Tag Archives: toronto tourism

Review: Field Trip 2016 (June 4 & 5, 2016) Toronto, ON at Historic Fort York & Garrison Common

For the past 4 years Arts & Crafts ‘Field Trip’ has being giving us warm sonic vibes to launch us into the summer. If you live in Toronto, you know the winter was extra-long for us this year and there has been an ache to have ‘Field Trip’ 2016 to come to Fort York already!

This year’s music lineup featured headliners The National and Robyn, as well as local favourites July Talk, Basia Bulat and Jazz Cartier.

We love Fort York. It’s a perfectly accessible Toronto location for a festival; it’s on the TTC line and has enough room to watch bands at each stage.  Now come 5 p.m., its gets a tad congested.  The throngs of people navigating between the Garrison Stage (the larger one) to the TD Fort York Stage (the smaller one) always ends in a bottle neck on the path connecting both stages.  Close to the TD Fort York Stage was a drinking lounge, a massive food truck station and a Field Trip Marketplace.  Even though there were line ups for food, washrooms and drink – everything ran smoothly.

There were a number of upgrades from last year’s ‘Field Trip’. The family friendly ‘TD Day Camp’ area for kids and their peeps was immense.  Think a bouncy castle, hula hoops and paper lantern crafting for kids and their families.

One of many things ‘Field Trip’ does well is their nod to local cuisine vs. food trucks. Tucking into the likes of Buster’s Sea Cove, Food Dudes, Thunderin’ Thelma, Fidel Gastro, Portobello, Summertime Lemonade, Rancho Relaxo, The Poutine Supreme, Steel Cut Coffee, Ultimate Concession, Heirloom. Tokyo Smoke, Uncle Smoke, The Flying Chestnut, Curbalicious, Chimney Stax and JP’s BBQ were brimming with hot meals of beauty after long days in the sun.

The Mess Hall with Ivy Knight catered a Watermelon Eating Contest, a Cupcake Decorating Contest and a Create a Casear project. Think delicious, fun and most importantly family friendly.  Field Trip has cornered the market in making sure events on both days are inclusive for everyone no matter what your family looks like.

We had a great chuckle at the Laugh Barracks as the day wound down. Getting out of the sun with your hot drink or a cold one to sit on a chair whilst sharing a chuckle or two was perfect! We loved the snaps from the Analogue Gallery Sound Image Exhibition – it certainly added a different texture to Field Trip 2016.

Fort York is a wonderful home for ‘Field Trip’ and we hope it continues to be. The rustic Canadiana vibe, locals meeting out of towers and familiar soothing tunes as it christens us into the summer’s arms is a big hit!  The detail, love and camaraderie that go into putting on ‘Field Trip’ from the Arts & Crafts crew makes us look forward to 2017.


ROM: ¡Viva México! Clothing & Culture from Saturday, May 9, 2015 to Sunday, May 23, 2016

It maybe cold outside but if you are looking for a little adventure to warm you up – check out the ROM’s amazing exhibits!  One that can’t be missed is the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) presentation of ¡Viva México! Clothing & Culture from Saturday, May 9, 2015 to Sunday, May 23, 2016.

On display in the Patricia Harris Gallery of Textiles & Costume, the original exhibition features approximately 150 pieces created in Mexico between the 18th and 21st centuries.

This is the first-ever presentation of the ROM’s wide-ranging collection which spans 300 years and reflects Mexico’s indigenous and colonial past. ¡Viva México! opens a window onto Mexico’s colourful history and culture as it show cases the best, brightest – and often rarest – of this significant collection.

The evolution of Mexican clothing styles reflects the history of Mexico, where the textile arts reach back over many centuries. In pre-Conquest times, the splendid garments of the elite served as symbols of high status. When the Spanish conquistadores arrived in 1519, they were immensely impressed by the accomplishments of spinners, dyers, weavers, embroiderers, and feather workers. After the Conquest of 1521, European skills, raw materials, garment styles, and design motifs were adopted, merging with those of indigenous societies. Over time, this fusion has given Mexican textiles their immense range and visual appeal, with distinctive styles of dress drawing on a variety of textile techniques. Approximately 60 languages are still spoken by the descendants of the Maya, the Aztecs, and other ancient cultures, and fine textiles remain central to the everyday and ceremonial lives of many communities in rural Mexico. Contemporary makers combine traditional elements with modern materials, keeping clothing and ornament alive as a vital form of cultural expression.

