This weekend, take a pair of walking tours with Heritage Toronto; the Clean Train Festival aims to get rid of diesel for good; Shakespeare gets his Torontonian birthday wish with two of his best plays; watch up-and-coming actors compete in a monologue competition; and much more.TOURS: How well do you know your city? For the majority of us, the answer is, likely: not well enough. Embark then on this weekend’s double dose of Heritage Toronto’s spring walking tours.
- On Saturday, you’ll be taken through Cabbagetown North, known for its Victorian architecture. Meet at the northeast corner of Wellesley and Parliament streets, 1:30 p.m., FREE.
- On Sunday, you’ll get to explore and learn the history of the mansions of Jarvis Street. Meet at the southeast corner of Jarvis and Isabella Streets, 11 a.m., FREE.
TRAINS: Though subways may be a hot topic nowadays, one element of public transportation that’s in dire need of an upgrade are the good ol’-fashioned railroads. The Clean Train Festival urges us to do so with electrified rail rather than diesel, which is what’s currently planned for the Georgetown corridor. The community event also features musical acts Wayne Petti (from Cuff the Duke), Alberta Darling, and Andrew Cash (once of Skydiggers, now the local NDP MP). West Toronto Railpath at Wallace Avenue, Saturday, 1 p.m., FREE.
TAIWAN: One of the best aspects of life in Toronto is routintely being transported to another part of the world. Fantastic Taiwan 2012 celebrates Taiwan Heritage Day with traditional dance performances, to help bring Taiwanese culture into the heart of the city. Some of the proceeds will also go to the SickKids Foundation. Winter Garden Theatre (189 Yonge Street), Saturday, 7 p.m., $35.
THEATRE: To celebrate Shakespeare’s birthday, a double bill of two of the Bard’s most famous plays—Romeo and Juliet and Macbeth—performed by the contemporary group Shakespeare in Action. Besides working to bring these plays to a younger generation, this company has already received acclaim for its riveting fight scenes. Central Commerce Collegiate Theatre (570 Shaw Street), Saturday, 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., $18.
MUSICAL: In case you haven’t been caught up in Harbourfront Centre’s HATCH programme (and why haven’t you?), here’s something that might persuade you to check it out. Paper Laced With Gold is a new musical from the team behind Rat King Rock Opera. It tells the tale of two lost characters who reunite many years after one tried to hijack the other’s car. Studio Theatre, York Quay Centre (235 Queens Quay West), Saturday, 8 p.m., $15.
HIKING: By the forces of Ra, we can rid ourselves of winter if we push hard enough. Since the warm weather seems to be finally stabilizing, why not enjoy the great outdoors with a nice hike? Toronto Bruce Trail Club invites you on a 10-kilometre walk along the Bruce Trail Conservancy main trail and side trails at Scotsdale Farm. The walk will last about three hours; don’t forget to pack lunch and water. Scotsdale Farm (a bus will leave at 10:15 a.m. from Clarence Square), Sunday, 11 a.m., $10.
PERFORMANCE: If you’re ready to be electrified by some of Toronto’s most talented actors, don’t miss the Toronto Monologue Slam. These up-and-comers will all be vying for the title of the TO Slam Champ by bearing their all in these intimate and involving performances. Hosted by Kristopher Turner, a portion of proceeds going to Sickle Cell Association of Ontario. Trane Studio (964 Bathurst Street), Sunday, 7 p.m., $10 advance, $15 door.
HOT DOCS: It’s North America’s biggest documentary film fest, it’s celebrating a new home cinema, and it’s got everything from the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling to a penis museum. What’s not to love? Everything you need to know about Hot Docs 2012 is at our festival hub.
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.