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Business Travel, Customer Service Experience, Entertainment, Food & Recipes, Lifestyle talk

Tipping Etiquette in Toronto

September 23, 2016

Tipping EtiquetteIf you are visiting Toronto and you are from a culture where tipping is not the norm, you might be wondering what the appropriate local tipping etiquette might be. Who should you tip, and how much money should you give?

In Canada the tipping culture is similar to in the USA – tips are expected for many staff in the service, hospitality and food and beverage industry. Here are some important tips to keep in mind when it comes to tipping etiquette while visiting Toronto.

In a Restaurant

Unlike some destinations in Europe, a gratuity is not included in the bill at most Canadian restaurants. Instead, you should calculate approximately 15-20% and add that onto your bill. If the service was unsatisfactory, you caTipping Etiquetten give less and if the service was exceptionally good you can give more. You essentially tip based on the service experience.

Sometimes if you have a table with a large group, usually 8 or more, the restaurant will add an automatic gratuity to the bill. Some servers may rely on tips to bump up their wage and may feel frustrated by a large group who take a lot of time and effort to serve but don’t tip.

If you have a poor restaurant experience and you are considering not leaving a tip as a response, consider whether your experience was the fault of the server. If the food was bad or the service was slow because there weren’t enough staff, this is the fault of the kitchen and the manager. Consider asking to speak to the manager so that you can voice your complaints in a constructive way – you might even be offered a discount or a free meal as an apology.

Other Places to Tip

Tipping is also customary in other situations in Canada. You would be expected to tip your taxi driver, valet parking attendant, hotel room attendant, hotel concierge, hairdresser and manicurist. If you visit a spa during your visit to Toronto it is expected that you will tip your spa service provider around 10% of the cost of your treatment. Also, if you go on a guided tour and your guide offers you great service it is good to tip them around 10-15% to show your appreciation. When you are drinking at one of the many great bars in Toronto it is customary to leave around $1 per drink for the bar tender, depending onTipping Etiquette the cost of the drink.

In some situations, there will be a “Tip Jar” on the counter of a business, such as in a coffee shop, cafeteria and sometimes even in retail stores. However, in these situations the tip is optional. You can put a tip in these jars if you have enjoyed great service but you don’t have to – and it won’t be considered rude not to.

It can be tricky at first to remember who to tip while visiting in Canada, but if you are unsure you can always ask a Canadian friend or colleague about the appropriate tipping etiquette. Make sure to carry around a few small bills, loonies and toonies so that you have the right change whenever you need it!

Remember to tip on the sub-total, and not on the taxes!

Energy Conservation, Lifestyle talk

Ways to Be Environmentally Friendly in Your Furnished Condo

September 9, 2016

Environmentally FriendlyYou might think that any impact you have on the environment is pretty small in the grand scheme of things – so does it really make much of a difference if you try to adjust your habits? However, if everyone made some small adjustments then a big difference could be made. So, how can you be more environmentally friendly in your furnished condo? Here are some tips that you can keep in mind.

  • Open the blinds in the morning. It will let the sunlight in which will help to heat your furnished apartment in Toronto.
  • Switch to an environmentally friendly cleaner. It will ensure that fewer harsh chemicals are released into the environment and into the air you breathe. You can find one at a natural grocery store or even some of the mainstream ones – just read the labels carefully.
  • If you wash dishes in the sink under running water, you’re wasting a lot of water. Instead, fill up one tub with Environmentally Friendly soapy water (look for eco-friendly bio-degradable soap) and then one with plain water for rinsing.
  • If you use a dishwasher, remember that thanks to the modern technology of most dishwashers it is no longer necessary to pre-rinse the dishes before you put them in. This saves you from wasting water – because sometimes you use more water to pre-rinse than you would for a full wash cycle.
  • When washing your clothes, try to use cold water and only wash during non-peak hours, such as 6-8am or 8-10pm.
  • Only run a full load in the washing machine. You use the same amount of energy to power the washing machine whether you are washing a full load of clothes or a half load.
  • Use a drying rack rather than using the clothes dryer to save energy. If it is sunny outside, put the clothes on a clothes line – they will smell amazing if you let them dry iEnvironmentally Friendlyn the fresh air.
  • Did you know that energy escapes from your electronic devices, such as microwaves, televisions, video game consoles, and coffee makers, even when they are off and you are not using them? Use a power strip to plug them in and then flip the switch to the off position when these appliances are not in use.
  • When it comes to food shopping, try to buy from local farmer’s markets as much as possible. It reduces the carbon footprint because the produce doesn’t have to travel as far. Plus, it supports the local farmers and benefits the community.
  • When you get around, try to walk or take public transit rather than drive if possible. Toronto has a great public transit system that will get you to anywhere in the city.

