NorthShore at Port Credit in Mississauga: Very popular, Very Pleasant, Very Upscale

Location, Location, Location

The old real estate adage about what sells is once again proven true with the condominiums of NorthShore at Port Credit. In fact, when the tower was only sixty-percent done, all of its million-dollar home suites had already been sold. Its other one and two bedroom models, many with dens, sold quickly thereafter.

Village-Like Atmosphere

Who could resist? Within steps of the tower’s entryway, shopping, dining, waterfront trails, and beautiful parks can be found. Even though the 22-storey building may seem anathema to the idea of a neighbourhood, most of the purchases have been made by local folks who are familiar with the village-like atmosphere of the area.

All the Amenities Luxury Can offer

NorthShore is a lovely contemporary glass, concrete, and brick building containing more than 200 homes. It offers its owners and their guests fabulous amenities such as a fully-equipped gym, a large dining room with a fully equipped kitchen, and a huge party room featuring a grand fireplace and resplendent bar.

Convenience and Liveability

To further enhance the convenience and liveability for its owners, public shops and services are in place on the ground floor. Of course, a concierge will be on duty twenty-four-seven. The building boasts a large, sunny courtyard as well as a rooftop garden situated on the building’s architectural podium.

All the Features a home Owner Could Want

NorthShore homes feature forward-looking, open-concept spaces with soaring nine-foot ceilings. The penthouse homes on the top three storeys boast 10-foot ceilings. These penthouse homes also offer full-height, wall-to-wall windows, and large balconies or terraces.

Modern Homes, Modern Living

Open or enclosed kitchens are available, depending on model. Many homes feature master bedrooms with en suite bathrooms as well as large walk-in closets. Some two-bedroom units have cozy breakfast areas and bedrooms on either side of the main living area, thereby increasing privacy.

Adding Glimmer to the Shine

Beautiful and durable granite counter tops, splendid oak hardwood floors, and, of course, modern stainless-steel appliances are among the standard finishes. Each home suite also comes with parking space and a large storage locker. Remarkably, the monthly maintenance fees amount to little more than 40 cents a square foot.

Lively Lakefront Summers

The perfect neighbourhood for the water lover, Port Credit is also a popular summertime destination for community events, such as the annual Southside Shuffle Blues and Jazz Festival and the Mississauga Waterfront Festival. The tourism industry thrives during the summer months as the area abounds in natural beauty and benefits from the cooling effects of Lake Ontario.

Owners Appreciate the Appreciation

Port Credit Village has grown to include over 400 residential units – including luxury town houses, live and work unit concepts, and a number of waterfront condominiums – plus commercial venues and office space. Because of the continued demand, condo investors seeking upscale rentals and individual owners seeking a comfortable home, have seen the value of their property appreciate appreciably every year since purchase.

And that’s My Take (Surely, That Can’t Happen Here)

As professional armchair critics, we take immense pleasure in highlighting the flaws of other countries while basking in our own supposed superiority. Some of it is in jest, or in sport. Some use a comparative analysis case such as the delivery of health care services in Canada versus that of the united states. And then there is the sobering contemplation of the differences in the world respecting rights and freedoms.

All in all, we in Canada and United states are pretty darn lucky to have been born under a flag that was secured by the blood, sweat, and tears of those who came before us. Probably our greatest flaw in securing these precious rights and freedoms has been how we have treated our aboriginals (a shameful course of events that still cry for a resolution). And while we are far from perfect, we are generally regarded throughout the world as shining beacons of freedom.

Good for us.

As we learn of deplorable human rights violations and suppression of freedoms in foreign countries, it is perhaps one of the few times when we concretely revere just how fortunate we have become, and at the same time convince ourselves that surely, such repression can never happen here. Certainly, we would not tolerate similar abuses. Absolutely, it would incite a revolution.

Surely, certainly, and absolutely it already has happened here. This year. And you either were unaware your rights were violated, or you were aware and you did nothing. Perhaps you were too afraid to speak out? You might have had a wee taste of the conditions under which a great many of the world’s population live.

A clear and very recent example of your rights being trampled occurred during Toronto and area’s hosting of the G8 and G20 Summits, that spendthrift hosted by Canada that proved once and for all that yes, you can spend more than a billion dollars on goose-stepping security to pamper a few hundred diplomats for a few days of solitude at a luxury resort and smack dab in the middle of the country’s largest city. For math’s sake, security costs alone were approximately 200 million dollars a day at a time with high unemployment and increasing numbers of personal and business bankruptcies.

A conspiracy involving municipal, provincial, and federal governments and their respective departments saw the secret passage of laws restricting your freedoms and granting unprecedented powers to police and military personnel to interact, arrest, and detain you without charge or right to a lawyer. And it wasn’t the first time in 2010 that this has happened in Canada. During the Olympic Winter Games held in mid February in Vancouver and area, curiously also costing approximately a billion dollars for security alone, black-clad storm troopers enjoyed similar latitude. Some refer to the Olympic security Goliath as the proving grounds for the G8/G20 Summits.

In addition to the fascist and unchecked powers the cops were secretly granted, they employed tactics the most ruthless dictators of history freely used, including the use of agent provocateurs, to lead, incite, and participate in acts of violence, sabotage, vandalism, crime, and general riotous behavior. All of this was designed to undermine the legitimate and legal peaceful protesters exercising their rights under properly enacted laws. Perhaps these tactics were the means necessary so the governments and organizations involved could point the finger at unruly mobs of criminals to justify the end costs of ‘security’, which, by the way, we still await to be made public. And that’s My Take (Surely, That Can’t Happen Here)

As professional armchair critics, we take immense pleasure in highlighting the flaws of other countries while basking in our own supposed superiority. Some of it is in jest, or in sport. Some use a comparative analysis case such as the delivery of health care services in Canada versus that of the united states. And then there is the sobering contemplation of the differences in the world respecting rights and freedoms.

All in all, we in Canada and United states are pretty darn lucky to have been born under a flag that was secured by the blood, sweat, and tears of those who came before us. Probably our greatest flaw in securing these precious rights and freedoms has been how we have treated our aboriginals (a shameful course of events that still cry for a resolution). And while we are far from perfect, we are generally regarded throughout the world as shining beacons of freedom.

Good for us.

