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This Week in Toronto: ‘Stranger Things’ Ice Cream Pops Up, Toronto Cannabis Market Grows, Beerfest Returns

BizBash's new Toronto column from Calvin Barr covers the week's biggest event news.

Bar Aperol is open at 1030 Queen Street West throughout July. The pop-up bar serves Aperol Spritz cocktails, an Italian aperitivo food menu by the Cheese Boutique, and coffee by Lavazza.
Bar Aperol is open at 1030 Queen Street West throughout July. The pop-up bar serves Aperol Spritz cocktails, an Italian aperitivo food menu by the Cheese Boutique, and coffee by Lavazza.
Photo: Courtesy of Aperol

TORONTO—Welcome to BizBash’s Toronto-based column, where Calvin Barr covers the week’s biggest local news. Got a tip? Get in touch!

Moves and Milestones
Toronto-based live entertainment company Creativiva has expanded to Montreal as part of a new partnership with Productions Mgmt. The two companies have collaborated on a number of productions, including Cirque du Soleil, Luminato, and Formula 1 Grand Prix du Canada. Creativiva Group also recently expanded to Milan.

Malia Indigo Corporation launched an online networking service for fashion professionals looking to connect and collaborate. The company, named one of the G.T.A.’s most innovative start-ups by CBC in 2018, will present the platform at its upcoming panel Representation: A Conversation on Fashion and Intersectionality at First Canadian Place Gallery on July 18.

In Case You Missed it
On June 26, French’s kicked off a ketchup-theme, traveling pop-up catered by the Food Dudes. In order to thank Canadian ketchup consumers and local tomato growers, the French’s Thank You truck served up mac and cheese, fries, and hot dogs with its signature condiment at Maple Leaf Square, a.k.a., Jurassic Park. After lunch, the truck traveled to downtown Kitchener, and finally wrapped up in Leamington, home of Canada’s biggest tomato farming and processing facilities.

In partnership with Netflix, Baskin-Robbins Canada announced a location takeover to celebrate the premiere of the new season of Stranger Things. From July 4 to 18, the store at Woodbine Mall in Etobicoke will become a replica of the Scoops Ahoy ice cream parlor from the series. In addition to three new Stranger Things-theme cold treats that launched in June, the Scoops Ahoy opening will reveal the new U.S.S. Butterscotch ice cream flavor and the Byers' House Lights Polar Pizza to celebrate National Ice Cream month. Toronto is one of two cities hosting the event, along with Burbank, California.

Rebel nightclub hosted the launch party for two cannabis brands entering the Canadian market on June 27. The celebration took place at Noir, the venue’s second-floor stage, bar, and patio, which offers a dockside view of Lake Ontario. Dubbed “Wink” and “Bliss,” the new luxury cannabis varieties aim to entice socially conscious consumers, with a model that redistributes profits into local community development projects. The venture is the result of a $10 million private-placement equity fund spearheaded by Toronto-based cannabis company Trec Brands and Ink Entertainment.

Venue News
On June 26, Aperol held a launch party for Bar Aperol, an indoor-outdoor pop-up bar that will run through July. The pop-up, located at 1030 Queen Street West in Little Portugal, is open Thursdays to Sundays throughout July. In addition to serving Aperol Spritz cocktails, the space will serve coffee and espresso by Lavazza, as well as an appetizer menu from the Cheese Boutique. The bar also has branded foosball. Campari Canada partnered with event management company Embr and production agency the Taylor Group to create the pop-up. 

A Turn of Events
CTV: According a study conducted by the Bank of Canada, national business sentiment has increased since the spring, despite falling earlier this year. Statistics Canada reported that real gross domestic product rose by 0.3 percent in April.

"Let Yourself In is an open invitation to visitors from business event delegates and decision makers, to sports fans and leisure travelers. It's an invitation to revel in the moments that make Toronto great. From moments of small connections with our people, neighborhoods, attractions, and culture, to moments so big they're seen all around the world."

Jon Mamela, executive vice president and chief marketing officer at Tourism Toronto, describing the organization’s new Let Yourself In destination marketing campaign in a press release.

On The Scene
A fireworks display over Ashbridge's Bay kicked off the holiday weekend for Canada Day on July 1. 

What’s Next
With tickets nearly sold out, Toronto’s Festival of Beer will return for its 23rd edition from July 26 to 28. The event will take place at Exhibition Place at the 16,000-square-foot Bandshell Park, an outdoor concert area which includes a 640-square-foot stage. Public Enemy Radio, Dwayne Gretzky, and Ja Rule will headline each of the three nights. The country’s largest beer festival will feature more than 100 local and international brewers serving more than 400 different drafts, as well as food vendors, water stations, and plenty of green space.

The 2019 Toronto Caribbean Carnival opening ceremony will unveil the first public look at this year’s themes and events on July 9 at Nathan Phillips Square. Celebrating its 52nd year of showcasing Caribbean cooking, music, and fashion, the festival runs events throughout Toronto in July, culminating in the Grand Parade along the city waterfront in August. The CN Tower, Allan Lamport Stadium, and Malvern and Neilson Parks are among the venues where festival events will take place.

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