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    Summer is patio season in Toronto and what better way to celebrate than on one of the many new patios in the city. From new after-work hangouts to stunning rooftop options there's lots to choose from.


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    The first Canadian outpost of Japan's answer to IKEA is about to quadruple the size of its flagship store at Yonge and Dundas — and honestly, the renderings look pretty cool.

    MUJI, which opened at 20 Dundas Street in 2014, confirmed this week that its new Toronto store will be the largest MUJI location ever constructed outside of Asia.

    The minimalist retailer's address won't change, but the space is set to grow from 4,373 to nearly 20,000 square feet. When it opens this fall, the new MUJI will have two floors and loads more room to shop spread across what used to be offices.

    Muji toronto location

    The humble yet popular MUJI store across from Toronto's Eaton Centre is about to grow in a major way. Image via Muji Canada.

    Muji has been expanding rapidly in both Toronto and Vancouver over the past few years, and business is reportedly "stellar" across the board.

    Since opening its flagship across from the Eaton Centre, MUJI has launched progressively larger stores in Mississauga, North York, Markham and Scarborough. Bloomberg reported in 2016 that the company plans to be operating up to 20 stores across the country by 2020.

    muji cafe meal

    MUJI has gorgeous in-store restaurants with massive menus in Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, China and Singapore. Image via Cafe & Meal Singapore. 

    MUJI says that guests can expect "many new services, products and events," which hints at the fact that maybe, just maybe, downtown Toronto will get an in-store Café & Meal restaurant like some of the chain's locations in Asia.

    The menus seem to change slightly at MUJI restaurants from country to country, but the dining spaces are consistently gorgeous and the overall concept remains the same.

    In Singapore, diners can choose from a la carte hot deli dishes like "Yellowtail Buri Fish Stew" and "65°C Beef Patty and Braised Daikon with Burdock Sauce," or get a combo tray with rice, bread, soup and a mixture of hot and cold deli items.

    Same goes for Hong Kong, but with unique mains like "Sakura Shrimp Roasted Chicken" and "Bean Curd Salad with Black Sesame Dressing." Don't even get me started on the dessert offerings.

    Even if we don't get a restaurant, Toronto will likely be pleased with the expanded offering of products made possible by a larger space

    The company promises "a unique environment where customers can find and experience products and services for a pleasant, comfortable lifestyle" in its expanded Toronto location.

    Photos of the store's 46,300-square-foot store in Osaka (the largest of its kind) suggest that this translates to all the high-quality minimalist basics you can handle — plus all of the bells and whistles we've already seen at MUJI stores in Toronto, like in-store custom embroidery stations and shopping consultants on site.


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    In today's edition of maddening news that surprises no one, it seems scalpers have now targeted tickets to the benefit show for the Danforth shooting

    The concert, set for August 11 during Taste of the Danforth, is intended to raise funds for the Danforth Strong fund, which provides support for the victims and their families. 

    billy talent danforth tickets

    An eBay listing shows extremely-marked-up prices for resale tickets to the Danforth Strong benefit show. 

    The tickets sold out on Ticketmaster almost instantly once they went live.

    But now, websites like StubHub, eBay, kijiji, and more are being filled with listings for marked-up tickets to the charity show, which is being played by Billy Talent, PUP, and City and Colour. 

    The original ticket price of $50 has been doubled, tripled, and more by the resellers. Some listings on eBay have reached close to $900 before noon. 

    Maybe some of the resellers will donate the profits to the Danforth Strong fund, but we doubt it.

    Oh, and if you want, you can do that right here.


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    His Majesty King Drake of Canada has finally given the world something to watch while listening to 'In My Feelings' other than Instagram videos of random teens putting their lives in danger.

    The internationally-beloved music artist dropped an official music video for the latest single off his new double album, Scorpion, late Thursday night, and it's a doozy.

    Like many of Drake's recent videos, it's a long one— eight minutes long — which means there's more to watch than what corresponds with the song. It's also packed with celebrity cameos, which we've come to expect from Champagne Papi.

    Now, if you're a true fan of Aubrey Graham's, I don't need to tell you that our boy can act (#Degrassi4ever) or that he's funny as hell — but to see him go back and forth with the iconic Phylicia Rashad is a true thing of beauty.

