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Events, Family Vacations in Toronto, Lifestyle talk, Mississauga, North York, Toronto Family Travel

Statutory Holidays in Toronto, 2015

January 15, 2015

Statutory Holidays in TorontoAs we begin the new year, one of our plans may be to organize our schedules to our statutory holidays. As most Torontonians get two to four weeks of vacation on average, stat holidays are a great way to maximize that time whether it’s buying new furniture for your apartment or suite or getting out of the city for the weekend. Here is a list of statutory holidays in Toronto for 2015:

New Year’s Day: Thursday January 1, 2015
If you’re not staying at one of our furnished apartments to watch the specials on television, New Year’s Day is a great way to lounge around and think of your goals for 2015 or plan to go take advantage of January’s winter festivals in Toronto if you have an extended stay in Toronto.

Statutory Holidays in TorontoFamily Day: Monday February 16, 2015
This Monday off is a great way to take advantage of a long weekend or a winter weekend escape just away from the city. You may use this time to get some sun on an island escape or take advantage of the staycation by soaking up local culture or seek out some new restaurants or cheap eats in Toronto.

Good Friday: Friday April 3, 2015
A Catholic religious holiday which extends into Easter Sunday and Monday (check with your employer to see if you get this day off) to extend into a long weekend.

Victoria Day: Monday May 18, 2015
Celebrated on the last Monday before May 25, Queen Victoria’s birthday is an unofficial way to mark the start of summer. The weekend is also unofficially known as “May 2-4.” This is the perfect time to go somewhere near the city (like Etobicoke, Mississauga, or Brampton), explore the city (like watching the fireworks), or planning your next vacation. We recommend these apps if you’re traveling.

Statutory Holidays in TorontoCanada Day: Wednesday July 1, 2015
Celebrate Canada’s 148th birthday in Toronto (maybe relaxing by our pool at 300 Front Street West), or in our Nation’s capital, Ottawa. July also marks the inauguration of the Pan Am Games in Toronto. If you’re embarking on a road trip, can we suggest our Great Canadian Roadtrip Playlist for the ride? It will be an exciting summer for Torontonians!

Civic Holiday: Monday August 3, 2015
Also known as Simcoe Day, which was to honour the first Lieutentant-Govenor of Upper Canada, John Simcoe, this statutory holiday is celebrated the first Monday of every August. August is prime time for a number of festivals in Toronto. Here are our must-dos in Toronto in August.

Labour Day: Monday September 7, 2015
Labour Day marks the unofficial last day of summer, the day before school starts and many companies go into their last quarters of the year. Perhaps, there is a need for corporate housing for executives who are coming into Toronto for an short term stay or an extended stay in the city. Or you want to spend as much time with your family to sStatutory Holidays in Torontooak up the summer rays. Here are our top ten family fun activities in Toronto. September is the lead up to fall and fall activities including our famous Toronto International Film Festival. Here is our guide to Toronto in Autumn.

Thanksgiving Day: Monday October 12, 2015
Thanksgiving Day is traditionally the day we go home to spend time with our families. It’s also a great time for a weekend getaway if you decide to eschew tradition. October is also the mark of low season in places like Europe and the Caribbean if you are planning to travel. Perhaps, it’s time to take that solo trip? Here are our tips.

Christmas Day: Friday December 25, 2015
Christmas Day is a popular statutory holiday. As it falls at the beginning of a weekend, you’ll have the week to prepare for the festivities. Here’s our guide to a hassle-free holiday and our guide to the top shops in Toronto for your Christmas shopping needs.

Boxing Day: SaturdaStatutory Holidays in Torontoy December 26, 2015
Whether you’re braving the crowds at the malls for shopping deals (or some discounted furniture for your apartment or suite) or just staying in to enjoy a day off post-Christmas celebrations, Boxing Day this year will be the ideal Saturday. Another year has come and gone and now is the time to start getting ready for New Year’s Eve!

How do you use your statutory holidays in Toronto? Do you use them as a way to tag on extra vacation time? Or do you use them to maximize a staycation?

Downtown Toronto, Entertainment, Events, Toronto Family Travel

Best Places in Toronto for New Years Eve

December 30, 2014

best places in toronto for new years eveSometimes, New Year’s Eve is an opportunity to lounge at home — whether you’re in your temporary housing in Toronto or in a suite for an extended stay– or host friends for a house party. Other times, you may want to kick up your heels, dress up, and dance the night away. Here are our picks for the best places in Toronto for New Years Eve –whether you’re with friends or the family.

