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    0 0

    The future of burgers was here before the Beyond Meat burgers completely sold out at A&W locations across Toronto. Thankfully the plant-based patties will soon be back for your ethical-eating pleasure.

    The no soy, no gluten, no GMO, no meat patties proved extremely popular when they were first introduced earlier this summer as a vegan/vegetarian menu option. 

    The burgers were created to mimic the look, taste and texture of a typical beef patty. They even include beet juice to simulate the bloody drip that makes burgers so satisfying. 

    It was reported last month that restaurants across Canada had temporarily run out of stock after demand for the burgers exhausted the initial supply.

    Now A&W has confirmed that the burgers will be available again beginning October 1.

    They're also set to be made a permanent menu item, so you can soon satisfy your meat cravings without the actual meat.


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    The Ontario government met today to reintroduce the Better Local Government Act (Bill 5), invoking the notwithstanding clause of the Canadian Charts of Rights and Freedoms. 

    The province is using the clause to reverse a court decision that blocked Doug Ford's cuts to Toronto's council, reducing the number of city councillors from 47 to 25. 

    As protestors lined up around the block at Queen's Park, the province voted 63-17 to pass the bill through its first reading, overturning the court's decision. 

    Full passing of the bill could take place by next week, but may be delayed by the official opposition. 

    One notable change is that the bill allows city council candidates to register for up to two days after the bill receives royal assent.

    It took much longer than normal to get through the meeting, as protestors and the opposition jeered, "coughed," and shouted over top of Ford and his party. 

    "This is not democracy!" and "Shame!" could be heard from the gallery repeatedly, until Ford was forced to leave for a break from the onslaught. 

    Some protestors were arrested by legislature security and escorted out during Ford's break from the room.

    Premier Ford announced on Monday that the clause would be invoked to reverse the court decision, and that the legislature would reconvene today to decide. 

    The federal government is not getting involved

    Toronto City Council is also meeting to discuss its legal options to challenging the notwithstanding clause. It will meet tomorrow at 9:30 p.m.


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    This summer’s been a scorcher—Toronto's restaurant scene included. While there were many excitingopenings, with the good came some sad: a lot of notable places, some longtime mainstays and others much newer to the scene, bit the dust—some in a graceful manner, others, not so much.

    Here are the most high-profile restaurants that closed this summer in Toronto.

    The Anne Boleyn

    Like the queen it was named after, this British pub at Richmond and Peter didn't last long. Open for less than a year, this Tudor-style sports bar from The Social Group (Parts & LabourDog & Bear) closed permanently on June 26.

    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.

    Branca

    After four years in business, many were sad to see this hip, Argentinian-inspired grill house leave Dundas West. Its owners decided to move onto new projects, so it cooked its last meats over an open fire on September 1.

    Church Aperitivo Bar

    This stylish Italian restaurant and bar that was housed in what was once an old Slavic church on West Queen West quietly shut down a few months ago, failing to pay owed wages to staff.

    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 in August. It will be replaced by a restaurant and lounge called Melrose on Adelaide.

    Fring's

    Following a spate of controversy, the Drake-affiliated restaurant on King Street West by celebrity chef Susur Lee and sons closed for good in June.

    Jackpot Chicken Rice

    After around two years in business, this Chinatown joint that featured chef Craig Wong's take on Hainanese chicken rice called it quits on June 24. Fans of Chef Wong's cooking can still check out his Jamaican-Chinese mash-ups at Patois.

    Lola’s Kitchen

    With almost a decade of business under its belt, it was surprising to hear that this popular brunch spot housed in a historic building on Church Street by the Village closed abruptly in early September (it will turn into a condo), giving its staff zero notice beforehand.

    North 44

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

    Pearl King

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


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    New dessert cafes in Toronto let you take your sweet time indulging in even sweeter treats. Complete with comfy seating and maybe even some WiFi,  you can post up at any of these new arrivals and revel in your sugar rush post-dessert.

    Here are my picks for the top new desserts cafes in Toronto. 

    Cafe Bora

    Take a seat on one of the exceptionally comfy chairs at this purple hued cafe in Yorkville, where you can feast on all things purple sweet potato. It's a soothing little subterraneous spot, and if you stick around long enough you may be tempted to try the matcha items on their menu too.

    Ballissimo Loukoumades Bar

    Lots of natural lighting, coffee, and sweet, chewy loukoumades—those delicious traditional Greek honey balls—make this bakery and cafe on Coxwell worth a visit. Everything here is vegan too, for those who want to hang in a butter- and egg-free environment. 

    Chi Patisserie

    Aside from having some of the prettiest cakes and tarts you'll ever see, this patisserie just a few minutes from North York subway station also has a menu of dainty drinks, all served in a bright and airy space with tons of outlets for computer work. 

