The CNE is back!

 

The end of summer tradition that is the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE) returns to Toronto from August 18th to September 4th, for 18 fun-filled days to help say ‘so long’ to summer. The CNE, or “The Ex” as it is affectionately known, attracts more than 1.5 million visitors every year with it’s wide array of live entertainment, rides and games, food and fun, shopping, and of course, exhibits.

 

Credit: Canadian National Exhibition

Credit: Canadian National Exhibition

 

The CNE has been entertaining the masses in Toronto since 1879. It’s the largest celebration of its kind in the country, and the fifth largest fair in the world! There is something for everyone at The Ex!

 

If you go to The Ex this summer, be sure to check out the Unity Pole by Ojibway artist Kris Nahrgang. The pole is carved into a 25-ft tall cedar tree and was created to celebrate Canada’s indigenous heritage. There is also a panoramic origami exhibit of the Canadian landscape. Some of the spectacular shows to see include the CNE waterfront show, and the Canadian-themed Acrobatics and Ice-Skating show called “Oh Canada” that stars Elvis Stojko.

 

If live music is more your cup of tea, there are great concerts every night at the Bandshell. This year you’ll have the chance to see legendary rocker Burton Cummings, blues great Colin James, and indie darlings The Sam Roberts Band. You can even see Kiefer Sutherland perform songs from his debut country album! Yes, you read that correctly.

 

Try your luck at the CNE Casino with games like Blackjack, Roulette or the private, air-conditioned Texas Hold ‘em room. The casino also boasts a beautiful outdoor patio to catch some rays, raise a glass, and enjoy a bite to eat.

 

Credit: Canadian National Exhibition

Credit: Canadian National Exhibition

 

A big part of the CNE is the food, and it’s famous for being completely over the top. Deep fried butter anyone? The Toronto Star Food Buildingdraws about a million hungry people per year to indulge in everything from churro cheeseburgers to halal, vegetarian, dairy free, and gluten free delights. There is also the Food Truck Frenzy and the Craft Beer Fest to consider.

 

In addition to the traditional favourites, there is always something new to see at the CNE! Check out the 8 foot tall CNE sign, complete with illuminated maple leaf to celebrate Canada’s 150th, the Quilt of Belonging features 263 squares that represent 192 nationalities and 71 indigenous groups found in Canada. Gamers will love the Gaming Garage with developers, exhibitors as well as a place to play!

 

Credit: Canadian National Exhibition

Credit: Canadian National Exhibition

 

Other fun features to explore include a nightly Laser Illusion Experience, and East Coast Kitchen Party, and the unforgettable Trampo Wall (where performers walk on vertical walls, bounce off roofs and through windows). And of course, the unofficial grand finale comes with the 68th annualCanadian International Air Show. There is so much to see and do at the CNE this season! Let’s go to the Ex!

 

Greenrock Property Management Limited is excited to fill you in on the ins and outs of the largest community celebration in Canada! Purchase your tickets online at TheEx.com before August 17th at midnight and save!

 

For information on Greenrock Rental Communities in Toronto,  please visit our website.

 

Enjoy one of a kind burgers at Holy Chuck!

 

Have you noticed the gourmet burger trend in Toronto? It could almost be called a movement. Basically it’s a trend of making outstanding burgers readily available and has been pioneered by burger joints that promise unprocessed, real burgers that taste the way a burger should taste. One of the original establishments to lead the charge of burger brigade was Holy Chuck. They opened their first restaurant back in September of 2011 and have since opened two more locations. We spoke with the no-bull founder of Holy Chuck, Johnny Prassoulis, to find out what separates them from the herd.

 

Photo credit: Holy Chuck

Photo credit: Holy Chuck

 

So Johnny, what do you enjoy most about being a chef?

 

Watching other people eat my food and enjoy it. There’s no bigger pleasure than that.

 

What made you choose to specialize in gourmet burgers after coming up in high end restaurants?

 

I’ve always loved burgers. They’ve always been one of my favourite foods. And nobody — I shouldn’t say nobody — but almost nobody was doing them properly. Most commercially available burgers have been overcooked, processed and it’s been pretty much cr** for many, many years. And I think a burger is one of the most enjoyable things to eat. It’s also one of the most difficult things to make properly. And that’s why I did it.

 

So when you started, did you want to ensure your burgers were prepared following certain methods using certain ingredients?

