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Todmorden Mills

Weekend Roundup, April 22nd to 24th

Friday: See Measha Brueggergosman in La Clemenza di Tito (photo by Bruce Zinger)

Friday, April 22
Opening tonight at the Elgin Theatre, Opera Atelier‘s production of La Clemenza di Tito features star soprano Measha Brueggergosman, male soprano Michael Maniaci and dramatic tenor Kresimir Spicer. Known as Mozart’s “most perfect work,” this opera has everything, from unrequited love to assassination plots.

In celebration of Good Friday, the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir performs “Sacred Music for a Sacred Space” at St. Paul’s Basilica this evening. The concert features sacred works by renowned Canadian choral composer, Healey Willan.

All weekend long, Easter EGGstravaganza: Toronto’s Largest Easter Egg Hunt takes place on Centre Island. From 11 a.m.  to 5 p.m., children and families can join in the Easter Bunny for activities and games like basket-making, bouncy castles, face painting, egg painting, a petting zoo and Centreville rides.

Saturday: Get a scare at Ghost Stories (photo courtesy of Mirvish Productions)

Saturday, April 23
Halloween isn’t for another six months, but that shouldn’t stop you from seeing Ghost Stories at the Panasonic Theatre. Not for the faint of heart, this is a thrilling, live horror show best suited for audiences 14 years of age or older. Are you brave enough?

Head out of the city for a day trip to Stratford, Ontario and catch the first of the Stratford Festival’s plays for the upcoming season. Previewing this weekend are Grapes of Wrath, based on the novel by John Steinbeck, and Camelot, the renowned musical about the King Arthur and his questing knights.

Free Earth Day Celebrations take place at Todmorden Mills Heritage Museum and Arts Centre, from noon to 4 p.m. today. Children and families are invited to learn what they can do to help the planet, create environmentally friendly artwork, tour the wildflower preserve, and learn about the impact of industrialization on the Don Valley’s natural landscape.

Sunday: Cheer on Adam Lind and the rest of the Blue Jays

Sunday, April 24
Catch the last of a three-game tilt between the Toronto Blue Jays and the Tampa Bay Rays at the Rogers Centre on Sunday at 1 p.m. Before filling up on cracker jacks and hot dogs, go for a casual Easter Sunday brunch at Cora Breakfast & Lunch, just steps away from the stadium.

For something a little fancier, Casa Loma hosts its annual Easter Sunday Royal Brunch, with a smorgasbord including pastries, leg of lamb, salad, pancakes and waffles, pasta, seafood and dessert. There’s even a children’s buffet. Kids can also take part in the “Egg”-citing Hunt on at 11 a.m. or 1 p.m.

Don’t miss your last chance to see In Search of Normal Rockwell’s America, which concludes its run at the McMichael Canadian Art Collection on April 25. This collection juxtaposes Rockwell’s work with that of photojournalist Kevin Rivoli, both telling the story of “everyday life.”

Weekend Roundup, February 4th to 6th

Friday: Partake in a tour and tasting inside Casa Loma

Friday, February 4
Tour Toronto’s castle on the hill to get a true taste of times past. This evening, Casa Loma offers a Winterlicious dining event that allows guests to sample seasonal fare in its many rooms. Enjoy infused oils and artisanal breads in the great hall; a rotisserie station spins in the library and rustic chocolate bread pudding awaits in the conservatory. End the evening in the Cellar with cheeses and local wines.

Hop on over to the Bata Shoe Museum as it welcomes Chinese New Year with an exhibit dedicated to the Year of the Rabbit. Various hare-inspired artifacts are on display, including ancient bunny slippers with bunny ears. (more…)

Holiday Happenings: Heritage Traditions

Festive family fun abounds this month at the city’s heritage sites and historic museums. Step back in time and experience old-fashioned Toronto traditions that will delight both young and old. Events occur during daily museum hours except where noted.

Casa Loma

Casa Loma

Casa Loma
Experience holiday magic as classic storybook tales are brought to life at this enchanting hilltop castle. The attraction also offers a variety of registration-only special events: on December 13 and 20 families can feast on scrumptious pancakes at a breakfast with Santa Claus; or help your little elf decorate a miniature gingerbread house on December 5, 6, 12, 13, 19 and 20. And on December 22 and 30, get physical with a holiday-themed family archery lesson and learn the history and techniques behind this ancient sport.

