Downtown Toronto, Entertainment, Food & Recipes, Lifestyle talk

Where to get High Tea in Toronto near Your Furnished Rental

May 6, 2015

High Tea in TorontoAs Mother’s Day approaches, one idea to celebrate the day is to partake in the tradition of afternoon or high tea in Toronto. Luckily, there are a number of places across the GTA near your furnished rental to indulge in this leisurely treat. Pinkies up!

1. The Old Mill
Near our Nuvo and Park Nuvo properties, The Old Mill is a storied tradition and has been at the Old Mill Inn in Etobicoke for 100 years. Bring your favourite fascinator and celebrate with your mom in style. For $30, you can snack over a varied menu of finger sandwiches, scones, and afternoon tea pastries, a variety of teas, and even bubbles (at an extra cost). With a view of the outdoor garden through the old-fashioned windows, this is one of the best atmospheres for afternoon tea in the city.

2. The Windsor Arms
One of the most famous places to enjoy the afternoon tea tradition in Toronto (and not too far from our 173 Duplex and High Tea in TorontoRepublic short-term rentals at Yonge and Eglinton), The Windsor Arms also has one of the most luxurious tea rooms in the city. In one of the three elegant tea rooms, you can sip from over 20 different selections of tea as well as a savoury menu of finger foods. The Windsor Arms arguably has the best scones and devonshire cream in the city. If you can’t make the regular seatings, there is a twilight menu serving the tea menu at 5:30 and 6:00 PM daily. Fancy hats or fascinators are encouraged. You can borrow one for $5 and proceeds benefit the Look Good Feel Better program, a charity that offers hands-on cosmetic and hair alternatives workshops for women with cancer.

3. The Old Curiosity Tea Shop
This high tea tradition is not too far away from our Circa apartments for rent in Markham which offers over 50 different teas. The Victorian tearoom also specializes in current and discontinued Royal Doulton china replacements. The afternoon tea tradition is by reservation only.

High Tea in Toronto4. The Tea Room, Streetsville
An affordable place for this tradition in Mississauga, you can choose from three different menus for afternoon tea. The Tea Room High Tea menu offers a garden salad in addition to the three tiered tray of tea sandwiches, quiche tartlet, scones, and sweets. You can also choose among an array of black, oolong, and herbal teas.

5. DEQ at the Ritz Carlton
This modern take on the afternoon tradition is a short walk from our Icon, 300 Front Street, and Element furnished apartments in downtown Toronto. There are four different menus to choose from, each which feature the luxury Sloane tea, its blends sourced by certified tea sommeliers. Nibble an updated twist of the traditional menu such as a larger size of the salmon sandwiches served on croissants and macarons served on a modern version of the tiered tray.

Where is your favourite place for high tea in Toronto?

Feedback and Reviews, Lifestyle talk

A Guide to Decorating Your Furnished Condo

April 30, 2015

Decorating Your Furnished CondoWhether you’re a business traveler in Toronto on an extended stay, a family looking for a longer city vacation, or a film or TV industry pro moving in for the summer shooting season, part of what makes a furnished rental great is the unique character you can’t get from a hotel room. But part of the draw of furnished rentals is the ability to personalize that space you’ll be living in for weeks or months into a home away from home.

Here are a few low-cost, simple tips on decorating your furnished condo décor—and creating a gorgeous Toronto nest that truly feels like it’s yours.

Start With Colour, and Texture, and Light…

The simplest antidote to a furnished rental that’s not yet found its voice is texture and colour. Most Toronto furnished rentals come with a very clean look that makes adding your own personal touches easy, without having to break out paintbrushes or power tools. Patterned rugs, couch cushions or throws and small lamps can all bring a condo space to life without much investment—and portably enough to bring home with you!

Want a warm, rich, South Asian-meets-bistro feel? Visit Morningstar Trading, which specializes in Rajasthani imports, for hand-carved wooden vases, bright fabric, plush embroidered cushDecorating Your Furnished Condoions, and small furniture pieces that bring colour into a room.

