Community Events, Downtown Toronto, Toronto History

Toronto in the 1970s

December 12, 2014

Toronto PanoramaSome Torontonians joke that many of the buildings in Toronto look like they are from the 1970s and it’s because they were. Toronto in the 1970s was one that set up its future, now a construction boom of modern glass and steel buildings.

Many of our most recognizable landmarks were built in the 1970s. The Eaton Centre, the CN Tower, Ontario Place (under a current transformation of revitalization), and the Toronto Reference Library (also recently renovated in parts) are the buildings we know and love from this era.

It’s hard to believe now but Yorkville in the 60s was the hippie capital of Toronto, where legends like Joni Mitchell and Neil Young were singing in coffee houses through those brick-laned alleys. Toronto in the 1970s ushered in its change to its tony status today with the introduction of high-end retailers such as Holt Renfrew and Harry Rosen in addition to art galleries and cafes. High-rise office towers replaced the low-rise buildings at major intersections.Toronto in the 1970s

The Yorkville scene of folk music was being ushered out and the rising scene of rock and roll and punk on Queen Street West was gaining prominence. Bands like the Rolling Stones were playing at notable venues like the now historic venue, the El Mocambo.

As writer, Shawn Micallef, notes, “Torontonians generally like their public areas all on one level and in a straight line in contrast to Asian cities like Hong Kong, where street life can easily rise many floors above the sidewalk.” Despite our underground pathways and current consistent construction, this trend hasn’t really changed.

Check out this collection of photos of Toronto in the 1970s here.

 

Community Events, Lifestyle talk, Toronto History

Toronto in the 1950s

December 10, 2014

Toronto in the 1950s The Toronto in the 1950s was still growing and pre-dated the era of skyscrapers which started to boom in the 1960s. After the Second World War, many British children were sent to Toronto for safety while their fathers were in the war. The city continued to expand into the suburbs and it was officially a major city in this era. A mark of Toronto’s prosperity was the construction of the Yonge Subway–it opened to the public in 1954– and a highway to the suburbs, which were located in Don Mills, at the time.

With the end of the war and the repeal of the Chinese Exclusion Act in 1947 (LINK TO 1920s post here), Toronto boomed and made way for an influx of immigrants. Germans, Italians, and Eastern Europeans were our first major wave of our multicultural community. British immigration was on the decline by 20 percent. This pattern continued into the 1960s, with an exotic mix of newcomers including more Europeans, West Indians, South Asians, and Vietnamese.

Residents moved back downtown from the suburbs in the 1960s and this is when the core started to thrive. Yorkville was not the tony neighbourhood of affluent people it is now. Rather, it was the hippie capital of the metropolis, chock full of coffeehouses where legends like Joni Mitchell and Gordon Lightfoot performed.

Though Toronto in the 1950s might have not been as exciting as the Toronto of other eras, it was still a definitive period of the growth of our urban landscape, which thrived into the 60s and 70s.

Photos

 

Community Events, Lifestyle talk, Toronto History

Toronto in the 1920s

December 5, 2014

Toronto in the 1920sIf you take a look at Toronto’s skyline today, it is hard to imagine what it was like back in the 1920s when there wasn’t a skyline along Lake Ontario. Toronto was a port city and became the chief aviation centre for Canada during the first World War.

Its mining boom fueled Bay Street, renowned as being the centre of the city’s financial district. An influx of immigrants were starting to settle here, mainly from the British Empire. Far from being the multicultural and diverse metropolis it is today, there was a lot of hostility towards immigrants. The most famous example of this was the Chinese Immigration Act, better known as the Chinese Exclusion Act. Chinese immigrants were denied entry into the country from 1923 until 1947. Into the 1930s, discrimination continued for other immigrants including the Jews, at the height of the Great Depression. People were still coming to the town known as Muddy York and it’s population doubled to over a half million in the 1920s from its previous decade.

Another law passed in Ontario was the Ontario Temperance Act in 1916. The law prohibited the sale of alcohol in the province but smugglers were still importing alcohol illegally. Prohibition also increased drug use in Ontario, notably morphine. The Act was discharged in 1927.

Notable landmarks were built in Toronto in the 1920s. Though the area down by Lakeshore west is home to Sunnyside Pavillion and entertainment venue Palais Royale, in the 1920s Sunnyside Beach was the site for the Sunnyside Amusement Park, which opened on June 28,1922. Our main train station, Union Station, which transports passengers within Canada, opened on August 6, 1927. The TTC –the Toronto Transit Commission–opened in 1921 and was created as a result of a referendum. Its first streetcar was erected onto city streets the same year.

Toronto was far from the thriving metropolis it is today but it in the 20s, it was on its way.

Business Travel, Customer Service Experience, Downtown Toronto, Feedback and Reviews, Insurance Housing, Relocation

DelSuites Review: 300 Front Street West

December 3, 2014

Our resident blogger, Natalie Taylor, recently stayed at our 300 Front Street West location. Here’s what she had to say.

300 Front Street WestYou never know when you’re going to need an apartment until you least expect it. In my case, my home is undergoing renovations and I needed an alternative place to stay. Luckily, DelSuites invited me to stay at their newest furnished rental at 300 Front Street West. Before I got into the building, I was impressed by its location. Located at the corner of Front and John, the condominium is across from CBC’s headquarters, a ten minute walk from Union Station and five minutes from the trendy King Street West strip at King and Spadina. On the weekends, you can walk over to the Rogers Centre for a game or a concert; or walk over to the ferry terminal to explore the Toronto Islands. In the detailed booklet provided on the living room table, there are recommendations for local activities, services, and how-to’s for TV repair, garbage instructions, etc.

