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Fun Events TorontoToronto is finally thawing out, which means more people are going out to enjoy themselves -- one cannot live on Netflix alone. So, if you want to get out there, what should you do? 

First up is Real Escape Game Toronto, an interactive theatrical art experience located at The Foundery on Dundas West. Players are locked in a room and presented with a series of clues in the form of furniture, clutter, and props to help themselves get out. Millions of participants have played variations on the game in Japan, Taiwan, and Singapore. Think you've got great people skills? Find out if you make the cut. 

A bunch of new restaurants have opened in Toronto, including new installations of local favourites like Ed's Real Scoop, Kenzo Ramen, and Luther's Chicken. Of course, the one Toronto's food critics have been waiting for is Luckee, the latest effort from Toronto celebrity chef Susur Lee. Luckee is Lee's foray into all-day dim sum at the base of the Soho Metropolitan Hotel. It offers weekend cart service, and looks poised to compete with that other most recent entrants to the hipster gourmet Asian restaurant scene, like Momofuku, Chanticler, and Barrio Coreano (one of only two Mexican restaurants that my kids LOVE!). 

At the AGO, Francis Bacon and Henry Moore: Terror and Beauty is on. It "draws on the artists’ experiences during times of conflict and violence, including the London Blitz of the Second World War, to examine how confinement and angst fostered their extraordinary creativity and unique visions." 

At the Design Exchange, This Is Not A Toy, guest curated by hip-hop producer and Oscar nominee Pharrell, "explores the conceptual toy – a form made solely as an expression of an aesthetic, concept or idea – as an art and design object as well as a contemporary cultural signifier."
Allan Gardens and Centennial Gardens showcase some of world's most unique plants. Both locations are currently exhibiting the Spring Blooms Flower Show which allows visitors to take in a varietys of bulbs and spring flowers along with our permanent collections of tropical plants and cacti. The highlight of the Spring Flower show is the Easter Show which features traditional Easter plants. Though you can visit anyday, the Easter Show runs April 13- May 4, 2014.
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Real Estate NumbersThe March 2014 TREB numbers are in. The biggest difference between March and the first two months of Q1 is that year-over-year sales are up, rather than down, due to some easing of market constraints. In short: after the winter's freeze, now that it's spring, properties have started to come onto the market. 
What hasn't changed, though, is the steady upward march of home prices. Average prices are up by 7.2 per cent in comparison to March 2013. 
Ultimately, this combination means that last year's lackluster market predictions may turn out to be too low. “With borrowing costs remaining low, and in fact declining, strong home ownership demand will continue to butt up against a constrained supply of listings.  Strong price growth will be the result for the remainder of 2014.  If the pace of price growth experienced in the first quarter is sustained, TREB may revise its outlook for the average selling price,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Senior Manager of Market Analysis.
This is one of those times when it's great to be either a buyer or a seller. Sellers can take advantage of a market that's both strong and constrained to demand high prices for their homes: after all, lack of buyer choice means greater demand for the homes that are on the market, and greater demand means higher prices. On the other hand, with prices continuing to rise and a market that shows no sign of slowing, buyers who plunk down big sums for desirable homes can be assured that their investments are good ones.
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Jason Paris / FlickerWhen you think of world-class architecture, you probably think of New York City, London, maybe Shanghai or Dubai in the past few years. What you may not realize is that our very own city of Toronto is home to some of the most beautiful and interesting architecture that's been built in the past decade or so... and is also home to some of the most innovative architects.

Here, we profile three of the best in the city: superkül, Hariri Pontarini and Altius. They've worked on projects of all sizes, from luxe single-family homes to important landmark structures all over the world. And they're all pushing the boundaries of what architecture can do, what it means, and how structures can integrate into the world around them.

Here's how superkül describes itself as a practice:

Founded inToronto in 2002 on a broad range of professional experience in Canada and abroad, superkül is recognized as a leading Canadian design practice. Our commitment to design excellence, pragmatism, and sustainability has resulted in numerous architecture and design awards and the publication of our work locally, nationally and internationally.

superkül is one of the busiest firms working in Southern Ontario today, creating modern structures that transform ordinary and legacy sites into, well, cool spaces. They're the masterminds behind the new 99 Sudbury, home to a hip new event space and one of Toronto's best seasonal restaurants. They also created the Linguistics Department facilities in the University ofToronto's Sidney Smith Hall along with several light-drenched, sleek residential builds.

Like superkul, Altius Architecture is at the forefront of new-modern design inToronto and the surrounding area. They call their style "a complete, holistic and collaborative approach to architecture", with a huge emphasis on sustainability, natural materials and green building. If you've ever driven up north for a weekend or a holiday, you may have encountered one of their stunning cottages, each of which is built both to incorporate and to stand out from the surrounding woodland or waterfront - and to let in every possible bit of light.

With laurels like the 2013 Ontario Residential Wood Design Award, Altius is an exceptional choice for those looking to build or renovate in tune with their surroundings.

Finally, Hariri Pontarini is the firm of choice for those who want to build big but also build smart. They are perhaps the most experimental and internationally acclaimed of the three, with their Baha'i temple inSantiago,Chile that resembles a paper lantern lit from within. They've also designed some ofToronto's most incredible homes in Forest Hill, the Bridle Path and other luxury enclaves. And if you've admired the new building at One Bloor East downtown? That's them, too.

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