Target loves Canada, but does Canada love Target?

Canada loves Target?

Ever since Target announced they were going to enter the Canadian marketplace, Canadians have been worried that it would be a different, diluted experience. We’ve come to expect this when our favourite stores come here from the United States. The product mix is different, the prices are higher and overall most brands just aren’t as good. Continue reading

Big Brother Canada Audition

big brother canada logo

After procrastinating for weeks now, I finally recorded and edited my Big Brother Canada audition video! For something that’s less than 3 minutes, it took me a few hours to actually get it completed. I’m a huge fan of Big Brother, so it’s exciting to have the chance to possibly be on the Canadian version.  I will also be attending the in person auditions in Toronto, just to increase my chances, hopefully. It’s a mystery as to how close it will follow the U.S. format, but I’m ridiculously excited to find out if I make it to the next round of auditions. Wish me luck!

Let me know what you think by leaving me a comment.

Bannock: What Le Cellier at Disney could be

Yesterday, my friend Steph took me out to lunch at a brilliant gem in the heart of downtown Toronto called Bannock. Right on the corner of Queen St. and Bay St., it’s in a former corner of the Bay store. The first thing I mentioned when I saw the menu was that this is what Le Cellier in the Canadian Pavilion at EPCOT should be. Don’t get me wrong, I love Le Cellier. It’s just that now the whole “Disney Parks” thing has taken over, it’s lost much of the authenticity it once had due to corporate homogenization. Bannock on the other hand is pure authentic Canadian food & drink. We’re talking Chinook Salmon, PEI Mussels, Alberta Beef, Butter Tarts & Canadian Wines. I mean they garnish their Caesar with maple glazed bacon! You don’t get more Canadian than that.

Bannock Menu

Described as “part grab-and-go café, part coffee shop, and part dine-in restaurant. The architecture reflects the menu – eclectic and approachably Canadian – featuring antique pine and hemlock reclaimed from one of the Queen’s wharfs that sat under the waters of Lake Ontario at York Street for over a hundred years. Bannock’s honest approach to food is rooted in familiar, wholesome ingredients that are reflective of Canada’s rich regional and cultural diversity, delivered in an innovative and playful way. Everyday classics are revitalized as the Chefs pay homage to traditional Canadian comfort foods, putting our cultural favourites front and centre. Bannock breads are integrated throughout the entire menu including sweet breakfast bannocks, artisan sandwiches and pizzas. Bannock garnishes are also added to soups, salads and main courses.”

Bannock Bread Basket
Bannock Caesar

We started with the Bannock bread basket, which has a garlic-goat cheese spread at the bottom to dip the artisan breads into. Very tasty and not too overwhelming in size. I had the Bannock Caesar made with vodka, sherry, clamato, salsa and a candied bacon garnish. Steph had the HBC, which was a concoction named after the Hudson’s Bay Company made with vodka, peach schnapps, cranberry juice, peach puree and fresh lime. For her main, she had the Mac & Cheese, which she said was fantastic and much too big to finish. I had the Free Run Turkey Burger with heirloom tomatoes. It was garnished with a dill mayo, onion ring and avacodo spread. While a bit too salty at times, overall delicious.We also shared sweet potato fries with dill mayo. Also delicious.

Mac & Cheese
Turkey Burger

While the decor may be a bit too city-chic for the Disney crowd, the food on the menu would definitely please. This menu was inspired by Canada in every aspect. Maybe Le Cellier can learn a thing or two about how to showcase authentic Canadian food in a fine-dining setting. Overall a fantastic experience that I will be sure to visit again. What do you think of Le Cellier compared to real Canadian cuisine? Leave a comment and let me know! Also, check out Yelp for reviews on the rest of the menu.

Wine List



Skating like a Pro

Worst quality photo ever, thanks Blackberry!

