Toronto Weekender: July 18 through 21, 2013

Looks like we’re going to get a bit of break in the extreme heat and simply move down a peg to just plain hot this weekend, so we’ll be out and about getting ready to trot on. Here’s what you should have on your social calendar

Grand Soiree Thursdays are happenin’ over at the Design Exchange. Hosted by Grand Marnier, these nights see the favourite spirit being mixed into cocktails and served alongside divine chocolates, canapes from Parts & Labour, and, of course, the Christian Louboutin exhibit. And all that’s for the price of regular admission.

Should the weather hold out and the storms subside, we’re looking forward to Open Roof Festival. It’s been running a few weeks now, and there are few left to get your under-the-skies movie watching going. This week sees a screening of Molly Maxwell alongside a performance by Bryce Jardin. Oh! And you can score some bevvies from Amsterdam Brewery and nosh from Tita Flips and The Saucy Pierogi.

Another session of the Art Galleria Expo is taking over Tattoo Rock Parlour, imbuing the space with original art pieces from some of our most amazing artistic talent. You can expect the works of over 50 artists, with three live shows, a DJ, and a club after-party.

Remember a couple years ago when everyone was all a-Twitter (as in, couldn’t stop sending 140 characters out) about smelly tofu? Well that’s thanks to the T&T Waterfront Night Market, which is back for another installation this weekend. Running Friday through Sunday, hit up vendor alley for the flavours of the East from over 150 vendors, watch the live stages, and experience cultures not so common to you at this awesome three-day fest.

Get your meat sweats on at the Thrill of the Grill on the Danforth this weekend. Five of the area’s top chefs are duking it out for ribilicious glory, all in the name of supporting kidney cancer research. For a cheap $15, you’ll get to test out the rib recipes of five top restaurants and grab some vino or beers and watch the judging, which is helmed by celebrity chef Lynn Crawford. Now that’s a notable deal. 

Go big or go home at the Big on Bloor Festival, running Saturday and Sunday this weekend. The Bloordale area of Bloor West shuts down for this street fest/party, where local vendors, artisans, and food fellas come out to play, showcasing the best they’ve got. This is a big one: over the two-day stretch last year about 70,000 people walked through. Talk about a big showing! 

The big shindig tonight is The Fifth Luau and Cabin Five’s Tiki Hut. Don your best Hawaiin shirts and get ready to party the night away at this themed fete. Hawaiian BBQ, tiki huts, and tiny umbrellas aplenty are just a smidgen of what you’ll find at this event. 

Eat your heart out at the second instalment of Abbey’s Kitchen Stadium. Four of the city’s top chefs will be duking it out for fame and glory at the Mod Club on Sunday, judged by a panel of esteemed local tastemakers (and taste-triers). If the first AKS was any indication, the second will be an event you won’t want to miss. 

On Sunday in the lot between 461 and 469 King St West, get to some good ol’ shuckin’ at the 25th annual Ontario Oyster Festival by Rodney’s Oyster House in support of Environmental Defense. The fest offers cheap drinks, oysters aplenty, lobster, live music, competitive oyster eating, great auction, and the best oyster shuckers in the country duking it out to the oyster enthusiasts of Toronto.

Top photo courtesy Rodney’s Oyster House