Sensors Quality Management Inc. (SQM) is the parent company of the Evaluate It travel discount program. Evaluate It is program designed for travelers like yourself, offering up to 50% off hotels, restaurants, travel, resorts and attractions by completing an evaluation / inspection based on your experience. This program includes hundreds of businesses across Canada, the United States, and around the world. By providing valuable feedback to these companies, they are able to improve their quality and service, based on what their customers have to say!
The program is available to anyone who is interested in taking the time to provide details about their experience, and in return, you save a lot of money!
SQM is a Toronto based supplier of Quality / Service Assurance and Market Research services. Although the main focus of the business is Mystery Shopping Programs, SQM offers its world-wide clientele a variety of other services, including: field merchandising, online comment cards, internal audit software, and integrated customer feedback programs.
August 7th 2009
Garbage bins are available again, park dump sites are cleared and opened for public use, and garbage people are back on their daily routines. The garbage strike is over and the sweet smells of summer are seeping in just in time for August. This must have been the second worst year for Toronto's tourism industry, since SARS hit in 2003. The recession and the cool weather were already enough to deter tourists away. Add on a garbage strike? That definitely did the job. And now that it's over, Tourism Toronto is trying to get a last push out of August. Similar to the promotional package that was offered in 2003, post-SARS, Tourism Toronto and Mirvish Productions are launching a package that includes a night's stay at a hotel, dinner, and tickets to a show. I'm not ... read more
August 4th 2009
This past weekend was a long weekend for most people in Canada because of Civic Monday.Typically, people either take advantage of the three day weekend and travel north to the cottage or south to the USA. My family and I went south to do some shopping in Niagara Falls and Buffalo. We went to the Fashion Outlets of Niagara Falls, which I think is technically in Tonawanda and not Niagara Falls, but they're pretty close by. We also then went to the Walden Galleria which is in Buffalo. There were some good sales and deals at the outlet, but nothing really remarkable. Except the sales at the Coach outlet were just ridiculous. Everything was on sale and then there was a further 50% off the sale price and I had a 20% off coupon which ... read more
July 30th 2009
I wonder if anyone ever does this. Blog about a trip before going on the trip. I figured I would do that for a few reasons. Firstly because I'm far too excited for this trip and I think writing about it will help me contain the excitement. Secondly, there's a lot going through my mind right now...things to do, places to see, things to remember to bring and do before going, etc. So I think blogging about it will serve as good reminder and I can refer back to it later. How did this trip to Montreal come about? That is a story within itself. Earlier on in the week, I was sitting at my desk at work and thinking about how great it would be to go somewhere with friends, in August. And then I ... read more
July 29th 2009
NEUSTADT, ONTARIO This summer has been dedicated to staycations. Not only because of the recession (which the government and economists can't seem to decide whether or not we're still in one or recovering from it), but also because it's a fresh approach to summer vacations. Forget about planes and boats, take a train, a bus, or just your car to somewhere nearby. By doing so, I've discovered some of the jewels of Ontario. Neustadt, Ontario is a small, picturesque village about 3 hours northwest of Toronto. I believe it's one of the prettiest villages in Ontario. The village was founded by a German settler, which explains the origins of the name. Streets are lined with little shops and specialty stores, selling antiques, jewelry, art, collectibles, etc. It was interesting looking through the stores, but I only ... read more
July 27th 2009
When it comes to the best places for shopping, China is always on the list. There are huge markets where you can buy basically anything. From this year’s latest styles in fashion to traditional Chinese costumes. From underwear and lingerie for women to boxers and..manthongs for men. From amazingly similar Fradas (fake Pradas that look real) to real Pradas, along with all the other world renowned fashion houses. From real antiques to fake antiques; cheap souvenirs to super expensive ones. And you can’t forget Hong Kong; it’s the fashion centre of Asia. With all the brand names, fake brand names, and virtually anything you could possibly think of, China (and Hong Kong) is one of the best places for shopping. Especially if you like to bargain and haggle. Many people think that bargaining or haggling is ... read more
July 24th 2009
Rewind to about two years ago. When I told a friend that I would be going to Scandinavia, she had quite the reaction. She said, "Scandinavia? I'm so jealous! If there's anywhere in the world that's better than Canada, then it's gotta be in Scandinavia." And I thought to myself, wow, she is so correct. For many years now, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, and Finland have been known for having a really high standard of living and quality of life. All four countries were within the top 20 countries for high human development according to UN statistics. Norway was ranked second in the world, after Iceland and Canada came in third. My trip to Norway did of course consist of sightseeing and visiting historical attractions like the Viking Ship Museum and the ski jump. I really enjoyed ... read more
July 23rd 2009
Can you tell I'm frustrated? Well if you can't, I assure you, I am frustrated. This summer stinks. On every single level possible. First there was swine flue. Then city workers go on strike. Garbage is piling up everywhere. It smells. News says that because of the strike, rates of STIs (sexually transmitted infections) will increase...how? I really do not want to know. Ferries to the Toronto Islands are not operating, which means I can't go to Centre Island even though that's been a summer tradition for the past few years. The beaches are probably dirty with random trash everywhere. And now...VIA Rail might go on strike? To top it all off, it's been raining all morning and the rain is expected to last through the weekend. We're also averaging low 20 degrees rather than high ... read more
July 21st 2009
Back in January, there was news about Nanjing, China opening a mall dedicated to knock-off stores and restaurants. This mall features Pizza Huh, Bucksstar, and McDnoald's. I assure you, these are not typos. A few years ago, I was visiting Shanghai and I came across Bucksstar. I almost walked in it and purchased a drink, thinking that it was Starbucks. I realized before I actually bought a drink. To this day, I still have not tried any of these knock-off restaurant chains. I wonder if they serve the same things, but at a cheaper price? I actually found it rather amusing at first. That was my first time to Shanghai and I have never seen anything like it. I mean "Fradas" (fake Pradas) and other luxury leather good knock-offs are understandable, but fake fast food ... read more
July 20th 2009
With the economy still struggling, many people have been opting for staycations because they are more affordable and sometimes, it's nice to appreciate what's at home or in nearby areas. But the idea of a staycation has been taken to a whole new level in Toronto; mostly because nearby areas are surrounded by garbage sites. The worker strike is still ongoing and city parks are temporarily closed and used for dumpsites instead. Households that are affected by the strike are fed up. It smells, garbage is everywhere, and they are sick of having to go drop off the garbage themselves. Daycares and summer camps are closed; parents have to seek alternative care for their kids. City parks, playgrounds and pools are all closed as well; children have nowhere to play this summer. Torontonians are clearly frustrated ... read more
July 17th 2009
Earlier this week, Caribana festivities took off at the Yonge-Dundas Square downtown. There must have been hundreds or maybe even thousands of people packed into the area on a Tuesday lunch break. The atmosphere was lively with music flowing through the crowd of people who were dancing and having a great time. Dancers in bright, colourful costumes danced on stage, swinging their hips like no tomorrow. I was actually eating lunch on the patio at Jack Astor's at Yonge and Dundas. This Jack Astor's is several floors up, so the outdoor patio overlooks Yonge-Dundas square. It was a a really good view of the party that was going on down below. But of course, no one ever just looks at a party. I wrapped up my meal and went down to join the festivities. At first, ... read more