Afiya Francisco is a Style Expert, television and fashion personality, speaker, and brand ambassador. The Style House is a multimedia platform designed to help women approach their personal style with confidence, simplicity & joy. 

CANADA'S HIDDEN GEMS IN PARTNERSHIP WITH IHG®REWARDS CLUB

CANADA'S HIDDEN GEMS IN PARTNERSHIP WITH IHG®REWARDS CLUB

Taking it all in at Allan Gardens Conservatory

Taking it all in at Allan Gardens Conservatory

In celebration of Canada's 150th birthday, InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) is launching a fun contest to find the top 150 hidden travel gems in our country. IHG sponsored this post and my participation in this campaign, but all opinions are my own.

Canada's beauty is no secret but we don't typically look beyond the landmarks and well-known destinations. With this in mind, IHG® Rewards Club wants to shine the spotlight on unique and unexpected places that make this country so great. For my own Hidden Gem I wanted to showcase my hometown of Toronto.

A view from our hotel window of one of Canada's greatest landmarks.

A view from our hotel window of one of Canada's greatest landmarks.

It's easy to dismiss the city as a gritty concrete jungle but there are so many beautiful pockets that dispute this description. In the dead of winter, cold, grey days can start to feel a bit bleak and a small taste of summer can be the perfect jolt to carry you through the season. Perhaps surprisingly, rather than get on a plane, the hubby and I packed up the boys and headed to the downtown core for a night at Holiday Inn on Carlton. With a fab indoor heated pool, we and the boys enjoyed splashing and swimming, the ultimate summer indulgence right in the middle of winter. We essentially had the space  to ourselves and we had a ball in our "private" pool. 

The hotel is centrally located, and the entire city is easily accessible from it, but my Hidden Gem was just a short walk away. Allan Gardens Conservatory is a 16,000 square foot garden-filled greenhouse with tropical plants from all over the world. Lying in one of the city's oldest parks, the designated heritage greenhouse was built in 1910 and looks like the backdrop of a whimsical Lemony Snicket episode. It is a true delight to step through the doors.

Allan Gardens Conservatory is a stone's throw away from Holiday Inn on Carlton

Allan Gardens Conservatory is a stone's throw away from Holiday Inn on Carlton

This desertscape is just one of the many gardens in the conservatory.

This desertscape is just one of the many gardens in the conservatory.

So what's your Hidden Gem? Between March 1, 2017 - May 31, 2017, visit the IHG® microsite to submit your favourite Canadian spot and a chance to win one million IHG® Rewards Club Points!

THE IMPORTANCE OF GOAL SETTING – THE STYLE HOUSE TV WITH SASHA EXETER

THE IMPORTANCE OF GOAL SETTING – THE STYLE HOUSE TV WITH SASHA EXETER

WHAT DOES YOUR CAR SAY ABOUT YOUR STYLE?

WHAT DOES YOUR CAR SAY ABOUT YOUR STYLE?