Monthly Archives: January 2014

The Vancouver Aquarium: More that Just an Aquarium, It’s a Marine Sanctuary!

The Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre is one of the biggest aquariums in the whole of North America.  A visit to it is certainly a good idea when passing by the city of Vancouver in the Canadian province of British Columbia (or B.C. for short).

Local tourism has given the entire province the “Beautiful BC” title that is true in many respects, especially as it applies to the Vancouver Aquarium, which has been in existence since 1956.  It is home to 70,000 beautiful marine animals, in a sprawling facility with a combined total of 100,000 feet; and, two and a half million gallons of water!

You will find Beluga whales and dolphins dancing to every tune, but you will have a profound respect for the Vancouver Aquarium soon enough.  For this is not your resort-style commercial aquarium where you can sometimes imagine animals “working” in sweatshops.

The foremost goal of the Vancouver Aquarium is to educate first and to entertain later.  What this means is the vast collection of marine species of Noah’s Ark proportions is not meant to exploit the entertainment value of cute animals—but to remind mankind that the clock is ticking before these creatures are gone.

This explains why the Vancouver Aquarium houses a special section for frogs to highlight just how many species of frogs around the world are up for extinction.  Apart from the teasers or bite-size information posted on aquarium glasses, many marine scientists walk the talk in this massive marine sanctuary.

The Vancouver Aquarium is open to the public from 9:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. daily.  But the work of marine biologists are non-stop here, conducting serious researches on say, orca vocalizations or the very delicate terms of whale adoption.  So if you see a Beluga whale jump in the air and splash water all over you, do not think for a second that the animal is just trying to be cute!

As marine scientists have found out in this Vancouver Aquarium and marine science institute in one, the whales do this specific act not to flirt with the audience, but to express sheer pleasure with hunting as a pack in true wildlife. But before you get any Free Willy ideas, hear out more about what the marine coaches in this institute have to say.

Indeed, the Vancouver Aquarium is threading that fine line between circus and environmental conservation.  And it admits to doing this for the higher calling of saving more endangered species in the long run.  Here is one fine example, try Googling for “sea otters” and chances are you will come across the YouTube video of two cute sea otters holding hands.  Yes, these two are (or one is) Vancouver Aquarium residents.  Their names are Nyac and Milo.  Nyac passed away in September 2008.  The two creatures were rescued from the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill.

Tragic the demise of Nyac the sea otter may be, the Vancouver Aquarium admits that sometimes you have to exploit cuteness to get the public’s attention to the more serious subject of good environmental stewardship.  Well life is just like that.

Doctors are now keenly aware that having a cute animal for a companion, or just looking at one, may relieve stress, which in turn leads to cardiac arrest prevention over the long term.  So before you turn your back on the price of admission at the Vancouver Aquarium’s doors, just imagine how many cute marine animals you will be missing.

And you’ll be helping their cause, too, here at the Vancouver Aquarium.  Like for example the Pacific White-Sided dolphins which serve as a reminder that dolphins are the second most intelligent animals on the planet, second only to man!  Mind you, these excellent performers were actually rescued by Vancouver Aquarium staff when they got entangled in fish nets just off the coast of Japan!  Many of them have actual scars to show in their fins or skin.

So when you watch the dolphin show out here at the Vancouver Aquarium, don’t think for a second that it’s just a show.  Just imagine the traumas that many of these marine animals have gone through.  Even the Steller sea lions have a story to tell.

Certainly, the efforts by the Vancouver Aquarium’s dedicated marine science staff will not be in vain if you come out of the aquarium with the realization that many of the animals here have a lot in common with people.  Many of them are true survivors who learned to overcome their trauma and have moved on.

With that realization still fresh in your head, try taking a stroll of world famous Stanley Park, Vancouver’s 1,000-acre forest conservation area opened in 1888.  Chances are, you came to the compound of the Vancouver Aquarium from one of the park’s main entrances, so why not? Complete the journey!

Canada Place Vancouver

Even if you easily get seasick, there is still a boat in Vancouver on which you must go aboard: a boat that never leaves the harbor, and whose sails began as a few large toothpicks, some white pantyhose, and thread.[i] This “boat” is known as Canada Place Vancouver.

Canada Place was built on an old B. C. pier that was historic for docking ships from the Orient long ago. It was built as a “daring” building for the 1986 Expo. A pier was a fitting place for the theme of that World’s Fair, Transportation and Communication: World in Motion – World in Touch. Unlike most World’s Fair buildings, Canada Place was also built for the future.

The building resembles an enormous ocean liner. Because of the five eye-catching white sails atop the building, it has become a chief landmark of Vancouver, B.C., and a great place to begin your tour of the city.

