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

– November 19 – The Winter’s Tale, National Ballet of Canada, Four Seasons Centre, 145 Queen St. West, 7:30pm, http://www.national.ballet.ca
– November 19 – Triptyque, a circus and dance triple bill, Bluma Appel Theatre, 27 Front Street East, http://www.canadianstage.com
– November 19 – Dreamgirls, Lower Ossington Theatre, 100a Ossington Avenue, http://www.lowerossingtontheatre.com
– November 22,23 – Jay-Z, Air Canada Centre, 40 Bay Street, http://www.ticketmaster.ca
– November 22-26 – Nijinsky, National Ballet of Canada, Four Seasons Centre, 145 Queen St. West, 7:30pm, http://www.national.ballet.ca
– Until November 25 – Weesageechak Begins To Dance, Indigenous works in development, dance, theatre, Aki Studio, Daniels Spectrum, 585 Dundas St. East, http://www.nativeearth.ca/weesageechak30
– Until November 25 – The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Hart House Theatre, 7 Hart House Circle, University of Toronto, http://www.tickets.harthouse.ca
– Until November 26 – Volta, Cirque du Soleil, Big Top, Commissioners at Cherry Street, Port Lands, http://www.cirquedusoleil.com/volta
– December 9 – Dianne Reeves: Christmas Time Is Here, Koerner Hall, 273 Bloor Street West, 8pm, http://www.performance.rcmusic.ca
– Until December 10 – Grease:The Musical, previews November 1-9, Winter Garden Theatre, 189 Yonge Street, http://www.greaseonstage.com
– Until December 24 – Bat Out of Hell: The Musical, Ed Mirvish Theatre, 244 Victoria Street, http://www.mirvish.com
– Until December 31 – Beauty and the Beast, Young People’s Theatre, http://www.youngpeoplestheatre.ca
– Until November 19 – Dreamgirls, Black female trio become super stars, Lower Ossington Theatre, 100a Ossington Avenue, http://www.lowerossingtontheatre.com
– Until November 26 – Avenue Q, adult musical puppet play, Lower Ossington Theatre, 100a Ossington Avenue, http://www.lowerossingtontheatre.com
– November 24 – December 31 – A Christmas Carol, the family musical with a Scrooge loose, Elgin Theatre, 189 Yonge Street, http://www.rosspetty.com
– 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

