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Thursday, December 31, 2015

15 restaurants for New Year's Day brunch in Toronto

new years brunchNew Year's Day brunch in Toronto is the prize for getting out of bed and facing 2016 head-on. Crush that first hangover of the year with mimosas and eggs at these mercifully open establishments.

Here are my picks where to eat your first brunch of the New Year in Toronto.

The restaurant across from the Scotiabank Theatre is open and serving brunch -- cheap champagne edition -- from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m..

Lisa Marie
Double pancake pork burgers (among many other hangover-nursing dishes) are available 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at this restaurant on West Queen West. Mimosas will be on for $4.

Farmhouse Tavern
The hangover brunch served at this Junction hot spot is bound to be busy. Text: 416.561.9114 before you head out to see if tables are available before you even put your boots on.

New Year's Day brunch is first come, first served between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. at this restaurant on Tecumseth. The menu opens with fresh doughnuts and continues on with gluttonous a la carte options like the beastwich featuring a fried chicken thigh, cheese, pork sausage gravy and a fried egg on a buttermilk biscuit.

Kick off the new year with an indulgent brunch buffet priced at $55 per person at this grand cafe.

La Palette
Stat the new year off right with brunch at this French bistro featuring a la carte selections like pan seared foie gras, croissant niçoise, and the omelette du jour.

The Steady
You're welcome to attend this brunch in your pyjamas on Bloor West served from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Start 2016 off with a Balkan-style goat yogurt parfait at this Riverside public house. Or just say f*ck it and get the breakfast poutine. Brunch starts at 10 a.m..

New Year's Day brunch at this posh Yorkville restaurant runs 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Choose two courses for $45 or indulge in three courses for $53. Selections include lemon ricotta hotcakes, duck confit hash and oeufs meurette.

Advance tickets allow diners to bypass the lineups at this Liberty Village brunch haunt. Tickets for tables of two are $150 and include bakery items, entrees, side dishes, fresh mimosas, coffee and tea.

The Drake Hotel
Cure your countdown hangover at this West Queen West hotel serving an array of classic brunch dishes including blueberry scones, chicken and waffles, mushroom and kale bennies, and more.

Ashdale Brunch and Espresso
The brunch spot in Leslieville will be open for lattes, French toast and more from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on New Year's Day.

Me & Mine
An eclectic assortment of brunch dishes will be served all day at this Brockton Village restaurant.

Brunch is served at this O&B establishment at Queen and Yonge from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on New Year's Day. Look forward to a menu of fried bologna and eggs, brunch poutine, and more.

Poutini's House of Poutine
The poutine shop on West Queen West will be open New Year's Eve until 3 a.m. and then will open at noon on New Year's Day yo serve brunch featuring Poutini Florentini, Breakfast Poutine and Maple Bacon Poutine until 4 p.m.

Add New Year's brunch options to the comments if you can see well enough to type through your hangover.

Photo fo Ashdale Brunch and Espresso.

by Liora Ipsum via blogTO

Toronto Restaurant Openings: Mercat del Carmen, The Peasant Table, King David Laffa Grill, Ba-Li Italiano

Kwan TorontoToronto Restaurant Openings highlights the latest restaurant openings and closings in Toronto and also gives a preview of what's coming soon.


  • Mercat del Carmen, a new Spanish food market from the owners of Carmen, is now open at 920 Queen St. West.
  • The Peasant Table is now open and serving up brunch and dinner at 786 Queen Street East where Table 17 used to be.
  • King David Laffa Grill is now open at 5999 Bathurst Street between Finch and Steeles.



  • Tabule is opening a third location in the Canary District in the new year.
  • Dim sum restaurant, Kwan is expanding in the new year with a second location set to open at 808 York Mills Road.
  • Holy Chuck Burgers is coming soon to 586 Yonge Street where Northbound Leather used to be.
  • Ba-Li Italiano, a new kosher Italian restaurant is in the works at 1045 Steeles Avenue West.

Have you seen restaurants opening or closing in your neighbourhood? Email tips to

by Liora Ipsum via blogTO

Toronto New Year's Eve Party Guide 2016

nye torontoNew Year's Eve parties in Toronto include everything from swanky hotel soirees to good, old-fashioned house parties. While slipping into sequinned apparel may be fun for some, it's definitely not for everyone. Luckily, the city is filled with bashes that will help you ring in the new year in style - no matter what your style may be.

