Toronto Pursuits 2021 | July 11 to 16

COVID-19 update, March 2021

Registration for Toronto Pursuits 2021 is not yet open as large gatherings are currently not allowed in Toronto and the US—Canada border remains closed. We are working with the University of Toronto to decide on a plan for July, and aim to make a decision by mid-March.

Thank you sincerely for your patience amidst all this uncertainty.

Want to take a seminar now? We have online seminars starting almost weekly. Thank you for your support.

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 10 lively, focused, and participatory seminars, which are the anchor of the week. You’ll take that seminar Monday, July 12, to Friday, July 16 from 9:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.

We also have one afternoon seminar; see details below.

Morning seminars are followed by an excellent hot buffet lunch. Afternoons and evenings are devoted to social and cultural activities 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.


Registration for Toronto Pursuits 2021 is not yet open; please see the full notice above.

In Remembrance of Me: Jesus Before Christianity
with Emanuelle Burton
E.M. Forster: On the Cusp of Modernity
with Nancy Carr
Impressionism: From Seeing to Feeling
with Wendy O'Brien
The Beethoven Symphonies: Aging or Ageless?
with Rick Phillips
Nietzsche, Freud and Derrida: Putting the Post in Post-Modernism
with John Riley
The Proper Study of Mankind Is Man
with Gary Schoepfel
Women Spies in Cold War Fiction
with Joyce Wayne
Madame Bovary
with Denise Ahlquist Details coming soon
Women of Greek Tragedy
with Mark Cwik
Details coming soon
Moon Reflected on Water: Buddhist Poetry Today
with Rosemary Gould
Afternoon Seminar on The Name of the Rose
with Mark Cwik
Details coming soon
Stratford Shakespeare Festival Weekend


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

Go to Stratford




Request Our 2021 Brochure from Our Partner Worldwide Quest


Toronto Pursuits 2021 is from Sunday, July 11, to Friday, July 16, 2021. All seminars take place at Victoria University, part of the University of Toronto.


The Toronto Pursuits 2021 registration cost will be announced shortly. It will be similar to the 2020 cost of C$1520.


Registration includes one morning seminar that you will take from Monday, July 12 to Friday, July 16, coffee and newspapers all week, five buffet lunches, five days of after-lunch speakers, a five-day afternoon opera lecture series, film screenings, guided walks, two evening cocktail receptions, 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).

A few optional afternoon and evening activities are not included in the main cost (e.g., museum visits); most of these can be paid on site. Look for more details in spring 2021.

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.
  • The afternoon seminar is not eligible for either of these discounts (see below).


A C$300 nonrefundable deposit is required at registration. For the afternoon seminar, full payment is required at registration. Refunds are issued for cancellations made before June 1, 2021, minus the C$300 deposit for morning seminars and a C$25 administrative charge for the afternoon 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.


The cost of the afternoon seminar on The Name of the Rose is C$200 for those registered for the full Toronto Pursuits program.

The cost is C$400 for those taking the seminar as a standalone option. The standalone option includes the seminar, the after-lunch speakers, and included evening activities. It does not include lunch, which can be purchased separately.


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, 2020, 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.


The details below apply to 2020 accommodations and are for information only. Updated prices and dates for 2021 will be posted as soon as we have them.

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 a newly renovated four-star hotel located at 220 Bloor Street West, just 500 metres from Toronto Pursuits on the Victoria University/University of Toronto campus. Group booking rates will be available later in 2020.

Rowell Jackman Hall offers basic dormitory accommodation at Victoria University at the University of Toronto, where Toronto Pursuits takes place. In most cases, washrooms are shared with one to three other people. Bedrooms are air-conditioned. The 2020 single room rate was C$80.25 plus taxes per night and the double room rate was C$107.00 plus taxes per night. For questions about accommodations, contact Victoria staff directly at Please read all terms, conditions and standards carefully before you book; it is your responsibility to make sure this accommodation is right for you.

Participants can also stay at Massey College dormitory accommodation, 600 metres from Victoria University where Toronto Pursuits takes place. Bedrooms have fans; common areas are air-conditioned. Washrooms are shared with one or two other people. Prices, registration details, and terms and conditions will be available in midwinter 2021. Please read all terms, conditions and standards carefully before you book; it is your responsibility to make sure this accommodation is right for you.


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.



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