Tag Archives: Toronto

Neighbourhood Roots: The History of Fort York

As you may have seen if you’ve visited the Minto Westside site, we’re located right across the street from Fort York. There is fascinating history surrounding this unique site, and what better way to get to know your future neighbourhood than to learn about its historical roots!

Fort York View from Minto Westside

The site itself is made up of military fortifications and related buildings. Inside the buildings, you will find Canada’s largest collection of original War of 1812 buildings, and it was the site of the battle of 1813.
Fort York Minto WestsideThe York Barracks, 1804. www.fortyork.ca 

Fort York was built by the British Army and Canadian military troops in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Its purpose was to defend the settlement and the new capital of Upper Canada, “York” (what is now Toronto), from the threat of a military attack from the newly independent United States. During the early years of our city’s history, Fort York played a significant role in the economic and social development of the community.

Fort York saw a lot of action during the War of 1812, when the Americans declared war on Canada and invaded. In 1813 the Americans attacked Fort York twice, burning down many of the barracks and buildings. Shortly afterwards, the Fort was rebuilt into the structure that remains today.

Fort York Map Minto WestsideMap of Fort York during the Attack of 1813. www.fortyork.ca 

Fort York was designated as a ‘National Historic Site of Canada’ in 1923.  On Victoria Day 1934, Fort York opened as a historic site museum. The City of Toronto designated the site, along with the nearby Fort York Armory, as a Heritage Conservation District in 1985.

Today, Fort York is conveniently open year-round and offers a fantastic opportunity to take part in tours, exhibits, and seasonal demonstrations. During the warmer months, the site is busy with ceremonies of the Fort Guard. The fort houses various exhibits, such as restored period rooms and traditional museum galleries, and the site hosts arts and cultural festivals on it’s grounds as well.

Fort York Guard Minto WestsideThe Fort York Guard. www.fortyork.ca

Fort York is another great reason to enjoy the King West neighborhood, not just for its vibrant culture and exciting shops and eateries, but for the rich history as well!

Find out more about Fort York at www.fortyork.ca. Or visit mintowestside.com to learn more about living in this fabulous neighbourhood!

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!


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!


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.



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!



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!!!!




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!




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!




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



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!




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.

We Won the EnerQuality Green Builder of the Year Award … Again!

On February 26th, The Minto Group was once again honored for its commitment to energy efficiency and creating better places through its sustainability practices at the 2015 EnerQuality Awards Gala held yesterday in Toronto. Consistent dedication to designing and building high performing, comfortable and efficient new homes for its customers earned Minto the Ontario Green Builder of the Year award marking the fourth time in five years the company has received this honor.

2015 Green Builder Award-Instagram

“We are incredibly proud to be recognized by EnerQuality for our approach to energy efficiency and creating value for our customers through our greener design and building practices,” said Alison Minato, Vice President Sustainability, The Minto Group. “This has been an exciting year highlighted by the launch of our new Net Zero Energy home options in our Arcadia community in Kanata, and this award that underscores the concentrated efforts of everyone at Minto to create better places.” The EnerQuality award is presented annually to a builder that raises the bar from the rest of the industry through its leadership in improving the environmental, energy efficiency, and overall image of the industry. Winning two times in a row, and 4 times of the past 5 years, makes us proud and encourages us to keep the momentum growing stronger!


Two important sustainability initiatives we demonstrated this year are the Bside Nissan Leaf S partnership promotion, and Ottawa’s Arcadia community introducing an entire block of Net Zero Homes!

Nissan Leaf Incentive: Bside Toronto

Bside at Minto Westside’s Nissan Leaf electric vehicle car promotion was definitely an attribute in this year’s EnerQuality win! This promotion offered the first 20 Bside condo purchasers, who bought a suite and a parking spot equipped with an electric-vehicle charging station a free Nissan Leaf S! This program not only provided fantastic value but also raised awareness about the lack of EV infrastructure in the downtown area. In many cases it is not a lack of environmental sensitivity that’s stopping downtown residents from going ‘electric’ but actually a lack of EV charging stations in the core. Through this green initiative, Minto hoped to increase the ubiquity of green transportation downtown while also helping future residents live a more sustainable lifestyle. Bside has been developed with a dedicated transformer for EV charging stations offering residents who want a vehicle in the city the ability to make an affirmative environmental decision. “We’re thrilled to be offering this new incentive program to purchasers of Bside”, Amanda Wilson Watkins, Vice-President of Marketing and Sales for Minto. “This is more than just an incentive, it’s really giving Minto a chance to raise awareness about sustainable mobility and help purchasers make the right choice when it comes different transportation options.” Here at Minto, the ultimate goal is to design for the future, and we recognize that accessible charging is an important consideration when people are looking at purchasing an electric vehicle.


