Community Events, Downtown Toronto, Entertainment, Food & Recipes, Lifestyle talk

Top Food and Drink Festivals in Toronto

December 17, 2014

food and drink festivals in torontoIn the past couple of years, Toronto has become a destination for food and drink enthusiasts. In addition to the number of innovative and ethnic offerings available (not to mention those cheap eats), there have been just as many creative food festivals and events. Here are a few of our favourite food and drink festivals in Toronto that’s happening this holiday season into 2015:

Drake Does Chrismukkah
December 19, 2014 6pm
Before the Christmas crunch, feast on the best of various cultural traditions of the holiday season at The Drake Hotel. The hearty meal (including prime rib, yorkshire pudding, latkes, and apple crumble among the samplings) is only $29.95. Reserve in advance before December 19 to participate in this cheerful occasion.

Guest Chef Pop-Up Series at Drake One Fifty
January 20-21, 2015
This fun injection of the Drake Hotel in the heart of Toronto’s Financial District hosts some of the best chefs from North America and beyond. The first pop-up dinner of 2015 will feature a Portuguese fusion menu from David Santos, ex Per Se, and now of Louro in NYC.

Roundhouse Winter Craft Beer Festival
January 31, 2015 11am-5pm
Just steps away from our 300 Front Street property, sample craft brew from over 20 breweries at the Winter Craft Beer Festival. Hosted by the Steam Whistle Bfood and drink festivals in torontorewery and just outside its doors at the Roundhouse Park, warm up over the outdoor fires with beer in glass sample mugs from great breweries like Oast House Brewers, Flying Monkeys, and Lake of Bays. Food trucks will also be on site if you get hungry. The first 500 attendees at the gates will get a free festival toque.

Recipe for Change 2015
February 26, 2015, 6-9pm
Recipe for Change is FoodShare Toronto’s annual fundraiser for innovative school food programs and sustainability within the food industry. This party brings together over 30 exciting chefs, two craft brewers and four wineries at the historic St. Lawrence Market. It’s a fun party for a great cause.

Whether you’re in town for a quick visit or on business, or you are staying in a furnished apartment rental or suite for the long term, these festivals are a tasty way to stay warm throughout the winter.

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.