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Toronto Weekender: November 27 through 30, 2014

If you’re from the US, it’s Thanksgiving Weekend. But more importantly, if you’re from Toronto, it’s the last week of November. One more chance to warm up those fingers, those toes, and those livers before December festivities hit like an avalanche. So pull up your woolly socks; the weekend starts now, Toronto

South of the border, it’s a pretty big day; Thanksgiving Thursday.

People bond with their families, ingest an offensive number of calories, watch football like it was the moon landing, and college freshmen plan out how to dump their high school sweethearts. 

But north of the border, this weekend is even bigger; it’s the last chance to warm up those war stories, brace your palate for a veritable parade of holiday flavours, and write a thoughtful, “My Condolences” card to your liver.

So put on your most fashionable weekend wool Toronto, the weekend starts now…

It’s starting to look a lot like Christmas…and things made of clay and feathers. Join over 800 artisans, makers, and designers over 10 days for the One of a Kind Christmas Show & Sale hosted at the Direct Energy Center at Exhibition Place.

If that holiday mood has you, and you’re looking for something for the whole family, for two days Casa Loma is celebrating 100 Years of Christmas. They’ll have 10 decades of decorated Christmas trees, a meet-and-greet with the Santa Claus, a student art exhibit, and a “Snow Queen” musical.

On a totally dissimilar note, UNIUN Nightclub is hosting this year’s Give a Night event in support of HIV/AIDS. Hundreds of people from the Toronto legal, medical, and financial industries will be in attendance for the DJ, the candy table, the silent auction, and the drink specials. If you’re ever going to go to UNIUN, it should probably be tonight.

If you don’t think length matters, make sure you check out the Best of Toronto Short Films at the Carleton Cinema running from 7pm–9pm, featuring a solid stock of Toronto-based short filmmakers.

Or if you’re in more of a festival mood, The Brazil Film Fest kicks off today at the TIFF Bell Lightbox. It won’t be Carnival, but you can still get dressed up for the entertainment if you like. (We think.)

If you’re yearning for some American football and some food that’s almost as messy as their politics, you can enjoy some home-made Sloppy Joe’s at The Dock Ellis for their American Thanksgiving, starting at 12:30pm, and running (the ball) all night.

DID YOU FORGET ABOUT MOVEMEBER??? We know your girlfriend/wife sure hasn’t. The Mos Wanted Movember Party is getting lippy tonight at The Cadillac Lounge.

The Hamilton-based Arkells are dropping the hammer to play in Toronto for a 3-night run at The Danforth Music Hall while The Tea Party is playing at Kool Haus, which just proves that some parties really can go on forever.

And if you could read our minds, you’d know that Gordon Lightfoot got a 4-night stand going last night at Massey Hall. It continues tonight and extends through to Saturday.

“The last thing I want right now, is a taco”…said no Juan ever. Fonda Lola Mexican Bistro is celebrating their “Juan Year” anniversary and it’s gonna be a party. They’ll be serving up piñatas and tequila every hour on the hour, giving away handheld Caesar salads at noon, hosting a hot chilli pepper eating contest, and a free tequila tasting at 4pm. There’s also a Mexican fiesta from 6:30-8:30 for only $35. Vamos!

The Whole Life Expo is being held at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre all weekend. It’s Canada’s largest showcase of Natural Health & Green Living and honestly, if you can only attend one expo all year, you should make it this one. Unless, you know, you hate health. Then avoid this at all costs – citing health concerns. 

Voted by several publications as one of the 10 best in the world, the Distillery kicks off 13 acres of magic at the Toronto Christmas Market, running from today until December 21st. There’s a beer garden, all kinds of entertainment and vendors, and the opening ceremonies will feature a tree-lighting hosted by CityTV. We’ll bet their tree is bigger than your tree.

Need a shave? BIOTHERM HOMME is here to help you with that. They’ll be giving away free straight razor shaves in Toronto this weekend. Stop by, get a shave, free samples, and discounts on the whole range at Hudson’s Bay on Queen from 11:30-7:30. Because we love you so much, you can even use our secret Notable promo code to get $5 off any purchase online, just type in ‘Barber Shop’ on the Bay Website.

Saving us from Toronto’s painful burger-drought, Fresh-Burger is having the grand opening of its downtown Toronto location on Church Street. They’ll be giving away free burgers at 6pm on a first-come first-serve basis and as of 7:30, it’s 2-for-1.

If you’re looking to pass around some business cards and some final glimpses at your stache, there’s the Movember Rooftop (Indoor) Party with a Purpose, a networking event taking place at The Merchandise Loft Building.

