Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema invites you to step into one of the most eccentric and remarkable spaces in New York hipster history: The Jazz Loft: According to W. Eugene Smith which opens August 4. Then enjoy a spirited look at the life and career of renowned artist Julian Schnabel: A Private Portrait, opening August 11. You can explore the performative aspects of Ronald Reagan’s time in the Oval Office with The Reagan Show starting August 18, celebrate the life and work of controversial photographer Robert Mapplethorpe in the latest in The Great Photographers series, Mapplethorpe: Look at the Pictures on August 20, and discover stories of remarkable individuals such as Patti Smith, Joan Rivers and Muhammad Ali with Game Changers on screen August 2-13. If you’ve been wanting to break out your shoulder pads and big hair, here’s your chance: Like Totally 80s! will feature New Wave legends and the Brat Pack on screen, dirty dancing in the aisles, a videogame tournament, and 80s candy at concessions, at the cinema from August 11 until August 17.

Art Exhibitions

Visit the Gallery at the Miles Nadal Jewish Community Centre to enter into a world of empowerment and storytelling with I See: Difference in Perspective, a photography exhibition that explores identity and disability.  The Istituto Italiano di Cultura continues to present a solo exhibition of artist Rino Noto's Wave. In Wave, we catch a brief, truncated glimpse of life's cycles: joy, resilience, purposeful absurdity, on view through September 7. At the Museum of Estonians Abroad/VEMU, the Forest University 50! anniversary exhibition is on display until the middle of September.


During ROM Summer Fridays until September 22, ROM visitors receive discounted admission  to explore the Museum’s galleries and exhibitions, live music, and a spectacular view of the Toronto skyline in c5 Lounge, 5:30pm-8:30pm. Canada's Table, a delectable tour of regional cuisines prepared by Canada’s top chefs, takes place at the ROM on August 15. Guest chefs include Jamie Kennedy, Ted Corrado, Ned Bell, and more. Continuing exhibitions include Anishinaabeg: Art & Power, The Family Camera, The Evidence Room, and the specially-priced, feature exhibition, Out of the Depths: The Blue Whale Story.

The Gardiner Museum’s Community Arts Space is now in full swing. The month of August brings free programming by Feminist Art Museum, August Fröhls, and artist SoJin Chun in collaboration with The Truth & Dare Project. They’ll be presenting film screenings, exhibitions, workshops, artist talks, and more running until the end of August. All programming is free with registration.

While strolling along the Bloor St. Culture Corridor, take a photo with the Bata Shoe Museum new window installation. Created by students from Ryerson University, In Full Bloom: Celebrating Canada 150 is an interpretation of the provincial and territorial flowers of Canada using – what else – shoes!  Now on display, in the Canada 150 x Power exhibition Toronto-based sneaker designers which reflect on what it means to be Canadian.  There’s always something for kids to do at the BSM in the summer.  This year’ during Summer Family Fun at the Bata Shoe Museum, kids visiting the museum receive an activity bag that includes a sneaker key chain for decorating, an ISpy game to play in each gallery and a colourful temporary tattoo. There is also funky footwear to try on, and great opportunities to get a family selfie capturing #BSMfamilyfun.

Kids camps

The Royal Conservatory’s many camps for children, teens, and adults continue throughout August at the Royal Conservatory School. In August, the final session features a high-energy, interactive camp for teen and adult voice enthusiasts at any level of experience, with Juno-nominated vocal group Cadence. Students will partake in performances, learn about vocal percussion, instrumental imitation, song arranging, stage presence, circle songs, small group singing, and more, August 21-26.  

Heather Kelly is the founder and director of the Bloor St. Culture Corridor. Her column focuses on arts and culture events from the district. More information about events and locations can be found at