Articles on this Page
- 08/24/18--08:33: _Jennifer Keesmaat i...
- 08/24/18--09:58: _The top 50 bakeries...
- 08/24/18--10:02: _The Best Cheap Eats...
- 08/24/18--10:25: _Every Ontario minis...
- 08/24/18--13:06: _Cauldron Ice Cream ...
- 08/24/18--13:31: _Only in Toronto #22...
- 08/24/18--23:12: _10 things to do in ...
- 08/25/18--06:12: _The Best Used Books...
- 08/25/18--06:24: _Todmorden Mills is ...
- 08/25/18--06:28: _Toronto is getting ...
- 08/25/18--06:35: _The Finch Hydro Cor...
- 08/25/18--12:09: _Toronto creates mak...
- 08/25/18--13:01: _The top 10 award wi...
- 08/25/18--23:07: _10 things to do in ...
- 08/26/18--00:05: _The top 5 free even...
- 08/26/18--05:30: _The top 10 foreign ...
- 08/26/18--07:09: _The Best Photograph...
- 08/26/18--15:39: _A gold giraffe was ...
- 08/26/18--15:41: _Vegan protesters st...
- 08/26/18--16:04: _How a Toronto neigh...
- 08/24/18--08:33: Jennifer Keesmaat is now officially running for Mayor of Toronto
- 08/24/18--09:58: The top 50 bakeries in Toronto
- 08/24/18--10:02: The Best Cheap Eats in Scarborough
- 08/24/18--10:25: Every Ontario ministry now banned from talking about climate change
- 08/24/18--13:06: Cauldron Ice Cream finally opening in Toronto next week
- Someone just got married at a Toronto dive bar
- There's now a Drake version of Monopoly
- This is what Toronto's newest boutique hotel will look like
- Tilt video game bar being evicted for boutique hotel
- This is how many people have bought the $100 gold burger at the CNE
- Drake wants to own the Toronto Raptors
- People are loving and hating the Little Italy movie shot in Toronto
- Justin Bieber just bought a mansion with a horse track near Toronto
- 08/24/18--23:12: 10 things to do in Toronto today
- 08/25/18--06:12: The Best Used Bookstores in Toronto
- 08/25/18--06:28: Toronto is getting North America's first sex doll brothel
- 08/25/18--12:09: Toronto creates makeshift memorial for cut down tree
- 08/25/18--13:01: The top 10 award winning films to see at TIFF 2018
- 08/25/18--23:07: 10 things to do in Toronto today
- 08/26/18--00:05: The top 5 free events in Toronto this week
- 08/26/18--05:30: The top 10 foreign films to see at TIFF 2018
- 08/26/18--07:09: The Best Photography Galleries in Toronto
- 08/26/18--15:39: A gold giraffe was briefly Toronto’s newest social media sensation
- 08/26/18--15:41: Vegan protesters stun shoppers at the Toronto Eaton Centre
- 08/26/18--16:04: How a Toronto neighbourhood became known as Little Tibet
Former City of Toronto Chief Planner Jennifer Keesmaat has announced in an official context that she is running for mayor against her old boss and current incumbent Mayor John Tory.
Keesmaat kicked off her mayoral campaign with a jam-packed rally in Regent Park on Thursday night, touching on everything from affordable housing to public safety in a speech to her supporters.
The mood was joyous and members of the public who were present seemed smitten.
"She's crushing her speech," wrote Toronto City Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam on Twitter during the event. "Crowd is loving it. Telling her story about falling in love with Toronto and her vision for equity and prosperity for all."
It wasn't all sunshine and rainbows, however. Far from it.
"I don't think the kind of government we’ve been getting under John Tory is good enough," said Keesmaat before taking a dig that made headlines city-wide.
"John Tory is just not very good at his job," she said. "I know because I worked for him."
Keesmaat drops the line "timid follower" when referring to John Tory. Shots fired. 🔥🔥🔥— Raymond Reid (@reidrraymond) August 23, 2018
Aside from slamming Tory's performance as mayor, Keesmaat spoke about the failure of SmartTrack, wastewater problems, gun violence and and the importance of cyclist and pedestrian safety.
She also reiterated plans to build 100,000 purpose-built, affordable rental homes.
As Toronto journalist Matt Elliot notes, she both entered and exited the stage to Capital Cities' hit song "Safe and Sound."
Keesmaat entered and left the stage to “Safe and Sound” by Capital Cities. https://t.co/TKb6JTqkAR— Matt Elliott (@GraphicMatt) August 23, 2018
"There are bold, strong, practical steps we can take to dramatically increase the number of reasonably-priced homes that a middle-class family living in Toronto could actually afford to rent," reads a transcript of the mayoral candidate's speech.
"That's why my very first policy announcement was a plan to build 100,000 new, high-quality, purpose-built rental homes that people can afford."
We’re up against an ingrained and powerful political machine that wants to maintain the status quo at all costs. Join me in fighting for a new vision to build a better Toronto that works for everyone. #Keesmaat4Mayor— jennifer keesmaat (@jen_keesmaat) August 23, 2018
Tory's team released a statement to the media ahead of Keesmaat's rally on Thursday, saying that it was "ironic" of her to hold it in Regent Park — "a housing revitalization project that could have only happened with the support and cooperation of both the provincial and federal governments."
