Sunday, February 1, 2015Light Snow Shower -3°C
Eat & Drink

Why are Toronto's kid-friendly cafes closing?

Posted by Sarah Ratchford / January 26, 2015

kid friendly cafe torontoIn recent years, more couples are deciding to raise children in the downtown core. In the area south of Queen between University and Dufferin alone, the percentage of children under age five has grown by 65 per cent since 2006. But, oddly, businesses that have come to life in order to support these families are closing up shop.

The spots that are closing are built on a cafe-style model. Parents or other caregivers can come in with children in tow and not expect a gaggle of bespectacled 20-somethings to glare up at them in annoyance, interrupted from clacking away on their weathered MacBooks. Rather, these places are created for children. Play is encouraged. Noise is expected. So are copious messes.

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City

More shelter space for women and LGBTQ youth coming to Toronto

Posted by Sarah Ratchford / January 21, 2015

womens shelter torontoCommunity activists have been pleading for more shelters for some of the city's more vulnerable women and LGBTQ youth for years. Now, it looks like that's finally going to happen: The city's proposed 2015 budget includes funding for two women's all-night drop-in centres, as well as funding for two shelters for the city's LGBTQ youth.

There will be one drop-in centre in the east end and one in the west -- ditto for the shelters.

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Announcements

Minimalist Bloor St. bar a gem for craft beer lovers

Posted by Sarah Ratchford / December 22, 2014

beer bar torontoThis beer bar opened in the late spring, and quickly became a hit for Bloorcourt locals looking to imbibe on interesting brews not readily available at other bars in the area. While the place has an inviting neighbourhood vibe, the beer really is the thing here, with a rotating selection on draught and a large stock of bottles that you won't find at the LCBO.

Read my review of Wise Bar in the bars section.
Announcements

Toronto has a new home brewing supply store

Posted by Sarah Ratchford / November 21, 2014

home brew torontoIf you've ever thought about making your own beer at home, this new Dundas West supply shop has everything you need to make that dream a reality. Owner Dave Crum was inspired to quit his job in banking and set up shop after making his own successful brews; now, he's doling out countless varieties of yeast and hops (and plenty of home-brewing know-how) to the city's amateur brewers.

Read my profile of Noble Hop in the grocery section.
City

5 ways to get off at the Everything to do with Sex Show

Posted by Sarah Ratchford / October 26, 2014

Toronto Sex ShowThe Everything to do with Sex Show began, for me, with a pre-party at Oasis Aqualounge. Lots of hairy, cupid-like man bodies were on display, accompanied most often by jiggly, lingerie-clad lady bottoms. Noobs went on dungeon tours, and learned the ins and outs of ethically smacking one's partner. People lounged on vinyl beds, stretched out like felines, waiting for 11 p.m. to hit. For at the strike of eleven, the sexing begins.

We're warned on the way in that we will see nudity.

I had to hightail it out to make another engagement prior to 11, thankfully. But the show opener was a good sign of things to come. This is not a time for the pearl clutchers, nor the faint of heart, amongst us. Here are the top five things to check out at the fifteenth annual Everything to do with Sex Show in Toronto.

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Sports & Play

How to book a fire pit in a Toronto park

Posted by Sarah Ratchford / October 21, 2014

fire pits TorontoToronto parks are good for more than just picnics, walking dogs, tossing the ball around, or lounging in the sun. In addition to sports facilities, our parks are also home to community ovens and fire pits, the latter of which allow city dwellers to soak up a bit of the country vibe with nightly camp fires.

Parks across the city have fire pits with capacity ranging from 50 to 200 people. It's not too much of a pain to book one, they're available all year round, and it's pretty affordable, too. I did a little digging to save others from having to figure out how to book a fire pit via the city's illustrious web site. Here's how to plan your next urban campfire.

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