As a visitor, you don’t want to miss taking advantage of the “promenade decks.” In addition to the self-guided tour ( with fascinating historical photos and anecdotes, it offers outstanding vantage points for taking pictures. You can watch seaplanes landing and taking off, passengers on cruise ships embarking or returning from Alaskan cruises, and other activities in the Burrard Inlet and Coal Harbour. You will have fascinating views of Stanley Park and downtown Vancouver, of the North Shore and its mountains.

Another feature unique to Canada Place is one planned by the architects—“an emotional collage as you move through and around the building. … Perspective views are created that are constantly narrowing or widening, opening this view and hiding another—sculptural forms that can be understood only from one vantage point.”[ii] Walk around looking for these kaleidoscopic views; you will be entranced!

There are frequent special events to attend ( and other attractions. Among those that occur annually are:

Canada Place is home to a number of interrelated functions:

  • Small shopping centre near the Pan Pacific Hotel
  • Restaurants, including the Five Sails waterfront restaurant—offering an “unforgettable combination of breathtaking views of Vancouver, award winning West Coast cuisine and gracious hospitality”  (, the Cascades Lounge—“the place to unwind, sit back and indulge your senses” (, and the Café Pacifica, which—among other things—encourages you to “enjoy the irresistible combination of exquisite Italian cuisine and live Opera as the Café Pacifica is transformed into a charming Italian bistro Saturday evenings.”  (
  • At the southern beginning of the pier, atop the business complex, is the 503-room, 23-story Pan Pacific Hotel. All rooms and suites of this five-star hotel offer panoramic views of the harbor, mountains, or skyline.  The Hotel lobby, extending onto a public deck, unfolds a resplendent view over the harbour and up to the mountains. A fountain sculpture, imitating the coastline of the Pacific Rim, flows into the lobby, cascading down a 20 foot high waterfall. (
  • Below the Convention Center is the Cruise Ship terminal—where most of Vancouver’s legendary cruises begin—primarily to Alaska, but also along 500 nautical miles in the Inside Passage on the west coast of British Columbia.  In 2001, Canada Place was expanded to make room for an additional cruise ship berth, for a total of three berths. For more than 30 years, the Port Metro Vancouver has been the primary homeport for Alaska cruises, offering passengers more ships and departure dates to choose from than any other port (the port includes terminals at both Canada Place and Ballantyne, with a combined total of 850,000 revenue passengers on 254 sailings from May to September, 2008).
  • A bus terminal lies near the Cruise ship terminal.
  • A 200,000 square foot Convention Centre—(In 2007 a new building—the West building—more than doubled the size of the Convention Centre to 470,000.) The two buildings are designed as a series of modules that can be combined or divided to suit the needs of any imaginable event.
  • Theatre—the world’s first permanent, ultra modern IMAX 3D theatre
  • World Trade Centre (Office Building Complex) “Just steps from downtown Vancouver’s financial district, world-class shopping and major transit hubs, the World Trade Centre is the ultimate address for any business that wishes to establish a prestigious presence in Vancouver.”

Eberhard Ziedler succeeded in making this building design both functional and magnificent. His architectural philosophy is to “transform functional and technical meaning into the emotional joy of using architecture. Technology is not an end in itself but a tool to create buildings that express the complexity of being alive, to respond to our emotional needs, making our lives richer and fuller by creating visual joy.”[iii] Canada Place is a perfect expression of that philosophy—so, enjoy the building and the anticipated, as well as the surprising things it offers.

[i] [i] From a personal e-mail from Alan Munn of Ziedler Partnership Architects, May 1, 2009. Munn stated, “Because the exhibit hall should be column free the structure needed to [be] supported at the edges. … EB Zeidler worked with Horst Berger (of Geiger Berger, the leading authority on fabric structures at the time) using stretchy white fabric (from pantyhose), thread and large toothpicks to come up with the prototypical model. The resulting structure resembled sails.”

[ii] From an unnamed article by chief architect, E. H. Ziedler, April 30, 1986. Sent to the author by Alan Munn of Ziedler Partnership Architects, May 1, 2009.

[iii] Ibid.

Visit Vancouver BC

Visit Vancouver BC, a city surrounded on three sides by beautiful sandy beaches like Kitsalano beach, Jericho beach and West End beach. Warmed by Pacific Ocean currents, it is protected by snow capped mountains to the north. Vancouver was signed into existence in 1886 and is now Canada’s third largest city.

Greater Vancouver boasts a population of 2.1 million inhabitants equal to half of British Columbia’s total 4 million population. Over one million of Vancouver’s inhabitants speak a language other than English. English and Chinese are the most common languages, followed by Punjabi, German, Italian, French, and Spanish and a potpourri of other tongues.