"Mayor Tory's leadership has seen even more investments in Toronto by the Ontario and federal governments, including $9 billion for transit," reads the statement.
"He knows that we can only get things done, keep taxes low and life more affordable for the people of Toronto by making sure all governments are working together."
Tory's campaign sent this statement after Keesmaat's speech, accusing her of "empty talk" and saying she lacks understanding of "what Toronto really needs" after she spoke about transit, housing, flooded basements, deaths on roads. Says people "need to know" her plan for taxes: pic.twitter.com/aWP6uiQRhf— Jennifer Pagliaro (@jpags) August 24, 2018
It'll be interesting to see how Tory responds to Keesmaat's criticisms moving forward now that things are getting heated.
One thing's for certain: This race just got a whole lot spicier.
Bakeries in Toronto run the gamut from old school Italian ones to specialty purveyors hawking donuts, cupcakes, cookies and other splurge treats. If there's a fresh baked good you're craving, Toronto probably has it.
The best cheap eats in Scarborough draw hundreds of bargain hunters a day to otherwise relatively obscure and sleepy parts of one of the city’s suburbs. These spots are far flung, often found in strip malls and sometimes cramped, but are well known for tried and true traditional cooking methods and reasonable prices.
Here are the best cheap eats in Scarborough.10 - Shawarma Empire
Hungry shawarma lovers queue up at this small takeout place for a taste of the high-quality ingredients put into reasonably priced packages here. Chicken and strip loin beef shawarma are just $8 for a plate or sandwich.
11 - Babu
A long line of customers and a long row of steam tables distinguish this ultra-cheap Sri Lankan takeout place. Gigantic, family-feeding meals of lamprais are under $10, a huge range of dosa go for around $5, and naan and hoppers are just a few bucks.
7 - Pho Metro
Giant, extra-large orders of a wide variety of beef and egg noodle soups are under $12 here, and just $8.45 for small orders.
3 - Johnny's Charbroiled Hamburgers
Hamburgers are still $3.30 at this institution that’s been serving them charcoal-grilled for 50 years. Banquet burgers ring in at under $5, milkshakes under $3, and you can make any burger a double for just $1.65.
5 - Agincourt Bakery
This Italian hot table spot boasts large portions and rock bottom prices for incredibly hearty dishes like lasagna and some of the best veal and meatball sandwiches in the entire city for $6 to $7.
6 - Chris Jerk
Jerk chicken shawarma is the thing to get here. Wraps, dinners and even poutine all sell for under ten bucks.
8 - Mona's Roti
Customers line up shoulder to shoulder in this small but warm and happy community joint for the prices on authentic handmade roti. For $8.41 you can get a huge roti with a choice of three veggies including rarer options like curry mango.
9 - The Roti Hut
Dhalpurie and paratha roti are what this place has been doing best for decades. Hovering around ten bucks, different styles of roti are uniquely presented, wrapped in spirals or open-faced.
4 - Samosa King
Veggie samosas are reputably five for a buck at this Indian place, meat samosas are two for a buck. They’re decently sized and they also do channa samosas for $2.99, and serve a menu of equally low-priced kothu rotti, biryani and thali for under $5.
More and more evidence is mounting this week to suggest that Ontario Premier Doug Ford's office has banned government agencies from talking about climate change online.
Yesterday, we published an email in which a social media coordinator for Ontario Parks told staff that they were "not allowed to mention climate change in social media content," as per the Premier's Office.
Several employees of the agency, which works to protect natural resources in parks and protected areas across the province, have since reached out to confirm the existence of this email.
At least two of these staffers, both of whom will remain anonymous to protect their employment, sent along another, even more damning missive from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry."Hi everyone, I'm writing to provide some recent direction my team has received from Cabinet Office, regarding social media content," reads the message, sent August 17, by MNRF Director of Communications Services Lisa Sarracini.
"As some of you will now have heard, Premier's Office is reviewing and approving all social media content, from all ministry channels," the email continues.
"PO has indicated they will not be approving any posts mentioning climate change at this time."
That email was sent to at least 15 provincial government employees, as evidenced by the "To:" line. At least one of these staffers forwarded it to Ontario Parks Social Media Coordinator Anne MacLachlan, who in turn attached it to the email we published yesterday.
Sarracini has yet to respond to a request for comment about the email. Ontario Parks Social Media Coordinator Anne MacLachlan, whose email was sent to us yesterday, has remained similarly silent.
Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry, Jeff Yurek, has not been available for comment either, but we did receive the following message yesterday from Laryssa Waler-Hetmanczuk, Executive Director of Communications for the Premier's Office:
"I'm responsible for communications, including social media, for the Premier’s Office. I have never given direction not to mention climate change in social media posts. I'm not sure who said this or why, but it's categorically untrue."
Waler-Hetmanczuk and the PO's office have yet to reply to our query about the MNRF email published above.
If you're concerned about its veracity, perhaps you can contact Premier Ford, whose PC government famously cancelled a program aimed at reducing carbon emissions earlier this year, and ask what's up.
Cauldron Ice Cream, a California-based chain known for its rose-shaped, liquid nitrogen ice cream and OG Puffle Cones is on a major expansion tip, with five stores planned for the GTA alone.
