The Ultimate Summer Bucket List

It’s that time of year when classrooms and school uniforms are replaced with beaches and bikinis. While you may have a preconceived vision of how this summer is going to be spent (ice cream dates, campfires, amusement parks), why not stray away from the usual activities and try something new.

by Naomi Leanage

The bright sun and warm weather confirm that summer is finally here. With no school to keep you occupied though, boredom tends to creep up and you begin to realize that you’ve already seen every summer blockbuster movie—twice.  That’s why it’s time to replace that school to-do list with a summer bucket list.

Some of these items may just provide you with a fun time for a couple hours while others will allow you to learn and gain valuable skills that will last a lifetime, but all are guaranteed to leave you with amazing and lasting memories.

Get on TV
There’s no need to sign up for acting classes and hire an agent to make this happen. It’s as simple as signing up to be an audience member for a live show. But for those who want more than a hour of screen time, you can apply for reality show castings in your area. So get off your couch, put away that remote and experience what it’s like to be on the other side of the screen.

Start a summer business
Who says the days of having a lemonade stand are long gone? There’s no need to succumb to the usual summer jobs that usually consist of folding clothes and flipping burgers, when you can use your passions, talents and skills to make some extra cash. If you enjoy cooking, start a catering company. Is drawing and art your hobby? Design a clothing line. Your friends and family will be your guaranteed first customers and from there you can easily expand. Social media and word of mouth make it easy to find new customers, and there are many grants available, funded by the government and other companies, to help launch your business.

Write to a Pen Pal
Though communicating with friends has evolved into easy and efficient instant messaging online, there’s still something special about writing a hand written letter, and receiving one in the mail yourself. A Pen Pal gives you the opportunity to write to someone from a different country, allowing you get to learn about a different culture and make a lasting relationship. Check out to find your new friend.

Enroll in a class that allows you try something
At this age, most of us have figured out what we enjoy and what we don’t like doing. Sure, our parents may have signed us up for countless classes ranging from swimming to dance to baseball when we were younger. But have we tried absolutely everything out there?  Ever wanted to move your feet with some tap shoes on? Wondered what it’s like to push a puck across the ice? Dreamed of riding a horse across the field? There may be a natural skill you haven’t discovered yet. You’ll never know unless you try.

Feed 100 homeless people
Instead of going out and purchasing 100 fast food burgers, grab your friends and take the time to create meals for the less fortunate in your area. A sandwich, a fruit, a juice box, and a cookie can be easily put together in a paper bag. Then comes the fun part; distributing it. You can do this by either going to a local homeless shelter or walking the streets yourself.

Grow your own food
A trip to the garden store is all you need to get started on this. From vegetables to fruits, there are many different items you can grow right in your own backyard. Ensure that you have the space, and also the appropriate climate, soil and rainfall. It takes time, effort and care to ensure the crops grow properly. Visit a local farm or garden to get ideas on what types of crop to grow and how to do it right.

Participate in a walk, run, race or marathon
This is a great way to get fit (because you’ll definitely have to prepare and train in advance), raise money for a worthwhile cause (from the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation to Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation) and gather support from your family and friends. First-timers can try a 5 or 10km run while those more experienced can aim for a full 42km marathon.  Check out for a list of upcoming events throughout Canada. For those seeking more thrill and excitement, running through the muddiest trails in Toronto (The Mud Run) or being attacked by color bombs (Color Me Rad) as you try to make it to the finish line will definitely satisfy you.

As published in the Summer 2013 issue of Faze Magazine

100 Things To Do in Toronto

While on my daily date night with the internet, I happened to stumble upon this great list that any Torontonian, Canadian or any one else for that matter might enjoy. Sometimes when visiting a city, it’s best to leave the guide books and tourist attraction lists behind.
Note:This list was not composed by me, it’s simply a repost.

