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, and don’t forget that many of our September picks remain applicable throughout the fall.
Best of Toronto #1: I Love Lucy—Live on Stage (photo: Ed Krieger)
1 Hearing “Lucy, you got some ‘splainin’ to do!” in the stage production of I Love Lucy.
2 Sipping $3 mimosas or $4 caesars at The Lakeview.
3 Anticipating cooler temperatures with a sable or shearling coat from Four Seasons Fur.
4 Indulgent truffle popcorn from Suits Lobby Lounge—you’ve never tasted kernels so rich.
5 Reveling in creativity at Nuit Blanche, a dusk-to-dawn celebration of art across the city.
BY CRAIG MOY
The fall colours can be seen in abundance on the Niagara escarpment (photo: Jeff S. PhotoArt)
We may complain about the shorter days and the noticeable chill in the air, but one thing we can’t lament with autumn’s arrival is the beautiful change it brings to our parks and woodlands. While trees are, of course, reasonably abundant in Toronto, you really do owe it to yourself to take leave of the concrete jungle in order to view the most vibrant foliage. So pack a picnic (or just some sturdy hiking shoes) and head to these just-outside-of-town locations to be awed by the best fall colours near Toronto.
By KAREN CLEVELAND
Getaway From Toronto: Niagara-on-the-Lake (Photo: Theodore C)
If you’re going to invest 90 minutes of driving for a getaway from Toronto, fewer places net a higher return than a trip to Niagara-on-the-Lake. The charming town is home to breathtaking views, excellent restaurants, amazing vineyards and some of Canada’s most treasured heritage sites. Whether you fall in love with Niagara-on-the-Lake for a long affair, or just a fleeting tryst, be sure to consider these 10 tips when making your getaway plan. (more…)
BY LAURA SABATINI
The midway at the Canadian National Exhibition
If you’re visiting Toronto in August, you simply must not miss the Canadian National Exhibition, which runs from August 16 to September 2. Known to locals as “The Ex” (or, well, the CNE), the country’s largest fair was originally conceived in 1879 as a forum for promoting agriculture and scientific innovation. Today it boasts more of a carnival-like atmosphere, with a huge midway, rides, a casino, and heaps of deep-fried food, though its traditional attractions—like the horse show, butter sculpting, and marketplaces galore—remain beloved staples, too. Still not convinced you should attend this communal, end-of-summer spectacular? Check out our 10 reasons to visit the Canadian National Exhibition this year:
Cabana Pool Bar (photo: Ink Entertainment)
Soak up summer at the city’s newest, largest and ritziest lakefront hot spot. Entertainment mogul Charles Khabouth’s Cabana Pool Bar is now open at Polson Pier, boasting 50,000 square feet of posh party space and a spectacular west-facing view of the skyline. The French Riviera-meets-Miami Beach venue is also outfitted with 12 private cabanas, dozens more oversized lounge chairs, and room for 2,500 sun-worshiping guests. Oh, and did we mention the dining area with a full Oliver & Bonacini–designed menu? The multiple bars serving signature cocktails? The octagonal swimming pool? It all adds up to a unique and very chic way to make a splash in Toronto. —Laura Sabatini
• Cabana Pool Bar, 11 Polson St., 416-461-4400; cabanapoolbar.com
• Map and reviews
By CAROL SPODE
Jazz Bistro makes our list of the best jazz clubs in Toronto (Photo: George Pimentel)
To lovers of jazz and blues, Toronto is particularly rich terrain. It’s even possible to visit one or more jazz clubs in Toronto every single day of the week. There are several rooms that feature live jazz every evening, along with top-notch bars known for showcasing local talent and at least two dinner-jazz hotspots—think the legendary Ronnie Scott’s in London—that focus on international acts. From a local lover of live music, Where.ca offers this list of Toronto’s best jazz and blues destinations.
