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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?

Downtown Toronto, Food & Recipes

Top Food Trucks in Toronto

March 24, 2015

Food Truck 2015There is such a demand for food trucks in Toronto but unfortunately, you don’t see many of them around due to the city of Toronto’s strict laws. In April, 2014 city council launched the sale of 125 street permits for $5,000 apiece. Yet the allowance came with more rules: trucks can be parked for only three hours, they cannot be within 50 metres of a restaurant and only two are allowed per block.

Food trucks are trying to get around these rules and many cater, as a result. In the summer of 2014, food truck business owners came together to test launch a Food Truck Alley at Queen and Jarvis to bypass these fees, as per a report in the Toronto Star. But regular pitstops or a section of the city for food trucks in Toronto are still an uphill battle. Our favourite top food trucks in Toronto are listed here and many of them have been pioneers in the industry.

Most of these businesses have a truck as a compliment to their catering companies or restaurants. Many of our picks have also stood the test of time. Let’s hope we’ll see themFood Trucks in Toronto back on our streets more regularly. All trucks are active on social media and it’s best to check updates there, as noted. That said, other cities like Hamilton and Niagara don’t have these restrictions and have thriving food truck businesses. Check out the Ontario Street Food website for more information.

1. The Food Dudes. You’re likely to hear the blaring hits you’d hear at a wedding, thanks to this successful catering company that is now also an empire complete with a truck and other restaurants (Formerly Bloke & Forth, Rasa, and the soon-to-open, Junk). The menu is a cornucopia of favourites including Mac N Cheese, Captain Crunch Fish Tacos, and those delectable and gooey nutella bombs. Worth the wait.
2. Stoke Stack Barbeque. One of Toronto’s top food truck newcomers in 2014, the truck serves up Texas BBQ beside Zero Gravity Circus on Gerrard Street East and Greenwood Ave. in between its catering gigs. Aside from the BBQ,Food Trucks in Toronto look out for the loaded poutine, veggie tacos, and Schwartz’s-inspired deli sandwiches. Up-to-date listings can be found on their twitter page. They are also available for weddings and events.
3. Caplansky’s. Thunderin Thelma, Caplansky’s Deli Food Truck, serves up on wheels what Caplansky is known for: deli classics. Based on its twitter feed, the truck roams all over the GTA to dish up its famous smoked meat sandwich, BBQ brisket sandwich, and pulled pork tacos. If you’re hungry at lunch, this one is a must.
4. Buster’s Sea Cove. If you can’t make it down to one of Buster Sea Cove’s three locations (in the St. Lawrence Market, across the street from the market at Market Street Catch, and its newest shop on Bremner Ave), its food truck is on the road at various events. Though its a pared down menu of Ensenada-style fish tacos, shrimp tacos, and lobster rolls, the offerings are some of the best on the market. Check up-to-date listings on their twitter handle and for information to book the truck for your next event.
Food Trucks in Toronto5. El Gastrónomo Vagabundo. El Gastro, as it is affectionately called, is one of the most popular food trucks in Ontario. Though it’s not based in Toronto but in Niagara-on-the-Lake a(one of our favourite weekend escapes), the truck makes visits in the city for major food events and festivals. In Niagara, they are set up in the beer shed at the popular Niagara Oast House Brewers for the cooler months. The truck is known for its gourmet offerings including gourmet tacos, tapas, southeast Asian dishes, and garden fresh salads. El Gastro is very active on social media and will keep you updated on new events and dishes on their twitter and facebook pages.

The food truck industry in Toronto is in constant evolution. Though these are our top picks right now, we cannot guarantee that they will be around forever. In most cases, food trucks also operate seasonally. So get to your favourite craving, whether it’s on the streets of TO or at a summer event, as soon as you can! We suggest keeping up to date on which food trucks are on the streets on the official foodtrucks website.

Lifestyle talk

Things You Should Know About Working in Toronto

March 3, 2015

As Canada’s largest financial center and a population of 2.7 million (and 6 million in the Greater Toronto Area/GTA), Toronto is a vibrant city in which to work and live. This can be illustrated by the number of short term rentals DelSuites has, across the GTA, now currently ranked number one by TripAdvisor in specialty lodging in Toronto and fifth consecutive winner of the Consumer’s Choice Awards in the Furnished Condo Rental category. We have touched upon the quirks of living in the city but here are a few things you should know about working in Toronto.

1. Industries Working in Toronto
The main industries in Toronto are finance, technology, and construction. It is home to the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSE) and to the third largest concentration of private IT companies after San Francisco and New York. Due to the 2015 Pan Am Games, construction has boomed in the metropolis for building of facilities and condominiums. According to a report in the Toronto Star, the surge in new jobs has been in health care, education, public administration, trades, finance, real estate, insurance, professional services, scientific and technical services, transportation and warehousing, accommodation and food services, and information, culture and recreation.

