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Great Christmas Activities for Kids in Toronto

December 8, 2015

Christmas Activities for Kids in TorontoThe city of Toronto really lights up around Christmas time and becomes a dazzling, sparkling winter wonderland with a magical and festive atmosphere.
If you are visiting the city with your children, there are many fun and exciting things that you can enjoy during your time in Toronto. Here are some of the best Christmas activities for kids that the city has to offer:

12 Trees of Christmas
At the Gardiner Museum you can check out the beautiful display of Christmas trees, enchanting for children of all ages. The event begins on November 12th with the lighting ceremony of an enormous tree and afterwards you can walk around the museum and check out the trees- each decorated with a unique theme. Each of the 12 trees has been designed by one of the city’s top designers and will be on display at the museum.Christmas Activities for Kids in Toronto

Toronto Christmas Market
Get some Christmas shopping done and get lost in the magical atmosphere of the Toronto Christmas Market, taking place in the historic Distillery District from November 20th to December 20th. This charming event captures all of the heritage, charm and tradition of a European Christmas Market and it is a great place to pick up some unique local hand crafted products. There will also be family friendly entertainment there including carollers, children’s choirs and musicians.

Black Creek Pioneer Village
Visit this historic 19th century village and you will feel like you have stepped back in time – it is filled with actors in period garb recreating what life is like for early settlers. It’s especially fun to visit this attraction during the holidays, as the village will be decorated for ChriChristmas Activities for Kids in Torontostmas and there will be horse drawn wagon rides, visits with Santa, Christmas tours and a Gingerbread Village contest.

Outdoor Skating
Get out in the fresh air, strap on your skates and spend a chilly afternoon gliding across a frozen rink. Skating is a great activity for kids of all ages and it will really get everyone in the holiday spirit. When your little ones need a break they can warm up with a steaming cup of hot chocolate. Two of the most popular free outdoor skating venues in the city are the Natrel Harbourfront Centre rink and Nathan Philips Square.

These are just a few of the fun Christmas activities for kids you can do in Toronto during the holiday season, so why not plan a winter getaway with your family to this exciting city this year?

Downtown Toronto, Entertainment, Lifestyle talk, Toronto History, Vacation Travel

Toronto Neighbourhood Guide: Kensington Market

November 20, 2015
Kensington Market

Photo Credit: Rina Pitucci

One of Toronto’s most eclectic neighbourhoods, Kensington Market, is within walking distance of our downtown furnished rentals. Settled by Eastern Europeans, the neighbourhood –which spans from College to Dundas, north to south; and Kensington to Denison, east to west– has had fluctuations of different ethnicities from Jewish, Portuguese, and Latin American, which is now an important landmark in Toronto. It has also developed certain trends: homes behind homes and stores on the first floor of homes, which has since been retained today. Here are our favourite places and things to do in the Market.

1. Casa Acoreana. Located at the corner of Augusta and Baldwin, Casa Acoreana has been one of the Market’s longest standing institutions in business for 50 years. Comprised of a cafe and a store that sells coffee, candy, and nuts, it is one of the best people-watching spots in Toronto.

2. Pedestrian Market Sundays. Every last Sunday of the month from May to October, Kensington Market’s streets are closed off

Kensington Market

Photo Credit: Joey deVilla

to traffic for their annual Pedestrian Sundays. There’s music, food, and many street performances. It’s a lively event that you can’t miss if you’re visiting or living in Toronto.

3. Produce, Meat, Fish, and Cheese. If you like to do your shopping at local markets, Kensington Market is the best place to do it. It’s the perfect pit stop for your picnic needs if you’re heading over to the park at Denison or further along, at Trinity Bellwoods Park. Some of our favourites: Sanagan’s Meat Locker, Hooked for Fish, Oxford Fruit Market, and Global Cheese. Happy shopping!

4. Seven Lives Tacos. There are plenty of options for lunch and dinner in the Market. Though you’ll always see lines for this taqueria, Seven Lives

Kensington Market

Photo Credit: Ian Irving

arguably has some of the best fish tacos in the city. Get the Gorbernador and thank us later!

5. Vintage Shopping. Vintage stores that scatter the market lend to its bohemian vibe and are one of the best ways to explore the market. Check out the long standing Courage My Love for jewellery and great clothing finds and Flashback for jackets. You’ll likely stumble upon racks and racks of clothing on the sidewalks outside of the stores and may unexpectedly find a good garment.

What are your favourite places in Kensington Market?

Community Events, Downtown Toronto, Entertainment, Events, Food & Recipes, Holiday Events, Lifestyle talk

Toronto Neighbourhood Guide: Distillery District

November 11, 2015
Distillery District

Photo Credit: Alonso Inostrosa Psijas

The Distillery District, a national historic site in Toronto, is a neighbourhood and village of its own, a distinctly unique area in the city, just east of Old Town (King East) and south of Corktown. It’s a great mini-escape from the hustle of downtown Toronto and outside of our downtown properties while still being in the downtown area. Though it’s much quieter during the weekdays instead of the weekends, it’s a lovely way to explore more of the city, get connected to its roots, and escape the hustle of downtown. Here are our favourite places and events to explore the Distillery District.

Distillery District

Photo Credit: Tasting Toronto

1. El Catrin
As one of our top patio picks in Toronto, El Catrin’s bright outdoor display is one you can’t miss in The Distillery. Sun yourself alongside a margarita amongst the bright yellow lamps on the heated patio or stay awhile under the large scale murals and comfy benches inside over Mexican inspired fare. It’s our pick for a date in the area.

