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    If you've never heard of taiyaki before, don't worry. You're about to see these traditional Japanese fish-shaped cakes flooding your timeline. 

    Toronto is getting its first taiyaki-based dessert shop across from Trinity Bellwoods next week, and it'll be serving up loads of these popular cakes in a way you've never seen.

    A post shared by SuKoi Desserts (@sukoidesserts) on

    Sukoi — which mixes two Japanese words 'koi' (which means fish) and 'sugoi' (which translates to amazing) — will be the first Toronto store to offer taiyaki with soft serve ice cream inside. 

    A post shared by SuKoi Desserts (@sukoidesserts) on

    Usually filled with sweetened azuki bean paste, Sukoi's taiyaki lets customers choose between red bean, custard, or Nutella filings, then top it off with swirls of ice cream flavours like black bean or matcha. 

    sukoi torontoTheir menu also includes Toronto's first croissant taiyaki — a popular street food in Japan that makes taiyaki in buttery pastry form. 

    With summer close to an end (yes I said it), the best way to send off the warm weather might be with a new, fish-shaped, way to ingest ice cream. 


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    The Toronto Waterfront Night Market has taken over Ontario Place this weekend. Though this is the first year the night market has moved from the Port Lands to the waterfront park on Lake Shore, they still delivered with a big selection of Asian street eats. 

    Check out this photo gallery for some of the food at this year's Waterfront Night Market in Toronto.

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    The last day of Taste of the Danforth stands as the biggest event in Toronto today. Elsewhere, the Waterfront Night Market, JerkFest and the beer garden under the Gardiner are all wrapping up for the season. A big zine show, outdoor film screening and beach party are on as well.

    Events you might want to check out:

    Zine Dream (August 12 @ Polish Combatants' Hall (SPK))
    Browse through hundreds of unique books, comics, music, zines, hand-made crafts, and prints at this all-day exhibition, featuring over 95 vendors.
    Sunday Social (August 12 @ The Bentway)
    The last Sunday Social is upon us and this beer garden is going out with a final round of food, games and music by KyVITa and Amai Kuda et les Bois.
    Promise Cherry Beach (August 12 @ Cherry Beach)
    After last weekend's cancellation, PCB is back with lasers, lights, fog machines and a lineup of dreamy DJs like San Fransisco's Honey Soundsystem.
    Before Sunrise (August 12 @ Christie Pits)
    It's Vienna, and when tourists Jesse and Céline meet, adventure ensues during the second last instalment of this year's Christie Pits Film Festival.
    Etsy Summer Market (August 12 @ The Great Hall)
    Makers from all over the city show off their crafts, lifestyle items and one-of-a-kind goods during the summer edition of this big market.
    Lady Donli (August 12 @ Adelaide Hall)
    Nigeria's Lady Donli arrives in Toronto for the first time to keep the vibes hot with for her soulful grooves that mix R&B with dancehall and electro.
    JerkFest (August 9-12 @ Centennial Park)
    There's still time to take in Caribbean culture during the last day of this big celebration, featuring traditional food, dance, music and entertainment.
    Taste of the Danforth (August 10-12 @ Greektown)
    It's the last day of one of the year's biggest festivals with every kind of Greek dish, plate-smashing, a kids zone, performances and more.
    Waterfront Night Market (August 10-12 @ Ontario Place)
    The final day for this big annual waterfront market has lots in store, with over 100 vendors offering Pan-Asian street food, shopping and activities.
    Vegandale Food Festival (August 11-12 @ Fort York National Historic Site)
    You can still get your paws on some vegan goodies at this big festival, featuring vegan food and drink, a marketplace and lots of activities.

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    If you drive the roads of Ontario long enough, you might pronounce the province just "bush land, scrub land," but amidst the rolling countryside there are many picturesque small towns that feature lovely architecture and a bustling atmosphere that's entirely compelling. They're excellent places to explore on road trips.

    Here are my picks for small towns to visit within three hours of Toronto.

    Picton

    Small town Ontario doesn't get much nicer than Picton, the heart of Prince Edward County. The old Regent Theatre is a highlight of the downtown strip, but you'll also want to explore the waterfront and head up to the Millennium Lookout to get a great view of the town and surrounding area.

