Urban Planner is Torontoist’s guide to what’s on in Toronto, published every weekday morning, and in a weekend edition Friday afternoons. If you have an event you’d like considered, email all of its details—as well as images, if you’ve got any—to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Big Bop this past weekend. Photo by Miles Storey/Torontoist.
END OF AN ERA: As we told you earlier this week, the Big Bop will be closing its purple doors for the last time this weekend. Arguably Toronto’s first major nightclub, the Bop was established in 1985 to cater to a thriving DJ scene. In 1996, it fell under the ownership of Dominic Tassielli, who divided the venue into three sections: Reverb, Kathedral, and Holy Joe’s. Even though the Entertainment District seized a monopoly on the city’s club district, the Bop stayed strong throughout the ’90s and the aughts, keeping its hold on the all-ages demographic and launching the career of local bands such as Billy Talent and Alexisonfire. This Saturday, the Bop will hold one last rave-style bash, Good to the Last Bop, featuring the spinning talents of DJs such as Garbo, Lazarus, No Left Turn, and plenty more. Don’t forget to wear something purple, and stay tuned for our coverage of this past Thursday’s huge Bop show. The Big Bop (651 Queen Street West), Saturday 9 p.m., $20.
CYCLING: According to Toronto’s historical weather averages, January 30 is statistically the coldest day of the year. Despite a lukewarm winter of rainy days and fairly mild breezes, the frigid temperatures of the past few days suggest that this year’s edition might live up to the stats. To celebrate the belated arrival of winter, the City of Toronto is sponsoring a Coldest Day of the Year Bike Ride this Saturday. Part of an initiative to promote winter cycling as a practical, efficient, and, yes, safe way to get around during these long months, the ride will focus on the recently revitalized Martin Goodman Waterfront Trail as a recommended winter cycling route. Participants will also be able to talk to experts about winter road and bicycle maintenance and enjoy complimentary hot cocoa! Starts at Grenadier Café, High Park (200 Parkside Drive), Saturday 12 p.m., FREE.
STREET CRAWL: Despite living somewhat in the shadow of its flashy southern neighbour, Dundas West (or DuWest, to the locals) is a hub for some fabulous small businesses and hidden treasures. This Saturday, the community is organizing a street crawl to make sure the whole city knows what DuWest has to offer. The crawl has plenty of terrific treats lined up for the whole family, including cake demos and samples at She Takes the Cake, live spontaneous music at The Department, a book swap at Zoots Café, a film and activity for kids at West Side Stories, an interactive art project at Beadle, live music from The Metronomes at Naco Gallery, and much more. Meet at She Takes the Cake (1600 Dundas Street West), Saturday 2:15–9 p.m., FREE.
KIDS: You probably never thought you’d be taking your kids to The Guvernment, but the time has come. Bunch is committed to organizing wacky new events that Toronto families can do together. (In the past they’ve held karaoke nights and an annual brunch salon, which Torontoist co-hosted last year.) This weekend, as part of the WinterCity Festival, Bunch will host True North, a family dance party that will turn the venue into a winter wonderland. Parents and kids will share the dance floor with waltzing polar bears, a yeti, and, perhaps oddest of all, a breakdancing Mountie. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to World Wildlife Fund, and guests will also have the chance to learn a bit about how global warming is impacting the Arctic. The Guvernment (132 Queens Quay East); Saturday 2–5 p.m.; $12/adults, $10/kids (advance), $14 (door).
THEATRE: George F. Walker is one of Canada’s most prolific and frequently produced playwrights, responsible for such national classics as Zastrozzi and Escape From Happiness. Now, taking a break from his gigs in television (he created This Is Wonderland, The Line, and the upcoming Living in Your Car), Walker is returning to the stage with his first new play in ten years. And So It Goes will begin previews at the Factory Theatre this Saturday. The play, which officially opens on February 4 and runs until February 28, stars Stratford Festival vets Martha Burns and Peter Donaldson as a struggling middle-class couple who receive some much-needed therapy in the unlikely form of Kurt Vonnegut (played by Jerry Franken). Factory Theatre (125 Bathurst Street); Saturday 8 p.m., Sunday 7 p.m.; $15 (previews).
MUSIC: Klezmer music is one of the most enduring and vibrant cultural legacies of the Jewish tradition. Rife with fiddles and trumpets, the klezmer sound mimics all the nuances of human vocal expression, from laughter to tears to prayer. No one personifies the Toronto klezmer scene like the Flying Bulgars, whose unique brand of Eastern European folk music is infused with rock, salsa, and jazz. The three-time Juno-nominated band will perform its latest album, Tumbling Into Light, as the soundtrack for a multimedia concert this Sunday. Other artists contributing their respective talents to the event are filmmaker Bruce McDonald, choreographer Andrea Nunn, and musical guests Richard Underhill and John Millard. Young Centre for the Performing Arts (55 Mill Street), Sunday 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., $20–$30.