Tag Archives: Toronto

Winter and Holiday Activities

1. Distillery District

Known for its Christmas Market, the Distillery District transports its guests to a holiday wonderland filled with lights, Christmas stalls filled with food and knickknacks, as well as, live carolling. You can continue the fun by checking out the amazing displays at the annual Toronto Light Festival from January 17th – March 1st, 2020.

2. Hockey

In typical Canadian fashion, what are the holidays without hockey? Check out your local Minor teams, the OHL, the AHL, and if you’re feeling jolly, spring for those NHL tickets. If you’re a Leafs Fanatic, mark your calendars to see the team practice at Nathan Phillps Square on January 9th, 2020!

3. CNE Aurora Winter Festival

This is definitely the place to take your kids. From the rides and games to the ice rink, magical forest, and whimsical holiday-themed events, this is a ton of fun for the family. You can purchase your tickets online (Presto Cardholders get a 15% discount). You can also get your skate on and enjoy free skate rentals on Wednesdays!

4. Ballet

Christmas is the time to see the Nutcracker. Enjoy The National Ballet of Canada’s rendition of Tchaikovsky’s holiday classic until January 4th, 2020.

5. Ice Skating

Show off your skills! Check out DJ Skate Nights at the Harbourfront Centre and get free skating lessons at the Bentway Skating Trail. You can also visit Ontario Place, Nathans Phillips Square or your local ice rink.

6. Courthouse visit

For all of you crime show enthusiasts, visit your local courthouse to see a real courtroom proceeding. Check out the court’s website to find out about the proper etiquette and to view the daily court lists to see which cases are being heard.

7. Trivia

Do you know what’s fun? Pub trivia. Go test your vast knowledge of pop culture, history, literature and science, and show off your trivia skills. Bar trivia is not just a holiday classic fun time, but an all year round great way to spend with friends and family.

8. Give back

The holidays are a time for giving. Check out some of the many charities across the city to help those less fortunate this holiday season.

Have a safe and enjoyable holiday season and a happy and healthy new year!

 

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Things to Do for Fall and Halloween

It’s that time of the year again, and with it, is another post about what you can do to make the most out of fall and Halloween. 

  1. Apple Picking: Although it’s getting a little late in the season, there are a variety of different farms that have corn mazes, markets, and activities for kids. Chudleigh’s is a popular farm, where you can pick apples as well as purchase baked goods from their bakery. Another great option is Pingle’s Farm Market, which also has a “fun farm” filled with animals, a giant slide, and a pumpkin cannon show. 
  2. Road Trip: Take a leisurely drive up to St. Jacob’s out west to see the changes in the leaves. While you’re at it, St. Jacob’s has a farmer’s market that goes on year-round on Thursdays and Saturdays.
  3. Wine Tasting: If you’re feeling it, you could also head to the Niagara region for wine tasting. There are a variety of wine tours, including ones on the lake, or ones paired with different types of cheese. 
  4. Haunted Houses: It’s the spirit of Halloween, and no Halloween would be complete without a haunted house. There’s your typical Halloween Haunt at Canada’s Wonderland, where monsters wander the park grounds, and there’s also Black Creek’s True Terror Stories at Pioneer Village in North York. The village has a massive 60-person escape game, where teams work together to solve the curse.
  5. The Rocky Horror Picture Show: Like every October, The Rocky Horror Picture Show is returning to theatres. The movie will be playing in cinemas such as Ted Rogers Cinema and Lower Ossington Theatre throughout the month. 
  6. Night of the Dread: The Clay and Paper Theatre will be hosting The Night of The Dread, a parade full of masks, puppetry, and dancing. The parade will start at Dufferin Grove Park on October 26th, starting at 6:00 pm.
  7. Pumpkins After Dark: Up at Country Heritage Park in Milton, walk along a quarter-mile path that showcases over 5,000 jack-o-lanterns and over 100 pumpkin sculptures. It’s a great family event—especially for kids! 

Whatever you choose to do this year, please have a safe, warm, and happy fall season!

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Something to Consider For This Upcoming Election

For this blog post, I’d like to take the opportunity to talk about one of the candidates who is running in the upcoming election, that I personally know. Maria Augimeri is running as the NDP candidate in the riding of Humber River-Black Creek.

