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Toronto

10 Fun Things to do in Toronto this February

Some patriotic frozen art at Icefest.

Winterlicious
To Feb. 8
This citywide celebration of Toronto’s food scene is an excellent opportunity to experience a restaurant you’ve always wanted to try. Prix fixe lunch and dinner menus (ranging from $23 to $53) are available from restaurants like The Shore Club, Canoe, The Carbon Bar and Bannock, as well more than 200 other participants.
Various locations 

Prohibition: The Concert
Feb. 9, 10 and 14
Prohibition, a U.S. law banning the production, transport and sale of alcohol during the Roaring ’20s, was problematic, to say the least. It’s also romanticized for its iconic gangsters, flappers and jazz music. Albert Schultz and Mike Ross look back on this era in an evening of stories and songs.
Young Centre for the Performing Arts, 50 Tank House Ln.

Roundhouse Winter Craft Beer Festival
Feb. 10
Bundle up and head outside to enjoy craft beer from some of the best Ontario Craft Brewers. Live DJs and roaring campfires set the mood as you sample the stouts, lagers, IPAs, and more.
Roundhouse Park, 255 Bremner Blvd.

Come From Away
Feb.13 to Sept. 2
Audiences around the world have been captivated by the true-life story of a small Newfoundland town that comes to the aid of airline passengers stranded after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. This heart-warming musical sold out on Broadway, was nominated for seven Tony Awards, and has become a source of national pride.
Royal Alexandra Theatre, 260 King St. W.

Rhubarb Festival
Feb. 14-25
This showcase of new experimental works is now in it’s 39th year, and features a variety of dance, theatre, music, and performance art. Book seats for three or four shows each night—performances are structured in such a way to enable audiences to see as much as possible.
Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, 12 Alexander St.

Winterfolk Blues & Roots Festival
Feb. 16-18
Get your fill of urban, blues, rock, jazz, country, folk and roots music performed by more than 150 artists at this three-day festival.
Various venues

Canadian International AutoShow
Feb. 16 to 25
More than $100 million worth of exotic cars were on display at last year’s show, and 2018 is set to top that record. Luxury automakers such as Ferrari, Lamborghini, McLaren, Bugatti and Aston Martin are joined by the likes of BMW, Jeep, Audi and Buick among others, showcasing their latest vehicles and innovations. Drop by the Evolution Zone to check out (and test drive) the electric cars of the future.
Metro Toronto Convention Centre, 255 Front St. W.

Celebrating David Bowie
Feb.18
David Bowie’s 2015 death stunned and saddened music fans worldwide. Celebrating
David Bowie takes a page out of the artist’s own book, with futuristic reworkings of the artist’s classics that, like the musician himself, look forward, never back. Special guests and long-time collaborators such as Carmine Rojas, Andrew Belew, Mike Garson, Garry Leonard, Angelo More and Joe Sumner are featured.
Danforth Music Hall, 147 Danforth Ave.

The Artist Project
Feb. 22-25
Explore the works of more than 250 artists and designers from Canada as well as abroad at this annual event for art lovers, collectors, buyers, and curators.
Better Living Centre, Exhibition Place, 195 Princes’ Blvd.

Icefest
Feb. 25 and 26
What better way to celebrate a country known for its cold weather than with 20,000 pounds of ice? The Canada 150 celebrations spill over into a new year as the 12th annual Icefest transforms Bloor-Yorkville into an outdoor art gallery featuring frozen depictions of the Parliament Buildings, the Centennial Flame, Mounties and maple leaves—many of which will be created live. Vendors are also on hand offering a variety of food and drink, including “kiddie cubes” (ice pops with a toy inside) and maple taffy.
Village of Yorkville Park

Toronto’s Best 25 Cheap Eats Under $10

By ALEX BALDINGER AND REBECCA FLEMING
Photography by DAVE GILLESPIE

Mutton kothu roti from Martin’s Bakery

After spending a year scouring the Greater Toronto Area, from Bay Street to the burbs, the editors at Toronto Life magazine assembled a list that proves the city’s food scene is a source of amazing bargains. Here are their top 25 must-try dishes under $10. Visit torontolife.com for 75 more budget-conscious culinary wonders

The Spicy Classic ($7)
P.G Clucks
This is the year fried chicken sandwiches surpassed burgers for bun-filling brilliance on a budget. This perfectly crunchy, ­cayenne-infused slab of Nashville hot chicken, doused with buttermilk ranch dressing, fermented chili sauce and tangy coleslaw, is as messy as it is habit-forming.
610 College St.

Smoked salmon and cream cheese bagel ($6.99)
The Bagel House
It figures that the place that makes the best Montreal-style bagel in Toronto would know how to handle a proper lox and cream cheese sandwich. The schmear is spread thick, flecked with red onions and capers, and layered with smoked salmon, and here’s the best part: it’s available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for all your middle-of-the-night noshing needs.
1548 Bayview Ave.; four other GTA locations

Deep dish slice from Double D’s

Deep Dish Slice ($7)
Double D’s
This is no floppy, unfulfilling slice. This is Chicago-style deepdish, a dense wodge of buttery crust, cheese, fillings such as pepperoni and Italian sausage, more cheese, and a sploosh of crushed tomato sauce, baked in a metal pan thicker than a crime novel. One parm-dusted slice is more than enough for a midday munch, and it comes with a drink.
1020 Gerrard St. E.; 1256 Dundas St. W.
Meat roti ($2.50)
Quality Bread Bakery
The “short eats” (that’s the Sri Lankan term for “snacks”) at this Scarborough bakery are kind of like Hot Pockets—if Hot Pockets were delicious. Spicy dried mutton is tucked into a plain roti that’s then folded up into a palm-sized treat that can’t be beat for a bit more than a toonie.
1221 Markham Rd.