¡Viva México! explores this continuity and change, demonstrating how the country’s artistic traditions were impacted by, and, in turn, influenced the world around them. Indigenous and post-Conquest styles combine in the exhibition to create a feast for the eyes, from flamboyant and elaborate ensembles, to the intricate details adorning each piece. Ceremonial outfits, worn with elaborate lace headdresses, evoke grand fiestas and are symbols of Mexican identity.

The exhibition also includes superb embroidered samplers, beautifully woven rebozos (women’s shawls) and dazzling patterned sarapes (men’s wool overgarments) from the 18th and 19th centuries. Complete costume ensembles from the early 20th century and impressive examples of contemporary clothing, some recently commissioned by the ROM, are also displayed. ROM-produced short films feature interviews by the curators with skilled artisans as they spin,  dye thread, weave, and embroider, vibrantly demonstrating the unrivalled skills behind the exhibition’s stunning pieces.


Toronto CityPASS: Royal Ontario Museum and Toronto CityPASS Giveaway!

16_Don Gutoski_Canada_Tale of two foxes

I’m well into my Toronto staycation. Today I visited the Royal Ontario Musuem with my trusty Toronto CityPASS and it was indeed quite the adventure!

What did I see?  The Wildlife Photographer of the Year (WPY) exhibition!  It opens at the ROM on November 21 and is on display until March 20, 2016 and it was my first stop!

The Wildlife Photographer of the Year (WPY) exhibition presented by Quark Expeditions opens on Saturday, November 21, 2015 at the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM). The exhibition, on tour from the Natural History Museum (NHM) in London, showcases the natural world’s most astonishing images from professional and amateur photographers from 96 countries. This year’s show features photographs from three Canadians including the overall winning image from Don Gutoski, of London, Ontario.  Gutoski’s photo, A Tale Of Two Foxes, was taken near Wapusk National Park, near Cape Churchill, Manitoba. Also featured are photographs from Connor Stefanison, the Rising Star Portfolio Winner, and Josiah Launstein, a Finalist, 10 Years and Under. WPY is the most prestigious wildlife photography competition in the world and attracts more than 42,000 entries from around the world. The exhibition is now in its 51st year and is making its third appearance at the ROM this year.

Turtle Flight from David Doubilet demonstrating a hawksbill turtle as it swam past the photographer was such a beautiful testament to our earth and how precious it is.  Seeing a wee turtle navigating itself in the ocean’s realm is such a lovely reminder that life goes on even in the deepest of oceans when we are locked in the hustle and bustle of our everyday lives.  The pause in inhaling this photo was dream like.

Beetle Beauty and the Spiral of Love from Javier Aznar Gonzalez de Rueda captured Jewel weevils getting ‘busy’ in their glowing and iridescent forms.  These beetles looked like they were either dipped in oil or worse something out of an Alien film.  I smirked at the cheekiness behind the photo.

Make sure you check out the Butterfly in Crystal snap from Ugo Mellone.  As winter approaches Toronto – it’s a nice reminder of what is buried unknowingly under our feet as we traipse in and out of the snow for the next few months.

A Whale Of A Mouthful from Michael AW will leave you awestruck.  Think National Geographic in 100D.  It was truly a feat to capture such a vivid and daring photo of a whale amongst a school of fish.  A gobsmacking shot.

Exhibition Details

WPY is on display in Third Floor, Centre Block where photographs are installed with custom light boxes creating a dramatic view of the natural world. The exhibition is both family-friendly and attractive to the expert photographer, with 13 categories ranging from Youth Awards, to design and landscape images, and stunning animal portraits.

New this year is a ROM Photographer of the Year contest, which encourages visitors to submit their best wildlife photos. The winning image, selected by panel of ROM judges, will win an Arctic Expedition for two valued at $24,000 (CDN), generously donated by WPY Presenting Sponsor, Quark Expeditions. Contest entries can be submitted between November 18, 2015 and January 31, 2016, using Twitter and Instagram (entries must include @ROMtoronto and #ROMWPY). Details are available at: www.rom.on.ca/contest.