Here are my picks for New Year's Eve parties and events in Toronto.

See also: The top 27 restaurants for New Year's dinner in Toronto


Majestic New Years Eve 2016 | Fairmont Royal York | 6:30 p.m. | $50-$120
If you're looking for a truly luxurious way to kick off 2016, head to the Fairmont Royal York. The hotel is hosting one of the largest parties in the city, with around 3000 people expected to attend. The event will fill three rooms with musicians, live cabaret shows and more. If you feel like throwing down some extra cash, you can head to the venue early for a three course meal.

Cirque New Year's Eve | 99 Sudbury | 10 p.m. | $30
99 Sudbury is one of the most popular event venues in the city, so it's no surprise that it's going all out for New Year's. The annual end of year soiree has a reputation for being anything but ordinary and features everything from confetti cannons to LED light shows. The soundtrack for the evening will be house, hip-hop, mashup & top 40 - so expect to sing along to 2015's greatest hits.

NYE | 159 Manning | 10 p.m. | $10-$15
Purchasing a $200 outfit and spending half a pay cheque on bottle service is not for everyone. For those who like a more laid-back atmosphere, try the annual 159 Manning house party. You may be sipping on PBR instead of champagne when the clock strikes midnight, but there's no shame in that.

Down-town Abbey | Gladstone Hotel | 7 p.m. | $57.53
The Gladstone reigns supreme when it comes to theme parties, and their New Year's bash is no exception. You'll find costume-clad guests, themed cocktails, and Edwardian-inspired characters wandering the venue. You won't have to worry about the soundtrack being too stuffy, it will feature everything from 20s jazz classics to hits spun by DJ Carmelinda, DJ Joe Blow and Kaleb Roberston.

FIVE + : A NYE EXPERIENCE | Secret Warehouse Location | 8 p.m. | $32.40-$53.60
Want to go off the beaten trail? FIVE+ takes place in a yet-to-be-revealed Queen West warehouse and has all the makings of stellar bash. A culinary marketplace, curated art, meditation sessions and live music are all on tap for the evening.

Royale Gala New Year's Eve 2016 | Palais Royale | 9 p.m. | $40-$60
Want to get dolled up and spend the evening dancing to the top pop hits of 2015? Grab a ticket for this event. You'll spend the evening looking out onto Lake Ontario, sipping champagne and counting down to 2016 in style.


It's All Downhill From Here | Track & Field | 9 p.m. | $24.99
Track & Field is hosting its very first New Year's bash and is expecting things to get wild. Forget about awkward small talk and cocktail attire, here you'll be playing lawn games with craft beer in hand (priced modestly at $5 for the evening).

New Year's Houseparty w/ Happy Boy Tona + Teo Nio + Jayem Kayem | Apt. 200 | 10 p.m. | $TBA
Apt. 200 offers the house party vibe without the hungover post-party clean-up. The space, decorated like the apartment you've always wanted, is the ideal spot for those not able to commit to red carpet-worthy attire but who want to do more than just Netflix and chill. The night's soundtrack will be crafted by Happy Boy Tona, Teo Nio and Jayem Kayem.

Much Music VJ Legend Master T does New Year's | The Smiling Buddha | 9 p.m. | $20-$25
This isn't your average Much Music Video Dance Party. Head to the Smiling Buddha on NYE for a bash hosted by Much Music alum, Master T. He'll be taking requests and selecting the evening's music and videos, so you can expect the best of the best (he did host Rap City and Da Mix, after all).


New Beers Eve '16 | Mascot Brewery/Odd Thomas | 10 p.m. | $20-$25
If you find the term 'club' intimidating, this is the venue for your NYE escapades. Mascot Brewery and Odd Thomas specialize in beer as opposed to vodka cranberries and the crowd is more plaid shirts than little black dresses.

Bonobo | The Hoxton | 10 p.m. | $TBA
Get your fill of EDM by heading to The Hoxton this New Year's Eve. Bonobo, Jeff Button and The Kount will all be taking the stage. Expect the regular roster of drinks and shenanigans.

What did I miss? Add where you'll be partying on NYE to the comments.

Photo via Bonobo.

by Alice Prendergast via blogTO

10 New Year's resolutions for Toronto in 2016

new years resolutions torontoA new year means a chance for us to start fresh; we're all a collective tabula rasa ready to become the very best version of ourselves. It's also an opportunity for Toronto to transform into the urban metropolis of our dreams, so here are some resolutions we hope this city - and its inhabitants - stick to in 2016.

