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Cool Toronto Art Galleries to Check Out

September 26, 2017

Toronto Art GalleriesThe first item on the list for any art lover visiting Toronto is to check out what’s on at the Art Gallery of Ontario – the city’s largest gallery. However, once you have perused the AGO’s collection don’t just stop there. Toronto is a city bursting at the seams with great art and there are so many other intriguing galleries that you can visit if your thirst for art has yet to be quenched. If you love nothing better than strolling through an art gallery and discussing the themes and questions raised by the art on display – check out the following Toronto Art Galleries:

Toronto Art Galleries – The Power Plant

The Power Plant is known for hosting the annual Power Pall, an indulgent party for the city’s art elite. It is located at the Harbourfront, which means that it is within reach of the other main tourist attractions and furnished rentals in Toronto. The exhibitions here are varied and they are often experimental and conceptual, with an emphasis on modern art by Canadian artists.

Wil Kucey GalleryToronto Art Galleries

Wil Kucey is the owner and director of this unique and interesting gallery, located in the Little Portugal neighbourhood of Toronto. It focuses on promoting the work of emerging artists who haven’t yet broken into the commercial market. This gallery has represented several fantastic artists over the years, including Benjamin Oakley, Tristram Lansdowne and Nicholas Di Genova. When you visit you will discover an array of thought-provoking work in many different mediums.

Mercer Union

The Mercer” as it is called, moved north to Bloor and Landsdowne a few years ago and it is now located in a gorgeous historic building designed by the same architect as the Casa Loma. The artist-run gallery has some of the most ambitious and exciting programming in the city, including lots of great video installations.

Cooper Cole Gallery

Toronto Art Galleries

Simon Cole opened this gallery as a way of showcasing a wide range of works, from conceptual paintings to abstract works to sculptures. He doesn’t restrict the gallery to a specific style – he refuses to be pigeon-holed. His goal is to include a wide range of different types of styles so that he can represent a cross section of the Toronto art scene.

If you are an art lover visiting Toronto, these are just a few of the intriguing galleries you can explore after you have seen the Art Gallery of Ontario. Tap into Toronto’s art scene and you will discover so many conversation-worthy pieces by talented and creative artists from Canada and all over the world.

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Great Toronto Museums to Visit

September 18, 2017

Toronto MuseumsOnce you have enjoyed all the great exhibits at the Royal Ontario Museum, there are several other great Toronto museums that you should check out. Here are some of the must-visit stops in Toronto for a museum enthusiast.

The Textile Museum of Canada

You can learn about the history of fabrics and textiles at this museum that’s only a 8 minute walk from the Qwest furnished suites and features a collection of 13,000 pieces dating back to 100 AD. The museum covers nearly 200 world regions and the oldest item in the collection is from the Nazca culture of Southern Peru. From ceremonial cloths to quilts to carpets, it’s a fascinating way to learn about cultures of the past via the clothes they wore and textiles they used.

Aga Khan Museum – Toronto Museums

Learn about the history of Muslim civilizations, in both a historical and contemporary perspective, at this midtown Toronto museum. The stunning architecture of the museum is also fascinating, with dramatic modern lines and a dazzling white façade. The lovely space also features a peaceful public park and a great restaurant called Diwan serving fusion cuisine.

The Bata Shoe Museum

Have you ever wondered what the Ancient Greeks used to wear on their feet? Or been curious about the height of the world’s highest platform shoe? The Bata Toronto MuseumsShoe Museum celebrates the wild, weird and highly fashionable in the world of shoes throughout the ages – from clunky old clodhoppers to the shiny sports shoes of the 80’s and every era in between.

The Gardiner Museum

This museum is dedicated to the art of ceramics. It has a display of both permanent and special travelling exhibitions and the works on display are truly exquisite. This cultural hot-spot also has drop in ceramics and sculpting classes for both children and adults.

The CBC Museum

The Canadian Broadcasting Commission is a Canadian institution – it has brought programming to our home and native land for over 70 years. At this museum you can learn about the founding of the CBC and take a look back through the years at some classic Canadian television and radio programming. You can even see a CBC microphone from 1910 and Mr. Dressup’s famous Tickle Trunk.  It is in the CBC building on Front Street West right next door to our 300 Front furnished condo rentals!

The HockToronto Museumsey Hall of Fame

Hockey is Canada’s iconic national sport and this Toronto museum celebrates the history of hockey in Canada. You can see the coveted Stanley Cup, watch videos of unforgettable moments in hockey history and see what hockey gear used to look like back in the day. The Hockey Hall of Fame is a must visit for any sports fan and it’s right on Yonge and Front Street in the heart of the action in Toronto.

These are just a few of the best Toronto museums beyond the Royal Ontario Museum that you can check out during your next visit to Toronto.

