Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

Forget Cottage Country: 8 Reasons to Summer in the City of Toronto

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Ward's Island Cafe

School’s out and the Canada Day weekend is nigh, but that’s no reason to get out of town. Stay here, and enjoy these only-in-Toronto good things instead:

1. Toronto Island

Bike down to the ferry docks on a weekday morning, take the ferry over Hanlan’s Point, and ride the paved path to Ward’s Island. Enjoy the lake breezes and views along the way. Stop for a muffin and coffee at the Ward’s Island café, cycle around Algonquin Island and admire the Island cottages, then bike back to Hanlan’s to take the ferry back to the city. An idyllic hour and a half-long country-in-the-city experience.

2. The Moore Park Ravine system in midtown Toronto

Whether you enter at the Brickworks, at Chorley Park, at Craigleigh Gardens or at the foot of Roxborough Drive where it meets Mount Pleasant Road, the ravine footpaths make for a wonderfully quiet, wooded, mostly shady walk in the heart of the city. It can be muddy in parts, and dog walkers abound, but those elements are part of the adventure.

3. Free line dance classes at Boots & Bourbon

The best country line dance classes in the city are taught by Jeff McQuarrie, a friendly, well-mannered country boy who knows scores of dances, AND how to teach them. Until the end of July, he’ll be teaching the free classes offered at Boots & Bourbon, a country bar/restaurant at Queen & Broadview, from 7 – 9 p.m. on Thursday and Sunday nights. Catch him while you can.

4. Homemade cheeseburger made with meat from Sanagan’s Meat Locker and according to a recipe from Parts & Labour chef Matty Matheson

Go to Sanagan’s Meat Locker in Kensington Market. Buy grass-fed ground beef/chuck. Watch this video: and follow its method for cooking the meat. No outdoor grill required! Use cheese (I prefer blue) and bun (I like a slice of good sourdough bread fried in butter ) of your choice.

5. The sushi spring roll from Nami restaurant downtown

The restaurant is dark and cool inside. The sushi is fresh and several cuts above your neighbourhood sushi joint. The sushi spring roll makes a lovely dinner for one. Also available for takeout.

6. The focaccia from Blackbird Bakery in Kensington Bakery.

Crisp on the outside, with a soft airy texture inside, dusted with herbs and salt, the Blackbird Bakery focaccia is an ideal accompaniment to a salad made with tomatoes, fresh bufala mozzarella, mango, and chopped fresh mint and basil, drizzled with balsamic vinegar and a good olive oil.

7. Lori B’s step classes at select Goodlife locations including Delisle, Bloor Yorkville, and Danforth Pape

Lori B has a devoted following of step class enthusiasts who follow her from club to club because she teaches a fast, fun, creatively choreographed step class to great dancey pop tunes (her classes are the opposite of the packaged class of boring moves done to generic covers of dull songs that is Goodlife’s usual fare).

8. The Toronto Public Library

Go to your neighbourhood branch of the largest public library system in the world. Take out a book. Read it under a shady tree, or on your apartment balcony, or in your reading chair, forget the oppressive heat and humidity, and immerse yourself in a good story, well told.

The views expressed in the Writer-in-Residence blogs are those held by the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Open Book: Toronto.

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Kim Moritsugu

Kim Moritsugu is the author of six novels to date, including Looks Perfect, nominated for the Toronto Book Award; The Glenwood Treasure, shortlisted for the Arthur Ellis Best Crime Novel award; The Restoration of Emily, serialized on CBC Radio; and the just published comedy of suburban manners The Oakdale Dinner Club. She also leads a walking tour for Heritage Toronto and teaches creative writing through The Humber School for Writers.

Go to Kim Moritsugu’s Author Page