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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.

Staff Picks: Our 10 Preferred Places for Poutine

Hearty Canadians embrace our less-than-tropical climate by bundling up in layers and chowing down on that classic Quebecois delicacy known as poutine. This holy trinity of French fries, cheese curds and gravy is served up hot—and with occasional delicious variations—at these ten Toronto eateries.

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Hot Dining: A Canadian Connection at Bannock

photo by Allison Woo

It’s hard to think of a more apt pairing than that of the nation’s oldest department store, The Bay, and its new restaurant, Bannock. Named for the flatbreads brought here by Scottish explorers—and adapted by Aboriginal peoples—this Canadian-casual eatery is at home within The Bay’s flagship Queen Street location, and offers both dine-in and take-out menus for a busy downtown clientele. Bannock ($12 to $14), of course, is a featured dish, alongside robust regional fare such as venison chuck chili ($15), wild sockeye salmon ($19) and pulled-pork tourtière ($16). If you’re in a rush, grab a gourmet sandwich to go, but do take a moment to admire the warm, woody surroundings, highlighted by pine and hemlock reclaimed from a more than 100-year-old wharf.

Query the Cook #2: Chef Luke Kennedy of Bannock

As part of our 2011 Dining Guide, we asked a few of the city’s chefs about their work, and what dishes to expect from their kitchens this season. Luke Kennedy is Chef de Cuisine at Bannock.

Bannock offers regional Canadian cuisine in a casual environment. Why do you think this style of cuisine and dining have become so popular in recent years?
Casual is popular right now because of the economy. The restaurant industry always ebbs and flows with the economy. Also, diners are more educated and the magic show of ultra-fine dining doesn’t play out as well as it used to. Why is Canadian cuisine popular? Because we have a young generation of chefs exploring their own country.

What’s the secret to making good bannock?
There is no one true recipe; there are hundreds to choose from. The key is to find a recipe you are comfortable with—and don’t overmix!

What are the dishes you’re most excited about serving in the coming months?
Braised meats all the way! Working in a comfort food restaurant, I’m going to get to serve some heavy, cold-weather meat dishes.