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Six cheap cultural and community Toronto activities to mark on your calendars

Here are some upcoming cultural and community activities that we think you’d enjoy. Get out into the city and soak it up!

Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival bike tour, May 19 around the city

Such a cool way to see what this month-long festival has to offer! This Sunday CONTACT’s Artistic Projects Manager, Sabrina Maltese, is leading a bike tour through the streets of Toronto and stopping at the festival’s public installations along the way. You’ll cycle through the Dundas and Ossington area as well as the downtown core to see exhibits like Broomberg and Chanarin’s Shirley’s and Chris Marker’s La Jetée. The tour starts at 1pm at the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art (952 Queen St. W.). Oh, and it’s BYOB (that’s bring your own bike, y’all).

Amanda Mabro and Chris AssaadMay 22 at the Drake Underground

Named one of the city’s most promising singer-songwriters by The Montreal Gazette, Montreal’s Amanda Mabro is a jazz/pop singer that is sure to grab your attention. Check out a preview of her latest effort, The Lost EP (it features a duet with Ron Sexsmith!), at this show at the Drake Underground (1150 Queen St. W.). Accompanying her on the bill is pop/folk singer Chris Assaad, who will make your heart melt. Tickets are $10 advance and $15 at the door; show starts at 8pm.

Picture Day, opening May 24 at the TIFF Bell Lightbox

This film as a Canadian female director. Woo! It’s the debut feature by Kate Melville and stars TIFF 2012 Rising Star Tatiana Maslany. Picture Day tells the story of Claire Paxton, a teenager who is forced to repeat her last year of high school after a slew of bad grades and missed classes. Despite this, Claire still chooses to cut class whenever she can and spends her nights going out clubbing. Not a girl, not yet a woman, you know? 

Doors Open TorontoMay 24 to 25 around the city

The 14th annual Doors Open Toronto offers the chance to take a peek inside some of the city’s most architecturally, culturally, socially, and historically significant buildings. This year’s theme is Creators, Makers and Innovators, and features over 150 Toronto buildings. There’s an awesome walking tour program, as well as a new informative speaker series featuring experts like architect Will Aslop and Toronto community leaders Wayne Swanton and Sheldon Levy.

Yard Sale for the CureMay 25 at Trinity Bellwoods Park

Head to one of the city’s best parks for a day of shopping in the sun—that benefits the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation! Pretty sweet deal, methinks. It’s happening from 10am to 7pm, so give yourself a good amount of time because there will surely be a plethora of goodies to buy! These Yard Sales are happening in communities all over the country; find others here.

Lore, opening May 31 at the TIFF Bell Lightbox

The much-anticipated follow-up to Australian director Cate Shortland’s debut feature Somersault (2004), Lore is set in 1945 in the aftermath of WWII. In it, a 14-year-old German girl named Lore has to lead her four siblings on an intense journey across the country to reach their grandma who lives in the north. It’s sure to be an inspiring story, plus it has a strong female lead!

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