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    There's a lot to do in Toronto this week without spending a dime, including Canzine, campfire stories, pumpkin carving, and students get in free to the International Festival of Authors. Events you might want to check out:

    An Evening with Nicole Krauss (October 17 @ Gladstone Hotel)
    Spend an evening with with Nicole Krauss, the best-selling American author who has been called "One of America’s most important novelists."
    Fireside Tales (October 17 @ Dufferin Grove Park)
    Gather some blankets around a fire, bake some s'mores, and listen to some local storytellers spin you a yarn.
    Free Movie Night (October 19 @ Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) Auditorium (Ground Level))
    An "anti-romantic comedy" sets the stage for a panel discussion about mental health with six seasoned speakers.
    Toronto's International Festival of Authors (October 19-29 @ IFOA: International Festival of Authors)
    If you're a student you get free access to a huge 10-day program that includes conversations with authors, panels on a wide spectrum of topics, and musicians playing secret basement shows.
    Free bingsu (October 20-21 @ Dear Fro)
    To mark its grand opening, new Korean dessert bar Dear Fro will give away 50 free bingsu desserts daily on October 21st and 22nd to the first customers to line up. Doors open at 1 p.m.
    Canzine (October 21 @ AGO)
    The long-running festival of zines and independent art returns to the AGO with hundreds and zines, books, comics, and art, not to mean loads of talks and workshops.
    7th Annual Toast to Autumn (October 22 @ Lithuanian House)
    Bloor by the Park celebrates the the changing leaves and crisp air of fall with live music, food and drink, art vendors, pumpkin carving, and loads more.


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    Summer weather may be gone but, Toronto is brimming with things to do. The Planet in Focus and imagineNATIVE film fests kick off this week alongside two major beer events, and there's also a huge movie wardrobe sale taking place this weekend. Events you might want to check out:

    Toronto Reference Library Record Swap (October 16 @ Toronto Reference Library)
    Hop up to the 5th floor of the Reference Library and trade a record or two, chat with fellow music nerds, or sample the library's collection of over 15,000 records. This is a no cash, trade-only meetup.
    Kesha (October 16 @ REBEL)
    With 2017 marking her return to music, the "Tik Tok" singer hits the stage at Rebel in support of her latest record, Rainbow.
    Planet in Focus Film Festival (October 17-22 @ Multiple Venues)
    The annual environmental film fesl returns with four days of films about the planet and its inhabitants.
    imagineNATIVE Film and Media Arts Festival (October 18-22 @ Various)
    See over 100 international, Canadian and North American film premieres created by Indigenous filmmakers with almost three quarters of the films (72%) made by Indigenous female directors.
    MyToronto Photo Exhibit (October 19-22 @ Artscape Youngplace)
    This free exhibit stars those who experience homelessness capturing their perspectives of Toronto through photography, shining a light on the resilience of people often overlooked in our society.
    Fresh Hop Fest (October 18 @ Berkeley Church)
    Featuring countless samples of local brewers' specialty beers along with live entertainment and delicious food, Fresh Hop wants to deepen the connection between local hop farmers, breweries, and your taste buds.
    International Festival of Authors (October 19-29 @ IFOA: International Festival of Authors)
    Fans of literature won't want to miss out on 11 days of readings, interviews, panels and signings from internationally acclaimed authors.
    Calpurnia & Hollerado (October 20 @ Horseshoe Tavern)
    Finn Wolfhard, the Canadian star of Stranger Things and It, makes his musical debut in Toronto fronting the garage-rock quartet Calpurnia. With them are Toronto outfits Hollerado and Little Junior.
    Cask Days (October 20-22 @ Evergreen Brickworks)
    The cask-conditioned beer fest returns this year with over 400 beers and ciders served for three days at the Brick Works. This year, New York City has been chosen as the featured regional beer producer.
    Fall Movie Wardrobe Sale (October 21 @ 721 Eastern Ave)
    Visit one of Toronto’s film studios and scoop up unique finds from an eclectic mix of contemporary, designer, vintage clothing, one-of-a kind pieces, and more sourced from film and television productions shot in Toronto.
    Canzine (October 21 @ AGO)
    This free festival of zines and independents arts returns to the AGO, highlighting hundreds of zine, book, and comic creators while also hosting talks and workshops.
    Toronto Waterfront Marathon (October 22 @ Toronto Waterfront Marathon)
    Over 25,000 runners from 60 countries will take over a large chunk of downtown roads in an effort to outdo last year's fundraising goal of $3.2 million raised for local charities. Sign up on site to join in on marathon, half marathon, or 5k runs.


