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Guessing Dîner en Blanc's Secret Location
The original pop-up picnic makes its Toronto debut, but where will the white-clad diners congregate?

Way before everyone’s Grandma had participated in a Broadway chorus line flash mob and shops were popping up on all the spots, there was Dîner en Blanc. The original pop-up picnic was started by a small group of friends 25 years ago in Paris. Now, the prestigious event is attended by upwards of 10,000 picnickers in twenty cities across five continents and it’s officially coming to Toronto for the first time this year. (There was an unofficial event hosted in the Distillery District last year.)

A large group of guests dressed all in elegant white attire congregate in a secret location, revealed at the last minute through social media, with tables, chairs and white tablecloths to enjoy a self-made picnic in one of the city’s most beautiful public spaces. It’s advertised as a night of “elegance and surprises” and includes live music and dancing. Watch the video above for a taste of last year’s event in Montreal.

Organizers keep the location a secret until the last minute to add to the excitement, but that can’t stop us from wondering where Toronto’s Dîner en Blanc will pop-up. Here’s our best guesses at where the chic-picnic will be held:

1)   Allan Gardens

image via flickr

The botanical gardens building at Allan Gardens would serve as spectacular backdrop for dinner guests and as a popular location for wedding photos the park is no stranger to white outfits.

2)   Trinity Bellwoods

Image via flickr
Already a popular place to meet friends for spontaneous drinks, diners would be hard pressed to find a spot that wasn’t already occupied by gaggles of less-formal picnickers. Bonus: Guests would have lots of help from the local empties collectors when it comes time to clear away their spent champagne bottles.

3)   St. James Park

Image via flickr
St. James Park has lots of experience hosting temporary, self-sufficient communities organized by social media. Dîner en Blanc could occupy this slice of the city with their fanciful feast, though I’m not sure how nicely this exclusive display of opulence will jive with the politics of the 99 per cent.

4)   Grange Park

Image via flickr
Grange Park is one of the city’s most beautiful green spaces nestled in the backyards of the AGO and OCAD. Hopefully nobody mistakes your chemise for a canvas.

5)   Coronation Park

Image via flickr

Coronation Park is a wooded wonderland with a wonderful view of the lake and some of Toronto’s nicest sailboats. Across the street from the Princes’ Gates, it’s well suited to host Toronto’s social royalty.

Where do you think Dîner en Blanc will be held? We won’t know for sure until August 9th but let the speculation begin!

Registration for Dîner en Blanc Toronto opens today at 3pm and runs until July 24th. Interested parties can visit toronto.dinerenblanc.info to sign up.


Michael Kolberg is The Sprawl Editor at Toronto Standard. Follow him on Twitter for jokes @mikeykolberg

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