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Toronto

Explore Photography at the Scotiabank Contact Photography Festival


THE SCOTIABANK PHOTOGRAPHY FESTIVAL INCLUDES VENUES ALL OVER THE CITY, WITH PHOTOGRAPHS IN GALLERIES, MUSEUMS AND URBAN SPACES.

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At the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, Sarah Anne Johnson’s Chillin’ at the Void is part of a series depicting outdoor music festivals as metaphors for Dionysian counterculture and the communal rejection of modern-day social norms.

 

MAY 1 TO 31 Toronto’s Scotiabank Contact Photography Festival draws attention to the creation and consumption of photo-based images and the challenging questions they pose—about the nature of memory, the formation of identity and much more. This year’s 20th-anniversary event promises to be as diverse and provocative as ever, with hundreds of exhibitions that, among other things, depict the industrial-scale accumulation of a newspaper photo archive (at the Globe and Mail headquarters), explore the scientific applications of photography (Edgar Leciejewski’s “scanographs” of birds at the North York Civic Centre) and use the banal to underscore the absurdity of superstardom (prints from the UofTDrizzy Instagram account, which photoshops Drake into mundane collegiate scenarios, will be installed throughout the city).

In all, the festival is both a snapshot of the state of contemporary photographic practice and a large-scale mediation on the act of truly seeing the world around us—for what it is (and isn’t), what it was and what it could be.

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Edgar Leciejewski’s ornithological scanographs—on display at the North York Civic Centre (5100 Yonge St.)—upend our expectations of scientific objectivity, favouring aesthetic concerns over strict representation.

 

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Diane Arbus’s A Young Man and His Pregnant Wife in Washington Square Park is one of 300-plus images in “Outsiders: American Photography and Film, 1950s–1980s,” a monumental Art Gallery of Ontario group show that captures the changing face of the U.S. during a period of social and political upheaval.

 

Exceptional Hospitality in the GTA Recognized with the 2016 Spirit Awards

On April 22, the Greater Toronto Hotel Association (GTHA) presented the fifth annual Spirit Awards, a ceremony that recognizes the tireless efforts of front line staff at hotels across Toronto and the GTA. Nominees in 18 different categories, including housekeeping room attendant, valet driver, laundry and steward of the year, are chosen by their peers. More than 500 attendees attended the luncheon celebrations, which were hosted by Kevin Frankish of City TV’s Breakfast Television. Here, GTHA president and CEO Terry Mundell shares more about the history of the Spirit Awards, its evolution and what it means to the organization’s 32,000-strong membership to be assisting visitors during their stay in Toronto.

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The 18 winners of the 2016 Spirit Awards.

Where: How did the Spirit Awards come about?

Terry Mundell: The Spirit Awards was developed from a discussion that originated with our association Board of Directors. The intent of the event was to recognize and show our appreciation to those front of the line ambassadors that provide an exceptional visitor experience, which leaves a lasting impression on the over 14 million overnight visitors to the Greater Toronto Area.

Where: How are the winners determined?

TM: The judging panel is made up of five individuals who include event sponsors, industry partners and representatives from the Spirit Awards committee. The judges review the nominations prior to the event and grade them based on a variety of criteria including, but not limited to, a can-do attitude, delivering that exceptional customer experience, and passion for their team and property that drives return visitors.

Where: What are the most common qualities of nominees?

TM: Passion. For these exceptional ambassadors in the hotel community, it’s all about the passion they have for the visitors they greet, their team members and their property.

Where: Why do you think the recognition means so much?

TM: These front of the line exceptional ambassadors are being recognized among hundreds of other nominees at the event to celebrate the best of the best our industry has to offer; just to be nominated gives them so much pride. 

Where: What is your favourite aspect of the Spirit Awards each year?

TM: After the winner is announced, they proceed to have their photo taken with myself and the award sponsor. Seeing this ambassador moments after they’ve accepted their award is incredible: the excitement, the pride and pure joy they express is an experience in itself.

Where: What do you look forward to the most at this event?

TM: Talking to the nominees, getting a chance to say hi and thanking them for everything they do for our industry.

Visit gtha.com for a complete list of winners and for more information about the GTHA.

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

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 MAY!

Leviathan at Canada’s Wonderland is Canada’s tallest and biggest roller coaster

MAY 1  The country’s largest theme park, Canada’s Wonderland kicks off opening day with even more excitement to its lineup of rides with two new soaring interactive experiences: Skyhawk and Flying Eagles. The former is the first of its kind in North America, letting thrill seekers control their own cockpit by navigating 360 degree turns and inversions from 135 feet in the air, while the latter lets pint-sized pilots—along with a co-pilot—steer their own plane. Of course, the park’s 16 roller coasters, water park, two kids play areas, and midway games are among the other draws that make it the most visited seasonal amusement park in North America.

