It’s hard to choose the best events in Toronto (out of the ones that we’ve covered anyway) as it looks like we’ve been to over 100 events in the past year! Not including events that weren’t photographed. So, here they are – some of our favourite events we were lucky enough to cover in no particular order. And looking ahead, we’re expecting more from 2013!

Brazilian Carnival Ball

The Brazilian Carnival Ball has had worldwide recognition for raising record amounts of funds for charity and for pulling out all the stops to ensure all guests have an enjoyable time as well. Sadly, after so many years, this was the last Brazilian Ball gala. But we’ll remember the large and extravagant indoor parade at the Metro Convention Centre with beautiful, colourful costumes and high energy.

Scrubs in the City in support of Sick Kids

This elegant gala had the most stunning decor we’ve ever seen at the Evergreen Brickworks with giant chandeliers and rose walls for photoshoots. This blew me away topping the experience the day prior at the same venue for the Opera Atelier gala (although that was an amazing evening as well). Good entertainment (aerial performances and Shawn Desman), and of course great food.

Porsche 911 Carrera Launch
The new Porsche 911 Launch at Brookfield Place (Pfaff Porsche followed by Downtown Porsche the next day). Catering was superbly done by Obika Mozzarella Bar (they do amazing tiramisu!) and the premium cocktail bar included 12, 15, and 18 year scotch. This was back in February before we had any camera, but I took a video of the launch with my phone. It’s a bit lengthy.

BMW Downtown New 3 Series Launch
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Great food with our first time at an event in a car dealership, and a pretty large, bright venue at that. The drinks were flowing and the food from Food Dudes were great and in abundance. All that was missing was some entertainment but the venue itself was great with friends on a gorgeous sunny day in April. Also flattering to have BMW Downtown use pictures from my point-and-shoot camera in their e-newsletter.

50 Years of Bond Style
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Celebrating 50 years of James Bond is an incredible milestone that pretty much anyone with a pulse can appreciate. All 3-4 floors of the TIFF Bell Lightbox were filled with partygoers. Thanks to one of my idols, Spiro of “It’s All Style to Me”, for using our pictures on his website.

Food Dudes Food Truck Launch

Food Dudes food truck launch party

Food Dudes food truck launch party

The popular event-catering company launched their food truck this summer at 99 Sudbury and it was quite the bash including lots of drinks, beer pong and an inflatable giant Twister game and of course, great food!

Eat to the Beat in support of Willow Breast Cancer Support
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A glorious amount of gourmet food and drinks with a female chef at each booth with 60 booths in total. The only complaint is that there wasn’t enough time to visit all the booths. Oh, and also not enough stomach space to try every 60 delicious portions.

Stems of Hope Gala: Heroes Among Us at Kool Haus
Stems of Hope Gala: Heroes Among Us
Superheroes in costume, plenty of food stations and drinks and old school hip hop including Naughty by Nature! What an incredible event and a bonus that it’s for a good cause, too!

Mercedes-Benz B Scene Launch with Chromeo and Dirty Vegas
Mercedes-Benz B-Scene Launch with Chromeo and Dirty Vegas
This was just about all out fun at the Sound Academy. What else is there to say? The vibe was great! Kudos to Mercedes-Benz for just the right balance of branding without getting in the way of the fun factor!

Chef’s Challenge in Support of Mount Sinai

Congrats to Chef Lynn Crawford and the team!

Congrats to Chef Lynn Crawford and the team!

A Food Network fan’s dream come true as we got to see 5 celebrity chefs (Lynn Crawford, Mark McEwan, Chuck Hughes, David Rocco, and Michael Smith) as they battled it out for culinary glory, hosted by Guy Fieri. What an incredible action-packed night with tons of entertaining personalities! Congrats to Chef Lynn Crawford’s team for recapturing the title back from Mark McEwan! Thanks to Macleans and MasterCard for using our pictures!

Arcadian Court Grand Re-opening by Oliver & Bonacini
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What an epic way to announce a venue is back and ready for business! Oliver & Bonacini brought out all the stops for the grand re-opening of the Arcadian.  Every ballroom was open at this large, centrally located venue at Simpson Tower above the Bay. It was crowded for this open house with an incredible 2,000 guests in attendance.  What an unforgettable night that set the benchmark high for high-end events!

