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Join Didier Leclair on August 11 at 6pm to celebrate the release of the English edition of his book Toronto, I Love You (Mawenzi House), translated by Elaine Kennedy! The author and translator will be joined in conversation by the writer Paul Savoie.

The free Toronto Lit Up book launch will take place at the Debates Room (#2034) in the University of Toronto’s historic Hart House building. Books will be for sale on site, courtesy of Another Story Bookshop. Light refreshments and drinks will be provided by in-house catering services.

In Toronto, I Love You, Raymond Dossougbé flees the misery of his home town in Benin, arrives in Toronto, and is immediately charmed by the city. He sees it as a place of freedom and light, a sanctuary where he, like so many others, can begin anew. But as he becomes familiar with the city and its inhabitants, he realizes that his Afro-Caribbean roommates look like him but aren’t his brothers. He discovers a free community that is mentally shackled, an underground network that is stuck in the past, immigrants who are unable to adapt. He sees deep poverty, extreme wealth, and the consequences of police brutality. Eventually he finds his bearings in this new world and comes to a better understanding of himself and the colourful characters around him.

The French edition of Toronto, I Love You won the Prix Trillium when it first came out in 2000.

Special guests:

Elaine Kennedy has enjoyed a lengthy and diversified career as a professional translator and editor. A native of Toronto, she studied English literature, French language and translation in North America and Europe. She has worked as a translator in the academic and cultural sectors. The co-winner of the 3Macs carte blanche Prize and a finalist for the Toronto Book Award and the International Book Award, she presently devotes her full time to literary translation.

Paul Savoie is one of Canada’s most prolific bilingual writers. Originally from Saint-Boniface, Manitoba, he has lived in Ontario since the early 1970s. He has written more than 30 books, including several collections of poetry, stories, and translations. His poetry books won the Trillium Book Award twice. Involved in the arts community for more than 25 years, Savoie also composes music for piano.


Toronto Lit Up is a multi-year initiative, started in 2016 by the Toronto International Festival of Authors and the Toronto Arts Council, to spotlight Toronto writers and empower local artists with career-building opportunities. Between April 2016 and June 2022, Toronto Lit Up has presented 137 events to launch 161 books by 236 Toronto authors. Toronto Lit Up book launches take place throughout the year at venues across the city. They are open to the public and free to attend. Click here for more information.

          Mawenzi House logo          Another Story Bookshop logo

Didier Leclair's Toronto Lit Up banner with the book cover of Toronto, I Love You and "Book Launch Free Thursday August 11 6pm". Includes TIFA, Toronto Arts Council, Mawenzi House and Another Story Bookshop logos

Join Emily Saso on Thursday, September 8 at 6pm ET at Tranzac Club to celebrate the launch of Nine Dash Line (Freehand Books, September 2022)!

The free Toronto Lit Up event will feature an interview with the author from Becky Toyne. Snacks are free, and drinks will be served by the Tranzac Club. Please review the venue’s COVID policy here. Masks are required except between bites of food and drinks of drinks!

Nine Dash Line is a thrilling novel about two people stranded under mysterious circumstances in the South China Sea, battling the memories of the crimes that haunt them. Books will be for sale on site, courtesy of Ben McNally Books.


Toronto Lit Up is a multi-year initiative, started in 2016 by the Toronto International Festival of Authors and the Toronto Arts Council, to spotlight Toronto writers and empower local artists with career-building opportunities. Between April 2016 and June 2022, Toronto Lit Up has presented 137 events to launch 161 books by 236 Toronto authors. Toronto Lit Up book launches take place throughout the year at venues across the city. They are open to the public and free to attend. Click here for more information.

           Freehand Books Logo

Emily Saso's Toronto Lit Up banner with the book cover of Nine Dash Line and "Book Launch Free Thursday September 8 6pm". Includes TIFA, Toronto Arts Council and Freehand Books Logos

Join Sophie Jai on July 14 at 7pm ET at Famous Last Words to celebrate the launch of WILD FIRES (HarperCollins Canada, August 2022)!

The free Toronto Lit Up event will feature Sophie Jai in conversation with Tiara Chutkhan, an audience Q&A, a book signing and a custom WILD FIRES cocktail for everyone to enjoy!

