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Ontario

M.C. Escher Distorts Reality at the National Gallery of Canada

(Photo: M.C. Escher, Relativity, July 1953, lithograph on cream laid japan paper, 39.3 x 40.3 cm; image: 27.9 x 28.9 cm, Gift of George Escher, Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia, 1990, National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa. M.C. Escher’s “Relativity” © 2014 The M.C. Escher Company-The Netherlands. All rights reserved. www.mcescher.com. Photo © NGC)

(Photo: M.C. Escher, Relativity, July 1953, lithograph on cream laid japan paper, 39.3 x 40.3 cm; image: 27.9 x 28.9 cm, Gift of George Escher, Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia, 1990, National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa. M.C. Escher’s “Relativity” © 2014 The M.C. Escher Company-The Netherlands. All rights reserved. www.mcescher.com. Photo © NGC)

Dutch graphic artist M.C. Escher is one of the world’s most recognizable illustrators, and his portfolio has been influential on science, art, and pop culture. Many of his works turn perspective on its head and portray impossible realities; others play with the idea of 2-D and 3-D, sometimes combining the two into trompe l’oeil images. On at the National Gallery of Canada until May 3.
•National Gallery of Canada, 380 Sussex Dr., 613-990-1985. gallery.ca
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Archives Brings More Bling to Yorkville

WITH THE ARRIVAL OF ARCHIVES, TORONTO’S CHIC NEIGHBOURHOOD GETS A NEW BATCH OF SLEEK BAUBLES

Archives Yorkville Toronto

Archives calls itself a luxury design house. The Yorkville shop, adjacent to the Four Seasons Hotel, lives up to this billing with standout statement pieces. Here you’ll find creative director Jaleh Farhadpour’s collection of one-of-a-kind jewellery showcased alongside baubles from international designers like Spain’s Cristina Ortiz, Greece’s Ileana Makri, Belgium’s AS29 by Audrey Savransky and Germany’s Meissen, the majority of which are exclusive to the boutique. An on-site atelier enables clients to design and customize their own pieces, too. Open daily.  Linda Luong

• Archives, 1275 Bay St., 416-922-2229; archivesltd.com
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Historic Moments: Canadian Confederation at the Museum of History

Take a trip back in time and explore the events that led to Canadian Confederation. (Photos: Steven Darby, © Canadian Museum of History)

Take a trip back in time and explore the events that led to Canadian Confederation. (Photos: Steven Darby, © Canadian Museum of History)

July 1, 1867 marked the culmination of a 30-year effort to unite Canada’s colonies under one flag. 1867: Rebellion and Confederation explores the moments that led to the drafting of the British North America Act — moments of violence, negotiation, and compromise that helped lay the foundation for the Canada we know today. Using over 200 historical artifacts, the exhibition covers key events such as the Charlottetown, Quebec, and London Conferences. On at the Canadian Museum of History until January 2016.
•Canadian Museum of History, 100, rue Laurier, Gatineau, 819-776-7000. historymuseum.ca
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Ottawa Weekend Calendar for March 27 to 29

Vancouver's Celtic punk rockers The Real McKenzies perform at Mavericks on Friday night. (Photo: Kitt Woodland)

Vancouver’s Celtic punk rockers The Real McKenzies perform at Mavericks on Friday night. (Photo: Kitt Woodland)

Friday, March 27

The spring edition of the Ottawa Geek Market is back, and it’s equipped to meet all your geeky needs. Besides browsing the wares of dozens of exhibitors, you can also participate in a costume contest, test your superhero skills in the bouncy castle obstacle course, and join in on scavenger hunts and trivia nights. The event runs until March 29 at the Nepean Sportsplex. Ticket prices vary; see website for details.

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Lucy DeCoutere Debuts Her New Role: Photographer

Lucy DeCoutere

Untitled photographs by Lucy DeCoutere

MARCH 27 TO MAY 1  Lucy DeCoutere grew up in Edmonton, did some teaching in South Korea, went to grad school in Montreal, was a television actress in Nova Scotia (she played Lucy on Trailer Park Boys), went to school again in Australia, and is now a Royal Canadian Air Force officer based at CFB Gagetown just outside Fredericton, New Brunswick. She’s well-travelled, but her latest endeavour indicates a yearning for the comforts of home. That project is Brick House, DeCoutere’s first exhibition of photography. Presented by photo collective Oculus Arts, the show compiles images—shot and edited using Instagram—whose subjects are evocative of place; aesthetically, though, they also manage to suggest ephemerality, acting as “postcards of a life in motion.”

• QSQ Giclee Boutique, 845 College St., 647-347-6253; qsqinc.com

The Spacing Store Loves This City

THE RETAIL ARM OF URBAN-AFFAIRS MAGAZINE SPACING HELPS YOU WEAR YOUR LOVE OF TORONTO ON YOUR SLEEVE, TOQUE, BAG OR ELSEWHERE

Spacing Store Toronto

Although it’s a store frequented by Torontonians seeking merchandise that shows off their pride in their city, Spacing is also a destination for visitors looking for unique, non-kitschy mementos of their trip. The retail outpost of an urban-affairs magazine enables readers to purchase top-selling subway station buttons, as well as an assortment of other Canadian and Toronto-centric apparel, accessories, prints, household goods and smaller items like key chains and notebooks. The vast selection includes City of Neighbourhoods toques from Tuck Shop Trading Co., T-shirts bearing images of streetcars, maps of popular ‘hoods like Leslieville and Kensington Market by local graphic designer Alexander Arvelo McQuaig, vintage TTC prints, as well as an assortment of subway and highway buttons. Open daily.  —Linda Luong

