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Taste of the Danforth

Weekend Roundup, August 5 to 7

Friday: Quartango asks "What's Classical?" at Harbourfront Centre (photo by Andre Tremblay)

Friday, August 5
The myriad interpretations of “classical” music are explored at Harbourfront Centre’s What’s Classical? festival, which begins this evening with a performance by Montreal’s Quartango, and continues throughout the weekend.

Ontario Place’s 40th-anniversary season continues—enjoy free park admission and, tonight, a complimentary concert by beloved Canadian rock band Sloan at the park’s lakeside Echo Beach venue.

Always a popular summertime event, the 17th annual Toronto’s Festival of Beer opens tonight at Bandshell Park. Delight in over 120 brands on sight, live music, grilling tents and much more (but remember not to overindulge).

Saturday: Serena Williams is among those vying for this year's Rogers Cup

Saturday, August 6
This year’s Rogers Cup serves up the world’s best female professional tennis players. Starting today, top draws including Venus Williams, Serena Williams, Maria Sharapova and Caroline Wozniaki begin a week-long battle for  $3 million in prize money and bragging rights heading into the U.S. Open.

Don’t miss the Taste of the Danforth, showcasing Greek culture and cuisine all weekend long in Toronto’s historically Hellenic neighbourhood. Enjoy live music, street eats and fun events along Danforth Avenue, where the celebration of tradition is as rich as the food.

Playwright Eugène Ionesco gets the tribute treatment from Soulpepper Theatre Company—its staging of Ionesco’s Exit the King begins today, and follows a monarch who’s kingdom and life crumble before his very eyes.

Sunday: Tour Toronto's infamous Graffiti Alley (photo by Josh McConnell)

Sunday, August 7
See a side of the city that most people pass by on the Toronto Laneways Bike Tour. This casual group ride takes cyclists through the Trinity Bellwoods, Queen West and Little Italy neighbourhoods to glimpse original laneway homes and local attractions like “Graffiti Alley.”
Step over to the west side of downtown to the 99 MRKT, featuring fresh food, plus artwork and fashion from local designers at the 99 Sudbury event space. In the heart of Liberty Village, this market is open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The Art Gallery of Ontario presents Haute Culture: General Idea, a retrospective exhibit showcasing works by the groundbreaking Toronto art group. The display is divided into five themed sections to best underline the transgressive and provocative nature of the group’s work.

Weekend Roundup, August 6 to 8

Rock the weekend with a slew of musical performances, or take some time to appreciate good food, great drinks, and even some tennis!

Friday: Hear the world-music stylings of Dominic Mancuso

Friday, August 6
Explore our urban environment from a different perspective. The Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art’s large-scale group exhibition, Empire of Dreams, showcases works by Toronto-based artists that examine the dynamic interactions between humans and their surroundings.

Spend some time browsing the bounty of beautiful vintage furniture, decor accessories, jewellery, apparel and more at the Summer Antiques Show. This annual event at Sherway Gardens is a treasure-hunter’s dream.

Make tracks to Yonge-Dundas Square this evening and let King Sunshine capture enliven spirit with music. With a fusion of disco, funk and house beats, this dynamic group will have you dancing the night away.

Sway to the multicultural singer-songwriter stylings of Dominic Mancuso. The Juno-winning Italian-Canadian takes the stage tonight at Lula Lounge.

Saturday: Mezzo-soprano Roxana Constantinescu performs at the Summer Music Festival

Saturday, August 7
Bear witness to boundless creativity during the SummerWorks Theatre Festival. Dozens of innovative plays are on-stage today—at such venues as the Factory Theatre and Theatre Passe Muraille—to satistfy any dramatic preference.

Eat, drink and be merry at Toronto’s Festival of Beer. The popular event floods Exhibition Place with more than 120 types of beers from 60 brewers, plus a variety of finger foods to satisfy your hunger.

Enjoy a Free Family Weekend at the Rogers Cup tennis tournament. On top of the chance to see the tourney’s qualifying-round action at the Rexall Centre, kids of all ages can enjoy plenty of games, activities, free tennis lessons and lots of prizes to be won.

