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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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LONDON – I was attending a tourism conference in this southwest Ontario city in mid-spring and walked into a large, industrial space in the Old East Village Area of town. There was a gleaming coffee shop off to one side; the sort of place that looks like one you’d find in Toronto’s West Queen West area or Vancouver’s Gastown. Past that was a lovely, bright grocery store selling lots of local foods and organic products. Behind that was a series of small businesses that it turns out are part of something called the London Food Incubator; a building that charges ... continue reading →

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I’ve been lucky enough to explore most corners of this vast country of ours. I’ve kicked around Quebec City, cycled around Calgary and even take a motorcycle sidecar tour of Halifax. I’ve also found more than a few places that I think deserve more attention than they get. Here’s a look at some of them. WOLFVILLE, NOVA SCOTIA With a tidy downtown that stretches only a couple blocks, this is a town you want to pick up and hug. There’s good local wine (try Luckett Vineyards on a nearby hillside with great views) and, of course, fresh seafood. I’ll probably ... continue reading →

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What a great study. I mentioned on Twitter the other day how I found a study that compared the cost of club sandwiches and a mini-bottle of vodka at various hotels around the world. That was fun. But now comes a far more exhaustive study that looks around the world at everything from the cost of a Big Mac to the price of a man’s haircut, a standard beer, a cheap date and the cost of a five-star hotel room. It’s useful information if you can believe all of it. But I’ll get to that in a minute. In the ... continue reading →

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Expedia’s climb in Canada has been remarkable. Fifteen years ago, Expedia.ca was just coming into existence. Most Canadians looking for hotels at the time used something called a land-line telephone at home to book hotels or even went without reservations and cruised the highways of Canada and the U.S., or the streets of Europe, looking for flashing vacancy signs in hotel windows. Now, Expedia.ca is the largest on-line travel service provider in the country and does $12 billion gross in business in Canada per year; a target they reached back in 2012. From zero hotel properties and zero airlines in ... continue reading →

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