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Toronto

Summerlicious and More Prix-Fixe Menus in Toronto

THE RETURN OF SUMMERLICIOUS MEANS TORONTO DINERS CAN ONCE AGAIN SAVE ON SAMPLING THE MENUS AT TOP RESTAURANTS. BUT THE SEASONAL DINING DEAL ISN’T THE ONLY WAY TO GET CULINARY BANG FOR YOUR BUCK!

Summerlicious Toronto Prix Fixe Menus

From left: dessert at 360 restaurant; George executive chef Lorenzo Loseto; the Shore Club’s dining room

DEALS FOR MEALS
One of the city’s best loved dining programs is back—this year for an extra week to give Pan Am Games visitors a chance to enjoy the flavourful fun. From July 3 to 26, Summerlicious sees more than 200 restaurants offering prix-fixe lunch ($18 to $28) and dinner ($25 to $45) menus. Among the returning participants are Canoe, Momofuku Daisho and The Shore Club, while the likes of as Bestellen and District Oven are involved for the first time.

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Consonant Skincare Goes Beneath Toronto’s Surface

CANADIAN BEAUTY COMPANY CONSONANT SKINCARE IS NOW OPEN IN TORONTO’S UNDERGROUND PATH SYSTEM

consonant skincare toronto path

Consonant Skincare’s line of organic beauty products is now available at the company’s PATH boutique

The PATH is one of Toronto’s hidden gems, particularly during inclement weather. The 30-kilometre underground walkway links more than 1,200 businesses— including offices, shops, restaurants and attractions—below ground level, many of which have early hours to accommodate commuters and workers. One of the latest and most welcome additions is Consonant Skincare, a Canadian company that carries an extensive line of all-natural products for the face and body that are made using the highest possible concentration of organic botanical ingredients; they’re also free of parabens, sulfates, petroleum ingredients and scent. Recognizing its unique location, the store has positioned itself as a one-stop skincare boutique that provides same-day delivery for orders placed before noon, as well as on-the-spot consultations. It also has an expanded selection of fitness and travel products.  —Linda Luong

• Consonant Skincare, Richmond-Adelaide Centre, 120 Adelaide St. W., 416-504-2855; consonantskincare.com
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Where to Eat and Shop in Revitalized Downtown Hamilton

THE SOUTHERN ONTARIO PORT CITY OF HAMILTON HAS BOUNCED BACK FROM A LENGTHY SLUMP—STILL A LITTLE ROUGH, BUT DEFINITELY RARING TO GO.
BY FLANNERY DEAN

Hamilton Toronto Day Trips

Earth to Table Bread Bar, Rapscallion and White Elephant are among the trend restaurants and shops to check out in downtown Hamilton

Hamilton is having a moment. The former industrial town, once dubbed the “cradle of the Canadian steel industry,” has reinvented itself as a gritty alternative to Toronto (a transformation helped, in part, by a steady influx of Torontonians drawn to Hamilton’s well-appointed stock of affordable downtown real estate). The injection of big-city blood has come with a few welcome perks. Note, for example, the availability of pricey bespoke cocktails and grass-fed gourmet burgers avec frites. But the city hasn’t entirely succumbed to gentrification: you can still get a strong coffee and a doughnut for a couple of bucks.

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Gourmet Barbecued Pies from Za Pizzeria

RECENT ANNEX ADDITION ZA PIZZERIA SPECIALIZES IN FRESH-MADE, BARBECUE-COOKED TAKE-OUT PIZZAS WITH GOURMET TOPPINGS

Za Pizzeria Toronto Annex

Za Pizzeria (photos: Craig Moy)

Toronto has no shortage of gourmet pizza parlours, but the options dwindle considerably if you’re pressed for time or just seeking a single slice. Enter Za Pizzeria. Or rather: you should enter Za Pizzeria. Recently opened by husband-and-wife team Jason and Lisa Costantini, the Annex-area joint does a brisk business in take-out pies cooked in custom-designed barbecue ovens, which impart a pleasant hint of wood smoke to the savoury thin-crust offerings. Jason spent more than a decade as a chef in the kitchens of Susur, Pizzeria Libretto and elsewhere, so it’s no surprise that made-to-order freshness is the, well, order of the day: all sauces, sautéed and caramelized veg, and sous vide-cooked meats are prepared in-house, and comprise pizzas ranging from a traditional margherita to unique and delicious options like the maple syrup-, bacon- and potato chip-topped “Oh Canada” and a pie with duck confit, roasted grapes and balsamic reduction. Smaller appetites are assured just-off-the-grill goodness: slices and half pizzas are guaranteed to sit for no more than 30 minutes.  —Craig Moy

