Catch fish in a swimming pool, battle with bubbles and eight other things to do this week
Experience Brit-style revelry at the city’s first annual Bestival
Bestival, a raucous U.K. import, will inject the city’s crowded summer festival scene with a heavy dose of innovative indie rock and electro grooves. Brit sensations Florence and the Machine co-headline with OG rapper Nas, while veteran psychedelicist Caribou, art-pop mastermind Owen Pallett and Australian phenom Flume fill out the bill. Expect flash mobs, inflatable churches and other interactive attractions. Friday, June 12 and Saturday, June 13. $129.50–$299.50. Hanlan’s Point Beach, Toronto Islands, bestival.ca.
Embrace your inner twee
Depending on your appetite for precocious quirk, Newmindspace is either a Toronto hero or a public menace. The collective fills the city’s streets with massive pillow fights, Capture the Flag games and lightsaber duels, but their flagship event is the Bubble Battle, which returns to Toronto this weekend. Combatants are encouraged to bring bubble wands, toys and guns, with the goal of transforming the ferry terminal into a land of iridescent fizz. Saturday, June 13. FREE. Jack Layton Ferry Terminal, 8 Queens Quay W., facebook.com.
Take a musical tour through European mythology
The audience moves from room to room at Fossegrimen, the Music Gallery’s whimsical multi-stage event, which draws on mythology from Northern Europe and Afghanistan. The works include an opera based on a rarely told Brothers Grimm fairy tale, myth-inspired music by Toronto’s Ensemble Polaris and the Canadian premiere of a piece rooted in Afghan folklore. Saturday, June 13. $30. The Music Gallery, 197 John St., 416-204-1080, musicgallery.org.
Attend a high-octane annual tradition
Rescheduled this year to avoid a conflict with the Pan Am Games, the weekend-long Indy will hit its usual three-kilometre route at Exhibition Place in mid-June with a characteristic combination of tarmac-tarnishing speed, high-octane adrenalin and booze-fuelled fun. Spectators can indulge in street food and craft beer between races. Friday, June 12 to Sunday, June 14. $50–$175. Exhibition Place, 200 Princes’ Blvd., 416-588-7223, hondaindytoronto.com.
Examine the relics of a lost Roman city
When Mount Vesuvius erupted nearly 2,000 years ago, it petrified a thriving Roman city beneath a shroud of fire, ash and molten rock. Through 200 excavated objects, this exhibition offers a glimpse of Pompeii’s mysterious, millennia-old existence and the day-to-day lives of its unsuspecting citizens. The items on display include gold coins and silver cutlery, welders’ tools and gladiators’ weapons, living room furnishings and life-size statues. Saturday, June 13 to Jan. 3. $19–$27. Royal Ontario Museum, 100 Queen’s Park, 416-586-8000, rom.on.ca.
Listen to classical music in a castle courtyard
Casa Loma is good for just one thing: patrician garden parties worthy of Jay Gatsby. Every summer Tuesday, beginning this week, the Toronto Concert Orchestra performs in the castle courtyard, dipping into selections by Mozart, Saint-Saëns, Gershwin and, for the inaugural edition, torch songs made popular by Marlene Dietrich. Each program is as bubbly and bright as a flute of champagne—which, of course, is available to sip on the patio. Tuesday, June 9 to Aug. 25. $24. Casa Loma, 1 Austin Terrace, 416-923-1171, torontoconcertorchestra.com.
Go fishing in a swimming pool
One of the city’s weirdest summer traditions returns this week when Scadding Court Community Centre’s indoor swimming pool at Dundas and Bathurst is drained, replenished with fresh water and filled with thousands of Ontario rainbow trout for urban fishermen to take home for dinner. It’s an opportunity for kids who don’t get the chance to visit a cottage to learn about healthy, sustainable fishing—and, if you don’t want to cook your catch, one of the Scadding Court market vendors next door will grill it up for you. Saturday, June 13 to Saturday, June 20. $3. Scadding Court Community Centre, 707 Dundas St. W., 416-392-0335, scaddingcourt.org.
See Frida Kahlo like never before
The world came to know the influential Mexican painter Frida Kahlo through her vibrant, unibrowed self-portraits. Photographs by her friend (and part-time lover) Nickolas Muray both affirm and append those images, sometimes capturing a carefully posed Kahlo in colourful costumes, and, at other times, offering glimpses of her life behind the scenes. The exhibit’s 50 images are accompanied by a collection of traditional Mexican garments. Wednesday, June 10 to Sept 7. $15. Textile Museum of Canada, 55 Centre Ave., 416-599-5321, textilemuseum.ca.
Check out the National Ballet’s most opulent opus
The National Ballet of Canada’s bejeweled production of Tchaikovsky’s The Sleeping Beauty is one of the company’s greatest achievements. The fairy tale was choreographed by dance superstar Rudolf Nureyev after he defected from the U.S.S.R. in the 1970s, then restaged in the mid-2000s by onetime Nureyev protégé Karen Kain. The lush revival showcases two generations of talent: longtime prima ballerina Sonia Rodriguez celebrates her 25th anniversary, and principal dancer Svetlana Lunkina debuts in the role of Princess Aurora. Wednesday, June 10 to Saturday, June 20. $26–$160. Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, 145 Queen St. W., 416-345-9595, national.ballet.ca.
Attend the ultimate beer bacchanal
There are 75 craft breweries in Ontario, concocting $400 million worth of beer each year. Ontario Craft Beer Week honours all those hops with 10 days of pint-guzzling parties across the province. Our can’t-miss events include the launch party at Roundhouse Park (featuring unlimited samples for $25); beer and board games at Tallboys in Bloorcourt; beer and pinball at Junction City Music Hall; and a booze cruise and brewery tour across Lake of Bays. Check out the website for a full schedule of events. Thursday, June 11 to Sunday, June 21. Prices and locations vary, ocbweek.ca.