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    The long weekend is almost here and you can get started on the fun with some events in Toronto today. A craft beer festival is on, plus an art party, outdoor film screening and comedy show.

    Events you might want to check out:

    Hart House Craft Beer Festival (August 2 @ Hart House)
    This small but mighty annual craft beer festival is now in its 11th year of serving up fresh, local brews and a big barbecue feast.
    Roman Holiday (August 2 @ Corktown Common Park)
    The 1953 Audrey Hepburn classic takes to the big screen under the stars at the Corktown Common during this outdoor screening.
    King and Queen Parade (August 2 @ Lamport Stadium)
    The fashions that make Caribana so extraordinary are on view during this big showcase with artists and designers on hand to talk about their work.
    The Vaccines (August 2 @ Mod Club Theatre)
    These English indie rockers come full force and exploding with their own modern take on the many British punks that have come before them.
    Do the Right Thing (August 2 @ Revue Cinema)
    It's a hot one in Toronto and over in Brooklyn during Spike Lee's 1989 masterpiece where the heat just seems to bring it out in everyone.
    Miss Chief's Praying Hands (August 2 @ Project Gallery)
    Artist Kent Monkman finds a gender fluid alter-ago in Miss Chief Eagle Testickle, using her to explore themes of colonization, loss and resilience.
    Documentary Short Film Festival (August 2 @ Carlton Cinemas)
    Documentary shorts by filmmakers from all over the world are screening for free—you just need to RSVP a ticket.
    Island Womxn Rise (August 2 @ Bad Dog Comedy Theatre)
    Funny Filipinas take to the stage for. night of comedy, hosted by Ann Pornel of the Second City Mainstage.
    Multi-Sensory Art Party (August 2 @ The Commons)
    Art, music, and lights encompass this groovy multi-sensory art party with food and performances by Witch Prophet, Future Peers and Versa.
    Panic at the Labyrinth (August 2-16 @ The Gardiner Museum)
    Poet and performer Annie Wong looks to shake up traditional poetry readings with a choir and speeches during stories about women, told by women.

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    If you've ever wanted a waterfront property, you can’t get any closer than this house ... it’s literally on the water.7 brimley road south toronto

    This newly renovated floating house is absolutely breathtaking. The modern interior has the feel of an urban condo but when you look out the window it’s like you’re in the Muskokas. The best of both worlds.

    7 brimley road south torontoThe open-concept main floor is flooded with natural light, thanks to the panoramic windows facing the marina.

    7 brimley road south torontoThe kitchen is modern and stylish with stainless steel appliances and a quartz counter. I’m particularly obsessed with the light fixture, which is like a work of art—so funky.

    7 brimley road south torontoThe bedrooms are cozy and bright, and the bathrooms are minimalist.

    7 brimley road south torontoAlso for a house on the water, there’s a surprising amount of outdoor space. The upper deck has 700 square feet of room and has the aesthetic of a cottage deck. It looks positively blissful.

    7 brimley road south torontoSpecs
    • Address: #25 - 7 Brimley Rd. S
    • Price: $1,197,000
    • Bedrooms: 2
    • Bathrooms: 2
    • Parking: 2
    • Walk Score: 17
    • Transit Score: 31
    • Maintenance Fees: $1,065 monthly
    • Listing agent: Denise Doucet
    • Listing ID: E4200472
    7 brimley road south torontoGood For

    A couple who wants both urban and cottage living all rolled into one. With this house there’s beaches, boating and all the other awesome outdoor stuff the Bluffs have to offer. But, you’re still close enough to the city that you can easily commute in.

    7 brimley road south torontoMove On If

    You don’t want to deal with the maintenance required to keep a floating house. For example, you have to pump out the septic tank… or at least pay someone to do it.7 brimley road south toronto

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    It's going to be a weekend of celebrations and road closures in Toronto as Caribana rolls into town. It's best to just ditch the car this long weekend and get in on the action.

    Here's what you need to know to navigate around the city by car this long weekend in Toronto.

    Toronto Caribbean Carnival 

    It's all about Caribana this weekend in Toronto, and as a result, Lake Shore Blvd. West will be closed in both directions from Colborne Lodge Dr. to Bathurst St. on August 4 at 2 a.m. until August 5 at 6 a.m.

    Strachan Ave. between Lake Shore Blvd. and Fleet St//Manitoba Dr. will also be closed during this period. There will be no access to the Gardiner Expressway's Jameson/Dunn on-ramps and the off-ramp exits will be closed.

    Senhor da Pedra Festival

    This annual festival will have Grace St. closed from Mansfield Ave. to Dundas St. West on August 4 from 1 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. and August 5 from 1:30 to midnight.

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    Toronto Restaurant Openings highlights the latest food news in Toronto and gives a preview of what's coming soon. Find us here every Thursday morning.

