1000 Tastes of Toronto, June 9th and 10th, The Distillery District
Last weekend, the normally peaceful and sophisticated Distillery District assumed a carnival-like atmosphere as it played host to Luminato’s 1000 Tastes of Toronto. The sunny weather and charming location drew a large crowd of hungry Torontonians, eager to sample their city’s best culinary offerings. For $5 a ticket, you could walk along the stalls and sample a variety of dishes from the menus of both chain and smaller, local restaurants. Although it might seem that $5 doesn’t buy you much of any one dish, the portions are deceptively small, $20 is enough to be able to sample two dishes, a drink and a dessert. The Distillery District is the ideal location for wandering around unique shops while sipping mint lemonade and sampling different snacks, making 1000 Tastes of Toronto the perfect event for a hot weekend. — IP
Rating: Love it!
/// Re-ply \\\, June 8–17, Parliament St. between Dundas and Wellesley
This free series of art installations by Luminato artist-in-residence Dan Bergeron winds through St. James Town and Cabbagetown, coming to an end in Regent Park. Don’t be fooled by the brochure: there is only one installation on Parliament St. between Dundas and Wellesley that is easy to find. The rest is hidden away on obscure intersections off the main road. The installations themselves, which seek to blur the line between graffiti and more established art forms, were very interesting. Particular highlights included a solar cell-phone charging station made of bicycles, and a self-portrait project that Bergeron carried out in Regent Park with the help of a group of children. But having to hunt down the installations detracts from the overall effect of the art itself; The installations would probably have a much more profound effect if you stumbled upon them by chance, and could enjoy the surprise of seeing complex works of art in a place as run down as Regent Park. However, those intent on seeing this series should check www.luminato.com for the installations locations. —IP
Rating: Leave it.
Toronto Carretilla Initiative, June 9–17, various locations
The Toronto Carretilla Initiative is an interactive installation by Austrian artist Rainer Prohaska, who has assembled mobile “kitchens” —shopping carts with large, wooden cutting boards secured over their baskets — in certain locations across Toronto. At various times during the day, the public is invited to prepare, distribute, and partake in a meal. When I visited the installation in David Pecaut Square on Monday afternoon, we were tasked with whipping up some French potato soup. The participants did minimal amounts of actual cooking; our job was to chop up vegetables, assemble the various ingredients, and hand them over to a professional chef. When the soup was ready, we shared it with the large crowd that had gathered around the installation — a group of apron-clad individuals slicing potatoes on top of bright orange shopping carts must make for a very odd sight. The soup itself tasted pretty good, but to fixate on the quality of the meal would be to miss this point of the installation. The Toronto Carretilla Initiative is really all about the social aspects of preparing and eating food, and as it turns out, meeting new people while chopping vegetables under the summer sun is a perfectly agreeable way to spend your lunch hour. – BK
Rating: Love it!