– November 19-26 – Disgraced, a play by Ayad Akhtar, Pulitzer Prize winner for drama, sold out last season, Panasonic Theatre, 651 Yonge Street, http://www.mirvish.com
– November 19 – Daughter, satirical solo show about toxic masculinity, Theatre Centre, 1115 Queen Street West, http://www.theatrecentre.org
– Ongoing – ‘Party Today, Panic Tomorrow’, Second City, 51 Mercer Street, http://www.secondcity.com
– November 19 – The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Princess of Wales Theatre, http://www.mirvish.com
– Until November 26 – Fireworks Festival, annual fest of new works, Alumnae Theatre, 70 Berkeley Street, http://www.alumnaetheatre.com
– Until November 26 – My Name is Asher Lev, Jewish artist torn between his Hasidic upbringing and his art, Toronto Centre for the Arts, 5040 Yonge Street, http://www.hgjewishtheatre.com
– Until December 17 – Mr. Shi and His Lover, French diplomat falls in love with an opera singer, Tarragon Theatre, 30 Bridgman Av., http://www.tarragontheatre.com
– 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 – Vikings: The Exhibition, Royal Ontario Museum, 100 Queens Park, http://www.rom.on.ca
– November 19 – December 21 – John Brown, Olga Korper Gallery, 17 Morrow Avenue, http://www.olgakorpergallery.com
– November 25 ongoing – Christian Dior, Paris haute couture after WWII years, Royal Ontario Museum, 100 Queens Park, http://www.rom.on.ca
– Until December 3 – ‘Galleries – a public entertainment’, Ross Winter, photography, Propeller Gallery, 30 Abell Street, https://www.propellerctr.com/
– Until January 7 – Guillermo del Toro: At Home With Monsters, monster movie maker at the Art Gallery of Ontario, 317 Dundas St. West, http://www.ago.net
– Until November 26 – Staring Back at the Sun: video art from Israel, 1970-2012, Artscape Youngplace, 180 Shaw Street, Suite 104-105, http://www.kofflerarts.org
– Until December 10 – OCAD University presents two inaugural exhibitions in its new Onsite Gallery, 199 Richmond Street West, http://www.ocadu.ca/onsite
– Until December/2017 – Art and Innovation: Traditional Arctic Footwear, Bata Shoe Museum, 327 Bloor Street West, http://www.batashoemuseum.ca
– Until December 31 – Eatons Goes To War: Family, Memory and Meaning, MacKenzie House, 82 Bond Street, https://www.facebook.com/mackenziehouse/
– Until January 1 – HERE: Locating Contemporary Canadian Artists, Aga Khan Museum, 77 Wynford Drive, Don Mills, https://www.agakhanmuseum.org
– Art Gallery of Ontario, 317 Dundas Street West, multiple exhibits, Canada’s 2nd largest after the National Gallery, see what’s on at http://www.ago.net
– The Varley Art Gallery of Markham, 216 Main Street in historic Unionville/Markham, http://www.varleygallery.ca
– 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.)
– November 19-25 – 5 Guys Chillin’, the dangerous subculture of gay men who engage in risky sex while using drugs, Kensington Hall, Kensington Market, http://www.theatretopikos.com
– Rainbow Railroad, a charity which helps individuals in countries where being LGBTQ is an invite to violence, imprisonment or death, http://www.rainbowrailroad.ca
– ProudFM 103.9, Toronto’s LGBTQ radio station, http://www.proudfm.com
– 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
– 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
– Glad Day Bookshop & Cafe, since 1970, oldest LGBTQ bookshop in the Americas, 499 Church Street, licenced, coffee bar, warm welcome, http://www.gladdaybookshop.com
– Out and Out LGBTQ outdoors club, http://www.outandout.ca
– Righteously Outrageous Twirling Corps of Toronto (ROTC), colour guard, band, drum corps, baton, dance, http://www.rotctoronto.com
– Metropolitan Community Church (MCC), 115 Simpson Avenue at Howard Street, http://www.mcctoronto.com
– Xtra magazine, gay community news in Toronto, Ottawa and Vancouver, http://www.xtra.ca/toronto.aspx
– The Pink Pages, gay, lesbian, trans, bi, leather, queer directory for Toronto, Ottawa, Kingston, Hamilton and Niagara/St. Catharines, http://thepinkpagesdirectory.com
– (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
– November 17-23 – European Union Film Festival, Royal Cinema, 608 College Street, http://www.euffto.com
– November 17-19 – Gourmet Food and Wine Expo, Metro Toronto Convention Centre, 255 Front Street West, http://www.foodandwineexpo.ca
– November 25 – Cavalcade of Lights, lighting of the Christmas tree, fireworks, entertainment, Nathan Phillips Square, 7pm, http://www.toronto.ca/cavalcade
– Until December 23 – The Toronto Christmas Market, ferris wheel, carousel, live music, carollers, vendors, beer gardens, Santa booth, Distillery District, http://www.torontochristmasmarket.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
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, https://imaginecinemas.com
– 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
– Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema, specializing in documentaries and films seldom shown in the multiplex, 506 Bloor Street West, https://www.cinemaclock.com/theatres/hot-docs-ted-rogers-cinema
– 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
– 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
– Edgewalk, CN Tower, walk around the edge of our tallest free-standing structure, http://www.edgewalkcntower.ca
– Sunday Antique Market, free, Jarvis Street south of King
– 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

Which TORONTO buildings deserve heritage protection? The GARRISON COMMON COTTAGES, also known as the Robinson Cottages, are one-storey houses southeast of Trinity Bellwoods Park. They predate Confederation, lack heritage protection and some have been recently demolished. The cottage on the right has recently been sold and may be vulnerable. – Globe and Mail, photo – Fred Lum

“There is so much history there,” says Dolores Borkowski, a Mitchell Avenue resident. “But they are poor people’s homes and I think that’s why they’re seen as disposable.”

