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Great Toronto Museums to Visit

September 18, 2017

Toronto MuseumsOnce you have enjoyed all the great exhibits at the Royal Ontario Museum, there are several other great Toronto museums that you should check out. Here are some of the must-visit stops in Toronto for a museum enthusiast.

The Textile Museum of Canada

You can learn about the history of fabrics and textiles at this museum that’s only a 8 minute walk from the Qwest furnished suites and features a collection of 13,000 pieces dating back to 100 AD. The museum covers nearly 200 world regions and the oldest item in the collection is from the Nazca culture of Southern Peru. From ceremonial cloths to quilts to carpets, it’s a fascinating way to learn about cultures of the past via the clothes they wore and textiles they used.

Aga Khan Museum – Toronto Museums

Learn about the history of Muslim civilizations, in both a historical and contemporary perspective, at this midtown Toronto museum. The stunning architecture of the museum is also fascinating, with dramatic modern lines and a dazzling white façade. The lovely space also features a peaceful public park and a great restaurant called Diwan serving fusion cuisine.

The Bata Shoe Museum

Have you ever wondered what the Ancient Greeks used to wear on their feet? Or been curious about the height of the world’s highest platform shoe? The Bata Toronto MuseumsShoe Museum celebrates the wild, weird and highly fashionable in the world of shoes throughout the ages – from clunky old clodhoppers to the shiny sports shoes of the 80’s and every era in between.

The Gardiner Museum

This museum is dedicated to the art of ceramics. It has a display of both permanent and special travelling exhibitions and the works on display are truly exquisite. This cultural hot-spot also has drop in ceramics and sculpting classes for both children and adults.

The CBC Museum

The Canadian Broadcasting Commission is a Canadian institution – it has brought programming to our home and native land for over 70 years. At this museum you can learn about the founding of the CBC and take a look back through the years at some classic Canadian television and radio programming. You can even see a CBC microphone from 1910 and Mr. Dressup’s famous Tickle Trunk.  It is in the CBC building on Front Street West right next door to our 300 Front furnished condo rentals!

The HockToronto Museumsey Hall of Fame

Hockey is Canada’s iconic national sport and this Toronto museum celebrates the history of hockey in Canada. You can see the coveted Stanley Cup, watch videos of unforgettable moments in hockey history and see what hockey gear used to look like back in the day. The Hockey Hall of Fame is a must visit for any sports fan and it’s right on Yonge and Front Street in the heart of the action in Toronto.

These are just a few of the best Toronto museums beyond the Royal Ontario Museum that you can check out during your next visit to Toronto.

Community Events, Downtown Toronto, Entertainment, Events, Family Vacations in Toronto, Lifestyle talk, Toronto Entertainment, Toronto History

Happy Birthday – Canada Day 150 Years Old

June 30, 2017

Canada DayThis year’s Canada Day celebrations will certainly be a once in a generation event. We mark 150 years since Confederation and this landmark birthday is being celebrated all over the country with huge events, fireworks shows and much more.
The Canadian Federal Government announced that it would be spending approximately half a billion dollars on the 150th anniversary- which means it will be a massive party!

Canada Day 150 Events Happening in Toronto

The theme of this year’s celebrations will be TO Canada with Love and the city will also be hosting Canada 150 Mosaic, which is an exhibition of over 80,000 paintings and 150 individual murals across the country. Here are some of the exciting things that will be happening in Canada this weekend:

This exciting celebration will include arts, dance, food and musical performances from the Barenaked Ladies, Ron Sexsmith, Belly, Dvsn and Buffy Sainte Marie.Canada Day

Celebrate Canada’s Birthday and your love of delicious barbequed ribs at this festival. The event will also feature live music, midway games, pony rides and much more.

Admission is free and celebrations will be taking place from 10am to 10pm, including roaming performers, music and dance performances, games, children’s activities and much more.

While you are out and about, check out some of our favorite places to eat for brunch!

What Does Canada 150 Mean?

The year 2017 marks the 150 year point since Confederation. In 1867 the Dominion of Canada was created as per the British North America Act. This brought together the colonies of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick Canada Dayand the Province of Canada into one country – merging together English and French speaking Canada. The new Dominion of Canada was composed of four provinces, Quebec, Nova Scotia, Ontario and New Brunswick.

