Attractions & things to do for the kids in your life

TORONTO FUN BLOG

LOOK INSIDE Toronto Street Art Strolls!

Toronto joins the ranks of the big cities with serious STREET ART

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There has been an explosion of murals in Toronto since 2015! The 192-page glossy walking guide Toronto Street Art Strolls, a fourth for local author Nathalie Prézeau, will point you in the right direction for hot street art spots in Toronto: murals, graffiti alleys and public art.

CLICK -----> HERE to buy the book!

It features the gems in 43 Toronto neighbourhoods, with tips on good places to get your caffeine fix or decadent treats along the way (plus a bonus section with Toronto outdoor events and artsy out-of-town getaways to tempt you). Check out the following free excerpt including the table of contents and three full Street Art Strolls with self-guided maps. Whether you are a local playing tourist in your own town or a visitor on the lookout for Toronto's colourful side, Toronto Street Art Strolls is sure to give a purpose to any of your urban walks! It includes over 1,000 photos of street art with their locations, self-guided maps, cafés, patios, and cool shops selling patisseries, ice cream, artisanal chocolates, cupcakes... Enjoy!

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A new tradition at Hudson's Bay for 2016

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I went to check if the new Saks Fifth Avenue at Yonge and Queen had affected our beloved tradition of Hudson's Bay Christmas windows. The answer is... yes and no. There are still lovely tableaux with animated characters. But Santa's world has been replaced by an Enchanted Forest filled with animals, with animations in the background. Loved it! (Click on the image above to see a clip of this display.)

Not to be outdone, for its first Christmas, Saks Fifth Avenue came up with an explosion of colours in its windows featuring glam dolls in wonderfully kitsch tutus amidst whimsical garlands. Good job!

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Click on the next image for a video clip of Saks' Christmas display:

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Nathalie's walk around Book City in The Beach

From an author to a bookseller: Thanks Book City!

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Book City turned 40 on October 1st, 2016.

I loooove Book City, and not just because they've carried my guides from the beginning. Love the fun selection we can always count on in the front store, love the themed tables, love the deals, and above all, love the fact that they've been able to survive in a very competitive industry by being a strong presence in their neighbourhood.

As a gift to Book City and their customers on this special milestone, I'm posting FREE excerpts of fours walks around the four Book City stores included in Toronto Urban Strolls 2. This should give you even more excuses to visit these fantastic independent bookstores!

So here's THE BEACH Soothing Stroll (Stroll #12 in Toronto Urban Strolls 2), which you can combine with a visit to Book City at 1950 Queen Street East. (Click here for Nathalie's walk around Book City on Danforth.)


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Book City turns 40 years and there's gonna be bargains!!

From an author to a bookseller: Happy Birthday Book City!

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Book City was turning 40 this Saturday October 1st and they offered 30% off on ALL BOOKS in their four locations (fiction, non-fiction, children's books, guides, etc) all day long. Their ads must have been very effective! So many people went to check info on their website site that it crashed on the day before!

I loooove Book City, and not just because they've carried my guides from the beginning. Love the fun selection we can always count on in the front store, love the themed tables, love the deals, and above all, love the fact that they've been able to survive in a very competitive industry by being a strong presence in their neighbourhood.

As a gift to Book City and their customers, in the coming weeks I will post FREE excerpts of fours walks around the four Book City stores included in Toronto Urban Strolls 2. This should give you even more excuses to visit these fantastic independent bookstores!

So, below is my DANFORTH Back Lanes Stroll (Stroll #13 in Toronto Urban Strolls 2), which you can combine with a visit to Book City at 348 Danforth Avenue. (Posted Sept. 30, 2016)

Click here for THE BEACH Soothing Stroll (Stroll #12 in Toronto Urban Strolls 2), which you can combine with a visit to Book City at 1950 Queen Street East. (Posted Oct. 29, 2016)

By the way, my warehouse tells me that I'm down to 80 copies of the 5,000 copies I printed of Toronto Urban Strolls 2. I won't do a second edition just yet as I'm currently busy working on my new walking guide Toronto Street Art Strolls (to be released in Spring 2017). Another thing to celebrate!

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About Toronto Beaches Water Quality

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This page will be your best friend all summer long!

I'm often asked by concerned parents if the water is safe in Toronto beaches (quality wise). Bottom line: YES! Except following a rain storm, which disturbs the sediments for a while, Toronto's waters usually past the quality tests for safe E. coli bacteria count

The good news is the City of Toronto takes its water very seriously and you will find a page on their website, with daily updates on the quality of the water for eleven beaches! Check it out, or call the Beach Water Quality Hotline: 416-392-7161. 

Here's the list of the Toronto beaches visited by Toronto Fun Places, from west to east:

Sunnyside Beach, Hanlan's Point Beach, Gibraltar's Point Beach, Centre Island Beach, Ward's Island Beach, Cherry Beach, Woodbine Beach, Kew Beach, Balmy Beach, Bluffer's Beach Park, Rouge Beach.

Checklist for a fun beach outing:

Apart from the usual (your favourite kind of sun protection, beach towel and bathing suit), here are a few things I've been known to bring with us (that made my family very happy) or that I forgot to bring (and made everyone a bit less happy... but they got over it), happy I brought with us.

  • Cooler with goodies (in small portions in plastic containers)
  • Frozen bottles of water to keep things cold in your cooler... and drink later on
  • If you bring an illegal bottle of wine, make sure to bring the corkscrew! (We forgot once... real torture)
  • Beach blanket
  • Beach toys including a big sturdy plastic truck with ben, beach balls, cheap kitchenware to play in the sand, different sizes of containers, any kind of spraying device. Even better: give your kids a little budget to go to the Dollar Store the day before. 
  • A little pop-up tent for kids to play (change) and get a break from the sun
  • Big foam noodles
  • Water shoes if you go to a pebble beach
  • Some mchange to buy frozen treats
  • Consider a few water games (taken from one of my Pinterest boards) and plan to bring the required material

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Buy the book Toronto Street Art Strolls

Nathalie's tips for a smooth outing

After years of doing all kinds of outings with my children, I can assure you the secret to a perfect outing lies in the details, not the destination.

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