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Friday, March 31, 2017

The top 10 brunch restaurants in North Toronto

Brunch restaurants in North Toronto may not be as over the top or indulgent as some downtown options but these restaurants between Davisville and the 401 still satisfy cravings for pancakes, eggs bennies and bacon. 

Here are my picks for the top brunch restaurants in North Toronto.

Boom Breakfast & Co

Find all your classic breakfast offerings at this Toronto chain with a location on Eglinton West. Omelettes, bennies, breakfast sandwiches, pancakes and fresh toast all grace the menu.

Doug's Public Kitchen

If you're on the hunt for a vegan brunch destination, this it it. The restaurant near Glencairn station serves tofu omelettes, vegan benedicts and bagels with cashew cream cheese.


Whether your a carnivore or a vegetarian, meatless eats  at this Toronto chain are a must-try. Their Eglinton East location does brunch on weekends starting at 10:30 a.m.

Good Bite

In business since 1969, this diner just north of Eglinton on Yonge has been a destination for breakfast and brunch for decades. They have it all from, breakfast specials to omelettes to fresh toast.

Hazel's Diner

Traditional diner fare is the forte at this Yonge and Lawrence stalwart. Fill up on classic breakfast offerings of eggs bennies, home fries and waffles.

Lil' Baci

Weekend brunch is served at this Italian destination near Yonge and Davisville starting at 11 a.m. Chow down on breakfast pizzas and brioche french toast.

Starving Artist

Waffle enthusiasts rejoice! Mount Pleasant has a restaurant whose menu is entirely dedicated to waffles. Whether you take your waffles sweet or savoury the options are plentiful.

The Belsize 

Make your way to this Mount Pleasant pub on the weekend to fill up on their brunch offerings. If you're feeling extra hungry (or hungover) opt for the Belsize Breakfast that comes with two eggs, peameal, home fries, toast and jam.

The Homeway

A North Toronto staple for more than half a century, The Homeway on Mount Pleasant is a must-visit for when you're in need of a brunch fix. The menu boasts steak and eggs, egg benny, buttermilk pancakes and more.

Uncle Betty's

Ultimate grilled cheese sandwiches, sweet potato hash, stuffed french toast and breakfast sandwiches with donut buns are just a few of the brunch items available at this Yonge and Eglinton area diner.

by Jaclyn Skrobacky via blogTO

Ontario Place getting a big taco festival this summer

It looks like Ontario Place is getting a new lease on life this summer as the place in Toronto to host a food festival.

Along with the big BBQ festival that's on from June 9 10 11, Ontario Place will get a taco festival on the following weekend, from June 16 to 18.

Right now, details are sparse. But this festival is from the folks at TasteToronto. Last year, they held their first Taco Fest at 99 Sudbury and brought out around 10,000 eaters.

Later in the summer, from August 25 to 27, TasteToronto will throw a beer, bourbon and barbecue festival. And yes, this meaty affair will also be at Ontario Place.

TasteToronto is still accepting vendor applications, so it's unclear who's participating in these festivals yet.

by Amy Grief via blogTO

The top 10 parties in Toronto this spring

The top parties in Toronto this spring might put you in debt, that's okay because you'll look great, the rooms will be spectacular and you'll more than likely end up dancing with one of the Real Housewives. 

Events you might want to check out:

2017 Beaux Art Costume Ball (April 7 @ Polish Combatants' Hall (SPK))
OCAD U's costume ball has been on for 94 years. This huge black tie affair will have an Unconventional Runway Challenge, speakers corner, voguing and food.
Fashion Art Toronto Launch Party (April 14 @ Offsite)
Help launch Toronto's (actually) cool fashion event with a night of dancing, drinking, socializing, dressing up and mingling with designers and models.
Friday Night Live (April 20 @ Royal Ontario Museum)
ROM's first Friday Night Live party of the season will see DJs Wayne Wunder and Simon Jain spin around the giant whale.
Machine Age Massive (April 27 @ The AGO)
The gallery will be transformed into three distinct spaces to transport partygoers through a spectacular night of mechanical wonder.
Timeraiser (May 24 @ The Power Plant)
Get a personalized raccoon portrait at this annual fundraising party with libations, treats, and the chance to mingle with those shaping the future of Canadian Art.
Operanation (May 25 @ COC)
Come for a night of elixirs, culinary experiments and music that transform the three floors of Toronto's Opera House into a cabinet of curiosities.
Power Ball XIX Stereo Vision (June 1 @ The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery)
Explore the hidden worlds, alternate realities and unseen universes that may exist parallel to our own as well as art installations and performances at this party.
Mad Hot Ballet (June 6 @ Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts)
For Canada's 150th and The National Ballet of Canada’s 65th anniversary, this party honours our country's legends of dance.
Earth Ball 2017 (June 14 @ Mill St Brew Pub)
This major gala includes 400 party people, local food, drinks, live shows, eco-friendly loot bags and a chance to celebrate the environment.
All-Star Gala 2017 (June 16 @ Arcadian Court)
This is a major fundraising gala for SickKids that brings over 1,250 celebrities, pro-athletes and hopefully a couple of the Real Housewives of Toronto.

