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    The best late night poutine in Toronto will satisfy your craving for Canadian comfort food in the wee hours of the morning. Potatoes, gravy, and cheesy—gooey goodness always tastes better when the sun goes down.

    Here is the best late night poutine in Toronto.

    8 - W Burger Bar

    You can get large, gooey servings of classic Quebec-style poutine or fries with Canadian back bacon at this popular night-out eatery at Yonge and College. It's open until 2 a.m. from Thursday to Saturday.
    7 - 7 West

    The first floor of this restaurant on Charles Street is a 24/7 affair. Their thick cut fries are a straightforward, classic poutine, making it a perfect snack when you're craving something cheesy no matter the time of day.
    10 - ASAP City Church St.

    They may be known for sandwiches but this sammies chain with two more stores in <a href="">Scarborough</a> and on <a href="">Church</a> also carries poutine you can order until 2 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.They have a classic version, but the real killer is the ASAPoutine with tandoori and curry.
    3 - Poutini's (King West)

    Open until 3:30 a.m. on weekends, you can head to either of Poutini's locations on King West and <a href="">Queen Street.</a> There's nine delicious, gravy-drenched options for sale from this popular poutine purveyor.
    6 - Lou Dawg's (Gerrard East)

    Only one location remains of this student-friendly spot, making it more of a staple than ever. Located on Gerrard East just steps from Ryerson, this Southern BBQ spot serves its poutine until 4 a.m. daily.
    9 - Jumbo Burgers

    There's nothing like hitting up an old school burger joint to satisfy any type of late night greasy cravings. This classic destination is on Runnymede Road, and you can order their poutine until 2 a.m. every day except Sunday.
    4 - Smoke's Poutinerie (Adelaide)

    It may not be your go-to option during the day, but this poutine chain has several stores scattered across the city and they serve fries well into the night. Head in as late as 4 a.m. for most locations.
    5 - Lakeview Restaurant

    Head to this diner at Dundas and Ossington for a surprisingly delicious menu of poutines like the mix of sweet potato fries 'n' gravy, or the Disco Fries, which are as fun as they sound. You can grab them 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
    11 - Beerbistro

    Probably the most upscale spot to grab poutine on this list, Beerbistro in the Financial District serves a mean bowl of gravied fries. Their fries come with decadent toppings like beef cheek and chicken tenders, which work perfectly with their beers on tap. Eat here until 2 a.m. Thursday to Saturday.

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    Last year's outbreak of VR fever has been contained, it seems, prompting at least one major player in the entertainment industry to do an about-face midgame.

    IMAX has confirmed that it will be shutting down its relatively new, state-of-the-art virtual reality arcade at Toronto's Scotiabank Theatre in early 2019, barely more than a year after opening it in the first place.

    Launched in November of 2017, the IMAX VR Centre was the first of its kind in Canada and one of only four such venues worldwide (after New York, Los Angeles and Shanghai).

    The Mississauga-based cinema tech giant has since launched three more centres... and shut down four.

    Now, with only three locations remaining—one in Toronto, one in Bangkok and one in L.A.—IMAX plans to kill off its VR program entirely.

    "In connection with the company's previously-announced strategic review of its virtual reality pilot initiative, the company has decided to close its remaining VR locations and write-off certain VR content investments," reads an SEC filing uncovered by Variety earlier this week.

    A spokesperson for IMAX confirmed in a statement that all three of its locations would be closing sometime before this spring.

    "With the launch of the IMAX VR centre pilot program our intention was to test a variety of different concepts and locations to determine which approaches work well," reads the statement.

    "After a trial period with VR centres in multiplexes, we have decided to conclude the IMAX VR centre pilot program and close the remaining three locations in Q1 2019."

    IMAX CEO Richard Gelford had alluded to the fact that this might be coming in an earnings call earlier this year, telling investors that "consumer reaction was extremely positive, but the numbers just weren’t there."

    Now remains the question of what Cineplex plans to do with the recently-gutted first floor of its theatre on Richmond Street. Might I suggest a drug store? They're all the rage downtown.

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    Premier Doug Ford is certainly making good on his promise to "cut the fat," as they say, out of Ontario's budget as the province attempts to tackle its whopping $14.5 billion deficit.

    Too bad for all of that muscle, bone, and cartilage getting in the way.

    It's been just shy of six months since Ford's PC government took office, and in that time they've pulled funds from youth pharmacare, the basic income pilot, French-language education, French in generaleducation in general, Toronto in general, and more environmental protection programs than you can shake a fist at.

    Meanwhile, they've launched their own "North Korea-style" news channel and say they're expanding Toronto's subway line to Pickering.

    None of this has gone over particularly well with everybody in the province, nor is it even working. Moody's just downgraded the province of Ontario's credit rating, saying that the Ford government's moves to "reduce revenue levels" will put even more of a strain on our budget in the future.

    This week, the government announced cuts to the Ontario College of Midwives and the Ontario Arts Council's Indigenous Culture Fund.

    The Ontario College of Midwives is the regulatory body that oversees the province's nearly 1,000 registered midwives, who together deliver roughly 15 per cent of all babies in Ontario.

    "The College has been advised that the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care will no longer provide operational grants to the College," reads a statement published by the organization earlier this week.

    "We were also advised that this decision is retroactive to April 1, 2018," the statement continues. "This means that the funding we had anticipated for the current fiscal year [roughly $750,000] will not be received."

    The government also just cut base funding to the Ontario Arts Council by $5 million, with an additional $2.25 worth of cuts to the council's Indigenous Culture Fund.

    That fund, set up in response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada's Calls to Action, was established in 2017 "to support First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities, culture and way of life."