Never call Toronto The 6 again
It was fun while it lasted, but this nickname was so 2014 (along with #6Dad and #6god). This resolution will unfortunately prove futile because we'll probably be inundated with these monikers again once Drake finally releases Views from the 6.

Stop complaining about the 501 and 504 streetcar routes
If there's nary a streetcar in sight along King or Queen Street, you can now take UberHOP instead of cursing under your breath and subtweeting the TTC. Also, it's getting better.

Cease all selfies with the Toronto sign
Yes, Toronto has a beautiful multicoloured name plate that deserves our utmost love and respect. But seriously, it's just a sign, and it's not going anywhere so put down the selfie stick and simply admire it from afar.

Take the UP Express
Unlike the Toronto Sign, the Union Pearson Express hasn't been very well received here. Show it some love in 2016 and vow to take it to (or from) the airport. Since Metrolinx is offering two-for-one fares, you can even just ride it for fun! How's that for a first date idea?

Drink at the Brunny one last time
This iconic Toronto bar isn't quite dead yet, so head on over to the Annex and relive your glory days as you pound back cheap beers and tequila shots.

Try all the new craft breweries in Toronto
Once you stave off your actual resolutions, try this Toronto-centric one and support the brand new craft breweries that are popping up all over the city. There's plenty to try and you're pretty much guaranteed a chance to wander through far-off neighbourhoods; this is really a two-for-one.

Don't be a comment troll
Numerous Toronto publications (including this one) have either changed or scrapped their comment sections because clearly, we can't have nice things. While constructive criticism is beneficial, blatant rudeness is not.

Don't park in the bike lanes
Toronto's now a friendlier place for two-wheelers, but not everyone got the memo. Along with the Cactus Club Cafe valet blunder, numerous taxis - as well as Stephen Harper's campaign bus - got caught in the bike lane this year.

Start a Toronto parody Instagram account
With many popular feeds running amuck in The 6 (oops), there's still plenty of room for more Toronto-related accounts. Perhaps you'll document the fat squirrels craze, or the lineup in front of Bang Bang Ice Cream on a hot summer's day. If all else fails, you can always just Insta a photo from Sweet Jesus because everyone loves those soft serve cones.

Revel in the fact that Toronto's one of the world's most liveable cities
This city isn't perfect and yes, it's pretty expensive and there's still so much that needs improvement. But, we're all pretty lucky to call Toronto home. Make the most out of 2016 and try that random activity you've been putting off or resolve to simply spend a day walking around an area you've yet to explore.

What Toronto resolutions can you think of? Let us know in the comments.

Photo by Ben Roffelsen in the blogTO Flickr pool.

by Amy Grief via blogTO

The top 10 new late night eats in Toronto

late night eats torontoToronto welcomed a whole slew of late night eateries in 2015. From 24-hour diners and novel new junk food hawkers to late night pintxos bars and tropical snack bars, there's more good reasons than ever to stay up real late.

Here are my picks for the top new late night eats in Toronto.

This compact snack bar on Dundas West slings cocktails and Japanese small plates including curry pork buns, dyno wings, uni bombs and miso ice cream until last call.

Bar Raval
The fanciful tapas bar in Little Italy is a flurry of activity until last call. Fortify yourself with cocktails and graze from the pintxos bar filled with an array of delicacies like skewered mushroom towers, anchovies on toast, and crispy jamon doughnuts.

Mascot Brewery
The rooftop beer garden (and soon to open brew pub) in the club district has its very own food truck parked topside. Just head upstairs from Odd Thomas to mow down on burgers, brats, Halifax donair and more until 2 a.m.

Junked Food Co.
If you find yourself hammered on a Friday or trashed on a Saturday, you might as well go get Junked on Dundas West until 4 a.m.. The late night destination deals in smash bags, deep dish pizzas, waffles and other potentially questionable decisions.

The 47
This craft beer and cider bar in Bloordale boasts a late night kitchen that keeps cooking until 2 a.m. nightly. The menu bills small plates like chickpea flour crepes, grilled octopus, and gnocchi.

Miss Thing's
Spam pintxo, pork buns, ahi tuna poke and blue cheese dumplings are all on offer until 2 a.m. Tuesday through Saturday at this tropical cocktail lounge in Parkdale.

