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The Dirty Bird offers Southern Grub, the Northern Way!

TORONTO — New to Toronto’s eclectic Kensington Market area is yet another snack-dive grub spot. Don’t fret, it’s not another taco joint, it’s one your mother, your mother’s mother, your mother’s mother’s mother (you get the point) have been longing for. Welcome “The Dirty Bird,” home to Northern Fried Chicken and Waffles! Why the “Northern Fried Chicken” you ask? Well, chefs Adrian Forte and Brian Butler use their secret “Maple Dust” seasoning and other Canadian maple syrup derivatives to their chicken and waffle blends.

Rustic yet welcoming, “The Dirty Bird” gives you a raw wood and steal vibe, preparing you for serious business when getting down and dirty.

Far from playing dirty, “The Dirty Bird” team believes in inclusiveness and community as all their produce are locally sourced from St. Andrew Poultry in Kensington, and provide gluten-free options for all to enjoy.

“We believe in supporting other markets and keeping a community alive so it means a lot to us to keep our produce local and close to home,” said Flo King, media and marketing manager. Besides, it’s safe to say that the “Northern Chicken” wouldn’t be entirely Northern without the support of the Northern community.

On Monday evening, The Dirty Bird hosted an exclusive media night where those in attendance were treated to their entire Signatures and Desserts menu. Feasting like a true soul food Sunday dinner at grandma’s, the media gathered intimately around the rustic centre table where they shared: The ODB, The Clucker, The Up North Trip, The Dirty Bird’ger, and The Dirty Club.

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‘The ODB’ offers a Boneless Thigh and Leg, accompanied by a Waffle, Buttered Maple, Dirty Sauce and your choice of Coleslaw or ‘Tato salad for $15. ‘The Clucker’ includes Wings (Buffalo, Honey Garlic or Dry & Dirty) with a Waffle, Buttered Maple, and your choice of Coleslaw or ‘Tato salad for $12. ‘The Up North Trip’ is definitely a trip with its 3PC Bone-in combo with a Waffle, Buttered Maple, and your choice of Coleslaw or ‘Tato salad for $13. ‘The Dirty Club’ is made with a Brioche Bun, Boneless Thigh, Lettuce, Tomato, Pickle, Red Onion, Dirty Sauce, and Maple Aioli for $7. Last but not least, ‘The Dirty Club’ is a triple stacked club with a combination of Waffles, Boneless Thigh & Leg, Beef Bacon, Tomato, Lettuce, and Maple Aioli for $14. Another staple fact about The Dirty Bird is that all their produce are pork-free and their creamy ‘Tato Salad is special to chef Brian Butler as he uses his grandmother’s recipe. “My grandmother would never give her recipe to anyone but I begged her for it and I’m the only one who got it,” he said.

When it comes to the desserts, The Dirty Bird doesn’t play with their sweet and savoury selections for just $6 each. Their ice cream also comes locally sourced from Ed’s Real Scoop. ‘The PB&G’ offers a nostalgic taste with their miniature Waffle Ice Cream Sandwich, combined with Sweet Cream ice cream, Grape Jelly, and Peanut Butter. ‘The Swalty’ was made for the sweet and salty tooth which includes their signature mini Waffle Ice Cream Sandwich with Salted Caramel ice cream, Beef Bacon, and Rock Salt. Lastly, their ‘Sweet Nuttin’s’ dessert is exclusive to The Dirty Bird as their signature Sweet Potato ice cream with Candied Pecans was made especially for them, courtesy of Ed’s Real Sccop. As an added bonus, it tastes like a Thanksgiving party in your mouth!

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An authentic Chicken + Waffles joint is long overdue in the Toronto scene and alas, it is here. Congratulations to chef Adrian Forte, chef Brian Butler, and the entire team! The grand opening for The Dirty Bird is on Wednesday, March 4th from 11 am- 8pm. Enjoy and bring an appetite!

