Page 1

COMPLIMENTARY / DISCOVER LIVE MUSIC, THE FOOD SCENE, PRO SPORTS & MORE

2019 | #SEETORONTONOW

TURN IT UP! FIND YOUR GROOVE IN CANADA’S DOWNTOWN

MEET THE LOCALS & EXPLORE THE NEIGHBOURHOODS PLUS: ARTS & CULTURE / FASHION & DESIGN / SHOWS, EVENTS & FESTIVALS


CHELSEA KNOWS From shopping and sporting events to the city’s hottest attractions; our concierge team can advise you on places to go and how to show your room key to get discounts along the way. As Toronto’s urban resort, Chelsea Hotel, Toronto features multiple dining options, an adult only pool & fi tness area and Family Fun Zone including downtown Toronto’s only indoor water slide and resident bunnies! Let Chelsea show you what’s happening in the city, our rooms are just the beginning.

chelseatoronto.com / 1-800-CHELSEA (243-5732) 33 Gerrard Street West. Toronto, ON M5G IZ4


WELCOME

What’s online Explore SeeTorontoNow.com for more info, resources and news you can use to make the most of your visit.

Plus!

v From the best Canadian fashion to the brightest home decor and gifts, check out our Style & Design guide online. Visit SeeTorontoNow.com/ StyleandDesign.

v Planning a visit with the kids? Research our Yo-Toronto.com site with the whole family. v Search our calendar for hot events and cool happenings across the city during your visit. v Devour the best Toronto has to offer. Check out our Food & Drink mini-magazine at SeeTorontoNow.com/ FoodandDrink.

Welcome to Canada’s Downtown

Planning a trip to Toronto? We’re thrilled to share our region’s finest attractions with you! We want to help you make the most of your time in the city, so we’ve packed several vacations’ worth of information and inspiration into this issue of Toronto magazine. Toronto is a vibrant, exciting city with unique events and activities happening around every corner, year-round. We’ve got you covered with plenty to eat, see and discover, whether you’re here for a business trip, family vacation, friends’ trip or couple’s getaway. We’ve also provided the scoop on transportation and getting around the city with ease, to help make your travel experience a smooth one. The 2019 edition of Toronto is brimming with ideas so you can curate your own adventure at your own speed. So turn the page and plan your visit down to the hour... or simply pick a neighbourhood and start wandering! Either way, you’ll find both classic and contemporary Canadian experiences in all their social and cultural diversity. Explore it all by walking, cycling, taking public transit—or even by paddling, if you’re up for it. Toronto is not only “Canada’s Downtown,” it is also the gateway to a vast region that includes world-famous Niagara Falls, the pristine lakes and forests of Muskoka and the Kawarthas and the nation’s capital region. It is an ideal base for a day trip or overnight stay. Right next door you’ll find the cities of Mississauga and Brampton, each with its own compelling heritage and urban amenities like shopping, arts and dining. Over 329,000 dedicated individuals work in tourism and hospitality, and we’re all here to make your visit one you’ll never forget. WELCOME!

Funding provided by:

Lead partners:

Share your

CONNECT WITH US Toronto experience.

Premium partners:

Get social here:

@SeeTorontoNow facebook.com/SeeTorontoNow youtube.com/SeeTorontoNow @SeeTorontoNow

@SeeTorontoNow

2019 TORONTO

3


Contents

DEPARTMENTS 03 WELCOME 08 CONTRIBUTORS 12 NEW IN 2019 Things to get excited about in 2019. 92 GETTING AROUND Here’s the lowdown on navigating the city. 94 LAST WORD Meet the marine biologist with one of the city’s coolest jobs.

UPFRONT

56

11 FOOD, ARTS, CULTURE & MORE Fresh finds to eat, explore and experience on your visit.

CITY CONFIDENTIAL 28 SOUNDS FROM THE 6IX Four of Toronto’s music pioneers share their takes on the music scene, then and now.

40 SOUNDS LIKE TEAM SPIRIT Get in the game with our guide to the rah-rah-rowdy soundscape of Toronto’s major-league sports scene.

52 MAXIMUM VOLUME Join us for a sound check at the mammoth venues where the world’s biggest music stars come out to play.

32 PERIOD PERFECT Tour four unique neighbourhoods steeped in architectural charm and urban history.

44 LUXURY LOOKBOOK Get inspired by the luxury labels and designer brands of Yorkdale Shopping Centre.

38 CITY HUES Check out a super-cool winter mural by one of the city’s most prolific street artists.

49 TECH APPEAL  Toronto’s unbeatable energy and bold startup culture have transformed it into North America’s hottest tech HQ.

54 FAM JAM Make the most of your family vacay with fun, all-ages ideas for every traveller type, from sports nuts to culture vultures. 56 PLAY IT COOL Carve figure eights at these unique outdoor skating rinks and trails.

ON THE COVER The T.Dot Bangerz were shot on location in front of the Gooderham “Flatiron” Building, in Old Town. PHOTOGRAPH BY ALEX LUKEY; HAIR AND MAKEUP BY JENNIFER TOPP

4

TORONTO 2019

www.SeeTorontoNow.com


Contents

64

84 FOOD & DRINK

COMPASS

60 VEGAN REVOLUTION Plant-based menus are all the rage as Torontonians embrace the city’s greenest culinary trend.

72 LOCAL CHARACTER Get ready to explore Toronto, one incredible neighbourhood at a time.

64 OPEN KITCHENS Discerning diners are embracing the culinary traditions of two local cultures, old and new.

6

TORONTO 2019

84 BRAMPTON The Flower City’s natural attractions and multicultural mosaic are just a short drive away.

67 BATTLE OF THE WINE REGIONS In a battle between Ontario wine regions, which comes out on top?

86 MISSISSAUGA Old-world charm and big-city energy come together in Toronto’s neighbour to the west.

68 MIX MASTERS Say cheers to exotic cocktails #lit with just the right amount of spectacle.

88 WANDERLUST Get behind the wheel and take a road trip to Ontario’s most exciting (and photogenic!) getaways.

www.SeeTorontoNow.com

RICHARD JANSEN (64); HARBOURFRONT CENTRE (56); TREETOP TREKKING BRAMPTON (84)

72


J O U R N E Y

T O

THE NEW HOME OF TURKISH AIRLINES THE AIRLINE THAT FLIES TO MORE COUNTRIES THAN ANY OTHER AWAITS YOU IN THE WORLD’S NEW AVIATION CENTER

I S TA N B U L A I R P O R T

turkishairlines.com


CONTRIBUTORS Aya McMillan WRITER: “PRINCESS DIARIES,” PAGE 18 McMillan is an award-winning fashion writer, editor and social media strategist. Her work has appeared in Elle Canada, Vogue Japan, The Globe and Mail, Canadian Business and The Kit. FAVE SPOT FOR LIVE MUSIC: “Roy Thomson Hall. My mother took me as kid, so there’s a bit of nostalgia­—and it’s the kind of place that you want to dress up for.”

Alex Lukey PHOTOGRAPHER: COVER; “CITY SWAG,” PAGE 25; “MIX MASTERS,” PAGE 68 Lukey is a commercial and editorial photographer who specializes in interiors and lifestyle. His work appears in House & Home, Hotelier and The Globe and Mail. FAVE SPOT FOR LIVE MUSIC: “Echo Beach. The large outdoor stage has a great energy. And big crowds always make for an exciting show.”

Zeina Esmail STYLIST: “LUXURY LOOKBOOK,” PAGE 44 Esmail is an award-winning fashion director and stylist. Her work has been featured in Vanity Fair and Glamour. She’s dressed Taylor Swift, Gigi Hadid and Anna Kendrick. FAVE SPOT FOR LIVE MUSIC: Everywhere. “At a random bar in East York they had amazing live music, and near St. Lawrence Market there was a father-daughter duo and they were incredible.”

Contributing Designer Charlotte Werlick

TOURISM TORONTO Chair of the Board Robert Housez Executive Vice President & Chief Marketing Officer Jon Mamela Executive Vice President, Destination Development Andrew Weir Editorial Director: Director, Brand Content Paula Port Managing Editor: Content Manager Cathy Riches Director, Partnerships Sarah Jarvis BOOKMARK CONTENT AND COMMUNICATIONS Editorial Editor-in-Chief Yuki Hayashi

Operations Production Director Alain Briard Senior Project Manager Jennifer Fagan Project Manager Marc Tavas Ad Production Manager Mary Shaw Ad Production Coordinator Joanna Forbes Sales National Sales Director Tracy Miller Senior Account Manager Marjorie Callaghan Account Management Account Manager Zoë Rice Executive Vice President, Luxury & Lifestyle Group Kristin Izumi

Managing Editor Helen Racanelli Copy & Research Martha Beach Amanda Kwan Jennifer Krissilas

CEO, Americas Raymond Girard

Art Art Director Joseph Montemurro

Editorial Director Elio Iannacci

Meghan Yuri Young WRITER: “CITY HUES,” PAGE 38 Young edits her own lifestyle site and has written for Flare and The Kit. Besides brand consulting, Young is a mental health advocate. FAVE SPOT FOR LIVE MUSIC: “Budweiser Stage because I love listening to live music in the summer. There’s something so special about being outdoors, set to an amazing soundtrack.”

Partnership enquiries: 416-203-2600; partnership@torcvb.com Ad sales (Spafax Canada): 416-350-2425 Circulation: 200,000 Published by Tourism Toronto Queen’s Quay Terminal, Suite 405, 207 Queens Quay W., Toronto, ON, Canada, M5J 1A7 Tel: 416-203-2600 Fax: 416-203-6753 Printed in Canada

Richard Jansen PHOTOGRAPHER: “GOOD TO GO,” PAGE 23; “PERIOD PERFECT,” PAGE 32; “VEGAN REVOLUTION,” PAGE 60; “OPEN KITCHENS,” PAGE 64 Jansen is an artist who works in acrylic, ink and watercolour. He’s also a barber, “which allows me to meet amazing people and be inspired every day,” he says. FAVE SPOT FOR LIVE MUSIC: “Grossman’s Tavern. Live jazz on Sundays transports you back in time—the big band, audience dancing, cheap drinks and dive bar feel.”

8

TORONTO 2019

Toronto Magazine © 2019. All rights reserved. Reproduction without permission is prohibited. All information is current as of press time. The publisher cannot and does not guarantee the accuracy of all information and will not be responsible for errors, changes or omissions. This publication is printed on FSC® certified stock and is 100% recyclable.

www.SeeTorontoNow.com


7:13PM The moment you created a stir. Raise a glass to a whole new chapter. Our new Fairmont Gold is unlike anything Toronto has ever seen before. With expansive suites, a brilliant 18th floor private lounge, and thoughtfully designed spaces, this is a unique expression of downtown Toronto – a personalized luxury experience, at the heart of the city’s most essential landmark.

fairmont.com/royal-york-toronto


IT’S THE OPPOSITE OF A COOKBOOK.

Find 100s of delicious places to dine out in Canada’s Downtown at

SeeTorontoNow.com/FoodandDrink


UPFRONT

DON’T MISS DISCOVER ONTARIO

PRIDE TORONTO’S ANNUAL CELEBRATIONS AND PARADE

@SeeTorontoNow

@SeeTorontoNow

2019 TORONTO

11


UPFRONT

NEWS

WHAT’S NEW AND EXCITING AROUND TOWN IN 2019

COLLISION COURSE Toronto’s tech boom gets the international stamp of approval as influential annual tech conference Collision (May 20 to 23, 2019) kicks off a three-year stint in the city. Some stats that swayed the technocrati to Toronto:

+28,900

new tech jobs created in 2017, more than Seattle, New York, Washington, D.C., and the San Francisco Bay Area combined

CN Tower

Thanks to a recent mega reno, the 43-year-old CN Tower boasts three new Observation Level window walls, providing nearly seamless floor-to-ceiling sightlines and improving the view for kids and people with mobility challenges. There’s also a new glass floor on the upper LookOut level, 346 m (1,136 ft) above the street, plus three new bistros serving up casual bites like panini, salads and poutine.

FLAVOUR UNION

Bring your appetite to Union Station, home to a tasty new 10-vendor food court. Options to please all taste buds include local faves Loaded Pierogi (dumplings), Paramount (Middle Eastern) and Bangkok Buri (Thai street food).

#4

North American rank for ability to attract tech talent (2018)

15% of jobs in Toronto are in tech

132,000

square feet

HIGH NOTES The Toronto Symphony Orchestra has a duo of intriguing features this year, so get those opera glasses ready to go. First up: the Star Wars Film Concert Series completes its run with two episodes airing on the big screen (October 2019 and May 2020) accompanied by scores played live by the TSO. Or grab a ticket to Modern Broadway ( June 2019), which stars soprano Betsy Wolfe and tenor Jeremy Jordan, led by Steven Reineke, as they perform songs from Broadway hits (think Book of Mormon, The Baker’s Wife and Miss Saigon).

12

TORONTO 2019

size of Microsoft’s state-of-the-art HQ opening downtown in 2020

$ 1 billion expected investment in creating Sidewalk Toronto, a 12-acre mixed-use innovation district on the eastern waterfront

www.SeeTorontoNow.com

CN TOWER (CN TOWER); SHUTTERSTOCK (R2-D2/STAR WARS); SIDEWALK LABS (VISION)

CN TOWER MAKEOVER


Museum of Illusions

@CREATIVEMA AZK (MUSEUM OF ILLUSIONS); CANADA’S WONDERLAND (YUKON STRIKER); WASHED ASHORE PROJECT (WASHED ASHORE ); JOAN MARCUS/MIRVISH (HAMILTON)

MORE THRILLS & CHILLS AT CANADA’S WONDERLAND

MUSEUM & GALLERY SCENE v At the recently reopened Museum of Contemporary Art, you’ll find exhibits from Chantal Akerman (February to April 2019), and The Age of You: Douglas Coupland, Shumon Basar, Hans Ulrich Obrist (September 2019 to January 2020). Over at the Museum of Illusions, expect eye-fooling, Instagram-teasing visual adventures. Then, at Gardiner Museum, iconic ceramic works from human rights activist Ai Weiwei will be featured in Unbroken (now to June 2019). v The Royal Ontario Museum recently unveiled its new look: an alfresco gathering space off leafy Philosopher’s Walk and a refreshing facelift to its historic Queen’s Park entrance. Past its storied doors, two buzzworthy exhibitions are making waves. First, its dinosaur family has grown with the ankylosaur, a 76-million-year-old dino specimen named by ROM

scientists and introduced to the world in Zuul: Life of an Armoured Dinosaur (now through May 2019). Second, movie buffs will want to get their elbows out to snag a good look at Metallica guitarist Kirk Hammett’s classic horror and sci-fi poster, props and costume collection at It’s Alive! ( July 2019 to January 2020). v At the Art Gallery of Ontario, Yayoi Kusama’s Instagram eye candy is back. Infinity Mirrored Room – Let’s Survive Forever joins the AGO’s permanent collection this spring. Catch Brian Jungen’s sculptures made of repurposed materials ( June through August 2019). In September 2019, the inaugural Toronto Biennial of Art launches on the waterfront. This 90-day visual arts experience makes art accessible to locals and visitors alike while reflecting the city’s diversity.

Canada’s Wonderland’s new Yukon Striker is a record-smashing thrill ride. Be one of the first to ride the world’s fastest (130 km/h or 80 mph), tallest (75 m or 245 ft) and longest (1,105 m or 3,625 ft) dive coaster. Plus, for the first time ever, the theme park extends its season. WinterFest launches in November 2019 with 40,000+ sparkling ornaments, delish holiday treats and live entertainment.

Washed Ashore

OCEAN ACTIVISM AT THE TORONTO ZOO The Toronto Zoo hosts Washed Ashore (May to November 2019), an exhibit of giant sea life sculptures fashioned from marine debris. Scientifically based signage educates viewers about ocean stewardship and responsible consumer habits—after all, when it comes to saving our seas, every action counts.

Hamilton

HAMILTON’S IN THE HOUSE! Believe the hype and snap up tickets now to Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton, the Broadway phenomenon, which makes its long-awaited Toronto run with Mirvish Productions shows starting in February 2020. @SeeTorontoNow

@SeeTorontoNow

2019 TORONTO

13


UPFRONT

Toronto International Film Festival

Hot Tickets

Here are 10 epic festivals, concerts, celebrations and happenings worth planning a vacation around. BY HELEN RACANELLI

1 DEAR EVAN HANSEN

THE BUZZ: The multiple Tony Awardwinning musical makes its international debut at Mirvish Productions (now playing). A Broadway hit, Dear Evan Hansen has racked up accolades for its GRAMMY Award-winning soundtrack and sensitive portrayal of youth mental health issues. TICKETS: MIRVISH.COM

2 STADIUM ROCK AT SCOTIABANK ARENA

THE BUZZ: Rock out at a once-in-a-lifetime Scotiabank Arena stadium show. Three standouts: Cher’s Here We Go Again tour (April 2019), P!nk’s Beautiful Trauma tour (May 2019), and Elton John’s Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour (October 2019). TICKETS: TICKETMASTER.CA

3 LUMINATO FESTIVAL

THE BUZZ: Edgy visual art, music, dance and theatre shine during Luminato’s hotly anticipated annual event (June 2019), held at venues across the city. TICKETS: LUMINATOFESTIVAL.COM

4 IHEARTRADIO MUCHMUSIC VIDEO AWARDS

THE BUZZ: Idols like Shawn Mendes and Halsey perform at the MMVAs (Summer 2019). Tickets to this hyped, huge annual open-air gala outside MuchMusic’s studios on Queen Street West are free. TICKETS: FOLLOW @MUCH ON TWITTER AND @MUCHMUSIC ON INSTAGRAM FOR INFO

JANUARY v DesignTO Festival v Interior Design Show v Toronto International Boat Show v Toronto Light Festival JANUARY – MARCH v 21C Music Festival v W interlicious JANUARY – FEBRUARY

FEBRUARY v The Artist Project Contemporary Art Fair v Bloor-Yorkville Icefest v Canadian International AutoShow v Toronto Black Film Festival v W interfolk Blues and Roots Music Festival

14

TORONTO 2019

MARCH v Canada Blooms: The Flower and Garden Festival v National Home Show v One of a Kind Spring Show & Sale v St. Patrick’s Day Parade v Toronto Comicon v Toronto Sportsmen’s Show

APRIL v Creativ Festival v Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival APRIL – MAY

MAY v Canadian Music Week v Carassauga: Mississauga’s Festival of Cultures v Doors Open Toronto v GoodLife Fitness Toronto Marathon v Inside Out Toronto LGBT Film Festival MAY – JUNE v Mississauga Marathon v Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival v Toronto Jewish Film Festival v Woofstock

JUNE v CeleBRAMPTON

v Field Trip v Luminato Festival v Mississauga Waterfront Festival v North by Northeast v Ontario Craft Beer Week v Pepsi North America Cup v Pride Toronto v Queen’s Plate v Redpath Waterfront Festival v The Streetsville Founders’ Bread and Honey Festival v The Taste of Little Italy v Tastemaker Toronto v TD Toronto Jazz Festival

JULY v Beaches International Jazz Festival v Bud Light Dreams Festival www.SeeTorontoNow.com

KEVIN MAZUR/GETT Y IMAGES (TIFF)

2019 EVENTS


5 ROGERS CUP

THE BUZZ: Catch the Greatest Of All Time, Serena Williams, on centre court as the women’s event returns to York University’s campus for the Rogers Cup (August 2019). Locals will cheer for Canada’s top female player, Eugenie Bouchard, at this week-long tournament. TICKETS: ROGERSCUP.COM

6 TORONTO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL (TIFF)

THE BUZZ: For 11 thrilling days, TIFF (September 2019) reigns with a lineup that covers foreign and indie films to world premieres of Hollywood blockbusters. Stars like Natalie Portman and Armie Hammer grace the red carpet at this selfie- and autograph-friendly festival. TICKETS: TIFF.NET

7 JFL42

THE BUZZ: Get the giggles going at this festival that spotlights top stand-up comics at venues across Toronto (September 2019). Headliners in 2018 included comedy royals Ken Jeong and Wanda Sykes. TICKETS: JFL42.COM

2019). Featured, famed labels have included Rudsak, Pink Tartan and David Dixon. TICKETS: TW-FW.COM

9 HOCKEY HALL OF FAME INDUCTION SHOWCASE 2019

THE BUZZ: See hockey’s greatest heroes up close (yes, there will be selfies!) as the sport’s highest honours are bestowed on icons, including shoo-in Hayley Wickenheiser. Weekend events include Q&As, autograph sessions, a Legends Classic game and the Induction Ceremony (November 2019). TICKETS: HHOF.COM

10 CANADA’S WALK OF FAME AWARDS SHOW

THE BUZZ: Cheer on Canada’s brightest luminaries at this star-studded celebration of Canada’s best and brightest (December 2019). Past inductees include Ryan Reynolds, Seth Rogen and Margaret Atwood. TICKETS: CANADASWALKOFFAME.COM

Toronto Women’s Fashion Week

Rogers Cup

8 TORONTO WOMEN’S FASHION WEEK

FILIP MROZ (ROGERS CUP); DOUG BROWN (TORONTO WOMEN’S FASHION WEEK)

THE BUZZ: Local fashion hounds, media and celebs flock to TWFW for top local designers and the most soigné Canadian women’s labels. The event includes runway shows, films and talks (September

v Canada Day Brampton Chinguacousy Park v Canada Day Mississauga Celebration Square v Canada Day Nathan Phillips Square v Carabram: Brampton’s Multicultural Festival v Honda Indy Toronto v RBC Canadian Open v Summerlicious v TD Salsa in Toronto Festival v Toronto Caribbean Carnival JULY – AUGUST v The Toronto Fringe Festival v Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition v Toronto’s Festival of Beer @SeeTorontoNow

AUGUST v Canadian National Exhibition AUGUST – SEPTEMBER v Fan Expo Canada v Greektown Taste of the Danforth v Rogers Cup v TD Mosaic 2019: South Asian Festival of Mississauga v V ELD Music Festival

SEPTEMBER v B uffer Festival v JFL42 v Tim Hortons Southside Shuffle Blues & Jazz Festival v Toronto Beer Week v Toronto International BuskerFest for Epilepsy AUGUST – SEPTEMBER

@SeeTorontoNow

v Toronto International Film Festival v The Word On The Street Toronto

OCTOBER v A rt Toronto: Toronto International Art Fair v Creativ Festival v Halloween on Church v Nuit Blanche Toronto v Planet in Focus Environmental Film Festival v Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon v Toronto International Festival of Authors OCTOBER – NOVEMBER

NOVEMBER v Cavalcade of Lights v Hockey Hall of Fame Induction Weekend v One of a Kind Show & Sale NOVEMBER – DECEMBER v The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair v The Santa Claus Parade

DECEMBER v New Year’s Eve at Nathan Phillips Square v The Nutcracker v Toronto Christmas Market NOVEMBER – DECEMBER

2019 TORONTO

15


UPFRONT History Month provides the backdrop for screenings and events at the Toronto Black Film Festival (Febr ua r y), a nd audiences can savour movies for—and programmed by—teens at the TIFF Next Wave Film Festival (February).

