Little Italy welcomes Garrison Creek – a show-stopping dining space specializing in traditional Italian cuisine boasting recipes made from scratch. The luxurious interior contrasts sleek white and black marble tables with luminated wood-panelled floors and velvet seating to bring together an approachable ambience that boasts both comfort and privacy. Garrison Creek welcomes both families, with their plentiful seating sections and an exclusive children’s menu, as well as lavish dinners with friends in their exquisite 8-seater private booth and live DJ.
The first North American location of Don Alfonso 1890 opened a couple of months ago and is already recognized as the “Best New Italian Restaurant in the World 2018”. Nick Di Donato from the Liberty Group and Michelin Star Chef Ernesto Iaccarino announced the exciting news of the Three-Fork designation from the prestigious Gamberro Rosso – the Italian equivalent of the Michelin Star.
The cold, dark Canadian winter is now in full swing, meaning you’ll probably be aching to jet off and experience the sun that your vitamin D-deprived body truly needs. While Toronto isn’t exactly close to anywhere you can experience winter sun, that isn’t a problem. As the city’s airport is the busiest in Canada, there are dozens of great options for those looking to reach warmer climes without breaking the bank. If you haven’t booked your winter vacation yet, read on to find out the top winter vacation destinations from Toronto. Buenos Aires If lazily sunning it on the beach isn’t your idea of a dream winter getaway, then head to the manic metropolis of Buenos Aires for a city break to remember. The Argentine capital experiences warm and sunny weather throughout the winter months, meaning you can expect balmy temperatures whenever you decide to go. Enjoy strolling the elegant streets and explore some of the museums in this historic city, before going for some up-all-night barhopping in the raucous nightlife district of Recoleta. You can fly direct with Air Canada year-round. Malta Mix things up a bit with a trip to Europe. While much of the continent is in for a cold winter, Malta keeps things sunny and warm year-round, averaging temperatures of around 20 degrees throughout December. Aside from great food and crumbling palaces overlooking the Mediterranean, this tiny island is also home to one of the most thriving tech sectors in Europe, making it ideal for Canadian techies. If you’re a techie looking to relocate to sunnier shores, some major global online casino operators, many of which also run in Canada, have their global headquarters here, so it might be worth sending your resume over to Mr Green if it turns out you don’t want to leave. Antigua Antigua is truly one of the jewels of the Caribbean, feeling truly unspoiled in comparison to its neighbours. This former British colony is big on history, with travellers able to enjoy relaxed tours of old colonial castles, villas and plantations before heading off to some of the best beaches in the world. The island enjoys warm weather every month of the year, with December being a particularly popular time to visit. Make sure to enjoy some grilled fish on the beach with a rum punch in hand, before setting off on a yacht for some island hopping. It definitely beats queueing for the bus in snowy Toronto. St Martin St Martin is a historical and geopolitical oddity. One side is a territory of France, while the other is part of the Netherlands. This brings a unique European blend to this small island, as well as ensuring it is one of the safest destinations in the Caribbean. Direct flights from Toronto resume with Air Canada every December to cater to the Canadian holiday crowd, who go to take advantage of cheap flights, cheap drinks and even cheaper hotel rooms. There are few better places on Earth to blissfully while away the winter months until Toronto becomes habitable again. Do you have any secret tips on where to find winter sun from Toronto? Let us know in the comments below!
Out of all of 2018’s food trends in Toronto, soufflé pancakes deserve the most recognition – for fulfilling not only instagram-worthy shots, but also happy tummies. Soufflés in itself are a challenge to make, but “Fuwa Fuwa” perfects this recipe, proven by eager food lovers lining up at both this and the Bloor-West location for weekends on end.