By CAROL SPODE
This famous spot, with amazing views of the city, is on our list of awesomely unusual restaurants in Toronto(Photo: robceemoz)
Toronto has some of the best restaurants in Canada and is the most multicultural city on Earth, so it is not surprising that you can get a stellar meal from an unfamiliar cuisine every night of the week. For a truly memorable dining experience, however, a restaurant needs to offer something beyond great fare. Here, we’ve listed 16 of our favourite off-the-wall restaurants in Toronto that are unique for their setting, ambiance, food or concept.
See the 16 unforgettably unusual restaurants in 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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Ontario Craft Beer Week celebrates great, locally brewed beverages
JUNE 16 TO 23 There are two kinds of people who are able to appreciate the art of creating a high-quality beer: the brewers and the drinkers. You’re more than likely to fall into the latter of these categories during Ontario Craft Beer Week, which celebrates the growing number of excellent and innovative small-batch beers being poured across the province. In Toronto, that means numerous tours, tasting events and more, presented by a variety of microbrewers. If you’d rather sample Ontario’s craft beers on your own time, download the OCB Beer Locator app for your iPhone or Android device, which lists of Ontario craft beers sold near you. Visit ontariocraftbrewers.com for more information. —Anna Marszalek
Each and every month we scour the city to bring you all the very best that Toronto has to offer!
Best of Toronto #1: colourful scarves from Augustina
1 Accessorizing with luxe leather purses, statement jewellery and colourful scarves at Augustina.
2 Purring over the new Canadian production of Cats.
3 Story time at the Franklin Children’s Garden on Toronto’s Centre Island.
4 Rows of sparkly chandeliers at Troika Vodka Boutique.
5 Treating yourself to a hot lather shave from Truefitt and Hill, a classic barber shop and spa exclusively for gents.
Toronto Pride 2013: Where to drink (legally) after hours
Toronto Pride 2013 is underway, and that means the fun cannot be contained to normal business hours. This Pride, Toronto’s top bar and club destinations will be serving alcohol later than usual—until 4 a.m. instead of 2 a.m., on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights. The catch? Not ever spot has a late license. Here is the full list of every bar that will be open late for Toronto Pride in 2013, and a helpful map of where to find them.
• Jump to the list of bars open late for Toronto Pride 2013 »
• Jump to the map of bars open late for Toronto Pride 2013 »
BY MACRINA SMART
To enthusiasts, coffee is more than just a drink; it’s a lifestyle. The pleasantly bitter brew provides the wickedness in your wit, the pep in your step, and helps put the smile on your face. For true believers, the where of the coffee ritual is as important as the beverage itself. Over the past few years, Toronto has seen a significant proliferation of independent coffeehouses competing against mass-market heavyweights like Starbucks and Tim Horton’s. Some of Toronto’s best coffee shops have been so successful that they’ve fostered mini-chains of their own: Dark Horse Espresso Bar now has four locations; award-winning barista Sam James boasts a trio of eponymous outlets; Crema Coffee Co., Lit Espresso Bar and even I Deal Coffee also operate a bevy of shops across the city. To be sure these are all excellent cafés, but their brand expansions put them somewhat at odds with what it means to be truly “indie” in this day and age. So, below, we honour a few of Toronto’s smaller, really independent coffee hangouts that pack a big caffeinated punch.
Partying a little too hard? Take a breather at Canada’s very first Grey Goose Lounge. The elegant new room inside Exhibition Place’s vast Muzik club gives night owls the opportunity to exchange the crowds for some intimate conversation and concoctions featuring a certain French vodka. Mixologist Trevor Burnett slings a number of signature Grey Goose drinks—the Eiffel Sour (with St. Germain liqueur, Perrier and simple syrup) and the C’est la Vie (syrup, lime juice, strawberries and basil) among them. Mix these cocktails with super-sleek white-on-white decor and you might just find yourself lounging in this exclusive space all night long. Open Saturdays only. 15 Saskatchewan Rd.; call 416-595-9998 or visit here for further details. —Anna Marszalek
• Muzik, 15 Saskatchewan Rd., 416-595-9998; muzikclubs.com
• Map and reviews