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The Harvest Heats Up at the Evergreen Brick Works

(photos: Mel Yu & Min Yang)

(photos: Mel Yu & Min Yang)

As the spring thaw takes hold (we hope!), so too do thoughts of nature’s bounty: the blooming of wildflowers and the budding of trees, sure, but also the imminent growth of fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs for our dinner table. Toronto locavores have options for sourcing farm-fresh foods year-round, but with the snow gone, it’s even easier to start looking to greener pastures. The Evergreen Brick Works, for example, hosts one of the city’s top weekly farmers’ markets. Its Saturday morning affair features not only produce purveyors, but artisan meat- and fishmongers, bakers and more. Be sure to make a return trip in the summer, when the growing season really gets going.  —Craig Moy

• Evergreen Brick Works, 550 Bayview Ave., 416-596-1495; ebw.evergreen.ca
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Loding Makes Shoe Shopping Easy in Yorkville


A popular French label has arrived in Toronto and brought with it a novel retail concept. Loding, a menswear franchise that has served Paris and similarly stylish cities since 1998, ensures a single price point for each of its product categories: all shoes, no matter their style, size or materials, are sold at the same price. Likewise for the shop’s selection of shirts, sweaters, ties, belts, socks and more. “The first price is the best price and our product is never subjected to promotions or sales periods,” says owner and general manager Nathan Gozlan. Loding’s new Yorkville outpost is the company’s first in North America after successful openings in Europe, Asia and Africa.  —Linda Luong

• Loding, 133 Avenue Rd., 416-962-0133; loding.fr
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Soos Adds Malaysian Flavour to the West End


Craving dim sum? How about sushi? Or maybe a big serving of pad Thai? All sorts of Asian flavours are readily available in Toronto; the cuisine of Malaysia, however, is a little harder to come by. Enter Soos, a family-owned and -operated restaurant specializing in modern interpretations of Malay street food. Here, beneath oversized, spiny rambutan-like light fixtures, Queen West diners indulge in a variety of small plates—from house-made prawn crackers and peanut sauce to pork belly on taro root pancakes to traditional laksa. Befitting its hip Ossington Avenue location, Soos also boasts a number of cocktails with Asian-fusion twists.  —Craig Moy

• Soos, 94 Ossington Ave, 416-901-7667; soostoronto.com
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Designer Boutique Da Zoo Makes King West Even Edgier


Take a walk on the wild side at Da Zoo, an edgy, contemporary boutique that curates an eclectic and highly edited roster of designer labels such as Yang Li, Undercover and Maison Martin Margiela for men, Vivienne Westwood Red Label, Balmain and Bergfabel for women, and footwear and accessories from Rick Owens, Alexandre Plokhov and Goti. A wallet-friendly house line, 613 King, adds more smart pieces in luxurious fabrics to the mix. But don’t expect an entirely typical shopping experience—a whimsical assortment of decor items is nestled amongst the apparel, including a taxidermy leopard and skulls adorned with sunglasses.  —Linda Luong

• Da Zooo, 613 King St. W., 416-792-5050; da-zooo.com
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Get Booze and BBQ at The Carbon Bar


It’s a real challenge to become the “It” eatery of Toronto’s highly competitive dining scene. The Carbon Bar, however, checks all the right boxes for attaining “eat here now” status: a big-time chef and co-owner in Nota Bene’s David Lee; a no-expense-spared designer space—once a TV studio and nightclub—that still manages to convey casual conviviality; a well-curated list of cocktails, wines and craft beers; and, of course, flavourful fare that’s at once familiar and gourmet in its execution. That food? Contemporary American, heavy on the Southern influences, with sharing-ready bar snacks and appetizers, plus more filling options including a number of meats slow-roasted in a wood fire pit.  —Craig Moy

• The Carbon Bar, 99 Queen St. E., 416-947-7000; thecarbonbar.ca
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The Gardiner Museum Examines Ron Thom’s Micro-to-Macro Vision

Architect Ron Thom's Forrest House (photo: Selwyn Pullan)

Architect Ron Thom’s Forrest House (photo: Selwyn Pullan)

FEBRUARY 13 TO APRIL 27  Visit one of the city’s best-designed buildings to discover the man behind even more admirable Canadian architecture. This spring, the Gardiner Museum examines the legacy of midcentury architect Ron Thom, known for his work on Massey College in Toronto and Trent University in Peterborough, Ontario. Originally a visual artist, Thom believed that every detail was important to his structures, right down to the textiles and ceramics with which they were decorated. As such the exhibition features paintings, photographs, architectural drawings, furniture prototypes, ceramics and more, to offer a unique perspective on how, in design, small details can inform a much wider vision.  —Brock Sutherland

• Gardiner Museum, 111 Queen’s Park, 416-586-8080; gardinermuseum.on.ca
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The AGO Introduces Francis Bacon to Henry Moore

Francis Bacon's Study for Portrait II (After the Life Mask of William Blake) and a detail view of Henry Moore's Falling Warrior (photos: Estate of Francis Bacon/Art Gallery of Ontario; Henry Moore Foundation/Art Gallery of Ontario)

Francis Bacon’s Study for Portrait II (After the Life Mask of William Blake) and a detail view of Henry Moore’s Falling Warrior (photos: Estate of Francis Bacon/AGO; Henry Moore Foundation/AGO)

