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Toronto Neighbourhood: Little Italy

November 17, 2017

Little ItalyLittle Italy

Also referred to as College Street West, Little Italy is known for it’s superb Italian-Canadian restaurants. During the weekends the streets are buzzing with visitors and locals dining on the outdoor patios. The Italian trattorias have a casual, family-friendly vibe and they are all about good, traditional recipes cooking with fresh ingredients.

Little Italy isn’t a 100% Italian neighbourhood – while there is a strong Italian community there is also a significant Portuguese population located around the Portugal Village shopping centre and the First Portuguese Canadian Cultural Centre.

Must Visit Spots in Little ItalyLittle Italy

  • La Forchetta Ristorante is the classic Italian dining experience, with pasta and meat dishes originating in the Old Country. Plus – they have a superb wine list to pair with your entree.
  • If you are into live music there are a lot of great places to check out in Little Italy, including the Mod Club or the basement of Nightowl.
  • Check out Cafe Diplomatico. Known as “The Dip” by locals, this coffee shop and restaurant has become an institution for caffeine fiends in Toronto. It also serves up all of the Italian classics including paninis, pizzas and more. If it looks familiar to you, it’s because filmmakers often use it as a set.
  • Rita’s Italian Ice serves up delicious frozen treats in a ton of different flavours – the ultimate treat for a warm day.
  • Check out the Italian Walk of Fame – where stars line the sidewalk with the names of famous Italian Canadians.

History

Large numbers of Italian immigrants came to Toronto in the early 20th century, settling in the area around College Street in the affordable Edwardian homes there. Most found work on the railways or in road construction and many started businesses in the area.

It was during the 1920s that Little Italy really became recognized as the commercial and residential centre of the Italian community in Toronto. These days the area is home to the largest Italian Little Italycommunity that is located outside of Italy and it is a popular area of the city for visitors to explore.

How to Get There

It’s quite simple to get here via the TTC. You can arrive from Queens Park or start from College Station on the Yonge-University-Spadina Line. Then, from there you can catch the 506 Carlton streetcar towards High Park traveling west on College Street. You can disembark anywhere between Bathurst Street and Ossington Avenue.

You can also travel from Bathurst Station on the Bloor-Danforth Line. When you exit, catch the 511 Carlton Towards Exhibition streetcar traveling south on Bathurst Street. You can disembark at College Street West. Exploring this street on foot is a delight, give yourself plenty of time to dip into the little shops and cafes to sample what they have to offer.

What’s your favourite Little Italy spot? Let us know in the comments below.

Business Travel, Corporate Housing

How to Make Your Relocation Run Smoothly

October 25, 2017

RelocationWhether you are relocating for professional opportunities, being prepared for the move can make the transition much less stressful.  Here are some tips to keep in mind that will make your relocation go more smoothly.

Consider a Relocation Package

If you are moving for work, your company may have a relocation package which can be a big help. These packages may include temporary housing, a city orientation, education, government registration, health care, moving services and other services to help you get settled in. These services can even help you to set up things such as car insurance, banking, cable and television providers and more. It really helps to have support on your side when you are undergoing a relocation.

City Orientation

One of the first steps will be to get yourself oriented in your new home. Many relocation packages will include a city orientation which will give you an overview of the city and help you to get your bearings. You’ll learn about how the city is laid out, how public transport works and where important amenities are located.  This will also help you to determine where in the city you want to base yourself. You can figure out the best location that is close to schools, shopping malls and your place of work, while still within your price range.relocation

Government Registration and Immigration

If you are relocating to another country you will need to go through the immigration process. This will require a lot of official documents, such as birth certificates, work permits and other legal paperwork.  If documents need to be authenticated, it is easier to arrange this before moving. A relocation service can also assist with organizing this documentation and making sure every box is ticked.

Temporary Housing

Finding the right place to live before you move to a new country can be difficult. You may need to base yourself somewhere for the short term while you do your research and shop around for a home. Temporary housing for relocations, such as the apartments offered by DelSuites, are very convenient and much more economical than a hotel. Look for a short stay property near your place of work to save time.

