Don’t miss the Regent Park Film Festival!

Background image is of film to be screened, The Breadwinner

 

The longest running free community film festival in Toronto, the Regent Park Film Festival, returns for its 16th season from Wednesday, November 14th to Saturday, November 17th, 2018. The Festival is dedicated showcasing the films of local and international independent talent. The films showcased are selected because they break cultural stereotypes, are relevant to people from all walks of life, and reveal the multi-faceted realities of being a human being.

 

A Rich History

 

This community festival began as the result of the determined efforts of community residents and volunteers. It was established with the goal of offering residents of Regent Park, and beyond, access to quality films that resonate with their personal experience. Its purpose was for residents to come together as a community to enjoy and engage with film, both as a means of human expression and as a catalyst for change.

 

Here is a little bit of what you can expect and look forward to at this year’s Festival.

 

EMERGING DIRECTOR’S SPOTLIGHT

Photo credit: Film “A Little Different” directed by Kayla Resendes, courtesy of Regent Park Film Festival

 

The Emerging Directors’ Spotlight is the opening night program for the festival. It takes place on November 14th, from 7:30 pm until 10 pm, and features some of the most promising talents and work from female directors under 26 years old. Following the screenings of their short films, there will be a Q&A session and a pitch contest with an Industry Panel. Attend to see who wins the cash prize to fund their next project! Be advised that the program contains mature subject matter. Some scenes of the films that will be screened contain nudity and a description of suicide.

 

The films included in this year’s Spotlight are:

 

A Little Different — Directed by Kayla Resendes

This 12-minute film follows a young boy and his mother as they work through the challenges they face as Portuguese Canadians.

 

The Citizen — Directed by Rebeca Ortiz

A 5-minute documentary following Fernando Ortiz. Fernando moved to Canada from Chile in the 1980’s in order to escape the dictatorship of Pinochet. Watch to follow his 25-year journey to become a Canadian citizen.

 

1 vers(us) 1 — Directed by Kourtney Jackson

This 5-minute experimental film takes you inside the mind of a young woman dealing with the intersectionality of faith, womanhood and the immigrant experience.

 

Feathers Falling — Directed by Maddy Pilon

A 20-minute documentary that examines the shocking death rates of Indigenous youth in Canada.

 

SELECTED FESTIVAL PROGRAMMING

Photo credit: Film “The Breadwinner” directed by Nora Twomey, courtesy of Regent Park Film Festival

 

The program schedule for this year’s Festival offers an impressive selection of feature films, shorts, documentaries, workshops, mixed media installations and Virtual Reality experiences. These are a few of notables you won’t want to miss.

 

The Breadwinner

On Saturday, November 17th, attend a breakfast screening of the celebrated animated feature The Breadwinner, Directed by Nora Twomey. A free breakfast will be served at 9 am and the movie will start at 10 am. You can watch the trailer for the film here.

 

Digital Activism Panel

The Digital Activism Panel gathers local artists and filmmakers together to discuss and explore the impacts and implications of the #MeToo movement on communities of colour, trans folks and beyond. Panellists will focus on how their work engages with ideas of social justice, sexual literacy and more. Join the discussion on Saturday, November 17th, from 12 pm to 1:30 pm.

 

Virtual Space

In addition to the films, this year’s festival offers Virtual Spaces on November 15th and 16th, from 4 pm to 8 pm, and on November 17th from 11 am to 8 pm. These VR and video-based pieces are connected by a common theme of what it means to inhabit ground — where we stand and who we stand with. These spaces are open to the public, with no reservation required.

 

Home Made Visible

Photo credit: Film “Portrait of a Zamboni Driver” directed by Nadine Arprin, courtesy of Regent Park Film Festival

 

Home Made Visible is a collection of 7 short docs and mixed media installations from the BIPOC communities (Black Indigenous People of Colour) who are not proportionately represented in all media. Home Made Visible is a part of the free year-round programs run by the festival. Its mission is to expand the representation in Canada’s media archives of Indigenous and Visible Minorities by digitizing old home movies for free. This program runs on November 17th, from 2:30 pm to 4 pm.

 

This is only a sliver of what you can expect to see on the silver screen and beyond at the 16th annual Regent Park Film Festival. Come and see what you’ve been missing all these years. The Festival is free to attend, but your seats should be reserved in advance.

 

Greenrock Property Management Limited wants to help you experience all the that your city and community have to offer. For information on Greenrock Communities, including Village Green (50 Alexander Street, 40 Alexander Street and 55 Maitland Street), please visit our website.

Why renting beats buying in a housing bubble

 

To buy, or not to buy? That is the question plaguing many Torontonians these days. As our hot real estate market stays sizzling year after year, young people are questioning whether it is more profitable to save up a sizeable down payment and build equity in a home or invest that money elsewhere and free themselves from the burden and responsibility of home ownership.

 

Many people who call Toronto home grew up in an era where real estate was the smartest and safest bet you could make. It was accepted wisdom that owning a home is an investment and renting is simply throwing money away. In today’s super-inflated Toronto real estate market, is the old wisdom still as wise?


A first-time home buyer today cannot necessarily expect the same return on investment that the baby boomers enjoyed. The housing market has changed dramatically, yet many of our attitudes and emotions about the market haven’t changed along with it. The dreaded term “bubble” has often been used to describe the real estate market in Toronto. We are often told that the market is overdue for a “correction”. So far, the bubble hasn’t burst. Even with the slight cooling of housing prices, and bidding wars becoming less common, the market continues to rise.


People often feel that the value of real estate only moves in one direction, that real estate prices will always go up in value. There are a great many factors that contribute to the cost of house and condo prices. The location of the building and the age and condition of the building are important factors to consider. When all factors and expenses are considered, including inflation, maintenance costs and all the rest, the actual value of many homes and condos can remain relatively stagnant or even drop over time. It’s been a long time since real estate values decreased in the GTA, but that doesn’t mean it can’t happen. It means a decrease is overdue.


Toronto is in the midst of a condo boom. The cranes that dot our skyline are a sign of the constant construction our city is enduring. With more product on the market every day, condo owners looking to sell and buy a larger home may find themselves outpaced. Condo prices simply don’t rise as fast as those of detached houses.


