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Streetcar Living In The Upper Beaches


It seems like every corner you turn, there’s a new condo popping up. Developers get a bad rep for tearing down long-loved establishments to make way for more “affordable housing” but, there is a Toronto-based developer who’s tearing down that stereotype.

Streetcar Developments has a serious commitment to communities. They’re in the business of building bonds, partnerships and relationships. Their latest venture, The Southwood Ravine Collection in the Upper Beaches, is based on those values and hopes to provide “an urban oasis” for people looking to plant their roots. We got a tour of this little known, gem of a neighbourhood and want to tell you about some of the people who call it home and a few spots we think you’ll love!


The first stop was The Art of Cheese. The cozy shop was overflowing with every kind of cheese you can imagine. We were treated to a special kind called, “San De Oro” which words can do no justice to describe its deliciousness. We met Bill Miller who owns the joint and is known as the “grand fromage” around town. He can (and will) tell you everything you ever wanted to know about cheese— history, production, pairings and more. Aside from his vast knowledge on the subject, the most memorable part was Bill’s genuine passion and incredible sense of humour!


A few doors down we dropped by Yellow House Gallery owned by Christina Kostoff. It’s a quaint fixture in the neighbourhood which specializes in framing and exhibiting local and regional artists with unique niches. Themed exhibitions and workshops are held regularly and open to anyone who’s interested.

There were two establishments which stood out because the owners actually left their 9-5, corporate jobs to pursue their true calling.

Sharon Smyl of Collected Joy says there is no rhyme or reason as to what she chooses to sell at her store, simply saying, “I only include stuff that I would personally buy”. And a lot of what she likes to buy is quality goods made by entrepreneurs. The shop is stocked with beautiful, artisan-style goods, from tea to stationary. For pretty much every item, she can tell you the name of the creator, their story and the last time they spoke. She makes it a point to build those relationships. Her store emanates a very positive energy and a lot of that has to do with her genuine intentions.

Like Sharon, Robert Maxwell, Founder & Owner of The Beech Tree restaurant, is all about quality. He left his corporate job where he was steady in front of a computer, crunching numbers, to open up this business. He said, ‘I didn’t know anything about the restaurant business, only that I know I like to serve people good food and be a part of a close community.’ He treated us to some amazing eats which are made of the strictest organic ingredients. To them, it’s the best or nothing and you can taste that throughout their incredible menu.


But the food didn’t end there. We also visited a charming little pizza place called The Stone Pizza where we tried Apple Jack pizza. Yes, that’s pizza with apple on it and it is phenomenal! They specialize in 8 gourmet-style pizzas with customizable toppings which are so fresh, there isn’t even a freezer on-site! We washed everything down with super refreshing juice by Sanna’s Farmacia. It’s a small, Toronto-based juice bar started up by Steve Sanna, a former personal trainer who would concoct specific juices for his clients. The organic juices are blended by the belief that getting the right nutrients in your system, can help remedy and prevent certain health issues. You’ll notice him cruising down the streets on his mobile shop!

And if that isn’t enough, all this and more sits along the Glen Stewart, an 11-hectare ravine alive with all that nature has to offer; the perfect blend of community and greenery. We’ve officially fallen in love with this nook of the Upper Beaches— can’t wait to come back!

Posted by Samira

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On Saturday, Sept 26th, Etsy: Made In Canada marketplace returns to Toronto in celebration of the Etsy community. The one-day indoor/outdoor market plays host to 170 local Etsy sellers at two different locations, including: MaRS Discovery District (101 College St W) and OCAD U (100 McCaul St & 49 McCaul St). The marketplace which highlights handmade wares and vintage goods includes everything from sustainable fashion designs, children’s toys, to one of a kind laser-cut wood pieces. The event runs from 10am to 6pm, don’t miss out on shopping local.


“Etsy: Made in Canada is our biggest event of the year, taking our online experience offline, to connect sellers, communities and buyers in person,” said Erin Green, Managing Director, Etsy Canada. “With Toronto and 32 other cities participating across the country this year, we couldn’t be prouder of Canada’s commitment to shopping local and supporting its maker communities.”

For more info visit: Etsy.com/madeincanada

Previously: Etsy Canada – “Make Your Living”

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On August 25, 2015, the City of Toronto released the complete artistic program for the 10th edition of Scotiabank Nuit Blanche. On Saturday, October 3 from 6:55 p.m. until sunrise on Sunday, October 4, the streets of Toronto will feature more than 110 art projects created and performed by approximately 400 local, national and international artists.

