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Tennis

Hot Date: Tennis Superpowers Trade Shots at the Rogers Cup

Cheer on Canadian Milos Raonic at the Rogers Cup

AUGUST 4 TO 12  You’ve seen their epic bouts in Melbourne, Paris and Wimbledon; now head to north Toronto as the top-ranked men in professional tennis trade shots at the Rogers Cup. This year’s edition of the ATP Masters event features Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and defending champ Novak Djokovic, but the biggest draw is likely to be hometown favourite Milos Raonic. The hard-serving 21-year-old is this country’s highest-ranking singles player, and is looking to be the first Canadian in the open era to hoist the tournament’s coveted trophy. Rexall Centre, $25 to $335; call 1-877-283-6647 ext. 4333 or visit here for a schedule and tickets.

Update: Unfortunately, both Federer and Nadal have pulled out of the event since this article’s posting. Djokovic, Raonic and newly crowned Olympic champion Andy Murray, however, are still scheduled to compete.

Hot Date: Rogers Cup Serves Excitement

Serena Williams looks to battle back from a spate of injuries at the Rogers Cup (photo courtesy of Tennis Canada)

AUGUST 6 TO 14 Expect hard-hitting intensity on the tennis court as the best players on the women’s circuit compete for the Rogers Cup. Fan favourites Venus and Serena Williams are confirmed for this year’s tournament, and are sure to be hungry for the win after battling injuries. They’ll face fierce competition from challengers including 2011 French Open champion Li Na and last year’s winner Caroline Wozniacki. Local fans can also cheer for Rebecca Marino, who is currently Canada’s highest-ranked female singles player. Rexall Centre, $20 to $395; call 1-877-283-6647 ext. 4333 or visit here for a schedule and tickets.

Weekend Roundup, August 13 to 15

Take advantage of Toronto’s summer festival season before it passes you by!

Friday: See Philman George (a.k.a. the Rhyming Chef) at Harbourfront Centre's Hot and Spicy Food Festival

Friday, August 13
The annual After Dark Film Festival begins today, Friday the 13th! The Bloor Cinema (a local landmark) features a week of new and independent horror, sci-fi, action and cult films from around the world. Favoured by none other than Quentin Tarantino, this film festival is one of Toronto’s can’t-miss events.

True to the marketers’ words, you can “touch the puck that touched a nation” this weekend at the Hockey Hall of Fame. That puck, which Sidney Crosby shot past U.S. goalie Ryan Miller to end the 2010 Olympic hockey tournament, is now on display at the Hall’s Double Gold exhibit, which celebrates victories by both the men’s and women’s teams. Visitors can also stand in awe of Crosby’s stick and gloves, coach Mike Babcock’s lucky tie, and Hayley Wickenheiser’s jersey.

Start your weekend right by partaking in the first night of the Hot and Spicy Food Festival, part of the Harbourfront Centre’s World Routes slate of festivals. Tour the Red Hot Marketplace and taste spicy marinades, sauces, and dips (if you dare) and sample top chef Jamie Kennedy’s spiced frites. Then head to the stage to hear some sizzling international music!

Toronto’s historic Casa Loma hosts “A Clue to Murder” tonight! A riff on the classic board game, this dramatic murder mystery unfolds while you wine and dine. As the meal draws to a close, guests sift through the clues to guess the murderer, weapon, and room in which the mischief occurred. Miss Scarlet, in the library, with the candlestick, anyone?

Saturday: Renowned indie rockers Arcade Fire sing about The Suburbs

Saturday, August 14
India Day celebrations kick off with a parade down Yonge Street this morning, in honour of the country’s independence. Follow the floats to Yonge-Dundas Square, which hosts multiple cultural events and activities throughout the day! Sample Indian cuisine, buy local crafts, get a henna tattoo and enjoy live entertainment!

Cheer on the Toronto Argonauts as continue a fierce rivalry with the Montreal Alouettes. Off to a (surprisingly) strong start this season, the Argos hope to maintain their winning ways at the Rogers Centre.

Make your weekend a little greener! Learn about (and sample) sustainable cuisine at the Conscious Food Festival. Chat with local farmers, try Ontario wines, chow down on a grass-fed beef burger or artisan ice cream, and view chef and farmer demonstrations. Don’t forget to bring your own reusable bag if you’re planning to shop!

Catch one of the Western world’s hottest music groups, as Arcade Fire storms the stage tonight on the Toronto Islands! The Montreal-based band is set to perform songs from their newest critically acclaimed album, The Suburbs. Hip hop/R&B maverick Janelle Monae opens.

Sunday: Will Andy Murray amongst the Rogers Cup finalists?

Sunday, August 15
See the stars of men’s tennis battle at the Rogers Cup final today! With a multimillion-dollar prize and bragging rights heading into the U.S. Open on the line, its sure to be an exciting match.

It’s the final day of the SummerWorks Theatre Festival! This indie theatre expo gives emerging Canadian talent the chance to be seen. With plays showing all day, all over Toronto, nothing should keep you from being in the audience.

Another last chance: Catch the Bard’s Bus Tour, a travelling theatre troupe that’s set to perform Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night outside at Todmorden Mills this evening. This comedy of mistaken identity is sure to keep you laughing!

