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Monuments You Have to See In Toronto

Toronto is a cultural gold mine. For people seeking art, history and beauty, there are many monuments in Toronto that can be looked at and enjoyed. Knowing which monuments are the best can help tourists and visitors to have an enjoyable experience in the city. 

South African War Memorial

The South African War Memorial, which opened in 1910, was designed to commemorate the Canadians who fought in the Boer war. Found on University Avenue, the South African War Memorial is a cast of three bronze figures standing below a column made of granite. Atop the column is a winged figure, also made of bronze.

The South African War Memorial, aside from being a stunning example of the artistry of its time, was also once a gathering place for people to honor the lost soldiers from the war. For twenty years after the war ended, Canadians would gather around war memorial monuments every year on February 27th (Paardeberg Day). This practice continued until the end of the first World War.

Fort Rouille

Fort Rouille is a monument built on the site of old Fort Rouille, an important trading post from Toronto’s earliest days. Also called Fort Toronto, Fort Rouille was built in 1751. The humble structure was built to hold only a handful of men at any given time. Despite its small size, Fort Rouille was important in developing the French alliance with the First Nations. The French garrison at Toronto burned the outpost in 1759.

Today, the monument to Fort Rouille is surrounded by paving stones that mark the original location of Fort Rouille. The modest monument is made from stone and features two canons on either side of the fort.

Symbol of Multiculturalism

The “Symbol of Multiculturalism” is a monument located in front of Toronto’s Union Station. This elegant bronze sculpture was opened in 1985, and was designed to fit in well with the Beaux-Arts style of architecture in Union Station. The “Symbol of Multiculturalism” features a figure in the center of a globe, joining two meridians held up by doves.

The “Symbol of Multiculturalism” is meant to symbolize hope and collaboration among humans from different backgrounds and ethnicities. On the side of the statue, an inscription reads: “This monument, a tribute to multiculturalism, was presented to the city of Toronto on the occasion of its sesquicentennial by the national congress of Italian Canadians on behalf of the Italian Canadian Community.” The “Symbol of Multiculturalism” stands prominently in downtown Toronto to remind the people of the beauty of acceptance and peace among societies.

Immigrant Family

The relatively new work “Immigrant Family” is found at 18 Yonge Street. “Immigrant Family” is traditional in some ways, and non-traditional in others. “Immigrant Family” features a family consisting of two parents and a baby. The adults are huddled together around their child. As the name implies, the immigrant family is newly arrived, full of hope. The characters are simple and iconic. They appear huggable and sweet, like a picture on a greeting card. This innocent and lovable statue is an excellent representation of the rich history of immigration in Toronto’s culture.

For visitors who come to Toronto, these sculptures and monuments show how art is used to unify and delight the people of Toronto. For anyone who comes to the city, these monuments are a must-see.

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The Best Ice Cream Parlors in Toronto

Toronto's Best Ice Cream ParlorsThere’s something about ice cream that’s almost magical. Whether someone only wants it during really hot weather or enjoys it all year round, it’s important to be able to get the ice cream they really like. That could be something as simple and classic as a vanilla cone, or it could be a unique mix of flavors, a vegan option, or a creation that adds something unexpected to the experience. No matter what kind of ice cream a person likes, or what they might want from going to an ice cream parlor, living in or visiting Toronto means a lot of different places to try. For awesome ice cream experiences in the area, consider some of the most popular options. People like them for a reason.

Eva’s Original Chimneys

Combining doughnuts and ice cream, Eva’s Original Chimneys is a great place to have a sweet treat on a hot day. Hungarian pastries are baked on an open grill, and, with decorations reminiscent of Hungary, you can be transported to the streets of Budapest by walking in the door. The base for their pastries is both vegan and organic, and you can get a doughnut cone filled with lovely soft-serve ice cream for an incredible treat.

Bar Ape

For anyone wanting a taste of Italy, Bar Ape (pronounced “bar ah-pay”) is the place to go. This food truck offers a unique spin on gelato, including a lot of unexpected flavors and bars dipped in chocolate. Depending on the season, there’s a wildcard flavor that changes and that’s always something interesting to try. While it’s not always in the same location, the food truck has some commonly used spots and is easy to find.

