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    Real estate in Toronto has experienced some serious cooling off this month—one of the largest drops in home sales in months, in fact. But that doesn't mean prices are going down, and with fewer homes in the market than ever, a starting budget of $1.5 million will afford you a comfortable home that falls just short of luxurious. 

    Here's what a $1.5 million home in Toronto looks like vs. other cities. 

    Toronto - $1,499,900 CAD

    Just a stone's throw from High Park subway station, this three-bedroom detached has a fully reclaimed basement. The fact that it's just three minutes away from one of the largest, most scenic parks in the city is a big plus.

    real estate toronto

    Vancouver - $1,499,000 CAD

    This cozy Colonial Revival home built in 1908 sits in Kensingon-Cedar Cottage, one of the younger and most diverse neighbourhoods in East Vancouver. It may look small from the outside, but this is a six-bedroomer, with a porch outside to enjoy those warm B.C. nights. 

    real estate toronto

    Ottawa - $1,499,000 CAD 

    If you're trying to live the life of the landlord, this Sandy Hill triplex might be the perfect investment. All units here are leased until April 2019, but not like you'd have trouble finding tenants anyway: it's just a ten-minute walk from the University of Ottawa. 

    real estate toronto

    Chicago, Illinois - $1,498,767 CAD

    Just steps from all the restaurants on  bustling West Lawrence Ave, this three-bedroom home is tucked into the very hip, very family-friendly neighbourhood of Ravenswood. It's also just a stone's throw from the Brown Line. 

    real estate toronto

    Miami, Florida - $1,498,900 CAD

    The price of this three-bedroom has gone down about $15K USD since August, so if you're looking for a massive property, now's the time. Spanning 1.76-acres, this Spanish-style villa comes with a fenced off property, circular drive, and tons of schools nearby. 

    real estate toronto

    Los Angeles, California - $1,498,900 CAD

    This mid-city Mediterranean-style home has three bedrooms, hardwood floors, a fireplace in the living room, and a pool in the back. There's also a driveway—L.A. is definitely a driving kind of city—but note that the garage has been converted into two office spaces. 

    real estate toronto

    Tinos, Greece - $1,501,376 CAD

    This incredible stone villa in the Cyclades Islands is just steps from the beaches of the Aegean Sea. The whole property comes with six beautiful bedrooms with arched entrances, each with its own sea view, and in the garden comes a studio with an Orthodox church. 

    real estate torontoNice, France - $1,499,860 CAD

    Head to the outskirts of Nice in the St. Isidore area to reach this four-bedroom villa. Proximity to the Ligurian Sea affords views of the sea mountain. There's also a pool, terrace, and a garden, along with a balcony in the master bedroom and basement garage.


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    Bars on Dundas West often appear to be something else at first, then turn out to be something else entirely. A bodega hiding a Hong-Kong-inspired drinking hall, a pub that’s also an arcade, and a rockabilly bar serving takoyaki are just some of the surprises you might encounter on a bar crawl through this quirky neighbourhood. 

    Here are my picks for the top bars on Dundas West. 

    Cocktail Bar

    This popular candlelit haunt near Grace serves a menu of cocktails based on flavour profiles. Part of the Jen Agg empire, snacks are light, but try the mixed nuts.

    Midfield Wine Bar

    Not only does this spot at Gladstone arguably have the best wine list on the street, they also do great bistro fare and brunch.

    Get Well

    Those seeking the trifecta of craft beer, pizza and arcade games need look no further than this laid-back bar at Ossington that gets slammed on weekends.

    Black Dice

    This narrow hangout near Brock spins rockabilly tunes on vinyl and serves a mix of Japanese whiskey, craft beer, takoyaki and Hungry Man dinners.

    Dock Ellis

    This sports bar at Dovercourt puts an emphasis on craft beer, burgers and fried chicken sandwiches.

    Mahjong Bar

    This bar at Dovercourt masquerading as a corner store serves dumplings and cheeky cocktails in a mural-wrapped space.

    Tilt

    Free play on dozens of games including pinball, retro arcade games, tabletop games and consoles set this beer hall at Euclid apart.

    Swan Dive

    Kitsch reigns over this unpretentious bar at Brock with a pool table and checkerboard floors.

    Fountain

    Drink a Dark and Stormy next to a dangling chandelier at this witchy chill spot right at Dovercourt.

    Paris Paris

    Awash in natural light thanks to huge skylights and accented by woodwork and natural plants, pretend to work on your laptop at this restaurant near Ossington during the day and join friends for after dinner nibbles and natural wines at night.


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    Bars for non-drinkers in Toronto have designed non-alcoholic options with all of the flavour and none of the memory loss associated with their boozy counterparts. The liquor-averse need not sacrifice an ounce of sophistication ordering at these places.

