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The Mus PUBLISHER Patricia Salib EDITOR Gordon Bowness DIRECTOR OF SALES & MARKETING Ryan Lester ART DIRECTOR Nicolás Tallarico GRAPHIC DESIGNER Jenny Watson OUR MISSION Inspire gay men and lesbians to live life to the fullest.Expand the gay and lesbian community by valuing diversity and individual choice. Celebrate Toronto.Provide readers with compelling news, information and entertainment. ADVERTISING & OTHER INQUIRIES (416) 800-4449 ext 100 • EDITORIAL INQUIRIES (416) 800-4449 ext 201• PRODUCTION In Toronto is published byThe Mint Media Group all rights reserved. 542 Parliament St, Toronto, ON, M4X 1P6 THE MINT MEDIA GROUP PRESIDENT Patricia Salib DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS Reggie Lanuza DIRECTOR OF SALES & MARKETING Ryan Lester EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT Lidia Salvador

Tue, October 9 at 8pm Wed, October 10 at 2pm & 8pm Roy Thomson Hall Principal Pops Conductor Steven Reineke takes Broadway music to centre stage!


THIS ISSUE CONTRIBUTING EDITORS Paul Gallant, Krishna Rau CONTRIBUTORS Nicola Betts, Mary Dickie, Derek Dotto, Anna von Frances, Peter Knegt, Graham McKelvie, Pamela Meredith, Corey Pierce, Michael Pihach, Adam Segal, Michael Thorner, Andrea Zanin ON THE COVER Photography by Sian Richards

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MATERIAL CULTURE Michael Prokopow discusses humans and their stuff by Gordon Bowness


MYSTERIES OF THE FAR EAST The historical and cultural heart of Japan by Graham McKelvie


MUSCLING IN ON THE FRONT ROW Bloggers make their mark at Toronto Fashion Week by Derek Dotto

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POPS IS TOPS The TSO’s Steven Reineke makes his debut by Mary Dickie


VIEW FINDER Art with Heart


SOUND OFF The Blue Jays’ Yunel Escobar


HOME TURF Downtown with Kristyn Wong-Tam

Pat Robinson

Libardo Ceballos

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GRINDR’S GLOBAL REACH by Michael Thorner



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HIV ETIQUETTE with Andrea Zanin


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VIEW FINDER → LURID ALLURE This luscious photograph, Safari #11, is a collaboration between film director Denys Arcand and artist Adad Hannah. It was made for the 2011 exhibition celebrating the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts’ 150th anniversary. The set is a 1968 design by the radical Italian studio Archizoom. The photo is one of scores of works on auction for Art with Heart, the gala fundraiser for Toronto’s specialty AIDS hospital Casey House. Public previews begin Fri, Oct 12 at Waddington’s and the auction is Wed, Oct 17 at the Carlu. See page 22.

David Shankbone



October 2012

→ “I would have loved to make the movie with Barbra

[Streisand]. But she could never tell me what she didn’t like or what she wanted or what she thought was wrong.”

The film adaptation of Larry Kramer’s provocative AIDS play The Normal Heart has had a tortuous history. Barbra Streisand bought the rights to the script back in 1986 but the project stalled and she finally dropped it last year. That led to a public spat between her and Kramer. “I felt helpless, and I know she did, too,” Kramer recently told the San Francisco Chronicle. “I know her heart is very much in the right place, and she loves this play a lot. I’m sorry it wasn’t meant to be.” Kramer’s semi-autobiographical play has now been picked up by Ryan Murphy, the creator of Glee and The New Normal. Mark Ruffalo, who is set to star as Ned Weeks, the contentious activist desperately trying to call attention to the AIDS epidemic in New York City, was in town recently for the Toronto International Film Festival. While

here he told the online magazine Vulture that production on The Normal Heart has been bumped to next spring. “Larry Kramer and Ryan have been working on this new draft, which is really good,” he is quoted as saying. “They’re able to do a lot more than even the play was able to do as far as sexuality and the real trials and tribulations of living with people in that time with AIDS and caring for them. I think it could be really powerful.” Also in Toronto, Studio 180 revises its hit production of The Normal Heart from last year with Jonathan Wilson again playing Weeks. It opens at Buddies in Bad Times on Fri, Oct 19… days before Streisand performs at the Air Canada Centre on Tue, Oct 23, only the second time her tours have stopped in Toronto. See event listings beginning on page 22 for more info.



went to press last issue without us — nor the folks at Fashion Cares — knowing who took the cover shot (“Going Out with a Bang: Fashion Cares,” In Toronto, Sep 2012). The mystery is now solved: The original image from 1993 was taken by Torontobased photographer Christoph Strube.

CORRECTION The caption accompanying our story on filmmaker Jamie Travis (“Current Obsession,” In Toronto, Sep 2012) mistakenly identified him as Toronto-born. Travis was born in Vancouver.

Corey Pierce

→ Toronto Blue Jays shortstop Yunel Escobar played a game last month with

“Tu ere maricon” (“You’re a fag”) written on the black strips under his eyes. Escobar later apologized, claiming it was just a joke, a “word with no meaning.” The Blue Jays suspended him for three games and his salary from those games will be donated to the You Can Play anti-homophobia sports initiative and the US-based media watchdog GLAAD. “I’m glad there’s been a response that recognizes the need for education. However it was intended, you have to think how it may be received. There are an awful lot of young people out there who look up to these people. “I hope the message doesn’t come out that it’s okay for young people or anybody else to use derogatory language. There could be an impact on young people in sports who may already have encountered homophobia. There needs to be a clear message that this is wrong.”


“With his comment and the lacklustre apology, I hope it’s not deterring young athletes and young kids from coming out and playing sports. I hope they can see this is just one person. “With World Pride in Toronto in 2014, it’s a shame to have this happen when we’re getting ready to introduce the world to Toronto. If the Jays want to hold up their end of the bargain and actually do some outreach to kids, that would be great. But what needs to happen is to have a professional ballplayer actually come out.”


“It sends a message to young athletes who are LGBT or who may be perceived as being LGBT that you’re not welcome here, you’re not wanted here, you’re not accepted here. And it has an impact on what their peers think is sanctioned in terms of what they can say and do. I’ve certainly heard from LGBT youth that they don’t feel safe in places like changing rooms or locker rooms. “When you have a professional athlete peddling an expression of homophobia, it has an impact. When you have a public role, the impact of your actions is significant. It also certainly wasn’t immediately addressed institutionally.”



want to hear what you think about In Toronto magazine and the stories we publish. Please send letters to the editor to or feel free to leave comments on our website at Snail mail? Love it. Our mailing address is: In Toronto magazine, 542 Parliament St, Toronto, ON, M4X 1P6.












OCAD prof and former curator of the Design Exchange Michael Prokopow lives in a light-soaked loft in Kensington Market that showcases his love of art and modern design Story Gordon Bowness | Photography Nicola Betts


October 2012


How would you describe your aesthetic? I always go back to the words of William Morris: “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.” You could call it functional rationalism, or rational functionalism. It’s a school of thought with roots in the late 19th century and the emergence of industrial design as a profession. My aesthetic is heavily influenced by Scandinavian design of the ’30s, ’40s and ’50s and what was called the Good Design Movement of the 1950s and early 1960s. Name something in the room that’s a prime example. Bruno Mathsson’s eminently practical Maria folding table from 1936. When folded down it measures about 9 inches in depth. When open, it stretches 10 feet 6 inches and can have 10 or 12 chairs around it. In addition to being useful for dinner parties, it also serves as a great desk. I can spread out and out and out. You’ve got some exquisite things in here, but the place doesn’t feel precious or intimidating. It’s very comfortable. Comfort is utility. Too many of our design choices are aspirational, meaning they often tend to represent what we think will look sophisticated or expensive and “classy,” to use that overused word. Many people’s ideas of taste are constructed from wanting to move up the social ladder. The decoration of the palace often problematically exists in the suburbs. Consumer goods pretending to be something different than what they really are is one of the complexities of capitalism. The post-World War II champions of modernist design sought to change this through their work. That utopianinclined mission always had to do battle with history, emulation and the cult of the sentimental. → CLASS ACT Good stuff includes Hans Wegner wingback chairs from 1952, a Bruno Mathsson folding table from 1936 and An Te Liu’s YA lightbox from 2003 (opposite page). Michael Prokopow designed the towering bookcase in the main room and the lightbox in the second-floor study (left). The graffiti bench (above) is by Jason Miller.