MORE MOVIE MAGIC

A roundup of Toronto’s coolest independent and art-house venues.

v FOX THEATRE

THE BEACHES Don’t miss: A mix of contemporary blockbusters to cult favourites... and craft beer.

v HOT DOCS TED ROGERS CINEMA

ANNEX Don’t miss: First-run Canadian and international documentaries, year-round.

365 days of movies

Toronto has a film festival to satisfy every cinematic craving, no matter the season. BY VICKIE REICHARDT

SPRING

The Toronto Short Film Festival (March) offers more than 100 international short f ilms and music videos. Documentary lovers can dive headlong into more than 20 0 titles at the Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival (April – May). The Toronto Jewish Film Festival (May) recognizes the diversity of Jewish culture around the world, while the work of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender filmmakers is featured at the Inside Out Toronto LGBT Film Festival (May – June).

SUMMER

Celebrate women directors at the Female Eye Film Festival (June), or grab a n espresso and say ciao! at the Italian Contemporary Film Festival (June). The Toronto Japanese Film Festival (June) delivers dramas, comedies and anime, and the Toronto Korean Film Festival (July) showcases the work of both Korean and Korean-Canadian filmmakers. Want to enjoy a movie under the stars? Grab a seat at the Open Roof Festival (Wednesday nights, June – August), which pairs a film screening with a performance by a local musical act. 16

TORONTO 2019

FALL

Flashbulbs and frenzied fans abound when the Toronto International Film Festival (September) unspools starstudded premieres and awards-season contenders. T he imagineNATI V E Film + Media Arts Festival (October) i s t he world’s l a r ge s t fe s t iv a l of Indigenous screen content. French-film aficionados can enjoy the Cinéfranco Francophone International Film Festival (October); fans of horror, science-fiction, action and cult films can attend the Toronto After Dark Film Festival (October); and the ecominded can take in features and shorts at the Planet in Focus Environmental Film Festival (October).

WINTER

The Reel Asian International Film Festival (November) presents films from such countries as China, India, Thailand and the Philippines, while the European Union Film Festival (November) screens one film from each of the EU’s 28 member countries. The best Canadian films of the preceding year are celebrated at Canada’s Top Ten Film Festival (January), Black

v KINGSWAY THEATRE

BLOOR WEST VILLAGE Don’t miss: Foreign films, docs and occasional blockbusters, plus horror films on Friday nights.

v REGENT THEATRE

MOUNT PLEASANT Don’t miss: Independent and foreign films plus modern hits, set in a movie theatre from the Roaring ‘20s.

v REVUE CINEMA

RONCESVALLES VILLAGE Don’t miss: Specially curated film series, multicultural film festivals, Q&As, panel discussions and conversations with experts.

v THE ROYAL CINEMA

LITTLE ITALY Don’t miss: The Drunk Feminist Films signature series screenings with cocktails, chats and occasional costumes.

v SAIL-IN CINEMA

WATERFRONT & TORONTO ISLANDS Don’t miss: Films screened on a barge. Bring a blanket and watch from Sugar Beach or sail up in a boat and drop anchor for free.

v TIFF BELL LIGHTBOX

ENTERTAINMENT DISTRICT Don’t miss: Restored film classics, contemporary world cinema and activities for kids in a modernist venue.

v ONTARIO PLACE CINESPHERE

WATERFRONT & TORONTO ISLANDS Don’t miss: Concert flicks and special screenings on a jumbosized laser IMAX screen.

www.SeeTorontoNow.com

JESSE MILNS

Toronto International Film Festival


Record win

Load up on discs in one of the world capitals of vinyl. BY LARA CERONI Like records? Bring an extra carry-on bag when visiting Toronto. According to industry estimates, Toronto has one of the world’s highest concentrations of record shops. You’ll f ind about 50 brick-and-mortar v inyl dealers here offering everything from new releases to collector’s discs and hard-to-find rarities. Here are some of the city’s best.

SONIC BOOM CHINATOWN

Canada’s largest independent record shop lives up to the hype. Housed in a two-level, 12,000-square-foot factory building, it holds an inordinate selection of vinyl, including rare hip-hop, indie and spoken word gems.

PLAY DE RECORD This unassuming nook is a formidable resource for Toronto DJs chasing down hot techno, house and Afrobeat. Music production lessons are offered on-site and up-and-comers can mix around on CDJs (specialized digital players) between gigs.

ANTIKKA – THE VINYL CAFÉ QUEEN STREET WEST

Need an espresso with your B side? This rock ’n’ roll music den/coffee shop holds over 1,200 new and used records. Browse its barn-wood shelves for classic rock, blues and jazz.

Antikka – The Vinyl Café

KOPS RECORDS

TINY RECORD SHOP

There’s a reason why Kops Records has been a ma i nst ay si nce t he m id-’70s: new releases, exclusive pre-orders and rare “kollectibles.” Shop three locations (32,000+ vinyl titles!) and take advantage of their staff’s encyclopedic knowledge.

Tucked inside the gift shop Token, this mini vinyl mart stocks back-catalogue and rare country, soul, reggae, classic and indie rock. Owned by an indie-label exec, its deftly curated selection has attracted big-name browsers like Wilco and Brendan Canning from Broken Social Scene.

MULTIPLE LOCATIONS

CHINATOWN

JACKMAN CHIU (SONIC BOOM); RICHARD JANSEN (ANTIKK A); ALAMY (THE WEEKND)

Sonic Boom

DEAD DOG RECORDS BLOORDALE VILLAGE

With current and classic albums, audio equipment and music merch, this fullservice shop is a go-to for old vinyl, CDs and concert DVDs.

LESLIEVILLE

GRASSHOPPER RECORDS OSSINGTON VILLAGE

O p e n u n t i l m i d n i g h t e v e r y d a y, Grasshopper caters to late-night crate diggers looking for the freshest psychedelic tunes. Take pause at their bin aptly named “Weirdo sh*t.” You won’t be disappointed. The Weeknd

WHAT IS THE TORONTO SOUND?

Moody and ambient, the local hip-hop sound has had an outsized influence beyond city borders, thanks to the charttopping, downtempo R&B melodies of artist/producers like Drake and The

@SeeTorontoNow

@SeeTorontoNow

Weeknd. Beats crawl like molasses (often contrasted against a light melody), hinting at influences as disparate as Caribbean dancehall and 1990s British industrial and electronica. “If I had to describe Toronto’s hip-hop sound, I’d call it a melting pot of cultural expression, many different cultures all merging in

Toronto—that Caribbean influence, that African influence. They’re infusing that into hip-hop to create their own version of hip-hop,” said Clifton Reddick, author of the book Toronto Sound Volume 1, in a CBC Radio interview. Dark, melancholic and emotional, the Toronto Sound carries far and wide.

2019 TORONTO

17


UPFRONT

Before she became the Duchess of Sussex, influencer extraordinaire Meghan Markle was a Toronto-based actress on the hit TV drama Suits. When the fashion-loving foodie wasn’t filming (or visiting her then-boyfriend Prince Harry), the future princess was hitting the city’s best hotspots. Give yourself the royal treatment by checking out her fave shops, labels, neighbourhoods, restaurants and spas. BY AYA MCMILLAN

YORKVILLE

Browse the racks at Holt Renfrew’s flagship on Bloor Street West. The luxury department store at the heart of this tony neighbourhood offers an array of Meghan’s go-to labels, including Mother jeans, Aquazzura heels and a cool mix of Canadian-designed wares by Greta Constantine, Mackage and Smythe.

Miraj Hammam Spa

MIRAJ HAMMAM SPA BY CAUDALIE PARIS

Your cares will melt away at this luxe Duchess-approved spa that features French skincare line Caudalie Paris and offers traditional Middle Eastern hammam and gommage treatments.

BAR ISABEL

Fika Café

KENSINGTON MARKET

Artsy, low-key Kensington Market was a much-loved foodie destination for the actress. Duck into the likes of Hooked for fresh seafood; Sanagan’s Meat Locker, an old fashioned butcher; Blackbird Baking Company for its organic red-fife and sourdough loaves; and Fika Café, a picturesque Swedish-style spot that serves breakfast, lunch, pastries, coffees and teas.

Inventive dishes like deep-fried whole sea bream ceviche shine in this charming Spanish-influenced eatery that Meghan frequented regularly.

SENTALER

Up your royal style factor with Sentaler’s luxurious Meghan coat. Local designer Bojana Sentaler’s outerwear is still in the Duchess’ royal outfit rotation.

BIRKS

At a late-2018 event, the Royal sported dazzling Snowstorm diamond earrings from iconic Canadian jeweler Birks.

HOT YOGA

Get in your hot yoga and vinyasa practice just like Meghan did. Såana Yoga and Modo Yoga have studios across town.

Holt Renfrew

Såana Yoga

18

TORONTO 2019

The Duchess wearing Birks jewelry

GETT Y IMAGES (MEGHAN MARKLE); RICHARD JANSEN (FIK A CAFÉ); JOHN LAUENER (YOGA); CAUDALIE PARIS (MIRAJ HAMMAM SPA); MAISON BIRKS (EARRINGS)

Princess diaries

At Catalyst Health, book a sweat sesh with Craig McNamee, who trained Meghan during her Rachel Zane Suits years. To refuel, pop down the street to Revitasize Natural Juice Kitchen, which serves her fave Instagram-worthy acai bowls. Then head over to see Luis Pacheco, the Duchess’ hair colourist at Medulla & Co., and Donna Dolphy Hair, where your mane can also be blown to glossy perfection.

www.SeeTorontoNow.com


AWARD-WINNING L ANDM ARK TO URI ST DE STIN ATION

TOP MUSEUM/ART GALLERY/HISTORIC SITE

CASA LOMA

BLUEBLOOD STEAKHOUSE

DON ALFONSO 1890

PRE MIER DINING ESTABLISHMENT S

CIBO WINE BAR

YONGE

KING W

AWARD OF EXCELLENCE

Y ORKVILLE

BEST ITALIAN RESTAURANT 100 Best Italian Restaurants in canada

also by liberty Group Toronto Liberty Grand Entertainment Complex | Rosewater Room Spice | Brassaii | Arcane Miami

Cibo Wine Bar Coral Gables | Cibo Wine Bar South Beach Coral Gables Country Club | Coral Gables Athletic Club

Libertygroup.com


UPFRONT

5 16 1

5 6

YOLO TO You only live once (YOLO), so go for broke in Canada’s Downtown. Here are 10 over-the-top, only-in-Toronto experiences for every taste and budget. BY TARA NOLAN LIVE ON THE EDGE

Crank your adrenaline level 116 storeys above the city with just a safety harness securing you to the roof of the CN Tower’s observation deck. EdgeWalk is hands-free, so you can fistpump for the souvenir snaps— and show them off on the ‘gram—if you dare!

2

GO FOR THE GOLD

Splurge on The Spa at Four Seasons’ Rose Gold Facial, a gilt-y pleasure complete with rose-infused colloidal gold mask, nano-gold royal jelly and anti-aging gold serum. Add the Yorkville Pedicure for a goldflecked scrub served up with a glass of champagne.

3

DRIVE YOUR DREAM CAR

Climb into a Lambo and roar around the speedway at Toronto Motorsports Park. Ultimate Exotics’ track day experience lets you choose from among the world’s most coveted speed machines like the Ferrari F430 or Lamborghini Gallardo.

20

TORONTO 2019

4

GEEK OUT TO RARE BOOKS

Bibliophile? Goosebumps await at the University of Toronto’s Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library. Request your once-ina-lifetime op to read Charles Dickens’ letters or browse early editions from the Charles Darwin collection, among 750,000 other rare volumes.

5

DIVE INTO ADVENTURE!

Pull on a wetsuit and slip into the depths with sand tiger sharks and roughtail stingrays. Besides a spinetingling experience with aweinspiring marine predators, each Discovery Dive at Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada supports shark conservation efforts.

6

BOOK A PRIVATE HELI TOUR

Dazzle bae with the city’s most exclusive skyline views in a Heli-Tour chopper. Or step up the drama with a private twilight tour, guaranteed to mesmerize with epic views of

the lake, sunset and sparkling city lights (it comes with some awesome swag, too!).

7

DROP ANCHOR IN TORONTO HARBOUR

Live the luxe life on a Gone Sailing Adventures private chartered yacht: pop the bubbly and toast the sunset together. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and family indulged in a Toronto Island tour on the WhiRLygirl yacht—you should too!

8

BEST. SLEEPOVER. EVER.

Don your best PJs and stake out a spot for your sleeping bag beneath an enormous dinosaur skeleton. The Royal Ontario Museum’s ROMKids Sleepover is a night at the museum like no other, with exploration and crafts,

karaoke, movies, late-night snacks and breakfast.

9

DINE LIKE A KING

Feast like a royal (or a robber baron) in historic Casa Loma’s BlueBlood Steakhouse. Splurge on a big-money cut like dry-aged porterhouse from Alberta, or on a sampler of Japanese, American and Australian Wagyu filet.

10

UPGRADE FROM GA TO VIP

Catch that summer-festival vibe, minus the crowd overload and lines. Veld Music Festival’s VIP tix get you through the gate sooner into a dedicated area with killer sightlines and an exclusive bar offering table reservations and bottle service. www.SeeTorontoNow.com

PATRICK TOMASSO (HELI TOUR); RIPLEY’S AQUARIUM OF CANADA (AQUARIUM)

1


TORONTO IS WAITING. WE’LL TAKE YOU THERE. Air Canada offers the most non-stop flights to Toronto. Experience our award-winning service and Canadian hospitality from over 200 destinations around the globe. Book at aircanada.com or contact your travel agent.


UPFRONT

But first, coffee

Give your followers a jolt with shots of the city’s most Instagram-worthy cafés. BY SAM TABBERT

LIGHT CAFE

FIKA CAFÉ

MAMAN

Follow: @lightcafecanada Order up: Black sesame waffles and ice cream Mandatory snap for the ‘gram: You, enjoying your #bestlife by the #livingwall

Follow: @fikakensington Order up: Kanelbullar—from-scratch Swedish cinnamon buns Mandatory snap for the ‘gram: The famous book wall

Follow: @_mamantoronto_ Order up: The aptly named almond and berries financier Mandatory snap for the ‘gram: Tabletop ceramic bunnies and tempting pastries

REUNION ISLAND COFFEE BAR

HAILED COFFEE

BALZAC’S COFFEE ROASTERS

Follow: @ricoffeeco Order up: A griddled breakfast sammy from Gold Standard’s takeout window to the side of the café Mandatory snap for the ‘gram: Their coffee + your shoes + that tile floor

Follow: @hailedcoffee Order up: A brunch-winning halloumi za’atar croissant Mandatory snap for the ‘gram: Latte art with any (or all) of the following: a notebook, a potted succulent, blond wood and tile floor

Follow: @balzacscoffee Order up: Citro Booster, a bracing concoction of fresh-squeezed lemon and ginger juices, maple syrup and turmeric. Mandatory snap for the ‘gram: Old Toronto architectural backdrop

This bright and freelancer-friendly Roncesvalles Village café lures laptoptoting javaphiles with brews crafted from house-roasted single-estate beans. Take a bag home with you!

22

TORONTO 2019

This Scandi coffee shop in Kensington Market is ideal for cozying up in winter or chilling out in summer (the back patio has a hammock!) with ginger snaps and tea.

This Riverdale café puts an eastern spin on its coffee: cardamom, or hail, is steeped into the brew in the Arab style. A date bar offers seasonal selections to pair with your joe.

This French café-bakery’s très chic blackand-white to-go cups, madeleine-filled cake stands and graphic tile surfaces are a Financial District ’grammer magnet.

Minimalism may be a big coffee-bar decor trend, but The Distillery Historic District location of this regional chain is a local hangout due to its stunning, two-storey Grand Parisien design.

www.SeeTorontoNow.com

@LIGHTCAFECANADA (LIGHT CAFE); REUNION ISLAND COFFEE BAR (REUNION ISLAND COFFEE BAR); V.MORRIS/MAMAN (MAMAN); @FIK AKENSINGTON (FIK A); @HAILEDCOFFEE (HAILED COFFEE); @ BALZACSCOFFEE (BALZAC’S)

A short stroll from the Art Gallery of Ontario, the sole Canadian outpost of this small Taiwanese chain offers beautifully composed sips, snacks and sandwiches.


Good to go Feeling snacky? Here are six global foods that won’t break your budget or your appetite for lunch or dinner. BY KAREN KWAN

Doubles Around Town

Double down on snack-time. Doubles Food Trike serves up doubles, West Indies-style fried flatbreads topped with veggie curries and made-from-scratch sauces and chutneys. (Pinpoint the trike on Instagram: @manipurafoodco.)

RICHARD JANSEN

Choripán in Kensington Market

Chow down on choripán, a Central American option at Segovia Meat Market in Kensington Market. The name of the Argentine snack—a beef- or pork-sausage-filled roll—is a portmanteau of chorizo and pan, the Spanish word for “bread.”

@SeeTorontoNow

@SeeTorontoNow

Tacos on St. Clair West

Every day is Taco Tuesday at Itacate, a taqueria set inside Macelleria S. Gabriele Butcher & Grill in Corso Italia. Try the delish tacos al pastor or get adventurous with the flavourful lengua (cow tongue) taco.

Mithai in Little India

Get a sugar rush at BJ Supermarket in Little India. Mithai are traditional sweets, frequently milk based and spiced with ingredients like cardamom and nutmeg. The photogenic treats are often decorated with almonds, pistachios and gold or silver leaf.

Taiyaki in Koreatown

Snatch the catch of the day in Koreatown: taiyaki, a warm Japanese waffle pastry in the shape of a sea bream. Get it made to order at Kevin’s Taiyaki inside PAT Supermarket.

Lumpia near Chinatown

Pig out on the pork lumpia Shanghai at Kanto, a shipping container stall at Market 707 (Chinatown). Commonly served at Filipino gatherings and special occasions, these deep-fried spring rolls are served with a delectable sweet chili sauce.

2019 TORONTO

23


Your Ticket to

Toronto’s Top Attractions Skip Most Ticket Lines ENJOY FOR 9 DAYS

SAVE 34% OR MORE AT TOP ATTRACTIONS

INCLUDES 5 ATTRACTIONS:

citypass.com @SeeTorontoNow

CN Tower, Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada, Casa Loma, Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto Zoo OR Ontario Science Centre

Advertised savings valid through February 2020. Visit citypass.com for current savings.

@SeeTorontoNow

2019 TORONTO

23


UPFRONT 3

2 1

City swag

Jam-pack your bags with homegrown finds from your new favourite city in the world.

