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    Along with its revamped lookout floor, the CN Tower just launched a new mascot if you needed to beef up your photos of Toronto's most popular landmark.

    The CN Tower announced the arrival of its still unnamed mascot (we'll call it Towery for now) on Instagram yesterday.

    A post shared by CN Tower (@cntower) on

    A communications rep for the city's giant compass confirmed the vaguely sci-fi-esque mascot would be sticking around to provide "some great additional fun and entertainment for kids and visitors of all ages while visiting."

    This isn't the CN Tower's first, or most confusing mascot. Back in the 1970s, when the tower first made its debut, its mascot was Diego, a terrifying clown on stilts.

    This one seems like an improvement in terms of inducing nightmares, though it's at least somewhat curious how short this new figure is. 


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    The most common apartment rental in Toronto is the one bedroom, but there are plenty of renters who need larger set-ups, whether they be people looking for a live/work arrangement, to live with roommates, or the space needed to house a young family.

    80 squires avenueThat's where the full house rental comes in. Many of these spaces are ridiculously priced in today's market, but on occasion you'll stumble across a bungalow or similarly scaled property that makes a lot of sense in a rental capacity — 80 Squires Ave. fits that bill.

    80 squires avenueThis house is located on a sleepy street in East York, but actually has decent transit access thanks to its proximity to Victoria Park. There's a lot on offer here that would be unheard of in a similarly sized apartment near, say, Trinity Bellwoods Park. 

    80 squires avenueThere interior is bright and relatively modern with an open concept layout, there's a spacious basement to use, and a backyard with detached garage. It's a quaint little house that'd be perfect for someone who's not taken by the prospect of living downtown.

    80 squires avenueSpecs
    • Address: 80 Squires Ave.
    • Realtor: Brooke Gosselin
    • Apartment type: House
    • Rent: $2,250
    • Utilities Included? Unspecified
    • Bedrooms: 2
    • Bathrooms: 1
    • Parking: Yes
    • Laundry? In-suite
    • Outdoor space? Backyard
    80 squires avenueGood For

    A couple who wants peace and quiet and could use an in-home work space. Alternately, this place screams "starter-family" with its reasonable rent and ample space.

    80 squires avenueMove On If

    If you want to live near the action, this place is a no-go. While the location is anything but remote, the nightlife options are paltry in this area.

    80 squires avenue80 squires avenue80 squires avenue80 squires avenue


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    We're halfway to the weekend, and you know what that means in Toronto: it's time to prepare for another TTC subway closure. This is something you'll need to get use to. It was just announced that weekend subway work closures will continue until at least 2019.

    As for this weekend, there will be no subway service between St. George and Broadview stations on July 22 and 23 due to city work on the Prince Edward Viaduct and various TTC maintenance. Shuttle buses will operate between these stations during the closure.

    TTC Subway

    Bay Station will be closed both Saturday and Sunday. While Sherbourne Station will be open on Saturday and closed on Sunday. All other stations will remain open for the sale of fares.

    Regularly scheduled subway service will resume when the system opens on Monday, July 24. The next scheduled closure will halt weekend service on Line 1 between Sheppard West and St. George on July 29 and 30.


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    When someone brings a keg to an event, it usually means an automatic party. While Torontonians have been able to purchase kegs of craft beer for some time now, only one Toronto bar will deliver a keg directly to your table. 

    Odd Thomas and Mascot Brewery serve five-litre mini kegs in both the restaurant space and on the rooftop beer garden.

    They're the only spot in the city providing this good-time service, according to the owners. Each table-side mini-keg costs $130.

    Beers available in this format include Mascot Pilsner, Super Saison, Mango Sour and XPA.


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    Toronto's flush with upscale spas and salons, but few let you sip on bubbly as you get a pedicure.

    Her Majesty's Pleasure, which doubles as Toronto's most Instagrammable beauty bar, will be opening a second location in Yorkville.

