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Upcoming June and July Toronto Events, 2015

June 8, 2015

June and July Toronto EventsThe summer of 2015 is going to be an exciting one in Toronto with a number of special events this year. Many of these events are located in downtown Toronto, centrally located and not too far from your furnished apartment. This is an ideal time to be in the city for your short-term stay or an extended stay. Here are a few of our favourite June and July Toronto events happening this year.

1. North By Northeast Festival (NXNE) (June 17-21, 2015). This festival has gone beyond just music to converge creatives artists into five different event-packed streams: Music, Film, Interactive, Comedy, and Art. Toronto will be a buzz with shows (and secret shows) at concert venues littered across town as well as free concerts at Yonge and Dundas Square. Discover your favourite shows and plan in advance so you can use your pass well.

2. The Toronto Jazz Festival (June 18-27, 2015). If you’re a fan of jazz, you’ll get a choice to hear over 1,500 musicians

June and July Toronto Events

Photo Credit: Mark Watmough

and 350 performances in over 40 locations around Toronto. This year, the festival will celebrate Oscar Peterson’s 90th birthday and welcome back Jamie Cullum to the stage. Festival headquarters are at Nathan Phillips Square, which features a fully licensed Mainstage Marquee and outdoor stage, where you can see some performances for free. It’s always a great way to introduce the summer!

3. Luminato (June 19-28, 2015). Luminato celebrates Toronto’s vibrant arts and culture scene in Toronto, via this 9 day festival across the downtown core and at the festival hub in David Pecault Square. See performers like Jason Collett revive his basement revue; view the imaginary rose garden, a visual arts display; or dance the day away at a Brazilian block party! There are many events everyday, so do check the website to see which one appeals to you.

June and July Toronto Events

Photo Credit: US Embassy Canada

4. Taste of Toronto (July 2-5, 2015). This food event takes over the grounds of Fort York in its second year. Food enthusiasts are drawn to sample dishes from some of the best eateries in the city, including Montecito, Barque, THR & Co., Splendido, Bosk, and Richmond Station. Exciting food events will be on offer, as well, including the Toronto Life Chef’s Table, a series of interactive discussions with chefs; and the Metro Masterclass, a hands-on cooking session from the popular chefs (and a visiting chefs, including Christina Tosi, of Momofuku Milk Bar). The best part? You can walk home from your food coma!June and July Toronto Events

5. Fringe Festival (July 1-12, 2015). This is the best way to see theatre for cheap with over 150 shows at over 30 venues in the city. The shows are performed at unexpected places in the city, as well, from waiting rooms to the back parking lot of Honest Ed’s. Now that there’s Fringe Kids in place, this is also a great way to introduce grassroots theatre to your children.

6. Pan Am/Parapan Am Games (July 10-26, 2015). The most anticipated event for this year, the Pan Am and Para Pan Am games will bring in over 7,000 athletes from the Americas and the Caribbean to compete in 36 Pan Am sports and 15 Parapan sports all over Toronto and within Ontario. If you’ve never gone to the Olympics, this is your chance to see some sports of that caliber as well as many athletic facilities being upgraded in time for the games. Many events surrounding the games are forthcoming, including Panamania, a 35-day arts and cultural festival. Many exciting musicians will be performing for free at Nathan Phillips Square including Janelle Monae, The Flaming Lips, The Roots, and Tanya Tadaq.

What June and July Toronto events are you looking most forward to?

Downtown Toronto, Entertainment, Food & Recipes, Lifestyle talk, Mid Town, Toronto History

Favourite Patios in Toronto

May 25, 2015

Patios in TorontoHanging out on your balcony in your DelSuites furnished apartment rental in Toronto can be novel for only so long. Though it’s one of our favourite amenities, sometimes you want a change of scenery. As the summer heats up, here are our favourite patios in Toronto to grab a drink and people watch.

1. Amsterdam Brewhouse
Steps away from our downtown properties like 300 Front Street, The Icon, and The Element, Amsterdam Brewery’s patio is situated on the Harbourfront, lakeside, with a nice view of the Toronto Islands. Also named as one of our favourite craft breweries in Toronto, all you need to relax is a pint in hand in a muskoka chair to feel like you’re transported north of the city. Don’t forget you can buy some of their cans to bring home. Their bottleshop is open until 11pm!

