I checked out the first Toronto Flower Market of the Season at 99 Sudbury today and picked up some flowers for my Mom. They’re doing it twice a month for the season, check out the dates at www.pickontario.ca
Great way to start the day 🌷
Happy Mother’s Day Mom!
Category Archives: Places To Go
I checked out the first Toronto Flower Market of the Season at 99 Sudbury today and picked up some flowers for my Mom. They’re doing it twice a month for the season, check out the dates at www.pickontario.ca
Clearly I’ve been missing for quite some time. I’ve been tied up to the max with work. I miss you blog. But more on that later, as I plan to get back on the train.
Tonight I went to the pre-screening of The Great Gatsby and I left the theater fully inspired!! Inspired to dress-up more often, inspired to party more, and inspired to listen to new music – especially Lana del Ray (love her).
I hardly ever go to the movies and I hardly ever sit through a movie at home. I get sleepy, or I can’t sit still, or I just don’t like it enough.
I went into Gatsby thinking it was going to be long and just ok, and it was long, but it was captivating.
I read the book in high school and I’m not going to say the book was better because 1) I hate when people try to sound smart by saying they liked the book better and 2) I couldn’t even remember it that well, so the movie was definitely better. I absolutely loved the costumes and the perfect cast and how gorgeous everything looked, including dreamy Leonardo DiCaprio. I wore a Gatsby-inspired outfit – a cream coloured knit top with a cream coloured crochet skirt, and lots of accessories – pearls, bracelets, rings, and earrings.
I definitely recommend going to see this movie, it won’t disappoint.
Yesterday I wore my Levi’s bootcut skinny jeans to the Junction Flea. The bootcut skinny is perfect paired with flats for exploring the city on a Sunday afternoon. I went for a 70′s bo-ho look, inspired by Stevie Nicks. Floral top is from Skylark (my favourite store on Abbott Kinny); lace vest is from H&M, hat is by Goorin Bros., and my bag is vintage coach. Sunglasses are from Opticianado (best eye wear store in Toronto).
The Junction Flea is Toronto’s newest outdoor antique market that happens monthly at Dundas and Keele. It’s similar to the Brooklyn Flea and features a mix of antique decor, handmade jewelry, vintage clothing, and delicious food. It’s fab! You should definitely check it out if you like markets.
Also, keep a close eye on my Twitter feed, as I’ll be doing a contest to win a $300 gift card from Levi’s! Holla! JD
The next flea is on October 14th
From the busy streets of New York to Ontario wine country – part 3 of my trip was spent in Prince Edward County.
If you follow my Facebook page, you already know how obsessed I am. I heard PEC was becoming the new Niagara-on-the-Lake and that it was a cute place to visit, but that’s it. Having zero expectations made the experience that much sweeter. It was funny timing because Toronto Life came out with a Guide to Prince Edward County the day we got there. We followed a bit of it, but discovered a lot of other great stuff too…
This trip solidified my obsession with barns
A lot of people don’t know about Prince Edward County, and have no idea that it’s in Ontario, but that’s fitting because it’s a magical place and feels SO far away from home. The closest big city is Bellville but the little towns you want to go to are Picton, Bloomfield, and Wellington.
In a nutshell, PEC used to be all dairy farms but in 1999 they discovered the land was excellent for growing grapes – fast forward a decade and the county now has 32 wineries! Driving down the country roads to the wineries felt like the Great Ocean Road in Australia (no exaggeration). We went to Closson Chase, Rosehall Run, The Grange, Norman Hardie, Waupoos Estates, and the Cider Company. Each place was awesome and some had beautiful views of the lake.
Old converted church at Closson Chase
County Cider Company – sipping delicious peach cider
Waupoos Estates Winery – unreal views and unbelievable food (explosion of flavours).
In addition to the wineries, and perhaps the best part (in my opinion) is the countless outposts of antique and vintage shopping. We’d be driving along the road and see a barn with an ‘antiques’ sign and I’d yell “pull over!” The most exciting shop was City Revival in Picton – a vintage shop with great designer finds. I bought an evening dress and I can’t wait to share with you *eeeeee*
Dead Peoples Stuff – that really was the name
A major highlight is the spectacular Dunes Beach in Sandbanks Provincial Park. Here we spent the day floating on rafts in the water. It was so peaceful we fell asleep and drifted away.
