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Canada Wrap-Up

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I’ve been back in the states for 2 weeks now, but it feels like I JUST came back! The Guild season 4 has an official pickup with Xbox/Microsoft (YAY!) so I’ve been sitting in front of a laptop trying to get a script together to start pre-production. I’m sure I’ll be whining about that a LOT in the coming months, but before I delve into Guild blogging again, I want to make sure I catch everyone up on my Canadian experiences!

Doing “Red” in Toronto for Syfy was one of the most interesting and rewarding experiences I’ve had in a long time, especially as an actor. I’d never been a lead character on a budget that big before, and I can’t say I wasn’t intimidated before we started, but thanks to the help of a great crew, a director I could trust, and a fantastic group of actors, I really really got in the groove of kicking Werewolf butt!ย  And I worked out every day for like 6 weeks, more than I’d EVER done, so I have weird biceps now. ๐Ÿ™‚ย  Here’s a really badass pic of me and the rest of the cast with the sunset at our backs:

Red Cast And @syfy Tweeted a link to another one pic today where I’m laughing at a stunt guy. I don’t think the cameras were running or I wouldn’t be grinning, haha.

So, Toronto.ย  I love that city, especially Queen street west, where I stayed when I went to town. My main quest whenever I go to a new city is to find the very best coffee, and I behaved no differently on this 4-week trip. I was actually staying OUTSIDE of Toronto in a smaller town called Hamilton, so my ability to hit all the coffee shops in the big city was hindered somewhat.ย  If you are in the area of Hamilton, go by “My Dog Joe’s” coffee and get a carrot cupcake for me.ย  Gluten free and literally the best cupcake I could imagine.ย  I should have asked for the recipe.ย  I must have eaten 2 dozen alone during my trip.ย  Also if you are in the area, please start taking oil painting classes at this place:

Hamilton, Toronto I mean, if you can paint a dude in a hazmat suit in the style of Norman Rockwell, you get points of cool in my book.

Due to my work schedule, I had to make up for my distance to the big city and high-tone coffee on the weekends, so I would drive in early, and by the time end-of-day Saturday rolled around, I’d consumed like 5 lattes and was caffeinated OUT OF MY MIND! Not the kind of tourism I’d recommend, but hey, a girl’s gotta do her thing, right?ย  With no further ado:ย  My Toronto coffee favorites in order!

#1:ย  Dark Horse Espresso

Dark Horse Espresso

This was the #1 recc on Twitter when I asked for local espresso help, and they did NOT steer me wrong.ย  It definitely reminded me of Intelligencia in Silver Lake here in LA, very modern decor and VERY good coffee.ย  The barista was busy talking to his friend the whole time, I don’t really get that, because it kinda irritates me.ย  This happened about three times at coffee places where they really can’t be helped to focus on you, the customer, because they’re talking about their band practice or something to their buddies who have stopped by.ย  Whatever, he wasn’t rude and the coffee was WONDERFUL.ย  Highly recommend.

#2 Cherry Bomb

Cherry Bomb

This was my FAVORITE place in Toronto.ย  Not only did I love the street it was on (See my photo of the awesome hot dogs I had at Buddha Dog) but the ambiance was PERFECT.ย  There were hipster people and just regular local people, and the owner and staff treated everyone the same, so friendly, remembering peoples’ names (which I usually HATE) and most importantly: BEST SCONES IN THE WHOLE ENTIRE WORLD.ย  I am drooling thinking about their date-pecan scone right now.ย  Coffee was EXCELLENT too.ย  One day I was so tired I drove 2 hours round trip just for a scone from Hamilton.ย  Yup.

#3 El Almacen Yerba Mate Cafe

El Almacen Yerba Mate Cafe

This is not a coffee place, I know.ย  It’s Yerba Mate, and it was quite an experience. That’s a gourd I was drinking out of, with a metal straw that filters the tea from going into your mouth.ย  You refill the gourd with hot water as you drink, so you can basically sip for a long time.ย  The Yerba Mate was very tasty and it also energized me in a non-jittery way.ย  Which was good, because I was drinking too much coffee, ha!

#5 Soma Chocolaterie

Soma Chocolate

Again not coffee.ย  Maybe I should amend this blog post to “Favorite hot drinks”?ย  Anyway, this place is stellar amazing awesomeness.ย  I bought a fortune in chocolate that I gave away later because I love sharing yummy stuff.ย  This was, no joke, the best hot chocolate I’ve ever had.ย  They put some spices in it, make the chocolate ON SITE.ย  What more could you ask for, really?