 

I mean, for personal taste, yeah. I think burgers should be cooked no more than medium – at the most. But I think a good burger should have great flavour, nothing added to it, and be juicy. Definitely juicy. Because I think that’s one thing that lacks in most burgers, because burgers are over processed and there are so many additives, fillers… they’re frozen, not fresh. That whole juicy element and the flavour element has just gone out the window.

 

There is a lot of competition in the gourmet burger joint field these days. How do you separate yourself from the new brands that keep coming up?

 

Yeah, I’d definitely say that we were one of the pioneers in this whole burger trend, that’s for sure. I think one thing that we still do, that nobody else does, is we actually have our grinder right at the front and we grind our beef right in front of the customers pretty much hourly. So, it’s one thing to say that you have fresh beef, and it’s another thing for it to be seen.

 

Everything is homemade in our restaurant, pretty much — except for our onion rings. We do everything from scratch. And we still maintain the same quality and the same values as when we first started. I know a lot of places — they start of doing something, and then they get recognized and they kind of start changing things. Maybe doing things that are little bit more cost effective, which is not a bad thing but I think it’s a bad thing when it starts interfering with quality. So we’re pretty strict with how we serve our burgers and what goes on them, stuff like that. It’s what we’re proud of and we just don’t want to be like everyone else.

 

I know a lot of people get upset when they come in and they want to add certain things to certain burgers. Our Holy Duck Burger ($31.99), we don’t even allow it out of the restaurant. Because it will lose its… it will lose its taste. It’s foie gras. There are certain elements to that burger that have to be eaten right there, on the spot. I’ve gotten orders for like 30 foie gras burgers at one time, which is like a $900 order, but I turned it down because they wanted it to go.

 

Wow, that’s dedication! Is that the only burger on the menu that you can’t get ‘to go’?

 

Yes. The foie gras burger and the foie gras poutine and the foie gras pancakes are the only items that are not allowed ‘to go’.

 

Noted! Do you have a favourite burger on your menu?

 

My foie gras burger. Yeah.

 

What’s the most popular menu item or combo at Holy Chuck?

 

My Holy Chuck Burger ($10.49 with caramelized onions and bacon, please don’t ask for toppings) is right now my number one seller, at all three of my restaurants.

 

Photo Credit: Holy Chuck

Photo Credit: Holy Chuck

 

If you’re looking for a real burger, ground fresh right before your eyes, you owe it to yourself to give Holy Chuck a try. Taste the difference the uncompromising commitment to quality makes — just don’t ask for the foie gras burger ‘to go’!

 

Greenrock Property Management loves to help you connect with your community and all that it has to offer. There are Holy Chuck locations near two Greenrock Communities. Their original location is at 1451 Yonge Street, by Greenrock at Davisville Village (77 Davisville Avenue, 45 Balliol Street and 225 Davisville Avenue). The newest location is at 586 Yonge Street, right near Village Green (50 Alexander Street, 40 Alexander Street and 55 Maitland Street). There is also a third Holy Chuck location at 4421 Hwy 7 in Woodbridge. For more information on Greenrock Communities across Toronto, please visit our website.

 

 

Check out Toronto’s Sail in Cinema™!

 

Ready for a truly unique film screening experience? Mark your calendar for PortsToronto’s Sail-In Cinema™. The event returns to Sugar Beach and the Toronto Harbour from August 17th to 19th. You don’t even need a ticket to attend, it’s all free! This is the seventh great year of this unique event.

 

Credit: Sail-In Cinema™

Credit: Sail-In Cinema™

 

PortsToronto’s Sail-In Cinema invites Toronto residents and visitors alike to come down to the waterfront and enjoy a unique and free celebration of film, family and fun  –  Deborah Wilson, Vice President, Communications and Public Affairs, PortsToronto

 

Sail-In Cinema™ debuted in 2011 to help celebrate PortsToronto’s one hundredth anniversary. The event was such a success that it has been brought back year after year. It is now a permanent Toronto summer tradition! Last year’s event attracted over 11,000 people on land alone, plus more than 100 boats.

 

If you’re a boat owner, or better yet have a friend with a boat, you can drop anchor by the south side of the screen and catch a great flick as you bob on a Great Lake. For the rest of us landlubbers, the gates open at 6 pm. Bring a blanket, cushion or chair and find your spot on Sugar Beach. Though the event is free and no ticket is required to participate, seating is limited. Get there early to avoid disappointment! There will be free pre-show entertainment until the movie begins at approximately 8:45 pm.

