Rebecca Hesse

Creating relatable, thoughtful, and engaging content.

Blog Articles

13 Facts About Lady Jane Grey, England’s Unlucky Nine Days’ Queen

Nearly 500 years ago, a petite 17-year-old girl with freckles and auburn hair briefly ascended the throne of England and Ireland in what would be Britain’s shortest reign. Named after her notorious great uncle Henry VIII’s third wife, Jane Seymour, Lady Jane Grey—otherwise known as the Nine Days’ Queen—would find herself in an impossible situation. She’s seen as an innocent victim of Tudor Dynasty politics, and her rightfulness to the crown is debated to this day. Here are 13 facts about her tr

The intriguing, little-known history of Toronto's Evergreen Brick Works

Known for its many arts and cultural events, beautiful walking trails and nature-inspired playscape, tens of thousands of visitors pass through the Evergreen Brick Works (also known as the Don Valley Brick Works) in Toronto every year. But if you look beyond its modern reputation as a well-loved and highly celebrated community space, the Toronto Brick Works has a fascinating history.

The most Instagrammable lighthouses in Ontario to add to your road trip

One might think that you need to travel many miles east to enjoy the rustic charm of lighthouses, but they’d be wrong. With over 100 lighthouses dotted across Ontario, there’s plenty to see right here — and these nine are perfect for getting started. These lighthouses can be the destinations or just stops along the way on your next road trip, but one thing’s for sure – you won’t be able to resist taking a whole bunch of photos!

An astronomy-lover's guide to stargazing in Ontario

There’s something infinitely wonderful about looking out at a sky filled with stars — and in Ontario, we have some of the most beautiful spots designated just for stargazing. With roughly 80 per cent of Canada uninhabited, there are vast expanses of untouched and pristine wilderness far from the lights and noise of our biggest cities. But despite being blessed with so much natural splendor, light pollution is a growing problem that reaches far beyond our city limits and expanding infrastructur

This $4.3 million converted factory home in Toronto is a historical and architectural gem

Hidden down a Davenport laneway, the nondescript whitewashed brick exterior of this 19th-century plywood factory at 142R Davenport Rd. conceals an avante-garde architectural wonder that’s anything but plain. Surrounded by Summerhill and star-studded Yorkville, 142R Davenport Rd. stands at the heart of luxury. What’s more, with a 4,500-square-foot interior plus a 1,400-foot rooftop patio, this $4.3 million address is truly one-of-a-kind. Purchased in the 1970s by a well-known Toronto designer a

Live right on the water in this luxe Toronto float house listed for $1.298 million

Right on the water and in the heart of Bluffer’s Park cove, Toronto’s only float house neighbourhood consists of only two dozen residences, including the gorgeous 7 Brimley Rd. S. Surrounded by the dramatic beauty of the Scarborough Bluffs escarpment, nature trails and beaches, living here is truly a rare opportunity in the city and offers a laid-back lifestyle more akin to a far-off seaside town than anything Toronto usually is known for. Listed at $1.298 million and beautifully modern from t

5 Ontario adventures for the perfect Mother's Day weekend

From all the little gestures of love that mean the world to us to the sacrifices they’ve made for our betterment, moms give so much each and every day. So, when Mother’s Day weekend comes around, it’s our turn to show appreciation and do something special in return. With plenty of things to do not too far from Toronto, it’s easy to make the perfect plans to suit any interest. From hiking to high tea across Ontario, here are a few suggestions to make your Mother’s Day 2022 simply fabulous. It’s

This $1.995 million home might be the most charming place in Toronto

Nestled along a quiet street in historic Cabbagetown, 5 Aberdeen Ave. embodies the creative character of this famous Toronto neighbourhood. Featuring original Victorian details such as ornate crown mouldings and stained glass accents, this home has been lovingly modernized but maintains its historical charm. Listed at $1.995 million, this gorgeous rowhouse is within walking distance of the lush oasis of Allen Gardens and the expanses of Riverdale park and farm. Featuring tall ceilings and a l

3 spectacular cave adventures to explore across Ontario

There’s something magical and otherworldly about caves – mysterious even. Created by ancient limestone deposits eroded by melting ice-age glaciers, these surreal caverns hold many secrets and ancient stories for those who venture into them. And while you might want to leave some caves to professional spelunkers and speleologists, others beg to be explored by folk with curious souls. In Ontario, we’re lucky enough to have many incredible caves across the province that are absolutely perfect for

8 epic things to do for Star Wars Day in Toronto

In a galaxy far, far away – well, make that Toronto in 2011 actually – a special day for all things Star Wars came to life. With humble beginnings at the Underground Theatre as a costume contest and trivia night, May the Fourth (or Star Wars Day) was officially born. Now it’s a global celebration for fun-lovers and fans of George Lucas’ galactic anthology everywhere. From the International Space Station to Disneyland and countless places in-between, this quirky salute to Star Wars is here to s

5 Ontario cottage rentals that are still available for the May long weekend

Although spring officially sprang back in March, as all Canadians know, the real kick-off happens on Victoria Day, otherwise fondly known as “May two-four” weekend. And, with all that warm sunshine finally beaming down on us, the birds, the bees, the leafy trees and people all across the country eagerly emerging from hibernation to embark upon their cottage country adventures, May’s long weekend is the weekend we’ve all been waiting for. But, wait – did some of you miss the memo on that last p

This $2.5 million laneway home is like living in a cottage in the heart of the city

