Toronto Weekender: July 5 through 8, 2012

A short work week gives way to a fast-approaching weekend, so we hope you’ve recouped from the three-day frenzy that befell us with Canada Day as we’re ready to get back into Weekender action…

Not surprisingly, the newly opened White Brick Kitchen at 641 Bloor Street West is situated in a white brick building. Serving up American comfort food classics – like pork n’ pickles, deviled eggs, fried chicken, and meatloaf – White Brick Kitchen is bringing a slice of down-home North American goodness to Little Korea, perfect for a comforting start to your weekend.

The JUMP Wine Festival is on tonight at Arta Gallery in the Distillery, featuring Kosher wines from around the globe, delicious catering by The Pantry, and a great excuse to drink vino that won’t break the bank. Bonus, you’ll get a voucher to test out UBER Toronto…in case you’re one of the five who hasn’t yet.

The time has come. That special 17-day stretch that has us all aflitter each summer. Yes, virtuous YPs, we’re talkin’ Summerlicious. The 10th instalment of the warm sister to Winterlicious, Summerlicious officially kicks off tonight for a slightly-over-two-week grandstand of restaurants boasting prix-fixe excellence. Where should you make a reservation? What nosh-worthy courses should you order? Find out in the Notable Summerlicious Top 10.

From Friday through Sunday, the Honda Indy Toronto takes place on the streets surrounding Exhibition Place near Lake Ontario and downtown Toronto. This is among the most respected motorsports events in North America and features a week-long festival-like atmosphere that includes the fastest racing series on the planet, celebrity athletes, live entertainment and interactive activities. So, find a spot to watch the action, grab tickets, whatever you need to do to get in on this high octane event.

We’re looking at another scorcher of a weekend, for Saturday brunch head over to one of our favourite downtown patios, The Blake House. This hidden gem has one of the best, almost garden-esque outdoor spaces that pairs nicely with their cheap pitchers of beer – seriously, at $17.45 for domestic craft beers like Mill Street Lemon Tea, you just can’t go wrong. Plus, the brunch has all your favourites like a Monte Cristo, Steak and Eggs, and Blueberry Lemon Hot Cakes.

The stretch of St. Clair West from Winona Drive to Christie Avenue is transformed into a showcase of Latin life featuring live music, dance lessons, fiery foods and family fun Saturday and Sunday. The 8th Annual Salsa on St. Clair is a vibrant street party that sees a real explosion of Latin culture for the masses to enjoy and imbue some heat into the weekend. Head on over, get your dancing shoes on, and salsa-fy your Saturday.

On Saturday night at Amsterdam Brewery, Tag Vodka presents Locals Only: Festival of Food, Music, and Art. Over 15 of the city’s best bands and DJs will be performing live as 10 sensational food vendors like Hogtown Smoke and Gourmet B1tches serve up delicious grub while artists showcase their beautiful works. And, of course, you’ll be able to grab a cold one while enjoying the fest. 

From Thursday through Sunday, Muttonhead’s Variety Store summer pop-up is on. There will be something for everyone including unisex fashions, jewellery, hand-made housewares, fair-trade goods, terrariums, worm bins, and much more during this showcase of homegrown talent. They’ll also be selling a selection of illustrations, prints, records and CD’s by some of the city’s most talented artists.

Ending Sunday, the Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition takes over the grounds at Nathan Philips Square, bringing with it a bevy of local, national, and international artists showcasing their talents. Now in its 51st year, the TOAE showcases contemporary art at its finest, with a juried selection that offers a fresh-air alternative to conventional arts shows.

To end the weekend, head over to Stout Irish Pub in Cabbagetown. This gem of a joint serves up some delish pub fare alongside an amazing selection of craft beer – what other Irish pub serves up a sweet variety of small producer suds, really? Plus, the last time we went the nachos were perfection…especially on the hidden back patio.