NXNE Port Lands is back!

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

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

Photo credit: @NXNE

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

Photo credit: @NXNE

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

Photo credit: @NXNE

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

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

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

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

Discover the Toronto Storytelling Festival

Discover the Toronto Storytelling Festival


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


Photo courtesy of The Toronto Storytelling Festival


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


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

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


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

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


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

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


Creative CADworks Academy: Where dreams come true

Creative CADworks Academy: Where dreams come true

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


Photo courtesy of Creative CADworks Academy

Photo courtesy of Creative CADworks Academy

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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Photo courtesy of Creative CADworks Academy.

Photo courtesy of Creative CADworks Academy.

Who is eligible for your after school program?


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


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


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


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

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


Big Blue March Break at the ROM

Big Blue March Break at the ROM


Take a break from the everyday and dive into an ocean of fun, adventure and discovery at the ROM’s Big Blue March Breakfrom March 11th to 19th. This museum-wide journey gives visitors the opportunity to experience and explore the fascinating world beneath the waves of our Canadian oceans.


credit: ROM

credit: ROM


There is something for curious visitors of all ages at Big Blue March Break. Learn to hunt like a dolphin by donning a pair of customized echolocation goggles. See how archaeologists solved the mystery of the fateful voyage of the Franklin Expedition using 19th century Inuit testimony, scattered artifacts and state-of-the-art technologies. Explore your creative side with sea-inspired origami, or make a mini-mural on the giant digital colouring wall and design and decorate you own “sea-life” cookie. Commemorate your family’s trip with the Big Blue March Break photo booth. As Chris Kennedy, Senior Manager of Festival Programs at the ROM tells us:

We’ve thought of EVERYONE for Big Blue March Break – the younger set will enjoy our Early Learner’s Lounge, or our theater performance, in partnership with the Toronto Fringe Festival.  Award winning Sculptor Mark Verge (AKA Jungle Jack) will create one-of-a-kind balloon art installations. Visitors of all ages will fall in love with the beautiful creatures that will be on display from our friends at Hands On Exotics.

Big Blue March Break also features some first and final chances to catch some special programming. This is your last chance to see Wildlife Photographer of the Year. This amazing exhibition of 100 stunning new photographs that beautifully capture the diversity of the natural world closes March 19th. On March 11th, visitors can be the first to experience Out of the Depths: The Blue Whale Story. Experience the massive scale of this magnificent animal for yourself, by coming face to face with an 80-foot blue whale skeleton – one of the largest and most complete ever assembled. Through interactive and hands-on activities, visitors can gain insight into the history and mind-blowing biology of the largest creature to have ever existed on this planet.


There is so much to see and do during Big Blue March Break. Count on premium programming, exciting exhibitions, virtual reality, theatre performances for the family, as well as interactive art projects and original insights and stories from ROM experts. The ROM is the ideal destination to enjoy some fun and exciting education during your March Break staycation.


The ROM is easily accessible by subway from Greenrock Property Management’s centrally located Greenrock at Davisville Village and an 18 minute walk from Greenrock at Village Green. For more information about our family friendly rental communities in Toronto, please click here.

Escape the Everyday at Riddle Room

Escape the Everyday at Riddle Room

Escape the Everyday at Riddle Room

Grown-ups and young adults tend to forget how to be playful. Luckily there’s a quick remedy for this — go out and play! Video games are fun, but how about experiencing the skill-testing, puzzle-solving, sometimes-spooky fun of online video games in real life? If you haven’t visited Riddle Room Games Cafe and Escape Rooms at 579 Yonge Street (2nd Floor) in Toronto, now is the time. Riddle Room provides a great way to escape the everyday. We tracked down Jeffrey Liu, one of the owners of Riddle Room, to find out what the score is.


Escape rooms are based on online video games. The idea is that you are “locked” inside of a room and you try to escape by solving clues and puzzles within the time limit. Even though the idea is you are meant to be locked in, we never actually lock anyone inside a room (for safety reasons) but with that being said, there’s always another way out of the room.

credit: Riddle Room


Riddle Room was built by self-proclaimed ‘passionate nerds’ who are “passionate about puzzles, games, and good coffee.” What sets Riddle Room apart from other escape room operations is the addition of another fun trend for grown-ups — a games room cafe. As Jeffrey puts it:


It was a very long process to get to what it has become now, but the idea of Real Life Escape Rooms started out in Asia. After having experienced these games abroad, we decided to make one of our own. To make ourselves stand out, we also decided to add a full functioning board game cafe.

credit: Riddle Room


The cafe is a place where everyone is welcome and accepted. A place that doesn’t charge a cover to hang out and enjoy over 200 board games and a whole bunch of video games, including the classics, while you enjoy great coffee and snacks.


