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Business Travel, Downtown Toronto, Entertainment, Food & Recipes, Lifestyle talk

Top Coffee Shops in Toronto

August 25, 2015
Coffee Shops in Toronto

Photo Credit: Sam James Coffee Bar

Sometimes, you need the professionals to take care of your morning pick-me-up, aka that really strong coffee or espresso to get you ready for the day. Even though you have a coffee maker in your furnished rental in Toronto, going out for a coffee is a great way to explore a new neighbourhood or connect with the local community. We’ve rounded up our favourite coffee shops in Toronto –  for both quality of coffee and ambiance.

Coffee Shops in Toronto

Photo Credit: Ryan Fung

1. Odin and Thor Espresso The Scandinavian inspired coffee house, Thor, located at Bathurst and Wellington near many of our downtown properties, serves up strong espresso and treats to go. It recently got a new sibling, Odin, in the developing neighbourhood of Corktown. Odin’s minimalist designed space is a treat for fans of architecture and of course, coffee. The difference at Odin, however, is that there are more food options as well as a chance to have a drink later in the evening. Watch their space for different events throughout the year, check out the new patio, or purchase locally-inspired swag.

2. Boxcar Social Over a year into the game, these coffee experts located in Rosedale have already opened up a second location in Riverside. What’s fun about this place is that their selections change all the time. Don’t know what you want? Try one of their coffee flights. Want to go next level? Try a whiskey and coffee flight. At night, their spaces transform into a wine bar. It’s a great place to work and socialize.

Coffee Shops in Toronto

Photo Credit: Ryan Fung

3. Tandem Michie Yamamoto, who used to work at Rooster Coffeehouse, has opened up this cute cafe with her husband in Corktown, just east of Parliament. For strong espresso shots, you can currently select from suppliers Pig Iron, Cut Coffee, or Detour. It’s a great pitstop to the Distillery District.

4. Fareinheit. Located on the edge of the Financial District, these award-winning baristas know their coffee and if you need to grab and go, they’ll get your expertly pulled americano or cortados with a smile. Try any one of their choices from Pilot like the silky Diablo beans or Ethiopian selection. Stay for the energy-inducing dance music.

Coffee Shops in Toronto

Photo Credit: Sam James Coffee Bar

5. The Common Now with three locations (it’s most central in the Annex), come for the $2 americano. Stay for the rustic atmosphere. Come back for the Rufino and Mountain View beans.

6. Sam James Coffee Bar Back when he was a barista at Hank’s and Dark Horse, Sam James has moved up the ranks as one of Toronto’s best baristas and making a name for himself with his eponymous cafe now with 5 locations. Serving the Cut Coffee brand, SJCB serves up espresso based drinks from macchiatos to mocha lattes. Every shop minus the Coffee Pocket serves rotating single origins as brewed drip coffee. If you’re on the go, this is your daily pick-me-up.

7. Te Aro One of Pilot Cofee Roaster’s cafes, the industrialized garage space serves up some perfectly executed coffee and is now known for Toronto’s best cold coffee. Te Aro is also the only cafe in Toronto that pulls coffee from a tap. Worth the trip to Leslieville to stock up on beans for your furnished rental or to sit with a cup in hand and watch people walking by on their expansive streetside patio.

8. Manic One of the pioneers in Toronto’s coffee scene, Manic still continues to pump out some of the best espresso in the city. They were also one of the first shops to perfect latte art. There’s no wifi here so it’s an ideal place to read a book or catch up with friends. They also serve gelato if you’re looking for something frozen and sweet.

Photo Credit :Rooster Coffee

9. Jimmy’s This tiny spot at Portland and King has become so popular, it now has three locations. It’s the place to get a strong cup of joe quick.

10. Rooster Coffee Not only does Rooster have one of the most scenic spots in the city to get your espresso at their Broadview location, they also have some of the best coffee. If you’re working or living closer to their King Street location, it’s a great place for business meetings or to savour over their custom Pilot blends or single origin beans. Stay tuned for a third location soon!

What are your favourite coffee shops in Toronto?

Community Events, Entertainment, Food & Recipes, Lifestyle talk, Toronto Family Travel

Our Top Five Favourite Summer Festivals in Toronto 2015

July 10, 2015

Summer Festivals in Toronto The summer season is Toronto’s chance to shine, and especially this year with the number of visitors touching down in the city for the Pan Am Games. While you enjoy your stay at one of our short term or long term furnished apartment, we encourage you to see a festival this summer. There are over 50 summer festivals in Toronto and they keep getting better each year. Here are our top five picks for July and August. Enjoy your stay!

