Climate Change and Seafood: What are the Impacts?

The Ocean Wise seafood program works with many phenomenal partners from across the seafood industry to increase access to information on all aspects of seafood sustainability; and are excited to now share a remarkable resource that was created in partnership with the Monterey Bay Seafood Watch Program and Dalhousie University in Halifax: The Seafood Carbon Emissions Tool.

Continue reading “Climate Change and Seafood: What are the Impacts?”

The Difference Between Barbecuing and Grilling

Barbeque: a noun, a verb, an attitude. Across Canada and the US, the backyard barbecue is a national pastime. We salivate at the thought of putting another steak on the grill. And yet, “barbecuing” and “grilling” are totally different cooking methods mistakenly used to mean the same thing. They’re not. Continue reading “The Difference Between Barbecuing and Grilling”

My Life as a Tomato

Tomatoes love the sun. It’s in our genes. We once grew wild in Peru and Ecuador, in blazing colours varieties and flavours. The Spanish conquistadors came in the 16th century and were knocked out by our gorgeous colour, appealing shape and unique fragrance. They uprooted us, took us to their ships, and we began an adventure that made us world-class cuisine stars. We bombed in Spain. So they took us to Morocco and billed us as pomi di mori or Moorish apples. We opened in Naples as pomodori, Golden apples. In France, we brought the house down as pommes d’amour, love apples, and were given aphrodisiac status. They pooh-poohed us in the British Isles. Our family cousins, Belladonna, deadly nightshade, are well known poisons. Only our leaves are toxic. Still they admitted we were gorgeous and used us to decorate arbours. By the 19th century, we were superstars, the core of Mediterranean cuisine. Continue reading “My Life as a Tomato”

Staying on Track With Your Fitness Plans

Okay. You’ve joined the gym and created a program for yourself. You’ve packed the workout essentials you need for the gym. You imagine a new, tight, sleek body for the summer season and a barely there wardrobe. You begin with great zeal and go to the gym regularly, do your workout and follow a healthy food plan. You see some results, and then, you slack off. It seems that it is never the right time: too early, too late, too busy, too tired, and then, you just stop thinking about going. Motivation has vanished. You pay your monthly fee and try to forget. Why? Why? Why? Continue reading “Staying on Track With Your Fitness Plans”

Family Activities in Toronto: Museum of Illusions

Do my eyes deceive me or did my four-year old just grow taller than me? The visual deceptions of tilted rooms are show-stoppers that boggle our minds. “Remember what the dormouse said: feed your head, feed your head.” Continue reading “Family Activities in Toronto: Museum of Illusions”

Father-Son Trip to Blue Mountain Village

“I am not afraid,” I tell myself, unconvincingly. Strapped into the Ridge Runner Mountain Coaster, our car goes clickety-clack as we slowly make our way to the summit. And then, the point of no return, and we bomb back down the mountain. “Too fast! Too fast!” I scream in agony, only to be drowned out by my son’s screams of delight. “Faster! Faster!” He shouts to my ghostly white face. Oh, the things we do for love! Our father-son getaway to the Blue Mountain Village Resort is the best value-for-money trip in Ontario. Continue reading “Father-Son Trip to Blue Mountain Village”

Fun Things to do with Family in Niagara Falls

Do you remember your first trip to Niagara Falls? Planning it for a child is like reliving it.

There are so many different angles for us to view the Falls and, of course, each one is a completely different experience. My son has no idea what’s in store, and I am so excited!

As we approach the Table Rock Welcome Centre the epic sight of the Falls is inescapable. We immediately run to the railing and marvel in wide-eyed wonder at the force of 2,800 cubic metres of water per second barrelling over a 670 metres wide crest mere feet from our perch. No matter how many times I’ve seen it, I’m still captivated. My son—he’s entranced. “Do you know how that’s made?” I whisper in his ear. “No,” he mouths, without averting his gaze. “Come here. I want to show you something.” As I pry him away, we head inside.

