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Karen

This week in Hogtown

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Karen

Dear Fellow GTAers,

I am starting this thread to post any news, views and happenings of the week in the Greater Toronto area.

Please don't be shy here - anything of interest in your area will be welcome news, even a weather report!!

So here is my news of the week from York Region.

It rained most days. Not enough to flood my basement again and set me back about $8K ( note: 'seepage' through a window is not covered in insurance polices), but enough to cause the weeds to grow more than they do in grow op houses. I can't remember seeing T.O. looking so green and lush. If we had mountains and sea, we could be taken for Vancouver! Apparently, this has been the rainiest summer on record, which is not such a bad thing, seeing as we have had fewer smog days than last year and the humidity seems more manageable.

We had drama at the corner of our street. We have a house for lease. It was originally for sale, but when noone seemed interested in buying it, the 'For Lease" sign went up. The neighbours must have smelt a rat or whatever, because the cops were called, and under the pool cover, numerous animal corpses were found. Not just drowned racoons and the like, but cats and dogs etc. I don't know who was cooking what in that house, but it is pretty creepy and I hope the police do find out soon.

I had dinner in a really nice Thai restaurant called Lemongrass in the Bayview/ Eglington area. Tasty food and a great neighbourhood to explore. Some really ecclectic little shops down there and a nice vibe. Ended the evening off with two giant scoops of the best gelato ever!

Got my new photo health card in the mail two weeks after I applied for it. I received two letters telling that I had to replace my faithful old red and white one. I was really sorry, as the old one never had an expiry date and the new one has to be redone in May 2011, after which it will last for five years and then I will have to go through the entire procedure again. Pity, as I look pretty decent in the photo on my new, fancy, shmancy card, which hopefully no one will swipe and pretend be to me!

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Snowflake
Dear Fellow GTAers,

I am starting this thread to post any news, views and happenings of the week in the Greater Toronto area.

Please don't be shy here - anything of interest in your area will be welcome news, even a weather report!!

Hi Karen

I think this is a great idea for us still in SA on our way to Toronto....! We still have another month or so to go in SA and then we should be out of here. The moving company came to access our stuff and we are 3 times over the limit (limit being what PwC is willing to allocate to us) so some serious sifting awaits me next week...

We are also awaiting the results of our medicals and hopefully we don't run into the same issues as Anelle did - keep your fingers crossed, will let you guys know as soon as it's in.

To all TORONTONIANS out there, please don't be shy, it's lovely to read the bits you have to tell!

Thanks again Karen!

Snowflake

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miena

Well reportng fom Toronto West..

It was/is Caribana weekend and Lakeshore has been closed and the BIG clean-up will start on Tuesday. You can read about it here http://www.caribana.com. It amazes me to see how clean it is on the Friday before and total "mess" by Tuesday. Not all Torontonians (me included) love this festival as it costs more than the revenue it brings.

Most people in the neigbourhood has gone to cottages up North, so it is very quiet. Other than the rain helping the flowers it has also been helping the weeds. Since we are prohibited from using any chemicals it is good old hand-labour and everybody is complaining. My 90 year old neigbour has been renting my boys and they made a pretty penny so far. People are very house proud in my neigbourhood. We have a fair amount of senior ciitizens and they rule with an iron fist (snarky comments). Our garden got nominated for the local garden competition and the jury is still out.

Today the boys are fishing at Lake Erie and they decided to "rent-a-pro" and is guaranteed 20 fish. All this for $300 and lunch is included. Hopefully most fish goes back as I do not have freezer space or else we will be distributing fish to all our friends at tennis tomorrow. Our neignbourhood has tennis courts within walking distance from all, so a great place to chat and make friends. Mostly girls as the boys are too competitive! We have been contemplating get them banned... :oops:

A great place for a brunch is Muddy Duck http://www.muddyduck.com. Once a month our friends and us meet there and sit around until lunch time. Fair price and unlimted food. Kids love it. Two weeks ago, sitting at the MD, we saw a bunch of people running and yelling and within seconds the police showed-up. Nobody seemed too interested and afterwards the owner told us that a robbery occured at the Adult Shop. They caught the thief soon after. I had to giggle at this though as some of the kids in our party is not of school age and they wanted to go and see the inside the shop...