If you love the clean, rustic, and airy feel of reclaimed-wood furniture and eggshell-white walls? The Drake General Store, an offshoot of the Drake Hotel specializing in Canadian designers and brands, has a wide selection of log-cabin Canadiana, including carved-stone coasters, soft throw blankets, and needlepoint cushions.

For a clean, minimalist aesthetic, check out Harbord Village’s Things Japanese, a cozy source for everything from shoji screens to soften the afternoon light to wood-and-paper table lamps, vases, decorative boxes, and rollable, portable inked wall scrolls.

Bring the Spring In

Decorating Your Furnished CondoOne of the simplest ways to put your mark on a space is by bringing something green home. Most Toronto fruit markets will have a selection of potted herbs once the warm weather hits, and a spilling, vibrant mint in a brightly coloured hanging planter from Roncesvalles Village’s Scout or your local hardware store can both brighten up your space and contribute materially to a homemade mojito.

If you’d rather smell your plants than taste them, small florists like Church-Wellesley Village’s Ladybug and Yorkville’s Sweetpea’s not only take online orders for long-lasting floral arrangements, but deliver to your door. And for the budget-minded, there’s nothing better than a tall Mason jar and a handful of daffodils from the corner variety store.

Beautiful and Useful

There’s a reason coffee table books were so popular in the sixties: They were objects, almost carelessly placed, that told your guests a story about what you love. Small, useful objects like coasters, cushions, handmade notebooks, and more make your mark on a space, and help you inhabit it completely.

Almost every neighbourhood in downtown Toronto has a monthly flea full of the useful-and-beautiful, with vendors offering vintage, handcrafted, quirky, and just fun items in their own neighbourhood. There’s a flea in Leslieville,  The Annex, Parkdale, and more. Admission rarely goes above two dollars, and they’re an increasingly grDecorating Your Furnished Condoeat source for good décor finds—and a fun day out.

Having a few old favourites on the nightstand can also go a long way, and specialty Toronto bookstores like Ben McNally Books for literary fiction mavens, The Sleuth of Baker Street for mystery hounds, Bakka-Phoenix Books for science fiction, fantasy, and horror fans, or TYPE for lovers of art and design can supply you with your best-loved bedtime stories to reread or shelve prominently—and make your space feel that much more like home.

Ultimately, decorating your furnished condo rental in Toronto is halfway about the experience: Each object you bring home to brighten your space is a piece of Toronto you’ve gotten to know, a walk you took, or a neighbourhood you’ve discovered. And it’s a great way to enjoy the time you spend here—and build a few great memories when it’s time to head home.

Toronto Family Travel, Vacation Travel

Alternative Travel Destinations in Canada

April 24, 2015

CanadaMention the words Canada and travel and immediately, and a few cities and images come to mind: Toronto; Montreal; Quebec City; Vancouver; the great outdoors. Indeed, these places are integral places on the Canada tour but if you’re looking to get off the beaten path, here are some new travel destinations in Canada, whether you are here for a short or long-term stay.

1. Manitoba
Ontario’s next door neighbour is starting to get the attention it deserves. In addition to being one of the best places in Canada to get up front and close with wildlife like polar bears, beluga whales, caribou, and grey owls, you can also have a more urban experience in the evolved Winnipeg. The city is home to Canada’s first Museum for Human Rights; the Assiniboine Park Zoo; and a thriving dining scene thanks to events like the Raw & Almond pop-up dinners on the Assiniboine River every January. For those who love culture, the Royal Winnipeg Ballet celebrates its 75th anniversary this year, and if you need to relax, try the new Thermea by Nordik-Spa nature experience.

2. The Eastern Townships
A quick two hour drive from Montreal, the Eastern Townships is one of Canada’s lesser-known weekend getaways and one of its best. Book a night or two at theTravel Destinations in Canada quaint yet sophisticated Relais et Chateaux property, Manoir Hovey, and don’t miss their delectable cheese cart as part of their dining experience, which is just as popular as their lakeside view. For an idyllic experience, visit the Bleu Lavande lavender fields which are in season in July and August. The Eastern Townships is a nice complement to your time spent in Quebec City or Montreal.

