Priscilla Presley praises Collingwood Elvis Festival

Courtesy Erika Engel ( Collingwood Elvis Festival, July 25 – 27, 2014 takes place in Collingwood, Ontario, one-hour north of Toronto.

Ste. Anne’s Spa

Outdoor private massage cabana

Outdoor private massage cabana

Ste. Anne’s Spa is a year-round destination spa on approximately 570 acres in Grafton, Ontario — just about 1.5 hours’ travel time east of the city of Toronto by automobile.  If you prefer to travel by train, VIA RAIL  has a track with the main train terminal at Union Station at Toronto with several stops.  Ste. Anne’s Spa is an award winning spa, offering both day and overnight accommodation, extensive list of spa and health and wellbeing programmes, heated outdoor large pool, and horse riding lessons.  If you are more interested in an extended spa stay due to recovering from illness (inquire as to the nature of your illness), or other stress related personal situation, an historic farm house stay situated a few minutes’ stroll from the main Ste. Anne’s Spa complex should fit the bill perfectly.  Men love this spa, too.

Stone House

Stone House


Ste. Anne's Spa

Ste. Anne’s Spa

Ste. Anne’s Spa has been repeatedly voted the number one spa in Canada by Spa Finder Readers’ Choice and is listed in the top 100 spas of the world.  The original 1858 stone complex on 570 manicured acres in the town of Grafton is within views of Lake Ontario on a clear day.  The Aveda spa, professional programmes, and fine cuisine created by an award-winning culinary team all contribute to Ste. Anne’s Spa excellent standing in both Canada and around the world.

If your heart desires whimsy, choose to stay in one of the private cottages steps from the spa: a pretty red-brick farm-house, an English stone cottage; the Dolls House, or a white Victorian clapboard. Afternoon tea on the outdoors terrace surrounded by lush gardens adds to the blissful and stress-free ambiance at Ste. Anne’s Spa.  1-888-346-6772

Love your history when it comes to railways?


The heritage railway museum is close to the CNTower. The Toronto Railway Museum (TRM) is open from noon to 5:00 p.m. from Wednesday to Sunday each week. Admission to our museum exhibits is $5.00 for adults and $3.00 for children. The Miniature train ride also operates Wednesday to Sunday. Tickets to ride the train are $3.00 for adults and $2.00 for children.  For current information and entry costs please telephone Toronto local:  416-214-9229.

TooT! Toot!

TooT! Toot!


What is sweet, sky high and has the city of Toronto all abuzz?

Rooftop Bee Hotel / Fairmont Royal York Hotel, Toronto.

Rooftop Bee Hotel / Fairmont Royal York Hotel, Toronto.

Afternoon Tea with tour of Bee Hotel

Afternoon Tea with tour of Bee Hotel

Fairmont Royal York Hotel, Toronto / Tour of rooftop gardens & Bee Hotel

Fairmont Royal York Hotel, Toronto / Tour of rooftop gardens & Bee Hotel

Fairmont Royal York, Toronto has a sweet honey of a deal beginning Saturday 21 June, 2014.  Enjoy Afternoon Tea and a tour of the Fairmont Royal York Hotel roof garden new Bee Hotel, gardens, and bee hives weekends.


2014 Redpath Waterfront Festival in Toronto at Sugar Beach on Lake Ontario, June 20 – 22, 2014

By Cherie DeLory

Photo and Text Copyright ©  2010 by Cherie DeLory

Cue music:

“Honey, ah sugar sugar. You are my candy girl. And you’ve got me wanting you.”

Canada’s new Sugar Beach, in Toronto, Ontario, laden with colourful pinstripe-motif granite rocks, candyfloss pink umbrellas and sugar-like sand, will have you humming the lovable comic book band The Archies’ # 1 hit song of 1969, “Sugar Sugar”. The Redpath sugar factory, a direct neighbour to the west, will certainly have you thinking about, or smelling, the sweet stuff, as it is delivered by ship, and produced and packaged in the waterfront factory.

Sugar Beach and park is part of Waterfront Toronto’s revitalization of Lake Ontario. It’s a family friendly destination, located across from the Toronto Islands, where you can sit back, enjoy a picnic lunch, and watch the sailboats cruise by, or even see the sugar cane arrive into port. It’s a man-made sand beach with no swimming.

