Thursday, March 6, 2014

If You Do One Thing in 180-year old Toronto This March Break - Explore the Nooks & Crannies!

"The real voyage of discovery 
consists not in seeking new lands, 
but in seeing with new eyes." ~Marcel Proust

Sssshhh! ThIs is one of the best kept secrets around March Break when you decide to join one of our cool theme walking tours as part of your Staycation!  For someone who is Toronto born and bred, I fell in love with this fabulous quote at a workshop, and I decided right there and then in 1993, to use it. This food-for-thought quote still captures the very essence of what we strive for along each, and every one of our Foodies, Literary Detective and Ghost walking tours; shake off that jaded feeling about the big sprawling metropolis, and re-discover a city of fascinating neighbourhoods with nooks and crannies to be unearthed, by going off-the-beaten-track  ever so often. 

By the way, did I mention that 2014 is the Year of the Wooden Horse, and whenever it has been the Year of the Horse, it has been a time to embrace doing something new. So if you have been on guided walking tours whenever you are in another city, then it's high time to do it in your own city, and you will come away with a new pair of eyes, palate and senses. Make it this March Break to unearth 180-year old Toronto's amazing nooks and crannies with your guide/culinary historian/ghost walker, Shirley Lum and discover quirky things like a lost Chinese Fortune cookie factory in Chinatown OR a lost public hanging square nearby the historic St. Lawrence Market   OR a lost vaudeville theatre near the Bay store.  Do something intimate, interactive, experiential while learning together how to properly use chopsticks....   


(all with equal portions of food for thought and palate; each 3.5-hr duration; come hungry as we nosh from beginning to end)
Fees (incl food+drinks): Adult $50.00 SR(65+)/ST(ID) $45.00 CHILD (3-12yrs) $35.00

* * Kensington Foodies Roots ** 

Date:  Thurs. March 13th, 2014
Time:  10:00 am-1:30 pm
Meet:  Red Pole with Black Cat, 350 Spadina Ave/St Andrew St

Peel back the layers of immigrant food roots in Kensington Market , starting with the founding family and then successive waves of immigrants. Join culinary historian Shirley Lum in getting ready for Spring, St Patrick's Day and Easter Day! Cheese lovers will love paying homage to the founding family and paying a nod to St Patrick's Day (Guinness Cheddar ;-) while tasting cross-Canada artisan cheeses! Come hungry as we'll graze from beginning to end! Bring eco-shoppings and cameras.

** Toronto's Second Chinatown Food Tour **

Date:  Fri. March 14th, 2014
Time:  10:00 am -1:30pm
Meet: Lucky Moose Mart, 393 Dundas St W/Beverley St

Join culinary historian Shirley Lum for equal portions of food for thought and palate as she gets you ready for a little-known Food Festival called Qing Ming. Whether you're a Novice or Advance dim sum eater, Shirley will introduce you to varying aromas, colours, flavour, and textures! Prepare to swoon over your BBQ and bakery experiences... Always wondered about your Chinese horoscope sign? Over dim sum, check out the Year of the Horse book to get the most out of this year!

NB: ROM's Forbidden City exhibit opens Sat March 8th in case you want to make it a "theme" day and zip over after this food tour with a TTC Family Pass  ;-)


* Each of the Ghost Walks has interesting snacks at unique foodie sites (hint: some are haunted) and your guide/ghostly storyteller, Shirley Lum will share some famous local ghostly tales as well as little-known eerie personal accounts of lucky guides and guests over the past 13 years! Warning: Some sites with strong, eerie vibes are NOT for the faint for the heart guests! Bring digital cameras!  
* Rates (incl snacks): Adult $25 SR(65+)/ST (ID) $20 Child (3-12) $15
* Each tour is limited to 13 lucky guests to ensure quality ghost walk experience

 ** Haunted Yorkville, U of T & Queen's Park ** 

Date:  Tues. March 11th, 2014
Time:  6:30-9:00pm
Meet: ROM,100 Queen's Park, steps

What lurks in the shadow of the buildings around the ROM, Yorkville Village, and U of T? Find out as we stroll in and out of buildings in these 3 areas, and even pause to tell a ghost story while tasting the best Hungarian coffee cake in Yorkville's oldest café before heading to one of U of T's most haunted lecture halls! Warning: Not for the faint of heart as we will trace the route of a chase connected to a famous U of T murder and mystery disappearance!

 ** Phantoms, Players & Pundits **

Date:  Wed March 12th, 2014
Time:  6:30-9:00pm
Meet: Old City Hall, front steps, 60 Queen ST W/Bay St 

Ever wondered about how many people have encountered ghostly experiences while working within the Financial and Entertainment Districts? More than you think. Lucky for us, we get quite a bit of folks trying to get down to the bottom of the hijinks at work, and they join us and ends up sharing some interesting experiences!  Find out as we check sites like the Old and New City Halls, Osgoode Hall, Campbell House, and Royal Alexandra Theatre to name a few! Warning: Not for the faint of heart due to strong, weird vibes at the forgotten public hanging square. Bring digital cameras.

** Haunted Kensington, Chinatown & The Grange **

Date:  Thurs. March 13th, 2014
Time:  6:30-9:00pm
Meet: Red Pole with Black Cat, 350 Spadina Ave/St Andrew St (1 bl N of Dundas St W)

As dusk approaches, the spirits lurking in the shadows come out to share their 200 years of memories... Fans of ghosts, vampire and zombies, will discover eerie tales with multicultural twists within the commercial and residential quarters of Kensington and Chinatown.  When we end with eerie accounts of past tour guides and guests at the backside of AGO.  We dare you to return the next day to the AGO, and experience The Grange on your own.

  ** Ghosts, Greasepaint, & Gallows **

Date:  Fri March 14th, 2014
Time:  6:30-9:00pm

Meet: St Lawrence Market, middle Gate,  92 Front St E

This ghost walk is not for the faint of heart due to the strong, weird vibes from the long forgotten public hanging square, the old jail and the vaudeville theatres. Did we mention Toronto's first mayor and his much haunted home-turned-museum? You might find Canadian politics to be hauntingly a thrilling topic after this ghost walk! 

Note: this tour ends at Eaton's Centre.


 ** Swansea & LM Montgomery **

Date: Sat March 15th, 2014
Time:  3:00-5:30pm
Meet: Runnymede Stn, Runnymede exit, by phone booths

Anne of Green Gables fans unite! Follow in the footsteps of Canadian author, Lucy Maud Montgomery, who lived the last 7 years of her life in Swansea Village. As your guide, Shirley share excerpts from LMM's journals, letters and the novel, Jane of Lantern Hill, you'll understand the connections with her last home and some buildings still standing! Ever wondered which type of cookies filled the family cookie jar? Find out as your guide let you have a sneak peek at LMM's recipe book! Bring cameras. 

Who said that March Break can't be goof-off time for the little and especially the big kids at heart?  On that note, call up a few friends and goof-off together with us.  Don't forget to pre-book your spots to avoid being disappointed, as we are limiting each tour to an intimate size of 11 guests (each food tour) to 13 guests (each LitWalk and each Ghost Walk) to ensure quality interactive experiences. 

Pre-register with A Taste of the World 
via phone (416) 923-6813 or