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Toronto Neighbourhood: Little Italy

November 17, 2017

Little ItalyLittle Italy

Also referred to as College Street West, Little Italy is known for it’s superb Italian-Canadian restaurants. During the weekends the streets are buzzing with visitors and locals dining on the outdoor patios. The Italian trattorias have a casual, family-friendly vibe and they are all about good, traditional recipes cooking with fresh ingredients.

Little Italy isn’t a 100% Italian neighbourhood – while there is a strong Italian community there is also a significant Portuguese population located around the Portugal Village shopping centre and the First Portuguese Canadian Cultural Centre.

Must Visit Spots in Little ItalyLittle Italy

  • La Forchetta Ristorante is the classic Italian dining experience, with pasta and meat dishes originating in the Old Country. Plus – they have a superb wine list to pair with your entree.
  • If you are into live music there are a lot of great places to check out in Little Italy, including the Mod Club or the basement of Nightowl.
  • Check out Cafe Diplomatico. Known as “The Dip” by locals, this coffee shop and restaurant has become an institution for caffeine fiends in Toronto. It also serves up all of the Italian classics including paninis, pizzas and more. If it looks familiar to you, it’s because filmmakers often use it as a set.
  • Rita’s Italian Ice serves up delicious frozen treats in a ton of different flavours – the ultimate treat for a warm day.
  • Check out the Italian Walk of Fame – where stars line the sidewalk with the names of famous Italian Canadians.

History

Large numbers of Italian immigrants came to Toronto in the early 20th century, settling in the area around College Street in the affordable Edwardian homes there. Most found work on the railways or in road construction and many started businesses in the area.

It was during the 1920s that Little Italy really became recognized as the commercial and residential centre of the Italian community in Toronto. These days the area is home to the largest Italian Little Italycommunity that is located outside of Italy and it is a popular area of the city for visitors to explore.

How to Get There

It’s quite simple to get here via the TTC. You can arrive from Queens Park or start from College Station on the Yonge-University-Spadina Line. Then, from there you can catch the 506 Carlton streetcar towards High Park traveling west on College Street. You can disembark anywhere between Bathurst Street and Ossington Avenue.

You can also travel from Bathurst Station on the Bloor-Danforth Line. When you exit, catch the 511 Carlton Towards Exhibition streetcar traveling south on Bathurst Street. You can disembark at College Street West. Exploring this street on foot is a delight, give yourself plenty of time to dip into the little shops and cafes to sample what they have to offer.

What’s your favourite Little Italy spot? Let us know in the comments below.

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DelSuites Announces Pet Friendly Travel

November 10, 2017

Pet Friendly TravelDelSuites welcomes pet friendly travel accommodations; any domestic cats and dogs that are 25 lbs or less.

DelSuites is known for providing top notch accommodation with five star Tridel amenities, located in some of the most desirable neighborhoods in Toronto. The suites, equipped with full kitchens, laundry facilities and parking, are ideal for vacations, family travel, business travel, home renovations, insurance claims, relocation or medical stays.

Whether you are moving house and need to take your pet with you, or you simply want to bring Fluffy or Fido along on your vacation, you can book with DelSuites knowing that they will be welcome. When you arrive at your suite, you’ll receive a custom DelSuites food and water dish that you are free to use during your stay.Pet Friendly Travel

Pet Friendly Travel Accommodations

We only ask that your furry travel companion follows a few simple guidelines, such as:

  • Pets should be leashed at all time, or carried through common areas.
  • Pets are not permitted within the building’s recreation areas.
  • If your pet is left alone on cleaning day, please contain them within a crate for the safety of the pet and housekeeping personnel.
  • A $300 non-refundable Pet Cleaning Fee will be charged.
  • Service or Assistance animals can stay at no additional charge.

Please note that the guidelines may vary slightly depending on the location where you plan to stay, so please check the building page for specific pet allowances. Be sure to specify in your booking that you will be bringing your pet along with you.

The Benefits of Traveling With Your Pet

Here are some of the reasons yPet Friendly Travelou might want to consider bringing your furry companion along with you on your next trip.