If you’re debating where to tackle your holiday shopping list this year, the brand new Cactus Club Cafe at Sherway Gardens makes the shiny, freshly remodelled Etobicoke mall an easy choice. Marking its second Ontario location (the first of which, of course, spans three bustling levels of prime real estate in the city’s Financial District), Cactus Club Cafe opened its doors at Sherway late last month. Consistent with the ever-growing Cactus Club Cafe brand, the food is comforting and creative – approachable, yet refined and memorable. The menu at the Sherway Gardens location features a mix of reliable favourites and new highlights created by their Test Kitchen, led by world-class chefs including Chef Rob Feenie (Iron Chef America and Iron Chef Canada) and Chef Cory Vitiello, Head of Culinary Development, Toronto. Beloved signature dishes, such as Chef Feenie’s Butternut Squash Ravioli with Prawns and Double-Braised Short Rib, make an appearance on the menu here, as do new quick favourites like Chef Vitiello’s Lobster and Prawn Tagliatelle Nero with pistachio green chili pesto (exclusive to Sherway Gardens), and Mediterranean-inspired Salmon Fresca with fresh herbs, baby gem tomatoes, shaved fennel and hummus. Personal menu highlights include the Szechuan Lettuce Wraps, the Hunter Chicken (complete with a mushroom demi-glaze and dreamy buttered mashed potatoes), the Baja Fish Tacos, and the beef carpaccio. New vegetarian and vegan menu items include Tofu Lettuce Wraps and the Grilled Tofu Modern Bowl. To accompany the culinary goodness is an extensive wine (wine by the glass is served in either six-ounce or nine-ounce options) list that will please any palette and a cocktail list that includes both reliable classics and about a dozen creative gems. The restaurant’s art is worth a visit in itself, and the sprawling space practically doubles as an art gallery, with conversation-provoking pieces from some of the world’s best-known artists gracing its walls. These include pieces from Andy Warhol (no big deal), the influential Jean-Michel Basquiat, Japanese contemporary artist Takashi Murakami, well-known LA street artist Mr. Brainwash, and Toronto’s own rising star Daniel Mazzone, whose massive painting adorns the walls of the two-story entrance. Another talking point of the space – and something that will be appreciated after a summer shopping session – is a large retractable roof. This is one of the largest of its kind found at any restaurant in North America and definitely one of the stars of the show. The restaurant will offer daily afternoon and late night specials, as well as half-price bottles of wine on Tuesdays and Wednesday. Personally, I can’t think of a better place to unwind (with a large glass of red wine in hand) after a chaotic few hours spent in a crowded mall during the holiday season. But be sure to book a reservation in advance. Photos by Nick Lee
Top Holiday Events for Xmas in Toronto When it comes to Xmas in Toronto there are so many different events to enjoy. We wanted to help make it easier for you to plan ahead so we’ve created this list of the best things to do this holiday season. Don’t forget, you can check out our amazing restaurant guide too if you are planning to book a table for a family get together or for a surprise treat or even as a way to end a perfect Christmas themed day. Xmas In Toronto Events Guide Every year our holiday guide is a big hit and this year should be no exception. We have all our favourite events lists as well as some great new treats for all our readers and they are all listed below so you can find them at a glance. Xmas at Black Creek:There are a number of great events being organized at the Black Creek Village this year where you’ll be able to celebrate Christmas and experience all the old and new traditions and have a great day out. Family Xmas Weekends: This family experience will allow you to step into an amazing Christmas wonderful. Experience the sights and sounds of a Victorian Christmas and enjoy some wonderful seasonal activities in the village. Who knows, you might even pick up a new tradition or two to add to your family’s holiday festivities for years to come. Storytime with Santa: Happening every weekend in December, this is a special treat for all the little ones. They get to spend time with Santa and his helpers as well as gather around Santa’s chair and listen to him tell a classic Christmas story. Children also get to decorate their very own Christmas cookies in the historic kitchen and grownups can warm themselves with a hot apple cider. Remember to bring your camera to capture the memories of this wonderful experience as you create your very own Christmas crafts and explore the holiday village. Christmas by Lamplight: This takes place every Saturday in December as Black Creek comes to life in the evenings with music, food, and activities all beneath the glow of lamplight. Bask in the glory of the holiday decorations and enjoy an evening of fantastic music and Christmas entertainment. Toronto Christmas Market: This is something not to be missed. Toronto Christmas market is one of the leading Christmas markets in the world and the annual event brings with it all the tradition, heritage, and charm you’d expect to find at a Christmas market. It’s also where you’ll find unique local handcrafted products and gifts for all the family. The day is filled with friendly entertainment, musicians, carolers, children’s choirs, and holiday-themed stage productions. There’s even a visit from Santa and his elves to enjoy. The Market is held right up until the 23rd of December and opens from 12pm to 9pm weekdays and 10am to 10pm at weekends. Bloor Yorkville Holiday Magic: This is the annual community concert event that supports the Canadian Foundation of AIDS Research (CANFAR) and it’s free. It features the official “Flick the Switch” lighting ceremony along with exciting live music performances from some of the best Canadian stars. Illuminite: This is a wonderful evening of music and dance where visitors get to experience the wonder and joy of the holiday season in the heart of Downtown Toronto. There’s live music that will have you dancing as well as a special tree lighting performance followed by live singing in the square of all your favourite Christmas songs. Fallsview Casino Resort Entertainment: Fallsview Casino resort features some of the best in entertainment for your holiday seasons with over 250 shows every year. This includes some big international stars like Steven Tyler, Adam Sandler, Kelly Clarkson and more. You can enjoy blackjack, roulette, slots, and more while catching a show too. There are a number of land-based casinos in Toronto but if you don’t want to travel, there are online casinos and Torontonians can play online casinos here and enjoy all their favourite games for real money prizes. Toronto Santa Claus Parade: What’s Christmas without Santa Claus? Take your kids to this event where Santa is welcomed into town. The parade is the highlight of the Toronto Xmas Events calendar and has been in operation since 1913. You’ll get to see amazing floats leave the corner of Christie and Bloor Street accompanied by marching bands, dancers, and a myriad of characters all dressed up as they lead the way along the 5km route. The parade lasts for approximately 2.5 hours and starts at Christie Pits Park and ends at the St. Lawrence Market. Swedish Christmas Fair: This is a two-day holiday event that includes children singing carols at the Lucia Pageant as well as the story behind the IKEA founder Ingvar Kamprad. You can try your hand at folk dancing, craft making, and more. You even get to try out some of the delicious Scandinavian foods and drink glogg. There’s a range of imported handmade gifts, unique Christmas decorations, and much more. Cavalcade of Lights Toronto: This is a free event that has been running for more than 50 years in Toronto. It marks the official start to the holiday season and features the illumination of Toronto’s official Christmas tree. Musical performances by some of the top Canadian talent as well as a fireworks display are not to be missed. And there’s a DJ skating party in the outdoor rink as well. It’s fun for all the family and takes place in Nathan Phillips Square. The Nutcracker: If you want to enjoy a family Christmas classic, the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts is a must visit. Running until the 30th of December you can see the stunning Nutcracker come alive on stage in this visual extravaganza. As you can see, when it comes to Xmas in Toronto there really is so much to fill your schedule with. From treats for the kids to family fun and casino entertainment for adults, there’s something for everyone to enjoy this holiday season.
