Toronto Urban Roots Fest

  • Fort York, Garrison Common (100 Garrison Road)
  • All day

If you need further proof that Toronto hosts some of the best music festivals in the world, look no further than Toronto Urban Roots Fest. This multi-day, multi-stage event features over 30 bands to satisfy your indie-rock needs. Among some of the biggest performers are She & Him, The Hold Steady, Belle & Sebastian, and Neko Case.

Details: Toronto Urban Roots Fest

Christina Wollesen: “To Be Near You”

  • #Hashtag Gallery (801 Dundas Street West)
  • All day

To Be Near You” is a new art exhibition that explores the relationship of colours and experiences to our existence. These uniquely abstract pieces of art come to you via artist Christina Wollesen. The opening reception is on July 4 at 7 p.m. While you’re at Hashtag, you also have the chance to check out their “Send-A-Postcard Wall”, which lets you send art to anyone in the world so they can enjoy the show too.

Details: Christina Wollesen: “To Be Near You”

1st Thursdays w/ Absolutely Free and Doldrums

  • Art Gallery of Ontario (317 Dundas Street West)
  • 7 p.m.

AGO’s immensely popular art/music series, 1st Thursdays, powers on with a stellar July edition. The party, co-headlined by Absolutely Free and Doldrums, features an artist project by “Famous New Media Artist” Jeremy Bailey, pop-up talks by local artists, and DJs, as well as food and drinks. Pro-tip: buy your tickets in advance for they always sell-out!

Details: 1st Thursdays w/ Absolutely Free and Doldrums

Silent Shout: Digits, Montag, Akua, Make Haste

  • The Piston (937 Bloor Street West)
  • 8 p.m.

While our neighbours to the south are celebrating their independence, jump into some electro-pop to party…just because you can. The latest edition of Silent Shout features acclaimed electro-pop band Digits (this happens to be their homecoming show), as well as Montag, Akua, and Make Haste. Following the gigs, DJs will also be spinning their grooves to keep you dancing long into the night.

Details: Silent Shout: Digits, Montag, Akua, Make Haste

Henri Fabergé’s Feint of Hart

  • Videofag (187 Augusta Avenue)
  • 8 p.m.

Henri Fabergé’s Feint of Hart is an epic cabaret/punk opera that combines music, theatre, and film to tell the tale of a young aristocrat “whose Dionysian free spirit meets the resistance of firm Edwardian rule.” Featuring a long list of performers who you’re probably already familiar with including Doldrums, Maylee Todd, Bob Wiseman, Kathleen Phillips, and more. The show will be broken up into multiple episodes over multiple days though the ticket price covers both parts. Click here for the full schedule.

Details: Henri Fabergé’s Feint of Hart

Ongoing…

The Royal Ontario Museum Takes a Modern Approach to the Cradle of Civilization

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  • Royal Ontario Museum (100 Queens Park)
  • All day

The name “Mesopotamia” derives from a Greek term meaning “land between the rivers.” The Royal Ontario Museum’s latest major exhibit, which opens on June 22, takes this literally, as visitors flow between painted representations of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers on the floor.

Presented by the British Museum and rounded out with pieces from institutions in Chicago, Detroit, and Philadelphia, “Mesopotamia: Inventing Our World” covers 3,000 years of human development in the cradle of urban civilization. Most of the 170 artifacts on display have never been shown in Canada.

Details: The Royal Ontario Museum Takes a Modern Approach to the Cradle of Civilization

Toronto Fringe Festival 2013: Plays We Love So Far

The annual poster run that kicked off the Toronto Fringe Festival on Wednesday, July 3.

The annual poster run that kicked off the Toronto Fringe Festival on Wednesday, July 3.

  • Multiple venues
  • All day

We should have known that the 25th-annual Toronto Fringe Festival would be one for the books. Now, after almost one week of theatre-going, beer-tenting, and underground dancing, the Torontoist team has put the fest to the test, to see which plays shone like diamonds in the rough. We were pleasantly surprised with the results. Below, we’ve got some reviews of our favourite shows so far.