As we learn of deplorable human rights violations and suppression of freedoms in foreign countries, it is perhaps one of the few times when we concretely revere just how fortunate we have become, and at the same time convince ourselves that surely, such repression can never happen here. Certainly, we would not tolerate similar abuses. Absolutely, it would incite a revolution.

Surely, certainly, and absolutely it already has happened here. This year. And you either were unaware your rights were violated, or you were aware and you did nothing. Perhaps you were too afraid to speak out? You might have had a wee taste of the conditions under which a great many of the world’s population live.

A clear and very recent example of your rights being trampled occurred during Toronto and area’s hosting of the G8 and G20 Summits, that spendthrift hosted by Canada that proved once and for all that yes, you can spend more than a billion dollars on goose-stepping security to pamper a few hundred diplomats for a few days of solitude at a luxury resort and smack dab in the middle of the country’s largest city. For math’s sake, security costs alone were approximately 200 million dollars a day at a time with high unemployment and increasing numbers of personal and business bankruptcies.

A conspiracy involving municipal, provincial, and federal governments and their respective departments saw the secret passage of laws restricting your freedoms and granting unprecedented powers to police and military personnel to interact, arrest, and detain you without charge or right to a lawyer. And it wasn’t the first time in 2010 that this has happened in Canada. During the Olympic Winter Games held in mid February in Vancouver and area, curiously also costing approximately a billion dollars for security alone, black-clad storm troopers enjoyed similar latitude. Some refer to the Olympic security Goliath as the proving grounds for the G8/G20 Summits.

In addition to the fascist and unchecked powers the cops were secretly granted, they employed tactics the most ruthless dictators of history freely used, including the use of agent provocateurs, to lead, incite, and participate in acts of violence, sabotage, vandalism, crime, and general riotous behavior. All of this was designed to undermine the legitimate and legal peaceful protesters exercising their rights under properly enacted laws. Perhaps these tactics were the means necessary so the governments and organizations involved could point the finger at unruly mobs of criminals to justify the end costs of ‘security’, which, by the way, we still await to be made public.

This was in passive Canada. It would take volumes upon volumes to cite similar abuses in the united states in the past several years alone.

The above two recent examples were used by your governments to desensitize you to losing your freedoms without consequence. Depending on your politics, you might be able to dismiss your government’s abuse as some sort of imperative. Regardless, what about next time? There will indeed be a next time. Where will you draw the line now that the envelope has already been pushed this far?

This was in passive Canada. It would take volumes upon volumes to cite similar abuses in the united states in the past several years alone.

The above two recent examples were used by your governments to desensitize you to losing your freedoms without consequence. Depending on your politics, you might be able to dismiss your government’s abuse as some sort of imperative. Regardless, what about next time? There will indeed be a next time. Where will you draw the line now that the envelope has already been pushed this far?

Visit Toronto Canada: Things to do in Toronto

St. Lawrence Market – Contains over 120 specialty vendors, known for the variety and freshness of their fruit, vegetables, meat, fish, grains, baked goods and dairy products, as well as for the uniqueness of the non-food items for sale. (As you requested, this will be our first stop after your airport pickup)

Queen Street West – Funky shopping, cafes and bars with lots of outside seating can be found here. Plan on seeing lots of tattoos, a rainbow of hair colors and piercings from head to toe and lots of regions in-between

West Queen Street West – Great cafes, art galleries, antique stores, an older an upscale version of Queen Street West

The Beaches/Queen St East – Off the beaten path, close to the water, cute shops, parks, people walking their dogs on the boardwalk.

Yorkville – This high end area hosts numerous top restaurants, cafes, bars, luxury hotels and designer shops. It’s a small area, well worth a visit. This neighborhood is the stomping grounds for the old money of Toronto.

King West/Entertainment District – this area is made up theaters, TIFF (Toronto Independent Film Festival theater), new trendy restaurants, clubs and Broadway shows. Plan on seeing people in their 30’s – 40’s out spending their new found wealth.

Bloor Street West Village/Kingsway – This area consists of multiple small, independent, casual restaurants. Everything from Italian and French to Thai, Japanese and fusion restaurants can be found there. You can also find a great butcher, cheese shop and wine making shops.

The Distillery District – This old distillery was bought by three lawyers and turned into a weekend Mecca for art enthusiasts (lots of art galleries), foodies (a handful of outdoor cafes and bars), shoppers and meanderers.

Waterfront/Lakeshore/Queens Quay – Located on the water front, it has parks and a long promenade. Very busy on the weekends when the weather is beautiful. Parking may be an issue. You will see lots and lots of people out walking, bicycling, roller blading and just our enjoying the sun. TONS of new high-rise condos have turned the area into a bit of a concrete jungle.

Little Italy – Located on College Street West, it was and still is home to a large Italian population. Home to many restaurants, bars and clubs.

Danforth /Greek Town – All kinds of restaurants can be found here, and as you would guess, there is a plethora of Greet restaurants. Bars and shops are scattered along the Danforth.

Rosedale – Toronto’s old money lives here. Gorgeous multimillion dollar homes are tucked off of Yonge Street North. While on Yonge Street you’ll find shops, cafes, bars, furniture stores and nice restaurants.

The Gay Village – Home to Toronto’s gay bars and clubs.

Outside of Toronto

Port Credit – Located from 20-30 minutes west of downtown Toronto is a lake front city with a small harbor and is an upcoming area. Small shops and restaurants can be found here.

Oakville – Located about 30-40 minutes west of downtown is the quaint town of Oakville. Located on the shores of Lake Ontario, it is home to many small shops, cafÃ�©s and restaurants.

Caledon – It is a rural, yet cute little town about an hour from Toronto. A great restaurant, Terra Cotta Inn makes it worth the drive. The park like setting makes it just gorgeous!

Forks of the Credit – Located near Caledon, it is on the famous Bruce Trail. The park features the excitement of the Credit River, as it narrows and rushes through a deep gorge, plunging over a falls. Geological features that were deposited or carved out by retreating glaciers, such as kame hills and kettle lakes, surround the river. The park also includes some of the upland, rolling pasture land that is typical of much of southern Ontario.

Niagara-on-the-Lake – The wine region of Ontario. With wine tasting, small shops, cafes and restaurants, consider it the Napa of Canada!

