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.
Jacques-Louis David’s The Oath of the Horatii, seen here, is part of the AGO’s Drama and Desire exhibit, on display until September 26. Image courtesy of the Art Gallery of Ontario.
This weekend, drama and desire at the AGO; heritage walks illuminate the city; the New Bloor Festival offers family fun; Ghostbusters screens in the park; smoked meats battle it out; and Gentrification takes over PS Kensington.
ART: The nineteenth-century theatre, rife with romance, tragedy, lavish sets and costumes, and heightened emotion, was a source of inspiration for a number of visual artists of the period. Capturing this fascination is Drama and Desire: Artists and the Theatre, a current AGO exhibit that will run until September 26. Conceived by Guy Cogeval, president of Paris’s Musee d’Orsay, the exhibit features theatrically influenced drawings and paintings by some of history’s most renowned artists, including John Singer Sargent, Edgar Degas, Jacques-Louis David, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, and Aubrey Beardsley. As a bonus, each weekend features live performances to create a multimedia experience—this weekend will see artists from the Atelier Ballet perform Degas-inspired dances. Art Gallery of Ontario (317 Dundas Street West), all weekend (Atelier Ballet performances Sunday at 1:30, 2:30, and 3:30 p.m.), $14.50–$25 (kids and members FREE).
WALKS: It looks like it’s going to be a beautiful weekend, so why not indulge in one of two new heritage walks being offered by Heritage Toronto? First up is Canada’s Candy King Lived Here, a stroll around the neighbourhood of Maryvale, the site of senator and Laura Secord candy company–founder Frank P. O’Connor‘s former estate and farm grounds (you can thank O’Connor for that delicious/gross Superkid ice cream). Meet at the southeast corner of Victoria Park Avenue and Ellesmere Road, Saturday at 10:30 a.m., FREE. On Sunday, learn about some of the most distinguished and fascinating citizens of Cabbagetown past in Cabbagetown People: More Remarkable Lives. Meet at the northeast corner of Parliament and Winchester streets, Sunday at 1 p.m., FREE.
FESTIVAL: Toronto sure does love its summer festivals, and this weekend it’s the New Bloor Festival‘s turn. The day-long street fair celebrates the culture, music, and local businesses of the city’s favourite central corridor. Vendors and booths will be out all afternoon, and the day will include performances from Brazil Dance World and artists like The Stormalongs and Ethel and the Mermen. Visitors can also enjoy a number of licensed patios for boozing al fresco, including 3 Speed, Holy Oak Cafe, The Bloordale Pantry, and Duffy’s Tavern. Bloor Street West, between Lansdowne Avenue and Dufferin Street, Saturday 1–9 p.m., FREE.
FILM: Councillor Joe Mihevc has done it again, making yet another perfect choice for this weekend’s edition of his community outdoor movie nights. This Saturday, the good councillor will screen Ghostbusters, the iconic, zany comedy about a ragtag band of parapsychologists who capitalize on their peculiar gift by starting a successful ghost-exterminating business. The film features the ’80s dream team of actor Bill Murray (before he became a “serious actor”) and director Ivan Reitman (before he got overshadowed by his son), who also made Meatballs and Stripes together. Don’t forget to bring your own blankets, snacks, and slime. Laughlin Park (420 Atlas Avenue), Saturday 8:30 p.m., FREE. [ : The screening's unfortunately been cancelled due to rain.]
FOOD: The Wychwood Barns’ farmers’ market will be transformed into a carnivore’s paradise this weekend, as three of Toronto’s best delis compete for the title of Toronto’s smoked meat champion. On Sunday, Caplansky’s, Goldin’s, and The Stockyards will bring out their juiciest, saltiest, smokiest meats to the Barns, where patrons will determine once and for all whose meats are the most succulent. The event itself is free, but all food and beverage are available for purchase, with proceeds going to The Stop Community Food Centre. Wychwood Barns (601 Christie Street), Sunday 1–5 p.m., FREE (food and beverage available for purchase).
GAME: Gentrification: The Game bills itself as part Monopoly, part public-space hacking, and this weekend, will be held during Kensington Market’s Pedestrian Sunday. The live-action game sees small teams (divided into developers and locals) competing to collect and convert properties, form BIAs, build community centres, and basically transform the neighbourhood. Along the way, players will have the chance to develop glossy advertising campaigns, deliver heartfelt speeches, file lawsuits, protest The Man, and do good deeds, all for points. Anyone can reserve tickets to be a player or media/spectator (non-player tickets) here, at no charge. Augusta Avenue and Denison Square, Sunday 1–3 p.m., FREE.