Until December 23 – The Toronto Christmas Market, ferris wheel, carousel, live music, carollers, vendors, beer gardens, Santa booth, Distillery District, http://www.torontochristmasmarket.com

<The ‘original’ TORONTO Santa Claus Parade, since 1905, SUNDAY, November 19/2017; Bloor West, University Avenue, St. Lawrence Market>



This weekend The New York Times published an in-depth article on New York’s subway system, which is descending into misery, and failing millions of riders.

Providing a sprawling 24-hour service, the MTA has been plagued by track fires, stalled trains, signal problems and this past week, a derailment.

<PHOTO ABOVE – Overcrowding in TORONTO’s Bloor/Yonge station during morning rush hour>

Torontonians love complaining about their subway (a pipsqueak alongside NYC’s), but the TTC system is being modernized & expanded. It ranks very high when it comes to on-time performance.

Most recent annual on-time performances based on data from each transit system – including Toronto, Montreal & Vancouver.
New York City – 65%
San Francisco – 86%
Madrid – 91%
Vancouver – 96%
Boston – 97%
Montreal – 98%
Hong Kong – 99%

Read the entire New York Times article on how-not-to-run-a-subway at https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/18/nyregion/new-york-subway-system-failure-delays.html

The MORAL OF THE STORY – never – ever –  let politicians run your public transit system.  They’re largely focused on getting re-elected, and create mayhem & expensive delays.  TORONTO knows!

<“$9-billion dollar subway expansion! Not a penny in new taxes – Next stop: somewhere over the rainbow.” – cartoon by BRIAN GABLE, Globe and Mail, TORONTO>


University of Trinity College, 6 Hoskin Avenue, is one of the smallest colleges (1600 students) within the University of Toronto.  Founded by Anglican Bishop John Strachan in 1827, it was federated into the secular University under government pressure, in 1904.

Originally in Trinity-Bellwoods Park on Queen Street West, the present campus was erected between 1925 and 1961.

The chapel, built in 1955, was a gift from Salada Tea CEO Gerald Larkin.  Trinity combines elements of Gothic Revival, Jacobethan and Tudor Revival architecture.

Subway stop: WELLESLEY, and then westbound Bus #94 to Hoskin Avenue, or MUSEUM, then walk west half a block, and south down Philosopher’s Walk.


A 19th century rooming house on King Street West at Strachan, once home to poor men, will soon become a condo. The story of this old survivor is a fascinating one. In June/2015 photographer PAUL SALVATORI was given access to the building and his photo essay appeared in NOW magazine.

Paul Salvatori: “The Palace Arms for years served primarily as a 91-unit rooming house for poor men. Nearing its final days, I had the unique opportunity to explore it. I had no expectations, wanting only to better understand the historical (and often unfairly maligned) building as it is today.”

“I notice signs of human activity like the towel on the right, which could belong to one of the squatters who lives directly outside the washroom. The room is dark – only my camera flash illuminates it here.” – Paul Salvatori

For the full story and Paul Salvatori’s photographs go to NOW’s website.  Address below.



You’d never know it these days with multiple condo buildings sprouting up. But the area west of STRACHAN AVENUE was once home to the CN Rail Yards, Central Prison, and acres of heavy industry.

The railway yards brought with them companies manufacturing boilers, heavy machinery, farm equipment, billiard tables, electrical appliances, carpets, lamps, toys, bedding and pumps.

During World Wars I and II many of the factories produced armaments, bombs and weapons. It was a beehive of industrial this and that and remained so until the 1970’s.

<PHOTO ABOVE – Central Prison, 1884>

<Wartime armaments piled up in what’s now Liberty Village>

<Strachan Avenue as it was in 1913>

<Strachan Avenue railroad crossing, 1913>

When the railways yard and manufacturing companies moved to suburbia in the 1970’s & 80’s, the area was left with heavily polluted soil accumulated over several decades. That had to be cleaned up before repurposing.

The City of TORONTO, property owners and developers saw great potential in a neighbourhood so close to downtown, the entertainment/gallery/fashion districts and the Lakeshore. With the gentrification of the west end, this area became what it is today – a perfect place to build condo housing, renovate warehouses, and create a whole new community.

Making a very long story short – that’s when today’s Liberty Village came into being.

<The remaining railway lines are now under cover>

<Black and white photos above – City of Toronto Archives, Rail Road Historical Association, Toronto Reference Library>