Urban Planner: What's On In Toronto, August 18-23

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Urban Planner: What’s On In Toronto, August 18-23

This weekend, the CNE, Sail In Cinema, Camp Wavelength, and more; next week, improv in an art gallery, and robots vs. kaiju on the waterfront.

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Photo by Frank K. Lee via Torontoist’s Flickr Pool

Friday, August 18

The Canadian National Exhibition always comes up with a few unique events to add to the midway, music (which this year includes Bandshell sets by such acts as The Sam Roberts Band, A Tribe Called Red, and Dear Rouge), and traditional annual events like the air show. This opening weekend includes an East Coast Kitchen Party; new attractions like a Trampoline Show, a “Gaming Garage,” and a Canada 150-themed ice skating show (featuring Elvis Stojko, natch); and new twists on old favourites, like an new all Canadian SuperDogs show, and “flood-fighting” demonstrations at the Canadian Armed Forces display. This Friday, there’s a special $10 opening day admission price (there are plenty of other deals throughout the 18-day fair).

To September 4, Exhibition Place (210 Princes Boulevard), 10 a.m.- midnight (gates close at 10 p.m.), $10-$19.


It’s all on the mainland this year, but it certainly sounds like Camp Wavelength is still going all out to replicate the camp experience, with their typically fine bill of music acts for adults and kids of all ages. Tonight’s opening show at The Garrison (1197 Dundas Street West) features DATU, Jessy Lanza, and more. On Saturday and Sunday, a daily bus will pick up west end camp-goers and deliver them back and forth between Trinity Bellwoods Park and Sherbourne Commons (61 Dockside Drive), where acts like Germaphobes and the She-Devils will play; the night time shows, held at Longboat Hall (1087 Queen Street West), will feature Rich Aucoin, Deerhoof, The Luyas, and more.

To August 20, various venues, PWYC-$25 ($65 all access pass).


Phèdre (who shot this video at the CNE in 2015) close out the Beats Breaks & Culture Festival on Sunday.


Saturday, August 19

The Ontario Coalition against Poverty is hosting a BBQ and Rally for Shelter and Housing today, planning to feed the masses while also outlining their action plans to pressure the City (and other levels of government) to open more shelter beds, preserve existing Toronto Community Housing Corp. units, and start building more affordable housing.

Allan Gardens Park (19 Horticultural Avenue), noon-4 p.m., FREE.


Harbourfront Centre’s annual Beats, Breaks & Culture Festival, showcasing the best of Canadian hip-hop and dance talent, still has plenty of daytime activities for the whole family, including a special exhibit where kids can use VR tech to remix a Tribe Called Red song. But the lynchpin for this festival is the music acts—including Austra, Dead Obies, and Phèdre—and the late night dance parties, which go to 3 a.m. on Friday and Saturday night.

To August 20, Harbourfront Centre (235 Queens Quay West), Friday 6 p.m.-3 a.m., Saturday noon-3 a.m., Sunday noon-7 p.m., FREE-$15.


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One of the many street food options at the Toronto Chinatown Festival. Photo via Torontoist Flickr Pool


Add Spadina southbound (or west side) between Sullivan Street and St. Andrew Street to your list of this weekend’s street closures, where the 17th Toronto Chinatown Festival will be all weekend, showcasing neighbourhood food, local artisans, and cultural demonstrations like free kung fu classes, and a dragon dance.

To August 20, Chinatown Centre (222 Spadina Avenue), Saturday noon-11 p.m., Sunday noon-8 p.m., FREE.



The Dance: Made In Canada Festival (or d:mac, for short) features contemporary work from Vancouver to Halifax and cities in-between. The program includes daytime screenings of new dance films; evening premieres of new works by Montreal’s Ebnfloh Dance Company, Halifax’s Mocean Dance, and Vancouver’s Action At a Distance; and previews of in-prgress works by local choreographers like Anne-Flore de Rochambeau, Lucy Rupert, and Jasmyn Fyffe, who just last week had an honourable mention (for her show what do you see?) for the Jon Kaplan Spotlight Award at the SummerWorks Festival.

To August 20, Betty Oliphant Theatre (404 Jarvis Street), various times, $10-$25.



Sunday, August 20

More streets to stay away from in your car this weekend, but happily explore on foot; Open Streets Toronto is taking over Yonge Street and Bloor Street in the downtown core for four hours, turning them into temporary woonerfs. It won’t just be for two-legged walking, either; there’s an opportunity to join a dog walk along Bloor from Sherbourne to Spadina.

Yonge Street (Queen Street to Bloor Street) & Bloor Street (Sherbourne Street to Christie Street), 10 a.m.-2 p.m., FREE.


Toronto’s busy season of outdoor film screenings is starting to wind down, with the Christie Pits Film Festival having its last screenings this weekend (two mystery boxing films), and other local movie-in-park outfits following suit. You could consider Sail-In Cinema as a peak point of the season, with the double-sided screen offering good vantage points by land (at Sugar Beach) and sea (well, lake). Friday’s film is Indiana Jones and The Raiders of The Lost Ark; Saturday’s, the new live action Beauty and The Beast; Sunday’s, a rescheduled showing of Thursday’s rained-out Edward Scissorhands.

To August 20, Sugar Beach (11 Dockside drive), gates at 6 p.m. (film at approx. 8:45 p.m.), FREE.



Monday, August 21

The monthly Mixed Company, which pairs improvisers with on-script actors, tonight welcomes improvisers like Becky Johnson, Nicky Nasrallah, and Jan Caruana, and actors like Christina Collins (ABC’s Designated Survivor), Steven Burley (Driftwood Theatre), and Shakura Dickson (Solar Stage Theatre). (We’ve previously profiled Mixed Company, writing about it’s particular blend of improv and theatre.)

Comedy Bar (945 Bloor Street West), 9 p.m., $8-$12.


Tonight, Coldplay starts a multi-night stand at the Rogers Centre. Maybe you’d prefer to see an up-and-coming band instead, for one-third to 1/22 the ticket price? Michigan band The Accidentals have been steadily increasing their profile: they were one of Billboard’s breakout bands at SXSW in 2015 (Billboard premiered their new track “Odyssey” this week), one of Huffington Post’s Sweet Sixteen of 2016, and on Yahoo Music’s Top 10 Bands to Watch in 2017 list.

The Drake Hotel Underground (1150 Queen Street West), 9 p.m., $10.


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Anti-fascist activists protesting at Nathan Phillips Square earlier this year. Torontoist file photo.


Tuesday, August 22

The objective of tonight’s No Fascists TO rally has already been accomplished: Ryerson University has cancelled the scheduled panel discussion that was to feature such guests as Faith Goldy, ex-Rebel Media correspondent (recently fired for guesting on a podcast by Nazi website The Daily Stormer), and Jordan Peterson. The rally is still going forward, now as a “peaceful celebration” of diversity and “the things they’d rather silence us for.”

Ryerson University George Vari Engineering & Computing Centre (245 Church Street), 6 p.m., FREE.



Wednesday, August 23

We can’t think of a better place to watch Toronto resident Guillermo del Toro’s film Pacific Rim (which we’ve previously examined in our Reel Toronto series) than outside at the Harbourfront Centre’s Concert Stage. Let us know if you can watch the film, which is about giant monsters rising from the ocean to attack cities with waterfronts, without once casting a look over your shoulder at Lake Ontario’s watery depths.

Harbourfront Centre Concert Stage (235 Queens Quay West), 8:30 p.m., FREE.


Urban Planner is your weekly curated guide to what’s on in Toronto—things that are local, affordable, and exceptional.

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