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    The Green Room and its beloved back alley entrance near Brunswick and Bloor will be no more as of Oct. 29th, so it's time to find somewhere else to do Halloween, students. According to an email from a representative for the bar, the building that housed The Green Room at 296 Brunswick Street has been sold. And yet, like it has before, the storied Annex hangout will come back to life – just not in its current location. The Green Room is set to re-open (again) in Little Italy on Nov. 1st at 414 College Street with the exact same menu, prices, decor and telephone number as before. You'll be able to find the new (new) Green Room in the building previously occupied by Crown and Tiger, which announced its own closure earlier this month.


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    This week on DineSafe the Second Cup inside the Metro Toronto Convention Centre was busted by city health inspectors. While the location wasn't shut down, they did manage to land three infractions, one of which was  deemed crucial. See which other establishments got carded on DineSafe this week. Pablo Cheese Tart (114 Dundas St. West) Inspected on: October 10, 2017 Inspection finding: Yellow (Conditional) Number of infractions: 2 (Minor: 1, Significant: 1) Crucial infractions include: N/A Mangia & Bevi (260 King St. East) Inspected on: October 11, 2017 Inspection finding: Yellow (Conditional) Number of infractions: 6 (Minor: 1, Significant: 5) Crucial infractions include: N/A Upper Deck by Fran's (20 College St.) Inspected on: October 11, 2017 Inspection finding: Yellow (Conditional) Number of infractions: 5 (Minor: 2, Significant: 2, Crucial: 1) Crucial infractions include: Operator failed to maintain hazardous foods at 4C (40F) or colder. Second Cup (255 Front St. West) Inspected on: October 12, 2017 Inspection finding: Yellow (Conditional) Number of infractions: 3 (Significant: 2, Crucial: 1) Crucial infractions include: Operator failed to maintain hazardous foods at 4C (40F) or colder. Sushi Gen (1502 Yonge St.) Inspected on: October 12, 2017 Inspection finding: Yellow (Conditional) Number of infractions: 5 (Minor: 1, Significant: 4) Crucial infractions include: N/A Super Arzon Food Market (6105 Yonge St.) Inspected on: October 13, 2017 Inspection finding: Yellow (Conditional) Number of infractions: 2 (Significant: 2) 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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    More than half a million students in Ontario are unable to attend classes today after faculty members at all 24 of the province's colleges decided to strike. Humber, George Brown, Seneca, and Centennial College are among the GTA schools that'll be closed for the duration of the strike, which took effect at 12:01 a.m. this morning. Full-time classes will be cancelled until the strike is over – which might have been awesome in Grade 5, but really sucks for tuition-paying young adults eager to join the workforce. Hate that my education is being used as a bargaining chip, #wepaytolearn but I stand behind my professors they deserve #aBetterPlan @OPSEU — Krysten Rischel (@KrystenRischel) October 16, 2017 The Ontario Public Service Employees Union, which represents the 12,000 striking college faculty members, had been seeking an agreement with the College Employer Council that would make work less precarious for instructors and other contract employees. OPSEU's proposal included measures to increase job security for part-time faculty, to give faculty members a stronger voice in academic decision-making, and to ensure a 50:50 ratio in the number of full-time faculty to faculty members on contract. "Our union has a track record of getting deals done without work stoppages," said OPSEU president Warren Thomas in a statement issued Sunday. "I encourage the colleges to get back to the table so we can wrap this up swiftly, for the good of students and faculty alike."