However, it could be argued that Canada as we know it is only turning 35 this year. It was in 1982 that Canada “patriated” the constitution, which allowed us to amend it without Britain’s approval. This was the event that enacted the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and it is when July 1st changed from “Dominion Day” to “Canada Day.”

But of course, this land is older than 150 and people lived in North America long before 1867. It was in 1142 that the Iroquois Confederacy was formed, which brought together five nations over the area which is now Canada, Kentucky, Ohio and Virginia and formed a “Great League of Peace.”

Even before that, the first evidence of human inhabitants in Canada has been dated back to 30,000 BCE – when people crossed over the Siberian land bridge as the Ice Age ended. A village discovered in British Columbia is one of the oldest human settlements in North America and pre-dates the pyramids.

Indigenous people have been living on this land for thousands and thousands of years and the ownership of the land is a contentious issue still not resolved, which is why many choose to celebrate Canada Day alternatively.

No matter how you measure it, these days the modern nation of Canada is a cultural melting pot that celebrates diversity and is home to a mosaic of different ethnicities and traditions.  What does it mean to be Canadian? It’s more than just beaver and maple syrup and snow shovels and hockey: it’s our identity of kindness, politeness, inclusion, acceptance and understanding – which is certainly something to celebrate. Happy Canada Day!

Community Events, Downtown Toronto, Entertainment, Lifestyle talk, Vacation Travel

How to Spend a Day of Spring in Toronto

March 31, 2017

Spring in TorontoSpring in Toronto is a welcome ray of sunshine after a long, cold and snowy Canadian winter. When those days start to get longer and the temperature starts to rise, everyone puts away their winter coats and breathes a sigh of relief. It just feels so good to be able to walk around without trudging through ice and snow (except for yesterday).

How should you spend spring in Toronto? Here are some ideas for ushering in the season which are close to your furnished apartments in Toronto!

Spring in Toronto with Cherry Blossoms in High Park

In late April to early May, High Park will come alive in a flurry of pale pink blossoms. It is truly a gorgeous sight to see and you’ll probably get some gorgeous photos. The trees are located all around Hillside Gardens, as well as surrounding the duck pond. You can check back with the High Park website for updates on when the flowers are blooming. Even better – pack a picnic with you so that you can relax in High Park and enjoy the view while feasting.

Take a Coffee Break at a Cafe With a PatioSpring in Toronto

Chill out in a sunlight-flooded cafe patio while fueling up on caffeine. There are many great spots that will awaken in springtime, such as Fika Cafe – a green oasis that even has a hammock! Or, try Jimmy’s Coffee in Kensington Market, right in the heart of one of the coolest areas of the city. Or, pull up a seat at one of the long communal tables at Full Stop, an independent coffee shop in The Junction.

Oogle Adorable Baby Animals

Spring in Toronto is the season when adorable baby animals are born, so if you can handle the cuteness then consider visiting the Toronto Zoo. It was recently reported that they are experiencing a “baby animal boom” which has lead to a spike in attendance (I’m not surprised.) What could be better than ooing and ahhing at ridiculously cute creatures? If you need more of a baby animal fix you could also check out some of Toronto’s farms and petting zoSpring in Torontoos, including Round the Bend Farm, High Park Zoo, Riverdale Farm, Far Enough Farm and Springridge Farm.

Watch Some Thought-Provoking Documentaries

Melt any icicles that may have gathered on your mind throughout the winter by checking out some of Toronto’s great spring documentary film festivals. There is Doc Soup, which ends in April.Also, there is the Hot Docs Film Festival which runs from April 27th to May 7th. You’ll be able to check out an outstanding selection of hundreds of films from around the world. You are sure to find some interesting food for thought that will give you something to talk about with your friends.

Why not also check out some of the new restaurants in Toronto too?  What are your favourite things to do when spring starts to bloom in Toronto? Let us know about them in the comments below.

Community Events, Downtown Toronto, Entertainment, Fitness and Health

How to Beat the January Blues in Toronto

January 6, 2017

The exciting buildup to Christmas and New Year’s is over – now it’s just cold. However, don’t get too sad as January holds plenty of fun things to look forward to.

You may be feeling a little bit blah  January Bluesafter the holiday season. You’ve returned to work, you’re a little bit worse for wear after indulging in too much eggnog and cookies and the January days can be dark and dreary. However, there are many ways to lift your spirits and avoid the January blues. Here are some of the great things that you can do in Toronto this month.

