The Chef and the Princess

Introduction to the culinary world has been an amazing, exciting and delicious experience. I’ve always loved food, and now I love and adore so many of the people that I have met through Chef Scott and The Culinary Adventure Company. Many of our tour partners have become great friends – interesting, sincere people with a shared passion for making others happy.  When the invitation arrives to attend a dinner party at the home of one of these incredible people, to have the privilege of a home cooked meal shared amongst close friends, we jump at it.

Throwing a great dinner party is an art. It requires a thoughtful host, comfortable surroundings, an interesting mix of guests and of course, delicious food and drinks. Our friend Tal, who we met at Olive & Olives through our Riverside/Leslieville tour, was inspired by her conversations with Chef Scott about brisket.  And we…

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Take a Walk on the Riverside: WALKfest – showcasing a great walkable neighbourhood!

Map indicating start locations for the different walks

Toronto- October 20, 2012- Saturday October 20th marked the 4th Annual WALKFest in Toronto’s Riverside District. By popular demand Riverside’s WALKFest increased their neighbourhood walks almost four-fold, adding additional walks to the highly popular Historic Walk. Throughout the day, community members and visitors to the area were invited to partake in six differently themed walks throughout the authentic urban downtown community.

Designed to showcase Riverside’s eclectic décor and design shops, cafes, restaurants and bars as well as this historic area’s creative initiatives and community centres, the walks were guided by experts throughout Riverside community with all donations going to WoodGreen Community Services.

Anjuli Solanki, WALKFest’s event coordinator, followed the successful Jane’s Walk philosophy of community walks that help promote conversation and facilitate a sense of place; Riverside’s WALKFest highlights the Riverside District and its unique, locally oriented businesses.

Known to bring people out to explore Riverside’s unique urban community along historic Queen Street East, this year dog lovers, foodies, dance enthusiasts and art lovers alike hit the streets of Riverside district to participate in the new walks added to Riverside WALKFest’s previous self-led and historical walks. Expert guides such as Chef Scott Savoie, owner of Culinary Adventure Company, led foodies to the best eats on the east side during the Culinary Walk, and Shawn Micallef, senior editor and co-owner of Independent magazine Spacing, led a classic Riverside tour showcasing extraordinary architecture, history and development of the area on the Design Walk. Additional walks included a Dog Walk, where two and four-legged friends could experience the pet and people friendly parks and shops in Riverside, a Dance Walk, where people were encouraged to dance their way through the streets, and an Art Walk that showcased the creativity of Riverside’s local talent.

A participant from last year’s walk showed their enthusiasm for WALKFest via Twitter:

It was such a lovely event! So many great shops and eateries in Riverside. Great community! Thanks for having us! @RiversideBIA

Riverside is a community that prides itself on sustainability, the arts and creating an inviting downtown community where people live, work, dine, play, and explore. This weekend’s WALKFest was successful in showcasing this unique downtown community and promoting local businesses by drawing in hundreds of people from the Toronto area. Over the past four years, WALKFest has been successful in promoting and increasing awareness of this historic area within the City of Toronto. With this year’s turn out, WALKFest has continued to inspire new visitors to the area and encourage local community members to get involved in their neighbourhood.

If you missed out on the Riverside’s WALKFest, be sure to check out other events happening in the Riverside District through their website at:

Follow the Riverside BIA on Facebook at /RiversideDistrict or on Twitter at @RiversideBIA.

By Guest Bloggers: Brittany Cheeseman, Victoria Mix, Stephanie Rendulic, Christopher Reyes & Emma Twells

Riverside’s upcoming event, Light Up the Riverside – November 29th 5pm- 9pm

Riverside’s next event is ‘Light Up the Riverside’ on November 29th from 5pm- 9pm outside of Mustard Seed 791 Queen St. East

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How does Dog Walking and a Chiropractors Clinic fit together?

When you hopped over to the event registration page you have asked yourself the question ‘What does a Chiropractors Clinic have to do with Dog Walking?”  It’s a fair question!  Oma Chiropractic will serve finishing point for the Riverside WALKfest’s  Dog Walk—a spot where the owner of Oma, Adrienne McRuvie can help walkers loosen up after a good walk!

The Dog Walk is about getting out with your furry friend, but it’s also about getting some good exercise and promoting wellness –  and Adrienne knows plenty about health of the mind and body.  As a medically trained Chiropractor, Adrienne is well versed with the human body.  She only adds to her credibility through her work as a birth coach, and yoga instructor.

After the Dog Walk, walkers have plenty to look forward to.  Adrienne will do some hands on exercises, provide fitness tips, check the balance of the walkers, and have a variety of wellness practitioners on board to provide useful information.  Excited yet?

You can check out the Oma Chiropractic website for more information:
Oma Chiropractic



And, sign-up for all of the walks below!

Dog Walk – (Oct 20 – 10:00 am; Start Thompson Parkette )

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Why walk when you can Dance?

That’s the question Theresa Walsh (a.k.a Tree)  asked before she started the official ‘Dance Walk TO’.  Theresa wasn’t the first to think of doing a Dance Walk in Toronto, but she certainly has kept it going.

The inspiration to start ‘Dance Walk TO’ was actually very simple.  Tree saw the video of the original Dance Walk visionary and thought it was a cool idea.  The idea resonated with Tree and she’s certainly no stranger to public dancing.

“I understand why people might think its [public dancing] uncomfortable, I grew up with dance and have a dance background” explained Tree when I spoke with her.