“For the 10th edition, Scotiabank Nuit Blanche will transform Toronto with one of its most interactive and exciting programs yet,” said Mayor John Tory in the city’s latest press release statement. “Since 2006, the city has come alive through contemporary art for this one sleepless night, creating magical experiences and resulting in an impressive economic impact for Toronto.”

In honour of the event’s 10th edition, photographer, director and curator Che Kothari presents 10 for 10th – Memory Lane, which features 10 projects spread throughout the city, and coproduced with the following 10 cultural organizations: Art Gallery of Ontario, Artscape Wychwood Barns, Bata Shoe Museum, Drake One Fifty, Gardiner Museum of Ceramic Art, The Gladstone Hotel, Justina M. Barnicke Gallery at Hart House, University of Toronto, OCAD University, Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) and Toronto International Film Festival.

“Every year we produce Nuit Blanche is quite different because we work with new artists and new curators annually… But I think what’s quite special this year is this 10 for 10th – Memory Lane exhibition area in celebration of our tenth year,” said Kristine Germann, Programming Manage of Economic Development and City Culture Events with the City of Toronto. “ It’s special because the focus is on really working in full coproducing relationships with those 10 major arts and cultural institutions and artists.”


For instance, Ekow Nimako is 1 of 10 visual artists featured, whose work is honourably coproduced with the Gardiner Museum of Ceramic Art.
Sculpted with more than 50,000 LEGO pieces, ‘Silent Knight’ is Ekow’s monumental tribute to one of the most admired and extirpated animal species in Ontario, the barn owl. The stark white, larger-than-life sculpture captures the beauty and stealth of this exquisite bird like it has never been seen before.

“I’ve always admired barn owls as silent-winged keepers of the night, unique in their helmed visage even among other owls, yet for years they have been endangered in Ontario due to urbanization and loss of habitat. So if I can add them to the collective memory of the masses for even one night, it may cause a shift in consciousness to help draw these magical creatures back from the brink of local nonexistence.”

Similar to Ekow’s creative and artistic thought process, this particular exhibition explores the textured terrain of memory; dissolving the lines between space, place and time. It allows for contemplation and reflection while providing fertile ground for the creation of millions of new memories in the process.

Relying on the seemingly infinite variations of sloped and angled LEGO pieces; Ekow masterfully animates the inanimate, breathing a unique quality of life into the popular plastic medium.


In addition to Che Kothari’s “10 for 10th – Memory Lane” exhibition, the City produced a component feature of 50 engaging contemporary art projects in conjunction with three other new exhibitions including: Agustin Pérez Rubio’s “HTUOS/HTRON – The New Coordinates of the Americas”; JR’s “Black and White Night”; and Christine Shaw’s “The Work of Wind”.

“We’re exploring for the very first time, a couple of new exhibition areas with geography,” said Kristine. “For instance, the Waterfront along Queens Quay from Harbourfront Centre to Parliament will be Christine Shaw’s exhibition area of The Work of Wind. With Agustin Pérez Rubio’s exhibition, we are going to be exploring along the College-Jarvis area and also up from Queen’s Park to Bloor. So it’s exploring two interesting areas.”

Details for the full program and City-produced exhibitions are available at: scotiabanknuitblanche.ca

Posted by Christina Cheng

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Five of Toronto’s most notable independent art galleries have collaborated to create SURFACE, an exclusive alternative art fair and party at Toronto’s 99 Sudbury the weekend of September 19-20th, inside 99 Sudbury. The Black Cat Artspace, Creative Blueprint, #Hashtag Gallery, Graven Feather and Project Gallery have created this event in celebration of young contemporary visual arts talent in Toronto. The exhibit features five unique series of curated works from local artists along with installations, live performance and music. All works will be available for purchase. Opening night Reception starts at 7pm, with Saturday and Sunday being open from 11am – 6pm.

For more info CLICK HERE

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Toronto’s F-You: The Forgiveness Project, headed up by Tara Muldoon, presents its first ever photo exhibit, entitled ‘Triggers’. The groundbreaking exhibit showcases stories of pain, forgiveness, strength and resiliency through the perspective of key individuals from the city, including 1LOVETO’s very own Bryan Brock. The exhibit is not limited to only photos, but includes commentary from the subjects, live performances and more!

Opening night is this Friday, August 28th at The Richmond (477 Richmond St West), doors open at 7pm.


CLICK HERE for more info.


