Abbas Karimjee


Exploring Toronto’s artistic side to improve your home

Toronto is full of colour, culture and creative flair. If you are in the process of finding the right painter to decorate a new pad but are stuck for artistic and interior design ideas, Toronto is known for its vibrant side, which offers creative inspiration to its residents and visitors all year round. Here is a look at some of the points of interest in Toronto to look out for.

The Art Gallery of Ontario

This towering structure houses 80,000 exciting exhibitions from works which celebrate the past to modern performance pieces and sculptures. It is one of the largest art museums in North America and was expanded further in 2008. The new building alone – designed by Frank Gehry – offers interior design ideas and inspiration for your own pad, including how to manipulate more natural light into a space using the right material.

Toronto International Art Fair

More than 100 fine art galleries take part in Toronto’s annual art fair, Canada’s only contemporary visual art event. Its exhibitions include the NEXT gallery, which showcases emerging artistic talents, and FOCUS ASIA, which, as the title suggests, focuses on ornate, traditional and modern Asian art.

The great outdoors

Take advantage of Toronto’s beautiful surroundings to transfer to your own space, inside and out.

From classic topiary and geometric shapes at Edwards Garden to unspoilt landscapes in Toronto Island Park, have some fun picking out natural colours and bold plants. Cross over to the Beaches neighbourhood with its mazes of stylish colonial houses with planted sidewalks as well as beachside views. Nearby is the lush Kew Park and Gardens, with a myriad of planting ideas for your garden.


St Lawrence Market is a must-visit moving landmark in Toronto. This farmers market is a perfect chance to pick up some great kitchenware whilst having a bite to eat and partaking in some people watching. Alternatively, have a wander around the little boutiques and outside stalls at the Kensington Market, a colourful bohemian hub by Spadina Avenue. Be warned, parking is nonexistent.


Where better to find new decorative items than in the safe and sure environment of a mall? Toronto boasts many malls which have little boutiques alongside recognizable larger stores including the Eaton Centre with more than 320 stores in Downtown Toronto as well as the Yorkdale Shopping Centre which has rave reviews from past visitors. If you are looking for bespoke, designer interior design items, Toronto has premium stores dotted around its streets including Made which showcases young, fresh designer items and the larger Kiosk store which has floors of inspiring furniture collections.


Experience wine tasting, Canadian style!

If you are a wine lover or have always wanted to try something different from the traditional wine tasting experience, you won’t want to miss the Canadian experience. Take a cheap flight to the heart of Ontario’s wine country to explore this area and see firsthand how they make their infamous Icewine. You will discover this process is unique from traditional wine because they use frozen grapes right off the vine. The process yields the unique and tropical tastes.

Inniskillin is located in the heart of Wine Country in beautiful Niagara-on-the-Lake. Inniskillin is world renowned for its award-winning Icewines. Begin your visit to the Estate with a glass of Sparkling Vidal Icewine. You will get an in depth look into how the process of this wonderful drink was crafted. The grapes have been left netted on the vine far into the winter months in order to concentrate and intensify the flavour. Then it is only harvested after the temperature drops below -8°C for a long period of time.

You will then descend to the Underground Cellar where a historic Icewine collection, dating back to 1984, lie in the racks while aging to perfection.

The first Ice wine produced by Inniskillin, a 1984 Vidal, was in fact labelled “Eiswein”.

Of course a true Icewine tour would not be complete without an Icewine tasting. Icewine is full of rich and sumptuous flavour, but still balanced with refreshing acidity. Experience this for yourself with a private, comparative tasting session. First, try a sample of a Riesling Icewine and discover the distinctive taste when the Icewine is sampled from a Riedel Vinum Extreme Icewine glass. Next, explore what makes an Oak Aged Vidal Icewine more unique than your average barrel aged wine, and then taste the marvelous magic of a Red Cabernet Franc Icewine. Then comes a unique delectable conclusion as you cleanse your palate with the strangest food pairings: aged parmesan cheese and dark chocolate.

If you enjoyed the experience of Icewine tasting, you also may want to check out the annual Niagara Icewine Festival. For 10 days in January, the Niagara region is changed into a winter wonderland to celebrate Icewine. This is the place to sample a wide variety from over 30 wineries and 100 varieties of Icewine, known for its delicious sweetness, fruit flavour and dark nectar colour.

The following day, you can walk into an outdoor bar carved out of ice to sample Icewine vintages in Jordan Village. Stroll through Niagara-on-the Lake, one of Canada’s prettiest towns, window-shopping and sampling Icewines from over 20 wineries. Attend the Winemaker’s Dinner Series, where award-winning Icewines are paired with the likes of foie gras with quince brioche, elk strip loin and Quebec artisan cheeses, prepared by celebrity chefs such as Jamie Kennedy and Michael Fagan.

Your experience doesn’t need to end there: you can continue sipping on your very own Niagara Icewine from home.