Discover the Davisville Village Farmers Market

 

One of the great things about living in Ontario is the abundance of fresh, local and seasonal produce available in the summertime. The Davisville Village Farmers Market is a great nearby market to visit to pick some up this season. The market is open every Tuesday from 3pm to 7pm, from mid-May to early October. It’s part of the Apple Tree family of markets, run by founders Lesley Stoyan and Chris Trussell. We spoke with Lesley to learn more about how this community market has grown and what’s in store for this season!

 

Credit: Apple Tree Markets

Credit: Apple Tree Markets

 

So Lesley, when was the market first opened, and has it grown since?

 

We started our first market at Yonge and Eglinton 10 years ago. So, we’re actually in our tenth season there now. It started off as literally a one-off project. We were asked to coordinate a community event by (former City Councillor) Karen Stintz. We did a one-off market because local foods were just becoming popular in the Toronto community and public market spaces. It was so successful that we decided to keep it going as a regular, weekly thing. So in 2008, The North Toronto Farmers Market opened. It was dubbed The Apple Tree Market. We’ve opened three markets since then. The next market that we opened was Ryerson University, and the Davisville Village Farmers Market was our third. So it’s grown. Those three are our every season, staple, marketplaces but we’ve got over twenty pop-up markets that go on throughout the city, throughout the year. We also run a fresh food program with the TDSB (Toronto District School Board).

 

Wow, you’re making the rounds! Who does the fresh food program serve?

 

(It) predominantly serves Davisville Junior Public School which is at Yonge and Davisville. It’s a farm fresh fare snack program — so that the kids can have fresh fruits and vegetables everyday at school.

 

What a great initiative! Many of our our residents send their children to that public school. The program is free for the kids?

 

It’s subsidized by the TDSB and parents have the option to contribute, if they’d like, but every child gets it. Davisville Village has a very significant, low-income community. A lot of new Canadians making under $25, 000 a year reside here, so Davisville qualifies as a high needs school, so they get a subsidized food program. That’s actually why we started the Apple Tree Group. As I said, it started in 2008 as a one-off, fun project and we’re now a fully registered non-profit and our mission is to build community around food initiatives and family-friendly events. The farmers market is just a small amount of the project work that we do per week. We try to have outdoor, free public events predominantly in Davisville Park. We do the “movie night in the park”, which happens every September. It’s a free movie for everybody to attend. We build a skating rink in Davisville Park that everyone is able to come out and enjoy in the winter as well. We also do a Pumpkin Parade. We’re doing something called the Apple Seed and Kernel Festival this year, which is a big apple harvest festival, so kids can come out and have a fun day. There’s farmers and bouncy castles and everything is free to ensure that the neighbourhood, the people that can’t afford it, can take part in it.

 

Credit: Apple Tree Markets

Credit: Apple Tree Markets

 

What a wonderful and fun way to reach out and engage with the community! What is your role at Apple Tree?

 

I’m the co-founder, with my husband (co-founder, Chris Trussell). It’s honestly just the two of us that do 90% of the work. We have a handful of contractors that we bring onboard when it gets to be too much. We hope to be able to grow that number so that we can continue to grow and keep spreading out the volume of work. My focus is mostly on family health education. Around the farmers markets we do a lot of things. We offer free recipes and educational workshops, we teach cooking classes in the public schools. At all of our events, we often have fresh food and food tastings. I curate the menu. I studied holistic nutrition in school, so I do a lot of the programming ideas and my husband, Chris, does most of the executive direction, the planning, the logistics, the operation, that sort of thing.

 

 

Credit: Apple Tree Markets

Credit: Apple Tree Markets

 

Sounds like a small but mighty operation! How many vendors serve the Davisville Village Farmers market?

 

In the Apple Tree Family of vendors, so that’s anybody who’s part of our organization, I think our membership is at sixty-five vendors this year. That means whenever we do an event, we can pool from our family of vendors. For the Davisville Market I think we’re just shy of 40 vendors this year.

 

And what types of products do they sell?