Add The Wildlife Photographer of the Year (WPY) exhibit to your visit when you use your CityPASS at the ROM for a small additional fee.  It’s well worth it!

Here’s a lil more info about the Toronto CityPASS for your ROM visit the next time you are in Toronto.

Once you have your booklets, your party can split up and visit the attractions in any order you wish.

You’ll get to skip many ticket lines with CityPASS. Look at the tickets in the booklet for entry instructions at each attraction.

There’s no need to rush through the attractions because you have nine days to use your Toronto CityPASS booklet. That’ll give you enough time to fully experience the best attractions while leaving plenty of time for shopping, dining, shows, etc. Explore at your own pace – see several attractions in one day, or spread them out over your whole trip.

Admission for the Toronto CityPASS Includes

1 CN Tower

2 Royal Ontario Museum

3 Casa Loma

4 Toronto Zoo

5 Ontario Science Centre

I am giving away two Toronto CityPASS’ ticket booklets to pass on my Toronto staycation buzz! Thank you CityPASS!

What are the rules when entering the Thirty Four Flavours and Toronto CityPASS Giveaway?

Please sign up to Thirty Four Flavours Facebook https://www.facebook.com/thirtyfourflavours, Twitter https://twitter.com/34flavours, or email subscription to enter the draw. When you have signed up please send me a Facebook message, a tweet or email (thirtyfourflavours@gmail.com) telling me which Toronto CityPASS attraction you are interested in visiting. Easy peasy! I will announce the winner on Monday November 30, 2015.  Good luck!



Toronto CityPASS Ticket Booklet Giveaway!

As part of my Staycation adventures I thought I would stay close to home and check out Toronto’s tourist attractions to channel my inner wanderlust. What better way to be a tourist in your own city on a budget with a trusty Toronto CityPASS ticket booklet in hand.

Getting a Toronto CityPASS ticket booklet is simple. No matter how, where or when you buy, you’ll see the same huge savings and get the same price.

When you buy online, choose between receiving a voucher that you can print or have the booklets shipped to you. Easy as pie.

Vouchers couldn’t be easier to use – just bring your printed voucher to the first attraction you visit, and they’ll exchange it for your CityPASS ticket booklet. Just note that you may run into a line when exchanging your voucher during peak times. And, it’s always a good idea to bring your ID (attractions may ask for it).

You can also buy once you get to the city. It’s simple – just make the purchase at the first attraction you visit. The team there will know just what to do to get you in as quickly as possible. Piece of cake.

A CityPASS booklet you buy today expires February 28, 2017. A voucher you buy today must be exchanged for a booklet within 6 months of purchase.

I am giving away two Toronto CityPASS’ ticket booklets to pass on my Toronto staycation buzz!  Thank you CityPASS!

What are the rules when entering the Thirty Four Flavours and Toronto CityPASS Giveaway?

Please sign up to Thirty Four Flavours Facebook https://www.facebook.com/thirtyfourflavours, Twitter https://twitter.com/34flavours, or email subscription to enter the draw. When you have signed up please send me a Facebook message, a tweet or email (thirtyfourflavours@gmail.com) telling me which Toronto CityPASS attraction you are interested in visiting. Easy peasy! I will announce the winner on Monday November 30, 2015.  Good luck!

Check out my Toronto staycation adventures starting next week!





Well if last summer was any indication; Riot Fest was the best summer festival that swept through our woods in 2013.  For an out of towner American festival it brought pure punk rock and the ambience. The Canadians loved the neighbourly musical love and we left wanting more!

