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    The best BBQ chicken places in Toronto are where you’ll find slow-roasted skewers of juicy chicken, Portuguese-style. Get your fix of piri piri sauce at these churrasqueiras and round it off with a side of those tender Parisienne potatoes.

    Here are the best BBQ chicken places in Toronto.

    5 - The Rooster Rotisserie and Grill

    This Bloorcourt chicken joint offers the choice between whole rotisserie-cooked or butterflied grilled birds with a selection of stellar sides, which include lemon roasted potatoes and roasted artichokes.
    11 - Churrasquiera Do Sardinha

    A Little Italy fave, this beloved eatery serves up slow-roasted chicken that’s simple and delicious. It’s a no frills spot to gorge on saucy chicken brushed with piri piri on a bed of rice and potatoes.
    6 - Churrasco Portugril

    This homey spot by Eglinton and Victoria Park has a big menu of favourites like sandwiches and ribs, but obviously the roasted chicken is where it’s at. And if you like their peri peri hot sauce, you can take some home.
    7 - Bairrada Churrasqueira

    Maybe the most famous Portuguese BBQ chicken place in the city, Bairrada’s cozy patio is as famous as the chicken dinners they serve, best enjoyed while watching the game with a pitcher of sangria.
    8 - Churrasqueira Martins

    Fine dining meets a casual takeout counter at this Rogers Road restaurant, where you can take some rotisserie chicken to-go or choose to eat it in their surprisingly fancy dining room which boasts a huge selection of wine.
    3 - St. Matthew's BBQ Chicken

    This counter on Roger’s Road is the definition of family-run. The Pintos live on top of the restaurant and their kids have taken over by serving some of the juiciest chicken around. Better than their famous smoky hot sauce are their low prices.
    4 - Best Portuguese Chicken

    More fondly known as BPC, this Queensway joint is popular with Etobicoke folks for their huge portions of delicious rotisserie birds with moist potatoes and rice pilaf, served with veggies or a side of house salads.
    9 - Churrasqueira Costa Verde

    Specializing in whole-grilled or rotisserie chicken covered in piri piri sauce, this Oakwood takeout counter does a hearty serving of bird with grilled veggies, roasted potatoes, rice, fries, and side salad.
    10 - Churrasqueira Portugal

    This traditional spot by Eglinton and Dufferin sells quarters, halves, and wholes of that addictive piri piri-covered chicken. Their hot table is also decked out with rice, potatoes and shrimp puffs to round out your meat.

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    A man was arrested for carrying what looked like a semi-automatic rifle in a yellow grocery bag on the 501 Queen streetcar. 

    ttc rifle torontoApproximately four police cruisers surrounded a stalled eastbound streetcar at Queen and Augusta to apprehend a long-haired man wearing a trench coat and what bystanders describe as metal armour underneath. 

    ttc rifle torontoSix officers escorted the man from the streetcar and placed him in handcuffs during what seemed to be a relatively resistance-free arrest. They then proceeded to inspect the rifle before placing it in a cop cruiser.  

    Gun violence is an especially sensitive issue in the city now considering yesterday's scare at Yorkdale and ongoing conversations regarding a nationwide gun ban, so it's no surprise this incident has been met with some serious alarm.

    As it turns out, The Toronto Police later confirmed the man was cosplaying, and the rifle was a replica.

    TTC spokesperson Brad Ross issued the following statement: "The TTC advises anyone travelling on the TTC to Fan Expo or anywhere else to leave their replica weapons in their replica armouries."

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    The cheery CNE this year has had a slightly gloomy thorn in its side that’s impossible to ignore: a picket line that every visitor to the carnival implicitly crosses.

    But what about the performers providing entertainment throughout the festival?

    Toronto-based alt-pop R&B singer-songwriter Ezra Jordan “was a little concerned” when he heard about the picketing at the CNE, but he reveals that “as a Musicians Union member I was not permitted to drop out of the contract I had signed to perform due to the protest.” 

    It appears the CNE’s focus this time has been keeping things rolling according to plan and minimizing the picket line outside. “Not much of it was made to us,” says Jordan. “I never actually even saw the line.”

    “We stand behind better wages for all people,” says Menno Versteeg of Canadian band Hollerado. He says their union apparently does nothing for them, and as musicians their pay is controlled solely by what they’re worth on the free market.

    He understands that their unstable economic situation as a band may make playing the CNE seem oxymoronic to some, but emphasizes that this one Toronto gig during the summer is crucial to supporting not only themselves, but Hollerado’s entire team.

