Monthly Archives: January 2020

FREE TICKETS GIVEAWAY to The Toronto Tea Festival! (Saturday February 1 and Sunday February 2, 2020 at the Toronto Reference Library)

Whether you are a newbie or an aficionado of tea culture, the Toronto Tea Festival will enable you to discover the world of tea from the traditional to the trendy. You will be able to sample hundreds of teas and learn from experts in the industry at one of the complimentary presentations. Taste a variety of teas uniquely and exquisitely prepared by exhibitors; noting how the flavours may differ depending upon place of origin, processing techniques, and preparation styles. Shop for all your favourite tea wares, teas, and related products – this is the perfect opportunity to shop for your Valentine. Take some selfies in front of the selfie wall and enter the raffle. Experience the event to the fullest by engaging with the exhibitors and learning about all things tea.

If you haven’t attend this gorgeous festival in the past, here is what you can expect:

Friday night, January 31st, VIP event – Rare Tea Tasting with Kevin Gascoyne

Demos and workshops, e.g. a kombucha demo, a tea tasting with sommeliers, Chinese Tea Ceremony workshop. Check out The Steep Off competition!

“Millennia Tea” will be presenting Flash-frozen tea.

“David’s Tea” will be presenting Concept to Cup.

“Soo Cha Tea” will be presenting Korean teas.

Tea sommelier/Author Linda Gaylard will be giving a talk entitled “Botany of the Tea Plant”.

Halifax Tea House, “World of Tea’s” owner Phillip Holmans will be giving a talk entitled “Survival Story of a Tea House”.

Lastly, immerse yourself in the “Tea lover’s Choice Awards” winning teas available at winning vendors’ booths.

Thank you to the TORONTO TEA FESTIVAL who has given Thirty Four Flavours a pair of tickets for their Sunday February 2, 2020 festival date.

What are the rules when entering the Thirty Four Flavours and TORONTO TEA FESTIVAL Ticket Giveaway?

Simple! Please sign up to Thirty Four Flavours Facebook, Twitter, or email subscription to enter the draw. Please also like the tea festival’s Facebook and Twitter pages. When you have signed up please send me a Facebook message, a tweet or email ( telling me what you are excited to see at the TORONTO TEA FESTIVAL.

Deadline for the Thirty Four Flavours and TORONTO TEA FESTIVAL Ticket Giveaway is Thursday January 16, 2020.

For a complete listing of the Toronto Tea Festival events and to purchase tickets in advance, please visit –


Review: The Toronto Symphony Orchestra presents Handel’s “Messiah” with special guests the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir (Dec 20, 2019)


Photo credit:  Jag Gundu

Over the holidays I took some time with friends to enjoy the Toronto Symphony Orchestra’s performance of Handel’s “Messiah”.  It proved to be a restorative evening out with some delicious moments to reflect upon as the year drew to a close.

A quick snapshot, “Messiah” is an English-language oratorio composed in 1741 by George Frideric Handel, with a scriptural text compiled by Charles Jennens from the King James Bible, and from the Coverdale Psalter, the version of the Psalms included with the Book of Common Prayer. It was first performed in Dublin on 13 April 1742 and received its London premiere nearly a year later. After an initially modest public reception, the oratorio gained in popularity, eventually becoming one of the best-known and most frequently performed choral works in Western music.

We felt ourselves getting lost in “The Trumpet Shall Sound”, “Hallelujah!” and “Behold the Lamb of God” early on in the performance. Think epic, reflective and a perfect anecdote as we wrapped up the decade.

The talent on the evening included the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir and four dazzling Canadian soloists. Alexander Shelley, Music Director, of the National Arts Centre Orchestra, conducts Handel’s Messiah with large doses of kindness and softness. Jane Archibald (soprano), Emily D’Angelo (mezzo-soprano), Isaiah Bell (tenor) and Russell Braun (baritone) blew the house down with emotion and verve. These talented individuals drew the audience together with rich hymns and high brow drama.  Close to the end of the performance, with programs in hand, the audience joined the soloists on songs that have truly lasted the test of time.

Jovial, thoughtful and purposeful was the tone felt in Roy Thomson Hall on the night. There were many times during the performance that I felt my mind thinking about my year and what brought me joy, what I have been forced to let go off and what has truly changed me. It’s funny how music can cement transformations and leave space for new growth.

Thank you to the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. Happy New Year! Looking forward to more performances in the year ahead.

Parkbus, Your Ride to the Great Outdoors!: Active Days Ontario – Trip to Hilton Falls

The holidays have come and gone in a pinch. I made sure to squeeze in a trip to Hilton Falls with Active Days Ontario and Parkbus so I could stretch my holidays out. If you don’t have a car and want to leave the driving to someone else after a busy week – Parkbus can help!

Active Days encourages folks to try something new, expand their comfort zone and/or engage in something they already love.  Walking or hiking in parks during the winter is great for your mind and body. It can be a wonderful way to reflect on your own about the year ahead. I made sure I took time for myself during the hike. But I also mingled with others who like me, needed time to reflect on where we were are at in the moment. Simple. Easy.

Here’s what we go up to!


9:45am – Pick-up MEC Toronto. 300 Queen St W

10:45 – Arrive at Hilton Falls

10:45 – 1:00pm – Hike to the waterfalls

1:00-pm – Lunch Trailside. Lunch was not provided

1:30pm – 2:15pm – Winter hike to feed chickadees, spot cool birds head back to the visitors centre

2:15 – 2:30 – Optional Hot Chocolate or Coffee

2:30pm – Depart Hilton Falls Conservation Area

3:45pm – Estimated Return to Toronto


Lunch – Pack some sandwiches, fruit and snacks. We stopped by a campfire and roasted a big bag of marshmallows.

Tea (optional). You can even bring a thermos of water if you feel so inclined.


Weather appropriate clothing. We layered up because it’s better to be safe than sorry out on foot in the woods. Winter boots, a hat, a scarf and mittens are essential.

Camera – to take a lot of shots for social media.

After a long day of hiking, climbing rocks, watching waterfalls and enjoying good company, we were on our way back to Toronto. We had a great time with Active Days and Parkbus. Check out their winter hikes – they are going quickly.

A heartfelt thank you to Parkbus. Tell them I sent you and have fun! @ParksCanada @Parkbus @mec @environmentca @OntarioParks @TourismeOntario #OurNature #goodtimesoutside #parkbusgotmehere

Have fun! Looking forward to my next trip with Parkbus!