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    0 0

    If you've got beef with Toronto's public transit system now, just wait until it falls into the hands of Doug Ford's provincial government.

    You know, the same government that recently rolled sex-ed back by 20 years, slashed Toronto City Council in half, scrapped major environmental protections, froze minimum wage, launched its own propaganda network and lost a $125,000 lawsuit to Tesla? Among other things? That one.

    Ontario transportation minister Jeff Yurek announced while doing the morning showcircuit on Thursday that the Progressive Conservatives are officially moving forward in their quest to take over TTC subways.

    New legislation will be introduced this spring to "upload" Toronto's subway system to the province, according to Yurek, and while he doesn't have a timeline for how long the transfer of power will take, he says that negotiations with the city are well underway.

    Hundreds of advocates, academics, politicians and concerned citizens have spoken out against the proposed takeover since Ford was elected in June, warning that such a move could prove disastrous

    I mean, the guy seriously wants to expand Toronto's already resource-starved subway system out into the suburbs despite already dangerous levels of overcrowding.

    Supporters of the plan, like Yurek, say the province will do a better job than the city and that uploading the TTC would benefit the entire province.

    To be clear, Ontario only wants to take over planning, building and maintenance of the subway system. The TTC itself would continue to manage day-to-day operations and collect revenue from fares.

    Regardless of what happens, it looks like citizens will be kept in the dark until a decision is made.

    Not that it matters.

    A confidential report obtained by The Star last month revealed that Ontario has "the legal authority to unilaterally take over the TTC subway system without offering the city as much as a cent in compensation."

    In other words, Toronto is powerless against the provincial government—even when it comes to matters that impact the city exclusively, directly, and for long after Ford's tenure as Premier.


    0 0

    Weekends events in Toronto are full of exciting things to get you out and about despite the cold. A new cult film festival kicks off at the Royal and beauty vlogger James Charles is here. Folks are stripping down for the annual No Pants Subway Ride and A$AP Rocky is set to perform.

    Events you might want to check out:

    A$AP Rocky (January 11 @ Coca-Cola Coliseum)
    Coming hot off of testing, it's been a good year for rapper A$AP Rocky, and he's bringing his Injured Generation tour here for the night.
    Up All Night Fest (January 11-13 @ The Royal Cinema)
    The first ever All Night Fest kicks off with four screenings of films that have amassed their own cult followings from big-name directors.
    DJ Skate Nights (January 12 @ Natrel Rink)
    Shimmy, shake and do the Hustle on ice this Saturday as Beam Me Up DJ Diana McNally spins all the best disco, funk, soul, boogie, jazz and more.
    James Charles (January 12 @ Square One Shopping Centre)
    Sisters, rejoice! Beauty vlogger James Charles is dropping by makeup brand Morphe's new Square One location for an in-person meet and greet.
    No Pants Subway Ride (January 13 @ TTC)
    Strip it down and hop on at Improv Everywhere's annual No Pants Subway Ride happening alongside pants-less subway rides all over the world.
    Fake Shark (January 11 @ Radio)
    Fast-paced Canadian pop-electro rockers are ready to rip as they arrive with an energetic sound played alongside Texas King and Huttch.
    The Princess Bride (January 11-13 @ Cinesphere)
    A classic love story is on when a farmboy-turned-pirate goes on the hunt for his lost love, encountering lots of wild characters along the way.
    Magnolia (January 13-25 @ TIFF Bell Lightbox)
    Paul Thomas Anderson's intertwining tale of folks living out their lives in California is screening as part of TIFF's series on movies from 1999.
    Monowhales (January 11 @ Bovine Sex Club)
    Toronto's own indie rocks are staying late to play alongside an eclectic mix of pals including Copper Crown, Outer Rooms and Dylan Hennessy.
    Fade Awaays (January 12 @ Horseshoe Tavern)
    Another homegrown talent, Fade Away have been making a name for themselves on the garage rock and are to to release their new EP "Taste of Life".
    Afro Haus (January 11 @ Revival)
    All the newest and hottest beats out of Sub-Saharan Africa and her diaspora are on with a night of soca, afrobeats, dancehall, kuduro and lots more.
    Pulp (January 12 @ The Delisle Space)
    Paper and lots of it will adorn the halls of this party space as Pulp hosts a paper art party with art, live music and dancing, all for a good cause.
    ABBA Dance Party (January 12 @ Mod Club)
    You are the dancing queen at this ABBA dance party celebrating all the best classic pop and disco, new remixes and today's hits playing all night.
    Bowie vs. Prince Video Dance Party (January 12 @ Remix Lounge)
    It's rock and pop versus funk and soul as DJ Laraus plays all the best tunes and videos by two super-charged sex symbols that changed music forever.
    The Vintage Patch Pop-Up (January 10-20 @ The Vintage Patch)
    Back by popular demand, the Vintage Patch is offering up thousands of authentic and vintage patches ready for your jacket, hat, backpack or jeans.
    The Trinity Bellwoods Flea (January 13 @ The Great Hall)
    Pick yourself up some post-holiday treats with local creators coming together to sell lifestyle, home, art, food and lots more to help kick off the new year.

