couple-meeting-questions-ask-lawyer
Law Services

5 Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Lawyer in Toronto

Hiring a lawyer can be a nerve-wracking process, especially if this is your first time dealing with the legal process. If you ask the right questions, however, you will be able to get a good sense of the lawyer you are looking to hire for your case. Let the below questions be a guide on your search for a lawyer in Toronto:

How long have you been in practice?

Ideally, you want to hire a lawyer with a strong record of experience. Depending on your case, you may not be comfortable entrusting your case into the hands of a recent law school grad. This is a fair question that will help you gauge the level of knowledge and expertise your prospective lawyer has in their court.

What is your area of specialization?

You want to find a lawyer that specializes in the type of case you are involved with. Each lawyer has a specialization, which has built up their knowledge and expertise in one area. You want to make sure your lawyer has a deep understanding and knowledge to back up your case.

What is your track record with similar cases?

While a lawyer may be classified in the specialization you are seeking, this does not necessarily mean they have handled a case similar to yours before. When you are interviewing prospective lawyers, it is completely acceptable to ask whether they have been involved with similar cases in the past and what the outcome of the case(s) was. You to feel safe and secure with the lawyer you hire, confident that they have what it takes to present your cause successfully.

How are fees calculated?

This is a question that you must ask before deciding on a lawyer. Whether you will be billed on an hourly billing model or at a flat rate could make a huge difference in your ability to continue to work with a certain lawyer. Make sure you understand all the fine print before making your decision.

How long will it take to resolve my case?

Though it is unrealistic to expect your lawyer to know exactly when the case will conclude, it is a good idea to ask for their professional opinion on how long the process could take. This will help you gauge the costs and time that will be associated with your case.

Whether you are hiring a civil or criminal lawyer in Toronto, these questions will help you find out more about your prospective representative and help ensure you find the best lawyer for your case.

backyard-hot-tub-design
Home & Garden

Why You Need a Hot Tub in Your Backyard This Summer

With spring just around the corner, many of us are just dreaming of the days we can open up the patio doors and spend an afternoon or evening relaxing in the outdoor oasis of our own backyard. But is your backyard ready? Why not invest in your backyard this year and have the best summer yet?! The backyard is the perfect place to entertain and enjoy quality time with family and friends. Make it your own this year and create a place where memories will be made.

Here are just a few reasons a hot tub should be part of your backyard investment this year:

Entertaining

We all know the excitement of being invited over to someone’s house for a hot tub party. With the purchase of a hot tub, you could be that friend! Not to mention, you can enjoy a hot tub party of your own each and every night. There’s nothing better than relaxing with your friends and family in the hot tub, looking at the stars in the bright summer night sky.

Relaxation

You can’t deny that coming home from a long day at work to sit in the nice relaxing hot tub is worth the investment. When you’re feeling stressed, tense and overworked, getting to come home to a relaxing spa-like experience is what gets you through the day and is the grand reward you need for all your hard work. Let the powerful jets relax your knots and muscles and enjoy your evening!

Design

Is your backyard lacking a clear design aspect? Simply grass and fence? Boring, we know. A hot tub entertaining area really improves the overall look of your backyard. It is the perfect opportunity to create an oasis in your backyard – a place you can escape to when you need some peace and quiet.

Resale Value

Even if you are thinking of selling your home within the next 5 years, investing in elevating the design and function of your backyard space is a wise move. When perspective buyers tour your home, a backyard oasis will make it all the more inviting and attractive.

Now that you can’t wait to have a hot tub in your backyard, all you have to do is find the perfect one for your backyard! Don’t forget to invest in a good quality hot tub cover to retain heat and protect your water quality.

adult-colouring-books
Lifestyle

Join the Adult Colouring Book Craze

The recent adult colouring book trend started in France a few years ago, and rapidly spread throughout Europe before crossing the Atlantic to take Canada and the United States by storm. While adult colouring books have been available for quite a while, they have officially reached frenzy status over past years. The most popular among the titles, like Johanna Basford’s Secret Garden: An Inky Treasure Hunt and Coloring Book and Enchanted Forest: An Inky Quest & Coloring Book, have been in the top 10 best-sellers list online and in-store for months.

If you’re only just hearing about the adult colouring book phenomenon, the popularity should come as no surprise. For one, they’re easy to use. They are also extremely popular because they help adults focus, unwind, relax, spark creativity, and reconnect with their inner child.

As if you need an instructional guide, here’s how to use adult colouring books to their full effect.

