• eat
  • shop
  • see
  • go
  • stay
  • daytrip
  • map
  • calendar
  • transport
  • weather
  • currency
  • tofrom

Gladstone Hotel

Quick Pick: 3 Design Events This Month in Toronto

JANUARY OFFERS DESIGN LOVERS AMPLE OPPORTUNITY TO DISCOVER THE LATEST TRENDS IN DECOR, FURNISHINGS, CONCEPTUAL PRODUCTS AND MUCH MORE

Design-Events-Toronto-Come-Up-to-My-Room-Gladstone-Hotel-Studio-Woolf

Toronto’s Studio Woolf and curator Sara Nickelson created Untitled (Idolization Space) for this year’s Come Up to My Room

Light-fixture lovers, ergonomic-chair enthusiasts and conceptual-space aficionados have much to celebrate this month in Toronto, thanks the return of three major design events.

JANUARY 23 & 24 The biggest, of course, is the Interior Design Show, an en masse expo featuring the brands and products that will set the trends in home and business styling for the year to come. Metro Toronto Convention Centre, 255 Front St. W., 416-585-8000; interiordesignshow.com

JANUARY 18 TO 24 The Toronto Design Offsite Festival offers a more experimental counterpoint: across the city, galleries and boutiques host installations that aim to create a dialogue around edgier, independent design being practiced locally and abroad. Various venues; todesignoffsite.com

JANUARY 21 TO 24 Arguably even more immersive is Come Up to My Room, an annual artistic takeover of the Gladstone Hotel. This year’s edition includes a re-creation of Ferris Bueller’s bedroom, a bathroom that explores identity through African barbershop signs and murals, and another suite that makes explicit the sanctification of our modern, image-obsessed culture. Gladstone Hotel, 1214 Queen St. W., 647-792-5961; comeuptomyroom.com

—Craig Moy

Contact Photography Festival Daily Pick: Jonathan Hobin

Where Toronto brings you a new image for each day of the 2013 Scotiabank Contact Photography Festival, which runs throughout May with exhibitions at more than 175 venues across the city.

Today’s top Contact Photography Festival pick:

Courtesy of the Gladstone Hotel

Courtesy of the Gladstone Hotel

Photo: Seal Heart, 2010
Artist: Jonathan Hobin
Exhibition: From May 2 to 31, the Gladstone Hotel presents Jonathan Hobin’s “In the Playroom,” a provocative series of photographs in which children reenact significant—and decidedly non-innocent—events from recent world history.

Check back daily for more Contact Photography Festival coverage, and visit scotiabankcontactphoto.com for more information about this exhibition!

Weekend Roundup: November 30 to December 2

Gather for the opening of the Lowe’s Toronto Christmas Market

Friday, November 30
The Distillery Historic District kicks off its annual celebration of the season with a performance by Canadian opera star Measha Brueggergosman at the opening night of the Lowe’s Toronto Christmas Market. Bring the whole family and enjoy the sights and sounds, including festive treats and gifts, holiday decorations and a sit down with Santa Claus himself.

Pull out your ugliest Christmas sweater and head over to the Gladstones Hotel‘s 12 Beers of Christmas tasting party. Favoured local brews will be on tap, free prizes will put you in the giving spirit, and classic holiday tunes from the likes of Mariah Carey, Boyz 2 Men and the Jingle Cats (yes these Jingle Cats) will take your mind off the cold winter weather.

Slightly more sophisticated tunes are on offer with the Art of Time Ensemble’s Big Band Show at Harbourfront Centre‘s Enwave Theatre. The group is scheduled to treat audiences to a rendition of Tchaikovsky’s classic Nutcracker Suite—reimagined by jazz great Duke Ellington—plus its own unique takes on Igor Stravinsky’s Ebony Concerto and Dmitri Shostakovich’s Jazz Suite No. 1.

