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Ontario

Toronto’s Best Breweries

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Photo by Carlo Mendoza.

Over the past few years, the city has seen an explosion of new microbreweries, each with their own speciality techniques. Here are some of the city’s best craft brewpubs, where you’ll find everything from classic ales and lagers to experimental sours and goses.

Indie Ale House

With creative brews, a cozy atmosphere and a fantastic menu this Junction alehouse has it all. The frequently rotating selection focuses on rare ales like Belgian sours, double IPAs and English porters, plus beers made using ancient brewing techniques. Once a month, Indie Ale House collaborates with a guest brewer to create experimental one-time-only beers. Grab a tasting flight to sample the range of ales and pair with a juicy short rib burger or the crispy southern fried chicken. 2876 Dundas St. W. 

Signature brews: Barnyard Instigator, Broken Hipster, Breakfast Porter

Henderson Brewing Co.

Henderson’s unassuming building, tucked into an industrial area south of Bloor Street near Lansdowne subway station, is easy to miss if you don’t know where to look. This award-winning brewery houses some of the best suds in town, created using brewing techniques inspired by those used in Toronto at the beginning of the 19th century. Each beer has a Toronto theme, drawing inspiration from the city’s past and present. The featured July beer, for example, showcases work on its label by Kaley Flowers, an award-winning artist from last years’ Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition. Stay for a pint and get a close-up view of the brewing process, or take home some bottles or growler. 128A Sterling Rd.

Signature brews: Food Truck Blonde, Henderson’s Best,
Union Pearson Ale

Bandit Brewery

This microbrewery on Dundas Street West used to be an auto body shop. The former garage now houses brew tanks and its parking lot is a bustling patio filled with communal tables. Bandit has the atmosphere of a friendly German beer garden, with a uniquely Toronto twist: it features a mural and glasswear bearing the image of our unofficial municipal animal, the “trash panda,” or raccoon. Beers range from sour goses to hoppy IPAs to smooth lagers, and the menu includes delicious bar snacks like ale-battered cheese curds. 2125 Dundas St. W. 

Signature brews: Cone Ranger, Hoppleganger, Dundas West Coast IPA

Left Field Brewery

Both sports and beer fans will enjoy this baseball-themed brewery in Leslieville. In just a few years, husband and wife team Mark and Mandie have gone from sharing tank time with other breweries to opening their own space and widely distributing their brews to restaurants across the city. Left Field’s dog and kid-friendly location is decorated with baseball paraphernalia, like a salvaged scoreboard from Ohio that displays the business’s hours. There’s also a bottle shop where you can pick up favourites like Day Game session IPA, Cannonball Helles lager and Maris pale ale. 36 Wagstaff Dr.

Signature brews: Eephus, Sunlight Park, Wrigley

Burdock

Burdock, a combination bottle shop, restaurant and music hall, is one of the most innovative breweries in the city, trying out diverse styles of beer on a regular basis. Its brewers cite the wine world as a source of inspiration, and draw ingredients from a variety of producers, such as Niagara farmers and foragers and Ontario hop growers and wineries. The brewer began a barrel program in 2016, and it’s now starting to release some of its aged creations. The kitchen’s claim to fame is its sourdough bread, although there’s a lot more range to the menu, including a delicious selection of Ontario cheese. 1184 Bloor St. W.

Signature brews: The selection is constantly rotating, but the West Coast Pilsner is often on tap

Bellwoods Brewery

Bellwoods Brewery, a landmark brewery and bottle shop on the hip Ossington strip, is extremely popular, especially on sunny days when the patio comes alive. The rotating selection of pours range from aromatic pale ales to double IPAs to imperial stouts to farmhouse ales, and the special-edition bottled brews (including barrel-aged releases) means that there’s always something new to try. The small-but-tasty menu includes beer-friendly pairings like duck meatballs and smoked bratwurst. 124 Ossington Ave.

Signature brews: Jelly King, Roman Candle, Jutsu

Amsterdam BrewHouse

This waterfront drinking destination features 800 seats– 300 are located on one of four patios perfect for catching the lakeside breeze. The on-site craft brewery produces Amsterdam classics, as well as seasonal and small-batch releases from the Amsterdam Adventure Brews series, some of which have been barrel aged for more complex flavours. The comprehensive menu, which also suggests beer parings, features pub fare like the 3 Speed lager-battered fish and chips. 245 Queens Quay W.

Signature brews: 416 Local, Big Wheel, Boneshaker

Mill Street Brew Pub, Beer Hall and Brewery

The original Mill Street pub offers cold pints of the brewery’s most popular drafts, as well as small batch and seasonal offerings, like the refreshing ginger beer. Kick back with a pint and a bite to eat, or catch a guided tour to learn about the brewing process. Just around the corner, the newly renovated Mill Street Beer Hall features additional space and menu items for hungry and thirsty Distillery District visitors. A new on-site nano-brewery produces innovative and experimental, super-small-batch brews (some just a few barrels’ worth). 21 Tank House Ln. 

Signature brews: Original Organic Lager, Tankhouse Ale, 100th Meridian

Canadiana Shopping in the Capital

By Nicole Bayes-Fleming and Chris Lackner

You can visit Canada’s capital, and take a small piece of the country home with you. Loosen your patriotic purse strings at the following shops and boutiques.

