The best brunch near Village Green

 

When you live in Toronto, brunch isn’t just a meal – it’s an event! Finding the perfect local brunch spot is one of those things that makes a neighbourhood feel like home. The brunch lifestyle is alive and well in The Village. There are so many options, in fact, that finding the right place can feel a little overwhelming. It’s not just about the food, the atmosphere is also important. To take some of the burden of finding the perfect brunch spot off your shoulders, here are some of the best brunch spots near Village Green.

 

Credit: Lola’s Kitchen

Credit: Lola’s Kitchen

 

Lola’s Kitchen

 

Lola’s Kitchen has been serving up an ever-evolving menu of classic comfort food since they first opened their doors in a repurposed Victorian Mansion at 634 Church Street in 2009. They offer satisfying portion sizes and a variety of great brunch items on Saturdays and Sundays from 10am to 3pm. They also specialize in vegan and gluten-free options. Try Lola’s Two Egg Breakfast ($11) or their Curried Tofu Scramble ($13). It’s vegan and comes with gluten free flax toast and a choice of salad, frites or Lola’s home fries. Make sure you pair it with one of their famous fresh juices or a mimosa ($6) to make any brunch feel like a special occasion. Find out more about Lola’s Kitchen in our feature article from earlier this year.

 

Credit: Hair of the Dog

Credit: Hair of the Dog

 

Hair of the Dog

 

Hair of the Dog at 425 Church Street is an unbeatable choice for a boozy weekend recovery brunch (Saturdays and Sundays 10:30am to 2:30pm). Kick things off with a Hair of the Dog Caesar ($8.75), or a Cranberry or Classic Mimosa ($9 each or $39 for a pitcher). Their Huevos Rancheros ($12) or Classic Eggs Benedict ($11) is sure to hit the spot and their complimentary carrot mini-muffins are a nice touch, too!

 

 

Crêpe It Up

 

Whether you are in a sweet or savoury kind of mood, you can’t go wrong when you chooseCrêpe It Up at507 Church Street. It’s comfortable and casual. Walk up to the counter, choose your crêpe and enjoy! The exposed brick walls and solid wood furniture will make you feel cozy and relaxed. Give the Paris Crêpe a try ($6.95). It’s loaded with banana and chocolate hazelnut sauce. You can add ice cream or whipped cream to any crêpe for $2 and add fruit for $3. There is also an assortment of waffles and smoothies to choose from.

 

Credit: @smith_to

 

Smith

 

Smith at 553 Church Street is quirky, cozy and cool. There are three floors to choose from, each with a their own vibe. The third floor appears to be an old dance studio. The sunroom on the main floor is one of the prettiest and most pleasant places to eat a fine meal. The menus are printed like newspapers and no matter what you order, the portions are generous. The menu is seasonal and changes frequently, but there is always a lot to love. You can’t go wrong with the Huevos Rancheros ($17). Brunch is served Saturdays and Sundays from 9am to 4pm.

 

Credit: @wishintoronto

 

Wish

 

When you walk into Wish at 3 Charles Street East you will immediately feel at home. The warm, intimate vibe is infectious. There are comfy couches and cushy seats. It feels rustic and romantic. They have obviously put some time and effort into creating a nice ambiance. The food is a thing of beauty. The dishes are presented beautifully, the menu changes with the seasons and the portions are always plentiful. It’s an ‘instagram-worthy’ brunch. Try the Florentine ($16) – poached eggs over wilted spinach with leek and Parmesan fondue. Their crispy home fries are sure to hit the spot, too.

