• eat
  • shop
  • see
  • go
  • stay
  • daytrip
  • map
  • calendar
  • transport
  • weather
  • currency
  • tofrom

Toronto

Interview With Travelfix Blogger Timothy Chan

Timothy Chan in India earlier this year.

Timothy Chan has traveled all over the world: India, China, Uganda, and Peru, just to name a few. He started tracking his experiences and inspirations on his travel blog, travelfix.ca over a year ago, and has been working at Gap Adventures Toronto HQ as a Public Relations Specialist for about a year. Travel, for Toronto-raised Chan, is a way to immerse himself in a “completely foreign country where chaos reigns and the culture, food, transportation, language and everything in between are virtually unfamiliar.”

(more…)

The CN Tower opens its latest attraction, EdgeWalk, to the public today

CN Tower Edgewalk View. Photo: CN Tower EdgeWalk

The CN Tower’s latest attraction, EdgeWalk, takes thrill seekers to new heights today. The first of its kind in North America, EdgeWalk is the world’s highest full circle hands-free walk encircling the top of the CN Tower’s main pod, 356 metres, (1168 feet, 116 stories) above the ground. The half-hour experience, which includes re-admission into the CN Tower’s other attractions (Look Out, Glass Floor, Sky Pod Levels, movie and ride) costs $175.
(more…)

Hot Dining: Notable Newcomers

Sizzling steaks at Sidecut in Whistler

The regional editors of Where recently unveiled their list of 2010’s best new restaurants across Canada.

1. Bao Bei Chinese Brasserie – Vancouver, BC; 604-688-087; www.bao-bei.ca

2. Sidecut (pictured) – Whistler, BC; 604-966-5280; www.fourseasons.com

3. Prime Steakhouse and Lounge – Victoria, BC; 250-386-2010; www.primesteak.ca

4. Charcut Roast House – Calgary, AB; 403-984-2180; www.charcut.com

5. Zinc – Edmonton, AB; 780-392-2501; www.zincrestaurant.ca

6. Habitat Restaurant – Canmore, AB; 403-678-8880; www.granderockies.com/habitat

7. Segovia Tapas Bar and Restaurant – Winnipeg, MB; 204-477-6500; www.segoviatapasbar.com

8. Enoteca Sociale – Toronto, ON; 416-534-1200; www.sociale.ca

9. Taste, the Restaurant at Touchstone – Muskoka, ON; 705-764-5353; www.touchstoneonlakemuskoka.com/taste.html

10. Town – Ottawa, ON; 613-695-8696; www.townlovesyou.ca

11. Fujiyama – Halifax, NS; 902-492-1133; www.sushifujiyama.ca

Hot Date: Macca’s Back

AUGUST 8 & 9 After enthralling audiences for decades with The Beatles and then Wings, Paul McCartney still knows how to sell out a show. Now flying solo, Sir Paul performs the hits that have made him famous—including “Hey Jude,” “The Long and Winding Road” and many, many others—during his two-night stand in Toronto. Air Canada Centre, 7:30 p.m., $57.25 to $250; call 416-870-8000 or visit Ticketmaster to purchase.

Hot Art: Podium-Worthy Portraits

Susan Makin’s oil painting of short-track speed skater Nathalie Lambert (detail)


MARCH 2 TO 26
Bask in the afterglow of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic winter games within the cozy confines of Toronto’s John B. Aird Gallery, which captures some of Canada’s sporting heroes in paintings and sculptures this month. Its exhibition, Canadian Olympic Athletes: A Dialogue in Art, collects more than 30 works by members of the Portrait Society of Canada. A visual salute to decorated Olympians past and present, the display also implies an important connection between athletes and artists, who hone their talents with discipline and persistence for both personal fulfillment and the betterment of a nation.

