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Art Galleries

Hot Art: Artist Esther Shalev-Gerz Explores Identity at Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery

“Still/Film” by Esther Shalev-Gerz. Photo courtesy Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery

Esther Shalev-Gerz presents multimedia installations and photos in her self-titled exhibition at Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery (Jan. 11 to Apr. 14). The Lithuanian-born, Israeli-raised artist, who now lives in Paris, explores themes of place, history and citizenship in her haunting works (“Still/Film,” pictured).—Kristina Urquhart

Hot Art: First Nations Art at South Granville’s Douglas Reynolds Gallery

South Granville’s Douglas Reynolds Gallery boasts an extensive collection of Northwest Coast art and jewellery. Photo by KK Law

Art aficionados seeking collector-worthy works should not miss South Granville stalwart Douglas Reynolds Gallery. The two-level establishment, in the middle of the city’s tony Gallery Row, carries both historical and contemporary Northwest Coast fine art, as well as handcrafted gold and silver jewellery. Gracing the gallery walls are vibrant prints, ceremonial masks and cool carvings by the likes of Bill Reid, Don Yeomans and Robert Davidson. It’s a collector’s dream.—Kristina Urquhart

30 Things We Love This June

3. Mrs. Bridal Boutique

1 People watching on the rooftop patio of Sky Yard, a favourite sipping spot of the city’s hipsters.

2 A peaceful walk through Mount Pleasant Cemetery (375 Mount Pleasant Rd., 416-485-9129).

3 Saying yes to the dress at Mrs. Bridal Boutique.

4 Seeing works by contemporary Canadian artists at the venerable Olga Korper Gallery.

5 Vintage jewellery from the vast estate collection of Van Rijk Jewellers. (more…)

30 Things We Love About Toronto this April

4. Koerner Hall (photo by Neill Sturgess)

1 Exploring self-portraits by noted artists such as Alex Colville and Mary Pratt in a new exhibit at Mira Godard Gallery.

2 Checking out the latest kicks from Converse and Red Wing Shoes at Get Outside.

3 Putting on your detective hat to solve a classic “whodunit” at Mysteriously Yours Mystery Dinner Theatre.

4 The near-perfect acoustics of The Royal Conservatory‘s Koerner Hall.

5 A hot lunch from Food Cabbie, a food truck stationed at Queen Street East and Mutual Street. (more…)

Hot Art: Child’s Play

"Baking Day" by William Hemsley. Photo courtesy Uno Langmann Limited

Nineteenth-century artwork embraced the child as subject—a marked departure from the sombre portraits of adults that dominate older art. Behold paintings capturing carefree youngsters in moments of purity in The Age of Innocence exhibition at Uno Langmann Limited (to Dec. 31), which presents pieces documenting domestic life by artists including David Fulton and William Hemsley (“Baking Day,” pictured). —Kristina Urquhart

30 Things We Love About Toronto This July

1. Have a fowl dining experience at Ultra (photo by Device 222)

1 Dramatic 15-foot-tall renderings of roosters in the dining room at Ultra.

2 A night of Shakespeare and star gazing with the Canadian Stage TD Dream in High Park’s production of Romeo and Juliet.

3 Deep-fried ice cream from Hernando’s Hideaway—a crispy dough with vanilla ice cream inside is an ideal treat.

4 Sparkling red chandeliers and cozy nooks at What Are You Looking At Bar & Lounge.

5 Discovering Canada’s talented Inuit artists at Feheley Fine Arts through prints and more.

5. See Shuvinai Ashoona's Summer Tent (detail pictured) at Feheley Fine Arts

6 A tour of the University of Toronto’s serene St. George campus.

7 “Mancakes” from For the Love of Cake, like the Guinness-flavoured chocolate treat with a whiskey ganache.

8 The camaraderie between Toronto FC fans as they chant in unison for their team.

9 Trying on the sorting hat in Harry Potter: The Exhibition at the Ontario Science Centre.

10 The overwhelming dim sum selection at Bright Pearl—more than 80 dishes are wheeled around the restaurant in carts.

13. Seek out exceptional tomes at Ben McNally Books

11 Savoury thin-crust pizza from Mercatto.

12 Hearing the revving engines and squealing tires at the Honda Indy.

13 Perusing signed first editions at Ben McNally Books.

14 Highback leather chairs and dark wood at rejuvenating men’s enclave Truefitt and Hill.

15 Cheering on Elle Woods as she demonstrates how stilettos and summonses can go together in Legally Blonde: The Musical.

