How to Create a Family-Friendly Backyard

In response to the COVID-19 virus, many safety measures have forced kids to spend much of their time at home away from friends. With most extracurricular activities cancelled or postponed, kids need to have outdoor spaces where they can burn off pent-up energy.

Fortunately, public parks are open, and Collingwood does have an abundance of outdoor spaces. But, to follow the restrictions of stay-at-home orders, many kids will need a family-friendly outdoor space right in their own yards. So, to ensure they won’t get bored and dive back into their video games, create a family-friendly outdoor space with these simple tips.

Hang a Swing

There’s nothing like a good old-fashioned swing for adding some simple charm to your backyard. Kids can spend hours on swings pretending to fly, and once they are old enough, they can even entertain themselves. In addition, swings are ideal for smaller yards that may not have space for a large play structure.

Set Up a Cozy Fire Pit

Fire pits are ideal backyard spots for spending some quality time with your family. Once you have a fire permit, cook up some s’mores or heat some weiners on roasting sticks. To make your space even more fun, pull out some soft outdoor cushions and blankets and get cozy on a cool spring evening.

Take advantage of the nice weather to stargaze with your kids and teach them some constellations. You’ll be amazed at how fulfilling and educational this is for everyone involved. You never know. You may even inspire a future astrophysicist!

Build a Dream Play Structure

A basic swing set is great, especially for a single child. But if you have more than one, a single swing could cause squabbles. If you have space, add some extra fun features like raised walkways and climbing nets. These additional activities will stimulate both physical and imaginative play and keep your kids busy for hours.

Plant an Edible Garden

Growing an edible garden with your kids’ participation is an excellent way to nurture a green thumb at an early age. Prepare the soil and plant seeds with your kids to encourage them to stay involved. Make a ritual of checking in on the plants for signs of growth.

When your fruit and vegetables are ready to pick, plan a menu with your kids that incorporate them into your dishes. If kids are allowed to pick some edibles and eat them on the spot, they will quickly gain a deeper understanding and appreciation for the sources of their food.


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Visit the Best Beaches in the Collingwood Area

It’s spring, which means that summer is just around the corner. Early blossoms, green buds, and chirping birds all promise warmer days and nights are coming. To help you make the most of our short summer season, let’s explore the best sandy and rocky beaches in and around Collingwood. Hey, one of these beaches was voted as the best beach for swimming in all of Canada!

Sandy Beaches

There is plenty of gorgeous Georgian Bay sand and water for everyone, with three sandy public beaches and one private one for Blue Mountain Resort members.

Wasaga Beach

Located along the southern end of Georgian Bay in Nottawasaga Bay, Wasaga Beach is the longest freshwater beach in the world. With stunning daytime views of the rugged Niagara Escarpment, the sunsets are also breathtaking. Wasaga Beach’s warm, shallow water makes it a safe place for swimmers of all ages and abilities. With 14 km of sandy shore, this is a popular beach with plenty of room to remain safe.

Undoubtedly, when you visit, you aren’t going to want to leave. To explore some real estate options—to keep your options open—there are knowledgeable real estate agents in the area who would love to chat.

Allenwood Beach

Allenwood Beach is a sandy beach at the east end of Wasaga Beach. It has shallow waters, making it a safe and fun beach for the whole family. There are parking and picnic areas and stunning picture-perfect sunsets. For some exciting entertainment, watch the kiteboarders and windsurfers play in the wind and surf.

young girl in the surf at sunset

Blue Mountain Beach

Blue Mountain Beach is a lovely private beach for members of Blue Mountain Resort. As a member, you can rent canoes, kayaks, and paddleboards for a day trip on gorgeous Georgian Bay. With warm, shallow waters, come dip your toes or relax in the surf.

Rocky Beaches

The city of Collingwood has some gorgeous rocky shored beaches that also offer room for land-based fun in the sun. Check out these iconic beaches within a short walk, cycle, or drive.

Northwinds Beach

Northwinds Beach is both a rocky and a sandy beach, a short trip from Collingwood. Located just off Highway 26, this beach is very popular with kiteboarders, windsurfers, kayakers, and stand-up paddleboarders. In addition, this beach is a popular spot for beach-loving visitors and locals.

rocky shoreline and blue water and sky

Sunset Point

Sunset Point is a waterfront location in the town of Collingwood. With a beautiful rocky shoreline and waterfront trails, this area also offers broad green spaces with playgrounds, volleyball courts, and plenty of healthy fresh air. In addition, there are several flat areas for you and your family to sunbathe and swim in the fresh Georgian Bay waters along the beach.

When you visit one or all of these beaches, you will no doubt fall madly in love with Collingwood and the surrounding areas. However, if you’re interested in learning more about real estate in the area, contact a reputable real estate agent who will be happy to help.

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Help Your Home Shine for the Spring Real Estate Market

Spring is a great time to get your home ready to sell. Even if you’re not ready to list it, making some improvements now will allow you to enjoy them until you do. Creating the best first impression possible will help home hunters fall in love with your home as soon as they see it. First impressions are crucial for convincing potential buyers that your home has been waiting for them.