SummerWorks Festival 2015


The performances at this year’s SummerWorks festival had us seriously wowed with the intricate range of artistic abilities, techniques and perspectives. The festival, which celebrates four key components: Music, Dance, Theatre and Live Art, packed an extra punch for their 25 year milestone. It was hard to pick a few favourites but we’ve narrowed down our most memorable shows in each category.


Music: LAL / All You Can Hold
You can’t box this Toronto-based collective as simply ‘Canadian electronica’ because they’ve found a way to infuse those beats with a fiery, unique voice and a mandate which “bridges the art with social justice.” Vocalist, poet and activist, Rosina Kazi alongside producer and sound engineer, Nicholas “Murr” Murray seduced the audience into a trance. It was a dreamy rhythm but also had heads bobbing to the bass and electronics at the same time. The vibe was so powerful and positive, it was almost tangible.

Director / Designer / Costumes by Ange Loft (Cult of Kateri); Dance performances by Ill Nana and Victoria Mata; Live Digital Painting by Sonny Bean; Projections by Matt Maaskant

Dance: Forgetting Remembering
This performance is described as a “relational sensory song and dance, modulating frequencies of experiences to empty time from mind.” It was cool because it was like choreographed chaos, a freestyle with a note of structure which played out a purpose. The strobe lights and rhythmic moves, voices and projected visuals created an immersive experience as they sprawled themselves among the audience. There was a lot of the same, yet we were still left guessing ‘what was next?’

Created by Robert Kingsbury; Performed by Niomi Cherney, Francesco Gagliardi, Danielle Baskerville, Julia Male, Brian Solomon, Claire Turner Reid, Jasmin McGraw, Winnie Ho


Theatre: That Syncing Feeling
This project had our hearts racing more than once. This was an experiment which consisted of two parts. Both examined our relationship with technology, our cellphones in particular. We were asked write our phone numbers on a piece of paper which were then mixed up and handed out to the audience. Then, we had to call that number and leave a random message. At one point we all had to put our phones in the middle of the floor. The unease on everyone’s face was reason enough to conduct these exercises which were re-teaching us how to communicate.

The second part was an experiment conducted by a woman in a doctor’s white coat. Half of us were given a number to text of someone in the room and an iPod loaded with instructions. We ended up sharing deep connections with these strangers and left never knowing who they were. We definitely got a dose of ‘that syncing feeling’ and currently, re-examining how we engage with technology, ahem, I mean, humans.

Written by Hannah Jane Walker and Chris Thorpe; Directed by Simon Bloom; Performed by Alex McCooeye and Nicola Elbro; Produced by Mitchell Cushman; Stage Managed by Bryn McLeod

Live Art: Wildlife
Wildlife was an awesome collection of skits and monologues which tapped into heavy themes like, race , religion and Drake vs. Meek Mill; hilarious but in a real thought-provoking way. For example, one skit was a depiction of Eve eating that fateful apple. She starts off sweet and innocently ( as I’m sure lots of us imagine) but then she gets really into this new found taste. It turns subtly sexual, then comedic. These nuances forced us to re-visit this famous imagery in a way we never thought to consider it.

A collaborative performance produced by Events In Real Time; Conceived of by Liz Peterson; Written by Amy Lam and Liz Peterson with Hannah Cheesman, Lindsey Clark, Onyeka Igwe, Sean O’Neill, Aliya Pabani, Matt Smith




Special Presentation: HYPER_
This performance was an intersection of ‘visual and digital arts…a combinations of UV lights, body paint and video projections’. It was a dance which used all these facets to produce a trippy expansion of our periphery. The colours were wild and the movements were full of conviction and strength. You know you’re in for a hell of an experience when you’re handed 3D glasses upon entry.

Performed and Created by Freya Björg Olafson; Lighting Design by Hugh Conacher; Music by Ghostigital, Davíð Þór Jónsson, Kippi Kaninus [Guðmundur Vignir Karlsson], LE1F, Dubbel Dutch

SummerWorks is the largest, curated performance festival of theatre, dance, music, and live art in Canada with a strong focus on Canadian works. Can’t wait for next year’s line-up! For more info visit: summerworks.ca

Photos by Dahlia Katz

Posted by Samira

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On August 12, #WorldElephantDay had a global and social impact with approximately 60,718 Instagram posts, over approximately 118,000 Twitter posts, and over 20,000 supporters on Facebook. In addition, 15,161 have signed the petition on worldelephantday.org to protect elephants, wildlife, and their habitat. Staying relevant on a timely and fashionable manner, Holt Renfrew’s H Project shop has teamed up with BRIKA, a retail concept that highlights the best of modern craft, to curate a charitable elephant-themed pop-up shop for the month of August in support of “Save the Elephants.” Inspired by Holt Renfrew’s recent travels to Kenya and Rwanda for the Spring/Summer 2015 “Uncrate Africa” shop, a curated assortment of luxury elephant-designs and products support culture, craft and artisans from designers such as: Tanya Taylor, Me To We, Chantecaille, BRIKA, and more.