Downtown Toronto, Entertainment, Family Vacations in Toronto, Toronto Entertainment, Toronto Family Travel, Toronto History, toronto toursim

Toronto Strange Activities to Do

August 30, 2017

Toronto Strange ActivitiesOnce you have been to Toronto a few times and you have covered the most popular tourist attractions – The ROM, the CN Tower, the Hockey Hall of Fame, Casa Loma – you might be curious about what else there is to explore. When you go beyond the main sights you can discover a strange and quirky side to Toronto, with plenty of unusual and intriguing spots to visit and things to do. Here are a few Toronto strange activities hiding beneath the surface when you explore a little deeper.

Toronto Strange Activities – The Rage Room

If you are feeling stressed out, the Rage Room in North York offers you the opportunity to take out all of your aggression on inanimate objects with your choice of weapon. You’ll be suited up in protective gear including a face shield and gloves, given a crowbar or baseball bat and you can go to town on plates, glasses and beer bottles – without having to worry about the cleanup.

You can even bring a box of your own stuff to smash. They even have Bluetooth speakers so that you can express your rage to the angry playlist of your choice. Talk about a unique technique for stress relief!Toronto Strange Activities

The Biblio-Mat

The Monkey’s Paw is a cool and quirky bookstore and it is home to the Biblio-Mat, the first device of it’s kind. It is a vending machine that dispenses a random vintage book for $2. A creative alternative to the discount sidewalk bin, the book dispensing machine is a fun novelty. It whirrs and vibrates dramatically before delivering the book and you never know what subject matter or size of book you will receive

The Knit Cafe

If you love to craft sweaters and scarfs, drop in for a knit session at the Knit Cafe, Toronto’s coffee shop for those who love knitting. The cafe offers classes and get-togethers and also serves sweet treats and espresso throughout the day. They also offer a great selection of yarn, so you can stock up for your next project.

Indoor SkydivingToronto Strange Activities

If you don’t have the nerve to actually jump from an airplane but you do want to experience the sensation of freefall, check out iFLY Toronto indoor skydiving. They have a 45 foot tube that has a powerful torrent of air running up through it, strong enough to keep your body aloft. It feels like you are falling through the sky, but it’s a lot less terrifying than jumping out of a plane. It is even possible to organize an indoor skydiving party – so why not think about it as a venue for your next birthday?

What are some Toronto strange activities you’ve discovered? Share your travel tips and discoveries with us in the comments! In addition, be sure to check out these family fun outdoor activities as we wrap up summer in Toronto!

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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!

Lifestyle talk, Toronto Family Travel, Toronto History

Advice for First Time Toronto Visitors

April 27, 2017

First Time Toronto VisitorsA visit to Toronto is a thrill – there is so much to discover in this exciting Canadian metropolis. Here are some very important things that you should know for first time Toronto visitors.

First Time Toronto Visitors : Make the Most of Public Transit

When you are visiting Toronto you will probably not want to rent a car, unless you want to be able to go on road trips outside of the city. Inside the city it is possible to get around quickly and easy using public transit. Plus, you will save money on parking fees and you will avoid getting stuck in rush hour. The city is a giant grid pattern, so it’s pretty easy to navigate.

The transit system in Toronto includes subway lines, streetcars and buses and it will take you to anywhere in the city that you want to go, including well out into the suburbs. You can get a day pass for $12 that will allow you unlimited travel on all TTC services

Stay in a SerFirst Time Toronto Visitorsviced Furnished Apartment

Staying in an furnished apartment for first time Toronto visitors many advantages compared to staying in a hotel. You will have much more space to relax, a fully equipped kitchen so that you can cook your own meals and you will be able to use the building facilities such as swimming pool, fitness centre, bowling alley and much more. This is especially advantageous if you are travelling as a family or staying for a while.

No One Pronounces the Second T

The name of the city is pronounced “Torono” or “T’rana” by the locals. This is due to the Canadian accent, which causes the consonant between two unstressed vowels to be silent. If you pronounce the second T in Toronto it will be clear to all of the locals that you are not a Torontonian.

Don’t Forget About Sales Tax

You will notice that the price tag of an item in the store doesn’t always correspond to the final price when the cashier rings it up. That’s because a 13% harmonized sales tax is added to almost all of the goods and services purchases in the province of Ontario. Sometimes purchases are tax exempt and some have the tax already built into the price, so if you aren’t sure you can always ask the store staff to clarify.

First Time Toronto VisitorsIf You Don’t Like the Weather, Wait 20 Minutes

The weather in Canada is extreme and in Toronto it can fluctuate wildly, especially in the spring and fall. You might have a sunny morning, which turns into freezing cold rain by the afternoon. The weather in the summer is hot and humid and the winters are snowy and cold. Be prepared with many different layers so that you can adjust your clothing to the situation and do some research into the weather forecast before your trip.