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Tipping Etiquette in Toronto

September 23, 2016

Tipping EtiquetteIf you are visiting Toronto and you are from a culture where tipping is not the norm, you might be wondering what the appropriate local tipping etiquette might be. Who should you tip, and how much money should you give?

In Canada the tipping culture is similar to in the USA – tips are expected for many staff in the service, hospitality and food and beverage industry. Here are some important tips to keep in mind when it comes to tipping etiquette while visiting Toronto.

In a Restaurant

Unlike some destinations in Europe, a gratuity is not included in the bill at most Canadian restaurants. Instead, you should calculate approximately 15-20% and add that onto your bill. If the service was unsatisfactory, you caTipping Etiquetten give less and if the service was exceptionally good you can give more. You essentially tip based on the service experience.

Sometimes if you have a table with a large group, usually 8 or more, the restaurant will add an automatic gratuity to the bill. Some servers may rely on tips to bump up their wage and may feel frustrated by a large group who take a lot of time and effort to serve but don’t tip.

If you have a poor restaurant experience and you are considering not leaving a tip as a response, consider whether your experience was the fault of the server. If the food was bad or the service was slow because there weren’t enough staff, this is the fault of the kitchen and the manager. Consider asking to speak to the manager so that you can voice your complaints in a constructive way – you might even be offered a discount or a free meal as an apology.

Other Places to Tip

Tipping is also customary in other situations in Canada. You would be expected to tip your taxi driver, valet parking attendant, hotel room attendant, hotel concierge, hairdresser and manicurist. If you visit a spa during your visit to Toronto it is expected that you will tip your spa service provider around 10% of the cost of your treatment. Also, if you go on a guided tour and your guide offers you great service it is good to tip them around 10-15% to show your appreciation. When you are drinking at one of the many great bars in Toronto it is customary to leave around $1 per drink for the bar tender, depending onTipping Etiquette the cost of the drink.

In some situations, there will be a “Tip Jar” on the counter of a business, such as in a coffee shop, cafeteria and sometimes even in retail stores. However, in these situations the tip is optional. You can put a tip in these jars if you have enjoyed great service but you don’t have to – and it won’t be considered rude not to.

It can be tricky at first to remember who to tip while visiting in Canada, but if you are unsure you can always ask a Canadian friend or colleague about the appropriate tipping etiquette. Make sure to carry around a few small bills, loonies and toonies so that you have the right change whenever you need it!

Remember to tip on the sub-total, and not on the taxes!

Downtown Toronto, Entertainment, Lifestyle talk, Toronto History

Cool and Quirky Toronto Markets

September 2, 2016

Toronto MarketsToronto is an intriguing and multi-faceted city with a lot of different layers to uncover. One of the most interesting aspects of the city is its abundance of quirky and unique markets. These Toronto markets have a fascinating collection of everything from locally grown produce to antiques to handmade jewellery and much more. You can spend hours searching through, finding treasures and chatting to the friendly local sellers.

Here are some of the most interesting Toronto markets to check out during your stay in your furnished rental nearby:

Brick Works Farmer’s Market

This Saturday morning market is the ideal place for foodies to scout out delicious local treats. It offers a great selection of eggs, produce, meats, cheeses, baked goods, tea, preserves and much more. It is one of the largest farmer’s markets in the city and is only 6KM from the Republic furnished apartments in Toronto. It’s a fantastic place to find your next favourite treat, whether that is a Toronto Marketshomemade vegan brownie, a strawberry basil ice pop or fresh gluten free spicy Mexican salsa.

Parkdale Flea Market

Parkdale is a cool and quirky west end neighbourhood and this great market features beautiful handicrafts made by the creative locals. There are many great finds here, such as handmade jewellery, antiques, locally designed clothes, vegan baked goods and so much more. It has a lively and welcoming atmosphere and runs the second Sunday of the month from 10am until 5pm.

Withrow Market

The Withrow Market happens every Saturday from 9am until 1pm rain or shine at Withrow Park. It has a fantastic selection of regionally grown produce and baked goods, as well as yummy treats such as preserves and ice cream sandwiches. Shopping here is a great way to support the local farmers around Toronto and buying locally grown pToronto Marketsroduce is so much better for the environment. The James Cooper Mansion short term rentals is only a 10 minute drive.