2. Education
According to the World Atlas (2014), Canada is the most educated nation in the world. 51% of the population has tertiary education and most jobs require a post-secondary diploma or degree. Toronto has one of the most prestigious universities in the world, University in Toronto. However, education with co-operative education or practical work-terms are gaining in popularity and success to working in theWorking in Toronto city. Examples include: George Brown College (known for hospitality and culinary arts); Ryerson (known for its media and journalism program); Humber College (known for its Public Relations program) and Sheridan College (known for its animation arts program).

3. Unemployment Rates
As of December, 2014 the unemployment rate is 7.2 percent, according to Statistics Canada. The labour market is very competitive and should you move to the city, it is important to make sure you have savings in case your job hunt takes longer than usual (on average four to five months).

4. A Shift from Full-Time to Part-Time
As part of shifts in the economy, employers are increasingly hiring workers on a part-time or contract basis, according to this report in the Toronto Star.  This helps employers budgets by not paying for extensive benefits or pensions. As a result, many woWorking in Toronto rkers in Toronto have more than one job or are becoming entrepreneurs.

5. Networking
In an urban center like Toronto, where 40% of Canada’s jobs are situated, getting a job here is more about who you know rather than what you know with the competition of skills and education among its workforce. Networking is key, especially at trade conferences in your industry as well as informal meetups according to interest. LinkedIn and social media are also key tools for employers to find you.

To help you with your job search working in Toronto, do check out this section of job boards on the city of Toronto’s website in its Employment and Social Services category.

Etobicoke, Lifestyle talk, Relocation, Toronto Family Travel

Living in Etobicoke Toronto : Nuvo & Parc Nuvo

February 26, 2015

Living in EtobicokeIn the crux between downtown Toronto and Mississauga, not to mention just 15 minutes from the Toronto International Airport, our Etobicoke furnished rentals are conveniently located. Here are a few more reasons why living in Etobicoke Toronto are a great alternative to a hotel for a short-term stay.

1. Your ideal location for the Pan Am Games. The Etobicoke Olympium has recently upgraded its facilities as a training venue for the swimming and waterpolo sports at the games. Our furnished suites in Etobicoke provide close proximity to train. No need to travel more than a half hour from the athletes village near the Distillery District!Living in Etobicoke

2. Award Winning Suites. We don’t have to tell you we are known for our modern suites, and full-service furnished apartments with all of the bells and whistles (including 24 hour security and a satisfaction guarantee policy). People know us for our quality because we won the 2014 Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence. See what people are saying here. At the Nuvo and Parc Nuvo buildings, you get your choice of one or two bedroom suites in 22 story (Nuvo) and 36 story buildings (Parc Nuvo).

3. Full Service Amenities In addition to fully furnished suites (including ensuite laundry and a fully stocked kitchen), our Nuvo and Parc Nuvo location offer a 24-hour security desk, indoor swimming pool and whirlpool, billiards room and state of the art fitness facilities with aerobics programs. Our Nuvo property offers a Billiards Room & Virtual Golf Center, a Card Room with Library, a Party Room with FireLiving in Etobicokeplace, Kitchen & Bar, a Theatre Room, and underground, secured, assigned Parking. Our Parc Nuvo property offers an entertainment lounge with kitchen facilities, a party room with stylish bar, seating lounges, kitchen and private dining room; a boardroom, a billiards & cards room, a theatre room with large screen TV and surround sound; a rooftop terrace with BBQ’s, seating lounge and dining tables, and underground, secured, assigned parking. Both properties are your one-stop shop for entertaining or meetings.

4. Proximity The Nuvo buildings are within walking distance to the Kipling, Go Bus and Train Station (TTC). If you have a family, the suites are close to many schools in the neighbourhood. Major department stores and shopping malls like IKEA, Home Outfitters, Canadian Tire, Sherway Ghttp://www.delsuites.com/suites/parcnuvo-furnished-rental/detail.phpardens, and the Cloverdale Mall are nearby, as are entertainment options like the Cineplex Odeon movie theatre. Don’t forget to check out the variety of activities in diverse Etobicoke here.

5. Pets Allowed! Don’t want to travel without Fido? No problem! By living in Etobicoke in these furnished rentals, you are permitted one pet in your suite. In Phase Two of our Nuvo building you are allowed one cat. A reminder that all pets are to be leashed and carried through the Common Areas of the building at all times.

No matter the reason you are in Etobicoke, our Nuvo and Parc Nuvo properties offer the full-service living experience in the heart of the city. Enjoy your stay!

