Free events in Toronto: July 14-20, 2014
Free events in Toronto this week offer the summer's usual array of free outdoor film screenings, festivals, and concerts, plus a few surprises to shake it up - tour to a beehive by bicycle (and sample honey!), eat lunch at the Ossington Stop (like, for free, but remember to TIP), and a day of music on Toronto Islands (not in support of men's equality, I promise). Free concerts, artist talks, and dance lessons mean that a shitty summer is your own fault, not your wallet's.
Here's how to live like nature intended (no money, no need for pants) in Toronto this week.
Urban Beekeeping Bicycle Tour
Penelope Stewart's beeswax exhibit "Vanitas" was a pick on our summer art shows list, so if you haven't seen it yet here's a fun excuse/adventure. Bike from Koffler Gallery to the Portlands Energy Centre beehives where there will be honey samples and a demonstration. Sign up via this page or you might miss your spot. Monday, July 14, 6:30pm, Koffler Centre of the Arts
(180 Shaw Street).
Bloody Diamonds Live at Bovine Sex Club
Bloody Diamonds will play the Bovine for free every Monday in July (14, 21, 28). Check the pentagram-loving band out here. Mondays, 9pm, Bovine Sex Club (542 Queen Street West).
Opening Talk: Claire Fontaine present a lecture on 1970s Italian feminism!
Paris-based "ready-made" artist Claire Fontaine is showing as part of the "Getting Rid of Ourselves" exhibit, and in true French avant form there may be a hint of arty terrorism in this talk on Italian feminism. Wait, will this talk actually be on Italian feminism? Find out on Wednesday. July 16, 6:30pm, OCAD University (100 McCaul Street).
Outdoor Screening of BLOOD BROTHER
So straight forward - free outdoor movie. Looks to be sad/uplifting - Blood Brother is a doc that the story of Rocky, a "young American who moves to India and devotes his life to caring for orphaned children living with HIV/AIDS." Wednesday, July 16, 9pm, Outside Daniels Spectrum (585 Dundas Street East).
MDFF presents Ali Aydin's KF
Another screening - this one by donation, so chip in a buck or five - Venice Film Festival winner Ali Aydin's Kf. Expect Dostoyevsky vibes and pray that DDL has installed A/C (I heard a rumour that they planned to, but no promises, sweaty film lovers). Wednesday, July 16, 9pm, Double Double Land (209 Augusta Ave).
fORUM: Monika Szewczyk
Art events are good bets for freebies, but here's a chance to connect with the mind of an artist without straining your eyes on pictures/installs. Monika Szewczyk will host the curiously titled 'how to hold a conversation' event which judging by your commenting skills is a lost cause, but here. Wednesday, July 16, 7pm, Mercer Union, a centre for contemporary art (1286 Bloor Street West).
PPOP and Eastern Promises Present: Jamaican Queens, Farragoes, Body Butter @ Handlebar - Wednesday, July 16th
Detroit's Jamaican Queens are joined by Farragoes, Body Butter at Handlebar (159 Augusta Ave) Wednesday, July 16. It's PWYC, so bring a donation for the touring band!
FREE LUNCH at Ossington Stop
"But it's not even on Ossington!" you say while chowing down on free Russian steamed bun with pork, cabbage, and carrot salad, Southern-style chicken n' waffles with honey garlic sauce, and baked BBQ side ribs with "deep goodness" slaw. You stare the gift horse in the mouth like it's the abyss and you're a first year philosophy student. Broke philosopher or not, do not forget to TIP your server or may you forever free-fall in this abyss. Thursday, July 17, 12-5pm, Ossington Stop (1164 Dundas Street West).
Beaches International Jazz Festival
From July 18 - 27 the sweet sounds and smells (food truck alert) of Beaches Jazz will fill Woodbine park. Wander it for free. Free jazz, but not all free jazz - lots of genres are taking part. That was a jazz pun and I'm really sorry. Woodbine Park.
Habari Africa Festival
All weekend long you can check out this free cultural fest at the Harbourfront. Maybe you'll save up enough to go to Africa next year, but this will do for now. July 18-20, Harbourfront Centre (235 Queens Quay West).
Music in St. James Park: Bertie & the Gents and Free Swing Dance Class
Beaches Jazz not enough? Hit St James Park to learn to swing dance, or soak up the music (and the sunshine) - either way it's all for free. Friday, July 18, 6:30pm, St. James Park (120 King Street East).
BIG on BLOOR
On Saturday Bloor will be car-free between Dufferin and Lansdowne. There you'll find the BIG Alternative Art Festival, the Card-Yard made from recyclables presented by PULP and Senayah Design, performances, an awards ceremony, the launch of Bloor Gardens, and of course, if you have the dollars, lots to eat and drink. Saturday - Sunday, July 19, 1-9pm, Bloordale (1215 Bloor Street West).
Why do anything indoors? (I say this to my boss in a whiny voice - ineffective.) Cultura Fest is back at Mel Lastman Square July 18 and 25. Performers, art installs, and film screenings are all free. Mel Lastman Square (5100 Yonge Street).
Salsa on St. Clair
Salsa on St. Clair is probably one of the festivals most fraught with steamy summer possibilities. This year, it's a week long with events across the city from July 12 to 20 - check out the programming for the first week here. The street festival, which is obviously along St. Clair, is this weekend - 19 and 20. SR
Poor Pilgrim Island Show 7
It's back - Poor Pilgrim presents Doomsquad, IC/JC/VC, Petra Glynt, Carl Didur and more in a relaxing show in hidden spots on the island (a map and tour will guide the way). It's PWYC and the ferry is $7 (the ride home is free). Sunday, July 20, 5pm, Toronto Islands.
CPFF Days of Summer: Stand By Me coming-of-age flicks
I have watched Stand By Me so many times that I could recite the whole thing from memory, but embedding audio in this post would defeat the purpose of you going to check out this free outdoor screening of the Rob Reiner classic aka the only coming of age film that matters (maybe). Bring a blanket and a small donation. Saturday July 20, 7:30pm, Christie Pits Park (779 Crawford Ave W).
Curator's talk with Helena Reckitt
Onsite [at] Ocadu's new group show Getting Rid of Ourselves opens this week, and on Saturday you can attend curator Helena Reckitt's talk on the exhibit. Learn more here. Saturday, July 19, 1pm, Onsite [at] Ocadu (230 Richmond Street West, Street Level).
- Elvis Mondays at the Drake
- Foosball Battle Royale, Monday, Disgraceland
- Art Gallery of Ontario free evening, Wednesday, 6-8:30pm.
- IFOA Weekly, free for supporters, students, & youth under 26, Wednesday, Harbourfront Centre
- Skin of My Nuts Comedy Show, Thursday, Sonic Espresso Bar
- Free patio concerts, Thursday until Aug 7, Roy Thomson Hall
- Canadian Opera Company's Free Concerts series
- While nearly all art galleries in the city are free to enter, it's worth noting The Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art (MOCCA) is always PWYC.
- The ROM (Royal Ontario Museum) offers discounted tickets on Fridays ($10).
Do you want everyone to know about your kinda random free or pay-what-you-can event? Submit it to our event section. (You can also submit your for-money events here, greedy-pants.)
Contributions by Sarah Ratchford. Salsa on St. Clair photo by Irina No.