    Sweet A La Mode

    This spacious space in the stockyards has everything from high tea to lunch items to elegant desserts like sundaes and creme brulée. Take a seat under their epic ceiling that looks like a nest, replete with flying birds.

    Luscious Desserts

    Head downstairs to this snug underground treasure in Chinatown that serves traditional Chinese sweet soups and ridiculously towering brick toasts. Spadina can get pretty overwhelming—this chill spot is a welcome escape from all that downtown hecticness. 


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    Dinner buffets in Toronto are where to go to absolutely pig out. Options for unlimited steak, sushi, Indian, Chinese, vegetarian and sometimes more than one in the same place await those seeking giant portions and great deals. There are great buffets both within city limits and outside them, so wherever you are start working up an appetite now.

    Here are my picks for the top dinner buffets in Toronto.

    Genghis Khan Mongolian Grill

    The giant grill is the centrepiece at this restaurant in Don Mills where you select ingredients and they’re cooked for you. The huge buffet section includes a selection of dim sum items, the dinner buffet $27 on weekdays and $32 on weekends (including Friday).

    Dragon Pearl

    Thai, Japanese and Chinese are all gathered under one roof at this restaurant where the dinner buffet is $28.99 weekdays and $35.99 on weekends.

    Copacabana

    All-you-can-eat meat is the name of the game at Toronto’s location of this Brazilian steakhouse in the Entertainment District, $50 Sunday through Thursday and $57 Friday and Saturday for the “full experience” where waiters walk around offering selections of meats.

    Rodeo Brazilian Steakhouse

    This Danforth restaurant is also a shrine to meat of the Brazilian ilk, their “all you can meat” dinners $48 on weekdays and $57 on weekends.

    Jerusalem on Leslie

    The Leslie location of this Middle Eastern restaurant with another spot on Eglinton does a dinner buffet for $22.95, $27.95 for Friday, Sunday and a first seating on Sunday, $29.95 for a second seating on Saturday that starts at 8 p.m.

    Gautama 

    Just $18 gets you a taste of what Little India has to offer with a decent variety of chicken, fish, meat and tandoori dishes.

    Just outside the city
    Frankie Tomatto

    Weekday dinners where you can select from over 100 Italian items in a kitschy marketplace-themed environment are $19.95, weekend dinners $26.95 on Friday and $28.99 on Saturday and Sunday.

    Spoonful

    This epic buffet restaurant with a mind-blowing atmospheric interior in Brampton has pretty much everything: oysters, lobster sushi, bone marrow, BBQ duck, the list goes on. The dinner buffet is $27.99 on weekdays and $33.99 on weekends.

    Blossom Vegetarian

    All manner of vegetarian foods including noodles, dim sum and even konjac sushi can be found at this Richmond Hill buffet that costs $19.88 for dinner on weekdays, $23.88 on weekends.

    Tandoori Flame

    This restaurant with locations in Brampton and Mississauga has over 150 dishes to choose from in a 14,000-square-foot space, making $23.99 for dinner on weekdays and $27.99 on weekends one of the best buffet deals around.

    India’s Taste

    This Markham restaurant does a grand buffet for $18.99 weekdays and $21.99 weekends, where you can dig into Indian vegetarian, meat, and rice dishes to your heart’s content.

    168 Sushi Buffet

    This Vaughan restaurant combines the best of both worlds with AYCE sushi in buffet form for $30.95 on weekdays and $33.95 on weekends, an extra dollar charge on holidays. 

    Dragon Legend

    This Markham buffet with both Asian and Western items price jumps from $29.99 to $36.99 on weekends.

    Quality Grand Indian Buffet

    This buffet is one of Brampton’s best with over 120 items, space for over 300 guests, over 25 years of history, and a flat price of $25.99 seven days a week for unlimited kofta, curry, dosa and more.

    Wok of Fame

    For $27.99 on weekdays and $34.49 on weekends, this Brampton restaurant allows you sample all the wok-cooked delights you please, as well as teppanyaki and sushi items.


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    Autumn has begun to set in but there's still time to enjoy the warm weather at events in Toronto today. Catch a free outdoor screening of Hocus Pocus or gather your loose change for a big book sale. Music, comedy and art are on as well.

