Toronto Weekender: June 13 through 16, 2013

Hard to believe we’re already in mid-June, with the weather being uncharacteristically blase for this time of year. No matter, we’ll make your weekend an awesome one whether the weather agrees with us or not… 

Time to check out a new King West hot spot we know you’ve all been waiting for. Valdez, Steve Gonzalez’s first restaurant, just opened up in the old Cheval space. With a trendy atmosphere, great cocktails – many of which are Pisco-based – and a Latin-American menu that’s all about freshness, Valdez is sure to be an urban explorer’s playground for months to come.

We’re halfway through NXNE, and the fest is still going strong. There are literally dozens of acts on the docket tonight, ranging from music to comedy to art and more. If you’ve yet to check out any of the NXNE hot shows, now’s your chance to get involved before the fest winds down on Sunday. (Click here for tonight’s stage list.)

Luminato kicks off on Friday for 10 days of artistic revery. From stage performances to exhibitions and installations, Luminato has dazzled audiences for the past few years as the city’s most prestigious festival celebrating the arts. Whatever you do, make sure to get out there and experience the experiential festival.

The 2nd Annual Whiteout Cancer Fundraiser is going down at #Hashtag Gallery Friday night, with proceeds supporting the Princess Margaret Hospital Foundation. With promises of music, art, food, drinks and dancing, this event has everything the cosmopolitan YP could ask for.


The Toronto Wine & Spirit Festival takes over Sugar Beach this weekend to bring us three days of spiritous samplings. Wine, craft beer, some of the world’s finest spirits, pairing seminars, live entertainment, and more awaits at this boozehound paradise.

The latest INK Entertainment spot is sure to be a hot one this summer. Cabana Pool Bar hosts its official grand opening this weekend, and we’ve been lucky enough to get a sneak peek of this massive patio down on Polson Street. With cabanas aplenty (go figure), DJs, a 2,000-person capacity, and octagonal pool, this Miami-meets-Vegas-meets-Toronto outdoor space is some notable new digs.

It’s Father’s Day, which means you should likely spend some time with good ol’ Pops. There are a few Father’s Day events going on, and here’s a quick rundown for your planning ease: the Yorkville Exotic Car Show is back to showcase some amazingly hot rides; SPiN Toronto is hosting the Beamish Classic so you can trot your Dad out and show his pong-perfection; and Comedy Bar is hosting Papa Can You Hear Me, a stand-up comedy show for the patriarch’s out there.

Let’s not forget the MMVAs are on tonight. You have two options: 1) Head over and join the mass crowds because you love music and anything that celebrates it; or 2) Stay the hell away from Queen Street near the MuchMusic headquarters because you loathe crowds and anything that proliferates them.

Finally, if you’re looking to get a li’l old school, check out Kool Haus on Sunday for the Foam Fete with DJs Shy, Flip, Junya Menace and more. With a surprise guest artist on the way, this Sunday night shindig will certainly be an interesting and frothy one.

Top photo courtesy Cabana Pool Bar