This used to be a George Brown College building. It was converted in 2000. You moved in almost seven years ago. What first attracted you? I must have seen more than 30 places with my realtor, David Rose. Often, he’d just have to open the door and I’d go, “Nope.” When I first saw this place, it was painted yellow — and I mean yellow yellow. It smelled of cat urine. The kitchen counter was covered with realtor cards suggesting that lots of people looked but could not see (or smell) past their first impressions. It was late August and I can still remember how inviting and bright the space appeared upon walking through the door. The tall ceiling and volumetric space was instantly appealing and I knew that I could live here happily. I’ve seen a couple of other units here; some look dreadful. What was the biggest problem to solve? I love visual depth. For example, think how when you look at a landscape you seen the hills receding to the horizon, layer in front of tonally different layer. A home is a domestic landscape and I think layers are needed for visual impact. I designed that bookcase to anchor the room. While it acts like wallpaper, a big painting or a sculpture, it is functional, it holds about a third of my books — my working library — and I admit freely that it is not particularly well organized. I often have to search many shelves to find the book for which I am looking. In terms of the set-up of the room, I made the conscious choice to balance the bookcase with the three George Nelson cabinets on the opposite wall. As an expert in material culture, do you feel added pressure to curate your space, for your home to live up to a certain standard? I would not say that I am trying to live up to a certain standard. I’m not curating my home for the outside world: I know what I like, what pleases me and the room and content and the arrangement of things suits me. There’s a unique energy to Kensington Market and Chinatown. It represents what I call “Toronto the Scruffy.” There’s this streak of chic in Continued on page 10


LIVING & DESIGN Continued from page 9

the city: the glossy and the shiny

der and identity and the fluidity of

and well-kept at one end of the eco-

social relationships and the absence

nomic spectrum and those endless

of judgment or censure. My sense of

pockets of charming inconsisten-

youth today is that they see no lim-

cies. Indeed, so much of Toronto is

its in their capacities. And I think

a visual jumble. As for Kensington

that the culture of youth in Toronto

Market, historically it was a Jewish

is especially strong and significant.

neighbourhood replete with all kinds

This city is an amazing social, cul-

of merchants, four synagogues and

tural and aesthetic laboratory.

row houses with mezuzahs. Its character began to change in the 1950s

Where did you get your love of

and ’60s, (as did so many city neigh-

material culture?

bourhoods) and today the market is

I’ve always loved things. I guess

experiencing the often mixed-bless-

it goes back to my childhood in

ing of gentrification.

Victoria, BC. My mother was often ill and I spent time in foster care.

Give me some market faves.

I found a safe haven in the town

Sanagan’s Meat Locker just took

library where I discovered all these

over the old European butcher

picture books of grand English

space. It is a terrific place: great

houses — the 740s in the Dewey

products and great people. There’s

Decimal System, “Art and Objects”

Cora’s Kitchen with all sorts of fan-

— it was this fantasy world into

tastic baked goods. And there is Café

which I could step. I spent hours

Pamenar. It is my main hangout. It’s

looking at images of elegant rooms

a Persian-owned coffee house with a

filled with ornate objects and imag-

pretty garden in the back, internet,

ined what life could be like. And

ever-changing art and a great vibe.

then I got a job in an antique store run by two sisters, Rosemary Wells

A surprising collection?

and Wendy Russell. For me it was

I’ve a collection of woven Canadian

a type of Aladdin’s Cave filled with

ties from the 1960s. They’re an

phenomenal things. Rosemary and

example of a Canadian homespun

Wendy, always so caring, patient

tradition that’s all but forgotten. I

and generous, taught me so much

wear them all the time. They’re my

about life and the material world.


One lesson, however, always was at the forefront of my thinking about

What do you get from your

objects. They used to tell me that


each object speaks about the society

There’s always a generational differ-

that produced it and about the peo-

ence between students and teach-

ple who used it. They also told me —

ers. I find the references of contem-

importantly I should add — that we

porary youth culture to be exciting

are only stewards of the objects and

and at times bewildering. To under-

they must be passed along. It was a

stand the culture of the young today

good lesson and a counterweight to

requires the ability to conduct an

the temptation to covet.

ongoing archaeology of the present. Particularly striking to me is

Is this why one of your courses is

the relationship that the young

called “Stuff”?

have with technology. It is effort-

Indeed. The course considers how

less and boundless and unlike any-

objects operate in people’s lives and

thing we’ve seen before. We have

how humans invest objects with

proof that it’s changing their brain

meaning and oftentimes mean-

chemistry. But now I’m beginning

ing having nothing to do with the

to sound like an old-fogey profes-

objects themselves. •

sor. What’s most significant is this seismic change in terms of gen10

October 2012




the cultural and historic heart of Japan

Story & photography Graham McKelvie


he Kansai region in southwestern Japan, home to Osaka and Kyoto, is the cultural and historic heart of the country Japan’s. ancient capitals are here; so is the most revered shrine. It is crisscrossed by pilgrimage trails, peppered with holy mountains, home to merchants and monks, geishas and gourmands, Buddhists and businesspeople — a diverse combination which exists in remarkable harmony. Umami is the Japanese word we 12

October 2012

use for that taste that is all things at once in perfect balance: sweet, salty, tangy — deliciousness. Japanese cuisine is one of their national treasures. People here know good food. And food offers the best entry point on our journey to understand Japan’s unique sense of harmony. One of my favourite restaurants is called Isaribi, located underneath the railway tracks of Umeda, Osaka’s downtown. This is a robatayaki, where food is cooked in

front of you over an open flaming grill. Equally flaming is the host, who storms about the place in the most wonderfully raucous manner. His sense of humour is classic Kansai: ribald and earthy. He asserts that all the waitresses are his girlfriends; they all roll their eyes. Delicious food is passed to you straight from the grill on an enormous paddle. The char on the food, coupled with servings of raw fish and lots of shochu, Japan’s whiskey, makes for an unforgetta-

ble evening. Adding to the atmosphere is the name of the restaurant itself: “Isaribi” is what you call the fire used as a lure for nighttime fishing. With a fire set on a boat, fishermen toss leashed cormorants into the lake which scoop up fish that, in turn, the fisherman take from them. It is a sight to behold. To finish an evening of eating there is nothing like the gelato that can be had here. As an imported idea, Japanese gelato is not beholden to the more traditional


tastes we expect. On the menu is

times I have seen the small, bent

basil, sweet corn, Darjeeling and

but sturdy bodies of those farmers

black sesame to name only a few.

who toil so tirelessly. Traditional

Never too sweet, every ingredient

culture is never far away in Kansai,

in the right measure, Japanese ices

but my experience planting rice

are something I, indeed, have writ-

had a delightful modern twist. I suppose it could be said of any

that Osakans ruin themselves pur-

culture, that it is the landscape

chasing their beloved food. After

that cultivates and prunes the sen-

living here for nearly a year, I con-

sibilities and mores of the peo-

fess the same could be said of me.

ple who are its tenants. Nowhere

I have read about the culture of

is this more true than here. The

rice and recently had the experi-

countryside is some of the most

ence of planting it. It was not easy.

verdant I have ever seen and even

Punishing perhaps best describes

in the cities, wherever there is a

it. As a guest professor teach-

speck of dirt, something will be

ing contemporary dance at Kobe

growing and flourishing in a hun-

Jogakuin Daigaku University, I am

dred shades of green. In the back-

often the happy recipient of invi-

ground are mountains, marching

tations to things of cultural inter-

away, rippling in so many folds,

est. So it was that I found myself at

like an elegant piece of origami.

the Seiler farm outside the farming

Tucked away in between are secret

hamlet of Goma to plant rice. To

valleys harbouring mysteries. This

my surprise, I was joined by people

part of Japan is filled with cultural

from all over the world. The Seiler

treasures beyond imagining.

family is composed of Ernst and

Kyoto is so full of UNESCO world

Mayumi Seiler and their children,

heritage sites that I have lost

and they are well-known musi-

count. The 12th-century temple of

cians. Every year, the interested

Sanjusangen-do is something that

and the faithful come to their farm

I cannot yet fully accommodate

to help out. Rice planting is incredi-

with its thousand statues of Kanon

bly labour intensive. It takes a com-

Bosatsu, goddess of mercy, shim-

munity. The sensation of forging

mering with gold leaf, appearing to

backwards in my bare feet through

float against the almost black back-

the knee-high water and thick, soft

drop of ancient wood. The beauty

mud of the flooded field is some-

and sense of the spiritual is almost

thing I can still feel. The pain in

overwhelming. The monks at the

my body from the day’s work was

17th-century temple of Chion-in,

felt for days after, but the sense of

dropping golden leaves as they

communal effort was more mem-

chanted, wearing robes the colour

orable. The bonds created among

of jade and poppies, are now a per-

us who had come from so far were

manent part of my imagination.

acknowledged at the end of the




Kyoto Prefecture©JNTO

ten home about. There is a saying


day over a glass of the Seilers’ most

life here has left a big impres-

excellent sake which had the effect

sion on me. Never overbearing,

of turning the punishment we had

yet constant, idealistic but prag-

endured into something rather

matic, spiritual life here is some-

pleasurable. In my mind though,

thing that is worn comfortably. A

whilst I was enjoying my sake, I

trip to the temple happens when

couldn’t help but recall the many

the need is felt and the temple is

→ MYS T ERIES The Golden Pavilion (opposite page), night fishing with cormorants (top), Osaka Castle (middle), Sanjusangen-do (bottom), Minoo monastery (next page; top) and a bamboo grove in Arashiyama (next page; bottom).

part of the landscape which is its inspiration. Rather than imagining the world in the dualist way we have been taught in the West, here ©JNTO

there are simply many choices. Continued on page 14


LIVING & DESIGN Continued from page 13

Surrounded as you are by the



expense and presumptuous self-

lovely, comfortable way. Kansai

beauty of an exquisitely pruned

sands of lanterns. Laid to rest



entitlement are given very short

is to me all things wonderfully

garden, you are reminded of the

and memorialized here are sam-

shrift here and human kindness

balanced. It is refined, friendly,

landscape in which you are a ten-

urai and shoguns, poets, common

is commonplace — granted, these


ant. Temples, such as the famous

workers and even a lowly ant.

are traits common to all of Japan,


but they are realized here in a

everything in the right measure. •

Golden Pavilion (or Kinkakuji on

This sense of many treasures

the grounds of the Rokuonji tem-

that are hidden is reflected in

ple) floating on its pond, or the

the Japanese character. So often,

Silver Pavilion (Ginkakuji) with its

things are left unsaid and indi-

meticulously raked rock garden,

viduality burbles just below the

inspire awe.

communal surface. It is necessary

Arashiyama, a stone’s throw

to make personal concessions in

away from Kyoto, is a jewel; a

this country and that can be a

town where you can find mon-

weighty thing at times. It is, how-

keys on mountain tops and where

ever, thoroughly exorcised by a

the rickshaw reigns as the vehicle

rowdy night of drinking which is

of choice for seeing the sights. In a

easily found here in Kansai.

gorge, surrounded by mountains,

Kobe is the third in the triad

is the most perfect ryokan that I

of cities that anchor the south-

can conceive of, a deluxe version

west and is an interesting blend

of that most traditional of Japanese

of foreign and traditional. When

inns, hidden in a paradise. It is


called Hoshinoya (hoshinoresort.

