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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!

Downtown Toronto, Food & Recipes, Lifestyle talk, North York

Top 10 Restaurants in Toronto, 2015

March 6, 2015

Top 10 Restaurants in TorontoWith Spring just around the corner, getting out on the town made us think of our favourite restaurants in Toronto. It’s a mix of those classics you might find on a list like Winterlicious mixed with newer restaurants and cafes. If you’re looking to get out of your furnished apartment in Toronto or try something new at one of Toronto’s many diverse and delicious restaurants, look no further to our comprehensive top 10 restaurants in Toronto. Our list is in no particular order.

1. Bar Isabel. It’s no surprise that this Spanish-inspired restaurant with a Black Hoof twist (owner Grant Van Gameren used to co-own the Black Hoof) is on many top ten lists. We love the chorizo, grilled octopus, and basque cake with sherry cream. Be on the lookout for Van Gameren’s anticipated opening, Bar Raval, this year. Reservations are recommended.

2. Canoe. Canoe remains one of the best restaurants in Canada and a homage to haute Canadian cuisine. It is the perennial place for a special occasion with views of the Toronto Islands and CN Tower to match from the 54th floor of the TD Tower. You’ll be lucky to sit at the chef’s table and interact with Chef John Horne. It is a treat! It is also one of our picks to drink with your fellow corporate executives.

3. Big Crow. Big Crow is the city’s answer to a backyard BBQ, complete with an Algonquin and Canadiana theme year-round (in winter they bring out the blankets and heaters). Chow down with your friends over ribs smothered in pesto sauce, steel-trout poke nachos, and s’more ice cream sandwiches in the summer.

4. Fat Pasha. Another extension of Anthony Rose’s empire (including Big Crow, above), Fat Pasha is your excuse to eat through the MiddleTop 10 Restaurants in Toronto Eastern trend. We love the dips (especially labneh and hummus) and the nutella babka cake. A must if you’re looking to venture out of your usual tastes.

5. The Black Hoof. Since 2008, The Black Hoof has set Toronto on the charcuterie trend and remains the best place for the boards. It has since expanded its menu so you can more adventurous parts of an animal (whether it’s offal or horse) and never fails to impress the tastebuds. We love the staples of charcuterie, bone marrow, and cheese but give the horse tartare a try. Try its intimate cocktail bar across the street, aptly named Cocktail Bar, pre or post meal.

6. Electric Mud BBQ. Owned by Black Hoof alum, Colin Tooke and Ian McGrenaghan, Electric Mud BBQ is their second outpost of the Electric empire (Grand Electric around the corner on Queen West slinging out tacos). Chow down on good ol’ BBQ, bourbon alongside a great soundtrack at picnic tables with your friends. The ribs are classic but we return for the chicken, crack rolls, and $2.50 pints of Great Lakes Beer on Monday nights. They also now deliver. We love a good deal!

7. Origin. Tapas has become one of Toronto’s biggest culinary trends and Origin executes it in an original fashion. The restaurant is so popular it has expanded from its original location at King and Church to Origin North at Bayview and Sheppard (a sophisticated option near our furnished apartments in North York). We love the deviled eggs, tostones and guacamole, hand rolls, miso glazed cod, and dulce de leche. Look for chef Claudio Aprile to expand his repertoire of fresh, global dishes to the Toronto PeTop 10 Restaurants in Torontoarson Airport soon.

8. Eastside Social. One of Leslieville’s newest additions to the neighbourhood, Eastside Social is casual enough to sit and chat with someone at the bar over a dark n stormy yet sophisticated enough for a date. Share their inventive fish charcuterie platter. Their oyster special is every Tuesday and Wednesday.

9. Campagnolo. Our pick for Italian cuisine, chef Craig Harding, continues to deliver the classics that make us feel like it’s okay we can’t hop on a plane at a moment’s notice to Italy. You’ll salivate over his burrata with roasted grapes, spaghetti all’matricana, rabbit saltimbocca, and his famous budino.

10. Mildred’s Temple Kitchen. For the brunch lovers, Mildred’s Temple is large enough to accommodate your group but popular enough for you to be waiting in line even 15 minutes after opening. It’s worth the trek to Liberty Village. If it’s one thing to order it’s those fluffy, blueberry pancakes.

It’s difficult to add our all of our top 10 Restaurants in Toronto (honorary mentions go to Lady Marmalade for brunch, Porchetta & Co. for lunch, and Chantecler for dinner).

What are your favourite restaurants in Toronto? What are the restaurant openings in Toronto you’re looking forward to?