Amidst a rising wave of cyber-attacks that have had a devastating impact on companies across the globe, Toronto is aiming to establish itself as a cybersecurity hub. The annual Toronto Cybersecurity Conference that is set to take place in March 2019 hopes to contribute to the country’s defenses against hackers by raising awareness and providing an impetus for training. Two Toronto Cybersecurity Conferences to Take Place in 2019 The Toronto Cybersecurity Conference is organized every year by Data Connectors, a company that specializes in cybersecurity events and has been in the business since 1999. According to their website, the next Toronto Cybersecurity Conference will take place on March 21, 2019 from 8 am to 5 pm. It will feature three sessions, with a strong focus on web security. Topics will include security in cloud environments, how to protect email and social media accounts, security across LAN and wireless networks, VoIP, as well as the impact of USB tech on security. A specialized audience ranging from developers and network engineers to CEOs and managers will hear from three distinguished speakers that represent industry leaders. Although there is no entry fee, those interested need to register to be able to attend. Attendance is estimated to be between 2000 and 5000 delegates, while they will also be able to engage with at least ten other exhibitors during the conference. The event builds on the work of its 2018 predecessor, which took place in March 2018 and focused on similar issues. Data Connectors are also planning a second edition of the Toronto Cybersecurity Conference, which will take place on October 17, 2019. Entrance is again free and includes access to the exhibit area, which will host more than 30 exhibitors, as well as to 12 educational sessions and one central keynote speaker session. Why Discussing Cybersecurity Matters The organization of cybersecurity events seems all the more crucial, since as of November 1 companies are required, by virtue of the provisions of the Digital Privacy Act, to inform their clients of data breaches. Considering it results in bad publicity, this arguably means that Canadian companies are looking for ways to beef up their data security by uncovering hidden risks, correctly classifying and safeguarding sensitive data, and complying with regulatory requirements like the recent GDPR EU rules. After all, for Canadian companies, the stakes are high: As CBC.ca reported on October 15, 2018, a recent Statistics Canada survey revealed that 20% of Canadian companies suffered a hacker attack in 2017, and only 1 in 10 of victims have reported it to the police. In total, Canadian businesses spent a whopping $14 billion in cybersecurity last year. Of that number, $8 billion went to specialized personnel, $4 billion was channelled to cybersecurity software and hardware, and only $2 billion went to prevention and mitigation measures. Statistics Canada has also released information about how companies are impacted by cybersecurity breaches. 54% of enterprises have stated that they were impeded in carrying out their day-to-day operations, 53% had issues with access to resources or services, and 30% complained that incidents required additional funds for recovery and repair. Against this bleak landscape, cybersecurity events like the Toronto Cybersecurity Conference seem all the more important for business leaders and IT professionals alike.
“Frilu” brings the downtown Toronto fine-dining experience to Thornhill in an unparalleled 10-course experience in its 28-seater space. Like many fine-dining restaurants, the ambiance is modern and minimalistic, yet has a casual ambiance that has an inviting warm hospitality. Just like the word’s Norweigian origin, “friluftsliv”, meaning one with nature, Frilu combines earthy elements from their leisurely atmosphere (complete with a mossy back wall), and their new fall tasting menu, called Harvest Moon: Changing Leaves.
