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Ontario

2017 Warm & Cosy Holiday Gift Guide

Explore Toronto’s fantastic shopping scene to find gifts for friends, family and anyone else on your list.

Wolf-pompom knit toque ($99)
Simons, Square One Shopping Centre, 100 City Centre Dr.,
Mississauga, m.simons.ca

View a slideshow of great clothing items and other cozy gift ideas:

The 2017 Holiday Gift Guide

Everyone has their own idea of the perfect holiday. Some like to cook up a storm, others head for the hills. And then there are those for whom holidays mean dressing up and hitting every fabulous party. No matter how you like to wile away the time, our holiday gift guide has you covered.

Party Time

Diamond Earrings at Howard Fine Jewellers, 220 Sparks St.

Sparkle like a red-carpet star with these stunning dangle earrings, which feature round and yellow enhanced diamonds. $19,500.

Dirty Jokes at Stomping Ground, 728 Bank St.

Take your cocktail party banter to a new level with this collection of adult jokes. $11

Ace Face Shoes at John Fluevog Shoes, 61 William St.

These fancy lace-up derbys by the celebrated Canadian designer will ensure that you step out in style. $349.

Appliqué Minaudière Purse at Nordstrom50 Rideau St.

Add texture and shine to an evening outfit with this pint-sized purse. $169.

Silk Ties at E.R. Fisher199 Richmond Rd.

Dion neckwear has been making high-quality silk ties ($95-$135) and pocket rounds ($65) out of Toronto for 40 years.

Cook

Cheese Board at Boogie & Birdie, 256 Elgin St.

Show your national pride with this made-in-Canada bamboo cheese board. $106.

Reusable Bags at terra201304 Wellington St. W.

Be a wise owl and use these cute reusable bags, which come in a package of two. $15.

Japanese Blade at Knifewear, 800 Bank St.

The Mugen Santoku is a multi-purpose knife perfect for slicing, dicing, and mincing vegetables. $500.

Wood Finish at Maker House Company, 987 Wellington St. W.

Enhance and protect your wooden utensils and cutting boards with this all-natural beeswax product. $8.

Food Storage at The Chef’s Paradise1314 Bank St.

This alternative to plastic wrap uses the heat of your hand to create a seal. $30.

Play

Mountaineering Board Game by Family Pastimes

Watch for avalanches, overcome frostbite, and grapple with other challenges in this cooperative, locally-made board game. $21.

Poop Coaster at Maker House Company, 987 Wellington St. W.

This coaster protects furniture — and lets guests know you’re not that uptight. $22. 

Good Gorilla at The Modern Shop, 541 Sussex Dr.

Hanno the gorilla can hold poses and hook onto furniture, bringing a touch of fun to any space. $150.

Snoopy Backpack at Simons, 50 Rideau St.

This Peanuts backpack by Vans features a padded back and adjustable strap. $45.

Phone Case at Boogie & Birdie, 256 Elgin St.

Is it mixed tape or mix tape? Regardless, transform your iPhone into an icon with this throwback case. $36.

Cozy Up

Earmuffs at the Hudson’s Bay Company50 Rideau St.

These faux fur earmuffs from the Canadian Olympic Team Collection feature a cozy knit headband. Also available in red. $30.

Box of Chocolates by Bernard Callebaut314 Richmond Rd.

This collection features handcrafted chocolates, five of which are award winners. $24.

Grand Teapot at Le Creuset517 Sussex Dr.

This teapot has a capacity of four cups — so your reading (or Netflix-binging) time won’t be interrupted by the need to put the kettle on. $60.

Canadian Club 40 YO at the LCBO, various locations

Toast Canada’s 150th with limited-edition Canadian Club Whisky that has been aged for 40 years. $250. 

Wool Blanket at The Opinicon1697 Chaffeys Lock Rd.

Handmade in Canada, this 100 per cent virgin wool blanket is the same one that graces the beds at the historical Opinicon Resort. $195.

Explore

Weatherproof Pad at Lee Valley, 900 Morisson Dr.

The Rite in the Rain notebook will not absorb water, nor will it curl or wrinkle. $9.50.

Craft Beer at the LCBO, various locations

Get adventurous with your tastebuds with beer from Ontario’s Collective Arts and Flying Monkeys. About $3.

Rab Microlight Alpine Jacket at Bushtukah, 203 Richmond Rd.