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    Welcome to Toron! One of our city's most-photographed new attractions is hurting today after losing its heart and, ironically, the letters "T" and "O." The culprit? A short but stunningly fierce rainstorm that rocked Toronto on Sunday afternoon, leaving a mess of downed hydro lines, toppled trees, shattered glass, and very wet people in its wake. Tens of thousands in the GTA were left without power following the roughly 10-minute-long flash storm, which peaked around 3:30 p.m. 🎶oh it’s suuuuch a perfect daaaay 🎶 #parkdalelife shot by @runningdive A post shared by Parkdale Life (@parkdalelife) on Oct 15, 2017 at 1:40pm PDT Most of that power has now been restored, but the widespread damage from just minutes of up to 90 km/h winds has not been undone – especially in neighbourhoods bordering Lake Ontario, where storms are known to be particularly intense.  One lakeside casualty of Sunday's suspected "microburst" was the popular driftwood Toronto sign near Humber Bay Park.   A post shared by Miriam Wong (@mimimiriam_w) on Oct 14, 2017 at 3:24pm PDT The sign, installed this past July by two local artists, lost its heart to yesterday's high winds. Also missing is the final "TO" in Toronto. A post shared by Curtis Tom (@ubermenschi) on Oct 13, 2017 at 11:13am PDT We've seen a few photos of well-intentioned citizens trying to "fix" the sign with their own bodies. While cute, this is not a permanent solution. A post shared by Lauren Williams (@laursruth) on Oct 15, 2017 at 1:23pm PDT Hopefully this oft-photographed attraction will be repaired soon. In the meantime, Humber Bay's driftwood sunbather (made by the same artists behind the broken Toronto sign) appears to have weathered the storm just fine.


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    The top buildings in Toronto must be divided into two groups: those which came before the construction of New City Hall in 1965 and those which came after. Comparing churches to condos is a mug's game, so this list concerns itself with the latter period. Besides, everything changed in Toronto when Viljo Revell brought the future to Queen and Bay streets. This spaceship-like civic hub put Toronto on the global architecture map, and since then we've continued to add bold and often beautiful structures to the urban fabric.  These are my picks for the top buildings in Toronto.


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    One man, 10 minutes, and 20.5 lbs of gravy-soaked, curd-laden french fries. That's all it took to win the world's largest poutine eating competition at Yonge-Dundas Square this weekend — and by "that's all" I mean "an astounding feat of human gastronomy." Professional eater Carmen Cincotti, who came in second at the same event last year, won first place at the 8th annual Smoke’s Poutinerie World Poutine Eating Championship on Saturday afternoon. A post shared by Marlene Benedicto (@tastingtorontoonwheels) on Oct 14, 2017 at 8:15pm PDT The New Jersey-based champ wasn't able to best his numbers from 2016's competition, when he downed a whopping 25 lbs in 10 minutes, but he still came out way ahead of the competition with 40.5 boxes (literally) under his belt. A post shared by Carmen Cincotti (@carmen_cincotti) on Oct 15, 2017 at 6:07pm PDT Second-place winner Darron Breeden managed to eat 15.5 lbs this year, and Gideon Oji came in third with 13.75 lbs of poutine. It's worth mentioning, however, that all three of 2017's trophy winners would have blown everyone away just five years ago, when the winning number of poutine pounds was just 9.5. A post shared by John Garbutt (@flairboy14) on Oct 14, 2017 at 6:26am PDT Official results aside, every poutine-loving person at Yonge-Dundas Square felt like a winner during the event thanks to an abundance of free, unlimited poutine from Smoke's. A post shared by raachel (@raychelng) on Oct 14, 2017 at 2:39pm PDT The championship also featured a KISS cover band, a photo booth, and, of course, lots of free poutine guy stickers. A post shared by SpecialFacesToronto (@specialfacestoronto) on Oct 15, 2017 at 1:16pm PDT Overall, the event raised more than $50,000 for We Care – a charity that helps send disabled kids to camp. So you see, stuffing one's face with poutine can be an act of generosity.