    Here are my picks for the top bars for non-drinkers in Toronto.

    Shameful Tiki

    This Parkdale tiki lounge tells it like it is with a mocktail called Designated Driver with lime, cinnamon, orange, pineapple, bitters and soda. There’s also a classic Lime Rickey of lime, simple syrup, bitters and soda.

    Henrietta Lane

    A “Teetotallers” section of the menu at this cafe bar in Corktown boasts three $5 mocktails with quirky names, including the Bring Me a Shrubbery with mango juice, mango shrub, lime and soda. There’s also a daily iced tea for $3.

    Civil Liberties

    The experts behind the bar at this Bloorcourt spot can whip up just about anything drinkable, alcoholic or not, so just specify your preferences and they’ll pour up a custom creation.

    Famous Last Words

    The Junction has this bar for book lovers that’s 19+, but has a section of the drinks menu entitled “Young Adults” where you might find selections like a non-alcoholic Moscow Mule called The Hunger Games or a Little House on the Prairie switchel-based mock highball with honey, sorghum molasses and apple cider vinegar.

    Nightowl

    This Little Italy spot is known for its spiked cola, orange soda and root beer, floats, but you can also opt for the sweet treats without alcohol. Their “drink menu for heroes” lists drinks that are free of charge for all designated drivers, including sodas, juices, and Shirley Temples.

    Pretty Ugly

    There’s an ample “Placebo” section of the drinks list at this Parkdale bar featuring their fauxmaro, fauxcampari and fauxmouth.

    Bar Raval

    You’re always able to describe your favourite flavours and ask to hold the booze when it comes to artisanal cocktails from this all-day tapas bar in Little Italy.

    The Lockhart

    Feel magical without taking leave of your senses at this Dufferin and College bar that serves non-alcoholic butterbeer. Creative bartenders also mix spontaneous bespoke mocktails on request.

    Storm Crow Manor

    In addition to Arizona iced tea (yass) and non-alcoholic beer, there’s also a solid list of mocktails at this self-professed nerd bar in the Village, including a non-alcoholic version of their butterbeer and Klingon Bloodwine made with raspberry compote, mint, lime, soda, and a dash of honour.

    The Shore Leave

    This Danforth East tiki bar does non-alcoholic mixes for mocktails that go for just five bucks.


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    There's only one day left to enjoy the freedom of the weekend and events in Toronto today have a few options to choose from. A hangover pizza battle is going down and The Internet is here to perform. Markets, movies, music and more are all on as well.

    Events you might want to check out:

    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.
    Hangover Pizza Battle (December 9 @ Village Pizza)
    We've all been there and Blondie's and Village Pizza are battling it out to create the best pizza that soaks up everything, even the regrets.
    Bunz Flea (December 9 @ The Gladstone Hotel)
    The Bunz Flea is back with trades ready to be made and a bunch of local makers on hand with good items up for grabs.
    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.
    Soundstreams (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.
    Wild Child (December 9 @ Lee's Palace)
    Austin's indie poppers arrive with their soulful sound that makes good use of lead singer Kelsey Wilson's powerful, country-inspired vocals.
    Art Crawl Christmas Market (December 9 @ The Great Hall)
    A huge, curated selection of works by local artists are on hand for this big holiday art crawl with DJs, food, drinks, live demos and more.
    Sunday Afternoon Social (December 9 @ 213 Sterling Road)
    Sundays are for the sweet sounds of house and Box of Kittens, Ali Black and Steinjah and Spyne are on deck for this holiday loft party.
    Maqbool (December 9 @ Aga Khan Museum)
    Mumbai’s criminal underworld gets a Shakespearean take with this Macbeth-inspired film by director Vishal Bhardwaj.
    Evergreen's Winter Village (December 1-31 @ Evergreen Brick Works)
    The holiday market continues at the Brick Works with food, vintage, Christmas trees and outdoor skating.

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    Free events in Toronto this week give you the chance to laugh, cheer, skate and maybe throw an axe or two without breaking the bank. DJ Skate Nights returns to Harbourfront Centre with Saturday night ice skating parties and Hot Docs is screening the Christmas classics for free.

    Events you might want to check out:

    A Holiday Spectacular (December 11 @ Comedy Bar)
    Celebrate all the laughter and tears, but mostly laughter, at this holiday comedy showcase with local comedians spreading that cheer.
    Free Axe Throwing (December 12 @ BATL)
    Try your hand at axe throwing this week as BATL hosting a free axe throwing session and open house at its Yorkdale location.
    F#ck Sh!t Up (December 13 @ Gladstone Hotel)
    Trans and non-binary performers are ready to slay at this new PWYC cabaret series performances Gay Jesus, Halal Bae, Mike Hunt, Rae Spoon and more.
    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.

