THE POPULAR FREE SHUTTLE BUS FROM DOWNTOWN TORONTO TO VAUGHAN MILLS SHOPPING CENTRE HAS RETURNED FOR SUMMER 2015
Vaughan Mills Shopping Centre, the outlet mall north of Toronto, makes it even easier to score big bargains at its 250-plus stores. A free shopping shuttle is offered through to the end of September with two daily trips from the downtown core. Wristbands are provided at the City Tours Attractions Desk at Union Station (65 Front St. W.) on a first-come, first-served basis for morning trips that depart at 10 a.m. (leaving Vaughan Mills at 3 p.m.) or afternoon treks that commence at 1 p.m. (leaving Vaughan Mills at 6 p.m.). Once at the mega mall, you’ll find outlets for the likes of Calvin Klein, UGG Australia, Hugo Boss, Lacoste and Harry Rosen, as well as designer emporium hr2. The flagship Bass Pro Shops is also on site, as are family-friendly attractions like Legoland Discovery Centre and Lucky Strike Lanes. —Linda Luong
• Vaughan Mills, 1 Bass Pro Mills Dr., 905-879-2110; vaughanmills.com
• Map and reviews
CABBAGETOWN BOUTIQUE PIPLER ACCESSORIES EXCLUSIVELY FEATURES ARTISAN-MADE PRODUCTS, MANY OF WHICH ARE FROM TORONTO-BASED CRAFTSPEOPLE
Pipler Accessories owners Alice Clarkson and Léonie Lilla
Before any item can hit the shelves at Pipler Accessories, that piece has to meet at least one of the following benchmarks: it must be handmade, sustainable, locally produced or charity-driven. A tall order for a single object, but the boutique’s co-owners, Léonie Lilla and her wife Alice Clarkson, feel strongly that everything must have a story and an impact on the community. As such, the pair carefully vets the wares at their Cabbagetown shop, which include recycled and salvaged leather bags from Rachel F, handmade necklaces and bracelets from Hen Jewellery, and from Toronto purveyors, watches from May 28th, plus iPhone cases from both Felony Case and Keyway. —Linda Luong
• Pipler Accessories, 453 Parliament St., 647-346-2324; shoppipler.com
• Map and reviews
POPULAR INTERNET RETAILER BRIKA HAS MOVED INTO THE MATERIAL WORLD BY OPENING A QUEEN WEST BOUTIQUE
Just some of the stylish home products available at Brika
Success as a Hudson’s Bay–hosted pop-up shop has translated into a permanent Queen West home for Brika. Originally an online retailer of curated artisan-made goods, the new bricks-and-mortar version of Kena Paranjape and Jen Lee Koss’s brainchild features several dozen North American designers on a rotating basis. Toronto creators are represented in throws by Pehr, towels by Pamuk & Co., and jewellery from Biko. An assortment of giftware, serveware, accessories, art prints, paper goods and baby items are also available from the likes of Thimblepress, Mi Cielo, Neighborwoods, Wind and Willow and Nicole Tarasick. —Linda Luong
• Brika, 642 Queen St. W.; brika.com
• Map and reviews
HIGH ABOVE BLOOR-YORKVILLE, STYLISH RESTO-LOUNGE THE ONE EIGHTY IS KNOWN FOR ITS PANORAMIC VIEWS OF THE CITY
One of Toronto’s highest perches for food and drink is aiming even higher—figuratively, of course—with a renewed focus on its gastronomic offerings. Previously a swish cocktail spot known as the Panorama Lounge, the 51st-floor venue, now dubbed The One Eighty, has been renovated and reimagined as a luxurious yet whimsical dining destination, featuring cosmopolitan fare that ranges from halibut tacos to flatbread-style pizzas to mains like porchetta with summer succotash or buttermilk fried chicken and waffles. The cocktail list has been updated, too. In fact, about the only thing unchanged is the view: the restaurant’s skyscraping north- and south-facing patios are among the better vantage points from which to see the city. —Craig Moy
• The One Eighty, 55 Bloor St. W., 416-967-0000; the51stfloor.com
• Map and reviews
SOUTHBROOK VINEYARDS BOASTS NEW NIAGARA-INSPIRED CULINARY OFFERINGS TO COMPLEMENT ITS AWARD-WINNING ORGANIC WINES
Chef Shawn Murphy highlights Niagara ingredients in his al fresco offerings at Southbrook Vineyards (photos: Craig Moy)
The Niagara region has dozens of excellent wineries. Some large, some small, almost all very welcoming to enthusiastic visitors looking to learn a little more about the intricacies of winemaking (and wine tasting) in southwestern Ontario. Among the area’s very best, for the quality of its wines and its hospitality, is Southbrook Vineyards.
