Notable Life is Canada's leading online lifestyle magazine for driven young professionals. We cover all aspects of millennial life including social, professional, and charitable engagements. We're young, connected, ambitious, and one hell of a lively bunch.
With Father’s Day around the corner, we approach this holiday with the biggest question on everyone’s mind: what do you buy your Dad?
Whether they know they have it, or it’s buried somewhere in their garage, we all know Dads already have everything. Since many people find Dads the hardest people to shop for, we sat down with a couple Millennial Dads to learn more about their careers, their kids, and what they really want for Father’s Day this year.
Outside of being a dad, what do you do for work?
Brendan S.: I work in a third generation family business. We have a dealership, a rental company, and a national leasing company, and I am the Vice President across all divisions and companies within the group.
Ryan B.: I’m one of the owners of Brooklynn Bar; it will have been around 9 years next month. A lot of the time people say you own a bar and have kids? You’re crazy. Sometimes I think I am, but next year I have both my kids in school, and for the last 5 years I’ve been able to do daddy day care all day so it’s been a great 5 years with this schedule.
Paul B.: I’m a senior product manager for Auto Trader so I clean and maintain some of the digital products that are on their website. If you’re shopping for a cars, a lot of the digital products are ones I have created.
A post shared by Ryan Boudah (@ryanboudah) on Feb 27, 2018 at 11:11am PST
What’s one of your favourite memories with your kid(s)?
Brendan S.: I travel quite a bit for business and Felicia’s mother was in town helping her, and she sent me a video of his first word which was Dada, so that was pretty special. And also between Felicia and I, it’s always a nice little competitive game. But it’s more so the day-to-day and when his face lights up because he’s so happy to see you.
Ryan B.: When Hank was learning how to speak, my wife Shelley would call me Ry, like Ry can you grab this, and so he would call me “Ry-Dada”. When we look back now, he’s almost six, he thinks that’s hilarious.
With Coco, she didn’t really know that “daddy works” because she would be in bed. She came into our bed one night and completely lost it that I wasn’t there, asking “where’s daddy” when I was at the bar. We have some delivery days where I am gone during the day and I’d come home, and right when she was three and a half and really starting to motor, she would jump off the stairs to me. You can’t really explain that hug and love until you go through it – it melts you.
Paul B.: Recently, we just came back from Florida so we had about 10 straight days of going to the pool and going to the beach. It was just the three of us that were constantly in the water so that was about 10 days of memories there, non-stop swimming and playing games and not having to worry about work or anything else.
A post shared by Paul B (@paul.along.the.watchtower) on May 20, 2018 at 3:06pm PDT
For the ultimate question: what does a Millennial Dad really want for Father’s Day?
Brendan S.: I don’t know if this will be my final answer but it’s my immediate thought … we’re going on a long trip, and maybe someone to help us, like a nanny, so it’s not so stressful travelling with William. Sometimes it’s a lot with the career and everything else, and I’d love a little more help so Felicia and I could do things together as a couple. Other things that would be a nice are a lunch out together or a nice photo.
Ryan B.: Coco does two days a week at her preschool and they’re very cute, they’re on top of Father’s Day and Mother’s Day. She made me a card and it was a picture of my head and her head and it said “Coco loves Daddy”. She also made me what she called a “trinky-dink”. They put her hand on some gel material and it shrinks down to 3 inches to be a keychain, and it says Coco and the date and it’s her handprint. Right now, I might be a little bit biased, but I thought that was pretty sweet. All I asked for was black socks, so my wife thought I was insane. I wish I had a better answer, but I don’t really need anything. I love my Jeep and I’m always working on the truck, so if there’s a gift card to a local Jeep place that would make me pretty happy. Last year, we went to Legoland and had a fun day as a family and that’s a good gift for me – just being able to relax and enjoy a day off with the whole crew.
Paul B.: Anything that is a gadget is always kind of cool, but I actually think I’m so far into gadgets that I actually don’t want to receive them, I want to go buy them myself. Tools are always good. I’m not the handiest one, but I always love having tools. I like cars and sports, so sports memorabilia or anything car related – practical things. On the flip side, even going for a nice dinner or going for brunch is also good. It’s simple and you can’t go wrong with good food.
