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Tuesday, June 30, 2015

The top concerts in Toronto for July 2015

toronto concerts julyThe top Toronto concerts for July are full of the radio-friendly and stadium-filling, perhaps to counterbalance June's heavily indie festival onslaught. But don't think for one second that those summer fests are on the wain: Electric Island, Edgefest, Afrofest, Warped Tour, and Beaches Jazz Fest are just some of what's planned for this month.

Even other kinds of festivals are pulling in notable bands for live entertainment - Toronto's Festival of Beer has quite the eclectic lineup going, for example, with Naughty by Nature one night, then 54-40 the next (but only the latter is already sold out, which makes me question your priorities, Toronto).

Also on the fest front: beginning July 10, Panamania will honour the Pan Am Games with an impressively curated 35 days of (mostly free) arts and culture programming. Serena Ryder and Wyclef Jean kick off opening weekend and are followed by The Flaming Lips, Death From Above 1979, Kiesza, Basia Bulat and much more. Plus, just yonder north, the hotly anticipated WayHome sets up shop in Oro-Medonte July 24-26.

Somehow, there are still other interesting gigs scheduled in between all that madness. Here are my top picks for concerts in July.

The Tragically Hip (July 1, Molson Amphitheatre)
Is there a more patriotic way to celebrate Canada Day then attending a Tragically Hip show where they play all of Fully Completely? Not really, unless Celine Dion shows up across town in hockey skates singing the national anthem.

Buck 65 (July 3, Yonge-Dundas Square)
YDS just launched a new summer music series, and rapper/CBC radio host Buck 65 will play the second instalment of the Virgin Mobile-sponsored "Indie Fridays" in the free, open-air venue.

Death Grips (July 3, Danforth Music Hall)
Considering their history of not showing up to gigs, cancelling tours and generally screwing with the world, buying tickets to a Death Grips show is a risky investment at best. However, it's heartening to see reviews of the band's current North American tour uniformly stating that a) they were actually there and b) played a lengthy, killer set. I'd say take the gamble.

Brian Wilson (July 4, Danforth Music Hall)
The legendary Beach Boy's biopic Love and Mercy is currently playing to rave reviews in theatres, but we'll have the chance to see the real deal up close at the Danforth Music Hall as he tours his latest release, Pier Pressure.

U2 (July 6 and 7, Air Canada Centre)
Night one of U2's iNNOCENCE and eXPERIENCE tour is sold out, but there appears to be plenty of room left at night two - perhaps because people still haven't forgiven them for iTunesgate, or maybe just because they just decided to become Tool fans instead. Either way, you can still buy the pricey admission to what some say is still one of the best live acts in the world.

Foo Fighters (July 8 and 9, Molson Amphitheatre)
Speaking of recently injured rockstar royalty, Dave Grohl and co. are also swinging by for a two-night stint - well, hopefully, as long as his leg's healed up by then. The band's massive tour in honour of new release Sonic Highways is currently planned to resume at least a few days before their Toronto visit.

Operators (July 9, Garrison)
Wavelength joined forces with the Red Bull Sound Select series to put on this evening of up-and-coming Toronto indie, headlined by Dan Boeckner's new synth-driven project Operators and joined by Most People and Wish. Best of all, it's a measly $3 for advance tickets.

Skrillex's Full Flex Express (July 11, Echo Beach)
Skrillex's train tour of Canada has been on hiatus the past couple years, but has resumed in 2015 to the delight of EDM fans across the country. This year, catch Jack Ü, Zedd's Dead, A$AP Ferg, Kiesza, Tycho and more.

Interpol (July 14 and 15 Danforth Music Hall)
A freak snowstorm probably won't thwart their attempt to come across the border this time (well, hopefully...climate change, y'all), so fans of the moody NYC indie rockers will finally get the chance to see them over two nights.

Rockstar Mayhem Festival (July 15, Echo Beach)
As much as I'm tempted to poke fun at concerts sponsored by energy drinks, I have to admit that Rockstar's Mayhem Festival really outdid itself this year by booking one of the legendary Big Four, Slayer, as the headliner. They'll be joined by King Diamond, HELLYEAH and The Devil Wears Prada on the main stage.

Generationalpictomusicapolis (July 16, Adelaide Hall)
This hybrid rock show/art exhibit is a bit of a unique find in the concert landscape this month: three bands come together for one night of live performances and collaborate on limited-edition art prints that are put on display and available for purchase. Sub-Pop punk duo No Age will be joined by Sun Foot and Devin, Gary & Ross for this at the newly reopened, balcony-free Adelaide Hall.

