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



Vice vs Energy Probe ~ Tuesday, February 28, at 8 PM. 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. We have invited the author, Ryan O'Connor, to defend his views in discussion with Energy Probe's Lawrence Solomon. Hosted by David Cayley (author and broadcaster).

Servings of beer and wine for $5 each will be available prior to the event between 5:30 and 7:30 PM. Complimentary coffee is served to guests.




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, debate do-over between Clifford Orwin, Globe and Mail columnist and U of T 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).

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).

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).

Rediscovering Ivan Illich ~ August 30, presented by David Cayley, author and broadcaster, and hosted by Max Allen (of CBC Ideas).

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).

Why are Ontario's Hydro bills soaring? ~ June 28, presented by Brady Yauch of Consumer Policy Institute.

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

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