Friday, July 8, 2011

Toronto Staycation Ideas

From time to time, I get asked where do I go if I'm planning a Staycation in my own home town called Toronto? I enjoy mixing free events with moderately priced events ... I compiled a brief list of some of the best-kept secrets in town! Enjoy! Make a day of it or an evening of  it!  Hope I'll see you at one or two of the events!

FREE Toronto Music Garden hour Concerts: Thursdays & Sundays 
Thank you Yo-Yo Ma for proposing to the City of Toronto to have this beautiful Garden of Eden with live music by Lake Ontario! Locals and travellers (in the know) can enjoy the cool lake breeze under the giant weeping willow tree while attending the FREE concerts on Thursdays at 7:00 PM and on Sundays at 4:00 PM! Whenever I get tired of the hustle and bustle of downtown city life,  this little gem will restores my soul! You'll find me packing a picnic basket with my favourite dishes I've made ahead of time or items I might pick up from favourite Kensington Market shops or Chinatown eateries.  Don't forget to bring along sunblock, a sun hat and a blanket to sit on. Check their amazing schedule of concerts  and mark your calendar or whatever phone device you own! NB: Try to get there one hour prior in order to grab the best spot for your picnic and concert seats! 

FREE Edwards Garden Summer Music Series: Thursdays June 30 - August 18, 2011
  Most locals associate Edwards Garden with weddings and photography in the summer. Some might think of it as only an area to coast through on bike or roller blades. Well, there are two wonderful programs I'm thinking of checking out myself. They have the Farmers' Marketplace 3:00-7:00 PM. As a matter of fact, i'm thinking of shopping for part of our "picnic" and/or grocery and make it a night out.  Go early to enjoy the market, then a light dinner or refreshment at the Garden Cafe,  and then attend the 7:00-8:30PM concerts. Check the schedule and mark the dates in your calendars! You might see me there with my antique picnic basket!
Toronto Botanical Garden, 777 Lawrence Avenue East, Toronto

Friday Foodies Walk Series: July 8th - September 2nd, 2011

  I've had locals mention that they love taking off on Fridays during the summer to relax, catch-up on errands, and to re-charge themselves. So we're offering these same folks the opportunity to re-discover Toronto's nooks and crannies while treating themselves as they shop along one of these foodies walks! Yes, that's how yours truly, the culinary historian/tour guide finds time to shop for her groceries by shopping along the tours as well!
* Kensington Foodies Roots Walk: Multi-ethnic Summer Bounty 9:30 AM-1:00 PM
         Fri. July 8th, 22nd, Aug. 5th, 19th, 
   * Second Chinatown Foodies Walk 10:00 AM-1:30 PM
         Fri. July 15th (8 spots),  29th, Aug. 12th, 26th, Harvest Moon Prep & Sept. 2nd

FREE Friday Afternoon Tours at DX
 Mark this in your calendar -  Last Friday 1:00 PM of every month! The Design Exchange or DX was formerly the Toronto Stock Exchange, a beautiful Art Deco building. Join the DX for the free tours of their current exhibits  and space on the last Friday of every month! RSVP with or call (416) 216-2120. Can't make it? Contact Noa at to arrange a group tour! 
Latest exhibit Play>Nation opens July 7th, 2011 and is an indulgence in Canadian 'play' influenced by our vast geography. It showcases some of our iconic necessities, such as canoes, snowshoes and bicycles.  Hours: M-F 10:00 AM-5:00 PM Sat/Sun Noon-5:00 PM
DX 234 Bay Street, Toronto (416) 363-6121 

Remember, summer will speed by quickly, so enjoy and savour every moment of this fabulous season while you can! It's double the fun when you share your "goof-off" time with a close friend or relative! 

If I missed any Toronto staycation ideas, please feel free to share them here as Toronto is fast becoming a "happening" city!  

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