Zero Net Home: Arcadia Ottawa:

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 across the entire Arcadia community. It is a net zero home, which 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 NZEr Killarney is positioned to further offset remaining energy use with the option to add solar panels post purchase. “Our Net Zero Energy ready home speaks to Minto’s 40 year legacy in sustainability and innovation,” says Brent Strachan, Senior Vice President, Minto Communities Canada. “We’re proud to introduce this high performing home that blends technology, design and materials to create better places for people to live, work and play.” Exterior package upgrades are also available for all single family models in Arcadia to allow for up to a 50 per cent reduction in heating and cooling costs compared to a typical home. Features including drain water heat recovery, low VOC paints and high efficiency water fixtures are standard on all Arcadia models.

This is unique to the industry as this extraordinary sustainability approach applies to all model types in the community and is available for the entire block. 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 NetZero home it appear quite typical and beautiful.

Minto designs and builds homes to deliver environmental and energy performance to benefit people now and in the future with lower costs, improved comfort and healthier living.


Till next year’s awards, we look forward to an awesome, Green motivated, 2016 at here at Minto!


The Perfect Christmas Tree For Your Home, and How to Do it Yourself!

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and your home is the perfect way to display your holiday spirit! Christmas is such a special time, and picking out the perfect tree to create that ideal festive feel is always so much fun!


With so many options out there we often find ourselves wondering; which Christmas tree should I go with, what color, what will be this year’s theme,  size, and much much more!  With all the different décor ideas out there it’s hard knowing which one is right for your unique space, don’t worry we are here to help!

Here are a few ideas to assist in finalizing your favorite décor pieces for this season!

Preparation – Finding the Tree:




Before you pick a design for your home, there are a few pointers on what to look for!  Reader’s Digest helps the process by outlining some key factors before choosing! For Example, it is suggested that before you go tree shopping, measure the height of the ceiling in the room where you will display your tree because you will want to choose a tree that is at least one foot shorter than the ceiling height. Also, it’s best to measure the opening of your tree stand and make sure the base of your chosen tree will fit. Other suggestions are to run your fingers along the needles and ensure that when you give it a shake, the bristles are not falling out! We hope you found these tips useful, for more tips visit: http://www.rd.com/home/pick-the-perfect-christmas-tree/


You have many choices in purchasing a tree when living in Toronto, as there are many markets and farms within close range ! Here is a list of places around Toronto where you can choose the right tree for you and your family! http://www.toronto.com/articles/where-to-pick-the-perfect-christmas-tree-around-toronto/



Design/ Theme of Your Tree:

Now that you have picked out that tree, time to decide on how to decorate it! Whether you are going for the traditional, modern, or unique approach, we have several ideas just waiting to be tried out!



If you are the kind of person who loves the traditional Christmas tree, you probably already have some of your own favorites; here are some more ideas from Traditional Home to help you chose exactly what style of traditional you prefer! http://www.traditionalhome.com/design/decorating-christmas-trees?page=3



For a trendier, modern tree take a look at Debbie Travis’s guide on how pick the perfect tree for different contemporary styles of home décor. Some ideas include:

Peppermint – Traditional candy cane colours inspires this traditional collection, updated with silver accents to enhance the richness


Pistachio – This is a lovely green and gold trimmed trim with details that play off beautiful dark brown accents in an elegant collection.


Once Upon a Time – This collection is romantic, pretty and feminine with a Victorian feel. It is inspired by all things that are magical for your little princesses.


These are just a few styles of trees to chose from, for more ideas, visit:



And lastly,  for the inner creative genius in you, we’ve got just the perfect way to spice up those pines! If you looking for a funky and unique spin on decorating your tree, check out these cool ides:


_Hardcover -christmas-tree-karacsonyfa-diszites



Now, Let’s Start Decorating Ourselves!

Now that you have everything, follow this easy stet-by-step guide to start decorating yourself! In just 5 steps you will have your beautiful Christmas tree ready for the Holiday celebrations!


