NXNE Port Lands is back!

There’s never been a better time to be a music lover in Toronto! NXNE Port Lands music festival is back for its second great year. They’ve added an extra day to pack in as much music as possible. Featuring 30 acts representing the best in indie rock, hip hop and soul, this year’s festival will take place from Friday, June 23rd to Sunday, June 25th at the Port Lands (Pier 35 off of Cherry Street). Get your tickets while you can!


“Since our inception, NXNE has proudly built up the reputation of curating a festival that always includes a strong element of discovery.” says Michael Hollett, President and Managing Director of NXNE. “With this year’s Port Lands lineup, we have brought together some of the biggest performers in the world, as well as a fantastic group of artists who are about to be launched into the musical stratosphere.”

Photo credit: @NXNE


NXNE Portlands features three days of non-stop music on two stages. Headliners include Passion Pit, KAYTRANADA and Post Malone. Some multi-day summer music festivals mean standing out in the blazing sun, paying a steep price for something as basic as water, and having little else to do if you’re not into the band that’s performing. NXNE Port Lands solves all of these problems. The festival goes out of its way to ensure lots of shade and seating, limitless free water, tons of food trucks, stand up comedy, plus a carnival midway with rides and games, art installations and much more!

Photo credit: @NXNE


If you’re looking for a fun way to get out of the sun, visit the Stand Up Comedy Tent. It’s programmed by the pros at Comedy Bar and features some of the best up and coming comedians. When hunger strikes, take a tour of the many food trucks featuring everything from ice cream from Heavenly Dreams, to local and sustainable braised lamb sandwiches at the Heirloom, and everything in between. You may want to check out the midway rides before you eat. Climb atop the twirling Paratrooper ride, check out the music, and snap some great pictures from the top of the ferris wheel or challenge yourself with some carnival games like Long Range Basketball, Tubs of Fun, Dragon Darts, Cover the Spot or Mini B-ball. Whatever you choose to do, boredom is definitely not an option.

Photo credit: @NXNE


Summer always seems to fly by before you know it. Make the most of the sunny weather this year and have as much fun as you can! The NXNE Port Lands music festival is the perfect way to kick off the season. Single day tickets are available, but for the best value opt for weekend-long general admission or VIP passes. This year you also have the option of leaving your wallet at home thanks to their new comfortable-to-wear cloth chipped wristband. The band allows you to get through lines faster while not having to carry any cash. You can enable a credit card when you sign up with your wristband. Up to two wristbands can be added to the same card.


Getting to the Port Lands site is easy. It’s located off Cherry Street at Pier 35,  just south of the Gardiner and the Distillery District. There is regular TTC service and free valet bike parking on site! Two major bike trails meet at the Port Lands — the Lower Don Recreation Trail (North-South) and the Martin Goodman Trail (East-West). If want to drive, there is also plenty of parking.


If you make it out to NXNE Port Lands this year, we hope you have a great festival experience!


Greenrock Property Management wants to connect you with your city and your community. For information on Greenrock Rental Communities in Toronto, please visit our website

Enjoy gourmet seafood at Zee Grill

 

Deep in the heart of midtown, in the Davisville neighbourhood near Yonge and Eglinton, sits a treasure. Zee Grill (641 Mt Pleasant Rd) is one of oldest and best oyster bars and seafood restaurants in the city. They  have been sourcing and serving the finest oyster, clams, mussels, lobsters and fish – as well as an excellent selection of duck, steak and lamb – since 1981. That’s a long time to keep your head above water in the restaurant business. Zee Grill has managed to survive and thrive in a sea of competition. The restaurant is owned and operated by Jac and Beth Eckhardt — a chef and sommelier husband and wife team. We spoke with Mr. Eckhardt to learn about the secret to their success.

 

Photo courtesy of Zee Grill

Photo courtesy of Zee Grill

 

So Jac, what sets Zee Grill apart from other seafood restaurants?