Slickers Ice Cream – listen to Toronto Life and get the apple pie ice cream. They mix 2 freshly baked apple pies into the ice cream and oh man it’s delicious.
Angeline’s Hub & Inn – great place for tapas and cocktails, and an awesome place to stay.
The towns have so much character and the houses have an undeniable charm. The locals are extremely nice and you can tell they’re excited and proud of their sleepy-turned-cool-destination town. I would be too. The drive is 3 hours from Toronto and it’s definitely worth a weekend trip – even for one night. I am one thousand percent going back, it’s the best. JD
Part deux of my vacation was unexpected. We were on our way to the airport from Brooklyn (or so I thought) when the cab driver took an obscure route right through the city’s core. I started to panic and thought we were going to miss our flight. I was sure he was taking us for a ride to jolt the cab fare, and just as my temper started to rise, we pulled up at The Ace Hotel. The boy told me to get out because we were staying a little bit longer. I jumped for joy. I had never been surprised like that before. To think I was heading home and suddenly get 2 more days in NYC — now that’s what I call a rad surprise. The Ace Hotel definitely tops the chart for the coolest hotel I’ve ever experienced. The decor, design, staff, and details are beyond clever and impeccable.
The Ace Hotel
The hangers at The Ace Hotel
We spent our extra days strolling the best parts of the city – West Village, Nolita, SoHo, and Lower East Side. We also walked the Highline Park and had a little picnic in Central Park. And by picnic I mean we picked up some cherries and watermelon from the closest deli, and sat on a blanket given to us by German tourists. Worked for me.
During the day we stopped for a Mexican snack at the coolest garage converted restaurant ever – Tacombi at Fonda Nolita. At night we sipped cocktails at The Ace Hotel’s lobby bar, ate dinner at Momofuku (scrum-didle-y-umptious), and hit up speak easy bars like Milk & Honey, and The Back Room.
Me looking like one of those giant bats
The Back Room
Lower East Side
Caught in the act – eating a cupcake from Magnolia Bakery in the West Village.
I almost forgot – I called this post Melting in Manhattan because it was SO HOT it was unbelievable. The word heatwave isn’t strong enough to describe it. But I honestly loved it. Cannot wait to go back. I love NY! JD
This summer has been the most fun. I’ve been up to so much I don’t even know where to begin. I just got back from an amazing summer vacation – it was a little bit city, a little bit country, and a little bit cottage – the ultimate mix of joy. First stop was NYC with the boy and a group of friends. We stayed in Williamsburg and explored a whole lot of Brooklyn including food and artist markets, vintage shops, hidden gem bars, and delicious restaurants.
For this post, I’ll show you the Brooklyn part – markets, cool bars, and delicious food. Stay tuned, more to follow. JD
View from our Air BnB condo in Williamsburg
Artists & Fleas indoor market – lots of jewelry
Great handmade bathing suits at Artist & Fleas
Thrifting at Beacon’s Closet
Beacon’s ClosetTchoup Shop – mouth watering New Orleans grub
Smorgasburg – a delicious food market. Same spot as the Brooklyn Flea, but a different day
Mexican fare from The Fat Beagle
Afternoon beer at Radegast Hall & Biergarten – so amazing and authentic
Marlow & Sons – AWESOME little restaurant. Obsessed with the cottage-inspired decor
Marlow Goods – cool stuff for sale in the restaurant
If you’re not into Air BnB but want to stay somewhere cool in Brooklyn, I highly recommend Whythe Hotel – we took a little tour and it was nothing short of spectacular coolness.
After a few glorious days in Montreal, we came back to the city and continued our vacation. It’s fun to play tourist in your own city. We hit a Jays game, went to Canada’s Wonderland, ate delicious food at St. Lawrence Market, and discovered some amazing beaches just outside of the city – one was Bluffer’s Park Beach at the foot of the Scarborough Bluffs – which is a sight not to be missed. It’s a little far east, but worth the trek at least once this summer. It’s extremely sandy, the water is safe to swim in, and the backdrop of huge cliffs makes you feel worlds away from the city. The other beach was Humber Bay Shores along the Lakeshore path. Cross the white bridge and keep riding your bike about 10 minutes west until you find a rock that says ‘reconciliation.’ It’s an incredible spot that feels like cottage country. The water is crystal clear and amazing. Both spots are great alternatives to the island and the beaches.
