Toronto Pursuits 2020: Pivot Points | July 12 to 17, 2020

Thank you for attending Toronto Pursuits 2019! We’ll update this page with additional practical information about Toronto Pursuits 2020 very shortly.

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.


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!



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Toronto Pursuits 2020 is from Sunday, July 12, to Friday, July 17, 2020. All seminars take place at Victoria University, part of the University of Toronto.

Registration includes one seminar Monday, July 13 to Friday, July 17, 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). The 2019 cost was C$1520 and the 2020 cost will be similar.

A few optional activities are not included in the main cost (e.g., museum visits) and most can be paid on site. Look for more details in spring 2020.

The cost of the afternoon 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. More details will be announced when registration opens in fall 2019.

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 afternoon seminar, full payment is required at registration. Refunds are issued for cancellations made before June 1, 2020, minus the C$300+HST 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.

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.

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. Details about our group rate will be available soon.

Rowell Jackman Hall offers basic dormitory accommodation at Victoria University. In most cases, washrooms are shared with a suite of 4 to 6 other bedrooms. Bedrooms are air-conditioned. Prices, registration details, and terms and conditions will be available in midwinter 2020. 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 2020. 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.



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