April is absolutely buzzing with activity in Toronto. Whether you’re a patio dweller waiting for those temps to finally rise, a Jays fan, welcoming back the boys in blue, or delightfully, a Raptors and/or Leafs fan- with both teams in the post season there’s a lot of reasons to celebrate in the 6ix!

EVENTS

April showers they ain’t, but an indoor water fight to celebrate the annual Songkran Festival is good clean fun for everyone, with Bangkok Garden hosting a party on April 13th to ring in the Thai New Year.

Open Kitchen is hosting their second event, after a smashing time last month at Ufficio, this April 18th will bring the masses to Donna Dooher’s legendary Mildred’s Temple Kitchen to raise money to send women to GBC for their culinary program.
With legalization looming around the corner, it’s a bygone conclusion that cannabis will be a hot button topic this year, whether you’re a seasoned smoker or green and grossed out. Events are taking place on the stoner sanctioned day that is known as 420. Get stocked up on your green vices and stay tuned for more cannabis related news and events-our green goddess friends at Green Market TO have got you covered.
Terroir Symposium is back in it’s 12th year, courting industry professionals from the culinary world at the AGO on April 23rd. Experts from diverse and emerging fields will be dishing out details on everything from sustainable fishing, wine and beer making, farming and food trends- if you’re in the food industry or are passionate about what you consume, don’t miss out on this inspired day of programming.
Kingston Social Supper Club is back, with Carole Nelson Brown channeling her latest travels to Spain, curating a Spanish Spring Dinner for a song, with tickets going for $55 for six courses. Learn more and grab tickets for this tantalizing April 28th event here.

NOW OPEN
The Cheesecake Factory may have taken the cake for their staggeringly long line ups, but they’ve just been usurped by the mighty Jollibee. Kingston Commons scores the first of many of this cheerful Filipino fast food restaurant, known for fried chicken and spaghetti dishes.

Exec Chef Stuart Cameron


Peruvian flavours boast a Japanese influence at the stunning new Mira restaurant, by ICONINK and Executive Chef Stuart Cameron. Housed in an old nightclub (F Stop), the space beckons with a gleaming bar, trendy neon signage, hand crafted cocktails and killer ceviches.
Bucking the vegan trend, Escape Goat in Parkdale is bringing the beef where it belongs, in between the buns! Escape Goat is serving up burgers and bar food, smartly served with craft beers, right in time for summer.
And another Calii Love has just opened, this one located tucked in the PATH, much to the delight of Bay Street and their basement dwelling lunch habits.

COMING SOON
Basil Box is set to open not one, but four new locations in Toronto this year. North York will snap up two, one at Yonge and Finch and another a little south at the newly renovated Sheppard Centre. Downtown will score the other two locations, with Royal Bank Plaza and Bathurst and College snapping up the other two.

We’re inching closer to an invasion of the body snatchers by way of bar-napping. Hold onto your Pan Galactic Gargle Blasters- Storm Crow Manor is getting ready to launch their first east coast location, right on Church Street in the gaybourhood.
Campagnolo fans will be swooning when Constantine unveils at the new Charles Street hotel The Anndore House. Chef Craig Harding is bringing the heat, with flavours from Italy to the Middle East all under one roof. Stay tuned for more on Constantine’s opening, slated for late April.
Sherway Gardens is gearing up for the next Cactus Club opening. The west coast chain boasts perfectly balanced plates courtesy of our hometown hero Cory Vitiello and his west coast conspirator Rob Feenie.
The Food Dudes are expanding their empire with a new concept- Blondies Pizza is ready to roll out the dough in Leslieville, with another second location already in the works for the downtown core coming this fall.
Junction hood will see some heat coming to their neck of the woods when Chica’s Nashville Hot Chicken opens next month. As the name promises, fried chicken makes up the core of the menu, deep fried deliciousness on Dundas West, we’re already there.
Chef Alex Molitz is gearing up to show off his beauty City Betty, located on Danforth Avenue. Dubbed a ‘bicoastal kitchen’, you can expect a lot of California crossover dining options when this kitchen opens next month.
Everyone’s favourite Top Chef Canada host and one of Toronto’s best in his own right is gearing up for a sibling to Fabbrica, this one in the TD Centre. Promising to serve slow-cooked food quickly, the concept should be a hit nestled neatly in the PATH.
Chef Christine Mast is ready to soak up the sights and sounds of Yorkville when Sofia is unveiled. Seasonal Italian will pair well with top notch wines in a stunning space, befitting of a Yorkville princess. We’re excited for a distinctly feminine offering helmed by this celebrated Chef.
And an unlikely coupling could prove for a dynasty when Rosalinda opens in the Financial District later this year. The plant-based Mexican restaurant is being cooked up by Grant van Gameren and Libretto backers Max Rimaldi and Jamie Cook, with a vegan heavy menu that will surely delight Antler’s protesters.
Zebu Steakhouse might still be working on design and layout, but the food is being cranked out daily by their amazing Executive Chef Lilian Cardoso who is nimble in the trailer/make shift kitchen set out front of the work in progress that was formerly a Milestone’s.

CLOSED
Colette Grand Cafe quietly closed their cafe at the Thompson Hotel, making way for their roll out across Canada housed in Holt Renfrew locations.

Colette Grand Cafe


And we know the Raptors must be dropping lots of threes these days but that’s not stopping more Popeye’s from taking over the entire city, with another Toronto restaurant closing to get the orange treatment, this one in the top of the city, replacing Black Cod at Yonge by York Mills.

Got a hot tip for our food editor? Drop us a line- libby@auburnlane.com