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Toronto

Must-See Performances in November and December

NOVEMBER AND DECEMBER ARE FULL OF EXCITING PERFORMANCES FROM BALLET TO ACROBATICS TO MAGIC, AND MORE  

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The 7 Fingers Cuisine and Confessions merges acrobatics with the art of cooking. Photo by by Alexandre Galliez.

Mirvish Productions, Toronto’s largest theatre company, is closing out 2016 with a program of more esoteric—yet still ambitious—shows to complement its typical grander-scale fare. The 7 Fingers Cuisine and Confessions (November 1 to December 4), for instance, blends acrobatics and cooking in a theatrical feast for the senses, while Fight Night (November 4 to 20) concocts an immersive exploration of democracy—just in time for the fireworks of the U.S. presidential election. And there’s more spectacle to be found in The Illusionists (starts December 13), which features awe-inspiring tricks by seven of the world’s top magicians.

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Soulpepper’s Alligator Pie is fun for the whole family. Photo by Cylla von Tiedemann.

The spotlight also shines on sleight of hand courtesy of Soulpepper Theatre Company and magic maestro David Ben’s Hocus Pocus (starts December 10). Equally inventive—and family-friendly—are Rose (December 16, 17, and 22), a concert presentation based on The World Is Round, a children’s book by Gertrude Stein, and Alligator Pie (starts December 27), an award-winning adaptation of Dennis Lee’s poems. 

And for more adult-oriented fare, turn to the Canadian Stage and Daniel MacIvor. His solo show, Who Killed Spalding Gray? (November 30 to December 11), combines the Canadian playwright’s uniquely disarming scripting with some of the titular character’s famed monologues in an interrogation of truth and fiction.

ENCORE PERFORMANCES

A pair of repertory remounts round out the National Ballet of Canada’s year-end slate—alongside its annual production of The Nutcracker (December 10 to 31), naturally. Most recently performed in 2014, James Kudelka’s Cinderella (November 12 to 20) offers a thoroughly modern interpretation of the age-old fairy tale, and later, the expressive Onegin (November 23 to 27)—John Cranko’s adaptation of the Pushkin novel, Eugene Onegin—aims for emotional and psychological nuance even while its dancers push the boundaries of what the human body can do.

Sharing the Four Seasons Centre stage with the National Ballet means that the Canadian Opera Company has for the time being ceded the spotlight, but the COC presents a great reason to return in 2017: its ever-popular production of Mozart’s The Magic Flute (January 19 to February 24).

HITTING THE RIGHT NOTES

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Itzhak Perlman enchants audiences with his performances of beloved movie scores.

The popular music of previous centuries—that is, classical music—is always in vogue with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. But the venerated ensemble keeps up with the times, too, by presenting contemporary scores. Among this winter’s biggest tickets are Itzhak Perlman’s “Cinema Serenade” (November 22)—in which the famed violinist performs themes from films, including Cinema Paradiso, Sabrina and Schindler’s List—and screenings of Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring with live TSO accompaniment (December 1 to 3). Christmas classics also get an airing in variety show-style concerts hosted by Colin Mochrie (December 9 to 11) and Jann Arden (December 13 and 14).

Meanwhile, another hallowed musical institution hones in on jazz. The Royal Conservatory’s Koerner Hall schedule features the likes of Joe Lovano’s quintet with Afro-Cuban piano legend Chucho Valdés (November 9), a cabaret-style pairing of vocalists Laila Biali and Pilar (December 1), and explorations of the trio format with threesomes led by pianist Stefano Bollani, bassist Roberto Occhipinti (both November 18), organist Joey DeFrancesco and saxophonist Christine Jensen (both December 10).

—Craig Moy

Levetto Comes to Chinatown

FIND PASTA, PIZZA, AND MORE AT THE CHINATOWN LOCATION OF LEVETTO

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The truffle oil-drizzled funghi pizza from Levetto.