When you choose to rent rather than buy, your monthly expenses are lower. Investing that money in a diversified portfolio means that you could build your wealth at about the same rate through compounding interest, rather than building equity in your home.


The average price of a 2-bedroom condo in Toronto is roughly half a million dollars — according to the Financial Post. The new lending rules in Ontario means buyers must pass a ‘stress test’, meaning in order to qualify for the mortgage, applicants must prove that they can afford to make the payments if interest rates increase. This makes borrowing more difficult and is simply pricing many people out of the market. To qualify for that average mortgage you would require a six-figure income.


A minimum down payment of 5% is required to qualify for a mortgage. If you are putting down less than 20% you are required to purchase mortgage insurance for the full amortization period. That can mean an additional few hundred dollars a month over the next 25 years — not to mention rising mortgage interest rates. Then there’s your closing costs and home insurance to factor in. Property taxes, utilities as well as maintenance and repair costs are expenses that stay with you and increase, even after your mortgage is paid off.


Let’s take a look at some rough numbers. A 20% down payment on a $500,000 home works out to $100,000. If you only have the minimum of 5% to put down, that leaves you with a mortgage of $475, 000. That translates into a mortgage payment of approximately $2500 per month at the current average interest rates. Add in all of the additional expenses and you could be looking at a monthly payment of roughly $3500. The average price of a 2-bedroom rental suite is about $2500 per month but without all the additional expenses. That’s a savings of about $1000 per month. What could you do with that extra money?


Buying in a city like Toronto is like playing a game of real estate roulette. You’re putting your hard-earned money down on red or black, to rent or to buy. Saving every penny you can for a decent down payment, plus keeping on top of ownership responsibilities, maintenance and unexpected repair costs means most of your money may be tied up in one place, leaving you more vulnerable to the market and its corrections and fluctuations. The first thing you learn in money management is to diversify. Keeping all your eggs in the real estate basket may make for a fragile financial future. It’s all about opportunity cost. The money that is freed up by renting could be invested in a diversified portfolio to help protect against the ebb and flow.


But your life isn’t just about money, is it? Opportunity costs aren’t exclusively financial. In addition to freeing up money to be invested in areas other than real estate, renting also frees up your life. If you are absolutely certain that you are going to live in the same home for a decade or more, and you are reasonably confident that the real estate market will outpace inflation over the same time period, then buying may be the right choice for you.


If you hoped that travelling, or living for a time in a different city, or even the same city in a different home, was in the cards for you — then renting is tough to beat. Renting can buy you more freedom. The freedom to move, the freedom to travel, or the freedom to work fewer hours in order to upgrade your skill set, continue your education or simply spend more time doing things you love.


Life, as well as markets, can be unpredictable. The unknown can be positive or negative. An illness in the family or a job opportunity in another city can change your life circumstances quite considerably overnight. Renting gives you the freedom and flexibility to adapt to whatever unexpected or unavoidable situations life throws your way.


Ultimately, everyone must decide what is right for them, at this moment. How much are you willing to bet on the housing market? What is your freedom and flexibility worth to you?


Greenrock Property Management Limited wants you to enjoy all the freedom, flexibility, comfort and convenience that you can. For information on Greenrock Communities in Toronto, including Greenrock at Davisville Village (77 Davisville Avenue, 45 Balliol Street and 225 Davisville Avenue) and Village Green (50 Alexander Street, 40 Alexander Street and 55 Maitland Street), please visit our website.



 

 

A fun night near Davisville Village

 

In a city like Toronto, most people lead fairly busy lives. As bogged down at work and at home as we all get, it’s important to make time for fun when we can. If you’re feeling a little overwhelmed, and too busy to make fun plans, allow us to help. Here are some suggestions for ways to enjoy a fun night near Davisville Village.

 

Absolute Comedy

 

When you’re laughing, nothing else seems to matter. Laugh the night away at Absolute Comedy (2335 Yonge Street). This nearby comedy bar features nightly shows on Tuesday through Sunday. Shows on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday are only $12, and Friday and Saturday shows are $20. Since laughter is the best medicine to cure the midweek blues, tickets on Wednesday nights are only $8.

 

Absolute Comedy makes it easy to make a night of it with their Dinner & A Show deal. In addition to reserved seats for the show, you’ll get to dig into an all-you-can-eat buffet that features hearty options like roast beef, mashed potatoes, rice pilafs, mixed vegetables, veggie lasagna, chicken-sausage jambalaya, fresh salads, bread and butter, desserts and coffee or tea. Come hungry, leave laughing!

 

Snakes & Lattes Midtown

 

Credit: @snakesandlattes

 

Here’s a simple recipe for a fun night: Combine a few friends with more than 1000 games and season liberally with beverages and tasty snacks. Snakes & Lattes Midtown (45 Eglinton Ave East) is open Sunday to Thursday from 11 am until midnight, and Friday and Saturday from 11 am until 2 am. Whether you’re an honest-to-goodness game nerd, or you’re playing for the first time since childhood, Snakes & Lattes Midtown has the games you want to play in a relaxed and fun atmosphere. From easy to pick-up party games to full-on hardcore strategy games, they’ve got it all!

 

Escape Casa Loma

Credit: secretcityadventures.com/Casa Loma

 

Escape the everyday with Escape Casa Loma – A Secret City Adventure. Casa Loma (1 Austin Terrace) is an amazing, ornate and intricate castle. If you’re not in the mood to take a tour, you can still enjoy this unique castle in the city. Escape Rooms are all the rage these days, and you and your crew can enjoy them at Casa Loma, too! You’ll have to solve puzzles and work together in order to complete your quest before your time runs out. It’s kind of like a real life video game.

 

The problem with most escape rooms is that they are set up in less-than-inspiring industrial parks, or warehouse spaces. Escape Casa Loma, on the other hand, uses its existing dramatic setting to create an escape experience that is second to none! Their immersive escape rooms combine great stories and situations, with a cast of actors and detailed production sets. It doesn’t get any more real or fun than this! Choose from several great escapes:

 

Escape from the Tower will bring you back to the year 1941. You and your team must find the coordinates of enemy U-boats from your research tower in the castle. Will you save the day?