1 Austin Terrace. Admission and special event prices vary; call 416-923-1171 for more information and to register.


Mackenzie House

Eschew the hustle and bustle of holiday shopping for the charm of a traditional Christmas in the 1859 row-house of Toronto’s first mayor, William Lyon Mackenzie. Sample mulled cider and warm biscuits in an authentic 19th-century kitchen while little ones write letters to Santa Claus the old-fashioned way—using a pen and ink pot, plus stationery made with a circa-1845 printing press. And on December 13 and 20, gather in Mackenzie House’s cozy family room for an afternoon storytelling session featuring Christmas tales from the Victorian era.

82 Bond St. Adults $5.71, children $3.33; call 416-392-6915 for details.


Todmorden Mills Museum

Discover the simple pleasures of a Regency-era Christmas at Todmorden Mills—the site’s early 19th-century homes are adorned for the season with a lovely array of evergreen garlands and festive decorations. You can even create your own tree ornaments using a traditional felting technique. Register for the Cast Iron Chef cooking series on December 5 and prepare tasty holiday treats on an open hearth. On December 12, creative visitors can use wires, pliers and natural materials to make custom holiday decor at the wreath-making workshop.

67 Pottery Rd. Adults $5.24, children $2, workshop prices vary; call 416-396-2819 for details and to reserve.

Black Creek Pioneer Village

Black Creek Pioneer Village

Black Creek Pioneer Village
Step back in time to a Victorian country Christmas and enjoy festive performances, hands-on activities and festive treats at this living history museum. On December 5, 12, and 19 the historic village is bathed in the flickering glow of candlelight and oil lamps for Christmas by Lamplight, an annual celebration with costumed carollers, games and storytellers. Then return December 6, 13, and 20 for a traditional Christmas dinner with all the trimmings served in the Village’s historic brewery restaurant.

1000 Murray Ross Pkwy. Admission prices vary; to purchase tickets for Christmas by Lamplight, call 416-736-1733, ext. 5331. For Sunday Christmas Dinner reservations, call 416-667-6295.


Colborne Lodge

Celebrate the holidays in winter-wonderland surroundings in a restored 1837 regency villa. Tour the picturesque home of High Park’s founders, John and Jemima Howard, while nibbling on delectable holiday snacks and toast the season with mulled cider warmed by an authentic wood stove. Sign up to make a festive seasonal wreath to take home on December 5, 6 and 10; on December 12, 13, 16, 17 and 19, craft custom adornments for your dinner table at the two-hour Christmas centrepiece workshop.

Colborne Lodge Drive. Adults $5.71, children $3.33, workshop prices vary; call 416-392-6916 for details.


Gibson House

Holiday traditions of yore come to life at this north Toronto family farmhouse built in 1851. The Georgian-style exterior is resplendent with seasonal finery; costumed staff lead capture the spirit with tours of this historic rural landmark. On December 19 and 20 the museum hosts Mincemeat, Pomanders and Paperchains—a weekend event with festive crafting for kids in the Discovery Gallery and traditional holiday fare from the open-hearth kitchen.

5172 Yonge St. Adults $5.48, children $2.62; call 416-395-7432 for more information.


Montgomery’s Inn

Enjoy plentiful seasonal entertainment throughout the month at this early-1800s Etobicoke landmark. Ring in the holidays on December 4 by singing 19th-century carols while sipping period-relevant drinks in the tavern at this historic inn. On December 4 and 5 the Humber River Shakespeare Company performs an original production of Dickens’s classic A Christmas Carol. Also on December 5, master baker Monika Paradis presents a delightfully decadent Gingerbread House workshop. And on December 12, cozy up by the fire and enjoy readings of The Ghost of Christmas Present and many more seasonal stories.

4709 Dundas St. W. Admission prices vary; call 416-394-8113 for registration information.

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.

May Hot Date—Erudite Enjoyments

drake_salon_kpa

May 23 & 24 Books and buildings are being cracked wide across the city for Doors Open Toronto. This year the annual free showcase of architecture celebrates Toronto’s 175th anniversary with a spotlight on its literary history and happenings. A roster of 175 notable edifices host behind-the-scenes tours, in-depth displays and author readings. Get an insider’s look at such striking cultural landmarks as the luxe Drake Hotel, first constructed in 1890. The dining room, neighbourhood café and eclectically decorated rooms are sites not to miss. Call 416-338-0628 for a list of other locales.

TIP! Catch the tail end of Lit City, a literary festival commemorating writers who have set their tomes in Toronto. Check out an author reading or a literary walk at more than a dozen venues, including Union Station and Todmorden Mills. Call 416-338-0688 for a list of events.