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    Free events in Toronto this week are full of festive fun without the hefty price tag. Celebrate Festivus with a free Christmas jam or dance it out at the holi-gay edition of Lavender. There's a free movie and also free Japanese souffle pancakes to be had.

    Events you might want to check out:

    Garage Baby's Triple X-Mas Show (December 7 @ Painted Lady)
    It's a PWYC punk rock Christmas with Garage Baby and Parks at Night with Bad Santa and Mrs. Claws on hand to ring in the season.
    Free Chocolate Lava Souffle Pancakes (December 7-8 @ Fuwa Fuwa Japanese Pancakes)
    Fuwa Fuwa is opening a second location and celebrating with a two-day give-away of their raspberry chocolate lava shuffle pancakes.
    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.
    Santa With Muscles (December 9 @ Handlebar)
    Handlebar is getting in the holiday spirit with a free screening of one of the worst Christmas movies ever made starring Hulk Hogan as a beefy Santa.
    Holiday Encounters (December 9 @ Gladstone Melody Bar)
    A yuletide get down is on with SlowPitchSound on hand to remix all the Christmas classics into something different and fresh.

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    The best salvaged and reclaimed furniture in Toronto comes via design stores heavily concentrated in the Junction and dedicated to pre-loved pieces. Worn doesn’t necessarily mean torn, so you’re bound to find rustic tables and chairs aplenty in good condition at these stylish stores.

    Here are the best places for salvaged and reclaimed furniture in Toronto.

    11 - Metropolis Living

    This sprawling store and event venue in the Castlefield Design District is perfect for anyone trying to get some commissioned pieces made, regardless how daring they might seem. They've also got tons of industrial lights, Canadian tables, and a cool collection of vintage items.
    4 - The Art of Demolition

    Lovers of retro, reclaimed finds will love this cozy store located in the Junction. The variety ranges from down right cheap to pricey home accessories for the moneyed buyer.
    5 - Door Store

    Yes, this Castlefield Design District store sells doors—duh—but it also dabbles in other types of hardware like handles, knobs, and screws, to spruce up your old pieces.
    6 - Rebarn

    This store in the Junction Triangle has a thing for barns. Stripping the wood from old farm barns around Ontario to make rustic, sanded-down tables and custom sliding barn doors.
    8 - Urban Tree Salvage

    Dedicated to rescuing wood from the landfill or from becoming mulch, this store right by Warden station specializes in handcrafted pieces into tables that you can customize from its base to the wood.
    7 - The Barn Board Store

    Theres more barn wood here at this showroom by Don Mills and O’Connor. You can grab a whole board here to experiment with yourself, otherwise they’ll make you some spectacular live-edge furniture from scratch.
    9 - Forever Interiors

    Custom kitchen islands with cabinets made from reclaimed wood are just some of the rustic things coming out of this store in the Junction also packed with benches and coffee tables.
    10 - Williams Design

    There's a huge mix of antique finds at this little store in the Junction, from old school plastic animal skulls to mid-century chairs. They’ve got a warehouse in the States, which holds the rest of the unique items not found in the store.
    3 - Smash

    Resurrecting large pieces like hulking couches and tables from the dead, this antique shop in the Junction has an incredibly interesting collection of rarities to choose from.

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    Toronto businesses that closed in November included some sad surprises, from some beloved neighbourhood staples to a couple of supposed victims of the King Street Pilot Project. 

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

    Black Rock Coffee

    What was meant to be a companion coffee shop to the rock-climbing gym attached to it closed on November 13 because it had "become unsustainable to operate," according to its owners. Rumour has it that this space in Koreatown will soon become yet another bubble tea shop for the 'hood.

    Boralia

    This restaurant on Ossington that paid tribute to 100-year-old Canadian recipes closed on November 10 after four years in business. Its owners, a husband-and-wife team, decided to end the venture due to ever-increasing rent and a new addition to the family on the way.

    Flip, Toss & Thai

    A staple sight on Harbord Street for 17 years, this mostly take-out Thai kitchen shut down on November 14, as its owners decided to retire. An Indian spot is rumoured to be taking over the space.

    High Park Juicery

    Open for only a little over a year and a half, this organic juice bar in Bloor West Village that also sold açai bowls, salads and soups closed its doors permanently. 

    Los Colibris & El Caballitos 

    These Mexican restaurant on King West in the Entertainment District were forced to close its doors at the end of November, notifying its employees earlier in the month. Owners blamed the closure on the King Street Pilot Project and higher property taxes.

