The balance of work and play can easily be tipped in the former’s favour, with any free time spent on tried activities that don’t threaten routine. But with Victoria Day weekend upon us, and one extra day for play at our disposal, hinder habit by trying one of these new experiences on for size.

Drink something different

“There are people who take comfort in a regular routine. But then there are people who aspire to try new things and expect more from all experiences — including their beer,” said Stewart Cowan, marketing director for Grolsch Canada. The Dutch lager import provides a “multi-sensory” experience, said Cowan, unlike domestic beers, he said, which “conform to a very narrow range of flavours and styles.”

From the sight of Grolsch’s unique swingtop bottle, through its weight and etching, to the popping sound heard when opened, Cowan said Grolsch defies “beer sameness.”

Not to be forgotten, of course, is the most important sense enjoyed while drinking beer — taste. Said Cowan, “Grolsch drinkers appreciate its smooth flavour, refreshing hoppy character, and distinctive full-bodied taste.”

Explore being a locavore

For a new non-alcoholic palatable experience, try going local. Eating food solely within your own region not only supports local farmers, but can also enhance its quality, since you’re eating it much sooner after it’s been harvested.

Toronto haunts like Cowbell and Il Fornello sport local menus or dishes, but if a restaurant in your area doesn’t have a local food menu, try making your own at home. Check out a local farmers’ market for regional meats and produce, and read labels in the grocery store to select items made in Ontario.

While it can be pricier than buying nationally and internationally, the food is fresher, often contains fewer pesticides and will teach you what kind of meals our area produces best.

See yourself on the big screen

Don’t believe the stereotype that Canadian films are sub-par to those of our southern neighbours. We have a rich cinematic history that’s ever broadening, and watching a classic or contemporary Canadian film can both teach you more about our culture and offer more personal stories with recognizable landscapes.

The National Film Board’s downtown Mediatheque facility has an archive of more than 5,000 films, viewable on digital stations for just $2 per day, and some video rental stores have pan-Canadian sections. The Bloor and Carlton cinemas are also Can-Con hotbeds, frequently featuring films from our own backyard.

Forego four wheels

Curb the car this weekend for an eco-friendly, exploratory bicycle ride. By biking, you’ll eliminate automotive carbon emissions, enjoy spring weather while exercising and see more of the city than you can in a car.

Toronto has abundant trails to tour, with maps accessible on the city’s website. Even if you don’t own a bike, rentals are available at retailers from the Danforth to High Park and from the north end to Toronto Island. Scheduled ride events, tours and classes happen throughout the year and the Toronto Bicycling Network’s website ( is a great resource for new riders to access city cycling information.

Latest From ...