There you have it – right out of the mouths of Millennial Dads themselves. It turns out Dads aren’t so hard to shop for: something practical or memorable is all you need if you want to give the Millennial Dad in your life something to smile about this Father’s Day.
These days, Instagram is all about high-quality photos. While a straight-from-the-iPhone-photo used to satisfy the average ‘grammer, it seems like every other user is seeking out increasingly expensive smart-phones or DSLR cameras to get photos that shoot to the top of the Popular page.
While I’m sure we’d all love to have the latest smartphone, swapping phones every six months is not only ridiculous, but ridiculously expensive. Luckily, there are plenty of tools designed especially for Instagram and the blogging community. One of my personal favourites is Moment lenses. Moment lenses are great for those of us who don’t want to dish out a ton of cash but still want to improve the quality of our Instagram photos. Any experienced photographer will tell you it’s not about the body of your camera (though it never hurts to have a nice one), it’s more about the lenses and what they capture. All of the photos you are about to see were shot on – wait for it – an iPhone.
A post shared by Kévin Maes • (@mskevin) on Jun 7, 2018 at 12:15pm PDT
Moment manufactures different types of lenses depending on what you like to capture most. There’s portrait to get great shots of you and your friends, wide for landscapes, and macro for zoom-ins on your nails, insects or super fine print. What attracts me the most to Moment is their amazing price point. While DSLRs can set you back thousands of dollars, Moment lenses are all under $120, making them a necessity for any budding photographer’s kit.
The only slight inconvenience to Moment lenses is that they only mount on Moment cases, meaning you have to purchase one of their cases in order to use them. Their most basic case will only set you back around $30 and is a mere 3mm thick, minimizing the bulk. They also have a very handy battery photo case, which is a little pricier at $100 but does provide your phone with a wireless 90% charge and allows for smoother photography with an actual DSLR capture button on the case.
The case is worth what the lenses can do considering how beautiful the photos turn out. Photographers all across Instagram use #ShotOnMoment to share their shots that fit in alongside other professional photos.
A post shared by IGERSMOOD (@igersmood) on Jun 7, 2018 at 9:05pm PDT
Another tip for solid Instagram photography is to never underestimate the power of natural light. Sure, you look like a huge freak jumping from the restaurant table to the window to stage your perfect photo, but the difference is definitely worth it. Natural light casts a beautiful soft glow on photos that is rarely captured by artificial light. You can also easily pick up the famed Kardashian-style Lumi case for extra light, or purchase a simple clip-on light like this one.
A post shared by Duykhanh Tran (@backyy) on May 22, 2018 at 8:40pm PDT
The editing app also makes a difference. Many influencers and insta-photographers prefer more simple options like Adobe Lightroom for your phone, the classic VSCO Cam, FaceTune, or Afterlight. None of these apps cost more than $5 (some are even free) and allow for your image to be edited exactly how you like.
This past Tuesday, a bevy of bedazzled patrons of Toronto’s art scene coalesced at the Four Seasons Centre of Performing Arts.
Decked out in sequinned gowns, oversized sunglasses and bellbottom suites evoking 70’s era fashion, over 1800 attendees came out to celebrate The National Ballet’s annual fundraising Gala, MAD HOT BALLET.
This year’s discotheque theme was inspired by the free spirit of the 1970s and was present in many small details through-out the evening. Not only were attendees dressed to the nines in bohemian black-tie affair, but the disco theme was elegantly woven into the dance performances and event decor.
The glittering evening began with an hour long performance to a live orchestra led by Music Director and Principal Conductor David Briskin. The performance included a world premiere of Joshua Beamish’s Lollapalooza, performed by Principal Dancers Harrison James and Jillian Vanstone. The pair wore costumes by Canadian fashion designer Jason Wu. Attendees were also treated to Justin Peck’s Paz de la Jolla, which will be performed as part of the National Ballet’s Summer Mixed Programme June 16 – 22 with James Kudelka’s The Man in Black and Alexander Ekman’s Cacti.
Following performances, a reception took place complete with an Aperol spritz bar, a MAC Glitter Bar, during which Toronto socialites mixed and mingled with star dancers from the National Ballet. After the reception, 650 VIP guests were led back into the theatre to enjoy a private dinner onstage catered by Canadian celebrity chef Mark McEwan’s North 44 Caters followed by a night of disco dancing with the National Ballet dancers.
