Originating in British Columbia, COBS has made a comfortable home for itself across Canada. With many locations in Toronto, COBS is positioning itself as a tasty, healthy option for buying baked goods. I walked into their Annex location (like their Kensington location, an excellent place to stop in the midst of a Sunday afternoon stroll) to buy their pizza bases and left with seven-grain bread and sourdough as well. It’s hard to resist fresh bread, especially at a bakery that only sells what they’ve baked that day. You can rest assured that the leftovers aren’t going to waste — COBS donates much of the day-old bread to charities.
You can also be confident that what you buy is good for you, as well as for the community, by encouraging healthy bread options at fair prices. All traditional breads are made without added preservatives, colouring, sugar, or dairy. Alongside crunchy white bread, you’ll find sourdough, rye, multigrain (labelled "country grain"), and pumpernickel. There’s also a higher-fibre white bread with three times the fibre and the same taste. Their chia bread is a source of Omega-3. If you aren’t sure what to pack for the kids when they’re at school, there’s a pamphlet on the counter that lists healthy suggestions using COBS baked goods, complete with mouth-watering photographs to convert candy-craving children. Since the prices per loaf are relatively equal ($4 to $5) to what you'd find at the Metro across the street, there's no reason not to make COBS your bakery of choice.
If you do feel like indulging, COBS has an assortment of sweet treats all year round, including apple and walnut logs, blueberry teatimes, classic cinnamon buns, and scones galore — pumpkin, cinnamon, fruit, chocolate, banana chocolate, apple and butterscotch, or berry and white chocolate. If you’re looking for seasonal fare, fall is the season for pumpkin, Christmastime brings ginger buns, spring is for lemon tarts and danishes, and Easter is all about hot cross buns.
The excellence of COBS bread is recognized beyond its customers. Looking around the shop, I saw 2012 and 2013 regional baking competition wins displayed above their breads, half of which were for first place (their high fibre and whole wheat loaves, respectively). You’ll also find COBS products all around the neighbourhood. The 370 Bloor Street location provides baked goods for a number of restaurants (there’s a list of them right next to the cash, including Serra, Insomnia, KO Burger, and Morocco in Yorkville). You’ve probably enjoyed their food without knowing it. If you need more baked goodness than you can find on their shop’s shelves, they take orders for events (the example one COBS employee gave me was 120 buns for a barbecue).
Like me, you might go to COBS to pick up pre-made pizza bases that you can throw in the freezer until you want to make a delicious dinner with as many veggies as you like and the cheese you prefer — whether low-fat mozzarella or Greek feta. Maybe you need some good sandwich bread for lunches at work or for the kids’ meals at school. Or perhaps you just want to pick up some pumpkin scones to eat at home with some apple cider or hot chocolate in celebration of fall. Whatever you’re looking for, the cheerful, enthusiastic staff at COBS will find it for you.
Torontonians certainly won’t get bored this July, since there's so much going on around the city to fill your warm summer days. There’s an event for every taste — we can look forward to many community events and charming farmers markets, theatre and music festivals for arts enthusiasts, and even indy car races for lovers of fast cars and motorsports. Check out my list of the top July events in Toronto.
If you like farmers markets because they let you buy fresh, local produce, the Riverdale Farm Farmer’s Market is an ideal spot for you. Every Tuesday afternoon during the season, this charming market is set up just outside the main gates of the farm. Look for delicious organic veggies and fruits, a wide assortment of plants and flowers for your garden, homemade preserves and sweets, or dairy straight from small local producers. Over its thirteen-year history, Riverdale Farm Farmers‘ Market has become an institution in the community. You can expect to see lots of people coming out just to have a chat with friends or spend a nice afternoon with their kids.
The Fringe Festival is among Toronto’s most popular summer events. In 2013, it's celebrating its 25th anniversary, and it promises to mark the occasion with some great programming. Talented actors will perform more than 148 productions by Canadian and international creators in 35 affiliated venues scattered around downtown. The Fringe is known to be both an indoor and outdoor celebration of creativity, so the program includes a wide variety of free outdoor concerts, busking performances, and outdoor site-specific shows. A popular series of discussions held in tents, TentTalks, and a special section for young visitors, FringeKids!, are also included. Tickets for most performances cost $10 or $11, but festival guests can also choose from a selection of special passes.
The Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition reached its impressive 52nd year, and it seems to be getting better every summer. Once again, Nathan Philips Square will soon fill with the characteristic small white tents, sheltering artists who come to share their works with the public and celebrate art during the warm summer days. The exhibition is the largest of its kind in Canada and focuses on showcasing independent and unconventional art of both well-established and emerging artists. Visitors can freely walk around, talk to the artists, and even directly buy some of the works.
Don’t miss your chance to get carried away straight to South Asia and learn more about the subcontinent's cultures and cuisines during the Festival of South Asia, taking place in Gerrard India Bazaar between Greenwood and Coxwell avenues from 12:00 to 11:00 P.M. The two days of celebrations feature dancing, singing, theatre shows, magicians, and many more. The third annual South Asia’s Got Talent show for Toronto youth will also take place within the festival. On top of these great events, more than 20 businesses will offer food tastings to treat your taste buds.
All lovers of speed, fast cars, and the smell of burning tires can look forward to spending an unforgettable weekend at Exhibition Place. Honda Indy Races return to Toronto during the second weekend of July together with the top indy racers in the world, who will show off their mastery on the 1.75 mile circuit around the streets near Exhibition Place. The event is accompanied by a full week of programs showcasing the best of the world of fast cars. There are different kinds of tickets for the races, and if you don’t mind paying a bit extra, you might even get to have a look behind the scenes and visit some pit stops.
The Festival of India celebrations kick off with a famous annual parade down Yonge Street. The euphoric parade full of colours, dancers, and masks starts at Bloor and continues down to Queens Quay. Afterwards, more than 40,000 expected visitors will shift to Centre Island, where the programming for the festival takes place. Get ready for acclaimed music, dance, and theatre performances, traditional face painting, a South Asian Bazaar bustling with arts and crafts for sale, and even an outdoor yoga session. The festival is free and great for families, as kids have their own section full of fun activities and yoga for children lessons.
Bob Dylan, legendary 1960s icon and one of the most celebrated songwriters of all time, returns to Toronto — and he’s not coming alone. Dylan returns as a headliner of the Americanarama Festival of music, and he will perform an unforgettable show featuring a mix of the best songs from his rich repertoire. Other bands at the festival include Wilco, My Morning Jacket, and many more. Americanarama is noted for its great atmosphere, as all the artists seem to represent a very similar musical spirit. Tickets range from $46.25 to $106.25. The doors at Molson Canadian Amphitheatre open at 5:30 P.M.
The Beaches International Jazz Festival is an annual showcase of the top Canadian and international jazz musicians taking place around the Queen East and Beaches area, which offer a magnificent setting for outdoor concerts. Since its beginning in 1989, the festival has grown into a ten-day event with eclectic line-up that doesn’t limit itself only to jazz. Visitors can look forward to a colourful mixture of different styles, including Latin, reggae, blues, big band, R&B, and even hip-hop. Some of the big names who will perform at the festival include Eric Lindell & the Sunliners, Bryan Lee & the Power Blues Band, and Adonis Puentes.
The BIG on Bloor Festival started a few years ago as the idea of a couple young people who felt that public space should be returned to the community. They found inspiration in other world cities and came up with the concept of creating a festival right on the street. Authorities gave the green light to the initiative, and nowadays, Bloor Street West closes off all vehicle traffic during one weekend of the year and becomes an amazing festival site. The area fills with artist performances, great food and drinks, and the unique Bloordale market, full of arts and crafts for sale.
T&T Waterfront Night Market is one of Toronto's exciting multicultural food festivals. The event features over 100 popular food vendors with a selection of delicacies from the Pan Asian countries. The event will take place at T&T Supermarket on Cherry Street. Entry is free! Take a stroll down the market and check out booths selling clothing, crafts, consumer goods, xiaochi (snack food) or get some tasty Bubble Tea. You don't have to travel far to enjoy what the great Asian culture has to offer.
Almost 7 years ago we moved into a house on a great street right across from the Castle Frank Subway station…It was under renovation at the time and it is still under renovation.
Now the Toronto Transit Commission tells Torontonians that they are either going to build Subways or LRT and they have set an aggressive schedule over the next few years. Please excuse me if I don’t give that or any other TTC/City of Toronto project a lot of credibility. I remember the years that it took to build the St. Clair street car line only to have it torn apart a couple of times during construction because the City and Toronto Hydro had not coordinated it properly. Then there was the Bloor and Yonge Street madness…
Whether Subway or LRT does anyone really think that this work can be accomplished in time and on budget by the TTC?
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