Summer Hack: Where To Hide Away This Summer


For those of us who are in an office all summer, it sometimes feel like these four walls are keeping us captive from the limited warm days we have in Toronto. So if you need to take a professional development day and stretch out your legs, without committing to a cabin weekend, we have your perfect summer hack to get out and enjoy some beautiful Ontario sights.

Rockwood: This Conservation Area, just outside Guelph, borders the Eramosa River, and you can hike the trail on either side of the river, or take a leisurely canoe ride to immerse yourself in the exquisite terrain, including massive limestone cliffs and caves lining the shores.


Devil’s Punch Bowl: In the City of Waterfalls, better known as Hamilton, is the Devil’s Punch Bowl, a ribbon waterfall that cascades down 121 feet to a bowl-shaped rock formation. Whether you hike to this point and continue to the platform look out point, or you simply stand underneath it and watch it pour down in all its glory, this is one awe-inspiring waterfall.

Port Union Park: Just east of Scarborough lies the Port Union Park, a cobblestone shoreline that juts out into Lake Ontario, with a four kilometre multi-use trail, with access to both the east and west beaches.


Elora Quarry: In the centre of the Grand River Conservation Area is the breathtaking beach, which hosts the Elora Quarry. The two acre former limestone quarry boasts a tree-lined swimming hole with 40 foot cliff jumps, for the perfect mix of relaxation and adventure.

Algonquin Park: Yes, we know it is a bit of a drive. But if you leave at the same time you would be going to work, you can be at the park for a majority of the day. Whether it’s a day hike, overnight camping, cycling, canoeing, fishing, or even a quaint day picnic, Algonquin Park has essentially everything you need for the ideal escape.


About Last Night: The Stirling Room’s New Patio

‘Tis patio season, and last night the Novella team hit up the Stirling Room in the Distillery District to check out their brand-new patio. The Stirling Room, which was also celebrating its 5th anniversary last night, was classy already, but with this chic new outdoor space, the place is sure to become even more of a summertime hit. And it opened just in time — Toronto is full of patios, but we’re midway through the summer, which means I’ve exhausted pretty much all of them already.

While sipping cocktails and munching appetizers, guests crowded the new patio, but there was plenty of sitting room so the comfy factor was not sacrificed. It has a totally different feel than the El Catrin patio, which is right around the corner and is famed for its awesomeness. While El Catrin’s is ideal for downing some dinner, the Stirling Room’s has a more intimate feel and is the perfect place to chill with some chums and a cocktail.

The patio opens to the public today, which means all you beautiful people should flock to the Distillery right now (despite the Pan Am madness, it’s not as crazy as you’d think) for a drink or two!


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About Last Night: Salsa Cruise!

Last night, floating about a kilometer out on Lake Ontario, I discovered that no matter how hard I try to salsa dance, it will always look like I’m doing the chicken dance.

But despite my lack of balance (and rhythm), I had a grand time on Mariposa Cruises’ Salsa Cruise, which was hosted as a part of the 11th annual Salsa in Toronto festival. Over wine and a Latin-style buffet dinner, guests mingled and made friends before gathering on the upper deck for a Salsa lesson at dusk (this is where I failed miserably, but the fact that I managed to not fall overboard was impressive enough).

Photo by Jesse Milns

After the lesson, cruise-goers sipped their drinks and enjoyed the view of a brilliant pink sunset over Toronto’s skyline while professional Salsa dancers took to the dance floor.

Photo by Jesse Milns
Photo by Jesse Milns

After three hours of blasting Latin music over Lake Ontario and making us all reminisce past vacations hotter, sunnier spots, the cruise brought us back to the Harbourfront at 11:30. The experience not only made me wish I was more coordinated, but made me happy that I’d managed to celebrate one of Toronto’s most colourful festivals in such a unique way.

There’s one more Salsa Cruise coming up on the 16th, so snag your tickets before the boat fills up!

Bojana & Marina’s Guide to WayHome: Survival Guide

Article by Bojana Duric & Marina Koslock

Image found on Pinterest

WayHome is just under three weeks away, so it’s time to start planning for one wild weekend campout. There’s no doubt it’ll be a weekend filled with amazing performances but seeing as though it’s the festival’s first year in Ontario, there’s bound to be some things that you need to prepare yourself for physically and mentally. Plus many people aren’t used to the whole camping thing – sleeping every night in an uncomfortable tent shared with 50 people and having to wake up in the middle of the night to walk a long way to use the not-so-clean restrooms. Sounds great right? Well, since we know it might be a culture shock for some of you, we’ve compiled a few tips that won’t just have you conquer WayHome but it’ll also help embrace the inner hippie in all of us.

Things Will Get Dirty

If you don’t have a shower pass, we suggest you get one stat. How else are you going to wash away all that dirt and sweat off? With our unpredictable weather, there’s a good chance that rain showers will hit the campgrounds, which means, “There Will be Mud” – did you get the reference? We suggest bringing some rain boots like the Hunter boots we mentioned in our Summer Festival Essentials list so you can frolic around the muddy puddles without a worry in sight. Also, it might be smart to bring toilet paper and hand sanitizer because you just never know…

Smart Wardrobe Choice

Obviously, you want to have a great outfit for the actual concerts. Just remember, you have to be prepared for the weather, from blistering heat to the chance of rain and cold breezes. Make sure you are bringing light coloured, breathable clothing for the warm days, and don’t be afraid to pack a bulky sweater and sweat pants for the night because once the sun goes down, it will get cold. And don’t forget to bring proper footwear. Yes, gladiator sandals are a must, but runners with socks and rain boots for the muddy areas are a necessity. Check out our 5 Music Festival Essentials for clothing/accessories inspiration for women and men!

Stay Hydrated

With a day full of drinking and soaking in some sun, hydration is key. You don’t want to be the one that gets swarmed by paramedics because you’ve passed out. Plus the benefit of having your own campsite is that you can actually stock up on several cases of water.

Get Ready to Be Annoyed & Be Annoying

A weekend full of crowds and drunken people means you’re bound to bump into someone that’s just blatantly rude and annoying. If you go in with a mindset that there’s going to be loads of people and over the top drunkenness shenanigans, it might make it easier for you to handle. Plus, you might end up being one of those people too, so might as well accept the fact that we will all be annoying all in the name of music.

If you don’t have a ticket yet, what are you waiting for? Buy them today HERE.

Attending WayHome? Tweet and Instagram us @novellamagazine! Also tag @wayhome #WayHome