/ The Toronto Guide
Toronto — By thetorontoguide on December 17, 2008 at 1:00 pm

Holiday Glamour: Hair

It’s party season, which means a whole lot of looking sharp. And since Toronto is the nation’s fashion capital (okay, it’s at least in competition with Euro-influenced Montreal) there are not only high expectations for style but don’t worry, the city provides a wealth of ways to get glamorous.


Guys, don’t stop reading just yet! This could be the perfect last-minute shopping guide for the lady in your life.


My next few posts will give you some ideas for looking your best in Toronto this holiday season.


Today I bring you news about blow-outs (for the blow-out virgin or dirty-minded, that’s when a hairstylist washes, blow dries and styles your hair). Despite not including a cut, it can often be a long and expensive process. Luckily, Ritual 2 (a spa on King West) has just opened the Blow And Go Bar where you can get your hair done in under and hour for just $30! Make an appointment just before your soiree and waltz in looking like you’ve come straight from the set of a hair commercial.


For the gift buyers (whether for someone else or yourself!), when you buy a $100 gift certificate, you’ll also receive a $50 voucher. That’s five blow-outs so you can continue to look fab into 2009.


More information on PlanetEye: Ritual 2

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Toronto — By thetorontoguide on December 15, 2008 at 9:15 am

Nightflight to Festivus

It’s Monday. That means it’s time to make plans for the weekend, right? And if you’re going to party this holiday season, you might as well do some good while getting down. Nightflight to Festivus takes place at the Augusta House in Kensington this Saturday December 20th. It’s a $5 suggested donation and starts at 10pm. And all proceeds benefit the Redwood Shelter, a safe haven for women and children fleeing domestic abuse.

There will be a bunch of djs playing music from different eras, including my friend Sofi, who’ll be spinning songs from the 60s. Celebrate the holidays with a bunch of do-gooders and have fun doing it!

More information on PlanetEye: Augusta House

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Toronto — By thetorontoguide on December 12, 2008 at 9:45 am

US Decor Store in T.O.

American decor store, West Elm has a location in Canada and lucky for us, it’s in Toronto. West Elm carries all the fun stuff you’ll find at any good furniture store — including rugs, wall decor and lighting, bedding, bath and gifts. The look is modern yet cozy. It’s a mix of Ikea, Anthropologie and Restoration Hardware.

West Elm isn’t among the other modern furniture offerings on King East, it’s actually in the exact opposite direction, off King West in Liberty Village. Wander through the burgeoning neighbourhood, pick up some gifts and grab a meal. 

More information on PlanetEye: Liberty Village, West Elm

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Toronto — By thetorontoguide on December 10, 2008 at 9:00 am

After the party or before the party…

Near Bloor and Avenue Road, just outside of Yorkville, Lobby is the restaurant, bar and party venue for the hip and luxurious. I was there last week for an event and it was full of networkers in expensive-looking clothing. Wannabe models, suits, PR types and basically those with money to spare tend to hang out there but it’s good for a night out now and then.

The decor is minimal, black and cream and contemporary. It’s really quite gorgeous. Known for its super exclusive Film Fest parties, the walls are adorned with big black-and-white paparazzi-style shots of celebs like Scarlett Johansson entering the swank lounge.

I’ve never eaten there but the menu is composed of fancy versions of your favourites – like Kobe Beef burgers and Mac & Cheese with four cheeses and truffle essence. The drinks aren’t cheap but they’re not totally out of reasonable range either.

Put on your trendiest and pop by Lobby for a $26 burger or bottle service for a big night out.

More information on PlanetEye: Lobby

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Toronto — By thetorontoguide on December 8, 2008 at 1:30 pm


Friday evening, I met two dear friends for dinner at Mercatto. And I’ll be honest and start this review by saying that my friend’s husband is a chef at the Toronto Street location. But I’ll also point out that if I didn’t enjoy the food, I just wouldn’t write the review. My friends don’t follow every single item I write.

But I digress, Mercatto has three locations: 15 Toronto Street, 330 Bay Street and 110 College Street. They’re all pretty centrally located and are great places for a fancy weekday lunch — perfect for impressing a client.

The food is sophisticated upscale Italian meets homestyle secret recipes. It’s definitely authentic and as rich, spicy or mild as you like it. There’s something on the menu for everyone. For a classic, try the rigatoni with bolognese sauce. It was delicious and ridiculously filling.

