Easter egg hunt and parade in the Beaches this weekend

Easter Beaches

It’s that time of year again — get ready to hop on down to Queen St. East for the annual Toronto Beaches Lions Easter egg hunt and Easter parade.

Children’s performers Sonshine & Broccoli and preschool favourite Peppa Pig will be on-site on Friday, April 19 at the egg hunt at Kew Gardens from 11 a.m. - 2 p.m.

Then, get ready for the sights, sounds and treats at the parade starting at 2 p.m. on Sunday, April 21. Make sure you stake out a prime seat — along Queen between Neville Park and Woodbine Ave. — to spot the Easter bunny.

Visit beacheseasterparade.ca for more info.

Hey, I Live There! pop-up shop set to celebrate street signs in Toronto's east end

Photo:  Leah Illies

Photo: Leah Illies

There are not many things more quintessentially Toronto than the humble acorn-style street sign — and now the famous black-and-white design is being celebrated in a series by a local photographer.

Leah Illies (aka heyilivetherephotography) has been documenting the original way-finders in Riverside, Leslieville — and across the city — and will be revealing them in an upcoming photo exhibition pop-up at Black Lab Brewing on April 17 from 5-8 p.m.

“I’ve got a sentimental attachment to Leslieville, a 10-foot ladder, a mild fear of heights, a stubborn need to get a shot with a good story in it and a monster of a heart that believes that where we live is woven into our fabric and worth remembering,” Illies says.

With help from her partner, she’s photographed more than 50 street signs in the east end alone in a process that began unknowingly.

“I started shooting street signs for our little landscaping company,” she says. “They were always highly praised, so I thought I might sell a few. It was supposed to be my off-season project but it has taken on a life of its own.”


Illies says she’s had her share of funny looks while perched on top of a ladder at a busy intersections and goes to great lengths to get the right shot, even producing makeshift repairs if the job calls for it.

“Once, I climbed up to find a sign with no acorn. The sign was gorgeous — original font, specks of rust, bones still perfectly intact.”

Instead of moving on, she spent an entire Saturday making an acorn for the sign. Using a round lollipop and modelling clay from Dollarama, she Macgyvered the proper shape and spray-painted it black.

“I slid the lolli stick in the hole where the acorn used to be and took the shot. I felt like I had won the lottery. And before you ask, no I did not leave it there. It sits in a little vase on a bookshelf, waiting to be called to action again if ever I find another acorn-less sign.”

Head down to Black Lab Brewing on Wednesday, April 17 from 5-8 p.m. for the Hey, I Live There! pop-up shop. Grab a beer and check out the collection of photos, all on sale for one night for $65 (reg. $75 + tax + $15 flat-rate delivery).

Follow Leah’s photography on at heyilivetherephotography on Instragram. Don’t see your street? Leah also takes custom requests at heyilivethere@gmail.com.


Home design trends we're obsessing over this year


Spring is here and it's time to start thinking about new design and decor (along with warmer weather and longer days, of course). To celebrate winter's emerging departure, The Richards Group is presenting home trends and ideas our design team is crushing over so far this year. Some are throwbacks, some are a twist on tradition — and some are just a fun way to freshen up your space.

Want more where this came from? Follow us on Instagram for more ideas and home design inspo and check out our Home Trends 2019 board on Pinterest.


Shannon Balm – Design Services

The things we used to put on your walls and floors are relocating to our ceilings. Shannon has fallen in love with natural woods as the ceiling treatment — a refreshing change from neutral drywall and something many homes can be easily retrofitted with. Go one step further and play with a funky wallpaper on your ceiling!

Check out the fun custom wallpapers at Cry if I Want To.


Samantha Davies — Design & Client Care

Walls are seeing lots of texture this year with our love affair of geometric patterns moving from tiles to raised profiles on walls. A carpenter plus inexpensive trim can create this effect easily and dramatically depending on the detail of the pattern. Patterned walls are great way to freshen up a foyer or home office.

Pat’s Home Hardware can get you started with materials and tools.  