Credit: Sail-In Cinema™

Credit: Sail-In Cinema™

 

The Movies

 

Audiences will not be let down by this year’s program of family-friendly fare. This year’s lineup includes a couple of timeless classics and one new take on a timeless classic.

 

Edward Scissorhands (Thursday, August 17th)

 

The 1990 Tim Burton fantasy, Edward Scissorhands, will be the opening night screening on August 17th. Edward (Johnny Depp) was created by a loving but lonely scientist (Vincent Price) who died before completing Edward – leaving him with scissor blades rather than hands. He is taken in by a friendly family. Despite Edward’s kind, artistic and gentle nature, his physical appearance makes him an outcast.

 

Raiders of the Lost Ark (Friday, August 18th)

 

Raiders of the Lost Ark is Steven Spielberg’s original 1981 classic that introduced Indiana Jones to the world. The adventurous archeologist is on a quest to find the lost Ark of the Covenant. Can he find it and keep it from falling into the hands of the Nazis?! Catch Raiders of the Lost Ark on Friday, August 18th.

 

Beauty and the Beast (Saturday, August 19th)

 

This live action version of Beauty and the Beast is the 10th largest grossing film of all time! The bright and beautiful Belle (Emma Watson) is imprisoned in a castle by a beast (Dan Stevens). Belle befriends the enchanted staff of the castle, despite her fears. She learns to see beyond the beast’s appearance to the kind heart and soul of the prince inside. Directed by Bill Condon.

 

Don’t miss this memorable summertime event. This year you can enter to win a pair of Porter Airlines flight tickets. All you have to do is share your favourite scene from Edward Scissorhands, Raiders of the Lost Ark and Beauty and the Beast on social media with the hashtag #sailincinema2017 for your chance to win!

 

Join us at this great event to see why Sail-In Cinema™ is becoming one of the highlights of summer in Toronto.

 

Greenrock Property Management wants to connect you with all that your community has to offer. For information on Greenrock Rental Communities throughout Toronto, please visit our website.

 

 

 

Taste Toronto at Taste of the Danforth

 

Taste of the Danforth returns to Toronto’s Greek Town for its 24th year, from August 11th to 13th. The festival is a celebration of the Danforth’s Greek heritage and Toronto’s multicultural population.

 

 

Photo courtesy of Taste of the Danforth

Photo courtesy of Taste of the Danforth

 

It’s a Toronto tradition that has been satisfying those hungry for family-friendly fun and fabulous food from around the world. As spokesperson for the festival tells us:

 

What keeps people coming back each year is the fact that we offer free family-friendly fun as well as food, food and more food!  The great food remains the same. The low prices for the food in the tasting menus remains the same. The entertainment changes dramatically.

 

Photo courtesy of Taste of the Danforth

Photo courtesy of Taste of the Danforth

 

Live Performances

 

There are so many live performances from such a wide array of performers at this year’s festival that it takes three stages to contain them all. The Greek Stage is the place to find the finest Greek singers, dancers and musicians. The Celebrity Stage features music and dance performances from around the world. This year’s Showcase Stage is being programmed by the North-by-Northeast Festival!

 

Photo courtesy of Taste of the Danforth

Photo courtesy of Taste of the Danforth

Photo courtesy of Taste of the Danforth

Photo courtesy of Taste of the Danforth

 

It’s All Greek to Me

 

The ancient Greek tradition of breaking plates after a meal has been banned in Greece since 1969 but you can feel free to smash away at this year’s festival! Experience the simple, stress-relieving pleasure of plate smashing, in partnership with BattleSports’ Rage Room. Festival attendees can also participate in a dart of war Nerf battle with Ares’ Dart Challenge, in honour of the son of Zeus and the God of War.

 

Hollywood on the Danforth

 

Experience the thrills from some Hollywood films. Figure out who done it with the “Murder on the Orient Express” mystery challenge and win tickets to the film! See a professional stunt team on the Celebrity Stage and join them after for a photo!

 

Canada 150

 

In honour of Canada’s 150th anniversary, Taste of the Danforth celebrates Canadian Heroes. Take a virtual reality trip to visit some Canadian Heroes and meet the Heroes of the Future with superstar students who may change the world.

 

Photo courtesy of Taste of the Danforth

Photo courtesy of Taste of the Danforth

 

Food, Food & More Food!