For further Northern support, chef Adrian Forte will be on Chopped Canada on March 28 at 9 p.m. (EST). Tune in on the Food Network!

Posted by Christina Cheng

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CONTEST: Win Tickets To The Artist Project

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The Artist Project kicks off tonight with its annual Opening Night Party, followed by an exciting 3-day art fair that offers attendees the unique opportunity to meet and buy art directly from over 250 emerging and mid-career artists. We’ve been the last 2 years in a row and it’s an incredible experience, whether you’re a seasoned art buyer or a first-time buyer who’s just looking for something interesting for their condo, this is the place to be!

We’ve partnered with The Artist Project to give you the chance to win a pair of tickets to enjoy the show this weekend taking place inside the Better Living Centre at Exhibition Place.

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TWITTER CONTEST
Tweet @1LOVETO & @ArtistProjectTO #WinTix for your chance to win a pair of tickets to attend Toronto’s contemporary art fair this weekend.

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For more info visit: theartistproject.com

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Peter Harris “Night Watch” Exhibition

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Toronto-based artist Peter Harris is at it again with his latest solo show “Night Watch” kicking off this weekend at the Mira Godard Gallery (22 Hazelton Ave). The exhibition runs from Feb 21 – March 14th.

Artist Statement
My recent paintings focus on the defining elements of a contemporary urban landscape that surround us all as city dwellers. I’ve chosen to paint these ubiquitous subjects at night, using the darkness like a stage curtain, creating spaces that highlight my subjects with almost reverential illumination while isolating them from the background. The objects of the urban landscape, the restaurants, gas stations, municipal buildings, streetcars, buses and parking lots that take centre stage in my paintings form a distilled and concentrated version of urbanity. The world I paint is cleaned up and pared down, a small oasis of solitude and order to contrast the realities of daily life in the city.

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To see more of Peters work, visit: peterharris.ca

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WILDE – “Love Me Like You Do”

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Toronto-based band WILDE just released 3 new records, leading off with “Love Me Like You Do”. If you’re unfamiliar with their music, this group signed to Last Gang Records and released their first single “Hanging Tree (Are You)?” in late December of 2014. Take in their music and let us know what you think?

BONUS: Take Me To Church/Temple

For more info, visit their official website: wearewilde.ca

Previously: WILDE – “Hanging Tree (Are You)?”

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In celebration of Black History Month, @1LOVETO, had the honour of attending the Royal Ontario Museum’s (ROM) new Kitchen Conversations series courtesy of Palattes of Africa with New York based chef, Pierre Thiam. Now in its fourth installation, Palattes of Africa is a unique culinary event spearheaded by fashion designer/curator, Chinedu Ukabam in collaboration with a rotating cast of burgeoning and established chefs and occasionally artists. Equal parts history and culinary art, Palattes aims to delight the senses while engaging the intellect. In addition, this installation is a joint collaboration with the ROM’s new C5 Restaurant & Lounge space.

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This month’s Kitchen Conversations series is neatly dovetailing in celebration of Carnival season, where Palattes of Africa will explore West African roots and interpretations of traditional South America and the Caribbean cuisines. Chef Pierre Thiam created a menu that connects the culinary dots between various food traditions from both sides of the Atlantic and in between. For instance, the menu consists of traditional dishes, flavours and spices such as: Jerk Chicken, Black Eye Peas steamed in Banana Leaves with Jamaican Slaw (Moin Moin), Brazilian Coconut and Fish Stew, and Haitian inspired Coconut Rice Pudding and Roasted Mango.

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The Palattes of Africa experience excites our taste buds by drawing cultural inspirations from Jamaica to Nigeria and from Senegal to Trinidad, Brazil and Haiti. This Urban Contemporary African Diasporic Cuisine experience ties well with North America’s ever-growing diverse demographic.
New York based, Pierre Thiam, is a Senegalese born chef and cookbook author who has been one of the main proponents of African cuisine in the world for the past 20 years through his two Brooklyn-based restaurants and catering company.

