We’ve moved!

•October 1, 2008 • Leave a Comment

That’s right! Katherine and I are jumping for joy as we’ve moved our blog onto its own URL! What fun!

You can now find us and our adventures at http://nightintoronto.com.

Do come and check out our new site. If you’ve already subscribed to our RSS feed, you’ll have to resubscribe with the new feed. Same goes for those of you who get our updates through Feedburner. Visit the “About” page of the new site to see the many many ways you can subscribe to That Night In Toronto.

Be sure to pop over to the new site and catch a glimpse of our preview of Nuit Blanche, coming this Saturday to Toronto!

See yah …

– Blair

Episode 12 – September 19, 2008

•September 22, 2008 • 2 Comments

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Bonjour Toronto!

Last Friday, Katherine and I took in a bit of Francophone culture at the Alliance Française at Lowther and Spadina where they premiered a new monthly Cabaret series. It was an wonderful evening with three lovely singers (avec Claire Jenkins, Amélie Lefebvre et Lyne Tremblay). They sang a range of music from Tom Waits to Kurt Veil. The place was packed and the audience was enraptured with the singers! And tickets were only $5! If you’re interested in checking out some francophone culture, this is an excellent introduction. The Cabaret took place in the gallery space at the Alliance which is open daily with some stunning artwork on the wall. Be sure to check out the next Cabaret event in October (and get there early so you can grab your wine before they run out of glasses!).

After the show, we followed the singers to Paupers Pub where we gathered in a rather hidden room on the first floor. Packed into this tiny room, Tom (who’s last name I forget) brought out his violin from the show and serenaded us all with some classical, some contemporary, and some traditional Québecois music. I felt like we were somewhere in Europe at a pub. It’s not every day you walk into a bar in Toronto and sit around a table with a violinist singing songs en français. Katherine and I grabbed some drinks enjoyed the music (Katherine and our friend Josée even took part playing the spoons!).

Then it was off to The Wreck Room at Bathurst and Bloor to take part in “Loving in the Name Of”, a concert hosted by The Best with such artists as Sebastien Grainger (remember him?), Tara Slone, and Nick Sewell. The band was great as they sang a range of classic tunes like Boston’s “More Than A Feeling” and “I’ve Had The Time of My Life” from the cult classic Dirty Dancing. It was a 360 from the Cabaret show earlier that evening, but it was a blast! And at only $5 for cover, you can’t go wrong.

So there you have it! A music filled night for us! A great way to kick off the last weekend of the summer … sigh.

Follow our journeys through the following ways:

What we talked about in this episode:

Photo of TTC streetcar by Russell Francey.

Goldfrapp ROCKS!

•September 14, 2008 • Leave a Comment

I just got out I the Goldfrapp concert at the Danforth Music Hall. She was AMAZING! It took the crowd about half the concert before the Toronto audience got up and rocked along but once we got over our fear of showing our excitement for this amazing singer. I’m going to get all the albums on iTunes when I get home. Here are some photos to enjoy!

– Blair

Episode 11 – September 13, 2008

•September 14, 2008 • Leave a Comment

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We’re back!

Yes, it was a little touch and go there for a while after our last vlog, but we’re back on the air – this time in HD! Woot! Thanks to our brand new Canon HG10, you’ll be able to enjoy TNIT through the magic of HD – it’s almost as if you are actually there with us! (Okay, that’s a bit of an exaggeration …)

On Saturday, Katherine and I decided to check out the Queen West Arts Crawl, a favourite weekend event amongst many Torontonians. What’s different about this vlog is that we filmed it BEFORE 5pm! That’s right – this is not about a night in Toronto as much as it is about a day in Hogtown. As that was the case, it only made sense that we grab a bit of brunch because c’mon – it’s Saturday morning!

We made our way over to Squrily’s which neither of us had been to before (for brunch). It’s an incredibly eclectic restaurant in its décor. There’s a lovely patio in the back where we sat (well, we sat on the edge of it because there was a great big red couch that Katherine wanted to rest up). The brunch was delicious and pretty darn cheap, if you ask me. Only $20 for the two of us (incl. tax and tip!).