#5 Bulldog Espresso

Bulldog Espresso

This was really good espresso.ย  The place is out of the way, and extremely tiny, but I got the best latte art here, and it was a different ambiance than the other places I went. Boutique-y.ย  I liked the shiny gold espresso machine too, bling’d.

#6 Jet Fuel

Jet Fuel

I hesitate to list this, but the coffee was great.ย  The barista was kind of a jerk though.ย  He kept chatting to his friends the whole time, I stood there waiting to be waited on, and he was chatting with his dude friends for like 5 minutes.ย  I requested non-fat milk and the dude definitely made it with whole milk.ย  And he watched me sip and asked me, “How is it?” in the way that he TOTALLY KNEW IT WAS WHOLE MILK!ย  Maybe he thought he was being suave?ย  Who knows.ย  I didn’t stick around, but looked like lots of people on laptops around enjoying themselves, so maybe I’m being picky.ย  I was hopped up on espresso, like a LOT, so maybe I was irritable like a crack addict.ย  The picture is pretty though, ha!

#7 Green Beanery

Green Beanery

I went here at 7pm before attending a Pure Pwnage screening across the street.ย  We had been shooting until 9am that morning and I had 3 hours sleep before driving into Toronto, so this was a nice kick to get through the screening which was GREAT! (If you’re in Canada, be sure to tune into the TV show!)ย  This place has all the coffee equipment in the world for purchase, and I liked the foam consistency a LOT.

Ok, that was my trip!ย  Well, not comprehensively, but highlights ๐Ÿ™‚ย  Great to be back, will be posting about Guild prep a lot soon.ย  Back to writing!

  • rene payes

    next time you are on queen street west, try the Gladstone Hotel Restaurant. We make a great coffee there.

    Glad you had a great time!!

    • I stayed at the Gladstone! They turned the heater off so I froze a little, ha.

      • I Noticed you played worldof warcraft^^
        If you still play it could i get ure realm and name?

  • As a Canadian, I apologize on behalf of our country for your rude baristas. ๐Ÿ˜€

    Glad you otherwise enjoyed your trip! I’m intrigued by the concept of a date-pecan scone, but unfortunately live on the opposite side of the country from Toronto. Maybe they’d mail me one?

    Anyway, best of luck with the script, and I’ll definitely be keeping an eye out for the show.

    Cheers!

    • Jmac

      Stop apologizing for other people’s behavior. You make Canadians look like a bunch pussies.

      Manic Coffee has the best lattes in Toronto. 426 College St.

    • ABCDawg, I support your altruism, at any rate.
      Jmac, altruism is worth looking like a “pussy.” Every time.

  • The one thng I miss about Toronto is the Tim Hortons coffee. I swear they have a secret addidtive additive in the lining of their paper cups ๐Ÿ™‚ I still have the scars on the corners of my mouth from the ‘roll up the rim’ competitions!

  • grazen

    I don’t understand… you were filming in T.O. but they booked you in Hamilton? That makes absolutely no sense. We have hotels in Toronto, nice one’s, small one’s, big one’s, bad one’s – we got ’em all. That’s like filming in New York but staying in CT… doable, but not ideal. It seems like it worked for you though, glad you enjoyed your stay.

    • We were shooting in little towns all over Ontario, so it was actually closer. Anything to reduce the commute to and from set, sleep is fundamental!

  • haha, I love how you call Hamilton a town. Its a big city! Definitely not as big as T-dot, but still a city.

  • Kee

    I do exactly the same! When I visit a new place, I try to locate the best place for coffee. Since moving to London, I’ve found half a dozen great coffee places so far, so if you’re ever in the vicinity, you might like to check out some of the coffee reviews on my blog :D.

  • Steve

    Next time you have a spare couple of hours in our city, I give double-decker bus tours. You’d see a whole bunch of awesome. Our head office is actually around the corner from Dark Horse, which made me point and go “OH MAN.”

  • pernicious piggy

    Do I detect the first scribblings of what may become “Felicia’s Guide to the Java Houses of the World” – in handy trade paperback size? (If not, this can be read as a hint ^_^)

    • iPhone/iPod app would be much better! If you need a programmer to work on it I might know someone (subtle hint :).

    • I second the book idea. I would absolutely buy it. How long are you staying in Perth for Supanova? ‘Cause there are definitely a few places in the city I would reccomend you try!