    Events you might want to check out:

    Hocus Pocus (September 13 @ Sorauren Park)
    Autumn vibes call for a bundled-up night of film under the stars, and this week's special screening is the witchy-approved classic Hocus Pocus.
    Feels Fine (September 13 @ The Baby G)
    Toronto's own all-female rockers Feels Fine make the highly relatable scenes out of everyday life feel like maybe you're not alone in this after all.
    Life Records Covers (September 13 @ Bad Dog Comedy Theatre)
    What song would be the soundtrack to your memories? This comedy show looks to tell the story of how music underscores much of our lives.
    Lord of the Flies (September 13 @ The Royal Cinema)
    No Future is back with a screening of the 1963 film Lord of the Flies, which explores themes of lost innocence within a naturalistic settling.
    Secret Sign (September 13 @ Handlebar)
    Give yourself the treat of an electro pop showcase meant to take you to the outer regions of the cosmos with Secret Sign, Valerie Dour and more.
    Interpol (September 13 @ REBEL)
    The underdogs of the 90s indie rock scene, Interpol, have kept themselves busy and popular thanks in part to Paul Banks' hypnotic vocals.
    Toronto Wildlife Centre's Comedy Night (September 13 @ Yuk Yuk's Toronto)
    Have a laugh for a good cause at this comedy night in support of TWC and its work in helping sick, injured and orphaned wild animals.
    Icons (September 13 @ Arta Gallery)
    Artists from multiple disciplines find inspiration in iconic images of pop culture figures like John Lennon, and place their own unique spin on them.
    BOOKEnds Used Book Sale (September 13-15 @ Toronto Reference Library)
    Bibliophiles, this is your chance to get your paws on a wealth of library gold with all items priced at only 10¢ to 50¢. Cash only!
    Aabaakwad (September 13-15 @ Art Gallery of Ontario)
    Aabaakwad, meaning "it clears after a storm", looks to focus on Indigenous-led arts with talks from artists, scholars and curators from all over the world.

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    International Chocolate Day kicks off on September 13, and to celebrate the big day we've teamed up with Purdys Chocolatier, Canada's chocolatier since 1907, to give you a chance to win $850 worth of chocolate. 


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    This weekend is all about street festivals as Open Streets and Roncesvalles Polish Festival roll into town. As a result, there will be a slew of major closures all over the city.

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

    Toronto Ukrainian Festival 

    For the event, Bloor St. West between Jane St. and Runnymede Rd. will be closed September 14 at 9:30 a.m. until September 16 at midnight.

    Roncesvalles Polish Festival 

    The annual street festival will have Roncesvalles Ave. between Queen St. West and Dundas St. West closed from September 15 at 5 a.m. until September 16 at midnight. 

    RBC Race for the Kids 

    A series of road closures and lane restrictions will take place on September 15 from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the area bounded by Sheppard Ave. in the south, Yonge St. in the east, Dufferin St. in the west and Steeles Ave. in the north for the run.

    Open Streets TO 

    The following road closures will be in effect from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on September 16 for the car-free event.

    • Bloor St. West between Montrose Ave. and Sherbourne St.
    • Yonge St. between Bloor St. and Queen St.

    Vehicles can cross Bloor St. at Grace St./Christie St., Bathurst St., Spadina Ave., Avenue Rd., Bay St., Church St., Ted Rogers Way and Sherbourne St.

    Vehicles can cross Yonge St. at Wellesley St., College St., Gerrard St., Dundas St., Shuter St. and Queen St.

    TTC Subway Closure

    In addition to road closures, there will be no subway service on Line 1 between Finch West and Lawrence West stations on September 15 and 16 due to signal upgrades.


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    This condo was featured back in 2016 and it’s just as stunning today as it was then, if not more so.36 hazelton avenue toronto

    The two bedroom, three bathroom multi-level suite is located in a boutique building that has been reportedly coveted by A-list celebs like Mark Wahlberg. So you know this place is fancy.  

    36 hazelton avenue torontoThe space is filled with light, gorgeous hardwood floors throughout, and has luxury finishes including an in-suite elevator and wine fridge.

    36 hazelton avenue torontoThe glass railings keep the space open and the living room, dining area, study and kitchen all flow together even though they're on different levels.

    36 hazelton avenue torontoThe kitchen is sleek and modern. I love the centre island, which looks like it’s made of wood rather than the oh-so-popular waterfall marble.

    36 hazelton avenue torontoOff the kitchen is a small balcony, which is the only outdoor space in this unit. As stated back in 2016, this view is kind of a let down for the price. The current owners have added a bush so you don’t have to stare at a wall but it’s still not really any better.

    36 hazelton avenue torontoThe master bedroom is large and comes with a walk-in closet good enough for anyone, as well as a beautiful en suite bathroom.

    36 hazelton avenue torontoThe bathroom is very spa-like. The white cabinets and light grey marble counters combined with the sleek features make the space seem serene.

    36 hazelton avenue torontoOn the lower level there’s an extra bedroom which also has a small en suite.

    36 hazelton avenue torontoIn addition to the wine fridge in the condo, the building also comes with a residents-only wine tasting room and private wine cellar, 24-hour concierge and valet services, a gym, and more.

