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    We all know about Niagara Falls, but it's not the only waterfall worth visiting in this province. Ontario's second highest waterfall is an entirely different experience, one that's far more secluded, and where you can focus on the powerful beauty in front of you.

    The underrated Kakabeka Falls are a sublime sight to behold. Located in Kakabeka Falls Provincial Park in Northern Ontario, the falls drop 40 metres off a giant cliff and flow into the Kaministiquia River, an ancient gorge that contains fossils over 1.6 million years old.

    A post shared by Todd Colter (@toddcolter) on

    The site offers year-round viewing of the gorge via a wrap-around platform, which provides a spectacular view of the foliage and the surrounding area. As you peer out at the waterfall, it's worth considering the Legend of the Green Mantle, who is rumoured to appear in the mist.

    A post shared by ✨ૐ (@ashleymilne__) on

    In addition to the waterfall, Kakabeka is home to some of the finest hiking trails in the province, some of which feature elevated boardwalks with stunning vistas of the gorge and the rugged northern landscape.

    It's obviously a long distance to drive from Toronto, but the park is available for overnight camping from May to early October, after which the weather is typically unfriendly to outdoor accommodation.

    A post shared by Al Adan (@ajadan51) on

    Everyone makes the trip to Niagara Falls, but far fewer people can boast about taking in the majestic site that is Kakabeka Falls. Without a wax museum in sight, you can really soak up the incredible scene.


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    Toronto was a quieter place in the 1950s. Our skyline was made up of a handful of buildings from the 1930s, our brick buildings were stained with soot from the industry that still dominated our waterfront, and you couldn't get a drink or go shopping on Sundays.

    Yes, there was a time when this was a downright sleepy town.

    That said, Toronto was already starting to change in the 50s. It would take a decade or two for these little seeds to blossom into the type of full scale transformation the city experienced in the late 1960s and early 70s, but the signs are there.

    In these photos you see the birth of the subway and the suburbs, tidy downtown streets that are about to explode with neon signs and taller developments.

    While Kodak released colour film in the late 1930s, it wasn't until the 1960s that its use became widespread among amateurs. As such, the collection of colour photographs of Toronto from the 1950s is tiny compared to that of the decade that followed.

    Perhaps because of this, they provide an alluring glimpse of a cheerful if somewhat boring city on the brink of great change.

    The images below represent a mix of photographs, postcards, and other marketing materials that were deemed important enough at the time to be produced in colour.

    Behold, the Toronto of the 1950s in vivid colour.

    Toronto 1950s

    The Toronto skyline in 1956. Photo by PJs Deceased.

    Toronto 1950s

    The massive railway lands before the CN Tower and condo developments. Photo via Chuckman's Nostalgia.

    Toronto 1950s

    James and Albert streets. Photo via Chuckman's Nostalgia.

    Toronto 1950s

    Postcard view looking up Bay toward Old City Hall.

    Toronto 1950s

    Old City Hall and Peter Witt streetcar. Photo via Chuckman's Nostalgia.

    Toronto 1950s

    Toronto Telegram Building at Bay and Melinda streets.

    Toronto 1950s

    Postcard view looking up Yonge St. north of Queen St.

    Toronto 1950s

    Postcard view of the pre-sign Royal York.

    Toronto 1950s

    Yonge St. near Summerhill. Photo via John Bromley's Archives.

    Toronto 1950s

    A streetcar passes Mt. Pleasant Cemetery on Yonge St. pre-subway. Photo via Chuckman's Nostalgia.

    Toronto 1950s

    Postcard view looking north to Yonge and Dundas.

    Toronto 1950s

    Redpath Sugar under construction on Queens Quay. Photo via the Wikimedia Commons.

    Toronto 1950s

    4972 Dundas West. Photo via the Toronto Archives.

    Toronto 1950s

    People getting out from Sunday service. Photo via the Toronto Archives.

    Toronto 1950s

    The quiet Toronto waterfront (likely Ashbridges Bay). Photo via the Wikimedia Commons.

    Toronto 1950s

    Toronto harbour and ferry in the late 1950s. Photo via the Toronto Archives.

    Toronto 1950s

    Postcard view of a picnic on the Toronto Islands.

    Toronto 1950s

    A Peter Witt streetcar near Yonge and Lawton. Photo via Chuckman's Nostalgia.

    Toronto 1950s

    Davisville Station in 1956. Photo via Transit Toronto.

    Toronto 1950s

    Postcard view of Gloucester train at King Station.

    Toronto 1950s

    Postcard view of the Scarboro Motel, 1950s.

    Toronto 1950s

    Rexdale in the late 1950s. Photo via Toronto Archives.

    Toronto 1950s

    Old Don Mills Rd. Bridge (now part of the bike trail system). Photo via Chuckman's Nostalgia.

    Toronto 1950s

    The birth of Don Mills. Photo via the Toronto Archives.


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    Top warehouse sales in Toronto for October prove to be a big month for big savings on everything from coats, jackets, shoes, boots, housewares and even fine foods. Puma is having a huge blowout sale and many luxury brands can be found on the cheap.