• Za Pizzeria, 402 Bloor St. W., 416-345-9292; za-pizzeria.com

Germany’s Gerry Weber Opens in Toronto

WOMENSWEAR RETAILER GERRY WEBER’S FIRST CANADIAN CORPORATE LOCATION IS NOW OPEN AT NORTH TORONTO’S DESTINATION MALL

Gerry Weber Yorkdale Toronto

Gerry Weber specializes in fashion for women over 30

Yorkdale Shopping Centre continues to increase its collection of “first in Canada” retailers. The newest addition? Gerry Weber. Though there are more than 1,000 locations worldwide—including several franchises in Ontario—the Yorkdale boutique is the German brand’s first Canadian corporate location. Over four decades, Gerry Weber has become synonymous with moderately priced ready-to-wear apparel, accessories, leather goods and footwear for women age 30 and older. Its Toronto flagship carries four signature clothing lines: Gerry Weber (modern, sophisticated attire); Gerry Weber Edition (casual, sporty separates); Gerry Weber Accessories (scarves, jewellery and belts); and Taifun (urban business attire). More good news: the company is planning an aggressive expansion into the Canadian market with eight more stores scheduled to open by the end of the year.  —Linda Luong

• Gerry Weber, Yorkdale Shopping Centre, 416-789-2002; gerryweber.com
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Quick Pick: 3 Church Street Restaurants That are Perfect for Pride Patrons

ATTENDING THIS MONTH’S PRIDE TORONTO FESTIVITIES? FUEL UP FOR THE FUN AT THESE CHURCH STREET RESTAURANTS

Church Street Restaurants Pride Toronto Dining

(Smith photo courtesy of Smith; The Keg photo courtesy of The Keg)

• At the south end of the Gaybourhood sits Guu Izakaya, a boisterous, cosmopolitan Japanese pub where you can down some takoyaki, karaage, deep-fried tofu and refreshingly affordable cocktails. 398 Church St., 416-977-0999; guu-izakaya.com

• Special-occasion diners, as well as those who simply enjoy a high-quality cut of meat, crowd the historic mansion location of the popular Keg steakhouse chain. Legend has it that at least one ghost haunts the Jarvis Street restaurant’s halls. 515 Jarvis St., 416-964-6609; kegsteakhouse.com

• Though spread across three floors, Smith manages to cultivate an appealingly intimate atmosphere—even during its very popular weekend brunch service. 553 Church St., 416-926-2501; 553church.com

—Craig Moy

Discover the Americas at the Art Gallery of Ontario

THE ART GALLERY OF ONTARIO CRISS-CROSSES CONTINENTS IN A VISUAL EXPLORATION OF THE AMERICAS

Art Gallery of Ontario Picturing the Americas

Félix Emile Taunay’s Baia de Guanabrara Vista de Ilha das Cobras (photo: Instituto Ricardo Brennand)

JUNE 20 TO SEPTEMBER 20 It’s never been easier to travel the length (and breadth) of the Western hemisphere—from Alaska to Newfoundland to the Gulf of Mexico, Brazil and far beyond—but how closely do we really look at where we’re going? Just in time for July’s Pan Am Games, the Art Gallery of Ontario presents “Picturing the Americas,” an exhibition of landscapes that capture not only scenic vistas, but also the history, politics, culture and traditions associated with places like Rio de Janeiro’s Guanabara Bay, California’s Sierra Nevada mountains, Canada’s far north and the Tierra del Fuego in southern Chile and Argentina. The display boasts approximately 80 exquisite works in all—more than enough to inspire some serious wanderlust. —Craig Moy

• Art Gallery of Ontario, 317 Dundas St. W., 416-979-6648; ago.net
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New Works by Yoakim Bélanger at Thompson Landry Gallery

QUEBEC ARTIST YOAKIM BÉLANGER’S NEW PAINTINGS ON METAL, TO BE HUNG AT THOMPSON LANDRY GALLERY, COMBINE ABSTRACTION AND FIGURATION

Yoakim-Belanger-Thompson-Landry-Gallery-Toronto-Red

Yoakim Bélanger’s Red (photo: Thompson Landry Gallery)

