety murals are the brainchild of Lucas Declavasio and Andrew Patterson of the TORONTO-based agency WYSP CREATIVE.

Chief Planner JENNIFER KEESMAAT is looking for a non-profit organization to make the idea happen. “It’s a powerful, impactful idea that can be implemented inexpensively,” she said. “(The murals) will beautify TORONTO and make it safer too.”

streetcarmurals2NXT City connects Toronto’s young leaders with city builders, and its annual prize gives a platform to people with fresh ideas about the city’s public spaces.

Passing a stopped streetcar comes with a $110 fine and three demerit points.