 

That’s a difficult question to answer but I’ll try. I think the main difference is the composition of our dishes. For example, our tuna. We plate it in a variety of flavors without the flavors getting in the way of each other. Our tuna is served rare only and seared in a crust of Cajun style spices. We serve it with shiitake mushrooms that are sautéed in a ginger carrot broth.

It comes with shanghai bok choy, a bit of mango salsa, pickled daikon and fermented cabbage. It is finished with an asparagus spring roll, with fresh wasabi and soy on the side.

I don’t think that a lot of seafood restaurants go to the extent of making every single plate different. We do.

 

Photo courtesy of Zee Grill

Photo courtesy of Zee Grill

 

That sounds like a brilliant dish and approach! What’s your most popular menu item and why?

 

Our grilled calamari and our crab cakes are extremely popular and are in the appetizer category, however, lots of people order just appetizers and share them for the table. As a main, our tuna is something that is impossible for me to take off our menu. I would lose some clientele if I did.

 

Photo courtesy of Zee Grill

Photo courtesy of Zee Grill

 

We noticed that you refer to Zee Grill as the oldest seafood restaurant in the city — when and why was it founded?

 

We opened in 1981 and we have been the sole owners of Zee Grill since. We opened as Phebes Oyster Bar but changed that name to Zee Grill in 1998. The reason for the name change was simple: we started to drift away from the simple and short oyster bar menu and I was getting into a more diverse cooking style. Zee is Dutch for Sea. I am Dutch. The reason we opened the restaurant is simple, I am a chef and Beth is a certified sommelier.

 

Photo courtesy of Zee Grill

Photo courtesy of Zee Grill

 

It seems like opening the restaurant and changing your focus were the right decisions! Is there anything special about the fish you serve? For example, is it sustainable or sashimi-grade?

 

I like to serve wild caught fish and other seafood like shrimp, squid etc. I am all for sustainable and therefore I try to source my products from respectable companies. I like to buy Ocean Wise product as long as it is not farmed. If it is farmed and I buy it, it has to be organic.Organic fish for example is not fed with hormones or antibiotics. I also use sashimi grade fish and other seafood for some of my dishes. Yellow fin tuna, scallops for our ceviches and other fish types for our crudo or carpaccio.

 

Thank you for speaking with us, Jac! Your success and longevity at Zee Grill is not surprising. You and your wife obviously take great pride in what you serve and invest in quality ingredients that speak for themselves. It’s no wonder Zee Grill has become a fixture of the Davisville community over the past few decades.

 

Greenrock Property Management is proud to connect you with your community. For information aboutGreenrock Communities, including Greenrock at Davisville Village, please visit our website.

 

 

Drink up at Granite Brewery

 

The Granite Brewery and Tied House (245 Eglinton Ave E) is not easy to define. It’s part brewery, part restaurant, part bar, part beer store and all awesome. Whether you want to enjoy a quick lunch on one of their two patios, have a relaxing dinner by the fireplace in the dining room, sip your favourite brew at the bar, or grab a growler to take home — The Granite Brewery has everything you want and more.

 

Photo courtesy of The Granite Brewery

Photo courtesy of The Granite Brewery

 

The original location of The Granite Brewery was opened by Kevin Keefe in Halifax back in 1985. His brother, Ron Keefe, opened the Toronto location in 1991. They helped usher in the age of craft beer. The Keefe family has been running the brewery ever since. Ron’s daughter, Mary Beth Keefe, is now the head brewmaster. We spoke with Sam Keefe, Co-owner and General Manager, to find out more about this amazing local establishment.

 

Photo courtesy of The Granite Brewery

Photo courtesy of The Granite Brewery

 

When Granite first opened in Toronto in 1991, the craft beer market was not at all what it is today. How does Granite stay current and set itself apart in such a competitive market?

 

We brew all natural, English style ales using open fermentation. Most brewers prefer using closed fermentation systems to avoid the risk of infection and brew different styles of beer. Our yeast strain is so rigorous and aggressive that it is able to fight off infection from the surrounding environment and forms a protective layer over the beer. Open fermented ales are very rare…there are only a few other breweries in the country who brew this way. Ironically, it is one of the oldest and most traditional forms of brewing and it’s what separates us from all of the other great breweries in the province. We’ve been in business brewing this way for over 25 years, so in a way we feel more like a “heritage brand” in the market. We stay current by keeping it classic.

