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Ontario

Don your Lederhosen: Oktoberfest Celebrations

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Watch Bavarian-style dancers at Octoberfest Toronto. Photo by Tom Pandi.

Since the first festival more than 200 years ago, Oktoberfest has become a popular celebration worldwide—and Toronto is no exception. Get your Bavarian fun fix at these three events.

  1. September 30 to October 1 For two days, Oktoberfest Toronto transforms the grounds of Ontario Place into a Munich-style party featuring folk dancers, non-stop polka music, plenty of food, and a selection of German and European beers. Visit torontooktoberfest.ca for more details. Festivities include a tapping of the keg party and an “Ein Prosit” party for the over 19 crowd. All ages will enjoy Saturday’s Volksfest Carnival, which features games, hat-decorating, rides, and contests.
  1. September 30 to October 9 With traditional beer hall decor, a keg-tapping ceremony, and “oom-pah-pah” bands, the party at Amsterdam BrewHouse strives to be as the close to the real thing as you can get outside of Deutschland. Enjoy your favourite sausages and soft pretzels, as well as a special beer brewed on site and served in one-litre steins. Make sure you show up early, as tickets are limited, and most of the seating is first-come first-serve.
  1. For a modern take on the German beer hall experience year-round, visit WVRST. There’s a wide selection of sausages—try the likes of bison, kangaroo and duck—paired with an even wider selection of local craft beers and ciders. —Karen Stevens

 

Capital Cocktail Guide: Ottawa On Ice

By Chris Lackner

Get in the spirits. Ottawa has a thriving cocktail scene.

Sure, it may be a government town. But it works hard and plays hard. We outlines the hotspots to indulge in colourful, creative cocktails:

Union 613

Union 613

CENTRETOWN

Union 613: Their seasonal cocktail list — starring homemade syrups and infusions — is so good it should be illegal. Speaking of, visit their eccentric basement speakeasy, but don’t prohibit yourself to one drink. El Gringo and This Is Not A Caesar are great starters. 315 Somerset St. W., union613.ca

LITTLE ITALY

two six {ate}: Nobody does an Old Fashioned better. Have three and you’ll be cheering the restaurant’s name, and getting dirty looks form other customers. 268 Preston St., twosixate.com

The Moonroom: Sip artisan cocktails to your heart’s content at one of the city’s most cozy, romantic bars. This is the hidden gem you’ll tell your friends about when you get home. Vampires and werewolves welcome. 442 Preston Street, 613-231-2525

Moonroom.

The Moonroom’s Manhattan

BYWARD MARKET

Hooch Bourbon House: More than 25 kinds of bourbon and a biblical cocktail menu that includes original fare like the Jalapeno Spiked Mint Julep and Caesar Hoochgustus. In order to walk straight, pair your drinks with mouth-watering, southern-flavoured food. 180 Rideau St., hoochbourbon.ca

Atari: They serve a three-tier layer of 24 creatively-named cocktails at $8, $10 or $14. Only here can you claim to have had a drink with Zelda, Jack Sparrow and Mary Poppins. 297 Dalhousie Street, atariottawa.com

HOOCH-WEB

Hooch’s Old Fashioned

The Albion Rooms: Their Market Shrub Sour and ByWard Batida — which pairs muddled blackberries and blueberries with black rum and brandy cream — will help you feel comfortably at home in the ByWard Market. Or step into the Canadian north with the Yukon, the Albion’s take on the classic Alaska cocktail. 33 Nicholas St., thealbionrooms.com

The Moscow Tea Room: Inspired by vodka and Russian culture, their cocktail menu includes playful drinks like the Sharapova (citrus, raspberry and lemon grass) and White Russian Tea, and the mysterious Lady in Red. 527 Sussex Drive, moscowtearoom.com

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two six {ate}’s cocktail Dr. Greenthumb

WELLINGTON WEST

Hintonburg Public House: Don’t be fooled. This hipster haven is about more than craft beer. Their monthly cocktail menu is always full of delightful surprises. After a summer that starred the likes of Basil Margarita and Strawberry Orange Mimosa, just imagine autumn’s treats. 1020 Wellington St W, hintonburgpublichouse.ca

KANATA

Aperitivo: This is the place to get spirited before an Ottawa Senators game. Amidst a sea of Kanata chain restaurants, Aperitivo is an oasis for fine food, and handcrafted cocktails. Although their small menu is always changing, the crowd-pleasing Fish Tacos and the Hibiscus Sour cocktail have been staples since they opened. For something truly otherworldly, sample their unique sweet and spicy Verdita Margarita. 655 Kanata Avenue, Unit L2, 613-592-0004, aperitivo.ca

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two six {ate}’s Myrtle Thatcher’s Cup.