Japan, Kobe was their port of

com), and can only be reached by

entry which today is evidenced

boat or on foot. Tucked into a cleft

by the multitude of French res-

in the gorge, it is barely perceiv-


able, at one with the landscape

Italian pizzerias, jazz bars, dance

that envelopes it.

clubs and beach parties. Catching




modern, wondrous;

charming, umami,



Further south is Mt Koya, one

the last train home after a night

of the three holiest mountains in

of fun in Kobe can be a humorous

Japan. Its summit is a wondrous

catalogue of human shipwrecks

gathering of monasteries, tem-

in which, admittedly, I personally

ples and shrines, the inspiration of

have made several appearances. The people of Kansai are a big

revered Buddhist saints. For over a

part of the appeal of this part of

thousand years, people have been

Japan. Although the freedom we

coming here and for many it was

have in Toronto to openly express

their final destination. The ceme-

ourselves is not the norm here,

tery on Mt Koya’s summit has hun-

there is a dividend to making

dreds of thousands of tombs and

some concessions to local tastes.

carries on for kilometres through

Thoughtless talk, opportunistic

a forest of giant cedars and ever-

behaviour, laughing at another’s

Akira Okcda ©JNTO

Kobo Daishi, one of Japan’s most

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HOME TURF Downtown with Kristyn Wong-Tam Since being elected in 2010, city councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam says she’s never worked so hard in her life — even when she’s relaxing, she’s still on the job. Living and working in her district, Ward 27, Toronto Centre-Rosedale, which includes the Church-Wellesley Village and City Hall, Wong-Tam is keen to make the most of downtown’s unique charms

Spencer Xiong

You’ll often find me at Hair of the Dog (425 Church St); it’s one of my favourite pubs in Toronto. The staff are friendly and the food is good. This place is about creature comforts for me. In fact, I just had an intimate birthday gathering there in June. And since I love being on Church Street [Wong-Tam used to own the Timothy’s on Church] I hang there regularly. Allan Gardens (between Jarvis and Sherbourne, south of Carlton) is another favourite place. The gorgeous Palm House is one of the most under-appreciated historical sites in the city. Oscar Wilde even lectured there once, not to mention it has a rich Aboriginal history since it was a meeting place for Canada’s First Nations people. So it’s very special to me. I’m also an avid cyclist. I ride my bicycle around the city and it’s the best way to run errands when I’m in a hurry. On the weekends, I’ll 16

October 2012

often snap myself into Spandex cycling wear and explore the Martin Goodman Trail and beyond ( I love cycling long distances and when the rubber hits the country flats I feel free and completely unencumbered. I had a few accidents when I was younger, including a very serious one that resulted in several broken bones, so now I always ride with safety in mind. For service, I take my bikes to my friend’s shop at Urbane Cyclist (180 John St). I own three bikes, two cars and I’m a pedestrian. And of course I also use transit a lot. Ward 27 is one of the busiest wards in the city and I love that it never shuts down. There is just so much to do and see. It’s not a sleepy bedroom community, not at all. I ride the streetcars for commuting fun ( Regardless of what Mayor Ford says about them, I think they allow you to see the city in the way that a car cannot. It’s a

superb way to discover surrounding neighbourhoods. I love being in the Rosedale Ravine, Mud Creek and the Brickworks ( Being a councillor is an incredibly busy job. I go to the ravines to wind down after a long week, to reconnect with the natural elements. It’s also another way of checking up on the neighbourhoods. I often stop for a beverage at the Black Camel (4 Crescent Rd). I love cafés and patios; they have their own street culture. I’m a real people watcher; maybe that has something to do with the gay social gene. It’s probably why I’m passionate about improving public spaces and helping people break through social isolation to connect with each other. It’s a big factor on Church Street and it’s something I want to bring to Yonge Street. Because City Hall is in my ward, I don’t have an additional constituency office. So when I want to get

→ FORGET ALL YOUR CARES Downtown faves include Trios Bistro, Rosedale Ravine, Black Camel and Allan Gardens.

out and have meetings outside the building, I like going to the neighbouring hotels downtown. The Trios Bistro in the Marriott (525 Bay St) is a lovely environment with good food. I also like going to the Delta Chelsea (33 Gerrard St W) and the Sheraton Centre (123 Queen St W). The dining rooms are spacious and quiet enough to carry on a serious conversation. My father was a chef who worked in big hotels like the Four Seasons, Westbury Hotel and Sutton Place. You can say that I feel an affinity with the workers. Back in the old days, the best fine dining in the city was in hotels. I’m still drawn to that nostalgia of old-school white linen and dining service. Most of the time, I’ll have a soy latte and settle in for a productive meeting. It’s the best of both worlds. •




top designers from across Canada and beyond show off their best work at Toronto Fashion Week this month, bloggers will be tweeting, tagging and Instagramming every move. We take a closer look at some of Toronto’s best menswear blogs and get their take on Fashion Week Story Derek Dotto | Photography Jeffrey Chan

FRESHLY EDUCATED MEN The aptly named Freshly Educated Men will school you on style, music, film and art. Founder Sharad Mohan is blunt in his motivation for launching the site, saying he wanted to bring Toronto men out of the dark ages and into a renaissance of style and culture. He also shows you don’t have to look far to find incredible creators, dedicating a section of the site to local talent. Blog philosophy “My blog is a Toronto-centric men’s lifestyle blog that highlights people, fashions, art and culture. Men’s fashion is definitely the dominant topic on the blog where I love to highlight trends, local events and retailers. This is a home-grown blog for a home-grown audience.” Fall trends

JOE IS THE NEW BLACK joeisthenew-

“I’m loving the fact that we are seeing way more colour hitting the run-

→ JUST THE TICKET It’s All Style to Me’s Spiro Mandylor is a man on a mission.

way. So I’m hopeful that I’ll see more men exploring their colour palette this

A curator of all things cool, Joe

season. Another big trend is leather. Leather pants, jackets, leather detailing

Amio’s approach to blogging is simple:

on shirts. It’s on just about everywhere and I love it! I’m loving the transi-

Post the things he likes. Keeping captions to a minimum, Amio lets pictures

tion into tone-on-tone pairings this season, it’s like colour blocking but not.”

say their thousand words. He’s clearly got a thing for Canadiana, street

What to look forward to this Fashion Week

style, tribal prints, nautical themes and camouflage, not to mention any-

“I’d love to see Rudsak, Sid Neigum, Philip Sparks and Klaxon Howl this

thing wooden.

season as I believe they represent the best in menswear this country has to offer. Alas I’m not sure if all will be showcasing their collections at Fashion Week this season.”

Blog Philosophy: “Joe Is the New Black reflects my love for design in many worlds, not only in menswear, but interior design, music, film and graphic design. It is a thumbs up to anything and everything that authentically gets me excited.”

IT’S ALL STYLE TO ME Spiro Mandylor has a ticket to the hottest fashion events in Toronto and New York and his readers are his plus one. Along the way, this bald-headed blogger with a sartorial style that makes James Bond look like a schlep, doles out style advice, analyzes trends and shows off the latest collections from the world’s leading designers. Blog philosophy

Fall trends “I’m looking forward to the resurgence of killer socks — whether it be pops of colour or prints. Bring. It. On.” What to look forward to this Fashion Week? “I haven’t made up my mind about attending, although I’m always interested in what the Ezra Constantine boys, Kirk Pickersgill and Stephen Wong are up to. I dig Philip Sparks as well, although he usually shows off-site.” •

“It’s a blog, not a political movement. I want people to have fun with it. Enjoy the news, reviews and photography from the world of fashion and all things stylish. Maybe you’ll see something in a review of a collection, from a photo of an event or a trend report that you just need to get.” Fall trends “As everyone knows, Canadian winters are harsh so I’m happy about the men’s turtleneck trend. Just saw Michael Douglas sporting a turtleneck under

act resilient LoNG-TERM SURVIVOrs Group For GAY MEN

a sports jacket at Michael Kors SS13 in NYC. Statement outerwear for men is full force for FW12 as well. Look for bold patterns and prints for the boys.” What to look forward to this Fashion Week “Can’t say there is any one designer that I am keen on seeing over another. Happy to see them all. “