24. Dare to ride the Behemoth at Canada's Wonderland

16 Heading lakeside to explore the myriad ways to enjoy yourself along the Harbourfront.

17 Starting the day with a refreshing spicy watermelon soup from the brunch menu at Senses.

18 Taking in the spectacular view of the cityscape from Panorama’s 51st-floor patio.

19 Warm and doughy bagels from St. Urbain.

20 Meet them halfway: singing along with hip-hop troupe the Black Eyed Peas on their world tour.

28. Observe a firing demonstration at Fort York

21 Pampering your palate with a Summerlicious prix fixe menu.

22 The wall-length chalkboard at Jules Bistro Café where the menu is written in cursive.

23 Catching a spectacular display of pyrotechnics during Ontario Place’s Festival of Fire.

24 Screaming your lungs out on the Behemoth, the country’s biggest, tallest and fastest roller coaster at Canada’s Wonderland.

25 The Bluegrass Brunch at the Dakota Tavern where pint-sized hipsters are welcome.

29. Peruse antiques on Sundays at the St. Lawrence Market

26 Coming eye-to-eye with a life-sized clay figure in the Royal Ontario Museum’s exhibit The Warrior Emperor and China’s Terracotta Army.

27 Treating yourself to a decadent double chocolate raspberry truffle from Godiva.

28 Uniformed guards performing musket firings at Fort York.

29 Snatching up one-of-a-kind treasures at the Sunday antique fair at the St. Lawrence Market’s north building.

30 Strolling along the boardwalk at The Beach—the fresh air makes for a peaceful escape.

20 Things We Love About Whistler

The gorgeous greens of Whistler Golf Club. Photo by John Henebry courtesy Tourism Whistler

1 Stunningly beautiful golf courses: there’s no better place to try for that elusive hole-in-one.
2 Skiing and snowboarding, even in the summer.
3 A leisurely hike through the mountains followed by a ride on the Peak 2 Peak Gondola.
4 Flightseeing. The scenery is even more spectacular when seen from the sky.
5 The bustling Whistler Farmers’ Market, which carries produce fresh from nearby farms.
6 Hearing accents from around the world, from both visitors and locals.
7 The pedestrian-only village.
8 Enjoying a cold beer on a restaurant patio.
9 Enough events and festivals to keep you busy every day.
10 Wandering through the many art galleries.

Hikers walk by the Peak 2 Peak Gondola. Photo by Paul Morrison courtesy Tourism Whistler

11 Friendly locals eager to point a confused visitor in the right direction.
12 Flying through the trees—with the greatest of ease, of course—on a thrilling zipline adventure.
13 A once-in-a-lifetime train trip with Rocky Mountaineer.
14 Dining on award-winning cuisine at Araxi.
15 Guided bear tours with local bear researcher Michael Allen.
16 Discovering the rich heritage of the local First Nations at the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre.
17 Gorgeous views. Whichever direction you turn, it looks like a postcard.
18 Buying fresh waffle cones overflowing with giant scoops of ice cream from Cows Whistler.
19 Shakin’ your groove thang at local nightclubs.
20 Anything and everything outdoors, from kayaking to fishing to mountain biking.

30 Things We Love About Toronto This May

5. Gray Line's Hop-On Hop-Off Tour

1 Hunting for vintage finds at Ingram Antiques, located along scenic Mount Pleasant Road.

2 Eerie portraits of Lenin scowling at Pravda Vodka Bar.

3 Admiring the historic shawls on display at the Textile Museum of Canada’s exhibit Fashionably Wrapped: The Influence of Kashmir Shawls.

4 Handmade goods showcased at Bookhou,
a multidisciplinary studio and shop.

5 Seeing the city on your own schedule with Gray Line’s Hop-On, Hop-Off City Tour.

10. Hoof Café

6 Staking out Trinity Bellwoods Park for a glimpse of the notorious albino squirrels.

7 The heady aroma of spices lingering in the air of the Gerrard India Bazaar.

8 Streetcar drivers who “ding” at each other in greeting as their cars cross paths.

9 Ultra-luxe details like rosewood, polished gold and smoked mirrors at the Gucci store.

10 Rethinking breakfast offerings at Hoof Café by trying the suckling pig eggs Benedict.

12. The Drake Hotel General Store

11 Visiting galleries across the city during the Scotiabank Contact Photography Festival.

12 Bringing home a distinctively Canadian souvenir such as a Toronto maptote from the Drake Hotel’s General Store.

13 The quiet confines of the Toronto Sculpture Garden.

14 Strolling along Canada’s Walk of Fame and counting how many names you recognize.

15 Marvelling at Toronto’s architectural highlights during Doors Open.

17. Rodney's Oyster House

16 Vintage-inspired coffee bean dispensers at Balzac’s Coffee.

17 Slurping back a freshly shucked oyster from Rodney’s Oyster House.

18 Motown’s number one diva, Diana Ross, takes to the stage at Roy Thomson Hall.

19 Beautiful white ceramic elephant-shaped teapots at Hank’s.

20 The graphically ornate silver Art Deco doors of the Design Exchange—an enticing invitation to come inside and explore further.