4

BY JAMIE NOGUCHI PHOTOGRAPHY BY ALEX LUKEY

9

8

1 I Kinda Like It Here’s birch-plywood coasters are laser cut locally. $40 per set of four, Spacing Store. 2 Take Drake home via Sad Truth Supply Co.’s Toronto-designed lapel pin. $10, Sonic Boom. 3 Sweetbark’s smallbatch single-origin maple syrups are sourced from the forests of nearby Caledon. $22 (8 oz), $40 (16 oz), Forno Cultura. 4 Sate your sweet tooth on the city’s most flamboyant chocolate bonbons. $24 per nine-piece box, CBXO. 5 Arborist’s Toronto Blue Jays tee pairs Canada’s baseball team with Japanese text. $48, Drake General Store. 6 There’s a Spacing button for each of the Toronto Transit Commission’s 79 subway stations. $2 each, Spacing Store. 7 Bellwoods Brewery taps local studio Doublenaut to design its artful beer labels. From $5 each, Bellwoods Brewery. 8 Relive sightseeing highlights with a Tuck Trading Co. toque. $38, Sporting Life. 9 Smitten Kitten’s neighbourhood-reppin’ keychains are designed locally. $9, I Have A Crush On You.

5 7

6

@SeeTorontoNow

@SeeTorontoNow

2019 TORONTO

25


See clay differently Fascinating galleries, exciting exhibitions, clay classes, family activities, dining, shopping, and more! Plan your visit at gardinermuseum.com  QUEEN’S PARK, TORONTO • MUSEUM SUBWAY STOP (Across from the ROM)

The Gardiner Museum is an accessible space. Please contact us for more details. Image: Jean-Pierre Larocque (Canadian, b.1953), Head #1 (detail), c.20052006, Purchased with the Financial Support of the Canada Council for the Arts


CITY CONFIDENTIAL

DON’T MISS

A ARON PAUL

GREAT BANDS AND DJ SETS AT BUD LIGHT DREAMS FESTIVAL

@SeeTorontoNow

@SeeTorontoNow

2019 TORONTO

27


SOUNDS FROM THE 6IX

THE BUILDER

JEANNE LAMON, TAFELMUSIK’S MUSIC DIRECTOR EMERITA

From niche ensemble to one of the world’s most lauded baroque orchestras, Tafelmusik’s rise was four decades in the making. At its helm? Jeanne Lamon, who joined the nascent orchestra as music director in 1981. For her 33 years of work developing Tafelmusik’s unique sound and vision— each of its 17 members is a historicmusic specialist and plays period instruments—Lamon was honoured with the Order of Canada, Honour of Ontario and three honorary doctorates.

28

TORONTO 2019

From baroque to hip-hop, modern Indigenous to disruptive brass, the local music scene has pushed boundaries and gained international renown. Four of the city’s most distinctive voices sound off on Toronto’s musical roots. BY DONNA PARIS

W

hen I started at Tafelmusik, some people thought baroque music on period instruments was a fad that would go the way of bell-bottom pants. But Tafelmusik is celebrating their 40th anniversary this year. When I came to Tafelmusik, there was a core of very talented, passionate musicians—we were 11 total and five are still there now. The whole founding group was a very creative force. People tell me that they turn on the radio in England or Australia or wherever they are, and they hear the recording and they immediately know that it’s Tafelmusik. That is something that we have built together, that is actually not that usual. Toronto is a rich city for classical music, and it offers everything from big symphonic concerts to solo recitals by local and international stars. Toronto is especially rich in chamber music and period performance concerts.”

www.SeeTorontoNow.com


CITY CONFIDENTIAL

I

ndigenous music is being pushed way out beyond any kind of oldschool expectations about what it is supposed to sound like. There isn’t a sound and what’s been so fascinating for me is that people are doing every kind of genre imaginable. We’ve had significant success with artists like Tanya Tagaq and A Tribe Called Red. They’ve opened the door and held it open for a wave of younger artists to step in. The work I’ve been doing with RPM and RPM Live shows in Toronto has

been a big part of changing the musical landscape, putting Indigenous voices at the forefront. Everyone I work with recognizes that in a lot of cases, younger artists haven’t had a chance to play a show in a place like Toronto. We wanted to provide an opportunity in the biggest city in the country. When we first started doing The RPM Live Shows [in 2016], there wasn’t any other Indigenous music programming happening in a focused way. Fast-forward, and Bear Witness [of A Tribe Called

ShoShona Kish of Digging Roots at Lulaworld festival

Red] is curating a festival at the Music Gallery, and the Art Gallery of Ontario is programming [Indigenous] artists during music nights. In the span of a few short years, cultural institutions in the city have taken up the charge, prioritizing having these voices. I like to think we’ve had a small part in that.”

The goal for me has always been to normalize our presence so it’s not an exceptional thing to have a crew of Indigenous artists: it’s something that’s integrated into the culture of what it means to live in Toronto.

SIAN RICHARD (TAFELMUSIK); ANNA ENCHEVA (SHOSHONA KISH); CBC ( JARRETT MARTINEAU)

Jarrett Martineau

THE ADVOCATE

JARRETT MARTINEAU, CBC RADIO HOST, COFOUNDER OF RPM MUSIC PLATFORM, RECORD LABEL AND ARTIST COLLECTIVE

Indigenous music is surging as a wider audience embraces a new generation of artists charting fresh territory in hip-hop, R&B, electric powwow and traditional music. Martineau has been at the forefront of this wave, celebrating Indigenous voices via his weekly CBC radio program, Reclaimed, and as a music producer and promoter.

@SeeTorontoNow

@SeeTorontoNow

2019 TORONTO

29


CITY CONFIDENTIAL I still get goosebumps thinking of [the battles] and special events because there’s no way you could pay artists to battle now. It was just a groundbreaking time, a pioneering time, except we didn’t know it. It was a very special, innocent kind of a spiritually uplifting series of years where you could see the birth of a new kind of music that still exists to this day and seems not to be slowing down at all.”

Toronto is running the world in terms of urban music. We’ve got Drake, the #1 hiphop artist in the world; Justin Bieber, the #1 pop artist; The Weeknd, the #1 R&B artist–I could go on. It’s never been this good for Canada.

Ron Nelson

Kardinal Offishall

T

he first day I went to Ryerson Polytechnical Institute [now Ryerson University], I walked over to the radio station and got a job. They let me go after a while because I was playing too much rap. But I kept knocking on the door and two months later they gave me a show and said, ‘Now you can play the music that you want.’ That was the beginning of the Fantastic Voyage program. It started out as Black urban, R&B, funk and rap. Eventually, as rap got more popular, it became hip-hop and I got credit for that being Canada’s first hip-hop show. People listening to the show said, ‘We want to see these artists in concert.’ There wasn’t anyone bringing these shows to town, so I became a concert 30

TORONTO 2019

promoter and started knocking on doors of agents and agencies in the U.S. It was a struggle at first because they didn’t respect us up here. I had to work really hard to impress them—and send money in advance. But I had a hidden a gend a. In or der for ou r Ca n ad ia n artists to get recognized, we had to have them open for the A merican artists that I brought to town. Then have the A merican ar tists battle against the Ca nad ia n a r tists. I had a couple of events, like ‘Battle of the DJs’ and ‘Battle of t he Hu ma n Beat Box ,’ a nd t hose events proved to be historic: America was recognizing us because of those battles, and for Monster Jams, which gave smaller Canadian artists the chance to qualify to battle.

THE PIONEER

RON NELSON, DJ, BROADCASTER, CONCERT PROMOTER AND EDUCATOR

Ron Nelson put Toronto on the hip-hop map, starting in the 1980s with Fantastic Voyage, his influential college radio show. The Toronto scene’s earliest and most ardent advocate, Nelson helped launch the careers of Rumble and Strong, Michie Mee and Maestro Fresh Wes. He also booked U.S. stars Run DMC, Queen Latifah and Public Enemy, grooming Toronto audiences for future homegrown talent like Drake, Kardinal Offishall and The Weeknd.

www.SeeTorontoNow.com

BOBBY SINGH/ALAMY STOCK PHOTO (K ARDINAL OFFISHALL)


T

oronto is known for hip-hop, but we saw a gap in live hiphop. The Toronto sound that’s known internationally is The Weeknd and Drake sound, that sort of sleepy, self-reflective pop-hip-hop sound. What people who hear this on the radio don’t get to hear is that Toronto is a city bursting with a colourful, multicultural street music scene with sounds from all over the world and a booming live hip-hop scene. The best way to describe us: we’re a hip-hop band and we use unconventional instrumentation. Our mission is to represent

THE DISRUPTOR

Toronto hip-hop culture in a new way. We take classics from the ’90s all the way to now, and we have four incredibly talented horn players, and the rappers freestyle, so they create new music off the old hits as well. It’s a bit of something familiar and a lot of something new and fresh. At Ba n ger z HQ, we’r e work i n g on h ip -hop w ork s hop s for w omen a nd trans people, workshops in the parks for kids, and collaborations with dance companies. We’re also excited for the festiva ls that br ing rea l d iversity to the city: Lulaworld and Manifesto are two of the best.” T.Dot Bangerz

CHRIS WEATHERSTONE, ALTO SAX FOR T.DOT BANGERZ BRASS

JAMIE KRONICK (CHRIS WEATHERSTONE); ALEX LUKEY (T.DOT BANGERZ)

For up-and-coming performers T.Dot Bangerz, the whole city is a stage. The 12-piece hip-hop brass band can be found sharing its big sound at a variety of locales, from jazz fests to farmers’ markets to political rallies.

@SeeTorontoNow

@SeeTorontoNow

2019 TORONTO

31


PERIOD PERFECT You don’t need to be an architecture buff to appreciate these beautifully preserved unique-to-Toronto neighbourhoods. BY JAMIE BRADBURN

Explore beyond the gleaming towers of dow ntow n Tor ont o a nd you’ l l b e rewarded with architecture that’s as diverse as the city’s population. Architectural appeal, social history, proximity to other attractions: time for a self-guided tour, wouldn’t you say?

32

TORONTO 2019

J

ust west of Chinatown, Kensington Market is a charmingly chaot ic neig hbou rhood of i nt er n at ion a l fo o d shops , eclectic restaurants, trendy boutiques and cafés—plus a few vestiges of its circa-’90s punk and indie scene. Vintage clothing shops rub shoulders with music venues and bars, all adding to the quirky vibe of the market, which is frequented by food lovers on a budget,

includ ing students f rom nearby University of Toronto. Photographers are drawn to quiet streets filled with the wares of the greengrocers, dry goods dealers, cheese shops, butchers and f ishmongers who have catered to successive waves of immigrants. Or igina l ly bui lt dur ing the 1880s and 1890s, the area’s Victorian houses were occupied by labourers who arrived mainly from the

British Isles throughout the 19th century. After 1910, Jewish immigrants started moving into the neighbourhood, which provided affordable housing adjacent to the grow ing garment trade along Spadina Avenue (now Chinatown). Ongoing subdivision created the market’s narrow streets, as well as hidden laneways of row houses such as Fitzroy Terrace and Kensington Place. A s t he Jew ish com mu n ity

www.SeeTorontoNow.com


CITY CONFIDENTIAL

KENSINGTON MARKET

Fitzroy Terrace

THE AGO IS A SHORT STROLL AWAY!

RICHARD JANSEN (FITZROY TERRACE, BELLEVUE SQUARE PARK)

Kensington Avenue

started moving to the suburbs from the 1940s through to the 1970s, incoming immigrant c om mu n it ie s adde d t hei r own customs. The Portuguese immigrants who began a r r iv i n g i n t he 1950 s , for e x a m p l e , i nt r o d u c e d t h e tradition of painting homes with bright, warm colours. K e n s i n g t o n M a r k e t ’s centur y-old housing stock r e m a i n s , b ut it h a s b e e n modif ied over the decades

@SeeTorontoNow

Bellevue Square Park

to meet the changing needs of residents. Picture th is: a business star ts as a car t peddling food or goods in front of a home. It grows into a stall that requires an extension— built out of whatever materials are cheaply and readily available —to bridge the space from sidewalk to porch. Eventually it f ills the f irst floor of the home. While some of these additions violated bylaws, attempts by the city

@SeeTorontoNow

to impose architectural order failed, allowing it to develop the patchwork character it i s now k now n (a nd love d) for. D iver sit y a nd ch a n ge are woven into Kensington Market’s DNA; today, its mix includes a sizable number of grocers specializing i n Ca r ibbea n a nd Lat i nAmerican foods and hipster eateries offering the latest food trends.

GETTING THERE Take the College/Carlton 506 streetcar or the Dundas 505 streetcar to Spadina Avenue. Or take the Spadina 510 streetcar to College or Dundas streets.

2019 TORONTO

33


Toronto Necropolis

C

abbagetown, just east of the downtown core, ga ined its na me f rom a n i n s u lt d i r e c t e d at 19t hcentur y Ir ish i m m igra nts and the vegetables they grew i n k it chen ga rden s. Once a slum concentrated in the area between Gerrard and Queen streets, it now includes some of Toronto’s choicest real estate. It’s also home to North America’s largest collection of Victorian homes. Stroll the community’s narrow, tree-lined streets and laneways to feast your eyes on lovingly restored, tastefully appointed heritage homes in a variety of styles of the era. If Cabbagetown has a trademark architectural style, it’s the Bay-n-Gable. Prized for grace and af fordability, homes in this style showcase brick-and-wood facades with 34

TORONTO 2019

Metcalfe Street

de c or at ive G ot h ic R e v iv a l motifs. Less visible parts of each structure were finished in inexpensive materials like stucco, boosting affordability for the original buyers. Bay-n-Gable houses run the gamut from stately two-and-ahalf- and three-storey detached and semi-detached houses to shorter, modestly sized row houses. You can see examples of these red-brick semi-detached and row houses built in the late 1800s on streets like Laurier Avenue, Metcalfe Street and Wellesley Avenue. Originally low-cost worker housing, the long-gentrified homes share a striking, cohesive appearance, extending into elements like wrought iron fencing. Cabba get ow n h a s h idden pockets within its quiet streets. T h e We l l e s l e y C o t t a g e s

revitalization plan. Dilapidated apartment buildings have come down, replaced with mixedi n c o m e t o w n h o m e s , n e wbuild towers and community recreational facilities. At its northern border, Cabbagetown meets the working class St. James Town community. Cabbagetown and its surrounding area has always been diverse, both ethnically and economically. Its power of reinvention and neighbourhood pride is legendary. Keep an eye open for the green-and-white f lags f lying throughout the neighbourhood: its icon is the humble cabbage, elevated from epithet to point of pride.

STROLL THE GREENHOUSE AT ALLAN GARDENS CONSERVATORY

GETTING THERE Take the College/Carlton 506 streetcar to Parliament Street. Or take the Parliament 65 bus to Gerrard Street.

Wellesley Street East

www.SeeTorontoNow.com

ALAMY (TORONTO NECROPOLIS)

CABBAGETOWN

cul-de-sac resembles a period village, with tiny, symmetrical Georgian-style cottages and wh ite picket fences. The cottage style also inf luenced architect Eden Smith’s design for Spruce Court Co-op, one of Canada’s first governmentsponsored projects. The southern end of Cabbagetown borders Regent Pa rk , a p os t-World Wa r I I social housing development. Prev iously overlooked as waves of gentrification swept through the neighbourhood, Regent Park is midway through an ambitious 15- to 20-year


CITY CONFIDENTIAL Dacotah Avenue

summer cottage community, amusement park and bustling entertainment facilities. The other islands were populated with summer tent colonies. In 1931, the city allowed yearround cottages, f uelling r e s id e nt i a l d e ve lopm e nt . Another big wave of growth ca me dur ing a post-World War II housing shortage. Yet, in the decades to come, civic off icials did an about face, trying to expel residents in order to create more public parkland. While the island population has waned (home sales are strictly controlled by a land trust), both sides came to an eventual agreement and the community continues on for everyone to enjoy.

Algonquin Island

GETTING THERE Take the subway to Union Station or 510 streetcar to Queen’s Quay underground TTC terminal, then walk south to the Jack Layton Ferry Terminal (aka the ferry docks). Take the ferry to Ward’s Island.

CANADA /ALAMY Y HALL) STREET, WELLESLEY STREET EAST, DACOTAH AVENUE, ALGONQUIN ISLAND, ISLAND CAFÉ) RICHARD JANSEN(CIT (METCALFE

TORONTO ISLANDS

F

r iend ly hellos greet visitors exploring the narrow streets of Canada’s largest year-round car-free neighbourhood. Over 600 residents live on the muchcoveted, nearly-impossible-tolease-into Toronto Islands, mostly on Ward’s Island or Algonquin Island, two leafy enclaves worlds apart from nearby Centre Island, known for its amusement park and beach. Many island residents are artists or seniors with long family ties to the community. Accessible only by boat, the Toronto Islands are connected to one another by a network of paths and bridges. Wa n d e r i n g A l g o n q u i n and Ward’s islands reveals a charming mix of home styles. T h e y i n c l u d e c i r c a -1 9 3 0 s cottages built from kits sold by the now-defunct Simpson’s depa r tment store, la rger @SeeTorontoNow

homes from the post-World War II building boom, and, in cases of f looding over the past decade, temporary box structures that have replaced decayed structures. Ward’s Island boasts a quaint wooden c i r c a-1918 ad m i n i s t r at ion clubhouse, as well as a large clubhouse f inished in 1938, now a h ig h-dem a nd venue for pa r t ie s a nd we dd i n g s. Algonquin Island is accessed via a high wooden bridge from the Ward’s Island ferry dock; loca l custom has residents leav ing books, clothes a nd household items in a drop box there for others to use. While the residential areas of the Toronto Islands have a s l e e p y, b e e n - t h i s - w a y forever vibe, it wasn’t always this way. In its residentia l heyday at the end of the 19th century, Hanlan’s Point, for example, had a considerable

@SeeTorontoNow

Toronto Islands Island Café

2019 TORONTO

35


CITY CONFIDENTIAL

A

half centur y af ter its first homes were built, this Scarborough neighbourhood in Toronto’s east end stands as an extraordinary, largely intact example of modernist design geared at the ambitious young families of the 1950s and ’60s. A wander along Birkdale Road is like stepping back into the optimistic Space Age vision of the suburbs, with modestly s i z e d b a c k- s pl it a nd s id e spl it bu nga lows set a mong old-growth trees. The woody station wagons of the past are gone, but this leafy nabe—now nominated for heritage district st atu s by it s com mu n it y— is still home to middle-class families and retirees. Tucked to the southeast of Ellesmere Road and Midland Avenue , M id l a nd Pa rk w a s conceived by architect Edward R oss a nd developer Cur ra n Hall and built between 1959 and 1962. “Socially, to build a stronger society, we must have a better home environment. To be better, it must be larger and also interesting and satisfying to each member of the family,” said one of the planned community’s 36

TORONTO 2019

execs at the time. (Though large for the time, the properties are coz y by today ’s McMa nsion sta nda rds. Based on a 1960 sales brochure, homes ranged from 1,123 to 1,627 square feet depending on the model.) Original buyers chose from 12 designs of bungalows of fering sloping triangular r o of s , c a r p or t s , a nd pl a i n f ronts w ithout porches. Potential homeowners were won over by large living rooms, separate dining rooms, bright kitchens, extra bathrooms, and large windows or sliding doors looking onto backyard patios. Homes were integrated into the surrounding environment and old-growth trees were left standing, providing plenty of shade, and sidewalks—a rarity in many suburbs—abound. Outside of this subdivision, Scarborough is known for a wealth of top-notch mom-andpop i nter nat iona l eater ies located in the neighbourhood’s strip malls.

1960 Housing Design Council Award Winner, “The Elwood”

RICHARD JANSEN (THE ELWOOD); MIDLAND PARK TORONTO (VINTAGE AD)

MIDLAND PARK

Vintage 1961 Midland Park real estate ad

THE SCARBOROUGH BLUFFS ARE NEARBY

GETTING THERE Take the Line 3 Scarborough RT to Ellesmere or Midland stations. Take the 57 bus from Midland Station to Dorcot Avenue.

www.SeeTorontoNow.com


HOTMAG 1-2 Hor.indd 1

1/16/19 10:51 AM

A UNIQUE VIEW ON CANADIAN DINING

Join Executive Chef John Morris and Restaurateur Cameron Dryburgh at 360 The Restaurant at the CN Tower. Savour inspired Canadian cuisine featuring locally-sourced seasonal ingredients while feasting on spectacular 360-degree views of Toronto. With a wide selection of wines from Ontario, Canada and the World to complement your meal, your fine dining experience at 360 is sure to find you saying, “Oh Canada.”

