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

– August 23 – September 3 – ‘Beautiful – the Carole King Musical’, Ed Mirvish Theatre, 244 Victoria Street, http://www.mirvish.com
– August 25-27 – Toronto Talko Festival, international drummers, Edward Johnson Building, 80 Queen’s Park, http://www.torontotalkofestival.org
– 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
– August 30 – k.d. lang, 25th anniversary tour, Sony Centre for the Performing Arts, 1 Front Street East, http://www.ticketmaster.ca
– 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

– August 23- ongoing – King Lear & Twelfth Night, 35th year of Shakespeare in High Park, free, for details http://www.canadianstage.com
– August 24 – September 3 – Lady GaGa: #Art Birth, pop icon decides to give berth as a performance art piece, Berkeley Street Theatre, 26 Berkeley St., http://www.canadianstage.com
– August 25 – An Evening With Kevin Smith, writer/comic/podcaster, 7pm, Queen Elizabeth Theatre, 190 Princes’ Blvd., http://www.ticketmaster.ca
– August 25 – Jay & Silent Bob Get Old, Kevin Smith & Jason Mewes, live version of their comedy podcast, 10pm, Queen Elizabeth Theatre, 190 Princes’ Blvd., http://www.ticketmaster.ca
– Ongoing – The Madness of George III, Shaw Festival, Niagara-on-the-Lake, http://www.shawfest.com
– 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 August 26 – Mark Jenkins and David Spriggs, Arsenal Gallery, 45 Ernest Avenue
– 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
– Until January 1 – HERE: Locating Contemporary Canadian Artists, Aga Khan Museum, 77 Wynford Drive, Don Mills, https://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
– 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
– Spadina House Museum, historic house and gardens, 285 Spadina Road, (416) 392-6910
– MZTV Museum of Television, 64 Jefferson Avenue, Liberty Village, phone for free reservation at (416) 599-7339
– Ontario Science Centre, 770 Don Mills Road, http://www.ontariosciencecentre.ca
– CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) Museum, archival materials relating to the history of Canadian broadcasting, 250 Front St. West, http://www.cbc.ca/museum/index.html
– Fort York National Historic Site, 250 Fort York Boulevard, http://www.fortyork.ca
– Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada Regimental Museum & Archives, 1 Austin Terrace, https//qormuseum.org
– 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.)
– 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
– 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

<SKYPOOL, jriosphoto/instagram/Tourism Toronto>

Unplugged – Canada’s conservative Rebel Media says a technology company stopped directing traffic to its website, making it inaccessible to about half its users. The site, known for tirades against Muslims and refugees, has scrambled to get back online.

Rebel Media founder EZRA LEVANT, a graduate of defunct Sun Television (as close as Canada once came to Fox News), said he was given 24 hours’ notice and no explanation. He did not identify the technology company. – Globe and Mail, August 22/2017

 <BORIS SPREMO in 1966 – photo by Frank Lennon>

TORONTO’s legendary photojournalist BORIS SPREMO has died of complications from myeloma, at the age of 81. ‘Bo’, as he was known to his friends and colleagues, worked for the Globe & Mail in the 1960’s, and then moved to the TORONTO Star in 1966 for the next 34 years. He retired in 2000.

Mr. Spremo was the first Canadian to win a gold medal at the World Press Photo Contest in The Hague, and accumulated nearly 300 other awards.

Always on the lookout for a stand-out image, he captured this one in May/1965. During a visit to TORONTO from Ringling Brothers Circus, elephants drank water while a fearless dog stopped by to lift its leg. The photo – unpublished until 2005 – won first prize in the features category of the 1965 World Press Photo Contest.

The Canadian Automobile Association (CAA) identifies Ontario’s 10 Worst Roads for 2017.
#1 – Burlington St. East, HAMILTON
#2 – Dufferin St., TORONTO
#3 – Lorne St., SUDBURY
#4 – Maley Drive, SUDBURY
#5 – Queenston Street, ST. CATHARINES
#6 – Algonquin Blvd. West, TIMMINS
#7 – Hunt Club Road, OTTAWA
#8 – Carling Avenue, OTTAWA
#8 (tie) – Duckworth St., BARRIE
#9 – Algonqin Blvd. East, TIMMINS
#9 (tie) – Yonge St., TORONTO (first time on the list)
#10 – County Road 49, PRINCE EDWARD COUNTY

TORONTO’s Revue Cinema, 400 Roncesvalles Avenue, will screen ‘Burden of Dreams’ on August 31, a documentary on the chaotic production of Werner Herzog’s epic ‘Fitzcarrado’ by filmmaker Les Blank.