 

Uniqlo Comes to Toronto

LOCATIONS SET TO OPEN AT CF TORONTO EATON CENTRE AND YORKDALE  SHOPPNG CENTRE THIS FALL

ESSENTIALS 02

Stock up on all the essentials when Uniqlo opens this fall.

Uniqlo is poised to satisfy a desire for minimalist imports from Japan with the opening of its first Canadian boutique. Established in 1984, the much-loved Japanese brand boasts more than 1,700 stores worldwide, including Hong Kong, Germany, France, Australia, Russia, and the U.K. The apparel company is best known for its functional yet affordable and well-made basics for men, women, and children. A multi-coloured palette makes mixing and matching effortless amongst a selection of athleisure, work, sport and lounging separates, including its signature cashmere sweaters and ultra light down jackets and vests.  —Linda Luong Luck

Nordstrom Comes to Toronto

LUXURY SHOPPERS HAVE EVEN MORE OPTIONS WITH THREE NEW NORDSTROM LOCATIONS FOR TORONTO IN THE WORKS

The new Nordstrom carries upscale brands like Alice + Olivia .

The new Nordstrom carries upscale brands like Alice + Olivia .

The battle for Toronto shoppers heats up this fall with the opening of Nordstrom. After Saks Fifth Avenue debuted earlier this spring with much glam fanfare, the Seattle-based Nordstrom has opened the first of three Toronto locations, starting with the CF Toronto Eaton Centre in September (now open), followed by a second outpost at Yorkdale Shopping Centre in October. (A third venture at CF Sherway Gardens is set to open in 2017.) The CF Toronto Eaton Centre flagship is among one of five in North America, and is a sprawling 220,000-square-foot space spread over three levels featuring concierge services, personal wardrobe and makeup stylists, alterations, valet parking, certified shoe and bra fitters, and free delivery within the downtown core. Shoppers looking to refuel have three eat-in options: the full-service Bar Verde, the casual lounge Habitant, and coffee shop Ebar.

—Linda Luong Luck

 

Dine Like a Star During TIFF

LOOKING FOR A PLACE TO REFUEL AFTER SPENDING A FEW HOURS IN A DARKENED THEATRE? FORTUNATELY TORONTO’S DINING SCENE IS AS IMPRESSIVE AS THE FILM ROSTER—AND THERE MAY JUST BE A RECOGNIZABLE FACE OR TWO AT THE NEXT TABLE.

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Grab a drink or dinner at the chic Drake One Fifty during the festival and keep your eyes peeled for famous faces.

In addition to being home to TIFF headquarters and theatres such as the Princess of Wales and Royal Alexandra, the Entertainment District is an embarrassment of riches when it comes to restaurants. Enjoy the California-style vibes and say hello to the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man at Montecito, a joint venture between Ghostbusters filmmaker Ivan Reitman and chef Jonathan Waxman. The internationally-inspired menus at Hush and Luma win over moviegoers, with such offerings as maple glazed salmon and grilled quail respectively. Hearty Italian fare can be found at Buca, which serves house-made pastas among other favourites. The upscale Nota Bene is a downtown favourite for chef David’s lee’s impeccable menu, as well as the extensive gin list.

Catching a flick at the Elgin and Winter Garden Theatre? Both JaBistro  and Richmond Station are within walking distance. Feast on beautifully-plated fresh sashimi and sushi at the former, while the latter is co-owned by Top Chef Canada winner Carl Heinrich with a seasonally-changing menu. The Chase has seafood-themed offerings like Arctic char, octopus and king crab, while further afoot, the Drake One Fifty is an ultra hip spot in the Financial District serving the likes of squid ink pasta and suckling pig porchetta.

