Category Archives: Stuff we love

Hawaii’s Popular Dish comes to King West- Lawai’a Poke Bowls!

Although it is only Spring, warm tropical flavors have already taken over our senses here in King West! Lawai’a Poke Bar opened its doors to the public last week and our team was so excited to finally try it out!

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‘Poke’ , which is Hawaiian for “to slice or cut”  is healthy, delicious and totally unique. Poke is a s popular Hawaiian  dish, a bowl that usually consists of rice, fish and veggies. 

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While Poke is a new trend in Toronto, this simple and addictive Hawaiian dish has been around for centuries. Minto Westside homeowners will be extra lucky to have Lawai’a just around the corner!

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Lawai’a lets you order delicious classic combos, or  build your own bowl with seasonal fresh ingredients. You have a variety of selections of grains, proteins and toppings to get creative and structure your perfect bowl!

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We hope we got you as hungry as we are!  Head on over today for some lunch or dinner!

While you are in the neighborhood, be sure to check out our Westside Sales office located at 700 King St W, or visit mintowestside.com to learn more about living in this fabulous community!

Yoga at Home

Yoga is a 5,000-year-old regimen for body, mind and spirit that originated in India and is now practiced all over the world. As an
exercise routine it is simple, holistic and needs no fancy equipment, which is why it’s perfect to practice in your home. Here are a few
pointers to get you started.

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CREATE A COMFORTABLE SPACE
• Clear an area on a flat floor surface and a clear flat wall. Dim the lights and have a mat that you can roll out when needed.

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GET YOUR EQUIPMENT
• Mat, block, strap, and a bolster are the usual essentials.
• If you don’t have these items you can use items around the house – books make good blocks, a belt for a strap, and use towels or pillows for a bolster.

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CREATE THE ATMOSPHERE
• Candles, incense, and music help set the scene.                                             • Try a yoga playlist on Spotify for a true yoga musical sound.               • Follow along with a book, an app, or an online video.                               • Try free apps like Daily Yoga or Yoga for Beginners                                  • Doyogawithme.com lets you stream yoga video or audio for a small fee.

thuc-hanh-yoga-tai-nha-chia-khoa-de-thanh-congBe sure to relax and Savasana when you’re done! And when you would rather practice in a group setting, there are surly some great studios in your area you can try!

ENJOY YOUR PRACTICE!

Best Smoothie Places around Toronto to Fight off the Cold!

A cold refreshing smoothie or freshly squeezed juice is not just the ideal summer thirst Quencher- these immune boosters are even more beneficial in the colder months ahead of us!

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Our list of juice bars have got you covered with everything from fancy cold-pressed concoctions, blended smoothies, concentrated shots, and a variety of nut milks, hearty enough for the coming winter!

Juice Box

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Juice Box is one of Toronto’s best juice bars. This popular juice bar is located right in the middle of the Bloor-Church Village. It is a small take-out destination that makes fruit and vegetable juices on the spot- so you know it has to be ‘fresh’! This is the place to go if you live or work around the area. They provide customers with fast – fresh service so stop by for something ‘freshly squeezed’ today!

Location: 491 Church St.

Greenhouse Juice Co.

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This boutique bar sits in a little white house off Yonge at Macpherson Ave. which makes this uptown spot a hit! Aside from cold press juices, nut milks, super-food shots and chia seeds, they are soon to offer Cleansing programs and an expanded food menu. As they experiment, new juices will be added to the already solid roster of flavors. The handmade nut milks are truly amazing and well received by customers who keep going back for more!  Their almond milk alone is magical a blend of cold pressed almonds, alkaline water, vanilla bean, Medjool dates and coconut oil, and blankets the mouth in a gently sweet and creamy way. Greenhouse provides an inspiring heaven for enjoying a luxurious array of fresh flavors.

Location: 5 Macpherson Ave.