 

Photo courtesy of The Granite Brewery

Photo courtesy of The Granite Brewery

 

It sounds like your beers are very distinct. You offer a very wide selection of craft brews. What advice would you give to someone coming into Granite Brewery for the first time to help them navigate their way?

 

We get a lot of customers who come in not knowing exactly what they like but are adventurous enough to try new styles. The best option is to try one of our flights. We offer four 5 oz samples of our draft list which is a great way to try a few different beers without committing to a full pint. We also sell growlers (2L jugs) and tall cans from our on-site Beer Store which you can take home and enjoy with your friends and family. Our Beer Store is open from 11:30 am until 11 p.m., seven days a week, including holidays!

 

Photo courtesy of The Granite Brewery

Photo courtesy of The Granite Brewery

 

That sounds like a great way to get a lay of the land at your establishment! Could you please describe the distinct qualities of the varieties of beer you serve, an IPA versus a Stout for example?

 

We offer a wide range of tastes and flavors that will please any palate. If you’re looking for a nice, light patio beer, we recommend our Ringwood or Summer Ale. Both are crisp, blonde and refreshing, with minimal bitterness. One of our most famous beers is the Peculiar Ale — a malty, English strong ale that has a slightly sweet finish. If you prefer hoppy beers, our Hopping Mad or our Galactic Pale Ale are staff and fan favourites. Our Keefe’s Irish Stout that is rich with notes of coffee and chocolate is very popular as well. It is our most popular beer carried by other bars and restaurants in the city.

 

Thanks for speaking with us, Sam!

 

If you enjoy quality craft beer and good food served in a friendly atmosphere, you’ll love The Granite Brewery. It’s a mecca for great brews and delicious food in the Davisville neighbourhood, all in one convenient location!

 

Greenrock Property Management wants to connect you with your community and local businesses. For more information on Greenrock Communities including Greenrock at Davisville Village (77 Davisville Avenue, 45 Balliol Street, 225 Davisville Avenue), please visit our website.

 

Enjoy a taste of Indonesia at Little Sister!

 

Toronto’s Davisville neighbourhood has always been unique. It’s an area for everyone, popular with (and populated by) singles, couples and families. It’s also home to Little Sister Indonesian Food Bar, the first and only authentic Indonesian restaurant in the city. The restaurant appeals to the same demographic – everyone. Little Sister has an open and friendly atmosphere. Whether you choose to sit at one of their cozy high top tables, grab a seat at the bar or sit at the communal table, there’s a place for you. You can watch the chefs do their thing through the large, take-out style window reminiscent of Indonesian street food carts. The big idea at Little Sister is to be part restaurant, part bar and completely authentic – both in terms of the menu and the overall vibe of the place. We spoke with co-owner Jennifer Gittins about this concept.

 

Photo Courtesy of Little Sister

Photo Courtesy of Little Sister

 

So, Jennifer, what makes Little Sister unique?

 

Well, we happen to be the only full on Indonesian place in the city. We call ourselves a “food bar”, a restaurant dressed up in a bar jacket. So we play our music at a louder level than a traditional restaurant, but still keep great levels of service and quality. We serve wine and cocktails that pair really well with our Indonesian cuisine. We also have a bar open above Little Sister called Bar Batavia, which is a speakeasy style bar, with plush velvet seating that’s open late, Thursday through Saturday.

 

We’ll have to go there next! How long have you been in the Davisville area and what keeps your customers coming back for more?

 

We have been in this area for 20 years now. Our first place was called Stork on the Roof, then we opened Quince Bistro, then Little Sister / Bar Batavia, and our latest is Noorden Food Bar. Noorden is Toronto’s first gin bar to open, with more than 50 gins from around the world, it serves modern Dutch cuisine, keeping to my partner’s Dutch background.

