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Wednesday, November 30, 2016

5 neighbourhoods in Toronto where you can still rent a decent apartment for $1000

The $1000 apartment in Toronto can be an elusive standard. It wasn't so long ago that a prospective renter could feel confident that this number would secure a decent above ground apartment, typically a bachelor in amenity-rich neighbourhoods and often a one-bedroom away from the core. Those days have passed, but there are still pockets of the city where you might find such apartments if you have a little time to search.

Here are 5 Toronto neighbourhoods where you can still rent a decent apartment for $1000.

Davenport Village

Perhaps by virtue of its less-than-ideal transit situation (it'll take 15 minutes or more to walk to Line 2), rents in Davenport Village have remained mostly sane over the last decade. This bright bachelor is a decent indication of what's on offer here (a one bedroom in the same building is $1150) as is this nicely finished basement further west.

Pape Village

If you're the type that prefers a less hectic neighbourhood but still want to be close enough to the action of the Danforth, Pape Village is worth keeping tabs on. The neighbourhood is bustling with bakeries, cafes, and small businesses, and has excellent proximity to the Don Valley. One bedroom units in some of the brick apartment buildings in the area start at $850 and prices tend to climb as you head towards the Danforth, though are still decent listings to the south as well.

East Danforth

Those who like to be more proximate to a main drag would do well to check the listings that come up along the East Danforth. This up and coming neighbourhood has seen a nice increase in restaurants and small businesses over the past few years, but has remained atainable in terms of rent standards. Spacious bachelors can be found for well under $1000, while spending just a little over could get you a nice pad closer to Donlands.

The Upper Beaches

The real estate agents won on the naming of this neighbourhood, which is not particularly close to the beach, but it has a lot going for it, starting with reasonable rents. The stretch along Kingston Rd. is particularly lively, though it's getting more expensive as condos move in. For now you can rent a nice one bedroom here for a grand on the main strip. If you're willing to do the basement thing, you can get a bit closer to the Beaches.

Corso Italia

I love Corso Italia. It's far from the subway, sure, but the streetcar ROW is great (when it's not under construction) and the rent in this neighbourhood has yet to spike, despite all the amenties along St. Clair. If you're willing to head north towards Rogers Rd., you can rent a nice above ground spot for $1000, though a two bedroom basement closer to St. Clair can still be found for the same amount.

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This is what the new TTC buses look like

Toronto's slowly getting a new fleet of streetcars, and to match these swanky-looking vehicles, the city's new buses are getting a makeover too.

Earlier today, the TTC board approved the purchase of 285 new buses. The company Nova Bus will deliver 245 of them in 2017 and the remaining 40 in 2018.

As TTC spokesperson Brad Ross tweeted out, these buses - as well as rebuilt buses - will get a paint job that resembles the new generation of streetcars.

In August, we reported that the buses were likely going to get a new, pared down design and colour scheme with deeper red tones. It looks like that's actually going to happen sooner than expected.

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Nutcracker shows in Toronto for 2016

Toronto really loves The Nutcracker. Not only has it been viewed by over one million people since 1995 at the National Ballet alone, but there are countless versions of it all over the city during December. From classical ballet to modern takes, there's a Nutcracker production out there for you, whatever your budget is. 

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10 holiday gift ideas for beer lovers in Toronto

Beer lovers in Toronto have a lot to be happy about this holiday season. All across the city, we've seen an influx of new breweries and bars and there are plenty more on the way. That means there are lots of great beer-related presents for you to choose from.

Here are 10 holiday gift ideas for the Toronto beer lover in your life.

Fancy bottle openers

These bottle openers by House Doctor from the Drake General Store are $24, but they'll elevate your loved one's drinking experience. Put away the red cups and plastic keychain openers and drink some beer in style.

Beer festival tickets

Beer festivals aren't just a summertime activity in Toronto. In fact, one of the most popular events happens outside in the dead of winter - pretty Canadian, eh? Tickets to Steam Whistle's Roundhouse Winter Craft Beer Festival, with 40 breweries and cideries, are $25 each.

Upcycled growler carrier

Let your favourite beer lover lug around their growlers in style with this industrial-looking carrier handmade by Toronto's Pipe and Wood Designs.

Nerdy giftcards

If you want to impress your favourite beer nerd, or nerdy beer lover, top off their gift with a card from the Chemist Tree - they'll definitely drink and beer merry with one of these.

The ultimate coffee table book

The 150 Years of Canadian Beer Labels book celebrates Canada's sesquicentennial (150th birthday) by highlighting our country's sudsy history. This one's for history and design buffs.

Seasonal home brew kit

If you know a homebrewer, let them whip up a seasonal batch of beer with this pumpkin beer recipe kit from Brooklyn Brewshop. You can grab it online from Toronto Brewing Home Supplies.

Beer soap

Aide Body Care makes beer soap, but don't worry, these products don't smell like a brewery. This handmade product comes infused with brews from either 5 Paddles Brewing Co. in Whitby or Manantler Craft Brewing Co. in Bowmanville.