Down a street all of its own and with a one-of-a-kind postal code to match, this fabulous Riverdale laneway home at 1 Greig Ave. looks as if it’s been transported right out of New England (or perhaps, a fairy tale). Listed at $2.5 million and featuring three bedrooms and two bathroom, 1 Greig Ave. was built by John Hinrichs and later re-imagined by fashion designer and columnist Michelle Llyod and developer husband David Bermann — all adding to its unique past. Situated on what was once the ho

This $1.65 million lakefront cottage is within walking distance to three wineries

Gracing the glittering shores of Lake Erie, 193 McCormick Beach Rd. is just a short walk through scenic countryside to three local wineries. Located in Essex County, Canada’s southernmost point and Ontario’s warmest climate, this modern $1.65 million lakefront home has four bedrooms and two bathrooms. And the bonus? It also happens to be situated in the best part of Canada for butterfly and birdwatching. Here’s the living room. It features two levels of windows, a soaring ceiling and this gor

Life is sweet at this $1.3 million Candy Factory loft on Toronto's coolest street

Located in the trendiest part of Toronto and the sweetest building around, living at the Candy Factory Lofts is a real treat. Listed at $1.2799 million, this one-bedroom, one-bathroom loft is artfully designed to maintain its historic industrial character while simultaneously exuding luxury living and modernity. Just across from the always popular Trinity Bellwoods Park and situated on one of the world’s coolest streets makes unit 221-993 Queen St. W. one impressive address. This open concept

This $6.888 million Annex home with a wine cellar and luxury loft is perfection

Nestled in the lively heart of the Annex, 16 Bernard Ave. is a masterpiece. Built in 1915, this four plus one -bedroom Edwardian beauty, listed at $6.888 million, marries modern luxury renovations with classic elegance. Featuring an outrageously fabulous wine cellar, five bathrooms (including one that’s pure marble) and a dreamy loft retreat, this house has it all. Upon entering the home, notice how much natural light there is thanks to multiple skylights. Notice also the exquisite marble deta

5 Fabulous Gardens from Around the World

Not far from Rome, in the region of Tivoli, sits one of the most intriguing Renaissance gardens in the world. Blending science and art into a striking landscape, the Villa d’Este gardens have long been a point of muse and fascination, where artists, poets, and musicians have gathered over the centuries. Commissioned in 1560 by Cardinal Ippolito II d’Este and designed by artist and architect Pirro Ligorio, this grand garden was made to wow even the most jaded of high ranking individuals. With e

Guerilla Gardening - The Search for Nature in Urban Landscapes

Miss Rumphius is one of my all-time favorite children’s stories, and one that I’ve made sure my son has in his little collection of books. This beautifully drawn picture book follows the life of a woman who, as a little girl, makes a promise to her grandfather that she must do something to make the world more beautiful. As the story progresses, the little girl grows up, travels the world, and eventually retires by the seaside as an old lady. And, it’s then that she fulfills her promise to make

Victory Gardens: Lest We Forget

Thankfully, many of us have never experienced war. We can’t even fathom the idea of living through one. But not that long ago, the world was plunged into one of the largest conflicts in history, leaving millions dead or with life-changing reminders. From 1939 to 1945, people of all ages enlisted or got drafted to help fight for their nations, leaving many others at home to keep national economies going by filling in much-needed jobs in the manufacturing and agricultural sectors, as well as comm

Things You Don't Know About the Amazon

Known as the most biodiverse spot on the planet, the Amazon Rainforest is thought to consist of over 360 billion trees, spanning an area of five-hundred-fifty-million hectares (or 40% of South America). And, within this vast space, flourishes an estimated forty thousand plant varieties, as well as thousands upon thousands of bird, fish, reptile, amphibian, insect, and mammal species (and that’s only what’s been documented!). But fathom this — most species that grace the Amazon are not even clos

Color Psychology: Exploring Colors in your Flower Garden

Have you ever noticed how certain colors can affect the way you feel? I certainly have. Just think of when you’re waiting at the doctor’s office surrounded by that awful toothpaste shade of green that’s often used in waiting rooms — yuck! Or, how about that invigorating feeling you get from entering a beautiful greenhouse filled with rich green foliage — yes, please! Well, this got me thinking about how we decide what we want our gardens to look like since we often put a lot of our own personal
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Bedtime Routines: Seeking Daily Gratitude

When life is going well, it’s easy to get distracted by your good fortune, or you might feel that you need more of something to continue to feel happy. At the same time, when things are not so great, it’s tempting to only focus on the negative and what you do not have. We all want to be glass-half-full people, but getting stuck in the glass-half-empty mindset is almost hardwired within us. We see what we don’t have, and we want it. We see what others might have, and we want that too. We think that what we’re missing will bring us happiness — it’s our nature.

Setting Intentions: Get your Mornings On The Right Track

It’s said that the most successful people rise early and follow a plan. They’re driven and know where they want to go. Now, that’s not to say they know how to get there or that it’s an easy road to travel, but they have a path — a vision to work towards. But how do they do this, you might ask. With so many distractions nowadays, like being plugged in 24-7, dealing with shortened attention spans, and sensory overload, it's tough to stay on track and focus on your goals. Never mind the gazillion conflicting opinions you come across each day! And, if you’re dealing with depression, stress, or anxiety, staying focused on the bigger picture and feeling like you’re on the right track can feel impossible. But it’s not. And the secret? Take baby steps and stay the course by setting daily intentions.

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