Insomnia – Perfect for weekend brunch (Located on Queen Street West)

Blowfish – Great sushi in a hip and trendy atmosphere (Located on King Street West)

1800 Degrees – Sublime steaks in an upscale setting (Located in Bloor Street West Village, near Villa Four Nine Three)

Pizzeria Liberetto – Absolutely the best pizza in Toronto (maybe even in all Canada! )#) (Located in Little Portugal)

Weslodge – Perfect for a drink and small bites. One of the most gorgeous interiors we’ve seen in a long time. Great wine list and excellent Caesars (spicy bloody Mary) (Located on King Street West)

Sasafraz – Canadian cuisine, in a upscale atmosphere (Located in Yorkville). Perfect for a long lunch.

L’Unita – High-end Italian cuisine (Located on Avenue near Yorkville)

Blu Restaurant – Named the best restaurant by Concierge Association, high-end, upscale Italian (Located in Yorkville)

Babur – Vey casual Indian restaurant (Located in Queen Street West)

Centro – High end Italian restaurant. The well-to-do are found here. (Located in North Yonge Street).

Interlocking Concrete to achieve a Splendid Look

The concept of interlocking concrete:

The concept of interlocking concrete originated from Holland. They needed it to build roads as normal concrete roads were not an option since Holland is below sea-level and there are a lot of movements of the earth in the region. At that point real stones were used for each stone. However, it was soon realized that a concrete formula was much stronger. Over the last few decades the concept of interlocking concrete has achieved popularity in the united states and Canada. They are not only more durable but more attractive, especially for the finishing touches outside the house.

The advantages of using interlocking concrete:

People are hesitant about interlocking concrete as it is a little expensive then getting regular concrete for their driveway or bricks for their poolside. The fact however that is their durability is higher as crack, shrink or flake. They are highly flexible as each individual block has its own place for expansion and contraction. This is achieved by having tiny specks of polymer sand between two tiles.

As they come in many shapes and sizes you have a large variety of colors and shapes to choose from while other competing materials provide you with limited or no choice of color and shape.

One of the most obvious advantages of an interlocking concrete is that if one tile is affected, it can easily be repaired by another one its place. It is not the same with any other surface as if concrete is cracked it will have to be replaced entirely, it is also not easy replacing a brick due to the mortar and as for asphalt; it constantly requires you to fill up the gaps. This makes interlocking concrete cheaper in the long run.

Cleaning and maintenance:

The cleaning and maintenance of interlocking concrete is done by interlocking pavers that you might have gotten them placed from in the first place. You may just clean them yourselves. It is done by splashing them with high pressure water, then replacing the polymer sand and putting a sealant on top of it. This cleaning can be done in about 3-4 years. It does not need to be cleaned regularly for a few stains remain on them. The rain is enough to do the job for you while you do not have to worry about a thing.

You can easily look at hundreds of different designs on the internet. You will also find many other articles that will ensure you of its durability. Interlocking pavers can easily be found online or if you are building a house your builder might suggest you one. If your house is already built, you can still get your concrete or bricks easily replaced. 7 inch of earth is removed from beneath the surface so it can be replaced with sand and then the interlocking concrete is placed. However, the key factor is that you have to find interlocking pavers that provide you quality service while what they charge, is within your budget.

Interlocking Concrete to achieve a Splendid Look

The concept of interlocking concrete:

The concept of interlocking concrete originated from Holland. They needed it to build roads as normal concrete roads were not an option since Holland is below sea-level and there are a lot of movements of the earth in the region. At that point real stones were used for each stone. However, it was soon realized that a concrete formula was much stronger. Over the last few decades the concept of interlocking concrete has achieved popularity in the united states and Canada. They are not only more durable but more attractive, especially for the finishing touches outside the house.

The advantages of using interlocking concrete:

People are hesitant about interlocking concrete as it is a little expensive then getting regular concrete for their driveway or bricks for their poolside. The fact however that is their durability is higher as crack, shrink or flake. They are highly flexible as each individual block has its own place for expansion and contraction. This is achieved by having tiny specks of polymer sand between two tiles.

As they come in many shapes and sizes you have a large variety of colors and shapes to choose from while other competing materials provide you with limited or no choice of color and shape.

One of the most obvious advantages of an interlocking concrete is that if one tile is affected, it can easily be repaired by another one its place. It is not the same with any other surface as if concrete is cracked it will have to be replaced entirely, it is also not easy replacing a brick due to the mortar and as for asphalt; it constantly requires you to fill up the gaps. This makes interlocking concrete cheaper in the long run.

Cleaning and maintenance:

The cleaning and maintenance of interlocking concrete is done by interlocking pavers that you might have gotten them placed from in the first place. You may just clean them yourselves. It is done by splashing them with high pressure water, then replacing the polymer sand and putting a sealant on top of it. This cleaning can be done in about 3-4 years. It does not need to be cleaned regularly for a few stains remain on them. The rain is enough to do the job for you while you do not have to worry about a thing.

You can easily look at hundreds of different designs on the internet. You will also find many other articles that will ensure you of its durability. Interlocking pavers can easily be found online or if you are building a house your builder might suggest you one. If your house is already built, you can still get your concrete or bricks easily replaced. 7 inch of earth is removed from beneath the surface so it can be replaced with sand and then the interlocking concrete is placed. However, the key factor is that you have to find interlocking pavers that provide you quality service while what they charge, is within your budget.

Understanding 4 Main Types of Concrete Waterproofing

Concrete is a popular building material due to its strength and durability. Its flexibility in use makes it a common product in many building projects. Like with most building materials concrete is porous and it needs to be waterproofed for protection.

A number of concrete sealers can be used to ensure that the concrete and the underlying structure are protected. A number of waterproofing professionals are experienced in concrete protection and they advise homeowners on the best system for their home.

1. Concrete sealers

This is the most common method used concrete waterproofing. The sealers can be either coating sealers or penetrating sealers. Coating sealers form a film over the concrete, which stops water from penetrating the surface.

Penetrating sealers, on the other hand, seep or get into the concrete, which protects the concrete surface. These sealers do not change the appearance of the concrete. Coating sealers are very easy to apply, and can be clear or colored depending on one’s needs. Sealers often need to be applied regularly over time in order to ensure that the surface remains protected.

2. Crystalline waterproofing

Crystalline concrete waterproofing is used where a permanent solution is needed. This method involves the use of a crystalline compound that reacts with the concrete and water. The waterproofing agent is installed as part of the concrete, resulting in tiny crystals that grow inside the concrete filling in all the pores, gaps and cracks. Once these spaces in the concrete are filled, it is completely waterproof and water cannot get through.

