Browsing Category

Downtown Toronto

Community Events, Downtown Toronto, Downtown Toronto Condos, Entertainment, Food & Recipes, Toronto Condos

10 Things to do in Downtown Toronto

March 20, 2015

Things to do in Downtown Toronto Downtown Toronto is one of the most vibrant parts of the city. That said, with so many choices of activities and restaurants, it can be difficult to know where to begin to figure out what to do. Here are our top picks of things to do in downtown Toronto, all close to your furnished apartment!

1. Eat! The quality and number of options of where to dine and drink in Toronto has ranked as one of North America’s great food cities. Our current favourites include Thoroughbred for upscale food in a casual environment, a great after-work option; Real Sports Bar, right near our 300 Front Street building is always a good alternative Things to do in downtown Torontoto watching the game at the ACC. Montecito is the new fancy restaurant in town, with a California-inspired menu. Thai options are readily available in the downtown core, including the popular Pai. For healthier fare, Fresh has a number of locations in Toronto (many downtown) and now serve cold pressed juice. Rush Lane is our pick for classy cocktails. For brunch, the Swan or the Drake Hotel never disappoint. Thor Espresso is our pick for grab and go coffee (and do check out their new location, Odin Hus, opening in Corktown in February. Little Nicky’s is irresistible for those mini donuts, and for your craft beer needs, Bellwoods Brewery on Ossington offers some of the finest in the city.

2. See live music. There are a number of fantastic venues to see live music, usually most days of the week. You will also get a senThings to do in Downtown Torontose of Toronto’s history through these old buildings. Massey Hall is one of those classic venues. On Queen Street, The Cameron House and the legendary Horseshoe Tavern are great for rock and roll and a cheap drink. Try Sneaky Dee’s on Bloor for a mix of concerts and dancing. For a more traditional experience, check out the Toronto Symphony Orchestra or an opera at the Four Seasons Centre for Performing Arts. Of course, if you want to see a big concert experience, The ACC or the Rogers Centre are your best bets.

3. Explore a new park. Toronto’s park system is expanding with the advent of the Pan Am Games. Downtown, there are a number of trails and parks near your furnished apartment or condo. Trinity Bellwoods is the perennial favourite, ideal for a downtown picnic and people watching. The Harbourfront Trail is a great option near the lake and if you walk or bike far enough, you can visit a number of little parks along the way. Further east, try Cherry Beach for its secluded spots near the water, but up the street near the Distillery District and the upcoming athletes village of the Pan Am Games, you’ll find the Corktown Commons, Toronto’s newest interpretation of an urban park with a phenomenal view of the city skyline.

4. Shop! Downtown Toronto isThings to do in Downtown Toronto our shopping mecca. You can check out our favourite stores for your Christmas Shopping needs here, though they are great shops year round. Our main shopping centre is the Eaton Centre, which is anchored by the Hudson’s Bay Company on Queen Street. King Street East is the main furniture shopping strip (you can go further west to the Junction for furniture stores as well). Queen Street is your best bet for clothing boutiques. Kensington Market is a fun area to shop for vintage. Ossington also has some interesting vintage finds. If you’re a book collector, check out some interesting bookstores like Monkey’s Paw on Dundas West and Type on Queen Street West.

5. Art Galleries We have listed our favourite art galleries in Toronto but it’s also one of our favourite things to do downtown. The AGO consistently has a number of thought-provoking exhibitions and distinct Canadian collections. MOCCA, the Museum of Canadian Contemporary Art, is a wonderful alternative if you’re strolling along Queen Street. Plus, it’s free!

6. The Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) Now into its centennial year (100 years!), the ROM has been a beacon of education and discovery for kids and adults alike. Make sure to take a walk along Philosopher’s Walk at the back of the musuem to the neighbouring University of Toronto after your visit and for a chance to gaze at the architecture of the Royal Conservatory of Music.