Amazing shot my friend took – the sky was purple!
Bluffers Park Beach, Scarborough Buffs
Cross this bridge along the Lakeshore path and keep heading west to find amazing inlets of beaches
I’ve been to Montreal a handful of times but this was the first trip that I really explored a lot, weaving in and out of side streets on Bixi bikes, and taking the metro around to local spots.
Being there for Jazz Fest was pretty amazing. I had no idea it was the biggest jazz fest in the world. There were about 7 stages on the grounds with free shows playing every hour on the hour from noon to midnight. It was quite the scene attracting hundreds of thousands of people from locals to tourists and artists from around the world.
Other highlights included the Jean Tallon market – a giant outdoor market in Little Italy. Felt like a market in Europe!
I finally went to Schwartz’s for a smoked meat sandwich and Fairmont Bagels – I absolutely loved how authentic they were. For restaurants we went to Au Pied Du Cochon and Garde Manger – two of Montreal’s most desired spots. They were ridiculous from the locations, to the vibe, to the food, everything was fantabulous.
We stayed at Hotel Zero 1 – a cute boutique hotel in a perfect spot, just around the corner from Jazz Fest.
Jean Tallon Market
Au Pied Du Cochon
Yes I actually ate it and it was crazy delicious
I actually ate this too! Smoked Meat Sandwich
Vino on the roof top of our Hotel (Hotel Zero 1)
Forgot to mention I went back to Le Scandinave Spa in Old Montreal and I’m so glad I did. I have never been to a more relaxing and awesome spa ever. YOU HAVE TO GO!
It’s evident by now I simply love hidden gems. While The Roxton is not exactly hidden, it’s definitely a gem. Located on Harboard St. near Ossingotn, it’s a perfect size spot with a street-side patio and a cozy, eclectic inside. I think the building used to be part house, part wine making place. I’m not exactly sure, but there’s an old sign that suggests it. There isn’t a sign that says The Roxton, or if there is one – it’s very small and discreet, hence – the hidden part. I went for drinks recently and enjoyed the patio first and when it became a bit chilly, we sat inside. The service was spectacular for such a small little place. The servers were friendly and on it. In addition to good music, a great atmosphere, and a delicious menu, they have a games list which was unexpected and fun. We played Connect Four while sipping our cocktails…a funny mix of childhood and mature-hood. Even though I’ve only been here once, I keep suggesting it to people and will definitely be back. It’s a great date place and good for a group of friends too. Best of both worlds. Check it out at 379 Harbord St. JD
I first learned about Dutch Dreams cafe from Breakfast Television, but I never knew exactly where it was. After a stroll through Wynchwood barns and down St. Clair West, we stumbled upon this eclectic building that looked like a fun house. It was the famous ice cream shop – Dutch Dreams! It’s a family run place that has been serving homemade ice cream for 25 years. You can’t help but feel like a kid inside this place – there are streamers, toys, candies, so many different types of ice cream and they top each cone off with fruit and whip cream. It’s truly decadent. Put this place on your ice cream hit list, it’s a gem. You can find it at 78 Vaughan Road, just north of St Clair St West. JD
Where is your go-to spot for after work drinks? Mine changes depending on season and what’s new, and right now I’m loving The Oxley on Yorkville Ave. My friends and I were hoping to keep this spot a secret but Toronto Life and BlogTO blabbed about it, so now everyone knows about this gem. I love everything about it – from the green wood paneling, to the mismatched china and chairs, the stellar back patio, delicious fish and chips, and the best part of all – the adorable powder room on the 2nd floor. You have to see it in real life to know what I’m talking about. Check it out at 121 Yorkville Ave. You will not be disappointed! JD
I have a slight obsession with Vietnamese food. I can legitimately eat it everyday. My favourite Pho go-to spot in the city is Golden Turtle on Ossington, but there are so many other good ones I frequent on College, Dundas, and Spadina – I don’t even know what they’re all called. But I decided to bust out a recipe and attempt making it myself. I’m no culinary genius but I didn’t do so bad. I followed this recipe and voila! It was satisfying and tasty, but I do love me some Golden Turtle. Especially #80. Can’t wait for my next bowl. JD
See ya soon GT
On Friday night I went to Steam Whistle for their Unsigned indie music series. They’ve been doing this event for the past 5 years and it’s pretty awesome. For $5 cover you get to see a few amazing bands play at the brewrey’s Roundhouse that haven’t been signed to a record label…yet. This time it was Cai.ro, The Wilderness of Manitoba, and Amos the Transparent. They were all great but I particularly loved The Wilderness of Manitoba. They had such a good sound and stage presence. It’s a cool event definitely worth checking out and a sweet venue too.