    Rashad, aka Clair Huxtable, plays the mother of Kiki — Drake's love interest. Kiki is played by TV personality and author La La Anthony.

    Drake himself plays Kiki's thirsty suitor in a Romeo & Juliet-type situation where he throws rocks at the window and tries to act smooth.

    Just as he tells Kiki he'll do anything she wants to prove his love, Kiki's mother — Rashad — steps out onto another balcony.

    "I want you to get your Jordans off my walkway, that's what I want!" she says to Drake. "This is not a Taye Diggs movie, sir. You a grown man! Carry your ass on home now!"

    It only gets better from there. Watch it yourself for a good laugh when Drake, pretending to be blind in one eye, tells Rashad how great she looks.

    Phylicia Rashad not only stole the show with her performance, she blew minds across the world by appearing in the video at all.

    The song part, while less funny, is also very good. The entire thing takes place in New Orleans, where Drake wears a golden grill and is accompanied by many beautiful dancing women (hey, it's still a rap video.)

    Shiggy, the Instagram star who started that viral In My Feelings dance challenge, is also featured prominently in the short film, as are dozens of celebrities and fans who've participated in the challenge on social media.

    Video footage of everyone from DJ Khaled to Will Smith doing the shiggy run plays under the end credits of the Karena Evans-directed video.

    A clip that shows Korean pop star J-Hope doing the dance has sparked its own spinoff frenzy, as K-Pop fans begin to freak out over the fact that one of their idols is in a Drake video.

    Solid stuff, all around, but especially the part at the end where the viral In My Feelings challenge clips of a cow, dog and camel are juxtaposed next to each other.


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    This Tuesday, you can get a cup of coffee from one of several fantastic independent cafes in Toronto—all without paying a single cent.

    The best part? You get to do something kind for someone else afterwards.

    Some mysterious benefactor has pre-purchased 1,100 free cups of coffee in the hopes of sparking a "positive pay-it-forward event" on Tuesday, August 7, according to the Toronto-based PR firm Pointman. 

    "It's already been a rough summer for Toronto in 2018," reads a press release detailing the event. "Between elevated threat levels, shootings and other bad-news stories, we're all looking for some good news."

    So, in the spirit of celebrating all things good, the anonymous person behind this campaign has partnered with eleven independent Toronto coffee shops to create what Pointman calls #BuyTOaCoffeeDay.

    Each participating business will start with 100 cups of coffee to give away on a first-come, first served basis.

    The participating coffee shops include:

    • 9 Bars Coffee at 46 St Clair Ave East
    • Mos Mos Coffee at 20 Bay St
    • Fahrenheit Coffee at 120 Lombard Street
    • Dineen Coffee at 140 Yonge Street
    • Dark Horse Espresso at 630 Queen Street East
    • Strange Love Coffee at 101 Spadina Avenue
    • Lit Espresso Bar at 1517 Bayview Avenue
    • UB Social Café at 3015 Dundas Street West
    • Hounslow’s House at 70A Hounslow Heath Road
    • The Big Guy’s Little Coffee Shop at 2861 Lake Shore Blvd. West
    • Black Gold Café at 2101 Brimley Road

    "We're sponsoring #BuyTOaCoffeeDay because we firmly believe in Toronto and the kindness of strangers," said the anonymous donor in the release.

    "We’ve collaborated with some of the best independent coffee shops across Toronto to kick-start acts of goodwill by buying patrons their morning brew. It will be exciting to see how the acts of kindness ripple throughout Toronto after that."


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    The battle between the people behind Vegandale and the residents of Parkdale seems like it's only beginning.

    Now with six vegan businesses in the neighbourhood and more to come, The 5700 Inc. doesn't see what all the fuss is about and plans to give back by maybe opening a vegan food bank.

    Some residents aren't so sure, feeling the Vegandale branding is being shoved down their throats, rejecting the vegan brewery's slogan "morality on tap"  and organizing a community meeting in an effort to cancel this weekend's vegan block party.

    In the latest episode of the Only in Toronto podcast we speak to the people behind Vegandale, local residents and a 65 year old Parkdale business that's probably seen it all.