This lightweight down winter jacket is ideal for when the temperatures drop and weight is a concern. $350.

Eton Grundig Executive Satellite Radio at MEC, 366 Richmond Rd.

This device receives AM, FM, long and shortwave, VHF, marine, and HAM signals. $200.

The Bripe at Equator Coffee Roasters, 412 Churchill Ave. N.

You don’t want to lug a coffee pot to the great outdoors but need a caffeine fix. This copper apparatus and its kit allows the user to brew up an espresso in just a few minutes. $99.

A Perfect Fall Day in Toronto

Enjoy the most colourful season with these five family friendly activities

9:00 a.m. Find fresh vegetables, preserves, baked goods and more at one of the city’s farmer’s markets, including the Evergreen Brick Works (550 Bayview Ave.), Dufferin Grove (875 Dufferin Park Ave.), Sorauren Park (289 Sorauren Ave.), and St. Lawrence Market (93 Front St. E.).

11:00 a.m. Go apple picking, navigate an eight-acre corn maze and watch pumpkins get shot out of a cannon on a visit to Pingle’s Farm Market. 1805 Taunton Rd. E., Hampton, ON.

5:00 p.m. Stop into Kalendar for a late after-noon break. The Little Italy institution offers a number of warming seasonal drinks, including mulled wine and cider. 546 College St.

3:00 p.m. Take in the fall colours with a hike along the West Humber River Valley, the East Don Parkland, E.T. Seton Park, Scarborough’s Cudia Park, or Etobicoke’s Rouge Valley.

7:00 p.m. There’s no better season for classic Canadian comfort food than autumn. Drop by Bannock for a fish and shrimp cake,
cod chowder or spinach greens mac and cheese. 401 Bay St.

2017 Food and Drink Holiday Gift Guide

Explore Toronto’s fantastic shopping scene to find gifts for friends, family and anyone else on your list.

Nuremberg-style Lebkuchen cookies ($24 and up)
Pusateri’s Fine Foods, 57 Yorkville Ave.; other locations, pusateris.com

Click below to view a slideshow of great food and drink gift ideas:

17 Things To Do in Toronto This November

Grease: The Musical

Grease: The Musical
Nov. 1–Dec. 10
Fans of the John Travolta–Olivia Newton-John film know the subtitle of this production is redundant. What’s Grease without its signature songs like “You’re the One That I Want” and “Greased Lightning”? This new performance takes its characters back to the Chicago setting of the original 1971 musical, but otherwise it’s the same story you grew up with. Grease is still the word.
Winter Garden Theatre, 189 Yonge St.

Joachim Bandau
Nov. 2–25
German artist Bandau has exhibited work in more than 45 museum collections throughout his half-century career. His works in wood, metal and watercolour have had an uninterrupted run during that time, always on display in at least one major showing. The Nicholas Metivier Gallery brings a selection of his paintings and sculptures to Toronto this fall.
Nicholas Metivier Gallery, 451 King St. W.

Royal Agricultural Winter Fair
Nov. 3-12
The largest indoor agricultural fair in the world visits Toronto every November, bringing with it giant vegetables, pet-able farm animals, performing dogs and one of the most renowned international equestrian competitions anywhere. While you’re there, don’t forget to take in the butter sculptures, relax with a session of goat yoga or enjoy an evening of wine tasting.
Exhibition Place

Taste of Iceland
Nov. 9 to 12
Experience Icelandic food and culture at the seventh annual Taste of Iceland Festival. Try traditional Icelandic favourites like langoustine, arctic char, fried lamb fillet and skyr with a special tasting menu at Leña, and attend a concert, literary event and concert, all in celebration of the island’s vibrant cultural scene.
Various venues

Hockey Hall of Fame Induction Weekend
Nov. 10–13
Dave Andreychuk, Clare Drake, Jeremy Jacobs, Danielle Goyette, Paul Kariya, Mark Recchi and Teemu Selanne will all be welcomed into the Hockey Hall of Fame at this year’s annual weekend of festivities. Along with special guest appearances, Q&A fan forums and autograph signings, Sunday afternoon’s Legends Classic will feature a star-studded lineup. Cheer on your favourite hockey hero at the Air Canada Centre, as teams lead by Mark Messier and Jari Kurri face off against each other.
Various venues

Chris Rock
Nov. 11
It’s hard to believe the Total Blackout Tour is Chris Rock’s first time on the road in nine years. The comedian has received rave reviews to date, with an act focusing on Rock’s strengths: making jokes about race relations, politics, and relationships—in particular the dissolution of his marriage in 2014.
Air Canada Centre, 40 Bay St.