Then it was off to Trinity Bellwoods Park to take part in the artist fair and to take a peak at some of the amazing artists who live in this fair city.

You’ll have to watch the episode to see how it all went down. 🙂

We’d like to say thanks to Megan Hamilton for providing her song “Detroit” as the music for this episode! If you’ve got some music that you think would work well for for TNIT, drop us a line!

Follow our journeys through the following ways:

What we talked about in this episode:

Photo of Trinity Bellwoods Park by Katherine Grainger.

Spadina WaveDeck opens!

•September 12, 2008 • Leave a Comment

I’m sitting on the new Spadina WaveDeck, one of the first projects completed by Waterfront Toronto. The mayor and many members of various levels of government were on hand for the launch of this impressive deck – one of seven to be built over the next few years. I took some photos which I’ll try to upload from my phone here or when I get back to my computer. Time to enjoy my lunch! 🙂

Hands of Glory

•September 9, 2008 • Leave a Comment

Hey Guys –

So here is a blog without the V ideo.  I know what you are thinking:  “OMG, Blair and Katherine don’t have a camera anymore.  It broke in the last episode and now they are screwed….  It is the end…..”  This is simply not true.  In fact, our own Blair Francey just bought a new super duper camera and our next episode will be done using new video technology.  Fear not!

Although, we have both been super insanely busy and have not had time to put something together.  However, there is a ton of stuff we want to tell you about.  I wanted to tell you about my Saturday night!  I woke up Sunday morning with my hands decorated as ones hands should be on a Sunday morning.  Check them out:

Lots of stamps = Lots of fun

Lots of stamps = Lots of fun

I know, my hands just look dirty… and veiny….  but they represent a super fun night.  On the right hand (your left) is the stamp ‘kp’ which is for Kathleen Phillips‘ comedy show.  Yes that’s right, for you loyal watchers you will remember that at the beginning of the summer, I spent an entire episode talking about how we were going to see one of her comedy shows, only to get screwed when the show was sold out!  Well, this one was not sold out, but it should have been.  Kathleen put a show together called “Kathleen Phillips is a Haunted House” and showed it at the Comedy Bar (a new venue downtown for the comedy).  I laughed so hard, but, due to my being sick and losing my voice, no one could here the joy out of my mouth.  Oh well.  It was a great mix of live character hilarity and some of her best short films, including my current favourite “This Fuckin’ Town”  See below (disclaimer: for those who aren’t a fan of swearing, this video may not be for you … everyone else, enjoy a laugh!):

So now to the left hand.  The big stamp of dancing aliens is what you get when you pay $5 in the back room of Clinton’s (at Bloor and Clinton) every Saturday night.  Because on these nights, it is Shake A Tail, one of the hottest dance nights.  All 60’s funk and soul and all fun.  It is one of the hottest dance spots on a Saturday.  Click here for a link to their Facebook Group page.  Join it.  They just send you a quick reminder from time to time that dancing is in order.

The happy face on the left hand was for a concert it one of coolest or most random places.  My brother Sebastien (www.myspace.com/sebastiengrainger) was playing at this newly renovated old building on Queen West called the Burroughs Building.  I am trying to find information on how to find information on what goes on there, but it is all really weird.  It looks like they are trying to lease out a lot of the spaces in the building but in the meantime renting out for events.  Well, it was a really cool concert venue, it was like you were in a friend’s loft with huge windows overlooking Queen West.  Only problem was… only 2 toilets!  Seriously.  I spent a good half hour in line.  Though I was dancing at the same time.  As for the concert, well, my brother and his band ‘the mountains’ rocked as usual.  It was a sort of Virgin Fest after party.  Poor them, they had to play the next day on the island.  Not much partying for them… but that meant more free backstage (or behind curtain) white wine for me.  If you haven’t heard their stuff yet, do go the myspace page.  I am not just saying it because he is family.  His music is seriously great and his first full album is coming out in October.  Watch for it.  Your ears will be blown.