    Open now
    • Adorable-looking Piccolina gelato e altra roba (which, according to Google Translate, means "little/petite gelato and other stuff") opened last week at 85 Portland Street (at King Street West).
    • Narami Sushi is currently in soft opening, officially making a debut tomorrow at 119 Ossington Avenue (at Argyle Street).
    • More sushi: Gyoko Sushi has also opened at 2143 Danforth Avenue (at Cedarvale Avenue).
    • More Japanese: Nomé Izakaya now has a second location, which can be found in the CF Shops at Don Mills, at 1090 Don Mills Road.
    • Jin's Mi-Fen, a Chinese restaurant specializing in Hunan-style rice noodles, can be found at 5515 Yonge Street in North York.
    • Phaze 2, an Afro-Thai fusion restaurant and lounge, is now open at 1500 Royal York Road in Etobicoke.
    Recently reviewed
    Opening soon
    • Mother Tongue, a modern Asian restaurant and cocktail bar that will focus on Filipino, Japanese, Chinese and Canadian cuisine, will be opening this September in the Templar Hotel at 348 Adelaide Street West.
    • Cantina Mercatto, part of the Mercatto family of restaurants (which recently said goodbye to its Toronto Street location), should be opening soon at 20 Wellington Street East (at Scott Street).
    • Montreal's Dunn’s Famous is trying Toronto again (after having closed up shop in the Entertainment District), with a soon-to-open location at 1779 Danforth Avenue (at Bastedo Avenue).
    • Another Montreal business, a tea bar called Hestia, will be opening its first Toronto location soon. This tea spot will open at the concourse level of the TD Bank Tower at 66 Wellington Street West, in the Financial District's PATH.
    • Loftea and something called SuKoi Desserts (possibly with ice cream fish cones) are opening soon at 760 Queen Street West, just east of Trinity Bellwoods Park.
    • Plaxton Coffee, a cafe that will serve sandwiches, salads, sweets and, of course, coffee, is coming soon to 2889 St Clair Avenue East (at Plaxton Drive).
    • Berry Road Food Co-op is set to open this fall at the Shoppes at Stonegate at 150 Berry Road in Etobicoke.

    Have you seen restaurants opening or closing in your neighbourhood? Email tips to

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    A 19-year-old woman has been arrested in connection with a racially-charged altercation that was captured on camera aboard a TTC subway train this past Saturday.

    The incident in question was filmed and uploaded to YouTube on Sunday by a witness who said that the young woman pictured "was yelling at a commuter to go back to China."

    About half-way through the roughly one-minute-long clip, the young woman who had been shouting racial slurs runs toward where the witness is filming, followed by an older woman.

    The two passengers are seen struggling to gain control of what appears to be a phone as the train stops at Eglinton West Station.

    "Give me my cellphone!" pleads the older woman, to which the woman who had been shouting "GO BACK TO CHINA!" replies: "I'll give it to you if you take the video off of it."

    The video ends with the younger woman snatching the phone and fleeing the train, followed by the older woman and a man in black. 

    ttc racist robbery

    Tashia James, 19, was arrested on Wednesday in connection with a video in which a young woman is seen yelling "go back to China" and running away with a stolen cellphone. Screenshot by Lauren O'Neil

    The person filming the video later told CTV News that the altercation began after the young woman asked a man for a cigarette and was denied.

    Irate, the young woman started hurling racial slurs at the man, prompting the older woman to pull out her cellphone and start recording.

    Toronto Police said on Wednesday that Tashia James had been charged with one count of robbery and one count of failure to comply with probation in connection with the incident.

    This is the second time Toronto Police have arrested someone for using racially-charged language to harass other citizens on camera in as many weeks.

    Lombray Ball, 50, was charged last Thursday with two counts of assault and one of threatening death as part of "a suspected hate-motivated crime investigation" after videos surfaced of him hurling racial slurs at a family near the Jack Layton Ferry Terminal.

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    Because one can never have too many places to eat bingsu, soft serve or tiramisu, yet anotherAsiandessertchain is about to enter the Toronto market — this one, with a distinctly healthy (and purple) twist.

    The popular Korean dessert chain Cafe Bora has announced that it will be opening its first Canadian location in the heart of Yorkville next month.

    Known for its signature palette of violet-hued sweets, Cafe Bora specializes in 100 percent natural desserts made from purple sweet potato: Everything from purple ice cream and purple porridge to purple sweet potato lattes.

    A post shared by Ho Jun Yang (@ho4food) on

    The company was founded in the Samcheong-dong neighbourhood of Seoul, South Korea, in 2015, but has since expanded to include multiple locations throughout the country, as well as stores in Los Angeles and Bangkok.

    While not as huge as some of the dessert franchises we've seen open around these parts recently, Cafe Bora's menu is unique — and it has fans all over the world.

    A post shared by @hwjddld on

    "Cafe Bora is creating its own Korean dessert culture by reflecting Korean beauty in the brand through the collaboration with new designers on uniforms, containers, and other small details, as well as the menu," reads a company overview document available for download on the restaurant's website.

    "Cafe Bora's dessert menu is characterized by offering diverse experiences, as well as delicious dessert together."

