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

– July 27-30 – Beaches Jazz Festival, parks and streets in the Beach neighbourhood, for details and directions go to http://www.beachesjazz.com
– July 27 – September 3 – ‘Beautiful – the Carole King Musical’, Ed Mirvish Theatre, 244 Victoria Street, http://www.mirvish.com
– July 28-30 – The Drowsy Chaperone, Tarragon Theatre, 30 Bridgman Avenue, http://www.nostringstheatre.com
– July 29 – Alohafest Toronto, Polynesian culture at Mel Lastman Square, 11am-7pm, free, http://www.fb.com/AlohafestToronto
– July 30 – Kensington Market Pedestrian Sunday, music, street theatre, indie vendors, carless streets, Kensington Market, noon-7pm, free, for performers who want to be part of the show go to http://www.pskensington@gmail.com
– August 3-13 – Summer Works Performance Festival, 11 days of theatre, music, dance and live art, http://www.summerworks.ca
– Until August 5 – Toronto Summer Music Festival, Walter Hall, for info & tickets http://www.torontosummerfestival.com
– Until August 5 – Toronto Caribbean Carnival, 50th year, various venues, http://www.torontocaribbeancarnival.com
– Until August 20 – Hogtown: The Immersive Experience, Prohibition-era Toronto in drama, music and dance, Campbell House Museum, 160 Queen St. West, http://www.hogtownexperience.com
– Until August 27 – The Wizard of Oz, Lower Ossington Theatre, 100a Ossington Avenue, http://www.lowerossingtontheatre.com
– Until August 27 – Stratford Summer Music, 120 events over 6 weeks, Stratford, Ontario, http://www.stratfordsummer music.ca
– Ongoing – Guys and Dolls, Stratford Festival Theatre, Stratford, http://www.stratfordfesival.ca
– Ongoing – Me And My Girl, Shaw Festival, Niagara-on-the-Lake, http://www.shawfest.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

– July 27 – August 9 – Confederation Part I, Young Centre for the Performing Arts, Distillery District, http://www.soulpepper.ca
– July 27 ongoing – Scandal and Rebellion, Confederation Part II, Young Centre for the Performing Arts, Distillery District, http://www.soulpepper.ca
– July 27 ongoing – King Lear & Twelfth Night, 35th year of Shakespeare in High Park, free, for details http://www.canadianstage.com
– July 27 – August 5 – Vimy, Canadian soldiers in a hospital after WWI, Young Centre for the Performing Arts, Distillery District, http://www.soulpepper.ca
– July 26 – August 20 – Hogtown: The Immersive Experience, Campbell House Museum, 160 Queen St. West, http://www.hogtownexperience.com
– Ongoing – The Madness of George III, Shaw Festival, Niagara-on-the-Lake, http://www.shawfest.com
– July 27 ongoing – Billy Bishop Goes To War, a Canadian classic, with Eric Peterson, Young Centre for the Performing Arts, Distillery District, http://www.soulpepper.ca
– Ongoing – Everything Is Great Again, American politics, Second City, 51 Mercer Street, http://www.secondcity.com
– Ongoing – Shaw Festival, Niagara-on-the-Lake, excellent theatre, beautiful town, 80 miles southeast of Toronto, for schedule http://www.shawfest.com
– Ongoing – Stratford Festival, 90 miles west of Toronto, excellent theatre, beautiful city, for schedule http://www.stratfordfestival.ca