Since its inception in 2011, the Gala has raised over $11.8 million in support of the artists and activities of the National Ballet.The Gala raised over 1.3 million for the National Ballet, funds that will help produce more world-class shows, foster creativity amongst Canada’s talented dancers, as well as grow audiences at home and abroad. Below are some of our favourite outfits from the evening.
According to the Montreal Gazette, a McGill University music student, Jennifer Lee, impersonated her boyfriend to turn down a scholarship he was offered in Los Angeles so that he wouldn’t leave.
The condensed story goes like this: Eric Abramovitz, also a music student at McGill and one of the top clarinetists in Canada, applied for a two-year scholarship at the Colburn Conservatory of Music in L.A. There, he would study under the guidance of world-class clarinet teacher Yehuda Gilad. The opportunity was worth $50,000 a year.
Abramovitz was chosen for the scholarship – except he never got the memo. Instead, his girlfriend intercepted the email (the couple had an open policy with passwords) and deleted it. She then pretended to be him and wrote an email to the school rejecting the offer out of fear that him leaving would end the relationship.
It wasn’t until months later, and the couple had broken up, that Abramovitz learned of the misdeed. At an audition before Gilad, the famed music teacher had asked the student why he rejected him. Some back and forth during the period that followed lead to the mystery being solved – and a lawsuit.
Abramovitz sued for $300,000 in general damages, including for loss of reputation, loss of educational opportunity and loss of two years of income potential. Unsurprisingly, he won. Earlier this week, Ontario Superior Court judge David L. Corbett ruled in the plaintiff’s favour and even added another $50,000 to the suit.
“I grant default judgment and substantial damages against Ms Lee for her despicable interference in Mr. Abramovitz’s career,” wrote the judge in his case citation.
Gilad also testified in the case. “I am very frustrated that a highly talented musician like Eric was the victim of such an unthinkable, immoral act that delayed his progress and advancement as an up-and-coming young musician and delayed his embarking on a most promising career,” Gilad wrote.
Lee, meanwhile, has essentially disappeared and was noted in default in court.
There’s nothing better than getting lost in your favourite book on a nice and hot beach day. If you don’t have these books on your summer reading list, it’s time for an update…
Every Last One – Anna Quindlen
Every Last One is your ultimate summer beach read. Straying from your typical summer romance binge, Anna Quindlen tells the story of a middle-aged mother and how one choice that she did not have a hand in making changed her family forever. Though this is a deeply emotional novel, its intense detail and character development is worth every smile and tear.
This novel is raw and suspenseful. It bares the idea that no matter how hard you try, there are some things that cannot be controlled or foreseen. It shows that you don’t have to be at any specific stage of life to learn a tragic lesson about mindfulness.
Ugly Love – Colleen Hoover
This page-turner hooks you from the first word to the very last. This truly envious love story is just the right amount of tragic, hopeful, and mysterious. One of Colleen Hoover’s greatest works, it follows a young woman who moves in with her brother to start her career but ends up meeting his best friend and falling for him despite everyone’s wholehearted attempts to discourage her.
The storyline is beyond compelling and proposes a love story unlike one you have ever read before. It is full of passion and pain, and keeps you rooting for the ending that both characters deserve until the final chapters, where you’re still kept waiting on your toes.
The Couple Next Door – Shari Lapena
We all have those moments while we’re reading where we decide we either absolutely love a book or hate it. The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena is one of where we can tell we’d love it from the first page. Action immediately ensues when Anna and Marco’s infant goes missing, leaving us to feel heartbroken and angry at every character because we do not know who committed the crime.
Though we question the parents for leaving their child unattended, question the authorities for accusing the parents of putting their child in danger, and question humanity, we also begin to question ourselves for not being able to trust our own judgment to place the blame.
Something Borrowed Series – Emily Giffin
Wedding season is the time for dressing up, eating good food, and, apparently, sleeping with your best friend’s fiancé. Emily Giffin’s novel is a captivating story about bad karma and bad friendship. A story crammed with oohs and ahhs until the very end. This beach read allows us to live vicariously through the mischievous and unexpected choices of your typical Plain Jane, Rachel. And if the ending isn’t enough to tide you over until the end of summer, you can grab yourself a copy of the novel’s sequel, Something Blue.