The first to open will be at 502 Queen Street West and, according to the company itself that'll happen (in "soft launch" mode) on Wednesday, August 29.
I got the chance to try this new nitrogen ice cream spot in Toronto before they open to the public 🍦🌹 first of all!!! Can we just appreciate the ice cream shape is a rose??? My favorite flavour was rose 😍 but I also loved the lavender and milk cereal!! If you get the bubble waffle, make sure to get the churro flavoured one 🙏🏻❤️ thanks @cauldronicecream
Select local ice cream enthusiasts were invited into the store earlier this week to check what's on tap (er... nozzle) and the reviews thus far are great.
Torontonians can look forward to such flavours as lavender, cereal milk, earl grey and even churro when the shop officially opens up in Queen West.
As the company's neon signs make very clear at its California locations, this ice cream isn't going to lick itself.
Toronto's new boutique hotel will soon be openings its doors. The Annex Hotel comes with no TVs, a second location of taco joint Seven Lives and a bit of controversy after kicking out popular video arcade bar Tilt.
In this episode of the Only in Toronto podcast, we get the grand tour of the new space, and wander a few neighbourhoods west to get the details on how a couple planned a wedding on the cheap.
Plus, we check in with the people at the Scotiabank Arena to get the backstory on what's up with Drake's personalized version of Monopoly.
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It's Saturdaze in Toronto and you don't have to go far to find some great events around the city. Dance your heart out under the highway, drink up at a beer festival, stroll along a car-free Bloor or check out some thrash metal tunes. Why not, you know?Events you might want to check out:
The Bentway Block Party (August 25 @ The Bentway)
Put on your dancing shoes for this big party under the Gardiner with live performances, big art installations, food, drinks and games.
Summerdaze (August 25 @ 54 Fraser Avenue)
The last Summerdaze of the season comes to an end with a stellar lineup of underground DJs featuring Acid Pauli, Brian Cid, Hauy and Miss Melera.
Bloorcourt Festival (August 25 @ Bloor Street West)
Local Bloorcourt vendors along Bloor Street West come together for a festival of artists, musicians and crafters alongside goods, music and entertainment.
Leslieville Beer Festival (August 25 @ Dundas Street East)
Dundas East shuts down for this all-day neighbourhood street party with regional brewers, community food vendors and local artisans on site.
Sorauren Park Outdoor Movie Series (August 25 @ Sorauren Avenue Park)
A pre-show pizza party is going down with prizes to boot, plus a free outdoor screening of the 2016 Ghostbusters remake.
Halloween H20 (August 25 @ Revue Cinema)
The torment continues twenty years later in this 1998 sequel to the original Halloween that has, with the help of LL Cool J, now entered cult-status.
Toxik (August 25 @ Coalition: T.O)
Cut out the sugar and go for the jugular with New York thrash metal rockers Toxik as they make a stop in Toronto as part of a mini Canadian tour.
Tamil Fest (August 25-26 @ Markham Road)
Now in its third year, Tamil Fest looks to celebrate Tamil culture with exhibits, traditional food, entertainment and performances.
Scarborough Afro-Carib Fest (August 25-26 @ Scarborough Civic Centre)
A huge celebration of Afro-Caribbean culture is going down with two days of food, performances, art, competitions and prizes.
Pan American Food Festival (August 25-26 @ Yonge–Dundas Square)
Foods from all over the American continent is getting served up alongside activities, competitions and live performances.
The best used bookstores in Toronto are the last bastions of vintage hard copy books. In the age of Kindle and Kobo, these little shops are the only places you'll find rare first editions you can't download off the internet. Support them now before they disappear forever.
Here are the best used bookstores in Toronto.3 - Monkey's Paw
As its name implies, this Bloorcourt bookstore is all about adventure—namely the one of discovering awesome old reads. Any book lover can spend an unreasonable amount of time perusing the shelves here, but the store's biggest draw is definitely the Biblio-Mat: a homemade machine that shoots out a random used book for the cost of a Twoonie.
4 - BMV Books
There's multiple locations of this independent bookstore brand around the city, but this one in the Annex remains a favourite. Get lured in by their signature stacks of cheap used reads at the front of the store and stay for its easy-to-walk-through aisles and huge selection of well-priced books.
5 - Re:Reading
This neat store with locations on the Danforth and in the Beaches sells used books and DVDs in pretty much every genre. The offering here is general, ranging from classics to contemporary novels, used CDs and DVDs, and lots of hard covers — all for really good prices. Keep an eye out for their frequent sales and the Star Trek memorabilia scattered around the place (the owner's a fan).
8 - Book Exchange
Sitting in the Junction, this little bookstore is a highly curated space that once looked even neater compared to its now-shuttered neighbour, the notoriously cluttered Dencan's. The selection here is pretty limited but What Book Exchange lacks in quantity it makes up for in quality, especially in its literature section.
6 - Balfour Books
Located in Little Italy, this small shop has a quality of its own. Neither dusty nor discount-oriented, Balfour is a cozy yet classy store where you can find a surprising amount of used gems well below average retail pricing. They also have a good number of coffee tables books too, if you're looking to spruce up the living room.
11 - Doug Miller Books
Doug knows books, and he knows his inventory. This teeny-tiny Koreatown delight is crowded with fiction, sci-fi, mystery, graphic novels, and children's books (also Lego pieces everywhere). Head here if you're looking for a bookstore with a really personal touch.