Lifestyle talk

Working in Toronto

March 3, 2015

As Canada’s largest financial center and a population of 2.7 million (and 6 million in the Greater Toronto Area/GTA), Toronto is a vibrant city in which to work and live. This can be illustrated by the number of short term rentals DelSuites has, across the GTA, now currently ranked number one by TripAdvisor in specialty lodging in Toronto and fifth consecutive winner of the Consumer’s Choice Awards in the Furnished Condo Rental category. We have touched upon the quirks of living in the city but here are a few things you should know about working in Toronto.

1. Industries – Working in Toronto Working in Toronto
The main industries in Toronto are finance, technology, and construction. It is home to the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSE) and to the third largest concentration of private IT companies after San Francisco and New York. Due to the 2015 Pan Am Games, construction has boomed in the metropolis for building of facilities and condominiums. According to a report in the Toronto Star, the surge in new jobs has been in health care, education, public administration, trades, finance, real estate, insurance, professional services, scientific and technical services, transportation and warehousing, accommodation and food services, and information, culture and recreation.

2. Education
According to the World Atlas (2014), Canada is the most educated nation in the world. 51% of the population has tertiary education and most jobs require a post-secondary diploma or degree. Toronto has one of the most prestigious universities in the world, University in Toronto. However, education with co-operative education or practical work-terms are gaining in popularity and success to working in theWorking in Toronto city. Examples include: George Brown College (known for hospitality and culinary arts); Ryerson (known for its media and journalism program); Humber College (known for its Public Relations program) and Sheridan College (known for its animation arts program).

3. Unemployment Rates
As of December, 2014 the unemployment rate is 7.2 percent, according to Statistics Canada. The labour market is very competitive and should you move to the city, it is important to make sure you have savings in case your job hunt takes longer than usual (on average four to five months).

4. A Shift from Full-Time to Part-Time
As part of shifts in the economy, employers are increasingly hiring workers on a part-time or contract basis, according to this report in the Toronto Star.  This helps employers budgets by not paying for extensive benefits or pensions. As a result, many woWorking in Toronto rkers in Toronto have more than one job or are becoming entrepreneurs.

5. Networking
In an urban center like Toronto, where 40% of Canada’s jobs are situated, getting a job here is more about who you know rather than what you know with the competition of skills and education among its workforce. Networking is key, especially at trade conferences in your industry as well as informal meetups according to interest. LinkedIn and social media are also key tools for employers to find you.

To help you with your job search working in Toronto, do check out this section of job boards on the city of Toronto’s website in its Employment and Social Services category.

Fitness and Health, Lifestyle talk

Top 5 New Workout Trends in Toronto

January 30, 2015

New Workout Trends in TorontoJanuary is the time of detox and new year’s resolutions. Though our furnished apartments in Toronto offer amenities like fitness centers and aqua spas, sometimes it’s a good idea to switch up your routine and try something new. Here are some interesting new workout trends in Toronto .

1. Indoor Surfing. That’s right. Surfing indoors! Since you might not be able to hit the beaches of Hawaii or Costa Rica, Surfset Toronto has brought the surfing trend to you on Yonge, just north of Eglinton (close by to our properties in North York). The surfboard -balanced on stability balls – is used for toning exercises influenced by yoga and pilates. Try out your best hang-ten pose in one of the most exciting workouts in Toronto right now!

2. Archery Tag. The new Archery District in Scarborough combines your secret loves for laser tag and the Hunger Games in one, sweaty and social activity. Take your bow and arrow after a lesson anNew Workout Trends in Torontod like the classic game of tag, shoot your opponent with foam-tipped arrows in over 5,000 square feet of astroturf. A perfect location to head on out to from your short term rental in Scarborough – The Forest Vista location.

3. Axe Throwing. As much as it’s a fun bonding experience with friends, it’s also a legitimate league (and one way to exercise those triceps). The Battle Axe Throwing League (BATL) has become so popular, it now has two facilities. Make sure to book in advance.

4. Branded Workouts. Big fitness corporations are aligning with local studios and gyms to capitalize on community. In Parkdale, the popular NTC (Nike Training Workouts) for women , at the Academy of Lions are fitness regimens led by world class trainers designed by Nike. Similarly, Lululemon has a number of community events on a regular basis led by their yoga ambassadors. Check individual stores for local events. Here is one example.

Workout Trends in Toronto5. Obstacle Courses. As an alternative to the Crossfit craze, obstacle courses are a fun way to get a full body workout without the military atmosphere of drills. Popular ones across the city are Monkey Vault and Alpha Fitness that will prepare you for the Spartan and Tough Mudder races that are gaining momentum in North America.

What is your workout trend? Do you prefer to work out in a group environment – game setting?  If you try one of these new workout trends in Toronto, let us know how it goes!