    According to Retain Insider, HMP will take over a 2,400 square foot space (along with a 900 square foot terrace) on the third floor of 102-108 Yorkville Ave., a small retail complex that's still in development. It'll be neighbours with luxury brands Jimmy Choo and Chanel.

    Along with doing gel manicures, nail art and blowouts, HMP has a full bar, food and lots of pink and rose gold accents. It'll definitely fit right in Yorkville. 


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    Farmers' markets pop all over Toronto, giving folks around the city a chance to buy fresh produce and other locally made goodies. Few, however, can boast as novel a location as this new addition.

    The latest weekly market to appear in Toronto will take place in Corktown's Underpass Park, a revitalized space featuring some of the best street art in the city.

    This market, from The Corktown Residents and Business Association as well as Living Toronto, will run on Thursdays between 3 and 7 p.m. from July 20 until October 19. 

    Vendors include Clearwater Farms, Monforte Dairy, Sparkplug Coffee and Stanners Vinyards along with plenty of others selling produce, baked goods, and honey.


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    Toronto is home to a number of hidden parks and courtyards that offer an undisturbed escape from highly developed city streets. These are great places for secluded lunch picnics or just stealing away a bit of serenity in the midst of the bustling metropolis.

    Here are my picks for the top hidden parks and gardens in Toronto.

    Ireland Park

    Eerie but beautiful, this lakeside park finally reopened last summer after four years of being fenced off. Tucked at the foot of Bathurst, it's haunted by a collection of age-bitten sculptures that commemorate the 38,000 Irish famine victims who arrived here in the late 1800s, making it a spooky place to disappear for a few hours.

    Craigleigh Gardens Park

    Just north of Bayview and Bloor is Craigleigh Gardens Park, a gem that's often overlooked due to its proximity to the Brick Works (it's only a kilometre away). A gothic-style entrance gives the park an air of secrecy, and once you're inside there aren't usually many people around, so the place feels all your own.

    Toronto Sculpture Garden

    Across the street from St. James Cathedral and wedged between La Marquette restaurant and Aveda Institute Toronto, this tiny park (seriously, it's only 25 by 30 metres) is a hidden outdoor showcase for some pretty fascinating artwork. The exhibits change over time, so every time you stop in, it's a totally different vibe.

    Diversity Garden Park

    There's an unexpected pocket of nature behind City Hall. Secluded in the middle of our concrete downtown core, the former parking lot is now a blooming community garden that symbolizes and promotes diversity. It's a quiet and convenient oasis to escape to, and it's never too crowded, save for the odd politician on their lunch break.

    Osgoode Hall

    You might call this one hidden in plain sight given it's location at Queen and York streets, but thanks to the tall trees and foreboding steel fence, this idyllic downtown space is often the picture of tranquility while the city bustles away in the background. It's a great place for an outdoor lunch if you're in the Financial District.


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    Food lovers have lots of events to choose from today in Toronto. There's an outdoor culinary party at the St. Lawrence Market, a brand new farmers' market to check out, and Italian Restaurant Week kicks off. Free movies and a burlesque bonanza round out the pre-weekend fun. 

    Events you might want to check out:

    St. Lawrence Market Summer Series (July 20 @ St Lawrence Market)
    The St. Lawrence Market patio will be transformed into a downtown oasis with food, drinks, music and performances.
    Underpass Farmers' Market (July 20 - October 19 @ Underpass Park)
    The first Underpass Park Farmers' Market includes an impressive list of local food vendors, farmers, and even a winery.
    Vintage Boozaar Night Market (July 20 @ Gladstone Hotel)
    This market features vintage, retro and repro clothing as well as accessories, antiques and vinyl from Toronto collectors.
    Toronto Burlesque Festival (July 20-23 @ Multiple Venues)
    This sizzling, four-day extravaganza of performances and parties features a cast of innovative and hugely popular burlesque artists from all across the globe.
    Summer Vintage Crawl (July 20 @ Toronto, ON)
    The best vintage stores in the city stay open late so you can hop from shop to shop. Some stores have DJs, treats and deals for this shopping party.
    Invictus (July 20 @ Corktown Common)
    The final movie of Corktown Common's free, outdoor film series is a screening of Clint Eastwood's Invictus. Bring your own blanket and chairs.
    Given (July 20 @ Surf the Greats)
    Given follows legendary surfers Aamion and Daize Goodwin from their island home of Kauai through 15 different countries. All proceeds from ticket sales go to the Lake Ontario Waterkeeper.
    Italian Restaurant Week (July 20-30 @ Multiple Venues)
    Giro d'Italia, a tour of Italy, brings together 16 of Toronto's top Italian restaurants to celebrate the cuisine of 16 different regions in Italy through prix fixe meals.

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    Toronto restaurant openings highlights the latest restaurant openings and closings in Toronto and also gives a preview of what's coming soon. Find us here every Thursday morning.

    Open now
    • Skippa, which serves seasonal Japanese cuisine, has opened where The Roxton once stood at 379 Harbord St.
    • Healthy eats spot Koek Koek Food Co. is now open at 2685 Yonge St. between Eglinton and Lawrence. 
    • Baked on Brock replaces North Haven with baked goods, house-made ice cream (and vegan sorbet) that can go in Hong Kong waffle cones, pickles, preserves and sandwiches at 615c Brock Ave. in Bloordale.
    • Garden Gangsters has opened its second location, this one at 171 East Liberty St. in Liberty Village.
    • Oh My Gyro has taken over what was formerly Osmow's, at 155 John St. just north of Queen.
    • Speaking of gyro, Gyro Bar is now open at 731 Broadview Ave. just south of the Danforth.
    • Victor Restaurant and Cafe Victor have undergone renovations and reopened at Hotel Le Germain on Mercer St.
    • Pho East has opened at 610 Gerrard St. E.
    • The Simple Craft Company is selling fresh baked goods, gourmet foods and organic produce at 152 Main St.
    Recently reviewed
    Opening soon
    • While the shuttered-by-fire Ryus Noodle Bar on Baldwin St. waits to reopen, a second location will go up soon at 786 Broadview Ave., which was last Kobo Nobu.
    • Chase Hospitality Group will be opening a second Colette, this time at Yonge & St. Clair come spring 2018.
    • Mean Bao is opening its fourth location where the recently shuttered Noodleholic once stood at 2210 Dundas St. W. by Roncesvalles.
    • LAN Sushi, formerly in Junction, has found a space for its new location in the plaza at 1500 Royal York Rd. in Etobicoke, and should be opening any day now.
    • 2 Bros Cuisine is opening a second location at 1549 Bayview Ave.
    • Mi'hito Sushi Lab will be opening another location, this time at 4 Edward St. just west of Yonge.
    • Healthy eats and juice bar The Fix + Co is opening their second location at 848 King St. W.
    • Chef Elias Salazar will be opening his Peruvian restaurant KayPacha at 744 St. Clair Ave. W.
    Closed
    Other news
    • Figures, which was previously only open from Tuesday to Saturday, is now open seven days a week, beginning at 5:30 p.m. for dinner.
    • Early Bird is now licensed and has a kitchen, serving breakfast and lunch along with weekend brunch.

    Have you seen restaurants opening or closing in your neighbourhood? Email tips to editors@blogto.com


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    The 110-year-old carousel at Centre Island's Centreville Theme Park will soon stop turning in Toronto.

    That's because according to the Toronto Star, the family-owned Centreville sold its original Dentzel Company carousel for $3 million. The ride, which has been spinning in Toronto since the 1960s, will find a new home in Carmel, Indiana.

    A post shared by Sarah Rogers (@sarah0rogers) on

    As the Star reports, Centreville has lost $6 million this season as it sits shuttered on the flooded Toronto Islands. Since the park isn't making money this season, it needed to sell of one of its most valuable assets in order to find another revenue stream.