Spend some time this spring tidying up both the outside and inside and reap the benefits when it’s time to list your home for sale. Here are some top tips that will help your home shine in time for the spring real estate market.

Freshen Up Your Outdoor Spaces

Getting your home ready to sell can be a great motivator to clean up your outdoor spaces from the long winter behind us — as if you need an excuse to get outside these days! Once you’ve cleared away last year’s ground cover of dead leaves and plant stalks, take a good look at your outdoor space’s design.

Ask yourself these questions to see what work needs to be done. Are there spaces in your flower beds that need new life? Should you add a birdfeeder for a splash of colour and non-screen-based entertainment? You might consider adding some exterior solar-powered lights for a welcoming look and planting some flowering annuals to add instant colour to the front walkway.

Clear Out Your Indoor Clutter

Decluttering your home can be a big, but rewarding project that is an essential step to preparing your home to sell. You may end up hosting a yard sale of your purged belongings or donating items in good shape to a local shelter. Besides opening up your home to more light and less dust, decluttering now will make your eventual move that much easier.

Get That Deep Clean Shine

Once you’ve decluttered, your home’s pre-listing deep clean will be a cinch. If you’re not up to the task, consider hiring a professional local cleaning service to save you time and effort. The tell-tale shine of a deep clean is an extremely effective way to make buyers desire your home.

Paint With Neutral Colours

Once your decluttering and cleaning are complete, it’s likely your walls and trim will need refreshing with some neutral-coloured paint. This task will make your home appear bigger and brighter and more of a blank canvas for other’s art and other decorative items. 

As you get close to your listing date, continue to carry out these tasks, so there’s no last-minute scramble. Once you decide to list your home, get in touch with a reputable real estate agent for some additional advice on making a first impression that lasts.

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3 of the Best Ways To Enjoy Collingwood This Spring

While Collingwood has a great reputation as a top destination for those looking to enjoy quality winter activities such as skiing and snowboarding, it’s also a beautiful place to be outdoors in the spring. With an abundance of breathtaking scenery in and around Collingwood, there are several ways to enjoy the outdoors in Ontario’s spring weather.

For example, you can take a different scenic walk every day for weeks without visiting the same place twice. This includes walking through the lovely town to window-shop or visiting a local cafe to pick up some coffee and yummy sweet treats for a park picnic. You can even go foraging for some delicious and nutritious edible wild plants, like maple blossoms, dandelions, and mulberries.

Let’s explore three more fun activities you can enjoy in this lovely neck-of-the woods this spring.


While much of the rest of Ontario is locked down, golf courses have been allowed to remain open. Fortunately, Collingwood and the surrounding areas have some world-class golf courses in gorgeous locations. Overlooking Georgian Bay, there’s the top-ranked and aptly-named Georgian Bay Club and, besides the mountain, the Blue Mountain Golf & Country Club. Additionally, visitors can choose between Osler, Monterra, and Cranberry Gold Resorts for some of Ontario’s top golf courses.

golf ball on golf course


One activity more and more people are enjoying is walking. With so many gyms and community centers closed, this healthy activity helps people expend pent-up energy and stay mentally and physically fit. Collingwood is home to over 60km of Georgian Bay hiking trails, including the Collingwood and Blue Mountain trails. Collingwood has even removed unused train tracks to create new hiking trails and welcomes walkers all year round.

hiking in the woods in the sun

Hit the Beach!

Although the spring may be a bit chilly for a dip, there are many other ways to enjoy a beach in and around the beautiful town of Collingwood. You could go for a walk along the rocky shoreline of Sunset Point, an iconic waterfront area in Collingwood. This beach offers lots of green space, playgrounds, and waterfront trails. Or, you could go for a paddle or try kiteboarding or windsurfing at Northwinds Beach, a very short cycle or drive from Collingwood.

If you’re interested in finding a home in this beautiful part of Ontario, there are online resources to help you save up for a Collingwood home. You could also contact a realtor familiar with the area — which also includes scenic Wasaga Beach — to learn more about what’s available for you.

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This Spring, Walk into Wellness

10,000 steps. 4 miles. An hour and a half a day. No matter the measure, we all know how good walking is for us. Or, do we? With the advent and subsequent seismic boom of the step counter, we’re all obsessed with walking and steps. Have we really taken the time to consider the why when it comes to walking? Walking is low impact, which means that long-term, walking won’t harm your joints like other aerobic activities. Walking can help reduce inflammation and joint pain. It also doesn’t call for equipment, save for a good pair of sneakers!


Walking is one of the most underrated physical activities. Hitting the elliptical or rowing machine will get you huffing and puffing pretty quickly, and the same could be said for walking. It’s all about the speed, and you should be able to talk at an optimal aerobic pace but not sing. 