by Phil Villeneuve via blogTO

Toronto cyclist blocks street after car stops in bike lane

Toronto cyclists and vehicles often don't get along on our city streets, even though there are now bike lanes on major arteries like Bloor, Richmond and Adelaide.

Recently, Redditor BrockThrowaway posted a photo purporting to show a stand-off between a cyclist and a driver who was stopped in the bike lane on Adelaide West near Simcoe.

In the photo, it looks like the person on the bike is staring down the driver in the white car, while blocking vehicular traffic at the same time.

The photo made it to the front page of /r/Toronto and generated lots of comments, as cycling-related issues usually do in Toronto.

Some criticized the cyclist's eye-for-an-eye attitude while others said he proved his point about how annoying it is when someone blocks your lane.

About a year and a half ago, the Cactus Club Cafe got caught using the Adelaide bike lane for its valet parking service. After lots of social media-fuelled backlash, the restaurant stopped that practice.

by Staff via blogTO

Kensington Market about to get at least one new brewery

The top clubs and parties for house music in Toronto

House music in Toronto is thriving and these Toronto venues and recurring parties will let you catch DJs and producers from Canada and around the world.

You might have already heard about the fiery state of Toronto's techo scene, but Toronto's house music world has been continuously bumping along for decades.

House is diverse and can be as confusing as EDM when it comes to its actual definition. Ironically, it's one of dance music's most straightforward genres. Picture repetitive four-on-the-floor beats, high hats, a soulful baseline and if you're lucky, a vocal sample.

While Toronto has fewer strictly house music clubs and parties than before, there are still a slew of them to find and they're ready to welcome you with open arms.

House music clubs in Toronto
Bunda Lounge

Toronto house legend Yogi Patel has a residency at this Dundas and Ossington club. It's small, but mighty and the house programming is top notch.


This one is a favourite of local house DJ Deko-Ze. The sound of this room makes for the perfect environment to hear an extended house set into the wee hours of the morning.


Be ready for a fancy night out at this long, narrow Queen West club where the quality of music matches the high-end tequila. Toronto house master Jojoflores often spins here.


Both Nest and The Den receive high praise from Toronto house DJs. Expect lots of late night and early morning extended sets from locals and international guests.

Stone Lounge

Find this spot in the basement of Revival. Party mastermind Jason Palma call this underground venue one of his favourites for its sound and vibe.

Monthly house music parties in Toronto
Break for Love

This one's a night for big classic house and rare grooves with DJs like Dave Campbell, Yogi Patel and Jojoflores.

Brighter Days

The Brighter Days party is a big hit and usually features Jason Palma, Dirty Dale and Yogi Patel with music to feed your soul and lift you up!

Coconut Grove Co.

Raf Reza's music collective (they sell tapes!) throws monthly parties, often at Bambi's. They're heavy on house, but they're not too strict, so don't be alarmed if the vibe ebbs and flows.

Jungle Funk

The Jungle Funk parties usually star Toronto's Deko-Ze and guests and often end up moving to Comfort Zone for extended sets. House heads like Ticky Ty, Miz Megs and Jerome Robins are regulars.

SA Deep

This deep, soulful night focuses on the South African house sound at Bunda Lounge and is on the last Saturday of every month. DJs Dino & Terry, Mark and Yogi Patel are the regulars.