Sunday Antique Market

If you love antiques you will be in heaven at this Sunday Market, a treasure trove of old fashioned finds from vintage jewellery to old books to home décor and much more. There is a great collection of items that is ever changing and you can find everything from quirky retro items to pieces that are quite old and valuable. It takes place at the historic St. Lawrence Market which is only about a 5 minute drive from the 300 Front St. West furnished rentals.

Junction Flea Market

Every second Sunday of the month from 10am until 5pm from June 8th to October 12th you can check out the Junction Flea market, a very trendy hipster hotspot. There is a lot to discover here, from food to vintage clothing to records to antiques and much more. There’s something for everyone and a great friendly and laid back atmosphere.

These are just a few of the coolest and quirkiest markets that Toronto has to offer. Give yourself lots of time to explore these Toronto markets so that you can meander through slowly, taste all of the yummy treats, hunt for a vintage treasure and chat to some of the local sellers. It’s not just a market, it’s a Toronto cultural experience.

Downtown Toronto, Entertainment, Family Vacations in Toronto, Toronto Family Travel, Toronto History

Toronto Art and Culture

July 29, 2016

Toronto Art and CultureIf your idea of the perfect day is spent within the walls of a museum or an art gallery, contemplating the creative works of humanity, then you’ll love Toronto. A destination in Canada when it comes to the quality and diversity of Toronto art and culture. There’s an impressive abundance of great museums, galleries and much more – so here are some Toronto art and culture attractions to check out if you are visiting and staying in your furnished rental. Or, better yet, be a tourist in the city you live in!

The Art Gallery of Ontario

Let’s start with the main art institution in the city – the Art Gallery of Ontario aka the AGO. It is one of the biggest art museums in North America and is housed within a cutting edge building designed by architect Frank Gehry. This impressive gallery features a collection of works that totals over 80,000, including paintings, sculptures, drawings and photographs by artists such as Richard Serra, Andy Warhol, Cindy Sherman and Brian Jungen.

Casa LomaToronto Art and Culture

Now a museum, this Gothic Revival house and gardens in Toronto was built as a residence for the incredibly wealthy financier Sir Henry Mill Pellatt in 1911. The castle-like architecture seems strangely out of place in a Canadian city and at the time it was built it was the largest private residence in Canada. Sir Henry imported several artisans from Europe to design Casa Loma, taking his inspiration from castles from across the pond. Take a tour of this fascinating building and imagine what life would be like enjoy its lavish excesses, including a pool, three bowling alleys and an oven large enough to cook an ox.

Angell Gallery

Since it opened in 1996, Angell Gallery has been known for representing cutting edge artists who take bold risks in their work. You’ll see a wide range of thought provoking work in several different mediums including painting, sculpture, video art and digital art.

Stephen Bulger Gallery

Founded in 1994, this gallery has an impressive collection of over 15,000 contemporary and historical photographs. Several international and Canadian photographers are represented, including Sunil Gupta, Pete Doherty and Jeff Thomas. Make sure that you check out the gallery bookshop, which has over 3,000 titles on photography.

Black Creek Pioneer Village

Toronto Art and CultureHistory buffs will love this historic village, carefully recreated to depict life in early Ontario in the 1800s. It’s an opportunity not just to see history, but to smell it, taste it, hear it and experience it first-hand. Within the 40 restored heritage homes you will find artisans and costumed interpreters recreating the lifestyle of the early settlers.

Daniel Faria Gallery

Located within a converted warehouse in Bloordale Village, Daniel Faria Gallery is a contemporary art space that has exhibited some of the biggest names in Canadian Art. The gallery showcases work from some superb Canadian artists including Kristine Moran, Chris Curreri and Shannon Bool.

These are just a few of the art and history attractions you can enjoy for Toronto art and culture.