The Toronto Summer Music Festival is still going strong. Tonight, Roxana Constantinescu and Gordon Gietz come together for a powerful operatic performance of Mahler’s Song of the Earth—reimagined for a chamber ensemble—plus the world premiere of composer Glenn Buhr’s Red Sea.

Sunday: Paul McCartney's back at the ACC

Sunday, August 8
Feast on delicious Greek and Mediterranean cuisine today as the ever-popular Taste of the Danforth. Mixing culture, history, food and community, this enormous street festival celebrates the flavours of Greece (and Toronto’s own Greektown) with live performances, activities and, of course, a whole lot of Hellenic cuisine.

Hear some of your favourite Beatles and Wings classics anew as Paul McCartney brings his Höfner bass to the Air Canada Centre. Though he’s been in the business for more than 40 years, Sir Paul retains the energy of youth, as his “Up and Coming” tour attests.

Complete your weekend with laugh-out-loud sketch comedy at The Second City. The talented crew’s  show, An Evening with Second City, gathers highlights from past performances along with new jabs at current affairs and lots of fresh improvisation.

Experience classical music like never before at Harbourfront Centre’s What is Classical? festival. One of its intriguing elements is The Labyrinth Project, which uses the structure of a maze to help listeners contemplate the musicality of different instruments.

Essential to Toronto: Taste of the Danforth

Get souvlaki (and more!) hot off the grill at Taste of the Danforth

AUGUST 6 TO 8 This weekend, one of Toronto’s most established ethnic neighbourhoods closes its main street and welcomes more than one million guests for a hotly anticipated party. In the heart of Greektown, the annual Taste of the Danforth invites locals and visitors to share in Hellenic hospitality, culture and cuisine—from mezes to souvlaki—grilled before your eyes. Become Greek for the day while enjoying additional attractions, including stunt shows by Zero Gravity street performers and music from members of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. Visitors can also work up an appetite at the Sports Zone, featuring athletic challenges devised by Toronto’s pro sports teams, or cool down in the wine and beer gardens. On Danforth Avenue, between Broadview and Jones avenues, free; call 416-469-5634 or visit here for further details.

Weekend Roundup, August 7 to 9

Friday: Whimsical contemporary art at MOCCA.

Friday: Whimsical contemporary art at MOCCA.

Friday, August 7
Gawk, Giggle and admire the quirky, psychedelic cartoons and drawings that make up the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art’s Pulp Fiction group exhibition.

Get messy! It’s rib night at Toronto’s new favourite smokehouse, Stockyards BBQ. Here, the scrumptious ribs—of both beef and pork varieties—are smoked for 8 hours, which ensures an excellent meat-falling-off-bone factor.

Cheer on the hometown heroes of yesteryear as more than 30 players and coaches from the Toronto Blue Jays’ 1992 and 1993 World Series-winning teams are honoured prior to tonight’s game. Among the champions in attendance: Joe Carter, Roberto Alomar, John Olerud and Tom Henke.

Saturday: Souvlaki and more at the Taste of the Danforth.

Saturday: Souvlaki and more at the Taste of the Danforth.

Saturday, August 8
Listen to indie songstress St Vincent (a.k.a. Annie Clark) play her signature brand of cabaret-pop at the legendary Horseshoe Tavern.

Sample tasty Greek treats, meet some local celebrities and dance to traditional bouzouki music during the weekend-long Taste of the Danforth.

Savour South Asian cuisine at Zaika, a food festival serving up regional tastes at Harbourfront Centre.

Sunday: The funky sights of east Chinatown (photo by Wyliepoon).

Sunday: The funky sights of east Chinatown (photo by Wyliepoon).

Sunday, August 9
Find out why Bob Wiseman will never become a Canadian Idol in the Summerworks Theatre Festival show, Actionable. The former Blue Rodeo guitarist dissects his work using powerpoint, accordion, guitar and a casio keyboard in a show for mature audiences.

Spend an afternoon in east Chinatown. It might not be as grand as its Spadina Avenue counterpart, but you can’t beat the dim sum at the Pearl Court restaurant (633 Gerrard Street East, 416-463-8778). After lunch, head north on Broadview Avenue to Riverdale park for a picturesque view of the city’s skyscrapers.