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Community Events, Downtown Toronto, Events, Family Vacations in Toronto, Lifestyle talk, Toronto Family Travel

Toronto in Ten Photos

November 25, 2014

Capturing Toronto in ten photos is not an easy task because this city is so vast. There are a number of things to do and a number of icons that define the city. We have illustrated the city from a local viewpoint with a mix of those icons that make Toronto just what it is. Luckily, our landmarks are within walking distance of your furnished apartment in Toronto. Hopefully, this provides inspiration for you to photograph your Toronto.

Toronto in Ten Photos1. Evergreen Brickworks
The Brickworks, as it’s affectionately known, is an old brick factory which provided bricks for the construction of some iconic Toronto landmarks such as Massey Hall and Casa Loma. The Brickworks is now used as a cultural space and for events. Check out the kilns and the interesting graffiti on the walls; the farmer’s markets on the weekends; and Cafe Belong, for a leisurely brunch. Around the site, you can sit by the pond or hike behind the area over to Rosedale through Milkman’s Lane or north to St. Clair via Moore Park.

2. Toronto StreetcarsToronto in Ten Photos
These trolleys are a signature icon of Toronto. Concurrently, they’re offer one of the best ways to see our massive metropolis from east to west for $3. Just hop on the Queen Streetcar and it will take you all the way from Roncesvalles where King and Queen intersect, past through Parkdale, Queen West, Corktown, Leslieville, and to the Beach all the way to Neville Park. Make sure you check out the old streetcar yard at Queen and Greenwood, which will move to Leslie and Lakeshore. The streetcars have also gotten an upgrade and are currently of use along Spadina Avenue.

Toronto in Ten Photos3. Kensington Market
One of the most colourful, eclectic, and bohemian neighbourhoods in Toronto, Kensington Market is also designated a National Historic Site. Once populated by Jews and Italians who sold items and gifts. After the recession in the 80s, Latin American immigrants began to move in and this habitation is reflected in the many Latin American stalls and grocery stores in the market. Now you’ll find more modern cafes, restaurants and shops (from vintage to modern) in the neighbourhood. Don’t forget to check out Pedestrian Sundays, when the market closes its streets to pedestrian traffic and celebrates on the last Sunday of every month from May to October.

4. Queen Street WestToronto in Ten Photos
Queen Street West is considered one of the most exciting neighbourhoods in Toronto and was recently rated by Vogue as the second coolest neighbourhood in the world. This section of Queen, which expands past University to Lansdowne Avenues, is a hodge-podge of trendy boutiques, an eclectic mix of restaurants, vintage shops, bars, art galleries, Trinity Bellwoods Park, and two hotels (the Drake and the Gladstone). It is the perfect street for an afternoon stroll.

Toronto in Ten Photos5. Trinity Bellwoods Park
Aforementioned, Trinity Bellwoods Park is one of the mainstays of the Queen Street West scene. Whether you’re biking, running, playing tennis or partaking in other activities at its adjacent community centre, this is one of the best people-watching spots in the city. Grab a blanket, some homemade food, or head over to one of the local cafes across the street for the ideal picnic spot.

6. Graffiti Alley
Toronto in Ten Photos Located just south of Queen Street West, this alley filled with local graffiti and artwork is not only an alternate route away from the people traffic, it’s an underrated destination in Toronto. Expanding from Spadina close to Bathurst, this alley is just a glimpse at the growing graffiti scene in Toronto, whose walls have now been marked by icons Banksy and Sheppard Fairey. Want to learn more or meet others while checking out great art? Check out the local tour by the Tour Guys.

Toronto in Ten Photos7. Great Food
Toronto’s food scene is eclectic, multicultural and always evolving. You can get great deals but you do need to know where to go. Some great areas to dine in the city are Queen Street, King Street, Ossington, Kensington Market, and Dundas West. The Junction, St. Clair West, and Leslieville are underrated for their dining scenes and you should explore and dine in these areas if you have the chance. One of my favourite spots is Fresh, the healthy food chain, which has a great lunch special of their soup, salad, and cornbread combo for $10!

8. CN Tower ViewsToronto in Ten Photos
It’s hard not to try to find the best spot of this view. From our 300 Front Street West furnished apartments in downtown Toronto, you’ll feel so close to the tower, you can almost touch it. Head over to Fort York or the BMO Exhibition field for that landscape view. Downtown, you’ll get a good glimpse from OCAD (and some great architecture to photograph as well right near the AGO). Further east, Polson Pier and Ashbridge’s Bay are your best bets to get that skyline shot.

Toronto in Ten Photos9. Toronto’s East End and the Best Skyline View
If you have a chance to head east, Riverdale Park East is your best bet for stunning skyline views. A few blocks south of the Danforth on Broadview, it’s a quick streetcar ride or 15 minute walk down to the park. Make sure to go to the best coffeeshop in town, Rooster Coffeehouse to help take in the view. Across the park, head to Riverdale Park West and up the stairs, you’ll find the free Riverdale Farm, Toronto Necropolis, and the historic Cabbagetown district.

