In today's UP: discuss the divide between suburbs and downtown with the bloggers of Ethnic Aisle or learn about the tech behind this upcoming weekend's Nuit Blanche, see which Toronto businesses are the most supportive of two-wheelers at the Bicycle Friendly Business Awards, and PWYC for music from folks at the Garrison or comedy from standups at Unlovable.
DISCUSSION: The bloggers at the Ethnic Aisle are trying to encourage intelligent discourse about race and ethnicity with regards to Toronto—a city with a reputation for diversity that isn’t always reflected online. Part of that discourse revolves around ethnicity and a preference for suburban over urban living—a topic writer Navneet Alang recently broached in his Toronto Standard article “Why White Scenesters Hate the ‘Burbs“. You’ll get a chance to debate this and other race and ethnicity-related subjects around the 416 and 905 at tonight’s Ethnic Aisle Talk session. 519 Community Centre, Room 106 (519 Church Street), 6 p.m–8 p.m., FREE.
TALK: Leading up to this weekend’s fifth annual Nuit Blanche (which we’ll have plenty to say about this week), the organizers are holding preview talks, starting with tonight’s Tech Talk, discussing the role of new technology and how artists use it for Nuit Blanche. The talk will feature more than a half-dozen participating artists and will be moderated by Shirley Madill, the curator of Zone B. (It’s also, to our knowledge, the first time there will be official previews of the upcoming weekend’s “all night art thing.”) Ryerson University Eaton Lecture Theatre (80 Gould Street), 6:30 p.m.–8:30 p.m., FREE.
AWARDS: The Toronto Cyclists Union, those cheerleaders for cycling in T.O., are handing out awards tonight to acknowledge and celebrate local businesses that their members and supporters have deemed bike-friendly. Criteria included places to safely store bikes, use of bike courier services, encouragement of cycling groups in the workplace, and many more details as provided by those folks who nominated businesses and employers. Once all the awards are handed out, the party will really get going—though be sure not to overindulge or your bike valet (yes, there will be valet bike parking) might think twice about giving your slurring, stumbling self your ride back. Gladstone Hotel Ballroom (1214 Queen Street West), 7 p.m., FREE.
MUSIC: You want to see Tune-Yards and Pat Jordache at Lee’s Palace tonight? Well, you’d better be prepared to shell out big money to the scalpers (much more than the $16.50 ticket price), if you can find any—the show’s been sold out for weeks. As an alternative, there are some talented and innovative local musicians participating in a Circular Songs showcase in the front room of the Garrison this evening, including Dwight Schenk (Basement Arms, Natural Disasters) and Steve Heyerdahl (Proof of Ghosts). The Garrison (1197 Dundas Street West), 8:30 p.m, PWYC.
COMEDY: There are comics worth checking out at the Hard Luck and the Alt.Dot.Comedy Lounge tonight, too, but our pick would go to this week’s edition of Laughable at Unlovable, which tonight features guests like Gilson Lubin, Georgea Brooks-Hancock, and Mark Forward, who seems to be slowly coming out of retirement (which we wholeheartedly support). Unlovable (1415-B Dundas Street West), 9 p.m., PWYC.
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].