Free and cheap things to do during the summer

Summer time is filled with great weather, festivals and is all in all one of the best times of the year. Days you have nothing to do, however, can feel horrible! Personally, any day that I’m not out doing something fun during this time feels like a day wasted! That’s why I’ve thought of five amazing, fun and cheap things to do over the summer holiday!

Picnic in Weston Lions Park

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Nothing screams summer like a picnic and with an amazing place like Weston Lions Park, you don’t have to go far to have a great one. If you venture into the serene park, past the excitement of the soccer and baseball fields, you’ll find pathways that lead you deep into nature. (or as close as you can get to it in Toronto). You can bask in the sun in a secluded part of the park, look out on the Humber river, and enjoy a relaxing summer day. Bring along a couple friends, family, and some great food, and you’ve got the perfect summer getaway. If a picnic isn’t your scene, you can always hike through the winding (and sometimes steep) paths of the park and enjoy a one to one experience with nature.

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Café hopping

To my fellow coffee enthusiasts: You don’t have to go far to make a day out of your obsession. Weston and Mt. Dennis area have a couple great places to grab a great cup of coffee, tea and an amazing array of baked goods.

 Supercoffee: 1148 Weston Road

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This quaint little coffee shop is the perfect place to sit and have a nice hot, or cold drink and bite to eat. Supercoffee has charming wooden décor, friendly staff and the most amazing French vanilla, and iced coffee I’ve ever tasted.

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 Perfect Blend: 1971 Weston Road

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When I stepped into this adorable coffee shop, I couldn’t believe how nice it was! Perfect Blend has an amazing atmosphere and coffee that’s to die for. They also serve up crepes, baked goods, gelato and an amazing variety of drinks. From lattes to Italian soda, there’s a drink at Perfect Blend for whatever you’re in the mood for!

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Farmers Market

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Every Saturday from 7:00 am to 2:00 pm in the Weston Baptist church parking lot, there is an amazing farmers market. Vendors sell goods such as produce, plants, eggs, maple syrup and countless others! The market filled with amazing things to buy, and a friendly atmosphere, that would make anyone happy. On top of buying locally made and grown products, you’ll get to interact with the people who made and grew them! The Weston farmers market has been going on for 37 seasons and has never failed to bring joy to the community! And if you decide to go on a picnic as I first suggested, this lovely little market could fill your picnic basket.

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Art tour of Weston

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If you love art, you don’t have to go to the AGO to see it. Weston and Mt. Dennis is full of amazing artwork you can see for free. Murals cover the street at Weston road and Eglinton, Weston road and John street and various other places around the neighborhood. You can see all the amazing work done by local artists from UrbanArts, a community art organization. The art is also a great backdrop for any pictures you want to take! Plus, if you really love art, you can sign up to UrbanArts and you’ll get a chance to be a part of their next amazing art piece.

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Bike Trails

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Summer is the perfect time to go out and enjoy the nice weather. Weston and Mt. Dennis are packed with great bike trails, where you can ride through parks and enjoy the outdoors. Whether you’re riding along the Humber river, through Weston Lions Park or just riding down the streets, biking and hot weather go hand in hand! When you get tired of riding your bike, you can pull over to sit and enjoy the outdoors.

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Finding fun things to do in the summer can be tricky, especially if you don’t want to spend a ton of money! Weston and Mount Dennis have a ton of amazing things to do and places to see, that will make your summer amazing!


This post was sponsored by: An anonymous donor

5 Fantastic places to eat for under $10

Who doesn’t love trying foods from all over the world? While trying amazing dishes from all over the world is great, we can’t exactly hop on a plane whenever we want some piping hot juicy jerk chicken.

But, you can take a spin through Weston, and Mount Dennis, to find an array of amazing, and authentic restaurants, without breaking the bank!

Here’s a list of my personal favorite places to eat, in no particular order, in the Weston and Mount Dennis area!

