All stories by Caroline Aksich

The Informer

Real Estate

Comments

The Chase: a couple burns through two agents, 300 houses and $753,000 to find the perfect Toronto home

The Chase: how one couple burned through two agents, 300 houses and $753,000 in search of the perfect Toronto home

(Image of couple: Erin Leydon)

The buyers: Richard Carlisle, the 46-year-old managing director of International Conference Services, and Curtis Boyechko, a 46-year-old pharmaceutical professional.

The story: Seven years ago, Carlisle and Boyechko left their Winnipeg home and squeezed their lives into a Vancouver condo. Six years later, they decided to move to Toronto—on a whim—to take advantage of its arts and culture. The couple flew across the country, moved into a rental, and began house hunting that very weekend, with a budget of $650,000. They were flexible about neighbourhoods, but had a few musts: two-car parking, two home offices and a spacious kitchen for entertaining. But they weren’t prepared for how quickly Toronto houses sold, or how tight the available housing stock was. Over a 13-month search, they increased their budget by more than $100,000, chewed through two agents and saw over 300 houses before they found the perfect place.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Dish

Openings

2 Comments

Introducing: The Dock Ellis, an unusually hip sports bar on Dundas West from the owner of The Emmet Ray

toronto-restaurant-the-dock-ellis-11-intro

Name: The Dock Ellis
Neighbourhood: Little Portugal
Contact Info: 1280 Dundas St. W., 416-531-2300, facebook.com
Owners: Alain Pitout, Callum Woods and Andrew Kaiser, the owner of the The Emmet Ray on College Street
Chef: Trish Gill, formerly the sous-chef at Beast on Tecumseth

The Food: Cheap, inventive bar snacks. A basket of nachos subs house-fried wontons and braised beef for typical chips and chili, and jumbo chicken wings are spiced with fruity scotch bonnets (or, for the truly intrepid, suicide-style ghost peppers). For $18 a head, Sunday’s tailgate brunch brings a Southern-style feast of hush puppies, pork ribs and blood sausage rolls.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Dish

Openings

4 Comments

Introducing: Fonda Lola, a new Queen West cantina that serves kombucha on tap

toronto-restaurant-fonda-lola-23-intro

Name: Fonda Lola
Neighbourhood: Queen West
Contact Info: 942 Queen St. W., @FondaLola
Owners: Ernesto Rodriguez, Howard Dubrowsky and pop-up chef Andrés Márquez, who is also involved with the Charlie Burger supper club
Chef: Howard Dubrowsky, the former chef and owner of L.A.B. on College

The Food: Traditional Aztec recipes inherited by Márquez from his anthropologist aunt. Mains include grilled steak with mole sauce and Ontario trout marinated in aguachile, a blend of lime juice, macerated jalapeños and cilantro. Taco specials change daily.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Informer

Real Estate

4 Comments

The Chase: an expat couple’s citywide search for a $650,000 house

The Chase: One couple’s story of house-hunting for $650,000

(Photograph of couple: Erin Leydon)

The buyers: Brazilian expats Joa Cavalcanti, a 32-year-old department manager at Harry Rosen, and his wife, Fernanda, a 31-year-old legal assistant

The story: Between the endless clacking of high heels above and the squealing 20-somethings who packed the hallways on weekends, the Cavalcantis’ West Queen West condo was beginning to feel like a university dorm. But the real incentive to move came in the form of an anonymous complaint about their five-year-old Norwich terrier, Bizu. They were forced to confine the dog to the bedroom when no one was home, so he wouldn’t bark as people walked past the front door. Though they weren’t quite ready to have kids, the Cavalcantis decided it was a good idea to start looking for a pooch-friendly home sooner rather than later. They put their condo on the market, set a budget of $650,000 and began a citywide search for a bigger place.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Dish

Openings

5 Comments

Introducing: Bricco Kitchen and Wine Bar, a stylish new enoteca on the Junction strip

toronto-restaurant-bricco-14-intro

Name: Bricco Kitchen and Wine Bar
Neighbourhood: The Junction
Contact Info: 3047 Dundas St. W., briccowinebar.com
Owner: Eric Gennaro, the sommelier at Crush Wine Bar
Chef: Justin Zamperin, formerly of Crush Wine Bar, Buonanotte and Scarpetta