3. Waterproofing membranes

These waterproof concrete membranes come in either liquid form or sheet form. Liquid membranes are applied much like paint, using a brush, roller or spray gun. Once the liquid is applied, it dries and forms a membrane that makes the concrete waterproof.

For the sheet membranes, a special adhesive is used to attach the sheets onto the concrete surface making it waterproof. The membranes are often quite effective but sometimes they get damaged or torn and require to be repaired.

4. Cementitious waterproofing

Cementitious products are some of the easiest materials to use when concrete waterproofing. These effective systems entail the use of a mix of products that are readily available from suppliers of masonry materials. The products include cement-based products, bonding agents, additives and water.

The materials are mixed together and applied to the concrete and when the solution dries, the surface becomes waterproof. For easy application, you simply apply the mixture using a long-handled brush. The drawback of this waterproofing method is that it is inflexible and cannot tolerate any movement.

Concrete sealers protect the surface from water damage ensuring that the surface remains safe and attractive for long. Apart from offering protection, the sealers can also enhance the surface by being decorative. Depending on the sealer you choose, you can change the appearance of your concrete surface.

Penetrating sealers do not change the appearance of the surface because they soak into the concrete, but topical sealers are available in different finishes including some that are colored. They can turn the grey concrete surface into a surface of any color or pattern that you choose.

Locating Concrete Cleaning Services

Concrete cleaning can be seriously, really rough and without doubt stressful. On a frequent basis we go walking on concrete floors not even minding the marks and dirt we put onto these routes. We mindlessly forget the importance of the concrete passage built for us to have a far better way to have. Many persons stroll through solidified roads along with brick, quite possibly sticking chewing gums on these floor surfaces, that can add more trouble in cleaning up. Many people have never wondered about precisely how the immense buildup of filth on these concrete floors can be, nor have they considered just how these floors are kept neat and tidy. Frequently, many people forget to realize that cleaning concrete will involve a rigid and exhausting approach, that ought to

The typical home products for concrete cleaning have their own risks though. The previous persons could have their own remedies to the cement troubles nevertheless these cleaning chemical agents have been identified to be dangerous to the atmosphere and also to the individual who works by using these. Checking out the labels on these items, you will discover that they are made from hazardous substances, together with TSP (trisodium phosphate), hydrochloric acid (HCL), together with chlorine bleach.

TSP is a strong chemical agent that can cause skin burns if you get into direct contact with the chemical. Phosphates from TSP can bring about an incident called algal bloom where by the algae can take in a large amount of oxygen in waters killing other marine animals. toxic. It could lead to breathing problems, chest pains, and throwing up, among others. This element is able to cause coughing, chest pains, and sickness in afflicted individuals.

Moreover, HCL adds up to the collection of the dangerous occurrence called acid rain. The element is harsh to the skin and mucous membranes. In the meantime, the chlorine bleach, which will result in ozone layer depletion that adds up to climatic change, can irritate the skin, eyes, and mucous membranes. When these chemicals are inhaled, the individual may experience breathing problems. With such results on the hazard of these widely used chemical agents, we have to have other cleaning means that can be eco-friendly and are now easily available. Cleaning ought not to only be pleasing for the outcome, but should also be safe for your health and for the environment. Rather, the procedure entailed in completing the work should likewise be safe and sound for the overall health for the sake of the those people tasked to handle the project.

With the use of harmless agents, concrete cleaning becomes a less harmful procedure. By making use of only environment friendly choices, concrete cleaning can be a task that will not include jeopardizing the healthiness of persons. When looking for concrete cleaners, be sure you find service providers who have the capabilities to cope with assorted complex situations of cleanup challenges. Several highly trained cleaners use elements that will help them thoroughly clean interlocking bricks which have turned out to be discolored and have absolutely lost their original color because of external and severe environmental aspects including weather and oxidation.

By employing concrete cleaners that make use of risk-free cleaning solutions, you can have the guarantee that you are not only acquiring first-rate services. Essentially replacement, you are additionally making sure that that you are not placing the community at an increased risk. In selecting such companies, look for proof of specialized and first-rate service, especially a professional that has been in the industry for several years. By acquiring their solutions, it is certain of top quality and eco-friendly services. Once you obtain the options they give, you could acquire services relevant to accomplish solid outcomes and, even more important, you can help ensure that the natural environment is shielded from chemical problems.

Hello From Toronto – Exploring Toronto With Sights on Bikes

For a person as curious as me, I am always out on some sort of discovery. No wonder travel writing appeals so much to me because it gives me the opportunity to explore interesting new places all the time. But of course my inquisitive mind never rests, so when I am not traveling out of town, I venture out locally right here in my chosen home town of Toronto to investigate the nooks and crannies of my city.

Over the last few years I have had an opportunity to explore many different cities in many different ways, by walking, through driving tours, sightseeing buses, architectural tours, even boat tours or by taking public transit; but one of my very favourite ways is to discover a city by bicycle. With a bike you can get almost anywhere, you cover more ground than by walking, but you are still able to stop at any time and admire a particular detail up close. In addition, it helps you burn a few calories, a consideration that is becoming ever more important as my waistline expands.

So i had already done bicycle tours in Montreal and Vancouver, and I was wondering if there was a company in Toronto that offered organized bicycle tours. On the website of my good friend Bruce Bell, a renowned Toronto historian and tour guide, I finally found a link to a company called “Sights on Bikes”. That sounded interesting, so I started investigating their website and contacted one of the co-owners, Jordan Feilders, to tell me more about his company. He suggested that i come out to Sights on Bikes Deluxe City Tour to experience Toronto first-hand in one of his organized bicycle tours.

Punctually at 10 am I was waiting at the southwest corner of the intersection of Yonge Street and Queens Quay. Another lady dressed in bicycle attire came up to me and asked me if i was about to participate in the bicycle tour. I confirmed and she introduced herself as Susan from Florida who was up here in Toronto to join her husband who was here to attend a conference. Just minutes later our tour guide Jordan arrived and welcomed us.

