By Afton Aikens & Olivia Grecu
Photo: Rita Taylor, The Banff Centre
Inspired Outdoor Shows
Watch artists perform against a mountain backdrop at The Banff Centre’s Shaw Amphitheatre, where the Centre’s theatre students help build sets and operate lighting. Must-see Canadian musical acts:
- Art of Time Ensemble’s rendition of the Beatles album Abbey Road (June 27).
- Blue Rodeo’s iconic country-rock (July 5).
- Royal Wood’s folk-pop tunes (July 26).
Muskoka’s farmers’ markets offer an abundance of fresh fruits, vegetables and more (photo: Ryan Heaney)
Whether you’re heading up to the cottage for a summer getaway or just visiting for the day (or even if you live in the region all year long), one of the best ways to get a little local flavour is to attend one of the many Muskoka farmers’ markets. Be sure to visit these weekly gatherings for the best of nature’s bounty!
Friday: Tom Cochrane is one of many performers rocking the Canada’s Walk of Fame Festival.
Friday, September 21st
Celebrate this country’s cultural icons as part of the annual Canada’s Walk of Fame Festival, which showcases popular Canadian performers at venues throughout the city, including a number of free concerts at Nathan Phillips Square. Dance the night away to Suzie McNeil, Tom Cochrane and Jann Arden, just some of the homegrown talent that will be gracing the stage.
Canadian sculptor Evan Penny’s new exhibition of meticulously rendered yet distorted human sculptures opened this week at the Art Gallery of Ontario. Titled Re Figured, the display will alter your perspective of the human form with 30 pieces, including sculptures, photographs and a film about Penny’s work over the past decade.
Toronto’s famed jazz venue, The Rex, holds its annual tribute to John Coltrane this weekend. Juno-winning saxophone players Pat LaBarbera and Kirk MacDonald—alongside the rest of their highly capable quintet—take the stage tonight to honour the celebrated musician. (more…)
Fresh, local produce is a mainstay at the Main Street Farmers’ Market
Looking for fresh produce, meats and baked goods mid-week? Locals in the know head to the Main Street Farmers’ Market, running every Wednesday afternoon until Oct. 3. There you’ll find chefs buying from vendors such as Little Qualicum Cheeseworks, The Jam Ladies, French Made Baking, Langley Organic Growers and Take A Fancy Chocolate and Sweets. What you won’t find are the long line-ups common at weekend farmers’ markets.—Sheri Radford
Farmers' market photo by Chad Chomlack courtesy Tourism Whistler
Locals love the bustling Whistler Farmers’ Market for just-picked fruit and veggies. Purchase a loaf of fresh bread and some home-made jam, then head to the hills for an impromptu picnic. Keep an eye out for handmade souvenirs such as jewellery, candles and art.—Jennifer Patterson
Pick a pepper (and other fresh produce) at Muskoka's farmers' markets
Our guide to cottage-country events and activities has returned for another summer! Check back every Monday for more timely ideas for family fun.
Support Ontario growers and get some fresh ingredients for this week’s breakfasts, lunches and dinners at a pair of farmers’ markets that are now in full swing. This Wednesday (and all subsequent Wednesday throughout the summer) the Gravenhurst Farmers’ Market operates from from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Muskoka Wharf, while the Bracebridge Farmers’ Market runs on Saturday, 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., at Memorial Park.
Stretch out on a blanket at Bracebridge’s Memorial Park bandshell and listen to the acoustic folk sounds of Neil Hutchison. Influenced by the likes of Gordon Lightfoot and Ian Tyson, Hutchison takes the stage this Thursday at 7 p.m.
Grab your motorcycle boots and leather jacket and head on down to the Kee to Bala. Blues singer and guitarist George Thorogood—with his longtime band, The Destroyers—rocks the joint on Saturday, with hits like “Bad to the Bone” and more.