10. The St. Lawrence MarketToronto in Ten Photos
Ranked as the world’s best market by National Geographic, the St. Lawrence Market definitely lives up to its reputation. Whether you’re looking for meat, fish, cheese, bread, or produce, it’s all here. Specialty items like mushroom truffle dip, oils, or gorgeous bouquets are all here too. You won’t be starved for lunch. Check out the famous Carousel Bakery for its peameal bacon sandwiches, St. Viateur for those famous Montreal bagels, or Buster’s Seacove to satisfy that fish craving (lobster, halibut, shrimp, and much more!). There’s nothing like it on a Saturday morning.

Hope you enjoyed our photos! If you could choose ten photos to describe Toronto what would they be?

Photos: Complimentary of Natalie Taylor

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

The Great Canadian Road Trip Playlist

November 19, 2014

Canadian Road TripCanada is the ideal country for a road trip. Connected by the Trans-Canada highway, between British Columbia and Newfoundland, there is no greater expanse of road or great musicians to listen to along the way. From classic Canadian folk to more modern pop-rock and electronic-infused songs, Canadian musicians are just as diverse as each province. Below is our eclectic songlist inspiration whether you’re driving to another province or cruising across to a few provinces. If you’re in Ontario, don’t forget we offer the comfort of home away from home in our furnished apartments across the Greater Toronto Area.

Our Canadian road trip playlist is an assortment of some popular bands and indie bands and artists. We didn’t list popular artists like Celine Dion, Avril Lavigne, Shania Twain, Anne Murray, and Justin Bieber as their music is already well known. This songlist is in no particular order. You can also find the playlist on Grooveshark to add to your own collection.

1. Bobcaygeon by the Tragically Hip
2. The Old Apartment by the Barenaked Ladies
3. Comin’ Home by City and Colour and their cover of Kimbra’s Settle Down
4. Soft Offering by Hey Rosetta! (The video was produced on the stunning Fogo Island in Newfoundland and Labrador.)
5. I Feel It All by Feist
6. Closer and Body Work by Tegan and Sara
7. Red Barchetta and YYZ (for the drive from Toronto to Winnipeg) by Rush
8. Sunday Morning and Superstarr, Pt. Zero by K-os
9. Comme Des Enfants by Coeur De Pirate
10. Rebellion (Lies) by Arcade Fire
11. If it Feels Good Do It by Sloan
12. My Friend by Paper Lions
13. Good Mother by Jann Arden
14. Try by Blue Rodeo
15. Sundown by Gordon Lightfoot

Canadian Road TripTell us: what are your essential songs by Canadian artists for a Great Canadian road trip? What did we miss?! Do you have a favourite song on this list?

Lifestyle talk, Markham, Toronto Family Travel

Things to do in Markham

November 12, 2014

Located northeast of Toronto, Markham is a thriving, vibrant and multicultural community. Our Circa furnished apartments, located at Warden and Highway 7, are close to Unionville, Markham Centre, and the Markham Theatre. Here are a few more of our favourite things to do in Markham. For more information on special events, please check the City of Markham’s official website.

Things to do in MarkhamEat Delicious Chinese Food
According to the 2011 census, 32.9 percent of residents in Markham speak Chinese and 11.6 percent of residents speak Mandarin.
SOURCE: Markham Economic Profile (page 9).  There are a multitude of good quality Chinese and Dim Sum restaurants in the city. Some recommended restaurants include: Dayali Beijing Roast Duck, Din Tai Fung (a separate entitiy from teh popular Taiwanese chain), 369 Shanghai Dim Sum, Sun’s Kitchen, and Ten Ren’s Tea Time, Source: Globe and Mail

Rouge Park
This 40 square kilometer park extends from Scarborough and the Toronto Zoo all the way up to Markham. There are a variety of activities you can complete in the park from hiking, biking, and wildlife watching to canoeing and camping (in the southern part of the park). It is said that FH Varley, one of the painters in the Group of Seven, captured the beauty of the banks of the Rouge River in Markham on canvas.

Things to do in MarkhamPacific Mall
Known for its bargains and the chance to barter for knock-off items, Pacific Mall has become somewhat of a tourist attraction in Markham. With over 500 stores and a food court, hawking Asian street-food, this is a great way to spend the afternoon.

Explore Unionville
Unionville is one of the villages that encompasses the larger part of Markham. Stroll past the historic buildings, shops, old mills, and churches of Main Street. Many festivals take place here as well. For more information visit www.unionvilleinfo.com

Varley Art Gallery
The gallery honours one of Canada’s renowned Group of Seven Artists, Fred Varley, who lived in Unionville for many years. View historical and contemporary exhibitions at the acclaimed gallery. Explore new ways of appreciating art through dynamicThings to do in Markham hands-on activities, designed for audiences of all ages and interests.

Markham is a great alternative city to Toronto but close enough via car or GO Train. If you are living in furnished housing and here for short term, enjoy your stay and try out these fun things to do in Markham!