Sports in Vancouver BC

If you are a sports person, then you should visit Vancouver. There is no better place in the world than Vancouver for the boating and fishing enthusiast. There are miles of stunning coastline and endless waterways. Granville Island, Horseshoe Bay and Coal Harbour are home to most of Vancouver’s boat charter companies. Ask them where the best fishing spots are then charter a boat and head for open water.

Anglers will love to fish for the salmon, rainbow trout, steelhead, and sturgeon when they visit Vancouver’s local waters. Whether you are fresh water or salt-water fishing, you are required to have a license. Don’t worry, licenses are readily available at tackle shops, Army & Navy department stores, and all the marinas.

Outside the city, outdoors enthusiasts enjoy canoeing and kayaking, backpacking, camping and mountain biking as well as snowboarding and skiing in the winter. Walkers and joggers, cyclists and skaters can all take advantage of the many tree lined paths and trails throughout the city.

Some great downhill and cross-country ski facilities are located on Grouse Mountain, Cypress and Mount Seymour. These are great winter sport locations for Vancouver’s inhabitants.  Two hours north of Vancouver BC, are Whistler and Blackcomb mountains, internationally renowned for their great skiing. Vancouver will host the 2010 Olympic and Paralympics Winter Games beginning March 10th.

Things to do in Vancouver

Some of the most popular destinations are Vancouver’s public parks including the world famous Stanley Park and especially Queen Elizabeth Park. Known as “Little Mountain”, Queen Elizabeth Park is Vancouver’s geographic center. There are beautiful ornamental gardens full of trees and shrubs indigenous to the British Columbian coast. Visit Vancouver’s Queen Elizabeth Park for breathtaking views of the city,

Take a trip to Capilano Suspension Bridge; At 450 feet long, it is the longest suspended pedestrian bridge in the world. If you are squeamish or suffer vertigo, standing 230 feet over the Capilano River on a five-foot wide swinging bridge is not for you.

Yaletown, which used to be a rundown warehouse district, is now an upscale neighborhood full of boutiques and nightclubs. A trendy place and just a short walk from downtown; it is dedicated to entertainment and boasts many fashion and design shops.

The night scene in Vancouver is a mix of ultra-hip lounges, relaxing pubs and energetic live music clubs. If you are a night owl, there are plenty of fun dance clubs and late-night venues to keep you entertained. Enjoy the live music of any of the local bands and international groups that play the pubs and clubs.

Vancouver has many museums, theatres and art galleries, which you must visit as well as many great shops and antique stores. If you are a shopaholic, you really must come to the annual Shopping Festival held in early March.

Vancouver BC offers an amazing supply of attractions and things to do and see. No matter what time of year, there is always something going on that everyone can enjoy.

Visit Vancouver, it is the one stop shop for fun sport and entertainment. It has it all!

Things to Do in Vancouver

Through the airplane window, the view alone takes your breath away. Snow-covered mountains, a mighty ocean of deep blue, a cascade of low-lying misty clouds, and a cluster of shimmering skyscrapers join to create a unique landscape. Is it a movie set? A painted backdrop? A city existing only in dreams and imagination? No. It is Vancouver, the Canadian city tucked away beside the British Columbian Coastal Mountains and a corner of the Pacific Ocean. A visit to Vancouver is a perfect fit for all the members of a family. Nature-lovers,  urbanites, beachgoers, and culture buffs will all find many things to do in Vancouver, a West Coast haven.

Interested in the outdoors? Vancouver boasts two of the largest urban parks in North America: Stanley Park and Pacific Spirit Regional Park. Both easily accessible by the city’s extensive bus lines, these parks offer dense forests of towering cedars, firs, and hemlocks,  explored via well-marked trails and pathways. Stanley Park is perched on the edge of the main peninsula of the city surrounded by the popular nine-kilometer Sea Wall. The highlight of any visit to Vancouver, the Sea Wall offers walkers, joggers and bikers breathtaking views of the city, Stanley Park, and the nearby mountain range. When you’re done enjoying the Sea Wall, be sure to visit the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre located inside the park, a popular spot for families. Catch a shuttle bus to the Aquarium from the park entrance. Pacific Spirit Regional Park, on the west side of the city, offers 763 hectares of untamed forest and several rugged pebble-covered beaches, ideal for exploring on a warm spring afternoon.

Vancouver also offers two botanical gardens for the delight of flower enthusiasts: the Van Dusen Botanical Garden at 5251 Oak Street and the University of British Columbia Botanical Garden and Farm, located on the UBC campus.

