Tucked away between Toronto’s Chinatown and Little Italy lies one of the oldest and most visited neighbourhoods. Designated a National Historic Site in 2006, Kensington Market is a vibrant and diverse neighbourhood. As immigrants have come and gone from the ‘hood, they’ve each left a mark by the variety of goods and services available. Fruit and vegetable stands line
up alongside European cheese shops tucked in between butchers and bakers. A long time tailor and haberdashery shop is near a Middle Eastern take-away, a tattoo parlour and an Army Surplus store. The partially outdoor market is a rainbow of colours and scents as
vintage garments hang out beside new pieces from local designers which are nearby to a lively Caribbean Cafe.
Each trip to Kensington Market brings out a new tapestry of this vibrant neighbourhood, stop by and paint your own picture.
Since I’m in Toronto for North by Northeast Interactive, Film & Music Festival I thought I’d share the experience, with a few fun ways to fill your day at the Fest.
1. Learning; some great topics are covered in the hundreds of Interactive sessions. 2. Relaxing; the rooftop pool at host hotel Hyatt Regency on King is a great way to recover from the night before’s late night. 3. Parties; music organizations, labels, production companies and major brands hold non-NXNE events and parties at great spaces & venues all over town 4. Music; the largest component of the Fest is the music – hundreds of shows across the city including free shows every night at Yonge-Dundas Square. It’s a great chance to discover that new buzz band or unsigned gem 5. Eating; wrap up a late night with some amazing (and cheap) pizza in Little Italy. The next morning start the day with some tasty crepes and fresh fruit at Cora’s near the Hyatt and you’re ready to start all over again!
Perched on the outer edge of Victoria’s busy Inner Harbour, the Inn At Laurel Point is an oasis of tranquility. I recently had a chance to stay at the hotel again, it’d been a few years since my last stay. Located at the end of a no-through street with only the harbour and some quiet condominiums as neighbours the Inn is positioned to offer each guest room great views over the water. The wings of the hotel wrap around a beautiful Japanese garden featuring meandering stone paths, ponds and waterfalls. As you wander, you may catch the chef of Aura Waterfront Restaurant and Patio, located just off the hotel lobby, tending to his herb garden. I know first hand that the Gardens make a great location for weddings and celebrations.
The Inn has two wings of guest accommodation, the Laurel Wing offers comfortable, well appointed standard rooms. Also in this wing are the indoor pool and a small but good quality fitness centre. The rooms in the Erickson Wing are luxurious, spacious and modern appointed each with a large balcony overlooking the Japanese Garden or Inner Harbour. The Inn at Laurel Point truly feels like a getaway resort but being just steps from downtown Victoria is has the best of both worlds and is definitely worth a look on your next trip to Victoria.
If you’re like me and you don’t often venture beyond the Vancouver city limits, this summer is a great time to cross Boundary Road and head over to Burnaby for some terrific concerts in the part. The Burnaby Summer Concert Series features a great line-up of acts playing in the great outdoors at the beautiful Deer Lake Park. It’s a terrific location on a nice summer evening to listen to hand out on the great lawn, listen to some great tunes with a scenic backdrop.
This year’s series features:
For more information and to win great prize packages to the Burnaby Summer Concert Series visit Tourism Burnaby
The Oak Bay Tea Party wrapped up it’s 49th year in spectacular fashion! Under beautiful sunny skies this fun community event closed with an air show over the waters off of Willows Beach.
Begun in 1963 as a ‘one time only’ community day, the event proved so popular it’s been the staple Oak Bay kick off to summer ever since. Not only is the Oak Bay Tea Party a fun community event, the completely volunteer run weekend is also an opportunity
Kicking off with a parade through the Victoria suburb of Oak Bay and wrapping upwith the Air Show, there is something for everyone at this venerable fun fest. Concessions selling corn on the cob and baron of beef are huge hits alongside the traditional fair food; hot dogs and mini-donuts. Midway rides for all ages, face painting, bands and dancing, competitions and games, bathtub races are all part of the weekend.
The main objective being for every one, young and old, to have a good time. And judging from the smiles on faces, even those waiting in long lines for ride tickets, everyone was indeed having a great time. I’m sure as they celebrate 50 years in 2012 it will be an even bigger and better Oak Bay Tea Party than ever before.
Sometimes overshadowed by the more famous and visible cultural institutions, like the Vancouver Art Gallery and Museum of Anthropology, the Museum of Vancouver is definitely worth a visit.
Located in picturesque Kits Point, adjacent to the H.R. MacMillan Space Centre and nearby Maritime Museum, the MOV is a hidden gem. The museum is divided into two spaces, the east wing catering to visiting exhibitions and the west wing, the permanent collection.
Currently the east wing is featuring “Bhangra.me : Vancouver’s Bhangra Story” in
collaboration with the Vancouver International Bhangra Celebration Society the exhibition runs until October 23, 2011. A collection of oral recollections, personal artifacts, instruments, costumes, posters, pictures and music it tells the history of South Asians in Vancouver and how Bhangra is integral to their local and international cultural identity.
In the west wing you wind your way through the permanent collections as they tell the story of Vancouver, from it’s humble, logging village beginnings to the tumultuous 60’s through to the modern day. Great artifacts and memories abound as you peak into each vignette and display.
Although a smaller scale than some of it’s larger competitors the Museum of Vancouver isn’t any less packed with history and information. It should be on everyone’s list to check out and learn a bit more about Vancouver.
The Museum of Vancouver is located at 1100 Chestnut Street, Vancouver BC Hours: Winter (Sept – June) : Tues-Sun 10am – 5pm, Thurs 10am – 8pm, Mon Closed Summer (July – Aug) : Mon-Sun 10am – 5pm, Thurs 10am – 8pm