 Fresh

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Fresh is better known for their tremendous selection of healthy and hearty vegetarian entrees! Wither you go for brunch, lunch or dinner, you can always count on it being slightly crowded, and rightfully so!  This chain also has a variety of nut milk shakes, hearty fruit and veggie smoothies, and recently a new favorite, their wide selection of cold press juices! One bottle of a cold-pressed juice contains approximately 3 pounds or 10 servings of fresh organic produce. These little packages come with big benefits! A single serving of juice is a powerful, blood detoxifier, immunity booster, and promotes tons of energy!  Something that good for you, is worth at least one try!

Various locations around Toronto, visit their website for one close to you: http://freshrestaurants.ca/

Bolt Fresh Bar

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Recently opened just steps from The Drake Hotel, this place is never short, of a long line-up!  From classics like the Chocolate Thunder that pleasantly consists of whipped dark ChocoSol froth, organic peanut butter, raw cacao, banana, flax and chia seeds, agave and almond milk. Or go for fan favorite;  their Greena Colada which is a new exotic addition to the menu, and stands out for its’ melody of pineapple, shredded coconut, kale, agave nectar, and flax seed, smoothed together with coconut milk and raw cashew. Again like most smoothie place offerings, smoothies aren’t the only drinks on tap at Bolt; their pressed juices are also terrific, and hugely revitalizing.

Location: 1170 Queen St. W

With this many reasons and places to try out something that’s good for your mind, body and immune system, what are you waiting for?

Things To Do In The T.O This Summer: Toronto Centre Island

We love to make the MOST of what the city has to offer during these hot sunny days!

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Toronto has the best of city living and  when we’re looking for a retreat we don’t have to go too far, the islands are just a short ride away! Some of us have childhood memories of riding the ferry over to the island and seeing a new part of our amazing city. And for those of you yet to discover the gem across the harbor here is what you need to know!

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With over 30 rides and more than a dozen fabulous food options, the iconic Centreville Theme Park is a fantastic family getaway. Bumper boats, bumper cars, an antique carousel, and a farm where you can interact with mini- potbelly pigs, horses, mini ponies, sheep more! There is plenty to do for the whole family which makes it a great one stop destination for summer fun.

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The island itself has over 600 acres of parkland with stunning views of the Toronto harbor, great for a picnic lunch, play mini golf around or give frisbee golf a try! You can even hit up one of the many beaches around the island and take a dip if you can brave the cold Lake Ontario waters!

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Take advantage of the last few weeks of summer and soak up some island sun in the T.O!

Best Food Trucks to Check out This Summer in T.O!

Summertime in Toronto is the best time to check out the city’s great selection of food trucks! Scrumptious, savory and sweet hotspots are springing up everywhere this summer giving us a chance to grab a bite and hang out under a shaded tree for the perfect picnic!

Here’s our list of some of the BEST Food Trucks you must try this summer!

Gorilla Cheese

These are no ordinary grilled cheese sandwiches! This food truck takes a spin off the most classic comfort food and creates gourmet perfection! You can find a variety of grilled cheese choices such as ‘The Lumberjack’, with cheese bacon apple and maple syrup, or ‘The Neopolitan’, which combines unlikely but tasty ingredients such as strawberries and Nutella, cheese on cinnamon raisin bread! Yum!!!!

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Buster’s Sea Cove

We had to include this one; Buster’s Sea Cove is the only seafood Food Truck offered in Toronto! Although it is run by the same owners of the St. Lawrence Market and Long Branch establishment, the truck menu is unique and always changing! You can find one-of-a-kind items such as ‘shrimp po’boys, calamari sandwiches, octopus, fish tacos and lobster rolls that are made with Nova Scotia Lobster! We bet your mouth is watering now!

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Gourmet Gringos

Gourmet Gringos set out to fulfil their mission of serving fresh, authentic, Latin cuisine to Torontonians! With delights such as low-braised pork shoulder tacos, fish tacos, and hand-pressed Argentinean Empanadas, it’s no wonder a huge crowd gathers anywhere this truck makes its entrance! Apart from their delicious menu, Gourmet Gringos sources from local farms and all their meat and produce are 100% local. What’s more? Fresh guacamole is prepared every single morning from only the best avocados! What a perfect way to spend a summer afternoon; lunch is served!