    The Ford government cut base funding to the Ontario Arts Council by $5 million, as well as a $2.25 million cut to the Indigenous Culture Fund (ICF), which commissions projects that "support First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities, culture and way of life."

    "Indigenous youth need every opportunity to learn about and embrace their proud heritage and cultural traditions — opportunities robbed from many of their parents and grandparents through the residential school system," reads a description of the program on the province's own website.

    "The Fund will support cultural activities in Ontario's Indigenous communities, including on-reserve and in urban centres, with the goals of revitalizing cultural practices, raising awareness of the vitality of Indigenous cultures in Ontario and promoting reconciliation."

    Not anymore, I guess.

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    The best gifts are the ones you make yourself and events in Toronto today give you the chance to make a playlist for that special someone at the Holiday Mixtape Exchange. Elsewhere, DJ Skate Nights kicks off with a night of hot Latin hits and Rupi Kaur is here.

    Events you might want to check out:

    DJ Skate Nights (December 15 @ Natrel Rink)
    DJ Skate Nights kicks off a season of free ice skating parties by the waterfront with a night of hot Latin hits at La Rumba Buena.
    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.
    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.
    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 a 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.
    Jennifer Castle and Jeremy Dutcher (December 15 @ The Danforth Music Hall)
    Folk rocker Jennifer Castle and the classically trained singer Jeremy Dutcher are coming together for a night of powerful and uplifting tunes.
    White Christmas (December 15 @ Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema)
    Hot Docs for the Holidays continues with another screening of a festive classic; this time White Christmas. Don't forget to bring a donation!
    Lawrence (December 15 @ Adelaide Hall)
    New York soul pop duo Lawrence has been steadily creating a fresh sound that mixes R&B with funk and rock—all headed by Gracie's cutesy vocals.
    Tuition (December 15 @ Fox Theatre)
    Director Kelvin Omori is set to premiere his new indie film that follows a struggling student and the lengths she'll go to support her education.

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    Winter weekend escapes from Toronto can provide the brief respite required to endure the long, hard season. Not all of us have the time or money to head to the tropics each winter, which is why it's so useful that Ontario is dotted with year round resorts, inns, and cabins that allow weary city folk to take a load off for a few days.

    Here are my picks for the top winter weekend escapes from Toronto.

    Try out a yurt or cabin at a provincial park

    Winter doesn't mean that our provincial parks shut down. One of your best bets for winter camping is a renting a yurt or heated cabin. They're cheap, warm, and there are more of them than you might think. Rustic living doesn't get any more romantic than this.

    Hit up a snow-friendly resort

    Some cottage country resorts close up shop after Thanksgiving, but those with indoor pools, spa services, and great dining options remain sanctuaries of calm throughout the winter months, when you can focus on pure relaxation beside a fire or over an amazing meal.

    Strap on your skis

    The ultimate winter pastime still serves as one of the best getaways from Toronto, with many resorts offering full-service ski experiences from mid-December through March. Blue Mountain is the biggest, but Hockley Valley, Horseshoe, and Hidden Valley also make great weekend destinations.

    Stay at a country inn

    I don't know about you, but my favourite winter getaways involve plenty of time curled up reading with a glass bottle of wine. Let the weather outside howl while enjoying the comforts of a historic or nouveaux inn outside of the city in small-town-Ontario.

    Warm up at a spa

    Hitting the spa is relaxing any time of year, but steam rooms and hot tubs take on an otherworldly quality in the dead of winter. The most alluring near Toronto is probably the indoor-outdoor experience at Scandinave, but others like Ste. Anne's are also prime unwinding zones.

    Head to the Falls

    Niagara tourism thins out a bit in the winter, which lets you soak up the kitsch of the place without all the tourists. Hotel rooms are cheaper, it's easier to get reservations at the few decent restaurants, and wine tastings even run year-round at major producers. Bonus: the falls actually look even more majestic when surrounded by ice.

    Sequester yourself in a log cabin

    Two words: wood fire. Nothing matches the ambiance of a constantly-lit fireplace or wood burning oven at the centre of a secluded cabin in the northern wilderness. You can snowshoe and cross country ski by day, and lounge by the fire at night. Winter perfection.

    Escape to a winter wonderland near the city

    The quaint lakeside town of Cobourg gets all dressed up for the holidays each year, but even when the hard months of winter set in, places like the Breakers and the Woodlawn Inn offer romantic cold weather getaways that won't break the bank.

    Try your hand at ice climbing

    The Elora Gorge and Hamilton's waterfalls are some of the most popular summer day trips and weekend getaways from Toronto, but adventurous spirits know that the fun continues through winter with ice climbing at Tiffany Falls and Elora from the folks behind One Axe Pursuits.

    Plan the ultimate skating trip

    The Rideau Canal is the premier skating destination in this country, so head to Ottawa for a winter-themed weekend. While there, make sure to soak up the rest of the sights in Canada's gorgeous capital city as well.

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    Vintage postcards in Toronto offer a glimpse of how the city saw itself at moments of time. 

    Some of the buildings will look familiar despite a change in occupant or use— like, for instance, the former Toronto General Hospital, which is now part of the MaRs Discovery District on College at University or the former Toronto Normal school, whose facade has been preserved as the entrance to Ryerson's Recreation and Athletics centre.

    As they offer a vignette of history in the city, postcards can also preserve an image of Toronto, frozen in time.

    Here are some vintage postcards from Toronto's past. 

    Toronto Armouries Postcard

    The Armouries, in 1905. 

    Toronto Harbour Postcard

    Boats docked at Toronto's Harbourfront, 1905.

    Old Toronto Postcard

    A view east on Carlton, with the streetcar in view, 1907.

    Old Toronto Postcard/></p><p>1908<br /><img src=

    A skyline shot of Old City Hall, 1907.

