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What to See Toronto

Weekend Events: May 22 to 24

THESE WEEKEND EVENTS AND PERFORMANCES ARE GUARANTEED TO MAKE YOUR TIME IN TORONTO EVEN MORE MEMORABLE!

Toronto weekend events aga khan museum

The Aga Khan Museum is among more than 150 venues participating in this weekend’s Doors Open program (photo: Gary Otte)

THE MAIN EVENT
This weekend the city welcomes guests into some of its most private and distinguished spaces for self-guided tours. More than 150 historically, culturally and spiritually compelling buildings are accessible to the public for free during Doors Open. This year’s highlights include venues such as the Aga Khan Museum, City Hall, the Goldring Centre for High Performance Sport on the University of Toronto campus, the Fort York Armoury, and BMO Field.

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3DXL Looks at 3D Printing’s Future

3DXL, A NEW OFF-SITE EXHIBITION CREATED BY THE DESIGN EXCHANGE, EXAMINES THE OPPORTUNITIES AND CHALLENGES OF 3D PRINTING, AND HOW IT COULD MAKE ARCHITECTURE AND DESIGN MORE SUSTAINABLE AND ACCESSIBLE TO ALL

3DXL Design Exchange Toronto

MAY 14 TO AUGUST 16 When we talk about 3D printing, we tend to focus on its novelty—and occasionally its controversy: “Look over here! Someone’s printed a cartoony plastic doodad. And here’s a person who wants to print food! And over there, someone else has printed the components to a working rifle.” But that’s small-scale stuff. Arguably the most important use for the constantly evolving technology, however, is its ability to produce larger forms, from prosthetic limbs to furniture to entire buildings, all fully customizable and with little to no waste.

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25 Free Things to Do in Toronto with Kids

OUR ALL-SEASON GUIDE TO THE ABSOLUTE BEST LOW-COST AND FREE THINGS TO DO IN TORONTO WITH KIDS IN 2015.  BY CARA SMUSIAK

Free-Things-to-Do-in-Toronto-with-Kids-Header

Toronto is a fantastic city to explore with the whole family—especially as the weather starts to warm up. These 25 low-cost and free things to do in Toronto with kids offer many opportunities to get everyone outside, regardless of the season, though indoor activities abound, too, for days when the climate is uncooperative.

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At the Bata Shoe Museum, Heels Make the Man

IN A NEW EXHIBITION MARKING THE 20TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE BATA SHOE MUSEUM, HEELS—PARTICULARLY THOSE WORN BY MEN—ARE A VERY BIG DEAL

Bata Shoe Museum heels

This “Justin” packer boot and Ferradini shoe—the latter once worn by Elton John—are among the artifacts on display in the Bata Shoe Museum heels-for-men exhibition (photos: Ron Wood)

STARTS MAY 8 The Bata Shoe Museum officially kicks off its 20th-anniversary year by doing what it does best: using footwear to provoke discussion about history, cultural norms and contemporary notions of identity. Its latest showcase, “Standing Tall,” looks at heeled shoes and boots, and how men have worn them over the last 400 years. Though today we may think of men wearing heels as a dramatic affectation—the purview of drag performers, for example—their march across time has been far more complex. Think of European aristocrats, whose heels literally conveyed their elevated status. Consider rock stars like Elton John and David Bowie, who wore flamboyant platform shoes on stage. Or take that symbol of hyper-masculinity, the cowboy, whose boot heels help him stay in the stirrups while on horseback. Their stories and many others are told through this unique exhibition’s heightened artifacts.  —Craig Moy

• Bata Shoe Museum, 327 Bloor St. W., 416-979-7799; batashoemuseum.com
Map and reviews

15 Toronto Instagram Accounts to Follow

THESE TORONTO INSTAGRAM ACCOUNTS WILL HELP YOU SEE THE CITY (AND OTHER LOCALES, ON OCCASION) FROM ITS STREETS, PARKS, GALLERIES, RESTAURANTS, AND EVEN ITS ROOFTOPS

Toronto Instagram Accounts to Follow @smaku

Photo by @smaku

This month’s Contact festival has us in a photographic frenzy. But the best shooters aren’t always found in art galleries. Follow these Torontonians on Instagram to get some of the greatest views of the city.

