TOP TEN PLACES TO CHECK OUT IN TORONTO LOVE THIS CITY TEAM October 17, 2012 Restaurants, TRAVEL 1. Toronto Ribfest: Love this City got a chance to visit the Toronto Ribfest at Centennial Park and this year’s cookout certainly did not disappoint on its opening night. In this parkette area, people stood under the sun 30-45 minutes to exchange cash for meat and before huddling for cover with the hats and towels to consume ribs, spread sticky finger licking BBQ sauce on their hands and faces. The main focus was the ribs of course but attenders also had the chance to enjoy pork and chicken among festival fan favourite offerings such as corn, funnel cake and ice-cream. Here at Love this City, we caught a chance to sample and stuff some meater, tender and tasty ribs down our stomaches along with washing all that meat down with beers, soft drinks and fresh squeezed lemonade. The live music is great for the background and great enough to stay in the festival mood. All in all, the Ribfest was an enjoyable night to stuff your face in and something tells us we won’t be able to stay away from this place to visit in Toronto this summer, before trying a few more ribs. So do not miss this yummy tasted festival that has deep fried Mars bars and butter , two brand new stages of entertainment, and lots of features – including the Haunted House; Guinness World Record Illusionist; Kidz Zone; the Rib Run; Toronto Zoo and more. 2. Pride Toronto: Pride Toronto has just passed a couple of weeks ago and Love this City was there to catch it. This year’s Pride combined a multitude of iconic images, drag queens, lesbians with asymmetrical haircuts and men and women sporting all shades of nude. Obviously, we saw each type having a good time at the parade. But the styles in the Village became so dynamic throughout the parade, with undeniably stylish outfits and ensembles making the most eccentric person appeared normal. Pride this year was not about upping style but was more about having fun with expressing yourself in something cool and comfortable. Down the road, Love this City saw many people who simply expressed the diversity of what our city of Toronto prides itself to be. This parade brings out feelings of confusion, elation, surprise, fatigue and pride– it’s hard not to feel proud of Toronto when thousands come out to support a diverse group of marchers and guarantee to unite a multicultural city. So with keeping with the positive party vibe, to help you navigate the influx of parties, events, attractions and the like, here’s your complete guide to Pride 2012 in Toronto.We’ll breakdown the what-to-dos and where-to-gos from here on out, focusing on the hottest happenings and places during Pride 2012. Main events Love this City recommends to check out during the parade: Church Street Fair (usually with housing DJs and drag queens), performance stages such as (Viagara Village Stage, TD Wellesley Stage) Dyke March and Pride & Remembrance Run. 3. North by Northeast: North by Northeast is one of those festivals that progressively gets crazier with bands usually playing late night shows in the park along with offering 5 days of glorious music. Love this City had a great ride at the NXNE festival with great food, non stop partying amazing performances and great movie previews. But if it’s your first time visiting, remember with over 700 bands and acts, 40 film previews and countless after club parties; it’s best to plan your experience ahead of time. So to help, Love this City has highlighted some of our recommendations of what parties or places to not miss and some quick tips to get your partying adrenaline through the NXNE treatment. For recommendations, basically stay hydrated, map out the shows or parties you need to check out and have a plan how to get to the festival. Once you get to the party what parties should you check out? At NXNE, there are tons of parties and here are Love this City’s personal recommendations. For all the electronic heads, drop by the Drake Hotel Underground, (acts such as Treasure Fingers and Hatchmatick are playing), Wrongbar (anticipated set by Purity Ring), or the Garrison (catch Mozart’s Sister playing an incredible set). Check out these venues: Yonge- Dundas Square, Velvet Underground, Wrongbar and The Drake Hotel. 4. Caribana: Love this City knows that the 45th annual Caribana Parade is underway and around the corner and hundreds of inspired Caribbean events, classes and parties have been planned to mark this year’s festival. For a festival that has existed for 45 years, most love the beauty this carnival brings. The beauty meaning, the varied audience it attracts (people across the world), to young adolescents who is looking to have a good time, to household and A-list celebrities throwing Caribana themed parties in clubs across Toronto. Officially, many anticipate attending its signature grand parade at Yonge-Dundas Square which will feature live music, mixture of Caribbean food and great art theatrical displays showcasing the Caribbean culture. But it would not be a well rounded experience if you did not hit up a club party or two…or even ten! This year, Love this City has learned that Caribana has more than 30 party events that will just take place at the parade weekend alone. Love this City definitely recommends dropping by at Mansion, Loft, Skybar and lastly Kool Haus to not miss the anticipated “Def Jam Party” happening on Caribana Saturday. 