  • Deb

    I didn’t realize you were in Hamilton! (my hometown) Glad to hear you enjoyed Toronto on your weekend trips, and really happy you got to Soma! One of my favourite spots in TO.

  • KeithAllGamer

    Enjoy your reviews. Nice pictures, great comments. Think you could always fall back on doing restraunt reviews if all else fails (which I doubt ๐Ÿ™‚ Can’t enjoy caffeine anymore myself. Even small amounts makes me crazy irritable, think erratically and/or become strangely weepy. I do miss good coffee though.

    Sounds like you had a really awesome time up there. Glad it was such a rewarding experience for you. Thanks for sharing a bit of it with us. Can’t wait to see “Red.” Maybe you can tell us more about the shoot after “Red” airs.

    Keep up the awesome work you do.

  • fetfet50

    I pass by Dark Horse almost every week. I had no idea about it. I think I’ll check it out

    Sounds like you enjoyed your stay in our fair city.

  • i don’t drink it anymore, but i remember the coffee being excellent when i was in canada. that, and the street veggie dogs!

  • Dani

    Your fascination with coffee and food amazes me. =P

    Great pics from “Red”, I bet it’ll be awesome!

  • Sarah

    I’m really glad you liked Dark Horse! It’s my favourite in the city. As for the Mayan hot chocolate from SoMa … I think it’s laced with crack. I get cravings in the middle of the night. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Jazz

    My favourite coffee joint in Toronto is Mercury Espresso Bar on Queen St. E. It’s not far from Dark Horse, and it’s better. They actually use Intelligentsia coffee beans and they just renovated!! It’s amazing.

  • Mike

    Jet Fuel and Dark Horse definitely have the reputation for having snobby baristas. It’s not just you.

  • Firnantok

    I think i need some coffee now ๐Ÿ™‚

    Great blog and i can’t wait to watch “Red”!

  • Kee

    It’s nearly 1am here in the UK and I really should get to sleep, but I’m now craving coffee! A flat white would do me nicely.

  • im from a smaller town just north of Toronto, would have like to have seen the sets around. Guess it just wasn’t meant to happen.

  • Thanks for posting your dessert, coffee, and other hot drink picks! I’ll have to keep this list for if I ever make it to Toronto!

    I’m looking forward to Red too…whenever it finally airs in the USA.

  • Laura

    I love Soma’s!!! I’m glad to hear you had a good time in Toronto!

  • I’m so glad you liked Darkhorse. I used to work around the corner from there and it is definitely the thing I miss most about the job. ๐Ÿ™‚

    There’s a place called Grinder a little off the beaten path in the east end that is also pretty fantastic if you’re ever back this way.

    And congratulations on the Guild being renewed, my wife and I can’t wait for more episodes!

  • Joe Pate

    I liked Toronto the one time I was there, but wasn’t much of a coffee drinker at the time.
    I do, however, now publicly bemoan the fact that fancy work coffee service ended 12mins ago and I really need a time travel cantrip for just 20min.

  • Elizabeth

    Well crap, I feel badly for recommending the Jet Fuel Cafe, they’ve been great to me when I’ve gone, sorry you ran into a bad person ๐Ÿ™

  • Really eager to see Red now! Keep us posted on the release date!

  • Helen

    Awesome coffee guide. Moving back to Toronto next week and will try those places out. Enjoyed your tweets from Toronto too ๐Ÿ™‚

    Congrats on The Guild deal! Can’t wait for season 4!

  • If I were you I’d demanded to know why it’s been changed to SyFy before doing any work for them. Hah. Seriously looks like fun though, I’m totally jealous. I absolutely love Canada.

    There’s not even any comic book stores near me. Gasp! I love when I go to Canada and there’s tons. Next time I’m out of this horrid place, I’m totally hunting down a The Guild comic.

  • I am glad to see I am not the only one who has a, “may need an intervention”, coffee addiction.

  • Bethynyc

    So glad to see an update! How did you like working with Kavan Smith? He’s one of the actors I keep an eye out for! Loved your coffee shop reviews, and I’ll keep them in mind if I ever get to Toronto!

  • Lisa

    Sorry about Jet Fuel, I live literally just around the corner from there, they have a reputation of being very good to their regulars but shitty to newcomers… Glad you liked Dark Horse (I was one of the ones that recommended it!), but I’m really disappointed that you had a less-than-awesome barista experience there too.

  • bob

    I am so excited to hear that The Guild will have another season and am very much looking forward to seeing Red!