@smaku  Designer and creative director Taku Kumabe shoots Toronto landscapes, many along the waterfront. He’s got a great eye for sunrises and sunsets, too.

@shawnmicallef  The noted urbanist walks Toronto (and other cities), capturing some of its lesser-known but still storied spaces. Periodic pics of his dog, the “Young Citizen,” too.

@agotoronto  The Art Gallery of Ontario’s official feed offers a behind the scenes perspective on its shows and events, while sharing third-party photos that use its exhibition-specific hashtags.

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Things to Do in Toronto: Shows & Events in May 2015

THERE ARE ALWAYS SO MANY THINGS TO DO IN TORONTO. GET OUT AND ENJOY SOME OF THE MANY GREAT PERFORMANCES AND EVENTS TAKING PLACE THROUGHOUT THE CITY IN MAY!

Things to do in Toronto May 2015

Among the things to do in Toronto this month: Check out Second City’s new show; see Ben Heppner in the Titanic musical; sample sake at Kampai Toronto; or peek inside the halls of power during Doors Open

ALL MONTH LONG The Scotiabank Contact Photography Festival has long been defined by its annual theme, an umbrella under which its exhibitions—these days numbering more than 200, on display across Toronto—could assemble, provoking discussion about the medium and its impact on the way we see ourselves. This year, the event is notable for its lack of a theme. It’s anything goes, though Contact’s guiding principle remains in place: the world’s most innovative photo-based art, collected in a single city, and available to be seen by one and all. Drop into venues including MOCCA, the Contact Gallery and the Ryerson Image Centre to view some of Contact’s primary exhibitions, or check out the full list of shows at scotiabankcontactphoto.com.

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5 Must-See Toronto Art Districts

EXPLORE THESE TORONTO ART DISTRICTS TO DISCOVER EXCELLENT GALLERIES AND SOME OF THE BEST CONTEMPORARY WORKS FROM CANADA AND ABROAD

Toronto art district olga korper gallery

Olga Korper Gallery, just south of the Junction Triangle Toronto art district (photo: Olga Korper Gallery)

Think Toronto’s renowned public museums offer some cool views? Numerous commercial galleries have equally striking artworks to ponder—and purchase, if you like what you see. There are dozens of great galleries downtown—from edgy indie outlets to venerable fine-art dealers. Make the most of your browsing time by heading to these five Toronto art districts, which boast a significant collection of exhibitors within close proximity to one another.

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Spotlight South Africa Turns on in Toronto

ORGANIZED BY THE CANADIAN STAGE, SPOTLIGHT SOUTH AFRICA ILLUMINATES THE COUNTRY WITH THREE WEEKS OF INNOVATIVE THEATRE, DANCE AND PERFORMANCE-ART WORKS

Spotlight South Africa Canadian Stage

Left: Ubu and the Truth Commission (photo: Luke Younge); right: Dominion (photo: John Hogg)

APRIL 8 TO 25 Though the end of apartheid and its transition to democracy (21 years ago this month) made South Africa a major success story of reconciliatory nation-building, today it represents far more than a simple feel-good story. This month the Canadian Stage explores the country’s rich history and complex cultural tapestry in Spotlight South Africa. Featuring six unique productions—including the multidisciplinary, puppetry-incorporating project Ubu and the Truth Commission, and Luyanda Sidiya tribal-inspired dance work, Dominion—the festival both illuminates and interrogates South Africa’s past, present and future. Berkeley Street Theatre, $39 to $99; call 416-368-3110 or visit canadianstage.com for a full schedule and to purchase tickets.  —Craig Moy

Cavalia’s Horse Lords Bring Odysseo Back to Toronto

ADMIRE THE PHYSICAL BEAUTY, STRENGTH AND SEAMLESS INTERACTION OF HORSES AND HUMANS AS CAVALIA’S ODYSSEO RETURNS TO TORONTO.