Toronto skyline

1. Lie face down on the glass floor at the CN Tower
2. Sit upstairs at Union Station during rush hour
3. Skate at Nathan Phillips Square
4. Tour the Steam Whistle Brewery
5. Have a hot chocolate at Soma in The Distillery District
6. Do a bike tour of Toronto Island
7. Go shopping at Honest Ed’s
8. Walk the boardwalk at The Beach
9. Go to Dundas Square
10. Dine at a famous chef’s restaurant
11. Take a city walking tour and check out jane’s walk
12. Get out of the downtown core
13. Ride the 501 Queen Streetcar
14. Go shopping in Chinatown
15. Go to Kensignton Market Pedestrian Sundays
16. Window shop in Yorkville
17. Eat corn on the sidewalk in Little India in the summer
18. Take a train ride through High Park
19. Walk the entire PATH
20. Check out a local band
21. Sample honey at St. Lawrence Market
22. Tour the CBC building
23. Eat Souvlaki on The Danforth
24. Have dinner in Little Italy
25. Read in the garden at Casa Loma
26. Come face to face with a dinosaur at the ROM
27. Visit the AGO for free
28. Sample free beer at the Mill St Brewery in the Distillery District
29. Explore the Toronto alleys
30. Go to the Ontario Science Center
31. Check out the parks running north from the Don Valley – (ride a bike from the lake through the Don Valley all the way up through Serena Gundy Park and all the way up to Sunnybrook Park or Edward’s Gardens – there are trails all the way up, lots of cool stuff in there.)
32. High Park is also pretty cool
33. Cherry Beach (sorry no real official link to cherry beach)
34. Sunnyside Park beaches
35. Tommy Thompson Park
36. Bluffers Park
37. Ice skating between Toronto Islands
38. Spent the last Sunday of the month (only from May to October)at Kensington Market – Pedestrian-only streets
39. Go buy some Whiskey Cheddar from Global Cheese in Kensington Market and eat it because I just had some and this stuff is seriously delicious. (as stated by ROB_K)
40. Check out the Working and Historical Post Office on Adelaide St East
41. Any historical house, ie: mackenzie, spadina, etc..
42. riverdale farm/cabbagetown especially when the festivals are on
43. Tobogganing down riverdale park east hill.. the west side has a baseball diamond now.. may be a bit dangerous!
44. Sunbathing at hanlan’s point clothing optional beach
45. Watch a movie at one of Toronto’s many film festivals
46. Help put together a free community feast with Food Not Bombs
47. Have a coffee in the cafe at the corner of Baldwin and Augusta before 8AM on a weekday and watch the people who pass before they go to work
48. Visit LCBO Summerhill to glory in the past, marvel in the present, as the immaculately restored North Toronto Railway Station (Circa 1916) is now the largest and most fascinating wine & spirits store in Canada.
49. Fair Trade coffee & delicious sandwiches at Tinto’s on Roncesvalles
50. Join the Caribana Parade
51. Brickworks Farmer’s Market (May – Oct) and for that matter, biking in and around the Brickworks
52. Checking out the view of Toronto from hill next to Brickworks
53. Check out where Lake Ontario meets Scarberia (near Port Union Station)
54. Watch the sun rise/set from the end of the Leslie Spit
55. The Junction Arts Fest in September (one of Toronto’s best kept secrets)
56. Bike the Humber River Trail
57. Friday Community Picnic in Dufferin Grove Park
58. Bonfire on beach out in Scarborough (near Morningside I think)
59. Promise Party at the Beaches
60. Sunnybrook Park (horses are in the back of the park, in the stables)
61. Biking the Ex at night during spring when no one is around, spooky.
62. Go to for an ice cream at the Dutch Cafe (funny building and awesome assortment of ice cream!)
63. Dive into Pomegranate deliciousness at marouf tochal
(everything is made of pomegranate: juice, dried fruit, ice cream, marmelade…YUM!)
64. Take a walk from the beaches westward to sunnyside park on the boardwalk (or bike)
65. Take the carillon tour with Gerald from CS.
66. Get your hands on the ceramic wheel at the Gardiner Museum on Fridays and Sundays
67. Enjoy an aperitif with view from the rooftop bar of the Park Hyatt
68. Go to a concert at the beautiful Roy Thomson Hall (and find discounted tickets on sale the same day)
69. Watch Rocky Horror Picture Show at Bloor Cinema on Halloween at midnight
70. Read a book in Queen’s Park Spring/Summer/Fall which is also home to Ontario Legislative Assembly
71. Mutahdi’s Drumming Festival (July – Queen’s Park)
72. Kick Ass Karaoke
73. Brunch in St. Lawrence Market
74. Picnic on Toronto Islands
75. Plant trees in with Bring Back the Don
76. The AIDS Memorial (behind the 519 on church)
77. Eat at Zelda’s (On Yonge Street)
78. Play a round of manhunt
79. Visit Ireland Park down at the waterfront
80. Audit a lecture by one of Toronto’s (semi-)famous professors: Mark Kingswell, Nick Mount, etc
81. Take in a concert of one of Toronto’s Talented music acts
82. Pay a visit to 401 Richmond
83. Visit the actual Distillery District
84. Watch the real pros play basketball at Harbourfront Community Centre outdoor courts
85. Wychwood Barns an exciting project they have going with the STOP
86. Harbourfront Festivals (any weekend starting from May – September) there’s Hot N Spicy, Ukranian, Askenazi, Chinese… showcases the diversity of Toronto.
87. Sample Polish or Ukranian desserts in roncesvalles/Bloor West Village
88. Eat at the world’s only Hungarain Thai restaurant in Kensington Market
89. Participate in Improv at Bad Dog Theatre
90. Museum of Inuit Art on your way to Harbourfront
91. Check out Matador’s a late night after hours club
92. Jazz festival in the Beach
93. Check out one of the many historical churches in the city like; St. Michael’s, St. James’, St. Patrick’s, etc..
94. check out the Fringe Fest
95. “Dream in High Park” plays presented during the summer
96. Shop at Active Surplus
97. Check out clay and paper theater
98. Check out the Santa Claus Parade
99. Check out WinterCity
100. If Batman is in town, this is where you will find him; Sneaky Dees