    Events you might want to check out:

    Puma Warehouse Sale (October 4-7 @ The International Centre)
    All Puma everything is on sale up to 80 per cent off during this big sale, including men's, women's and kid's footwear and accessories.
    Buscemi Sample Sale (October 4-7 @ Le Parc)
    Buscemi is slashing prices on its signature designer sneakers and luxury accessories this month, including styles for both men and women.
    Winter Parka Sale (October 4-7 @ Le Parc)
    It's almost winter and a huge selection of coats are on sale from brands like Canada Goose, Mackage, Rudsak, UGG and more for up to 80 per cent off.
    Designer Shoe Warehouse Sale (October 4-8 @ International Centre)
    Women's shoes, handbags, men's shoes, kid's shoes are all on sale from brands like Cole Haan, Dr. Scholls, Naturalizer and more.
    Luxury Designer Warehouse Sale (October 11-14 @ Markham Fairgrounds)
    Huge savings on designer shoes from brands like Dolce & Gabbana, Valentino, Gucci, and Raf Simmons are on for up to 90 per cent off.
    Mr.B's Ladies Boot Sale (October 23-28 @ Mr.B's)
    Mr.B's is having a blowout sale on ladies boots just time time for fall, plus a big selection of home goods and housewares.
    Baker Shoe Warehouse Sale (October 23-28 @ Baker Shoe)
    Naturalizer, Viking, Alegria, Vionic and more are all on sale at for up to 95 per cent off at this big shoe sale.
    Wildly Delicious Warehouse Sale (October 27 @ Wildly Delicious Warehouse Store)
    Step up your cooking game big time as Wildly Delicious is offering huge savings on tons of speciality fine food products.

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    Free events in Toronto this week are for the pizza, photo and film lovers out there as the World Press Photo exhibit arrives and there's free pizza courtesy of Pi Co. A free film screening is also on, and you can celebrate the return of the Really, Really Free Market.

    Events you might want to check out:

    Free Pizza at Pi Co (October 2 @ Pi Co)
    Pick yourself up a free, Neapolitan-style pie at Pi Co's new location on Spadina anytime between noon and 3:14 p.m.
    Terms of Service (October 2 @ Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema)
    This free screening includes a selection of short films that investigate the myriad ways the internet affects our daily lives.
    Rowers Reading Series (October 2 @ Glad Day Bookshop (Church))
    Poetry and prose are on as authors and readers share stories that touch on different themes and issues, open the mind and feed the soul.
    World Press Photo Exhibit (October 2-23 @ Brookfield Place)
    Some of the most impactful, moving and visually appealing images from the last year in photojournalism arrive for your viewing pleasure.
    Really Really Free Market (October 6 @ Campbell Park)
    Save your money for another day because this monthly market is completely free. No money or swapping necessary.

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    The best afternoon tea in Toronto is for when you’re feeling fancy. Centring around fragrant pots of fine tea, fizzing glasses of bubbly and towers of sweet and savoury treats like something out of a pastel fairytale, these ceremonies often take place in hotels or equally classy environs and tend to require reservations. 

    Here’s the best afternoon tea in Toronto.

    4 - King Edward Hotel

    High-end afternoon tea at this magnificent old hotel near King station includes savoury finger sandwiches, pastries and scones such as mini fried chicken sandwiches and peach tartlets. Optionally upgrade from tea to champagne or sherry.
    3 - Windsor Arms

    Towers of house pastries, finger sandwiches and h’ors d’ouevres are like something out of a fairytale at this old-fashioned Yorkville hotel, accompanied by your own personal intricately decorated pot of tea chosen from page after page of options.
    5 - Old Mill Toronto

    Not only has afternoon tea been served at this hotel near the subway station of the same name for over a hundred years, a portion of the proceeds go towards a womens’ shelter. House pastries, scones and little croissant, pinwheel and open-faced finger sandwiches served with tea, champagne, sangria or mimosas make up the experience.
    6 - Library Bar

    Reservations are required for afternoon tea served on weekends at this bar inside the Fairmont in the Financial District. Finger sandwiches are filled with smoked pastrami or egg and truffle, and pastries might include macarons and scones. There’s a range of options for champagne by the glass or bottle.
    7 - Tsujiri Toronto Yonge St.

    Japanese afternoon tea is offered at the North York location of this cafe that’s a shrine to all things matcha. Sets of desserts might include matcha roll cakes, yuzu cheesecake, daifuku or matcha brownies. Specially sourced matcha teas are brewed tableside.
    8 - DEQ at the Ritz Carlton

    Reserve for fancy afternoon tea on weekends or walk in on weekdays 12 p.m. - 4 p.m. This hotel near Simcoe and Wellington actually has dedicated tea sommeliers that have created custom Sloane blends only available here, and afternoon tea pairs them with sweet and savoury nibbles. Of course, you can always opt for bubbly.
    9 - Sweet A La Mode

    Afternoon tea can be found in a rather unexpected place among chain joints at Stockyards Village. Towers for two include house-baked goodies and mini smoked salmon and duck confit sandwiches.
    10 - t-buds

    Tea sandwiches, scones, quiche, petit fours and fresh fruit all topped off with a pot of tea and a flute of iced sparkling jasmine tea makes up the unique afternoon tea experience at this “lounge and creperie” near Yonge and Lawrence.
    11 - Laduree Toronto

    Parisian-quality macarons have landed in Toronto at this Yorkdale mall outpost of the bakery, where afternoon tea consists of three macarons, a madeleine and financier, mini tartelette, chou praline, croque-monsieur and delice griotte, a fruit salad, choice of two finger sandwiches and tea, coffee or hot chocolate.

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    Getaways for fall colours in Ontario are spread all across the province. From scenic train rides through the rugged northern landscape to quaint escapes in our various wine growing regions, leaf peeping need not be the only focus of the trip. You can spend your days soaking up fall foliage and your nights enjoying good food and wine.

    Here are my picks for the top getaways for fall colours in Ontario.

    Lose yourself in the splendour of Algonquin Park

    Algonquin is the epicentre of fall foliage tourism in Ontario — and for good reason. Thanks to its concentration of Sugar Maples, the leaves turn early here and get very colourful (there's a second wave of colour when poplar and birch trees change). You can take plan a portage trip, rent a ranger cabin, or even go car camping here.

    Luxuriate in the beauty of autumn around Collingwood

    It's tough to beat the Blue Mountain area when it comes to witnessing fall colours. From the suspension bridge at Scenic Caves to the mountain bike lift at the resort, there are numerous vantage points from which to take it all in. Scandinave Spa is also at its finest when the air is crisp but not yet cold.

    deerhurst resort

    Fall colours descend on the rolling hills around Deerhurst Resort. Photo courtesy of Deerhurst.