9 - Great Escape Books
Lined floor-to-ceiling with books, this quirky store in the Upper Beaches is worth taking a trip with the family to. There's guaranteed to be something here for everyone (they've got a great kids' section) and despite being packed with everything from vintage sci-fi to children's books and CanLit, the space feels organized enough to pass hours by in.
10 - Pandemonium
Offering an eclectic selection of old finds, this book store in the Junction actually deals in mostly anything used, from vintage records to CDs and art. There's lot of breathing room here, and lovers of fiction will find a well-sized offering of pre-loved reads here.
7 - A Good Read
Roncesvalles is home to couple of great bookstores, but head to A Good Read if you fancy first editions and signed copies of fiction. Can-lit sits up front, with a good graphic novel section and smaller variety of paperbacks. If you're looking for some rarities, this is one of the top places to find them.
Todmorden Mills is a small piece of historic land sitting in one of the greenest stretches of Toronto: the Don Valley.
Embodying several centuries of industrial change in the city, the heritage site offers a glimpse into the early days of Toronto (back when it was called York) and its relationship with the small industrial village known as Todmorden.
Today, the site and park sits between the bustling DVP and Broadview Avenue, located just off of an ever-winding Pottery Road. Not far across the highway lies the Don Valley Brick Works.
A visit here shouldn't take more than an hour to explore, if you include the 9.2 hectare Wildflower Preserve, which you can explore via a 15-minute walk through the Oxbow Trail.
Historically, Todmorden Mills' inception as a small settlement began with early Town of York's need for lumber, established in the heart of the valley in 1795.
Powered by the water from the Don River, Todmorden's sawmill created construction materials which were transported south to York via several roads connecting to the shore of Lake Ontario, including Broaview and Pottery Road as we know them today.
The lumber mill eventually expanded to include grist- then paper mills (which produced York's first machine-made paper), a brewery, a distillery, and buildings for workers to live in with their families.
A fire in 1900 eventually ceased all papermaking—though the paper mill's tall chimney still stands today—and areas of the property became home to a few riding schools.
In later years, the 'Dirty Thirties' brought many unemployed men (who unironically called themselves the 'Cave and Shack Dwellers') to the area, where they sought refuge in the valley and in the kilns of the Don Valley Brickworks during winter.
More dramatically, the years during WWII saw the site become a holding ground for German prisoners of war, where they laboured in the neighbouring Don Valley Brick Works before being repatriated in 1945.
Today, what's left of the entire property consists of four buildings, including two 19th century houses, a brewery (which acts as a museum and gallery), and the recently restored paper mill (now the Papermill Theatre & Gallery, which hosts cultural events throughout the year.)
The Helliwell House is the oldest structure on the site. Made of mud brick, the two-storey house was built in 1838 and includes an extension built sometime in the 1860s. The second remaining house, called the Cottage, is suspected to have been built in 1850.
Re-opened as the Todmorden Mills Historic Site in 1967 under the eye of East York's mayor True Davidson and conservationist Charles Sauriol, the mill site also housed the Don railways station before it migrated down to Roundhouse Park after 40 years.
The Don River has suffered extensively due to all the industrialization, the most damaging of all being the construction of the DVP. Several convervationist groups have assembled since the 1940s to protect and restore the area.
The resulting creation is the Wildflower Preserve, established in 1991. A path called the Oxbow Trail travels through the preserve and takes about 15 minutes to walk.
Surveying the fields of scenic nature here, Todmorden is a reminder that although Toronto's history may be an industrial past, sustainability and greenery are all a part of the city's future.
Yes folks, this is really happening—the future is now.
Toronto is officially getting a sex doll brothel, meaning people will soon be able to bed some life-sized ladies made completely of silicone in just a couple of weeks.
Aura Dolls is slated to open at 4632 Yonge St. on Sept. 8, taking over an old tanning salon located in a low-key plaza just south of Sheppard.
It marks the first to open in North America, which, whether you agree with the concept or not, is a big moment for both the sex work and technology industries (the silicone tech sector, anyway—these aren't robots).
According to its website, the new spot for silicone sexy time will be open 24/7, offering six "classy, sophisticated, and adventurous ladies; curated for the discerning gentlemen."
Made from high quality TPE silicone, the dolls are the closest thing you can currently get to a real human, minus the heart and the brain, and you know, the 'alive' part.
Clients will be able to pay rates that start at $80 for half an hour with one doll to as much as $480 for a four-hour session to act out their fantasies with dolls like Jazmine, the "Exotic Faced Angel,' or Scarlett, 'The Absolute American Dream.'
It's double that amount for time with two dolls at once, and monthly packages will also be available for those dedicated to sex with dummies.
According to Aura, the dolls are "throughly" (I think they meant thoroughly) sanitized.
On top of that, the entrance and exits are located separately to ensure privacy for clients. And they offer free parking!
Though the idea of sex dolls certainly isn't a new concept, and the threats of the "uncanny valley" has been explored in films and pop culture for years, having a full on sex doll brothel in the city feels like the first steps into a new age of sex and tech.
A number of these establishments have already opened in Europe (the world's first opened in Germany in 2017), and not without their fair share of controversy and debate.