Beer jelly

This beer jelly is vegan and apparently goes well with cheese, cured meat and smoked fish. There are a few flavours to choose from and it's all made with beer from local, Toronto-based craft brewers.

Beer tour

The Toronto Rail & Ale beer tour lets you explore the city's growing craft beer scene as well as its transit system. This excursion lets you taste and snack and you visit breweries in the centre of the city as well as in the Junction and the Junction triangle.

Commuter coasters

The TTC launched a new online shop just in time for Christmas and it's selling a set of 12 wayfinding coasters for $15.95. So be kind and let your beer loving friend set down their beer on a Toronto-themed coaster. 

Stella Artois

Brought to you by Stella Artois, the perfect beer to serve your guests this holiday season.

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Win a #GALAXYLIFE holiday prize package

The holiday season is fast approaching and we've teamed up with Samsung Canada to give one lucky reader the ultimate #GALAXYLIFE prize package. Want a chance to win it?

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The top 10 parties in Toronto for December 2016

The top parties in Toronto for December will let you dance your way into the holidays, but they also make it easy for you to ignore them altogether. Tim McCready's giant house party and Gladstone Hotel takeover is definitely a highlight and something really different on the scene. 

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The transformation of Toronto's waterfront from 1800 to today

You don't need many photos to demonstrate the dramatic change the Toronto shoreline has undergone over the last 200 years. Unlike the gradual development of the city's skyline, the expansion of Toronto's land mass into the lake has come in huge spurts.

toronto shoreline

Toronto Waterfront 1818.

Going back to the early 19th century, Toronto was every bit a waterfront community. You would have been able to see the lake from pretty much everywhere. As the 20th century neared, however, the first reclaimed land pushed the shoreline south as the city also grew north. Looking at images from 1818 to 1893, you can see that much of the land south of Front St. didn't exist when the city was first settled.

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Toronto waterfront in 1893.

The big change, however, took place in the 1920s when the Harbour Commission actively filled in a huge chunk of the original harbour, creating much of the city that exists south of the Esplanade and Union Station. The difference between the shoreline in 1918 and 1938 is, in a word, remarkable. 

toronto shoreline

Toronto Waterfront 1918.

In the period of about a decade, the city had grown by 500 metres south. Much of this land was completely empty when it was first created, but it wouldn't take too long before the city grew upon it.

Toronto waterfront

Toronto Waterfront 1938.

The primary change to the waterfront following this massive expansion is the gradual loss of the piers and ports in the 1960s and '70s. While development has occured at a fever pitch since then, the actual shape of the shoreline has remained mostly intact since then. 

toronto shoreline

Toronto waterfront in 1967.

There were actually numerous wild plans to alter our waterfront even more, including the complete redevelopment of the Toronto Island into a residential community connected to the mainland. For better or worse, the footprint of the central part of city has remained mostly consitent for the last few decades, but it's still worth remembering just how much of it is built on reclaimed land.

toronto shoreline

Toronto waterfront 1990.

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The Best Seafood Restaurants in Toronto

The best seafood restaurants in Toronto are a testament to the eclectic wonders of marine protein and its myriad unique flavours and textures, whether poached, roasted, boiled, raw, or butchered or shucked right before your eyes. Humble fish and shellfish are transformed into indulgent masterpieces at these oyster bars, lobster houses, crab shacks and elegant eateries.

Here are the best seafood restaurants in Toronto.

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TTC customer satisfaction takes a dive

There's nothing like summer in Toronto. It's a time when things really heat up all over town, especially on TTC subway cars.

If you took Line 2 this past summer, you probably got into a sweltering car and schvitzed your way across the city. Things got so bad that Mayor John Tory even accepted a rider's challenge and rode the length of the line just to experience what it was like for daily commuters.

According to a new TTC report, there was a dip in customer satisfaction during the third quarter of the year, or between July and September. Customer satisfaction dropped to 70 per cent, down 10 per cent from the previous quarter. 

"The significant decrease in Q3 can be linked predominantly to the ‘hot subway car’ issue that affected around 20 per cent of subway cars this summer on Line 2. Customer satisfaction on Line 2 fell significantly," reads the report. 

As Metro writes, the TTC is working to fix these AC-related problems so that Line 2 isn't so sweltering next summer. 

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Today in Toronto: Wintersleep, Booka Shade, Tory Lanez, Holiday Night Market

Today in Toronto there are bunch of very good concerts; it’s a full Wednesday to turn it up to 11 if you want to. Most notably, Wintersleep makes a big return now that their album is due early 2017. The Nova Scotia rockers take over the Danforth Music Hall for one night only.

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Tuesday, November 29, 2016

The top 10 events in Toronto for December 2016

The top events in Toronto this December will leave you dizzy because they're so big and all over our city's map. Everything from music festivals to Harry Potter on stage will keep you warm, entertained and Christmas-ified. Also, don't miss these free events.

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