Niagara’s Fury

Within a 4D, 360 degrees, multi-sensory theatre, we travel through time to discover how the Falls were formed. We’re not voyeurs on this journey.

The platform beneath us, and to which we’re clinging for dear life, is simulating the geological forces displayed on the screens.

As we watch the animation and enjoy the characters on the screen, we shiver during the last Ice Age as snow falls upon us. We’re jolted off balance as the ice cracks. And we get drenched as we’re hurled down river amidst the massive power of the water. The simulations are brilliant, exhilarating, and, within the safety of the theatre, provide a visceral understanding of how those the Falls came to be. This did not exist when I was a kid, but my son, full of laughter and joy, proved that this is an indispensable experience for any family to include in their Niagara Falls itinerary.

Table Rock House Restaurant

After an experience like that, it’s time to eat, and the restaurant conveniently located within Table Rock is probably one of the essential dining experiences to have in Canada. It’s on the level of the CN Tower in the unique and profound views it offers, and its menu truly reflects the Canadian culinary landscape for international tourists and locals alike.

While my son opts for a thick and juicy burger of Canadian beef, I indulge in a Great Lakes Fish Sandwich combining smoked rainbow trout and Northern Ontario rainbow trout on a brioche bun.

For dessert, the Niagara Spy Apple Barge is a warm and decadent filo basket of cinnamon-scented apples with French vanilla ice cream that hits all the right notes.

Journey Behind the Falls

“Once more unto the breach, dear friends.” We head back outside, walk along the river, and line up for Journey Behind the Falls. (Pro-tip: unless you arrive first thing in the morning, line-ups are unavoidable. Don’t be deterred. They do move reasonably well. It is worthwhile to carry a distraction for your child while waiting. For us, bubble guns always do the trick!)

We’ve descended into the tunnels underneath and behind the Falls. Again, mind blowing. He’s transfixed by the immense scope of this natural wonder.

For me, the natural wonder is in watching his face, and imagining what’s racing through his mind right now.

He darts from portal to portal in happy amazement that we are now viewing the base of what we were previously viewing from above.

Hornblower Niagara Cruises

For our final soaker, we board the iconic cruise into the mist of the Falls. Similar to Journey Behind the Falls, we’re prepared for a line-up. Mid-afternoon is busy, but it’s a wonderfully refreshing way to end a visit. We’ve experienced the simulation, the views from above and below, and now the anticipation mounts as we face off against relentless spraying that is a memorable highlight of the day. (Pro-tip: for anyone asking where is the best place to stand, it really doesn’t matter. You will get wet if you want to. Upper deck, facing front, starboard side of the boat left us drenched.)

This is one of the great experiences to have in Canada. For a family, it’s like a rite of passage, and we see multi-generations of smiles.

There are so many fun things to do with family in Niagara Falls, but the core reason for being there will always be experiencing The Falls in it’s rawest form. I still remember my excitement when I visited as a kid with my parents, and now I’ll never forget the excitement when I visited with my kid as his.

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Afternoon Tea for Kids at the Omni King Edward Hotel

Afternoon Tea has evolved since it’s British inception. In the 1830’s and 40’s women were not welcome in coffee houses, so their social forum revolved around tea accompanied by a light meal of finger foods to stem the hunger between lunch and dinner. Ladies and their children would dress in appropriate attire, and proper etiquette was de rigueur. Victorian novels are replete with references to splendid tea times of great social consequences—the soap operas of the time. Continue reading “Afternoon Tea for Kids at the Omni King Edward Hotel”

Good Carbs vs Bad Carbs – What Are You Eating?

About every six months, a new study comes out pitting high-carb vs high-protein (usually higher-fat) diets. Sometimes carbs win. Sometimes protein wins. But what’s most important in terms of shedding excess weight and living healthier isn’t really about carbs vs protein. It’s about good carbs vs bad carbs. Continue reading “Good Carbs vs Bad Carbs – What Are You Eating?”