Discuss physical health, social life and relationships, emotional well-being, aging with HIV, mental health and more. To register, or for more information, please email:

AIDS Committee of Toronto 399 Church Street, 4th Floor, Toronto, ON M5B 2J6 T 416-340-2437 F 416-340-8224 W

f t



— with Adam Segal Finding a good therapist is hard enough, but how do you find a good sex therapist? I don’t want to go through local sex shops and their workshops; it’s way too public. My boyfriend and I have been together for over eight years and we go through very long periods without having sex with each other (or outside of the relationship). We seem to have fallen out of practice and just can’t get the spark going again. We’re still very much in love but we need help. Mario →

When relationships get stuck in

Things to look out for? Therapists

long-standing stubborn ruts that feel

who identify as sex-positive —

entrenched, it’s an ideal opportunity

implying that they not only work

to seek out a couples therapist for a

with sex-related issues but are

tune-up. Having a third party join

open and non-judgmental about

the conversation can make all the

the full spectrum of human sex-

difference in gaining some much-

uality. Being a queer couple, it’s

needed perspectives and help a cou-

important to find support from

ple actively address issues that have

someone who is not just sex-pos-

been pushed to the sidelines. I’ll get

itive but queer-positive as well.

to the specifics of finding a sex ther-

Try to get a sense of the therapist’s

apist, though many of these tips are

education and approaches. Do they

useful when trying to find a well-

have specific training in the areas

matched therapist in general.

of relationships and sexuality? Do

Many of us are willing to spend hours




they emphasize safety and collab-


oration? When you contact them,

researching the latest smartphone

are they attentive and welcoming?

options and plans — it only makes

Give yourselves permission to try

sense that we take at least the

on a therapist for size: Go to some

same care and attention in shop-

initial sessions, see how it feels, talk

ping around for the right therapist.

with each other about your experi-

When looking for a couples thera-

ences and only return for a sec-

pist, things are doubly hard, both

ond session with a therapist if you

of you will need to feel comfortable

both feel you were offered some-

and safe with the professional with


whom you end up collaborating.

ive. You should be able to notice




Finding a good sex therapist,

an improvement after some time

foremost, entails finding a good

spent on the couch. Just a heads

couples therapist. There are many

up: Expect that tensions in the rela-

avenues you can take to learn of

tionship could worsen initially, as

the cornucopia of practitioners out

some unspoken resentments about

there, including word of mouth,

your dry spells and any underlying


issues float to the surface.




trusted GP referral and good oldfashioned Googling, to name but a few. How you get to a counsellor matters less than what happens when you’re actually there. 18

October 2012

ADAM SEGAL The writer and therapist works in private practice in downtown Toronto. Ask him your relationship or mental health question at




CEO Joel Simkhai is proud that he’s changed how gay men hook up around the world Story Michael Thorner


n three short years, social apps for smart phones have fundamentally changed how gay men meet and interact. Joel Simkhai, founder and CEO of Grindr — the app that provides users with the opportunity to see a plethora of profiles of other men who are nearby via a smart phone’s GPS technology — has seen this first-hand. Always an early adopter of technology, the self-professed “gadget guy” believes that it was inevitable that Grindr would come along. Not only was new locationaware technology like the iPhone becoming ubiquitous, but gay culture was also in a state of flux. “I’m a product of AOL chat rooms, especially my gay identity,” says Simkhai. “I came out online first and then to the real world or the offline world.” In these environments, there was still the opportunity to remain somewhat private, hidden and, yes, closeted. Not everyone shared photos or details about themselves on their profile pages. Websites like Gaydar, Dudesnude, Manhunt, Adam4Adam, Fridae, Friendster and so on allowed online gay identity to progress incrementally. And then came Facebook. Looking back on the previous decade, it is apparent that this shift in user behaviour was precipitated by the advent of Facebook, something Simkhai readily acknowledges. In many respects, Facebook worked towards demystifying gay life on a global scale. With a social environment that integrated life content with a diverse society

of every persuasion, class level, creed, nationality and orientation, the stage was laid bare in a profoundly powerful way, revealing LGBT life as it is: something not to fear, but to celebrate. “We are now comfortable with an online identity... with presenting ourselves online... with our name being out there,” says Simkhai, “with people knowing what we’re doing. We’re comfortable with this oversharing thing that we’re now doing.” Which plays into the success of Grindr and the like. Simkhai believes that user appropriation of evolving technology has helped the contemporary gay man evolve his sense of self, and share that awareness with the world. New modifications to Grindr, including filtering options — find your twink! bear! jock! muscle boy! — as well as a new slide-screen menu, are features that have already been integrated into other competitor apps. Blendr, released

“I CAME OUT ONLINE FIRST AND THEN TO THE REAL WORLD OR THE OFFLINE WORLD.” last year, also initiated by Simkhai, and styled along the lines of Grindr, hopes to integrate a crossorientation mix of users looking to meet other people who live close to them, both geographically and figuratively speaking. Blendr is being marketed as less about

finding people for casual sexual encounters than it is about establishing relationships. It is a big world out there, and many of us can’t travel extensively to meet someone we like. The key, once again, is in the hope of finding that someone close by. Connections can take on many forms. People in urban centres like Toronto, New York or London may take apps like Grindr for granted, but the app is global. Its power in connecting gay men in more repressed areas of the world can be culturally transformative. “I think that’s powerful, especially in countries where there are no bars, where there is no gay culture, where there is no gay anything; countries where the president says there are no gay people,” says Simkhai. “And we’ve got users there, so to me I hope that’s very empowering to them. Because I think that is the biggest barrier in the coming out process... feeling so alone.” And it’s not just far-away coun-

→ LEADING T HE CHARGE Grindr CEO Joel Simhkai spotted the intersection of technological and cultural change.

tries. Simkhai talks of men moving from small towns to the big city and how they have benefitted from Grindr. Users tell him that the app has changed their lives. In this fast-paced, ever-changing world, making a life change easier is intoxicating. •





remarkable Toronto story behind the $10,000 Steinert and Ferreiro Award Story Paul Gallant





a professional conference. The

between. Amidst the city’s chaos,

sity Steinert and Ferreiro might


noticeably younger Steinert was

the two men found each other.

never have been able to imagine.


in San Francisco… just to be in

Their love affair, played out dur-

“It’s quite a Toronto story and a

the beach — Steinert leaning on

San Francisco. The Castro, which

ing the darkest days of the AIDS

moving one about how we all can

Ferreiro, both of them with cocky,

had by that time snatched the

crisis, lasted just six years. But

find ourselves going through,” says

delighted and mischievous expres-

title of Frisco’s gayest neighbour-

almost 25 years after it ended, that

Syrus Marcus Ware, this year’s

sions on their faces — you can

hood from rival Polk Gulch, was

connection between Steinert and

winner of the Steinert and Ferreiro

imagine the spark of their first

packed to bursting with gay men in

Ferreiro continues to fuel Toronto’s

Award. Following on the heels of

meeting in San Francisco in 1982.

tight T-shirts and blue jeans look-

LGBT community, a community

the likes of George Hislop, Rachel

ing for love, sex and everything in

whose success, breadth and diver-

Epstein and Ryan G Hinds, Ware

Jonathan Fernando



Steinert Ferreiro

Ferreiro, a psychologist, was at 20

October 2012


is the eighth person to receive the

to make a relationship work,” says

put the plant back and sat down as

their lives, which accounts for the

$10,000 prize for making a contri-

Kris Fortomaris, who met Ferreiro

if nothing had happened.”

gap between Ferreiro’s plan and

bution to Toronto’s LGBT commu-

in 1979, becoming his best friend

The tragic part of the story — its

nity. “You realize we really don’t

and, eventually, executor of his

brevity. In 1988, Steinert was diag-

“I was pleasantly surprised that

know how much time we have

will. Now almost 60, Fortomaris

nosed with an inoperable brain

Jonathan’s name went first,” says

in this life,” says Ware. “There’s

still gets choked up looking back at

tumour which took his life later

Fortomaris. “That was one way of

something powerful about leaving

those heady days of the 1980s.

that year, while he was in his mid-

Fernando not only thanking, but

The couple built a life together

20s. Ferreiro, who was in his late

honouring Jonathan for his love

with Steinert as Ferreiro’s office

40s by this time, was devastated.

and support.”

The Toronto part of the story is

administrator. They both loved to

Though he eventually emerged

Ware, 35, says he feels privileged

the immigrant factor — Toronto

entertain, especially at their annual

from his shell and started to love

not only to be chosen by the selec-

as the city whose strength is bred

Halloween bash. Steinert did most

life again, he was never quite the

tion committee, but also to join

in far-flung corners of the globe.

of the cooking. They shared deco-


the company of previous winners

Ferreiro was born in Santiago,

rating duties, Fortomaris says, fill-

“Fernando never had a rela-

like Rupert Raj and Beverly Bain.

