All stories by Emily Landau

The Gilded Stage: David Leventi’s photos of the world’s most opulent ope... The Gilded Stage: David Leventi’s photos of the world’s most opulent opera houses

By Emily Landau When David Leventi was a kid, his grandfather, a Romanian cantor named Anton Gutman, would sing arias in the family’s Westchester house, swanning around the living room like it was the stage at La Scala. Gutman’s aspirations for operatic glory had been stymied in World War II, when he landed in a… Read more »

Show your Pride, listen to some jazz and eight other things to do this week Show your Pride, listen to some jazz and eight other things to do this week

Listen to Spoon’s cultish indie rock Ask any music nerd to name the most consistent indie band of the past two decades, and there’s a good chance you’ll hear about Spoon. The Austin outfit never shot into the mainstream, but each of its eight albums has been a quiet triumph, filled with creative production tricks… Read more »

Road Shows: a wanderluster’s guide to bucolic cultural day trips Road Shows: a wanderluster’s guide to bucolic cultural day trips

  The Elora Festival features a lineup of jazz and classical concerts in an open-air barn near Guelph. July 10 to 26, 136 Metcalfe St., Elora.  1.5-hr drive Pit stop: The carrot-hued Cheltenham Badlands off the Bruce Trail, now sadly only viewable from a distance.

Behind the scenes with the cast of the National Ballet’s The Sleeping ... Behind the scenes with the cast of the National Ballet’s The Sleeping Beauty

In 1972, the sneering, stately Russian dance icon Rudolf Nureyev joined the National Ballet of Canada to stage a sumptuous new production of Tchaikovsky’s The Sleeping Beauty. For the title character—a deceptively strenuous role whose player usually wears through five pairs of slippers per night—he chose a gawky young ballerina: Karen Kain, who later became…

See Rush for the last time, survive NXNE and eight other things to do this week See Rush for the last time, survive NXNE and eight other things to do this week

Go on a late-night sampling spree The twinkly Stop Night Market returns for its fourth annual carnival of sno-cones and small plates. For $100, you get unlimited access to food from practically every hot restaurant in the city, including Rose and Sons, Branca, Libretto, Geraldine and Bar Fancy, plus libations from local wineries and breweries and… Read more »

Reasons to Love Toronto Now: because this guy made CanStage great again Reasons to Love Toronto Now: because this guy made CanStage great again

Matthew Jocelyn was born in Toronto’s east end, but everything about him screams European bon vivant: he has a closetful of Yves Montand turtlenecks, a whiff of a French accent from years spent living on the continent and a recklessly avant-garde sensibility. Which is what made it such a shock when he was hired as… Read more »

Reasons to Love Toronto Now: because the Toronto Birth Centre makes labour much ... Reasons to Love Toronto Now: because the Toronto Birth Centre makes labour much less laborious

The earth mother craze has reached an apotheosis in Toronto. To accommodate the growing demand for safe, hospital-free childbirths, the Ministry of Health recently opened the Toronto Birth Centre in Regent Park. The new $6-million facility offers a happy halfway point between home and hospital births—patients get the privacy, comfort and custom care they’d have at… Read more »

Reasons to Love Toronto Now: because John Ruffolo brought the tech industry back... Reasons to Love Toronto Now: because John Ruffolo brought the tech industry back from the brink

In the mid-oughties, as Silicon Valley swirled into a nerd-bacchanal of beanbag chairs and IPOs and coding parties, the Canadian tech industry was flatlining. Over the course of that decade, venture capital shrivelled from $6 billion to $1 billion as money managers stopped investing after suffering huge losses in the dot-com bust and financial crisis…. Read more »

Reasons to Love Toronto Now: because Shay Mitchell is our Instagram star Reasons to Love Toronto Now: because Shay Mitchell is our Instagram star

The Toronto-born star of the outrageous teen soap Pretty Little Liars has 6.1 million followers on Instagram—that’s more than Barack Obama. Every day brings a voyeur’s smorgasbord of mermaid-haired bikini shots, glamorous travelogues and duck-lipped selfies. Her narcissism knows no bounds—and we can’t look away.

Reasons to Love Toronto Now: because the new Union Station was worth the wait Reasons to Love Toronto Now: because the new Union Station was worth the wait

Some 213,000 GO commuters pass through Union Station every weekday—that’s more than twice the daily traffic of Pearson Airport. And, for the past six years, those people have been forced to navigate a holy mess of scaffolding and construction detritus, as the station’s glitzy $1.3-billion revitalization has been stymied by setbacks and cost overruns. But… Read more »

Catch fish in a swimming pool, battle with bubbles and eight other things to do ... Catch fish in a swimming pool, battle with bubbles and eight other things to do this week

Experience Brit-style revelry at the city’s first annual Bestival Bestival, a raucous U.K. import, will inject the city’s crowded summer festival scene with a heavy dose of innovative indie rock and electro grooves. Brit sensations Florence and the Machine co-headline with OG rapper Nas, while veteran psychedelicist Caribou, art-pop mastermind Owen Pallett and Australian phenom… Read more »

Chill with Drake, stuff yourself for a good cause and eight other things to do t... Chill with Drake, stuff yourself for a good cause and eight other things to do this week

Get seduced by Lana Del Rey In the summer of 2011, Lana Del Rey broke the Internet with the sultry, cinematic ballad “Video Games.” A few months later, a disastrous Saturday Night Live performance threatened to kill the hype before her major label debut album, Born to Die, was even released. The moody singer persevered:… Read more »

Play pinball, drink beer for charity and eight other things to do this week Play pinball, drink beer for charity and eight other things to do this week

Dive into Iris Apfel’s closet Iris Apfel is a 94-year-old fashion starlet, with a flash of dove-white hair, scarlet lipstick and harlequin outfits cobbled together from haute couture and flea market finds. Her Park Avenue closet was dazzling enough to merit its own costume exhibit at the Met in 2006. And now she’s the subject… Read more »

Comic Book Special: Toronto graphic novelists sketch themselves Comic Book Special: Toronto graphic novelists sketch themselves

By Emily Landau Hundreds of graphic novelists will squeeze into the Reference Library on May 9 and 10 for the Toronto Comic Arts Festival. We picked the seven local stars to catch—and asked each for a self-portrait.

Comic Book Special: inside Toronto’s best-connected comics workshop Comic Book Special: inside Toronto’s best-connected comics workshop

By Emily Landau In 2004, a group of illustrators founded RAID Studio in a tiny workshop above a GoodLife Fitness Club on College Street. Now it’s a veritable hub of the geek world, where artists write, storyboard and illustrate comics for DC and Marvel. Here, a who’s who of the city’s hottest collective. 1 Marcus… Read more »