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Secret Garden: Healthy Living at Herbfest

Celebrate healthy food and healthy living at Herbfest on July 27.

Celebrate healthy food and healthy living at Herbfest on July 27.

Get ready for some fresh air and ideas when you visit Herbfest, an annual celebration of herbs, clean living, and gardening. Located in Almonte — about 35 minutes west of the city — the festival features over 90 vendors, a celebrity chef cook-off, herb garden tours, presentations, music, dance, tea sampling, and an outdoor market. It runs all day July 27. Admission is $5.
•3840 Old Almonte Rd., Almonte, 613-256-0228. herbfest.ca

Travis Persaud

Toronto Weekend Events: July 25 to 27


This weekend, Taste of Toronto brings ample flavour to Fort York

This weekend, Taste of Toronto brings ample flavour to Fort York

A weekend full of flavour awaits as Taste of Toronto invites foodies to Fort York—to indulge in a range of inventive small plates from a who’s who of the city’s chefs: Carl Heinrich of Richmond Station, Cory Vitiello of The Harbord Room, Geoff Hopgood of Hopgood’s Foodliner, and more than a dozen others. A cooking demonstration stage provides entertainment and education between bites, while a vendor market featuring more than 50 premium local producers—from cheesemongers to juice slingers to maple syrup makers—ensures you can take home some treats, too.


Battlefield Art: Transformations at the Canadian War Museum


A.Y. Jackson’s A Copse Evening is on display at the Canadian War Museum as part of an exhibit on World War I art.

Two artists — a Canadian and a German — were enemy combatants who fought in the same war, on the same front, but never met. Now, for the first time, these two World War I soldiers share the same space 100 years later in Transformations, an art exhibit at the Canadian War Museum. The exhibit features the works of A.Y. Jackson, best known as a member of the iconic Group of Seven painters, and Otto Dix, a well-known German artist, whose art was sidelined by the Nazis. Jackson’s landscapes, with their twisted, dying trees, represent the horror of the battlefield, while Dix’s depictions of the war and post-war period are more overt — sometimes brutal. Each artist presents his own unique, honest, and grim perspective on a period currently being remembered for its Centenarian anniversary. On display until September 21.
•Canadian War Museum, 1 Vimy Place, 819-776-7000. warmuseum.ca

Travis Persaud

You Are Here: What to See, Do, Eat and Buy in Liberty Village

MZTV Museum of Television (photo: Craig Moy)

MZTV Museum of Television (photo: Craig Moy)

The condos are still going up in this west-end neighbourhood, but a number of restaurants, boutiques and other businesses have done more than enough to establish themselves.

1  Broadcasting impresario Moses Znaimer’s significant collection of rare, vintage television sets can be viewed, by appointment, at the MZTV Museum of Television & Archive. 64 Jefferson Ave., 416-599-7339; mztv.com

In Liberty Village, School is best attended on weekends. The academically themed spot gets top marks for its brunch, including pancakes with black- and blueberry compote and super-cheesy bacon French toast. 70 Fraser Ave., 416-588-0005; schooltoronto.com

3  Fashion-forward femmes find favour at Vocado, a contemporary boutique that makes updating your seasonal style as simple as flipping through a friend’s closet. Pick out everything from Wildfox printed t-shirts to J Brand jeans to well-heeled footwear by Dolce Vita. 121–171 East Liberty St., 647-347-7153; vocado.myshopify.com


Ottawa Weekend Calendar for July 25 to 27

Buffalo-based punk rockers Pentimento hit Mavericks on July 25.

Buffalo-based punk rockers Pentimento hit Mavericks on July 25.

Ottawa Weekend Calendar: July 25, 2014

Kick off the weekend with Wild Exposures, a new exhibition featuring works from local nature photographer Marc Latremouille. His images capture the beauty of birds, bears, sloths, and other creatures in their natural habitats, both in Canada and abroad. The exhibition runs at the Atrium Gallery until August 20.