Friendly and inviting is how people have described the atmosphere here. We’ve developed many friendships/partnerships with many different student groups/charities who have used our space multiple times to hold events here. It took us 8 months to find the perfect location, but had we not done our research, we wouldn’t have been able to find a spot as good as this one.

Sounds fun, doesn’t it? We could all use a little more fun in our lives. Book a room at Riddle Room! They are always changing and updating their escape rooms, so there is a new adventure to be had every time you visit.


Riddle Room is located within easy walking distance of Greenrock Property Management’s Village Green rental community, a quiet oasis in the heart of downtown Toronto. Click here to learn more.




Enjoy Incredible French Cuisine at Coquine.

Enjoy Incredible French Cuisine at Coquine.

There’s a lot to love about life in Davisville Village. The area features great shops and restaurants, high quality schools, and amazing nightlife. The neighbourhood is very multicultural, making it easy to enjoy cuisine from around the world right here. One of our favourite restaurants in the area isCoquine Restaurant (2075 Yonge Street) — a delightful French bistro serving classic French fare with a modern twist. We caught up with Coquine’s owner, Rob Prete, to discuss what to order and why he loves the restaurant and surrounding community.

credit: Coquine

Rob grew up in the Davisville neighbourhood. For some people, running a restaurant seems to be in their blood — it certainly runs in Rob’s family. He got his start in the business as a teenager, working at his cousin’s restaurant, Grazie. Grazie is a vibrant and unpretentious Italian restaurant located just a few minutes up the street from Coquine. The neighbourhood was his home and the people in it “became like family” to him, so when it was time to open his own place back in November of 2007, he knew this was the place to do it.

credit: Coquine

Rob was mentored by Joe Brancacella and Didier LeRoy at Grazie, and attributes much of his industry knowledge to his family and partners there. Rob knew he wanted to open a French restaurant in Toronto. He was passionate about French cuisine, and is even married to a French woman named Anita. With Coquine, Rob wanted to:


Recreate a classic French bistro environment, but in Toronto. Delivering classic French fare with the diversity of the city in mind. My aim was to introduce what we have in Europe to the citizens here.

When Rob opened Coquine, he brought Head Chef Alejandro Bustamente with him from Grazie. They had a long history of working side by side, studying together in the Culinary program at George Brown University, and working together at Grazie. They still work closely together today, collaborating on the menu at Coquine. One of the dishes on the menu that they are best known for is their French Onion Soup ($12) which Rob highly recommends to first time visitors.

credit: Coquine

Our French Onion Soup is made with artisanal French baguettes (which are expertly produced by Mark Thuet of Petite Thuet), organic beef stock, caramelized onions and gruyere cheese. We use our own fresh herbs and our stock is reduced with time, not flour.


Coquine is also known for their steak frites (8oz $27 /16oz $54), another classic bistro menu item. In their version they use local Ontario dry aged New York striploin, top it with herb butter and serve it with perfectly crisp Yukon Gold frites. Make sure you save some room for some of their Pudding Chomeur (Farmer’s Pudding $11), a delicious and warm maple apple cake topped with vanilla gelato.


When asked what he loves most about running Coquine, Rob said:


I love creating memories here, watching people smile, watching people with their families, watching them eat in silence. We do weddings here, funerals, bar mitzvahs…we do everything. We contribute to family memories.


We trust that Coquine will continue to put smiles on their customers’ faces with their amazing cuisine for many years to come. Pay them a visit for lunch, brunch or dinner for a meal you won’t soon forget.


Coquine is located within easy walking distance of Greenrock at Davisville Village, a vibrant family friendly rental community in the heart of midtown Toronto. Click here to learn more.

