Documentary Film

Bi-weekly;  Week One;  Tuesday;  2:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Two Terms; Online via Zoom

Documentary films are a powerful medium that can be used to inform, educate, observe, persuade, expose, improve, and challenge ideas. In this workshop, participants will watch documentary films available on various streaming services including Netflix, Kanopy (free with a library card), CBC Gem and YouTube and then we will discuss the films at each meeting.

The categories for the films may include science, nature, history, biographies, music, sports, crime, socio-political issues, and technology. Each member will select a film of their choice and will introduce the film and start the discussion. Members will view the films on their own before each meeting. Two films will be selected for each two-hour session. Different aspects of the films may be examined including new or interesting ideas or information, themes, the director, the cast, and production values.

Join us as we engage in lively discussions of thought-provoking documentary films.

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Travel Adventures

Bi-weekly;  Week Two;  Tuesday;  2:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. 
One Term – Fall; Online via Zoom  

Join us in exploring new adventures and sharing the exhilaration of discovery! If you could take your next trip today, where would you go? What entices you about this destination? Alternatively, tell us about a memorable travel experience from the past. For the past three years in this workshop, we have explored a world of destinations, from the well-known to the obscure and remote. Group members select a destination and highlight their choice of history, historical attractions, culture, scenery, or any aspect of interest to them. Recommendations for tour groups, flights, solo travel, dining and accommodation can be introduced if there is an interest. Group members will research their destination and prepare a 20 – 25 minute presentation, which will be followed by an interesting and lively discussion.

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Tale of Two Cities – Montreal and Toronto

Bi-weekly;  Week One;  Tuesday;  9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Two Terms; Online via Zoom

We are continuing the Tales of two Cities joint ALLTO-MCLL workshop with our Montreal colleagues. At each session of our bi-weekly Zoom workshop, Toronto and Montreal participants take turns in presenting vignettes of life in our two cities. Previously, we looked at happenings and people in both cities from the time of the Ice Ages until Prohibition. Then we investigated the events, developments and personalities of both cities (in parallel) from 1867 until the present.

Next year we propose to explore the past, present and future of Culture, Art, Socio-economics, Thought Leaders, Entertainment, Sports, Neighbourhoods, Tourism, International Relations, Biculturalism and Bilingualism, Rural vs Urban development, Hidden Pearls, Attitudes to the two World Wars, Politics (if you dare), Future Prognostications. We are exploring having a guest joint session with other Lifelong learning groups across Canada.

We look forward to exchanging ideas, thoughts, attitudes with our Lifelong Learning colleagues in la Belle Province.

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Economist Readers

Weekly;  Week One and Two;  Thursday;  10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Two Terms; In-person and Online via Zoom

This group will meet to extract the wit and wisdom in politics, business, finance, culture, literature and science from this influential international journal. Subscription copies can be delivered by mail (phone 1-800-456-6086) or electronically ( At each session, the group selects about eight articles and the discussion is begun by the proposer of each article with a short introduction to the article.

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Contemporary Film B

Bi-weekly;  Week Two;  Tuesday;  12:15 p.m. – 2:15 p.m.
Two Terms; Online via Zoom

Come and join our Zoom discussion group where participants each select a current film available for viewing on Netflix. Two films will be presented at each workshop and all aspects of the film will be discussed. Members are expected to have viewed the two films recently and in advance of the workshop to ensure lively and congenial discussion. Think of Film B like a tasting menu in a fine restaurant. In the same way as you’d try dishes on a tasting menu at a fine restaurant that you would otherwise never think to eat, in Film B you’ll view films that you would otherwise never think to watch.

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Extraordinary Lives: Workshop on Biographies

Bi-weekly;  Week Two;  Monday;  10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Two Terms; In-person

Biographies recount the stories of people’s lives, placing events, decisions and actions into context. Typically their subject matter concerns people who have faced significant obstacles in their lives or who have made a profound impact upon society.

This workshop focuses on biographical books and films that interpret the lives of noteworthy individuals. Each 2-hour session will feature 2 biographies, one book and one film.

A list of suggested easily-accessed biographical books/films will be circulated to registrants in June and the schedule will be developed in consultation between participants and facilitators. Each participant chooses one biography (book or film) on which to develop a brief maximum 20-minute presentation. Participants are encouraged to read the books or watch the films ahead of each session. A biography of personal interest can also be suggested for presentation provided there are easily-accessed resources available for other workshop members for prior preparation.

Discussion will typically focus on challenges individuals faced within the context of their time.

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The Originals: From Monks to “Mad Men” – The People Who Have Shaped Our World

Bi-weekly;  Week Two;  Tuesday;  12:15 p.m. – 2:15 p.m.
Two Terms; Online via Zoom **NEW**  

In this workshop, we’ll examine the lives, loves, struggles and accomplishments of famous, infamous and lesser-known people who have shaped our world. These people may include activists, actors, athletes, entrepreneurs, inventors, pioneers, mathematicians, scientists, writers, humanitarians, monks, monarchs, politicians, filmmakers, spies, singers, songwriters and visual artists.

During each two-hour meeting, we will explore the lives of two people, one during each hour. Each member will be asked to create a 20-25 minute presentation on the person of their choice. Presenters may also recommend articles, books and / or films to share with our workshop participants.

Join us as we engage in discussions of the lives of some extraordinary people, both well-known and lesser-known who may not figure as prominently in our history books.

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Book Review – Mother Load: Memoirs of Struggle and Strength

In intimate terms, six women members of the Academy for Lifelong Learning Toronto set out their memories of their mothers and their own mothering. Often, mother figures were grandmothers, aunts, sisters, daughters and friends. Brenda M. Doyle, Melanie Faye, Nancy Garrow, Kathy Honickman, Jennifer Walcott and Ellen O’Donnell Walters wrote their memoirs of mothering.

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Workshop Spotlight: Tale of Two Cities

The Academy workshop, “Tale of Two Cities”, is a unique collaboration between two “third age” organisations, our own Academy for Lifelong Learning Toronto (ALLTO) and the MCLL (McGill Community for Lifelong Learning). Facilitated by Lorne Huston in Montreal and Andris Rubenis in Toronto, the online Zoom sessions have featured a shared presentation by each city, with each presentation followed by general discussion. Common themes have been sought to allow comparison and contrast of viewpoints and history in the two cities. A session in Winter 2023 featured two topics related to 1920s prohibition: Little Burgundy, presented by Bruce Macleod in Montreal, and Prohibition in Ontario, presented by Laura Tyson in Toronto.

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