 

Credit: www.ogradyschurch.com

Credit: www.ogradyschurch.com

 

O’Grady’s
 
We love O’Grady’s on Church (518 Church S.) for weekday breakfast and weekend brunch. In fact, we love this pub pretty much any time of day — lucky for us they’re open daily from 9am to late! They’ve got a great patio for people watching in the warmer months and their menu is epic. Weekend brunch is served from 9am to 2:30pm on Saturday and Sunday. Expect classic options like the O’Gradylicious — two eggs with your choice of peameal bacon, ham or sausage with home fries and toast ($9). They also have great omelettes and bennies and even offer an omelette of the day option ($12) and a benny of the option ($14) where you can enjoy out of the box creations like a pulled pork Benny! Drinks are a must here — they start serving sangria ($6), fresh mojitos ($12), caesars ($7) and $5 mimosas at 11am! They also have a delicious array of mocktails for people who prefer to keep brunch dry ($4.50). Visit them!

 

The next time you’re in the mood for brunch you’ll know where to go! We hope this article helps you find your new favourite neighbourhood brunch spot.

 

Greenrock Property Management Limitedwants to connect you to all your neighbourhood 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.


The best family-friendly restaurants near Davisville Village

 

We love sitting down to a family meal at a great restaurant. It gives us time to catch up, tell stories and share some delicious food! There are a lot of amazing family-friendly restaurant options in and around the Davisville Village neighbourhood. You can enjoy food from all over the world here. To help you plan your next night out with the family, here are some of the best family-friendly restaurants near Davisville Village

 

Credit: Grazie Ristorante

 

Grazie Ristorante

 

A beautiful interior, comfortable seats and exceptional Italian fare make Grazie Ristorante (2373 Yonge Street) a great choice for your next family meal on the town. There are plenty of vegetarian options at this restaurant too – our favourite is the Tasca ($18.50). It’s a dish of fresh pasta filled with ricotta, spinach, mushrooms and brie, then baked in creamy tomato porcini sauce. Don’t forget to ask for a chili oil drizzle for a bit of extra flavour! The Bruschetta appetizer ($7) is a great way to start a meal, while the Tiramisu ($8) (with mascarpone cheese, fresh cream and ladyfingers dipped in espresso and liqueurs) is the perfect way to finish a memorable meal. Kids will love the Chocolate Chip Banana Cake ($8).

 

Credit: Mariachi’s Mexican Cuisine

 

Mariachi’s

 

When your family is in the mood for authentic Mexican food at very fair prices, make sure you payMariachi’s  Restaurant (2084 Yonge Street) a visit. This cozy, family run establishment has been a staple in the neighbourhood for years. The food is simple and incredible. Start with an order of warm tortilla chips and guacamole ($8.95), then move on to the Mole Chicken ($15.95). It has a complex, rich flavour, but it’s not spicy. The Mole (pronounced Mole-eh) contains over 40 ingredients – including chocolate!

 

Credit: Granite Brewery and Tide House

 

Granite Brewery

 

Granite Brewery & Restaurant (245 Eglinton Avenue East) was a pioneer in the craft brewing scene when they opened their doors in 1991. They brew a wide array of their own beers on-site. During the warmer weather, their front and rear patios are the place to be — whether it’s for a quick drink or a full meal. The menu is classic pub fare. To start, you can’t go wrong with the Butter Chicken Pizza ($10). The Walnut Crusted Baked Salmon Fillet ($18) is a great main course, and their burgers and sandwiches will please everyone. If you haven’t already, read our feature article on Granite Brewery from earlier this year.

 

Credit: @pi_co_pizza

 

Pi Co

 

Attention all pizza lovers, Pi Co (2177 Yonge Street) has some of the best pizzas in town! Forget about trying to get the entire family to agree to the same toppings, at Pi Co you can get personal sized pizzas with unlimited toppings for just $13 each. Margherita pizzas are just $9. They bake their pies in an 800 degree oven for just 90 seconds! They know how much you love pizza, so they have them for dessert, too! Try a Sweet Pi with unlimited toppings for only $6.

 

Credit: @copacabana_eglinton

Copacabana Brazilian Steak House

 

When you visit the Copacabana Brazilian Steak House  (150 Eglinton Avenue East) be sure to come hungry. This all-you-can-eat Brazilian Steak House offers a fun family experience and great food — especially if you like grilled meat. There is also a buffet full of salads and cheese, but the real focus is the meat. Your server will give you a pair of tongs and a paper button. Flip the button to one side and the meat carvers will come with more fine cuts of meat. There is a lot of meat to sample — from top sirloin, to Parmesan filet mignon and picanha (a Brazilian specialty). There are over 16 cuts to choose from. Save some room for dessert – they specialize in cinnamon roasted pineapples that are out of this world!