Patios in Toronto

(Photo by Tasting Toronto)

2. El Catrin
The vibrant patio, located in the Distillery District, and its Mexican details –cut outs, tiles and firepits –makes this one of the most popular outdoor spots to have brunch or lunch in the summer months. The food is just as great as the location. Try sharing some tacos or ceviche. For dinner, you could try a 7 course tasting menu with your friends. The best part? Your fellow patio-patrons surrounding you are best for people watching. Reservations are strongly encouraged.

3. Terroni (Rosedale)
This rooftop patio of the popular Italian trattoria is a more low key destination and in short distance of our mid-town properties, 173 Duplex and the Republic. Chow down on hearty pasta and many delectable pizzas under minimalist decor and a great view of the downtown landscape.

Patios in Toronto4. Speakeasy 21
This Financial District favourite –at Scotiaplaza–has a brand new 3-tier patio for after work libation. You can watch all of the drama of rush hour unfold from your perch right in the centre of things. Knock it back with a watermelon mojito or bites to share with coworkers or friends.

What are your favourite patios in Toronto?

Downtown Toronto, Entertainment, Food & Recipes, Lifestyle talk

Where to get High Tea in Toronto near Your Furnished Rental

May 6, 2015

High Tea in TorontoAs Mother’s Day approaches, one idea to celebrate the day is to partake in the tradition of afternoon or high tea in Toronto. Luckily, there are a number of places across the GTA near your furnished rental to indulge in this leisurely treat. Pinkies up!

1. The Old Mill
Near our Nuvo and Park Nuvo properties, The Old Mill is a storied tradition and has been at the Old Mill Inn in Etobicoke for 100 years. Bring your favourite fascinator and celebrate with your mom in style. For $30, you can snack over a varied menu of finger sandwiches, scones, and afternoon tea pastries, a variety of teas, and even bubbles (at an extra cost). With a view of the outdoor garden through the old-fashioned windows, this is one of the best atmospheres for afternoon tea in the city.

2. The Windsor Arms
One of the most famous places to enjoy the afternoon tea tradition in Toronto (and not too far from our 173 Duplex and High Tea in TorontoRepublic short-term rentals at Yonge and Eglinton), The Windsor Arms also has one of the most luxurious tea rooms in the city. In one of the three elegant tea rooms, you can sip from over 20 different selections of tea as well as a savoury menu of finger foods. The Windsor Arms arguably has the best scones and devonshire cream in the city. If you can’t make the regular seatings, there is a twilight menu serving the tea menu at 5:30 and 6:00 PM daily. Fancy hats or fascinators are encouraged. You can borrow one for $5 and proceeds benefit the Look Good Feel Better program, a charity that offers hands-on cosmetic and hair alternatives workshops for women with cancer.

3. The Old Curiosity Tea Shop
This high tea tradition is not too far away from our Circa apartments for rent in Markham which offers over 50 different teas. The Victorian tearoom also specializes in current and discontinued Royal Doulton china replacements. The afternoon tea tradition is by reservation only.

High Tea in Toronto4. The Tea Room, Streetsville
An affordable place for this tradition in Mississauga, you can choose from three different menus for afternoon tea. The Tea Room High Tea menu offers a garden salad in addition to the three tiered tray of tea sandwiches, quiche tartlet, scones, and sweets. You can also choose among an array of black, oolong, and herbal teas.

5. DEQ at the Ritz Carlton
This modern take on the afternoon tradition is a short walk from our Icon, 300 Front Street, and Element furnished apartments in downtown Toronto. There are four different menus to choose from, each which feature the luxury Sloane tea, its blends sourced by certified tea sommeliers. Nibble an updated twist of the traditional menu such as a larger size of the salmon sandwiches served on croissants and macarons served on a modern version of the tiered tray.

Where is your favourite place for high tea in Toronto?

Business Travel, Downtown Toronto, Entertainment, Events, Family Vacations in Toronto, Lifestyle talk

Things You Should Know About Living in Toronto

April 17, 2015

Living in TorontoToronto is a great city in which to live (welcome!) and according to the Global Liveability Report (2014), Toronto has been recognized as being one of the five most liveable cities in the world. We have a rising economy, a good mix of nature along the edges of our downtown core, a good standard of living, and are one of the most multicultural-friendly cities in the world. However, as with other major urban centres, Toronto has its quirks that you have to navigate as a resident. Talking to our team is a good start to help you learn more about Toronto living. Here’s our guide to what you should know about living in Toronto.