Each novel after Something Borrowed, picks up from where Rachel’s story left off and continues from a new character’s viewpoint. Something Blue follows Darcy, Rachel’s former best friend, and Love the One You’re With follows Ellen, Rachel’s close friend.
Love the One You’re With
For all you young readers, or those of you who still dabble in the teen series section at the bookstore, you should give the After Series a try. These books are an easy read, have a very predictable storyline, but somehow leave you hanging on every last word. No matter what stage of life you’re in, you can look upon the recklessness portrayed by characters in these novels and find a connection to yourself.
This series follows a young college student named Tessa and her conflicting feelings towards her on-and-off-again boyfriend, Hardin. Hardin is an unpredictable mess that Tessa desperately wants to fix, but she is risking her own happiness to do so. Their love story is one that you will constantly find yourself thinking about even after you have put the book down.
After We Fell
After We Collided
After Ever Happy
Simon vs. the Homosapiens Agenda and Leah on the Offbeat
This novel is the perfect light-hearted LGBTQ rea to kick-start your summer reading. The main character, Simon, a high-school student, is being blackmailed by a fellow classmate threatening to out both Simon and his online lover, Blue. Throughout the story, Simon is trying to deal with complying with his blackmailer, teenage high-school drama, coming out as gay to his family and friends, and finding out Blue’s true identity.
The second book in this series is also worth a read. It follows Simon’s best friend, Leah, and her struggles with admitting her bisexuality to herself and the rest of the world. These two novels perfectly depict not only the teenage hardships young people all over the world face, but the additional anxieties those in the LGBTQ community face as they come of age. The best part about this series is that it is completely and wholly relatable. The characters share experiences of love, heartache, and finding themselves, which we have all faced at some point in our teenage life.
When news first spread that elusive street artist, Banksy, was showing an exhibit in Toronto, tickets sold furiously.
The exhibit, “The Art Of Banksy” is not sanctioned by the artist, but instead exhibited by his former agent Steve Lazarides – who also doubles as the show’s curator and publicist. Lazarides first met Banksy back in 1997 and is one of the few people who have photographed the artist. Lazarides continued to follow Banksy’s career by documenting his work and soon after became his manager. Their working relationship eneded over 10 years ago, but that didn’t stop Lazarides from creating a show without the artist’s consent.
Photo Credit Joshua Davies
The Art of Banksy first debuted in Melbourne in 2016. The artist was reportedly displeased with the event. The $35-million dollar exhibit features over 80 pieces, including screen prints, paintings and sculptures from 40 different collectors with no added interpretation from Banksy himself. Many of the works were from early in Banksy’s career, including pieces exhibited at ‘Turf Wars’ in East London in 2003 and ‘Barely Legal’ in Los Angeles in 2006. The exhibit opened its doors at 213 Sterling to Toronto’s media on June 12th for both a mid-day and evening preview of the artist’s work.
Suspect Wanted in Banksy Art Theft | @TorontoPolice CCTV Video Release - YouTube
Within days of the exhibit being open, organizers noticed that a piece: Trolly Hunters, (valued at a whopping $45,000) was stolen from the exhibit. Law enforcement states that the theft of the piece was due to a break-in earlier in the week, when the show was getting set up. Police say that the burglar entered the event space through an interior door 5a.m. The burglar hid his face, took a single piece, and exited the event space. The piece in particular is said to represent Banksy’s thoughts on,” [mankind’s progression] towards a regression which sees ready-made meals available to the masses.”
“Giving back” can mean different things to different people.
For some, it means opening wallets to purchase raffle tickets or bid on silent auction options. For others, it means hitting up friends and family for support and taking part in a charity run or bike ride. For participants of the Fight to End Cancer, it means a will to take up boxing, training intensely for months, and, finally, a competing in a boxing match watched by hundreds – all while raising precious dollars on the journey for cancer.
This year’s Fight to End Cancer (FTEC) fundraising gala took over the Old Mill on Saturday, June 2 in a sold-out event that offered no shortage of both entertainment value and dollars raised for the Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation. Founded in 2011, the fundraiser has generated over $1,000,000 to date for the cause.
FTEC founder and executive director Jennifer Huggins acknowledges that there are many participatory charity events that accomplish “incredible triumphs,” but it is clear that there really is nothing quite like this one. “Fight To End Cancer is a movement that has been built as a community, with the vast amount of funds raised being the outcome rather than the vision,” said Huggins. “Our ‘why’ has given us purpose and opened the cause to be defined by each individual touched by cancer.”