The Chinatown outpost of Levetto boasts the same oven-baked pizzas and handmade pastas that have made the franchise’s other locations popular. But one menu offering is unique to the menu here: the Peking duck pizza, which use ingredients like hoisin sauce and medium cheddar cheese for an Asian take on an Italian staple. Among the other highlights are the carbonara with a generous helping of smoked bacon, the rigatoni with tender braised beef, and the fungi pizza with truffle oil.  —Karen Stevens

Hazelton Lanes Rebrands as Yorkville Village

HEAD TO BLOOR-YORKVILLE TO CHECK OUT SOME OF THE EXCITING NEW SHOPS IN THE REVITALIZED MALL.

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Yorkville Village is home to a variety of upscale shops as well as a Whole Foods.

At the beginning of this year, Hazelton Lanes rebranded itself as Yorkville Village, part of an on-going $100-million transformation by the property’s landlord First Capital Realty. Design firm Kasian is on board to make over the shopping hub into a “neighbourhood centre” that is anchored by Whole Foods. Some leading retailers have already taken up residence, including Montreal-based womenswear boutique Maska Mode, which imports ready-to-wear pieces from Italy; loose, fluid ladies apparel from Belgian label Sarah Pacini; and trendy menswear shop Philip has relocated to a more intimate space where it carries such coveted designers as Hugo Boss, Paul & Shark, Corneliani, and the philip private label.  —Linda Luong Luck

9 Fashion Trends to Fall For

DIRECT FROM THE RUNWAYS, GET THE SEASON’S MOST WEARABLE LOOKS
— Linda Luong Luck

Embrace Fall With Comfort Food

AS THE TEMPERATURE DROPS STAY WARM WITH THESE FALL FAVOURITES

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Get your fill of delicious carbs with the fungi pasta at Ardo. Photo by Adam Mazerall.

Say hello to fall with these hearty comfort foods.

  1. You won’t go hungry with the toothsome Arcadian Court chicken pot pie, which is served with mashed potatoes and scratch gravy at Bannock.
  2. Head to Harlem Underground for the savoury-sweet combination that is fried chicken and waffles, a beloved Southern dish.
  3. With handmade gnocchi, local mushrooms, heirloom carrots, and creamy stracchino cheese topped off with shaved black truffle, the funghi pasta at Ardo is a decadent answer to any carb craving.

The Bloor Street Culture Corridor

THE STRETCH OF BLOOR STREET BORDERED BY BATHURST STREET AND BAY STREET HAS BEEN DUBBED THE “BLOOR STREET CULTURE CORRIDOR.” IT TAKES ABOUT 30 MINUTES TO WALK FROM ONE END TO ANOTHER, BUT THERE’S A WEALTH OF PROGRAMS EXHIBITS, RESOURCES, AND PERFORMANCES TO DISCOVER.

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Head to the Gardiner Museum for exhibitions like True Nordic and view works like this vase by Jean Cartier. (Collection of the Gardiner Museum, gift of Léopold L. Foulem.)

  1. The multi-purpose 918 Bathurst Centre for Culture, Arts, Media and Education is a space for everything from ‘zine fairs to live performances, such as the unscripted Like Mother, Like Daughter (October 24 to 30), which explores the stories of newcomers’ parent-child relationships. 918 Bathurst St., 416-538-0868.
  2.  Housed in a heritage building and former church dating back to 1888, the Randolph Centre for the Arts features a number of theatre and music performances year-round. Check the calendar at randolphcentreforthearts.com for upcoming shows and events. 736 Bathurst St., 416-924-2243.
  3.  Informative and captivating motion pictures await at the Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema (506 Bloor St. W., 416-637-3123). The century-old movie house presents Canadian as well as international documentaries year-round, in addition to hosting independent film festivals, screening series, and other special film presentations. 
  4. For more than 30 years, the Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra and Chamber Choir have skillfully performed music from the baroque and classical eras among others, often providing a unique take on time-honoured pieces. Catch one of their shows at the historic Trinity-St. Paul’s Centre, like Christophe Coin’s October concertos by Haydn and Boccherini. Visit tafelmusik.org or call 1-866-882-9844 for a schedule.
  5. Footwear aficionados can explore four galleries at the Bata Shoe Museum, which contains more than a thousand shoes and related artifacts. The collection All About Shoes has an impressive assemblage of 20th-century footwear from various celebrities, like a pair of Elton John’s monogrammed boots, as well as sneakers, high heels and more from almost every culture in the world.
  6. Spend a day at the Royal Ontario Museum —one of the largest institutions in North America—perusing suits of armour, ancient Greek pottery and rare
    prehistoric creatures, among many other fascinating artifacts. Along with the permanent collection, which includes 6,000,000 items, check out a newly discovered dinosaur in the triceratops family, and the colourful exhibit by glass artist Dale Chihuly, on through to January 2017.
  7. Enjoy one of the world’s oldest art forms at the Gardiner Museum, which is dedicated to ceramics. Drop in for a clay class and the True Nordic exhibit on Scandinavian design.
  8. Tour the Japan Foundation’s public gallery, home to exhibits on graphic design, visual art, and handicrafts from the far East. The cultural centre also boasts a library of about 20,000 items along with free screenings and lectures.  —Karen Stevens