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    Ontario Parks aren't just summer destinations. On the contrary, many of them are at their most beautiful in the fall and winter when the crowds have thinned out and you can really soak up the wilderness around you. Besides, few things are more romantic than a yurt for two.

    Here's a roundup of provincial parks with cabins and yurts for rent.

    Algonquin Park

    This popular wilderness destination has some of the most amazing rustic cabins out there, most of which were used by the original park rangers. These are only open from late April to Thanksgiving weekend, but seven heated yurts at the Mew Lake campground are open all year.

    Arrowhead

    This gorgeous park has 10 camp cabins open starting in December. These one-room accommodations feature a kitchenette with a microwave and a barbecue for more substantial cooking. There are gas and electric fireplaces for additional coziness.

    MacGregor Point

    MacGregor Point is the yurt capital of Ontario Parks with 16 on offer throughout the year. These accommodations sleep six people on two sets of double/single bunk beds. The decor is sparse, but there's electricity, BBQs and the beauty of the park and Lake Huron.

    Silent Lake

    Silent Lake is another one of Ontario's Parks that's great to explore in the winter, with eight yurts that open in mid December. These are arguably nicer than some other places, as they have wood burning stoves to keep the heat up, but there's no electricity or running water.

    Kilarney

    This is one of the most beautiful places to camp in the fall and winter with two rustic camp cabins and six yurts. These are a short hike in from the park office, and offer the ultimate in heated accommodations at a park known for amazing stargazing and wildlife-spotting opportunities.

    You can check out the Ontario Parks website for a full list of roofed accommodations and cold weather camping options.


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    New restaurants in Little Italy only add to an impressive range of many spots on this strip. Whether it was for presenting a comforting old style of cuisine in a new and provoking way or putting in the extra effort to make tortillas or pasta by hand, these restaurants that opened up in a food lover’s neighbourhood this year really shone.

    Here are my picks for the top new restaurants in Little Italy.

    Il Covo

    Handmade pastas and luxurious small plates can now be found at this darkened restaurant near the bustling corner of College Clinton.

    Giulietta

    Produce-forward Italian cuisine as well as pizza, pasta, mocktails and one of the city’s favourite steak tartares are now on the menu in this space near Rusholme formerly home to Bestellen. 

    Quetzal

    A clay comal used to make all tortillas and wood-burning grills running nearly the entire length of the restaurant now infuse this space near Bathurst with the smell of Mexican cooking.

    Peacock Pub

    This place pivoted from a former wine bar concept to more of an English pub and now does standout bangers and mash, fish and chips, and savoury pies.

    BBs Diner

    Homestyle Filipino gets put on a pedestal at this weekend brunch spot on Lippincott that serves fried chicken, spaghetti and Ting.


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    The 1920s were a seminal time for Toronto—when the city, still deeply attached to its colonial roots, began to take the first baby steps toward becoming the multicultural metropolis of the present day.

    By 1920, the population was more than half a million and suburban growth had already started. The name of the city for the first time was becoming associated not only with the city proper, but also with the suburban municipalities that began to form outside of its boundaries, such as York and Forest Hill.

    toronto 1920

    A few notable landmarks were built during the second decade of the twentieth century. The most memorable of them is the Sunnyside Amusement Park, which was situated on the shore of Lake Ontario, on Sunnyside Beach.

    It opened on June 28, 1922 and was a hugely popular summertime attraction for thousands of Torontonians.

    In addition to numerous roller coasters and merry-go-rounds, it featured such events as the annual Easter Parade and the Miss Toronto Pageant. Some of the relics still survive and are popular even today, including the Sunnyside Pavilion and the Palais Royale.

    toronto 1920

    The short-lived Casa Loma Hotel opened in 1927, the same year when the provincial government abandoned the Ontario Temperance Act.

    The building advertised as an "apartment hotel," where a room could be rented for as long as the guests wished, at the price of $6 a day.

    The former grand residence of Sir Henry Pellatt was also equipped with dancing and dining halls, but it failed as a hotel and closed down a mere year later.

    toronto 1920

    Another important structure built during this decade is Union Station, opened on August 6, 1927, seven years after it was completed due to an ongoing conflict on the matter of financing the project, as well as changes to its architectural plan.

    In 1921, the Toronto Transportation Commission was created as a result of a popular referendum. The new organization started to operate on September 1 of the same year. On October 2, the first Peter Witt streetcar rolled out onto the streets of Toronto.

    toronto 1920

    Beginning in the 1920s, the city's cultural demography started to become more diverse. In 1921, 62 per cent of all residents had been born in Canada and nearly three out of ten had been born in the United Kingdom.

    By the end of the decade, a significant number of residents were born outside of Canada, the UK, and even Europe altogether.

