Sunday, December 31, 2006

Happy New Year!

party hat
Originally uploaded by 416style.
Hope you all have a wicked time tonight and enjoy a night out in the city. Good picks for the night are the Promise/ Alieninflux event and the milk/ Richard Brooks events with Ron Trent. I'll be there on the dance floor after 2 when my favourite house music DJ - Ali Black -goes on for his set. Time to break it down everybody. It's a New Day!

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Spa Day Holiday at Body Blitz

Few of us ever take the time to indulge in a nice long bath let alone with a group of close friends, so I welcomed the opportunity when I got an email telling me to come to Body Blitz for a day of girlfriend fun at the ladies-only water spa. The spa had opened over a year ago in a converted old brick industrial building on Adelaide West at Portland and had generated a serious amount of buzz since it was the only one of its kind in Canada. I'd given several friends gift certificates to Body Blitz since I thought it would be a fantastic present but hadn't gone to check it out yet myself.

Staff greeted my friends and I by taking tea orders then leading us through the spa with recommendations on how to get the most from our day in the therapeutic waters. We were to follow a circuit through warm, hot and cold pools filled with fresh and salt water, as well as one with green tea. In between we could hop into a lush steam room and sauna or hang out poolside on comfy leather loungers.

We lingered for hours, moving around the giant pool divided up by a stonewall with salt water waterfall. All around we were surrounded by natural elements of rock, wood and subtle lighting. Although it's all indoors, the illusion of being in nature is fulfilled. It's the best way I can think of to feel like you're getting away while still being in the city - no need to travel several hours to dip your feet in salt water when you can find it right here in Toronto.

Post bath time several friends indulged further with massages, body scrubs and mud treatments. Had I known that the price (about 40 dollars) for "the waters" was included in any one of the treatments I would've slipped away for some shiatsu. Instead I did a few more circuits soaking up the benefits of the different pools and then kicked back all wrapped up in a toasty bathrobe. It's one of the best days I've spent in awhile and a great way to unwind after the holiday.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

A Royal Reopening

It was a horrible day in Toronto when we learned we'd potentially be losing three of our historic rep theatres. That was back in June. I'm still lamenting the day the Runnymede Theatre became a Chapters bookstore and that was 8 years ago. It could've been worse. Though it's not a theatre anymore, it still hangs onto some of the same old school charm it had back in the day when I had a date with my first teen crush there. Some of the cinema seating remains too, for those who want to cozy up with a book and forego the awkward handholding.

My memories of the Uptown theatre were demolished three years back and I pass The Revue on Roncesvalles wondering when someone will see its potential and bring it back to life. Local businesses and residents campaigned, raising $30,000 to save it from an unknown fate, but it still needs a buyer with a big heart. Further down Roncesvalles, the Brighton Theatre became a large convenience store years ago, but its classic signage was just recently removed.

Despite some of the losses and some of the change, there is good news on the street. The Royal on College reopened last Friday with a door toward the future of cinema. It'll feature high-definition projection, top-notch sound systems and Avid editing facilities. Theatre D Digital, a Toronto post-house credited with mixing Rub & Tug and Phil the Alien, has taken over the property with the intention of restoring the theatre to its former glory days, back when they called it the Pylon. They'll cut and mix projects in one of four suites during daytime hours and feature Canadian and International film on screen in the evenings.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Top of TO: Design Shops

For those who get totally stressed Christmas shopping I have one piece of advice - go local and stay out of the malls. Over the course of two rainy days I've found nearly everything I need in Bloor West, Parkdale and West Queen West, granted I've been buying for people who love design as much as I do and it's always easier to find unique gifts away from the dreaded mall.

Relatively new to the block is blue igloo in Parkdale, a small shop with a bit of everything for the home. Every time I go in I leave with something for my flat, but this time the silver teardrop lamp I picked up had someone else's name on it. At Jolanta Interiors on Bloor every kitchen accessory you could dream up is somewhere on its shelves. Smallish brandy glasses were a nightmare to find anywhere else - they were out, too pricey or not the right shape - but they were a quick find at this established shop in the village. Wish I'd bought the ramekins for creme brulee for $1.50 a piece at Jolanta's instead of at Williams Sonoma at $11 a pop, though WS did wrap them up extra pretty.

Of all the places I'd been Studio Brillantine at Dovercourt and Queen is my fav. Whenever I'm lost for gift ideas SB is where I end up. I spent an hour looking at every piece in the store - Stelton's stainless steel coffee set by Arne Jacobsen, Shiseido candies from Ginza, Toyko and minimal digital watches by Philippe Stark. It's the kind of stuff that wins design awards and gets noticed - conversation pieces - the kind of pieces people usually don't buy for themselves but would love to own and probably don't already have. I left with a great bag of goodies, easily finding something for the home-office guy, the entertainer and the traveler too all in one simple spot.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Are You A Winner?

blogTO reported this morning that someone could be missing out on a chance to claim $355,000 in winnings from Lotto 6/49. The lottery ticket was sold in South Western Ontario last year but has yet to be claimed. The deadline to claim the cash is 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, January 4, 2007. I could rifle through all the drawers in my house or just pull the ones off the fridge my man's been waiting to claim. Maybe we can have our dream vacation after all.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Toronto's Dark Side

As much as I love Toronto's shiny side I also love it for its dark corners too. I scoured my flickr photography group fourONEsixSTYLE looking for stills to share with you. This one, as the last skyline shot taken from high above the clouds on a passenger plane, shows an angle of this city I've never seen before and reveals a futuristic looking city. Toronto, the Gotham City of the Future? Maybe not, we're still a clean, green city for the most part, but when that ubiquitous fog rolls in does make me think there might be a little madness stirring under the fog's heavy veil.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Toronto: 2019

This photo is hands-down the most gorgeous photograph of Toronto I have ever seen, flickr buffs call it cloudporn. Local blog Torontoist (note lack of link) credits their reader Gareth for submitting it, but unfortunately they don't offer a link to his site(s), as most blogs would do. So I'm left searching the back pages of flickr on my own just to find more of these delicious shots. I'll share them with you here at fourONEsixSTYLE as I do.