Sweet Tears

Resident DJs Tyrone Solomon and Starting From Scratch move this house music party around the city so keep an eye on the Facebook group.

by Phil Villeneuve via blogTO

Toronto bakery will make your dog a birthday cake

This is what the future of travel might look like in Toronto

Earlier this week, Canada went nuts over a Via Rail pass that would let young people travel across the country for just $150. But that innovative promotion pales in comparison to what another Canadian company is working on.

hyperloop toronto

Transpod, based out of MaRS in Toronto, wants to create the world's first hyperloop system, which would make traveling between cities - like Toronto and Montreal - super fast.

hyperloop toronto

The company has already gotten $20 million from investors in a variety of sectors and has offices in both Italy and France. Its latest renderings show what a hyperloop system could actually look like in Toronto. The result seems pretty futuristic.

Hyperloops, of course, are a long way from being implemented, but they don't only live in the realm of sci-fi anymore.

hyperloop toronto

by Amy Grief via blogTO

Toronto Trump Tower sold for $300 million

Toronto's Trump International Hotel & Tower was never owned by Donald Trump's company. Instead, it licensed its name to Talon International and managed the building at Bay and Adelaide.

But now the 65-storey hotel and condo in the heart of the city's Financial District has been sold to its main dept holder JCF Capital for $298 million, as the Canada Press reports.

Apart from JCF Capital's stalking horse bid, no one else wanted to buy the building. A judge approved of the sale yesterday.

Since opening in Toronto, the Trump Tower has faced lots of controversy and a lawsuit.

by Amy Grief via blogTO

Broken Social Scene killed it on Colbert last night

Broken Social Scene filled the stage at the The Late Show with Stephen Colbert last night to perform their first new single in seven years live.

Of course, BSS brought Star's Amy Millan and Evan Cranley as well as Emily Haines and Jimmy Shaw from Metric along for this late-night TV ride.

Fans of the band haven't been this excited since BSS performed a surprise set (with fireworks!) at the inaugural Wayhome festival. 

This summer, BSS is headlining Field Trip, so catch them there.

by Amy Grief via blogTO

Someone is paying homage to convenience stores in Toronto

Convenience stores dot Toronto's streetscape and nearly every neighbourhood has a local favourite.

Perhaps yours is highlighted in this documentary series that just landed on YouTube.

Convenience Stories, by Toronto filmmaker Liam Kearney, features documentary shorts that highlight the history behind some of the city's most locally famous convenience stores. The series originally appeared on Bell Fibe TV1, but now you can watch it all online.

This isn't the first art project dedicated to convenience stores. Patrick Cummins started the Instagram account to photograph these local landmarks. 

Some of the stores featured include Old's Cool General Store in East York and The Lucky Penny near Trinity Bellwoods.

by Amy Grief via blogTO

The Best Cannoli in Toronto

The best cannoli in Toronto perfectly marry two amazing elements to make one of the most perfect Italian desserts. These crispy cylindrical shells made of dough stuffed with sweet filling, often dusted with sugar, are some of the smallest, simplest, and most satisfying pastries.

Here’s the best cannoli in Toronto.

6 - Messina Bakery

This old-school bakery on Scarlett Road has the perfect crunchy shell lightly sprinkled with icing sugar, filled to the ends with fresh ricotta.
7 - Tre Mari Bakery

The fresh cannoli sold at this St. Clair West Italian bakery comes with a delicious custard cream.
8 - Riviera Bakery

Where else to go for cannoli than Little Italy, specifically this place where the bubbly cannoli shell is rivalled only by the smooth, sweet filling inside.
10 - Lamanna's Bakery

This Scarborough destination not only makes incredibly crunchy cannoli filled with fluffy cream, they even make a gelato out of them.
9 - Sud Forno

The bakery on West Queen West makes a mini cannoli lined with dark chocolate and filled with ricotta, pistachio and candied orange peel.
4 - Bar Buca

This elegant little Italian eatery tucked away from King West makes their cannoli in true Sicilian style. It's a bit on the small side but packed with flavour.
3 - North Pole Bakery

This proud Italian bakery on the Danforth makes their cannoli from scratch by hand, the bubbly, golden brown shells filled with custard, chocolate or ricotta selling in the thousands each week.
5 - Francesca Italian Bakery

Also in a Sicilian style, four spiced fritters are filled with sweetened ricotta and dusted with sugar at this Scarborough bakery.
11 - Nino D'Aversa

Appealing golden brown cannoli perfectly filled with a beautiful cream is available at this popular Italian bakery chain.

by Amy Carlberg via blogTO