Looking for something special to commemorate your Pan Am Games trip? These unique-to-Toronto souvenirs are elevated far above tchotchke status.
- $12.99, <a href="http://www.where.ca/vendors/toronto/gifts-souvenirs-shopping/shop-ago-wh/">Art Gallery of Ontario</a>
- <em>Toronto ABC</em> by Paul Covello
- $60, <a href="http://www.where.ca/vendors/toronto/architectural-attractions-attractions-tours/cn-tower-wh/">CN Tower gift boutique</a>
- CN Tower Music Box
- $40, <a href="http://www.where.ca/vendors/toronto/accessories-shopping/distill-gallery/">Distill Gallery</a>
- "Things Toronto" Resin Bracelets by Leslie Jones
- $40, <a href="http://www.where.ca/vendors/toronto/gifts-souvenirs-shopping/spacing-store/">Spacing Store</a>
- Toronto City Trivet by National Design Collective
- $15, <a href="http://www.where.ca/vendors/toronto/department-stores-shopping/the-bay-48/">Hudson's Bay</a>
- Olympic Collection Water Bottle
- $3 each, <a href="http://www.where.ca/vendors/toronto/cards-stationery-shopping/kid-icarus/">Kid Icarus</a>
- Toronto Postcards
- $25.99, <a href="http://www.where.ca/vendors/toronto/clothing-men-women-shopping/red-canoe-wh/">Red Canoe</a>
- Royal Canadian Navy Cap
- $10, <a href="http://www.where.ca/vendors/toronto/cards-stationery-shopping/outer-layer-76/">Outer Layer</a>
- Ecojot Toronto Journal
- $30, <a href="http://www.where.ca/vendors/toronto/clothing-men-women-shopping/roots-15/">Roots</a>
- Women's Kolowna Tank Top
- $15 (unframed), <a href="http://www.where.ca/vendors/toronto/gifts-souvenirs-shopping/spacing-store/">Spacing Store</a>
- TTC Print by Wendy Tancock
WHILE ATHLETES FLEX THEIR MUSCLES IN COMPETITIONS THROUGHOUT THE PAN AM GAMES, PANAMANIA SEES 1,300-PLUS ARTISTS SHOWCASING THEIR CREATIVE PROWESS AND CAPTURE THE IMAGINATION OF CANADA AND THE REST OF THE AMERICAS. HERE ARE JUST A FEW OF THIS MONTH’S CONCERTS AND EXHIBITIONS TO WATCH OUT FOR.
The Gypsy Kumbia Orchestra plays Panamania on July 11 and 12 (photo: Adelaida Pardo)
PANAMANIA LIVE @ NATHAN PHILLIPS SQUARE
JULY 11 TO 26 The hub of Panamania includes live music from such artists as Lila Downs and Marianas Trench, as well as nightly victory celebrations and fireworks. Best of all, everything’s free!
EVEN MULTI-SPORT FANATICS NEED AN OCCASIONAL BREAK FROM THE NEAR-CONSTANT COMPETITION DURING THE PAN AM GAMES’ 17 DAYS. A FEW HOURS SPENT EXPLORING THE HOST CITY’S MYRIAD NEIGHBOURHOODS IS JUST THE TICKET!
La Cubana and Fonda Lola are among Toronto’s top Latin American restaurants (photos: Craig Moy)
Although they’re definitely the summer’s main event, the Pan American Games are hardly the only, well, game in town. Get the most out of your visit by setting aside some time—between checking out the basketball tournament, cheering on the triathletes and being wowed by wakeboarders’ stunts—to get to know Toronto’s compelling history, shopping hubs and cosmopolitan restaurant scene through these four downtown neighbourhoods.
THE PAN AM GAMES MEDALS BOAST A DESIGN THAT’S BOTH UNIVERSAL AND UNIQUELY CANADIAN
The Pan Am Games medals were designed by Métis artist Christi Belcourt
When top athletes from the Americas take their places on the podium, they’ll be recognized with specially designed medals that honour Canada’s unique heritage as well as the common characteristics that bind the participating Pan Am Games countries.