    In order to land this one big paycheck, the gig is agreed upon months in advance, and not only pays the band’s rent for months but also goes towards Hollerado’s own sound, light and guitar techs.

    He also makes the point that fans who bought tickets in advance wouldn’t be refunded. Additionally, it’s important to understand that the picketing workers are actually employed by the grounds the CNE and many other events take place on, not the Ex itself. Workers actually rallied at city hall as well (but there’s no cotton candy there).

    “As for Eat My Bowls, we are contracted by the CNE to be here, as are hundreds of other vendors,” says food vendor Brad Fennema. “We’ve been told that the dispute is between Exhibition Place, the landlord of the CNE, and IATSE Local 58.

    We stand with the members of @iatse58 #58lockedout

    A post shared by Julian Taylor Band (@juliantaylorband) on

    The Julian Taylor Band echoes both Fennema’s sentiment of being contracted to play by the CNE, as well as as Versteeg’s stance for better wages for all.

    Some bands like Birds of Bellwoods will even be going so far as to spend time on the actual picket line on the day of their performance. Like the Julian Taylor Band, they have no hesitations about sharing the sentiments of union representatives on their social media platforms and from the stage.

    “We, like many other vendors, hope to see the issue resolved,” says Fennema. “The impact of the lockout has been felt at all levels, and all we can do is keep our chins up and look forward to next year.”

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    U.S. President Donald Trump is a "f*cking idiot," according to Canadian hero and rapper Drake.

    Drizzy declared the news to 16,000 screaming Americans at the Barclays Centre in Brooklyn on Thursday night during a stop on his ongoing Aubrey and the Three Migos tour.

    "Right now, I feel like we're all living in a country where they try and tell us every single day, on our cell phone, on the news, they try and tell us that we're living in a divided country," he said to the crowd over the intro beat to his hit song "God's Plan."

    "And we're listening to this, this fucking idiot that's in office… you understand, we're listening to this idiot in office that's trying to tell us that something's going on."

    The audience exploded into cheers and applause at this.

    "And meanwhile, right here in Brooklyn, we got 16,000 people from all races and all places and all we're doing is just sitting here, enjoying ourselves, listening to music," Drake continued.

    "So I wanna tell you from the bottom of my heart I’m proud of you, because no matter how they tell us the world is going, this is how the world is supposed to work right here."

    The artist continued to thank his fans and attribute his success to their support before launching into his final song of the night — but not before saying "My name is Drake and I come from Toronto, Canada."

    This line, too, got lots of cheers.

    President Trump has yet to respond to the diss, but something tells me that he might take to Twitter with a few choice words of his own.

    Drake's tour with Migos continues tonight with two more shows in Brooklyn before they head to Montreal.

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    From puppy yoga to cat cafes, it seems there is a growing trend sweeping across the GTA of combining cuddly animals with leisurely activities. And, with reports claiming that spending time with pets can reduce stress, anxiety and depression, these activities also offer a pretty powerful mental health boost as well. 

    Located just one hour outside Toronto in Newtonville, Haute Goat is one of the latest farms to jump on this craze, with their insanely popular Goat Shmurgle. This experience will take you behind-the-scenes on the farm, where you will meet and mingle with the resident alpacas, chickens and horses, before moving on to the main attraction - the goats.

    A post shared by Tiffany Roza (@tiffro) on

    Nearly 25 Nigerian dwarf goats will explode out of the gates, dancing in excitement for the walk you will lead them on (with guides) through the rolling hills on the 200-acre property.

    A post shared by Haute Goat (@hautegoat) on

    You'll spend about 45 minutes hiking through the flower fields with mini goats at your feet. Next comes the "shmurgling." This means, the goats will literally treat you like a climbing playground, resulting in cuteness overload and some pretty epic selfies. 

    A post shared by Drea (@dreanettles) on

    The session will then end with some delicious samples of local goat cheeses, or you can even add a yummy farm lunch to your afternoon. 

    Goat Shmurgles only run on Wednesday and Sunday, and tickets are $25 per person, which you can purchase on the website.

    A post shared by Glenda (@glen_shifted) on

    If you loved the idea of cuddling with the goats, you'll definitely want to check out the other workshops Haute Goat hosts like the 'Milk a Goat - Make Goat Cheese' event that is happening throughout all of October. 

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    Have you ever taken the streetcar all the way across town just for fun? It's an excellent way to see the city, and an even better way to document Toronto's fast-changing neighbourhoods for the sake of history.

    Inspired by Norweigan-style Slow TV, a YouTuber named Ze Han filmed the entire north side of Queen Street (and beyond) on August 27 while heading eastbound on the 501 streetcar.