    Old Toronto postcard

    The intersection of Broadview and Gerrard, 1908.

    Old Toronto Postcard

    A boat arriving at the Harbourfront from Niagara, 1908.

    Old toronto postcard

    Houses along Jarvis, 1909.

    Knox College toronto

    A shot of Knox College, now part of U of T, 1909.

    Old Toronto Postcard

    The Normal School, now part of Ryerson, 1909.

    Old Toronto postcard

    The Asylum, now CAMH, 1910.

    Lost Toronto postcard

    A very different Yonge and Bloor, 1910.

    Lost Toronto postcard

    A view of Adelaide Street, 1910.

    Lost Toronto postcard

    The Grand Union Hotel on Front, 1911.

    Old Union Station Toronto

    A very different looking Union Station in 1913.

    Old Toronto Postcard

    Spadina Avenue in 1914.

    former Eaton Centre

    A view of City Hall and the Eaton Centre, 1920.

    UTS schools

    University of Toronto, 1920.

    Old Toronto Postcard

    Another glimpse at the old streetcars, 1923.

    Old Toronto Postcard

    Toronto General Hospital, 1924.

    vintage toronto postcard

    The CNE featuring a livestock competition, 1925.

    Palais Royale

    An old nightclub/dance hall, 1926.

    Maple Leaf Gardens 1931

    The Maple Leafs at the beginning of a game, 1929.

    Old Toronto Skyline

    A skyline showing a Toronto without the CN Tower, 1943.

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    The best places to buy unique gifts in Toronto carry items you won't find anywhere else in the city. From quirky sweaters to delightful homeware imported from Portugal, these thoughtful gifts will trump any present bought from a big box store. 

    Here are the best places to buy unique gifts in Toronto.

    5 - Drake General Store

    There's no shortage of odd and gift-worthy items for sale at this three-storey design store on West Queen West. Shop onesies, cute cheeseboards, neon flamingos and Lego brick alarms.
    4 - Spacing Store

    Located at on the ground floor of the 401 Richmond building, this store is perfect for those with a love for architecture and design. Spacing is overflowing with locally-sourced books and interesting paraphernalia that celebrate all things Toronto.
    9 - TKVO

    This queer gift shop on Dundas West carries stuff by predominantly LGBTQ+ artisans and designers.Find cool graphic sweaters and longsleeves, candles with Grace Jones' and RuPaul's faces on them and ins of hot studs on them.
    10 - Spruce

    Home decor for the fashion-forward can be found at this warm little boutique in Cabbagetown. They stock an assortment of fun vintage items, a lot of cannabis accessories, and cool drinking glasses and decanters for your bar.
    11 - Saudade

    Bringing Portuguese brands and designs to Little Portugal, this accessory store on Dundas West offers wool blankets unlike anything you'll find elsewhere in the city (they're from Central Portugal after all), jewellery, handmade plates, and mugs that will brighten up any home.
    3 - Cocktail Emporium

    This store with locations in Kensington and West Queen West sells everything drink and cocktail related. Find an abundance of playful knick knacks and tools—from bitters to absinthe fountains— that are perfect for anyone who likes to shake up a good cocktail in style.
    7 - Easy Tiger

    There's no shortage of incredible items to peruse at this Dundas West store. It's all a hodgepodge of strange stock that range from multi-coloured pyramid candles to large vases with grid patterns on them, with a good mix of accessories for both men and women.
    8 - Curiosa

    If you know someone who's always dreamed of going to Hogwarts, look no further than this store in Parkdale that deals in all things Harry Potter. Buy a Hogwarts crest patch to iron onto your wizards robe, perhaps, or an infinity scarf with the Marauder's Map on it.
    6 - Kid Icarus

    This screen print studio in Kensington specializes in papers and stationery. Discover DIY kits, fun prints, notebooks designed by local artists and other items that are prefect for the arts and crafts enthusiasts in your life.

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    Restaurant and retails chains that came to Toronto in 2018 made their first foray into the city to much fanfare. Whether it was bringing the hottest food trend to the city or new locations for giant fashion brands, there was no shortage of firsts in TDot this year. 

    Here's a roundup of restaurant and retail chains that came to Toronto in 2018.


    The Filipino version of McDs finally landed with its first ever Toronto location in August. Massive lines of Jolli Chicken devotees formed outside the Scarborough store on opening day. Same goes for their second spot in Seafood City


    Putting all Cinnabons to shame, this vegan cinnamon bun chain hit Toronto in late summer with a triple whammy. The first opened in Promenade Mall, and other stores on the Danforth and Steeles followed suite. 

    Cauldron Ice Cream

    This ice cream parlour from California is the source of all those rose shaped ice cream egg waffles you’ve seen on Instagram. They opened their location on Queen West in August. 


    Watermelon stuffed with soft serve was all the rage this summer when the Korean dessert chain opened its second-ever Canadian location at Yonge and Eglinton. 


    Originally hailing from Vancouver, this Chinatown cafe gave Toronto a taste of its famous Malaysian caramel coffee buns, with buns shipped straight from Malaysia.

    new stores toronto

    The popular Indian chain Bawarchi Biryanis opened its first Toronto location on Warden. Photo by Hector Vasquez.

    Dal Moro's

    Italian in a to go box: it seems so simple, but apparently no one has really done it before, or at least not like this popular chain from Venice. Their location at Yonge and Wellesley serves up gnocchi and rigatoni in Chinese-style takeout boxes.

    Meet Fresh

    This Taiwanese dessert chain opened up over 600 locations worldwide before finally venturing to Toronto. Taro balls and grassy jelly can now be found by Yonge and Sheppard.

    Taiyaki NYC

    Taiyaki (the fish-shaped cakes from Japan) were all the rage this year, so it was no better time for this New York ice cream spot to arrive by Yonge and Dundas last month.

