Toronto Pursuits 2024 FAQs


What is Toronto Pursuits?

Toronto Pursuits is an annual seminar festival. The heart of Toronto Pursuits is the in-depth discussion and sharing of ideas through a wide range of seminars in literature, film, art and music.

Each participant chooses one morning seminar to take for the week (Monday to Friday). Seminar leaders will facilitate the discussions to enrich your understanding of the given text or film or music.

Each day, seminars are followed by a buffet lunch and a range of afternoon and evening activities. These include after-lunch talks, musuem visits, a cocktail party and more. See more details below.

Who organizes the event?

Classical Pursuits develops the themes, selects the leaders, and arranges the activities.

Who comes to Toronto Pursuits?

People who love books, music, and art. People who want more from their vacation. At Toronto Pursuits, we have couples and singles from across North America. About 70 percent will be returnees and the remainder will be there for the first time. About half will be working and half will be retired. They have ranged in age from 16 to 100. Our participants usually come from a wide range of occupations. You don’t need a university degree to enjoy Toronto Pursuits.

Is Toronto Pursuits accessible for people with reduced mobility?

Yes. Victoria College is in the heart of the University of Toronto. It is mostly flat with easy walking access to the seminars, activities on campus and local restaurants. If arriving by car, there is a brief walk from Charles Street through the archway to Old Vic.

All buildings at Victoria University have elevators and there is a wheelchair accessible entrance. Our opening cocktail party at the Royal Sonesta Yorkville is on the ground floor.

If you have particular accessibility questions, please e-mail us.

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Where does Toronto Pursuits take place?

It takes place on the beautiful campus of University of Toronto’s Victoria College in the heart of Toronto, near Queen’s Park.

Our centre for the week is Old Vic Foyer at 91 Charles Street West. Seminars take place either at Old Vic or in a neighboring classroom building. Classroom assignments will be given at check-in.

When does Toronto Pursuits start and end?

On Sunday, July 16, 2023, all participants are welcome to pick up their packets from 3 to 4 p.m., and join us at 4:30 p.m. for a one-hour new participant orientation and demo discussion. Sunday events are optional, but we especially encourage out-of-town participants and first-time attendees to participate.

Toronto Pursuits officially starts on Monday, July 17, 2023 at 8:15 a.m. Packet pickup begins at 8:15 a.m. and seminars start at 9:30 a.m. We encourage you to arrive in the Old Vic Foyer by 9 a.m. to have time to meet your seminar leader and mingle with participants.

Toronto Pursuits 2023 ends around 2:15 p.m. on Friday, July 21, 2023.

Where do I go and what do I do when I arrive?

Go to Old Vic, at 91 Charles Street West. You will see the check-in table for Toronto Pursuits in the main Foyer. At the table, we will verify your vaccination proof and give you your registration packet.

Check-in hours are from 3 to 4 p.m. on Sunday, July 16 or 8:15 a.m. to 9:15 a.m. on Monday, July 17.

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How much does Toronto Pursuits cost?

Toronto Pursuits 2023 costs C$1500 before March 31 and C$1650 after March 31.

What does this registration cost include?

Registration includes one five-day morning seminar (12.5 total contact hours), coffee and newspapers all week, five buffet lunches, a new participant welcome and orientation on July 16, a welcome cocktail reception on July 17 with an open bar, a Toronto Summer Music Festival concert ticket, five after-lunch presentations, and a range of other cultural and social activities. All costs are subject to the 13% Harmonized Sales Tax (HST).

A more detailed 2023 schedule will be available in spring 2023.

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What do I need to do to prepare for Toronto Pursuits?

There are two important things you must do to prepare: (1) read the text in advance, and (2) come with an open mind and a willingness to participant in Shared Inquiry discussions. Both will enhance your Toronto Pursuits experience. For more detailed information on how to prepare and what to expect, please see Preparing for Your Seminar. First-time attendees are encouraged to attend the Shared Inquiry demo discussion in Old Vic the Sunday before seminars start.

What clothing or other items should I bring?

In terms of clothing, days will be warm and evenings may be cool, particularly down by the lake. Dress is informal at Toronto Pursuits. Participants wear shorts and a T-shirt, slacks and a shirt, or a casual summer dress. Comfortable walking shoes are recommended. It’s a good idea to have a jacket or sweater for cool evenings and air-conditioned rooms. You may wish to bring one dressier outfit for the concert or a dinner out.

Please also bring the books specified for your seminar. Details can be found on the Toronto Pursuits page and the welcome letter you receive from your leader.

Other items that may come in handy include a notebook, a water bottle, sunscreen, and a Toronto guidebook if you’re from out of town.