    Maki My Way

    Claiming to be another victim of the King Street Pilot Project was this build-your-own sushi joint in the Entertainment District that shuttered last month.

    People's Eatery

    Inspired by the history of its neighbourhood, this restaurant on Spadina in Chinatown mixed global influences in its dishes. After over four years in business, it served its last plate on November 2.

    Sarah's Shawarma & Falafel

    This shawarma and falafel spot in the Annex was a long-time staple of the neighbourhood for hungry and/or hungover students. Sadly, it changed ownership in the last few months and the quality of food went downhill. It will soon be replaced by a Chinese rice noodle restaurant.


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    New restaurants in Toronto continue to wow us. This month, we got upscale twists on smoked meats, bao, Italian, tacos, pizza and teriyaki. 

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

    Viaggio

    The folks behind The Commodore chart a new, more focused path with a tight menu of Italian plates at this chic corner Brocktown Village restaurant once home to Branca.

    Sakai Bar

    Brockton Village finally has a late night spot next to the Baby G, albeit serving uppercrust fare like steak bavette and teriyaki trout. 

    The Opium Bar

    Juicy bao and noodles now have a home at Dundas and Dovercourt where they’re sure to contend with other options for bar goers. 

    Virtuous Pie

    Vegan pizza and ice cream have landed in Little Italy in the form of this Vancouver export.

    Cumin Kitchen

    High-end Indian has brand new representation on Danforth East at this colourful restaurant.

    Playa Cabana Zocalo

    This Blansdowne spot has gone back to the drawing board with the tacos and margaritas that have proved popular at other Playa Cabana locations instead of the Filipino served at this spot’s previous incarnation as Dolly’s.

    Bootleg Smokehouse

    A refined take on smoked meats is now available at this restaurant near King and Spadina also serving classic bold cocktails. 

    Chicken in the Kitchen

    Volcano Chicken served with a rose sauce and bread bowl has finally arrived at this Yonge and Finch location of a Korean chain in Toronto.

    Casa Fuego

    Peruvian and Argentinian cuisine come together with dishes like steak and ceviche on the menu at this Entertainment District restaurant on the lower level of Copacabana.

    Louix Louis

    On the 31st floor of the St.Regis in the Financial District, this fancy new dining destination is serving cocktails and meaty bistro dishes. 


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    The BT21 pop-up store at Scarborough Town Centre is already closed just two days after opening, and The Army is not happy. 

    Since opening to a massive crowds early Friday morning, the store selling merchandise from the collaboration between K-pop boy band BTS and Line Friends has seen thousands of mega fans—a.k.a. The Army—lining up to get inside. 

    Apparently, the force was too strong, as the pop-up unexpectedly announced last night that they would closed until next weekend. 

    "Due to overwhelming support we will be closing the shop but we will open again next weekend with MORE CUSHIONS. Make sure to come by!" said a tweet from Universal Music.

    A bunch of people who didn't get the memo showed up at the store to buy VAN plush dolls and CHIMMY pillows today, only to find it eerily desolate. 

    It's not very clear whether the store will be re-opening at its same location at STC, or if they're headed elsewhere (Alexa: play Let Me Know by BTS). What is known is the Army is not pleased. 

    Now, people are demanding that the store re-open somewhere closer to the downtown core (like Yonge and Dundas, maybe) which might be easier for out-of-towners, who evidently made the long trek to check out the store. 

    Others are saying Toronto should just have its own permanent location. 

    When the pop-up first opened Friday, people also noted that the stock was a slim pickin's considering much of the merch is already available at Hot Topic. 

    It seems they underestimated the dedication of the Toronto Army. 


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    Events in Toronto this week are a smorgasbord of parties, music, markets, film and holiday fun. There's a Christmas market on at the Serpentine Pavilion and the Krampus Ball is coming. Christmas classic Die Hard is screening and lots of free stuff happening as well.