Gourmet Food and Wine Expo
Nov. 16–19
Each year, more than 45,000
visitors attend the Gourmet Food & Wine Expo for epicurean
eats and a selection of more than 1,500 wines, beers, and spirits. Among the purveyors at the 23rd edition are exhibitors such as Cannoli Queens, Stonetown Artisan Cheese and Barilla Pasta. Thirsty guests can visit the Spiritology Pavilion for a tipple, or join a Tutored Tasting seminar to learn about fine wines and spirits from the experts. Live programming continues at the Chef Stage, which hosts demonstrations from an all-star line-up, including celebrity chef Emily Richards.
Metro Toronto Convention Centre, 255 Front St. W.

Santa Claus Parade
Nov. 19
The Santa Claus Parade has been an annual Toronto tradition since 1905. Kids of all ages line the streets along Santa’s route to catch a glimpse of upside-down clowns, marching bands, and, of course, the man in red himself. The parade starts at 12:30 p.m. at Christie Pits Park and works its way along Bloor Street, down Avenue Road, and across Wellington Street to the St. Lawrence Market. Some years are colder than others, so dress warmly, and bring a Thermos of something hot to drink.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time
To Nov. 19
Christopher Boone—the lead character in Simon Stephens’s stage adaptation of Mark Hadden’s popular novel—is a highly intelligent 15-year-old boy who’s gifted at math but who has trouble making sense of everyday life. When he becomes a suspect in the death of a neighbour’s dog, he begins an investigation to find the real culprit.
Princess of Wales Theatre, 300 King St. W.

One of a Kind Show & Sale
Nov. 23–Dec. 3
Find gifts and inspiration at the One of a Kind Show & Sale, a juried event that celebrates all things crafted and handmade. Held twice annually, the winter edition features more than 500 designers and artisans, with a variety of merchandise ranging from jewellery to preserves to ceramics. Visitors can browse vendor tables, hear talks at the main stage and learn about the crafts and techniques from the makers themselves.
Enercare Centre, Exhibition Place

A Christmas Carol: The Family Musical with a Scrooge Loose

A Christmas Carol: The Family Musical with a Scrooge Loose
Nov. 24–Dec. 31
Ross Petty Productions has been staging family friendly Christmas pantomimes (musical comedies loosely based on a traditional fairy tales that employ slapstick, cross-dressing and topically based jokes) for 22 years, and yet this year’s edition is the first to actually have a Christmas theme, taking on the Dickens classic A Christmas Carol. Not that it matters: if you’re paying too close attention to the plot of a pantomime, you’re missing all the fun.
Elgin Theatre, 189 Yonge St.

Cavalcade of Lights
Nov. 25
Celebrate the start of the holiday season with thousands of other revellers at the 49th annual Cavalcade of Lights. Watch as the city’s official Christmas tree is illuminated with more than 525,000 lights, and enjoy the energetic live performances, skating parties and impressive fireworks. Even if you miss the big event, you can still view the lit-up tree each night throughout the holiday season.
Nathan Phillips Square, 100 Queen St. W.

Christian Dior at the Royal Ontario Museum

Christian Dior
Opens Nov. 25
Christian Dior was one of the most influential fashion designers of the 20th century, known for his use of luxury textiles and gorgeous embroideries.
To celebrate the 70th anniversary of the House of Dior, the Royal Ontario Museum displays items from its rarely seen collection of haute couture pieces designed by Dior from 1947 to 1957.
Royal Ontario Museum, 100 Queen’s Park

The Faraway Nearby: Photographs of Canada from the New York Times Photo Archive
To Dec. 10
To mark the country’s sesquicentennial, the Ryerson Image Centre was gifted a vast trove of 25,000 Canada-centric photographs from the New York Times photo archive. This exhibit displays but a small number of them, highlighting images of major political events, beautiful landscapes, and portraits of notable Canadians.
Ryerson Image Centre, 33 Gould St.