    36 hazelton avenue torontoSpecs
    • Address: #2A - 36 Hazelton Avenue
    • Price: $4,499,000
    • Bedrooms: 2
    • Bathrooms: 3
    • Parking: 2
    • Walk Score: 98
    • Transit Score: 95
    • Maintenance Fees: $4,858.69 monthly
    • Listing agent: Alex Brott
    • Listing ID: C4235697
    36 hazelton avenue torontoGood For

    High-end shopping. You’re steps away from Yorkville, which if you know anything about shopping has all the luxury brands your wallet can afford.36 hazelton avenue toronto

    Move On If

    You don’t care about living that luxury lifestyle. There’s a reason the maintenance fees are so high and celebrities are interested in purchasing units here, so if that stuff means nothing to you then spend that hard earned cash elsewhere.36 hazelton avenue toronto


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

    Open now
    • Mother Tongue, a modern Asian restaurant and cocktail bar, is now open in the Templar Hotel at 348 Adelaide Street West.
    • Dogs & Coffee, a BYOD (the D would be "dog") cafe with coffee, beer and wine for humans and other treats for dogs, has opened at 616 Queen Street West (at Markham Street).
    • Melrose on Adelaide, a cocktail bar with charcuterie and oysters, replaces the Corned Beef House at 270 Adelaide Street West (at John Street).
    • Pablo Cheese Tart has opened a Pablo Mini on the concourse level of Scotia Plaza in the Financial District, next to a new location of ELXR Juice Lab.
    • Amausaan Uji Matcha, a "fusion matcha Japanese dessert house" that originated in Kyoto, has soft opened at 480 Dundas Street West in Chinatown.
    • Recipe Food Co., offering "health conscious real food," is now open at 696 Queen Street West (between Manning and Euclid).
    • DaanGo Pastry Lab, from Masterchef Canada Season 2 finalist Christopher Siu, has opened a location at 202 Baldwin Street in Kensington Market. 
    • Tertulia, a cafe located inside a former bank building, has made its debut at 711 Queen Street East (at Broadview) in Riverside.
    • Von Bugle Brewing, a brewery from the same team behind Steam Whistle Brewing, has launched its taproom at 249 Evans Avenue in Etobicoke.
    • The Greek Spot is cooking up Greek cuisine "with a twist" at 1466 The Queensway in Etobicoke.
    Recently reviewed
    Opening soon
    • Burgers n' Fries Forever, a halal burger chain with two locations in Ottawa, soft opens its first Toronto outpost this weekend at 182 Ossington Avenue.
    • The Shozan Room, a casual fine dining restaurant with "cutting-edge Japanese-inspired foods," will be opening this fall where Hawker Bar used to be at 164 Ossington Avenue
    • Thor Espresso Bar is opening a second location, this one at 180 John Street (north of Queen West), on October 1.
    • Restaurateur Hemant Bhagwani is keeping busy. Not only is he opening Good Karma soon, but also Goa Kitchen this fall at Bayview Village at 2901 Bayview Avenue.
    • Wood Oven Gatto Pizza has applied for a liquor license, which means it should be opening soon at 2312 Bloor Street West in Bloor West Village.
    • Chef Tsuyoshi Yoshinaga (Yasu, Shoushin, Tachi) will be opening his eponymous restaurant, Yoshinaga, soon at 88 Avenue Road in Yorkville.
    • La Diperie is opening another location, this time in the Beaches, at 2196 Queen Street East (at Balsam Avenue).
    • Kewti Cafe will be coming soon to 1380 Danforth Avenue.
    Closed
    • District Oven is no more.
    • Bay Burger didn't last long. Signage on its window now says "Coming Soon - Top Fresh Market & Deli."
    Other news

    Have you seen restaurants opening or closing in your neighbourhood? Email tips to editors@blogto.com.


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    Hundreds of angry Torontonians came together in front of City Hall on Wednesday night to, as they put it, "rally against Doug Ford's unprecedented, unconstitutional and rights-stripping decision to invoke the Notwithstanding Clause to RAM his undemocratic, disgusting, and despotic cuts to City Council down our throats."

    Like other recentprotests against Ontario's relatively new premier, this one involved a lot of chanting (but no handcuffs!)

    Cries of "Hey Hey, ho ho, Doug Ford has got to go!" and "Show me what democracy looks like! This is what democracy looked like!" echoed throughout Nathan Phillips Square between 4 and 6 p.m., the sounds of which could be heard from blocks away.

    Liberal and NDP politicians, as well as those running in Toronto's upcoming municipal election, added to the cacophony with rousing speeches on the urban plaza's main stage.

    Demonstrators had plenty to say about Ford's use of the rare and controversial "notwithstanding clause" to try and override a Superior Court Judge's ruling against his move to slash 22 seats from Toronto city council, during an election campaign.

    Their chants were loud, but their signs were even louder — and way more creative, in most cases.

    SHAME. SHAME. SHAME. Beauty day to protest.