    0 0

    A strain of influenza that's particularly hard on young adults is starting to causing a ruckus for the first time in years, say public health officials, as temperatures drop and everyone heads indoors to breathe each other's germs.

    H1N1 is the strain in question. You may remember it as the "swine flu" from back in 2009, when it killed at least 428 people in Canada.

    The federal government's FluWatch surveillance program shows a total of 13,766 lab-confirmed cases across the country this season to date as of December 28, 99 per cent of them classified as "influenza A viruses." Of that 99 per cent, 94 per cent of cases involve the H1N1 virus.

    Unlike the strains of flu we've been seeing over the past few years (mostly H3N2, which hits older adults hardest), swine flu tends to affect more individuals under the age of 45.

    Children and young adults are particularly at risk, according to the Public Health Agency of Canada, which says the number of kids admitted to hospital with influenza this season so far is twice as high as it was last year at this time.

    And we haven't even seen the worst of it yet, if doctors are right about when the flu will peak this time around.

    Canada's Chief Public Health Officer, Dr. Theresa Tam, said this week that "influenza season is in full swing" with rates of the viral disease continuing to rise in most parts of the country.

    toronto flu m ap

    The public health agency of Kingston, Frontenac and Lennox and Addington tracks flu severity status across Ontario based on reports from 97 per cent of hospitals across the province. Image via KFLA Public Health.

    Toronto, specifically, is showing an "elevated" level of influenza-like-illnesses based on hospital reports. In nearby York Region, such activity is currently considered "high."

    Fortunately, it's never too late to get a flu shot (and start washing your hands more often).

    Those concerned about the virus should note that flu shots are still available and completely free at most pharmacies, walk-in clinics and doctor's office in the province. All you need is an OHIP card and like, 10 minutes to spare.

    It's better than seven to 10 days of fever, coughing, headache, chills and whatever other lovely symptoms the invading viruses bring out in human beings, but that's just my opinion. Talk to your doctor for advice or call up Telehealth whenever.


    0 0

    Who said Tim Hortons doesn't treat its employees well?

    Sure, front-line workers no longer have paid breaks or full health benefits in light of last year's minimum wage increase, but look at this sweet new corporate office atop what used to be the TSX trading floor!

    tim hortons office

    Canada's own coffee giant announced on Thursday that it had officially moved its headquarters into a 65,000-square-foot space in the Exchange Tower at 130 King Street West in downtown Toronto.

    The new head office was "designed to celebrate Tim Hortons' Canadian roots," according to the company, and it certainly shows.

    tim hortons new office

    Architecture and design firm Gensler decorated the two-level open concept space with "iconic Canadian symbols" throughout.

    tim hortons new office

    The office has 20 different coffee and tea stations at the ready, as well as a large staff café, an outdoor terrace and a new state-of-the-art test kitchen.

    tim hortons new office"The office is decorated with imagery of original Tim Hortons coffee shops and of Tim Horton himself to remind everyone of the brand's humble and unique origins," reads a release from the company, which reported an 87 per cent rise in profits this past August.

    "Employees can also enjoy time on the private outdoor patio decked out with Muskoka chairs while being fully immersed in the energy of Toronto's bustling urban core."

    Nice.


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    While the cold weather has officially arrived, events in Toronto today have lots happening to get you ready for the into the weekend. A$AP Rocky is here and there's dance party in support of Wet’suwet’en Access Point. A new cult film festival, burlesque show and more are on, as well.

    Events you might want to check out:

    A$AP Rocky (January 11 @ Coca-Cola Coliseum)
    Coming hot off of Testing, it's been a good year for rapper A$AP Rocky, and he's bringing his Injured Generation tour here for the night.
    Queer Dance Party Fundraiser for Wet’suwet’en Access Point (January 11 @ Unit 2)
    Dance it out as local DJs gather to rise funds for Wet’suwet’en Access Point during this 2QTIBPOC get-down with food, drinks and an auction.
    Paul Jacobs (January 11 @ Horseshoe Tavern)
    Part of the Class of 2019 concert series, Montreal's Paul Jacobs is performing alongside Komodo, Mother Tongues, Pacer and Blankscreen.
    Fake Shark (January 11 @ Radio)
    Fast-paced Canadian pop-electro rockers are ready to rip as they arrive with an energetic sound played alongside Texas King and Huttch.
    Sines of Life (January 11 @ Round)
    Intergalactic vibes are on deck as Planet Fabulous hosts a multi-sensory prey with DJs, live performances and a late-night pie eating session.
    Rage (January 11 @ Buddies in Bad Times)
    It's a ladies night in every sense as Les Femmes Fatales is back with the first show of the new year, featuring burlesque and performance art.
    Monowhales (January 11 @ Bovine Sex Club)
    Toronto's own indie rocks are staying late to play alongside an eclectic mix of pals including Copper Crown, Outer Rooms and Dylan Hennessy.
    Up All Night Fest (January 11-13 @ The Royal Cinema)
    The first ever All Night Fest kicks off with four screenings of films that have amassed their own cult followings from big-name directors.
    The Princess Bride (January 11-13 @ Cinesphere)
    A classic love story is on when a farmboy-turned-pirate goes on the hunt for his lost love, encountering lots of wild characters along the way.
    Fight Club (January 11-31 @ TIFF Bell Lightbox)
    Part of a series of movies from 1999, Fight Club is screening in all its bloody, sweaty, soap-burning, hot mess cathartic glory.

