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Canada Blooms

The Canada Blooms Garden Show Blossoms in Toronto

Canada Blooms Flower Show Toronto

Canada Blooms features hundreds of vendors and dozens of styled gardens (photo: Tweaked Solutions)

MARCH 15 TO 24  Spring is just around the corner and with it comes Canada Blooms, the country’s largest annual flower and garden festival. Here, green thumbs can get set for the season by attending dozens of horticultural demos and seminars, browsing gorgeously landscaped displays and much more. Direct Energy Centre, $20; call 416-447-8655 or visit the expo’s website for more info. —Anna Marszalek

Weekend Roundup: March 23 to 25

Friday: Tracy Morgan brings the funny

Friday, March 23
For one night only (tonight, obviously), Tracy Morgan brings his slightly off-base brand of comedy to the Sony Centre. Edgy laughs come fast and furious as the 30 Rock and former Saturday Night Live cast member presents his stand-up act as part of the Canadian International Comedy Festival.

Contemporary art gallery The Power Plant kicks off its 25th-anniversary celebrations tonight with the opening of two exhibitions, Kerry Tribe’s Speak, Memory, and Dissenting Histories: 25 Years of The Power Plant, the latter of which offers a retrospective of the gallery’s past quarter-century.

Legendary axeman John Hammond sings (and plays) the blues this evening in Toronto. After five decades on the road—he’s performed with everyone from Jimi Hendrix to Eric Clapton—and more than 30 albums under his belt, Hammond settles in at Hugh’s Room to play selections from his latest release, Rough and Tough. (more…)

Weekend Roundup: March 16 to 18

Friday: Danny Bhoy regales Massey Hall with funny tales of travel

Friday, March 16
Just for Laughs presents sought-after Scottish-Indian comedian Danny Bhoy, in town as part of his popular Wanderlust tour. Head to Massey Hall tonight for some belly laughs brought on by Bhoy’s humorous travel anecdotes and quick-fire wit.

Toronto Fashion Week comes to a close on a charitable note with the third installment of the Dare to Wear Love gala in support of the Stephen Lewis Foundation’s efforts to combat HIV/AIDS in Africa. Support a good cause and see one-of-a-kind creations by top Canadian designers including Greta Constantine and Adrian Wu.

The Toronto Wine and Cheese Show brings to the International Centre a tasty selection of gourmet food, wines, beers and spirits. Swirl and savour vintages from top Canadian and international winemakers, or learn how to perfectly pair them with cheese. Guests can also head to the KitchenAid Sip & Savour Stage for cooking tips courtesy of celebrity chef Lynn Crawford. (more…)

Staff Picks: 10 Fabulous Flower Shops

photo by Liz West

One needn’t wait for April showers nor May sunshine to start thinking about flowers. The annual Canada Blooms floral and gardening expo is just days away (it opens March 16), and year-round you can visit numerous quality florists for everything from a gorgeous bouquet for a date night to perfect arrangements for your home or event. Check out our
10 handpicked favourites after the jump. (more…)

Weekend Roundup, March 18th to 20th

Friday: Sarah McLachlan sings

Friday, March 18
The sweet melodies of Sarah McLachlan (along with band members Butterfly Boucher and Melissa McClelland) echo through Massey Hall as she stops in Toronto on her Sarah and Friends tour. Sing along to classic favourites and listen in on new hits from her gold-certified new album Laws of Illusion.

Satiate a hunger for fine contemporary art today: talented Toronto-based artist Anitra Hamilton displays her most recent mixed-media works in an exhibition at Georgia Scherman Projects.

The Direct Energy Centre is now in full blossom, as Canada Blooms has taken over its enormous exhibition space. The stunning show features six acres of fragrant flowers, including those displayed in Canada’s largest floral competition, as well as the Juno Rocks Gardens dedicated to the 40th anniversary of the Juno music awards.

Saturday: See Onegin brought to life (photo by Bruce Zinger)

Saturday, March 19
See the written word translated into dance as the National Ballet of Canada stages an adaptation of Pushkin’s Onegin. Choreographed by John Cranko, the performance offers a compelling combination of physical movement and literary inspiration at the Four Seasons Centre.