The Finch Hydro Corridor recreational trail is a 22.5-kilometre walking and bike path that runs from east to west.
Stretching from Norfinch Drive in the west to Middlefield Road in the east, the Finch Corridor trail is best known for its sprawling views of the transmission towers north of Finch, running parallel to the major street.
For those who have never taken a walk along the trail, it's best to be aware that not all of the Corridor is full of rolling green hills. Divided into 5 parts, the path interrupts at certain intersections, like the area that stops just west of Yonge and picks back up at Willowdale.
The first sections of the Corridor ever built were completed in 2011. Spanning 13-kilometres, it includes the areas between Norfinch and Yonge, as well as the Finch Corridor East Trail between Birchmount and Middlefield.
Leaving the entire area between those two entry points unconnected, the City added an extra 3 kilometres to the Corridor between Willowdale and Pineway Boulevard that was finished completely in 2014.
There are plans to eventually connect and expand the Corridor to span 30 kilometres as part of the Ten-Year Cycling Network Plan. A 1.6-kilometre trail between Birchmount and Pharmacy Road is in the works, as are better pavement markings and signals, benches, and bike racks.
In the meantime, in order to get acquainted with the trail, I recommend checking out the most scenic part of the the Finch Corridor, which runs through the G. Ross Lord Dam and Reservoir between Wilmington Avenue, heading east before hitting Bathurst.
From here, you'll get an incredible view of the hydro towers popping up from the reservoir waters and heading east to the North York Civic Soccer Fields: in total a 30-minute walk between the two points, if you're strolling at a relaxed pace.
From bustling Finch, you'll have to cross a bridge over the reservoir to hit the multi-use trail where transmission lines built by Ontario Hydro in the 1950s tower overhead.
It's an excellent spot for a scenic walk at either sun-up or sun-down. There's always the option of continuing your trip further east, but if you're worried about overexposure to electromagnetic fields, this small patch of the Corridor should do.
Residents of a Toronto neighbourhood have created a memorial to a unique loss: that of a 100-year-old tree that was just cut down.
The beloved silver maple on Roncesvalles, which had been granted heritage status, is the latest victim of Toronto’s recent storms.
they cut down the oldest tree on roncy ave and i guess people felt some type of way about it pic.twitter.com/NqwojItK9G— Rich Sweet (@djrichsweet) August 24, 2018
Though it stood around four storeys tall with a 320-centimetre circumference, it was found when branches fell during the storm that it was mostly hollow inside and therefore a liability.
If you spent much time in this neighbourhood, it would have been virtually impossible not to have noticed the towering 130 year old silver maple tree in front of St. Vincent de Paul church on Roncesvalles. It had a thick warty trunk and was supported by a soft sidewalk so that its roots could breathe and grow. It had also been designated by the city as a heritage tree as it was one of the oldest trees in a populated area in Toronto. I would often pat its large generous trunk when walking by or point it out to friends. Since yesterday, I’ve observed dozens of people paying their respects to it through my apt window. The stump is now covered with messages, bird seeds, more flowers and some images (of the tree). I’m so touched to discover how appreciated it was and in general, people’s deep affection for trees. It was a cool one and we will miss it.
Believed to be one of the oldest commercial trees in Toronto, the Ontario Heritage Tree Program granted the tree heritage status after considering its cultural and historical significance and reviewing a moving video nomination by a local TV producer and environmental steward.
Ever walked along that stretch of Roncesvalles and wondered why the sidewalk is made out of flexible material? It was actually installed to protect the tree’s roots and allow air and water to circulate.
So far the humble shrine consists of flowers, candles, birdseed, messages scrawled on the stump and photos of the tree itself. Whether or not a tree being cut down gives you the feels, yet another iconic Toronto landscape has been changed forever.
Since its origins as the "Festival of Festivals" TIFF has been a prime showcase for the best of international films and a perfect way for local audiences to take in celebrated works from around the world. This tradition continues with many of the major award winners from Cannes making their North American bow at TIFF 2018.
Here's a round-up of Cannes award winners to see at TIFF this year.
Hirokazu Kore-eda’s Palme d’or winner is another of the Japanese master’s family-set stories, this one with a touch more pathos than his usual fare. With fine performances, Ozu-like composition and plenty of pre-fest buzz this is an easy pick to make.
The winner of the Caméra D’Or for best first feature at Cannes, Lukas Dhont's compelling look at a trans ballerina had audiences in tears, captivated by the based-on-a-true-story narrative and sensitive depiction of a young girl's life and struggles to achieve with her art.
Nadine Labaki’s film about urban poverty and the plight of the outcast in Lebanon received some cynical responses from a vocal few at Cannes, but the jury saw through the noise and gave the Jury Prize for this remarkable work. Astounding performances drawn out from her young actors (one a toddler!) it’s certainly worthy of celebration.
Jean-Luc Godard Special Palme d'Or winner that serves as rumination on cinema,the Middle East and acts as a love letter to terrorism. Given that the building blocks are drawn from Jaws and Citizen Kane, this 90 minutes of mayhem may be as close to accessible as late-period JLG is likely to get.
Matteo Garrone (Gommorah, TIFF 2008) returns with the biting Dogman, starring Marcello Fonte who won best actor at Cannes (as well as the facetious "Palm Dog"). This brutal, animalistic allegory about alpha male dominance is one of the great films of the year.