Water’s Edge Promenade is an inviting stretch of boardwalk for a stroll along Lake Ontario and to see the new home of Corus Entertainment, Sugar Beach’s neighbour to the east. The plaza space adjacent to the Corus building is a gathering spot for concerts and film screenings, and a new meeting place to hook up with family and friends. Sweet.

Sugar Beach, Toronto. Copyright Cherie DeLory

Sugar Beach, Toronto. Copyright Cherie DeLory

2014 DockDogs® World Qualifying Championships: top performing dogs in the Big Air, Extreme Vertical and Speed Retrieve categories will be shown.

2014 Flyboard® North American Championships:
Daniel Kaufman, President, Flyboard Canada presents the newest extreme water sport, that enables humans to fly, including Festival competitors from 7 countries. Demonstrations will include 4 Flyboard pilots in a synchronized presentation and additional pilots doing tricks and competition maneuvers/routines as well as the competitions.  Check the Toronto Waterfront Festival for full events.



Cherry Blossoms in High Park, Toronto, May 2013

Cherry Blossoms in High Park, Toronto, May 2013

Want to see the cherry blossoms at their best?  Word is out that due to the sudden high temperature’s in Toronto over the last week we are finally going to see some pink in High Park!  May 14, 2014  for a couple of days is going to be the best for photos and touring the blossoms — but certainly some of the cherry trees are in blossom right now.

Sakura trees also known as cherry blossom trees are known for their elegance and beauty. Unfortunately they are also known for their short blooming periods.


Evergreen Brickworks, Toronto

Evergreen Brickworks, Toronto

Transform Your City on June 7, 2014!

On June 7th Toronto will host its first-ever festival of civic engagement.  100 in 1 Day is a citizen-driven festival that will unite people across the city of Toronto to make a better place by creating acts of urban change or “interventions”.   If you, community groups or organizations  believe an idea for an intervention to fit the 100 in 1 Day festival, please contact   to submit yours or to find information about workshops where you can learn more, meet people and develop your idea. Sponsor is: ontariopower Generation, with many community partners including MaRS  Ryerson University, University of Toronto, Artscape and archiTEXT+.  Awards by Toronto Community Foundation. Check out Twitter and Facebook, too!

Redpath Waterfront Flyboard!   This is going to be Wet and Wild in Toronto

Smoothwater Ecolodge, Temagami, Ontario

Smoothwater of Temagami

Smoothwater of Temagami

Live in or visiting the city of Toronto and want to venture north into a winter wonderland?  Check out Smoothwater of Temagami on James Lake. Smoothwater Eco Lodge is a year-round intimate lodge that can accommodate  up to 35 guests, offering guided and unguided Cross-Country ski trails (45-km of X-Country trails) and snoweshoe trails.  The sauna comes in handy after a day on the trails. Smoothwater also offers art, culinary, photography, music, and yoga programmes. Intimate wedding receptions and honeymoon accommodation available.

What Smoothwater has to say:

Explore Smoothwater Wilderness Trails Over 45 km of wilderness trails await you from your door — after a good breakfast of course. Some say (and we agree), these are the some of the best cross-country skiing and snowshoeing trails in the world. No recreational snowmobiles are allowed and no motor boats allowed on James Lake. Pure and simple peace and quiet and a place to uncoil  and smooth out the mind, body and soul.

Some private rooms with full bathroom allow for doggies. Your pet will just love his/her own doggie bed and bowl. The lodge accommodates up to 35 people.  Small weddings are arranged at Smoothwater.

Want to rough it in the snow out back the lodge?  Just pitch your tent and use Smoothwater’s bathroom amenities.  Very low cost winter adventure.

Meals lean towards organic and locally sourced ingredients and are home-made —  taste like the best healthy-for-you  cuisine you’ve ever encountered.  1-888-569-4539

FREE NOON CONCERTS: Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, 145 Queen Street west.  Canadian Opera Company, Piano Virtuoso Series: The Colours of Passion.  Works by Rachmaninov, de Falla, Prokofiev and Messiaen.  Mehdi Ghazi, piano. Noon concert held in the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre.  Info. 416-363-8231. Check their website for current music events. Location: Queen and University streets area.