    Farm Boy

    From a tiny market in Cornwall to a massive grocery chain with over 20 locations, it was a big deal when this 20,000 square-foot wonderland of produce and food opened on Brown's Line. 


    The number of Miniso's range in the thousands worldwide. Finally this explosion of the world's best known Chinese dollar store brand has hit the Eaton Centre, and apparently there's hundreds more planned across the country.

    new stores tooronto

    All the desserts are made of purple yams at this Korean cafe in Yorkville. Photo by Hector Vasquez.


    Based in Tel Aviv, this beauty store chain opened its first Toronto location at CF Sherway Gardens in the summer, adding yet another store to its list of over 120 stores in Istrael, the States and Japan.

    Nordstrom Rack

    This epic monster of a store is the largest location of the retail giant in all of Canada. The discount Nordstrom offshoot at Yonge and Bloor is a whopping 38,600 square feet.

    Kenneth Cole

    Replacing the Rudsak on Queen West, this is the first standalone store of the longtime men's and women's wear brand based in New York City.


    You can now buy a pair of Onitsuka Tigers at the massive standalone store of this iconic Japanese footwear brand, located near Queen and Spadina.

    Chicken in the Kitchen

    Never before has this popular Korean fried chicken chain ventured outside of Korea—that is, until now. Its first international location is now open right at Finch station. 

    new stores toronto

    After opening thousands of locations worldwide, Chinese dollar store Miniso has finally opened a store in the Eaton Centre. Photo by Hector Vasquez.

    Cafe Bora

    It's all purple everything at Care Bora, a Korean dessert chain that specializes in all-natural treats made from fleshy purple yams. Find the store in Yorkville.

    Wu Jian Dao

    Head to McNicoll Avenue for the first newly opened international location of this Chinese brand that doles out juicy Shanghai-style dumplings. 

    Amausaan Uji Matcha

    If you love matcha, you'll love this sleek cafe in Chinatown, where the entire menu consists of matcha treats. This the largest cafe of the entire brand, though it's most popular location might still be in Indonesia.

    Za Pizza Bistro

    You can build your own pizza before it goes straight into the wood-fired oven at this new restaurant in the Entertainment District. Giving Blaze and Pi Co a run for its money, this chain hails from Winnipeg.

    Call A Chicken

    There's plenty of fried chicken in the city, but none serving entire chickens as their main offering. That's where this Chinese chain comes in, with its first international location now open on Queen West.

    new stores toronto

    Halifax donair pizzas come by way of East Coast chain Jessy's Pizza. Photo by Jesse Milns.

    Jessy's Pizza 

    The Maritimes has arrived in the 6ix in all its East Coast glory. This Nova Scotian chain brings its amazing donair pizza and eggs rolls to the Roncy Village.

    Hey Sugar

    Bubble tea lovers rejoiced when this Chinese chain boasting health-focused boba opened its first Toronto location on Yonge just south of Finch. Tapioca balls are all handmade and all the fruit is fresh.

    Cuppa Tea

    North America now has its first location of this global cafe chain, which specializes in Hong Kong-style milk tea. Find the cafe at on Carlton.

    Bawarachi Biryanis

    Forty American locations later, this Indian chain has opened a restaurant in a massive space on Warden Avenue, where it offers over 30 biryani options on its menu. 

    Ramen Misoya 

    Torontonians can officially dine at this restaurant, which offers ramen with miso soup bases for a healthier, tastier meal. The new store is located on West Queen West. 

    Dessert Kitchen

    Soft serve, waffles, and Taiwanese-style shaved ice are all for sale at this Hong Kong-based chain's first Toronto location, which you can find in Harbord Village.

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    Bars in Leslieville and Riverside offer those east of the river somewhere to wet their whistles. Boasting live music, taxidermy, all-Ontario wines and even spaces hidden behind church-themed gift shops, each bar in this neighbourhood has something special of its own.

    Here are my picks for the top bars in Leslieville and Riverside.

    Jasper Dandy 

    Live music and late night comforts like spaghetti and wings are what you’ll find at this new unfussy bar at Broadview and Queen.


    One of the city’s best burgers and happy hour deals on cocktails and oysters reign at this quirky bar filled with taxidermy near Broadview on Queen.

    Vatican Gift Shop 

    Pizza and drinks can be sought out behind a storefront masquerading as a church gift shop at Gerrard and Jones.


    Right at Queen and Leslie, trivia and movies are the two major activities at this fun bar.


    This simple hangout near Queen and Leslie is named for the bartender from The Shining, and serves simple late night snacks like patty sandwiches.

    The Rooftop at the Broadview Hotel

    The hotel at Broadview and Queen that famously transformed a strip club is now one of the city’s classiest places to pop bottles, with a ground floor restaurant and cafe bar, plus a bar on the roof as well.


    Near Broadview on Queen, a chill atmosphere with twinkly lights and a good craft beer selection make this a great place to unwind in the neighbourhood.

    I’ll Be Seeing You 

    Broadview and Queen has this colourful hang space with Caesars, soft pretzels, and Connect Four.


    Asian snacks dominate at this bar with a name influenced by a Weezer album, just west of Gerrard and Jones.

    Poor Romeo

    Beefy American bar fare like shrimp cocktail, oysters and burgers are what’s on the menu at this Gerrard and Jones spot.

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    Michelle Obama is coming to Toronto, but unless you’re Sophie Gregoire Trudeau, you might have a slim chance of ever catching a glimpse of her.

    Tickets went on sale this morning for the Toronto chapter of Michelle Obama’s tour supporting her new book, Becoming.

    Unfortunately it was a familiar story as with most big events in town, prospective ticket buyers frustrated by long wait times, glitches and an overall mobbed system.