Mapo tofu ($5.99)
Sichuan Garden
For this classic spicy dish, the Chinatown restaurant tosses tender cubes of tofu, ground pork and bean paste in a fiery pool of chili oil dotted with crushed Sichuan pepper­corns. The rice provides some respite from the numbing heat.
359  ­Spadina Ave.

Half chicken with rice ($8.75)
Churrasco of St. Clair
In the city’s west end, you can’t throw a rock without hitting a churrasqueira—and that’s not a bad thing. But this no-frills Portuguese chicken shop on has been turning out golden-brown, budget-friendly birds since 1986. Their combo No. 3—half of a charcoal-grilled chicken served with seasoned rice—is a no-brainer.
679  St. Clair Ave.

Dirty duck fries ($7.25)
Wvrst
King West’s popular beer hall is a seven-day-a-week sausage party, but it makes some pretty great Belgian-style taters that are dirty in the best possible way: fried in duck fat and buried in roasted peppers, jalapeños, sautéed onions and Wvrst’s addictive special sauce.
609 King St. W.

Korean fried chicken from Kaboom

Korean Fried Chicken ($10)
Kaboom Chicken
Legit Korean fried chicken, or KFC, is fried twice and should almost shatter on first bite. This Riverside chicken joint passes the crunch test and then some: the two-piece thigh and drumstick combo—shellacked with a gochujang chili sauce and sprinkled with green onions on a heap of crispy fries—offers more satisfying bites than an entire bucket of that other KFC.
722 Queen St. E.

Eggplant tramezzino ($8.50)
Forno Cultura
It doesn’t much matter what goes on the sandwiches at this King West bakery: the bread—oh, that bread—is the main attraction. But the toppings on this particular herbed focaccia concoction are excellent, too: delicate sheets of roasted eggplant and zucchini with fior di latte, arugula, baby kale and a creamy aïoli.
609 King St. W.

Cheese pupusa
Tacos El Asador ($3.75)
These corny, doughy discs at Koreatown’s long-standing Salvadorean spot are stuffed with queso, and sided with tangy pickled onions, cabbage, carrots and beets, and a teeny paper cup of kicky tomato salsa.
689 Bloor St. W.

Curried vegetable samosa ($1.10)
Sultan of Samosas
The samosas at this North York takeout shop come in almost a dozen different flavours, but we like the curried vegetable one. Each teeny triangle is packed with potato, carrots, green beans and corn, all tossed in a secret blend of north Indian spices.
1677  O’Connor Dr.

Tofu stew ($8.85)
Buk Chang Dong Soon Tofu
No matter the season, the windows at this Koreatown favourite are always steamed up. The reason: mini-cauldrons of soon tofu, a spicy Korean stew of kimchee, tofu, pork and a freshly cracked egg that cooks in the boiling, roiling mess. On the side: a stone bowl of sticky purple rice.
691 Bloor St. W.

Barbecue pork skewers ($2.50)
Lasa
The grilled pork skewers at Lamesa’s midtown sister spot are marinated—in true Filipino style—with soy and 7-Up, but they’re a more subtle, less saccharine rendition of the traditional dish. Each one makes for a perfect three bites.
634 St. Clair Ave. W.

Rotisserie chicken sandwich ($9)
Flock
Cory Vitiello’s signature rotisserie chicken is pulled, then heaped on a soft milk bun and decked out with crunchy apple, beet and horseradish slaw; creamy avocado; crisp onions; and romaine lettuce.
330  Adelaide St. W.; three other GTA location

Doubles with curried chickpeas ($1.99)
Drupatis Roti and Doubles
These piping hot pillows of dough stuffed with spiced chana are ubiquitous in Toronto’s Caribbean and West Indian enclaves, and while everyone swears by their doubles joint, Drupatis is one of the standard-bearers. Order them with slight pepper and some tamarind chutney to really savour the spicy sweetness.
1085 Bellamy Rd. N.; three other GTA locations

Nona’s veal eggplant ($9.75)
Uno Mustachio
There’s something almost parental about cradling a hefty sandwich from this St. ­Lawrence Market stalwart. Each one is a couple of pounds of saucy veal, eggplant and parmesan. Topping it with roasted peppers and jalapeños, plus sautéed onions and mushrooms, is an offer you can’t refuse.
95  Front St. E.

Shanghai won tons ($7.99)
Ding Tai Fung dim sum
Tossed in a mixture of chili
oil and soy sauce, these pork-packed dumplings are equally sweet, spicy and tangy, and they deserve some of the
attention usually received by the restaurant’s ever-popular soup dumplings.
3235  Hwy. 7 E., Markham

Gobernador taco from Seven Lives

The Gobernador Taco ($6)
Seven Lives
If you have time for only one taco in Kensington (and there are many), make it this one. Double-shelled to hold the heft of its contents, the gobernador is a delicious mess of shrimp and smoked marlin, all glued together with gooey mozzarella cheese.
69 Kensington Ave.

Hainanese chicken rice ($6.99)
Malay Thai Famous Cuisine
The food court in First Markham Place is full of gems, including this hearty serving of tender, boneless Hainanese chicken and rice cooked in broth, with even more belly-warming broth on the side. Winter and summer colds, you’ve been warned.
3255 Hwy. 7 E., Markham

Three-piece chicken dinner ($8.05)
Chick-N-Joy
Not to be confused with the even-more-east-end chain of the same name, this family-run Leslieville chicken shop has been frying up fowl since 1977. A three-piece dinner here includes a trio of fresh-never-frozen ­country-fried thighs, legs or breasts, a choice of sides, and a roll. Don’t forget to order the famous yellow gravy for $1 more.
1483  Queen St. E.

