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Sunday, June 30, 2019

20 restaurants open on Canada Day in Toronto by neighbourhood

Some restaurants will be open on Canada Day in Toronto, even though a lot of places will be closed to celebrate the birth of our nation. We the North, but we the hungry and thirsty too, so hit up these spots that can provide the eats, drinks and good times needed to celebrate our country’s big day. 

Here are some restaurants that are open on Canada day in Toronto by neighbourhood. 


Grill up a storm in a different way this Canada Day at Japanese spot Gyubee.


Pizza is never a bad idea, and Libretto is the place to get stunning Neapolitan versions of it.

Danforth East 

Brunch and long weekends go hand in hand, and there’s no better place for eggs benny in this neighbourhood than Hollandaise Diner.

Don Mills

Good Son will be closed downtown, but their mall location in this area will be open and serving steak tartare and pizza. 

Entertainment District

Celebrate the day with sushi and fries at The Haam, open until 11 p.m. 

restaurants open canada day

Burgers at Harry's make for a great Canada Day meal. Photo by Jesse Milns.


Thai kitchen and cocktail bar Chiang Mai is going to be open on the holiday Monday. 

Financial District

Ritzy power lunch spot on the 31st floor of the St. Regis Louix Louis will still be popping bottles during the holiday. 


Dirty Food is where to go in this neighbourhood for a Canada Day brunch. 

Junction Triangle  

Drake Commissary will be open not only for lunch and dinner, but they have all your artisanal pantry needs to pick up for the BBQ as well.

King East    

Fresh will be offering an extra day of vegan brunch at this larger location. 

restaurants canada day toronto

Chow down on a different kind of BBQ at Gyubee this long weekend. Photo by Hector Vasquez.

King West 

Shook will be open and serving beet lattes bright and early starting at 7 a.m. on Canada Day. 


A patio BBQ party starts at noon at The Burren on Canada Day. 

Liberty Village

Mildred’s Temple Kitchen is doing it up all Canada Day long weekend with a quiz, karaoke and prizes. 


The Shozan Room will be open for lunch on Canada day so you can fuel daytime fun with Japanese. 


Harry’s will be open from 5 p.m. till midnight on the holiday Monday. 

restaurants canada day toronto

Spend your holiday Monday brunching at Mildred's Temple Kitchen. Photo by Hector Vasquez.


All locations of Jatujak are open until 10 at night for Thai cravings on the holiday. 

St. Clair West

Pukka will be doing their regular dinner service of upscale Indian dishes.

West Queen West   

Vegan restaurant Hello 123 will be open their normal hours for plant-based drinks and eats. 

Yonge & Dundas

The Queen and Beaver will be serving brunch starting at 11:30 for the holiday, with regular menus and hours after that. 

Yonge & St. Clair

Woodlawn Public House is open regular hours and serving brunch on Canada day.

by Amy Carlberg via blogTO

There's a brand new cat festival in Toronto this summer

Let's face it, we're all crazy cat ladies deep down. Now, there's a kitty festival coming to Toronto, so we can all unleash our inner cat ladies. 

Meowfest, hosted by Meowbox, is a festival to celebrate all-things feline, with the goal of spreading awareness about the welfare of cats and raising funds for relevant organizations. And to say cat-lovers are excited would be an understatement. 

It'll feature workshops, cats to adopt, shopping, food trucks, insta-worthy photo ops, celebrity cats, and live music. 

Meowfest started in Vancouver in 2018, where they raised over $10,000 for organizations such as the BC SPCA, LAPS, New Westminster Animal Shelter and The Pet Education Project.

This year, all proceeds will go to the Toronto Cat Rescue, a no-kill charity that that rescues abandoned, sick or injured cats from situations of abuse, neglect or imminent euthanasia. 

The festival will take place at Evergreen Brick Works on July 6 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

by Mira Miller via blogTO

Toronto is getting a pop-up patio in a downtown hockey rink

The top 10 markets and pop-ups in Toronto this July

The top markets and pop-ups in Toronto for July 2019 capture the fun of summer with a mix of great events where you can shop, eat and drink—all in one place. The Junction Night Market is back and there's a LEGO bar pop-up. Pins, patches, flowers and clothing are all on as well.

