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events

Long Weekend Planner: May 19–21, 2012

It's a long weekend! For your TO-do list: a circus festival comes to town, Rob Ford gets his own tour, find out why Pluto's planetary status had to go, prepare to get messy with a street-wide paint fight, and more.

Art of the Danforth is back! Don't miss installations, paint-fights, and more this weekend. Photo by {a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/sniderscion/4553018594/in/pool-torontoist”}sniderscion{/a} from the {a href=”http://www.flickr.com/groups/torontoist/”}Torontoist Flickr Pool{/a}.

CIRCUS: If you’ve ever wanted to run away and join the circus, your chances of being able to do so are about to increase tenfold. The Toronto International Circus Festival brings performers, acrobatics, and comedy together for a weekend of mayhem and wonder. Brought to you by the Zero Gravity Circus, this event features circus schools, masque theatres, marionettes, and much more. Harbourfront Centre (235 Queens Quay West), Saturday to Monday, times vary, FREE.

TOUR: Hardly a day goes by in which we fail to hear about cringe-worthy moments in Rob Ford’s term in office. But if you really are a glutton for punishment, why not join Toronto’s Embarrassing Mayor Tour? You’ll be taken around City Hall where you’ll get to learn all about our mayor, the city, and his long list of failures. Keith Olbermann would be so proud. City Hall (100 Queen Street West), Saturday, 1 p.m., FREE.

OUTER SPACE: Grab your pitchforks—now’s your chance to take revenge on the astronomer who ruined every iteration of our childhood planetary sing-alongs. “How I Killed Pluto and Why It Had It Coming” is a talk with Professor Michael Brown—the man most famous for discovering the largest object in the solar system in 150 years (that eventually led to Pluto’s metaphorical planetary demise). This keynote is also surrounded by a whole host of events like telescope tours, planetarium shows, and a documentary screening. J.J.R. MacLeod Auditorium, Medical Sciences Building at the University of Toronto (1 King College Circle), Saturday, 6:50 p.m.–11 p.m. (8 p.m. for the keynote lecture), FREE.

SPORTS: For all the women out there looking to stretch their muscles, you might consider getting in on Women’s Arm Wrestling—an event that allows you to choose your own stage name, entrance music and costume to compete for the championship belt. The competition is also open for anyone to watch and there will be a party afterwards. All proceeds from the event go to the Because I Am A Girl campaign. 751 (751 Queen Street West), Saturday, 11 p.m., $5.

ART: As part of the Art of the Danforth festival, engage yourself in this 10-minute paint-fight—with 100 gallons of paint!—to become a living, breathing work of art. Afterward, don’t miss out on the many other festivities (a parade, installations, storytelling, and more) taking place throughout the day and up until June 10. Meet at the corner of Ladysmith & Danforth, Sunday, 12:30 p.m., FREE (bring white clothes and goggles).

COMEDY: Improv for a good cause? We’ll take it. “Laughing for Africa” is bringing together some of Toronto’s best stand-up and improv comedians for a night that will benefit Shakespeare Link Canada’s Africa Project. The talent includes Allyson Smith, Darryl Purvis, The National Theatre of the World, and more. The Annex Live (296 Brunswick Avenue), Sunday, 7:30 p.m., $15.

JAMAICA: Here’s hoping your knowledge of this sunny island in the Caribbean isn’t restricted to the timeless tale of four bobsledders. If so, you ought to know that this year marks Jamaica’s 50th year of independence from the British empire (there’s a certain irony that this particular event is taking place on Queen Victoria’s birthday). To help get the party started, there’ll be a big celebration at Christie Pits that includes music, dance, contests, Caribbean food, and more. Christie Pits (750 Bloor Street West), Monday, 12 p.m.-5 p.m., FREE.

BEER: If you need a drink after trying to explain to your non-Canadian friends why the May 24 holiday doesn’t actually fall on May 24, you’re in luck. The Brewer’s Backyard is hosting the awesomely titled “Queen Victoria’s Secret“—an event that features different Ontario craft breweries, vendors, and food trucks. Her quote, “Give my people plenty of beer, good beer, and cheap beer, and you will have no revolution among them,” never rang so true. Evergreen Brick Works (550 Bayview Avenue), Monday, 12 p.m.–4 p.m., beer and sandwiches $6 each.


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 events@torontoist.com.

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