—Karen Stevens

29 Fun Autumn Activities

FALL IS UPON US, AND WITH IT COMES AN ABUNDANCE OF ACTIVITIES TO HERALD HARVEST SEASON. WHETHER IT’S PICKING APPLES, SEARCHING FOR THE PERFECT PUMPKIN, OR TAKING A HIKE TO ADMIRE THE FALL FOLIAGE, THERE’S PLENTY TO DO IN AND AROUND THE CITY.

Head to Whitamore’s Farm for some colourful pumpkins.

How Do You Like Them Apples?

1. Visit Dixie Orchards (14309 Dixie Rd., Caledon; 905-838-5888) for nearly two dozen varietals of apples, including ambrosia, Cortland, ginger golds, mutsu, Spartan, and tolman sweets.

2. Situated on 100 acres in the Oak Ridges Moraine, there are approximately 14,000 trees at Nature’s Bounty (651 Scugog Line 2, Port Perry; 905-985-2096) growing the likes of gala, honey crisp, elstar, and jonagold among the more than 20 types of apples. Don’t be surprised if you encounter some sheep; the owners have a flock that roam free.

3. Though the Niagara region is best known for its wines, the area’s unique ecosystem also allows for many different types of fruit to be grown here. Year round, Parkway Orchards (15000 Niagara Parkway, Niagara-on-the-Lake; 905-262-5097) has pick your own offerings including cherries, peaches, plums, and apricots, and in September and October, apples are in season.

Head for the Patches

4. Gourds of all shapes and sizes are available at Albion Orchards (14800 Innis Lake Rd., Caledon; 905-584-0354) come October, perfect for making pies or carving jack-o-lanterns. In September, visitors can pick apples starting with the farm’s famous Paula reds.

5. Dive deep into the field for a pumpkin at Stonehaven Farms (7388 Guelph Line, R.R. #3, Campbellville; 905-878-1870), or head to the Kids Zone for a straw bale or corn maze, and wagon ride tours.

6. Although pumpkins, squash and gourds in all shapes and sizes can be found at Howell Family Pumpkin Farm (2878 Holland Rd., Fonthill; 905-892-3918), the Niagara-area spot also has numerous activities like a scarecrow display, a corn maze, rides, shows, and two trails through their Carolinian forest.

Fun for Everyone

7. West of Toronto, be prepared for long line ups to get into Chudleigh’s. In addition to its apple orchards, the family-owned farm has tractor-drawn wagon rides and a huge hay maze. Don’t leave without trying their famous apple blossoms, which are baked from scratch.

8. North of the city, Whittamore’s Farm (8100 Steeles Ave. E., Markham; 905-294-8200) is a family favourite. Nestled next to the Rouge River Valley, the 220-acre farm boasts a corn maze, wagon rides through the Spooky Forest, a spider web climb, and the popular Pumpkinland—watch as Farmer Frank catapults the orange-hued squash during a weekend cannon show.

9. Located along the picturesque Niagara Escarpment, Springridge Farm (7256 Bell School Line, Milton; 905-878-4908) hosts its annual Harvest Festival from September 24 to October 30. Wagon rides to the corn trail, straw bale jumping, a spooky boo barn, and scenic views from the Escarpment lookout ensure there’s never a dull moment.

See Fall Foliage

10. There’s no better way to see the radiant fall foliage than being in the thick of it. Go tree top trekking at Bruce’s Mill Conservation (3297 Stouffville Rd., Stouffville; 905-887-5531), where Aerial Park has five courses comprised of zip lines, wooden bridges, Tarzan-style swings and more. Little ones can visit Treewalk Village, an enclosed space with a network of tunnels and a Treewee Walk obstacle course.

11. Similarly, Heart Lake Conservation Area (10818 Heart Lake Rd., Brampton; 416-661-6600) has an Aerial Game Park with eight courses, 75 games, and 10 zip lines, including an impressive one that is 1,000-foot-long that flies right over Heart Lake.