 

Station M takes place after WWII. You and your friends must escape from the soon to be decommissioned Station M, located deep beneath the iconic castle.

 

King of the Bootleggers takes place during the 1920s prohibition. You’ve received a secret invitation to Rocco Perri’s swingin’ speakeasy, but nothing is easy once you enter the world of the King of the Bootleggers.

 

Escape experiences run 7 days a week and take 60 minutes to play. Don’t miss out!

 

Sky Zone Trampoline Park

 

Credit: @skyzone_toronto

 

Get ready for all the fun you can handle at Sky Zone Trampoline Park Toronto (45 Esandar Dr #1A). Can you think of anything more fun than a game of trampoline dodgeball? Book a game of 60, 90 or 120 minute intervals. A group booking requires at least 15 people, so it’s the perfect birthday party, bachelor party or team building activity. If you just want to give gravity a break for a bit, Freestyle Jump is for you. Grab a friend or two and get bouncing!

 

Make Friday night even better with their glow-in-the-dark jumping parties! Or, if you’re looking to make your workout routine a lot less routine, check out their incredible SkyFit Classes.

 

The Chef Upstairs

 

Learning new skills is always fun. When those new skills involve making delicious food, it’s downright life changing! Spice up your life with cooking classes at The Chef Upstairs at 516 Mount Pleasant Road. Regular classes are held on Tuesday nights from 6:30 pm to 9:30 pm. Their classes cover many cuisines — like French, Spanish, Thai, Moroccan, vegan and more! If you’re looking for a different kind of date night, try their couples-only Friday night classes. You’ll learn to prepare a few different dishes from scratch, so you can expand your culinary repertoire. And yes, every class includes a complete meal with themed courses. It’s a truly fun and educational night out.

 

Healthy Butcher Classes

Credit: The Healthy Butcher

 

If meat is your passion, take a class at The Healthy Butcher. It’s your neighbourhood source for ethically-raised meats and more. Check out their Knife Skills Class, or choose your favourite meat and carve out some time to learn how to prepare PoultryPorkBeef or Charcuterie like a pro, all in fun and friendly environment.

 

You work hard, so when you’ve earned some downtime, make sure you make the most of it! Have fun and enjoy your neighbourhood!

 

Greenrock Property Management Limited wants to connect you to all the fun and excitement that your community has to offer. For information onGreenrock Communities in Toronto, including Greenrock at Davisville Village (77 Davisville Avenue45 Balliol Street and 225 Davisville Avenue), please visit our website.

Winter sports clubs in Toronto

 

Winter is coming. How are you going to spend your time? It’s easy to want to curl up and retreat into a semi-hibernation state until the warm weather returns — but that only makes the winter seem to last longer. Since you can’t escape winter, why not embrace it? Get out and get active and let the weather do what it wants while you have a blast. To help you get started, here are some winter sports clubs in Toronto that you might want to check out.

 

North Toronto Ski Club

 

If you love to ski or snowboard, and you love to socialize, then you’re going to love being a member (minimum age 19) of the North Toronto Ski Club. Since 1960, the club has been bringing people together and getting skiers onto the slopes. The club is run by volunteer members. They organize Saturday, Sunday and Wednesday day trips for alpine skiers and snowboarders, and Saturday and Sunday nordic ski trips to different destinations throughout Ontario and beyond. Just sign up, get on the bus and go! There is a bus pick up point at the NTSC Clubhouse at 214 Merton Street #105, only steps from Davisville Village.

 

But that’s not all! For serious powder-hounds, they also offer weekend and week-long ski charters to world-class ski resorts across the globe.

 

In addition to the skiing, this club is a great way to get out and meet new people and have fun. There are fun and informal General Socials every two weeks all season long, as well as the Special Socials including the Start Up Bash, Pub Crawl, Holiday Party, and Year-End Gala.

 

If you need to improve your ski skills, they have over 70 qualified instructors offering alpine skiing, snowboarding or nordic skiing lessons for all levels.

 

Central Toronto Skating Club

 

If you’re looking to sharpen your skating skills, and have some fun this winter, the Central Toronto Skating Club (140 Sherbourne Street) is ready to hit the ice with you. The club operates out of two main locations: Moss Park Arena, and Mattamy Athletic Centre (formerly Maple Leaf Gardens).

 

They offer affordable skating lessons for adults and children of all skill levels. The club features professional coaches certified through the National Coaching Certification Program (NCCP). They follow the program developed by Skate Canada, the governing body of figure skating in Canada. The program consists of:

 

CanSkate – This program teaches the fundamentals of skating to kids 4 to 17 years of age. It lays the foundation for figure skating, hockey or recreational skating.

 

CanAdult – This is a learn-to-skate program for adults. Lessons are taught in groups by a certified coach and assisted by experienced adult skaters.

 

StarSkate – If you take your skating seriously, this club offers group lessons as well as private coaching and practice time for figure skaters and ice dancers from Preliminary to Gold/Diamond level.

 

Wherever you’re at, the Central Toronto Skating Club can help take your skills to the next level.

 

Extreme Toronto Sports Club

 

 

If you take your sports seriously, you should seriously consider joining the Extreme Toronto Sports Club (XTSC) at 90 Sheppard Ave E Suite 102. The club was started in 2004 by a group of sports enthusiasts looking to take their game to the next level, while bringing the fun and excitement back into the local sports scene. Choose from men’s, women’s, co-ed, individual or team sports from XTSC’s year-round programs. In winter, they offer indoor soccer, volleyball and more. Take your fun to the extreme this winter

 

Just 4 Fun Sporting Club

 

 

If an extreme sports club sounds a bit too extreme for your taste, give the Just 4 Fun Sporting Club a try. There’s no pressure, you don’t have to be great, you just need to want to add some fun into your day. They offer drop-in league sports everyone can enjoy. Choose a league that’s right for you, that plays a regular game at a regular time. Seasonal leagues last between 10 and 14 weeks. The club offers men’s, women’s and co-ed leagues for soccer and ball hockey, as well as scheduled drop-in games of volleyball, basketball, soccer, football and more, depending on the season. They are located at 163 Weston Road, just north of Keele Street and St. Clair Avenue.

