Thursday, June 30, 2011

My Cool Canada Day Weekend Events

Happy 144th Birthday Canada!

I am proud to be a Canadian, as a matter of fact, a CBC aka Canadian-born Chinese, raised in Toronto, Ontario, Canada!

Every time I see the red and white Canadian flag when I'm abroad, I get that patriotic feeling swell up inside me. Yes it's corny, but it's true. I just came back from NYC for my big birthday and 2nd wedding anniversary celebrations. While there, we attended one of the Cinderella ballet performances by the American Ballet Theater at the breath-taking Metropolitan Opera House. This beautiful ballet was choreographed by James Kudelka of National Ballet of Canada. Yes, he's a Canadian based in Toronto. You can imagine how proud I was during the whole evening's performance!  Now back in town, you'll likely see me on Toronto streets riding my bike with a mini paper Canadian flag flapping in the wind! Wondering how does someone who leads off-the-beaten-path walking tours celebrate Canada Day long weekend?

Here's a sneak peek of some of the Canada Day celebrations I have in mind ...
Decadent greeting at entrance!

*** Canada Day - July 1st - Ease into celebrations with brunch ***

Chef Donald Duong and his staff at DT Bistro will be open on Canada Day! Yipee! Stroll over or even better, dash over to make sure you nab a table at my favourite intimate neighbourhood eatery when they open for Brunch at 10:00 AM! You'll see my hubby and moi, sitting at one of the tables with an open French window tucking into one of our favourite dishes; Curried Salmon Naan Wrap, Coconut Curried Shrimp Naan with Salad and refreshing Avocado Honey Milkshake  ;-)  If your Canada Day plans include dropping into Queen's Park for hot dogs, balloons and music, then treat yourself to a delicious dinner or just dessert. Their awesome homemade gelato might be a fabulous way to end Canada's birthday bash!
DT Bistro, 154 Harbord St/Brunswick Ave. (416) 916-8155

*** Canada Day - July 1st PM - FREE Strawberry Cooking Class for Kids ***

I like being Number One Yee-Yee (that's Auntie in Cantonese dialect of Chinese language) to my favourite niece and nephew;-).   Here's a fun 1/2-hr afternoon experience that's hands-on and right by the lake at Harbourfront Centre so you all get to stay cool during this hot weekend. Oh, and the best part - it's FREE! See schedule of cooking sessions at 
Hosted by Harbourfront Centre

*** Nova Scotia Saltscapes Expo 2011: Savour the Flavour  in Toronto! ***

Click on the slide!I've designed and led a biking tour of Nova Scotia with friends many years ago. So I'm excited about visiting Nova Scotia sans flying out of Toronto. How's that possible? The 8th annual expo takes place at East Island Plaza, Ontario Place July 1-3, 2011
I'm looking forward to savouring the best of Nova Scoatia in travel, culture, music and culinary experiences without leaving Toronto! Of course, there is Porter right by the lake ... now where's my passport and luggage?  I can't wait to see, smell, sample and make purchases from a showcase of Atlantic Canadian food, wine, beer and other products and specials. Did I mention that there will be cooking demo featuring chefs from the Atlantic region preparing signature recipes made with local ingredients? More information for expo details and  for quality culinary experiences in Nova Scotia.
Hosted by Nova Scotia Tourism, Taste of Nova Scotia and Saltscapes.

*** Canada Day - Fri July 1st 6:30PM - Haunted Kensington, Chinatown & Grange Walk ***
Would you believe that part of the original lot we now know as Kensington Market  is older than Canada and there used to be one house belonging to the founding family? 2011 marks the 100th anniversary of Kensington turning from purely residential suburban area into Kensington Market with storefronts? Love vampire and ghost stories with multicultural twists? There is still a few spots left, so book now for an interesting Canada Day experience along Haunted Kensington, Chinatown & The Grange Walk to brag about when  you're back at work!   

Hosted by A Taste of the World Walks

*** Sat July 2nd 9:30AM-1:00PM Kensington Foodies Roots Walk ***
There are 4 spots left!  Book now to avoid being disappointed!

July's Ontario bounty might have us savouring Blackberries, blueberries and more!  Bring along your shopping bags so you can load up too! I'll be offering canning tips for those interested in quick freezer jams! I'm already looking forward to sampling summer's bounty while peeling back the layers of culinary history in Kensington's marketplace and residential quarters. 
Hosted by A Taste of the World Tours

*** Sat. July 2nd 3:00 PM Canada Day Weekend  - Literary Detective walk  ***

Yes the Charles Dickens visited Toronto in 1842, before the confederation of Canada in 1867. Imagine if we could bring Dickens along the walking tour with a little help from Dr Who's time machine (who can forget that awesome British phone booth aka time machine).  What would Dickens think of Toronto in 2011? Who came to the dinner in Toronto in his honour? Hint: one guest in picture. Come along for interesting discussions along the In the Footsteps of Charles Dickens: 1842 
Hosted by A Taste of the World Tours

*** Sun July 3rd 10AM-1:30 PM -  Second Chinatown Foodies Walk ***

It's Sunday, and I just love noshing on dim sum so much that I'll be hosting dim sum on a guided foodies walking tour of Toronto's Second Chinatown. Find the Asian grocery stores intimidating? Not so when you're with a local culinary historian, born and raised in Toronto! Treat yourself by booking your spots now and come along for a culinary experience. Pick-up pastries for your picnic later on at the next event! 
Meet: Lucky Moose Statue, 393 Dundas St W. /Beverley St.
Hosted by A Taste of the World Tours

*** Sun July 3rd 4:00 PM  - Wrap-up Canada Day weekend -  picnic & concert  ***

See full size image

FREE Toronto Music Garden Concert: O solo il mio violoncello! Montreal-based cellist Elinor Frey performs music by Italian cellist-composers from the Baroque, as well as powerful solos by Giovanni Sollima (born 1962) and Canada's Chris Paul Harman. I'm thinking of dropping in before 4:00PM concert, and get the audio wand so we can listen to Yo-Yo Ma perform Bach's First Suite for Unaccompanied Cello for each segment of the Music Garden. Just think you get a personal performance by the maestro Yo-Yo Ma upon dropping $6.00 CAD, your piece of ID and picking up the audio wand from the Dock master's office.

Perfect way to wrap-up celebrating Canada Day and the long weekend I say!

Happy 144th Birthday Canada!