At Cannes I unreservedly fell in love with this tale of cross border romance, musical expression and war time challenges. Exquisitely made, with sumptuous black and white imagery, it practically makes your heart sing. The Cannes jury agreed, granting Pawel Pawlikowski the Best Director prize.
The less you know about Ali Abbasi’s terrific feature the better, but suffice it to say you’re unlikely to see a more brave and bizarre romance from this winner of Cannes’ Un Certain Regard sidebar top prize.
An acerbic look at the weaponization of #FakeNews, Sergei Loznitsa’s anthology tale provides a surreal, scathing take at the lives of those in Eastern Ukraine. This winner of the Un Certain Regard best director prize feels both highly personally and depressingly universal.
If you’ve never stomached Gaspar Noé’s Kool-Aid the time may be now to take a drink. The aggressively outré Noé serves a heady cocktail that mixes documentary, dance and delusion yet still sober enough to take home the Cannes Director’s Fortnight Art Cinema award.
The TIFF note describes this as “genre-blending, gender-blending satire”. The winner of the Cannes Critic’s Week grand prize, it's trippy Soccer saga shot on 16mm just might add the right dash of arthouse gonzo fun to this year’s Midnight Madness slate.
Lying around, doing laundry and Pedestrian Sundays are all part of events in Toronto today. Elsewhere, there's still another day of Korean Harvest Festival, Tamil Fest and more barbecue and beers than you can handle.Events you might want to check out:
Pedestrian Sundays (August 26 @ Kensington Market)
Kensington goes carless for the day to make space for food, dancing, music, makers and meditation in the street.
Miguel (August 26 @ RBC Echo Beach)
R&B star Miguel has been making waves with his Ascension tour and returns to Toronto to perform alongside homegrown duo DVSN.
Promise Cherry Beach (August 26 @ Cherry Beach)
This week's electro beach party shines, featuring Toronto's own Kenny Glasgow on decks alongside a surprise international guest DJ.
Toronto Artisan Market (August 26 @ Trinity Bellwoods)
Since you're probably heading to Bellwoods anyway, heads up that there's a big curated market featuring arts and crafts by local makers.
Lucha Libre Wrestling (August 26 @ Lee's Palace)
Wild, death-defying and off-the-wall wrestling is going down as "Swerve" Shane Strickland puts on one heck of a show.
Celebration of Improv (August 26 - September 1 @ Social Capital Theatre)
It's an improv extravaganza as over 300 performers take the stage during 30 shows during this week-long celebration of improv.
Korean Harvest Festival (August 24-26 @ Mel Lastman Square)
There's still lots of celebrations ahead for this big festival. Traditional foods, performances, activities and more are all happening throughout the day.
Tamil Fest (August 25-26 @ Markham Road)
Another day of all things Tamil culture, food, arts and entertainment is on, along with exhibits, kid's programming and performances.
Beer, Bourbon and BBQ Fest (August 24-26 @ Ontario Place)
More barbecue hits the grill for a final day of brews, bourbon and cocktails served up alongside live music, axe throwing and bull riding. Giddy-up!
Lost Episode Fest (August 24-26 @ Carlton Cinema)
It's not too late to check out a bunch of thriller, fantasy, horror, sci-fi and animation films and shorts before this film festival wraps up for another year.
There's usually a catch with free stuff, but events in Toronto this week prove that's not always the case. Check out the final Indie Friday for the season, watch some acrobats doing their thing or pick up a new trinket for the homestead—all without spending a penny.Events you might want to check out:
Movie Nights in the Beach (August 29 @ Kew Gardens)
Show up and spread out for a free outdoor screening of 2017's Wonder Woman along with complimentary popcorn to boot.
Indie Fridays (August 31 @ Yonge–Dundas Square)
We're already at the end of Indie Fridays for the season but there's still one free concert to go with Clairmont The Second and The Dirty B-Sides.
BuskerFest (August 31 - September 3 @ Woodbine Park)
The art of busking takes over for a weekend of performances of all kinds including fire jugglers, acrobats, aerial artists, clowns, daredevils and more.
Artfest (August 31 - September 3 @ The Distillery Historic District)
Artists from all over Canada come to showcase their paintings, photography, crafts, sculpture and more amongst live music and activities.
Really Really Free Market (September 1 @ Campbell Park)
Freedom from spending arrives with this monthly market. No money, no swapping, just free treasures waiting to be discovered.
TIFF is a terrific showcase of the best of international cinema, with loads of films from countries around the globe finding their audience in this cinema mad town.
There are many excellent works that already won awards at other fests, but these are my picks for the must-see foreign films at TIFF this year.
A rich story of an ever transforming China, TIFF darling Jia Zhang-ke returns with a film that includes yet another powerhouse performance by his wife and muse Zhao Tao, this time as a woman whose own journey reflects that of her nation. Brilliant stuff.
For many at Cannes Lee Chang-dong's subtle thriller was the highlight of the festival and a shock to not have received any attention from the Jury. At TIFF it's sure to get its fair share of love from an audience eager for more excellence from the Korean master.
Sure, I'm a sucker for Samurai tales, but this chambara (aka, "sword fighting movie") by Japanese cult director Shinya Tsukamoto looks like it will have just the right level of Kurosawa fetishization for me to fall in love with.