Be Selfie-ish: Incredible Photo Ops

12. The pedestrian and cyclist thoroughfare Humber River Arch Bridge (southwest of Lake Shore Boulevard and Park Lawn Road) is set against the beautiful backdrop of Lake Ontario. Located at the southern end of Lakeshore Boulevard West, this bridge connects to the Waterfront Trail.

13. High Park offers many photographic opportunities, whether it’s beside Grenadier Pond, in one of the beautiful gardens, amidst the oak trees, or even with the capybaras at the High Park Zoo.

14. Hop aboard a ferry to the Toronto Islands, where shutterbugs can have capture the cityscape, as well as beaches and nature, but the best view is of the skyline at sunset.

15. The beautiful perennials, roses, wildflowers, rhododendrons, rock gardens and arboretum at Edwards Gardens (755 Lawrence Ave. E.; 416-397-1340) provide a lush backdrop for seasonal photos. There’s also a greenhouse, wooden bridges, a waterwheel, fountains, and many walking trails to explore, too.

16. For industrial-looking images, try Evergreen Brick Works, a former quarry and brick manufacturing site. Restored buildings feature graffiti-style art and the adjacent parkland has a number of scenic ponds.

17. In addition to the fascinating exhibits about Islamic, Iranian and Muslim art inside the Aga Khan Museum, the grounds provide a visually-stunning backdrop, including the reflecting pool and the dramatic front façade designed with Brazilian granite.

18. Rouge Park offers a true change in scenery, with beaches, farms, nature trails and more for endless exploring.

19. Niagara has much more to offer beyond the magnificent falls. The Dufferin Islands (7400 Portage Rd., Niagara Falls; 905-354-1721) are a secluded area with a picturesque archipelago connected by bridges and footpaths.

20. The Niagara Parks Botanical Gardens has 40 hectares of meticulously-cared for gardens, including more than 2,400 roses. Pose among ponds and an arboretum chock full of ornamental trees and shrubs.

21. At the Scarborough Bluffs, follow about 15 kilometres of easy trail along the shores of Lake Ontario for a view of the eroding cliffs.

A Walk in the Woods

22. Get a panoramic view of the Niagara Escarpment at Mount Nemo Conservation Area (5317 Guelph Line, Burlington; 905-854-0262) in Burlington. Watch turkey vultures soar and, on a clear day, see as far as the CN Tower.

23. Soak up some history at Woodend Conservation Area (905-788-3135), which is thought to have been a vantage point for British and American armies during the war of 1812. Follow the trail as it descends and then ascends the escapement. Finish at historic buildings with structural elements that date back to the late 1700s.

24. The Humber Valley Heritage Trail begins at the headwaters of the Humber River outside of Caledon and follows the Humber River Valley south for 15 kilometres through wetlands, pine forests, and ancient Hemlock groves.

25. Extending for approximately 200 kilometres from the Niagara Escarpment to the Trent River, the Oak Ridges Moraine (905-833-6600) is an elevated area of land with a wealth of wildlife, geological features, and hiking trails. The Oak Ridges Trail Association offers guided hikes through various sections; see oakridgestrail.org for a schedule.

Chasing Waterfalls

26. The ominously named Devil’s Punch Bowl (1-800-665-445) is the third highest waterfall in Hamilton at 37 metres in height. The Stoney Creek section of the Bruce Trail or the Dofasco 2000 trail leads hikers to this unique water feature.

27. Along with many outdoor activities, the Elora Gorge (7400 Wellington County Rd. 21, Elora; 519-846-9742) has a scenic trail. Take a trek on a cedar-lined path ending with a waterfall that drops from 22-metre-high limestone cliffs.

28. You don’t have to be a hardcore hiker to snap a shot of DeCew Falls (2714 Decew Rd., St. Catharines), just a short walk from the parking lot. The two-step waterfall first plunges from a 20-metre drop, while the second is smaller (but still picturesque) eight-metre cascade.

Take the Scenic Road

29. With more than 890 kilometres of main trail (follow the white signs) and 400 kilometres of side trails (look for the blue signs), The Bruce Trail (905-529-6821) is Canada’s longest-marked hiking route. It follows the Niagara Escarpment from the Niagara Peninsula in Queenston, north to Tobermorey. While many nature lovers concentrate on specific regions or day treks, some more experienced hiking enthusiasts can take the footpath from end to end as it passes through St. Catharines, Hamilton, Burlington, Milton, Halton Hills, Walters Falls, Owen Sound, and Wiarton, among others.