Sun Crisp Fish and Chips: 2047 Weston Road

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I have never been the biggest fan of seafood until I tried the fish and chips here. Sun Crisp serves up an array of fish and seafood, served with the fluffiest French fries I’ve ever tried. With options of halibut, cod, haddock and more, cooked up in a soft batter, it’s hard to not like fish after trying a plate from this amazing joint! Throw on some vinegar, and you have the perfect meal! Not a fan of fish? No worries! Sun crisp also serves up shrimp, scallop, and chicken! Plus, everything tastes good with a side of fries, so you can’t go wrong with whatever you order from this friendly little restaurant

Brioni’s: 169: Gary Drive

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I’ve mentioned before how much I adore this place. But I cannot stress how amazing everything here is! If you’ve got a taste for veal, veggies, pasta, or anything in-between, you will fall in love with Brioni’s! With friendly owners and a life changing tomato sauce, Brioni’s will be loved by your entire family. On top of all that, the portion sizes are huge! If you head to Brioni’s for lunch and get a serving of $5.50 lasagna, it’ll be enough for lunch and dinner! You can taste the love in this food, and will fall in love with it as well.

Golden Star: 1690 Jane Street

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Need a great lunch? Only have $5? Golden Star will be your savior! This Asian noodle house has some amazing food, for dirt cheap! A small, which is more so large, lunch special will get you an order of either spicy chicken or chicken wings and fried rice or noodles (and it’ll only cost you $3.80)! Golden Star is run by some of the nicest people you’ll ever meet and their food is mind boggling! They also serve up delectable entrees such as beef and broccoli, hot and sour soup, sesame chicken and countless others

Kings Delight: 1658 Jane Street

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Close your eyes after having one bite from King’s and you’ll question if you’re in Toronto or somewhere under the palm trees in the luscious Caribbean. Spicy pull apart chicken, mouth watering rice, beef patties and any other Caribbean dishes you can think of are severed here. After one bite, you wouldn’t be able to stop eating! Kings serves up some amazing food and drinks from all over the Caribbean for prices that will blow your mind! It’s no wonder this adorable restaurant is called Kings, it’s built for one!

Papino’s Pizza: 1788 Jane Street

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This place is more than just the name. Not only do they serve some amazing pizza, but they also specialize in amazing fries, wings, and wedges! Amazing pizza with a huge variety of toppings, and wing flavors, Papino’s will make you forget about your one true love, pizza. This joint serves up some great fast food, for great prices. If the cheesy pizza doesn’t win you over, the crispy wings and fries will. Dipped in cool garlic sauce, Papino’s Pizza will transport you to an Italian villa. (or maybe just be the best fast food fix you


This post was brought to you by: Patricia, who thinks that you should get out and enjoy the Humber River.

Weston collegiate’s multi cultural night

May 25th 2016 marked Weston Colligate Institutes 11th annual Multi Cultural night. The night was jam packed with exciting events, delicious food and an amazing talent show. All volunteers at the event were dressed in cultural attire, and many hosted the games that were being played around the crowed cafeteria.

At 6:00pm guests started flooding, dressed in cultural attire, and seemed to run around the cafeteria to participate in all the different events. From family feud, to a photo booth, every event was extremely successful and everyone who participated had a great time.

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While all the events took place, there was also a buffet of delicious food for guest to enjoy. Tables were filled with a plethora of piping hot, delicious foods from all over the world. Dishes included steaming spring rolls, saucy lasagna, tres leches (three milk) cake, and every dish in-between. Everything served was amazing, and everyone went back for seconds.

When guests weren’t feasting on the delicacies of the night, they were able to purchase raffle tickets, and bid on a variety of gift baskets in a silent auction. The school was auctioning off baskets full of sports memorabilia, luxury chocolates, movie tickets, and the schools merchandise! Visitors could also buy raffle tickets, so they could have a chance to win prizes including Beats headphones, $100 gift cards and even a drone camera!

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Once the event was in full swing, a small fashion show took place through the area where guests were seated. Music was played and students were able to strut down the isles of the cafeteria, to show off their cultural attire.

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Just when the excitement seemed to be slowing down, the talent show began. Students and guests alike filed into the school’s auditorium to see spectacular performances.
Performers played songs, danced, sang and there was even a pair who did a breath taking spoken word poem. The show concluded with a teary eyed performance of One Love by Bob Marley from the grade 12 students who completed the International Baccalaureate (IB) program.

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For eleven years Weston Colligate institute has been hosting this event, and it has always been a success. All proceeds from the event go towards the schools International Baccalaureate (IB) program. Funds help give scholarships to students pursuing post secondary education, as well as the annual Algonquin Park trip that takes place in September, for 9th grade and graduating students.

Weston’s Multi Cultural night is extremely popular with the school and community. Everyone in attendance always has an amazing time and talks about it for nights on end.

The official name of the event is A Taste of Weston IB with a Multi Cultural Twist, but it should really be called, Around the world in one night!