Moving between Toronto and Trinidad, Wild Fires is a vivid and compelling story exploring the ways we mourn and why we avoid the very things that can save us. When a call from one of her sisters brings Cassandra news of their cousin’s death, she has to return home for the funeral. To Toronto and the big house on Florence Street, where her sisters are hiding more than themselves in their rooms, where the tension brewing between her mother and aunts has been decades in the making, and where sooner or later every secret, unspoken word and painful memory will find its way out into the open. Get your copy here.


Toronto Lit Up is a multi-year initiative, started in 2016 by the Toronto International Festival of Authors and the Toronto Arts Council, to spotlight Toronto writers and empower local artists with career-building opportunities. Between April 2016 and June 2022, Toronto Lit Up has presented 137 events to launch 161 books by 236 Toronto authors. Toronto Lit Up book launches take place throughout the year at venues across the city. They are open to the public and free to attend. Click here for more information.

      HarperCollins Canada logo

Sophie Jai's Toronto Lit Up banner with the book cover of WILD FIRES and "Book Launch Free Thursday July 14 7pm". Includes TIFA, Toronto Arts Council and HarperCollins Canada logos

Outdoor Tent, June 5 at 11am ET

Be sure to visit the Kobo Cabana Reading Lounge at MOTIVE Festival! The welcoming space will have a charging station, comfy couches and some delicious treats. It’s the perfect place to relax, get book recommendations and chat with other crime and mystery fans.

This space is part of the free, outdoor events at MOTIVE. It is located on the west lawn at Harbourfront Centre and is open to the general public.

Kobo Plus Read logo with All-you-can-read ebooks on any device tagline

MOTIVE general banner

Outdoor Tent, June 4 at 11am ET

Be sure to visit the Kobo Cabana Reading Lounge at MOTIVE Festival! The welcoming space will have a charging station, comfy couches and some delicious treats. It’s the perfect place to relax, get book recommendations and chat with other crime and mystery fans.

This space is part of the free, outdoor events at MOTIVE. It is located on the west lawn at Harbourfront Centre and is open to the general public.

Kobo Plus Read logo with All-you-can-read ebooks on any device tagline

MOTIVE general banner

Outdoor Tent, June 5 at 1pm ET

Hear about Toronto’s crime history from the experts, Toronto Crime Tours: the only crime tour in Canada hosted by retired Detectives!

Beginning every hour on June 4 & 5 between 1pm ET and 6pm ET, you can drop in to hear Toronto’s history of crime, featuring the following cases:

  • Clowns vs Firefighters Riot: 1855
    • This story tells the tale of how a riot in 1855 between Circus Clowns and the Hook and Ladder fire company brought about changes to the Toronto police service that are still in place today, ending the appointment of officers and creating civilian oversight.
  • Shoeshine Boy
    • This is a presentation of how the murder of Emanual Jaques, a 12-year-old shoe shine boy in Toronto in 1977 shocked the city into action to finally clean up the seedy, rotten condition of the downtown core.
  • Boyd Gang
    • This is the story of Edwin Alonzo Boyd, one of Canada’s well-known bank robbing criminals and his group called the Boyd Gang who robbed Toronto banks in 1949. They made headlines for their brazen Hollywood style bank robberies, but they also murdered a Toronto Police Officer while they were on the loose, having escaped from The Don Jail, not once but twice.

These tour previews are part of the free, outdoor events at MOTIVE. It is located on the west lawn at Harbourfront Centre and is open to the general public.

Toronto Crime Tours logo

Toronto Crime Tours logo

Outdoor Tent, June 4 at 1pm ET

Hear about Toronto’s crime history from the experts, Toronto Crime Tours: the only crime tour in Canada hosted by retired Detectives!

Beginning every hour on June 4 & 5 between 1pm ET and 6pm ET, you can drop in to hear Toronto’s history of crime, featuring the following cases:

  • Clowns vs Firefighters Riot: 1855
    • This story tells the tale of how a riot in 1855 between Circus Clowns and the Hook and Ladder fire company brought about changes to the Toronto police service that are still in place today, ending the appointment of officers and creating civilian oversight.
  • Shoeshine Boy
    • This is a presentation of how the murder of Emanual Jaques, a 12-year-old shoe shine boy in Toronto in 1977 shocked the city into action to finally clean up the seedy, rotten condition of the downtown core.
  • Boyd Gang
    • This is the story of Edwin Alonzo Boyd, one of Canada’s well-known bank robbing criminals and his group called the Boyd Gang who robbed Toronto banks in 1949. They made headlines for their brazen Hollywood style bank robberies, but they also murdered a Toronto Police Officer while they were on the loose, having escaped from The Don Jail, not once but twice.