3. Alberta
Not many think of the Prairies as a vacation destination beyond the Calgary Stampede in July; or Jasper or Banff for skiing in the winter or lakeside in the summer (make sure not to miss the stunning glacial lakes of Lake Moraine). Beyond the ski hills of Jasper, you can now visit the Glacier Skywalk, which hovers above the Sunwapta Valley along Alberta’s Icefield Parkway. There is also so much more for those who want an outdoor adventure in the province. For the family, follow the dinosaur trail in the Badlands, with a visit to the UNESCO world heritage site, Dinosaur Provincial Park, 200 km west of Calgary. And on the archeological theme, check out the Indiana Jones exhibition at the TELUS World of Science centre in Edmonton. Edmonton has become a cultural hub in Alberta and is an alternative to Calgary as an urban travel destination.

Travel Destinations in Canada 4. St. Pierre et Miquelon, Newfoundland
Newfoundland is quickly becoming one of the world’s best travel experiences thanks to Gros Morne as the default hiking destination, and a lot of press attention to Fogo Island for its stunnering scenery and luxury hotel, the Fogo Island Inn. However, not many know about the islands of St. Pierre and Miquelon, North America’s last piece of French territory. Actually a part of France, the islands have its own airport, use euros and is your chance to go to Paris without crossing the Atlantic!

5. The North West Territories
Yellowknife is one of the most remote destinations for some of the most idyllic Canadian adventures you can have like dog sledding; catching a glimpse of the Aurora lights; ice fishing, and hunting. Consider the Northwest Territories if you want an off-the-beaten path adventure in Canada beyond British Columbia.

We hope this post has provided you with some inspiration to get into the lesser known parts of Canada.

What are your favourite travel destinations in Canada?

Community Events, Downtown Toronto, Downtown Toronto Condos

Events in Downtown Toronto for April and May

April 22, 2015

Spring is finally upon us in Toronto as the weather has warmed up after a long winter. Here are our favourite events in Downtown Toronto for April and May that may be close to your furnished apartment, whether you are in the city for a short-term or long-term stay.

Events in Downtown Toronto1. Hot Docs (April 23- May 3)
Located across the city, Hot Docs is the Canadian International Documentary festival and North America’s larger documentary film festival. Films in over 25 topics are guaranteed to spark discussion and best of all, many of the theatres are in short walking distance to our downtown Toronto properties such as the Icon, the Element, and 300 Front Street.

2. CONTACT Photography Festival (May)
The world’s largest photography festival continues to excite and engage every May for the entire month. Pick your favourite exhibits and spend an afternoon with a friend, whether the photography is at a cafeEvents in Downtown Toronto or an art gallery. The May 1 Festival launch party at MOCCA is one of the highlights. The best part? It’s free and a great way to explore the city, even if in walking distance to your short-term or long-term furnished suite.

3. Canadian Music Week (CMW) (May 1 -10)
The highlight of CMW is the music festival which showcases some of Canada’s top talents in the music industry. Catch a show at one of the many venues across the city, a short stumble away from our downtown suites (conveniently located).

Events in Downtown Toronto4. Doors Open (May 23 and 24)
This is your chance to see Toronto’s historical buildings, many of which are normally closed to the public. Bring your camera to capture some fantastic architecture the city has to offer. Many museums and buildings are close to all of our furnished apartments and suites across the city, including our Midtown Toronto and Etobicoke locations.

What events in downtown Toronto are you most looking forward to this spring?

Business Travel, Downtown Toronto, Entertainment, Events, Family Vacations in Toronto, Lifestyle talk

Things You Should Know About Living in Toronto

April 17, 2015

Living in TorontoToronto is a great city in which to live (welcome!) and according to the Global Liveability Report (2014), Toronto has been recognized as being one of the five most liveable cities in the world. We have a rising economy, a good mix of nature along the edges of our downtown core, a good standard of living, and are one of the most multicultural-friendly cities in the world. However, as with other major urban centres, Toronto has its quirks that you have to navigate as a resident. Talking to our team is a good start to help you learn more about Toronto living. Here’s our guide to what you should know about living in Toronto.