    The carousel will remain at Centreville until November.  


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    Toronto seems to be getting an influx of new hotels this summer. The Broadview Hotel just opened on the city's east side and the long-awaited Hotel X by Exhibition Place is finally slated to make its debut this summer.

    The Bisha Hotel and Residences should be open before the end of the summer. It'll feature a slew of luxurious amenities, including a rooftop pool and a restaurant from celebrity chef Akira Back. But he's not the only celebrity involved with the project.

    As the hotel moves closer to its opening date, Torontonians and visitors will get a peek at the entire hotel floor Lenny Kravitz designed

    "Kravitz will bring a rocker sensibility and soulful elegance to one entire floor of the hotel," says a Bisha news release.

    "His Kravitz design team will be responsible for designing 14 rooms and suites, including the 2,000 square foot Bisha suite with a 1,000 square foot terrace with views of the CN Tower peeking through its two story windows," it continues.

    The hotel is currently under construction so we'll have to wait and see what this rock star came up with. 


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    Toronto hydro rates are the most expensive in the country, according to a new report from the Fraser Institute

    The report, titled Evaluating Electricity Price Growth in Ontario, found that Toronto hydro bills were $60 more per month (including taxes) than the average Canadian hydro bill.

    Toronto residents, on average, pay $201 per month for hydro - that's a $77 increase between 2010 and 2016. In comparison to other major Canadian cities, Montreal residents pay $83, folks in Calgary and Edmonton pay $104 and Vancouverites pay $114. Ottawa residents pay $183.

    According to the report, electricity prices in Ontario increased 71 percent from 2008 to 2016 - during the same time period, the national average went up 34 percent. Electricity prices in the province also increased 2.5 faster than income levels between 2008 and 2015.

    "Ontario’s high electricity prices can be attributed to poorly structured long term contracts, the phase-out of coal energy, and a growing electricity supply and demand imbalance in the province that is resulting in Ontario exporting electricity at a loss," reads the report.

    This past spring the provincial government introduced a plan to lower hydro bills over the next decade. They could, however, go up again following that 10 year period. 


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    It's a doozy of a weekend for road closures in Toronto. Thanks to construction, street festivals and a triathlon, lots of pockets of the city will be off limits to cars. 

    The main construction zone is Dundas Street between Bay and Church streets, although there are smaller projects scattered across the city. And, don't forget, there's also a major TTC subway closure this weekend to contend with.

    Here are the major road closures to be aware of.

    Toronto Caribbean Carnival Junior Day

    A series of roads will be closed on Saturday, July 22 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. to accommodate the parade and other activities of the Toronto Caribbean Carnival.

    The parade will begin at the rear of 30 Sewells Rd., then travel west on McLevin Avenue to Neilson Road and then north on Neilson Road to Neilson Park Drive. The 39A Finch East, 132 Milner and 133 Neilson bus routes will divert.

    Festival of South Asia

    Gerrard Street, between Glenside Avenue and Coxwell Avenue, will be closed from Saturday, July 22 at 8 a.m. to Monday, July 24 at 2 a.m. for the Festival of South Asia.

    Shuttle buses on the 506 Carlton route will divert in both directions via Greenwood Avenue, Dundas Street East and Coxwell Avenue.

    BIG on Bloor

    Bloor Street, from Dufferin Street to Lansdowne Avenue, will be closed in both directions from Saturday, July 22 at 9 a.m. to Sunday, July 23 at 9 p.m. for the BIG on Bloor Festival. To accommodate this event, a series of smaller road closures will be in place in this area.

    Buses on the 300 Bloor-Danforth night route will divert via Dufferin Street, Dupont Street and Lansdowne Avenue.

    OssFest

    Ossington Avenue, from Dundas Street to Queen Street, will be closed from Saturday, July 22 at 5 a.m. to Sunday, July 23 at 3 a.m. for this event. Some local streets in the area will also be closed.