– Until July 30 – Georgia O’Keeffe, Art Gallery of Ontario, 317 Dundas Street West, http://www.ago.net
– Until August 13 – Suzy Lake, Scotiabank Photography Award winner, Ryerson Image Centre, 33 Gould Street, free admission, http://www.ryerson.ca/ric
– Until August 28 – Chromatic Geography: Natural Dyes (Textiles), Craft Ontario Gallery, 990 Queen Street West, http://www.craftontario.com
– Until September 9 – Ydessa Hendeles Retrospective, the exhibits Ms. Hendeles mounted at her much-loved Art Foundation, The Power Plant, Harbourfront Centre, 231 Queens Quay West, http://www.thepowerplant.org
– Until October 2017 – Standing Tall: The Curious History of Men in Heels, Bata Shoe Museum, 327 Bloor Street West, http://www.batashoemuseum.ca
– Ongoing – Syria: A Living History, exhibition, symposium, lectures, performances, Aga Khan Museum, 77 Wynford Drive, Don Mills, http://www.agakhanmuseum,org
– Ongoing – ‘Out of the Depths, The Blue Whale Story’, from the deep a giant emerges, Royal Ontario Museum, tickets at http://www.rom.ca
– Ongoing – The Varley Art Gallery of Markham, 216 Main Street in historic Unionville/Markham, http://www.varleygallery.ca
– Ongoing – Art Gallery of Mississauga, 300 City Centre Drive, Mississauga, http://www.artgalleryofmississauga.com
– Ongoing – Group of Seven Guitar Project, 7 renowned guitar makers, inspired by 7 iconic artists, McMichael Canadian Art Collection, 10,365 Islington Avenue, Kleinburg, http://www.mcmichael.com
– Ongoing – Toronto Maple Leafs Centennial Exhibit, Hockey Hall of Fame, 30 Yonge Street, http://www.hhof.com
– The Power Plant, Harbourfront Centre, 231 Queens Quay West, leading public gallery devoted to contemporary visual art, http://www.thepowerplant.org
– Ongoing – Black Creek Pioneer Village, the way life used to be, 1000 Murray Ross Parkway, 416-736-1733, http://www.blackcreek.ca

– Until July 31 – Director’s Choice, group show, Christopher Cutts Gallery, 21 Morrow Avenue, http://www.cuttsgallery.com
– Until August 17 – That’s So Gay + 10×10 Photography Project group shows, Gladstone Hotel, 1214 Queen Street West, http://www.gladstonehotel.com
– Until August 26 – Mark Jenkins and David Spriggs, Arsenal Gallery, 45 Ernest Avenue

GLBTQ (gay, lesbian, bi, transgendered, queer, etc.)
– Ongoing – Rainbow Railroad, a charity which helps individuals in countries where being LGBTQ is an invite to violence, imprisonment or death, http://www.rainbowrailroad.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 & Cafe, since 1970, oldest LGBTQ bookshop in the Americas, 499 Church Street, licenced, coffee bar, warm welcome, 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
July 27 – Living Ritual: International Indigenous Performing Arts Festival, talks, workshops, performances, Harbourfront Centre, http://www.harbourfrontcentre.com
– July 28-30 – Toronto Festival of Beer, concerts and beer fest, Exhibition Place, Bandshell Park, 210 Princes’ Blvd., http://www/beerfestival.ca
– July 30 – annual Toronto Vintage Bicycle Show, Trinity Bellwoods Park, free, http://www.torvbs.wordpress.com
– Until August 20 – Christie Pits Film Festival, bring a blanket, movies under the stars, approx. 9pm, pwyc, Christie Pits, 750 Bloor Street West, http://www.christiepitsff.com
– Until August 29 – Open Roof Festival, indie films and music, Tuesdays at 7pm, 99 Sudbury Street, http://www.openrooffestival.com
Until December 31 – To Canada With Love, Toronto’s cultural events celebrating the country’s 150th anniversary of Confederation, various venues, http://www.toronto.ca/canada150
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
– Mount Pleasant Cinema, 675 Mount Pleasant Road, big screen, 2nd run features, some European films, etc., https://www.cinemaclock.com/ont/toronto/theatres/mount-pleasant
– Carlton Cinemas, 9 screens, fully licensed, $5 Tuesdays, 20 Carlton Street, http://www.rainbowcinemas.ca
– Market Square Cinemas, 80 Front Street East, several screens, https://imaginecinemas.com/cinema/market-square/
– Regent Cinema, 551 Mount Pleasant Road, 2nd run features, big screen, https://www.cinemaclock.com/ont/toronto/theatres/regent
– 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
– Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema, specializing in documentaries and films seldom shown in the multiplex, 506 Bloor Street West, http://www.bloorcinema.com
– Revue Cinema, 400 Roncesvalles Avenue, neighbourhood cinema, second-run, docmentary & foreign features, http://www.revuecinema.ca
– Royal Cinema, documentaries, festivals, foreign, second-run features, 608 College Street, http://www.theroyal.to
– Ontario Science Center Omnimax,770 Don Mills Road, https://www.ontariosciencecentre.ca/imax
– 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 – 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