Step 1: Choose Your Materials

You may choose to cobble together materials from around the house, lifting some pencil crayons from your kids’ collection or discovering a vibrant green marker that found its way between the couch cushions. Or you may want to invest in a fresh set of crayons, markers, pens, or colouring pencils. Maybe today’s task will be to colour using pencil crayons, or maybe you want to test out a new set of glittery gel pens – or maybe you’ll mix mediums.

Step 2: Turn Off Your Electronics

This is all about getting back to basics and reconnecting with days gone by. Of course, you are encouraged to use your devices to download new drawings, purchase a book online, or discuss tips or share your latest creations on social media. But when it comes to drawing, power down the desktop, shut off your tablet, and put your phone on silent. If you must have some form of electronic accompaniment, the “Musical Therapy” and “Creativity Boost” playlists on Spotify will put you in the right frame of mind for relaxation and focus.

Step 3: Find a Starting Point

Some people like to start from the beginning and work their way forward page by page in chronological order. Since most adult colouring books do have some form of story telling, this certainly makes sense. Others like to flip convention on its head and work from the back of the book to the beginning. Or, you can just flip to your favorite page in the book and start colouring once you find inspiration. You can fill in a little section on one page and then journey to another page, or stick with a given illustration for weeks until it has been perfected. Whatever route you choose is entirely up to you.

Step 4: Start Colouring!

Simple as that!

Step 5: Connect Your Mind & Body

As you start drawing, you may notice your worries float away, distractions dissipate, and stress evaporate. Millions of adults have noticed the same phenomenon. If you don’t notice anything, that’s fine too. Just enjoy the process and don’t worry about the end point. Adult colouring books are not about rushing to the finish line or trying to complete an illustration to perfection. The sensations and effects of colouring, clearing your mind, and connecting your mind and body are your rewards.

Step 6: When to Stop

Stop whenever you feel like it. There is no minimum or maximum time investment! Colour as long as you’re enjoying it, and stop whenever you don’t feel like colouring anymore.

Daydream, spark your creativity, enjoy a childlike delight, and take a break from the hectic pace of daily life, even if only for a few minutes. All of this and more is possible thanks to the adult colouring book craze. Check out these free adult colouring pages to get started!

5 Advantages of Replacement Windows
Home & Garden

5 Advantages of Replacement Windows

Looking to improve the functionality and appearance of your home? Whether your old windows are failing or you simply want to upgrade the value and look of your home, here are a few of the advantages of installing new windows:

Reduced Environmental Impact

Old windows are not efficient, which means your furnace and air conditioner need to work harder to maintain a comfortable temperature indoors. The harder your HVAC equipment needs to work, the more natural resources are needed. High-efficiency replacement windows, on the other hand, use state-of-the-art design and technology to keep heat in during the winter and keep heat out in the summer. There is less demand on your HVAC equipment and thus, fewer natural resources used. As a result, your home has a smaller carbon footprint.

Save Money on Energy

Do you balk when you open your Enbridge or Hydro One bill? Rising utility bills serve as an alert that your home is not energy efficient. Switching to high-efficiency windows could cut your heating and cooling costs by 30%. In time, replacement windows basically pay for themselves!

Increase the Value of Your Home

Are you expecting to sell your home in the near future? Not only will replacement windows raise the resale value of your home, they’ll make your home more attractive in a competitive market. Nowadays, buyers are looking for turnkey, energy-efficient homes that don’t need any work. Replacement windows can return about 85%-100% on investment, making them one of the smartest home upgrades out there.

Design That Gets People Talking

New windows make a stunning addition to any home, from beautiful, bright bay windows to decorative glass windows to European tilt and turn windows with exceptional function.  Available in a wide range of colours with grills, lites, and hardware to suit any taste, the options are endless. If your old windows are faded, cracked, or simply out of style, there’s no better time to upgrade.

Low Maintenance Solution

On a crisp fall afternoon, would you rather be inside watching the big game or painting and cleaning windows on the second storey of your home? The answer goes without saying. Vinyl replacement windows are practically maintenance free, requiring nothing more than a quick clean on occasion. They will not rust, corrode, warp, bow, chip, or fade.

Ready to invest in replacement windows? Eco Choice Windows & Door is a leading supplier and installer of GTA vinyl windows. With top-quality products, expert installation, and caring customer service, your home will be in the best of hands.