7. Ripley’s Aquarium One of Toronto’s newest attractions and one of our favourite activities for families, Ripley’s Aquarium will keep you occupied for hours. The dangerous lagoon is the highlight of the aquarium. On the moving walkway, you can get up close and personal with marine life swimming above you, including a varitey of sharks aThings to do in Downtown Torontond stingrays. The aquarium now offers live jazz every second Friday of the month as well as interesting events for the kids like daycamps, sleepovers, and a stingray experience.

8. The CN Tower Edgewalk if you’re a thrill seeker, walking around the outer edges of one of the world’s tallest towers will elevate your adventures to another level. There is no view like it in Toronto and you get a video and photo as a souvenir at the end of the experience!

9. Festivals and Events Year round, there’s always things to do in downtown Toronto whether it’s in January or August. Aside from the buzz-worthy TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival) and its neighbouring year-round exhibitions at the TIFF Bell Lightbox on King Street, try Hot Docs in March if you’re into film. Canadian Music Week and NXNE are a riot for music fans; beer lovers love the craft beer festival in January; and though sports fans are always at The ACC for a basketbaThings to do in Downtown Torontoll or hockey game if not at the Rogers Centre for a baseball game, the Pan Am Games will bring an extra jolt to the city this July.

10. Laugh! Canada is not short of incredible comedians. Check out Yuk Yuk’s where Russell Peters got his start or for a more participatory experience, try the Second City for improv just steps away from our central properties downtown.

Whether you’re in Toronto for a short term period or extending your visit to a long term stay, you won’t run out of things to do while you’re downtown. Have a great time!

Community Events, Downtown Toronto, Entertainment, Family Vacations in Toronto, Holiday Events, Toronto Family Travel, Vacation Travel

Five March Break Activities for the Family

March 17, 2015

Schools Out! March BreakIf you are not one of the 116,000 people traveling during the March Break period (March 16-20), this is your time to explore Toronto with your family. We have written about our favourite family-friendly activities in Toronto previously here, but here are a few March break activities and ideas to keep your children entertained during the week.

1. Disney Classics at the TIFF Bell Lightbox. Watch some of the famed movie maker’s classics on the big screen and relive your childhood too! If you’re staying in one of our furnished suites downtown, there is no excuse not to go to these special screenings. There are also March Break camps and to start planning early, summer camps for your kids.

2. The Toronto Public Library’s (TPL) March Break Program. The TPL has a variety of activities for both kids and teens, including a Lego program and a first-aid babysitting course.

March Break Activities3. A Day Trip. One of  our favourite March Break activities for the day would be to the Kortright Centre for Conservation, where you and your kids can learn about sustainability, hike, and also participate in their maple syrup programs. Nearby, is the McMichael Art Gallery, a great alternative from the Art Gallery of Ontario to learn about Canadian art. March Break camps are also available here. The Toronto Zoo is another great idea for a day trip if your kids love animals; they have special programming for the week.

4. Stay In. Sometimes, a day at home is overrated. Cook with the kids. Break out the arts and crafts. Watch a favourite or new movie on the couch or have a sleepover for your kids and their friends. Many of our locations also have a pool so this might be a fun way to break up your days.

5. Visit the Aga Khan Museum. One of Toronto’s newest attractions, the architectural masterpiece is also your gateway to learn more about Muslim civilizations. The museum and all of its exhibitions are free every Wednesday from 4-8 p.m. There is also a special March Break camp for your kids. If you are brave enough and have the energgroup students jumping end of exam yeary, you could also plan an excursion afterwards to the Ontario Science Centre, which is located nearby.

What are your favourite March break activities to do with your family in the city? However, if you are traveling with your family, here are some of our tips to handle the journey with ease.

Downtown Toronto, Food & Recipes, Lifestyle talk, North York

Top 10 Restaurants in Toronto, 2015

March 6, 2015

Top 10 Restaurants in TorontoWith Spring just around the corner, getting out on the town made us think of our favourite restaurants in Toronto. It’s a mix of those classics you might find on a list like Winterlicious mixed with newer restaurants and cafes. If you’re looking to get out of your furnished apartment in Toronto or try something new at one of Toronto’s many diverse and delicious restaurants, look no further to our comprehensive top 10 restaurants in Toronto. Our list is in no particular order.

