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.
April is just around the corner and the Easter holiday has arrived early this year and there is certainly a lot happening around the city in celebration of the first long weekend of warmer weather. In anticipation of warmer weather and a family filled long weekend, Our Home Toronto has put together a list of our favourite events happening this weekend.
1) The All About Pets Show: Beginning Friday and ending Sunday at the International Centre, the All About Pets Show looks after the four legged member or members of your family. This year marks the shows 2oth year and some of the major highlights include a wellness centre, seminars and shopping for your favourite four legged companion.
2) The One of a Kind Spring Show and Sale: The One of a Kind Spring Show and Sale hits Exhibition Place this Saturday. The show will feature more than 800 artisans and artists and is certainly the place to go if you are looking for that one of a kind gift for a friend or loved one, or if you are just looking to treat yourself. You will find everything from jewelry and paintings to furniture and textiles. Looking for something one of a kind- this is certainly the place to be.
3) Toronto Rock vs. Buffalo Bandits: If you are in the mood for a sports fix this long weekend don’t miss the Toronto Rock vs. the Buffalo Bandits. The games are at the Air Canada Centre which is very centrally located and the ticket prices are reasonable with a minimum ticket price of $18.75. Learn all about the team at www.torontorock.com.
4) Easter “Egg” Stravaganza: Head down to the Toronto Zoo to hunt for Easter eggs and spend the day with animals from all over the world. Sadly, the new pandas can’t been seen by the public yet, we will all have to wait until May for that!
5) Vintage Easter Parade: The Vintage Easter Parade is happening this Sunday with a fashionable stroll down Yonge Street. Young and old can participate and watch the parade for free. There will even be opportunities for photos at Yonge- Dundas Square. The parade route and further details can be found here: http://www.beeskneesdance.com/easter-parade/ Anyone can participate so put on your Sunday best and join the fun!
Tomorrow is Family Day! Ontario residents first started observing the family day holiday in 2008 and there are always a large number of fun, family friendly events that take place around the province and the city of Toronto during the family day holiday. In celebration of family and to help our readers enjoy the holiday Our Home Toronto has put together a list of some Family Day events happening around Toronto. These are just a few of our favourites:
1) Skating: The public skating rinks will be open including the rink at the Harbourfront which is hosting the HarbourKids Skating Festival. The festival will feature skating performances, dancing, theatre and concerts.
2) Casa Loma: Not only is Casa Loma a Toronto landmark but it also hosting a teddy bear extravaganza on Monday complete with a reading of Goldilocks and the Three Bears, tea, hot chocolate and cake. Tickets are $23 for adults and $17.50 for children.
3) Tiff Bell Light Box: The Lightbox will host a whole day of free activities from 10:00am. Arrive early so you and your family don’t miss the magic shows button making.
4) The AGO: The Art Gallery of Ontario is hosting a dance party this upcoming Family Day! For $39 for a family pass (2 adults and up to 5 children) you can also see family films, do a scavenger hunt and even try family yoga!
This year marks the 108th Santa Claus Parade. Taking place every year in November the Santa Claus Parade is truly the beginning of the Holiday Season in Toronto. With the parade being the start of the holiday season we here at Our Home Toronto thought we would let you in on some of the great holiday events that are hitting Toronto streets leading up to Christmas:
1) The Santa Claus Parade: The Santa Claus Parade began in 1905 and continues to go strong today. Thousands of people line the parade route to see all the colourful floats and catch their first glimpse of Santa.
2) Toronto Christmas Market: Starting Friday November 30 and running until December 16 the Distillery District come alive with the warmth and romance of traditional Christmas markets in the heart of Downtown Toronto. See live music, drink hot chocolate and take in all the beautiful sites and sounds of Christmas! Take a look at this video to see what awaits at the 2012 Christmas market Toronto Christmas Market
3) Cavalcade of Lights Festival: Leading up to the holiday season each Toronto neighbourhood will light up beginning November 18. The main display will be at Nathan Phillips Square but other participating neighbourhoods include Bloor-Yorkville, Bloor West Village, Rosedale and Little Italy.
4) Handel’s Messiah: Every year Tafelmusik presents Handel’s Messiah at the beautiful Koerner Hall at the Royal Conservatory of Music. You can also join in on the sing-a-long version on December 23 at Toronto’s world famous Massey Hall.