Toronto Pursuits 2019: Community | July 14 to 19, 2019

Come for the books, stay for the people. Toronto Pursuits is a cultural salon in the sun for inquiring adults from across North America. Be part of a convivial community that gathers to read, watch, listen to and discuss compelling literature, art, music, and film. Study works that move, provoke, unsettle, and inspire. Wrestle with questions and ideas that matter. Meet old friends and make new one at one of Canada’s most distinctive literary events.

Choose one of our lively, focused, and participatory seminars, which are the anchor of the week. Seminars gather from 9:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. Monday to Friday 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.


The Gathering of Chaucer’s Pilgrims: The Canterbury Tales
with Denise Ahlquist
Our Hold on the World: Bodies in Community
with Emanuelle Burton
The Poetic Conversation
with Rosemary Gould
Seeing Through Clothes
with Betty Ann Jordan
No Man Is an Island: Icelandic Sagas
with Mark Cwik
The Second Sex 70 Years Later
with Wendy O'Brien
Like Light on Broken Glass: Stories and Plays of Anton Chekhov
with Sean Forester
Heart and Soul: Nationalism in Music
with Rick Phillips
“This particular web”: George Eliot’s Middlemarch
with Nancy Carr
NEW! Afternoon Seminar on the Odyssey
with Mark Cwik


See the Toronto Pursuits 2019 schedule

See the Toronto Pursuits 2019 handbook


A perfect prologue to Toronto Pursuits is a weekend of world-class theatre at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival with hosts Pat and Gary Schoepfel.

Join us!


We’ll be attending a concert featuring the Dover Quartet on July 17 at Koerner Hall. Tickets are available here.



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Toronto Pursuits 2019 is from Sunday, July 14, to Friday, July 19, 2019.

The cost of Toronto Pursuits 2019 is C$1,520. Register here.

Registration includes one seminar Monday, July 15 to Friday, July 19, 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, a new participant orientation on Sunday, and a range of other cultural and social activities. All costs are subject to the 13% Harmonized Sales Tax (HST).

We have a lot planned for you, including a literary cocktail-making lesson at Famous Last Words; nature and culture walks of the U of T campus and the Don Valley with Lisa Gervais of the Redwing Institute; a panel of local writers, including Susan Crean, Anita Lerek, and Joyce Wayne; and yoga to help keep you relaxed yet energized. See the current See the Toronto Pursuits 2019 schedule”>2019 Toronto Pursuits schedule.

A few optional activities are not included in the main cost (e.g., museum visits) and most can be paid on site. Tickets for the Toronto Summer Music Festival concert, featuring the Dover Quartet, are now available here.

The cost of the afternoon Odyssey seminar is C$200 for those already signed up for the full Toronto Pursuits program and C$400 for those taking the seminar as a standalone option. The standalone option includes the seminar and all evening activities. It does not include lunch or afternoon activities.

DISCOUNTS — one per person

  • Participants who have attended Toronto Pursuits at least five times receive a C$215 discount.
  • Register with a friend, and if one or both are first-time participants, each receives a C$215 discount.

A C$300 nonrefundable deposit plus HST is required. For the Odyssey afternoon seminar, full payment is required at registration. Refunds are issued for cancellations made before June 1, 2019, minus the C$300+HST deposit for morning seminars and a C$25 administrative charge for the Odyssey seminar.

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 full details on refunds and cancellations.

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, 2019, 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 in student housing at the University of Toronto or at our partner hotel, the InterContinental Yorkville.

The InterContinental Yorkville is taking bookings for Toronto Pursuits 2019. This newly renovated four-star hotel is located at 220 Bloor Street West, just 500 metres from Toronto Pursuits on the Victoria University/University of Toronto campus. To book at our group rate, call 1-800-267-0010 or 416-960-5200 and give the group code Classical Pursuits 2019/XA1. Or book online by going to the booking page. Select BOOK NOW, choose your check-in and check-out dates, and click SEARCH. We have a limited number of rooms at the group rate, so please book early!

UPDATE, April 2019: Our rooms at the Rowell Jackman dorm are now sold out. We do still have another block of single and double rooms at Massey College, 600 metres from Victoria University where Toronto Pursuits takes place. Massey has now opened their summer booking system. Book here: Please read all terms, conditions and standards carefully.


We have also 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.



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