I’m starting to feel summer slip away, I grab my cardigan in the morning while walking my dog, replace skirts for pants and get a little bummed out watching the temperature slowly dip on the weekly weather reports. I had to make the most of out a sunny Sunday this past weekend to enjoy a bit more of the great outdoors.We’ve had our share of SUPing to the Toronto Islands and bird sanctuary, boating around Cherry Beach with friends and trying to convince our dog to get into the lake at the dog park but have yet to venture to the Humber River. That’s where Toronto Adventures comes into play. (www.torontoadventures.ca). Based right at the river bank near the Old Mill (and within walking distance of the subway station, hey hey!) you can find them renting out canoes, SUP boards and kayaks for guided or solo adventures.
‘Keep going straight!’ Mike yelled out, a couple feet behind me ‘ Follow that paddler!’ he pointed into the distance at a very relaxed and confident paddler, aiming for the cove of the bird sanctuary. I paddled harder against the waves, trying to steer the nose of my board towards the beckoning island.
Mike, the owner and brains behind East of Six SUP had only just finished introducing us to our boards and movements we could use to get up onto our feet moments earlier on land at Cherry Beach. Cut to 15 minutes and half way across the lake to the island later, a group of us were headed into calmer waters and a place to ‘park’ our boards while we enjoyed some light snacks and waited for the sun to set over the city.
I’m a firm believer that everyone has seen Grease at least once, or at least know one of the catchy songs from the 1978 classic. I mean, how many times have you heard a group belt out Summer Nights at a karaoke bar or have the popular Grease melody fill the dance floor at a wedding?
It’s one of those movies that stand the test of time! I was thrilled to become a Grease ambassador for the musical making its way into Toronto. I was booked to see it on one of the early opening nights and soon found out a few other friends of mine snagged seats too! (Great minds think alike!) We booked a table a restaurant nearby to catch up before the show.
I talked about how I used to watch this movie until the film strip on the VHS tape almost blurred. I would have dance parties with my friends in the basement. I longed to be a Pink Lady and loved how Rizzo didn’t take crap from anybody (but had a secret soft side!).
The thing I love about this musical is not only the perfect setting because how gorgeous is the Elgin & Winter Garden Theatre!? (if you want to have some extra fun, be sure to come by early and enjoy the mini fairground set up by the merch table and bar area! What a great touch!) but just how much fun the audience had. I could see couples,mother and daughter dates and girl squads singing along in their seats.
In the middle of an alleyway between Queen and Richmond, you’ll find a brightly graffited door adorned with full wine glasses and a keypad that almost makes you feel like you need to know a password to be let in. It’s the entrance of what’s lovingly called the ‘Wine Cave’ owned by the iYellow Wine Club.
My friend Magda and I ascended down the stairs to see a loft like space with wine barrels for tables, lit up signs welcoming you to the Wine Cave and a make shift buffet table in a beautifully decorated corner, with a selection of meat, bread and cheese tempting you to have a bite. We were almost immediately handed a glass of Prosecco. (“You can’t say Prosec-NO to Prosecco!” one of the servers joked)
It’s just another #WineWednesday in the cave, and it was quickly filling up with students eager to start their Wine 101 class. It was their first class of the summer semester, every Wednesday and Thursday wine school programs take place down in the cave.
You know what I know about coffee? That I like it, and that’s pretty much it. When I had to chance to sit down in the newest StrangeLove coffee location (located in a tattoo parlour, no less! 627 Queen St W) I went for it! We got signed up for an hour long Coffee Sensory Tasting where we would learn to taste and evaluate a cup of coffee like a roaster would! It’s perfect if you’re a coffee lover and want to expand you knowledge and appreciation of tasting notes and unique regional characteristics of curated coffee.
Prince Edward County is the latest getaway trend for us city folk. You have your choice of wineries, breweries, markets and hey, Countylicious is even starting soon! (April 6-29, countylicious.com).