Chile, in 1941. After the 1973

ing the place with antiques they

tionship after Jonathan passed

A founding member and designer

coup d’état, which saw a dicta-

picked up together at markets and

away,” says Fortomaris. Although

of TransFathers 2B, the first course

torship rule the country until

auctions. Opera, no. Musical the-

it was the brain tumour that killed

ever in North America for trans

1990, Ferreiro left Chile to study

him, Steinert was HIV-positive


in Toronto where he stayed and

at the time of his death. Ferreiro

Ware has also became a father

was later diagnosed HIV-positive

himself in the last year. His con-

and became ill. In the four years

tributions to Pride’s Blockorama

between Steinert’s death and his

party, his advocacy for prisoners’

own, Ferreiro thought long and

rights and trans rights, his work

hard about the toll HIV/AIDS was

on HIV/AIDS, as well as his work

taking on the community and how

as an artist, are all tied together,

the world often turned its back

he says, by a desire to help people

on people after coming out. He

on the margins achieve dignity and

thought of establishing a seniors


the world a little better than you found it.”

established a counselling practice. He eventually offered his services out of his home in Cabbagetown, which was in the process of transforming from a neglected workingclass neighbourhood into a gentrified urban enclave. Many of his patients were gay men, living in


the closet and struggling with their sexuality, who heard about him by

atre and the symphony, yes. And

word of mouth in an era when “gay

the parties.

positive” wasn’t something embla-

home for gay men.

the award’s launch in 2005.



Considering the determination

Rather than focusing on a sin-

of Steinert and Ferreiro to nurture

“Jonathan was always laughing,

gle issue like HIV/AIDS or hous-

the best in a world that can deal

joking and wanting to bring peo-

ing, though, Ferreiro decided to

unexpected and undeserved trag-

Steinert hailed from Milwaukee,

ple into their social circle,” says

establish a fund that would recog-

edy, Ware encapsulates the many

Wisconsin. Although Ferreiro stayed

Fortomaris. “I’ll never forget one

nize contributions more broadly,

forces that push back.

close to his family, Steinert, whose

dinner party we had at my house.



“I think Fernando would have

family treated him badly when

There was a lull in the conversa-

acknowledged the shifting needs

been elated with what’s come out

they found out he was gay, seemed

tion; not everybody knew each

and achievements of the commu-

of the award,” says Fortomaris.

eager to create a chosen family in a

other. Jonathan went over to one of

nity that had nursed him and his

“He wanted the winners to have

chosen city.

my marble pillars, picked up a brass

lover through the hard times. Not

the freedom to do with the money

flowerpot with a snake plant in it,

just traditional activists, but edu-

what they want.”

put it on his head and proceeded to

cators and artists who rise to the

walk up and down the steps, mak-

demands of their time. After his

ing a grand entrance like a Ziegfeld

death in 1992 at Casey House,

Follies girl, which broke the ice and

Ferreiro’s estate focused on taking

had everybody in stitches. Then he

care of his parents until the end of

zoned on business cards.

“In those days, people tried harder → POS T CARDS FROM T HE EDGE After Chile’s military coup in 1973, Fernando Ferreiro moved from Santiago to Toronto. He met Jonathan Steinert from Milwaukee in 1982.




STEINERT AND FERREIRO AWARD Presented at Community One’s fundraising party on Thu, Oct 11 at Steam Whistle Brewery. See page 24.



OCTOBER Paul Kolnik




PROARTEDANZA Season 2012 opens

THE COC’S DIE FLEDERMAUS Opens with costumes by Constance Hoffman



JAY ISAAC Second Eye closes at Monte Clark


Art & Photography JAY ISAAC Craft confronts art in Second Eye, a solo show of new time-based constructions from the Toronto-based artist. 10am-6pm. Tue-Sat. Noon-5:30pm. Sun. Closes Sun, Oct 14. Monte Clark Gallery. 4 Trinity St. I AM THE WALLS OF THIS POWER HAUS

Group show curated by Fariz Kovalchuk exploring youth empowerment through art. Featuring Gary Allen, Jason Bone, Julien Buxton, Sarah Hunter, Francis Luta, Tanja Tiziana and more. 11am-7pm. Mon-Thu. 11am-9pm. Thu-Sat. Noon6pm. Sun. Until Tue, Oct 23. Artists’ talk. 3pm-5pm. Oct 21. Glad Day Bookshop. 598A Yonge St, 3rd floor. (416) 961-4161. THE PIN BUTTON PROJECT The Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives brings together buttons, celebrating everything from the “Marxist Mafia of the Lavender Left” and



LA CAGE AUX FOLLES Opens at the Royal Alex


JULIEN BUXTON Power Haus group show closes at Glad Day

the first anniversary of Chaps to campaigns for John Sewell and George Smitherman, with visitor-submitted stories. Until Mon, Oct 22. CLGA. 34 Isabella St. ART WITH HEART The luxe fundraiser for the in-patient, home care and outreach of specialty AIDS hospital Casey House. On the block are works by Anthony Redpath, Sharon Switzer, Chris Curreri, Kris Knight, Attila Richard Lukacs, Greg Girard and scores more. Also for sale are limited edition works by Paul Butler and Kent Monkman. Public preview. Free. Noon5pm. Fri, Oct 12-15. Main event. $175. 5:30pm reception; 7pm auction. Wed, Oct 17. The Carlu. 444 Yonge St, 7th floor. (416) 962-4040 ext 232. THE POWER PLANT The Clock by Christian Marclay is the celebrated 2010 video installation that splices together a bewildering number of shots of timepieces from famous movies to create a


WAAWAATE FOBISTER Performs in I’m Not the Indian You Have in Mind

POLITICAL MOTHER Hofesh Shechter opens at Bluma Appel

continuous 24-hour sequence. There are viewing couches and a few 24-hour viewing opportunities left: 10am on Tue, Oct 16 to 5pm on Oct 21; 10am, Oct 27 to 5pm, Oct 28; 10am, Nov 23 to 5pm, Nov 25. Also, the solo exhibition Continuous Coverage by Berlin-based video artist Omer Fast. Free. 10am-5pm. Tue-Sun. 10am-8pm. Thu. 231 Queens Quay W. (416) 973-4949. SANDY PLOTNIKOFF Foil Problem, recent work from his ongoing series of freeform collage with holographic printed foils. Opening. 7pm-10pm. Fri, Oct 12. 11am-5pm. Wed-Sat. Until Nov 10. Paul Petro Contemporary Art. 980 Queen St W. (416) 979-7874. TORONTO INTERNATIONAL ART FAIR Fri, Oct 26-29. See page 27.

Dance PROARTEDANZA NextSteps presents


OPERA ATELIER Der Freischütz opens at the Elgin

Season 2012 featuring the world premiere of Expire, an ensemble piece choregraphed by artistic director Roberto Campanella and artistic associate Robert Glumbek. Plus favourite works from the company’s repertoire including Beethoven’s 9th, 1st Movement from 2009 by Campanella and Glumbek, Campanella’s Decorum and Kevin O’Day’s duet We Will. $22-$39. 8pm. Wed, Oct 3-6. Fleck Dance Theatre. 207 Queens Quay W. (416) 973-4000. I’M NOT THE INDIAN YOU HAVE IN MIND

NextSteps presents the Native Women in the Arts production of choreographer Carlos Rivera’s exploration of where social, racial, and gender stereotypes collide. Featuring Waawaate Fobister, Lilia León, Justin Many Fingers, Malgorzata Nowacka, Touwanna Sell Francois and Rivera. $20$28. 8pm. Thu, Oct 11-13. Enwave Theatre. 231 Queens Quay W. (416) 973-4000. ROAD TRIP NextSteps presents Susie



Bruce Zinger

Review Anna von Frances


Thriller set in 1930s Vancouver opens Sun, Oct 7 at Bluma Appel.

Burpee and Linnea Swan in a tragicomic rollercoaster of movement. $19.50-$34. 8pm. Thu, Oct 18-20. Enwave Theatre. 231 Queens Quay W. (416) 973-4000. POLITICAL MOTHER Canstage presents UK-based Israeli choreographer Hofesh Shechter’s dance and rock spectacle. Political Mother has been called everything from an extended metaphor on political oppression to a “howling beast of a dance show.” $24-$79. 8pm. Wed, Oct 24-27. 2pm. Oct 27 & 28. Bluma Appel Theatre. 27 Front St E. (416) 368-3110.

Film & Video

Fashion & Design

Books & Print

TORONTO FASHION WEEK Designers TBA. Mon, Oct 22-26. David Pecaut Square. John and Queen St W. See page 17.

FARZANA DOCTOR The local author of the critically acclaimed novel Six Metres of Pavement is the Toronto Public Library’s writer in residence.

KEEP THE LIGHTS ON Opens Fri, Oct 12.

See page 28.

TORONTO AFTER DARK The festival of horror, sci-fi and cult films returns. On offer this year is the US feature Excision starring AnnaLynne McCord as a disturbed teenager with bloody fantasies. Co-starring John Waters, Traci Lords and Malcolm McDowell. Also the UK comedy A Fantastic Fear of Everything starring Simon Pegg and the Canadian comedy Lloyd the Conqueror. Schedule TBA. Thu, Oct 18-26. Bloor Cinema. 506 Bloor St W.

