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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?

Business Travel, Customer Service Experience, Entertainment, Feedback and Reviews, Lifestyle talk

How To Entertain on Your Balcony

November 4, 2015

Entertain on your balconyMany condo balconies are small. That said, there’s still some space to spruce up your balcony, especially at our short term rentals at DelSuites. Here are our tips to maximize your space and entertain on your balcony.

1. Lighting. The lights you choose for your balcony can instantly change the mood of your outdoor space. Try stacked lanterns, string lights, or a few big potted candles.

2. Seating. Most balconies will only enable a small table and two chairs. If you wanted to use your balcony as an extension for an entertaining space, try a small bench or a chaise lounge instead of a small table and two chairs.

3. Extras. If you’re unable to put a BBQ or grill on your balcony, try a small bar cart (ideally coveEntertain on your balconyred for bad weather situations) or an outdoor wine cooler. Make your space cozy by adding a carpet or funky rug. Colourful or light accessories like blankets will entice you to be outdoors.

4. Plants and Flowers. Potted plants or hanging flowers can instantly add that joie de vivre to your space and make it welcoming for your guests. Weather conditions will dictate the type of plants you can grow and have on your balcony. It is advisable to give the dimensions and specifics of your balcony at your local flower/plant shop. Placement of flowers can be on the ground but also up high or hanging from the balcony. Varied placement will helpEntertain on your balcony spruce up the space.

5. Water features. A small, standing water fountain that needs to be plugged in (if there is an outlet on your balcony) would create that calming effect. A beautiful bowl surrounded by plants or a clear vase or bowl filled with rocks and water can add to your outdoor sanctuary.

Don’t forget if you don’t want to do anything to your balcony, there are outdoor spaces and pools at many of our properties where you can grill, swim, sunbathe, and socialize! It is one of the many features we offer as part of our award-winning services.

Your balcony is part of your space, so make the most of it! How do you create an outdoor sanctuary for yourself? How do you entertain on your balcony?

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. Bestellen. If you want a casual atmosphere but upscale dining experience, Bestellen is a good bet and known to serve menus for groups. You can get a whole roasted suckling pig with all of the fixings, for a minimum of 8 people (and you must give 72 hours notice); or you can choose between a 3 and 5 course tasting menu. A Sunday night chicken dinner is another option for $25 per person. A great option in the Dufferin Grove/College area.

3. 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!

Restaurants for Groups in Toronto4. 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.

5. Far Niente. Located in the heart of the Financial District, this is a great choice for a business lunch or dinner. Choose from two different lunch menus or three dinner menus. Don’t overlook their extensive wine cellar if you want an accompaniment to your meal.

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

Community Events, Downtown Toronto, Entertainment, Lifestyle talk

October Events in Toronto

October 7, 2015

October Events in TorontoOctober is a very exciting month to be in Toronto, as there are a number of exciting events taking place. Here are some of the hottest October events in Toronto:

Big City Improv Fest – October 16th-24th
Laugh until you can’t breathe at the wonderfully goofy Improv Fest, a celebration of improvisation comedians who are witty and quick on their feet. This festival brings many of the best improv stars to the city, including Deb McGrath, Colin Mochrie and Scott Adist.October Events in Toronto

Cask Days – October 23rd – 25th
This celebration of ale is the best beer event of the year in Toronto and it is returning for its 11th year. There will be 150 breweries participating in the event and over 300 beers for you to sample. As well as delicious beer there will also be food from some of the best restaurants in Toronto including 416 Snackbar, Brando’s Fried Chicken and Porchetta & Co.

Art Toronto – October 23rd – 25th
October Events in TorontoIf you are an art lover you will have a blast this weekend when Art Toronto takes over the Metro Toronto Convention Centre to present a collection of contemporary and modern art from all over the world. For this year’s festival it will be focusing on Latin America, with a collection of projects from all over South and Central America. There will also be a fascinating series of lectures and discussions from prominent figures in the Canadian art world.

Toronto Fashion Week – October 19th – 24thOctober Events in Toronto
If you are a fashion designer or simply a fashion enthusiast, the Toronto Fashion Week will be one of the most thrilling events of the year. Some of the biggest names in Canadian and international fashion will come from around the world to show their amazing creations during the exciting week long event. Book early to see the fashion shows – they sell out quickly!

These are just a few of the most exciting events that Toronto has in store for October, so there is plenty to look forward to in this great city!

Family Vacations in Toronto, Lifestyle talk, Toronto Family Travel

After School Activities for Kids

September 18, 2015

After School Activities There is a window of time between when your children return from school and when dinner is served during which your little ones might find themselves a little bored and restless. You could hypnotise them with the television, but why not get them involved in some fun interactive activities instead? They can have some fun and blow off some steam before they start on their homework.

Here are some fun after school activities for your kids:

Recycle Objects
Try taking something from the recycle bin and challenging your child to turn it into something else. For example, a cardboard cereal box can turn into a mask or a paper towel roll can become a musical instrument. It’s a creative challenge that will really get their imagination going.

Drawing with Sidewalk Chalk
Sidewalk chalk is a lot of fun and it’s a great activity to do with your kids after work. You can draw pictures, write yoafter school activitiesur names or even practice homework math problems. Or, draw a hopscotch court and play a few rounds of this simple hopping game.

Playing Board Games
Board games can be a fun activity for the entire family to enjoy together and there are a range of different board games that you can play, from Monopoly to the Game of Life to Snakes and Ladders. Board games are great for kids because they are a way for children to develop their focus and attention. They also teach the value of rules and fair play so that your child can learn to be a good loser or a humble winner.

Do Something Nice for Someone
Why not make a Get Well card for an ill neighbour, bake cookies for a friend, help an elderly relative clean their driveway or volunteer somewhere? You could gather together old clothes or non-perishable foods and make a donation to your local charity shop or homeless shelter. Doing something kind for someone feels great and is a good way to teach your child the value of thinking of others and being nice.

After School Activities Play Dress Up
Get out all of the costumes, dresses, scarves and hats you can find and play dress up! Let your imaginations run wild and pretend that you are pirates, princesses, kings, queens and witches. You can even make up songs, dances and funny voices for the characters that you create.

Freeze Dance
This is a fun and energetic game that kids of all ages can play. Start by putting on a great song and letting everyone dance around for a while. When your young dancers are getting into it, pause the music. Everyone must stop dancing and freeze instantly – anyone who moves or falls over is out of the game. The winner is the last dancer to be eliminated.

These are just a few fun things that you can do after school with your kids which will not only keep them busy but will also educate, entertain and inspire them. What is your child’s favourite after school activity?