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TL Insider

Year in Review: A look back at all the amazing TL Insider events of 2019

It’s been just over one year since we launched our TL Insider membership program—and what a year it’s been. More than 1,500 members have already enjoyed front-of-the-line access to over 150 events, including private dining experiences and exclusive invitations to Toronto Life’s salon-like discussion series. (Sign up today and you too can live your best Toronto life!) Here, a look back at all of TL Insider’s events, including some highlights.

January

January 13-27: Special access to Canadian Stage’s Tartuffe January 14: TL Masterclass with Siminovitch Prize–winning artistic director Chris Abraham at Crow’s Theatre January 15: In Conversation with city councillor Joe Cressy January 17-20: Special access to The Interior Design Show

Year in Review: A look back at all the amazing TL Insider events of 2019

January 30: A one-of-a-kind experience at Pearl Morissette A group of lucky Insiders kicked off the new year with a private dinner at Jordan Station’s Pearl Morissette, named Canada’s Best New Restaurant by En Route. The multi-course tasting dinner was narrated by chef Daniel Hadida, and guests enjoyed pairings from the exclusive lineup of Pearl Morissette Library Wines.  

February
Year in Review: A look back at all the amazing TL Insider events of 2019

February 3: Mixing it up at PrettyUgly TL Insiders took part in Sunday School at PrettyUgly for the first of a series of monthly masterclasses and cocktail workshops, led by Robin Goodfellow and the rest of the talented crew at his Queen West hot spot. (We’re positive the Insiders that took part are going to wow party guests with their new skills this holiday season.)

February 7: The Homecoming celebrating La Carnita’s seventh birthday at One Method February 24: R&D Nights with Toronto Life at The Chase February 24: Another Sunday School Cocktail Workshop at PrettyUgly February 26: In Conversation with international speaker, community leader and social entrepreneur Samra Zafar February 27: R&D Nights with Toronto Life at Actinolite February 27: Special access to TO Live’s Dance Me February 28: Special access to Toronto Winter Brewfest  

March

March 11: R&D Nights with Toronto Life at Tanto March 12: TL Masterclass with city builder, Raj Kothari March 13: Canadian Stage Revisor Experience with post-show Q&A with Artistic Director, Brendan Healy March 13: Hexagon collaboration dinner March 19: Toronto Life Best Restaurants event March 20: R&D Nights with Toronto Life at Parcheggio March 22: Special access to Evermore Theatre’s Dry Powder
March 26: In Conversation with Bruce Linton March 27-31: Special access to the One of a Kind Show March 27: Special access to The Musical Stage Company’s Next to Normal
March 28: DaiLo x AngloThai Best Tables event March 29: Access to Toronto-based artist Anthony Ricciardi’s Dream Space Exhibit Opening  

April

April 3: R&D Night with Toronto Life at Montgomery’s April 6: Maison Selby sneak-preview dinner April 10: Special access to the Valkyrie Ink art exhibition April 14: R&D Night with Toronto Life at Kasa Moto April 23: In Conversation with chef Paula Navarrete

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Year in Review: A look back at all the amazing TL Insider events of 2019

April 26-May 5: Hot Docs in the city Rush lines? What rush lines? TL Insiders took advantage of complimentary tickets to last spring’s weeklong documentary festival. The only line they had to wait in was the one for the concession stand.

April 29: Weber Grill x DaiLo Best Tables event  

May

May 5: Spring Picnic at Dufferin Mall May 6: In Conversation with Derek Black and Allison Gornik May 7: TL Masterclass with Canadian writer and artist Jordan Tannahill May 10: Special access to the Creative Works Conference May 14: Special access to U-Feast’s Rioja Dinner May 19: Tanto Pop-up with London chef Scott Hallsworth May 22: Dining Experience at Founder Bar May 22: Jeremy Charles cookbook launch event May 24: Special access to The National Ballet of Canada’s Physical Thinking May 25: Special access to Greenwood Stakes May 26: Sunday School at PrettyUgly May 27: Plate Swap dinner at Piano Piano May 27: Special access to Gambero Rosso Vini d’Italia May 27: Special access to RamsayTalks with Patrick Radden Keefe May 28: In Conversation with Airbnb Canada’s director of public policy, Alex Dagg May 29: Special access to Toronto Dance Theatre’s Marienbad  

June

June 4: R&D Night with Toronto Life at Cava

Year in Review: A look back at all the amazing TL Insider events of 2019

June 4: A private Warner Bros. party TL Insiders were invited to join SHAFT star Jessie T. Usher at an exclusive reception held at Bisha Hotel, to celebrate the film’s release.  

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Year in Review: A look back at all the amazing TL Insider events of 2019

June 5: Momofuku Kojin’s first birthday party TL Insiders were treated to a very exclusive R&D Night: an intimate one-year birthday celebration at Momofuku Kōjin, Toronto Life’s best new restaurant of 2019. Executive chef Paula Navarrete (who just recently moved to the US of A) hosted the evening, and Insiders were treated to some of the most exciting food in the city—not to mention some delicious sour beer, sake, champagne and wine pairings.