1. Harsh Winters and Hot Summers
What you hear about Toronto’s winters are true: they can be extremely cold. Lately, however, temperatures fluctuate. One day the temperature can be a balmy 10 degrees celsius; another day, they can drop to minus 25 degrees celsius. Dressing in layers is crucial when living in Toronto. Equally, summers can be hot and humid and downtown smog permeates the air in the downtown core. Another reminder to keep your umbrella handy as Toronto’s rainfall has increased in the past few years. Having a humidifier or air purifier will keep the air fresh in your furnished apartment in Toronto.

Living in Toronto

2. Transportation
Other than driving, there are a few ways to get around the city, a very large one at that, and depending on where you go, it’s an average of 30 minutes to get anywhere in the city. The Toronto Transit Commission, also known as the TTC, is one of the most central ways to get around the large metropolis. It extends from Scarborough to Etobicoke (east to west) and Finch/Steeles to Union Station at Front Street (north to south). An average fare on the TTC is $3.00. If you’re looking for a quicker alternative, you can take a taxi in the city, with a starting rate at $4.50. Cabs in Toronto can be notoriously expensive so be careful. An average ride from outside the downtown core can cost $20 to $25. Uber or Uber X is also another alternative. If you are traveling to the suburbs such as Markham, Mississauga, or Brampton, the GO Transit system (via bus or train) will help you get there efficiently if you don’t drive. Prices vary based on your destination; however, an average price to Mississauga one way is $7.Living in Toronto

3. Rush Hour
Rush hour in Toronto lasts from 6:30am to 9:30am during morning weekdays and around 4:00pm to 6:30pm during weekday evenings. It is at its peak during 8am and 5 to 6pm, respectively. Traffic congestion is one of the major issues as Toronto has expanded. If you live downtown or near your workplace in one of our central locations, the best alternative is to walk or bike to work to avoid the crowds altogether. On the TTC, do expect to wait one or two trains, especially on the Yonge/University line due to congestion. Union Station is also in a state of significant transformation with new exits so give yourself time to navigate in the morning. Alternatively, you can commute in less peak hours to give yourself plenty of time to reach your destination.

Living in Toronto

4. Construction
Toronto continues to expand significantly as it has done so over the past 10 to 15 years. Over 100,000 condominium units are currently being constructed (source) and according to a report in the Toronto Star, our metropolis is home to more than 44 high rises exceeding 150 metres. As the city gears up for the Pan Am Games, you’ll see a lot of delays on major routes, the main one being the Lakeshore between Yonge and Spadina, which is slowly but surely improving in terms of development. Always map out your route and double check the TTC website before you travel anywhere in the city if you don’t know it well. Downtown, it may be easier to walk certain places than it is to take the TTC.

Living in Toronto

5. A City of Neighbourhoods
Toronto is known as a city of neighbourhoods (complete with our own toques!) and the best part of this city is feeling like you’re constantly a tourist, whether it’s trying a new, ethnic restaurant or going to a cultural event. If you like to be near the water, The Beaches, Scarborough Bluffs, or Lakeshore West might be good options for you. Downtown, you are close to the funkiest areas complete with shopping, restaurants and nightlife downtown or by Queen, King, or Kensington Market. Yorkville and Rosedale/Summerhill are a bit more lush. North York is right by the subway line with plenty of parks and dining options. For those wanting more family-friendly neighbourhoods, Roncesvalles, High Park, The Danforth, and Leslieville are great options.

Living in Toronto

6. It Can Be Difficult to Meet People
Living in a big and constantly changing urban centre like Toronto can make it difficult to meet people. The best solution to this urban issue is to join a club. There are plenty of interesting clubs out there depending on your interest. The Toronto Sport and Social Club is a great addition to your workout routine, or you could join a quirky club like an axe throwing league (yes, that exists!). Volunteering is another way to meet new friends while giving back to the community. Sites like Charity Village can help you find what interests you. Likely, there is a club for whatever your interest happens to be.