The 2018 Fight To End Cancer come together to take a selfie at the end of the night after dedicating nearly a year to hit the milestone of donating over $1,000,000.00 in support of The Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation. [Photo Credit: Rebecca Freeman]
Compared to other sport-related fundraisers – which can feature hundreds or thousands of participants – Fight to End Cancer features just 10 boxers, all of whom started off as boxing newbies. The fundraiser is sanctioned by the governing body of boxing. The reasons to get involved, not surprisingly, are personal, and many of the boxers have been touched by cancer.
“I’ve always attended the event because my employer is one of the main sponsors,” said Alison Turnbull. “It was only when I attended the 2017 fight after just having lost my mother to pancreatic cancer that I decided to finally throw my hat in the ring.”
Similarly, losing a close family member to cancer was the reason Rick Dhillon found himself in the boxing ring, wanting, as he says, to be involved in something bigger than himself.
“In 2011, my older brother passed away from brain cancer. I saw firsthand what this disease does to the patient, and to all the loved ones in his/her corner,” said Dhillon. “We spend our days constantly chasing; chasing the best careers, best physiques, most money, seeking the perfect spouse, etc. My brother was only chasing the next moment or enjoying the current one, as he knew they were very few moments remaining. Watching that changed my perspective; I view things different than I once did. I know now that the biggest reason for my existence is to simply serve a purpose beyond me.”
With the financial investment made by Fight To End Cancer’s top tier partners, 100% of all event sales is donated to charity. [Photo Credit: Rebecca Freeman]
For some, the whole experience – from tryout to fight – is also a way to grieve lost loved ones in a different type of way. When boxer Dawn Millar lost her father, things felt so out of control that she couldn’t properly process and grieve.
“When I was presented with this opportunity, it felt like a second chance to truly mourn his passing, to come to terms with losing him so young and so suddenly,” said Millar. “It felt like I was given an opportunity to actually be in control in a way, and to do something meaningful to really fight back against cancer.” Fellow boxer Gavin Grant is one of the few who hasn’t been touched by cancer in his immediate family, but he said it was personal guilt about this that motivated his decision to get involved.
Deciding to participate is one thing. The challenges presented – from stage fright and the awkwardness of fundraising to rigorous training – are quite another. “The biggest challenge for me was learning to stay composed in the ring and learning everything from scratch,” said Tyler Smith. “There were many frustrating nights of getting my butt kicked in the ring during sparring sessions.” Many of the participants had never pushed themselves so hard physically, including Matthew Seahra, who said he had never done such demanding cardio in his life.
“I don’t like to fight. I have tremendous respect for the sport, but I can’t say I like it, so getting in the ring every day and taking punches was fundamentally hard for me to do,” said Grant. “However, I know how powerful the FTEC is and how the idea of getting into the ring to box can really inspire people to be generous. I wouldn’t have raised all of this money running or cycling, but boxing has a certain charisma, and I knew I could make a real difference if I just sucked it up and volunteered to get punched.”
Sean Lawler says that the biggest challenge was overcoming fear when he stepped into the ring to spar. “The punches didn’t actually hurt so much, but the fights always left me with the feeling that pain and injury were just around the corner,” said Lawler. “The key to getting around this was to trust my training and go through the fights.”
Sean Lawler was one of 10 heroes who stepped into the ring for the 2018 Fight To End Cancer, helping to reach the milestone of donating over $1 million to The Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation since 2012. [Photo Credit Laura Polischuik]
Of course, life doesn’t slow down in all other areas once you’ve decided to participate in the fight. “Juggling life wasn’t easy. Training for this event take a lot of time and dedication and without it you are sure to injure yourself or not be ready,” said Rob Paniccia.
“Having to work all day, then rush down to the gym to train for up to three hours a night for three nights after work, and then go home and – although you’re exhausted – there is still your everyday life that you must handle. Then when you think it’s over, there are weekend training sessions, again planning your schedule with your family and everyday life to do what was required of an FTEC fighter. This is a huge commitment and consumes your life for 6-7 months, but I would not have traded this for anything. It was one of the best experiences of my life.”