Ever nosy I asked him to tell me a bit about his background and he indicated that he is a graduate of the University of Toronto in International Relations and Environmental Studies. Three years ago he started Sights on Bikes together with two friends, initially as an idea for a cool summer job during university. Since then Jordan has taught skiing in Jackson Hole and also worked during the winter at a lobby firm in Washington, D. C. In the summer he returned to Toronto to run his company and he is on the road with visitors virtually every day.

Jordan took us to a locked storage container on the parking lot and retrieved three bicycles as well as helmets for us. Sights on Bikes’ bicycles are extremely comfortable touring bikes with six gears that make sight-seeing an easy and painless experience. We started cycling up Yonge Street and then turned east on the Esplanade, one of Toronto’s premier restaurant streets that at one point actually used to be at the waterfront of Toronto before the harbour area to the south was filled in.

Our next stop was the St. Lawrence Market, one of two major markets in Toronto. This market was actually Toronto’s first permanent city hall and jail house between 1845 and 1899. A police station also used to be located on the first floor. In the late 1800s the market building was altered radically after the construction of Toronto’s City Hall at Queen and Bay Streets. The central portion of the original market building (the South Building) has survived and the original council chamber of the former city hall today houses the market Gallery. Susan and I had a quick peek into the market hall and admired the wide assortment of food retailers.

The St. Lawrence Market is one of Toronto’s beloved historic buildings, and the lively atmosphere of the market and the extensive culinary assortment is a huge draw for locals and tourists alike. The market features everything from baked goods, cheese and dairy products, to flowers, fruits, vegetables, meats, poultry and seafood to organic products and gourmet teas and coffees. Several sit-down restaurants and snack-bars will soothe hungry appetites. The North Market across the street features a farmer’s market on Saturdays and an antique market on other days.

The area at the foot of Jarvis and Front Street also used to be the terminus of the Underground Railway, a network of secret routes and safe houses that allowed African slaves to escape from the southern United states to free states and Canada. It is estimated that a least 30, 000 slaves escaped to Canada, and many of these slaves arrived on boats in Toronto at the foot of Jarvis Street.

Just one block north of the St. Lawrence Market Jordan made another stop and briefed us on another historic jewel of Toronto: St. Lawrence Hall, located at the intersection of King and Jarvis Streets, was constructed from 1849 to 1850. Originally this structure contained a hall for public meetings on the north side, and a covered market on the south. During its heyday it was used for important social and cultural events as well as lectures. After many years of disrepair it was finally restored to its former glory in 1967 and has again become a location for special events in the city.

Right across the street Jordan took us to our next destination: St. James Cathedral, the oldest congregation in Toronto. First established in 1797, the current cathedral was completed in 1844 and with a height of 305 feet it features the second tallest church spire in Canada (after St. Joseph’s Oratory in Montreal). One of the most colourful personalities connected to this Gothic Revival church was the right Reverend Dr. John Strachan, the first Anglican Bishop of Toronto. He was a member of Canada’s “Family Compact”, the conservative elite that first ruled the British colony of Upper Canada. He was known for his fierce loyalty to the British monarchy, as well as his hatred for slavery and republicanism. The cathedral itself has received heritage designations from the Ontario Ministry of Culture, from Heritage Toronto as well as from the government of Canada.

We followed Jordan up Church Street, and then turned west on Richmond Street to turn north on Bay Street where we made our next stop at Toronto’s Old City Hall. It was built between 1889 and 1899 and designed by famous architect E. J. Lennox who also designed Toronto’s Casa Loma and the King Edward Hotel. Old City Hall is a masterpiece of Richardson Romanesque Revival style with rich carvings adorning the façade. The original budget of $600, 000 had grown to more than $2. 5 million which caused a major uproar on Toronto’s city council. The clock tower is more than 300 feet (over 100 m) high and features a gigantic bell known as Big Ben. At the time of its completion Old City Hall was the largest building in Toronto as well as the largest civic building in all of North america. Old City Hall was almost demolished in the 1960s but a group of concerned citizens fought to save it, and today it is a National Historic Site.

Jordan not only filled us in on the various sights along the way, he also gave us a civics lesson and explained the Canadian flag, the Canadian parliamentary system, the Canadian healthcare system as well as Canada’s history and the origins of Quebec and Ontario. This type of knowledge is particularly important to out-of-towners who are trying to understand this city and my co-traveller from Florida certainly appreciated this information.

Across the street we stopped at the next site: Toronto’s New City Hall, one of Toronto’s most distinctive landmarks. The building was opened in 1965 and was designed to replace Old City Hall. The architect for this modernist design was chosen in an international competition in 1958 and the winning entry among more than 500 designs was by Finnish architect Viljo Revell. New City Hall is composed of two rounded towers on a rectangular base that features a saucer-like council chamber. In front of New City Hall is Nathan Phillips Square, an expansive public space that is often used for festivals and special events and features a reflecting pond in the summer that is turned into a popular skating rink in the winter.

Then Jordan took us to our next stop: Osgoode Hall, a landmark building just west of New City Hall that houses the Ontario Court of Appeal, the Superior Court of Justice as well as the headquarters of the Law Society of Upper Canada. The original building was constructed between 1829 and 1832 and was named after William Osgoode, the first Chief Justice of Upper Canada. Further expansions happened in the second half of the 19th century. The cast iron gates surrounding the property feature so-called “cow gates” which were intended to keep out grazing cows which were still a frequent sight in the young City of Toronto.

Just southwest of Osgoode Hall is the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, a 2000+ seat theatre that opened in June of 2006. We turned right and headed north on University Avenue, a six-lane divided principal arterial road and Toronto’s widest avenue. One of the main landmarks on University Avenue, the fifteen-storey Canada Life Building, built in Beaux Arts style, was completed in 1929 and was one of the tallest buildings in Toronto at the time. This building is famous for its weather beacon which has been announcing the weather in the city since 1951. Steady green indicates fair weather, red means rain, white means snow, and lights moving up or down indicate a temperature change. Jordan also pointed out the American Consulate which is occasionally a location of protests when various groups voice their opinions against US policy. Further north, University Avenue is dominated by a series of hospitals. The street then splits into the eastern and western half of Queen’s Park Circle, whose centre is dominated by Queen’s Park, another imposing Richardsonian Romanesque Revival structure and the seat of the Ontario legislature.