“The journey to Africa was a great opportunity to meet extraordinary artisans across a creative and cultural mosaic, and to celebrate many dignified talents and beautiful handicrafts,” says designer Stella Jean. “Uncrate Africa is a cultural crossover, demonstrating how boundaries are just a state of mind.”


Holt Renfrew’s H Project presents their latest “Uncrate Africa” shop filled with extraordinary products with extraordinary stories. Their discovery through their travels in Africa brings unique products and unparalleled partnerships, all in support of humanity and habitat throughout the continent. For instance, an assortment of apparel, accessories, home décor and beauty products, including products made from socially conscious materials are all for a charitable cause.

“These products equal opportunity, education, empowerment, creativity and entrepreneurship,” said Alexandra Weston, Holt Renfrew’s Director of Brand Strategy. “The H Project shops present products which may be extraordinary in a number of ways. Perhaps it is the artisanal method with which they are made, the unique materials used, or the way they might celebrate a culture.”


Alexandra Weston and her team recently journeyed through Africa for ‘uncrate a culture,’ sourcing a rich showcase of exclusive merchandise from across the region for H Project, in partnership with a variety of powerhouse designers. For Spring/Summer 2015, H Project transformed into “Uncrate Africa” boutiques; bringing to life the region’s culture, craft and artisans through a spectacular capsule collection of fashion, accessories, home wares, cosmetics and textiles. Renowned designers, such as Dannijo, Stella Jean, LemLem, FEED Africa, Mark Holden, Indego Africa, Otago, Kiya Kenya, and many others, have collaborated on exclusive designs for H Project’s “Uncrate Africa” boutique- each giving back to the region in its own incredible way.

“A large percentage of the global population relies on traditional craftsmanship as work. By investing in these products, you’re helping support the artisans who made them,” Alexandra said.

In addition to “Uncrate Africa,” H Project supports two amazing lifesaving elephant initiatives: Save The Elephants and the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust.


With the escalation of habitat loss, human-elephant conflict, poaching, ivory trade, and mistreatment in captivity, Save The Elephants is the world-leading elephant research and conversation organization devoted to securing a future for elephants, and the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust is a Kenyan-based initiative that saves elephants everyday through field projects that protect animal welfare.


From now until August 31, 2015, H Project’s “Uncrate Africa” pop-up will be available at Holt Renfrew’s Bloor Street, Yorkdale, Calgary and Vancouver where 10% of total proceeds will be donated to Save The Elephants.

Posted by Christina Cheng

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The Rogers Cup Experience


This Saturday we were invited to experience the Rogers Cup and watch some WTA US Open Series action by Peroni. Not only were we there to spend the afternoon watching an amazing match, we were able to get out on the courts as well.


As thousands of tennis fans made their way to the Aviva Centre on the west end of York University, a group of us were already out on the courts in our tennis whites for a morning clinic. Coach Mike and his team of trainers put us and our new Wilson Burn racquets to work and spent time working on improving each of our games. Groundstrokes, serves, volleys and the game itself were taught and rediscovered as we confused onlookers with some very amateur tennis on the Aviva Centre side courts. As the clinic came to a close most of us would have likely been content continuing to work ourselves into a sweat, but Peroni had a better proposition.



We freshened up and made our way up to the Peroni Suite, where a delicious spread of panini sandwiches, salads, charcuterie and more was served for lunch. Excited conversation about the clinic buzzed around the suite as the players warmed up on Centre Court and we filled our plates. Washing the warmth and food down with cold Peroni, we eventually made our way to our seats to watch some mesmerizing points between Simona Halep and Sara Errani. The strong Romanian presence in the stadium certainly helped Simona en route to the 6-4, 6-4 victory.

As someone who has been at the Rogers Cup almost every year since it was sponsored by du Maurier, and even Players, I didn’t think it was possible to experience something new here. The day with Peroni showed otherwise as they treated us to an unforgettable country club experience.

A huge thank you to the team at Peroni, and the team of coaches on the courts with us for a truly amazing day at the Rogers Cup. And congratulations to Belinda Bencic, who went on to win the tournament on Sunday.

Photos by @erinsimkinphoto

Posted by Graham

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