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Party Pics: Nicole Scherzinger shakes her booty and David Blaine mystifies at Bliss Ball 2013

Bliss Ball 2013

Simon Cowell protégés were everywhere at the Dilawri Foundation’s second annual Bliss Ball in support of SickKids Hospital. Katharine McPheeCarly Rose Sonenclar and X Factor judge Nicole Scherzinger performed; X Factor host Mario Lopez emceed; and the event had the slick production values of one of Cowell’s high stakes talent shows. Guests pulling up to the Sunnybrook Estates were greeted by a gospel choir and, as they sat down to eat Mark McEwan’s food, David Blaine circulated to perform table-side tricks. After dinner, Lopez (who seemingly hasn’t aged since his days as A.C. Slater) transitioned to the live auction, which started off slow but became more big-hearted—and open walleted—after a few more glasses of wine. The biggest surprise: guest speaker Chris Noth spontaneously offered up a weekend stay at his own pad in New York. Noth threw in a night on the town with him, Blaine, Lopez and and his Good Wife cast members, intoning in a baritone worthy of Mr. Big, “You don’t have to bring your husbands, ladies.”

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Real Estate

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Potential buyers have to pay $50 just to view a high-end home in The Beach 

So many people are now hitting swanky open houses for fun that agents and owners are looking for ways to separate penniless oglers from serious, deep-pocketed buyers. Case in point: anyone wanting to view Edgemont, a sprawling beachfront property currently listed for $5 million, will have to make a $50 donation to the SickKids Foundation before being allowed inside the seven-bedroom heritage home. The agent says potential buyers, tired of keeping their own listed homes showroom ready, are sympathetic to the owner’s efforts to minimise disruption and happily pony up the cash. As for the gawkers, they’ll have to make do with the exterior photos from the online listing—or stroll along the beach with binoculars. [Toronto Star]

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50 Most Influential 2012: the inaugural class of inductees into the Toronto power players hall of fame

Hall of Fame

For some, being powerful is a chronic condition. These are the long-lived titans who continue to influence the city with their wealth—and wealth of opinions. Here, this first class of inductees into the Toronto power players hall of fame.

Alan Broadbent

Alan Broadbent
The activist businessman is the CEO of Avana Capital and founder of the Maytree Foundation, through which he regularly dispenses advice to politicos.


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50 Most Influential 2012: a ranking of Toronto’s top tycoons, backroom operators and supersize egos

50 Most Influential

The people driving the agenda for the city are more likely to come from outside local government than inside. This was the year our premier, rendered virtually impotent by a minority legislature, up and quit without warning. And our mayor, who listens to no one and refuses to build consensus on council, has created a city hall power vacuum.

What follows is Toronto Life’s list of the real influence peddlers—the people who, either publicly or behind the scenes, have had the greatest impact on the city. We looked for people whose power was broad enough to be felt across different sectors, or else so palpable in their immediate field that it somehow changed things for the rest of us. We looked for people whose ability to alter public opinion, raise money, rally troops or simply get stuff done was both formidable and undeniable. The result is a carefully calculated and highly opinionated look at power in the city in 2012.

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Eight portraits of the affluent, educated professionals flocking to Toronto from around the world

Becoming Torontonian

As the global economy fizzles, our city is being inundated with a new cohort of foreign professionals. They’re coming for the stable economy, the chart-topping livability and the promise of a steady job. Meet the new refugees.

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The Dish

Food Events

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Weekly Eater: Toronto food events for October 8 to 14

Magnus Nilsson, whose Fäviken has been called “the most daring restaurant in the world,” is at the Cookbook Store on Thursday (Image: Bruno Cordioli)

Monday October 8

  • Monday Night Dinners at Local Kitchen and Wine Bar: Every Monday night, Local Kitchen serves up a $40 prix fixe menu of Italian fare with half-price wine bottles and no corkage fee. 1710 Queen St. W., 416-534-6700.  Find out more »
  • Brewer’s Backyard—Torontoberfest: Brewer’s Backyard celebrates Oktoberfest for their final event of the year. Wvrst will be serving up their tasting sausages alongside beer from Beau’s. Evergreen Brick Works, 550 Bayview Ave. 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 »
  • Burger Mondays: Enjoy $5 burgers and $5 pints on Mondays, 5 to 8 p.m. at the Gladstone Melody Bar. Gladstone Hotel, 1214 Queen St. W., 416-531-4635. Find out more »

