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Toronto

A3 Napoli Provides Sustenance for the Strada

NEAPOLITAN STREET FOOD COMES TO LITTLE ITALY VIA A3 NAPOLI

a3 Napoli restaurant toronto little italy

The legendary liveliness of the Neapolitan street food scene is translated for Toronto courtesy of A3 Napoli. The recent addition to College Street’s vibrant dining milieu beckons passersby with a menu of quick-to-order and easy-to-eat pizzas and fried fare: get a flash-fired margherita, for example, to enjoy at one of the communal tables, or grab a to-go paper cone brimming with a selection of surprisingly light seasonal fritti like arancini, breaded meatballs and zucchini sticks. A collaboration between the owners of beloved Pizzeria Libretto and always-busy sandwich shop Porchetta & Co., the snack spot is sure to do swift business in energetic Little Italy.  —Craig Moy

• A3 Napoli, 589 College St.; a3napoli.com
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Life is Good T-Shirts Spread Good Vibes

KEEP SUMMER’S POSITIVE VIBES GOING BY DONNING A LIFE IS GOOD T-SHIRT

Life is Good T-shirts toronto higher ground

When the heads of a company claim the titles Chief Executive Optimist and Chief Creative Optimist, you know it has a “glass half full” perspective. In 1989, with just $200, brothers Bert and John Jacobs established their Life is Good brand of T-shirts with positive mantras like “Keep it simple,” “Hello Sunshine,” and “Not all who wander are lost.” They’ve since extended their offerings to include hoodies, caps and tote bags for men, women and kids, which are available in Toronto at Higher Ground.  —Linda Luong

• Higher Ground, 2488 Yonge St., 416-486-2488; highergroundtoronto.com
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Adorn Turns Rosedale Boho-Chic

AT THIS BOUTIQUE, WOMEN CAN ADORN THEMSELVES IN ECLECTIC PIECES FROM SOUGHT-AFTER INTERNATIONAL LABELS

Adorn Toronto Rosedale Boutique Shopping

The posh Rosedale neighbourhood is an unlikely location for a shop that stocks loose bohemian dresses, patterned vests, fringed handbags and leather tops—the kind of apparel you’re more likely to see at a music festival than in the boardroom. But that’s exactly what you’ll find at Adorn. The new womenswear boutique from mother-daughter duo Evelina and Barbara Kuczer prides itself on its unique and varied inventory of global brands like Soaked in Luxury from Denmark, S. Oliver from Germany, Joules from the U.K., Botkier and Marida from the U.S., plus Canadian labels like Gentle Fawn and Lamarque. A display case also features a mix of vintage and modern jewellery for proper accessorizing.  —Linda Luong

• Adorn, 1250 Yonge St., 416-901-7309; adornonyonge.com
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Get Lovely Little Home Products at Contrast Living

RONCESVALLES-AREA BOUTIQUE CONTRAST LIVING IS A TREASURE TROVE OF UNIQUE HOME AND DESIGN WARES

Contrast Living Boutique Roncesvalles Toronto

Contrast Living is the kind of store you wander into not knowing what to expect, and then proceed to get totally lost discovering the goods in every nook and corner. Owners Hazel Chan and Paul Wu have curated a harmonious mix of furniture, design objects, jewellery and giftware in an array of styles and representing different cultures, including many by Canadian artisans. Wooden clocks by Nygaard Design from Windsor, cupcake-shaped soaps by Hello! Sunshine from Vancouver, bath bombs from Cambridge’s Buck Na.ked, and planters from Winnipeg’s Rewild Shop are among the favourites. Chan, in fact, pulls double duty for the store, crafting her own line of products like terrariums, coasters and jewellery under the label Hazy Nuts Creations.  —Linda Luong

• Contrast Living, 1688 Queen St. W., 416-900-2542; contrastliving.net
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Old School Serves New BBQ Classics

NEW BARBECUE JOINT OLD SCHOOL IS OPEN 24 HOURS A DAY AND BOASTS AN INCLUSIVE SPREAD OF BARBECUE FAVOURITES

OLD SCHOol Toronto Barbecue BBQ restaurant

photo courtesy of Old School

As the evolutionary pace of modern life continues to increase, so does our collective appetite for nostalgia. From our fashion to our films and even our food, everything old, it seems, inevitably becomes new again. Enter Old School, a medley of smokehouse, diner, malt shop and cocktail bar—those touchstones of mid 20th-century Americana—on the hip Dundas West strip. Helmed by chefs Brad Moore and Ian Kapitan, the round-the-clock restaurant goes whole hog with numerous styles of barbecue—Texas, St. Louis, Kansas City and more—complemented by a selection of hand-stirred organic sodas (though booze is also available). The big, daily brunch includes such indulgences as chicken and waffles plus a huge stack of buttermilk pancakes.  —Craig Moy

• Old School, 800 Dundas St. W., 416-815-8790; oldschoolyyz.com
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Blitz Facial Bar Promises Quick Skin Renewal

THE OWNERS OF BODY BLITZ SPA OPEN A PAIR OF STRIPPED-DOWN FACIAL BARS

Blitz Facial Bar Toronto

Sisterpreneurs Laura and Rena Polley, who’ve built two highly successful Body Blitz spas in Toronto, have now launched a new offering, Blitz Facial Bar. Aimed at on-the-go men and women who still want to maintain a beauty routine, the open-concept, no-fuss space offers four different services ranging from 30 to 60 minutes, with prices starting at $48. The express facials can also be customized with an assortment of boosters ($10 each) to aid puffy eyes, brighten skin or soothe breakouts and irritated skin. All treatments use the company’s own line of products, including some new items such as a plumping serum and Argan renewal serum, which are made with natural ingredients and botanicals.  —Linda Luong

• Blitz Facial Bar, 803 Queen St. W., 416-360-1700 & 1133 Queen St. E., 416-466-2400; blitzfacialbar.com
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Quick Pick: 3 Chefs on the Move

CHEFS CAN BE A RESTLESS BUNCH, HOPPING FROM RESTAURANT TO RESTAURANT TO DEVELOP THEIR CULINARY SKILLS. FOLLOW THESE TOP TORONTO TOQUES WHO’VE RECENTLY TAKEN OVER NEW KITCHENS.

Turf Lounge Toronto Chef Tom Brodi

Turf Lounge chef Tom Brodi

• Best known for its cocktails, Parkdale’s Geraldine now features deliciously novel farm- and ocean-to-table dishes by Alex Molitz. 1564 Queen St. W., 647-352-8815; geraldinetoronto.com

• The Harbord Room got a shot in the arm this spring with the installation of Robbie Hojilla as its co-chef. Previously of now-shuttered Hudson Kitchen and Ursa, Hojilla is recognized for highlighting vegetables and grains in his inventive dishes. 89 Harbord St., 416-962-8989; theharbordroom.com

• Tom Brodi, last seen heading up the fine-dining affairs at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel’s Toca, has taken the reins at classy restaurant and off-track betting establishment Turf Lounge. 330 Bay St., 416-367-2111; turflounge.com

Kasa Moto Offers Upscale Sushi and More in Yorkville

INDULGE IN DESIGNER JAPANESE CUISINE WITHIN THE POSH YORKVILLE NEIGHBOURHOOD CONFINES OF KASA MOTO 

Kasa Moto Toronto Restaurant Yorkville

Kasa Moto’s kinoko salad and stylish dining room

 

Toronto’s ritziest neighbourhood continues to up the opulence ante—this time with a supremely stylish spot for Japanese fare. Kasa Moto presents Yorkville’s demanding denizens with a menu of high-end, contemporary offerings, running the gamut from wagyu beef carpaccio to robata-grilled pork belly to black cod with ricotta miso. Sophisticated sushi and sashimi options are also available, naturally. The latest offering from the owners of The Chase and Colette Grand Café, Kasa Moto’s multiple spaces—a split-level dining room, second-storey bar and lounge, and grandiose rooftop patio—replicate its siblings’ tastefully posh interior design with plush seating, rich woods, hand-painted murals and more.  —Craig Moy

• Kasa Moto, 115 Yorkville Ave.,647-348-7000; kasamoto.ca
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You Are Here: 13 West Queen West Spots to Check Out Right Now

QUEEN STREET IS SUPER-COOL FOR PRETTY MUCH ITS ENTIRE LENGTH. WEST OF TRINITY BELLWOODS PARK, THE STRETCH KNOWN AS WEST QUEEN WEST IS PARTICULARLY CROWDED WITH CACHET-ENHANCING CAFÉS, BOUTIQUES, GALLERIES AND RESTAURANTS.

West Queen West Toronto Dandylion Restaurant

Dandylion restaurant, chef Jay Carter’s recent addition to the West Queen West strip (photo: Craig Moy)

1 Partake in chef Jay Carter’s sophisticated, ingredient-focused cooking at his intimate Dandylion restaurant. 1198 Queen St. W., 647-464-9100; restaurantdandylion.com

2 The Theatre Centre is a champion of innovative new works in a historic library. From August 10 to 26 it hosts Monday Nights, a participatory drama slash pick-up basketball game. 1115 Queen St. W., 416-534-9261; theatrecentre.org

3 Chef Vittorio Colacitti’s restaurant, The Good Son, aims to please by drawing together the corners of the culinary world. The ambitiously cosmopolitan carte prioritizes seasonal and local ingredients, but uses them in varied dishes such as jerk shrimp, bulgogi short ribs and a half-dozen wood-fired pizzas. 1096 Queen St. W., 416-551-0589; thegoodsontoronto.com

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Culture, Commerce and Carpets at the Aga Khan Museum

THE AGA KHAN MUSEUM’S CANADIAN-EXCLUSIVE EXHIBITION OF PAINTINGS AND TEXTILES EXAMINES CONNECTIONS BETWEEN EUROPE AND THE MIDDLE EAST

Aga-Khan-Museum-Thirst-for-Riches-Carpets-Persian-Rugs

photo: Craig Moy

JUNE 6 TO OCTOBER 18  For centuries, rugs from Persia, Turkey and elsewhere in the Middle East have been prized for their vibrant colours, intricate patterns and masterful quality of their weaving. The Aga Khan Museum demonstrates just how desirable these textiles became—in their countries of manufacture, but also in the Western world—in its “A Thirst for Riches” exhibition. The compact but intriguing show juxtaposes exceptionally well-preserved carpets from the East with paintings by 17th-century Dutch and Flemish masters (as well as painted manuscripts from the museum’s own collection), recruiting each piece into a conversation about commerce, faith and cultural exchange.  —Craig Moy

• Aga Khan Museum, 77 Wynford Dr., 416-646-4677; agakhanmuseum.org
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Discover the First Nations “Group of Seven” at the McMichael Canadian Art Collection

ABORIGINAL ARTISTS ARE IN THE SPOTLIGHT THIS SUMMER AT THE MCMICHAEL CANADIAN ART COLLECTION

McMichael-Group-of-Seven-Aboriginal-Artists

Flock by Jackson Beardy is among the many contemporary works by Aboriginal artists now on display at the McMichael Canadian Art Collection

MAY 9 TO SEPTEMBER 7  A daytrip to the McMichael Canadian Art Collection is a must for anyone seeking a view of this country’s visual arts. Nestled in verdant woodland, the gallery presents our national narrative in historical and contemporary paintings, photographs, sculptures and more. Works by First Nations and Inuit artists—and those inspired by the Aboriginal experience—are particularly well represented in the McMichael’s collection and exhibitions: through September 7, it highlights the other Group of Seven, known as Professional Native Indian Artists Inc., with a survey of works that helped to bring Aboriginal art to prominence in the mid 20th century. Also on the gallery grounds (to October 18) is Thom Sokoloski’s Colour of the River Running Through Us, an installation of canoe-like structures influenced by our First Peoples’ relationship with water.  —Craig Moy

• McMichael Canadian Art Collection, 10365 Islington Ave., Kleinburg, 905-893-1121; mcmichael.com
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Parapan Am Games: Panamania Brings in Janelle Monae, Tanya Tagaq and More!

THE TORONTO 2015 PARAPAN AM GAMES HAVE BROUGHT MORE THAN JUST SKILLED ATHLETES TO THE CITY. BIG-NAME MUSICIANS AND ARTISTS ARE IN TOWN FOR PANAMANIA FESTIVITIES, TOO!

Parapan-Am-Games-Toronto-Panamania-Janelle-Monae-Tanya-Tagaq

Tanya Tagaq (left) and Janelle Monáe are among the musicians slated to perform during Panamania at Nathan Phillips Square

AUGUST 7 TO 12  As more than 1,600 para-athletes demonstrate the amazing strength, resilience and grace of the human body through the 15 sports of the Parapan Am Games, a slate of performances and exhibitions adds a cultural component to the festivities. In conjunction with July’s Pan Am Games and this month’s Parapan Am competition, Panamania continues to feature daily free concerts plus nightly victory celebrations and fireworks at Nathan Phillips Square (100 Queen St. W.).

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