Toronto Weekender: September 13 through 16, 2012

With TIFF drawing to a close, it’s time to shut the windows, lock the doors, and hit the hay, right? (Insert incorrect buzzer noise here.) Wrong! The city’s still lively with parties, events, and more, so caffeine up, toss on those fancy duds, and get ready to hit the town… 

Want some grub that won’t make you chub? Well Doppio Zero just opened up Eglinton West and is serving up Neapolitan style pizza and other fine Italian fare to settle those hunger pangs. How’s it going to help with the waistline? It’s not, but remember kids, eating carbs in moderation is totally notable. Find it at 530 Eglinton West.

Do you like a good party? Ping Pong? Free Beer? Awesome DJ’s? Sno Cones? What about glo-in-the-dark popcorn? All of this is happening tonight at SPiN Toronto. The Young Leaders of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Toronto is hosting a Ping Pong Tournament with a dance party to boot, so join ’em for an epic night of ping pong at SPiN in support of an uber notable cause. 

Everyone’s favourite funnyman Russell Peters is putting down the mic and dusting off the turntables as he trades jokes for notes and plays DJ tonight at Maison Mercer with crowd-favourite Jojo Flores. It’s branded as a TIFF, but it basically just means that the liquor license is extended to 4am. Long weekend, anyone…?

Enjoy the last fleet of summer’s heat on the patio at Shanghai Cowgirl for dinner. It’ll set the tone for a chilled night out, because who needs the thumpa-thumpa of bass when you have eclectic food, great beers on tap, nicely poured (read: not skimpy) bar rail, and the touch of summer’s end? 

On tonight through Sunday, the Queen West Art Crawl is a festival of creativity and community. Beginning in 2003, the QWAC has grown to an all-encompassing event featuring festivities throughout Queen West from Bathurst to Roncesvalles, many a demonstration of artistic talent, guided tours, and a jury-selected outdoor arts show. 

Want to chill where the stars were this week? Oxford Beach is hosting a ‘TIFF’ party at Malaparte Friday night, with a license til 4am, an exclusive opportunity to mix and mingle with TO’s tastemakers on quite possibly the most gorge rooftop patio in the city, and plenty of beats to work them dancing shoes.

Today through Sunday, Moon Apparel is hosting a fall pop-up shop in Liberty Village at 171 East Liberty Street, Suite 363. In celebration of the brand launching their online shopping boutique, you can shop the new fall/winter collection in notable style while getting outfitted in some of their perfectly-fitted but wholly affordable duds.

The third annual Freedom Walk to end human trafficking is today, so lace up those walking shoes and join thousands of others as they raise funds and awareness to help support initiatives to quash this sad plight that has enslaved over 27 million people worldwide. 

For dinner, combine two YP loves: burgers and wine. Where? The Burger Cellar. Sure, it’s a trek north if you aren’t a mid-towner, but the patties here are packed with flavour and the toppings are endless. But better yet, this is one gourmet burger joint that focuses as much on the accompaniments – cough, wine, cough – as it does its award-worthy ground chuck.

It’s cool, it’s underground and it’s unconventional. It’s also very straightforward, so here’s what you need to know about this secret event. Vaudeville Presents the Secret Disco with BYOBottles takes place Saturday night. Admission is $30 per person, and you can bring as many bottles as you wish (alcohol will not be sold – there is no last call – and they recommend bringing a 26er). Cups, shot glasses, bottle openers, ice and chaser will be provided, and make sure to get your tickets in advance because they won’t be available at the door… 

As TIFF draws to a close, the hangover really starts to set in. Good thing then that The Detox Market has popped up shop on King Street West. For the next four months, this LA transplant will offer the new generation of eco-friendly goods in an aesthetically pleasing atmosphere. Tea from Russia, soaps and perfume from France, hair care infused with extracts from the Amazon, vegan oat shakes from Scandinavia… almost every brand on the shelves has won an award in its category. Stop in Sunday to refuel and re-energize before the work week.

After detoxing, hit up Caren’s Wine Bar in Yorkville. Why? Because they have one of the best wine lists in the city and some of the most amazing small share plates you can find. The crab cakes? To die for. The tuna? Buttery goodness. The Blue Mountain pinot grigio? Vanilla and oaky and perfect by the glass or bottle.

Photo courtesy The Burger Cellar