    The Ontario Temperance Act prevailed until 1927, but although city was running dry for most of the decade, with the exception of bootleg alcohol and alcohol medically prescribed by sympathetic doctors, not many Torontonians are aware that drugs were one of the major social concerns in 1920s Toronto.

    Cocaine and morphine regularly made the headlines. For instance, Maclean's reported in 1920 that the year before Canadians imported 30,000 ounces of morphine. In February 1923, Dr. Charles Hastings, the medical officer of health, blamed the "modern living" and the combination of boredom and stress for the increase in drug use.

    toronto 1920

    Despite the rise of Toronto as a prominent city in the 1920s, not all of its residents enjoyed the relative prosperity of the decade.

    Working-class inhabitants continued to toil long hours for low wages at such places as Gooderham and Worts Distillery and the Gerhard Heintzman Piano Company, and they lived in run-down inner-city districts like Cabbagetown. 

    The population of Toronto in 1921 was just over 500,000, as compared to around 375,000 in 1911. And though it was far from the city we recognize today, the city was very much in the process of becoming a major metropolis.

    Here are some additional photos of Toronto in the 1920s.

    Toronto 1920

    Yonge Street looking southwest from CPR North Toronto Station 1920

    Toronto 1920

    Northwest Corner of Dundas and Mutual streets 1920

    Toronto 1920

    The Coliseum 1922

    Toronto 1920

    Cyclorama 1922

    Toronto 1920

    Eglinton Avenue looking west from Yonge Street 1922

    Toronto 1920

    Yonge Street looking north at Lawrence Avenue 1922

    Toronto 1920

    Queen and Bay streets 1923

    Toronto 1920

    TTC Bus, 1923

    Toronto 1920s

    Toronto Transportation Commission car near Queen Street and Woodbine Avenue 1923

    Toronto 1920

    Queen Street looking east from James Street 1924

    Toronto 1920s

    Bay Street traffic 1924

    Toronto 1920

    Front and Church streets looking southeast 1924

    Toronto 1920

    Yonge Street looking north from Charles Street 1924

    Toronto 1920

    Yonge and Bloor streets 1926

    Toronto 1920

    East General Hospital 1928

    Toronto 1920

    Recently completed Leaside Bridge 1928

    Toronto 1920

    Mount Pleasant Road with cemetery in background 1928

    Toronto 1920

    Front of the Royal York Hotel 1929

    Toronto 1920

    Looking east from the Royal York Hotel 1929

    Toronto 1920

    Trams at Queen and Yonge streets 1929


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    The best antique stores in Toronto are hotspots for salvaged Art Deco light fixtures, rare mid-century stools and plates of Royal Doulton china. Antique magpies will love sifting through these treasure troves of nostalgic wares—you just might have to clean off a layer of two of dust to find your perfect piece

    Here are the best antique stores in Toronto.

    3 - 1698 Queen Antiques

    Don’t be misled by its name: this spacious antique store is actually located at 1702 Queen St. West. This store carries a big selection of 1960s teak furniture, plus their basement is chock full of curiosities like old cigar boxes and rotary telephones.
    4 - Cynthia Findlay Antiques

    There’s tons to see at this King West store, but if you’re looking for jewellery, this is the place to go. Even better if you’re scouring for an engagement ring: you won’t find a better place to purchase a unique ring for that special someone.
    5 - Green's Antiques

    A longtime purveyor of antiques in Cabbagetown, Green’s is known for its broad collection of furniture, Persian rugs, and lighting fixtures. They’ll also repair any old heirlooms you hold near and dear to your heart.
    6 - The Art of Demolition

    Retro, reclaimed finds are the best part of this friendly Junction shop. There’s a huge variety of stuff to explore here, from aluminum serving carts from the 40s to cool knick knacks like brass bells.
    7 - Passion For The Past

    Gold cabinet plates, jewellery, and all assortment of glassware is for sale at this Parkdale shop. There’s also plenty of vintage lighting, if you need to spruce up your place with a decadent Angelica Kauffman-style table lamp.
    8 - Bernardi's Antiques

    English and French furniture is the speciality at this Mount Pleasant antique shop. You’ll also find an assortment of other knick knacks and rare curiosities scattered across the store’s two floors.
    9 - Of Things Past

    Hit up this showroom on Bridgeland Ave. for a collection of consigned furniture, which takes parts of the profits for each sale and gives the rest to the consigner. Murano glass bowls, crystal light fixtures—they have it all.
    10 - Ransack the Universe

    There’s a lot of clothes at this Bloordale Village store, but head downstairs for tons of other cool times like old school skates and cufflinks, plus furniture essentials like little working desks and bedside tables.
    11 - Alexandre Antique Prints Maps and Books

    Lovers of old maps will swoon over this Mount Pleasant store, which sells old charts and wall maps from all over the world. There’s some items dating as far back as the 15th century, though items as ‘new’ as the 19th century co-exist here as well.