Enjoy Fresh Lobster at Ibs.

LOBSTER LOVERS WON’T WANT FOR REASONABLY-PRICED OPTIONS AT LBS.

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Thanks to careful prep by the chef the lobster at lbs. comes out of the shell easily, eliminating the fuss of enjoying the crustacean.

Feast on fresh lobster at lbs(The name, which stands for “Lobster,” “Burger,” and “Salad” is pronounced “pounds”). The short menu has four feature items at only $22 each: the 1.25 lbs. lobster, lobster roll, a burger topped with aged cheddar and bacon, and a lobster salad. Sit back at the large bar and quench your thirst with refreshing cocktails and a rotating selection of non-alcoholic custom sodas. And if you still have room, order the popular lobster poutine made with rich gravy. For crustacean-lovers on the go, the take-out window at the back serves Sam James coffee, as well as lobster rolls and ice cream sandwiches.  —Karen Stevens

Things to Do in Toronto: Shows & Events in October 2016

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Kids can play, build, and discover at the interactive Lego Imagine Nation Tour.

THERE ARE ALWAYS SO MANY THINGS TO DO IN TORONTO. GET OUT AND ENJOY SOME OF THE MANY GREAT PERFORMANCES AND EVENTS TAKING PLACE THROUGHOUT THE CITY IN OCTOBER!

OCTOBER 1  Nuit Blanche, the all-night contemporary art event that transforms Toronto streets into a public gallery, returns for its 11th edition on October 1 featuring more than 80 projects. For 12 hours from sunset to sunrise, see the likes of sculptural works, dance, films, photography, interactive displays, and more at various locations including Nathan Phillips Square and along the Waterfront. Among the exhibits is Asalto Toronto by Daniel Canogar which is part of a broader display that examines metamorphosis and transformation, while Oblivion, including the piece Pneuma by Floria Sigismondi, explores the cosmic universe as both a state of being and a state of nothingness.

OCTOBER 1 AND 2  Head to Heritage Court at Exhibition Place for the Toronto Vintage Show, which is the largest event of its kind in the city. Find vintage apparel for both men and women, as well as handbags, footwear, jewellery, and accessories.

OCTOBER 3, 4, 6 AND 7  Hello, can you hear her? It’s Adele. And she’s here for four shows at the Air Canada Centre, performing hits for her chart–topping album 25.

OCTOBER 6 TO NOVEMBER 5  The Canadian Opera Company opens its 2016/17 season with two of the genre’s greatest works: a new production of Bellini’s Norma, which sees Sondra Radvanovsky and Elza van den Heever sharing the titular role of the Druid high priestess who breaks her vow of chastity for a Roman lover only to have him forsake her for another woman. Meanwhile, Handel’s Ariodante is a tragic love triangle fraught with jealousy and dishonesty between Prince Ariodante, his betrothed Ginevra, and the Duke of Polinesso, who wants to break them up.