Menu / Wine List / Reservations cntower.ca/360


CITY CONFIDENTIAL

38

TORONTO 2019

www.SeeTorontoNow.com


CITY HUES Uber5000 animates the city with his vivid urban visions. BY MEGHAN YURI YOUNG

T

oronto graffiti artist Uber5000’s mural Longer Nights, Brighter Lights celebrates winter in the city. “I wanted to focus on the people in Toronto, so I painted my version of the Nathan Phillips Square skating rink. It’s a great metaphor for Toronto: people from all over the city gather, glide around and enjoy the winter. It’s an activity that brings people together purely for fun,” says the artist, aka Allan Ryan. One of the city’s more prolific street artists, Uber5000 has three large works on display in downtown’s Graffiti Alley (ground zero for Toronto’s streetart scene), while his signature yellow bird, Lucky, pops up on surfaces all over town. A love of Saturday morning cartoons and their invented worlds has long influenced his work. Originally from Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, Ryan was lured by Toronto’s larger canvas over a decade ago. He has since turned his passion for murals into a fulltime gig. “It requires a lot of work and consumes almost all of my time, but I love it,” he says.

CHECK OUT LONGER NIGHTS, BRIGHTER LIGHTS FOR YOURSELF AT 489 QUEEN ST. W.

Poker Fish

@SeeTorontoNow

@SeeTorontoNow

2019 TORONTO

39


CITY CONFIDENTIAL

SOUNDS LIKE

TEAM SP RIT Get in the game with our guide to the rah-rah-rowdy soundscape of Toronto’s major-league sports events. BY SINEAD MULHERN

A MILESTONE GOAL Things get a bit loud 24 minutes into any TFC home game, as loyal fans take up a chant that commemorates TFC legend Danny Dichio. The English player joined Canada’s first Major League Soccer team in its inaugural year, scoring the organization’s very first goal nearly 24 minutes into its May 12, 2007, match against the Chicago Fire. Then, fans threw seat covers onto the field in celebration. Now they relive the moment with a cheer: “Oooooooh Danny Dichio, Danny Dichio, Danny Dichio, Danny Dichio!”

BMO Field

40

TORONTO 2019

www.SeeTorontoNow.com


WHAT’S WITH THE ORGAN? At a Toronto Maple Leafs home game, your ears will hear skates carving ice, a puck hitting the boards and lively organ music. That last one’s steeped in local history. In 1922, the Wurlitzer pipe organ came to Toronto from New York, finding a home in Shea’s Hippodrome Theatre on Bay Street. After the venue shut down in 1956, it was purchased for the Leafs’ 1931-1999 venue, Maple Leaf Gardens. Originally intended as between-period entertainment, the organ became part of the home game soundscape. In 1963, when the Gardens was remodelled, the organ was retired (it now lives in Casa Loma). These days the Leafs’ home ice is Scotiabank Arena, where a Roland keyboard subs for t he Wu rl itzer, perhaps most dramatically when providing the rousing musical crescendo that accompanies the crowd-riling “Go, Leafs go!” chant.

Scotiabank Arena

JACK LANDAU (MAPLE LEAFS); DOUG BROWN (TFC FAN); KHRISTEL STECHER ( JAYS FANS)

CHEER LIKE A LOCAL

Toronto fans, make some noise! Here’s what to do, when.

MAPLE LEAFS

TFC

Goal songs come and go, but one thing is constant: shouting

A European import, the Viking Clap is the thunderous calling card of TFC fans. When you hear the drum beat twice, respond with a single clap while shouting “Hey!” Stay focused as each repetition gets faster and louder.

“GO, LEAFS GO!” whenever the mood to motivate strikes.

ARGOS

Raptors fans chant

On game day, expect to hear the chant

“LET’S GO, RAPTORS!”

“ARRRRRGOOOOOS”

often following it up with

“WE THE NORTH!”

Raise a cheer with superfan Nav Bhatia, who sits courtside. Bhatia hasn’t missed a Raptors home game in 23 years.

@SeeTorontoNow

BLUE JAYS

resounding through the streets around BMO Field.

WOLFPACK

Originally written by the players themselves, the fight song “Wolfpack’s on Fire!” has been adopted by the rugby team’s fervent fans.

@SeeTorontoNow

The seventh inning of a home game always features the nearly 40-year-old ditty

“OK, BLUE JAYS.” Chime in at the participatory

“OK, BLUE JAYS, LET’S PLAY BALL” chorus.

THE ROCK Rock games feature a constant musical soundtrack, keeping the mood upbeat. Join any eruptions of “Go, Rock go!” whenever it’s time to give the athletes a boost.

2019 TORONTO

41


CITY CONFIDENTIAL “Jurassic Park,” Scotiabank Arena

MEET THE HOME TEAMS

SURROUND SOUND

Toronto athletes say local fans are a wonderfully noisy bunch. “There’s no better feeling than the sound of fans cheering for you,” says TFC’s Jonathan Osorio, a born-and-raised Torontonian. “I’ve never won a championship anywhere else, but I imagine it wouldn’t be as great as it is in Toronto.” (The TFC won the 2017 MLS Cup and the 2018 Canadian Championships on their home pitch, BMO Field.) Torontonians are savvy too—as is obvious from crowd noise levels, says Connor Brown, Toronto Maple Leafs right winger. Fans react loudly to on-ice action—and goals: “We score and they’re always very loud,” he says.

WALK THIS WAY

RANDAL GRICHUK

“HUSTLE & MOTIVATE” BY NIPSEY HUSSLE

Nick Rose, Toronto Rock goalie, remembers a 2017 home game when a defensive player’s solo effort resulted in a goal. “I specifically remember the fans watching the replay and going crazy. That gave us a lot of momentum,” he says. Toronto Rock lacrosse games are unique for featuring a constant music soundtrack. Rose says Canadian tunes stoke the team: “Any thing by The Tragically Hip— that gets me pumped up. And if Drake comes on… obviously he’s a big ambassador of Toronto. The boys like him a lot!”

“HERE COMES THE BOOM” BY NELLY

JUSTIN SMOAK

TORONTO 2019

HOME VENUE BMO FIELD

LEAGUE MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL (MLB)

LEAGUE MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER (MLS)

REGULAR SEASON MAR TO SEPT

REGULAR SEASON MAR TO OCT

Toronto Maple Leafs

Toronto Raptors

HOME VENUE SCOTIABANK ARENA

HOME VENUE SCOTIABANK ARENA

LEAGUE NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE (NHL)

LEAGUE NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION (NBA)

REGULAR SEASON SEPT TO APR

REGULAR SEASON OCT TO APR

Toronto Wolfpack HOME VENUE LAMPORT STADIUM

LEAGUE RUGBY FOOTBALL LEAGUE (RFL) REGULAR SEASON APR TO SEPT

“ATM” BY J. COLE

Mississauga Steelheads

Marlies

HOME VENUE PARAMOUNT FINE FOODS CENTRE

HOME VENUE COCA-COLA COLISEUM

LEAGUE ONTARIO HOCKEY LEAGUE (OHL)

LEAGUE AMERICAN HOCKEY LEAGUE (AHL)

REGULAR SEASON SEPT TO MAR

REGULAR SEASON OCT TO APR

MARCUS STROMAN

“THE WEEKEND” BY BRANTLEY GILBERT

Randal Grichuk “Here Comes The Boom” by Nelly; Aaron Sanchez “Hustle & Motivate” by Nipsey Hussle; Marcus Stroman “ATM” by J. Cole; Justin Smoak “The Weekend” by Brantley Gilbert.

42

Toronto FC

HOME VENUE ROGERS CENTRE

MINOR LEAGUE SPORTS

Match the Toronto Blue Jay to his walk-up song.

AARON SANCHEZ

Toronto Blue Jays

Brampton Beast

Raptors 905

HOME VENUE POWERADE CENTRE

HOME VENUE PARAMOUNT FINE FOODS CENTRE

LEAGUE EAST COAST HOCKEY LEAGUE (ECHL) REGULAR SEASON OCT TO APR

LEAGUE NBA G LEAGUE REGULAR SEASON NOV TO MAR

www.SeeTorontoNow.com

COURTESY OF ATLANTIC RECORDS (“HUSTLE & MOTIVATE”/NIPSEY HUSSLE); UNIVERSAL RECORDS (“HERE COMES THE BOOM”/NELLY); DREAMVILLE/ROC NATION INTERSCOPE (“ATM”/J.COLE); VALORY/ BIG MACHINE RECORDS (“THE WEEKEND”/BRANTLEY GILBERT)

MAJOR LEAGUE SPORTS


A UNIQUE VIEW ON CANADIAN DINING

Join Executive Chef John Morris and Restaurateur Cameron Dryburgh at 360 The Restaurant at the CN Tower. Savour inspired Canadian cuisine featuring locally-sourced seasonal ingredients while feasting on spectacular 360-degree views of Toronto. With a wide selection of wines from Ontario, Canada and the World to complement your meal, your fine dining experience at 360 is sure to find you saying, “Oh Canada.�

Menu / Wine List / Reservations cntower.ca/360


Shot on location at Toronto’s Royal Conservatory of Music, Yorkdale Shopping Centre presents luxe looks that hit every fashion high note. PHOTOGRAPHY BY GABOR JURINA

FESTIVAL SEASON

Embrace your inner bohemian with Field Trip festival-ready #OOTDs. Get inspired with the indie-luxe labels and A-list brands of Yorkdale Shopping Centre.

44

TORONTO 2019

ST YLING BY ZEINA ESMAIL (P1M). HAIR AND MAKEUP BY GREG WENCEL AND NEIL SILVERMAN (BOTH P1M). MODELS: ELOHO (B&M MODELS), JAC (SUTHERLAND MODELS), NATASHA (B&M MODELS).

LEFT: FRAME DENIM SHORTS, HOLT RENFREW. CHLOÉ BLOUSE, HOLT RENFREW. SMYTHE BLAZER (AROUND WAIST), HOLT RENFREW. BIKER JACKET, ALLSAINTS. THIGH-HIGH BOOTS, JIMMY CHOO. CENTRE: TANK, ALLSAINTS. JEANS, ZADIG & VOLTAIRE. CHRISTOPHER BATES JACKET, EXCLUSIVELY AT NORDSTROM. BOOTS, ZADIG & VOLTAIRE. BELT, ZADIG & VOLTAIRE. RIGHT: ULLA JOHNSON DRESS, HOLT RENFREW. BOOTS, ZADIG & VOLTAIRE. BAG, ALLSAINTS.

LUXURY LOOKBOOK


LEFT: BOSS TUX, HARRY ROSEN. RIGHT: GRETA CONSTANTINE DRESS, EXCLUSIVELY AT NORDSTROM. SHOES, JIMMY CHOO. JENNY BIRD JEWELRY, NORDSTROM.

GALA GLAMOUR

Sophisticated, modern and classic: find your black-tie look here. From updos to Jimmy Choos, count on the shops and services of Yorkdale Shopping Centre when prepping for your next big event.


Own the boardroom or the studio in career wear that means business. Whether you work in corporate or creative, Yorkdale Shopping Centre is your office-style HQ.

46

TORONTO 2019

LEFT: BOSS PANTS, SHIRT, SWEATER, HUGO BOSS. JACKET, ALLSAINTS. BOSS SHOES, HARRY ROSEN. CENTRE: CALVIN KLEIN SWEATER AND BLAZER, NORDSTROM. SKIRT, PINK TARTAN. GIVENCHY BAG, HOLT RENFREW. JENNY BIRD BANGLES, NORDSTROM. SHOES, JIMMY CHOO. RIGHT: DRESS, TORY BURCH. JENNY BIRD NECKLACE, NORDSTROM. SHOES, JIMMY CHOO. BAG, MULBERRY.

WORK IT


LEFT: KENZO SHORTS AND RED TOP, HOLT RENFREW. BLAZER, PINK TARTAN. SNEAKERS, TORY BURCH. RIGHT: JACKET AND SKIRT, PINK TARTAN. ALEXANDER WANG HOODIE, HOLT RENFREW. ALEXANDER MCQUEEN SNEAKERS, NORDSTROM. JENNY BIRD RINGS, NORDSTROM.

AT YOUR (ATH)LEISURE

Hit the city in sporty looks that go the distance. Set the pace in upscale-casual labels and brands from Yorkdale Shopping Centre.


Yorkdale Shopping Centre is Canada’s most prestigious shopping centre. Its 250+ stores hold the country’s largest collection of fashion labels and luxury brands. Seeing the sights here means Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Saint Laurent, Jimmy Choo, Nordstrom, Moncler, Burberry and beyond. More than the best-loved designer names, you’ll discover the best of all possibilities in fashion, decor and tech, from Nike to Drake’s OVO, RH Gallery to Apple, and Tiffany to Tesla. Discover Yorkdale.com

With a lineup of tempting eateries and chic cafés; special tourist privileges and services like valet parking and personal styling; plus payment options that include UnionPay, WeChat Pay and AliPay, everything is designed to make shopping even more enjoyable. YOU CAN SEE WHY YORKDALE IS CALLED THE CENTRE OF STYLE—IT’S TORONTO’S MOST FASHIONABLE DESTINATION.


CITY CONFIDENTIAL

TECH APPEAL

A bold startup culture and unbeatable urban energy have transformed Toronto into a leading tech hotspot. BY CAMILLA CORNELL

Not long ago, CEO Mike Silagadze uprooted his 15-employee business and moved it to Toronto, 100 kilometres down the highway from its original location. S i l a g a d z e h a d c o f o u n d e d To p H at , a cloud-based teaching platform for higher education, in a small university city known for its quality tech programs. While there was no shortage of tech grads to snap up, as Top Hat grew (it was named 2017 Canadian Startup of the Year by online tech-industry news hub Techvibes), it needed to fill engineering, sales, finance and marketing positions. Location became a stumbling block: “It was challenging for us to hire talent f r om a ny ot he r dom a i n a s ide f r om technology,” says Silagadze. “Most people are interested in living in a big city with lots of opportunity.” Toronto beckoned with “a ton of different things to offer, from great restaurants to sporting activities and other outdoor activities within driving distance of the city,” says Silagadze. Another selling point: the Greater Toronto Area’s relative affordability compared with American tech hotspots like San Francisco and New York. This quality-of-life issue is central when recruiting from the U.S., says Silagadze. Today, Top Hat’s employee count is more than 320—and growing.

HQ T.O.

With its startup-friendly culture, deep talent pool, diversity and exceptional standard of living, Toronto has grown into a global tech hub. “A lot of international talent is relocating to Toronto because it’s such a welcoming place,” says Chris R ickett , ma nager, entrepreneursh ip services for the City of Toronto. The Greater Toronto Area created nearly 30,000 tech jobs—more than the Bay Area, Seattle and Washington, D.C., combined in 2017 (the most recent data at press time). In a world where borders seem at once more permeable yet more fractious than ever, Canada is recognized internationally for its safety, stability and welcoming business environment, topping global quality-of-life rankings year after year. Toronto, as the country’s most populous a nd d iverse city, is its f ina ncia l a nd cultural heart. As Mayor John Tory puts it, “There is no other region in North America that can boast the same talent, the same quality of life, the same vibrancy and economic strength.” From film festivals to NBA games to chilling by the lake with a matcha latte in hand, this dynamic city of 2.9 million is where the action is. And that’s something the tech world is eager to invest in, from giants like Google and Amazon to small startups like Top Hat.

TOP HAT (MIKE SILAGADZE)

READY TO START

Top Hat CEO Mike Silagadze moved the company to Toronto

@SeeTorontoNow

@SeeTorontoNow

Startups have become as ubiquitous as food trucks, thanks to the city’s numerous incubators, accelerators and hubs. These suppor t ser v ices focus on nur tur ing f ledgling enterprises in a wide range of fields, including medicine, financial services, food processing, the creative sector and even social enterprises. Notable projects include the MaRS Discover y Distr ict—at 1.5 m i l l ion square feet, it’s the world’s largest urban innovation hub. Its goal: to commercialize the cutting-edge research taking place in

MaRS Discovery District

the downtown power corridor of hospitals, busi nesses a nd u n iver sity l abs t hat surround it as well as across Canada. The creative sector, meanwhile, boosts its fresh talent via entities like the Toronto Fashion Incubator (which supports up-and-coming designers), Ryerson University’s DMZ (a world-leading accelerator that has helped over 350 startups and raised $477.2 million in funding among them since its launch in 2010), and the Canadian Music Theatre Project (whose workshopping services helped hone the musical Come From Away into an eventual Broadway smash). Toronto’s st a r tup dy na m ism ca n’t help but rub off on others, including industry giants eager to join in the city’s 2019 TORONTO

49


bullish optimism. Tech titan Microsoft is opening a 132,000-square-foot Canadian headqua r ters i n dow ntow n Toronto in 2020. In 2018, Samsung launched a new artificial intelligence centre here, Pinterest unveiled its Canadian HQ, Uber and Etsy announced new research centres, and GM opened a new Canadian Technical Centre (CTC) in nearby Markham.

NEIGHBOURHOOD TO WATCH

A nnounced w ith fa n fa re, the h ig h ly anticipated Quayside development is set to start unfolding along Toronto’s revitalized eastern harbourfront. Spearheaded by Alphabet’s Sidewalk Labs (Alphabet is Google’s parent company) and Waterfront Toronto, the multiyear project will create a 12-acre, mixed-use, sustainable and affordable neighbourhood along the shores of Lake Ontario. Imagine a community where driverless cars and cyclists share the roads; lowcost modular buildings adapt to human and business needs; and neighbourhoodenhancing adaptive streets transform into public squares post-rush hour. Pedestrianf r iend ly tech perks include modula r paving stones that, prompted by weather sensors, automatically melt ice and snow, and building awnings that extend and retract with the weather. Sidewalk Labs looked at sites across North America, Europe and Australia for this groundbreaking community, settling on Toronto for its impressive talent pool and its “rich urban legacy,” says Lauren 50

TORONTO 2019

Skelly, its director of external affairs. “Toronto is an incredibly inclusive place and one of the world’s most diverse cities,” Skelly points out. “It welcomes people of all backgrounds, lifestyles and abilities with great warmth. We want to build a place that incorporates those same values.”

POLICY INITIATIVES

A d d it i o n a l l y, a n a r r a y o f f e d e r a l , prov incia l and municipa l progra ms

Quayside, a joint Alphabet’s Sidewalk Labs and Waterfront Toronto community development.

www.SeeTorontoNow.com

DBOX (CIBC SQUARE); SIDEWALK LABS (QUAYSIDE)

Microsoft’s soon-to-open Canadian headquarters at CIBC Square

encourage investment. Among them: Toronto’s Imagination, Manufacturing, I n nov at ion a nd Te c h nolo g y ( IM I T ) business incentive, which offers property tax breaks for targeted sectors such as high tech and manufacturing. Also available are federal and prov incial incentives and tax credit programs aimed at increasing R&D efforts, encouraging startups and fostering investment in specific industries. On the immigration front, Canada’s op en-for -bu s i ne s s appr o ac h s pu r s innovation and job creation. The Startup Visa Program, for example, offers permanent residence status to foreignborn entrepreneurs so long as a Canadian venture capital fund or angel investor g roup com m it s f i na ncia l ly to t hei r business or they have the support of an incubator. For companies hiring, the feds’ Global Skills Strategy visa program enables high-growth firms to hire the international talent they need within two weeks. “It certainly helps that Canada is more open than the U.S.,” when it comes to immigration, says Top Hat CEO Silagadze. Beyond policy, Silagadze credits Toronto’s multicultural diversity and dynamic urban life with sealing the deal when he relocated Top Hat, ensuring access to a wider array of talent.


DIVERSITY @ WORK

For companies with global aspirations, diversity’s appeal runs deeper than the ubiquity of great Indian food or sushi. With a foreign-born population of 47 percent, Toronto is home to the largest number of recent immigrants among Canadian cities. Of those, 69 percent were born in Asian countries, with sizable amounts of newcomers hailing from Europe, Africa and the Americas. This wealth of languages, networking and global experience of fers tangible benefits, according to Christy Moorhead, COO of nonprofit tech company The Rumie Initiative. She says the diverse backgrounds of the Rumie team have been an asset, as it

operates in 23 countries, bringing digital learning resources to places with spotty or nonexistent internet access. “ We h ave employe e s f r om t he U K , the U.S., Iran, China, Afghanistan and Lebanon,” she says, crediting their diverse cu ltu ra l per spec t ives a nd l i n g u i st ic abilities with helping to create a product suitable for use far beyond North America. When Rumie led a focus group recently on a new learning initiative for Afghanistan, it didn’t have to send a team overseas to get feedback. “Instead, we found local Afghan organizations with newcomers from the country. They gave us feedback on our app. And our staff members were able to help out during that session and collect really good information,” she says.

DASOLLEE KIM (CHRIST Y MOORHEAD)

THE NEXT WAVE

Christy Moorhead, COO of nonprofit The Rumie Initiative

Besides the stream of talent passing through the Arrivals gate at Pearson International Airport, another reason for Toronto’s draw is its wealth of highly educated local talent. With 11 universities and colleges within the Greater Toronto Area, “We are overall a highly educated jurisdiction— both immigrants and non-immigrants,” says Toby Lennox, CEO of Toronto Global, a government-funded organization tasked with attracting international investment. “And you don’t have to march off to the bank to remortgage your house to pay for it. Higher education is accessible,” he explains.