Cheer your favourite horse to victory in the Breeders’ Stakes. The final race in this year’s Canadian Triple Crown is a 1.5-mile turf derby run this afternoon at Woodbine Racetrack.

Hot Date: Top-Seeded Tennis

Defending Rogers Cup champion Andy Murray

AUGUST 7 TO 15 Bring on the testosterone—and the tennis. The annual Rogers Cup tournament sees such aces as Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Andy Roddick and Novak Djokovic serve, volley and smash for the US $2.4 million purse. Scottish-born pro Andy Murray
also returns to defend his title against more than 50 qualifiers in this crucial tune up before the U.S. Open. Rexall Centre, $20 to $315; call 1-877-283-6647 or click here for a schedule and to purchase tickets.

Weekend Roundup, August 21 to 23

Friday: Be a thrill-seeker at the CNE.

Friday: Be a thrill-seeker at the CNE.

Friday, August 21
It’s opening day of the Canadian National Exhibition, and in celebration of Toronto’s 175th anniversary, CNE admission today is just $1.75! Ride a roller coaster, play some midway games, then catch Canadian figure skating star Elvis Stojko and his comrades in a movie-themed ice show at Ricoh Coliseum.

Take in a traditional Tibetan dance amidst the vibrant hues of saris and the aroma of cooking curries at the Festival of South Asia in Little India.

Follow the rise of the stereobike crew—a group of Trinidadians in Queens, New York who rig full-size stereo systems onto BMX bikes—in Made in Queens, screening at the Bicycle Film Festival at The Royal cinema.

Saturday: Head to Chinatown for some East Asian revelry (photo by John Vetterli).

Saturday: Head to Chinatown for some East Asian revelry (photo by John Vetterli).

Saturday, August 22
Discover hidden vintage in the city by participating in the Textile Museum of Canada’s day-long thrift store bus tour, hosted by local artist Andrew Harwood and curator Allyson Mitchell.

Savour the Thai curry–braised lamb on the affordable Susurlicious prix fixe menu at Lee, one of the Toronto restaurants of globally renowed chef Susur Lee.

Bite into a Hong Kong–style egg puff while watching the Lion Dance troupe open the Toronto Chinatown Festival, an East Asian extravaganza featuring cuisine, crafts, music, dancing, games, kung-fu demonstrations and more.

Sunday: The curtain falls on The Harder They Come (photo by Robert Day).

Sunday: The curtain falls on The Harder They Come (photo by Robert Day).

Sunday August 23
Spread out in the Toronto Music Garden for an afternoon session of Summer Music in the Garden.
Today, four virtuoso accordionists play a wide-range of music, including tunes accompanied by singers and dancers.

Sit on the edge of your seat at the Rexall Centre to witness the world’s best female tennis players compete for the singles and doubles championships of the Rogers Cup.

Sing along to “Many Rivers to Cross” and other reggae favourites at the last Toronto performance of the hit musical The Harder They Come. Based on the 1972 film of the same name, the stage show follows a poor country boy trying to make it in Jamaica’s music industry.

Weekend Roundup, August 14 to 16

Friday, August 14
You might have to wait for a table, but once you’ve tried the margherita pie at super-popular  Pizzeria Libretto, you’ll understand what all the fuss is about. (221 Ossington Ave., 416-532-8000)

Dance into the wee hours of the morning at multi-level mega-club Circa.

Slip on your sneakers, sunglasses and whitest polo shirt, the Rogers Cup women’s tennis tournament‘s opening rounds start today.

Saturday, August 15
Get a dose of local history without breaking the bank. Fort York, Mackenzie House and Todmorden Mills are free to visit all weekend long.

Learn about the Canadian Aboriginal art scene at the Planet Indigenus festival at Harbourfront Centre.

Take a road trip to Markham’s massive Chinese-centric shopping centre, Market Village, one of the few malls where noodles are made right before your eyes.

Sunday, August 16
Grab a blanket, find a spot to sit in Trinity Bellwoods Park and enjoy a sunny day of people watching. (Queen Street, west of Bathurst Street)

Discover Sidecar’s boozy ginger- and lemongrass-infused lemonade, also known as your new favourite summer drink.

Escape the heat and catch a matinee performance of theatrical blockbuster The Sound of Music at the The Princess of Wales Theatre.

Court is in Session

Rexall Centre
AUGUST 15 TO 23
Sports fans in Toronto are never lacking for action in the summer time. From April to September the Blue Jays seek annually to dethrone their Major League Baseball rivals. The Canadian Football League’s Toronto Argonauts find favour through weekly tussles on the gridiron, while our pro soccer squad, Toronto FC, performs on the pitch—much to the delight of its zealous supporters. There’s also thoroughbred horseracing, the ever-popular Honda Indy car race and golf’s Canadian Open. But the season wouldn’t be complete without the Rogers Cup, the country’s most illustrious professional tennis tournament. A tradition for more than 100 years—only Wimbledon and the U.S. Open surpass its longevity—the annual event splits men’s and women’s competition between Toronto and Montreal; this year hogtown playshost to the smokin’ aces of the Women’s Tennis Association circuit.

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