Whitefish dumplings ($3)
Yan Can Cook
This long-time vendor in the food court of First Markham Place has a borderline-overwhelming menu of Chinese dishes. A sure bet is the fish siu mai: five massive dumplings loaded with whitefish and drenched in a homemade chili-garlic soy sauce.
First Markham Place, 3255 Hwy. 7 E., Markham

Savoury Chinese crêpe ($5)
Lamb Kebab
Look for the routine lineup at Dundas and Spadina to find the street vendor selling lamb kebabs, stinky tofu and jianbing, ­delicious savoury Chinese pancakes. Made to order on a flat-top grill, the paper-thin crêpes are covered with egg, painted with two sauces (sweet and heat), sprinkled with cilantro, green onions and lettuce, and topped with a couple of crispy crackers before being folded up into a tasty multi-layered mess.
492  Dundas St. W.

Chicken mole burrito ($6.99–$9.99)
Carnicero’s
The people who hand out those free samples of pork belly right inside the main entrance of St. Lawrence Market have a hidden talent: they make a damn fine burrito. The rich, smoky chicken mole has a distinct dark-chocolate note, and a few pickled jalapeños offer an extra stab of heat to the bundle, which is stuffed with cheese, salsa, lettuce and sour cream. It’s lightly crisped on the grill before serving.
93 Front St. E.

Crab-and-pork soup dumplings from Shanghai Dim Sum

Crab-and-pork soup dumplings ($7.99)
Shanghai Dim Sum
Don’t pop these perfectly pinched parcels whole: each of the Richmond Hill dim sum restaurant’s xiao long bao with tender crab and pork is filled with piping hot soup that needs to be carefully slurped.
330 York Regional Rd. 7, Richmond Hill

Mutton kothu roti ($6)
Martin’s Bakery
Kothu roti, a Sri Lankan staple, is an ingenious (and delicious) use of day-old bread. For this particular version, crispy roti that’s 24 hours past its prime is grilled on a flat-top along with spicy mutton, chilies and onions. Then, two blunt metal blades chop it all to pieces, ensuring you get a bit of everything with each bite.
2761 Markham Rd., Unit 15

Holiday Gift Guide – Souvenirs

Explore Toronto’s fantastic shopping scene to find gifts for friends, family and anyone else on your list.

Toronto subway buttons ($2 each)
Spacing store, 401 Richmond St. W., spacingstore.ca

View a slideshow of great clothing items and other cozy gift ideas:

Highlights of the 10th Edition of the Luminato Festival

The James Plays Trilogy (credit: Tommy Ga-Ken Wan)

JUNE 10 TO 26  For the last 10 years, the Luminato Festival has captivated audiences with a range of dance, music, theatre, literature and visual arts. In all, the event has commissioned nearly 100 new works of art, and hosted more than 3,000 performances by 11,000 artists from 40 countries, and inspired a cultural dialogue about the nature of art and how it can be shared and consumed by the masses. The milestone is a bittersweet one however: it also marks Jorn Weisbrodt’s swan song as the organization’s artistic director, a position he’s held for the last five years.

For the first time in the event’s history, it’s taking up residency at The P.L. Hearn Power Generating Station (440 Unwin Ave.) in the Port Lands, which will house a 17-day programming hub that includes a 1,200-seat theatre, a second floor art gallery, a stage for music and dancing, along with a beer garden, bars and restaurants.

Among this year’s highlights—and North American premieres—is the award–winning video installation Situation Rooms (June 10 to 19), in which the audience donning earphones and equipped with iPads—become the protagonists, seeing first hand the lives of individuals from different countries whose lives are shaped by weapons and violence, including an Israeli soldier, a Pakistani lawyer and a member of a Mexican drug cartel.

Scotland’s reign under three generations of Stewart kings during the 15th century is the inspiration for The James Plays (June 16 to 26), a trilogy of theatrical works written by Rona Munro. The only North American stop for this touring production from The National Theatre of Scotland examines the nature of Scottish culture and independence. The three works, James I—The Key Will Keep the Lock, James II—Day of the Innocents, and James III—The True Mirror, can be seen independently or in its entirety over 11 hours in a single day.

Modern dance work Monumental (credit: Yannick Grandmont)

In Monumental (June 15 and 16), a dark and somber take on modern life is presented through dance and music. Oppression, isolation and mistrust are among the themes explored by Vancouver–based company The Holy Body Tattoo, who is backed by music by Montreal’s post-rock collective Godspeed You! Black Emperor.

Weisbrodt’s farewell season includes a special show by his spouse, Rufus Wainwright. For the first time, Toronto audiences can see Rufus Does Judy (June 23 and 24), a homage to Judy Garland’s 1961 spectacle at Carnegie Hall. Wainwright has previously mounted the production in New York, London, Paris and Los Angeles.

For a complete schedule of Luminato programming, visit luminatofestival.com.

Exceptional Hospitality in the GTA Recognized with the 2016 Spirit Awards

On April 22, the Greater Toronto Hotel Association (GTHA) presented the fifth annual Spirit Awards, a ceremony that recognizes the tireless efforts of front line staff at hotels across Toronto and the GTA. Nominees in 18 different categories, including housekeeping room attendant, valet driver, laundry and steward of the year, are chosen by their peers. More than 500 attendees attended the luncheon celebrations, which were hosted by Kevin Frankish of City TV’s Breakfast Television. Here, GTHA president and CEO Terry Mundell shares more about the history of the Spirit Awards, its evolution and what it means to the organization’s 32,000-strong membership to be assisting visitors during their stay in Toronto.

2016 Spirit Award Winners

The 18 winners of the 2016 Spirit Awards.

Where: How did the Spirit Awards come about?

Terry Mundell: The Spirit Awards was developed from a discussion that originated with our association Board of Directors. The intent of the event was to recognize and show our appreciation to those front of the line ambassadors that provide an exceptional visitor experience, which leaves a lasting impression on the over 14 million overnight visitors to the Greater Toronto Area.

Where: How are the winners determined?

TM: The judging panel is made up of five individuals who include event sponsors, industry partners and representatives from the Spirit Awards committee. The judges review the nominations prior to the event and grade them based on a variety of criteria including, but not limited to, a can-do attitude, delivering that exceptional customer experience, and passion for their team and property that drives return visitors.