About a two and a half hour drive from Toronto (and a stop at the giant Apple) later, we pulled up to the beautiful Hayes Inn. It’s a beautiful grand colonial home that was built in 1838 and perfectly located. A short drive away will get you to Waupoo’s, Sandbank Provincial Park and downtown Picton. Oh, and did I mention the delicious locally sourced food that gets served up for breakfast? I’ve had everything from home made poptarts (I still dream about them) to Croque Madame’s. Also, full disclosure, the Inn may or may not be owned by one of my very best and talented friends. Who may or may not also own this blog. Anyway.
An event combining Yayoi Kusama and Shiseido makes real sense if you think about it. The two have a lot in common, and I’m not just talking about both of them hailing from Japan. I immediately associate the two with art.
Yayoi Kusama has been creating her own unique style of art since she was a teenager, experimenting with abstraction in Kyoto after learning a more traditional Japanese style of painting called Nihonga. “I wanted to start a revolution, using art to build the sort of society I myself envisioned.” -- Yayoi Kusama . Her career really took off upon moving to the US and befriending such art legends as Andy Warhol.
Shiseido has been creating the most perfect beauty concoctions for over 140 years. It all started with a 23 year old Arinobu Fukuhara being displeased with the medicine available at the pharmacy he worked in, he wanted to develop products that ‘took everything and anything good in the world and use it to create new things’. The name Shiseido itself is derived from a passage in I Ching, meaning Do, “house of Shi Sei”, ‘Where everything is born”. “We find beauty in science and art. We find beauty in the relationships we have, in the products we make and in how we engage with the world’
I think Yayoi and Shiseido have a sort of magical, meaningful whimsy associated with them. They didn’t feel genuine to themselves ‘going with the flow’ of what everyone else was doing and found their own path to follow. Both have been so wildly successful in doing so and taking that chance.
I attended Dixonlicious on March 1st at the Daniels Spectrum located in the newly revamped Regent Park area. It was a night of fun, food and live music all in support of the community’s vital food programs. Attendees could donate to the Fund-A-Meal program where proceeds go to delivering meals to seniors and providing healthy meals and snacks to the city’s homeless or youth in summer camps.
I was lucky enough to attend the Restaurant’s Canada show for the second year in a row this weekend. My fiancé works in the food industry and this show has always been a great way to network, market and see some really great innovative technology, equipment and services for the restaurant and food business.
While my partner hears business, I hear delicious food and craft beer. We arrived at the Encare Centre and into the showroom where I was overwhelmed with booths from all over not only Canada but the world. We walked by pizza ovens, the most beautiful coffee machine’s I’ve ever seen and even a sushi making ‘robot’. You aren’t really able to walk more than a few feet before finding something interesting to learn more about, or my favourite, try for yourself.
I don’t know about you, but I still love getting outdoors, even in the cold weather. I think this was a great year for Toronto with the opening of the Bentway, more Christmas markets than ever and now ‘Winter’ at Ontario Place.
Ontario Place really went all out, turning the property into a magical winter wonderland that lights up with twinkle lights, art from local artists and a bonfire at sunset. The festival started late 2017 and will go all the way until March 18, 2018.
At dusk until midnight the island is illuminated by 12 exhibits created by 20 artists. We saw bridges lit up with falling snow flakes (Bridge of Imagination by Phil Sutherland and Reana Niceforo)A giant lit up icicle hanging outside of the silo’s by the old log ride (Icicle Silo by Chris Foster) and a mirrored box, large enough to stand in that overlooks the seemingly endless Lake Ontario ( Expanded Horizon by Polymetis). The soft, fat snowflakes falling onto the ground while the lake quietly lapped at the shore made for the perfect setting.
Hey! I'm Sarah! A 30 something living in downtown Toronto with a great guy and an OK dog. I love seeing what my city has to offer and try to hit up as many fun events or attractions as I can! I haven't slept since 2004.