Christina Vatsis also addresses the challenge of managing life outside of FTEC. “You never know what life’s going to throw at you,” said Vatsis. “While I was facing my own challenges outside, I had to stay committed to my deadlines and training. My other biggest challenge was going into the gym day in and day out and being reminded why I was there. If I wasn’t having my moments about the people that I’ve lost, I was having them for my teammates. I did not realize it would be that emotional of an experience.”
Dr. Jonathan Irish and the 2018 Fight To End Cancer Fight Team point to the reason we’re all fighting so hard: The Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation. [Photo Credit: Mashal Asif]
Fundraising added a whole other layer to the challenge – something Dhillon said forced him to get out of his comfort zone as he isn’t used to asking for help. He wasn’t alone in this. “If it was a matter of just training for the fight, I do not think it would have been that bad; however, fundraising added a completely different element,” said Searha. “Given that a number of people my age do not have disposable income, with the help of my girlfriend I came up with several initiatives such as draws and raffles to bring in donations.”
From new bonds to new-found strength, the takeaways were plentiful. “You can do anything you set your mind to and put your whole heart into,” said Millar on lessons learned throughout her journey. “You only live once. When life gives you an incredible opportunity, no matter how terrifying, take the chance to do something truly amazing.” Once the big day arrived, it came with a well-earned sense of accomplishment. “My biggest takeaway was the completion. There were so many moments where I didn’t think I could make it through, but with the support of my teammates, my coaches, and my family, I was able to,” said Vatsis.
The funds raised during the FTEC played a major role in reaching the organization’s $1 million milestone. “I was really blown away by the generosity of so many people I know – including ones I hadn’t spoken to in years – who stepped up to donate,” said Turnbull. “I’m amazed by the human spirit and how people can really come together to achieve something incredible.”
How many times have you found yourself in an unfamiliar adult situation and bemoaned not having learning about it in school?
Like, why am I forming parabolas when learning the basics of money management would be a much more useful endeavour?
Indeed, high school education leaves most students below a reasonable threshold of preparedness for life beyond those Brandon-is-a-narc-scribbled walls.
That’s why one Ontario student, 16-year-old Austin Chan, created “What You Didn’t Learn in School” (WYDLIS). WYDLIS is an online course that “teaches all the necessary skills to become a successful adult.” It’s a course probably every Millennial currently hovering somewhere between turmoil and success wish they had before graduating.
The syllabus is stacked with lessons some of us are only now – well into our 20s and 30s – beginning to take seriously. Notable examples include career essentials like job interviews, networking, and how to present yourself. There are also plenty of social teachings: conversation skills, building confidence, and how to handle rejection. And, of course, there is advice on money: investments, saving, and how to make it.
Rounding out the course are classes on well-being, which include stress management, healthy habits, and sleep. Sign me up immediately.
“Being able to foresee the future where these students learn these skills at an early age is what wakes us up in the morning,” reads the course website. “There is a chance to make a difference in the world, we are on the brink of doing so.”
WYDLIS is expected to launch in August of this year.
June is Pride Month in Toronto: a time to come together to celebrate the courage, history, and diversity of the LGBTQ community.
It’s also the official kickoff to the summer social season in The Six. But let’s be honest, being social can be stressful. And with so many Pride events scheduled throughout the month, it might feel like you need a social secretary to help you keep track.
Not to worry, we’ve got you covered. Here are five not-to-be-missed events during Pride Month in one of the best cities in the world to celebrate being or supporting the LGBTQ community.