The Food: Homestyle Italian food with some modern twists, like chestnuts in a creamy porcini soup and a hearty stew studded with chunks of wild boar bacon. Shareable sides include grilled rapini, tomato-braised runner beans and creamy, slow-cooked polenta.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Dish

Openings

2 Comments

Introducing: Rakia Bar, a new outpost of the Slavic restaurant occupying the old Hrvati space

Introducing: Rakia Bar, a new outpost of the Slavic restaurant occupying the old Hrvati space

Name: Rakia Bar
Contact Info: 690 Euclid Ave.rakiabar.com, @RakiaBarTO, 647-350-4227
Neighbourhood: The Annex
Owner:
Dušan Varga, owner of the Leslieville Rakia Bar outpost
Chef: Dustin Peck (The Auld Spot, Politica)

The Food: Traditional Balkan fare like ćevapi (“ché-vap-ee”), grilled mixed meat kebabs, and sarma—that’s sauerkraut leaves stuffed with a pork-beef mix (imagine a Polish cabbage roll, but tangier). Baka might not approve of the Canadian spins of Slavic fare like a rabbit goulash poutine, but vegetarians will be thankful for the hearty veg-friendly options like a meatless stuffed bell pepper.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Dish

Openings

Comments

Introducing: Touhenboku Ramen, a new Queen West ramen shop from a Tokyo-based noodle master

Introducing: Touhenboku Ramen

Name: Touhenboku Ramen
Contact Info: 261 Queen St. W., touhenboku.ca, 416-596-8080
Neighbourhood: Entertainment District
Owner: Zuimei Okuyama
Chef: Keiichi Machida, who mastered the art of ramen-making in Tokyo

The Food: Unlike most ramen shops, Tohenboku uses chicken broth instead of traditional pork. Bowls come with fresh-cranked noodles in four types of broth: garlic, chili, original (creamy) and light (clear). Each soup is topped with wood ear mushrooms, a boiled egg, seaweed and scallions. Chef Machida makes his noodles with a special high-protein flour for optimal elasticity.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Dish

Openings

Comments

Introducing: Through Being Cool, a quaint new vegan bakery in Bloordale

Introducing: Through Being Cool Vegan Bakery

Name: Through Being Cool Vegan Baking Co.
Neighbourhood: Bloordale Village
Contact Info: 1277 Bloor St. W., 416-998-3321, throughbeingcoolvegan.com
Owner and Head Baker: Amanda Somerville

The Place: A bright green storefront with “All vegan since 2010” stenciled on the front window. Inside, doily-topped shelves and dressers display jars of homemade preserves, while a big glass case at the back holds platters of doughnuts and other baked goods. Somerville is waiting for a license to turn the bakery into a proper sit-down café (for now, it’s takeout only).

Read the rest of this entry »

The Dish

Openings

2 Comments

Introducing: Soos, a new Malaysian restaurant on the Ossington strip

Introducing: Soos

Name: Soos
Neighbourhood: Ossington
Contact Info: 94 Ossington St., 416-901-7667, facebook.com
Owners: Zenn, Tricia, Lauren and Zack Soo
Chefs: Tricia Soo and her son, Zack Soo

The Food: Malaysian small plates. The short menu includes traditional Malay street food, like a pad Thai–style noodle dish called char kway teow, as well as less conventional options, like pork belly pancakes and poutine topped with beef rendang, a popular Malaysian curry.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Dish

Openings

Comments

Introducing: Extended F’Amelia, the Cabbagetown trattoria’s new next-door wine bar

Introducing: Extended F'Amelia

Name: Extended F’Amelia
Neighbourhood: Cabbagetown
Contact Info: 8 Amelia St., 416-323-0666
Owners: John Dawson and Todd Vestby, the owners of F’Amelia next door
Chef: F’Amelia head chef James Harrison (who designed the menu) and junior sous-chef Jason Yu (who’s running the kitchen)

The Food: A handful of composed plates, like scallop ceviche and beef tartare, and a short menu of bar snacks. House-made rabbit paté comes with pickles and crunchy crostini.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Informer

Real Estate

Comments

The Chase: a couple lucks out in the Junction Triangle—thanks to some quick bidding

The Chase: a couple’s urge to escape from Queen West takes them to the Junction Triangle

(Photograph of couple: Erin Leydon)

The buyers: Derek McCallum, a 29-year-old interning architect at JCI Architects, and his partner, Sam Yuen, a 32-year-old communications associate.