Be a Big Fish In Toronto

To celebrate the opening of the neighbouring, Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada, InterContinental Toronto Centre will be making a tiny splash of its own with a welcoming pet fish in a bowl amenity — appropriately called ”Ripples” — to guests enjoying the “Be a Big Fish at InterContinental Toronto Centre” fall package, starting Monday October 21.   Local telephone:  416-597-8139  Reservations: Toll Free Worldwide:  1-800-327-0200  Canada/US:  1-800-422-7969

Be a Big Fish at InterContinental Toronto Centre” Package starting from $399 per night plus taxes:

* Overnight accommodation in a King Feature Room for two adults or Double Feature Room for up to two adults and two children under 18 years old.
* Two anytime adult entrance tickets at Ripley’s  (Additional entrance tickets are available for purchase at the hotel’s concierge desk or Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada and children under three  years old enter free).
* $100 Spending Voucher at Azure Restaurant & Bar or Spa InterContinental.
* Pet fish in a bowl for guest room or to take home.   Local telephone:  416-597-8139  Reservations: Toll Free Worldwide:  1-800-327-0200  Canada/US:  1-800-422-7969
For guests who wish to take Ripples home, the InterContinental Toronto Centre hotel in downtown Toronto will thoughtfully provide a special container and fish accoutrements – travel container, water conditioner, fish food and protective wrap for the fish bowl, all thoughtfully at-the-ready for safe travels. Leah Neal, Senior Aquarist, Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada has provided guests simple take-away care instructions. To share the “guppy love”, the InterContinental Toronto Centre has partnered up with the Education and Sustainability Department of Ripley’s Aquarium in a pet fish gifting program in which guests can donate their fish to Toronto schools as classroom pets.  225 Front Street, West, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.  Local telephone:  416-597-8139  Reservations: Toll Free Worldwide:  1-800-327-0200  Canada/US:  1-800-422-7969

ANIMAL STORIES at the Gardiner Museum (across the street from the Royal Ontario Museum)

Toronto: October 10, 2013 to january 12, 2014 the Gardiner Museum (111 Queen’s Park)  celebrates friends, foes, fables and fantasy created in clay. Meet Peter Rabbit, Jumbo the elephant, Clara the rhinoceros, and a menagerie of colourful animals in a family friendly exhibition!  Fun for the entire family. Presenting sponsor: Lindy Barrow. Family Days: Every Sunday 11 am – 4 pm. Free with Admission.   Guided tours daily at 2: P.M.  Children 12-years-old and under get free admission to the Gardiner Museum when accompanied by an adult with paid admission.

The Royal Ontario Museum

The Forbidden City from Saturday, March 8 to Monday,  September 1, 2014

While China’s last emperors called it home, their subjects called it The Forbidden City. Tales of China’s last emperors living within the Forbidden City compound have captivated us for centuries. The ROM’s exploration of life inside this mysterious enclave, the world’s largest imperial palace, uses many creative devices to summon up the Palace’s great halls, courtyards, terraces and roofs. Before visitors even enter the Forbidden City exhibition, they will preview the massive architectural complex of the Emperors’ heavenly palace on earth. The Forbidden City from Saturday, March 8 to Monday,  September 1, 2014 in the Garfield Weston Exhibition Hall on Level B2 of the Michael Lee-Chin Crystal. (info supplied by ROM media.)

Toronto’s famous Brickworks

Check out the history, Farmer’s Market Saturday and Sunday, indoor cafe with outdoor patio, children’s play garden, events, classes and garden shop and centre. Don’t miss the ponds and hike in the woods.






Elizabeth Gilbert , author of Eat, Pray, Love, visits Toronto to celebrate her latest book

#1 New York Times bestseller Eat, Pray, Love, gets all serious and insightful about her past, present and future; and, most of all, shares with the audience ideas for her next book during the August 15th 2013  The Signature of All Things pre-release book launch held at Victoria College in the chapel. You would have snagged a seat and an advance copy of The Signature of All Things had you checked with Penguin Canada twitter account: it pays to tweet!




Blood & Beauty by Sarah Dunant

Blood & Beauty by Sarah Dunant

Love the food and history of Italy? 

Check out Sarah Dunant’s latest bestseller published by HarperCollins: Blood & Beauty. Dunant’s book is set in ancient Rome, Italy.  Facebook:  /HARPERCOLLINSCANADA  Twitter:  @HARPERCOLLINSCA  @SAVVYREADER

Are you ready for Ripley’s “Believe It or Not!”

