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Community Events, Downtown Toronto, Entertainment, Fitness and Health

How to Beat the January Blues in Toronto

January 6, 2017

The exciting buildup to Christmas and New Year’s is over – now it’s just cold. However, don’t get too sad as January holds plenty of fun things to look forward to.

You may be feeling a little bit blah  January Bluesafter the holiday season. You’ve returned to work, you’re a little bit worse for wear after indulging in too much eggnog and cookies and the January days can be dark and dreary. However, there are many ways to lift your spirits and avoid the January blues. Here are some of the great things that you can do in Toronto this month.

The Next Stage Theatre Festival

January 4-15, 2017

Brighten up your January with some excellent theatre and comedy. This year the festival will be celebrating its 10th anniversary of offering a diverse showcase of thought provoking and funny theatre. Since it began 10 years ago, the festival has been attended by over 75,000 guests. Check out the schedule here to see which plays, improv shows and comedies are currently on.

The Second Annual Something Strange Circus Sideshow Festival

January 21, 2017January Blues

The second year of the Something Strange Circus Sideshow Festival will be an eclectic gathering of freaks and geeks from all over the world. From ventriloquists to contortionists to sword swallowers to stuntmen to burlesque dancers and much more, this show will baffle and amaze you.

Eat Some Poutine

On a cold January day, there’s nothing more comforting than piping hot chips smothered in rich gravy and squeaky cheese curds. Poutine is a Canadian

January Blues

delicacy and there are many great places in

Toronto to feast on this warm and satisfying dish.

Fancy Franks offers special poutines with unique toppings such as Korean Beef Ribs and a fried egg or BBQ Pulled Pork and a deep fried pickle. The poutine at Leslieville Pumps is made with rich dark gravy made from the beef smoker and aged potatoes. Or, you could try the Tex Mex poutine at Come and Get It, which is served with beef chorizo, cilantro, pico de gallo salsa, crispy tortilla chips and sour cream. For more suggestions, check out this guide to the 15 Best Poutine Spots in Toronto.

Go Tobogganing

Zooming down a hill on a toboggan with the fresh winter breeze in your hair is a great cure for the January blues – it will bring you back January Bluesto the carefree days of your youth. You’ll have lots of great tobogganing hills to choose from. Check out Riverdale Park East for an inviting slope and great views of the city skyline, or Withrow Park for a steep incline that has a set of stairs along the side to make getting back to the top easier. Donora Park, in a quiet residential area, has a smaller hill that is very kid-friendly.

Ripley’s Aquarium Beach Bash

January 27, 2017

If the January cold is really getting to you, why not pretend that you are in the tropics for a few hours? The Beach Bash in the Six is a beach party in the middle of winter where you can party in your swimsuit, sip on a rum cocktail and go for a ride on a surf simulator. It might be freezing outside, but it’s summer in here!

How do you like to beat the January blues in Toronto? Let us know in the comments below. Check out our blog too on some fun things to do in Toronto!

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

Things to Do in Toronto At Christmas

December 21, 2016

Toronto At ChristmasToronto at Christmas is a very merry place to be during the winter holidays.

If you are planning to spend Christmas in Toronto – you’re in luck. You’ll be surrounded by plenty of holiday cheer and there will be no shortage of joyous events and seasonal activities to get you in a festive mood. Here are some of the best things to do in Toronto at Christmas time.

The Toronto Christmas Market

Inspired by the Christmas markets in Germany in the 1400s, the Toronto Christmas Market creates the ideal festive atmosphere with craft maker stalls, mulled wine, street food, dancers, brass bands and carollers. Set within the Victorian-era cobblestone streets of the Distillery Historic District, this annual event is a great opportunity to shop for hand-made treasures and get in the Christmas spirit. Tomorrow is the last day so make sure you hurry there and visit!Toronto at Christmas

Christmas at Casa Loma

Casa Loma is a unique architectural wonder. Built over three years between 1911 and 1914, it was constructed in the style of a Gothic castle, complete with battlements, secret passageways and over 98 incredibly ornate rooms. Visit between December 1st and January 8th to see the castle decked out in its Christmas finest, with several stunning sparkling trees throughout the castle decorated by celebrity designers. Visitors can go on a scavenger hunt through the historic castle, listen to carollers and enjoy sitting down with Santa.