 

The market really represents the complete bounty of the Ontario harvest. In May we have the early spring vegetables. This year it happened quite early, we had asparagus, strawberries pretty much right out of that. We’ve got all the greenhouse, year-round vegetables like cucumber, tomatoes, peppers – all the things that you can now have year long. You can actually have strawberries now, year long. There’s something called an ever-bearing strawberry! As the season progresses, you get into the more seasonal stuff. So, rasberry season just ended. Raspberries are pretty well done. Peaches just came out, corn just came out, again, a little bit early because of how much rain we’ve had. We’ve got a full gamut of everything that is Ontario, plus a few unique products that people may not know about. One of our vendors carries more of the exotic Ontario fruits and vegetables – which is really fun to showcase, especially when we get back in the school year. There is something called a northern Kiwi, that is grown in Ontario. We get to showcase that…

 

Then we’ve got wonderful, ready-made foods. There are a large percentage of shoppers that want grab-and-go, so we’ve got soups and tacos, pre-made salads and bottled juices, hummus, fresh pastas and olive oils, and fresh breads, fresh cheeses. All the things you want to pick up so that you don’t have to make dinner.

 

What a bounty! What is the season for the Davisville Village Market?

 

We usually open in the second week in May, and we close right before Thanksgiving.

 

Do you host any special events that close out the season?

 

A bunch of things, actually! We’ve got our movie night in the park – that’s always the lead up to the end of the season – which is on September 22nd. The Seed and Kernel Festival is the next day, on September 23rd. Then on the last day of the market we do a couple of things. We have the New Vendor Showcase. There are so many young businesses that want to get into selling food, but they may not have the capacity, they may not have the volume, the stock. We give new chefs and new producers or new farmers a one day time when they can come and introduce themselves to the community. We always do that on the last day. Then we have a big harvest party when it’s all over!

 

Sounds like a lot of fun! We can’t wait to come by and dig in. Thanks for speaking with us, Lesley!

 

Greenrock Property Management Limited wants to connect you with your community. For information onGreenrock Rental Communities in Toronto, including Village Green (50 Alexander Street, 40 Alexander Street and 55 Maitland Street), 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.

 

 

Enjoy the finer things at Smoked and Cracked

 

If you’re searching for an outstanding meal, you can’t go wrong with Smoked and Cracked (516 Mount Pleasant Rd.) in Toronto! Located minutes away from our Davisville Village rental community, this incredible restaurant is all about the finer things, primarily lobster and other delectable seafood favourites, served in a comfortable and casual setting.

 

Manhattan Chowder, photo courtesy of Smoked and Cracked

Manhattan Chowder, photo courtesy of Smoked and Cracked

 

The concept for Smoked and Cracked was created in 2012 by Michael Kash and Ron Raymer, a dynamic duo with a huge number of years of experience in the Toronto restaurant and hospitality industry. The restaurant is all about simple yet fabulous food. Their focus is on great ingredients presented in simple and classic preparations. Everything is fresh and delicious, with live lobsters delivered daily to the restaurant from the East Coast. Smoked and Cracked also uses fresh local produce, herbs, local cheeses, and meats whenever possible.

 

The backstory of Smoked and Cracked is pretty serendipitous. Michael, an actor and chef, had opened his own catering company called Live Edge Catering. He met his business partner Ron Raymer on the job. Ron is a Classical French-trained chef with over 30 years of experience in the hospitality industry. He transitioned from working under notable chefs in well known restaurants (like Marie Lacroix from Church Restaurant, now called Revival House, in Stratford, William “Ben” Merritt from the Benmiller Inn in Goderich, and Toronto chef Dinah Koo) to working in catering in 1995. He met and partnered with Kash in 2012. The pair dreamed up the business over drinks after a catering gig. It all started with one deceptively simple question — ‘what do you think about lobsters?’ That night they decided to create Smoked and Cracked and are now aiming to expand the business with new franchise locations for the restaurant in other areas of Toronto.

 

The restaurant is inviting and features an open kitchen. Despite the fact that a luxurious ingredient like lobster finds its way into almost everything on the menu, the decor is understated with tables from Kash’s home, and furniture and decor pieces that were donated by family, friends and customers.

 

The restaurant is known for its smoked dishes. ‘We smoke our own foods using both hot and cold smokers, and use a variety of fruit wood chips to create a range of different smoked flavours,” says Chef/Co-owner Ron Raymer. In fact, they smoke everything from rainbow trout and wild sturgeon to duck and ribs at Smoked and Cracked. The locals love it. “When we started, we had seating for eight, but since the place took off, we now have 27 seats,” says Ron. You don’t have to eat in though, Smoked and Cracked caters! They run a successful catering business on the side, serving up everything from clambakes to lobster boils to their happy customers. They also work with customers to create their dream menu.