    Events you might want to check out:

    Alec Baldwin (December 3 @ Roy Thomson Hall)
    Funny, talented, problematic. Whatever you want to call him, actor Alec Baldwin is a man of many faces and he's here for an evening of laughs.
    Jessie Reyez (December 3 @ The Danforth Music Hall)
    Brampton's talented Jessie Reyez hasn't slowed down since her hit "Figures" and move towards the international spotlight.
    Hoppy Holidays (December 4 @ Berkeley Church)
    The holidays are for hops and this annual beer festival is back with lots of brews and other libations on tap for the tasting.
    Basement Revue (December 4-27 @ Longboat Hall)
    Jason Collett's annual music festival is back with four nights of performances featuring supers guests that include some of Canada's most beloved artists.
    Parquet Courts (December 5 @ The Danforth Music Hall)
    New York's Parquet Courts have massed a loyal following this side of the border, in part for their indie rock tunes that embody a classic sound.
    AGO First Thursday (December 6 @ Art Gallery of Ontario)
    You're the art at this First Thursday jam that includes a night of performances visuals, music, drinks and food all over the gallery.
    A Christmas Carol (December 6 @ TIFF Bell Lightbox)
    Back again is this holiday tradition of a screening of Todd Haynes' Carol, a Christmas Carol-oke and Carol-themed activities.
    King Winter Market (December 7-21 @ Serpentine Pavilion)
    Toronto's most unusual visiting structure is hosting a Christmas market with vendors, trees, festivity activities and more all month long.
    Die Hard (December 7-23 @ Cinesphere)
    Sweaty Bruce Willis and terrorist Alan Rickman go at it among guns, violence and Christmas cheer in this action classic that's in the U.S. National Archives.
    Krampus Ball (December 7 @ The Opera House)
    Don't pack away your Halloween costume just yet, as this annual Christmas funhouse party will see all types of strange creatures roaming about.
    Long Winter (December 8 @ Polish Combatants Hall)
    Toronto's thriving underground DJ community is ready to keep you warm and dancing with a night of tunes, art, drinks and more.
    Black Owned Holiday Market (December 8 @ Enercare Centre, Hall C)
    Back again is this huge market with local Black-owned businesses selling a ton of goodies alongside music, performances, food and more.
    Toronto Fan Days Holiday Show (December 8 @ Metro Toronto Convention Centre)
    All things comics, toys, art, collectibles and lots more is on at this huge one-day Fan Expo holiday market with a spotlight on Doctor Who.
    Pink Xmas (December 8-9 @ The 519 Community Centre)
    Come out and support local queer makers at this annual holiday art, craft, fashion and lit fair featuring over 50 LGBTQ artists.
    The Internet (December 9 @ Rebel)
    Innovators of the trip-hop scene, this group flexes an eclectic sound that incorporates both classic R&B vibes and experimental elements.

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    Ontario is fortunate to call dozens of amazing light shows home, but few can do it as good as this. 

    Upper Canada Village, near Ottawa, puts on a light show so spectacular it will blow you away.

    The holiday event, titled Alight at Night, absolutely blankets the attraction in lights. According to event organizers, over 1 million lights are used. 

    The event consists of a trail more than a kilometre long, weaving through a village of 19th century buildings. 

    New this year is a vintage merry-go-round from 1965, complete with the classic carousel horses. 

    Returning attractions include horse-drawn wagon rides, a toy train that will cart you around the light-filled festival, and more. 

    It is, of course, a bit of a trek from Toronto, but it's absolutely worth it for one of the best holiday events ever.

    Alight at Night opened this weekend, and will run through January 5. Hours of operation vary, so check the website!


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    After announcing some changes to Ontario's liquor laws two weeks ago, the PC government has now extended the opening hours of LCBO locations and Beer Stores across the province. 

    As of Sunday, December 2, this new policy allows liquor sales at retail locations to open until 11 p.m., seven days a week. Previously, the limit was 9 p.m. and earlier on weekends.

    The policy is part of the provincial government's Plan for the People, which also includes capping minimum wage and cancelling rebate programs.

    The PC party has also said they plan to allow retail alcohol sales in places like convenience stores, but there is no word on how or when that will happen yet. 


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    This week on DineSafe, we learn that some of Toronto's best spots for ramen, late-night Chinese and gluten-free eats landed conditional passes upon inspection. Some even managed to rack up a staggering seven infractions. Yikes!

