Category: do

remarkable play: the mountaintop

I was invited to see the Obsidian Theatre’s production of “The Mountaintop” at the Aki Studio in Daniels Spectrum. The show takes place on the last night of Martin Luther King Jr.’s life. I’ve always been fascinated by history and this play did not disappoint. The story was focused on Dr. King’s personal feelings and fears as a leader.

The play stars only two actor’s Kevin Hanchard and Alana Hibbert and they were both phenomenal. The show runs just over an hour and a half and the actors do an amazing job with the script. There are a number of monologues and since it is only the two of them, there is no break for either actor throughout the show. It was hard after the show not to consider how much work and how talented they must have been to memorize and deliver that script so perfectly (maybe it’s my years of drama camp coming back). It was really remarkable, Kevin Hanchard played Dr. King so brilliantly, reflecting on the struggles he faced as the face of the civil rights movement. Alana Hibbert was funny and charming but also extremely passionate, it was impossible not to hang on her every word.

The play took place in the motel room where Dr. King spent his final night. The set design was really great as well. It looked ripped out of the 1960s. It was a great backdrop to this incredible story.

As you all know, I hate spoilers so I don’t want to give too much away. The play was extremely well done. It’s always amazing to see how much talent is right here in Toronto. The show is in its final days, and is sold out tonight but tickets are available for the rest of the performances, the show closes on Sunday.  Tickets are $25, with discounts for students, seniors and art workers with valid ID.

a night out: ripley’s aquarium

I can’t believe it’s almost a year since the aquarium opened in Toronto and I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to go. I was even more excited that the night I planned to go was also their “Friday Night Jazz“, which happens on the second Friday of every month.

wpid-20141010_195359.jpgUpon arrival, there’s a large mobile hanging from the ceiling. We purchased our tickets online so we basically walked right up once our time came up. The first section you enter into is the “Canadian Waters”. For Jazz Night, they have two bars set up in the aquarium. One right before you enter the “Canadian Waters” and one in the Jazz area in the centre of the aquarium. One of the things I learned was that Canadian fish are kind of ugly. It was a lot of grey fish in these tanks – as well as a few large lobsters including two blue ones.

wpid-20141010_200650.jpgFollowing the Canadian Waters section, we got into more of colourful corals, fish and other living creatures.

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I think my favourite were the polka dot sting ray, I love anything polka dotted (I may own far too many polka dot dresses) so these guys were my style.wpid-20141010_205125.jpg

I had to get a token “Nemo” photo. These guys are so cute. wpid-20141010_204135.jpgI didn’t really get any photos of the sharks because of how close they come when you’re in the tank. The moving sidewalk takes you through the predator tank, where you see sharks, sting rays and other fish and turtles. The jellyfish were also really neat because they light them up all different colours.

The jazz was also really nice. The band was LadyBeGood. They also play the jazz throughout the aquarium so even if you’re not in front of them you can still hear them and they were great.

wpid-20141010_204015.jpgThe evening was really fun. The aquarium is much bigger inside than it looks from the outside, it took us about an hour and a half to go through the whole thing. I know people say it’s a bit expensive and I would agree if it was something I planned on doing all the time. Tickets for adults are normally $30 but they have a discount of $5 after 7pm, which is probably the time you want to go if you’re going with adults. It was a fun night out, something I wouldn’t be doing every weekend but it was something different. I really enjoyed the jazz and drinks as well (which were fairly reasonably priced, my beer was $6.50). I would suggest going on Friday Night Jazz nights since it is the same price as regular admission.

Have you been to the aquarium yet? What did you think?

 

what to do/see/eat/drink this weekend in toronto

It’s Friiiiiiiiiiiiiiday! Of a long weekend, one that involves turkey which I really love. Fall is really ramping up and there’s lots happening in the city this weekend, here’s a few ideas if you’re still making plans.

Do: It’s the second Friday of the month which means it’s Friday Night Jazz at the Aquarium. Starting at 7pm until close, there will be live jazz music and refreshments, which is a cash bar and appetizers. Evening tickets to the aquarium are also $5 off so it’s a great way to see the aquarium for a discount.

See: The TIFF Bell Lightbox is hosting a Back to the 90s festival over the next few weeks with the first edition this evening, the classic Clueless. The film starts at 9pm and tickets are $12.50.

Eat: It’s Thanksgiving weekend and maybe you just want to eat delicious turkey but don’t want to cook or clean or do any of the boring stuff associated with the turkey dinner. BlogTO has pulled together 15 restaurants throughout the city to get your turkey on this weekend.

Drink: Although this isn’t really a ‘drink’, I assume that drinking must be involved to participate in this. The Gladstone will be hosting Shameless Karaoke tonight in the Melody Bar. It’s from 10pm until 2am and the cover is free. Make some shameful decisions while belting out “Hit Me With Your Best Shot”.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend! Happy Thanksgiving!