This post was brought to you by: Luisa Bada: Living in Weston and loving it

50 years of fantastic food

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Who doesn’t love warm home-cooked food? Throw in great prices, friendly owners and you’ve got the perfect place to eat. That’s just a fraction of what Brioni Supermarket has to offer.

The quaint family run business has been a favourite spot of families who live in the area to get some delicious food, and even pick up a few groceries!

The store offers a wide variety of Italian food including, pizza, lasagna, pastas, roasted vegetables, chicken and countless other amazing dishes. Everything sold is homemade and absolutely amazing! Portion sizes are huge and most meals are $10 or less!

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The Brioni family has been running the establishment for 50 years, and never fails to put a smile on the face of whomever walks in the door.

Mr. and Mrs. Brioni always welcome everyone in the shop with open arms and serve huge servings of whatever food you are purchasing. They always have something witty to say to each other and love the store dearly.

Brioni’s also sells groceries and have a small butcher’s counter that has amazing cuts of meat and sausages. The only thing you can’t get at this adorable Italian market is an appearance from the Pope! (But they’re working on it).

I have been going to Brioni’s for over 8 years and it is just as amazing as the day I first had it. I remember being in 3rd grade and enjoying a slice of their pizza for the first time. Despite being eight years old at the time, I knew that it was the best pizza I would ever eat, and I was right!

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If you’re looking for amazing home cooked food, made by the friendliest people you’ll ever meet, visit Brioni’s. In June they will be celebrating their 50th anniversary and will be cooking up free burgers, hotdogs and more for anyone who wants to stop by. You will also be able to pick up some of their signature dishes and shop around the day of as well.

Mr. Brioni told me he wasn’t sure of the exact day the barbeque would take place, but he assured me that it would be lots of fun and the food would be amazing!

Brioni’s is without a doubt one of the best places to eat in Weston, and is run by some of the best people in the community as well. Situated at 169 Gary Drive, its surely a hidden gem in the area.

Here’s to 50 years of amazing Italian food, and many more to come!


This post was sponsored by: Diane. Her heart is still in Weston.

Spring with sopranos

April 21st marked Weston Collegiate institute’s annual spring concert. The night was a blast filled with choir, guitar, orchestra, band and solo performances. The fun began at 6:30 with an amazing performance from the Weston choir. The audience was swaying and singing along to songs such as Here Comes the Sun by the Beatles and Seasons of Love from Rent!

As the first half of the concert progressed the acts kept getting better! Several solo acts performed songs on the piano, and sang before the first half closed with an amazing performance by the strings orchestra.

Mr. Nadalin, the school’s music teacher, then invited the crowd to the bake sale and art show, in the cafeteria. The art show consisted of everything from acrylic paint on canvas to crazy designs made in Photoshop, and everything in between! The school has countless artistic classes including visual design, photography and visual art. Every arts class submitted the best works made by students. Crowds were drawn to the beautiful artwork and students whose work was on displayed excitedly showed their friends and family. After the excitement from the art had subsisted, audience members filled back into the auditorium for the second half of the concert.

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The students came back strong with solo acts performing songs from the Beatles, Bruno Mars and even One Direction! Then came on the concert band, one of the highlights of the night. Concert band is made up of every student who take music at Weston and has jazz, string and percussion instruments. They started off their act with a bang, literally! They played Bang Bang by Jessie J, followed by Yesterday by the Beatles and Gangnam Style by PSY.

As the concert band finished, the jazz band began! The school’s jazz band is made up of the best musicians in the school, who play jazz instruments. They wowed the crowd with hits like I Want to Hold Your Hand by the Beatles, Final Countdown by Europe and 1989 in dedication to Prince. They closed their amazing performance by playing Shake it off by Taylor Swift, featuring a killer clarinet solo.

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The night was a huge success, according to Mr. Nadalin and the musicians. “[the concert] is the highlight of the year for me. It always brings the band and school together and everyone has a great time.” Stefan Thomas, a grade 12 student, stated. Concerts at Weston are a tradition the mood stayed high throughout the school even after the event had concluded.

“These four years working with Nadalin was amazing. I’m so sad that this is the last concert I’ll be in at Weston.” Toruna Deokaran.

Weston Collegiate never fails to put on an amazing show and community members, parents and students alike, know for a fact that any event the school puts on will be a great time. Everyone who attended the concert agreed they wished the musicians didn’t take a rest, so they could enjoy their music for longer!