    Grand Bend

    Go to Grand Bend for the Beach, stay for the party. This is one of the chief shirt-less zones in Ontario, and after the sun goes down, the bars on Main St. are as raucous as King West. Failing that dubious distinction, the bike trail that runs just off the shore is one of the best Ontario.

    Huntsville

    Port Carling might be the most popular tourist town in Muskoka, but the historic downtown area in Hunstville has more to offer, from its picturesque main drag to its charming waterfront areas. Most people comes to stay in the cottage areas around the town, but it's worth dwelling for a while in heart of all the action.

    Port Stanley

    is one of the best places to swim in Ontario, particularly in August. Lake Erie can gets wonderfully warm and crazy waves are enough to lure vacationers to Port Stanley's world-class Main Beach. Beyond the water, visitors also come for the town's potent arts scene, which includes the charming Port Stanley Festival Theatre.

    Goderich

    Widely considered one of the most beautiful small towns in Ontario, Goderich has a lovely waterfront area to take in amazing sunsets across Lake Huron and its remarkable Square, which is actually a huge traffic circle surrounded by historic buildings where you can shop and eat.


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    For those of us on a budget, looking to save, or just trying to make it in the city, free events in Toronto are here for you. Open Streets will see parts of Bloor and Yonge become an urban funzone while two big festivals are on in Little India and Chinatown.

    Events you might want to check out:

    Blackout Anniversary Party (August 15 @ Christie Pits)
    The 2003 blackout happened 15 years ago this week, and to celebrate, a big jam is on featuring a picnic, music, bike ride, parade and afterparty.
    Toronto Chinatown Festival (August 18-19 @ Chinatown)
    Toronto's vibrant Chinatown neighbourhood shows its colours with a big street festival that includes vendors, activities and cultural showcases.
    Festival of South Asia (August 18-19 @ Little India)
    Performances, arts, food, and more are all going down at this huge, weekend-long neighbourhood celebration of traditional South Asian culture.
    Vertigo (August 19 @ Christie Pits)
    The Christie Pits Film Festival comes to a close with the last of the Cinematic Cities series, this time taking us to San Francisco for this Hitchcock classic.
    Open Streets TO (August 19 @ Bloor and Yonge Streets)
    The first of two Open Streets events is on this week, where parts of Bloor and Yonge go carless and the streets become an urban playground of pedestrian-focused activities.

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    Toronto's main streets looked remarkably different in the 1960s. Even as the city is more populated and vibrant today, the aesthetic of the urban landscape was at its busiest during this decade.

    Streets like Yonge and Bloor were a cluttered mess of irregularly shaped signs, flags and awning, but there was an undeniable beauty in the chaos.

    This, no doubt, is why photos from the decade inspire such deep nostalgia these days. Toronto has grown up, but its lost much of its messy character along the way.

    Toronto 1960s

    Postcard view of Yonge St. near Gerrard in the 1960s.

    Neon signs had burst onto the scene in the 1940s, and in the span of about 20 years, they completely changed the North American streetscape.

    Toronto 1960s

    Postcard view Looking up Yonge towards Queen St.

    From movie marquees to towering restaurant markers to steel-framed rooftop ads for beer and cigarette companies, streets were packed with a dizzying array of visual stimuli that seemed to announce Toronto's arrival as a big city in a blaze of red light.

    Toronto 1960s

    Similar view during the holidays. Photo via the Toronto Archives.

    Business owners could get away with far more outlandish signage during this period, and they took advantage with ostentatious self-promotion that protruded onto the street and hovered atop many buildings.

    Toronto 1960s

    Postcard view of Yonge and Dundas when the Brown Derby held court on the northeast corner.

    No one would endorse this type of urban planning today, but despite the overt commercialism, there was an energy that this bright hodgepodge lent to the city.

    Toronto 1960s

    Postcard view of Yonge and Gould streets.

    The hulking signs of today deliver a homogeneity to the city that slowly erases our unique sense of place.

    Toronto 1960s

    Opposite view of Yonge and Gould.

    toronto 1960s

    Looking west on Bloor from Bathurst. Photo by John Bromley.

    Toronto 1960s

    Looking east on Bloor from Lansdowne. Photo via John Bromley's Archives.

    Toronto 1960s

    Looking north on Lansdowne from Bloor. Photo via John Bromley's archives.