I first met Maria several years ago while a member of her family was working at SQM.  At the time, Maria was a City Councillor and she maintained this position for 23 years until recent changes forced incumbents to run against each other in the last municipal election.   From time to time, we would have a chance to chat and she was always willing to provide me with advice and direction about business projects.  In addition, she would occasionally introduce me to people in the business world, constituents of hers, and even some of the folks at city hall.

Over the time I’ve gotten to know her, I’ve come to realize that she is one of the hardest working politicians out there.  In a day and age where you often hear about lazy politicians who are always on vacation or not doing anything, Maria’s the exact opposite.

She’s a workaholic, always at different meetings, on the phone, and often missing family and social engagements in favour of doing work for the community.  Maria has served and continues to serve on different boards, including a previous stint as the Chair of the TTC, and her present position on the board for the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority.  She’ll always take a call from someone who wants to speak to her, and when she’s out in her ward, people will often want to talk and ask her questions on a wide variety of topics.

Perhaps one of the telltale signs about how Maria operates is that I’ve gotten to know other people who were affiliated with her re-election campaign, and many of these people are actually Conservatives or Liberals, who still support Maria and her efforts.  While Maria is running for the NDP and we often disagree on each other’s views and perspectives I am completely confident that she would make an amazing Member of Parliament, and would be a fantastic representative for the people of Humber River-Black Creek.

If you happen to live in her riding, please consider supporting her. You can do so by making a donation or putting up a lawn sign, but regardless, please know that you are in good hands with Maria.

Maria Augimeri
https://mariaaugimeri.ndp.ca/

 

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My Oldest Friend in the World

In a previous blog, I mentioned that I found my accountant through my good friend and lawyer, Mitchell Rose. Mitch is my oldest friend in the world, as our moms met when they were expecting us. Ever since we were born, we’ve managed to keep in touch and when Mitch graduated from law school and was called to the bar, I am proud to say that I was one of his very first clients.

While Mitch continues to do legal work for me, in more recent times he has been focusing a great deal of attention on the mediation aspect of his business. Although he is still very much a lawyer, these days most of his work involves him acting as a mediator or settlement counsel.

In 2019, he started his own firm, known as Mitchell Rose Professional Corporation, with two divisions: Mitchell Rose Law and Rose Dispute Resolution. Mitch is the perfect person to be involved in mediation and settlement counsel work, as I have always found him to be a very level-headed and methodical lawyer. Mitch is practical, results-oriented, and is always thinking things through to the end and providing his clients with reasonable and sound advice. He also provides great value.

In some circumstances, Mitch has even suggested not pursuing certain actions or cases based on either the financial or emotional toll that it may take on myself and other clients. While this may have cost him money or fees in the short term, I have no doubt that this approach has served his mediation clients well, and will continue to serve him well as he attempts to grow his business.

Mitch also has an uncanny ability to look at things from many angles, always keeping the big picture in mind. With both personal or business matters, people in law often forget the human component. Whether it’s preparing or reviewing an employment contract or severance package, dealing with a neighbour dispute, or handling a debt collection issue, he takes into consideration the fact that he is dealing with people with various needs.

Mitch always works with a great deal of class, thoughtfulness, and kindness. While I have not personally had the chance to use Mitch for mediation (and probably couldn’t, due to our close friendship), I highly recommend that you or your legal counsel consider him for all of your mediation and settlement counsel needs.

Mitchell Rose
Mitchell Rose Professional Corporation
5000 Yonge Street, Suite 1901
Toronto, ON, M2N 7E9
416-227-3406
https://mitchellrose.ca/

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Buckling Down the Best Customer Service

From time to time, I’ve purchased various products, either online or at one of their few retail stores in Canada, at The North Face.  The company has anything from casual clothes, outdoorsy-type of clothes, sporting equipment, camping gear, and more. 

Back in 2016, my wife bought me three pairs of shorts. They were all stylish and comfortable and came in various different colours. While the shorts currently look as good as new, I had a slight problem, last year when part of the plastic on the belt wore down, resulting in the buckle no longer staying connected.  I called up The North Face to see about purchase a new buckle, but it turns out they’ve changed the style to a different buckle that would no longer fit my shorts. In fact, even when I first visited the store, one of the employees I talked to was willing to replace the buckles right then and there, until we realized it wasn’t going to fit. 