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Caplansky’s Food Truck!

Caplansky’s is one of the most well-established and loved restaurant in the City, so it is no surprise that they took their mouth watering sandwiches on the road for more people to enjoy! Smoked meat sandwiches are of course the staple here, but don’t underestimate their famous and exclusive latkes poutine! Although they claim to be a ‘deli’ truck, there are far more options such as daily soup, grilled cheese, spring rolls and even donuts with flavors such as maple beef-bacon! This will surely hit the spot!

TORONTO, ON - JULY 23 - Zane Caplansky,outside Sony Centre with his food truck called Thundering Thelma which is tied up in City of Toronto red tapeÉ..His truck sell smoked meat and other things but has to sell out of private property Toronto, July 23, 2013. Colin McConnell/Toronto Star

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Eva’s Original Chimneys

Lastly, we thought we would leave you off with something sweet! If you haven’t already tried a ‘chimney’, you’ll want to soon! This Hungarian cake is a freshly baked, bread-like pastry, in a cylindrical shape with a crunchy outer layer, and soft and fluffy dough on the inside! Chimney’s cakes and cones are made with only premium quality ingredients, from scratch, by hand and baked on an open gas rotisserie grill! There are lots of flavors to choose from, whether you want an ‘Original’ which is a delicious pastry cone filled with real ice cream, ‘Eva’s Apple Pie’, homemade apple preserves with cinnamon and ice-cream, or an ultimate experience such as the ‘Dream Cone’, made with Nutella , butter toffee bits, organic cocoa drizzle topped with homemade salted caramel Brownie! On second thought, you may want to do dessert BEFORE lunch! YUMMY!

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With the warm breeze in the air, and longer days ahead, our palates are only getting bigger, hungrier, and more adventurous! Come out and enjoy one, or some of these meals on wheels today and skip the everyday restaurant experience for one that will have you enjoying the outdoors even more!

Check out more food trucks at the Food Trucks Toronto website.

Green Architecture Around The World

It’s earth week! And what better way to celebrate than to take a look at some of the best sustainable architectural buildings around the world! As a leading Green builder, Minto is committed to creating better, greener buildings and homes with less impact on the environment.  We like to look at what other builders and architects around the world are doing to inspire us to push the envelope even further on Green building. Below we have some great examples of innovative sustainable home building and construction, plus a look at Minto’s own Net Zero project!

Let’s take a look:

 

The Sustainability Treehouse by Mithun ArchitectsWest Virginia

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The Sustainability Treehouse is a unique icon of camp adventure, environmental stewardship and innovative building design that uses the environment around it to inspire visitors within it. The Treehouse provides dynamic educational and gathering spaces for exploring and understanding the site and ecosystem at the levels of ground, tree canopy, and sky. The towering steel frame elevates visitors to extraordinary vantages and educates them on green building systems, such as photovoltaic panels, wind turbines, and a large cistern and water cleansing system. Visitors learn about energy and water conservation as they climb outdoor staircases up to a 125-foot-high rooftop rising above the leaf canopy. Sited on a former coal mine, the building features a locally made prefabricated steel megastructure, FSC-certified black locust wood housing, a photovoltaic array, a wind turbine, and a rainwater catchment system.

 

CV by Paz Arquitectura, Santa Rosalia, Guatemala City

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Located on a dense hillside forest in the Santa Rosalía area of Guatemala City, Corallo House integrates an existing forest into the layout of a house. It merges nature into the architecture. The home was designed with the goal to preserve the existing trees, in order to have the trees interact with the living space. The floorplan is free of columns, and the floor levels change with the existing topography. The façades are mostly glass in order to connect the interior to the exterior. The main structural component is exposed concrete, which contrasts with the texture of the wood and the trees. In addition, the home uses heat repelling concrete foundation and recycled materials.