    A post shared by Christine (@tinemarie6) on

    Many in the city (and beyond) argue that Ford's government is violating the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms by invoking Section 33.

    So, they rolled out a massive copy of the Charter for everyone present to sign and send to Ontario Attorney General Caroline Mulroney.

    Observers were particularly taken with this cheeky sign referencing Ontario Justice Edward Belobaba's scathing 21-page-long ruling against Bill 5.

    The word "dictator" has been thrown around a lot in reference to Ford since he announced the reintroduction of his council-cutting legislation.

    Some pieces were more subtle than others. 

    The sign on the right in the photo below, which reads "Mr. Ford, just so you know, Hitler was also voted in!" was not one said subtle signs.

    Some signs posed questions for the Ford administration.

    Others were instructive.

    One of those most prominently featured on Instagram contained just one word: Secede.

    Hey, it's not the first time someone has brought the idea up since Ford was elected.


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    The most widely-known human rights organization on Earth is condemning Ontario's embattled PC government this week for violating the Charter rights of Toronto voters and candidates in the city's upcoming municipal election.

    "No government in Canada should take the contemptuous step of disregard for the Charter of Rights that the notwithstanding clause offers them," said Amnesty International Canada Secretary General Alex Neve in a press release issued Wednesday.

    "To do so in a case involving the fundamental freedom of expression in a context in which core principles around elections and the underpinnings of our democracy are at stake is particularly disgraceful."

    Neve was responding to Premier Doug Ford's invocation of the controversial "notwithstanding clause" in Canada's Charter of Rights and Freedoms to push through his Better Local Government Act, slashing Toronto City Council almost in half, during an election period, without warning or consultation.

    The clause, also known as Section 33, is meant to serve as a "safety valve," of sorts, for governments whose legislative agendas conflict with the Charter. It has never been invoked in the province of Ontario.

    Amnesty International argues that Section 33 is nothing but "a blatant human rights escape clause, allowing governments to violate Charter rights without judicial scrutiny or oversight."

    The fact that Ford is using the clause to override an Ontario Superior Court Judge's ruling against his administration is of particular concern to human rights watchdogs.

    "Canada is obliged to uphold the freedom of expression in a number of international human rights instruments," writes Neve. "An obligation that extends to provincial governments."

    "There is no need and should be no place for such a crude provision as the notwithstanding clause," he continues. "Amnesty International calls on all governments in Canada to refrain from invoking it."


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    The historic, 102-year-old assembly hall on Dovercourt just north of College is finally set to open again after years of false starts and licensing woes.

    Get ready to fall back in love with the Matador Ballroom: A dance hall-turned-bowling alley turned after-hours rock and country club graced by the likes of Johnny Cash, Joni Mitchell, Stompin' Tom Connors and Leonard Cohen.

    Fun fact: The latter singer's song "Closing Time" is said to have been inspired by this very venue.

    The Matador closed down as a club in 2006 and it's been a kind of will-they-won't-they sitch ever since (featuring at least one brush with death in the form of a proposed Green P parking lot.)

    When owner Paul McCaughey bought the space in 2012, he toyed with the idea of turning The Matador into a wellness centre. Then, in 2015, it was to become a sophisticated live music and events venue.

    Zoning, permit and approval issues halted the process—a lot— but McCaughey now appears to have everything all worked out. Enough, at least, for the building to function as a "place of assembly," "eating establishment" and "custom workshop."

    McCaughey told The Star this week that he hopes to have the space up and running as a restaurant, wine bar and event hall by the time his liquor license kicks in on March 15 of 2019.

    As for now, it's being rented for private events, the first of which is an "immersive technologies stories festival" called FIVARS, running from September 14 - 16.

    The International Festival of Virtual Reality & Augmented Reality Stories kicks off its fourth year with "dozens of high-quality VR and AR experiences" at the historic Matador Ballroom tomorrow.


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    A new miniature city has sprung up near Tommy Thompson Park, and it's the work of a local artist. 

    JD Craig, the mind behind the project, has been collecting construction stones and erecting them in the sand like skyscrapers, forming a large sprawling metropolis on the beach. 

    mini city

    All the pieces are created from leftover construction stone. Photo by JD Craig. 

    The pieces are all beige, white, grey, and black, and surrounded by a "border" of terracotta bricks. 

    Craig says he didn't plan the city in advance, it just kept growing larger as he worked. 

    "I started it August 5, walking along the rocky beach picking up stones as I went along," he explains. 

    He says the piece has only been noticed by a few people, and is about 10 metres from the shoreline.

    mini city

    Craig says he didn't plan the city, and let it form naturally. Photo by JD Craig. 

    The conditions this winter and the level of the tides may affect how long it stands, Craig says. 


