Where to go on my champagne birthday?

Happy birthday to me. (CC Droid Gingerbread)

Happy birthday to me. (CC Droid Gingerbread)

In about 25 days it’s my champagne birthday. That’s right I will be 28 on the 28th. So with the  champagne birthday around the corner I wanted to do something special. Usually I let my birthday fly by, however this year I am capitalizing on the event to treat myself to a night of indulgence! I’ve already booked a night at the Ritz and now I need the perfect dining experience. That’s right, I’m forcing the beau to get dressed up and take his gal out. So here are my top three restaurants that I am contemplating. Maybe you can help me decide.

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The Cocktail Bar- perfect spot for a Saturday night cocktail

The night begins. (Torontonowhere)

The night begins. (Torontonowhere)

On Saturday night I felt like a girls’ night out, in other words: cocktails. I wanted to get a little spiffy and enjoy a night of rambles and gossip. I’m close to my thirties, so it’s rare that I am itching to go bar hopping or clubbing. But a night with the girls is needed to keep oneself sane.

I started with a search on Google for the “best cocktail bars in Toronto” … yes I am THAT original. I was returned with a list of top bars by The Grid, BlogTO, Toronto Life and Yelp. Eventually I decided on the Cocktail Bar located on Dundas St. West. Reviews coined it as a replication of “the New York speakeasy experience” and the kind of place “that makes you linger all night.” Exactly what I was looking for. Now I am not a reviewer, so instead I’ll just share with you the things I would want to know. Continue reading

Winter’s here, so here’s my opinion

I love winter! It is my most favorite season. I love the crisp air! I love the sports! I love the World Juniors! And I love the hair weather and the snow! But with this season’s arrival, I’ve come to notice some cultural difference between Canada’s capital and Ontario’s. Now, this doesn’t mean that one is better than the other; it’s just that they are different. Here are my top two cultural differences for the winter season: Continue reading

Toronto Strolls: Waterfront Trail and the boardwalk

Leave the city behind you and take a walk on the Waterfront Trail.

Leave the city behind you and take a walk on the Waterfront Trail.

One of the most important things for me about walking is the space it creates to just relax. I tend to take my long walks without any music. I do this because I believe it allows me the space and time to just think and appreciate what I am seeing and experiencing at that very moment.

This Toronto stroll was an impromptu but ambitious one. I was out on Queen and Spadina and decided that I would walk home via the Lakeshore. This equates to an almost three hour walk…and I loved every moment of it. Here are my top five reasons why it’s worth the foot mileage.

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The Latte. Toronto’s own Soma holiday.

A warm hug in a cup. (Torontonowhere)

A warm hug in a cup. (Torontonowhere)

A few weeks ago, I talked about nails being the latest accessory on the block but there’s another player being toted around: the coffee or latte. The streets of Toronto are speckled with little red cups and brown cardboard sleeves. But why such a fascination?

I’ve been known to be a bit high-strung and a little tense at times. This may be caused by my need for perfection or my inability to say no. In any event, it’s a regular occurrence that I’m told to chill out and relax. Thank god there are Second Cups and Starbucks on almost every corner (no offense Tim Hortons but I’m not interested). Check out this awesome info graphic from The Grid on just how many coffee shops there are.

In a city that is go go go the little bit of bliss found in a latte is awesome to slow slow slow down. I believe the latte is like Toronto’s own Soma (that’s a “Brave New World” reference btw). Its power is why I believe people in Toronto drink so much. Continue reading

What to do this weekend? Christmas anyone?

This weekend I’m feeling festive, so I decided to search out some festive events that could occupy my time. Thankfully Toronto’s transit ads are a great way to fill your weekend with ideas. I’ve received multiple ideas from the TTC such as Second City and the David Bowie exhibit. So what ideas sprung up this time?