 

Lobster Roll, photo courtesy of Smoked and Cracked

Lobster Roll, photo courtesy of Smoked and Cracked

 

If you do decide to pay them a visit at the restaurant, be sure to try one of their classic lobster rolls. Their menu features a cold East Coast-style roll ($13.25), and a hot Newport-style roll ($15.25).

 

New England Lobster Chowder, photo courtesy of Smoked and Cracked

New England Lobster Chowder, photo courtesy of Smoked and Cracked

 

The menu also features seafood soup classics to pair with your roll, like New England Lobster Chowder (bowl $13, cup $9) and Lobster Bisque (bowl $15, cup $10). For a seafood-focused restaurant, the menu also features some fish-hater friendly fare like Caesar Salad ($10.95) and house-smoked Duck Magret ($20). Be sure to wash it all down with a craft beer or a glass of fine wine for the ultimate Smoked and Cracked experience.

 

Basically you can’t go wrong at Smoked and Cracked! Best of all, the restaurant is located just a 10 minute walk from our Davisville Village rental community.

 

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.

 

 

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.

 

 

Dental hygiene tips from an amazing local dentist

 

Good oral health is very important for overall health. When it comes to keeping your smile healthy, good oral hygiene and high quality dental care for you and your family is key. We spoke with Dr. Noah Belman of Belman Dental Centre, a second generation family practice, to learn about his business in the Davisville Village neighbourhood and his best tips for keeping your mouth healthy.

 

We opened this office in February 2014. We had a clinic at Yonge and Eglinton since the late 60’s. My father opened that practice, he has since retired and I moved the practice down to Yonge and Davisville. [It’s] a nice, quiet, family filled pocket in Mid-town. Away from the busyness of the city, but the city is still very accessible.

 

photo courtesy Belman Dental Centre

photo courtesy Belman Dental Centre

 

When it comes to good oral hygiene there is no shortcut. The tried and true method of regular brushing and flossing is still most effective for keeping your teeth and gums healthy. Dr. Belman has some great advice for his patients on brushing and flossing:

 

The two most important aspects of oral hygiene are removal of plaque (food and bacteria) and physical massage of the gums. For most people, brushing and flossing is enough if it’s done properly. If one thinks about massaging their gums while they brush, they will usually do a better job. Mouth rinses and salt water rinses can be a decent adjunct but nothing replaces proper brushing and flossing.

 

photo courtesy Belman Dental Centre

photo courtesy Belman Dental Centre

 

For patients battling chronic infections and gum disease, more care is needed. Symptoms such as tender or bleeding gums are typical and issues that need to be treated. Dr. Belman notes that bleeding gums are often ignored by patients.

 

There are some commonly missed areas when brushing and flossing. One thing we see quite often is patients with crowded teeth and associated gum disease. If the teeth are straight, the lips and the tongue are constantly cleaning the teeth, if the teeth are crowded however, there are places that the lips and tongue cannot access, leading to increased plaque and increased gum disease. Orthodontics for adults (Invisalign and braces) is a great option to correct crowding and decrease gum disease.

 

photo courtesy Belman Dental Centre

photo courtesy Belman Dental Centre

 

For those blessed with a healthy mouth that’s free of infection or disease, you may still find yourself reluctant to show the world your smile for cosmetic reasons. This is another area of specialty at Belman Dental Centre . “Smile redesign can incorporate an combination of procedures”, says Dr. Belman. “Whether you require orthodontics using Invisalign, tooth whitening with Zoom, veneers, or closure of “black triangles” (spaces between the teeth near the gums), Belman Dental Centre  is a full service practice.

 

Dr. Belman and the team at Belman Dental Centre  enjoy helping patients achieve that all important, healthy and confident smile – and it shows.

 

We have a wonderful environment and I enjoy making every patient’s experience a good one. I am a perfectionist and doing dental work allows me an avenue to make things perfect.