25. Cowbell (photo by Derek Shapton)

21 The vast selection—several thousand!—of culinary titles at The Cookbook Store.

22 Picking up new groove moves at Babalúu’s complimentary salsa lessons.

23 Feasting on the savoury potato flatbread at Nyood.

24 Escaping to the Toronto Islands on a weekday—you’ll feel like you’re in an episode of Lost.

25 The ever-changing chalkboard menu at Cowbell, which has included mains like veal sweetbreads with boar belly.

30. The view of downtown Toronto from the CN Tower

26 Creating something with your own hands at a drop-in class at the Gardiner Museum’s clay studio on Friday or Sunday.

27 The wall-sized map of Toronto from the city’s archives hanging at White Squirrel Coffee Shop.

28 Airy macarons from Nadège Patisserie in inventive flavours such as wasabi grapefruit.

29 Colourful Victorian row houses turned stores in bohemian Kensington Market.

30 A spectacular bird’s-eye view of the city 447 metres below from the CN Tower.

Hot Art: Fresh Viewing

The city’s art scene is ever evolving, with new venues cropping up in districts both established and up-and-coming. Check out the visual possibilities at these recent additions.

Dennis Lin's large-scale sculpture No. 1-60 was recently displayed at 47

1 Named simply for its civic address, 47 is a gallery for the display of mixed-media installation and sculptural art that interacts with its large, converted woodshop space in unconventional ways.

2 Just steps from two of Toronto’s major art institutions (the AGO and OCAD) sits 52 McCaul. The colourful murals adorning its north and south facades reflect the gallery’s interests—street and pop art prevail, but the oft-changing exhibit schedule also allows for photos, installations and other pieces by emerging artists.

3 Inviting Alison Smith Gallery exudes sophistication along a modest strip of Dundas Street West. Within this polished space hang works of contemporary fine art that demonstrate their makers’ thoughtful approach and technical mastery.

15 Things We Love About Vancouver: April

Vancouver's gorgeous cherry blossoms paint the sky pink. Photo by Tom Ryan courtesy Tourism BC

1 Cherry blossoms. Nothing says “springtime” quite like the cheerful pink blossoms.
2 Using our noodle…for a quick, cheap meal at the West End’s Kintaro Ramen, Legendary Noodle or Hon’s Wun-Tun House.
3 Rogers’ Chocolates, which celebrates its 125th anniversary this year. Chocolate lovers choose the irresistible Victoria Creams—with fillings ranging from coffee, ginger and orange to vanilla, strawberry and always-patriotic maple.
4 Walking or biking along the seawall on a blustery day.
5 The annual Chutzpah! Festival (to Apr. 8).
6 Sipping a hot cuppa coffee while perusing the designer shops along bustling Robson Street.
7 The Vancouver Symphony Orchestra.
8 Tasting the very best of British Columbia at Edible BC, including organic jam, wild pacific salmon and local honey.
9 Grinder and Coola, two orphaned bears who reside on Grouse Mountain. They usually come out of hibernation in April.
10 Lingering over dessert at Lupo.
11 The larger-than-life art installations located throughout the city during the Biennale.
12 South Granville Street—aka Gallery Row—for its never-ending selection of art galleries.

Eye-pleasing confections at Lupo Restaurant & Vinoteca. Photo by KK Law

13 Dim sum, or any quick-to-eat Chinese food, such as take-out barbecue pork, from Chinatown.
14 Cheering for the Vancouver Canucks.
15 The Richmond Olympic Oval, which reopens to the public this month. It was the official speed skating venue for the 2010 Winter Games.

30 Things We Love About Toronto This March

#2 Toronto designer Lucian Matis

1 Admiring the fantastic floral exhibitions on display at Canada Blooms (page 16).

2 Spotting top Toronto designers like Lucian Matis at LG Fashion Week, from March 28 to April 1.

3 Shouting “opa!” for saganaki and other Mediterranean fare at Pan on the Danforth (page 56).

4 Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day with a pint of green beer and traditional Irish stew at the Irish Embassy Pub & Grill.

5 Picking out stylish, eco-chic essentials for little ones from Baby on the Hip.

(more…)