Yup, it's that time of year again. (CC CS_McMahon)

Yup, it’s that time of year again. (CC CS_McMahon)

One of a Kind Christmas Show and Sale
If you’re feeling jolly and would like to get some items crossed off your Christmas list, running from November 28 to December 8 is the coveted One of a Kind Christmas Show and Sale at the Direct Energy Centre. If you’re willing to endure the crowd, this place seems to be the spot to shop this weekend. For $14 you are granted admission into what has been described as the Mecca of one stop gift shopping. The One of a Kind Show brings in over 800 artisans and their handmade items. Continue reading

A Sunday matinee at The National Ballet of Canada

"Innovation" and The National Ballet of Canada. (Torontonowhere)

“Innovation” and The National Ballet of Canada. (Torontonowhere)

As a little girl I used to love ballerinas and the ballet. I am pretty sure it was up there with my dreams of becoming a princess or marrying Leonardo from TMNT. Like many little girls, I took dance classes and hung my ballet slippers on my mirror. Sadly puberty and adolescence crushed those dreams and reality hit like a ton of bricks: I had no rhythm or flexibility and my body was anything but ballerinaesque.

During my adolescence I fed my appetite for dance with pop-culture and movies like “Center Stage” and “Save the Last Dance.” By the time I reached adulthood, the movies had become mundane (I’m lying, they are still my guilty pleasure), and the chance to experience an actual real ballet seemed reserved to the elite and sophisticated…and well I am neither of those. However, last Sunday I learned I was very wrong.

Get rush seats at the Box Office. (Torontonowhere)

Get rush seats at the Box Office. (Torontonowhere)

A friend of mine introduced me to the amazing availability of “rush seats” to The National Ballet of Canada at the Four Seasons Centre. For $35 dollars instead of $150, I had the opportunity to see real ballerinas perform real ballets in a real theater. Continue reading

High Park : A stairway to Heaven in Toronto

High Park's stairwar (Torontonowhere)

High Park’s stairway. (Torontonowhere)

Before I moved to Toronto, I used to spend my free time taking little adventures. These adventures usually meant random walks without any destination. I’d stumble upon little art shows, beautiful gardens and for some reason, odd socks. Actually the discovery of odd socks happened so often that my friend and I started sending snapshots of these lonely foot warmers accompanied with a fictional back story. Anyways I digress.

This is the first entry in a short series on walks around Toronto. I actually took this walk a couple of weeks ago but knew I wanted to share. I call this walk “High Park’s stairway to Heaven.”

High Park is a gorgeous escape in Bloor West Village, easily accessible from the High Park subway station on the Bloor line.  In the summer, it’s perfect for riding bikes, running, and feeding the ducks on the pond. I’ve biked the paved paths many times this summer and enjoyed a few good runs. However, today I traveled off the paved path and discovered the perfect landscape to truly escape the big city and fall back in love with autumn. Continue reading

Strolls in Toronto – Toronto’s best walks

These boots are made for walking. (Torontonowhere)

These boots are made for walking. (Torontonowhere)

I initially decided to start this blog because I wanted to write outside of the confines of my job description and because I wanted to give this city a real chance. However, as much as I would like to believe that this blog would make me Toronto’s next scene woman, I’ve encountered a few hurdles:
1.    Time: I, like many in Toronto, work like a dog. And after a long day I am rarely inclined for a night on the town.
2.    Budget: If I were to visit every hot spot in Toronto, I would need a second job. And that would constrict on my time even more.
3.    Priorities: With so little time to spend with my loved ones, I’d rather spend my weekends with my friends and family and unfortunately, most of them live outside the city.

But then I stumbled upon this gem “Toronto Urban Strolls… for girlfriends: The girlfriends-tested guide to 28 exciting walks in Toronto,” and I became inspired. Continue reading

Nail-ed it or maybe not. Are you a victim of nailism in Toronto?

Perfect Nail Spa on Bloor St. West.  (Torontonowhere)

Perfect Nail Spa on Bloor St. West. (Torontonowhere)

In Toronto it’s not what you do, where you live, or who your friends are. It’s what colour did you get? Where did you get them done? And who does you manicure?

Nails. It’s all about nails! Fingerails, toenails, colours, shellac or gel, square or round, long or short. Nails are the new status symbol. Now don’t get me wrong, nail art has been around for centuries. Some believe it dates back to 5000 BC in India when women would dye their fingertips with henna. The hot pink nails of the 80’s were far from in hiding. But, in my opinion, nails were an accent and now they are the main event.

But when did the little beds at the end of your fingertips become the hottest accessory? Ranking over purses, jewelry and god forbid…shoes. It’s no longer about Marc Jacobs, Chanel, or Michael Kors. It’s Essie, O.P.I and Shellac. However, even top designers like Marc Jacobs are now into nail fashion. Continue reading