Urban Planner: October 14, 2010
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Urban Planner: October 14, 2010

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].

This photograph by Raina Kirn was inspired by a drawing by nineteen-year-old Bolivian street youth Maria del Carmen and will be part of tonight’s Drawn to Develop gala.

Today, Jennifer Bonnell illuminates the history of the Don River Valley, the Drawn to Develop gala gleans inspiration from street youth, Coach House Books debuts its fall catalogue, and the MFA party launches a new novel, film, and album.

HISTORY: In the mid-nineteenth century, as the Don River Valley became an industrial hub, it also became a place of refuge for some of Toronto’s less “desirable” classes—squatters, homeless people, and Roma travellers would often camp out there. Tonight, as part of a special history series offered by the Toronto Public Library, Jennifer Bonnell, an environmental historian and co-creator of the Don Valley Historical Mapping Project, will speak about the legacy of prisons, pollution, and homelessness in the valley. Bendale Branch (1515 Danforth Road), 7 p.m., FREE.
PHOTOGRAPHY: Every year, the Drawn to Develop gala presents a unique collaboration between a group of top photographers and young street survivors from around the world. Thirty-six photographs have been created, each inspired by a street youth’s drawing. The youth themselves hail from Bolivia, Ethiopia, Kenya, and Nepal, and the photographer roster includes Caitlin Cronenberg, Tommy Matejka, and Shanghoon. Tonight’s gala will be DJ’d by Tim Fletcher and Liam O’Neil of The Stills, and all proceeds will go to Street Kids International. Fermenting Cellar, Distillery District (55 Mill Street), 7:30 p.m., $75.
WORDS: Coach House Books, one of Canada’s most beloved small presses, having recovered from its Wayzgoose, will launch its fall catalogue tonight at Revival. There are some exciting titles on the roster, including poetry from Jon Paul Fiorentino, Gary Barwin, and Jonathan Ball, as well as new fiction from Gail Scott and a debut novel by Dorothy Ellen Palmer. All of these literary luminaries will be reading at tonight’s launch (Ball via video-conferencing), and there’s no charge to get in. Revival (783 College Street), 8 p.m., FREE.
PARTY: The worlds of film, words, and music collide tonight at MFA, the ultimate multidisciplinary release party. On this momentous occasion, Trampoline Hall creator Sheila Heti will read from her new book, How Should A Person Be?, which is based on interviews with friends, including painter Margaux Williamson. Williamson, for her part, will screen clips from Teenager Hamlet, her film in which she, along with Heti, follow strangers—identified as Hamlets and Ophelias—through their neighbourhood. Finally, to commemorate the release of their first album, Don’t Go to School, kooky performance-art popsters Tomboyfriend will perform. For those who attend both MFA and the Coach House Books launch, passports will be available to get discounts on both Anansi and Coach House titles. Stone’s Place (1255 Queen Street West), 8 p.m., FREE.

CORRECTION: OCTOBER 14, 2010, 12:57 PM This article originally and mistakenly indicated that drinks were going to be free at tonight’s Coach House event. In fact, it is admission that is free—drinks will be available at a cash bar.