Toronto events!!!

Toronto Fun Parties

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Yorkdale could be getting a boutique hotel

Yorkdale may not be Canada's largest mall (anymore) but it has emerged in recent years as one of the world's top spots to shop, boasting the highest sales per unit area of any other shopping centre in the country.

Maybe it has something to do with Fashion Santa. Maybe it's because Drake shoots music videos there. More likely, it has something to do with last year's massive $331 million expansion and all the world-class luxury brands that have recently moved in.

Whatever the case, Yorkdale has become much more than a shopping centre slash movie theatre location – it has a Cheesecake Factory now! – and it's going to get way, way bigger over the next two decades.

Yorkdale MallTorontonians will get a better idea of what developers have in mind for the mall's future tonight during a city-run meeting for area residents.

Residents first learned about the existence of three conceptual  "Block Master Plan" options earlier this year when a development application was submitted to the city of Toronto. 

Each of the three proposals would bring seven new residential buildings, six office buildings and an eight storey boutique hotel to the site.

This means that, should one of the plans be approved as is, people could be living at Yorkdale someday. Tourists could also be coming in from out of town specifically to sleep at the shopping centre's own boutique hotel.

Currently, the mall only partners with existing local hotels to offer special packages.

Yorkdale Mall expansionTo accomplish this, Yorkdale's owners are asking that zoning by-laws in the area be amended to allow them to develop the mall's north and west parking lots.

They also want the entire site included in the Dufferin Street Secondary Plan, which guides the growth and urban intensification along part of this north-south thoroughfare.

The shopping centre would open up onto Dufferin, under these plans, and include new public spaces, make the mall much friendlier to pedestrian traffic.

Of course, this is all still quite a ways off. Public consultations are only just beginning and, according to CBC News, the process of getting feedback alone is expected to take at least a year.

by Lauren O'Neil via blogTO

Condo of the week: 715 Kingston Road

Kingston Road is a site of lots of development right now, stretching from Woodbine Ave. all the way to the Birch Cliff neighbourhood and beyond. Given its easterly location, however, the majority of projects here have added what you'd call gentle density to the street.

715 Kingston Road TorontoSuch a planning rationale really works along this stretch, and the townhouses at 715 Kingston Rd. are a testament to that. Prices on residential streets in the Beaches are out of reach for most people, but a unit like this one offers a more attainable way into the area.

715 Kingston Road TorontoIt also offers an element of convenience that some will find appealing. A few hundred dollars in maintenance fees doesn't seem so bad when you know you won't have to put in a lot of your time on repairs and upkeep. 

715 Kingston Road TorontoListed at $1,o49,000, we're not talking about a starter condo, though. Located, as it is, right beside Glen Stewart Ravine, a three storey space isn't going to come cheap, especially given the feature set.

715 Kingston Road TorontoWhile you won't have a backyard, the rooftop patio is about as nice as outdoor spaces come in this price range. The interior is also noteworthy for its floor-to-ceiling windows, upscale appliances, and generally polished finishes.

715 Kingston Road TorontoWell designed townhouses almost invariably strike me as excellent living options in a city like Toronto, where being on a main street like Kingston Rd. has plenty of benefits and not too many cons. 

715 Kingston Road TorontoSpecs
715 Kingston Road TorontoGood For

Someone who's wants to live in the Beaches area but doesn't quite have the coin to by a semi or detached house. Alternately, I see this as a great spot for empty nesters looking to downsize.

715 Kingston Road TorontoMove On If

You'd rather live in a downtown condo. You can still stretch a million bucks pretty far in a mid- to large-sized condo, so if a central location is high on the priority list, this one won't appeal. 

715 Kingston Road Toronto715 Kingston Road Toronto

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

by Derek Flack via blogTO

Union Station is about to unveil its new restaurants

Someone hacked into a road sign on Bayview Avenue

For about two hours earlier this week, drivers on a northern stretch of Bayview Avenue got quite the wake-up message.

An electronic construction sign had been "altered" overnight to include "inappropriate language" on Monday morning, according to The Regional Municipality of York.