Justin Bieber sings, audiences swoon (photo: Shelby Casanova)

Saturday, December 1
Coming off a performance at 100th Grey Cup last weekend, pop music’s current king, Justin Bieber, tonight returns to the Rogers Centre to woo his legion of fans. Sweetening the pot is an appearance by emerging star Carly Rae Jepsen, whose Call Me Maybe is arguably as mega-popular as the Biebs’ recent hits.

While the kids are revelling in their Bieber Fever, more mature music fans can treat themselves to an intimate evening with eight-time Juno winner Sarah McLachlan. The celebrated songstress performs tonight at hallowed Massey Hall.

Chestnuts are roasting on an open fire at Black Creek Pioneer Village’s Christmas celebrations. Activities include puppet shows, horse-drawn wagon rides, visits with Santa and more. Visitors can also ogle a miniature gingerbread replica of the Village and try their hands at a traditional taffy pull, a sticky Christmas tradition we’re happy to get on board with.

Sir Jerry makes magic even more fun than it already is!

Sunday, December 2
Watch your children’s eyes light up while the watch the mystical, magical performance of Sir Jerry today at the Drake Hotel. Touted as “the most innovative kids performer since Pee Wee Herman,” Sir Jerry offers a show full of song, dance and Monty Python-esque humour for the whole family to enjoy.

Raffi’s kid-friendly tunes have been entertaining and educating kids for more than 30 years. The beloved singer and songwriter today takes the stage at Roy Thomson Hall to strike a nostalgic chord with classics including “Baby Beluga” and more.

Much Music’s Big Jingle Holiday Concert this evening brings holiday cheer to teens and tweens at the Air Canada Centre. Performances by Simple Plan, Cody Simpson and The Wanted are sure to be a blast, while Carly Rae Jepsen’s third Toronto appearance in the past seven days makes this event an early Christmas present the kids won’t forget.

Weekend Roundup: November 2 to 4

The Royal is high on horses

Friday, November 2
The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair rolls into town for its 90th year of show jumping, bull riding, giant vegetable displays and more—not to mention special performances by Olympic equestrians and a brand new cooking competition featuring top chefs from Toronto’s premier hotels. Put on your best farm gear and head down Exhibition Place for a taste of the agro-action.

She may once have said that “polite conversation is rarely either,” but writer and humourist Fran Lebowitz is nonetheless game to sit down for a chat with CBC radio’s Jian Ghomeshi tonight at Massey Hall. With astute observations—about everything from politics to smoking to fame—and not-so-thinly veiled sarcasm on the discursive menu, an entertaining evening is all but guaranteed.

Lively colours and social commentary come together in the Art Gallery of Ontario‘s lauded exhibition Frida & Diego: Passion, Politics and Painting. Not only does the show feature stunning works of autobiographical record by Mexican masters (and husband and wife) Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera, it also boasts an interesting collection of photos taken of the couple during the 1920s and 30s.

The McMichael Canadian Art Collection showcases its favourite sons, Tom Thomson and the Group of Seven

Saturday, November 3
Enjoy an first-hand look at the country’s most famous collective of artists as the McMichael Canadian Art Collection today opens its latest, highly anticipated exhibition. Painting Canada: Tom Thomson and the Group of Seven has already proved a major success on tour in Europe; now it’s come home with more than 120 of the finest works to ever depict the Canadian hinterland.

Are you starting to get into the holiday spirit? Today, there’s no better way to kick-start the season than by partaking in Winter Magic’s Ice, Wine & Dine event. This one-night-only celebration along Elm Street not only offers $5 bites from a number of restaurants and professional sommelier–led wine tastings, it also highlights festive fun with carolers, ice carvings and other family-friendly entertainment.

Canadian synth-pop duo Crystal Castles tonight bring their intense lo-fi sound—including tracks from their new album, set for release on November 12—to the Kool Haus. If the haunting mood of the album’s first single “Plague” and reviews of singer Alice Glass’s performances are any indication, the show promises to be a treat for electronic music fans.

Local artists assemble at the Gladstone Hotel

Sunday, November 4
Get to know some of Toronto’s best independent contemporary artists for free as the Speak Easy Fall Art Fair takes over the historic Gladstone Hotel. On to November 7, this exhibition gives art lovers a chance to view and purchase works from some of the city’s most promising creators.