Find Balance at Reach Yoga

Find Balance at Reach Yoga

We all want balance in our lives, but sometimes it can be really hard to establish it. There is no one ‘right way’ to achieve it — it’s an ongoing practice and commitment. Incorporating yoga into your life is a good place to start. We caught up with Cathy Mines, owner and founder of Reach Yoga (40 Underhill Dr, Don Mills) to talk about her studio and philosophy.

Photo courtesy of Reach Yoga

Cathy has been a certified Yoga Instructor since 2003 and created Reach with a “dream of creating a place where we could share yoga with our local community. As part of the deeper understanding of a life in balance, I have learned that collaboration, partnerships and community are the things I need most to keep me accountable to the message of yoga.” Helping to create and contribute to a community is a goal that came up several times in our conversation with Cathy — it’s also a key goal for Greenrock Communities. Reach Yoga has been a part of the Don Mills and Lawrence neighbourhood for the past 14 years. The studio is home to a “community of like hearted people looking to breathe, move and laugh their way out of life’s stresses.”

Photo courtesy of Reach Yoga

So what is yoga? The traditional definition of the word means to yoke, or to bind. The binding, or unifying of body, mind and spirit. Or as Cathy says, “In this busy life it may be more fitting to say re-establishing the connection of body mind and spirit as many of us find ourselves moving at such a fast pace that our connections are not as strong as they once were.” That sounds like balance, doesn’t it? Speaking of balance, you don’t need to be able to stand on one foot, or contort yourself into a specific posture to practice yoga — you just need to breathe deep and be present in the here and now.


At Reach Yoga we welcome you to come in whatever state of mind or body you find yourself in on any given day. This is not cookie cutter yoga, each one of us will have our own level of energy, our own capability and our own particular drive during each class. Our energy levels are different each day and I encourage people to go with how they feel and simply enjoy that they showed up!


At Reach, they teach Hatha Yoga. The classes focus not only on the postures of yoga, but also on breathing exercises and meditation. Instructors and students engage in a rich discussion of how this combination helps to restore balance within our body, mind and spirit.


Cathy established Reach Yoga in the Don Mills neighbourhood because it’s the place that she grew up in, it’s home. She says:


I’m not sure if it is the energy of all of the green space, being along the beautiful stretch of the Don Valley in the fall always blows my mind, and the sunsets here in Don Mills are amazing… it is the people that make it such a great place to live and work. Because of the people, we expand our community from just our scheduled yoga classes to have specialty classes, celebrations, and even musical guests and class trips. It is the people that make all of this possible.

Reach Yoga is an amazing business in the Don Mills and Lawrence neighbourhood and  just minutes away from Greenrock’s Wingreen Court Community. Let them help you find some balance in this fast paced life. Reach out and connect with your community.

The Best Healthy Restaurants in Toronto

The best healthy restaurants in Toronto

Many of us are trying to eat healthier these days. Changing our diet can help us feel better, look better, have more energy, and can even be better for the planet. It’s not always easy to make healthy choices, especially when dining out. When we are at home, in our own kitchen, we can control what goes into every meal, but who wants to eat at home for every meal? If you’re looking for guilt-free, gourmet meals out on the town, the Greenrock blog team has you covered with the best healthy restaurants in Toronto. We connected with the owners of three amazing healthy restaurants to get their recommendations on what to order. Let’s dig in!




Hibiscus Cafe (238 Augusta Avenue) feels right at home in the heart of Toronto’s hip Kensington Market neighbourhood. It was created with the idea of providing a unique menu of gluten-free, vegetarian entrees. Andrey Malkov and his family bought Hibiscus four years ago. They “loved the menu and started to use organic, and, when in season, local ingredients”, expanding and strengthening the cafe’s original mission to provide great tasting, nutritious food.


The soup and salad combo is a quick and delicious, nutrient dense meal to try. If you’re coming for brunch, Andrey recommends the vegan mozzarella, mushroom, tomato and basil crepe ($15). Be sure to save room for their coconut sea buckthorn ice cream for dessert.


Andrey and his family are committed to creating healthy and nutritious food “made of sustainably grown ingredients, with attention and love”.

Photo courtesy of Hibiscus Cafe

Live Organic Food Bar


Live Organic Food Bar was created by Jennifer Italiano and her brother Christopher in 2000. It began as an organic juice bar. The siblings “were highly into organic food and supporting local farmers and believed in wholefoods. Nothing from a package or with a label that we could not pronounce”, says Italiano. Jennifer started getting into raw foods around the same time and says “we took our café from only serving cooked vegan foods to specializing in raw foods too. We were the first in the city to offer such cuisine.” Considering how popular raw food is in Toronto today, they sort of started a movement.