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After a successful six-course meal and a few glasses of wine, the celebrations continued with the ROM’s Friday Night Live (FNL) carnival themed event where guests jumped up, waved their flags and wined their waists to the mixes of Dr. Jay de Soca Prince DJ. Rocking your masquerade costumes was also optional.
For more information on the ROM’s Kitchen Conversations series in collaboration with Palattes of Africa, check out their Activities and Programs here, and for a full list of FNL carnival-inspired events for the remainder of Black History Month, click on their Events Calendar here.

Posted by Christina Cheng

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PKG – Distinguished Digital Carry Goods

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Andy and Mike Priestman don’t believe in fashion over function. They think we deserve both and we agree! The brothers are the brains behind the beautiful brand known as, PKG, which caters to the urban commuter.

“We focus on versatility, functionality and timelessness.” With that in mind, they’ve managed to create something that can endure, “the 9-5 grind with your laptop, as well as for a Sunday in the city, a visit to the gym or an overnight trip.” The light-weight, weather resistant fabrics heighten the functionality; perfect for the person always on the move.

“It’s not necessarily about inventing something brand new, but it’s utilizing existing elements in a way that hasn’t been done before to create a product with new meaning and value to the end-user.” The brothers say the experience is very rewarding explaining, “At the end of the day, you’re building something with the people closest to you, so it makes all the small successes along the way, that much more fulfilling.”

Check out their gear and let us know what you think!

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For more info: nice-pkg.com

Posted by Samira Zia Rehman

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Interview: Humble The Poet

We’ve been watching Kanwer Singh aka “Humble The Poet” for a while now and recently got a chance to talk to the Toronto teacher and MC who is making it his mission to dissect deep motifs and connect with anyone willing to listen.

What is it about writing/poetry that resonates with you so deeply?
It’s not just poetry and writing. It’s just creativity in general. I love the concept of bringing ideas to life. I love the feeling of having a spark in my mind and then watching it come to life. The journey isn’t as enjoyable. If I write a verse on a beat, and it’s a painful process at times, once I release it and see the finished product and see it connect with people, it motivates me to start all over again.

How did Humble the poet come to be? Why Humble?
I was raised in a family of Sikh heritage and it’s a common theme that our egos are a big source of a lot of our misery so staying humble is something we can do to reduce that. Obviously we all got egos at different levels and in different situations; I’m not the exception to that rule. The idea of “poet” came from the evolution of literary art, to not simply be a rapper, to simply be an MC but taking it to another level, acknowledging the Shakespeares, Edgar Allen Poes.

Why do you think people from all over the world, truly connect with your words?
In the past couple of years I shifted the focus from social issues to the human condition. In my research, learning about what’s happening in the world and scratching beneath the surface and realizing the themes that are going on; a lot of it has to do with human nature. We’re all going through the same things, doesn’t matter where you are in the world. You deal with anxiety, regret. We’re haunted by our past; we get nervous about our future. We’ve been through heartbreak. Ideals like that, not only do they touch everybody around the world, they’re timeless as well. Having the ability to articulate that, nice and simply, especially when they’re heavy concepts, I think that’s why people gravitate towards what I do.

Tell us a little bit about your book Unlearn and why you thought it was important to publish.
What happened was I was working full-time as teacher with the Toronto district school board, grade three at the time. And I was doing slam poetry on the side. Slowly, I started writing more and putting stuff up online and when that transition came where this no longer was the side project and took my main attention. When I made that transition and left my job, or took time off the job specifically to focus on this, I realized I didn’t have to pick up a lot of new things, I really had to forget a lot of biases and idealisms that I had ‘cause they were holding me back from progressing. The idea of Unlearn came from there. I just started blogging, blogging on my Facebook page just to connect. And it was the support that was like, ‘you need to start collecting your work, and publish it as a book.’ I crowd sourced the book though indie go-go and raised over $26,000.