Halloween may be over, but you can still join in the Day of the Dead at Harbourfront Centre. Though skeletons abound, this is hardly a spooky event. Instead it’s a Mexican cultural celebration that honours the with colourful shrines, and traditional food, music and storytelling.

Orson Welles’ classic radio broadcast of War of the Worlds gets a tasteful makeover courtesy of the renowned Art of Time Ensemble and Harbourfront Centre. The stage adaptation—complete with live music and sound effects, of course—sets an uncanny mood for Canadian performers Nicholas Campbell, Sean Cullen and Marc Bendavid. Last year’s production completely sold out; don’t miss your second (and final) chance to catch this magnificent show.

Hot Dates: Counting Down Toronto’s New Year’s Eve-nts

Break out the bubbly. It's New Year's Eve! (photo by Anders Andermark)

Have you noticed more and more places selling calendars these days? Maybe, just maybe, it has something to do with the imminent arrival of 2012. Hang on though, your 2011 calendar can be put to use one last time to jot down your plans for December 31st. Consider the following to fill up that final square:

  • It wouldn’t really feel like New Year’s in Toronto without CityTV’s New Year’s Eve Bash at Nathan Phillips Square. The 27th annual installment of the bash comes complete with fireworks plus performances by Backstreet Boy Howie D and pop songstress Anjulie. (more…)

Weekend Roundup, November 18 to 20

Friday: The National Ballet of Canada interprets Romeo and Juliet (photo by Bruce Zinger)

Friday, November 18
See one of the greatest dance dramas in a brand new light when the National Ballet of Canada presents Romeo and Juliet. Choreographer Alexi Ratmansky gives the classic tale with a modern edge for a fresh show at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts.

One of Canada’s best-known musical voices, Steven Page, interprets the tunes of Elvis Costello, Harry Nilsson, Randy Newman and others in Songbook 6. The always innovative Art of Time Ensemble accompanies the singer at Harbourfront Centre’s Enwave Theatre.

Find unique Aboriginal arts, crafts and fashions at the Thunderbird Centre’s presentation, Very Beautiful Things. The exhibition and sale at the Gladstone Hotel will be a trove for discerning gift buyers and Aboriginal art collectors.

The rest of the weekend is just a click away!

Weekend Roundup, October 28 to 30

Friday: Contemporary art overwhelms the historic Gladstone Hotel (photo by Samuel Bietenholz)

Friday, October 28
Immerse yourself in everything artistic at the Toronto International Art Fair, a.k.a. Art Toronto. See Andy Warhol’s 1979 BMW Art Car, a new site-specific installation by Kent Monkman, plus numerous other exhibiting galleries, presentations and discussions with artists, curators, and collectors. The show runs through to Monday at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.

Introduce yourself to dozens of new musical and theatrical acts at the Global Cabaret Festival, a weekend-long event at the Young Centre for the Performing Arts that celebrates songs, stories, and ideas with 150 musicians taking part in 44 performances.

Explore the sometimes-chaotic interactions between nature and culture at upArt, the Gladstone Hotel’s annual contemporary art fair. The exhibition runs throughout the weekend with works by local, national, and international artists and collectives.

Saturday: OCADU Celebrates its 135 Anniversary (photo by Thomas Hawk)

Saturday, October 29
Swing by Lavish&Squalor today as the shop opens its new antiques and vintage objets d’art section, and commemorates the occasion with a store-wide sale. Cocktails, snacks and live music round out your shopping experience.

Happy 135th Birthday, OCAD University! The highly regarded school of art and design invites you to join its anniversary festivities, which today include an open house, digital game-making event and an exhibition of acclaimed works by OCADU community members.

Bright colours, spectacular dances and a musical extravaganza reveal India’s cultural diversity in Bharati, the Wonder That is India. Dancers, actors, singers, acrobats, musicians and martial artists are all part of the show at the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts.