—By Linda Luong Luck and Karen Stevens

 

 

Stargazing at the Toronto International Film Festival

CATCH A GLIMPSE OF THE STARS AT A SWISH MOVIE GALA OR AT ONE OF THE CITY’S TRENDY DINING AND SHOPPING DESTINATIONS

THE EDGE OF SEVENTEEN

Hailee Steinfeld stars in The Edge of Seventeen directed and written by Kelly Fremon Craig. Photo courtesy of TIFF.

It wouldn’t be TIFF without the glitzy galas and big names walking the red carpet. Amy Adams is anticipated at the world premiere of Québécois director Denis Villeneuve’s Arrival, a sci-fi flick about the panic-filled reaction to alien spacecraft landing on earth. Catch even more drama—and perhaps a glimpse of Marky-Mark—at the gala presentation for Deepwater Horizon, a disaster story about the sinking of an oil rig by the same name. In Snowden, Joseph Gordon-Levitt is transformed into ex-NSA employee Edward Snowden who leaked thousands of classified documents to the press. Written and directed by Oliver Stone, the ensemble cast includes Shailene Woodley, Zachary Quinto, and Nicholas Cage. Queen of Katwe featuring Oscar–winner Lupita Nyong’o is the uplifting story of a young Ugandan girl who follows her dreams of becoming an international chess champion. And finally, the coming-of-age story The Edge of Seventeen closes the festivities on September 18, starring Hailee Steinfeld as a high school student who becomes despondent when her older brother starts dating her best friend; Kyra Sedgwick co-stars as her clueless mom while Woody Harrelson dons the mentor role.

A Map to the Stars

This time of year, Toronto lives up to its name as Hollywood North what with the numerous opportunities for celebrity spotting. Get those cameras ready; you just never know who you’ll see when walking down the street.

The city’s luxe neighbourhood Bloor-Yorkville is a good starting point. Many stars make hotels in this area their home away from home during the festival. Do some window shopping at the likes of Tiffany & Co., Cartier, and Holt Renfrew, where famous faces have been known to spend some down time engaging in retail therapy. Or grab a table at Yorkville favourites like La Société, Kasa Moto, Café Boulud, and Dbar for a star stakeout.

Hang out around the members-only Soho House (192 Adelaide St.) for a celebrity encounter, which is known to host private parties. The Lobby Lounge at the Shangri-La Hotel (188 University Ave.) has a decadent tea service, perfect for a languid afternoon watching for actors and actresses who are staying at the establishment. Located within walking distance to the TIFF Bell Lightbox and Roy Thomson Hall, the Ritz-Carlton (181 Wellington St. W.) has hosted the likes of George Clooney and Ryan Gosling. Its Spa My Blends by Clarins and Deq Terrace & Lounge are both sure to attract A-listers looking to get themselves camera-ready before a premiere or unwind after a screening. Likewise at The Thompson Hotel (550 Wellington St. W.), which has previously been the residence of choice for Bradley Cooper and James Franco. The ultra hip Rooftop Lounge with a stunning view of the Toronto skyline is a popular party place.  —Karen Stevens

 

A Celebration of Cinema: TIFF 2016

EXPERIENCE ACCLAIMED MOVIES AND BE ON THE LOOKOUT FOR FAMOUS FACES AT THE TORONTO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL.

Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone star in La La Land. Photo courtesy of TIFF.

Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone star in La La Land. Photo courtesy of TIFF.

Each September, film buffs and hopeful celebrity-spotters alike flock to the city for the Toronto International Film Festival, the annual star-studded event that runs from September 8 to 18. This year’s line up has 49 special presentations and 19 gala screenings, offering a variety of films from Canada and around the world.

Opening up the festival is the world premiere of the The Magnificent Seven, with an all-star cast including Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt, Ethan Hawke, Byung-hun Lee, Peter Sarsgaard, Vince D’Onofrio, and Jody Mullins. Director Antoine Fuqua’s modern remake sees outlaws, hired guns, bounty hunters and other ne’er-do-wells banding together to protect a small town against a greedy villain.

