An anti-Valentine’s ball, a weepy sing-along and five other events designed for V-Day resisters
A kinky anti-Valentine’s ball
This Opera House party ditches the cheesy romance of Valentine’s for a saucy lace-and-leather bash. DJs will spin house and alternative techno, a video artist will project steamy images above onstage dancers, and partygoers can get rope-bondage lessons in the “dungeon play areas.” Rumour has it they’ll have a Cupid-shaped piñata, too. Saturday, February 13. $20–$25. Opera House, 735 Queen St. E., theoperahousetoronto.com.
A loveless retreat for self-professed geeks
It might not be a coincidence that Valentine’s Day is the date of Toronto’s very first GeekFest, a six-hour marathon of nerdy screenings, presentations and demos. On the program this year: a talk from veteran LARPer David Ashby; Vintage Tomorrows, a documentary on the steampunk subculture; and, just maybe, a chance to meet (and fall for) a fellow geek. Sunday, February 14. $12–$20. Cinecycle Indie Underground Cinema, 129 Spadina Ave., geekfesttoronto.com.
A lovesick smash session
If the mere mention of Valentine’s Day makes you want to punch a wall, Battle Sports has you covered. At the combat and destruction hub, the lonely and brokenhearted can shoot arrows at Cupid targets and imagine their ex’s faces as they swing a baseball bat at vases and mugs. The organizers are also hosting a mixer and dating game—with no weapons involved, we hope. Sunday, February 14. $15–$20. Battle Sports, 26 Ashwarren Rd., battlesports.ca.
The best place to sing a breakup song
Good Enough, Toronto’s finest (and probably only) like karaoke band, is taking over the Bloor Hot Docs Cinema to host the city’s saddest sing-along. The process is simple: pick your favourite break-up song from their list (yes, they do Adele’s “Hello”), storm the stage like a diva and belt your sorrows away. Be prepared for a lot of Alanis. Saturday, February 13. $5. Bloor Hot Docs Cinema, 506 Bloor St. W., hotdocs.ca.
Cocktails and a laughably bad screening
Bloor West bar The End is serving up a special cocktail—a cinnamon-spiked old fashioned called The Black Heart—for its decidedly unromantic Valentine’s plans: a screening of the comically terrible cult film The Room. And by terrible, we mean terrible. Sunday, February 14. FREE. The End, 1661 Bloor St. W., facebook.com.
A trivia night for jilted lovers
Flee from the couple-infested streets of downtown for a night of “Love Stinks” trivia on St. Clair, where you can test your knowledge of rom-coms, breakup songs and other singleton fun facts for gift cards: $100 to the LCBO for first place and $50 to Scallywags, the pub hosting the event, for second. There’s a group discount for teams of five or more, but we’ll assume you’ll be going it alone. Saturday, February 13. $15. Scallywags, 11 St. Clair Ave. W., facebook.com.
Valhallantine’s Day, a Norse take on the tradition
Lee’s Palace is taking Valentine’s in an unexpected direction with this Viking-themed battle of the bands. Subterranean electro outfit Squid Lid (think Cthulhu playing a synth) faces off against circus punk rockers Mineta (think the Joker playing the bass). It will be weird—and guaranteed romance-free. Saturday, February 13. $15–$20. Lee’s Palace, 529 Bloor St. W., facebook.com.