Group of Seven

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Best of Fall 2012: ten of the season’s top gallery shows

Best of Fall 2012: Art

The art world’s most anticipated shows from upstarts and old masters

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The Dish

Food Events

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Weekly Eater: Toronto food events for July 30 to August 5

On Tuesday, the Culinary Adventure Company leads a canoe picnic to the islands (Image: Mike in TO)

Monday, July 30

  • Group of Seven Chefs—Fish and Beer Dinner: The seven chefs get together with Bellwoods Brewery for a five-course, seafood-heavy meal with beer pairings. Bellwoods Brewery, 124 Ossington Ave., 416-535-4586. Find out more »
  • Monday’s Dinner chef series at Chantecler: This week, chefs Jonathan Poon (Chantecler) and Jeff Claudio (Yours Truly) will be cooking an 18-course tasting menu full of summer ingredients. Chantecler, 1320 Queen St. W., 416-628-3586. Find out more »
  • 86’D With Ivy Knight: Judge the ultimate Blue Ribbon battle of the butter tart. Competitors from Bestellen, The Gabardine, The Flaky Tart and more. The Drake, 1150 Queen St. W., 416-531-5042. Find out more »
  • Piola’s Monday Night Mixer: Piola’s weekly aperitivo italiano, with cocktail and beer specials and complimentary snacks. 1165 Queen St. W., 416-477-4652. Find out more »

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A look at the pork-mad garden party that was the Group of Seven Hogtown Throwdown

Matty Matheson and Derek Dammann at the Hogtown Throwdown (Image: Renée Suen)

What do you get when you give eight chefs a Perth Pork pig, some beer and wine and an open-air venue to host an event? A throwdown, naturally. Tuesday night, The Group of 7 Chefs—Bertrand Alépée (The Tempered Chef), Chris Brown (The Stop), Mark Cutrara (Cowbell), Marc Dufour (Earth), Kevin McKenna (Globe and Earth), Matty Matheson (Parts and Labour) and Scott Vivian (Beast), sans regular Nick Liu (Gwailo)—were joined by “Deadly” Derek Dammann, until recently of Montreal’s DNA, at the Evergreen Brick Works’ Chimney Court to pack eight solid punches of swine-based plates. The chefs and guests, including Jeff Crump (Ancaster Mill), Tobey Nemeth (Edulis) and Ivy Knight (Swallow Foods), braved the sweltering heat to raise funds for the group’s trip to New York’s prestigious James Beard House in September (only a handful of Canadians have been extended the invitation to host a dinner there).

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The weirdest mayoralty ever—the inside story of Rob Ford’s city hall

Loyal councillors have defied him. His approval ratings have plummeted. And his powerful Conservative backers are nervous. How did it all go so wrong? The strange story of Rob Ford’s city hall

The Incredible Shrinking Mayor

On Newstalk 1010, the sly strains of the Hollies hit “He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother” offered the first clue. Then morning host Jerry Agar burst on the air with a surprise announcement: Rob Ford and his councillor sibling Doug were taking over the station’s Sunday afternoon talk-fest, The City. For the once-staid CFRB, landing the boisterous brother act that Margaret Atwood had puckishly dubbed the “twin Ford mayors” was clearly a coup, but that didn’t answer the more obvious question: why on earth would the Fords want to spend two more hours a week in front of an open microphone when they were hardly suffering from a lack of media exposure?

Rob Ford, after all, ranks as one of the most compelling and exhaustively chronicled figures in Canadian politics, adored and despised with equal gusto. His every pronouncement seems to turn into front-page fodder, his every grimace and belly scratch catalogued by rapt photographers. And who could forget the YouTube footage of comedian Mary Walsh arriving in his driveway, decked out with a velvet breastplate and a plastic sword?

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Pop-Up Madness: A look behind Toronto’s pop-ups, dinner series and roving restaurants

Rogue chefs are making some of the city’s most creative food in restaurants that are here today, gone tomorrow

The Way We Eat Now | Pop-Up Madness

On a late-February evening, 24 of us were huddled around two dimly lit communal tables at Ortolan, a tiny restaurant at Lansdowne and Bloor. We were there for Boxed, a four-hour, eight-course pop-up dinner—one of dozens of one-night-only culinary shows happening in Toronto right now.