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    Weekend events in Toronto are jam packed with every kind of beer event imaginable: a market, a city-wide tasting experience, a 5k run, you name it! Both the Roncesvalles Polish and Ukrainian festivals are on and it's the final weekend for TIFF.

    Events you might want to check out:

    Toronto Ukrainian Festival (September 14-16 @ Bloor St. West)
    Ukrainian culture takes over Bloor Street with dancing, food, music and activities. If you haven't tried real borscht or paska yet, this is the time.
    Toronto Beer Week (September 14-22 @ Multiple Venues)
    Toronto becomes craft beer central during this week-long celebration of the best suds in the city, happening at spots all over.
    Roncesvalles Polish Festival (September 15-16 @ Roncesvalles Village)
    This yearly staple is back on Roncy with Polish cultural offerings of food, music, dance, and entertainment — plus a polka party.
    TIFF People's Choice Award Screening (September 16 @ TIFF Bell Lightbox)
    As per festival traditional, the most popular movie amongst festival goers will be announced on September 16 and screened for free later that day.
    Open Streets TO (September 16 @ Bloor and Yonge Streets)
    Parts of Yonge and Bloor go car-less for the day during the second instalment of Open Streets with wandering and activities in the street.
    Wanderlust (September 15 @ Bandshell Park)
    A full day of meditation, yoga, music, food, fitness and transcendence is going down by the water at this big urban mindfulness retreat.
    Danforth East Arts Fair (September 15-16 @ East Lynn Park)
    Take a stroll through the park and check out works by artists from all over Canada.
    Jim Gaffigan (September 14 @ Budweiser Stage)
    Funnyman Jim Gaffigan, known for his observational comedy and deadpan delivery, is dropping by as part of his The Fixer Upper tour.
    The Famous Canadian Beer Run (September 15 @ Ontario Place)
    Take a 5k run through Ontario Place and celebrate with a cold one, food and some tunes. If running is not your thing, there's also beer yoga.
    City Cider (September 16 @ Spadina Museum)
    The apple orchard behind the historic Spadina Museum is hosting an all-day picnic with fresh cider, music, activities and games.
    Junction Craft Brewing Makers Market (September 16 @ Junction Craft Brewing)
    Explore the many tastes Ontario has to offers during this big makers' market with a special spotlight on regional brewers.
    Toronto Garlic Festival (September 16 @ Artscape Wychwood Barns)
    Garlic and garlic accessories are all on at this big festival dedicated to the pungent herb. Expect garlicky goodies, shopping, a VR farm tour and more.
    SYML (September 14 @ Mod Club Theatre)
    Brian Fennell of Barcelona has ventured out and created SYML; a sound project that infuses pop, electro and indie for a unique musical experience.
    Kensington Market Jazz Festival (September 14-17 @ Multiple Venues)
    Kensington is set to be overtaken with jazzy grooves as over 400 musicians from all over come to perform in local spots in the neighbourhood.
    Rina Sawayama (September 15 @ Velvet Underground)
    Style on 100, Rina Sawayama arrives from London with her one woman show and a vibe reminiscent of all the 90s girl groups combined.
    Owl City (September 15 @ The Phoenix Concert Theatre)
    We all remember where we were when "Fireflies" came out and now Owl City is back to performance as part of his Cinematic tour.
    Venus Fest (September 15-22 @ Multiple Venues)
    Now in its second year, this multi-day celebration of women and non-binary artists in music returns with talks, performances and art installations.
    Toronto International Film Festival (September 6-16 @ TIFF Bell Lightbox)
    Another year of TIFF draws to a close but there's still a whole weekend left of screenings, red carpet action, panel talks and special events.
    Grey Gardens (September 14-16 @ Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema)
    The first observational-style documentary, this 1975 film takes a look inside the ramshackle world of Big and Little Edie Beale.
    Toronto International Virtual Reality Stories Festival (September 14-16 @ The Matador Ballroom)
    A new wave of creators come forth to present a three-day VR festival inside of the newly reopened Matador Ballroom.
    Everybody Street (September 14 @ Royal Ontario Museum)
    This free documentary screening and panel explores New York street photography and its most prolific masters and modern renegades.
    BOOKEnds Used Book Sale (September 13-15 @ Toronto Reference Library)
    There's still lots of time to get your paws on a wealth of library gold with all items priced at only 10¢ to 50¢. Cash only!
    Pop-Up at the Barns (September 15 @ Artscape Wychwood Barns Park)
    Get your mitts on everything for the home, your life and the rest from over 40 local vendors, alongside a farmers' market and activities.
    The Deadstock Depot (September 15 @ 1305 Dundas Street West)
    Vintage Hilfiger, Campion, Kappa and Gucci are all on hand at this big deadstock streetwear feel with over 30 local and international vendors.
    Toronto Flower Market (September 15 @ CAMH)
    Growers from all over Toronto are on hand with fresh-cut flowers, pre-made arrangements and bouquets made upon request at your price point.
    The Trinity Bellwoods Flea (September 16 @ The Great Hall)
    Pick up some new goods to celebrate the season with local makers on hand selling arts, crafts, lifestyle goods and household items and treats.
    Toronto Artisan Market (September 16 @ Christie Pits Park)
    Christie Pits fills up with artists selling their handmade wares during this curated market in celebration of the local arts, crafts and community.
    The Leslieville Flea (September 16 @ Ashbridge Estate)
    In the second to last of the season, the Leslieville Flea is back for another curated market specializing in vintage and handcrafted goods.
    Lost in Time (September 14 @ Luanda House)
    New Currency and HYPERWINE come together for a new series of colourful club nights that are altogether post-gender, post-acid, and life morphing.
    Cherry Bomb (September 15 @ Round)
    Cherry Bomb is back for another queer-friendly dance party with DJ Cozmic Cat and Denise Benson on deck, plus drinks, swag and games all night.
    Dudebox Dear Summer (September 15 @ Chinatown)
    One last summer block party bash is in order and Dudebox has the art installations, boozy treats, activities and dog-friendly action on deck.
    Divas Only (September 15 @ Glad Day Bookshop (Church))
    All diva everything is on at this big party with a spotlight on queen Ariana Grande herself, plus all this hits from Mariah, Beyonce, Whitney and more.