 

We hope that you and your family dine at one of these local restaurants. We know that having a few favourite spots for family meals in your neighbourhood makes it feel like home.

 

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

 

 

Do brunch right at Church Bistro 555

 

Brunch is a way of life in Toronto. For many people, that perfect local spot for brunch is a big part of what makes their neighbourhood feel like their neighbourhood. There is no shortage of great restaurant options doing great brunches in or around The Village. If you are looking for something special, unique and out of the ordinary, your options get a little more limited. This is where Church Bistro 555 (555 Church Street) comes in. Since opening their doors in 2012, Church Bistro has earned a loyal following of locals and visitors seeking their unique organic, Halal gourmet fusion of East meets West. We caught up with Marcus, Owner and Manager of Church Bistro to get the inside story!

 

Courtesy @ChurchBistro555

 

Marcus, what would you say is your most popular brunch item?

 

We have a few things! The Sweet Patootie is basically a sweet brunch, either you have Malpua (Indian egg pancake with creamy sauce $16) or Spicy French Toast ($16) you can also get Milk Bread French Toast – ($14 and Fruit or Cheese Stuffed French Toast for $18). We have pancakes or waffles with saffron chicken ($20). We make great Benedicts, including one of our signature dishes, The Tandoori Chicken Benedict ($18), then we have a Royal Bengal Benny(ground beef Benedict ($18). We even have a Venison Benny ($22)! We a have a lot of vegetarian options and it’s all organic and Halal.

 

Courtesy @ChurchBistro555

 

We couldn’t help notice all those Bennys! What’s the most popular of those? Is it the Tandoori one you mentioned?

 

Pretty much all them! But the Tandoori Chicken is one of the signatures, that and the Royal Bengal. That is a signature dish too.

 

Courtesy @ChurchBistro555

 

Do you have a personal favourite?

 

My favourite is the Venison Benedict. I love it. I love deer meat. The Tandoori Chicken is very good too, you can spice it up, also!

 

Spice it up with curries? A chili sauce?

 

We actually don’t use any curries. We let you add organic green chilis brought from India.

 

Courtesy @ChurchBistro555

 

We love the East meets West approach to your menu. What inspired the Indian component of your menu?

 

Basically we try to create unique food that is Halal and organic, with Western and South Asian flare. [We draw from] French, Italian, Canadian, Jamaican – mixed cuisine, basically. Also, for dinner we have Lamb Shanks, Butter Chicken and we have the best fish and chips you can have in town!

 

Is there something unique about your Fish and Chips?

 

Yes, we can make them gluten-free, we can make them spicy. It’s totally unique.

 

Totally unique. That’s a good way to sum up Church Bistro 555. It’s a good way to describe the whole neighbourhood. That’s why Church Bistro is such a perfect fit for The Village. Fit them into your brunch or dinner plans and you’ll see what we mean.

 

Greenrock Property Management Limited wants to help you connect with your community and the people and places that make it unique. For information on Greenrock Communities including Village Green (50 Alexander Street, 40 Alexander Street and 55 Maitland Street), please visit our website. 

 

You gotta eat at Five Doors North

 

You gotta eat at Five Doors North! Not that we’re telling you what to do – but you really have to! This restaurant was a neighbourhood mainstay long before being featured on The Food Network’s, You Gotta Eat Here! In fact, many of the regulars view Five Doors North as the heart of the neighbourhood!  We spoke with Manager; Kara Anderson to find out what makes this place so special.

 

Credit: Five Doors North

 

Kara, what is your most popular menu item and what makes it special?

 

Our Gnocchi is definitely one of our most popular menu items. It’s a house made Gnocchi. And Gnocchi is very simple – but hard to do right. So, we have kind of mastered the technique of Gnocchi here. It’s always consistent. It’s always the same. And it’s always really tasty. We smother it in a Gorgonzola cream sauce, so it’s something that’s pretty strong in flavour, but a lotof people like it. Even kids are surprised to enjoy it!

 

Credit: Five Doors North

 

Sounds delicious! What has been the outcome for your restaurant since being featured on You Gotta Eat Here?

 

We definitely saw a few new faces! But we’ve always been a pretty ‘regular’ place. We have a lot of people in the area that have been regulars since way before that show. But it was nice to have [You Gotta Eat Here] come in and showcase some of our best stuff!

 

Credit: Five Doors North

 

What is the atmosphere of your restaurant like and what kind of demographic do you usually serve?

 

We are across the board. We’re a local shop. So, basically we serve a lot of people who live in the area. For families, it’s definitely a very good ‘safe spot’. We get a lot of dinner parties in as well for birthday parties, or family dinners, things like that. The vibe is casual fine dining. The food is top notch, while the service is more casual and laid back.

 

Would you describe the food as ‘traditional Italian’? Or do you take some artistic license with it?

 

We take a little liberty. We have a lot of traditional Italian items, but then we also do some more contemporary Canadian stuff. Take our ribs, for example. While not traditionally Italian, they are one of the most popular items. That’s because we co-own the butcher shop across the street. It’s called The Butcher’s Son. All of our meats are ethically sourced, including the ribs which are braised in an incredible house made BBQ sauce. That’s not traditional Italian, but it is very popular.

 

Take a stroll over to Five Doors North and experience the magic that makes them so popular. Find them at 2088 Yonge Street, just north of Davisville. Five Doors North is a great example of a local neighbourhood shop that is doing something special. Their relationship with the butcher across the street adds to this real feeling of community. It’s like a slice of small town life in the heart of the biggest city in the country. It’s just the sort of thing that makes life in Davisville Village unique.

 

Greenrock Property Management Limited loves connecting you with your Davisville Village community and showing you what makes this great Toronto neighbourhood unique. For information on Greenrock Communities, including Greenrock at Davisville Village (77 Davisville Avenue, 45 Balliol Street and 225 Davisville Avenue), please visit our website.

 

 

 

Spice it up at Marigold Indian Restaurant

 

There are several options in the Davisville neighbourhood when you are in the mood for authentic Indian cuisine. They all offer their own version of flavourful classic Indian dishes, heavy on spices and seasoning, that warm up the body and the soul. Most options also go heavy on the oil, butter and cream. It can be delicious, but it may not be very nutritious to eat on a regular basis. Marigold Indian Bistro (552 Mt Pleasant Road) is changing all that. We spoke with owner, Ritu Khadri to find out how they do it differently at Marigold.

 

Courtesy of Marigold Indian Bistro

 

Tell us Ritu, what motivated you to incorporate both traditional and more modern takes on Indian cuisine in your menu?

 

Authentic Indian food calls for lots of oil, or butter, in pretty much everything. It’s a lot of variety, it’s so many spices and herbs from various states of India.  We have blended different combinations and tried to make it more like a healthier version of Indian food. Most of our sauces that we prepare are really healthy. We don’t use lots of oil in everything and not [too many] spices. So it’s like, authentic Indian – still the Indian taste, but considering the healthy aspect of it. So, the quality is better – I would say.

 

Courtesy of Marigold Indian Bistro

 

That sounds like a dream! What are your most popular menu items?

 

Our Butter Chicken ($15.95) is really popular. Our Palak Paneer ($12.95) is really popular. We have some vegan specialty items on the menu that people come for, like our tofu. Our seafood is popular, in particular the Calamari appetizer ($13.95). Aloo tikki is really popular.

 

Courtesy of Marigold Indian Bistro

 

Who doesn’t like butter chicken! Is your butter chicken made in the healthier way that you were talking about?