That [procrastinated] Happy New Year Post

Since 2010, every New Years, I’ve consecutively said to myself, “I don’t know how next year can be even better.” I’ve been continually blessed in my life and each year, God seems to add more sprinkles and good stuff to my life.

In 2010 I had prom, graduation, first year of university, a trip to nyc with my friends amoung other exciting events in my life.

2011 was the year of travel: I revisited NYC, LA and Florida all in the span of three months.

2012 I see as the year for step starting my career. After much emailing and a lot of persistence on my end, I was able to land an internship at Faze Magazine and since then have experienced so much in the matter of eight months than I ever thought I would in my journalism career. The places I’ve been able to go, events I’ve been able to attend and cover, people I’ve been able to meet and celebrities were all goals and dreams I never even thought to aspire for. Yet it all happened and I couldn’t be more grateful.

My internship and all that I’ve experienced has only confirmed that I am in the right career path (after some doubts) and that I’m headed in the right direction.

Not only that, 2012 saw myself attend my first ever live concert. And a dozen more after that. Let’s just say, I’m hooked to the whole concert experience.

I’ve seen:
-Snow Patrol and Ed Sheeran
-The Maine
-The Wanted
-One Direction (FIRST ROW HOLLA)
-Warped Tour
-Demi Lovato
-Ed Sheeran
-Conor Maynard
-Wham Bham
-Big Jingle
-Justin Bieber

All this year.

I honestly don’t know what to expect from 2013. With hopes to travel to England, land an awesome internship abroad (aiming for NYC or LA) in the summer, and of course begin my last year of university in September; there’s so much room left for unexpected surprises.

What I will be doing for sure this year is following a small piece of advice found on tumblr:


Picture 3

Happy New Year to you all!

My 26 seconds of fame thanks to One Direction

At times I may pretend to hide it, but in reality I’m a loud and proud directioner.
So of course I broke out jumping and screaming when I saw this on One Direction’s official fan page this morning:

Why yes, that is my sister and I in that screenshot because that is my sister and I’s greeting video. Which was only supposed to be seen by the five (gorgeous) boys of One Direction and lucky winners of the Bring Me to 1D Golden ticket. But One Direction’s management chose our video (out of hundreds from countries all over the world) to be used as an example…so now 11 million people on facebook and my 500 facebook friends who I exposed this to have seen it.

19, 000 views later we’ve received so many comments on the video saying, “wow this is awesome” and “you girls are so lucky!” and man, does it feel admittedly good.

This wasn’t a contest and we receive no prize (other than extreme happiness), and we never thought our greetings video was special to begin with.

So yeah, is it pathetic that I claim this one of the “awesome” moments in my life? …Nah!

Well have a look at our greetings video yourself, and if you’re a directioner, you should make one too!