Toronto Weekender: January 16 through 19, 2014

Whoever coined the term mid-winter blues obviously didn’t live in this city. We’re only halfway through January and this weekend is packed full of food, art, a drunken Shakespeare character, an old school NYC rapper, sleepovers, weddings, wine, and much, much more. So shake off your urge to stay in and make sure you see everything (or at least half of everything) T.O. has to offer this weekend. For a cold country, this city of ours sure likes to keep things hot. Do you?

The biggest culinary event of the winter season settles into town next week for 14 days of all the prix-fixe you can handle. Why are we telling you now, you ask? ‘Cause Winterlicious tickets went on sale this morning. So you’d better act fast if you want to get the table you’ve always wanted, ‘cause thousands of others already are.

Oh, ‘Merica, the butt of so many well-known jokes. Well, Grammy-nominated American comedian Ron White is coming to Massey Hall to tell you all the ones you haven’t heard yet.

Still freaking out from all the holiday food and drink? Relax, Bouncing Back to Calm will cover exactly how stress impacts you physically and emotionally and guide you through topics such as stress management, life balance, energy, nutrition and meditation. Essentially, it’ll help you get back into your groove. We here it worked for Stella.

Pitfalls and Withdrawals is an exhibition by Alex Bierk (son of internationally renowned artist David Bierk). This body of work will focus on the connection between ‘youth and the formation of identity and the disappearance and distortion of memory’. Don’t forget to go see it.

A Reggae Throw down at the Painted Lady should be the perfect finish to your Thursday night out on the town. Again, it worked for Stella.

Eat lunch and learn something. It’s a pretty simple concept the AGO has come up with and it works really well. This week, their Brown Bag Lunch series will host contemporary cultural critic John Elderfield. So sit back and snack while you get schooled.

A classic play gets debauched. Basically, you have a bunch of professional actors performing Macbeth with the only catch being that the lead character gets fed 8 ounces of booze over the course of the show. Or, as we like to call it, what Macbeth was really meant to be.   

Legendary Brooklyn Rapper Jeru the Damaja of the Gangstarr Foundation will be in town on his bday dropping old school beats at the Hard Luck Bar. We say it’s hard luck if you miss this opportunity to party like an OG.

The Silver Dollar will be putting on the second installment of the Class Of 2014, a so-called honour roll of the past year’s best indie bands in the city. We recommended growing a beard for the last one, this time we’ll just say you should probably wear plaid. 

If beats are more what you’re looking for to keep the night going, Alex Metric will be letting lose at The Hoxton, likely focusing on his latest release, Ammunition Pt. 3, the third installment to his Ammunition EP series.

But who wouldn’t want to end their Friday by sleeping in a museum? It beats late night poutine every time, especially when the theme is dinosaurs. Start off with a special movie screening, and continue with a backstage look at the James and Louise Temerty Galleries of the Age of Dinosaurs. They’ll be experts to talk to and real fossils to fondle. What more could you want from a night at the museum? Cue Ben Stiller joke…

Two weeks ago it was Canada’s Bridal Show, and this weekend it’s The Total Wedding Show. We shouldn’t have to tell you what this will be like – madness. But the kind of madness where you can get everything you need for your big day under one roof. Over 350 retailers and service providers will be in attendance trying to woo you with all things white and flowery.

This is the Foodie Favourites favourite tour; all the hidden gems and inside knowledge you’ve ever wanted on where to eat and what to drink in this city compressed into a four-hour tour. Why have you not signed up yet?

The LCBO has teamed up with the B.C. Wine Institute to set up a number of free tastings throughout the GTA to promote the release of several spectacular Okanagan wines. Check your local to make sure you can treat your taste buds to some grapes worth remembering.   

Head to the Toronto Travel Expo to receive insider advice from more than 50 leading travel experts and suppliers. There’ll also be presentations and contests galore. Don’t forget your money belt. 

If you’re into really big trucks crushing little helpless cars, then the Monster Jam is exactly where you’ll want to be. Yup, that pretty much sums it up.

Toronto radio station Indie 88 will be hosting their ‘Power Party’ at Lee’s Palace Saturday night. The line up will be headlined by Toronto indie darlings The Stars and a host of other bands will join in the fun including July Talk. If you like Indie 88, you’re going to love this.

Get up and get organic at the Steam Whistle Farmer’s Market. From 10am to 2pm you’ll be able to pick up all your fresh eats for the week. And beer, of course.

If you’re more into one-of-a-kind items, furniture, hand-crafted designs, antiques, vintage clothing, and designer pieces, then the Leslieville Flea is where you’ll want to be. This growing bazaar is the east end hot spot for all your favourite flea market deals. We love a good haggle.

Check out the monthly installment of ‘La Domenica’ Brunch at Buonanotte to get your Sunday morning fill. There are two seatings available, both of which feature food by award-winning Chef Davide Iannaci (ITA). Which makes us ask the question, is it socially acceptable to eat back-to-back brunches?

TIFF Bell Lightbox is bringing back its popular segment Reel Talk, a Sunday morning series that screens a surprise film and follows it up with a critical discussion by an expert. It’s like a cinema surprise party – if only they remembered the loot bags.

Casa Loma will be opening its doors to the public and, despite its name, will be referring to it as an open house. They want to show you all they have to offer so you can decide if they’re worthy of hosting your next great event. If you’re going to go big, go castle big.

Finally, you can finish off your Notable weekend by revisiting the late 90s and taking in a show by Neutral Milk Hotel. It’s the first time this once heavily influential crew will be all together in more than a decade. You might have to hit Craigslist to find your way in, but we suspect it’ll be more than worth it. Well, as worth it as living through the late 90s was in the first place…

Live Your Notable Life | #LYNL

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