Elton Slone ~ GM/Partner
Travelling to our great northern neighbor used to involve a backpack and/or a canoe for me. In my teens through my twenties I canoed through miles of the spectacular Quedico Wilderness which is adjacent to the much more heavily used Boundary Waters of northern Minnesota. Quedico remains a place so pristine that it is unnecessary to bring along a water filtration device while exploring the countless lakes and islands.
These days, the only rough waters I need to navigate while north of the border are the turbulent ones produced by the various provincial agencies in Canada which control the alcohol business there. Whether Alberta, B.C., Quebec, or Ontario, the liquor control board in each case makes me long for a more efficient free marketplace for the Canadian consumer.
How does a bottle of Mount Veeder sound for $240 on a wine list? Ouch. Because two of Bob’s original business partners in our winery, Derek Ruston and Michael Adams, reside in Toronto and have helped to create a major foothold for our wines there, Ontario is where I most frequently visit when I get north of our border.
Each year more than 30,000 new people claim Toronto as their home, and the evidence is everywhere to be seen. There are cranes at work all over the urban center in this city of 2.7 million, building new housing, new hotels, and new offices and expanding the existing units.
Though filled with many fine restaurants, you will need a reservation for a table at any remotely happening spot, even on a Monday or Tuesday night. The city is on fire, and it is a great place to spend a long weekend. Whether having a perfectly prepped local fish at Pangaea or a great cup of coffee on West Bloor at Bar Mercurio or some salt baked chicken in China town, the city offers an endless array of cuisine.
I recently stayed at the new Thompson Hotel downtown thanks to my friend Stacy Aldrich who is running their food and beverage business, and it was a world class boutique property complete with a rooftop bar and a $20 Tanqueray martini. The view was worth it, inside and out.
If you get to Toronto anytime soon, send me a photo with a bottle of Craig and you will be rewarded.
So buy a plane ticket to a city you have always wanted to visit this week, and if that happens to be Toronto, I can guarantee a great experience.