 

The Boulevard Club

Credit: The Boulevard Club

 

Established in 1905 as the Parkdale Canoe Club,  The Boulevard Club (1491 Lake Shore Blvd W) has evolved over the years to become one of the most exclusive private sports and social clubs in Toronto. The picturesque location on the lake couldn’t be more perfect.  The club offers a full slate of athletic programs, including badminton, lawn bowling, karate, lawn bowling, tennis, yachting and more.

 

The fun doesn’t stop when the snow flies. There are 8 bubbled championship tennis courts for winter as well as a host of other Indoor Drop-In Sports including basketball, indoor lawn bowling, volleyball and pickleball. Never played pickleball? It’s like a combination of badminton and table tennis. It’s played on a badminton court with a lowered net, a whiffle ball and big hand-held paddles. It’s super fun and all the required equipment is provided.

 

Time flies when you’re having fun. Sign up with a winter sports club and you may find yourself wishing winter would last a little longer.

 

Greenrock Property Management Limited wants to help you have fun and stay active this winter, with a little help from all the great resources your city and community have to offer. For information on Greenrock Communities in Toronto, including Greenrock at Davisville Village (77 Davisville Avenue, 45 Balliol Street and 225 Davisville Avenue) and Village Green (50 Alexander Street, 40 Alexander Street and 55 Maitland Street), please visit our website.

Expand your fitness horizons

 

We all want to be as healthy as we can be. If your current fitness routine has become too much of a routine, or the monotony of going to the gym keeps you from moving forward in your fitness journey, you’ve got options. It’s time to expand your fitness horizons with some of the most interesting and intense workouts you can find in Toronto.

 

Barry’s Bootcamp

Credit: @BarrysBootcamp

 

Lace up and get ready to sweat at Barry’s Bootcamp (310 Richmond St. West Unit 1). Barry Jay began sharing his original cardio and strength interval workouts in Los Angeles in 1998. Now he shares his passion and great workouts in an enormous 8,000-square-foot space in Toronto. You’ll never get used to your workouts at Barry’s. Exercises are never duplicated here, and instructors design classes according to their personal style. What is consistent is the intensity of the workout sessions here. They specialize in High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) and their workouts are divided into four 15-minute sections of cardio and floor exercises using weights, resistance bands and body-weight exercises. A single Barry’s class can burn up to 1000 calories or more! A special energy fills the room the moment the lights turn down, the music turns up, and all the action kicks into high gear.

 

Barreworks

Credit: @BarreworksTO

 

Barreworks is a workout unlike any other. It’s no wonder it was voted Toronto’s Best Workout Studio (bar none) by the readers of NOW Magazine for 5-years in a row! That dancer’s body you’ve always dreamed of is now within reach. All it takes is consistency and intensity.

 

Barreworks offers barre fitness classes, or dance-inspired workouts that are focused around the ballet barre. This is not a novelty fitness class. The workout is based on a combination of core conditioning, fitness training, yoga and Pilates in an all-in-one package. Visit their flagship location at Barreworks Queen Street (625 Queen Street West, 3rd Floor), or visit their boutique studio, Barre Yonge Street (2576 Yonge Street, 2nd Floor), in the heart of midtown, just north of Eglinton at Briar Hill.

 

Studio Lagree

Credit: @StudioLagree

 

Studio Lagree offers Hollywood’s hottest workout in Toronto. Founder Sebastian Lagree began as a bodybuilder who later got into Pilates.  The workout could be described as “Pilates 2.0”. Sebastian modified the Pilates Reformer machine into his own Proformer to address what he saw as the machine’s limitations. The result is a workout that fuses Pilates with cardio/circuit training for an intense 50-minute workout.

 

Sebastian suggests doing 2-3 classes per week, which he says are designed to maximize strength building while minimizing stress on joints and connective tissues. The space (at 788 King Street West) is impressive, with 16’ ceilings, exposed brick walls, towel service and complimentary personal care products you can use to pamper yourself after you sweat it out.

 

The Forest Hill location (at 435 Spadina Road) boasts a large studio with a light and airy atmosphere, thanks to the large skylights, as well as separate rooms for private classes

 

F45 Training

Credit: @f45_training

 

F45 Training leads participants through a fully interactive group training circuit. These classes are accessible for all fitness levels. You can go as high or as low intensity as you like. Workouts are displayed, giving the on-site trainer more time for one-on-one adjustments and instruction. It’s a new workout every time you walk in. The workouts are based on 31 unique and systematized programs. They are a potent combination of HIIT, Circuit Training and Functional Training. You can count on a truly unique and intense 45-minute workout that will improve your cardio as well as fat burning and muscle building. There are locations throughout Toronto, including F45 Yonge and Eglinton (1 Eglinton Avenue East) and F45 Yorkville (110 Bloor West).

 

Scullhouse Rowing

Credit: @SCULLHOUSERowing

 

Scullhouse Rowing (35 Jarvis Street at King) is the city’s only dedicated indoor high-intensity rowing studio. A Scullhouse rowing session works 85 percent of the muscles in your body and can burn more calories than cycling or running according to founder Kristin Jeffrey. Jeffrey represented Canada at the World Rowing Championship in Poland in 2009. She wanted to bring group indoor rowing home to Toronto. The workout is described as part moving meditation because 15 minutes of repetitive group rowing, in a dimly light room, can help to focus your mind. These rowing sessions are then interrupted by a one-minute HIIT interval on the floor — just in case you were getting too comfortable.

 

One Academy

Credit: @OneAcademyLife

 

One Academy (858 Eastern Avenue) was named Best Specialty Fitness Club in Toronto by BlogTO in 2018. This 10,000-square foot functional training playground brings a bit of fun to intense exercise. It’s basically a giant obstacle course and adult jungle gym. When you sign up for classes, you’re encouraged to set a goal and record it in a journal, or on the “I CAN” wall. Workouts follow a 4-week training cycle to keep you from getting used to your workout and ensure that you continually challenge yourself.

 

It’s hard to get bored when you are always being challenged. Give these unique fitness classes a chance and start moving beyond what you thought was possible.

 

Greenrock Property Management Limited wants to connect you to all the intensity, fun and fitness your city and community have to offer. For information on Greenrock Communities in Toronto, including Greenrock at Davisville Village (77 Davisville Avenue, 45 Balliol Street and 225 Davisville Avenue) and Village Green (50 Alexander Street, 40 Alexander Street and 55 Maitland Street), please visit our website.