That’s it for the tour of my hands.  I DARE YOU TO SEND ME PICS OF YOUR ‘SUNDAY MORNING HANDS’.  Would be great to have a little Facebook album full of stamped hands and tiny stories in the comments.  I dare you to do it.  Let’s go for it!

As for the next episode…  Blair and I will be hanging out at the Queen West Arts Crawl on Saturday at Trinity Bellwoods Park.  We won’t have a chance to air the episode until the event is over, so please check it out.  I went last year and it was so great.  I am looking forward to it even more now as I live so close by!  I’ll get to know the artists in my neighborhood.

Okay – that’s it for me.  Send in the photos of your stamped hands and please come and try to find us at the Queen West Arts Crawl this weekend.  If I see you and you tell me you came because I told you so, I’ll either give you fifty cents, or a big kiss on the cheek.  Wichever you choose.

See you around town guys!

Episode 10 – August 27, 2008

•August 29, 2008 • Leave a Comment

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It started out as an excellent night.

Katherine and I met at City Hall to check out what installation was in the Rotunda. We found a great piece from Vietnam – 300 (out of an original 1,303) painted lanterns by school children about how they viewed the country. Some of the paintings were amazing for such young children! The piece was only on for a few days, and we weren’t allowed to film it, but Katherine took some great photos!

Then it was out to Nathan Phillips Square to take a look at the art on the square. Some people might not know that we have a Henry Moore sculpture right there! And how many of us have taken the time to actually read about the Peace Garden (how many of you knew there WAS a Peace Garden)? From the City’s website:

The Peace Garden in Nathan Phillips Square consists of a simple cube with a pitched roof, an eternal flame, a pool and stone platform walls. The roof has a damaged appearance, which signifies conflict and evokes the theme of civilization’s frailty.

The eternal flame appears to support the structure, symbolizing the hope and regeneration of mankind.

Former Mayor Nathan Phillips presented the sundial located in the Peace Garden to the citizens of Toronto. It is inscribed with the words, “In appreciation of the opportunity to serve.”

The sundial, which was installed on Nathan Phillips Square in 1969, was designed by G.R. Johnson (in consultation with City Property Commissioner H.H. Rogers and architect John C. Parkin) and fabricated by F. Caruk, Master Welding Limited.

On March 5, 1984, during the City’s Sesquicentennial (150th anniversary) celebrations, then Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau turned the first sod for the Peace Garden’s construction.

In September of the same year, His Holiness Pope John Paul II lit the eternal flame with an ember from the Memorial for Peace in Hiroshima, Japan. The Holy Father poured a vial of water from the rivers that flow through Nagasaki into the pool.

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II formally dedicated the Peace Garden in October, 1984.

Then it was off to the Elgin and Winter Garden Theatre Centre to see Avenue Q – but on our way over, we decided to investigate the flying Canadian Geese at the south entrance to the Eaton Centre. The piece, called Flight Stop, is by internationally renowned Toronto artist Michael Snow. This is another wonderful piece of art which many probably take for granted. But it’s a rather significant installation as there was some interesting controversy surrounding it.

After grabbing a quick bite to eat at Sushi Q in the Eaton Centre food court (to tie us over), we made our way over to the Elgin to pick up our tickets to Avenue Q. Before the show, we checked out another installation on the Palladian level of the Elgin by Theatre Museum Canada (yes! We have a theatre museum – it just doesn’t have a physical home … yet). They have some lovely costume and set designs on display at the moment. Make sure you check out what’s on display next time you’re there.

Here’s a quick peak at a song from Avenue Q:

It’s a hilarious show! We laughed and cried (from the pure joy of some of the songs). But then drama struck … you’ll have to watch the video to find out what kind of drama exactly … 😉

Follow our journeys through the following ways:

What we talked about in this episode:

Photo taken of the Toronto skyline by Blair Francey.

Formats available:MPEG-4 Video (.m4v), Flash Video (.flv)