October 3-5: what to do/see/eat/drink this weekend in Toronto

It’s the first weekend of October, which means it’s basically Halloween, which somehow means it’s basically Christmas… but I’ll try not to get ahead of myself. The temperature is dropping but there’s still so much to do this weekend!

Do: It’s the time of year when people seem to enjoy being scared (I don’t understand it, I like my dreams to be nightmare free). But, millions of people can’t be wrong, right? Halloween Haunt is back at Wonderland and for those who really enjoy being scared, you can buy a pass to get unlimited visits to Halloween Haunt, it sounds like my nightmare but I know there are people out there who will love it.

See: One of the biggest events of the year is back, tomorrow night is Nuit Blanche, the overnight art festival. Beginning at sunset and continuing on until sunrise, there will be art installations throughout downtown, it’s a great chance to check out art, people watch and experience the city in a whole new way.

Eat: An activity that could be filed under unnecessary is happening this Saturday and I’m sure it’s going to be great.  Smoke’s Poutinerie is hosting it’s 5th annual Poutine Eating Championship. There will be free poutine for attendees at Yonge-Dundas square from 10am-4pm and an amateur and professional eat-off in the afternoon.

Drink: There are lots of Oktoberfest events happening in the city this weekend. Yesterday, I mentioned the special at bier markt, they are having an event and the Toronto Oktoberfest is happening at Ontario Place tomorrow. Mill St is also hosting their own Oktoberfest at the Beer Hall in the distillery, basically, there is a lot of ways for you to drink beer this weekend in the name of “Oktoberfest”.

I mentioned last week that I’ll be participating in the CIBC Run For The Cure this weekend, there’s still time to sponsor me for this great event. Every dollar counts and is greatly appreciated!

Have a great weekend everyone!

September 26-28: what to do/see/eat/drink this weekend in Toronto

Happy Friday! I didn’t get a Thirsty Thursday up yesterday, work has been a bit crazy for me. I hope you all had a fantastic week, here’s some ideas for the weekend – it’s going to be beautiful, so get out and enjoy it!

Do: Hugh’s Room is hosting the Underground Railroad Music Festival Sunday, beginning at 1pm. There will be a variety of artists at this blues event, tickets can be reserved in advance for $27.50 or are available at the door for $30.

See: I hate to admit it but regular season baseball ends this weekend, which is really the end of summer for me. There is still a series against Baltimore, which probably won’t go so well for us but it’s “fan appreciation weekend” and they usually give out a ton of stuff at the games tomorrow and Sunday. I’ll be rounding out the season with my 13th game, I don’t know whether that’s something I should be excited or worried about.

Eat/Drink: Evergreen Brickworks is hosting a Rodeo and BBQ event tomorrow, a fundraiser in support of greener and healthier cities. There will be food, drinks and activities you’d expect at a rodeo, like a mechanical bull. Tickets are on sale online today until 5pm and some will be available at the door. The event is $150 and starts at 7pm.

 

September 19-21: what to do/see/eat/drink this weekend in Toronto

Happy Friday people! We made it. I don’t know about you, but this week was a dragger. Good thing there’s a ton going on to move on from this week.

Do: The Junction Music Festival is this Saturday, along Dundas West at Keele. There is 5 outdoor stages and 30 participating venues. Best of all, this festival is free. Their website has details about the bands playing and special events happening throughout the day.

See: JFL42 kicked off last night, and there are plenty of comedians to see over the next week and a bit. I’ll be attending at least 4 shows (hopefully more, but we’ll see how the week goes). You can still get tickets for some headliners, passes for smaller shows and some shows you can pay at the door. I had a great time last year and can’t wait for this festival.

Eat: The Food Truck Festival Ontario will be at Ontario Place on Sunday. Tickets are still available for $10 and there will be over a dozen food trucks and a few beer vendors. So go eat wayyyy too much on what will hopefully turn into a sunny Sunday afternoon. 

Drink: Toronto Beer Week began last Thursday and continues over this weekend. Is it longer than a week? Maybe. Am I complaining? Absolutely not. There’s lots of events, parties and tap takeovers happening until Sunday. You may even see me at the Toronto Beer Run – obviously not running but there!

 

**Side note: Fall is also the time when it seems like everyone you know is participating in some sort of run, last weekend I did the Terry Fox “run” and on October 5th, I’ll be doing the Run for the Cure. I’d be extremely grateful if you sponsored my participation in this amazing event! Every dollar definitely counts!

five reasons to come to ‘hope and the city’

Last year, I shared with you a great event in support of women’s cancers in Markham called Hope and The City. In honour of the 5th anniversary of this spectacular event, here are 5 reasons you should go to this year’s Hope and the City on October 23rd.

1. The Pampering Stations: As they say “treat yo self” and with good reason. If you purchase your ticket before September 26th, you get a free pampering service and you can buy more the evening of. Pampering stations in the past have included make-up, massages and henna applications.

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2. Firefighters: This is pretty self explanatory. Local firefighters support this event every year, and let’s be honest, they look good doing it. Come out and see the firefighters.