Cavalia Odysseo Toronto

APRIL 8 TO MAY 17  You can lead a horse to water, or you can bring water to a horse. At least that’s what Cavalia’s Odysseo would have you believe. In the splashy finale of this spectacular show, 300,000 litres of water floods the stage, creating a man-made pond that’s promptly descended upon by galloping horses. It’s a show capper that aptly sums up both the graceful aesthetic and overall ambition of the performance, as well as the majestic creatures that are its stars.

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Toronto Museums Have the Best Views in the City

THERE’S NEVER BEEN A BETTER TIME TO VISIT TORONTO MUSEUMS. EACH OF THEM REVEALS IMPORTANT ASPECTS OF HUMANITY’S CULTURAL HISTORY, WHILE LOOKING TOWARD OUR SHARED FUTURE.

Toronto Museums Royal Ontario Museum

The Gallery of Chinese Temple Art, Gallery of the Age of Mammals, and Teck Suite of Galleries: Earth’s Treasures are among the Royal Ontario Museum’s many unique permanent exhibits (photos: Royal Ontario Museum)

ALL-ENCOMPASSING INSTITUTION
It can be easy to take the Royal Ontario Museum for granted. If you’ve visited Toronto for any length of time, you’ve probably wandered through the museum’s halls and examined its vast holdings at least once. After all, the ROM has now stood for 101 years. No matter, though—if this is your first visit or, well, your one hundred and first, there’s always something to discover. Most patrons (especially those with children) make a beeline to the Galleries of the Age of Dinosaurs on the second floor of the stark Michael Lee Chin Crystal, but we think you’ll find equal enjoyment examining the museum’s stunning assemblage of minerals and gems, and its vast holdings of Chinese, Japanese, Korean and South Asian art. Unique among Toronto museums, the ROM’s purview includes both natural and human history. Feel a bout of museum fatigue coming on? The fourth-floor contemporary gallery is usually a little quieter (though right now it’s hosting a big Douglas Coupland show), or just take a minute to stand in the ROM’s historic rotunda: its domed ceiling is composed of more than one million Venetian glass tiles, arranged in pictographs representing the world’s natural and cultural histories.

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Things to Do in Toronto: Shows & Events in April 2015

THERE ARE ALWAYS SO MANY THINGS TO DO IN TORONTO. GET OUT AND ENJOY SOME OF THE MANY GREAT PERFORMANCES AND EVENTS TAKING PLACE THROUGHOUT THE CITY IN APRIL!

Things to do in Toronto April 2015

Clockwise from top-left: Jose Bautista of the Toronto Blue Jays; the Eifman St. Petersburg Ballet; Dame Edna

APRIL 7 TO 19 Budding movie makers, critics and all-around enthusiasts are in the director’s chair at the TIFF Kids International Film Festival, featuring more than 100 screenings for children aged three to 13. The event, which includes 120-plus shorts and feature-length films from 37 nations, demonstrates the medium’s ability to both entertain and educate, and to act as a means of exploring different concepts and themes. Through to the end of the fest, attendees can also visit TIFF’s digiPlaySpace, an award-winning interactive exhibit that enables kids to unleash their imagination through play with robotics, mobile apps, video games, 3D printing and virtual-reality experiences. TIFF Bell Lightbox, adults $13, children $9, digiPlaySpace access $10, film and digiPlaySpace adults $20, children $15; see tiff.net for details.

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Lucy DeCoutere Debuts Her New Role: Photographer

Lucy DeCoutere

Untitled photographs by Lucy DeCoutere

MARCH 27 TO MAY 1  Lucy DeCoutere grew up in Edmonton, did some teaching in South Korea, went to grad school in Montreal, was a television actress in Nova Scotia (she played Lucy on Trailer Park Boys), went to school again in Australia, and is now a Royal Canadian Air Force officer based at CFB Gagetown just outside Fredericton, New Brunswick. She’s well-travelled, but her latest endeavour indicates a yearning for the comforts of home. That project is Brick House, DeCoutere’s first exhibition of photography. Presented by photo collective Oculus Arts, the show compiles images—shot and edited using Instagram—whose subjects are evocative of place; aesthetically, though, they also manage to suggest ephemerality, acting as “postcards of a life in motion.”

• QSQ Giclee Boutique, 845 College St., 647-347-6253; qsqinc.com