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 protected].
Horsing around during a 2009 Jane’s Walk in the Jane–Finch neighbourhood. This year’s walks take place all weekend. Photo by ardenstreet from the Torontoist Flickr Pool.
WALK: Few Torontonians have had a greater impact on the city’s urban literacy and community bonding than Jane Jacobs, who lived here from 1968 until her death in 2006. In its three years, Jane’s Walk has exploded from twenty-seven local walks in Toronto to over four hundred in sixty-seven cities across the world. This year’s walks run the gamut from straightforward neighbourhood jaunts to historical flashbacks to queer- and green-themed adventures. Everywhere, Saturday and Sunday walks start at 9 a.m., FREE.
FESTIVAL: Festivals abound this weekend! The Toronto Freedom Festival—which drew over thirty thousand people last year—returns to the north lawns of Queen’s Park with a carnival of over seventy-five exhibitors and over a hundred musicians, DJs, comedians, and speakers, including cannabis advocate Marc Emery (the Prince of Pot). The festival is committed to promoting freedom of choice and expression, but everyone knows that its biggest draw will be the Global Marijuana March at 2 p.m., a peaceful rally celebrating cannabis culture. Queen’s Park, Saturday 12:30–6 p.m. (marijuana march at 2 p.m.), FREE.
PHOTOGRAPHY: Plenty of shutterbugs will showcase their work at the Scotiabank Contact Photography Festival (running until May 31), but one highlight is sure to be Torontoist photog Nancy Paiva‘s series on Hank Young, known as the Gladstone Cowboy, who passed away last fall. For decades, the elevator operator and master storyteller was a Gladstone fixture—an old-fashioned gentleman in a changing world. Paiva’s exhibit includes a photography series and a multimedia documentary, which will be screened at tonight’s opening. Gladstone Hotel (1214 Queen Street West), Saturday 7 p.m.–12 a.m., FREE.
THEATRE: Theatre is supposed to be immersive, and the Theatre Passe Muraille is taking that ideal literally in its new piece, The Tale of a Town—Queen West, which runs until May 16. The site-specific play will actually lead audiences on a journey through the neighbourhood, past new developments, a model loft, a vintage clothing store, a graffiti alley, and more. A true theatrical experience, the show incorporates stock footage, live music, and oral history. Begins at Theatre Passe Muraille (16 Ryerson Avenue); Saturday and Sunday 7:30 p.m.; $12/advance, $15/door.
WORDS: Not to be missed during The Globe and Mail Open House Festival, which started yesterday and runs until Sunday, is the words-and-music cabaret Torn from the Pages, in which some of your favourite Coach House Books titles will be transformed into snappy new tunes by local talent. Among the performers will be Dave Bidini (inspired by Christian Bök’s Eunoia), Paul Linklater (inspired by Guy Maddin’s My Winnipeg), The Billie Hollies (inspired by Claudia Dey’s Stunt), and many more. Some of the authors will also be on hand to introduce their works. Hugh’s Room (2261 Dundas Street West), Saturday 8:30 p.m., $15.
TALK: The third and final Let’s Talk: TTC Riders and Workers town-hall meeting takes place this Sunday in the downtown core. This session will be hosted by CBC Radio’s Barbara Budd, and will be the final opportunity (for now) for front-line TTC workers and riders to come face to face and discuss the issues that affect both groups. In attendance will be TTC workers’ union president Bob Kinnear, who, along with the workers, will be available to answer questions and address concerns. Ryerson University Library Theatre (350 Victoria Street), Sunday 1–3 p.m., FREE.
FILM: Hot Docs continues this weekend, and so does Torontoist’s coverage of it. Get more Hot Docs right here.