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Sunday, January 31, 2016

New Venture Competition Info Session

Thursday, February 4, 2016 from 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM (EST)

Launch Zone
2 Gould Street
Toronto, Ontario

Hosted By:
StartMeUp Ryerson

Providing Entrepreneurs with the Education, Resources and Funding to help turn their ideas into reality.

Register for this event now at :

Event Details:

Are you working on a startup? Want a chance at $25 000?

The Slaight New Venture Competition (formerly known as the Business Plan Competition) is fast approaching! One male and one female entrepreneur from TRSM will receive $25 000 each to develop their venture. Applications are open on February 1st to March 15, 2016. Send in your application, or come out on March 28th to watch the competition! 

There will be a brief information session on Thursday, February 4 at 12pm-1pm at the Launch Zone, 3rd floor Student Learning Center.

For details and full contest rules visit

If you have any questions of please contact us at

by via Events organized by StartMeUp Ryerson

Ideas Over Coffee

Wednesday, February 10, 2016 from 12:00 PM to 2:00 PM (EST)

Launch Zone
2 Gould Street
Toronto, Ontario

Hosted By:
StartMeUp Ryerson

Providing Entrepreneurs with the Education, Resources and Funding to help turn their ideas into reality.

Register for this event now at :

Event Details:

Have an idea for a business, technology, or social venture? Discuss your BIG idea over a small cup of coffee with our student mentors from Enactus Ryerson’s award winning StartMeUp program. Seize the opportunity to receive critical feedback, and guidance to help get the idea off the ground.  Ideas at any stage are welcome. No pressure or PowerPoint needed, just grab a cup of joe and come to the Launch Zone to talk to us!

by via Events organized by StartMeUp Ryerson

What Toronto will lose when Mirvish Village is gone

Mirvish VillageIf ever there was a Toronto redevelopment scheme worthy of ambivalence, it's Westbank's plan for Honest Ed's and Mirvish Village. There are many reasons to be optimistic about what's coming to the micro neighbourhood that exists just beyond the southwest corner of Bathurst and Bloor, but it's also worth remembering that Mirvish Village as it exists today is a unique part of Toronto.

Amongst the things going for Westbank's plans for the area is the scale of the development. With about 1,000 residential units on the way, it's big, of course. But the vertical scale of the project is kept in check. The fact that these will also be rental units is also a boon for a neighbourhood that houses a significant chunk of U of T students.

Mirvish VillageOn the other hand, no matter what replaces Mirvish Village, the city will lose one of its most interesting retail areas not housed on a main street. The plan is to retain some commercial space along Markham in the future, but it's unclear if this type of strip can function in any other manner that's not organic.

Mirvish Village started as an artist colony thanks to cheap rent. Even today, one is reminded of these origins with the presence of shops like Suspect Video, The Beguiling, Vintage Video, Coal Miner's Daughter, and Neurotica Records. This is small retail strip that works in part because of the history from which it has arisen.

Mirvish VillageA teenage ritual of mine was to cut through the alley behind David Mirvish Books on the way to Suspect Video from my best friend's house on Palmerston. On occasion we would be be hassled for using the laneway, which we handled by claiming that our uncle Dave said it was okay - yes, as in David Mirvish.

We thought we were pretty clever, though I now suspect that no one believed our story. Yet at the time, we brimmed with the sort of confidence that's bred by watching countless gangster movies, which we found in no short supply at Suspect, a place that's been open on Markham since 1991.

David Mirvish BooksThere's no doubt that the 2009 closure of the bookstore was a hit to the old character of the neighbourhood. The store opened in 1974, and was one of the anchors of a neighbourhood that improbably retained an artsy identity even as property values in the area soared.

Still, Suspect carried on. The Beguiling remained a destination for lovers of comic books and graphic art. The stage at the Central played host to up-and-coming bands. Like a character from a Faulkner novel, Mirvish Village endured.

The next round of closures, due in less than a year, will be more decisive. The end of an era - one that started in the 1960s - is on the horizon for Markham St. You can keep the retail space, but the little bubble that has insulated the shops of Mirvish Village is set to burst, and it's dubious that the new development will be kind to the type of stores that currently exist here.

Mirvish VillageThere's nothing wrong with the redevelopment of neighbourhoods. It's necessary. It's also how Mirvish Village came into existence as a commercial strip on a residential street. What's troubling, however, is that the Toronto of today doesn't seem to give birth to new places like this any more.

Geary Ave. comes to mind, but the zoning laxity that once made an arts scene possible on Markham St. is a thing of the past.

As the city continues to sanitize itself, it's worth paying a visit to Mirvish Village for a look at what can happen when we loosen our regulations and allow things to happen organically.