    0 0

    Durham Region is a fairly big place, and it's growing rapidly. Spread over 8 municipalities, with a population of just under 650,000, Durham Region is projected to hit one million people by 2031.

    Just east of Toronto, and with ties to the Greenbelt, Durham Region has plenty of access to water with Lake Ontario to the south, Lake Scugog to the East and Lake Simcoe to the north. In between, there are stretches of farmland, the Trail Capital of Canada (Uxbridge) an abundance of places to eat, drink and shop, and loads of fun activities.

    Here is how you can spend 48 hours in Durham Region.

    Transit

    You have some options when it comes to getting around. The GO train will get you from Union Station to Pickering in less than 40 minutes, but you can ride the rails all the way to Oshawa, and the GO buses aren't a bad option if you’re without a car.

    Plus, there is the trusty Durham Region Transit system, and you can use your Presto card. That said, if you have your own vehicle, that will save you time, and Uber is widely available too.

    Accommodation

    Of course, you'll need a place to stay, and there are many options depending on what you’re into. For something unique beyond Airbnb and the chain hotels, check into The Hive Bed and Breakfast.

    The Hive is actually two charming buildings, the "bee and bee" and The Hive Centre, which is a beautiful historic church. Both properties are located on 18 acres of serene forest complete with a whimsical winding stream.

    Saturday
    8:00 a.m. - Breakfast at Angelique's

    You look hungry, and it's early! Thankfully, Angelique's Family Restaurant serves up quality dishes, and doesn't skimp on the portions. Serving breakfast, brunch and lunch in Ajax for the past 15 years, Angelique's is worth the wait (because there may be a line).

    11:00 a.m. - Enjoy some outdoor fun at Lakeridge Resort

    If the weather permits, head north, and hit the slopes at Lakeridge Resort, in the heart of the Oak Ridges Moraine. Enjoy the great outdoors with some skiing, snowboarding, or tubing.

    Lakeridge has great trails too, so if the weather is warm, you can go for a brisk nature walk, or mountain bike ride.

    4:00 p.m. - Pop into Hy-Hope Farm for some homemade pies and tarts

    I mean, if you prefer tobogganing over tubing, Hy-Hope Farm has a variety of hills to hurl yourself down, however it is BYOT+H (bring your own toboggan and helmet). 

    At the very least, grab yourself a fresh-baked apple or red currant pie, or a dozen flaky butter tarts made from scratch.

    6:00 p.m. - Dinner, drinks and dancing at hotspots old and new

    You'll probably want to head back to the bed and breakfast to freshen up after an afternoon of tubing, but after that it's time for a night on the town (of Pickering)!

    For something new, head to Chúuk. It's a beautiful space, serving Mexican-inspired dishes. Try the fish or hummus tacos, and wash it down with cocktails made with fresh-pressed juices or enjoy sipping on a smoky mezcal (they have quite the selection). Plus, Chúuk hosts Latin Fridays if you feel like dancing.

    For something old, head up the street to Liverpool John's. Formerly Liverpool Arms Inn, the historic mansion, built in 1878, has had several different owners over the years, but originally it was a popular stop along the highway for those travelling between Toronto and Kingston.

    Now, it’s a fun, multi-level venue that has managed to maintain its old timey charm. There is plenty of beer on tap, drink specials, pub grub, TVs for watching sports, and pool tables.

    Check their calendar because Liverpool John’s hosts comedy nights, live bands, and there are weekly DJ nights and a dance floor that, I myself, have torn up on occasion.

    Sunday
    10 a.m. - Coffee at Jolie Café

    After a night of cocktails and cutting a rug, you will probably need to start your day with a strong cup of coffee. Jolie Café is run by two local women with a passion for community building and baking.

    The coffee here is from local father/son-run Trebilcock Coffee Roasters.

    11:00 a.m. - Shop at the largest multicultural market in Canada

    Assuming that you're visiting Durham Region on the weekend, you have got to spend some time at the Pickering Markets. With over 500 vendors, this flea market sells everything you could possibly want, and there are great bargains to boot.

    From art, to clothing, to jewellery, to electronics, the markets also have an amazing selection of collectibles, like retro Nintendo games, action figures, and sports memorabilia.

