Symphony in Oshawa

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Second-year music director Danielle Lisboa leads the volunteer-based Orchestra Toronto, which has been wooing ears with tightly spun symphonic works for nearly 60 years. The 80-piece ensemble reassembles in February, providing concertgoers respite from cold-weather blues and panhandling snowmen with "Winter Tales," a collection of fiery, accessible compositions from several legendary composers. Lars-Erik Larsson's The Winter's Tale sets the show in motion before giving way to a quartet of classics, including Chris Meyer's In Memoriam Henryk Gorecki and Sergei Prokofiev's Romeo and Juliet Suite no. 2. To start the afternoon, attendees can pop into a pre-concert chat, where Clasical 96.3 FM personality Alexa Petrenko will discuss the day's set and explain how violins maintain such curvy physiques. Recognized among Canada's elite venues, George Weston Recital Hall creates an acoustical cocoon with painstakingly insulated walls and retractable curtains and panels that can be rearranged for optimal sound.

5040 Yonge St
Toronto,
ON
CA

The largest soft-seat theatre in Canada, the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts is perhaps most famous for its overhanging marquee outside. The diagonal canopy and its snake-like rows of lights were restored to their original form in 2010, along with the facility?s wood, brass, and marble accents. Inside the lobby, York Wilson?s mural, The Seven Lively Arts, fills eyes with fractured, panoramic representations of various artistic media, from slanted musical staffs to menacing Greek theatre masks.

1 Front St. E
Toronto,
ON
CA

Shiatsu and LaStone therapist of Transense Healing Arts Holistic Centre employs two distinct therapy treatments to help clients reduce pain and discomfort. She uses her knuckles, thumbs, palms, knees, and elbows as instruments of relaxation, drawing from shiatsu techniques and Japanese-style acupressure to pinpoint and expunge stress. Alternatively, she uses heated basalt rocks formed from volcanic lava during LaStone therapy, loosening up knotted muscles.

Her experience stems back to the Aveda Institute in Victoria, B.C., where she graduated from in 1998 in esthetics. Since 2000, she has added LaStone therapy to her repertoire, which allows her to stimulated the autonomic nervous system and increase oxygen in the body. Her subsequent interest in shiatsu led her to Shiatsu School of Canada, which enables her to continue her journey of educational growth through her daily practice.

344 Bloor St W
Toronto,
ON
CA

With period instruments in hand, the musicians of the Aradia Ensemble have spent the last two decades breathing new life into the music of the Baroque. In addition to a regular concert series that mixes beloved classics with oft-overlooked gems, the ensemble frequently pairs with dancers, actors, and non-classical musicians to create unusual juxtapositions that shed light on the intricacies of the baroque style and make 18th-century ghosts wish they'd known about zithers. Under the baton of maestro Kevin Mallon, the group has recently earned a Juno nomination and garnered acclaim for its annual Dublin Messiah, a recreation of the original Dublin performance of Handel's seminal Christmas piece in 1742.

270 Gladstone Avenue
Toronto,
ON
CA

The intimate venue known today as City Theatre opened its doors in 1993 as the Second City Detroit. Renamed in 2004, the space still hews to the comedy troupe’s mission with a packed schedule of thigh-slapping theatrical performances. The stage is located inside the Hockeytown Café, where the entertainment is supplemented by a menu of beer, buffalo wings, and deep-fried pucks.

651 Yonge Street
Toronto,
ON
CA

Constructed in 1934 in the Spanish-mission style, the San Jose Civic has played host to a star-studded lineup of performers—including The Who, who kicked off its first U.S. tour on the Civic's venerable stage. The building's elegant, dual-level exterior and softy lit tower recall bygone days of conquistadors, and the remodeled auditorium's armrests and cup holders keep chalices of gold comfortably upright.

1 Front St. E
Toronto,
ON
CA