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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?

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

Labour Day Toronto Guide

September 3, 2015

Labour Day Toronto

Whether you’re staying at home in your furnished apartment in one of our many locations, Labour Day Toronto beckons a few special events. Here are our top five picks to explore the city before the school year kicks off.

The Canadian International Air Show
If you can’t beat the noise of the planes, join ‘em at the Ex, the annual labour day tradition that signals the end of the summer season. Not too far from our downtown properties, this is a great excuse for a picnic and to make the most of the summer sun. Don’t miss the Spitfire planes which will pay tribute to the 75th Anniversary of the Battle of Britain.

The Oddball Comedy FestLabour Day Toronto
End the last of those languid summer days with a laugh. Aziz Ansari and Amy Schumer headline this comedy festival, held at the outdoor Molson Ampitheatre.

Andy Warhol Revisited
This tribute to the iconic artist of over 120 prints is on display at the pop-up Revolver Gallery at Bay and Bloor. The exhibition ends on December 31 but the long weekend is ideal to wander the gallery and stroll through Yorkville afterwards.

Labour Day TorontoFrida Kahlo: Through the Lens of Nickolas Muray
This exhibit at the lesser-known Textile Museum (near the AGO) showcases the 50 photographic portraits of the famous Mexican artist. The photographs were taken by her friend, photographer Nickolas Muray, and showcases her eclectic and colourful wardrobe. If you’re a fan of the artist or fashion, this will be a fun way to spend the afternoon and in exploring the Dundas and Queen West neighbourhood.

Art Fest
Discover the different exhibitors showcasing art, jewellery and more; another way to explore the Historic Distillery District. Fun for the whole family, there’s a free art workshop for the kids and musical performances as well.

What are your plans for Labour Day Toronto this year? Whether you’re at a park or running errands like finding new decor for your place, have a lovely long weekend!

Community Events, Downtown Toronto, Entertainment, Events, Holiday Events

Things to Do on Canada Day 2015

June 29, 2015

Things to Do on Canada Day 2015Canada celebrates its 148th birthday this year and you’re invited! Whether you’re spending part of your long weekend at your furnished suite in Toronto or going away for the weekend and will be back in time for the celebrations, here are a few of our ideas and things to do on Canada Day 2015:

1. The Harbourfront Centre. Now accessible through the revitalized bike lanes on Queen’s Quay, the Harbourfront Centre is a central location for your Canada Day celebrations. Listen to the Sounds Like Canada: CaneFire series, be mesmerized by the Ballet Creole dancers, and stay for the fireworks off Lake Ontario. Bonus: it’s just a short walk away from your furnished apartment rental or suite.

2. Mel Lastman Square. Near our North York properties, Mel Lastman Square is the place tThings to Do on Canada Day 2015o be to spend with your family in the early evening. Enjoy circus performances and face painting, followed by a variety of musical performances and the big fireworks finale!

3. Queen’s Park. In addition to the 21 gun salute at noon, the whole family can enjoy a rocket making workshop, face painting, and a midway among other entertainment from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Things to Do on Canada Day 20154. Rib Fest in Centennial Park. It wouldn’t be a Canadian celebration without some good down-home food. As one of our favourite things to do in Etobicoke, Centennial Park will have a number of activities alongside rib fest including musical performances, a cooking demonstration stage, and a kids zone. Located near our Nuvo and Parc Nuvo locations.

5. Toronto Events. As stated in our June and July calendars, many ongoing events will coincide with Canada Day. Perhaps, you’ll be at the Jazz Fest, the Pride Parade, or Luminato? If you’re more sports inclined, spend the afternoon at Rogers Centre where the Blue Jays play the Boston Red Sox.

Happy Birthday Canada! What are your plans? Do you have things to do on Canada Day 2015?

Announcements, Business Travel, Downtown Toronto, Entertainment, Events, Lifestyle talk, Toronto Family Travel, Vacation Travel

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?

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.”