  • There have been multiple studies that prove pets are good for your health. They can reduce stress levels, lower your blood pressure and boost your mood. Travel can be stressful, so bringing along your animal friend will help keep you calm and happy.
  • There’s no need to worry about finding a pet sitter or leaving them behind at a kennel.
  • Your pet won’t have to experience the loneliness and anxiety of missing you when you are gone.
  • You’ll be more motivated to get out and be active when traveling, as your furry friend will need walks.
  • Having your pet with you can help you feel safer and more comfortable when you are in an unfamiliar setting.

After a full day of exploring in Toronto, you and your furry friend can come home to a relaxing sanctuary right in the heart of the city. To find out more about our pet friendly travel accommodation and the guidelines for bringing your pet with you, please feel free to contact us at any time.

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A Bookworm’s Choice of Bookshops Toronto

August 25, 2017

Bookshops TorontoToronto has plenty for literature lovers to discover. After all, some of the most well known Canadian novels are set within this city – including works by Michael Ondaatje, Timothy Findley, Robertson Davies and Margaret Atwood. If you are a bibliophile, you’ll find many fascination bookshops Toronto spots.

Bookshops Toronto
The Monkey’s Paw

This quirky and arcane used bookshops Toronto is a treasure trove of the weird and wonderful. You’ll find lots of beautiful, strange and fascinating books there and you’ll want to get lost for hours perusing the shelves. If you can’t decide on a book, you can put a toonie in the famous Biblio-Mat machine, which is a custom-designed vending machine that dispenses a random book.

Balzac’s CoffeeBookshops Toronto

Named after the French novelist and playwright, Balzac’s is the ultimate place to get your coffee and reading fix. It is located within the Toronto Reference Library – a huge storehouse of knowledge within stacks and stacks of tomes. The largest library in the city, it is known for it’s modern architecture and intriguing free event schedule. It is also home to one of the largest collections in the world dedicated to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s life and work.

Type Books

This gorgeous bookshop is located on Queen Street, across from Trinity Bellwoods Park. You’ll gasp with delight as you enter and are greeted by the shelved packed with fiction, art books, design books and more. Check out the front of the store, where you will be greeted by the staff’s latest selection for books on exciting hot topics. Type Books went viral with this amazing video, which shows what happens in a bookstore at night when the lights go out.

The Library Bar

Bookshops TorontoIf you have had a full day of exploring Toronto’s literary side and you are in the mood for a drink to cap off the evening – why not head to this swanky bar in the Royal York Hotel? The cocktails are named after famous writers, so you could have a Margaret Atwood Margarita or an Alice Munro Rosemary Martini.

Hemingway’s

Another choice for a drink spot is Hemingway’s, named after the famous novelist who one lived in Toronto as a young man. Unfortunately, Ernest really didn’t like 1920s Toronto – which is why he moved to Paris, which he found to be much more of a “moveable feast.” Hemingways is known as one of the best bars in Yorkville. Owner Martin McSkimming is from New Zealand and serves a menu of world-renowned New Zealand lamb and several excellent Kiwi wines.

These are just a few of the many places that book lovers will adore in Toronto. You could also check out A Novel Spot, Another Story, Acadia and many more!

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Toronto Bloggers You Should Be Following

July 18, 2017

Toronto BloggersToronto is home to creative and expressive people who work in all mediums and blogging is no exception. Here are some excellent Toronto bloggers whose posts you should be reading as a part of your daily routine whenever you are in TO.

Toronto Bloggers
Ate by Ate – Food Blog

This blog is written by Deb, who chronicles good things to eat around Toronto “bite by bite.” She is really good at going in depth to passionately cover Toronto’s food scene and her blogs are more similar to magazine articles in their scope and detail. Also, her blog is great because it is easy to search by neighbourhood for great dining ideas.Toronto Bloggers

JetSet Justine – Fashion and Lifestyle Blog

If you are looking for ideas and inspiration on how to be more elegant and stylish, Justine is a great role model. She shows off the hottest outfits and demonstrates how to apply that killer eyeliner, how to style leggings or pose in a bikini. She often writes about her favourite restaurants in Toronto and cool events such as the Toronto Food and Wine Festival and Toronto Fashion Week. She writes in a witty, self deprecating style that will make you want to keep reading.