 

Planning an Anniversary Dinner to Remember in Toronto
Food & Drink

Planning an Anniversary Dinner to Remember in Toronto

If you and your partner are among the many who found love in Toronto, you may soon be approaching a milestone anniversary. Whether it’s one, two or even ten years that you’ve been together, there are a wide variety of fun, interesting and romantic things to do in Toronto. But, of course, we all know that you can’t beat a romantic dinner in a dim, candle-lit setting with your other half, especially when it’s a special occasion.

Quaint Corner House Pub

There are so many romantic restaurants in Toronto that choosing just one may be more difficult than you imagined. If you and your other half tend to enjoy calm, laid-back settings, then the Corner House Pub might just be the ideal place. It looks like a quaint little cottage from the outside, and has an incredible rustic ambience in the inside. It is located on Gerrard Street East in the Upper Beaches neighbourhood of Toronto.

Delectable Splendido

On the other hand, if you prefer to do things a little more elaborately, try Splendido. This restaurant is perfect for special occasions, and it’s safe to say that the menu is rather impressive. If you love the feeling of a concoction of flavours exploding on your taste buds, then you’ll definitely leave this restaurant feeling satisfied. Splendido is located on Harbord Street just west of the University of Toronto St. George Campus.

Luxurious Auberge du Pommier

Furthermore, Auberge du Pommier is a fancy French restaurant that serves incredibly luxurious food. If you don’t mind spending a lot of money in restaurants on special occasions, then this charming eaterie is ideal for you. It is located on Yonge Street in York Mills, near the Don Valley Golf Course.

Don’t Forget Your Reservations!

As you can probably tell, Toronto has a lot to offer where romantic restaurants are concerned. If you’re planning on taking your other half to one for your anniversary, then it’s definitely important to make a reservation in advance – and yes, this might mean weeks in advance, depending on the type of restaurant you choose.

Dress to Impress

Once you’ve made the reservation at the restaurant of your choice, it’s important to consider which attire you’ll opt for on the special night itself. For men, the best option would be a pair of black trousers, black shoes, and a shirt of choice. Women, on the other hand, tend to wear a formal dress with mid-length heels on this kind of occasion. Of course, you go for a non-formal setting, then a specific dress code does not apply.

No matter what you choose, we wish you a wonderful anniversary – and many more to come!

Dress Your Home to Impress
Home & Garden

Dress Your Home To Impress

A lot of people are interested interior design but they do not know what they are doing. Interior design doesn’t have to be hard, and the skills of a professional are not needed to create a fabulous living space. This article will give you some great tips on interior design.

A great interior design tip is to spend your Saturday mornings going to yard sales and your free time visiting thrift stores. You wouldn’t believe some of the unique things you can find if you know where to look. The typical places like IKEA give homes a pleasant but cookie cutter look, which simply won’t cut it. You might happen to come across a great end table, a timeless mirror, or beautifully decorated vase, but you’ll never get the chance if you don’t pound the pavement.

One tip that you should follow is to use as many designs and patterns as you can. Textures and patterns can always be used to add contrast and create visual appeal. To get the idea, think of combining opposites: hard and soft, muted and shiny, rough and smooth. If you’re making a contemporary room, textures and patterns are definitely a must.

Learn to choose paint according to the light level that exists in a given room. If there isn’t sufficient window area in your room, you should paint the walls a light and bright colour.

If you are remodelling your kitchen, renovating, or creating a whole new kitchen or bathroom, it is beneficial to contact a professional contractor. Your ideas might involve plumbing work or electrical work that is beyond your scope of expertise, and things could go terribly wrong if you don’t know what you’re doing. By contacting a professional renovator or contractor, they can help you to outline the exact scope of the project so it is done right and within budget.

This sounds simply, but use slipcovers. If you have old couches or chairs that you are getting bored with, think about simply buying a slipcover and giving the furniture a whole new look. Slipcovers come in all designs and colours, so you can definitely find one that suits the decor in your home. Make sure to wash the slipcover regularly, of course.

If you’re looking to add some elegance in a room, use sconces for lighting. The dim light emanating from a sconce creates an atmosphere that is fancy and romantic. You can also get sconces in a variety of shapes, colours, and designs. No matter the theme of your room, you’ll find an appropriate fit.

Armed with the information here, you are now well-informed and knowledgeable about interior design principles. It should certainly be a lot easier to make your home look great now. These dos and don’ts can act as a great guide, but don’t be afraid to trust your design instincts and come up with something unique. With everything that you gained from reading this article about interior design, there’s no doubt that you can make your home look stunning.

