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See Arcade Fire and Constantines on the same stage

(Image: ღ ℂℏ℟ḯʂ ღ/Flickr)

(Image: ღ ℂℏ℟ḯʂ ღ/Flickr)

It’s been a good few years for Arcade Fire. When The Suburbs snagged Album of the Year at the Grammys in 2011, hardly anyone outside select indie-rock circles had even heard of the Montreal outfit (remember the “Who Is Arcade Fire!?” Tumblr?). The band has since provided the soundtrack for a Spike Jonze movie, topped the Billboard charts and even insisted upon fancy dress at arena concerts in support of its latest album, Reflektor. This weekend, head to the Amphitheatre for the tour’s penultimate show and second stop in Toronto. It’s sure to feature papier-mâché imposters and plenty of disco-fied dance rock. The recently reunited Constantines, local indie legends for whom Arcade Fire regularly opened once upon a time, will be playing first, so don’t be that person who shows up two hours late. Tickets are currently sold out, but are available on the resale market.

Friday, Aug. 29. $45–$90. Molson Canadian Amphitheatre, 909 Lakeshore Blvd. W., 416-260-5600, canadianamphitheatre.net.

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Let Robyn and Röyksopp teach you what a dance show should sound like

(Image: Kacper Kasprzyk)

(Image: Kacper Kasprzyk)

No need to dance on your own anymore, Robyn fans. The Swedish siren is making a rare visit to Toronto, this time alongside Norwegian electro duo Röyksopp, who are like Daft Punk, but Scandinavian. Following a few one-off collaborations (listen to a sample track right here), the two acts formally joined forces for Do It Again, the most critically celebrated 35 minutes of dance music this side of Random Access Memories. The tour to support the mini-album—a trio of synth-laced, club-ready bangers bookended by a pair of atmospheric 10-minute art-pop masterpieces—will see both acts take the stage separately before playing the new material together, so expect to hear some Robyn hits (“Call Your Girlfriend,” “With Every Heartbeat”) thrown into the mix. Also on the docket at Echo Beach: lasers, extreme outfits and over-the-top stage designs.

Aug. 25. $66. Echo Beach, 909 Lake Shore Blvd. W., 416-260-5700, ticketmaster.com.

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Discover your song of the summer at Alvvays’s album-release show

(Image: Gavin Keen)

(Image: Gavin Keen)

Attention anyone still searching for this year’s song of the summer (no, we’re not settling for Iggy Azalea’s “Fancy”): local indie-pop five-piece Alvvays is bringing an album’s worth of contenders to the Horseshoe Tavern this week. Fans and critics have long been drooling in anticipation of the outfit’s self-titled debut, which was finally released in July. Its tunes deliver exactly the kind of beachy vibes our humid city needs right now. Crowned by the deadpan voice and sharp lyrics of frontwoman Molly Rankin (of The Rankin Family fame), the band’s nostalgic lo-fi sound calls to mind a jangling ’60s California-pop aesthetic while remaining entirely of-the-moment. Thursday’s show is sold out, but, as usual, there are ways (vvays?) to score last-minute tickets.

Aug. 14. $11.50. Horseshoe Tavern, 370 Queen St. W., 416-598-4226, horseshoetavern.com.

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Watch Jaws at Sail-In Cinema’s drive-in for boats

(Image: Norm Betts for the Toronto Port Authority)

(Image: Norm Betts for the Toronto Port Authority)

Let’s face it: drive-in movies have been on their way out since the 1950s. Luckily, movie lovers looking to fill the void can find a similarly gasoline-scented film experience at Sail-In Cinema. For the fourth year, the festival is inviting cinephiles with sea legs (and enough dough to afford a boat) to drop anchor next to Corus Quay, where the Toronto Port Authority will mount a four-storey-tall, two-sided screen on a massive barge. There’s also plenty of room for landlubber attendees at Sugar Beach (you know, the one that Rob Ford thinks the city built while he was in rehab); they’ll just need to reserve a free ticket on the event’s website if they hope to catch one of the sundown screenings. With Jaws on the three-night bill—alongside Jurassic Park and E.T.—it might be best to watch from the safety of the shore, regardless.

Aug. 14–16. FREE. Sugar Beach, 25 Dockside Dr., 416-863-2000, sailincinema.com.

