My eBook, How To Immigrate To Canada For Skilled Workers: The Authoritative Guide To Federal And Provincial Opportunities is available now on Amazon and other online retailers. Get your copy of the essential guide to Skilled Worker class applications today!

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Also available is my new eBook, "How To Immigrate To Canada In The Family Class: The Authoritative Guide Including Québec And Super Visa Opportunities". Get it at Amazon or the other e-retailers noted above.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Top 5 Toronto - site seeing

Back to the Top 5! Now what I think you should see aren't necessarily what the tourist board would recommend. Still I think if you check these five destinations out, you'll be very pleased with your Toronto experience.

Younge Street (between Front and Bloor) - Take a stroll from south to north and you're eyes, ears...well, all your senses are in for a treat. There is everything from weird little bargain electronics shops to SAM SAM the Record Man, to great pizza and pan Asian food to souvenir and boutique shops. The street is usually bustling with activity and it is just this messy commerce that I love. You will too!

Queen Street West - Another great shopping street in Toronto, but this one, chock full of designer furnishings, clothing and second-hand stores, is a funkier section of town. Check out events at CHUM's CityTV building (at John Street), where Much Music is often putting on events, or have your say at Speakers Corner (a loonie is the price of admission for your own rant on, well, whatever you want!). Queen is also serviced by the Red Rocket street cars, so if you get tired you can hop on one. As you head west, the street calms down and there are some nice parks and restaurants to explore.

Nathan Phillips Square - The heart of Toronto, so to speak, Nathan Phillips Square is a model of a public space to be admired. It is the site of Toronto City Hall, but more than that, with its wide open spaces and skating rink/wading pool/reflecting pond, it is also a place where people gather to meet, socialize and celebrate community events (it's the site of the city's New Year celebration). Added bonus - the blue poutine truck that parks on Queen Street!

St. Lawrence Market - Yummy meats and veggies especially cheese, cheese, cheese! St. Lawrence Market on Front Street is the place for fresh food stuffs. Some vendors make sandwiches and prepared foods for you to eat on the spot or take home, so if you don't have a place to cook, you can still enjoy the food. Don't forget to check out the lower level too!

Eaton Centre - Now THIS is a shopping mall. Three levels of shops and restaurants, with a range of services inside as well, Eaton Centre (the Eaton's store has since been taken over by Sears) is where Toronto goes to shop. By Dundas Square to the east (off Younge Street) there 's always some sort of activity happening - it's also a good place to start because right inside the entrance is a bank with cash machines :). You always seem to run into someone you know at Eaton Centre, which is especially beautiful come Christmastime.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Happy 25th Anniversary to the Charter of Rights and Freedoms

Twenty-five years ago today, the Charter of Rights and Freedoms became law in Canada. This document has laid the foundation for the development of a modern, multi-cultural Canada that offers opportunity to many who cannot find it anywhere else in the world.

The Charter covers everything from human rights to democratic, equality, and mobility rights, as well as defining the two official langauges of the nation.

Learn more about this remarkable document here.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Top 5 Toronto - restaurants

I decided to have a little fun now that Spring is here and lighten the mood in celebration of the return of the Sun! SO here we go - a Top 5 series for you to help in your enjoyment of my favorite city, Toronto. This post covers my Top 5 restaurants.

Messis - 97 Harbord Street, Toronto Phone (416) 920-2186. Try the Oven-roasted marinated Atlantic salmon with a soy ginger sushi rice tower, sesame sautéed julienne fennel & bok choy, and a citrus carrot sauce ($17.95), or the Halibut when it's in season - yum! For dessert, don't you dare miss the Wild blueberry & white chocolate phyllo strudel with Tahitian vanilla ice cream.

Bar Italia - 582 College Street, Toronto, ON, Canada - (416) 535-3621. While the service has been known to be sketchy, with servers playing tag-team games (the person who seats you will not get you water, the person who gets you water will not take your order, the person who takes your order will not serve you, the person who serves you will not check in on you, the person who checks in on you will not bring you your bill, the person who brings you your bill will not bring you your change...), the food IS yummy and the atmosphere is stylin'. Try one of the many pastas or the gnocchi.

Spring Rolls - 691 Yonge Street, Toronto, ON, Canada - (416) 972-6623. Pan Asian at it's best, with oodles and oodles of noodles. Don't miss the Pineapple Fried Rice too! The Younge Street location insures lots of action on the street too. This list is making me hungry...

Fran's Diner - 20 College Street, Toronto, ON, Canada - (416) 923-9867. I'm not the only one who loves this diner (try the Waffles and Ice Cream!) - here's a quote from another best-of list: "If you want to begin your day with a standard, no-frills breakfast, head to Fran's, a Toronto institution. Fran's offers the usual breakfast choices, including eggs, bacon, toast, and coffee.Choose from traditional breakfast dishes or made-to-order omelets and waffles. People of all ages enjoy Fran's!" Good enough for Glen Gould? Good enough for me.

Sugar Cafe - 942 Queen Street West, Toronto, ON, Canada - (416) 532-5088. Another great brunch spot. Try the french toast and a couple cups of coffee before you begin a day of shopping on Queen Street West. It's small and lovely and personal and if you don't mind the eclectic furnishings (chairs of different heights and tables that may need a matchbook or two to make the legs even), could even be considered stylish!

Let me know if you hit up any of these spots and agree with me that these are five of the tops!

Monday, April 02, 2007

Reader's Choice - what would you like to see covered?

For two years now I've been covering the immigration scene in Canada, my personal ups and downs with it, and the pros and cons of the system Canada has set up to accommodate those seeking a new home.

As I enter my third year of exploring the expatriate mind, I'm wondering if there are any areas that you, the reader, would like me to explore or pay more attention to?

Maybe you enjoy the cultural commentary - my music video selections or comments on places to see and things to do in my beloved Toronto? Maybe the political commentary is what you're interested in? Tracking down resources for immigrants? Whatever it is that you want to see covered here at The Mind, just drop me a comment and let me know.

And thank you again for taking the time to read. It's nice to see the hit counter go up each day, and I hope the last two years have meant something to you.