    Toronto 1960s

    Bloor near St. Clarens. Photo via John Bromley's archives.

    Toronto 1960s

    Bloor near Havelock. Photo via John Bromley's archives.

    Toronto 1960s

    Looking east on Bloor at Dovercourt. Photo via John Bromley's archives.

    Toronto 1960s

    Looking north up Bathurst at Dundas. Photo via John Bromley's archives.

    Toronto 1960s

    Bloor and Islington. Photo via the Toronto Archives.

    20161122-queen-parliament.jpg

    Queen and Parliament. Photo via John Bromley's Archives.

    Toronto 1960s

    Danforth and Coxwell. Photo via John Bromley's Archives.


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    Jane and Finch has, like any other neighbourhood observed from the outside, a reputation that poorly represents the community that lives within it.

    With plazas on nearly all four of its corners, independent businesses and grocery stores run the show here, trumping trendy food chains (or lack thereof) as the main supplier of eats and wares.jane finch toronto

    Yokrgate Mall's second-floor food court has huge arched windows and glass ceilings. 

    From mall food courts to plaza stops, eating at Jane and Finch is diasporic dining, mostly by way of the Antilles and Vietnam. As such, many of the places here come through with the 'back home' recipes that are as good as you can find anywhere else in the city. 

    jane finch toronto

    The Jian Hing Supermarket is an Asian grocery store with fresh veggies and an impressive selection of international drinks. 

    Aside from grocery store buys that are worth a visit of their own (Jian Hing for Asian snacks, Cactus for rare fruit), those who can't put aside their cynical qualms are bound to pass up a chance to support some local businesses, and maybe worse, miss out on some tasty food. 

    Here are some of my favourite places to eat near Jane and Finch. 

    Debes Roti and Doubles

    Sitting in the small strip that is Yorkwoods Plaza, this itty bitty takeout joint just south of the main drag has arguably some of the most underrated doubles and roti around. 

    jane finch toronto

    Debe's is a tiny takeout spot at Yorkwoods Plaza.

    This classic Trini shop has awesome service and their deliciously messy doubles are always fresh, plus they keep serving them throughout the day, unlike most other Caribbean spots which run out quick. 

    jane finch toronto

    The doubles from Debes are made fresh and are available all day. 

    Tuesdays are the best here, with sizeable roti specials for just $4.99. If you can't wait to eat it at home, they've got a slim counter on the side to make your meal a sit-in thing. 

    Yummy Wok

    It doesn't look like much from the outside (or at all from the inside for that matter) but this Chinese barbecue house has a name that precedes it. jane finch toronto

    Yummy Wok has a discrete entrance on the west side of Norfinch Plaza. 

    Nestled discretely in Norfinch Plaza, a largely Vietnamese hub on Jane and Finch's southwestern corner, Yummy Wok is known in the Asian community for having some stellar BBQ duck and pork. 

    jane finch toronto

    The BBQ house is well-known in the Asian community for its barbecued duck and suckling pig. 

    Walk past the quintessential racks of hanging meat to the cashier, where you can order styrofoam boxes of full or half ducks.

    Holidays like Lunar New Year are especially busy here: it's so good, people pre-order their celebratory meat in advance. 

    Noon Moment

    Another Norfinch Plaza goodie, this bubble tea shop is a Waterloo-transplant with an impressive interior and comfy seating that's perfect for studying and chilling with friends. 

    jane finch toronto

    Noon Moment is a bubble tea brand from Waterloo with a contemporary interior. 

    There's a pretty extensive assortment of milk teas, slushies and sherbert drinks here, with the option to customize your drink too. 

    Choose your levels of sweetness and the amount of ice you want for your ideal boba. The signature Noon Moment milk tea is a favourite; they also have Hokkaido milk tea with pudding. 

    jane finch toronto

    Noon Moment offers a big menu of bubble tea types, toppings, and upgrades. 

    There's a huge list of toppings ranging from tapioca to aloe and coffee jelly that you can choose to deck out your tea with. There's also an option to upgrade your drink with whey protein (you know, for the bubble tea-drinkers who want to get deezed).

