More Torontonians and GTA residents than ever before are now working from home, whether full-time or part-time. Even as COVID restrictions have eased up and we’ve gone back to a sense of normalcy, many companies have allowed employees to continue working from home. While some miss the ambiance, teamwork, and connection of in-person working, many others love the independence, enhanced opportunity for productivity, and saved time that working from home offers.
Whether you’re working from home full-time or just a few days a week, the experience is greatly enhanced by having a work space you love. A successful home office or home work space will keep you motivated and energized, promote productivity, and offer inspiration. It needs to be functional and also beautiful. It should also reflect the design sensibility, quality, and comfort of the rest of your home.
Here are our top five tips for creating a home office you’ll love.
Find a Prime Location
You’ll likely spend hours and hours in your home office, so try to find a nice location for it rather than squishing a desk and chair into a windowless closet or the corner of your bedroom. If you have a rarely-used guest room, can you convert it into an office? How about a den? Is working in the kitchen realistic, or would you benefit from a space that’s a bit more tucked away and quiet? If you have kids at home who you need to keep an eye on, perhaps setting up shop in the under-utilized dining room makes most sense for you.
If you can, try to put your home office in a space that benefits from natural sunlight. It’s also essential to consider the space directly behind your computer, as you’ll be looking up at it often. Placing your desk against a window is optimal so you’ll have a view. If you’re in a windowless space, hang something inspiring on the wall (like a photo or painting you love, or a cork board filled with things that make you smile) or position your chair to face the door.
Consider Both Function and Beauty
Your home office must be functional – think a desk with ample space for your work and storage space that realistically meets your needs – but it should also be a space that matches the rest of your home’s décor and that’s comfortable and aesthetically pleasing. Go beyond a basic desk and ergonomic office chair by incorporating artwork, beautiful furniture pieces, and unexpected accessories to liven up the space and make it reflect your personal style.
Tame Your Technology
A home office can easily be overrun with wires and cords, unsightly printers, and other technological necessities that aren’t exactly the most attractive. One of the easiest ways to tame these items and to keep your office space looking clean, uncluttered, and beautiful is to hide all cords. This can be easily achieved by using fabric cord covers, feeding the cords through grommets to attach them to the bottom of your desk, or stashing cords in a stylish cable box (like this one). Bulky items like printers can also be concealed in attractive shelving or behind cupboard doors.
Opt for Inspiring Colours
Think about the colours that help you feel motivated and inspired. Go beyond beige or white walls and pick a colour that you’ll love being surrounded with while you work. Some people may gravitate toward bright, vibrant colours like yellow, orange, and green, while others will prefer a calming shade like Benjamin Moore’s 2022 Colour of the Year, October Mist. Need some help? Check out this Psychology of Colour article to learn more about how different colours can affect our mood.
Have Some Fun with It
Again, your office doesn’t need to be all function – it can also be a place of fun and joy. Fill it with little details that will make your workday more enjoyable, whether it’s a vase filled with fresh flowers, beautiful notebooks and pens, a stylish mug to hold your pens, a decorative waste basket, lovely candles, a chic desk lamp, or a few plants.
This weekend, families across Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area will gather for Easter and Passover celebrations. Both are springtime holidays with religious origins, and both share themes of liberation and triumph, involve buying a lot of eggs, and include celebratory feasts with families and loved ones. But have you ever wondered what the differences are between Easter and Passover, and how they are typically celebrated? Read on to learn more.
Each year, as spring blooms to life, a feeling of hope and renewal arises in our hearts. This renewal of nature mirrors the spring festivals of Easter and Passover, both of which hold key themes of hope, celebration, and redemption.
Easter is a Christian holiday that celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ, on Easter Sunday. Easter is connected to the Passover and Exodus from Egypt recorded in the Old Testament through the Last Supper and the crucifixion that preceded the resurrection.
Before Easter Sunday, Christians also mark several other days of historical and biblical importance during Holy Week. These include Palm Sunday, Holy Monday and Holy Tuesday, Holy Wednesday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday (also known as Black Saturday).
Palm Sunday was the day that Jesus arrived in Jerusalem. It’s said that the people who came out to greet him on that day threw palm branches on the road, which led to the tradition of Anglican and Roman Catholic churches distributing miniature crosses made of palm leaves among the people – a tradition which continues to this day.
