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    The best cheese shops in Toronto not only dazzle with visually stunning arrays of fancy fine cheeses, they awaken the senses with an aroma unlike any other. Hard, soft, or downright runny, imported or produced here in Ontario, one things for sure: skip the Kraft singles and pre-shredded mozzarella in favour of products from these places. 

    Here are the best cheese shops in Toronto. 

    3 - Cheese Boutique

    There are hundreds of cheeses, three “cheese cave” aging rooms, and thousands of ingredients from around the world in this Ripley Avenue store with decades of history behind it.
    10 - Good Cheese

    Cheese and wine, together at last in one shop in East Chinatown. Not only can you buy a small range of fine cheeses here you can also snack on a board paired with wine or beer right in the store.
    11 - Thin Blue Line

    Roncesvalles has this place that specializes in artisan cheese from Quebec and Ontario and everything that goes with it, like charcuterie, honey and pickles.
    4 - Global Cheese

    Kensington Market has this shop where the samples fly freely, the smells are strong and the lineups snake around the space during the holiday season.
    5 - Grande Cheese Factory Outlet

    This place actually manufactures their own cheese, has five locations in Toronto, Vaughan and Richmond Hill and has been in business since the 50s.
    6 - Olympic Cheese Mart

    This is St. Lawrence Market's source for the best cheese, and that's saying something. Find award winners, Canadian cheeses and deals here.
    7 - International Cheese

    Located on Mulock on the fringes of the Junction, this store handcrafts their own cheeses, mostly Italian varieties like provolone, mozzarella, fior de latte, ricotta and buratta.
    8 - Scheffler's Deli

    This St. Lawrence Market spot is perfect for picking up more than cheese: they also have sheep and water buffalo milk and yogurt, and special seasonal items like rainbow chocolate eggs.
    9 - Pasquale Bros

    This Etobicoke destination is good for stocking up on all kinds of rare and imported specialty food products, not just award-winning cheeses but also truffles, sauces and oils.

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    Free events in Toronto this week welcome ways to enjoy the holiday season without breaking the bank. Holiday Fair in the Square is setting up downtown and the CP Holiday Train is rolling through the city. Light Up the Beach is back and there's a market where everything is free.

    Events you might want to check out:

    Places in History (November 27 @ Stephen Bulger Gallery)
    Legendary photographer Dawoud Bey is famous for having captured Harlem in the 70's and is here to present a new solo exhibition.
    CP Holiday Train (November 29 @ Lambton Yard)
    The famous CP Holiday Train is rolling through the city this week and making a brief stop to for onlookers to gaze at this colourful metal mammoth.
    Light Up the Beach (November 30 @ The Beaches)
    The Beaches gets festive with this annual light display strewn along the boardwalk that makes for a wintery wonderland throughout the season.
    Really Really Free Market (December 1 @ Campbell Park)
    New to you and yours is on at this completely free market with books, clothing, furniture and odds and ends all totally free of charge.
    Holiday Fair In the Square (December 1-23 @ Nathan Phillips Square)
    Nathan Phillips Square transforms into a huge winter carnival with a marketplace, skating, food trucks and entertainment all month long.

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    There's a small patch of Parkdale, just before Queen Street becomes the the Queensway, that was once considered the antique hub of Toronto. 

    The strip ran from around Triller Avenue west right up to Roncesvalles, and locals recall a time when nearly every store sitting on that corner of the street sold their own peculiar stock, like a bustling trade centre of salvaged goods.

    antique stores toronto

    Toronto's western edge of Parkdale was once filled with antique shops. Today there's only a handful left.

    But in 1995, that era came to an end with the extension of the 501 Queen streetcar route. Today, only a handful of those original businesses remain—and many, not for long. 

    Sam (of Sam The Chandelier Man) tells me that his rent just went up $1000 this weekend, meaning he'll soon be closing his disaster zone of a store after 40 years of selling and repairing chandeliers.

    antique stores toronto"Antiques are going down," he says as he scrummages through the tiny claustrophobic space hoarding Tim Horton's cups, rusty screws, and some of the most glamourous chandeliers I've ever seen. 

    "You know what it is, it's capitalism," he says, following a long rant about ripped jeans and tattoos. "This is a confused generation." 

    Not unlike the damage done to the businesses in Corso Italia back when the 512 route was being built, or the woes of Little Jamaica with the current construction of the LRT, the gruelling six months of the 501 construction caused irreversible damage to this unique neighbourhood.

    Some of the oldest sellers never recovered from that drop in foot traffic, today only scraping by on the basis that there aren't many other businesses, maybe even none, that still do what they do. 

    antique stores toronto

    Classic Vintage Audio & Props deals in rare sound systems and repairs.

    Next door to Sam's, Classic Vintage Audio & Props offers cheap repairs on tuners and amps while selling retro sound systems to audio aficionados. Today it's still one of the top stores to buy a turntable in Toronto

    Less obvious is whether James Dy's Antiques & Collectibles is still running. It's unclear whether the store, which supposedly carries a selection of French, gilded furniture, is even open at all. 

    antique stores toronto

    Era Antiques offers a beautiful collection of lighting fixtures and framed art.

