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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?

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?

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?

Business Travel, Downtown Toronto, Food & Recipes, Holiday Events, Lifestyle talk

Best Restaurants for Groups in Toronto

October 22, 2015

Group DinnerThough we think that the best place to have a group dinner is at your furnished apartment rental in Toronto, sometimes, it’s nice to take your friends out to a meal.  The trouble can be finding a restaurant that caters to large groups or groups, in general. Here are our top five restaurants for groups in Toronto. Also ideal for small work holiday dinner parties and team outings.

1. Momofuku Daisho. It can be difficult to find fine dining for a large group and Daisho excels in that. One of the three restaurants at Momofuku in the Shangri-la Hotel (close to your short or long term rental apartment or suite), Daisho specializes in large format menus with a niche in one item. (You can also order off the a la carte menu for more variety). If you want to celebrate a special occasion with 10 people, this is the place. Reservations are required.Restaurants for Groups in Toronto

2. Wvrst. Located in the heart of the King Street West district and a short walk from our downtown short and long term rental properties, the modern beer hall is a casual stop, whether it’s after a baseball game or if you want to socialize late into the night over long, picnic-style benches. Various types of sausage are on offer as is a curated selection of craft beers. Don’t forget those duck fat fries!

3. The Sultan’s Tent. Transport yourself to the souks of Marrakech at this Moroccan restaurant. One of many ideal restaurants for groups in Toronto, every table is inside a tent, and on weekends, you have a choice of a 3 course prix-fixe menu. The highlight of the meal will be to test out your dance moves with the belly dancers who dance for and with you in the evening! This is a popular choice for bachelorette parties on the weekend.

What is your favourite place or recommendation for a restaurant for a group in Toronto?

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?