Greg’s Ice Cream

Any ice cream lover looking for flavor overload should come to Greg’s Ice Cream. There are more than 100 flavors to choose from, and everything is made from natural ingredients. There’s everything from traditional favorites like chocolate and vanilla to more obscure choices like licorice, pumpkin raisin, and roasted marshmallow. It’s an excellent place for a total ice cream experience.

Lickadee Split Ice Cream Shoppe

Anyone who has kids should take them to Lickadee Split Ice Cream Shoppe for their ice cream. It’s very kid friendly, easy to get to, and offers plenty of great choices. There’s a kid’s seating area with colorful chairs, and some adult seating spaces, too, along with a chalkboard wall and plenty of bright colors to catch the eye.

Getting some ice cream doesn’t have to be a big production, but it’s nice to be able to go to a parlor where everyone feels welcome and can get something that works for them. For someone who doesn’t get ice cream very often, getting something really good from the experience can be a great way to make them feel even happier with their choice of treat.

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Best Music Venues in Toronto, Canada

Top Performance Venues in TorontoThe music scene in Toronto is diverse and active. Artists from every genre and niche are known for booking the city’s top music venues, because they know that these venues regularly host sold-out crowds who are vying to see their favorite performers. Whether a resident wants to see a classical performance from a symphony orchestra or a visitor has traveled to Toronto to catch a show by their favorite rock band, they will surely be impressed by the music venues in the city.

The best music venues in Toronto include:

The Rogers Centre

Located in the heart of Downtown Toronto, the Rogers Centre is perhaps one of the most well-known entertainment venues in the city. It is the home to the city’s Major League Baseball team, the Toronto Blue Jays, but it also welcomes some of the most famous performance artists from around the world. The centre opened in 1989, and features a retractable roof which allows for performances throughout the entire year. There is also a hotel connected to it, which makes it a convenient option for those who are traveling to see a show.

Budweiser Stage

This facility opened in 1995 under the name Molson Canadian Amphitheatre. While the name has changed, the Budweiser Stage still remains one of the top places to watch a concert in the city. It’s an open air amphitheatre that has been attracting amazing performers since it first opened. More than 16,000 can attend a show on any given night, and there are about 7,000 seats within the amphitheatre itself. Another 7,000 seats are available on the lawn that extends beyond the amphitheatre.

Massey Hall

Massey Hall is a historic theatre that is located in the Garden District in Toronto. It was built just before the turn of the 20th century, and it is a designated historic site in Canada. Massey Hall remains true to its roots to this day, attracting incredible performance artists that appreciate the acoustics of the venue as well as its authentic atmosphere. Currently, Massey Hall can seat more than 2,700 patrons for any given show. It has hosted royalty and other dignitaries, as well as modern rock bands and pop stars.

Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts

The Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts is one of the newest music venues in Toronto, and also one of the most unique venues. It opened in 2006, and it was designed specifically to host operas and ballet performances. With a large orchestra pit and the best possible acoustics, this venue offers an experience unlike anything else found in Canada. It is the home to the Canadian Opera Company as well as the National Ballet of Canada.

Ricoh Coliseum

This is another historic venue in Toronto that still holds significant value to the people who reside there today. The Ricoh Coliseum was originally constructed in 1922, but it was renovated in 2003 so that it would continue to exceed modern standards and expectations. It is the home for several professional hockey teams, but it also hosts concerts and other musical events. Famous artists that performed at this venue include The Who, Jimmy Hendrix and the Doors. It is a favorite among both performers and concert-goers.

As one of the largest city’s in Canada, it’s no surprise that there are so many fantastic music venues in the city. Residents and tourists alike will find no shortage of incredible shows to see at these facilities, which are known for their acoustics and atmosphere.

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The Ultimate Museum Checklist for Toronto

How to Find the Best Museums in TorontoThere’s a lot a person can learn about a city through its museums if they know where to go. The themes, mediums, and descriptions all tell a story, and Toronto is certainly no exception. Visitors and locals can’t go wrong no matter what museum they choose—after all, even an unpopular spot can still teach a person the values and the preferences of those in a city. But to see the true stand-outs in this busy metropolis, aficionados and casual observers alike should keep the following best museums in Toronto on their list.