Of course, do check out any events happening where you can meet other residents in your DelSuites condo.

A big city like Toronto can take a bit of getting used to but once you settle into the city (and your short term rental in Toronto, which will make life a bit easier for you), you’ll find yourself calling it home sooner than later. Just make sure you pronounce it “Toronna” and not “Tore-on-tow.”

Downtown Toronto, Entertainment, Food & Recipes

Top 5 Favourite Bars for Craft Beer in Toronto

April 7, 2015

Craft Beer in TorontoCraft beer is big business in Toronto. According to the Ontario Craft Brewers Association, “there are currently over 100 craft breweries in Ontario employing over 1,000 people in direct brewery jobs across the province. This represents over 30 per cent of the direct brewery jobs in Ontario.” Now that grocery stores will now have the opportunity to sell beer and wine, this will not replace your visit to your local bar to taste test brews. If you don’t want to stay in your furnished suite or apartment to drink, here are our favourite places in Toronto for this niche experience.

1. Bellwoods Brewery. The popular indie brewery on Ossington Ave–with its white picket fence and prime people-watching patio– is listed as one of the 100 best breweries in the world by Rate Beer. Sip and savour on IPAs, stouts, single hop series, Belgian saisons, and a variety of ales. There’s a good selection of charcuterie to nibble alongside your pints. The brewery is dealing with its line-ups with a next door bottle shop (you’ll also want to save those beautiful labels for your home collection) and are opening a new location at Dupont and Dovercourt. Currently, you can quench your thirst by participating in a spring guided tasting.

2. Bar Volo. Bar Volo is the craft beer bar that was ahead of the trend and now 25 years old. It’s a great centralCraft Beer in Toronto location if you are living in our furnished suites downtown or North Toronto. The dim-lit, intimate, wooden space gets crowded early. It’s a casual process: look at the list on the walls for over 30 rotating regional beers on tap, casks, more than 75 international types of bottles, and a hectolitre nano brewery. You then find your own table, and order/pay at the bar. Though known for beer, there are two VQA wines served on tap, and over 60 bottles of bourbon and rye for non-hopheads. In the summer, there are DJ nights and during those times, cans of Howe Sound Lager is available for $5 (as previously stated on their site, last year).

3. Bar Hop. Located a short walk away from our 300 Front, Icon, and Element locations, Bar Hop is the ideal unpretentious after-work spot on King West. The bar has over 36 rotating taps plus tap takeovers, gluten-free beers and ciders, aCraft Beer in Torontond two casks. Special deals like Sunday Sessions ($5 for select craft beers); Mussel Mondays (2 pounds of mussels and fries for $9.95); and Buck-a-Shuck Tuesdays ($1 Oysters) make this a bustling place. Fret-not, a second location is in the works around Richmond and Peter.

4. Indie Ale House. If there is one reason to head over to the Junction, it’s for its noteworthy brewery. There’s a variety of beers here, including their speciality of bold ales. Peruse their menu for collaborations and their original brews with fun flavours and names like the Broken Hipster, Zombie Apocalypse, and the Breakfast Porter. Add a flavourful, varied menu of healthy options and bar staples with a twist; tours, and tastings, and you’ll never want to leave (unless you go here first and then dance the night away at 3030 down the street).

5. Amsterdam Brewery. Though it now feels like a tourist attraction due to its Harbourfront location, Amsterdam Brewery has bCraft Beer in Torontoeen in Toronto since 1986 and come a long way from its first location on John St. Now the brewery is a short walk away from our temporary housing Toronto. Amsterdam Brewery is known for its Boneshaker unfiltered IPA and has other original brews like the Sweetwater Squeeze Radler, the 416, and the all natural Blonde. Sip lakeside on a muskoka chair with an unparalleled view of Lake Ontario and the Toronto Islands. A bonus if you can’t grab a seat on the patio is that you can grab your favourite beer from their bottle shop, which is open 7 days a week until 11pm.

Honorable mentions go to some of Toronto’s newer breweries like the soon-to-open Left Field Brewery (which is hosting tastings and pop-ups to buy select bottles from time to time); East York’s new Muddy York brewery; and the established Granite Brewery at Eglinton and Mount Pleasant.

What is your favourite bar for craft beer in Toronto?