Veruca Salt (July 28, Lee's Palace)
Veruca Salt is one of the many female-fronted bands to dredge itself from the 90s alt-rock bog with the OG lineup fully intact, so you'll get to hear Nina Gordon and Louise Post's sweet harmonies once again upon the release of their new album, Ghost Notes.

Nicki Minaj (July 28, Molson Amphitheatre)
Continuing her enormous tour in support of The Pinkprint, Nicki Minaj comes to town near the end of the month, mercifully allowing us plebs to still attend even if we don't have a Tidal subscription yet. Meek Mill, Rae Sremmurd, Tinashe and Dej Loaf round out her support for the show.

What did I miss? Add your suggestions for Toronto's most exciting July concerts in the comments.

Photo of Interpol by Caroline van Oosten de Boer on Flickr

by Shazia Khan via blogTO

The top 10 events in Toronto for July 2015

events toronto july 2015The top events in Toronto for July will have you celebrating summer with street, music, and food festivals galore. Whether you're looking to salsa dance down St. Clair or sample the finest brews our city has to offer, there's something for you.

Here are my picks for the top events in Toronto this July.

Fringe Festival (July 1-12)
This year's Toronto Fringe Festival offers a heavy dose of comedy and indie theatre. From July 1 to July 12, the city will be buzzing with eager thespians in search of an audience. The lineup this year is chock full of shows starring, written or directed by kick-ass women.

Taste of Toronto (July 2-5)
Now in its sophomore year, this internationally acclaimed food festival takes place at Fort York from July 2 to 5. Look forward to a lineup of 30+ chefs dishing out delicacies, a vendor marketplace, a WayHome preview stage, guided tastings, master classes, and more. Admission is $19 to $25 in advance, $30 at the door.

Salsa on St. Clair (July 4-5)
Salsa on St. Clair is one of the festivals most fraught with steamy summer possibilities. Put on your dancing shoes and get to know the St. Clair West community through dance. There will also be Latin food vendors on the streets, in case you need an energy boost.

Beaches Jazz Festival (July 10-26)
The Beaches Jazz Festival continues to expand, this year encompassing three weekends at Woodbine Park, on top of the annual street festival, while still remaining free for everyone. Performances by the Lula All Stars, Chris Thomas King, Ogguere, God Made Me Funky, The Boom Booms, La Gran Colombia Orchestra and many more make this one of the most international options this summer.

Pan Am Games & PANAMANIA (July 10-26, August 7-12)
The Pan Am Games aren't just about sports. You'll be able to see acts like The Roots, Flaming Lips, Chromeo, Jann Arden, USS, Lights, Janelle Monae, Colin James, tons of world music artists, and lots more -- all for free at Nathan Phillips Square and Pan Am Park. Check the schedule and show up early.

Junction Night Market (July 11)
This budget-friendly event is ideal for those who have spent most of their summer savings on Wayhome tickets. Food and craft beer will be served up for the low price of $5 per item. Look forward to eating bites from Aphrodite Cooks, La Vizziata Gelateria & Dessert Bar, Mo'Rockin' and more.

Toronto's Festival of Beer (July 24-26)
Featuring over 300 different brands of beer that run the gamut from small, local outfits like Junction Craft and Left Field to purveyors of mass-produced industrial lager like Miller Lite and Budweiser, for better of for worse, TFOB has it all. Find interesting craft offerings among the "beer girls," fizzy lagers, and pseudo craft schlock and expect thousands of beer drinkers gathering to party.

Night It Up! (July 24-26)
Modeled after night markets in Taiwan and Hong Kong, the 14th annual event returns to the Markham Civic Centre (101 Town Centre Blvd.) from July 24 to 26. The weekend event will be packed with unique Asian street foods, food trucks, game booths, merchandise vendors and live performances. Ticket sales and details to be announced. Here's what it looked like last year.

Wayhome (July 24-26)
How does a festival that hasn't happened yet make the list? Have the founder of super-festival Bonnaroo bring their success north of the border, booking a three-day music, arts and camping festival, the likes of which we've never seen in Ontario. Neil Young, Sam Smith and Kendrick Lamar top the bill of over 70 acts spread over three days.

Toronto Vintage Bicycle Show (July 26)
At the end of the month Trinity Bellwoods will bring bicycle enthusiasts together for a one-day event. Show of your prized vintage two-wheeler and chat with like-minded folks. Vendors will also be on the scene if you're looking to do some shopping.

What did I miss? Let us know what us know what events you're most looking forward to this July in the comments.