Royal Ontario Museum

This popular spot has been around for over 100 years, educating residents on not only the culture of Toronto but also the splendor of the natural world. The Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) is the largest museum in the country and home to six million separate pieces and objects from all around the globe. About a decade ago, this museum was expanded with the help of benefactor Michael Lee-Chin Crystal. The new addition was opened in hopes of inspiring visitors to continue a never-ending quest for learning on the way to achieving their dreams. With plenty of special exhibits and events, adults and children alike will have no trouble finding things to do no matter when they visit.

Hockey Hall of Fame

Whether a visitor loves hockey or not, the Hockey Hall of Fame is a must in this obsessed country. Coming here is the chance to learn more about the culture of hockey, and how different players left their mark on the good people of Toronto. Sports isn’t just about grabbing the remote control and tuning out the world. It’s a celebration of competition, athleticism, and togetherness. The cheering and camaraderie form lasting memories that can be relived again at the Hockey Hall of Fame. It may even have the power to inspire a casual hockey fan to convert to full-fledged hockey lover.

Casa Loma

While most people don’t associate Canada with castles, in 1911, a special knight had one built for him in the Edwardian style. Now, people can come to see the 200,000 square foot castle to learn more about the architectural style and the circumstances surrounding the home’s construction (and eventual abandonment). Visitors can go at their own pace on self-guided tours and find out more about the castle with a little help from the castle’s audio guides. People love this museum because of the immersive experience. The grandiosity and the beauty of the castle are enough to move practically anyone to awe.

The Art Gallery of Ontario

For a more traditional look at art, the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) is the premier destination in Canada to see over 90,000 works of art. Names like Rothko, Pollock, and Kline all grace the walls of this international landmark built by architect Frank Gehry. With its combination of local artists, historical Canadian artifacts, and well-known contemporary and European art, visitors enjoy a wide range a wide range of mediums, colors, and creations. The gallery also hosts documentary screenings as well as different tastings of flavors from around the world.

From special exhibits to standard collections, these four museums represent a breadth of history, beauty, and traditions. The checklist is a great way for visitors to get more perspective on how eras and culture grow and shift as years go by, and how Toronto played a part in influencing both the people of the city and the wider world.

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Best Coffee Shops in Toronto: An Overview of Options

Toronto Offers Great Options for All Types of Coffee DrinkersWhether you need a break from shopping or a quiet place to study, a convenient location to meet friends or a way to escape from the crowd, there is a coffee shop in Toronto to meet your needs. Toronto has many options for sampling the best of the brew.

Take yours “straight” with funky art, sip a latte with a tablet in your lap and a convenient plug nearby, savor a strong espresso after lunch, or grab a cup to go; no matter what your style, you won’t have to look far. No matter what neighborhood you visit in Toronto, you will also find special bags of beans to take home and enjoy on your own terms.

Here are 5 unique coffee shops that have earned top spots on a lot of lists:

Fahrenheit Coffee

Now with two locations to choose from, Fahrenheit Coffee at 120 Lombard Street in Old Town Toronto opened in 2011, and has repeatedly been voted Best Specialty Coffee House in the city. They offer three different espresso origins, all of them crafted excellently and consistently. A second shop is located at 529 Richmond Street West, but is closed on Sunday. They are both relatively small, but the baristas are friendly and knowledgeable, and there’s light fare available to accompany the perfectly brewed cups of coffee.

Manic Coffee

Located at 426 College St., this one’s a favourite with the college crowd. Study always goes better with perfectly-filtered coffee and naturally-flavoured gelato or sorbet, right? Here, however, you’ll find plenty of espresso artistry, hearty muffins and flaky croissants, cookies and Danish, and a friendly casual ambience. Go solo to study or stop in with friends for a “social hour.” Visitors are as welcome as students. It’s all good!