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Food Events

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Weekly Eater: Toronto food events for August 27 to September 2

Outstanding in the Field comes to Whitty Farms on Wednesday (Image: Jeremy Fenske)

Monday August 27

  • 86’D With Ivy Knight: A special 86’D at the Drake’s Sky Yard, celebrating the pairing of chardonnay with corn. Sample Rosehall Run’s chardonnay alongside grilled corn dipped in the Drake’s selection of fine butters. 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 »
  • Summer Pasta Making: Join chefs Scott Savoie and Shahir Massoud and learn how to make, sauce, and store the best fresh pasta, including various noodles (tagliatelle, fettuccine), stuffed pasta shapes (agnolotti, ravioli, tortellini) and the softest potato gnocchi you’ll ever try. 201 Weston Rd., suite #101, 416-565-1730. Find out more»
  • Cooking for Cooks: Jamie Kennedy pays tribute to those who do service with a three-course dinner for industry folk (although non-industry types can come too). Gilead Cafe, 4 Gilead Pl., 647-288-0680Find out more »

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Food Events

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Weekly Eater: Toronto food events for August 20 to 26

Foodies on Foot leads a culinary tour of Roncesvalles on Saturday (Image: Danielle Scott from the Torontolife.com Flickr pool)

Monday, August 20

  • Dinner at the Bellevue: Chef Robbie Hojilla, formerly of Woodlot and Ursa, cooks a five-course, modern Filipino–inspired feast. $35. The Bellevue, 61A Bellevue Ave., 647-340-8224. Find out more »
  • 86’D With Ivy Knight: A preview of Savour Stratford, with complimentary samples from Château des Charmes, Mill St. Brewery, Mercer Hall, Rene’s Bistro and Monforte Dairy. A flight of cocktails showcasing Stratford mixologists will also be available. 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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The Dish

Food Events

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Weekly Eater: Toronto food events for June 25 to July 1

On Wednesday, Le Dolci hosts a Mommy and Me cupcake class (Image: Karolyne Ellacott)

Monday, June 25

  • 86’D With Ivy Knight: Cool down and enjoy a sundae bar with Boreal gelato. The Drake, 1150 Queen St. W., 416-531-5042. Find out more »
  • Jamie Kennedy’s Local Food Movement Dinner: Enjoy an early summer menu accompanied and inspired by Niagara’s Pondview Estate Winery. This gastronomic series features hors d’oeuvres and a four-course meal of seasonal goodness. Gilead, 4 Gilead Pl., 647-288-0680. Find out more »
  • Candy-Making Seminar: Stephanie Duong of Keo Confiserie (who once worked at a three-star Michelin restaurant in France) instructs you in the delicate art of candy-making. Hosted by The Cookbook Store. Rosemill Kitchen Studio, 1 Yorkville Ave., 416-920-2665. 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 »
  • Summer Pasta Making: Join chefs Scott Savoie and Shahir Massoud (Lupa, Teatro) for an all-encompassing pasta-making lesson that starts with dough and ends with sauce. Culinary Adventures Company, 201 Weston Rd., suite 101, 416-565-1730. Find out more »
  • The Slice is Right: Chef Paula Bashford lets her class in on the secrets to making delicious summer pies. Those secrets will include different dough recipes and techniques and the mysteries of flavour pairings. Dish Cooking Studio, 390 Dupont St., 416-920-5559. Find out more »

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Reasons to Love Toronto: No. 18, because we’re stem cell pioneers

Reasons to Love Toronto: No. 18, Because we’re stem cell pioneers

Toronto is home to some of the top stem cell research institutes in the world, including the McEwen Centre, the Centre for Commercialization of Regenerative Medicine, and SickKids’ Transplant and Regenerative Medicine Centre. It all started one Sunday in 1961 in a research lab at Toronto’s Princess Margaret Hospital, when two cancer researchers made a discovery that would radically alter the science of pathology. Ernest McCulloch, a Toronto-born cellular biologist in oversized spectacles and a bow tie, and James Till, a tall, lean-faced biophysicist from Alberta, had transplanted irradiated bone marrow into a lab mouse to determine whether it affected cell growth. It didn’t. But they did find that the transplanted cells had the uncanny ability to multiply and, most astonishingly, duplicate the mouse’s blood cells. At first, they were labelled with the distinctly sci-fi moniker “colony-forming units.” They were later renamed stem cells.