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

    Hakka Wow (1433 Gerrard St. East)
    • Inspected on: November 26, 2018
    • Inspection finding: Yellow (Conditional)
    • Number of infractions: 7 (Minor: 3, Significant: 3, Crucial: 1)
    • Crucial infractions include: Failed to protect food from contamination or adulteration.
    Osmow's (2439 Yonge St.)
    • Inspected on: November 26, 2018
    • Inspection finding: Yellow (Conditional)
    • Number of infractions: 2 (Significant: 2)
    • Crucial infractions include: N/A
    7-Eleven (372 Bay St.)
    • Inspected on: November 27, 2018
    • Inspection finding: Yellow (Conditional)
    • Number of infractions: 2 (Significant: 2)
    • Crucial infractions include: N/A
    Ehwa (16 Isabella St.)
    • Inspected on: November 27, 2018
    • Inspection finding: Yellow (Conditional)
    • Number of infractions: 3 (Minor: 1, Significant: 2)
    • Crucial infractions include: N/A
    Onoir (620 Church St.)
    • Inspected on: November 27, 2018
    • Inspection finding: Yellow (Conditional)
    • Number of infractions: 3 (Minor: 1, Significant: 2)
    • Crucial infractions include: N/A
    Ramen Raijin (24 Wellesley St. West)
    • Inspected on: November 27, 2018
    • Inspection finding: Yellow (Conditional)
    • Number of infractions: 2 (Minor: 1, Significant: 1)
    • Crucial infractions include: N/A
    The Beet (2968 Dundas St. West)
    • Inspected on: November 27, 2018
    • Inspection finding: Yellow (Conditional)
    • Number of infractions: 2 (Minor: 1, Significant: 1)
    • Crucial infractions include: N/A
    Karahi Point (2201 Finch Ave. West)
    • Inspected on: November 28, 2018
    • Inspection finding: Yellow (Conditional)
    • Number of infractions: 2 (Significant: 2)
    • Crucial infractions include: N/A
    RaviSoups (1533 Queen St. West)
    • Inspected on: November 28, 2018
    • Inspection finding: Yellow (Conditional)
    • Number of infractions: 5 (Minor: 2, Significant: 3)
    • Crucial infractions include: N/A
    Short & Sweet Bakeshop (1945 Avenue Rd.)
    • Inspected on: November 28, 2018
    • Inspection finding: Yellow (Conditional)
    • Number of infractions: 4 (Minor: 1, Significant: 2, Crucial: 1)
    • Crucial infractions include: Failed to protect food from contamination or adulteration.
    Subway (1763 Eglinton Ave. West)
    • Inspected on: November 28, 2018
    • Inspection finding: Yellow (Conditional)
    • Number of infractions: 2 (Significant: 2)
    • Crucial infractions include: N/A
    Perfect Chinese Restaurant (4386 Sheppard Ave. West)
    • Inspected on: November 29, 2018
    • Inspection finding: Yellow (Conditional)
    • Number of infractions: 3 (Minor: 1, Significant: 2)
    • Crucial infractions include: N/A
    What A Bagel (130 Spadina Ave.)
    • Inspected on: November 30, 2018
    • Inspection finding: Yellow (Conditional)
    • Number of infractions: 7 (Minor: 2, Significant: 4, Crucial: 1)
    • Crucial infractions include: Failed to ensure food handler in food premise washes hands as necessary to prevent contamination of food.
    Wild Wing (2071 Steeles Ave. West)
    • Inspected on: November 30, 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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    A long, bubbling movement of resistance against Canada Goose continues to gain momentum this holiday season as protesters take up roost outside major shopping centres around North America—often with horrifying props (and facts) in tow.

    PETA supporters filled the sidewalk outside Toronto's Eaton Centre during one of such protests this weekend, right in front of Saks Fifth Avenue on busy Queen Street West.

    Using smoke bombs, body paint, handcuffs, graphic video footage and leaflets, roughly two dozen demonstrators attempted to raise awareness about the fact that Canada Goose kills one coyote and 11-14 geese to make every every parka it sells.

    canada goose peta protest

    Protesters gave out free "Canada Douche" stickers on Saturday outside the Eaton Centre in Toronto. Photo by David Fillion Productions.

    "I hear more and more people opposed to Canada Goose all of the time," said protest organizer Vikki Lenola. "It's 2018 and there are so many alternative textiles that keep you just as warm." 

    "I also think it's pretty hypocritical that in North America, we're appalled by other cultures bashing canines to death to eat them," she continued, "yet here we are paying people to do the same so we can wear them as a piece of decoration."

    To prove their point, Lenola and two other brave protesters stood outside for nearly two hours on Saturday wearing nothing but body paint (and some fake coyote props) in near-freezing temperatures.

    canada goose peta toronto

    Vikki Lenola, who led Saturday's protest, is a model and vegan influencer in Toronto. Photo by David Fillion Productions.

    At one point, after a smoke bomb was set off, police jumped in to address the situation. Protester Attila Papp was fined $485 for using a smoke grenade (about $400 of which was for not having a fire extinguisher on hand) and will be going to court to fight the case with a pro bono animal rights lawyer.

    Veteran animal activist Jenny McQueen captured some of the interaction between protesters and police on video.