There’s also a new Canadian Podcast network launching called, Talkhole and its debut is at The Comedy Bar, which will host their first broadcast, live. Talkhole…that just sounds like it needs to be washed out with soap.

*Sniff* Folks, we regret to inform you that tonight is the last Friday Night Live of the season at The ROM. The theme is “Celestial Blast”, and the usual music, exhibits, food, and Friday dance-offs will be filling the space.

Along similar lines, if you’re feeling nostalgic but you might be in a “boothy” kinda mood, Blast From the Past: Vintage Prom is going down at The Great Hall. 

The Champ is alive and well; Ghostface Killah is playing at The Rockpile East, with an option for a VIP meet-and-greet. We promise, give him the chance and this guy will Wu you (that pun was straight up GANGSTA).

If you’re into the heavier stuff, classic punk group Lagwagon is playing at The Opera House. The name of this venue has never been more ironic.

And our league-leading Raptors are taking on the Dallas Mavericks at the ACC. GO RAPS.

And you thought you wouldn’t need your sunglasses for another 5 months. The 48th Annual Cavalcade of Lights is happening at Nathan Phillips Square. We’ll be lighting Toronto’s official Christmas Tree, there will be food trucks, a DJ’d skating party, and performances by Kardinal and Maestro Fresh Wes. No, we’re not joking. Better stretch out that backbone.  

If you’re ready for a big night, Bud Light is unleashing their Into the Wild event at the Roger’s Centre featuring acts like Mr White, Baggi Begovic, and Eric Prydz. Dancers wanted.

Canada’s first annual Fair Trade Show is being held today and tomorrow at The Gladstone Hotel. Hosting products from more than 25 developing countries, visitors will have the opportunity to shop from a vast collection of fairly traded products ranging from hand-made jewellery from Nepal to organic Olive Oil from Palestine. This is one shopping spree you can definitely feel good about.

If you miss the beach, this might be the next best thing; Mariposa Cruises is floating a Festive Holiday Dinner Cruise. It’s a 3 hour tour of the harbour, complete with stocked buffet and Christmas cookies. 

Ok, we get it; your wiener dog looks cute in a sweater. But does everyone else get it? Probably not. Better hit up the Holiday Pet Portrait Event at the Pet Valu located on Laird Street for some complimentary shots of your furry family members.  

And you know what they say: She keeps getting older, but we stay the same age. Or something like that. There’s a viewing of Madonna: Truth or Dare at the Bloor Hot Docs Cinema that kicks off with a DJ and has $5 Steam Whistle tall-boys for sale.

It’s good to have a healthy base of skepticism. But with an event like this, you can be confident it’s gonna be the real deal; Mythbusters: Behind the Myths is doing a live performance at the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts.

Fancy yourself an expert at the bar-games? Darts, foosball, pool? Well then pull together a team of 4-6 and represent your country at the Pub Olympics for Movember at The Dock Ellis.

If you’re still having a tough time cleaning the 90s off your jeans, Puddle of Mud is playing at The Rockpile East and Sloan is playing at the Phoenix Concert Theatre.

Speaking of stuff we did when we were growing up, the Toronto Card Show is going on at the Irish Embassy from 11am to 3pm. Remember baseball cards??

One of the funniest stand-ups out there right now is Gary Gulman and he’s doing a 7pm and a 9pm set at the Comedy Bar. Seriously, we won’t be held liable for strained abdominal muscles.

Do you like cheese? Charcuterie? Craft beer? Nah, we didn’t think so. Never mind then. You won’t want to go to this whole Canadian Artisan Tasting Fair thingy at Artscape Wychwood Barns.

If you didn’t have a chance to check him out last night Gary Gulman is doing another set tonight at 7pm at the Comedy Bar.

As part of the Market Square Cinema’s Beer Film Festival, there will a screening of Strange Brew at the Rainbow Cinemas, preceded by a beer tasting and informative beer seminar by some hoser from the Amsterdam Brewery.

And maybe after church and some community service work, you might want to check out Slipknot performing with KORN at the ACC as part of their Prepare for Hell Tour.

Or if you like Life Round Here to be a little more relaxing, you could also check out James Blake at the Virgin Mobile Mod Club.

Well, that’s it, that’s all.
Four days and nearly 40 ways to spend them.

Just remember: FOMO isn’t real if you’re there…but it is real if you’re afraid of moustaches in November. Thankfully, it’s almost mo’ver.

Stay Notable,
The Weekender 


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Cover photo: The Great Hall

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