The building is very secure and you need key access to get into the building. The concierges are friendly, helpful, and 300 Front Street Westavailable 24 hours. Once I got into the apartment, I immediately felt at home. Everything is not only furnished but nicely decorated in a modern and minimalist style and it all felt so comfortable. From the modern artwork and orchid in the living room to the rock and grass filled glass vases in the dining room, I have gotten some inspiration to decorate my renovated space at home. The separated desk area was ideal to get work done. After a long day, it was nice to kick back and watch the Food Network under a provided blanket on the sophisticated yet soft couch. The bedroom is a private oasis and also has a TV if you want to watch a movie late night under the covers. One of my favourite features in the bedroom was the option to open up the screened lower window to the balcony for fresh air. Usually most condos are enclosed glass cases so this was a welcome attribute!

300 Front Street WestI was surprised at all of the little details that were provided in the kitchen, especially. Utensils, plates, cups, bowls, baking items (mixers, baking sheets), a kettle, bowls, dish soap, dishwashing detergent, and towels are all available so you don’t have to worry about buying cooking equipment. I didn’t have to bring anything with me! I think my favourite feature had to be the red magnetic cabinets that close on their own. All you have to do is push the door.

The bathroom was just as relaxing. An advanced shower head has a massage feature, and there are plenty of extras like towels and toilet paper so you don’t have to call on housekeeping (which is provided once a week). DelSuites even provides you with a shower kit filled with shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, soaps, and body lotion. They even provide a bathrobe for you in the bedroom closet, which I now want to purchase for myself. In that sense, it felt close to staying in the hotel. That said, you don’t have to pay for any laundry service because there is a washer and dryer (with a starter laundry detergent kit provided) available for your use right beside the bedroom.

300 Front Street WestThe balcony was also another favourite feature of mine. Not only could I get a birds eye view of the pool area but I was face to face with Toronto’s icon, the CN Tower. As a local, there’s something that makes me feel proud about that. The recreation area, complete with a pool, cabana, billiards area, and fully equipped fitness area (including yoga and spinning rooms) added to the impressiveness of my stay.

DelSuites furnished apartments and suite rentals took care of all of the small details. I have never felt more at home at 300 Front Street West! Whether you’re in town for business, or are displaced and covered by insurance, they are their to take care your living needs.

Community Events, Etobicoke, Events, Lifestyle talk, Toronto Family Travel, Vacation Travel

Things to do in Etobicoke

November 28, 2014

Bordered by Lake Ontario to the South and Steeles Avenue to the north; Mississauga and the Pearson International Airport to the west and by the Humber River to the east, Etobicoke still remains a large and distinct part of Toronto, even though it has been part of the amalgamated metropolis since 1998. Two of our properties, the Nuvo and Parc Nuvo, are located right near the subway, GO stations, and highway. There are a multitude of things to do in Etobicoke and close to your furnished apartment.

Things to do in Etobicoke1. Ski and Snowboard at Centennial Park.
Formerly known for being one of the best hills to toboggan in the GTA, it was recently deemed too dangerous. However, take your skis and snowboard to the hill, get a day pass or lessons. You don’t have to leave the city to discover the hills.

2. Famous People Players Theatre
This is dinner and a show with a twist. Not only is the show done in black light with the colourful characters showcased against the darkness; the people behind the puppets at this non-profit are all developmentally challenged. The company is now in its 40th year of entertaining audiences and worth the trip.

3. Via Allegro. Things to do In Etobicoke
This Italian restaurant is known for one of the greatest wine cellars in the world (there are over 5,000 wines to choose from!). This is a great pick for a decadent night out or a special occasion.

4. Colonel Sam Smith Skating Trail
The first of its kind in Toronto, this 250 metre ice skating trail is comprised of two figure eights or circles that wind through Colonel Samuel Smith Park (which is just as lovely in the summertime). Lace up at the Power House Recreation Centre, which historically provided heat to the local Lunatic Asylum where Humber College is now situated. The rink is open seven days a week, from 9am to 10pm. Please note that there are no skate rentals available.

Things to do in Etobicoke5. The Old Mill
The Old Mill is the historic inn that caters to all types of tastes and activities. Whether you’re looking to have their famous afternoon tea, relax with girlfriends for a spa weekend, listen to some jazz on a Friday night, or are having an event like a wedding (with spectacular photos) to match, the Old Mill is the ideal location for it all.

6. Ribfest!
This is one of Etobicoke’s most famous summer festivals. Sample over 16 different suppliers of ribs, bring out the kids for play, and listen to some music while you chow down at Centennial Park.

7. Etobicoke Olympium  Things to do in Etobicoke
This multi-purpose exercise centre is getting a lot of buzz with its $20 million renovation in advance of the 2015 Pan Am Games that will make this a world class facility once complete. It features competitive pools, diving boards, a 13,200 square foot double gymnasium, and exercise and training centre.

8. Sushi Kaji
Known as one of the best Japanese restaurants in Toronto, if not one of the best restaurants in the metropolis, do not be deceived by its location in a strip mall. All fish is imported from Tokyo Bay. Particular about its quality, Sushi Kaji only offers tasting menus and seats 30 for each service. It is best to make a reservation in advance.

9. Sherway Gardens.
This upscale shopping centre has over 200 stores including department stores, Holt Renfrew and The Bay.

Etobicoke has no shortage of fun activities. Check out 365 etobicoke for more fun things to do in Etobicoke.