The cultural epicentre for Toronto’s nearly half million Russian immigrants is the Bathurst Borscht Belt, and it’s great place for an authentic and unusual adventure with someone you’re out to impress. (She’ll applaud your creativity.)
Start off exploring the city’s most eclectic collection of Soviet-era artifacts. Russian Stuff & More offers the expected: vintage coins, jewelry, posters, and the distinctive: surplus submarine commander watches and George Bush matryoshka.
For the latest in Russian pop-culture visit Video Corner or any of the other strip mall video posts (videoprokat). Skim Russian-edition Esquire, Cosmo, and Playboy or pick-up the latest disc from punk-ska-rockers Leningrad. Don’t leave without a Russian (and garishly cool) greeting card.
Russian restaurants are not for quiet romantic meals or a quick bite before the show. They are the show. You won’t feel over-dressed in a suit, but leave the tie at home. Head to The Imperator: An 8PM dinner is followed by live music.