Minimalist decor ideas for your apartment

 

Clutter can compromise the look and feel of your home. If you like clean lines and an open aesthetic, modern and minimalist interior design might be the right style for you.

 

To pull off a minimalist aesthetic, you’ll need to ensure your decor involves a small amount of furniture, decor and detail. Pay special attention to shape, colour and texture when cultivating a minimalist look and feel. Modern minimalism allows for maximum personal expression without needing to draw too much attention to any one piece. Here are some minimalist decor ideas for your apartment, and where to shop in Toronto to pull off the look.

 

Urban Outfitters Home

Credit: Urban Outfitters Home

 

Urban Outfitters has always been where the cool kids shop — and as those cool kids grew up, they started to need some cool stuff to display in their beautiful homes. Urban Outfitters responded by launching a line of home furnishings for small-space living. Visit them to pick a few pieces. Everything in the line is designed to simplify and not overwhelm. An oversized Hub Mirror or a new rug can really tie a room together, and help you pull of your minimalist look with less. There are a couple of locations nearby — their downtown store at 235 Yonge Street and their west-side store at 481 Queen Street West.

 

H&M Home

Credit: H&M Home

 

H&M is a well-established source for affordable, trendy fashion. They’ve extended that same sensibility to their home decor line. If you want to save money on sleek and stylish home furnishings and achieve a modern minimalist decor aesthetic, you need to check out H&M Home.

 

The right accessories can really change the look and feel of a room. You can find bathroom decor pieces from $6.99! Less is more, so if you’re looking to get rid of some clutter, be sure to replace it with only what you need and love. This understated throw rug can create a whole new feel in a room. You can complete the transformation for just a few bucks by adding a brass candlestick, a cozy crinkled cotton throw and a few new pillow covers. If “less is more” is your motto, you’ll love that this store gives you more for less.

 

CB2

Credit: CB2

 

CB2 is Crate and Barrel’s more modern and affordable sister store. The design aesthetic here leans toward the minimalist and mid-century modern look. The eclectic sensibility of the shop means that practically everything in the store goes with everything else in the store. This can either make shopping simple, or incredibly complex. You may be overwhelmed with options. There is a lot of opportunity to mix and match pieces to create your perfect style. From Parisian-inspired sofas to minimalist dining tables, they’ve got everything a trend-savvy Toronto minimalist could hope for.

 

If you can’t find what you’re looking for, their associates will help you locate it and/or order it in from their full online collection which includes contemporary furniture, modern lighting, sculpture and much more. If you still don’t see what you’re looking for, you can work directly with their team to custom-design sofas, chairs and headboards to fit your design dreams and dimensions to a T.

 

Downtown Toronto dwellers can consider themselves fortunate as the 651 Queen Street West location of CB2 is the only one in Ontario. Pay them a visit Monday to Saturday from 10 am to 8 pm, and Sunday from 11 am to 7 pm.

 

West Elm

Credit: West Elm

 

West Elm is a Brooklyn-based branch of Williams-Sonoma Inc. It was established in 2002 in order to focus on affordable modern design. West Elm prides itself on working with local makers and allowing local store managers to tailor their inventory to suit the community. From sofas with clean lines, to colour pop throw pillows and rugs, bedding and lighting — everything West Elm designs and sells is created with the goal of helping you express your personal style. Over 90% of what they sell is designed in-house using organic, handcrafted materials and Fair Trade Certified™ products whenever and wherever possible. Shop their store in Liberty Village (109 Atlantic Avenue) Monday to Friday from 10 am to 9 pm, Saturday from 10 am to 7 pm, and Sunday from 11 am to 6 pm.

 

IKEA

Credit: IKEA KALKGRUND SERIES

 

IKEA may not have invented modern Scandinavian minimalism, but they certainly played a big part in popularizing it and making it affordable and accessible. From simple and clean looking chrome accessories for kitchens and bathrooms,  to living room furniture and more. If you can use an allen-key, you can enjoy and assemble their affordable modern furniture.

 

There are two Toronto area locations to serve you. You’ve probably visited them at 1475 The Queensway in Etobicoke, open Monday to Friday from 10 am to 9 pm, Saturday 9 am to 9 pm, and Sunday 10 am to 6 pm. You might not be familiar with their location at 15 Provost Drive in North York, open 10 am to 9 pm on weekdays, 9 am to 9 pm on Saturday, and 10 am to 7 pm on Sunday. Take advantage of the free IKEA Shuttle Bus that serves Downtown Toronto and Kipling Station. It takes people to the Etobicoke location every weekend.

 

Stroll through their vast show rooms to plant clever design ideas in your head. If you can’t carry home what you’ve purchased, delivery and even assembly options are available.

 

We hope this article helps you do less with more and cultivate your own understated style.

 

Greenrock Property Management Limited wants you to experience all the style and creativity that your community has to offer. For information on Greenrock Communities, including Village Green (50 Alexander Street, 40 Alexander Street and 55 Maitland Street), please visit our website.

Bite into fall at these nearby bakeries

 

Fall is a fantastic time of year to live in Davisville Village. There are beautiful green spaces all around where you can take in fall’s beauty, and an abundance of amazing restaurants, bakeries and stores where you can dig into fall’s bounty. If you love fall treats as much as we do, you need to visit these nearby bakeries to taste their seasonal offerings. Hurry, they’re only available for a short time!

 

Thobors

Credit: Thobors Boulangerie Patisserie Café

 

Thobors (627 Mt Pleasant Road) is an authentic Parisian-style Boulangerie and Patisserie. Their fresh bread and magnificent pastries are baked fresh, in-house, every day. Stop by for a hot bowl of their seasonal soup and a fresh baguette sandwich, or indulge in some of their seasonal sweet treats. Their Apple Turnovers ($3.45) are a good choice for a light snack, but if you adore fresh-baked apple desserts at this time of year, you should treat yourself to a full Tarte aux Pommes with sweet paste, almond cream and fresh apples — starting at $33. Though not a seasonal dessert, it’s worth noting that their Almond Croissants ($3.55) are probably the best you’ll find on this side of the Atlantic. Thobors is open daily from 7:30 am to 5:30 pm.