    Toronto's first Cafe Bora, located at 87 Yorkville Avenue, is slated to open sometime in September. When it does, guests can look forward to more than just purple sweet potato treats, including such menu items as Korean-style sweet coffee, red bean lattes, green tea tiramisu and peanut ice cream.

    Oh, and every order of bingsu, regardless of the flavour, comes with free purple sweet potato chips on the side.

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    Toronto businesses that closed in July were all over the map, including a long-time used bookshop, an edgy clothing store, an alternative music venue and, of course, a bunch of places to eat and drink, from dim sum to over-the-top stoner snacks.

    Here are the most notable Toronto businesses that closed in July.

    Dencan Books

    Serving the Junction community for over half a century was this beloved used bookstore that sold many rare and vintage titles. Its owner, Eddie Roberts, reluctantly closed up shop last month after a long sale and many tributes from those who grew up in the store.

    Dog’s Bollocks

    After just shy of a decade on West Queen West, this pub was forced to close in July due to skyrocketing rent. It will be replaced by a sports bar and grill, and not a male strip club, as was previously reported.

    Jonathan + Olivia

    This hip, high-end clothing store that spent a solid decade on Ossington shut its Toronto operations last month to move out west. It should be opening its Whistler, B.C. location in September. 

    Junked Food Co.

    Last year, this spot for outrageous junk food (think deep-dish mac'n'cheese pizzas and Doritos smash bags) moved from its original location on Dundas West to Queen West, only to close permanently this July. It will only be keeping its catering biz going.

    Koek Koek

    Open for less than a year, this healthy lunch and dinner spot uptown at Yonge & Blythwood quietly closed last month. Its windows were papered over and a “For Lease” sign could be seen in the window.

    North 44

    Celebrity chef Mark McEwan shut down his first independent restaurant in July after 28 years of service at Yonge & Eglinton. The lease was up and McEwan is "looking forward."

    Pearl King

    Blaming its closure on the King Street Pilot Project, this dim sum spot in the Entertainment District, which was affiliated with Pearl Harbourfront on Queens Quay, shuttered permanently last month after five years in the space, posting a farewell letter on its door.


    A staple of the city's goth and hardcore techno scene for a decade, this alternative music venue by Queen & Bathurst closed its doors for good at the end of July, another fallen victim to soaring property taxes, insurance rates and tough regulations. A mainstream Top 40 dance club is set to take over.

    Tacos 101

    Quickly becoming a favourite destination for fans of authentic Mexican take-out, this taco joint by Yonge & Dundas south of Ryerson was forced to start searching for a new location last month to make way for condos. Fingers crossed the new space it's found works out so that it can re-open soon.

    West End Food Co-op

    Parkdale lost an important community food hub after this co-op shut down on July 31 due to financial reasons. Lasting for eight years, the not-for-profit grocery store was unable to find a new space with affordable rent after it had to vacate the lower level of the Parkdale Community Health Centre.

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    Tie on your bib and dig in because August long weekend events in Toronto for 2018 include a lot of food festivals happening all over the city. Caribana takes over and Veld is finally here. Stock up on the essentials, take note of road closures and the weather and have a great time!

    Events you might want to check out:

    Caribana Parade (August 4 @ Multiple Venues)
    A month of Caribana celebrations caps off with the Grand Parade; a spectacle of stunning colours, extravagant costumes, music and dance.
    Veld (August 4-5 @ Downsview Park)
    The hip-hop and electro gods are set to bless Toronto with a stacked lineup of performances by DJ Snake, Martin Garrix, Migos and a lot more.
    Rogers Cup (August 4-12 @ Aviva Centre)
    Tennis stars Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Denis Shapovalov and Milos Raonic are all set battle it out on court for the championship title.
    Sunday Social (August 5 @ The Bentway)
    Max relax under the Gardiner at this big beer garden, featuring music, games and food. This week has performances by Moses Revolution and more.
    Daylight with Lebron James (August 3 @ Beach Paris)
    NBA superstar LeBron James is in Toronto for Caribana and taking the day to have some fun at this all-day outdoor party.
    Jerk (August 3 @ Ontario Place)
    It's Caribana in the city and a big party is taking over Ontario Place, featuring up-and-coming DJ Bambii and free jerk chicken while it lasts.
    Island Soul (August 3-6 @ Harbourfront Centre)
    Free performances are happening down at Harbourforont all weekend in honour of Caribbean music heard through Canada and around the world.
    Shaq at Cabana (August 4 @ Cabana Pool Bar)
    Shaq, aka DJ Diesel, is spinning all the tunes for all the splish-splashers out there during this big daytime pool party.
    Def Jam Caribana Celebrity Party (August 4 @ Brassaii)
    Now in its 17th year, this annual Caribana bash brings many Def Jam musicians from all over the world to Toronto for the night.
    Project Rewind (August 5 @ Revival)
    Just because the parade if over doesn't mean the fun is. Party one last time with four DJs on four turntables spinning all the hits we know and love.
    12 Beers Of Summer (August 3 @ Gladstone Hotel)
    Get a taste of a dozen different flavours at this beer tasting party with 12 local brews up for the trying and a DJ spinning all evening long.
    Scarborough Ribfest (August 3-6 @ Thomson Memorial Park)
    One of the biggest ribfests of the year takes over, with award-winning ribbers, live music, rides, entrainment and an all-day beer garden.
    Food Truck Festival (August 3-6 @ Woodbine Park)
    Scattered around the city no more, food trucks from all over will fill Woodbine Park with all kinds of tastes, smells, brews and activities.
    Taste of the Middle East (August 4 @ Dundas Square)
    The inaugural Middle Eastern food fest kicks off with favourites like Turkish coffee, Arak and grilled halloumi, plus art, music and dancing.
    Flavours of the Philippines (August 4-5 @ Albert Campbell Square)
    Lechon, halo halo, and everything in between is going down at this Filipino-Canadian food festival on all weekend long.
    Taste of India (August 5 @ Nathan Phillips Square)
    Over 100 different Indian foods are up for the tasting at this huge festival, with samples, street performers, activities and a bazaar.
    Taylor Swift (August 3 @ Rogers Centre)
    Slap on the red lipstick and go all out for the arrival of T-Swift and her new attitude, as part of her Reputation tour.
    Indie Fridays (August 3 @ Yonge–Dundas Square)
    Another round of up-and-coming indie musicians take the stage with free performances by Fujahtive, RaLion and Sattalites.
    The National (August 4 @ Fort York National Historic Site)
    Come equipped with tissues as the deep, moving sounds of The National fill Fort York, with support from Father John Misty.
    Arctic Monkeys (August 5 @ Scotiabank Arena)
    Hot off the release of their newest album, Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino, the Arctic Monkeys are here with their signature sound for one night only.
    McQueen (August 3-16 @ Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema)
    This documentary looks to explore the life of the troubled designer behind some of fashion's more memorable and influential works.
    The Wiz (August 4 @ Aga Khan Park)
    A young Michael Jackson stars in this remake of The Wizard of Oz during this free outdoor screening on the beautiful grounds of the Aga Khan Museum.
    Amélie (August 5 @ Christie Pits)
    This week, Cinematic Cities takes us to Paris where the quirky and cute Amélie looks for love in the city of romance.
    Motown Party (August 4 @ Round)
    Celebrating 10 years of shimmying and shaking, this huge Motown party is playing all the soul classics and fundraising for The Stop.
    Graffiti Alley Block Party (August 5 @ Graffiti Alley)
    A big block party is going down in Toronto's colourful and historic Graffiti Alley, featuring live performances, dancing, food, drinks and games.
    Sunnyside 20 (August 5 @ Sunnyside Pavillion)
    It's a long weekend beach party at this instalment of Sunnside 20 with Leon Vynehall, Ali Black, Andy Capp and Korea Town Acid.
    Really Really Free Market (August 4 @ Campbell Park)
    You don't need to resist the urge to spend money at this monthly market. It's completely free; no money, no swapping. Just show up and enjoy.
    Rahyma Pop-Up (August 4-5 @ 80 Spadina Avenue)
    Shop a variety of luxury African print attires in everything from dresses, skirts, jumpsuits, high-low jacket dress, t-shirt dresses, blouses and more.
    Ontario Vintage Market (August 5 @ Evergreen Brick Works)
    Vintage brands from all over the province arrive with everything from furniture, clothing, accessories and more for this bi-monthly vintage market.

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    A new study has revealed something that, perhaps, most of us already knew — it costs a lot of money to live in this city. has determined the average cost of living for a young person in Toronto to be around $2,740.48 per month. 

    Based on this number, it would take an estimated salary of $40,583 before taxes just to survive — without putting away any for savings. If you'd like to start saving (as you should), bump that number up to about $50,134.

    These numbers are based on average prices for rent, transit, food, entertainment, and all the other expenses considered necessary parts of the cost of living.

    The data does not include other costs, such as emergency money, textbooks, tuition, grooming, pets, or much else beyond the basics. 

    Those who make minimum wage (as most young people do) should be wary. If the minimum wage increase to $15 isn't cancelled, you will be pulling in just over $30,000 a year.

    Time to start looking for a side hustle. 

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    Hundreds of angry Torontonians are gathered today on the front lawn of Queen's Park, where Ontario Premier Doug Ford and his new PC government just announced that they'll be taking Canada to court over a federal carbon tax program.

    That's not why the people are protesting, though — not today, anyway.

    The masses have gathered for what NDP and official opposition Leader Andrea Horwath calls "a democracy rally" in light of Ford's recently-announced plan to cut Toronto City Council nearly in half.

    The Toronto-specific measure is part of something Ontario's ruling party calls the "Better Local Government Act" (Bill 5 for short).

    The move was swiftly decried by Mayor John Tory and other local leaders when it was announced last week, as well as thousands of residents who showed up for a protest at Nathan Phillips Square on Friday night.

    Today, concerned citizens started arriving as early as 9 a.m. to pack the Legislature gallery during Question Period. By 10 a.m., they had formed a lineup down the street and around the corner.