Community Events, Downtown Toronto, Entertainment, Lifestyle talk

Toronto June Events

June 13, 2016

Toronto June EventsWhen the month of June comes around in Toronto, the weather starts to get sunny and warm and the city comes alive with many great events and festivals. There are Toronto June events held all over, offering many opportunities to have a great time in the sunshine. Here are some of the exciting events that you can look forward to in Toronto:

Toronto Pride

June 24th – July 3rd, 2016

Pride Week takes place in Toronto toward the end of June every year and is a vibrant and colourful celebration of the LGBT community. The Pride festival includes a lot of exciting events, including musical performances, dance parties and a huge parade that travels down Yonge Street, Gerrard Street and Bloor Street. It’s a wonderful opportunity to let loose, dance and have fun and everyone is welcome.

LuminatoToronto June Events

June 10 – 26th, 2016

Luminato is an arts and culture festival that includes theatre, film, dance, music, art and literary events featuring artists, filmmakers and playwrights from all over the world. The 17 day event includes a number of performances throughout the city and this year 1000 performers will be taking part. David Pecaut Square is the hub of the festival and will host free concerts every night.

Taste of Little Italy

June 17th – 19th, 2016

The Taste of Little Italy Festival takes over College Street, making you feel like you have been transported to Europe and are strolling through an Italian piazza. You’ll have the opportunity to taste some delicious Italian treats, including mouth-watering pizza, pasta, gelato, coffees and more. There will be more than 20 international live music performers as well as crafts for sale by local artisans.

Toronto Jazz Festival

June 24th – July 3rd,Toronto June Events 2016

If you love jazz music, check out this chilled out music festival featuring an incredible array of talented performers. Some of the amazing artists that will be featured this year include Grace Potter, Wynton Marsalis, Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings, Sarah McLachlan, Gregory Porter and the Chick Corea Trio. The Toronto Jazz Festival will be celebrating its 30th anniversary and is one of the premier jazz festivals in North America. The heart of the festival will be in Nathan Philips Square in downtown Toronto, where you will find a massive 1,200 outdoor stage and many exciting free events.

These are just a few of the most exciting events that Toronto has to offer in the month of June. There are also plenty more Toronto June events, performances and things to do, so get out there and join in the fun!

Business Travel, Entertainment, Events, Lifestyle talk

Corporate Team Building Trips in Toronto

April 28, 2016

Team Building Trips TorontoIf you are looking for a destination for your next corporate team building retreat, why not head to Toronto? One of Canada’s biggest metropolises, this exciting city not only has a range of great team building trips in Toronto – it also boasts plenty of excellent restaurants, a vibrant nightlife and superb cultural attractions.

Team building trips in Toronto will improve communication and teamwork among your employees and keep them engaged and motivated. Not only should the team building activity help to build skills, it should also be fun and enjoyable. Luckily, there are many ways that you can get your corporate group interacting in new and exciting ways. Are you looking for some ideas of what to do? Here are some great corporate team building trips in Toronto to get you started:

Cupcake Baking ExperienceTeam Building Trips in Toronto

Take your team to Le Dolci where they can experience the art of cupcake making and compete to make the perfect dessert. In the Iron Cupcake Challenge the teams will cycle through a cupcake tower building activity, a themed decorating challenge and a portrait challenge where they must design one cupcake to look like themselves and one to look like a colleague. Everyone will bond over their shared love of chocolate and frosting and your workplace will become a much sweeter place to do business.

Conundrum Adventures Auction Fever

Another TorontoTeam Building Trips in Toronto team building trips in Toronto company offers an “Auction Fever” experience that encourages strategy and teamwork. Participants solve puzzles to earn points, which they use to bid on items in fictitious auctions. These items range from a gold Macbook to a stay in a luxurious villa. The aim is to estimate what the items are worth and the team that accumulates the items with the highest value is the winner.

Paintlounge

Get your employees inspired to be creative together with a corporate team building event at Paintlounge. There are collaborate packages that involve everyone working together on a large 24×30 canvas – which you can hang up in your workspace afterwards. There is also an experience that involves working on individual solo canvases, so that everyone can take home a painting.

SpiN Ping PongTeam Building Trips in Toronto

Who doesn’t love ping pong? Have a ping pong tournament with your entire office! SPiN Toronto is a ping pong social club that features a private party room, two licensed bars and a full food menu. You can even register for private Ping Pong lessons.

These are just a few of the fantastic team building activities that your colleagues can enjoy in Toronto – experiences that will challenge you, teach you communication skills and bring you closer as a team.