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 email@example.com.
In today’s Urban Planner, a mayoral debate on the past and future of Toronto’s architecture, free concerts from Ra Ra Riot and a trio of Taiwanese rock bands, and a circus spectacle at the CNE.
DEBATE: The leading mayoral candidates meet for a public debate at St. Lawrence Hall this evening to discuss the pros and cons of Toronto’s process of designating and protecting historically significant architecture. It’s a topic that hasn’t been touched on much this summer by the candidates, and it could be very revealing as to their vision, or lack thereof, for a Toronto that honours the past while embracing the future. St. Lawrence Hall (157 King Street East, third floor), 7 p.m., FREE.
MUSIC: Ra Ra Riot is a band with a lot of buzz behind them—so much, in fact, that hipster dinosaurs debate their merits. We caught the young and musically diverse band, which includes a fiddler and cellist, at the Osheaga Festival, where they pulled an appreciative crowd despite being scheduled against Metric and Devo. To promote the launch of their new album The Orchard (and the video for first single “Boy”), the band’s playing a free show tonight, provided you email them before the list reaches capacity. Mod Club (722 College Street), doors at 7 p.m., FREE (RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org, or purchase album at a participating retailer).
MUSIC: Our city plays host to touring bands from all over the world on an almost nightly basis, but it’s not very often that they hail from as far away as Taiwan. Some credit goes to last weekend’s Taiwanfest at the Harbourfront Centre for bringing not one, not two, but three Taiwanese bands to town—and since that festival has probably already covered their travel costs, the bands Kou Chou Ching, Matzka, and Aphasia are throwing the doors open tonight for any curious music fans. Lee’s Palace (529 Bloor Street West), doors at 8 p.m., FREE.
CIRCUS: Most of the exhibits and events at the CNE are wrapping up by 10 p.m., but there’s one final nightly show—MANA: Cirque Fantaisiste, a smorgasbord of acrobatics, pyrotechnics, and other modern circus attractions, from Quebec-based troupe MysterAct. It all takes place along Princes’ Boulevard, where the crowd can be easily hustled out the main gates at the conclusion of the show. In front of the Allstream Centre (Princes’ Boulevard), 10 p.m., FREE (with admission to CNE grounds).