Good times at the Grenadier Cafe in High Park

I haven’t been at the restaurant in quite some time and I was pleasantly surprised when I walked in to see some changes. What a difference a year makes. What always catches my eye is the big maple tree that’s in the middle of the restaurant. The menu and the decor have always changed. I proceeded into the newly renovated dining room and the view in there is spectacular. I was greeted at the entry by a pleasant waitress by the name of Rebecca. She promptly took my order and five minutes later my food was delivered to the table. […]

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Toronto’s cultural scene is vibrant!!

I moved to Toronto somewhat reluctantly a few years ago in order to study at the University of Toronto. Despite my reservations about moving to the big stale city (this is a viewpoint shared by many Westerners!), I’ve found nothing but great experiences, wonderful people and a vibrant cultural scene here. Let me tell you why culture in Toronto is booming… The opinion in general seems to be that the bigger the city, the less personal the cultural experience that one can enjoy there. In Toronto, from my perspective, because there are more events to choose from, it is simply […]

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Toronto’s High Park – and getting there

High Park is one of the great underrated pleasures of visiting Toronto … and half the fun is getting there. The efficient, but boring, way of getting to High Park is to take the Bloor-Danforth subway to High Park station, get off at the High Park Avenue exit, cross Bloor Street, and enter via the main entrance. But you’re in Toronto, and so you have no excuse for being boring … so try one of the alternative routes and see something of the city. The 506 College/Carlton streetcar will take you to High Park from downtown along College Street from […]

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Wine Country Lunch in Niagara

Fine dining is sometimes a hit-and-miss experience in Niagara, especially around the popular Niagara Falls and Niagara-on-the-Lake areas near the border. There are lots of tourists who need to eat somewhere, and who have lots of money to throw around, and so frankly the competition is not always fierce. So if you have the time and inclination, I suggest getting away from Niagara central to visit wine country west of St. Catherines, near the rural farming towns of Beamsville, Vineland, and the like. One of our best wine country lunch experiences in Niagara has been in this area, at the […]

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Walking through urban Toronto: Part II

In Part I of this article, I took you from Union Station through the St. Lawrence neighbourhood to Toronto‘s Distillery District. Now that you’ve had your refreshments at the Distillery District, you’re ready for Part II. From the Distillery District, walk north up Trinity Street to King St. E. Now you’re right in the middle of Toronto‘s old Irish Corktown neighbourhood, one of Toronto‘s oldest neighbourhoods and now one of the interesting transitional neighbourhoods. It’s now in a sort of process of re-gentrification, as old workers’ cottages on side streets become converted into highly desirable small urban abodes. As you […]

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Walking through urban Toronto: Part I

Toronto is a great city for walking, especially if you’re the kind of person who likes to explore urban spaces. Here’s a suggestion for a leisurely exploration of some of the more interesting parts of the Toronto‘s eastern downtown, combined with a look at some of the up and coming transitional parts of the city. (Although Toronto is generally a very safe city, you will probably feel more comfortable on some parts of this walk during daylight hours.) You can start anywhere and end anywhere, but for ease of reference I’m going to start at Union Station right downtown, and […]

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Where to eat before the opera

Starting with the 2006-2007 season, the Canadian Opera Company moved from its longtime home at what used to be the O’Keefe Centre near Union Station to a distinguished new building at the corner of Queen Street West and University Avenue. This opens up multiple possibilities for great food before or after the opera. A few recommendations: Nota Bene, 180 Queen St W. This new restaurant, a few doors west of University Avenue in the new federal courts building on the north side of Queen, is a new hot location for dining. Their usual dinner menu will set you back a […]

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April in Ottawa

I recently was on a business trip to Ottawa, my first chance to visit the nation’s capital.  I didn’t have high expectations but was pleasantly surprised by my visit.  I found every person that I had cause to interact with so nice, so helpful and friendly – so Canadian!  The weather was great, and you could see what an active city it is as everyone was out on their bikes, running or just walking. My favourite place was Byward Market.  It was a bustling place at 10 am or 10 pm, and it reminded me of being out on European […]

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Wineries in Prince Edward county

Starting from zero, in the last 12 years twenty wineries have become established in “the county”.   Recently my wife and I spent a getaway weekend at the lovely Devonshire Inn and visited the Grange of Prince Edward Vineyards & Estate Winery. Located at 990 Closson Road, Hillier,  the winery is in a lovely rural setting featuring a stream, dammed pond and a large, airy barn which serves as the tasting room and wine store.   We were so impressed with their 2006 Pinot Noir that we had them deliver a case to our home in Toronto.   Among many other good […]

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North Hastings offers the best of Ontario out of doors

Bancroft and District, also known as North Hastings, is a land of still unspoiled natural beauty.  The rolling, forest covered hills are home to deer, bear and newly re-introduced elk.  The valleys are dotted with lakes of all sizes and shapes.  In addition, the town of Bancroft has twice been voted Ontario’s “Most Talented Town” in recognition of the growing arts community there. Approximately 18 miles south of the town of Bancroft is a chain of 5 lakes, with the largest being Limerick Lake.  Limerick is a water access lake with no road around it.  Surrounded by mostly Crown and […]

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