 

Bakes & Goods

Credit: @BakesAndGoods

 

Don’t overlook Bakes & Goods at 2523 Yonge Street. This nut-free bakery whips up moist and rich cupcakes from scratch and tops them with real buttercream frosting. Single cupcakes are just $3.25 and you can buy a half dozen for $19.50 and a full dozen for $36. They’re currently offering pumpkin cupcakes with light pumpkin frosting! They also have mini cupcakes, cake-pops and specialty cupcakes including Gluten-Free and Vegan, Egg-Free and Dairy-Free, all $4 each. If cupcakes aren’t your cup of tea, their pure and simple shortbread cookies may be what you’re looking for. Made with all-purpose flour, sugar, butter, margarine, baking powder, vanilla extract and fresh eggs. You can order Decorated Shortbread Cookies for any occasion, including Halloween (shapes like cute little pumpkins). They also have a delicious pumpkin Blondie on offer for a limited time only. Pay them a visit on Mondays from 10 am to 6 pm or Tuesday to Saturday from 10 am to 7 pm. They are closed on Sundays.

 

La Boheme Cafe Patisserie

Credit: @LaBohemeToronto

 

La Boheme Cafe Patisserie is a cute and cozy Parisian bakery and cafe at 2481 Yonge Street. Whether you’re looking for sweet or savoury, they have a great selection of authentic French pastries and baked goods served in a relaxed, unpretentious atmosphere. They offer a variety of Seasonal Danishes and Seasonal Mini Cakes to make your fall even more comforting. La Boheme is open Monday to Friday from 8 am to 6 pm, Saturday 8 am to 7 pm, and Sunday 9 am to 6 pm.

 

Phipps Bakery Cafe

Credit: @PhippsBakery

 

Phipps Bakery Cafe has been a Yonge and Eglinton neighbourhood fixture for 31 years. Come by their shop at 420 Eglinton West and taste the difference experience can make. They are open Monday to Saturday from 8:30 am to 6 pm and Sunday from 10 am to 5 pm.

At this time of year, you can indulge in their Pumpkin Cheesecake. Take one home for $33.99 for an 8 inch and $58.99 for a 10 inch. It features two classic fall flavours — pumpkin and maple! They also make a fabulous Spiced Pumpkin Cake ($33.99 for an 8-inch cake and $58.99 for a 10-inch). It’s a moist pumpkin spice cake with cream cheese frosting and spiced pumpkin seeds. Don’t forget to try their Pumpkin Bundt Cake ($19.99) with maple drizzle and cinnamon-spiced pumpkin seeds — it’s also very popular.

 

The Cupcake Shoppe

 

Credit: @TheCupcakeShoppe

 

The Cupcake Shoppe is located at 2417 Yonge Street, 2 blocks north of Eglinton Avenue on the east side of Yonge. They first opened their doors in 2003, making them Toronto’s first and (quite possibly) finest specialty cupcake bakery. This nut-free bakery also offers gluten-free cupcakes and hand-illustrated custom cakes for any occasion. This fall, you’ve got to try their Naughty N’ Spice cupcake. It’s freshly-baked spice cake topped with vanilla buttercream. Pop in Monday to Wednesday from 11 am to 6 pm, Thursday and Friday from 11 am to 7 pm, Saturday 11 am to 6 pm and Sunday 11 am to 5 pm.  All their cupcakes are baked daily with the freshest ingredients. They also offer custom cupcakes, mini cupcakes, cake pops, gluten-free cupcakes and hand-illustrated cakes made to suit your special celebration.

 

Flaky Tart

Credit: @FlakyTart

 

Everyone loves a Flaky Tart. You’ve got to pay this bakery at 711 Mount Pleasant a visit this fall! Grab a slice of their fresh Pumpkin Spice Cake ($5) or take home a whole Pumpkin Pie ($19). They also offer Pumpkin Date Loaf, Mini Pumpkin Bundt Cakes, Pumpkin Scones and Pumpkin Cheesecake. If Pumpkin isn’t pleasing to your palate, their Butter Tarts ($3.50) are the perfect blend of sweetness, tangy raisins and flaky crust. The Flaky Tart knows how to make a flaky tart! They are also peanut and tree nut free. They are open Tuesday to Thursday 10 am to 6 pm, Friday 10 am to 7 pm, and Saturday 10 am to 6 pm.

 

Dufflet Uptown

Credit: Dufflet Pastries

 

Dufflet Pastries opened their second retail location, Dufflet Uptown (2638 Yonge Street), back in 2002. Since then it has become one of the most popular pastry destinations in the city. Dufflet offers a whole line of signature cakes, pastries and chocolates and their Uptown location also offers light lunches, cold drinks and specialty coffees. Your best bet at this time of year is their heavenly Brown Sugar Apple Cake ($17 for an 8 inch). This seasonal coffee cake is moist, buttery and loaded with brown sugar apples. Most orders require 48-72 hours notice. Find out more information about how to order here. They’re open Tuesday to Thursday 10 am to 6 pm, Friday and Saturday 10 am to 7 pm and Sunday 11 am to 5 pm.

 

You really can’t go wrong with any of these incredible midtown Toronto bakeries. It’s time to dig in and enjoy the sweet and spicy season.

 

Greenrock Property Management Limited loves to share the best things about your neighbourhood and community. For information on Greenrock Communities in Toronto, including Greenrock at Davisville Village (77 Davisville Avenue, 45 Balliol Street and 225 Davisville Avenue), please visit our website.

 

 

 

Tour the world without leaving your neighbourhood

 

Toronto is a fabulous multicultural city. From food and fashion to furniture, there is major international influence here. When you call Village Green your home, you can enjoy the world right at your doorstep. Here are a few nearby places where you can discover something exotic in your neighbourhood.

 

Morning Star Furniture

Morningstar Trading Co Ltd Toronto

Credit: MorningstarTradingCoLtd

 

ou have to take a look at the exquisite array of unique and beautiful furniture at Morningstar (621 Yonge Street). For almost fifty years, Morningstar has been your neighbourhood gateway to the beauty of India. The store was a clothing and fashion business for their first 25 years. After that, Morningstar moved into the furniture space. Stop by their showroom, Monday through Saturday from 10:30 am to 7:30 pm, and Sunday from 12 pm to 6 pm. You can also shop online for quality pieces of solid wood furniture and finely upholstered chairs, with exceptional attention payed to carving, colour and detail. Morningstar can bring beauty and craftsmanship to any room in your Village Green home.