    The resulting video is over an hour long and, for whatever reason, it's absolutely hypnotizing.

    In Han's film, the streetcar starts at the Humber Loop and continues all the way to Neville Park in real time, passing through Parkdale, West Queen West, the Entertainment District, the Garden District, Moss Park, Regent Park, Leslieville, The Beaches and so on and so far.

    At times, the ride is painfully slow — as the TTC can be in real life — but watching all of the cool people and places roll by outside Han's window is entertaining.

    It's like enjoying the best part of riding a streetcar while skipping all the smells and scary encounters, you know? Even the stops are exciting in an "OMG I've been there!" kind of way.

    queen streetcar view

    "I've done this ride a million times and it's still interesting to watch it on video," commented one of the video's viewers. Image via Ze Han.

    As many on Reddit have pointed out, the video should prove even more valuable in the future.

    "Think about how neat it would be to see this same video shot in 1998. How much better would it be watching one from 1978? Or how about 1958?" wrote one commenter. "Thanks for sharing."

    "In all seriousness, this will be great to watch in 20~30+ years," wrote someone else. "I love seeing how spaces and locations develop over time."

    Also cool? The video's halfway point (around 36:45) lines up almost perfectly with Yonge Street, where Queen West turns into Queen East.

    A worthy watch if you're looking for something chill and nostalgic.

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    Labour Day weekend is in full effect today and events in Toronto include some ongoing heavy-hitters like the CNE, BuskerFest and Fan Expo. Elsewhere, Le Burger Week kicks off and there's the beach-side rave you didn't know you needed.

    Events you might want to check out:

    Sunnyside 20 (September 1 @ Sunnyside Pavilion)
    Cool summer events call for a cool summer party and this one has local and international DJs on deck to help celebrate what's left of the season.
    Femme Fatale (September 1 @ Supermarket)
    The fearless women of Toronto's music community come out for a night of performances by Karis, Effie Sky and Jessie Jean.
    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.
    Rebelmatic (September 1-2 @ Multiple Venues)
    Two nights of hardcore punk are going down with musicians and performers from Toronto's local scene and beyond.
    Le Burger Week (September 1-7 @ Multiple Venues)
    Back again is this week-long burger festival happening at places all over the city, plus a competition to create the most unique burger.
    CNE (August 17 - September 3 @ Exhibition Place)
    The CNE wraps up a season plagued with controversy. If you're crossing the picket line today, lots of eats, attractions, an Air Show and more await you.
    Indie Horror Fest (August 29 - September 1 @ Eyesore Cinema)
    It's the last day to catch a ton of cool horror flicks made by independent filmmakers from Canada and all over the world.
    Fan Expo (August 30 - September 2 @ Metro Toronto Convention Centre)
    A weekend of fandom continues today with special guest appearances and everything from cosplay, comics, anime, hour, gaming and much more.
    Festival Lingua Franca (August 31 - September 1 @ Faith/Void)
    There's still another night of performances lined up during this DIY rock music festival celebrating Black, Latinx and Caribbean communities.
    BuskerFest (August 31 - September 3 @ Woodbine Park)
    Another day of performances by comedians, fire jugglers, acrobats and more is on—plus a huge Mac 'n' cheese festival.

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    If you're looking to spruce up your home, wardrobe or whatever else, warehouse sales in Toronto for September let you do that on the cheap. Save big on designer makeup brands, ultra modern furniture and women's fashions at any of these warehouse sales.

    Events you might want to check out:

    Toni Plus Warehouse Sale (September 4-16 @ Toni Plus Warehouse Outlet)
    Toni Plus is practically giving away dresses, cardigans, sweaters and more during this sale with savings of up to 80% off.
    Estee Lauder Mac Warehouse Sale (September 7-9 @ Markham Fairgrounds)
    Big name beauty products get the slash at this ticketed warehouse sale with brands including Estee Lauder, Clinque, Mac, Origin and more.
    Jalice Warehouse Sale (September 28-30 @ Jalice Interiors)
    Switch it up and pick up something new for the homestead on the cheap during this big inventory clear-out with furniture up to 80% off.

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    Apple picking is an annual ritual for many Toronto residents. The chance to pick fruit fresh from the tree, shop farmers' markets at the height of harvest season, and take in all that fresh country air is too good to pass up.

    Here's a round-up of places to go apple picking near Toronto.

    Applewood Farm Winery

    This Stouffville spot prides itself on being one of Ontario's first pick-your-own farms and provides hay rides into the far orchards. Admission to the farm is $10, and apples are an additional charge of $20.00 for a 20 lbs. bag.

