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Toronto Newcomers Groups and Activities

June 28, 2018

Toronto NewcomersWhether you have located to Toronto for work or for pleasure, chances are if you are new to the city you may not know very many people yet.  Making friends in a new city can be challenging at first – it’s difficult to break the ice when everyone is a stranger. There are many fun activities and Toronto newcomers groups that are the perfect opportunity to connect with others. Here are a few of the best sources for finding activities and things to do in Toronto:

The Toronto Newcomers Club

The Toronto Newcomers Club was created to make it easier for new residents of the city to meet others and learn what Toronto can offer. They host a number of events including monthly coffee meetings as well as other interest groups such as hiking groups, book clubs, foodie outings, wine tastings, yoga, skiing and much more.

Membership is open to anyone who has been a resident of the Toronto area for less than 3 years and the annual membership fee is $50. You can attend two of the events first to see if you would like to become a member, then once you join you can be a member for as long as you want.

“I Wanted to Do That… Just Not Alone”

If there is something that you want to in Toronto but you don’t know anyone to do it with? This is a

Toronto Newcomers

meetup group in Toronto that is perfect for meeting friends who also want to do things in the city but don’t know anyone.

The aim of the group is to help you find someone whom you can go on Toronto adventures with – whether that is seeing a movie, checking out a new restaurant, going for a hike or learning a new language.  If there is something that you want to do in Toronto, suggest it to the group and see who else wants to join!

Internations Toronto Newcomers Group

Internations is a worldwide organization that hosts meetups for expats and newcomers in 390 cities all over the world – including Toronto. Their TO chapter is a great place to connect with other members of the community and make friends.

Toronto NewcomersThere are many sub-groups that you can join within Internations Toronto depending on your interests – such as the Toronto Nightlife Group, the Toronto Arts and Culture Group, Toronto Independent Coffee Lovers Group (dedicated to checking out independently owned coffee shops in the city), Toronto Wine Appreciation Group, Toronto Film Enthusiasts Group and more. Take a look and find something fun to do with people who share your interests!

 

Downtown Toronto, Events, Food & Recipes, Lifestyle talk, toronto toursim

Toronto Neighbourhood Spotlight: Chinatown

May 18, 2018

Toronto ChinatownToronto is a delightfully diverse city and its many neighbourhoods reveal cultural influences from around the world. Let’s take a close look at one of those exciting neighbourhoods – Chinatown.

Introduction – Chinatown

Everything from food markets to bars to music shops to vintage clothing boutiques and much more are located within this compact neighborhood, running along Spadina Street. It is one of the largest Chinese districts in North America and is home to ethnic Chinese from Vietnam, Taiwan, Singapore, Hong Kong and elsewhere.

One of the best times to visit this neighborhood is during Chinese New Year, when there will be a loud, noisy and exciting Dragon Dance parade winding through Dundas Street.

Must Visit Spots in Chinatown

  • For authentic noodles, chow mein, dim sum and other Chinese favourites, check out King’s Noodle Toronto Chinatown(This is just one of the many great restaurants in the neighborhood! Come with a big appetite!)
  • This Old Chinatown Food Tour offered by Toronto Food Tours is led by a culinary professional and will take you on a guided adventure sampling some of the yummiest treats Chinatown has to offer.
  • The infamous Furama Cake and Desserts is well known in Chinatown as a hub of activity and a spot for older Chinatown residents to catch up on gossip over tea. It’s a great place to try some delicious cream buns.
  • If you are the type of person who is obsessed with beautiful stationery, you’ll love The Paper Place. This shop features gorgeous paper, art supplies, notebooks, books and more.

History

Chinatown in Toronto first began in the 1890s, when many American Chinese emigrated from California (due to the racial conflict there) and from the Eastern USA (due to the economic depression). One of the first to establish here was a man named Sam Ching, who opened a laundry business on Adelaide Street. He was the first Chinese person to be listed in the city directory of Toronto and there is now a lane named after him.

