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This Week in Canada: Outdoor Dome Winter Dining, Small Business Week Events, Montreal Ghost Walk, and More

BizBash's new Canada-focused column covers the week's biggest event news.

Pumpkins After Dark is a 2.5-kilometer guided audio drive-through featuring more than 150 pumpkins. It's open in Country Heritage Park outside Milton, Ont.
Pumpkins After Dark is a 2.5-kilometer guided audio drive-through featuring more than 150 pumpkins. It's open in Country Heritage Park outside Milton, Ont.
Photo: Courtesy of Pumpkins After Dark

Welcome to BizBash's newest column, covering Canada’s biggest event news from coast to coast. Got a tip? Get in touch!

Provincial News
Alberta: During an online presentation on Oct. 20, the Calgary Downtown Association and the City of Calgary shared the results of a public realm study for revitalizing Stephen Avenue in the city’s downtown core. Incorporating urban design, economics, planning policy, and mobility considerations, the study will be the basis for enhancing the street’s pedestrian mall, creating more private investment and redevelopment opportunities and developing new experiences for locals and tourists. The presentation featured a draft concept plan by consulting urban planning firm Gehl, and locals are invited to continue submitting study feedback until Nov. 10.  

British Columbia: Toptable Group, the hospitality brand behind Vancouver’s Bar Oro, CinCin, and Blue Water Cafe, announced that its west end patisserie Thierry is expanding to a new location in Mount Pleasant in November. France native chocolatier and patissier chef Thierry Busset will be unveiling a series of gourmet drinks and desserts, including a signature chocolate hazelnut marzipan torte and apple tart, at the 2,000-square-foot cafe and retail space designed with a classic French patisserie look and feel. 

Nova Scotia: On Oct. 23, Bridging Gender Divides and the owners of Tart & Soul Cafe, located near Halifax’s Dalhousie University, are hosting a “Cooking for a Cause” event to raise money for Adsum for Women and Children—a local poverty and homelessness support shelter. Participants will learn to make sweet and savory pop tarts during the online class and receive a recipe and ingredients list after submitting a donation.  

Ontario: Inspired by Scandanavian outdoor winter dining, Village Biergarten, located in the historic St. Jacob’s village, is installing heated plastic domes on its patio space throughout the winter. The Mexican restaurant's pods can seat up to six people in the same social bubble with a time limit of two hours, minus 15 minutes for sanitizing per reservation. Meanwhile, in Toronto, a number of establishments—including Louis Cifer Brew Works, Against The Grain, and Mantra by Host—have rolled out outdoor tents and domes for customers dining out during the cold months.

Quebec: The â€śParanormal Investigation—Old Sainte Antoine Cemetery” ghost walk takes place in Montreal on Oct. 23. While today it’s surrounded by Dorchester Square and Place du Canada, nearly 70,000 people were buried in the cemetery during the 1800s, largely due to a cholera outbreak. Guests will get tips on sensing and communicating with spirits, and learn how to use ghost-hunting tools including dowsing rods, EMF readers, and temperature guns. Organizers will be revealing the history of the cemetery, as well as of nearby buildings said to be haunted such as Old Windsor Hotel, Chateau Champlain Hotel, and St George’s Anglican Church.

Coast-to-Coast
From Oct. 18-24, Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) is hosting its annual roster of Canada Small Business Week events, with more than 100 affiliated virtual seminars, conferences, networking galas, and workshops. BDC president Michael Denham and vice president Pierre ClĂ©roux are presenting economic outlook statistics, plus case studies on businesses that have successfully adapted to the challenges of COVID-19. Meanwhile, partner events are discussing the roles of e-commerce and mental health in entrepreneurship, as well as how retailers can take advantage of the holiday season and ways to empower women-owned businesses. 

Broken Pencil Magazine’s Canzine, billed as the country’s largest zine and underground art festival, takes place online from Oct. 24-26. Roughly 250 vendors will be attending through a series of virtual sessions, such as the Librarian’s Lagoon, Punks Path, Sci-Fi Shore, and Riot Grrrl River. All-ages zine-making workshops, readings, screenings, and the Broken Pencil Zine Awards will also take place throughout the weekend. 

Overheard
“We needed to be talking about this months ago. We need to have measures in place so we can ensure when we do get through this, we have a business community to return to, we have a restaurant sector, we have viable hotels and an arts and culture community that's still vibrant. Two weeks is a lifetime for a business that's holding on on a day-to-day basis."

—Loren Remillard, Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce president and CEO, speaking to CBC about the latest pandemic restrictions, which will close bars for at least two weeks   

On the Scene
Deadmonton Haunted House opened in Edmonton last month with an Area 51 theme. 

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