2. SOMA Chocolate
SOMA has been known as the best chocolate maker in the city and it’s a treat to visit its original location in the distillery (just past El Catrin). Taste test a truffle (or ten), savour the gelato, or sip on SOMA’s famous drinking chocolate on the back wooden stairs. At this location, you can also watch the chocolate-making process through the glass windows. Of course, this is one of the best places to get a “Made in Toronto” gift. Closer to our downtown locations is SOMA’s second King Street location.

3. Events Year round, The Distillery District provides ambiance with its open area in the main square for performances among its cobblestones and unmarked green doors. Stroll for fresh produce and other made in Ontario products at the Sunday Summer Market; Lounge in the main square during the numerous festivals like the TD Jazz Fest; Art Fest is a more unique festival in September; and the most famous event–rounding out the end of the year– is the Toronto Christmas Market, ideal to find unique gifts and warm up under the fire with some mulled wine.

4. Pikto When is the last time you pDistillery Districtrinted a photo? Professional services still exist and Pikto is the place where photography enthusiasts and the pros get their prints and photobooks done. Peruse the photobooks, sign up or inquire about a photography workshop, or even print your instagram photos.

5. Soulpepper Theatre Though the Distillery is known for its art galleries, tucked in the back of the district on the east side, you’ll find this treasure trove of a theatre. Watch a new play or check out their concert series when in season. The theatre is a strong supporter of youth and has many free programs and initiatives in this area (great for your child who has a creative or dramatic streak).

There are so many other reasons to visit the Distillery District. Not too far from your furnished suite in Toronto, we hope that you check out the Distillery when you are in Toronto. What is your favourite thing in or about the Distillery District?

Business Travel, Customer Service Experience, Entertainment, Feedback and Reviews, Lifestyle talk

How To Entertain on Your Balcony

November 4, 2015

Entertain on your balconyMany condo balconies are small. That said, there’s still some space to spruce up your balcony, especially at our short term rentals at DelSuites. Here are our tips to maximize your space and entertain on your balcony.

1. Lighting. The lights you choose for your balcony can instantly change the mood of your outdoor space. Try stacked lanterns, string lights, or a few big potted candles.

2. Seating. Most balconies will only enable a small table and two chairs. If you wanted to use your balcony as an extension for an entertaining space, try a small bench or a chaise lounge instead of a small table and two chairs.

3. Extras. If you’re unable to put a BBQ or grill on your balcony, try a small bar cart (ideally coveEntertain on your balconyred for bad weather situations) or an outdoor wine cooler. Make your space cozy by adding a carpet or funky rug. Colourful or light accessories like blankets will entice you to be outdoors.

4. Plants and Flowers. Potted plants or hanging flowers can instantly add that joie de vivre to your space and make it welcoming for your guests. Weather conditions will dictate the type of plants you can grow and have on your balcony. It is advisable to give the dimensions and specifics of your balcony at your local flower/plant shop. Placement of flowers can be on the ground but also up high or hanging from the balcony. Varied placement will helpEntertain on your balcony spruce up the space.

5. Water features. A small, standing water fountain that needs to be plugged in (if there is an outlet on your balcony) would create that calming effect. A beautiful bowl surrounded by plants or a clear vase or bowl filled with rocks and water can add to your outdoor sanctuary.

Don’t forget if you don’t want to do anything to your balcony, there are outdoor spaces and pools at many of our properties where you can grill, swim, sunbathe, and socialize! It is one of the many features we offer as part of our award-winning services.

Your balcony is part of your space, so make the most of it! How do you create an outdoor sanctuary for yourself? How do you entertain on your balcony?

Community Events, Entertainment, Feedback and Reviews, Holiday Events

Halloween Safety Tips for Your Little One

October 29, 2015

Halloween Safety TipsHalloween is an exciting time for your little ones – they get to dress up in fun costumes and go door to door receiving copious amounts of chocolate and candy. However, it is important to stay safe during this time of year, as there are certain risks associated with Halloween.

Here are some important Halloween safety tips to keep in mind this time of year.

• Attach reflective tape to your child’s costume or candy bag, so that cars can see them better when they are trick or treating after dark.
• Make sure that the costume is not so long that your child would trip over it. Also, avoid masks that hinder your child’s vision as they might trip and injure themselves. Use non-toxic kid-friendly makeup instead.Halloween Safety Tips
• When your child’s Halloween costume includes makeup, make sure to test it on their arm first to see if it irritates their skin – before putting it on their entire face.
• Buy a costume that is flame-retardant, so that the material will not burn and pose a fire hazard.
• When trick or treating, only go to the houses that have porch lights on lit streets.
• Go trick or treating in a group and stay together. Older children can trick or treat on their own with friends and younger children can go with an adult. For very little children there are usually indoor events, such as trick or treating at the stores in a shopping mall.
• When your older children go out on their own, establish a curfew and ensure that they have a mobile phone so that they can call you if they need to.
• Give your child a flashlight to takeHalloween Safety Tips with them when they are trick or treating. Make sure that the batteries are fully charged.
• Your children can also carry glow sticks which will help them to see as well as making them more visible to drivers.
• When you are carving pumpkins never let young children handle the knives without adult supervision. Have them draw their designs on the pumpkin and then you or an older sibling can do the carving.
• Instead of using candles in your pumpkin, which can be a fire hazard, use a glow stick to safely illuminate your pumpkin instead.
• When your child gets home, take a look through their candy. If your child is very young, take away any gum oHalloween Safety Tipsr hard candy that could cause choking.
• Make sure that your home is safe for when trick or treaters visit. Remove anything that might cause children to trip or fall while approaching your house and make sure that the lights are on outside at all times.
• Your children should have good road sense and should be in the habit of looking both ways before they cross the street, even if they are excited to get to the next house.

These are just a few important Halloween safety tips to keep in mind to ensure that your little ones have a safe and fun evening. What’s your favourite part about Halloween?