The Weekender: Jane’s Walk, Toronto Comic Arts Festival and six other can’t-miss events

The Weekender: Jane’s Walk, Toronto Comic Arts Festival and six other can’t-miss events

CCTV, DJ Woody and Abel Boulineau 

1. JANE’S WALK (FREE!)

Inspired by urban writer/activist Jane Jacobs, this festival of walking tours, led by Toronto-loving volunteers, is all about seeing the city with new eyes. With over 170 walks to choose from, we’ve narrowed our selection down to three: (Video) Eyes on the Street, U of T prof Andrew Clement’s exploration of the downtown core’s CCTV cameras; a gentrification-focused tour of Cherry Beach; and the cultural studies pick, A Hipster’s Guide to Ossington. May 7 and 8. Various locations, janeswalk.net.

2. KARDINAL OFFISHALL (FREE!)
Kardi’s made some headway south of the border, signing with Akon’s Konvict label and recording with chart toppers like Estelle and David Guetta, but he’s still a hometown boy. Proof? This free concert in Yonge-Dundas Square, part of Coke’s 125th anniversary celebrations. And last year’s “The Anthem” of course. May 7. Yonge-Dundas Square, icoke.ca.

3. TURNTABLES IN TECHNICOLOUR WITH DJ WOODY

This weekend, Never Forgive Action, The Drake’s monthly tribute to the golden age of hip hop (about 1986 to 1994, for the uninitiated), plays host to the U..K.’s DJ Woody, who’s performed with M.I.A. and Madlib and collaborated with producers like DJ Vadim. Here, Woody combines mad turntable skills with a lifelong interest in art and years of graphic design experience to create an awesome audio-visual experience—basically, it’ll be like living in this video for one glorious night. May 6. $10. The Drake Underground, 1150 Queen St. W., 416.531.5042, thedrakehotel.ca.

4. TORONTO COMIC ARTS FESTIVAL (FREE!)
We may not be the world’s biggest comic book people, but with all the superhero blockbusters coming out this summer, our interest is piqued. This eight-year-old fest isn’t quite as big as San Diego’s Comic-Con and it’s unlikely that Thor, Captain America or the Green Lantern will be in attendance, but that’s okay. Instead, check out the exhibitions, panels, readings, autograph signing and workshops, and meet underground and indie comic book creators like Jillian TamakiChester Brown and Chris WareMay 7-8. Toronto Reference Library, 789 Yonge St., torontocomics.com.

5. FORESTS
The third in Wajdi Mouawad’s four-part series of plays about family bonds, this is the long-awaited English translation of his follow-up to the Governor General Award–winning Tideline and Scorched (which became the Oscar-nominated Incendies). In the play, Loup’s mother, Aimée, risked her life to have a child after being diagnosed with a brain tumour, only to die when Loup is just a teen. In this story, which spans six generations and takes place on two continents, Loup searches for the cause of Aimée’s illness. To May 29. $37-44. Tarragon Theatre, 30 Bridgman Ave., 416-531-1827, tarragontheatre.com.

6. “WHERE I WAS BORN…”
Last year, U of T grad student Vanessa Fleet was just an intern at the AGO. Now, she’s the woman who discovered a previously unknown artist and solved a long-running mystery. It all started with a photo she stumbled across in the gallery’s archives, with the words “where I was born” scribbled on the back. From there, Fleet discovered the photographer was a man named Abel Boulineau, a French painter. The resulting exhibit features over 70 photos by Boulineau taken from 1897 to 1916. To August 21. $19.50. Art Gallery of Ontario, 317 Dundas St. W., 416-979-6648, ago.net.

7. TRISH MAGWOOD (FREE!)
Celeb chef Trish Magwood’s new cookbook, In My Mother’s Kitchen, is the perfect Mother’s Day gift—it includes recipes from three generations of Magwoods. And for the kid buying the cookbook for Mom, there are plenty of treats to sample at this meet-and-greet and book signing. May 6. All the Best Fine Foods, 1101 Yonge St., trishmagwood.ca.

8. FARMERS’ MARKET TOUR AND CULINARY EXPERIENCE

It seems like we’re forever stocking up at the farmers’ market and then going home to find our fridge still bursting with last week’s purchases. It’s not that we have memory problems—it’s just all that fresh produce can be a little overwhelming. Enter Harbourfront’s latest foodie-friendly event. This tour, hosted by one of the instructors from Liaison College of Culinary Arts, sounds fun, but we’re really excited about the post-tour cooking class, focused on the fruits and veggies purchased at the markets, naturally. May 7. $35.40. Harbourfront Centre, 231 Queens Quay W., 416-973-4000, harbourfrontcentre.com. (This event has been cancelled.)

UPDATE: the Farmers’ Market Tour and Culinary Experience has been cancelled. 5/4/2011

(Images: CCTV, picturenarrative from the Torontolife.com Flickr Pool; DJ Woody, Keith Hinkle, Abel Boulineau, Art Gallery of Ontario)