Public Skating Rinks

Skating on one of the public Nathan Phillips Squarerinks in Toronto is an essential Christmas experience, so lace up your skates and go for a spin. There are three public rinks in Toronto available for skating – the Evergreen Brick Works, The Natrel Rink at Harbourfront Centre and Nathan Phillips Square. The Nathan Phillips Square might be the most iconic rink, underneath the beautifully lit arches, but the Natrel Rink has a DJ spinning live tunes on a Saturday night.

The holiday season is one big long party in Toronto and there are so many great activities and events to enjoy. Pack a warm coat, a toque and a scarf and bundle up for a great holiday season in this lively Canadian metropolis.

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

Visiting Toronto in Winter

November 28, 2016

Visiting Toronto in WinterVisiting Toronto in winter might send a shiver down your spine, but as long as you bundle up there are a lot of things to enjoy in this chilly city during the winter months. Plus, there will be fewer tourists, flights and accommodation will be less expensive. You may even have the opportunity to get to know the locals. Here are some of the reasons visiting Toronto in winter can be enjoyable.

There’s Always Somewhere to Skate when Visiting Toronto in Winter

Toronto has approximately 50 skating rinks run by the city, which means that no matter where you are you can always find somewhere to strap on your skates and glide gracefully across the ice (or crash awkwardly into the boards). Check out the rink at Nathan Phillips Square, the Colonel Samuel Smith Park skateway in Etobicoke or the covered rink at Greenwood Park.

You Can Feast at WinterliciousVisiting Toronto in Winter

When you have worked up an appetite with all of that skating, you can warm up inside and enjoy the fantastic culinary scene that Toronto has to offer. Winterlicious will run in the last week of January for two weeks and during this time many restaurants throughout the city offer a menu of discount fixed price dinners. Each menu showcases starters, entrees and desserts and features the specialties of the restaurant. The 2017 event will take place from January 27th to February 9th and more than 200 restaurants will be taking part.

You Can Warm Up Inside a Museum

When the weather outside is chilly, you can stay warm within some of Toronto’s fantastic museums and art galleries. The Royal Ontario Museum and the Art Gallery of Ontario are the big names, but there are also many others to explore including the Gardiner Museum of Ceramic Art, the Toronto Dominion GalleryVisiting Toronto in Winter of Inuit Arts, the Ontario Science Centre and the Bata Shoe Museum.

You Can Do Some Underground Shopping

Want to be able to shop until you drop without having to brave the freezing temperatures? The underground PATH system has 19 miles of retail shops and restaurants, making it the largest underground shopping complex in the world. You can spend all day shopping, eating and exploring without ever having to venture outside.

Hockey Season will Be in Full SwingVisiting Toronto in Winter

Cheering along with the roaring crowd at a Toronto Maple Leafs game is an essential Canadian experience to have during your visit to this great city. Winter is the best time to do this, as you will be visiting right in the middle of the hockey season. If you want to learn more about the sport before the game, you can visit the Hockey Hall of Fame and learn the stories of the best players in the NHL.

These are just a few of the many reasons why visiting Toronto in winter is great, even during the coldest months of the year. Wear a toque, breathe the crisp cold air, stop for regular hot chocolate breaks at Tim Hortons and enjoy!

Lifestyle talk

Trick or Treating Safety Tips Halloween

October 25, 2016

Trick or Treating Safety TipsHalloween is one of the most exciting nights of the year for your little ones. They get to dress up in costumes and spend the evening knocking on doors and getting heaps of candy. It’s a quintessential childhood experience – but as the responsible adult, you play an important role in making sure trick or treating is done safely. Here are some trick or treating safety tips to keep in mind so that you can make sure your kids have a safe and happy Halloween.

Make Sure Their Costumes Are Visible

Wearing a black Batman cape at dusk means that drivers will have a very hard time seeing your child as they try to cross the road. Instead, go for bright and colourful costumes or attach reflective tape to the costume. Also, your child can carry glow sticks, a flashlight or any other type of flashing device to make them more visible in the dark.