These are just a few of the ways that you can be more environmentally friendly when you are living or staying short term in your furnished condo.  In addition, here are 5 ways to go green. These are small changes that won’t make too much of a difference to your lifestyle but when they add up they can make a big difference to the environment.

Announcements, Customer Service Experience, Feedback and Reviews

DelSuites Achieves TripAdvisor Certificate

August 19, 2016

TripAdvisorThe Tripadvisor Certificate of Excellence is an impressive accolade that is awarded to the best businesses listed on the review website. It honours restaurants, hotels and attractions that receive great traveller reviews consistently. There are many establishments around the world that have earned this award for delivering superior customer service and DelSuites is proud to announce that it is one of them for the third consecutive year.

DelSuites is thrilled to have qualified for this distinction three years in a row, which is a reflection of the fact that they have dedicated themselves to offering their customers an excellent experience. Cliff Norton, Director of Sales, states “It is very easy and common for a company to call itself customer centric, however, there can be no greater measure of being a customer focused company than actual customer reviews and an award based on their reviews.”

Qualifying for the Certificate of Excellence

The TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence is now in its 6th year. In order to qualify for this award, a business must have an overall Tripadvisor rating of at least four out of five stars. Also, it must have a minimum number of reviews in order to qualify, including a minimum volume of reviews that have been received within the last 12 months.TripAdvisor

Only the top 10% of the businesses on the review website qualify for this prestigious award. The winners include top notch hotels and restaurants from all over the world. Because the award is based on the reviews of the customers, it is truly a reflection of those businesses that go above and beyond to make sure that their customers have the best possible experience. DelSuites is honoured to be named among the other businesses that have qualified for this award.

TripAdvisor – Your Source for Travel Reviews

Kim 2TripAdvisor is one of the most valuable resources for travellers, as it allows users to view millions of reviews of hotels, hostels, resorts, tour agencies, attractions, restaurants and more. These objective user reviews allow travellers to plan their trips based on real experiences by other visitors. TripAdvisor was one of the first websites to adopt this model and it pioneered the way in user-generated content, creating an example for many other types of review websites that came after it.

TripAdvisor also operates more than 24 other travel brands, including Vacation Home Rentals, TravelPod, Airfare Watchdog, Cruise Critic, Jet Setter, Flip Key, Gate Guru, The Fork, Smarter Travel and much more. It is one of the biggest brands on the travel scene and the go-to place that travellers go when they want to read an unbiased review before booking a trip.

After receiving the Certificate of Excellence for the third year in a row, DelSuites will continue to go above and beyond to provide the best possible travel experience for its guests from all over the world.

View the DelSuites TripAdvisor press release.

Downtown Toronto, Entertainment, Family Vacations in Toronto, Toronto Family Travel, Toronto History

Toronto Art and Culture

July 29, 2016

Toronto Art and CultureIf your idea of the perfect day is spent within the walls of a museum or an art gallery, contemplating the creative works of humanity, then you’ll love Toronto. A destination in Canada when it comes to the quality and diversity of Toronto art and culture. There’s an impressive abundance of great museums, galleries and much more – so here are some Toronto art and culture attractions to check out if you are visiting and staying in your furnished rental. Or, better yet, be a tourist in the city you live in!

The Art Gallery of Ontario

Let’s start with the main art institution in the city – the Art Gallery of Ontario aka the AGO. It is one of the biggest art museums in North America and is housed within a cutting edge building designed by architect Frank Gehry. This impressive gallery features a collection of works that totals over 80,000, including paintings, sculptures, drawings and photographs by artists such as Richard Serra, Andy Warhol, Cindy Sherman and Brian Jungen.