The sign, facing south-bound traffic near St. John's Sideroad in Aurora, should have read "ST. JOHN’S SDRD CLOSED."

Instead, it said "FUCK THEM ALL."

York Region officials apologized at the time, pledging to investigate the incident.

"The language on the signage does not reflect York Region values and is not acceptable," said corporate communications director Patrick Casey to "We apologize to residents and travellers in the area who saw this."

Casey said that York Region staff removed the profane language from the sign after it was discovered.

York Region has since revealed the results of its sign investigation, explaining on that has five electronic signs in the area – all of which can be altered remotely through password-protected modem access.

"Overnight, the signs were remotely hacked and three signs were turned off and a message on a fourth sign altered to include inappropriate language," said Casey.

"Our investigation continues to ensure steps are taken to improve online security."

by Lauren O'Neil via blogTO

The epic Toronto Light Festival is coming back this winter

Someone fixed a dangerous Toronto intersection with a bunch of leaves

If Toronto's famous stair-building senior citizen taught the world anything (who am I kidding? He taught us everything), it's that the quickest way to fix a neighbourhood problem is a little bit of DIY.

Artist and community organizer Dave Meslin knows this well. He literally wrote the book on civic engagement in Toronto, and is widely known for his unique brand of creative activism.

Last week, he decided to take action against a problem in his own community of Regal Heights. But unlike 73-year-old handyman Adi Astl, who caught the city's ire by building an actual staircase in a public park, Meslin and his neighbours did something completely temporary (and thus pretty unimpeachable).

Using only sidewalk chalk and fallen leaves, Meslin and his neighbours temporarily "fixed" a dangerous intersection near Regal Road and Springmount, taking special care to maintain all existing road widths at a city-approved 28 feet.

"We revealed a surplus surface area of 2,000 square feet which could be transformed into a parkette, new sidewalks, and much shorter/safer crossings," wrote Meslin in a Facebook post about the project. 

That post, uploaded yesterday, is spreading like wildfire around the city right now as fans of the project praise the group of neighbours for their ingenuity and "wonderful use of tactical urbanism," among other things.

Will city workers sweep away the leaf-and-chalk crosswalk as word of its existence spreads? Maybe.

That said, it could call enough attention to the dangerous intersection for Toronto to fix it permanently. It worked for Astl, and the leaves do seem to be alleviating traffic woes in the neighbourhood.

"Saw this walking our dog the other night and yes - actually saw cars stopping!!!" wrote one woman on Twitter. "It is a strange corner."

In a separate reply to someone else on Twitter, Meslin said similarly that, while the intersection actually has three stop signs, no one knew where to stop before the leaves and chalk were in place.

"With our white lines, I finally saw people stopping for the 1st time," he wrote. "It was safer than ever."

by Lauren O'Neil via blogTO

Weekend events in Toronto December 1-3 2017

Weekend events in Toronto include the arrival of a number of holiday markets, like the food and craft-filled Winter Village at the Brick Works. Besides seasonal affairs, music fans have LCD Soundsystem to look forward to and party-goers have their work cut out for them. 

Events you might want to check out:

Sounds of the Season (December 1 @ Canadian Broadcasting Centre)
CBC's annual charity drive brings you live performances by Serena Ryder, Shawn Hook and Whitehorse, plus the chance to meet your favourite CBC broadcast personalities.
Evergreen's Winter Village (December 2-31 @ Evergreen Brick Works)
Experience the magic of winter at Evergreen’s Winter Village with campfires, nature walks, and other outdoor activities. There's also food truck eats and shopping ops at the Etsy market.
Toronto Art Crawl (December 3 @ Toronto Art Crawl)
Held once again at Toronto's iconic Great Hall, Toronto Art Crawl's 4th annual Christmas Market features 95 artists and designers, interactive activities, food vendors and more across four floors of shopping.
Indigenous Artisan Marketplace (December 1-3 @ Native Canadian Centre of Toronto)
Over 40 local vendors bring out traditional and contemporary Indigenous paintings, moccasins, beadwork, clothing, jewelery, and more.
150 Years of Canadian Christmas at Casa Loma (December 1 - January 7 @ Casa Loma)
Casa Loma is celebrating the tail end of Canada 150 with a wide range of activities and performances. Get lost in the castle's holiday decor and snap photos of its 40ft tall tree.
Body Percussion Festival (December 1-3 @ Harbourfront Centre Theatre)
Experience professional and community based groups exhibit a range of percussion forms created solely through the body, including throat singing, beatbox, sword dance, belly dance and more.
Light Up the Beach (December 1 @ Leuty Avenue)
More than 80,000 LED bulbs on 20,000 linear feet of wire are hung, making the boardwalk an incredible winter destination. Arrive before 7 p.m. to ensure you catch the lights come on!
Toronto Toy, Record & Video Game Show (December 3 @ Toronto Plaza Hotel)
Indulge your inner kid and explore 75 tables worth of new and vintage toys and video games. This year also marks the addition of vinyl records and tapes to the show.
Death From Above (December 1 @ The Phoenix Concert Theatre)
Canadian rock duo Death From Above had a major comeback this year, and are playing music from their 2017 release Outrage! Is Now.
Distant Worlds: Music from Final Fantasy (December 2 @ Sony Centre for the Performing Arts)
Thirty years of iconic video game music come to life with an orchestra and chorus at this homage to the music of Final Fantasy. One of the game's original composers will even be in attendance!
LCD Soundsystem (December 3 @ Air Canada Centre)
The American rock and electronic legends LCD Soundsystem play a huge show at the Air Canada Centre in support of their 2017 album, American Dream.
The Elwins (December 3 @ Mod Club Theatre)
The Elwins celebrate the release of their career launching record Beauty Community at the Mod Club with special guests Jukebox the Ghost.
Toronto Loves Taylor Swift (December 3 @ Round Venue)
A live art and music tribute to the Queen of contemporary pop goes down this Sunday, involving a listening party for Reputation, as well as a ton of Toronto artists covering Swift hits.
Rave in the Cave (December 1 @ CineCycle)
Climb out of your cave and into theirs, where you'll find art installations, music, dancing, food and drinks. Psychedelic beats will be provided by DJ Soft Drink and DJ Maggy.
Body Love Ball (December 2 @ The 519)
Featuring live music, a pink carpet, a candy room and more, dance your heart out at this diverse and inclusive fundraiser in support of LGBTQ youth, families, and allies.
Goth Tub Time Machine (December 2 @ Nocturne)
This dark retro party is beach themed and even feature a real hot tub to soak in while DJs spin tunes from The Cure, Nine Inch Nails, Joy Divison, and the like.
Barcode Saturdays (December 2 @ Orchid Nightclub)
Two different floors with two entirely different sounds. This weekend Illegal Alien and DJ Griff take charge of DJ duty, spinning tons of hip hop, reggae, and trap.
The Bad Dog Holiday Party (December 2 @ Bad Dog Theatre Company)
The comedy theatre company is hosting a holiday spectacular, with a light hearted awards show at the beginning followed by a dance party stretching late into the night.
Hop Chow: Craft Beer & Food Pairing Festival (December 2 @ 99 Sudbury)
Not your average festival, Hop Chow will offer beer and food lovers artfully curated pairings from Toronto’s most innovative purveyors. A delicious menu of bites and brews awaits.
Christmas in the Valley (December 2 @ Miller Lash House)
Hosted in a historic house, watch Maple Taffy be made, sip warm apple cider, or check out the smoked meat food truck, all while 30 + local artists showcasing their works.
Tennessee Tavern Pierogi Eating Contest (December 3 @ Tennessee Tavern)
Witness some of Torontos biggest eaters take down a mountain of pierogies or join in on the all-you-can-eat fun for only $5.95!
December Really Really Free Market (December 2 @ Campbell Park)
Everything is free. No money, no swapping. Each attendee is allowed one large shopping bag, or two bags for families, and can take any items they please. After 3pm there's no limit!
Kensington Market Craft Fair (December 2 @ Saint Stephens in the Fields)
Kensington Market's first craft fair offers a curated indoor art and craft show focusing on unique products like ceramics, jewelry, furniture, paintings, and more.
Shop Local Holiday Market (December 2 @ STUDIO by the Nooks)
Join the Nooks in shopping local for handmade, artisan, one-of-a-kind and good-to-go gifts.
Black Owned Holiday Pop-Up Market (December 3 @ Wychwood Barns)
This pop-up market features unique products and services from business owners within the black community. Swing by for great music, food, performances, and giveaways.
The Bloody Mary Film Festival (November 30 - December 1 @ Imagine Carlton Cinema)
Putting a spotlight on female-identifying Canadian filmmakers in genre films, Bloody Mary is back for a second year of horror, sci-fi, and fantasy features.
Coming To America Screening with Kardinal Offishall (December 3 @ TIFF Bell Lightbox)
The laughs come thick and fast in Eddie Murphy's culture-clash comedy. Toronto hip hop legend Kardinal Offishall will even be introducing the film.
Dreaming of a Jewish Christmas (December 3 @ Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema)
The Toronto Premiere of Larry Weinstein's offbeat, fun, and intelligent film about how Jews redefined the Christmas season.
Holiday Fair in Nathan Phillips Square (December 1-23 @ Nathan Phillips Square)
Back for its second year, Holiday Fair in Nathan Phillips Square celebrates the season with an enchanting artisan market, food, live entertainment and more.