Because it was near the end of the summer, their parts department didn’t have my type of buckle stocked but told me to keep in touch and when the parts came, they’d send them to me.   As time passed, our interactions turned into quite the comedy, as on three separate occasions they sent me the wrong type of buckle.  At one point, I even sent them pictures to describe exactly what I needed, however, I would still end up with the wrong items.  In the end, they finally figured out what I needed, and sent me two of the three buckles (because they only had two).  While that would have been more than enough (I could always take off the belts to use with the other pair) they went one step further and offered me a free pair of shorts for the long delay and the inconvenience. 

The moral of the story is that I had often heard The North Face has great products, and as often with companies with good products, they stand behind their brand with great customer service.  Whether it was in-person at one of their stores, speaking to their Canadian head office in Montreal, connecting with their call centre or online exchanges, I’ve had a consistently good experience from them.  All employees have a can-do attitude and truly aim to please. 

If you’re looking for great customer service along with great clothing products, check out The North Face. 

The North Face Canada 
514-404-4896 
https://www.thenorthface.com/en_ca/homepage.html

 

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Taking Customer Service Into Account

Sensors Quality Management Inc. is coming up to its 26th year in business. Many years ago, when we first started out, I was fortunate that a few of my friends in accounting assisted me from time to time when we needed help with the books….the dreaded financial books!

When we got to the point where we needed an actual accountant, I had initially reached out to my good friend and lawyer, Mitchell Rose, who immediately recommended a colleague of his who he had met during university: Brian Bossin.

Brian’s accounting firm is named Bossin, Tin Yan Chartered Accountants, and right from our first meeting 20 years ago, I knew that Brian was going to be the perfect fit for both myself and SQM. Brian was clearly experienced and knowledgeable enough to deal with larger corporations, but also patient enough and willing to work with smaller, local businesses.

Unlike the bigger firms that often nickel and dime you as soon as you pick up the phone, Brian and his colleagues are more understanding, and are willing to take calls without running the meter, or meet from time to time to provide advice and direction.

In addition to doing the accounting for SQM, over the years, Brian has also taken care of my personal income taxes, done taxes for other family members, worked on other business-related projects, assisted me with various government applications and paperwork, and played a role in providing me with advice on tax and estate planning.

During the 20 odd years that I’ve known Brian, it’s become increasingly clear that he is knowledgeable and experienced with many facets of both personal and business accounting, and for areas in which he is not an expert, he can often direct me to somebody who is. I know that his advice and expertise are just a telephone call away.

Whether you’re looking for somebody to handle personal matters or your business, I highly recommend you consider Brian and the team at Bossin, Tin Yan Chartered Accountants for all of your accounting needs.

Bossin, Tin Yan Chartered Accountants
416-492-8484

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Good Customer Service is Only a Phone Call Away

My story starts out a number of weeks ago, when I was having problems with my cell phone….had encountered the black screen of death! 

I took the phone to one of my suppliers and he indicated that I was having a software problem.  When I got the phone back, it seemed as if he had corrected the issue, and the screen of death was gone, but I now noticed a pressure crack on my screen.  After speaking to someone else, I was told that the LED bleeding was only going to get worse, and eventually take over the entire screen unless I fixed it. 

With that in mind, I took it to the neighbourhood store, called UBREAKIFIX, where I met Steve.  Steve was a nice fellow and told me that he would only fix my screen if he could also clear all of the remaining software issues.  He took some time to run a diagnostic, and with my approval, decided to reset/wipe my phone. 

After he did all of this, I decided to make a call to Rogers (another blog) before I spent the money on a new screen, because replacing it is fairly expensive.  My contact at Rogers managed to get me a new phone, at no charge, and as a result, I did not have to incur the costs of putting a new screen on my old phone. 

While there was no guarantee that if he fixed my software problem, he could fix my screen, Steve spent a lot of time trying to help me out. In a day and age where businesses know what they want and how to get it and have this “what’s in it for me” mentality, Steve took the long-term approach to build a relationship with the customer as opposed to trying to make the quick sale. 

While this situation didn’t result in a sale for Steve at this particular time, I’ve already shared my experience with friends and colleagues and recommended Steve’s store.  Of course, I will definitely use his services in the future as well. 

For any electronic or technical challenges, Steve and the team at UBREAKIFIX are efficient, kind, and a pleasure to deal with. 

UBREAKIFIX 
416-483-3773 
https://www.ubreakifix.com/ca

 

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