The Canadian Opera Company’s Operanation 9: Sweet Revenge

Nelly Furtado performing at Operanation 9: Sweet Revenge for the Canadian Opera Company

Nelly Furtado performing at Operanation 9: Sweet Revenge for the Canadian Opera Company

Featuring star-studded entertainment at one of the most gorgeous of all downtown venues with the highlight being unique musical collaborations with the COC’s Ensemble Studio and Nelly Furtado and the Arkells. Jian Ghomeshi ignited he joined the Arkells on stage in their cover of “Psycho Killer”. It’s flattering to have Nelly Furtado follow @BestofTorontoTV on Twitter!

Introducing Tesla Motors at the Yorkdale Expansion Grand Opening

The one and only all-electric Tesla S at the new Yorkdale Showroom

The one and only all-electric Tesla S at the new Yorkdale Showroom

This gigantic Yorkdale expansion included many stores but one special store really stood out in particular and that was the Tesla Motors showroom, marking their first step on Canadian soil. What great timing as Motortrend named the Tesla Motor S the car of the year for 2013. The highly-anticipated all-electric super car is now here at your very own Yorkdale shopping mall!

BestofToronto.net Local Artist Showcase at ING Direct

Christian Aldo from the Roncy Boys at BestofToronto.net's Local Artist Showcase

Christian Aldo from The Roncy Boys at BestofToronto.net’s Local Artist Showcase Photo: Yasemin Yenilmez

There was tons of amazing support for the first official BestofToronto.net event showcasing incredible musical talents from Clara Venice followed by the Roncy Boys. As well we had great DJ services by our friends at CubeLogic and too many more people to thank for an amazing first event! We were lucky to hit full capacity at the unique venue without having to turn anyone away. Even the lovely Patricia Juggernauth, weather specialist from CP24 joined us!

Atlantis Pavilions “Key to Atlantis”
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Atlantis at Ontario Place showcased all their banquet rooms, each with a different theme: Fire, Water, Earth, Air all featuring their own unique cocktail and food/dessert experience. It was a nice surprise to have Beavertails (outside of Blue Mountain resort) with your own personal choice of toppings. Guests were given a key upon arrival with the chance of unlocking great prizes in each room. A friend of a friend of ours won a Samsung Galaxy tablet that night! Amazing! Thanks to our new friends at Airmagic Special Effects who ended the evening with surprise fireworks and also to Eclectic Events for putting on a great showcase of everything Atlantis has to offer as a premier Toronto venue with gorgeous waterfront views.

Seafood for Thought at the Toronto Zoo

What a unique and interesting place to hold an event and what a great way to learn about sustainable seafood from the Vancouver Aquarium’s Ocean Wise program. Despite the torrential rain at times, the Toronto Zoo graciously gave everyone rain coats, so guests ducked from tent to tent to enjoy drinks and delicious variations of sustainable seafood including oysters, Ontario Perch, MSC Certified Salmon, Belize white shrimp and PEI Mussels. Fun activities also included the chocolate fountain, petting the baby penguins, sting ray, sharks and parrots. What a great way to visit the zoo!

Toronto’s First Diner en Blanc
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Diner en Blanc is a worldwide tradition that started 20 years ago in Paris and in Aug 2012, arrived for the first time to Toronto at Fort York as a secret, elegant outdoor dinner party. A little bit of rain didn’t dampen the mood while tables, chairs, glassware and umbrellas were set up for dining and by the time the dancing started the rain had stopped it was a beautiful evening in a sea of white filled with 1,400 guests with sparklers.  What a great, unique experience!

100th Grey Cup Gala
100th Grey Cup Gala
The Grey Cup Gala at the Rogers Centre was pretty spectacular! How often do you get to enjoy a gala on the actual turf where the CFL’s 100th Grey Cup Gala takes place with the Toronto Argonauts? Congrats to the Argos for winning this monumental 100th Grey Cup as well! Despite being called a “gala”, the atmosphere was completely casual with the Argos Cheerleaders and athletic legends such as Damon Allen and Michael “Pinball” Clemons just mingling about and being so casually approachable.

THANKS
Thanks to the BestofToronto.net team: Flora, Sabrina and Jana!

And we couldn’t have done it alone.  Special thanks to our event friends who have supported us along the way including Halysha, Karine, Susan, Gillian, Jodi, Carolyn, Tys, Esther and Masha.
Very special thanks to Holly who supported us since the beginning! We couldn’t have done so many great things without you! 🙂

Thanks to Sis for bringing us to the next level and thanks to Tanya for always being there! Also thanks to Sari and thanks to Nicole for all your patience and anyone else I’ve forgotten.

Looking forward to working with everyone to discover the Best that Toronto has to offer this year! Much love for Toronto, big thanks to everyone!
-Nick

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Nick Lee

Editor and Photos at BestOfToronto.net