 

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Patriotic Payment

Spend like a true Canadian with coins made in honour of the country’s 150th celebration. The Royal Canadian Mint has unveiled a collection of coins designed by Canadian artists, featuring national imagery such as the CN Tower, the beaver, and First Nations artwork. The toonie’s depiction of two canoeists gazing upon the northern lights also comes in a glow-in-the-dark version. Check your change, or purchase the limited editions designs at the Mint.

320 Sussex Dr., 613-993-8990

Sizzling Souvenirs

Kitschy souvenirs are easy to find in Ottawa. Ditch those maple syrup bottles and Mountie key chains for something from Maker House Co. The handmade items retain Canadian sentimentality, while supporting local artisans. You’ll find gear by North Standard Trading Post, bookmarks made of birch bark, and prints of different Canadian cities and provinces.

987 Wellington St. W., 613-422-6253

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First Nations’ Art

This purveyor of genuine First Nations’ fine arts and crafts from the Arctic and Canada’s West Coast has been a fixture on Sparks Street since 1963. At Snow Goose you’ll find original works of art, including soapstone carvings and masks, along with a large selection of dreamcatchers, original Inuit prints and carvings, Indigenous jewellery designs, and leather goods.

83 Sparks St., 613-232-2213

Wrap Yourself in the Flag

Victoire: Mainly Canadian designers, plus pop-culture accessories in a store aesthetic self-described as, “Rock ’n’ Roll tea party”.

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Magpie Jewellery: The majority of their accessories are Canadian, including First Nations designers. If you’re feeling really patriotic, pick up the Ottawa Necklace from local designer Lissa Bowie.

Flock Boutique: Unique and handmade garments from over 150 Canadian designers; also visit their sister store in the market Workshop Boutique.

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Boogie + Birdie: Feels cosy and Canadian with largely local products — from scented candles to animal mugs to artisan crafts, colourful scarves, small ceramics and one-of-a-kind jewellery.

Homegrown Gifts

J.D. Adam Kitchen Co.: Set the table with Canadian and local kitchenware at this colourful, dynamic shop in the Glebe.

Market Organics: This health food store in the ByWard market carries plenty of local goods, from body care and nutritional products to local food purveyors. Their built-in kitchen even offers daily specials.

 

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Roots: Roots is living up to its name with special merchandise for Canada’s 150th. Locations include Westboro and three shopping centres: Rideau, St. Laurent and Bayshore.

The Season’s Hottest Shows

THE TOP SUMMER MOVIES, THEATRE, MUSIC AND DANCE

Shakespeare

The audience enjoys an actor’s performance in the heart of High Park.

Shakespeare in High Park

To Sept. 3

Canadian Stage marks 35 years of outdoor Shakespeare
performances in High Park in 2017. This year, King Lear, the Bard’s famous tale of a mad ruler’s downfall, will alternate evenings with Twelfth Night (or What You Will), a comedy of mistaken identity and gender. Whichever performance you choose, get there early to snag a good seat. High Park Amphitheatre, 1873 Bloor St. W., canadianstage.com

Beautiful: The Carole
King Musical

To Sept. 3

Be inspired by the story of Carole King, one of the most successful songwriters and solo acts in pop music history. Follow King’s rise to stardom, from her time writing with ex-husband Gerry Goffin to the launch of her solo career. Along the way, enjoy hits like “One Fine Day,” “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman” and the title song, “Beautiful.”
Ed Mirvish Theatre, 244 Victoria St., mirvish.com

Billy Bishop Goes to War

July 1–Aug. 5

The Soulpepper theatre company
presents one of the most critically acclaimed and widely produced Canadian musicals of all time, Billy Bishop Goes to War. The production, written by John MacLachlan Gray and Eric Peterson, tells the story of Billy Bishop, a First World War fighter pilot, though a series of anecdotes examining his high-flying exploits and his ambivalence
toward war, nationalism and what it means to be a hero.
Young Centre for the Performing Arts,
50 Tank House Ln., soulpepper.ca

Toronto Fringe Festival

July 5–16

Programming is selected entirely by lottery, ensuring that new, avant-garde and established acts all have an equal opportunity to get noticed and try new material. It also ensures that shows are varied, novel and full of surprises. Several notable productions began as Fringe Festival premieres, including Kim’s Convenience, ’da Kink in My Hair and Life After. Along with theatrical productions, the Fringe includes dance, visual art, buskers and the FringeKids Venue, where kids pay only five dollars per show. Various venues, fringetoronto.com

Beaches International
Jazz Festival

July 7–30

More than 100 established and emerging musicians perform each year at the Beaches jazz fest, which encompasses genres from calypso to new age to Latin to blues. This year includes the return of Sounds of Leslieville & Riverside, the Beaches Jazz Latin Carnival and music at the Beach Village Kew Gardens. Also, gourmet food trucks fill Queen Street East between Woodbine and Beech from July 27 to 29.
Various venues, beachesjazz.com

SummerWorks
Performance Festival

Aug. 3–13

Each August, SummerWorks, Canada’s largest curated performance festival, hosts more than 60 theatre, dance, music and live art performances by over 500 artist in venues throughout the city. The juried festival is one of the most important places for artists to launch new works, both locally and abroad.
Various venues, summerworks.ca

Ottawa the Bold: 2017 in the Nation’s Capital

By Joseph Mathieu

Summer in the capital always enchants, but this year will be truly spellbinding. Canada’s 150th birthday finds Ottawa exploding with red and white, cascading with culture and embracing the extraordinary. Artists and performers from afar will highlight their cultures while celebrating their ties with Canada, the downtown core will ignite with fiery, fantastical beasts completing a quest, and a rift in the space-time continuum will be discovered and explored underground. We are talking about an Ottawa awash in magic, wonder and revelry — a city breaking with tradition and showing off just what it can do. Why not? You only turn 150 once, right?