Eat to the Beat returns for the 23rd annual culinary gala, featuring 60 top female chefs while raising funds in support of breast cancer. The event conveys a powerful message and the strong support for women through the challenges. The event took place at Roy Thompson Hall, sponsored by the Canadian Cancer Society GTA (CCS), filled with great food, drinks, and fun for this great cause as proceeds are directed to CCS programs and services to help support anyone living with breast cancer diagnosis. The program exists to ensure no one faces breast cancer alone, with programs connecting people with volunteers, information and help cope through the challenges. Eat to the Beat has grown through the years, along with its support. Throughout the evening, while sampling specially prepared savoury and sweet dishes from chefs. Attendees will notice the favourite Corset Ladies, a group of supporters and survivors who design and wear beautiful, food-themed corsets, throughout the evening. A new feature to this year was the “Up-and-Coming Chef Challenge”, presented by KitchenAid, featuring talented female chefs-in-training from five prestigious culinary schools in Ontario. The winner was Centennial College’s chef, Anna Choi, for her dish of kombu-cured salmon with ponzu caviar, spiced puffed rice, wasabi crème fraiche, yolk gel, pickled onion and parsley powder. http://www.eattothebeat.ca Twitter: @EattotheBeat_TO #ETTB2018 Instagram: @EattotheBeat_TO #ETTB2018 Facebook: Eat to the Beat Photos by Flora Tran
Yorkville’s distinguished comic-book-meets-sophistication restaurant elevates their state-of-the-art dining experience with additional menu items in their second year running. A guest’s experience at “Figures” is sparked with curiosity and adventure; upon entering the lobby of the speakeasy, one is greeted with a glass-encased room plastered with comics and iconic cartoons. Access to the restaurant beyond the hidden door becomes an act of discovery, as if one is revealed to the secret headquarters of a hero. The magic doesn’t end there, where the interior of the comfortable 2000 square foot restaurant is decorated like a gallery saluting to animated/movie classics, and superheroes to marvel at.
If you were downtown by Union Station or Scotiabank Arena on Thursday, September 20th and you were navigating through a flood of youth, you know WE Day is back in town. WE Day is a massive youth event bringing together 20,000 students and educators from more than 1,200 schools who made a difference in their communities across Ontario.
Travelling to another city – especially one with so much history, culture, and entertainment – can be costly. While you don’t want to miss anything in a trip of a lifetime, you also don’t want to break the bank for when you get home. But, there are plenty of ways that you can make the most out of your vacation or city break in Toronto and also save on travel before you get there. Spend Wisely Before the Trip By spending in cashback schemes in the run-up to your trip on things you’d normally buy, you could ensure that you have some points saved up with in order to increase your budget or look for a wider range of hotels. Travel credit cards often include expenditure related to travel on their rewards. For example, the Starwood Marriott offers points when you spend on an American Express credit card that can give you money back for your accommodation. Some points systems also account for air miles and cheaper flights, which could ensure you have a greater budget to actually spend on the city break. Planning a budget in advance and finding ways to maximize the budget can end up turning a good vacation into a great one. Find Things to Do For Free Everybody loves a bargain and savvy marketers know that by offering a free cup of milk, you’re more likely to buy the cow. By enticing you in with freebies, you can enjoy the experience of visiting Toronto for your city break, without worrying about the bank balance. There are dozens of happy hours and meal deals set for various days of the week. Plus, there are plenty of places to go that cost nothing but still give you the perfect selfie. The Harbourfront, Trinity Bellwoods Park, and the Art Gallery of Ontario are all free and provide nature and culture to appease any visitor. Be Prepared The best way to make the most of your trip is simply to plan ahead. Planning in advance not only allows you to plan for a budget, but it allows you to make the time for the things you really want to do when you’re there. You’ll know exactly where to go and eat and what to see to squeeze the most out of every day. By maximizing every waking moment in a new city, especially one so full of life as Toronto, you’ll be making the most of the money you’ve spent getting there. By looking into the city beforehand, you’ll find hidden treasures and things to do that can amplify your experience and make any money spent on it feel one hundred per cent worth it. Planning in advance and planning around the free offerings and ways in which you can spend money to save money can culminate in the trip of a lifetime, without it being the only trip you’ll be able to afford to take in your lifetime. You can enjoy yourself in Toronto on a budget and experience everything the city has to offer without worrying about how much you’re spending.
The red carpets have rolled up and the famous faces have headed home to Hollywood. The Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) 2018 has officially wrapped.
As usual, the coveted film festival was filled with newsworthiness and talking points – from the films to the fashion.
Here are some of Best of Toronto’s personal best TIFF highlights….
