This. Was. Everything.
Lexus Canada teamed up with 10 Toronto Bloggers and Tastemakers (myself being one of them), to let the influencers show their audience/newest generation of luxury buyers, the modern design, performance and craftsmanship of the entry level luxury sports sedan, the 2017 Lexus IS. By the way, NOTHING about this vehicle feels entry level- I guess that’s the beauty and Brave Design of Lexus- one of Lexus’ core values. I had the privilege of driving the Lexus IS F sport model for a week, and besides the gorgeous new design, the drive was something out of this world. The Sport and Sport+ settings made the drive especially exhilarating with sheer performance and power. Besides the external beauty of this modernly designed 2017 IS, like the sleek LED head lights, the actual drive is definitely something to note. The IS has advanced technology with responsive handling and the safety system uses sensors to detect any possible obstructions that may come your way.
While I am always attracted to the beauty of a vehicle, safety is always, by far, my number one priority, especially being a mom. I can’t tell you how utterly comfortable and safe I felt in the 2017 Lexus IS.
Lexus, you had me at responsive handling!
More than just the beautiful Lexus cars themselves, this was an unbelievable and memorable experience meeting a carefully curated group of select Masters throughout this fine city of Toronto. The takeaway?
How Lexus, well-known to be masters in craftsmanship, famous for it in fact- connected us to other various masters in Toronto to appreciate true craftsmanship across the board.
Learning about the Lexus IS sport sedan, was organized in the most unique and entertaining experience. We were literally a part of a real Master Class which put us in the driver’s seat, on a route around Toronto with various stops meeting each master in their respective craft and industry. We began at the breathtaking Le Germain Hotel Maple Leaf Square, Canada’s first boutique hotel. We heard some previews of what our day had in store, while enjoying a delectable breakfast of fresh, made-to-order crepes and other divine pastries. One of the things Lexus is driven by is, Omotenashi – The spirit of Japanese hospitality. Mission accomplished!
From Le Germain we hopped right into our Lexus IS assigned cars, and off we went to our next stop, The Soho House Toronto, one of my personal favourite spots. I was more than delighted when I saw that Ania Taubenfligel, co-founder of Triarchy Denim, was heading our next adventure! Brave Design, a value that is at the core of Lexus, goes hand in hand with Triarchy Denim. Triarchy are one of the pioneers in sustainable green clothing production and manufacturing, going against the easy and cheap “fast fashion”. Anything but the easy way out, which goes hand in hand with the Brave Design of Lexus. Courage and confidence is what Triarchy Denim and Lexus share in common.
The day went on with more grand masters throughout various industries.
Next up was a private tour of the epic cheese cave with the youngest Maître Fromager in the world, Afrim Pristine, at the Cheese Boutique in Etobicoke. Another core value Lexus is driven by is Takumi craftsmanship. At first, I thought, what does Takumi have to do with a cheese shop? Very quickly I learned, it was so much more than just a shop. Afrim truly is the master of cheese, winning all kinds of accolades through his young career. Takumi Craftsmanship is the ancient Japanese concept referencing absolute mastery of an art or craft, and the elite Takumi craftspeople at Lexus distill years of training into a single goal: perfectibility. Much like the drive and determination of our master Maître Fromager, it was not difficult to see the parallels.
Lunch was served while listening to Afrim educate us on years of his craft. Not only was this incredibly eye opening and interesting, I was also in absolute heaven over the fresh pate, prosciutto and sharp cheeses on my foodie pallet. Thank goodness desert was not forgotten, fresh Italian donuts, espresso and gelato were served shortly after. I’m hungry just remembering this memorable Master Class stop.
Our third stop on our Lexus Master Class excursion was at renowned celebrity photographer George Pimentel’s Toronto Studio. From incredible story-telling followed by an intimate photoshoot by one of the most well-known celebrity photographers in the country, this was definitely one for the books!
Exhilarating Performance and Imaginative Technology are what connect Lexus and George Pimentel, as he is the true master of moments throughout his iconic career. When George takes your photo, it is an experience that can’t be described into words. Similar to driving a Lexus, which is designed with performance in mind, it’s an experience that is indescribable. The exhilaration you experience when behind the wheel, is exactly what Lexus has in mind when creating their luxury performance vehicles. Our time at George’s studio, just like our sensory adventure, driving through Toronto with the Lexus IS, was a moment we will all remember.
Onto our 4th exciting stop with Master Mixologist, Simon Ho. Just like our Takumi parallels with the fabulous Fromager at the Cheese boutique, Simon Ho is a notable mixologist wreaking cocktail havoc (or heaven, whatever you want to call it), at Spirit of York in Toronto’s Distillery District. Simon Ho is the visionary with an entire library of bitters which we learned all about through the art of mixology. Another perfect demonstration of Takumi craftsmanship through Lexus – perfectly parallel to the drive and strive to be the absolute best. Absolute Mastery.
So our last stop, I was beyond excited about. I have been trying to get a reservation at Piano Piano for weeks, so when I found out that same Chef was our final master, I was thrilled! This was a French fine dining experience at Cafè Cancan by master extraordinaire, Chef Victor Barry, Lexus went above and beyond, to really allow us to appreciate these Masters in each of their respective crafts. Chef Barry is one of Toronto’s premiere chefs and he was such a sweet and warm personality, it was an honour to be listening to him and to have the privilege to eat his food. We really came full circle at Cafè Cancan with the art of providing exceptional hospitality, the Japanese spirit, Omentashi.
I just can’t get over what an amazing day this was. Im still thinking about it constantly. It was more than just a fun learning experience about the 2017 Lexus IS, it was moving. Each master, each minute of this wonderful day. My whole life I’ve known that Lexus is at the top of the luxury game, but this just gave me a whole new appreciation. Lexus truly represents, real master craftsmanship, superior expertise, bravery through innovation, and in a just a word, perfectibility.
Thank you for having me.
Photos by: Style Hard, Evan Bergstra / Ryan Emberley Photography
Advertorial in collaboration with Lexus Canada