Toronto Weekender: February 27 to March 2, 2014

So it’s going to be cold again this weekend – so what? We say bring it on polar vortex. Remember our Olympic slogan for the past two weeks: #WeAreWinter. Damn right. So forget sitting in and complaining, we’ve stuffed this edition of The Weekender with over 20 different events to keep your blood flowing and your social life booming. From charities to festivals, concerts to expos, this is everything you want to be doing in Toronto over the next four days. You’ll note not one of them involves your couch and a blanket.

Those Girls, an independent group of Toronto-based volunteers, are hosting their second annual Get Your Heart On – a cocktail-style fund-and-awareness raiser in support of the Heart and Stroke Foundation. Drink to support.

United Way GenNext is hosting Rouge, a fundraiser for United Way Toronto, at The Fifth Social Club. Since all proceeds will go directly to United Way’s work to create opportunities for a better life for everyone in our city, you’re basically helping every single Torontonian by going. Good for you.

The TIFF Human Rights Film Festival kicks off featuring a selection of documentary and fiction features that tell extraordinary stories of struggle, survival, and hope. Definitely no joke here.

The National Post calls Recipe For Change “The perfect foodie fundraiser.” This celebration of local food supports FoodShare’s innovative work in schools. It also happens to include the opportunity to mingle with 30 of this city’s most impressive chefs, taste up to 20 VQA wines, and sip on six local craft beers. You’re welcome.

This edition of the Indie Alehouse’s Kitchen Collaboration features the Alehouse’s chef and partner Todd Clarmo teaming up with Afrim Pristine of The Cheese Boutique. Together they’ll prepare a three-course, family-style dinner paired with exclusive Indie Alehouse beer. No dessert necessary.

The Toronto Irish Film Festival opens its screens, celebrating the very best of Irish cinema and promoting the work of Irish filmmakers in the Greater Toronto Irish community as well as the Toronto film festival public. There’s probably a leprechaun joke in here but we’ll leave it alone for the sake of good art.

For those of you who prefer your movies to be bad – as in so bad they’re good – The Royal will be showing Fateful Findings, a film that might be the best worst thing you’ve ever seen.

Grilled Cheese Fest means everyone’s favourite I-think-I-can-make-this-myself sandwich finally gets its day in the sun. We know you’ve never put two pieces of bread together like this ‘cause you’re not the Leslieville Cheese Market, Cut The Cheese, or CHEESEWERKS.

If you’re looking for some solid beats, hit up this installment of Dance Yrslf Clean at Supermarket featuring Toronto natives Nightbox’s first live show of 2014. They’ve been mixing a brand new EP and will let you have a listen if you dance hard enough. 

If you’re into country music we can’t imagine you’d want to be anywhere other than the ACC catching Lady Antebellum in concert. Unless, of course, you never got over that time Garth Brooks created an alter ego and you burned your cowboy hat in effigy, swearing to never go back.


Good Music, a brand new used record store from Lincoln Stewart, the manager of Vortex Records at Yonge & Eglinton, has its grand opening at 11:30am. If you love your vinyl, we suggest you skip brunch and get there early.

Wildfox Couture. Just hit the website and you’ll see why this pop-up shop on 711 Queen West is worth checking out. We’re talking a cast-away theme with only limited promo material. This is the kind of event that puts the second z in buzz.

Man of Steel, a gala and silent auction will be held in order to raise funds to erect a life size bronze memorial statue in the image of Jeffrey Baldwin wearing his Superman costume. Baldwin is widely considered to be the most notorious case of child abuse in Toronto history. The memorial will become a centerpiece tribute within Greenwood Park. 

Paul Simon & Sting are representing what is without a doubt, the double billing of the year. Either of these two legends are still capable of putting on a series of sold out shows on their own, but instead they’re teaming up to present something new and inspiring to the generations that have followed them. Pray to the Craigslist gods.

If you haven’t seen the East Coast powerhouse that is Matt Anderson, you haven’t witnessed one of our country’s most soulful and inspiring singers. Seriously, this man can wail.  

Jerome Isma-Ae is a big deal. If you’re into house music you can’t miss this man in action – he’s one of the best and most influential DJs of the past decade and a half. He’ll be at the Mod Club and you should be too.

Perhaps you want your Saturday night to be a little more full of laughter. Don’t worry, the Superstars of Comedy will be performing at the Comedy Bar. Some of the best stand-up comics in the city should get you howling in no time. If not, the beer on tap will help.

Just listen to this radio ad and tell us you don’t want to go and get With It at The Piston. Groovy, man.

Sundays are practically made for golf. Forget the polar vortex and head out to the Golf and Travel Show to get your summer fix. If you like hitting the links, this is as close to heaven as your own afternoon at Augusta.

The Toronto International Bike Show is also in town, reminding us that our bike lanes will soon be devoid of snow and ice and we’ll actually be able to cycle the city sans balaclava. Check out what over 150 exhibitors can offer to your two-wheel life.

A California Indie band playing on the Secretly Canadian label on a Sunday night at The Garrison? We know it’s a mouthful but there might not be a better way to relax into Monday morning…

Except, oh wait, it’s only the biggest party in Hollywood. Okay, we break; this is the one event that could include your couch and a blanket. But if staying at home to take in the Oscars isn’t what you’re looking for, keep in mind there are several places in this city to get your red carpet fix in public, including the Bloor Cinema.

So it seems that 21 is the magic number this weekend. All you have to do now is decide how to Live Your Notable Life (#LYNL), get off the couch, kick the polar vortex to the curb (again) and pick and choose among the hottest events in the city. Sounds rough, but we’re sure you’ll make the right choice.

Stay Notable,

The Weekender

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