Academy Talks

Academy for Lifelong Learning Toronto offers talks and forums throughout the year. Forums are offered in the Fall and Winter and are followed by the popular Spring Talks lecture series. Participants are encouraged to ask questions at the end of each talk.

In-person presentations are at Tartu, 310 Bloor St. West, at 2:30 pm (following health guidelines). In accordance with health protocols, mask are required for in-person events. Academy members automatically receive an invitation to each talk via email.

If you are not currently a member of the Academy for Lifelong Learning, you can request information about the Academy’s Talks Program by sending an email to:

View calendar of upcoming events >

Winter Forums - 2023

Please use Madison Ave. entrance for the Academy at Tartu College

The Winter Forums will be held in the Auditorium

Michael Layton - Personal Reflections Reaching Net Zero Housing Standards on Wednesday, Feb. 15 at 2:30 pm (Winter Forum #3)


Michael Layton and Family

Michael Layton and Family


Lessons learned by Mike Layton and his family on their journey to make their home fossil fuel free. Mike will share further information about the technologies used and incentives available to decarbonize.

Mike Layton is a well-known Toronto politician. After three very impactful terms as a Toronto City Councillor, Mike chose not to seek re-election. Instead, he is pursuing new opportunities which will focus his energy and skills on his lifelong goals of fighting climate change and addressing inequality, while still leaving time to spend with his family.


Jan Wong - "My Half Century with China: Reflections from the Cultural Revolution to COVID to Xi Jinping" on Wednesday, March 1 at 2:30 pm (Winter Forum #4)

Jan Wong

 Jan Wong

Canadian academic, journalist and writer Jan Wong was the first Canadian and one of a very few Westerners to study in China during the Cultural Revolution. Later, as a foreign correspondent for the Globe and Mail, she witnessed the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre.

She wrote about both these periods in China in her award winning book, “Red, China, Blues: My Long March from Mao to Now”, followed by a later book, “Beijing Confidential: A Tale of Comrades Lost and Found”. 

Presently Jan lives in Toronto, where she is working on her seventh book.



Professor Ann Shteir - Women and Plants: A Fruitful Topic on Wednesday, March 15 at 2:30 pm (Winter Forum #5)

Professor Ann Shteir

Professor Ann Shteir

Professor Ann Shteir, professor emerita, York University recently edited and published “Flora’s Fieldworkers: Women and Botany in 19th Century Canada” ( 2021) (McGill/Queens Press).  She and her team uncovered about ten neglected women who contributed to botany in Canada during this era. Some collected seeds; some developed gardens; some wrote guides to plants; some made quilts depicting Canadian and British plants. This book is the outgrowth of an earlier conference she organized to focus on women and botany in the 19th century.

As senior scholar in gender, feminist, and women’s studies at York University, Professor Ann Shteir wrote “Cultivating Women, Cultivating Science: Flora’s Daughters in England 1760-1860” (1996) .

Her books are a great contribution to the study of Canadian women in science.