Getting things off to a rollicking start on Thursday, January 27, the – the ’s swanky gala – is always a crowd-pleaser. It serves up canapés from the city’s hottest restaurants, and cocktails at every corner. It’s a great chance to take in the booths and exhibits in a different light – literally – and meet movers and shakers like , and in a more laid-back setting. Revelers can also bid on one of 20 Vitra Panton Chairs revamped by such big names as , and . All proceeds from the auction benefit the . (All You Need is Love, the IDS opening night gala takes place at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, North Building. Tickets are $55 in advance, $60 at the door.)
On the afternoon of Saturday, January 29, (taking place from 3 to 7pm) is hosting a four-hour reception that invites partiers to venue-hop from Bathurst to Grace. Along the way, drink a toast to Canadian design at the event (867 Dundas), fete the Capacity group show at (798 Dundas) and visit the Next Level Art Collective event at the Sleeping Giant (789 Dundas). Also, later that evening, the Open House (7 to 9pm) offers visitors their first peek at the showroom’s recent expansion. Stop by to explore the new space with a snack and a cocktail (435 King St W). Last but not least is the Love Design Party (10pm onward) at the . s always-rowdy shindig is a great place to cut loose after a few days of intense design events. This year the hotel’s historic ballroom will be filled with a massive installation by LeuWebb Projects: a pneumatic cloud of light that flickers in response to the surrounding environment (1214 Queen St W).