Where: What are the most common qualities of nominees?

TM: Passion. For these exceptional ambassadors in the hotel community, it’s all about the passion they have for the visitors they greet, their team members and their property.

Where: Why do you think the recognition means so much?

TM: These front of the line exceptional ambassadors are being recognized among hundreds of other nominees at the event to celebrate the best of the best our industry has to offer; just to be nominated gives them so much pride. 

Where: What is your favourite aspect of the Spirit Awards each year?

TM: After the winner is announced, they proceed to have their photo taken with myself and the award sponsor. Seeing this ambassador moments after they’ve accepted their award is incredible: the excitement, the pride and pure joy they express is an experience in itself.

Where: What do you look forward to the most at this event?

TM: Talking to the nominees, getting a chance to say hi and thanking them for everything they do for our industry.

Visit gtha.com for a complete list of winners and for more information about the GTHA.

HOTEL INSIDER: Trump International Hotel & Tower

BY LINDA LUONG

ABOUT THE HOTEL
The name Trump is synonymous with luxury, and guests of the Trump International Hotel & Tower in Toronto are pampered with impeccable service and the utmost attention to detail during their stay at the 65-storey tower. From the first step into the lavish lobby, which is adorned with a Swarovski crystal art installment and the Trump signature scent of champagne and caviar, guests are welcomed into opulent environs.

Guest rooms start at 550-square feet, and can go up to 2,300 square-feet—larger than some homes in Toronto! With a modern aesthetic by II by IV Design Associates, the hotel is awash in a neutral but warm palette. Rooms and suites are outfitted with a range of features including bedside touch panel control for lights and curtains, fireplaces, heated bathroom floors, a rainfall shower head, deep soaker tubs, complimentary digital newspaper and magazine services, and perhaps the most unique offering: an aromatherapy pillow menu from which guests can choose from pillows designed to help restore balance, revitalize energy, renew the spirit or provide tranquility.

BY THE NUMBERS
Rooms 
A 65-storey tower with 263 hotel rooms and suites, which range in size from 550- to 2,300-square-feet.
Price  Starting from $395 per night.
Conference Facilities  Fittingly for the former Apprentice host, a reality television show that was known for its heated boardroom antics, Trump Tower boasts three floors of meeting spaces located on the ninth, 10th and 30th floors. The Grand Ballroom can host more than 300 people, while more intimate rooms are available for groups up to 30 people for conferences, seminars, workshops and more.

AMENITIES
The well-equipped fitness centre boasts treadmills, free weights and other cardiovascular equipment to help guests maintain their exercise regime while travelling. There is also a studio for yoga, pilates and aerobics, as well as personal trainers to assist guests. And if they’ve left their gear at home, guests can partake in the hotel’s Travel Fit program, which can lend Under Armour fitness apparel and footwear, as well as pre-loaded iPod shuffles for use.

Or go swimming with a view of the city skyline from the infinity salt water lap pool located on the 32nd floor, which measures 65 feet long by 16 feet wide. Adjacent to the pool is a raised clean-stream whirlpool with a cascading waterfall and dry saunas.

Get pampered at Purebeauty, a full-service salon and spa offering an extensive menu of treatments including massages, facials, manicures, pedicures, blow outs and more.

FOOD
Hotel guests looking to dine in can tuck into breakfast, lunch and dinner daily or Sunday brunch at America restaurant. Two teams from the city’s most respected dining conglomerates, Ink Entertainment (of La Société and Patria fame) and Oliver & Bonacini (of Canoe and Luma), are responsible for the hospitality dished out here. (Ink Entertainment also co-operates Late Night America, which is open every Saturday night from 10 p.m.) Inventive and beautifully-plated mains include Sichuan pepper duck breast and scallops, shrimp and squid linguine, finished with a cheese board, white Russian sundae or bourbon chocolate tart.

The Calvin Bar is a sleek and contemporary space for creative cocktails like a spiced sazerac or barrel-aged negroni.

Don’t want to leave the confines of your hotel room? A Quick Bites program provides express in-room dining options in 15 minutes or less for busy guests on the go.

325 Bay St., 416-306-8800 or 1-855-888-7867; trumphotelcollection.com/toronto

HOTEL INSIDER: The Ivy at Verity

BY LINDA LUONG

ABOUT THE HOTEL
This boutique hotel located in a restored 1850s chocolate factory boasts four pristine rooms, each outfitted with Hästens beds, Italian linens, and a private terrace overlooking a secluded courtyard. Part of the Verity Group, which also owns George restaurant, Sweetgrass Spa and Verity women’s club, founder Mary Aitken wanted to ensure that guests feel right at home. As such, heated bathroom floors, generous counter space in bathrooms, ample closet space and full-length mirrors are among the simple luxuries that can be found in each of the rooms. Another Aitken touch is the colourful decor—the wallpaper, upholstered headboards and chairs are awash in cheery hues and prints, reminiscent of a charming Parisian hotel.

BY THE NUMBERS
Rooms
Four custom-designed rooms
Price $399 per night. Room packages are available for $449 and $559, which can include dinner and a spa treatment.

AMENITIES
Guests of The Ivy are privy to many of the services and facilities of Verity, including the club’s concierge and members’ lounge. Female guests also have access to the fitness centre and swimming pool.

Sweetgrass Spa is a women-only oasis (though male guests can have Swedish massages in their hotel rooms) with a carefully edited menu of signature treatments, such as the Hawaiian Lomi Lomi massage, a 24 karat gold facial using products from the Dr. Hauschka line, a Tata Harper red carpet facial, and a Medico oxygen facial. Pre- and post-treatment, (female) guests can enjoy the infrared sauna, whirlpool, ozonated swimming pool—where there is even an underwater spin bike—or relax in the lounge with freshly-pressed juice, coffee and cocktails. By appointment, a hairstylist can also do blow outs; the spa can also bring in additional hair stylists and estheticians for larger groups wishing to have their hair and makeup done.