Kontinuum: An Underground Journey Through Time

Kontinuum (July 16 to Sept. 14)
This free, interactive, immersive experience built around the construction of the new light-rail train system in Ottawa is the brainchild of Moment Factory, the wizards behind more than 400 multi-media productions around the world. The company is proud “to tell stories in unusual environments,” says MF’s Marie-Claire Lynn. The Lyon Street transit station is a case in point. Kontinuum centres on city workers finding a “breach” in the space-time continuum while digging to erect the station. This tear in reality allows visitors to experience alternate dimensions and invisible frequencies – auditory, visual and vibrational. Guests traverse three floors of architectural anomalies and life-like panoramic projections, and have the opportunity to visualize their own, unique “frequency,” which then becomes part of Kontinuum’s ever-evolving visual and auditory DNA.

La Machine’s Long-Ma & La Princesse

La Machine (July 27-30)
Get ready for the streets, buildings, and trees of downtown Ottawa to become a stage for two towering beasts. “The Spirit of the Dragon-Horse, With Stolen Wings” stars a 20-metre-long spider named La Princesse and a 12-metre-high horse-dragon named Long-Ma. With skin and features of sculpted wood, the massive pair’s mechanical guts and skeletons of steel move with the help of 33 operators. The monumental, four-day play will be the first North American performance by La Machine, a French production company based in Nantes. “Every driver has one role, one function and all together [they] make the machines emotive as well as mobile,” says La Machine’s Frédette Lampé. “The link between the operators and the machines is not dissimilar to that of a marionnettiste to its marionette, but we call them architecture in movement.”

Inspiration Village on York Street

Ottawa Welcomes the World (March until December) lives up to its name. All year long, the capital’s embassies and high commissions are marking their country’s national celebrations at the Aberdeen Pavilion and the Horticulture Building in Lansdowne Park. Enjoy music, food and art from around the world — but no jet lag. For programming, visit Ottawa2017.ca. Meanwhile, Inspiration Village on York Street (May 20 until Sept. 4) is home to 20 sea containers converted into a multi-use space featuring 880 hours of programming. You’ll discover special exhibits, live performances showcasing our provinces and territories, and activities for kids such as a costume photo booth, and photo cutouts of popular Canadian animals.

Ottawa Welcomes the World

Ottawa Welcomes the World

The International Pavilion (June 27 to Dec. 8)
A new building at 7 Clarence Street welcomes various countries, including summer hosts like Germany, Ireland and Belgium to will showcase their culture and traditions, and promotes their ties to Canada. With inspiring stories from immigrants and ex-pats, examples of partnerships leading to innovation, interactive presentations, and dynamic storytelling, the pavilion will serve as a enjoyable way to see how other countries perceive our own. For programming, visit the National Capital Commission site.

Terre Mère at MOSAÏCANADA 150

MOSAÏCANADA 150 (June 30 to Oct. 15)
Mosaïculture is the intersection of tapestry and topiary, the latter of which is the pruning of hedges into recognizable shapes. In other words, it’s all about creating living artwork with plants. For 107 days, Jacques-Cartier Park will host the biggest horticultural event in Canada, with MOSAÏCANADA 150/Gatineau 2017. The free exhibit’s themes will reflect on 150 years of history, values, culture and arts in Canada through some 40 different organic wonders.

Insider’s Scoop: The Epic Canadian History Hall

By Joseph Mathieu

This Canada Day, a new permanent addition to the Canadian Museum of History will mark a turning point in the way our country tells stories. The Canadian History Hall, a project five years in the making, will unveil three new galleries showcasing the unsung, much-loved, and even hard-to-swallow aspects of Canada. Described as the largest and most comprehensive exhibition on Canadian history, President and CEO of the Museum Mark O’Neill said the institution hopes that, “Canadians will come away with a new understanding of who we are today and with a new appreciation of the debt we owe to those who came before us.”

On July 1, stroll down the Passageway with mirrored silhouettes of 101 familiar Canadian symbols into the nexus of the  Hall. Inside a giant rotunda called the Hub, visitors will find themselves on a massive map of the country, all 10 million square kilometres of it — a perfect launching pad to learn new things about the land we know as Canada.

The Passageway into the Canadian History Hall. Photo: Canadian Museum of History.

The Passageway into the Canadian History Hall. Photo: Canadian Museum of History.

Named for the donors to the ambitious project, each of the three galleries showcases the story of Canada through multiple perspectives. The Rossy Family Gallery covers the dawn of human civilization until the year 1763. The era debuts with the Anishinabe creation story on a starry widescreen that depicts, “a view of how the world fits together, and how human beings should behave in it.”