Details: Toronto Fringe Festival 2013: Plays We Love So Far

Entertaining Mr. Sloane

David Beazely and Stuart Hughes in rehearsal for Entertaining Mr. Sloane. Photo by Nathan Kelly.

David Beazely and Stuart Hughes in rehearsal for Entertaining Mr. Sloane. Photo by Nathan Kelly.

  • Young Centre for the Performing Arts (50 Tank House Lane)

Soulpepper Theatre collaborates on a Joe Orton play, Entertaining Mr. Sloane, with Buddies in Bad Times Theatre’s artistic producer Brendan Healey. Guest director Healey has coached some Soulpepper theatre stalwarts—Stuart Hughes, Fiona Reid, Michael Simpson, and David Beazley—for this dark comedy about a charming lodger who incites illicit passions among his other housemates.

Details: Entertaining Mr. Sloane

Thursday Night Bike Rides

  • Multiple venues
  • 6:15 p.m.

If you enjoy biking in the city (and of course you do) then get your wheels tuned up and join in Ward 29 Bikes’ weekly summer series, Thursday Night Rides. Here, you’ll have an opportunity to spin around neighbourhoods you might not normally explore on your own while getting to meet other like-minded cycling citizens. Be sure to check out their website for the starting point and schedule (also to get confirmation that the ride’s still a go due to weather, etc.).

Details: Thursday Night Bike Rides

Dancing on the Pier

  • Harbourfront Centre (235 Queens Quay West)
  • 7 p.m.

Dancing on the Pier is back for its third year! If you didn’t participate in this great dance series last year, be sure not to miss out this time around. For the uninitiated, this weekly series offers different live bands and instructors to help you find your groove along the waterfront all summer long. Featuring music by the Toronto All-Star Big Band and Ricardo Barboza.

Details: Dancing on the Pier

Yoga in the Town Square

Shop till you drop, then stretch it out with a free yoga class in the Town Square. Photo courtesy of the Shops at Don Mills.

Shop till you drop, then stretch it out with a free yoga class in the Town Square. Photo courtesy of the Shops at Don Mills.

  • Shops at Don Mills (1090 Don Mills Road)
  • 7 p.m.

Some people unwind with retail therapy, others do yoga. Now you can combine both activities with free yoga in the Town Square at The Shops at Don Mills. Regardless of your skill level, bring a mat and join the group for sessions twice weekly, courtesy of Titika.

Details: Yoga in the Town Square

New Toronto Production of Cats Meets Expectations

Cats Ensemble. Photo by Racheal McCaig.

Cats Ensemble. Photo by Racheal McCaig.

  • Panasonic Theatre (651 Yonge Street)
  • 7:30 p.m.

Cats is a challenging musical to stage for a number of reasons. The narrative is thin and strange; the lyrics are drawn primarily from T.S. Eliot’s poetry collection Old Possum’s Book Of Practical Cats, with more borrowed from some other Eliot poems, “Rhapsody on a Windy Night” (which original director Trevor Nunn adapted into the song “Memory”) and “Moments of Happiness.” The result is not so much a story as ideas and character sketches. Old Deuteronomy, patriarch of the Jellicle Cats, calls the creatures together once a year to celebrate, and for one cat to be chosen to ascend to the Heaviside Layer (essentially, to die and be reincarnated). Most of the songs detail the adventures and virtues of a single cat in particular, essentially serving as that cat’s audition for the honour of ascension.

Details: New Toronto Production of Cats Meets Expectations

Slap Shot Live!

  • Second City (51 Mercer Street)
  • 8 p.m.

The hockey season may have ended only days ago, but we bet you’re already feeling the withdrawal. No doubt, that’s why the Second City had the bright idea to bring one of the most classic hockey films to the stage. Check out Slap Shot Live!, a comedic re-enactment of the Charleston Chiefs minor league hockey team’s fight for victory in its final season.

Details: Slap Shot Live!