    There is a massive antique market, and liquidation warehouse. Plus, make sure you stop by the food court for a slice of Star's Pizza or a fruit smoothie from Loi Le.

    1:00 p.m. - Beer and a board game at Brew Wizards

    Brew Wizards Board Game Cafe in downtown Oshawa isn't just a great place to play Code Names or Harry Potter Trivial Pursuit, they have sixteen rotating taps, fair trade coffee and small bites too.

    2:30 p.m. - Go back in time at the Robert McLaughlin Gallery in Oshawa

    This is Durham Region’s largest gallery, and if you want to give your wallet a rest, admission is free. At any given time, you can catch some really cool Canadian modern and contemporary exhibits.

    Plus, part of their permanent collection is the Thomas Bouckley Collection, comprised of over 3,000 historical photographs of Oshawa and Durham Region, spanning over 100 years.

    6:00 p.m. - Support local, and enjoy a fancy dinner in Whitby

    Think of this as a choose-your-own-adventure, Durham Region Edition. Since things are spread out, where you decide to eat may depend on what you have planned for the night.

    For dinner, Chef Kevin Brown is the man behind KB Food in Whitby, which boasts a market driven menu featuring local and sustainable ingredients. Go for the oysters, stay for the butternut squash mac n’ cheese. 

    You could also try Whitby's Bistro '67. This new restaurant features field-to-fork dining, with meals prepared by skilled chefs and students from Durham College’s award-winning W. Galen Weston Centre for Food.

    They also have unique cocktails, and creative non-alcoholic options.

    7:30 p.m. - Game night

    If the home team is in town, you could catch an Oshawa Generals game at the Tribute Communities Centre. They may not have Bobby Orr, Eric Lindros or John Tavares anymore, but they are still very exciting to watch.

    Or, hit up Consumers Drive in Whitby for a different kind of game night. This area has got tons of activities whether you're a thrill-seeker, or just looking for a little friendly competition.

    There’s glow-in-the-dark mini putt, laser tag, indoor skydiving, or if you are ready to just sit back and relax, take in a flick at Landmark Cinemas.

    11 p.m. - Nightcap at "The Tap"

    Tap and Tankard is a great place to meet people, or catch up with friends. It’s also a fun spot to end your night. The Tap often hosts live bands, and has great beer on tap.

    Monday
    10:00 a.m. - Before you go…

    Pop by Samosa Hut in Ajax grab a dozen of their signature samosas, stuffed with chilli chicken or spinach and sweet cream cheese. You’ll thank me. 


    0 0

    Bad news, commuters. The TTC is warning of slower subways in the morning for a few weeks. 

    TTC spokesperson Stuart Green posted to Twitter today that trains have a "go-slow" order in place until January 24 between Union and King. The service delays are also listed on the TTC's website.

    The transit commission is apparently replacing 1,000 feet of screechy rails that cause a horrible headache as their trains take the corner. 

    The slow-downs could affect trips as far north as St. Clair West, according to Green.

    The screeching around curves is a problem the TTC has been trying to address for some time. The "squeal" is caused by a few things, such as sudden temperature changes, but curves in the track are particularly bad. Lubricators are applied and changed regularly, but it seems a heavier solution is necessary. 

    And yes, regular weekend closures will still be in effect. So, plan ahead. 


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  • 01/11/19--06:46: The Best New Bars in Toronto
  • The best new bars in Toronto are not only some of the hottest new hangouts, they’re also some of the most colourful, quirkiest and weirdest. Where else but Toronto can you get butterbeer, venison poutine, play video games and find pizza behind a gift shop or dumplings up a dark staircase? 

    Here are the best new bars in Toronto. 

    10 - Open House

    A Nashville hot chicken stand doles out eats that go great with the craft beer found at this Bloordale bar, previously home to <a href="https://www.blogto.com/restaurants/the-steady-toronto/">The Steady</a>.
    5 - The Jim

    This Bloordale craft beer bar that took over the <a href="https://www.blogto.com/bars/orchard-toronto/">Orchard</a> space now serves pub snacks like tacos, wings, venison poutine and beyond meat burgers.
    3 - Petty Cash

    The minds behind great bars like <a href="https://www.blogto.com/restaurants/baro-toronto/">Baro</a> and <a href="https://www.blogto.com/restaurants/home-of-the-brave-toronto/">Home of the Brave</a> came together to create this ultimate party spot at King and Portland complete with burgers and a pool table.
    4 - Storm Crow Manor Toronto

    A Victorian mansion in Church Wellesley Village is now home to Toronto’s self-proclaimed nerdiest bar, with drinks, eats and rooms themed around Star Trek, The Shining, Twin Peaks, Harry Potter and more.
    8 - Big Trouble Bar

    Plates of dumplings and bottles of baijiu keep the party going at this bar that opened above the <a href="https://www.blogto.com/restaurants/sichuan-ren-dundas-toronto/">Sichuan Ren</a> in Chinatown this year.
    9 - Paradise Grapevine

    Greek restaurant Menalon turning into a wine bar in Bloorcourt was arguably this year’s biggest metamorphosis.
    6 - Tilt

    This arcade bar reopened with a vengeance on Dundas West after <a href="https://www.blogto.com/hotels/the-annex-hotel-toronto/">Annex Hotel</a> took over its former space, and still offers unlimited play for a flat cover on over 50 games.
    7 - Vatican Gift Shop

    Pizza and gothic vibes can now be found at this speakeasy-style bar in the Gerrones area.
    11 - Henrietta Lane

    Mocktails, cafe fare and booze are all on deck at this cozy new Corktown watering hole.