The Mellyboo Project – Travel Blog

Melissa is a Toronto native, but as you can see from the exciting far flung tales on her travel blog her adventures have taken her all over the world from Australia to Africa to Hong K

ong. She has a passion for exploration and new experiences and loves learning about new cultures around the world. However, she also writes a lot about her home, such as this blog post with tips for getting around Toronto.

Abbey’s KitchenToronto bloggers – Food Blog

Abbey is passionate about food and it shows in this beautiful blog, dedicated to the most delicious treats that Toronto has to offer. She is a registered dietitian, a TV nutrition expert and founder of Abbey’s Kitchen Inc, which is a food and nutrition media brand. The blog features recipes, restaurant reviews, coverage of food events and much more.

The Debonair Dude – Fashion Blog

Aram Eginliyan was born and raised in Toronto with an Armenian background and he is fascinated with the concepts of personal presentation and style. His blog is all about how to be a stylish and elegant gentleman and his beautiful fashion photographs are allToronto Bloggers set within the streets of Toronto. If you are a guy who wants to ditch the jeans and grubby hockey jerseys and look a little more put together, check out his very chic style ideas.

These are just a few of the awesome Toronto bloggers you should check out. Do you have any other Toronto bloggers whose posts you love to follow? Let us know in the comments below!

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Happy Birthday – Canada Day 150 Years Old

June 30, 2017

Canada DayThis year’s Canada Day celebrations will certainly be a once in a generation event. We mark 150 years since Confederation and this landmark birthday is being celebrated all over the country with huge events, fireworks shows and much more.
The Canadian Federal Government announced that it would be spending approximately half a billion dollars on the 150th anniversary- which means it will be a massive party!

Canada Day 150 Events Happening in Toronto

The theme of this year’s celebrations will be TO Canada with Love and the city will also be hosting Canada 150 Mosaic, which is an exhibition of over 80,000 paintings and 150 individual murals across the country. Here are some of the exciting things that will be happening in Canada this weekend:

This exciting celebration will include arts, dance, food and musical performances from the Barenaked Ladies, Ron Sexsmith, Belly, Dvsn and Buffy Sainte Marie.Canada Day

Celebrate Canada’s Birthday and your love of delicious barbequed ribs at this festival. The event will also feature live music, midway games, pony rides and much more.

Admission is free and celebrations will be taking place from 10am to 10pm, including roaming performers, music and dance performances, games, children’s activities and much more.

While you are out and about, check out some of our favorite places to eat for brunch!

What Does Canada 150 Mean?

The year 2017 marks the 150 year point since Confederation. In 1867 the Dominion of Canada was created as per the British North America Act. This brought together the colonies of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick Canada Dayand the Province of Canada into one country – merging together English and French speaking Canada. The new Dominion of Canada was composed of four provinces, Quebec, Nova Scotia, Ontario and New Brunswick.

However, it could be argued that Canada as we know it is only turning 35 this year. It was in 1982 that Canada “patriated” the constitution, which allowed us to amend it without Britain’s approval. This was the event that enacted the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and it is when July 1st changed from “Dominion Day” to “Canada Day.”

But of course, this land is older than 150 and people lived in North America long before 1867. It was in 1142 that the Iroquois Confederacy was formed, which brought together five nations over the area which is now Canada, Kentucky, Ohio and Virginia and formed a “Great League of Peace.”

Even before that, the first evidence of human inhabitants in Canada has been dated back to 30,000 BCE – when people crossed over the Siberian land bridge as the Ice Age ended. A village discovered in British Columbia is one of the oldest human settlements in North America and pre-dates the pyramids.

Indigenous people have been living on this land for thousands and thousands of years and the ownership of the land is a contentious issue still not resolved, which is why many choose to celebrate Canada Day alternatively.

No matter how you measure it, these days the modern nation of Canada is a cultural melting pot that celebrates diversity and is home to a mosaic of different ethnicities and traditions.  What does it mean to be Canadian? It’s more than just beaver and maple syrup and snow shovels and hockey: it’s our identity of kindness, politeness, inclusion, acceptance and understanding – which is certainly something to celebrate. Happy Canada Day!