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The Best Beer Gardens Toronto offers

August 14, 2017

Beer Gardens TorontoDrinking and eating outdoors is a popular Canadian pastime. The weather is only nice for a fraction of the year, so we like to make the most of it before the snow starts to fall again. Why not spend every possible moment enjoying the sunshine? Plus, after a big day of sightseeing and wandering all over Toronto, there’s nothing more satisfying than settling into a chilled out beer garden and taking a big sip of a cold frothy one. Here are a few of the best outdoor beer gardens Toronto offers.

Granite Brewery

This popular beer garden in Mount Pleasant and Eglinton has been around since before the hipster trend of craft beers in Toronto. It is a great chilled out space serving a selection of classic English style beers that are made on site. You can choose to hang out on the outdoor patio on the front that faces the street, or the more private back patio that overlooks a lovely garden. If you really fall in love with the chilled out atmosphere you could consider tying the knot here – the Granite Brewery hosts weddings.Beer Gardens Toronto

Mascot Brewery Beer Gardens Toronto

Located in the heart of downtown on Mercer Street, this casual and sunny beer gardens Toronto is a great place to grab a drink with friends on a hot summer’s day. There are communal picnic-bench style seats perfect for socialising and there is even a food truck to fulfil your beer-fueled appetite. The AstroTurf on the floor and the laid back vibe makes it feel like you are just hanging out at your buddy’s house for a weekend barbeque. If you are visiting with a larger group, it is even possible to order a five litre keg of craft brew which you can self-serve.

Amsterdam Brewhouse

This great watering hole has a large beer garden right on the waterfront, which comes to life with laughter and conversation every summer. There are three different outdoor areas you can sit in, depending on how close you want to be to the water.

This Brewhouse also offers a superb selection of beer, including several special housemade brews. The selection changes every month, so Beer Gardens Torontoevery time you come back you will find something new on the menu to try. They also serve food – yummy bites that pair well with a cold glass of beer such as Honey Sriracha Chicken Wings, Amsterdam Pretzel and Crispy Brussel Sprouts with Bacon and Feta Cheese.

The Pilot Tavern

Check out the “Flight Deck” of the Pilot Tavern, a rooftop beer garden offering sunshine, great food, cold drinks and a great atmosphere. High on a roof in Yorkville, it is removed from the hustle and bustle of the street and it is fully equipped with retractable awnings and heaters so you can keep on drinking no matter what the weather. In fact, it has been around for more than 70 years and was named by the readers of the Globe and Mail as Canada’s Favourite Patio.

Where are your favourite beer gardens in Toronto? Let us know in the comments.

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.

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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, Family Vacations in Toronto, Food & Recipes, Lifestyle talk, Vacation Travel

Best Spots For Toronto Brunch

May 15, 2017

Toronto BrunchWhether you want to fuel up before a day of exploring the city or recover from enjoying Toronto’s nightlife, you’re sure to find a fantastic brunch in this city. There are so many places in Toronto that make brunch an art form, so here are some Toronto brunch places to head where you can start your day off right with a big delicious serving of your favourites.

Toronto Brunch – Country General Riverside

Feast on the enormous Croque Madame with fried egg, pulled pork and BBQ sauce and you won’t be hungry again until dinnertime. Or, treat yourself to the sweet and savory delights of French toast and fried chicken with buttermilk and maple syrup. This South Riverdale spot believes in the “Go big or go back to bed” philosophy when it comes to brunch.

Starving Artist

Do you love waffles? (Who doesn’t love waffles?) If so, this Toronto brunch spot is your dream destination. You can enjoy any type of waffle you could possibly dream of – from waffle BLT sandwiches to mini waffles with peanut butter and banana and even a waffle s’more. The main location on Bloordale is always very busy, so check out the second location inToronto Brunch St. Clair West where the lines may be shorter.

Karelia Kitchen

Have you ever had a Scandinavian brunch before? If not, here’s your chance to see what Nordic breakfast food is like. Try the smokehouse platter so that you can start your day with pickles, preserves, Atlantic salmon, rainbow trout and flatbreads. Or, try the delicious potato pancakes served with beets, poached eggs and smoked trout.

La Cubana

If smoked fish for breakfast isn’t your thing, how about somewhere with more of a Caribbean vibe? La Cuban is a Cuban restaurant with the laid-back Havana vibe and an excellent brunch menu. You can feast on poached egg with slow roast pork or chimichurri-spiced steak and eggs. Of course, most of the dishes on the menu come with the classic side of rice and beans.

Lady Marmalade

Toronto BrunchThis very popular Toronto brunch spot is known for its superb selection of Benedicts. They offer up a great choice with creative ingredients, such as brie-avocado-bacon or tomato and pesto with cream cheese. However, the savoury waffles are also mind-blowing – as is the AM Poutine with hash browns, hollandaise sauce and cheese.

Queen & Beaver Public House

If you are looking for simple and hearty Toronto brunch food, this is the place for you. The pancakes are not too thick, not too thin, but served just right with a scoop of lovely maple peanut butter ice cream. Or, you could have a traditional proper full English breakfast with bacon, fried egg, baked beans and tomatoes.