Photos by Michelle Tribe, the Toronto Archives, Himy Syed, Dominic Bugatto, and blogTO.

by Derek Flack via blogTO

Drake drops new single from Views from the 6

summer sixteenThe unstoppable Drake revealed yesterday that he'll be releasing his new album, Views from the 6, this coming April.

As reported by the CBC, the release date - 4/16 - is a nod to the city's area code. The exact date is yet to be confirmed, but Drizzy ensured listeners of his OVO Sound Radio show that he's "working overtime" to complete the album.

Over the course of the show, Drake played his new single, Summer Sixteen, several times. The song is now available on iTunes and Apple Music.

On the track, Drake takes jabs at several people including Kanye ("Now I got a bigger pool than Ye") and President Barack Obama ("Tell Obama that my verses are just like the whips that he in, they bulletproof"), who once said that Kendrick Lamar would beat Drake in a rap battle.

Of course, the Twitterverse was quick to chime in.

What do you think of Drake's new single? Let us know in the comments.

by Jeanie Tran via blogTO

10 signs that Toronto is becoming more of a Music City

toronto music cityToronto is becoming more of a Music City every day. For starters, the Toronto Music Advisory Council, along with Toronto's first-ever Music Sector Development Officer, Mike Tanner, have been searching for ways to make this city more music-friendly. And while there have been obstacles, there's now more music in more places in Toronto than ever before.

Here are 10 signs that Toronto is becoming more of a Music City.

More festivals
To add to the list of mainstays like Canadian Music Week, NXNE and the Beaches Jazz Festival, a number of new festivals were welcomed last year. The Toronto Islands hosted both Camp Wavelength and Bestival. The Night Owl was a new psychedelic fest. Wayhome was a success before it even happened. And Endless City arrived this year.

Venues got major makeovers
Two longstanding music venues are currently being revamped. INK Entertainment has promised a new concert hall for The Sound Academy. Meanwhile, renovations at Massey Hall are expected to continue for a few more years. The Cameron House and other venues also had lifts and tucks done.

New music venues
Though music fans briefly lamented the loss of a few institutions in 2015 (bye, Rancho), they can look forward to a long run of shows at newer, recently-opened venues Burdock on Bloor St. is a musician-run microbrewery. Let's Be Frank serves up hot dogs and live music. And Fat City Blues may finally have killed the curse of 890 College St.

El Mo saved
Since Michael Wekerle saved the El Mo in November 2014, there's been little news on the renovations. We do know that this month, the iconic sign was brought down for a makeover, which is hopefully an indication that it's reopening soon. Meanwhile the Matador Ballroom, which turned 100 years, is very close to opening.

Drake brings more than just hip-hop stardom and class to Toronto's music scene. In 2015 he expanded the sixth OVO Fest to include a third day with J. Cole, Big Sean, and Kevin Hart on the roster. Forbes dubbed him the third highest-paid hip-hop star in the world. Hotline Bling went viral, and If You're Reading This It's Too Late topped the Billboard 200 chart.

Postering by-law killed
In June, The Toronto Music Advisory Council and Municipal Licensing and Standards stepped in and killed the existing postering by-law. Previously, venues (and musicians) could be fined $300 to 500 for plastering posters on non-designated spaces. Many fines ended up being challenged and thrown out in court.

311 now plays indie music
In July, City Hall and the TMAC changed the "on hold" music for 311, which is the number you call when you have a city-related inquiry or complaint. Now when you wait to speak to a city rep, you can enjoy various tracks by local indie musicians. The musicians featured receive an honorarium.

Wavelength Music City Discussion
Wavelength continues to lead discussions on how Toronto can be a better Music City with their "What Makes a Music City?" panel. The April 2015 Town Hall at the Garrison helped clarify city goals, initiated a dialogue on zoning bylaws, and offered attendees a chance to gripe on how things can improve for the music industry.

Toronto Live From City Hall
City Hall itself is participating in its Music City plan with an ongoing Live From City Hall series that launched this year. The rotunda will be transformed into a stage and feature musicians of all genres from across the GTA. Shows will happen on select afternoons. Artists receive a $200 honorarium.

What did I miss? Add your suggestions for ways Toronto is becoming a better Music City in the comments.

Photo by Jae Yang in the blogTO Flickr pool.

by Ryan Ayukawa via blogTO

15 Toronto food photographers to follow on Instagram

Food InstagramToronto-based food photographers are taking to Instagram to share their most delectable meals. With a click of a follow button you have access to thousands of photos of some of the most drool-worthy eats the city has to offer.

While we post our fair share of food photo on Instagram too, it's time to give props to some of my favourite Toronto food photographers to follow on Instagram.

See also:
15 chefs in Toronto to follow on Instagram
15 Instagram accounts for Toronto vegans to follow

Toronto Food Instagram@allons.y
With a staggering 141K Instagram followers, this account proves itself to be a must-follow. Discover stunning restaurant interior shots alongside crave-worthy food photos.