If you want to experience some Canadiana, head over to Parliament Hill for Fortissimo. The Band of the Ceremonial Guard, an Ottawa-based unit of the Canadian Armed Forces, is joined by dancers, pipers and soldiers. This year’s program includes a drum salute, a pipe and drums dance set, and a brass and reed march.

Pentimento, a punk rock quartet from Buffalo, is still relatively new to the scene, having just released its first full-length album in late 2012. But in that short time, the band’s lyricism and passion for music has attracted a loyal following. So grab some earplugs and head down to Mavericks to catch Pentimento’s live show, along with opening acts Have Mercy and Gates.

Ottawa Weekend Calendar: July 26, 2014

Chamberfest officially launches on July 24, but why not wait until Saturday and make it an all-day affair? At noon, the Toronto Consort brings to life music from Elizabethan England, with many pieces drawing heavily from passages from Shakespeare’s plays. Later, check out some international music with the Sicilian Jazz Project and tango Nuevo ensemble Soledad.

Speaking of Shakespeare, A Company of Fools has been performing As You Like It at parks across the city this month, and on Saturday, they stop at Windsor Park in Old Ottawa South. Bring your blankets and lawn chairs, pick a spot on the grass, and enjoy some Elizabethan comedy in the great outdoors. There is no admission fee, but donations of $15 are strongly encouraged.

Haunted Walks of Ottawa heads to Upper Canada Village on July 26.

Fancy a historical excursion with a creepy twist? The Haunted Walk of Ottawa is running an exclusive tour of Upper Canada Village, where hooded guides regale audiences with tales of the site’s more sinister past. It’s a one-of-a-kind opportunity to see the village after hours, with ghost stories galore!

Ottawa Weekend Calendar: July 27, 2014

Celebrate healthy food and healthy living at Herbfest on July 27.

Celebrate healthy food and healthy living at Herbfest on July 27.

Those interested in fresh food and healthy living will want to check out Herbfest, a one-day event held at the Herb Garden in Almonte. In addition to educational lectures and discussions, visitors will be able to participate in the Chef Cook-Off, where local culinarians go head to head with their best recipes. There will also be live entertainment, face painting, an outdoor marketplace manned by local vendors, and guided walks through beautifully manicured herb gardens.

The Black Sheep Inn is as good a place as any to close to weekend, especially when Lauren Mann and the Fairly Odd Folk are playing live. The energy behind their folk-pop melodies is matched only by their live performance. They’re joined by Ottawa trip hop band Sound of Lions.

Ontario Winery Profile: Château des Charmes

From Pelee Island to Niagara to Prince Edward County, Southern Ontario’s wine-producing pockets are home to a bounty of vintners that craft high-quality Pinot Noirs, Rieslings, Icewines and much, much more. Every Wednesday throughout the summer, Where Toronto profiles an Ontario winery whose bottles are worth seeking out, and whose vineyards are definitely worthy of a day trip from the big city.


This week’s Ontario winery:

Founded in 1978
Owner: Paul Bosc
Winemaker: Amélie Boury

How big is your winery?
Our annual production is about 60,000 cases.

How many varieties of wine do you produce?
We grow 16 different varieties of grapes on 280 acres, but we make 30 or so different wines.

What are your three most popular wines?
It depends on the season. Barrel-Fermented Chardonnay, Estate-Bottled Cabernet Sauvignon, and Estate-Bottled Aligoté from the St. David’s Bench Vineyard are always crowd favourites.

Tell us about the winery’s background.
 Seven generations of our family have been born into our way of life. “Making wine is not what we do, it’s who we are” is a Bosc family saying. We care about every aspect of the winegrowing and winemaking process, which is why we control it ourselves from start to finish.

Does the winery offer tours?
Tours and tastings are offered daily year-round, though the winery may be closed on major holidays. Tours are offered in English, French and Japanese and range from $10 to $15, and are offered on a first-come, first-served basis.

Is there a retail shop on the premises?

Tell us something people typically don’t know or understand about wine production.
 We are all farmers. Making wine is as much science as art.