This post is sponsored by:  Patricia, who thinks that you should get out and enjoy the Humber River.    

It’s not just about the game

As the days of negative weather come to a close, another hockey season does as well. On April 2nd, family and friends from the Weston community and beyond gathered in the famous Weston Lions Arena for a day full of hockey and festivities. Players grasped their hockey sticks, as their families did the same with cups of warm drinks. A single glance at the venue would show that the hype behind this event was immense.

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Crowds of hockey players filed into Weston Lions Area for the annual ‘house season championship game’. The arena was buzzing with excitement from participants, parents, and spectators alike. Stands that were usually filled with a handful of parents clutching their thermoses were now packed with excited fans.

The event was run throughout the day, with players from kindergarten to high school in attendance. At the start of the hockey season, players were split into multiple leagues made up of other kids in their age group. Each league was then split into around six teams, for friendly competitions. Throughout the October to April hockey season, players competed in games with others in their league. “it’s not just about hockey. The kids all get together and have a good time doing what they love explained John Sichetti, father to one of the players.

The day consisted of final games being played and awards. Awards included: Most improved, Most Dedicated, MVP, and many others. Everyone seemed ecstatic to be on the ice, whether they were making a slap shot, or accepting an award. Jane Ross, dedicated volunteer for the Weston Lions Club and Arena stated, It’s a great family event, and even the kids who don’t win, they aren’t crying”

Excitement teemed through the veins of everyone in attendance. Even those who were standing in the lobby of the rink snacking on fries and coffee seemed overjoyed that this event was taking place. Everyone was chatting about how hard the players had worked, and how much they had improved over the six-month season.

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After every game was played, and every award was given, the players and their families filed into the top floor of the rink for dinner. As they feasted, they chatted about the season and excitedly fawned over each other’s awards.

Hockey at Weston has been a tradition for 65 years, and the excitement and joy the rink brings has been alive since the day it began.

Although this was the championship tournament, it’s not the end of the season. Later in the month, the ‘Last Gasp’ tournament will take place. The arena will host teams from all over the province for games (and famous arena fries).

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The players who call the arena home are even more ecstatic about playing in this tournament, and the other good times to come on, and off, the ice.


 

This Post was Sponsored by: Luisa Bada: Living in Weston and loving it

Weston Rugby: A legacy

By: Lieselotte Noort

“Rugby? That’s like football, right?” Is a common phrase heard by every rugby player.

On March 30, rugby players at Weston Collegiate Institute got the devastating news that their beloved sport would not be running a team for the spring 2016 season.

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Junior boys rugby October 2015
Coach Bould with the junior girls rugby team.
Coach Bould with the junior girls rugby team.

Spring Rugby requires a minimum of 25 committed players. But this season, both girls and boy’s teams were short by just a handful of people. The team was puzzled at why interest in the sport was down this year, and were enraged that they were going to miss out on their adored sport.

The season that took place in the fall of the current school year was extremely popular and successful. The junior and senior girls had a great victory throughout the two-month season, with the senior team winning one game and tying another. The junior girls, whose team was mostly made up of beginners, suffered only one loss. In the past the school has been even more successful with their rugby teams.

For some, Weston Rugby has been a part of their family for generations. The current captain of the senior boy’s rugby team, Julien Crisante is a 2nd generation Ironman. Weston has offered a team for well over 20 years, and the current coach, Mark Bould, has been part it for ten. “In all my years of coaching at Weston, I’ve never had to not run a spring team…I’m just as upset as you are” Bould stated.

The team has impacted many students in the school, and though it may seem to be ‘only one season’ of a sport missed, players are heartbroken that the team is not going to be run this spring. “Rugby isn’t just a game to me, it’s a family that has your back on and off the pitch. I have yet to come by another group of young women as strong, committed, empowering and fierce as my fellow Weston female ruggers” said Bhonita Singh, who has been playing Weston Rugby for 4 years.

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With rugby being one of the most well known, and formerly one of the most popular, sports at Weston, the whole school is startled by the news. Although this loss is not forever, the Ironmen are all saddened by the state of the team this spring.

“I guess we can always join soccer!” stated many players who previously loved to say “Rugby is a hooligan’s sport played by gentlemen, and soccer is a gentleman’s sport played by hooligans!”

 


 

This post was brought to you by: Maureen Lennon, who loves Weston and great writing.