Our next stop was the University of Toronto Campus, headquarters of Canada’s largest university (with close to 60, 000 students) and one of its oldest, chartered in 1827. U of T is consistently ranked as one of the top 30 university in global rankings. We admired historic buildings such as the Soldier’s Tower completed in 1924 to commemorate members of the U of T community who fell during the war; University College with its mix of architectural styles – a National Historic Site which was built between 1856 and 1859; Knox College built in Collegiate Gothic style and opened in 1915; as well as Convocation Hall, a round building modeled after the Sorbonne theatre in Paris and opened in 1907.

Jordan’s tour then took us west on College Street to the Kensington Market area, one of Toronto’s most colourful and diverse neighbourhoods. Traditionally home to successive waves of immigrants, the Kensington Market area is a hustling and bustling area full of edgy clothing retailers, bakeries, ethnic grocery shops, funky stores and restaurants.

Jordan took us to the “Urban Herbivore”, a restaurant that serves fabulous soups and other vegetarian delights. I enjoyed a scrumptious sweet potato soup and a sweet potato muffin. After our short break Jordan led us onto Spadina Avenue, the centre of Toronto’s largest and oldest Chinatown (Toronto has three different Chinatowns within its city limits).

Both today’s Chinatown and Kensington Market area were originally settled by Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe. Later waves of immigration and the northward migration of Jewish residents have made Kensington a very diverse and ethnically mixed neighbourhood that today features many Latin American and various Asian stores and residents. Toronto’s Chinese area was originally located near Queen and Bay Streets, but with the construction of New City Hall and Nathan Phillips Square the Chinese community moved westwards to Spadina. Lower Spadina is also the heart of Toronto’s Fashion District, which even today features many garment factories.

After the hustle and bustle on busy Spadina Avenue, Jordan led us east towards Peter Street which turns into Blue Jays Way and took us right past the Rogers Centre, the former Skydome, Toronto’s multipurpose stadium with the retractable roof. Right at the intersection of Blue Jays Way and Navy Wharf Court there is an imposing monument, the Memorial to commemorate the Chinese Railway Workers in Canada. Jordan stopped to explain the history behind this impressive monument. A wooden railroad trestle with two precariously perched railroad workers illustrates the hard and dangerous work of Chinese workers who built the Canadian Pacific Railroad through the Rocky Mountains in the 19th century. More than 4000 workers were killed in construction-related accidents between 1880 and 1885.

We then cycled past the Rogers Centre on Bremner Boulevard to Roundhouse Park, the green space right next to the CN Tower that features one of the most impressive views of downtown Toronto’s skyscrapers. The former John Street Roundhouse was originally built by the Canadian Pacific Railway in 1929 to service and repair locomotives; today it features the popular Steam Whistle Brewery.

Jordan then took us underneath the elevated Gardiner Expressway to Harbourfront, a popular entertainment district right on Lake Ontario. Harbourfront Centre features a variety of shopping and dining facilities; there are art galleries, visual arts and exhibition spaces, theatres, concert facilities and an international Marketplace that entices with food and merchandise from all over the world. The nearby Toronto Music Garden is a delightful green space designed by internationally renowned cellist Yo Yo Ma and landscape designer Julie Moir Messervy. In the winter Canada’s largest artificially cooled outdoor ice rink entertains the crowds.

Jordan had already taken us on a very action-packed tour through the city, but the real gem was still waiting for us: a visit to the Toronto Islands. The price of the ferry ride at the foot of Bay Street was already included in the tour price. Although I have been over on the islands numerous times, the ferry ride with its beautiful panoramic vistas of Toronto’s skyline and the arrival on the serene islands are always a real treat. For Susan, the tour participant from Florida, the experience must have been even more special. All of a sudden Toronto’s concrete roads and skyscrapers receded and we landed in the quiet, peaceful and car-free paradise of the islands that offer the perfect view of this hyper-active bustling metropolis. Definitely worth the price of admission…

Having landed at Hanlan’s point, Jordan, our expert tour guide from Sights on Bikes, first took us to a statue of Ned Hanlan (1855 to 1908), a fisherman, hotelkeeper and later championship rower, five time consecutive world champion between 1880 and 1884 in single-scull rowing, who only lost six of his 300 races during his rowing career. Just steps away Jordan pointed out to us the location of Babe Ruth’s first professional home run in 1914. Although the stadium was demolished in 1937, a plaque still remembers this historic event.

We cycled past the nearby “clothing optional” beaches to stop at the Gibraltar Point Light House, a historic building dating back to 1808 that is the setting for a well-known ghost story. Jordan explained that one of the lightkeepers who disappeared and whose murdered body was later found is still said to haunt this area. Further east we stopped at the reflecting pools and the pier that projects southwards from the islands. A snack bar provides welcome refreshments and a bicycle rental booth is located here which also features two-seater quadricycles.

At some point the Toronto Islands were densely populated and featured a variety of grand hotels, retail stores, residential areas, various amusement parks and restaurants. Today only the Centreville Amusement Park remains as well as 62 homes which are mostly located in the eastern section of the islands in Ward’s Island and Algonquin Island.

Resident lease them in 99 year lease agreements, and strict rules apply to the buying and selling of island homes. Many of the houses are still quaint cottages although some have been expanded while others display some signs of neglect. We stopped at a special spot from where we had a perfect view of downtown Toronto’s skyline.

Our deluxe city tour had almost come to an end. Jordan took us past the Centreville Amusement Park with its Swan Pond back to the Centre Island ferry and 20 minutes later we reached the mainland. Our biking adventure ended in front of the Captain John floating seafood restaurant where we said goodbye to Jordan and thanked him for guiding us so expertly through some of Toronto’s most interesting areas. Although I know the city quite well, I found this tour really worthwhile since i learned so many new things about my chosen home town.

Hello From Toronto – A Bike Tour Through the Don Valley, Salsa on St. Clair and Sunnyside Beach

My summery biking adventures through Toronto continue. This morning I packed my backpack and as usual I entered the Taylor Creek Park system. Heading down into the lush green river valley that is fully closed in by trees and bushes on both sides is always such a great feeling, as if the big city was miles away. Yet, I was riding right in the middle of East Toronto, in the heart of Canada’s biggest population centre.

