Arts & Entertainment
3 min

Heart’s desire

Top picks for Valentine's Day

Valentine’s Day can be stressful. It’s the most expensive, over-hyped holiday this side of New Year’s Eve, and the pressure to get a date, get a dinner reservation and get laid is so high we wouldn’t blame you if you decide to opt out and spend a night on the couch watching Jurassic Park (again). But if your date’s allergic to velociraptors and/or Jeff Goldblum, don’t despair! We’ve come up with six ideas for a different kind of Valentine’s date on or around Feb 14.

360 Screenings

Looking for an adventurous twist on “dinner and a movie?” 360 Screenings creates an immersive cinematic experience where audiences wander through recreations of sets from the movie they’re about to watch while interacting with actors dressed as characters from the film, all within a Toronto heritage building. The twist? Both the film in question and the location remain a mystery until 24 hours before the screening. Previous films include 28 Days Later, Fight Club and Ghost, but for Valentine’s, 360 promises to bring “one of modern cinema’s most whimsically romantic films” to life. So, presumably, Gigli.

Thurs, Feb 14, 7–10:30pm, location TBA,

The Junction Flea

Not ruled by a calendar? The hip and popular Junction Flea — normally held outside near Dundas and Keele streets but for the winter months transported to The Great Hall on Queen West — technically happens the weekend before. But we can’t think of a better midwinter’s afternoon date than perusing vintage records, clothes and antiques with your special someone while sampling snacks from some of the city’s most creative food vendors and checking out the latest in handmade crafts.

Sun, Feb 10, 10am–5pm The Great Hall, 1087 Queen St W

The Toronto Erotic Arts and Crafts Fair

The Erotic Arts and Crafts Fair has become a Toronto tradition, and with good reason. What better way to gear up for V-Day than by picking up a few items to inspire you and your current flame in the boudoir? Whether you’re in the market for sexy underthings, erotic prints or oyster shells filled with felt vaginas (yes, actually), there’s bound to be something here to tickle your fancy.

Sat, Feb 9, noon–8pm, Gladstone Hotel, 1214 Queen St W

Be Mein Valentine!

Feeling saucy? This popular annual burlesque show at the Gladstone Hotel is a co-production by mostly female troupe Skin Tight Outta Sight Rebel Burlesque and mostly male Boylesque TO, meaning there should be something to titillate everyone. Besides performances from more than a dozen burlesque artistes, Be Mein features live musical accompaniment from Big Rude Jake and The Jump Devils, as well an afterparty DJed by Sigourney Beaver. The evening is inspired by Weimar-era Berlin, so brush up your Dietrich impression and get ready to say “wunderbar!”

Wed, Feb 13, 8pm & Fri, Feb 15, 9pm Gladstone Hotel Ballroom, 1214 Queen St W

I’m With Cupid: Tales of Breakups, Bad Sex and Dating Horror from Toronto’s Funniest Comedians

Rom-com-ed out? Consider checking out this humorous revue at Comedy Bar, featuring performances by Bobby Knauff, Amanda Day and Jordan Foisy and hosted by Danielle Meierhenry. Whether you’re a deadpan pair who eschew the lovey-dovey or a confirmed bachelor(ette) who’s sick of hearing that all you need is the L-word (and we don’t mean “lesbian”), nothing beats listening to dating war stories — especially if they’re more horrific than your own.

Thurs, Feb 14, 8pm Comedy Bar, 945 Bloor St W

The Rusholme Park Supper Club: Secret Heart — A Valentine’s for Adventurous (Food) Lovers

Is your sweetie a daring gourmand? Well, The Depanneur is one of our favourite west-end foodie secrets. Don’t let the name fool you — this is no Montreal convenience store. It’s a button-cute lunch spot that also features drop-in dinners, cooking workshops on everything from pie to paella, and the aforementioned supper club: “family-style dinner parties by a cast of guest chefs.” For V-Day, expect an exotic tasting menu with ingredients like deer heart tartare, quail yolk and Vietnamese giant-water-beetle semen. It’s not a menu for the faint of heart, but as only 20 people fit around the communal table, that’s probably okay.

Thurs, Feb 14, 7:30pm, The Depanneur, 1033A College St