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    Seasoned actor and internet darling Bill Murray stole the show at Koerner Hall in Toronto this weekend, wooing his many local fans all over again with charm, wit, and flying red roses. A post shared by Al Mav-E-al (@amaveal) on Oct 14, 2017 at 10:13am PDT Did we have any doubt that something like this would happen? Murray was in town to perform with cellist Jan Vogler, a personal friend, at the Royal Conservatory of Music's annual Season Gala on Friday night. A post shared by Landon Bailey (@landon.a.bailey) on Oct 13, 2017 at 8:10pm PDT Called New World, the show was billed as a "spirited evening of music and literature" that would feature Murray reading excerpts from the works of Mark Twain, Ernest Hemingway, and Truman Capote. A post shared by Al Mav-E-al (@amaveal) on Oct 14, 2017 at 10:12am PDT When they announced the concert in February, the conservatory also promised that Murray would "dance a tango while Vogler plays works from Bach, Piazzolla, Ravel, and Bernstein." Fans were expecting a fun performance, no doubt, but many were thrilled to learn that BFM would be interacting heavily with the audience too. A post shared by Leilah Ambrose (@leicentious) on Oct 13, 2017 at 9:41pm PDT At one point, the 67-year-old actor is said to have climbed up a balcony during his performance. Later, at the show's conclusion, Murray received some long-stem roses on stage. He decided to share them, and proceeded to personally deliver the flowers people in their seats. A post shared by Maggie Maggie (@magmeowzaa) on Oct 13, 2017 at 8:17pm PDT Attendees in the balcony got roses as well, if they could catch one. A post shared by Leilah Ambrose (@leicentious) on Oct 13, 2017 at 9:41pm PDT Overall, people only called the performance "absolutely spectacular" and "genius on every level." A post shared by Kirsty NC (@kirstyfnc) on Oct 13, 2017 at 7:19pm PDT "So we saw Bill Murray tonight," wrote one attendee on Instagram. "The programme was pretty much Bill Murray doing Bill Murray and, frankly, one of the best experiences of my entire life."


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    Bloor Street West will undergo a series of massive changes over the next decade that will completely transform the character of the street. Plans for the Honest Ed's site have been widely discussed as have the more recent designs to revamp the former TDSB lands at Bloor and Dufferin, but now a third major project has come into focus. Looking northwest across the site from the GO/UP Express corridor. Image via Choice Properties. Choice Properties has unveiled preliminary plans for a mixed use community on a 10 acre site at 2280 Dundas St. West that's currently occupied by a 1960s-era strip mall. Like the other Bloor developments in the works, this one is envisioned as a mixed use community.  Right now, the plaza's primary tenants are Loblaws, the LCBO, Kal Tire, and Coffee Time, but the ocean of a parking space serves as a reminder that a defunct Zellers also occupies the site. Looking north across reconfigured retail closer to Dundas St. West. Image via Choice Properties. The former department store has been turned into a "Community Idea Centre" where people are encouraged to provide feedback regarding the plans for the site, which the developer has put together in conjunction with Giannone Petricone Architects, Urban Strategies, and Public Work. It's still early days, but you can tell the desire to focus everyone's attention on the way in which the development will reanimate the area beyond just the residential component, the detail of which has been faded out in these images.  Looking southeast across a possible public square at the site. Image via Choice Properties. Give the current state of the strip mall, these plans look immediately promising. With the current tenants set way back from Dundas right now, the site is something like an urban black hole when it comes to pedestrians. While the site attracts plenty of customers to the Loblaws and LCBO, as a whole it's totally under-utilized given its proximity to what is quickly becoming a major transit hub. This is a prime site for increased density and a reimagined relationship with the main streets.  Looking southeast from 2280 Dundas West towards the Junction Triangle and the future home of MOCA. Image via Choice Properties. There are a lot of moving parts here. Serious consideration is being put into moving the Catholic school at the southeast corner of Bloor and Dundas to the south end of the site so as to cluster the density near the busiest intersection with the site tapering to the south.  Given the transit options here, there's also a desire to offer a significant amount of office space to go along with the retail and residential offerings. Throw in the need for green space, and all of sudden 10 acres doesn't seem quite so big. There's plenty of community consultation to be done before this one heads to city planning (the Idea Centre is open four days a week), but the first stage looks like it could completely revitalize a chunk of valuable land that's presently being wasted with surface parking. 


