New Year's Eve Restaurant Party Guide Newmarket - Last Minute Club Listings

So you broke a promise you made to yourself last year to have your New Year's Eve planned and reservations booked to avoid any confusion of what to do at the last minute. You were going to already have made plans to stay local and cab it, or have a designated driver picked out who comes along. The third wheel as it were perhaps, or maybe that's you! Get a cab anywhere in York Region 1-800-668-0001

Either way it's all moot because once again you've procrastinated your face off and put yourself in a precarious position. You know restaurants and pubs / clubs will be busy likely and don't want to waste any more time and so you're now willing to concede the formal sit down dinner even, need be.

2015-16 New Year's Eve Party Guide!

Well you are in luck my friend because this 2015-16 Last Minute Guide link to party spot, restaurant, entertainment & bars is just for you! All of the choices are within a 10 mile radius of Aurora / Newmarket and all provide a top notch experience with walk-in options for no reserve for the entertainment / later evening portion or bar area only cover charges - although we do advise where possible you reserve to ensure entry.

Best Deal Choices -

My fave deal for group bookings would be Stellar Hall, based on their experience with larger parties and New Year's Eve value with a $75 per, all inclusive with open bar deal!
Call TP for more info @ 289-221-0928 

For my personal walk-in choice - including having the best opportunity of gaining entrance as a " walk-in" patron -  it would be the Fionn MacCool's @ 17315 Leslie..$20 includes midnight toast and Live Entertainment. 

Watch for TPE's GTA Top 10 Dining and Clubs  Listings Coming in 2016.
Great Staff + Great Time = Happy New Year!

The Newmarket Plaza Old Fashioned Shop Davis Drive with New Fashioned Stores

Shop Newmarket is a moniker and .com that seems to have forgotten to include, except for listing Newmarket Barber Shop, one of Newmarket's longest running business centres - that being The Newmarket Plaza located at 130 Davis Drive.
 "Is that the plaza with Giant 
Tiger in it?"(and the place where u can Win $100 Gift Card )
 I can already hear some ask and yes, it is!

 "Shop Davis Drive " same deal, in fact a Google search for those terms returned nothing for the longtime plaza before this blog. After blogging, #2 in "Shop Newmarket" searches, behind only  

That's what we do. But there are actually over 50 services, shops and dining establishments in The Newmarket Plaza, with some also located at the back, east side entrance, including a cool, newly located sports equipment store called All Pro Source For Sports which seem to be exactly that, all you'll need for sport and hockey - including the best skate sharpening around - and the summer sports too.

Merry Xmas! More Courses Start Dec 30
I have some history with this Newmarket shopping centre as well beyond having played pool at "The Compass' many years ago when it was about the only place in town with live entertainment, and where Glass Tiger or Onyx ( became Glass Tiger) played at before forgetting us when they were gone. Years later I'd attend the same location but as a karate school, where I attended meetings once a month for 5 years as we established Operation Sparrow - offering free access to activities for youths.

In 1994, while Entertainment Editor of CoverStory Newspaper Y.R., we sponsored the sound system for the 1st ever 3on3 youth basketball Jamfest, held in the parking lot of the Newmarket Plaza to raise funds for the Newmarket Youth Centre which did not yet have a centre, and for which I was on the founding committee. Some may also remember the famous Oscar & Felix Cookies store that was located on the far east wing which my mom ran along with my brothers-in law for a time. Me-e-mories...from the corners of my bra-ain! (Think Barbara Streisand)

A little closer in time one of the first sponsors the the F. N. Youth Road Hockey Challenge was Newmarket Young Drivers of Canada as then owner / co-manager Pam Macdonald was also hosting a Rogers 10 TV show where she heard about the event while guesting myself and offered up right away to sponsor. It helped pave the way that year to our youth award! And is typical of the type of small town personailzed service with big city attention you get from merchants of The Newmarket Plaza.
All Pro Source For Sports located at the back of the plaza

The Newmarket Plaza has an ambiance that you can only experience when strolling at an old style outdoor shop plaza. The soothing piped out music, just loud enough to entertain but not too loud to annoy and the convenient layout, allows for options to park close for a quick in and out or to take your time and enjoy. Close your eyes and you can almost drift back in time - the opening and closing of doors, greetings between friends, music and smells of restaurants. Ah yes, enjoy this outdoor shopping hub..they are a rare breed these days. Use it or lose it! Ha.

I stopped in and had a slice of pizza - well they give you two! - at long time tenant Piccola Ristorante  - still there with friendly service just like his dad used to give and what can I say - it's the best slice in town - fresh toppings bedded on sumptuous pizza sauce and slathered with cheese. A firm yet crisp crust that snapped to attention and held firm  instead of wilting like a dead flower when you held it in your hand..inching it ever so much closer to your mouth.. mmm..and easy to eat too, snapping off cleanly with every bite.
No wrestling matches here just to get a taste..and plenty! Mangia!