Can They Move and See Clearly?Trick or Treating Safety Tips

Sometimes the trouble with masks and hooded costumes is that they restrict vision. Your child may struggle to see out of the small eye holes in the mask, which could cause them to walk into traffic or take a nasty fall. It is better to wear face paint rather than masks, so that your child’s vision is not obstructed. Also, make sure that their costume doesn’t restrict their movement and make them more likely to trip and fall over- such as a long skirt dragging on the ground.

Be Smart Around Strangers

Trick or Treating Safety TipsSome other trick or treating safety tips is to trick or treat in a familiar neighbourhood where you know most of the people who live there. Make sure that your child knows that they should never go inside someone’s house, unless they know them. Only trick or treat at well-lit houses and do not approach someone’s property if the lights are not on.

 

Check Out the Candy Before Eating

When your child arrives home with a bag filled with sweets, make sure that you give it an inspection before you let them dig in. Watch out for any items that they are allergic to, or any sweets that look like they have been tampered with or are not in their original wrapping. You mTrick or Treating Safety Tipsight want to place the Halloween candy somewhere on a high shelf so that you can dole out a reasonable amount and avoid a candy binge sugar rush and subsequent crash.

Alone or With Adults?

Children that are quite young should always trick or treat with an adult, or at least with a responsible teenage sibling or family friend. However, your older pre-teen children may be able to trick or treat in a group without an adult. You know your own child and how responsible they are – so use your judgement. When they go out you should know what neighbourhood they will be trick or treating in, they should be contactable via mobile phone and they should agree to be back by a specific time.

If you are looking for fun things to do or wondering where to buy a costume, check out this guide to find out the latest on whats going on in Toronto!

Keep these trick or treating safety tips in mind for a fun and safe Halloween!

Business Travel, Entertainment, Lifestyle talk, Relocation, Vacation Travel

Enjoy Your Destination on Business Travel

October 18, 2016

Business TravelSo you’re visiting a really cool city – but the reason why you are there is for business travel; to attend an important conference, business meeting or complete a work project. You’d love to visit this city on a vacation, but this time your visit is professional… which means that you won’t get a chance to enjoy it. Or will you?

When you are visiting a destination for  business travel it is possible to be a tourist as well, it simply takes a little bit of planning ahead and creative thinking. If you do it right you can enjoy a visit that encompasses both business and pleasure.

Here are some tips for squeezing a little vacation into your next business trip:

  • During lunch breaks and after meetings, instead of eating the food at the conference take the Business Traveltime to hit up some of the local restaurants that get the best reviews and see what they have to offer. You can get a chance to taste the cuisine of the area, which is one of the best parts of business travel.
  • Bring along a travel daypack with you so that you can take it with you when exploring the city.
  • See if you have any friends or family living in the city you are visiting. You could possibly arrange to meet them in between business activities and let them show you around the city.
  • See if you can book your trip with a couple of extra days so that you have more time to explore. For example, if you are attending a conference from Monday to Friday, book your flights so that you return on Sunday so you have the weekend to sightsee. (If your business trip is being covered by your company you might have to pay for the extra two nights yourself.)
  • Most destinations will have walking tours of the city for free or a for a small fee. This is a great way to walk around the city and learn about the history and culture of the area.
  • If you are in a major cultural hub such as NBusiness Travelew York, Toronto or London, consider taking the opportunity to go to a performance. You can find a huge selection of plays, musicals, operas, concerts and other experiences. Since the evenings are usually when you have time to spare when travelling for business, this works out quite well.
  • Take a walk in nature at one of the lovely parks or natural areas within the city. It will help you to relax, recharge and be more focused and  productive in your business dealings.
  • Read travel blogs written about the city you are visiting and see what they recommend.
  • You can also reach out on social media, such as Twitter and Facebook, and ask people to suggest things you should check out on your visit.

When it comes to having fun on a business trip, you’ll will be much more comfortable in a furnished apartment rather than a hotel. You’ll have so much more space, the convenience of amenities such as laundry and a fully equipped kitchen, so you will feel much more relaxed and recharged on your business trip. Read here to find out more details on how staying in a furnished apartment has many more advantages to staying in a hotel.