    Move further east and you'll find some more street-facing stores, like the refined selection of lighting at Era Antiques

    It's less about the garish here and more about beautiful brass and golden finds for your home. Light fixtures range from Art Deco hanging pendants to rare mid-century table lamps, brought back to shine with a little TLC.

    Those who love the quaint and kitsch will swoon over the cramped space of Old Trunk Antiques.

    antique stores toronto

    Old Trunk Antiques is a cramped cluster of kitschy porcelain objects and old dolls.

    The type of store where crystals and Royal Doulton china shake under heavy footsteps, it's easy to feel like a bumbling elephant here. Tread lightly, or risk toppling over their collections of porcelain and antique toys.

    And at 1698 Queen Antiques (confusingly located at 1702 Queen St. West) you'll find the largest collection of curiosities and 1960s teak furniture, sourced locally and abroad.

    antique stores toronto

    Though it now sits at 1702 Queen St. West,  1698 Queen Antiques is named for its original location next door.

    This 8,000 square-foot store is filled to the brim with furniture like English tufted leather sofas and French armoires, with two rooms in the basement with their own share of rotary telephones, cigar boxes, and a an telephone operators station. 

    Passion For The Past acts as the eastern bounds for the antique area, succumbing mostly to the arrival of newer thrift vintage clothing stores and tattoo shops which have popped up in recent years. 

    antique stores toronto

    You'll find two floors full of artifacts from 1970s and earlier.

    According to a sign on the door, the store's hours will be on-and-off. If you do happen to get lucky, you'll get to peruse their collection of antique jewellery and Chinese eggshell porcelain vases. 

    While there's definitely no shortage of antique stores off of Queen (like Addison's Inc., just north off Roncesvalles) there's a sense of urgency to support this this handful of stores dallying in nostalgia—especially in an era of revered newness—because once they're gone, they're gone forever.

    antique stores toronto

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    Events in Toronto this week are a mix of new and old favourites happening all over the city. Casa Loma is set to turn into a Christmas wonderland and there's a big holiday market in the Junction. A new light therapy room is here and there's lots of free stuff happening, too.

    Events you might want to check out:

    Jiggle Ball (November 26 @ Apt. 200)
    Jiggly fun is on as Toronto bartenders serve up the most creative jello shot concoctions during this fundraiser for Nellie's Shelter.
    John Legend (November 27 @ Sony Centre for the Performing Arts)
    The EGOT winner himself is here to get you in the holiday spirit with his soulful sound as he sings some classic Christmas tunes.
    Aziz Ansari (November 27 @ Roy Thomson Hall)
    Comedian, actor and author Aziz Ansari arrives with his signature brand of high-energy performance style and observational humour.
    Galleria: The Mall That Time Forgot (November 27 @ Open House Bar)
    One of Toronto's most famed malls has finally been immortalized and the book by Shari Kasman is launching alongside drinks, food and prizes.
    Bill and Hillary Clinton (November 27 @ Scotiabank Arena)
    The political power couple themselves arrive for a night of discussion surrounding their long careers in Washington and thoughts on the future.
    Femmes Noires (November 28 @ Art Gallery of Ontario)
    Brooklyn artist Mickalene Thomas arrives for a free talk about her stunning works that rethink female sexuality, beauty and power.
    Light Therapy (November 28 - February 10 @ MOCA Toronto)
    The winter blues need not get you down as Swedish artist Apolonija Sustersic's new installation seeks to replicate a bright and sunny day.
    Videodrunk Film Festival (November 29 - December 1 @ Silver Mill)
    Horror, indie and underground films are all on at this annual festival dedicated to the weird and strange and the best of alternative cinema.
    The Junction Holiday Market (November 30 - December 2 @ Multiple Venues)
    The Junction is hosting a big holiday market with a weekend of musical performances, parties, shopping, activities, food, bonfires and lots more.
    Charlotte Cardin (November 30 @ The Danforth Music Hall)
    The enigmatic Montreal singer Charlotte Cardin embodies both old world soul with a distinct jazz influence and new-age pop and electro sounds.
    Polar Bear Dip (December 1 @ Cherry Beach)
    For all the brave souls out there, the Brainfreeze polar bear dip is back to put the cold in perspective and riase money for your mental health.
    Evergreen's Winter Village (December 1-31 @ Evergreen Brick Works)
    Evergreen Brick Works is once again turning into a winter wonderland with an outdoor skating rink, food, drinks, a holiday market and lots more.
    A Nutcracker Christmas at the Castle (December 1 - January 6 @ Casa Loma)
    Like something out of a fairy tale, Casa Loma is hosting its annual Christmas celebration with dazzling lights, performances and an evening series.
    Pixel and Bristle (December 1-2 @ The Drake Hotel)
    Toronto artists will be on hand for a special design and typography market with prints, cards, gifts, signage, coasters, wall art, bags and more for sale.
    Japanese Winter Festival (December 2 @ Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre)
    Fuyu Matsuri, the JCCC's annual winter festival, returns with a full day of Christmas shopping, activities, food and a special wellness room.

