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The Informer

Real Estate

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Tower of Power: who lives where at One Bedford, the new downtown address of choice for uptown potentates

Tower of Power: who lives where at One Bedford, the new downtown address of choice for uptown potentates

(Photographs: Tower by Daniel Neuhaus; Bata, Peaches, Stronach, Hackett, Govani, MacMillan by Getty Images; Jackman courtesy of Province of Ontario; Wente courtesy of the Globe and Mail; Kuwabara by Newswire; McEwan courtesy of Smashing Pictures; Broadbent courtesy of Eventi; Tory by Markian Lozowchuk; Oundjian courtesy of Arts Atlanta)

In the three years since it was completed, One Bedford, the 32-storey monolith above, has become de facto HQ for tastemakers in business, media, arts and politics. Chalk it up to its location at the nexus of three high-rent neighbourhoods, which allows residents to self-identify as posh Yorkvillers, U of T brainiacs or quinoa-munching Annexers as needed. One of the latest big-name tenants to join the party is the mayor. Here’s who he calls neighbour.

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The Informer

Sports

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Sports Gods: which Toronto pro athletes are truly worth their salaries?

Sports Gods: They’re paid a fortune. Who’s worth it, and who’s not

Mark Buehrle

Mark Buehrle, 35
Starting pitcher, southpaw

Paid: $19 million ($37,000 an hour)
Bang for Buck: He’s reliable and not injury-prone, but he’s in the twilight of his career and no R. A. Dickey.

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The Dish

New Reviews

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Review: Yunaghi, the Japanese bistro at Harbord and Manning, is unusual but rewarding

(Image: Renée Suen)

(Image: Renée Suen)

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Yunaghi 2 star ½
538 Manning Ave., 416-588-7862
Yunaghi 2 star ½
538 Manning Ave., 416-588-7862

Before opening this peculiar but ultimately rewarding Japanese bistro, the chef Tetsuya Shimizu spent 12 years studying kaiseki in Tokyo and two years in the kitchen at Yours Truly, the recently shuttered molecular gastronomy restaurant on Ossington. Both inform his set-course dinners of seven or nine dishes, which are by turns traditional (a pot of dashi tea poured tableside over a slice of yellowtail sashimi, the heat of the liquid slowly poaching the luscious fish) and experimental (a Gehry-esque scattering of fall veg—roasted beets, blanched beans, pickled squash—comes dressed with a bacon-infused snow and a tofu–Grana Padano smear). Awkward, inarticulate servers have a tough time explaining each complicated plate’s constituent elements. One night’s highlight: a fantastically tender roast duck breast with rounds of confit leek, their crispy, chip-like exterior hiding a dense and deeply oniony core. Desserts, like a silky panna cotta layered with wafers of crunchy feuilletine, are comparatively simple. The room, formerly J.P. Challet’s Ici Bistro, has been stripped of its francophilia, the only décor an orchid in the window, while the plink-plonk-plink of Herbie Hancock makes an apt accompaniment to the meandering meal.

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The Dish

New Reviews

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Review: Nuit Social is a slice of civilized heaven on West Queen West

(Image: Caroline Aksich)

(Image: Caroline Aksich)

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Nuit Social 1 star
1168 Queen St. W., 647-350-6848
Nuit Social 1 star
1168 Queen St. W., 647-350-6848

The strip of Queen West between Ossington and Dufferin has always needed a grown-up alternative to the late-night pubs, poutine and pizza that feed The Drake’s and The Gladstone’s club crowd. It finally has one. At 11 p.m. on a Friday, you can walk in without a wait, order a glass of off-LCBO wine and build your own charcuterie board. The meats, from Ontario and Europe, include beechwood-smoked speck from Austria edged with gauzy fat, and there’s an excellent selection of small-batch cheeses, like a Wisconsin merlot satori that packs good wine pong, plus five kinds of olives (the lemon-zesty picholines are a must). The fritti are consistently hot, crisp and greaseless, like the killer golf ball–sized saffron arancini, and crackling cornmeal-crusted calamari. Lighter dishes are also well made: tiny brown-butter-fried scallops slicked with butternut squash purée and dotted with delicate Brussels sprout leaves and micro greens, for example. Crumbly New York–style cheesecake, both made and topped with Parmesan, is as dry and weird as an episode of Twin Peaks. Instead, linger over a nightcap around the colourful stained-glass bar, and soak in the blessedly mellow mood amid the neighbourhood’s all-night party.

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The Dish

New Reviews

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Review: Mr. Flamingo has tons of cool cred (and pretty great food)

(Image: Gabby Frank)

(Image: Gabby Frank)

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Mr. Flamingo 2 star
1265 Dundas St. W., 647-351-1100
Mr. Flamingo 2 star
1265 Dundas St. W., 647-351-1100

The staff at the new 34-seat restaurant on the corner of Dundas West is a dream team of food-world hipsters. The place is owned by Mikey Apples, who also owns the dive club Bambi’s downstairs, and Fan Zhang, the former chef at 416 Snack Bar. Cool cred combined, they run an archetypal west-end hang filled with obscure dance beats and the sound of cocktails shaking, 20-somethings in a uniform of top-knots, slouchy Ts and Converse high tops, and salvage shop furnishings. The food is mostly very good—not quite special-occasion fare, but definitely date-night-level.