    Island Grill & Pizzeria

    Offering that strange but oddly common menu of Caribbean food and Italian faves like pizza, meatball spaghetti and oxtail all in one go, this Yorkwoods Plaza is a one-stop shop for the ever-changing palette. 

    jane finch toronto

    The poutine from Island Grill & Pizzeria comes with gravy, cheese, and chilli flakes seasoning.

    For something to hold you over, get the poutine. Combining some good ol' fries with a chicken gravy that can't help but taste Caribbean, a small portion for $3.50 will get you a box of crispy fries covered in light cheese shreds (because curds are gross) and chilli flakes á la pizzeria. 

    Viet Hoa

    Just down the strip, Viet Hoa is the main reason why Yorkwoods Plaza's generous parking lot ever looks remotely full. 

    jane finch toronto

    Viet Hoa is a popular restaurant that serves all the Vietnamese favourites like pho and bún cha,

    This Vietnamese restaurant is small but its clean, and more importantly its portions are huge for the price. You'll get massive portions of pho, bún, and rice with pork — and quickly on top of that.

    As if that's not enough for a local restaurant, Viet Hoa also has free WiFi. There really isn't much more you can ask for. 

    jane finch toronto


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    The most beautiful places in Toronto tend to be on the waterfront or part of our stunning ravine system, but despite the ever increasing density of the city, you can also find pockets of beauty in the heart of downtown. If you know where to look, there's beauty all over the place.


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    The annual Vegandale Festival took over Fort York this weekend in celebration of all things vegan. From sweet treats to faux meat, vendors delivered on food you wouldn't believe were totally dairy-, egg- and meat-free. 

    Check out some of the eats and drinks from this year's Vegandale Festival in Toronto. 

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    It's that time of year once again. The CNE will be thrilling, terrifying, wowing, and amazing thousands of guests this month with rides, performances, a lantern festival, an Asian night market and, of course, deep fried everything.

    Over its many decades, the flavour of The Ex has slowly changed as successive organizers each strive to produce a cleaner, more modern event.

    Gone are the freak shows and other sleazy acts - by today's standards anyway - that once made the CNE unmissable to its devoted fans.

    A visitor to the CNE in the early part of last century could expect to find divers consumed by flames plunging into pools of water, daredevil horseback performers, and sideshow performers of every conceivable size and shape to stare and poke fun at.

    Here are a few of the acts that have been lost to time, for better or worse.

    The High Diver

    toronto CNE

    As if clambering up to a perch high above the ground wasn't terrifying enough, high divers would leap, perform a trick - a couple of flips maybe - and splash into sometimes dangerously shallow pools for a shot at applause.

    To up the ante, some divers at the CNE set themselves on fire before taking the jump. The falling, burning man made for some spectacular photography as well as a stunning performance.

    toronto CNE

    And without flame.

    toronto CNE

    The Freak Show

    toronto CNE

    Believe it or not, freak shows of various kinds ran at the CNE until the early 70s. Yes, the Ex had a distinctly seedy element that, like it or not, is long gone today.

    Now considered completely gauche, the touring attractions often featured people who were extremely overweight or underweight, suffering from serious disabilities, or unable to find work in any other field because of their condition.

    As a photo below shows, these attractions often served as a distraction from worries elsewhere.

    toronto CNEtoronto CNE performers european war

    The Horeseback Performers

    toronto CNE

    If it's worth doing, it's worth doing on horseback. Animals - especially horses - were, naturally for the time, a big part of the Ex for many years.

    Cars were still a relative rarity on Toronto's streets, though they were a hugely popular exhibit at the Crystal Palace, when these pictures were taken, and horses were still common working animals as well as a viable mode of transportation.

    At the Ex, performers wowed spectators with daredevil tricks and perfectly synchronized dance routines all from the back of well-trained horses.

    toronto CNE

    The Performing Elephants

    toronto CNE performers circus elephants

    For decades, performing elephants were a staple at circuses and fairs across North America, and the CNE was no exception. One particular 500-pound, big-eared visitor to the Ex was apparently able to waterski, or at least withstand being pulled behind a boat.

    When they weren't wrestling with water craft, the elephants were used in circus acts, parades and countless other highly dubious roles. Off duty, the animals were also available for a bit of old-fashioned gawping.