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    Last week, Ontario Transportation Minister Jeff Yurek confirmed that Doug Ford is actually serious about extending Toronto's subway system out into the suburbs.

    Concrete details have yet to be released about the Premier's grand regional transit plan, or where he would find the tens of billions of dollars it would cost to build subway lines to York, Peel and Durham regions while simultaneously reducing Ontario's roughly $14.5 billion budget deficit.

    All we know for sure is that the province intends to take control of the TTC and that Ford once promised "folks in Pickering eventually will be able to hop on a subway and get downtown Toronto."

    Cool. So what would Ford's suburban subway system look like? 

    At least one creative Torontonian has ventured to explore the idea with a new TTC fantasy map that, despite looking pretty real, is rife with hilarious jokes.

    ttc subway suburbs

    The subtle photo background of this Toronto transit fantasy map belies its status as tongue-in-cheek. Image via Redditor u/uarentme

    The two most-obvious additions to Toronto's actual subway map are the orange and purple lines: The Kipling Gravy Train and Rob Ford Memorial Line, respectively.

    In this map, the new Kipling line would shoot straight up from Islington Station and run to the Albion Centre in Etobicoke, where the Ford family famously resides. Among the new stations on this line would be "Eglinton Even Further West." 

    The Rob Ford Memorial Line, named for Dougie's subway-loving younger brother and former Toronto mayor Rob Ford, who passed away in 2016 after leaving an indelible mark on our and our hearts, would run from Etobicoke to Don Mills.

    A "Scarborough Durham Line" would extend all the way to Oshawa (with 100 per cent accessible subway stations!) and the newly-extended Bloor-Mississauga-Brampton Line would end at Shoppers World.

    subway map ttc suburbs

    A version of the map set to scale shows how truly huge an undertaking it would be to extend the TTC out to Oshawa. Image by uarentme on Reddit.

    Conspicuously absent from the new map is Toronto's desperately-needed and long ago promised Downtown Relief Line.

    Click here to see the suburban subway mockup in full (with an enhanced DoFo smile face background!) courtesy of Reddit user u/uarentme.

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    This week on DineSafe, there's no closures to report. However, we learn that multiple vendors at the Toronto Christmas Market landed conditional passes from health inspectors. 

    Discover what other Toronto restaurants got busted this week on DineSafe.

    Wimpy's Diner (3555 St. Clair Ave. East)
    • Inspected on: November 19, 2018
    • Inspection finding: Yellow (Conditional)
    • Number of infractions: 6 (Minor: 3, Significant: 3)
    • Crucial infractions include: N/A
    Caldense Bakery (3497 Dundas St. West)
    • Inspected on: November 20, 2018
    • Inspection finding: Yellow (Conditional)
    • Number of infractions: 4 (Minor: 2, Significant: 1, Crucial: 1)
    • Crucial infractions include: Displayed potentially hazardous foods at internal temperature between 4°C and 60°C.
    Captain's Boil (2655 Yonge St.)
    • Inspected on: November 20, 2018
    • Inspection finding: Yellow (Conditional)
    • Number of infractions: 1 (Significant: 1)
    • Crucial infractions include: N/A
    Healthy Butcher (298 Eglinton St. West)
    • Inspected on: November 20, 2018
    • Inspection finding: Yellow (Conditional)
    • Number of infractions: 5 (Minor: 2, Significant: 3)
    • Crucial infractions include: N/A
    Tone Sushi (414 Queen St. West)
    • Inspected on: November 20, 2018
    • Inspection finding: Yellow (Conditional)
    • Number of infractions: 4 (Minor: 3, Significant: 1)
    • Crucial infractions include: N/A
    Toronto Christmas Market - Maple Leaf Fudge (55 Mill St.)
    • Inspected on: November 20, 2018
    • Inspection finding: Yellow (Conditional)
    • Number of infractions: 2 (Significant: 1, Crucial: 1)
    • Crucial infractions include: Failed to ensure food handler in food premise washes hands as necessary to prevent contamination of food.
    Toronto Christmas Market - Tartistry (55 Mill St.)
    • Inspected on: November 20, 2018
    • Inspection finding: Yellow (Conditional)
    • Number of infractions: 1 (Significant: 1)
    • Crucial infractions include: N/A
    Constantine (15 Charles St. East)
    • Inspected on: November 21, 2018
    • Inspection finding: Yellow (Conditional)
    • Number of infractions: 5 (Minor: 2, Significant: 3)
    • Crucial infractions include: N/A
    Dough Bakeshop (173 Danforth Ave.)
    • Inspected on: November 21, 2018
    • Inspection finding: Yellow (Conditional)
    • Number of infractions: 3 (Minor: 2, Significant: 1)
    • Crucial infractions include: N/A
    Little Piggy's (469 Bloor St. West)
    • Inspected on: November 21, 2018
    • Inspection finding: Yellow (Conditional)
    • Number of infractions: 6 (Minor: 2, Significant: 3, Crucial: 1)
    • Crucial infractions include: Failed to protect food from contamination or adulteration.
    Beaver Cafe (1192 Queen St. West)
    • Inspected on: November 22, 2018
    • Inspection finding: Yellow (Conditional)
    • Number of infractions: 5 (Minor: 4, Significant: 1)
    • Crucial infractions include: N/A
    Canbe Foods (1760 Ellesmere Rd.)
    • Inspected on: November 22, 2018
    • Inspection finding: Yellow (Conditional)
    • Number of infractions: 5 (Significant: 2, Crucial: 3)
    • Crucial infractions include: Maintained potentially hazardous foods at internal temperature between 4°C and 60°C, failed to protect food from contamination or adulteration, and failed to ensure food handler in food premise washes hands as necessary to prevent contamination of food.
    Nuit Social (1168 Queen St. West)
    • Inspected on: November 22, 2018
    • Inspection finding: Yellow (Conditional)
    • Number of infractions: 3 (Minor: 2, Significant: 1)
    • Crucial infractions include: N/A
    Kanpai (252 Carlton St.)
    • Inspected on: November 23, 2018
    • Inspection finding: Yellow (Conditional)
    • Number of infractions: 3 (Minor: 2, Significant: 1)
    • Crucial infractions include: N/A
    Laibela Cuisine (869 Bloor St. West)
    • Inspected on: November 23, 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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    Store managers in most of downtown Toronto will no longer need to wait (hours and hours) for police to arrive after apprehending a shoplifter.