    Background information on this episode:

    Articles referenced in this episode include:

    Places mention in this podcast:

    Ways to subscribe to the Only in Toronto podcast.

    You can also listen to the Only in Toronto podcast on Alexa. Just ask Alexa to play the podcast Only in Toronto.


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    Girls' night out in Toronto is the time when you and the crew can catch up and wind down. Any time spent with friends is a guaranteed good time, but the top spots for your gathering should have ample seating for large parties, some shareable eats, and definitely enough drinks on hand. 

    Here are my picks for the top places for a girls' night out in Toronto.

    Big Trouble

    If you're all in the mood for a party, head to this Chinatown bar for good ambiance and even better drink specials. Unlike most bars, Happy Hour here lasts all the way until 8 p.m., meaning there's more than enough time after work to get nicely buzzed on a budget. 

    El Convento Rico

    However you identify, you're welcome to enjoy an epic latenight drag show at this historically LGBTQ-friendly venue without encroaching on anyone's safe space. Head into this basement club in Little Italy for diverse crowds and cheap drinks. 

    Lula Lounge

    What better way to shake off some stress than a night of dancing. This salsa staple in Little Portugal has musical acts every day of the week, but their Havana Club Fridays and Salsa Saturdays are where it's at, complete with pre-party dance lessons and ladies-free-discount before 10 p.m. 

    Echo Karaoke

    Let's be real, there's nothing more perfect than some 'yoki for a group of four or more. This Koreatown favourite has private rooms, cheap drink specials and a massive catalogue of songs to choose from including a selection of 6ix God tunes for the Drake lovers. 

    Cold Tea

    If you haven't had a chance to visit this Kensington Market bar, now might be the time. There's plenty of bar stools here for big groups (try and get there early to snag a good spot) and a menu of fun shareable food to enjoy in a neon-lit space that's pretty bumpin'. 

    Her Majesty’s Pleasure

    It might be clichéd but sometimes there's really nothing more relaxing than an evening of primping with the girls. It doesn't get more fancy than this King West spa, which offers party packages including manis, pedis, and a glasses of bubbly for groups of five or more. 

    Rec Room

    This massive arcade across from the Rogers Centre is the closest thing you'll get to a girls' trip to Vegas, just instead of slot machines you'll have giant Pac-Man machines instead. The fact you can have some cocktails while playing games makes this place a grown-up wonderland. 

    SoSo Food Club

    For a vibe that's casual but still hip, this spot on Dundas West has it all. You can start of with some tasty Chinese dishes for dinner, polish off a bottle of sparkling wine and stick around for the party after. There's also a signature couch here for the ultimate neon-lit group photo. 

    Rooftop at Broadview Hotel

    Bring the whole crew if you want: the city vistas from this 7th floor rooftop can be viewed from all around this sprawling restaurant. With tons of seating and a sleek ambiance, it'll be easy to pass hours here with the besties. 

    Rock 'n' Horse

    Still one of the most popular places for bachelorettes and girl gatherings, this Entertainment District saloon comes equipped with all the gaudy trappings of a Hollywood-approved night on the town, from the cowboy-themed menus to the quintessential mechanical bull. 


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    Caribana in Toronto is a big celebration of Caribbean culture, and events today will see the biggest display of them all with the Grand Parade. Elsewhere, Veld kicks off, Shaq is spinning the good stuff and there's a performance by The National.

    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.
    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.
    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.
    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.
    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.
    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.
    Fade Awaays (August 4 @ Gladstone Hotel)
    Garage rock is alive inside the hearts of Toronto's own Fade Away, set to perform alongside some special guests.
    Guilty Pleasures Dance Party (August 4 @ Sneaky Dee's)
    Sisqó, Milli Vanilli, Vitamin C, Hilary Duff and all the rest get their time in the spotlight at this big dance party, if only for one more night.
    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.

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    If you see a lineup of people outside a food stand with the yellow umbrella on University Avenue, don't get it twisted — they're not queuing up for hot dogs. 

    A new cart called Nobs' is grilling up gourmet sous-vide sandwiches (probably the fanciest thing to ever be served from a hot dog stand) and it's bringing all the lunchtime crowds to 505 University Ave., right by Edward Street. 

