Image from the piece Not an Hour, Not a Day (2014) by BAMBITCHELL, as part of the first ever Sculpting New Reads program at Word on the Street.
Sunday, September 21
11 a.m.–6 p.m.
The annual Word on the Street festival returns to Queen’s Park this Sunday—it’s a chance to flaunt your new scarf with a warm bevvy, renew all your magazine subscriptions, check out some of Canada’s best authors and indie publishing houses, and stock up on enough reading material to get you through the wintry months ahead.
Among the stacked tables and reading tents at this year’s fest will be five sculptures, part of the brand new Sculpting New Reads program, which paired local visual artists with Canadian novels released this year. Torontoist spoke to one half of the curatorial team behind Sculpting New Reads, Laura Mendes (co-director of Labspace Studio with John Loerchner) to find out how visual art will fit into the literary love-fest that is Word on the Street.
On September 9, the University of Toronto announced plans to tear down the McLaughlin Planetarium building on Queen’s Park Crescent and put in its place a complex housing a multi-disciplinary performance hall, a Centre for Jewish Studies research facility, and gallery space for a Jewish museum. University president Meric Gertler stated in a press release that the new development would “make a significant contribution to this cultural precinct and the entire city.” But not everyone is ready to raze the old planetarium. Jeff Balmer, professor of architecture at the University of North Carolina, has launched a petition to save the seemingly doomed structure.
Toronto-born and raised, Balmer helped lead a similar, and ultimately successful, campaign to save the Sam the Record Man sign. As a passionate native of the city, he wants to see the McLaughlin building saved for architectural posterity and, ideally, converted back into an operational planetarium—“a platform for science education … contributing to the discussion about ideas in science.” Balmer said the petition has received over 600 signatures so far.
Lena Dunham, creator and star of the hit HBO series Girls, is in town to headline the Just for Laughs JFL42 comedy festival, where she’ll be reading excerpts from her new memoir, Not That Kind of Girl, which hits shelves September 30. Torontoist spoke to her about creating her own series at the tender age of 23, her decision to write a memoir at 28, and the new direction in which she’ll take JFL42 with her live reading and Q-and-A on Saturday.