Sunday: Roy Thomson Hall welcomes The Wizard of Oz

Sunday, October 30
Take the whole family down the yellow brick road, which, strangely enough, leads to Roy Thomson Hall and Oz with Orchestra. Watch the classic film The Wizard of Oz on a giant screen with live accompaniment provided by the Toronto Symphony Orchestra.

The NFL moves north of the border (for a day) with the Bills in Toronto Series coming to the Rogers Centre. The Buffalo Bills look to keep their winning season going as they take on the Washington Redskins.

Rare books, maps, prints, and manuscripts from around the world are on display at the Toronto International Antiquarian Book Fair. Peruse limited edition, signed volumes, and unusual books of all kinds at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.

But wait! There’s More!
As it happens, there are a slew of Halloween-centric activities happening this weekend around the city, too. Check out those bloodcurdling events here. If you dare.

Weekend Roundup, July 8 to 10

Friday: Grab some prix fixe grub at Brassaii and other Summerlicious restaurants

Friday, July 8
Sample the food of your favourite restaurants in the city—or discover a new favourite—when Summerlicious begins this Friday. Dine for less with specially created prix-fixe menus at over 100 eateries throughout the city such as Canoe, Pangaea, and Brassaii.

Experience the eclectic sights and sounds of Mexico as the Corazon de Mexico arts fiesta begins its weekend-long stint at Harbourfront Centre. Traditional and modern performances happening along the lively waterfront include cumbia musician Celso Piña and high-energy salsa band Sugar Heat. If the dancing makes you hungry, make sure you grab some authentic Mexican tostadas with lime and chia agua fresca. (more…)

Weekend Roundup, June 24 to 26

Friday: Show Aretha Franklin some respect at David Pecaut Square

Friday, June 24
Start the weekend on a high note as the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, opens the TD Toronto Jazz Festival with a free show at David Pecaut Square. The festival continues until July 3, and promises performances by the Dave Brubeck Quartet, Branford Marsalis, and even hip-hop outfit The Roots.

One of the largest GLBT celebrations in the world, Toronto’s Pride Week begins this weekend with events throughout the city. Tonight the Gladstone Hotel hosts a Gay-Straight Alliance Dance Party, with DJs including Cosmic Cat and Broken Social Scene’s Brendan Canning, spinning tunes. The festival culminates with the annual Pride parade on July 3.

Enjoy an evening of timeless classics and traditional swing-jazz numbers at a Roy Thomson Hall performance by the Glenn Miller Orchestra. Directed by renowned trombonist Gary Tole with special guest Susie Arioli, the big band’s setlist includes all-time favourites like “In the Mood,” “Moonlight Serenade” and “Chattanooga Choo Choo.”

Saturday: Sway to the sweet sounds of folk crooner James Taylor

Saturday, June 25
The sweet sounds of acoustic folk music fill the open-air Rexall Centre at York University as James Taylor makes an appearance at the BlackCreek Summer Music Festival. Fans of the Grammy-winning troubadour can expect to hear his hits including “Fire and Rain”, “You’ve Got a Friend” and “Carolina in my Mind.”

Cheer on all the competitors at the 23rd Annual Toronto International Dragon Boat Race Festival. The two-day event at Centre Island offers multicultural food and entertainment, plus more than 180 teams paddling teams competing for glory.

Calling all cycling enthusiasts! Join the fun at Mountain Equipment Co-op’s Bike Fest in the Distillery Historic District, featuring clinics and seminars, demonstrations, a scavenger ride and even live local bands.

Sunday: Les Chiclettes and other francophone artists perform at Franco-Fete.

Sunday, June 26
Round out the weekend by celebrating Canada’s other official culture at Harbourfront Centre’s Franco-Fete. The city’s only francophone festival presents a bevy of family-friendly performances, culinary demonstrations and much more. Très bien!

The Toronto Zoo marks the occasion of the International Indian Film Academy Awards being held downtown with it’s own Bollywood party. The festivities include music and dancing for children, as well as storytelling, henna tattoos and more.

