Blog Archives

Postcard from the Vancouver Waterfront

I’m enjoying a little road trip, courtesy of Toursim Vancouver and the Bolt Bus. It’s a non-stop 24-hour trip to Vancouver, full of activity, food, and beverage. I’m thinking of it as a little sampler of things I need to come back to see and do. This was how I greeted the morning, looking out at the water from my room at the Fairmont Waterfront. Great way to start a spring day.

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Restaurant Review: Estiatorio Volos, Toronto

Estiatorio Volos Address:  133 Richmond Street West, Toronto, Ontario MJ Rating:  Features:  Volos is centered around the concept of Philoxenia, a Greek work meaning hospitable, a concept that is woven into the tapestry of the restaurant’s food, service, and ambiance. It takes traditional Greek cooking styles and infuses them with a modern twist with local Canadian ingredients creating upscale dining that still feels like you’re in a friend’s home. Assuming that friend is a Greek who knows how to cook well. Price Range:  Moderate to high. This is upscale, downtown dining, and the prices reflect the location. You know what they say – location, location, location! Appetizers start at $9 and entrees at $19. Dinner for two, with a shared appetizer, main, and a glass of wine (or cocktail), will set you back $100 or more. Personal Notes: The atmosphere at […]

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Restaurant Review: Marben, Toronto

Marben Address:  488 Wellington Street West, Toronto MJ Rating:  (2 out of 3 hearts) Features:  When my pal Andrew said we’d be sampling some contemporary Canadian cuisine, I had no idea what to expect. Canadian cuisine — what is it? Marben was about to school my palate. The exterior of Marben sports an industrial brick look, but inside were exposed beams and posts, giving it a homey lodge ambiance. We grabbed a booth across from the bar just inside the door, but if you’d like a more interactive dining experience, ask for a seat at the counter looking at the kitchen. Price Range:  Moderate. Starters range from $5 (bread and hummus) to $18 for a charcuterie board. Entrees range from $17 (grilled octopus salad) to $38 for a beef rib eye. Wines by the glass are $10-12 (bottles start at $45), a diverse beer […]

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Patria: Spanish Food in Toronto

Patria Address:  480 King Street West, Toronto, Ontario Rating:   (2 out of 3 hearts) Features: Patria makes use of the open concept, with high ceilings, full-sized cross-stitch art on the walls, and and exposed beams. There is a narrow outdoor patio, great for warm weather and, with the addition of some heat lamps, could easily extend into the fall and winter season. The venue is sexy in a bright and bold way, rather than dark and intimate, and it had me longing for lingering warm weather meals on the Costa Brava. Price Range: Moderate to high. The beauty of tapas is that you can try so many different things. But that also means your bill can add up pretty fast. Consider making a mean of a meat and cheese platter with a glass of sangria if you’re looking for a value […]

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Postcard from Toronto

A week in Toronto for TBEX, followed by a couple of days to rest up and do some sightseeing and tasting. More posts to come on my stay, so a postcard will have to do for today.

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Postcard: Toronto Skyline

Since yesterday was the last day to submit speaker proposals for TBEX 13 in Toronto, I was thinking about the earlier site visit that we made to the city. Our kinds hosts showed us a few of the sites, but more importantly, they showed us the warm hospitality that Toronto is known for. Looking forward to going back soon!

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A Guide to Professional Sports in Toronto

You may not necessarily think of Toronto as a city with a rich sports culture, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth! Toronto has had a sports team of some sort since the 1800s with the Granite Club, Royal Canadian Yacht Club, Toronto Cricket Skating and Curling Club, the Argonaut Rowing Club, and the Toronto Lawn Tennis Club. The Toronto Argonauts football was established in 1873 and is still around today! Professional sports continue to develop and change, depending on the popularity of the particular sport and the success of the franchise. Here’s a quick guide to Toronto’s professional athletics to bring you up to speed: Hockey – If Toronto is known for one thing, it is the Maple Leafs, the most financially successful sports franchise in the country. Toronto has hosted several international hockey tournaments, and is home […]

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Family Fun at the Royal Ontario Museum

  Museum lovers who visit Toronto will want to get their history and culture fix at the Royal Ontario Museum with its engaging galleries of art, archaeology, and natural science from around the world.  With over 40 galleries spread out over four floors, the museums is just one more reasons that a visit to Ontario will be both educational, culturally enriching, and fun. The Royal Ontario Museum is a great destination for families, with lots of kid friendly exhibits.  Some exhibits that kids might enjoy include: The current exhibit, Water! The Exhibition, has been a big hit with 17 interactive hands-on activities.  Where there’s water there’s usually fun, and this exhibit uses real water along with immersive displays, natural artifacts, videos and animals to explain why water is important to Canada and the world. ROM Live! has been a big […]

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Victoria: Royal British Columbia Museum

On the southern tip of Vancouver Island, the capital city of Victoria is equidistant from Seattle and Vancouver, BC (a little over 60 miles from both cities). The city is an easy getaway from both cities, as well as from Port Angeles on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula.  Victoria is also a port of call for cruise ships traveling the Pacific Coast waters.  One of my top recommendations on things to do in Victoria is to visit the Royal British Columbia Museum, located at the corner of Belleville and Douglas Streets, in the downtown area.  The Parliament Building and the Empress Hotel are right nearby, giving you other things to do during your time, and there are plenty of pubs and restaurants nearby for eating out. The Royal BC Museum presents exhibits is a way that appeals to all the senses in […]

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Peace Arch Park

Along the border between Blaine, Washington and Surrey, British Columbia stands the International Peace Arch. The arch stands 67 feet high, and is proudly rooted, one side in American soil, the other in Canadian.  Straddling the longest undefended boundary in the world, the Peace Arch was dedicated in 1921, and was the first Monument built and dedicated to world peace. The American side of the arch is inscribed:  “Children of a Common Mother.”  The Canadian side is inscribed:  “Dwelling Together in Unity.”  Spanning both sides of the border is the inscription:  “May These Gates Never be Closed.” Although most visitors to the Peace Arch are crossing the border, you can visit the park without doing so.  You can walk around and enjoy one side of the park or the other, but are not permitted to walk outside the park boundaries […]

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