Contributions from Matthew Forsythe, Ben Johnson, Sima Sahar Zerehi, and Liora Ipsum

Photo of Salsa on St. Clair.

by Alice Prendergast via blogTO

Canada Day events in Toronto 2015

canada day events toronto 2015Canada Day events in Toronto offer a dose of patriotism and downright fun. If you're on the lookout for some pre-fireworks fun, there's plenty going on around the city. Check out one of the many Canada Day celebrations or head to Hanlan's Point to get your EDM fix before the pyrotechnics.

You also probably want to check out what's open and closed on Canada Day this year.

For more events, click on over to our events section.

Have an event you'd like to plug? Submit your own listing to the blogTO Toronto events calendar or contact us directly.

Photo by Bukarov in the blogTO Flickr pool.

by Alice Prendergast via blogTO

The tunnel

tunnel torontoPhoto by Ben Roffelsen in the blogTO Flickr pool.

by Derek Flack via blogTO

Burger's Priest to sell epic burger on Canada Day only

confederation burgerWhat's the most Canadian burger imaginable? The folks at the Burger's Priest were challenged to do just that, which has resulted in this over-the-top bit of surf 'n' turf. The Confederation Burger, which will only be offered on Canada, is topped with Ontario-farmed bacon, Nova Scotia lobster tail, and Quebec maple syrup.

What'll it cost you? Why, $18.67 of course. That might be a clever ploy to make a few bucks, but in this food-trend-crazy town, a showy burger demands a showy price. And it is clever.

As for the taste, the maple syrup is the star of the show. While the subtly of the lobster tends to get lost amidst the bolder flavours found within the bun, the sweetness of the maple syrup, fried right into the patty, just works. It resembles a syrupy mess of pancakes and sausage, which certainly fulfills the Canadian nostalgia factor.

What would your version of the ultimate Canadian burger be? Let us know in the comments.

by Derek Flack via blogTO

House of the week: 14 Springmount Avenue

14 Springmount Avenue TorontoThis modern three-storey at 14 Springmount Avenue in the posh Regal Heights neighbourhood is currently listed for just over $2.1 million. This same property, once resembling a colourful 1960s cottage, sold for $690,000 about three years ago, and the redone home is now worth three times more, according to the owners, that is.

The former house of yesteryear is back with all the glam and "bells and whistles" you'd expect. Over 4,000 square feet with an open main floor, a walk-out from the kitchen to the back patio and a second floor family room with glass walls.

14 Springmount Avenue TorontoThe third floor is dedicated to the master suite with its rustic sliding barn door, multiple walk-in closets, and a rooftop cedar deck equipped with water hookup and a small garden.

14 Springmount Avenue TorontoIt's a smart-home --there's a "home automation system" that can be accessed through WiFi, ceiling mounted speakers and hidden storage under the staircase.

14 Springmount Avenue TorontoRegal Heights near Davenport and Oakwood is a neighbourhood that's upscale without being pretentious. Hilly, elevated houses, tree-lined streets, close to St. Clair West and the cultural barns at Wychwood. At $2.1 mil, it's not for your first or even second time buyer, but perhaps more for someone who wants a hip neighbourhood beyond Yorkville or Forest Hill.

14 Springmount Avenue TorontoSPECS

  • Address: 14 Springmount Avenue
  • Price: $2,195,000
  • Lot Size: 38 x 188 FT
  • Bedrooms: 4+1
  • Bathrooms: 5
  • Parking: 2
  • Taxes: Not assessed
  • Walk Score: 89

14 Springmount Avenue TorontoNOTABLE FEATURES

  • Approx. 4,000 square feet
  • Three-storeys
  • Wine and bar fridge
  • Second floor cut out and skylight
  • Rooftop deck and walkout from master bedroom
  • Ceiling mounted speakers
  • Home Automation System

14 Springmount Avenue TorontoGOOD FOR

You love cooking. Experienced chefs, novice cooks, this sleek kitchen has it all. The main cooking area features Caesarstone countertops, two sinks, and three refrigerators (a main one and two smaller fridges for wine and beverages). Nice place to host a dinner party or a quiet evening for two.

14 Springmount Avenue TorontoMOVE ON IF

You don't want a house on a hill. The street might be picturesque but with the steep staircase in front, it's a workout just to get inside. In the winter, hold onto the hand railing for dear life.

14 Springmount Avenue Toronto14 Springmount Avenue Toronto14 Springmount Avenue Toronto14 Springmount Avenue Toronto14 Springmount Avenue Toronto14 Springmount Avenue Toronto14 Springmount Avenue Toronto14 Springmount Avenue TorontoRead other posts in this series via our House of the Week Pinterest board.

Thanks to Bosley Real Estate Ltd, Brokerage for sponsoring our House of the Week. All content and editorial selected and written by blogTO.

by Alana Charles via blogTO