    Buses on 63/363 Ossington will divert via Dundas Street West and Shaw Street.

    Toronto Triathlon Festival

    This event will result in the following partial road closures on the Gardiner Expressway, the Don Valley Parkway and Lake Shore Boulevard:

    The eastbound lanes of the Gardiner Expressway, from the Humber River to Carlaw Avenue, will be closed on Sunday, July 23 from 2 a.m. to 12 noon (westbound lanes will remain open).

    The northbound lanes on the Don Valley Parkway, from the Gardiner Expressway to Eglinton Avenue, will be closed on Sunday, July 23 from 2 a.m. to 12 noon (southbound lanes will remain open).

    One eastbound lane of Lake Shore Boulevard, from Windermere Avenue to New Brunswick Way/Remembrance Drive, will be closed on Sunday, July 23 from 5 a.m. to 2 p.m.

    Youth Day

    Yonge Street, from Dundas Street to Queen Street, will be closed on Sunday, July 23 from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

    Road closure information provided by the city of Toronto.


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    Toronto's about to get more vegan pizza, which will be a definite boon for herbivores and those who eschew dairy.

    Virtuous Pie, which has a location in Vancouver and another in Portland, Oregon, has plans to expand its planted-based empire in Toronto.

    A post shared by Christa (@kuriboshi) on

    The pizzeria and ice cream parlour will move into Little Italy at 611 College St., which used to be home to a head shop.

    Representatives from Virtuous Pie say they plan to have the restaurant up and running by January 2018, but if you want to preview menu items, you can catch Virtuous Pie at the Vegan Food and Drink Fest on August 19 at Fort York. 

    While its unclear what Virtuous Pie will serve at that upcoming Toronto festival, menu items at the Vancouver outpost include personal pies topped with an assortment of meat-free goodies, including chickpea curry, faux chorizo meatballs, and spicy buffalo cauliflower. 


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    This corner unit at 533 Richmond St. W. is another Toronto penthouse that's not completely over the top when it comes to the asking price. At $1.3 million for two bedrooms plus a den and a sprawling terrace, this is a condo that's sure to attract a lot of eyes.

    533 Richmond Street WestWhether it'll attract a ton of offers depends on how prospective buyers feel about its layout, which is a bit unconventional. Here you have a huge kitchen and dining area on the first floor, and the living and bedroom space upstairs. 

    533 Richmond Street WestThat in and of itself isn't so strange, but the size of the master bedroom and the curtain to block it off from the rest of the unit doesn't exactly scream luxury penthouse (ditto for the curtain usage at the closet). 

    533 Richmond Street WestThe layout leads to considerable unused space, though that does keep it feeling rather airy. This, no doubt, is aided by the floor-ceiling-windows that face out to the hot tub-adorned terrace, which is a major highlight here. 

    533 Richmond Street WestSpecs
    • Address: 533 Richmond St. W — Penthouse 1
    • Price: $1,298,000
    • Bedrooms: 2 + 1
    • Bathrooms: 3
    • Parking: 2
    • Maintenance Fees: $1,645.17
    • Walk Score: 98
    • Transit Score: 100
    • Listing agent: Jim Burtnick
    • Listing ID: C3867898
    533 Richmond Street WestGood For

    Someone who will capitalize on the ample outdoor space, whether through entertaining (it's a pretty great spot for a cocktail party) or just daily visits to the hot tub.

    533 Richmond Street WestMove On If

    Luxury finishes really do it for you. While this condo isn't a slouch in this department, there are units at this price with far nicer en suites and more spacious master bedrooms.

    533 Richmond Street West533 Richmond Street West533 Richmond Street West533 Richmond Street West533 Richmond Street West

    Thanks to Bosley Real Estate Ltd., Brokerage for sponsoring our condo of the week. All editorial written and selected by blogTO.