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  1. I know I live in Toronto and I love the Raptors (especially with the season they’re having now!) but I always find myself rooting for the Western teams. In the West, you can just feel the love of basketball from everyone. 

     

  2. Magnum, the Unilever owned ice cream brand (not the condom manufacturing company) opened a pop-up store in Toronto earlier this summer and named it “Magnum Pleasure Store”. I’m not even kidding.

    Since it opened during Ramadan, I had to wait till after Eid to go. Luckily for me, they extended the store’s closing date to the end of August.

    The idea is that you go in, pick whether you want chocolate or vanilla ice cream, choose a dipping chocolate (classic, dark, or white), and then choose a random bunch of toppings to go on top. These include normal things like chocolate flakes and hazelnut bits and weirder things like rose petals and pop rocks. As if the calorie count wasn’t enough - you also get a choice of milk, dark, or white chocolate drizzle to finish off the look.

    If you ask for “The Golden Touch” they put gold sprinkles on your ice cream creation. Purdyyyyy.

    But that’s not what’s special about this whole thing. It’s the thinking that went behind marketing the whole thing. The hype over this pop-up store has been insane, I’m positive their sales numbers went through the roof this summer, the timing is perfect, and the attention to detail is commendable. Pictured here is the Magnum artwork inside the Toronto pop-up store. There’s a Magnum “M” next to a CN Tower (easily the most popular TV antenna building in the city) and a beautiful chocolatey artwork showcasing the (in)famous Toronto streetcars!

     

  3. The words “currently based in Toronto” when in reference to artists who create such beautiful stuff is like music to my ears.

    neil-gaiman:

    odditiesoflife:

    Clever Graphic Art Travel Posters

    These simplistic and fun graphic art travel posters, both real and imagined, are the work of a talented artist who goes by the moniker of Jazzberry Blue. He states “I am a self taught, travelling artist currently based in Toronto.” These are just a few of his collection titled “travel.” Other collections of his work include: originals, abstract, surreal, yoga, animals, stairways and landscapes. Even the gif that greats you on his homepage is awesome, complete with sound effects!

    source

    Beautiful, clever stuff.

     

  4. Steep.ly wants to bring teas to your doorstep! With subscription services like Fresh Canteen for high quality ingredients, Quarterly for curated content from celebrity contributors, Birchbox for beauty products, SOTM Club for socks, and Lost Crates for stationery items, there seems to always be room for more things people can subscribe to.

    The trick to a successful subscription service is specializing in an item that’s needed in fresh quantities every month (or week, in Fresh Canteen’s case) and one that can be customized to add value to the end user.

    I’ve often talked about how I’m a pseudo tea drinker. My sister-in-law is Japanese (and a real tea-drinker) and she often jokes about how I just really like flavored hot water. And she’s not wrong. I tend to buy herbal, non-caffeinated teas from places like David’s TEA, T-buds, and Tealish. But for hardcore tea drinkers like my sister-in-law, I can see how this subscription service might be particularly useful.

    So if you’re in Canada and can spare $20 a month for high quality tea delivered to your doorstep, give steeply a try!

    DISCLAIMER: I have not been compensated in any way to post this review. Discovering new and interesting businesses and writing about them is just something I do.

     

  5. Ever wanted to cook a new recipe but were too lazy/tired/crunched on time to go out and actually get the ingredients? Enter: Fresh Canteen. I recently discovered Hurrier - a bike courier service to get stuff for when you can’t get it yourself. Fresh Canteen is more specialized. It specializes in food and planning your meals for the week. It currently serves the downtown core in Toronto, but there are plans to expand it in the future.

    Pictured here is a fairly vegetarian meal plan created by yours truly. The way it works is, you sign up on freshcanteen.com enter your postal code and then get a set of recipes you can choose from. $84/week for 2 people includes 3 meals and works out to about $14/meal per person. Which is not bad at all.

    My only real concern is the meal selection. The fact that I eat seafood, but not chicken or beef (or pork) restricts me. And what if I was full out vegetarian? I’d be forced to pick a meal that is meat-based and then… throw out the meat? Considering there is a huge vegetarian/vegan movement in Toronto, Fresh Canteen would do well to introduce more vegetarian options. Another thing they could do that would truly kick ass would be to make their meat all Kosher (minus the pork)!

    I haven’t tried Fresh Canteen yet, but it looks promising and what better time to plan out your meals than Ramadan? Ha! You also get to try out new recipes. Added bonus: no extra ingredients you have to store and figure out what to do with later.

     

  6. Today (read: yesterday), Marzia and I went up against a team of three in Taboo and kicked butt. She then proceeded to kick all our butts at Loaded Questions.

     

  7. Belated Macaron Day TO (March 20th) pics! Macaron Day is celebrated all over the world and it’s a day where you get to go around town sampling macarons for free. Furthermore, 25% of all macaron purchases from that day go towards a certain charity.

    Rankings:

    #1 Butter Avenue

    #2 Moroco Chocolat

    #3 La Bamboche

    Petite Thuet was the only place where the people were really rude and forced us to donate in order to get the free macaron, which is totally not how it’s supposed to work. Also, their macarons sucked. 

    The best macarons I’ve ever had anywhere in the world are the ones at Bottega Louie in downtown Los Angeles. If you ever go, I recommend the rose-flavored macaron. Oh and their margherita pizza. 

     

  8. Winterlicious lunch at Cafe La Gaffe, Baldwin Street. Menu here.

    Price: $15

    Cafe La Gaffe has been a personal favorite of mine for a while. Their brunch menu is absolutely heavenly and so when I get the chance to eat here for $15, I’m all over it.

    Appetizer: The split pea soup was the soup of the day and although it was a little cold when served, it didn’t lack for flavor.

    Main course: Atlantic Smoked Salmon served with penne pasta with baby spinach in a parmesan rosé sauce. I was pleasantly surprised at the flavor the chefs had managed to infuse in a fish as stubborn in its own taste as salmon. The pasta was perfect as usual and the salad rounded off the course very well.

    Dessert: Lemon cheesecake with raspberry coulis. This was divine! It was rich, but not too dense, creamy, and fragrant. The serving might have been a little too big, but hey! I’m not complaining.

     

  9. Winterlicious $15, three-course lunch at Brownstone Bistro, 603 Yonge Street. Menu here.

    I had the Caramelized Onion Soup, the Vegetable Lasagna, and the Banana Tempura.

    The soup was served at just the right temperature so I didn’t have to wait forever for it to cool down. The Lasagna was a little bland and watery and the tomatoes tasted like they’d come out of a can. The tempura was a little dough-y, but the sweetness level was just right and the ice cream it was served with was delicious (albeit the tiny portion).

    The service was great. It was attentive, courteous, and friendly. You can’t really ask for anything more.

     


  10. Winter in Toronto: when making Wudu’ with cold water feels like my personal jihad.