 

Yes, yes, yes. Most of the Indian restaurants use a lot of cream to prepare butter chicken. We actually cook it with milk. It’s a very healthy version.

 

Courtesy of Marigold Indian Bistro

 

Do you take inspiration for your meals from all over India, or certain regions?

 

It’s actually from all around the country. Some of our dishes are inspired from the North side like Aloo Tikki ($9.95), Dahl Puri ($9.95), you know, more of the yogurt options and more of the street food options are inspired by the North part of India – like, samosas, pakoras and everything, so Punjab and Haryana. Then we have some sauces, like our Goan Seafood Curry ($21.95), it’s a specialty from a region in India – Goa. We have Kerala Fish, which is inspired from the state Kerala which is the South side – so yeah, it’s actually from all over.

 

Courtesy Marigold Indian Bistro

 

Is there anything else that sets Marigold apart from other Indian restaurants in Toronto?

 

As our name suggests it’s a bistro. In terms of what we serve, it’s a fusion of Indian spice with a Canadian taste. So, it’s good for the diversified Canadian crowd as well as the Ayurvedic crowd, so it’s good for both. Every dish of ours has a unique flavour. We use many different types of sauces, and each sauce is extremely different from the others. Most of the other Indian Restaurants, they have a few basic sauces that they are using in all the dishes. Ours is not so. We use many different types of spice. Our pakoras are made of mixed seasonal vegetables, so we keep changing the menu according to [the season]. That’s what makes us different.

 

Courtesy Marigold Indian Bistro

 

What would say is the atmosphere at Marigold Indian Bistro?

 

Considering the ambiance of the place, it’s good for couples as well as for families. We have crowds of all different kinds. Business lunches, family gatherings, big groups coming in for dinner. It’s good for parties. People can book [the entire restaurant] and we close for [private] parties. I think it suits everybody.

 

If you love the flavour of authentic Indian food, and love the idea of a healthier alternative, you owe it to yourself to give Marigold Indian Bistro a try. Their unique take on traditional cuisine is part of what makes this neighbourhood special.
Greenrock Property Management wants to connect you with your community and show you what makes it unique. For information on Greenrock Rental Communities in Toronto, including Greenrock at Davisville Village (77 Davisville Avenue, 45 Balliol Street and 225 Davisville Avenue), please visit our website.

 

The Best Pizza Shops Near the Village

 

There is no shortage of pizza joints in downtown Toronto, but not all pizzas are created equal. To help you find the best pizza shops near the Village, without all the trial and error, we’ve rounded up our favourites places to get a slice.

 

Blaze Fast-Fire’d Pizza

 

Credit: @blazepizza

Blaze Fast-Fire’d Pizza (10 Dundas Street East #124) is a hip pizza chain that dishes up crispy, thin-crust pizza with creative toppings like applewood smoked bacon, arugula and vegan cheese. You can create your own pie and choose any toppings you like, all for one price. Your pizza will be ready in just 180 seconds! If gluten-free crust is a must for you, they’ve got you covered. If you’re not into the thin-crust scene, you can build a “high-rise” crust with additional house-made dough for an additional charge. A little more dough, for just a little more dough!

 

North of Brooklyn Pizzeria

 

Credit: http://www.northofbrooklyn.com

Stop by North of Brooklyn Pizzeria (469 Church Street) for a crisp, thin crust slice featuring hip combinations like Bacon and Kale, and killer toppings like the Killer Bee (Mozzarella, Calabrese Sausage, Serrano Peppers, Pickled Red Onions, Honey).

 

Credit: http://www.northofbrooklyn.com

Full size pies are also available starting a $20 for a Margherita. If you want them to come to you, delivery is available for $4 on a $20 minimum order.

 

Pi Co

 

Credit: http://www.pi-co.ca/

Pi Co (1200 Bay Street #4) fits somewhere in between fast food and fine dining. It’s easy to fit them into your schedule as they feature “quality, made-to-order, Neapolitan-style pizzas in a unique quick-serve experience”. Whether you choose their classic thin-crust pizza (starting at $9), their twice baked Neapolitan pizza pockets, or treat yourself to a Nutella Marshmallow Graham Crumb Pi (starting a $6), the dough is always house made, the toppings are always fresh and it’s always fast.

 

Credit: @pi_co_pizza

Gluten-free dough is available, though the restaurant is not a gluten-free environment

 

Olympic 76 Pizza

 

Credit: Olympic 76 Pizza Cafe

Olympic 76 Pizza Cafe (8 Gloucester Street) has earned its place in the neighbourhood. It opened in 1976 during Canada’s Olympic fever. This cozy and comfortable cafe has the quiet confidence that comes with being a neighbourhood institution. Olympic 76 is not trying to be the hippest spot in town — they just do what they do, and they do it well. Their pizza is simple and straightforward with a focus on quality ingredients. The dough is homemade and they use 100% mozzarella cheese. The pizza is the real deal here. From build-your-own pies (starting at $8.50 for a small to $23.00 for a large basic with cheese) to House Specialties, like Smoked Salmon and Hawaiian. They also offer pasta, hot sandwiches and salads. They are also fully licensed. The patio is perfect for summer pizza indulgences and it’s a popular spot to hang out in during Pride.

 

We hope these restaurants make your list for the best pizza places near the Village! If you can’t decide which spot to try first, invite a few friends over and try them all!

 

Greenrock Property Management Limited wants to connect you to your community. For information about Greenrock Rental Communities, including Village Green (50 Alexander Street, 40 Alexander Street and 55 Maitland Street) in the heart of the Village in Toronto, please visit our website.

 

Enjoy a taste of Naples at Il Sogno

 

The character of a neighbourhood is determined by the people who live there and the places they go. The neighbourhood hot spots and hangouts set the tone and tell you a lot about the crowd. Il Sogno (1993 Yonge Street), which means “The Dream”,  has been serving casual Italian fare in Toronto’s Davisville Village for over a decade. The restaurant is a go-to spot for locals and visitors alike as it has an inviting atmosphere and cozy vibe, and serves quality comfort food and creative daily specials. They keep it fresh, both in terms of what they serve and what you can expect on any given evening.

 

There’s something special happening nearly every night at Il Sogno. From BYOW (Bring Your Own Wine) Sundays and Thursdays with no corkage fees, to Martini Fridays featuring Eats and Beats with $5 Martinis all night long and a live DJ starting at 10pm! Budget conscious customers will love $10 Pasta Tuesdays and $10 Pizza Wednesdays. Whether you’re looking to dance the night away or wind down at a cool little bar, Il Sogno offers something for everyone. We spoke with owner, Ross Bonfanti to find out more about this great little spot in Davisville.

Credit: Il Sogno

 

 

So Ross, please tell us about your most popular menu item at Il Sogno and why it’s so special.

 

We have a few signature dishes here. We just started carrying east coast oysters which have been a hit. The arancini are also new and also extremely popular. We’ve always been known for our calamari — both grilled and deep fried. And everyone loves our pizza!

 

Credit: Il Sogno

 

 

It all sounds delicious! What is the atmosphere of your restaurant like and what kind of demographic do you usually serve?

 

We pride ourselves on being a neighbourhood spot. Whether you are coming in alone or with a group of 20, we want everyone to feel comfortable and like family. Our crowd normally is anywhere from 25-60. You can come for a date, a business dinner or come in on a Friday night for martinis and dancing. We always have something for everyone.

Credit: Il Sogno

 

That is really amazing – what a broad demographic!

 

We noticed you serve real Neopolitan style pizza. Are you VPN  (Vera Pizza Napoletana) certified? And what equipment do you use to cook the pizzas?

 

We are Neapolitan-style but we are not certified. I’ve been in this game for a long time and feel like the restaurant industry has gotten out of hand. We always use the freshest of ingredients and make what we can in house. We use a gas/stone oven for pizza and our customers love it. I have always said, use the best of what you can with what you have.  If people don’t like it, well that’s up to them. And so far after 11 years, people love it.  