FOOD
The elegantly-appointed dining room at George restaurant is well-served as a destination for business lunches and dinners, as well as a romantic meal or fun feast with friends. Headed by chef Lorenzo Loseto, who has won Canada’s National Culinary Championship among other accolades, an oft-changing menu of seasonal dishes utilizing fresh local ingredients could include the likes of pork belly with agnolotti and cardamom mustard or ahi tuna with potato samosa and cauliflower. Or simply entrust chef Loseto with your meal and tuck into a tasting menu, with or without wine pairings. (A three- or four-course lunch ranges from $55 to $70; five-, seven-, 10- and vegetarian-course dinner is about $85 to $150.)

Queen-Richmond Centre, 111 Queen St. E., Toronto, Ontario, 416-368-6006; theivyatverity.ca.

Scared in the City: Spooktacular Halloween Events in Toronto

Toronto Zombie Walk 2013. Photo by Mike Kocza.

Revellers at the 2013 Toronto Zombie Walk and Halloween Parade. Photo by Mike Kocza.

Close Encounters

Whistling in the hallway or the sound of clinking glasses late at night. A child’s laughter in a building that’s not publicly accessible. A vanishing police officer and his horse. Two soldiers from the War of 1812 floating through a chain link fence. You’ll hear about these and other unexplained experiences of past and present Exhibition Place employees during a Ghost Walks tour, which explores the venue’s archives, horticulture building and more on October 17, 24 and 31. Tours start at 7 p.m., $20 per person; call 416-263-3658 to register.

Scary Movies

A few frightening flicks infiltrate TV and cinema schedules around Halloween, but genre fans know there’s an entire series of spine tingling, goose bump–inducing flicks at the Toronto After Dark Film Festival. The nine-day event, from October 16 to 24, screens new short and feature-length horror, cult, science fiction and action movies from around the world. Zombie Appreciation Night (October 18) sees two new undead-themed screenings back to back. Scotiabank Theatre, 259 Richmond St. W., tickets $13; see torontoafterdark.com for a schedule.

Dawn of the Dead

It may seem like the apocalypse is coming on October 25, when thousands of bloody and ghoulish beings can be seen traipsing through the downtown core. But don’t be frightened (well, not too frightened, anyway): It’s just the annual Toronto Zombie Walk and Halloween Parade, which starts at 3 p.m. at Nathan Phillips Square (100 Queen St. W.). Don your scariest poltergeist, mummy, monster, vampire or demon costume and join in the fun, or watch along the route; see torontozombiewalk.ca for details. —Linda Luong

Angell Gallery Shows New Paintings by Kim Dorland

Kim Dorland's Bay Blanket #3.

Kim Dorland’s Bay Blanket #3.

OCTOBER 3 TO NOVEMBER 8 It’s been a couple of years since Kim Dorland’s last solo show at Angell Gallery, but he hasn’t been idle. Among other things, the Alberta-born, Toronto-based painter was the subject of an acclaimed 2013 survey at the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, and this past summer he curated an exhibition featuring other artists advancing the medium of painting. Known for vibrant, thickly textured canvases that explore the physical and psychological connections between artist and landscape (think Tom Thomson for the post-modern age), Dorland now offers a series of entirely new works for display at the Ossington Avenue institution. Expect pieces that continue to expand on the artist’s signature style and thematic concerns, further entrenching his position as Canada’s painter of record. —Craig Moy

Angell Gallery, 12 Ossington Ave., 416-530-0444; angellgallery.com
• Map and reviews

 

What to Do in Toronto: Festivals, Concerts and Events this October

THERE ARE ALWAYS SO MANY THINGS TO DO IN TORONTO. GET OUT AND ENJOY SOME OF THE MANY GREAT EVENTS AND CONCERTS TAKING PLACE THROUGHOUT THE CITY THIS MONTH!

Gavin Creel in The Book of Mormon, North American Tour. © Joan Marcus, 2012.

Gavin Creel in The Book of Mormon, North American Tour. © Joan Marcus, 2012.

ALL MONTH LONG  Tony Award–winning musical The Book of Mormon is back at the Princess of Wales Theatre. The story centres on two missionaries who travel to Uganda in hopes of spreading the gospel but who experience a disconnect with the villagers who are dealing with AIDS, famine, poverty and war. Tickets are $49 – $200; visit mirvish.com for more information and to purchase.

ALL MONTH LONG This season at the Design Exchange, guest curator Jeanne Beker peeks into the wardrobes of iconic fashion designers and pulls out pieces that have made important political statements over the past 50 years for the exhibition “Politics of Fashion.” The striking garments lend both style and substance to longstanding ethical debates, gender issues, anti-war activism and more. General admission is $9.25 – $18.50; visit dx.org for more information and to purchase.

STARTS OCTOBER 3 Known for vibrant, thickly textured canvases that explore the physical and psychological connections between artist and landscape, artist Kim Dorland offers a series of new works for display at Angell Gallery. Expect pieces that continue to expand on the artist’s signature style and thematic concerns, further entrenching his position as Canada’s painter of record. Angell Gallery; 12 Ossington Ave., 416-530-0444. Open Wednesday to Saturday.

STARTS OCTOBER 12 Helen Lawrence, a new media production by visual artist Stan Douglas, mixes theatre, visual art, live action filming and computer-generated simulation in this story set in post-World War II Vancouver. Bluma Appel Theatre, 27 Front St. E., 416-366-1656. Tuesday to Thursday 8 p.m., Friday 7 p.m., Saturday 1 & 8 p.m., Wednesday & Sunday 1 p.m.; $30-$99; visit canadianstage.com or call 416-368-3110 to charge.