    Michelle Obama fans in Toronto are already practically begging her to add another date in addition to her May 4 appearance at Scotiabank Arena. 

    Tickets that went on sale at 10 a.m. on Saturday apparently sold out in seconds. Advance text codes and special fan verification processes seemed to do no good, bogged down with technical issues.

    Another obstacle in the way of those wishing to be enlightened by Michelle Obama’s illustrious presence is sheer cost. Toronto is no stranger to sky-high ticket prices in the hundreds or thousands of dollars, but tickets to this event are wildly expensive.

    Some fans that can’t see the former first lady in person are consoling themselves with the fact that at least if they can’t go, others can...and of course, that there’s always YouTube.

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    Oh, you thought it was gonna be a chill Sunday? Not with EDM duo DVBBS throwing it down as part of Winter Rush. Venus Fest is hosting its first women and non-binary arts market and Creed Bratton from The Office is here to perform.

    Events you might want to check out:

    Winter Rush (December 16 @ Rebel)
    Catch a big showcase of artists, with performances by DVBBS, blackbear, Murda Beatz and DJ Danny D.
    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.
    Garrison Holiday Flea (December 16 @ Garrison)
    Back again is the holiday version of this flea/day party featuring local makers, food and drink specials and even a photobooth with Santa.
    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.
    Batman Returns (December 16 @ The Royal Cinema)
    A drunken screening of this questionable classic is on with a star-studded cast accompanied by drag, drunken festivities and debauchery.
    The Goodtimes Die Hard for Christmas (December 16 @ Revival Bar)
    It's the 30th anniversary of Christmas classic Die Hard and The Goodtimes comedy troupe are honouring the film with a festive comedy showcase.
    Toronto R&B Sounds (December 16 @ Nightowl)
    Just in time for the holidays is a round of up-and-coming and established R&B singers, straight out of Toronto's thriving scene.
    Invisible City Pop Up Record Show (December 16 @ Invisible City Record Shop)
    Vinyl for you and yours and lots of it is going down at this curated record fair just in time for the holidays.
    December Rijsttafel (December 16 @ Borrel)
    Dutch-Indonesian food and lots of it are on at this monthly feast, with a rice table filled with different kinds of traditional flavours, meats and veggies.
    A Christmas Story (December 16 @ Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema)
    Hot Docs for the Holidays continues today with a free screening of the classic Christmas film featuring little Ralphie. Don't forget to bring a donation!

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    Free events in Toronto this week mark the opening of The Bentway's signature figure-eight skating trail under the Gardiner. The Kensington Winter Solstice looks to celebrate the longest day of the year and there's free axe throwing, films and skating parties to be had.

    Events you might want to check out:

    National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (December 17 @ Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema)
    Hot Docs for the Holidays continues with a free screening of this classic goofball Christmas comedy. Don't forget to bring a donation!
    Free Axe Throwing (December 17 @ Multiple Venues)
    Try your hand at axe throwing free of charge this week as BATL hosts its open house at both the Villiers and Dupont Streets locations.
    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.
    DJ Skate Nights (December 22 @ Natrel Rink)
    Dance, twist, slide and shimmy it out on the ice to all the hottest funk, hip-hop, R&B and house courtesy of 1 LOVE T.O's DJ Dlux.

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    Unusual indoor activities in Toronto will take you out of your comfort zone. Instead of spending your day scrolling through the 'New Releases' section on Netflix, head to one of these facilities to try something a little more engaging than a 10-hour Stranger Things marathon.

    Here's a round-up of unusual indoor activities you can do in Toronto.

    Knife throwing

    If you're preparing for a zombie apocalypse, knife throwing is a skill you'll want to hone. The TKTO facility will test your precision skills, as the goal is to have your dagger hit a tiny target. You can also BYOB.

    Indoor skydiving

    So, you don't have the guts to free-fall from an actual airplane? Completely understandable—me either. But iFLY Toronto has got you covered. The facility has a 45-foot tall tube where you can experience the thrills of plummeting from the sky, minus all the potential hazards.

    archery district

    Preparing for battle at Archery District. Photo by Jesse Milns.

    Archery tag

    Toronto is home to a surprising number of archery tag facilities like Archery District, Archers Arena and Battle Sports. Many of these are reminiscent of the Hunger Games, with massive playing spaces where you can engage in some face-to-face combat.

    Fly a jumbo jet

    Chances are, you won't be taking the pilot's seat anytime soon, but Threshold Aviation offers the next best thing. If you want to try totally different, head over and test your skills in a simulator inside a real cockpit from a scrapped Boeing 737-500.


    Ditch the elliptical and check out Surfset. Surf boards are placed on stability balls, making balancing the primary task of this exercise. There's a number of classes you can take at the facility, none of which involve donning a neoprene wetsuit.

    Go Karting

    Taking to the track against your friends with a go-kart is one of the most classic competitive activities. Dominate the competition, and even celebrate with a real racing podium at K1 Speed, with a huge track that can accommodate you and your best frienemies.

    Dragon Boat indoor paddling

    Want to gain a some upper body strength but find weights intimidating? Try indoor dragon boat racing. Afterburn Fitness flaunts a specially designed pool outfitted with built-in boats where you can practice paddling against a current.

    Real archery

    If you consider archery tag to be amateur hour, swap in your padded arrows for the real deal. Hart House and Shawn's Archery will help you master the art of the sport through target practice and lessons. If you fall in love, memberships and monthly sessions are available.


    BATL brought axe throwing to the masses in Toronto. Photo by Jesse Milns.

    Axe throwing

    Nothing says stereotypical Canadian like drinking a tall can in your finest plaid flannel and wielding an axe. Embrace your inner lumberjack and head to Bad Axe or BATL for some target practice.