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    About 3.8 million people in Canada are living with a disability according to the most-recent figures available from StatsCan – but you wouldn't necessarily know it. Toronto artist, educator and self-described "cis queer crip community activist" Kate Welsh wants to change this for public transit riders who have invisible disabilities; people who may look well on the outside, but need to sit down on the subway for health and safety's sake. In an effort to help people with such conditions as multiple sclerosis, HIV, fibromyalgia and cancer, she started Equity Buttons. "Riding public transit can be hard especially if you have an episodic disability, chronic illness or invisible disability," reads the project's website. "This button is a quick DIY way for you to ask for what you need without having to disclose diagnosis." Equity buttons are sold on a sliding scale, with prices that range between $1 and $5. Photo by equitybuttons.com. Welsh recently told CBC Toronto that she was inspired to create the buttons after a friend of hers with cancer was denied a seat on the TTC. The friend, who needed to sit down after cancer treatments, was once even told to get up out of a seat and move to accommodate someone else, Welsh says. "I have asked for a seat and been given a long pause," says Welsh, who also has an invisible disability. "I have been questioned, like, 'Prove it.'" Four different button designs can be purchased in any one of four different colours for between $1 and $5 online, or at select Toronto locations like Glad Day Bookshop and Six Degrees Health. "Episodic disabilities are long-term conditions that are characterized by periods of good health interrupted by periods of illness or disability," reads a card sold with the buttons. "These periods may vary in severity, length and predictability from one person to another."


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    Mmm, bitterballen... A new Dutch snack bar and restaurant is coming soon to The Danforth, giving a permanent, bricks and mortar home to a pop-up restaurant series that started as "a casual annual get-together" almost 10 years ago. "Borrel is a term the Dutch use to describe an informal gathering of friends for a drink and some snacks," reads the restaurant's website. "Our bar and restaurant aims to provide the perfect setting for you to enjoy just that!" Some pannenkoeken happening. A post shared by BorrelTO (@borrelto) on Jul 9, 2017 at 7:02am PDT Inspired by Holland's historic brown cafés, Borrel's menu includes plenty of hard-to-pronounce – but delicious sounding – traditional Dutch dishes like Erwtensoep (pea soup with smoked ham hock and sausage),  Poffertjes (mini puffed pancakes) and Draadjesvlees (slow-cooked seasoned “threaded beef”). Bitterballen is described as "deep-fried balls of goodness served with mustard from Zaandam," which I think justifies my propensity to keep repeating the Mmmm sound. The entire menu is worth taking a gander at, really. The illustrations alone will make you smile. A post shared by BorrelTO (@borrelto) on Apr 22, 2016 at 6:26am PDT Borrel's owners say that they want to maintain "the dutch ethos of gezellig" with the new restaurant's atmosphere, similar to the "cozy and relaxed Sunday afternoon affairs" they've been hosting as pop-ups. An opening date has yet to be announced, but we do know that spot is located just steps from Greenwood Station and that it's going to have some very cool art on the walls courtesy of Dutch-American artist Nanna Koekoek.