Bat Out of Hell
To Dec. 24
Meat Loaf and Jim Steinman’s operatic 1977 album, Bat Out of Hell, meets its stage musical roots head on in this energetic post-apocalyptic extravaganza. Set in dystopian Manhattan, the show follows a young man named Strat who falls in love with Raven, the daughter of a powerful tyrant. Rock out to Meat Loaf’s greatest hits, like “Paradise by the Dashboard Light,” “I’d Do Anything for Love (But I Won’t Do That)” and “Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad.”
Ed Mirvish Theatre,244 Victoria St.

The Canadian Odyssey of Lord Milton
To Jan. 7
In 1862, English nobleman Viscount Milton and physician Walter Cheadle travelled across Canada, looking for a direct route to the Cariboo goldfield in British Columbia. The story of their trip was detailed in a book, illustrated by Cheadle, called The North-West Passage By Land. This fall, visitors to the Gardiner Museum can view 13 pieces, from both public and private collections, of a commemorative tea set featuring hand-painted art inspired by the book’s drawings.
Gardiner Museum, 111 Queen’s Park

Arts of the East: Highlights of Islamic Art from the Bruschettini Collection
To Jan. 21
Lavish textiles, patterned carpets, paintings and inlaid metalwork from the 13th to 17th centuries are on display at the Aga Khan in this debut exhibition of one of the most important private collections of Islamic art in the world.
Aga Khan Museum, 77 Wynford Dr.

Kitchen Q & A: Chef Nuit Regular

The chef of Pai Northern Thai Kitchen shows off the diversity of Thailand’s cuisine at her newest restaurant, Kiin

Why open another restaurant after Pai’s success?

I wanted to introduce styles of Thai food that people in Toronto had yet to try, and to offer a variety of foods from across Thailand. There are southern dishes, dishes from the northeast, royal Thai cuisine and many others.

What’s your favourite dish to make at Kiin?

Right now it’s wing bean salad. It’s a dish that I make with tom yum paste: a chilli paste that I make from scratch. I went back to Thailand to eat lots of wing bean salads, to learn, and then I came back and made this dish.

What’s an ingredient unique to Kiin?

We use buffalo Thai basil. My mom used to cook with it when she made food like Kua Hang Gai for me and the neighbours. I tried to get the basil in Toronto, but no one sold it here, so I had to search for a supplier and order it in from Thailand.

Kiin is located at 326 Adelaide St. W., kiintoronto.com.

Four Must-see Art and Museum Exhibits for Fall

From imaginative monsters to Nazi history to indigenous art to crafted textiles, there’s a wealth of exhibits to experience this season

Delve into the collection of imaginative items at Guillermo del Toro: At Home with Monsters.

 

Raise a Flag: Works from
the Indigenous Art Collection (2000–2015)

To Dec. 10

OCAD University, Canada’s largest art and design school, christens its new 8,000-foot flagship galley in September with an exhibit that creates a dialogue surrounding Canada’s national identity. Works by more than two dozen First Nations, Inuit and Métis artists will be on display from Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada’s comprehensive art collection.

Onsite Gallery, 199 Richmond St. W., ocadu.ca

 

Guillermo del Toro: At Home with Monsters

To Jan. 7

Few modern filmmakers have made their stamp on the fantasy genre like Guillermo del Toro. This fall, the Art Gallery of Ontario exhibits a selection of items from del Toro’s famous personal collection of curiosities, including art, books and ephemera surrounding the afterlife, magic, occultism, alchemy, freaks and imaginary creatures. This show provides a window into the creative process of the mind behind Pan’s Labyrinth, Pacific Rim and The Hobbit.

Art Gallery of Ontario, 317 Dundas St. W.

 

The Evidence Room

To Jan. 28

In 2000, architectural historian Robert Jan van Pelt proved in a landmark court case that Auschwitz was purposefully designed by the Nazis as a death camp. His research became a source for the emerging discipline of architectural forensics. The Evidence Room—an acclaimed exhibition when it debuted last year at the International Architecture Exhibition in Venice—displays key objects central to that research, including full-scale reconstructions of three major components of the Auschwitz gas chambers along with more than 60 plaster casts of additional architectural evidence.

Royal Ontario Museum, 100 Queen’s Park

 

Diligence and Elegance: The Nature of Japanese Textiles

To Jan. 21

This exhibit displays 19th- and 20th-century fabrics and garments from Kyoto’s professional weaving workshops alongside Canadian-made cotton, cloth and silk kimonos created using traditional techniques. The show features work by contemporary artists Hiroko Karuno and Keiko Shintani, both of whose work has evolved from Japanese textile traditions.