HealthcareRelocation

It’s also very important to think about healthcare and how you will access it in your new location. Will you be covered by the health insurance provided by your employer? You should also register with a dentist and a doctor near where you live – before you fall ill.

School/Education Services

If you are traveling with children you’ll also want to consider where they will be going to school. Do some research into the schools in the area to determine which one will be the best fit for their educational needs. Here’s a few great tips for finding the best schools for your kids when you move.

The most important tip when relocating? Take a deep breath and stay calm. It’s a big task but if you approach it one step at a time you will get it done.

Downtown Toronto, Family Vacations in Toronto, Fitness and Health, Lifestyle talk, Toronto Entertainment, Toronto Family Travel

Outdoor Toronto Swimming Pools To Enjoy

June 23, 2017

Toronto Swimming PoolsPack your towel, sunscreen, a good book and your favourite swimsuit and spend the afternoon soaking up the rays and splashing around at one of these great Toronto swimming pools. They are the perfect place to chill out on a hot day.

If you are not from Canada you might find it strange that we have so many outdoor pools even though we can only use them for a portion of the year. However, it’s the long cold winters that really make Canadians appreciate and enjoy the summer months so much more.

Alex Duff Christie Pits – Toronto Swimming Pools

This swimming pool is popular with both families and young hipsters and it features a 25m pool, a kid’s pool and an enormous hot tub. Also, you can enjoy the thrill of hurling yourself down the two storey waterslide to splash into the pool below. There is also a diving board iboard in the big pool, so you can dive and cannonball again and again.

Gus Ryder Sunnyside

This 25 metre swimming pool has stunning views of the Toronto waterfront and skyline. Plus, if your goal is to get in shape they offer offer Aquafit lessons, so that you can burn some calories

Toronto Swimming Pools

while you cool down. The surroundings of this lovely park include lots of sand and trees, so if you use your imagination you could almost pretend you are at a tropical resort.

Alexandra Park

This chilled out 2.7 hectare park offers more than just a swimming pool. It also has a picnic area, a ball diamond, a volleyball court, a community garden and much more. On a warm day it is often packed, so it is a great place to socialise and make new friends – or maybe even find someone cute to go out for ice cream with!

Monarch Park

Slide down the two storey watOutdoor Swimming Poolser slide, plunge off the diving board or chill out in the wading pool – there is a lot of room to play at this great swimming pool. There is also a playground, so it is a great place to bring the kids on a sunny day. Your young ones can cool down in the wading pool without worrying about getting splashed by the bigger kids.

Greenwood Park Outdoor Pool

This is another park that is great for kids, as it has a shallow pool for little ones and a big pool for the older kids. The 35 m pool is approximately 2 m at the deep end and there is a great raised seating area where you can chill out. It is a lovely spot for a summer picnic, but you will need to bring your own lunch as there is nowhere to buy food.

These are just a few of the best outdoor Toronto swimming pools that you can enjoy this summer. Where is your favourite summer Toronto swimming spot? Let us know in the comments below.

 

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

A Toronto Music Lovers Guide

June 10, 2017

Toronto Music LoversNo matter what type of tunes you love, you’ll find great live gigs every night of the week and cool and quirky record stores you can lose yourself for hours browsing in. Here are a few of the spots Toronto Music Lovers adore:

For Toronto Music Lovers  – Ric’s Recollections

This Mississauga record shop has been in business for over 20 years and it’s impressive selection makes it worth the 15 minute drive out of downtown Toronto. Ric’s has over 20,000 titles in blues, jazz, rock, country, pop, R&B and much more. You’ll also find all of the gear and accessories you need to keep your records running great such as brushes, vinyl cleaning fluid, cartridges, etc. The staff at Ric’s are serious about records – before they sell any LPs they play them to test for sound quality and meticulously clean them.

