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Community Events, Downtown Toronto, Downtown Toronto Condos, Entertainment, Food & Recipes, Toronto Condos

10 Things to do in Downtown Toronto

March 20, 2015

Things to do in Downtown Toronto Downtown Toronto is one of the most vibrant parts of the city. That said, with so many choices of activities and restaurants, it can be difficult to know where to begin to figure out what to do. Here are our top picks of things to do in downtown Toronto, all close to your furnished apartment!

1. Eat! The quality and number of options of where to dine and drink in Toronto has ranked as one of North America’s great food cities. Our current favourites include Thoroughbred for upscale food in a casual environment, a great after-work option; Real Sports Bar, right near our 300 Front Street building is always a good alternative Things to do in downtown Torontoto watching the game at the ACC. Montecito is the new fancy restaurant in town, with a California-inspired menu. Thai options are readily available in the downtown core, including the popular Pai. For healthier fare, Fresh has a number of locations in Toronto (many downtown) and now serve cold pressed juice. Rush Lane is our pick for classy cocktails. For brunch, the Swan or the Drake Hotel never disappoint. Thor Espresso is our pick for grab and go coffee (and do check out their new location, Odin Hus, opening in Corktown in February. Little Nicky’s is irresistible for those mini donuts, and for your craft beer needs, Bellwoods Brewery on Ossington offers some of the finest in the city.

2. See live music. There are a number of fantastic venues to see live music, usually most days of the week. You will also get a senThings to do in Downtown Torontose of Toronto’s history through these old buildings. Massey Hall is one of those classic venues. On Queen Street, The Cameron House and the legendary Horseshoe Tavern are great for rock and roll and a cheap drink. Try Sneaky Dee’s on Bloor for a mix of concerts and dancing. For a more traditional experience, check out the Toronto Symphony Orchestra or an opera at the Four Seasons Centre for Performing Arts. Of course, if you want to see a big concert experience, The ACC or the Rogers Centre are your best bets.

3. Explore a new park. Toronto’s park system is expanding with the advent of the Pan Am Games. Downtown, there are a number of trails and parks near your furnished apartment or condo. Trinity Bellwoods is the perennial favourite, ideal for a downtown picnic and people watching. The Harbourfront Trail is a great option near the lake and if you walk or bike far enough, you can visit a number of little parks along the way. Further east, try Cherry Beach for its secluded spots near the water, but up the street near the Distillery District and the upcoming athletes village of the Pan Am Games, you’ll find the Corktown Commons, Toronto’s newest interpretation of an urban park with a phenomenal view of the city skyline.

4. Shop! Downtown Toronto isThings to do in Downtown Toronto our shopping mecca. You can check out our favourite stores for your Christmas Shopping needs here, though they are great shops year round. Our main shopping centre is the Eaton Centre, which is anchored by the Hudson’s Bay Company on Queen Street. King Street East is the main furniture shopping strip (you can go further west to the Junction for furniture stores as well). Queen Street is your best bet for clothing boutiques. Kensington Market is a fun area to shop for vintage. Ossington also has some interesting vintage finds. If you’re a book collector, check out some interesting bookstores like Monkey’s Paw on Dundas West and Type on Queen Street West.

5. Art Galleries We have listed our favourite art galleries in Toronto but it’s also one of our favourite things to do downtown. The AGO consistently has a number of thought-provoking exhibitions and distinct Canadian collections. MOCCA, the Museum of Canadian Contemporary Art, is a wonderful alternative if you’re strolling along Queen Street. Plus, it’s free!

6. The Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) Now into its centennial year (100 years!), the ROM has been a beacon of education and discovery for kids and adults alike. Make sure to take a walk along Philosopher’s Walk at the back of the musuem to the neighbouring University of Toronto after your visit and for a chance to gaze at the architecture of the Royal Conservatory of Music.

7. Ripley’s Aquarium One of Toronto’s newest attractions and one of our favourite activities for families, Ripley’s Aquarium will keep you occupied for hours. The dangerous lagoon is the highlight of the aquarium. On the moving walkway, you can get up close and personal with marine life swimming above you, including a varitey of sharks aThings to do in Downtown Torontond stingrays. The aquarium now offers live jazz every second Friday of the month as well as interesting events for the kids like daycamps, sleepovers, and a stingray experience.

8. The CN Tower Edgewalk if you’re a thrill seeker, walking around the outer edges of one of the world’s tallest towers will elevate your adventures to another level. There is no view like it in Toronto and you get a video and photo as a souvenir at the end of the experience!