1. Harsh Winters and Hot Summers
What you hear about Toronto’s winters are true: they can be extremely cold. Lately, however, temperatures fluctuate. One day the temperature can be a balmy 10 degrees celsius; another day, they can drop to minus 25 degrees celsius. Dressing in layers is crucial when living in Toronto. Equally, summers can be hot and humid and downtown smog permeates the air in the downtown core. Another reminder to keep your umbrella handy as Toronto’s rainfall has increased in the past few years. Having a humidifier or air purifier will keep the air fresh in your furnished apartment in Toronto.

Living in Toronto

2. Transportation
Other than driving, there are a few ways to get around the city, a very large one at that, and depending on where you go, it’s an average of 30 minutes to get anywhere in the city. The Toronto Transit Commission, also known as the TTC, is one of the most central ways to get around the large metropolis. It extends from Scarborough to Etobicoke (east to west) and Finch/Steeles to Union Station at Front Street (north to south). An average fare on the TTC is $3.00. If you’re looking for a quicker alternative, you can take a taxi in the city, with a starting rate at $4.50. Cabs in Toronto can be notoriously expensive so be careful. An average ride from outside the downtown core can cost $20 to $25. Uber or Uber X is also another alternative. If you are traveling to the suburbs such as Markham, Mississauga, or Brampton, the GO Transit system (via bus or train) will help you get there efficiently if you don’t drive. Prices vary based on your destination; however, an average price to Mississauga one way is $7.Living in Toronto

3. Rush Hour
Rush hour in Toronto lasts from 6:30am to 9:30am during morning weekdays and around 4:00pm to 6:30pm during weekday evenings. It is at its peak during 8am and 5 to 6pm, respectively. Traffic congestion is one of the major issues as Toronto has expanded. If you live downtown or near your workplace in one of our central locations, the best alternative is to walk or bike to work to avoid the crowds altogether. On the TTC, do expect to wait one or two trains, especially on the Yonge/University line due to congestion. Union Station is also in a state of significant transformation with new exits so give yourself time to navigate in the morning. Alternatively, you can commute in less peak hours to give yourself plenty of time to reach your destination.

Living in Toronto

4. Construction
Toronto continues to expand significantly as it has done so over the past 10 to 15 years. Over 100,000 condominium units are currently being constructed (source) and according to a report in the Toronto Star, our metropolis is home to more than 44 high rises exceeding 150 metres. As the city gears up for the Pan Am Games, you’ll see a lot of delays on major routes, the main one being the Lakeshore between Yonge and Spadina, which is slowly but surely improving in terms of development. Always map out your route and double check the TTC website before you travel anywhere in the city if you don’t know it well. Downtown, it may be easier to walk certain places than it is to take the TTC.

Living in Toronto

5. A City of Neighbourhoods
Toronto is known as a city of neighbourhoods (complete with our own toques!) and the best part of this city is feeling like you’re constantly a tourist, whether it’s trying a new, ethnic restaurant or going to a cultural event. If you like to be near the water, The Beaches, Scarborough Bluffs, or Lakeshore West might be good options for you. Downtown, you are close to the funkiest areas complete with shopping, restaurants and nightlife downtown or by Queen, King, or Kensington Market. Yorkville and Rosedale/Summerhill are a bit more lush. North York is right by the subway line with plenty of parks and dining options. For those wanting more family-friendly neighbourhoods, Roncesvalles, High Park, The Danforth, and Leslieville are great options.

Living in Toronto

6. It Can Be Difficult to Meet People
Living in a big and constantly changing urban centre like Toronto can make it difficult to meet people. The best solution to this urban issue is to join a club. There are plenty of interesting clubs out there depending on your interest. The Toronto Sport and Social Club is a great addition to your workout routine, or you could join a quirky club like an axe throwing league (yes, that exists!). Volunteering is another way to meet new friends while giving back to the community. Sites like Charity Village can help you find what interests you. Likely, there is a club for whatever your interest happens to be.

Of course, do check out any events happening where you can meet other residents in your DelSuites condo.

A big city like Toronto can take a bit of getting used to but once you settle into the city (and your short term rental in Toronto, which will make life a bit easier for you), you’ll find yourself calling it home sooner than later. Just make sure you pronounce it “Toronna” and not “Tore-on-tow.”