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.

 

 

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.

 

Discover amazing dishes at Lola’s Kitchen!

Discover amazing dishes at Lola's Kitchen!

Discover amazing dishes at Lola’s Kitchen!

 

Tucked away in the heart of Old Toronto, only steps away from Yorkville and Church and Wellesley Village, you’ll find Lola’s Kitchen. The hidden gem is housed in a classic Victorian Mansion at 634 Church Street.  Lola’s has been serving high quality comfort food in a casual and relaxed atmosphere since 2009. We spoke with General Manager, Spencer Reynolds to find out what makes Lola’s Kitchen work so well.

 

At Lola’s Kitchen, they pride themselves on a fresh, from-scratch menu. “With the exception of bread and desserts, we make everything in house! We even make our own ketchup”, Spencer says. Lola’s features naturally raised, local meats, fresh organic produce and serve only local craft beers. They also offer a great selection of vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options, and even made our list of The Best Restaurants with Gluten Free Options. As Spencer tells us:


Lola’s has evolved over time into the restaurant we know and love today. Established in 2009, Lola’s has always made a point of keeping things fresh and changing our menu to suit the trends. We try to stay current!

photo courtesy of Lola's Kitchen

photo courtesy of Lola’s Kitchen

 

Even though Lola’s Kitchen is constantly evolving and changing to stay current and cater to the tastes of their clientele, they manage to stay true to themselves and the spirit of neighbourhood.


 

The Church St. corridor has always informed the ethos at Lola’s Kitchen and has definitely become our home. The community that surrounds us, especially throughout the summer months in which the Pride parade goes right past our door, is an integral part of what we do.

photo courtesy of Lola's Kitchen

photo courtesy of Lola’s Kitchen

 

Lola’s patio is the perfect place to watch the parade go by, or simply to settle in and enjoy the all-too-short summer season with a friend or two and a drink or two. When the weather isn’t cooperating, don’t let it rain on your parade – the interior atmosphere at Lola’s is relaxed, comfortable and inviting. It’s no wonder Lola’s attracts a wide spectrum clientele from all walks of life.

 

We have a great mix of clients. Many people love the menu for being accommodating, while others love the proximity to work and the quick service. The brunch crowd is usually younger and more diverse, while the lunch and dinner crowd are the regulars: our die hard fans.

photo courtesy of Lola's Kitchen

photo courtesy of Lola’s Kitchen

 

And those die hard fans keep growing. Lola’s doesn’t need to be flashy or loud to attract your attention. If you go there once, chances are you’ll be back. The food, the friendly service and the easy-going vibe make Lola’s easy to come back to. If you’ve never had the pleasure of eating at Lola’s, Spencer recommends the California Bowl ($15.50) – black and purple kale, organic quinoa or brown rice, avocado, sundried tomatoes, toasted organic nuts and seeds, sweet cider vinaigrette and grilled organic tofu (or substitute chicken breast for $2). “The California Bowl is by far our most popular item; healthful, simple, delicious.”

 

Whether you’re looking for a relaxed weekend brunch, a quick workday lunch or a delicious dinner, Lola’s Kitchen is truly your friendly, neighbourhood hangout and a proud member of the community. Come home to Lola’s kitchen, you’ll be glad you did!

 

Greenrock is also a proud member of the Church and Wellesley community. For information on ourVillage Green Community at 50 Alexander Street, 40 Alexander Street and 55 Maitland Street, please visit our website.


Hot Docs is back!

 

The 24th edition of The Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival returns for another season from April 24th to May 7th, 2017. Hot Docs is the largest festival of its kind in North America and will screen 230 incredible documentary films from 58 countries in 2017. It all happens right here, at home, in Toronto.


 

“Now especially, audiences are seeking voices and stories that will help them make sense of a turbulent world,” says Hot Docs executive director, Brett Hendrie. “This year’s festival will bring Toronto’s audiences insights and inspiration from the world’s most talented documentary filmmakers.” The festival is multifaceted and full of special events. Check out what’s in store this year:

 

Opening Night Gala

 

The Hot Docs Festival kicks off in style on April 27th. It begins with a VIP cocktail reception at Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema (506 Bloor Street West). The reception is followed by the opening night’s selected screening of Bee Nation. In this doc Saskatchewan students compete in the first province-wide First Nations Spelling Bee and try to earn a spot at the national championships. After the screening, the celebration continues at the ROM. If you choose to attend this special event you can expect time to discuss the film over cocktails and canapés. Get your tickets for this special evening now. The evening is in support of Docs for Schools, a province-wide program that provides curriculum materials and free doc screenings for grades 7 to 12.



Food and Film


Hot Docs knows the classic combination of dinner and a movie can’t be beat. On Saturday, April 29th, experience a 5pm screening of City of Ghosts, the story of fearless citizen journalists risking their lives to expose the atrocities committed by ISIS in their home city. After the film enjoy a 3-course, family-style meal at Dish Cooking Studio (587 College Street). Join Academy Award nominee and director of the film, Matthew Heineman at the table, along with women from Newcomer Kitchen (a nonprofit organization supporting Syrian refugee women). Limited tickets are available now.



The Films


With 230 documentary films from across the globe screening in only 11 days, it’s impossible to see them all. It can be hard to know where to start. It will take some careful planning to catch the films that may mean the most to you. You can check out some selected, highlighted films here, download the screening schedule or search by subject, by date or by title.


More Docs


If you can’t get out to this year’s festival, or you just can’t get enough docs. You can subscribe to the Doc Soup series. The series involves a monthly screening of docs, fresh from the festival circuit, throughout the fall and winter. Whenever possible, directors are in attendance live or via Skype for post-screening Q&As. If you need your docs right now, there are hundreds of titles from past Festivals and Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema selections available in the Collection, for on-demand viewing.


Don’t miss out! The Hot Docs Festival is a showcase like no other in North America and you don’t have to travel far from home to take it all in, especially when you live in in one of Greenrock’s premier rental communities in Toronto. For information on how to make a Greenrock Community your home, please visit our website.

Village Green’s New Off-Leash Dog Park

 

The Village Green community is currently under construction and we want to thank our residents for their support and positive feedback while we improve your property. We have some exciting new developments to share in case you are out of the loop, Greenrock is undertaking several exciting construction projects to improve our Toronto properties.

We currently have several construction projects on the go at Village Green, all to provide an improved living experience, to improve the accessibility and to renew structural elements of the property.

 

 

Village Green is a community of three iconic buildings constructed in the 1960s. Because the buildings are over half a century old, they require maintenance and refurbishment, from time to time, to ensure they remain functional and accessible. This week we’re looking at a recent Village Green construction project that is now complete — the new Village Green off-leash dog park.

 

 

Many residents at Village Green love their pets, so to show how much we appreciate them, we constructed a private off-leash dog park area for them to enjoy exclusively. The area is covered in specialized dog grass that stays green year round with an underground drainage system. The Dog Park  is fenced off on all sides to ensure the safety of our residents’ pets and allow them to roam free. We have made special efforts to ensure the artificial grass is properly sanitized on a regular basis. We also included some seating in the area so owners can take a break and enjoy a conversation while their pets continue to play.

 

 

We are so pleased that this project is now complete and thrilled to watch our residents at Village Green make use of the new dog park. Having a special place for dogs, allows the balance of the grounds to be used by all residents who may not enjoy the company of Fido as much as others.

 

 

Love the Yonge and Wellesley area in downtown Toronto? Check out our website to learn more about Village Green, a vibrant rental community. www.greenrockpm.ca

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.