    Needless to say, the gallery filled up quickly.

    Those who weren't able to score a seat inside waited patiently outside for Horwath to hold a press conference on the front lawn.

    "Rejections that Mr. Ford has had by the people of the City of Toronto aren't sitting well with him," said Horwath to the gathered crowd shortly after noon. "And so by edict here, he's going to try to grab that power that he couldn't get in the democratic way."

    The audience exploded briefly with cries of "shame! shame!" and "dirty Doug!" before Horwath continued.

    "Instead, he's going to grab that power from the Premier's chair," she said. "A complete abuse of power is what we're talking about."

    MPPs are scheduled to debate the controversial motion at 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, and the public has once again been invited in to support Horwath's call for the withdrawal of Bill 5 from inside the gallery.

    Judging by the crowds at present, most people will have to follow what happens on their phones from the front lawn of the Legislature.

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    It looks like it's going to be a whole lot cheaper to escape the Canadian winter this year. 

    That's because Swoop, Canada's ultra-low-cost airliner, has just announced new flight routes to five sunny American cities. Orlando, Tampa Bay, Fort Lauderdale, Phoenix, and Las Vegas. 

    The new destinations double the amount of cities where Swoop operates, adding to Edmonton, Winnipeg, Halifax, Hamilton and Abbotsford, BC. 

    swoop airline

    The new route maps available with Swoop. Photo from

    Flights from Hamilton (your closest option to Toronto) will head to the three Florida cities and Las Vegas, starting in October. Hamilton flights will not currently head toward Phoenix ― you'll have to be departing from Edmonton for that. 

    Most one-way flights to American destinations out of Hamilton will cost around $119, depending on the date. Any additional amenities will cost extra, including bags and leg room. 

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    We humans have so much to learn from the majestic raccoons of Toronto — such as how to nap comfortably in public and open impenetrable vaults.

    Are they brilliant creatures? Yes, when there's a chance to score food, but they can also do laughably dumb things for the very same reason. Garbage lust knows no bounds.

    Last weekend, one such hungry raccoon got her head stuck in a jar that rescuers believe contained peanut butter. 

    Toronto Wildlife Centre, a charitable wild animal rescue organization, shared video footage on Facebook and Twitter today of the small raccoon being rescued, as they have in the past when saving similarly unlucky night-bois from jars.

    The clip is as cute as it is triumphant, with a rescue worker easily sliding the jar off of the animal's head after bringing her down from a tree. The message behind it, however, is a lot more serious than "LOL look at that this silly raccoon."

    "We have received a few calls about animals with jars or plastic lids on their heads – especially skunks and raccoons," wrote the wildlife centre in the caption of its Facebook post.

    "The best way to prevent this is to wash your recycling before putting it in the bin and/or ensure that the bin is completely closed and secure from animals."

    Indeed, had this raccoon not been spotted by a member of the public, she very well could have died from dehydration or starvation.

    TWC — a world leader in the field of wildlife rehabilitation — noted on Facebook that the animal was thin when they found her. She also had a small wound on her neck, so she was brought to the centre, treated, fed, and then released back into the wild.

    This raccoon's lesson for us is two-fold: Don't stick your head in jars and please, for the sake of animals everywhere, clean and seal containers before you toss them in the trash or blue bin.

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    Cloud Gardens is an award-winning garden conservatory in the downtown core, yet it's often missed amidst the hustle and bustle of Yonge Street.

    Overshadowed by nearby tourist hubs like the Eaton Centre, Elgin Theatre or Massey Hall — all just a five-minute walk away — this unique greenhouse and park is the meeting place between nature and city life, and unlike its commercial neighbours, is free to visit. 

    cloud gardens torontoDesigned in partnership with Baird Sampson Neuert Architects (who won a Governor General's Architecture award for their design), MBTW Group, and artists Margaret Priest and Tony Sherman, Cloud Gardens' significance is deceptively complex. 

    Aside from its obvious features, Cloud Gardens is the only park in the Financial District, siting on land which, in the 80s, was meant for the 57-storey Bay Adelaide Centre. Renovated in 2014 and re-opened in 2015, it's much younger than Allan Gardens or Centennial Parkcloud gardens torontoNow, it acts as a hub for communities that otherwise remain out of sight. Most notable is the club of bike couriers who have repurposed the southwest corner of the park as an 'office' of sorts: an historical and mysterious monopolization of territory that goes back decades. 

    cloud gardens torontoChances are that you'll hear the park before you see it. In the summer, the sound of its five-storey waterfall thunders over the traffic on Richmond Street to the north and Temperance Street to the south. 

    Pouring 1,800 gallons of water a minute, the waterfall runs from the top of the building down to a lower waterfall, before flowing south along a channel through the park, where local suits can often be seen lounging on the grass. 

    cloud gardens torontoThe garden's most visible accent is The Monument to Construction Workers, a giant wall of colourful one-metre square panels designed by Margaret Priest. 