 

Maska Yorkville

Maska Toronto

Credit: @MaskaModeOfficial

 

Maska Yorkville (55 Avenue Road) makes it easy to get the latest looks from the runways of Milan, without having to wander far from home. Everything at Maska is imported from Italy and is ready to wear. Maska is always on the lookout for the latest trends and fashions. They make it easy to stay on the cutting edge of European fashion, nearby.

 

Kinka Izakaya

KINKA IZAKAYA Toronto

Credit: KINKA IZAKAYA

 

Kinka Izakaya (398 Church Street) is a great local spot to enjoy excellent and authentic Japanese cuisine. An izakaya is a Japanese pub. The word Izakaya translates literally as “stay sake shop”. It’s a place to sit, settle in, sip sake, share some food and share some time. Transport yourself while you treat yourself to amazing and interesting small shareable plates. It’s the perfect way to connect with friends over fantastic cuisine and a few drinks.

 

The moment you step inside Kinka Izakaya you’ll feel as though you’re dining in Japan. Why limit yourself to simply sushi? Kinka offers an authentic dining experience that goes well beyond it. Executive Chef Ippei Iwata has created a blend of modern and traditional dishes to share.  The restaurant is open daily for lunch from 11:30 am to 2:30 pm, for dinner Sunday to Thursday from 5 pm to 12 am, and Friday and Saturday nights from 5 pm to 1 am.

 

Stop by and share an authentic Japanese experience.

 

Galleria Supermarket Express

Galleria Express Supermarket Toronto

Credit: @GalleriaSupermarket

 

Whether you are looking for a taste of home, or you want to expand your culinary horizons, Galleria Supermarket Express (558 Yonge Street) is the spot to shop. This small Korean grocery store also offers a selection of delicious hot and cold prepared foods. From rice, fresh seafood, meats and produce, to packaged snacks and products you may not be able to find anywhere else, this is the shop. Expect Korean favourites like Binggrae Banana Flavoured Milk ($7.99) , Emart Onion Chips ($2.19), and Cone Corn ($2.29). Come by hungry and leave happy.

 

Adam’s Shawarma

 

When you’re in the mood for the delicious taste of the Middle East, Adam’s Shawarma (78 Wellesley St East) is your scrumptious source for late-night Lebanese fast food. From falafel and juicy shawarma to a fresh salad bar, you’re sure to satisfy your halal hunger with an abundance of affordable meal options. You can easily dine in or take-out from here. Pay them a visit (almost) anytime. They are open daily from 8 am until 4 am.

 

Thai Fantasy Restaurant

Thai Fantasy Restaurant Toronto

Credit: Thai Fantasy Restaurant

 

Make your tasty Thai dreams comes true at Thai Fantasy (578 Yonge Street). This simple storefront restaurant may not catch your eye if you’re not looking for it. The atmosphere is simple and comfortable. They’re not trying to impress you with the ambiance because the food is impressive enough to speak for itself. You can dine-in, takeout, or order online for delivery. From soups and salads to curries spiced to suit any taste, you’ll leave satisfied. We recommend the Vegetable Spring Rolls ($5.45), Mango Salad ($9.95, made with fresh cilantro, fresh lime juice, palm sugar, peanut, bell pepper and red onion), and House Pad Thai (starting at $9.95 for the veggie). Everything is made according to traditional Thai recipes.

 

Nando’s Bay Street

Nando's Canada

Credit: @NandosCanada

 

Nando’s is a chain of Afro-Portuguese flame-grilled chicken restaurants. The secret is their spicy PERi PERi style chili sauce. The food may be spicy, but the atmosphere is pretty chill.

 

If you’re new to the wonders of PERi-PERi, why not start off with a little nibble of PERi-PERi Nuts ($4.25) — a spicy and satisfying selection of almonds, cashews and macadamias. It’s sure to stoke your fire for more. Whether you prefer legs, breasts, skewers or Grilled Chicken Livers ($11.25 with 1 side, $13.25 with 2 sides), you can’t go wrong. Choose your chicken, then choose your delicious sides. Their menu boasts salads, spicy rice, corn, coleslaw and more. It’s time to wake up your taste buds.

 

Take a tour of the world without leaving your neighbourhood. It’s just one of the many advantages of living at Village Green.

 

Greenrock Property Management Limited wants to help you enjoy all the world-class experiences that your neighbourhood and community has to offer. For information on Greenrock Communities, including Village Green (50 Alexander Street, 40 Alexander Street and 55 Maitland Street), please visit our website.

A night to remember in the Village

 

We all need to find the right work-life balance. When your work is done and your time is free, how do you choose to spend it? A quiet night at home can be perfect, but sometimes you feel like getting out and discovering all the entertainment that’s available to you. It’s time to have some fun. When you live at Village Green, you don’t have to travel very far to find it. Here are our tips for a night to remember in the Village.

 

An Evening of Theatre

CAA Theatre Mirvish Productions Toronto

Credit: Mirvish Productions CAA Theatre

 

Your life might have enough drama as it is, but spending an evening engaged in someone else’s drama is a great way to take a break from your own, and a great reminder that we are all human, and we’re all in this together. You’ve got some excellent options for wildly different theatrical experiences near Village Green. The CAA Theatre (formerly the Panasonic) at 651 Yonge Street offers world class theatre within walking distance. This fall you can catch the nostalgic 90’s-style fun of Friends! The Musical Parody. Revisit your favourite group of 20-something friends as they navigate their lives from the comfort of Central Perk. It’s a fast-paced musical journey through 10 years of your favourite moments.

 

Buddies in Bad Times

If you’re in a more edgy, extreme or experimental mood, Buddies in Bad Times is always a great alternative to the mainstream theatre scene. This years marks the theatre’s 40th Anniversary and they are celebrating all year long! Expect special events, performances, dialogues and parties!

