Toronto Weekender: July 19 though 22, 2012

The extreme heat has finally broken…a tad. Which means we get to actually enjoy a weekend outside and not become piles of watered mess. Here’s your guide to what’s happenin’ around town…

Dinner and drinks call for something new and exciting. Weslodge just opened, and it’s raring to give you a test of the Old West. From two Toronto tastemaking heavyweights – Hanif Harji and Charles Khabouth – comes the first of the two new spots on ground level at 478 King Street West. The food, expedited by Chef Stuart Cameron, is haute Old West, like the Wagyu Corned Beef, or the Chorizo Scotch Egg. The space is saloon-esque, and the brown liquor cocktails are the perfect Wild West throwback.

Tonight marks the launch of a new intimate party series that’s getting waves of buzz already. inTO Series launches with the Living Room jam tonight. This new monthly series features one-of-a-kind authentic and exclusive experiences in TO (get it?) brought to you by sceneopolis. Get your behind the scenes ticket to world-class art, culture, and entertainment. Connect with your city, fellow urban adventurers, and notables you’ve always wanted to hang with on a real human level. You’ll find it at Kitch…but get tickets!

Keeping in with what’s new, 417 Restaurant and Lounge is the latest hotspot to hit the Danforth. Executive Chef Kai Zyganiuk is sending out a Mediterranean/European inspired menu with a focus on using local ingredients. The signature cocktails are made with flare, and 417 features a beer menu replete with Ontario Craft Breweries. Find it, not surprisingly, at 417 Danforth Avenue.

From July 20th through 22nd at 222 Cherry Street (the Toronto Port Lands), the T&T Waterfront Night Market is back for a third year of incredible Asian-themed street food delights. More than 150 different vendors will showcase delicacies from the Orient, like last year’s most-talked about ‘treat’ smelly tofu. It’s a culinary extravaganza of Godzilla sized proportions.

This Saturday, go green at the Live Green Toronto Festival at Dundas Square. With a marketplace of vendors, food, gadgets, and more galore all eco-friendly of course, live music, performances, and the like, this fest is one of the few actually worth checking out at Y&D Square.

Over 1,000 foodies will flock to the Danforth on Saturday for the third annual Danforth Experience Thrill of the Grill, this year featuring pork back ribs. Six of the street’s finest restaurants will try to out sauce, out flavour and out grill each other with secret recipes guaranteed to tantalize the taste buds. Each competing rib is complemented with a helping of tangy coleslaw, and all proceeds will benefit kidney cancer research at the Odette Cancer Centre, Sunnybrook Health Science Centre.

More “new,” you ask? Kanji Toronto recently opened on Queen West, with a tight but rad menu and an equally wicked space. It’s a new hot haven, that’s to be sure. If you’ve paid attention to the Twitterati, it’s already gaining steam amongst the fast and furious scenesters. Check it out for Saturday dinner, and stay around for late-night beats.

Also tonight on the scene, the official closing party for Maro. Who knows what’s next for the space, but this Saturday features resident DJ Undercover spinning tunes for the probably feisty yet somewhat mournful crowd. Head on over to help close out Maro with the Final Cut.

From July 20 through 29, at various spots in the Beaches, the namesake International Jazz Festival is on for its 24th year. Featuring international jazz acts, Latin Square, the Big Band and World Beat Stages, the famed StreetFest, and much more, this fest has become one of the widest spread community events in the city, attracting everyone from East to West to commune and groove out to some slick stylings. A perfect Saturday or Sunday outing.

We’re fans of the Open Roof Festival – obvi – and this year they’ve partnered with the Christie Pits Film Fest to bring a few Sunday nights of under-the-stars cinematic glory. This week, they’re screening When We Were Young. It’s the perfect way to close out the weekend and chillax before clocking in on Monday morning.

Photo courtesy Weslodge