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    The most influential woman in the world thinks Toronto is pretty neat. 

    Neat enough, at least, to let the editors of her eponymous magazine deem our city one of the best places to visit during the winter months.

    Yes, Oprah Magazine just joined National Geographic and Travel + Leisure as one of many international publications to recently highlight The 6ix as a prime vacation destination.

    Coming in at spot number 15 out of 19 on O's list, Toronto is described in the winter getaways feature as "a superb spot for foodies."

    "Put a liquid blanket on at the Toronto Winter Brewfest in early March," recommends the popular magazine. "Plus, 200 restaurants are participating in Toronto's major food event, Winterlicious."

    "History buffs can spend some time exploring The Royal Ontario Museum, which has over six million artifacts devoted to Canadian and world history," it continues. "Also, check out the CN Tower, which defines Toronto’s skyline."

    A little basic, to be sure, and most locals would contend that Toronto is a way better city to visit when it doesn't hurt your face to go outside, but hey... we're not Her Royal Highness Queen Oprah Winfrey.

    Here's the complete list:

    1. Martinique
    2. Miami Beach
    3. Sea Island, Georgia
    4. Costa Rica
    5. Breckenridge, Colorado
    6. Big Sky, Montana
    7. Chicago
    8. Puerto Rico
    9. Tuscany
    10. Nassau, Bahamas
    11. Annecy, France
    12. Maui, Hawaii
    13. Park City, Utah
    14. Yountville, California
    15. Toronto
    16. Iceland
    17. Carlsbad, California
    18. Baltimore
    19. Belize

    0 0

    Giorgio Mammoliti has always been one to grab headlines, and it seems his recent crushing election loss hasn't stopped that. 

    The controversial longtime councillor of Ward 7 was always one to spark conversation, from his harsh words on various sensitive topics, unpopular policy proposals, and all-around buffoonery

    Mammoliti had taken a hard stance against drug use, from his fierce opposition to safe injection sites to his request that cannabis-using councillors be subjected to mandatory drug tests—not to mention his staunch opposition against cannabis legalization.  

    Now, it seems, he's had a change of heart. Ol' Giorgio has been hired by a cannabis lobbying group, Green Growth Brand, as "Director of Government Relations."

    The new job title was posted to Mammo's LinkedIn page earlier this week, where he is now listed as "Director at GGB." 

    Many were quick to point out that it's an odd choice, perhaps even hypocritical, given his previous stances on such subjects.

    Others were downright angry at the company for hiring someone they believe to be a shady character. 

    "I wasn't aware of your company until I read that this is the new sty he will be wallowing in. I will never buy any of your products," read one tweet

    Members of the popular r/weedstocks subreddit are encouraging others to sell their shares in Green Growth Brands, citing "I don't want my money anywhere near this Ford fellating slimeball," and "terrible move by GGB."

    As Green Growth Brands is in the middle of trying to buy large cannabis producers and open their own dispensaries, it'll be interesting to see how today's cannabis retailer lottery plays out.

    Will Mammo's old connections with the province work out? Only time will tell. 


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    The newest location of beloved local organic grocery chain Farm Boy is opening soon at the corner of Lake Shore and Leslie.

    At over 20,000 square feet, this marks the 28th outpost for the brand. Opening on January 31, a grand opening event on February 2 will have lots of free samples plus free face painting and an appearance by mascot Lulu the cow for kids.

    Known for its huge range of products and grab-and-go items prepared fresh in store, this location will have a 36-foot salad and hot bar, sushi, flatbread pizza, roasts cut to order, over 400 cheeses and 15 types of scratch-made soup.

    Like the Etobicoke location, there will also be a sit-down area with WiFi.

    In business since 1981, Farm Boy is slowing becoming Ontario’s answer to Trader Joe’s, though similar chains like Organic Garage are putting up competition. Toronto is starting to have a few great options for organic grocery shopping, and it's great.


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    With huge floor-to-ceiling windows, panoramic views and luxurious touches throughout, it’s hard not to find this place shockingly beautiful, but equally shockingly expensive.88 davenport road toronto

    Selling for $4.6 million this place is one of the more expensive condos in a city where $1 million condos are standard.

    88 davenport road torontoThe unit is open plan, spacious and filled with natural light. The living room is stunning with unobstructed views of the city.

