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Fitness and Health, Lifestyle talk

Top 5 New Workout Trends in Toronto

January 30, 2015

New Workout Trends in TorontoJanuary is the time of detox and new year’s resolutions. Though our furnished apartments in Toronto offer amenities like fitness centers and aqua spas, sometimes it’s a good idea to switch up your routine and try something new. Here are some interesting new workout trends in Toronto .

1. Indoor Surfing. That’s right. Surfing indoors! Since you might not be able to hit the beaches of Hawaii or Costa Rica, Surfset Toronto has brought the surfing trend to you on Yonge, just north of Eglinton (close by to our properties in North York). The surfboard -balanced on stability balls – is used for toning exercises influenced by yoga and pilates. Try out your best hang-ten pose in one of the most exciting workouts in Toronto right now!

2. Archery Tag. The new Archery District in Scarborough combines your secret loves for laser tag and the Hunger Games in one, sweaty and social activity. Take your bow and arrow after a lesson anNew Workout Trends in Torontod like the classic game of tag, shoot your opponent with foam-tipped arrows in over 5,000 square feet of astroturf. A perfect location to head on out to from your short term rental in Scarborough – The Forest Vista location.

3. Axe Throwing. As much as it’s a fun bonding experience with friends, it’s also a legitimate league (and one way to exercise those triceps). The Battle Axe Throwing League (BATL) has become so popular, it now has two facilities. Make sure to book in advance.

4. Branded Workouts. Big fitness corporations are aligning with local studios and gyms to capitalize on community. In Parkdale, the popular NTC (Nike Training Workouts) for women , at the Academy of Lions are fitness regimens led by world class trainers designed by Nike. Similarly, Lululemon has a number of community events on a regular basis led by their yoga ambassadors. Check individual stores for local events. Here is one example.

Workout Trends in Toronto5. Obstacle Courses. As an alternative to the Crossfit craze, obstacle courses are a fun way to get a full body workout without the military atmosphere of drills. Popular ones across the city are Monkey Vault and Alpha Fitness that will prepare you for the Spartan and Tough Mudder races that are gaining momentum in North America.

What is your workout trend? Do you prefer to work out in a group environment – game setting?  If you try one of these new workout trends in Toronto, let us know how it goes!

Family Vacations in Toronto, Lifestyle talk, Toronto Family Travel, Vacation Travel

The Great Canadian Road Trip Playlist

November 19, 2014

Canadian Road TripCanada is the ideal country for a road trip. Connected by the Trans-Canada highway, between British Columbia and Newfoundland, there is no greater expanse of road or great musicians to listen to along the way. From classic Canadian folk to more modern pop-rock and electronic-infused songs, Canadian musicians are just as diverse as each province. Below is our eclectic songlist inspiration whether you’re driving to another province or cruising across to a few provinces. If you’re in Ontario, don’t forget we offer the comfort of home away from home in our furnished apartments across the Greater Toronto Area.

Our Canadian road trip playlist is an assortment of some popular bands and indie bands and artists. We didn’t list popular artists like Celine Dion, Avril Lavigne, Shania Twain, Anne Murray, and Justin Bieber as their music is already well known. This songlist is in no particular order. You can also find the playlist on Grooveshark to add to your own collection.

1. Bobcaygeon by the Tragically Hip
2. The Old Apartment by the Barenaked Ladies
3. Comin’ Home by City and Colour and their cover of Kimbra’s Settle Down
4. Soft Offering by Hey Rosetta! (The video was produced on the stunning Fogo Island in Newfoundland and Labrador.)
5. I Feel It All by Feist
6. Closer and Body Work by Tegan and Sara
7. Red Barchetta and YYZ (for the drive from Toronto to Winnipeg) by Rush
8. Sunday Morning and Superstarr, Pt. Zero by K-os
9. Comme Des Enfants by Coeur De Pirate
10. Rebellion (Lies) by Arcade Fire
11. If it Feels Good Do It by Sloan
12. My Friend by Paper Lions
13. Good Mother by Jann Arden
14. Try by Blue Rodeo
15. Sundown by Gordon Lightfoot

Canadian Road TripTell us: what are your essential songs by Canadian artists for a Great Canadian road trip? What did we miss?! Do you have a favourite song on this list?

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.

Family Vacations in Toronto, Lifestyle talk, Toronto Family Travel, Vacation Travel

Tips for Travelling with Kids

October 8, 2014

Family TravelTravelling with kids can be an overwhelming experience, especially for the first time. However, it can also be a fun and rewarding experience to discover a new city with your family. Here are a few of our tips that will make the journey easier.

