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Taste of Little Italy

Weekend Roundup, June 17 to 19

Friday: Devo is among the bands at this year's NXNE (photo by Snarkygurl)

Friday, June 17
From June 16 to 19, the North by Northeast (NXNE) festival takes over Toronto with concerts by 650 bands, plus screenings of 40 music-related films and 50 panel discussions. Don’t miss free shows taking place at Yonge-Dundas Square this weekend, including acts like Descendents, DEVO and Men Without Hats.

Join in the annual Taste of Little Italy free street party where locals and visitors alike descend onto Toronto’s historic Italian neighbourhood on College Street between Bathurst and Shaw streets. Enjoy live bands, entertainers and street food from Friday through Sunday.

To fete its imminent opening at Toronto’s Yorkdale Mall in September 2011, British fashion store TopShop opens a pop-up location this weekend at Queen Street West and Soho Street. The Pop-Up Top Shop previews a collection for sale and also offers contest, a beach zone, free frozen yogurt and a live DJ.

Saturday: Get some haute street food at 1,000 Tastes of Toronto

Saturday, June 18
One of Toronto’s most anticipated foodie events takes place today and tomorrow along John Street (between Adelaide and Wellington). As part of  Luminato, 1,000 Tastes of Toronto showcases street food-sized portions of diverse cuisine from top restaurants like Woodlot, Queen Margherita Pizza and Lee.

Visit St. Lawrence Market for its annual Strawberry Festival, inaugurating the start of this delicious fruit’s harvest. From 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., you’ll be treated to samples, lessons on making strawberry jam, and cooking demonstrations by Toronto chefs Massimo Capra (of Mistura) and Michael Bonacini (of the Oliver & Bonacini restaurant group).

Iconic Beach Boys singer and songwriter Brian Wilson plays an intimate show at Massey Hall this evening, in promotion of his latest album, Brian Wilson Re-imagines Gershwin .

Sunday: See a revolutionary war reenactment at historic Black Creek Pioneer Village

Sunday, June 19
Celebrate this Father’s Day at Black Creek Pioneer Village, where you can watch as 200 costumed soldiers re-enact the Revolutionary War in the “Battle of Black Creek.” Walk around the village to see how soldiers lived in camps or visit the historic brewery for samples. Last but not least, end the day with a Father’s Day barbecue rib dinner.

The second annual Ontario Craft Beer Week kicks off in Toronto today. The festival showcases 27 craft brewers from across the province—at events and venues throughout Toronto—until June 25.

Crowds of screaming fans are sure to fill Queen Street West for the MuchMusic Video Awards tonight. Co-hosted by Selena Gomez, performers and guests include Lady Gaga, Avril Lavigne, Bruno Mars, City and Colour, the Black Keys and many more.

Weekend Roundup, June 18 to 20

This Father’s Day weekend is bursting with food, fun and festivals. Dad’s not the only one who’s going to have a great time!

Friday: Chortle knowingly as Jon Stewart points out what's wrong with the world.

Friday, June 18
Celebrate the proud heritage of Armenia, as the Toronto Symphony Orchestra—accompanying the beautiful voice of Isabel Bayrakdarian—fills Roy Thomson Hall with the strains of Ravel’s Shéhérazade and other related classical works.

Amidst the sprawling cityscape, The Power Plant offers an opportunity to philosophically reconnect with nature thanks to its mixed-media exhibition, Adaptation: Between Species. Enjoy a lakeside barbecue and music at tonight’s opening event.

Revel in the spry wit and piercing political barbs of Daily Show host Jon Stewart, who takes to the stage at Niagara Fallsview Casino Resort. After the show, check out the nearby nightlife and get a breathtaking look at the falls.

Saturday: See art on 401 Richmond's green roof and more (photo by veggiefrog)

Saturday, June 19
Familiarize yourself with the artists whose studios and galleries pack the 401 Richmond building, Toronto’s most creative address. This afternoon, partake in a free tour of the space and chat with the gallery owners and exhibiting artists during Brickolage Tour Series.

Sip 70-plus exquisite local vintages poured by the winemakers themselves at the annual Ontario Wine Fair at Café Taste. More than 20 wineries are participating in this event, which also offers the opportunity to nosh on 30 Ontario artisan cheeses.

“Whataya want from me?” asks glam American Idol singer-songwriter Adam Lambert in his similarly titled hit single. Make sure he hears your response at his Molson Canadian Amphitheatre show tonight. Expect to be treated to a number of cuts from Lambert’s upcoming debut album, For Your Entertainment.

Sunday: Get A.R. Rahman in your sights

Sunday, June 20
Treat dad to one of many options for a Father’s Day lunch. Amuse boasts an alfresco three-course meal served family-style at their Shared Table event; or call Casa Loma to reserve a table at its Father’s Day Royal Brunch Buffet. If you’re set on Italian, savour a Taste of Little Italy—the College Street party features numerous participating restaurants. And for a diverse range of nibbles—affordably priced at only $5 each—head to Queen’s Park to try 1,000 Tastes of Toronto.

Make it a Father’s Day dad will always remember with a war re-enactment, hearty ribs and fun for the whole family. Black Creek Pioneer Village presents the Battle of Black Creek—a lively re-creation of an 18th century skirmish for control of Upper Canada. Top of the invigorating spectacle with barbecued ribs or a tour of the Black Creek Historic Brewery.

Experience the musical talents of Oscar- and Grammy-winner A.R. Rahman. Known for his Slumdog Millionaire score, the Indian composer teams up with creative director Amy Tinkham (creator of concerts for Britney Spears and the Backstreet Boys) in Jai Ho: The Journey Home Concert at the Air Canada Centre, employing international musicians and dancers.