OCTOBER 17 TO 19 If you’ve ever longed to taste the recipes being made by TV chefs, the Delicious Food Show is your meal ticket. Whether you hunger for the inside scoop on trendy cuisine, advice on grilling the perfect steak, or simply a sinful chocolate cake recipe, celebrity chefs such as Tyler Florence, Chuck Hughes and Mario Batali have you covered. Join them, plus local chefs like DaiLo’s Nick Liu and Yours Truly’s Lachlan Culjak for a feast of workshops, cooking demos and food pairings. Direct Energy Centre, Friday 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Sunday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., general admission is $22; visit deliciousfoodshow.com for details.

STARTS OCTOBER 23 Giants of the literary world descend upon the waterfront for 35th edition of the International Festival of Authors. A global roster of 200-plus novelists, poets, essayists and more share their passion for the written word during 11 days of readings, panel discussions, interviews and book signings. CanLit darling Ann-Marie MacDonald, poet Dionne Brand, crime fiction novelist James Ellroy, Norwegian author Karl Ove Knausgaard, Irish scribes Colm Tóibín and John Boyne, and critically acclaimed Emma Donoghue are among the expected participants. Harbourfront Centre, general admission $18 for most events; call 416-973-4000 or visit ifoa.org for a schedule and to purchase tickets.

Opera Atelier Alcina. Photo by Bruce Zinger.

Opera Atelier’s Alcina starts October 23. Photo by Bruce Zinger.

STARTS OCTOBER 23  Sorceress sisters weave romantic entanglements in Alcina, the latest offering from Opera Atelier. In the company’s new, period-appropriate production of Handel’s 18th-century masterwork, the handsome Ruggiero finds himself on an island in search of the seductress Alcina; his true love, Bradamante, follows, disguised as a knight, and immediately draws the gaze of Alcina’s sister Morgana. But on this island of illusion, it’s true love that proves to be most magical. Elgin Theatre, 189 Yonge St., evenings at 7:30 p.m., Sunday matinee at 3 p.m.. Tickets are $38 – $181; call 1-855-622-2787 to charge or visit operaatelier.com for details.

OCTOBER 24 TO 26 Cask Days brings unfiltered, unpasteurized and naturally carbonated brews to the masses, allowing breweries the chance to show off their hops. This year’s event has about 300 different cask-conditioned ales by 100-plus breweries from across Canada, the United States and the U.K., including Niagara Oast House, Nelson Brewery, Grizzly Paw, Microbrasserie Le Castor and Grand River Brewing. A special focus on California includes 30-plus breweries from the state. Not into ale? A number of ciders are available, too, as well as gluten-free beer options. Evergreen Brick Works, Friday 6 to 11 p.m., Saturday 1 p.m. to 1 a.m., Sunday noon to 6 p.m. Tickets are $35 and up; see caskdays.com to purchase.

TO OCTOBER 26 Cirque du Soleil is back in Toronto, and this season the famed Montreal troupe presents a kaleidoscope of characters and objects in its latest travelling show, Kurios—Cabinet of Curiosities. Under the big top, audiences are transported back to the 19th century to meet an inventor who’s able to defy time, space and even gravity—one spectacular scene even features an upside-down dinner party! Grand Chapiteau, 51 Commissioner St., Tuesday to Friday 8 p.m., Saturday 4:30 and 8 p.m., Sunday 1:30 and 5 p.m.; $50 to $160; visit cirquedusoleil.com to purchase tickets.

STARTS OCTOBER 29 Although the Toronto Raptors endured a heartbreaking end to their 2013-14 playoffs this past May, the Dinos have retained their core and begin a new season stronger than ever. Forward DeMar DeRozan, point guard Kyle Lowry and shooting guard Terrence Ross are among the returning stars who’ll take on the world’s best basketball players this fall. The Raptors start their new season at home against the Atlanta Hawks. Air Canada Centre, 7:30 p.m., $12.50 and up; call 416-366-3865 to charge.

ALSO THIS MONTH!

Cancer-stricken Swedish Olympic heptathlete Nadja Casadei. Photo by Peter Holgerson, courtesy of World Press Photo.

The training regime of cancer-stricken Swedish Olympic heptathlete Nadja Casadei, photographed by Peter Holgersson. Courtesy of World Press Photo.

TO OCTOBER 21 World Press Photo, the annual juried exhibition of award-winning photojournalism covering events and issues that impacted the world in 2013, is on display at Brookfield Place (181 Bay St.). Admission is free.

OCTOBER 3 The Blue Dot Tour with David Suzuki—promoting clean drinking water, fresh air and healthy food for all Canadians—comes to Massey Hall, with such special guests as Stephen Lewis, the Barenaked Ladies, Chantel Kreviazuk and Raine Maida. The show begins at 8 p.m. Tickets are $39.50 – $79.50. Visit bluedot.ca for more information and to purchase tickets.

OCTOBER 4 Scotiabank Nuit Blanche, the annual all-night art affair, returns with more than 100 public installations, many of which invite visitors to be part of the works themselves. The free sunset-to-sunrise event expands into several new neighbourhoods, including Fort York, Chinatown and Bremner Boulevard, the latter of which hosts a magical night circus. Elsewhere, Máximo González’s installation, Walk Among Worlds, takes on political undertones by way of 7,000 beach balls to visualize first- and third-world states. Visit scotiabanknuitblanche.ca for a list of locations.

OCTOBER 5 TO 7 Part of the National Geographic Live series, award-winning photographer Steve Winter shares his experience travelling the globe in search of tigers, cougars and snow leopards. Tickets are $19.50 – $79.50. Roy Thomson Hall, October 5, 2 p.m.; October 6 and 7, 8 p.m. Visit roythomson.com for more information and to purchase tickets.

OCTOBER 6 New York-based indie rockers We Are Scientists take the stage at The Horseshoe Tavern with guests Surfer Blood and Eternal Summers. Doors open at 8:30 p.m. Tickets are $18.50; visit horseshoetavern.com for more information and to purchase tickets.

