December 2013 Contents

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Toronto Life helps Torontonians enjoy their city—through a unique blend of authoritative service writing and award-winning journalism. It's your monthly guide to the best of Toronto.


Letters York University students, faculty and president respond


Editor's Letter The Ford and Blair show By Sarah Fulford


The Moment Believe it or not, Ripley’s Aquarium finally opens for business

Q&A Hamid Ghassemi-Shall, the Toronto shoe salesman who spent five years on death row in Iran

Ego Meter What’s making and shaking the city’s self-image

Primer Yorkdale vs. Sherway Gardens: a mall-on-mall smackdown

Camera The month’s best parties

Urban Diplomat Advice on how to be a civilized Torontonian

The Audit A penny-by-penny reckoning of Toronto’s spending habits


The 50 Most Influential Our annual ranking of the people whose smarts, connections and clout are changing the city as we know it. Plus: odds on the mayoral candidates, the parties of the year, the next generation of power brokers and the GTA’s titans of tech

Team Subban It takes a special kind of household to produce an NHL star. Can one Toronto family really create three? The unlikely rise of P. K., Malcolm and Jordan Subban By Matthew Hague

The Dark Knight David Cronenberg’s 40-year obsession with mutants, fetishists and freaks says as much about us as it does about him By Katrina Onstad


Holiday Gift Guide A few of the year’s most covetable things, naughty and nice

The List Ten things Toronto-loving Raptor Amir Johnson can’t live without

Great Spaces An Annex rooming house gets an epic makeover

Real Estate A couple views 300 houses in 13 months to find The One


Must-try Picture-perfect catered holiday feasts, for anti-DIYers

Flavour of the Month The ultimate edible hostess gift

Prep School Glas Wine Bar’s Danny Pantano gives brussels sprouts some love

Wine Splurge-worthy bottles for party season

The Critic Where Bay Streeters go to burn through their bonuses


Spotlight Cara Gee’s fiercely funny big-screen debut in Empire of Dirt

The Argument How the new erotica became the dinner-table topic du jour

See, Hear, Read The month in red-hot releases

Quote-Unquote Five things you didn’t know about Juno-winning rapper Shad


Restaurants, Theatre, Dance, Music, Art, Family, Etc. Our recommendations for making the most of the month


Memoir The perils of coming out via email By Sabrina Jalees