NOW critics pick the best online and offline things to do in Toronto for the weekend of June 4, 2021.
COVID bumped the annual design competition Winter Stations to a new season and location this year. Instead of Woodbine Beach, three of this year’s winning installations are now on display at The Distillery District and a fourth is directly south at 33 Parliament. One of the most striking is The Epitonium, an architectural interpretation of a kind of seashell that catches some Instagram-able light at night. Small Beginnings is a kind of shelved forest, Arc de Blob re-interprets a global landmark and THROBBER features 10 colourful and and trapezoidal “shelters.”
To Late July. Free. At Distillery District and 33 Parliament. winterstations.com
She Mami Wata & The PxssyWitchHunt
The electric d’bi.young anitafrika performs her solo show fusing memoir, music and myth as part of Soulpepper’s Around The World In 80 Plays series of audio dramas.
To June 30. Pay what you choose. soulpepper.ca
Toronto Jewish Film Festival
The annual celebration of Jewish cinema returns to its original form as one big spring event… though it’s still online, of course, rolling out the 2021 program of features, documentaries and shorts on a timed release schedule, with titles being made available within Ontario for 48-hour viewing windows on specific days. Highlights from this year’s program include Shelter, Ron Chapman’s documentary about a post-WWII Toronto real estate empire. Check out Norman Wilner’s top five films to see here.
To June 14. $12, festival pass $200. tjff.com
ActiveTO on Allen Road
Ever wanted to bike on the Allen expressway? Now is your time. To mark the 50th anniversary of the cancelled Spadina Expressway, the city is shutting down Allen Road – the only portion of the planned north-south thoroughfare that was built – to vehicles as part of ActiveTO. The weekend exercise program will see the Allen given over to cyclists between Eglinton and Lawrence on Saturday. The only way to enter and exit is via the northbound off-ramp at Lawrence due to a little-known transit project called the Eglinton Crosstown.
June 5, 6 am-9 pm (Allen Road); June 5 at 6 am to June 6 at 9 pm (Lake Shore East, eastbound lanes); June 4 at 11 pm to June 7 at 7 am (High Park roads). toronto.ca/ActiveTO
Toronto Japanese Film Festival
The second streaming edition of the other TJFF will showcase 24 contemporary Japanese thrillers, dramas and comedies over the course of three weeks. If you missed Naomi Kawase’s adoption drama True Mothers or Miwa Nishikawa’s Under The Open Sky at TIFF, can catch up to them here… but perhaps the most eagerly anticipated film here is Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s Venice prizewinner Wife Of A Spy, starring Yū Aoi as a Japanese woman who suspects her husband might be spying for the United States during World War II.
June 5-27. Single ticket $9.99. at jccc.on.ca
Bring Our Children Home March
Porcupine Warriors and Idle No More are hosting a march to demand justice for the 215 Indigenous children found buried in an unmarked mass grave at the site of a former residential school in Kamloops, BC. “This National Indigenous Awareness Month, we demand justice for the cultural genocide Canada continues to benefit from,” the organizers wrote on the Facebook event page. “This will be a ceremonial space so please respect our space. Please bring your smudge bowls as we will be doing a smudge.” Marchers are asked to wear masks and physically distance.
June 6. 2 pm. Queen’s Park. Details via Facebook.com.
Music Day and the Junos
This is the 50th anniversary of the Junos, and though the Canadian music award show’s producers can’t deliver the hoopla they might have wanted with in-person events, they’re making up for it with an extended broadcast. CBC has declared Sunday, June 6 “Music Day” and is running music TV programming all day: a special on Canadian music venues, a retrospective of artists remembering their Juno moments, studio sessions and more. Then, the actual Juno Awards ceremony finishes the day off at 8 pm.
June 6 on CBC TV and CBC Gem. Free. Full schedule here.