Events you might want to check out:

LEGO Bar (July 5-7 @ Rosehill Venue & Lounge)
A different kind of drinking hole is popping up this year in a bar made entirely of LEGO, which makes a stop in Toronto for three days of booze and play.
Junction Night Market (July 6 @ The Junction)
Music, activities, shopping, food and drink are all part of this big annual neighbourhood night market with something for everyone.
Night It Up! (July 12-14 @ Markham Civic Centre)
Markham's biggest food festival is back in the style of a traditional Asian night market with tons of incredible food, performances, music and more.
The Summer Market (July 13 @ Northern Contemporary Gallery)
The Parkdale Flea and Toronto Designers Market are teaming up once again for this big market with over 80 makers selling all types of goodies.
Eco Lifestyle Market (July 14 @ The Great Hall)
Eco-friendly, sustainable and natural products are the focus of this market with goods from local makers including health, beauty, food and more.
Ontario Vintage Market (July 14 @ Evergreen Brick Works)
Vintage lovers can find their treasure at this huge market with design, art and antiques from vintage suppliers from all over the province.
Toronto Flower Market (July 20 @ CAMH)
Fresh cut flowers from local growers are on at this edition of the Toronto Flower Market with handmade bouquets, gifts and decor.
Trinity Bellwoods Flea (July 21 @ The Great Hall)
The Bellwoods Flea is back with a local artisans, designers and vendors selling art, jewellery, gifts, food, clothing, beat products and home decor.
Pin + Patch Show (July 27 @ Toronto Media Arts Centre)
The best way to express yourself is through pins and patches and this annual show features local makers selling all kinds of unique creations.
Leslieville Night Market (July 27 @ Jonathan Ashbridge Park)
It's a night of food, drink, farmers, vintage and handcrafted goods and music at this big PWYC night market, hosted by the Leslieville Farmers Market.

by Lisa Power via blogTO

10 things to do in Toronto for Canada Day 2019

Canada Day events in Toronto for 2019 are full of classics like the many fireworks shows happening all over and the big festival on the waterfront. Broken Social Scene are performing and the Mandarin is having a free buffet. If you're wondering what's open and closed, here's a handy guide.

Events you might want to check out:

Canada Day Fireworks (July 1 @ Ashbridges Bay)
Grab a blanket and watch the skies light up across the lake with celebratory fireworks in honour of Canada's birthday over at Ashbridges Bay.
Broken Social Scene (July 1 @ Concert Stage)
The Canada Day celebrations are in full effect as Toronto's own indie rockers Broken Social Scene drop by for a free concert on the waterfront.
Promise Cherry Beach (July 1 @ Cherry Beach)
It's truly a Canada Day party on the beach with DJs from Calgary, Montreal and many of Toronto's own beat makers dropping by for the day.
Mandarin Free Buffet (July 1 @ Multiple Venues)
You read that correctly: the Mandarin is celebrating 40 years of buffet-style dining with a free Canada Day menu at its locations across the province.
Canada Day at TIFF Bell Lightbox (July 1 @ TIFF Bell Lightbox)
Celebrate Canada Day with works by Canadian filmmakers from all over the country, including Away From Her and Enter la Mer et L'eau Douce.
Canada Day at Downsview Park (July 1 @ Downsview Park)
Downsview Park is ready to party with a whole day of festivities for the whole family, including food, activities, games, entertainment and fireworks.
ReelHeART Festival (July 1-7 @ Imagine Carlton Cinemas)
The annual ReelHeART film and screenplay festival kicks off with live readings, shows and screenings around the city in celebration of indie cinema.
Canada Day Weekend at Ontario Place (June 28 - July 1 @ Ontario Place)
Slap on the sunscreen and spend a day over at Ontario Place as it hosts an Indigenous look at Canada Day, outdoor activities and lots more.
Ribfest (June 28 - July 1 @ Centennial Park)
There's still another day to get messy as ribbers from all over the province drop by for this huge rib festival with a beer garden, actives, music and more.
Waterfront Festival (June 29 - July 1 @ Sherbourne Common)
The tall ships are sailing in for a final day of this Maritime-themed festival that features East Coast food, entertainment and a market.

by Lisa Power via blogTO

10 new Toronto cafes with breathtaking interior design

Kew-Balmy Beach is Toronto's underrated sandy getaway

When it comes to swimmable beaches in Toronto, most people think of Woodbine Beach as primetime gathering space by Blue Flag-certified waters. 