OCTOBER 8 AND 9  Toronto’s very own Aubrey Drake Graham, better known as Drake, headlines two hometown shows at the Air Canada Centre as part of his Summer Sixteen tour, with special guests Future, Roy Woods, DVSN, and others.

OCTOBER 9  Eighties pop star Rick Astley, best known for the 1987 hit “Never Gonna Give You Up,” tours in support of his latest album 50.

OCTOBER 14 TO 16  Fans of the classic building toy can’t miss the first-ever Lego Imagine Nation Tour, a hands-on experience for the family that is the largest event of its kind to ever come to Canada. With more than a dozen pavilions, there’s something to keep young minds—and hands—occupied, including a bridge building competition, a master builder lab, and a brick pit with a mountain of pieces in an assortment of sizes and colours. Life-sized models, such as an eight-foot-tall Marvel Super Heroes Avenger, as well as Star Wars and Minecraft model displays are also part of the exhibit.

OCTOBER 15 AND 16  Scottish stand-up comic Danny Bhoy has audiences in stitches as part of his Commonwealth Comedian tour.

TO OCTOBER 16  Don’t miss closing night on Cirque du Soleil’s latest touring show, Luzia. The company’s 38th production transports audiences to a vibrant land inspired by Mexico, rich in colour, lush landscapes and exotic creatures. The title of the show fuses the Spanish sounds for light (luz) and rain (lluvia), an apt name as both elements play a role in this spectacle, whether it’s cyr wheel or aerial artists spinning and swinging through a drizzle, or birds jumping through a series of hoops.

OCTOBER 20 TO 30  Wordsmiths from the Emerald Isle are the focus of this year’s International Festival of Authors, which brings contemporary writers, poets, and more from around the world for 11 days of readings, interviews, lectures, discussions, and book signings. This year’s lineup includes such CanLit luminaries as Margaret Atwood, Emma Donoghue, Yann Martel, and Maureen Hynes, as well as Takashi Hiraide, Lola Lafon, and Robert Kanigel. Running until December 22, a special exhibit on graphic novels complements the event, featuring the works of Chris Oliveros, Nick Drnaso, Jon McNaught, and Nina Bunjevac.

OCTOBER 20 TO 29  Henry Purcell’s first opera, Dido and Aeneas, brings the desolate life of the widowed Queen of Carthage to the stage. Canadian mezzo-soprano Wallis Giunta and tenor Christopher Enns star as the ill-fated couple who embark on a racy affair that ends abruptly when the Trojan prince disappears. The Toronto Children’s Chorus provides musical backup for the show in a nod to the 17th-century performance at which students from the Josias Priest’s school in London also sang.

OCTOBER 22  Australian singer Sia, known for such radio-friendly songs as “Elastic Heart” and “The Greatest,” is on a North American tour with special guests Miguel and AlunaGeorge.

OCTOBER 24 Powerhouse singer Mariza brings traditional Portuguese music and new favourites to Roy Thompson Hall.

OCTOBER 24 & 25  Alt rock superstars Our Lady Peace and I Mother Earth (with Edwin once again on lead vocals) team up for a cross-Canada tour, headlined by The Standstills .

OCTOBER 28  The beloved identical twin sister duo Tegan and Sara fill Massey Hall with their catchy pop anthems about love and relationships. 

TO OCTOBER 31 Head to Canada’s Wonderland for a scare at the Halloween Haunt. 20 haunted attractions including mazes, scare zones, and live shows, and the popular ZOMBIES 4D Interactive Dark Ride mean that you’ll have a terrifying time as you dodge the 700 monsters prowling the park. (Not recommended for children under 13.)

SATURDAYS AND SUNDAYS IN OCTOBER Kids of all ages will enjoy Camp Spooky at Canada’s Wonderland. Every weekend in October Camp Spooky features daytime activities like mazes, trick-or-treating, a kids’ Halloween costume parade and much more (included with park admission)!

 

Culture Crawl: Nuit Blanche 2016

EXPERIENCE ART AND CULTURE ALL NIGHT LONG AT NUIT BLANCHE ON OCTOBER 1ST.