Chinatown TorontoChinatown went through two phases in it’s history. There was the original “First Chinatown”, which became a slum area for incoming immigrants from the 1890s to the 1950s and was razed in 1955 to make way for Nathan Phillips Square and Toronto New City Hall. Then there is what is known now as the “Old Chinatown.” Although a small Chinese community was already in this location before the 1950s, the businesses that had to be relocated from the first area moved here.

How to Get There

Chinatown is accessible by the 510 Spadina and the 506 College Streetcar. It can also be reached from the St. Patrick Subway Station, which is about two blocks west along Dundas Street.

What’s your favourite spot? Let us know in the comments below.

 

Business Travel, Downtown Toronto, Entertainment, Lifestyle talk, Toronto Entertainment, toronto toursim

Furnished Housing for Film and Production

February 28, 2018

Film and Production There are a number of factors as to why big budget movie and TV makers are heading to Toronto, including the city’s talented workforce and diverse landscape. Plus, directors, film and production professionals are also lured northward by tax credits that cover labour costs. Now that animation and special effects studios in Ontario have emerged, producers are able to shoot, edit and animate their films all in Toronto.

Toronto may be one of the most popular actors in the movie industry. The city has played many big roles over the years, standing in for Boston, Chicago and New York. It’s not uncommon to spot yellow cabs and movie cameras on the streets.

Here are some examples of Toronto’s starring roles:

  • It became the fictional town of Hohman, Indiana for A Christmas Story in 1983.
  • The Silver Dollar Room on Spadina was the fictional Blue Oyster Bar in the movie Police Academy in 1984.
  • The Harvard Bar in Good Will Hunting (1997) was actually the Upfront Bar and Grill located on Front Street.
  • In the original X-Men film (2000) Roy Thompson Hall was the setting for an important scene where Magneto and Professor Charles Xavier meet.

Film and ProductionToronto has earned the nickname Hollywood North over the years, due to its role as a popular production centre for a wide range of television shows and film projects. In fact, in 1979 Toronto Mayor John Sewell announced that Canada had become the third largest centre for movie production after New York and Los Angeles. In addition to this, Toronto is also home to the Toronto International Film Festival, which is considered to be second only to Cannes.

Convenient Accommodations for Film and Production Toronto

If you are coming to Toronto to work on a film or television project, furnished apartment rentals have got you covered.

If you work in the entertainment industry, you may be on the road more often than you are at home. When you stay in hotels, you don’t have the space that an apartment has to offer. These furnished apartments are usually conveniently located in prime areas of Toronto, so you are never far away from your filming location.

A furnished condominium provides a separate living area and kitchen, as well as free WiFi, laundry, fitness centres, parking and other amenities. You will be able to cook your own healthy meals, spread out and do work in the apartment and relax in a spacious, comfortable and well-designed environment.

When cast and crew need to be on location in Toronto, whether for one month or longer, these apartments are ideal. They are safe and secure, offering controlled access. A high quality temporary housing for production crews, perfoFilm and Production rmers, executives, actors or any other traveling entertainment professional.

To learn more about our furnished housing for film and production professionals, contact us today.

Downtown Toronto, Food & Recipes, Lifestyle talk, Toronto History, toronto toursim

Toronto Neighbourhood: Little Italy

November 17, 2017

Little ItalyLittle Italy

Also referred to as College Street West, Little Italy is known for it’s superb Italian-Canadian restaurants. During the weekends the streets are buzzing with visitors and locals dining on the outdoor patios. The Italian trattorias have a casual, family-friendly vibe and they are all about good, traditional recipes cooking with fresh ingredients.

Little Italy isn’t a 100% Italian neighbourhood – while there is a strong Italian community there is also a significant Portuguese population located around the Portugal Village shopping centre and the First Portuguese Canadian Cultural Centre.