Whether you’re a local or a visitor to the city, these are the places to see and be seen in your true colours…
Who doesn’t love an all-day dance party on the beach? This new addition to Pride Toronto’s event lineup pays homage to the city’s very first Pride-style celebrations that took place on the island in 1971. The daytime celebration at Gibraltar Point will feature DJs Phil Villeneuve, John Caffery, Phillippe, and DJ Djon, specialty cocktails courtesy of Sauza Tequila, and custom art installations. Upon arrival via the Hanlan’s Point Ferry, a Pride Toronto shuttle will transport guests directly to the party. So bring your bathing suit, grab the sunscreen, and get on island time. Tickets: $20
Celebrating its 10th anniversary, Green Space Festival is a multi-day music festival featuring world-class DJs, drag queen royalty, and so much more. Five legendary parties will take place over the span of five days at Barbara Hall Park: Starry Night (June 20), Disco Disco (June 21), One World (June 22), Lipstick Jungle (June 23), and TreeHouse Party (June 24). Performers include DJs Horse Meat Disco, Carl Craig, Tracy Young, Hector Romero, and Isaac Escalante. 100 per cent of all proceeds generated from the festival will go towards funding the essential programs and services of The 519, a community centre committed to the health, happiness, and full participation of Toronto’s LGBTQ community. This is the place to party for a cause. Admission: Free (donations are welcome)
If partying really isn’t your thing, perhaps a little physical activity might help get you into the Pride spirit. The annual Pride and Remembrance Run is arguably the most fun run of the summer. This 5km run or 3km walk starts at the corner of Church and Wellesley streets and raises funds for LGBTQ charities and initiatives. Women’s College Hospital Foundation, the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives, the LGBT Youth Line, and the Pride and Remembrance Foundation – beneficiaries of Toronto’s 23rd Pride and Remembrance Run – will receive 100 per cent of funds raised through pledges and donations. Whether you register to run/walk, donate, or cheer participants on from the sidelines, it’s all about showing your support for the community.
The 38th Annual Pride Parade is the party everyone’s been waiting for. This signature event of Pride Month – one of the largest Pride celebrations in North America – will feature over 120 marching groups and more than 40 floats, including the cast from CBC’s hit comedy, “Schitt’s Creek.” The procession gets underway at 2 p.m. at the corner of Church and Bloor streets and makes its way down Yonge Street to Yonge-Dundas Square. Costumes, choreography, and lots of colour – this parade has it all and will leave little doubt that Toronto knows how to throw one fabulous party. Admission: Free
Star power will be on full display when R&B recording artist Brandy hits the Pride Toronto stage at Yonge-Dundas Square for a special live performance following the parade. The Grammy, American Music, and Billboard Music Award-winning singer/songwriter, best known for hits like “Have You Ever” and “The Boy Is Mine”, is the headline act, and you can be sure this diva will put on a show. If there’s one Pride performance you don’t want to miss, this is it. Admission: Free
Now that you know where to be during Pride Month in Toronto, it’s time to spread your rainbow-coloured wings and fly. Happy Pride!
In a city where income inequality is on a steady rise, rental prices are spiralling out of control, and that now boasts the title as 5th-most unaffordable in the world, concepts like ‘pay-what-you-can’ offer an opportunity to restore some economic order to those in less than favourable financial situations.
The problem, of course, is incorporating such welfare initiatives into a business plan (imagine the monetary turmoil the TTC would be in if riders could just drop a dime to commute).
That’s why it’s encouraging to learn one local business has found a way to pull it off. And for a commodity that best serves the underprivileged. This Saturday, June 16, local startup Feed it Forward will open the world’s first ‘pay-what-you-can’ grocery store at 3324 Dundas Street West.
The concept is simple: proprietor and executive chef Jagger Gordon rescues food from Ontario grocery stores, farmers and growers, bakeries, distributors, and restaurants – food that is no longer “fit” for sale – and uses it to create nutritional meals. These are sold through an affordable subscription service, while the store represents Feed it Forward’s first standing retail shop. It will be complete with bakery, cafe, soup bar, rooftop garden, and a large selection of produce grown at the company’s farm in Whitby.
Even if shoppers can’t afford to pay anything, they will receive food at no cost. Shoppers also have the option to “pay it forward” by donating money that will cover for someone who cannot afford to pay.
Gordon’s mission extends far beyond the store, too.
“Current government legislation prohibits restaurants, grocery stores, and food manufacturers from donating perfectly nutritious and consumable food items to outreach and community food programs simply because they are nearing their labeled expiration dates,” writes Gordon. “As a chef and caterer, I face this food-waste reality every day and in 2014 I reached a point where I could no longer stand by and let this happen with a clear conscience.”
In addition to his Feed it Forward initiative, Gordon intends to personally visit Parliament Hill to initiate legislative change so that healthy and nutritious food can lawfully be diverted to feed Canadians in need.
According to Gordon, Canada throws away $31 billion worth of consumable food every year – that’s 40% (!) of all food produced ending up in a landfill. Meanwhile, 1 in 7 (4.9 million) people live in poverty.