If you are new to Live and the raw food experience, Jennifer highly recommends the Raw Combo ($22). It’s been on the menu since day one and it gives you a taste of Live’s manicotti, tostadas, teriyaki noodle stir fry, and pierogis.


Live serves a delicious array of raw and cooked menu items, and even sells their own line of products. They have been committed to working with sustainable organic farmers since 2002. The entire menu is organic, vegan, gluten and wheat free with no refined sugars or GMO’s and is locally sourced whenever possible. There are two Live Organic Food Bars to choose from — the original Annex location at 264 Dupont and 134 Atlantic Avenue in Liberty Village.

Photo courtesy of Live Organic Food Bar



Planta was created by the Chase Hospitality Group. The group partnered with Chef David Lee to fill a void. In the words of Steven Salms, president of CHG, the “inspiration was to provide a full service, experience based restaurant that gave diners an option to dine out that didn’t include the use of animal products”. They are committed to using high quality ingredients from ethical suppliers so that they can be proud of the food they serve.


You can taste the pride and commitment to quality in every dish at Planta. From spectacular salads and impressive pizzas (gluten-free crust available), to Mr. Salms personal favourite menu item, The Planta Burger ($18.75). The burger is loaded with queso, mushroom bacon, pickles, tomatillo mayo and served with spiced fries.


Planta is located in the vibrant Bay and Bloor area of Yorkville, at 1221 Bay Street and fits in perfectly in the neighbourhood. They passionately provide an upscale, plant based dining experience that celebrates innovative cuisine in a beautiful environment.

Photo courtesy of Planta

Living and eating healthy is it’s own reward. We hope that these delicious healthy restaurant suggestions help make sticking to your goals a little easier this year.


For information on Greenrock Property Management and Greenrock Rental Communities in Toronto, please see our website.


The best Toronto Beaches restaurants for Valentine’s Day

Love is in the air and Valentine’s Day is just around the corner! Are you ready? You don’t need to reinvent the wheel to pull off the perfect Valentine’s Day — the classics are classics for a reason. You can’t go wrong with fresh flowers, a box of chocolates and a romantic dinner — the big three. The first two are easy to pick up on the way home from the office, but choosing the right restaurant can be tricky. To make this Valentine’s Day easy for you, we’ve found the best Toronto Beaches restaurants for Valentine’s Day. They threw in some sage advice on what to order and why you should pay them a visit.




Nestled in the heart of The Beach neighbourhood in Toronto at 2343 Queen Street East, Velouté Bistro & Catering is contemporary and chic, and offers the perfect ambience for a romantic dining experience. We love that it’s only a 20-minute romantic stroll from Benlamond — with the option to pass through scenic Glen Stewart Park. Velouté’s Executive Chef, Fawzi Kotb, mastered his craft at the Marriott Hotel Champ-Elysee in Paris, France. He’s created a special Valentine’s Day Menu for guests to enjoy and share. Chef Kotb recommends the “Dry-Aged 50 Days Bison Cowboy because it’s a dish designed for sharing.” You won’t believe the depth of flavour possible in this dish until you try their 50-day dry-aged, grass-feed 2 ½  LB bone-in bison steak, prepared perfectly in a cast-iron pan, served with a Grand veneur demi-glace, sweet potatoes gaufrette, and assorted vegetables.


Owner and sommelier, Alise Matos, brings 25 years of experience, professionalism and passion to Velouté. The restaurant’s location in The Beach is personally significant to Matos. She once lived in the same building, and married there as well. She has “always adored the small town feeling exuded by the neighbourhood”. The intimate, community vibe of The Beaches is matched by the warm and inviting ambiance of Velouté.

Photo courtesy of Velouté Bistro


Located inside a unique historic building that’s been around since 1891 (the last wooden structure still in business in The Beaches neighbourhood), Whitlock’s restaurant is a gem. The building has been home to a grocery store and a post office, and in 1925 it was the first Black Diamond Cheese Factory. Whitlock’s offers a cozy and comfortable environment that’s ideal for anniversaries, birthday parties, a romantic night on the town, business meetings, and more.

