Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Toronto Companies I Like and Don't Like

#1. Hotels

I really don't like the expensive ritzy hotels in Toronto.

Mostly because they're RUDE to people based on the way they dress. Why should I wear really nice clothes all the time just so I can be treated with respect? Absolutely nonsense. I would rather dress comfortably and go somewhere where I am at least treated like a person.

Thus I really dislike the following hotels in Toronto:

Four Seasons Hotel Toronto
Sheraton Centre
Delta Chelsea
Gladstone Hotel
Hilton Toronto
SoHo Metropolitan Hotel
One King West Hotel
Pantages Hotel
Courtyard Toronto
Marriott Toronto

Places I do like...

Any place that is a Toronto bed and breakfast, especially any that are downtown and offers something unique. The good thing about bed and breakfast places is that they appreciate your business and a lot more and you will get way better service.

I am tempted to say I also like The Drake Hotel, but that place is too noisy with the bar.

#2. Restaurants

I hate Greek restaurants. I've got nothing against the people, but it just feels like cheap overpriced garbage that they're selling you.

Lets list a few more places I hate.

Ethiopian House Restaurant
4 Irwin Avenue, Toronto
REVIEW: ABSOLUTELY DISGUSTING. The bread was all mushy and sponge-like. The food was spicy (normally a good thing), but tasted like crap. Spicy crap and mushy bread = WORST RESTAURANT IN TORONTO. It was overpriced too.

Forget About It
325 King Street West, Toronto
REVIEW: Food was cold and delivered late, the decor was lame and certainly not worth the money we were paying, and the manager was rude to us when we complained about the poor service. I can see pissed off customers throwing a brick through the window of this horrible place. I would love to forget about that horrible meal.

In comparison I'd rather go to Chinese, Korean, or Indian restaurants... most of the Asian restaurants are reasonably good, although some of them seem overpriced when you see how small the portions are. If you go to a restaurant and it seems like they only served part of your meal then you're getting ripped off.

I also love ALL the Sunset Grill locations. Breakfast places are usually good, but don't go to the Eggsmart places because they're CRAP and roach/rat infested.

#3. Clothing Shopping

The Eatons Centre - Plenty of variety, but nothing alternative. The shops for men's clothing rather suck.

Yorkdale - Really glamourous, but not much variety. Very blah. Men's clothing again is shortchanged here.

Queen Street West - Definitely a good place to shop if you're a man or a woman.

Yonge Street - Lots of variety, and increasingly more variety... my favourite shops along Yonge Street are: Central Surplus (army goods, good place to go for manly things), Hairy Tarantula (which doesn't sell clothes, but what the hell), American Apparel... I mention American Apparel because that is where I managed to find my green hoodie with no logo that I was looking for forever.

Yorkville - Overpriced and people often behave rudely. Yorkville really isn't really a good place to shop. Its more a place to get your nails done at a Yorkville salon, maybe go to a ritzy gym / yoga centre where you can be pampered, check out the local art galleries and then go home. Its really a place to be pampered. Shopping there is for the brain dead.

Whatever you do don't buy any clothes made by Peter Nygard or any other sweatshop owner.

#4. Entertainment

My favourites are:

Art Gallery of Ontario (free on Wednesday nights)

Any of the art galleries on Queen Street West (free booze on opening nights!)

The Ontario Science Centre

The Toronto Public Archery Range

Beaches (swimming, sand, sun, what's not to like?)

The movie theatre on Richmond Steet. Formerly the Paramount, but now owned by Scotiabank. I still call it the Paramount.

The SkyDome. I don't care if Rogers changed its name to the Rogers Centre. Its still the freaking SkyDome to me.

The Philosopher's Stage at U of T. Low budget productions by university actors, but well made and alternative. 2011's production is "Lysistrata - The Sex Strike" and is playing from July 20th to August 6th.

#5. Air Conditioning and Heating

See my post about air conditioners.

Zonelife is a company from the Kitchener-Waterloo area, but if you need a heating furnace they do sell them in Toronto. They also offer geothermal units, boilers and pool dehumidifiers.

#6. Shipping

I am boycotting Canada Post. The Canada Post strike annoyed me and lost me a customer for my business. If they don't want to work I am not giving them my business.

I therefore am recommending Purolator and UPS. I've used them both in the past when I was a shipping / receiving clerk for a pharmaceutical company and they both had excellent service and rates. I continue to use Purolator now because they have an office walking distance from my home.

For larger shipments across Canada I recommend sending air freight because you'll get a better deal straight from the middle man and cut out the sales clerk.

#7. Places to Exercise

Seriously people... parks, beaches, anywhere public. Fancy gym memberships are not necessary. See my blog post: My Fitness Costs = Practically Nothing.

And I strongly recommend against Extreme Fitness. Completely ripoff with a strong sales pitch. Its all talk and zero customer satisfaction.

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