I also have to confess( since I feel guilty) that we seem to go to church less often in the Summer as the activities are basic and most people are busy living the summer (my excuse). It is a hectic season and come fall, different activities start and it is not so hectic. Sad thing though is that Fall clothes are starting to appear and final Summer sales are on. This would be the time to shop as you get a discount on an already discounted item. I have not paid attention as yet and cannot tell you the in-colours or styles...

Have a great Sunday!

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tazz

Meanwhile, in midtown Toronto, there was a Hydro fire/malfunction/whatever on my street last week (Hydro Equipment Failure). Although, we had no electricity for 2 days (not one as mentioned in the media). Had to take cold showers, which was OK since the weather has been great. I took advantage of my freedom from cooking food and had lunches at my favourite vegetarian place Commensal. I love their food, so delicious, healthy and reasonably priced (around $10 for a big plate of goodness).

The Hamilton Trail never ceases to amaze me. I was able to rollerblade in the rain yesterday without fear of slipping (must be some special pavement). The scenic route starts at the Burlington Waterfront and continues through the Hamilton beach trail for many fun kilometers. As the first drops of rain descended, everybody was scurrying away as if acid was falling from the sky. I was as happy as a duck in water. Pretty soon it all dried up and the sun was master once more. Whenever I miss that place, this webcam reminds me of the many beautiful memories Burlington Waterfront.

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Karen

Thanks, guys. This is great - keep the reports rolling- and Tazz and Miena, the links are wonderful.

Make like you are all reporters and let's keep this thread going to show everyone what an interesting and vibrant city our home is.

My hope it that we can have weekly reports from everyone throughout the year.

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Talita

Us, being "old" inhabitants of Burlington & Stoney Creek (Winona) just LOVE this topic! We were amazed to learn that you can order a "boerie" at Licks!! Don't take things for granted and enjoy all that beautiful Canada has to offer. You never know when life moves you in a different direction (south!!).

Thanks Karen, tazz & miena

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Karen

York Region Report

Nothing too exciting this week here north of downtown Toronto.

Turns out, that the story of the drowned dogs and cats in the pool at the corner house, was an urban myth perpetuated by residents keen for some news! What the cops found in the pool, were numerous dead fish, apparently. What the fish were doing there in the first place, is anyone's guess. The grass on the sidewalk around the house is now too long and the bush there is obstructing the view for turning onto the main road - will have to call the Town of Markham to report it and get something done about it.

Canada has two seasons - winter and roadworks, and the latter has reached our main arterial road. All yesterday, new asphalt was being laid, most of which is probably stuck to the bottom of our cars now. Anyway, the job is just about done and the traffic control was orderly and well handled.

Still enjoying my nightly walks around the neighbourhood. I meet some great dogs along the way and am so happy that chemical lawn treatments have been banned at last. Weeds are eco - friendly and we breathed in foul smelling chemicals way too many years, not to mention the animals who played on the lawns and then trekked the poison back into their homes. Finally, we are also allowed clothes lines again, so soon it will become commonplace to see laundry flapping in the wind in an attempt to make the region go green. If the rain holds off, it will save a lot of hydro.

Talking of weather, it has been pretty decent, and those showers have certainly made the humidity almost negligible. We have even had a couple of days when there has been NO rain - hallelujah! However, it is most cleansing and the gardens are looking wonderfully lush and green in this neck of the woods.

Had a delicious toasted chicken mayonnaise bagel at Bagel Nosh yesterday. It cost me $4.80 and I was able to eat it on the run, as it was sliced in half and well packed. Really fresh, too. It's such a treat to go into the bakery and smell the freshly baked goodies. The apple strudel is to die for, as we would say! Saturday night, I ate at an Israeli joint in Richmond Hill - Hannah's Shwarma ( NE corner of Bathurst and 16th Ave). Great food and even better value. Large portions, so took home enough for my lunch on Sunday!

My basement flood repairs are almost done, and our line of credit has grown! We had to replace two dry walls and a floor in the bedroom area. The laminate we chose looks really good and like real hardwood. Just waiting to have the new blinds installed next week. Can't wait for my son to move back to the nether regions of the house - having him live upstairs again has been a big adjustment and too much mess to handle! It will be good to have a neat guest room again. Due to all the construction we have had in the house this year, we are having the ducts cleaned today. That should leave the indoor air cleaner and certainly ensure less dust.