Belman Dental Centre is located at 1881 Yonge Street, Suite 403 at the intersection of Yonge and Davisville, directly across from Davisville Subway Station. If you looking for a dentist located in Midtown Toronto, contact their office today.

 

Greenrock Property Management is proud to help you connect with our Davisville Village Community. For information on Greenrock a Davisville Village, please visit our website.

Discover the Toronto Storytelling Festival

Discover the Toronto Storytelling Festival

 

Sit back and listen to the tale of the Toronto Storytelling Festival. It began back in 1979 and has since grown into one of the largest celebrations of the art of voice and story in all the world. From March 24th to April 2nd, 2017, at venues across the city, you can hear some great stories, told straight from the mouths and hearts of some of the finest storytellers from across the country and around the world.

 

Photo courtesy of The Toronto Storytelling Festival

 

The festival was founded in 1979 by Dan Yashinsky to bring together the finest traditional and avant-garde narrators.  It evolved out of a gathering called 1001 Nights of Storytelling, which is now North America’s longest-running adult storytelling series. Mr. Yashinsky tells us that his own love of storytelling was sparked and kindled by nights around the campfire, shortly after arriving in Canada in 1972.

 

I founded the festival in 1979 because I wanted to create a place for people in Toronto to exchange stories by word-of-mouth.  I came to Toronto in 1972 from California, and had the good fortune to work at a camp called Bolton Camp.  It served kids from the inner city. Sitting around the campfire, listening to and telling spooky yarns turned me into a storyteller, and I wanted to recreate that experience of listening when I came back to the city at the end of the summer.  It was pure magic to me: the fire, the kids listening with wide eyes and wider souls, the stories unfolding in the night air. I started hosting an open mic at Gaffers Cafe in Kensington Market in 1978, and then planned and plotted with the late Joan Bodger to create a full-scale festival. Our first one happened on April 1, 1979, and I guess that was an appropriate date for something as wild and foolish as bringing back the oral tradition in modern times. Now, almost forty years later, and a whole life-time since Bolton Camp, I’m still enjoying the experience of gathering to tell and hear stories told by word-of-mouth and word-of-heart.

Dan Yashinsky’s experience of falling in love with storytelling around the campfire may be a beautiful one, but it is by no means a unique tale. Telling stories by the light of the fire has been happening since we discovered fire and our voice. It is perhaps the quintessential human experience. It is who we are. As Yashinsky puts it:

 

Storytellers chronicle the times we live in, and also prepare us to dream new possibilities. When we tell traditional folktales and fairytales, we launch powerful symbols and images of the most extreme elements of human existence. Our imaginations dwell in this ecosystem of dream and transformation, and we visit that realm to gain new and useful knowledge for living in the so-called real world. When we tell life stories, or share personal experiences and true narratives, we become witnesses for our collective moment of history. Whether funny or tragic, these life stories become chapters in the far greater book that is our shared history as a species on one small planet.

Stories are so much more than the sum-total of their words, or a way to pass the time. Whether it’s listening to a local teller from around the corner, or gaining insights from tellers from around the world, there can be much to gain from listening to stories well told. In Mr. Yashinsky’s words:

 

Storytelling is the most subversive art in contemporary society.  It teaches us that we possess – with our memories, tongues, ears, and ability to experience wonder – the tools to create and sustain our own culture. We can make and share our own mind-movies. We can decolonize our imaginations. We can spark new ideas and reclaim the best of the old ones. And all the while, we can revel in language, savor words spoken with passion and thoughtfulness, catch the music of the human voice.  Storytelling, for me, is an ephemeral art that carries weight in the real world. You can’t double-click on wisdom. For that, you need to listen to the storytellers.

Lean in and listen to some great stories, told by great storytellers at the 38th annual Toronto Storytelling Festival. Tickets for all venues are available now. If you’d like to dive in a little deeper, consider a Festival Pass or sign up for Storytellers’ Camp. The camp involves three inspiring days with the world’s finest storytellers who will share their passion, technique and experience, to help take beginner and advanced storytellers to the next level, and connect with their peers. After all, isn’t connection what it’s all about?
Greenrock Property Management wants to help you connect with your community. For information about Greenrock Communities in Toronto, including Greenrock at Davisville Village, please visit our website.