    McQueen, who often organizes protests of her own with Direct Action Everywhere to expose animal cruelty in factory farms, recommends that those who own a CanadaGoose parka "#zipoffthecruelty" (read: zip the fur off their hoods and donate it to sanctuaries, where it can be used for animal care).

    The group's ultimate goal, of course, is to see Canada Goose ditch fur altogether.

    "In 2018, we saw Gucci, Versace, Michael Kors, Jimmy Choo, Burberry, DKNY, Furla, Coach, Jean Paul Gaultier and many more rid real fur from their lines," reads a press release from the event.

    "Despite growing resistance, Canada Goose has stated they will continue to exert their right to use what they call ethically sourced fur."

    "Videos of coyotes trying to chew off their own limbs to get back to their families, trappers taking pleasure in bludgeoning, and other gruesome videos continue to circle the internet," it continued, noting that protests against Canada Goose would continue in Toronto throughout the winter season.


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    One of the biggest Harry Potter-themed Christmas events outside Hogwarts itself was meant to kick off at Toronto's Exhibition Place in just a few days, bringing thousands of Potterheads together in the spirit of the season.

    Unfortunately, this is no longer true.

    The Yule Ball and Magic Wizard Market has been cancelled, according to organizers, who say they didn't have much of a choice in the matter after Warner Bros. initiated legal action.

    Just like Toronto's original Friends-themed Central Perk pop-up shop, the film studio says this Yule Ball infringes upon copyright-protected works.

    "The goal of this event was to unite Harry Potter fans with a day of festivities, laughter and most of all, a sense of coming together over the holidays," reads a letter posted to Muggles and Magic's website.

    "So it is with a heavy heart that we announce that Warner Bros. did not contact us on their own terms but that an anonymous contact was made flagging our event," the letter continues.

    "We accept full responsibility for not investigating the legal ramifications of hosting the event and hope you will give us a chance to make it up to you."

    Organizers are offering full refunds to all ticketholders upon request, but say that they'll be re-staging something similar on January 19 with Warner Bros.' blessing.

    "We are told that we can host the Wizards Ball on January 19th," reads the event's website. "Our special guest will be Stanislav Ianevski who played Viktor Krum- Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire. We will also try to have Afshan Azad attend on that date as well."

    First, however, they must agree to abide by Warner Bros.' "strict guidelines," which means changing the name of their company, website and all materials with the words 'Yule Ball' or any characters from the Harry Potter film series.

    In the meantime, you can check out the more vaguely-named 'Wizard Wonderland' at Toronto's Pacific Junction Hotel or a different Yule Ball at the Phoenix Concert Theatre this month... until you hear otherwise, at least.


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    The best Greek restaurants in Toronto are where to go for a taste of the Mediterranean in the midst of our somewhat harsher climes. Flaming saganaki cheese, kebabs, gyros and spreads of dips, flatbreads and olives are ready to transport at these places.

    Here are the best Greek restaurants in Toronto.

    4 - Messini

    Late-night gyro lovers always hit up this spot on the Danforth when cravings strike for reasonably priced classics.
    3 - Mamakas

    Ossington boasts this gem where the decor matches the relaxed but sophisticated style of cuisine. Apps like cured swordfish are served along with tea-brined chicken, grilled octopus and whole fish.
    9 - Santorini

    Thornhill has this go-to source for gyros, souvlaki, and other hearty Greek grilled meat dishes.
    7 - Fat Lamb Kouzina

    Takeout is taken up a notch at this fast casual restaurant near Yonge and Bloor, where the food is somehow anything but, with a menu of roasted meats and phyllo pies.
    10 - Soula's

    This multi-level restaurant has a classic old school feel to it, completed by beefy entrees and saganaki theatrically set aflame tableside, located on the Danforth.
    8 - Square Boy

    The dirt cheap but fiercely beloved versions of souvlaki and gyros can’t be beat from this Danforth institution, especially long after other restaurants have closed their doors for the night.
    5 - Mezes

    A true family atmosphere is what you’ll find at this Danforth restaurant that does arrays of house dips, juicy souvlaki and saganaki, and has a patio out front for summers.
    6 - Volos

    Breezy white archways and outstanding service at this Financial District restaurant make this one of the fancier Greek spots, serving upscale dishes like sesame-crusted feta, pistachio-crusted lamb and stuffed Cornish hen.
    11 - Anestis Taverna

    This Danforth restaurant has a laid-back vibe but doesn't hold back on the food, with fry-topped gyros and deep-fried phyllo-wrapped feta on the menu.