APRIL 5 TO JULY 20  In Francis Bacon and Henry Moore: Terror and Beauty, the Art Gallery of Ontario brings together two giants of 20th-century British modernism, conflating the former’s raw, expressionistic paintings with the latter’s abstract sculptures. The impact of World War II—especially the bombardment of London—on the artists’ work is a particular focus, with careful juxtaposition encouraging viewers to consider how two minds reflected on a singular torment in two distinct art forms. The AGO is already known for its considerable collection of Moore sculptures; additional loans from other institutions, bulwarked by a plethora of post-war photographs and drawings, ensure you’ll leave the exhibition both intellectually aroused and emotionally eviscerated.  —Brock Sutherland

• Art Gallery of Ontario, 317 Dundas St. W., 416-979-6648; ago.net
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Design Exchange Associate Curator Sara Nickleson on Her Favourite “Toys”

The Design Exchange's This is Not a Toy exhibition (photo: Craig Moy)

The Design Exchange’s This is Not a Toy exhibition (photo: Craig Moy)

The Design Exchange continues to play host to This is Not a Toy, a major exhibition on conceptual urban-vinyl figures, including the many Kidrobot dunnies featured on the cover of Where Toronto‘s April issue. In the gallery below, the museum’s Associate Curator, Sara Nickleson, discusses her favourite pieces from the multifaceted show.

Best of Toronto: 30 Things We Love About Our City This April

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.

Best of Toronto #1: Jessica Bradley Gallery

Best of Toronto #1: Jessica Bradley Gallery

1 Awesome—and often local—contemporary art displayed in an industrial-style space at Jessica Bradley Gallery.

2 Relaxing at friendly Swedish-inspired café Fika with a cardamom-spiced latte.

3 Getting fitted for a high-quality yet affordable blazer at Dutch import Suitsupply.

4 Singing along with the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, when she performs her greatest hits at Roy Thomson Hall.

5 An artfully interactive fam-jam courtesy of the AGO’s Family Sundays program.

Read more…

Things to Do in Toronto: Festivals, Concerts and Events This April

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!


Jose Reyes and the Toronto Blue Jays try to bounce back from a woeful 2013 (photo: Toronto Blue Jays baseball club)

Jose Reyes and the Toronto Blue Jays are back on the field this month (photo: Toronto Blue Jays)

STARTS APRIL 4  Twenty years after their last playoff appearance, the Toronto Blue Jays went into the 2013 Major League Baseball season with a clutch of stars and a surfeit of confidence. Injuries and general poor play, however, intervened to turn the campaign into an entirely forgettable one. This year’s hype is duly tempered, but the team is once again whole and healthy, and stocked with major stars like Jose Reyes, Jose Bautista, R.A. Dickey and Melky Cabrera who now have a lot to prove. The bird-boys in blue and white host the New York Yankees for an opening-weekend homestand. Later in the month they’ll seek to shut down division rivals the Baltimore Orioles and Boston Red Sox. Rogers Centre, $14.25 to $216.25; call 416-341-1234 or visit bluejays.com for a full schedule and tickets.

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Amaya Adds Indian Street Food and More to its Menu


Scallops with shallot confit and coconut snow

Scallops with shallot confit and coconut snow at Amaya the Indian Room

The question of authenticity is often raised when discussing the various ethnic foods available in Toronto. It’s a frequent topic of conversation when it comes to Indian fare, as diners seek out the dosa to rival what they had in Kerala, or complain about how the spice profile of vindaloo has been toned down too much for Canadian palates. At Amaya the Indian Room, chef and owner Hemant Bhagwani has consistently risen above the debate; the menu at the fine-dining flagship of what is now a 15-restaurant empire is respectful of India’s diverse regional dishes, but chef Bhagwani has never been shy about adding modern preparations and local ingredients to the mix.

Starting in a few weeks, the offerings get even more inventive, as the restaurant rolls out new spring menu items to complement its tried-and-true favourites. Among the updated offerings? Chicken tikka with milk fritters, saffron dip and mint foam, prawns in mango curry with beetroot gel, and scallops with pickled lemons, shallot confit and coconut snow. And through to the end of April, Amaya diners can also choose to indulge a craving for street-style bites (always popular in this city), as the restaurant has extended its Khao Ghalli (“eat street”) festival. The authentic-with-a-twist offerings—like kale pakoras with tomato chutney and pani puri served with tamarind, orange and mint waters—are available à la carte or incorporated in the chef’s tasting menu.

All photos by Craig Moy

The One of a Kind Show Returns for its Big Spring Sale

The One of a Kind Show specializes in whimsical artisan-made products

The One of a Kind Show specializes in whimsical artisan-made products

MARCH 26 TO 30  Canada’s biggest consumer craft expo, the One of a Kind Spring Show & Sale, returns with a new slew of high-quality handmade goods. Get prepped for a stylish summer with unique designs by the most skilled craftspeople from in and out of town, spanning every inch of the popular artisan market. Gourmet preserves and other tasteful items, one-of-a-kind vintage and custom jewellery, inspired ceramics and textiles, and even unique bird houses by the Saltbox Shoppe (pictured)—there’s something for everyone, and then some, just waiting to be discovered. Visitors can also take advantage of the opportunity to get crafty with various DIY workshops over the event’s five days.  —Sara Burnside Menuck

• One of a Kind Spring Show & Sale, Direct Energy Centre, 416-960-3680; oneofakindshow.com
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