A few kilometers west my trail joined up with the Don Valley biking trail and I started to ride south. But instead of heading all the way down to Toronto’s lakefront, I saw an old road branching off to the right north of Pottery Road and I thought I would just ride in there and see what I could discover. I had never before left the main trail and was curious to explore this new area. Actually, I thought I would arrive at the Don Valley Brickworks, the leftovers of an industrial brick making complex dating back to the late 1880s that was closed down some time ago. The bricks from this quarry were used on many famous Toronto landmarks, including Casa Loma, Osgoode Hall and Queens Park (the Ontario Legislature building). The green space surrounding the empty buildings has been turned into a public park by the city.

But as i continued the road turned into a narrow pathway that crossed a field and the path started taking me in a northwesterly direction, away from the Brickworks. Now I was really wondering where this path was going to lead. After crossing some more meadows the path took me into a forested area where the narrow trail continued, sometimes over roots and stones, sometimes beside some railway tracks. Now you might think that it could be quite dangerous for a woman by herself riding these trails, but I actually felt quite safe. The only people I encountered were a father and daughter team who were enjoying their own little mountain bike adventure.

I kept riding through the forest, up and down and at some point I saw a road just above the embankment that i was cycling beside, but my suspense grew as to where I would actually end up. Finally I saw an opening in a fence at the edge of the forest and I realized I had popped up at the southeastern end of the Loblaws Supermarket in Leaside. This was quite a bit further north than I had anticipated.

So back on city streets I decided to ride through the residential area of Leaside, one of the most popular residential areas in Toronto. Settled as early as the beginning of the 19th century by the Lea family, the Town of Leaside came into being in 1913. Today many houses from the early 20th century remain and are being renovated or expanded. Leaside has become particularly popular with real estate investors who buy some of the small single story bungalows and convert them into two or three story mansions.

Bayview Avenue marks the western boundary of Leaside and is a popular entertainment area with lots of retail stores, cafes and restaurants. I cycled south on Bayview to the Intersection of Moore Avenue where there is a local landmark: a concrete moose that is located in front of a company called IntegraCare, a private nursing company.

From April to October of 2000, the City of Toronto was graced by 172 moose sculptures that were located all over the city and painted and decorated by local artists. The event was called “Moose in the City” and similar in idea to other animal sculpture campaigns in places such as Chicago, Mexico City etc. After the completion of the campaign the moose were auctioned off for charitable purposes and more than 75 local charities benefit from this unique fundraising idea. Events like “Toronto’s Running of the Moose! ” and “Moose Jam on City Streets” enlivened the campaign and entertained the public.

I figured Integracare must have purchased one of these moose sculptures and after doing some research on the internet I found out that the moose’s name is “Florence Moosengale, RM (Registered Moose)”, her name obviously inspired by Florence Nightingale, the founder of modern nursing. Three Integracare employees regularly create new costumes for the moose which has been dressed up as Santa Clause, a witch for Halloween, a pink Easter Bunny, a prison inmate, a lady bug, and in many other outfits. Currently Florence is dressed up as a rider in the Tour de France, complete with a yellow jersey and an oversized bicycle.

Well, this moose always makes me chuckle and I truly applaud the efforts of the three ladies at Integracare in brightening up the intersection of Bayview and Moore Avenue. From here I rode into the Mount Pleasant Cemetery, Toronto’s largest cemetery which stretches from Bayview Avenue in the east to Yonge Street in the west. Originally conceived in 1873, the cemetery opening in late 1876 and became the final resting place for more than 160, 000 Toronto citizens.

The cemetery holds many local celebrities, including Frederick Banting – the co-discoverer of insulin, Timothy Eaton – a Canadian department store magnate, Hart Massey – a 19th century tycoon in the farm equipment business, Robert Simpson – another Canadian department store magnate, pianist Glenn Gould and W. Garfield Weston, a business magnate and member of one of Canada’s most wealthy families. By accident I came across the grave of William Lyon Mackenzie King, one of Canada’s longest-serving and most influential prime ministers.

Although inline-skating is prohibited it is possible to ride a bicycle in the cemetery and many people also use this beautiful environment to go walking or jogging. The gravestones in the western, older section of the cemetery are particularly beautiful, and its large tree collection makes it one of North America’s finest arboretums. Many large flower gardens, sculptures and memorials add to the beauty of this location. While I reloaded my camera with a new memory card, an elderly gentleman with a walker stopped and educated me about the fact that this cemetery features countless different species of trees and pointed out a rare Gingko tree, a species that i did not even realize grew in Canada.

I then crossed Yonge Street and rode west along Heath Street in order to avoid the busy traffic along St. Clair Avenue. The surrounding Forest Hill neighbourhood is one of Toronto’s most affluent areas. Today many huge mansions grace the neighbourhood and two elite private schools, Upper Canada College for boys, and the Bishop Strachan School, a prestigious day and boarding school for girls, are also located here.

Underneath the canopy of leafy trees I turned onto a street called Lower Village Gate and unexpectedly found myself in Toronto’s Ravine system. One of the most distinctive features of Toronto’s topography is a multitude of deep ravines that criss-cross the city, have remained largely untouched by development and provide a natural oasis in this densely populated metropolis. These ravines were formed when rivers and creeks cut deep gouges into the glacial deposits that were left over after the last ice age about 12, 000 years ago. Due to the danger of flooding these ravines are largely uninhabitable and have remained virtually completely in their natural state. Today, Toronto’s ravine lands are protected by municipal bylaws.

Cedarvale Park is located in one of those ravines and riding westwards I looked up to admire the structure of the Bathurst Street Bridge. I arrived at the western end of Cedarvale Park where a cricket match was in full swing. Back on city streets I cycled south into a St. Clair West neighbourhood called Hillcrest Village which was just celebrating Latin culture with its big annual festival: Salsa on St. Clair.

First launched in 2005 Salsa on St. Clair has become a popular street festival that features all sorts of Latin music performances, street vendors, Latin American delicacies and special events. Salsa lessons, jumping castles, children’s soccer competitions and all sorts of free samples and giveaways enchanted the crowds.

From here I cycled south on Christie Street and then headed over to Ossington and south to Queen Street. In a small neighbourhood park I ran across a large group of teenagers dressed up as medieval knights who were practicing their jousting skills. Sometimes Toronto is truly like a box of chocolates: you never know what you’re gonna get… Once on Queen Street I cycled past recently renovated landmarks like the Drake Hotel and the Gladstone Hotel into the Parkdale neighbourhood, one of the most colourful areas in Toronto.