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    Looking for something unique to gift your favourite Doug Ford superfan (or super-hater, perhaps) this holiday season?

    A roll of toilet paper featuring hundreds of photos of the Premier's face may be just what you're looking for—if you're willing to spend $20 on a single roll of 2-ply.

    "He's left a stain on Ontario. Help him clean up his mess," reads a website selling exclusively Doug Ford Toilet Paper.

    The site notes that it will ship its products Canada-wide and that $2 of every purchase will go to St. Clares, a non-profit, Toronto-based affordable housing development organization.

    It's "the most expensive TP you'll ever buy," says the product's website. "But thanks to Buck-A-Beer you've probably got lots of extra money."

    doug ford toilet paper

    A Toronto-based artist is selling Doug Ford-themed toilet paper online. Rolls are $20 a pop plus tax. Image via itsgiftology.com.

    Customers also have the option of sending some toilet paper to Ford himself in an effort to combat "wasteful government spending."

    "The Ontario government spends thousands annually on toilet paper," reads the description of that product, which also retails for $20. 

    "It's time we stop the gravy train. We'll send Doug an economical 2-ply on your behalf and send you picture verification of the deed."

    A promotional video called "Doug Ford - He's On a Roll" suggests that the message behind this project isn't necessarily one of support for Ford, whose PC party took office in June.

    The 3D animated video shows the Premier's smiling face, as well as campaign signs from this year's provincial election, being pelted with cute poop emojis.

    The emoji-like characters soon make way for what looks like actual poop dripping onto the politician's head. One final, giant poop emoji lands atop this pile of digital poop in digital DoFo's hair, pushing it over and onto his face.

    If you can't tell by its disturbingly realistic quality, the video was made by a pro—in fact, the entire project comes to us from the artist behind Voidz Toronto, whose whimsical rendering of Hooker Harvey's went viral a few weeks ago.

    The 30-year-old digital artist and documentary filmmaker has updated his Instagram bio to read "I'm in the toilet paper business," and tells his followers they can support his work by sending "a Christmas present to Dougie."


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    You might have seen them around town lately: flyers offering to comb your hair, for example, or an ad for a "no bullshit meditation course" that'll teach you how to "stop whining like a little ninny." 

    Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on what you're looking for) these ludicrous posters are not real ads. 

    They're the invention of an account called Physical Memes, the mastermind behind the many hilarious fake flyers popping up around the city. 

    Bringing meme-inspired, off-brand Internet humour to the IRL world, Physical Memes has actually been printing out flyers and putting them up around Toronto and Vancouver for the last two years. 

    The account has been getting more attention as of late with a string of particularly perfect gems that sum up the strangeness of the human psyche, like this child-to-horse conversion ad. On point.

    Vote Dick was a goodie that went up at Eglinton station—I'm voting Paynus Party in the next election. 

    And the ad on Queen Street that allegedly proves Tom Hanks is a ghost, courtesy of the highly trustworthy and non-existent ghost specialist Dr. Shappie Jackson, is an instant classic. 

    The human behind Physical Memes is Tony Fletcher, who says he started the project to counter his boredom while working in a retail store. 

    "I would make bizarre, comedic posters and post them outside of the store and watch people's reaction," he says. 

    "Most people, myself included, often walk around in a bit of a stressed, non-mindful haze, and I think the posters are a cool break from that."

    Fletcher has been collaborating with other artists to bring more ironically sincere flyers to the city, and posts them up (legally, he notes) in random parts of town with a staple gun and tape. 

    So far he's done more than 50 original creations (including one involving actual Wonderbread), with plans for projects with more stock photos, awkward fonts, and displaced italics in the works. 

    "I love that they make people smile and also enjoy the small minority that get angry and confused when they see them," he says.


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    Between the tickets, the outfits, the booze, the food and anything else you might celebrate with, New Year's Eve can be quite expensive.

    It can also be impossible to get a cab or Uber after 8 p.m. Fortunately, the TTC is once again partnering with Corby Spirit and Wine to offer its services up for free, all night long.

    Details are still sparse, but we do know for certain that TTC vehicles will be free to ride for at least part of both December 31 and January 1, as the #CorbySafeRides partnership agreement is in effect until 2019.

    That means that you can bank once again on taking the bus, streetcar or subway this New Year's Eve to stay safe, warm, dry and hopefully $6.50 richer than you would have been otherwise.


