Toronto Weekender: January 2 through 5, 2014

We’ve never fully sided with the people who hibernate after the holidays; those who claim to need a break, a cleanse, or a detox. We get it. You ate a lot, you drank a lot, you had a lot of fun. What’s the problem here? Why would you ever want that to stop? Just sounds like a great way to live to us. Which is why we’re keeping it up with this edition of The Weekender. You’ll find music, culture, motorcycles, and celebrities all waiting to welcome you into the New Year. Need a resolution to get things going? How’s this: make 2014 the best year you’ve ever had. That’s what we’re doing. 

Still got a little Christmas left in you? Head to High Park for an afternoon tour through Historic Colborne Lodge (the home of the founders of High Park – back then we’re pretty sure it was just called a forest). The house will still be decorated for a Victorian Christmas and you’ll be taught all about what it was like to celebrate in Toronto 19th-Century style.

If that still hasn’t kicked your desire for Christmas to continue on forever, this weekend is the last chance you have to see The Nutcracker performed by the talented crew at The National Ballet of Canada. This is probably the perfect time for a pirouette joke, if only we knew how to spin it…

If ballet isn’t your bag, then head over to the AGO for their first First Thursday party of 2014. Long Winter, the music and art series, is taking over this edition and bringing with it music from Snowblink, Doomsquad and DJ Stelmanis (Katie Stelmanis of Austra) as well as pop-up performances by Isla Craig and Henri Fabergé. Installations by Megan Rooney and Tough Guy Mountain will also be on site as well as a full bar and, you know, a whole bunch of art.

TIFF’s week-long celebration of Canadian film opens with Canada’s Top Ten Film Festival. The festival will include screenings of each of the selected films that include Edward Burtynsky’s Watermark, Louise Archambault’s Gabrielle (Canada’s entry in the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar category) and Denis Villeneuve’s Enemy.

The Hoxton will be hosting white-hot Toronto House/Electro/Moombahton/Bass duo Torro Torro for a night of fresh beats and loose feet. You know when people say you can feel the music? This is what they’re talking about.

If you like your local music to involve guitars and people singing on stage, then head to The Silver Dollar for the first installment of the Class Of 2014, a so-called honour roll of the past year’s best indie bands in the city. You should probably grow a beard for this one.

Getting married, know someone getting married, thinking about one day maybe, possibly, if the right man ever comes along on Tinder, getting hitched? Then Canada’s Bridal Show is where you’ll want to be this weekend. Over 150 separate specialty booths will be peddling all things matrimonial and letting you know everything you’ll need for your big day.

Once night hits, head down to Harbourfront Centre and strap on your skates for their DJ Skate Nights series. It’s exactly what it sounds like – a dance party on ice. The obvious advantage to this is that no one will notice that you’re a terrible dancer if they’re too busy noticing that you’re a terrible skater.

The Feast in the East is a monthly music, food, and installation series in, you guessed it, the East end. January’s edition features bands MimicoBella AkiraNew Fries and also offers a free Japanese noodle bowl dinner by Daniel Goodbaum. Go East, young professional, go East.

DJ Caff, Brett Millius, and Reverand Throwdown will be hosting a Motown Party at 751 Lounge if you’d rather spend your night swaying back and forth to some sweet soul-filled tracks.

Andy Poolhall will be holding its first Major Rager of the year. Several DJ’s rotate every half hour, spinning everything from House and Hip-hop to Dancehall and Dubstep. So if you don’t like the music, just stay 30 minutes. 

“It’s not a motorcycle, baby, it’s a chopper.” If you have any interest in knowing just what Bruce is talking about, we suggest you head out to North America’s largest motorcycle retail show to check out over 500 exhibitors and more than 1,000 bikes. There isn’t a dress code we’re aware of but it’s probably pretty safe to say a leather-based ensemble will suffice.  

As part of TIFF’s aforementioned Canada’s Top Ten Film Festival, they’ll be hosting an In Conversation With…featuring Denis Villeneuve and Jake GyllenhaalWe’re not saying you have to go but you should at least find out where Jake will be heading afterwards – and tell us.

What better way to spend a Sunday than on a streetcar? Don’t worry, we haven’t started working for the TTC. It’s just that this Sunday you can take part in the vastly popular 501 Streetcar Food Tour. Six stops and six tastings while streaming through countless iconic Toronto neighbourhoods sounds like a pretty great way to start 2014 to us. 

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Top photo courtesy AGO