Looking to get a little sun? Be sure to visit between the months of February and September to enjoy glorious sunshine on the many free public beaches. Kitsilano Beach, located at the corner of Arbutus and Cornwall streets, is by far the most popular, offering volleyball nets, a seaside restaurant, tennis courts, and the largest salt water swimming pool in North America.

Looking for some art, culture, and history on your trip? The University of British Columbia’s Museum of Anthropology is considered North America’s leading institution showcasing the art and artifacts of Pacific Northwest First Nations Peoples. The museum includes a gallery of works by Haida artist Bill Reid as well as a recreated Haida village open to visitors. You can find this museum on the campus of the University of British Columbia, accessible on the 99 bus line.

The Vancouver Art Gallery, located at 750 Hornby Street, features the world’s largest collection of works by BC artist Emily Carr, as well as several rotating exhibits. Vancouver’s Chinatown, located at Pender and Main streets, is Canada’s largest. Visit the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden and Park and the Chinese Cultural Centre Museum, or just walk the streets filled with exotic markets, medicine shops, and Chinese pottery stores. For a taste of Vancouver’s past, visit the historic area of Gastown, where the cobbled sidewalks, row buildings, and gas street lights reflect life in nineteenth century Vancouver. Other popular museums include the Vancouver Maritime Museum and the HR Macmillan Space Center, both located on a scenic piece of waterfront land at Cypress Street.

Eager for the classic urban dining experience?  Food lovers all over the world are beginning to see Vancouver as a restaurant mecca, as it offers many options that bring together East and West, modern and classic.  Vij’s, located at 1480 West 11th Street, is a modern, sleek update on the Indian restaurant, is fast becoming a Vancouver institution.  Visit Lumière at 2551 Broadway in Kitsilano, a French restaurant featuring the food of top Canadian chef Daniel Boulud. A fan of sushi? Vancouverites claim that their city boasts the best sushi outside of Tokyo. Try Tojo’s (777 West Broadway), the Eatery (3431 West Broadway), or Sushiyama (371 East Broadway). Looking for something a little more exotic? Try the Malaysian cuisine of Banana Leaf (2121 West Broadway) or the Indonesian food of Pondok (893 West Broadway). Or head to Commercial Drive on the number 99 bus line or Skytrain to try some Ethiopian or Salvadorian food! For a great place to buy groceries or grab a quick lunch, try the Granville Island Public Market, accessible from downtown by the number 50 bus or a short Aqua Bus ride across False Creek.

At the end of a long day of exploring, you will want a nice place to rest your weary head. Try one of the popular bed and breakfast options in Kitsilano or seek out elegance at the world renowned Fairmont Hotel Vancouver (900 West Georgia Street).

As you can see, there are many things to do in Vancouver. This city is a great weekend vacation destination, easily accessible from major cities in Canada and the United States.  Come and enjoy our unique corner of the world!

Top Toronto Restaurants

Toronto is one of the most exciting cities in the world to live in or visit.  Thanks to its diversity, Toronto offers an array of alluring dining opportunities.  Feast on local and international cuisine at Toronto restaurants for every budget and situation.

Everyday Cuisine at Toronto Restaurants

There are plenty of Toronto restaurants featuring everyday cuisine with extraordinary flair.  The Burger’s Priest is a fast, cash-only burger mecca with a California feel.  Their signature Priest burger is an indulgent cheeseburger with a deep-fried patty stuffed with cheese and Portobello mushrooms.

Mangez on the west end serves up healthy gourmet fare at affordable prices.  Bite into tantalizing sandwich selections with sides such as asiago and arugula.  Complete the meals with a steaming bowl of mushroom or French onion soup or a side salad.  Top the meal off with vanilla yogurt and fruit, coconut ice cream or Mercury Espresso.

Family-Friendly Toronto Restaurants

The Muddy Duck Restaurant is a family-friendly venue in Mississauga.  The menu for those 12 and under features faves such as fish and chips and chicken fingers.  Their weekend breakfast buffet includes bakery items and make-it-yourself omlettes.  Diners have the option of sitting near a welcoming fireplace or in a lush green solarium.

A fun family restaurant for travelers and locals is the Old Spaghetti Factory.  This Toronto establishment has a variety of attractive artifacts for children, including a carousel and old streetcar.  The restaurant was originally built in the 1800s and converted into a restaurant in the 1970s.  Kids and parents will love their pasta dishes at affordable prices.

International Toronto Restaurants

Carisma at King East is an Italian gem owned by Michael Pagliaro, known for Il Mulino in Forest Hill.  This new restaurants elegantly serves favorites such as pumpkin raviolini , smoked salmon and octopus.  Their impressive wine list is a perfect accompaniment to a mouthwatering Italian meal.