The Greater Toronto region, including Halton, York, Peel, Durham and Hamilton, boasts some 620,000 STEM graduates. And our excellent postsecondary institutions— including Ryerson University and University of Toronto, known for its groundbreaking research in AI, machine learning and deep learning—continue to produce a steady stream of ambitious techies. Me a nw h i le , t he c it y ’s d y n a m i s m is a selling point for companies, says Lennox: “The majority of [international] companies we’re dealing with have a few key employees, but they want to hire locally. They want to know their employees will be happy in the community, because happy employees stay longer. And Toronto is such an exciting and dynamic place to live and work.” With its internationally recognized restaurant scene, pro sports action, endless array of festivals, arts and entertainment and primo shopping, Toronto has more than enough to keep its residents humming in the hours outside of nine-to-five.

TORONTO’S BLOCK (CHAIN) PARTY Toronto has become a global leader in blockchain technology. Most famously utilised in cryptocurrency, blockchain is a decentralized digital ledger that records transactions (blocks) in order (a chain), preventing transactions from being retroactively altered. Blockchain’s potential applications include maintaining the integrity of health care records and ensuring stable retail supply chains. Between the Toronto Stock Exchange (which lists more blockchain companies than any other global stock exchange) and the local invention of the Ethereum cryptocurrency platform by Vitalik Buterin (the second-largest digital currency after Bitcoin), Toronto leads the way adopting this technology.

@SeeTorontoNow

@SeeTorontoNow

2019 TORONTO

51


CITY CONFIDENTIAL

MAXIMUM VOLUME Check out these venues where the world’s biggest stars come to play. BY SARAH LISS

Elton John, Scotiabank Arena

SCOTIABANK ARENA

Theoretically, there’s no reason the Scotiabank Arena should sound as good as it does. The cavernous space, which opened in February 1999 (as the Air Canada Centre) was envisioned, first and foremost, as a sports

stadium. The project was spearheaded by the Toronto Raptors organization and the arena’s inaugural event was a Toronto Maple Leafs home game. But t w o d a y s l at e r, l e g e n d a r y Canadian band The Tragically Hip helped christen the venue’s shiny new sound system, and the results defied expectations. Marty Kinack, a longtime s ou nd t e ch n ic i a n who h a s collaborated with local musical heroes Sarah Harmer, Hayden and Broken Socia l Scene, was the f irst front of house (FOH) engineer to work in the space. K inack m i xed aud io for the Toronto indie band By Divine Right, who opened for the Hip that evening. Kinack

HEAR HERE Prefer a more intimate show? Check out these cozier live-music venues.

was floored: larger mixed-use venues can be a mixed bag in terms of quality of set-up, but Scot iaba n k A rena boa st ed state-of-the-art everything, from band load-in and access (which signif icantly affects efficiency) to rigging (the hoists, lifts and booms involved in the production of a show). For a FOH engineer whose responsibility is perfecting the auditory experience for the audience, being able to spread out is a boon—and Kinack says the amount of space he had to work with was outstanding. Not only that, he says, but “the designers and architects paid special attention to the sound of the venue, and it shows.”

CLASSICAL & OPERA

INDIE ROCK, ROOTS & ALT-COUNTRY

JAZZ & BLUES

LATIN

v F our Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts v Koerner Hall v Roy Thomson Hall v Sony Centre For The Performing Arts

(to be renamed Meridian Hall in September 2019) v The Rex Hotel Jazz and Blues Bar v Jazz Bistro

52

TORONTO 2019

According to Kinack, Scotiabank Arena’s acoustics make it the natural choice for a s t ad iu m r o ck s how. Rock occupies a sonic middle ground—not too bassy, not too mel low— superbly suited to the venue, ma x imizing fidelity and punchiness. Although venues of this size (Scotiabank Arena spans over 60,000 square metres with a maximum capacity of 19,800) can be a challenge in terms of consistent sound, Kinack says speaker upgrades over the past decade have addressed that issue, resulting in enhanced clarity from the floor all the way to the toprow budget seats.

v Horseshoe Tavern v Danforth Music Hall v Dakota Tavern v Lula Lounge v Mambo Lounge v El Rancho

www.SeeTorontoNow.com

@KTEENS (SCOTIABANK ARENA)

Intimate venues have their place, but when it comes to experiencing a blowout concert, bigger is better. From ma m moth stad iums to a sprawling lakefront amphitheatre, here’s the story behind t h r e e of Tor ont o’s bi g gest music venues.


Serena Ryder, Budweiser Stage

IGOR VIDYASHEV (SERENA RYDER/BUDWEISER STAGE); ALAMY (ROGERS CENTRE)

BUDWEISER STAGE

Perched on the edge of Lake Ontario, the Budweiser Stage opened in 1995 w ith Br yan Ada ms’ crowd-pumping Canadiana. Dubbed at that time the Molson Amphitheatre, the outdoor venue f launted well-calibrated acoustics and cleverly tweaked sightlines. Then as now, massive stageside screens and additional video monitors at the back of the assigned-seating section ensure folks sitting on the lawn can see fancy fretwork, too. The Budweiser Stage has featured ever yone f rom Drake to Kelly Clarkson to Bob Dylan—the latter of whom was performing the first time Juno Award-winning singersong w r iter Serena Ryder, then 17, attended a show there. “What I loved about it was the different levels, and that the grassy area was communal and felt like a folk festival you could wander around,” says Ryder, whose most recent performance there was with Blue Rodeo in summer 2018. The Budweiser Stage has a capacity of 16,000 and a rock ’n’ roll pedigree that runs even deeper than its foundations. T he venue was constr ucted between 1994 a nd 1995 on the site of the old Ontario Place Forum, a much-loved band shell whose rotating stage hosted iconic acts from Blondie to James Brown to The @SeeTorontoNow

Tragically Hip over its twoand-a-half-decade run. From band shell to a mph itheatre, the venue doubled its capacity without s ac r i f ic i n g s ou nd qu a l it y. I n f ac t , one c ou ld s ay t he site acoustics are bound up i n aud ience pa r t icipat ion. “W henever I soundcheck there, it’s boomy and scary. We never like the sound. But that’s because it’s an echoey amphitheatre and it needs a lot of bodies in the seats to make it sound awesome,” explains Ryder, who s e mo s t r e c ent album, Christmas Kisses, is a tribute to Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan and other jazz greats. By the time a musician plays their first chord, says Ryder, everything falls into place: “It sounds magical, balanced. T he r e ’s s ome t h i n g ab out being outdoors, w ith your voice and the instruments being so close to the sky, that makes me feel the infinity.”

ROGERS CENTRE

With its trademark retractable domed roof, the home stadium o f t h e To r o n t o B l u e J a y s became a def ining element of the Toronto skyline when it opened in June 1989. That roof, which inspired the venue’s original name—the SkyDome—quickly transforms stadium events from breezy and alfresco to cozy and selfcontained, depending on the weather. It a lso mea ns the Rogers Centre’s house sound system has to be agile enough to adapt to d ra matica l ly different acoustics. According to Dave Clark, who was the lead project designer for Engineering Harmonics, the Toronto-based audiovisual consulting firm that developed the venue’s sound system, the Rogers Centre is “cavernous, w ith 60,000 seats w rapped around 360 degrees.” Unlike

@SeeTorontoNow

Rogers Centre

conventional stadiums with partial roofs, when the dome is completely retracted, more than 80 percent of the seats are open to the sky. This means Clark and his associates had to be strategic, masterminding a “d i s t r i b u t e d d e s i g n” o f smaller, higher-end speakers and a Tetris-like configuration of a mplif iers and w ires, to cut the travel time between loudspeakers and ears. Otherwise, fans would notice sound delays while watching the Jumbotron. This calculated approach helped facilitate acoustically rich performances from megastars like Taylor Swift, Beyoncé (w ith and w ithout Jay-Z), Guns N’ Roses, Bruce Springsteen, Bon Jovi and The Rolling Stones. Performers’ sound crews enhance the Rogers Centre’s assets with setups tailored to their sound, whether that’s bluesy guitar riffs, the soaring sustained notes of a triumphant pop vocal chorus or the rumbling bass end of a tight hip-hop break. Ma ny concer tgoer s have specific seating preferences:

some are willing to splurge on the access of front-row centre; others indulge their live-music h a b it m o r e f r e q u e nt l y b y opting for budget seats. If you’re not fully committed to either approach, Rogers Centre is a venue where audiophiles may want to stick to the middle of the road. “As with many sports buildings, the best sound is in the mid-priced seats,” says Clark, who says this tip can b e a pp l ie d t o c o mp a r a b l y sized stadiums.

Taylor Swift, Rogers Centre

2019 TORONTO

53


CITY CONFIDENTIAL

FAM JAM Found at last! Cool family vacay ideas that will wow kids and grown-ups. BY ERNIE OURIQUE ILLUSTRATIONS BY STEVE MANALE

N

o matter how much you love your offspring, there’s only so many animatronic critters a parent can bear. Plan your next escape around activities everyone will love. Here are itineraries for every interest.

FOR SPORTS FANATICS

Toronto is home to Canada’s only NBA and MLB teams, the Raptors and the Blue Jays. So catch a game… or several! The Canadian Football League’s 54

TORONTO 2019

Argonauts hold the record for the most championship Grey Cup wins. (Arrive early to join their new in-stadium tailgate section.) The Toronto Football Club (TFC) boasts many Canadian championships. Or catch the Rock (National Lacrosse League) or Wolfpack (British Rugby Football League) for their fan friendliness. Make a pilgrimage to the Hockey Hall of Fame (HHOF). Housed in

a historic building not far from Scotiabank Arena’s home ice, the HHOF honours Canada’s official national winter sport. Take a selfie with the Stanley Cup. Try scoring against Carey Price or shut out www.SeeTorontoNow.com


Sidney Crosby.* Complete your visit with a 3-D hockey flick and a tour of planet Earth’s biggest collection of hockey memorabilia. Stay active with pickup basketball at Dufferin Grove Park or drop-in swim at a public swimming pool. Planning a race-cation? The Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon includes a stroller-friendly 5K. *OK, OK: life-size, simulated versions of Carey Price and Sidney Crosby.

FOR CULTURE VULTURES

From the country’s leading galleries and museums (we’re looking at you, Royal Ontario Museum and Art Gallery of Ontario!) to unique events and festivals, Toronto’s the place to get your arts ’n’ culture fix. The Museum of Contemporary ArtToronto (MOCA) offers thought-provoking work in the up-and-coming Junction neighbourhood. Another draw in a unique environment is Field Trip. The annual Canadianmusic and arts fest at Fort York National Historic Site and Garrison Common, a preserved military base and 1813 battle site. In between sets by the likes of Feist, Metric and Broken Social Scene, small fry can go nuts in the kids’ zone, complete with bouncy castles, crafts and intimate performances by festival performers. Hit Young People’s Theatre for its dramas, musicals and adaptations of stage classics. Visiting in winter? The National

@SeeTorontoNow

@SeeTorontoNow

Ballet of Canada’s The Nutcracker sells out, so book well in advance. Each performance is preceded with the muchloved Nutcracker Story Time.

FOR FOOD FIENDS

Bring your appetite and feast like it’s going out of style (don’t worry: it’s not). Hit St. Lawrence Market to nosh on Canadiana like peameal bacon sandwiches, smoked salmon on Montreal-style bagels, and gooey butter tarts. Stroll funky Kensington Market for delish global fare: Salvadoran pupusas, Caribbean roti, Venezuelan arepas, and sooooo much more. Save room for dim sum: Chinatown is just around the corner! Visiting in summer? The annual Canadian National Exhibition (aka The Ex) is a must. Besides a ride- and game-filled midway, The Ex is known for OTT carnival fare like buttermilk fried chicken on a cinnamon bun, or cheese-stuffed deep-fried Doritos. Toast the city at family-friendly brewpubs Indie Alehouse (colouring books), Mill Street Beer Hall (kids’ menu, crayons) and Left Field Brewery (Wrigley, the brewery dog!). Or hit The Distillery Historic District to sightsee, shop for artisanal sake or vodka and watch SOMA Chocolatemaker chocolatiers create decadent treats.

FOR ADRENALINE CHASERS Get your heart racing with experiences for every thrill seeker. Many attractions let you adjust the adrenaline to suit each family member (age restrictions may apply).

The CN Tower boasts eye-popping views, thanks to newly renovated window walls and a bigger glass floor. Daredevils can stroll outside the observation deck with EdgeWalk. Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada ratchets up the excitement for those not content to observe tiger sharks, moray eels and sawfish; how about snorkelling with stingrays or scuba diving with sharks instead? Over at the Toronto Zoo, young naturalists will be enthralled by polar bears, Siberian tigers and one-horned rhinos. Wanna kick it up a notch? Try the Gorilla Climb Ropes Course or TundraAir zip line. And if the secret passages and underground tunnels of Casa Loma aren’t enough, visitors can partake in immersive escape room experiences within the castle. Want even more action? Canada’s Wonderland’s new roller coaster, the Yukon Striker, is the world’s fastest, tallest and longest dive coaster, hitting top speeds of 130 km/h (80 mph), with a 90-degree 75 m (245 ft) drop and over 1,105 m (3,625 ft) of track. Treetop Trekking offers ropes courses for all skill levels. Avid fliers can try uFly Simulator’s cockpit experience. Or float on air at iFLY Indoor Skydiving. Finally, Go-Karts at Polson Pier promises timeless, wind-inyour-hair fun.

2019 TORONTO

55


CITY CONFIDENTIAL

PLAY IT COOL

From DJ skate nights to unique rinks and trails, lace up for hot urban skating experiences at the coolest public rinks. BY DANIELA PAYNE

Gage Park

The Bentway Skate Trail

HARBOURFRONT CENTRE NATREL RINK

NATHAN PHILLIPS SQUARE/ CITY HALL

THE BENTWAY SKATE TRAIL

WATERFRONT & TORONTO ISLANDS

CITY CENTRE

This rink boasts one of the best backdrops in the city: Lake Ontario on one side and the iconic CN Tower on the other. Naturally, it’s a winter social hub and always abuzz. Get your boogie on at DJ Skate Night (every Saturday).

This local fave is ultra-festive during the holiday season, aglow with sparkling lights and backdropped by the city’s official Christmas tree. Don’t forget to take an Instagram-worthy pic in front of the lit-up TORONTO sign. Warm up after with a short walk to the CF Toronto Eaton Centre mall.

Skate at one of the city’s newest public spaces, a recreation and arts space located underneath the Gardiner Expressway, one of Toronto’s major highways. Glide along the 220-metre figure eight trail situated on revitalized land a stone’s throw from historic military site Fort York National Historic Site.

56

TORONTO 2019

WATERFRONT & TORONTO ISLANDS

www.SeeTorontoNow.com

ANDREY VASILIEV (SK ATES), ADRIEN COQUET (SHELTER), BOMSYMBOLS (DRINK AND BURGER), ATIF ARSHAD (ICE SK ATE) – ALL FROM NOUN PROJECT; DENISE MILITZER (THE BENTWAY)

Nathan Phillips Square/City Hall


Harbourfront Centre Natrel Rink

EVERGREEN BRICK WORKS DON VALLEY

This unique public park features a skating rink in the winter months. In its former life it was the Don Valley Brick Works, a quarry that supplied the bricks for many of Toronto’s original landmarks. Cruising beneath the exposed beams of the repurposed factory structure is a unique delight.

GAGE PARK OUTDOOR SKATING TRAIL

HARBOURFRONT CENTRE (NATREL RINK)

BRAMPTON

This downtown Brampton ice-skating trail wends its way through the trees in a wonderland complete with a DJ, roaring firepit, and a food trailer that operates Thursday to Sunday.

LEGEND

SKATE RENTALS AVAILABLE

@SeeTorontoNow

@SeeTorontoNow

DEVONIAN SQUARE RYERSON RINK

GREENWOOD PARK RINK

CITY CENTRE

Try out Toronto’s first covered outdoor artificial skating rink in the familyfriendly Leslieville neighbourhood. If you prefer to skate under the open sky, you can glide along the adjacent outdoor (and uncovered) skating path.

EASTSIDE

Known locally as “Lake Devo,” this rink is located on Ryerson University’s campus in the heart of downtown—but you wouldn’t know it. The streets adjacent to the park are closed to traffic, and the small rink is flanked by trees and cobblestones. Spot it by its trademark Precambrian boulders that are two billion years old.

CELEBRATION SQUARE MISSISSAUGA

THE SKATING OVAL AT SHOPS AT DON MILLS DON VALLEY

Lace up for a few laps, and then hit the stores and restaurants at this open-air shopping centre. Drop in for Friday Night DJ Skate if you’re after party vibes.

CHANGE AREA/SHELTER

Glide through downtown Mississauga’s award-winning town square. Psst: it’s right across the street from Square One Shopping Centre, one of the Greater Toronto Area’s premier malls.

FOOD + DRINK NEARBY

CHECK OUT

C anada Wonderl ’s and ’s

new -forW interF es 2019 skating, cat for ice rides and rolling , more!

2019 TORONTO

57


WH Y N OT

TONIGHT?

You don’t need a special occasion to make you and the people you’re with feel special. From classic steak dinners to appetizers you can share with friends, you’ll always feel celebrated at The Keg.

Visit kegsteakhouse.com to find a location near you


FOOD & DRINK

DON’T MISS ALEX A FERNANDO/BAR RAVAL

PRE-DINNER COCKTAILS IN THE WEST SIDE

@SeeTorontoNow

@SeeTorontoNow

2019 TORONTO

59


FOOD & DRINK

VEGAN REVOLUTION Plant-based menus are in full bloom as Torontonians embrace the city’s freshest culinary trend. BY LIORA IPSUM

PHOTOGRAPHY BY RICHARD JANSEN

Awai’s sunchoke-amaretto tortellini with pea-basil foam 60

TORONTO 2019

www.SeeTorontoNow.com


Rosalinda’s squash with pepsin verde (centre) and chorizo verde bowl

BRANCHING OUT

While hipster Parkdale may be a logical HQ for the city’s vegan scene, plant-based menus have sprouted all over town. A local success stor y, the smoothies-tobowls staple Grasshopper Restaurant, for instance, originally launched with one location on trendy College Street. It now has outposts in the up-and-coming west-end Junction neighbourhood and in the laidback, well-established east-end Beaches neighbourhood. From location to location, Grasshopper’s menu and vibe varies, but diners can look forward to hearty comfort foods like beet-patty burgers, quinoa mac ’n’ cheese, Japanese curry bowls and kimchi-topped french fries.

Rosalinda partners Jamie Cook, chef Grant van Gameren and Max Rimaldi

In a city once known as Hogtown, vegan eating may seem like a hard sell. In reality, Toronto diners have gone whole hog for plant-based menus as the city feasts on a bumper crop of vegan restaurants.

AJ FERNANDO (ROSALINDA)

LAYING ROOTS

Nowhere is the city’s embrace of the plantbased lifestyle more obvious than in the west-end community of Parkdale, where a cluster of vegan restaurants have adopted the nickname Vegandale. The herbivore hub is concentrated within a few city blocks and includes a namesake brewery, in addition to outlets slinging plant-based pizza (Prohibition Pie), comfort foods (Mythology Diner), Danish baked goods (Copenhagen), ice cream (Not Your Mother, or just NYM for short) and junk food like meatless “Big Macs” (Doomie’s). Vegandale’s masterminds also organize an eponymous annual food festival held on the grounds of Fort York National Historic Site. The festival attracts vendors—and eaters— from across Canada and the U.S. @SeeTorontoNow

@SeeTorontoNow

Rosalinda, Rosalinda’s Punta Rosa cocktail

OMNIVOROUS ALLIES

As vegan dining catches on, acclaimed chefs have begun trading cream for cashew milk and steaks for celeriac. Celebrated Toronto chef Grant van Gameren, for instance, built his reputation with meaty charcuterie spreads and seafood conservas at his hotspots Bar Isabel and Bar Raval, but the menu at his latest restaurant, Rosalinda, is entirely absent of animal products. Situated in the Financial District, the vegan Mexican cantina helmed by chefs Kate Chomyshyn and Julio Guajardo may even convert carnivores with its mouthwatering assortment of jackfruit pibil tacos and roasted cauliflower tostadas. “A substitute for meat has always been bold flavours. So it was a perfect match when we chose to do vegan food inspired by Mexican cuisine,” says self-professed carnivore van Gameren. “What surprised me was that, yes, we can serve an entire vegan meal to a meat eater without them feeling like they’re missing anything.”

2019 TORONTO

61


FOOD & DRINK

Planta’s charcuterie board Planta’s avocado lime tartare

Planta Planta’s Beauty & The Beet cocktail

“PLANTA IS ALL ABOUT LIFESTYLE AND SUSTAINABILITY.”