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    The top warehouse sales in Toronto for December 2018 are here to save you a few bucks while shopping for the holidays. Housewares, winter jackets, K-beauty and vintage designer threads can be found while Ted Baker arrives with big savings. 

    Events you might want to check out:

    Winter Parka Sale (December 3-6 @ 8432 Leslie Street)
    Just in time for winter, over 3,000 parkas and jackets from Canada Goose, Parajumpers, Mackage, Rudsak, UGG and more are all on sale for up to 80 per cent off.
    Harman Warehouse Sale (December 4-8 @ Harman Inc)
    Big savings are on with a ton of holiday home decor, tableware and kitchen textiles, bath accessories, storage and more up to 80 per cent off.
    Your Favourite Warehouse Sale (December 6-8 @ 70 Wingold Avenue)
    Your Favourite Warehouse Sale is back with big savings on leggings, socks tights, sleepwear and more from Hue, Zeza B and Pretty You London.
    Ted Baker Warehouse Sale (December 6-9 @ The Inernational Centre)
    Ted Baker London arrives in Toronto for a huge warehouse sale with clothing, footwear and accessories for men and women up to 80 per cent off.
    Mini Mioche Warehouse Sale (December 7-8 @ 165 Geary Ave)
    For the little one in yours or someone you know's life, organic, handmade in Canada kids and baby gear is on sale at mini mioche for up to 70 per cent off.
    Dean Davidson Holiday Sample Sale (December 7-8 @ Dean Davidson Studio)
    Unique and trendy jewellery designs for both men and women by Canadian designer Dean Davidson are on sale or up to 70 per cent off.
    Koffler Couture (December 8-10 @ Koffler Gallery)
    A massive vintage designer sale is on with brands like Prada, Burberry, Isabel Marant, Armani and more on sale for a fraction of the price.
    Citizen Watch Warehouse Sale (December 13-15 @ 380 Bently Street)
    Get yourself or a loved one a watch on the cheap as Citizen is having their annual Scratch and Dent sale with savings up to 75 per cent off.
    K-Products Warehouse Sale (December 15 @ Sheraton Parkway Toronto North)
    A big one-day-only Korean beauty sale is on with 50 to 75 per cent off brand-name beauty and baby products.
    Bridal Sample Sale (December 15-16 @ Avenue 22 Bridal)
    It's never too early to get ready for wedding season and this sale has all kinds of designer wedding gowns and dresses on sale for 10 to 75 per cent off.

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    At the end of this month, for the first time in history, you can dance the night away on a two-tier glass floor roughly 1,136 feet above downtown Toronto.

    The CN tower is opening up both of its main observation decks to the public this year for New Year's Eve, which is a first—and not only because both have been going through renovations in recent years.

    Normally, the iconic tower's upper levels are only rented out for special events during the holiday season. Dinner at 360 Restaurant is always an option, but this party isn't a quiet, romantic affair. It's a party

    "Start 2019 from on top of Toronto!" reads the CN Tower's website. "Dance the night away to Rock and Roll Oldies, Dance and Top Forty hits on the newly installed Glass Floor on the renovated main observation level."

    Buying a $90 ticket to this event will get you access to both the LookOut and Glass Floor levels of the CN Tower, passed hors d’oeuvres, as well as live action food stations serving up such local favourites as roast beef tenderloin and tacos.

    Party favours also include poutine at midnight, a dessert buffet extravaganza, a cash bar, and making people on Instagram jealous of how fabulous your views are.

    If you're leery of heights, this might not be the event for you—but if you've been looking for an excuse to check out the CN Tower's newly-revamped sky digs, here's the link for tickets.

    Because nothing says "bring on 2019" like going high (as in high, high, high in the sky) drama.


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    Imagine waking up every morning to a view of the giant crystal jutting out of the ROM: that's the view residents of a proposed new condo on Bloor will be signing up for, if plans for the building at 210 Bloor Street West go through. 

    Developer Tribute Communities submitted a re-zoning application in early November for a 29-storey condo sitting almost directly across Canada's largest museum, the Royal Ontario Museum. 

    Replacing the longtime two-storey music store, Remenyi House of Music, the narrow condo designed by Core Architects will be one of the most luxurious yet.

    Geared specifically to rich families, the 111.4-metre-tall condo will only house 42 suites, comprised solely of two- and three-bedrooms as large as 460 square metres.

    210 bloor street west

    The proposed condo at 210 Bloor St. West will feature balconies with flat and faceted walls. Photo by Bousfields Inc. via submission to City of Toronto.