Textile Museum of Canada, 55 Centre Ave.

Toronto’s Thin-Crust Craze

DEVOUR SOME OF THE BEST NEAPOLITAN PIZZA OUTSIDE OF ITALY

Terroni offers up a delicious menu of thin-crust creations. (Photo by Dylan + Jen.)

Queen Margherita

A strict Vera Pizza Napoletana adherence is why these traditional pies are a reliable favourite. Perfectly blistered crusts are topped with hearty certified San Marzano tomato sauce and fired in a Naples-made oven.
1402 Queen St. E.; 785 Annette St.; 772 Dundas St. W. 

Terroni

Terroni’s extensive list of ’zas embraces all the hallmarks of the southern Italian tradition. Your margherita or quattro stagioni arrives at the table as a whole pie, leaving you to decide the size of your slices.
720 Queen St. W.; 1095 Yonge St.; 57 Adelaide St. E.

Pizzeria Libretto

One of the first restaurants on Toronto’s thin-slice scene now includes five always-packed locations (and a takeout-only spot) across the city. Toppings such as Ontario prosciutto and duck confit are must-tries.
221 Ossington Ave.; 550 Danforth Ave.; 155 University Ave.; 545 King St. W.

Via Mercanti

Romolo Salvati’s mini pizza
empire adds a creative flair to its authentic flavours. For example, its signature Via Mercanti is a two-pizza-layered masterpiece—a ricotta, mushroom and spicy soppressata-covered pizza hides under a full margherita pie.
188 Augusta Ave.; 87 Elm St.; other locations

Lambretta Pizzeria

The signature dish at this family-friendly joint is the prosciutto-laden Lambretta pizza, with a crispy crust that cradles fior de latte, arugla and cherry tomatoes. Or, if meat-free is more your style, try the marinara, vegeteriana or funghi. 89 Roncesvalles Ave.

A Taste of Ottawa: The Capital’s Signature Dishes

BeaverTails, shawarma, poutine, perhaps pho. The capital isn’t lacking for acclaimed fast-food options. But stop for a minute and take your taste imaginings to a higher plane. What restaurant dishes are Ottawa classics?

These are unique to a particular dining room, and beloved by legions of fans who extol their virtues far and wide. Signature dishes might be innovative and complex, but they could just as easily be simple. Nevertheless, they have two things in common: they’re instantly cherished and nearly impossible for the chef to remove from the menu.

Any debate over a definitive list could last well into the night, so we’ll just start here with six picks.

Les Fougères’ Duck Confit

783 rte. 105, Chelsea, Quebec, 819-827-8942, fougeres.com

Chef Charles Part’s duck confit is legendary. Little wonder, since the chef-owner has been refining it for upwards of two decades. It boasts a skin that’s deliciously crisp, and the accompanying potato galette is always perfection.

Benny’s Bistro Salmon Gravlax

119 Murray St., 613-789-6797, frenchbaker.ca/reservations

Benny’s Bistro has been serving up “French fast food done right” for years. Its house-made salmon gravlax is a thing of beauty, with an oozy sunny-side-up egg, a warm fingerling potato salad, and olive tapenade on the side.

Mariposa Farm’s Foie Gras

6468 County Road 17, Plantagenet, 613-673-5881, mariposa-duck.on.ca

This farm’s ethical farming practices produce tons of delightful goodies, but none quite as delicious (or coveted) as the duck foie gras.

The SmoQue Shack’s BBQ Chicken

129 York St., 613-789-4245, smoqueshack.com

There’s barbecue and there’s the way chicken’s done in Kentucky: a spicy rub, a sugar and honey brine, and an apple wood smoke. The SmoQue Shack’s secret sauce? A bourbon glaze with hints of vanilla.

Absinthe’s Steak Frites

1208 Wellington St. W., 613-761-1138, absinthecafe.ca

Absinthe sees a large and devoted following for chef-owner Patrick Garland’s steak frites. Its marinated hanger steak paired with hot fries is a don’t-you-dare-take-it-off-the-menu staple.

Allium’s Banoffee Pie

87 Holland Ave., 613-792-1313, alliumrestaurant.com

This yummy pie has a graham cracker crust filled with layers of creamy toffee, sliced banana, and heaps of whipped cream, all topped with chocolate shavings.