 

There is so much to enjoy at Taste of the Danforth. From classic Greek favourites to Thai, Cuban, Indian and more. This is truly a multicultural festival. Best of all you don’t have to narrow your choices, “the model of the festival is to offer sting menus so that people don’t have to choose one vendor over another. They can taste of variety of items from a variety of vendors.” Try a little from here, a little from there. You can taste the world in one place.

 

Photo courtesy of Taste of the Danforth

Photo courtesy of Taste of the Danforth

 

Contests and Prizes

 

There are also contests and giveaways galore!

 

Photo courtesy of Taste of the Danforth

Photo courtesy of Taste of the Danforth

 

There are trips to be won with Newstalk 1010, Metroland, Toronto Star and CP24. At the Festival this year, if people pick up one of our brochures there is a secret code on the back, or they just need to look at the Jumbo Screen next to the Celebrity Stage for the secret code.  All they have to do is go online and answer some questions for a chance to win a Trip for 2 to Portugal.

 

Over the years the Taste of the Danforth has grown and evolved. It is now much more than simply a Greek food festival. As their festival representative puts it:

 

We have changed much like the country, the city and the street to be reflective of Canada’s multicultural mosaic. We still respect the fact that the Festival is in the heart of GreekTown and we have both a Greek stage with continuous performances as well as an “It’s All Greek To Me” experience, which features the ancient tradition of breaking plates as well as an Ares’ God of War experience. While we have many mainstream activities, ranging from a Sports Zone with challenges from the Leafs, the Raptors, the Argos and the Toronto FC, and some amazing Hollywood on the Danforth activations, we also have lots of cultures reflected in the Festival. On our Celebrity Stage you can see everything from the city’s leading Bollywood dancers to the contestants in the Mr. & Miss Asia Toronto pageant. In our “Learn a Little” experience, we’ve got 7 different cultural dance troupes teaching our attendees a fun cultural dance. The list goes on.

 

The Taste of the Danforth has something to offer everyone. It’s truly multicultural festival for a truly multicultural city. It’s time to experience the diverse flavours of your community.

 

Greenrock Property Management is proud to fill you in on what’s happening in this great city that we’re proud to call home. For information on Greenrock Rental Communities throughout Toronto, please visit our website.

Check out Northern Passages at Harbourfront Centre!

 

The 2017 summer season at Habourfront Centre is a celebration of Canada’s cultural heritage. Northern Passages (July 21st to 23rd) brings together artists from the 49th parallel and beyond to celebrate the music and culture of the north. Northern Passages is part of Harbourfront’s Sounds of Home series — four distinct weekend festivals that run throughout July at Habourfront Centre.

 

As one of Canada’s leading international centres for contemporary arts and culture, Harbourfront Centre’s waterfront campus will continue to be a meeting place for artists and cultural enthusiasts seeking relevant artistic, cultural, educational, and recreational experiences. Our summer festivals bring together artists from across Canada reminding us of the multitude of voices that create our Sounds of Home.
Marah Braye, Chief Executive Officer, Harbourfront Centre

 

Northern Passages serves as a platform for artists to share their stories through a variety of musical genres and dance — from folk to throat singing. Join the journey of this arctic-bound adventure for 3 magical days this July.

 

Photo Credit: Harbourfront Centre

Photo Credit: Harbourfront Centre

Le Vent du Nord

 

Join Le Vent du Nord on Friday, July 21st from 9:30pm to 11pm. Let this “northern wind” blow your mind with their progressive Québécois folk music revival sound. This award-winning roots band consists of Nicolas Boulerice (vocals, hurdy gurdy, piano, accordion), Olivier Demers (vocals, fiddle, guitar), Simon Beaudry (vocals, guitar, Irish bouzouki) and Réjean Brunet (vocals, diatonic button accordion, acoustic bass, piano, jaw harp). They perform traditional Québec folk  music and original compositions. From rousing songs that focus on political issues and satire, to soft acapella melodies and love stories, there is something for everyone to love.

Photo Credit: Harbourfront Centre

Photo Credit: Harbourfront Centre

Sarah MacDougall

 

Yukon-based Sarah MacDougall takes the stage on Saturday, July 22nd from 7:00pm to 8:15pm. Sarah is known for her passionate performance presence, unique voice and honest and poetic folk-roots style. Spend the evening with her on the concert stage at Harbourfront centre and experience it for yourself.