    At least not until the beginning of May — or longer, if a new Toronto Police pilot project called Shop Theft is found to be a success.

    Introduced at the beginning of November, the program allows "privately employed theft prevention officers" (ie; mall security) to release an accused shoplifter right away after calling police to record details of the incident.

    There are, of course, restrictions pertaining to who can be released without charge. Alleged offenders must be at least 18 years old, have identification on them, be accused of stealing less than $1,000 worth of items and be considered non-violent.

    Cops will also show up,  according to The Star, "if any party asks for police attending."

    Previous to this, both store workers and alleged thieves would need to wait for police to arrive at the store and prosecute on site, which could take a really long time as most shoplifting calls are deemed low-priority.

    Shop Theft is part of the police service's modernization efforts, meant to free up officers for more pressing situations and make things more efficient.

    This doesn't mean stealers get off scot-free, though.

    Those released through Shop Theft won't be charged right away, but police do reserve the right to charge them later, depending on the circumstances of the crime.

    Further to that, keeping accused shoplifters out of the criminal justice system could open them up to civil demands (read: stores could sue accused thieves for the cost of missing goods, whether they're found guilty of shoplifting or not.) 

    For now, the program is only being tested as a six-month pilot in TPS divisions 51 and 52 — so, basically everywhere south of Bloor Street between Spadina Avenue and the Don River.

    If all goes well, the Toronto Police Service will consider rolling out Shop Theft across all city divisions.

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    Free events in Toronto for December 2018 are here to save you money for gift shopping. Kensington Market is having a huge winter solstice celebration and The Bentway is ready for a season of skating. Ring in the New Year downtown and catch some Christmas flicks—all for free!

    Events you might want to check out:

    Old Town Toronto Cavalcade of Lights (December 1 @ Berczy Park)
    Huddle up with a hot cider or chocolate and listen to some jazz as the St. Lawrence Market neighbourhood hosts its annual lighting ceremony.
    Holiday Fair in the Square (December 1-23 @ Nathan Phillips Square)
    Nathan Phillips Square transforms into a huge winter carnival with a marketplace, skating, food trucks and entertainment all month long.
    Evergreen's Winter Village (December 1-31 @ Evergreen Brick Works)
    Evergreen Brick Works is once again turning into a winter wonderland with an outdoor skating rink, food, drinks, a holiday market and lots more.
    Winter Flower Show (December 2 - January 9 @ Multiple Venues)
    The warmth of Toronto's greenhouses are a break from the cold made better by a winter flower show, opening alongside activities, singing and apple cider.
    Lavender (December 8 @ Glad Day Bookshop)
    Toronto's queer community is back with a huge, inclusive holigay dance party that's $5/pwyc/no one will be turned away due to lack of funds.
    Hot Docs for the Holidays (December 14-31 @ Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema)
    Catch all the Christmas classics at this donation-based special series that includes Love Actually, White Christmas, It's a Wonderful Life and more.
    DJ Skate Nights (December 15 - February 16 @ Harbourfront Centre)
    You don't have to be a pro to take it to the ice during these weekly skating parties, featuring local artists curating all the best tunes.
    Kensington Market Winter Solstice (December 21 @ Kensington Market)
    The longest night gets a big celebration with this annual parade and party with a big fire show, costumes, performances and more.
    The Bentway Skate Trail Opening Weekend (December 21-23 @ The Bentway)
    One of the city's newest public spaces is back for the skating with an opening weekend celebration featuring bonfires, blankets, cider and more.
    New Year’s Eve at Nathan Phillips Square (December 31 @ Nathan Phillips Square)
    Ring in the new year at this annual New Year's Eve party with a speculator fireworks display, skating, music and live performances.