Chef David Lee of Planta

Meanwhile at Planta, in midtown’s ritzy Yorkville neighbourhood, veganism gets an elegant upgrade courtesy of co-owner and executive chef David Lee. Here, the playful plant-based menu boasts “crab” cakes crafted from hearts of palm, young coconut cev iche a nd “ch icken”-f r ied mushrooms, paired with smart cocktails and fine wines. With its upscale setting and refined service, vegan eating takes on a sense of occasion without compromising on ethics. “Planta is all about lifestyle and sustainability,” says chef Lee. “There’s more to responsible plant-based dining than just taking animals off the plate. For me, it is important to work with ethical suppliers to source high-quality ingredients and ultimately to pioneer change in food sourcing. I want to show those new to plant-based dining that great food doesn’t need to rely on animal agriculture.” The concept has proven so popular that it’s spawned a fast-food spin-off called Planta Burger, and a new Planta outpost in Miami Beach, Florida.

VEGGING OUT

W h i le sha red eth ics may be a d raw, Toronto’s new wave of vegan restaurants are pushing the envelope in more than 62

TORONTO 2019

one way. By truly celebrating the ‘‘veg’’ in vegan, they’re ushering in a new type of plant-based dining. Faux meats, as in textured proteins intended to imitate animal products, have fallen out of favour w ith chefs, including Nathan Isberg, who celebrates the natural—and highly seasonal—splendour of roots, legumes and greens on the ever-changing tasting menu at his plant-based playground, Awai. Cauliflower ravioli topped with chanterelles and freshly shaved truff les might delight diners one night, but are soon replaced on the menu by manti dumplings plump with almond pâté and served alongside farm-fresh asparagus. Located in the west-end’s Bloor West Village neighbourhood, Awai lets vegetables tell it like it is, in a way that’s just undeniably drool-worthy, whether you’re a vegan devotee or not. www.SeeTorontoNow.com


VEGAN TO GO

Graze on takeout from delicious eateries where meat, dairy, eggs and honey are never on the ingredients list. v APIECALYPSE NOW! BLOORCOURT AND PAPE VILLAGE Flavour faves: Pizza, prepared foods and freshbaked goods. v GREEN EARTH VEGAN CUISINE GREEKTOWN Flavour faves: Fried rice à la curry, kimchi or Hawaiian-style.

Awai’s globe artichoke petals with pistachio watercress pesto

v ITAL VITAL KENSINGTON MARKET AND SCARBOROUGH Flavour faves: Rastafarian fare, including curries and callaloo served up with fresh veggies and sprouts.

v KUPFERT & KIM FINANCIAL DISTRICT, SOUTHCORE AND FASHION DISTRICT Flavour faves: All-day breakfast, smoothies and hot lunch bowls. v LIVE ORGANIC FOOD BAR ANNEX, LIBERTY VILLAGE Flavour faves: Eclectic menu offers many raw food options, plus burgers, burritos and bibimbap. v PARKA FOOD CO. FASHION DISTRICT Flavour faves: Sandwiches, macand-“cheese” bowls, soups and other comfort classics.

Awai’s sous vide beluga lentils

Chefs Dualco, Ariane, Roger (owner) and Fernando at Awai, Tennessee Breeze cocktail

BEAN AROUND THE WORLD

Vegandale isn’t the only multi-business success story. Owners of the local quick-serve chain Kupfert & Kim (see sidebar) have a second vegan brand on the go, Hello 123. Located on trendy Queen Street West, it serves up filling options like the island-inspired channa chaat, a hearty dish rich with chickpeas, brown rice and roasted cauliflower, tempered by cooling coconut raita and fresh vegetable garnishes. Meanwhile, Virtuous Pie, which opened its first Toronto outlet in Little Italy in late 2018, serves up delectable pizzas dressed with toppings like wild mushrooms, herbed potatoes cream and truffled cashew ricotta, leaving no flavours for want. The plant-based pizzeria also has locations in Vancouver and Portland. Whether you’ve given up meat for an eternity—or just a single meal—Toronto’s vegan revolution ensures you won’t have to compromise when it comes to your eating pleasure. Hogtown or not, this is one food trend everyone can get behind. @SeeTorontoNow

@SeeTorontoNow

2019 TORONTO

63


FOOD & DRINK

OPEN KITCHENS

INDIGENOUS + FIRST NATIONS The First Nations are the largest group of Indigenous people, the original inhabitants of the land now known as Canada. There are approximately 634 First Nations communities across Canada, speaking over 50 distinct languages. Canada’s other Indigenous groups are the Inuit (who reside in Northern Canada) and the Métis (who have mixed Indigenous and European ancestry).

Toronto diners are embracing the culinary traditions of two local cultures, old and new. BY DEBORAH REID PHOTOGRAPHY BY RICHARD JANSEN

Pow Wow Cafe’s duck and wild rice Pow Wow Cafe’s beef tacos

INDIGENOUS FLAVOURS “We have a strong group of First Nations chefs who are putting Indigenous food on the map in Toronto,” says Shawn Adler, chef-owner of Kensington Market’s Pow Wow Cafe. With a new wave of Indigenoushelmed restaurants drawing diners to different ends of the city, the cuisine is finally getting its due, thanks in no small part to its tantalizing combination of locally sourced, seasonal ingredients (often from Indigenous purveyors), traditional dishes and a nod here and there to Toronto’s eclectic multicultural flavours. This runs parallel to Canadians’ growing interest in the history and cultural traditions of the Indigenous communities that have inhabited the region for millennia. Chef Adler is Anishinaabe, from the Lac 64

TORONTO 2019

des Mille Lacs First Nation near Northern Ontario’s city of Thunder Bay. As a young boy, he went to powwows with his mother, and that’s where he first had “Indian tacos.” Made with golden crisp fry bread, spicy beef chili and all the fixings, they became the inspiration for his restaurant. Toppings like pickerel and venison stew speak to his roots, as does his sourcing: “Our whitefish comes from Nipissing First Nation, and the wild rice comes from Curve Lake First Nation. I use Indigenous-sourced ingredients as much as possible,” he says. But chef Adler also embraces flavours born of Toronto’s cultural diversity, such as jerk chicken and smoked pulled pork. His presentations are beautiful—each dish is finished with tender greens and colourful edible flower petals.

Pow Wow Cafe’s peanut butter and banana French toast

Chef Shawn Adler of Pow Wow Cafe

www.SeeTorontoNow.com


Ku-Kum Kitchen’s foraged wild leek, cattail heart and milkweed plate pods

Chef Joseph Shawana of Ku-Kum Kitchen

Ku-Kum Kitchen’s braised elk with foraged mushrooms

Ku-Kum Kitchen’s pan-seared halibut

A n ot h e r A n i s h i n a a b e c h e f , Joh l Whiteduck Ringuette owns NishDish in bustling Koreatown. Its lovely birch tree painted exterior is hard to miss. Inside are communal tables to sit and enjoy food like Three Sister’s soup made with ingredients—corn, squash and green beans—that are the cornerstone of North American Indigenous cooking. There’s rich and meaty venison stew, seared arctic char and the scone-like bannock. And for more of the traditional tender bread, there’s Tea-N-Bannock, in the east end of the city. The sampler platter is made for sharing and includes bison sliders, grill-smoked fish and wild rice salad, and there are homey specials like bison stir-fry. @SeeTorontoNow

@SeeTorontoNow

Midtown’s Ku-Kum Kitchen is helmed by chef-owner Joseph Shawana, who built his skills working in some of Toronto’s f inest kitchens, including the dining room of the Windsor Arms Hotel. Chef Shawana is from the Wiikwemkoong Unceded Reserve on Northern Ontario’s sprawling and rugged Manitoulin Island, the largest freshwater island in the world. Ku-Kum Kitchen draws on the food and ingredients of Shawana’s childhood, including appetizers like pemmican (dried game meat pounded with fat and w ild berries) and mains like seared bison loin or a creamy whipped-potatotopped fish pie made with Georgian Bay whitefish. Save room for the sweetgrassinfused crème brûlée.

Ku-Kum Kitchen’s Sedna’s Breath cocktail

2019 TORONTO

65


FOOD & DRINK

Soufi’s cashew cheese knafeh and Turkish coffee Soufi’s za’atar with veggies man’ousheh

Soufi’s

 EWCOMER N CUISINE In 2015, Canada opened its arms to refugees fleeing war in Syria. Many would settle in Toronto, bringing with them a rich culture. Buoyed by the success of suppers hosted by newcomers at churches that sponsored them, Syrians began opening restaurants like Beroea. It operates out of a repurposed shipping container at Market 707 on the outskirts of Chinatown, where you’ll find traditional dishes like yabrak, grape leaves filled with beef and rice. Depanneur is a funky restaurant that plays host to chef-led dinners and events and became famous for its Newcomer Kitchen. On Wednesdays, Syrian women cook communal meals that the public can order and pick up to take home. But it’s the sweets that have really seduced Torontonians, and nowhere are they better 66

TORONTO 2019

than at Crown Pastries. Rasoul and Ismail Salha came to the city as refugees in 2009, leaving behind a sweets store in Aleppo that had been in their family for generations. The two brothers spent six years working and saving their money, and in 2015 opened the shop in the heart of the Middle Eastern community on a stretch of Lawrence Avenue East in Sca rborough. Inside a golden, glistening display of sweets like baklava and assabeh, crispy almond and phyllo rolls are meticulously arranged on trays. There are coconut macaroons as light as a cloud (and almost as big), and cheese-filled sweets soaked in rosewater syrup. Crown Pastries offers expats a nostalgia trip for eyes and palate: “We built it to look exactly like bakeries back home, and it’s such a good feeling to see the response,” says Rasoul. And then there are the young upstarts, like Jala Al-Souhi, who, with the backing of her family, opened up Soufi’s in the heart of hip Queen Street West. The 24-year-old, who grew up spending summers in Homs, Syria, keeps things simple, selling two classic Syrian street food snacks, manaeesh and knafeh. The former is a pizza-like flatbread served with a variety of toppings like za’atar (a thyme and sesame seed spice blend) or a

tomato and meat sauce. Crisp and delicious, they’re folded in half and enjoyed with ayran, a drink of salted yogurt. For the sweet tooth, there’s the classic pastry, knafeh, made from finely shredded dough that sandwiches a layer of akawi, a fresh cheese. It’s baked until golden and crisp and saturated with fragrant orange blossom syrup. Al-Souhi is plugged into the tastes of her generation and offers the increasingly de rigueur vegan options: “Our location means we have diverse customers who have never tried Syrian food and they’re interested in the food and culture,” she says. “It’s been so positive and welcoming.”

Chef Jala Al-Souhi of Soufi’s

www.SeeTorontoNow.com


BATTLE OF THE WINE REGIONS In a showdown between Ontario terroirs, which comes out on top?

TWO SISTERS WINERY (WINE); IL GELATO DI CARLOTTA (ICE CREAM); COUNT Y YUM CLUB (POUTINE); PEARL MORISSETTE (PEARL MORISSETTE); RAJESHTA JULATUM (FLAME + SMITH)

BY LIORA IPSUM

NIAGARA PENINSULA (aka Niagara or NOTL)

PRINCE EDWARD COUNTY (aka The County or PEC)

THE VIBE

THE VIBE

Spirited wine tours, tasting rooms and music festivals shoot new energy into this historic region. Antiques, spas and the annual Shaw Festival are strong draws.

PEC is a culinary hotspot on the rise. The bounty of The County has inspired an influx of craft brewers, cheesemakers, restaurants and boutique B&Bs.

# OF VQA* WINERIES

# OF VQA* WINERIES

Approximately 100

Approximately 40

NOTABLE GRAPE VARIETALS

NOTABLE GRAPE VARIETALS

Riesling, Chardonnay, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon

Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Franc, Pinot Gris

PIT STOP Peach, pine nut, cherry and more: sample from three dozen flavours of handcrafted gelato at Niagara-on-theLake’s Il Gelato di Carlotta.

PIT STOP Stop in at Prince Edward County‘s County Yum Club, known for comfort dishes like poutine piled with spitroasted shawarma.

TOP PHOTO OP

TOP PHOTO OP

Snap a shot with La Grande Hermine, a replica shipwreck on the shores of Jordan Harbour.

Over 100 painted quilts decorate the area’s rustic barns and heritage buildings as part of the Barn Quilt Trail.

WINE & DINE

WINE & DINE

Fortify yourself with the latest cuvées over tasting plates at The Restaurant at Pearl Morissette, housed in a handsome black barn in Jordan Station.

Stoke your appetite at Bloomfield’s Flame + Smith, which supports local producers, spinning seasonal ingredients into scrumptiously crafted dishes.

*TIP Vintners Quality Alliance Ontario (VQA) monitors the province’s appellation of origin system, ensuring high standards for Ontario wines.

@SeeTorontoNow

@SeeTorontoNow

2019 TORONTO

67


FOOD & DRINK

MIX MASTERS Stirred, shaken, smoked and sparked, these cocktails are #lit with just the right amount of spectacle. BY SIMONE OLIVERO PHOTOGRAPHY BY ALEX LUKEY

ONCE UPON A TIME

Old Fashioned lovers will be taken with this iteration featuring Bulleit bourbon, Crown Royal Nor thern Har vest r ye, Calvados apple brandy, brown butter and salted caramel stirred and smoked bar-side in a bell jar. BlueBlood Steakhouse, Midtown

68

TORONTO 2019

MAI TAI

Cock t ail snobs know that orgeat (or a l m o n d s y r u p) i s t h e s e c r e t t o a n authentic Polynesian-style mai tai. This Parkdale tiki bar makes theirs in-house and it goes into a cocktail of Appleton signature-blend rum and orange liqueur topped w i th a f laming lime. The Shameful Tiki Room, Parkdale

BEFUDDLEMENT DRAUGHT

Harr y Pot ter fans will recognize this boozy concoction of gin, peach vodka, cherr y brandy, triple sec, Bacardi 151 and ginger ale, f it tingly ser ved in a glass cauldron with two stacked shots of flaming blue curaŇŤao. The Lockhart, Little Portugal


FOOD ST YLING BY ASHLEY DENTON, PROP ST YLING BY MATTHEW MADEIROS, BOTH JUDY INC.

OUR THAI

Cheers to secret menus. Served in a goblet for two or more enthusiasts, this mai tai variation features a mix of Jamaican, Demerara and Barbados rum, Cointreau, orgeat and fresh lime, finished with paper umbrellas, tropical f r ui t and, of cour s e, fe s t i ve sp ar k ler s . Miss Thing’s, Parkdale

ZOMBIE

A cut-cr ystal highball luxes up this classic tiki-bar monster, a blend of white, gold and dark overproof rum, and apr icot , pineapple and lime juice topped with a blazing lemon. Rush Lane & Co., Queen Street West

PISCO PASIÓN

Flash -frozen passion fruit sorbet is the fog g y star of this t wist on t he clas sic Per u v ian co ck t ail. W i t h Macchu pisco, p as sion f r ui t puré e, simple syrup, fresh lime juice and egg whites, this sipper is ic y per fec tion. Ritz-Carlton Bar, Entertainment District

2019 TORONTO

69


COMPASS

DON’T MISS ISHKHAN GHAZARIAN

HIKING ROUGE NATIONAL URBAN PARK’S MONARCH TRAIL

@SeeTorontoNow

@SeeTorontoNow

2019 TORONTO

71


12 THERE’S MORE TO BRAMPTON

13 11

8

MISSISSAUGA HAS MORE TO OFFER

LOCAL CHARACTER

Toronto is a city of dynamic neighbourhoods, each with its own unique character. Some communities predate the modern city, while others are so new the cement sidewalks have barely set. What they all share are friendly faces, welcoming vibes and unique discoveries. So hop on the streetcar, hail a cab, rent a bike or lace up your walking shoes—we’ve got a lot to show you!


MORE SCARBOROUGH THIS WAY

TORONTO IS TALLER THAN YOU THINK

9

10

7 2

4 1 6 3

9 UPTOWN

5

Explore Toronto’s heritage and green space, with cultural attractions and food.

10 SCARBOROUGH The east is filled with surprises, from the sprawling zoo to the best ethnic food.

1 CITY CENTRE

6 EASTSIDE

The central business district heats up the urban core with its busy, buzzy vibe.

Ethnic enclaves, delicious food and a hip up-and-coming vibe can be found in Toronto’s east end.

11 ETOBICOKE

7 DON VALLEY

12 BRAMPTON

Head north to uncover Toronto’s hidden natural attractions and cultural gems.

Discover and savour this exciting and growing multicultural city.

8 HIGH PARK

13 MISSISSAUGA

Go west for family-friendly restaurants, shopping and parks galore.

This vibrant city offers trendy shopping and delicious dining.

2 MIDTOWN Leafy streets and cultural attractions beckon in the area surrounding the University of Toronto.

3 OLD TOWN The roots of modern Toronto start here, in the city’s historic heart. @SeeTorontoNow

4 WESTSIDE Trendy, dynamic and open late, here’s where locals head to have a good time.

5 WATERFRONT & TORONTO ISLANDS Arts, culture and milliondollar views combine along the beautiful Lake Ontario waterfront.

@SeeTorontoNow

This quiet, park-filled area shines with natural attractions and restaurants.

2019 TORONTO

73


COMPASS

City Centre

Energetic. Occasionally frenetic. The pace of City Centre appeals to people on the go who want to make the most of their urban getaway. Located in the heart of the action, City Centre includes some of Toronto’s most dynamic areas. Broker some deals or sit down for a power lunch in the downtown Financial District. Catch a Broadway-style show, then hit the dance floor in an Entertainment District nightclub or lounge. The Yonge Street corridor offers prime shopping, as well as Yonge-Dundas Square’s cultural events. Church-Wellesley Village is the unofficial headquarters of Toronto’s LGBTQ community—not to mention a great place for people of all stripes to enjoy a mean martini. Roy Thomson Hall

CN Tower and Rogers Centre Yonge-Dundas Square

DON’T MISS

v T he Toronto Symphony Orchestra performing at Roy Thomson Hall v Shopping at CF Toronto Eaton Centre v Strolling among the stars on Canada’s Walk of Fame v A Broadway-style musical at a Mirvish Productions theatre v The CN Tower, Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada and the revitalized Union Station

v The Raptors at Scotiabank Arena (formerly Air Canada Centre) or the Blue Jays at Rogers Centre v Film fever during the Toronto International Film Festival and year-round at the TIFF Bell Lightbox v A spectacular production by the Canadian Opera Company at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts

GAYBOURHOOD WATCH While Toronto is a diverse city where LGBTQ visitors are welcome everywhere, the starting point for many/most LGBTQ visitors

74

TORONTO 2019

is the Church-Wellesley neighbourhood, aka The Village. It’s Canada’s largest LGBTQ gaybourhood and has been the hub of Toronto’s queer culture since the 1970s. Our most popular LGBTQ bars (Woody’s, Black Eagle, Crews & Tango, Pegasus,

Statlers, Boutique Bar) and gay-friendly pubs (O’Grady’s and The Churchmouse) are on Church Street, and open to all. For queer theatre and literary entertainment, there’s Buddies in Bad Times Theatre and Glad Day Bookshop, a

bar-bookstore-café that’s especially popular with students and the trans community. There’s also the defacto LGBTQ community centre, The 519. Other gaybourhoods have sprouted up outside the

www.SeeTorontoNow.com


@GAGE.FLETCHER (ROGERS CENTRE); @CALVIN_CHOUU (YONGE-DUNDAS SQUARE); DOUG BROWN (ROY THOMSON HALL); GARDINER MUSEUM (GARDINER MUSEUM)

Royal Ontario Museum and Bloor-Yorkville

Gardiner Museum

DON’T MISS

Midtown

Casa Loma

Arts, culture, shopping and fine dining—exploring doesn’t get much better than this! Best part? This walkable neighbourhood has something for every budget, from micro to mega. Midtown contains a certifiably eclectic array of districts. There’s tony Bloor-Yorkville with its luxury boutiques, high-end spas and exclusive restaurants. Then there’s the youthful boho vibe of the University of Toronto (U of T) and Annex community, home to many of the city’s students, profs and cultural cognoscenti. Avid foodies and in-the-know shoppers head to Koreatown for its barbecue restaurants and K-beauty boutiques. Midtown is also where you’ll find the Ontario Legislature at Queen’s Park.

downtown core, namely in Queen Street West, where many shops and restaurants proudly sport rainbowcoloured “Queer St. West” street signs. In addition to LGBTQ establishments like The Beaver bar and café, there’s a queer-positive, artsy

@SeeTorontoNow

vibe at the hipster-friendly Gladstone and Drake hotels, and at cafés and restos throughout Liberty Village. There’s a more laid-back vibe on Queen Street East in Leslieville (known to some by the tongue-in-cheek moniker

@SeeTorontoNow

“Lesbianville”), where waves of LGBTQ folks have renovated starter homes. But rest assured east-enders like to party, especially at WAYLA Bar (great karaoke!) and the gay-friendly Irish pub Roy Bar.

v Dinosaurs, a bat cave and unsurpassed collections of Asian art, architecture and artifacts at the Royal Ontario Museum v Cool ceramic art at the Gardiner Museum v A musical performance at Koerner Hall, known for its impeccable acoustics v Philosopher’s Walk or strolling through a tree-lined street on the U of T campus v A saunter along the Bloor Street Culture Corridor, with close to 20 arts and cultural landmarks and attractions packed on Bloor Street between Bathurst and Bay v Casa Loma, an authentic castle, complete with turrets, secret passages and escape room mystery games

In summer months, droves of LGBTQ folks board the Toronto Island ferry to Hanlan’s Point, where a clothing-optional beach for naturists of all types is situated along a stretch of sunny shore. Bring sunscreen! – Doug O’Neill

2019 TORONTO

75


COMPASS

Old Town

Historic Old Town is a unique celebration of Toronto’s past, while forward-thinking design shops and an innovative skate park add a contemporary feel. St. Lawrence Market

The birthplace of Toronto, this central locale includes the original 10 blocks that comprised the Town of York. The historic St. Lawrence Market zone brims with beautiful architecture and an eponymous food market, considered one of the best in the world. A short walk from here is The Distillery Historic District, an artsy enclave of galleries and cafés housed within Canada’s largest complex of Victorian-era industrial architecture. Corktown, also part of this community, is home to unique indie shops and cafés.

