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In the spirit of the season, some ghostly tours
This ghost story, like most spooky tales, begins with that classic opening line, "It was a dark and stormy night..." The truth is, it was dark and stormy night when we ventured on a recent ghost tour of the city's Chinatown and Kensington Market area. It was raining buckets with a good dose of fog, mist and the odd flashes of lightning thrown in for good measure. Wet feet and chilled bones notwithstanding, we couldn't have asked for a more fitting backdrop. Our spirits weren't dampened in the slightest. Still on such a ghastly night we figured we didn't have a ghost of a chance for scaring up any real (or imagined) spirits. Are all, the streets of Kensington were like a ghost town. We were dead wrong... By the time she's done with nearly a dozen ghost stories, I'm fascinated and just slightly scared out of my wits to find out the haunts I've walked by many times are chocked full of ghosts. This is not the tour for the faint of heart. In fact, after she tells us a ghost has even been spotted on the subway line I'm planning to take home, I decided to hail a taxi instead...
- Sue-Ann Levy, Buffalo News, October 14, 2001
No. 42 of the 68 greatest things to do with your kids around Toronto
Haunted Kensington, Chinatown & Grang e walking tour is featured as No. 42 of the 68 greatest things to do with your kids around Toronto, for both tourists and Toronto residents alike, in this new book from Fodor's Around Whichever Big City with Kids series. It has been for sale in bookstores across Canada and the U.S. since June 12th, 2001. It includes money-saving tips, games to play while waiting in lines, and themed categories, which include Tire Them Out and Art Attack. Note: Some adults confessed to keeping the book for their own use!
- Kate Pocock, Fodor's Around Toronto With Kids, 2001
Toronto at Play
Having a guide who knows the history and culture of an ethnic neighborhood like Chinatown is definitely the way to go. With guide Shirley Lum, I finally discovered the use and identity of the mysterious items sold in Asian groceries. The kids loved the Chinese pharmacy, where scorpions, flattened lizards, roots and snakeskin cures were a page out of a Harry Potter spell book. The dried sea horses, we learned, are for liver problems! Slices of antler horns, at $110 an ounce, are boiled to cure anemia. From sight alone, I've never been able to guess what I might like in a Chinese bakery. A sample of just about everything at Tung King Bakery made me an expert. Try the fried lotus sesame balls, bak hong go (white sugar cake) and banh mi kem bo (butter cream bun). Lum was insistent about getting us samples of those heads-still-on pigs, ducks and chickens that hang by their feet in the shop windows of every Chinatown. I won't be feeling the need to try the pig again. Lum said she and her siblings always fought over the crackling, or skin. They, or George Bush, can have mine. But the dim sum at the Bright Pearl - now that's another story. Waitresses arrived with 75 choices. The garlic chive and shrimp dumplings, the sui mai and the mango pudding dessert are must-gets. The owner came by to apologize that, this being a Monday instead of a weekend, he didn't have 150 dishes to choose from!
- Cindy Loose, Washington Post, May 6, 2001
What's Cooking: Events
A Taste of the World'sFirstChinatown: Culinary New Quarters is listed as one of many culinary events in the premiere issue!
- Wegman's Menu Magazine , Winter 2001
Ontario 's Runner-up for Cities in Winter award of Win With Winter in Canada in 2000.
A Taste of the World entered Canadian Tourism Commission's (CTC) Win With Winter contest, and ending up as Ontario's Runner-Up for the category Cities In Winter. Worth noting: A Taste of the World ended up beating out the City of Toronto! The tours offered during the winter of 2000/2001 were culinary, literary and ghost walks - all winterized. Plenty of popping in and out to get fresh air, and yet stay warm in-between. The annual Chinese New Year walks and March Break walks were part of this new program.
Tour tantalizes the taste buds
Even locals learn about New Year treats like dried oysters. It's auspicious that Shirley Lum is clothed in the colour of luck to lead her Lunar New Year culinary walking tours. Her red coat blends in to the crimson sea if Chinatown. Although she's dressed harmoniously with the season, Lum shuns expectations for an all-Asian experience and conjures up French author Marcel Proust. "The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new lands, but in seeking with new eyes - and with new palates," says Lum, tacking her own theory of palates on to Proust's quote.
- Jennifer Bain, The Toronto Star, Wed. January 24, 2001
WTN, Modern Manners Show
Shirley Lum of A Taste of the World presided over Dim Sum and Dim Sum etiquette presentations (chopsticks and tea pouring etiquettes and even how to eat chicken feet). The episodes were shown:
Monday, January 22, 2001 @ 6:30 p.m.
Tuesday, January 23, 2001 @ 4:30 p.m.
Wednesday, January 24, 2001 @ 1:00 p.m
Thursday, January 25, 2001 @ 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, January 27, 2001 @ 9:30 a.m
Sunday, January 28, 2001 @ 1:30 p.m.
City that embraces the great outdoors
Shirley Lum twirled her bright blue umbrella and strode into the hustle and bustle of Chinatown, leaving the rest of us looking at one another somewhat bemusedly. It wasn't so much the sight of an umbrella on a beautiful September's morning that surprised us but the explanation for its use. Shirley Lum brings people on walking tours of Toronto and because she's Asian, feels that Caucasians might lose her in Chinatown because as she puts it "to you guys we all look the same". I don't know what kind of people she usually takes around Chinatown but her bright red t-shirt was enough of a marker for me. A bubbly character with an off-beat sense of humour, a walk around the sights, sounds and smells of Toronto, with Shirley is highly recommended.
- Rosemary Molloy, Irish Examiner, Saturday, January 6, 2001