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Your tour guide, Shirley Lum.




Meet your tour guide by this moose for the Second Chinatown walk.


If you're iron deficient, you'll want to buy this at Po Chi Tong Chinese Herbal Shop along the tour


Celebrating Chinese New Year on Second Chinatown Foodies walk is extra fun & lucky when the Lion Dancers comes to your dim sum table! Copyright © 2009 by Ruth Lor Malloy. All rights reserved. See additional images at personal web-site: http://www.china-travel-
guide.com
as well as the web-site for the Toronto Chinatown story http://www.VisualTravel
Tours.com




Just before we go inside to meet Akram, the food alchemist on Kensingston Foodies Roots walk


Food for thought while tasting at Chocolate Addict Shop along Kensing Foodies Roots walk




The oldest coffee shop for best coffee, coffee cake, and ghost stories


Martha van Heczey, owner of Coffee Mill Café and Shirley, courtesy by Mary Luz Meija, copyright of Street Eats.


While waiting for your tour guide to arrive, try and count the number of historical Gargoyles adorning Old City Hall.


Can you spot these mirrors along Haunted Kensington, Chinatown and Grange walk


Not your tour guide!
One of Toronto's famous literary visitors, Charles Dickens.

 

2013 PUBLIC TOUR DESCRIPTIONS

FOODIES | GHOST | LITERARY DETECTIVE

SPECIAL FOODIES BANQUET:

6th Annual Chinese New Year’s Eve 11-course Banquet
Duration: 2 hours
Location: Taste of China Seafood Restaurant

6th Annual Chinese New Year's Eve Hosted Banquet (11-course)
Saturday February 9th, 2013
6:00- 8:0pm
Fees: $58.00 per person OR $500.00 a table of 10
(Table1 - Shirley's family; Table 2 - guests; limited seating)

Pre-book your seats to avoid being disappointed.

Call (416)923-6813

MENU

* Crab Meat & Fish Maw Soup
* Stir-Fried Jumbo Shrimps
* Phoenix Nest w/ Seafood Medley & Vegetables
* Whole Crispy Chicken w/ flavoured Salt/pepper + Shrimp Chips
* Pork Chops w/ House BBQ sauce
* Traditional Four Treasure Braised Vegetables
* Double Lobsters with Ginger, Garlic & Green Onion
* Whole Steamed Fish
* E-Mein
* Yeungchow Fried Rice
* Traditional Sweet Dessert Soup + Fortune Cookies

NEW!

1st Annual Lantern Festival Banquet (9-course): Grand Finale of Chinese Lunar New Year

Saturday February 23rd, 2013
6:00-8:00pm
Location: Taste of China Seafood Restaurant
Fees: $50.00 per person OR $470.00 a table of 10

MENU

* Crab Meat & Fish Maw Soup
* Scallop with Meat
* Big Tiger Shrimps
* Crispy Whole Chicken with Salt/Pepper flavour & Shrimp Chips
* Traditionally Braised dish of Tofu, Meat & vegetables
* Double Lobsters with Ginger, Garlic & Green Onions
* Steamed Whole Fish
* Sweet Dessert Soup

NOTE: I also ordered a big bowl of steamed Jasmine rice

 

 

FOODIES WALKS:

BROADVIEW GATEWAY: 4 CULTURES

Duration: 3.5 hours
Meet: Broadview Subway Station by phone booth at entrance
End: Broadview/Gerrard Streets

What's the connection between the Bloor Viaduct and the old Robert Simpson store turned into The Bay on Queen Street? Find out while you cross the bridge and meet long-gone colourful citizens of the lost "Chester Village", Doctor's Row, Riverdale and Toronto's Third Chinatown. Though long gone, they'll come alive with their tales and pictures of fishmonger shops, long-gone cash market gardens, dirt roads, and car display lots. Fans of the romantic comedy movie My Big Fat Greek Wedding will love this walk as your guide points out sites enroute and show her own photos taken before the area changed some what since the movie shoot in 2001. Peel back layers of multicultural history along the Danforth, in Riverdale, and East Chinatown while sampling G.M.O.-free snacks from an innovative health food store and savoury and sweet Greek snack food and ending with Chinese and Vietnamese snacks. Note: some rolling hills (downhill), plenty of green outdoors thanks to secret gardens.

FOODIES GASLIGHT STROLL: ROSEDALE & YORKVILLE
Featured in the Toronto Star!