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    Toronto is now little more than five weeks away from a municipal election that will determine who our mayor and city councillors are for the next four years.

    Unfortunately for the democratic process, nobody in the city knows what the heck is going on: Not who their candidates are, which voting ward they fall into, or if they'll even be able to vote in advance.

    Among the millions of those confused is City Clerk Ulli Watkiss — the person in charge of running this election on October 22.

    "Every hour that goes by, every day that goes by, creates greater uncertainty and raises in me a huge concern over the proper conduct of this election," she said at on Thursday at a special meeting of Toronto City Council. "I have to let council know that."

    She revealed that the city has printed two sets of voter cards— one for a 47 ward election and one for 25 wards, but told councillors that "we have hit a tipping point and both election scenarios are becoming virtually impossible for us to carry out."

    When asked if postponing the election was an option, Watkiss said that she had retained her own independent legal counsel and that this is something she would be discussing with them.

    The city clerk's concerns stem from an overwhelming amount of confusion among citizens and officials alike over Toronto's ward boundaries map (among other things).

    Ontario Premier Doug Ford, if you haven't heard, passed a bill on August 14 reducing the number of seats on Toronto City Council from 47 to just 25 — without warning or consultation, in the middle of an election campaign.

    Toronto challenged the move in court, arguing that Ford's Better Local Government Act (or Bill 5) violates the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

    Superior Court Justice Edward Belobaba agreed, ruling on Monday that the PC government had "undermined an otherwise fair and suitable election process." For a minute there, it looked like Toronto could proceed with its 47-ward election as planned. 

    Premier Ford was unhappy with the court's decision, however, and announced that he was going to make his 25-ward Toronto happen, whether we like it or not.

    He did this by invoking a rare and controversial "notwithstanding clause" to override the judge's ruling — a move that has since been condemned by Amnesty International, among others, and is the first of its kind in provincial history.

    Ford's council-slashing bill was reintroduced at Queen's Park on Wednesday and, while it has yet to receive royal ascent, it breezed past its first reading with a vote of 63-17.

    So what happens now? Toronto City Council is currently trying to figure that out, both legally and logistically, based on advice from the city solicitor.

    Candidates are confused, voters are confused, and the timing of this back-and-forth between the city and province already means that advanced voting won't be possible on Thanksgiving weekend (sorry, post-secondary students.)

    "My intention and my desire is to hold an advance vote, but I need certainty and I need it soon," said the city clerk earlier today, noting that nine days had already been reduced to five in light of the legal battle.

    While, as David Rider notes, the city clerk is "legally responsible for conducting an election that complies with provincial legislation," the fact that she has retained her own lawyer suggests that this is a battle she might be willing to wage — or at least consider.


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    Does the Toronto Public Library need a facelift? It's a question that one agency has decided to explore, giving the institution a bit of a makeover via a hypothetical rebranding.

    Wysp, the agency exploring the new idea, has re-titled the library the "Toronto Resource Centre," which pays respect to the fact that the TPL actually has way more going for it than just books. 

    toronto resource centre

    A mockup of a theoretical bus stop advertisement for the Toronto Resource Centre. Image from Wysp. 

    The agency says the new name "better emphasizes all that the public institution has to offer." 

    toronto resource centre

    New library cards are rebranded as "access cards." Image from Wysp.

