The Weekender: Toronto Pirate Cruise, the Honda Indy and six other must-dos
1. EXPRESSIONS OF BRAZIL (FREE!)
Brazil is one of the most culturally and ethnically diverse countries in the world—much like another nation we know and love. It’s “a fusion of… many cultural groups (European, Asian, African and Native Indians), who share one nationality and one language.” This festival’s lineup of music, dance, film, art, theatre and food are a testament to that diversity. We’re especially looking forward to taste-testing Brazilian nosh by Cajú restaurant owner-chef Mario Cassini and checking out the wild capoeria performances. July 16–18. Harboufront Centre, 235 Queens Quay W., 416-973-4000, harbourfrontcentre.com.
2. TORONTO PIRATE CRUISE
We have something of a soft spot for pirates. Captain Jack Sparrow is our most recent fave, but our affection goes way back (we’re talking Hook here). This buccaneer-themed boat cruise is right up our alley: costumes are mandatory and elaborate, the feast is plentiful and the ale—or vodka cran (organizers are very accommodating)—is free-flowing. July 16. $60–$70. Spadina Pier, Lower Spadina and Queens Quay, torontopiratecruise.com.
3. THE GREAT URBAN RACE
Urban adventurers will be taking over the city this Saturday during an Amazing Race-like quest. Teams of two work together solving clues, completing challenges and making their way around Toronto before heading back to the Loose Moose, which acts as both start and finish point. Teams garner fame for the best costumes and nicknames, but only the fastest ones take home the cash prize. July 17. $50 until Jul 16, $60 after. The Loose Moose Tap and Grill, 146 Front St. W., greaturbanrace.com.
4. PARKDALE BAZAAR (FREE!)
The kickoff to a new series of outdoor markets—there will be six held throughout the year—the bazaar focuses on vintage items and handmade, crafty goods. Fitting, considering Parkdale’s plethora of indie, vintage and crafter friendly shops. July 17. Parkdale Town Square, Cowan Ave. and Queen St., parkdalethenandnow.com.
5. ULTIMATE FOOTBALL AND SUCH… (FREE!)
Sporty, but not terribly organized types are in luck. Football (North American style, for once) and Frisbee fans will be meeting up at Christie Pits Park for an impromptu game or three this Saturday afternoon, no RSVP required. Sporting ability, talent and experience are also not necessary—just pack a cooler, some sneakers and the desire to play ball. July 17. Christie Pits Park, 750 Bloor St. W., Facebook page.
6. BITE ME! TORONTO INTERNATIONAL BODY IMAGE FILM AND ARTS FESTIVAL
A bit more socially conscious than the average film fest, Bite Me!’s two-day lineup includes films about an anorexic boy turned world-class competitive eater (The Story of Furious Pete), the latest installment of the Killing Us Softly series and a short doc on Renee Thompson, a black model trying to break into the industry (The Colour of Beauty). July 17–18. Day pass: $15; all-access two-day pass: $20. National Film Board Mediatheque, 150 John St., 416-540-6659, bitemefilmfest.com.
7. LOVE, LOSS AND WHAT I WORE
Rom-com queen Nora Ephron and her sister, screenwriter and producer Delia, are the brains behind this off-Broadway hit, which was adapted from Ilene Beckerman’s 1995 novel of the same name. Like the NYC version, the show will feature a rotating cast of actresses that shuffles every month or so; the run opens with Paula Brancati, Louise Pitre and Andrea Martin. July 16–September 4. $35–$65. Panasonic Theatre, 651 Yonge St., 416-872-1212, lovelossonstage.ca.
8. HONDA INDY TORONTO
The Indy may have a new name, but it’s still the same high-octane (and volume) fun. Three days of races are the obvious main draw, but star gazing is a close second (well, for us at least): Danica Patrick, Helio Castroneves and Canucks Paul Tracy and Alex Tagliani will all be on the track this weekend. Friday is the best opportunity to check out the Indy on a budget; grandstand seating and access to the IndyCar Paddock will be free for one day only. July 16–18. $43–$423. Exhibition Place, 190 Princes Blvd., hondaindytoronto.com.