    Brooks Farms

    Pick your own Ida Red, Macintosh, Golden Delicious and Royal Gala apples at this Mount Albert farm during September. Pricing for PYO apples is $40 for a 20 lbs. bag. Brooks also offers smaller bags at varying prices.

    JC Agri Orchards

    This PYO orchard in King City offers a wide variety of apples including McIntosh, Spartan and Cortland all sold by the pound. You'll also find pre-picked and bagged apples in addition to other local produce, apple cider, apple pies, snacks and a refreshment stand.


    It's an annual tradition for generations of Milton families to pick their own apples at this local farm. Apple picking begins in mid-August every year and winds down in late October. Don't miss the farm's signature apple blossoms and other fresh baked goods.


    Apple picking season opens in late August and remains open until early November at this Caledon farm. There is no entrance fee to enter the orchard, however, they do ask that a minimum of $5 of apples be picked per person. It’s $1.70 a pound or if you fill your bag it’s yours for $29.

    Dixie Orchards

    Take a hay ride to the orchards during the month of September at this Caledon farm to choose from 20 varieties of farm-fresh apples. Shop cider, pies and caramel apples at the farm bakery or get lost in the corn maze.

    Pingle's Farm Market

    Fall is a fun time to visit this farm on Taunton Road in Hampton, Ontario. You can PYO apples in the second week of September. They're available alongside a bounty of pre-picked crops, baked goods and family-friendly activities.

    Albion Orchards

    This Caledon farm offers pick-your-own apples and wagon rides on weekends from mid-August to the end of October. There's no admission charge and there's also a country market stocked with pies, jam and gifts on site.

    Watson Farm

    U-Pick apples are offered throughout the month of September at this Bowmanville farm. In addition to orchard fruits, expect to find a wide variety of seasonal produce for sale at the market.

    Pine Farms Orchard

    There's over 20 types of apples to pick from August through October at this King City farm. They're open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week and all apples are sold by the pound.

    Archibald's Orchard & Estate Winery

    Pick your own apples will be open to the public starting Labour Day weekend, and sell for $35 for a 20 lb. bag. The Bowanville orchard will be open 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on weekends for the picking of Silken and Gala apples, among other breeds.

    Organics Family Farm

    Visit this Markham family-run farm in the fall to pick your own apples. Admission to enter is $12 and includes a 5 lbs. bag of PYO apples, with additional apples costing $2.40 per lb. 

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    If Lavender farms are a must-visit summer attraction in Toronto, the fall equivalent must surely be the cranberry farm. What better way to soak up autumn's splendour than by plunging into a sea of bright red cranberries surrounded by dazzling foliage?

    Located in Bala, about two hours north of Toronto, Johnston's Cranberry Farm offers an array of fall activities including the cranberry plunge, which takes visitors waist deep into a marsh specifically made for the perfect fall photo-op.

    The cranberry harvest generally takes place from late September through to the end of October, during which time the farm is a bustling hub of activity. Those making the trip during this period get to witness the unique manner in which cranberries are picked from the marsh.

    While you won't see millions of cranberries sitting atop the water as depicted in an Ocean Spray ad, the process is entirely fascinating. It's also thirst-inducing — look at all those fresh cranberries coming out of the water — which is why you'll want to head to the tasting bar next.

    A post shared by luisdiazb (@luisdiazb) on

    After you're done wading around and viewing the farmers at work, you can try out some of the cranberry wine sold on site. It's a bit tart, but it actually does really well as the base for a sangria. You can also buy cranberries in bulk, of course.

    A post shared by ldbeech (@ldbeech) on

    The cranberry plunge ends for the year on October 22, though harvest activity will continue until the end of the month. The farm itself is open year round. So if you're averse to crowds, you can make the trip after the harvest and enjoy the hiking trails and tastings on offer.

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    The best cafe patios in Toronto serve java with a side of serenity. Whether your view is of a sparkling lake, lush inner city garden or the eccentric sidewalks of Toronto and all those who populate them, it sure beats looking up from your cup of joe, laptop, or conversation and being faced with a blank wall.

    Here are the best cafe patios in Toronto.

    Boxcar Social on Harbourfront 

    Picnic tables on the patio at this outpost of a popular cafe bar afford spectacular views of the waterfront. Enjoy a glass of wine or cup of coffee, connect to the wifi and zone out.

    Dineen Coffee Co. on Temperance

    The outdoor space at this cafe in the middle of everything is as chic as the latte art on delicious coffees.

    Cafe Pamenar

    There’s both a front and back patio at this licensed Kensington hangout, though the back patio is much larger and more lush with greenery.

