The Academy for Lifelong Learning Toronto is a not-for-profit organization operated by volunteers, with a mission to promote learning and collegiality through the exchange of ideas and stimulating discussion.
Formed in 1991, the Academy attracts members who are intellectually curious, interested in exploring and understanding the world, sharing ideas, and meeting others in a learning environment that is fun and supportive. The Academy has a long association with the University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies.
During the Fall and Winter terms, we have a wide-ranging program of workshops and discussion groups led by Academy members, complemented by a series of Forums, and Spring Talks in April and May. Special events that bring members together socially are held throughout the year.
The Academy is open to learners interested in attending daytime workshops. Most participants come from Toronto and the surrounding region. “Zoom-only Workshops", held on Tuesdays, allow for virtual attendance from practically anywhere.
An annual membership fee of $180 allows members to register for up to four workshops and have full access to all talks and events.
In 2020 the Academy moved to new headquarters at Tartu College, 310 Bloor Street West, in downtown Toronto, between the Spadina and St. George subway stations.
Workshops on a wide range of topics including the arts, science, history, current affairs, and film. Workshops are developed and led by Academy members who are called “facilitators”. Members research and deliver presentations on the subject of their choice, and lively discussion follows.
Forums are held during the Fall and Winter terms. They provide an opportunity for members and guests to hear talks on a wide range of topics, many given by outside experts. The Forums include an annual debate by Academy members and a session featuring impressive Workshop presentations from the previous year.
Spring Talks are held on six Wednesday mornings in April and May, this series features well-known speakers who present thought-provoking talks on a broad range of topics for members and guests.
Academy-led walks through Toronto neighborhoods, followed by lunches at local restaurants, take place throughout the Fall and Spring (indoors in Winter).
The Academy hosts events and activities for its members throughout the year, including a series of Special Interest Groups, and events such as luncheons, celebrations of volunteer work, and AGM receptions.
The Academy keeps its members and other readers up to date through the website “News” page and the Academy Quarterly Review, an online publication devoted to the interests and opinions of our members. The AQR typically features interviews, reviews of Academy and current events, book reviews, and reports on Workshops.
The Academy for Lifelong Learning Toronto is a not-for-profit organization operated by volunteers for people interested in peer study and dialogue. Our mission is to promote learning and collegiality through the exchange of ideas and stimulating discussion.
Core Values and Beliefs
Members of the Academy:
- Value intellectual challenge, diversity of opinion and new ideas
- Value education and continued learning in a variety of subject areas
- Believe learning takes place through a variety of activities and formats, including research, presentations and the exchange of information and ideas through stimulating discussion
- Value sharing experiences and ideas with peers in social and informal learning activities
- Believe that a volunteer organization depends on individuals who share a sense of responsibility to contribute to the organization
- To provide a program of daytime peer-led workshops based on self-directed learning
- To promote a collegial atmosphere by providing opportunities for social activity
- To remain a not-for-profit, volunteer organization
- To ensure the long-term viability of the Academy