Bytown’s Best Beers

By Matt Harrison

It’s a golden age of sorts. Golden suds that is. Awash in beer, the capital’s not quite drowning but rather happily drifting along in a frothy sea of microbrews. Last count finds the area home to at least two-dozen breweries and growing.

Not confined to area pubs and bars, the breweries themselves have become tourist destinations such as Beau’s Oktoberfest in September (less chance of snow!), or Les Brasseurs du Temps, a beautiful stone brewery located in Hull’s former waterworks building with patios overlooking — fittingly — Brewery Creek, an arm of the Ottawa River.

What’s driving this industry? The answer is found in the hardworking brewmasters who pride themselves in being natural and authentic. But to stand out, you also have to be a little quirky (the Broadhead team brags about giving up shaving for its craft) or take a mad-scientist approach to experimenting (an Earl Grey Marmalade Saison anyone?), or get creative with naming beers (Bog WaterPink FuzzHeller Highwater).

We asked some of the city’s top brewers to talk about what makes this city’s suds scene so great.

Father-son team, Tim and Steve Beauchesne of Beau’s Brewery. Photo courtesy of Beau’s.

Beau’s Brewing Co. (Since 2006)
Steve Beauchesne, co-founder, and CEO

What makes your brewery unique?
Our close-knit family and friends, company culture, and each of the beers we brew.

What is your favourite beer?
Bog Water. It started us on a path of experimentation, and has spawned so many interesting projects. When we decided to brew a Gruit beer [brewed with herbs other than hops], I don’t think we fully realized how much it would impact our brewery. Now with a full-time Gruit program, and as originators of International Gruit Day, it is something that many brewers [worldwide] look to us as experts on.

Les Brasseurs du Temps (Since 2009)
Alain Geoffroy, president

What makes your brewery unique?
BDT is the first craft brewery established on the Quebec side of the Outaouais. It is literally a temple of beer brewing more than 35 different types of beer [always 17 fresh beers on the menu], located in a heritage centennial building and featuring a self-guided beer museum.

What are your most underrated and favourite beers?
Underrated: L’Allumante is our nut brown ale. Despite the fact that it is our second best-selling beer [OK, not really underrated!], it remains, to my point of view, one of the best American-style nut brown ales you can find: a subtle nutty flavour sustained by a long and smooth bitterness. Favourite: La Framboyante, our raspberry pale ale. Fruit beers tend to be oversweet to my taste. La Framboyante has a perfect balance of bitterness [like biting into the raspberry seed] and sweetness of the fruit.

Brewery Kichesippi Beer Co. (Since 2010)
Paul Meek, co-owner and president

What makes your brewery unique?
Our commitment to brewing rare global styles and making them available to our customers. Logger (Pennsylvania Porter), Wuchak UK (British IPA), Donny’s Dort (Dortmunder), Phoenix and the Cat (Rauchbier), and Dartmouth Common (Steam Beer) are all great examples of [our] hard-to-find global styles.

What are your most underrated and favourite beers?
Underrated: Probably our Kichesippi Logger. The style is a Penn Porter, which was a style created by Yuengling in the U.S. It is a not a traditional British Porter or Baltic Porter as it uses a lager yeast instead of an ale yeast. Favourite: Our Kichesippi 1855. The great thing about this beer is that it teaches the customer that the colour of the beer is not directly related to its flavour. When you try this amber ale with your eyes closed, you would never guess that it’s a darker beer in the glass.

Laura Behzadi, co-owner of Bicycle Craft Brewery.

Bicycle Craft Brewery (Since 2014)
Laura Behzadi, co-owner

What makes your brewery unique?
We pride ourselves on sourcing local ingredients when available and our passion for craft beer ensures that our beer is delicious every time it’s poured. We are also avid supporters of women in the brewing industry and celebrate International Women’s Day every year with Freedom Machine, our cherry pale ale that’s named after the suffragette name for the bicycle.

What are your most underrated and favourite beers?
Underrated: Vinternat Liquorice Stout. The added raw liquorice root gives the beer a crisp finish that cools the mouth and is very thirst-quenching and refreshing. Most people are surprised when they try it. Favourite: Velocipede IPA. It’s our flagship beer and is inspired by the original name for the bicycle. Hoppy, with citrus notes and a refreshing bitterness — it’s perfect any time of year.