And be sure the sample the wine. Mercatto is known for its extensive wine list with 24 to choose from by the glass. Their Enomatic Wine System, straight from Italy. The system prevents oxygen from contacting the wine and uses nitrogen gas to keep it fresh.

So impress some friends or business associates with your fancy knowledge of fine wine and fresh Italian food!

More information on PlanetEye: Mercatto

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Toronto — By thetorontoguide on December 5, 2008 at 10:45 pm

Calvalcade of Lights Saturday Nights

Every weekend Nathan Phillips Square hosts performances among the breathtaking lights and fireworks.

This Saturday December 6: Canadian Idols Theo Tams, Mitch Macdonald, Drew Write plus special guests Mookie Morris and Sebastian Piggot along with DJ Cajjmere Wray.

Saturday December 13: Dragonette and DJ Tricky Moreira.

Saturday December 20: Serena Ryder and DJ Denise Brown. 

The lovely light show isn’t only at City Hall but takes place across the city. Check out the details

More information on PlanetEye: Nathan Phillips Square

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Toronto — By thetorontoguide on December 3, 2008 at 10:30 am

Visions of Sugar Plums

The Nutcracker is synonymous with the holiday season. If you’ve never seen it, it’s high time. I don’t care if you’re not a ballet fan, this is a holiday classic, people!

It’s being performed by the National Ballet of Canada at the Four Seasons Centre. The ballet is choreographed by James Kudelka (a Newmarket native) and danced by not only members of the National ballet corps but students of the National Ballet School and other performing arts schools. The main characters, Misha and Marie are played by students, as are many of the animals like the rats and little lambs.

Tickets are on sale now and will sell out quickly, so get yours asap


More information on PlanetEye: Four Seasons Center for the Performing Arts

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Toronto — By thetorontoguide on December 1, 2008 at 9:45 pm

Lace Up Your Skates

The weather outside really is frightful and I for one, can’t wait until it’s cold enough that the awful rain turns to snow. I’d rather bundle up and stay dry then sweat in my parka while carrying an umbrella. Plus, when the rain lets up, it’ll be perfect skating weather.

If you want to join the masses while taking in the giant Christmas tree at City Hall, head to Nathan Phillips Square and skate around in a big oval in the downtown core. You can rent skates and indulge in delicious street food like hot dogs and fries.

I personally prefer the Natrel rink at Harbourfront Centre. It’s bigger and you get to skate alongside Lake Ontario. Plus, there are fewer people and traffic jams. If you’re not a natural, take lessons

Another big rink is at Mel Lastman Square (named after a former Toronto mayor) in North York. 

If you’re looking for something a little smaller, and possibly not so busy, check out one of the public rinks at Toronto parks

More information on PlanetEye: Nathan Phillips Square, Mel Lastman Square, Harbourfront Centre

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Toronto — By thetorontoguide on November 26, 2008 at 10:30 am

Toronto Tickets for Less

Following my post on concierge services, I thought I’d outline a service that’s a little more within reach. Eservus Online Concierge Service arranges a slew of services for you from hotel reservations to house cleaning but I would say that their specialty is getting you cheap tickets to attractions like the Art Gallery of Ontario, Royal Ontario Museum, Casa Loma and the CN Tower. Discounts are also offered for sports, theatre, trade shows and even chartered trips to Niagara Falls.

More discount ticket outlets:



Tickets Now 


Toronto — By thetorontoguide on November 24, 2008 at 9:30 pm

Pay Someone to Do It For You

Whether you’re too busy or too lazy, there are people in this city who will take care of just about anything you need… for a price of course.

Zebrano is a personal concierge service that will help design your home, plan your trip or reorganize your closet. If for some reason, you need more than the Toronto travel tips on PlanetEye.com (unlikely!) or you just don’t want to be bothered with the details, Zebrano will book your hotel and even plan a tourism itinerary. Check out their sample itinerary that takes you from accommodations, to shopping, to an evening at the theatre and back.

The people at Rosie Young will wash your car, pick up your dry cleaning, basically organize your life. They’ll also plan trips and carpools for you.

Among many other things, VIP Services will help coordinate your entertainment wants. Want reservations at the city’s hottest restaurant or the big game? VIP will hook you up.

Coming up Wednesday: discount tickets to Toronto attractions.