Cactus Club Cafe
Find this multi-level Financial District restaurant dishing out braised short ribs, ravioli with prawns and peking duck clubhouse sandwiches until 1:30 a.m. on weekends.

The Den
With The Nest perched just upstairs, this loungey restaurant can be found serving dinner until midnight followed by an abbreviated (eight item) late-night menu on offer until last call on Fridays and Saturdays. Order deep fried drumsticks, sriracha fries and spicy n'duja sliders.

Smoke's Weinerie/Smoke's Burritorie
The chain of poutine purveyors branched out in a big way this past year, offering up a tour de force of late night eats that cover the range of future regrets including fully loaded hot dogs and over stuffed burritos.

Old School
This retro styled diner on Dundas West is a 24-hour source for tall stacks of flapjacks, BBQ ribs and smoked chicken dinners at any hour.

What's your favourite new late night eat? Let us know in the comments.

Photo of Han Moto by Jesse Milns.

by Liora Ipsum via blogTO

New Year's weekend events in Toronto for 2016

weekend events torontoWeekend events in Toronto will help you cope with your NYE hangover. Thankfully, most of the city shuts down on Friday, allowing you to revive yourself with plates of carbs (or some fitness events, if you're up for a challenge). You'll still be able to salvage your weekend with some solid events on Saturday and Sunday, like the Sound Academy's final rager and Class of 2016 at the Silver Dollar.

See also: Toronto New Year's Eve Party Guide 2016. For more events this weekend click on over to our Events section.


DJ Skate Nights Soul on Ice (Jan. 2)
Head to the Harbourfront Centre on Saturday for another DJ Skate Night. Kevin "Kid Kut" Keith, Jester and Ian Andre Espinet will be providing your skating soundtrack; expect to hear hits by everyone from Aretha Franklin to Justin Timberlake as you sharpen your skills on the ice.

6 God Drake Dance Party (Jan. 2)
If you fell in love with Drake in 2015 (and let's face it, who didn't?) you'll want to be at the Gladstone on the 2nd. There will be drink specials, live dance performances and all the Drake music you could ever want. Remember to brush up on his discography before attending, there will be plenty of die hard fans singing along.

One Last Party at Sound Academy (Jan. 2)
The time has finally come for Sound Academy to shut its doors for good. If you want to wish the venue one final farewell before it morphs into a club complex, hit up its closing bash on Saturday. Expect plenty of DJs, dancing and debauchery.


Class of 2016 (Jan. 2)
If you didn't get your fill of indie music at What's In The Box, hit up the Silver Dollar on Saturday. The venue's indie music honour roll series is returning and bringing out The Lifers, ColinResponse, A Fellow Ship, The Luke Austin Band and The Paramount Kings for the first show of the year. If you can't make it tonight, no worries - the series continues throughout January.


Magnificent 70mm (Dec. 31-Jan.3)
Head to the TIFF Bell Lightbox to catch classic films on the big screen. This weekend the theatre is screening The Wild Bunch (Jan. 1), Vertigo (Jan. 2), West Side Story (Jan. 2) and Spartacus (Jan. 3) in 70mm.

2015 Cannes Lions Awards: The World's Best Commercials (Dec. 14-Jan. 4)
Bloor Hot Docs is showing the world's top advertisements (you know, the one's you probably wouldn't skip after five seconds on YouTube) on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. If you want to catch the show before it's gone, now's the time to snag tickets.


Festival of New Formats at Comedy Bar (Jan. 2-6)
Comedy Bar's Festival of New Formats brings Toronto's funny men and women to the stage for five nights of performances beginning this weekend. You'll get to catch experimental sketch, improv and stand-up shows without dropping a dime. It may not have the star power of JFL42, but you'll probably get in a few laughs.


Polar Bear Dip (Jan. 1)
While it's pretty much a tradition to spend New Year's Day gorging on piles of home fries and bacon, that's not going to do your body any good. If you want to stick to the "new year, new you" resolution, opt to wipe off last night's make up and take a dip in the lake at 11 a.m. Proceeds from the event go to Habitat for Humanity GTA, so you'll also be doing some good.

36th Annual Hair of the Dog Run (Jan. 1)
If you're serious about committing to your New Year's fitness resolutions, kick off 2016 with a 9k run in the Beaches. The race starts at noon, so you'll be able to sleep off whatever you drank the night before. For those who partied a little too hard on NYE, there's also a 3k walk starting at 11:30 a.m.