Continued on page 24

The website of Hopgood’s Foodliner describes it as “contemporary east coast comfort moves into Toronto’s west end.” I’m from Newfoundland and I took my mother, also from the island, to Hopgood’s, hoping for a little taste of down home, but more refined (read: half the fat), only to have our waitress tell us explicitly that Hopgood’s was not an east coast restaurant. She was right to some extent, no east coast restaurant would be so brazen as to include donairs (the late-night shwarma-type eat that Halifax is known for) without including fish and chips, or at least chips with something. And they don’t serve hot beverages at all. There isn’t an east coaster alive who doesn’t take Tetley tea with canned milk after their supper, so that was our second clue. It’s too bad Hopgood’s can’t commit to a menu that is a little more authentic and a restaurant that’s slightly more comfortable (it was freezing). There was plenty of good food to rave about, like the oysters which were from PEI and presented simply but lovely. The smoked mackerel oatcakes ($10) had just the right amount of smoke to introduce a mainlander to one of my favourite east coast fish dishes,

→ ROUGH SEAS Hopgood’s Foodliner has great food, but some kinks need to be worked out.

but not enough for my mom, who thought they were bland. The donairs ($14) were served as two small taco-sized sammies, perfect to share with a date. There was Nova Scotia halibut ($15) which was served almost like a ceviche with tiny scrunchions (fried salted pork fat). The scallops with warm beets and black pudding was a more composed dish. The decor is very sparse, very functional and dark. It was still the last gasps of summer when we went, so it was cold inside, although far too cold, hence our desire for hot tea. It was packed and it seemed everyone had a reservation, so we ate at the bar. The service was slow. The portions were kind of small and we felt hungry between courses. They didn’t serve bread. The food was delicious, although over-priced for the portions. The service and the experience were flat at best. This place is a great idea that needs better follow through.

HOPGOOD’S FOODLINER 6pm-11pm. Thu-Mon. 325 Roncesvalles Ave. (416) 533-2723.


LISTINGS & EVENTS 27 Front St E. (416) 368-3110. MISS CALEDONIA Melody A Johnson stars in her musical about a farm girl in the 1950s desperate to escape the drudgery of her life by winning a beauty pageant. With musical arrangements and original score by Alison Porter; Rick Roberts and Aaron Willis direct. $48-$53. Wed, Oct 24Nov 22. Tarragon Mainspace. 30 Bridgman Ave. (416) 531-1827.

Continued from page 23

She kicks off a series of workshops with a meet and greet. Free. 2pm. Sat, Oct 6. North York Central Library. 5120 Yonge St. (416) 395-5639.

Pop & Rock BARBRA STREISAND Louis Armstrong called her the greatest ever singer. She’s also a tireless champion of LGBT and progressive causes. $90-$530. 8pm. Tue, Oct 23. Air Canada Centre. 50 Bay St. NEW ORDER The influential new wave synth-pop band reunited in 2011 (comprised of original members Bernard Sumner, Stephen Morris and Gillian Gilbert joined by Phil Cunningham and Tom Chapman). They haven’t played Canada since 2001. $56-$100. 7pm doors; 8pm show. Tue, Oct 23 & 24. Sony Centre. 1 Front St E. (855) 985-5000.


Comedy cabaret kicking off the Indiegogo fundraising drive for Christina Zeidler and John Mitchell’s new lesbian rom-com. $20. 8pm. Tue, Oct 30. Gladstone Hotel. 1214 Queen St W. WAR OF THE WORLDS Sean Cullen, Nicholas Campbell and Marc Bendavid star in the return of Art of Time’s 2011 staging of Orson Welles’ infamous 1938 radio play that terrorized a nation. Also on the bill is Herrmannthology, a suite based on the Bernard Herrmann scores. $29-$59. 8pm. Tue-Sat. 1pm. Wed. 2pm. Sat & Sun. Tue, Oct 30-Nov 4. Enwave Theatre. 231 Queens Quay W. (416) 973-4000.

Classical TORONTO SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA On offer this month: Superstar violinist AnneSophie Mutter in a program of Bach, Beethoven and Gubaidulina; Michael Francis conducts. 8pm. Wed, Oct 3 & 4. Steven Reineke (see page 29) makes his debut as TSO Pops conductor in a program of Rodgers and Hammerstein. Tue, Oct 9 & 10. French piano sensation Lise de la Salle in a program of Sibelius and Ravel. 8pm. Oct 17. 2pm. Oct 18. Russian master Maxim Vengerov has picked up his violin again and plays in Toronto Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto and Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade. 8pm. Oct 20. $29-$145. Roy Thomson Hall. 60 Simcoe St. (416) 598-3375. ESPIRIT ORCHESTRA The 30th season opens with the premiere of Wolf Returns by R Murray Schafer, with Alexina Louie’s O Magnum Mysterium: In Memoriam Glenn Gould, Colin McPhee’s Tabuh-Tahuhan and Iannis Xenakis’ For the Whales. Alex Pauk conducts. $50. 8pm. Sun, Oct 14. Koerner Hall 273 Bloor St W. (416) 408-0208. Prior to the concert (7pm) Louie hosts the launch of the memoir by R Murray Schafer My Life on Earth and Elsewhere. THE STRADIVARIUS ENSEMBLE To kick off the Royal Conservatory’s season the Mariinsky Theatre’s artistic director Valery Gergiev leads an ensemble of the best of the theatre’s symphony orchestra in a program of R Strauss, Shostakovich and Tchaikovsky. $75-$250. 8pm. Fri, Oct 26. Koerner Hall. 273 Bloor St W. (416) 408-0208.

Theatre & Cabaret SISTER ACT With music by Oscar-winner Alan Menken, it’s the story of Deloris Van Cartier, a wannabe diva hidden by the cops in a convent. $59-$130. 8pm. Tue-Sat. 2pm. Wed, Sat & Sun. Tue, Oct 2-Nov 4. Ed Mirvish Theatre (formerly The Canon). 244 Victoria St. (416) 872-1212. DIE FLEDERMAUS A screwball plot of revenge and mistaken identity. The COC


presents Johann Strauss II’s operetta for the first time in 20 years. The new production stars Canadian tenor Michael Schade, with Tamara Wilson, Ambur Braid, Mireille Asselin, David Pomeroy and Laura Tucker; Christopher Alden directs, Johannes Debus conducts. The sets are by Allen Moyer (the COC’s Nixon in China) and costumes by Constance Hoffman. $12-$325. Thu, Oct 4, 9, 12, 14, 17, 20, 24, 27, 30, Nov 1 & 3. Four Seasons Centre. 145 Queen St W. (416) 363-8231. LA CAGE AUX FOLLES With a book by Harvey Fierstein and lyrics and music by Jerry Herman, the Tony Award-winning revival from 2010 comes to town starring George Hamilton as nightclub owner Georges and Christopher Sieber as his boyfriend and star Zaza. $35-$130. 8pm. Tue-Sat. 2pm. Wed, Sat & Sun. Wed, Oct 10-Nov 18. Royal Alexandra Theatre. 260 King St W. (416) 872-1212. GLOBAL CABARET FESTIVAL A weekendlong free-for-all that brings together more than 100 artists in 20 one-hour cabarets. Shows include Broadsway with Heather Bambrick, Julie Michels and Diane Leah performing Sondheim and Gershwin to Lady Gaga. Opera diva Jean Stilwell performs her new cabaret What Was I Saying? Michael Hughes reprises his musical memoir Mickey and Judy. And Tony-winner Brent Carver presents an original cabaret. Fri, Oct 12-14. Young Centre. 50 Tank House Lane. $20 adv; $25 door; various passes avail. (416) 866-8666. BLOODLESS: THE TRIAL OF BURKE AND HARE Theatre 20 presents the musical

black comedy from Winnipeg playwright/ composer Joseph Aragon, based on the true story of two 19th-century serial killers. Starring Evan Buliung and Eddie Glen. Adam Brazier directs. $49-$69.

→ INCENDIARY Sarah Orenstein and Jonathan Wilson head up the strong cast of The Normal Heart.

8pm. Tue-Sat. 2pm. Wed, Sat & Sun. Thu, Oct 11-28. Panasonic Theatre. 651 Yonge St. (416) 872-1212. THE NORMAL HEART Studio 180 revives its hit from last year, one of the most critically acclaimed productions of 2011. Larry Kramer’s real-life political thriller from 1985 is an unflinching and unforgettable look at sexual politics during the beginning of the AIDS crisis. Starring Jonathan Wilson, Sarah Orenstein, John Bourgeois, Mark Crawford, Paul Essiembre, Ryan Kelly, Mark McGrinder, Jeff Miller and Jonathan Seinen; Joel Greenberg directs. $30 & $35. 8pm. Tue-Sat. 2pm. Sat & Sun. Fri, Oct 19-Nov 18. Buddies in Bad Times Theatre. 12 Alexander St. (416) 975-8555. DER FREISCHÜTZ (The Marksman) Opera Atelier presents its first-ever work from the Romantic era, Carl Maria von Weber’s rarely seen 1821 opera. A young man enters into a Faustian deal to win his heart’s desire by passing a test of marksmanship. Starring Croatian tenor Krešimir Špicer; directed by Marshall Pynkoski, with set designs by Gerard Gauci and costumes by Martha Mann. David Fallis conducts the Tafelmusik Orchestra. $35-$160. 7:30pm. Sat, Oct 27, 30, 31, Nov 2 & 3. 3pm. Oct 28. Elgin Theatre. 189 Yonge St. 1-855-622-2787. TEAR THE CURTAIN Canstage presents the Electric Company production of Jonathon Young and Kevin Kerr’s psychological thriller set in 1930s Vancouver, directed by Kim Collier. An intriguing amalgam of film and theatre. $24-$99. 8pm. Tue-Sat. 1:30pm. Wed. 2pm. Sat & Sun. Sun, Oct 7-20. Bluma Appel Theatre.