    Do you eat a lot of gluten free foods? I was forced to switch to an all gluten free diet about 7 years ago and always love to hear about new foods! Now, if I can only get myself up to Canada to give them a taste.

  • I was born and raised in Hamilton. And while its not the “best” coffee, it certainly is the most popular and widely accepted coffee place in our town’s history.

    Tim Horton’s Coffee.

    Its a point of local pride here in Hamilton as the VERY FIRST store was opened here on Ottawa Street (scant blocks from my home) and Hamilton is littered with more Tim’s Coffee places than financial experts can justify, yet they all are busy, and all are popular.

    Sure, they dont have all the fanciness of what you were getting at, but it is of historical significance to all Canadians, and most of all Hamiltonians.

    I hope you enjoyed your stay in the Hammer, and I look forward to seeing this movie.

  • Garp

    You missed the Moonbean Cafe in Kensington – has been around much longer than those other coffee places (no snobbery), and it’s still the coziest place to hang out around town. Their mochachino drink has chocolate syrup squirted on inside of the glass…

  • Heh, we got married in Toronto; C’s parents live near QSW, and we stay in the Gladstone too. QSW is so awesome for shops and strolling… you managed to find a ton of places we haven’t tried recently tho, so thanks for that!
    Fresh on Queen St is my favourite food spot… looking forward to Red!

    x

  • Laura

    Mmm..Coffee! Can never go wrong checking out all the good coffee places while away ๐Ÿ˜€

  • Vicksan

    great reviews, sorry about the rudeness in Toronto, it really depends on the day you go. In reference to your whole milk being added instead of skim milk, maybe the person asked b/c he/she added it accidentally. I know i have done that while working not remembering what I added, and I would ask after wards–not to be rude but to check if it tasted fine. I know for me, if i did it on purpose I wouldn’t ask if it tasted alright.

    You must tweet again next time you are in town, huge fan! loved you in Dollhouse and Buffy

  • Magie

    Its only too bad that you werenโ€™t able to make it to our Buffy/Whedonverse meet up but all got your message that you were working that night! Well next time your TO, consider it an open invite.

  • I am so happy for you and the crew on The Guild picking up a 4th season! Is there anything I can do (or we as fans) to help with the production? I assume that because Microsoft/Xbox is picking the show up means that money donations are out of the question…or maybe not? I’m thinking THE GUILD CAR WASH! Ok, maybe not so much. An entire guild of us WoW players getting together to wash cars…in the sunlight…*shudder*

    Ok, rambling joking aside – Is there anything we can contribute to help with the production?

    Congratulations for SyFy’s “Red”! How very exciting! The story sounds terrific and I can’t wait to see it when it airs. Very badass pictures!

    We missed you in Seattle at Emerald City Comic Con! Hopefully the Penny Arcade people beg you to make an apperance at PAX West this year. ^_^

  • MC_Nedelsky

    You hit some good ones, I fell totally bad for not recommending Sam James Espresso bar. They are fantastic. If you are back in town for PR or other shooting, check out this coffee collective of indie cafes: http://www.thestar.com/living/food/article/794054–disloyalty-has-its-privileges

    Also, no write up on your time at the beguiling? I was looking forward to a longer story of their surprise.

  • GrrAargh

    The advantage of being a tea drinker is being able to make a wide variety without needing much equipment or having to leave the house!

    • Markus

      Indeed me old china. Just the right leaves and some boiling water ๐Ÿ™‚

      (oh, and some decent biccies)

  • Jim

    All those pictures, but not one of your biceps! ๐Ÿ™

  • Oh man, I miss Toronto. Lived there for 10 years. Great city.

  • I’m so sad that you were staying in Hamilton and I never knew about it! Well, not until you posted about having signed some comics at Conspiracy Comics.. which I read a few days later, and some lucky fans were sure to have scooped up those copies long before I could’ve made it there (I live at the other end of the city).

    Glad you enjoyed your stay in the area, though, and hopefully you have lots of opportunities to head back this way!

  • Love the photos and reviews – and so glad you didn’t hate my beloved Bulldog! The latte art there is pretty amazing. But I will concede that the place itself is the size of my ass.

    Can’t wait to see Red! It looks awesome! And is that Greg Bryk in it too? We used to temp together for $10 an hour years ago – and now he’s all on tv and working with you and stuff. Good on ‘im!