The Next Stage Theatre Festival

January 4-15, 2017

Brighten up your January with some excellent theatre and comedy. This year the festival will be celebrating its 10th anniversary of offering a diverse showcase of thought provoking and funny theatre. Since it began 10 years ago, the festival has been attended by over 75,000 guests. Check out the schedule here to see which plays, improv shows and comedies are currently on.

The Second Annual Something Strange Circus Sideshow Festival

January 21, 2017January Blues

The second year of the Something Strange Circus Sideshow Festival will be an eclectic gathering of freaks and geeks from all over the world. From ventriloquists to contortionists to sword swallowers to stuntmen to burlesque dancers and much more, this show will baffle and amaze you.

Eat Some Poutine

On a cold January day, there’s nothing more comforting than piping hot chips smothered in rich gravy and squeaky cheese curds. Poutine is a Canadian

January Blues

delicacy and there are many great places in

Toronto to feast on this warm and satisfying dish.

Fancy Franks offers special poutines with unique toppings such as Korean Beef Ribs and a fried egg or BBQ Pulled Pork and a deep fried pickle. The poutine at Leslieville Pumps is made with rich dark gravy made from the beef smoker and aged potatoes. Or, you could try the Tex Mex poutine at Come and Get It, which is served with beef chorizo, cilantro, pico de gallo salsa, crispy tortilla chips and sour cream. For more suggestions, check out this guide to the 15 Best Poutine Spots in Toronto.

Go Tobogganing

Zooming down a hill on a toboggan with the fresh winter breeze in your hair is a great cure for the January blues – it will bring you back January Bluesto the carefree days of your youth. You’ll have lots of great tobogganing hills to choose from. Check out Riverdale Park East for an inviting slope and great views of the city skyline, or Withrow Park for a steep incline that has a set of stairs along the side to make getting back to the top easier. Donora Park, in a quiet residential area, has a smaller hill that is very kid-friendly.

Ripley’s Aquarium Beach Bash

January 27, 2017

If the January cold is really getting to you, why not pretend that you are in the tropics for a few hours? The Beach Bash in the Six is a beach party in the middle of winter where you can party in your swimsuit, sip on a rum cocktail and go for a ride on a surf simulator. It might be freezing outside, but it’s summer in here!

How do you like to beat the January blues in Toronto? Let us know in the comments below. Check out our blog too on some fun things to do in Toronto!

Community Events, Downtown Toronto, Entertainment, Family Vacations in Toronto, Lifestyle talk

Things to Do in Toronto At Christmas

December 21, 2016

Toronto At ChristmasToronto at Christmas is a very merry place to be during the winter holidays.

If you are planning to spend Christmas in Toronto – you’re in luck. You’ll be surrounded by plenty of holiday cheer and there will be no shortage of joyous events and seasonal activities to get you in a festive mood. Here are some of the best things to do in Toronto at Christmas time.

The Toronto Christmas Market

Inspired by the Christmas markets in Germany in the 1400s, the Toronto Christmas Market creates the ideal festive atmosphere with craft maker stalls, mulled wine, street food, dancers, brass bands and carollers. Set within the Victorian-era cobblestone streets of the Distillery Historic District, this annual event is a great opportunity to shop for hand-made treasures and get in the Christmas spirit. Tomorrow is the last day so make sure you hurry there and visit!Toronto at Christmas

Christmas at Casa Loma

Casa Loma is a unique architectural wonder. Built over three years between 1911 and 1914, it was constructed in the style of a Gothic castle, complete with battlements, secret passageways and over 98 incredibly ornate rooms. Visit between December 1st and January 8th to see the castle decked out in its Christmas finest, with several stunning sparkling trees throughout the castle decorated by celebrity designers. Visitors can go on a scavenger hunt through the historic castle, listen to carollers and enjoy sitting down with Santa.

Public Skating Rinks

Skating on one of the public Nathan Phillips Squarerinks in Toronto is an essential Christmas experience, so lace up your skates and go for a spin. There are three public rinks in Toronto available for skating – the Evergreen Brick Works, The Natrel Rink at Harbourfront Centre and Nathan Phillips Square. The Nathan Phillips Square might be the most iconic rink, underneath the beautifully lit arches, but the Natrel Rink has a DJ spinning live tunes on a Saturday night.

The holiday season is one big long party in Toronto and there are so many great activities and events to enjoy. Pack a warm coat, a toque and a scarf and bundle up for a great holiday season in this lively Canadian metropolis.