    Mountain biking

    You won't find anything like the Joyride 150 course in your average fitness centre. The facility offers jumps and a hilly terrain for you to practice on (think skatepark, but for bikes). There are even foam pits that offer safe landing sites while practicing new stunts.

    Medieval martial arts

    Live your childhood dream of being a Medieval Times knight at Fighting Arts Collective instead of signing up for Muay Thai. Classes here will give you the chance to sample armed, unarmed, armoured and unarmoured combat.

    bubble soccer toronto

    AT Bubble Soccer is a good place to feel like a kid again. Photo by Hector Vasquez.

    Bubble Soccer

    Bubble soccer is the epitome of a low-risk sport. Players slide into giant plastic bubbles before engaging in a hilarious combination of human bumper cars and a soccer match. If you want to get in on the action, check out AT Bubble Scoccer facility just outside of Toronto.

    Target range

    In case axes or knife throwing don't do it, maybe firing off an automatic air-gun rifle might. Stryke in Brampton offers all three options, plus archery and snack bar; all of which would make for a memorable time. There is also a smaller location in Regent Park.

    axis freestyle

    You can snowboard without the snow at Axis Freestyle. Photo by Jesse Milns.

    Skiing and Snowboarding

    Not everyone can make it out to Blue Mountain, so Axis Freestyle Academy has set up the next best thing. The park lets you experience the thrill of skiing and snowboarding in a warm, dry setting. Best of all, it even has a massive trampoline zone for some added fun.

    Obstacle course

    Sometimes finding the motivation to exercise is hard, which is why obstacle courses make for a great fitness option. Pursuit OCR has a big course that consists of almost two dozen different obstacles to keep things interesting and make for the ultimate gym experience.

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    Although the decade does pre-date the rise of the Toronto's first modern skyscrapers (the TD Centre wasn't built until the late 1960s) and the building and population booms of the 1970s, the 50s will be forever remembered in Toronto as the decade when we finally got the subway.

    As a result of this massive construction project, there's actually a wealth of photographs from the period available via the Toronto Archives.

    While many of these feature subway building as their main subject matter, there's plenty else going on in the photos. One thing of note, everything looks so clean!

    Here's how Toronto looked in the 1950s.


    Toronto 1950s

    Construction on King Street.

    Toronto 1950s

    Building the subway.


    Toronto 1950s

    The Davisville Yards. 


    Toronto 1950s

    Subway cars being offloaded from a shipment.

    Toronto 1950s

    A subway car with an engineer. 

    Toronto 1950s

    The Flame restaurant and old car.


    Toronto 1950s

    A collection booth at Dundas Station.

    Toronto 1950s

    The interior of an old subway car.

    Toronto 1950s

    A crowd attending the official opening of the subway line.


    Toronto 1950s

    The Letros Tavern.


    Toronto 1950s

    A police car. Photo by pjs_deceased.


    Toronto 1950s

    A boat with a very different-looking skyline. Photo by pjs_deceased.

    Toronto 1950s

    Cars lining the streets in the Annex.


    Toronto 1950s

    Red Path Sugar factory being built. Photo from the Red Path archives. 

    Toronto 1950s

    Davenport Road, looking west. 

    Toronto 1950s

    The Maple Leafs versus the Blackhawks. Photo by pjs_deceased.


    Toronto 1950s

    Another very different-looking skyline.

    Toronto 1950s

    The Gardiner streaking across the city.

    Toronto 1950s

    An old postcard of the Beaches.

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    New restaurants in the Financial District offer a chance to splash out on the go. On York, Richmond, and even in the PATH itself, it’s still possible to find gourmet options like vegan tostadas, Roman-style pizza, gnocchi, fried chicken, margaritas and beer in this high-powered Toronto neighbourhood.

    Here are my picks for the top new restaurants in the Financial District. 

    Fabbrica in the PATH

    Grab-and-go options plus quick takeout specials like meaty sandwiches and vegan pasta from this commuter-friendly outpost of Mark McEwan’s Italian restaurant bring gourmet flair to picking up quick lunches and dinners. 


    Vegan Mexican is now available on Richmond from this sophisticated restaurant from Grant van Gameren and others doing tostadas, veggie burgers and mocktails. 

    Assembly Chef’s Hall

    This year Toronto welcomed this sprawling upscale food court to the Richmond-Adelaide Centre that gathers some of the city’s favourites, including stalls from Cherry Street Bar-B-Que, Love Chix, Khao San Road and Dailo. Plus, there’s coffee and booze. 

    Walrus Pub

    Beer, oysters and salads are on the menu at this newly opened tavern that brings some lightness to the typical after-work spot with pretty decor. Bonus: there’s a ping pong bar in the basement. 

    Drake Mini Bar

    Mocktails and creative small plates set apart yet another expansion of the Drake empire, this location within an office tower on York.

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    The best consignment stores in Toronto are where to exchange, resell, and hunt for pre-loved pieces. If you’re on the hunt for designer brands, chances are you’ll find some fashionable items at marked down prices.

    Here are the best consignment stores in Toronto.