The Anishnaabe entrance to the Rossy Family Gallery. Photo: Canadian Museum of History.

The Anishnaabe entrance to the Rossy Family Gallery. Photo: Canadian Museum of History.

The first gallery winds into a treasury of weapons, tools, and personal possessions that display the industry and creativity of Indigenous peoples across the continent. Alongside archaeological evidence of First Nations activity as far back as the Ice Age, there is a fossilized piece of a mammoth jaw and teeth, an intricate diorama of Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump in Alberta, and a game to see how every piece of the bison was used to make something useful.

Photo: Canadian Museum of History.

View from the Rossy Family Gallery. Photo: Canadian Museum of History.

You can meet the ancestors of the Inuit, the Thule, who proudly wore jewellery of copper and bear teeth, as well as stone facial piercings and hairstyles that may have been used to convey status. An impressive display of facial reconstruction technology introduces the bead family of Shíshálh, four family members of high standing who lived approximately 4,000 years ago.

The differences in habits and heritage of many different Indigenous peoples is elaborated with great detail. One display compares the Indigenous names alongside the simplified traditional European names attributed to them, like the Haudenosaunee, or Five Nations Confederacy (now Six Nations), which Europeans simply called the Iroquois.

Astrolabe thought to belong to Samuel de Champlain. Canadian Museum of History, 989.56.1, IMG2017-0092-0005-Dm

Astrolabe thought to belong to Samuel de Champlain. Photo: Canadian Museum of History.

The roles of Frenchman Samuel de Champlain played in the history of Canada were many. He was known as an observant chronicler, a diplomat and a soldier, and ultimately a settler whose statue on Nepean Point depicts him holding his famous astrolabe that went missing. A corner exhibition dedicated to the man known as the “Father of New France” houses an astrolabe that may or may not have belonged to him, but it was discovered along a route he is known to have travelled.

View from the Fredrik Eaton Family Gallery. Photo: Canadian Museum of History.

View from the Fredrik Eaton Family Gallery. Photo: Canadian Museum of History.

The second Gallery, named for the Fredrik Eaton Family, covers Colonial Canada until the eve of the First World War. Several aspects of life in Canada changed with the introduction of guns, horses, and disease, while a century-long conflict between English and French Canada raged over dominance of the fertile land. The integration of French and then British rule forever changed the lives of Indigenous peoples.

The Métis of the Northern Plain were one of the first people of mixed heritage to choose a flag: a blue banner with a white infinity loop. Some see the symbol as two peoples meeting to become one, while others identify with its message of hope that the Métis nation will never fade. There are also mentions of the growing reputation of Montreal as a world-class city, the complications with living next to the United States, and the trending fashion of hooded overcoats, known as “capots” or “canadiennes”, during the French regime.

View from Gallery 2. Photo: Canadian Museum of History.

View from the Fredrik Eaton Family Gallery. Photo: Canadian Museum of History.

The third gallery is the size of the other two combined, named after donors Hilary M. Weston and W. Galen Weston, and it covers the period that is currently being written: Modern Canada. From 1914 until 2017, the mezzanine overlooking the Hub has no chronology, just a diverse layout reflecting the complicated nature of Canada.

The push for independence and prosperity, the interwoven story of First Nations told in their own words, and the identity of Canada on the world stage all play major roles in the top-floor gallery. The floor is filled with memorabilia like Terry Fox’s Marathon of Hope t-shirt, Maurice “Rocket” Richard’s Montréal Canadiens jersey, and Lester B. Pearson’s 1957 Nobel Peace Prize. How Quebec nationalism has shaped not only the province but the rest of the country is examined from province’s Quiet Revolution to patriotic separatism that almost bubbled over during two referenda in 1980 and 1995.

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A T-shirt worn by Terry Fox during his 1980 Marathon of Hope. Photo: Canadian Museum of History.

There are painful panels to read that shine a light on the cultural suppression of Inuit and First Nations culture for many decades. One large pull quote from our founding Prime Minister John A. McDonald stands out: “Indian children should be withdrawn as much as possible from the parental influence.” Right around the corner are the colourful and vibrant art pieces in painting and dress that only the Haida of British Columbia could design. The #IdleNoMore movement also takes a prominent display amongst the sometimes uncomfortable history of the past federal stance on Indigenous peoples and their fight for respected rights.

“The Hall is unapologetic in its exploration of Canada’s history, depicting the moments we celebrate along with the darker chapters,” said O’Neill. “Chapters that absolutely must be told if we are to offer accurate account of this country’s past.”

Visitors will find conflicting images of a country far older than its 150 years of Confederation. The main message of the extensive and sometimes controversial Hall is that Canada is a great mix of conflict, struggle, and loss while also of success, accomplishment, and hope.

The Top 5 Places to Eat Right Now in Food-Obsessed Toronto

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The trendy dining room at Hanmoto.

Hanmoto

This tiny west-end spot offers addictive Japanese comfort food like dyno wings: deep-fried, boneless chicken wings that are stuffed with pork, bacon and ginger,slathered in kewpie mayo sauce and served in a takeout box. 2 Lakeview Ave.