OCTOBER 7 TO 11 Award-winning actor, director and producer Ravi Jain and his mom Asha star in A Brimful of Asha, a family story about the search for the perfect bride. Young Centre for the Performing Arts, 55 Mill St., 416-203-6264.Tuesday to Saturday 9 p.m., Wednesday & Saturday 2 p.m.; $35-$55; visit soulpepper.ca or call 416-866-8666 to buy.

OCTOBER 8 Indie folk-rock chanteuse Cat Power brings her unique fusion sound to The Danforth Music Hall, 8 p.m. Tickets are $36; visit ticketmaster.ca or call 1-855-985-5000 to purchase.

OCTOBER 8 & 9 Pop singer-songwriter Jason Mraz plays at Massey Hall, with the show starting at 8 p.m. Tickets are $55.50 – $75.50; visit masseyhall.com to purchase.

Russell Peters

Russell Peters is back bringing the laughs at the Air Canada Centre on October 9.

OCTOBER 9 Brampton, Ontario’s best-known export, Russell Peters, is back with all-new material in his latest headlining show, the Almost Famous World Tour. Hot on the heels of appearances on NBC’s Last Comic Standing and Notorious on Netflix, Peters brings his trademark brand of wit and observation to what is sure to be a well-attended show—back in 2007, he was the first comedian to sell out the ACC. Air Canada Centre, 8 p.m. Tickets are $58.50 – $125.75; call 1-855-985-5000 or see russellpeters.com for information.

OCTOBER 10 Grammy Award-winning jazz musician Esperanza Spalding—who plays both upright bass and cello—brings her distinctive sound to the Queen Elizabeth Theatre at Exhibition Place. Tickets are 49.50; visit livenation.com or call 1-855-985-5000 to charge.

OCTOBER 13 Aussie pop star Betty Who—made famous by a flash mob proposal video shot in a Home Depot that went viral—takes the stage at the Virgin Mobile Mod Club, with guests Joywave and Great Good Fine OK. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets are $19.50; visit livenation.com to purchase.

STARTS OCTOBER 14 A musical journey through the short-lived career of the legendary rock and roll pioneer, who died tragically in a plane crash, Buddy! The Buddy Holly Story features “That’ll be the Day,” “Peggy Sue” and “Everyday.” Various times. Winter Garden Theatre, 189 Yonge St., 416-314-2901. Tickets are $29 – $120; call 1-855-622-2787 or visit ticketmaster.ca to buy.

OCTOBER 15 Brit rock band Bastille makes a stop in Toronto at the Air Canada Centre during their North American tour. Tickets are $34.50 – $42.50; visit livenation.com or call 1-855-985-5000 to purchase.

OCTOBER 16 TO 18 Bach and breakdancing may seem an unlikely combination—until you witness the Flying Steps, that is. The seven-member all-male dance troupe arrives in Toronto for one of two Canadian stops on its Red Bull Flying Bach world tour. Also featuring Swedish dancer Anna Holmström, this high-energy performance combines fast-footed jumps, head spins, jackhammers, hand hops and more choreographed to a live piano and harpsichord performance of Johann Sebastian Bach’s The Well-Tempered Clavier. Massey Hall, Thursday to Saturday 8 p.m., Sunday 2 p.m., $25 – $70; call 416-872-4255 for tickets; see flying-steps.de for more information.

OCTOBER 18 Christine McVie rejoins her bandmates for a Fleetwood Mac North American tour, making a stop in Toronto at the Air Canada Centre. Tickets are $49.50 – $199.50; visit livenation.com or call 1-855-985-5000 to purchase.

OCTOBER 21 Bruce McCulloch, of Kids in the Hall fame, chronicles his life as a rebellious teenager in Alberta to her early days in Toronto to fatherhood in Young Drunk Punk. The show, presented by the Toronto Sketch Comedy Festival, combines stand-up, live music and anecdotes in the lead up to McCulloch’s new book Let’s Start a Riot: A Series of Bravery and Stupidity. General admission is $39; admission plus a copy of the book and a post-show reception is $55. Visit torontosketchfest.com or call 647-505-1050 to purchase tickets.

OCTOBER 21 October is breast cancer awareness month, and Eat to the Beat provides a novel way to help. The 19th edition of this popular fundraiser for Willow Breast & Hereditary Cancer Support has 60 of the country’s best female chefs preparing signature bites like duck breast on polenta cream, grilled cheese, brownies and pies. Local culinary favourites include Doona Dooher of Mildred’s Temple Kitchen, Trista Sheen of Crush Wine Bar and Bonnie Gordon of Bonnie Gordon College of Confectionary Arts. Roy Thomson Hall, 60 Simcoe St., $175 includes all food and beverages, 7 p.m.; call 416-778-6314 ext. 236 or see eattothebeat.ca for details.

STARTS OCTOBER 21 In the world premiere of The Bakelite Masterpiece, set in Holland following World War II, an artist accused of selling art to the Nazis must prove his innocence by painting a work by Johannes Vermeer in front of a prosecutor and art historian. Tarragon Theatre, 30 Bridgman Ave., 416-531-1827. Tuesday to Saturday 8 p.m., Sunday 2:30 p.m.; $48-$53; visit tarragontheatre.com to purchase.

OCTOBER 22 TO 26 The crafty and DIYers won’t want to miss the fall Creativ Festival, a massive consumer show bringing together sewing, quilting, beading, knitting, needlework, DIY decorating, crafting, scrapbooking and more. Workshops and seminars begin on October 22, while the Show Floor is open October 24 to 26, offering a chance to browse and buy a variety of goods, including fabrics, fibres, papers, beads, patterns, tools, books, kits and equipment. Show Floor hours are Friday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission for one day is $4 – $15, and a three-day pass is $25 ($5 for students with valid ID). Hands-on classes and seminars are an extra cost. Visit creativfestival.com for more information or to purchase tickets.