 

You can revisit the past with a one-night-only reading of their greatest hits from the past 40 years, or project into the future with community conversations about what’s next for the largest and longest-running queer theatre in the world.

 

All events take place in the Cabaret with a Pay-What-You-Can at the door policy.

 

Royal Conservatory of Music

 

Credit: @TheRoyalConservatory

 

Another neighbourhood institution is celebrating an anniversary this year. The Royal Conservatory of Music (273 Bloor St West) is celebrating their 10th season at Koerner Hall. The Hall is quite simply one of the most beautiful and acoustically impeccable concert halls in the world. The layered, almost liquid-like wooden ceiling canopy envelopes the space and allows for a dramatic, yet intimate, connection between audience and artists. Even before you enter the Hall, the dramatic glass lobbies welcome you, provide a view of the city that is second to none, and let you know you’ve arrived somewhere special. From jazz to classical, roots to world music, the Hall has heard it all. Get tickets for an upcoming performance.

 

Phoenix Concert Theatre

 

If you’re more in the mood for a modern musical performance, you’re lucky enough to live near one of the best concert venues in the city — Phoenix Concert Theatre (410 Sherbourne Street). It’s one of the oldest dance halls in Toronto and attracts an eclectic crowd — young and old, straight and gay, non-binary and beyond. It all depends on what’s on.

 

Riddle Room

Credit: Riddle Room

 

Riddle Room (579 Yonge Street, 2nd Floor) makes it easy to escape from your everyday routine. If you’ve never experienced an escape room before, Riddle Room is a great place to begin. It’s run by game nerds who know what they’re doing. Bring a few friends and choose a themed room. You’ll have to work together, against the clock, to solve puzzles and solve problems in order to escape before your time is up! There are currently 3 themed rooms to choose from, with new rooms joining the rotation regularly. Luci’s Room is geared toward horror fans seeking some thrills and chills as you are “locked” within a child’s haunted bedroom. Missing Anatomy lets you show off your Sherlock Holmes skills to solve a murder mystery. Castle leaves you trapped within a Medieval castle, where you’ll have to learn how to escape evil.

 

Even if escape rooms aren’t your thing, Riddle Room may become you new favourite neighbourhood haunt. Grab a pal or bring a date and have some fun playing games in their games cafe. Nothing beats playing board games and video games with a delicious coffee and dessert!

 

Pegasus Bar

 

Let Pegasus on Church (489B Church Street) take your night to new heights. Their colourful martinis, billiard tables and pinball machine are just the beginning. This glorious bar features different fun events every night of the week! Weekends (that start on Thursday night!) are all about the VJ’s, so get ready to dance the night away. Wednesday is trivia night, Tuesday is Ghetto Glam Bingo, and Monday is stand up comedy.

 

Mattamy Athletic Centre

Credit: @mattamyac

 

This one is for sports fans! If you love sports, why not watch players who play for the love of the game? The Mattamy Athletic Centre (the former Maple Leaf Gardens) is still a special place to catch your favourite sports games live. It’s home ice to the Ryerson Rams men’s and women’s hockey teams, as well as home court for The Rams basketball team. Use your home court advantage and catch these college athletes while it’s still all about the game for them.

 

Don’t wait, take full advantage of the outstanding entertainment and activities that your neighbourhood has to offer. We hope our recommendations help you enjoy a night to remember in the Village.

 

Greenrock Property Management Limited wants you to experience all that your community has to offer. For information on Greenrock Communities, including Village Green (50 Alexander Street, 40 Alexander Street and 55 Maitland Street), please visit our website.

Where to shop for a killer Halloween costume

 

Halloween is just around the corner! Have you found a killer costume yet? Here are a few great places to look for a great Halloween costume near Davisville Village. Trust us, you’ll look spooktacular in a costume from one of these midtown and uptown Toronto shops!

 

Candy’s Costume Shop

 

Candy’s Costume Shop Toronto

Photo credit: Candy’s Costume Shop

 

You can browse thousands of costumes and accessories in Candy’s Costume Shop (685 Mount Pleasant Road)! They have an incredible selection of costumes for kids and adults, costume makeup, masks, wigs, hats and accessories.

 

Whether you’ve planned your costume down to a T or don’t know where to begin, their friendly and knowledgeable staff will help you find everything you need – plus a few things you didn’t even know you needed!

 

They also have an excellent costume rental service – so you don’t have to blow your budget on a great costume.

 

Spirit Halloween

 

Spirit Halloween Toronto

Photo Credit: Spirit Halloween

 

There are two Spirit Halloween locations near Davisville Village. One in uptown Toronto at 1654 Avenue Road, and one in downtown Toronto at 334 Yonge Street. Neither are within walking distance from Davisville Village, but both locations are totally worth the trip. This chain lives for Halloween and Halloween alone.

 

Spirit Halloween has an almost unfathomable collection of costumes, makeup, hats, wigs, accessories and more. You can find incredible kids costumes, adult costumes, costumes for couples, costumes for groups, character costumes, anime costumes, and more! You can even shop for Halloween decor if you’re hosting. Best of all, they have pet costumes!

 

A Buck or Two

 

 

A Buck or Two (2300 Yonge Street) is a great dollar store located in the Yonge and Eglinton Centre. You’d be surprised what things you can find there on a shoestring budget when you’re attempting to make your own Halloween costume. Best of all, they are open late (till 9 pm) daily, making a homespun last-minute Halloween costume plausible when you’re crunched for time on the day.

 

Theatrics Plus

 

Theatrics Plus Toronto

Photo Credit: Theatrics Plus

 

Theatrics Plus (660 Yonge Street)  is located near the Yorkville neighbourhood. This little shop has a surprisingly large and incredible selection of costumes and costume accessories for adults, children, babies, toddlers and teens. They’re currently having a great sale on Halloween costumes – everything is 30-50% off! If you’re looking for a high-quality costume that will knock your friends’ socks off, this is the place to go.

 

We hope this post helps you find an incredible Halloween costume at one of these nearby shops! Don’t be ordinary for Halloween, it’s the one night of the year where you can be as extraordinary as you want!

 

Greenrock offers extraordinary apartments for rent in Toronto, including beautiful suites in our Davisville Village community in the heart of Midtown. To find your home with Greenrock, please visit our website.