Amos The Transparent
Pretty CN Tower
I didn’t get an outfit pic, but I wore leathery leggings, white t-shirt, chambray shirt, and my leather moto jacket. Kinda like this outfit here. It’s my standard go-to. JD
I live in the West end so it’s rare that I venture out to the far land of The Beaches, but I decided to bike over to The Burger’s Priest. Finally. I’ve seen one too many Facebook statuses about this amazing burger. A big line-up greeted me out the door of a tiny burger joint, and inside a crew of boys cooked up burger after burger. I liked the blaring rock music, and the priest details like crosses and a confessional booth partition between customer and meat. Perhaps we’re supposed to feel guilty for such an indulgence? I think not. The burger did not disappoint but I have to admit I thought it was going to be bigger! I was pretty hungry after the long bike ride and the burger was actually quite tiny. But I confess: I ordered the basic cheese burger. You have to order the priest or double burger for a big ordeal.
There aren’t tables inside The Burger’s Priest so I took my little burg and fries down to the Beach. I normally really like ‘the beaches’ but this particular day was insanely busy. It was filled with non-locals, and endless carts selling cotton candy and peanuts. It felt more like the CNE and that ain’t cool. I’ll only go back when it’s dead. Looking back on my pictures, I’m craving hard. Why are burgers so good?! JD
I liked these kites.
Speaking of double burgers, this is one of my favourite scenes from Good Will Hunting. ‘Chuck I had a double burger. I know what you ordered, I was there!’
To escape the city this past weekend, the bf and I took our bikes on the GO train and headed to St. Catharines. After 2 bike malfunctions and a few wrong turns, we made it to the first winery called 13th Street Winery. It’s a beautiful and homey place with a bakery too! From there we went down the road to Creekside Estate Winery for another tasting on their rustic outdoor patio. We then stumbled upon an amazing cheese store called Upper Canada Cheese, where we hung out eating cheese and drinking vino on picnic tables. We then headed a bit further into Jordan Village to stroll Main street and checked out Cave Springs winery. It was an amazing city escape and felt like we were on vacation. There’s so much do and see in wine country and biking around Niagara in general. Definitely worth the day trip! JD
Outfit for wine touring – H&M Dress + comfortable shoes c/o Skechers
Cheese made in house
Recently I went to Barque Smokehouse on Roncy. Everyone has been ranting and raving about this place for a long time, I had to check it out for myself. To my surprise it was packed on a rainy Monday night and I had to wait 30 minutes for my table even though I had a reservation. Madness. But good madness, it means the city is alive.
As you could guess, the menu is all about meat and BBQ. I’m not a heavy meat-eater but I definitely enjoyed the selection of ribs, lamb, and chicken. Unfortunately we didn’t get a chance to try the brisket because they ran out….30 minutes before we got our table! That was a bummer because if we were seated on time we would have made it for the brisket. I’ll just have to go back. Check out Barque at 299 Roncesvalles Ave. You won’t be disappointed. JD
I absolutely love Toronto’s Hot Docs Festival – North America’s largest documentary festival. We’re so lucky. I went to see the HBO documentary About Face: The Supermodels, Then and Now – a film that features the legendary models from the 1940s through the 1980s. Featuring Isabella Rossellini, Jerry Hall, Beverly Johnson, Christie Brinkley and more, they reflect on their experiences of working in an industry built on beauty, and how the perception of beauty has changed over the years. Some of the women had plastic surgery and many are still working models to this day. They loved the independence a career in modelling gave them, but they also felt very insecure as their looks were critiqued every day. I loved this film and how charming and candid the women were. It was interesting to hear what went on behind the camera and in their minds. I highly recommend it….check out the trailer below. JD
When I first saw PIOLA restaurant I was actually in Mexico. The sign looked familiar and sure enough, Toronto had just opened one up too on Queen West. Piola is a casual pizzeria with locations around the globe serving thin crust pizza over a rotating stone oven, as well as pasta, and delicious desserts. It’s a welcoming neighbourhood spot that hosts local events like the Monday night mixer, and it’s family friendly too.