These tour previews are part of the free, outdoor events at MOTIVE. It is located on the west lawn at Harbourfront Centre and is open to the general public.

Toronto Crime Tours logo

Toronto Crime Tours logo

Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to crack the code!

Someone has gone missing but have they left messages behind? Hidden in books, written on index cards, scribbled on the back of an old photograph; there is a mystery waiting to be solved. Part mystery puzzle, part scavenger hunt, your task is to piece the story together using all the clues you can find, just don’t get caught! Work as a team to rewrite the history books, just be careful which path you choose to go down . . .

The Hidden is an immersive and interactive theatre experience created by Visible Fictions for young people and families. It was first performed at Paisley Central Library (UK) in November 2017. TIFA Kids is proud to present the Canadian premiere of The Hidden during MOTIVE Festival.

Performances will take place at Brampton Library, Chinguacousy Branch, Bramalea Civic Centre, 150 Central Park Drive, Brampton.

Dates & Show Times:
June 2, 2022 | Performance at 3pm
June 3-5, 2022 | Daily public performances at 11am and 3pm
June 7-10, 2022 | Daily public and group performances at 11am and 3pm

Admission is free with registration. To book for schools and community groups (June 7-10) please contact Brampton Library. The Hidden is recommended for youth aged 12 and up.


“Visible Fictions have meticulously assembled an interactive site-specific experience – devised with older teenagers especially in mind – that cunningly (and usefully) encourages curiosity, disbelief and a questioning mindset.”

Toronto International Festival of Authors book logo TIFA Kids Logo            Visible Fictions

A glowing ball of light resonates over an open book

Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to crack the code!

Someone has gone missing but have they left messages behind? Hidden in books, written on index cards, scribbled on the back of an old photograph; there is a mystery waiting to be solved. Part mystery puzzle, part scavenger hunt, your task is to piece the story together using all the clues you can find, just don’t get caught! Work as a team to rewrite the history books, just be careful which path you choose to go down . . .

The Hidden is an immersive and interactive theatre experience created by Visible Fictions for young people and families. It was first performed at Paisley Central Library (UK) in November 2017. TIFA Kids is proud to present the Canadian premiere of The Hidden during MOTIVE Festival.

Performances will take place at Brampton Library, Chinguacousy Branch, Bramalea Civic Centre, 150 Central Park Drive, Brampton.

Dates & Show Times:
June 2, 2022 | Performance at 3pm
June 3-5, 2022 | Daily public performances at 11am and 3pm
June 7-10, 2022 | Daily public and group performances at 11am and 3pm

Admission is free with registration. To book for schools and community groups (June 7-10) please contact Brampton Library. The Hidden is recommended for youth aged 12 and up.


“Visible Fictions have meticulously assembled an interactive site-specific experience – devised with older teenagers especially in mind – that cunningly (and usefully) encourages curiosity, disbelief and a questioning mindset.”

Toronto International Festival of Authors book logo TIFA Kids Logo            Visible Fictions

A glowing ball of light resonates over an open book

Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to crack the code!

Someone has gone missing but have they left messages behind? Hidden in books, written on index cards, scribbled on the back of an old photograph; there is a mystery waiting to be solved. Part mystery puzzle, part scavenger hunt, your task is to piece the story together using all the clues you can find, just don’t get caught! Work as a team to rewrite the history books, just be careful which path you choose to go down . . .

The Hidden is an immersive and interactive theatre experience created by Visible Fictions for young people and families. It was first performed at Paisley Central Library (UK) in November 2017. TIFA Kids is proud to present the Canadian premiere of The Hidden during MOTIVE Festival.

Performances will take place at Brampton Library, Chinguacousy Branch, Bramalea Civic Centre, 150 Central Park Drive, Brampton.

Dates & Show Times:
June 2, 2022 | Performance at 3pm
June 3-5, 2022 | Daily public performances at 11am and 3pm
June 7-10, 2022 | Daily public and group performances at 11am and 3pm

Admission is free with registration. To book for schools and community groups (June 7-10) please contact Brampton Library. The Hidden is recommended for youth aged 12 and up.


“Visible Fictions have meticulously assembled an interactive site-specific experience – devised with older teenagers especially in mind – that cunningly (and usefully) encourages curiosity, disbelief and a questioning mindset.”

Toronto International Festival of Authors book logo TIFA Kids Logo            Visible Fictions

A glowing ball of light resonates over an open book