OCTOBER 24 The ever-bold Irish singer Sinead O’Connor brings her incredible voice to Massey Hall. Tickets are $49.50 – $79.50; visit masseyhall.com to purchase.

Art Toronto

Art Toronto brings together contemporary art from around the world. Photo courtesy of Art Toronto.

OCTOBER 24 TO 27 The 15th annual Art Toronto, a modern and contemporary fine art fair, will feature more than 100 galleries from Canada and around the world. There will be a feature exhibition by Quebec-based collective BGL, as well as fair tours and expert talks. Metro Toronto Convention Centre, 255 Front St. W.; visit arttoronto.ca for ticket info and further details.

OCTOBER 25 Feist, Sarah Harmer, Jason Collett, Hayden, Lou Canon, Kevin Hearn and other musicians will come together for the first annual Dream Serenade Benefit Concert at Massey Hall in support of services for children with developmental disabilities. Tickets are $50 – $200; visit masseyhall.com or call 416-872-4255 to purchase.

TO OCTOBER 26 In the Henrik Ibsen drama An Enemy of the People, a doctor discovers that his town’s baths are contaminated and must decide if he should inform the public of the health risk or keep it to himself to prevent the local economy from collapsing. Tarragon Theatre, 30 Bridgman Ave., 416-531-1827. Tuesday to Saturday 8 p.m., Saturday & Sunday 2:30 p.m.; $25-$48; visit tarragontheatre.com to purchase.

OCTOBER 27 Canadian synth-pop darling Lights brings her sparkling tunes to The Danforth Music Hall with special guest Rush Midnight. Tickets are $35; visit livenation.com or call 1-855-985-5000 to purchase.

Summerlicious 2014—The Shore Club

The Shore Club

It’s the time of year when Toronto food lovers salivate. Summerlicious is in full swing until July 20. The 12th edition of this city-wide event features more than 200 participating restaurants offering three-course prix fixe lunch ($15, $20 and $25) and dinner ($35 and $45) menus, enabling patrons to try new establishments or return to an old favourite.

This year, L’ouvrier, Weslodge and Rock Lobster are among the new additions, while returning favourites include Bannock, Crush Wine Bar, Nota Bene, Loire and Splendido.

Where Toronto sampled the dinner menu at The Shore Club, a posh steak and seafood restaurant adjacent to the Ritz-Carlton Hotel, and within walking distance to such Entertainment District venues as Roy Thomson Hall, and the Princess of Wales and Royal Alexandra theatres.

WHAT WE ATE
The Shore Club
Appetizers of grilled calamari on a bed of baby lettuce with a honey citrus vinaigrette and short rib agnolotti with stilton, shiitake mushrooms and leeks in a red wine jus.

Entrees of New York striploin with a sweet pepper chimichurri and pan seared Atlantic salmon with a sweet citrus passion fruit emulsion. Our sides (from four options) were a warm potato salad and steak house fries.

Dessert of key lime pie and a decadent chocolate brownie with ice cream.

5 QUESTIONS WITH DAVE BILLINGTON, GENERAL MANAGER OF THE SHORE CLUB
The Shore Club
How would you describe the ambience at The Shore Club?
The Shore Club has an elegant, warm and friendly vibe. It’s a great place to enjoy the finest Alberta prime beef and the freshest seafood. Our lunch crowds are dominated by business lunches and meetings, while our dinners are more social with a mix of business, pleasure and symphony- or a play-goers.

What do you like about participating in Summerlicious?
For our staff, we treat Summerlicious and Winterlicious (January 30 to February 12, 2015) as a way to celebrate being part of the restaurant community of Toronto. Our approach is a positive one, as we’re excited at the opportunity to show off our great hospitality and cuisine to guests that may not normally dine with us.

What about the experience at The Shore Club distinguishes it from the other participating restaurants?
We take great pride in our high level of service and food quality, and we don’t compromise these qualities during Summerlicious. Our service and quality of food put us near the top for value during the program.

How do you determine the menu each season for Summerlicious?
Our focus is on determining the best value for our guests, and this starts by sourcing the best quality, in-season ingredients. Once we have compiled this list our talented chef Saku Velummylum puts together dishes that reflect these ingredients.

What are your recommended wine pairings with each of the entrees on this year’s Summerlicious menu?
Braised lamb shank with forked fngerling potatoes, roasted red peppers and harissa mint yogurt—2010 Quails Gate Pinot Noir, Okanagan Valley, BC

Grilled Atlantic salmon with rhubarb relish, couscous and rapini—2012 Bastianich Refosco Rose, Venezia Giulia, Italy

Stuffed crepe with portobello mushrooms, spinach, ricotta and vegetable terrine—2011 Plumpjack Adaptation Chardonnay, Napa Valley, US

Pan seared Atlantic salmon with a citrus passion fruit emulsion—2012 Chateau Haut-Grelot (Blanc), Blaye Cote de Bordeaux, France

Grilled New York striploin with sweet pepper chimichurri—2012 13th Street Merlot, Creek Shores, Niagara

The Shore Club, 155 Wellington St. W., 416-351-3311; theshoreclub.ca  —Linda Luong

BIXI Bikes – Toronto, Ontario

By BRITTANY HENDRY

how many BIXI bikes does it take...  Explored, thank you all!!

Bixi Bikes in Toronto (Photo: Shabnam, Morningdew Photography)

WHY WE CHOSE IT
This beautiful image captures Toronto’s bike sharing program in an artistic perspective. The streets are lined with bicyclists enjoying the autumn sun on their daily commute, and images of bikes zipping by are plentiful. What is interesting about this photo is that it captures static bicycles, adding intrigue and new depth to a scene that is easily overlooked.

Submit your photo to our Flickr Group and we will consider including it in our Photo Friday series on Where.ca! We’ll credit you and link to your photo.

Photo: Shabnam- Morningdew Photography