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    Brace yourselves for a terrible, horrible, frigid winter, Toronto. 

    It's looking more and more like the season is going to be both colder and longer than normal. 

    Not only that, March is looking like it'll warm up a bit and give us false hope for spring, only to plunge again and remain cold for a while. 

    According to the Weather Network, the El Nino-based weather patterns that bring warm air to Canada will warm the western half of the country. For the east (including Toronto), however, it often has the inverse effect. 

    We've already seen colder than normal temperatures for the past few weeks, and that's going to continue getting worse heading into December. 

    However, there is one positive prediction from the forecasting network: there is going to be less than average snowfall for most of the winter. 

    If you hate being wet and slushy but don't mind the cold, this is the winter for you. If you are the opposite, well, there's always next year. 

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    Stress is no stranger to any of us, and in a big city like Toronto, it's easy to get overwhelmed. Luckily, mindfulness is getting more popular than ever, so there's a handful of new spots in the city that'll help you get those cortisol levels back in control with exercises for the mind, the body, and maybe a soothing elixir or two.

    Here are some new places in Toronto that might make the stress go away. 


    From the grounding effects of the Himalayan salt cave to the tranquillity of the Light and Dark rooms, this meditation hub on King West is somehow futuristic, yet incredibly homey at the same time. And surprisingly, it doesn't cost an arm and a leg for sessions here.

    Dew Sweat House

    Expel all those stressful thoughts straight out of your pores at this spa on Gerrard East, where self-care equals sweating. Wrap yourself in an infrared blanket, sip on some H20 and watch your favourite Netflix show in this 55-minute, $50 sweat sesh.


    Technology doesn't always equate to Instagram and the Twittersphere: this 'brain gym' in Yorkville offers guided multi-sensory meditations in their zero-gravity Stillness Pods. It's $20 for a 25-minute session, plus drop-in classes that'll help you with crappy feelings like fatigue. 


    Sometimes you just want sit down and space out while looking at an infinity mirror, you know? The ambience at this wellness-focused cafe is incredibly chilled out (it's also filled with healing crystals) and they offer hearty, healthy food and drink for all weary travelers. 


    Don't expect to be sitting on your butt for this one. Nearly all studies on stress point to intense, physical workouts to reduce those negative feelings, and this gym on Richmond Street will give you just that. Drop in for a class of Bolo Boxing and revel in those post-workout vibes.

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    Of all the things a professional photographer aspires to be known for, "projectile vomit" isn't usually one of them—but you can't pick and choose what the people devour, even when what they're devouring is puke.

    Toronto photographer Nick Wons struck accidental internet gold this weekend while shooting for pleasure along Queen Street West, just outside The Dime near Bathurst Street.

    Wons says he was out with some friends when, around 9:30 p.m., someone randomly walked into his shot. That person happened to be throwing up in spectacular fashion at the time, which is why the artist has since nicknamed him "Chucky."

    In the roughly 18 hours since then, the photo has racked up more than 1.2 million views and 137,000 upvotes on Reddit alone.

    Just shot my first street photography photo where somebody randomly walked into frame projectile vomiting. from r/pics

    "It's pretty wild. Really it is," says Wons of the picture's virality. "I've had some hobby photos get a bunch of features and attention... but nothing like this."

    And that's saying a lot, given that he's shot Angelina Jolie, George Clooney and Tom Hardy (among other superstars) over the course of his roughly 10-year-long career behind the lens.

    At least 60 people have contacted Wons since the photo hit Reddit's front page to request a print, though he predicts the number will be a lot higher as he looks through the mountains of messages waiting for him.

    "It's a cool feeling," he says. "I'm thankful that I was able to find photography and turn it from a hobby to a full blown career and not lose my love for it... As we can see, the streets have no shortage of moments to keep me on my toes."


    Speaking of toes, a lot of people are asking today about the dog in the photograph. Did he get puked on?

    "NO! Absolutely not," says Wons, noting that "the dog licked the puke, because, dogs."

    "Doggo was totally unharmed," he continued. "If anything I think it might have been the most excited out of everybody." (Probably for the free snack.)

    toronto puke dog

    Redditors are most concerned for the safety and cleanliness of this dog, who narrowly avoided a puke shower in Toronto on Sunday night. Photo by Nick Wons.

    The man throwing up seemed okay too, says Wons. Chucky simply wiped his face and went into the night "scented with a subtle hint of stomach contents."

    Whether or not the puker knows of his newfound fame remains to be seen. The photo is blurred enough that his face can't be made out, so it's up to him to come forward if he so chooses.

    Wons, for his part, continues to be blown away by the accolades for his work.