For over 20 years, Edo in Forest Hill is the perfect place for sushi and sake.  Fresh and attractively presented food is ideal for everyday dining and special occasions.  Choose from menu options such as soft shell crab, battered tuna tempura roll and black cod.

Le Montmartre, named after the 19th century artist’s quarter in Paris, offers an authentic fine French dining experience.  Owner and chef Marjie Caradant was trained in Paris and Toronto.  She opened her first French restaurant, Le Faubourg, 30 years ago in Aurora.  Le Montmarte has a graciously artistic atmosphere for intimate dining or private functions.

Dos Amigos Mexican restaurant is a family-friendly venue with a kid’s menu serving traditional favorites including tacos, tortilla chips with fresh guacamole and enchiladas.  Patrons choose the level of spiciness from mild to hot.  The restaurant also offers an extensive list of tequilas and flavored margaritas.

Toronto Restaurants with Well-Stocked Bars

For fine dining, wine and atmosphere, make reservations at 360 The Restaurant at the CN Tower.  With the purchase of a main course, diners enjoy an amazing revolving view of Toronto from an elevation of over 351 metres (1,151 feet).  The restaurant menu includes steak, seafood and vegetarian options.  They also have a “wine cellar in the sky,” the highest in the world, serving over 550 Canadian and international wines.

Enjoy casual gatherings with delicious food on a chic patio at Origin Restaurant and Bar.  Nibble on deviled eggs, a tuna hand roll and other tasty culinary delights prepared by Chef Claudio Aprile.  Sit at the bar and sip updated versions of classic cocktails with a fabulous view of St. James Cathedral.

Toronto Dessert Restaurants

Decadent desserts are the perfect ending to a tasty Toronto meal.  Adam & Eve Chocolatier serves up sinful chocolate at a cafe in downtown Toronto.  Madeleines, Cherry Pie and Ice Cream is located at The Annex with a sit-down outdoor patio serving breakfast, brunch and take-out dessert treats.

Exploring Toronto Tourist Attractions

Canada is known for many things, some of which are located in its largest city, Toronto. As one of the world’s most culturally and ethnically diverse cities, Toronto has a lot to offer visitors.

Some Must Visit Toronto Tourist Attractions

Like all major cities in the world, Toronto has some not to be missed tourist attractions. In fact, when it comes to deciding on which Toronto tourist attraction to see, it is difficult to make a choice. The picks for any visitor’s ‘must see list’ will vary depending on taste.

Some of these attractions include:

  1. The CN Tower

With well over two million visitors annually, this Toronto landmark has earned its place among the modern wonders of the world. In fact, it was once the world’s tallest free standing building. Visitors flock to its observation decks at 1,222 feet above the ground to get an unbelievable view of the area. For anyone who wants to experience eating in a revolving restaurant, this can be done at the CN Tower, 360 Restaurant.

  1. Chinatown

Interestingly, there is more than one Chinatown in the city, but visitors will be guided to ‘the Chinatown’. This one, located in Downtown is the busiest and by far largest of them. Here is the place to experience authentic Chinese food. Beautiful oriental souvenirs can also be purchased in the area.

  1. Toronto Waterfront

Whether or not you love water and the ocean, the sheer beauty of this spot is worth the trip. It also provides a perfect photo opportunity to serve as a memento of your time in Toronto. To top it off, this scenic spot provides the perfect background for other attractions in the area. These include the CN Tower and the Ontario Place. Depending on the timing of your visit, you may also be able to attend events such as Caribana, the Toronto International Film Festival and WinterCity. These are just a few of the events held at the Waterfront.

  1. The Toronto Zoo

Sure there are zoos all over the world, but each is unique in its own way. When it comes to Toronto tourist attractions this zoo is right up there with the most popular ones. With over 5000 animals representing at least 500 different species, the Toronto Zoo is worthy of note. There are exhibits from every region of the world.

Unlike many other zoos, here there are walking trails and an interactive zone where kids can have fun while learning about animals. One of the most attractive features is the Tundra Trek where one can see Polar bears in action. The Gorilla Rainforest will also be a hit.

  1. Toronto Islands

The Islands are accessed only by ferry. No cars are allowed which makes this a nice change from the mainland or the bustle of city activities. There are walking and bicycle trails, picnics areas, amusement parks and of course beaches.

  1. Canada’s Wonderland

For family fun in Toronto, few places if any, beat Canada’s Wonderland. Here visitors can choose from over 60 rides to provide thrills as they build holiday memories. There are also shows for all age groups so kids will never feel bored.

If you are looking for great shopping opportunities then the Eaton centre is where you want to be. With in excess of 250 stores shopaholics will have a field day as there is a wide selection of international retailers in one place. To fully experience this setting may take an entire day.

Toronto Tourist Attractions: The Paths Less Traveled

Like many other places where tourists flock, Toronto has a lot that will thrill visitors and locals alike, but some are not on the beaten path. These attractions can be called Toronto’s hidden gems for want of a better term.

Lovers of great historical architecture will want to take a look at Casa Loma. In fact, this formerly private home is really not so hidden, but it may be overlooked in a city full of wonders. The tour takes visitors through most of the rooms in this magnificent castle, as well as the gardens.

Of course, these are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Toronto. As with any large metropolis, Toronto tourist attractions run the gamut from the breathtaking to laid-back, simple pleasures.

Things to do in Toronto – Sports, outdoors, and so very much more!

Toronto is the largest city in all of Canada and offers all of the things that you would expect from a major city, such as museums and theaters, but it also offers many things that you would not expect. The geographic location of Canada’s most populous city provides it with a unique opportunity to enjoy both the excitement of the big city and the casual lifestyle that can come only from getting close to nature.  The city’s climate also lends itself nicely to winter sports. In fact, Toronto is possibly best known for its sports teams.

Canadians are known for their love of hockey and there are numerous opportunities to enjoy this sport while visiting this great city.  The Toronto Maple Leafs hockey club has one of the largest fan bases in the sport and any home game is an opportunity to be a part of the excitement.  However, the Maple leafs hockey team is not the only team in town.

The Marlies is a minor league team that once was part of the Toronto Marlborough Athletic Club along with the Maple Leafs. The Marlies play from October thru April, and offer plenty of opportunity to witness a home game at the Ricoh coliseum. The Marlies also offer an opportunity for the little tykes to get involved with the sport through their “The game is fun” program, which allows small skaters to practice their skills out on the ice.

The Hockey Hall of Fame is another opportunity to appreciate the sport. Located at 30 Yonge Street, this museum is dedicated to the history of hockey and the players that have made it such a great sport. The HHF holds exhibits about players, teams, the National Hockey League (NHL) records, memorabilia, and NHL trophies, including the Stanley Cup. This is a great way to learn more about the sport and to share with the children a bit of history and possibly even a chance to point out some of your favorite players.

While hockey makes up a big part of the sports scene in Toronto, it is not the only opportunity to watch professional sports. For the baseball fan the Blue Jays, or Jays as they are popularly referred, offer plenty of opportunity to watch some of the best professional baseball available. The Jays are the only team in the MLB not located in the United States, to ever win a World Series. The Jays season runs from April thru September and the home games are played at the Rogers Centre, formerly known as the SkyDome.

While discussing sports in Toronto it is important to remind you that what Canadians call football and what Americans call football is entirely something different. The sport of Football, or Rugby, is popular in Canada and there is plenty of opportunity to enjoy this sport. The Brampton Rugby Football club was established in 1962 and currently has three men’s and two women’s teams that offeran opportunity to witness the local talent in play.

If you are an avid sport spectator and desire to find a great place to get good food, drink and an opportunity to watch the game, then you should consider stopping at the Football Factory located at 164 Bathurst Street. This sports bar is a great opportunity to watch televised Rugby games and be part of the fun. They promise to be open any time there is a televised game.

While there is obviously plenty of opportunity to enjoy sports on all levels, the city of Toronto offers so much more than just sports. As mentioned above there is plenty of opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors.  The Ontario countryside offers an abundance of professionally maintained hiking trails that are located close to downtown Toronto including the Don Valley Hiking trails.  There is also plenty of opportunity to enjoy the sites of downtown on foot.

No discussion on the great outdoors in Toronto would be complete without the mention of Niagara Falls. The Canadian side of the falls is only an hour and a half drive from downtown Toronto. This makes a great side trip for the family. The time spent to get there will be well worth it. Be sure to visit the falls both during the day and at night, for the lighting display on the falls is truly incredible.

One way to take in all the great sites, that this area has to offer, is to explore the CN Tower. This observation tower has been declared by the American Society of Civil Engineers to be one of the seven wonders of the modern world. The top of the tower is located over 1,800 feet above the city streets, the observation deck and restaurant are located over 1,100 feet above the ground, and the sky pad is over 1,400 feet high. It is said that if the sky is clear enough you can see to Niagara Falls, over 100 miles away.

While the above-mentioned attractions have expressed some of the sports and outdoor activities available this is just a short list of things to do in Toronto. There are also an endless array of shops and restaurants to visit, along with plenty of opportunity to enjoy Toronto’s location on Lake Ontario.  The list of water front activities include the Boardwalk, the Harbourfront center, the Gibraltar Point Lighthouse, and of course the beaches. There is even a clothing-optional beach on the west side of Hanlan’s point, for those that are truly daring.