That's all the news this week from York Region, so over to the other intrepid reporters....

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hanlie

This week in Beautiful Bronte

Oumie arrived last week and she is such a help

with my 6-month old angel boy.

We go for walks to the lake and in the forests,

and the little man loves it, listens to the birds and eventually falls asleep.

We also had lots of rain in the last week, cooling us down a bit!

I walked to the shop on tuesday and really felt quite deflated

when I got home, almost had heat stroke... beware,

when you go out for a walk in the heat,

make sure you always have cold water handy.

We often take a stroll for small sundries,

instead of taking the car, it saves a lot on gas,

since I am on maternity leave :)

I baked some almond biscotti yesterday, and with a touch of lime zest

and honey drizzled on top, they are yum-o.

I am thinking of making them for presents for the neighbours over christmas.

We have amazing neighbours.

Our area is really mid-range where many people have only one car,

like us, and fairly small houses but at least a bit of garden.

It is just perfect for the 3 of us.

Our house is 21 years old, but really looks up-to-date

thanks to a timeless design, like most of the houses

on our quiet street.

At the end of the street, there is a park, where kids

come and play soccer most weekends. People

often bring their dogs to romp.

Bronte is quiet and peaceful, we are thankful to be here.

hanlie

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Karen

York Region Report

Last week was pretty quiet in this neck of the woods.

The roadworks on the main street have been completed and it looks a lot better for now.

Ongoing rain has kept the humidity low and the weather very pleasant. Everything is still green and lush. It's been my kind of summer, but many have missed the heat and humidity and we have hardly used the pool.

Have noticed, on my night walks, that it is getting darker far earlier now - a sure sign that summer is on its way out. Lately, I have been taking a sweater along, as there is a slight chill in the evening air already.

The stores are full of Back - to - School goodies, kids are returning from camps, having haircuts and places like Staples are preparing for the rush of kids and parents buying new stationery. I miss getting all those new pens and pencils for my own kids!

There is a definite sense of change happening. The last week of summer freedom is next week and then the whole tempo will change again, and not far behind that, the Fall weather will arrive. Life is definitely defined by the seasons here.

We are revelling in the Olympic victories which have taken Canada a while to achieve, but we always seem to do better in the second half of the games than the first.

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shaun

In Burlington:

This last week saw the 18th annual Childrens festival at Spencer Smith Park.

August 29th - September 1st (Labour day weekend) Rotary Club Burlington will host Canadas largest rib festival, once again at Spencer Smith Park.

September events to follow in the next posting.

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Karen

York Region Report

Well, it's back to school and the sight of the yellow buses on the roads every morning and afternoon, is a reminder to all of us that the kids are now out of the malls and hard at work again. It is also a reminder that summer is over, something the shedding trees and changing leaf colours are also quick to remind us about! Still, the days are wonderfully pleasant, with lots of sunshine, but a definite nip in the evenings, ensuring that when you venture out, you take a light jacket. Fall is in the air!

The municipality have been busy digging up the bottom of our driveways and installing new curbs. Most of the work is done, but they have yet to replace the bricks they dug up or complete the job fully. Seeing as there are bright orange contruction signs at the bottom of the road, I presume ( and hope) they will be returning to finish things off before the first snowfall! I am giving them one more week and then will contact the Town of Markham to find out exactly what is going on. They usually react quite quickly to any complaints etc.

Saturday night, we celebrated our 27th wedding anniversary at a little hole in the wall restaurant my daughter picked off the internet, in the Yonge/ St Clair area. We were the only patrons in the place, which would normally cause us to walk out, but the friendly young owner of Piano Piano made us feel so welcome we stayed. It turned out to be a win of an evening. The food was excellent, the piano and jazz singing lady was wonderful and she played everything from our first waltz to requests our adult kids suggested. Afterwards, she and the owner chatted with us for over an hour. We finally got home at around midnight, after a great evening. We did notice the definite need for a jacket/ sweater whilst walking to the car.

My school has new hours this year. Not sure whether they are better, but the kids seem happy right now to start at 8.50am instead of 8.15am. The teachers are still there early, so it really is irrelevant to us, and we come out at the same time. Apparently, this all started because research has shown that teens do better later in the morning and it reduces first period absenteeism. We have also taken to playing "O, Canada" at the end of the first period, rather than at the start of it, and also reading out the daily announcements after the anthem. It is taking a bit of getting used to for me, after years of doing this first thing in the morning. Good news is that the Cafeteria is only open during period 3A- C, which has cut down on the kids sneaking out to the Caf during class time, which was a problem last school year.