In the late 1800 Parkdale was an upscale residential suburb of Toronto that featured great Victorian mansions and superb views of Lake Ontario. The neighbourhood underwent a serious decline and today features a large amount of low-income housing. The Parkdale Village area close to Lake Ontario became one of Toronto’s poorest neighbourhoods and in the mid 1980s many mental patients that were discharged from the Queen Street Psychiatric Hospital ended up in the low rental housing in this neighbourhood.

Today the neighbourhood is being revitalized due to its beautiful architecture, established trees and favourable location close to downtown and Lake Ontario. Signs of gentrification are noticeable everywhere.

The Victorian mansions on Cowan Avenue impressed me and as I got closer to the Lake I can only imagine what a beautiful residential district this must have been in its heyday. I crossed the railway tracks and the Gardener Expressway near Jameson Avenue and arrived at the multi-purpose trail in Marilyn Bell Park on Toronto’s lakefront. From here I joined the substantial crowd of bicyclists and inline skaters and headed west to Sunnyside Beach.

Close to a century ago this was one of the most popular areas in Toronto and featured a large amusement park from 1922 onwards. The area was drastically changed in the 1950s with the construction of the Gardiner Expressway which essentially reduced the parkland in half and led to the destruction of the amusement park. Today, the only original buildings remaining from this era are the Palais Royale (a recently restored ballroom and banquet facility), and the Sunnyside Bathing Pavilion which houses a popular waterfront café.

Despite these changes, Toronto’s western waterfront in Humber Bay is hugely popular with people. Walkers, picnickers, inline skaters and bikers make extensive use of the Waterfront Trail. Three beach volleyball nets grace the narrow strip of sand in front of the café and a boardwalk made from recycled plastic invites for a walk on the waterfront. I grabbed myself a slice of pizza and relaxed a bit on bench, watching the comings and goings in a beautiful sunny spot by the water.

I then started heading eastwards along the Waterfront Trail past Ontario Place, a multi-purpose entertainment and seasonal amusement park. Opened in 1971 Ontario Place consists of three artificial islands that feature walking trails, food and drink concessions, an IMAX theatre located in a geodesic dome-shaped structure, an amusement park for children and an outdoor concert facility, the Molson Amphitheatre.

Immediately adjacent to Ontario Place is Coronation Park, a park centered around a royal oak tree that was planted in tribute to King George VI. Right in front of the park is a marina that houses hundreds of sailboats. Cycling further east I passed by the recently renovated Tip Top Tailor Building, a historic property built in 1929 in true Art Deco style. This building was recently completely restored and has been converted into loft condominiums.

From here I snaked onto Queen’s Quay and made a stop at the Toronto Music Garden, a waterfront garden that was inspired by Bach’s First Suite for Unaccompanied Cello and designed by internationally renowned cellist Yo Yo Ma and landscape designer Julie Moir Messervy. The Toronto Music Garden features spiral-shaped walkways surrounded by lush shrubs and flowers and is highlighted by an outdoor amphitheatre that offers free concerts to the public. As i was riding by, dozens of music enthusiasts were sitting in the outdoor concert facility, intently listening to a free classical concert.

My ride continued to Harbourfront, a popular entertainment area at Toronto’s waterfront. Harbourfront Centre, a former warehouse, today holds a high-end shopping centre, commercial office spaces and condominiums. The bottom level also features restaurants and outdoor patios that look out on the docking facilities for the many tourist boats that depart from here for harbour tours.

Free concerts are held every weekend at Harbourfront on the Concert Stage while the World Café and the International Marketplace feature foods and merchandise from around the world. Additional cultural offerings are provided by the power Plant Gallery, the Premiere Dance Theatre, the Enwave Theatre and the York Quay Centre. A Cuban music group was enchanting the crowd at the Concert Stage. I pushed my bike a bit further east and sat down with an ice cream to enjoy the beautiful view across the harbour to the Toronto Islands and to watch the colourful promenade of people strolling by.

Finally, after an action-packed day full of explorations and almost 60 km of riding I got on my iron horse one last time to make the 45 minute trek home along Toronto’s lakefront. Summer in Toronto is amazing; I had cycled from secluded nature areas, through a Victorian-era cemetery to a Latin festival, enjoyed the waterfront and caught two more free concerts in or near Harbourfront. There is so much going on in this city in the summer and the bicycle is the ideal way to explore it.

Strategy of Colouring the Stamped Concretes

Nowadays, the prominence of the stamped concretes is expanding by a wide margin as these can offer the look and feel of the block, slate, stone and some other unpleasant textured materials. In any case to get the fancied impact, it is important to duplicate the common shades of the materials. While it comes to shading the Markham stamped concrete, the builders basically utilize four sorts of choices.

In the majority of the cases, a base colour is utilized first through the dry-shake hardener or through the essential shade. After that, an antiquing or stress colour by utilizing the fluid discharge or pigmented powdered specialists are utilized to the Pickering stamped concrete to bring a more variegated and more common appearance. Later these are most likely supplemented by the colours, tints or stains.

Here in this article, you will get the data of distinctive colours that are connected to the stamped concretes and the profits of utilizing these:

  • Integral colour: It is truly simple to utilize and it is blended into the concrete at the clump plant by offering homogenous and uniform shade. The shade is likewise perpetual as this reaches out all through the aggregate grid of the concrete. In the event that the section is scratched or chipped coincidentally, then likewise the indispensable colour will remain.
  • stains: These chemicals respond with the stamped concretes and thusly make some mottling impacts, which offer the stamped work a genuine feeling of authenticity. The stains can be connected arbitrarily to the individual stones if there should be an occurrence of stamped plans.
  • Dry shake colour hardener: These can deliver brilliant shades to the Markham stamped concrete furthermore arrive in a complete scope of shade alternatives. Here the hardeners are shown onto the crisp concretes and along these lines are coasted into the concrete surface. As this item incorporates bond and fine total, so these can effectively thickness the concrete surface while making it less porous.
  • Liquid or powder discharge operators: Both of these items are truly useful in keeping the skins or the mats of the Pickering stamped concrete from getting adhered to the surface of the concrete and ruining the whole composition. Moreover, these additionally grant some inconspicuous shades that can upgrade the dry shake or the fundamental colour, prompting an antiquing impact. The extraordinary system of utilizing these items is to begin with lighter base shade with a hardener or a vital colour and hence apply the much darker discharge specialists for getting the different.