1. Bar Isabel. It’s no surprise that this Spanish-inspired restaurant with a Black Hoof twist (owner Grant Van Gameren used to co-own the Black Hoof) is on many top ten lists. We love the chorizo, grilled octopus, and basque cake with sherry cream. Be on the lookout for Van Gameren’s anticipated opening, Bar Raval, this year. Reservations are recommended.

2. Canoe. Canoe remains one of the best restaurants in Canada and a homage to haute Canadian cuisine. It is the perennial place for a special occasion with views of the Toronto Islands and CN Tower to match from the 54th floor of the TD Tower. You’ll be lucky to sit at the chef’s table and interact with Chef John Horne. It is a treat! It is also one of our picks to drink with your fellow corporate executives.

3. Big Crow. Big Crow is the city’s answer to a backyard BBQ, complete with an Algonquin and Canadiana theme year-round (in winter they bring out the blankets and heaters). Chow down with your friends over ribs smothered in pesto sauce, steel-trout poke nachos, and s’more ice cream sandwiches in the summer.

4. Fat Pasha. Another extension of Anthony Rose’s empire (including Big Crow, above), Fat Pasha is your excuse to eat through the MiddleTop 10 Restaurants in Toronto Eastern trend. We love the dips (especially labneh and hummus) and the nutella babka cake. A must if you’re looking to venture out of your usual tastes.

5. The Black Hoof. Since 2008, The Black Hoof has set Toronto on the charcuterie trend and remains the best place for the boards. It has since expanded its menu so you can more adventurous parts of an animal (whether it’s offal or horse) and never fails to impress the tastebuds. We love the staples of charcuterie, bone marrow, and cheese but give the horse tartare a try. Try its intimate cocktail bar across the street, aptly named Cocktail Bar, pre or post meal.

6. Electric Mud BBQ. Owned by Black Hoof alum, Colin Tooke and Ian McGrenaghan, Electric Mud BBQ is their second outpost of the Electric empire (Grand Electric around the corner on Queen West slinging out tacos). Chow down on good ol’ BBQ, bourbon alongside a great soundtrack at picnic tables with your friends. The ribs are classic but we return for the chicken, crack rolls, and $2.50 pints of Great Lakes Beer on Monday nights. They also now deliver. We love a good deal!

7. Origin. Tapas has become one of Toronto’s biggest culinary trends and Origin executes it in an original fashion. The restaurant is so popular it has expanded from its original location at King and Church to Origin North at Bayview and Sheppard (a sophisticated option near our furnished apartments in North York). We love the deviled eggs, tostones and guacamole, hand rolls, miso glazed cod, and dulce de leche. Look for chef Claudio Aprile to expand his repertoire of fresh, global dishes to the Toronto PeTop 10 Restaurants in Torontoarson Airport soon.

8. Eastside Social. One of Leslieville’s newest additions to the neighbourhood, Eastside Social is casual enough to sit and chat with someone at the bar over a dark n stormy yet sophisticated enough for a date. Share their inventive fish charcuterie platter. Their oyster special is every Tuesday and Wednesday.

9. Campagnolo. Our pick for Italian cuisine, chef Craig Harding, continues to deliver the classics that make us feel like it’s okay we can’t hop on a plane at a moment’s notice to Italy. You’ll salivate over his burrata with roasted grapes, spaghetti all’matricana, rabbit saltimbocca, and his famous budino.

10. Mildred’s Temple Kitchen. For the brunch lovers, Mildred’s Temple is large enough to accommodate your group but popular enough for you to be waiting in line even 15 minutes after opening. It’s worth the trek to Liberty Village. If it’s one thing to order it’s those fluffy, blueberry pancakes.

It’s difficult to add our all of our top 10 Restaurants in Toronto (honorary mentions go to Lady Marmalade for brunch, Porchetta & Co. for lunch, and Chantecler for dinner).

What are your favourite restaurants in Toronto? What are the restaurant openings in Toronto you’re looking forward to?