Community One Foundation, the local charity providing financial support to numerous LGBT individuals and groups, hosts a fundraising party with a 1920s theme. Includes the presentation of the Steinert and Ferreiro Award (see page 20). $75. 7pm-11pm. Thu, Oct 11. Steam Whistle Brewery. 255 Bremner Blvd. NORTHBOUND LEATHER The unfinished collection of leather apparel and accessories by the late John Giaouris will be featured in Dream, Northbound’s 16th annual Fetish Fashion Show. John Giaouris, who unexpectedly passed away earlier this year at the age of 21, is the son of George Giaouris, Northbound’s owner. Featuring Canadian heavyweight boxing champion Ray Olubowale, model Helen Petras, Boylesque’s Dew Lily and DJ Jimi LaMort. Dress code in effect. $45 adv; $55 door. 9pm doors. Sat, Oct 13. Sound Academy. 11 Polson St. (416) 972-1037. OPERANATION 9 The Canadian Opera Company’s fundraising gala party, with the theme Sweet Revenge, will feature performances by members of the COC’s Ensemble Studio, masquerade costumes, and decadent cuisine and drinks. $500 dinner. 7pm. $150 party & performances. 9pm Thu, Oct 18. Four Seasons Centre. 145 Queen St W. (416) 363-8231. FOWL SUPPER Annual fundraiser for the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives. Food, cocktails, silent auction, variety show. $70. 7:30pm. Fri, Oct 19. St Lawrence Hall. 157 King St E. HALLOWEEN It’s fascinating: Who comes to gawk and who comes to be gawked at. A strange little microcosm of the city. Church Street will be shut down between Alexander and Gloucester beginning early evening. Stage show 7pm; contest 9:30pm. Wed, Oct 31. •

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mind the art fair’s bleak setting, the art provides plenty of soul Story Pamela Meredith | Photography Arash Moallemi


remember my first time clearly. I was completely turned off. My first art fair was so vast, so

blatantly commercial and, as it was 20 years ago in Europe, everyone was smoking! Around the art! I was quite precious and high-minded back then. Fast forward many years and I’ve come to relish art fairs exactly for their scale, commerce and casual nature. The convention centre setting may feel soulless iniArt Toronto

tially, but it’s a convention for art lovers and the art provides plenty of soul. Whether you are a seasoned collector, dipping a toe into the art

Milne alongside works by emerging

a hit list or starting point. The fair

Having been one myself, I can

market or truly “just looking,” art

artists — perhaps the next Riopelle

loosely bundles like-minded gal-

assure you that questions and con-

fairs are one of the best ways to

or Emily Carr — as well as current

leries together (blue-chip, histori-

versation are the highlight of the

take in the spectrum of art produc-

art stars like Douglas Coupland and

cal, modern, emerging) on the floor

job in general and more so when

tion in one place. I try to visit three

Shary Boyle. The presence of inter-

plan, so starting with your must-see

captive in a small booth all day. In

or four every year and it’s always

national galleries provides an intro-

will lead to others.

my mind, education is one of a gal-

an opportunity to take the pulse of

duction and an education on work

the contemporary art world, to pick

from Israel or Ireland, for example.

the brains of gallery owners and

This year’s TIAF shines the spot-

I prefer spending a couple of

work. TIAF also has a very strong

fellow enthusiasts and, of course,

light on the fascinating Asian art

shorter sessions at the fair rather

lineup of talks, tours and panel dis-

to see the latest and the greatest.

scene with more than a dozen gal-

than one long one. It helps to pre-

cussions on subjects ranging from

I have certainly made auspicious

leries from Japan, Korea, China,

vent my eyes from glazing over.

“The Art of Collecting” to “Banking

purchases at art fairs but the real

India and the Philippines. Check

Also, many galleries rotate their

on Emerging Artists.” I would rec-

successes are when I fill my note-

out MA2 gallery from Tokyo. I am

installations after a day or two or as

ommend taking a curator’s tour of

book with the names of new art-

particularly excited to see the work

they make sales, so there are always

the Focus Asia galleries (happening

ists to follow or meet kindred spir-

of Aki Eimizu, Yasuko Iba and Mats

new things to see. The fair offers a

each day at 3pm). I am on a panel

its who share their knowledge (and

Gustafson in the flesh. This beauti-

discounted two-day pass for people

called “Collaboration, Hybridization

art world gossip).

ful, quiet work is right up my street.

like me. On the second visit I tend

and Regeneration: A State of the


If row upon row of stalls chock-

to beeline to the things that stayed

Arts” on Sun, Oct 28 from 1pm to

Toronto International Art Fair is

ablock with art is daunting, I have

with me overnight (when consider-

2pm. Please drop by and say hello.

a good one. It’s broad enough to

some tips to mitigate that fear.

ing a purchase I really prefer to sleep




please many palates, but manageable and organized enough to nav-

lerist’s principal roles and best tools GO TWICE

in creating a market for their artists’

on it rather than buy in the moment, ADVANCE RESEARCH

but many have gotten away as I pon-

igate without major stress. The

Quickly perusing the list of exhib-

breadth of Canadian art is here,

itors and clicking through on links

dered; it’s a chance I take).

from conceptual practices to Inuit.

to gallery websites will give you

You’ll find gems from Canadian art

a sense of what kind of work you

There is a misconception that gal-

history like Lawren Harris and David

will see in the booth and suggest

lerists are an intimidating bunch.


TIAF $18. Noon-8pm. Fri, Oct 26 & 27. Noon6pm. Oct 28 & 29. Metro Toronto Convention Centre. 255 Front St W. The opening night preview ($200; 6:30pm-10pm) is a fundraiser for the Art Gallery of Toronto. PAMELA MEREDITH Is TD Bank Group’s senior curator.





the Lights On by Ira Sachs is an indie must-see Story Peter Knegt


’m constantly reliving my

my work,” says Sachs. “I’m inter-

worst bad breakup,” says

ested in why, personally, and also

filmmaker Ira Sachs. His

what it says about the possibility of

semi-autobiographical drama Keep

gay cinema in general.”

the Lights On has been screening

Sachs says that, on some level,

at film festivals around the world

both as a filmmaker and as an

(including Toronto’s Inside Out

individual, he “re-closeted him-

back in May) since its acclaimed

self” after The Delta, “out of neces-

debut at Sundance earlier this year.

sity, out of fear and out of being

Often, Sachs just pops in for the

uncomfortable with who I was.”

final five minutes of the film before

He says he was living “in a world

doing festival Q&As, so he’s repeat-

in which my story was one that

edly exposed to the film’s painfully

was both unwanted and that I felt

realistic portrait of the heartbreak

some amount of shame about. And

from an epic relationship that fails.

I think in a way I see Keep the Lights

“It’s not just my breakup,” Sachs

On as a new beginning for me. I

says. “It’s your breakup too. I think

hope it also encourages other queer

it’s a very relevant story to a lot of

filmmakers about the possibility of


telling our stories.”

The film, being released theatri-

Obviously Keep the Lights On

cally in Toronto Fri, Oct 12, follows

tells a story that is very personal to

Eric (Thure Lindhardt) a filmmaker


→ HONESTY VERSUS SHAME Thure Lindhardt and Zachary Booth star in Keep the Lights On, Ira Sachs’ semiautobiographical story of an epic relationship that fails.

who falls for Paul (Zachary Booth), a

“I ended a relationship back in

some ways, I came out at 16 years

closeted lawyer. It charts a volatile

2007,” he says. “With that relation-

old. But I think I went back in per-

10-year time frame during which

ship I was aware that 10 years prior

sonally in other ways the very next

each man struggles with their own

there had been a very clear first day.

day. So you could almost look at

private compulsions and addic-

Somewhere between those two

the film as the next chapter of the

to do it differently,” he says. “In the

tions, often at the expense of their

points was a good story, and a story

story. Because it’s a film about a

most simple way, to be honest with

relationship. The result is a poi-

I hadn’t seen.”

relationship that is in ways fuelled

him at every point. And the dif-

by secrets.

ference in the nature of intimacy

gnant, raw love story and truly one of the fall’s must-see indie films. It also marks a turning point for Sachs as a filmmaker. His first feature, The Delta, premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival back in 1997. A lovely coming-ofage film about a closeted gay boy,


it was followed by two films, 2005’s


generation of gay men; he’s 46. “In

“For me personally after going

based on that honesty is very pro-

through a similar relationship, I

found. And I also think for me as a

came to the point where I could no

filmmaker it changed both the sto-

longer live that way. And I chose

ries I wanted to tell and the way I


wanted to tell them.”



which was to live an honest life. I think for many gay people, honesty is something that has to be

Forty Shades of Blue and 2007’s

Sachs says that he largely con-

Married Life, that featured no gay

siders Keep the Lights On as a film

re-learned.” Honesty is something Sachs him-

content whatsoever. A point that

about shame, but one he was intent

self has re-learned with a new rela-

Sachs himself is very intrigued by.

on “telling shamelessly.”

tionship that has been going strong

“What’s been interesting to me is

“We consider ourselves liberated,

since shortly after the timeframe

to recognize that for 15 years or so,

but most of us came of age still bur-

depicted in the film. “When I began

I haven’t had any gay characters in

ied in shame,” says Sachs of his

a new relationship, I knew I needed

October 2012

KEEP THE LIGHTS ON Opens Fri, Oct 12. TIFF Bell Lightbox. 350 King St W. (416) 599-TIFF