5. Canadian National Exhibition: If you’re a fan of funnel cakes, Whac-a-Mole and Ferris wheel line ups, then Love this City has you covered; the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE) is back. This all-ages summer carnival has everything and more to offer with: thrill seekers who scream their lungs out on their favorite roller coaster to splash happy people hoping on a flowrider to watching an air massed air show in full effect right before your eyes. As been for the case for many years, food is just as much as an attraction this year as the other entertainment with loads of artery clogged food (such as donut cheeseburgers) to go along with chef demonstrations just for starters. Special attractions Love this City personally recommends are: Human Cannonball, Strong Man Displays, Flowrider Pool and concert live acts scheduled to perform. 6. Taste of Italy: Sunshine, food and soccer– it’s the perfect combination for the Taste of Italy annually taking place of College Street. If you are a first time visiter, Love this City promises a jam-packed day of food, music and non stop partying; plus not to mention the office is not that far from this event. From College Street, to Bathurst and Shaw Street becomes a pedestrian square and is lined with many restaurants sampling their best with food, shopping, exploring and the best of the best watching the city. Not to mention many of these restaurants who offer extended patios, offer a chance to let you catch your favorite soccer team play during the Euro Cup. A personal Love this City favourite is the famous family ran Sicilian Sidewalk Cafe, considered a corner stone in the College Street district. This spot offers more than your average gelato and has the best tasty combination flavours you can not find anywhere else. So come down to experience the Italian culture in the city of Toronto, it’s great and right at home for people of all ages. 7. Buskerfest: The 2011 edition of Buskerfest in Toronto is set to take place around the St. Lawrence Market from August 25th to 28th. In addition to providing a stage for over 100 street-based acts from around the world, the annual festival raises funds and awareness for Epilepsy Toronto. A diverse group of performers were on hand for a media preview Wednesday, including Australian act “Flame Oz” who combined hula hoops, flaming chains and a variety of acrobatics to wow the assembled crowd, which was made up of kids from local day camps. Dutch group “Close Act,” whose giant wasps buzzed back and forth throughout the crowd, nibbling on the odd photographer or two were eventually beaten back by a group of balloon sword waving children and a smattering of stilt walkers, clowns and other colourful characters. Judging from their short performance, “Flame OZ” will definitely be an act worth catching, especially after the sun goes down. 8. Toronto Taste: Tease your taste buds with a stomach filled adventure showcasing 60 of Toronto’s top chefs and 30 beverage at the Royal Ontario Museum on June 12th, 2011.Hosted by the Food Network’s Bob Blumer, Toronto Taste is presented by The Daniels Corporation, a supporter of Second Harvest for the past 16 years. Proceeds from the event go to Second Harvest. Tickets are available for purchase for $250 each) at torontotaste.com or visit the site for more information. Last year, the event net more than $4 Million, enabling Second Harvest to deliver enough fresh food to provide over 8 million meals to those living with hunger in Toronto. Among mingling with top chefs, guests will enjoy outstanding wines, premium beers and tasty dishes while sipping and strolling the grounds of the museum. This year, Toronto Taste is pleased to present an outstanding line up featuring flavours for every dish made including: All the Best Foods, Caviar Center and Sobeys. 9. Honda Indy: The Honda Indy Toronto takes place on the streets surrounding Exhibition Place near Lake Ontario and downtown Toronto. The Honda Indy Toronto is among the most respected motorsports events in North America and features a week-long festival-like atmosphere that includes the fastest racing series on the planet, celebrity athletes, live entertainment and interactive activities. Each year, the Honda Indy turns Exhibition Place into a high-speed racetrack, and also fills downtown with the lawnmower-times-a-million sound of engines revving. If you are a car-fanatic like most men out there (and even some of you ladies), you should get your tickets for a front row seat next year to the fastest racing series in North America…Honda Indy Toronto! (That is, before it very quickly passes you by.) Don’t forget to check out these events: YMCA Relay for Strong Kids, Bay Street Grand Prix Party, Honda Indy Launch Party and the Annual Hinch Town Party. 10. Taste of Danforth: Greektown Taste of the Danforth sponsored by Pilaros is one of Toronto’s signature events, showcasing the best of Hellenic food, culture, and music our multicultural city has to offer – from souvlaki to mezes, authentic Greek music to interactive children’s games! Come enjoy the culture that makes the Danforth a year round destination. Toronto’s favourite street festival has a whole new way to celebrate the fun flavours of Greece and summer in the city. Every year in August, the city of Toronto flocks to Greektown on the Danforth. Celebrating its 18th year, the Pilaros Taste of the Danforth is Canada’s largest street festival, welcoming over 1.3 million visitors. Love this City will give you a taste of what you can expect by visiting this festival: The Celebrity Stage with world renowned Greek dance troupe “Opa Dancers of London”, The Sports Zone (with appearances including Toronto Argonauts and Toronto Football Club) and the kid favourite Fun Zone experiencing the “You Can Try It” circus.