    Soak up the beauty of Muskoka in style

    Located amidst scenic rolling hills populated with Sugar Maples at the western end of the Highway 60 corridor, Deerhurst Resort is the perfect spot to soak up fall foliage with ample pampering and entertainment options, from golf to horseback rides and treetop treks. You can even do a guided trip to Algonquin from the resort.

    Tower above it all at the Thousand Islands

    Few places in Ontario match the Thousand Islands for the sheer majesty of fall foliage, as bright orange and red pockets flare up amidst the waters of the St. Lawrence River. Rent a cottage in the area, but make sure to make a stop at 1000 Islands Tower to get a bird's eye view of the whole area.

    Witness Tobermory's rustic landscape set ablaze

    The entire Bruce Peninsula is lovely during the fall, from Grieg's Caves at Lion's Head to the shipwreck-strewn bays of Tobermory. While it's beautiful here during each season, fall is particularly sublime for the contrast between the colourful foliage and the blue waters of Georgian Bay and Lake Huron.

    hamilton waterfall

    Tews Falls looks even more incredible than usual in the height of autumn. Photo by Worrawat Engchuan.

    Spend a weekend exploring Hamilton's waterfalls

    A visit to Dundas Peak and Hamilton's network of waterfalls is often done as a day trip from Toronto, but there's more than enough to see to justify an overnight stay. You can spend the day exploring the sights like Tews Falls, Spencer Gorge, Sherman Falls, and the Devil's Punchbowl, and then indulge in the city's culinary scene at night.

    Immerse yourself in the grandeur of the Credit Valley

    You don't have to travel for hours and hours from Toronto to see incredible fall foliage. One of the most picturesque regions is just an hour away in the form of the Credit Valley. Once you check in at the Millcroft Inn, you can do mini trips to explore the Forks of the Credit, Belfountain, and the newly opened Cheltenham Badlands.

    Be dazzled by fall colours and local cuisine

    Viamede Resort has got fall covered in more ways than one. You can spend the day exploring the lovely landscape around Stoney Lake, including a drive up to the Gut Conservation Area (one of the most stunning areas for fall colours), before returning to eat a harvest-themed tasting menu built around local produce.

    agwa train tour

    The Agawa Canyon Train Tour winds its way through Algoma. Photo via the Agawa Canyon Train Tour's Facebook page.

    Take a scenic train ride through the North

    If you're thinking about planning the fall foliage trip of a lifetime, the Agawa Canyon Train Tour should be on your list. It's a 114 kilometre tour around Algoma that features some of the most breathtaking landscapes in the province. You'll feel like you've entered a Group of Seven painting.

    Rejoice in the harvest across wine country

    Both the Niagara Region and Prince Edward County are sublime fall destinations. As the air turns cool and the landscape golden, wineries are abuzz with activity. Beamsville and Vineland are particularly beautiful thanks to their undulating landscape, though the rural charms of the County are also alluring.


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    Peanut Plaza is somewhat of an iconic Toronto shopping centre.

    With its fading aqua-coloured roof and clustered parking lot, the compact plaza offers an impressive roster of shops and services to the residents of the apartments and townhomes which surround it.

    For non-locals, the plaza is best known for being that weird place named after a legume.

    peanut plaza toronto

    Peanut Plaza was built in the 1960s and is owned by the developing company the Sitzer Group. 

    Built in the 1960s, the 10,000 square-foot centre sits on a peanut-shaped parcel of land formed by a rare-occurring fork in Don Mills road—hence its name—equidistant from Sheppard and Finch.

    peanut plaza toronto

    The plaza sits on a peanut-shaped piece of land on Don Mills Road.

    During rush hour you’ll see cars careening down the swerve of Don Mills which becomes two one-way streets on either side, where playing Frogger with bags of groceries from Tone Tai in hand has been a rite of passage for tenants of Deerford Apartments or Goodview Townhomes.

    peanut plaza toronto

    The plaza's many stores service the residents in the area. 

    Aside from big box essentials like McDonalds, which draws in the kids from Georges Vanier and Woodbine schools, Popeyes, Pizza Pizza, the Beer Store, and the Bank of China, Tone Tai is undoubtedly the main draw of Peanut Plaza.

    peanut plaza toronto

    The Tone Tai supermarket popular Chinese supermarket. 

    Added in 2009, it's a fairly new addition. Once an IGA, the space sat empty for a while before becoming the Chinese grocery store with a well-frequented seafood market and big selection of Asian products, along with some Latin American necessities.

    peanut plaza toronto

    Ali's Market is a Persian grocer selling usual flatbread and jams. 

    Lining the outside of the plaza is also Ali’s Market, a Persian store selling your usual necessities like nuts, rosewater and packs of flatbread next to a location of Mr. Roc’s Crawfish.

    peanut plaza toronto

    Fine India Grocers has spices and rice.

    For Indian goods, there’s the tight corner shop Fine India Grocers, a handy albeit sometimes pricey place for Indian and Pakistani goods like dosa batter and spices located on the other end of the plaza.

    peanut plaza toronto

    You can find rice cookers and kettles at The Best Shop. 

    The Best Shop, the second iteration of the PMall favourite, specializes in cheap home appliances like rice cookers and everything else, from notebooks to doilys to bath mats.

    peanut plaza toronto

    The Seneca Pub is a popular spot for quick Indian eats and games of pool. 

    Right next door is the Seneca Pub, a deceptively named Indian bar serving butter chicken with a patio and pool tables downstairs.

    peanut plaza toronto

    There are a number of small shops and services operating inside the plaza.