Casa LomaToronto Art and Culture

Now a museum, this Gothic Revival house and gardens in Toronto was built as a residence for the incredibly wealthy financier Sir Henry Mill Pellatt in 1911. The castle-like architecture seems strangely out of place in a Canadian city and at the time it was built it was the largest private residence in Canada. Sir Henry imported several artisans from Europe to design Casa Loma, taking his inspiration from castles from across the pond. Take a tour of this fascinating building and imagine what life would be like enjoy its lavish excesses, including a pool, three bowling alleys and an oven large enough to cook an ox.

Angell Gallery

Since it opened in 1996, Angell Gallery has been known for representing cutting edge artists who take bold risks in their work. You’ll see a wide range of thought provoking work in several different mediums including painting, sculpture, video art and digital art.

Stephen Bulger Gallery

Founded in 1994, this gallery has an impressive collection of over 15,000 contemporary and historical photographs. Several international and Canadian photographers are represented, including Sunil Gupta, Pete Doherty and Jeff Thomas. Make sure that you check out the gallery bookshop, which has over 3,000 titles on photography.

Black Creek Pioneer Village

Toronto Art and CultureHistory buffs will love this historic village, carefully recreated to depict life in early Ontario in the 1800s. It’s an opportunity not just to see history, but to smell it, taste it, hear it and experience it first-hand. Within the 40 restored heritage homes you will find artisans and costumed interpreters recreating the lifestyle of the early settlers.

Daniel Faria Gallery

Located within a converted warehouse in Bloordale Village, Daniel Faria Gallery is a contemporary art space that has exhibited some of the biggest names in Canadian Art. The gallery showcases work from some superb Canadian artists including Kristine Moran, Chris Curreri and Shannon Bool.

These are just a few of the art and history attractions you can enjoy for Toronto art and culture.

Business Travel, Downtown Toronto, Lifestyle talk, Toronto Family Travel, Vacation Travel

Getting around by Toronto Public Transport

May 20, 2016

Toronto Public TransportIf you are visiting Toronto without a car – don’t worry. As one of Canada’s major population hubs it has one of the best Toronto public transport systems in the country. It’s quite easy to get from point A to point B while you are exploring Toronto, so that you can make the most of your time in the city.

Toronto’s public transport system is known as the TTC and it consists of a network of subway lines, streetcars, buses and rapid transit lines in a network across the city. Of course, if you have never been to this city before it might take you a while to get used to Toronto public transport. Here are some important things that you should know when making your way around Toronto:

Paying Your Fare

In Toronto you can buy a token or a ticket for the TTC at most convenience stores and subway stations. You will need to buy Toronto Public Transporttickets and tokens before you board. If you are boarding the subway for example, use the turnstile near the station agent window and drop your ticket or your exact change into the clear receptacle.

Getting a Transfer

It is possible to get a transfer, which you can use for another leg of the journey. Ask for your transfer when you pay your fare on the bus or the streetcar. Alternatively, you can get one from the machine that is located just past the turnstile in the subway. Make sure that you give the transfer to the driver or the station agent on the next leg of your journey.

You Might be Better Off With a TTC Day Pass

If you think that you will use the public transport system more than once for a day of exploring all over the city, a TTC Day Pass might work out to be a better deal. The pass costs $12 and it offers you unlimited travel for a full day.

Toronto Public TransportIf you are planning on spending the day traveling all over the city of Toronto and visiting several different locations this might be the best deal for you. Usually it pays by itself by the 4th trip. You cannot buy the pass from the bus driver, you will need to purchase it in advance from a convenience store or subway station booth agent.

What About Outside of the City Centre?

If you want to travel anywhere in the outlying areas of Greater Toronto, you will need to travel on Go Transit. The GO trains and buses depart from Union Station in downtown Toronto at several times throughout the day, so check to see which one goes to your destination. You will need to pay a separate fare for the Go trains and buses, they are not covered by your TTC tickets or passes.

These are just a few important tips that you should know when you are travelling on Toronto public transport. Of course, if you are lost or confused don’t be afraid to ask one of the friendly locals for help.