 

Photo Courtesy of Little Sister @littlesisterto

Photo Courtesy of Little Sister @littlesisterto

 

That’s a lot of gin variations! We’re definitely intrigued. At Little Sister, what dishes do you recommend for first timers at the restaurant?

 

They should definitely try any of the skewers, the Udang curry (coconut shrimp curry), Semur Java and of course our Nasi Goreng rice.

 

Photo Courtesy of Little Sister

Photo Courtesy of Little Sister

 

Which drinks pair well with those dishes?

 

All our cocktails and wine have been chosen to pair with the food. Indonesian food is all about 4 tastes: sweet, salty, sour, and spicy. Indonesia is the original spice islands, so our food is full of spices.

 

Photo Courtesy of Little Sister @littlesisterto

Photo Courtesy of Little Sister @littlesisterto

 

Thanks for guiding us, Jennifer!


Photo Courtesy of Little Sister

Photo Courtesy of Little Sister

 

They certainly don’t shy away from spices here. The food at Little Sister is both bold and confident. The intriguing restaurant is co-owned and operated by Dutch chef, Michael van den Winkel. The Netherlands has a long history with Indonesia and its cuisine and Mr. van den Winkel is well versed in its nuances. Jennifer and Michael are heading into their third year of operations at Little Sister and are going stronger than ever. This wonderful restaurant certainly adds another layer of complexity to the ever-evolving and diverse Davisville neighbourhood. If you haven’t paid Jennifer and Michael a visit, you owe it to yourself to see what you’ve been missing at Little Sister.

 

 

Photo Courtesy of Little Sister

Photo Courtesy of Little Sister

 

Greenrock Property Management is proud to highlight what your community has to offer. For more information onGreenrock Communities, including Davisville Village (77 Davisville Avenue,45 Balliol Street and 225 Davisville Avenue), please visit our website.

 

 

Cafe California: A Neighbourhood Gem

 

A fixture in the heart of the Church and Wellesley neighbourhood, Cafe California (538 Church Street) has been serving the community with a variety of Mediterranean-inspired dishes for over 20 years. Only an exceptional and special kind of place could last this long in an industry that seems to constantly crave the next new thing. Is it the food? The martini bar? The friendly staff? Maybe it’s the eclectic Mediterranean decor, or the sunny solarium that keeps people coming back for more. It’s hard to tell, but the restaurant is doing something right.

 

Photo courtesy of Cafe California

Photo courtesy of Cafe California

 

We spoke with General Manager, Bob Parsons, to see if he could put his finger on what sets Cafe California apart. We asked him about the vibe of the place.

 

It really depends on which seating we’re doing. We welcome all walks of life, it’s warm and inviting, kind of like a Cheers. We attract everyone from young people to seniors at different times of day.

 

The vibe fluctuates depending on the time of day and is influenced by the presence of the patrons. It’s truly a place for everyone because the customers create the atmosphere. The restaurant manages to stay ahead of new trends while remaining true to its Mediterranean roots. As Bob tells us:

 

Our food is definitely what brings people back year after year. Our menu has a very wide range and our customer service is excellent.

 

So, it is the food! Could it be that simple? Maybe. We asked Bob if there was a certain dish that a first time guest should try. Something that defines what Cafe California is.

 

It really depends on your food preferences, we have something for everyone though. Like for example, if you’re vegan or vegetarian, you’ll love our salads. Our menu changes a lot and there’s really nothing on our menu that I could remove. People love the quality and the quantity of our menu items. People come for our salads in the summer season — the Capri is my favourite. Our California salad is massive — most people share the small size — and it’s a great salad to try because it’s got a bit of everything. Every seating draws a different crowd to the restaurant. We really serve the entire neighbourhood — they love the food and the service they get here.

 

It seems that the secret to Cafe California’s success is both simple and indefinable. The accessibility of the food seems to have a lot to do with it, as does the inviting atmosphere and the vibe of the place. We think it might be the restaurant’s authenticity that brings people back year after year. The feeling of people dedicated to doing what they do best, with as much enthusiasm as possible. Day in, day out. That authenticity has made Cafe California a neighbourhood gem, and a fixture of the Church and Wellesley community for over twenty years. If you haven’t had the pleasure, come in to see and taste it for yourself.