    Finishing torches!....oops we mean finishing touches*😎💯🔥

    A post shared by Nobs’ (@nobsofficial) on

    Nobs' serves up meat that's undergone the sous-vide process — wherein meat is vacuum-sealed and slow-cooked in water — for over 24 hours beforehand and then grilled to order. 

    A post shared by Nobs’ (@nobsofficial) on

    The results are sandwiches with delectable meats like chimichuri steaks, jerk chicken and honey-glazed jerk pork, along with tasty toppings like slaw.

    You can also get their meat in a salad of garden greens with homemade raspberry dressing and other sauces.

    Wait times are definitely longer here than other food cart visits so plan your lunch hour accordingly; they close up shop for dinner. 

    A post shared by Nobs’ (@nobsofficial) on

    Nobs' also has a chalkboard sign clearly stating "No Hot Dogs" on the side, in case anyone approaches the cart looking for some regular degular street meat.


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    The best playgrounds in Toronto offer more than just your standard slides and swings. These parks engage and encourage kids of all ages and abilities to explore and test their physical prowess. Some are known for their picturesque park setting, others for their creative and unusual designs.

    Here are the best playgrounds in Toronto.

    Dufferin Grove

    Shady Dufferin Grove boasts a dreamy playground that seamlessly blends wooden play structures into the natural habitat, with onsite Cob Courtyard doling out healthy snacks. A massive sandpit with tools for digging gives kids a tactile experience.

    best playgrounds toronto

    Jamie Bell Adventure Playground- High Park

    Arguably the most popular playground in Toronto and for good reason too. Rebuilt after a fire, it rose again thanks to community do-gooders, blends an immersive environment of climbing structures into a towering mini town.

    Kew Gardens

    Historic buildings dot this park by the lake in the Beaches. A castle-esque playground is surrounded by a Medieval village, giving creative kids all the ammunition they need for hours of play. A refreshing wading pool adds a nautical aspect.

    Neshama Playground

    A short jaunt from Davisville Subway, this park scores serious points for being not only accessible but inclusive as well. Kids of any size and ability will appreciate the sensory toys and a pond-themed splash pad anchoring the colourful playground.

    Withrow Park

    Riverdale is home to the incredible eight hectare Withrow Park, with two playgrounds, a wading pool, hexagonal climbing blocks, spinning rides, and tons of various swings of all sizes. Beach babes will dig the sandboxes, so BYOB (bring your own bucket).

    best playgrounds toronto

    Cherry Beach Sports Fields

    While the adjacent soccer and lacrosse pitches are the main focus of this sports park, the real attraction here is the unexpected addition of a wood-lined pirate ship. Here, maidens and mateys alike gather portside to plan their next nautical adventure.

    Regent Park Central Park Playground

    This playground adjacent to the aquatics facility comes with loads of modern play structures and cheerful bouncy obstacles to tempt tots into burning off a little extra steam.

    David Crombie Park

    Front and Jarvis is home to the tidy David Crombie Park, and while it may be dwarfed by the larger parks, this centrally located recreational space still boasts two playgrounds, fun slides and climbing structures, sprinklers and the most artistic basketball courts in the city for your junior ballers.

    Marie Curtis

    Located at the western edge of Etobicoke, visitors to this lakeside park are greeted by a giant climbing spider web, but the real draw is the massive splash pad that gets a dose of colour courtesy of the umbrellas and Muskoka chairs that surround it.

    best playgrounds toronto

    Corktown Common

    At the foot of the Don River you'll find Corktown Common Park. Weave your way to the picturesque playground that's built right into the hill, with a slide, water pump, swings and play structures rising up to give kids a dramatic view of the city. There's also a picnic area, washrooms and splashpad.

    Jean Sibelius Park

    Dupont and Bathurst is home to this tiny park, which crams two separate playgrounds into its small space. A flying saucer swing comfortably seats two and the small play house in the toddler area gives wee ones a chance to recharge before the next game of tag.

    Vermont Square

    This park near Dupont and Bathurst is a perfect blend of modern design and urban landscape. Flanked by a giant wooden boat, kids love walking the plank (it's a twisty slide), or making mud pies in the natural play area, home to a sandbox with a tap.