    Built by members of The Building Trades Union, the wall uses panels made of 25 different materials like concrete, stainless steel, and zinc, set in a red oxide steel grid. Completed in 1994, it acts as a quilt-like ode to the city's tradespeople.

    cloud gardens torontoYou can view the monument up close when walking up the garden's ramps, which bring you toward the belvedere (the upper level grate platform) along walls of limestone rock from a quarry near Guelph. When you get up to the belvedere you'll get a broader view of the park.

    cloud gardens torontoFrom this level you can enter the Cloud Gardens' main feature: a small heated conservatory filled with lush and tropical plants. You can also enter through the green house's main floor.  

    Open from 10 a.m. to 2:30 pm. on weekdays (but closed on weekends), the conservatory is filled with palm trees, ferns, and vertical gardens. There's ramps that lead around the greenhouse, and unlike other conservatories, doesn't have much in terms of seating. 

    cloud gardens torontoThough summertime is definitely the best time to visit the park outside of Cloud Gardens (it becomes a bit of a desolate dead spot in wintertime), the humid greenhouse is definitely worth a visit any time of the year. 

    cloud gardens toronto

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    Lone Star Texas Grill, purveyor of excellent nachos and Corona-topped frozen margaritas, is saying adios to downtown Toronto as of closing time tonight.

    The restaurant confirmed by phone on Thursday that today, August 2, is its last day of operations on King West.

    Unlike in 2015, when Lone Star relocated from Front and Simcoe to its current location, the company doesn't plan on opening another downtown location any time soon.

    No word yet on what will become of the deep-set space at 212 King Street West, but it hasn't exactly fared well as a restaurant in recent years. It may very well be turning into another cursed Toronto business location.

    It may be in one of Toronto's most touristy areas, but neither Lone Star nor the restaurant it replaced — Big Daddy's Bourbon Street Bistro & Oyster Bar — could attract enough people into the basement.

    Fortunately for fans of the Oakville-based chain, Lone Star isn't disappearing completely. You can still find locations in Etobicoke, Pickering, Richmond Hill and Brampton, among other nearby suburbs, where Texas-sized everything seems to fare quite well.

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    TGIF, Toronto. It's finally the long weekend and events today have lots in store. Taylor Swift and LeBron James are in town while the Food Truck Festival and Scarborough Ribfest both return for another year. Beer tasting, free music and a Caribana party are all on as well.

    Events you might want to check out:

    Taylor Swift (August 3 @ Rogers Centre)
    Slap on the red lipstick and go all out for the arrival of T-Swift and her new attitude, as part of her Reputation tour with Camila Cabello and Charli XCX.
    Jerk (August 3 @ Ontario Place)
    It's Caribana in the city and a big party is taking over Ontario Place, featuring up-and-coming DJ Bambii and free jerk chicken while it lasts.
    12 Beers Of Summer (August 3 @ Gladstone Hotel)
    A tour through flavour city is going down at this beer tasting party with 12 local brews up for the trying and a DJ spinning all night long.
    Daylight with Lebron James (August 3 @ Beach Paris)
    NBA superstar LeBron James is in Toronto for Caribana and taking the day to have some fun at this all-day outdoor party.
    Indie Fridays (August 3 @ Yonge–Dundas Square)
    Another round of up-and-coming indie musicians take the stage with free performances by Fujahtive, RaLion and Sattalites.
    Scarborough Ribfest (August 3-6 @ Thomson Memorial Park)
    One of the biggest ribfests of the year takes over, with award-winning ribbers, live music, rides, entrainment and an all-day beer garden.
    Food Truck Festival (August 3-6 @ Woodbine Park)
    Scattered around the city no more, food trucks from all over will fill Woodbine Park with all kinds of tastes, smells, brews and activities.
    Femme Fatale (August 3-12 @ Hashtag Gallery)
    Artist Tina Tran uses pastel illustrations to explore the notion that women can retain their femininity and still be forces to be reckoned with.
    McQueen (August 3-16 @ Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema)
    This documentary looks to explore the life of the troubled designer behind some of fashion's more memorable and influential works.
    Jazz Night at e11even (August 3 - December 28 @ e11even)
    Jazzy grooves are on the menu every Friday night at this downtown bar, with a live band setting the mood all evening long.

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    A lot of places advertise lake views, but this place has the Cadillac of views. This Beaches home is actually on the beach! 

    The exterior reminds me of those beach homes you see in the Hamptons with the white panelling, but the interior is very Canadiana— albeit a bit dated.

    440 lake front torontoThe house is split over four levels, so there’s a ton of living space.

    440 lake front torontoThe main floor is open-concept and is very bright, thanks to the many windows.

    440 lake front torontoThe home boasts four bedrooms, four bathrooms, and two living rooms.

    440 lake front torontoThe bedrooms are massive, but surprisingly the master bedroom doesn’t have an en suite bathroom.

    440 lake front torontoThe house also lacks air conditioning but maybe the breeze from the lake is cooling enough?

    440 lake front torontoMy favourite room inside this gigantic home is the library with built-in bookshelves and a walkout to the garden. The combination makes the space airy and cozy at the same time.