Data from Statistics Canada shows that the average Canadian university graduate comes out of school with student debt in excess of $26,000. According to a recent poll by Ipsos Poll on behalf of BDO Canada conducted between 16th August and 21st August 2017, 77% of Canadian graduates regret having student debt. 30% of the graduates say they wish they had more frugal budgets, 28% wish they had worked more while at school, and 25% wish they would have avoided even more debt by staying away from car loans and credit cards. Given these stats, it is clear that if you have to take student loans, you should manage it properly and save as much as you can to avoid the pinch when the time comes to repay it. Proper money management and the inculcation of a saving culture also help you form good habits that will help you later in life. 1. Make and Stick to a Budget Make a budget and ensure the loan funds academic-related costs first. According to Financial Consumer Agency of Canada, the funds should go towards tuition fees, student fees such as administration fees and student union fees, health insurance, course materials such as books, living expenses, food, transportation, and entertainment. Just as important as making a budget is sticking to it. 2. Take advantage of Tax Credits and Tax Deductions for Students There are many tax credits and tax deductions available for students in part-time and full-time jobs. File your returns in good time and claim tax credits and tax deductions where applicable. Non-refundable tax credits reduce the amount of tax you have to pay and are applicable for such costs as tuition fees, public transit, books, and interest on student loans. Tax deductions reduce your taxable income and are applicable for such costs as child care expenses and moving expenses. 3. Use an Online Money Management Services There are several apps, a good example being Mint, that can assist you to manage your money better and more easily. College students are usually too forgetful or busy to keep track of their incomes and expenditures, but Mint allows one to upload his/her expense info and bank account for easy management from a central place. 4. Save on Course Material Costs On average, course materials such as books add up to $800 – $1,000 per year, depending on the course. You can cut down on this cost by: Buying used books Getting electronic version of books, articles, and other course material Buying textbooks from an online retailer (which is usually cheaper than buying from a campus bookstore) Sharing textbooks with classmates or roommates where practical Selling textbooks after you are done with them Using an older edition of a textbook Avoid “suggested materials” from professors because most do not contribute to you passing the class. Websites like Chegg have textbooks available for rent Some schools have textbook rental programs 5. Protect Personal Information Cybercrime such as identity theft is real in college. According to a recent study by Javelin Strategy and Research, young adults in the 18 to 24 demographics are at the highest risk for identity theft. To avoid identity theft: Ensure you use strong passwords Do not write passwords down or share them with anybody Do not share your Social Security numbers Ensure personal documents are always secured Check credit and bank accounts regularly for and report suspicious activity immediately 6. Save on Living Expenses Living expenses take a big chunk of your expenses during school time. You could cut on the cost by opting for shared student residence in Toronto as opposed to single rooms. You can also live off campus to save money. You could move in with family or roommates. Visit your school’s site for estimated costs of living both on and off campus. 7. Save on Grocery Costs To cut down on grocery costs, explore grocery stores that offer student deals on certain days of the week. Whenever you are shopping, ask if student discounts are applicable. Many schools also offer meal plans for students who live off campus and you should consult your school on these plans. Consider cooking for yourself because eating out can be a big expense. Many schools also offer meal plans for students living off campus. Contact your school for more information on these plans. 8. Save on Health Insurance Costs If you have private health insurance with your family or job, you may opt out of your school’s coverage to save on health insurance costs. Most schools, however, require that you opt out of health insurance in the first few weeks of the school year and that you provide proof you have the said private health insurance. 9. Save on Transport Costs If you require public transit to get to and from school, consider getting a public transit pass. Note some schools provide transit passes as part of the tuition fee. You are better off not using a car while in college. Parking costs, gas costs, and maintenance costs are way more than you would pay for a monthly public transit pass. Walk or ride a bike whenever you can not only to save money but also to keep fit. You should also take advantage of student discounts offered by most airlines, passenger trains, and bus companies, especially when going home for summer vacation or a visit. 10. Get Other Sources of Income Consider tapping into other sources of income to reduce the loan you have to take. Examples of such sources of income include: Working to help pay for education (most colleges have work-study programs that offer flexible part-time gigs). Scholarships Grants 11. Avoid Credit Cards Student credit cards and student line of credit from financial institutions are a popular source of income for college students. Colleges and universities are popular advertising spots for banks and credit card companies, with the average annual interest rates for a student credit card being 18.11%. Most credit card companies lure students with college-centric offers like free college swag and free concert tickets. Avoid these options whenever you can because they put you in a vicious cycle of debt. Debit cards are a better option but do not take advantage of their overdraft facilities. 12. Set up a Bank Checking Account A bank checking account will go a long way in helping you manage your money. Most banks have products designed specifically for college students and they have such features as free checking and saving accounts, which helps you avoid fund transfer and withdrawal fees. Go for a bank with ATMs near your campus to avoid out-of-network charges. 13. Save on Entertainment & Miscellaneous Costs College usually leaves students with a lot of time to spare. This and the average age of students make entertainment a major cost. To save on entertainment as well as cell phone, clothing, and other miscellaneous costs, consider going for what you need instead of what you want. Other tips to save on entertainment/miscellaneous costs are: Take advantage of student discount cards whenever you can. Go for a campus gym as opposed to a gym in town. Share Netflix/cable/Internet costs with roommates or classmates. Use free services like Spotify or Pandora instead of buying music. Do not buy name brand items. Generic items provide the same quality at a much lower price. Get involved in the many campus activities available to students as opposed to going out. Many campuses offer movie nights, have an array of museums, and have many sports and social facilities for students. Skip expensive summer trips and spring breaks and look for such alternatives as volunteering for your favorite cause. Wait until you are out of campus to own a pet. Having one on campus is quite expensive. Make a budget first and then get a student’s loan based on this budget and other source of income. However, note that the cost of living expenses may increase due to inflation. In Canada, this has been 2% per year over the past few years. Consult your parents, professors, and other role models on money management and saving tips.