 

The Council House 2, Melbourne, Australia

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The Council House 2 (CH2) office building was designed in collaboration with the City of Melbourne to follow a model that promotes a more interactive role between the city and nature, in which all parties depend on each other. The City of Melbourne aims to achieve zero emissions for the municipality by 2020, and so the CH2 was designed as a major contribution to this goal, as well as a working example for the local development market. The objective of CH2 was to have it rely on passive energy systems while producing a premium grade building. Plants are used for façades that moderate climate, tapered ventilation ducts integrate with day lighting strategies and a concrete floor structure plays a central role in the building’s heating and cooling, bringing down utility costs and the building’s overall emissions.

 

The HemLoft Treehouse, Joel Allen, Whistler

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The HemLoft Treehouse was built out of materials that Allen, the architect and brains behind this, got off of Craigslist mostly for free! These materials coupled with a lot of time and passion for living green is why this project became a world wide success.  Allen’s efforts to reuse materials from million dollar homes that were torn down in the whistler community, highlight the importance of reusing materials in and reducing waste.

 

One Central Park, Sydney, Australia

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One Central Park in Sydney, is a 117 metre tall residential tower, designed by Parisian architect, Jena Nouvel. It features vertical gardens covering the façade of the building, giving it a look of a building made of greenery. Lush gardens also occupy the terraces of the structure, and it is built around a spacious park, giving you green space at all angles of this building. The gardens are filled with 38,000 indigenous and exotic plants, providing  a mix of vegetation to the landscape. A cantilevered section of the building holds reflective panels that help provide sunlight to all edges of the building’s green spaces. One Central Park turns residential high-rise construction into the opportunity for more green space, and it lets you live in a home that is also a gigantic garden!

And last but not least, our very own Net Zero Home in Minto’s community; Arcadia!

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In Ottawa, our Arcadia community truly demonstrates Minto’s dedication to sustainable building design and techniques. We have exceeded the voluntary technical program requirements with our “Net Zero Energy Ready” homes. A Net Zero home means that in a given year, the home will produce as much energy as it uses. Projecting a 65 per cent reduction in total home energy consumption, the Net Zero home is positioned to further offset remaining energy use with the option to add solar panels post purchase. This is the first time a home like this has been offered to the average buyer! More importantly, our architectural and construction team has found unique and creative ways to conceal the green innovations in the design making the Net Zero home it appear quite typical and beautiful. Click here to read more about our Net Zero homes in Ottawa.

 
We hope you enjoyed all these innovative and amazing structures! Happy Earth week everyone!

 

Spring Cleaning Tips!

Although we are still experiencing those frosted morning commutes, windy evenings, and unpleasant drafts, we assure you… Spring IS here!

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What better way to welcome this long awaited guest than to clean up, de-clutter, and revitalize our spaces! We have found a few ways that you can revitalize your hibernating home with a few simple tips!

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  • When tidying, reduce trips around the house by temporarily depositing items in one spot that’s easily accessible.
    • Rather than tidying up/ cleaning a small portion and then leaving the area to go dispose of your garbage, it’s best to keep a garbage bag or throw-away pile close by so that you can work continuously!
  • Work from the top down, inside to outside, to avoid getting what you just cleaned dirty again.
    • When you chose an area to clean, start with an easy section that you are more likely to finish, vs. starting from anywhere and stopping half way because you become unmotivated or too tired!
  • Do two things at once. While laundry is going, scrub the shower stall.
    •  Some argue that multi-tasking makes you less productive. We believe that when cleaning, it can actually help speed up the cleaning process! A perfect match would be doing laundry and de-cluttering a closet nearby.
  • And last but definitely not least, invest in good rubber or vinyl gloves to protect your skin and nails.
    •  If you are the lady of the house and refuse to get that perfect manicure ruined, then having a good pair of gloves will motivate you to get started without thinking twice!

 

If you enjoyed these tips be sure to visit http://www.styleathome.com/organizing/organizing-ideas/10-spring-cleaning-tips/a/901 for more spring cleaning tips, ideas, and discussions!

Happy Cleaning!