    Auto Polo and other stunts

    toronto CNE

    Bike stunts like these are no longer part of the Ex. Auto polo, shown above, was exactly what it sounds like. A game of polo - complete with mallet and ball - with stripped-down, two-man cars instead of horses.

    Competitors would swerve, crash, flip and burst into flames all while trying to score points in front of capacity crowds at the grandstand, later Exhibition Stadium.

    The picture below show a team of acrobatic cyclists putting on an extremely skilled performance inside the same arena a few summers later.

    Though it's doubtful bikes drew as much attention as the roaring autos - cars would later get an entire building at the CNE - I think we can all appreciate the skill involved here.

    toronto cne


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    Tiny Tom's, anyone? Events in Toronto this week mark the annual return of the CNE in all its glory, while Taste of Manila is back from the dead and Camp Wavelength brings the good vibes. As if that's not enough, there's lots of free stuff happening, too.

    Events you might want to check out:

    TechTO (August 13 @ RBC Waterpark Place Auditorium)
    Toronto's tech community is coming together for a night of networking, drinks and panel discussions from several industry leaders.
    All Time Low and Dashboard Confessional (August 14 @ RBC Echo Beach)
    Relive the greatest phase of your life with emo superstars Dashboard Confessional as they arrive alongside All Time Low.
    Open Roof Festival (August 15 @ Sterling Road)
    The second-to-last Open Roof of the season is on with bites served up alongside drinks, music by Goosebumps and a screening of Isle of Dogs.
    Jeremih and Teyanna Taylor (August 16 @ The Phoenix Concert Theatre)
    R&B singer Jeremih is making a stop in Toronto with Teyana Taylor, still hot off the release of her album K.T.S.E., and Dani Leigh.
    Rascal Flatts (August 16 @ Budweiser Stage)
    It's been a long road for these Ohio boys and they're still going strong, bringing with them their signature country sound to Toronto for the night.
    Dean Brody (August 17 @ Budweiser Stage)
    Canadian country superstar Dean Brody has been a busy man, starring in a documentary, winning awards, and making a stop in Toronto for the night.
    Three Identical Strangers (August 17-30 @ Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema)
    The uncanny resemblance of three boys living in New York City in the '80s leads to the discovery of an unusual origin story in this new documentary.
    CNE (August 17 - September 3 @ Exhibition Place)
    The Toronto tradition of ending the summer at the CNE continues this year with two weeks of food, rides, games, shows, activities and more.
    Cityfest Parc Rosé (August 18 @ Canoe Landing Park)
    A massive, all-day, pink and white party is going down in celebration of all things rosé featuring a lavish garden, activities, dancing and lots of food.
    Summerdaze (August 18 @ 54 Fraser Ave)
    Underground electro surfaces during this big dance party in Liberty Village featuring a night of thumping beats from four different DJs.
    Latin Sparks Block Party (August 18 @ Latin Sparks)
    After a successful Ottawa run, Latin Sparks is making its way to Toronto for a day of Latin American dancing, food and live performances.
    Camp Wavelength (August 18-19 @ Fort York National Historic Site)
    Two days of dreamy synths, electro grooves and chill vibes is happening alongside art installations, dance, games and activities.
    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.
    Sunnyside 20 (August 19 @ Sunnyside Pavilion)
    Kick it by the sand at Sunnyside with another round of DJs to keep the summer vibes high, plus New York's Tony Humphries on deck.
    Kaskade (August 19 @ Cabana)
    Legendary DJ Kaskade lends his talents to Cabana for a full day of chill vibes by the pool, with Toronto's own Manzone & Strong.

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    This week on DineSafe, a Vietnamese restaurant located near Yorkdale Mall was shut down by Toronto health inspectors. Pho Mi Asia landed an alarming 11 infractions, 2 being crucial. 

    Find out what other Toronto restaurants landed in hot water with city health inspectors this week on DineSafe.

