Rebecca Hesse

Rebecca is a Toronto-based writer specializing in history and lifestyle.

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50 best things to do in Toronto this summer

Looking for something to do this season? Whether you’re a local, a visitor, or maybe a local expecting visitors, check out this list of the 50 best things happening in Toronto this summer.

From festivals and street parties to arts and culture events, races, and more, there’s plenty of stuff to do right here in Toronto— all summer long.

Head to Sugar Beach this September for one of Toronto’s most exciting waterfront celebrations. Take part in fun-filled family activities, dig into great food an

The best places to see the total solar eclipse in Ontario

On April 8, as the moon traces its path across the afternoon sky, its shadow will collide with daylight and momentarily block out the entirety of the sun. Southern Ontario will experience an incredible celestial event: a total solar eclipse.

But how rare is this event? Is it truly once in a lifetime?

Dr. Robin Metcalfe, director and associate professor of natural science at York University, explains the probability.

“Solar eclipses actually happen quite often – at least twice per year. Total

Toronto’s landmark Flatiron Building just sold for $15.4 million

The iconic Flatiron Building, located at 49 Wellington St., was sold this week for $15.4 million — and some might say it was a bargain.

Last sold in 2011 for $15.2 million, it’s hard to believe this culturally significant building only appreciated by $200,000. Especially given the ballooning real estate prices across the city.

But the small price gain is likely due to a lack of interest in office space. Toronto in particular has been suffering when it comes to office vacancies — the city’s dow

The best places to buy a ski chalet in Ontario right now

With a fresh dusting of snow across the GTA comes the urge to hit the road and head for the hills. The ski hills, that is. And for those looking to buy a chalet, this might be the perfect opportunity to do so in Ontario. A recent report found that the ski town housing market in Ontario has seen the second highest price drop compared to ski areas across the country — similar to a price drop in cottage country homes earlier in the year. Interested in buying slopeside this year? We’ve consulted the

Ontario cottage country sees home price drops in the double digits

With early 2023 reports suggesting a year-over-year decline in cottage property prices, there seemed to be few exceptions. In Haliburton, prices fell by 26 per cent, whereas places like Kenora reported a decline of nearly 60 per cent. Even popular locations like Muskoka saw a double-digit slide. But what may have prompted this once red-hot market to cool?

John Fincham of Re/Max Parry Sound Muskoka Realty believes several reasons prompted the cooldown, including COVID-era purchasers re-thinking

I Never Left

Imagine being a race car driver. You’re in the driver’s seat, and thousands of people are cheering from the sidelines. The pressure to win is on. “I have to conquer this race,” you think while speeding along.

You zoom past several cars and take the lead. You are on top of the world as elation pulses through your veins. Distracted by excitement, you let your guard down and expect an easy win — after all, you’re way ahead of the others.

Suddenly, the unexpected happens. Another racer has cut you off. You panic and veer to the side, causing your tire to blow. Your mood spirals as you watch the pit crew scramble to help. Other racers speed past and your heart sinks, and you say, “I’m never going to win. What's the point of carrying on?”

You’re back on the racetrack but can’t stop reflecting on how you have failed already. Consumed by your setback, you remain distracted by negativity. You wonder if throwing in the towel is a good idea before the race is over. You have given up!

For a moment, let's ponder this defeatist mindset. It's natural to get bogged down by emotions, especially when it concerns achieving a goal. But if every single person would quit when bumps in the road blocked them from reaching their goals, nothing would ever get accomplished!

Ireland’s Great Hunger: 13 Facts About the 19th-Century Potato Famine that Devastated the Emerald Isle

Ireland’s rugged and beautiful landscape has captivated people’s imagination for generations. As picturesque as it may be, however, the North Atlantic island can be an unforgiving environment.

Before gaining independence in 1922, Ireland had been colonized for nearly 1000 years. The people had their ancient culture repressed and torn to shambles multiple times, and experienced severe poverty and famines—the longest and most devastating being the potato famine of the 1840s.

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 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