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Community Events, Downtown Toronto, Food & Recipes, Markham

Five Romantic Things to do in Toronto for Valentines Day, 2015

February 11, 2015

Romantic Things to do in Toronto for Valentines DayToronto is a chock full of places to get romantic but if you wanted to get creative, go beyond the restaurant. If you’re not snuggling up in your furnished suite in Markham this year, opt to take your date to one of these great events just in time for February 14 (or opt to go when there are no crowds!). Here are our favourite romantic things to do in Toronto for Valentines Day.Romantic Things to do in Toronto for Valentines Day

1. A Helicopter Tour. What better way to cozy up to your significant other than up high in the sky with a different vantage point of the beloved TDot? Toronto Heli Tours has special discounts for your special one for a private flight for two.

2. Paint! Maybe you were inspired by that movie Big Eyes. Or maybe you’re inspired by your lover. Take the inspiration to the canvas in this creative way for a date. Paintlounge has three different locations near our furnished apartments in Markham and Downtown Toronto. Their special packages for valentines run from February 12 to 15, 2015.

3. Board Games. Popular board game cafe, Snakes and Lattes has taken date night to another level with its second location, Snakes and Lagers. Board games, beer, and a speciRomantic Things to do in Toronto for Valentines Dayal someone. What better way to get to know someone (and how competitive they are!)

4. A Tasty Tour. What better way to surprise your sweet than with a sweets tour? Toronto’s only sweets tour, Tasty Tours, will help you explore the best places to get those chocolate truffles for your loved ones and are running tours on Valentines Day.

5. The Toronto Zoo. Not just for the family, the Toronto Zoo’s So You Think You CaRomantic Things to do in Toronto for Valentines Dayn Romance event has you discussing the romantic habits of animals over dinner (next year you can book the sold out dinner at Ripley’s Aquarium, another one of our favourite places in Toronto). This event is on both February 13 and 14, 2015.

What are your favourite romantic things to do in Toronto for Valentines Day?

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, 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.

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Lifestyle talk, Markham, Toronto Family Travel

Things to do in Markham

November 12, 2014

Located northeast of Toronto, Markham is a thriving, vibrant and multicultural community. Our Circa furnished apartments, located at Warden and Highway 7, are close to Unionville, Markham Centre, and the Markham Theatre. Here are a few more of our favourite things to do in Markham. For more information on special events, please check the City of Markham’s official website.

Things to do in MarkhamEat Delicious Chinese Food
According to the 2011 census, 32.9 percent of residents in Markham speak Chinese and 11.6 percent of residents speak Mandarin.
SOURCE: Markham Economic Profile (page 9).  There are a multitude of good quality Chinese and Dim Sum restaurants in the city. Some recommended restaurants include: Dayali Beijing Roast Duck, Din Tai Fung (a separate entitiy from teh popular Taiwanese chain), 369 Shanghai Dim Sum, Sun’s Kitchen, and Ten Ren’s Tea Time, Source: Globe and Mail

Rouge Park
This 40 square kilometer park extends from Scarborough and the Toronto Zoo all the way up to Markham. There are a variety of activities you can complete in the park from hiking, biking, and wildlife watching to canoeing and camping (in the southern part of the park). It is said that FH Varley, one of the painters in the Group of Seven, captured the beauty of the banks of the Rouge River in Markham on canvas.

Things to do in MarkhamPacific Mall
Known for its bargains and the chance to barter for knock-off items, Pacific Mall has become somewhat of a tourist attraction in Markham. With over 500 stores and a food court, hawking Asian street-food, this is a great way to spend the afternoon.

Explore Unionville
Unionville is one of the villages that encompasses the larger part of Markham. Stroll past the historic buildings, shops, old mills, and churches of Main Street. Many festivals take place here as well. For more information visit www.unionvilleinfo.com

Varley Art Gallery
The gallery honours one of Canada’s renowned Group of Seven Artists, Fred Varley, who lived in Unionville for many years. View historical and contemporary exhibitions at the acclaimed gallery. Explore new ways of appreciating art through dynamicThings to do in Markham hands-on activities, designed for audiences of all ages and interests.