    3 - VSP Consignment

    This Dundas West boutique doesn’t look like your usual consignment store. It’s way cleaner, with a curated stock of designer vintage and consigned pieces that makes it way easier to find gems.
    6 - Designer Exchange

    Upscale brands like Prada and Tiffany’s are for sale at this Etobicoke store on Wendover Road. They specialize in accessories and women’s clothing for the budget-conscious fashionista.
    7 - Consign Toronto

    Friendly for all budgets and all tastes, this consignment store on West Queen West isn’t limited to luxury brands, though it does carry its share of well-known designers like Prada and Michael Kors.
    8 - Coco's Closet

    Not unlike the Chanel brand itself, glamourous workwear is the main focus at this Baby Point store. There’s other selection here too, but elegant heels, handbags and belts are really the main draw here.
    5 - Fashionably Yours

    There’s tons of one-of-a-kind items at this Queen West store. Find brands like Gucci, Manolo Blahnik and Christian Lacroix at significantly lower costs than usual retail price.
    11 - My Dream Closet

    Céline, Hermes, and red bottoms are available at this consignment store for those hunting for high-end brands on a budget. Shop the luxury items on the South Kingsway by Sunnyside beach.
    9 - Rerun

    Head to the second floor of the Chinatown Centre for this hypebeast hub selling high-end street wear pieces from brands like Supreme and Bape. Jordans are aplenty here, and certified authentic, says the store.
    10 - Off the Cuff Designer Menswear

    Bape watches, jackets from Off-White, and OVO sweaters are stocked at this Yonge and Eglinton consignment store. It’s not all menswear stuff anymore, so women can shop clothes and purses here too.
    4 - Common Sort Parkdale

    This vintage store has locations in Riverside, the Annex and Parkdale. The selection is always clean, with clothes and accessories that feel nearly new.

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    Events in Toronto this week aren't ready to slow down for the holidays just yet as a big beer festival, Harry Potter party and performance by Mumford & Sons are all on. Fashion Santa is throwing a big Christmas party and there's lots of free stuff happening, as well.

    Events you might want to check out:

    Alternative Film Festival (December 17 @ Studios)
    A curated selection of six alternative films is screening for free during the winter edition of this festival featuring popcorn and drinks.
    Mumford & Sons (December 18 @ Scotiabank Arena)
    Garb your nicest fedora and freshest plaid shirt because the stars of the modern folk rock movement are packing the seats for two nights this month.
    Parts & Labour Closing Party (December 19 @ Parts & Labour)
    Parkdale favourite is closing its doors after ten years and going out with a bang that includes performances by Metz and Teenanger.
    The Yule Ball (December 20 @ The Phoenix Concert Theatre)
    Break out your freshest robes for this Harry Potter party that will see the Phoenix transformed into the Great Hall and a night of wizarding fun.
    Counterparts (December 20 @ The Opera House)
    From Hamilton's vibrant music scene comes punk rockers Counterparts to play alongside Harm's Way, Like Pacific, END, Bearings and more.
    Born Ruffians (December 20 @ The Danforth Music Hall)
    The small town Ontario indie rockers with a big sound are in town to play their hits alongside garage rocker Luna Li and Posey.
    Best F(r)iends (December 21 @ The Royal Cinema)
    A one-night only screenings of Tommy Wiseau's newest work, Best F(r)iends volumes 1 and 2, is on, while co-star Greg Sestero stops by for a chat.
    Vegan Christmas Potluck (December 21 @ Ralph Thornton Community Centre)
    Gather your best vegan goodies and festive outfit for this huge potluck with a focus on cruelty-free food with a warm community.
    Addams Family Christmas Bazaar (December 21-22 @ 334 Dundas St W)
    Local odd crafts, fashion and other accessories. Food and drinks will also be offered in addition to a Christmas in Halloween theme.
    12 Beers of Christmas (December 22 @ Gladstone Hotel)
    Grab your signature ugly sweater and a brewskis, ale or sour and drink to all the things that make the holidays so special at this annual beer festival.
    Fucked Up (December 22 @ The Opera House)
    Toronto's own punk rockers continue to put the city's scene on the map, and they're playing alongside Metz Witch Prophet, Joel Eel and Sydanie.
    Etsy Street Team Christmas Marketplace (December 22 @ Church of St. Stephen in-the-Fields)
    There's still time to shop local this holiday as Etsy makers from across the city gather for a day of handmade goodies, snacks and lots more.
    Black Christmas (December 22 @ TIFF Bell Lightbox)
    All the Christmas cheer of any classic combined with all the cheer of a horror thriller makes up director Bob Clark's Toronto-shot Black Christmas.
    Home Alone Quote-Along (December 23 @ Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema)
    All the fishy animals are coming out for this Christmas quote-along to this holiday favourite featuring a perpetually stunned MaCaulay Culkin.
    Fashion Santa’s Not So Silent Night (December 23 @ 192 Adelaide St W)
    Fashion Santa is back for the holidays but not at Yorkdale. This time he's throwing huge bash of his own with tunes, drinks, a fashion show and more.

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    We're now just eight days out from what some people consider the most important holiday of the year, and—unlike the actual most important holiday of the year, Halloween—a lot is riding on what the ground will look like come Christmas morning.

    If the weather plays out as forecast right now, we'll likely see a lot of brown around these parts.

    Weather Network meteorologist Dr. Dough Gillham warned Canadians in a blog post this morning that "millions are in jeopardy" when it comes to getting a white Christmas this year.

    Southern Ontario currently has little to no snow on the ground thanks to mild temperatures hovering across the region and, aside from the potential of "a few flurries" on December 24, Toronto isn't expected to see any white stuff until at least New Year's eve.

    Rain is expected on Friday, but with a high of 5C, it's more likely to wash out any existing snow than add more millimetres to what's already there.

    white christmas 2018 toronto

    The last half of December is shaping up to be quite mild in Toronto, unlike the atypically dark and cold November the city just experienced. Image via the Weather Network.

    "Even the Ottawa area is in jeopardy of losing their snow at the end of the week," notes Gilham. But not all hope is lost, for those who really care about whether or not it snows on Christmas.

    "Colder weather (near seasonal) is expected for the final days leading up to Christmas," Gilham continues. "Leaving the door open to the potential for a well-timed system that could deliver a coating of snow to parts of this region just in time for Christmas."

    Historically speaking, Toronto has a roughly 50 per cent chance of seeing snow on Christmas Day.