The story: Yuen and McCallum are diehard west-enders who lived in a 630-square-foot Sudbury Street condo. But they’d grown weary of Queen West’s spring break vibe. “We were tired of people puking on our doorstep,” ­McCallum says. They wanted to stay in the west but to get away from the bar scene, and a second bedroom to accommodate guests was a must. They set a budget of around $500,000 and viewed a dozen houses within a three-week span. At the end of their search, they were pleasantly surprised by the way the fickle market worked in their favour.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Dish

Openings

Comments

Introducing: Hunters Landing, a new post-game hangout in Concord CityPlace

Introducing: Hunters Landing

Name: Hunters Landing
Neighbourhood: Concord CityPlace
Contact Info: 82 Fort York Blvd., 647-352-6082, hunterslanding.ca
Owners: Steve Pelton and Jesse Topliffe from Joy Management Group, the company behind Williams Landing and South of Temperance, and Dennis Palma-Cedeño
Chef: Dennis Palma-Cedeño, the former executive chef of South of Temperance

The Food: Pub food with a Latin American bent, like mojo-glazed chicken wings and a burger topped with pulled pork and cotija cheese. On weekends, eggs Bennys come topped with lobster and braised beef.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Dish

Restaurants

2 Comments

A dainty new café and brunch spot in Cabbagetown

The Scullery

(Image: The Scullery/Instagram)

The Scullery, the latest addition to Cabbagetown’s hip new ranks, has a charmingly Parisian vibe: pastel walls, spindly tables and a tiled countertop crammed with cookies, cakes and bouquets of colourful house-made bonbons—the type of dainty fare Amélie Poulain might nibble on while sipping a leisurely cappuccino. At lunch, the café caters to neighbourhood locals with salads, quiches and lovingly wrapped sandwiches secured with twine. The weekend brunch menu includes more decadent dishes, like classic eggs Benedict and Belgian waffles topped with caramelized pecans.

The Scullery, 200 Carlton St., 647-748-5000, thescullery.ca

TIFF Talk

TIFF Fashion

Comments

Venice vs. TIFF Fashion Showdown: Daniel Radcliffe Edition

Venice vs. TIFF Fashion Showdown: Daniel Radcliffe

From left: Venice (Image: Venturelli/WireImage/Getty); TIFF (Image: Charles Leonio/Getty)

Two different film festivals, two different party looks from Daniel Radcliffe. At the Kill Your Darlings bash in Venice, the Harry Potter star went eccentric yachtsman in a double-breasted ASOS blazer and bright chinos (maybe he was planning to go gallivanting in a gondola?). Radcliffe looked much more sombre at the TIFF Horns after-party, following the Severus Snape Guide To Fashion in a black suit and a navy shirt with a black collar. Which out-on-the-town look do you prefer?

At which film fest was Daniel Radcliffe best dressed?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

TIFF Talk

TIFF Fashion

Comments

Venice vs. TIFF Fashion Showdown: Mia Wasikowska Edition

Venice vs. TIFF Fashion Showdown: Mia Wasikowska

From left: Venice (Image: Pascal Le Segretain/Getty; TIFF (Michael Buckner/Getty)

In Mia Wasikowska’s new film, The Double, her real-life beau (Jesse Eisenberg) plays a man who’s driven mad by his polar-opposite doppelganger—a plot that apparently rang true for the actress, who’s been switching up her style choices this festival season. At the Venice film fest’s premiere of John Curran’s drama Tracks, Wasikowska looked regal in a black Nina Ricci halter dress with minimal accessories, keeping our focus on the gown’s intricate lace bodice. At TIFF’s gala for The Double, she traded Italian glamour for a chic but casual ensemble. We’re torn about the neckline on her structured lavender dress by Roland Mouret: is it artful and eye catching, or does the pleated detail look like a folded napkin?

Read the rest of this entry »

Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement