Photo Essay: London’s Street Art

Street Art London

Along Sclater Street is an array of street art on an old brick wall, including this piece by the Broken Fingaz Crew.

In my first post about my trip to London, I talked about the pubs, parks and plaques around the city and how they play a prominent role in the everyday lives of Londoners. But there’s another side of the city that has contributed to shaping its cultural and artistic qualities and that’s the street art scene. Noted as one of the best cities around the world for street art, I couldn’t wait to explore it. Read more »

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NeighBEERhood Crawl With Amsterdam Brewery, Kensington Market

Craft Beer

The Natural Blonde by Amsterdam Brewery.

Over the past few years, the craft beer scene in Toronto has exploded. Just take a walk through the beer aisles at the LCBO and you’ll see how much shelf-space is dedicated to craft beer. As more and more beer lovers actively seek out unique brews for their individual palates, the industry is responding. And responding in amazing fashion.

One of the first truly craft breweries in Toronto is Amsterdam Brewery. Since 1986, they’ve been part of the revolution we see in the beer scene today. Using only traditional brewing methods, their beers are brewed fresh daily and include 6 year-round brews and a variety of seasonal offerings. In 2013, Amsterdam Brewery opened a new brew house right on the water’s edge of Lake Ontario. Merging the food and beer experience under one roof, it’s one of the best spots in the city to sit back with some friends on a hot summer’s day.

This summer, Amsterdam Brewery has partnered up with Toronto’s premier walking tour experience company, Tour Guys, for a series of “Neighbeerhood Crawls”. Part pub-crawl, part walking-tour, it’s an immersive experience for guests that incorporates Amsterdam beers, great local bars, delicious local food, graffiti sightseeing and historical revelations. Read more »

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Understanding British Slang

British Slang

We may speak the same language, have the same woman on our currency, and both include ‘u’ in our spellings of colour, flavour and neighbour. But when it comes to slang and idioms, Canadians and Brits might as well be speaking foreign languages.

Before my trip to London, my understanding of British slang was quite minimal. It consisted of “bloody hell”, “bollocks”, and “wanker”, all the classiest of terms for this girl. I even started to use the phrase “havin a laff aint’cha?” after watching Ricky Gervais’ short-lived but highly entertaining television series ‘Extras’. But I was curious to learn more (and maybe ones that would make my mother proud) so one afternoon I was hanging out with my friends Alison, Mitch, and Hayley who schooled me in the art of British slang and idioms. Read more »

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Parks, Pubs and Plaques: A First-Timer’s Visit to London

London, England

My favourite spot in London was walking up Regent Street from Piccadilly Circus.

I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to visit London. I mean it has everything I love in a big city; great public transportation, multiculturalism, interesting architecture, street art, distinct neighbourhoods, green spaces, and an array of food choices.

I was really excited to visit London. Hunky British accents aside, England is the country that brought us The Beatles and The Spice Girls, popularized fish and chips and perfected the true ‘pub experience’, where the Royal Family plays a prominent role in the country, and literary legends such as Sherlock Holmes and James Bond still appear in pop culture today. Oh, and I almost forgot Harry Potter and those iconic red double-decker buses!

Now I can finally say I’ve jumped the ‘pond’! Read more »

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Henry’s Camera Giveaway!

HenrysCamera

It’s no secret that I love photography and videography. Just take a quick peak around the site or check out my Instagram feed and you’ll see what I mean. I’m always looking for ways to improve my craft and push the creativity levels.

Every year for my birthday I always treat myself to a new ‘toy’ and my go-to place is Henry’s, Canada’s largest photographic and digital retailer. The staff are extremely knowledgeable, helpful and friendly.

Last fall I was eyeing the 50mm 1.4f Canon lens to add to my kit. I wasn’t sure how I would like it, so I decided to rent it from Henry’s for a photoshoot I was doing with some friends. That’s right, Henry’s rents out a lot of their photography equipment, including lenses, DLSR and Video cameras, lighting, backgrounds, and even scanners and projectors. For a weekend rental it only set me back $22.50, a small investment to see whether or not it was worth purchasing the lens. Playing around with the lens for the weekend was exactly what I needed and later that week I ended up purchasing the lens.