    Levetto (940 College St.)
    • Inspected on: August 7, 2018
    • Inspection finding: Yellow (Conditional)
    • Number of infractions: 4 (Minor: 1, Significant: 2, Crucial: 1)
    • Crucial infractions include: Failed to provide handwashing stations with adequate supplies.
    Pi Co (2177 Yonge St.)
    • Inspected on: August 7, 2018
    • Inspection finding: Yellow (Conditional)
    • Number of infractions: 4 (Significant: 2, Crucial: 2)
    • Crucial infractions include: Stored potentially hazardous foods at internal temperature between 4°C and 60°C and failed to ensure food handler in food premise refrains from conduct that could result in contamination of food.
    The Captain's Boil (226 Queen St. West)
    • Inspected on: August 7, 2018
    • Inspection finding: Yellow (Conditional)
    • Number of infractions: 5 (Minor: 1, Significant: 4)
    • Crucial infractions include: N/A
    Tim Hortons (333 Eglinton Ave. West)
    • Inspected on: August 7, 2018
    • Inspection finding: Yellow (Conditional)
    • Number of infractions: 1 (Significant: 1)
    • Crucial infractions include: N/A
    Burrito Bandidos (496 Yonge St.)
    • Inspected on: August 8, 2018
    • Inspection finding: Yellow (Conditional)
    • Number of infractions: 1 (Crucial: 1)
    • Crucial infractions include: Stored potentially hazardous foods at internal temperature between 4°C and 60°C.
    Pho Mi Asia (1008 Wilson Ave.)
    • Inspected on: August 8, 2018
    • Inspection finding: Red (Closed)
    • Number of infractions: 11 (Minor: 5, Significant: 4, Crucial: 2)
    • Crucial infractions include: Food premise maintained in manner permitting health hazard and failed to protect food from contamination or adulteration.
    Wheat Sheaf (667 King St. West)
    • Inspected on: August 8, 2018
    • Inspection finding: Yellow (Conditional)
    • Number of infractions: 6 (Minor: 3, Significant: 3)
    • Crucial infractions include: N/A
    Amato Pizza (429 Yonge St.)
    • Inspected on: August 9, 2018
    • Inspection finding: Yellow (Conditional)
    • Number of infractions: 2 (Minor: 1, Significant: 1)
    • Crucial infractions include: N/A
    de Floured (1250 College St.)
    • Inspected on: August 9, 2018
    • Inspection finding: Yellow (Conditional)
    • Number of infractions: 5 (Significant: 4, Crucial: 1)
    • Crucial infractions include: Failed to ensure food handler in food premise washes hands as necessary to prevent contamination of food.
    Hocus Pocus Witchery (592 Queen St. West)
    • Inspected on: August 9, 2018
    • Inspection finding: Yellow (Conditional)
    • Number of infractions: 1 (Significant: 1
    • Crucial infractions include: N/A
    My Roti Place (406 Queen St. West)
    • Inspected on: August 9, 2018
    • Inspection finding: Yellow (Conditional)
    • Number of infractions: 11 (Minor: 1, Significant: 8, Crucial: 2)
    • Crucial infractions include: Food premise maintained in manner to permit contamination of single-service articles and failed to ensure food handler in food premise washes hands as necessary to prevent contamination of food.
    St. Louis Bar & Grill (1800 Sheppard Ave. East)
    • Inspected on: August 9, 2018
    • Inspection finding: Yellow (Conditional)
    • Number of infractions: 7 (Minor: 4, Significant: 2, Crucial: 1)
    • Crucial infractions include: Failed to protect food from contamination or adulteration.
    Tondou Ramen (596 College St.)
    • Inspected on: August 9, 2018
    • Inspection finding: Yellow (Conditional)
    • Number of infractions: 6 (Minor: 2, Significant: 3, Crucial: 1)
    • Crucial infractions include: Failed to ensure food handler in food premise washes hands as necessary to prevent contamination of food area.

    Note: The above businesses each received infractions from DineSafe as originally reported on the DineSafe site. This does not imply that any of these businesses have not subsequently corrected the issue and received a passing grade by DineSafe inspectors. For the latest status for each of the mentioned businesses, including details on any subsequent inspections, please be sure to check the DineSafe site.


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    The CNE starts this week, but you may have to cross a picket line to attend. 

    Workers with IATSE Local 58 have been attempting negotiations with the city for a few weeks, and an agreement has still not been reached, only a few days before the CNE is set to begin. 

    The union, which represents around 450 stagehand workers, started picketing July 20, after being locked out by the venue. Workers are asking for employment contracts, believing that the city is attempting to remove unionized workers from their ranks to save costs.  

    The union has been working the CNE grounds at Exhibition Place for more than 100 years, covering Scotiabank Arena, Roy Thomson Hall, Massey Hall, and many more. 