June 6: Future of Transportation panel event at WeWork June 6: Special access to a French dinner with winemaker Ophélie Loubersac at Vantage Venues

Year in Review: A look back at all the amazing TL Insider events of 2019

June 11: A west-end kitchen party TL Insiders joined the team at Donna’s for a special family-style supper shindig at Donna’s, which holds the No. 2 spot on Toronto Life’s Best New Restaurants list.

June 11: Special access to the patio season launch with The Wine Sisters June 12: Pasta Masterclass at Parcheggio June 16: Special access to see Jonathan Antoine in concert June 19: Special access to Weddingbells: “Something New” June 25: In Conversation with founder and CEO of knix and knixteen, Joanna Griffiths June 26: R&D Nights with Toronto Life at Cantina Mercatto

Year in Review: A look back at all the amazing TL Insider events of 2019

June 27: Puttin’ on the spritz For one month in the summer, Aperol-loving Torontonians got their fix of that citrusy Italian aperitif at Bar Aperol, a pop-up bar on Queen West. However, TL Insiders had the chance to sip on spritzes before anyone else did, at a members-only preview party.

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June 27: Special access to Rosé in the City June 27: By The Glass wine event at Montecito  

July
Year in Review: A look back at all the amazing TL Insider events of 2019

July 3: A Masterclass on expanding your brand TL Insiders took part in an intimate Masterclass with Fatima Zaidi, the CEO and co-founder of Quill and the vice-president of Eighty-Eight Agency. With more than 10 years’ experience in business development, marketing and strategy, Zaidi gave attendees the run-down on the 10 keys to killer brand development.

July 4: Special access to TIFF’s Trivia Showdown July 4: Playing with Fire/Grilling 101 Masterclass July 5-6: Special access to Wine Fest Toronto July 6: Hone Your Knife Skills Masterclass July 7: Freedom Boat Club’s Big Smoke BBQ July 7: Sunday School at PrettyUgly

Year in Review: A look back at all the amazing TL Insider events of 2019

July 8: Duck, duck... duck In early July, a group of Insiders gathered at Tanto to see up-close how chef Julian Iliopoulos prepares his signature duck dish. It’s called duck al hilo—duck by a thread—for the method in which the meat cooks while dangling over a live fire, resulting in a beautifully golden-crispy duck with plenty of smoke flavour. On this particular evening, it also resulted in an unforgettable meal.

July 9: From Turmeric to Tabouli Masterclass July 9: Taste of Kentucky dinner at the Spoke Club July 11: Special access to Toronto Summer Music Opening Night  

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Year in Review: A look back at all the amazing TL Insider events of 2019

Jul 11: Cooking with Kelis Yes, that Kelis. Insiders got up close and personal with the Grammy-nominated artist as she showcased her signature line of barbecue sauces during a cooking demo at the Harbourfront Centre.

July 14: Sunday School at PrettyUgly July 16: Special access to Drink Toronto’s July patio party July 17: How to Cinch Ceviche (Sous-Vide Simplified) Masterclass July 17: Toronto Life’s Garden Party July 23: Craft Cooking (An Intro to cooking with Craft Beer) Masterclass July 24: Dining experience at Oakville’s Hexagon July 25: Pig roast at Stackt Market July 27: Tamarack Farms Feast at Canoe  

August
Year in Review: A look back at all the amazing TL Insider events of 2019

August 15: An end-of-summer cocktail soirée by Mercedes-Benz Insiders enjoyed a night of eating, drinking and networking among luxury cars at Mercedez-Benz’s downtown dealership. There was live entertainment and a sneak peek of what TL Insider had planned for the fall.

August 19: Tromba patio party at Baro August 20: Maison Selby meets Montreal’s Bar George August 20: Special access to Drink Toronto’s August patio party August 21: Special access to BOSS Yorkdale grand opening August 23: Special access to NULOVE: Rebirth

Year in Review: A look back at all the amazing TL Insider events of 2019

August 25: A fantastic (and free) feast in the east Leslieville’s Core Restaurant hosted a complimentary five-course tasting menu of chef Hyun Jung’s delicious dishes made with local, seasonal ingredients. Extra bonus: the dinner included wine pairings.  

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September

September 5: Toronto Life’s Best Dressed event September 6-8: Toronto Life’s Style Lounge

Year in Review: A look back at all the amazing TL Insider events of 2019

September 11: A first look of Xango TL Insiders got to check out MasterChef Canada’s Claudio Aprile’s new Nikkei restaurant Xango (that’s pronounced “Chango”) before it opened to the public.

September 12: Special access to Cirque du Soleil’s Alegria

Year in Review: A look back at all the amazing TL Insider events of 2019

September 14: A red-carpet brunch at Montecito Insiders celebrated the end of TIFF with a fancy mid-morning meal at Ivan Reitman’s Entertainment District restaurant. Members enjoyed a four-course brunch that featured California-inspired dishes and—because brunch isn’t brunch without booze—wine pairings.

