BY CARA SMUSIAK
Friendly, safe, and packed with fun attractions, Toronto is terrific city to travel to with the whole family. Don’t believe us? These 25 great things to do in Toronto with kids ensure everyone’s time in town will be filled with excitement and discovery.
By RACHAEL FREY
Photo: Viktor Hanacek / picjumbo.com
Calgary is notorious for its cold, blustery winters. While you might set out for the night in the mood for a cocktail, by the time you arrive at your destination a cold drink is the last thing on your mind. Luckily, Calgary’s savvy mixologists are on the case, creating delicious cocktails that are served warm enough to defrost your fingers and heat you from the inside out. And, if you get snowed in, they’ve kindly provided the recipes so you can re-create their inventions at home.
Nouvella Picante (Photo: courtesy Candela Lounge)
Nouvella Picante at Candela Lounge
The bar dominates the centre of the room at the elegant and exotic Candela Lounge. The menu reflects its global flair with a focus on small plates with a Latin twist, such as bison chorizo with caramelized onions, tomato and melted cheese curds or “Russian roulette”—six oyster shots, one of which is extra hot. That playful sense of flavour extends to the cocktail menu as well. Created by mixologist Darren Fabian on a frosty December night, the Nouvella Picante is a warm, sweet, rich drink that can be paired with dessert or just replace it entirely. As an added bonus, the espresso component will keep you dancing all night.
• 2 parts Amaretto
• 1 part Frangelico
• 1 part Zanin pepperocino
• 2 parts hot espresso in room temperature martini glass
Shake 1 oz vanilla syrup and 4 parts whipping cream over ice and double strain on top of liquid in glass to float. Garnish with coffee beans.
♦ 1919 – 4 St SW, 403-719-0049, candelalounge.com
BY CRAIG MOY
Perhaps you’ve heard: Toronto is one the most dynamic cities in the world. An endlessly fascinating place to live; an equally amazing destination to visit. Whether you’re an international jetsetter or on a cross-Canada excursion, travelling within Ontario or just looking to be a tourist in your own hometown, there are literally thousands of compelling reasons to visit Toronto. And for 2015, here are 15 more.
The holiday season is upon us, and with it comes shopping for everyone from your spouse, parents, kids and in-laws to friends and co-workers and maybe even party hosts and hostesses. In the spirit of giving, we’ve curated more than 60 holiday gifts worthy of your best wrapping paper.
BY LINDA LUONG
BY LINDA LUONG
The Honey pizza from Pizzeria Defina with fior di latte, gorgonzola, pickled pear and roasted pecans (photo: Pizzeria Defina)
A bit of dough, some tomato sauce, cheese and an assortment of meats and vegetables may be all it takes to make a classic pizza, but that doesn’t mean just anyone can make a delicious one. There’s an art to making this dish that originated in Naples, Italy; these establishments—our choices for the five best pizzerias in Toronto—consistently serve up culinary masterpieces on thin crust.
Toronto’s restaurant scene is vast and plentiful, with thousands of eateries spread across the city. Not sure where to start your culinary adventure?
Take a cue from other visitors with our annual Where to Dine Awards, which highlight Toronto’s best restaurants as selected by our readers. Or get a taste for what’s new and hot right now with our editors’ picks. BY LINDA LUONG & CARA SMUSIAK
Colette Grand Café (photos: Liam Mogan)
COLETTE GRAND CAFÉ
Picture the charm and elegance of a beautiful Parisian bistro married with the refreshing fare of the Côte d’Azur and impeccable service, and you’ve got Colette Grand Café. The Thompson Hotel’s bistro encompasses a dining room, bar and cafe that seamlessly flow together thanks to a palette of warm blues and whites complimented by ashy woods and white marble. Executive chef Michael Steh and pastry chef Leslie Steh (a husband and wife team) have crafted beautiful menus that delight the senses. Though a splurge, the weekend buffet brunch is well worth it, with a lush spread of cheeses, meats, seafood, crepes, carving and omelette stations, salads, fruit and parfaits and more, plus an array of delicious, delicate pastries.
Although in life Stanley Kubrick was something a recluse, shying away from interviews for his movies, posthumously the oeuvre of one of cinema’s most innovative directors has been laid bare for all to discover, dissect and admire. BY LINDA LUONG
Stanley Kubrick and Jack Nicholson on the set of The Shining
OCTOBER 31 TO JANUARY 25 One of the film industry’s pioneering individuals is the sole focus of a new exhibit at the TIFF Bell Lightbox. On a global tour since 2004 when it first opened at the Deutsches Filmmuseum in Frankfurt, Germany, “Stanley Kubrick” is a multifaceted exploration of the influential director’s career. Despite such critical hits as Dr. Strangelove, 2001: A Space Odyssey, A Clockwork Orange, The Shining, Full Metal Jacket, and his last film, Eyes Wide Shut, and being admired by his 21st-century peers (including Martin Scorsese, Steven Spielberg and Woody Allen), Kubrick never received the industry’s highest accolade, an Academy Award, for his directorial work. (He did, however, win an Oscar for special visual effects for 2001.)
