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Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Toronto Oktoberfest!

By: Lisa Ng

I gotta say Oktoberfest is one of my favourite holidays - because who doesn't love a festival that revolves around sausage and beer?

Toronto Oktoberfest is back again this year with a Festhalle filled with traditional Bavarian dancers, polka bands, German and European biers and Bavarian food. The event runs from September 18-19th, 2015 at the parking lot just outside of Ontario Place. The party will be under a big tent! Tickets start at $25 for general admission and go up to $100 for VIP access.

To learn more visit:

Lisa Ng is also the Editor-in-Chief of This Beautiful Day, a lifestyle blog for smart women. You can follow her online @helloLisaNg + on Instagram @ThisBeautifulDay.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

AGO First Thursdays

By Wendy Kam Marcy

After a brief summer hiatus, the AGO’s First Thursdays art party series returns September 3 with an exciting line up of art, live music, talks and interactive installations, all in the key of Canada.

You can read the fascinating details of how a century-old museum became the city’s hippest hangout in Toronto Life's article "Not Your Grandma’s AGO". I've had the privilege of working with Matthew Teitelbaum's son, Max so I've always heard great things about this party and am truly impressed with how Mr. Teitelbaum has reinvented the AGO.

September’s First Thursday theme is Nostalgia Canadiana, marking the final weeks of the exhibition Picturing the Americas: Landscape Painting from Tierra del Fuego to the Arctic. A celebration of landscape, nature and nationhood.

As always you can also expect delicious food and drinks in our Night Market to complete your experience. Buy your tickets before they sell out (and they sell quick)!

Follow #AGO1st on Twitter for updates on next month's theme and other news about this event.

Photo credit: AIMIA | AGO Photography

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Luckee Restaurant's Pop-Up Dim Sum Bar

By: Lisa Ng

Love dim sum? 

Susur Lee's Luckee Restaurant will be hosting a Pop-Up Dim Sum Bar during TIFF at the corner of Blue Jays Way & Wellington St. The takeout bar will offer duck wraps, steamed and fried buns, and kobe beef dumplings for that late-night snack stop. It's perfect for takeout or kick back in one of their 28 seats. Luckee’s Dim Sum Bar will be open from Thursday September 10th to Sunday September 13th from 7PM – 11PM nightly. 

Luckee will also be hosting TIFF Dim Sum Spotlight during their lunch service (11AM to 2PM) with traditional cart service along and a few surprises from Thursday September 10th to Tuesday September 15th.

To learn more visit:

Lisa Ng is also the Editor-in-Chief of This Beautiful Day, a lifestyle blog for smart women. You can follow her online @helloLisaNg + on Instagram @ThisBeautifulDay.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Toronto Life’s Garden Party

By Wendy Kam Marcy

Hate to say it but these sultry summer nights are limited, so get outside and make the most of it!

Toronto Life wants you to tiptoe through the tulips for an evening outdoors at the Toronto Botanical Garden on Thursday, August 20.

Following a dinner catered by Gusto 54 (the same folks behind King West Italian restaurant Gusto 101) and drinks from Muskoka Brewery and Southbrook Vineyards, guests will be treated to a concert by folk singer Sarah MacDougall. Walk off the meal with a guided garden tour through a selection of the centre’s 17 different themed gardens by the TBG’S executive director, Harry Jongerden.

Tickets are $49 per person or $79 for two.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Food Diary: Napa Valley, California

By: Lisa Ng

Planning a trip to Napa? Paul and I just got back from our very first trip to Napa Valley + Sonoma and we definitely got our fill of some amazing food and wine. If you're thinking of making the trip to wine country, I recommend flying into San Francisco, renting a car and making the hour long drive into Napa. We drove in from Los Angeles and it took us about 6 hours.

It was incredibly overwhelming trying to decide on which wineries to visit and where to eat. There are SO many choices! I was looking for Napa classics for my very first trip, but will definitely be branching out more for my next visit. Here are my must-eats from my Napa Valley food diary:

Bouchon Bakery - Thomas Keller’s Bouchon Bakery in Yountville is the perfect place to stop for a coffee and pastry. Try the TKO – a homemade Oreo cookie that’s my all-time fave. This is also a great opportunity to pick up a freshly baked baguette or some bread for a winery picnic.
Oenotri - For dinner we picked a well-recommended Italian restaurant on 1st Street called Oenotri. We ordered a Margherita Pizza, Sauteed Kale with Garlic and Tomatoes and Corn Passato, but the REAL star of the show had to be there homemade pasta that’s made daily. Paul and I opted for Bucatini All’Amatriciana and the pasta was just perfectly al dente with a flavourful tomato sauce.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Sail-In Cinema at Sugar Beach

By: Lisa Ng

The 5th Annual Sail-In Cinema will be returning to Sugar Beach (25 Dockside Drive) on
August 20-22, 2015. This FREE community event features a giant four-storey, double-sided screen on a custom-made barge in Lake Ontario, allowing people to view movies by both land and boat under the stars.