    88 davenport road torontoThe kitchen is sleek and modern with marble counters and custom cabinetry.

    88 davenport road torontoI love the built-in bookshelves in the living room and dining room, which are a dream come true for any avid bookworm.

    88 davenport road torontoThe master bedroom is large with custom built closets, a spacious en suite and a walk-out balcony. You know, standard stuff for luxury condos. 88 davenport road toronto

    The Essentials
    • Address: #1803 – 88 Davenport Road
    • Type: Condo
    • Bedrooms: 3
    • Bathrooms: 3
    • Size: 2,500–2,749 square feet
    • Realtor: Royal LePage / J & D Division, Brokerage
    • Hit the market at: $4,784,500
    • Sold for: $4,600,00088 davenport road toronto
    Why it sold for what it did?

    This condo is in a luxury apartment building in Yorkville, has three parking spaces, and a private wine cellar. 

    88 davenport road toronto

    Was it worth it?

    With this place you’re kind of paying more for the premium condo building than the actual apartment. So if you take away all the frills it’s still a nice condo but I don’t think it’s $4.6 million nice.88 davenport road toronto


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    Somali restaurants in Toronto serve up delicious cuisine from this particular country in the Horn of Africa. Somalia’s cuisine draws from a handful of different influences, and the city’s top eateries (mostly in Rexdale) serve all the favourites, from goat rice platters to spaghetti and sides of sambusa, with mango smoothies to sip on.

    Here are my picks for the top Somali restaurants in Toronto.

    Xawaash

    Born from a food blog of Somali recipes, this restaurant on Queen’s Plate Drive is by far the most popular Somali spot in the city. It’s casual takeout here but the menu offers standout meals of shawarma, kofta, and muufo platters with beef suqaar.

    Hamdi

    Sitting right on Rexdale Boulevard, this low-key plaza eatery delivers in the halal meat department with T-bone steaks, chicken stews and roasted goat on beds of rice. And in terms of mango juice, Hamdi’s beverage consistency is up at the top.

    Mushkaki

    Just a bit further west on Rexdale is Mushkaki, a fun burger joint which also does Somali dishes like beef kata kata, T-bone steaks and plates of tomato sauce pasta. Pair a cheesy burger with their mango shake: it’s the combo you never knew you needed until now.

    Sahan

    The service is praiseworthy at this restaurant in Wexford, and portions are probably the biggest of all the options on this list. Grab a steak or some goat ribs and your meal will come with Somali tea, soup, and a glass of mango or grapefruit juice—what a deal.

    Istar

    Aside from the fact it’s open 24 hours (that’s an automatic win), this bustling spot on Dixon Road is always stocked with spicy sambusas and beef stew soor. Plus their meals usually come with with bread or a banana (or both), which is a pretty great custom when you’re hungry.


    0 0

    Food events in Toronto this week are ready to warm you up with lots of beer, wine and cocktails. Eat your heart out at a traditional Somali buffet or Singaporean Hawker food market while looking forward to a mini cask festival and the opening of Farm Boy's second location.

    Events you might want to check out:

    Boozy Bingo (January 11 @ Creeds Coffee Bar on Dupont)
    Get your favourite blotter ready for a night of drinks and bingo at this big coffee bar with free entry and lots of prizes to be won.
    Sidebar One Year Anniversary (January 12 @ Sidebar)
    Sidebar is ready to celebrate one year of serving up dinner, drinks and a show with just that: a night of good food, music specials and giveaways.
    Bootcamp and Beer (January 13 @ People's Pint)
    Hit the floor at this boot camp-style workout session followed by a well-earned pint and brunch by Grandmama's Waffles.
    Raising a Glass to Hemingway (January 13 @ Famous Last Words)
    Everyone knows Hemingway loved his drink and this hands-on cocktail class looks to explore different styles and spirits, plus a little Hems history.
    Raclette Party (January 14 @ Coq of the Walk)
    Cheese, cheese and more cheese is on at this traditional French dinner with melted cheese poured from the wheel over charcuterie and potatoes.
    Winemaker's Tasting (January 14 @ CHCA Wine Lab)
    Canadian winemaker Paul Pender is on hand to take you on a tour of wines from the Niagara Escarpment and around Ontario wine country.
    Beer and Cheese Pairing (January 14 @ Left Field Brewery)
    Beer and cheese are not your typical pairing, yet here we are with The Pantry's Jeremy Lago on hand to help open up a whole new world of snacking.
    Somali Cuisine Buffet and Market (January 15 @ 555 Dundas St E)
    Traditional Somali food is on with a huge buffet stacked with all the sabayad, lahoh, xalwo and sambuusa there is, plus a local makers market.
    Singapore Hawker Market (January 15-16 @ Assembly Chef's Hall)
    Like those Hawker food markets found in Singapore, Chef Nick Liu recreates the taste with a communal dinner with pork, chicken, crab, jackfruit and more.
    Small Ball Mini Cask Fest (January 19 @ Left Field Brewery)
    Back again is this all-day mini cask festival to warm you up with ten casks, food by Dover Boys Fish and Chips and special glassware. Admission is free!
    Farm Boy Grand Opening (February 2 @ Farm Boy)
    Local produce is about to get closer to the downtown core as Farm Boy opens its second location with a day of celebrations including a visit from Lulu the Cow.
    Caribbean Street Food Festival (March 16 @ Ralph Thornton Community Centre)
    The taste and smell of the Caribbean comes this winter with a day of traditional Caribbean goodies in the style of street eats found around the islands.
    Pancakes and Booze Art Show (April 6 @ Revival)
    Art and pancakes come together for a huge party featuring tons of artwork by local artists, music, craft beer, activities and lots and lots of pancakes.