Fringe Festival (July 1-12). This alfresco theatre festival is a cheap way to see performances in unusual venues across Toronto. It’s also a great date idea.Summer Festivals in Toronto

Way Home (July 24-25) Though not in Toronto, this music festival promises to be one of Ontario’s biggest, featuring artists like Neil Young and Sam Smith. 72 artists will be playing the three day festival amongst four stages. It’s a great way to get out of the city.

Toronto Food Truck Festival (August 1-2) A fun festival for the whole family, your chance to eat at Toronto’s favourite food trucks will also be an excuse to bike to and from Woodbine Park back to your furnished condo or apartment. Eating challenges, live music, Summer Festivals in Toronto and a children’s village will also be part of this tasty fest.

Summerworks (August 6-16)
If you missed Fringe, Summerworks will fill the void. The festival is a melange of theatre, dance, music, and live art showcasing Canadian and Torontonian curation.

Sweetery Toronto (August 15-16) Toronto’s first sweets festival features loot bags, pinatas, and so much more. The festival features advanced French Patisserie students from George Brown College, who will be preparing a sweet as part of their final evaluation, so it’s a great way to give back too.

What summer Festivals in Toronto are you looking forward to the most this summer?

Business Travel, Downtown Toronto, Toronto Family Travel

Where to Shop When Relocating to Toronto

May 14, 2015

Relocating to TorontoRelocating to Toronto can be daunting if you’re not prepared. If you are travelling for business and relocating to Toronto, and moving into a furnished rental in Toronto, you may want to add some personal touches to your home away from home. Here are a few of our favourite shops in Toronto.

1. Cambie
If you need to keep warm on your couch at night, we recommend the local shop, Cambie, where owner Camille Byrne has sourced blankets from Peru. Not only are the blankets gorgeous and a great accompaniment to your living space, you are supporting two local communities. Though the blankets are Cambie’s most popular selling item, there are other decor items to add to your home including rugs and cushions.Relocating to Toronto

2. BYOB
If you are entertaining in your place, the best place to source all of your needs for bespoke cocktails is at BYOB. From intricate glassware to beer kits and bitters, this place has it all for your party needs. Anything from BYOB also makes a great hostess gift (and is one of our top shops for gifts).

3. CB2
In close distance to our downtown properties, CB2 is a modern and stylish one-stop shop for all of your decor needs. There are a great selection of chairs and chaises to add to your living room, should you be staying with us long-term. They also have a great selection of affordable bedding and accessories.

4. Hudson’s Bay Company
Relocating to TorontoLocated right across the street from the Eaton Centre at the heart of downtown at Yonge and Queen Street, The Hudson’s Bay Company literally is the oldest shopping and trading post in Canada. The department is your one stop shop for basic decor and kitchen items as well as clothing and accessories. Everything you need will be here and an excuse to explore the Eaton Centre later on. Don’t forget to get one of their signature striped items as a memorable Canadian souvenir.

5. Kol Kid
If you are looking for bespoke toys, clothes, and other items for your children (from growth charts to decor for their room), Kol Kid is the place to go. In the heart of Queen Street West, this children’s store is a staple for stylish items for your kids and a Toronto treasure.

What are your favourite stores for design and decor in Toronto? Are you thinking of relocating to Toronto? Find out more information here on how we can assist.

Business Travel, Toronto Family Travel, Vacation Travel

Under the Radar Cities to Visit in the USA

April 14, 2015

Toronto is a great hub to our neighbour to the south but sometimes the more popular cities are just too…popular or expensive. While you’re in Toronto for a short or long term stay, we found these cities to visit in the USA that are quick jaunts which are alternative destinations to the more celebrated cities you may know and love.

Cities to Visit in the USA  1. If you like San Francisco, try San Diego You can still leave your heart in San Francisco but if you want a change of pace, go south of Los Angeles to San Diego. There’s tons of surf, sunshine, and fish tacos; the ideal combination for an idyllic getaway. As a stopover it’s much closer to cruise port destinations like Mexico. Plus, there’s over 90 craft breweries in the city. If you’re with the family, there’s plenty to such as exploring Legoland, the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, and whale watching (over 20,000 whales migrate here from December to April.)

2. If you like Nashville, try Savannah  though Tennessee is experiencing a Cities to Visit in the USA resurgence beyond Music City (we even named it one of our top destinations for 2015). Home to the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD), the city is full of design shops and good eats, just like Nashville. Affordable hotel and flight packages are also in reach so you can stroll amongst the oak trees and fountains, the ideal weekend getaway that may not be as busy as Nashville.

