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Real City Matters

Join us for a series of panel discussions about the state of our city, and how we can have more honest, constructive conversations about its future.


Watch Live: Real City Matters—Civil Discourse for a Crazy Town

In the lead-up to the 2014 municipal election, Torontoist has partnered with former urban affairs reporter Siri Agrell to create a series of discussions about the statte of our city. Our goal: figure out how to speak better—more optimistically and also more honestly—about Toronto, and how to make more inclusive decisions about the city’s future.

Our first discussion is called “What’s Going Right?” Tonight we will be discussing what we genuinely do well in Toronto—in all parts of the city—and what real challenges we face. Why, when there is a great deal that is going well, does it so often feel that we speak about Toronto as if it were a failing city?

Our panelists:

  • Sabina Ali, Jane Jacobs Prize winner, Thorncliffe Park Women’s Committee
  • Rita Davies, founder, Toronto International Book Fair; former Executive Director of Culture for the City of Toronto
  • Roscoe Handford, Manager, Wychwood Barns Farmers’ Market; Hospital for Sick Children Farmers’ Market; Regent Park Farmers’ Market
  • Alvis Julian, Black Creek Community Farm
  • Bilal Khan, Managing Director, OneEleven


Extra, Extra: Subway Shutdowns, No More Ford Square, and Growing Old

Every weekday’s end, we collect just about everything you ought to care about or ought not to miss.

  • Metrolinx is constructing a new Dundas West GO station. Last week, a beam hailing from that construction site pierced through the ceiling of the subway tunnel below. After sand and silt began making their way into the tunnel via the Metrolinx-supplied hole, the TTC was forced to shut down subway service on a portion of the Bloor-Danforth line for about seven hours. This is not the kind of inter-organizational cooperation commuters get tremendously excited about.
  • Keep reading: Extra, Extra: Subway Shutdowns, No More Ford Square, and Growing Old

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Your Guide to Nuit Blanche 2014

It's that all-night street party time again: here's what to see at this year's version of the event.

nuit blanche
  • Multiple venues
  • Saturday, October 4
  • 6:53 p.m.–6:53 a.m.
  • FREE

During this week’s mayoral debate held by ArtsVote Toronto, two out of five candidates mentioned Nuit Blanche as the most transformative cultural experience they’ve ever encountered. (For those keeping score, the two in question were Morgan Baskin and John Tory.) This could be because Nuit Blanche is kind of the artistic equivalent of Toronto itself—it’s big, divisive, and often crazily surreal, but there are moments big and small that make you so glad to be part of it.

And this year, Nuit Blanche is expanding its reach. We were pleased when the City of Toronto unveiled this year’s plan, which included three new neighbourhoods never before used in the event’s layout. This year, weird interactive art will also take over Chinatown, Fort York, and Bremner Boulevard—which may make for some nomadic art-goers and a few confused regular night owls.

Keep reading: Your Guide to Nuit Blanche 2014

Newsstand: September 30, 2014

It is the last day of September, meaning Christmas music is coming to a mall PA system near you sooner than anyone wants. Because nothing says “Happy Halloween!” like a hearty chorus of “Jingle Bells.” In the news: Meet Doug Ford, art collector; a University of Toronto think tank believes transit should be a top concern for mayoral candidates; municipal election campaigns heat up; and more construction is coming to a road near you.


Weekend Newsstand: September 27, 2014

A Canadian man was allegedly caught at the Detroit-Windsor border trying to re-enter Canada with 51 live turtles strapped to his legs. We could spend hours on a witty headline, but we'll move things along and settle on, “Is that 51 turtles in your pants, or are you just happy to see me?” In the news: Rob Ford will attend Ford Fest, Toronto police take to Twitter to defend use of force, and GO Transit has no idea what dangerous materials are travelling along Metrolinx-owned railway corridors.