1. Prepare your child for the airport. As your kids may not understand the full experience of traveling, prepare them before the trip by reading books like “Airport” to educate and excite them about their upcoming journey.

2. Consider What to Bring, Flying Times, and Keeping Your Child Entertained on the Flight.
Being prepared can make the flying experience for your family easier. Have a backpack prepared with everything for the flight so it’s easy to find. Bring snacks that will take your child a long time to eat (like raisins) since in-flight options are limited or cost extra. Time your flights to your child’s sleeping schedule or try the red-eye flight. Consider buying a seat for your child, especially on longer flights for ease and comfort. In addition to having portable electronics amped up with your child’s favourite apps and games, surprise your child. Buy a new book or toy for the plane and wrap it up in tissue.

3. Consider renting an apartment, suite or condo. Though hotels have their perks, rentals can give you more space as well as the amenities or perks you may not find in a hotel. For instance, you may have a better supplied kitchen, watch movies without the pricey hotel tag, or invite friends over to dinner in your dining room. DelSuites is a great option if you’re in Toronto. DelSuites will help make the transition easy by providing a FREE ‘Kids Care’ gift for every child ages newborn to 14. Items including bath toTravelling with Kidsys, children’s books, playing cards, itunes gift cards and more.

4. Stay in an area where there is lots to do within walking distance. Being in a central area will keep you close to the action but nearby your accommodation. This will be helpful for those scheduled nap times and dealing with jet lag. It also helps if you are having meals at your short-term rental apartment for lunch or dinner. Location is key when planning your family vacation.

5. Get your child involved in the planning process. When considering activities, show your little one pictures of what he or she might like to do in location. Being involved in the process makes them more excited about the decisions they made. Look at local playgrounds, parks, and outdoor spaces. Not only are these a great way to see a new city like a local but also free!

Traveling with kids can have its moments but it can also be revitalizing. What are your tips for travelling with kids and your family? We would love to hear!

References:
Joanna Goddard – 10 Tips for Traveling with a Baby
Joanna Goddard – 10 Ways to Entertain a Toddler on a Plane
Oh Joy – Traveling Abroad with a Toddler

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

Art Galleries in Toronto

September 5, 2014

Art Galleries in TorontoIn recent years, Toronto has become a major center for culture. Centres funded by corporations such as the Four Seasons Center for Performing Arts or the Rogers Center, have been renovated or erected in recent years. However, you can experience culture, especially art, on a smaller scale in Toronto while on your extended stay. It is the smaller art galleries that may have some of the best and most local art out there. Here are some of our top picks of Art Galleries in Toronto:

1. Art Gallery of Ontario – Located in central downtown, the AGO is a nice walk from your furnished apartments in Toronto. In addition to one of the largest and most coveted Canadian collections (featuring the artwork of the members of the Group of Seven) as well as interesting and provocative exhibitions, the AGO holds interactive events every month such as First Thursdays and AGO Next (for members under 40). The AGO is also a regular venue for yearly festivals like Nuit Blanche. You can visit the gallery for free, after 5pm every Wednesday.

2. MOCCA, also known as the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art. Here you will find it tucked away just west of Shaw St. in the heart of the Queen West Art and Design District with the large mural in the parking lot as a signpost. The murals are created for the Scotiabank CONTACT Photography festival every year. Inside, find thought-provoking exhibitions in its minimalist space. It is a must-stop on your Queen West art gallery crawl.Art Galleries in Toronto

3. Angell Art Gallery – Jamie Angell was one of the pioneers in Queen West’s art gallery development. His gallery is one of the most eponymous and sets the standard for daring and original artwork by risky artists locally. Check out the video installation in the back as you continue along Ossington and Queen Street West for art gallery, restaurant and bar pitstops.

4. Koffler Centre of the Arts is a dynamic contemporary art gallery providing exciting exhibitions, and programs (educational and beyond). The gallery fosters new work by Canadian and international artists and for those who reside in a short term rental in Downtown Toronto. The Qwest, Element, Icon, 300 Front and James Cooper Mansion buildings are a short drive away.

5. Dadashi Gallery – Check out original oil and acrylic paintings in addition to sculptures in North York. You can buy paintings as well as furniture and rugs at this hybrid retail space. If you’re truly feeling inspired, art classes are available.

If you are staying in Toronto for an extended stay, art galleries in Toronto are a great way to check out the local culture and maybe even give you inspiration to decorate your temporary residence.