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Five things to do in Toronto on the weekend of April 20–21

Buddy Guy plays Massey Hall on Saturday (Image: Paul Natkin)

In this edition of the Weekender, Stomp, the Toronto Bridal Show and three more things to do in Toronto. 

MUSIC
Stomp
These eight percussionists, who create rhythms out of mundane objects—brooms, tires, trash cans and lids, matchboxes, hubcaps, Zippos—still sound explosively innovative after 22 years. Rush seats for their five-day Toronto run are being released first-come, first-serve at the box office on the day of each show. $25-99. April 16-21. Royal Alexandra Theatre, 260 King St. W. mirvish.com/shows/stomp

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The Dish

Drinks

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Ten weird and wonderful brews at Cask Days, Bar Volo’s annual beer-geek jamboree

(Images: Jennifer Tiffin)

It’s a sign of Toronto’s surging interest in craft beer that the eighth annual Cask Days, which took place this weekend at the Evergreen Brick Works, doubled in size from last year’s already lively festivities at Hart House. Organized by the folks at Bar Volo, the event is North America’s largest beer festival devoted to cask-conditioned ales—this year’s featured over 150 beers from 75 craft breweries—and one of Canada’s premiere beer events. It’s also a big opportunity for brewers to indulge their creative sides for an appreciative audience: the majority of the beers on offer were brewed specifically for the event, many of them collaborations between different breweries. With over 2,700 craft beer lovers crowded across three sessions, there were some long lineups and crowded casks, but let’s face it: this was a room of mostly 30- and 40-something dudes geeking out and genially comparing notes.

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Drinks

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Once again, Bar Volo cleans up at the annual Golden Tap craft beer awards

Ontario’s best beer: Muskoka’s Mad Tom IPA (Image: Twitter)

Sometimes it feels like Toronto is drowning in the best possible way: tournament-style beer-offs, new bars (both huge and humble), Toronto Beer Week—it’s a golden age for Toronto craft beer lovers. Keeping track of all this activity is The Bar Towel, a long-running blog and discussion forum, which capped off this year’s Beer Week with the 10th annual Golden Tap Awards at Beerbistro. Great Lakes Brewery and Muskoka Brewery each snagged a pair of awards, while Bar Volo took away three of its own, holding on to its title as Toronto’s go-to taphouse for fans of the new and peculiar (it won the same three categories last year). Oh, and the best beer in Ontario? Muskoka’s Mad Tom IPA.

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The Dish

Food Events

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The Stop’s first Beer Garden of 2012 brought out over 200 for Muskoka beer and Indonesian tacos

Over 200 people gathered for the first Stop Beer Garden of the year (Image: Natalie Swiercz)

Despite threatening clouds, over 200 hundred people gathered at Wychwood Barns No. 4 this past Sunday afternoon for this year’s first Beer Garden event hosted by The Stop, the food bank and community hub. Last year’s series raked in over $30,000 for The Stop’s anti-hunger programs, and this year they’re hoping to raise even more. And they’ll probably meet with some success: after all, how many other opportunities are there to turn beer-drinking into feeling philanthropic?

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The Dish

Drinks

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Best Bars: A brief history of hooch in Toronto, from 1837 to the present day

Best Bars: A Brief History of Hooch in Toronto

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The Informer

Events

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The Weekender: Onegin, Canada Blooms and six other events on our to-do list

The Fantasticks, Canada Blooms and Miss Lasko Gross at Graphic Details

1. CANADA BLOOMS
Walking through the grounds of this huge flower-focused festival is like bypassing the last weekend of winter and all of spring and jumping right into summer. We’ll be hanging out in the six acres of fully blooming gardens, pretending it’s July. With lectures, demonstrations and even gardens curated or inspired by Juno-winning artists like Ben Heppner and Jully Black. To March 20. $18. Direct Energy Centre, Exhibition Place, 100 Princes Blvd., 416-263-3322, canadablooms.com.

2. MONTPARNASSE
A hit at 2009’s SummerWorks festival, this remount is racy and thought provoking at the same time. Set in 1920s Paris, it follows two Canadian expats living in the titular ’hood and working as nude models: one’s the archetypal libertine; the other decidedly more self-conscious. But that’s where any dependence on formula ends. Writers Maev Beatty and Erin Shields, who also play the two women, chip away at the audience’s assumptions about each character at every turn. March 17 to April 2. $15–$35. Theatre Passe Muraille, 16 Ryerson Ave., 416-504-7529, artsboxoffice.ca.

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Restaurants

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Get outside: Toronto’s 10 best patios

The patio season started early this year, which simply means there’s more time to hit the city’s best al fresco dining and drinking destinations. Here, 10 of our favourites »

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