Duration: 3.5 hours
Meet: Summerhill Subway Station, exit
End: Yonge/Yorkville

"When I went up to Rosedale I thought of kingdom come... and roads that wind their stately way to dead ends... When I came down from Rosedale I could not school my mind to the manic streets before me nor the courtly ones behind" - local poet Dennis Lee

You'll likely sigh after your guide recites this fabulous poem just as we leave behind Rosedale's eclectic nooks like the workers' cottages, an old train station visited by Queen Mom, a quirky French bakery/café, Sir Henry Pellatt's second castle after Casa Loma, the site of the Jarvis family’s home, The Group of Seven's forgotten Studio, a local's hidden away wooden staircase, and then enter the hustling and bustling Victorian village of Yorkville. Indulge in coffee house nostalgia as we end at the oldest Yorkville café! You’ll appreciate this area as each season bring along a different bounty, colours, aromas and flavours! Bring along your cameras and shopping bags!

 

TORONTO'S LOST FIRST CHINATOWN (formerly OLD & NEW CHINATOWN)
Featured in the Globe & Mail and in the National Post!

Duration: 3.5 hours
Meet: Old City Hall, Front steps - 60 Queen St. W. (Queen/Bay Sts.)
End: Spadina Ave./St. Andrew St. (1 bl. N. of Dundas St. W.)

Toronto's first Chinatown's old quarters are fast fading and slipping away and becoming lost to condos that crop up ... trace where the seeds were planted back in 1878 and uprooted several times before landing at its presently better known Spadina/Dundas quarters. As we stroll down memory lane, we will look at archival photographs from 1920s, 1930s and 1990s of the old quarters while sharing personal stories of legendary locals, chop suey eateries, hand laundries, and all of a sudden the area comes alive again even for a brief moment. For added nostalgia, we will drop into the oldest family-run bakery for old-fashioned. Mouth-watering Chinese treats. We end with hosted Dim Sum, complete with Chinese Horoscope book readings. Added bonus: seasonal food festivals listed in Hot Tips section.

SECOND CHINATOWN FOODIES QUARTERS WALK
Featured in USA Today, Washington Post, L. A. Times & Toronto Star!

Duration: 3.5 hours
Meet: Chinatown Moose Statue at 393 Dundas St. W. (SW corner of Dundas/Beverley Sts.)

This gastronomic tour takes us into some of the most intriguing shops in this part of the town! You’ll love the equal portion of facts, seasonal festive food and drink sampling, and of course, shopping. No need to worry about the weather – there is ample opportunity to warm up or chill off in the interesting places we pop into.

We start by sharing traditional and contemporary snacks of varying textures, flavours and colours at an old Chinese bakery. After a brief review of the Chinese community and its food history, we head over to a Chinese herbal and tea shop, to sip specially brewed fragrant tea while experiencing all things tea. Bring along your shopping list for our intimate visit into an amazing Asian supermarket to demystify Asian produce. Looking for a gift for your food lovers? You'll find unique presents at one of the best restaurant supplier!

The Finale: your guide will host a healthy Dim Sum luncheon at a restaurant complete with swirling food carts. Your guide will review chopsticks, tea pouring, and dim sum etiquette over the course of the meal. Sit back and enjoy the dim sum ordered with harmonious blending of the five elements – colour, aroma, flavour, shape and texture – a principal that applies to the making of each individual dish as much as to the whole meal as well. We end reading the popular Chinese horoscope book. Get the most out of this year for your Chinese animal sign! Added bonus: seasonal food festivals listed in Hot Tips section.

NOTES:

  • Reservation in advance is preferred, as we pre-order the snacks sampled along the tour.
  • Max. 11 persons on weekend tours.
  • Do NOT eat breakfast prior to tour, unless you're a very early riser, diabetic, or pregnant.
  • Food allergies and preferences accommodated with advance notification.

KENSINGTON FOODIES ROOTS WALK
Featured on CNN & National Geographic Traveler!

Duration: 3.5 hours
Meet: Red pole w/ Black Cat @ 350 Spadina Ave. (1 block N of Dundas St. W.)

Culinary explorers savour Ontario’s seasonal bounties, while celebrating our roots and ethnicity. Each season’s local and international ingredients will link you with our past, our present, and our future as we peel back 200 years of successive waves of immigrants setting their roots, food, stories and customs in this marketplace. You start off noshing on Jewish and South Asian snacks at a popular local micro-roastery, then it's food for thoughts along vintage and " Japan cool" rows. After the gentle stroll and nostalgic tales accompanied by pictures, we treat ourselves to a variety of artisan cheeses from different Canadian regions.

