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Fun Things to Do in Toronto this Winter

January 13, 2016

Things to do in TorontoToronto is a great place to be during the winter! The fun doesn’t stop when the streets freeze over and this bustling metropolis knows how to make the most of the coldest months of the year. If you are visiting Toronto during the winter you’ll have plenty of things to do and thats close to your furnished apartments Toronto, whether that means outdoor activities that embrace the snow and cold to indoor activities that will keep you cozy and warm.
Here are some ideas of fun things to do in Toronto this winter:

Cross Country Skiing
There are many nature trails in Toronto that look absolutely magical when they are covered with a dusting of snow. You can bundle up, strap on some skis and take a tour through some of the best trails in the city. Earl Bales Park and Ski Dagmar is noThings to do in Torontow open. Why not bring a thermos with some hot chocolate and a few snacks so that you can stop in the peaceful, quiet snowy forest for a winter picnic?

Late Night Skating
Although many of the outdoor rinks in Toronto are closed by 10pm, there are a few rinks that are open until late at night so why not bundle up and go for a midnight skate? Try the rink at Nathan Phillips Square or the Ryerson Rink on Gould Street. Skating can be a lot of fun and it’s Things to do in Toronto this Wintera great workout, so you can indulge in some late night snacks afterwards without any guilt.

Go to a Museum
If you want a break from the bitter cold, you could spend the day within one of the many excellent museums in Toronto. For example, the Royal Ontario Museum is home to a massive collection of artworks and historical items from all over the world. Or, you could visit the fascinating Bata Shoe Museum, which is home to a collection of over 13,000 footwear items.

Go Shopping
Another way to get out of the cold is to take advantage of the amazing shopping scene in Toronto and pick up gifts for all of your loved ones. Toronto is home to the Eaton Centre, which is full of many great high street brands and unique designers. Also, check out the St. Lawrence Market where you will find many unique antiques, books and handicrafts.

Drinks on a Heated PatioThings to do in Toronto this Winter
Torontonians love to enjoy a drink on an open air patio and thanks to large heaters and covers they have found a way to do this all year round. Relax in the laid back atmosphere of a heated patio bar such as El Catrin, the Drake SkyYard, The Cadillac Lounge, Hemingway’s or Cold Tea and enjoy a drink in the fresh air without freezing.

These are just a few of the fun things to do in Toronto this winter that you can do when visiting. This exciting city never stops, even during the coldest months of the year, so get out there and enjoy its lively vibe!

Fitness and Health, Lifestyle talk, Toronto Family Travel

Tips to Stay Warm in Toronto in the Winter

January 7, 2016

Tips to Stay Warm in TorontoLet’s face it, Canadian winters can be cold. The streets ice over, the cold wind blows, the snow piles up and the temperature drops well below zero. If you are visitor to Toronto during the winter and you aren’t used to the Canadian chill, it might be a little bit of a shock to your system!
How do the locals survive? It’s all about being prepared and knowing how to handle the cold weather. Here are some valuable tips to stay warm in Toronto if you are visiting.

• You will absolutely need to bring with you a warm winter coat which will keep you warm and cozy on the bitterly cold winter days. It should be waterproof and wind resistant so that you can stay dry.
• You might need to shop for your coat as soon as you arrive in Toronto, if you are coming from a place where Tips to Stay Warm in Torontowinter coats are not a common clothing item. Some good places to start are Sears, The Bay or try Winners. You could also find a second hand coat at a cheaper price at a store such as Value Village. If you have Canadian friends you are meeting in Toronto, they might even have a spare winter coat you could borrow during your visit.
• If your coat doesn’t cover your neck, you will need to wear a scarf to keep the cold air from blowing down your collar.
• Wearing gloves or mittens is also very important, as your hands and fingers will get cold very easily.
• Also, you will need a pair of insulated waterproof boots, which will keep moisture away from your feet and keep them warm.
• You will lose a lot of body heat through your head, so make sure that you wear a warm hat to prevent heat loss. In Canada this is known as a “toque” and you can find them sold in stores all over Toronto.
Tips to Stay Warm in Toronto• In extreme cold temperatures in Toronto, fingers, ears and other exposed flesh can be at risk for frost bite. Make sure that you are fully covered up.
• The temperature can vary significantly throughout the day. Wear layers so that you can adjust your clothing to the environment you are in.
• When choosing the underneath layer that will be close to the skin, avoid cotton. It tends to absorb water, which will end up making you feel colder as it evaporates. It is better to wear synthetics, wool or silk.
• Make sure that you eat well before you go outside. It will help to get your metabolism going which will keep your body warmer.
• Limit your time spent outside and if you start to feel numb, tired or overly cold you should go indoors to warm up.
• Get lots of rest and drink lots of fluids in order to keep your immune system strong.