    Ramsden Park

    Located just a short walk from Rosedale subway station, you'll find Ramsden Park. The playground here has been full renovated with a slide, climbing structure and water feature. There are also tennis courts and outdoor rinks nearby.

    Grange Park

    This fantastic downtown playground is one of Toronto's newest. Located right behind the AGO, this sprawling space features numerous climbing structures and slides, with plenty of green space surrounding it to run free.  


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    A one-of-a-kind bra designed by Ryerson grads is shaking up the undergarment industry with a product that adapts to women's changing bodies.  

    Promising to do away with annoying back pain, shoulder marks and digging underwire, House of Anesi just launched its Kickstarter to fund the first production run of its purportedly ultra comfy bras.

    A post shared by House of Anesi (@houseofanesi) on

    Using high-tech materials like 3D metal-free Flexi wire, dual-compression fabric and stretchy cooling gel straps, the Anesi Bra can change up to two cup sizes and two band sizes in order to accommodate a woman's ever-changing boobs. 

    There's plenty of reasons why a woman's breast size might fluctuate — from periods to weight changes to pregnancy — so it's a promising product for anyone (mostly everyone) with more than one size of bra in their closet. 

    Anesi (which means comfort in Greek) touts itself as "the first and only bra company to use elastically differentiated fabric", using German and Tunisian manufacturers to make bras that come in two separate styles and 98 different sizes.

    Aside from the flexible size, the best part of this bra might be its gel straps, which are designed to distribute weight evenly across the shoulders, preventing back pain. 

    A post shared by House of Anesi (@houseofanesi) on

    With a mix of engineering, fashion and wearable tech experience, the co-founders of Anesi — Stephania Stefanakou, Jacob John and Leen Al-Taher — came up with the idea for House of Anesi during Ryerson's 2015 Re-Engineering Fashion Competition. 

    Three years later and things are still looking perky for the body positive brand, though they'll still have to wait another month to meet their goal of $65,000 before bras can go into production. 


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    Tourist trap restaurants in Toronto attract diners with their prime locations or proximity to hotels and attractions, but don't be fooled: these restaurants aren't meant for locals and mostly reel in unsuspecting tourists with gimmicks or pretty interiors.

    Here's a roundup of some of the biggest tourist trap restaurants in Toronto.

    360 Restaurant

    The restaurant at the top of the CN Tower doesn't actually cook all of its food on site but instead preps a lot of it in their base kitchen on ground level. The food is decent but the stunning rotating views come at a price.

    The Pint

    Just a short walk away from the CN Tower on Front St., this sprawling sports pub brings in the masses from nearby Rogers Centre for beer, chicken wings and heaping plates of nachos.

    Old Spaghetti Factory

    This restaurant on the Esplanade is actually an Old Blacksmith Shop. Despite being filled with out of towners, there's some undeniable historical value that comes along with paying a visit. The problem is that the red sauce pasta dishes are basically made for children.

    Bardi's Steakhouse

    Located in a prime tourist location near the Fairmont Royal York in the Financial District, this place has been around for half a century so they must be doing something right. It's a traditional steakhouse where you can expect to fork over $40 for a shrimp cocktail.

    Sultan's Tent

    You've probably noticed the ads around town for this restaurant near the St. Lawrence Market. As they promise, you'll be able to catch a belly dance performance and a four course Moroccan-style dinner.

    Fred's Not Here

    This King West restaurant has been serving up steaks and seafood to ravenous tourists for a quarter of a century. It's situated well to attract the masses that spill from the Lightbox, Rogers Centre and Royal Alexandra.

    Wayne Gretzky's

    Perfectly positioned on Blue Jays Way, this sports bar swallows up the hoards of jersey-clad folk streaming out of the Rogers Centre. It's one of the more obvious tourist destinations on the list, but isn't totally a deal breaker if you want to watch the game or relax on the rooftop patio.

    Wahlburgers

    Right across the street from Wayne Gretzky's, this global chain from the Wahlberg brothers that also has a branch at Pearson Airport, comes with its own gift shop where you can stock up on Wahlburgers branded tees and hats.

    Fran's

    With multiple locations including one near the Eaton Centre right across from Massey Hall, this local diner chain definitely has its local fans but trades more off its well known brand to lure in customers who are missing out on some of the city's better diners.