Whiprsnapr Brewing Co. (Since 2014)
Ian McMartin, founder, co-owner, head brewer

What makes your brewery unique?
We have a baby system (150L) and a big system (2000L). The baby system allows us to play a lot and have lots of different beers on tap, while the big guy lets us get our beers into the LCBO and The Beer Stores. We also have a great front-of-house area [for] events.

What are your most underrated and favourite beers?
Underrated: Our Carol Anne Irish blonde ale. There’s just so much flavour in it for such a light, easy drinking beer [4.7 percent]. It’s got a lot of body from wheat and honey malts, and loads of hops give it a real spring-like aroma. Favourite: Our ginger coriander cream ale. It’s based on some of the travel I used to do to China, Malaysia, and Singapore, and the flavours they use in their foods: ginger, coriander, lemon, and honey. The beer is light, crisp, bright, vibrant, packed with flavour, but still balanced.

Toronto’s Best Breweries

BEER_FINAL01

Photo by Carlo Mendoza.

Over the past few years, the city has seen an explosion of new microbreweries, each with their own speciality techniques. Here are some of the city’s best craft brewpubs, where you’ll find everything from classic ales and lagers to experimental sours and goses.

Indie Ale House

With creative brews, a cozy atmosphere and a fantastic menu this Junction alehouse has it all. The frequently rotating selection focuses on rare ales like Belgian sours, double IPAs and English porters, plus beers made using ancient brewing techniques. Once a month, Indie Ale House collaborates with a guest brewer to create experimental one-time-only beers. Grab a tasting flight to sample the range of ales and pair with a juicy short rib burger or the crispy southern fried chicken. 2876 Dundas St. W. 

Signature brews: Barnyard Instigator, Broken Hipster, Breakfast Porter

Henderson Brewing Co.

Henderson’s unassuming building, tucked into an industrial area south of Bloor Street near Lansdowne subway station, is easy to miss if you don’t know where to look. This award-winning brewery houses some of the best suds in town, created using brewing techniques inspired by those used in Toronto at the beginning of the 19th century. Each beer has a Toronto theme, drawing inspiration from the city’s past and present. The featured July beer, for example, showcases work on its label by Kaley Flowers, an award-winning artist from last years’ Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition. Stay for a pint and get a close-up view of the brewing process, or take home some bottles or growler. 128A Sterling Rd.

Signature brews: Food Truck Blonde, Henderson’s Best,
Union Pearson Ale

Bandit Brewery

This microbrewery on Dundas Street West used to be an auto body shop. The former garage now houses brew tanks and its parking lot is a bustling patio filled with communal tables. Bandit has the atmosphere of a friendly German beer garden, with a uniquely Toronto twist: it features a mural and glasswear bearing the image of our unofficial municipal animal, the “trash panda,” or raccoon. Beers range from sour goses to hoppy IPAs to smooth lagers, and the menu includes delicious bar snacks like ale-battered cheese curds. 2125 Dundas St. W. 

Signature brews: Cone Ranger, Hoppleganger, Dundas West Coast IPA

Left Field Brewery

Both sports and beer fans will enjoy this baseball-themed brewery in Leslieville. In just a few years, husband and wife team Mark and Mandie have gone from sharing tank time with other breweries to opening their own space and widely distributing their brews to restaurants across the city. Left Field’s dog and kid-friendly location is decorated with baseball paraphernalia, like a salvaged scoreboard from Ohio that displays the business’s hours. There’s also a bottle shop where you can pick up favourites like Day Game session IPA, Cannonball Helles lager and Maris pale ale. 36 Wagstaff Dr.

Signature brews: Eephus, Sunlight Park, Wrigley

Burdock

Burdock, a combination bottle shop, restaurant and music hall, is one of the most innovative breweries in the city, trying out diverse styles of beer on a regular basis. Its brewers cite the wine world as a source of inspiration, and draw ingredients from a variety of producers, such as Niagara farmers and foragers and Ontario hop growers and wineries. The brewer began a barrel program in 2016, and it’s now starting to release some of its aged creations. The kitchen’s claim to fame is its sourdough bread, although there’s a lot more range to the menu, including a delicious selection of Ontario cheese. 1184 Bloor St. W.