Just announced today, Riot Fest will be bringing their travelling Expo to Downsview Park from September 6th and 7th with the likes of City and Colour, Metric, The National, Billy Talent, Rise Against, The Flaming Lips, Social Distortion, Death Cab for Cutie, Death from Above 1979, Brand New, Paul Weller, AWOLNATION, Stars, The Head and the Heart, Dropkick Murphys, Die Antwoord, Tokyo Police Club, The New Pornographers, Taking Back Sunday, Bring Me the Horizon, The Afghan Whigs, Alkaline Trio, Glassjaw, Bob Mould, Thurston Moore, Buzzcocks, Clutch, New Found Glory, Circa Survive, Manchester Orchestra, Lucero, Title Fight, Bad Suns, Citizen, Lemuria, Mounties, PUP, Nostalghia, Radkey, Rubblebucket, Pentimento, Broncho, The Hotelier, Laura Stevenson, The Beaches, Somos, Restorations, Say Yes, Seaway, Wounds, Little Big League, & More to be announced…

Really?  With this type of decadence – maybe Rob Ford will take up Riot Fest’s invitation and show up after all!  Fingers crossed.

The new Downsview Park location marks a significant expansion for the festival, allowing its patrons to enjoy a weekend packed with music across four stages and a full carnival atmosphere.

Riot Fest has become a premiere festival series that attracts music lovers of all ages from all over the world. Last year, Riot Fest Toronto delivered an incredible line up of homegrown and international artists, including the historic reunion of seminal Minneapolis punk band The Replacements, banding together to play Riot Fest after over two decades away.  Unified by a love of great bands and good fun, fans will stuff themselves with everything from carnival corndogs to ethnic and craft food while enjoying rides, attractions, side show performers and the most distinctive line-ups available. Toronto’s fest is something very special to festival organizer and founder, Michael Petryshyn, and he hopes you share his excitement in celebrating the wonderful city and culture of Toronto. “Ever since I was a young kid living in Buffalo, Ontario was a second home to me where I caught my musical bearings and was turned on to everything from The Clash to the Sex Pistols to The Viletones and Diodes. Like I tell everyone, Toronto is one of the greatest cities in the world, from its food to culture, but most importantly, to me, the Toronto bands who’ve created music that matters,” he explained.

Well Riot Fest you have wooed us again – Let’s do this Canucks!

Full link to purchase Riot Fest & Expo Toronto tickets on sale May 10 at 10am EDT:



Soon to be announced:

Riot Fest & Carnival – Chicago, IL – September 12-14

Riot Fest & Sideshow – Denver, CO – September 19-21

Winterlicious Highlight: BerBer Social

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Winterlicious in Toronto always offers a flurry of excitement to see which restaurants will be offering unique wares to celebrate the season. 

This past Saturday night, I decided to check out Berber Social tucked downstairs behind an ornately designed door between Front Street and Church in Toronto.  I wanted comfort, warmth, great service and most importantly top food for my money.

BerBer Social takes you back to a time, when the Berbers of North Africa bestowed exquisite gifts of urban living on medieval Europe.  The focus at Berber Social is that of a style artisan selection.  The ambience in the space was casually decadent, with ornate furniture, chandeliers, luxe pillows and soft furnishings.  The ceilings were low and the vibe extremely sexy but yet sophisticated.

I was seated in a gorgeous enclave with a lovely set table, chiselled wooden painted chairs and the most comfy pillows.  After walking down King Street in the cold – this was a welcome spot.

I was greeted by Rebecca, my server for the night.  She was gracious and gave me some lovely insight on food and drink choices.  There was a lot of room to breathe and take my time.  This really echoed the energy in the space.  I decided to pick my three courses from the Winterlicious menu that included of the Duck Confit (Muscovy duck confit, served with cranberry chutney and toasted brioche), Braised Short Rib (Tender fall off the bone beef, braised with traditional spices, Finished with a rich red wine demi-glace, Served over creamed leek and potato mash and Accompanied by seasonal vegetables) and the Creme Brulée du Jour (A rich and flavourful crème brulée).

The Duck Confit was just the perfect palate lure into my entrée.  It was light, tantalizing and easy to eat.  It indeed left me wanting more.  I decided to sip my Kiss Me Cosmo (Absolut, Peach, Grand Marnier, Pomegranate and Lime Juice) as I savoured each delectable bite.  The cranberry chutney highlighted the Muscovy duck gorgeously while amplifying the crunchy brioche.  A true surprise.