    Cafe Boulud

    Trading off the name of its famous chef, this French brasserie located inside the Four Seasons Hotel draws well heeled locals and tourists alike for $24 avocado toast and ribeye steak that will set you back $81.


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    Toronto has some excellent hiking options, but those willing to drive about an hour out of the city are treated to some of the most spectacular trails in the country. From sweeping vistas to hidden waterfalls, these hikes offer memorable scenery and significant fitness challenges.

    Here's a round-up of some of the most epic hiking trails near Toronto.

    Rattlesnake Point

    The trails at Rattlesnake point near Milton line the top of the Niagara Escarpment and offer breathtaking views of the country below all the way down to Lake Ontario. There's over 12km to explore, the most challenging of which is a 7.2km hike to Crawford Lake Conservation Area.

    Dundas Peak

    The trails around Dundas Peak afford access to some of Hamilton's most stunning waterfalls. Highlights include Webster and Tews Falls, both of which are some of the highest in the area. Beyond the waterfalls, there are awe-inspiring views of the gorge below.

    Bruce Trail

    This massive trail system stretches over 800km along the Niagara Escarpment with its closest access point to Toronto located just outside of Milton near the Kelso Conservation Area (itself a good place to hike). The scenery here is sublime, ranging from lush forest to rocky gorges and sweeping lake vistas.

    Ganaraska Trail

    This is another epic trail that clocks in at roughly 400km from end to end. Starting in Port Hope and connecting with the Bruce Trail near Glen Huron, only expert hikers should try to brave the more remote sections of this trail. Easier hikes can be done at the Ganaraska Forest Centre.

    Elora Gorge

    Snaking around the Elora Gorge Conservation area, this 10km trail encounters waterfalls, sweeping views of the gorge, and ample opportunities to explore the Grand River. This is a great place to spend an entire day, pausing to hang around by the river's shore to eat lunch and cool down with a swim.


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    Outlet malls near Toronto might be a bit of a mission to get to but they are well worth the trek once you see the deals. These are the destinations where you'll find big name brands at rock bottom prices.

    Here's a round-up of outlet malls in and around Toronto.

    Vaughan Mills

    With over 200 stores, Vaughan Mills is the GTA's all-star outlet mall. Everyday shops like Laura, Winners, and Suzy Shier are accompanied by heavy-hitters like Adidas, Nordstrom Rack and Victoria's Secret.

    Heartland Town Centre

    Mississauga's Heartland Town Centre is home to outlet stores of Aldo, Harry Rosen and Gap plus the second ever Jollibee in the GTA.

    Toronto Premium Outlets

    Shoppers looking for a more upscale outlet experience should head to Halton Hills. The Steeles West location draws crowds eager to get their hands on lower-priced goods from big brands like Coach, Tory Burch, Michael Kors and J. Crew.

    Orfus Road Outlets

    The outlets found at Dufferin St. and Orfus Rd. are a must-visit for bargain hunters. It boasts a cheese outlet, Stitches, Nine West, Suzy Shier, Roots 73 and more.

    Dixie Outlet Mall

    Welcome to your average savings haven near the 427 and the QEW. You'll recognize stores like Guess, Levi's, Nygard, Tommy Hilfiger and more.

    Canada One

    At this Niagara Falls outlet you'll discover deals on sportswear from Nike, Adidas and Reebok. It's set up in a strip mall fashion, so come prepared with good walking shoes.

    Outlet Collection at Niagara

    This other Niagara Falls option, the stores here range from outerwear staples including Columbia and The North Face as well as higher-end options like Calvin Klein and Hugo Boss.

    RioCan Colossus Centre

    Located on Weston Road in Woodbridge, the Colossus Centre has a healthy mix of outlet stores. When it comes to deals, there's a Roots 73, Marshalls and Guess.

    Tanger Outlets

    Although it's an hour from downtown Toronto, the outlet mall in Cookstown is worth the drive for their consistent store-wide deals and varied outlet selection. Buyers make the trip for factory stores of Banana Republic, Adidas, Crocs, Guess, Polo Ralph Lauren and Nike.

