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].
A shot of the Distillery District from 2007’s Doors Open extravaganza. Photo by fotograf.416 from the Torontoist Flickr Pool.
FESTIVAL: If the weather this weekend is anything like it’s been the past few days, you’ll be welcoming the chance to seek refuge in any of the 150 (hopefully air-conditioned) buildings of architectural, historical, or cultural significance that will be participating in the eleventh annual Doors Open Toronto festival, which takes place on Saturday and Sunday. In addition to the buildings themselves, events will abound during the festivities, including walks offered by the Toronto Society of Architects and a psychogeographic stroll with Spacing’s Shawn Micallef on Saturday. If 150 is a daunting number, check out Torontoist’s picks for the buildings we’re most excited to visit this weekend. Everywhere, Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m.–5 p.m, FREE.
CYCLING: Bells on Bloor, the city’s favourite cycling parade, is going into high gear this year by adding a musical flourish. The parade will be accompanied by Clay and Paper Theatre’s Cyclops (Cycling Oriented Puppet Squad), a theatrical project that strives to reinvent the traditional concept of a performance venue while simultaneously spicing up Toronto’s streets and promoting active living. The parade will begin at High Park and conclude at Queen’s Park, but eager cyclists can join in at any point along the way. Meet at the main gate of High Park at Bloor Street West Saturday starting at 11 a.m., ride starts at 12 p.m.; FREE.
CABARET: Outside of kids’ birthday parties, McDonald’s ads, and nightmares, the opportunities to see real live clowns are few and far between these days. Luckily, Lunacy Cabaret holds a monthly show that incorporates clowning, circus, vaudeville, and all sorts of other tomfoolery. Since 2005, the cabaret has brought long-lost circus arts such as fire-eating, juggling, and mime back to the Toronto stage, and it embraces the circus’s true nature of irreverence and extreme physical humour—check all memories of Cirque du Soleil at the door. Proceeds will be donated to Circus Without Borders. Centre of Gravity (1300 Gerrard Street East); Saturday doors 8:30, show 9:30; $12/adv, $15/door.
MUSIC: For the past few years, lucky visitors to the Dakota Tavern on Sundays would have the opportunity to hear the jangling, sweaty roots rock of The Beauties, a Toronto sextet that drew crowds by the hundreds to the bar on nights they played and was named Toronto’s best roots/country band by NOW. They emerge from the dusky, dusty boards of the Dakota this week with the release of their self-titled debut, and on Saturday, they’ll headline a CD release party at the Horseshoe with Marah and New Country Rehab. Horseshoe Tavern (370 Queen Street West); Saturday doors 9 p.m.; $10/adv., $12/door.
FESTIVAL: The best way to alleviate the animosity between cyclists and motorists is for everyone to leave their wheels at home and become what we were all intended to be: pedestrians. Kensington Market’s first Pedestrian Sunday will be held this weekend, kicking of a series of vibrant street festivals. During each PS Kensington, residents and visitors will reclaim the streets, celebrating the neighbourhood with dance, food, public classes, music, and more. PS Kensingtons will be held on the last Sunday of every month until October. Kensington Market, Sunday 12–7 p.m., FREE.
THEATRE: In 1943, Bertolt Brecht’s Life of Galileo, starring Leonard Steckel and exploring the burden of integrity in the face of oppression, premiered in Zurich. On Sunday, under the careful thumb of Jacob Zimmer, Small Wooden Shoe will stage a reading of the play with Fiona Highet playing the title role, joined by the toast of Toronto’s literary and theatrical communities, including Ann-Marie MacDonald and Daniel MacIvor. Local musicians Matt Murphy and Laura Barrett will provide a live soundtrack, and all proceeds will be donated to the Actors’ Fund of Canada. Stay tuned for Torontoist’s review of the star-studded production. Convocation Hall (31 King’s College Circle), Sunday 7 p.m., FREE w/donation.