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Archive for the 'Gardens & Walks for Life' Category

Japan’s Gift … To Toronto

It may seem like spring is taking its time to arrive this year, but I am sure there are some spring surprises just around the corner. In fact, one of my favourites happens each year in High Park with the blooming of the cherry blossom trees. Once the cherry blossoms are in full bloom we know that spring has officially arrived.

The Sakura or cherry blossom trees as they are probably more commonly known were a gift to Canada and Toronto from the Japanese Ambassador to Canada in 1959, and they have been a tourist attraction for locals and visitors alike ever since. Amateur and professional photographers alike flock to High Park when the trees are blooming just to catch a glimpse of the beautiful pink flowers and the crowds seem to increase on a yearly basis. Because of this Our Home Toronto has a couple tips to get the best view of the cherry blossoms once they finally bloom.

1) Head to High Park to see the cherry blossoms after work on a weekday to avoid the weekend crowds.

2) Take public transit. There is limited parking in High Park.

3) Be prepared to walk. The trees are beautiful and most are located around Hillside Gardens. Here is a good map to guide you.

According to www.highparktoronto.com the trees have not bloomed yet, and are not expected to bloom until late April. Typically, the blooming lasts for a week to a week and a half if the weather is good.

Happy viewing!

Spring Cherry Blossoms

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GREEN Inspiration!

401 Richmond Street roof top gardenHave you been searching for some green to incorporate into your city lifestyle? It may be hard to believe but there are a number of green initiatives taking place right in downtown Toronto. From government buildings to historic sites more and more builders and planners are realizing the importance of green buildings. With the help of a publication from the Canada Green Building Council and www.greenroofs.com, Our Home Toronto has put together a list  of five of  the  great green building projects happening all around the city.

1) The Fairmont Royal York: The Fairmont Royal York boasts a well known rooftop garden which started in 1998. According to greenroofs.com the 4000 sq. foot space grows herbs and tomatoes that are used in 6000 meals per day. Tours of the rooftop garden can be arranged for visitors and residents of Toronto when they attend afternoon tea at the Fairmont Royal York.

2) 401 Richmond: Home to “140 artists, cultural producers and micro-enterprises” (Toronto Focus: Canada Green Building Council), 401 Richmond Street offers visitors and tenants use of there 6,500 sq. foot green roof free of charge. The space offers not only a multitude of plants but also a “downtown view that includes the CN Tower.” (401richmond.net/gardens)

3) Toronto City Hall: Toronto City Hall’s Green Roof is part of the revitalization of Nathan Phillips Square. In order for the green roof to be green roof 401 Richmond constructed “3,250m sq of concrete was converted to vegetation” (Toronto Focus: Canada Green Building Council).

4) Minto Roehampton: According to the Canada Green Building Council,  this is Canada’s first LEED Gold multi-unit residential building. Highlights of the green initiatives the building offers residents include: automatic turnoff of overhead lights and ventilation systems, dual flush toilets which reduce water consumption and individually monitored heat and electricity.

5) The Evergreen Brickworks: The green projects taking place at the Evergreen Brick Works are quite extensive. According to The Canadian Green Building Council just a few of the improvements to the well-known event space include: a computerized network that controls lighting, ventilation, heating and A/C. Other major projects include a green roof as well as attainment of LEED status.

As you can see, Toronto has many green projects. Whether you are already a Toronto resident, moving to Toronto, or just visiting be sure to visit some of these great green projects in the heart of the city.

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Exquisite Ravine Home with Pool Oasis

100 Applefield Dr is an exquisite home that offers truly unbelievable value. The home features a gourmet chef’s kitchen with 7 premium appliances as well as a spectacular pool oasis with direct access to Birkdale Park. This 2,296 sq. foot home also features an amazing wood burning fireplace,pepper maple hardwood floors a heated salt-water pool, and 5 patio areas with perennial gardens. Visit OurHomeToronto.com for many more fabulous home listings or contact me directly at 416-931-4161.