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    Train platforms at Union Station have been utterly chaotic this week thanks to some GO Transit schedule tweaks that give 905ers a taste of what it feels like to ride Line 1 or the King streetcar every day.

    The problem became glaringly apparent on Monday, when the new schedule came into effect, as passengers waited in long, rowdy lines to board the Kitchener GO Transit line at rush hour.

    Riders have been complaining of dangerous overcrowding conditions every evening since then, prompting Metrolinx to announce on Friday morning that two more trains would be added to the busy 5:02 p.m westbound train from Union.

    What commuters want, however, is for the provincially-owned transit agency to bring back an express route it just dropped.

    Prior to Monday, weekday commuters were able to board a Brampton-bound express train every night at 4:50 p.m. That train was dropped to accommodate the addition of another train on the line servicing Kitchener, Guelph, Acton, Georgetown and Mount Pleasant.

    The absence of the express train has led to hundreds of commuters fighting for spots on the trains running directly before and afterwards.

    "We had to change some of the existing times of the express trains, change a few things here and there with the schedule," said Metrolinx spokesperson Anne Marie Aikins in an interview on Thursday.

    "We anticipated that it would cause some difficulties for some customers, but I think we didn't anticipate just how much it would," she said. "We are working very, very hard and as fast as we can to put some fixes in place."

    Ontario transit Minister Jeff Yurek, who acknowledged the flood of complaints on social media earlier this week, said in a statement last night that GO Transit would "be adding additional cars starting Monday while continuing to evaluate options to further reduce congestion."

    GO Transit Kitchener published a statement via its own Twitter account Friday morning, confirming that more cars would soon be added.

    "The afternoon GO Train from Union will be extended from a 10-car train to a 12 car train," it reads.

    Regular passengers aren't convinced, however, that this will do much to help the situation.

    "How about going back to the previous schedules?" asked one rider on Twitter in response to GO Transit. "The new ones are horrible, did you even consult your passengers in the first place?"

    "Please explain by adding 300 seat to 5:02 train how will that help me pick up my kids before 6:00 pm from Mt Pleasant?" wrote another. "Oh yeah you have the 4:35 pm stuffed with entire Brampton. PLEASE GENUINELY LISTEN BRING THE 4:50 EXPRESS BACK."


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    There are always a decent number of restaurants up for sale in Toronto, and in that bunch there are usually a couple gems and surprises. Only time will tell whether these iconic spots will be taken to the next level or changed completely.

    Here are some restaurants in Toronto that are for sale right now.

    LaVinia

    This Spanish small plates restaurant in Etobicoke is renting for $3400 and selling for $275,000.

    The One That Got Away

    This popular fish and chips restaurant at busy King and Portland is selling for $129,000.

    Imm Thai

    Newly renovated with an asking price of $199,000, this Thai restaurant in Little Italy is looking for a buyer.

    Bacon Nation/Canadian Breakfast Bar 

    This shrine to bacon and breakfast is up for grabs for $149,000 and comes with a coveted Kensington patio.

    Toronto Grill

    This business near Osgoode station may have just recently turned over, but it’s already looking for someone to transform it again with an asking price of $199,000.

    Gazi Meze Bar

    This spacious lounge is perfect for events but often stood empty: maybe for $149,000 a new owner could make it into the Danforth’s next hotspot.

    Field Trip Cafe

    This licensed side street cafe in Bloorcourt is always packed, has a patio, and is right across from the new Paradise on Bloor, making it worth the $229,000 price tag.

    Bombay Street Food

    This breezy restaurant near Bay and Wellesley has a rent of $17,889 all in and a price of $299,000.

    Kiza

    With two floors each with their own bar, a stage, full kitchen, and no noise restrictions, the sale of this spot could spark the start of something new and exciting at Queen and Parliament.

    Wilder 

    This Keele Street cafe that supplied the area with healthy breakfasts and coffee is selling for $118,000.


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    It's been nearly five years since the City of Toronto started testing out bike lanes on Richmond and Adelaide Streets, and it's safe to say that the east-west cycle tracks have been well received.

