Saturday, May 18, 2013

Summer In Toronto

It’s been a year since I set off on my 3.5 months of living in Canada for their Summer, to complete my MSW placement for uni. As Summer approaches in Toronto now, and the word ‘patio’ is popping into regular conversation, these are the things I found to do and see in the city that made my Summer over there so much fun!

I loved Doors Open Toronto, as an introduction to so many different and diverse places around the city, with a bit of history, and quirky details about some of the buildings. That’s how I knew about the temperature forecast being broadcast from the spire on the Canada Life Building! It was a great chance to trek around the city to different areas, and familiarise myself with the transport system, and some areas of the city. This year it is on next weekend, May 25 and 26. Definitely check out the Winter Garden Theatre over that weekend, if you get the chance – gorgeous!

Baseball fever was in full force last year, with the Blue Jays doing quite well. Well, at least for the start of the season! It was pretty easy to get tickets, and the stadium has an unusual sliding roof which was worth checking out as part of the atmosphere of a match, and is just at the foot of the CN Tower.

North By North East, or NXNE, is a festival of music, film and interactive forums, and this year will be on June 12th til 16th. Last year, headliners The Flaming Lips were amazing in Yonge Square, and this event over the 5 days let me explore a host of music venues whilst sampling local, Aussie, and international bands. Plus I managed to see a few of the films shown also, which were well worth the festival pass.

The 1000 Tastes of Toronto has changed to a school kids JuniorChef-style event for this year (June 15 and 16) called Future Tastes Of Toronto: At The Kids Table, where you can wonder around the Distillery District and sample dishes for $5, made by a top chef and a little apprentice. It is still part of the Luminato Festival – which will be on June 14 to 23 - which looks like it will be bigger and better, and restyled, this year.

I was in Montreal for Canada Day holiday last year, but I would recommend trying to get to Ottawa for the music and light festival on the lawn of Parliament Hill for July 1st. Feist was the headliner there last year, so it clearly pulls some great names – and there are plenty of amazing Canadian acts that are possibilities for this gig. (Actually, it sounds like you will be hearing Call Me, Maybe this year!)

I was lucky enough to be invited to cover the Roundhouse Craft Beer Fest last year on my blog, and in 2013 it will be on again on August 10 and 11. This will surely be bigger in it’s sophomore year, so keep your eyes peeled for what they have in store. A great chance to sample some of the smaller breweries from the state of Ontario.

Ohhh, I would so love to pop into Tim Horton’s for an Iced Capp! Yum!

Patios (that’s a beer garden for the rest of the world, or a balcony outside, or even just a strip of the footpath!), will be EVERYWHERE very soon, and there is nothing like a Sunday Session in the sun in TO. And there are so many great options!

There is also the host of outdoor cinema venues that pop up all over the city, including the free one in Yonge Square. Of course, a visit to Toronto Islands, and High Park are ones to be planned for at least once during these Summer months ahead, just gorgeous! Toronto, like Melbourne and London and NYC, always have something going on, something to get involved with, and a new neighbourhood of activities to explore.

Enjoy the Summer over there!

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