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What is your objective; why is it important to you?
My objective is to bring ideas to life and I have grand scale ideas. Like, full length feature films that I want to bring to life. I realize I have to stay on my grind. Working in entertainment and working in the creative space for a number of years now, you understand how it really works so you have to keep your profile up there if you want those doors to open. In the beginning it was just you know, getting the attention of a couple girls (he says with a laugh) and doing something cool but I think now at this point, I realize that that this path in life is the first time I feel like I’m exploring my potential and I wanna realize my potential. Through that, I wanna connect with as many people as possible and make a contribution to society and this planet. It’s important to me because it gives me purpose, gets me outta bed. I think so many people in this life aren’t fortunate enough to have the time to discover their purpose, a purpose that excites them. My parents immigrated to Toronto, me having the freedom to take that risk; I feel that it’s my obligation now.

Most rewarding part about teaching/poetry?
You get to see your words/ideas change shape based on the context of who’s listening to them. You see them connecting. You learn so much about yourself working with kids ‘cause you start to realize how much of what you think is in your second nature, how much you are wired to believe, wired to act is really just socialization. Kids are blank slate; they don’t have the same biases that we do, the same preconceived notions. So when you encounter a child and they don’t have that, it reminds you that at one point, you didn’t have that either. So that puts you in great position to unlearn.

What do you hope people take away from your work?
We turn on the radio coz we want life to feel a little bit better. We read a book ‘cause we want life to feel a little bit better; we consume art for that purpose. When dealing with emotions nowadays people are going towards medication. I’m really hoping at the bare minimum people are hearing what I have to say through the different types of art I create and realize they’re not alone. Once we connect with people, once we realize we’re not alone and the things you’re feeling or going through are normal, you feel a lot less isolated, letting people know they’re not the only ones with anxiety of what may happen tomorrow, letting people know they may not be the only people who regret their past and re-live it over and over and beat themselves up about it. Sometimes you gotta put on that a catchy beat, sometimes you gotta put it on the page, capture it in an image and put that on a sweat shirt. I just want to connect.

Photo by Gurjit Badal

Posted by Samira Zia Rehman

Previously: Humble The Poet – “F.E.A.T.H.E.R.S”

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Nabulsi All-Natural Soap

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Nabulsi Soap is an all-natural, olive oil based soap made up of just four ingredients: 100% pure olive oil, water, salt and lye. That’s it. No additives, no preservatives, no harsh chemicals and no perfumes; only pure, natural ingredients straight from the earth. Ideal for those with sensitive skin, it is gentle enough to use on babies’ delicate derma. In fact, many people even wash their fruits and vegetables with it. How’s that for all-natural?

Co-owner of Nubi Trading Co., Ariane Laezza, has recently opened the Trinitae flagship store in Toronto that offers unique, all-natural skincare products and Nabulsi is also sold exclusively there.

“The Nabulsi Soap is where Nubi Trading Co. started, it’s something I feel very passionate about. This is part of one of the oldest soap making traditions in the world that traces back about a thousand years,” Ariane expressed.

“It’s from Nablus, which is a ancient Palestinian city. The Nabulsi soap is still made the same way as it always has been; handmade, hand cut, and hand wrapped.”

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Traditionally made by Palestinian women for household use, Nabulsi Soap is made up of 100% virgin olive oil, water, salt and lye. The mixture is then heated with water and olive oil in large copper vats over fermentation pits. The solution of water and the sodium compound becomes increasingly concentrated in a series of 40 cycles repeated over eight days. During that time, an oar-shaped wooden tool known as a dukshab is used to stir the liquid soap continuously. Once the ideal level of concentration is reached, the liquid soap is then spread in wooden frames to set and then cut into its classic cube shape and stamped with the company’s trademark seal; the ostrich. The soap cubes are then stacked into their distinctive cone-shaped structures until they are completely dry.

The final product is ivory in colour and is unscented except for naturally subtle hints of earth and olives. The result is a beautifully balanced, naturally moisturizing product that is ideal for all skin types.