Community Events, Downtown Toronto, Food & Recipes, Markham

Five Romantic Things to do in Toronto for Valentines Day, 2015

February 11, 2015

Romantic Things to do in Toronto for Valentines DayToronto is a chock full of places to get romantic but if you wanted to get creative, go beyond the restaurant. If you’re not snuggling up in your furnished suite in Markham this year, opt to take your date to one of these great events just in time for February 14 (or opt to go when there are no crowds!). Here are our favourite romantic things to do in Toronto for Valentines Day.Romantic Things to do in Toronto for Valentines Day

1. A Helicopter Tour. What better way to cozy up to your significant other than up high in the sky with a different vantage point of the beloved TDot? Toronto Heli Tours has special discounts for your special one for a private flight for two.

2. Paint! Maybe you were inspired by that movie Big Eyes. Or maybe you’re inspired by your lover. Take the inspiration to the canvas in this creative way for a date. Paintlounge has three different locations near our furnished apartments in Markham and Downtown Toronto. Their special packages for valentines run from February 12 to 15, 2015.

3. Board Games. Popular board game cafe, Snakes and Lattes has taken date night to another level with its second location, Snakes and Lagers. Board games, beer, and a speciRomantic Things to do in Toronto for Valentines Dayal someone. What better way to get to know someone (and how competitive they are!)

4. A Tasty Tour. What better way to surprise your sweet than with a sweets tour? Toronto’s only sweets tour, Tasty Tours, will help you explore the best places to get those chocolate truffles for your loved ones and are running tours on Valentines Day.

5. The Toronto Zoo. Not just for the family, the Toronto Zoo’s So You Think You CaRomantic Things to do in Toronto for Valentines Dayn Romance event has you discussing the romantic habits of animals over dinner (next year you can book the sold out dinner at Ripley’s Aquarium, another one of our favourite places in Toronto). This event is on both February 13 and 14, 2015.

What are your favourite romantic things to do in Toronto for Valentines Day?

Downtown Toronto, Food & Recipes, Lifestyle talk, Toronto Condos

Top 5 Restaurants and Cafes for Comfort Food in Toronto

February 6, 2015

Restaurants and Cafes for Comfort Food in TorontoAs the winter continues to chill Toronto’s city streets, we seek comfort in our favourite foods. Those childhood classics are popping up throughout Toronto’s eateries. Here are a few of our favourite restaurants and cafes for comfort food in Toronto.Restaurants and Cafes for Comfort Food in Toronto

1. Cheesewerks. If you’re looking for a twist on all things cheese related like grilled cheese sandwich, Mac N’ Cheese, and fondue it’s here. Located near many of our properties downtown including the Element location, the eatery also offers cheese-related events for you and your family.

2. Ravi Soups. Ravi’s curried lentil and apricot soup offers a warm and cozy escape away from Toronto’s frigid temperatures. Our pick for a sandwich for their valuable soup and sandwich combos is the curried lamb wrap.

Restaurants and Cafes for Comfort Food in Toronto3. The Queen and Beaver. This gastropub and its sister pub, The Oxley in Yorkville, are known for its Sunday Roast. In many variations (traditional roast beef, beef wellington, slow cooked lamb shoulder), this is a great alternative to cooking a big Sunday dinner for yourself and your family and friends.

4. Pizzeria Libretto. Our favourite place for pizza is also one of our favourite comforts and noone does it better than Libretto with its authentic Neapolitan ovens. A great place for the family, do check out its newest location in the financial district.Restaurants and Cafes for Comfort Food in Toronto

5. Poutini’s and Smoke’s Poutinerie. Though Quebec will always reign king to the classic Canadian staple of poutine, Poutini’s and Smoke’s Poutinerie are our favourite places to get it in downtown Toronto. If you can’t get it after a late night out, Poutini’s now offers lunch delivery service to your office with Foodee and Smoke’s has new locations in Mississauga.

This post is making us hungry! What are your favourite comfort foods? What are your favourite restaurants and cafes for comfort food in Toronto?