 

Why wouldn’t they! If you haven’t popped into Il Sogno yet, it’s time to try it for yourself! It’s cozy, and comfortable — you’ll feel like family!  Let Ross and his friendly staff make you dinner tonight.

 

Greenrock Property Management Limited wants to show you all that your community has to offer. For information on ourGreenrock Rental Communities,  including Greenrock at Davisville Village (77 Davisville Avenue, 45 Balliol Street and 225 Davisville Avenue), please visit our website.

Don’t miss the Toronto Cider Festival

 

If summer feels like it’s flown by, then you must have been having fun! Don’t worry, summer’s not over yet! You can keep the fun going at the third annual Toronto Cider Festival on Saturday, August 26th at Sherbourne Common at Sugar Beach.

 

Credit: @tociderfest

Credit: @tociderfest

 

Is there a better way to toast to the end of summer than by chilling by the beach in a cottage-style lounge, surrounded by great people and sipping the best ciders in world? If you need more incentive than that, there will also be great food and live entertainment to keep the vibe upbeat. Did we mention the cider? There will be lots of high quality cider to sample. Over 60 varieties in all will be served from the top apple growing regions across Canada and the world. There will be 28 cider makers, and 22 of them are local cideries. Come taste the fruits of their labour as you kick back and relax.

 

Credit: @tociderfest

Credit: @tociderfest

 

 

The event will also pay tribute to Canada’s 150th birthday. Not only can you sample Canadian cider, you can visit the Canada 150 photo booth while being entertained by local Canadian talent. This is how the true north celebrates summer!

 

Over the years, the organization has been heavily involved in promoting local farmers, music talents, and arts, all while staying true to its values of sustainability and social responsibility. While growing as a business, the organization has equally grown as a community contributor, having established a Scholarship Foundation for Event Management Students at George Brown College, being an official member of the Ontario Craft Cider Association and Tourism Toronto and working with Coach Canada to encourage responsible drinking and festival attendance. – Toronto Cider Festival Organizers, OBN

 

Credit: @tociderfest

Credit: @tociderfest

 

 

This Canada 150-themed Cider Festival isn’t just about the art of cider, it also features an Art Showdown and local artisans showcase. Feel the excitement at the bartending flair competition, chill to the beats of DJ D-Smooth in the Party Zone, or have some good old-fashioned fun with a twist in the Life Size Game Zone. This year is also the first to feature the Toronto Cider Festival Cider Awards. You can vote for your favourite cider in the People’s Choice Awards. You can also enter a special contest for a chance to win a trip to Vancouver or Prince Edward County!

 

Tickets for the Toronto Cider Festival are available now. Choose from the day (11:30am – 4pm) or night session (6pm – 10:30pm). A regular ticket includes 4 sample tokens (4oz each), a commemorative sample mug, and access to all the festival fun and food pairings. If you want the full VIP treatment, the VIP session (5pm – 10:30pm) gets you 10 sample tokens, 1 hour of exclusive access, exclusive entertainment, VIP food and cider pairings, and bonus VIP giveaways.

 

Don’t miss the Toronto Cider Festival this summer!. It’s the perfect opportunity to relax in a fun and friendly atmosphere and celebrate our country’s birthday and the end of summer in true Canadian style.

 

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

Discover the Davisville Village Farmers Market

 

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

 

Credit: Apple Tree Markets

Credit: Apple Tree Markets

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Credit: Apple Tree Markets

Credit: Apple Tree Markets

 

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

 

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

 

 

Credit: Apple Tree Markets

Credit: Apple Tree Markets

 

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

 

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

 

And what types of products do they sell?

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

Enjoy one of a kind burgers at Holy Chuck!

 

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

 

Photo credit: Holy Chuck

Photo credit: Holy Chuck

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

My foie gras burger. Yeah.

 

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

 

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

 

Photo Credit: Holy Chuck

Photo Credit: Holy Chuck

 

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

 

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