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The Dish

Food Events

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Weekly Eater: Toronto food events for June 4 to 10

Luminato’s 1000 Tastes of Toronto takes place next Saturday and Sunday

Monday, June 4

  • 86’D: Join Ivy Knight and Toronto’s top foodies for the season finale of Top Chef Canada. Rock Lobster Food Co. will be dishing out their east coast lobster rolls. The Drake, 1150 Queen St. W., 416-531-5042. Find out more »
  • Green Goddess Workshop: Marni Wasserman demonstrates how to incorporate nutrient-rich greens into simple recipes.  Marni’s Kitchen, 26 Lauderdale Dr., 647-477-8131. 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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Memoir: How a 59-year-old neuroscientist and university professor fell prey to opiates—again

Memoir: Opium DreamsMy family and I moved to the Netherlands from Toronto in the summer of 2010. I’d been a psychology professor at the University of Toronto for over 20 years, my wife, Isabel, had a research job at SickKids, and we were both offered faculty positions in Nijmegen, a nice little city near the country’s eastern border. We were feeling a bit stagnant, our twins were still young, and it seemed like a good time for an adventure. But hauling suitcases and children from Canada to Europe took its toll on my 59-year-old body.

According to the MRI, I was developing what’s loosely called sciatica. The nerves in my lower spine were getting squished, causing pain in the back of my legs. In September, the pain was bothersome; by early October, it spurted intermittently like a sulphurous geyser; and by late October it was excruciating—an ugly, dirty pain that lived like a demon in my body. I sometimes let out a screech when rolling over in bed at night, which freaked the hell out of Isabel and embarrassed me to no end. “Go back to sleep, it’s not that bad,” I’d say. But really it was.

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The Loaded List: we catalogue the astronomical salaries of Toronto’s ruling class

The Loaded List
It’s not particularly polite to ask rich people what they earn. But tact is overrated, and we wanted to know, so we asked anyway. When they told us to get lost, we got sneaky. We dug up disclosure documents, annual reports and the tax filings of charitable organizations. When those trails went dry, we surveyed industry insiders who know what other people make—headhunters and consultants and analysts and colleagues—and asked for an educated guess. After hundreds of calls and emails and deep-throat meetings in dark alleys, we phoned the high earners back and told them what we found. Again, with feeling, they told us to piss off.

What follows is our shamelessly gawking, as-precise-as-possible examination of the highest-paid people in the city’s top industries. When the information was available, we included bonuses and perks and, in some cases, exercised stock options. Our findings verified that a high earner in finance is almost always on a different plane (a private jet, usually) than a high earner in, for example, the lowly arts. One major discovery: Heather Reisman took a pay cut. One truth reconfirmed: no matter how rich you are, there’s always someone who makes a helluva lot more.

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VIEW BY INDUSTRY » GOLD ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT FUND MANAGERS SPORTS SHOP OWNERS MEDIA LANDLORDS BAY STREET PUBLIC SERVANTS

VIEW BY SALARY » SEE 69 OF THE RICHEST PEOPLE IN THE CITY’S TOP INDUSTRIES, SORTED BY SALARY FROM HIGHEST TO LOWEST

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50 Reasons to Love Toronto: No. 33, SickKids is closer to curing autism

No. 33, We’re closer to curing autism

(Image: Derek Shapton)

Autism has been blamed on satanic possession, vaccines and frosty moms, but scientists have known since the 1980s that genetics have something to do with it. What they didn’t know was exactly which genes are involved. Stephen Scherer, the director of the Centre for Applied Genomics at SickKids and co-leader of a multi-million-dollar international study of autism genes, has brought us amazingly close to decoding the complicated disorder.

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Closings

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Sick Kids dumps Burger King from food court, but Pizza Pizza and Subway remain

A minor victory for anti–junk food forces came last week as the creepy despot of the beef kingdom, Burger King, served its last meal from the Hospital for Sick Children’s food court. Some doctors at Sick Kids had been agitating to get Burger King shut down through a Facebook group suffering from severe friend anemia (seriously, 258 members?), but the process has apparently been underway for some time: Sick Kids had decided to auction off BK’s slot, and has managed the process so that something a bit healthier would win the competition.

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