For more events this weekend click on over to our Events section. Have an event you'd like to plug? Submit it for free using this form.

Photo by Christian Bobak

by Alice Prendergast via blogTO

The top 5 new nightclubs in Toronto from 2015

new nightclubs toronto 2015The newest nightclubs in Toronto are cool, contemporary and copious amounts of fun. This year brought a lot of change to Toronto, from politics to sports to the way we feel about trash pandas. But one thing remained the same: sometimes it's absolutely necessary to down a few vodka sodas, grab your girlfriends, and pretend you've got rhythm.

Here are my picks for the top new nightclubs in Toronto that opened in 2015.

Odd Thomas
This nightclub-meets-beer bar serves up a wide variety of brews in addition to delicious cocktails, complete with a relaxed vibe not typical of the usual nightclub scene.

Same Nightclub
Same focuses on bottle service, high-quality cocktails and chic, minimalist decor. Located on King West, this after-work-to-early-morning club proves that just being inoffensive is good enough.

La Vie Complex
This Entertainment District club has it all, from bottle service to celebrity clientele to intense DJs to very, very friendly patrons.

This house music club in Little Italy boasts a DYNACORD sound system and LED lights. The 13,000 square foot club proves that the best things come in big packages.

Blnd Tger
This club combines the worlds of upscale booze and exciting video games even better than my ex-roommate who drank Manhattans while yelling at children on WOW. If you like cocktails and dancing, this is your place.

Did I miss your favourite? Let us know in the comments.

Photo of Same Nightclub by Jesse Milns

by Martha Stortz via blogTO

Condo of the week: 55 Prince Arthur Avenue

55 Prince Arthur AvenueLocated at 55 Prince Arthur Avenue near Bloor West, this swanky 11th floor dwelling is the ultimate pad to host that New Year's Eve party overlooking the posh streets of Yorkville and the CN Tower's light show.

The three-bedroom, four-bathroom condo feels like you've entered a sublime spa. A very, very large spa spanning over 4,700 square feet and featuring two balconies. White patterned walls in the main foyer and arched ceilings flow room-to-room with sliding doors and a built-in sauna.

55 Prince Arthur AvenueThe massive curved space can fit over 100 guests comfortably and behind one of the sliding doors is a secret home theatre. One can easily convert the private cinema into another bedroom, but why bother? The floor-to-ceiling screen is a main attraction at any party or home screening.

55 Prince Arthur AvenueThe sleek kitchen has been upgraded, now featuring wood panels and an eat-in area, and down the hall the combined living and dining room is great for entertaining or just admiring the intricate decor and city views.

55 Prince Arthur AvenueSPECS

  • Address: #1103 - 55 Prince Arthur Avenue
  • Price: $3,490,000
  • Square feet: 4,700
  • Bedrooms: 3
  • Bathrooms: 4
  • Parking: 2
  • Taxes: $13,879.22
  • Maintenance fee: $3,854.74/monthly
  • Walk Score: 96

55 Prince Arthur AvenueNOTABLE FEATURES

  • Climate controlled rooms
  • Home theatre
  • Spa-like bathroom with sauna
  • Two balconies
  • Valet parking & rooftop deck
  • Indoor swimming pool

55 Prince Arthur AvenueGOOD FOR

Individual climate controlled rooms. If your partner is always cold or vice versa, climate controlled spaces are a useful feature to regulate temperature. This unit includes two electric heat pumps for each room and upgraded baseboard vents.

55 Prince Arthur AvenueMOVE ON IF

You want an ultra modern brand-new residence. Let's be honest, this unit is more than unique -- its peculiar style and decor is not for everyone. The condos at Prince Arthur is an older development, built in the early '90s, and the brown brick facade shows its age. The hotel-style lobby (and swimming pool) could use a facelift, along with the unit itself. There are plenty of newer glass towers in the area (the Yonge and Bloor corner for example) but likely, the square footage will be drastically smaller than these older buildings.

55 Prince Arthur Avenue55 Prince Arthur Avenue55 Prince Arthur Avenue55 Prince Arthur Avenue55 Prince Arthur Avenue55 Prince Arthur Avenue55 Prince Arthur Avenue55 Prince Arthur Avenue55 Prince Arthur Avenue55 Prince Arthur Avenue55 Prince Arthur Avenuepoint2homesThanks to Point2Homes for sponsoring this post.

by Alana Charles via blogTO