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At SummerWorks, head straight for the dark, sealed freight container

Sugith Varughese, Lara Arabian, Adriano Sobretodo Jr. and Constantine Karzis in The Container. (Images: Lauren Posloski)

Sugith Varughese, Lara Arabian, Adriano Sobretodo Jr. and Constantine Karzis in The Container. (Images: Lauren Posloski)

The SummerWorks festival has a lot of theatre, local buzz bands and live art to offer, but it’s a tad intimidating for the cultural layperson. Anyone scanning the schedule for that one memorable experience should avoid the traditional venues and try The Container. The production’s technical simplicity—a small cast performs for an audience of about two dozen in a dark, sealed freight container—leaves plenty of room for narrative depth. The script, written by U.K. playwright Clare Bayley, explores the lives of five illegal immigrants as they share their stories, ration their resources and anticipate their clandestine arrival in England. During its 2007 premiere at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, the play won over audiences and even garnered the Amnesty International Freedom of Expression Award. Canada’s contentious immigration policies should make it no less relevant over here.

Aug. 7–17. $15. The Theatre Centre Backlot, 1115 Queen St. W., 416-538-0988, summerworks.ca.

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Five things to do in Toronto on the weekend of August 1–4

Drake performs at OVO Fest 2013. (Image: Sonia Recchia/Getty)

Drake performs at OVO Fest 2013. (Image: Sonia Recchia/Getty)


In this Civic Holiday edition of The Weekender, two giant music festivals, a nice walk and three other things to do in Toronto this weekend.

PARADE

Scotiabank Caribbean Carnival Grand Parade
Formerly known as Caribana, the Scotiabank Caribbean Carnival Grand Parade has an awkward name now, but it’s otherwise the same as it ever was: massive, loud, crowded and (weather permitting) deathly hot. Anyone willing to brave the discomforts associated with the event will be rewarded, though. The flamboyant costumes and elaborate floats are unlike anything else Toronto’s festival season has to offer, and the excitement of the largely Caribbean crowd is contagious. Aug. 2. FREE, or $20 for a bleacher seat. Exhibition Place and Lake Shore Blvd., torontocaribbeancarnival.com

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Five things to do in Toronto on the weekend of July 25–27

Bosk's coconut-tapioca pearls with passion fruit, lime and pineapple is one of dozens of dishes on offer at this weekend's Taste of Toronto. (Image: Renée Suen)

Bosk’s coconut-tapioca pearls with passion fruit, lime and pineapple is one of dozens of dishes on offer at this weekend’s Taste of Toronto. (Image: Renée Suen)

In this edition of The Weekender, a food festival, a frisbee championship and three other things to do in Toronto this weekend.

FOOD

Taste of Toronto
The international Taste Festival franchise pitches camp in Toronto this weekend for four days of high-class face-stuffing. Some of the best restaurants in the city are participating. Guests can look forward to crab-and-prawn rolls from THR & Co, Atlantic salmon from Splendido and spicy shrimp from Khao San Road, among plenty of other offerings. Until July 27. Admission $30–$100, food extra. Fort York, 250 Fort York Blvd. tasteoftoronto.com

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Five things to do in Toronto on the weekend of July 18–20

The Beaches Jazz Festival returns this weekend. (Image: Chris Brooker/Flickr)

The Beaches Jazz Festival returns this weekend. (Image: Chris Brooker/Flickr)

In this edition of The Weekender, a jazz festival, a block party with free (or, freeish) beer and three other things to do in Toronto this weekend.

MUSIC

Beaches Jazz Festival (FREE!)
The Beach has a reputation as an entertainment backwater, where residents sacrifice downtown delights (trendy restaurants, live music) in favour of nice houses and lake views. The Beaches Jazz Festival, which returns this year for its 26th edition, proves that the east end can, in fact, be pretty exciting when it wants to be. Ten days of music kick off on Friday with free concerts by acts like KC Roberts and Jay Douglas. Visitors will also have a huge assortment of food trucks to pick from. Remember to bring lawn chairs; seating is al fresco and first-come-first-served. Until July 27. Admission FREE. Various locations, beachesjazz.com

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Five things to do in Toronto on the weekend of July 11–13

Canadian Stage's Titus Andronicus. (Image: David Hou)

Canadian Stage’s Titus Andronicus. (Image: David Hou)

In this edition of The Weekender, a night market, outdoor theatre and three other things to do in Toronto this weekend.

FOOD

Night it Up (FREE!)
Going north of Steeles isn’t always easy (if you don’t live there, that is), but fans of Asian street food may want to make the effort this weekend when Night it Up returns to the Markham Civic Centre. As live musical performances happen in the background, vendors will be serving up treats in a traditional Hong Kong–style night-market setting. Newbies can sample relatively tame snacks like fried quail eggs, but fearless eaters may want to take the rare opportunity to try some stinky tofu—which, if possible, is even more foul-smelling than it sounds. The event’s proceeds will benefit Unity Charity. July 11–13. Admission FREE. Markham Civic Centre, 101 Town Centre Blvd., nightitup.com

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The World-Class Toronto Summer Guide: 14 things that are worth sticking around for

The World-Class Toronto Summer Guide: 14 things worth sticking around for

Click to view gallery (Image: Katrin Ray Shumakov/Getty)