Signature brews: The selection is constantly rotating, but the West Coast Pilsner is often on tap

Bellwoods Brewery

Bellwoods Brewery, a landmark brewery and bottle shop on the hip Ossington strip, is extremely popular, especially on sunny days when the patio comes alive. The rotating selection of pours range from aromatic pale ales to double IPAs to imperial stouts to farmhouse ales, and the special-edition bottled brews (including barrel-aged releases) means that there’s always something new to try. The small-but-tasty menu includes beer-friendly pairings like duck meatballs and smoked bratwurst. 124 Ossington Ave.

Signature brews: Jelly King, Roman Candle, Jutsu

Amsterdam BrewHouse

This waterfront drinking destination features 800 seats– 300 are located on one of four patios perfect for catching the lakeside breeze. The on-site craft brewery produces Amsterdam classics, as well as seasonal and small-batch releases from the Amsterdam Adventure Brews series, some of which have been barrel aged for more complex flavours. The comprehensive menu, which also suggests beer parings, features pub fare like the 3 Speed lager-battered fish and chips. 245 Queens Quay W.

Signature brews: 416 Local, Big Wheel, Boneshaker

Mill Street Brew Pub, Beer Hall and Brewery

The original Mill Street pub offers cold pints of the brewery’s most popular drafts, as well as small batch and seasonal offerings, like the refreshing ginger beer. Kick back with a pint and a bite to eat, or catch a guided tour to learn about the brewing process. Just around the corner, the newly renovated Mill Street Beer Hall features additional space and menu items for hungry and thirsty Distillery District visitors. A new on-site nano-brewery produces innovative and experimental, super-small-batch brews (some just a few barrels’ worth). 21 Tank House Ln. 

Signature brews: Original Organic Lager, Tankhouse Ale, 100th Meridian

Canadiana Shopping in the Capital

By Nicole Bayes-Fleming and Chris Lackner

You can visit Canada’s capital, and take a small piece of the country home with you. Loosen your patriotic purse strings at the following shops and boutiques.

 

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Patriotic Payment

Spend like a true Canadian with coins made in honour of the country’s 150th celebration. The Royal Canadian Mint has unveiled a collection of coins designed by Canadian artists, featuring national imagery such as the CN Tower, the beaver, and First Nations artwork. The toonie’s depiction of two canoeists gazing upon the northern lights also comes in a glow-in-the-dark version. Check your change, or purchase the limited editions designs at the Mint.

320 Sussex Dr., 613-993-8990

Sizzling Souvenirs

Kitschy souvenirs are easy to find in Ottawa. Ditch those maple syrup bottles and Mountie key chains for something from Maker House Co. The handmade items retain Canadian sentimentality, while supporting local artisans. You’ll find gear by North Standard Trading Post, bookmarks made of birch bark, and prints of different Canadian cities and provinces.

987 Wellington St. W., 613-422-6253

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First Nations’ Art

This purveyor of genuine First Nations’ fine arts and crafts from the Arctic and Canada’s West Coast has been a fixture on Sparks Street since 1963. At Snow Goose you’ll find original works of art, including soapstone carvings and masks, along with a large selection of dreamcatchers, original Inuit prints and carvings, Indigenous jewellery designs, and leather goods.

83 Sparks St., 613-232-2213

Wrap Yourself in the Flag

Victoire: Mainly Canadian designers, plus pop-culture accessories in a store aesthetic self-described as, “Rock ’n’ Roll tea party”.

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Magpie Jewellery: The majority of their accessories are Canadian, including First Nations designers. If you’re feeling really patriotic, pick up the Ottawa Necklace from local designer Lissa Bowie.

Flock Boutique: Unique and handmade garments from over 150 Canadian designers; also visit their sister store in the market Workshop Boutique.

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Boogie + Birdie: Feels cosy and Canadian with largely local products — from scented candles to animal mugs to artisan crafts, colourful scarves, small ceramics and one-of-a-kind jewellery.

Homegrown Gifts

J.D. Adam Kitchen Co.: Set the table with Canadian and local kitchenware at this colourful, dynamic shop in the Glebe.

Market Organics: This health food store in the ByWard market carries plenty of local goods, from body care and nutritional products to local food purveyors. Their built-in kitchen even offers daily specials.

 

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Roots: Roots is living up to its name with special merchandise for Canada’s 150th. Locations include Westboro and three shopping centres: Rideau, St. Laurent and Bayshore.