    Jimmy's 100

    There’s a small front patio and larger back patio at this Portland location of Jimmy’s, complete with all the tried and true favourites fans adore.

    Te Aro

    This Leslieville cafe serving Pilot coffee has an adorable, breezy front patio full of benches, tables and chairs to watch the action on Queen East.

    Quantum Coffee

    This minimalist oasis in the heart of the busy King West neighbourhood provides an outdoor space complete with stark white wooden benches. It's perfect for Instagramming your takeaway cortado on the way to the office.

    Full Stop

    The back patio at this Junction cafe is colourful, private and chill, and you can even order your bagels and Americanos at a cute back window.

    Field Trip

    Spots on this sunny Bloorcourt patio serving coffee and beer are coveted—the tables, seating, WiFi and umbrellas are perfect for long work or hangout sessions.

    Hot Black

    The sweet back patio at this cafe on Queen West right near Osgoode station has picnic tables, exposed brick and army camouflage netting for shade. Keep cool with loaner fans and coffee popsicles.

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    You don't need social media to know that fitness culture has reached its zenith worldwide, though a quick browse through any number of fitspo hashtags on IG will be evidence enough to know that #gymlife is the #bestlife. 

    In Toronto, being part of the corporate work force generally leads people to consider gym memberships—if not as a way to get fit, then as a way of proving they've got the whole adulting thing on lock. 

    And for years, gym options have been fairly limited, meaning only a handful of American brands, independent fitness centres and small local chains have been cashing out on a citywide dedication to staying in shape. 

    Of those big names, GoodLife Fitness has been the industry behemoth for the last 10 years.

    With 300 locations Canada-wide, the brand has been described by an ex-employee as the Walmart of the workout world, with the same relentless (and controversial) business practices to match. 

    But despite GoodLife's reputation of acquiring competitors before they can go big (think Nubody's, Seven Gold's, or Extreme Fitness), recent years have seen a new wave of on-the-pulse gym chains that make GoodLife's current layout seem a little passé.

    f45 training toronto

    F45 Training has quickly expanded to 11 locations since opening their first Toronto gym in 2015. Photo by Jesse Milns.

    The most notable of these is F45, a tech-heavy studio dedicated solely to 45-minute group classes whose programming has formed an almost cult-like following worldwide in the last four years. 

    Coming to Toronto by way of Australia, the fitness brand has exploded internationally—it has over 200 locations in 16 countries—and now has 11 gyms in the city with more locations in the works. 

    From the wearable heart rate monitors to the TV instructors, the custom playlists broadcasting live from Australia, F45 workout apps, and class names like 'Firestorm' and 'Hollywood', everything about the F45 brand breaks the mould of a monotonous routine. 

    "I got addicted to it really quickly and it was because of the trainers, the technology, and the music," says Jarrett Stanley, the owner F45's Liberty Village studio, which was the first in Canada. 

    "All the member really has to do is show up...You don't have to figure out what you have to do to progress." 

    At an average weekly membership price of $60 to $80 a week, the F45 model is by no means for those on a budget—here, people are paying premium for dynamic routines, eschewing rows of heavy equipment for group workouts they'd never do on their own.

    On the exact flip side of the market is Hone Fitness: a chain by the same investors behind Extreme Fitness that has expanded to eight locations in the GTA since 2013.

    Unlike F45, Hone is for people who know their way around the squat racks and don't want to pay for the extra frills usually offered at your average gym. 

    hone fitness toronto

    Hone Fitness on Carlaw does away with towel service and saunas in exchange for more weight machines and free weights. Photo by Jesse Milns.

    "We think that consumers are now smarter on how they move around at the gym," says Manuel Campos, Hone's assistant general manager. 

    For an astonishingly low $20 a month, members have access to all eight studios around the city, which each come equipped with squat racks, free weights, astroturf, and bumper plates. There's no towels or saunas here; nor are there annual contracts or fees.

    "More people are going into the weight area, they’re reducing their cardio," says Campos. "There's a whole movement with this new generation where crossfit and weightlifting and power lifting are getting more popular."

    With four more locations currently under construction Hone is clearly succeeding in finding new memberships via their ultra low pricing, rivaled only by the discount gym Fit4Less, which is a GoodLife subsidiary budget brand. 

    Up until this point, gyms have been pretty uniform in terms of what they offer their members: an array of machinery, change rooms, and a couple of studios to hold zumba and weekly pilates. 

    But by analyzing workout trends and cutting down on aspects that aren't needed, new gyms in the city are now offering a more lean experience for a generation of fitness fiends who know what they want, and know exactly how much they'll pay to get it. 