Keep these tips to stay warm in Toronto so you can be comfortable in the chilly winter weather. Do you have any tips to stay warm in Toronto in the winter?

Holiday Events, Lifestyle talk

Romantic Holiday Gift Ideas

December 18, 2015

Romantic Holiday Gift IdeasWant to see the eyes of your special someone light up with happiness this Christmas? When it comes to buying Christmas gifts for your beloved you want to give them something special that will really make them feel appreciated and loved. If you are looking for inspiration for romantic gifts this holiday season, here are some great romantic holiday gift ideas to get you started:

A One of a Kind Portrait
Find a local artist whose style you like and pay them to paint a one of a kind portrait of your special someone. It can be based on your favourite photograph of them or of you two together. This will be a one of a kind gift with a major impact that they will treasure for a long time.

Weekend GetawayRomantic Holiday Gift Ideas
Instead of Christmas gifts, reveal that you are taking your special someone on a surprise weekend getaway. You can book a bed and breakfast and whisk them away for a couple of nights. You can choose somewhere that they will really enjoy and you can even plan activities or a special dinner to surprise them.

Christmas Tree Ornaments
A beautiful and meaningful gift you can give someone you care about could be Christmas tree ornaments with their name on them or ornaments that represent aRomantic Holiday Gift Ideas special memory the two of you share. You could make it a Christmas tradition that every year you give them a different personal ornament, so that decorating the tree becomes a beautiful trip down memory lane. If you are crafty, you might even want to try making your own ornament.

Inscribed Jewellery
Jewellery is a timeless gift for your special someone, but you can make it even more meaningful and special if you inscribe it with a personal message. It can be a ring inscribed with your initials or a bracelet with a quote that has meaning for both of you. There are also matching necklaces you can wear that can be inscribed with messages, initials and much more. A piece of jewellery is a lovely gift, but a personalised one of a kind piece of jewellery is something even more special.Romantic Holiday Gift Ideas

Equipment for Their Hobby
Think about what your special someone is passionate about and what they enjoying doing in their spare time. Do they like to go hiking? Are they an artist? Do they like to write? Are they interested in gardening, sports, reading? Pinpoint their favourite hobby and then get something that is related to what they enjoy. For example, if your beloved enjoys painting you can get them a new canvas and some high quality paints and brushes. They will find you were thoughtful and chose a gift that reflects their personal interests.
With these wonderful romantic holiday gift ideas you will be sure to make your partner feel special on Christmas morning.  Dont forget to check out our blog for thoughtful and creative stocking stuffers ideas!

Thoughtful gifts are meaningful and will create special Christmas memories that you will treasure for many years.

Entertainment, Holiday Events, Lifestyle talk

Creative Stocking Stuffer Ideas for Christmas

December 15, 2015

Stocking Stuffer with LogoWhen it comes to buying Christmas presents, sometimes a challenging part can be filling the stockings. What do you do when you’ve found all of the big presents, but you can’t think of ideas for the little trinkets? You don’t want to simply give boring gifts, so put a little more thought into it so that you can put something different in the stockings of your loved ones this Christmas.