The Lost Fingers, an acoustic trio from Quebec City, strums out swing-jazz versions of pop hits from the 80’s at Glenn Gould Studio. Expect to hear intriguing renditions of classics by the likes of Michael Jackson and AC/DC, along with French-language hits of the band’s own creation.

St. Patrick’s Day has come and gone, and now it’s your final chance to see the Irish comedy Good Mourning Mrs. Brown at the Princess of Wales Theatre. The droll performance follows Mrs. Brown and her sons as they plan a funeral for Granddad Brown in an oddball effort to show him how much he is loved.

Sunday: Jane Coop tickles the ivories

Sunday, March 20
Enjoy an afternoon of classical pianoworks by an internationally renowned chamber musician, as University of Toronto alumna, scholar and pianist Jane Coop returns to the city to deliver an exquisite recital of works by Beethoven and Scriabin.

At Papermill Theatre, local troupe Theatre Archipelago presents I Marcus Garvey, a play honouring the Jamaican journalist and entrepreneur who inspired Garveyism, a global movement of African Redemption. This production uses music and other media to detail Garvey’s life and his journey of activism in Jamaica, England, the United States and Canada.

Wind down the weekend at International Centre, home to the Toronto Wine and Cheese Show. A plethora of pairings and tastings with wine, beer, cheese and other fare are available. Or, check out the vendor booths and see ongoing demos by Food Network chef Chuck Hughes in the Bosch Sip & Savour Kitchen.

The 40th Annual Juno Awards Rock Toronto

Drake hosts the 40th Juno Awards on March 27 (photo by Anthony Mandler)

Canada’s prestigious music awards, the Junos, mark their 40th anniversary with a return home. To celebrate, Toronto-born rapper Drake leads a pack of award-winning artists from coast to coast for a harmonious tribute.

Superstars aren’t born everyday—nor is such a label freely given. But hip hop artist Drake is undeniably one, having been recognized not only by peers including mentor Lil Wayne, Jay-Z and Kanye West, but also by fans who made his first studio album, Thank Me Later, a platinum-selling hit. Even non-fans are likely familiar with the artist for his role as Jimmy Brooks on the TV show Degrassi: The Next Generation, as well as for his life-meets-rap lyrics, which get plenty of airtime on mainstream radio. Among the Forest Hill-raised performer’s chart-topping songs is the swooning ballad “Find Your Love” and the rhythmic “Fancy.”

On March 27, Drake secures double time on the stage at the Air Canada Centre as both the host of the 40th edition of the Juno Awards and as a nominee—and potential winner. The rapper is nominated for several awards, including Artist of the Year and Album of the Year. (Drake was also nominated for four Grammy Awards including Best New Album.) Soon, Drake will release his sophomore album, Take Care. It will undoubtedly earn him Juno nominations next year.

The awards ceremony itself is only part of this month’s Juno celebrations. Read on after the jump for more music-related fun.


Hot Date: A Floral Affair

MARCH 16 TO 20 Surround yourself with six verdant acres of colourful blossoms and plants at Canada Blooms. The festival of flowers and gardens features numerous vendors catering to the green thumb in everyone, as well as more than 200 hours of seminars, workshops and demonstrations with such speakers as Frank Ferragine, a.k.a. Frankie Flowers, and author Mark Cullen (The Canadian Garden Primer, An Organic Approach). Check out the stylized Juno Rocks Gardens—interpreting the theme of “rhythm” in honour of this month’s Juno music awards. Exhibition Place, Direct Energy Centre, general admission $18; call 416-447-8655 or navigate here for further details.

Hot Date: Perennial Favourite

MARCH 17 TO 21 For those who can’t wait any longer for spring to arrive, Canada Blooms provides a sanctuary in which to worship the season’s stunning colours. Here, budding gardeners and veteran green thumbs alike can take pleasure in more than six acres of landscaped gardens, as well as a 100,000-square-foot marketplace with retailers selling everything from patio furniture to flower and vegetable seeds. Edifying workshops and seminars by Canadian horticultural experts are also offered daily. Direct Energy Centre, $14 to $18; call 416-447-8655 or click here for more information and to purchase tickets.