Pop-ups, dinner series and roving restaurants have multiplied over the last couple of years, as the city’s up-and-coming chefs have broken out of the traditional culinary training model. Instead of working their way up through the kitchen ranks at old-guard establishments, they’re making their names by cooking audaciously experimental food in makeshift kitchens, and using social media to promote themselves.

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Food Events

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Weekly Eater: Toronto food events for March 5 to 11

The (culinary) Group of Seven (Image: Mary Elizabeth Armstrong)

Monday, March 5

  • 86’D: Ivy Knight hosts a Latin street food pop-up with Comida Del Pueblo. The Drake, 1150 Queen St. W., 416-531-5042. Find out more »
  • Group of 7 Chefs: Eight (the number of group members fluctuates) top Toronto chefs (including Beast’s Scott Vivian and Buca’s Rob Gentile) each create a special pasta dish for a seven-course dinner with wine pairings. Buca, 604 King St. W., 416-865-1600. Find out more »
  • All About Bacon: Taste a variety of delicious bacon preparations with chef Stuart Betteridge. George Brown Chef School, 300 Adelaide St. E., tastes@georgebrown.ca. Find out more »
  • Sorauren Farmers’ Market: 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the field house at Sorauren Park. 50 Wabash Ave. Find out more »

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The Argument: the Group of Seven has finally been set free (with help from art-obsessed London)

The Argument: The Magnificent SevenAs a native Torontonian who has spent the better part of the past decade living in London, England, I get two questions on visits home: 1) Isn’t it expensive there? And 2) What do they think of us?

The answer to the first is, it isn’t too bad if you factor in cheap booze and avoid taking taxis. As for what the British think of us, the answer is, they don’t.

Of our many collective insecurities, the enduring Canadian obsession with how other cultures view us is by far the most cringingly parochial and self-defeating. And, as they like to say in London, it really gets on my tits. We’re like the anxious party guests sweating silently in the corner. Our palpable desperation to be liked precludes the very thing we want most, which is serious attention and respect from places more populated and historied than our own.

You can understand, then, the extreme trepidation with which I approached Painting Canada: Tom Thomson and the Group of Seven, an exhibit at the Dulwich Picture Gallery in South London. Yes, I was glad the Group of Seven had finally commanded a large-scale show in a major European gallery—and it is, without question, the group’s most important international exhibition to date. At the same time, I was determined not to be reduced to a state of slathering patriotic gratitude by the mere fact of its existence.

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The Informer

Real Estate

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Condomonium: $1 million for a two-level penthouse in the Fashion District’s District Lofts

ADDRESS: 388 Richmond St. West, Penthouse 4

NEIGHBOURHOOD: Waterfront Communities–The Island

AGENT: Steven Fudge, Bosley Real Estate

PRICE: $1,095,000

THE PLACE: A two-level penthouse in the Fashion District’s District Lofts community. Built by Context Developments and designed by ArchitectsAlliance, the 14-storey U-shaped twin towers won a bunch of awards, including the 2003 City of Toronto Architecture and Urban Design Award of Excellence and an Innovative Building Award from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.

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How Kent Monkman—a half-Cree illustrator from Winnipeg—sexed up the exploitation of First Nations people and conquered Toronto’s art world

Kent Monkman. (Image: Jody Rogac)

(Image: Jody Rogac)

Pink high heels. Heartthrob pink. These are dream shoes, shoes to break your heart. Shoes that are up to no good, shoes to dance their way into millennial visions or scuttle their way into nightmares. Tricky shoes. Trickster’s shoes. Kent Monkman’s shoes. He is painting them into the picture he’s working on as I watch, his fine-tip brush glowing with pink acrylic pigment. The figure in the picture who’s wearing those still-wet, kick-ass platforms is Miss Chief Eagle Testickle, a virtually naked bubble-butt hussy in a cascading feather headdress. I am watching Kent Monkman sitting in front of a canvas painting a picture in which Miss Chief Eagle Testickle, who looks remarkably like Kent Monkman, is also standing before an easel, putting the finishing touches on a canvas. Tricky.

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Culture

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Toronto school board’s art collection to be restored by AGO

Tom Thomson's Autumn Scene is part of the TDSB's collection

It turns out the Toronto District School Board has a pretty unbelievable collection of Canadian art worth millions. Unfortunately, the pieces have been sitting in a state of neglect in the dingy vault of a local high school because the TDSB has neither the funds nor the know-how to fix them up. Now, in an unprecedented partnership, the AGO and the TDSB are teaming up to get the collection restored and on display.

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