    "This is why you always have you camera on, ready to go, and shoot in burst mode," he jokes. "Your next photo could very well land on the front page of the internet."

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    In less than a week, one of Toronto’s best Mexican restaurants will be closing its doors.

    The space home to Los Colibris, El Caballito and El Patio at 220 King West will be shuttered sometime in December.

    A letter sent out to employees on November 6 stated that employees would have less than a month to look for work, as their employment would officially be terminated on December 1. 

    According to the letter, the King Street Pilot Project in combination with higher property taxes are to blame.

    “In as many cases as possible, we will attempt to make alternative arrangements for the impacted employees and will keep you apprised of our efforts,” the letter states.

    However, it continues, “We remain hopeful that we will be able to present you with a new alternative quickly, but we would nevertheless urge you to take whatever measures necessary to locate employment elsewhere.”

    It’s not the first time Toronto restaurant employees have had the rug pulled out from under them, but that doesn’t mean it stings any less.

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    The much-anticipated food court in Union Station is now finally open to the public.

    You can now find everything from fast food chains like McDonald’s and Pizza Pizza to local fare such as Roywoods in the 25,000-square-foot emporium.

    Patrons packed the food court’s 600 seats on opening day, white bucket chairs intermingling with dark wood tabletops under clustered light fixtures resembling giant white mushroom caps or fluffy clouds.

    There are more diverse options in this development that expands the range of cuisines now on offer in the station, including Shanghai 360, Bangkok Buri, Loaded Pierogi and Paramount Fine Foods. The food court hosts 10 vendors in total.

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    The best shepherd’s pie in Toronto brings an age-old stick-to-your-ribs portable meal to our modern times. Maybe you haven’t been out herding sheep all day, but you’ve been on your grind enough to deserve a meal like this.

    Here’s the best shepherd’s pie in Toronto.

    8 - Irish Embassy

    The cottage pie at this popular Irish pub in the Financial District is made with Ontario beef, peas, corn, and roasted garlic mashed potatoes.
    10 - The Wicket

    The traditional shepherd's pie at this spot on Bloor between Dundas and Keele is kept simple, made with ground lamb and just a little bit of cheese.
    7 - The Pour House

    Lamb and beef braised in red wine, rustic veggies, mashed potatoes and beef gravy come together for the pie at this Annex pub at Dupont and Davenport.
    9 - The Roy

    Carrots, peas, corn and naturally-raised beef swim in a thick gravy under homemade mashed potatoes in the shepherd's pie at this Leslieville mainstay.
    6 - The Peacock Public House

    The shepherd's pie at this multi-level English pub in Little Italy is actually vegetarian by default, with roast button mushrooms in place of meat, accompanied by mash and English buttered peas.
    11 - The Caledonian

    A Scottish steak pie is similar to a shepherd's pie at this Little Italy place, with puff pastry in addition to the usual mash, hand-cut top sirloin with stout and root veg providing the stewy filling.
    3 - Stout Irish Pub

    Garlic mashed potatoes are stacked on top of braised lamb shoulder and top sirloin beef stew with carrot, rutabaga, parsnip and celery root in a cylinder topped with crispy onions at this Cabbagetown pub.
    4 - C'est What

    Lamb and veggie casserole is topped with smashed roasted red potatoes and Gruyere at this public house on Front near Church, where you just might get a side of live entertainment along with your shepherd’s pie.
    5 - Black Dog Pub

    The shepherd's pie with sweet corn, carrot, onion and celery at this classic spot on Island Road in Scarborough’s Rouge Hill neighbourhood rocks as much as the Led Zeppelin song this pub shares a name with.

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    Christmastime is just around the corner and John Legend is here to get you in the holiday spirit during events in Toronto. Bill and Hillary Clinton are also dropping by for a chat, and a new book about one of the city's most storied malls is launching. 

    Events you might want to check out:

    John Legend (November 27 @ Sony Centre for the Performing Arts)
    The EGOT winner himself is here to get you in the holiday spirit with his soulful sound as he sings some classic Christmas tunes.
    Se7en (November 27 @ TIFF Bell Lightbox)
    A series of films by cinematographer Darius Khondji begins with the 1995 crime drama Se7en starring a young a feisty Brad Pitt and a mystery box.
    Bill and Hillary Clinton (November 27 @ Scotiabank Arena)
    The political power couple themselves arrive for a night of discussion surrounding their long careers in Washington and thoughts on the future.
    Galleria: The Mall That Time Forgot (November 27 @ Open House Bar)
    One of Toronto's most famed malls has finally been immortalized and the book by Shari Kasman is launching alongside drinks, food and prizes.
    Places in History (November 27 @ Stephen Bulger Gallery)
    Legendary photographer Dawoud Bey is famous for having captured Harlem in the 70's, and is here to present a new solo exhibition.
    True Stories Toronto (November 27 @ Garrison)
    The final instalment of this storytelling series is going down, with host Marsha from and local orators telling fascinating tales.
    The Walrus Talks The Future of the Arts (November 27 @ Koerner Hall)
    What does the future hold for the arts? The Walrus is looking ahead with a showcase of the writers, performers, musicians and thinkers discussing the topic.
    Cloud Nothings (November 27 @ The Opera House)
    Music for a moody rainy day arrives with punk rockers who have kept their sound as rough as lead singer Dylan Baldi's vocals.
    Bob's Burger Trivia (November 27 @ Beaver Cafe)
    Do you remember the name of Teddy's boat? Well you'd better, because this trivia night is for hardcore Bob's fans only and includes an Erotic Friend Fiction open mic.
    Obaaberima (November 27 - December 9 @ Buddies in Bad Times)
    A complex tale of freedom and confinement, this play by Tawiah M'Carthy weaves a complex tale of gender, race and sexuality using music and dance.