    GoodLife might still be the most shredded guy in the gym, but as interest grows, so does the competition. Depending on how creative they can get, someone might one day be able to give the reigning champ a run for their money.

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    That's one for Elon Musk, zero for the Ontario government. 

    After taking the Ontario PC government to court in August and winning the lawsuit last week, Tesla Motors has secured back rebates for Tesla owners as the government winds down its Electric and Hydrogen Vehicle Incentive Program. 

    Now, any Tesla delivered, registered, and plated on or before Sept. 10 will—like all other electric cars sold in the province—once again be eligible for rebates of up to $14,000. 

    The Ontario Superior Court Judge ruled last week that Tesla Motors was treated unfairly by the Ford government's decision to block buyers of Tesla (and only Tesla) from the grace period given to electric car owners as Ontario cancels cap and trade. 

    Justice Frederick L. Mayers stated that Ford's transition program “singled out Tesla for reprobation and harm without (providing) Tesla any opportunity to be heard or any fair process whatsoever." 

    According to Transportation Minister John Yakabuski, the province will not be appealing the court decision, meaning anyone who already pre-ordered their Model 3 on a budget is back in the financial safe zone. 

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    New restaurants in Toronto helped us sweat it out through the heat and cozy up during the rainstorms with offerings both warm and cold. New places to cool down with frosty beer, hand rolls and ceviche are balanced out by novel hotspots for ramen, Thai and steak.

    Here are my picks for the top new restaurants that opened in Toronto last month.

    The Aviary Brewpub

    This new home to Longslice Brewery in the Canary District is also the place to find ballpark favourites you might be familiar with from Dock Ellis, like burgers. There's also wings, tater tots, a wraparound patio and pool.


    Grant van Gameren has once again had a hand in producing a magnificent Latin American restaurant, this one a Mexican spot in Little Italy with a focus on the wood-burning grill, oven and traditional comal.

    Ramen Misoya

    This is the newest place for authentic Japanese miso ramen near Queen and Bathurst, a popular brand overseas.


    This spot on Ossington is an ode to the hand roll. The beautiful interior and wide sake selection set it apart from past Japanese spots in the city.

    Omni Palace

    Hand-pulled noodles are the specialty at this Chinese restaurant near Victoria Park and the 401. They do thick and thin noodles as well as specials like house roasted lamb ribs.


    This highly anticipated Yorkville restaurant does cocktails, wines, charcoal-grilled items and delicate takes on foie gras.

    Stamp’s Lane

    This new Roncesvalles Village east coast restaurant does Newfoundland sweet buns, crudo, tongue carpaccio and Monday buck-a-shuck.

    Imm Thai

    A new Thai restaurant in Little Italy, this place does mango sticky rice, fish cakes, crispy sweet potatoes and great new takes on pad Thai.

    The Commoner

    Roncesvalles Village now has this pub on Dundas West in place of a Wild Wing. It replaces it with a patio, house aged steaks, duck fat fries and brunch.

    Robo Sushi

    The future is now, and it's everything you've ever wanted: you can now get served sushi by a robot in North York.

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    A pygmy hippo getting a bath won the internet this week proving the Toronto Zoo can still win hearts post pandas. 

    In this episode of the Only in Toronto podcast, we get the details on the famous newborn and stop by a phone repair shop that also sells waffles.

    Plus, we find out why cassette tapes are making a comeback and whether it's worth the $8 for a single scoop at Toronto's newest Instagrammable ice cream shop. 

    Background information on this episode:
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    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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    We're midway through the long weekend and there's still plenty of events in Toronto today. Electric Island wraps up for the season and deadmau5 keeps the tracks pumping. There's also a boozy brunch, J- and K-Pop party and the last day to check out some Banksy works.

    Events you might want to check out:

    deadmau5 (September 2 @ Rebel)
    Everyone's favourite giant-mouse-helmet-clad trance DJ is in town for a one day music festival with Monstergetdown and Manzone & Strong.
    Whiskey Kisses (September 2 @ Nightowl)
    Another edition of Whiskey Kisses is back for an evening of rare and live R&B performances, with the local music scene’s newest artists.
    End of Summer Pop Up Market (September 2 @ Arta Gallery)
    Part of Artfest, this big market gathers together local makers selling ceramics, jewellery, small artworks and more.
    Drag Queen Boozy Brunch (September 2 @ Constantine)
    The powerful forces that are drag and brunch join together for a boozy extravaganza that includes performances, tunes and a huge brunch buffet.
    The End Of Meat (September 2 @ Revue Cinema)
    Catch the Canadian premiere of this new documentary that explores what a post-meat world would have on the environment, animals and us.
    Jpop Kpop Dance Party (September 2 @ Sneaky Dee's)
    Inspired by the beauty and splendour of all things Sailor Moon, this dance party is blasting all the best J-Pop and K-Pop bangers.
    Electric Island (September 2-3 @ Hanlan's Point)
    The final Electric Island is here and it's stacked with two-days of talent like Loco Dice, Charlotte De Witte, Danny Daze and more on the decks.
    The Art of Banksy (June 13 - September 2 @ 213 Sterling Road)
    Today marks your last chance to check out original works by the infamous Banksy before the (unofficial) exhibition moves on.
    Rebelmatic (September 1-2 @ Multiple Venues)
    It's the last night to catch some hardcore punk tunes with musicians and performers from Toronto's local scene and beyond.
    Fan Expo (August 30 - September 2 @ Metro Toronto Convention Centre)
    A weekend of fandom wraps up today with special guest appearances and everything from cosplay, comics, anime, hour, gaming and much more.

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    There's something profoundly alluring about an abandoned tunnel. Upon entering, you can't but help but wonder about its original purpose and the history that's contained in its reinforced walls. Problem is, there are very few of these places that are safe to explore.

    Fortunately, Ontario is home to one of the most remarkable tunnel destinations in North America.

    The Brockville Railway Tunnel, originally built between 1854 and 1860, was the first of its kind in Canada. It actually pre-dates the country's more celebrated western tunnels laid out for the Canadian Pacific Railway.

    brockville railway tunnel

    The tunnel during renovation efforts. Photo by Keith Hare / Brockville Railway Tunnel.

    After decades of neglect and deterioration, it was miraculously restored as a pedestrian passageway that's proving a major tourist draw for the small town east of Kingston on the St. Lawrence River.

    Renovation efforts commenced in August 2016, and the first stage of the tunnel officially opened olast summer. It's been a local hot spot since.

    brockville railway tunnel

    The LED lights in the tunnel rotate colours, which gives an ethereal effect. Photo by Keith Hare / Brockville Railway Tunnel.

    The 525-metre passageway features a stunning LED light show that changes colours as people travel underneath downtown Brockville. The stunning rock walls are immediately reminiscent of the Stockholm subway system.

    brockville railway tunnel

    Some portions of the tunnel feature more rough-hewn rock walls. Photo by Keith Hare / Brockville Railway Tunnel.

    While the tunnel has a certain degree of polish thanks to the renovations, the groundwater that occasionally collects at the bottom offers amazing reflective photo opportunities. This is Instagram heaven.

    brockville railway tunnel

    Looking straight down the passageway. Photo by Keith Hare / Brockville Railway Tunnel.

    The restored tunnel is only phase one of Brockville's long term vision to create a Railway Park at the site. Future phases involve the redevelopment of the former railway Gorge property north of the tunnel and the railway lands to the west.

    brockville railway tunnel

    One of the other colour profiles in the LED light show at the tunnel. Photo by Keith Hare / Brockville Railway Tunnel.

    Those projects will surely enhance the site, but there's no need to wait to check it out. The tunnel is definitely the centrepiece and looks spectacular.

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    There's nothing wrong with keeping expenses low, and free events in Toronto are all for it. The TIFF Street Festival is back with screenings and activities along King West while the Cabbagetown Festival shows off the best of the neighbourhood.

    Events you might want to check out:

    Fireside Tales (September 4 @ Dufferin Grove Park)
    Fireside Tales celebrates five years of storytelling in the park with a night of stories, cozy blankets, snacks, marshmallows and hot cocoa.
    TIFF Festival Street (September 6-9 @ King Street West)
    King Street shuts down once again for a four day street party including free film screenings, food, installations and prime red carpet viewing.
    Movie Night in Liberty Village Park (September 7 @ Liberty Village Park)
    Maybe bring a blanket fo this free outdoor screening of Black Panther and catch one of the last free outdoor screenings of the season.
    Cabbagetown Festival (September 8-9 @ Cabbagetown)
    Historic Cabbagetown comes out for a big festival with an all-Canadian market, food from local vendors, activities and live performances.
    Toronto Bicycle Music Festival (September 9 @ Humber Bay Park West)
    Put your pedal to the metal and take part in the big bike-powered concert and communal street ride through the city.

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    Toronto businesses that closed in August comprised some much-loved places, including one of the city's favourite fabric stores and a respected restaurant that left a lasting impact on our food scene. They won't soon be forgotten.