MAY 1 TO 3  Esteemed paleontologist Nizar Ibrahim speaks about the discovery of fossils belonging to the largest predatory dinosaur ever discovered as part of the National Geographic Live series.

MAY 2 AND 3  Canadian musician Lights, known for such songs as “February Air” and “Drive My Soul,” performs an acoustic show at The Danforth Music Hall with special guests DCF.

MAY 4 AND 5  The Toronto Symphony Orchestra presents Brahms Symphony 4 alongside a new work by John Adams with a violin solo.

MAY 6  A roster of Canadian and world champion figure skaters take part in Stars on Ice, including Patrick Chan, Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford, Javier Fernández, Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir and Joannie Rochette among others.

MAY 7  Catch Canadian singer and songwriter Royal Wood at The Danforth Music Hall.

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

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 APRIL!

digiPlaySpace at the TIFF Bell Lightbox features 25 interactive installations for kids (photo: courtesy of TIFF)

APRIL 1  There’s no better way to celebrate April Fools’ Day then with the funny folks at Yuk Yuk’s, who are hosting An Evening of Comedy at Massey Hall hosted by Gilbert Gottfried. Nikki Payne headlines the evening, alongside other comics such as Zabrina Chevannes, Jeff Elliott, Darren Frost, Mayce Galoni, Matt O’Brien and Richard Ryder.

APRIL 2  Iranianborn singer Moein, best known for his love ballads, brings his unique voice to the Sony Centre stage.

APRIL 3  The world’s most famous basketball team, the Harlem Globetrotters, tips off its 90th anniversary with a world tour that includes a stop in Toronto. See the likes of Cheese Chisholm, Bull Bullard, Big Easy Lofton and Ant Atkinson display their dribbling showmanship in a family-friendly show.

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Nine of Toronto’s Best Views (and Photo Opportunities)

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The view of downtown Toronto from Humber Bay Park West (photo: Craig Moy)

At street level, it’s easy to get a sense of Toronto’s busyness—its many packed restaurants, its workers hustling to and from their offices, its ever-present car traffic. What’s not always evident, though, is the megacity’s sheer scope. These prime vantage points and rooftop roosts show just how far the Big Smoke stretches.

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Seal the Deal at These Big-for-Business Restaurants

YOU AND YOUR COLLEAGUES (AND CLIENTS) WILL BE TREATED RIGHT AT THESE SOPHISTICATED TORONTO RESTAURANTS

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Hy’s Steakhouse is a classic clubhouse for Financial District dealmakers (photo: courtesy of Hy’s Steakhouse)

We know that not every meeting takes place in a boardroom; some negotiations are better handled over a leisurely meal or a few drinks. Fortunately there are client-friendly restaurants in some of the city’s classiest neighbourhoods.

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Nine Shops and Salons for Business Travellers

THESE ESTABLISHMENTS CAN HELP WEARY BUSINESS TRAVELLERS GET REFRESHED FROM HEAD TO TOE

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Perk up your boardroom attire at Harry Rosen (left) and Marlowe (right), and refresh your look with products from World Salon

Though business-casual attire has overtaken the three-piece suit, it’s still important to look professional. Put your trust in these sophisticated retailers and service providers if you’ve forgotten something at home or are in need of a wardrobe tune-up.

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Find Your Sole Mate at Shoes.com’s New Toronto Showroom

TRY BEFORE YOU BUY AT ONLINE RETAILER SHOES.COM’S LOCAL SHOWROOM

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Recognizing that most people are hesitant to purchase footwear online because they’re uncertain about sizing, a popular Vancouver-based retailer, Shoes.com, has come up with an innovative solution: a showroom where would-be buyers can try on an assortment of shoes and have them shipped directly to their home or hotel (the company promises delivery within two hours in the city). The Canadian outfit’s first bricks-and-mortar shop on Queen West carries a range of brands—nearly 500 can be found on their website—ranging from dressy labels like Badgley Mischka, Valentino and Cole Haan to more casual styles such as Frye, Sebago and Ben Sherman. Shoes.com’s in-house line, Hardy Design Works, as well as the complementary sock line, Richer, Poorer, can also be found in-store. Shoppers are encouraged to visit the boutique often—every six weeks a new theme is unveiled, featuring different brands and looks.  —Linda Luong Luck

• Shoes.com, 356 Queen St. W., 1-866-440-7948; shoes.com
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Things to Do in Toronto: Shows & Events in March 2016

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 MARCH!

National Ballet of Canada's Romeo & Juliet

Guillaume Côté and Elena Lobsanova in the National Ballet of Canada’s production of Romeo and Juliet. (photo: Bruce Zinger)

MARCH 1  Legendary English rockers The Who, led by frontman Roger Daltrey and guitarist Pete Townshend, hit the Air Canada Centre.

MARCH 2 TO 6  The National Ballet of Canada presents La Sylphide, a romantic production restaged by Johan Kobborg, sees a farmer abandoning his bride-to-be for a forest creature.