    Peanut Plaza itself is a well-lit, relaxed place consisting of two main corridors where you’ll find a varying collection of food options, operating alongside the lower-level Dollarama, a hair salon, and 50-year-old Don Valley Health Food, selling the usual salt lamps and supplements.

    peanut plaza toronto

    Hung Fok BBQ Gourmet has BBQ duck for sale. 

    Hung Fok BBQ Gourmet is the spot for those too-lazy-to-cook days, offering styrofoam boxes chopped up BBQ duck with sides of Szechuan-style eggplant and rice for fair prices.

    peanut plaza toronto

    Edward is a traditional Chinese bakery selling pastries and cakes. 

    Quick snacks come by way of Edward Bakery, your typical fragrant Chinese bakery selling egg tarts and pork buns.

    peanut plaza toronto

    Saigon Express serves up tasty pho and strong Vietnamese coffee. 

    For a pho fix, there’s Saigon Express, a sit-down spot where fresh bowls of one-size Vietnamese noodles and plates of pork chops and rice are offered for cheap. Plus they also have really good milk tea and Vietnamese coffee, hot or iced.

    peanut plaza toronto

    There's a store selling traditional Chinese ceramics and furniture. 

    The most reputable food spot here though is undoubtedly Allan’s Pastry Shop, whose flaky goat patties and coco bread have been considered some of the best in the city for over 25 years.

    peanut plaza toronto

    The plaza spans over 10,000 square feet. 

    Dedicated pastry lovers will often take boxed frozen patties home by the dozens, which comes up to about $1 per patty; if bought individually, it’s a bit more. 

    peanut plaza toronto

    Some stores located outside the plaza can't be accessed from inside. 

    Head outside, however, and you’ll find another venerable spot whose praises are far less sung.

    peanut plaza toronto

    Harbour Fish and Chips has been serving fried halibut and french fries for years.

    On the same side of the plaza as the reliably consistent Harbour Fish and Chips and longstanding Mr. Jerk, the original location of the chain which now has locations all around Toronto, is Mr. Gao’s Gardens.

    peanut plaza toronto

    Mr. Gao's  is a tiny stall tucked next to Fine India Grocers. 

    Operating out of a tiny stall next to Fine India Grocers with nary an English sign to indicate its existence is Mr. Gao’s Gardens, an authentic spot steaming up Tianjin buns for over 45 years.

    peanut plaza toronto

    Mr. Gao's has been operating for over 45 years. 

    There’s a single table here and a little counter with a couple of stools, where you can post up to feast on orders of the thick-skinned Chinese steamed baos that Tianjin is famous for.

    peanut plaza toronto

    The steamed buns here come Tianjin-style. 

    The cashier doesn’t speak English, and it’s cash only for orders less than $10 so if you’re ordering the 10 pork and green onions baos for $6.99, make sure to bring some change.

    With such a diverse selection of affordable food, a trip to Peanut Plaza is well worth a trip. It’s just a five minute bus ride from Don Mills station, but first-timers should avoid playing Frogger on Don Mills until they’ve visited a few more times.peanut plaza toronto


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    If you ask any longtime resident of Corso Italia about the 512 St. Clair streetcar, they'll probably tell you about the devastating track construction, and how it tore through the little community spanning just 800-metres for five gruelling years

    Considered the second landing pad for the record-breaking wave of Italian immigrants arriving in Canada after WWII—with Little Italy on College being the first—Corso Italia was once a lively strip filled with merchants and locals running their daily errands.

    corso italia toronto

    The drawn out construction of the 512 streetcar route had a hugely negative impact on the area.

    After the 512 tracks were completed in 2009, the part of St. Clair West stretching roughly between Westmount and Prospect Cemetery grew quiet. So quiet, the city even added speakers to the lamp posts lining St. Clair running west of Dufferin in an attempt to liven it up. 

    corso italia toronto

    Speakers play jazz from the lamp posts in Corso Italia for the majority of the day.

    Today, you can still hear the sounds of swanky jazz subtly playing in the air, creeping from the speakers discretely hidden on the lamp posts beneath hanging baskets of flowers.

    corso italia toronto

    Corso Italia has many vacant or closing storefronts.

    Still, the community had aged, and businesses who couldn't survive the dust of the construction and diminished foot traffic closed up shop (much like what's happening with Little Jamaica today) leaving behind numerous empty storefronts which even now line the street.

    corso italia toronto

    St. Clare's Roman Catholic Church sits at St. Clair West and Northcliffe.

    It was a far cry from the energy of Corso Italia during the 1982 World Cup, when over 300,000 Italians took to St. Clair West and Little Italy to revel in hometown glory, a watershed moment in terms of Italian visibility and pride in Toronto. 

    corso italia toronto

    Many of the buildings here maintain an old style of architecture uncommon in the rest of the city.

    It's been a slow recovery for the once bustling neighbourhood since then, and only now is Corso Italia beginning to see a resurgence in activity somewhat similar to the area's past glory days.

    corso italia toronto

    A black and white mural shows the Corso Italia area long before it was developed.

    A wave of younger shops have joined the longtime Italian-run businesses operating traditional trades like tailoring, Italian leather shoe and grocers such as Diana Grocery or Centro Trattoria & Formaggi, and popular bakeries like Palermo

    corso italia toronto

    Tre Mari's ciabatta buns are made fresh daily. 

    Where there were once only venerated joints like Frank's Pizza House with its hulking calzones, Pizza e Pazzi, the Big Slice with its massive panzerottos, Marcello's, and Tre Mari Bakery with its fresh buns, there are now restaurants like Cano, serving elevated Italian brunch.

    corso italia toronto

    The streetcar stop all along St. Clair have unique shelters. 

    Just outside of Corso Italia proper—around Oakwood Avenue, which feels like the 'real' eastern border of the neighbourhood—newer businesses with fresh energy have already entered the periphery. 

    corso italia toronto

    Traditional businesses like shoe shops operate alongside newer concepts like board game cafe Spielhaus. 

    There's even a colourful and inviting new boardgame cafe called Spielhaus, which has over 2,500 games like D&D and snacks to keep you fuelled during your intense game sesh.

    corso italia toronto

    Carlo Diano and Lois Kim run the gelato shop Futura Granita + Gelato. 

    Of course there's no shortage of gelato here, with more springing up each summer. Joining Corso Italia favourite La Paloma comes small-batch gelato from Madonna Mia and, though not in Corso Italia proper, Futura Granita + Gelato from Carlo Diano and Lois Kim. 

    corso italia blogto

    Futura's gelato, cookies, and freeze pops are all made in-house. 

    Diano, whose father owned a shoe store called Varese located at St. Clair and Earlscourt for nearly 50 years, says he and Kim opened Futura Granita last year to bring their twist on Italian ice cream to an oldschool Italian neighbourhood. 

    "We want to honour the tradition but put our stamp on it," he says. "The meeting of old and new, which is kind of where the neighbourhood is right now." 

    corso italia toronto

    Latin World is a grocery store selling Latin American products and tacos made to order.

    Perhaps one of the biggest changes over the years has been the introduction of several laudable Latin American restaurants and grocers in the St. Clair and Oakwood area, including a slew of Peruvian like Paracas and El Salvadorian via Tita La Guanaca.

    corso italia toronto

    The tacos from Itacate are some of the best in the city. 

    There's no shortage of incredible Mexican eateries too, including Tenoch, King's Taco's, and the always bustling Itacate, a family-run spot serving up some of the best Toronto tacos outside of Mexico.

    corso italia toronto

    The Brazilian restaurant Rio 40 is a popular destination during the World Cup. 

    Seeing many of these businesses call some major World Cup contendors home, it's no surprise Corso Italia comes most alive during World Cup season, when people flock to Brazilian restaurant Rio 40 and Latin Fiesta to cheer for their teams. 

    corso italia toronto

    El Eden Ecuatoriano is a grocery store selling Latin American basics like corn flour and Mexican soda.

    Compared to elsewhere in the city, rent in this area is still considered low, and there are still empty storefronts to be filled. For an area that is only just beginning to awaken, the roster of businesses in Corso Italia is enough to travel afar for, and the future of the area looks promising too.corso italia toronto


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    Events in Toronto this week are a sure sign that there's still plenty to do before fall nesting season hits. J. Cole, Ben Howard and Zhu are here to perform while an art auction, party at the museum and scream park should make for a fun week. There's lots of free stuff on, too!

    Events you might want to check out:

    Honne (October 1 @ The Phoenix Concert Theatre)
    A little bit of this and a little bit of that are how you could describe electro duo Honne who use a variety of sounds to make up their tunes.
    Where Do We Start? (October 2 @ Gladstone Hotel)
    The discussion continues as politics remains the topic of the day in Toronto. This week's focus is on municipal finance-turned-game show.
    Zhu (October 3 @ Rebel)
    Zhu has been going strong since his recent single with Tame Impala for "My Life" and the house DJ isn't slowing down anytime soon.
    The Walrus Talks Humanity and Technology (October 3 @ MaRS Discovery District)
    The future of AI is on everyone's mind and The Walrus looks to explore it's role in shaping society and its relationship with humans.
    Timeraiser (October 3 @ The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery)
    This interactive art auction will see artists create works in real-time, plus food, drinks and new this year: an art market.
    J. Cole (October 4 @ Scotiabank Arena)
    After scoring a number one album earlier this year with KOD, J. Cole has hit the road with a huge North American tour that's finally landed him here.
    The NBHD (October 4 @ REBEL)
    These California rockers take a unique approach to their music, touching on sensitive subjects while experimenting with different soundscapes.
    ROM Friday Night Live (October 5 @ Royal Ontario Museum)
    A celebration of all things fall is on at this big party in the museum with this week's theme centred on an autumn favourite: Pumpkin Spice.
    Ben Howard (October 5 @ Budweiser Stage)
    Quietly shaping the indie-folk genre into something of his own, Ben Howard explores the place his music comes from while adding a modern twist.
    Matangi/Maya/M.I.A. (October 5-11 @ Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema)
    Genre-bending artist, social justice activist, musician and modern-day heroine, this doc looks at the kaleidoscopic figure that is M.I.A.
    Screemers (October 5-31 @ Queen Elizabeth Building)
    The city's biggest scream park returns just in time for Halloween with a maze of scary attractions bent on scaring you silly.
    Chelsea Handler (October 6 @ Elgin Theatre)
    Comedian Chelsea Handler is here to talk about the state of the world, with everything from cannabis, politics and culture up for discussion.
    Aleyards Oktobeerfest (October 6 @ Junction Craft Brewing)
    Junction Craft Brewing, Shacklands and Rainhard are throwing a big, all-day Oktobeerfest jam with live music, food and even a traditonal beer breakfast.
    Toronto Flower Market (October 6 @ CAMH)
    Fresh cut flowers and hand-made bouquets from local growers are available at the first of two markets this month.
    Manufactured Landscapes (October 6 - November 24 @ Art Gallery of Ontario)
    Artist and photographer Edward Burtynsky takes us on a tour through China to document effects of the country's massive industrial revolution.

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    The best hotel restaurants in Toronto aren’t just for tourists. Many of them don’t require you to be a guest of the hotel to dine at them, and rather than sheltering visitors from the local colour they invite it right into the dining room. Because they serve as food ambassadors, these are actually some of the most impressive and reliable spots in town. 

    Here are the best hotel restaurants in Toronto. 

    4 - Buca (Yorkville)

    This Yorkville location of a popular Italian restaurant is open early so Four Seasons guests can get their bombolone and espresso early, or crudo later on.
    11 - Akira Back

    Adjoining Bisha Hotel, this Japanese restaurant is part of a legacy of multiple restaurants worldwide from a chef by the same name. Sophisticated sushi and an elegant tuna “pizza” are on the menu.
    3 - Constantine

    There’s a Mediterranean restaurant centred around an open kitchen on the ground floor of the Anndore House near Yonge and Bloor by the same people behind Campagnolo and La Palma, serving up pasta and small plates.
    5 - Drake Hotel

    One of the best restaurant burgers in the city can actually be found at this restaurant inside a rock n’ roll boutique hotel on West Queen West, where maki rolls, meatballs and cocktails also grace the menu.
    6 - Kojin

    This Momofuku outpost is located at the Shangri-La, serving up a refined Colombian menu of grilled meats, burgers, sausage and bread with dips.
    7 - Thompson Diner

    The nearly 24-hour diner at this hotel near Bathurst and King has some of the most comforting mac and cheese, grilled cheese sandwiches, and brunch in the city, and is even known to have hosted a celeb or two.
    8 - Luckee

    Located at the bottom of the Entertainment District's Soho Metropolitan Hotel, this stunner from Susur Lee serves a dim sum menu and delicate cocktails.
    9 - Mother Tongue

    Under the Templar Hotel lies this Asian-Filipino-centric sharing-based snack bar, serving longanisa sammies, mussels, steak foie gras fried rice and dumplings that all go great with a sleek cocktail program.
    10 - The Civic

    The Broadview Hotel in Riverside has this restaurant that pays homage to the neighbourhood’s heritage, bringing dishes from the previous century like venison tartare into the present.

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    This week on DineSafe, one of Toronto's most popular Thai restaurants was shutdown by city health inspectors. Sukhothai on Wellington St., just east of Yonge was closed down due to insects. Yikes!

    Discover what other local spots got busted by city health inspectors this week on DineSafe.

    Country Style Hungarian Restaurant (450 Bloor St. West)
    • Inspected on: September 24, 2018
    • Inspection finding: Yellow (Conditional)
    • Number of infractions: 5 (Significant: 3, Crucial: 2)
    • Crucial infractions include: Failed to maintain records of food purchased and stored ungraded eggs.
    Station Cafe (866 Bloor St. West)
    • Inspected on: September 24, 2018
    • Inspection finding: Yellow (Conditional)
    • Number of infractions: 3 (Minor: 1, Significant: 2)
    • Crucial infractions include: N/A
    Walrus Pub & Beer Hall (187 Bay St.)
    • Inspected on: September 24, 2018
    • Inspection finding: Yellow (Conditional)
    • Number of infractions: 3 (Minor: 1, Significant: 2)
    • Crucial infractions include: N/A
    Aroma (500 Bloor St. West)
    • Inspected on: September 25, 2018
    • Inspection finding: Yellow (Conditional)
    • Number of infractions: 8 (Minor: 1, Significant: 6, Crucial: 1)
    • Crucial infractions include: Failed to protect food from contamination or adulteration.
    Cibo (133 Yorkville Ave.)
    • Inspected on: September 25, 2018
    • Inspection finding: Yellow (Conditional)
    • Number of infractions: 3 (Significant: 3)
    • Crucial infractions include: N/A
    Cool N2 (412 Queen St. West)
    • Inspected on: September 25, 2018
    • Inspection finding: Yellow (Conditional)
    • Number of infractions: 2 (Significant: 1, Crucial: 1)
    • Crucial infractions include: Food premise maintained in manner to permit contamination of single-service articles.
    Le Gourmand (152 Spadina Ave.)
    • Inspected on: September 25, 2018
    • Inspection finding: Yellow (Conditional)
    • Number of infractions: 3 (Significant: 2, Crucial: 1)
    • Crucial infractions include: Offered for sale potentially hazardous foods at internal temperature between 4°C and 60°.
    Mamma's Pizza (807 Yonge St.)
    • Inspected on: September 25, 2018
    • Inspection finding: Yellow (Conditional)
    • Number of infractions: 5 (Minor: 4, Crucial: 1)
    • Crucial infractions include: Failed to protect food from contamination or adulteration.
    Druxy's (610 University Ave.)
    • Inspected on: September 26, 2018
    • Inspection finding: Red (Closed)
    • Number of infractions: 3 (Significant: 1, Crucial: 2)
    • Crucial infractions include: Food premise maintained in manner permitting health hazard and failed to protect food from contamination or adulteration.
    Osmow's (611 Queen St. West)
    • Inspected on: September 26, 2018
    • Inspection finding: Yellow (Conditional)
    • Number of infractions: 3 (Significant: 3)
    • Crucial infractions include: N/A
    Sukhothai (52 Wellington St. East)
    • Inspected on: September 28, 2018
    • Inspection finding: Red (Closed)
    • Number of infractions: 2 (Significant: 1, Crucial: 1)
    • Crucial infractions include: Food premise maintained in manner permitting health hazard (Insects).
    Tim Hortons (6220 Finch Ave. West)
    • Inspected on: September 28, 2018
    • Inspection finding: Yellow (Conditional)
    • Number of infractions: 1 (Significant: 1)
    • Crucial infractions include: N/A

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


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    From the slums of Shaolin, the Wu-Tang Clan brought da ruckus to Toronto for a free concert thanks to both cannabis and some legal grey areas (the best kind).

    The Wu took to Rebel last night for a free concert as part of the #NeverJaded event series happening across the country.

    The crew performed their seminal 1993 album 36 Chambers in full, much to the delight of hip-hop heads young and old.

    Minor controversy, however, lurked beneath the surface. 

    While #NeverJaded has been busy planning events featuring big-name talent like the Wu, Health Canada has been looking into what extent the subsidiary of HEXO, a medical cannabis company based out of Quebec, has been marketing its products to concert goers.

    As the federal government works to finalize the details surrounding cannabis marketing in time for legalization, the #NeverJaded events fall within a legal grey area concerning the advertisement of cannabis.

    Part of the problem is that the government has not clarified any strict rules and regulations surrounding cannabis marketing and whether it will be a tobacco-type situation where no advertising is allowed, or more like alcohol that allows for some under certain circumstances. 

    Besides the Wu being longtime ambassadors to the skunk, a spokesperson for HEXO said that the events are just about good tunes and good vibes; nothing more.

    Cannabis legalization goes into effect across the country on October 17 when presumably more details regarding marketing regulations will unfold.

    Until then, can it be all so simple?


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    The city may be gaining the access to the waterfront that many have dreamed of for decades. 

    This will be the glorious reality of a Toronto without a large section of the Gardiner Expressway—which many have wanted gone for years. It's all possible if mayoral-hopeful Jennifer Keesmaat wins in October. 

    The former city planner announced plans this weekend to tear down a portion of the Gardiner that incumbent mayor John Tory hopes to rebuild, and she says it'll be way cheaper to boot. 

    Keesmaat says tearing down the eastern portion of the Gardiner and replacing it with a "grand boulevard" will be approximately $500 million cheaper than Tory's plan to rebuild it. 

    The plan pushed by Tory was approved by city council in 2015, and drew the ire of many who saw to tear the expressway down. 

    Tory of course criticized the plan, stating it would dump large amounts of traffic into the downtown core. Keesmaat says the tear-down would allow for more money for transit, eliminating at least some of the vehicular traffic. 

    As the election approaches, the candidates are starting to propose larger and larger ideas. Toronto will have to wait and see what the city looks like once the vote is decided. 


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    What's better than having knives strapped to the bottom of your feet? Having knives strapped to the bottom of your feet while drinking, of course.

    If a proposal by Councillor Mary-Margaret McMahon is seen to fruition, craft beer trucks could soon grace Toronto's skating rinks and parks.

    The Ward 32 councillor is hoping that the new allowance will be passed, enabling craft beer vendors into the public spaces—something which currently requires a permit (and a ton of red tape).

    The proposal follows Mayor John Tory's desires to legalize drinking in the parks as well, something that drew the sharp criticism of Premier Doug Ford. 

    McMahon pointed out that people currently drink in the parks illegally anyway, regardless of laws, and that this year's Pride allowed for public drinking (within limits) and "the sky did not fall." 

    The councillor hopes the new rules will be in place by winter, just in time for skating season. 


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    For the first time ever, Nuit Blanche found a place in Scarborough. A series of artists told the city's story through personal testimony, explorations of race and gender, and countless artistic mediums. 


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    If you're starting to feel the drag of pre-winter blues, fret not: there's a a new exhibit coming to Toronto that'll inject a big dose of happy into your life. 

    The Instagram-famous installation HAPPY PLACE is taking over the Harbourfront Centre on November 1, and it's bringing the world's largest indoor confetti dome with it.

    Essentially a sprawling 20,000 playground of pure joy, Happy Place has already held sold-out celeb-worthy pop ups in L.A. and Chicago.

    The installation, which will last until January 2, 2019, will consist of a bunch of fun rooms of sparkly attractions, including seven-foot-tall stilettos made out of candy.

    There'll also be a "superbloom" room with over 40,000 'immersive flowers,' and a six-metre tall rainbow with an epic yellow ball pit at the bottom. 

    But the best part of it all will be the giant confetti dome with half a million pieces of colourful confetti buzzing around, which will be sure to get those endorphins up and buzzing. 

    The event will be partnering with Live Nation Canada, and is expected to work with some local artists and designers too, with all net proceeds of the installation to be donated to a charity based in Toronto, which has yet to be announced. 

    They'll also be setting up their signature lemonade stand. 

    Pre-sale tickets go up today, and general admission tickets go up this Thursday, October 4 at $32.50 on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, and $39.50 Fridays to Sundays. 

    With the sun looking pretty M.I.A. these days, tickets for this sunny event will probably the hottest ticket this winter.


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    Barbecue in Toronto is no longer a rarity: in fact, it’s becoming more and more common. The Great White North is out to prove we have just as much chops as the South when it comes to smoking meats on-site, and even more creative freedom since we’re less restricted by regional styles.

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

    Beach Hill Smokehouse

    $100 four-and-a-half pound barbecue feasts of beef ribs, pork ribs and halal chicken plus more can be found at this new Upper Beaches restaurant.

    The Yard

    Classic BBQ gets a bit of an upscale kick while still keeping it patio casual at this spacious Beaches hangout, with menu items like Korean BBQ ribs set off by lighter options like local trout.

    Blackjack BBQ

    The folks behind Chula Taberna just down the street have dipped their toes into yet another comforting concept with this barbecue spot that does non-traditional takes on wings, beef ribs and moonshine.

    Chainsmoker

    This little spot has big plans to open many locations, but for now head here for platters of pulled pork, brisket, wings and smoked meat that (true to the neighbourhood) you can even get on rye for lunch.

    Cherry Street Bar-B-Que at Assembly Chef's Hall

    The popular Port Lands joint has opened up in a somewhat more accessible location, slinging their baby back ribs and brisket in a new Financial District food hall.


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    New restaurants in Toronto are part glitz and glam, part old school technique. We now have more sources for handmade momos and tortillas, along with sophisticated small plates of all stripes and high-end steak.

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

    Mother Tongue

    Filipino bar fusion food such as longanisa sandwiches, steak foie gras fried rice, mussels, dumplings and pan de sal now accompanies cocktails under the Templar Hotel in the Entertainment District.

    Regulars

    The folks behind Figures now have this place taking over the Blowfish space at King and Bathurst, festooned with pop art and serving truffle poppers, mac n’ cheese fingers, titanic burgers and even skillet cookies.

    Grand Electric

    There’s now an even more casual taqueria version of the popular Parkdale spot across from Trinity Bellwoods, serving their classic tacos on takeout trays and margaritas and micheladas in plastic cups.