The 'Flashback to the 80’s' theme will include: Ghostbusters (Aug 20th), The Goonies (Aug 21st) and E.T. (Aug 22nd) with each movie beginning at dusk around 8:45 PM. 

Registration for free landside tickets is now open as there is limited seating on the landside and entry is subject to availability of space. Those who register online are also eligible to enter a contest to win a pair of tickets aboard Porter Airlines for any of the 22 destinations where the airline flies.
To learn more visit:

Lisa Ng is also the Editor-in-Chief of This Beautiful Day, a lifestyle blog for smart women. You can follow her online @helloLisaNg + on Instagram @ThisBeautifulDay.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Summer Block Parties

By Wendy Kam Marcy

#WestsideTO Block Party

Don't let summer go by on the west side without stopping by at this neighbourhood block party on Thursday, August 13. Minto is teaming up with Scadding Court Community Centre to bring you an outdoor beer and wine garden, live entertainment, urban eats and a farmers' market.

Cityfest Toronto

Head to Canoe Landing Park on Saturday, August 22 for the 3rd annual block party and see for yourself what the CityPlace neighbourhood is all about. Celebrate the best of Toronto's local talent, food trucks, urban art, and community experiences. Manzone & Strong will be this year’s festival headliner!

Mad Decent Block Party

America’s biggest block party (22 shows in 19 cities) is making it's way to Toronto on Saturday, August 29. #MDBP2015 is all about summer fun, music and friends. Party on!

Monday, August 10, 2015

Urban Eats @ Hy's Steakhouse

By Wendy Kam Marcy

Deemed as Canada's premier steakhouse (they've been in business since 1955!), get ready for drool worthy sharing plates and steaks charred for perfection and tender as butter. The service is polished and the wine list is lengthy.

We are talking about Hy's Steakhouse. The perfect setting where serious power lunches take place. But don't let that intimidate you from bringing your date or family here. Aside from the distinguished Bay Street suits, there are sure signs that they also cater to a younger crowd. For example, their new menu is split up into modern and classics, and they host a happy hour giving you a good excuse to linger around the Financial District after work.

I always start off with a Caesar salad because I think it sets the tone for the quality of ingredients a restaurant uses and the way the dishes are prepped. While it sounds simple enough, a lot can go wrong with making this traditional salad such as it being too creamy or over garlicky. But the mixture of crisp romaine lettuce with sharp Parmesan cheese and crunchy croutons was made just right and the dressing itself was flavourful but not too intense.

Next up, I nibbled on escargot garnished with fresh herbs and splashed with lemon. If you've never had escargot, they are basically cooked land snails so they have a chewy texture and remind me of eating mushroom caps.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Twilight Tuesdays Are Back!

By Wendy Kam Marcy

Twilight Tuesdays will help you get through the dog days of summer!

Every Tuesday in August from 5-9pm, Drake One Fifty, Momofuku + friends will transform the parkette on the west side of York Street between Richmond and Adelaide into a mini night-market. There will be gourmet street food, summertime treats, and indie musicians.

Financial District neighbours Pizzeria Libretto, The Gabardine, Richmond Station and Thoroughbred Food & Drink will also make an appearance on alternating Tuesdays.

Guests trade tickets ($5 each) for one food or drink item. Offerings will riff on the Drake interpretation of high meets low: think steamed buns, mini pulled pork sandwiches and yakitori. Slushies, freezies and soft serve ice cream. Top it all off with $5 drinks and Drake General Store's booth stocked with signature mix of quirky curiosities and takeaway treasures.

To make this a true community event, proceeds from food sales will be donated to the Out of the Cold program. Last year, they raised over $9K, enough for 1600 warm meals!

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Let's Go to The EX!

By: Lisa Ng

One of my all-time favourite festivals is back in Toronto this month! The Canadian National Exhibition has always captured the essence of all things summer for me. It all started when we used to get a free pass to Ontario Place in our report cards. I know with that free pass, we would cross the bridge over to the CNE for the most epic day of fun in the entire summer.

I definitely kept the tradition up as an adult. Attending with my family, cousins and husband almost every year I was in the city. I think I skipped it once because Paul and I went backpacking across Europe - the CNE was not to be missed!

The CNE runs this year from August 21st - September 7th, 2015. Admission is $18 for adults or $14 if you buy them in advance. After 5 pm, price goes down to only $6 from Monday - Thursday. 

To learn more visit the CNE online!

Lisa Ng is also the Editor-in-Chief of This Beautiful Day, a lifestyle blog for smart women. You can follow her online @helloLisaNg + on Instagram @ThisBeautifulDay.