September is, and has always been, the busiest month in fashion. Yorkville Village’s three days of runway, fashion talks, studios, showrooms, launches & pop-up’s held this tradition strong September 4th to the 6th – in true Spring/Summer 2019 style. Guests and fashion enthusiasts braved the heat, dawning beautiful and unique styles – while upping the always fashionable Yorkville neighbourhood to the next level, with photo and save-worthy street style. Toronto Fashion Week, in collaboration with RE\SET, provided an exciting gathering of fashion, film, culture, photography and events for its 3rd consecutive season; with a look into the best of the best in Canadian design talent.
While the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) may be one of the world’s most coveted film festivals – with a TIFF film often a precursor to an Academy Award nomination – everyone knows it’s about more than just the films. It’s about the glamour, fashion, and excitement that comes when half of Hollywood descends upon Toronto. Between rigorous interview schedules, panels, and working that red carpet, Hollywood’s finest like to let loose just like the rest of us do, and the perpetual parties that fill the festival are just as newsworthy as the films are. Every red carpet premiere is celebrated with an intimate cocktail party or cast dinner that remains top secret until after the fact. As usual, Soho House was filled with star power this TIFF. Not only do the famous faces feel right at home at the members’-only club thanks to Soho House locations in cities like Los Angeles, New York City, Miami, and London, they appreciate the club’s no-camera policy. Plus, the venue is home to the ultra exclusive Grey Goose cast parties and dinners and has been since it opened its Toronto location in 2012. If you’re not on the list, there is zero chance of getting into one of these cocktail-filled celebrations, regardless of whether you’re a member or not. The good news for star-seeking members is that the celebs are often known to stick around once their party wraps, like Jude Law did on Friday, September 7 after the late-afternoon cocktail affair for his film Vox Lux, which also brought co-star Natalie Portman to the spot. On Monday, September 10, a talent-filled cast dinner for Destroyer took over the second floor of Soho House for a pre-premiere feast, and I got to join. Famous faces like Nicole Kidman and her Golden Globe-winning cast mate, Canada’s “it” girl Tatiana Maslany, sat across from one another at a head table and were in good spirits, chatting it up and laughing with those around them. As usual, Kidman was radiant and beautiful, with her hair up and in a cream-coloured Bottega Veneta power suit that made her impossible to ignore, famous movie star or not. Chef Ludo Lefebvre – who is known as a trailblazer in the pop-up dining scene in Los Angeles – flew in for the occasion, and created a comforting and completely delicious family-style menu that included salmon with a sorrel sauce, market vegetable ratatouille, roasted chicken, and steak au poivre with crispy frites. The next night, I was back at Soho House – this time downstairs on the main floor – for the official after-party for Colette with director Wash Westmoreland and stars Keira Knightley, Dominic West, Denise Gough, Jake Graf, and Ray Panthaki. Knightley stunned in Chanel and arrived shortly after the party began, taking a seat on one of the couches by the fire with friends and remaining there for most of the evening before letting loose later on. Meanwhile, Dominic West was mingling and later dancing, especially when Madonna’s “Like a Prayer” came on. Guests enjoyed Grey Goose cocktails and endless passed food, like comforting Korean-fried chicken bites, wood-oven margherita pizzas, and pastel-coloured French macarons. Filling the walls with more star power, the after-party for The Death and Life of John F. Donovan – a film directed by Canada’s own 29-year-old Xavier Dolan – also took place at Soho House. Joining Dolan in the celebration were members of his cast, including Kit Harington, Thandie Newton, Emily Hampshire, Chris Zylka, and Susan Sarandon. This was one of the hottest ticket after-parties, with other famous faces like Alexander Skarsgard and Paris Hilton stopping by later in the evening. Soho House also hosted Grey Goose celebrations for the films Wildlife and The Front Runner, the latter of which is directed by Jason Reitman and stars Hugh Jackman. Naturally, each party featured a selection of Grey Goose cocktails, like “The Sequel,” an elegant twist on the espresso martini that comes in handy during the late nights; the “Magic Hour,” a cocktail made with Grey Goose L’Orange, orange juice, vanilla syrup, and unsweetened coconut milk; and the “Le Fizz,” a longtime Grey Goose staple made with Grey Goose, St-Germain elderflower liqueur, fresh lime juice and soda. Just a few blocks from Soho House, another celebrity hotbed this TIFF was RBC House, a pop-up initiative that took over the space at 11 Duncan Street for the second year in a row. In addition to panels, this space also hosted musical performances and A-list cast parties this TIFF. Among them was one of the biggest parties – and one that confirmed one of young Hollywood’s most buzzed-about rumours – the Her Smell cocktail party, which featured high-profile cast members like Elizabeth Moss, Cara Delevinge, Amber Heard, and Ashley Benson. After this high-energy party, there was no doubt that Delevinge and Benson were indeed a couple as speculated, as they affectionately mingled together and enjoyed the evening (they were the last cast members to leave). I attended the A Million Little Pieces premiere party – where, sadly, the film’s biggest star Billy Bob Thornton was a no-show (apparently, these types of affairs are not his thing). Party guests included Alexander Skarsgard, who – on the other hand – was clearly making the most of his time to play in Toronto. RBC House also hosted the premiere party for Driven, which brought names like Lee Pace and