    440 lake front torontoThe big draw for this place is obviously the backyard, which is simply gorgeous. Lake views aside, the tiered gardens and patios are stunning.

    440 lake front torontoThe Essentials
    • Address: 440 Lake Front
    • Type: House
    • Bedrooms: 4 +1
    • Bathrooms: 4
    • Size: 60 x 152 feet
    • Realtor: Wright Sisters Group
    • Hit the market at: $5,500,000
    • Sold for: $5,400,000
    440 lake front torontoWhy it sold for what it did?

    Could be a number of reasons, such as the direct beach access, the sweeping lake views, the beautiful gardens, or maybe it was the four-storey beach house. It was probably all of this and the fact that’s it’s only one of 14 houses that have beachfront property.

    440 lake front toronto Was it worth it?

    Property-wise yes. But the interior is quite dated and the place doesn’t even have air conditioning. So, even after spending more than $5 million, you’re still going to have to dump more money into it to bring it into the 21st century.

    440 lake front toronto

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    No matter your taste, there's probably something for you at any of these Toronto food events this week. It's the inaugural Taste of the Middle East, while the annual Scarborough Ribfest kicks off and the scent of jerk chicken wafts over Centennial Park.

    Events you might want to check out:

    12 Beers Of Summer (August 3 @ Gladstone Hotel)
    Get a taste of a dozen different flavours at this beer tasting party with 12 local brews up for the trying and a DJ spinning all evening long.
    Scarborough Ribfest (August 3-6 @ Thomson Memorial Park)
    One of the biggest ribfests of the year takes over, with award-winning ribbers, live music, rides, entrainment and an all-day beer garden.
    Food Truck Festival (August 3-6 @ Woodbine Park)
    Scattered around the city no more, food trucks from all over will fill Woodbine Park with all kinds of tastes, smells, brews and activities.
    Taste of the Middle East (August 4 @ Dundas Square)
    The inaugural Middle Eastern food fest kicks off with favourites like Turkish coffee, Arak and grilled halloumi, plus art, music and dancing.
    Long Weekend Patio Party (August 4 @ Assembly Chef's Hall)
    Long weekends are for patio parties and there's one going down at Assembly with free admission, drink deals and a DJ spinning the hits.
    Flavours of the Philippines (August 4-5 @ Albert Campbell Square)
    Lechon, halo halo, and everything in between is going down at this Filipino-Canadian food festival all weekend long.
    Taste of India (August 5 @ Nathan Phillips Square)
    Over 100 different Indian foods are up for the tasting at this huge festival, with samples, street performers, activities and a bazaar.
    JerkFest (August 9-12 @ Centennial Park)
    JerkFest is back and grilling up mountains of grilled chicken and other Caribbean favourites alongside games, music and dancing.
    Feast of St. Lawrence (August 10-11 @ St Lawrence Market)
    St. Lawrence Market is getting into the summer spirit with a two-day festival, including a dinner under the stars and street party.
    Taste of Manila (August 18-19 @ Bathurst and Wilson)
    The previously cancelled Filipino festival is back on with two days of street vendors, entertainment and a giant parade.
    Caskapalooza (August 29 @ Craft Beer Market Toronto)
    Over twenty casks will be brimming with suds at this big brew party. Entry is only $10 and all proceeds are in support of Dixon Hall Music School.
    CNE Asian Market (August 30 - September 3 @ Princes' Boulevard)
    New this year is a big traditional market in the style of those found in China, with nighttime activities, food, entertainment and more.

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    The best cafes in Toronto on the west side are shining stars of the caffeine scene. There's some stiff competition out there, what with the abundance of indie coffee shops popping up everywhere. Many of these top spots have managed to expand and improve their offerings to stand out, and coffee-lovers are duly rewarded with some excellent joe.

    Here are the best cafes in Toronto west of Yonge Street.

    3 - Dineen Coffee

    With three Toronto locations including the original at Yonge and Temperance, this posh-looking cafe's design and feel harkens back to the classic Viennese coffee houses of the 19th century, setting it apart from the predominantly industrial-chic indie cafes found around the city. Its custom blend of beans and delectable baked goods seal the deal for Financial District caffeine-seekers.
    11 - Jimmy's 100

    Similar to Sam James, Jimmy's is a beloved Toronto coffee brand that started up in 2009 and has since expanded to have a total of seven locations, all west of Yonge. These comfy, home-like cafes use beans from Classic Gourmet for their drip and espresso. Funnily enough, its founder is not a Jimmy (his name's Phil Morrison). These spots are a freelancer's haven, all with outlets and free Wi-Fi.
    10 - Hale Coffee

    Found in the artsy Clock Factory building in the Junction Triangle, this roastery and cafe supplies other coffee shops and restaurants around the city with its beans and also provides barista training. Caffeine fiends shouldn’t miss the chance to visit this funky space to try the direct-trade beans right from the source where they’re roasted.
    4 - Boxcar Social (Temperance)

