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Five things to do in Toronto this weekend: Aug. 15 to 17

Mexico City's Open Streets festival sets an example for Toronto's, which begins this weekend.

Michael David Rosenberg is the elfin English folk-rocker who chooses to conduct his business under the moniker Passenger. His massive 2012 hit Let Her Go is a rare song these days which is both pervasive and agreeable (if a touch over earnest), and his melodic new album Whispers is strong enough to expect that he'll make a name for himself with a career based on much more than one song. Aug. 16, 7 p.m. $37.25 to $46.50 (sold-out). Sound Academy, 11 Polson St., 1-855-985-5000 or

Markham Jazz Festival
"If they act too hip," Miles Davis once said, "you know they can't play…" For 17 years, Markham Jazz has provided sound reasons for suburban audiences to gather and for downtown crowds to head north. No airs or swagger to the event – just a satisfying affair, with street gigs, casual club shows and significant main-stage headliners. Regarding the latter, this year we have the legendary songwriting guitarist Bruce Cockburn (Friday, 9:15 p.m.), the respected hard-bop tenor saxophonist Craig Handy (Saturday, 9:15 p.m.) and the Juno-winning Havana enthusiast Jane Bunnett (Sunday, 5 p.m.). Aug. 15 to 17. Free. Various venues in Markham and Unionville,

Open Streets TO
Enough with the construction, how about something constructive? Rampant road repairs are a necessary inconvenience for city dwellers, but Sunday morning sees the transformations of streets into what event organizers are calling "paved parks." Unlike marathons, street-fests and sidewalk sales, select major streets will be not only be closed to automobiles but open only to activities which promote physical activity and better health. So, among other things, it's yoga on Yonge and bicycling on Bloor. Aug. 17 and Aug. 31, 8 a.m. to noon. Free. Yonge Street (from Queen to Bloor streets) and Bloor Street (Sapdina Avenue to Parliament Street).

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SummerWorks: Kafka's Ape
Monkey business has evolved, as witnessed by the critical success this summer of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, a hairy blockbuster with a touch of Shakespearean flair. For the SummerWorks Performance Festival (to Aug. 17), former Canadian Stage co-head Guy Sprung offers his adaptation of Franz Kafka's 1917 short story A Report to an Academy, re-imagined as a satire of the morality of war and a study on what it means to be human in a world of routinized inhumanity. Plus, people are going ape over the costuming. Aug. 15 and 16, 8 p.m.; Aug. 17, 2 p.m. $15. Gladstone Hotel, 1214 Queen St. W., 416-907-0468 or

Sail-In Cinema
"If the wind is right," Christopher Cross famously crooned, "you can find the joy of innocence again." The Sailing singer, who appears at the CNE on Aug. 19, would approve of the floating, dock-side film festival for boaters and landlubbers alike, which this year screens three features. On Saturday it's E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, the 1982 Spielberg classic about a magical alien and sense of youthful wonder that shouldn't ever need to completely disappear. Aug. 14 to 16, 8:45 p.m. (6 p.m., pre-movie entertainment). Free (limited space; reserve at, bring your own boat or chair or blanket). Sugar Beach, 25 Dockside Dr.

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About the Author

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


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