Welcome the start of summer with a 1920s-style garden party at Spadina Museum: Historic House and Gardens. Guests can marvel at the mansion’s decor—recently restored to its Jazz Age heyday—dance to jazz rhythms, enjoy period-appropriate refreshments, and even solve a murder mystery.

Contact Curated: Queen & Dundas West

This year’s Scotiabank Contact Photography Festival is now in full swing, with exhibitions at more than 200 venues across the city. Make the most of your festival experience by concentrating your gallery-hopping within specific Toronto neighbourhoods, such as the western sections of Queen and Dundas streets.

At the Drake Hotel: Alex Prager's Irene from the Long Weekend (courtesy of Yancey Richardson Gallery)

Gladstone Hotel
Martie Giefert: Reconstruction (Gladstone) (May 1 to 31)
Isabel M. Martinez: The Weekend
(May 1 to June 3)

The Gladstone Hotel hosts two Contact featured exhibitions. Inspired by the boutique hotel’s third floor, Martie Giefert deconstructs and recreates a hyperrealistic experience of the space through film and digital photography. Similarly, Isabel M. Martinez splices leisure and landscape photos, bringing them together in a single frame to create a shifting scene for the viewer.

Drake Hotel
Robyn Cumming, Sara Cwynar, Daniel Gordon, Alex Prager, Geoffrey Pugen: I’m Not Here (April 22 to June 20)

This featured exhibition at the Drake Hotel emphasizes a contemporary take on portraiture. In many of the photos, the subject’s face is obscured, masked or abstracted in order to draw attention away from the customary focus of portraits and, instead, toward other elements of the image.

Le Gallery
Scott Ramsay: Carril Bici (April 27 to May 22)

In his open exhibition at Le Gallery, photographer Scott Ramsay turns his lens toward Cuba—specifically, that country’s ability to adapt to modernity without industrialism via the relationship between the Cuban people and the bicycle.

Stephen Bulger Gallery
Robert Bourdeau: The Station Point (May 5 to June 11)

Bourdeau’s large-format photographs document four decades worth of old landscapes, historical architecture and inactive industrial sites throughout Europe and North America. The photos offer a sense of how old structures can lose their identity over time yet still contain feelings, ambiguities and  even emotion.

At Angell Gallery: Alex Kisilevich's Stick Figure (courtesy of Angell Gallery)

Angell Gallery
Geoffrey Pugen: Long Divisions
(May 5 to June 11)
Alex Kisilevich: Kallima (May 5 to June 11)

Angell Gallery offers exhibitions by two of its contemporary artists. With Long Divisions, Pugen uses video and photography to manipulate ordinary objects into fantastical ones. Kisilevich explores the idea of camouflage and identity in the natural world and in social contexts for humans.

Gallery TPW
Eric Gottesman: Paths That Cross Cross Again (May 12 to June 11)

True to its history of presenting documentary and political photography, Gallery TPW displays Paths That Cross Cross Again by Eric Gottesman. The exhibit features images that reflect Gottesman’s work with Sudden Flowers, a children’s art collection in Addis Ababa, showcasing the complexity of human relations across social contexts.

Paul Petro Contemporary Art
Suzy Lake: Extended Breath (May 6 to June 4)
Su Rynard: Seed Bank (May 6 to June 4)

For more than 30 years, Suzy Lake has explored themes of female identity and beauty. In her Paul Petro exhibition, Lake uses long exposures to express both stillness and movement. Also in the gallery, Su Rynard’s work takes viewers inside the London Seed Bank to explore the irony of preserving nature within a man-made fortress.

At MOCCA: Viviane Sassen's Parasomnia (courtesy of Motive Gallery, Amsterdam)

Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art
Olga Chagaoutdinova, Scarlett Hooft Graafland, Viviane Sassen, Dayanita Singh: Dynamic Landscape (April 30 to June 5)
Fred Herzog: Vancouver (April 30 to June 5)

The Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art features two of Contact’s primary exhibitions. Dynamic Landscape, a group show, highlights the interplay between humans and nature from Africa to Canada’s frozen north. Fred Herzog: Vancouver tells the story of the German immigrant’s documentation and transformation of post-war Vancouver.