9. Festivals and Events Year round, there’s always things to do in downtown Toronto whether it’s in January or August. Aside from the buzz-worthy TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival) and its neighbouring year-round exhibitions at the TIFF Bell Lightbox on King Street, try Hot Docs in March if you’re into film. Canadian Music Week and NXNE are a riot for music fans; beer lovers love the craft beer festival in January; and though sports fans are always at The ACC for a basketbaThings to do in Downtown Torontoll or hockey game if not at the Rogers Centre for a baseball game, the Pan Am Games will bring an extra jolt to the city this July.

10. Laugh! Canada is not short of incredible comedians. Check out Yuk Yuk’s where Russell Peters got his start or for a more participatory experience, try the Second City for improv just steps away from our central properties downtown.

Whether you’re in Toronto for a short term period or extending your visit to a long term stay, you won’t run out of things to do while you’re downtown. Have a great time!

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

Top 5 Things to do on Family Day

February 12, 2015

Family DayAs one of Ontario’s statutory holidays, Family Day is a time to connect with the ones you love. This year Family Day falls on the Monday after Valentines Day on February 16. Whether you’re hanging out in your furnished suite in Etobicoke or want to go somewhere nearby, here are our ideas on some things to do on Family Day.

1. DJ Skate Night. Harbourfront’s Natrel Rink is just steps from our 300 Front Street property and a great activity to spend with the whole family. On Valentines Day they are hosting the last of their weekend DJ SkaThings to do on Family Dayte nights and this event is a queer-friendly theme.

2. Get Away for the Weekend. There are tons of choices for great weekend getaways near Toronto in the winter (we wrote about that here!). If you want a soak not too far from Toronto, try the Nordik Spa at Gatineau Park, 10 minutes from downtown Ottawa. It is the largest spa in North America and features baths (hot, cold and temperate), 8 unique saunas, infinity pool, outdoor and indoor relaxation areas as well as a restaurant & lounge with terrace.

3. Play ToThings to do on Family Dayurist. Visit an iconic Toronto tourist attraction for the first time that you haven’t been to or look at it from different eyes the second or third time around. Check out our top ten things to do in Toronto. Toronto in Ten Photos for exploration inspiration is here.  Or you may want to check out our ten fun family activities in Toronto. Another option is to check out some of the incredible exhibitions at one of our many art galleries downtown and in North York.

4. An in-night. Sometimes, staying in and relaxing can be one of the most enjoyable weekends. Get a board game, order-in, have a movie or TV marathon, plan your next vacation, or oThings to do on Family Dayrder your groceries from Grocery Gateway to cook dinner for your loved ones. (It is one of the many services we offer.)

5. Specific Family Day Events. Toronto Tourism has a great round-up of events from iconic attractions and landmarks in the city. There are also a lot of things to do on Family Day in Etobicoke, Mississauga, Brampton, and Markham.

There are plenty of things to do on Family Day. Enjoy your Monday off with the people you love.

Community Events, Downtown Toronto, Events

Where to Watch the Superbowl in Toronto

January 27, 2015

Where to Watch the Superbowl in TorontoLooking for a Superbowl 2015 party in Toronto beyond your couch in your furnished suite? Grab a few of your friends or find new ones at one of these five places hosting some epic superbowl parties or stay in and grab a feast to take-home. What better way to discuss #Deflategate and cheer on your favourite team, regardless of whether the footballs are deflated or not? It is basically your excuse to eat some fabulous BBQ.

1. Real Sports Bar. The perennial sports bar for all major sporting events houses over 47 screens for your viewing pleasure. Chicken wings are the snack of choice here and Real Sports features over 15 different flavours. Take your pick! Reservations recommended for this special event.

2. Big Crow. In genius ideas, Big Crow has crafted up a Big Crow Touchdown BBQ fest for you and your friends. Ribs, pork n beans, fudge brownies and more are available for a minimum 5 person order at $32 per person. Make your order by Thursday January 29th, 2015.

3. Baju BBQ. Caplansky’s newest BBQ joint at the top of the Monarch Tavern is having its first annual Superbowl 2015 party and it features a tap takeover by Great Lakes Brewery. Come for the beer and the game; stay for the BBQ.Where to Watch the Superbowl in Toronto

4. Boots & Bourbon. Leslieville’s saloon, famous for its line dancing, is hosting its Country Tailgate Pig Roast and beer specials, starting at 5pm. Get here early.

5. Barque BBQ. If you’re in the west end, Barque BBQ has one an ultimate pre-order Superbowl menu, including a slider platter for 12 people.

Be sure to check out one of these fun venues on where to watch the Superbowl in Toronto this weekend.

Are you staying in to watch the Superbowl? Do you only watch the half-time show? Will you be going out to watch the game and socialize? Tell us your Superbowl XLIX plans!

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.

Photos