free events toronto

Free events in Toronto: January 19-25, 2014

The top free events in Toronto this week run from predictable art openings to David Cronenberg to the world's largest rocking horse. When cruising through our events section, I'll sometimes think to myself damn, there is a lot to do in this city that is absolutely free. Lucky us.

Yet if you're broke enough to salivate at the words "free event," you probably don't have time to comb Toronto's listing websites looking for things to do. No cash? No time? No problem. Here are some things to get up to this week for the price of however much wear and tear you put on your shoes/clothing/body while attending. And maybe TTC.

Leslieville Flea
The Leslieville Flea is back this weekend, and The Distillery District is where you'll find east-enders doing their vintage and crafty shopping today. 70 vendors will be on hand selling vintage, salvage, antiques, furniture, art, handcrafted items and more. The Fermenting Cellar will house the vendors this time, and hopefully keep them toasty. Look for clothing, nicknacks, handmades, edible goodies, and much more. The Fermenting Cellar (28 Distillery Lane), Sunday, January 19, 10am-5pm.

Biblio-mat Fanatic Day
The Biblio-mat is an actual vending machine by Craig Small (of local animation studio The Juggernaut) that, rather than dispensing diabetes-inducing treats, drops down books - mystery used titles out of the 100 or so volumes that the machine holds. Vincent Lui, a big fan of the 'mat, purchased one book from the machine each week for an entire year - and yes, he read them all, and published reviews of all 52 online. Today, The Paw will celebrate his achievements with a cocktail party! Read more about it here. The Monkey's Paw (1229 Dundas West), Sunday, January 19, 4-7pm.

Videos of People Having Their Picture Taken
If you like your art creepy, tonight is your night. Videos of People Having Their Picture Taken is a video portrait series Jole Walinga where "strangers are unaware that their pose is being documented as a performance rather than a still image." Awk-ward. OZ Studios (134 Ossington Ave Toronto), Sunday January 19, 6pm.

The W.O.W. Project At Videofag
Tomorrow you can stop by Videofag for Canadian Queer Women's theatre. There will be a reading of Ann Marie MacDonald's international hit "Goodnight Desdemona Good Morning Juliet" plus snacks, drinks, and discussion. The event is PWYC, so hey, pay what you can. Videofag (187 Augusta Ave), Monday January 20, 8pm.

A Conversation Between David Cronenberg and Piers Handling
I've never heard David Cronenberg talk, and I just realized I think I'd find that really, really interesting. Before I start Googling for interviews with Canada's King of Creep, I'll recommend us both checking out this discussion about "creativity and the generation of ideas: an exploration of the possible relationships between technology art cinema architecture design and city landscapes." Come on, you know he's going to sneak something about aliens in there. OCAD University's Auditorium Room 190 (100 McCaul St), Tuesday January 21, 7pm.

Open House Another Project by Tough Guy Mountain
I wish I'd thought of calling something Tough Guy Mountain. It really rolls off the tongue. Check out this weird Toronto art... thing: "From condo show rooms pop-up office synergy beautifully designed new products piping hot videos and clever marketing schemes; Tough Guy Mountain is a vital new force in the city of Toronto." This is part of the Toronto Design Offsite Festival. Narwhal (2988 Dundas Street West), opening Wednesday January 22 from 6-10pm.

RIC Opening Reception
If you have nostalgia for the fading art of the darkroom (may it never truly die), stop into Ryerson's The Disappearance of Darkness for Burley's photos taken between 2005 - 2010 of sites and events related to the production and business of photography, including corporations like Kodak, Agfa, and Ilford. The exhibit is fresh from the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa. Also on display: Phil Bergerson, Pierre Tremblay, and Elisa Julia Gilmour. Ryerson Image Centre (33 Gould Street), Wednesday January 22, 6pm - 8pm.

Draw By Night Toronto: Part Quatre
Hey, you haven't been drawing enough this winter. I see you, not flexing your drawing hand. Get to Handlebar and fix this situation! From the programmers: "DBN is a social drawing event. We cover all tables with kraft paper and provide supplies (feel free to bring your own). There's usually a theme... people can either stick to it or just have fun drawing something of their own. There's no competition. After the event we scan the drawings and post them on Facebook. Come, bring your friends, meet new people." Handlebar (159 Augusta Ave), Wednesday, January 22, 7pm.

East End Music Swap
Okay, so you're probably going to buy a drink. You still get to hang out at Hitch and trade mixes (CD or otherwise) with strangers. There's no way this could go wrong. "Listen to this - it will change your life" - me, talking about 4 Pozicii Bruno shortly before you walk away in disgust. Hitch (1216 Queen St. East), Wednesday January 22, 10pm.

The Toronto Zine Library's 2014 AGM and Potluck Party
I love the Toronto Zine Library, and you should too. This potluck will help determine the next 365 days of the library's goings-on, which are a mystery to most. While this event isn't really free (you should bring food and zines to share) there won't be any money changing hands. Unless you want to reward your favourite zinester for writing your favourite thing ever. Which you should. Tranzac Club (292 Brunswick Avenue, 2nd Floor), Saturday January 25, 6pm.

2014 LunarFest
The Harbourfront Centre will bring in the year of the horse this weekend with - wait for it - the largest rocking horse on earth. "The Horse and I," will be a two-story-tall installation. There will also be lantern decorating, dumplings, and more. Can you ride the rocking horse? That is the million dollar question - but the event is free, so just go and find out. Harbourfront Centre (235 Queens Quay West), January 25 - 26, 11am - 7pm.

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.)

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