“All that I am, or hope to be, I owe to my angel mother.”
– Abraham Lincoln.
May is one of the most beautiful times to be in Toronto. The trees are in full bloom, the air is fresh and the folks around here have finally put their winter gear away for good (there’s always a final blast of snow in April). If you’re here on the second Sunday of May for Mother’s Day, here are a few ways to treat your mom.
Tafelmusik at Koerner Hall
Drawing from the traditions of the baroque and classical eras, Toronto’s Tafelmusik is one of the world’s leading period ensembles. On the afternoon of Mothers’ Day they will perform Magnificat, one of JS Bach’s most-loved vocal pieces, preceded by the Mass Missa Divi Xaverii by Jan Dismas Zelenka, a Bohemian immigrant to Saxony who was one of Bach’s favourite composers. The event takes place at Koerner Hall, a gorgeous venue opened in 2009 that boasts optimized acoustics obtained through the use of curved oak balconies, a solid-wood canopy that reflects sound over the stage and undulating ribbons of wood suspended below the ceiling.
273 Bloor Street West
The Gardiner Museum
One of the few museums in the world focused on ceramics, the Gardiner houses approximately 4,000 objects, including European porcelain, ceramics from the ancient Americas, Chinese porcelain and Japanese contemporary ceramics. From 1pm to 3pm, you and your mum can create your own original artifacts at the museum’s drop-in class. (Register online at 10 am on the morning of the class.) Afterwards, check out the exhibits, including Unbroken by Ai Weiwei, one of China’s most influential artists and a major human rights activist. Then you can enjoy a meal at CLAY, the Gardiner’s in-house restaurant collaboration with The Food Dudes.
111 Queen’s Park
Bampot Tea House
At Bampot, a Harbord Street establishment that embraces the Czech tea house tradition, you can treat your mother to a huge selection of teas, Mediterranean snacks, art for viewing and for sale, and a wide variety of board games to play, all in a cozy, inviting environment. 201 Harbord Street
Aga Khan Museum
With a focus on the artistic diversity of Islamic civilizations, the Aga Khan Museum makes a fascinating Mothers’ Day destination. Check out The Moon: A Voyage Through Time, an exhibit that marks the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 lunar landing and explores the influence of the moon on faith, science and the arts across the Muslim world. Then take mum to the museum’s beautiful restaurant, Diwan, which offers Middle Eastern, North African and South Asian cuisines along with 18th-century decorative art. 77 Wynford Drive
High Tea at Dufflet
The Queen Street West location of the heavenly Dufflet cake shop offers two menu options for Sunday tea. Between 1pm and 5pm you can treat your mother to a delicious selection of canapés and desserts paired with lovely Sloane Teas. Reservations are essential. 787 Queen Street West