Thornhill

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Real Estate

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The Sell: two Blue Jays–mad Thornhillers ditch the burbs for an apartment in the city

The Sell: two Blue Jays–mad Thornhillers ditch the burbs for an apartment in the city

The Sell: two Blue Jays–mad Thornhillers ditch the burbs for an apartment in the cityThe sellers: Michael Belz, a 49-year-old partner at Deloitte, and his wife, ­Melanie, a 45-year-old nutritionist.

The property: A four-bedroom, 3,500-square-foot house on a ­Thornhill cul-de-sac.

The story: Michael and Melanie, both lifelong surburbanites, often trekked downtown to shop, eat and see the Jays (they attend at least 35 games a season). Last summer, with their elder son at Laurier and their younger one about to join him, they decided to give city living a try. Rather than leap straight into a condo purchase, they found a two-bedroom rental in the Heathview, a new apartment complex near St. Clair and ­Spadina. The only thing left to do was sell their Thornhill house, bought in 2007 for $810,000.

The prep: After a mammoth purge, Michael and Melanie tackled a five-page list of cosmetic fixes assigned by their realtor. But they refused to ­dismantle their Blue Jays shrine—a royal-blue room full of baseball ­memorabilia—which they roped off with velvet cordons for viewings.

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The Goods

Weddings

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Real Weddings 2013: a music-themed wedding on Toronto Island and Queen West

Real Weddings 2013 | Alysse & Daniel

Date: September 23, 2012 | Location: Algonquin Island Association | Guests: 200


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The Informer

Features

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Reason to Love Toronto: because the Next LeBron James is from Thornhill

Reason to Love Toronto: because the Next LeBron James is from Thornhill

(Image: Ned Dishman/Getty Images)

When 17-year-old Andrew Wiggins leapt into the air and reared back a tomahawk dunk this past summer at the prestigious LeBron James Skills Academy, even James himself jumped out of his seat in awe. Wiggins, the son of an ex–NBA player father and an Olympic track medalist mother, started his ascent at Vaughan Secondary School, where he led the Voyageurs to a provincial championship in 2011. Today, he’s considered the best high school player in the world and is expected to be a top NBA draft pick as early as 2014. At six-foot-seven, Wiggins blocks and rebounds, shoots three-pointers with ease and explodes to the hoop with a nearly four-foot vertical leap—the kind of all-around skills that draw comparisons to LeBron James. Wiggins is spending his last year of high school at a top prep academy in West Virginia, and big colleges are salivating at the chance to recruit him. Canada has long been an afterthought when it comes to high-level basketball, but that’s about to change, thanks to an abundance of talented Toronto-based ballers. Wiggins is by far the best.

The Dish

Drinks

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Gluten haters rejoice: there’s a new Toronto craft beer for you

Attention Toronto gluten-haters and avoiders: beer from Heady Brew’s new dedicated gluten-free brewing facility in North York is now flowing at two GTA bars. The brand is currently supplying its first creation, Honey Citrus, to Kensington Cornerstone and to the Newmarket location of Gabby’s. Heady’s, the brainchild of gluten-free baker Robert Cundari, swaps out the traditional offending ingredients with Celiac-friendly substitutions (for example, the Honey Citrus is made with sorghum and rice instead of barley, then flavoured with honey and lime). Expect an expanded list of bars and restaurants, and a larger variety of flavours as production ramps up (although a bottle shop is probably not in the offing in the near future). The gluten-averse can also try Thornhill’s Snowman Brewing Co. for other varieties of gluten-free libations (that is, if you can find somewhere that sells it). [h/t Canadian Beer News]

The Dish

Restaurants

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Weekly Lunch Pick: spicy chicken manakeesh across from the Eaton Centre

Paramount’s manakeesh, a sort of Lebanese pizza

Mohamad Fakih’s family has run Paramount for three generations, starting in 1918. With two locations in Mississauga and another in Thornhill, the Middle Eastern restaurant finally expanded into Toronto proper with a spot across from the Eaton Centre late last year. While the downstairs can feel like a boisterous cafeteria, the upstairs is almost serene, with the exposed bricks and beams under the towering ceiling of the heritage building (for years it housed Superior Restaurant).

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The Informer

Real Estate

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Condomonium: $2 million for a roomy apartment in Thornhill’s amenity-rich Avignon

ADDRESS: 7071 Bayview Avenue, unit 508

NEIGHBOURHOOD: Thornhill

AGENT: Jerry Hammond, RE/MAX Ultimate Realty Inc.

PRICE: $1,990,000

THE PLACE: A two-bedroom-plus-den condo in Thornhill’s Avignon on Bayview. The low-rise, boutique-style development is home to 81 suites, and amenities include an indoor pool, sauna and boardroom (in case you really, really want to take your work home with you—or annoy your downtown colleagues by making them drive to Thornhill). The interior is designed by Tas DesignBuild, the firm behind King West developments M5V and Zed Condominiums.

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The Informer

Real Estate

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House of the Week: $2.8 million for a Thornhill mansion backing onto Oakbank Pond

ADDRESS: 12 Erica Road

NEIGHBOURHOOD: Thornhill

AGENT: Pasqua Amati and Steve Tabrizi, RE/MAX Hallmark Realty Ltd., Brokerage

PRICE: $2,800,000

THE PLACE: Built by Dominic Meffe, founder of the southern Ontario hotel chain Monte Carlo Inn, this large family home is set in the exclusive Uplands Community of Thornhill.

