Santa Claus Is Coming To Town

Tis the season to be jolly and the city of Toronto sure showed its Christmas spirit last sunday afternoon for its 108th Santa Claus Parade. So off we went! Megan (a Christmas princess), Kenny (a reindeer), Me (an elf) and Annie (as herself) to go and tell Santa what was on our wish list.  And this year I was a good boy!!!


The Santa Claus Parade started at Christie Pits and Bloor around 12:30 and finished around the St. Lawrence Market on Front where we awaited the jolly old elf.  The streets were filled with children catching candy canes and drawing with chalk on the road.  The parade consisted of snow princesses, monkeys walking on their hands, giant snow men, marching lines of drummers, and Santa Claus himself.

The city was in the Christmas spirit and Toronto belonged to the children for the day.  So next time the Santa Claus Parade happens dress up in your best seasonal outfits, bring your wish list, and tell the ones you love, “MERRY CHRISTMAS!”

I ♥ TO

Some Bites at Hair of the Dog

This week my friend Tammy was in town and we decided to get together to catch up on our lives.  Tammy insisted that we go and see a show.  I agreed, as long as we were able to grab a few drinks first.

So, on our way to the theatre we decided to stop by Hair of the Dog to get a little tipsy and fulfill our hunger.  Located on the corner of Church and Wood street, this was a very cozy spot to eat.  It was very, what I like to call, hole-in-the-wall charming.  There was a main floor, as well as a second floor that all contained a darker lighting.  It was the perfect venue for Tammy and I to get comfortable and catch up over some beer.

My pick was not a very good option so I won’t focus on my meal.  But, for future reference don’t get the crab dip.

Tammy’s Choice 

Tammy got the curry chicken grilled cheese sandwich with sweet potato fries.  I mean it speaks for its self.

So if you are in this area, definitely drop by Hair of the Dog for a great cozy venue and some tasty drinks.

I ♥ TO

Only In TO: Blackboard Bucket List

On the corner of Dufferin and Queen you can find a bucket list outlined on a chalk board for anyone to write their desired wish in life.  With a large title of “Before I die…” and spaces left blank for the addition of dreams, this blackboard is over packed with the dreams of the Toronto public.

The amount of aspirations found on this board is very charming and uplifting.  So, why not show Toronto what you dream of doing before you die?

Only In TO

Sushi Making at Fortinos

A while ago I had an amazing experience making sushi and now I am finally writing about it.  We had a work thing for the end of the Summer at Fortinos in Etobicoke where we got to make sushi and roll it from scratch.

Now normally cooking is not my expertise but sushi is raw, so I thought that I would stand a better chance.  So off we went to the President’s Choice Cooking School to roll some wonderful sushi.

The Cooking School at Fortinos brings in celebrity chefs that teach you their specialty in the kitchen.  And the second we walked into the kitchen we were in business equipped with mounds of raw fish.  We also had a wonderful selection of raw fish to pick from like shrimp, crab, and salmon.

Our chef showed us how to cut the sushi to get the most of the meat.  We also learned how to properly make the sticky rice and how to lay out all of the ingredients to make the perfect role.

I was able to make shrimp sushi, a California roll, and spicy salmon.  Unfortunately I found out that I was no better at rolling sushi than cooking in the kitchen.  But all in all we had a wonderful time.

I ♥ TO

Dinner at Centro

Centro Restaurant and Lounge was the spot Kenny and I found ourselves dinning this past weekend.  Located just north of Yonge and Eglignton, Centro is the place to go for a romantic fine dinning experience.

I was lucky enough to have been given a Groupon as a gift to dine here.  This place might not be easy on the wallet, but the food and service stands alone.  You will find yourself served by waiters suited in white within a very dimly lit dinning hall.

With a nice bottle of red wine Kenny and I were ready to start our beautiful dinning experience.  Our Groupon deal was giving us the opportunity to share an appetizer, each have a main course meal, and then finish with a dessert.

Our Appetizer

We started off with the delicious Buffalo Mozzarella with a tomato basil puree, focaccia croutons, and balsmic pearls.