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

Summer in the city – and TORONTO keeps the young folks busy

Driving is the new smoking. A study by the Leicester Biomedical Research Centre has found that spending a lot of time behind the wheel reduces your intelligence, which keeps dropping the longer you drive.

Researchers analysed the lifestyles of more than 500,000 Britons, 37-73 over five years during which time they took intelligence and memory tests. Those who drove more than 2 or 3 hours a day typically had lower brainpower from the start, which kept on declining throughout at a faster rate than those who did little or no driving.

Watching TV a lot got the same result. Not so with computers. They apparently had a stimulating effect on the brain.

Our man in OTTAWA, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, makes the cover yet again of a popular magazine. “Justin Trudeau is trying to Make Canada Great Again. He is using, let us say, different methods.” – Stephen Rodrick/Rolling Stone

For a lengthy impression of Canada’s #1 ambassador and possibly “the free world’s best hope” read ‘Justin Trudeau: The North Star’. It’s in this month’s Rolling Stone.


<MARKHAM’s Cathedraltown gives a thumbs down to donated cow sculpture – Tim Kelly/Metroland>

Residents of CATHEDRALTOWN (a MARKHAM suburb) have something else to look at these daysbesides the cathedral. It’s a chrome statue of a cow titled “Charity, Perpetuation of Perfection”, put there with the approval of city councillor Alan Ho – who is now facing the wrath of the populace. They want it gone ASAP.

“The last thing that would cross my mind would be to raise a life-sized cow with chrome-like finish two storeys in the air and consider that proper,” said local resident Danny Dasilva. “I hate it.”

Torontonians must be relieved it’s not in TORONTO.


The quote is from (1st) CEO Thomas Ranald (Ran) Ide, in his bedroom on September 27, 1970 waiting for his ‘baby’ to appear on a television screen. The ‘baby’ was Canada’s first educational television channel (ETVO) that Mr. Ide had paintakingly guided to that Sunday afternoon 47 years ago.

Television critic PATRICK SCOTT wrote “The result starting at 2pm, and running flawlessly for three-and-a-quarter hours was a triumphant Day One for the great experiment expected to revolutionize both television and education in Ontario!”

And revolutionize it, TVOntario (originally ETVO) did and continues to do.

Looking back nearly a half-century there’s so much TVO visual and print material available a short summary is impossible. But here are a few highlights from this great, non-commerical cultural institution, TORONTO-based, funded by the provincial government and donations from business and the public. It’s still lookin’ pretty fine.

<‘The Polka Dot Door’, based on the BBC series ‘Play School’ ran for several decades.  Polkaroo (the tall one above) became the network’s mascot.>

<Comedian MARTIN SHORT starred on ‘Behind The Fridge’, a half-hour Friday night show with a weird title.>

<Canada’s former Secretary of State JUDY LAMARSH had her own hour-long live talk show, Sunday Nights>

<‘Today’s Special’ above and ‘Telefrancais’ below, a series starring a pineapple.   There were puppets eveywhere.  From the very beginning TVOntario specialized in quality children’s television and continues to do so.  Countless numbers of these shows were sold at home and abroad.>

<‘Saturday Night at the Movies’ and ‘Magic Shadows’, hosted by the inimitable ELWY YOST, were ratings winners for decades.  Mr. Yost – who loved everything about Hollywood – became a top TVO personality.  Annually he filmed interviews in Los Angeles, and TVO donated these priceless conversations to the Motion Picture Academy of  Arts and Sciences.>

<Rainer Schwartz of “Night Music”, on-air every weeknight, played the latest music dj style and interviewed those who created it.  You might say Rainer was running his own music channel.>

TVO programming has been sold to most Canadian provinces, a number of American states and several European countries. The broadcaster has accumulated a goodly stash of awards.