JUNE 18 TO JULY 7 The word “convergence” springs to mind when contemplating the works of Yoakim Bélanger. The merging of colour and texture, of medium and subject, of figuration and abstraction are evident in his latest large-scale efforts to be shown at the Distillery District’s Thompson Landry Gallery. The Montreal-based artist uses found pieces of aluminum and oxidized steel for his canvases. His brushwork, sensitive to the scratches, chips and markings that have accumulated on the metal, brings forth images that highlight the expressive, evolving qualities of the human form. The works’ reflective surfaces mean that the viewer becomes part of the art, too, implicated in its creation—and interpretation—through the act of observing. —Craig Moy

• Thompson Landry Gallery, Distillery District, 416-364-4955; thompsonlandry.com
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Agritourism in Ontario: Discover Where the Good Things Grow

ONTARIO’S AGRITOURISM ATTRACTIONS OFFER LOCALS AND VISITORS ALIKE A FARM-FRESH PERSPECTIVE ON OUR RENOWNED AGRICULTURAL BOUNTY.
BY RENÉE SUEN

Ontario Agritourism Toronto Day Trip Food Tour

(Monforte Dairy cheese photo: Renée Suen)

 

Finding seasonally fresh food in Toronto isn’t hard: nearly every restaurant menu and produce shelf boasts of the bounty. Ontario is blessed with more than half of Canada’s highest quality farm land, and most of it is a mere hour or two’s drive from the GTA. No matter if you’re a dilettante cook or a full-fledged foodie, it’s easy to connect with the province’s primary tastemakers to learn about land stewardship, food security, and sustainable aqua- and agriculture, all while marveling at the picturesque surroundings. So fill up the tank, plug in your favourite playlist, and embark on an adventure that’ll leave you satisfied, but also hungry for more.

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Express Your Sole with Yo Sox Socks

QUEEN WEST BOUTIQUE YO SOX FEATURES ECLECTIC ATTIRE FOR YOUR FEET

Yo Sox Toronto

Yo Sox has hundreds of creative sock options

An entire store devoted to socks, you ask? Indeed, responds Yo Sox, a modern outpost for colourful, graphic and novelty attire for your feet. Specializing in eye-catching socks for the masses, each pair is designed to make a statement, but still produced with mass appeal in mind: compact Turkish cotton and reinforced heels and toes ensure comfort and durability. Agree with the Toronto-based company’s mission to “ban boring black socks”? Your goal can be easily achieved with fun offerings including lobster-, shark- and burger-themed socks. Or select stripes and polka dots for a subtler look.  —Linda Luong

• Yo Sox, 567 Queen St. W., 416-722-9460; yo-sox.com
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Uncover Life in Ancient Pompeii at the Royal Ontario Museum

THE TREASURES OF THE ANCIENT ROMAN CITY OF POMPEII—DESTROYED BY A VOLCANIC ERUPTION—ARE UNEARTHED AT THE ROYAL ONTARIO MUSEUM

Royal Ontario Museum Pompeii

A pair of artifacts from the Royal Ontario Museum’s Pompeii exhibition (photos: courtesy of the Trustees of the British Museum)

JUNE 13 TO JANUARY 3 One of history’s most notorious natural disasters, the AD 79 eruption of Mount Vesuvius killed thousands of people and wiped the Roman city of Pompeii off the map. Though destroyed, the city was also preserved by the volcano’s molten lava and falling ash. Visitors to the Royal Ontario Museum can see what it was like to live in the shadow of Vesuvius, courtesy of a dramatic exhibition featuring 200 artifacts from the UNESCO World Heritage Site. Organized around the famed eyewitness account of the eruption by Pliny the Younger—as well as casts of Pompeians who died in the catastrophe—the highly anticipated show offers both a powerful reminder of nature’s volatility and a window to ancient Roman society.  —Craig Moy

• Royal Ontario Museum, 100 Queen’s Park, 416-586-8000; rom.on.ca
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Say Cheers to Craft Beer This Month in Toronto

THE CRAFT BEER SCENE IN TORONTO—AND ACROSS THE PROVINCE—CONTINUES TO EXPAND. CHECK OUT SOME OF THE TOP OFFERINGS DURING ONTARIO CRAFT BEER WEEK AND AT FINE BREWPUBS AND BARS AROUND TOWN.

Ontario Craft Beer Week

Session Toronto kicks off Ontario Craft Beer Week this weekend at Yonge-Dundas Square

BIG-TIME TASTING
Ontario Craft Beer Week returns for a sixth annual celebration of small-batch brews. Hundreds of events are scheduled from June 12 to 21 at venues throughout the province—pub crawls, brewmaster dinners, and tours of such facilities as Steam Whistle and Mill Street breweries are just a taste of the offerings. Visit ocbweek.ca for a full list of events and locations.

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