Greenrock Property Management is dedicated to connecting you with your community. For information on Greenrock Communities, including Village Green (50 Alexander Street, 40 Alexander Street and 55 Maitland Street), please visit our website.

 

 

Order like a pro at Kintaro Izakaya

 

One of the greatest things about living in Toronto is diversity. A great way to familiarize yourself with a different culture is through food. Trying new cuisines is always an exciting experience, but it can also be an intimidating one. If your knowledge of Japanese cuisine is limited to sushi, you need to pay a visit to Kintaro Izakaya in the Church and Wellesley neighbourhood.

 

photo courtesy of Kintaro Izakaya

photo courtesy of Kintaro Izakaya

 

“Kintaro Izakaya brings the authentic Japanese tapas experience to the door steps of downtown Toronto” says William Shin, Manager. We asked him to give us a crash course in Izakaya cuisine to help you order like a pro the next time you visit Kintaro Izakaya.

 

So William, what is izakaya cuisine?

 

“I” (to stay) + “sakaya” (sake house) = Izakaya

Our specialties include a wide range of yakitori dishes (charcoal grilled skewers), sushi, ramen and traditional Japanese appetizers that perfectly accompany our extensive drink selection. Stay at our sake house to be immersed in the atmosphere with great conversations, food and drinks!


For newbies, what menu items are most popular at your restaurant and what drinks go well with them?


Photo courtesy of Kintaro Izakaya

Photo courtesy of Kintaro Izakaya

 

Our “must try” dish is Ebi Mayo. A delicious dish of deep fried prawns layered with spicy mayo, house-made tartar sauce, and crispy shallots. It is best paired with: Sapporo/Asahi beers, Kikusui Sake (Junmao Ginjo), Ozeki Karatamba Sake (Honjozo), and Kubota Senju Sake (Honjozo).

 

Sounds delicious! What other menu items do you recommend?


Some of our other delicious menu items are:


photo courtesy of Kintaro Izakaya

photo courtesy of Kintaro Izakaya

Maguro tataki. This is a beautiful serving of seared Pacific Bluefin Tuna with a ponzu drizzle, garnished with scallions, served with a side house salad. It is best paired with: Tamano Hikari Sake (Junmai Daiginjo); Gekkeikan Black & Gold Sake (Blended); and Miyanoyuki Sake (Junmai Ginjo).


Photo courtesy of Kintaro Izakaya

Photo courtesy of Kintaro Izakaya

 

Set A & Set B (Grilled Skewers). This menu item is a combination of 5 different skewer selections. It is perfect for first timers who would like to try a variety of grilled items. Sets include a combination of Chicken, Beef, Pork, Seafood, Bacon and Vegetable. It is best paired with: Sapporo/Asahi Beers; Kubota Senju Sake (Honjozo); and Hakkaisan Tokubetsu Sake (Honjozo)

 

Photo courtesy of Kintaro Izakaya

Photo courtesy of Kintaro Izakaya

 

Premium Sashimi Set. This dish is 15 pieces of assorted sashimi, including selections from our premium menu. It is best paired with: Nanbu Bijin Sake(Junmai Ginjo); Miyanoyuki Sake (Junami Ginjo); and Gekkeikan Black & Gold Sake (Blended).

 

Photo courtesy of Kintaro Izakaya

Photo courtesy of Kintaro Izakaya

 

Yuke. This dish features lightly seasoned raw beef tenderloin garnished with scallions and quail egg, served with a side house salad. It is best paired with: Sapporo/Asahi Beers and Otokoyama Tokubetsu Sake (Junmai).


That’s a lot of great menu options and drink pairings! Thank you, William. How would you describe the atmosphere at Kintaro?


Kintaro Izakaya is a cozy family owned japanese restaurant with an authentic japanese feel. A “sake house” to be immersed in the atmosphere with great conversations, food, music and drinks!


