Toronto Pursuits: July 15 to 20, 2018

Toronto Pursuits is a salon in the sun for inquiring adults from across North America. Each July, a convivial community gathers to engage with compelling literature, art, music, and film—works that move, provoke, unsettle, and inspire. They come to wrestle with questions and ideas that matter. They come eager to listen to and learn from one another, and ready to explore new points of view. They come to meet old friends and make new ones.


Power. We hunger after it more than love, money, even life itself. Humanity’s endless struggles over land, wealth, ideas, beliefs, identities and rights are, at the heart, struggles to gain or guard power. Does power necessarily corrupt? What is the relationship between power and freedom? How do we determine the just use of power? We will take on these questions and many more. Join us for a stimulating week of seminars on a rich variety of works that look at the exercise of power across a wide swathe of history, from ancient Greece to Renaissance Florence to segregated 1960s America to worlds that do not yet exist. We are excited to present our 2018 seminar program:

Power, Rights and Personhood: Who Gets to Be Human?
Invisible Man: Claiming Identity Against Racism
The Enduring Power of Myth
Power Embodied: Memoirs of Hadrian
Listening to the Voices of Resistance
The Birth of New Powers in Florence
Forces Mortal and Immortal: Homer’s Iliad
Braving It Out: Position and Influence in Trollope
Podium Power: The Art and Artistry of Conducting


Lively, focused, and participatory seminars anchor the week in Toronto. Seminars gather from 9:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. and are followed by an excellent buffet lunch. Afternoons and evenings are devoted to social and cultural activities both on and off campus—talks, literary quizzes, museum visits, and concerts are just a few options to choose from. There’s a free and open approach at Toronto Pursuits that’s relaxing and stimulating at the same time.

We have put together a page on Preparing for Your Seminar that gives more information on how to get the most from your seminar and what you can expect from the experience.


The 2018 fee is C$1485 — this 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 followed by dinner, and a range of other cultural and social activities. All fees are subject to the 13% Harmonized Sales Tax (HST).

A few optional activities are not included in the fee (e.g., museum visits) and can be paid on site. We will also attend a concert as part of the Toronto Summer Music Festival. Details on the concert program will be available in spring 2018.

DISCOUNTS — one per person

  • Early bird discount – register before January 1, 2018, and get a free Toronto Summer Music Festival concert ticket.
  • Participants who have attended Toronto Pursuits at least five times receive a C$200 discount.
  • Register with a friend, and if one or both are first-time participants, each receives a C$200 discount.

REFUNDS AND CANCELLATIONS — A C$300 nonrefundable deposit plus HST is required. Per Toronto Summer Music Festival policy, concert tickets are nonrefundable, nontransferable, and nonexchangeable. Please see our Registration and Cancellation Policy and our Privacy Policy for more details.

SEMINAR CHANGES We encourage you to read the seminar descriptions carefully to make sure the topic and amount of reading are a good match for you. You can always find all readings listed on each seminar page and get details on length using book ISBNs. You are free to change your seminar before July 1, 2018, provided there is space in the seminar you want to move to and you are able to complete any preparation required. After July 1, we cannot accommodate any change in seminar.


Participants are responsible for booking their own accommodations. Most out-of-town participants stay on the Victoria University campus or at a nearby hotel. Wherever you book, please read all policies and confirmations carefully.

InterContinental Yorkville — Our longtime partner, the Park Hyatt, will be closing for a two-year renovation, but we have an exciting new option in the InterContinental Toronto Yorkville. Superior rooms are available for C$259/night and Deluxe rooms are available for C$289/night plus tax under our group rate. Register online at InterContinental Toronto Yorkville. Select the gold “BOOK NOW” button (top right corner), select your dates, and click the gold “SEARCH” button. Rooms at the group rate will automatically be presented. You can also call 1-800-267-0010 or 416-960-5200 to book and give the block code OL8, Classical Pursuits 2018. With the closure of the Park Hyatt and the nearby Holiday Inn Yorkville, the neighbourhood will have far fewer hotel rooms available than normal, and there are a limited number of rooms at the InterContinental. We strongly encourage you to book early, early, early.

Victoria University Student Residences — Victoria University’s Rowell Jackman Hall offers clean, basic dormitory accommodation. Rooms are air-conditioned and included shared en-suite bathrooms. Rowell Jackman Hall generally sells out quickly, so please don’t delay in booking! Rates for 2018 are C$75 single/C$100 double for adults and C$69 single/C$94 double for seniors over 65. Rates do not include 13% HST. To request accommodations, see



Travel Adventures for the Mind
with The world's best books, art and music as Your guides