Maundy Thursday was the day on which Jesus had his Last Supper – a Passover meal that he shared with his disciples, and which included wine and bread. Good Friday was the day on which Jesus was crucified to death and it is a day of mourning. Easter Sunday is the main day of the festival, and this was the day when God resurrected Jesus from his death.
Many Christians observe Easter Sunday by attending church and then enjoying a festive dinner with family and friends. Traditions also include colouring hard-boiled eggs and hiding plastic ones filled with candy or surprises for an Easter egg hunt.
Passover is a Jewish festival that commemorates the liberation and exodus of the children of Israel, by Moses, from the slavery and domination of the Pharaohs in Egypt. It is celebrated for seven to eight days, beginning this year on Friday, April 15th.
Passover gets its name from an ancient story: Moses visited Pharaoh time after time, trying to persuade him to release the Israeli natives. However, Pharaoh did not relent. So, eventually, Moses warned the Pharaoh about the horrible plagues that God would hurl at Egypt, if he continued to refuse to release the Israelites. God also told Moses that the Israelites should mark their doorposts with lamb’s blood to protect them from these plagues, when God “passed over” their homes – hence the origins of the name. This caused the Pharaoh to finally relent and let the Israelites go.
Many Jewish people celebrate Passover with a meal where families and friends of the family will read scripture while drinking four glasses of wine and eating foods that represent the exodus from slavery. They will also abstain from eating all leavened bread for about a week, and eat matzo – a thin, unleavened cracker – instead.
Jewish people gather to celebrate freedom, whereas Christians gather to celebrate a miracle. Both holidays involve special, celebratory dinners where families gather with loved ones and enjoy delicious feasts.
These feasts both include sweet foods, which represent the holidays. In Christianity, sweets and candies were traditionally eaten to celebrate Jesus’ resurrection, while in Judaism, sweet foods represent the mortar from the bricks used to build Pharaoh’s temple.
Both Easter and Passover also use eggs as traditional symbols. In Christianity, eggs symbolize Jesus’ tomb and when painted with bright colours, they represent the resurrection, while in Judaism, eggs celebrate rebirth.
So while Easter and Passover are different holidays, they share many similarities as well.
If you celebrate Easter or Passover, we hope that you and your family have lovely festivities! Will you be celebrating? Connect with BAZIS , our Toronto real estate development company on social media (Facebook, Twitter or Instagram) and let us know!
March Break is here, and it’s a great time to enjoy some family-friendly fun in and around Toronto. We’ve rounded up over a dozen of the best activities and events taking place in the city next week so you can get out of the house and make the most of the week off – from free family activities to live theatre, movies, festivals and more! Happy March Break!
SpringFestTO, Markham Fair Grounds, March 12-20, 2022
SpringFest is an indoor fun park with the latest in children’s entertainment, games and activities. The park has entertainment to thrill the whole family, with mechanical and inflatable rides, an all-new dinosaur exhibit, food vendors, arts and crafts, a petting zoo, and daily performances by The Dance Party Crew, Doo Doo the International Clown, The Birds of Prey and Trulee Odd.
Maple Syrup Festival, Kortright Centre, March 12-April 10, 2022
The Maple Syrup Festival is back after a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn how maple syrup is made, try a tasting of different grades and types of syrup, go on a horse wagon ride, enjoy fresh, hot pancakes with pure maple syrup, and have taffy on snow! There’s nothing like a visit to the Maple Syrup Festival to kick off the spring season.
St. Patrick’s Day Parade, Toronto (Bloor St. & St. George St.), March 20, 2022
The St. Patty’s Day Parade is a fun way to celebrate Irish culture, history, and heritage, but this Toronto event has also grown to include a number of diverse community and non-profit groups over the years. Enjoy the fanfare, excitement, and live music in downtown Toronto.
Toronto Comicon, Metro Convention Centre, March 18-20, 2022
Celebrate all things pop culture at the Toronto Comicon! If you or your kids are fans of comics, sci-fi, horror, cosplay, anime, or gaming, you’ll love this 3-day extravaganza in downtown Toronto. Comicon is a family-friendly event with all kinds of special programming, including a costume contest, celebrity photo ops, the opportunity to meet your favourite superheroes and voice actors, sketch duels, panels and workshops, and lots more.
Fireside Munsch! , Wychwood Theatre, March 12-20, 2022
Who doesn’t love Robert Munsch? Head to Wychwood Theatre in Toronto this March Break for the hit show Fireside Munsch!, featuring four of Robert Munsch’s stories (Seeing Red, The Sandcastle Contest, Give Me Back My Dad! and Smelly Socks) performed as one wacky storytelling play. Adults and children alike will have a ball reliving these Munsch classics.
The Sleeping Beauty, Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, March 18-27, 2022
March Break is the perfect opportunity to try something new by taking your kids to the ballet. Whether they’re budding ballet dancers or not, kids and adults alike are sure to be captivated by The Sleeping Beauty’s opulent set, dazzling dancers, and unforgettable score.
Little Canada, Yonge & Dundas Square, March 14-18, 2022
Little Canada is a unique downtown Toronto attraction featuring our country’s captivating vistas, famous landmarks, iconic cityscapes and little stories – all in miniature scale! This March Break, they’re offering unique workshops each day of the week. Join in and learn unique skills that will guide you in creating beautiful miniature masterpieces. Learn how to build a miniature bedroom, make a personalized scene, or decorate Little Canada’s mascot, Maurice the Moose. Fun!
Maple at the Village, Black Creek Pioneer Village, March 14-18, 2022
This March Break, celebrate the charm of maple syrup season as Black Creek Pioneer Village buzzes with the energy of early spring. Take a step back in time and discover the old-fashioned skills needed to take this sweet treat all the way from tree to table. Kids will love engaging with Black Creek Pioneer Village’s costumed educators and learning all about the backwoods skills necessary for adventures in the sugarbush.
March Break at the Bata Shoe Museum, Downtown Toronto, March 14-19, 2022
This March Break, the Bata Shoe Museum is putting the focus on all things sports, and hosting a series of fun activities and crafts throughout the museum that are sure to entertain the little ones. Colour a sneaker keychain, make your own sports-themed bookmark, play mini putt and ISPY games, try on sports footwear, leave your footprint in the museum, and more! You can also enjoy all four of the museum’s exhibitions while you’re there.
Hockey Hall of Fame, Brookfield Place, March 12-20, 2022
You can’t go wrong with a family trip to the Hockey Hall of Fame! Experience the game that defines Canada and a sport that has been adopted by over 70 countries. Spread across 65,000 square feet, the Hockey Hall of Fame offers something for the entire family: the world’s finest collection of hockey artifacts, theatres, interactive games, a replica NHL dressing room, and NHL trophies including the coveted Stanley Cup.
Toronto Zoo, Scarborough, March 12-20, 2022
The Toronto Zoo features over 4,000 animals that you and your kids can discover, all while exploring over 10 kilometres of walking trails and four tropical pavilions. The Toronto Zoo is celebrating the Year of the Tiger this year, so get ready for special appearances by the zoo’s new tiger mascot, walk the Zoo to #SpotTheStripes, browse the new Tiger Shop, and enjoy some special tiger-themed snacks.
LEGOLAND Discovery Centre, Vaughan, March 12-20, 2022
LEGO mania is here! The LEGOLAND Discovery Centre has millions of LEGO bricks to create and discover, epic rides, mega-awesome 4D movies, and more. A visit to LEGOLAND is sure to be a day of fun for the whole family.
Royal Ontario Museum, Downtown Toronto, Until March 20, 2022
This March Break, take your kids to the ROM to help them connect with art, culture, and nature. In addition to Great Whales: Up Close and Personal and Wildlife Photographer of the Year, visitors can also enjoy ROM’s permanent galleries and a host of other amazing special exhibitions.
Ontario Science Centre, North York, March 12-20, 2022
Like the ROM, the Ontario Science Centre is a quintessential Toronto favourite that’s both fun and educational, and that both kids and parents will enjoy! With hands-on exhibitions, live science demonstrations, and IMAX® films, there’s a lot to explore at the Ontario Science Centre this March Break.
We hope that you and your family have a wonderful March Break! What have you got planned for the week? Connect with BAZIS, our Toronto Real Estate Development Company on social media (Facebook, Twitter or Instagram) and let us know!
Over the years, there has been more and more research that indicates how the state of our homes has a direct influence on our physical, mental and emotional well-being. Naturally, the place where you spend the majority of your time would affect your mood, which is why we see so many articles about how to decorate and organize our spaces. Interior design trends are a way to guide you and your home to inner peace.
Entering the third year of the global pandemic, we’re seeing those trends evolve to accommodate our new present. Trends include natural elements, multi-functional and high tech spaces, and a step away from minimalism to something more colourful and expressive. Here are the biggest design trends of 2022.