My pool is bright blue, but the only things floating in it, are leaves. Will have to book the closing by the end of this month, which is a pity, as I love looking out of the window at the water gently rippling. Still, less work, as hubby will not have to clean it for the next six - seven months. Time soon to put the garden furniture back into the basement, something we have found has preserved its life and not caused the glass table to crack.

My son has attended two baseball games downtown and loved them both. For a young man who is an avid rugby supporter, he has taken to baseball and the vibe in the Air Canada Centre quite happily. He announced to us last night that Toronto is truly an awesome city in which to live.

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rockwooder

Lekker om te lees, Karen.

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Karen

Baie dankie!

The Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) is on right now.

Anyone been downtown to Yorkville to try and catch a glimpse of Brad and his buds?

I always find it rather amusing how folk will line up three rows deep to perhaps see a star make a brief entrance and disappearance!!

Please write about your TIFF experiences here if you have been to any of the movies etc.

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Karen

York Region Report ( where are the rest of the roving GTA reporters?!!)

My driveway was repaired wonderfully and neatly without my having to ask. The construction signs have vanished.

Started wearing closed shoes again, alas. The nights are cool enough to make your toes feel cold in sandals now.

The school has gone back to playing the national anthem at the beginning of period one and are leaving the announcements for the end of it. I am happier. It just seems right to me to start the day with some pomp and decorum, and hardly anyone listens to the annoucements, anyway.

The Thornhill Village Festival will be held along Yonge Street next Saturday. starting at 11 am. Always fun for the kiddies and lots of free stuff.

Had my double glazed windows cleaned both inside and out. Wonderful Turkish guy ( who was once a dentist in his home country - this is Canada), did an amazingly quick and clean job for a most reasonable rate. What a pleasure to look out of shiny, clear windows again! I will most certainly use him again next year.

Attended a cooking demonstration on Thurs evening and learned to make a wonderful Iranian dish. Recipe to follow if anyone is interested. Delish meatballs made in a walnut and pomegranate sauce, which can also be used for chicken, turkey and meat. Also, learned to make a Morrocan couscous dish to go with it.

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dieulefit

I'm for sure outside the Hog, but can recommend a good show and especially while this (dreadful) weather is lingering - Jersey Boys, the story of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons. They are performing in the Toronto Centre for the Arts. It was a most enjoyable show. I felt like dancing, for the first time in many months!

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Boereseun

We live in Oakville and find the Halton http://www.conservationhalton.on.ca/ and Hamilton http://www.conservationhamilton.ca/parks/visit/ Conservation areas are a wonderful way to spend a day outdoors. You pay an entrance fee and there are ample tables set up under the huge trees to have a picnic. Most of the parks offer fishing, hiking trails and a swimming area.

I practise Yoga and Pilates and have found the classes offered at the local Community Centres http://secure.oakville.ca/iris/Activities/...9663.5830787037 are much more reasonable than the fancy-shmancy studios. The teachers are all qualified and the sessions are at a selection of times.

A visit to a Bingo Hall is a fun experience. Pick up a "dabber" (big coloured koki pen) for $1 at the dollar store and you are set. $12 dollars worth of numbered sheets will keep you playing for around 3 hours. http://www.deltabingo.com/oakville/oakville.cfm

Always feels good to leave the cooking to someone else: Great breakfasts can be had at Coras http://www.chezcora.com/, while http://www.artisanobakery.com/HOME/?id=1&cat=HOME serve a variety of soups and sandwiches for lunch.

Boereseun se vrou

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Karen

York Region Report ( where are all the other intrepid roving GTA reporters??? I don't want this to become my thread only!)

A busy week at work. The school year is now well underway and the assignments are starting to come in for marking, which means my weekends are no longer my own, alas! The kids are more settled in their classes, and as the newness wears off, the troublemakers come out of the woods!

The weather is just gorgeous - sunny and so pleasantly warm today - about 24C, although the nights are feeling a lot like Fall these days, this has to be a season to be treasured. There are still garage sales in my area which are attracting a lot attention as folks drive around in search of a few good bargains. The kids at school went on a Terry Fox walk yesterday to raise funds for cancer research.