Toronto aquarium near CN Tower.  Read the book A Curious Man: the strange and brilliant life of Robert Ripley by Neal Thompson.

Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada.  New and spectacular!  Making a splash in the heart of downtown Toronto at the foot of the CN Tower, Toronto.   Believe It! (April 18, 1906 California earthquake.) Millions of gallons of wine, stored in casks in warehouses, ruptured and spilled, turning Santa Rosa’s streets into red rivers of wine, whose bouquet attracted the discerning noses of farm animals. Residents soon found drunken pigs and dogs staggering in the streets. Read the book:  A Curious Man: The Strange & Brilliant Life of Robert “Believe It or Not!” Ripley by Neal Thompson.

The IRIS app begins June 1, 2013 and ends at the end of summer 2013. Hurry! Get the FREE app.

“Using transit shelter locations and IRIS Augmented Reality, CN Tower delivers a taste of the thrills that await visitors”, says Debbie Drutz, Director, Media, Markets & Innovation at Astral OOH. “With a simple point of the IRIS app from a mobile device, to the transit shelter poster, you find yourself at the top of the Tower peering over the infamous EdgeWalk and viewing a 360 degree pan of the entire cityscape.”  While in the app, users also have the option to take pictures of the view they see and either add it to their camera roll, email it to a friend or share it socially on Facebook.

Cabbage Town

Checking out the fab cafes, health food stores, Tim Horton’s, flower shop and organic butcher shop on Parliament Street  (couple of blocks east of the old Maple Leaf Gardens at Carlton and Church streets)  just about bumped into a couple of Beauty and the Beast film stars. Yeah, maybe it was my fault. What a gal will do for a bit of star dust.  The Riverdale Zoo is with a five minute stroll along heritage streets lined with Victorian houses boasting colourful flower window boxes.

Holmes Makes It Right with Randy  Backman.  Check out his song: “…the roof is leakn’ the basement is sinkn’…”  Mike’s new episode: Labour of Love @ 9pm ET on HGTV

Toronto Zoo

Giant Pandas from China arrive to Toronto’s zoo.  March 25, 2013

As part of a long-term conservation partnership agreement between China and Canada, signed by Hu Jintao, President of China and Mr. Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada, China will loan two giant pandas to zoos in Canada. The good news is that Toronto Zoo will be home to the breeding pair for a minimum of five years, beginning in the spring of 2013. The pandas will then relocate to the Calgary Zoo sometime in 2018. If the breeding is successful while the pair are at the Toronto Zoo, the pandas and offspring would remain in Toronto until such time it is approved to move them. The Giant Pandas arrive by FedEx to Toronto March 25, 2013.

Earls Restaurant on King Street West

Okay, so I’m walking casually along King Street just a stone’s throw west of Bay Street and I see a really cool-looking outdoor patio. Turns out the place is Earl’s Restaurant where there is a steak bonanza going on in the month of May. Elegant outdoor patio. Casual elegance indoors with swanky cocktail bar. Great views of King Street.


Palais Royale 

Faith, Hope and Charity Luncheons. See you on Toronto’s waterfront (spectacular views!) Wednesdays at noon.  $15.00 buffet and know that you are helping all of our charities!  Palais Royale, 1601 Lake Shore Blvd. West,  Toronto, Ontario. M6K 3C1.   416-533-3553 x 22     For more information on the Faith, Hope and Charity Luncheons please go to 

Air Canada Centre

Name Calling!  Yup…  loves to do it and sometimes twice.  RIHANNA, second show announced for March 19, 2013.  Bon Jovi, second show announced for Feb. 18, 2013.  Performers who have headlined at The Air Canada Centre:   Lady Gaga; Pink; Carrie Underwood; Katy Perry; Glee in Concert; Barbra Streisand; The Who; One Direction; Bryan Adams; Madonna; Lenard Cohen; Cirque Du Soleil; Avril Lavigne; Peter Gabriel; Britney Spears; Aerosmith and a whole lot more at The Air Canada Centre at Maple Leaf Square.  Hungry after a performance…try ARIA RISTORANTE at 25 York Street in Maple Leaf Square…around the corner from The Air Canada Centre  or the biggest TV sports screen in Canada — two-stories high.