Photo courtesy of Kintaro Izakaya

Photo courtesy of Kintaro Izakaya

 

We hope this interview takes the guesswork out of your Kintaro Izakaya experience! Now that you know what to order and what each specialty item pairs well with, the work is done! Pay a visit to Kintaro Izakaya (459 Church Street) to experience the bold flavours of your culturally rich community.

 

Greenrock Property Management is proud to connect you with your community. For information on Greenrock Rental Communities in Toronto, including Village Green (50 Alexander Street, 40 Alexander Street, 55 Maitland Street) please visit our website.

Don’t miss the Toronto Festival of Beer: Spring Sessions!

 

Attention Toronto beer lovers! The Toronto Festival of Beer is back for it’s Spring Sessions this Victoria Day weekend. Don’t leave town for cottage country because for two glorious days (May 20th and 21st) Fort York will transform into an epic cottage in the city and kick off summer in style!

 

Photo credit: The Toronto Festival of Beer

Photo credit: The Toronto Festival of Beer

 

What better way to welcome in summer than with a great selection of cold beer and great food from the finest food trucks in the city! As Les Murray, President of Beerlicious Inc says:

 

Spring Sessions of Toronto’s Festival of Beer is going to be an incredible time to stay in the city. We have Canadian rockers Elliott Brood and The Trews headlining our festival, along with a fantastic selection of brews to sample and a great roster of local restaurants and food trucks for people to enjoy. We’re also bringing back the cottage in the city theme this year, with fire pits, outdoor games and lawn chairs to tie the theme together – you don’t want to miss it!

 

Pair your favourite brew with a hot and juicy Mustache Burger or some great Canadian poutine from Smoke’s Poutinerie. This is no ordinary poutine! Fresh, hand-cut fries are covered in cheese curds and smothered in Smoke’s signature gravy with lots of delicious options to throw in for added flavour. Choose beef, pork, chicken or veggie varieties. Be sure to save room for dessert! Indulge in the big taste of Tiny Tom Donuts or dig into hand-rolled Chimney Stax, baked in custom made rotisserie ovens from Chimney Stax Baking Co.

 

Photo credit: The Toronto Festival of Beer

Photo credit: The Toronto Festival of Beer

 

It goes without saying that a big part of the Festival is the the beer. From cutting edge craft breweries (like Barrie’s Flying Monkeys), to Toronto favourites (like Mill Street Brewery, Great Lakes Brewery and Brickworks Ciderhouse), and tried and true classics (like Budweiser) — there is something for everyone at this year’s Festival of Beer. But the real source of the fun is the laid back, cottage vibe and the games like Giant Jenga, Giant Soccer Darts and Bocce! You can kick back and chill by the fire pit, roasting marshmallows, or take in some great live music. This is how long weekends were meant to be spent!

 

Photo credit: The Toronto Festival of Beer

Photo credit: The Toronto Festival of Beer

 

When you’re sitting around the campfire, you don’t want just anybody to pick up a guitar and muddle their way through a song or two. The Festival of Beer understands this and they’ve taken care of the music, too!  On Saturday, May 20th, Elliott Broodwill be playing an acoustic Campfire Session, and on Sunday, May 21st, The Trews stoke the party and the fire with the second Campfire Session acoustic set. Choose your ticket for either May 20th or 21st. In addition to admission to the event, and seeing some great live acoustic music, your ticket also gets you 5 sampling tokens and a commemorative sampling mug.

 

Greenrock Property Management hopes the Toronto Festival of Beer: Spring Sessions will help you have an amazing Victoria Day weekend in the city! Please enjoy yourself responsibly. For information on Greenrock Rental Communities in Toronto, please visit our website.

The Churchmouse: your local pub

 

There is no substitute for a good British Pub. A casual neighbourhood hangout where you can grab a quick drink or a full meal and simply unwind after a long day. The Churchmouse at 475 Church Street is the local pub you’re looking for. They are part of the Firkin group of pubs so you can count on the perfect pub experience. They serve fabulous yet unpretentious fare, plus lots of local and international beers, including their very own Butler’s Pale Ale, wine, well-made cocktails and single malt Scotches.