Entertainment, Lifestyle talk, Living In Brampton, Mississauga, Toronto Family Travel

Things to do in Mississauga

October 16, 2014

Things to do in MississaugaLocated less than an hour from downtown Toronto and a half hour from the Toronto International Pearson Airport, the city of Mississauga is also Canada’s sixth largest city. As part of the Greater Toronto Area, many people are relocating here to live and work. As a result of the city’s growth, there are a number of activities and culture to enjoy here. If you are working on the border of the city, this is a great location to consider for corporate housing. Here are just a few things to do in Mississauga that you dont want to miss out on trying.

The Living Arts Centre
Since 1997, The Living Arts Centre has been Mississauga’s central performance venue. You can see a variety of shows here from opera and symphony to drama and dance. The whole family can also explore the arts, crafts, and visual arts studios year-round. LIVE Cuisine restaurant is also on site for pre-performance meals.

6020630352_08e0897a2b_zCelebration Square
Located across from Square One Shopping Centre and City Hall, Mississauga Celebration Square is the central location for free outdoor events. Lounge on the lawn and relax by the interactive water feature (fountains in the summer; an ice rink in the winter). Activities that feature arts, culture, and heritage are celebrated year-round from the farmers markets to the Imagination Park where the whole family can play various games featuring blocks and technology.

Port Credit and Streetsville
These quaint villages add a little flair to the greater region of Mississauga. Streetsville offers historical walking tours as well as regular events like yoga in the square. Popular festivals like the Bread and Honey Festival and the Taste of Streetsville attract locals and visitors alike. By the lake, Port Credit is a seaside getaway from the city. Ride your bike along the trails near the harbourfront, stop for an ice cream at the infamous Diary Cream, or indulge in a nice dinner at Snug Harbour with a lakeside view by the lighthouse.

Square OneShop!
Mississauga offers some of the best shopping in the Greater Toronto Area. From the ever-expanding and central Square One Shopping Centre to outlet malls Heartland Town Centre and Dixie Outlet Mall, there are a variety of choices and prices for all of your shopping needs. Bonus: Our Grand Ovation and Skymark West furnished apartments are a short walk from the Square One Shopping Centre.

Skyzone and Scooters Roller Palace
Not just for kids, Skyzone is the world’s first indoor trampoline park. The park offers an open jump, a SkySlam court, SkyRobics fitness classes, Ultimate Dodgeball (when available) and a Foam Zone. For those who would like to keep their feet closer to the ground, Scooters Roller Palace offers inline and roller skating lessons in addition to all-ages open skates. These are great activities for the whole family!

Cycling and Fitness Trails
There are plenty of trails and parks if you want to get active in Mississauga!

Mississauga is a thriving and expanding community. Whether you’re here for on a project or assignment or simply vacation, it’s a great place to stay within close distance of Toronto and other suburban communities.

 

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

Tips for Travelling with Kids

October 8, 2014

Family TravelTravelling with kids can be an overwhelming experience, especially for the first time. However, it can also be a fun and rewarding experience to discover a new city with your family. Here are a few of our tips that will make the journey easier.

1. Prepare your child for the airport. As your kids may not understand the full experience of traveling, prepare them before the trip by reading books like “Airport” to educate and excite them about their upcoming journey.

2. Consider What to Bring, Flying Times, and Keeping Your Child Entertained on the Flight.
Being prepared can make the flying experience for your family easier. Have a backpack prepared with everything for the flight so it’s easy to find. Bring snacks that will take your child a long time to eat (like raisins) since in-flight options are limited or cost extra. Time your flights to your child’s sleeping schedule or try the red-eye flight. Consider buying a seat for your child, especially on longer flights for ease and comfort. In addition to having portable electronics amped up with your child’s favourite apps and games, surprise your child. Buy a new book or toy for the plane and wrap it up in tissue.

3. Consider renting an apartment, suite or condo. Though hotels have their perks, rentals can give you more space as well as the amenities or perks you may not find in a hotel. For instance, you may have a better supplied kitchen, watch movies without the pricey hotel tag, or invite friends over to dinner in your dining room. DelSuites is a great option if you’re in Toronto. DelSuites will help make the transition easy by providing a FREE ‘Kids Care’ gift for every child ages newborn to 14. Items including bath toTravelling with Kidsys, children’s books, playing cards, itunes gift cards and more.

4. Stay in an area where there is lots to do within walking distance. Being in a central area will keep you close to the action but nearby your accommodation. This will be helpful for those scheduled nap times and dealing with jet lag. It also helps if you are having meals at your short-term rental apartment for lunch or dinner. Location is key when planning your family vacation.

5. Get your child involved in the planning process. When considering activities, show your little one pictures of what he or she might like to do in location. Being involved in the process makes them more excited about the decisions they made. Look at local playgrounds, parks, and outdoor spaces. Not only are these a great way to see a new city like a local but also free!

Traveling with kids can have its moments but it can also be revitalizing. What are your tips for travelling with kids and your family? We would love to hear!

References:
Joanna Goddard – 10 Tips for Traveling with a Baby
Joanna Goddard – 10 Ways to Entertain a Toddler on a Plane
Oh Joy – Traveling Abroad with a Toddler