Gladstone Hotel’s Lower West Side event is an affordable ticket ($50 in advance) and is your chance to dress up to a theme. This year’s theme is the roaring twenties, so don your finest vest or sparkle and shine in sequins, gold, or silver to bring in 2015 in style.

Fun for the whole family and a quick walk away from our apartment and best places in toronto for new years evesuites, Nathan Phillips Square is the best free event happening in the metropolis on the last day of the year. The free event kicks off at 8pm with street performers. Bring your skates for a spin around the ice rink. Fuel up at the various food trucks on-site and continue the night with musical performances. At midnight, Toronto’s new mayor, John Tory will lead the countdown to 2015 before a magnificent fireworks display.

Another family-friendly New Year’s Eve event is at the Toronto Zoo. The celebratory activities begin from 5pm and end at 8pm. They include live music, a magic show, a special countdown, and of course, the chance to be see the animals!

best places in toronto for new years eveIf you wanted to get out of town for the New Year, ET Canada hosts their free concert event in Niagara Falls. Performers this year include Keith Urban, Nick Jonas, and Lights. Don’t miss the fireworks over the falls. This is a great excuse to stay in the Niagara-on-the-Lake region for a relaxing weekend getaway.

Wherever you may be for this year’s festivities, we wish you a happy and prosperous new year!

Community Events, Etobicoke, Events, Lifestyle talk, Toronto Family Travel, Vacation Travel

Things to do in Etobicoke

November 28, 2014

Bordered by Lake Ontario to the South and Steeles Avenue to the north; Mississauga and the Pearson International Airport to the west and by the Humber River to the east, Etobicoke still remains a large and distinct part of Toronto, even though it has been part of the amalgamated metropolis since 1998. Two of our properties, the Nuvo and Parc Nuvo, are located right near the subway, GO stations, and highway. There are a multitude of things to do in Etobicoke and close to your furnished apartment.

Things to do in Etobicoke1. Ski and Snowboard at Centennial Park.
Formerly known for being one of the best hills to toboggan in the GTA, it was recently deemed too dangerous. However, take your skis and snowboard to the hill, get a day pass or lessons. You don’t have to leave the city to discover the hills.

2. Famous People Players Theatre
This is dinner and a show with a twist. Not only is the show done in black light with the colourful characters showcased against the darkness; the people behind the puppets at this non-profit are all developmentally challenged. The company is now in its 40th year of entertaining audiences and worth the trip.

3. Via Allegro. Things to do In Etobicoke
This Italian restaurant is known for one of the greatest wine cellars in the world (there are over 5,000 wines to choose from!). This is a great pick for a decadent night out or a special occasion.

4. Colonel Sam Smith Skating Trail
The first of its kind in Toronto, this 250 metre ice skating trail is comprised of two figure eights or circles that wind through Colonel Samuel Smith Park (which is just as lovely in the summertime). Lace up at the Power House Recreation Centre, which historically provided heat to the local Lunatic Asylum where Humber College is now situated. The rink is open seven days a week, from 9am to 10pm. Please note that there are no skate rentals available.

Things to do in Etobicoke5. The Old Mill
The Old Mill is the historic inn that caters to all types of tastes and activities. Whether you’re looking to have their famous afternoon tea, relax with girlfriends for a spa weekend, listen to some jazz on a Friday night, or are having an event like a wedding (with spectacular photos) to match, the Old Mill is the ideal location for it all.

6. Ribfest!
This is one of Etobicoke’s most famous summer festivals. Sample over 16 different suppliers of ribs, bring out the kids for play, and listen to some music while you chow down at Centennial Park.

7. Etobicoke Olympium  Things to do in Etobicoke
This multi-purpose exercise centre is getting a lot of buzz with its $20 million renovation in advance of the 2015 Pan Am Games that will make this a world class facility once complete. It features competitive pools, diving boards, a 13,200 square foot double gymnasium, and exercise and training centre.

8. Sushi Kaji
Known as one of the best Japanese restaurants in Toronto, if not one of the best restaurants in the metropolis, do not be deceived by its location in a strip mall. All fish is imported from Tokyo Bay. Particular about its quality, Sushi Kaji only offers tasting menus and seats 30 for each service. It is best to make a reservation in advance.

9. Sherway Gardens.
This upscale shopping centre has over 200 stores including department stores, Holt Renfrew and The Bay.

Etobicoke has no shortage of fun activities. Check out 365 etobicoke for more fun things to do in Etobicoke.

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

Toronto in Ten Photos

November 25, 2014

Capturing Toronto in ten photos is not an easy task because this city is so vast. There are a number of things to do and a number of icons that define the city. We have illustrated the city from a local viewpoint with a mix of those icons that make Toronto just what it is. Luckily, our landmarks are within walking distance of your furnished apartment in Toronto. Hopefully, this provides inspiration for you to photograph your Toronto.