Toronto Food Instagram@fooddiva_toronto
Anna is taking Toronto's restaurant scene by storm. Whether she's brunching at Portland Variety or snacking on eclairs at Nugateau, she's sharing every moment along the way.

Toronto Food Instagram@dineandfash
While fashion may be a major focus of this account, the food photographs arguably steal the show. Cupcakes, croissants and doughnuts fill the feed.

Toronto Food Instagram@theeverydayfoodie
Lucky for us his camera always eats first. From glamorous ice cream cones to gluttonous poutine, get stuffed just staring at these photos.

Toronto Food Instagram@pekopekolife
Yuki is all about that hungry life. Follow her on her journey throughout Toronto's food scene and try not to drool on your phone while admiring.

Toronto Food Instagram@hypebelly
This guy has been everywhere - no really, everywhere. From Toronto's tastiest BBQ joints to your favourite ramen spots, this guy captures it all.

Toronto Food Instagram@cfooodie
Discover outrageous eats from all over the GTA. Markham, North York and downtown Toronto eateries are showcased in a way that will make your tummy growl.

Toronto Food Instagram@petite.cow
Who knew a food journey could be so beautiful? She has the ability to capture food in a way that makes it look almost too good to eat. Almost.

Toronto Food Instagram@wherejessate
Jess is always looking for new spots to try and takes her followers on adventures to her favourite food conquests.

Toronto Food Instagram@chewtoronto
Get up close and personal with some of Toronto's most delicious eats. From epic burgers to messy seafood boils, this account is a foodie's dream.

Toronto Food Instagram
Looking for all things scrumptious in Toronto? You've come to the right place. Gush over photos of French toast, ramen and mac and cheese.

Toronto Food Instagram@foodsisterhood
Join the sisterhood of the traveling pants - but for food. Monica and Clara have joined forces and have managed to acquire a strong following of over 10,000 food lovers.

Toronto Food Instagram@meetandeats
She's your guide to Toronto's latest and greatest eats. Marvel over her recent visits to Toronto's Maman, Kanpai and Inspire Restaurant.

Toronto Food Instagram@sincerelykn
One might question: where hasn't this girl been? Karen covers it all with visits to Toronto's hottest Italian eateries, brunch musts and go-to sushi spots.

Toronto Food Instagram@tastebytes
Bright food photos fill this feed and inspire the desire to go on a food adventure. Burgers, hot pot and dumplings are just a few of the things you will find if you click "follow."

Who did I miss? Add your favourite Toronto food photographer on Instagram in the comments.

Lead photo via @chewtoronto.

by Jaclyn Skrobacky via blogTO

Toronto has a new shrine to waffles

WaffleUThese Liège waffles taste even better than they look, if that's even possible. This eatery will entice you with their made-to-order waffles that boast shiny, caramelized exteriors and unlimited toppings.

Read my profile of Waffle U in the restaurants section.

by Amy Grief via blogTO

6 splurge-worthy artisanal food to try in Toronto

artisanal torontoToronto foodies can feast on a cornucopia of artisanal products found at local farmers markets, independent retailers and corporately-owned grocery stores. While these items may induce some serious sticker shock, sometimes you just have to treat yourself.

Here are 6 splurge-worthy artisanal food items you can find in Toronto.

Clarified butter is a staple in Indian cuisine thanks to its high smoke point. Toronto-based company Lee's Ghee created an entire line of ghee ($20.99 to $22.49), which includes maple sugar, za'atar and vanilla-flavoured varieties.

Kitten and The Bear in Parkdale whips up small batches of jam and preserves in a variety of seasonal flavours. These beautifully-packaged jars cost around $12, but they'll definitely jazz up a plain slice of toast or, better yet, a freshly-baked scone.

Sloane Tea offers its proprietary blends and flavours, like Heavenly Cream ($18 for 100 grams), in ornate yet well-designed tins. You can order tea online or find it in Toronto stores such as Pusateri's and Maisonette, among many others.

Cured Meat
Table Mountain Curing Company sells its elevated meat snacks at high-end grocery stores around the city. You can also order these beefy treats online. Six 60-gram packages of cured beef steak will cost you $39.99, cured slabs start at $29.95 and 400-grams of beer sticks go for $29.95.

For all your honey-related needs you can always head to The Bee Shop in Bloordale. Alternatively, go online and order a 250-gram jar of Nude Bee Honey Co.'s small-batch product for $14.99.

Smoked Salmon
Up your bagel-and-lox game with freshly-smoked salmon from The Smoke Bloke. You can order online and pick it up from the smokery's east end location.

Photo via Lee's Ghee.

by Amy Grief via blogTO