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Extended Stays Toronto

Feedback and Reviews, Lifestyle talk

Ten Tips for Travel Writing

November 20, 2014

Tips for Travel WritingTravel writing seems like a dream: you can travel to any possible location–your dream destination–and write about it! But it is also hard work and requires strategy, like any other job. If you are looking to take the next step in your travels and write about your journey, here are a few tips.

1. Travel! I know this sounds like simple advice but the best way to get into travel writing is to actually travel. Pick your dream trip and your topics of interest (this is key) and go on a quest in search of those topics. You’ll be surprised what you’ll find and who you will meet. When you travel your own way, your story becomes more interesting because it’s genuine.

2. Read. To be the best writer you can be, you must read. Whether it’s a guidebook about your destination/topic or fiction related to your destination, you’ll become more enriched in your trip by reading everything you can about it. Reading all types of genres also enriches your vocabulary. Read great travel writing if this is your chosen genre. By reading magazines or books like The Best American Travel Writing, you will get a sense of what a good story is and this could help you with your style or give you ideas.

3. Have a quest. When you pick a particular focus, this will help shape your story. Looking for a story in your destination and taking a vacation are two very different trips and unfortunately, often get confused with each other.

4. Try to pitch your story to a publication before your trip. Having a secure outlet or publication will help you with deadlines and also help you if you’re trying to find interview subjects for your story. Pitching your story will also help you focus on what your story is.

5. Observe. Take a step back and observe every detail when you’re on the ground. Whether it’s the cuff links on the waiter’s sleeves, the sound of someone’s voice, or the smells in the air, tapping into your senses will really help bring your story to life.

6. Ask Yourself “What am I learning?” As veteran travel writer, Don George, says this question is another way of asking yourself “what is the story?”

7. The Four Pillars of Engagement. As Don George mentions, these are the points of the story where you check in with your subject, with yourself, with your audience, and with your writing. What is your subject? Who are you writing for? Who do you want to see this piece? Why is this story personal to you? Is your story touching on these points? Is your story precise? Is your story meaningful? Does the story flow?

8. Keep a notebook and write during your trip. When to write will vary for everyone but writing down the details as they are happening or soon after they happen will help Tips for Travel Writingyou remember the vivid details that will make your story pop. When you are in the moment, jot down those notes. Having a notebook with you or an app like Evernote will help you with this. Use your smartphone to record conversations as well, so you can go back and transcribe them later. Try to make the time during the trip to write down what you have learned and try to write your story right after your trip so it is fresh in your memory.

9. Step away from your story. After you have finished writing, take a day or a few days to let your story breathe. When you go back to it, you may have a different perspective and you may also catch details that you want to remove or add to.

10. Kill your darlings. The editing process is an essential process of making sure your story comes together in the best possible way. The first draft will never be perfect and though there may have been a great anecdote or detail, if it doesn’t fit in with the overall theme or big picture of the story, as difficult as it may be, it must go. Get someone to read over your story and edit it and then go back and edit it again if you have the time. This will make your story stronger and the best possible version of itself.

Travel writing is about research, observation, and telling a great story. Hopefully, these tips for travel writing will help you in getting your stories –travel or non-travel related–published.

Community Events, Customer Service Experience, Lifestyle talk

Take Our Kids to Work Day with DelSuites

November 6, 2014

On Wednesday November 5th, Tridel and the Group of Companies participated in Take Our Kids to Work. All grade 9 students were welcome to our offices to experience a day in the life of an adult.

Take Our Kids to WorkTM is an annual national program in which Grade 9 (or equivalent) students are hosted by parents, friends, relatives and volunteers at workplaces across the country every November.

The goal of The Take Our Kids To Work program is to help students:

    • Develop an appreciation for the importance of staying in school and getting a high school diploma and pursuing post-secondary studies
    • Gain exposure to the skills required in today’s workplace
    • Develop an appreciation for their parents or relatives’ roles in supporting their families
    • Begin career discussions with adults about the work they do
    • Explore career options in a practical way

Yesterday marked the 20th anniversary of Take Our Kids to Work Program. DelSuites was very proud to take part in this program. We hope Nasim had a great day and learned alot from the reservations, guest services and marketing departments!

 

Insurance Housing, Lifestyle talk

Insurance Housing Solutions

October 24, 2014

Insurance Housing SolutionsSometimes, emergencies happen. Your home could have been set on fire or damaged due to a natural disaster (such as a flood, snowstorm, or hurricane). If you are insured, you may be covered for temporary housing depending on your claim. If you are an adjuster (claims investigator), DelSuites can assist with helping your policy-holders with insurance housing solutions.

Delsuites will provide furnished apartments in Toronto during these unexpected delays.

In addition to the benefits listed below, our apartments located across the GTA are in central locations which enable you to get to work or around town easily. Here are a few of the advantages for both the insured and adjuster.

Advantages for the Insured:
Insurance Housing Solutions • Privacy and comfort of separate bedrooms, living room, dining room and fully equipped kitchens.
• A turn-key home, complete with all utilities, furnishings and linens.
• A location right in their/or as close to their own neighbourhood which provides some sense of familiarity.
• Complimentary ‘Kids Care’ Gift for children ages newborn to age 14 to help them get acquainted with into a new environment
• Pet Friendly Locations
• High speed, wireless internet, residential telephone and upgraded cable services to keep in touch with loved ones and to ease their comfort.

