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Best of Toronto

There’s Still Time to Explore Ontario’s Parks and Outdoor Spaces This Summer

BY CRAIG MOY

Sandbanks Provincial Park (photo: Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership Corporation)

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.

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Best of Toronto: 30 Things We Love About Our City This June

Each and every month we scour the city to bring you all the very best that Toronto has to offer! Check out our latest favourites below.

Best of Toronto #1: Jose Bautista at the hot-hitting Blue Jays (photo: Toronto Blue Jays)

Best of Toronto #1: Jose Bautista at the hot-hitting Blue Jays (photo: Toronto Blue Jays)

1  Watching Jose Bautista, Edwin Encarnacion and Melky Cabrera slug it out of the park as the (division leading!) Toronto Blue Jays take on all comers at Rogers Centre.

2  The opportunity to see fantastic new works by independent Canadian filmmakers—such as Ingrid Veninger’s quirky The Animal Project—at the TIFF Bell Lightbox.

3  Sharing a huge “social” platter of pasta at homestyle Italian restaurant Scaddabush.

4  Examining all the cool cartography at Alexandre Antique Prints, Maps and Books.

5  A month of major music events, including free concerts during Luminato, hundreds of indie acts at NXNE, the best in jazz, funk and R&B courtesy of the TD Toronto Jazz Festival, and a weekend of local bands who’ve made it big at Field Trip.

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Best of Toronto: 30 Things We Love About Our City This May

Each and every month we scour the city to bring you all the very best that Toronto has to offer! Check out our latest favourites below.

Best of Toronto #1: New sunglasses from Spectacle

Best of Toronto #1: New sunglasses from Spectacle

1  Picking out chic new sunglasses from Spectacle, in preparation for a bright spring and a balmy summer.

2  Not only the 200-plus exhibitions, but also the numerous artist talks and related events of the Scotiabank Contact Photography Festival.

3  Ordering Fonda Lola‘s “Mexican Fiesta” to indulge in everything on the restaurant’s menu.

4  Learning a few of the intriguing stories from Toronto’s past while on a local jaunt with Muddy York Walking Tours.

5  Discovering which contemporary artists Kim Dorland favours—the acclaimed painter has curated a group show that opens May 8 at Angell Gallery.

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Best of Toronto: 30 Things We Love About Our City This April

Each and every month we scour the city to bring you all the very best that Toronto has to offer! Check out our latest favourites below.

Best of Toronto #1: Jessica Bradley Gallery

Best of Toronto #1: Jessica Bradley Gallery

1 Awesome—and often local—contemporary art displayed in an industrial-style space at Jessica Bradley Gallery.

2 Relaxing at friendly Swedish-inspired café Fika with a cardamom-spiced latte.

3 Getting fitted for a high-quality yet affordable blazer at Dutch import Suitsupply.

4 Singing along with the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, when she performs her greatest hits at Roy Thomson Hall.

5 An artfully interactive fam-jam courtesy of the AGO’s Family Sundays program.

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Best of Toronto: 30 Things We Love About Our City This March

Each and every month we scour the city to bring you all the very best that Toronto has to offer! Check out our latest favourites below.

Best of Toronto #1: Rock 'n' Horse Saloon

Best of Toronto #1: Rock ‘n’ Horse Saloon

1 Strapping on our spurs, downing a few drinks and taking a ride on the mechanical bull at Rock ‘n’ Horse Saloon.

2 The numerous sushi restaurants in the Annex and Koreatown neighbourhoods, especially the two locations of New Generation Sushi.

3 Sonic Boom‘s vast selection of used and new music plus unexpected musical accessories.

4 The consistent laughs to be had at Yuk Yuk’s Comedy Club

5 Stumbling across one of the locations of used bookstore BMV, and once inside, stumbling across so many books you want to buy.

