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Mother in law visiting - any suggestions

My 81 year old british mother in law is visiting mid March. Any interesting ideas would be appreciated. It is a fairly scripted visit, but here is what we were considering. Our base is Queen street west (Triinity Bellwood Park area). We will be cabbing due to mobility issues, she does like to be "spoiled", i.e. she would prefer high tea to a pub, and she prefers seafood- specifically fish. We will be eating early, of course, so I doubt reservations will be a problem. Cost - not an issue.

She arrives on Thursday pm. Thinking of Canoe if she is up to it. My husband works right there, views, fancy from her perpective. Any other suggestions, or anything in our area in the event she is tired.

Friday: possibly CasaLoma in the afternoon - is there a place to get soup, quick sandwich? We are going to the Raptor game and considering eating at the TD Platinum Club. I know, expensive vs quality, but again we are navigating an octurian here. Maybe the Royal York?

Saturday - Afternoon Ballet at the four seasons centre, any lunch suggestions? Again, lunch we probably need something light - but a bar for me :). Dinner more challenging. We must invite family members in Toronto, well established financial background - very old boy's network type. They live in the donvale valley area, we really don't want to go up there. We made reservations at Bymark for the group. Any other suggestions?

Sunday: It is her last day, would like to make it special. Always difficult for dinner. Thinking CN tower. Her day I am not too sure about, maybe the ainsley gallery (sp?) distillery district?

Thank you for any suggestions.

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  1. If you're thinking of CN tower dinner, best make your reservation quite early coz you don't want to be waiting for 5 hours or more for a table to be available. If you want a 1st class, classy restaurant to impress your relatives, try the Truffles located in Avenue Rd. on the 2nd floor of the Four Season's Hotel.... one of my fav place..... well used to when I was still in Toronto last year. You might want to take her to the Royal Botanical Gardens.... it used to be beautiful, but that was a while ago since I went there. There's also the Black Creek Pioneer Village to see, Fort York near Bathurst, Allans garden.... that's just a few I can think of. Goodluck with your MIL.....

    1. You may wish to have a back-up for the CN Tower, if the area is closed due to falling ice, as it was yesterday (today?).

      1. For Sunday, the Gardiner museum might be an option. It's small-ish, so quite easily navigable. And Jamie Kennedy's at the Gardiner will be open for lunch. You could also do a quick shop along the Bloor Street stretch, if she's ambulatory.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Rabbit

          great idea, the Gardiner Museum!

          nearby there is the Windsor Arms or the Four Seasons for afternoon tea.

          also Canada Blooms - the flower show is on March 7-11, if the timing works and she's into flowers.

        2. The Red Tea Box in your neighbourhood (North side of Queen) has a nice tea that she might appreciate. The smallish store can be kind of hard to navigate, so you might want to check it out first if she's not too mobile.

          1. "Mother In Law Visiting - Any Suggestions?"

            Aside from the obvious suggestion of taking a golf holiday in the Bahamas...how about Scarmouche.

            1. I wouldn't do the Distillery district, esp. if your MIL has mobility issues. The cobblestones can be hard to navigate, and anything 'sit down' there isn't that spectacular.
              If you're up for take away, it's definitely worth a quick visit for coffee/pastries at Balzac's, or sandwiches from Brick St, but that's about it. I have heard good things about the crepe place though..... and there's always chocolate at Soma.

              1. Here are my favorite parent picks : Le Paradis: Zucca: Quince: Rosebud: Lolo.
                I use these because (exception Rosebud)- they are not too loud, not TOO expensive, and the food isn't *weird*...

                1. Thanks to everyone.

                  I have been given some great new ideas, that I had not even considered. Will let you know! She may be particularily interested in the Gardens or the Museum.

                  1. How about Zee Grill on Mount Pleasant - charming restaurant, great food (specializing in fish), terrific wine list, reasonably priced.

                    1. No particular food recommendations, but just want to say .... jumping the pond at 81 - good for her! I'm half her age and I don't want to leave the house.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: artgeek

                        My 74 year old Scottish Mother loves the fish and chips at Oyster Boy (said they were the best she's ever had - we split one order as the portion is so big) - the high seats might be an issue for your mother-in-law though. My mom's other favourite place is Le Select Bistro for the French Onion Soup (mind you she hasn't been to the new location with the different chef and different recipe). Her all-time favourite though is the lunch at Mildred Pierce - we went on a Saturday and had no problem getting in without a reservation. My mom is still talking about the hamburger she had there.

                      2. Thanks to everyone for the great feedback! The Gardiner is a real option for Sun - Jamie Kennedy's might be a little challenging for her - but WIndsor/Four season will be right up her alley.

                        Scarmouche (or something similiar is an idea for Saturday. The family we are obligated to meet are quite a "controlling" old bay street/financial types - who are already pushing us to come up and see their new 4000 sq foot condo, we really don't want to have to go up to to donvale area if we can avoid it. Hoping to meet on neutral ground. We did make reservations at Bymark. Any other suggestions of mulit starred, not too challenging food etc!

                        Does the red tea box serve wine?

                        My husband loves the fish & chips at Oyster Boy as well - seating may be an issue!

                        Mildred Pierce - I had not even considered. Great Idea!

                        Thanks again to everyone.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: dawson

                          I would definitely vote for Mildred....I hear through the grapevine it won't be with us much longer, so go while you can.

                          1. re: dawson

                            for the old boys, you can't go wrong with Bymark. But Canoe or Auberge Du Pommier are also options. Neither would be challenging food, but certainly not casual food either.

                          2. Awwww.It all sounds sweet.

                            - Yes to Scaramouche; she will love it.

                            - Hart House Gallery Grill at U of T is sunny and serene for brunch/lunch. Widely-spaced tables, no jostling, quiet.

                            - In general, I tend to take parents to 'rich people' neighborhoods - Yorkville, Hazelton Lanes, Rosedale, etc. Older people, better service, quieter.......

                            Good luck. And hee, artgeek!

                            1. Scaramouche over Bymark on a Saturday. If you are in Trinity Park, head to Noce. Skip the CN Tower...try to get into Canoe if you can. Lunch at Pangaea is always great on the weekend, or try the Royal York over the Windsor Arms.

                              1. For the "old boys," perhaps about dinner at Centro or North 44?

                                It's geographic middle ground, and should provide a suitably (no pun intended) five star atmosphere with not-too wonky menu choices.

                                1. Another vote for Scaramouche!

                                  1. I propose Hoops. It is a sports bar just north of College on Yonge.

                                    After that, your MIL may never come back!

                                    If you aren't feeling adventurous, I also vote for Scaramouche.

                                    1. Julie,
                                      They are looking for another location.
                                      Not planning to close down.
                                      re: Mildred Pierce

                                      1. If you're looking for lunch around Casa Loma, the Corner House Restaurant is just around the corner (on Davenport). Certainly more formal than a quick bite and sandwich, but it's close and she might quite like it (check the hours though).

                                        As well, it's only a 15 minute walk (so, less than 5 minute cab ride?) to Pain Perdu for lunch (at St. Clair, west of Christie); French boulangerie, but absolutely excellent for quiche, croissants and patisserie.

                                        Good luck.