These are just a few of Toronto’s best brunch spots that may be close to your furnished apartment in Toronto, so head on over and fill up on some delicious food. Dont forget these restaurants and cafes for comfort food. Why start your day hungry when brunch in Toronto is so good?

Lifestyle talk, Toronto Family Travel, Toronto History

Advice for First Time Toronto Visitors

April 27, 2017

First Time Toronto VisitorsA visit to Toronto is a thrill – there is so much to discover in this exciting Canadian metropolis. Here are some very important things that you should know for first time Toronto visitors.

First Time Toronto Visitors : Make the Most of Public Transit

When you are visiting Toronto you will probably not want to rent a car, unless you want to be able to go on road trips outside of the city. Inside the city it is possible to get around quickly and easy using public transit. Plus, you will save money on parking fees and you will avoid getting stuck in rush hour. The city is a giant grid pattern, so it’s pretty easy to navigate.

The transit system in Toronto includes subway lines, streetcars and buses and it will take you to anywhere in the city that you want to go, including well out into the suburbs. You can get a day pass for $12 that will allow you unlimited travel on all TTC services

Stay in a SerFirst Time Toronto Visitorsviced Furnished Apartment

Staying in an furnished apartment for first time Toronto visitors many advantages compared to staying in a hotel. You will have much more space to relax, a fully equipped kitchen so that you can cook your own meals and you will be able to use the building facilities such as swimming pool, fitness centre, bowling alley and much more. This is especially advantageous if you are travelling as a family or staying for a while.

No One Pronounces the Second T

The name of the city is pronounced “Torono” or “T’rana” by the locals. This is due to the Canadian accent, which causes the consonant between two unstressed vowels to be silent. If you pronounce the second T in Toronto it will be clear to all of the locals that you are not a Torontonian.

Don’t Forget About Sales Tax

You will notice that the price tag of an item in the store doesn’t always correspond to the final price when the cashier rings it up. That’s because a 13% harmonized sales tax is added to almost all of the goods and services purchases in the province of Ontario. Sometimes purchases are tax exempt and some have the tax already built into the price, so if you aren’t sure you can always ask the store staff to clarify.

First Time Toronto VisitorsIf You Don’t Like the Weather, Wait 20 Minutes

The weather in Canada is extreme and in Toronto it can fluctuate wildly, especially in the spring and fall. You might have a sunny morning, which turns into freezing cold rain by the afternoon. The weather in the summer is hot and humid and the winters are snowy and cold. Be prepared with many different layers so that you can adjust your clothing to the situation and do some research into the weather forecast before your trip.

Food & Recipes

THE FIVE MOST CANADIAN FOODS TO EAT

April 7, 2017

CANADIAN FOODSIt’s difficult to define “Canadian Cuisine” as the country is such a diverse melting pot of influences from other cultures.

However, there are a few dishes that have come to be known as Canadian Foods. Here are a few of the most popular Canadian foods to eat. These are foods that are iconic to Canadian culture and although none of them are particularly healthy, they are essential foods for any visitor to Canada to try.

Poutine

“What’s so special about chips, cheese and gravy?” you might ask. However, this French Canadian dish is so much more than that. TheCanadian Foods cheese must be cheese curds, which have a particular “squeak” when you bite down on them. The gravy should be thin, meat based and peppery and the chips should be crispy on the outside and soft on the outside. Some poutineries will offer dozens of different variations, including toppings like bacon, chicken, sausage or even lobster.

Nanaimo Bars

Named after a city on Vancouver Island, these rich and filling dessert bars are irresistible. They have a crunchy, chewy brownie base that usually features chopped nuts, a creamy custard middle part and a layer of smooth chocolate on top. There can also be variations with different flavours added to the custard, such as mint or mocha. Nanaimo bars are incredibly satisfying and are a classic dessert to bring to any CCanadian Foodsanadian potluck. The best place to try them is their namesake city, so follow the Nanaimo Bar Trail.

Butter Tarts

Butter tarts are a sweet and delectable Canadian delicacy. They have a flaky exterior and are light and sugary. Sometimes they have walnuts are pecans inside, other times raisins. They are yummy and bite sized, so it’s easy to eat too many of them! They have a long history – they were eaten in the early 1600s by the first pioneers.

Tim Hortons Timbits

Tim Hortons is a Canadian institution and every Canuck knows the thrill of rolling up the rim of their coffee cup to win a free donut. Even better than the donuts are the Timbits – tiny donut balls just big enough to pop in your mouth. They are fluffy and soft, with a sweet glaze and come in a range of flavours including apple fritter and blueberry.

TourtièreCanadian Foods

This style of meat pie originated in Quebec and is made with finely diced pork, beef or veal. Wild game such as venison is also sometimes used. There is no one correct filling for a Tourtière – the type of meat depends on the region. Sometimes in coastal areas salmon is used. It is traditionally served at Christmas, but many French Canadians will eat it all year long.

There are so many other Canadian foods and treats that didn’t make it onto this list, including Kraft Dinner (packaged Macaroni and Cheese), Montreal smoked meat, Saskatoon berry pie, ketchup chips, maple syrup, split pea soup, Newfoundland Jigg’s Dinner, Canadian bacon, Beavertails and much more. Let us know your favourite Canadian foods in the comments!

Be sure to also check out our blog on our picks for restaurants and cafes for comfort food!