So while you may have been avoiding shopping Davis Dr whilst construction has taken a foothold, don't forget to continue supporting the Newmarket Plaza, a real long time Newmarket success story, supplier of services and employer to many in town.

There are still so many cool stores there too like the very cool Big Al's Aquarium Supercentre with shark feeding Tuesdays 7pm  as well as thrift stores, Jewelers, Druggist, Electronics, Restaurants, Health & Beauty Care and on which we will feature various select businesses from now until the Friendly Neighbourhood Youth Road Hockey Challenge  10th Anniversary, moving to 130 Davis Dr!  

Opening Face-Off Party Fri March 14 & Tourney and Activity Events Sat March 15.
So stay tuned to +TPE for info on the event and the plaza deals!

Hey! It's not too late do do some last minute shopping!
TP Out!

Newmarket Banquet Hall Stellar choice for Weddings or Live Entertainment

Stellar Hall & Event Centre, located upstairs at 1220 Stellar Drive in Newmarket, Ontario, Canada, is the perfect spot if whether you are looking for a gorgeous yet affordable, optional full service, banquet hall or a venue for your live entertainment! Don't get me wrong, should you wish French Service catered in or out they can handle that too - with 20 years food service and catering experience backing them - but if you're looking to hold your wedding reception or dance, or special event and want to be remembered for all the right reasons - like a friendly, courteous, staff, and ambiance to take it home, this is the place.

Create your own atmosphere for as low a cost as $200 per evening for the hall rental - within your budget - so if you don't want table cloths or service staff  you don't have to have them...or pay for them!

No Bridezillas! Stellar Hall Banquet Staff know Brides Rule!

Stellar takes hospitality very seriously, meaning they want guests and clients to have as good as time as possible regardless of the budget. Everyone is equally welcome and staff will go out of their way to make it so."

+Stellar Hall includes a smaller room that can fit 75 in addition to the main hall which can seat 180 comfortably at atbles or combine the two to make for a wide open event. Commonly what event planners will do is serve a buffet and refreshments from one room and the seating and dance / entertainment in the other - keeping a guest flow in and out and encourage mingling by default. For your private function you can also opt to have staffing or to staff it yourself!

TPE has held or covered a number of live events at Stellar Hall as it was going through its birth, before it became a full out banquets and facility hall that it is now, and the acoustics I can attest are phenomenal, never mind the experienced staff and the new in-house audio / video system that allows for dynamic meetings, presentations, speaking engagements, or special events.

Set yourself up directly or have TP quickly determine if you need risers, extra p.a. system, lighting, staffing, etc to determine the fit and then meet you on location at no extra charge.

Like to know more about this hall or other booking and hotspots in the GTA? TPE

Watch For TPE's "At The Clubs' and "Tom's Top 10" Dining Guide Listings and upcoming 2014 Events.

Here's a Blast From the past from my " Local Flavour" Column of the early 1990's in CoverStory Newmarket!

Dance, Dining, Party Restaurant Hot Spots Guide to G.T.A., Newmarket, York Region,

TOM's TOP 10 is 20 years old!
Welcome to At the Clubs and Local Flavour all rolled into one! Traditionally January & February are the slowest times of the year in the hospitality industry and to that end communicating what restaurants and clubs have is important.

In addition to what I was able to note here on what clubs & restaurants / bars are doing in the new year, there is more info more posted in my Tom's Top 10 Newmarket Dining Entertainment Guide already - accessible to you via this link or simply by Google searching " Entertainment, Dining, Newmarket" or

Click To Toms Top 10 New Year's Eve Guide Newmarket area.

Watch for TPE's Tom's Top 10 Dining reviews.

Group Booking Choice! Stellar Hall and Events Centre - 1220 Stellar Dr, Newmarket - Book now for a sure to be sold out 2016 event! New Years Eve Bash $75 includes buffet dinner, hot hors doerves, and OPEN BAR!...Always a blast at Stellar Hall. Call TP@ 289-221-0928 for the best deal in town!

Sparro Ristorante now open
But I'm sure all of Tom's Top 10 have some kind of entertainment and dining specials set up for NY's and Valentines - check out the Tom's Top 10 Dining Entertainment Guide to access them all.

TOMBITS: I discovered another place in Newmarket recently called Fionn McCool's located at 17315 Leslie St Newmarket and features $5 Craft Beers Thurs with Live acoustical Entertainment as well as LIVE BANDS WEEKENDS, 905-898-7899. $20 New Year's Eve. Also..on Main St below Made In Mexico Tequila 185, Top 10 worthy as well, offering up some dining w dancing and occasional live entertainment .