February Editor’s Picks: Shopping

1. Hugo Boss ups the ante on slick storefronts with the debut of its first Canadian flagship store along Bloor Street West’s Mink Mile. Opened in December, the three-storey, 12,000-square-foot space was designed by the company’s architectural team in Germany, and will serve as the model for all future Hugo Boss flagship shops. A modern exterior of matrix concrete is broken up by windows at each level where bedecked mannequins showcase the brand’s sleek and professional dresses, suits, jackets and accessories for men and women. Inside, a gallery-like boutique featuring glossy finishes, a glass staircase, stained oak and stone flooring provides a crisp and serene ambience for viewing the BOSS Black and BOSS Selection lines.

2. Although it has a stand-alone store down the street, renowned French perfumery Chanel doubles the pleasure with a luxurious shop-in-shop at the Bloor Street location of Holt Renfrew. Amidst cozy hues of caramel and gold, with tweed-upholstered chairs, an illuminated screen beams the company’s lineup of scents along with historical images of founder Coco Chanel and renowned master perfumers from its haute history. Chanel beauty and fragrance experts are on-site at six makeup stations to offer professional advice about the company’s cosmetics and skincare lines, and provide olfactory “tours” of 12 scents from the “Les Exclusifs de Chanel” collection, including its latest, the floral-infused BEIGE.

3. Although the 21st winter games, from February 12 to 28, are being hosted on Canada’s west coast, the fervor of the competition can still be honoured here in Toronto. With glowing hearts, show your patriotic pride by picking up these items.

>> Douglas Duffel from the International Collection, $398, Roots.

>> Omega Vancouver 2010 Seamaster Diver watch, $4,500, Birks.

>> Torchbearer mittens, $10, The Bay.

>> Olympic team quilted vest, $70 and up, The Bay.

>> Sterling silver with 18K gold tag pendant, $225, Birks.

Wherelist: Best New Restaurants 2009

Where editors from across the country have cast their ballots for the Best New Restaurants to open in Canada in 2009. From creative twists on traditional cuisines to stylish décors and high quality food for reasonable prices, these are the eateries you won’t want to miss from coast to coast.

Veneto Tapa Lounge, Victoria

Victoria’s best new restaurant takes traditional tapas to a whole new level. Led by chef Tod Bosence, the sophisticated, urban Veneto Tapa Lounge offers both a hip bar area and quieter dining room, ideal for enjoying Bosence’s creative dinner menu. Each entree is presented tapas style – those in the mood for beef, for example, will enjoy it three ways: veal ravioli with portabella mushroom ragout and roasted garlic cream sauce; marinated short rib with parmesan polenta cake; and New York strip roulade with spicy lobster stuffing and bordelaise sauce.

Cibo Trattoria, Vancouver

With London’s River Café alumnus Neil Taylor heading up the kitchen and ex-Lumiere general manager/sommelier Sebastien Le Goff in charge, it didn’t take long for Cibo to gain a solid reputation for its vibrant rustic Italian cuisine, thoroughly grounded in West Coast ingredients. Taylor’s dishes, which change by the week (if not the day), are constructed with uncomplicated—but wickedly exacting—flair.

Parker House Grill & Wine Bar, Calgary

Parker House is the kind of place where diners can experience high quality service, ambience and food, for a reasonable price tag. Chef Andrew Keen, known for his excellence in “forgotten fare,” has created a menu inspired by traditional New England comfort dishes with creative twists. For dinner, most entrees (with the exception of their steaks) sit in the mid-twenties range, while diners on a budget can try one of their thin-crust pizzas for as low as $12.88.

Creations Dining Room & Lounge, Sawridge Inn Edmonton South, Edmonton

Artful, delicious dining at Creations—the paint’s barely dry and the buzz is on for the eclectic Canadian fusion cuisine of Creations, the stunning new dining room and lounge in the atrium of the Sawridge Inn Edmonton South. Walls of fire, water, badlands hoodoos and a huge dreamcatcher treat the senses as menu items entice patrons to explore palate pleasers such as Sherried Beef Caprese.