Today, children’s programming remains #1, but there’s a generous helping of documentaries, feature films, public affairs, technology (and a whole department) focused on education and all that entails.  No commercial breaks either.

For information on TVOntario, its history and today’s programming, go to their website – http://www.tvo.org

TVOntario’s province-wide coverage – ONTARIO occupies an area of 415,000 square miles (or 1 million square kilometres), population 12 million.  By comparison, TEXAS (area 269,000 square miles or 696,000 square kilometres), population 27 million. To drive from east to west in the province takes the better part of two days.

The late T. RAN IDE, TVOntario’s first CEO, published this book in 1995 about the network’s earliest days.  ‘The Transparent Blackboard” contains several rare photographs and provides all you’d want to know about this Ontario television success story.  It’s available on Amazon.


On July 1st this year people seemed especially patriotic – maybe because of what’s happening around the world – and turned out in droves for Canada’s 150th birthday party. Nowhere more so than on TORONTO’s waterfront, where thousands spent Canada Day, dressed up in red and white.

That yellow duck was no cheap date. But it gave a needed boost to restaurants, water taxis, arts and crafts people, bars, public transit, and the tourism industry in general.

If you’re planning a visit to Harbourfront this summer, be sure to check out ‘The Milliner’s Daughter’, curated by YDESSA HENDELES, at The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery. Ms. Hendeles, a star curator, never fails to put on a great show, and it’s free. Until September 4/2017. Allow plenty of time.


Greeters offer free walking tours of vibrant TORONTO neighbourhoods and districts by volunteers who love their city and enjoy meeting people. Fill in the form, tell us when you’ll be visiting, and the neighbourhood or theme that interests you. Give one week’s notice to make the match, set aside two to four hours, and let the tour begin!

As a long-time Greeter it was a pleasure to show these four young people from Germany around this spring. <PHOTO – Matthias, Katja, myself, Patrick and Julia>

The Greeter website – http://www1.toronto.ca/wps/portal/contentonly?vgnextoid=e14d3a2f287c1410VgnVCM10000071d60f89RCRD


TORONTO couldn’t have asked for much more than this. It’s landed the convention every city wants – a gathering of the American Society of Association Executives. That’s the convention of convention planners, and for those in the tourism industry this is naturally a really big deal.

The Canadian tourism industry is planning to make the most of the opportunity. Tourism TORONTO has launched a campaign using phrases such as “In this city, it’s OK to let your guard down.” and “All flavours are welcome.”

TORONTO is easy to get to from almost anywhere. It’s safe, politically stable, has a healthy core, crime is relatively low, and it boasts a thriving arts, culture & restaurant scene. The city’s hospitality industry is working hard to build on these assets.


Those words are nearly sacrilegious in this country. Until lately MONTREAL has been the go-to citiy for foodies, but “I feel we have lost the title in Montreal” writes David McMillan of Joe Beef in a Foodism Magazine guest column.

“MONTREAL was the pioneer and set the template for Canada. TORONTO has picked up the ball and run with it, because it’s a bigger place,” says John Bil, the seafood specialist behind Honest Weight in the JUNCTION. “I spend 90% of my time eating Indian, Sri Lankan, Chinese and Korean food. It’s not just new age (downtown) chef-type restaurants. We can branch out to Scarborough, Mississauga and Brampton, where there are pretty amazing places to eat.”

Worth reading – a column in Montreal’s La Presse about TORONTO’s emergence as the foodie capital by Marie-Claude Lortie. http://startouch.thestar.com/screens/dbcc054b-3240-4265-9803-77c477ef6c3f%7C_0.html