Grounds for Thought: A Safe Space for Dissent

Coffee houses have historically served as meeting places for the exchange of fresh and often provocative ideas. Green Beanery continues this centuries-old tradition by hosting a series of thought-provoking discussions at our popular café-roastery. In this age of intolerance toward dissent, where unconventional views are often shouted down if not banished entirely, we aim to become a sanctuary for those who seek the information needed to make informed decisions on important issues of the day. 

Grounds for Thought discussions are free to the public and take place on the last Tuesday of each month, and often on additional Tuesdays, too. During the discussion, please enjoy a complimentary cup of our Coffee of the Week, a fine selection from our 100+ varieties of coffee.

Prior to each event, enjoy spirited conversation with friends from 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm: $5 for either wine or beer during our Policy Wonk Hours.

Below you'll find a list of upcoming events. If you have a suggestion for a subject you'd like covered, that lends itself to civil discourse and an informed citizenry, please contact us at Follow us on Twitter @for_grounds.



Hydro Rates Gone Wild: Why have our power bills doubled? Can they double again? ~ Tuesday, May 30 at 8 PM. Parker Gallant, a leading energy sector critic, describes Kathleen Wynne's legacy. Hosted by David Cayley (author & broadcaster).

Free admission. Event guests enjoy a complimentary coffee. $5 beer and wine servings are available between 5:30 and 7:30 PM prior to the event start at 8 PM. Venue: Green Beanery, 565 Bloor St. West, Toronto, M5S 1Y6. Email:



Campus Politics: anti-Semitic and anti-free speech ~ April 25. University campuses, once hotbeds of free speech and free thought, have done a 180, to become hot spots of anti-Semitism and thought police. Aedan O'Connor, student activist and Daily Wire contributor, describes the poisonous politics at Ryerson and other Canadian campuses. Hosted by David Cayley (author and broadcaster). This event was videotaped. See here to view.

1,200 Is Not Enough ~ March 28. Canada has officially recognized the ISIS genocide of the Yazidis (Yezidis or Êzidîs) yet, inexplicably, also capped the number of Yazidi refugees we will welcome this year at 1,200. Mirza Ismail (Chair, Yazidi Human Rights International), Geoffrey Clarfield (Director, Mozuud) and Debbie Rose (Coordinator, Project Abraham) describe the genocide and what now needs to be done. This event was videotaped. See here to view.

Vice vs Energy Probe ~ February 28. Is Energy Probe at the leading edge of environmentalism or is it a group that has gone off the rails? A Vice magazine article suggests the latter. Hosted by David Cayley (author and broadcaster). Lawrence Solomon spoke on behalf of Energy Probe. The author of the Vice article was invited to defend his views. This event was videotaped. See here to view.

The Wakefield Vaccine Scandal ~ January 31. Dr. Ari Zaretsky, Psychiatrist-in-Chief and Vice President, Education at Sunnybrook, argues that Andrew Wakefield's study linking vaccines to autism discredits President Trump's Vaccine Safety Commission before it begins. National Post columnist Lawrence Solomon sees things differently. Hosted by David Cayley (author and broadcaster). This event was videotaped. See here to view.

Why Proportional Representation Would Make Canadian Elections Fairer ~ November 29. Andrew Coyne, National Post columnist and CBC "At Issue" panelist, lays out the case for proportional representation. National Post columnist, Lawrence Solomon, debates the opposing view. Hosted by Terence Corcoran (National Post).

Mass Surveillance, Edward Snowden and the Erosion of Privacy and Freedom ~ November 1. Needless intrusions into our personal lives threaten our liberties, explains Dr. Ann Cavoukian, Executive Director at Ryerson's Privacy and Big Data Institute and formerly Ontario's Information and Privacy Commissioner. Hosted by David Cayley (author and broadcaster).

The Lesser Evil ~ October 25. A debate do-over between Clifford Orwin, Globe and Mail columnist and University of Toronto Professor of Political Science, and Lawrence Solomon, National Post columnist. Hosted by David Cayley (author and broadcaster). This event was videotaped. See here to view

Trudeau's Human Rights Compromise ~ October 11. Presented by Patricia Adams, executive director of Probe International. Hosted by David Cayley (author and broadcaster). This event was listed by NOW magazine as one of its top three political picks for October 2016. See here for more background on this event.

The Honest Ed's Redevelopment: ​The Back Story ~ September 27. Presented by Max Allen, producer (CBC Radio’s IDEAS), curator (Textile Museum of Canada), and VP for planning and development of the Grange Community Association. Hosted by David Cayley (author and broadcaster). See here for a blog recap of the event.

Windy Lies ~ September 13. Presented by Sherri Lange, CEO of NA-PAW, North American Platform Against Wind Power. Founding Director, Toronto Wind Action. Executive Director, Canada, Great Lakes. Hosted by Max Allen (of CBC Ideas). See here for more about the positions expressed by this speaker.

Rediscovering Ivan Illich ~ August 30. Presented by David Cayley, author and broadcaster, and hosted by Max Allen (of CBC Ideas). See here for a blog recap of the event.

The Real Jane Jacobs ~ July 26. Presented by Max Allen (of CBC Ideas) and Lawrence Solomon (co-founder of Energy Probe Research Foundation with Jane Jacobs). See here for a blog recap of the event.

Why are Ontario's Hydro bills soaring? ~ June 28. Presented by Brady Yauch of Consumer Policy Institute. See here for more background on this event. [No poster available]

All of these posters are available for purchase. Inquire at to place an order. $5 for small (8.5x11"), $10 for large (11x17"). For pick-up in-store only at our Bathurst and Bloor store location. We do not ship orders of posters.


Future Discussions

  • Is Canada emboldening China's flouting of human rights 
  • Merits of a new TTC subway line
  • Press censorship in Toronto
  • Divesting from oil at U of T
  • Plus global warming, vaccines, a new electoral system, and other hot topics of the day

    For more information on our events or other queries, please contact us at

    Follow us on Twitter @for_grounds