Toronto in Ten Photos1. Evergreen Brickworks
The Brickworks, as it’s affectionately known, is an old brick factory which provided bricks for the construction of some iconic Toronto landmarks such as Massey Hall and Casa Loma. The Brickworks is now used as a cultural space and for events. Check out the kilns and the interesting graffiti on the walls; the farmer’s markets on the weekends; and Cafe Belong, for a leisurely brunch. Around the site, you can sit by the pond or hike behind the area over to Rosedale through Milkman’s Lane or north to St. Clair via Moore Park.

2. Toronto StreetcarsToronto in Ten Photos
These trolleys are a signature icon of Toronto. Concurrently, they’re offer one of the best ways to see our massive metropolis from east to west for $3. Just hop on the Queen Streetcar and it will take you all the way from Roncesvalles where King and Queen intersect, past through Parkdale, Queen West, Corktown, Leslieville, and to the Beach all the way to Neville Park. Make sure you check out the old streetcar yard at Queen and Greenwood, which will move to Leslie and Lakeshore. The streetcars have also gotten an upgrade and are currently of use along Spadina Avenue.

Toronto in Ten Photos3. Kensington Market
One of the most colourful, eclectic, and bohemian neighbourhoods in Toronto, Kensington Market is also designated a National Historic Site. Once populated by Jews and Italians who sold items and gifts. After the recession in the 80s, Latin American immigrants began to move in and this habitation is reflected in the many Latin American stalls and grocery stores in the market. Now you’ll find more modern cafes, restaurants and shops (from vintage to modern) in the neighbourhood. Don’t forget to check out Pedestrian Sundays, when the market closes its streets to pedestrian traffic and celebrates on the last Sunday of every month from May to October.

4. Queen Street WestToronto in Ten Photos
Queen Street West is considered one of the most exciting neighbourhoods in Toronto and was recently rated by Vogue as the second coolest neighbourhood in the world. This section of Queen, which expands past University to Lansdowne Avenues, is a hodge-podge of trendy boutiques, an eclectic mix of restaurants, vintage shops, bars, art galleries, Trinity Bellwoods Park, and two hotels (the Drake and the Gladstone). It is the perfect street for an afternoon stroll.

Toronto in Ten Photos5. Trinity Bellwoods Park
Aforementioned, Trinity Bellwoods Park is one of the mainstays of the Queen Street West scene. Whether you’re biking, running, playing tennis or partaking in other activities at its adjacent community centre, this is one of the best people-watching spots in the city. Grab a blanket, some homemade food, or head over to one of the local cafes across the street for the ideal picnic spot.

6. Graffiti Alley
Toronto in Ten Photos Located just south of Queen Street West, this alley filled with local graffiti and artwork is not only an alternate route away from the people traffic, it’s an underrated destination in Toronto. Expanding from Spadina close to Bathurst, this alley is just a glimpse at the growing graffiti scene in Toronto, whose walls have now been marked by icons Banksy and Sheppard Fairey. Want to learn more or meet others while checking out great art? Check out the local tour by the Tour Guys.

Toronto in Ten Photos7. Great Food
Toronto’s food scene is eclectic, multicultural and always evolving. You can get great deals but you do need to know where to go. Some great areas to dine in the city are Queen Street, King Street, Ossington, Kensington Market, and Dundas West. The Junction, St. Clair West, and Leslieville are underrated for their dining scenes and you should explore and dine in these areas if you have the chance. One of my favourite spots is Fresh, the healthy food chain, which has a great lunch special of their soup, salad, and cornbread combo for $10!

8. CN Tower ViewsToronto in Ten Photos
It’s hard not to try to find the best spot of this view. From our 300 Front Street West furnished apartments in downtown Toronto, you’ll feel so close to the tower, you can almost touch it. Head over to Fort York or the BMO Exhibition field for that landscape view. Downtown, you’ll get a good glimpse from OCAD (and some great architecture to photograph as well right near the AGO). Further east, Polson Pier and Ashbridge’s Bay are your best bets to get that skyline shot.

Toronto in Ten Photos9. Toronto’s East End and the Best Skyline View
If you have a chance to head east, Riverdale Park East is your best bet for stunning skyline views. A few blocks south of the Danforth on Broadview, it’s a quick streetcar ride or 15 minute walk down to the park. Make sure to go to the best coffeeshop in town, Rooster Coffeehouse to help take in the view. Across the park, head to Riverdale Park West and up the stairs, you’ll find the free Riverdale Farm, Toronto Necropolis, and the historic Cabbagetown district.

