Toronto Weekender: August 18th through 21st, 2011

It’s a busy weekend ahead here in Toronto, so rather than bore you with pleasantries we’re going to dive right into the action.

Tonight (yes, we’re counting today as the beginning of your packed weekend schedule…you’re welcome) hit up exhibitIKEA which opens to the public today. This is an interesting (and free) installation of work created by four of Canada’s top artists (David Dixon, George Whiteside, Bruno Billio, and Thrush Holmes) using IKEA’s products in innovate ways. Afterwards, head over to the foot of Bathurst Street to take in a film under the night sky at Open Roof Festival, where you’ll be able to catch an outdoor screening of Beginners and a live performance by Lynn Miles. After the flick, head up to WVRST at King and Portland for a bottle of Dieu du Ciel’s Aphrodite and a Bison sausage.

When you punch the clock tomorrow afternoon and are ready to hit the town to jump-start your weekend, grab a cocktail at the recently-opened Habits Gastropub at College and Dovercourt and be sure to dig into some Steak and Frites. Then, take your crew and head south to the Hoxton for the launch of their Friday nights, hosted by none other than Notable’s own Julian Brass. (Be sure to stop by our media wall and grab a pic with your crew.)

Saturday is a busy one, so be sure to get some Zs and wake up refreshed. Your first stop is the second Food Truck Eats in the Distillery District. Get there around 11am when it opens up, or you’ll have to endure 30-minute long lineups for a gourmet bite. Afterwards, head over to the St. Lawrence Market and stock up on some fresh and local produce for the week ahead. If you get there just after 2pm, most of the merchants in the North Building drop their prices for quick sale. After you’ve dropped your goods and produce back at home, take a breather before heading out to The Stockyards on St. Clair West for some good, ol’ fashioned bbq awesomeness. Be sure to get there around 5:30pm; you’ll need some time to digest your meal worthy of a king before you hit up the Mod Club for renowned DJ Gilles Peterson and drinks and dancing. (Just keep the shots at a minimum, sloppiness is never notable.) If you want something a little more low-key, take a tour of Queen East and wind up at The Comrade for some drinks and a relaxed vibe.

Sunday is the day for some cultural exploration, so put on your most comfortable pair of loafers or tennis shoes and head over to Masala! Mehndi! Masti! at the Harbourfront Centre to explore the flavours and sounds of India. Don’t get too caught up though, your next jaunt is over to Ossington for the last day of the Havana Cultura Festival. Take in the sights and sounds of Cuba and if you’re lucky, you might wind up with a cigar in hand. Finally, end your weekend with dinner at The Combine Eatery on the Danforth, and order up a plate of California-inspired Fish Tacos (we suggest going fried, it really isn’t greasy at all) and a bourbon margherita.