Should I bring masks and COVID-19 tests?

Masks are welcome but not required. We encourage you to bring these. We will have a small supply of masks and tests on hand, but we will not have enough for everyone for the entire week. Please bring a supply for your personal use. We encourage you to bring a few self-tests.

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What documents will I need if I’m travelling from the U.S.?

U.S. citizens travelling to Canada by air or land will require a passport that is valid for six months or longer after their return to the U.S.

What documents will I need if I’m from somewhere other than the U.S.?

Visitors from countries other than the U.S. must have a valid passport, and a visa may be required. Most non-U.S. passport holders also need an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA). You can check the Citizenship and Immigration Canada website for additional information regarding visas, or call 1.819.994.2424.

Do I need Canadian currency?

You will need Canadian currency to pay for goods and services in Toronto. You can purchase Canadian dollars from your bank before you arrive or exchange currency at a bank in Toronto, but the easiest and cheapest option is to withdraw Canadian dollars from at ATM at the airport or at one of the many banks in the neighbourhood.

The current exchange rate can be verified online; it fluctuates daily.

Generally, if you use your credit card, you will receive the rate in effect on the day of the transaction. Banks vary in service charges and their policies. It is recommended that you contact your own bank to verify all related service charges.

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How will I get around on campus?

Victoria College is in the heart of the University of Toronto. It is mostly flat with easy walking access to the seminars, activities on campus and local restaurants. If arriving by car, there is a brief walk from Charles Street through the archway to Old Vic. All buildings have elevators.

What institutions of special interest are near Victoria College?

The Royal Ontario Museum, the Gardiner Museum of Ceramic Art, the Ontario Parliament buildings, the trendy Yorkville shopping area, Bloor Street shops and restaurants, and the Manulife Centre cinemas and stores are all within easy walking distance.

What is the best way to get around town?

Toronto has a safe and efficient public transportation system. Victoria College is served by both subway and bus, with the closest subway stop being the Museum station. For full info, see the TTC website.

If you drive, there is no free parking on campus, but you can purchase a parking permit. Parking is located nearby within a short walk, but it is not guaranteed and must be purchased on arrival.

What about meals?

A hot buffet lunch is provided Monday to Friday as part of your registration. We always have vegetarian and some gluten-free and kosher options, and a salad bar every day. Soft drinks and water are served at lunch, along with coffee and tea. For dinner, Toronto is full of wonderful restaurants of every description and price range to explore on your own or with friends. On a few evenings during the week, leaders will be available to escort small groups to local eateries each evening.

The dining hall in Burwash Hall at Victoria College offers a full buffet breakfast for a modest price; it is included in your room charge if you are staying in the Rowell Jackman student residence at Victoria College.

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What if I must cancel my registration?

If you must cancel your registration, please notify Classical Pursuits immediately by calling 647.846.3422 or 1.844.378.2869 or by email at If you cancel prior to June 13, we will refund 80% of your payment, minus the C$300 deposit. We will transfer the balance to Toronto Pursuits in the next calendar year.

Click here for full information on cancellations, refunds or seminar changes.

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What can I expect at the event in terms of COVID-19 health and safety?

Classical Pursuits will adhere to all safety protocols that are in effect for the University of Toronto at the time of the event. We will be updating this page in accordance with updates from the university.

We will create the safest environment possible, but Classical Pursuits, like any other organization, cannot guarantee a COVID-free environment, cannot guarantee that you will not be exposed to COVID-19. By registering for Toronto Pursuits, you accept the risk that is inherent in attending any in-person event.

Is vaccination required?

Yes. Proof of full COVID-19 vaccination will be required to attend Toronto Pursuits, in line with the residential requirements of Victoria University and the University of Toronto. Even if Victoria University lifts its vaccination mandate, proof of full vaccination will still be required to attend Toronto Pursuits. Any exemptions will be considered on a case-by-case basis, in accordance with guidance from the province of Ontario.

For the purposes of attending Toronto Pursuits, “fully vaccinated” means following the number of doses recommended by Health Canada. For individuals over age 12, this includes a booster. We encourage you to get your second or third booster as well, if you are eligible.

Are masks required?

Masks are not required. Victoria University currently does not require masks. If Victoria does not require masks indoors for summer events, Toronto Pursuits will not require them but will encourage them, and you are free to wear a mask as you see fit. We will post updates and more details on this page and on the Toronto Pursuits page as we get them from the Victoria events staff. We will follow the recommendations of the university and the province.

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What if I have another question?

If you need any further information, please contact us at tel: 647-846-3422, toll-free: 1.844.378.2869, or

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