Since Latin American snacks are all the rage, we'll sample some more street food fares. Of course, we need dessert, so we will make our way over to the tiny family-run chocolate shop for handcrafted Belgian chocolate and truffle tasting to please all the senses. Savour all the delicious tastes while reflecting on the cultural diversity as we start off with World famous hatter, Sammy Taft and meet the late actor/director, Al Waxman of "King of Kensington Show" fame!

NOTES:

  • Do NOT eat breakfast prior to tour.
  • Tours limited to 12 persons, so book early to avoid disappointment.
  • Bring empty shopping bags for anticipated foodies shopping.
  • Food allergies and/or preferences accommodated with reservations, minimum 24 hours advance notice.

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GHOST WALKS:

HAUNTED YORKVILLE, U OF T & QUEEN'S PARK WALK
Featured in Homemakers' Magazine and Hamilton Spectator!

Duration: 2 hours, 30 minutes
Meet: Royal Ontario Museum's steps between 2 marble lion statues, 100 Queen's Park

As shoppers, scholars and politicians head home, the ghosts emerge and you might feel their presence or detect them with your digital cameras. Step back in time as we indulge in treats and ghostly lore in the last remaining coffee house from Yorkville's Hippie era. Do we go into any haunted sites, you may ask? YES! After the tragic tale of revenge amidst the Gothic setting of the University of Toronto's most famously haunted building, we actually trace the last steps of a murderous chase and then you come upon a bannister and wonder if you've been transported to Harry Potter's Hogwarts School. If you grew up munching Mr. Christie's cookies, you'll savour the eerie stories connected with his mansion in Millionaires' Row. You might feel the vibes of two lost hospitals, so strong that you might feel the sad memories still lingeringly haunting. Bring digital cameras.

PHANTOMS, PLAYERS & PUNDITS WALK
Featured in Ottawa Citizen and on Natradio.com

Duration: 2 hours, 30 minutes
Meet: Old City Hall's front steps, Queen St. W./Bay St.

For whom does the bell toll? Find out whether it's for the spirits lurking in the shadow of the gargoyle-decked clock tower of Old City Hall or Osgoode Hall's grounds or Campbell House's attic or the warehouses turned into the most 'spirited' nightclubs in the new Entertainment District. You'll be chilled and thrilled by a very spirited vaudeville theatre complete with actors who were once the toast of Toronto or merely bit players, but they're all still putting on a hell of a show in their dressing rooms. NOTES: Not for the faint of heart, especially the exceptionally strong vibes coming from Old City Hall and Osgoode Hall areas. Bring digital cameras.

HAUNTED KENSINGTON, CHINATOWN & GRANGE WALK
Featured in Fodor's Around Toronto With Kids and Toronto Star Newspaper!

Duration: 2 hours, 30 minutes
Meet: Red Pole with Black Cat @ 350 Spadina Ave (1 bl N of Dundas)

As twilight approaches, the shops close up one by one, the streets become dead quiet...or are they? Sip a hot drink/cool drink (seasonality) inside a haunted micro-roastery while your guide tells ghost stories with multicultural twists. Buffy, The Vampire Slayer fans will love topics like Feng Shui, voodoo, zombies, and ghost festivals beyond Halloween within the culturally diverse Kensington Market and Toronto's Second Chinatown. We venture back onto the streets hunting for Chinese ghost-busting objects within commercial and residential quarters. Culture vultures will love the finale at the rear of the AGO, complete with swooping bats! NOTES: Not for the faint of heart, as you'll have eerie experiences when stepping into a couple of haunted sites to see if your sixth sense picks up any vibes. Bring digital cameras as you might detect our "extra guests"..

GHOSTS, GREASEPAINT & GALLOWS WALK
Featured on FTO and CFMT and in Hamilton Spectator

Duration: 2 hours, 30 minutes
Meet: St. Lawrence Market, middle doors 93 Front St. East (at Jarvis)

You'll be glad that we popped into the St. Lawrence Market to pick-up our mouth-watering pastries and drink at the beginning of the tour, otherwise you might not be able to handle the ghosts on an empty stomach. With the aid of your digital camera, you might catch the ghosts lingering in the lost jails, hanging squares, grand vaudeville theatres and an old hospital. They beckon us to listen to muddied stories of Toronto's wicked citizens. Muse over the macabre entertainment on market day close by the St. Lawrence Market area. Discover the macabre origins of popular phrases like "dead ringer", "off the wagon" and "You're pulling my legs!" We end at Eaton's Centre where you'll find the phrase "Shop until you drop" takes on a whole new meaning along this ghost walk! NOTES: Not for faint of heart or really sensitive souls, especially the strong vibes coming from the lost hanging square and the First Mayor's home. Bring digital cameras.