Celebrated Canadian filmmaker Xavier Dolan brings his Cannes Grand Prix-winning film It’s Only the End of the World to the festival. The story about the reunion of a dysfunctional family stars French actors like Marion Cotillard, Vincent Cassel, Léa Seydoux and Nathalie Baye. Canadian author Carol Shields’ best-selling novel, Unless, makes its way to the silver screen starring Oscar–nominated Catherine Keener as the mother of a runaway daughter who becomes a panhandler on the streets of Toronto.

In another literary adaptation, Philip Roth’s 1997 crime drama American Pastoral is brought to life through the directorial debut of Ewan McGregor, who also stars alongside Jennifer Connelly and Dakota Fanning. Similarly, television host and rapper Nick Cannon can be found both behind the camera and in front of it in King of the Dancehall, a musical set in Jamaica.

Other special presentations include Lion, starring Nicole Kidman, Rooney Mara and Dev Patel, which is based on the true story of a man who used Google Earth to locate his birth parents 25 years later. Fans of The Rolling Stones can get satisfaction by getting a backstage glimpse of the legendary English rockers in a new documentary Olé Olé Olé!: A Trip Across Latin America. Or, get your fill of the current POTUS before he leaves with office with Barry, a biopic about Barack Obama’s college days. Crazy, Stupid, Love co-stars Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling are paired together once again in Damien Chazelle’s musical, La La Land about a jazz pianist and aspiring actress who fall in love.

How to get Into the Festival

Single tickets run from $25 to $49, with rush tickets from $20 to $40. A number of packages can also be purchased starting at $85; see tiff.net, call 1-888-599-8433 or visit the Steve & Rashmi Gupta Box Office at 350 King St. W. for complete options.  —Karen Stevens

Capital Fall Colours: Ottawa autumn event guide

By Chris Lackner

Brighten up your world. From rainbow hot air balloons to green lizards, and Oktoberfest’s golden brews to Gatineau Park’s Pink Lake, spend this autumn in living colour in the nation’s capital.

The Last Waltz, a tribute to The Band, takes place at CityFolk.

The Last Waltz, a tribute to The Band, takes place at CityFolk.

CITYFOLK

September 15 to 18, Lansdowne Park

Tone: Ottawa’s signature fall event is set alongside the Rideau Canal in the heart of Lansdowne Park, one of the city’s top destinations for recreation, shopping and dining. This festival is red… as in red hot!

I Spy: Must-see performers include Oregon folk-rockers Blind Pilot and Ottawa’s The Acorn (Sept. 15); The Last Waltz, A Musical Celebration of The Band, presented by an all-star cast of Canadian blues and roots musicians (Sept. 16); Canadian indie royalty via folk queen Basia Bulat, and The New Pornographers (Sept. 17), and musical mad-hatters Lake Street Dive with X Ambassadors (Sept. 18).

True Colours: Discover Ottawa’s roots! CityFolk’s parallel event, Marvest, showcases free music — over 60 local artists — on Bank Street. Meanwhile, some of the city’s best shopping and dining options are only blocks away in The Glebe. Beau’s brewery will pour craft beer throughout the fest; if you want to sample even more of their local suds, read on for Oktoberfest.

Mark Monahan, CityFolk executive director:

“We have big names on the main stage, from Australian singer-songwriter Vance Joy to James Bay from the U.K., and a lot of Americana and new indie-folk artists — the new faces of folk music — including John Moreland, Julia Jacklin and Calgary’s Michael Bernard Fitzgerald.”

The Gatineau Hot Air Balloon Festival.

The Gatineau Hot Air Balloon Festival.

GATINEAU HOT AIR BALLOON FESTIVAL

September 1 to 5, La Baie Park, Gatineau

Tone: Held over five days, this festival blows a lot more than hot air. Start with over 50 hot air balloons, including special shapes such as a “gigantic elephant”, then add more than 300 activities and shows.