Road works appear to be ongoing. New construction signs in our street and it is being prepared for new tarmac. About time too, as the weather had rendered the old paving a grey white, full of ugly cracks. It's going to be really noisy and hard to negotiate getting out of and into our driveways for a week or so,

We are heading two hours north of home for the Thanksgiving Day weekend with friends. Found an adult's lodge on the internet which is reasonably priced and includes breakfast and dinner. It is run by a German couple, so I am sure it will be spotlessly clean! It is situated on a lake and I am sure there will be wonderful walks to enjoy in crisp, fresh air. I can't wait!

September is a great month to visit the GTA, which seems to be glowing in a wonderful late summer light. I hope it goes on a little longer....

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Mad about Canada

Great posts Karen! Thank you very much for making us all a part of your T.O. life! thanks to everyone else as well for your effort...you all sure know how to make us want to get there faster ;)

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Karen

York Region Report

It's glorious Fall! I am going two hours north of Toronto for the Thanksgiving long weekend. Will be sure to take pics of the magnificent Fall colours so near to Hogtown, yet it's another world up there, and we are looking forward to some R&R and fresh air.

School has settled into a well established routine now. It feels as if we have been back forever, with summer already a distant memory for most. Mid- term report cards have been sent home, school pics have been taken and field trip permission forms are being returned from parents daily.

Our street is being primed for resurfacing. This is being done in sections, so it does not seem to be inconveniencing anyone too badly. We are 'closing' the pool the next week, which is a pity, as it still looks so blue and inviting right now, even if its only vistors are floating yellow and red leaves.

There is such a great variety of shows on in Toronto right now. We are booking to see " A chorus line". I love these old musicals!

I voted in the early voting and it was a pleasure. No long line ups and a quick in and out of a community centre hall. I may do this every time. There were a lot a smiling, friendly folk chatting away to one another there.

So, off to pack my little bags for my weekend getaway and Happy Thanksgiving to everyone lucky enough to live in this great part of the world!

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rockwooder

Happy Thanksgiving to you as well and enjoy the weekend. The colours of the trees makes every day something to look forward to.

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tazz

I went rollerblading at the Western Beaches today. It was quite warm and pleasant. I love the smell of fallen, yellow leaves. Wanted to throw myself on the ground and roll around in them :blink: The large geese were nowhere in sight, maybe they've gone south for the winter. I didn't see the beautiful pair of white swans either.

I felt really happy and free today. So grateful to be able to live in this great city and do things I could never dare to dream while in SA. I wish you all a wonderful Thanksgiving and thank you for your advice and info whenever I needed it.

My heart goes out to those who are waiting to come here. Hang in there, the long process is really worth it. Wish you all the best and, above all, safety.

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Karen

York Region Report

It snowed last night!

We awoke to a fairy tale scene of white iced roofs and trees. The roads are clear, but there is still a light covering of the white stuff on the ground and it is bright and sunny.

The big tree in my yard, which we call "Gigi's tree", after my dear late Mom, because she loved it so, has no more than about a dozen leaves hanging tenaciously to its mainly barren branches. The pool was closed two weeks' back and is now filled with leaves.

Luckily, we had the snow tires put onto the cars last week. It feels quite different to drive on them again after the all season ones we use in the good weather, but there is no doubt that they grip the road better in bad weather conditions. I always find it quite amazing how Canadians seem to get so excited about the first snowfall here, that they forget to how to drive in the stuff!

For the many immigrant students at school, seeing and feeling their first snow, is a truly exciting occasion. We usually allow them to go outdoors to revel in the white stuff for a few minutes. They come back indoors with red cheeks and shiny eyes, which by the end of winter have vanished as they dream of warmer days to come!

My street has been prepared for tarring, but we are still waiting. I bet they decide to come on the heaviest snowfall of the season! Meantime, we are driving on a very bumpy grid- like surface.