Here are some ideas for creative and thoughtful stocking stuffer ideas for Christmas: Stocking Stuffer Ideas for Christmas

  • For someone who loves to write and jot down ideas, give them a beautiful leather bound notebook with a small pen hidden inside.
  • An activity tracker, such as the Fitbit, can be a great gift for someone active so that they can keep track of their steps taken and calories burned as well as set progress goals.
  • Small bottles of fragrance or cologne can be a lovely stocking stuffer for a special someone who always loves to smell good.
  • For the wine lover in your life, why not give them an attractive stylish corkscrew?
  • Jewellery also makes for a great stocking stuffer, as it is just the right size. When choosing jewellery for someone, take a look at the style that they usually wear to get an idea of their taste so that you can buy something they will like.
  • The people in your life who love art would really appreciate getting art supplies in their stocking, such as coloured pencils, a set of watercolour paints or high quality drawing pens.
  • A mini flask can be a lovel Stocking Stuffer Ideas for Christmasy gift, especially if it is paired with a bottle of the recipient’s favourite alcohol.
  • Cooking gadgets, such as an egg yolk separator, a jar opener or a knife sharpener can be great gifts for your friend who really loves cooking.
  • When you have someone in your family or friend group who is geeky about a particular show, book series or movie, whether it is Harry Potter, Game of Thrones, Supernatural, Doctor Who or anything else, getting them items along that theme will never go wrong. Try keychains, mugs or anything else emblazoned with their favourite fictional characters.
  • We all know that one person who is obsessed with their hair, so great stocking stuffer ideas for Christmas for them could be hair clips, barrettes, hair ties, a cute mini travel brush and mini sized bottles of their favourite hair products.
  • For the friend or family member who can never get enough spice in their food, give them tiny bottles of their favourite hot sauce that they can bring with them anywhere they go.
  • To give someone a nostalgic blast from the past, buy them a copy of an old comic book that they used to really enjoy when they were a child.

The key to finding great stocking stuffers that are out of the ordinary is to think about your recipient and what they like. Thoughtful and meaningful stocking stuffer ideas for Christmas will really make their holiday special.

Downtown Toronto, Entertainment, Lifestyle talk, Toronto History, Vacation Travel

Toronto Neighbourhood Guide: Kensington Market

November 20, 2015
Kensington Market

Photo Credit: Rina Pitucci

One of Toronto’s most eclectic neighbourhoods, Kensington Market, is within walking distance of our downtown furnished rentals. Settled by Eastern Europeans, the neighbourhood –which spans from College to Dundas, north to south; and Kensington to Denison, east to west– has had fluctuations of different ethnicities from Jewish, Portuguese, and Latin American, which is now an important landmark in Toronto. It has also developed certain trends: homes behind homes and stores on the first floor of homes, which has since been retained today. Here are our favourite places and things to do in the Market.

1. Casa Acoreana. Located at the corner of Augusta and Baldwin, Casa Acoreana has been one of the Market’s longest standing institutions in business for 50 years. Comprised of a cafe and a store that sells coffee, candy, and nuts, it is one of the best people-watching spots in Toronto.

2. Pedestrian Market Sundays. Every last Sunday of the month from May to October, Kensington Market’s streets are closed off

Kensington Market

Photo Credit: Joey deVilla

to traffic for their annual Pedestrian Sundays. There’s music, food, and many street performances. It’s a lively event that you can’t miss if you’re visiting or living in Toronto.

3. Produce, Meat, Fish, and Cheese. If you like to do your shopping at local markets, Kensington Market is the best place to do it. It’s the perfect pit stop for your picnic needs if you’re heading over to the park at Denison or further along, at Trinity Bellwoods Park. Some of our favourites: Sanagan’s Meat Locker, Hooked for Fish, Oxford Fruit Market, and Global Cheese. Happy shopping!

4. Seven Lives Tacos. There are plenty of options for lunch and dinner in the Market. Though you’ll always see lines for this taqueria, Seven Lives

Kensington Market

Photo Credit: Ian Irving

arguably has some of the best fish tacos in the city. Get the Gorbernador and thank us later!

5. Vintage Shopping. Vintage stores that scatter the market lend to its bohemian vibe and are one of the best ways to explore the market. Check out the long standing Courage My Love for jewellery and great clothing finds and Flashback for jackets. You’ll likely stumble upon racks and racks of clothing on the sidewalks outside of the stores and may unexpectedly find a good garment.

What are your favourite places in Kensington Market?