DON’T MISS

v Shopping the exclusive boutiques of the King East Design District v Eating a peameal bacon sandwich from St. Lawrence Market or browsing collectibles at its Sunday Antique Market v Watching a stellar performance at the Sony Centre For The Performing Arts (to be renamed Meridian Hall in September 2019) or St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts

v Instagramming the iconic Gooderham “Flatiron” Building v Don’t miss Underpass Park: the innovative space—for skateboarders, b-ballers and streetart enthusiasts—is located under the Eastern Avenue, Richmond and Adelaide overpasses and is a great place to wander with your takeout latte

Gooderham “Flatiron” Building

At times The Distillery Historic District feels like a village due to the lack of traffic. Other times it’s lively with festivals. It’s a beautiful place to walk around at night. There’s Arvo for coffee and the Mill Street Brew Pub for pints. And St. Lawrence Market is close by for farm-fresh food.

Maria Musikka

76

TORONTO 2019

www.SeeTorontoNow.com


Art Gallery of Ontario

Westside

@BRYANLIMY (FLATIRON); JOSEPH MONTEMURRO (AGO); @NADREAM70 (CHINATOWN)

Hipsters, artists and young professionals form the main demographic of Westside. Trendy eateries, cafés and live-music venues are plentiful—big-box stores are not. This trendy part of town is where you’ll find some of the city’s hottest haunts, including Queen Street West, with its clubs, cafés, restaurants, bar scene and street-art hotspot Graffiti Alley. Popular Ossington Village beckons with its hipster craft-cocktail bars, as does the patio-heavy Liberty Village. Little Portugal combines a classic ethnic enclave with millennial revitalization, resulting in an eclectic and exciting mix of gift shops, salons, cafés, bars and restaurants. Westside is also the location of the arty, iconoclastic West Queen West, deemed by Vogue magazine to be the second-coolest district in the world, thanks to its galleries, coffee shops, dynamic food choices and indie retail scene. Finally, Toronto is known for having five Chinatowns, and Westside is where you’ll find the best-known, most central and most Instagram-friendly one. @SeeTorontoNow

DON’T MISS

v T he western section of the waterfront’s Martin Goodman Trail: perfect for a run or bike ride v T he chic dining and nightlife scene of King Street West v T he hip College Street vibe around Little Italy, where 20-somethings and fam­ilies alike enjoy late-night meals and bustling street life v T he Art Gallery of Ontario, for its unrivalled Canadian Collection, featuring First Nations and Inuit artists, the Group of Seven and their contemporaries, and an emphasis on the art of Toronto and Ontario v T he chance to nosh on empanadas, pupusas and other international foods or shop for vintage clothing in Kensington Market v A music or food festival at Fort York National Historic Site, a War of 1812-era armament

@SeeTorontoNow

Eclectic Kensington Market, where I’ve lived for 13 years, is predictably unpredictable, especially in terms of the food I can buy here: dried sumac from Northern Ontario, callaloo from Jamaica, shishito peppers from Asia. My favourite grocery shop? It’s a three-way tie between Sanagan’s Meat Locker, Blackbird Baking Co., and House of Spice.

Agatha Podgorski

Chinatown

2019 TORONTO

77


COMPASS

Waterfront & Toronto Islands

The Waterfront boasts a laid-back, up-andcoming ambience with more to explore, thanks to years of successful urban revitalization efforts. Ditto for the Toronto Islands’ beaches and car-free roads. The redesigned Queens Quay strip makes the Lake Ontario waterfront a stroller’s paradise. The Waterfront offers a dynamic mix of parks, arts and culture, shops and restaurants all connected by the Water’s Edge Promenade. Hop a ferry over to the nearby Toronto Islands, where beaches, a family amusement park and car-free paved trails await. Sherbourne Common

Harbourfront

DON’T MISS

v Sitting under an umbrella and chilling amid the urban vibe of Sugar Beach v Checking out the arts and culture festivals that light up Harbourfront Centre year-round v Renting a bike and cycling from one end of the Toronto Islands to the other

Centreville

ALAMY STOCK (CENTREVILLE)

Simcoe WaveDeck

v V isiting the water sculptures at Sherbourne Common v Looking at cutting-edge international contemporary art at The Power Plant v Snapping photos at HTO Park and the Simcoe, Rees and Spadina WaveDecks on Queens Quay West

78

TORONTO 2019

www.SeeTorontoNow.com


Little India

Eastside It won’t take long for multicultural Eastside to charm you with foods and traditions from Greece, India, Ireland and others. Riverdale Park

@THEREALLEECHU (RIVERDALE PARK); DOUG BROWN (BOARDWALK)

A hip, emerging community that encompasses a dazzling array of neighbourhoods, Eastside is best explored over a couple of days. After all, you’ll want to make room for the culinary adventures awaiting in Little India, also known as Gerrard India Bazaar, and bustling Greektown. The Beaches area is another draw, with its laid-back boutiques, casual restaurants, Irish pubs, patios and Blue Flag-certified swimming beaches. For prime retail and brunch therapy, don’t miss Leslieville, known for its indie boutiques, cafés and restaurants.

As a young Greek boy, I’d march in the annual Independence Day Parade along The Danforth, wearing my traditional white-pleated fustanella. Afterwards we’d eat souvlaki at Astoria or spanakopita at Pantheon. We still go to Greektown for live music and authentic Greek food. It’s a little bit of Greece right in Toronto.

DON’T MISS

v Trying saganaki in Greek­town: the cheese dish comes to your table in flames v Biking, running or strolling along The Beaches boardwalk, especially at dusk or dawn v Taking photos of the famous De Grassi Street sign in Riverside v Loading up on gorgeous saris and jewelry in Gerrard India Bazaar v Checking out a local farmers’ market or food festival in Riverside Drive Park

Stavros Lebesis

Leslieville

@SeeTorontoNow

@SeeTorontoNow

The Beaches boardwalk

2019 TORONTO

79


COMPASS

Don Valley

Based around the Don River, this relaxed and outdoorsy region is home to brunch-y neighbourhoods, beautiful public gardens and family-friendly cultural attractions galore.

Evergreen Brick Works

Aga Khan Museum

East and north of City Centre, the Don Valley region is verdant and peaceful. It’s host to historic Cabbagetown, where mom-and-pop shops share the streetscape with multicultural restaurants and cafés. Bring a book and hunker down in a cozy tea shop or find a tranquil spot in a leafy park.

80

TORONTO 2019

DON’T MISS

v Quaint Riverdale Farm, with its heritage-breed hens, pigs, goats and cows v T he locavore food, farmers’ market and winter skating rink at Evergreen Brick Works v Islamic artifacts and fine arts at the expansive Aga Khan Museum, with its beautifully photogenic grounds v Hands-on scientific discovery for the kids at the Ontario Science Centre v Seasonal blooms at Edwards Gardens and the Toronto Botanical Gardens

Evergreen Brick Works is a really pleasant place to spend an afternoon, especially on a sunny day. You can buy a good coffee and pastry and stroll around. It’s a much-appreciated respite from the busy city. In the winter there is ice skating and in the summer, farmers’ markets and artisan markets are a fun draw. There’s something for everyone.

Niall McGee

www.SeeTorontoNow.com

@ALEX ANDRAMACK22 (AGA KHAN MUSEUM); ONTARIO SCIENCE CENTRE (SCIENCE CENTRE)

Ontario Science Centre


High Park

Some High Park neighbourhoods are in the midst of heady rejuvenation as others retain their time-honoured identities— the perfect hybrid of trendy and traditional. Once a pleasantly sleepy community of European immigrants, the High Park area has evolved over the past couple of decades into an enclave for educated, affluent Gen Xers and millennials to raise their families in befittingly organic style. For visitors, that means Roncesvalles Village’s trove of foodie-approved casual restaurants, health food stores and gourmet shops. Roncy is also known for its indie gift shops, fashion boutiques and yoga studios. Farther north, The Junction is another hit with smart, young Torontonians but with an edgier, artier vibe and replete

with small galleries, vintage shops and coffee bars. The heart of the neighbourhood is the sprawling, leafy High Park, home to a small zoo, an extensive trail network, adventure playgrounds, an off-leash dog park and a scenic pond.

The Junction

DON’T MISS

v T he European bakeries and dessert cafés of Bloor West Village v T he sunrise at Humber Bay v Instagramming the beautifully restored Jazz Age bathing pavilion at Sunnyside Beach v T he cherry trees of High Park, a top city attraction during peak bloom

High Park

PAIGE LINDSAY (THE JUNCTION); ALAMY (HIGH PARK); TORONTO CENTRE FOR THE ARTS (TORONTO CENTRE FOR THE ARTS)

Uptown

Urban professionals and families populate the leafy side streets and newly minted condo towers throughout Uptown. After-work cocktail bars, family-friendly restaurants and fine shopping will appeal to locals and visitors alike. Spread your sightseeing wings in this sprawling region of North Toronto, which includes everything from premium shopping and fine dining along the Yonge-Eglinton strip to historic Black Creek Pioneer Village and the grassy mid-century mod campus of York University.

DON’T MISS

Toronto Centre for the Arts

@SeeTorontoNow

@SeeTorontoNow

v Top chains and Canada’s luxury department store, Holt Renfrew, at Yorkdale Shopping Centre v T he espresso bars and cool

boutiques, sushi and burger joints along the YongeEglinton strip (known colloquially as “Young and Eligible” for its young professional demographic) v Live theatre at North York’s Toronto Centre for the Arts v Peaceful Mount Pleasant Cemetery, the perfect spot for a mindful walk v Digging for interior design inspiration in the Castlefield Design District v Period Christmas programming and special events at Black Creek Pioneer Village 2019 TORONTO

81


COMPASS

Scarborough

From breathtaking natural attractions to appetite-whetting food options, this east-end enclave is worth the drive or public transit commute. the polar bears, whose five-acre habitat includes an underwater viewing area.

DON’T MISS

v S ampling the world-class ethnic food scene, with standout Filipino, Sri Lankan, Lebanese, Persian, Hakka Chinese and Chinese Muslim Uighur cuisine v Brushing up on your local history at the Scarborough Museum v Posing for photos at the Guild Park and Gardens sculpture park v Chowing down—or getting down—at The Taste of Lawrence International Food, Music and Cultural Festival

Toronto Zoo Guild Park and Gardens

Etobicoke

Ethnically rich areas (with authentic restaurants) and family-friendly entertainment complexes woo visitors eager for retail therapy and the chance to explore new neighbourhoods.

Woodbine Racetrack

82

TORONTO 2019

A west-end community known for its quiet charm, Etobicoke (the k is silent) packs a lot of punch into its neighbourhoods. Albion Islington Square is a unique shopping district that is home to Toronto’s highest concentration of jewelers who specialize in 22- and 24-karat gold and diamond designer jewelry. You’ll also find a variety of shops, salons and multi­ cultural restaurants, including ones that offer South Asian and Caribbean delicacies.

DON’T MISS

v Horse racing or slots at Woodbine Racetrack v Trade shows and conferences at the Toronto Congress Centre v Walking, biking or paddling along the Humber River v Afternoon tea at the luxurious Old Mill Toronto v Top North American retailers at CF Sherway Gardens shopping mall

www.SeeTorontoNow.com

CLIFTON LI (ZOO); CIT Y OF TORONTO (GUILD PARK AND GARDENS); KHRISTEL STECHER (WOODBINE RACETRACK)

Multicultural, up and coming and full of natural beauty, Scarborough is an east-end community that boasts some of the Greater Toronto Area’s best ethnic food, dished out in unassuming little strip mall restos. It’s also home to wildly scenic locales like the lakeside Scarborough Bluffs (great for year-round exploring and summer swimming) and Rouge National Urban Park, Canada’s only national urban park, complete with camping, hiking trails, beaches, farms and 10,000 years of human history. Scarborough’s most beloved residents are probably the 5,000 animals (from 460+ species) that live at the Toronto Zoo. Don’t miss


Our NEW LookOut Level

HOW EXCITING IS THE NEW CN TOWER? COULD BE A WHILE BEFORE YOU COME DOWN TO EARTH.

Have you seen the most spectacular views in Toronto from our brand new LookOut Level? Have you delighted in our award-winning cuisine at 360 Restaurant, boldly walked on our Glass Floor, or experienced EdgeWalk, the world’s highest hands-free outdoor walk 116 stories up? If you haven’t, then your most awesome Toronto day ever is coming up. SOLD HERE

Purchase Tickets / Plan Your Visit / Reservations / cntower.ca

2019

ALL EVENTS FREE WITH ADMISSION*

16 2

TORONTO CANADA *Does not include Rides or Sky Ride

Your journey starts here. Travel from downtown to Pearson Airport in 45 minutes with your TTC fare.* Pla

n yo

ttc. ur trip at ca

* The 900 Airport Express leaves from Kipling Station. Approximate travel time is based on a 30-minute subway ride from Bloor-Yonge to Kipling and a 15-minute bus ride to the airport.


COMPASS

BRAMPTON From adventures in outdoor sports to immersion in arts and culture, Flower City is the place to enjoy it all. BY SARAH B. HOOD This booming city to the northwest of Toronto, famed (and nicknamed) for its lovely gardens, has come into its own as a hotbed of arts, culture and outdoor activities. Brampton is also unique for its multiculturalism, thanks to the people from 200+ ethnic backgrounds who call it home. Eat, see and explore—it’s all a short drive from the city.

ARTS AND CULTURE

Rose Theatre Brampton

Heart Lake Conservation Area

84

TORONTO 2019

homegrown stars like actor/comedians Russell Peters and Scott Thompson, n o v e l i s t R o h i nt o n M i s t r y, s i n g e r songwriter Keshia Chanté, actors Michael Cera and Scott Lale, and watercolour artist Jack Reid. Nearby, Peel Art Gallery, Museum and Archives—better known as PAMA—is a vital and multifaceted space housed in historic buildings that once served as a courthouse, registry office and jail. PAMA presents contemporary art exhibitions, hosts museum ex h ibits on topics as wide ranging as sports and fashion, and showcases local history and culture in all its forms. Brampton’s diverse cultural makeup and its robust South Asian population bring a wealth of international programming, particularly in the area of cinema. The city hosts components of the exhilarating BMO International Film Festival of South Asia (IFFSA) (May 2019). The nearly two-week-long celebration, which has quickly grown into the largest South Asian film festival in North America, includes www.SeeTorontoNow.com

CHRISTINA DE MELO (ROSE THEATRE); TORONTO AND REGION CONSERVATION AUTHORIT Y (HEART LAKE)

Rose Theatre Brampton programs a full year-round season of live music, comedy and theatre in its 870-seat, horseshoeshaped mainstage and 100- to 150-seat secondary hall. Next to it, Garden Square has become a busy and vibrant area of downtown, with movies on the big screen, music, events, markets and more. Also at the square is the Brampton Arts Walk of Fame, which celebrates


Gage Park

MUST-TRY BRAMPTON ATTRACTIONS

international feature film screenings, as well as documentaries and short films, plus a full lineup of parties, concerts, workshops and seminars across the Greater Toronto Area.

CIT Y OF BRAMPTON (GAGE PARK); IFFSA (IFFSA); TREETOP TREKKING BRAMPTON (TREETOP TREKKING)

OUTDOOR FUN

The splendour of nature isn’t hard to find in Flower City: just head to a local park. Brampton’s winter wonderland is Gage Park, located at the southwest corner of Main Street South and Wellington Street West. Visitors and residents make the most of the chilly season by gliding on the picturesque ice trail alongside the trees, delighting in a holiday light show and enjoying a free New Year’s Eve celebration. The park is also the home of annual events such as the Rotary Rib ’n’ Roll (May 2019), a weekend of sizzling barbecue and family entertainment. Claireville Conservation

Area draws bird-watchers and horseback riders, while Eldorado Park is a family favourite for its outdoor swimming pool and picnic areas. Or fish, paddle or hike the trails at Heart Lake Conservation Area. Dona ld M . G ordon Chinguacousy Park, at Central Park Drive and Queen Street East, offers an astonishing array of facilities for active fun: year-round tennis, beach volleyball, mini-putt golf, formal gardens, paddleboats, a petting zoo, a BMX/skateboard park and a snow hill for skiing, snowboarding and inner tubing— just to name a few. Professor’s Lake, a former quarry, is now a spring-fed lake where you can rent canoes, kayaks and other watercraft. It’s a popular haunt for triathletes in training.

1

Treetop climbs and zip lines beckon adrenaline lovers at Treetop Trekking Brampton in the pretty Heart Lake Conservation Area.

2

Enjoy shopping galore at Bramalea City Centre. It’s one of Canada’s largest malls with more than 300 shops and services, anchored by Hudson’s Bay. The mall has a free electric vehicle charging station.

3

For three days, the city’s diverse communities go all out to impress “passport”-holding visitors at pavilions representing international food, culture, music and dance at Carabram ( July 2019).

4

Historic Bovaird House is a 19th-century farmhouse preserved as a fascinating museum—with a haunted nursery! Tempting handmade craftworks are on offer at the gift shop, and locals adore the Mother’s Day tea and Victorian Christmas open house and gift sale.

IFFSA

@SeeTorontoNow

@SeeTorontoNow

2019 TORONTO

85


COMPASS

MISSISSAUGA Old-world charm blends with big-city vibes in Canada’s sixth-largest city. C olos s a l s t r e et pa r t ie s , t r ad it ion a l fe s t i v a l s g a lo r e a nd e pic s hoppi n g awa it you i n Mississauga, Toronto’s bustling neighbour. Home to Toronto Pe a r s on I nt er n at ion a l A i r p or t a nd about 4 0 m i nutes west of Un ion S t at i o n b y t r a i n , t h e c it y at t r a c t s v isitors look ing for la kef ront v iews, decadent dining and leisurely strolls.

THE CITY CENTRE

Early settlement hugged the lakeshore, but today Mississauga is centred at Burnhamthorpe Road West between Hurontario Street and Confederation Parkway, with a cluster of key destinations: the postmodern Mississauga Civic Centre, a performing arts centre, a public square, an art gallery and the massive Square One Shopping Centre, all within sight of Absolute World, the eye-catching condos nicknamed the Marilyn Monroe Towers for their curvy forms.

Here, the beautifully revitalized 6.6-acre Mississauga Celebration Square is home to more than 150 free festivals, public performances and activities annually. This state-of-the art multimedia destination includes an amphitheatre and an interactive water fountain that becomes the city’s largest free outdoor skating rink each winter. T he A r t G a l ler y of M i s si s sau ga is a free public gallery located inside Mississauga Civic Centre. Exhibitions range from historical to contemporary art, photography, design and crafts. The Living Arts Centre features performance venues, studio spaces and exhibit display areas. It’s a hub for all things creative.

SCENIC STREETSVILLE

Stroll through historic Streetsville for an old-fashioned Ontario main-street experience. Known as The Village in the City, you can relax in a tearoom and

browse charming boutiques. Wander Streetsville Village Square on Main Street for a pretty promenade and a canopied space for public celebrations. For more than 40 years, the Streetsville Founders’ Bread and Honey Festival (first weekend in June 2019), named in honour of the local mills and apiaries, has been the community’s benchmark family outing, loved for its petting zoo, musical performances, carnival rides and popular Bread and Honey Parade.