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    Jack Astor’s has never exactly been known for its sensitivity, but their latest flub is being called a new low by vegans.

    A current billboard advertising menu item “The Boss Hogg Burger” jokingly calls the sandwich with cheese, jalapeno cheddar sausage and bacon “vegan rehabilitation.”

    As vegans are a particularly vocal activist group, the campaign is likely looking to get a taste of a little free advertising. Boss Hogg is the fictional greedy commissioner of Hazzard County from Dukes of Hazzard, falling in line with typical in-your-face Jack Astor’s branding.

    Even if the campaign is meant to stir up viral free advertising, it’s actually winding up alienating any vegan customers Jack Astor’s might have. It also seems particularly tone deaf of the boozy venue to put the word “rehabilitation” next to a burger topped with beer-marinated onions, pictured with a huge glass of beer.

    It’s also probably not smart to mention the v-word just a few years after Jack Astor’s employees at a London location dumped cold water, hot water and vinegar on vegan protestors from a rooftop patio Medieval-style. 

    This is another recent stumbling block in relations between vegans and Toronto restaurants.

    Just recently a woman was hospitalized after ingesting dairy at one of Toronto’s most visible and controversial vegan restaurants, and local A&W locations were unexpectedly unable to provide their popular new Beyond Meat burger for a period.


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    Inglewood Drive has transformed into Kringlewood once again

    There are now over 40 giant Santas lining this residential street in Moore Park, turning this quiet well-to-do area into the most festive street in the city.

    kringlewood toronto

    Every year, Inglewood Avenue transforms into Kringlewood.

    Each year since 2013, homeowners have participated in a sort of a cult-like Christmasfication of the neighbourhood by erecting 14-foot inflatable Kris Kringles on their front lawns.

    kringlewood toronto

    Nearly the entire street is lined with giant inflatable Santas.

    What began as one resident's bold declaration of Christmas dedication turned into her neighbour's following suit.  

    kringlewood toronto

    The tradition began in 2013, with one inflatable Santa from Canadian Tire.

    Now, nearly the entire one-kilometre stretch of Inglewood Drive, from St. Clair East all the way to Rosedale Heights, has become a village of glowing $250 Airblown Santas from Canadian Tire.

    As usual, the neighbourhood held an all-day street party where organizers collected donations for a local food bank.  

    kringlewood toronto


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    After over 15 years out of business, a new BiWay $10 Store will open in Toronto in 2019. 

    At 7,500 square feet and set to open in August, this is intended to be the first of five BiWay stores to open by 2020. The discount brand once had over 250 stores across Canada but closed for good back in 2001.

    The store will be resurrected by 89 year old Mal Coven who helped build the BiWay brand back in the day.

    The new stores will hold true to the original promise of BiWay with clothing, toys, food and home decor all available at cheap prices.

    Does this mean we can look forward to a comeback from stores like Zellers and in-store restaurant The Skillet? Dare we even dream Target may one day grace Canadian soil again? If after all this time BiWay can rise again, maybe anything is possible. 


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    Events in Toronto this week can feel the holidays inching closer as the festivities continue around the city. Holiday wrestling, comedy, mixtape exchange and markets are all part of the excitement, while Cirque du Soleil arrives with high-flying fun. There's lots of free stuff on, too.

    Events you might want to check out:

    Tika (December 10 @ Drake Hotel)
    Toronto singer TIka has been having a great year and is capping it off with a musical showcase with host Jully Black and Sydanie and Khadijah Lopez.
    Alvvays (December 10 @ The Danforth Music Hall)
    If you move quickly enough, you can still grab tickets for the fifth and final show in this concert series by Toronto's own indie pop rockers.
    Trampoline Hall (December 10 @ The Garrison)
    The last Trampoline Hall for the year sees artists, storytellers, comedians and performers out for a night of talks, drinks and inspiration.
    TransMilitary (December 11 @ Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema)
    Catch a free screening of this documentary that follows trans people in the U.S. military and a panel on the film in a Canadian context.
    Cirque du Soleil (December 12-16 @ Scotiabank Arena)
    Corteo tells the story of "a festive parade imagined by a clown" and includes its signature acrobatic marvels and mind-bending contortion.
    A Merry Lucha Libre Christmas Show (December 13 @ Opera House)
    There's nothing like a little wrestling to get you into the holiday spirit and Lucha Libre is back with a Christmas show with live performances and more.
    The Fifth Element (December 14-16 @ Cinesphere)
    Another Bruce Willis classic, this futurist sci-fi thriller centres around good and evil in a world beyond the stars.
    Holiday Mixtape Exchange (December 15 @ The Dupe Shop)
    Give the gift of music at this holiday mixtape exchange. Don't have a tape? The Dupe Shop can whip one up for you on the spot.
    Rupi Kaur (December 15 @ Sony Centre for the Performing Arts)
    Known across the world for her Insta-famous poems, Brampton's own Rupi Kaur is home to chat about her short and sweet works of art.
    Xpace Holiday Zine and Maker Fair (December 15 @ XPACE (Lansdowne))
    Artists from all over the city are selling their works, including a huge selection of zines, comics, prints, t-shirts, tote bags, jewellery, ceramics and crafts.
    Caribbean Christmas Market (December 15 @ Ralph Thornton Community Centre)
    All kinds of traditional Caribbean goodies are on at this holiday market with food and huge local makers market with gifts and accessories.
    The Bazaar of the Bizarre (December 15 @ 6 Noble St)
    Weird and strange goodies can be found at this non-traditional holiday market, featuring a ton of local makers specializing in the macabre.
    Creed Bratton (December 16 @ Velvet Underground)
    Arguably one of the most iconic characters from the U.S version of The Office, comedian and musician Creed Bratton is here for a night of tunes and laughs.
    Venus Fest Winter Market (December 16 @ Lula Lounge)
    Toronto's annual feminists' musical showcase Venus Fest is hosting a holiday market with lots of handmade goodies by women and non-binary artists.
    Wavelength Holiday Fundraiser (December 16 @ The Baby G)
    Wavelength Music Festival makes a brief return with a night of spacey tunes and hearty laughs in support of Unison Benevolent Fund.

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    This week on DineSafe we discover that multiple vendors located at the holiday market at Nathan Phillips Square were busted by city health inspectors. Don't worry, it wasn't the one with bubble tea pancakes.

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

    Hero Certified Burgers (4698 Yonge St.)
    • Inspected on: December 3, 2018
    • Inspection finding: Yellow (Conditional)
    • Number of infractions: 10 (Minor: 5, Significant: 3, Crucial: 2)
    • Crucial infractions include: Stored potentially hazardous foods at internal temperature between 4°C and 60°C and failed to protect food from contamination or adulteration.
    Pamier Kabob (119 Spadina Ave.)
    • Inspected on: December 4, 2018
    • Inspection finding: Yellow (Conditional)
    • Number of infractions: 4 (Minor: 3, Significant: 1)
    • Crucial infractions include: N/A
    Khorak Supermarket (6125 Yonge St.)
    • Inspected on: December 5, 2018
    • Inspection finding: Yellow (Conditional)
    • Number of infractions: 3 (Minor: 1, Crucial: 2)
    • Crucial infractions include: 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.
    Super Arzon Food Market (6105 Yonge St.)
    • Inspected on: December 5, 2018
    • Inspection finding: Yellow (Conditional)
    • Number of infractions: 9 (Minor: 3, Significant: 4, Crucial: 2)
    • Crucial infractions include: Failed to protect food from contamination or adulteration and failed to ensure storage pallets designed to protect against contamination.
    Brazil Bakery & Pastry (1566 Dundas St. W.)
    • Inspected on: December 6, 2018
    • Inspection finding: Yellow (Conditional)
    • Number of infractions: 4 (Minor: 2, Significant: 1, Crucial: 1)
    • Crucial infractions include: Failed to protect food from contamination or adulteration.
    Genghis Khan Mongolian Grill (900 Don Mills Rd.)
    • Inspected on: December 6, 2018
    • Inspection finding: Yellow (Conditional)
    • Number of infractions: 3 (Minor: 1, Significant: 1, Crucial: 1)
    • Crucial infractions include: Stored ice in unsanitary manner.
    Lakeview Restaurant (1132 Dundas St. W.)
    • Inspected on: December 6, 2018
    • Inspection finding: Yellow (Conditional)
    • Number of infractions: 5 (Minor: 3, Significant: 2)
    • Crucial infractions include: N/A
    The Wickson Social (5 St. Joseph St.)
    • Inspected on: December 6, 2018
    • Inspection finding: Yellow (Conditional)
    • Number of infractions: 3 (Minor: 1, Significant: 2)
    • Crucial infractions include: N/A
    Holiday Fair in the Square - Happy Twist (100 Queen St. W.)
    • Inspected on: December 7, 2018
    • Inspection finding: Yellow (Conditional)
    • Number of infractions: 3 (Significant: 2, Crucial: 1)
    • Crucial infractions include: Failed to ensure food handler in food premise washes hands as necessary to prevent contamination of food.
    Holiday Fair in the Square - Harvest (100 Queen St. W.)
    • Inspected on: December 7, 2018
    • Inspection finding: Yellow (Conditional)
    • Number of infractions: 1 (Significant: 1)
    • Crucial infractions include: N/A
    Oddseoul (90 Ossington Ave.)
    • Inspected on: December 7, 2018
    • Inspection finding: Yellow (Conditional)
    • Number of infractions: 2 (Significant: 2)
    • Crucial infractions include: N/A
    Second Cup (105 St. George St.)
    • Inspected on: December 7, 2018
    • Inspection finding: Yellow (Conditional)
    • Number of infractions: 3 (Significant: 1, Crucial: 2)
    • Crucial infractions include: Offered for sale potentially hazardous foods at internal temperature between 4°C and 60° and operate food premise refrigeration equipment for potentially hazardous food not of sufficient size.

