Go west in 2011

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Arts & Life editor Gianluca Inglesi highlights some hotspots to check out in the new year


The noisy Eaton Centre crowds can get annoying for even the most savvy of shoppers. For a change of pace, take a streetcar ride to Jacflash at 1036 Queen St. W. for the perfect blend of class and edge. The boutique boasts
designer labels, many of which are Canadian (including accessories by
Ryerson alumni Amanda Lew Kee). Or spend a day in Kensington Market and stop by Model Citizen. Unlike its vintage neighbours, the store sells designer clothing from across the country. With regular on-site silk-screening workshops they can also equip you with the tools and skills necessary to make your own cheeky and cheesy graphic tee’s.


With Billy Elliot and Lion King taking the Toronto stage this spring there will be plenty of theatre buffs flocking down Yonge to the Elgin Theatre. But if you’re looking to save money and still see live productions try TOtix’s special student program HipTix. With a wide selection of dramas and comedies, students can take a trip to the theatre for only $5. The shows play at various theatres around the city including Theatre Passe Muraille which is known for its interactive experience.
Or if you’re looking for an even cheaper laugh check out
Second City’s free improv shows. Every week night they host free productions featuring some of the company’s top comedians.

Dining & Nightlife

Looking to add more class to your drunken weekends? Visit two of the city’s most cultural sites in the heart of the art and design district. For dinner and music enter
The Gladstone Hotel for a intimate and delicious dining experience or spend time next door in their Melody bar for live performances or karaoke.
If you’re looking for a bar outside of the entertainment district check out The Drake Hotel’s three distinct levels. Start your night on the ground floor that features a full bar and booths to fit your entire party. For an extension of the lounge scene travel upstairs to the rooftop Skybar for scenery and comfort. But if you’re looking to pick up the pace move downstairs to the underground which has a full dance floor and live music. And if you don’t feel like travelling home at the end of the night consider staying in either of the establishments beautiful hotel rooms.

Photo courtesy of Gladstone Hotel

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