Read more »

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May Travel Plans

FlyingIt’s a dreary, rainy morning in Toronto today and while I’d rather be back in bed tucked under my duvet and catching up on some much needed sleep, there’s just too much to do! It seems that’s been the phrase these past few months (it’s crazy busy!) and hence why things have been quiet here on the site. It’s amazing what a difference a year makes. This time last year I was jobless, unmotivated, and overall in a dark place. Fast-forward a few seasons and things have been much different (and busier) since September 2013.

The biggest change was that I got a job, woo! I was working in the RTA School of Media program at Ryerson University. I was leading workshops and tutorials on all things media related; audio, studio, single-camera shooting, editing software, digital media, and on-air performance techniques. No two days were alike and I loved the creative energy that greeted me every time I walked in the door. Read more »

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Video: Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada

Things to see in TorontoI arrived at the Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada around 6pm on a Friday feeling exhausted from the week. I was gassed from a busier than usual week at work, and side projects and events every night of the week. As I walked into the bright, airy atrium and thought about the shoot ahead, I really didn’t know if I had the energy to give it the attention I knew it would deserve. I love aquariums. My favourite one is the Busan Aquarium in South Korea. I had been looking forward to this visit all week, so I knew I had to muster up the energy from somewhere. So my friend, Natalie, and I checked our coats, grabbed our media passes and dove right in, so to speak. Read more »

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Travel Costs: New Zealand

Natural attractions in New Zealand

The impressive Franz Josef Glacier wedged between the mountains.

The windows of your car are rolled down, the tunes are pumping and you’re traveling at your own pace. There’s nothing quite like a good road trip and New Zealand is one of the best countries in the world to do it. Kiwis themselves know this. If you talk to any of them, they’ll recount childhood memories of their families packing up and hitting the road for weeks at a time.

Aside from the obvious benefits of having full control of your itinerary, New Zealand seems to have been designed for road trips with stunning landscapes at every twist and turn, well maintained and signed roadways, and a wide range of accommodation styles, from free Department of Conservation (DOC) campsites to high end hotels, to fit anyone’s budget. Through our research, Tristan and I found that it would be most cost-effective to rent a campervan and travel around the country ourselves. We prefer to do things on our own and love an epic road trip, so we were extremely excited about this adventure. Read more »

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Hacking the Travel System, An Interview With Matt Bailey

Travel Hacking

Travel hacking doesn’t have to be stressful or confusing thanks to Matt Bailey of Canadian Free Flyers.

Many people tend to look at travel as a luxury, one that requires a lot of money. I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve found myself thinking this exact same way from time to time. But what I’ve come to realize over the years is that it doesn’t have to be as expensive as one thinks and there are a number of ways to save money before and during your travels. Reducing your overall costs are one thing, but what if I said that you could be earning free flights and accommodations just by going about your everyday life? It’s true!

Recently, I came across this concept called ‘travel hacking’ and found there’s a whole subculture of travelers who have discovered ways to score free trips just by using their everyday spending habits to their advantage. I wanted to learn more about this practice, so I contacted one of my fellow Canadian Travel Bloggers, Matt Bailey, to explain what ‘travel hacking’ means and how his site Canadian Free Flyers has been providing its members incredible deals and travel opportunities since 2012. Read more »

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A Video Review of 2013, One Second a Day

There were a lot of beautiful sunsets to admire in 2013.

There were a lot of beautiful sunsets to admire in 2013.

At the end of 2012 I decided to take on my largest video project; recording every day of 2013 and compiling a recap video when the year was over. The concept wasn’t new and in fact I was inspired by a video titled This is What Madeline Did in 2011 to create my own “one-second-a-day” video.

I was initially drawn to the challenges it would take to create a video of this scope. Could I really remember to film something every day? What if there wasn’t anything interesting to record one day? But ultimately I was most interested in what the final product would show. The first month was difficult especially because I was lugging around my DSLR with me everywhere I went. But once I got an iPhone in February, things became a lot easier to record. Read more »

Categories: Thoughts, Videos | Tags: , , | 18 Comments