    With four locations (the original in Summerhill, one in the Financial District, another at Harbourfront plus an eastern one in Riverside), Boxcar has created beautiful spaces in the city with a high-quality brand of cafe and bar. Its coffee program aims to highlight third-wave roasters from outside of Toronto, and a daytime slow bar offers patrons the chance to indulge in tasting flights and meticulously made pour-overs.
    5 - Sam James (Spadina)

    What started off as one small-but-charming coffee shop on Harbord Street in 2009 has evolved into a name that's become synonymous with quality in Toronto. Sam James now owns a total of five tiny-yet-impressive locations (all west of Yonge), which all use his own locally roasted Cut Coffee.
    6 - Early Bird (Brookfield Place)

    Early Bird is serious about its coffee, with an elaborate brew-bar setup in addition to its espresso-based offerings. It's Queen and Bathurst area location plus one in the Financial District serve up expertly made drinks along with photogenic breakfasts and tempting baked goods.
    7 - Propeller Coffee

    This artisan micro-roastery, cafe and event space near Bloor & Lansdowne is a hidden gem. Its award-winning beans are used to make a memorable espresso-based drinks with beautiful crema. (One of its co-founders also opened Crema Coffee Co. in the Junction years ago.)
    8 - Quantum Coffee

    Located at King and Spadina, this restored heritage building (which was once Global Village Backpackers) is a bright and airy place to pick up a pour-over made by the first-ever automated Pour Steady machine in Canada. Its Americanos, cappuccinos and other espresso-based drinks aren’t too shabby, either.
    9 - Hot Black Coffee

    Complete with a high-tech reverse osmosis water system, under-counter Mod Bar and multi grinders, this tech-savvy cafe on Queen West (at St. Patrick) brings flavour to every beverage it serves, making it a local favourite.

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    Oh. Snap. Canada's most-popular frequent flyer (sorry — "travel loyalty") program just announced that it will be partnering with one of its ex-partner's rivals — just one day after turning down said ex-partner's offer to work things out.

    Aeroplan is moving from Air Canada to Porter Airlines, bringing with it some five million active members, not all of whom are thrilled by the news.

    Aimia Inc., the Montreal-based company that manages Aeroplan, announced in a press release on Friday that it would be designating Porter as the "preferred Canadian airline to issue Aeroplan Miles," as soon as its contract with Air Canada ends in July of 2020.

    "The arrangement includes an extensive cooperative marketing program targeting existing Aeroplan members, with an emphasis on members who travel on Porter routes," the release reads.

    "Porter passengers will then be able to earn and redeem Aeroplan Miles on all Porter flights, plus across the growing Aeroplan collection of more than 75 travel and retail partners," it continues. "This includes international airlines covering much of the globe."

    Aeroplan members will be able to pay for Porter flights with their miles, once the agreement comes into effect, and points from the Toronto-based airport's existing VIPorter loyalty program will automatically be converted into Aeroplan miles.

    The move should come as welcome among people who frequently travel to cities served by Porter, but those who are keen on collecting long-haul miles are less than thrilled.

    Ditto for Canada's west coast.

    Had this happened a few months earlier, Air Canada would have seemed to come out of the relationship ahead.

    The massive international airline (Canada's largest) famously dumped Aeroplan last year to start its own in-house loyalty rewards program (though customers will still be able earn and redeem Aeroplan Miles from Air Canada until 2020.)

    Then, just last week, Air Canada announced that it wanted to buy Aeroplan back in a deal worth approximately $2.25 billion.

    Aimia wanted more money than Air Canada and its financial partners, TD, CIBC and Visa, were willing to offer, according to the Canadian Press.

    Negotiations broke down before the takeover deadline at midnight on Thursday and, one day later, Aeroplan announced that it was moving to Porter — a much smaller, but far better-rated airline.

    "Today's announcement with Porter is consistent with our strategy to further differentiate and strengthen our air offering come July 2020," said Aimia CEO Jeremy Rabe in today's release.

    "By adding Porter, Canada's top-rated airline, as a preferred airline partner as of July 2020, we will deliver our members industry-leading value on many popular routes."

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    The average price of a GTA home just reached its highest level since May of 2017, according to the Toronto Real Estate Board, suggesting that analysts were right all along about a "housing market rebound" in the latter half of 2018.

    The TREB announced in its monthly market figures report Friday that home prices and sales were both up again, year over year, in July of 2018, with 6,961 homes sold.

    That's up a whopping 18.6 per cent compared to last year at the same time — though numbers were atypically low during the second half of last year (and beyond). This may be thanks to cooling measures like Ontario's foreign buyers tax and the federal government's mortgage stress-test.

    Home buyers paid an average of $782,129 across the GTA last month (or $824,336 in the City of Toronto), which marks an increase of 4.8 per cent.

    Calling the growth numbers "strong," the TREB's new president Garry Bhaura said in today's press release that the last two months have been encouraging, though supply still remains an issue.

    "We have certainly experienced an increase in demand for ownership housing so far this summer," said Market Analysis director Jason Mercer. "Home buyers in the GTA recognize that ownership housing is a quality long-term investment."

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