Boxcar Social

Boxcar Social is not a one-off coffee shop. In fact, there are five locations, and another offshoot that supplies pizza for the chain. But, every location is special! Hard as it may be to believe, not everyone loves coffee. Meet friends who prefer beer, wine or spirits and socialize in your own way, at breakfast or over dinner. The original was at 1208 Yonge St., Summerhill, but additional locations now include Riverside, Harbourfront, Temperance and The Slip. You’ll enjoy the decor as much as the brew. Or the pizza!

Coco Espresso Bar

What a place! It’s a little bit Italy, a little bit ice cream (gelato) parlor, a little bit lunch spot, and a lot of fun. Coffee, tea, sparkling water—find it all, including real Italian meats and cheeses, biscotti and cakes, at 29 Bellair St. The espresso is pretty good too! Raffaele Bettalico opened 15 years ago, with the goal of creating “a place to drink espresso, but to ‘taste’ Italy.” He succeeding in creating a trendy gathering spot that is among the most popular in the city.

Nespresso Boutique-Bar

The dazzling decor and comfy chairs are worth a visit, even if the coffee is expensive. But if your love for fancy coffee won’t be satisfied until you have all the perfect equipment to brew your own at home, this is where you’ll want to go. Take home all the equipment you could want from this unique boutique; sample complimentary coffee while you decide. It’s located at 159 Cumberland Street.

Toronto may not “run” on coffee, but residents do love it—brewed, flavored, artistic, and for any conceivable reason. Every neighbourhood has a well-loved coffee shop; they range from a great place to start the morning to the perfect spot for a late night pick-me-up. Whether you like your caffeine with sandwiches and a pastry, with a full meal or with gelato, you’re sure to find a coffee shop to love.

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What’s New in Toronto Real Estate?

Real Estate News in TorontoThe beginning of the year seems like the right time to brush up on the trends of Toronto real estate. It’s much far easier to buy, sell, or invest when you know the context of the market. There have been enough recent policy changes to make for some drastic swings in prices, and everyone is watching interest rates in preparation for the suspected hike. But it’s definitely not all bad news and predictions. See what’s on the horizon for buyers and sellers if you have big plans for 2018.

The Big Fix

If anyone has had even a passing interest in Toronto real estate, they would know that the Ontario Fair Housing Act caused quite the stir in the market. While the beginning of the year saw Toronto real estate at unprecedented prices, the bubble inevitably burst when this Act was announced in April. Since then, the market’s been struggling to correct itself to find a better balance. While the untrained eye may believe the value of real estate has crumbled (compared to this time last year), experts expect the market is just in the midst of a fix.

Internal Demand

Toronto’s population continues to grow, which will (almost) always correlate with higher property prices. The luxury market doing well, if only because of the relative scarcity of high-end property. Toronto is famously anti-sprawl, so there are fewer and fewer areas for the wealthy to turn to. Unlike many other parts of Canada, the demand for high-end property is coming from locals and not outside parties. Recent statistics show that 85 percent of buyers in the wealthier neighborhoods were Canadians.

Slow and Steady

The Ontario Fair Housing Act wasn’t the only recent disruptor in the market. There were also new rules placed on homeowners with low-ratio mortgages that started at the beginning of the year. Previously those who put down 20 percent or more on their home weren’t expected to submit to a stress test to be approved for a loan. But that’s all changed for 2018 as politicians attempt to stave off inflation and foreclosures alike. With interest rates expected to climb this year, buyers will have to prove they can handle the additional rate hike. This is expected to have a bigger impact in the major cities like Toronto.

Prices and Demand

The market is expected to hold at average prices of around $725,000 for at least the next few months. Prices may either dip slightly or remain steady for the first half of the year before rising again after everyone adjusts to the new rules. In addition, investors maintain their interest in new construction real estate with condos expected to take center stage. This may make it more difficult for first-time home buyers to get their foot in the door. Much of the construction won’t even be available until the early 2020s, which really just leaves the market open for investors.

No matter what construction plans Canadians have for this year, it’s always a good idea to stay updated on the news. While predictions and speculation often goes nowhere, there is real evidence to suggest that Toronto doesn’t have a failing market (despite where it started.) The population and continued demand will almost certainly offset the new rules and regulations for buyers.

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