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Features

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50 Reasons to Love Toronto: No. 50, Milos Raonic’s slam is grand

No.50 Milos Raonic’s slam is grand

(Image: Naomi Harris)

When you live in a city of perpetual sports losers, the appearance of a winner is disconcerting. It’s like a warm spell in January: you’re happy about it, but you know it’s not gonna last. So when the 20-year-old tennis player Milos Raonic arrived on the scene at the Australian Open in January, we were skeptical; we cheered him on, but tentatively.

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The Informer

Sports

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Is Toronto’s great new tennis hope just too tired?

(Image: Mark Howard)

Milos Raonic has been a busy young man since he caught the attention of Canadian tennis fans at the Rogers Cup in Toronto last August.  In a little less than a year, the 20-year old appeared in 24 tournaments and a whopping 80 matches, rapidly rising from an unproven commodity to one of the top 30 players in the world. But that momentum came to a grinding halt this week at the French Open. Playing in his first-ever Grand Slam match as a seeded player, Raonic was unceremoniously bounced from the tournament in the first round. While the red clay at Roland Garros is bearing the brunt of the blame for his demise, we can’t help but wonder if the exhaustion of playing nearly a full year’s worth of matches with little to no rest finally caught up to him.

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The Informer

Sports

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After an upstart showing at the Aussie Open, Milos Raonic upsets at the French

Milos Raonic fell in the first round of his first-ever seeded Slam (Image: Mark Howard)

We had high hopes for young Milos at this year’s French Open. The pride of Thornhill had set a blistering pace so far in 2011, shooting up from relative obscurity to one of the world’s hottest young tennis stars in just a few months. But the red clay at Roland Garros proved too tough a challenge for the up-and-coming Canadian sensation—on Monday, Raonic fell in four sets to Germany’s Michael Berrer in first-round action. Perhaps the pressure finally proved too much for the 20-year-old, who, by all accounts, wasn’t his usual poised and confident self.

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Sports

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The next stop on Milos Raonic’s road to world tennis domination: Roland Garros

In just four short months, Canadian tennis sensation Milos Raonic has vaulted 125 spots in the ATP world rankings, leaping from a lowly 157 to one of the top 25 players on the planet. Currently, he sits in the 28th spot, poised to crack the top 20 with a solid showing at the French Open. But with newfound attention comes increased expectations, and Roland Garros will likely be the Thornhill native’s toughest challenge to date. The 21-year-old has struggled on clay recently—he was bounced in the first round in a pair of warm-up tourneys—and the surface is particularly punishing for bigger players (he stands tall at six feet, five inches). Of course, true to form, Raonic isn’t letting any of that phase him.

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The Informer

Sports

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Milos Raonic is tearing up the competition at the Barcelona Open

Thornhill native Milos Raonic is seeded at an ATP tour event for the first time in his career. Heading into competition at the Barcelona Open this week, Raonic was ranked 28th in the world after a blistering 20 wins (and only six losses). He earned the 15th seed at the tournament, and lived up to his billing yesterday with a gritty three-set victory over Germany’s Simon Greul, 6-3, 4-6, 7-6 (7-5). In first-round action, Raonic knocked off Radek Stepanek of the Czech Republic, a top-75 player himself, in straight sets.

Next up for the 20-year old is a tough contest against 56th-ranked Croatian Ivan Dodig. Dodig stunned third-seeded Robin Soderling of Sweden yesterday, setting the first match between Raonic and Dodig on the pro tour.

• Raonic into round of 16 in Barcelona [Toronto Sun]
• Milos Raonic advances to third round of Barcelona Open [Globe and Mail]

The Dish

Food Porn

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Just in time for Easter, a photographic tour of Toronto’s exceptional—and unusual—egg creations

Soignée Catering’s deconstructed BLT features a perfect 64-degree egg

Nutrient-dense, endlessly versatile, yet Platonically simple, eggs are truly one of nature’s perfect foods. While many chefs consign the simple orbs to breakfast servitude, others in Toronto bring them front and centre, whether in traditional dishes or more innovative concoctions. Here, 10 of the city’s most beautiful and delicious egg dishes.

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The Informer

Sports

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Milos Raonic climbs to 34 in the ATP world rankings—but it only gets harder from here

Thornhill native and Canada’s number-one son (when it comes to tennis) Milos Raonic jumped another three spots in the ATP world rankings this week, moving from number 37 up to number 34 with a solid showing at the BNP Paribas Masters in Indian Wells, California. The 20-year-old tennis sensation has been a giant killer so far this year, but after battling through back spasms to beat American Mardy Fish, one of the top 20 players in the world, Raonic fell to fellow wild card Ryan Harrison of the U.S. in third-round action.

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The Informer

Sports

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Even when he’s injured, Canada’s Milos Raonic is the man

Milos Raonic, the 20-year-old tennis sensation from Thornhill, battled through back spasms to defeat the world’s number 13, Mardy Fish. The victory took place in straight sets in second-round play at the BNP Paribas Masters yesterday, two days after a gutsy first-round performance, where he narrowly edged Marsel Ilhan. In a post-match interview after that first victory, which marked the first of his career at a Masters 1000 event, Raonic said some patriotic things that, we admit, left us a bit weepy.

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