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Parloque Brings International Street Style to Toronto

Parloque Toronto

“Edgy” isn’t a look Torontonians are known for. Conservative? Sure. Even preppy or hipster. But at Parloque, Amrita Gill is bringing the vanguard of street style to our city, one moto jacket at a time. The new Queen West shop’s minimalist interior showcases fashion-forward pieces from an international lineup of emerging and established brands, many of which are exclusive to the store, such as South Korean womenswear lines SYZ and Arche, as well as Malmo London and New Zealand’s I Love Ugly for men. Several Toronto labels are also represented: seek out handcrafted contemporary jewellery from Vitaly and graphic apparel from Daily News Project. Best of all, a portion of the proceeds from each transaction goes towards Free the Children, which makes for guilt-free shopping. Open daily.  —Linda Luong

• Parloque, 1093 Queen St. W., 647-341-5540; parloque.com
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Weekend Roundup: September 12 to 14


Celebrating Totonto Beer Week 2013 at Steam Whistle Brewery.

Steam Whistle Brewery hosts an Oktoberfest party during Toronto Beer Week 2013.

Friday, September 12

Sample local brews at Toronto Beer Week, which kicks off on Friday and runs until September 20. The event spans 70 venues across the city, with 35 craft breweries participating and 200-plus events including pub crawls, cask tappings and brewmasters’ dinners. Great Lakes Brewery, Indie Alehouse Brewing Co. and Left Field Brewery will all be introducing new brews. On Saturday, sip your lagers on the lake with the Toronto Craft Brew Cruise; tickets are $39.95 each and trips depart at 3:30 and 8 p.m. Visit torontobeerweek.com for a full schedule of events and participating establishments, and to purchase tickets.

Food, music, art, dance and culture take centre stage this weekend at two cultural festivals: the Bloor West Village Toronto Ukrainian Festival and the Roncesvalles Polish Festival, both of which kick off with events Friday evening. Highlights on the stage at the Ukrainian fest include Ukrainian folk/rock band TIK and Edmonton’s world renowned Ukrainian Shumka Dancers, while the Polish fest boasts multiple stages and a packed performance schedule that kicks off tonight with an Old Time Polka Party, as well as renowned Polish band Baryczy on Saturday. Traditional foods will also be a big part of the festivities at both events, so get read to feast on as much pierogis, cabbage rolls, borscht, kielbasa and zapiekanka as you can handle. Visit ukrainianfestival.com and polishfestival.ca for full details.

If live music in a stadium setting is more your tune, Lorde is headlining tonight at the Molson Amphitheatre with special guest Majical Cloudz. Tickets are $45-$60, and can be purchased by calling 1-855-985-5000.

Our Country's Good. Photo courtesy of Mirvish Productions.

Our Country’s Good. Photo courtesy of Mirvish Productions.

Saturday, September 13

Theatre buffs will want to pick up tickets for the opening of Our Country’s Good at the Royal Alexandra Theatre on Saturday at 8 p.m. Celebrating the 25th anniversary of its Olivier Award–winning premiere, this historical drama tells the powerful true story of the men, women and children who were sent to Australia when Britain founded its first penal colony in 1788. Visit mirvish.com for tickets.

If browsing beautiful blooms is your idea of a lovely Saturday activity, stop by the Toronto Flower Market and enjoy the scents and sight of an array of flowers and houseplants from local growers and florists. Open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. 1056 Queen St. W.; visit torontoflowermarket.ca for further details.

The summer music fest season isn’t over just yet for EDM fans. Play Music Festival, which hits Fort York on Saturday, features a packed lineup including Robbie Riviera, FTampa, La Riots, Richard Durand, Bryan Kearney, Alex Kenji, Adam K, D3FF and AKTEC, Joe Ghost and more. General admission is $45; tickets for admission and Tydi boat cruise (ages 19+) are $60 each. Visit playmusicfestival.ca for full schedule and to purchase tickets.

Steve and Rashmi Gupta Box Office at the TIFF Bell Lightbox.

The Steve and Rashmi Gupta Box Office at the TIFF Bell Lightbox.

Sunday, September 14

Don’t miss your last chance to catch a flick at the Toronto International Film Festival, including the always-anticipated—and free—re-screening of the Festival 2014 Grolsch People’s Choice Award winner (yet to be announced) at 6 p.m at the Ryerson Theatre.

Hang on to a little slice of summer by heading to the Rogers Centre for an afternoon of baseball. The Toronto Blue Jays play host to the Tampa Bay Rays with the game starting at 1:07 p.m. Tickets are $14.25 to $216.25; call 416-341-1234 or visit bluejays.com for a complete schedule and tickets.