3. If you like New York City, try New Orleans We’ll admit that there really is no place like NYC in the United States but as an alternate destination full of great Cities to Visit in the USAfood, lively entertainment, great shops, and strong cocktails, New Orleans is a great second choice. Likely, it may be friendlier on your wallet and an opportunity to continue to support its residents 11 years after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. Check out its food and drink festivals like the French Quarter Festival in April; the New Orleans Wine and Food Festival, May 20-23; the Oyster festival on May 30, and the boozy Tales of the Cocktail festival in July, which attracts the nation’s best bartenders.

4. If you like Austin, try Oklahoma City Twenty years ago, the only thing Oklahoma City was known for was its downtown bombings. Now, it’s on the verge of attracting a similar young and vibrant demographic to Austin or Portland (Oregon). Artistic types will love the Paseo Arts and DeadCenter film festival in May and June, respectively, without the big crowds and high prices of Austin’s South by Southwest (SXSW) festival phenomenon. In late May, don’t miss out on the H&8th night festival, where live music and food trucks merge together for one night. And if you think you’re missing out on that famous Texan BBQ, chow down on Backdoor BBQ’s “Beastwich,” for fare compare. An hour drive from OKC is the BBQ ‘N Blues festival in Cushing, not something that would be unlikely in Austin. OKC may be the weekend escape you’re looking for this summer that’s a bit closer to your home away from home in Toronto.

5. If you like Portland, try Detroit Though Portland, Oregon easily wins our hearts for its enviable food and beer scene (and Cities to Visit in the USA  multitude of food trucks); easy navigation, and quirky characters, Detroit can offer the same experience without the plane ticket if you’re staying with us for a short or long term stay in Toronto. It has a thriving microbrewery scene; an art scene and many abandoned buildings that are great for photographers; and quaint neighbourhoods like Corktown, home to boutique hotels like Honor & Folly. Give it a try. You might be surprised!

What’s your favourite under-the-radar cities to visit in the USA? Where would you like to travel to in the United States this summer?

Business Travel, Family Vacations in Toronto, Toronto Family Travel, Vacation Travel

10 Things You can Carry on a Plane

March 27, 2015

Things you can Carry on a Plane Since 9/11, travel has gotten much more restrictive but it doesn’t mean that that are there aren’t certain things that you still can’t bring on a plane. The Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSCA) is the official source of what items to carry on a plane. Some are a bit quirky. Others are a bit more practical. When you are traveling, here are our top picks of things you can carry on a plane.

1. Axes. Looks like that Battle Axe League in Toronto is really taking off!
2. Breast Milk. Passengers flying with or without their child will be permitted to bring breast milk in quantities greater than 100 ml provided it is presented to the Screening Officer for inspection prior to screening. Gel or ice packs are also permitted.
3. Corkscrews. Without the attached knife, your corkscrew is permitted on your carry-on or checked luggage. Things you can Carry on a PlaneYour swiss army knife will likely be confiscated.
4. Cremated Remains. Cremated remains in a container may be packed as part of your carry-on baggage. The container, however, must pass separately through the x-ray machine. For more information, please check the special procedures in place for screening cremated remains.
5. Razor Blades and blade cartridges. Razor blades that are encased in their plastic holders (disposable razors and razor blade cartridges) are permitted in carry-on baggage.
6. Ink/Toner Cartridges. You can carry-on but surprisingly, not check ink or toner cartridges in your baggage. Note: Ink cartridges things you can carry on a planewith a capacity of 17.6 oz. (500 g.) or more are not permitted in checked baggage for all flights – domestic, U.S. and international.
7. Juice for babies and baby food. Other things you can carry on a plane are baby formula, food, juice, water and other baby items – these are allowed in your carry-on baggage or personal items. You can take these through the security checkpoints and aboard your plane. However, you must be travelling with an infant under two years of age (0-24 months). You may bring gel or ice packs to keep your baby products cool. All items including formula must be presented to the Screening Officer and will be inspected.
8. Non-prescription medication. These items are considered to be essential non-prescription medications. You are allowed to carry volumes greater than 100 ml (3.4 oz.) in your carry-on baggage. These liquids must be declared to the Screening Officer separately. Documentation to support your medical needs or condition is not required; however, if you feel that it would help ease your screening, it should be presented to the screening officer along with your medically necessary items.
9. Protein Powder
10. Syringes. Must be for personal medical use, and the needle guard must be in place. The person must possess medication that is to be administered by means of the syringe or needle and biojectors. To facilitate screening, CATSA recommends that the medication be properly labelled (professionally printed label identifying the medication or a manufacturer’s name or pharmaceutical label – For more information, click here.

What are your essential items for carrying on a plane?