Family Day – Time for Your Family and Yourself

The original idea of Family Day was to give people a day that they can spend time with their families and have a day off between New Year’s Day and Good Friday. Common activities on Family Day are skating, skiing/snowboarding, playing hockey and going to winter festivals and of course eating a lot of pancakes with too much maple syrup! Family Day is celebrated in only some provinces in Canada – Alberta, Manitoba, Prince Edward Island, Saskatchewan and of course here in Ontario. Our province started to have Family Day in 2007 when Dalton McGuinty promised to establish a provincial holiday in February if he was re-elected. So the whole EC Toronto family enjoyed its spare time on Family Day last Monday. Also our EC Toronto mascot, Günther, celebrated Family Day and took a day off! What did you do on last Monday when EC Toronto was closed due Family Day? Did you spend time with your homestay family and friends? Your EC Toronto Team

Do you know how different people from different cultures at EC Toronto celebrate Christmas?

No? We will tell you in this blog! We asked our students from all over the world how they celebrate the holidays in their country. Yuko, one of our Japanese students, tells us that people from Japan very often spend Christmas Day with friends, go out to a nice restaurant where they of course celebrate this special time with Champagne and a cake. After that delicious meal they exchange Christmas gifts and play some amusing games together just to enjoy the company and this special event. Ali, a student from Saudi Arabia, tells us that Christmas is a new experience for him and the other Saudi students at EC Toronto because neither Christmas nor Hanukah is celebrated in their country. They are curious to see how the Canadians celebrate their Holiday season, and enjoy being able to celebrate with them! Hye-Rim, one of our student counsellors, enjoys her Christmas time with her family and/or her close friends and she prepares Christmas gifts for the children of friends and family. For her it is necessary to go to Church on Christmas Eve or on Christmas Morning to sing carols, to pray and to have a quiet time of reflection. Sara, another student counsellor at EC Toronto, doesn’t practice her religion. When Sara can spend Christmas time with her family, half of the family goes to church, while the non-religious ones stay at her grandmother’s house on Christmas Eve. After mass they enjoy a delicious dinner all together with lamb or suckling pig. When Sara isn’t in Italy like this year, she calls her family on Skype. Sara’s family shows her all the yummy food they are eating and make her regret that she decided not to go back home. Elizabeth, our Operations Manager, spends Christmas with her close family. Unlike most … Read more

Gingerbread House Activity at EC Toronto – Our Students Were Hard Working, Creative Team Players!

This past Thursday December 20, 2012 we gave our students the opportunity to build and decorate their own gingerbread house in teams. During the preparation for this event we listened to some Christmas music and suddenly we felt the Christmas and Holiday spirit…  We were very surprised at the creativity of our EC Toronto students! They created some very lovely houses with many details and beautiful decorations. Now some of the gingerbread houses are located at the Front Desk. They symbolize our own lovely EC Toronto Christmas village made by our EC Toronto students. We hope everybody had a great time and enjoyed this Christmas and Holiday activity with the other students and the EC Toronto activity team. We are publishing more photos and a video of the gingerbread activity on our EC Toronto Facebook page. So if you like one or more photos give it/them a ‘Like’. 🙂 Your EC Toronto Team

Toronto Christmas Market – Take some Canadian Christmas spirit home with you!

Did you know that the idea of celebrating the Christmas season with a Christmas market came originally from Germany? Yes, it’s true – thankfully they are being held in countries all over the world now. So if you are in Toronto during Christmas time take a walk through the Christmas market in the Distillery Historic District. The market will start on Friday, November 30. Enjoy some time with your (homestay) family and friends – a massive Christmas tree, many Christmas decorations, seasonal music and hot drinks are waiting for you! There are individual and magical Christmas events waiting for you every day. Have a look at the event schedule to be a part of Toronto’s Christmas magic. Great artists like Sean Jones will sing and celebrate the winter season with you and will hopefully bring a smile to your face. And don’t forget: You are never too old to join a storytelling activity to listen to a classic Grimm’s Brothers fairy tale! Here are the most important points about the Christmas market for you: Where? Distillery Historic District Subway Station? Union Station When? Friday November 30 to Sunday December 16 Times? Monday to Friday Noon to 9pm – Saturday & Sunday 10am to 9pm Specials? candies / dance/ music / individual events / beer gardens & mulled wine Follow this link to get more information: www.torontochristmasmarket.com/index.html If you see some of your teachers or our staff from EC Toronto at the Christmas market you are welcome to join us and drink a hot chocolate with us! Happy Winter and Holiday Season! Your EC Toronto Team