My Dinner 

I had the daily beef presentation of the New York sirloin cooked rare.  This wonderful dish was accompanied with potato and gruyere gratin and a side of green beans and a breaded onion ring.

Kenny’s Dinner

Kenny chose the Butter Poached Lobster served with mushroom-lobster ravioli with asparagus.

Our Dessert 

We finished off with a single scoop of ice cream, sorbet, and gelato for dessert.

If you are looking for a place to take your loved one for a beautiful dinner, head up to Centro for a beautiful fine dinning experience.

I ♥ TO

‘Wish Me Away’ at Hot Docs

Last Wednesday I had the opportunity to go to the Bloor Cinema to watch a screening of ‘Wish Me Away.’  This Hot Docs theatre is located at the corner of Bathurst and Bloor and provides an intimate venue for its audience.

I was not expecting to cry but this beautiful documentary about Chely Wright, the first country star to come out as gay, was incredibly moving.  The film touched upon the challenges that Chely faced with coming out as a gay individual in the very conservative music environment of Nashville.

The film documents the three-year process on how Chely planned to come out as a gay country star to the public.  The challenges she faced in accepting her own sexuality as well as facing retort from her fans was by far the most moving movie experience I have seen in a while.  The best part of the film was the fact that Chely stopped fearing the rejection from the country music industry and started striving for the rights of the young LGBT community.

This is a must-see film if you are in the mood to cry, to feel inspired, and see the endurance of love for an individual by their family despite their sexual preference.  One thing I can say in confidence is I am proud of Chely and her bravery. Chely is a hero for those individuals who are afraid of being themselves and has made a difference to many troubled LGBT youth.

I ♥ TO

Bike Art

The other day when I was walking down the street I discovered a colourful bike abandoned on a bike rack.  It was clear that this bike was more decorative than functional and it sparked some interest.  I later started finding more bikes around Toronto and thought I better find out more about this bike art.

This project was founded by Caroline Macfarlane and Vanessa Nicholas which led to the placement of  150 art inspired bikes around the city.  “The Good Bike Project” may have started outside the OCAD University Student Gallery, but now is being spotted in many different neighbourhoods in the city.

The Green Hornet 

This very ‘green’ bike really caught my eye with its rims lined with ivy!

Madam Butterfly 

The next bike I found was a very theatrical representation that you could probably find in some sort of glitzy Mirvish production.

Gold Digger 

This bedazzled bike not only had diamond lined wheels but also had pink fluffy pedals!

I really suggest you keep your eye open next time you are walking around the city, you may find an abandoned decorative bike!

I ♥ TO

Yogurty’s in Liberty Village

Yogurty’s graced Liberty Village with its presence this past August and we are all extremely happy about it!!  So as we were running some chores in the area this weekend we decided to stop by the Jamba Juice section of this store for a few smoothies.

Heather’s Choice

Heather was very happy with her Mega Mango smoothie.

Kenny’s Choice 

Kenny’s decided to be a little more health conscious with the Acai Super-Antioxident smoothie.

My Choice

I of course wanted a Pina Colada flavored smoothie that was not on the menu, but the friendly smoothie girl was happy to oblige my wishes.

Also if you are a fan of the classic Yogurty’s style, you have to go to the yogurt bar where you can pick your own choice of toppings to create your very own soft serve dish.

I ♥ TO

Drinks at Williams Landing

Williams Landing is the place to go in Liberty Village if you are looking for a killer patio.  This new hot spot has a great venue with an island bar surrounded by very modern decor seating.  But the best part of this restaurant is the great balcony patio that looks into the heart of Liberty Village.

So last Sunday, we decided to grab some afternoon drinks.  As it was Sunday everyone ordered their usual Caesar.  But, I of course had to be different and order my regular dirty vodka martini.

Recommended Appetizer: Landing Sliders

The boys and I decided to share the sliders for $12.  These cute mini burgers were very tasty with cheddar cheese, dijon mustard, and their home-made pickle chips.

So if you are in Liberty Village and want a spot with a great view of this charming neighborhood Williams Landing is the place to go.

I ♥ TO

Only In TO: Crazy Subway Haircut

You always have to love the TTC and the strange haircuts you find.

Only In TO