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“It’s a nice neutral product and it’s better as it ages because the soap loses some of its moisture and it’s more concentrated,” Ariane said.

Being that the holiday season has come to an end and the month of love is just days away, the Nabulsi Soap makes for a nice little addition to your Valentine’s Day gift.

“Holt Renfrew picked up Nabulsi for the holidays and listed it on the Toronto Life Gift Guide,” she added.

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Well, there you have it – the one stop soap for all natural purposes: from head to toe, to fruit and veggies and from floor to ceiling. Treat yourself, your home and your loved ones for just $6 a bar. Visit Ariane at Trinitae (254 Niagara Street).

It’s the simple things that matter. Live natural. All natural.

Posted by Christina Cheng

Previously: Trinitae All-Natural Skin Care Opens Flagship Store In Toronto

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Nike’s motto of #ChooseYourWinter has exceeded to an all-time high with the latest announcement of the upcoming Nike Women’s Race Series, which will be the world’s largest race series designed for women. Not only are we ‘choosing our winter,’ we’re now conquering our winter by mentally and physically training our minds, bodies, and souls in preparation mode for the race! Choosing our winter is officially mandatory and clearly not a joke. The race is made to motivate runners of all levels to push their limits by offering a variety of distances — ranging from 5k to half-marathon — on epic courses in 20 cities around the world including first time participant cities such as: Toronto, Mexico City, and Hong Kong.

This makes for exciting news for Toronto as the Nike Women’s 15K Toronto will be a weekend-long celebration tailored for our city. The race marks a new experience for athletes in two ways. It’s a proving ground for women to put themselves to the test and rediscover the joy of running faster, and running farther.

Each run in the series has a format that speaks to the local community, in this case, the race will take place on Toronto Island, which has a variety of terrain and run routes. It’s the perfect location for the 15K distance and to capture the energy and backdrops of the cityscape.

In addition to uniting a global community of female runners, every race offers something different, including exciting new courses; runner services; and access to elite athletes. For instance, professional Olympic runner, Sheila Reid, joined Toronto’s Queen West Run Club and N+TC crew last week for added motivation as she shared details on Nike’s Women’s Race Series and N+TC Tour.

The new Nike Women’s event series challenges women to face and train to new heights and personal bests.

In preparation, Nike encourages bringing together a global fitness community by extending Nike’s vision to motivate, inspire and connect athletes through both physical events and digital connections. With that being said, the Nike+ Running App helps runners track their workouts and stay inspired throughout their training, and the Nike+ Training Club App includes more than 100 full body workouts designed by Nike Master Trainers, many of whom will participate in the N+TC Tour and Race Series.

Nike also announced the introduction of the Nike+ Run Analysis available now at the Nike Store at the Toronto Eaton Centre. The run analysis is the perfect first step in any athletes training journey, as it records each runner’s personal running aesthetic to help gear them toward running better, longer and faster with their suggested sneaker. It essentially sets them up for success as they begin thinking about achieving your personal goals in 2015.

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As a member of Toronto’s Queen West Run Club and N+TC, this will be my first officially 15K race. I’m ready and willing to train at my personal best with the encouragement and motivation from my fellow Nike Running and Nike Women crew as we’re all getting stronger and aiming farther together. Toronto’s Nike Women’s Race is scheduled for June 14, 2015. This is just four days before my 26th birthday and I am determined to accomplish this race at my personal best! I shall consider this a gift to myself.

For a full list of race dates, CLICK HERE and make sure to follow Nike’s Women race series journey on Facebook and on Twitter. You can also find more information on the international Nike Women’s Race series events HERE. As for my fellow Torontonians, you can find motivation and keep up to speed on a timely basis by visiting Nike Toronto’s Twitter page.

Continue to motivate one another by consistently Choosing Your Winter. Let’s stay strong together. See you all on the pavement on June 14. We got this! JUST DO IT.

Posted by Christina Cheng

Follow @1LOVETO #JustDoIt