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LITERARY DETECTIVE WALK:

IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF CHARLES DICKENS: 1842
Featured in National Post and on TVOntario!

Duration: 2 hours, 30 minutes
Meet: St. Lawrence Market (S. Bldg.), middle doors Front St. East (at Jarvis)

Each year we like to celebrate the anniversary of British author, Charles Dickens' arrival in Toronto on Wednesday May 4th, 1842. The Da Vinci Code fans will love this walk as we play "detectives" with the aid of his travel book, American Notes, his wife's long-lost diary, locals' diaries, maps of the city from that era, pictures of the lost buildings he would have seen, and of course, portraits of folks he met in the town to add to the juicy tidbits during storytelling. You'll come away with a better sense of the real man and husband behind the label " famous prolific author". We'll even give you a hint where to find "the" door of a lost home he visited for dinner. We will NOT divulge the secrets until you come along on this fabulous walk, and you need not have read any of his books! This is a dream walk for librarians!

SWANSEA & L. M. MONTGOMERY

Duration: 2 hours, 15 minutes
Meet: Runnymede Subway Station, Runnymede exit
End: Runnymede Station

Lucy Maud Montgomery, much beloved Canadian author of Anne of Green Gables, is closely tied with Prince Edward Island, Canada. What's little known is the fact that she lived her last seven years in Swansea, "a nice country village" in Toronto's west end before being buried on her beloved island upon her death... You'll admire its serene setting, the winding road on the back of the Humber River, a deep ravine of pines and oaks, First Nations footpaths and wooden staircases... all leading to "Journey's End", her dream home described in her children's novel, Jane of Lantern Hill. Who is this popular writer? You’ll find out as your guide read excerpts from this book as we stroll by her last home. Kindred spirits will love her letters to and from her life-long pen pal, and of course, her own diaries. NOTE: wear boots with thick sole and good tread, as we might use a lost First Nations foot trail.

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Gift Certificates
now available!


HOT TIPS!
Special dates and
events to consider
when booking!
Click here to
read more.

For Foodies…

17th Annual Chinese Lunar New Year in Toronto's 2nd Chinatown Tours

Jan. 24, 25, 26, Feb. 1, 2, 7, 8, 9, 14, 2014 NEW Fridays!

7th Annual Chinese New Year’s Day 11-Course Banquet
Fri. Jan. 31st, 2014

2nd Annual Chinese New Year's Lantern Festival 9-Course Banquet
Fri. Feb. 14th 2014

Multi-Ethnic Spring Bounty in Kensington Market
March to June TBA

Qing Ming Festival in Toronto’s 2nd Chinatown
Sunday April 6, 2014

Dragon Boat Festival: Toronto’s Lost First Chinatown + Second Chinatown
May 25, June 1, 2014

Multi-Ethnic Summer Bounty: Kensington Market
July – Sept. TBA

Lotus Festival: Toronto’s Lost First Chinatown + Second Chinatown
July 2014

Harvest Moon Festival: Toronto’s Lost First Chinatown + Second Chinatown + Broadview Gateway
Aug. 24– Sept. 7

Multi-Ethnic Harvest Season: Toronto’s Kensington Market & Chinatown
Nov. 17, 24, 2014

Celebrate All The Winter Holidays in Kensington Market
Dec. 6, 13, 20, 2014

For Literary Detectives…

79th Anniversary of Lucy Maud Montgomery’s last home!
Sat. March 9, 2014

Charles Dickens' Toronto 1842 Visit
Sat. May 3, 2014

Happy early 140th Birthday, Lucy Maud Montgomery!
Sun. Nov. 30, 2014

For Ghost Hunters…

Ghostly March Break Walks
Fri. March 14 – 21, 2014

May Equinox Ghost Festival
April 29 – May 2, 2014

Chinese Hungry Ghost Festival
Aug. tba, 2014

Halloween Week Special
Oct. 21 – Oct. 29, 2014


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