Rebecca Hesse

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

These are the most popular Ontario rentals perfect for a winter getaway

With the unpredictability of the holiday season fast approaching, you might be hoping to plan a vacation from your vacation. There are plenty of ideal winter destinations in Ontario, but these five rentals might take the cake. Ranked the top guest favourites on Airbnb, there’s a ’70s-themed oasis, an off-the-grid cozy cabin and more.

Curious to explore? Check out these popular Ontario rentals this winter.

A brief stroll to everything that makes this historic town famous, Beau’s, The Portico Ro

A massive bay in Lake Ontario is on the market for $60 million

A unique property just outside Toronto is currently for sale — and it includes a part of Lake Ontario! Travel to the foot of Pickering’s Liverpool Road on a warm day and encounter a lively spot flanked by neatly kept Queen Anne-inspired townhomes, restaurants and quaint shops. For locals and those in the know, Frenchman’s Bay has been a well-loved hangout since the turn of the 20th century. Now it’s up for sale.

Listed at $60 million, 600 Liverpool Rd. is possibly one of Canada’s most unique re

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

The best farmers' markets in Toronto from Monday to Sunday

It’s farmers’ market season again, and Toronto is bursting at the seams with beautiful farm-fresh produce. With markets open each day of the week and in practically every locale, now’s the time to grab a few reusable bags, your sunglasses and explore!

When: Open 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., starting in May

Head to Sorauren Park just off Roncesvalles Avenue, admire the community garden and explore the weekly farmers market. Running strong since 2008, you’ll find plenty of sustainable produce, plus local a

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!

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 best places to buy a lakefront cottage in Ontario right now

From long summer days idling lakeside to admiring the reflection of colourful fall foliage on glassy water, most can agree that life on the lake is a blessing. For those hoping to get a cottage of your very own, the allure of having access to a beautiful lakefront is likely high on your list of must-haves. But before you venture off and snap up your dream cottage, you’ll want to research your options first.

You’ll want to ensure you know exactly what you’re getting when it comes to shoreline ow

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.

A guide to navigating the ferry to the Toronto Islands this summer

The Toronto Islands may only be a few kilometers from downtown, but for those seeking an easy day trip, they can feel a world away. From ferry details to attractions and everything in between, here’s all you need to know to make your next visit exceptional.

The Jack Layton Ferry Terminal is located at 9 Queens Quay W. at the foot of Bay Street and offers year-round access to Hanlan’s Point, Ward’s Island and Centre Island.

Since parking can be nightmarish and expensive, it’s best to take publi

Discover the charm of Mount Pleasant Village this spring

With spring finally in the air, Toronto’s many vibrant neighbourhoods, including the Mount Pleasant Village BIA, are full of life and ready for exploration. From art crawls and patios to boutique shopping and family fun, this part of midtown has a little bit of everything for everyone. Conveniently located between Davisville and Eglinton, Mount Pleasant Rd. is a delight!

See and do:

Stroll through Mount Pleasant Village on a sunny day and admire the many public art projects that dot the area,

Flower power: The best places near Toronto to enjoy summer blooms

With the warm weather and all kinds of nature coming to life around us, now’s the perfect time for flower lovers and garden worshippers to get out and explore. Here are some of the best places to enjoy the beauty of summer flowers in and around Toronto.

The ever-popular Toronto Flower Market has been selling top-quality blooms and garden-related items for the past nine years with roaring success. Inspired by the bustling flower markets of the U.K., this market brings old-world charm with a touc

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

Four ways to celebrate Taylor Swift in Toronto this month

Whose fans’ cheering and dancing created activity equivalent to a a 2.3-magnitude earthquake? Whose music consistently dominates the charts? Who tripled the NFL’s Kansas City Chiefs sales just by dating a player? It’s Taylor Swift, of course!

With the re-release of Swift’s album, 1989 (Taylor’s Version), hitting the airwaves on Oct. 27, and her anticipated next leg of The Eras Tour — which makes its way to Toronto in November 2024 — Swifties right across the GTA have lots to be excited about.

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

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

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.

There’s a $6.649 million ravine house for sale with a Hollywood connection

Combining cubic modernism with cottage charm, 24 Heathdale Rd, known as The Ravine House, is full of architectural delight and surprise — inside and out.

Nestled in the Cedarvale-Humewood locale, this award-winning home designed by acclaimed architect Drew Mandel not only compliments the wooded scenery tucked behind it but wholly embraces it.

“My favourite part about the house is how unassuming it is. You think you have it figured out, but the second you step through the doorway, that all chan

5 Ontario cottages that are still available to rent this summer

Now that the warm weather is here, perhaps you’ve found yourself daydreaming about an escape to Ontario cottage country for a much-needed summer break.

Whether that means heading up north to places like Haliburton and Muskoka, east to Frontenac, or south to the stunning Bruce Peninsula, it’s a good idea to do your research before booking your next cottage vacation.

To help navigate your online search, try using these five tips the next time you look to book:
• None Select listings that have be
Load More