The Bovine Sex Club

This joint on Queen Street West is the ideal place for Toronto Music Lovers to catch some live and local music. It has been one of the “it” spots on the scene since it Toronto Music Loversopened in 1991 and the music showcased there is a mix of retro 80s, cutting edge rock, metal, glam, punk and Britpop. Countless bands who have performed here over the years have gone on to achieve international success, such as Monster Truck and Alexisonfire. You can check out the Open Mic on Mondays, where you just might see up and coming artists trying out some of their new stuff.

Rock n’ Horse Saloon

If you love to stamp your feet to country music, you’ll have a blast at the Rock n’ Horse Saloon. Located in the Entertainment District, it is known for welcoming hospitality, down home country cookin, line dancing lessons, an ornery mechanical bull and parties where you can kick up your heels all night long.

Rotate This

Toronto Music LoversThis Queen Street West record shop features one of the best selections for new hot tunes in the city. There is a focus on indie rock and pop, but you will find a little bit of everything. It is also a great place to buy tickets to cool indie shows around the city. The staff are friendly and music savvy, so if you ask them they can probably recommend something you will love.

The Danforth Music Hall

One of the best things about seeing a performance at the legendary 1,400 seat Danforth Music Hall is that the floor has a slight incline. That means that there isn’t a bad seat in the house and everyone gets a great view of the band. This beautiful music hall is one of the oldest live music venues in Toronto and it is a classic place to see a show.

What are your favourite music spots in Toronto? Let us know in the comments!

Business Travel, Downtown Toronto, Entertainment, Food & Recipes, Lifestyle talk

Toronto’s Best Breweries

May 4, 2017

Toronto Breweries with LogoLife is too short to drink bad beer. Fortunately, there are several breweries in Toronto that have dedicated themselves to the art of crafting the perfect pint of suds. The craft beer scene in Toronto is thriving and these creative and hardworking brewers really take their beers seriously. Here are some of Toronto’s best breweries to sample some of the delicious local brews.

Left Field Brewery

This baseball-themed brewery knocked it out of the park at the Canadian Brewery Awards. They took home the gold for “Wrigley” – a refreshing North American style pale ale. Any of the beers in their line-up are sure not to strike out, so give them a try. If you are feeling adventurous and like dark and sweet beers – try the marshmallow mocha stout called “Sweet Jesus.”

Amsterdam Brewhouse

This is the oldest craft brewery in Toronto – it was established as a brew pub way back in 1986. Sit back in one of the comfortable Adirondack chairs and sip on the Barrel Aged Double Tempest, the Boneshaker IPA or the 3 Speed Session Lager. The food menu is also pretty great and pairs well with the beer, with yummy snacks such as mac & cheese croquettes, Amsterdam pretzels and Toronto's Best Breweriessweet potato fries.

Toronto’s Best Breweries : Mill Street Brew Pub

This is another one of the city’s original craft brewers and it offers a great selection of 15 beers on tap, from seasonal brews to signature ales. They also offer traditional German Bierschnaps (the first time a Canadian microbrewery has attempted them), so why not give

them a try? They are a beer based spirit distilled in the only copper pot still in North America.

Granite Brewery

This family owned brewery is a local favourite and they have been around for over two decades. They make English style ales in small batches and they have won a lot of awards for their creations. Their cask ale Hopping Mad has been highly acclaimed at the Golden Tap Awards for the past three years.

Steam Whistle Brewery

Steam WhistleToronto's Best Breweries are gold medal winners at the Canadian Brewing awards and once you taste their delicious ales you will understand why. They have a sampling bar where you can take free sips of all of the different types of beers and find your favourite. You can also take a 30-minute tour of the facilities to see how the beer is made, then finish the tour with a cold bottle.

Get Well Brewery

Not only does this cool hangout have excellent craft beers, it also has pinball machines, retro 80s style arcade games and a very chilled out vibe. If you like Pale Ale, try the hoppy Pineball Wizard. Or, check out their currently nano-brew, which is always changing.

These are just a few of Toronto’s best breweries to start a local crawl of Toronto.  And why not check out some of our picks for restaurants for groups! Enjoy responsibly and have fun!