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].
The Luminato Reel offers a triple bill of Rufus Wainwright–centric documentaries this weekend. Photo by Kevin Westerberg.
FESTIVAL: Like Narnia, Terabithia, and any number of other idyllic paradises from children’s literature, the Toronto Island is a peaceful, pastoral oasis where time seems to stop. To celebrate the rich tree life on the island, the City of Toronto and the Canadian Tree Fund have teamed up to present the first annual Toronto Tree Festival. The celebration will include a bike and walking tour of the island’s trees (bikes are available for rent, or bring your own), an interactive parade, eco-art installations, tree plantings, and stories for kids. Centre Island; Saturday 10:15 a.m. (meet on dock for tour), other events throughout the day on the island; FREE.
CYCLING: If you have a bicycle, there are plenty of opportunities to hop on this weekend. Saturday marks the World Naked Bike Ride, a scantily clad cycling parade in which participants bike (or skateboard, wheelchair, or rollerskate) in as few clothes as possible to protest fossil-fuel dependency (Coronation Park [Lakeshore Boulevard West of Bathurst Street] Saturday 12 p.m., FREE). After a naked ride, your bike will certainly need a wash-down, so pamper your bike with a wash, degrease, and lube job at Bike Pirates (1291 Bloor Street West, Saturday 1–5 p.m., $5–$10 donation). Sunday will see a more wholesome, family-friendly cycling event: the Family Bicycle Parade, featuring decorated bikes and cycling-themed games (Connaught Circle [Wychwood Avenue, north of Vaughan Road], Sunday 2–4 p.m., FREE). Get on your bike and ride!
WORDS: In addition to all the magical Luminato events featured in our festival guide, this weekend features two exciting literary happenings. On Saturday, the festival boasts readings from three of Africa’s most talented contemporary writers—Kenyan Booker Prize nominee Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o (Dreams In a Time of War), Nigerian-English novelist Carole Enahoro (Doing Dangerously Well), and Zimbabwean short-story writer Brian Chikwava. Later that day, the festival will host a discussion among three homegrown authors: London, Ontario–born Eleanor Catton (The Rehearsal), Saskatchewan’s Michael Helm (Cities of Refuge), and journalist-cum-novelist Shaughnessy Bishop-Stall (Ghosted). It will be moderated by author and playwright Susan G. Cole. Isabel Bader Theatre (93 Charles Street West); Saturday: African panel at 2 p.m., Canadian panel at 7 p.m.; $15 each.
SPORTS: It’s undeniable—golf is a sport for the affluent classes. But who says the rich get to have all the fun? It’s that kind of thinking that has prompted a group of golf enthusiasts to organize a real game of golf deep in the heart of Kensington Market at a price that even the most penniless putter can pay. Golfing clothes are welcome, but the theme of the game is Atlantis, so nautical, beachy, and ocean-themed costumes are encouraged, with a prize for the best duds. This is a 19+ event—golfers will be visiting bars between rounds, because why not? Bellevue Square Park, Saturday 3 p.m., $3 greens fee.
FILM/MUSIC: As we mentioned in our Luminato guide, Rufus Wainwright‘s much-anticipated new opera, Prima Donna, will be premiering at this year’s festival. To celebrate this momentous occasion for Canada’s king of chamber pop, the National Film Board will screen a whopping three Wainwright-centric documentaries. Kicking off the bill is All I Want, a straight-up profile of Wainwright, incorporating interview and concert footage, followed by a making-of documentary about Prima Donna. The NFB has saved the best for last, finishing off with Rufus! Rufus! Rufus! Does Judy! Judy! Judy!, a filmed version of Wainwright’s spectacular recreation of Judy Garland’s landmark 1961 Carnegie Hall concert. Come for one, some, or all. National Film Board, Toronto Mediatheque (150 John Street); Sunday 5 p.m., 6:30 p.m., 8 p.m.; FREE.
MUSIC: With Man Forever, a solo project from Oneida drummer Kid Millions, drums take centre stage, making melody seem like an afterthought. Joining Kid Millions this weekend will be three other superstar percussionists: Yeah Yeah Yeahs‘ Brian Chase, Constantines‘ Doug MacGregor, and DD/MM/YYYY‘s Michael Moshe. Man Forever performs improvisations for a series of carefully tuned drums. The project has gotten praise from none other than Rick Moody, who described it as “the thunderous ebbing and flowing of multiple rolls and fills, to replace the massaged rhythmic pulse of the Pro Tools era.” Apparently, rhythm is a dancer. Whippersnapper Gallery (587A College Street), Sunday 8 p.m., $10.