Monthly Archives: February 2015

Stress Free Ride on VIA Rail

Normally, when I’m using this blog, it is to highlight an outstanding company, so I want to be transparent, as this time I am highlight a company that is also a client of SQM’s.

A couple of weeks ago, I needed to get to Windsor for a meeting, and decided to take the train, instead of driving.

For starters, I was concerned about the weather conditions, as they can change very quickly. One minute the weather is fine, and the next you are driving with snow squalls which are no fun and can be quite dangerous.

As for dollars and cents, it turns out that coach fares were as low as $60.00 each way. Since the drive would have taken a full tank of gas, each way, which in my car is also about $60.00, it turns out that taking the train was going to be about the same price for this trip.

As a result, decided the best way to commute to Windsor was on VIA Rail as there are more benefits.

Taking the train meant I would have time to be productive. In fact, it almost felt like another day working at the office, because I was able to use my phone in the quiet surroundings, to chat and to answer emails, while I had my laptop to do work and and surf the web with the WIFI that was included. When I arrived, I felt refreshed and ready to go about my day. I had no complaints at all, and did not have to stress about driving or finding parking.

I know the trains aren’t perfect, but my experiences have always been quite positive. Commuting for longer than you should can throw off your entire schedule, and in my experiences, unlike air travel, there seem to be minimal weather-related or train traffic delays, and unlike driving, you don’t get stuck in bumper to bumper traffic on the highway.

Overall, the train was on time, the seats were clean and comfortable, and the staff were friendly. I recommend taking the train for anyone who is planning on traveling out of town, and wants to arrive stress free with excellent customer service experience.

For general information or booking, call 1 888 842 7245


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Start Spreading the Word…..Rochester, New York is a Hidden Gem

Recently, I wrote a blog about discovering the Strong Museum of Play, in Rochester, New York, but today, I would like to highlight the city itself.

When my wife, my daughter and myself were first passing through the city, for the first time, we ended staying a few days, and realized that there are a ton of things to do in the area. As a result, we seem to end up going back each year, and each season results in new activities to explore and discover.

There are always family friendly activities to partake all year round; including the International Museum of Photography, where guests get a chance to see the world’s largest collection of cameras, and learn about the evolution of photography. On the other end of Rochester, attend the Electricity Theatre at the Rochester Museum & Science Center, and then explore the realism at the Dinosaur Exhibition by discovering a dozen prehistoric creatures of the land and sky in the same museum.Also, lets not forget about the Seneca Park Zoo, where you will get a chance to see native and exotic animals on the African Safari tour.

While the zoo is open year round, if you visit the area in the summer time, there are also two great waterparks, that will entertain the kids and kids at hear, for hours on end, or you can catch a AAA baseball game, with the Rochester Red Wings, farm team of the Major League Minnesota Twins.

In the winter time, the city is just as vibrant, if you can get away for the weekend to partake in fun winter activities, such as cross-county ski, snowboarding, and ice skating. Rochester also has their own AHL hockey team, called the Rochester Americans, and there are usually last minute tickets available for most games.

Of course, there is also shopping for those who choose to flex their retail muscle, with a number of malls right in the city, along with the Waterloo Premium Outlet Mall, just a fifteen minute drive down the interstate, where it is considered shopping heaven, and will fulfill all of your shopping needs. And after a long, hard day at the mall, there are hundreds of great restaurants, that serve up just about any cuisine imaginable from smokehouse bbq to Ethiopian, and from vegetarian to kosher.

Next time you are looking to get away, be sure to visit Rochester, because whether you come just for a day, or stay a few nights, there is something for everybody. Rochester is a hidden gem with many things to do.

For more information on all tourist sites and attractions, visit


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Book Some Time At Your Local Library

A few years ago, I had to pick up a magazine from the Toronto library.  I hadn’t been to a library in a while, and whenever I end up going, it reminds me what I seem to forget on a regular basis….that the library is a great place to visit.

I recently found out how amazing it is to sit down in a comfy chair, in silence for half an hour and just read.  The library also offers movies, music, magazines and access to computers. This is a good place for someone who cannot afford a computer and needs to surf the web or even to use a printer.

The best part is that access to the library is free for anybody who is a resident in Toronto.  This is an incredible resource that is often overlooked.  We can borrow newly released books, instead of spending money on purchasing them, and even return them without feeling financially obligated to read it.  Not only can we borrow books, and have them in the palm of our hands within minutes, but now you have the power to place items on hold, using the online system.  This allows you to add your name to the wait list, and be informed of when the book arrives at your local library.

There are really no disadvantages to this amazing service!  It is a pleasant way of clearing your head from social media, and having some time to enjoy the simple things that life has to offer. Besides, where else can you borrow something for free?  Be sure to visit your local library in the new year.


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New Feet With Comfort Zone

Back a few years ago, I was going to a bachelor party for someone who was younger than me.  Usually a bachelor party consists of drinks, dinner, and partying until the next sunrise, but that was not the case. The dinner was at a nice steak restaurant and then after the dinner we had the option to go get a foot massage at a place known as the Comfort Zone, located in Richmond Hill, Ontario.

At the time, I opted not to go for a foot massage, as I thought it sounded a little sketchy, and an odd thing to do for a bachelor party, however, several months later, I was having problems with my feet, did some research, and decided to throw caution to the wind, and check the place out, one afternoon.

Comfort Zone is a Chinese oriented salon where the staff are trained therapists, reflexologist, or acupuncturists. They may not speak much English but are knowledgeable on Chinese massage techniques. There usual pricing is $39.00 dollars for a 45 minute massage, however, it is $32.00 before 7 pm, most days. They also have volume discounts if you purchase multiple massages in advance.

Once I arrived, I was offered a beverage and seated in a room with a big screen television and WIFI. I was told to take off my shoes and socks and roll up my pants. I was then given a big bucket of hot water and told to soak my feet for a while. This was relaxing on its own, and then after about ten minutes, I was given a 45 minute foot massage. Before my massage, I had explained to the masseuse what my problem was and asked them to press a little hard, knowing…no pain, no gain, and they were very accommodating as to pressure and areas to focus on. During the process, I noticed that the knots or stress in my feet were feeling soft and revitalized. When my massage was finished, it was almost like I was given a new pair of feet, and walked out of place like I was walking on a cloud.

Since that first time, I have managed to convince my wife and a few friends to give it a try, and everyone who comes with me, thoroughly enjoys the experience and continues to come back. My wife says, “It’s like having two new feet”. In fact, it is now at the point where a number of us make an evening out of it, with six or seven of us going for a foot massage, followed by dinner at one of the many restaurants in the area.

If you have an active lifestyle, stand on your feet for long periods of time, or simply to celebrate a special event, this is definitely a place to visit.

They have three shops located in Markham and Richmond Hill, however, I consistently go to the location on 324 Highway #7. To book an appointment or for more information call 905-882-9822.

Enjoy your new feet!


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