Of cat cafés, cannabis and eclairs

How to have a Toronto-style Valen­tine’s Day with­out even break­ing a sweat

Midtown Post - - News - by Ron John­son

When I think about Valen­tine’s Day, the mu­sic in the back of my head is the theme song for “The Love Boat.” I can pic­ture Isaac whip­ping up a fes­tive cock­tail be­fore din­ner at Cap­tain Stub­ing’s ta­ble. It’s a catchy tune, but the point is that I’m not overly en­am­oured with the whole Valen­tine’s Day vibe.

But then we start plan­ning our Fe­bru­ary is­sue and talk­ing about ro­mance and how to cel­e­brate such a hol­i­day, and all the great events and ac­tiv­i­ties on of­fer in the city come Fe­bru­ary, and I start to come around.

Af­ter all, we live in a city where one can par­take in a vast ar­ray of Valen­tine’s ac­tiv­i­ties that are as far re­moved from a Hall­mark hol­i­day as one could imag­ine, in­clud­ing a Leonard Co­hen–in­spired the­atri­cal pro­duc­tion and a bur­lesque queen.

Our Fe­bru­ary edi­tion fea­tures a fair amount of cov­er­age for ro­man­ti­cally in­clined Toronto res­i­dents, from fash­ion colum­nist Jeanne Beker’s look­ing at ev­ery­thing rose gold and gor­geous un­der the sun to a sam­pling of the city’s best French eclairs. We kick things off with a de­cid­edly un­ro­man­tic chat with for­mer

Dragons’ Den star Kevin O’Leary, who has been in the news lately as he mulls over tak­ing a run at the Con­ser­va­tive Party of Canada lead­er­ship. Also in the news, we look at the grow­ing num­ber of mar­i­juana dis­pen­saries pop­ping up around town. Oh, and we pit the city’s first cat café against one of the first dog cafés, just be­cause we can.

Our food sec­tion in­cludes the afore­men­tioned eclair af­fair, as well as Joanne Kates’ lat­est re­views, plus Rose Reis­man checks out a pop­u­lar dish from a new mac ’n’ cheese spe­cial­ity restau­rant and gives her nu­tri­tional take.

Our arts sec­tion fea­tures ba­si­cally ev­ery­thing worth check­ing out in the city’s cul­tural scene this month, in­clud­ing an in­ter­view with comic Jeremy Hotz and a pro­file of Toronto mu­si­cian Ba­sia Bu­lat on her new al­bum. Host of CBC’s new TV show Hello Good­bye, Dale Curd helps us with a new book col­umn, called Five Books That Mat­ter, and Mark Bres­lin gets in on the ganja act by pen­ning a col­umn on stoner hu­mour.

Ron John­son

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