Advantages for the Adjuster:
• 24/7 emergency housing with an immediate move-in service.
• The insured is met personally to help them orient and settle into the apartment.
• Monthly set rate, which includes telephone, laundry and parking expenses, normally charged at regular hotels.
• Book for a minimum of 30 nights with the option to extend for longer as needed.
• Pre-Approved Credit for All Major Insurance Companies.
• Hotel tax does not apply.

Insurance Housing SolutionsLosing your home — for whatever reason– can be a stressful time. Del Suites aims to provide peace of mind during these emergencies so you can rest assured that you are secure and able to continue with your daily routines as seamlessly as possible.

Contact DelSuites Anytime – Anywhere at 416-319-8884 or insurance@delsuites.com

Downtown Toronto, Food & Recipes, Lifestyle talk

Cheap Eats under $15 in Toronto

September 16, 2014

Cheap Eats in TorontoToronto can be quite an expensive city for standard of living, especially when dining out. However, with its multitude of ethnic eats and takeaway spots, if you know where to go, you can get some cheap eats for under $15. As many of these places are popular, try to go in off-hours on weeknights to avoid line ups and bring cash just in case. Here are our top picks:

1. Banh Mi Boys – With two central locations (Queen and Spadina; Yonge and College), this Vietnamese inspired joint is a quick walk away from your short-term rental or your go-to spot during your extended stay in Toronto. Though they’re known for their delicious banh mi, they have Vietnamese style tacos, and their infamous fusion-filled kimchi fries, which is the closest you’ll get to a replica of a Korean-style poutine.

2. Panago Pizza – For the times when you just want to stay in and relax, Panago delivers a variety of options for your tastes. If you want to pick up, there are locations close to our Midtown rentals as well as the downtown furnished rentals (300 Front Street West).

3. Fresh – Since its inception in downtown Toronto in 1999, Fresh has blazed the trail for healthy-inspired fare without the cost. With locations across the city, Fresh is close to the Republic building and the 173 Duplex in Midtown; and downtown furnished condos Toronto with locations at Spadina and Richmond and Bloor and Spadina. Large salads could easily be two meals for under $15 but the best deal here is the soup, salad and cornbread combo for $10. Whether it’s a meal or a smoothie, eat-in or take-out, you can call in advance to pre-order, as this popular spot is frequently busy.

4. Aroma – With locations across the city, including Yonge and Eglinton and King and Spadina (close to the Icon and Element locations), Aroma is your best bet for a grab and go lunch with a coffee or hot chocolate. Best bets: the salmon sandwich and chicken salad are both under $10 each. Bonus: you get little chocolate with your meal or your hot chocolate.

5. Cheesewerks –  Stock up on the comfort food of gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches and homemade sodas for under $10. Sandwiches have been named after different cities that are near and dear to the owners hearts. I’m a huge fan of the Los Angeles. Eat in or take out to your furnished condo at the Icon building located at 270 Wellington Street West.

6. Sense Appeal – Known as one of the best coffee shops in Toronto, Sense Appeal now has a gourmet-inspired lunch menu for those on the go.

7. Sushi InnCheap Eats in Toronto – You wouldn’t expect a meal for under $15 in Yorkville, but there’s a reason this joint is always packed. You can get 6 maki and a drink/tea will keep you satisfied. Quick service and turnaround so you can get back to your furnished suite at the James Cooper Mansion at Yonge and Bloor!

8. Feel Good Guru – Another option for the health conscious and located right across the street from Trinity Bellwoods Park, you could eat facing the park or take it to go for an outdoor picnic on a leisurely sunny day. Plant powered wraps and salads average around $12. Noodles and combos average around $15. Looking for a good juice? Those liquid substitutes will fill you up for about $8.

9. Seven Lives Tacos – This Kensington Market hot-spot is the closest you’ll get to So-Cal tacos for $5 each! Fill up on the famous Garbernardor (marlin and shrimp), or the grilled octopus. Cash only.

10. Pai – Chef Nuit Regular hasn’t slowed down since her departure from Thai restaurant, Khao San Road, over two years ago. Most mains average around $14, including her famous pad thai. A short walk from your furnished suite at the Qwest building located at Richmond and Simcoe.

11. Kanga –  Stock up on Australia’s national snack of miniature beef pies and its many variations at this new spot in the Entertainment district. The best part? You can buy frozen varieties of the Butter Chicken, Canadian (steak and bacon), and traditional pie to bring home to your furnished apartment in downtown Toronto, if you don’t feel like cooking!

12. Ghandi’s –  Gorge on the hefty portion of the Butter Chicken Roti for about $13. A true hole in the wall at Queen and Bathurst. Call ahead to order.

13. Caplansky’s – Zane Caplansky serves up some of the best smoked meat in the city. A traditional sandwich will set you back $8. If not at College and Spadina, check Twitter for the whereabouts for tCheap Eats in Torontoheir food truck, Thundering Thelma.

14. Swatow – Choose from over 28 varieties of noodle soups at this Chinatown institution. Recommended: shrimp dumpling soup and deep-fried salt-and-spice duck (which they call roast duck), and General Tao chicken. No dish is more than $10 each and if you come in a group, you can share among the different dishes.

Toronto truly is a great city to eat on the cheap and with this list, you now know where to go to satisfy your tastes! Enjoy a night out during short term stay in Toronto. Now tell us, what are your top cheap eats in the city?

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.