Dear Summer ’18 Part 2

Old Port Crew
Old Port Crew

The second half of my summer adventures picked up pretty quickly from the previous blog post.   Now in the month of August, I continued to travel and took a few more trips to some familiar places.

Montreal – August 10-12

One of my all time favourite cities to visit is Montreal, Quebec.  It is roughly a six hour drive and me and my friends make the trek for a number reasons.  Primarily we love to go for the food, the fashion and all the cultural elements that make the 514 unique.   It was my 11th time visiting and it never disappoints.

Basilique Notre-Dame
Basilique Notre-Dame

We rented this Airbnb loft that could sleep our crew of 11 in Old Port.   It was a very nice place, formerly situated in a business building with very modern touches inside the place.  What was pretty cool about the location was that it was within walking distance of the historic Notre-Dame Basilica.  This cathedral has been around since the 17th century!   I was able to wake up early on the Sunday morning and attend 8 am mass.

The architecture inside is immaculate, so well crafted and visually astonishing.  Heck, I only knew the place because Celine Dion famously wed there in 1994 lol.  It was my first time going there and even if you are not roman catholic, I recommend you stop by and explore this magnificent church.

Le Bremner Chef Sample Dinner
One of the main dishes served at the Le Bremner chef sample dinner, mango with steak

I also had a chance to take in the fine dining that Old Port has to offer.   The first night we dined at the Vieux-Port Steakhouse and surprisingly to my friends, I elected not to order a steak (you’ll find out why later in the blog post).  Instead I had lobster linguine and it was alright, nothing special but nothing bad either.

The next night, four of us attended a chef sampler dinner at Le Bremner, operated by chef, TV personality and restaurateur Chuck Hughes.  It was my first time experiencing a chef sampler dinner and it was nothing short of amazing.   All of the food presented to our table was fresh with the menu being unique for that particular day.

The size portions were not grand, but there was more than enough food to feed our group.   After attending this dinner, you learn to have a greater appreciation for culinary chefs and the reasons why they use certain spices and ingredients in their cooking.  You can literally taste it in your mouth!  Click here to view my Montreal gallery.

MTL Boyz
MTL Boyz

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The Views Are Different Here Showcase Toronto In A New Light

Toronto
Image courtesy of City of Toronto

Views.

Recently Tourism Toronto released their 2017 campaign to promote tourism in the city of Toronto. Needless to say, the reaction was extremely positive and receptive by many, including local Torontonians.  In the 71-second clip, the viewer is introduced to many quick shots showcasing various parts of the city, focusing on popular destinations in the city as well as hidden gems. J. Walter Thompson Canada directed the visual,  which features vocals performed by Toronto poet and singer Bethany Lee.

While the focus of this video is to promote Toronto tourism, it also doubles up as a civic pride exercise.  For many years, Toronto has constantly been labeled as a micro town comparable to the bright lights of its counterpart in New York city. However, in recent years the city affectionately known as “The 6” has established their own identity, their own culture and uniqueness.  Dubbed as “Canada’s Downtown”, a lot of locals took to social media praising the clip for demonstrating what they already knew about their city.

Diversity and Equality.

As Toronto is the most visited destination in Canada, the city does not discriminate.  It has one of the largest LGBTQ communities in the world and is home to a large array of diverse and unique cultures. The town openly welcomes new visitors who are looking to find a place both in their professional and personal lives.

With that mindset comes opportunities for multiculturalism and immigration to the city.   There are various pockets in Toronto that cater to different communities like Chinatown in Spadina, Little Italy on College street and Polish town in Roncesvalles to name a few. Toronto truly embraces and shows love in its vast diversity.

The world in one city.

Toronto no longer wants to blend anymore with other cities in the world.  It wants people to know that they clearly have their own established identity and are not afraid to break barriers down.  No longer does the city want to be known as the best kept secret, but to let the international audience know that culture wise there is a little bit of everything all in one city.  Last month I made a presentation highlighting this campaign, which you can check out below.