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    Nestled between a condo building and post-war row houses is this former community centre, which was transformed into a single family residence.53 argyle street torontoThe entrance hallway has soaring ceilings and light filtering in from the skylights. It’s tall enough that the current owners installed a basketball net for a quick game of hoops even when there’s snow outside.

    53 argyle street torontoThe main floor is open concept with lots of natural light.

    53 argyle street torontoThere’s a huge kitchen and dining area, as well as a couple sitting rooms for people to lounge around. It’s a great space to have everyone together but not on top of each other.

    53 argyle street torontoThere are six bedrooms on the second and third floor of the house. All are spacious with lots of closet and storage space.

    53 argyle street torontoThe home also has five bathrooms, some of which are en suite bathrooms. So, there’s plenty of showers to go around.

    53 argyle street torontoThere’s even more room in the basement with an extra kitchen, and a rec room that’s been transformed into a studio space by the current owners.

    53 argyle street torontoAs for outdoor space, there’s a lovely courtyard with an outdoor kitchen and lots of room for seating.53 argyle street toronto

    Good For

    Commune-style living. There’s plenty of bedrooms, bathrooms, and living space, there’s even two kitchens. It’s the perfect place for unconventional living.53 argyle street toronto

    Move On If

    You’re looking for a more traditional home. Because this house was transformed from a community centre into a home, there are elements to this house that are quirky. For example, there’s a urinal in one of the bathrooms.53 argyle street toronto

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    Toronto is home to some truly iconic landmarks, and a local artist is capturing them perfectly with her tiny illustrations. 

    Natalie Czerwinski has been turning all the city's favourite buildings, businesses, and animals into precious prints for the past three years, and her illustrations are absolutely delightful. 

    Using a mix of watercolour paints, ink, and pencil crayons, she's documented countless buildings and sold them on her site as postcards, stickers, and notebooks. 

    "I just started illustrating places and storefronts that mean a lot to me: Bitondo's, Moonbean Coffee, the fruit market at the corner of Bloor and Manning," says Czerwinski.

    "I started posting on my Instagram and found that some of these places resonated with people as well." 

    Her website includes world famous buildings like the ROM, St. Lawrence Market, theatres like the Royal Cinema or the Kingsway, some of the best libraries in the city, and even some major downtown intersections. 

    She's also painted other local legends that have defined the city for years.

    You can find small prints of neighbourhood staples like the now-TV famous Kim's Convenience, Allan Gardens, Sneaky Dee's, and Queen West's mainstay music venue The Rex.

    Plus there are odes to heroes who have come and gone: you can order quaint illustrations of the now-closed Condom Shack, Sam The Record Man, and of course, Honest Ed's, off Czerwinski's website.

    "...That connection to places that a lot of us feel, that's really inspired [me] to illustrate more and more of these spaces and try and capture that storefront, or that stretch of a street, or that landmark that means a lot to us," she says.

    But perhaps the best part is that Czerwinski's art isn't limited to buildings.

    Her illustrations also include some of Toronto's most iconic animals, namely stickers of Raccoon City's beloved trash pandas and the majestic Ikea Monkey—legends.

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    There isn't a basic text logo on Earth with more cultural cachet than Supreme's right now.

    Founded in 1994, the ​​​​​​New York-based skateboard and streetwear brand epitomizes hype—more and more so with each passing year, it seems, to the point where people now line up for Supreme merchandise drops at ten times the volume they do for iPhones.

    Part of this can be attributed to design and smart collaborations. An even larger part can be explained by more than a century of sociological and economic theory. (What's up, Thorstein Veblen?)

    Most experts agree, however, that when it comes to Supreme, it's a case of manufactured exclusivity.

    Everything Supreme sells from its 11 official stores worldwide is limited (read: produced only once and in very small numbers) and can sell for as much as 40 times the original retail price—if you can get your hands on it at all.

    "By limiting the supply of these items, they've created a huge demand," says Adam Osman of the Toronto-based streetwear retailer UNDRAFTD. "People want what they can't easily get. This demand allows for secondary resale markets to profit upwards of 200 per cent on an item."

    It's this secondary market where so much opportunity lies for the entrepreneurs like Osman, his partners, and a growing number of Torontonians who focus on, as he puts it, "reselling legitimate items."