More than 4,200 competition medals and 15,600 participation medals will be presented throughout the Pan Am and Parapan Am Games. Designed by Christi Belcourt—a Métis artist well known for her exploration of nature—the prizes were produced by the Royal Canadian Mint using metals sourced from several Pan Am nations: copper from Chile, silver from the Dominican Republic and gold from Ontario, Canada.
HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT PURCHASING PAN AM GAMES TICKETS. BUT HURRY! THEY’RE GOING FAST!
It’s easy to cheer on the athletes up close at a Pan Am Games event. Prices range from $20 to $140 depending on the event, with a $5 per-ticket service fee. Special discounted rates are offered for students age 16 and under and seniors 65 and over. Limited tickets remain for the opening ceremony—ranging from $60 to $350—while you can attend the closing ceremonies for between $90 and $200.
Seats at some events are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis; others have assigned seating. In some instances, your ticket includes transportation to the venue from a central hub such as a GO Transit station or stop. The CIBC Pan Am Park, Ryerson Athletic Centre, Ontario Place West Channel, Canadian Tennis Centre, Oshawa Sports Centre, CIBC Hamilton Pan Am Soccer Stadium, Abilities Centre, Cisco Milton Velodrome, Royal Canadian Henley Rowing Course and Welland Pan Am Flat Water Centre are among the venues to which transportation is available. Check out the Pan Am Games website for specific access information.
Purchase tickets by visiting toronto2015.org/tickets or calling 1-855-726-2015.
WARM WEATHER BRINGS OUT THE ABSOLUTE BEST IN TORONTO. TAKE ADVANTAGE OF YOUR TIME IN THE CITY—AND MAKE SOME INDELIBLE MEMORIES WHILE YOU’RE AT IT—BY VISITING THESE UNIQUE SUMMER ATTRACTIONS. BY CRAIG MOY
The Evergreen Brick Works offers myriad environmentally focused summer activities (photo: Craig Moy)
THE EVERGREEN BRICK WORKS
5 Unique uses for an Old Factory
The formerly industrial, now eco-conscious heritage site known as the Evergreen Brick Works positively hums with activity.
• Hunt down the venue’s unique art works, from the hard-to-miss “living map” in the Commons to the preserved graffiti in the kilns.
• Take the kids to learn about the environment through outdoor play at the Chimney Court Children’s Garden.
• Trod the trails that wind through the 40-acre greenspace behind the Brick Works. Climb to the lookout for an impressive view of the downtown skyline.
• Enjoy a nourishing gourmet meal—made with local and sustainably harvested ingredients—at Café Belong.
• Peruse farm-fresh produce and more at the farmers’ market every Saturday and Sunday morning.
IT HASN’T ALWAYS BEEN THE NICEST STRETCH OF DOWNTOWN, BUT CORKTOWN, ONE OF TORONTO’S ORIGINAL NEIGHBOURHOODS, IS IN THE MIDST OF A REVITALIZATION—NOT LEAST BECAUSE OF ITS PROXIMITY TO THE PAN AM GAMES’ SPRAWLING ATHLETES’ VILLAGE.
Ethel 20th Century Living (photo: Craig Moy)
1 Billed as as a space “where Mad Men meets your best friend’s basement,” Ethel 20th Century Living sets patterned kitchenware and vintage tchotchkes amongst retro furniture, classic movie posters and more. Most of it would’ve been right at home in Don Draper’s Manhattan pad. 327 Queen St. E., 416-778-6608; ethel20thcenturyliving.com
2 Definitely one of the area’s pricier retailers, Haven supports the sartorial ambitions of savvy lads with international streetwear labels like Comme des Garçons, Neighborhood and Human Made. Designer sneakers are a particular forte. 145 Berkeley St., 647-344-4745; havenshop.ca
3 Cocina Economica, the sixth and newest member of the Playa Cabana group of restaurants, a popular mini-chain known for its Mexican fare and colourful ambience. This spot mostly eschews tacos in favour of homestyle fare like slow-cooked meats sold—and meant to be shared—by the pound. 141 Berkeley St., 647-748-4777; playacabana.ca