Five things to do in Toronto on the weekend of July 4–6

Five things to do in Toronto on the weekend of July 4–6

A still from Drying up the Streets, playing this weekend at the TIFF Bell Lightbox. (Image: courtesy of the Film Reference Library)

In this edition of The Weekender, movies from Yonge Street’s seedy past, the Toronto Fringe Festival and three other things to do in Toronto this weekend.


Toronto Urban Roots Festival
Neutral Milk Hotel tops the bill at this year’s Toronto Urban Roots Festival, an annual celebration of all things folky and lo-fi. Anyone who works up an appetite wandering between the event’s three stages can snack on food from the likes of Caplanksy’s and Big Fat Burrito. July 4–6. $67.50–$329.50. Garrison Common,


Drying Up the Streets and The Strip (FREE!)
There was a time, before the Eaton Centre came along, when downtown Yonge Street was a nexus of seedy massage parlours, pinball arcades and dive bars. TIFF is offering moviegoers a rare opportunity to relive those bygone glory (hole?) days with a double-header screening of Drying Up the Streets and The Strip, two films set in Toronto’s notorious late-1970s tenderloin. The screening is being held in conjunction with the release of Intellect Books’ World Film Locations: Toronto, a volume of scholarly essays on Toronto’s on-screen history. July 6. FREE, tickets distributed two hours prior to start. TIFF Bell Lightbox, 350 King St. W.,


The Toronto Fringe Festival
Daring theatregoers can take their chances at this year’s edition of the Toronto Fringe, an unjuried festival of more than 150 different theatrical productions of widely varying quality. This is the Russian roulette of genteel weekend entertainment: until the reviews start to come in, nobody can say what’s worth seeing and what isn’t. Fortunately, as always, tickets are cheap. Until July 13. Tickets $12. Various venues,


This groundbreaking Stephen Sondheim musical about marriage and commitment holds up remarkably well 44 years after its debut, especially in the hands of Theatre 20’s accomplished cast. The story consists of a series of vignettes that revolve around Robert (Dan Chameroy), a single guy, and his girlfriends and married acquaintances. Until July 13. $30–$69. Berkeley Street Theatre, 26 Berkeley St.,


Geek Swap and Sale
Whether you want to buy more nerdy collectibles, or whether you have too many already, Geek Swap has you covered. Used comics, toys and cards will be available for sale or trade—or, for a small fee, anyone can rent a table and display their own stuff for others to peruse. July 5. Admission is FREE, or $25–$40 for a table. Back Space Toronto, 587A College St.,