Historic Toronto hotels that provide a touch of the past

Toronto is truly one of the most diverse and exciting cities in the world. The fifth largest metropolitan area in all of North America and the most populous city in Canada, Toronto is without a doubt a world-class travel destination.  There are few places in North America that offer the history that Toronto does and few hotels in the world that provide a better opportunity to enjoy the class and sophistication of yesteryear then some of the Toronto hotels.

Dispersed among the streets of downtown are some Toronto hotels that have been here since long before the fire of 1907 that almost destroyed the city. Furthermore, some of these facilities have existed since her conception back in the mid 1840’s. One such hotel is the Fairmont Royal York. This grand hotel sits on the site of one of the very first hotels in all of Canada. While the current structure opened in 1929, it is the third hotel to occupy this site and is evidence of the rebirth of the city after its devastating fire. The original hotel was named the Ontario Terrace and opened in 1843.

This facility, located at 100 Front Street West, offers over 1,600 rooms and was the largest hotel in the entire commonwealth at the time it opened. Being historical does not imply that a facility is old and tired, on the contrary this hotel offers old world styling with modern day accommodations and conveniences.  The rooms and central gathering areas are furnished with large comfortable furnishings and decorated to reflect the elegance of yesteryear while still providing the comfort that the modern day traveler has come to demand.

While many hotels claim that they are ‘fit for a king’, the Fairmont Royal York truly is fit for a Queen. In fact, this historic building has been the Queen of England’s home away from home on more than one occasion. The queen and her entourage typically reserve an entire floor of the hotel, with the Queen staying in the Royal suite itself.

Nestled near the financial district, the Le Méridien King Edward Hotel (37 King Street East), or King Eddy as it is colloquially identified, has offered world-class accommodations since 1903.  This facility has been subject to renovations and its original grandeur has been restored. The King Eddy has been the center of a bit of history itself, it is here that John Lennon, and Yoko Ono stayed prior to their famous “Bed-in for Peace” episode in 1969. Moreover, the entire Beatles band stayed in the very same suite in 1964 when 3,000 fans bombarded the hotel. It is also here that in 1964 there was a picketing by the “moralists”, who were outraged that Liz Taylor and Richard Burton were sharing a suite while they were not married to each other.

While the King Eddy is not nearly as grand in scale as the Fairmont Royal York, it does offer equally as elegant accommodations. The current management purchased the hotel in 2010 and is committed to traditional hospitality while still offering sleek modern sensibility. While there are only 298 rooms, each room offers old world turn of the century charm.  The new management has refurbished the rooms and provided the ultimate in style and comfort.

On an even smaller scale than the King Eddy is the Isabella Hotel and Suites. This facility, which houses only 39 rooms (31 standard rooms and 8 suites), is actually housed in two historically significant buildings in the St James section of town.  The first structure is a renovated mansion and the second structure is a tower. The property, which opened in 1891, resembles a fairy tale castle on the outside with its stone exterior and an ultramodern structure on the interior, with lots of glass, marble and chrome. Those that prefer something a little more private than the typical hotel will find this facility to be ideal.

While the downtown area of Toronto is certainly one of its most exciting and interesting areas it is by far not all that this great city has to offer. Actually, Toronto is broken into several small districts and one of the most elegant and selective of these sections is the area referred to as Yorkville. This area slightly north of downtown is considered one of the most fashionable districts of Toronto. It is in this district that the Windsor Arms Hotel can be located. (At 18 Saint Thomas Street, to be exact.) The Windsor Arms is considered by many to be the most opulent and elegant facility in all of Toronto and has in fact been rated by Conde Nast Travel Magazine as “the #1 hotel in the entire city”.  Built in 1927, this boutique hotel offers a full service spa, a highly regarded steak house, and a quaint tearoom known for its exceptional tapas menu.

When it comes to opulence and sophistication this great city certainly has plenty to offer. The above-mentioned Toronto hotels are just a few of the many world-class facilities that offer luxury and convenience and a chance to step back in time. When visiting Toronto you certainly wont run out of temporary housing options, but why settle for the standard hotel when you can be taken back to a grand time of opulence and sophistication.

Canadian Poker Players

Poker in Canada – If you’re not involved, you’re missing out!

Are you a Canadian and love poker? Perhaps you’re interested in poker but have yet to really get involved? Maybe you have recently come across poker online but would like to know more about the offline world and who the stars are? This is the perfect article for you to find out a decent amount of information regarding poker and who plays it in Canada!

