If you find yourself in Toronto and hungry (pun intended!) for some less-touristy options away from the obvious CN Tower and Dundas Square areas, be sure to check out Tasty Tours! Tasty Tours takes you on a walk through the China Town and Kensington area of Toronto, famous for its local cuisine and anti-big-brand attitude (you won’t find a single big-brand store in the Kensington neighbourhood – Just ask Nike, they tried).
It’s no surprise – The Canadian dollar stinks. Gone are the at-par days with the U.S. greenback, making overall travel more expensive (did you know airlines purchase fuel in U.S. dollars?). But with Canada turning 150 this year, the timing is perfect to stay in your own backyard to celebrate what this great country has to offer. In the Toronto area alone, there’s plenty of hidden gems to last a lifetime. When was the last time you went ice-fishing or even took the time to learn about your region’s history (did I mention Canada’s turning 150?)?
So before you decide that things aren’t exotic enough for you in Toronto, think again. Below are some hidden gems of York Region (just north of Toronto) with all of it doable over the course of a couple days.
What’s a vacation without a little spa time? The spa at Briar’s Resort is one of the most luxurious of the region providing services ranging from massages, hydrotherapies, and hand/foot treatments. For a real treat, try the Mokkaccino Body Wrap!
…heck, just stay the night!
Gong to the Briar’s Resort only for the Spa is too much of a tease! Stay the night and enjoy one of the best resorts in Ontario with fine dining, luxury pool area, numerous fireplaces (too many to count!), and lots of historic items from around the world showcased throughout the grounds.
See some additional ‘hacks’ at the end of this post.
Want to fly premium economy or business class, but not pay the full price? Air Canada now allows economy ticket holders to place bids on empty premium economy and business class seats before their flight. Just like any auction, the highest bidder(s) will get the seat(s).
The process is quite simple. Bids are made online using a sliding scale with a set minimum and maximum amount. When passengers pick their price, a chart lets them know the strength of their offer. Travellers find out if they have the winning bid about 48 hours before departure.
According to Air Canada, the purposes of the Offer Strength chart is to be a rough indicator of how likely a bidder is to win the auction, although the algorithm used for this graph seems quite obscure. It is safe to assume that the chart is a marketing tool to get bidders to bid higher than they otherwise would have with the goal of making the overall top bids higher.
Although the thought of Montreal in January can bring memories of cold weather, the first two weekends of 2017 are going to be a hot commodity with the the introduction of BARBEGAZI. Îlot Clark, in the Quartier des spectacles, will be transformed into a huge free playground, featuring all kinds of physical activity to encourage Montréalers to have fun instead of hibernating… and the opportunity to plunge into urban culture. The main attraction of the event is a playful, oversized and high‐tech obstacle course where the top 10 performers get to share $5,000 in prize money. The general public can also participate in this mad obstacle course… and then discover other extreme sports, such as snowskate, lumberjack, arm wrestling, Christmas Tree throwing, and more!
For more information visit the BARBEGAZI website.
The 38th edition of the Montreal Jazz Festival has been officially announced with 10 concerts (with more to come) listed below. Ticket sales started November 25, 2016 and more info can be found at the festival website.
Buddy Guy | Charlie Musselwhite | Lucky Peterson — Triple bill
A major-league blues evening in Place des Arts, with three giants of the genre… a classic triple bill!
June 30, 7:30 p.m., Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier, PdA (Événements spéciaux TD series)
Somewhere between jazz, chanson, classics and retro, the suave, savvy Pink Martini orchestra never fails to pour out a cocktail of musical exhilaration… Make it a double!
July 8, 8 p.m., Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier, PdA (Événements spéciaux TD series)
Toronto, being world renowned for being highly multi-cultural and accepting of all cultures, has many famous pockets such as Spadina’s China Town and Little India in the Greenwood area.
Japan on the other hand, has never established a neighbourhood for itself until recently. With the increasing popularity of Japanese brands such as Uniqlo and Muji (both now in/near the Eaton Centre) the Dundas Street and Bay Street area of Toronto is quickly establishing itself as the ‘Little Tokyo’ or ‘Japan Town’ of Toronto.
Think you need to go south in order to experience the thrills of zip lining? Luckily, it’s not the case. Treetop Trekking has various locations around Ontario where you can experience both zip lining and treetop obstacles, all while safely strapped in to a harness.
This review is based on the Brampton, Ontario location. For their other locations, please see their website. Reservations are required for all locations and you should arrive 30 minutes early to fill in all the required paperwork.
The Overall Experience
The day will start with an orientation session where you will learn the safety skills required to navigate the obstacles and ride the zip lines. After a short hands-on test of the safety skills, you are off on your own to navigate the numerous courses. Each course get progressively harder, ending with the longest/hardest (assuming the guides feel that you are ready for it and time permitting). In general, be prepared to be out on the courses for about 3 hours.
Tip: Go to the washroom beforehand! Having to go while you’re out makes for a lot of work (i.e. removing your harness) and lost time.
Tip: Bring snacks and water with you in a small bag that you can hang for a branch. Leave valuables in your car.
Tip: Bring fingerless gloves to prevent your hands from chaffing.
Amex? Wondering what the airport lounge access is like and if it’s worth the annual fee? I was fortunate enough to get invited to try out the Plaza Premium Lounges in Terminal 1 and 3 at Pearson (Toronto) Airport and am happy to report back the below.
Don’t you hate it when you’re in a new city and can’t remember which photo was taken where? If only there was a way of combining Google Maps with a camera and a way to track of your adventures…
Well now there is! Read more