Winter Driving
Safety, Weather

Winter Safety in Toronto

We’re at the height of winter in Toronto, with chilly temperatures, heavy snowfalls, and gusty winds. Outdoor accidents can be deadly at this time of year, so it is very important to take precautions. Here are some tips to stay safe this winter:

Bundle Up

Even if you don’t actually expect to be out in the elements for long, it is paramount that you dress for the worst-case scenario. You could be driving to drop someone off and not expect to leave your car. But a stall or engine failure, very common in freezing temperatures, could leave you stranded for hours in the cold. So no matter your plans, make sure to dress with a warm coat, boots, hat, and gloves at all occasions. Scarves and neckwarmers are recommended, but the two most important items are undoubtedly a coat to protect your core and a hat to protect heat loss from your head.

Emergency Supplies

Make sure your car has a winter survival kit at all times. You never know when a snow squall or black ice will bring highway driving to a halt, or when freezing temperatures will prevent your car from starting. A winter survival kit should have blankets, non-perishable food like energy bars, water, extra clothing, a small snow kit (shovel, scraper, brush), flashlight, candles, a whistle, and a road map. Make sure to replace the water every six months, and replenish supplies as necessary. Hopefully you’ll never have to use your winter survival kit, but better safe than sorry.

Wear Suitable Footwear

All too often we think we can get away with wearing sneakers all year long. While it certainly saves money, this is a dangerous practice that can cause real harm when bad weather strikes. Proper winter boots, with strong traction and water resistance, can protect you from slips on the ice, and can keep your feet dry in deep snow or slushy weather. Wet shoes and socks are a recipe for hypothermia and frostbite. Proper footwear that keeps you dry and sturdy in tough winter weather is very important.

Be Smart

If it is particularly vicious weather, with freezing rain, black ice, or snow squalls, consider whether an outdoor trek is necessary. If your trip can be delayed or cancelled, then do so. Safety is more important than most tasks. If you absolutely must head out, be sure to consolidate your tasks to avoid driving all over the GTA. Drive slowly and safely, exercise extreme caution with limited visibility, and beware of pedestrians. Stay safe this winter, Torontonians!

Toronto Celebrity
Celebrity, Movies, Music, Sports

Our Favourite Toronto Celebrities

Toronto’s a big city, with more than six million people in the Greater Toronto Area. In such a big city with thriving music, art, movie, and sports scenes, there are a lot of very talented individuals who have gained international fame for their abilities. Here are some of our favourite Toronto celebrities and why they stand out from the crowd:

Jim Carrey

For more than twenty years now, Jim Carrey has been busting our guts with hilarious movies. After a bit of a lull, he returned to what he knows best with Dumb and Dumber To released in the fall of 2014. Carrey was born in Newmarket and raised in Scarborough. He’s a huge Leafs fan, and even wore their iconic blue and white jersey while hosting Saturday Night Live in October. Toronto has a great comedy scene and has produced many talented funnymen, but nobody beats Jim Carrey.

Andrew Wiggins

Wiggins was raised in Thornhill and Vaughan. While there has been a recent surge of Toronto-area basketball players making it big in the NBA, nobody beats the phenomenal Andrew Wiggins. Wiggins highly regarded as a college player, and chose to commit to Kansas. He was the first overall pick by the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2014 and was traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves in the massive Kevin Lowe deal this summer. The son of a former NBA player and former Olympic athlete, Torontonians should be proud to share the same hometown as this talented man.

Steven Stamkos

Stamkos was raised in Unionville and Markham, and was the first overall pick in the 2008 NHL entry draft. Stamkos is arguably the best goalscorer in the NHL. He was kept off the Canadian Olympic team last year due to a brutal broken leg, but he’s arguably the second-best player behind only Sidney Crosby and lights up the league with his incredible sniping abilities. Stamkos only has one more year on his contract after this season…could he come home to the Toronto Maple Leafs? We’d love it!

Drake

28-year old Drake was raised in the affluent Forest Hill neighbourhood of Toronto. He has been repping Toronto for more than a decade, first as Jimmy on Degrassi and now as a world-renowned rapper and entertainer. We love Drake because he is proud to come from Toronto and lets the world know about it. He features everything from Shoppers Drug Mart to his old Forest Hill neighbourhood in his music videos. He is an Ambassador for the Toronto Raptors and shares his love for the team all around the world. Plus, it helps to have such a talented artist with sky-high potential representing our great city.

Of course there are so many other talented Toronto celebrities to name, but there’s no doubt these four are our favourites right now!

