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The hottest tickets in town: Five things to do in Toronto

Tetsuro Shigematsu in Empire of the Son.

Raymond Shum

Empire of the Son

From the actor and former CBC radio broadcaster Tetsuro Shigematsu comes an inimitable one-man show, one that begins in the atomic ashes of Hiroshima before travelling to the colourful London of the 1960s and on to Canada. The focus is on Shigematsu and his stoic Japanese-born father, with archival audio and family photos employed to help tell a story of generational clashes but also repeated patterns.

Jan. 18 to 29. $25 to $35. Factory Theatre, 125 Bathurst St., 416-504-9971 or

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Toronto Design Offsite Festival

An annual sprawling event of art and design takes over the city. Highlights this year include the annual touring exhibition Outside the Box, a collection of objects curated to reflect the particular aesthetics of 11 North American cities. Where are we going? Asheville, N.C., Detroit, Edmonton, Halifax, Los Angeles, Medicine Hat, Montreal, New York, Toronto, Vancouver and the San Francisco Bay Area, a high-tech mecca and cutting-edge place.

Jan. 16 to 22. Various venues. Most events free.

Power to the People: Photography and Video of Repression and Black Protest

Following a year of Black Lives Matter protests, the Ryerson Image Centre and the Black Artists' Networks Dialogue co-present a series of exhibitions zeroing in on the hot-issue tension between police and people of colour. Historical explorations include a presentation of photo-reportage and popular art connected to the 1971 insurrection at Attica Correctional Facility in western New York State.

Opening Jan. 18. Free. Ryerson Image Centre, 33 Gould St., 416-979-5164 or

Tower of Song: Remembering Leonard Cohen

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The bard told us he was our man and many believed him. A mini-fest of shorts and features salutes the late Leonard Cohen, a poet, novelist, songwriter, lothario and hat-wearer lost in 2016. Docs include 2005's I'm Your Man, 1974's Bird on a Wire and 1965's Ladies and Gentlemen … Mr. Leonard Cohen, NFB's casual look at the common habits of an uncommon man.

Jan. 13 to 19. $13. Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema, 506 Bloor St. W., 416-637-3123 or

Come Up To My Room

Though it was built in 1889 and its Victorian integrity is intact, this isn't your great, great grandfather's Gladstone Hotel. Coinciding with the Toronto Design Offsite Festival and the Interior Design Show, designers have taken over the boutique hotel and transformed various rooms and hallways uniquely. Parties and talks round out the always upbeat alt-design affair.

Jan. 19 to 22. $5 to $25. Gladstone Hotel, 1214 Queen St. W., 416-531-4635 or

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About the Author

Brad Wheeler is an arts reporter with The Globe and Mail. More


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