I Spy: Look out for a major musical tribute to Prince and David Bowie featuring 10 singers, a choir, 15 musicians and a dance crew. Families will love the amusement park, reptile zoo, and the Ultimate Strongman Junior World Championship (truck pulls and rock lifting!)

True Colours: The festival takes flight at night with fireworks displays, and two “night glows”, in which the balloons light up to the sound of music.

Éric Brulotte, Festival Spokesperson:

“We also offer a unique opportunity to fly over the nation’s capital, and the size of a hot air balloon is really impressive! One of our key activities is to visit the inside of a hot air balloon. You get to walk inside the balloon while it’s inflated. With all the colours, it’s perfect for memorable pictures! During the meet and greet with the pilots, the people can also see the equipment used for ballooning.”

Beau’s Oktoberfest.

Beau’s Oktoberfest.

BEAU’S OKTOBERFEST

September 23 and 24, Vankleek Hill Fairgrounds

Tone: Zicke zacke, zicke zacke, hoi hoi hoi! Raise a pint — or four! What started as a few picnic tables on the brewery’s front lawn has grown into a can’t-miss fall event attracting 20,000 visitors annually for craft beer (with a focus on German styles), independent Canadian music and Bavarian-inspired food from top local restaurants.

I Spy: Beau’s popular Farm Table: Marzen Oktoberfest lager will return for the party. Beau’s new Oktoberfest mix pack, which includes a Vienna-style lager, a ginger hopfenweisse, a Baltic porter, and a spiced beer called a mumme. The specialty brews will be available at Oktoberfest and the LCBO.

True Colours: Come for the beers, stay for the music. A prost-worthy lineup includes  54-40 with Born Ruffians (Friday), and K-os with Hannah Georges (Saturday). Bus transportation from Ottawa, Montreal and Cornwall is available (tickets must be purchased in advance). Camping space exists for weekend pass holders. Wearing lederhosen is optional.

Steve Beauchesne, Beau’s co-founder: 

“It’s not a sit-around kind of event, there’s so much going on. You can take a class on beer and food pairing, participate in (or enjoy watching) the keg toss or sausage eating competitions, or check out day and evening entertainment on two stages. There’s even a beer festival within our festival where you can try beer from 50 other national and international craft breweries.”

Reptiles at Museum of Nature.

Reptiles at Museum of Nature.

REPTILES (MUSEUM OF NATURE)

October 7 to April 8, 2017

Tone: This interactive exhibit is part zoo, part natural history presentation, and will include live animals such as colourful lizards, exotic turtles and deadly snakes.

I Spy: Get your close-up with a chameleon and gaboon viper!

True Colours: You’ll have a whale of a time in the museum’s Water Gallery, including an awe-inspiring hanging skeleton of a Blue Whale. Elgin Street, only a few steps away from the museum’s front doors, is a thriving corridor for restaurants and pubs. Be sure to stop by the museum’s outdoor Landscapes of Canada Gardens; it’s reptile free.

Chad Peeling, Operations manager for Reptiland in Pennsylvania, which tours the show:

“Although chameleons are able to change colour, most do so as an expression of mood rather than an attempt to blend in. If a panther chameleon was dropped off at the peak of Ottawa’s fall foliage colours it might well turn red with stress, but it would also die quickly in the cool temperatures.”

Mac-My-Cheese-Fest-Where-Ottawa

Mac My Cheese Fest.

MAC MY CHEESE FEST

September 30 to October 2, City Hall

Tone: Only pay for what you eat at a whole festival devoted to serving the ultimate comfort food! It’s all about exploring the variety of mac and cheese taste possibilities.

I Spy: Carb load before the winter! Mac and cheese recipes will include traditional, Thai, pulled pork, smoked salmon, and bacon.

True Colours: The kids fun zone and rock-climbing wall will help your family work for that macaroni; the international mac and cheese dishes will blow the minds of Kraft Dinner fans.

Pink-Lake-Where-Ottawa

Pink Lake in Gatineau Park.

GATINEAU PARK

Tone: From Oct. 1 to Oct. 16, the park will be brimming with colourful leaves and special activities for its annual Fall Rhapsody.