    The number of people using the busiest sections of these lanes (between Bathurst and University, roughly) has increased by a whopping 1,194 per cent since they were installed in 2014, with more than 6,100 new people commuting via bike on both Adelaide and Richmond every day.

    What would those cyclists do without this crucial downtown thoroughfare? City staffers don't want to have to find out.

    A report set to go before the city's Infrastructure and Environment Committee next Thursday recommends that the Richmond-Adelaide bike lanes, as well as those connected to them on Simcoe and Peter, become permanent installations.

    Your see, despite their crushing success, the cycle tracks are still only the result of a pilot project.

    The General Manager of Transportation Services notes in his report that 93 per cent of people surveyed about the project either agreed or strongly agreed that the cycle tracks should be made permanent.

    Thus, he recommends that this happen, with one major modification: the cycle track running along from Bathurst Street to Parliament Street should be moved from the south side of the street to the north side.

    It's an idea that's been proposed before and makes quite a bit of sense when you read about why a left-side lane would be more appropriate along this stretch of road.

    Should the Infrastructure and Environment Committee vote to move ahead with making the Richmond-Adelaide cycle bike lane permanent on January 17, the matter will move forward for City Council's final say on January 31.


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    If you're looking for a spot to swing your racket this summer, look no further than the lush hills by the Humber River, where a new outdoor tennis club is springing up out of the ashes of four 45-year-old courts.

    Edenbridge Tennis Club is set to open in Etobicoke's James Gardens Park this summer, taking over the grounds of the former James Gardens Tennis Club.

    The old club, which had operated for years, closed in April 2018 to the discontent of many former members. 

    According to ex-members who now comprise the committee of Edenbridge Tennis Club, James Gardens closed "as a direct result of what can only be described as an inept club administration." 

    "Over the course of a 25 year period, there was little to no investment made into the club facilities or courts, virtually no programming and absolutely no marketing of any kind," says Edenbridge's website. 

    The new club hopes to be more organized, and appears to have all its t's crossed when it comes to permits, an online member portal, and plans for a junior club. 

    Edenbridge is currently taking memberships: according to the site, there's 83 members signed up already.


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    The top new fitness clubs in Toronto have found a compelling way to distinguish themselves from the rest. Whether it’s through new muscle training technology or clubs that span over 90,000 square feet, there’s a new spot for everyone.

    Here are my picks for the top new fitness clubs in Toronto

    BOLO

    Bolo, which stands for BodyLove, is a one-stop fitness space near Queen and Spadina that combines a gym, coffee, lounge and salon into one place. If you want to perfect your boxing punch, then Bolo is the spot for you. Afterward, sip on a delicious smoothie.

    Ten X Toronto

    Ten X is a new luxury sports club which focuses on the four indoor Deco Turf tennis courts and nine squash courts. As part of Hotel X Toronto on the Exhibition Grounds, the luxury sports club is the largest hotel facility in Canada.

    Go Go Muscle Training

    This boutique gym in Yorkville specializes in Electronic Muscle Stimulation, a 20-minute workout where you’re suited up and connected to a machine that basically zaps you. It’s a quick, unique and effective way to shape your body.

    Lotus Fitness

    A new Muay Thai on Dufferin Street near Queen, Lotus Fitness focuses on strengthening kickboxing and Muay Thai techniques. The gym also offers 45-minute HIIT functional classes with bodyweight exercises using kettlebells, slam balls and battle ropes.

    Core Concepts

    A boutique gym in Forest Hill Village, Core’s signature “transcoremation” is one intense workout. The workout focuses on strengthening the core by switching between sets on the treadmill and HIIT exercises on the floor.


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    Thieves continue to forget this week that most public establishments have video surveillance systems, and that their owners won't hesitate to blast your mug all over the internet if you steal from them.

    The Fat Bastard Burrito on Bloor Street East near Sherbourne is the most recent in a growing line of restaurants, bars and cafes to catch someone on camera stealing computer equipment.

    Owner Nida Ali says that a man entered her fast-casual restaurant at 366 Bloor Street East on Sunday, November 11, between 1 and 2 p.m. to buy a pop.

    Staff didn't think much of it when the man hung up his coat and sat down to drink the beverage, so they went about their work in an otherwise empty store.

    As video footage she shared with us shows, the man paced back and forth in front of the counter at length during his time inside the business. Employees can't be seen in the video, but Ali says they were within eyeshot of the man while cleaning and prepping food at the back of the open-concept space.

    "He took a few rounds to judge if the staff was busy enough for him to have a chance for this action," she says. "And then he went to put on his jacket and took all the tablets."

    The man can be seen on camera shoving three iPads into his coat before walking out the door. Ali says Fat Bastard uses tablets to get pick up orders from third party delivery services like Uber Eats and Foodora

    A police report was filed, but like the woman who had her laptop stolen at Future Bistro in the Annex last week, Ali says no action was taken. She's sharing the surveillance footage now to warn other Bloor East business owners.


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