New Ways to Get Gorgeous in the PATH System


Glam-n-Glow (left) and Taylor & Colt in the Financial District

Time-strapped Bay Streeters looking for a quickie refresh of their look now have two PATH-level options at Commerce Court, located in the Financial District. Glam-n-Glow caters to ladies with a range of hair, cosmetic and nail services, including blow drying, up dos and extensions—or waxing and threading if you’re looking to tame excess hair—as well as makeup application and manicures. Best of all, the shop is open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday to Friday, ensuring a busy gal on the go can get dolled up for a morning meeting, a power lunch or evening festivities. Just a few doors down is Taylor & Colt, which provides grooming services for men such as haircuts, hot towel shaves, beard trims, waxing and laser hair removal. Its hours are similarly accessible—7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.  —Linda Luong

• Glam-n-Glow, 199 Bay St. (concourse level), 416-360-4569; glamnglow.ca
• Taylor & Colt, 199 Bay St. (concourse level), 416-777-2658; taylorandcolt.ca

Embark on a Sweet Excursion with Tasty Tours


If you’re looking to experience Toronto’s toothsome side, look no further than a morning excursion with Tasty Tours. Led by Audrey Ooi, the Oh Canada! Farmer’s Market Sweets Tour focuses on distinctly Canuck treats such as maple syrup, honey and the classic Canadian dessert, butter tarts. Local purveyors offer their own insight on fresh, handmade goodies, including apple rosemary jelly and rhubarb orange chutney from Spade & Spoon Preserves (who also stock maple syrup in dark, medium and light grades), artisanal chocolate from Soma, shortbread, macarons and biscotti from Sweet Escape Patisserie, flavoured honey from Hi Honey, and goat cheese truffles and goat milk caramel from Haute Goat. Distillery District, tours are held every Sunday starting at 10 a.m., adults $39.82, kids $26.55; visit tastytourstoronto.com to book.  —Linda Luong

Queen West’s The Good Son Aims to Please

(photos: Craig Moy)

(photos: Craig Moy)

Naming one’s business The Good Son implies a certain amount of geniality, and indeed, chef Vittorio Colacitti’s new Queen West restaurant aims to please—by drawing together the corners of the culinary world. A contestant on season four of Top Chef Canada, Colacitti applies the lessons of his varied cooking experiences—he’s worked in both fine-dining and corporate kitchens, and had stints at pizzerias in Toronto and Italy—to rise to the challenge of an ambitiously cosmopolitan carte that prioritizes seasonal and local ingredients, but uses them in dishes such as jerk shrimp, sarsaparilla side ribs and a half-dozen wood-fired pizzas. The restaurant’s large dining room is adorned with antique clocks, plates, photographs and other welcome reminders of home.  —Craig Moy

• The Good Son, 1096 Queen St. W., 416-551-0589; thegoodsontoronto.com
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Devour These Food-Focused Books by Toronto Writers

(photos: Penguin Random House Canada; Coach House Books)

(photos: Penguin Random House Canada; Coach House Books)

Toronto has become such a food-crazy city that it’s hardly a surprise that cooking and eating have come to infuse our overall cultural discourse. David Sax is the most recent local writer to seek a path to readers’ brains through their stomachs: published this past spring, The Tastemakers has Sax seeking to understand our shifting culinary proclivities through his experiences with farmers, chefs and other significant members of the industry’s proverbial food chain. Urbanist Shawn Micallef is also focused on dining trends—in particular, the popularity of the weekend repast—but in The Trouble with Brunch he uses the foodie obsession to make broader observations about social class and the nature of work. Of course, if you’re just hungry for a few recipes, look for former Chatelaine food editor Amy Rosen’s Toronto Cooks. The cookbook, featuring 100 dishes from Toronto’s best restaurants, comes out in October.  —Craig Moy

MOCCA’S TBD is an Existential Exhibition

Bill Burns’s Hou Hanru Hear Us (photo: courtesy of MOCCA)

Bill Burns’s Hou Hanru Hear Us (photo: courtesy of MOCCA)

SEPTEMBER 6 TO OCTOBER 26  The Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art finds itself at a crossroads. For nearly 10 years it has been a hub of the Queen West Art and Design District, presenting challenging visuals in a useful though relatively small space. But like many things in Toronto, MOCCA’s home will soon be razed to make way for condos. The museum’s search for a new facility provides an opportunity to reflect on its principles and purpose; its latest exhibition, titled TBD, asks the question “What is a contemporary art gallery?” The manifold “to be determined” answers are provided by 70 jury-selected proposals submitted by architects—considering the interrelations between art, audience and gallery—as well as works and “community engagement activities” by artists known for their incisive examinations of the culture industry.  —Craig Moy

• MOCCA, 952 Queen St. W., 416-395-0067; mocca.ca
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You Are Here: Eat, Shop and Gallery Hop in Bloordale


Daniel Faria Gallery is one of Bloordale's numerous contemporary art spaces

Daniel Faria Gallery is one of Bloordale’s numerous contemporary art spaces

The Yorkville stretch of Bloor Street gets much of the press, but farther west, a formerly industry-focused part of the strip is booming, too, thanks to an influx of art galleries, inventive restaurants and more.

