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NOTE: THIS ITEM FIRST APPEARED EARLIER TODAY IN POSTMEDIA NEWSPAPER WEBSITES ACROSS CANADA: LAC BROME, QUEBEC – “I don’t want something that starts big and then goes ‘pfffffttt’ after two seconds. I call that a quickie.” Leon Courville is pouring some of his wines for me at his pretty, barn-like winery in Quebec’s Eastern Townships and explaining how he emphasizes making wine with structure. His St.-Pepin, a white wine made with a grape that does well in cold climates, starts a bit thin to my taste but finishes with a nice, lingering, chardonnay-like finish I quite like. “I think people ... continue reading →

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WestJet is doubling down on Toronto and adding more flights from Calgary and Kelowna, too. The moves will give Canadians lots more options for getting around Canada and escaping for some winter sun. WestJet today announced an additional 55 weekly non-stop flights this winter from Toronto Pearson International Airport to key domestic business destinations as well as popular sun spots in the U.S., Mexico and the Caribbean. The service is part of the airline’s seasonal schedule for the winter of 2017-18. “This additional service means business travellers will be able to take advantage of increased frequencies and more convenient schedules ... continue reading →

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An item on the Newsday website says that Toronto’s own CN Tower is the 11th most photographed landmark (or at least the 11th most hashtagged landmark) on the planet. That’s a bit surprising in some ways, as it puts what was once the world’s tallest freestanding structure higher on the list than such notable places as The Taj Mahal and even Buckingham Palace. Then again, it IS a very large tower and it’s in a huge city that’s very close to not only millions of Canadians but tens of millions of Americans who want to come up and take advantage ... continue reading →

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Advanced reservations at one of Canada’s best restaurants. And at a bargain price. Aeroplan this year is a key partner in Toronto’s Summerlicious restaurant program, which allows folks to book outstanding city dining spots at substantial discounts. More than 200 restaurants are taking part in the program, which this year began on July 11 and runs through Monday, July 23. Diners are offered three-course dinners at a fixed price at restaurants across the city, with just about every style of cuisine you can think of. I was able to get advance reservations at Nota Bene, a hot restaurant that’s often ... continue reading →

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TORONTO – Bisha Hotel Toronto designer Alessandro Munge of Toronto’s highly successful Studio Munge is talking about his relationship with Bisha owner and developer Charles Khabouth. Munge has been friends with the Toronto nightclub and entertainment impresario for two dozen years and knows what he likes and what pushes his buttons. “It’s a constant push for quality, quality, quality,” Munge told a group of journalists on a preview tour Wednesday afternoon. “If it’s exciting, he’s okay with it. But if not, well, ….” I’m no designer, but I’ve seen a lot of hotels in my day and I can safely ... continue reading →

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Okay, that headline is a bit dramatic. I mean, Canada has cities like Vancouver and mountains like the Rockies. Not to mention Quebec City. But I’ve felt for years that the people and culture of our Maritime provinces and Newfoundland (I think I’m supposed to call it Atlantic Canada) are perhaps the most unique part of this country, and an area we should be pushing much, much harder. I have ideas about a lot of things, as my family can attest. But one thing that’s often struck me is how different Atlantic Canada is from the USA’s New England. They’re ... continue reading →

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A former snowboarding champion turned celebrity chef who wants to use a uniquely Canadian snack as part of his menu at a posh new downtown Toronto hotel. Akira Back is not your typical chef, and his restaurant at the coming Bisha Hotel Toronto promises to be just as fun and quirky. In a telephone chat on a day when he was getting ready to fly to Korea, Back told me he’d like to use ketchup-flavoured potato chips in one of the dishes at the Bisha Hotel Toronto, which is set to open sometime in October and will be home to ... continue reading →

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