  • Shehzeen

    Still sounds like you had a great time. And looking forward to Red. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Markus

    Brilliant blog update thanks Felicia. Cannot wait to see the end result of the filming and so so grateful to hear about work commencing on Series 4 ๐Ÿ™‚

    I dont know if theres more variety in the States and Canada but your reviews of coffee houses and eateries is utterly mind blowing. Either you have a great knack for find the most interesting places or they are abundant over there. I wouldnt have the foggiest what to order in a place like that (well, unless they have tea and scones on the menu)

    Now, back to my boring old cup of earl grey.

    Cheers,
    Markus.

  • Oh wow! I haven’t had yerba mate from a metal straw since I was a little girl and my dad brought me some home from a business trip to Paraguay! Now I want some! Guess I’ll have to plan a trip to Toronto. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • I like coffee fo sho but what I like more is The Guild: Season Four!

  • Jorge

    Nice travel tips!

    • i am with register please

  • Michael

    So you’re saying Red has a higher budget than June? They must really be going all out on this one.

  • jake

    If you liked Toronto, you should come back for the giant comicon at the end of August. I’m sure your agent could get you in

    Sci Fi, Gaming, Comics Horror, Anime

    It’s right up your alley

    people would love to meet you!!

    Thanks for visiting and enjoying my city ๐Ÿ™‚

  • What a great trip! I haven’t been to Toronto in a number of years and after reading your post, I’d love to go back.

    Cheers!

  • Blair

    Happy you enjoyed your stay. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Zak

    Are there clips out there of your improv group? I found one brief performance of Being Humans on youtube, but that’s all :- ( Is there any more to be found?

    Looking forward to The Guild season 4 :- )

  • Dario

    YEEEAH! Another season of The Guild,
    Im sure it will be awesome!
    Ill download the eps through Xbox Live
    Looking forward to Red too
    cheers from Argentina

  • I keep wondering if your character in Red will get the coffee shakes at any given time in the show — I’ll be watching for it, ha. Or crazy-caffine eyes. A few followup q’s:

    1. I remember there being doughnut shops around Toronto everywhere Did you see those too?
    2. Did you notice that they put vinegar on their potato chips? Did you try it? ๐Ÿ™‚

    Chris

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  • Jason

    I saw the pics of Red looks really cool can’t wait to see it and the next season of “The Guild” keep up the good work I love it.

  • Mendoza

    Intelligencia is spelt wrong. It should be intelligentsia.

    I am blissful now.

  • Susan Clarke

    I own the True Brew Cafe on the Danforth in Toronto. I make awesome scones every day! Next time you’re here you should come visit.

  • I will if I’m back up there, for sure!!

  • Einar Mathiesen

    Yeah sry to interrupt^^
    Im a big fan of THE GUILD
    If u still play WoW! could i get ure Realm/server and name?

  • Jerry R

    Hi Felicia,

    I just finished watching all three seasons of The Guild and wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed it. I only recently learned about it via your Reddit Q&A, and having enjoyed some of the other things you’ve been in, I wanted to give it a try. I’m so glad I did – between the talented cast, the writing and the really impressive production, I found each episode to be better than the previous one. Thanks!

    (sorry for this random vector of communication, but I couldn’t find an email address for you; hopefully you’ll see this)

    -Jerry

  • Felicia,
    Red looks great.
    When you’re back in town, Broadview Espresso (north of Dark Horse) also has awesome coffee and great friendly owner and baristas.

    Also… even closer to Dark Horse, Merchants of Green Coffee. They sell unroasted beans (for home roasting) but also have a cool coffee shop. I like their brewed coffee best… but they brew each cup individually using these filters that are probably made of hemp or something. Should ask next time I’m in there.

    Ignore people suggesting Tim Horton’s coffee. Horrible. No one who likes real coffee likes Tim Horton’s coffee. Bleh.

  • Roland Z. Hayes

    Happy 31st Lap around the Sun, Ms. Day!

    Yeah, I’m a bit early, but I won’t be up at midnight…

    You’re getting Older Better!

    Consolation: Not only is 31 Prime, but it’s also a Mersenne Prime.

    Milestone ahead: Sometime next February, you’ll turn 1,000,000,000 seconds old.

    From what I’ve seen, you’ve spent your first almost-billion very productively. I like your show, and I look forward to season Four.

    If it helps, I put a Hex on you; next year you’ll turn 20. Take Care!

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  • Upon
  • Enjoy, but can i just point out that Intelligencia is spelled wrong? The correct way of spelling is intelligentsia… Now i feel smart ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Ilya

    So how was the Tim Horton’s?

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