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

    Black Hoof

    Restaurateur Jen Agg's first real venture into the dining biz began at this Dundas West space. After a decade of charcuterie and a ton of notable alum having worked in its kitchen, it closed on August 20. Agg has already moved on to her next project: Le Swan.


    A favourite in the Yonge and Davisville area for its delicious veal, chicken or meatball sandwiches that would regularly sell out, this sibling shop to Rosedale's Black Camel quietly closed last month.

    Bond Running

    This cafe and running apparel store in Chinatown shut down in August after a little over a year in business. Its owner (and co-founder of Parkdale Roadrunners) posted an explanation as to why it closed on its website.

    Corned Beef House

    Serving up smoked meat sandwiches for over three decades in a heritage building on Adelaide Street West in the Entertainment District, the Toronto location of this classic deli closed for good last month. It will be replaced by a restaurant and lounge called Melrose on Adelaide.

    Designer Fabrics

    Regularly ranked as the best fabric store in the city, this beloved Parkdale institution sold its final yard of cloth on August 4 after more than 65 years in business. Its elderly owners decided it was time to retire.

    Hoja Luwei

    Toronto's first Taiwanese street food luwei snack bar lasted only a year. A sign posted on its door in Koreatown said it was closed due to flooding, but it seems the closure will be permanent.

    Kiss the Tiramisu

    Known for serving its soft-serve creations in plastic gold-rimmed goblets, the first-ever North American location of this Korean dessert chain didn't manage to last very long. It closed in Kensington Market a year after it opened.

    Lone Star

    Despite its tourist-heavy location in the midst of the Entertainment District on King Street West, the sole downtown Toronto outpost of this Oakville-based chain faded to black on August 2. This space, which was previously Big Daddy's, may be cursed...


    This design- and fashion-forward cafe, boutique, gallery and events space on Dundas West couldn't come to a rental agreement with its new landlord and closed at the end of the month with a send-off party after two years in the space. Here's hoping it'll find a new location soon.

    One Hour

    Comfy bean-bag chairs, high-quality bubble teas and satisfying Chinese snacks made this minimalist cafe on Spadina a fave in Chinatown for years. Sadly, it seems to have silently closed its doors.

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    David A. Balfour Park is on the cusp of massive change.

    A five-minute walk from St. Clair Station, this 20.5 hectare park will eventually be razed down completely in order to upgrade the water reservoir it sits on: the Rosehill Reservoir. 

    By next summer, everything from the park's children's playground to its gated garden will be destroyed.

    david balfour park torontoThe good news, however, is that minus a few permanent demolitions, the park will be rebuilt with mostly upgrades.

    david balfour park torontoThanks to $3.9 million dollars dedicated to the park via Toronto City Council, David Balfour is slated to see more trees (35 are being cut down for this project), new washrooms and more gardens by the time the Rosehill Reservoir Rehabilitation is complete in 2021. 

    david balfour park torontoThe Rosehill Reservoir is Toronto's oldest and largest. Built around 1873, the reservoir—which has a capacity of 33 million gallons of water—hasn't seen repairs since 1966.

    david balfour park torontoFor years, it's acted as the foundation for the sprawling park that is David Balfour, where community members have gathered to enjoy the land's array of ornamental fountains and reflecting pools (all of which have been removed and barricaded by construction walls already.) david balfour park torontoToday, what remains is the playground and the community-tended Rosehill Gardens, which sprouted from the grounds of an abandoned playground nearly ten years ago and has since transformed into a beautiful gated space blooming with flowers. 

    david balfour park torontoAdorned with wedding day-worthy pergolas, memorial trees and benches, Rosehill Gardens is a source of great pride for the locals who have volunteered to weed and water it.

    david balfour park torontoSoon, this too will be gone, and green thumbs will have to start from scratch once again to built the new garden back to its former green glory.

    david balfour park torontoThose who walk their dogs can't bring them into the Rosehill Gardens but they can walk them down to the connecting David Balfour Park Trail, which runs through the ravine below.

    david balfour park torontoCertain entrances to the trail have blocked off since construction began, but you should be able to find your way down. 

    david balfour park torontoOnce you've descended, you'll find yourself in a lush, forested getaway of steep paths and the sound of the Don River tributary, called Yellow Creek, flowing by. 

    david balfour park torontoThe trail's loop doesn't take too long to walk, but it's definitely a bit of a hike, with a couple of bridges and slanted walkways to traverse before heading back up to the park. 

    Though construction will soon take over David A. Balfour Park , the ravine and the trail that runs through it will remain untouched, meaning we'll have at least have a nature getaway as the wonders of industrialism work their magic up above. 

    david balfour toronto

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