Markham is a great alternative city to Toronto but close enough via car or GO Train. If you are living in furnished housing and here for short term, enjoy your stay and try out these fun things to do in Markham!

Community Events, Entertainment, Events, Family Vacations in Toronto, Lifestyle talk, Vacation Travel

10 Family Fun Activities in Toronto

October 31, 2014

When it comes to keeping your children occupied, you can choose from a multitude of family fun activities in Toronto. The chosen activities in the metropolis are all near your furnished apartment, with the exception of a few great day trips, that are must-sees just outside of the city. Here are a few of our favourite places to spend with your loved ones of all ages.

Family Fun Activities in TorontoRipley’s Aquarium of Canada
Ripley’s is an interactive and educational experience for the whole family. Discover over 16,000 aquatic creatures and be mesmerized by the the longest underwater viewing tunnel in North America. The daily dive shows are also a treat and may inspire your little ones to become a scuba diver one day. Special experiences include birthday parties and sleepovers.

Harbourfront Centre
Whether you’re visiting during major holidays or on breaks (March Break, Summer), there is always something for the kids to do here. Enroll your kids in a camp, a lesson (sailing, skating) or attend one of the many events here that happen every season. If you’re just taking a walk around the area, explore the fun, free structures around the area like the Simcoe Wave Deck. It’s right near our furnished condo at 300 Front Street.

Riverdale Farm
This free attraction can be combined with an exploration of both the historic Cabbagetown neighbourhood and Riverdale Park. Known as Toronto’s first zoo, it closed in 1974 to relocate to Scarborough. You can still see the remains of three of the original zoo buildings at the farm (Donnybrook Ruin, the Island House, and the Resident Zookeeper’s House). Not only is the farm and its surrounding area a great way to see the animals, it’s a great way to learn about Toronto’s history.

The AGO and ROM
Both the Art Gallery of Ontario and the Royal Ontario Museum offer a number of educational and cultural activities and camps for kids of all ages.

The Toronto Zoo
Family Fun Activities in Toronto Explore the wildlife and wildlife spaces in a fun and interactive way. Divided into seven zoogeographic regions (from Africa to the Tundra Trek), there are a variety of animals and geographies to discover with your kids. Features include the New Gorilla Climb Ropes courses, the Xie Shou Giant Panda Experience and interpretive centre, the Great Barrier Reef exhibit, and the Kids Discovery Zone (including a splash pad and bird shows).

High Park
As one of Toronto’s largest park, High Park offers plenty of family fun activities in Toronto. Walk around the park and bring your kids to the Jamie Bell Adventure Park across from the Duck Pond. Down the trail, the free zoo is an added bonus. The kids will love learning about the lamas, buffalos, bisons, deer, and peacocks on display. In the spring, the cherry blossoms are a scenic display for an afternoon walk.

Centre Island
This main island, located on the Toronto Islands, is a great day trip for your kit and caboodle. Although closed for the 2014 season, during the summertime, pack a picnic, travel on the ferry to the island, and check out the amusement park, Centreville, with over 30 rides, both land and water based. Nearby, the Far Enough Farm offers over 40 different species of farmyard animals and exotic birds on display. If your kids are a bit older, you can ride bikes around the various islands to the beaches and find those picturesque spots to view the city skyline. There really is nothing like the Islands on a sunny day!

Treetop Trekking
For the adventurous family who has the time to travel to the Greater Toronto Area, Brampton Park offers treetop aerial game and zip line adventures. Swing like Tarzan and balance on logs and suspended bridges in the popular zip line and aerial course tour; or zip on the various lines with your kit and caboodle. Older kids can participate Family Fun Activitiesin the night treks. Do check the minimum ages for each activity.

Niagara Falls
A great day trip away from Toronto, the falls introduces your kids to one of the wonders of the world and can be explored from atop or below through various tours like the Maid of the Mist or Whirlpool jet boat. Beyond the falls, there are a variety of fun activities like a bird kingdom, a butterfly sanctuary, fun houses, and dinosaur adventure golf.