• Spacing, 401 Richmond St. W., 416-644-1017; spacingstore.ca
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Stephen Bulger Gallery Marks 20 Years of Images

QUEEN WEST PHOTOGRAPHIC INSTITUTION STEPHEN BULGER GALLERY CELEBRATES ITS 20TH ANNIVERSARY

Stephen Bulger Gallery

Photo courtesy of Stephen Bulger Gallery

MARCH 23 TO APRIL 25 A cultured city, Toronto is home to many prominent patrons of the arts. Philanthropists, yes, but more importantly, people who work to expose creators to the public at large. Stephen Bulger is one such Torontonian. Since 1995, his eponymous Stephen Bulger Gallery has enabled eager art lovers to view the efforts of highly respected photographers working in the documentary tradition—André Kertész, Larry Towell, Sarah Anne Johnson, Robert Burley and many more. This month the West Queen West art space celebrates its 20th anniversary with a must-see retrospective: one image from each of the approximately 70 artists who’ve had a solo exhibition at the gallery over the past two decades.  —Craig Moy

• Stephen Bulger Gallery, 1026 Queen St. W., 416-504-0575; bulgergallery.com
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Wholesome Cuisine: Clover in Ottawa

Clover serves up light and wholesome fare for lunch and dinner.

Clover serves up light and wholesome fare for lunch and dinner.

Clover is a quaint little spot in the heart of Centretown that serves up light, refreshing lunch fare. The menu has broad appeal — from soups to salads to wraps packed with protein, vegetarians and omnivores alike will find themselves satisfied here. Dinner service is offered on Friday and Saturday evenings only.
•155 Bank St., 613-680-8803, cloverottawa.ca

Frank and Oak Now Outfits Toronto’s Hippest Men

KNOWN FIRST AS AN ONLINE CLOTHING RETAILER, MONTREAL’S FRANK AND OAK EXPANDS ITS PHYSICAL SPACE WITH A STORE ON QUEEN WEST

 

Frank & Oak Toronto

photo: Jocelyn Reynolds

These days it can seem a bit backward to go from being an e-commerce site to opening a bricks-and-mortar store, but that’s exactly what millennial menswear brand Frank and Oak has done. Its new Queen West shop is the Montreal-based company’s second location. Founders Ethan Song and Hicham Ratnani have carved a loyal online following of creative professionals ages 25 to 35, but found that their Montreal boutique attracted older men as well as women shopping for husbands and boyfriends. As slick and accessible as the Frank and Oak website, the label’s Toronto flagship carries a monthly collection of clothing (about a dozen lines are released each year), while a café and barbershop ensure a full-service experience. Open daily.  —Linda Luong

• Frank and Oak, 735 Queen St. W., 647-930-8711; frankandoak.com
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Self-Portraiture at the Karsh-Masson Gallery

Three Ottawa-area artists explore self-portraiture.

In Selfie, three artists explore self-portraiture.

Selfies get a bad rap in today’s society, but self-portraiture has been a popular mode of expression for millennia. Frida Kahlo, Albrecht Dürer, and Vincent Van Gogh are just a few famous artists who frequently immortalized themselves in paint; if you go back further, to antiquity, you’ll even find a self-portrait by Bak, the pharaoh Akhenaten’s chief sculptor. In Selfie, three artists explore how the self-portrait has evolved over the years, and investigate how it figures into their own bodies of work. On at the Karsh-Masson Gallery from March 17 to April 19.
•Karsh-Masson Gallery, City Hall, 110 Laurier Ave. W., 613-850-2424 ext. 14167. ottawa.ca/arts
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Climbing at Altitude Gym

The innovative Clip N' Climb activity space at Altitude Gym is a great place to bring the kids for spring break.

The innovative Clip N’ Climb activity space at Altitude Gym is a great place to bring the kids for spring break.

A climber’s paradise, Altitude Gym offers bouldering walls, outdoor climbing structures, and space for belaying. Plus, it boasts Clip N’ Climb, an innovative activity space that started in New Zealand that’s part climbing wall, part theme park. The brightly-coloured obstacles and climbing challenges are perfect for kids — and they’ll love dropping safely from the top of each climbing wall using the gym’s self-belaying system.
•Altitude Gym, 35, boul. Saint-Raymond, Gatineau, 819-205-0959. altitudegym.ca
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Nana Brings Bangkok Cooking to Queen West

FROM THE OWNER OF KHAO SAN ROAD COMES NANA, A RESTAURANT THAT TAKES THE STREET-STYLE THAI TREND TO ITS LOGICAL CONCLUSION

Nana restaurant toronto

Traditional Thai dishes at Nana include khao soi, tom yum soup with shrimp, and pad Thai

Nana, an approximation of Bangkok’s entertainment district on one of Toronto’s hippest strips (Queen Street West), serves up more than a smattering of Southeast Asian ambience to go with a menu of street-style Thai fare. Cobblestone flooring, plastic stools, strings of Thai flags, and, we’ll admit, somewhat tight quarters, do well to conjure a quasi night market atmosphere. As for the food, it’s an amply spiced mix of familiar favourites—the likes of khao soi and pad see ew are also offered at Nana’s popular sister space, Khao San Road, though the recipes are different—and lesser-known dishes such as “riverboat” noodle soup and southern fried chicken laab. Gelato sourced from Kensington Market’s Millie Creperie makes for a superb palate cleanser. —Craig Moy

• Nana, 785 Queen St. W., 647-352-5773; stnnana.com
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