Best of CityPlace

Food, fitness & (more) food: An hour exploring CityPlace with Argos host

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After spending a whirlwind hour with Jackie Perez, it’s obvious she’s in love with CityPlace.

Jackie is the TV host and in-game host for the Toronto Argonauts and has lived in CityPlace since 2012 in three different buildings. We meet after work, and I ask her to take me to her favourite spots in the neighbourhood.

Her energy is immediately infectious. I ask her where she gets her energy. Apparently, she gets it just across the street at Canoe Landing Park.

“I love Tribe Fitness and that they built a community of fitness. I was up there seeing people doing yoga on the lawn and joined in.”

When asked if she’d contemplate moving out of the neighbourhood, she shakes her head. “If I move there’s no Tribe!”

“Tribe helped me connect with the community. When people create those opportunities, it’s so awesome.”

“Also, sometimes I catch up with myself and take it all in middle of the (Puente de Luz) bridge. The view still takes my breath away.”

Jackie’s energy also comes from food.

We stop in at Hunters Landing.

Her favourite dish on the menu is the fish tacos.

“That’s what made me fell in love with this place,” she explains. I put extra hot sauce on it. It’s seriously the number one reason to come back. It never fails.”

Then she starts raving about the chicken gemelli.

“If you’re a fan of salt, they use something special – bring it!”

“Maybe it’s Himalayan,” I said.

Jackie grabs a menu.

“Ah. It’s lava salt,” she reads.

“The dish is so hearty, and I love pasta, food is my favourite thing in the world. My friends are waiting for my metabolism to slow down,” she laughs. “ I know I can’t eat the way I do forever.”

She looks out the window at Canoe Landing Park and starts talking about it again.

“I love the community vibe there; I really like Cityfest. You tend to forget how many people actually live here.”

And when Jackie’s bored?

She heads to the water.

“If I want to be alone, it’s a good place to check in with myself and bring my book.”

Boredom may lead to a little snack, back at CityPlace.

“I remember my mom who lives in Mississauga calling me telling me she wanted to try Nutella cafe! ” she laughs.

“But Mom it’s in the grocery store! ” she replied.

Meanwhile, Jackie has tried one of each pastry. “I wanted to try everything!”

(Yes, we stopped in for one.)

This is getting too sweet, so we head to Roywoods.

“This is my go-to!,” Jackie says, also raving about the Jamaican eatery’s jerk chicken.

Jackie shares a story about a time when she got home really late after a flight and Roywoods had (unusually) ran out of jerk chicken.

Jerk Chicken Plate

“I didn’t know what to get, so I tried the jerk pork,” she says.

“Whoop!,” she exclaimed. “It was delicious!”

And Jackie’s secret?

“Extra, extra gravy.”

Maybe that’s where she gets her energy from — the gravy.


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Celebrating urban life with Cityfest at CityPlace

Diana Pereira

Diana Pereira is a journalist, a university journalism teacher, a world traveller, a fair-weather kayaker, and a frequent bruncher. She's working on her mermaid status, travelling to as many countries as she can that include a body of water and when she's home in Toronto, you can find her in a kayak on Lake Ontario.

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