I went shopping for some new workwear earlier this week. Retail therapy in this country can be so good! Virtually every store I visited in my local Mall, has a sale on and I found some really great deals. I have also discovered a new store, which I love - Cassis. It is a Montreal - based company and the clothing is of great quality and in the mid - range price wise. Best of all, the staff who work there are only too happy to allow you to try on to your heart's content, and soft lighting and spacious fitting rooms and what I call the 'parading area', seem to allow you to look and feel years younger!! What a pleasure not to see everything in winter black. I came away with some lovely tops and sweaters in mauves and teals, my favourite colours.

My hubby is in NY state on business until the end of the week. We all miss him, but it is good to sleep without hearing his snoring for a few nights!

Debating whether to call in a snow removal company or buy a snow blower and do it ourselves.

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Karen

There is a lovely family home next door to mine for sale. It is minutes from the city limits of Toronto, just North of Steeles Ave, but south of Highway 7. You can get downtown in about a half hour.

The owners are ex SA's but the husband has MS and can no longer manage the stairs, plus they are now empty nesters and the house is too large for them, anyway.

The home is about 2,600 sq feet, not including the finished basement, which has a bedroom, an office, a three piece bathroom and a large rec area. There is a walk - up staircase from the basement to the yard, so it could be rented out with this separate entry, or could be an apartment for extended family.

Upstairs are four large bedrooms with SA style built - in and shelved closets, 2 full bathrooms, m.e.s.

New windows throughout and other upgrades. The home is well maintained and has a nice sized ( for Canada) enclosed and safe garden for kids and pets. Double garage and driveway can fit 6 cars.

There are excellent elementary schools in the area - public, Catholic and private and the public high school is within walking distance and is one of the top schools in the region. No roads to cross for the public elementary school - just walk up the street and go through a pathway and you are there - literally five minutes if you stroll.

The main floor has a centre floor plan - separate living and dining rooms, powder room, laundry, family room with walk out to deck, upgraded white kitchen with walk- out to the garden.

This is a safe, peaceful and mature area, close to excellent shopping, on the bus and subway route and within minutes of Highways 401, 407 and 400. It takes about 30 mins to get downtown using public transport. There are well kept parks for the kiddies and the pets. Close to a variety churches, synagogues and mosques. The neighbours are great and pride of ownership is clearly evident.

This is a buyer's market, so if you are interested, let me know and I will arrange a time for you to see the place with the owners.

Best of all, I will be your neighbour and you will have free use of my sparkling blue pool in the summer months!!!!!

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Karen

York Region Report ( again - where are the rest of you???)

Yesterday was 20C ! Yes, you read correctly. It's early November and we are having a glorious spring- like week. Not sure how long this will last, but heck, it feels good.

Still waiting for our street to be tarred. The big trucks are a bit further down, so it can't be too long before they get to ours.

Ate at a good diner on Leslie and Don Mills in the Plaza on the east corner there. Cheap enough and the food is not bad at all. There is also a nice Thai place in the same complex, but the names elude me completely - I will get back to you on them. I was amazed at how many ex- pats frequent these two eateries. We seem to have taken them over!

I found a snow removal company and signed up with them for the season. Much more pricey than my previous one, but they have been around for ages, and promise a better, more efficient service and they will also clear my walkway. Will have to wait and see if this all does indeed happen. Still, we figured it was better than getting up an hour earlier to do this ourselves on a frigid day. As soon as there is an inch and a half of snow on the ground, it will be cleared, if necessary, a few times during the day.

Nothing more to report this week, but hopefully other GTA folk will be in with more news....

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jen1

Well I guess I would be a North, North York report from newmarket :lol:

This weather is lovely!! I got outside today and raked up all the leaves!! Boy there were a lot, but I guess thats what you get for leaving them all till the maple tree was mostly bare. The colds and flu season is upon us, and my kids have come with coughs and runny noses! It is already driving me crazy with them coughing throughout the night - I really need to find some way to keep them healthy this winter!

It is my wedding anniversary tomorrow, 15 years, I cant believe 9 of them have been in Canada! We will only get to go out for dinner on Friday though as I dont have a babysitter till then (my sister in law works on a Thursday night). I cant decide if we should just go out to the Keg and have a steak etc or if we should go to Oakland Hall Inn up here in Aurora, it is a lovely place, but not cheap.

I am sitting here listening to the sounds of a lot of lawnmowers, so I guess a lot of people have the same idea of cleaning up the yard and cutting the grass for the last time this year while the weather is so good!

Nothing much else up here in the North side of the city......

Edited by jen1

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