Drive around the region this Saturday and Sunday and take in not only the exceptional natural scenery, but also some great artistic visuals. This year’s Muskoka Lakes Spring Art Tour allows you to visit the studios of 11 top cottage-country artists in Bracebridge, Bala, Port Carling and elsewhere.
The local food movement just keeps creeping ever closer to home; one of the latest trends is to keep a chicken or two right in your own backyard (depending on municipal bylaws, of course). If you’re interested in learning more, regional culinary association Savour Muskoka hosts a poultry workshop on Sunday at Severn Sunset Eco Farm in Severn Bridge, where participants will find out some of the ins and outs of working with chickens, ducks and turkeys.
Evergreen Brick Works farmers' market (photo by Paul Henman)
To local-food movement is now thoroughly entrenched in our fair city, with professional and home chefs alike seeking out the best Ontario-grown ingredients. Farmers’ markets taking place throughout Toronto are, of course, a great place to pick up fresh produce. They also offer opportunities to take in some real neighbourhood flavour. Read on to discover our five favourites! (more…)
The Summer Night Market in Richmond
May 11 to September 16
Barbecued squid and bubble waffles are just a couple of the exotic eats you’ll find at the Summer Night Market (pictured), deemed one of the world’s best by Travel + Leisure magazine. Foodies and bargain hunters hop on the SkyTrain to taste Asian street food, enjoy live entertainment and haggle with retail vendors over super-cute trinkets and jewellery. The nearby Richmond Night Market (May 18 to Oct. 8) is also worth a visit for snacks, shopping and carnival rides. —Kristina Urquhart
A Cagey Bee necklace at Portobello West Fashion + Art Market
March 24 to 25
If you’re on the hunt for some locally made jewellery, fashion and art—aka, the perfect souvenir—look no further than the city’s über-popular seasonal market, Portobello West. Each show, held inside the Creekside Community Centre on picturesque False Creek, brings together over 50 artists displaying covetable crafts and wall-worthy art. A few favourites: whimsical necklaces by A Cagey Bee (pictured), graphic paintings by Michael Soltis and hand-dyed, vacation-ready swimwear from Daub + Design. Another hot spot for unique collectibles: the 21st Century Flea Market (Mar. 18). Scour more than 185 booths for retro furniture, kitschy decor, heirloom jewellery, china dolls, linen and lace.—Jennifer Patterson
The Southampton shore. (Photo by Alistair Edmondson)
By Meghan Wilson-Smith
Fall driving in southwestern Ontario means landscapes of lush, ready-to-be-harvested fields of rich yellows, oranges and greens, and sunny skies dimpled with heavy wet clouds whisked by on a breeze just cool enough to bring out the wools. Air-conditioning off, windows open, and nothing but the splendor of the great Canadian north in your windshield.
Get the map.
1. Guelph is already a pretty special town, a vibrant city core with a popular farmers’ market on Saturdays. It retains many small town values while delivering on big city comforts. It’s also a great take-off point to some of the quaintest of towns en route to beautiful Lake Huron.
2. Just a half-hour outside of Guelph, the town of Elora and the stunning Elora gorge are musts. Heading north on Highway 6 you’ll see a small sign for the Fergus and Mount Forest to the north or Elora to the west. Bend west a bit and head straight to Elora. The town is mostly made of limestone, as if it were an extension of the gorge it sits on. It has lovely shops and great hiking. (25 km)
Photo: Lisa Enman
The Halifax Seaport Farmers’ Market may be North America’s oldest farmers’ market but the digs are state-of-the-art. The market recently moved to a new home on the waterfront on Marginal Road. Now open Wednesday and Friday to Sunday, it showcases crafts, cuisine and produce from across the province.
Photo by Danielle Hayes courtesy Tourism Vancouver
To September 11
Scour the stalls at the Chinatown Night Market for traditional crafts and clothes, then tempt taste buds with exotic food finds. Don’t miss the live entertainment that ranges from karaoke to opera to kung fu. Join the throng of locals every Friday, Saturday and Sunday night from 6:30 to 11 p.m. throughout the summer.—Jennifer Patterson