by Corey Van Den Hoogenband via blogTO

Road closures to watch out for in Toronto this weekend

Another weekend, another set of road closures to expect in Toronto. This time holiday festivities will be taking over Etobicoke streets causing closures on both Saturday and Sunday. This weekend will also see multiple TTC subway closures. 

Here's what you need to know to get around the city this weekend.

Etobicoke Lakeshore Santa Claus Parade

Lake Shore Blvd. West from Dwight Ave. to Thirty Sixth St.will be closed on December 2 from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. for the holiday parade. 

North Etobicoke Santa Claus Parade

Albion Rd. from Thistle Down Blvd. to Finch Ave.West will be closed on December 3 from 12 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. for the holiday parade. 

TTC Subway Closure

There will be no subway service between Sheppard West and Lawrence West stations on December 3 due to signal upgrades.

In addition to the service disruption, Osgoode Station will be closed all weekend due to fare gate construction at the station. 

For additional information regarding road closures and restrictions in Toronto, visit this website.

by Jaclyn Skrobacky via blogTO

Two items make up 28% of Toronto's future capital budget

Today's city council budget committee meeting didn't reveal too many surprises, but I'm sure more than a few people will do a double take when they look at the city's long term spending plans.

A staggering 28 per cent of Toronto's 10 year capital budget could be taken up by the Scarborough Subway Extension and Mayor John Tory's SmartTrack plan.

Of the $25.7 billion dollars outlined in the 2018-2027 Tax Supported and Capital Budget Plan, a total of $7.4 billion is allocated to these transit infrastructure projects. That's a lot of spending on transit, but the question is whether it's good spending.

The Scarborough Subway Extension has become a contentious issue that has been criticized by transit advocacy groups and has resulted in tensions amongst city council members. 

The budget also outlines other ways the city's tax dollars are to be spent over the next decade, including $5.1 billion on transportation services like roads maintenance and repairs, and $524 million for various Waterfront Revitalization projects.

But the two projects alone exceed the entirely of the TTC's allocated funds of $6.3 billion.

Many items were absent from the budget proposal today, including the much-anticipated TTC timed transfers supposedly set to be rolled out next year.

The budget is yet to be finalized and city council will revisit the matter next month.

by Lisa Power via blogTO

The evolution of the Toronto skyline since 1957

Rewind 60 years, and Toronto's skyline is marked by only a few noteworthy stone buildings. But, everything would change in 1967 with the rise of Mies van der Rohe's TD Centre, which ushered in five decades of profound growth that completely transformed the shape of the city from a burgeoning lakeside metropolis to an international hub.

by Derek Flack via blogTO