Antler

The appropriately named chef Michael Hunter serves up wild and foraged cuisine—including boar, venison and bison. 1454 Dundas St. W.

 Alo

Dig into Alo’s inventive six-course tasting menu to find out why chef Patrick Kriss’s French-dining destination is one of the finest restaurants in Canada. 163 Spadina Ave., 

Jackpot Chicken Rice

Everything on the menu, from the kaffir broccoli tempura to the Hainanese chicken to the rich, schmaltzy rice, is full of exciting flavours, both traditional and new.
318 Spadina Ave. 

Piano Piano

Chef Victor Barry’s chic Italian restaurant is great for kids and a boon to grown-ups who love perfect Neapolitain pizzas (try the Bitters: scamorza, parmesan, dandelion, kale, garlic, chilies and lemon). 88 Harbord St. 

 

8 Steakhouses with More Than Just Sizzle

Lower Dining Room

The luxe dining room at Harbour Sixty.

  1. The Shore Club, one of the city’s newest steakhouses, is located in the heart of the entertainment district, close to venues such as Roy Thomson Hall and the TIFF Bell Lightbox. Along with classic cuts like New York strip loin, bone-in rib steak and filet mignon, there’s a full seafood menu, with stuffed rainbow trout and salmon Wellington. 155 Wellington St. W., 416-351-3311.
  2. Ruth Fertel, founder of the international Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse chain, credited the success of her steaks as much to their sound and smell as to their taste. That’s why steaks at Ruth’s are cooked at nearly 1,000°C, served on an incredibly hot plate and doused with a tablespoon of sizzle-inducing butter before they leave the kitchen. They’re also thick enough to serve two people. 145 Richmond St. W., 416-955-1455.
  3. Morton’s, a Texas-based steakhouse chain, has a modern ambience but still delivers a proper old-school steak—not to mention an impressive number of side dishes, including sautéed broccoli florets, creamed corn, bacon and onion macaroni and cheese, and Parmesan and truffle matchstick fries. 4 Avenue Rd., 416-925-0648.
  4. STK mixes the vibe of a modern restaurant with that of an exclusive nightclub—it even has a live DJ. Along with dry-aged steaks, STK offers some unique drink concoctions, with names like Cucumber Stiletto, Carroted Away and Strawberry Cobbler. 135 Yorkville Ave., 416-613-9660.
  5. At Hy’s Steakhouse, dark mahogany walls and furniture, rich carpets and intimate lighting complement the high quality 28-day-aged Canadian beef. Traditional dishes share a menu with modern fare, including a Dungeness crab cake and a tropical shrimp salad sandwich. 120 Adelaide St. W., 416-364-6600.
  6. Harbour Sixty is seconds from the Air Canada Centre, so don’t be surprised to see a Maple Leaf or two whenever they’re in town. Located in the century-old Habour Commission building, it offers classic fare and has a seafood menu to rival its steaks, with beluga caviar, a daily selection of fresh oysters and a seafood tower with steamed lobster, king crab legs, jumbo black tiger shrimp and oysters. 60 Harbour St., 416-777-2111.
  7. Barberian’s Steak House is one of the oldest steakhouses in Toronto, dating back to 1959. Sitting in the dinning room, you get the impression little has changed since then. Barberian’s butchers and ages all its steaks in-house. Be sure to ask for a tour of the must-be-seen-to-be-believed wine cellar. 7 Elm St., 416-597-0335.
  8. Dine like one of the wealthy entrepreneurs of Toronto past at the Keg Mansion, located in a gothic home once owned by legendary philanthropist Hart Massey. The Keg Steakhouse and Bar is known for its affordable quality and comfortable atmosphere, and that’s still true in its slightly fancier variation here. Pro tip: don’t skip the mashed potatoes. 515 Jarvis St., 416-964-6609.

Ottawa’s Tried & True Shopping

By Chris Lackner

It takes creativity, adaptability, and perseverance to remain a prominent shopping destination amid ever-shifting changes in taste, trends, and clientele. As the country turns 150, we highlight top shops in the capital that have stood the test of time and have thrived for 20 years or more.

Kaliyana

Photo: Ben Welland

Kaliyana ArtwearSince 1987

Kaliyana Artwear offers innovative clothing for women, with sizes 6 to 22 available. Their contemporary, avant-garde designs are inspired by Japanese minimalism, simple and timeless, and driven by unique cuts, textures, fabrics, colours, and prints. Think unstructured shapes with lots of pockets, asymmetric lines, and layers. Most importantly, think comfort. Also, get footloose with international footwear products, including Arche shoes from France and Trippen from Germany.

515 Sussex Dr., 613-562-3676

Howard Fine JewellersSince 1967

No diamond in the rough, this family-owned store is celebrating its 50th anniversary! For one-third of Canada’s existence, Howard Fine Jewellers & Custom Designers has showcased timeless pieces of jewellery from around the world. Its showroom is home to a wide selection of treasures by Canadian and international designers, including Hearts on Fire, Rolex, Tudor, Tacori, Jack Kelege, Jeff Cooper and Furrer Jacot. Howard also offers custom design work and on-site repairs.