September 17: R&D Night with Toronto Life at Rosalinda September 18: Special access to Elle Cuisine’s End of Summer party September 19: TL Wine Club Masterclass hosted by Erin Henderson September 22: R&D Night with Toronto Life at Arthur’s September 23: Special access to The Big Social September 23: Roma DOC Wine Dinner at Deco Restaurant September 24: New Zealand Naturally Dining Experience at Café Belong September 30: Malcolm Gladwell VIP Reception and meet-and-greet  

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October

October 1-31: Complimentary access to the Textile Museum of Canada October 3: Pasta Masterclass at Parcheggio October 4: R&D Night with Toronto Life at the Ritz Carlton October 4: Special access to FoodBall October 8: Special access to The National Ballet of Canada’s Giselle

Year in Review: A look back at all the amazing TL Insider events of 2019

October 9: Communication is key Who couldn’t stand to improve their communication skills? Executive communication coach Franca Miraglia taught Insiders about the art of storytelling over a little wine and some cheese at Tiger of Sweden.

October 10: Wealthsimple and Willful panel event October 15: Toronto Cocktail Week’s opening party at Evergreen Brick Works October 15-20: Special access to Toronto Cocktail Week events and seminars

Year in Review: A look back at all the amazing TL Insider events of 2019

October 16: In Conversation with Ian Black Insiders were invited to the Toronto Life offices to listen to senior editor Malcolm Johnston interview Ian Black, the senior director of retail at Shopify. They got the low-down on how he oversees the development of e-commerce, retail, and multi-channel shopping experiences for more than 800,000 merchants.

October 16: A “spirited dinner” at Xango October 17: Special access to Art Toronto October 20: Brunch and Bubbles at Auberge du Pommier October 20: A “spirited dinner” at the Carbon Bar October 21: Special access to Foreign Affair Winery

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Year in Review: A look back at all the amazing TL Insider events of 2019

October 23: A night to remember International bestselling author and CEO of Copenhagen’s Happiness Research Institute, Meik Wiking (The Little Book of Hygge), invited Insiders to join him at the Costume House in October to discover the secrets of creating and holding on to happy memories, in honour of his latest book, The Art of Making Memories.

October 24: Special access to Salesforce’s Grow your Business event at Stackt Market October 26: Preview dinner at O&B’s Babel

Year in Review: A look back at all the amazing TL Insider events of 2019

October 27: An epic night at Canoe Seven of the city’s top chefs—all Canoe alumni—reunited for one epic event. Guests enjoyed a seven-course meal cooked by chefs including (but not limited to) Grant van Gameren, Doug Penfold and Anthony Walsh. And of course there were wine pairings (we did use the word “epic,” after all).

October 30: Beau’s Beer Dinner at Liberty Commons October 30: Special access to Crow’s Theatre’s The Flick  

November

November 5: Special access to the Chilean Wine Festival November 5: Special access to the Patron Pro Competition November 10: An Italian brunch at Bar Buca Eglinton November 11: Tourism New Zealand wine dinner at the Chase Fish and Oyster

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Year in Review: A look back at all the amazing TL Insider events of 2019

November 11: A wine maker’s dinner at Bar Buca Eglinton Italian chef Sarah Ciccolini and Toronto’s own Rob Gentile teamed up to make Insiders a five-course dinner paired with just as many Super Tuscan wines from Ruffino Estates (plus some bonus welcome prosecco).

November 12: Dinner with bourbon pairings at Jump Restaurant November 12: Special access to Canadian Club’s event featuring David Bensadoun November 13: TL Masterclass with the president and chief media officer of Havas, Alex Panousis, on the future of media and marketing November 13: Special access to Antony Ricciardi’s gallery opening at Yorkdale Mall November 14: Special access to Tiger of Sweden’s 1903 photo exhibit

Year in Review: A look back at all the amazing TL Insider events of 2019

November 14: A holiday-inspired Masterclass TL Insiders were invited to a festive Masterclass hosted by chef Dustin Gallagher of People’s Eatery and 416 Snack Bar. It focused on food, culinary and entertainment trends in 2020, and members learned how to cook plant-based dishes for the holidays.

November 17: Dining Experience at Core Restaurant November 17: Sunday School at PrettyUgly November 18: Casale del Giglio wine dinner at Coast Restaurant November 19: Biff’s Bistro x Cheese Boutique dinner November 19: Le Clos Jordanne relaunch event November 20: Kamayan feast at Mother Tongue November 21: Toronto Life’s Most Influential event at Holt Renfrew November 25: Advance screening of Queen & Slim November 26: Dinner and karaoke at DASHA November 27: TL Masterclass and cheese cave tour at Cheese Boutique

December

December 4: TL Masterclass with writer and communications consultant Bob Ramsay December 10: In Conversation with Mohamad Fakih, CEO of Paramount Fine Foods December 10: Special access to Leone Napoli’s Menswear Launch December 11: Ugly Sweater Kitchen Party at Donna’s December 13: Special access to the National Builder of the Year Award, being accepted by Masai Ujiri on behalf of the Toronto Raptors December 16: Scotch and Steak Dinner at Tanto December 17: McEwan Yonge and Bloor Holiday Shopping Event December 31: NYE dinner and party at Montecito

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Want in on all of this amazing action? Then become a TL Insider today and stay tuned for more announcements and access to incredible cultural events in the city.

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