Rooftop gardening and Toronto Fringe Festival: Check out these July events

Photo of a rooftop garden at U of T Scarborough
Spend a Thursday afternoon gardening on a U of T Scarborough rooftop this July (photo by Nick Iwanyshyn)

With convocation behind us, the University of Toronto has once again undergone its seasonal transition from a bustling hub of activity into a more relaxed space. Take advantage of this quiet(er) time to participate in the many events campus has to offer during the month of July.

The Toronto Fringe Festival is in full swing this month and several U of T theatres are prominent venues, including the Robert Gill Theatre, the Helen Gardiner Phelan Playhouse and the George Ignatieff Theatre. This year’s Fringe lineup is also replete with U of T students and alumni – so be sure to show your support for U of T talent this month for only $13 a ticket.

Or, if nurturing a green thumb is more your thing, learn to grow your own vegetables at the Instructional Centre’s scenic rooftop garden at U of T Scarborough.

Here is just a snapshot of the various events happening in and around U of T in July:

July 4

Kick off the 2019 Toronto Fringe Festival with News Play, a comedy about chasing success in the elusive print news industry. Created by U of T alumnus and eight-time Fringe veteran Madeleine Brown, the play was influenced by Brown’s own time working as a newspaper editor at U of T Mississauga’s The Medium. Stop by the Annex Theatre from July 4-14 to celebrate – and lament – the joys of working in publishing.  

July 6

The Fringe Festival’s Above & Beyond features a full cast of U of T alumni, including producer Angela Sun, director Rebecca Ballarin, set/costume designer Jules Mendoza, sound designer Frank Incer and actor Francis Masaba. Catch this workplace comedy about two millennial women navigating office politics from July 4-13 at U of T’s Robert Gill Theatre.

July 7

See the Toronto Fringe play Every Silver Lining from July 4-13 at the Al Green Theatre. Co-created and co-produced by – and co-starring – alumna Laura Piccinin, this dramedy-slash-musical intersects the hopefulness of youth with the hopelessness of disease to construct a poignant coming-of-age story about resilience.

July 8

The John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design hosts Bits & Bytes, a youth workshop on the fundamentals of urban design and landscape architecture. Students and staff are welcome to bring their children aged nine to 11 for a week of architecture-based programming.

July 9

Join theatre troupe Tita Collective, the self-styled “Spice Girls of Comedy with a Filipina twist” and winners of the Toronto Sketchfest 2019 Producers Pick, for Fringe play Tita Jokes, which is co-created, co-produced and performed by jazz musician and U of T Faculty of Music grad Belinda Corpuz. Catch this comedy sketch revue from July 4-14 at the Tarragon Theatre Mainspace.

July 10

Get acquainted with U of T Mississauga Assistant Professor Steven Chatfield – as well as with the various medicinal plants on campus – with Wicked Plants, this summer’s Walk with your Professor event. All members of the U of T community are invited to attend this informative nature walk. 

July 11

Gather in the Great Hall to hear the Hart House Singers belt out a stirring musical medley in their showcase Journeys: Songs of Travel and Discovery. Admission is free.

July 12

Join your fellow graduates for the second Grad Escape of 2019 – an evening of Shakespeare in High Park featuring the Bard’s light-hearted classic Much Ado About Nothing.

July 13

Enjoy the beautiful summer weather with weekly rooftop gardening sessions scheduled every Thursday afternoon. Learn to grow your own vegetables in the Instructional Centre’s scenic rooftop garden at U of T Scarborough.

Or, if you prefer eating the food to cultivating it, stop by for a drop-in weekly lunch and the opportunity to taste the fresh produce instead.

July 14

Kevin Vidal, from the hit musical Come From Away, directs Toronto Fringe’s Ouvrez la Porte, Fermez la Bouche. This compelling story about communication and vulnerability runs at U of T’s Helen Gardiner Phelan Playhouse from July 4-14.

The cast of Tita Jokes, including U of T's Belinda Corpuz (left), Ellie Posadas, Maricris Rivera, Alia Rasul, Isabel Kanaan (photo by Tyra Sweet)

July 16

View In & Out of Saskatchewan, a nuanced depiction of Saskatchewan on display at the U of T Art Centre until July 27.  Experience this unique rendering of the artistic journey between urban centres and rural spaces through a varied collection of artwork curated by Kate Whiteway.

Catch a weekly drop-in tour of U of T’s featured summer art exhibitions every Tuesday at 2 p.m.

July 18

Join your peers for the third grad escape of 2019 – a board game night at Bampot House of Tea, including food, tea and a spirited round of Cards Against Humanity.

July 20

Celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing at Space Time, a lunar-themed event hosted by the Dunlap Institute for Astronomy & Astrophysics. With moon-themed games and engaging talks by astronomers, there will be something for every space enthusiast.

July 24

Register now for A Little Touch of the Caribbean, a two-part event that includes a Caribbean dance workout followed by a lunch of authentic Jamaican cuisine. Listen to steelpan music while learning about Caribbean culture at this Caribana-inspired celebration, which will take place in the U of T Mississauga Student Centre. Free with registration.

July 26

Attend the 2019 OISE Summer Institute conference on the theme of Media & Digital Literacy Education for Social Justice. This two-day session offers workshops and discussions designed to refine participants’ digital media literacy skills, as well as strategies for practising social justice in the classroom.

July 27

If you’ve been struggling to find a place to stay during the upcoming school year – or a roommate to stay with – the U of T Housing Fair is a must. Located at the Student Success Centre, this event brings together students and landlords along with all the housing resources U of T has to offer.  

July 30

Take time during your relaxing summer break to get a head start on developing strategies for handling school-year stress. The Academic Success Centre offers a workshop on managing exam anxiety, as well as other helpful workshops for effectively managing procrastination, motivation and stress. Enrol to ensure that this school year is full of success – as well as self-care.

July 31

For fresh produce from local farmers, visit U of T Scarborough’s weekly farmers’ market. Whether your appetite is for fruits, meats, sweets or carbs, the market will satisfy all your Wednesday afternoon cravings throughout the summer.