Maximalism or Grand Millennialism
Grand Millennialism is a curated style that derives from the Millennial generation. Last year, we saw a growing trend in Grand Millennialism, and this year it’s taking flight. Grand Millennialism is a rejection of mainstream minimalistic design, and a move toward a more traditional, self-expressive, nostalgic style that honours history and craftsmanship. Gone are the days of minimalistic white walls and white furniture. Pleated lampshades, floral and damask-printed wallpapers, needlepoint pillows and Victorian furniture are some of the items that Grand Millennialism is gravitating toward.
With so many of us working from home and spending more time indoors, there’s a strong desire to reconnect with nature. Within the home, this can be reflected in the form of nature-inspired surfaces and objects. More and more people are incorporating stone, clay, wood and terracotta into their home designs. These earthy materials can be used throughout the home, in flooring, countertops, backsplashes and accessories. The raw, porous and imperfect elements of these organic materials create visual intrigue while mimicking the calm beauty of the outdoors. Many people are also opting to have more plants at home, with large indoor trees being the latest trend.
As we enter the third year of the pandemic, having multi-functional spaces is necessary, as our homes have become our offices and our gyms. This year there’s a move toward dual-purpose rooms, as we expect our homes to work harder for us. Expect to see a den that’s been converted into an office, a spare bedroom outfitted with a desk, a dining room lined with books, or a bedroom with state-of-the-art fitness equipment.
While in the beginning of the pandemic, many favoured a clean white aesthetic, we’re now seeing people rediscovering themselves and wanting to incorporate more of their personalities into their homes. Neutrals will take more of a backseat in 2022, as more people begin to experiment with colour, however the palette will stay close to what is found in nature. People are looking to create cozy and inviting spaces by using warm earthy tones like cocoa brown or rosy terracotta, which are on the upswing, as well as emerald greens and cognac.
Interior home design continues to evolve with advancements in technology. Designers are working to incorporate the latest technology to create seamless, effortless and convenient home experiences that are both immersive and futuristic. Wireless speakers, smart home security systems, solar-powered lighting, smart faucets, air purifiers and noise-cancelling windows are just a few of the trends we’re seeing. Tech trends are quickly becoming the norm rather than a luxury, and as long as you have a smartphone, outlet and Wi-Fi connection, you’re able to achieve this at home.
Vintage and Sustainable Accents
As more people become concerned with climate change and minimizing our carbon footprint, many people are opting for sustainable, recycled or upcycled accents in their homes. Whether it be incorporating sustainable fabrics, vintage décor or refurbished furniture, you can easily reduce your footprint while enriching your home with history, culture and spirit.
Happy New Year! 2022 has arrived, and with it has come the potential to transform your life in positive ways. The beginning of each new year is a great time to reflect on the past year and analyze what went right and what areas could use improvement. As the popular saying goes, each new year comes with 365 days, which means you have 365 new chances to build the life of your dreams. It’s a great time to think ahead about what you want to accomplish and who you want to become, and to make plans to achieve your goals. Having an incredible 2022 is totally possible but it will take effort and planning to get there. Here are some tips to make 2022 your best year ever!
- Set goals
Starting the year without a plan is a bit like going on a road trip without a destination in mind. It could turn out to be amazing, but you could also end up with unexpected challenges and roadblocks. Sit down and think about what you would like to accomplish this year, and be realistic. If you have a lot of ideas, try to break them down into attainable goals. It’s good to have ideas, but a jumble of ideas will make it hard to actually achieve any of them in a year. Remember that not everything can happen at once and most goals take consistent work and effort to attain. Do you want to change careers? Improve your marriage? Save money to buy a new home or condo? Analyze the areas in your life that you want to improve and determine what goals are the most important to you.
- Start each day with a plan
Did you feel as though 2021 flew by even though the pandemic slowed everything down? It’s hard to be productive without focus. Once you determine your goals for the year, break them down into monthly, weekly and daily targets. Having a plan keeps you on track to achieve your goals, and breaking them down into smaller steps ensures that you have the time, energy, focus and consistency to stick with them. Whether you plan your week out in advance on Sunday, the night before or the morning of, reconnecting with your goals on a consistent basis will help you to stay on top of them. Give yourself two small goals to accomplish each day, and this will translate into a lot more by the end of the year.
- Get some rest
Many of you have been working tirelessly, adjusting to new routines and getting used to COVID life. It’s exhausting! When was the last time you slept for 8 hours at night? Rest is so important for your mind and body to recharge so that you have the health and energy to see you through another year. Rest helps reduce stress and improves your ability to concentrate, and does wonders for your mood. So if you’re not already sleeping enough, make sure to make rest a priority this year, as well as personal time for yourself.
- Get your finances in order
One of the biggest stressors in life for many people is money management. This year, make the time to really understand your financial situation. If you haven’t already, learn about smart ways to save and invest. Saving money is a wonderful habit but can be hard to maintain. We often prioritize emotional purchases over saving. This year, make financial goals and try to save money. Open savings accounts with specific types of purchases in mind; for example, open a savings account for holidays or home renovations. Not only will you become more aware of your goals, it will help you make better decisions with your income. Pay attention to how you spend your money. Are you spending frivolously on takeout or clothes you don’t need? Take note of your shopping triggers and avoid them.
- Try something new
Christopher McCandless once said: “The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun.” The start of the new year is a great time to pick up a new skill or step outside your comfort zone. It’s a time when people feel more motivated and open to new ideas. Surround yourself with like-minded people and stop putting off that skill or hobby you wanted to try years ago. Whether it’s learning photography, cooking something new every other week or travelling to a new place, trying new things challenges you, expands your world view, builds confidence and encourages personal growth.
- Give back
One of the best things you can do for your mental and emotional health is to give back to your community or those less fortunate. Helping those in need will help you realize how much you actually have and cultivate gratitude, while acts of service will lead you to a more content and meaningful life. Giving to others will strengthen your connection to your community, give you a sense of purpose and make you feel good. It can be daunting to find the right avenue to give, but keep in mind it doesn’t have to be a big commitment. There are many ways to help, from volunteering at homeless shelters to donating blood or shopping local.
We wish you all a wonderful, happy, healthy and prosperous2022!
People around the world have been celebrating the start of each new year for about four millennia. Today, the majority of New Year’s festivities begin on December 31st (New Year’s Eve), the last day of the Gregorian calendar, and continue onto January 1st (New Year’s Day). Common traditions include attending parties, eating special foods, making resolutions for the New Year, and watching fireworks. But a lot of countries also have a unique set of New Year’s traditions, and some cultures celebrate on different dates.
Let’s take a look at some of the interesting New Year’s traditions from around the world!
On New Year’s Eve, you’ll find round shapes all over the Philippines. Round shapes represent coins, which symbolize prosperity in the coming year. Many people also wear polka dots for good fortune. Many families display large quantities of fruit on their dining tables and they like to make noise. One New Year’s custom in the Philippines is to use noisemakers, play music really loudly, and generally be as loud as you can. A lot of people believe that the noise will keep away bad luck and evil spirits.
In Brazil and many other South American countries like Bolivia and Ecuador, people believe that wearing white clothes on New Year’s Eve will bring them good luck and peace in the New Year. They also believe that wearing a specific coloured underwear will bring them good fortune over the next year – for example, yellow for wealth and prosperity, and red for passion. Brazilians also make life-sized dolls with masks. These dolls represent bad events from the past year, and they’re burnt at midnight on New Year’s Eve to get rid of the bad and make room for the good.
On New Year’s Eve in Portugal (and Spain), people eat 12 raisins or grapes at midnight, one for each stroke of the clock. The 12 grapes represent good luck for each month of the upcoming year. In larger cities, people come together in main squares and pass around bottles of cava, or sparkling wine. It’s also customary after the clock strikes midnight to open your window and bang pots and pans and make a lot of noise. Portuguese children go around visiting on New Year’s Day to collect gifts and sweets.
The people of Denmark welcome the New Year with a toast to the motherland once Queen Margrethe completes her annual New Year’s Eve speech. Then, just before midnight, they stand up on chairs or a couch and at midnight they “leap” into the New Year. The leap from up high is said to symbolize the overcoming of potential challenges and difficulties.
Iranians celebrate their New Year during the spring equinox, and it’s called Nowruz. They begin a few weeks ahead by cleaning their homes. Once their house is in order, on the Wednesday before Nowruz, Iranians light up the streets and skies for a ‘Red Celebration.’ Fire is considered a symbol of purity, and Iranians will light fireworks, jump over bonfires, and release sky lanterns with their wishes for the year ahead.
Canadians celebrate New Year’s Eve on December 31st. Common traditions include visiting with friends and family, eating special meals, having drinks, attending parties and watching fireworks. Many Canadians also celebrate the New Year by going ice fishing or participating in an annual polar bear plunge. Started in 1920 in Vancouver by David Pantages, the polar bear plunge has since spread to other provinces and even some States in the United States. The event has also become a fundraising event in many cities.
The BAZIS team wishes you all a wonderful holiday season and very happy New Year!
It’s the most wonderful time of the year. With the holidays around the corner, it’s time to start planning all your favourite festive adventures. From holiday markets to wintery immersive experiences, there are many events scheduled in Toronto with tickets already available to purchase. Get on your winter coat, grab those whom you love the most, and head out for a day of holiday cheer!
1. One Of A Kind Show, Nov. 25th-Dec. 5th, Enercare Centre
Just in time for all your Christmas shopping needs comes one of our absolute favourite holiday markets: The One Of A Kind Show at the Enercare Centre at Exhibition Place. Stroll through stalls of unique artisan crafts and delicious snacks by some of the country’s most talented makers, and discover the best Canadian-made gifts. If you’re looking to buy something memorable for a loved one or a little (or BIG) something for yourself, everything at the One Of A Kind Show is just that: one-of-a-kind and made with love. With over 400 exhibitors, there’s something for everyone. Grab your best friends and family and head out for a day of holiday shopping.
2. The Distillery Winter Village, Nov. 18th-Dec. 31st, The Distillery District
If you missed the Christmas Market at the Distillery District last year, you’re not alone. Nothing screams the holidays like this annual tradition where you can walk along the romantic cobblestones of the Distillery District sipping hot chocolate and shopping for unique gifts from the many vendors. This year, the market returns with a new name, The Distillery Winter Village, and a new look. The Distillery Winter Village will be an intimate event with focus on more of the Distillery District’s retailers and restaurants, however all of your favourite traditions remain. Come see the magical 50-ft-tall silver fir Christmas tree, grab a photo with Santa and his elves, or take a selfie at one of the many festival displays. Enjoy the twinkling lights while carolers and buskers entertain you, nibble on festive treats, and shop for gifts from local vendors.
3. Santa Claus Parade, Dec. 4th, 2021, CTV
Tis the season to be jolly… and what could be jollier than Santa himself? To the excitement of many, this year’s Santa Claus parade is back on – albeit in a slightly different format. This year’s parade will be broadcast live from Canada’s Wonderland on December 4, 2021 on CTV/CTV2 at 7pm ET. See the larger-than-life floats, magical characters, and special performances by some amazing artists. Make some popcorn and hot chocolate at home and make catching the parade live a truly special event. You won’t want to miss what the 2021 Parade has in store!
4. Polar Winter Festival, Nov. 25th-Dec. 26th, Bandshell Park
If you’re looking for fun for the whole family, experience the magic of the holidays at the Polar Winter Festival. Located at Bandshell Park at the Exhibition Grounds, the Polar Winter Festival isn’t your average holiday market. It’s a winter wonderland immersive experience. Come see the gorgeous snowy installations and be sure to have your camera handy, as there are a ton of festive photo opportunities for you and the family. Take a photo with Santa or with giant holiday decorations including teddy bears, Santa’s workshop, Elsa from Frozen, and the Polar Ice Tunnel that’s filled with thousands of crystals. Hop aboard the Christmas train or ride the classic carousel. Grab a bite to eat at one of the food trucks and warm up at the cocktail bar with firepits to keep you warm and cozy.
5. Cavalcade of Lights, Nov. 27th (weather permitting)-Mar. 20th, Nathan Phillips Square
The City of Toronto’s official Christmas tree has arrived ahead of this year’s Cavalcade of Lights festival, which will begin in a few weeks. This year’s celebration will be modified due to the pandemic but will still feature the best part – skating at Nathan Phillips Square. A family tradition that has spanned generations, this is the quintessential winter experience. It’s set in the unique urban backdrop of sparkling lights and the large holiday tree. Bring your friends, family and loved ones and make magical memories on ice that you will all cherish for years to come.
We hope you have a wonderful festive season. Happy holidays to you all!
Museums and art galleries are slowly opening back up to the public after long closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which is such exciting news for Torontonians with an appreciation for the arts. November, being a slower month, is a great time to head indoors, warm up, and get your arts and culture fix! From textiles to multi-sensory experiences, we’ve put together a list of some of the most fun, educational, and unforgettable exhibits happening in Toronto right now.
Picasso: Painting the Blue Period (Art Gallery of Ontario, a.k.a. the AGO)
Now until January 16, 2022
Image: The Blue Room, Pablo Picasso, 1901 (AGO)
A groundbreaking celebration, Picasso: Painting the Blue Period is the first exhibition in Canada to focus on the early works of the modernist master Pablo Picasso (Spanish, 1881-1973).
Focusing on the years 1901-1904, Picasso: Painting the Blue Period tells the story of how Picasso, in his late teens and early twenties, created his signature Blue Period style as he moved back and forth between Paris and Barcelona. The exhibition shows how a young Picasso borrowed and transformed the subject matter of his contemporaries and predecessors during these critical years. The exhibition also shows how Picasso’s responses to the social and political events around him resulted in mesmerizing works that to this day force audiences to grapple with uncomfortable issues such as poverty, labour unrest, gender inequality, and war.
Picasso: Painting the Blue Period features more than 100 objects from 15 countries, including paintings, sculptures, and works on paper by Picasso as well as works by artists he’s known to have studied before and during the Blue Period.
Immersive Nutcracker (1 Yonge Street)
November 20, 2021 until December 24, 2021
Image: The Immersive Nutcracker: A Winter Miracle
From the producers of the critically-acclaimed Immersive Van Gogh Exhibit comes the ultimate holiday experience for the entire family – The Immersive Nutcracker: A Winter Miracle!
For nearly 130 years, The Nutcracker has enchanted families around the world – from ballet productions to movies and more. Step inside as 1,296,674 frames of video bring the joy of the holidays to life around you – on a jaw-dropping scale!
Featuring scenes from the beloved ballet, the exhibit encompasses a 500,000 cubic-foot warehouse, with projections spanning across all five floors. Lights, sounds, and immersive digital art come together while you’re enchanted by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s sweeping music, including iconic songs “The March of the Toys” and “The Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy.”
“The Nutcracker” is the first project of Storywall, and this is a world premiere.
GTA 21 (Museum of Contemporary Art, a.k.a. MOCA)
Now until January 9, 2022
Image: Untitled, 2021, Kareem Anthony-Ferreira (MOCA)
Greater Toronto Art 2021 (GTA21) brings together 21 of the most incredible artists and art collectives working in Toronto. The title, which plays on the name of the city’s broad metropolitan area, “addresses our ever-expanding notion of what Toronto might be, where it extends, and what practices and attitudes exist here.”
This large-scale exhibition takes place once every three years, as a pledge to Toronto artists and the commissioning of new projects. Each contributor was asked to consider the following question: “What feels most urgent to you today?” Together the artists’ responses offer different imaginations of the city, society, and the world. Seeing them as a collective conveys a profound belief in remembering, storytelling, questioning, resisting, celebrating, making, and speculating.
ᖃᓪᓗᓈᖅᑕᐃᑦ ᓯᑯᓯᓛᕐᒥᑦ Printed Textiles from Kinngait Studios (Textile Museum of Canada)
Now until January 29, 2022
Image: Kinngait Studios, Textile Museum of Canada
ᖃᓪᓗᓈᖅᑕᐃᑦ ᓯᑯᓯᓛᕐᒥᑦ Printed Textiles from Kinngait Studios presents the little-known story of a group of Inuit artists and printmakers who produced a collection of graphic textiles in Kinngait (Cape Dorset, Nunavut) in the 1950s and 1960s – a period of social change that disrupted traditional language and relationships to the land.
Made for interior décor during a period when artist-designed textiles were popular in North America and Europe, these mid-century designs depict legends, stories, and traditional ways of life. They provide vital points of connection between contemporary Inuit community members and the creativity and resourcefulness of previous generations.
Great Whales Up Close and Personal (Royal Ontario Museum, a.k.a. the ROM)
Now until March 20, 2022
Image: Sleeping Sperm Whales, Stephane Granzotto (ROM)
In 2017, the ROM shared the incredible journey of Blue, ROM’s beloved blue whale, in Out of the Depths: The Blue Whale Story. The original exhibition told the tragic story of nine blue whales that died in the Gulf of St. Lawrence in 2014, and the opportunity it presented for research and conservation.