I tried the burrata pizza because that’s my favourite type of cheese, and my friend had the salami and arugula pizza. They were both delicious. For dessert we tried the pana cotta and tiramisu. Craving……
The next night I was inspired to make my own pizza…..
I lied, my man friend made the pizza. He also art directed this photo. Thnx DT!
I went to Ici Bistro on Harbord street a few days ago for a lovely birthday dinner. It’s a tiny little gem that serves French fare…or what foodies call cuisine nouveau classique. The food is melt in your mouth delicious, and you can see the chef cooking in the open kitchen. We chose the tapas route and selected smaller plates to share so we could try more. It’s a fine dining experience with top-notch service, but it’s not stuffy – the atmosphere is lively yet relaxing. Enroute magazine voted Ici Bistro as one of Canada’s top 10 restaurants last fall. I would totally recommend this spot, but make your reservation in advance, the 24-seat bistro fills up fast and months in advance. Happy weekend! JD
538 Manning (at Harbord St.)
Seared scallop, king crab, and poached lobster
Tiny Tim size dessert = no guilt
Spent the day strolling the ocean in sunny BC! These pictures were taken in Kitsilano beach and I definitely look like a lumberjack. Denim shirt from Zara, puffy vest from Joe Fresh, and plaid jacket from Aritzia. It’s not as warm as the heat wave in Toronto, but the sight of mountains makes up for it. Enjoy your weekend! JD
The Toronto restaurant scene is all about meat and comfort food these days and so many new places keep popping up. On the weekend I went to Hopgoods Foodliner for dinner and The Ace for drinks – both on Roncesvalles. I never go out on Roncesvalles so I felt like a tourist in my own city, which was part of the fun.
The menu at Hopgoods is East Coast comfort food, based on the chef’s Halifax upbringing. It was a busy little place with good music and a small, to-the-point menu. We tried the mini donair which was delicious, the famous hot crab dip (a recipe passed down from the chef’s grandma), and the sweetbread stew.
Too full for dessert, but not too full for a cocktail, we went a few doors to The Ace. I absolutely loved the vibe and will definitely go back for dinner or brunch. It’s a cool diner style gem of a place. I highly recommend! JD
There’s something I love about converted churches. Church condos, party venues like the Berkley and the random church on College st. by Kensignton Market. But I had never been to a converted church restaurant/bar before until last night.
Church Aperitivo Bar on Queen West (at Dovercourt) opened to the public last night and I was so curious to see the inside. I really loved what it looked like, especially the original church ceiling they kept in place. The vibe is chic but friendly too and the food and cocktails were delicious.
It’s a great place to meet friends after work…every Tuesday to Saturday from 5 – 6:30 pm they offer complimentary appetizers as you sip cocktails. Sweet deal. Check it out at 1090 Queen St. West. JD
I had the pleasure of attending the Jason Wu for Target event yesterday morning at their pop-up shop on King West. I’m usually not one to get hyped about designer collaborations with mainstream retailers, but this one was legit and I was pleasantly surprised! The pieces were pretty and feminine, and made me want to dress up and go for a spring walk while holding tulips in my hand. The best part was good quality material and affordable prices.
Jason Wu spoke to a crowd of excited fashion media and bloggers, and famed stylist Brad Goreski was in attendance too! Looking forward to the real Target stores. Sweetness. JD
Just got back from an amazing trip out west and I’m missing the mountain air. I stayed in Canmore and went snowboarding four days in a row – Sunshine Village, Kicking Horse, Lake Louise, and back to Sunshine. The views were incredible, it was sunny, and the weather was pretty mild. I’ve always wanted to experience those spots….it adds to my Canadian credibility.
I was a bit scared on the steeps and hurt my knee on a rock, but I’m still in one piece so all is good. Here are a few of my favourite shots….