But located just a short walk east is Woodbine’s older sister, an underrated 1.2-kilometre stretch of sand called Kew-Balmy Beach. 

kew balmy beach torontoLess crowded, with more off-leash dogs, and rockier sand: for whatever the reasons, some may prefer this quieter pair of beaches, joined by the Eastern Beaches boardwalk, to the rowdier, more popular western counterpart.kew balmy beach torontoYou won’t find a massive swath of volleyball nets here, but you will find that the vibe at Kew-Balmy is much more laid-back, with a local vibe. 

kew balmy beach torontoFrom Woodbine Beach, you can get to Kew—the first of the beaches—via the boardwalk. If you’re on wheels, use the paved Martin Goodman Trail. 

kew balmy beach torontoThe area is officially divided from Woodbine by the fenced-off dog park, but you’ll know you’re nearing Kew Beach when you pass the summer pitstop, Beaches n Cream, selling gelato, soft serve ice cream, and juicy, overpriced hamburgers for $8.50. 

kew balmy beach torontoMarking the first hundred meters of Kew Beach is the historic Leuty Lifeguard Station.

kew balmy beach torontoBuilt in the 1920s, it’s one of the last historic structures left along Toronto’s shores. Legend has it that the station and its lifeguards played a role in saving over 6,000 people in its lifetime. 

kew balmy beach torontoToday, it signifies a different era along the water. Gone are the days of the Scarboro Beach Amusement Park, which took over the land between Kew and Balmy Beaches with its 30-metre obelisk, Chutes ride and circus shows. 

kew balmy beach torontoDue to flooding and shoreline erosion in recent years, hundreds of thousands have been spent on relocating and raising this landmark upshore, as well as repairing the surrounding properties.

kew balmy beach torontoSitting above the beach is Kew Gardens, a luscious piece of land that’s home to a basketball court, baseball diamond, the old bandstand and the Italian Renaissance-style drinking fountain, dedicated to Dr. William Young.  

kew balmy beach torontoHead to the northwest corner of the park along Queen St. East and you’ll find the historic Kew Williams House, a remnant of the days before Kew Gardens became public property. 

kew balmy beach torontoContinue walking along the boardwalk and you’ll notice man-made rock fingers ever 200 metres reaching out into the lake, creating embayments that help to stabilize the shoreline and preserve the long, thin stretch of beach.

kew balmy beach torontoYou’ll also find a lot of wooden beach chairs scattered on the sand and along the boardwalk. Chances are, you’ll find some of the elderly locals basking in their favourite spots. 

kew balmy beach torontoAside from sunbathing, there are plenty of on-the-water activities available here, from kayaking to SUP. 

kew balmy beach torontoThe Balmy Beach Club, a private athletics club founded in 1905 within the tree-lined 7.3-hectare Balmy Beach Park, marks another landmark along the shore. 

kew balmy beach torontoA raised patio overlooking the water offers what is probably one of the best views around. Despite two fires, the legacy of the club lives on, and the ground-level wall proudly boasts the number of Olympic-level athletes that have trained there. 

kew balmy beach torontoEventually, you’ll make it past the Nursewood Dog Park (essentially just a slope leading down to the river) to the R. C. Harris Water Treatment Plant, the Art Deco building that has become a site of wonder every year during Doors Open Toronto for its architectural beauty.

kew balmy beach torontoNicknamed the Palace of Purification, it sits where the old amusement park, Victoria Park, used to be. 

kew balmy beach toronto

by Tanya Mok via blogTO

The top 5 parks in Etobicoke

Etobicoke has some of the finest parks in Toronto thanks to the Humber River, which gently snakes down from the top of the city to its mouth at Lake Ontario. Along the way, there's a wealth of parkland dotted with hiking and bike trails, lush valleys, and sports fields. 

Here are my picks for the top parks in Etobicoke.

Centennial Park

One of the best and biggest parks in the city, there's an astonishing array of amenities at Centennial. From the sprawling conservatory to the ski hill and a pro-level BMX course, this is a park that combines sporting activities with natural beauty in a way the few can rival in Toronto.

Colonel Sam Smith Park

There are few better destinations for a picnic in Toronto. Make your way down toward the water and find a little shade to set up a lunch spread with the skyline lurking peacefully in the background. The park is a designated bird sanctuary and boasts one of the city's best skating trails in the winter.

Humber Arboretum

Those looking to immerse themselves in natural beauty would do well to pay a visit to the Humber Arboretum, one of the most beautiful and underrated green spaces in Toronto. This isn't a park to play sports, but for leisurely strolls around the pond and various trails that are surrounded by stands of various flowers.

Etienne Brule Park

Home to mysterious rock sculptures in the summer and an array of fish species that attract anglers, this park is all about the Humber River. Located just north of the Old Mill, the marshy waters of the lower Humber make for an idyllic setting for a casual hike or a lazy weekend picnic. There's also a baseball diamond for those looking for more structured recreation.

Humber Bay Park East

Part of a complex of parks that hug the mouth of the Humber River, the eastern portion is my favourite for its views of Toronto and central bodies of water. The best bet is to ride your bike along the waterfront trail before exploring the off-trail portions of the park on foot. This is a place to escape the bustle of the city that's only a few kilometres away from the Financial District.

by Staff via blogTO