Fitness and Health, Lifestyle talk, Toronto Family Travel, Vacation Travel

Five New Trends in Travel, 2015

February 20, 2015

TravelIn the past five years, travel has made significant changes. We’re going farther to more adventurous and closed-off destinations; we depend on technology for our travel decisions; we’re focused on making healthier decisions to extend into those when we travel (and airports are taking notice); and we want more for less – when we fly and where we stay. Here are the some new trends in travel that you may see pop-up as the industry continues to change, evolve and make the process easier and more convenient for you, hopefully while keeping the price affordable.

1. Closed-off Countries are Opening Up One of the biggest news items of 2014 was that Cuba and the United States were restoring their relations with each other since the Cold war era. This means that travel restrictions could soon be loosened for Americans on a country that is one of the most popular travel destinations for Canadians. There is no prediction on how this will affect Canadian travel patterns to Cuba but here’s hoping it will be positive (if anything, hopefully, the food options will improve once the embargo is lifted).

Similarly, travelers are flocking to Myanmar since government reforms and the election of Aung San Suu Kyi (an activist of democracy and a Nobel Peace Prize recipient). An untrodden country is now open up to capitalism, so it will be interesting how Myanmar will evolve from these changes. Other countries that were feared by travelers from either politics, religion, or disaster like Iran and Haiti are getting a boost from tour operators like G Adventures as safer and textured places to travel.

2. Airports are getting healthier. Being healthy on the road has been an increasing trend over the past 5 years. Just look to SFO where you can take a yoga new trends in travelclass; and the introduction of a Goodlife fitness location at the Toronto Pearson International Airport (Pearson). At Pearson, healthier and more varied eating options are now available to improve your experience via some of the best chefs and restaurants in the city.

Roger Mooking just opened Twist, which features a comprehensive breakfast menu, a step up from that sausage on an english muffin you were getting from Starbucks for the same price. Freshii is a great grab & go option, which will help you hit the mark for your 5-a-day. For heartier meals -or at the very least, fresh meals try Corso for its pizza (from famed Libretto chef, Rocco Agostino) and Boccone Trattoria Veloce for great Italian food (from Mistura’s Massimo Capra). Also look out for new restaurants coming soon from Chefs Lynn Crawford (Ruby Watch Co.), Susur Lee (Lee, Luckee), and Claudio Aprile (Origin), where you will likely see hearty and healthy fare, global flavours and twists on airport food.

That said, if you want to chow down on a smoked meat sandwich from one of Toronto’s most popular restaurants, there is now a Caplanksy’s in both Terminals 1 and 3. Rejoice!

3. Premium Economy and Better Boarding Practices.
Getting those perks of business class – like more leg room, better meals, privacy dividers, and lounge access – for a price less than business class but slightly higher than economy class, is something travelers are willing to pay for, as reported by Travel + Leisure and Conde Nast Traveler. This is especially true for airlines that offer longer haul flights like Singapore Airlines, Lufthansa, Finnair, Japan Airlines, and New Zealand Air (search for their Skycouch). Just make sure to read the terms and conditions for refund policies (which are much more lenient in business and first class).

Boeing has recognized the increased need for better bins for carry-on luggage and has created Space Bins for its 737s. They feature more room for carry-ons (up to 174 bags, almost a 50% increase from its current capacity) and are now lower so it’s easier to hoist your bag up into the bin. Hopefully, it will be this trend and not “Carryon Shame” that people will discuss this year (which has its own twitter account).

new trends in travel4. The Accommodations Rental. Alternatives to hotels are getting more popular as travelers want to be situated in local areas but have the amenities and decor of a hotel room. With DelSuites, you’re in luck! Not only are our furnished apartments and suites situated across the GTA in central locations to get the best of a local experience but they are also have modern interiors and extras like stocked kitchens (plates, cutlery, cleaning supplies) and laundry facilities. Many of our properties also have state-of-the-art fitness facilities and some will have a pool (like our rooftop pool at 300 Front Street East across from the CBC. A full review is here). If you are in Toronto, it’s the ideal solution for a short-term or a long-term stay.

5. Giving back and back to nature.
According to the Deloitte Hospitality 2015 report (source: Responsible Travel) 95% of business travelers surveyed believe the hotel industry should be undertaking ‘green’ initiatives.

Awareness of sustainability is also influencing trip decisions to destinations where you can volunteer like Haiti or New Orleans. Travelers now want to unplug to new trends in traveldestinations where they can’t acess their wifi. National and State parks are a big trend in North America. Instead of big cities (where half of the world’s population lives), think of that road trip to the Redwoods National Forest in California, Oregon’s coast, hiking Machu Pichu, or walking along the Trans Canada trail in our home and native land. Closer to home, we have one of the most majestic parks, Algonquin Park.

Companies like Pack for a Purpose encourages guests to bring essential items to local communities who have development goals in their partnership with hotels. As a business traveler, this is a simple and small thing you can do to help developing cities and nations.

What are the biggest new trends in travel you think will happen for 2015?