THERE ARE ALWAYS SO MANY GREAT THINGS TO DO IN TORONTO. GET OUT AND ENJOY SOME OF THE MANY EVENTS AND CONCERTS TAKING PLACE THROUGHOUT THE CITY THIS MONTH!
Geordie Johnson and Irene Poole in The Bakelite Masterpiece. Photo by Cilla von Tiedemann
ALL MONTH LONG Set in Holland following World War II, in The Bakelite Masterpiece an artist accused of selling art to the Nazis must prove his innocence by painting a work by Johannes Vermeer in front of a prosecutor and an art historian. Taragon Theatre, 30 Bridgman Ave., 416-531-1827. Tuesday to Saturday 8 p.m., Sunday 2:30 p.m.; $48-$53; visit tarragontheatre.com to purchase.
STARTS NOVEMBER 4 Mirvish Productions brings The Shaw Festival’s production of Arcadia to the Royal Alexandra Theatre. This Tom Stoppard masterpiece juxtaposes the lives of residents of a country estate in the early 19th century and the present day, with themes spanning algorithms, chaos theory, botany and literature. Tickets are $25-$99; visit mirvish.com to purchase and for more information.
NOVEMBER 7 Aboriginal producer/DJ crew A Tribe Called Red mixes traditional pow wow vocals and drumming with cutting-edge electronic music at The Danforth Music Hall. Tickets are $33.75-$44; visit thedanforth.com for more details and to purchase.
By KRISTEN MORAN
Nestled in the heart of East Vancouver, Commercial Drive boasts nearly 350 shops and restaurants along a 22-block strip, but we focussed on a few blocks in the centre of the action
Deliciously authentic pizza from Lombardo’s Pizzeria & Ristorante. (Photo: Daniel Henshaw)
No place better captures the essence of the neighbourhood known as Little Italy than Lombardo’s Pizzeria & Ristorante. Stop in for mouthwatering thin-crust pizzas that are made with fresh, local ingredients and cooked in a wood oven. La Grotta Del Formaggio is a delightful little deli that serves more than just your average sandwich. Choose from an array of delicious toppings like roasted red peppers, tapenade and havarti cheese, and create an unforgettable custom-made sandwich. (more…)
BY CRAIG MOY
Sandbanks Provincial Park (photo: Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership Corporation)
According to the 2011 census, 81 per cent of Canadians now live in urban areas. In Ontario, that number is even higher—86 per cent. And yet a significant part of our national identity remains tied to the frontier, the wilderness. We may live in condos and work in cubicles, but our hearts still yearn for open spaces.
Fortunately, Ontario boasts bounteous natural expanses (national and provincial parks, as well as locally administered conservation areas) for exploration and recreation. Many of these sites are within reasonable distance from the Greater Toronto Area, but not so close as to be overrun with visitors.
BY DAVID ORT
Block Three Brewing Company is worth the drive to St. Jacobs
A distinctive feature of any craft beer is that the personal touch of its brewer tends to be quite obvious. In the past few years, more and more Ontarians have joined the club of brewers, adding their own signature to the local beer scene. In Toronto, beer drinkers have an exciting number of opportunities to taste the interesting new lagers, porters and ales being produced outside the city, but there’s not nearly enough retail space for those of us looking to purchase more than a pint or two at a restaurant. That’s a compelling reason, I think, to pack the car and spend a few days discovering some of the province’s best breweries for yourself.
By RACHAEL FREY
The Chinook City Kill Jills (in yellow) take on Fernie’s Avalanche City Roller Girls (Photo: Steve Recsky Photography)
Sparkle Motion. Negative Nancy. Crimson Shivers. These rough and tumble nom de zooms are a tongue-in-cheek nod to the 1970s heyday of roller derby, a full-contact, roller-skate sport now experiencing a North American renaissance. Artfully rugged, fast-paced and surprisingly strategic, matchups see each team’s “jammer” score points by lapping the opposing team’s “blockers” on an oval flat track. In Calgary, these matches are held at indoor community halls surrounded by floor-level spectator seating. Sparkle Motion, aka Claire Lacey, is a member of Calgary’s co-ed Chinook City Roller Derby league. She skates on its women’s team, the Kill Jills, and coaches new recruits.
What position do you play?
I play all positions. I love the speed and single-mindedness of jamming, as well as the physicality and strategy of blocking.