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Best of Toronto

Holiday Gifts for Everyone on Your List

Holiday-Gifts-2014-Title-Card

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

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The 5 Best Pizzerias in Toronto

BY LINDA LUONG

    The Honey pizza from Pizzeria Defina with fior di latte, gorgonzola, pickled pear and roasted pecans (photo: Pizzeria Defina)

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.

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2014 Where to Dine Awards: Toronto’s Best Restaurants, Chosen by You

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 (photos: Liam Mogan)

EDITORS’ PICK
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.
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TIFF Takes Film Fans on Stanley Kubrick’s Odyssey

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

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.)

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What to Do in Toronto: Festivals, Concerts and Events this November

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!

The Bakelite Masterpiece, Geordie Johnson and Irene Poole, Photo by Cilla von Tiedemann

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.

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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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