    Brick and mortar stores that sell new Supreme goods are indeed hard to find in this city (though you can find some, like Kenshi).

    Used items can be found in person at streetwear consignment shops like Rerun or Essential Toronto, though they still pack a hefty price tag.

    Supreme Box Logo Crewneck sz L - $900

    A post shared by Rerun Toronto ( on

    Some Canadians pick up Supreme duds from the U.S. via reseller sites like eBay and Grailed (where a coveted box logo hoodie will cost you more than $1,000 in Canadian currency). Others shop abroad and bring back clothing from Tokyo or Paris.

    Individual sellers and vendors like UNDRAFTD, which do most of their sales through Instagram, Facebook groups, forums, and Kijiji have been changing the game in recent years by allowing people here in Toronto to buy the stuff they want directly.

    The direct-to-consumer via social media is not a new business model for streetwear resellers, but it's popularity has exploded over the past few years.

    Shoes and clothing are one thing, but people are actually scouring hashtags like #supremetoronto (and paying hundreds, if not thousands of dollars) for random, everyday items emblazoned with Supreme's simple, Krugeresque red and white logo.

    A $260 bike lock? Hypebeasts will buy it.

    Supreme KYRPTONITE bike lock BNIB deadstock $260

    A post shared by all things hype (@undraftd) on

    A small inflatable blimp for $150 CAD? Why not.

    Supreme inflatable blimp Deadstock $OLD

    A post shared by all things hype (@undraftd) on

    A freaking ad on the cover of the New York Post for $25? Sure thing.

    A lot of these random household and decorative items happen to be deadstock—which once meant "not being made anymore" but more recently has come to denote "brand-new, unopened, unworn, tags are still on, etc.," according to Osman. 

    Deadstock items are more valuable than used items, which might be why so many people are shelling out say, $250 for playing dice. Or $70 for the type of mini-flashlight you can get for free at literally any conference.

    Supreme nitecore mini red flashlight Deadstock $70

    A post shared by all things hype (@undraftd) on

    "Unused items make them more valuable and, more importantly, maximize reseller profits," says Osman, which makes sense if a buyer's intention is simply to flip an item for more money.

    Some people simply want to make Supreme grails in their bedrooms (and hey, no judgment here. I've got overpriced Sailor Moon stuff all over mine).

    Whatever the case, there's a market for this stuff in our own backyard. A big, red, intentionally conspicuous one.

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    Today in absolutely vicious public teardowns, a Toronto-based band has announced its demise in what might be the most entertaining breakup letter of all time.

    Witchrot is a self-described "doom, metal, psych, sludge, stoner, Satan" rock band hailing from the 6ix.

    Or at least it was, until one band member found out that another band member had slept with his girlfriend.

    "Due to the unfortunate reality of our guitarist f*cking my girlfriend of almost 7 years WITCHROT will be taking an extended hiatus," reads a letter posted to the band's Facebook page signed simply by "Peter."

    witchrot breakup letter

    Video footage can be found on YouTube of Witchrot performing at local music venues such as the Bovine Sex Club. Image via Bandcamp.

    Peter goes on to say that, while Witchrot in its current capacity is finished, he hopes to continue their work down the road.

    "Being ripe with hate, the music is slowly flowing and without a doubt will become the most devastating, torturous music I have ever created," he wrote. "Thanks for the support, stay heavy."

    Then, almost as an afterthought, he drops the line: "Also our drummer died."

    The latter remark has not been confirmed, and Witchrot has yet to respond to a request for comment through their publicly listed contact information.

    The guitarist, however.... well, a photo attached to the Facebook post suggests that he did in fact just lose both a band and an instrument.

    It's a bad day for Witchrot's former guitar player, maybe, but a good day for visibility as a band, whose biting Facebook status has now been viewed almost 7,000 times and continues to attract comments from around the world.

    "Hope our band’s breakup is as metal as this," wrote one commenter, tagging a friend.

    "I feel for ya Pete," wrote another. "But I have to admit the image in my mind is you swinging that sweet Hagstrom (which didn't deserve this) at the offending guitarist and accidentally killing your drummer. Please say that's not the case."

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    Restaurants in the Distillery District both represent Toronto to those passing through one of the city’s most tourist-friendly neighbourhoods, and offer a cobblestone path to an escape for us living here. Seafood, French, Spanish and even a whole brewery await in this histoical area.

    Here are my picks for the top restaurants in the Distillery District.


    Molecular takes on Spanish tapas are on offer at this elegant and sophisticated restaurant.


    French bistro fare and quaint design at this restaurant fit right in with the old-world feel of the Distillery District.

    El Catrin

    Mexican food gets an upscale, modern treatment at this comfortable restaurant with signature oversized light fixtures glowing overhead.

    Pure Spirits

    This is the place to get oysters, seafood, steak, pasta and cocktails in this part of town.

    Mill St. Brewpub

    This sprawling pub is home to one of Toronto’s most well known beer brands and has great bar snacks to boot.

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