Daniel Canogar's project Asalto Toronto

Daniel Canogar’s project Asalto Toronto.

Nuit Blanche, the all-night contemporary art event that transforms Toronto streets into a public gallery, returns for its 11th edition on October 1 featuring more than 80 projects. For 12 hours from sunset to sunrise, see the likes of sculptural works, dance, films, photography, interactive displays, and more at various locations including Nathan Phillips Square and along the Waterfront. Among the exhibits is Asalto Toronto (pictured) by Daniel Canogar, which is part of a broader display that examines metamorphosis and transformation, while Oblivion, including Pneuma by Floria Sigismondi, explores the cosmic universe as both a state of being and a state of nothingness. —Linda Luong Luck

 

 

Don your Lederhosen: Oktoberfest Celebrations

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Watch Bavarian-style dancers at Octoberfest Toronto. Photo by Tom Pandi.

Since the first festival more than 200 years ago, Oktoberfest has become a popular celebration worldwide—and Toronto is no exception. Get your Bavarian fun fix at these three events.

  1. September 30 to October 1 For two days, Oktoberfest Toronto transforms the grounds of Ontario Place into a Munich-style party featuring folk dancers, non-stop polka music, plenty of food, and a selection of German and European beers. Visit torontooktoberfest.ca for more details. Festivities include a tapping of the keg party and an “Ein Prosit” party for the over 19 crowd. All ages will enjoy Saturday’s Volksfest Carnival, which features games, hat-decorating, rides, and contests.
  1. September 30 to October 9 With traditional beer hall decor, a keg-tapping ceremony, and “oom-pah-pah” bands, the party at Amsterdam BrewHouse strives to be as the close to the real thing as you can get outside of Deutschland. Enjoy your favourite sausages and soft pretzels, as well as a special beer brewed on site and served in one-litre steins. Make sure you show up early, as tickets are limited, and most of the seating is first-come first-serve.
  1. For a modern take on the German beer hall experience year-round, visit WVRST. There’s a wide selection of sausages—try the likes of bison, kangaroo and duck—paired with an even wider selection of local craft beers and ciders. —Karen Stevens

 

Uniqlo Comes to Toronto

LOCATIONS SET TO OPEN AT CF TORONTO EATON CENTRE AND YORKDALE  SHOPPNG CENTRE THIS FALL

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Stock up on all the essentials when Uniqlo opens this fall.

Uniqlo is poised to satisfy a desire for minimalist imports from Japan with the opening of its first Canadian boutique. Established in 1984, the much-loved Japanese brand boasts more than 1,700 stores worldwide, including Hong Kong, Germany, France, Australia, Russia, and the U.K. The apparel company is best known for its functional yet affordable and well-made basics for men, women, and children. A multi-coloured palette makes mixing and matching effortless amongst a selection of athleisure, work, sport and lounging separates, including its signature cashmere sweaters and ultra light down jackets and vests.  —Linda Luong Luck

Nordstrom Comes to Toronto

LUXURY SHOPPERS HAVE EVEN MORE OPTIONS WITH THREE NEW NORDSTROM LOCATIONS FOR TORONTO IN THE WORKS

The new Nordstrom carries upscale brands like Alice + Olivia .

The new Nordstrom carries upscale brands like Alice + Olivia .

The battle for Toronto shoppers heats up this fall with the opening of Nordstrom. After Saks Fifth Avenue debuted earlier this spring with much glam fanfare, the Seattle-based Nordstrom has opened the first of three Toronto locations, starting with the CF Toronto Eaton Centre in September (now open), followed by a second outpost at Yorkdale Shopping Centre in October. (A third venture at CF Sherway Gardens is set to open in 2017.) The CF Toronto Eaton Centre flagship is among one of five in North America, and is a sprawling 220,000-square-foot space spread over three levels featuring concierge services, personal wardrobe and makeup stylists, alterations, valet parking, certified shoe and bra fitters, and free delivery within the downtown core. Shoppers looking to refuel have three eat-in options: the full-service Bar Verde, the casual lounge Habitant, and coffee shop Ebar.

—Linda Luong Luck