 

photo credit: The Churchmouse Firkin Pub

photo credit: The Churchmouse Firkin Pub

 

The Churchmouse takes everything great about the British pub experience and leaves behind what you may not want. This is no dank, dark watering hole. It’s two storeys of spacious, airy comfort with lots of windows overlooking Church Street. They even have a perfect patio to soak up the sun and do a little people watching during the warmer weather. Belly up to the bar, take a seat in their comfy chairs at a table, or kick back on the Union Jack sofa and catch the game.

 

photo credit: The Churchmouse Firkin Pub

photo credit: The Churchmouse Firkin Pub

 

The food is not an afterthought at the Churchmouse. Along with traditional pub fare they offer daily food specials that have helped cultivate a loyal following for for 10 years. Start off by sharing some Bombay Chicken Tacos ($12) which feature Tandoori spiced chicken, mini naan, red cabbage, chickpea salsa and cool raita. Lighten things up with a Arugula Harvest Salad ($14) or sink your teeth into some Montreal smoked meat with the Butcher On The Rye Sandwich ($15) complete with red cabbage slaw, Swiss cheese and whole grain mustard on marble rye.

 

photo credit: The Churchmouse Firkin Pub

 

The good food, friendly staff and inviting atmosphere at the Churchmouse create a pub experience that will exceed your expectations.


Greenrock Property Management wants to connect you with your community! We hope that residents of our Village Green Community will visit the Churchmouse. It is patio season after all!


For more information on Greenrock Property Management and our Village Green Community (located at 50 Alexander Street, 40 Alexander Street and 55 Maitland Street) please visit our website.

 

Check out Electric Island Music Festival!

 

If you’re looking for a fun and festive way to celebrate a long weekend this summer, you don’t have to head to a cottage or leave the city. Plan a visit to Hanlan’s Point on the Toronto Islands to catch the Electric Island Music Festival. The festival takes place, each and every long weekend from now until Labour Day. It’s only a short ferry ride away, but it feels like you’re entering a different world.

 

Photo: electricisland.to

Photo: electricisland.to

 

Now in it’s fifth year, the Electric Island Festival just seems to get bigger and better. This isn’t the typical Toronto Island experience you’re used to. The festival peacefully takes over and transforms the island with unique decor elements and art pieces. As Electric Island partner Joel Smye says, “every year we seem to grow and add new pieces and try and create a better experience. That’s ultimately the goal.”

 

Photo: electricisland.to

Photo: electricisland.to

 

It all kicks off this Victoria Day long weekend, on Monday, May 22nd. Expect an eclectic mix of electronic artists from around the globe. They’ll perform on two stages with two different sounds. On the first stage, catch Andrew Choe, Night Vision, Brooklyn-based DJs Bedouin, Eats Everythingfrom Bristol UK, Dutch artist Joris Voon and finally, Berlin’s Ben Klock who will close the weekend’s festivities. On the second stage you can see Mexico’s Rebolledo, Red Axes from Tel-Aviv, and headliner Leon Vynehall of Brighton, UK. Click on any of the highlighted performers to hear a sample of their sound.

 

Photo: electricisland.to

Photo: electricisland.to

 

This busy but laid-back music festival is filled with fun-loving people and strives to create a fun atmosphere. As Smye says:

 

If you haven’t been to a dance music party, this is a great place to start. It’s not overly wild, it’s not out of control, it’s just a nice day in a park. It would be tough to have a bad time here.

To ensure that everyone has a good time, there are a number of prohibited items. They include alcohol (will be available for sale), drugs (including prescription containers), glass, tents, lawn chairs, laser pointers and outside food. Don’t worry about going hungry — there will be a variety of great food trucks to grab a bite from. This is a rain or shine event, so remember to bring sunscreen, a rain poncho and an empty, refillable water bottle to fill up once you’re inside.