Showcasing the ROM’s commitment to Canada’s North Atlantic whales, the current exhibition Great Whales Up Close and Personal takes the story further and features Blue along with two new skeletons: the deep diving sperm whale and the critically endangered North Atlantic right whale. With multi-sensory interactive and immersive experiences, Great Whales compares these three unique giants, including their size, diet, intelligence, and evolution, while bringing to attention the extensive ongoing research and conservation efforts being undertaken to save these mammals from extinction.
Fall is a special time of year. It’s vibrant and colourful, and the cooling temperatures mark the changing of the seasons and fresh new beginnings. With Thanksgiving and Halloween around the corner, there’s nothing better than putting on a warm sweater and sitting by the fire with a cocktail (or mocktail) in hand. And although everyone loves the timeless classics, the fall is much better matched with a glass full of warm autumnal flavours that include cinnamon, apple cider, pumpkin or cranberry. Whether you like festive margaritas, smoky bourbon, or non-alcoholic drinks for adults and kids alike, we’ve put together a list of the 10 most delicious cocktails for any occasion this season.
Autumn Apple Bourbon Fizz
The Autumn Apple Bourbon Fizz is a cool classy drink that warms you up with each sip! A delicious combination of bourbon, wholesome apple butter and ginger beer creates an unforgettable flavour profile that’s perfect for the fall season. Pair it with fresh figs for an elegant finish.
Apple Cider Sangria (or Mocktail)
Sangria doesn’t only need to be enjoyed during the summer! This delicious twist on the classic is made of fresh tart apples, zesty Pinot Grigio, brandy and sweet pears. This Apple Cider Sangria is sure to be a hit at Thanksgiving and Halloween, and can be made virgin by substituting the alcohol for fruit juice and club soda.
Pumpkin Pie Moscow Mule
This Pumpkin Pie Moscow Mule is sweet, spicy and full of autumnal flavour. Rich pumpkin butter, vanilla vodka and ginger beer come together to create the perfect dessert cocktail that tastes like a boozy slice of pie!
Honey-Roasted Pear Sparkling Cocktail (or Mocktail)
This gorgeous drink tastes as incredible as it looks, and makes for a memorable party cocktail (or mocktail). Light, fizzy and not overly sweet, this marvelous drink is made with honey-roasted pears, cinnamon, vanilla and nutmeg. Pair it with champagne or sparkling wine (or sparkling white grape juice for the non-alcoholic version) for a punch.
Toasted Pecan Old-Fashioned
This twist on the classic Old-Fashioned takes some prep but it’s worth the wait. This variation takes days to make because the pecans need to be soaked in whiskey, but the end result will leave you feeling warm and joyful, and is sure to impress guests if you’re entertaining. Combined with bitters and sugar, this strong cocktail is smoky and sweet and goes down very smoothly.
The Black Russian is a simple drink but you wouldn’t know that from its strong, bold and intense flavour. A mix of vodka, Kahlua and ice cubes, the Black Russian tastes like a sweetened coffee. Pair it with a scoop of ice cream for an even more decadent end-of-the-night dessert.
One of the highlights of the fall season is the abundance of delicious, tart cranberries. This beautiful Cranberry Margarita is the perfect cocktail for Thanksgiving. Pink, festive and made in less than 5 minutes, this drink is a party-pleaser. Made with tequila, triple sec, lime juice and cranberry juice, it’s light, refreshing and delicious.
Vanilla Chai Old-Fashioned
The Vanilla Chai Old-Fashioned is incredibly festive and will be your go-to cocktail for the holidays. Made with homemade spiced chai syrup, warm bourbon, a touch of vanilla, winter citrus and sparkling water, this cozy drink is perfect for the cooler weather and sure to please everyone.
Pumpkin Pie Martini (or Mocktail)
This Pumpkin Pie Martini is THE quintessential party cocktail and bound to be a hit over the holidays. Made with rich crème de cacao, vanilla vodka, warm cinnamon, pumpkin spice and velvety whipped cream, this is the most delicious dessert cocktail you could make! Even more exciting is that you can make a non-alcoholic version for the kids by replacing the alcohol with chocolate extract.
Pomegranate Gin and Tonic
Who doesn’t love pomegranates? Juicy and full of antioxidants, this cocktail is vibrant, refreshing and has just the right combination of flavours to carry you over from summer into fall. The brisk Pomegranate Gin and Tonic combined with lime wedges, pomegranate arils and rosemary sprigs makes for an elegant yet satisfying cocktail.