Elaine Fleck Gallery
S. Vote: The Aesthetic Choices of S. Vote (May 1 to 28)

S. Vote juxtaposes the media of traditional pen-and-ink geisha drawings and contemporary digital photography to create a single unified expression of beauty, elegance, contrast and fragility.


View Contact Photography Festival 2011: Queen & Dundas West in a larger map

Weekend Roundup, April 15th to 17th

Friday: Thrill to the operatic feats of Korean soprano Sumi Jo

Friday, April 15
Grammy Award-winning Sumi Jo brings her elegant coloratura soprano voice to Roy Thomson Hall tonight. Joined by pianist Gary Matthewman, this Korean-born operatic singer promises an uplifting evening of songs by Vivaldi, Rossini and many other classical favourites.

Laugh with him—or at him. Discover out how Charlie Sheen continues “winning” when he brings his My Violent Torpedo of Truth/Defeat is Not an Option tour to Massey Hall. Even if you find yourself booing the actor’s rants and antics, rest assured that he is donating some of the show’s proceeds to the Red Cross’s Japanese Earthquake Relief Fund.

Learn how to sustain yourself—and the environment—at the Green Living Show, happening all weekend long at the Direct Energy Centre. Eco-conscious consumers can sample local food at the Good Eats Market, find chic green apparel at the Eco Fashion Show and get crafty in the EcoKids Zone. Admission is free if you bring an old electronic device to recycle.

Saturday: Embrace Night at Factory Theatre (photo by Andree Lanthier)

Saturday, April 16
Witness the convergence of Inuit and southern Canadian culture in Night, presented by multi-disciplinary troupe Human Cargo as part of Factory Theatre’s Performance Spring series. This emotional and poetic play is set on Baffin Island, and is performed in both English and Inuktitut.

Pick up something unique while supporting local artists at Creative Heart Collective’s Spring Show & Sale. West Queen West cultural hub the Gladstone Hotel hosts a range of artists, entrepreneurs and retailers showcasing their one-of-a-kind crafts, jewellery, gourmet food and vintage apparel.

Put on your beacon-red jersey and make sure your vocal cords are ready to cheer on Toronto FC, who return to BMO Field today for a Major League Soccer match against DC United. Arrive early and enjoy the passionate pre-game festivities outside of the stadium, including face painting, street soccer matches and live band performances.

Sunday: See this piece from Matsutani Takesada's Circle series, and more, at the Toronto Art Expo

Sunday, April 17
More than 200 distinguished Canadian and International artists and galleries present their collections at the Toronto Art Expo. Seasoned  connoisseurs and first-time buyers are equally certain to find something special at this exclusive display at the Metro Convention Centre. Be sure to check out the featured installation by Japanese artist Matsutani Takesada.

Education is always entertaining at Lorraine Kimsa Theatre for Young People, which presents two ongoing productions: As You Puppet introduces youngsters to the Shakespeare play As You Like It using cute, stuffed-animal puppets, while I Think I Can presents the challenges youth face with bullying through hip urban tap dance.

The clock is ticking for those bells to be ringing! Prepare, plan and purchase everything you need for your wedding at Toronto’s Bridal Show at the Direct Energy Centre. This weekend’s expo features more than 100 industry specialists, prizes, and even a live taping of the reality show Last Bride Standing.

Weekend Roundup, January 28th to 30th

Friday: Witness Christopher Plummer's tour de force in Barrymore

Friday, January 28th
Don’t miss Canadian icon Christopher Plummer in Barrymore, which celebrates its opening weekend at the Elgin Theatre. In this acclaimed one-man play, Plummer embodies the role of John Barrymore, one of the 20th century’s greatest Shakespearean actors.

Winterlicious starts today! Approximately 150 restaurants—including local favourites like Bier Markt, Bangkok Garden and the newly renovated Canoe—are participating in this popular prix-fixe dining event. It’s a great and affordable way to try some of the tasty food Toronto has on offer. (more…)