What’s one of the best things to do in Toronto this summer? If you can, get out of Toronto. See the world. Find another city’s heat and construction and transit problems to keep you occupied—preferably a city that’s got a globally recognized art gallery or museum or horse race or something. Of course, if you find yourself stuck in the city all season, that’s okay: there’s a lot going on here that, if you squint your eyes and hold your nose (and sometimes, even if you don’t do either) could actually be comparable to all the world-class things you’d find elsewhere. You want art? We’ve got some! Ancient Chinese artifacts? You know it. Exotic fish? Sure, that too. We’re not suggesting you tear up your plane tickets or anything. But we do think that this summer, Toronto might just be able to compete with the big boys. Here, a brief guide to just some of what’s exceptional in this city—and how it stacks up against other big-ticket events around the world.

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Five things to do in Toronto on the weekend of July 4–6

A still from Drying up the Streets, playing this weekend at the TIFF Bell Lightbox. (Image: courtesy of the Film Reference Library)

A still from Drying up the Streets, playing this weekend at the TIFF Bell Lightbox. (Image: courtesy of the Film Reference Library)

In this edition of The Weekender, movies from Yonge Street’s seedy past, the Toronto Fringe Festival and three other things to do in Toronto this weekend.

MUSIC

Toronto Urban Roots Festival
Neutral Milk Hotel tops the bill at this year’s Toronto Urban Roots Festival, an annual celebration of all things folky and lo-fi. Anyone who works up an appetite wandering between the event’s three stages can snack on food from the likes of Caplanksy’s and Big Fat Burrito. July 4–6. $67.50–$329.50. Garrison Common, torontourbanrootsfest.com

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Five things to do in Toronto on the weekend of June 27–29

In this edition of The Weekender, the WorldPride parade, a festival of ribs and three other things to do in Toronto this weekend.

PARADE

WorldPride Parade (FREE!)
If you were thinking about buying any condoms this weekend, don’t. Instead, just find a spot on Yonge Street and wait for the WorldPride parade to pass you by. Shirtless men on floats will toss you a month’s supply. Freebies aren’t the only reason to check out the parade, though. The techno-thumping, squirt-gun-wielding spectacle is legitimately one of Toronto’s most fun and vibrant public celebrations, and this year’s global status should make it especially spectacular. You don’t have to be gay to have a good time there (but it helps). June 29. FREE. Yonge St., between Bloor and Dundas, worldpridetoronto.com

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Five things to do in Toronto on the weekend of June 20–22

The Flaming Lips play Yonge-Dundas Square during NXNE 2012. (Image: JasonParis)

The Flaming Lips play Yonge-Dundas Square during NXNE 2012. (Image: JasonParis)

In this edition of The Weekender, free concerts in Yonge-Dundas Square, a Gatsby-themed garden party and three other things to do in Toronto this weekend.

MUSIC

NXNE at Yonge-Dundas Square (FREE!)
Yonge-Dundas Square rarely delivers on its potential. Pretty much the only time you’ll ever see it packed to capacity is during NXNE’s annual free outdoor concert series, which gets underway this year on Thursday, June 19. Major international acts will be performing throughout the weekend, and no wristbands are required: just show up and stake out a prime spot before someone else does. Don’t miss Friday-night headliner St. Vincent. Until June 22. FREE. Yonge-Dundas Square, nxne.com

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Toronto Life celebrates the second edition of City of Parks

parks-top
Photography by Gabriel Li

On June 11, Toronto Life launched the second edition of City of Parks, a special insert in the June issue celebrating innovative green spaces in Toronto. The insert was made possible by the generous support of our civic-minded partners including TD Bank Group, Mizrahi Developments, The Daniels Corporation, Chestnut Park, Burt’s Bees, Fairmont Hotel & Resorts and Mill Street Brewery.

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Five things to do in Toronto on the weekend of June 13–15

Raquel Duffy and Damien Atkins in Soulpepper's Angels in America. (Image: Cylla von Tiedemann)

Raquel Duffy and Damien Atkins in Soulpepper’s Angels in America. (Image: Cylla von Tiedemann)

In this edition of The Weekender, a Japanese film festival, a naked bike ride and three other things to do in Toronto this weekend.

MUSIC

North By Northeast
The annual NXNE festival returns this weekend. The schedule of bands, films, comedy and art doesn’t really pick up until midway through the week, but early birds can catch some worthwhile stuff on Saturday and Sunday, including performances by Toronto’s Shawn William Clarke and Barrie’s Lyric Dubee. Another point of local interest will be Saturday’s screening of Steve Bodner’s At the Corner of Queen and Bathurst, a documentary about the demise of the Big Bop. June 13–22. Various prices. Various venues, nxne.com

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