Upon completion my plate was quickly taken away and replaced with the Braised Short Rib.  If you are looking for a true winter treat – this is your choice on the BerBer Social Winterlicous menu.  I would suggest going to Berber Social for this alone.  Fall off the bone beef is an understatement.  This beef was like butter.  The beef I was told by Executive Chef Erik Kekes-Marshall, was braised for close to 8 hours.  It oozed goodness on top of a bed of a flavourful but simple creamed leek and potato mash.  I felt like I was back in England again as I sopped the beef up into the mash.  Ladies and gentlemen, a true Winterlicious winner. 

Before my dessert I opted for the Blue Berber Martini (Blueberry Liquor, Hypnotq, Sparkling Wine and Lemon Juice).  It was lovely taking a moment in to inhale the relaxed ambience of the restaurant.  The drinks are extremely generous made for an even more delightful experience.

Again almost like magic my plate was replaced with the Crème Brulée du Jour.  Sipping my martini in between bites of my dessert was a true ovation.  The Crème Brulée du Jour was light and the sugared crust made for a nice play on sweet and crunchy.  Toffee like but still staying true to the essence of a well-made Brulée.  My only quip would be to add some berries on the side for a lil added zest.  Overall – divine.

Both Executive Chef Kekes-Marshall and Head Chef Harrison need to be applauded for putting such a cohesive but light menu together.  The meal as a whole was a perfect aperitif to an evening out for more drinks and merriment. 

I left Berber Social feeling satiated.  The martinis offered a nice interlude in between the courses.  I recommend looking at the drink menu and also if you have a chance the luxurious tea box as an after dinner warm treat.  BerBer Social has some lovely staples that even past Winterlicious is worthy of making an investment to visit time and time again.  If not only for the food but the true experience of being in a unique dining space.

Winterlicious runs from January 25, 2013 – February 7, 2013.

BerBer Resto Bar Lounge

49 Front St E

Toronto, Ontario

Phone:  416-860-9000


Staycation Essentials

For the next two weeks I am on a Toronto Staycation.  I decided earlier this year that I was going to scale back and do some off the beaten track walking tours, discovering of new neighbourhoods in my hometown and most of all visit Toronto’s finest museums, galleries and attractions at cheap and cheerful pricing.

Before I start on the Essentials of a Staycation, let me tell you how great it is to wake up in my own home, make my own hearty breakfast with tea and being able to lounge a bit before heading out.  I like the feeling of not having to rush and just moving slow after a year of work where I am run off my feet.   I came home a short while ago and warmed up some spaghetti and meatballs I had made last night with a glass of wine.  It’s a good life!

Now onto the Staycation Essentials.  I purchased three essentials which I used today to the fullest.  The three pieces I encourage you to pick up are the City Walks: Toronto, a TORONTO CityPASS and the Moleskine City Notebook:  Toronto.

City Walks: Toronto

50 Adventures on Foot

By Neil Carlson, Maps by David Lindroth

4-1/16 x 5-5/8 x 1-1/4 in; 50 cards, tri-fold intro card, 50 color maps

Published in February, 2008

This deck of cards comes complete with detailed maps and insider information.

Walks include:

The Harbourfront

Queen Street West

The Entertainment District

Toronto Islands

Bloor Street

REVIEW:  I want to be on my feet and walking for the bulk of the next few weeks in Toronto.  There are so many neighbourhoods I want to explore and get to know a little better.  The ‘City Walks: Toronto 50 Adventures on Foot’ is the perfect for my needs.  The cards are a perfect size to slide into my Moleskine and to refer to quickly as I am walking.

Sure TTC (transit maps) are okay but you want quick tips in an easily digestible fashion, The ‘City Walks: Toronto 50 Adventures on Foot’ is your ally and a nice compliment to the TORONTO CityPASS. The CityPASS will put you in key neighbourhoods and the ‘City Walks: Toronto 50 Adventures on Foot’ will guide you to explore further into the attraction’s neighbourhood.

The information on the card is brief; it provides public transportation ideas, excellent hints on cool and off the beaten track cafes and restaurants to check out as you travel from one destination to the next, interesting notes on what you should be observing and shortcuts.  The maps are colourful, a decent font size for review, defined landmarks so you know at a glance where you are and most importantly closest subway and bus stops if you get fed up and want to stop walking.  😉



Toronto CityPASS is a booklet of admission tickets to Toronto’s 5 must-see attractions at 43% off the combined admission price. Save US$ 46.42 per adult and US$ 34.23 per youth, ages 4-12.

