Meeting people in Toronto
July 9, 2004 1:27 PM   Subscribe

Specific things to do in Toronto to fill time and meet people....? I have way too much time on my hands and have been thinking of volunteering and/or taking classes. [more inside]

I have no idea how to find out a) where are good places to volunteer and b) where are good places to take classes that are affordable or b) join clubs that are free or cheap (groups of people who have movie or poker night once a week or similar gatherings).

As for the volunteering, I'd prefer it be something that helps sick people or homeless people/youths (not that youths aren't people). (Or, put another way, I don't want to go door to door for Greenpeace. I want to interact with people--not try and "sell" ideas.)

As for the classes, I'm interested in photography, archery, writing, languages, yoga, etc.

Lastly (I am king of the multipart, if I want to start my own movie night at my place, what's the best way to find cool people to attend? (My friends mostly like popular fare and I want to show cult/foreign/art films.)


On preview: Jesus, I sound pathetic.
posted by dobbs to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (15 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite always seems to have great info and knowledgeable visitors -- try asking there as well.
posted by Robot Johnny at 1:45 PM on July 9, 2004

And yeah, I know -- I shudder, too, at livejournal, but still...
posted by Robot Johnny at 1:45 PM on July 9, 2004

Come to the Silverhearts show tonight at Hugh's Room, those boys always put on a good show.
posted by Capn at 2:01 PM on July 9, 2004

Come to the Silverhearts show tonight at Hugh's Room, those boys always put on a good show.
posted by Capn at 2:01 PM on July 9, 2004

Serial Diners

They're a bit odd, and it varies between cheap and expensive from week to week, but it's a very, very interesting group and a fun weekly thing to do.

And if you start a movie night, invite me.
posted by jacquilynne at 2:31 PM on July 9, 2004

Perhaps it isn't as active as other lists-of-Craig, but all it needs is one partysaurus like you, dobbs, to push it past the tipping point.
posted by scarabic at 5:23 PM on July 9, 2004

My sympathies, dobbs - Toronto is a tough nut to crack.

Photography - have you looked into Henry's School of Imaging?

Languages - Alliance Francaise and the Goethe Institut come to mind.

I know how well you know the film scene, so I hesitate to ask what's wrong with Cinematheque Ontario at the AGO. People there love to talk after the screenings, so it's only a matter of buying a membership and going.

Dining - I hate to slag jacquilynne's suggestion, but I'd love to see a dining club that was a bit more discriminating in its tastes. Life's too short (and Toronto's too big) for bad food.

You could also scan the bulletin boards at any of a number of quasi-hippie places like Carrot Common, Alternative Grounds, the 519 Community Centre on Church St., etc., to pick up volunteer/activity ideas.
posted by stonerose at 6:26 PM on July 9, 2004

Dobbs, you so don't sound like a pathetic person.

My first suggestion is reading for the blind at the CNIB. The people who work there are nice, and it's an interesting place to be. Since reading is fun, you'll forget that you are volunteering. I find the blind community very friendly and interesting.

Volunteering with different film festivals is a great way to meet people. I am neither Jewish nor handicapped, but their film festivals rock. Hot docs is very hip and intimidating, but also good.

St. Francis's table in the west end prepares good food for poor people, and there is a great organization for refugees called Romero house. (Stonerose's boss suggested this to me). These are in the west end.

Ask around in the community centres near you, or talk to one of the less intimidating homeless people on your street and find out what places seem good to them. If they are good to the homeless, they are probably nice places to be. If you find something close to you, you will see familar faces, get connected, etc.

OCAD and the AGO have classes for the general public. I used to work at OCAD and found the students to be the nicest people in the city.

There is also the open university at u. of t. I think the classes are free.

Lastly, I would like to recommend the classes at the Japanese paper place. I've been trying to get to them myself.

You spurred me on. I keep saying that I will do these things, and I don't. We could aways do another mefi meet up. I myself can be talked into a beer or two pretty easily.
posted by gesamtkunstwerk at 7:15 PM on July 9, 2004

P.S. If you are interested in Polish, Czech, Russian or French new wave movies, I am so there.
posted by gesamtkunstwerk at 7:17 PM on July 9, 2004

Meh, stonerose, Serial Diners aren't about the food, they're about the adventure. It's the journey, not the destination.

If you'd prefer more picky dining, the people on the Toronto board eat together about once a month, and they're much more discriminating. I've dined with them, as well, and while they're great people, they're not nearly as much fun as the Serial Diners, and I'm under the impression it's the social aspects that dobbs is looking for.
posted by jacquilynne at 8:09 PM on July 9, 2004

If I were in Toronto, I'd meet up with the Greater Toronto Area Bloggers. Get on their mailing list.

Toronto also has a good improv scene, and improv classes are a fun way to spend time and meet people. The Toronto Improv Fest is next month.
posted by Zed_Lopez at 12:55 PM on July 10, 2004

Response by poster: Thanks, all, for the suggestions. Jacquilynne and gesamtkunstwerk, I'll send ya's emails in the next week or so. I think I'm gonna start the film thing here at my house.
posted by dobbs at 1:24 PM on July 10, 2004

Dobbs, if you want to volunteer, you might start by visiting the Volunteer Centre of Toronto. You just tell them what kind of work or cause interests you, and they'll give you the name and number of an organization looking for help of that kind.
posted by orange swan at 2:53 PM on July 11, 2004

If you're looking for evening classes, you might try looking at the Toronto School Board Continuing Education catalogue. They have classes on everything (though granted probably at least a few are cancelled for lack of interest) and the fees are much less expensive than they would be at a college or university.

And, um, Dobbs? I like movies.
posted by orange swan at 3:01 PM on July 11, 2004

Response by poster: Thanks for the late entries, OS. They both pretty much exactly the kind of thing I was looking for.

I'll mail you if/when the movie thing happens.
posted by dobbs at 3:06 PM on July 14, 2004

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