    Le Swan

    Jen Agg may have shuttered Black Hoof but always has something else on the go, this time a project with long-time partner David Grieg that transforms the old West Queen West Swan space into a diner with French flair.

    Seoul Shakers

    It’s been a long time coming, but the Leemo Han project that’s been slated to take over Bloordale’s Holy Oak forever is finally open now, serving food and drink in the dim space transformed into a jungle-like environment.

    Good Hombres

    The folks from Campechano have brought their tortilla-making flair to the College and Bathurst area in the form of this new project.

    Momo Hut

    Greektown may not be necessarily known for Tibetan food, but it has a great representation of the country’s signature dumplings made by hand at this place.

    Blondies

    The Food Dudes are now dishing out made-to-order thin crust pizzas from this little pink building in Leslieville.

    Tokyo Ramen

    Cabbagetown now has a new spot for hot and steamy bowls of Japanese noodle soup just in time for fall.

    Harry’s Steak House

    This ancient steak house in Etobicoke has been made over in a breathtaking way, feeling like a trip back in time with grandiose decor and bistro classics.


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    Budget airline Primera announced that it would abruptly cease operations today, leaving many stranded and grounding all of its planes. 

    After failing to secure long-term investors, the airline, which had operated for 15 years, suddenly terminated all flights.

    Primera offered flights to London and Paris from Toronto for super-low prices, as well as other destinations from other Canadian cities. 

    The airline was supposed to begin new routes to Berlin and Frankfurt starting next year, which have now been cancelled of course. Summer of 2019 would also see new flights from Toronto to Madrid. 

    Anyone with a flight to or from Toronto is now stranded wherever they are visiting with the sudden shuttering of the airline. 

    Luckily, Toronto is host to a ton of other low-cost airlines


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    Another year of all-night arts revelry has come and gone, and those of us who got some sleep can now reflect on the installations at this weekend's Nuit Blanche. 

    This edition of the arts fest might have been the best one to date, for the sole reason that Nuit Blanche expanded to Scarborough for the first time ever in 13 years, and with some of the most engaging installations of the entire event to boot. 

    Taking over the Line 3 Scarborough subway stations, Scarborough Civic Centre, public library, Coliseum Cinema, and Scarborough Town Centre, there was art, performances, and talks operating under the event-wide curatorial theme: "You Are Here." Exhibits drew attention to themes like immigration and black Canadian culture. 

    Turnout was in the thousands, in part due to free subway entrance at the subway stops along the Scarborough RT—which all (except McCowan) featured art from artists like Javid Jah and Shalak Attack.

    Hiba Abdallah's installation "Everything I Wanted To Tell You" projected 250 excerpts of personal stories from Scarborough residents onto the almost 30-metre walls of the Scarborough Civic Centre.   

    nuit blanche toronto

    Cavalier Noir by Ekow Nimako and Director X. Photo by Matt Forsythe.

    Cavalier Noir, made in collaboration with Toronto artists Ekow Nimako and Director X of music video fame from 80,000 lego pieces, was an homage to black Canadians in the Civic Centre. 

    At the loading dock of the centre, performances took place all night including poetry and live performances courtesy of RISE Edutainment, while inside, Indigenous drummers and spoken word artists performed for "Filibuster." 

    Visitors who hit up Scarborough Town Centre saw the mall transform with "Walk Among Worlds," an installation made of 3,000 globes by Spanish artist Máximo González. 

    nuit blanche toronto

    Mirrors of Babel by eL Seed. Photo by Matt Forsythe.

    Bridging the Scarborough installations with the downtown core was a multi-part installation by French-Tunisian artist eL Seed, based on an Arabic translation of a two-part poem by Mohawk poet E. Pauline Johnson. 

    nuit blanche 2018 toronto

    Land To Be by eL Seed. Photo by Hector Vasquez.

    The 13-metre-tall tower "Land to Be" at Yonge-Dundas Square corresponded with another structure and subway station art "Mirrors of Babel" by various artists in Scarborough, in reflection of the dialogue between Indigenous people and Canadian immigrants.

    Back in the downtown core, there was the usual bustle at main event centres, along with some new activations like Continuum, which utilised the bridge at the Eaton Centre for a light show and live circus performances. 

    In Nathan Philips Square, Hendrick's Gin brought its epic hot air balloon back for a second year, allowing some lucky guests a ride on the steampunk-themed attraction. 

    "Unignorable" by United Way drew crowds like moths to flame with its giant orange wall, which was a custom colour developed by the Pantone Color Institute just for the charity. 

    nuit blanche 2018 toronto

    Radical Histories 2012-2018 by Ibrahim Maham. Photo by Hector Vasquez.

    City Hall looked drab with its massive patchwork of jute fabrics, as part of "Radical Histories 2012-2018" by Ibrahim Maham highlighted the economic state of African markets and their relationship with international demand. 

    Further west on Bay St., luminescent purple dragonflies flew overhead Larry Sefton Park as part of Nadine Bariteau's exhibit "Do Angels Exist". 

    The row of cop cars barricading the dance party at Bay and Richmond for Brendan Fernandes' "On Flashing Lights" was an interesting and uneasy tying-in of law enforcement with queer and radicalized communities. 

    And Black Lives Matter was out showing some love with free hugs at Queen and York.

    nuit blanche 2018 toronto

    International Dumpling Festival, organized by Ken Lum. Photo by Hector Vasquez.

    While there were plenty of food trucks and late night eats available, including the fried chicken pop up outside of Henderson Brewing on Sterling Road where the newly opened MOCA also hosted an exhibit, a big highlight was the International Dumpling Festival by Ken Lum.

    Lining the street between Eaton Centre and Old City Hall, six vendors doled out their versions of dumplings in celebration of doughy pockets from all around the world, which ranged from Jamaican patties to pierogies.


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