    Factory Outlet Plaza

    This bargain stop's outlet stores near Sheppard and Allan Road offer crucial savings on key household items, food and kitchenware. Stock up on cooking necessities and urban dishware at Corning. When you're done there head over to Almost Perfect for low-priced frozen foods.


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    With the all-too-common short turns, delays, and random outages, using the TTC on a regular basis is tough enough. Throw in seat hogs, backpack-wearers, and other transit monsters screwing up your ride, and you have the formula for a very unhappy commute. Good thing we now have Seth Rogen to remind us about proper etiquette.

    Here are some of the worst kinds of people you can encounter on the TTC.

    Food eaters

    That chicken biryani probably tastes great — it's the smell that's not so hot once it mingles with odours of a hot streetcar or packed train. Surely that tasty morsel can wait for the sake of the harried people of the TTC.

    Toe clippers

    Clipping your toe nails on public transit is, quite possibly, the very worst rider offence there is. Please. Do. Not. Ever. Do. This.

    Haircutters

    Just when you think you've seen everything on the TTC someone decides to break out some clippers for a summer fade. Just don't do it.

    Backpack wearers

    The TTC is a busy place. Space is at a premium. So please wriggle out of that backpack and give yourself (and your fellow riders) a break.

    Seat hoggers

    A transit seat is the ideal place to put one thing: your butt. No feet, no bags, no slumped torsos. Oh, and if you would be so kind, please shove over to that empty window seat. Okay? Thanks.

    Doorway blockers

    Come inside. We won't bite. Or just get the f*ck out of the way so we can get off the train.

    Presto gate breakers

    A lot has been made about busted Presto infrastructure, but here's one thing that can be blamed on unthinking riders. If you don't slow down a beat when exiting at a Presto gate, you'll almost certainly temporarily bust it. Just slow down for a second!

    Racists

    A ride on the TTC can sometimes be a reminder that not everyone appreciates the diversity in Toronto. Don't be this person.

    Entitled streetcar riders

    The TTC isn't yours to takeover an entire section. Don't be the person who brings all your dogs and claims the back of the streetcar during a busy commute.

    Litterers

    Tim Hortons cups and rolling half-full bottles of mystery liquid belong in the garbage, as does most of the stuff left behind on the TTC. A minor exception is granted for newspapers that are still in readable condition and have a blank crossword section.


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    Taylor Swift took over the Rogers Centre last night for the Toronto installment of her Reputation Tour. It was one of 53 shows on the tour that began in the spring and concludes in Toyko this November.

    Swift, who is touring with Charli XCX and Camila Cabello, didn't disappoint local fans including Shawn Mendes, who sang along to some of her greatest hits.

    A class act and total pro, Swift is reported to have sent free tickets to the show to first responders to the Danforth shooting as well as families of local military personnel.

    Those who missed Friday night's concert will get a second chance to get in on the action as the tour concludes in Toronto tonight.


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    Buck-a-beer is coming to Ontario for Labour Day. 

    In the midst of ongoing protests, the Ontario government's fight against federal carbon taxing, and the slashing of city council members in half, Doug Ford has announced his newest, super high-priority policy via Twitter: bringing back buck-a-beer, just like he promised.

    The premiere took to Twitter yesterday — which happened to be International Beer Day — to announce that the policy will come into effect this Labour Day weekend. 

    To be fair, Ford's spring election campaign essentially revolved around the McGuinty-Hudak era policy of lowering the minimum price of beer to $1 from $1.25, so we can't say we weren't expecting it. 

    But in the wake of Ford ditching the basic income pilot, cuts to school repairs and disability funds, and his controversial sex-ed curriculum change, people are wondering if cheap beer is really what everyone needs right now. 

    According to the CBC, Ford's government has plans to announce more details about the policy this Tuesday, which will apparently only apply to bottles and cans of beer. Not included is the price of draft beer or the cost of bottle deposits.

    Brewers also won't be forced to lower their prices if they don't want to, and according to the CBC's source, the government will be trying to persuade those who don't with an incentivized "buck-a-beer challenge". 

    Ford's government is also prioritizing the expansion of beer and wine sales to grocery, corner and box stores in Ontario — something he promised to do in his Throne Speech last month.  


