Toronto Pursuits FAQs


How is Toronto Pursuits different from other literary events?

The heart of Toronto Pursuits is the in-depth discussion and sharing of ideas. A wide range of seminars is offered in literature, film, art and music. Seminar leaders will facilitate the discussions to enrich your understanding of the given text or film or music. Groups are small and intimate. The Toronto Pursuits experience is augmented by other cultural and social activities, as well as considerable freedom to explore on your own. You can also earn continuing education units through Harrison Middleton University, a Classical Pursuits partner. Learn more about this opportunity.

Who organizes the event?

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

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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. 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.

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. Seminars are at the ‘Old Vic’ building located in the center of the Victoria College green on Charles Street West.

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Who comes to Toronto Pursuits?

People who love books, music, and art. People who want more from their vacation. People who like to challenge their minds. 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 will range in age from 16 to 86. Our participants usually come from a wide range of occupations, with different levels of education. You don’t need a university degree to enjoy Toronto Pursuits.

What is included in the registration fee?

The fee includes one seminar Monday to Friday, coffee and newspapers all week, five buffet lunches, afternoon speakers, a five-day opera lecture series, film screenings, guided walks, two cocktail receptions, a travel bazaar with reception followed by dinner, and a range of other cultural and social activities. Good company and stimulating discussion are always included.

There is also an optional concert as part of the Toronto Summer Music Festival. Details will be available in early spring 2020.

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

U.S. citizens travelling to Canada 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.

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Do I need Canadian currency?

The current exchange rate can be verified online; it fluctuates daily. Generally, if you use your credit card, you will receive the rate 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. It is wise to bring a little Canadian cash with you; the exchange rate at the airport is often lower. U.S. currency is accepted at some businesses; your change will be in Canadian currency. You can exchange money in any bank. The easiest way to get cash, however, is through one of the conveniently located ATM machines.

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What clothing or other items should I bring?

Days can 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. Other items that may come in handy include: an alarm clock, a bathing suit, tennis racket and athletic clothing, a notebook, a camera, a water bottle.

Can I use the library?

You will have access to the Victoria University library. It is conveniently located, comfortable and well stocked.

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Can I use the athletic facilities?

The University of Toronto’s extensive athletic facilities are available to you at a low charge. Tennis courts must be booked in advance.

What about dinner?

Toronto is full of wonderful restaurants of every description and price range to explore on your own or with friends. On seminar days, 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 student residence at Victoria College.

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

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.

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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. 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. Off-campus parking can be expensive.


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 canceled prior to June 1, we will transfer your deposit to a Toronto Pursuits seminar in the next calendar year.

Please read our cancellation policy in the Registration & Cancellation Policies for Toronto Pursuits in FINE PRINT.

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What if I have another question?

If you need any further information, please contact Melanie Blake at Classical Pursuits, at tel: 647.846.3422, toll-free: 1.844.378.2869, or