Now Open!Watch for new Italian restaurant by Riverwalk Commons and Main St, Sparro Ristorante,

New Fish & Chips on Main St.
In my travels I'm often in a hurry and doing fast food and expect a value for my dollar when doing so and in response to that Tom's Top 10 categories will continue to pop up on your screens with our latest being Tom's Top 10 Pizza! Enjoy! Mange!

TP Out!

Ontario's Longest Running Annual Road hockey Tourney in Newmarket

                      Mulock Hawks 2006 Team
Sat March 15 2014 marks the date of the 10th anniversary of the Friendly Neighbourhood Youth Road hockey Challenge. NOTE: 2014 event at 395 Mulock Dr. Town Office parking lot. Registration 10AM. 289-221-0928. All Age groups welcome. Under 12 must be supervised.

The inclusive Newmarket activity event, first started to engage youth, and free to all participants, has become Ontario's longest running annual ball hockey tourney program - coming before any other similar ball hockey models such as the York Region Character group's after-school start up which uses a very similar program description, the St. Margaret's Hospital for Cancer tourney, Oakville's event, Niagara's, Waterloo's, Hamilton's or even the infamous Canada-wide PlayOn 4 on 4 tourney now billing itself as Canada's largest. Even Walter Gretzky's annual in Brampton - all came after ours.

In fact as I recall, while traveling Ontario to various poverty reduction forums and social networking groups on behalf of PACC which took over the event at the time when the community development project ended, explaining excitingly the virtues of road hockey and telling how it was not only a great cause, but a natural  event for marketing as well, being a Canadian "tradition". People asked a lot of questions and wanted know more always it seemed. " It teaches newcomers a Canadian tradition", I'd said. It kept a Canadian traditions alive we wrote. It made kids active and taught responsibility. and on. It was an easy sell. For others too it would seem.

2013 M.T. Award Winner Tyler Gray, 18
Our Challenge format was even borrowed for ice hockey's local Aurora - Newmarket Junior A Team games to incite rivalry and boost attendance shortly after I mentioned it to one of their sponsor's reps - at the time telling him I'd like to see a team from Aurora challenged to play in our tourney - after which exclaimed, "A Challenge, what a great idea!". Two months later they were billing their own as " The Yonge St Challenge" or " Battle of Yonge" or something to that effect as I recall seeing in the papers. We didn't get any sponsorship money, but they did give us some free tickets for the new challenge games to give to some youths. Ha.

Obviously they all saw the value too. No worries, we see it all as a compliment.

First recipient Mike Thornhill Award
When we first started holding the F.N. Youth Road hockey Challenge out of a small mixed-income neighbourhood, we took the model of when we were kids growing up, challenging another team to play, but what we found was times had changed and finding another neighbourhood street hockey team would not be so easy, so we settled on playing against a church youth team that first year.

Over the summer, one of the youths who'd begun coming out to community meetings and volunteering to assist in youth outreach was killed across town outside a local Tim Horton's donut shop. The younger youth in the affected community who had befriended this guy, Mike Thornhill on a path to changing his life, received no grief counseling and so, again, we of the community development committee had a dilemma, and created "the Mike Thornhill Memorial Award , a cash / scholarship donation (amount changes each year) presented to a team nominee participant chosen as showing outstanding community leadership.

News coverage begins
The next year there were 4 teams, then 8, then 12. As the event grew, we'd added a kit to assist youths in forming their own teams, and a "Council's Challenge", and it was moved near Newmarket's Main St. with hopes of actually getting on it in order to realize the events full potential, stay truer to the "roadhockey" theme, and where it would garner more coverage, sponsorship, and ultimately attendance. These were tough objectives to achieve on a limited budget and although the event managed some sponsorship funds, always in smallish amounts, allowing for only minimal marketing. Still, the little tourney that could chugged along.

Three or Four years ago, I thought we were on our way. We'd finally convinced the Main St. businesses that having an event mid-march, in winter, attracting families to Main, was good. As well we'd set up deals with the local vendors to ensure sales by including the restaurants as options ( via tickets) for the players meals which we reimbursed them after the event. I also managed to get a page 3 Toronto Sun article written by a prominent columnist, Joe Warmington, bragging about how great a town we were for embracing it on our Main St., whilst Toronto tried to ban it.

That year we had a tough time getting excess volunteers, and when the booth tables were not delivered - as can happen when relying on volunteers - we scrambled for an alternate location to post info to, a theme which seemed to follow us the whole day. A Murphy's law year. It was fun though, and becoming what we wanted with live entertainers on the streets and inside cafes - to again assist business - and the atmosphere was great, with one of the sponsors Newmarket Mitsubishi's cars strategically placed to separate play areas. We just needed more of a budget to let more people know!

