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Toronto Neighbourhood Spotlight: Greektown

May 4, 2018

GreektownToronto 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 – Greektown.

Introduction

Greektown, also known as the Danforth, is a neighborhood in Toronto located on Danforth Avenue between Dewhurst Blvd and Chester Avenue. This was one of the main settlements of Greek immigrants in Toronto after World War I. Several scenes in the film My Big Fat Greek Wedding were filmed here.

 

If you love Greek cuisine, you’ll want to head down to this part of town. It has one of the highest concentrations of dining establishments per kilometre of any other neighborhood on the planet, showcasing mostly delicious traditional Mediterranean dishes. If you visit during the Taste of the Danforth festival in mid-August you can enjoy yummy samples of cuisines from all of the restaurants along this street – not just Greek food but also Indian, Chinese, Thai, Japanese and much more.

Must Visit Spots in Greektown

  • Start with a great coffee at Broadview Espresso, where you can lean back on the comfy Muskoka chair on the outdoor patio and enjoy a high quality latte.
  • The Carrot Commons on Jackman Street is a busy avenue filled with cafes, bookstores and a funky organic food market.

Greektown

  • Shopping for cute clothes? Social Butterfly is a chic little shop with a great selection of jewellery, denim, boots, footwear and more.
  • Get your fill of big tasty Greek gyros at Messini Authentic Gyros.
  • If you want to enjoy Greek cuisine in a more sophisticated, sit-down setting you can treat yourself to a meal at Mezes. It’s a busy spot with a welcoming vibe and a heated patio. They serve up the dishes that you would find in any traditional greek home, with fresh, quality ingredients.
  • If you are a music geek, you will fall in love with the huge collection of new and old vinyl at Mike’s Music.
  • In the mood for some live music? The Danforth Music Hall is a fantastic venue that showcases a range of great talent. Check to see which shows are on during your visit!

History

greektownGreek immigrants came to this area after WWI and by the 1970s and 80s, it was the largest GreekTown in North America. There was also a large influx of Greek immigrants during the 1960s, as they were fleeing the political and economic unrest which resulted in the Greek military junta seized power in 1967-74.  This neighborhood became home to one of the highest concentrations of Greek immigrants living outside of Greece.

How to Get There

Greektown is located on the TTC Bloor-Danforth Subway line and can be accessed from Pape, Chester or Donlands stations. If you are visiting in a car, you can reach Danforth avenue by taking the Bayview/Bloor exit off the Don Valley Parkway and following the signs for Danforth Avenue/Bloor Street.

What’s your favourite Greektown 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.

Community Events, Downtown Toronto, Entertainment, Toronto Entertainment, Toronto History, toronto toursim

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.

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Toronto Strange Activities to Do

August 30, 2017

Toronto Strange ActivitiesOnce you have been to Toronto a few times and you have covered the most popular tourist attractions – The ROM, the CN Tower, the Hockey Hall of Fame, Casa Loma – you might be curious about what else there is to explore. When you go beyond the main sights you can discover a strange and quirky side to Toronto, with plenty of unusual and intriguing spots to visit and things to do. Here are a few Toronto strange activities hiding beneath the surface when you explore a little deeper.

Toronto Strange Activities – The Rage Room

If you are feeling stressed out, the Rage Room in North York offers you the opportunity to take out all of your aggression on inanimate objects with your choice of weapon. You’ll be suited up in protective gear including a face shield and gloves, given a crowbar or baseball bat and you can go to town on plates, glasses and beer bottles – without having to worry about the cleanup.

You can even bring a box of your own stuff to smash. They even have Bluetooth speakers so that you can express your rage to the angry playlist of your choice. Talk about a unique technique for stress relief!Toronto Strange Activities

The Biblio-Mat

The Monkey’s Paw is a cool and quirky bookstore and it is home to the Biblio-Mat, the first device of it’s kind. It is a vending machine that dispenses a random vintage book for $2. A creative alternative to the discount sidewalk bin, the book dispensing machine is a fun novelty. It whirrs and vibrates dramatically before delivering the book and you never know what subject matter or size of book you will receive

The Knit Cafe

If you love to craft sweaters and scarfs, drop in for a knit session at the Knit Cafe, Toronto’s coffee shop for those who love knitting. The cafe offers classes and get-togethers and also serves sweet treats and espresso throughout the day. They also offer a great selection of yarn, so you can stock up for your next project.

Indoor SkydivingToronto Strange Activities

If you don’t have the nerve to actually jump from an airplane but you do want to experience the sensation of freefall, check out iFLY Toronto indoor skydiving. They have a 45 foot tube that has a powerful torrent of air running up through it, strong enough to keep your body aloft. It feels like you are falling through the sky, but it’s a lot less terrifying than jumping out of a plane. It is even possible to organize an indoor skydiving party – so why not think about it as a venue for your next birthday?

What are some Toronto strange activities you’ve discovered? Share your travel tips and discoveries with us in the comments! In addition, be sure to check out these family fun outdoor activities as we wrap up summer in 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!