I Spy: While spots like Pink Lake and Champlain Lookout remain popular, the park is home to many hidden gems that aren’t as overwhelmed by tourists. Trek along the scenic Cross Loop Road in Chelsea, visit La Pêche Lake for tranquil kayaking and canoeing, or park at Meech Lake’s O’Brien Beach and hike to the Carbide Wilson Ruins (the remnants of a revolutionary industrial plant).

True Colours: Don’t let the name fool you, Pink Lake is emerald green thanks to microscopic algae. Its small surface and bowl-like shape, surrounded by steep cliffs, makes it one of the most unique hikes in Gatineau Park, offering stunning views. The spellbinding, well-maintained trail is accessible to all ages, but a starting lookout post offers a fall vista for the ages. Learn more about Gatineau Park’s Fall Rhapsody.

Things to Do in Toronto: Shows & Events in September 2016

THERE ARE ALWAYS SO MANY THINGS TO DO IN TORONTO. GET OUT AND ENJOY SOME OF THE MANY GREAT PERFORMANCES AND EVENTS TAKING PLACE THROUGHOUT THE CITY IN SEPTEMBER!

Look up in the sky for the Canadian International Air Show’s aerial spectacles.

SEPTEMBER 2 TO 4  When Scrat the squirrel hides his acorn in a volcano that threatens to erupt, he and his friends—Sid the sloth, Diego the sabre-tooth tiger, and Manny and Ellie the mammoths—must embark on a journey to find the mystical Frostberry to save civilization. Ice Age on Ice brings the popular film franchise to the Air Canada Centre rink for a skating spectacle with puppetry, aerial feats, and special effects.

SEPTEMBER 2 TO 5  One of the largest street performer festivals in the world returns for another year of spellbinding and gravity-defying acts as the Toronto International Buskerfest marks its 17th edition. Moving away from the downtown core, the event, which is in support of Epilepsy Toronto, is now at its new home at Woodbine Park in The Beach neighbourhood. Catch more than 100 talented international performers including hula hoop tricks by Bex in Motion, flame-juggling from Fireguy, illusions courtesy of magician Max T. Oz, and aerial acrobatics from The Silver Starlets.

TO SEPTEMBER 4  Don’t miss out on the last few days of Shakespeare in High Park. This year marks the 400th anniversary of The Bard’s death, and as such Canadian Stage is mounting two of the playwright’s most popular works, Hamlet and All’s Well That Ends Well, showing on alternating nights in the scenic environs of High Park’s outdoor amphitheatre.

SEPTEMBER 3 TO 5  Look up in the sky for the annual Canadian International Air Show, which features spectacular aerial shows by the Canadian Forces Snowbirds, and the Breitling Jet Team, among other acts. The best spot to catch the aerial acrobatics is from the grounds of Exhibition Place, while the Canadian National Exhibition is simultaneously on.

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Caplansky’s Bloor-Yorkville Location

VISTORS TO BLOOR-YORKVILLE NOW HAVE A ‘DELI-LICIOUS’ LUNCH OPTION

View More: http://sweetheartempire.pass.us/caplanskys

The stylish facade of the Bloor-Yorkville Caplansky’s. Photo by Kate O’Conner.

Until Caplansky’s  came along, it was tough to find quality smoked meat and authentic Jewish deli fare downtown. Now Caplansky’s is going national with a franchise concept, starting with their location in Bloor-Yorkville. Hungry patrons can grab a beef brisket sandwich or the new turkey ruebenesque paired with the tasty house-made mustard and crisp pickles to go, or stay and enjoy a pint while taking in the cheeky decor like floor tiles with messages like “Pick up a check once in a while,” and pickle-themed wallpaper.

Chihuly’s Blown Glass Works Decorate the ROM

EXPERIENCE THE BEAUTY, CRAFT, AND ARTISTRY OF BLOWN GLASS AT THE ROYAL ONTARIO MUSEUM

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Orange Baskets by Chihuly, Courtesy of the Royal Ontario Museum.

 

TO JANUARY 2  Internationally renowned artist Dale Chihuly has spent over 50 years breathing life into stunning blown glass works of art, displayed in more than 225 art museums around the world. The CHIHULY exhibit at the Royal Ontario Museum features several vibrant installations by the Seattle-based artist.