10. The St. Lawrence MarketToronto in Ten Photos
Ranked as the world’s best market by National Geographic, the St. Lawrence Market definitely lives up to its reputation. Whether you’re looking for meat, fish, cheese, bread, or produce, it’s all here. Specialty items like mushroom truffle dip, oils, or gorgeous bouquets are all here too. You won’t be starved for lunch. Check out the famous Carousel Bakery for its peameal bacon sandwiches, St. Viateur for those famous Montreal bagels, or Buster’s Seacove to satisfy that fish craving (lobster, halibut, shrimp, and much more!). There’s nothing like it on a Saturday morning.

Hope you enjoyed our photos! If you could choose ten photos to describe Toronto what would they be?

Photos: Complimentary of Natalie Taylor

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

10 Family Fun Activities in Toronto

October 31, 2014

When it comes to keeping your children occupied, you can choose from a multitude of family fun activities in Toronto. The chosen activities in the metropolis are all near your furnished apartment, with the exception of a few great day trips, that are must-sees just outside of the city. Here are a few of our favourite places to spend with your loved ones of all ages.

Family Fun Activities in TorontoRipley’s Aquarium of Canada
Ripley’s is an interactive and educational experience for the whole family. Discover over 16,000 aquatic creatures and be mesmerized by the the longest underwater viewing tunnel in North America. The daily dive shows are also a treat and may inspire your little ones to become a scuba diver one day. Special experiences include birthday parties and sleepovers.

Harbourfront Centre
Whether you’re visiting during major holidays or on breaks (March Break, Summer), there is always something for the kids to do here. Enroll your kids in a camp, a lesson (sailing, skating) or attend one of the many events here that happen every season. If you’re just taking a walk around the area, explore the fun, free structures around the area like the Simcoe Wave Deck. It’s right near our furnished condo at 300 Front Street.

Riverdale Farm
This free attraction can be combined with an exploration of both the historic Cabbagetown neighbourhood and Riverdale Park. Known as Toronto’s first zoo, it closed in 1974 to relocate to Scarborough. You can still see the remains of three of the original zoo buildings at the farm (Donnybrook Ruin, the Island House, and the Resident Zookeeper’s House). Not only is the farm and its surrounding area a great way to see the animals, it’s a great way to learn about Toronto’s history.

The AGO and ROM
Both the Art Gallery of Ontario and the Royal Ontario Museum offer a number of educational and cultural activities and camps for kids of all ages.

The Toronto Zoo
Family Fun Activities in Toronto Explore the wildlife and wildlife spaces in a fun and interactive way. Divided into seven zoogeographic regions (from Africa to the Tundra Trek), there are a variety of animals and geographies to discover with your kids. Features include the New Gorilla Climb Ropes courses, the Xie Shou Giant Panda Experience and interpretive centre, the Great Barrier Reef exhibit, and the Kids Discovery Zone (including a splash pad and bird shows).

High Park
As one of Toronto’s largest park, High Park offers plenty of family fun activities in Toronto. Walk around the park and bring your kids to the Jamie Bell Adventure Park across from the Duck Pond. Down the trail, the free zoo is an added bonus. The kids will love learning about the lamas, buffalos, bisons, deer, and peacocks on display. In the spring, the cherry blossoms are a scenic display for an afternoon walk.

Centre Island
This main island, located on the Toronto Islands, is a great day trip for your kit and caboodle. Although closed for the 2014 season, during the summertime, pack a picnic, travel on the ferry to the island, and check out the amusement park, Centreville, with over 30 rides, both land and water based. Nearby, the Far Enough Farm offers over 40 different species of farmyard animals and exotic birds on display. If your kids are a bit older, you can ride bikes around the various islands to the beaches and find those picturesque spots to view the city skyline. There really is nothing like the Islands on a sunny day!

Treetop Trekking
For the adventurous family who has the time to travel to the Greater Toronto Area, Brampton Park offers treetop aerial game and zip line adventures. Swing like Tarzan and balance on logs and suspended bridges in the popular zip line and aerial course tour; or zip on the various lines with your kit and caboodle. Older kids can participate Family Fun Activitiesin the night treks. Do check the minimum ages for each activity.

Niagara Falls
A great day trip away from Toronto, the falls introduces your kids to one of the wonders of the world and can be explored from atop or below through various tours like the Maid of the Mist or Whirlpool jet boat. Beyond the falls, there are a variety of fun activities like a bird kingdom, a butterfly sanctuary, fun houses, and dinosaur adventure golf.