BEDAZZLED → The TSO’s new pops conductor literally sees musical notes dancing before his eyes Story Mary Dickie | Photography Sian Richards



ops” music is a hybrid beast, a bridge between classical



lar musical styles that can attract new audiences to symphony halls in desperate need of fresh blood. To some, it represents a dilution of the “serious” classical repertoire, but to others, including Steven Reineke, the newly appointed principal pops conductor of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, it’s a thrilling way to add symphonic weight to mainstream music — and get show tunes into Roy Thomson Hall. Although he has played in everything from rock and folk bands to Dixieland combos, Reineke always comes back to orchestral music. “It’s the palette of colours and sounds that a symphony orchestra has,” he says. “And the power. There’s nothing like having 40 string players backing you up, Michael Tammaro

plus a great brass and percussion and wind section. And you’re able to combine anything with it. It’s great.” Under Reineke’s direction, the TSO will present five pops concerts as part of its 2012/13 season: an eve-

bridge the gap between the audi-

and trumpet and “air-conducted”

ning of Rodgers and Hammerstein

ence and the orchestra and tear

whatever he was listening to in

Broadway classics, a collection of

down some barriers — be the face

his bedroom. “I always had music

music played in James Bond mov-

of the pops here and have a rap-

going through my head,” he says.

ies and a romance-themed night of

port with the audience. I want to

“First it was music I’d heard on the

love songs, as well as a Christmas

be part of the community and I

radio, and I’d sit at the piano and

bit of a gift. And that was the point

concert and a screening of West

want the orchestra to be part of the

figure it out by ear. When I was 13

when I realized I had to pay atten-

Side Story with live orchestral

or 14 it started to become music I’d

tion to it, and figure out what to do

accompaniment, plus a bonus hol-

never heard before — something

with it.”

iday show with the Barenaked Ladies. By hiring the ebullient Reineke, a composer and conductor who is also the music director

new, and I didn’t know where it

Which leads back to his love for

was coming from. That’s when I

show tunes and his Broadway-

began composing.”

heavy series of concerts with the

Constantly hearing music can

TSO. Reinke says he has no idea if

be distracting, though, especially

there is a show-tune gene. “I don’t

when you literally see notes and

know that there’s anything genet-

treble clefs dancing around in your

ically predisposed in loving Liza

head. “I have a difficult time driving

Minnelli, Barbra Streisand and Judy

in cars,” Reineke acknowledges. “I

Garland. I have no idea. And that

a step toward diversifying its aging

have to listen to talk radio, because

stereotype isn’t completely true,

audience and putting a spotlight

if music is on, I see what it looks

but it’s true a lot, that’s for sure.”

of the New York Pops at Carnegie Hall and principal pops conductor of the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center in Washington, the TSO is taking

on its more accessible offerings. “It’s not that we’re trying to fix anything that’s broken; we’re just



→ AWAY WE GO Steven Reineke launches the TSO’s pops series with a program of Rodgers and Hammerstein.

community. We have an incredible

like on the page — not just where

Reineke says he first came out to

resource in this city that needs to

the notes are, but what the viola

himself, just before leaving for col-

continue to thrive.”

players and the third trombone

lege. “It was a conversation I had

trying to build on what’s already

Reineke has been obsessed with

are doing. I thought everybody in

with myself in the bathroom mir-

there,” says Reineke. “And it’s nice

music since his childhood in small-

music did that, but a teacher in

ror,” he recalls. “It was a cathartic

to put a face with that. I want to

town Ohio, where he played guitar

college convinced me that it was a

moment, a life-changing moment.

October 2012


I always knew, but it was a matter of finally being able to say the words out loud.” At collage he earned degrees in trumpet performance and musical composition, but when famed Cincinnati Pops conductor Erich Kunzel took him under his wing in 1995, Reineke found his niche. He began guest conducting for various orchestras, including the TSO, as well as writing and arranging music for the Cincinnati Pops. Eventually, his career started to take off. First the Modesto Symphony in California offered him a job as pops conductor; the Long Beach Orchestra followed, then the New York Pops lured him east, and soon he was


Ella in Berlin. This is Ella at her peak. Her rendition of “Mack the Knife” has become a classic, not just in her interpretation and inherent sense of swing, but she forgets the lyrics and improvises on the spot. Ella was one of a kind. YOUR FAVOURITE MOVIE SOUNDTRACK?

Without a doubt, it’s West Side Story with a score by Leonard Bernstein. I’m conducting the score live with the TSO for the Pops series, alongside the film, in May. I can’t wait.

conducting all over the US. “I can’t


believe how fast it’s happened,” he

I’m happy that No Doubt with Gwen Stefani is back together, although I must say I’m a sucker for classic rock including bands like Journey, Styx and of course the Beatles.

says. “I’m conducting all these terrific orchestras, and it’s a wonderful feeling.” Reineke lives in New York, in an apartment appealingly close to Broadway, from where he can easily travel to his jobs in Toronto and Washington. As a fan of classic Broadway shows, he says he’s excited about the TSO’s Rodgers and




month, and he’s looking forward to the major challenge of conducting the orchestra for the West Side Story screening. ”It’s a lot of work to synch it up with the movie,” he says. “It’s not like working with a live person, where you can give and take and breathe together and watch each other; we have to be right on the mark. I’ve got some


This should be really romantic, so C’Est Si Bon by French chanteuse Arielle Dombasle. BEST MUSIC TO GET IN THE MOOD?

In the mood for what!? If it’s what I think you’re implying, then Barry White, of course. THREE SONGS YOU’RE LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW?

“Improvisation (Live)” with Paula Morelenbaum from Casa (the whole album is terrific), “Si Tu Savais” by Stephane Wrembel, and “U Plavu Zoru” by Pink Martini.

technology to help me, but I have to time things pretty precisely. It’s a terrific score, though, and to watch it come alive is amazing. I’ve done The Wizard of Oz before, and that’s even harder. Those darn Munchkins will just not sing in time!”

PhoTo | VidEO | digital | SalES | rEntalS | SErViCE


I love Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade, and TSO music director Peter Oundjian is doing it in June.

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S EX s p onsored by spa excess

ASK THE SEX GEEK — with Andrea Zanin

In the gay men’s community specifically, but the queer community in general as well, if two people have been building up sexual tension, but then it is disclosed that one is HIV-positive (or has another similarly serious STI) and the other does not, is it socially acceptable to lose interest and move on? What is the best way to negotiate that situation? I’m asking because one of my gay male friends is directly struggling with it — he’s negative and feels a certain pressure to sleep with positive men that he is attracted to. But I’m curious for myself as well. Karen →




Thanks to our volunteers, supporters, sponsors and walkers of the 2012 Scotiabank AIDS Walk for Life we are still fighting.

I always maintain that nobody

with HIV means that people may be

owes anybody sex. The only good

afraid to learn their status and so

reason to have sex is because

avoid getting tested. So I wonder if

you want to — not because you

your friend’s hard line here is based

“should,” no matter where the

on an accurate assessment of risk,

“should” comes from. So if your

or if it’s an instance where he’s let-

friend is feeling pressured, that’s a

ting misinformation and fear guide

great big “should” and he needs to

his choices. I’d encourage him to do

respect himself and his own desires

some research.

well enough to simply say “no

For instance, does he know what

thanks” if that’s his preference. We

sexual activities carry the great-

don’t owe anyone an explanation or

est risks of transmission? Does

an apology for refusing sex, either

he understand safer sex options,

— though of course explaining or


softening a “no” is perfectly accept-

(“female”) condoms, gloves and

able and can ease a social situation.

more? Is he aware of how the stage

So if your friend has a hard limit

of a person’s HIV infection, the

about not sleeping with poz guys,

length of time they’ve been positive,

then he could work out a way of

their treatment regimen and their

gently explaining his choices about

viral load are all factors that impact

HIV risk, taking an approach that

the risk of transmission? Does he

is careful not to shame or blame

know about PreP, or pre-exposure

HIV-positive people for their sta-

prophylaxis, a new approach to HIV

tus but that makes his own reasons

prevention that has recently been

clear. He could also make a habit of

approved for use in the US?




mentioning, early on in any inter-

A good place to start is the

action, that he doesn’t sleep with

Canadian AIDS Treatment Info-

HIV-positive men. That way, sexual

rmation Exchange or CATIE (catie.

tension doesn’t ever start to build

ca). We all need to negotiate our

under false pretenses.

sexual risk-taking carefully and

That being said, HIV carries a

consciously, and accurate informa-

lot of stigma, and much misinfor-

tion is crucial to helping us do that.

mation circulates about how HIV is transmitted and what is and isn’t really safe to do. And existing stigma combined with the recent turn toward criminalizing people

ANDREA ZANIN The Sex Geek blogs at



CAUGHT IN THE ACT by George Pimentel & Michael Pihach



3 2












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Profile for IN Magazine

IN Toronto Magazine: October 2012  

IN Toronto Magazine: October 2012 Issue ISSUE: 29 Gay and Lesbian City Living Magazine from Toronto

IN Toronto Magazine: October 2012  

IN Toronto Magazine: October 2012 Issue ISSUE: 29 Gay and Lesbian City Living Magazine from Toronto