    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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    It's getting more and more dangerous to be a pedestrian or cyclist in Toronto, at least statistically. 

    New data shows that cycling and pedestrian deaths hit an all-time recorded high this year, with 41 pedestrian and five cycling deaths on city roads in 2018. 

    The previous record was set in 2013 and 2016, with 44. The data dates back to 2007. 

    Part of what makes this increase concerning is the advent of the city's Vision Zero plan, which came into effect two years ago and aims to see zero deaths occurring on the roads through various policy and infrastructure adjustments. 

    With the Vision Zero plan, the city has reduced speed limits on many problematic streets, and added red-light cameras to some intersections. 

    New policies may be needed to further the plan and slow the growing number of traffic deaths, such as bike lanes, or further reducing speed limits. 


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    It's probably not news to anyone anymore, but PRESTO seems to be having some problems

    Glitches are rampant in the system, with cards not working, gates not working, account balance errors, fare evasion gone wild, and tons more.

    Now, Mayor John Tory has expressed frustration with the system as well, saying it needs to be fixed, fast. 

    He is joining the TTC union in calling on the province to get the program working properly. The union currently represents over 11,000 employees of Toronto's PRESTO-plagued transit system.

    The union and the mayor have endorsed a letter sent to Ontario Premier Doug Ford, demanding "immediate and urgent action," otherwise the TTC may not be able to handle the sudden flood of problems once PRESTO is basically the only payment option for riders. 

    A spokesperson for Tory says getting rid of tickets and tokens can't be forced into existence "until PRESTO is working well on all fronts."

    Whether you love or hate PRESTO, its problems seem to just keep coming. And, it's losing the city money. Hopefully these problems stay in 2018 as we move ahead into the new year, but, they probably won't.   

    For those interesting in voicing their opinion on the matter, a PRESTO / TTC Townhall is taking place December 11 at the Metro Toronto Conventin Centre.


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    Oscars season is fast approaching, which means accolades are starting to file out left and right. 

    There are countless groups and organizations that award film creators for their work. Toronto is home to one such group, the Toronto Film Critics Association

    The group is made up of film critics, journalists, and others in the industry, and awards recognition for directors, films, and actors. 

    This year, the TFCA has awarded the Best Movie to Roma, directed by Alfonso Cuaron, who also won for Best Director. 

    Best Female Lead was awarded to Olivia Colman in The Favourite

    Best Male Lead was awarded to Ethan Hawke, for First Reformed

    Roma is a Netflix original film. It stars Yalitza Aparicio as a nanny for a wealthy family, who deals with a pregnancy and a needy employer who resides in a very different level of Mexico's class status system. 

    Here's the full list of 2018 awards from the TFCA:

    Best Picture
    • Roma
    • Runners-up: Burning and First Reformed

    Best Actor

    Best Actress

    Best Supporting Actor
    • Steven Yuen, Burning
    • Runners-up: Richard E. Grant, Can You Ever Forgive Me?,  Michael B. Jordan, Black Panther

    Best Supporting Actress

    Best Director
    • Alfonso Cuarón, Roma
    • Runners-up: Lee Chang-dong, Burning, Paul Schrader, First Reformed
    Best screenplay
    • Tie: The Favourite by Deborah Davis and Tony McNamara and First Reformed by Paul Schrader 
    • Runner-up: Roma by Alfonso Cuarón
    Best First Feature

    Best Animated Feature

    Best Foreign Language Film
    • Burning
    • Runners-up: Cold War and Roma

    Best Documentary


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    Eating raw cookie dough is one of those nostalgic things people still love to do, despite health experts continually telling us it's a horrible idea. 

    Thankfully, you'll soon be able to ingest that doughy, pre-baked cookie mixture without running the risk of contracting E.Coli at Toronto's first cafe dedicated to cookie dough. 

    ASTA Dough, a new Oakville cafe that serves safe, ready-to-eat cookie dough, has plans to expand to Toronto sometime next year. 

    The cafe offers around 12 different flavours, which they serve in cups. 

    You can get single or double scoops of flavours like peppermint white chocolate, shortbread chocolate chunk, and of course the classic chocolate chip. 

