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Global community comes together this weekend in Toronto

Last Updated Mar 23, 2018 at 7:28 am EDT

Members of SPLASH, the Etobicoke School of the Arts' show choir sing during a WWF-Canada lantern walk in Roncesvalles Village, celebrating Earth Hour, on March 23, 2013. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Galit Rodan

Marches will be held in Canada, the U.S, and around the world on Saturday to rally against gun violence in schools and communities, and to urge governments to do something about it.

March for Our Lives was organized by students “who will no longer risk their lives waiting for someone else to take action to stop the epidemic of mass school shootings that has become all too familiar,” the group says on its website.

Later in the day, communities around the world will come together again to turn off their lights and show their support for “protecting our planet and stopping climate change,” the World Wildlife Fund says.

From 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. local time on Saturday, people around the world are encouraged to switch off non-essential lights. In Toronto, several events will be held to mark Earth Hour, three of which are listed below.

Marching against gun violence
On Saturday, students and their families will be taking part in March for Our Lives — to remember the victims of the mass school shooting in Parkland, Fla., and to speak out against gun violence. The main March for Our Lives rally is in Washington, D.C., but local “sibling” marches will be taking place in several cities around the world, including in Toronto. In our city, Communities for Zero Violence will gather at City Hall at 10 a.m. and will march from to Queen’s Park, where it will continue until 1 p.m.

After a rally in front of the White House, students march up Pennsylvania Avenue toward Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., on March 14, 2018. THE ASSOCIATED PRESS/Carolyn Kaster
After a rally in front of the White House, students march up Pennsylvania Avenue toward Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., on March 14, 2018. THE ASSOCIATED PRESS/Carolyn Kaster


Conserving power for Earth Hour
On Saturday, two walks will converge into one as the Roncesvalles and the Parkdale neighbourhoods meet up for the annual event — which symbolizes hope and the power of people coming together for a good cause. One group will gather at the Parkdale library and walk along Queen Street, while the other group converging at the Roncesvalles Dundas Peace Garden will stroll along Roncesvalles Avenue. Both groups will meet up where Roncesvalles, Queen, King Street and The Queensway meet. The walks will start at 8:30 a.m. If you plan on attending, bring a candle in a glass or tin jar.

More than a dozen pubs, bars and restaurants in the GTA will be celebrating Earth Hour, as part of the Lights Out with Mill Street Brewery event. There will be live acoustic music and of course, beer. As of March 1 and until Earth Hour, Mill Street will be donating 50 cents of every Mill Street pint sold to the Wildlife Fund Canada. The locations in the GTA include the Mill Street Beer Hall in the Distillery District and the Mill Street Brew Pub at Toronto Pearson. Click here for a full list. The rest of the locations are elsewhere in Ontario, as well as in Calgary and Newfoundland.

Global sustainability group World Merit Canada is hosting Unplug To Connect at Nathan Phillips Square from 8 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. The group says most of the lights will also be switched off near Yonge and Dundas streets.

Get ready for cottage season
Everything you need to get ready for cottage season is at your disposal this weekend at the International Centre for the Spring Cottage Life Show. It is the 25th anniversary of the event, which organizers say is the annual kick off to summer fun. The show, featuring 600 plus exhibitors, starts Thursday and runs Friday, Saturday and Sunday. 680 NEWS will be on-site all weekend long, so come say hello and enter to win a $250 gift card from Lowe’s.

Easter bunny arrives early
Although Easter is not until next weekend, the Easter bunny is paying an early visit to the Cabbagetown area on Saturday. The free ‘Bunny Hop‘ event will be held near Parliament and Carlton streets on Saturday, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. There will be live music, crafts for the children, refreshments, and selfies with the special rabbit.

Pugs don’t really like to grumble
Attention pug lovers: be sure to free up your Sunday afternoon and head down to Trinity Bellwoods Park. Whether you’re a pug owner yourself, or just can’t get enough of their adorable faces, there will be plenty of swooning as pugs from across the city meet up for the annual Pug Grumble. The meetup is on from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. And in case you’re wondering about the name of the event, a group of pugs is aptly called ‘a grumble.’

AC times two
They helped ring in the New Year, now you can join Anderson Cooper and Andy Cohen in an interactive chat. The Emmy award-winning CNN anchor and the executive producer of the wildly popular Real Housewives series, who are also long-time friends, will be at the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts on Saturday. The two will interview each other and take questions from the audience on everything from world events to pop culture. Tickets range from $100 to $160. The event starts at 8 p.m.