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5 Great Toronto Halloween Activities

Halloween is one of my favorite times of year.

Below are 5 great ways to explore Toronto and enjoy Halloween with family and friends.

1) Casa Loma

casaloma_nightCasa Loma is offering a number of festive events this halloween season. Activities include scavenger hunts, pumpkin carving competitions and many others. The Canadian Castle has created a destination in Forest Hill this fall.

The pumpkin carving contest is open to children 13 years of age and younger. It runs Oct. 31 from 11 a.m. until noon. Admission is $15 for children (plus tax) and $18.19 (plus tax) for adults. All carving participants must be accompanied by an adult. (Carving tools and pumpkins provided!)

Pre-register by calling (416) 923-1171 ext. 205 or ext. 215.

2) The Haunted Walk

Haunted walks are always a exhilarating way to learn about the spooky history of your neighborhood. Below are a few suggestions;

I) The Haunted High Park, Colborne Lodge Drive.
Colborne-Lodge2This Family-oriented tour is organized by the city and runs Oct. 23 from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. and Oct. 30 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. Pre-registration and pre-payment are required. Cost is $10 for adults and $5 for children (plus tax). Period refreshments are included. The walk is not recommended for children under 8.
For more information call
Colborne Lodge

II) Muddy York Walking Tour
Muddy York Walking Tours offers a number haunted walks around the city. I would recommend “The Haunted Streets of Downtown Toronto” tour. There are a number of other walking tours available through Muddy York.

Tours are available from Oct. 8 to Oct. 31 every night at 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Recommended for children aged 8 and older. The cost is $10 for ages 17 and up, $8 for children under 17.
For information on other tours offered by Muddy York follow the link below

3) Screemers at Exhibition Place

screemersSince 1992 Sceemers has been scaring people silly! The event consists of 6 walkthrough haunted features, carnival rides and a theater presentation, all included in the price of admission.
Screemers located at Queen Elizabeth Building and is open evenings from Oct. 16 to Oct. 31. Not recommended for children under 10. Admission is $28.50 (plus tax).

For more information follow the link below

4) Pumpkinland at Whittamore’s Farm

A short drive from downtown Toronto, Pumpkin land offers families a great way to spend the day! Pick your own pumpkin, go on wagon rides, watch the pumpkin cannon show, climb the two storey tree fort and don’t forget to pick up a pumpkin pie!

Pumpkinland is located at 8100 Steeles Avenue, East Markham and is open daily from September to Oct. 31 (including holidays); from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Cost is $10 (plus tax) on weekends and holidays. On weekends, a family of 4 costs $36 (plus tax). On weekdays, admission is $6 per person age 2 and up.

For more information follow the link below

5) Boo at the Zoo and Halloween Howl at the Toronto Zoo

Boo at the Zoo is an annual event aimed at children under 12 (who get in free) and features the Kids Zoo, storytelling, a creepy walk, magic and more.

Halloween Howl is a sundown event that educates visitors on the ways of wolves and First Nations culture.

Oct. 20 to 24, 30 and 31. Event is free with Zoo admission. Children under 12 wearing costumes are free.

For more information follow the link below


-E.A.M Consulting & James Metcalfe  REALTOR® BROKER

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Gardens Gardens Gardens … The Best Of




Toronto Homes & Gardens
Toronto Homes & Gardens

The Best Gardens

… have one thing in common. Commitment!
Dig in and create a year round oasis of perennials, fountains, herbs, lights, and especially beauty! Every garden reflects your personality, taste and creativity. Marry it with your homes architecture and it’s like framing a beautiful work of art.
There are numerous garden centres on every corner of the city. One of the favourites in the centre core is Summerhill Nursery & Floral  . For one of the largest selection visit Sheridan Nurseries with 9 locations around Toronto
Happy Gardening
… Coming soon; eating what you plant, seasonal advice from the experts.