General Manager, Jey Satchi tells us that Whitlock’s has “come up with a special Valentine’s Day menu based on some of their most popular and mouthwatering dishes.” The menu is not available for advanced viewing, but rest assured that you will find something delicious to enjoy with your special someone. Begin with a soup or salad, then select your choice of 5 popular main courses, including the swordfish which Mr. Satchi highly recommends.

Whitlock’s is located at 1961 Queen Street East, just a few minutes from Benlamond.

photo courtesy of Whitlock’s Restaurant

The Beech Tree


The Beech Tree  (924 Kingston Road) gracefully combines old-world bistro charm with modernist cuisine. The menu is made from scratch, just like the restaurant. No outside investors, industry insiders, architects or contractors had a hand in building The Beech Tree. The Beech Tree is all about DIY. They cure their own bacon, pickle their own onions and bake their own burger buns. The restaurant is quintessentially romantic but completely unpretentious. “Indeed, there is nothing in the Beech Tree to distract you from what’s important, namely, the person with whom you are dining.” says co-owner Helder Cabral.


On Valentine’s Day, The Beech Tree will feature a three course, prix-fixe menu designed by chef Jamie Newman. If their famousflourless chocolate cake doesn’t make its way onto the special menu, it’s worth a return trip to the restaurant. In Helder’s words:


The flourless chocolate cake is so rich and luxurious that I strongly recommend that no one dare eat it alone. Sometimes called the ‘Chocolate Nemesis’, it is made with only a few quality ingredients, including the finest Ecuadorian chocolate and cultured butter. Garnished with a tangy cloud of house-made creme fraiche, and sprinkled with flaky Maldon salt, it is truly a dessert for lovers.


The roots of The Beech Tree are firmly planted in The Beaches neighbourhood. As Mr. Cabral puts it, “ we chose the restaurant’s location because it is also our home; a true dinner party among friends.” You’ll be glad you were invited.

Photo courtesy of the beech tree

All your Valentine really wants is to feel loved and appreciated. Show them you care with a romantic evening at one of these romantic Toronto Beaches restaurants this Valentine’s Day.


For more information on Greenrock Property Management and our Rental Communities across Toronto, including Benlamond(5 Benlamond Avenue) in the Upper Beach – please visit our website.

How to avoid seasonal affective disorder

How to avoid seasonal affective disorder

The cloudy, gloomy winter weather may be unavoidable. For some, winter brings on Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and leaves them feeling depressed. Learn more about SAD and how to avoid it at Village Green Apartments(50 Alexander Street, 40 Alexander Street, 55 Maitland Street) in today’s post from the Greenrock Property Management blog team.


What is SAD?


Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD, is a change in mood due to the weather. Individuals with SAD experience normal mental health during a majority of the calendar year. When the weather switches, most typically to colder, cloudier conditions, these same people begin to experience symptoms of depression. About 15 percent of Canadians experience some degree of SAD during their lifetime.


Start outdoors


If you are suspicious that you currently have SAD, make an appointment with your doctor. If you are wanting some simple steps to avoid the disorder or improve your symptoms, health experts recommend starting with spending more time outdoors. Walking, biking and hiking are all great options, or you can join the Toronto Outdoor Club and find new activities to try this season.


Exercise often


Regular exercise is key to a healthy life, and is a good way to avoid severe SAD. Join your local YMCA today, just a five-minute walk from Village Green Apartments. At the Downtown Toronto location (20 Grosvenor Street) there are always multiple classes going on, including swimming, cycling and yoga.


Invest is a Light Therapy Box


As SAD is most often triggered by cloudy weather, take in every drop of sunlight that you can during the winter. Start by opening any blinds or curtains at Village Green Apartments to maximize whatever natural light there is. Consider investing in a special Light Therapy Box that mimics the sun.


Eat healthy


There’s mixed consensus among scientists and doctors as to just how helpful certain foods are in preventing or fighting SAD. That being said, it’s always a good idea to keep a balanced diet. For the SAD-conscious, specifically, make sure that you are getting an adequate amount of vitamin D, and consider adding fish oil pills to your diet.

Keep your head up, spring will be here soon! Until then, avoid SAD with these tips from the blog team at Greenrock Property Management. For more information about Village Green Apartments, conveniently located in Downtown Toronto, visit our website.