Jason Sudeikis to the spot. Other Hollywood elite to grace the RBC House for their respective cast parties throughout the festival included Christian Slater, Alec Baldwin, Taylor Schilling, Jenna Malone, Emilio Estevez, Javier Bardem, Penelope Cruz, and Kate Beckinsale, who were all met with flashing cameras and a crowd of onlookers upon arrival. So, what really goes down at these parties? To be honest, not always a anything too exciting or gossip column-worthy. The parties are typically only a couple of hours long – not long enough for things to go really south – and Hollywood’s finest are usually (keyword: usually) composed and genuinely seem happy to catch up with those they shared the making of the movie with. The stars typically stay in their own booth, with the passed cocktails and platters of upscale casual bites brought to them and constantly replenished. Some years you have some good luck – like the time I stood back-to-back with Matt Damon on the Soho House patio, able to hear every word of his conversation (which, frankly, was all about his kids), or the time that I ran into Javier Bardem and his friend outside of the washroom and chatted love and relationships for what felt like forever. Other times, you stand awkwardly, knowing nobody, taking it all in and realizing that the faces from the big screen really aren’t too much different from any other super glamorous, genetically blessed, and socially graceful person you know. And they could be right beside you in a bathroom stall.
Cosmetic treatments can have an impressive impact on one’s appearance. Perhaps that’s why procedures like breast enhancements are here to stay. Some of these aesthetic trends don’t require going under the knife which makes them even more popular. With that said, let’s go over our predictions of aesthetic trends in 2019. Lip Injections Lip injection treatments have become very popular today for transforming not just the lips but the entire face. Modern lip injection treatments are extremely sophisticated from injectables that contain fillers like Juvederm to others that are made using fat obtained from one’s own body. Although currently, over-sized lip augmentation is the in-thing especially in celebrity land, we predict that by the end of 2018, this will be a thing of the past. People will turn to natural looking lip augmentation as opposed to the over-filled lips. Lip shaping procedures will become more sophisticated with new facial rejuvenation and asymmetry correction techniques coming up. Don’t be surprised when your dentist recommends injectors to correct an ‘overly gummy’ smile. Cryolipolysis or Coolsculpting Coolsculpting is a procedure that’s designed to get rid of stubborn fat that just won’t go away. It’s not a new procedure, and it’s incredibly popular mainly because it’s non-invasive (unlike procedures like liposuction). Some people struggle with stubborn fat; no matter how much exercise or dieting they do, it just won’t go away. Coolsculpting will mostly be used to target smaller areas such as the belly paunch or chin, unlike liposuction that is often recommended to treat larger areas. The procedure itself is conducted by suctioning the skin with handheld paddles and then a cooling mechanism is used to destroy the fat cells below the surface of the skin. The skin is then massaged firmly after the procedure is done. The destroyed fat cells are then removed from your body naturally. You will probably need to go for several sessions for the treatment to be effective. It can take up to 3 months for you to see the actual results. Smile Enhancement Although smile enhancement procedures are not new in the market, it’s become increasingly popular to have healthy-looking teeth. Furthermore, the procedures used in smile makeovers are quite affordable today, so they’re no longer confined to celebrities. There are several procedures that can be used to give you a smile makeover. From dental veneers to composite bonding, tooth implants and whitening procedures, the options are endless. In the UK and Europe, cosmetic dentists are doing much more than just fitting the perfect rows of veneers. More dentists are moving away from transformations that give patients an unnatural or uncomfortable smile. Your cosmetic dentist will look at factors such as your facial appearance, skin tone, state of your teeth, gum tissue and lips when recommending a procedure that’s right for you. He’ll go over what you like or dislike about your teeth or smile and advice on what can be done to improve it. Perhaps the important thing is not to give one the perfect set of piano key teeth but to ensure the beautiful smile is in harmony with the face. Hair Transplantation Hair restoration methods used today utilize cutting-edge technology to give precise and natural results. With modern technology, patients can now undergo hair transplantation and expect minimal pain, seamless recovery, and inconspicuous scarring. Follicular Unit Excision, commonly known as FUE hair transplant, has evolved over the years to offer natural results with fewer side effects and reduced recovery times. FUE involved hair follicles being removed from a donor area and incisions made in the balding area where they are inserted. This is a clearly invasive surgery that should only be handled by experts. Breast Enhancement Breast augmentation procedures are still high in popularity. However, there’s been a shift in the kind of breast implants patients are opting for in recent years. Many patients prefer the smaller and more modest breasts as opposed to the “Pamela Anderson look” that was in style decades ago. It’s no surprise that patients want breast implants that look as natural as possible. Fortunately, new technology has made it possible for patients to get natural looking breast implants inserted. The so-called ‘gummy bear implants’ are not only safe but also look and feel more pliable than silicone implants. We expect these natural looking implants to continue gaining popularity this last quarter of the year and then into 2019.