I grant that there's no way the film can live up to that epic title (or to the true evil that is my own feline companion) but any story involving a poet and a monk teaming up in a kind of buddy-cop investigation is one that pleases from the get go.
Paulo Sorrentino skewers Silvio Berlusconi in this fictionalized version of the Italian political tyrant's travails, bringing the King of Bunga Bunga parties onto the screen in what promises to be a darkly comedic, scathing look at the man.
A dark tale set during the Argentinian military dictatorship, Benjamín Naishtat's film about a lawyer who finds himself in circumstances he can't control looks to be a visually compelling, surreal exercise in paranoia and dread.
This semi-autobiographical movie by Oscar winner Alfonso Cuarón looks to be a compelling tale about the country of his birth and the women that shaped the artist's life, as well as a welcome return to the personal stories that first brought his work to the world's attention.
An epic from Zhang Yimou, the master of light and colour who for decades shaped modern Chinese cinema. With hints that this film may be one of his most bold, experimental and exciting yet it's easy enough to take a chance on work from such a precise and complex filmmaker.
László Nemes' last film was a revelation and won an Oscar, so there's plenty of anticipation for this follow up from the director Son of Saul. Another period piece shot on film, this pre-WW1 tale of a woman confronting her past looks to be extraordinary.
After receiving plenty of positive press for his 2014 film Phoenix, German director Christian Petzold rises again with this tale of refugees during Word War II that surely speak as much to the past as they do to the complications of the present in an ever changing Europe.
The best photography galleries in Toronto are the spots to go for aesthetic inspiration. Whether they're showcasing internationally-acclaimed artists or local talents, there's plenty of respected galleries in the city, old and new, to get your photography fix.
Here are the best photography galleries in Toronto.10 - The Black Cat
The small gallery near Roncesvalles is often rented out by exhibitors showcasing modern work by a variety of emerging and established artists. Founded by photographer Andrew Williamson, the space may be small, but its eclectic lineup of exhibits range from classic photography from Toronto legends to new works from newbie artists.
3 - Stephen Bulger Gallery
Considered a veteran gallery at the forefront of Toronto's fine photography scene, this Dundas West spot has an inventory of around 15,000 photographs. The founder, Stephen Bulger, was one of the founders of the Contact Festival.
4 - Ryerson Image Centre
An extension of Ryerson University's Image Arts program, this gallery offers resources for both students and the public, with an impressive international exhibition schedule, a student gallery, and free exhibition tours daily.
5 - Gallery 44
One of the more diverse photo-centric gallery spaces in the city, this artist-run centre in 401 Richmond puts on exciting exhibitions revolving around non-traditional and developmental photography featuring primarily up-and-coming talent.
9 - BAND Gallery
Dedicated to showcasing work from Black artists in Canada and worldwide, this gallery and event space in Parkdale isn't restricted to photography, but it does have an overall goal of developing emerging artists (predominantly photographers) in the Black community. The gallery also runs a Quarterly Canadian Culture Series, hosting dialogues which break down what it means to be Black in Canada.
8 - Corkin Gallery
One of Toronto's best-known spaces for photo work, this Distillery District gallery has been around forever. Corkin offers some of the most big-name work Toronto has to offer, and hosts large-scale shows from their roster of established international and Canadian artists.
11 - Prefix Institute of Contemporary Art
Both an art gallery and a publishing house, Prefix has been a well-respected venue for contemporary photography and arts since 2003. Located in the 401 Richmond building, the award-winning gallery consists of three spaces, with its main room dedicated mostly to photography, running three to five exhibitions a year.
7 - Analogue Gallery
This gallery on Sterling Road sits at the intersection of photography and music history. Selling works that document eras of rock and roll, Analogue was opened in 2009 as a place where art collectors can find the best shots of legends like Jimi, The Beatles and Diana Ross.
6 - Bau-Xi Photo
Located across the street from the AGO on Dundas, this gallery focuses strictly on traditional photography. It tends to get neglected by everyday art observers in favour of the AGO, but this commercial gallery is where real art heads go to check out the latest in fine photography.
The latest social media sensation to hit Toronto isn’t a Drake meme, dead raccoon or newborn animal at the zoo. It’s not a gigantic rubber duck, either, but you’re getting warmer.
It’s a gold giraffe erected for the Bentway Block Party under the Gardiner. She has a name, and it’s Kendra.
Psst. Do you know we're getting a gigantic giraffe piñata (designed by @gensler_design) as part of The #BentwayBlockParty? See Kendra the giraffe Aug 25 under the Gardiner. https://t.co/rBOnVzKbdOpic.twitter.com/hh8aTGsPNx— The Bentway (@thebentway) August 23, 2018
She’s 26 feet tall, and though she’s been called a pinata quite a few times and is covered in gold fringe, underneath all glitter she’s actually a giant inflatable structure.
The giraffe was created by Gensler Design as part of the Bentway Block Party celebrations.
Who wants to see a 26 foot tall Giraffe piñata? ME!! Excited for @thebentway, their completion of Phase 1 and the block party 60— Todd Hofley (@toddhofley) August 24, 2018
Years in the making that’s happening tomorrow, August 25. #tobentway#BentwayBlockParty#LibertyVillage#LVRApic.twitter.com/LnOsIkGXC7
There was also a street dance competition, selfie station, live performances by local musicians, and refreshments.