    Right now the Oakville store is only open on weekends, but according to the owners, they hope to open up next year somewhere on Queen West. 

    The brand boasts an organic cookie dough with no artificial colours or flavours, with some vegan options. They also have organic milk and eggnog on the menu for that added homey feel.


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    Holiday gift ideas for the stylish woman on your list should add some fun to your favourite fashionista’s closet. From fun accessories to wardrobe essentials, your gift doesn’t necessarily have to be expensive, but it does have to be fabulous.

    Here are some holiday gift ideas in Toronto for the stylish woman on your list.

    Premium fashion magazine from Soop Soop

    For the person who consumes style, a fashion magazine from Dundas West’s Soop Soop will be the biggest source of inspo. Find rare and artsy publications like Sedition, Ansinth, and Self Service.

    90s sunglasses from CREEPS

    Only the most fashionable of fashionistas can pull off this vintage slim sunnies look from the 90s. Snow glare is a real thing, so grab a pair of the She Sells Seashells from this Chinatown shop for $25. 

    Wool knit sweaters from F as in Frank

    There’s no shortage of cozy knitted gems at this Queen West vintage store. The selection of goods have all been carefully curated for any discerning buyer of pre-loved wears.

    Suede tote bag from Tusk

    A luxurious tote bag from Toronto-based brand Aunt Rae can be found at this contemporary boutique on West Queen West. Handmade from soft, durable suede, these $98 totes are nothing but class.
     

    Cozy crewneck from TVKO

    Who needs Superdry when you have Super Queer! This cute silkscreened crewneck from the queer goods purveyor on Dundas West comes in grey, pink, and black for $45.

    Earrings made from recycled rubber from Made You Look

    Style is the best when it’s sustainable. For the eco-friendly fashion lover in your life, a pair of feather earrings made from bike inner tube rubber costs $25. Head to Parkdale to buy a pair. 

    Fun ribbed tees from Hayley Elsaesser

    For the person who doesn’t shy away from a playful print, grab a tee embroidered with UFOs or eyeballs from one of Toronto’s most eclectic designers, Hayley Elsaesser, on Queen Street. Tees run $66.

    Knitted toque from Frank and Oak Women Studio

    Nailing down the art of the toque is key for anyone who calls Canada home. You can shop the ribbed wool toque and knitted beanies from this Queen West store in all number of colours, starting at $24.50. 

    Sequin boots from The Latest Scoop

    These shiny heeled boots are an ideal look for this holiday season. Head to this store on Ossington to grab a pair of these black sequin boots for $119.95. 

    Costume jewellery rings from Paris Calling

    If your giftee has a penchant for statement rings, a trip to this glam store on Lake Shore West will satisfy any magpie with their collection of over-the-top, bejewelled costume rings. 


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    The best seafood restaurants in Toronto are where to go for oyster platters, seafood towers, bowls of mussels, whole fish and lobster, all best accompanied by a glass of sparkling or cold pint of beer.

    Here are the best seafood restaurants in Toronto.

    4 - Rodney's Oyster House

    Some of the city’s best oysters are served in this dim King West restaurant made up of multiple kitschy, labyrinthine rooms, including one with tanks full of rare seafood.
    7 - Buster's Sea Cove

    This St. Lawrence Market seafood stand pumps out one of Toronto’s favourite lobster rolls, and also does boxes of grilled or fried fish.
    6 - The Chase Fish & Oyster

    This sleek restaurant at Yonge and Temperance provides lots of options outside of seafood that make this place perfect for groups, but raw platters, octopus, lobster and scallops are sure to impress.
    11 - Lbs.

    Caviar, platters of shellfish, fine wine and Pappy Van Winkle are the way to ball out at this Financial District raw bar. Sustainable seafood tasting menus are also available.
    9 - Oyster Boy

    A choice selection of oysters from around the world are expertly shucked behind the wooden bar at this restaurant right next to Trinity Bellwoods, and served raw as well as Rockefeller. Grilled seafood and whole lobster also star.
    3 - Fishman Lobster Clubhouse

    Serving Toronto’s ultimate mountains of Chinese-style lobster in a sprawling dining room full of fish tanks, this epic restaurant is located near Kennedy and Finch.
    5 - Honest Weight

    This cute Junction spot doubles as a fish market. The dining area may be small, but fresh dishes like okonomiyaki, chowder and fish sandwiches pack a wallop.
    10 - Pearl Diver

    Not only does this place do splashy seafood dinners, they also offer fantastic fishy brunches with eggs benny topped with lobster or oysters.
    8 - Diana's Oyster Bar

    Near Warden and Lawrence, this place is known for their lobster rolls, oysters and mussels, all ingredients obtained from the affiliated fish market by the same name next door.

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