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March 4, 2009
Lit City - Toronto Stories, Toronto Settings - kick-off events, March 6-8
The first weekend of Lit City, a three-month celebration honouring literary writers who find inspiration in Toronto and use the city as a setting in their work starts March 6-8 and joins Toronto's 175th anniversary festivities.

'A City of Writers for 175 Years', Toronto Public Library City Hall branch, noon to 2 p.m., kicks off Lit City on Friday, March 6. Dub-poet diva Lillian Allen is joined by Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha and Michelle St John to present a cycle of spoken word poems commissioned by Diaspora Dialogues for Toronto's 175th anniversary celebrations. Toronto author and criminal lawyer Robert Rotenberg reads from his just-released Toronto court thriller, 'Old City Hall', already 2009's hottest murder mystery. Francophone author Didier Leclair reads from 'Toronto je t'aime' in French and English. Many celebrated Toronto authors round out this incredible roster.

Return to the Library for 'The Bohemian Embassy Revival', 7 - 8:30 p.m., a lively literary and folk-music-filled evening taking us back to the iconic 1960s coffee house where many Toronto writers and musicians got their start. Don Cullen, founder of the fabled poetry den, hosts a stellar line-up: Greg Gatenby, founder of the International Festival of Authors; Rosemary Sullivan, Governor General Award winner; Dennis Lee, adult and children's author and iconic Canadian singer/songwriters Sylvia Tyson and Sharon Hanson are included on the bill. Both events are free and have limited seating.

Saturday March 7 is the opening of the exhibit 'Lit City: Toronto Through the Eyes of Authors and Artists' at the Market Gallery. This show brings together the words of Toronto authors Margaret Atwood, Antanas Sileika and others and the works of Toronto artists Aba Bayefsky and more. Lit City inspired-events with an admission charge include 'The Types Riot and Trial' - a tour at Mackenzie House and walk to Campbell house where one can watch or be part of the re-enactment after Mackenzie's printshop was vandalized, March 7, 10 a.m. - noon. "Pratties and Point": The Story of Catherine Flynn' - storytelling and hearth-cooking based on the life of a young Irish immigrant, March 7, 2:30 - 6:30 p.m.

Toronto's Historic Museums are free this weekend (times vary, check Mackenzie House's exhibit 'Toronto's Tumultuous Year: William Lyon Mackenzie as Mayor' opens Sunday, March 8, noon - 5 p.m., with talks by scholar Chris Raible at 1:30 and 3 p.m.

Lit City is produced by the City of Toronto. For more event information go to

Toronto is Canada's largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of about 2.6 million people. It is the economic engine of Canada and one of the greenest and most creative cities in North America. Toronto has won numerous awards for quality, innovation and efficiency in delivering public services. 2009 marks the 175th anniversary of Toronto's incorporation as a city. Toronto's government is dedicated to prosperity, opportunity and liveability for all its residents.

Media contacts:
Jane French, Project Manager, Cultural Services, 416-338-0496,
Vanessa Higgs, Program Development Officer, Cultural Services, 416-338-0045,



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