The party was put on to celebrate the completion of Phase 1 of the Bentway’s construction.
During the winter, the space under the Gardiner known as the Bentway was transformed into an ice skating track.
The Eaton Centre is the latest target of vegan protests that have been getting attention across the city.
At least they’ve moved on to the more corporate target of a large mall rather than infamously posting up in large crowds outside a certain independent restaurant serving meat.
300 protesters swarmed the mall in a slow-moving clump on Saturday, going up and down escalators, singing and chanting into megaphones. Security attempted to block the doors and escalators unsuccessfully.
They held signs aloft with language now familiar from past protests and a growing number of subway ads such as “Animals do not want to die” and “It’s not food, it’s violence,” as well as posters with photos of cows and chickens captioned “I want to live” and “I need your voice.”
Protesters also wore tees inscribed with the phrases “United for Animals,” “Vegan Legion” and “Animal Liberation Now,” indicating their affiliation with vegan groups, movements and events.
The demonstration was spearheaded by animal rights activism network Direct Action Everywhere.
Social media footage of the demonstration is by turns annoying, haunting and moving. Setting off a fire alarm is downright irresponsible, while singing sixties hit “What the World Needs Now” seems more harmless; aggravating at best.
While some online commenters get fired up over the sheer mention of veganism alone, some seemed touched or approving. Others just wanted to keep on shopping til they dropped.
Little Tibet is an enclave of Parkdale that is home to the largest concentration of Tibetans outside of Asia.
With its main drag running along Queen Street from around Dunn Ave. to just west of Sorauren Ave., the non-Tibetan citizenry know this area as one of the only places in Toronto to find traditional cuisine like momos and thenthuk noodles.
But for the tightly-knit community that lives in Little Tibet proper (which encompasses the residential area between Queen, the Gardiner, and Atlantic Ave.) this busy neighbourhood is more than just a place for Tibetans to set up shop.
Known as 'the gateway' to Canada, Parkdale and its historically affordable housing (though slow-burning friction escalating between developers and residents is changing the landscape) have long been viewed as ideal landing ground for those fleeing Chinese-occupied Tibet.
Here, exiled Tibetans can express their culture without fear of persecution. Women wearing traditional chupas walk along Jameson, and pictures of His Holiness hang freely in shops like Mandala Bakery, an action which warrants life imprisonment or death in Tibet today.
Even during off-hours, restaurants like Tsampa Cafe and Himalayan Kitchen are usually full of locals speaking a mix of Hindi, Nepali, or Tibetan, while the streets bustle with elders with grocery bags filled with frozen momos in hand.
Considered the last leg of a diasporic journey whose stops often include India and Nepal, it's been decades since the first Tibetans were resettled in Canada under the Tibetan Refugee Program in 1971, with more than 8,000 Tibetans living in Toronto today.
Since those early years, Tibetan culture has grown to define this small strip of Queen St. in the form of, most notably, a slew of delicious restaurants like Loga's Corner and Norling, but also by way activism, and sometimes both combined.
Grassroots-level civic engagement here is pretty much unmatched in any other parts of the city, led by a highly politicized Tibetan youth who, unlike older generations, are equipped with English and the social services that Toronto has to offer.
Borne of that movement are people like Parkdale-native Bhutila Karpoche, who was recently elected to represent the Parkdale-High Park riding and is the first Tibetan to ever be elected into office in North America.
Just a few minutes walk on Jameson (south of the Vietnamese-owned and sometimes rowdy community hub Jason's Coffee Shop where many older Tibetan men congregate) is Parkdale College Institute, an historic high school whose student population is more than 30 percent Tibetan.
On Wednesdays you'll see scores of people gather by the tennis court to perform the traditional circle dance, performed here for the last five years in solidarity with the Lhakar movement.
"We realized non-Tibetans loved momos," says Sonam Chokey, the National Director of SFT. "We saw an opportunity with the growing number of Tibetan restaurants to promote visibility for Tibetans and educate about the Parkdale area."
Taking place on one Sunday every year, the Momo Crawl provides participants a 'momo passport' for $25 which grants them one traditional steamed dumplings from ten restaurants in Little Tibet.
All proceeds for momos via old faves like Shangrila and Tibet Kitchen go to SFT, and since its inception in 2015, the number of event passports sold have jumped up to 600 a year, with 90 per cent of participants being non-Tibetan.
It's no secret rent has shot through the roof due to changing bylaws, directly affecting Tibetan businesses. The Momo Crawl helps old and new restaurants like Yak Cafe and Tiny Cafe by drawing customers to the area while funding the stateless Tibetan community worldwide.
And as commercial efforts to re-brand the area as Vegandale threaten to overshadow the neighbourhood's history with a new type of food activism which locals view as forced and inaccessible, events like Momo Crawl stand on the other side, equipped with Tibetan cuisine.
"Tibetans have a sort of innate longing for community so we always find each other somehow, we just gravitate toward each other," says Sonam, who, unsurprisingly, is against the re-branding of a neighbourhood where Tibetans have been living, working, and lobbying for so long.
"[Parkdale] has really become a place where Tibetans can set their roofs after being displaced for so long," she says. "It's one of the first places where I felt at home."