Parris McKenna — Design & Client Care

It’s time for your windows to get a makeover with Parris’ favourite trend for 2019 — statement drapery. Rich textures and colours are the way to go. You can find budget-friendly options at West Elm or splurge at Restoration Hardware if you want to truly commit.

Compliment these statement drapes with gorgeous accessories and finishing touches at Black Rooster Decor.


Selene Richards — Founder: The Richards Group

After black, white and textured neutrals have had their share of the limelight, Selene is looking forward to having fun with colour again — rich jewel tones, luxurious textures and statement lighting figures with shades of soft violet and emerald.

Check out Pro Glo Paints in Leslieville or Nabors Paint in the Beach.

Don’t forget to check out more of our favourite east end shops for the best In home design:  

Looking for more inspo? Check out our Staging Manager, Bianca Zorzi sharing her staging secrets on the Marilyn Dennis Show!

The Richards Group Re/Max Hallmark has the honour of being East Toronto’s Agency of Choice from helping so many clients move their lives forward. They have redefined real estate with an experience of total care, unlocking the true potential of your home while delivering industry leading results, so your next move brings you closer to where you want to be.


Coming soon: Est

Photo:  Sean MacDonald

Photo: Sean MacDonald


Est is a new restaurant from chef Sean MacDonald, set to open this spring near Queen and Broadview.

Taking over the space previously occupied by Sugar Loaf Bakery, the new spot will feature Canadian cuisine in a space inspired by the cultures of this country.

Originally from Calgary, MacDonald was formerly the executive chef of Hexagon Restaurant and 7 Enoteca in Oakville.

Stayed tuned for more as we get further intel on this incoming spot.

PizzaForno launches automated pizza vending machine in Leslieville

Photo:  PizzaForno

Photo: PizzaForno


Leslieville’s pizza game is on point. We’ve got old school, handcrafted, deep-dish, Neapolitan, Roman-style — heck, even Detroit-style. And now we can add… robot pizza.

Just launched in the east end, PizzaForno is a vending machine/robot/computer/pizzeria hybrid that pumps out fresh pizzas 24/7 at the push of a button.

What a time to be alive.

Robotic arms take the pie from the fridge to an oven where it’s baked at super-high temperatures, boxed and served from a slot — all in under three minutes.

The 12-inch pizzas are pre-made by hand with an approach that includes a romana crust, locally sourced ingredients that are said to be natural and fresh, as well as quality cream-based and tomato sauces. There are four different types to choose from: BBQ chicken, honey with goat cheese, mozzarella cheese, and of course, pepperoni. 

Prices range from $11 to $14 and include tax.

The automated pizza concept, launched in Toronto late last year with three machines, is quickly expanding with another 10 slated to open across the GTA.

Next time you’re foraging for food, you’ve now got the choice for pizza with a side of humans or bots.

PizzaForno is now open at 629 Eastern Ave. Check out thepizzaforno.com for more information.

Farm Boy grocery store now open at Leslie and Lakeshore

Photo:  Farm Boy

Photo: Farm Boy

Farm Boy is now open at Leslie and Lakeshore in Toronto’s east end.

The supermarket has launched, at an already busy intersection for groceries, with farm-fresh produce and organic, natural and locally sourced foods.

The 20,038 sq. ft. location, its second in the GTA, will employ 130 and offers a wide variety of products including butcher-quality meats, artisan cheese, fresh dairy and chef-inspired meals.

The store also features a fast-casual restaurant experience including made-to-order pizzas and fresh sushi. The store will offer breakfast, lunch and dinner with daily features such as grilled paninis, seared Farm Boy sausages and gourmet grilled cheese. Shoppers can take the meals home or dine in the store’s eating area, which will be WiFi enabled.

“Offering healthy, fresh, wholesome foods and friendly service has been the heart and soul of our business since 1981,” Jeff York, Farm Boy co-CEO, said in a statement.

Farm Boy opened its first Toronto store in Etobicoke last March. The supermarket chain currently operates 27 locations in Ontario.

Farm Boy is located at 1015 Lake Shore Blvd. E. Visit farmboy.ca for more information.