Grand River Trails

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Coming from Toronto people always used to say, “Oh High Park, its such a beautiful place, blah blah blah.” Now I lived near High Park and I can tell you from years of experience that it’s a total shit park. There’s a parking lot in the middle of it and when you get to the water – low and behold, there are condo buildings on the other side of the lake! Not surprising, cause it’s Toronto. And Toronto is one of the ugliest cities ever.

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This brings me to Waterloo, and more specifically the Grand River Trails, because these trails are fucking STUNNING. Just a few hops away from the mall or the suburbs you’ve got these trails that look onto the Grand River. Its the most serene, peaceful place I’ve ever wasted a couple hours at and probably the biggest selling feature of this town.

IMG_2398 You’ve got RIM Park by Grey Silo Golf Course, and then theres the Trails off of University or by Kiwanis Park. I’m sure there are tonnes moreIMG_2400 IMG_2401 but those are what I know are the best.

IMG_2404Please do yourself a favour and go check these places out!

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Jane Bond, Uptown

I talk a lot about Jane Bond, like “Oh hey, eat at Jane Bond it’s so wicked guy” but I didn’t actually eat there until recently. Turns out, it IS wicked guy! Do people still say ‘guy’ or is that like sooo 2005?

JaneBond2I’m a vegetarian so for me Jane Bond is like experiencing what it’s like to be normal again. It’s a good thing that there aren’t more veg restaurants or else I’d be like “fuck this vegetarian thing, being able to eat more than one menu item is so liberating from the chains of being a self righteous a-hole.” Experiencing it only once in a blue moon is like treating yourself to a spa day, when you commit to it, you really appreciate that shit.

There are so many choices at Jane Bond, I had the pickle soup (I just ate a pickle for the first time a couple months ago because I was like, I hate cucumbers and you pickle are just a vinegary cucumber!) but I do actually like their pickle soup. And then I had the eggplant parm sandwich and oh man, that thing was delicious. They put a little marinara on the side and I was in heaven…a very acid-trip style of heaven thanks to the psychedelic decorating thats going on over there. I love this place, I love it so much that, if I believed weddings were a good idea (which I don’t – yah I said it) I would get married there! THAT is how good it is. I wonder if they do catering…..

I just really enjoyed it overall, it’s totally up my alley because it’s a fun place and I can eat everything on the menu. If you don’t like cool places or if you need meat to feel like you’re a man, then don’t go here.

 

Best of Waterloo, The Cord -> VOTE!

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Finally, someone is making a Best of Waterloo list in the region…that only took like forever. KW’ers must contribute so we can continue to encourage recognition for the little gems that find there home in KW. “Best of” lists can draw attention from outside media to bring much needed light to this great community. As a Cord alumni, I am super proud that they are leading the way!

Vote here! http://www.community.thecord.ca/best-of-waterloo-region/

 

Mid-Century Architecture

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I love mid-century modern architecture and design, so finding this posting on a home designated and protected for its representation of mid-century style was pretty awesome, and even better it’s in Kitchener.

It’s great to see architecture from all era’s taken seriously and that we don’t go and destroy all these amazing homes.

Moving in together 101

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In January I had a moment of total clarity: “Move to Waterloo!” I thought and all life’s problems were solved.

You see, my partner and I were at a bit of a crossroads. We’ve known each other for years but we didn’t start dating until I moved away (from Waterloo) to Toronto (life, you so funny). I moved to pursue a career in film and television and low and behold, I’ve done just that! I have a great career in Toronto and all of my friends have slowly moved here to be young and cool with me. But now I’m almost 25, and after over 2 years of dating my main man, it was time for a decisions to be made. Would he move here, or would we move somewhere in between?

I couldn’t fathom trying to raise a family in the city of Toronto (honestly, I just don’t like it here that much), and commuting from the GTA just made me feel like I’d be missing out on life just so I could say I worked in Toronto. My job, however much is it important, is not as important as me being present in my life.

So back to January, I realized I should just move to Waterloo! I slapped on a timeline of January 2014, which would give me a year to fulfil any visions of my Toronto life I had left and also to give my partner and I a chance to let the prospect of living together sink in.

Some people move in together on a whim, especially when they live close-by and its like, “well I’m here all the time anyway!” But when you live in different cities you have the opportunity to really think about it, which contrary to what my friends might do, is a good idea.

To me, being married and living together is the same thing. You have real conversations about goals, timelines, budgets, finances, and troubleshooting. You have to compromise everything and struggle together to make this whole “partnership” thing work. It’s no longer the “Me Show” and that in itself is a huge adjustment especially after having decades of it to revel in. So we decided our “Me Shows” had a year until they were being cancelled. We are allowing each other to make this last year as epic as possible so we’re not silently resenting the other person for cancelling their favourite series.

And already I’m noticing and adjusting to this compromise business. I wanted a more expensive dining room table, he refused to buy it (and now he regrets it). So instead of being grumpy pants, we decided we will buy a cheap table and paint it a fun blue colour to keep our style in check… Then I wanted a 3 bedroom house rental,  but he wanted something smaller and more affordable while we transition, so I’ve had to bring myself back to reality a bit more.

When things don’t go my way, I find myself reacting negatively. I’ve always had things my way and nobody could say otherwise. But now, its a team effort.

Fortunately, his perspective is a realistic one: he doesn’t wants us to stretch ourselves financially so that tensions don’t intensify between us and this whole ordeal ends in a breakup. Which happens ALL THE TIME. So he’s a wise man and keeps me grounded.

The biggest lesson I’ve learned 6 months after this decisions is that my perfect solution will be a solution full of unexpected surprises. More than fancy tables or lavish apartments, I will finally get to wake up to the person I love everyday and that is all I could ever want.

On My Radar, June 11

Timeless Cafe: @reclaimmaterial This place is such a hidden gem in KW. I’ve heard great things but I just have to get there. Apparently this company rescues antique doors, furniture, stain class etc from century homes and buildings that are being demolished or renovated and sells them at their property. But they’ve also made a cafe there that serves lunch and brunch on the weekend that is outstanding. Fresh, local produce are used and it’s just really good lady-food.

Andies: I popped into this sweet little shop the other day but wasn’t in the mood to really sift through much. It’s a store for 20-something women with higher price points than students or teens could probably manage (unless your parents are rich, so whatever!). They have really bright colours, a whole slew of yoga jeans (I really want these), and generally casual clothes.

 

Honey Bake Shop, Uptown

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Pain au Chocolat

Honey Bake Shop (@honeybakeshop) in Uptown Waterloo is that place you want to show your friends and get them to try the pain au chocolat, the red velvet cupcakes, the walnut shortbread, the sour cream pecan coffee cake, and the strawberry and cream tarts. I’ve only tried the pain au chocolat but it hit the spot, as I imagine the rest of the baked goods would (I’m looking forward to reporting back).

I can see myself picking up some goodies when we have visitors stay for the weekend, and hopefully meet up with friends for a good catch up.

Inside you’ll find it bright, and modern, with about 6 tables facing the large window facing out to King St, and they also have a cozy nook with a reupholstered antique lounger and renovated fireplace. The kitchen is open concept, with a glass wall giving looming customers some insight into how the magic happens.

They’re baked goods have a professionalism difficult to find out of big cities like Toronto, this isn’t an eager mom selling cakes on the side – these people know what they’re doing.

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