This year, we don’t have to remind you, is a little different. But DesignTO, the week-long festival celebrating creativity and design, is thriving nonetheless.

This year, we can expect to see more of the restaurant trends of the last six months—takeout, ghost kitchens, comfort food—but also plenty of innovation.

Partisans has been making waves in the Canadian architecture scene with a unique combinations of futuristic wave forms and wood. In this stunning house, the waves are literal.

More characteristic of an artist studio or an installation, the showroom allows clients to see the pieces in situ, inspiring onlookers to appreciate the creative prowess of the company and the city from which it comes.

Blame it on avocado toast, the job market, or crippling capitalism, but less than 50 per cent of millennials are homeowners. Renting not only creates a defeatist or apathetic attitude toward decorating, but the rules and conduct can also spark paralyzing fear, stopping people from changing anything at all. 

Made with prefabricated materials from BC Passive House in Pemberton, Buckhorn represents the lineage of passive housing in British Columbia, which began in in the province during the 2010 Olympics with the Lost Lake PassivHaus.

FROM THE ARCHIVE: Authors—once permitted to sit in their hovel and emerge once a year for a writer’s festival—have become social entities.

FROM THE ARCHIVE: The sand underfoot is white enough to seem like a deliberate cliché. The granules are so fine that each footstep squeaks. The shallows are (of course) a tropical blue-green—enough to make us forget we’re in British Columbia. White foam tops the big rollers coming in off the open ocean. There is nothing between us and Japan.

FROM THE ARCHIVE: There were then two glowing screens atop my desk; three, if you count my yappy little phone. I was a magazine editor at the time—or, as we now say, a “content creator.” Yet I spent my days not so much creating content as reacting to it.

The story behind this home sounds like that of an intrepid pioneer, which gives the evident contemporaneousness of the building an extra layer of charm.

The conventional wisdom is that once vines pass a certain age—say, 20–30 years—they are better balanced with their environment and tend to produce fewer grapes but that these grapes make wines with distinctive flavour intensity and textural complexity.

While a few Hollywood A-listers actually do own their own yachts—Nicole Kidman and Steven Spielberg come to mind—many others simply charter a boat for a few weeks of vacation each year.

Referred to as a “younger” sister by perfumer-creator François Demachy, the new fragrance embodies the changing definitions of femininity.

Viberg works with small, old-world manufacturers, including family-run tanneries across Europe.

Unlike traditional wine tastings, Grape Witches’ parties attract a young, hip crowd. The convivial evenings begin with lighthearted educational sessions that evolve into bacchanalian dance parties with heavy pours and live DJs.

Pooya Baktash, Jonathan Friedman, and Alex Josephson, the trio that make up the Toronto-based studio Partisans, approach architecture not just as a discipline but as a social statement.

While Luce plumbs the depth of the fruit each vintage, the second wine, Lucente (about $35 in Canada), is made in a more approachable and modern style.

Knowledge of a place generally helps shape structure, and the only way to achieve such knowledge is through being with the environment.

In a world of superlatives like heli-skiing, can there really be a top gun? Bella Coola Heli Sports makes a convincing argument.

Set in the verdant Loire Valley vineyards, rambling over acre after acre of dense woodlands, is Les Sources de Cheverny, a private estate comprising traditional stone houses, winery, spa, and 18th-century Château du Breuil, which opened its gates this past September.

In spite of all the challenges this year, determined restaurateurs are opening new venues offering out-of-the-ordinary dining experiences and excellent takeout options.