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    A new battle in Parkdale's war on gentrification is emerging this week as rumours swirl that a global fast food giant might be pushing out a local Asian restaurant. Tibet Kitchen is reportedly closing after 13 years of business due to a massive rent increase brought on by a juicy business offer. "Recently, a multinational chain restaurant offered a large amount to lease Tibet Kitchen's current location," reads a Change.org petition created on Oct. 12th. "As a result, the rent for this location more than doubled, forcing the owner of Tibet Kitchen to find another location." The petition's creator said in an update over the weekend that Pizza Hut is the restaurant in question, and that "while I hold no ill will towards to the property owner, I think we can agree that Pizza Hut has very little of the magic that makes Parkdale special." Total support. Councillor Gordon Perks: Keep Tibet Kitchen in Parkdale - Sign the Petition! https://t.co/zgYAHdqeDf via @CdnChange — Nancy Leblanc (@NancyCLeblanc) October 16, 2017 Members of the  Parkdale Community Updates Facebook group didn't mince words. "Gross," commented one person. "We just got an A&W too. Hopefully they don't last, but still... displacing Tibet Kitchen is a crime." "The only way to fight these giants is to not use them," wrote another local resident. "Once this one and that Domino's opens we should encourage everyone to boycott them." In the meantime, supporters of Tibet Kitchen are asking Parkdale-High Park Councillor Gordon Perks to change the licensing situation of a building down the street. It is their hope that Tibet Kitchen can move into the vacant space at 1558 Queen St. West instead of closing down altogether, but right now there's a limit on the number of restaurants and bars allowed to operate on Queen St. between Dufferin and Roncesvalles. Tibet Kitchen requires a licensing provision because the street is already at capacity for restaurants and bars. This is the second time in less than a month that a major chain has upset Toronto residents with the perceived threat of its presence in their neighbourhood. 


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    A new food-ordering app that fuses sustainability with restaurant meals is poised to change the way Toronto eats – or at least the percentage of our incomes spent on takeout. Feedback, co-founded by cousins Josh and Ben Walters, allows users to browse "time-specific deals from Toronto's best restaurants" and purchase meals at up to 80 per cent off the original price. That's a deep, deep discount – so deep that one cannot be blamed for wondering "awesome, but... how?" Essentially, Feedback partners with local restaurants to help them sell end-of-day food that would otherwise be tossed into a dumpster.  Restaurant owners are happy to reduce inefficiencies, customers are happy to get great food on the cheap, and our planet, though it cannot speak, is probably quite happy about the reduction of food waste. On top of that, the startup has partnered with Second Harvest to donate a meal to someone in need for every order placed during its first month of business. The young men behind the app seem to practice what they preach. Just a few weeks ago, the team rescued a whole bunch of flowers that were set to be tossed out following an event. They handed them out in front of Sick Kids and Mount Sinai hospitals.  A post shared by F E E D B A C K (@feedback_app) on Oct 2, 2017 at 1:12pm PDT Feedback has about 30 restaurants in its roster right now, including North of Brooklyn Pizzeria, Bolt Fresh Bar, Mabel's, SU&BU, Little Anthony's, Carver, and Pai. Torontonians with both iPhones and Android devices can order "salads, smoothies, cold-pressed juices, sandwiches, burritos, sushi and everything in between - all at unbeatable prices," according to the app's website.  "The only condition is you show up in a designated time window. That's it."


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    Plans for a massive condo complex at the foot of Yonge St. have been floating around for almost five years now. During the early stages, Pinnacle One Yonge was proposed as a six building cluster, but there's been a slew of changes since, which have brought the number down to five. As Urban Toronto reports, a recent examination of the first two phases of the Hariri Pontarini plans by Toronto's Design Review Panel has revealed the latest renderings, which still include a proposal for a 95 storey tower that could become the tallest in the city should it ultimately be approved. The first phases of the Pinnacle One Yonge project will leave an indelible mark on Toronto's waterfront and skyline. Photo via Pinnacle International. Right now, the tallest approved tower in Toronto is The One at Yonge and Bloor, which is now under construction and will reach just over 306 metres. As it's currently configured, Pinnacle One Yonge's tallest tower would rise just a metre higher (307) to take the crown. It's all a moot point if the YSL project at Yonge and Gerrard is approved in (or near) its current form, which is a whopping 344 metres, but that project has much further to go in the planning process.  The podiums and street plan surrounding Pinnacle One Yonge will continue to be refined. Photo via Pinnacle International. The DRP had lots to say about Pinnacle One Yonge, as Urban Toronto notes, but the height of the building doesn't appear to be a major sticking point at present. Where it appears much of the design refinement will take place at is ground level and the podiums.  That makes good sense. As much as the height of these super tall towers fascinates us right now, in a decade or two, 300 metre buildings won't be so rare, and the important thing will be how they relate to the street and the urban milieu as it's used everyday.