Decorating The Christmas Tree: Tips

We hope this helped your search, and narrow down your awesome design ideas!


From our Minto family to yours, we hope that whatever tree or decorative style you decide to go with this holiday, it fills your home and families with tremendous joy and holiday spirit!

Our Favourite Spots for a Warm Drink in Yorkville


Toronto is an ideal city for coffee-lovers. With a coffee shop at almost every corner, there’s no way you’ll ever feel like you’re out of reach of a warm brew. We especially love the unique and charming cafes found in our Yorkville neighbourhood. And with the weather getting colder, there’s no better way to escape the cold than grabbing a nice warm latte or cappuccino. Here are a few of our favourite coffee spots in Yorkville.


Zaza Espresso Bar



Sometimes in the hustle and bustle of the city you just want to find a peaceful spot to enjoy an authentic espresso. Zaza Espresso lets you do just that. Opened 6 years ago, Zaza Espresso Bar is the perfect place to enjoy real Italian coffee with friends in a serene and welcoming atmosphere. All coffee is made with authentic Zaza coffee beans imported from Italy. With over 5 locations across the GTA, Zaza Espress Bar is your neighbourhood café that holds a strong connection with their customers.



Nespresso Boutique Bar




Nespresso Boutique Bar is an elegant, modern and sleek café on Cumberland St. The space was once home to Cumberland Cinemas, but is now transformed into a vibrant coffee bar and lounge that is as much a Nespresso retail space as it is a cafe. The polished and bright design features high ceilings, elegant chandeliers and comfortable seating in a large, open space. If you’re looking for a new type of coffee-shop experience, Nespresso Boutique Bar is a good place for something new.




Caffe Bacio



In the heart of the chic shopping area in Yorkville, Caffe Bacio is the perfect place to escape the cold and have fun people watching. The café is everything Italian. Indulge in a creamy and smooth cappuccino made by a special blend of Italian Lavazza coffee beans. The coffee is rich and well rounded, perfect for a true coffee lover. You can also enjoy homemade stone oven pizzas and Paninis. The only thing not Italian about Caffe Bacio are the homemade pastries. French pastries and desserts fill the café’s showcase. The sleek café serves breakfast and lunch Tuesday to Sunday. Put your phone down and have a sip of coffee over good conversation.



Seven Grams Espresso Bar



Taking its name from the measure of ground coffee used to make the perfect espresso shot, this café is all about details when it comes to the right cup of coffee. At Seven Grams they believe in experimenting, trying new methods and different amounts to create a coffee masterpiece. They also believe in supporting local artists, and so display and ever-changing array of local artwork on their walls. Enjoy a freshly brewed warm coffee, or if you’re in the mood to experiment, try one of their smooth and refreshing cold brews.


Interested in living amongst such trendy coffee spots? Visit us today at Minto Yorkville Park to find #24Karatliving in Yorkville.


Kenya Bruce

Demolition in Yorkville

If you’ve been by the intersection of Cumberland and Bellair lately, you will have noticed that the old office building is coming down as we start to prepare for the construction of Minto Yorkville Park!

Demolition of a structure like this takes careful planning and execution and the demolition team is following a step-by-step engineered process to bring down the old building at 94 Cumberland.

Minto Yorkville Park

The first step of the process was considered largely non-structural & prepatory partial demolition. The demolition crew removed and disposed of any unnecessary equipment and materials including non-structural walls throughout the building.  An opening was cut through each floor to erect the tower crane that will assist in the demolition process such as removing the exterior precast panels of the building as well as bringing down debris.

Minto Yorkville Park

Next, the demolition contractor will begin to lower the building to the top of the third floor slab using small demolition equipment, which will be operated on the floors of the building. The remainder of the building will be demolished to ground level using demolition excavators equipped with shear, grapple and hammer attachments.

Minto Yorkville Park

Once the building has been leveled to grade, the crew will demolish and remove the existing foundation of the building, demolishing while backfilling to facilitate the start of excavation & shoring for Minto Yorkville Park.

We’re looking forward to seeing the progress on site at Minto Yorkville Park! We’ll continue to keep you in the loop on construction as the building starts to take off.

Do you want #24KaratLiving in Yorkville? We have suites available starting from the low $400s. Contact us today or come in and visit us at our sales centre at 101 Yorkville Ave