Photo Credit: Harbourfront Centre

Photo Credit: Harbourfront Centre

The Jerry Cans

 

It’s hard to describe the unique sound of The Jerry Cans. A blend of Inukitut alt-country mixed with reggae and throat singing. It must be experienced. You can do just that on Saturday, July 22nd from 9:00pm to 10:15pm. The music is infused with the spirit of the contemporary North and the people who call it home. They perform many of their songs in Inukitut, the language they are passionate about preserving as the North and their community of Iqaluit evolve. Come out and feel the energy and don’t miss their interactive, all-ages Inuk language workshop earlier in the day!

Photo credit: Harbourfront Centre

Photo credit: Harbourfront Centre

Iva

 

Kathleen Ivaluarjuk Merritt, known by her stage name Iva, closes out the festival on Sunday July 23rd from 5:45pm to 7:00pm. Iva manages to mix Inuit throat-singing with Celtic-influenced folk music and poetry. How does she do it? Beautifully.

 

Arctic After Party

 

If you want the party to continue after the free shows on Saturday, get your tickets for the Arctic After Party and experience the electric, after-hours energy of the North. Featuring performances by Juno-nominated Silla + Rise, who mix throat singing with dance floor beats and DJ Classic Roots. The Thunder Bay native brings his original sound by blending electronica with First Nations songs.

 

Don’t miss Northern Passages and the Sounds of Home series at Harbourfront Centre. The words of the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage, sum up the experience well:

 

We have a unique opportunity to celebrate our country’s linguistic, cultural and regional diversity. I invite Torontonians and visitors to join family and friends and celebrate in this cosmopolitan city that is open to the world. Let’s all make 2017 a year to remember!

Greenrock Property Management is proud to help you connect with your community. For information on Greenrock Communities in Toronto, please visit our website.

Learn and Create at Maker Festival

Take part in a month of making, from July 6th to August 6th, at Maker Festival! This incredible festival brings together Toronto’s most creative people and projects to celebrate creativity and inspire people to help shape our world. It features over 100 events across Toronto run by creative organizations, maker spaces and studios! We spoke with Ceda Verbakel, Creative Director of Maker Festival to find out more.

 

Ceda, we’re really excited for this festival. Please tell us why Maker Festival was established.

 

Maker Festival, was established due to the growing interest around DIY, especially in the tech world. 3D printers generated a lot of that buzz because they are now  less expensive for people to buy and use, and also some electronics have become more affordable and acceptable for people as well. There’s a trend in that direction in the tech world, as well as a greater uptake of people diverting back to sort of ‘old school’ ways of making too — for example, people who are interested in woodworking and artisan crafts. Things like knitting and crochet, origami – all those kinds of things that we don’t do a lot of these days despite being activities that bring people real joy.

 

Who do you expect to attend the festival? Is Maker Festival only for adults?

 

Actually, we usually get a lot of kids. Kids are at the age where lots of making and creativity happens. We do our best to attract adults as well and there is a lot of stuff for adults, the festival is tech focused after all. There are a lot of things there that are interesting to look at and interact with as an adult. Even the drop in workshops or the other kind of things that look like they’re for kids – adults are more than welcome to participate and we encourage them to do so!

 

Photo credit: Maker Festival

Photo credit: Maker Festival

 

Sounds like a family friendly experience then! What’s the best thing about Maker Festival?

 

Our whole event is based around this idea of it being interactive and participatory. We ask that all our exhibitors and makers have some kind of interactive or participatory element to their booth. So it’s not just a market where people are selling, and it’s also not just somewhere where people passively look on at what other people are making or doing. We like people to feel like they too have agency and the ability to be creative — even if it’s in a tech sense. Because even though technology sort of feels a little bit — what’s the word? — intimidating, sometimes, everyone is really capable of taking part and shaking it up.

 

So you’re all about making connections. That’s great! Are there any must-see projects at Maker Festival this year?

 

There are a bunch of robot makers who make robots as a hobby. They’re going to be coming and building robots and battling them all weekend! So they’ll have tables where they’re making them but then they will also have a round robin battle in a kind of, robot arena. And then we’ve also got some really beautiful and awesome installations and pop-ups. We have a local Toronto artist who’s bringing her giant cardboard whale. It’s kinetic and moves like a whale! There will also be lots of great drop-in workshops that anyone can participate in. You can knit a neuron, you can solder a little raccoon pendant so it lights up with LEDs, or you can take part in a lockpicking workshop!

