Browsing Category

Family Vacations 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.”

Business Travel, Family Vacations in Toronto, Toronto Family Travel, Vacation Travel

10 Things You can Carry on a Plane

March 27, 2015

Things you can Carry on a Plane Since 9/11, travel has gotten much more restrictive but it doesn’t mean that that are there aren’t certain things that you still can’t bring on a plane. The Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSCA) is the official source of what items to carry on a plane. Some are a bit quirky. Others are a bit more practical. When you are traveling, here are our top picks of things you can carry on a plane.

1. Axes. Looks like that Battle Axe League in Toronto is really taking off!
2. Breast Milk. Passengers flying with or without their child will be permitted to bring breast milk in quantities greater than 100 ml provided it is presented to the Screening Officer for inspection prior to screening. Gel or ice packs are also permitted.
3. Corkscrews. Without the attached knife, your corkscrew is permitted on your carry-on or checked luggage. Things you can Carry on a PlaneYour swiss army knife will likely be confiscated.
4. Cremated Remains. Cremated remains in a container may be packed as part of your carry-on baggage. The container, however, must pass separately through the x-ray machine. For more information, please check the special procedures in place for screening cremated remains.
5. Razor Blades and blade cartridges. Razor blades that are encased in their plastic holders (disposable razors and razor blade cartridges) are permitted in carry-on baggage.
6. Ink/Toner Cartridges. You can carry-on but surprisingly, not check ink or toner cartridges in your baggage. Note: Ink cartridges things you can carry on a planewith a capacity of 17.6 oz. (500 g.) or more are not permitted in checked baggage for all flights – domestic, U.S. and international.
7. Juice for babies and baby food. Other things you can carry on a plane are baby formula, food, juice, water and other baby items – these are allowed in your carry-on baggage or personal items. You can take these through the security checkpoints and aboard your plane. However, you must be travelling with an infant under two years of age (0-24 months). You may bring gel or ice packs to keep your baby products cool. All items including formula must be presented to the Screening Officer and will be inspected.
8. Non-prescription medication. These items are considered to be essential non-prescription medications. You are allowed to carry volumes greater than 100 ml (3.4 oz.) in your carry-on baggage. These liquids must be declared to the Screening Officer separately. Documentation to support your medical needs or condition is not required; however, if you feel that it would help ease your screening, it should be presented to the screening officer along with your medically necessary items.
9. Protein Powder
10. Syringes. Must be for personal medical use, and the needle guard must be in place. The person must possess medication that is to be administered by means of the syringe or needle and biojectors. To facilitate screening, CATSA recommends that the medication be properly labelled (professionally printed label identifying the medication or a manufacturer’s name or pharmaceutical label – For more information, click here.

What are your essential items for carrying on a plane?

Community Events, Downtown Toronto, Entertainment, Family Vacations in Toronto, Holiday Events, Toronto Family Travel, Vacation Travel

Five March Break Activities for the Family

March 17, 2015

Schools Out! March BreakIf you are not one of the 116,000 people traveling during the March Break period (March 16-20), this is your time to explore Toronto with your family. We have written about our favourite family-friendly activities in Toronto previously here, but here are a few March break activities and ideas to keep your children entertained during the week.

1. Disney Classics at the TIFF Bell Lightbox. Watch some of the famed movie maker’s classics on the big screen and relive your childhood too! If you’re staying in one of our furnished suites downtown, there is no excuse not to go to these special screenings. There are also March Break camps and to start planning early, summer camps for your kids.

2. The Toronto Public Library’s (TPL) March Break Program. The TPL has a variety of activities for both kids and teens, including a Lego program and a first-aid babysitting course.

March Break Activities3. A Day Trip. One of  our favourite March Break activities for the day would be to the Kortright Centre for Conservation, where you and your kids can learn about sustainability, hike, and also participate in their maple syrup programs. Nearby, is the McMichael Art Gallery, a great alternative from the Art Gallery of Ontario to learn about Canadian art. March Break camps are also available here. The Toronto Zoo is another great idea for a day trip if your kids love animals; they have special programming for the week.

4. Stay In. Sometimes, a day at home is overrated. Cook with the kids. Break out the arts and crafts. Watch a favourite or new movie on the couch or have a sleepover for your kids and their friends. Many of our locations also have a pool so this might be a fun way to break up your days.