220 Sparks St., 613-238-3300

The Gifted Type

Photo: Ben Welland

The Gifted Type ~ Since 1981

The Gifted Type’s products go well beyond glossy print, with an eclectic collection of cards, novelty items, children’s toys, and other small gifts. Formerly known as Mags + Fags (which first opened in the ByWard Market), they have held court on Elgin Street since 1982 — amid a sea change in tenants and residents. Sister store boogie + birdie is right next door, showcasing rare jewellery (including handmade local designers), bath and body products, fashion items, baby clothes, children’s toys, candles, and Turkish towels. 

The Gifted Type, 254 Elgin St., 613-233-9651; boogie + birdie, 256 Elgin St., 613-232-2473

Snow GooseSince 1963

This purveyor of genuine Aboriginal Canadian fine arts and crafts from the Arctic and Canada’s West Coast has been a fixture on Sparks Street since 1963. You’ll find original works of art, including soapstone carvings and masks, along with a large selection of dreamcatchers, original Inuit prints and carvings, Indigenous jewellery designs, and leather goods.

83 Sparks St., 613-232-2213

Davidson's Jewellers

Photo: Ben Welland

Davidson’s JewellersSince 1939

This Ottawa jewel started to shine when founder Eastman Davidson set up a watch and clock repair shop in the family home before opening a storefront in the Glebe. His daughter Judy carried on the family tradition, and their namesake business moved to its current location in 1964. It continues to specialize in things that are shiny, but it has also crafted a glowing reputation for business ethics, service, and quality — not to mention a penchant for giving back to the community. Shine on, you crazy diamond!

790 Bank St., 613-234-4136

J.D. AdamSince 1988

This colourful, dynamic shop in the Glebe showcases an assortment of high-quality kitchenware and home accessories from over 100 high-quality companies such as Emile Henry, KitchenAid, and Cuisinart. It also carries bakeware, tableware, garden and patio accessories, ceramics, and chef gadgets. Smaller fare — including specialty food items, candles and soaps, bottles, vases, and cookbooks — make this a prime gift destination.

795 Bank St., 613-235-8714

Ma CuisineSince 1996

“Cook with it, serve with it, eat with it, Ma Cuisine has it,” they proclaim. And with good reason. Looking for a genuine Japanese turning vegetable slicer? They have that. A butter knife that absorbs the heat from your hand, making it easier to slice through? They have that too. And good ol’ cookie sheets and roasting pans? Check. Whether conventional cook or culinary mad scientist, you’re shopping in the right place. Ma Cuisine is a kitchen supply store with more than the usual muffin tins and rolling pins.

269 Dalhousie St., 613-789-9225

Manhattan West

Photo: Ben Welland

Manhattan West ~ Since 1992

You can save your travel dollars by visiting Manhattan in Canada’s capital. The same mother-and-daughter team have brought Manhattan to Ottawa for over 20 years, showcasing unique, edgy, and exclusive fashions from around the world. The tradition began at their former market location, Manhattan Marque, and continues at their Westboro shop, Manhattan West. You can travel the world of fashion by visiting this charming boutique, where you’ll find contemporary designs from New York, L.A., Italy, France, Germany, and Denmark. A one-stop shop for everything from casual to business wear, dresses to jeans, and exclusive accessories to stylish footwear.

322 Richmond Rd, 613-695-0517

Mrs. Tiggy Winkle’sSince 1977

Mrs. Tiggy Winkle’s unique collection of toys is probably the envy of Santa’s elves. Their original location opened in 1977 with the same product focus the local chain has today: well-made, creative toys that spark children’s imagination. They pledge a commitment to toys that meet a high standard for “both play and educational value” and “trusty old favourites that have stood the test of time.” Their classic products are showcased alongside new, innovative playthings. These toys are not only for the young, but also for the young at heart; a visit to Mrs. Tiggy Winkle’s will make adults feel like a kid all over again. Locations include The Glebe, Bayshore Shopping Centre, Rideau Shopping Centre, Place d’Orléans Mall, and Westboro.

809 Bank St., 613-234-3836

The PaperySince 1986

This colourful store in the Glebe has been hosting a non-stop paper party for 30 years. Gift-giving is made easy with The Papery’s array of greeting and holiday cards, artistic giftware, gift wrap, tissue paper (over 50 shades), ribbons, and gift boxes. They even offer a wrapping service. Party plan with napkins and plates and seasonal decor. Life plan with calligraphy supplies, agendas, journals, envelopes, and unique, vibrant colour stock. Plan for fun with colouring books, stickers, recipe books, rubber stamps, and origami to entertain the kids.

850 Bank St., 613-230-1313

Kunstadt Sports

Photo: Ben Welland

Kunstadt SportsSince 1988

Kunstadt Sports started as a small business in Kanata run by a clan of athletes and sports enthusiasts. They even operated out of the family’s home basement! It has grown to three thriving sports-equipment stores spread across Ottawa. Given our wintery capital, it specializes in snow sports, but Kunstadt also covers other seasons with an all-star lineup of equipment — from cycling and tennis gear to running shoes. Servicing for skis, snowboards, racquets, and bikes is available on-site, and Kunstadt even sells their own brands of skis and bikes. Their employees are athletes, too, as Kunstadt commits to employing accomplished skiers, bikers, tennis players, and fitness gurus. Sounds like a game plan for success.

680 Bank St., 613-233-4820; 462 Hazeldean Rd., 613-831-2059; 1583 Bank St., 613-260-0696

Octopus BooksSince 1969

This independent bookstore has multiple tentacles. It specializes in alternative and left-wing contemporary and classic books on subjects including politics, environmentalism, feminism, health and Indigenous studies. Author readings, book launches, and community classroom nights (guest lectures, debates, and more) make this bookstore an event destination. The original location opened in 1969 before moving to the Glebe 20 years ago, and the downtown location opened in 2012.

116 Third Ave., 613-233-2589; 251 Bank St., 613-688-0752

The Power Plant Celebrates 30 Years

Kapwani Kiwanga, Afrogalactica

Kapwani Kiwanga, Afrogalactica photo by Emma Haug.

ON NOW The Power Plant, a not-for-profit cultural organization on Toronto’s waterfront, turns 30 in 2017. For its anniversary year, it offers a slate of programming reflecting its own history and, in celebration of Canada’s sesquicentennial, that of the country as a whole. The Power Plant’s winter exhibition season asks visitors to consider those who lived here before 1867 and to explore how our colonial legacy affects life today. On Fishes, Horses and Man, which explores marginalized lives and the consequences of slavery, is the first comprehensive solo show for Jonathas de Andrade outside his native Brazil. Canada’s own Maria Hupfield references Anishinaabe oral traditions and feminist performance history in The One Who Keeps On Giving. Another Canadian, Kapwani Kiwanga, features a new film, A Primer, which shows the potential built environments have to affect behaviour. And Latifa Echakhch of Morocco presents a site-specific installation that examines present uncertainty in society by imagining what would happen if the sky was a material object.

 

 

Ottawa Pub Guide: Get Cosy in the Capital

By Emma Fischer

From the darkest winter day to the melt of spring, there are plenty of reasons to snuggle up at a fireplace and raise a pint! Feel the warm embrace of Ottawa’s cosiest pubs no matter the season:

Coasters

Coasters Seafood Grill

ELGIN

Woody’s Pub

A self-proclaimed urban pub, they’re known for their wide selection of craft beer, but that’s not all they offer! Enjoy some of their classic pub fare or more multicultural dishes in one of their two main rooms. Cosy up in the lounge with not one, but two fireplaces and several comfy booths. Beat frosty weather with a frosty pint! 

330 Elgin St.

MacLaren’s on Elgin: Much more than just Ottawa’s premier sports bar, MacLaren’s is the place to take shelter from the storm. Sip on a cocktail while you play some pool, or catch the big game on one of their 80 HD televisions. With plenty of variety both on their menus and in the bar, your game plan should involve staying here long after the final whistle blows! 

301 Elgin St.

The Manx: Known for their craft beer and gourmet pub food, The Manx also boasts an incredible Scotch selection and legendary brunch. This basement pub is a little more hidden than most, but it’s the perfect underground refuge for an after-work drink or to wind down from a long day. Pop by on Sunday and Monday nights to live local music and sing your heart out on their special karaoke nights.

370 Elgin St.

BYWARD MARKET

Lafayette

The Lafayette: Having been around for 167 years, the Laff has been serving Ottawa before it was even Ottawa. They offer affordable food, drink specials and live music with free cover, which means more money for bevvies! The Laff has expanded their pub to its original size and now boasts a comfy fireplace area. Assistant manager Deek Labelle gets the last laugh: “We do our best to make our customers feel at home and comfortable at all times. We don’t believe in charging cover – we’d rather have your bum in a warm seat, sipping on a tasty beverage.”

42 York St.

Chez Lucien: Tucked away at the edge of the ByWard Market, this quaint bar looks small from the outside, but has three levels of cosy seating inside. Exposed brick, hardwood floors and a fireplace give this place a relaxed and comfortable ambiance. Come for brunch (it opens every day at 11 a.m.) and stay for dinner. This place is a few short blocks from more conventional touristy pubs, and far more authentic. Warm up even more with their Frida and Diego burger topped with jalapeños.

137 Murray St. 

Vineyards

Vineyards Wine Bar Bistro & Coaster’s Seafood Grill: This cellar bistro and wine bar is found in a historic, 19th-century building in the ByWard Market. Directly above are two sister establishments: Fish Market Restaurant and Coaster’s Seafood Grill. At Vineyards, sample from 200 wines and 250 different beers — there is definitely something for everybody. Pair your drinks with charcuterie or a cheese board, and enjoy regular live jazz musicians (they will warm your soul). If you’re literally looking for fire, head on upstairs to Coaster’s where you can settle in by the fireplace and enjoy delicious seafood while you sip on a cocktail.

54 York St. 

Ottawa’s Best Pizza

BY JOSEPH MATHIEU

Enjoy a slice of the capital with our Ottawa gourmet pizza guide.

WELLINGTON WEST

Anthony’s: Inspired by classic Italian recipes and made entirely from the offerings of Preston’s Luciano Foods, Anthony’s doesn’t compromise when it comes to vintage pizza. A year after topping the list of the Food Network’s 12 Canadian pizzerias worth travelling for, Anthony’s opened a second successful location on Bank Street in the Glebe. Both locations are located in neighbourhoods with top-draw shopping.

1218 Wellington St. W.

Anthonys_PIzzas_Where_Ottawa

Tennessy Willems
You can’t get much more authentic than baking pizzas in a wood oven on dough made in-house daily. After years of generous portions, the quality has remained high at the Hintonburg staple where they only serve local and organic ingredients. Fresh, in-season produce and well-crafted artisanal meats and cheeses don’t come from very far, but they make the pizzas go a long way. “Helen’s” pizza, topped with baby spinach, goat cheese, Parmesan, and toasted pine nuts, pays homage to the previous owner of the building, Helen Saikely, who ran Melrose Groceteria with her husband Buddy at the same corner for 40 years. 1082 Wellington St. W.

Tennesy Willem pizza,

Tennessy Willem pizza,

CENTRETOWN

Colonnade Pizza: You know you’ve found a winning pie when they’ve been making it the same way for 50 years. Celebrating half a century of pizza next year, Colonnade is poised to feed the masses on their way to Ottawa for the sesquicentennial with five locations across the city. The flagship remains at 280 Metcalfe St.

Pavarazzi: Although the affordable gourmet pizza makers at Pavarazzi have moved out of their Laurier Street location, they are still delivering out of Somerset West. The Meat Eaters classic pizza has won local awards and the phones are still ringing for it. 491 Somerset St. W. (for delivery or pickup only)

THE GLEBE

Crust + Crate: One of Lansdowne Park’s hippest new restaurants has oblong, smoky pizzas that are redefining what Canadian pizza can be. With unpolished décor and a daily drink special almost every day of the week, it could easily become the local hang for beer and pizza parties after any game. 105-325 Marché Way

Crus + Crate in Ottawa. (Ottawa's Best Pizza)

Crust + Crate in Ottawa. (Ottawa’s Best Pizza)

BYWARD MARKET

Vittoria Trattoria: The Breakfast Pizza on the weekend brunch menu is a unique and delicious alternative. Add potatoes and eggs to the tomato sauce, mozzarella, and pancetta ham and you’ve got a wake-up winner. Come back for dinner and choose from a wide selection of gourmet pies that feature ingredients like Greek figs and apple wood smoked salmon.

35 William St.

Ravine VineyardPizza

Fiazza Fresh Fired: Every pizzeria can make a custom ‘za, but Fiazza does it right before your eyes. With mounds of broccoli and peppers, heaps of garlic, more artichoke hearts than you can handle, and free fresh basil after the bake, it’s not hard to see why this up-and-coming eatery is making waves in the pizza world.

86 Murray St.

Go Team, Go! Toronto’s Top Sports Bars

Root for your favourite players in style as you fuel up, celebrate or unwind at one of these fine establishments.

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Get a front-row seat to the game with the big screen at the Real Sports Bar & Grill.

  1. Open since 1949, Duffy’s Tavern is the longest operating bar in Bloordale and the fifth oldest bar in Toronto. This local favourite has pool and foosball tables, a great selection of craft beers and spirits, and live music nightly. 1238 Bloor St. W., 416-628-0330.
  2. The Contender in Little Portugal is a hip, yet low-key take on the traditional sports bar. Memorabilia like vintage baseball pennants, signed photos and framed jerseys adorn the walls, and the tables might look a little familiar—they’re made of repurposed bowling alley lanes. The ever-changing menu features concession stand-style eats like pretzels, foot-long hotdogs, and nachos, as well as soft serve beer floats for a sweet, boozy treat. 1166 Dundas St. W., 416-792-3513.
  3. At Wayne Gretzky’s Toronto enjoy draft beer, signature cocktails, or vintages from Wayne Gretzky Estates along with an extensive menu. The Great One’s namesake establishment also features daily specials, including a $5 burger with all the fixings on Fridays. 99 Blue Jays Way, 416-348-0099.
  4. The huge space at The Ballroom easily accommodates large groups. In addition to an abundance of TVs and HD projection screens for watching the game, activities include 10-pin bowling, ping pong, pool, bubble hockey, foosball, and an Xbox corner. Try the poutine with numerous options, including lobster, bacon double cheeseburger, and popcorn chicken. 145 John St., 416-597-2695.
  5. The Loose Moose has been a downtown staple since 1989. Show up on game day for the lively atmosphere and more than 65 varieties of beer on tap. 146 Front St. W., 416-977-8840.
  6. Boasting a two-story-high HD TV, Real Sports Bar & Grill, has a prime location adjacent to the Air Canada Centre. Hungry fans can chow down on a wide selection of burgers and wings as they watch the action on one of the 199 television sets. 15 York St., 416-815-7325.
  7. Owned and operated by former NHL goalie Wayne Cowley, The Bottom Line is conveniently located within walking distance of the Hockey Hall of Fame (page TK) and the Air Canada Centre. Drop by for a pre- or post-game drink and tuck into an assortment of pizza, sandwiches, sliders, nachos, and more. 22 Front St. W., 416-362-7585.
  8. A 90-foot-long sports ticker and a 15-foot widescreen means that you’ll never have to ask for the score at The Shark Club Sports Bar Grill located at Yonge-Dundas Square. Two two happy hours (3 to 6 p.m. weekdays and 10 p.m. to close Sun.-Thurs.) ensure you won’t miss a second of the action. 10 Dundas St. E., 416-506-0753.