 

Thank you for speaking with us Ceda. We can’t wait to attend Maker Festival this month!

 

Greenrock Property Management is proud to connect you with your community. For more information about our rental communities in Toronto, please visit our website.

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

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.

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.

 

Eat Green at Urban Herbivore

 

Urban Herbivore changed the Toronto landscape for plantbased fast food when it first opened its doors 12 years ago with a tiny café in Kensington Market. The café has since expanded, as has the Urban Herbivore concept. There are now three locations including 64 Oxford Street (Kensington Market), and The Eaton Centre Food Court, with a brand new location opening soon in Union Station. The man behind it all is chef, food pioneer and restaurant veteran, Stephen Gardner. We spoke with Stephen to catch up on where the concept is at today, and where it’s heading.

 

What was the original concept/inspiration for Urban Herbivore?

 

I opened the first Urban Herbivore in Kensington Market with the intention of hosting a community space where I would offer cooking classes and seminars. I wanted to play off of the theme of Kensington Market and all that it had to offer. But I quickly learned I couldn’t fit all of my dreams under one roof. I was able to follow through with installing a green roof, produce a plantbased menu, source produce directly from local farmers, use organic ingredients wherever possible, use no refined sugar or processed ingredients, and provide 100% biodegradable take-out packaging.

 

 

Has that original concept evolved/grown as the business has grown?

 

The original UH was a café with limited seating and menu options. Over the last 12 years, we have expanded not only the square footage of the Kensington Market location, but also into new arenas with greater foot traffic. We have had to slightly tailor some of the menu items to be more efficient to serve. With the addition of a few fun rotating menu items, our food and concept is the same as it was from day one: plantbased whole food for herbivores in a hurry.

 

 

What is your restaurant’s specialty/best selling item(s)?

 

These can be grouped into seasonal preferences. Winter: Sweet Potato Club Sandwich with “Cheeze” and a Berry Blue Smoothie (blueberries, banana, apple, oats, lemon, cinnamon). Summer: Possum Bowl (watercress, kale, romaine, marinated mushrooms, broccoli, black beans, “cheeze sauce”, roasted Yukon & sweet potato, red onion, coconut “bacon”, tahini dressing) with a glass of our house made Pineapple Lemonade.

 

What has the growth process in the city been like? When/How did you know when it was time to expand and how do you choose the next location/neighborhood?

 

For a plantbased restaurant, foot traffic is important. You need to be accessible, either along the TTC route or at a major destination like Kensington Market. But to be honest, expansion, like any real-estate, is all a gamble. When I find myself with a little more free time on my hands, it’s time to start looking for new projects.

 

 

Who is your clientele? (Is it mostly dedicated vegetarians? The veggie curious?)

 

You know, 12 years ago, we were definitely a gold mine for vegans simply because veggie options weren’t so available. But now, I think the driving force is environmental foodies. Toronto is a food mecca. We love to eat out. And for all of us that participate in this “fast-food” lifestyle, Urban Herbivore lends a quick, whole food option that isn’t destructive to the environment.

 

What do you enjoy most about what you are doing?

 

I think my satisfaction comes most from knowing that the food that Urban Herbivore provides is one of the healthiest food options in Toronto. Besides seeing regular guests and the relationships that we have created it is great being able to put legs to my ethics and see them in action. I value a sense of environmental sensibilities and an awareness of social responsibility. We practice stalk to root cooking and are vigilant in our composting efforts. All of our packaging is compostable except for two lids and we don’t sell bottled water for that same reason even though we get many requests for it. We donate some of our baked goods to a local charity organization and try to care for our family of employees as well. We have quite possibly the most liberal food policy in the industry, our employees can enjoy a meal in one of our stores at anytime as long as the store is open regardless if they are working that day. I have deeply held convictions and these guide all of our practices.

Fast-food is not what is used to be. Thanks to Urban Herbivore, it’s possible to get nutritious and delicious food – fast. Health conscious food that is also socially conscious and sustainable. Urban Herbivore and Stephen Gardner are expanding your options for fast, fresh, plantbased food as they evolve and expand their menu and locations. Urban Herbivore made our list of the Best Restaurants with Gluten-Free Options. Look for their new location in Union Station and exercise your option to eat well on the go – it will make your body and mind feel good.

 

Urban Herbivore and Greenrock are proud to be members of your community. For information on our Village Green Community at 50 Alexander Street, 40 Alexander Street and 55 Maitland Street – please visit our website.