 

Creative CADworks Academy: Where dreams come true

Creative CADworks Academy: Where dreams come true

Creative CADworks Academy is an exciting after school program offered at Davisville Public School in the heart of Davisville Village. Using CAD (Computer Assisted Design) software, the program offers students the opportunity to design virtually anything they can imagine and then build a 3D model of it. We spoke with Hemdeep Patel, one of the creators of the Creative CADworks Academy, to learn how he engineered this unique after school program.

 

Photo courtesy of Creative CADworks Academy

Photo courtesy of Creative CADworks Academy

What is your background and experience with CAD software and the Creative CADworks Academy? What got you involved?

 

I have a B.Sc. in Physics and Astronomy from U Of T. My brother and I started Creative CADworks in 2009 with a key focus on the CAD and 3D printing industry. Our initial business was to provide CAD and 3D printing services to a wide range of industries including mechanical and nano technology design, jewellery design and the dental industry. In 2009, we felt that CAD and 3D printing was going to revolutionise how design can go from a “paper napkin” concept to reality within a short time frame and more importantly, the tools needed were going to be readily available for many to use. From first hand experience, we are seeing the exponential growth of CAD and 3D printing being used in a wider range of industries.  As we grew our Creative CADworks business, we were starting to develop a learning module for CAD. Initially, the learning program that we put together was primarily for business and industry. And during this development, we noticed that the learning program could be adapted to students and with my brother and I having kids of our own, we felt that this would be a valuable addition to a student’s skills.

 

So, how did you adapt that learning module from one that was based on business and industry to something targeted more towards engaging a younger student’s interests and imagination?

 

For students, we have found that CAD and 3D printing allows them to express their ideas in a more tangible way. Students are curious to learn how mechanical systems can be re-created with CAD software and printed. Last year we had one student (who had a class project on the digestive system) build a system on CAD and print it out for their presentation. For many other students, it is just the act of creating characters or everyday objects. The process of design, printing and evaluating the printed object is a valuable skill of self evaluation.

 

I see, that’s really interesting. The student has to learn how to evaluate their own design, to problem-solve and think critically in order to expand their skills and create more complex designs. Is there a minimum skill level that a student must have before beginning the program?

 

The classes are focused on building a broad range of skills in design using a number of CAD software programs. And as students become more skilled, we start to add projects that are fun to reinforce their new skills. There is no minimum skill level or requirements that students need to have (in order to) learn CAD or 3D printing. We have taught a wide range of skill and age levels through our school and business programs, the only requirement would be an interest in learning and a curiosity to explore new ideas.

 

Do you think children may have an advantage over adults in the imagination department?

 

Kids have a broader imagination which can diminish as we age. If you give kids the opportunity to build with CAD they can often adapt better than adults can in learning how to use the software. The intention of the program is to engage their curiosity. Kids can absorb a ton of information, more than adults.

 

Photo courtesy of Creative CADworks Academy.

Photo courtesy of Creative CADworks Academy.

Who is eligible for your after school program?

 

The Creative CADworks Academy afterschool program is open to students from grades 5 and up. Currently, we are running the CAD and 3D printing program at Davisville PS and we are looking to add our program into additional schools around the GTA. In order to introduce our program to any school, we initially run an introductory course.

 

Why do you do what you do, both with your work with CAD software in general and with the Academy? In other words, why does this matter?

 

It matters because the technology and industries across the board are moving in this direction. Any user around the world can access 3D printers. Many people are designing products that are commercially sold, there is a revival of people building things that they want that will improve their lives. Finding shortcuts, developing new tools — people are getting back into DIY technology. I feel that it’s important to train children in this technology, this will become standard material that they will need to know in university. This is a kickstart in that direction. No elementary schools are providing this type of information. The teachers of today went through their education 5 years ago, and this technology had not really taken off yet on a consumer level. Now consumers are actively participating. Average users can build and sell items easily now.

 

Creative CADworks Academy puts the power to design and create in the palm of a child’s hand. The program is an intriguing combination of challenging and fun, and teaches kids to think critically and creatively. Children in the program are encouraged to dream big and take their ideas from concept to model, all while learning marketable skills that may well be essential and invaluable in the future.

Greenrock Property Management is proud to be a part of the Davisville Village Community and share the neighbourhood with great businesses and services like Creative CADworks Academy. For information on our Davisville Village Community please see our website.