    Should we get any of it this year, it won't be very much—less than a centimetre, according to the Weather Network—but anything's better than rain, am I right?

    Santa isn't known for his muddy duds.

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    This week on DineSafe we learn that, not one, but two Toronto spots were closed down by health inspectors. A popular Chinese bakery and a pho restaurant each got red carded. 

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

    Ding Dong Pastries and Cafe (321 Spadina Ave.)
    • Inspected on: December 10, 2018
    • Inspection finding: Red (Closed)
    • Number of infractions: 4 (Minor: 1, Significant: 2, Crucial: 1)
    • Crucial infractions include: Food premise maintained in manner permitting health hazard.
    Mabel's (323 Roncesvalles Ave.)
    • Inspected on: December 10, 2018
    • Inspection finding: Yellow (Conditional)
    • Number of infractions: 3 (Minor: 1, Significant: 2)
    • Crucial infractions include: N/A
    Starbucks (1 Queen St. East)
    • Inspected on: December 10, 2018
    • Inspection finding: Yellow (Conditional)
    • Number of infractions: 2 (Minor: 1, Significant: 1)
    • Crucial infractions include: N/A
    Batl (1245 Dupont St.)
    • Inspected on: December 11, 2018
    • Inspection finding: Yellow (Conditional)
    • Number of infractions: 1 (Significant: 1)
    • Crucial infractions include: N/A
    Osmow's (790 Military Rd.)
    • Inspected on: December 11, 2018
    • Inspection finding: Yellow (Conditional)
    • Number of infractions: 4 (Minor: 1, Significant: 2, Crucial: 1)
    • Crucial infractions include: Failed to ensure food handler in food premise washes hands as necessary to prevent contamination of food.
    Pamier Kabob (119 Spadina Ave.)
    • Inspected on: December 11, 2018
    • Inspection finding: Yellow (Conditional)
    • Number of infractions: 3 (Minor: 1, Significant: 2)
    • Crucial infractions include: N/A
    Cibo (522 King St. West)
    • Inspected on: December 12, 2018
    • Inspection finding: Yellow (Conditional)
    • Number of infractions: 9 (Minor: 2, Significant: 5, Crucial: 2)
    • Crucial infractions include: Stored potentially hazardous foods at internal temperature between 4°C and 60°C and failed to ensure food handler in food premise refrains from conduct that could result in contamination of food.
    The Emmet Ray (924 College St.)
    • Inspected on: December 12, 2018
    • Inspection finding: Yellow (Conditional)
    • Number of infractions: 2 (Significant: 2)
    • Crucial infractions include: N/A
    Lakeview Restaurant (1132 Dundas St. West)
    • Inspected on: December 12, 2018
    • Inspection finding: Yellow (Conditional)
    • Number of infractions: 5 (Minor: 3, Significant: 2)
    • Crucial infractions include: N/A
    McDonald's (4808 Yonge St.)
    • Inspected on: December 12, 2018
    • Inspection finding: Yellow (Conditional)
    • Number of infractions: 1 (Significant: 1)
    • Crucial infractions include: N/A
    Pho Orchid (124 Chesnut St.)
    • Inspected on: December 12, 2018
    • Inspection finding: Red (Closed)
    • Number of infractions: 9 (Minor: 3, Significant: 4, Crucial: 2)
    • Crucial infractions include: Stored potentially hazardous foods at internal temperature between 4°C and 60°C and food premise maintained in manner permitting health hazard
    Universal Grill (1071 Shaw St.)
    • Inspected on: December 12, 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.
    The Fry (524 Bloor St. East)
    • Inspected on: December 13, 2018
    • Inspection finding: Yellow (Conditional)
    • Number of infractions: 9 (Minor: 1, Significant: 6, Crucial: 2)
    • Crucial infractions include: Failed to protect food from contamination or adulteration and stored potentially hazardous foods at internal temperature between 4°C and 60°C.
    Nord Bistro (406 Dupont St.)
    • Inspected on: December 13, 2018
    • Inspection finding: Yellow (Conditional)
    • Number of infractions: 8 (Minor: 3, Significant: 4, Crucial: 1)
    • Crucial infractions include: Failed to protect food from contamination or adulteration.
    Tim Hortons (1681 Lake Shore Blvd. East)
    • Inspected on: December 13, 2018
    • Inspection finding: Yellow (Conditional)
    • Number of infractions: 5 (Minor: 1, Significant: 3, Crucial: 1)
    • Crucial infractions include: Food premise maintained in manner to permit contamination of single-service containers.
    The Mod Club (722 College St.)
    • Inspected on: December 15, 2018
    • Inspection finding: Yellow (Conditional)
    • Number of infractions: 2 (Minor: 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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    New pizzas in Toronto seem to be topped with just about anything these days, from vegan buffalo wings to chili jelly, donair meat to squash, pesto to...dare I say it...pineapple! There are no rules when it comes to pizza in Toronto so you might as well have fun with it at these newly-opened spots.

    Here are my picks for the top new pizza in Toronto.

    Big Trouble

    Pizzas from this tiny spot in Chinatown have imaginative toppings like truffle-infused ricotta, butter, jam, a variety of fancy mushrooms and lemon zest. 

    Virtuous Pie

    Pizzas at this 100% vegan joint in Little Italy come on three-day dough with toppings like buffalo cauliflower, squash, and vegan versions of cheddar and white sauces.


    Halifax-style pizza has a new home in Toronto on Dundas West for pies topped with donair meat.


    Food Dudes came out with this pizza concept housed in a little pink building in Leslieville this year, made-to-order pies topped with scratch “red” (tomato) or “blonde” sauce.


    Calabrian-style pizzas topped with honey and olives are now available on Queen West from this restaurant.

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