Included Attractions:

1.CN Tower

2.Royal Ontario Museum

3.Casa Loma

4.Toronto Zoo

5.Ontario Science Centre

CityPASS booklets are valid for nine consecutive days beginning with the first day of use.

Booklets include one-time admission tickets, detailed attraction information, coupons and a map.

REVIEW:  So as you can see – a really neat and comprehensive way to see a city by using a CityPASS. Plus offering and amazing value for the budget friendly traveler like me.  Speaking to what I mentioned earlier in this post – by using a CityPASS you are introduced to not only the best in cultural activities and exhibits but you can also venture out to off the beaten path jaunts that you wouldn’t necessarily would have been exposed to. The element of surprise whilst travelling makes me happy.

I am planning on visiting the Royal Ontario Museum, Casa Loma and the CN Tower using my TORONTO CityPASS in the next 2 weeks.  Attractions I have not visited in years and they are in my own city!

Sometimes strictly limiting your research to that of a travel book and internet searches isn’t all that and a bag of chips. Check out the CityPASS next time you travel to a big city. They are currently available in cities such as:

Atlanta | Boston | Chicago | Hollywood | Houston | New York | Philadelphia | San Francisco | Seattle | Southern California | Toronto


Customer Service

1 (888) 330-5008

Mon-Fri, 8 a.m.-6 p.m. MT

Sat-Sun, 8 a.m.-2 p.m. MT



Moleskine City Notebook:  Toronto

The City Notebook is easy to use and self-contained. It’s for city travelers who come and go;

occasional and regular visitors – for tourism, leisure, work, culture. It’s also for city residents, as it’s

the pocket-sized pad to accompany new urban lifestyles.

The City Notebook reflects the individual lifestyles of people who are independent and free-thinking.

People who live their lives at a fast pace, always connected, but who can relax and enjoy themselves; people who are creative, and selective in their tastes.

The City Notebook is a perfect companion for those exploring the magic of the city.

The City Notebook is useful in planning a trip, organizing a stay, gathering information, news,

internet addresses. During a trip it’s helpful to note down useful information, personal reflections,

addresses, experiences. In this way you can retrace your journey, revisit memories, exchange

information, and update it for your next visit.

Each 228-page notebook is thread-bound, featuring a black cover, elastic closure, inner pocket and

three bookmarks in different colors.

It includes:

 Key map with the layout of the city

 Subway map

 Zone maps

 Street Index

 Translucent sheets for tracing itineraries over city maps

 City File – a tabbed organizer for food, drinks, people, places, books and 48 adhesive labels for personalize it according to individual preferences

 Detachable sheets for exchanging messages

 Blank pages for jotting down information, recording discoveries and stories

REVIEW:  I own quite a few Moleskine notebooks but this City Notebook for my fair city of Toronto is a godsend.  I have a Smartphone but I’m pretty old school.  I like being able to look up addresses in a notebook, I like to write down by hand my thoughts, experiences and most importantly write down ideas to follow up on when I get home.

The compact ability of the Moleskine City Notebook is also helpful.  I don’t want to be carting around a mega backpack in my own city so being able to pop in a lil notebook with a pen is all I need.

The maps are detailed and up to date.  If you don’t want to look like a tourist in your own city, the map sizes are perfect.  For visitors this notebook is for you.  You won’t look like you have a sign that says ‘rob me’ with this discreet notebook.

The 96 page archive with 12 tabs, 76 blank pages, 32 removable sheets for loose notes, 12 translucent sticky sheets to overlay and reposition are the luxe elements to this notebook.  When I am at home I like to dump all of my pieces of papers and notes on the floor and to provide my thoughts with some sense of order.  When I’m on the road this notebook has helped in offering me some OCD comfort.  Everything has a place in this notebook and the pages are so soothing especially when you want to capture all of your thoughts before they are whisked away in the romance of a city moment.

If you are a newbie traveller or a seasoned one like me, Moleskine City Notebook for Toronto is what you need as part of your toolkit to keep your organized, creatively stimulated and focused on the next destination to be conquered.

Check out Moleskine’s other awesome City Notebooks!