Nothing is hotter these days than charcuterie, which is why Marben Restaurant in downtown Toronto is rocking a farmhouse-chic dining experience for all those who find cured meats and home canning totally sexy. With an interior of brick and birch decorated with mason jars and balloon whisks, Marben Restaurant is bringing agriculture to the big city.
Aaron Leighton’s Spirit City Toronto isn’t unique in concept (we’ve posted before about Monsters in Real Places), but Leighton’s take is really well done, with the creatures he adds to photographs taking on the textures and colors of their surroundings.
There is something irresistible about a beautifully designed coffee shop. And Balzac’s Coffee in Toronto’s Distillery District is just such a place. Located in an antiquated warehouse, the ambience exudes an industrial-chic meets French bistro aesthetic with its worn brick walls, pressed tin coffee bar, checkerboard tiled flooring, and 20ft ceiling adorned with exposed pipes.
Over the years chocolate has evolved from mass-produced baking tablets in kitchens where dark chocolate was virtually unheard of, to a distinguished product coveted for its incredible complexity. However, today’s attitude towards chocolate has not so much evolved as it has returned to its pagan roots when it was revered as a wondrous, even medicinal, ingredient. Enter Soma Chocolatemaker in Toronto’s uber-hip Distillery District where you can ‘eat, drink and worship chocolate’.
I’m off to Toronto this weekend to check out a few of the films that are screening as part of the Toronto International Film Festival [TIFF] — a charitable, not-for-profit cultural organization. All up, there will be 335 films from 64 countries screening over ten days, so I’ll be scrambling to fit a few in, […]
Designed by — and named after – the iconic architect Frank Gehry, Toronto’s FRANK is a tasty complement to the Art Gallery of Ontario, located, as it is, within the building’s beautiful surrounds. The interior design is stunning: modern, chic, and urbane, it’s a work of art in its own right, featuring modern Danish furnishings and an installation of Frank Stella’s work. And the restaurant itself benefits from the oversight of executive chef Anne Yarymowich, who has created a small but delightful menu, showcasing local wines and seasonal ingredients.
Walking down Toronto’s Queen Street West a few weeks back, we were momentarily distracted (if an hour or two counts as momentarily) by the cake-y delicacies that adorned the store window of The Red Tea Box. Oh boy! This place is like that scene out of Hansel and Gretel where they stumble upon the Gingerbread House, only the treats here are Tea Cakes and the decorations on them should probably be hanging on the walls of a local gallery. These cakes are stunning. Almost too good to eat. Mind you, that didn’t stop us. [photos by Alison Zavos]
One of the best designed restaurants I’ve eaten at, Ultra Supper Club, located in Toronto’s bustling downtown area, offers a fun and playful ambiance and a beautifully conceptualized menu that fits neatly into that burgeoning culinary category of ‘modern fusion’. Which means, exactly? A bit of this, a bit of that, all elegantly presented and rounded off with a sparkling wine selection which complements the variable dining options.
I visited Toronto for the first time a couple of weekends back to check out the Luminato Festival and explore the city itself, which is being promoted as a more socially progressive and cultural alternative to other Canadian hotspots such as Montreal and Vancouver. And for good reason. Toronto is a fascinating place on many levels: from the architecture in the city center, which seamlessly combines the ornate majesty of pre-1940 buildings with the glistening facades of more contemporary designs; to the long, straight roads which defines movement though the city and contains an assortment of hidden gems; to the overall cleanliness of the streets and the overwhelming sense that a bustling creative community is doing all it can to foster the careers of others around them. It was an eye-opening experience. I left the city with a feeling that Toronto is very much on the rise, casting aside its wintry persona and thriving on the back of what is clearly a dynamic and exciting creative scene. Photos by Alison Zavos
I’m heading up to Toronto on the weekend to take in the events around the annual Luminato festival, which is now in its third year as a ten-day celebration of the arts — filling Toronto’s stages, streets, and public spaces with theatre, dance, classical and contemporary music, film, literature, visual arts, and design. It’ll be an interesting few days, especially given that part of the experience of attending Luminato is to have ‘accidental encounters with art’. Hmmm, hmmm. The event is designed to showcase Toronto’s thriving downtown area which is driving the city’s ongoing cultural renaissance.
There is nothing more romantic than having an engagement photo shoot right by gorgeous pine trees and a crystal-clear lake. Unless, of course, that lake happens to be Crystal Lake – the setting of ‘Friday the 13th’ and the final resting place of Jason Voorhees’ victims.
It’s an open secret that many structures that were built specifically for the Olympics, eventually become white elephants – a valuable but burdensome possession whose cost of upkeep is more troublesome than its worth. Many of these magnificent buildings, once the pride and joy of the host country, end up decrepit and abandoned.
Toronto-based experimental photographer and filmmaker Osheen Harruthoonyan is not only taking photographs but proverbially performing magic in his dark room. His work is far removed from everything I’ve seen when it comes to artistic expression and cryptical depth.
I really like the acrylic art objects made by the Toronto fine art studio, Klash Inside. Their pieces are all handmade, made to reflect light. The clean, geometric patterns have an architectural feel to them, and won’t look out of place anywhere.
Formed in Toronto but, at various times, based in Montreal, London, New York and L.A, Metric boasts the sort of history that requires one of those connect-the-dots red-lined maps you see in an Indiana Jones movie. These are the songs that have inspired Metric’s Jimmy Shaw, written in his own words.