5. Visit the Aga Khan Museum. One of Toronto’s newest attractions, the architectural masterpiece is also your gateway to learn more about Muslim civilizations. The museum and all of its exhibitions are free every Wednesday from 4-8 p.m. There is also a special March Break camp for your kids. If you are brave enough and have the energgroup students jumping end of exam yeary, you could also plan an excursion afterwards to the Ontario Science Centre, which is located nearby.

What are your favourite March break activities to do with your family in the city? However, if you are traveling with your family, here are some of our tips to handle the journey with ease.

Family Vacations in Toronto, Lifestyle talk, Toronto Family Travel, Vacation Travel

How to Avoid Expensive Holiday Airfares

March 12, 2015

Save on AirfareAs many of our guests are, you may be on the go and expected to travel frequently, whether for business or pleasure. (Check out our tips here on how to get the best deals.) But sometimes, the only time you can get is over the holidays –when everyone else is traveling. Here are some ways how to avoid expensive holiday airfares.

1. Do not book last minute. More likely than not, the closer you travel to your desired date of departure, the higher the price of your flight. You may be lucky and get a last minute fare -if others are not going to your destination or it’s not a popular destination – but the best advice is to book as far in advance as possible. This advice is especially useful for summer travel to Europe and the recommended time to book is around three to six months in advance, if possible. Rumour has it, however, that the ideal number to book in advance is 49 days or 7 weeks in advance.avoid expensive holiday airfares

2. Be flexible with your dates and times. Inflexibility could result in a higher airfare. If you cannot budge on your date or time or if you’re traveling on a weekend, this will increase the costs of your flight. But if you can travel on an early weekday (Monday to Wednesday or even a Saturday, as some experts say) or in the early mornings/nights or nudge your date a day or two, it could be worth the change in savings.

3. Track your fare. Services like Yapta and airfare watchdog enable you to track and analyze when your flight price will increase, which can help you make decisions.

4. Alternate modes of tranAvoid Expensive Holiday Airfaressportation. If your flight is too expensive, consider driving to your destination or taking an alternate airport like Buffalo (a popular option in recent years). What you will lose in time, you will make up in savings.

5. Points. If you can’t get around the cost for an airfare, using your airline points (if you are loyal to one airline), Air Miles, or a co-branded credit card that will accumulate points for you, will help towards the cost of your flight.

How do you avoid expensive holiday airfare or save on flights? We’d love to hear your tips! Do check out our top ten essential travel apps for your next trip here. Of course, if you’re staying in Toronto, check out our properties.

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

Top 5 Things to do on Family Day

February 12, 2015

Family DayAs one of Ontario’s statutory holidays, Family Day is a time to connect with the ones you love. This year Family Day falls on the Monday after Valentines Day on February 16. Whether you’re hanging out in your furnished suite in Etobicoke or want to go somewhere nearby, here are our ideas on some things to do on Family Day.

1. DJ Skate Night. Harbourfront’s Natrel Rink is just steps from our 300 Front Street property and a great activity to spend with the whole family. On Valentines Day they are hosting the last of their weekend DJ SkaThings to do on Family Dayte nights and this event is a queer-friendly theme.

2. Get Away for the Weekend. There are tons of choices for great weekend getaways near Toronto in the winter (we wrote about that here!). If you want a soak not too far from Toronto, try the Nordik Spa at Gatineau Park, 10 minutes from downtown Ottawa. It is the largest spa in North America and features baths (hot, cold and temperate), 8 unique saunas, infinity pool, outdoor and indoor relaxation areas as well as a restaurant & lounge with terrace.

3. Play ToThings to do on Family Dayurist. Visit an iconic Toronto tourist attraction for the first time that you haven’t been to or look at it from different eyes the second or third time around. Check out our top ten things to do in Toronto. Toronto in Ten Photos for exploration inspiration is here.  Or you may want to check out our ten fun family activities in Toronto. Another option is to check out some of the incredible exhibitions at one of our many art galleries downtown and in North York.

4. An in-night. Sometimes, staying in and relaxing can be one of the most enjoyable weekends. Get a board game, order-in, have a movie or TV marathon, plan your next vacation, or oThings to do on Family Dayrder your groceries from Grocery Gateway to cook dinner for your loved ones. (It is one of the many services we offer.)

5. Specific Family Day Events. Toronto Tourism has a great round-up of events from iconic attractions and landmarks in the city. There are also a lot of things to do on Family Day in Etobicoke, Mississauga, Brampton, and Markham.

There are plenty of things to do on Family Day. Enjoy your Monday off with the people you love.