Toronto Christmas
Holidays

Toronto’s Best Christmas Sights

New York gets all the credit in the movies and on television as the ultimate Christmas city. Well, we Toronto residents know the real truth – that we have New York beat. Not only is Canada home to Santa’s workshop way up north, we also boast the best big city in which to celebrate the Christmas season. Here are some of our favourite must-see Christmas sights in Toronto:

Nathan Phillips Square

Located at the heart of downtown Toronto, the seat of the city’s government is also the centre of holiday action in our nation’s biggest city. Nathan Phillips Square is illuminated with the holiday spirit, and it’s the perfect place to introduce kids to the magic of Christmas or even share a romantic night with a date. The large Christmas tree shines bright, and the outdoor skating rink is a great place to observe the special combination of shining Christmas lights and glowing office towers at night.

Bloor-Yorkville

This trendy shopping district is a perfect place to enjoy an evening stroll, looking at the beautiful Christmas lights and impressive window displays and artwork while sipping a hot chocolate or warm cider from one of the great vendors in the neighbourhood. Bloor-Yorkville is a great place to pick up Christmas gifts for friends and family, or just enjoy some holiday magic as you see the trees glow with seasonal colours.

The Nutcracker

Presented by the National Ballet of Canada at the Four Seasons Performing Arts Centre, The Nutcracker is a must-see event for all Canadians and Christmas lovers. Tchaikovsky’s classic Christmas story set in Imperial Russia is so elegantly performed by Canada’s best ballerinas and ballet dancers, your jaw will drop just like a nutcracker. With iconic music, a timeless story, and gorgeous choreography, The Nutcracker will get any Torontonian into the holiday spirit.

Toronto Christmas Market

The Distillery District is host to this annual holiday street market that features some of the best and most creative vendors in Canada. It’s the perfect place to pick up a unique and memorable Christmas gift while enjoying great entertainment, food, and cider and beer in the beer gardens. The kids will love shopping here, with a life-sized gingerbread house, carousel, and visits from Santa and his reindeer. You can get a taste of European Christmas tradition without leaving Toronto.

These are just some of the incredible events and sights that offer a hint of holiday magic to Toronto residents and visitors during the most festive time of year.

Great Shape
Health & Wellness

Strategies for Getting Into Great Shape

If you don’t have the knowledge you need to be motivated, it can be hard to set goals when trying to lose weight. If you want to make your workout more enjoyable, there are a lot of ways you can make that happen. Start by reading this tips, and you’ll be well on the road to losing weight successfully.

Even the most sedentary people can moving thanks to the magical quality of music. It’s hard to resist moving your feet to a catchy beat, or singing at the top of your lungs to your favourite tunes. Because music is so associated with movement, you should definitely make music at the centre of your workout routine. Crank the tunes and get moving! When you’re working out, music can help you feel so much more alive and energized. This extra boost of energy helps you perform even longer at higher levels that you ever could with no musical accompaniment.

Do you know anyone else who is also trying to get fit? Latch on to them! Together, you can track your progress, and frankly it’s just fun to have someone to exercise alongside. When you have a buddy, time seems to fly. You can work your butt off yet it seems like you’re not even working at all. When the workout is a bunch of fun, you actually enjoy it. Imagine looking forward to a trip to the gym instead of dreading it.

If you are looking to break up the monotony, maybe you can watch exercise videos on TV or online. Invest in a few so you don’t get bored of them. The workout video brings a lot of noise and energy which distracts you from the burn of exercising. Many people are able to exercise for longer because of this distraction.

Who says you have to workout in ratty clothes? You deserve to wear workout attire that flatters your physique and makes you feel confident. This helps you get motivated to go to the gym, when you know you look hot. There are so many great looking outfits out there, and many of them offer very useful features like moisture wicking, and some even haven built-in armbands for iPhones and other crazy cool features.

Nothing is exciting if you do the same thing every day, so why would you do the same workout day after day? Give yourself a spark and switch things around so you stay motivated and excited. Play a different playlist, do different exercises, or switch up the order of your circuit. Don’t let yourself fall into a rut.

A lot of people find better motivation when they set rewards for themselves. This is entirely up to you – a trip to the spa, some new workout clothes, or a night out at the movies. Just make sure the reward doesn’t undo all the hard work you did at the gym!

Exercise does not have to be something you dread. Look for ways to make your exercise routine so much fun that you look forward to doing it. Apply this advice to make your workout routine more fun.