When I was a kid, I skated a lot, but lost interest around age 13 or 14. Fast forward to 2005, I was in Chicago and they had an outdoor rink and free skate rentals. Hockey skates that is. I was a little apprehensive, never having even tried on a pair of hockey skates (that’s a story for another day. Let’s just say I have a photo of myself as the Pumpkin from Cinderella somewhere that has never seen the light of day!) Getting on the ice was a bit rough. This was the only time I had skated in over 13 years. Being out of practise for such a long time was a little scary, but I knew that I must still have some skill. I spend a lot of time rollerblading in the warmer months, so I knew I could at least keep my balance. I got to the arena, laced up my skates and hit the ice. It was a little scary, seeing that the 5-year-olds zipping around the ice looked like seasoned pros. I was a little intimidated, mainly because I assumed I would fall flat on my ass the second I hit the ice. I’m glad to say I was wrong. Once I hit the ice, I also looked like a seasoned pro as I whipped around that arena. The lesson: Quiet your inner critic. If you think you can’t do it, your setting yourself up for failure. Give  yourself the benefit of the doubt that you can do the things you set your mind to. Also, no matter how long it’s been since you’ve done something, you can always jump back in if you have the right attitude. Thanks to taking this small chance, I may actually enjoy winter a little bit more this year!  Have you ever tried a hobby or sport again after many years of not being involved? What was the outcome?

The 5 Best Canadian TV Shows made before 2000

Being a Canadian kid in the 90’s was sometimes difficult. Growing up we never had Disney Channel, Nickelodeon, or MTV. We were deprived of channels and shows that we heard about but couldn’t get access to. What’s a kid to do? Luckily, we had some great homegrown TV shows that helped us fill our time with good natured fun. While Americans are familiar with Degrassi, when it comes to many other great kids TV shows they have no idea what childhood gems they missed. Some of these did air in the U.S., but were never as popular as American shows. Here are a few Canadian made TV show that I really liked and still do. What are your favourite Canadian made shows?

Degrassi Junior High/Degrassi High

Not that remake, were talking the original series here people. With Spike having her baby, Joey Jeremiah getting some guy to buy him beer, Snake as an awkward teenager, the Twins and their abortions. You know, all the usual examples of drama the average Canadian teen grows up experiencing. There is so much to love here. The hair, the “real” life story-lines, and if you live in Toronto, the many locations used for the show. You can watch episodes online here, thanks PBS!

Fast Forward

I completely forgot about this show until I started writing this article. It aired on Family Channel I believe. It’s been so long I can’t even remember anything about the show other than I liked it. Here’s the IMDB description:

Tucker and Becca are close friends. So close that they live next door to one another with facing second story windows and share a birthday. Tucker is at times an absent minded goof-off while Becca tends to be opinionated and in a hurry to grow up. Now in middle school, they find themselves caught in everyday events that turn into comical adventures. Throughout the show, Tucker, Becca, and their friends speak directly to the audience, telling the story as they remember how much more simple everything was when they were five. If they can survive junior high, then their friendship can survive anything.

Ready or Not

This show followed Busy and Amanda through the drama of growing up. I don’t know why I liked it, maybe because they are having so much fun in the photo booth. Stop judging me! I do remember though when I worked at McDonald’s, they had a Crew (that’s McD’s speak for employee) magazine that featured the time Lani Billar (Busy) came to a McDonald’s. And this was years after the show. Isn’t that exciting!

Popular Mechanics for Kids

This was an awesome show that gave us insight into the world of technology and cool stuff. They had a wicked episode about Islands of Adventure before it opened. Jay Baruchel was one of the hosts, and so was Elisha Cuthbert. I loved her. Seriously. Then she was in a bizarre TV movie called Lucky Girl and the awful but hot The Girl Next Door. Now she’s on Happy Endings which is awesome! Jay became part of the Judd Apatow crew and was in Undeclared and the great movie She’s Out of My League.

Breaker High

This was about a high school on boat and the hijinks of the teens that went there. Hmmm…sounds alot like The Suite Life on Deck doesn’t it? Regardless, it starred a pre-movie star Ryan Gosling and Tyler Labine who’s always “that guy” in tons of movies but you don’t know his name. I remember hearing this show might be cancelled and joining a petition on the web to keep the show alive. Were talking like a Geocities website here. Wow, I’m dating myself.