    Public support for the union seems to be high, with many refusing to cross the picket line. As IATSE 58 pickets City Hall, many city officials refuse to comment, including the mayor. 

    Now, as the CNE revs up, the venue has brought in workers from out-of-province, further disenfranchising the locked out workers of IATSE. 

    Mark Grimes, councillor for Ward 6 and chair of the Exhibition Place Board of Governors, defended the lockout, drawing the ire of IATSE and its supporters. 

    So far, it doesn't look like the lock out will end before the CNE begins. Be wary of the choice ahead when attending this year's annual festival. 


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    Toronto narrowly avoided a close call this weekend as competing rallies faced off in Nathan Phillips Square―despite a cancellation from one side. 

    Saturday was initially scheduled for an Islamophobic rally by a hate group based in Calgary. The group hoped to celebrate the one-year anniversary of the deadly Charlottesville riots in the U.S., where a man who identified as Neo-Nazi murdered a young woman. 

    In a Facebook post mere days before the event was scheduled to take place, the group announced the cancellation. 

    However, counter-protests that were organized to drown out the anti-Islam message stayed vigilant and showed up anyway―just in case. 

    A post shared by shawngoldberg (@shawngoldberg) on

    On Saturday, a handful of the original group showed up, standing behind police guards in the square. They were quickly drowned out by hundreds of counter-protestors. 

    According to some reports, there was some violence that broke out between different groups, as well as among the police and media.

    Not much has been confirmed, but no serious reports have come in, leaving Toronto significantly luckier than Charlottesville.

    A post shared by Marnie Wellar (@marniewellar) on

    One incident that occurred was a Toronto Sun photographer being punched by an unknown man. However, most video reports show the square being peaceful, albeit a little tense. 

    The original hate group announced the event was not cancelled, merely postponed. Toronto may be in for the hate rally eventually, but the city seems ready to rally and reject their message when necessary.  


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  • 08/13/18--09:38: The Best Pizza in Toronto
  • The best pizza in Toronto is now arguably rivalling some of the best in the other great pizza cities of the world. Not defined by rigid restrictions or unwavering tradition yet still guided by the lessons of the past, the pizzaiolos of Toronto are doing their best to perfect every aspect of a favourite comfort food, from sauce to crust and beyond.

    Here’s the best pizza in Toronto.

    6 - Pizzeria Libretto (University)

    Locations across the city including ones on King West and Ossington turn out these super quick-fired, personal size pies with elastic, thin certified-Neapolitan-style crusts.
    7 - Terroni

    Locations of this Toronto-based Italian empire (including the original on Queen West) serve pizzas typically eaten knife-and-fork style individually. A whole section of their menu dedicated to pizza alone typically boasts around 30 options for pies.
    4 - North of Brooklyn Pizzeria

    Locations of this thin crust mini-chain are often tucked inside or under other businesses, as in the Church-Wellesley Village or on Geary. The Killer Bee has sausage and honey, but you can’t go wrong with their foldable take on a freshly made whole Margherita pie.
    5 - Descendant Pizza

    Detroit may not be far but Torontonians need only journey to Leslieville for rectangular pies in the style of the American city. Descendant delights with toppings like pickled candied jalapeños, brisket, charred fennel and pepperoni.
    10 - Defina Woodfired

    Giant oven-baked rectangular Roman pies and round wood-fired pizzas both have their place at locations of this joint in Roncesvalles Village and the Junction Triangle.
    3 - Maker Pizza (Avenue Road)

    Here you'll find pizzas of biblical proportions with perfect leoparding on stretchy crusts and toppings from simple double pepperoni to pulled pork to zucchini. There's even Montreal smoked meat on a dine-in-only option at two locations of this takeout restaurant.
    11 - General Assembly Pizza

    Official international pizza consultant Anthony Falco and a reputable Toronto pizza chef teamed up for this project, so you know it’s solid. Perfect pepperoni cups and taco-inspired ingredients top personal-size pies made with Falco’s original starter. They're served to go, or to stay with tap wine in the Entertainment District.
    8 - Conspiracy Pizza

    This Leaside pizza joint shares its accommodations with a barbecue place run by the same people, so the pies here have toppings like pulled pork and brisket. But, that doesn’t mean they don't also have a super solid base of dough made with 00 flour and San Marzano tomato sauce.
    9 - Superpoint

    The original spot on Ossington has expanded with a takeout joint in Parkdale, both boasting not-so-secret speakeasy-style after-hours back bars. Basic but well-executed pepperoni and anchovy knock it out of the park and Hawaiian ups the ante with spicy banana peppers, mushroom pizza given a cream of mushroom base and crowned with frilly arugula.