The number of people playing poker in Canada continues to grow every day, and the majority of these players are involved in the online poker world. This doesn’t mean the offline world of poker in Canada is dead, far from it! In fact, Canada has casinos and poker rooms in Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Nova Scotia, Ontario and Saskatchewan – the poker scene is alive and well, but who are the stars? Who can we look upon as role models? Who can give us the inspiration we need to get more involved in poker and training?

There are quite a few famous Canadian poker players for you to study, watch and most importantly; learn from. Who?

Daniel Negreanu plays poker professionally and has won four World Series of Poker bracelets and two World Poker Tour Championships. In a 2008 report, Daniel had winnings in excess of $11,200,000 – leaving him in second place on the all time money list behind Jamie Gold. As a person, Daniel is a very goal-orientated person always setting himself new goals and challenges – this is the type of attitude that has sent him to the top of the poker world and can be learned from. In 2006 Negreanu was named “Favourite Poker Player” at Card Player Magazine’s Player of the Year Awards Gala in February 2006.

Who else is well known within the poker scene?

Isabelle Mercier is a massive female role model – playing poker since her pre-teens, Isabelle has gone on to win over $800,000 dollars playing poker both off and online. Mercier has her own DVD instructing you on how to play poker and she also has her own biography. Isabelle is a member of the PokerStars online poker room ( and has enjoyed a lot of success there. If you’re young, female and ambitious then looking up to a role model such as Isabelle is probably something you already do! If it isn’t, then why not?!

If you’re looking for a true Canadian poker player to learn from and follow then you should look no further than Randy Blumer. Randy is widely accepted to have started the multibillion dollar online poker industry with his site Planet Poker (in January 1998). When Randy converted his site to a real money site in January ’98 it became the first online site to do so, stamping Randy’s name in history.

In order to properly understand the game of poker you need to study other players and of course, practice a lot!  You never know, you might get lucky like Glen Chorny; a Canadian poker player from Waterloo, Ontario. Glen has only been playing professionally since January 2008 and has already won the biggest cash prize ever in Europe of over €2 million Euros!

The game of poker in Canada is forever increasing in popularity with the number of Canadians (or Canucks!) playing skyrocketing in recent years. The potential winnings in poker today, especially online, is enticing more and more amateur players in Canada to get involved; eventually leading to more professional players. The World Wide Web has given us the chance to get involved with other players from around the globe, whilst staying true to our routes and interacting with other Canucks at the same time.

Poker sites that accept Canadian dollars!

Are you interested in playing poker online but you can’t find many poker sites that accept Canadian dollars as a deposit method? Perhaps you’re a regular Poker player but you’re struggling to find Canada-friendly sites? Whatever your situation, finding sites that accept deposits in Canadian dollars is a tough, time-consuming task, through reading this article you will be able to not only find the best sites that allow you to use your Canadian dollars, you will find out the best ways to search for them.

You want to win enough money to retire early, but the poker sites won’t even let you give them your hard earned money?! Don’t worry; I have saved you several hours of trawling through search engines below. is one of many sites I managed to find that accepts Canadian dollars as a deposit method; you can use VISA, MasterCard, Western Union, MoneyBookers, Instant Checks / eChecks, FirePay and many more methods of payment. At peak times this website is one of the best sites to be on, with over 200,000 players logged on.

Another great site is; you can even pay with Bank Transfer and Maestro! The list of accepted payment methods and withdrawal methods is slightly longer than on, and there are a few bonus codes such as 25SUPER which gives you $25 free after you have played 500 hands (so long as you deposit $50 or more). The downside of is that it does not accept players from the USA; however, this does mean you are dealing with a company who know how to deal with Canadians and their currency.

One of the most popular online poker rooms is; the best thing about this site is that it lets you take complete control of your gambling lifestyle from one easy to use account; if you wish to play poker, places bets or play in the casino you can do them all from this one account.  Whilst the list of accepted Canadian deposit and withdrawal methods is quite limited compared to the other two, the ones they do accept are the most commonly used (Visa, MasterCard, Checks, MoneyBookers and Wire Transfers).

If it’s the best deposit bonus you’re after, is the one for you; a 150% deposit bonus up to $500 and $25 free cash is available, with many others if you search. At peak times this site welcomes over 40,000 users, easily enough for you to make your millions from! The deposit and withdrawal methods for Canadian dollars include all the major ones listed above and a few others.

When searching for other sites, you need to know what to enter into the search engines.  A few simple phrases such as “poker sites that accept Canadian dollars” and “Canadian dollars poker deposit” will be sufficient, but don’t forget to read the terms and conditions before you enter any agreement.