City Living: Loving our city

There’s no place like home. When you live in a city like Toronto, it’s not always
necessary to venture north to sit in four hours of traffic. We have a decently clean lake (thanks, zebra mussels!), we
have patios that serve cold drinks and we have parks with grass. What else do you need? Forget leaving the city the second the clock hits 5 p.m. on Friday, and stick around here. Lots to do, plus at the end of the day, you get to
sleep in your own bed. Score.

Here are our suggestions to skip the “staycation” or “Occupy Summer” movements
and simply learn how to relax and enjoy our own surroundings. Many of these activities seem obvious, but how many of you actually take advantage of this stuff? Exactly.

For some excitement:
Release your inner child and head to Canada’s Wonderland. Don’t worry
about not being entertained. The large-and-in-charge Leviathan made its debut in May and promises three and half minutes of a stomach-dropping, silent
screaming, hair-raising good time. We dare you. Don’t forget about the
funnel cakes, but maybe save them for after the ride.

Stay up to date with @WonderlandNews.

For a little R&R:

Get your beach on. Former parking lot-turned-urban oasis, Sugar Beach is one of Toronto’s prettiest man-made beaches. Located at the bottom of Lower Jarvis, this hotspot has sand, umbrellas, trees and the best view in the house of our city’s waterfront. Sugar Beach is a great way to spend a day; food, shops and shade are just steps
away should you need a break. Plus, bands will often make their way down here to play concerts. Nothing better than a little live music with your ray-catching.

The pink umbrellas are just part of the charm.
Image source.

For an afternoon
Get moving – rent a Bixi or hop on your own wheels and take a tour of a part of Toronto you haven’t seen yet. We’re blessed with so many neighbourhoods with unique personalities. From the food to the people to the fashion, be surprised at your
city’s offerings and Bixi’s convenience. Grab a friend to discover Balwin’s
intimate selection of patios, people-watch up in Yorkville, discover the hidden charms of the Bridal Path and Forest Hill, or check out the changes in Regent Park. The possibilities are pretty much endless. Plus, you’ll get a li’l exercise to boot.

Follow them @BixiToronto.

For a little patriotism:
Head to the Skydome (uhh – Roger’s Center), tap into your competitive side and cheer on our Jays. Toronto’s Major Leaguers have launched into this season full force and need all our
support. Even if you’re not a baseball fan, indulge in the overpriced food and
beer, and enjoy that we Torontonians may actually have a shot at playoffs; if
you’re a Leaf fan, you’ll understand.

We promise, this sport is one of the best to watch right now, since the Jays actually have a shot at winning.
Image source.

Show them a little online love: @BlueJays.
For a little arts
& culture:
After soaking up some stifling rays, recharge your
inner-genius with air conditioned trips to the ROM for some prehistoric adventure (they’ve got a groovy new dinosaur exhibit. EVERYONE loves dinos), the AGO
for the Picasso exhibit (hurry! It ends this August) and if you need
to compromise with the athlete (or tourist) in your life, the Hockey Hall of Fame is also a museum, of sorts. Have some fun playing goalie.

This beautiful building houses all things hockey.
Image source.

And that’s just a sampling of everything there is to do here at home. For any out-of-towners visiting Toronto this summer, hit us up @rockitpromo for even more recos.

Media, Darling: Gabe Gonda

Gabe Gonda is the Globe and Mail‘s Arts editor. In his previous post at the Globe and Mail, he ran the Focus section. Before that, Gabe spent 12 years at the Toronto Star, where he worked on every desk as a copy editor, writing editorials, running the letters page, covering city hall, writing features, working as an assignment editor and running the Saturday Insight section for three years. Gabe went to the University of Toronto, where he played a year of varsity basketball, ran a student journal of political theory and dropped out to edit a campus newspaper called The Newspaper. That was before the Internets were a big deal.

Twitter: @GlobeArts

Did you always want to be in the media? If not, what other careers were on the horizon?
When I was a kid I wanted to play for the Blue Jays, other than that I had no career plan.

Where would you like to be five years from now?
Buenos Aires.

Any advice for people getting started in your industry? 
Have a good luck charm.

What are your favourite media outlets, not including your own? 
The New Yorker, TMZ,, the London Review of Books.

Best interview you’ve ever had? Worst?
Lots of good ones. Worst was Jerry Stackhouse of the Detroit Pistons. He kept looking at me like I was birdshit on his shoe.

Best advice you’ve ever been given?
Be curious.

What rule(s) do you live your life by?
The Ten Commandments, at least that’s what I tell my rabbi.

What’s the most important tip you can give PR pros?
Know something.

Best experience you’ve had with a PR pro? We love to hear about #wins.
The best PR work, like good refereeing or good editing, is invisible.

I hate?

I love?

Whenever I can.

Best place on earth?
At my dinner table, with my wife and two sons.

Dinner guest?
Anyone who asks strange questions, like my friend Ira.

My grandfather. He owned a newspaper in Paris before World War II, but had to drop everything to save his family from the Nazis. He wrote for Hearst in Geneva and finished a Ph.D in history before starting over in America at the age of 42. Moved back to Paris in his 60’s and won a prize from the French academy for his book on the Treaty of Versailles a few weeks before dropping dead in 1982.

Favourite app (or whatever you are downloading these days)?
Happily app-less.

Pool or ocean?

Voicemail or email?