The Streets Are Alive and Kickin'
If you don't like reality shows, then TV in this decade is certainly not a worthwhile investment for you. Still, you feel a need to be entertained. Fortunately, you live in the "T-dot" and we happen to have a number of amazingly talented individuals willing to perform on sidewalks for much less than the price of even the basic cable package.
With a few less smoggy days this week and hopefully more to come, this is a great time to take in some street shows, so by all means, lace up your sneakers and go for a walk in these keys areas:
First and foremost, the lil square that wants so bad to be hip and happ'nin': Dundas Square (Dundas & Yonge).
The photos featured at the top and bottom here were taken at D.S. yesterday evening. While most street performers in the area still prefer to chalk off a space on the less commercial west side of Yonge in front of the Eaton Ctr, some acts have been giving the concrete square a chance.
This group of 4 break dancers (and their donation box, "Phil") offered the crowd some quick lessons in breakdancing terminology and key moves before wrapping up with their best stuff. The square proved to be a great location for them as they had plenty of onlookers who were already sitting around, but due to security's close watch they had to keep reminded the crowd near the sidewalk to come closer & not stop on the sidewalk or they'd be in some trouble.
If you want to see some live action visual arts, Queen West Soho (Queen West, East of Spadina) is more the route for you.
Dozens of artists set up along the wide north sidewalk of Queen West every day. While some are peddling bizarre and interesting one-of-a-kind jewellery or clothing items, others are displaying and selling their paintings or drawings -- many even at work live on the street.
You can watch the work being created, talk to the artists, or even buy a piece to take home... no one really minds, so bring a folding chair if you feel like it.
Down closer to the the lake, you can venture to either Harbourfront (Queens Quay & York St) or over to St. Lawrence Market (The Esplanade & Jarvis).
Harbourfront generally has so much live music, theatre, food, art, etc, etc, going on that you don't often see indie street performers just setting up, but if they aren't out on the street, they're likely to have scored a spot on stage, so visit the Harbourfront website to see what's going on.
Weekends are the time to visit St. Lawrence Market. There is always something up whether indoors or out on the streets. In about a month's time, buskers of the world will actually be arriving in the city for Buskerfest and St. Lawrence Market (along with nearby Berczy Park) will be one of busker hosts.
These are of course just a few of the major spots to visit. You'll, of course, find talents all over the city just asking for an ear (or possibly that toonie in your pocket).
Feel free to post your fave spot below or if you plan on taking to the streets yourself, this is a free-ticket to self promotion. TAKE IT.
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