Rustica Steakhouse, Canadian Rockies

Rustic has earned its place as one of the Canadian Rockies’ top restaurants for its elegant ‘mountain lodge’ atmosphere and uncompromising dedication to Canada Prime Beef. But it’s the cuisine of Caribbean-born Chef Stefan Mahon that keeps them coming back for more. Only the top 0.3% of beef in Canada earns Prime designation (a superior grade to AAA)—Stefan’s New York cuts, grand filet mignon and prime rib chops are prepared with a signature dry rub, seared under a 1500°F (815°C) broiler and presented on 500°F (260°C) plates with garlic butter.

Hermanos, Winnipeg

Winnipeggers are feeling the Latin heat thanks to the fiery flavours of South American cuisine at this year’s arrival of Hermanos Restaurant and Wine Bar. Set in a 5,500-square-foot warehouse in the Exchange District, fast lunches, tapas and mains are found on the mainly Argentinean- and Brazilian-influenced menu. The crispy fried empanadas are a must-try.

Raw Aura, Mississauga

Raw Aura, true to its name, offers a menu of entirely raw cuisine—the better to emphasize the natural and nourishing properties of fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds and sprouts. In an intimate yet airy space, friendly staff dish out delectably fresh fare including a “peace wrap” bursting with avocado, tomatoes, carrots, kale, sprouts and hummus, and zesty lo-mein featuring noodles made of zucchini and golden beets.

Loire, Toronto

Loire, a self-described “casual gourmet” spot, well-situated along increasingly foodie-friendly Harbord Street offers fresh, seasonal dishes that could include chili- and cornmeal-crusted Lake Erie whitefish, grilled New York striploin and a succulent beef or lamb burger on challah bread. This intimate restaurant effortlessly straddles the line between relaxed neighbourhood fave and boldface fine-dining destination.

Teca, Muskoka

Overlooking Lake Rosseau is Teca, a fine Italian restaurant located within the luxurious Rosseau Resort & Spa. Surrounded by the natural beauty of the Muskoka Lakes, find this decidedly urban dining room and a centrally located open kitchen that dishes up authentic rustic Italian fare. Tuck into freshly made pasta—from papperdelle and gnocchi to spaghetti and meatballs—or thin crust pizza made in a wood-stone oven, as well as veal chops, fish, striploin and rack of lamb.

The Grand Pizzeria & Bar, Ottawa

Nestled on one of the most auspicious corners in Ottawa’s bustling ByWard Market, The Grand Pizzeria is a popular addition to the downtown dining scene. Built in the late 17th century, this enviable location once housed The Grand Hotel. Today, it’s home to the perfect pizza pie. Traditional Italian appetizers (antipasti, salads) make way for the main attraction: authentic Napoletana pizza. The dough is created and hand-pressed by Master Pizzaiolo Pasqualino Oliveri, who placed first in the 2004 European Pizza Championship, among other honours.

Pipa Restaurant & Bar, Halifax

Chef Luis Gaspar and partner Victoria Dunham Gaspar are longtime veterans of Halifax’s dining scene. And when they decided to embark on a project all their own, they saw a glaring omission in the city’s dining scene. Specializing in Portuguese cuisine, with rich, filling and full-flavoured dishes. Pipa is the only restaurant of its type in Halifax, specializing in Old World and Brazilian dishes such as Moqueca (fish stew) and Feijoada (a stew of meats and black beans). Seafood dishes abound, including fresh grilled sardines.

What’s Hot in January Across Canada

Halifax

Roots-rock legends Blue Rodeo return to the Halifax Metro Centre on January 28, performing concert classics like “Hasn’t Hit Me Yet” and “Diamond Mine,” along with their newest material.

Vancouver & Whistler

The 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games are almost here, and they’re bringing a lot more than just sports to Vancouver and Whistler. The Cultural Olympiad 2010 (Jan 22 – Mar 21) is the culmination of three years of Cultural Olympiads on the West Coast, and it features some of the world’s best artists, musicians, dancers, actors and performers. Vancouver highlights include Joni Mitchell’s The Fiddle and the Drum at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre (Jan 22 – 24), Nevermore: The Imaginary Life and Mysterious Death of Edgar Allan Poe at the Granville Island Stage (Jan 21 – Feb 6), and Steve Earle and Joel Plaskett at The Orpheum (Jan 23).