3. Delicious food: Every year, local restaurants and caterers present delicious samples to the group of ladies. You can expect delicious hors d’oeuvres, snacks and sweets to sample throughout the evening.

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4. The Celebrities: So maybe these celebrities won’t be here in the flesh but there will be some great replicas the evening of in the awesome photo booth. Bring your girlfriends out and get your photos taken with Sean Connery, George Clooney or Shemar Moore (or all three, no judgement). You may never get the chance again!

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5. The Cause: Of course this evening of fun, pampering, laughter and happiness with your best girlfriends is also for a great cause. The money raised from this event is solely for women’s cancer research through the Canadian Cancer Society.

These five reasons are just a peak of the fun night you can expect at Hope and the City at Angus Glen. Tickets for the event are $50 and as mentioned, if you’re one of the first 50 people to buy your ticket before next Friday, you receive a free pampering sessions at the event. Do you have a business and want to participate on a larger scale? Feel free to send me an email or leave your details in the comments.

I look forward to seeing you all there!

 

September 12-14: what to do/see/eat/drink this weekend in Toronto

Happy Friday! I hope you all had a great week despite what appears to be the beginning of chillier weather. It’s Toronto Beer Week so there is so much going on in the city this weekend. Here’s some ideas in case you are still trying to make plans.

Do: C’est What is continuing their annual tradition with their Festival of Craft Breweries tonight. The event starts at 5pm and is free to get in and most samplse are a $1. I went to this event last year and really enjoyed it because it’s warm inside and they give you a sheet to keep track of your beers, very helpful at a festival. 

See: This one is kind of a “see”, it might be a bit of stretch but it sounds like a lot of fun. Sunday starting at 11am, you can compete in the 5th and final edition of the Toronto Beer Quest. You can register for this event until tomorrow at noon, it’s $20 per person and

Eat: Sunday night at Two Bite Saloon, you can enjoy an all-you-can-eat pig roast as part of Toronto Beer Week. You get all-you-can-eat pig, beans and corn and a pint of beer all of $30.

Drink: This one is literally impossible to pick this weekend with so much going on in the city. The Toronto Beer Week site has some awesome events going on and restaurants participating. You can also find them on twitter with the hashtag #TBW14. Get out in the city and enjoy some beer!

I hope you all have a fantastic weekend!

September 5-7: what to do/see/eat/drink this weekend in Toronto

It is the first full weekend of September and in typical Toronto style, it will probably be the hottest one of the summer. Here’s some things to do/see/eat/drink this weekend if you haven’t already made plans.

Do: If pedestrian-only streets are your thing, be sure to check out King St W this weekend, between University and Peter. I’m sure it will be super busy but there’s activities happening all weekend along those 5 blocks. It also means that there won’t be any streetcars blocking your view of the princess of wales theatre (may have happened to me last year). It’s TIFF way of bringing the festival back to the people.

See: The obvious this week for “see” is of course, films at TIFF. There are still tickets available to lots of movies happening over the weekend. Who knows, you may see next year’s oscar winners.

Eat: If the madness of TIFF has you looking for events outside the city, AwesTRUCK 2014 is happening in Mississauga tomorrow and Sunday in Celebration Square. There will be 30 food trucks participating and entrance into the event is free!

Drink: It’s the first weekend of TIFF which means bars in the downtown core are going to be busy – but, a lot of them have an extended liquor license. Over 50 bars have an extended license, mostly along King St and Queen St but there’s some outside that bubble. BlogTO has a great list of all of them.

August 29-September 1: what to do/see/eat/drink this weekend in toronto

It’s the weekend! And it’s a long one. And we’re not talking about how it’s already labour day weekend around here because it just upsets me. I can’t seem to figure out what the weather will be like this weekend but hopefully the rain stays away for the next few days!

Do: This Sunday is Open Streets TO which closes down Bloor between Spadina and Parliament and Yonge St from Queen to Bloor. It’s for those who like to get up early on their Sunday morning (the event runs 8am to noon). The event will close off the streets to pedestrian traffic only, and there’s activities along the route ranging from fitness classes, mural painting and brazilian drumming. Get up and enjoy this unique event.

See: It is the last weekend of the Ex, which means the Air Show will be flying tomorrow, Sunday and Monday. This year’s presentation will commemorate the 100th anniversary of World War One as well as the 65th anniversary of the Air Show.

Eat: Today is the last Deep Fried DJs at Harbourfront Centre for the summer. On the Redpath Stage, Toronto’s hottest DJs are paired with deep fried deliciousness – probably a great alternative to the Ex if you just want to get your deep fried on!

Drink: It is the last Friday of the month which means it is time once again for The Society of Beer Drinking Ladies’ bevvy, this being the 8th of the year. Location is still hush hush and should be released by this afternoon and non-ticket holders are welcome after midnight (tickets for this event are already sold out).

I hope whatever you do, you have a great weekend!