Incidentally, there was never supposed to be a second dance walk.  It was a spontaneous idea sprouted by the video’s inspiration, but it was only supposed to be a onetime thing.  Tree saw the benefit in a little bit of spontaneous Dance Walking and after the first Dance Walk created the Facebook Page, Twitter, and started planning for the next event.  And, the rest as they say is history…well not quite.

DanceWalk TO

Tree is going to be hosting the next Dance Walk this Saturday, at ‘Take a Walk on the Riverside’.  It’s going to be a great day of fun and dance in Toronto’s most vibrant neighbourhood!  Come out and join us—it’s not as scary as it seems!


And, sign-up for all of the walks below!

Dance Walk – (Oct 20 – noon; Mustard Seed 791 Queen St E)

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Kalaamkar….There’s a Story behind each Piece of Furniture – Ask owner Zahid!

The 6th Annual Take a Walk on the Riverside design walk will provide the opportunity for everyone involved to see the creative side of the Riverside District.  Kalaamkar is one of the businesses that will be participating in this year’s design walk—playing host to curious patrons eager to explore the aesthetics of the riverside.  Kalaamkar’s business owner Zahid gave us a small preview of what visitors will have to look forward to.

Welcome to Kalaamkar - Riverside - Toronto

Welcome to Kalaamkar – Riverside – Toronto

Founded in 2006, Kalamkaar is a business whose goal is to revive the art of solid-wood, handcrafted furniture.  People have gotten too accustomed to the mass produced furniture found in stores like Ikea, and the Brick.  Zahid hopes to introduce people to quality furniture with South Asian influences.  Each piece is unique, and each has a story behind its creation.

Kalamkaar also touts the fact that its furniture is eco-friendly.  The wood that is used in the creation of the furniture comes from farm forests in South Asia that have been specifically grown for the purpose of furniture making.  Quality woods like teak, rosewood, mahogany, and mulberry are grown and crafted into a variety of pieces.

Visitors are encouraged to ask many questions.  Each piece of furniture found in Kalamkaar has a story, and Zahid seems to know them all.


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Mary MacLeods and Riverside WalkFest – Toronto Oct 20, 2012

Mary Macleod Riverside WalkFest Culinary Walk Toronto 2012

Mary Macleod Riverside WalkFest Culinary Walk Toronto 2012

Walking into 639 Queen Street East, you’ll be instantly enveloped by a warmth that is familiar to many—an aroma that represents an ode to tradition and a testament to the joys that simplicity brings.  Mary MacLeod’s shortbread is one of the businesses that will be participating in Culinary Walk, during the 4th Annual Take a Walk on the Riverside.

Mary MacLeods

Sharon Macleod was kind enough to speak with me about the history of Mary MacLeod’s, and share some delicious shortbread as well.

Mary MacLeod’s has been in the Riverside District since 1997, and Mary herself has been making shortbread since 1981.  The mission of Mary MacLeod’s shortbread is to make the highest quality shortbread available in Canada.  I can attest to both the variety and delectability of the shortbread available.  By sourcing the highest quality ingredients and experimenting with new ways of reinventing shortbread Mary ensures that her customers keep coming back for more!

Mary MacLeod will be giving away free cookies on Saturday, October 20 during the Culinary Walk.  On the walk, you can learn more about the history of Mary MacLeod’s Shortbread, enjoy some delicious treats and maybe even meet Mary herself.

Find out more about Mary Macleod’s before the walk by visiting the shops website.


And, sign-up for all of the walks below!

Culinary Walk – (Oct 20 – 11: 00 am; Start Olive & Olives 779 Queen St E)

P.S Mary Macleod’s is also looking for a seasonal sales rep.  It’s going to be a busy holiday season and they will need that assistance.  Email to inquire.

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Take a Walk on the Riverside

Walk on the Riverside

Discover Riverside  at our 4th Annual FREE Walk on the Riverside on  Saturday October 20th and our FREE Kid’s Halloween Party on Saturday October 27.
Click on the E  logo below to register:

Riverside stretches 10 vibrant blocks along historic Queen Street East from the Don Valley to just past the Degrassi Street Bridge.

Expert tour guides will take you on

  • community journeys
  • fashion explorations
  • culinary adventures

Each walk is anchored at the starting and finish points by host businesses that will welcome you with refreshments and ambient environments to socialize with other walkers.  On Saturday Oct 20th, choose from one or all of the following 6 walks  (click on the title for more info on that walk:

Dog Walk (Oct 20 – 10:00 am; Start energyXchange 698 Queen St E)

  • explore dog-friendly businesses, parks, alleys and the riverside

Culinary Walk (Oct 20 – 11: 00 am; Start Olive & Olives 779 Queen St E)

  • featuring good eats on the east side and our chefs, sommeliers and bakers who make it happen.

Dance Walk (Oct 20 – noon; Mustard Seed 791 Queen St E)

  • Move through the Riverside  in your own groovy way.  No walking – just dancing!

Design Walk (Oct 20 – 1:00 pm;  macFABhome 734 Queen St E)

  • Get to know the tricks of the design trade, as well as a few treats along the way.

Inside and Outback Walk (Oct 20 – 2:00 pm; Queen & Saulter Public Library/Ralph Thornton Centre, 765 Queen St E)

  • showcasing our extraordinary architecture, history and development – highlighting how Riverside functions as an urban space. Sponsored by Jane’s Walk.

Art Walk (Oct 20)

Kiddies’ Parade (Oct 27)

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