Must Visit Spots in Little ItalyLittle Italy

  • La Forchetta Ristorante is the classic Italian dining experience, with pasta and meat dishes originating in the Old Country. Plus – they have a superb wine list to pair with your entree.
  • If you are into live music there are a lot of great places to check out in Little Italy, including the Mod Club or the basement of Nightowl.
  • Check out Cafe Diplomatico. Known as “The Dip” by locals, this coffee shop and restaurant has become an institution for caffeine fiends in Toronto. It also serves up all of the Italian classics including paninis, pizzas and more. If it looks familiar to you, it’s because filmmakers often use it as a set.
  • Rita’s Italian Ice serves up delicious frozen treats in a ton of different flavours – the ultimate treat for a warm day.
  • Check out the Italian Walk of Fame – where stars line the sidewalk with the names of famous Italian Canadians.

History

Large numbers of Italian immigrants came to Toronto in the early 20th century, settling in the area around College Street in the affordable Edwardian homes there. Most found work on the railways or in road construction and many started businesses in the area.

It was during the 1920s that Little Italy really became recognized as the commercial and residential centre of the Italian community in Toronto. These days the area is home to the largest Italian Little Italycommunity that is located outside of Italy and it is a popular area of the city for visitors to explore.

How to Get There

It’s quite simple to get here via the TTC. You can arrive from Queens Park or start from College Station on the Yonge-University-Spadina Line. Then, from there you can catch the 506 Carlton streetcar towards High Park traveling west on College Street. You can disembark anywhere between Bathurst Street and Ossington Avenue.

You can also travel from Bathurst Station on the Bloor-Danforth Line. When you exit, catch the 511 Carlton Towards Exhibition streetcar traveling south on Bathurst Street. You can disembark at College Street West. Exploring this street on foot is a delight, give yourself plenty of time to dip into the little shops and cafes to sample what they have to offer.

What’s your favourite Little Italy spot? Let us know in the comments below.

Downtown Toronto, Toronto Entertainment, Toronto History, toronto toursim

Cool Toronto Art Galleries to Check Out

September 26, 2017

Toronto Art GalleriesThe first item on the list for any art lover visiting Toronto is to check out what’s on at the Art Gallery of Ontario – the city’s largest gallery. However, once you have perused the AGO’s collection don’t just stop there. Toronto is a city bursting at the seams with great art and there are so many other intriguing galleries that you can visit if your thirst for art has yet to be quenched. If you love nothing better than strolling through an art gallery and discussing the themes and questions raised by the art on display – check out the following Toronto Art Galleries:

Toronto Art Galleries – The Power Plant

The Power Plant is known for hosting the annual Power Pall, an indulgent party for the city’s art elite. It is located at the Harbourfront, which means that it is within reach of the other main tourist attractions and furnished rentals in Toronto. The exhibitions here are varied and they are often experimental and conceptual, with an emphasis on modern art by Canadian artists.

Wil Kucey GalleryToronto Art Galleries

Wil Kucey is the owner and director of this unique and interesting gallery, located in the Little Portugal neighbourhood of Toronto. It focuses on promoting the work of emerging artists who haven’t yet broken into the commercial market. This gallery has represented several fantastic artists over the years, including Benjamin Oakley, Tristram Lansdowne and Nicholas Di Genova. When you visit you will discover an array of thought-provoking work in many different mediums.

Mercer Union

The Mercer” as it is called, moved north to Bloor and Landsdowne a few years ago and it is now located in a gorgeous historic building designed by the same architect as the Casa Loma. The artist-run gallery has some of the most ambitious and exciting programming in the city, including lots of great video installations.

Cooper Cole Gallery

Toronto Art Galleries

Simon Cole opened this gallery as a way of showcasing a wide range of works, from conceptual paintings to abstract works to sculptures. He doesn’t restrict the gallery to a specific style – he refuses to be pigeon-holed. His goal is to include a wide range of different types of styles so that he can represent a cross section of the Toronto art scene.

If you are an art lover visiting Toronto, these are just a few of the intriguing galleries you can explore after you have seen the Art Gallery of Ontario. Tap into Toronto’s art scene and you will discover so many conversation-worthy pieces by talented and creative artists from Canada and all over the world.