    Initial renderings of the building show the facades facing east and west with a triangular tessellated design—not unlike the design of the ROM's Crystal across the street—while the sides facing north and south will come equipped with sheltered balconies. 

    Higher up in the building, the balconies will start to range between straight or faceted walls.

    The ground floor facing Bloor will have about 126-metres of retails space, and underground, a three-level garage will offer 80 parking spaces for residents. 

    If the application does go through, the well-money residents of 210 Bloor St. West will also be able to enjoy the ROM's new terrace and plaza, slated to open sometime next year.


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    If the threat of heavy fines, losing your license, going to jail, dying in a fiery wreck or killing innocent people (maybe even your own loved ones) doesn't scare you, maybe knowing that everyone who Googles your name can see that you've had a DUI will.

    That's the idea, at least, behind a new York Regional Police campaign aimed at stopping people from driving while under the influence of alcohol and drugs.

    Police have laid more than 1,400 impaired-related driving charges in York Region alone since the beginning of 2018 and say this "distressing trend" shows no signs of slowing down.

    Today, after a weekend that saw 16 drivers rack up a total of 27 impaired driving charges, the police department just North of Toronto announced that it would effectively be naming and shaming drunk drivers moving forward.

    "It's clear that something has to change," said YRP Chief Eric Jolliffe in a media release on Monday. "Effective immediately, York Regional Police will name all of the drivers charged with impaired-related criminal driving offences."

    Police hope that posting the names online will make impaired driving even more "socially unacceptable" than it already is, as well as allow community members to keep a watch out for local offenders who may be choosing to drive while suspended.

    Offenders caught this weekend include a 32-year-old Toronto man who police say had a half-full bottle of vodka in his centre console when they pulled up. When brought in and given a breath test, he blew four times the legal limit.

    "Innocent lives are put at risk every day by this irresponsible and criminal behavior," said Jolliffe of the bold initiative. "We are not giving up."

    Ontario Provincial Police are also extra vigilant right now when it comes to impaired driving as part of their holiday RIDE campaign, which runs until January 2.

    When asked if this could impede upon the rights of those charged, a representative for the department said that naming impaired drivers does not violate anyone's right to privacy.

    "We have the authority to name people that are charged with a criminal offence, especially when public safety is at risk," wrote the police service on Twitter.

    "People charged with impaired driving that may be driving while under suspension are a risk to public safety."

    A new list of names will be released online every Monday morning, according to York Regional Police. You can see the very first 16 on YRP.ca right now.


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    Tuesday need not be boring when there's the chance to get some cool artsy gifts at OCAD's Artist Alley. The Basement Revue series kicks off with surprise musical guests and there's a festive beer festival on.

    Events you might want to check out:

    Holiday OCAD Artist Alley (December 4 @ OCAD University)
    The bright young artists of tomorrow are selling their stuff at this holiday arts market with lots of posters, prints, zines, greeting cards and more for sale.
    Hoppy Holidays (December 4 @ Berkeley Church)
    The holidays are for hops and this annual beer festival is back with lots of brews and other libations on tap for the tasting.
    Rowers Reading Series (December 4 @ Glad Day Bookshop (Church))
    Writers and poets share their works at this free monthly series that features Aaron Giovannone, Amanda Leduc, Michael Redhill and more.
    What the Complete Image Could Be (December 4 @ TIFF Bell Lightbox)
    A Toronto-based trio of artists explore diasporic experiences through a series of works based in both film and the gallery.
    After the Storm (December 4 @ Innis Town Hall)
    A free screening of Hirokazu Kore-eda's documentary follows the village of Pope Francis after suffering damage from a typhoon.
    Stupid Fancy (December 4 @ Comedy Bar)
    A spontaneous variety show of sorts, local comedians take inspiration from other people's art and turn it into something new.
    Electric Messiah IV (December 4-6 @ The Drake Underground)
    George Frideric Handel’s classical masterpiece gets a remix at this annual holiday concert, with local singers drawing on different musical genres.
    Feet on the Ground: Freedom in my Bones (December 4-11 @ Gardiner Museum)
    Art therapist Suzanne Thomson and ceramic artist Jess Riva Cooper are on hand to share their work that draws on women survivors of violence.
    Beyography Dance Class (December 4-11 @ Sony Centre for the Performing Arts)
    Calling all single ladies for this dance class dedicated to all things Beyonce. No experience is required and it's totally free.
    Basement Revue (December 4-27 @ Longboat Hall)
    Jason Collett's annual music festival is back with four nights of performances, featuring supers guests that include some of Canada's most beloved artists.

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