Spring is here, Toronto! Now get outside

Now that Toronto has de-thawed and the temperature is mostly above 0 degrees, it’s time to plan our social life post-hibernation. Being cooped up for three solid months gives you a lot of time to daydream about what you want to do when Springtime comes. Toronto has it’s share of great and unique activities, and being Canada’s largest city really helps draw events on a national scale. Here are some that I am really looking forward to checking out this Spring:

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Breathe easy with household plants

I have never been lucky with indoor plants, usually killing them within a matter of weeks (by accident of course). But they can be great feature pieces inside your home, while also providing some healthy air to breathe.

A few years ago, the folks at NASA released their findings for the Clean Air Study, outlining which plants do the best job of filtering the air on the space station. Down on Earth, these plants can be used for the same purpose in your home and they are easy to find. They assist in producing Oxygen from CO2, and also help remove air contaminants such as benzene, formaldehyde and trichloroethylene. Their research also showed that they can reduce microbes like mould spores and bacteria by 50 to 60 per cent. If you are an allergy sufferer, or live in a polluted city, this might be right up your alley. Check out the full list of recommended plants here

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Apartment Hunting 101

Apartment hunting is right up there with the top stressful life events. To be honest I actually enjoy the online search, browsing through the photos, seeing what kind of apartment you can manage on your budget, but setting up the viewings and competing with other prospects is just no fun.

Thank god for online postings, otherwise I don’t think I would ever move. The days of driving around neighbourhoods looking for the “FOR RENT” signs are now gone (mostly), so at least you can do part of your search at home in your pyjamas. Definitely stick with postings with photos. In extreme circumstances where you already know the building, posting with no photos are worth a look in person, but otherwise I would definitely not recommend it. Adding images is so easy now, that if there aren’t any shown, there is probably a reason for it.

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Stay toasty

We recently moved into a new apartment in December in a smaller wood-framed building, leaving the concrete high-rise behind. While being wrapped up in the amazing convenience of a walk-up, we didn’t realize the drawbacks – insulation being one of them. It can get drafty around the windows and doors, and the gas heating is too pricey to leave on all the time. Toronto is seeing yet another bitter cold winter, so I need to get crafty with some ways to stay warm. Here are some of the best ideas I’ve found to keep toasty this winter without cranking the heat: Continue reading

Reduce moving day drama

I mentioned before that I have moved many times over the years. I would like to think of myself as well-seasoned, but by no means an expert. I just aim to move from A to B with as few hiccups as possible. If I knew some of these tips beforehand, I would have avoided many meltdowns on moving day – which, by the way, people say is one of the most stressful life events.

Assembling new furniture before unpacking - not ideal!

Assembling new furniture before unpacking – not ideal!

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Art on the street

Growing up in Vancouver, I never paid much attention to street art. Probably because there really wasn’t any. Or if there was, it was either quickly covered up by the city, or covered with so many layers of other graffiti you couldn’t decipher what the original art was. Moving to Toronto, it was definitely a change. Street art, murals, whatever you want to call them, are embraced. There are so many beautiful building walls in this city, ranging from painted landscapes to abstract graffiti. I just wish I could install a replica brick wall in my home – maybe a framed photograph will have to do. Here are my favourite Toronto sights:

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