Whistler highlights include Canada’s first theatre of snow and ice, Nix (Jan 22 – Feb 27), Corb Lund at Whistler Village Square (Feb 19), and the Nunavut-based circus Artcirq at the Squamish Lil’Wat Cultural Centre (Feb 20).

Ottawa

During the Carleton Cup Triathlon on Jan 30, fearless participants—athletically inclined or otherwise—skate for nearly 7km up and down the Rideau Canal, run through the ByWard Market, then slide into The Aulde Dubliner & Pour House to pound back a drink. First one in gets the bragging rights, but the real winner is the Canadian Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Led by controversial-yet-charismatic frontman Axl Rose, the newest incarnation of Guns N’ Roses will tour to promote Chinese Democracy, an album that was 15 years in the making.  They stop into Ottawa Jan 31.

Calgary

Known for its memorable songs like, “Matchmaker, Matchmaker,” the Tony Award-winning musical, Fiddler on the Roof plays at the Jubilee until Jan 17. Throughout the month of January, One Yellow Rabbit’s High Performance Rodeo offers theatre-lovers innovative plays, skits and acts from around the world. Highlights include Kawasaki Exit, a play about the dark-side of Japanese social networking sites and The Pajama Men, a comedy duo who perform their act in their pjs.

Winnipeg

World-class men’s curling talent sweeps into Winnipeg for the BDO Canadian Classic Open Jan 20 – 24. Top names like Canada’s Olympic representative Kevin Martin and Scotland’s reigning World Champion David Murdoch are expected to participate.

Edmonton

Coleman Lemieux & Compagnie, one of Canada’s most accomplished dance organizations, brings three brilliant performances to Edmonton Jan 20: In Paradisum; Soudain, l’hiver dernier; and Fifteen Heterosexual Duets, all choreographed by James Kudelka.  Artistic Director Laurence Lemieux promises “an exhilarating voyage to the heights of paradise and the depths of the heart.”  Edmontonians revel in the winter months at the Winter Light Festival. Every weekend brings a blizzard of family fun with many events such as ice carving, ice-skating, art shows and much more. On until Mar 12, free admission.

Canadian Rockies

The Olympic Torch Relay comes through Banff Jan 20 and the town is celebrating outdoors with live music. Watch as teams carve massive blocks of ice into glittering sculptures at the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise during the Ice Magic Festival, Jan 22 – 24 (if you can’t catch the carving, admire the art until it melts away in a few months). Or hit up Jasper in January for ski lift ticket and hotel discounts, plus fun events like the polar bear dip, Taste of the Town, music and skating parties, Jan 15 – 31.

Toronto

Important figures of history continue to draw crowds in the present. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart looms large over the city on select dates between Jan 13 and 24 as the Toronto Symphony Orchestra presents the Mozart@254 Festival, its annual concert series commemorating the 1756 birth of the Classical Era’s greatest composer. This year’s program features guest artists including famed baritone Russell Braun, violinist Pinchas Zukerman and many others. Or, have an archeological encounter with the great rulers of Egypt, by visiting the Art Gallery of Ontario’s ongoing exhibit, King Tut: The Golden King and the Great Pharaohs. The massive display showcases rare artifacts from the days of Khafre, Amenhotep IV, Rameses II and other significant monarchs, as well as more than 50 exquisite treasures from the tomb of Tutankhamun. On until Apr 18.


The WHERE List: Canada’s Top Ten New Attractions for Summer 2009

Muttart Conservatory, Edmonton (Photo: Darren Kirby)

From coast to coast Where Editors have chosen the best new or improved attractions in the country. From dramatic glass pyramids in the prairies to canopied aerial bridges in the rain forest to exploring the wonders of the ocean, these are attractions you won’t want to miss. (more…)