Wayne was joined by UNTUCKit founder Chris Riccobono for a Q&A, where he talked about how this partnership came about and how it was his wife Janet who first introduced him to the brand after a visit to the UNTUCKit store in St. Louis. It was Wayne’s love of the brand that led him to strike up a partnership with Chris and UNTUCKit.
Union Summer, a pop-up market presented by TD, returned this year from July 1st to August 19th. On the agenda was various themes of entertainment for every day of the week. For example, Wednesdays would showcase City Hall Live Music and Outdoor Movie Nights, while Fridays featured DJ ‘Nooner’ and hand-picked TD play list. In addition to visual appeal, the aroma of food cooking was equally appealing. Nestled in a shaded outdoor space at the John A. Macdonald Plaza, ten participating restaurants offered select menu items in a temporary food-hall setup. Whether be it tourists exploring Old Toronto, locals that peered over at the scene after stepping off the subway, or coworkers that stumbled upon this outdoor patio-like display, Union Summer was a pleasant discovery for all passerby-ers by providing a taste of some of the best Toronto fare within a convenient location. Additionally, all the restaurants at Union Summer are a glimpse as to #WhereTorontoIsGoing. In other words, you will be seeing these eateries establish a permanent location shortly within the Union Station area. Looking forward to see what’s in store next year! Photos by Janey Tso https://torontounion.ca/ Instagram: #unionsummer
Whether you have trees in your home backyard or around your business, tree shaping is one thing you should give a lot of attention to. Tree shaping will improve the health of your trees, enhance growth, lower the risks of diseases as well as prevent breakage. Proper tree shaping can also boost the perceived value of your property when getting ready to sell. With all the many benefits that come with tree shaping, you need to ensure that you do everything the right way. Most of the time, you will need to work with an arborist Toronto. Other than that, here are the top tips you should consider using. To Prune Or Not To Prune This is the first question you need to ask yourself before you start doing any work. If you are not sure what needs to be done, you can always contact a certified arborist for advice. Arborists have the training needed to determine if pruning will be good or you will have to remove the entire tree. They will advise you honestly on the best approach. You Should Consider Tree Shaping In Late Fall Or Winter The reason why shaping or pruning is ideal during these cold months is because the tree sap is not running at this time. As a result, you will be able to avoid stressing the tree. Most insects that attack trees are also dormant in these months. You will, hence, be able to avoid infections. All in all, you can still do periodic pruning to get rid of the damaged or dead branches. This can be done in any month. Annual or semi-annual pruning will also help get rid of the old branches and enable you to effectively control the size of your trees. Know What Needs To Be Removed Not all tree parts need to be removed. When pruning, you should start by removing branches that rub against other branches or the ones that are growing across. Branches with odd angles can also be trimmed. You should also go for those branches that are diseased, damaged or dead. Know How To Properly Cut The Branches You must take great care of the tree trunk else you will cause the whole tree to die. Don’t cut the branches too close to the trunk. You also need to angle away from the trunk when cutting the branches. Bark stripping can be avoided by cutting portions on the underside of the affected branch before you cut the topside. Don’t Over Prune Over pruning means you will rob the tree of its ability to produce enough food. You can talk to an arborist for advice if you are pruning to allow for the growth of grass under multiple trees. Avoid The Lion’s Tail Or The Broccoli Tree You have over trimmed your tree if it looks like a lion tail or a broccoli. Tree shaping experts can help avoid this problem. Tree shaping may seem like a simple task but it is not. There is a high risk of damaging your tree if you trim it wrongly. Always seek expert advice before engaging in tree trimming.