MARCH 3  After an internationally-respected TED Talk about “power poses,” American social psychologist, researcher and Harvard Business School professor Amy Cuddy discusses concepts from her new book, PRESENCE: Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges.

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Mark McEwan Takes Over Diwan at the Aga Khan Museum

THE AGA KHAN MUSEUM’S DIWAN RESTAURANT NOW FEATURES A NEW MENU DESIGNED BY CELEBRITY CHEF MARK MCEWAN

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The serene Diwan dining room at the Aga Khan Museum (photo: Janet Kimber)

At museums, change is inevitable. It’s most evident in the opening and closing of temporary exhibitions and special events, but evolution also occurs elsewhere—in the way programs are delivered, in the layout of galleries, and, in the case of the Aga Khan Museum, the operation of its food and beverage services. Late last year, the celebrated institution for Islamic art and culture partnered with chef Mark McEwan to revamp the offerings at its Diwan restaurant. Though McEwan’s background isn’t exactly steeped in the cuisine of the Islamic diaspora, he’s nothing if not adaptable: his restaurants’ culinary profiles range from contemporary Continental (North 44) to brassy North American (Bymark) to rustic Italian (Fabbrica), and his two upscale supermarkets demonstrate his long history of sourcing the absolute best ingredients. At Diwan, the chef and his team have retained the restaurant’s artful approach to Middle Eastern, North African and South Asian cooking, while also making its lunchtime dishes a little more accessible. A traditional wedge salad, for example, gets a Moroccan twist with cilantro mint dressing, tamarind chutney and crispy daal, while salmon is glazed with harissa and served with quinoa, falafel and pomegranate yogurt. What hasn’t changed, however, is the beautiful, serene dining room, which is accented by hand-carved and painted wood panels dating back to 19th-century Damascus.  —Craig Moy

• Diwan, Aga Khan Museum, 77 Wynford Dr., 416-646-4670; agakhanmuseum.org/dine
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Sample Superior Southern Fare at Omaw

OSSINGTON AVENUE RESTAURANT OMAW MARKS CHEF MATT BLONDIN’S RETURN TO THE CUISINE OF THE AMERICAN SOUTH

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Mussels on toast (left) and wagyu beef are among the elevated options you may find at Omaw (photos: courtesy of Omaw)

You might think it’d be easy for a top-tier catering company to open up an equally prosperous restaurant. But the two operations don’t necessarily go hand in hand. Recipes don’t always translate. Staffing requirements are different. A restaurant’s customer base can be unpredictable at best. Toronto’s Food Dudes caterers, however, seem to have found some success. In business since 2007, chef Adrian Niman’s outfit rolled out a still-popular food truck in 2012, and in 2014 its Rasa bar and restaurant became an instant Harbord Village hit—thanks to its trendy yet accessible ambience and cosmopolitan cooking. Late in 2015, the company launched its second bricks-and-mortar space, in collaboration with noted chef Matt Blondin.

Omaw, on hip Ossington Avenue, moves away from the Food Dudes’ more pluralistic culinary outlook and instead focuses on Carolina Lowcountry cuisine—the kind of U.S. South cooking Blondin became known for at a previous post, but now arguably even more refined, and definitely a little more experimental. Take a recent offering of wagyu beef: more than a mere slice of steak, it was instead served as a paper-thin square coloured by a Pollock-like mélange of pea relish and onion slivers. Or order the keylime pie, whose meringue looks like it was made by Frank Gehry. The drinks selection, too, is worthy of both the menu’s provenance and the restaurant’s chic address, with bourbons, craft beers and short list of original cocktails.  —Craig Moy

• Omaw, 88 Ossington Ave., 416-477-5450; omaw.ca
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See Massive Mammoths at the Ontario Science Centre

MIDTOWN TORONTO’S INTERACTIVE, EDUCATIONAL ATTRACTION FEATURES SOME OF THE LARGEST MAMMALS TO EVER ROAM THE EARTH

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JANUARY 22 TO APRIL 25  The Ontario Science Centre transports visitors back nearly two million years, to a time when colossal mammals like dire wolves, woolly mammoths, and saber-toothed cats roamed the earth. Mammoths and Mastodons: Titans of the Ice Age, an interactive exhibit from Chicago’s Field Museum, explores the Pleistocene epoch with skeletons, casts, teeth and tusks of short-faced bears and camels, as well as the well-preserved baby Lyuba, a female woolly mammoth calf. See displays of Paleolithic cave art, ivory figurines, and compare your weight against the daily consumption of a Columbian mammoth. Learn about the evolution and extinction of these animals, and how their living cousins, elephants, help scientists to understand their existence.  —Linda Luong Luck

• Ontario Science Centre, 770 Don Mills Rd., 416-696-1000; ontariosciencecentre.com
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