In one of the most harrowing movies-about-making-movies ever made, the film follows Herzog as he runs into serious setbacks, casting problems, his refusal to use special effects, reshoots, and hauling an old-fashioned steamboat over a mountain using manpower alone.

For details go to http://www.revuecinema.ca


TADDLE CREEK was buried during the Industrial Age, but it left behind a scenic ravine-like footpath running from Bloor Street West to the University of TORONTO. This has been named Philosopher’s Walk.

The Creek still flows underground, but above ground the path is bounded by the Royal Ontario Museum, the Royal Conservatory of Music <PHOTO ABOVE> Koerner Concert Hall, Trinity College, the Faculty of Music at the Edward Johnson Building, and the just completed Jackman Law Building.

Faculty of Music, theatre, Edward Johnson Building

Trinity College, University of Toronto

Philosopher’s Walk Amphitheatre

Fourteen trees are planted nearby in memory of 14 women slain in Montreal on December 6, 1989. Memorial created by ‘Women Who Won’t Forget’.

Lamps at the Bloor Street entrance commemorate the 1901 visit of the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and York (later crowned King George V and Queen Mary). This was a project undertaken by the Imperial Order Daughters of the Empire.


As one of several new exhibits, the AGO is showing a room full of posters from the Donald Muller/Ross Scott Collection. Above – Joan Baez and Bob Dylan – East Coast Tour, March-April/1965′ – is one of the earliest in the collection. It’s by Eric Von Schmidt (1931-2007), a musician, father of folk revival, and credited with discovering Bob Dylan and fostering the career of Joan Baez.

Above – ‘The Doors, August 8, Electric Circus, NYC, 1969′ – was made for a concert that never happened. At a 1969 concert in MIAMI, Jim Morrison was charged with indecent exposure and accused of trying to start a riot. He was arrested and fined $500.  <PHOTOS – Ross Winter>


Whatever’s left of the west side of Yonge St. from College to Grenville is on the endangered species list. That includes Old Fire Hall #3’s clock tower. The fire station itself is long gone, but the elegant little tower lives on – so far.

<PHOTO – west side of Yonge Street between College St. and Grenville, ca1950’s>

Built in 1872, the structure had a checkered career from once being a tire emporium to a hotel to Canada’s largest gay dance hall, restaurant and tavern. In 1939 a fire destroyed the whole building, but the little tower survived.

<PHOTO – the clock tower in the 1950’s; foreground future site of the Westbury Hotel>

The clock, perpetually stuck, will soon be surrounded on all sides by tall buildings.

<PHOTO – street-level businesses have all been closed>

In 2015 it was announced that Kingsett Capital was planning to transform the site into a 45 storey mixed-use condo and retail project designed by Quadrangle Architects. The centre piece would be the clock tower. Will the St. Charles Tower survive as a monument to gay culture in TORONTO? We can only wait and see.


It’s been a long time coming, but soon subway trains will be on their way to one of Canada’s finest heritage villages. Surrounded by development, Black Creek Pioneer Village is a living tribute to the TORONTO Region’s roots, with architecture dating as far back as the 1790’s.

On-site there are 40 buildings considered to be amongst the oldest in TORONTO and its surroundings.  Inside several of them, interpreters and artisans in period costume describe life as it was lived in pioneer Canada.

BLACK CREEK PIONEER VILLAGE is open daily from May 1 to December 23.  It’s located in TORONTO’s north-west end, at 1000 Murray Ross Parkway near the intersection of Jane Street and Steeles Avenue.

GETTING THERE BY PUBLIC TRANSPORT – subway to FINCH STATION, then take the Steeles bus #60 westbound; or from JANE SUBWAY STATION use the Jane bus #35.

<PHOTOS ABOVE – the new Black Creek Pioneer Village subway station, designed by Will Alsop –  TTC and Jack Landau/UrbanToronto>

The Village website – https://blackcreek.ca


It’s taken decades of ‘goin’ down the road’ for the government of QUEBEC to welcome English speakers back home to La Belle Province.  Looking for a secure future, thousands of Quebecers (13,100 in 2014 alone) have moved to TORONTO and Western Canada, and the brain drain is ongoing.

Premier PHILIPPE COUILLARD has reached out to exiled “anglos” by saying “we need you” to help the province build a better future. “The English language is part of who we are, it’s part of our history,” said the premier at a news conference this past weekend.

Columnist BRENDAN KELLY in the English-language Montreal Gazette sums things up in a few words: “We’re different because we live in a French-language place. By definition, we’re submerged in a different culture. There’s the rub, though. We’re not really submerged in that culture.” On that point authors Jean-Marc Léger, Jacques Nantel and Pierre Duhamel agree that, “Anglo Quebecers form a distinct society unto themselves.”

For the complete story published in The Gazette go to