Electric sponsor in 2013
Sponsorship on a higher $ level was tough for some reason, although we had good mid-level support. For a few years I approached the Tim Horton's outside of which Newmarket's community member had died who we give an award out in homnour of, leaving a package of sponsor info for them to participate with Mike Thornhill Award, or offer out the free hot chocolate we give out but no one ever replied, and another I'd approached ,Canadian Tire, instead had started a "Start Up" type program of their own to help kids play sports.

What we needed was someone big to grab on to us - instead of the new trend of corporations trying to create their own in-house "programs" and charities.

Something for all ages
The following year we fully expected to be back on Main St. but were pushed back to the parking lot again when we received no replies to our request for repeating. Rumour had it some merchants were against events on the street, which is understandable i suppose, so off we went even though we had scads of support to remain. At any rate, it was definitely tough to get jacked up for a parking lot again after experiencing it on Main St. but we plodded on, having been sold on the new Riverwalk Commons which was to replace our former location in the parking lot. At the time of its development, we were led to believe we could ultimately play right there around the community centre, but the town's parks & rec depart wouldn't allow it for "safety" reasons and so the event remained mostly in the back parking lot.

In 2013 not one politician showed up for the event even though all locals were invited to or got back to me, including the Mayor for the past couple of years - and if not for Newmarket Councilor Joe Sponga, who took from his own budget to help pay for temporary fencing we were told we apparently needed for "safety" for the first time in 9 years at an extra cost of $700, we wouldn't have even held it!

It felt like almost nobody but the kids wanted it.

So with 2014 on the horizon and the event mired in a back parking lot again, estranged from Riverwalk Commons but with all the costs, I wondered about the feasibility of putting it on for 2014. It was tough to get sponsors excited about a back parking lot, even if it was near a community hall and outdoor stage and it's a lot of work - especially to do it semi-right - and more than volunteers alone are needed in order to organize, coordinate, and market the event properly. Then I got a call from Councillor Joe Sponga with a game saving proposal.

"What do you think about moving to the Newmarket Plaza' he'd said,

Bradford Rampage won in 2013
"Hear me out", continued he, sensing the meaning of my silence and going on to explain that there may be business development funds available for businesses development, and with construction,  Shop Davis Dr. stores have been severely affected, and therefore need something there to attract and promote business, like the road hockey event. Further, he'd already had interest from All Pro Source For Sports' store owner,  Gerry Ertl, who also has been affected by all the construction, having had to move from a visible long time location to a ' back door' location, at the back of the Newmarket Plaza And He's going to work on bringing the Stanley Cup to the event!

So we three met to get the car rolling! Gerry, below, had to move his store due to construction.


Car!!Viva Transit was also onboard Joe'd said, and could offer prime ad spot locations perhaps, and maybe dish out the free hot chocolate. The more we talked the better it sounded even though we were back in a parking lot, and as we walked the area inspecting it for feasibility, I began to get excited again..starting to visualize where things could be, and how we could include the businesses in promotions, and expand the format to include younger kids!

Former location spot for All Pro
And heck, maybe we'll even resurrect the Councilor's Challenge in some form and expand the Opening Face-Off Party to include more public attendance. Looks like The Yappers will perform and we can perhaps have sidewalk musicians performing, as well and some fun, interactive activities and I'm sure Jazzled will want to get involved!

Anyone know where we can get a "slapshot speed detector" with netting for an activity booth?

The Newmarket Plaza has been an area staple for a long time, having been the area's biggest for many years prior to the opening of the Upper Canada Mall, and it maintains a cozy small town feel to it as you stroll it's outdoor walkways, the piped out music adding to the experience. As well I have some personal attachments there, with my mom having run a store some years ago, Oscar & Felix Cookies along with my brother inlaw, and as well one of the events first sponsors, Newmarket Young Drivers of Canada, is also located in the plaza. In fact Joe Sponga, myself and others formed a non-profit group there, where we would meet often ( I chaired for 4 years) while creating and running Operation Sparrow, a forum for kids without means to play organized activities free alongside their peers.

Yes Sir, Ma'am! I needed a boost like that to get motivated and I look forward to the 2014 event at 130 Davis Drive Newmarket Plaza, and to continue to make a difference in young kids' lives, at least for one more year....

UPDATE!!!!unfortunately the Newmarket Plaza's Management nixed the idea last minute, even though the merchants were all for it. Shame. 

Location will be Sat Mar 15 2014 at The Town office  - 
395 Mulock Dr Newmarket

ALSO Watch for the Opening Face Off Party also, Fri Mar 14  at Big Daddy's 446 Davis Drive featuring live entertainment (19+)!

If you'd like to be part of the organizing committee, or ref, or form a team or sponsor / donate, let us know!
Join the friends of road hockey on  on Facebook
Game on!

TP out