    A new logo is also on the docket, keeping the same arches as the current logo but making it feel more fresh and allowing it to represent a capital "R" (for Resource Centre, of course). 

    toronto resource centre

    The new logo keeps elements of the current one, but with a modern twist. Image from Wysp.

    The blue and white palette has been scrapped in favour of a more colourful one, to represent the huge variety of programming and resources available at the TPL. 

    The entire rebranding is hypothetical, of course, but those interested in the process can check it out on Wysp's website


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    Acclaimed documentarian and activist Michael Moore really loves Canada, if you didn't already know that. The Michigan native jokes about moving here all the time — almost to the point where it doesn't seem like a joke anymore.

    Moore was in Toronto over the weekend for the world premier of his new film, Farenheit 11/9, at TIFF.

    The famous filmmaker chilled with fans, took photos with handmaids and even went so far as to buy drinks for an entire venue. A swell time was had by all.

    Sadly, all good things come to an end and Moore had leave the city for another premiere in Flint, Michigan on Monday.

    He had some fun along the way, though, pointing out areas of interest in Southern Ontario to his more than 6 million followers on Twitter.

    He's also super stoked on Sarnia, which gave him the quarter-Canadian heritage he now so proudly claims.

    Moore was particularly sad to be leaving Toronto this time around, it seems, which may have something to do with the content of his most-recent doc.

    Whatever the case, Moore left a heartwarming message for us on Instagram after he left the City of Toronto.

    Awwww! Thanks MM. We love you, too.


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    New French restaurants in Toronto have given us more reasons than ever in our predominantly Anglo town to say "ooh la la!" Chefs with a love of French technique and dishes are whipping up new breads, pates, and poutine and stocking up on butter and wine at these newly opened restaurants across the city.

    Here are my picks for the top new French restaurants in Toronto.

    FK

    The chef behind now-shuttered Frank’s Kitchen in Little Italy has opened a new high-end French spot on St. Clair West that puts out an ever-changing menu of theatrical innovations, such as resplendent breads, seafood and desserts.

    Paris Paris 

    Wine and bread are two staples of French cuisine, and nowhere is doing them better right now than this brand new restaurant from the folks behind Superpoint. House sourdough is the beginning of a menu full of meats, cheeses, roast chicken and other delights. 

    Maison Fou 

    This place started out at Runnymede station, but has now travelled to a location near Dundas and Bathurst. You can still expect their delicious renditions of chicken liver pate and duck confit with a French-style brunch on weekends. 

    Alobar

    This buzzworthy new Yorkville restaurant from the people (perhaps obviously) behind Alo and Aloette takes French ingredients like foie gras to the next level. 

    Chez’s

    French bistro food still has its place in Toronto at this place in Little Italy that does classics, like bone marrow and beef cheek poutine in a kitchen open to the back dining room. 


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    Events in Toronto today are a bunch of memory-making machines as the Ukrainian Festival kicks off two days of celebrations while Beer Week takes over bars all over the city. A jazz festival, film screening and comedy show are also on.

    Events you might want to check out:

    Everybody Street (September 14 @ Royal Ontario Museum)
    This free documentary screening and panel explores New York street photography and its most prolific masters and modern renegades.
    Jim Gaffigan (September 14 @ Budweiser Stage)
    Funnyman and voice of Henry Haber on Bob's Burgers Jim Gaffigan brings his observational comedy and deadpan delivery to Toronto for the night.
    Lost in Time (September 14 @ Luanda House)
    New Currency and HYPERWINE come together for a new series of colourful club nights that are altogether post-gender, post-acid, and life morphing.
    SYML (September 14 @ Mod Club Theatre)
    Brian Fennell of Barcelona has ventured out and created SYML; a sound project that infuses pop, electro and indie for a unique musical experience.
    Grey Gardens (September 14-16 @ Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema)
    The first observational-style documentary, this 1975 film takes a look inside the ramshackle world of Big and Little Edie Beale.
    Toronto Ukrainian Festival (September 14-16 @ Bloor St. West)
    Ukrainian culture takes over Bloor Street with dancing, food, music and activities. If you haven't tried real borscht or paska yet, this is the time.
    Toronto International Virtual Reality Stories Festival (September 14-16 @ The Matador Ballroom)
    A new wave of creators come forth to present a three-day VR festival inside of the newly-reopened Matador Ballroom.
    Kensington Market Jazz Festival (September 14-17 @ Multiple Venues)
    Kensington is set to be overtaken with jazzy grooves as over 400 musicians from all over come to perform in local spots in the neighbourhood.
    Toronto Beer Week (September 14-22 @ Multiple Venues)
    Toronto becomes craft beer central during this week-long celebration of the best suds in the city, happening at spots all over.
    Move (September 14-23 @ Bad Dog Comedy Theatre)
    The lost art of physical comedy returns during this unscripted, improvised production that pushes the limits of what the body can do.

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