1  Lofty design shop Julien Armand specializes in ultra-stylish seating, including pieces by Gispen and Pedrali. Lighting and other accessories are also available, to provide even more inspiration for contemporary space-sprucing. 213 Sterling Rd., 416-534-5665; julienarmand.com.

2  With a name that nods to the area’s industrial roots, Scrap Metal Gallery displays edgy and eclectic artworks collected by owners Samara Walbohm and Joe Shlesinger. The converted warehouse also hosts occasional performance works and other events. 11 Dublin St., 416-588-2442; scrapmetalgallery.com.

3  Canadian artists make up the majority of the exclusive roster at Daniel Faria Gallery. Among them are well-known iconoclast Douglas Coupland and Toronto-based photographer Chris Curreri, recently shortlisted for the Sobey Art Award. 188 St. Helens Ave., 416-538-1880; danielfariagallery.com.

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Nadège Patisserie’s Macarons Become Collectors’ Items

Steve Krug's limited-edition Nadège macarons box

Photographer Steve Krug’s limited-edition Nadège macarons box

In Paris, macarons from Ladurée are lauded, but in Toronto, it’s Nadège that’s the shrine to this airy French pastry. Though chef Nadège Nourian also offers delectable treats such as chocolate bonbons, marshmallows and cakes, her meringue-based bites have really won over locals. Indulge in them yourself, then give them as a gift: they’re available in travel-friendly boxes with an assortment of flavours, including blackberry chocolate and salted caramel. Several Canadian artists have also collaborated with Nadège on a series of limited-edition 16-macaron gift boxes ($38), with a new design featured each month. Award-winning Toronto photographer Steve Krug’s contemporary concept (pictured) is available starting September 5 while supplies last.  —Linda Luong

• Nadège Patisserie, 780 Queen St. W., 416-368-2009; nadege-patisserie.com
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What to Do in Toronto: Festivals, Concerts and Events This September

There are always so many things to do in Toronto. Get out and enjoy some of the many great events and concerts taking place throughout the city this month!

Cirque du Soleil's Kurios is now under the big top in Toronto (photo: Martin Girard)

Cirque du Soleil’s Kurios is now under the big top in Toronto (photo: Martin Girard)

ALL MONTH LONG  The distinctive blue and yellow tents have once again popped up at the Port Lands, and with them comes Cirque du Soleil, back in Toronto after a nearly two-year absence. This season the famed Montreal troupe presents a kaleidoscope of characters and objects in its latest travelling show, Kurios—Cabinet of Curiosities. Under the big top, audiences are transported back to the 19th century to meet an inventor who’s able to defy time, space and even gravity—one spectacular scene even features an upside-down dinner party! Grand Chapiteau, 51 Commissioner St., Tuesday to Friday 8 p.m., Saturday 4:30 and 8 p.m., Sunday 1:30 and 5 p.m.; $50 to $160; visit cirquedusoleil.com to purchase tickets.

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Montecito Gives Toronto Diners a Seat in the Spotlight

(photos: Steve Krug)

(photos: Steve Krug)

The Entertainment District—home, of course, to the Toronto International Film Festival—has gained even more celebrity cachet with the recent opening of Montecito, the brainchild of Toronto-born filmmaker Ivan Reitman and revered chef Jonathan Waxman, one of the pioneers of California cuisine. That cooking style’s elegant simplicity is the basis for the 280-seat restaurant’s daily menu (So-Cal is also cited in the decor, too, including two large screens that display the view from Reitman’s Montecito home), but farm-fresh Canadian ingredients are the stars of the show. Anticipate such spotlight-worthy dishes as New York strip steak with roasted beets, speckled trout with yellow beans and sauce gribiche, and Waxman’s signature roast chicken with salsa verde. And don’t forget to indulge in the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man baked Alaska—an ode to Reitman’s Ghostbusters—before the curtain falls on your feast.  —Craig Moy

• Montecito, 299 Adelaide St. W., 416-599-0299; montecitorestaurant.ca
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This Year’s TIFF Offers Excitement On Screen and Off

Each September, Toronto goes entirely movie mad (not to mention star crazy) as TIFF calls “action” on the country’s biggest celebration of cinema. BY CRAIG MOY


I’ve always had a bit of a conflicted relationship with the Toronto International Film Festival.

Mainly: I’m not particularly fond of crowds, and TIFF definitely attracts an abundance of people, all clamouring to catch a glimpse of visiting celebrities and score tickets to the buzziest new movies. Then again, those movies are the upside for me, the other side of the coin. I love movies, and the festival has them in spades. This year’s lineup boasts more than 200 films, many of which are world or North American premieres, representing everything from awards-season prestige pictures to timely and compelling documentaries to debuts by emerging Canadian directors to insane though crowd-pleasing thrillers and action flicks.

[Check out some of our most-anticipated TIFF 2014 offerings in the gallery below.]

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