 

Photo: electricisland.to

Photo: electricisland.to

 

You can purchase tickets for single festival events or purchase a season pass which gives you access to all 5 days of shows. The Festival takes place every long weekend, all summer long, beginning Monday, May 22nd. If you can’t make it this weekend, mark your calendar for Saturday, July 1st; Monday, August 7th; and the event’s farewell to summer on Labour Day weekend on Sunday, September 3rd and Monday, September 4th.

 

The Electric Island Music Festival is an amazing celebration of summer, electronic music and community. To learn more about Greenrock Property Management and our Rental Communities in Toronto, please visit our website.

 

 

Cumbrae’s: Great Local Butcher

 

No matter how much you love meat, it’s hard to love the factory farm system. Growing as many animals as possible, as quickly as possible, for as low a cost as possible, can’t be ideal for the quality of the meat, or the quality of life of the animal. When we buy meat in a supermarket, we don’t like to think of where it comes from. We like to picture the animals being raised naturally on small family farms. The labels on the packaging may even play into this idyllic image of happy animals on sunny farms. The reality is usually much different, unless that label says Cumbrae’s.

 

Photo credit: Cumbrae’s

Photo credit: Cumbrae’s

 

Cumbrae’s is a big city butcher that actually sources its meat from small old-fashioned farms. Cumbrae’s tells us:

 

In an age where local and artisanal are the buzzwords that huge brands are built on, it can be virtually impossible to find the real thing. That’s where Cumbrae’s is completely unique. What Cumbrae’s has done is connect all the farmers who are doing things right – the old-fashioned way – and brought them into the fold and given them a place where they can farm without the enormous pressure, constraints and quotas of the factory system.

Photo credit: Cumbrae’s

Photo credit: Cumbrae’s

The factory farm system is interested in producing maximum product at minimum cost. This puts farmers who sign on with big agriculture companies into what can be a stressful situation for themselves and the animals. In order to meet quotas within the constraints of the factory system, farms and farmers are forced to change they way they operate. Quality must take a back seat to efficiency.

 

The way the Cumbrae’s operation works means that everyone in the equation needs to be treated well in order for everyone involved to stay involved. It’s simple. Take care of the farmers who want to take care of the animals, and the result is meat that is unsurpassed in quality and taste.

 

As strange as it may seem, a big city butcher shop with its own farms and a network of small family farms working with them is almost unheard of. Its what sets Cumbrae’s apart. Their animals are raised well, fed well and expertly butchered and processed in small abattoirs. Happy animals lead to high quality meat. But you don’t need to take Cumbrae’s word for it. In addition to their stores, Cumbrae’s also supplies over 50 of the region’s best restaurants. Listen to what the chefs like Cory Vitiello of The Harbord Room and Flock have to say:

 

The beef has a unique smell and flavour that no other beef I’ve tried has. That is, in fact, why I buy Cumbrae’s beef. I like the 45 day aged bone-in ribeye côte de boeuf, for me it is the best example of their beef. I just roast it in a cast iron pan with lots of butter, garlic and salt. Maybe throw in a little thyme and rosemary, then I carve it up tableside. It will change the way you think about beef.

Photo credit: Cumbrae’s

Photo credit: Cumbrae’s

Chef’s not only serve it in their restaurants, but Cumbrae’s products are also what they serve to their families. Anthony Rose of Wilder & Rose Restaurant Group says;

 

I bring home the butterflied chicken and brine it for 48 hours, then sear it in a cast iron pan and go low and slow in the oven, skin side down, until it’s done. Then just kiss the perfectly roasted bird with salsa verde. It’s my son’s favourite meal.

In today’s world, where commerce too often comes before quality and common sense, isn’t it nice to know that there’s a local butcher doing it the right way? A business built on local and artisanal food practices.

 

We bring the country to the city and to do that well we cultivate great relationships on each end – with the farmers and the animals in the country, and the educated and informed customers in the city.

Visit your local Cumbrae’s butcher today for the best meat the city has to offer.

Cumbrae’s, at 481 Church Street, serves the Church and Wellesley neighbourhood including the Greenrock Village Green Community (50 Alexander Street, 40 Alexander Street and 55 Maitland Street). For more information onGreenrock Property Management and our Communities throughout the city.