Toronto is in the midst of a building boom for all structures heading skyward

The new Four Seasons Hotel in Yorkville is creating quite a stir and not only in the dbar cocktail lounge. If you like getting stared at…pull up a chair here.  “It” Factor:  New York-style street views & soaring ceilings.  All the immediate landscape needs now is a very, very high-end shoe shop. Check out this skyscraper (55-stories —  meek by Toronto standards) soon. Keep your eye tuned for Café Boulud. 60 Yorkville Avenue, Toronto, Ontario M4W 0A4 CANADA  Telephone 416-964-0411 FAX: 416-964-2301

At the other end of town in the financial district you’ll find the Trump Hotel at 325 Bay Street (just north of King Street on the east side of Bay Street) at 65-stories. Stock is Trump’s 31st-floor restaurant.  The swanky cocktail lounge is street level and very busy with dollar-sign for eyes and ears Bay Streeters.

One of the widest streets in the city boasts a flower-lined streetscape and the recently opened Shangri-La hotel/condo at 188 University Avenue soaring to  214 m (65-stories) designed by  James K. M. Cheng, architect. Tour groups always mention the unique  immense sculpture at the exterior of the hotel. Art Deco-style 1930s cocktails and just about anything else you desire to help soak up the rarified atmosphere. I’m going to check out their sake menu. Japanese kaiseki cuisine in Bosk restaurant.

Here is a boutique hotel worth its title. Le Germain is tucked away on a Toronto side street in the live theatre and sports areas of the city; but, do not let this boutique hotel sidestep you into thinking Le Germain on Mercer Street offers anything less than excellent.  The hotel is within walking distance of the financial district, the Rogers Centre, the CN Tower and the Convention Centre, Toronto’s best theatres, boutiques and restaurants.  David Chrystian, Executive Chef, was recognized by The National Post as one of Toronto’s top 10 chefs. See Chrystian in action at Victor Restaurant.  Le Germain has hotels in Quebec City and Montreal.

Toronto vs Montreal  —

Indulge in wines from Veneto, Italy and Puglia, Italy

Indulge in wines from Veneto, Italy and Puglia, Italy

Ultimate Dinosaurs exhibition at the  Royal Ontario Museum.   Biggest show in town.  ROM: 100 Queen’s Park Toronto (Bloor street & Avenue Road. Walk a couple of streets west of Yonge & Bloor streets), Ontario   M5S 2C6.  Contact:  Telephone: 416.586.8000 Bell Relay Service : 711

A little bite of Toronto:

If you arrive in the city of Toronto by train at Union Station, you’ll be in the hub of things for a great time in the city.  Take care of business en route using VIA’s wireless Internet service.  (note:  road construction in the area of Union Station).   Across from the train station (Union Station) at Toronto is the Fairmont Royal York Hotel There is an underground connection to the hotel from Union Station.

If you are already outside and want to see the lakefront, walk south on Bay Street (Bay St. runs from north to south) from the Fairmont Royal York hotel or Union Station to Harbourfront entertainment/cultural public events take place lakeside —  many are free. Check out the canoe and larger boat rentals/lessons near HTO park.  Many restaurants are in this area as well as public transportation (look for the red TTC signs for streetcar and bus travel. Also some streets closed for repairs. Inquire at the TTC website.).  There are vintage ferryboats to the Toronto Islands at the foot of Bay Street south

A few blocks east of the Fairmont Royal York is the Hockey Hall of Fame and Museum  at 30 Yonge Street at Front Street.   Another time honoured attraction in Toronto takes place in the fall in the west end of the city at the waterfront. Canada’s largest annual fair, the Canadian National Exhibition, has over a 130-year history and attracts approximately 1.25 million visitors over 18 days; it’s home to the first urban wind turbine in North America and host to the Canadian International Air Show for three days showcasing The Snowbirds flying precision aerobatics over Lake Ontario.  2013 sees a new and very big ride. The CNE begins the third week in August.

Of course a visit to Toronto’s CN Tower is a Must-Do.  Face the Edge is the newest high adrenalin activity at the CN Tower. Hang from 356m above Toronto and live to tell the tale.  It was a mega helicopter Sikorsky Skyrane that put the icing on the CN Tower cake as it were. In the spring of 1975 Erickson Air-Crane put the communications antenna on top of the CN Tower.   553.4 metres (1,815 feet, 6 inches.

East of Harbourfront (about ten minutes by car (city buses get you there, too), is the hip & chic historic Distillery district for artisan bread, organic coffee and sandwiches, up and coming fashion designers, world-class art exhibits and openings, live demonstrations, ice cream and flower shops, oyster and beer pubs, and jazz festivals. The Distillery district is used by film production companies for period location filming due to the 100+years buildings.

If you enjoy world-class opera the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Artsa spectacular glass-enclosed building on the corners of Queen & University Streets at 145 Queen Street west (Toronto City Hall is just east of the Four Seasons Centre)–is about a ten-minute cab ride from Harbourfront and closer still if you begin at the Fairmont Royal York.  The new opera centre opened in Toronto just a few years’ ago and is regularly 99% sold out for major performances. On site there is a last minute ticket booth, so you may get lucky on a whim.  There is also direct walking access to the Four Seasons Centre from the subway station at St. Andrew station at Queen Street West.

Shopping at Hudson’s Bay Company department store, where just about everything under the sun is available, including Official Canadian Olympic Games merchandise, is well worth a visit to the Queen & Yonge Streets location, just east of the opera facility. There are additional store locations throughout the city. On Queen Street east you’ll also be near City Hall at Queen & Bay Streets where many free events are held outdoors. In winter the pond is converted to an outdoor skating rink.

Need something to eat in a hurry and want to use a credit card? Just take one of the elevators in The Bay to one of the restaurants (some are licenced for liquor/beer). There is a designer Food Court at basement level. The TTC subway directly links at Queen and Yonge Streets to The Bay’s basement level. I buy presents at this location due to the fine culinary selections and equipment. It’s not Harrods by a long shot but quite suitable and very tidy. Don’t forget to check out the Christmas windows at Hudson’s Bay Company, Queen Street location. This is an annual window-shopping event.  The decorations and holiday displays are remarkable.  Hats off to the window display people! 150 King Street West, Toronto 150 King Street West, Toronto

Okay, so where to eat and sleep if you’re not into grand hotels of the century and still want to be near great shopping, theatre and dining?

Hoof it over to some of Toronto’s excellent boutique hotel locations.  Hotel Le Germain, a contemporary-style boutique hotel in the King Street & University Avenue theatre district, won a Wine Spectator Award of Excellence 2007.  You’ll be within easy walking distance to the CN Tower, Union Station, and the Rogers Centre http://www.www.rogerscentre/ , with its retractable Dome roof and major league baseball, continue to be great meeting spots and tourist attractions. What I most enjoyed about Le Germain was the main dining room, Chez Victor , presided over by executive chef David Chrystian. Check out the complementary wine tasting events on the rooftop vineyard terrace given by Chez Victor’s certified sommelier. Hotel Le Germain has other locations including Montreal and Old-Quebec city in the province of Quebec, Canada.

Actually there are so many interesting places to eat at in Toronto you need a guidebook to set you straight. So go buy one at one of our many small book stores or at a chain store, but if you choose to wing it, instead, give one of my suggestions a try for what I believe will be a grand city adventure in the heart of Toronto: a world within a world for you to explore and savour. We’re a liveable city. We even have a castle!  Casa Loma.   Castle tours, special event buffets in the stunning Casa Loma great library and atrium, garden tours, cafe, gift shop, secret rooms, organ concerts, underground tunnel to grand stables, and special events.

Toronto’s  only Castle

Casa Loma / Toronto

Casa Loma / Toronto

Outstanding turkey at Casa Loma's brunch.

Outstanding turkey at Casa Loma’s brunch.

The castle serves ups another wonderful Thanksgiving Day brunch with all the trimings, including a tour of the castle, gardens and horse stables.  Enjoy brunch in the stately elegance of Toronto’s famous Casa Loma.  Desserts are a poem. After brunch, enjoy a self-guided tour of the castle. Full payment required upon booking (credit card or cash payment).  Call Pegasus Hospitality Group at 416-533-1573 or email for reservations. After brunch don’t forget to try the Blushing Geisha and Ty Ku Sampling (a sweet cocktail or shot of the “The All Natural Asian Liqueur made with 20 odd botanicals and fruits to spark your romantic senses”) Orange, Apple & Cranberry Juice, Water, Coffee and Tea included (2012 menu. Check for current menu).  Casa Loma is open year-round. Organ concerts (additional cost and scheduled dates). Lovely outdoor gardens surround Casa Loma and are open for free self-tours. Must-Do: walk beneath the castle grounds to the magestic horse stables at Casa Loma.  Don’t forget to check for current dates/times for Thanksgiving Day brunch. Don’t forget to check out the ghost events at the Castle! Or Christmas Brunch or Dinner at the “Castle.”