BUSTLING PORT CREDIT

Fo r a r e l a x i n g r e t r e a t w i t h i n t h e city, discover the lakefront village of Port Credit. This pedestrian-friendly enclave has restaurants, boutiques and a scenic boardwalk. At Port Credit Memorial Park, the annual Mississauga Waterfront Festival (June 2019) draws more than 70,000 people to Port Credit during the three-day event. Live performances by Canadian stars have included Sam Roberts, Jann Arden and Jim Cuddy. In September, the park hosts the Tim Hortons Southside Shuffle Blues & Jazz Festival (September 2019), Port Credit’s weekend blues and jazz festival, which has featured the likes of Dr. Hook, Elvin Bishop and Mavis Staples on multiple stages. Don’t

Celebration Square

86

TORONTO 2019

www.SeeTorontoNow.com


Lakefront Promenade Park

Carassauga

NAEEM JAFFER (CELEBRATION SQUARE); ADAM PULICICCHIO PHOTOGRAPHY, OWNED BY CIT Y OF MISSISSAUGA (RAPTORS 905)

Raptors 905

miss the food trucks, beer gardens or Mississauga’s biggest street party. Mississauga’s lakefront and parkland retreats offer numerous possibilities for cyclists, bird-watchers and other outdoor aficionados to explore. Lakefront Promenade Park blends protected natural areas and spaces for outdoor recreation, including boating at the Mississauga Sailing Club, the Port Credit Yacht Club and the Lakefront Promenade Marina. Mississauga also offers outstanding urban angling. The Credit River is known for its excellent catch-and-release ops, for chinook, salmon and steelhead as well as some coho and Atlantic salmon. Popular fishing spots include Erindale Park for salmon and trout, and J.C. Saddington Park for carp, salmon and trout. The stretch of river between Streetsville and Norval is legendary for nonstop steelie strikes during the month of May. Check craa.on.ca for current fishing regulations.

TOP-NOTCH SHOPPING

More than 330 retail, dining and entertainment options await you at Square One Shopping Centre. With choice retailers like Rudsak, Apple, Tory Burch, Ben Sherman and Hudson’s Bay, it’s Ontario’s biggest mall at 2.2 million square feet. It is also home to a lavish two-storey location of Quebec’s La Maison Simons chain, a 120,0 0 0 -squa re-foot Holt R en f rew @SeeTorontoNow

@SeeTorontoNow

luxury department store, and celeb chef Jamie Oliver’s Jamie’s Italian restaurant. Opening in Spring 2019, check out the Rec Room, Canada’s premier “eats & entertainment” hotspot with Canadian-inspired cuisine, virtual reality, video and redemption games, live entertainment and more. Of note to international visitors: Square One accepts WeChat Pay and China Union Pay at its Guest Experience Booths for the purchase of gift cards. Hea r tland Tow n Centre i s one of Canada’s largest Power Centres. With over 180 stores and services, this outdoor complex is one-stop shopping for everything from housewares to electronics, fashion and more. You’ll find big-box stores from Canadian Tire to Walmart, and factory outlets for brands like Nordstrom Rack, Harry Rosen, Gap and more.

CAN’T-MISS EVENTS

Travel the world without leaving the city during the Carassauga Festival of

Cultures (May 2019), Canada’s largest multicultural festival. Explore a global range of eats and offerings from 70 different cultures, showcasing their food and traditions at 31 pavilions across Mississauga. See what’s on at Mississauga’s premier sports and entertainment arena, the Paramount Fine Foods Centre. As a concert venue, it has hosted artists like The Tragically Hip, Green Day and the White Stripes. The venue is also home to two hot-ticket sports teams: v The Mississauga Steelheads are a junior hockey team in the Ontario Hockey League (OHL). Come watch Canada’s sport and enjoy one of the best game experiences in the league. v The Raptors 905 are the future stars of ba sketba l l, play ing in the NBA G League (the NBA’s official minor league). The regular season schedule runs from November to April. The road to The 6ix starts here! 2019 TORONTO

87


COMPASS

WANDER LUST Hit the road and discover Ontario’s greatest escapes.

BY ALIYAH SHAMSHER, WITH ADDITIONAL RESEARCH

Tobermory

88

TORONTO 2019

www.SeeTorontoNow.com

PHOTO: TKTKTKTKTKTKTKTTKTK

BY SARAH B. HOOD


LOCAL FLAVOUR Catch 22 Fresh Market Grill is a TripAdvisor fave. Locally farmed ingredients pepper a menu heavy on populist hits: steak, seafood, pasta and a different lunch burger featured each day.

Niagara Falls

4. STRATFORD

THE ROAD TRIP 149 km (93 miles); approximately two hours from Toronto. WHAT WE LOVE The town’s architecture reflects its Victorian past, but many come for the Justin Bieber hometown tour. The Stratford Festival enjoys international acclaim, particularly for its Shakespearean productions. LOCAL FLAVOUR At Revival House, chef Loreena Miller uses local and seasonal ingredients for her popular take on modern French-inflected cuisine. Located in an opulent repurposed church, the sundrenched patio is also a top spot for locals. The Savour Stratford Chocolate Trail—25 shops offering everything chocolate, from shortbread to chocolate mint tea—provides the ultimate sweet finish.

DESTINATION ONTARIO (TOBERMORY); NORM LI (NIAGARA FALLS); ELDON GAMMON (REVIVAL HOUSE)

1. NIAGARA FALLS

THE ROAD TRIP 128 km (80 miles); approximately two hours from Toronto. WHAT WE LOVE Hornblower Niagara Cruises’ Canadian Falls tours—light dining on board is now an option. Tour at the whirlpool, ride the jet boat or stroll through Niagara Parks Botanical Gardens. LOCAL FLAVOUR Casually upscale, Weinkeller is Niagara Falls’ first wineryrestaurant. Sip your way through the offerings and enjoy a glass with fresh oysters. For the best value, it’s tough to beat the $25 Grand Buffet at Fallsview Casino Resort.

2. NIAGARA WINE REGION

seasonal menus, leads Zagat winner Peller Estates Winery Restaurant.

3. WASAGA BEACH

THE ROAD TRIP 144 km (89 miles); approximately two hours from Toronto. WHAT WE LOVE With its 14 km (8.7 miles) of white sand, Wasaga Beach has drawn summer visitors to the shores of Nottawasaga Bay for more than a century. Nearby golf courses, hiking trails, bike paths and cross-country skiing and snowmobile routes keep people busy all year round.

5. BLUE MOUNTAIN

THE ROAD TRIP 163 km (101 miles); approximately two hours from Toronto. WHAT WE LOVE Nestled between the Niagara Escarpment and Georgian Bay, Blue Mountain is a ski and snowboard megaresort destination. But it also has plenty of green-season sports to keep fitness freaks happy, including a mountain-bike park, mountain tours and an adventure park with a Timber Challenge High Ropes course. LOCAL FLAVOUR Blue Mountain Village’s Kaytoo offers representative dishes Revival House, Stratford

THE ROAD TRIP 132 km (82 miles); approximately two hours from Toronto. WHAT WE LOVE Encompassing the quaint villages and scenic vineyards of Niagaraon-the-Lake, the Niagara Peninsula and Twenty Valley, the Niagara wine region offers dozens of wineries to tour and taste at. Niagara-on-the-Lake is home to the Shaw Festival, a world-renowned annual theatre festival showcasing works by George Bernard Shaw and other playwrights. Drive the quiet country roads or, better yet, park the car, rent a bike and explore them at your leisure. LOCAL FLAVOUR Executive chef Jason Parsons, who works with winemaker Katie Dickieson to showcase wines in his @SeeTorontoNow

@SeeTorontoNow

2019 TORONTO

89


COMPASS 9. POINT PELEE

THE ROAD TRIP 351 km (218 miles); approximately three and a half hours from Toronto. WHAT WE LOVE Mainland Canada’s southernmost tip, Point Pelee National Park is a world-renowned bird sanctuary and has captivated visitors who marvel at the migration of birds and butterflies. LOCAL FLAVOUR First sip, then dine at nearby Pelee Island Winery, known for its Pinot Noir, where an in-depth look at the winemaking process is followed by a tasting.

10. OTTAWA

Blue Mountain Village

6. PRINCE EDWARD COUNTY

THE ROAD TRIP 203 km (126 miles); approximately two and a half hours from Toronto. WHAT WE LOVE The newest wine region in Ontario makes for a great excursion, with award-winning wineries and Chowhound-pleasing eateries and artisan food producers. The Globe and Mail newspaper has named the area the “gastronomic capital” of Ontario. LOCAL FLAVOUR A top choice among Toronto chefs, East & Main Bistro had the smart idea to combine luxury comfort food with fresh, local ingredients, paired with an outstanding selection of County wines.

8. TOBERMORY

THE ROAD TRIP 295 km (185 miles); approximately four hours from Toronto. WHAT WE LOVE Calling all hikers, divers, kayakers, golfers and art lovers: hike the majestic cliffs of the Niagara Escarpment or scuba dive in Fathom Five National Marine Park. LOCAL FLAVOUR Follow the locals to The Fish & Chip Place. Grab a prime spot on the front patio and enjoy crispy battered Georgian Bay whitefish while overlooking Little Tub Harbour.

–Additional research by Sarah B. Hood

8

10

7 ONTARIO 5

3

7. MUSKOKA

THE ROAD TRIP 219 km (136 miles); approximately two and a half hours from Toronto. WHAT WE LOVE National Geographic Traveler editors chose Muskoka as the No. 1 summer destination in the world for its 1,600 lakes, artistically gnarled pine trees and granite cliffs carved out of the Canadian Shield. LOCAL FLAVOUR Rub shoulders with such high-profile guests as Goldie Hawn and Kate Hudson at The Rosseau Grill at Windermere House. 90

TORONTO 2019

6 TORONTO 4 U.S.A.

2

1 U.S.A.

9

For more great Ontario getaways, visit ontariotravel.net

www.SeeTorontoNow.com

ANDREA HAMLIN (BLUE MOUNTAIN VILLAGE)

from across Canada, like Alberta beef, saskatoon berry pie, Montreal smoked meat and East Coast lobster. Canadian campfire-cooked s’mores end winter meals on a sweet note.

THE ROAD TRIP 450 km (280 miles); approximately four and a half hours from Toronto. WHAT WE LOVE As Canada’s capital, this dynamic city with more than 1.3 million residents is always buzzing. Visit Parliament Hill or one of several national museums, as well as galleries and theatre companies, or take in the Rideau Canal, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. EAT LOCAL Canadian ingredients marry with the finest French culinary techniques at Le Cordon Bleu’s Signatures Restaurant, located at the North American HQ of the famous cooking academy. Head to the historical ByWard Market district for restaurants, cafés and specialty food shops featuring local ingredients, or explore the Ottawa region’s impressive craft beer scene at a brewpub.


EXPLORE. LIVE. SHARE

NEILL - WYCIK BACKPACKERS • • • • •

OPEN FROM MAY - AUGUST PHONE NUMBER: 416-977-2320 • ADDRESS: 96 GERRARD ST. E. BOOK NOW torontobackpackershotel.com EMAIL reservations@neill-wycik.com

Where Toronto Laughs

GROUP & EVENT PACKAGES AVAILABLE SECONDCITY.COM • 416-343-0011 • 51 MERCER ST

neillwycikhotel neillwycikhotel_


COMPASS

GETTING AROUND What you need to know for wherever you want to go.

TRAVELLING BY BUS

v Toronto Coach Terminal

is the main intercity bus depot, located downtown at 610 Bay St. It serves such bus companies as Greyhound, Coach Canada/TrentwayWagar/Megabus and Ontario Northland.

v Union Station Bus

Terminal is located at 141 Bay St. (south of Front Street and just east of Union Station). It is the hub for GO Transit buses servicing inter-region travel in and around the Greater Toronto Area. For more information, call 1-888-GETON-GO or 416-869-3200 or visit gotransit.com.

TRAVELLING BY TRAIN

AIRPORT 411

v Toronto Pearson

International Airport (code YYZ) is the main point of landing for most domestic and international flights. Toronto Pearson is 27 km (17 miles) northwest of downtown (about a half-hour drive). To get from the airport to downtown, you can: 1. TAKE THE UP (UNION PEARSON) EXPRESS: The dedicated express air-rail service, which departs every 15 minutes, travels between Union Station and Toronto Pearson in 25 minutes and costs as little as $12.35 one way.

2. TAKE PUBLIC TRANSIT: Ride the Toronto Transit Commission’s (TTC) 192 Airport Rocket bus to Kipling subway station or take the 52A Lawrence West bus to Lawrence West subway station. Both TTC stations are on subway lines serving the downtown core. Visit ttc.ca for fare information. 3. HIRE A RIDE: Look for the lineup signs for taxis. The average cost into the city is about $60. For ride-share services Uber and Lyft, visit uber.com and lyft.com to download the apps to your smartphone and book a ride. 4. CATCH A SHUTTLE BUS: Many hotels offer airport shuttles, so check whether yours does.

IMPORTANT FYIs

v Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA): All visa-exempt foreign flyin visitors need an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA). American citizens and travellers with valid visas are exempt, as are visitors who arrive by land or sea. v The legal drinking age is 19. Licensed establishments serve alcohol between 11 a.m. and 2 a.m. v To get married in Ontario, consenting partners age 18 and older must first obtain a marriage licence. If you submit the application

92

TORONTO 2019

5. RENT A CAR: You’ll find major car-rental chains at both Terminal 1 and Terminal 3. Most are open daily from 6 a.m. to 1 a.m. Find directions to the city at torontopearson.com. v Billy Bishop Toronto

City Airport (code YTZ), located on the Toronto Islands, serves domestic, chartered and select U.S. flights. Passengers can walk to or from Billy Bishop via a pedestrian tunnel or take a short ferry ride to Toronto’s Harbourfront district, with taxi and public transit connections from there.

v All trains arrive and depart

from Union Station (65 Front St. W.). VIA Rail handles most of Canada’s intercity routes and connects to the U.S. via Amtrak. The Amtrak/ VIA Maple Leaf route runs between New York City and Toronto daily and takes about 12 and a half hours, depending on the border wait. For more information: 1-888-VIA-RAIL and viarail.ca; 1-800-USARAIL and amtrak.com.

v GO Transit services inter-

region travel in and around the Greater Toronto Area. GO’s green-and-white trains also operate from Union Station. For more information, call 1-888-GET-ON-GO or 416-869-3200 or visit gotransit.com.

(available online) with two pieces of government-issued ID and the applicable fee (in Toronto it’s $140), the licence can generally be processed within a day, after which it’s valid for 90 days. Same-sex marriage has been legal here since 2003. Find more info (including the application form) at settlement.org. v General retail hours are 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., with some malls offering extended hours and some smaller boutiques closing earlier. Most shops and malls close earlier on Sundays.

www.SeeTorontoNow.com

ANETE LUSINA (TORONTO PEARSON INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT)

Toronto Pearson International Airport


EXPLORING THE CITY

v BY TORONTO TRANSIT COMMISSION (TTC): Toronto’s subway system is easy

to navigate. Maps are displayed on all subway cars and are available at station ticket booths. Subway stops connect to streetcar or bus routes across the city and the Greater Toronto Area. Single fare is $3.25 (adults), $2.10 (seniors/students) and free for children 12 or under. TTC drivers don’t provide change. Hold on to your paper transfer for free connections and as proof of payment (POP); failing to provide POP may result in a fine. Save money by buying a daily or weekly pass. Another option is the PRESTO card, which is valid on the TTC, GO Transit, UP Express and any of the 11 participating transit agencies in Ontario. Passengers use credit or debit cards to load the cards for multiple trips or month-long access. Visit ttc.ca or call 416-393-INFO for info. TTC streetcar

v BY REGIONAL TRANSIT:

Visiting Mississauga? Go to the “Schedules and Trip Planner” section on mississauga.ca, type in your origin and destination, and the website will map out your best route. For route information in Brampton, visit Brampton Transit at brampton.ca. v BY GO TRANSIT: For routes

from Toronto to the suburbs and neighbouring regions, check GO Transit bus and train schedules at gotransit.com.

v BY TAXI: Toronto has

numerous cab companies, and all charge the same base rate of $3.25 plus $1.75 per kilometre ($1.09 per mile) or 52 cents a minute. The easiest cab number to remember is 416-TAXICAB, which connects you to all taxi and airport taxi or limo companies. Fares from Toronto Pearson International Airport are regulated by zone

and are non-negotiable. For a pre-approved flat rate, please ask the driver for a rate sheet. v BY UBER OR LYFT: Uber and

Lyft both operate in Toronto. Visit uber.com and lyft.com to download the apps to your smartphone and learn how the ride-hailing services work.

v BY BIKE: Renting a bike is easy.

Keep your eyes peeled for automated bike stands throughout the city. Bike rentals are ideal for shorter rides and are a great alternative to taxi jaunts. Grab a bike at one stand and return it to another. Visit toronto.ca for an online Toronto cycling map, or pick up a free paper copy at a civic or community centre, library or bicycle shop. v BY FOOT: Toronto is a safe

and walkable city. Look for trails throughout the parks, gardens and beaches; routes are outlined at toronto.ca.

Explore PATH’s underground walkways and shopping arcades that run beneath the downtown core. The 30 km (19 mile) PATH connects six subway stations, major hotels and several attractions, including Union Station, Roy Thomson Hall, Scotiabank Arena, CN Tower, CF Toronto Eaton Centre, Queens Quay and City Hall. Maps are available at toronto.ca or posted throughout PATH. v BY WATER: Visit the city’s

largest parkland, the Toronto Islands, just minutes from the downtown core. Depending on which island you visit, a ferry trip takes anywhere from 10 to 15 minutes. There are regular sailings from the Jack Layton Ferry Terminal (located between Bay Street and Yonge Street on Queens Quay). Buy your tickets in person or book online at toronto.ca/ferry. UP Express

GET INSIDER ADVICE The Toronto Greeters program will send a volunteer to welcome visitors. By pairing guests and greeters with similar interests, the program offers new­comers a chance to connect with Toronto— and Torontonians—on a personal level and to tap into the pulse of the city. Call 416-33TAPTO (338-2786) or email tapto@toronto.ca for more info.

MORE QUESTIONS? Call 311 Toronto at 416-392-CITY (2489), or dial 311 within city limits, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

TOURIST INFO + SERVICES Visit the Ontario Travel Information Centre at the west end of Union Station (65 Front St. W.) in the Main Hall, near the Skywalk. Specialists at the Toronto desk can provide information to help you get the most out of your visit to Toronto.

@SeeTorontoNow

@SeeTorontoNow

2019 TORONTO

93


LAST WORD

F

WATERWORLD Dive deep into a day in the life of Kat MacFadden, senior aquarist at Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada. BY KATIE SEHL ILLUSTRATION BY STEVE MANALE 94

TORONTO 2019

irst things f irst: it’s octopuses or octopodes, not octopi. “Basically, octopi has a Latin ending on a Greek root, so grammatically, it’s not correct,” says Kat MacFadden, senior aquarist at Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada. “But no one is going to correct you, except a cephalopod biologist.” MacFadden’s expertise landed her in the octopus tank at the aquarium five years ago. Now she’s swimming with sharks in Dangerous Lagoon. No two days are alike for MacFadden, but a typical one starts at 7 a.m., observing the behaviour of the animals in her care. Then she throws on scuba gear to scrub the tanks. Next, she may feed the sharks, stingrays and sawfish, or move on to enrichment-training the animals with stimuli and activities. “We give the octopuses stimuli that bring out their hunting behaviours. They use touch, taste and smell to explore the world. We engage those senses. A lot of the stimuli, like a Mr. Potato Head, look cute to us, but the animal is getting a sense of the smell and taste of the food that’s inside. It gives them something to rip apart and manipulate,” she says. When on dry land, MacFadden chats with visitors. “Quite often you’ll see me in front of my tank or walking in the shark tunnel,” she says. “I love when people ask questions!” The top question she gets asked: Why don’t sharks eat all their tankmates? Answer: they’re not the “bloodthirsty serial killers” you see in movies, MacFadden says. Like any predator, when they’re full, they stop eating. As for octopuses, ever since news of Inky the Octopus’s great escape from New Zealand’s National Aquarium went v iral in 2016, MacFadden gets asked if she’s ever caught any escapees. Nope, but she has taught giant Pacific octopuses Petunia and Violet to crawl into buckets to be weighed and moved from tank to tank. She’s also introduced the octopuses to paint and LEGO. Her advice for aspiring aquarists is to be fascinated by everything. “It’s easy to be discouraged because a lot of my marine biology degree was learning how everything is disappearing, how much trouble the world is in, and how separated people are from the natural environment,” she says. That’s why working at the aquarium and seeing glints of discovery in the eyes of visitors is so rewarding, she says: “I genuinely feel that we are closing that gap of separation.” Want to test the waters? Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada’s Aquarist for a Day program offers a behind-the-scenes look at this unique career, including meal prep, exhibit cleaning, waterquality checks and more.

www.SeeTorontoNow.com


MINUTES AWAY, WORLDS APART. Just a 30-minute drive from Toronto’s downtown and within easy reach for day trips to Niagara Falls. discovermississauga.ca

1,200 RESTAURANTS / 2,800 RETAIL SHOPS / 11 VILLAGES / 500 PARKS Port Credit Village in Mississauga


Profile for Tourism Toronto

2019 Toronto Magazine  

Delve into the local music scene, meet the locals and discover the hottest restaurants, festivals and major league sports in Canada's Downto...

2019 Toronto Magazine  

Delve into the local music scene, meet the locals and discover the hottest restaurants, festivals and major league sports in Canada's Downto...