Lifestyle talk, Sun Destinations, Vacation Travel

Sunny Getaways and Island Escapes for 2015

January 8, 2015

Sunny Getaways and Island EscapesWhen the Canadian weather gets cold, wet, and slushy, thoughts immediately scurry to soft white sands and eight hours of sunlight. Sunny getaways and island escapes vary from year to year. If you have a case of cabin fever in your temporary housing North York or Toronto, it’s time for an escape or some R&R this winter. Our sunny getaways and island escapes for 2015 are based on destinations that are a mix of those destinations that have been newsworthy but also offer the luxury you’re looking for on a vacation.

Cuba
Cuba may be at the top of your list for that cheap and cheerful vacation since President Barack Obama’s decision to lift American trade embargo against Cuba, after 54 years. Though American citizens can’t legally travel to Cuba yet, it could happen sooner than you think. Whether it’s an all-inclusive getaway to Varadero, a historic trip to Havana, or less-visited spots like Cayo Santa Maria, Cayo Coco, Trinidad, or Holguin,or tour more parts of the island via cruise, Cuba is having its moment. It’s your moment to bask in those beach glory days.

Bermuda
No longer a site for just the rich and famous, 2015 is the start of Bermuda’s moment in the sun. In October of 2015, it will host the America’s Cup World Series, the first stage of competition in the America’s Cup, a racing circuit which features the best sailors in the world. This competition is the lead up to when they host the America’s Cup in 2017. Though known for its sailing and its famous beaches, Bermuda needs to be known for its scenes in both food and culture. Check out one of the best collections of Bermudian art at Masterworks (and take that instagram-worthy photo of the John Lennon statue just outside); concoct your own scent at the perfumery; or take a bike ride (tour or solo) the historic Railway trail. If you can’t make it for the America’s cup, fly into town for the Rugby Classic in November. Whether you’re having a high end meal at local favourite, Port O Call, on bustling Front Street or just want a great sandwich like the sky-high fish-stacked one on raisin bread at Art Mel’s Spicy Dicy, you won’t go hungry!

Your retreat? Rosewood Hotel’s Tucker’s Point, complete with its own beautiful artwork at the Point restaurant; some of Bermuda’s best golf courses, and its own beach. That is if you’re not ordering room service in one of its spacious suites with a view of the Atlantic Ocean outside of your balcony.

St. Lucia
Listed as one of Lonely Planet’s top ten countries to visit in 2015, it’s our pick because it offers a mix of a luxury all-inclusive vacation and an adventurous element with its Sunny Getaways and Island Escapesscenic trails on lush landscapes. Whether you opt to stay at themed luxe resorts like the BodyHoliday by Le Sport or Boucan’s stunner, Hotel Chocolat, they’re both great resorts alongside activities like hiking the Tet Paul Scenic Trail or the adventurous trails of the iconic Pitons. Taking a family vacation? Coconut Bay is a great option with its waterpark and paintball facilities. Bonus: there is an adults only section to the side of the resort.

Haiti
It has been five years since an earthquake rocked Haiti but it doesn’t still have to be off your radar. The western Caribbean island is set for a rebirth from the ashes. For you, the traveler, try a tour from G Adventures. Their cultural and sustainable tours will enable you to visit a foundation teaching arts to at-risk youth, learn about Vodou culture, savour creole cuisine and visit Basin-Bleu in Jacmel. If you wanted to partake in the voluntourism trend and help those still affected by the earthquake, there are a few organizations out there making that happen. Yoga Ventures has two retreats in July and October that will offer a mix of volunteering with daily yoga. Elevate Destinations combines a beach vacation with a volunteer trip and works with the Edem Foundation – a non-profit supporting the education of children in Haiti and the development of economic activities in Haiti by working with local communities and offering youth leadership programs. Not into volunteering? You can stay at a number of new hotels that have opened up in Port-Au-Prince recently like The Best Western Premier Sunny Getaways and Island EscapesHaiti and the new Marriott hotel to open early in 2015.

Indonesia
If you’ve been looking to go somewhere further afield, Indonesia may be your ticket to an island escape. Opt for popular Bali with its luxurious infinity pools and rice paddy fields, or booming Jakarta (Fairmont, Raffles, and the St. Regis are opening properties here in the next year). Our picks in Bali include the Chedi chain of resorts or the secluded One Eleven Hotel, offers pools and private yoga in each villa. Yoga retreats are equally as popular for the R&R you need away from your regular routine. Desa Seni and The Yoga Barn in conjunction with Bali Spirit offer holistic yoga programs and accommodations.

We hope our 2015 island escapes have given you inspiration for your 2015 winter vacation. Where are some of your favourite sunny getaways and island escapes?