Remember world renowned Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto on Carlton Street, just east of Yonge Street?  Want a free skate?   NAME YOUR SEAT! NHL-size rink now located on the third floor of the the redesigned building.  Your name permanently engraved on the seat of your choice in the Toronto landmark. Name a seat in the new Mattamy Home Ice arena at the Mattamy Athletic Centre (Maple Leaf Gardens).

The current city of Toronto, Ontario, Canada once was known as York (nicknamed “Muddy York,”), with but a few hundred people in 1804. The year 1834 renamed York (1793 – 1834) to Toronto.  The city had many great houses to its name, one such house was Spadina House with views to Lake Ontario built by the Baldwin family in 1818 in what was considered the country. The estate was approximately 4.4 kilometres to the north of the Baldwin’s city place at Front and Bay Streets. The manor is now owned and operated by the city of Toronto as a museum with original period furnishings.   Spadina Museum’s gardens are part of the VIA Rail Garden Route. Visit for more information.    You may be interested to read: A Biography of Robert Baldwin by Michael S. Cross, published in Canada by Oxford University Press.  Michael S. Cross has published widely on Canadian social, labour, and political history and has written for the Globe & Mail, Books in Canada, and the Canadian Historical Review.  Having taught at Dalhousie University for many years, he now lives in Halifax with his wife Patricia De Meo and their two Cavalier spaniels.

A few good books!

The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert is available for pre-order at Indigo books.

Elizabeth Gilbert author of The Signature of All Things at Victoria College chapel in Toronto

Elizabeth Gilbert author of The Signature of All Things at Victoria College chapel in Toronto

Sarah Dunant was in Toronto a couple of weeks’ ago to talk about her latest book published by HarperCollins Publishers Ltd. Author of the international bestsellers Sacred Hearts, The Birth of Venus and In the Company of the Courtesan, Blood & Beauty takes the reader to a brutal and corrupt world of 15th-century Italy.  Dunant’s Blood & Beauty should make for a wonderful gift for anyone planning a trip to Rome, Italy. If you enjoyed The Godfather, Sarah Dunant will not disappoint her fans with Blood & Beauty


Conrad Black, Toronto Reference Library, 2013. Photo copyright May DeLory

Conrad Black, Toronto Reference Library, 2013. Photo copyright May DeLory



Austin Clarke at Toronto's annual  WORD ON THE STREET literary fair, 2013

Austin Clarke at Toronto’s annual WORD ON THE STREET literary fair, 2013

Want the inside story on how the Victorians wore a corset in the 1850’s?  Today’s stilletos have nothing on women and their vanity.  Check out Ruth Goodman’s latest book entitled: How To Be A Victorian. 2013. 458 pages with extensive index. Hardcover.

Another book I suggest your reading, especially if you’re interested in a visit to Toronto’s recently opened aquarium located near the CN Tower is Neal Thompson’s  A Curious Man: The Strange & Brilliant Life of Robert “Believe It or Not!” Randon House publisher.   405 pages with an excellent index. Hardcover.  301 Front Street West (near the DOME) You can always look up for the tower and the multi-coloured lights at night. EdgeWalk:  416-601-3833 (Monday to Friday 9:00am – 4:00pm)  1-855-553-3833. Dress for the weather!  Kids are a good cause!  770 Don Mills Road (north/east section of Toronto near Eglinton Avenue & Don Mills Rd.).  Bloor & Avenue Road (couple of blocks west of Yonge & Bloor streets).  Highway 401 and Meadowvale Rd. (exit 389) north/east section of Toronto.  public transportation info:  416-393-INFO.  100 Front Street, Toronto, Ontario.  Bee hive on the hotel’s roof for fresh honey used in Afternoon Tea. 325 Bay Street.  18 Saint Thomas Street. 1150 Queen Street West.   181 Wellington Street.  30 Mercer Street. (Toronto’s world renowned live theatre district.)    Take care of business en route using VIA’s wireless Internet service.  Cycle routes in Quebec, Canada.

Photos  & Text Copyright © by May DeLory  

Note: Photo of Spadina House is rear view of building showing a small section of garden.

All Rights Reserved.

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