The Humanist Association of Toronto provides a focus of activities and discussion for Humanists in the Toronto area. Please note: HAT events are open to the public, and views expressed do not necessarily represent the official views of the Humanist Association of Toronto. For all public statements, educational events, media enquiries, please contact the webeditor, who will forward your enquiry to our Spokesperson.
The Humanist Forum meets Saturday morning 11am-1pm
The Monthly Meeting the 2nd or 3rd Saturday at 1:30pm (TBD)
The Steering Committee meets 1st Wednesday, 7pm
The Book Group meets monthly.

Annual General Meeting: April 18

The Humanist Association of Toronto will have its 
Annual General Meeting 
on Saturday, April 18th, 11:00-1:00
OISE (252 Bloor St. W.) Room 5-170

All HAT members are encouraged to attend. If you cannot attend, you can designate a proxy to represent you with this form. The Steering Committee for 2016-16 will be elected at the meeting.

Note that there will be no Forum that day.

The Swerve (HAT book discussion)

The HAT Book reading group will be discussing the following book on Saturday April 25 2015 at 2:30 at our regular location:

The Swerve: How the World Became Modern

Year/Format: 2011, Book, 356 p., [8] p. of plates
14 holds / 41 copies
In this work, the author has crafted both a work of history and a story of discovery, in which one manuscript, plucked from a thousand years of neglect, changed the course of human thought and made possible the world as we know it. Nearly six hundred years ago, a short, genial, cannily alert man in his late thirties took a very old manuscript off a library shelf, saw with excitement what he had discovered, and ordered that it be copied. That book was the last surviving manuscript of an ancient Roman philosophical epic, On the Nature of Things, by Lucretius, a beautiful poem of the most dangerous ideas: that the universe functioned without the aid of gods, that religious fear was damaging to human life, and that matter was made up of very small particles in eternal motion, colliding and swerving in new directions. The copying and translation of this ancient book, fueled the Renaissance, inspiring artists such as Botticelli and thinkers such as Giordano Bruno; shaped the thought of Galileo and Freud, Darwin and Einstein; and had a revolutionary influence on writers such as Montaigne and Shakespeare and even Thomas Jefferson.

If you wish to join us please contact Jodi at 416-925-3395 or

HAT Forum: The Inevitability of War?

HAT Forum, Saturday 28 March 2015
11:00-1:00, 519 Church St., Meeting Room # 304
Topic: The Inevitability of Military Wars
Proposed by: Bill Kennedy

If, at some point in the future, war is regarded as useless, unproductive, and silly, what might have happened between now and then?

HAT Forum: educational opting out

HAT Forum
Saturday 21 March, 11:00-1:00
519 Church St.
Topic: opting out of mandatory education

Should parents have the right to withdraw students from study of topics of which they disapprove, if those subjects are compulsory? Examples could include sex education and evolution; any other potential issues? On what grounds might we as a society justify allowing it, and with what limitations? What about non-curricular issues, such as vaccination?

HAT Forum: Tolerance

HAT Forum
Saturday 14 March 2015, 11:00-12:30 (note shortened time)
519 Church St., Meeting Room 304
Topic: Tolerance
Proposed by: Richard Dowsett
  1. What does tolerance look like to you?
  2. Is Canada too tolerant for its own good?
  3. Should we tolerate intolerant people? 
  4. Is it possible that in Canada, in order to honour somebody else's tradition, one has to (even partly) dishonour one's own?
  5. At what point does tolerance become dysfuntional? How far can we tolerate tolerance?
  6. Why bother talking about tolerance?
These questions were discussed by a panel of three Canadians on the CBC Radio program Ideas. You can listen to the original program online.

This meeting will be shortened so that participants can get to OISE by 1:30, with a short lunch break, in time for Catherine Dunphy's talk about the Clergy Project.

HAT Forum: Responsibility of Institutions in a Pluralistic Society

HAT Forum
Saturday 7 March 2015, 11:00-1:00
519 Church St., Meeting Room #304
Topic: Responsibility of Institutions in a Pluralistic Society
Proposed by: Richard Dowsett

1. In a pluralistic society, what approach should institutions (judicial, education, health) take with regard to communicating values and knowledge that may be controversial for some?
2. Do these institutions have a mandate or possibly a duty to promote certain values and knowledge in the name of socialization and education?
3. Should institutions "teach the controversy" and openly discuss minority viewpoints in the name of pluralism?
4. Should institutions remain "neutral" to values and only present facts?
5. Discuss these questions in terms of the current debate of the sex education curriculum and the ongoing questions of teaching creationism and religious education.
6. Do the answers change when the venue changes from the Public system to the Separate Schools to private schools?

HAT meetings are free and open to members and the public. Call (416) 966-1361 for location information. ___________________________________________________
The Humanist Forum meets Saturday morning 11am-1pm.
The Monthly Meeting, is usually the second Saturday at 1:30pm; specifics should be found on this blog.
The Steering Committee meets the first Wednesday of each month, at 7pm.
The Book Group usually meets on the first Saturday afternoon of the month.