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    In the quest for the perfect selfie, one must travel the distance and go to great lengths, especially if it involves sunflowers. Thankfully, there's another spot just outside of Toronto where we can get just that.

    About an hour north of the city lies Davis Feed & Farm, a family-run farm that is home to a sea of yellow flowers and green leaves gently swaying in the summer breeze.

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    The iconic flowers are part of a 40-acre field of Black oil sunflowers used to harvest bird seed for several of the farm's specialty supply products. 

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    Located in Caledon, the farm encourages visitors to enjoy the sunflowers when they're at their most majestic and even hosts an online photo contest each year for the chance to be featured on the site.

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    While not as vast as some of the neighbouring fields, this quaint farm looks to welcome visitors in to see the sunflowers for the price of $5 per person when they are in peak bloom.

    Controversy arose recently after another sunflower field became overwhelmed with visitors and had to shut down prematurely.

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    As of this past weekend, the sunflower field is closed for the season and the flowers have gone to seed. Provided this one doesn't become overrun as well, look forward to another round of sunflowers from July to early August.


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    Toronto is down to one less deli this month.  The Corned Beef House, a pastrami on rye haven that stood for more than 30 years in the Entertainment District, has shuttered its location on Adelaide. 

    The classic deli, known for its smoked meat sandwiches and Montreal influence, will remain open in Woodbridge and Aurora. 

    The downtown location's space will be taken over by a new restaurant and lounge called Melrose on Adelaide.

    A spokesperson for the new business said the concept is based on the heritage building where it will be located, and will feature a food and wine menu.

    Oysters, ceviche, charcuterie, and more will be focused alongside wine and a short beer list. 

    Melrose on Adelaide hopes to be up and running by September.


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    An ice cream shop serving soft serve in golden goblets in Kensington Market has officially closed. 

    A handwritten sign on the door of Kiss The Tiramisu says the ice creamery is up for rent. It's unclear as to why the store, which only opened up last year, has suddenly shuttered. 

    With locations all across Asian and Australia, this store in Kensington was the giant Korean ice cream chain's first foray in North America.

    Though there were rumours of plans to open another spot in Vancouver, it appears that idea has been put on the back-burner, meaning as of right now Kiss The Tiramisu no longer exists in Canada.


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    In an announcement this afternoon, the provincial government detailed its plans to sell cannabis when it becomes legal on October 17. 

    Attorney General Caroline Mulroney announced that cannabis will be available online only starting on the legalization date. It will be distributed through federal wholesalers and the Ontario Cannabis Store. 

    Private retailers will be allowed to sell the product at physical locations starting in April of next year. Only those aged 19+ will be allowed to purchase and consume. Also, public consumption (including in vehicles and boats) will not be allowed. 

    The province also said that municipalities will have one opportunity to opt out of cannabis sales in their jurisdictions. 

    An updated list of the full regulations can now be found on the provincial government's website. 


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    Buck-a-beer continues to be controversial, and it seems that it will for a while. 

    A policy leftover from the Liberal provincial government has ensured the tax on beer will go up November 1st, which may be a setback to Doug Ford's buck-a-beer initiative. 

    The tax, increasing to about 3¢/litre, will generate revenue for the provincial government, which promised to lower the cost of beer and "the days of government putting their hand in your pocket each time you buy a two-four.

    While the page on the Ontario website has not been updated since May, the PC government has not made any comment about taxes being frozen or lowered, so for now it's safe to assume the increase will occur as planned. 

    Many local breweries have refused to participate in the buck-a-beer program, as they will have to eat the costs of lowered prices for what they say is zero benefit. With a tax increase, breweries are sure to keep their prices unchanged, perhaps even raising them. 

    Premier Ford says the buck-a-beer program—which so far only has one participant—should begin by Labour Day


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