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Move over, Ossington. East-end Toronto is coming on strong. For years, the trendy sorts in this city have been flocking to West Queen West and Ossington Avenue. And for good reason. Places such as Boralia and The Black Hoof on Dundas and Rhum Bar have been knocking people’s socks off. I think, though, that things might start shifting east. There are fantastic places in Riverdale and Leslieville. And now there’s a great food and drink outpost in a part of the East End you might not have expected a couple years ago. I was lucky enough to have drinks and ... continue reading →

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LISBON – A glam resort feel minutes from the centre of a great city. The four-star Lisbon Marriott offers a “best of both worlds” approach to visiting one of Europe’s great cities; a place that is both close to the heart of the action and a relaxing spot where you can swim and work on your tan. Not to mention a boutique feel and snazzy bar area populated by attractive locals and visitors alike. The lobby creates an immediate impression in any hotel, and this one is a lovely cross between a modern business hotel and something with a more ... continue reading →

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Good. But not good enough. The Jamaica Minister of Tourism, the Honourable Edmund Bartlett, was in Toronto last week to talk about tourism in Jamaica. Last year some 380,000 Canadians visited Jamaica. That’s good, and Canadians spend more than most tourists, but it’s below the record of 400,000, Bartlett said. In a report in the Jamaica Gleaner, Bartlett said the Canadian market dropped 6.8 per cent in Jamaica last year. Which is why he was in Toronto to talk with travel planners, Canada’s major airlines and journalists. He told the Gleaner the meetings in Canada “are a crucial part of ... continue reading →

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ON THE BRUCE PENINSULA OF ONTARIO – Zane Davies is guiding me on a hike to the Lion’s Head Lookout in Lion’s Head Provincial NatureReserve. “I went to a beach place in Mexico and it was nice,” he tells me as wind our way along the ancient Niagara Escarpment, sunlight slanting through the deep green trees overhead. “But there weren’t any mountains.” Later, after showing me a rock formation that’s basically a hollow, vertical tube with an opening at the top and a space you can crawl into, he tells me he’s also been to the Rocky Mountains of Canada. ... continue reading →

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NEW YORK CITY – A sleek downtown hotel with great rooms and a wonderful bar. And a nearby place to sleep with an awesome restaurant and a cool rooftop patio. I was lucky enough to spend a few days in booming lower Manhattan in August. It was truly amazing to see the kind of re-construction being done around the site of the former World Trade Centers that were destroyed in the terrorist attack on Sept. 11, 2001; nearly 15 years ago today. And there’s perhaps no better place to see it from than the W Hotel Downtown. W Hotels have ... continue reading →

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HAMILTON – It had never occurred to me. Like many Ontario residents, and a lot of other folks, I’ve driven along or over the Niagara Escarpment hundreds upon hundreds of times. I’ve always enjoyed gazing up at the rock face and admired the way the escarpment snakes its way through southern Ontario. I’ve skied on it and walked on it and driven over it on countless occasions. But I’d never taken a minute to think about what happens when it rains on the escarpment. Naturally, the water collects in small creeks and streams and even small rivers, right? Just like ... continue reading →

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WINDSOR – I was following my Google maps and heading into central Windsor to meet a fellow for a bike tour that would take us to a couple craft breweries and one of Canada’s best burger places. I wasn’t paying much attention to the surroundings, but was instead concentrating on making the turns that my iPhone kept reminding me to take. When I finally stopped the car and really looked around I was in a gorgeous neighborhood surrounded by deep red, brick homes with lush, vibrant gardens. The pale green and white hostas seemed to glimmer that extra bit and ... continue reading →

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