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    Sundays during the long weekend are especially sweet, and events in Toronto today have a nice lineup of things to keep you busy. Taste of India takes over Nathan Phillips Square and there's a big party in Graffiti Alley. The Arctic Monkeys are here and Sunnyside 20 is back.

    Events you might want to check out:

    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.
    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.
    Sunnyside 20 (August 5 @ Sunnyside Pavillion)
    It's a long weekend beach party at this instalment of Sunnyside 20 with Leon Vynehall, Ali Black, Andy Capp and Korea Town Acid.
    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.
    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.
    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.
    The Grand Budapest Hotel (August 5 @ The Royal Cinema)
    The colourful and imaginative Wes Anderson flick is screening today, featuring a memorable cast of characters embarking on a whimsical adventure.
    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.
    Disco Dance Party (August 5 @ Sneaky Dee's)
    Sundays are for disco and this dance party will get you grooving, hustling and finger pointing to all the classics of the era.
    Modern Minerals Marketplace (August 5 @ Milk Glass Co.)
    This travelling marketplace is making a stop in Toronto featuring artists and creators from around the world selling some interesting goodies.

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    It's a new week and that means new free events in Toronto. Parkway Forest Park gets its own set of outdoor movie screenings and Sail-In Cinema arrives on the waterfront. There's a huge dog festival and a free party in Liberty Village.

    Events you might want to check out:

    Safe As Houses (August 6 @ Sir John A. MacDonald Plaza - Union Station)
    Hailing from Kitchener, this five-piece alternative indie folk group is performing a free set of their jazzy, uplifting and soulful tunes.
    The Homegrown Tour Party (August 9 @ Liberty Village)
    There's nothing like a free summer party, and a big one is happening in Liberty Village this week with tons of local free food, drinks and music.
    Ghostbusters (August 9-30 @ Parkway Forest Park)
    New this year is the arrival of free outdoor movies in parkway Forest Park, beginning with a screening of the 2016 remake of Ghostbusters.
    Sail-In Cinema (August 10-11 @ Sugar Beach)
    Arrive via boat or foot to this two-day outdoor film festival, viewable from the shore or on the water, featuring the world’s first two-sided floating screen.
    Paws in the Park (August 11 @ Woodbine Park)
    While technically a fundraiser, this pooch party offers free admission, free training sessions and yes, free doggy pats.

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    Apartment rentals in Toronto are a lot easier to find when you know where to look. Using a decent website is always a good first step. While Craigslist and Kijiji should be on every renter's list, there are other great options too.

    Here are my picks for the top apartment rental websites in Toronto.

    View It

    Enabling the savvy apartment-seeker to search by rental company, neighbourhood, price, and preferred type of residence makes this website an easy online option. Most listings come with photos, and the site allows you to save queries and receive email notifications.

    PadMapper

    The intuitive map-based design really helps when your apartment search is neighbourhood-driven. Similar to View It, this site allows you to filter by number of rooms, price, and type of accommodation.

    Toronto Rentals

    Filter searches by price range, property type, bedrooms, bathrooms, furnished/unfurnished, and even pet friendliness. From there, you can browse hundreds of units in either a list or map format.

    Bunz Home Zone

    While not necessarily a renter website per se, this Facebook group is an excellent place to find apartments. Request to enter the group and prepare to be bombarded with posts of different units available. Once you spot one you like, DM the poster.

    Rent Seeker

    Not only does the website show you the average rent for different types of units in Toronto it also highlights three property details of each unit as you search. Once you select one you like, browse through photos, floor plans, and other details.

    Condos.ca

    For those looking to a rent a condo, this website can help you narrow down your hunt by allowing you to draw your desired area and searching for a unit within its location. The website is free to browse as long as you sign up.

    Walk Score

    What sets this website apart from the others is that you can find apartments by using a variety of different filters. Search apartments by commute time, walk score, distance from public transit and desired neighbourhoods.

    Casalova

    Search hundreds of Toronto condo listings available through this website. Narrow down your search by selecting your budget, size, and availability date.

    4Rent

    Browse different units around the city through either their list view or map view. You can save units you like and read through their tenant tips which is great for first time renters.

    Realtors

    If you're condo hunting with a realtor, chances are they've guided you to this website. Find your dream home by narrowing down your search with preferences of budget, bedrooms, bathrooms and number of days on the market.


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