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The Informer

Politics

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Team Trudeau: the Toronto rainmakers orchestrating Justin’s rise

A guide to the Torontonians who have helped turn the younger Trudeau into a genuine prime ministerial contender

Team Trudeau: the Toronto rainmakers orchestrating Justin’s rise Gerard Butts
The Strategist
Gerald Butts, 43

He and Trudeau met at McGill and have been pals for more than 20 years. In the last two, Butts turned the federal Liberal party’s fortunes around in his role as the leader’s main strategist and policy maker. Right now the Liberals are the team to beat in the polls; if they remain there it will be largely thanks to Butts.

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The Informer

Features

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Toronto’s 50 Most Influential: the people who changed the city in 2014

Toronto's 50 Most Influential

It’s been a big year in the corridors of power, with an infusion of ambitious new leaders in the city’s most influential institutions. Here, our annual ranking of political rainmakers, Bay Street moguls, real estate gurus, major league sports stars, celebrity chefs, culture czars, and everyone else who matters now. In a nutshell: the people whose smarts, connections and clout are changing Toronto as we know it.

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The Dish

New Reviews

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Review: Nodo, the Junction’s new red-sauce restaurant, serves crowd-pleasing (if unrefined) classics

(Image: Jackie Pal)

(Image: Jackie Pal)

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Nodo 1 star
2885 Dundas St. W., 416-901-1559
Nodo 1 star
2885 Dundas St. W., 416-901-1559

Across from the Indie Ale House microbrewery and beside Cantina’s taco party, comes a solid new red-sauce restaurant—the third point in a triangle of dining trends. The owners are three Italian guys who’ve been friends since high school, and they’ve seemingly instilled that happy, known-you-forever warmth in their servers. The large, checker-board-floored space is entirely comfortable: bare wood tables are topped with bread baskets and banquettes are filled with post-work marrieds. The Sicilian-focused menu is equally as casual, with the extensive boot-based wine list divided by price (bottles under $35, under $55) and the pastas and pizzas outnumbering the tiny mains section by the dozen.

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The Dish

New Reviews

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Review: The fusion cooking at Patois is bold, ambitious and strangely satisfying

(Image: Caroline Aksich)

(Image: Caroline Aksich)

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Patois 1 star ½
794 Dundas St. W., 647-350-8999
Patois 1 star ½
794 Dundas St. W., 647-350-8999

The latest fusion to hit the Toronto dining scene is Asian-Caribbean, courtesy of chef Craig Wong, whose Chinese family lived in Jamaica for three generations. The room feels just like an island patio—it’s loud, kitschy, crowded and sweltering. Wong swirls together jerk, hoisin and five-spice into strangely satisfying combinations.

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The Dish

New Reviews

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Review: Thoroughbred on Richmond Street West is an excellent post-work party spot

(Image: Caroline Aksich)

(Image: Caroline Aksich)

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Thoroughbred 2 star
304 Richmond St. W., 416-551-9221
Thoroughbred 2 star
304 Richmond St. W., 416-551-9221

The DJ’s electro-indie-pop thrums and the well-crafted cocktails go down far too easy at this quintessential after-work party spot. The owners debuted their high-low concept at the Underground Market, where they sold foie gras pop tarts. Thoroughbred’s sharing menus (one vegetarian, one omnivorous) have that same winning mash-up.

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The Informer

Toronto Life Events

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Bay Street moguls, celebrity chefs, condo kings and the Mayor-elect: The who’s who of Toronto celebrate Toronto Life’s 50 Most Influential People of 2014

MI14_Gallery-Collage-656

(Image: George Pimentel Photography)

Last night, Toronto Life hosted the city’s top politicians, power brokers, celebrity chefs and media personalities to celebrate the launch of its annual list of Toronto’s 50 Most Influential people. 400 notable invitees convened at The Ritz-Carlton Hotel, Toronto, to honour the inspiring individuals who made a positive impact to the city this year. Guests of honour included Mayor-elect John Tory, Donna Quan (TDSB), Jennifer Keesmaat (City Hall), John Ruffolo (OMERS Ventures), Mike Wekerle (Difference Capital), Robert Deluce (Porter Airlines), Matt Galloway (CBC), George Stroumboulopoulos (Hockey Night in Canada), Sara Diamond (OCAD), Andy Byford (TTC), Jeff Stober (The Drake), Susur Lee (Lee, Bent, Luckee) — plus notable guests Jeffrey Remedios, Lisa Tant, Rahul Bhardwaj, Jagmeet Singh, Daniel Faria, and more.

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The Informer

People

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Ten things Chris Hadfield can’t live without

The web-savvy spaceman’s first book is being turned into an ABC sitcom, and he has a follow-up out this month. Here, the 10 things he can’t live without

Ten things Chris Hadfield can't live without
01
My astronaut watch
It can keep track of mission elapsed time and multiple time zones, plus it has an ­extra-loud alarm that woke me up every morning on the space station. I wore it with a loose strap and it floated around my arm like a snake—a constant reminder of weightlessness.

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The Informer

Sports

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Best Seats in the House: a guide to the celebs and Bay Streeters who cheer on the Raptors

The high-profile spectators who’ve made Raps games the hottest ticket in Toronto sports

Celebrity Watch: Best Seats in the House

Half the fun of NBA fandom is peeping stars sitting courtside. Unfortunately, for a long time, Raps games were as celestial as a bag of fertilizer. No longer. Last fall, that rascally love-’em-leave-’em super-exec Tim Leiweke named Drake the organization’s global ambassador, and the wattage of home games suddenly surged. So did the fringe benefits of season’s tickets. Here, the luminaries who have sat courtside in the era of Drizzy, and the high-rolling fans who have a front-row view of all the action.

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