What is one piece of advice you’d offer someone wishing to have a better experience with wine?
It doesn’t have to be complicated. Enjoy the wine with friends and family. Do you like the taste? That’s what’s most important. If you want to go a bit deeper think about the TLC that went into making the wine—in our case we’ve grown all the grapes ourselves using sustainable agricultural techniques. Think about the soils and the weather when it was grown, the people who took the time and care to craft the wine, and then the memories created when you enjoy it.

• Chåteau des Charmes, 1025 York Rd., St. David’s, 905-262-4219
fromtheboscfamily.com; Facebook; Twitter @Mbosc

Toronto’s Stockyards Development Goes from Chops to Shops

HomeSense at The Stockyards

HomeSense at The Stockyards

The province’s former meat packing district is now the city’s newest retail hub. Located northwest of the downtown core in The Junction neighbouhood at St. Clair Avenue and Weston Road South is The Stockyards shopping centre, a 554,000-square-foot plaza with a collection of big box stores more typically found in the suburbs. Until the early 1990s, the area was known as the Ontario Stockyards and was home to the country’s largest livestock market, which contributed to the city’s “Hogtown” nickname. A massive renovation has transformed the district into an urban market that’s home to Canada’s first new-build Target, as well as discount emporiums Winners and Homesense, The Children’s Place, Old Navy and Linen Chest among others. Open daily.  —Linda Luong

• The Stockyards, 30 Weston Rd., 416-760-8181; shopstockyards.com

Christmas in July: Snow at the Canadian Museum of History

Snow—History Museum

Ever wondered how snow helped shape Canadian identity? Wonder no more — a new exhibit at the Canadian Museum of History has all your answers.

Snow. It’s one of the defining features of Canada, whether we like it or not. The winter-time fluff causes traffic and sore backs from all that shoveling, but it’s also a source of passion and creativity. Snow, the exhibition, examines the more positive side of this substance, delving into how snow has shaped Canada’s identity. The exhibit will also look at the evolution of winter sports in Canada — how it has influenced everything from artists to the economy. Features more than 250 artifacts. On until Sept. 28, 2014 at the Canadian Museum of History.
•Canadian Museum of History, 100, rue Laurier, Gatineau, 819-776-7000, historymuseum.ca

Travis Persaud

Rock Your Body: Justin Timberlake Hits Ottawa

Justin Timberlake

Justin Timberlake performs in Ottawa on July 22. The singer-songwriter released his third album last year to critical acclaim.

Entertainer extraordinaire Justin Timberlake raised the bar with his third solo album, The 20/20 Experience. It’s his most diverse offering to date, and features hit singles “Suit and Tie” and “Mirrors.” He comes to the nation’s capital as part of his world tour. He plays the Canadian Tire Centre on July 22.
•Canadian Tire Centre, 1000 Palladium Dr., 613-599-0100, canadiantirecentre.com

Travis Persaud

Installation Art: From the Transit Bar

Vera Frenkel's installation, From the Transit Bar, is on at the National Gallery of Canada until Aug. 17. (Photo: National Gallery of Canada)

Vera Frenkel’s installation, From the Transit Bar, is on at the National Gallery of Canada until Aug. 17. (Photo: National Gallery of Canada)

A bar in an art gallery? A great idea, right! This summer, the National Gallery of Canada fulfills every art aficionado’s dream by presenting exactly that—sort of. The bar is not only a fully functioning one (yes, you can order a vodka martini), but it’s also part of a brilliant piece of contemporary art. Canadian artist Vera Frenkel’s bar is part of …From the Transit Bar, a primarily video-based art installation, which was first shown in Germany in 1992. Painstakingly reassembled, the exhibit presents a place where visitors meet and converse in transit and, importantly, it conjures themes associated with such places as exile, cultural migration, and translation. On display until Aug. 17.
•National Gallery of Canada, 380 Sussex Dr., 613-990-1985, gallery.ca

Travis Persaud

Top Chefs Assemble for Taste of Toronto

The participating Taste of Toronto chefs

The participating Taste of Toronto chefs

JULY 24 TO 27  A weekend full of flavour awaits as one of the world’s leading culinary festivals lays out its ambitious spread for the first time in North America. Taste of Toronto, one of 20-plus international Taste events, invites foodies to indulge in a range of small plates from a who’s who of the city’s chefs: Carl Heinrich of Richmond Station (pictured front row, second from left), Cory Vitiello of The Harbord Room (top row, third from right), Geoff Hopgood of Hopgood’s Foodliner (top row, fifth from right) and more than a dozen others. Momofuku’s David Chang (top row, fourth from left) is also coming in from New York. A cooking demonstration stage provides entertainment and education between bites, while a vendor market featuring more than 50 premium local producers—from cheesemongers to juice slingers to maple syrup makers—ensures you can take home some treats, too. Fort York, $30 for admission to one of six lunch or dinner sessions (individual dishes $6 to $10); visit tasteoftoronto.com for more information.  —Craig Moy

Ottawa Weekend Calendar for July 18 to 20

Electric Six plays at Mavericks on July 18.

Electric Six, the band responsible for hits such as Danger! High Voltage, plays at Mavericks on July 18.

Ottawa Weekend Calendar: July 18, 2014

What better way to kick off the weekend than with the Ottawa RedBlacks’ first ever game? After a nine-year absence, the CFL returns to the capital to face off against the Toronto Argonauts. The stands will be packed, and parking tight, so consider taking a bus to the stadium to avoid traffic jams.

The weekend is a great time to check out Ottawa’s surrounding communities—and there’s no better excuse to drive out to Perth than for its Stewart Park Music Festival. On Friday, one of Canada’s best-kept secrets, Danny Michel, headlines. He’s joined by the Long Sault Trio, The Lovelocks, Sultans of String, and The Bills. Make sure you check out some of the local vendors and food trucks, as well.

They’re probably best known for their single Danger! High Voltage, but Electric Six have plenty of other great songs to their name. In their 11-year career, they’ve produced 10 albums, with another due out in the fall. On Friday, they perform at Mavericks with The Mohrs.

Ottawa Weekend Calendar: July 19, 2014

On Saturday, the 10th annual Japanese Summer Festival is happening at the Marion Dewar Plaza at City Hall. There will be demonstrations of martial arts, shamisen (a three-stringed musical instrument), ikebana flower arrangements, and Japanese calligraphy. Visitors can also sample hot dogs smothered with traditional Japanese toppings—for free!

In Close Listening, four artists explore the relationship between paint and other mediums.

In Close Listening, four artists explore the relationship between paint and other mediums.

If you’d rather a low-key activity for your Saturday afternoon, the Ottawa Art Gallery has a new exhibition called Close Listening on display. It features works from four artists—Eli Bornowsky, Jeremy Hof, Monique Mouton, and Jinny Yu—who challenge the medium of paint in often startling ways. You’ll find assemblage, sculpture, installation, and video alongside (and sometimes intertwined with) oils and acrylics.

Cap off the day at the Black Sheep Inn, where Newfoundland native Amelia Curran brings her evocative folk rock songs to the stage. A Juno winner, East Coast Music Awards nominee, and first prize recipient in the Folk category at the 15th Annual USA Songwriting Competition, Curran has been lauded for her poet’s touch in the songwriting process.

Ottawa Weekend Calendar: July 20, 2014

Ever wanted to learn how ice cream is made, or possibly try your hand at the process yourself? Now’s your chance—the Ice Cream Festival is on at the Canada Agriculture and Food Museum on Sunday. You can also learn how to make milkshakes, waffles, and ice cream sandwiches. Food aside, there will be games, storytelling, crafts, and wagon rides for the kids.

The Book of Mormon, touted as one of the best musicals of the century, is on at the National Arts Centre until July 27.

The Book of Mormon, touted as one of the best musicals of the century, is on at the National Arts Centre until July 27.

Since its premiere in 2011, The Book of Mormon has taken the musical theatre world by storm. It received nine Tony Awards, a Grammy, and four Laurence Olivier Awards—and that’s barely scratching the surface. Some critics have said it’s the funniest musical ever, possibly the musical of the century. Either way, this story about two missionaries out of their depth in Uganda is on at the National Arts Centre until July 27, so catch it while you can.