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Delicious Options for Going Gluten-Free in Toronto

BY SARA BURNSIDE-MENUCK

Gluten-free cupcakes from Bunner's Bake Shop (photo: Candice Eisner)

Gluten-free cupcakes from Bunner’s Bake Shop (photo: Candice Eisner)

Until a few years ago, the phrase “gluten-free” typically applied a few sad- and stunted-looking loaves of bread and the odd flourless cookie—and even then, they were hard to find. But thanks to a host of new research and a few bestselling diet books, gluten-free cuisine has exploded onto the culinary scene. Restaurants, cafés and bakeries are increasingly expanding their menus to include celiac-friendly choices, or opting to go gluten-free altogether. Read on for a diverse selection of some of the best gluten-free eating Toronto has to offer.

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Toronto Gift Shops: The Best Places to Buy Unique Gifts

By ANA TAVEIRA & STEPHANIE YOUNG

Toronto Gift Shop

From our Toronto gift shop picks: Studio Brillantine, Blue Banana Market and Magic Pony (Photos: pamlau.com, Tsar Kasim)

What is a Toronto gift? In a city this diverse, it could be anything and there’s a Toronto gift shop to cater to any taste. Finding that perfect item can be a challenge, so we’ve compiled this list of Toronto gift shops that will take the guesswork out of your shopping experience. With their precisely curated stock of unique and amazing housewares, jewellery, toys, stationery and more, these Toronto gift shops will help you bring home the perfect present every time.

See the list of remarkable Toronto gift shops »

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Toronto’s Best Gallery Boutiques: 10 Shops for Art and Design Gifts

BY CRAIG MOY

Pimlico Design Gallery is one of Toronto's best gallery boutiques for artistic home products

Pimlico Design Gallery is one of Toronto’s best gallery boutiques for artistic home products

You needn’t take home a $10,000 painting to prove your good taste. An art book, handcrafted home-decor item or even a unique piece of jewellery from one of these 10 gallery boutiques will do the trick.

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2013 Where to Dine Awards: Toronto’s Best Restaurants, Chosen by You

BY CRAIG MOY

The Ploughman's Platter at Farmhouse Tavern, Where to Dine Award winner in the Canadian/American category (photo: Paula Wilson)

The Ploughman’s Platter at Farmhouse Tavern, Where to Dine Award winner in the Canadian/American category (photo: Paula Wilson)

The winners of our annual, reader-selected Where to Dine Awards make excellent starting points for diving into the smorgasbord that is Toronto’s restaurant scene. Or delve even deeper by checking out our equally appetizing editor’s picks.

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21 Unforgettably Unusual Day Trips and Getaways From Toronto

By CAROL SPODE

Unusual-Getaways-from-Toronto-Sundance-Balloons

Unusual getaways from Toronto: hot air ballooning (Photo: Sundance Facebook)

Toronto is a great destination in itself, but travel just a few hours outside the city, and an unusual world of possibilities opens up. Of course, there are the obvious day trips from Toronto—the vineyards of Niagara-on-the-Lake, the theatre of Stratford—but for those looking for a memorable experience that’s off the beaten track, we’ve compiled this list of amazing, unusual getaways from Toronto.

Start the slideshow of unusual day trips and getaways from Toronto »

— Carol Spode runs Tailor-Made Toronto—http://britgirlintoronto.wordpress.com—which offers Toronto-based itinerary planning tailored to a client’s interests and time frame. If you are a visitor, have visitors coming to stay or simply want to find out how exciting and diverse Toronto can be, then leave a comment on Carol’s blog. Contact: britgirlintoronto@wordpress.com.

 

TRAVELLING TO TORONTO? YOU MAY ALSO LIKE:
30 Things to Love About Toronto Right Now
Toronto’s Top 10 Shops for Art and Design Gifts
12 Best Pizza Spots in Toronto
The Top Shops for Cookies in Toronto

Best of Toronto: 30 More Things We Love About Our City This Summer

10 of the Absolute Best Jazz Clubs in Toronto