Why Walking Is Good For Your Body

  • It helps increase bone density, which is essential because our bones become more brittle and susceptible to breaks as we age. Walking can also improve balance. 
  • Walking helps keep your cardiovascular and respiratory system healthy, which can also help reduce heart and lung disease risk.
  • Just approximately 30 minutes of walking a day can decrease body fat percentage, as well as increase muscle tone and overall endurance.
  • Walking helps to lower and stabilize your blood sugar in addition to boosting your immune function and even your energy levels too.


Ways to Kick Your Walk Up A Notch

  • Find an incline. Whether it’s walking up and down small hills in your neighborhood park or more aggressive inclines found in forest areas, inclines will make you feel the burn in no time.
  • Carry weights. Only one- or two-pound weights will escalate the intensity of your workout, even if you don’t feel it at first. Some people prefer other options like ankle weights or weights with straps to keep their hands free. 
  • Walk a dog. If you don’t have a dog, ask a friend or neighbor to borrow theirs. Fido will likely be pulling on the leash, and the added resistance will intensify your workout. 
  • Don’t skip the stairs. Try to find some staircases, inside or out, that you can scale a few times if you’re looking to get your heart rate up.
  • Walk for longer and walk faster. Any kind of activity that gets your body burning energy is a good thing, and a few thousand steps extra a day can mean the difference between sustaining weight and losing weight. 


Above the physical benefits of walking, it’s also beneficial to your overall wellness. As many of us are still working from home, it’s easy to forget how important, rather, imperative it is to get up and move around every few hours. Even if it’s for a short time, feeling the fresh air, hearing the birds chirping, and (hopefully) the sunshine on your face is restorative beyond measure and should be added to your daily routine. 


If you’re interested in finding a home closer to walking trails, check out some of the great features of living near Wasaga Beach here. If you’d like to be closer to nature and perhaps living in a smaller home, too, check out our article on finding the best property for your lifestyle


In-Season Salads That’ll Have You Seeing Stars 

“I can’t remember the last time I had a salad,” you say to yourself as you indulge in another chocolate-covered blueberry, which, by the way, does not count in terms of daily fruit and veg intake. It’s easy to fall into a slump, dietarily speaking, but now that spring has sprung, it’s time to reconsider salad. Salad is the ultimate chameleon, offering a rainbow of delicious flavors, but sometimes, it needs an added spark. Consider adding in these in-season ingredients that are both highly nutritional and delicious.

Before we get started, it’s important to address one of the biggest complaints about salad. Typically, it’s that it doesn’t keep you full for long. The secret is to add a protein including any of the following:

  • Eggs
  • Almonds
  • Cottage cheese
  • Chicken breast 
  • Tuna
  • Lean beef
  • Lentils
  • Quinoa
  • Fish
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Peanuts
  • Brussel sprouts


These options can be attuned to whatever dietary restrictions you have. If you find that even after adding some more protein to your salad, you still feel hungry, add a bed of whole-grain rice or root veggies to the bottom of your bowl. The rice/veg will soak up all the salad dressing and the gorgeous flavors of your in-season produce, making your salad even more enriched and satisfying. When it comes to a good salad, it’s helpful to think less about caloric intake and more about nourishment. Eating the rainbow is such a great way to get the nutrients your body needs to get you through the day.


Now onto the salad that’ll have you seeing stars…


There are two major reasons to eat in-season produce. The first is that they’ll taste better and are far more affordable too. The second is sustainability. Picking, packaging, and transporting produce to far-off lands leaves a huge carbon footprint. When the options are endless at home, it’s time for a stellar in-season salad. 

Fruits and Vegetables: In Season This April!

  • Rhubarb: jam-packed with antioxidants and roasted to perfection, this barb of goodness is as delicious in a salad as it is in a pie.
  • Beets: add some color to your palette with a beautiful purple beet. They pack a punch because they’re high in fiber and folates too. You can even use its juice in your vinaigrette.
  • Parsnips: supports immune function and high in fiber. Delicious sauteed or roasted, these give a salad a density and richness other veggies don’t have. 
  • Rutabaga: another stellar root veggie, and in addition to adding tons of fiber to your salad, it can also help you feel fuller, longer. 
  • Sprouts: mixing them with lettuce makes an amazing texture and a delicious bed for traditional salad, and they’re packed with folate, magnesium, phosphorus too! 


Salad is all about experimentation, and now that Spring is here, there are so many more types of fresh produce available. Challenge yourself to add one thing to the salad you’ve never had before! If you’re especially inspired by this week’s article and are thinking you’d like a bigger garden to kick your sustainability efforts up a notch, Collingwood has the gardens and homes you’re looking for. If you’d really like to get the ball rolling, check out our article on tips to spruce up your current home. 


Are You Interested in Meditation? This Spring, Take it Outside!

young woman meditating
Ahhhhh! Spring has finally sprung, and as we take our meals, fun, and even work outside, one cannot help but wonder, what about meditation? Typically, meditation is saved for a quiet and dark room where you can genuinely zero in on the present moment, but the benefits of bringing zen from the den to the great outdoors could kick your overall well-being up a notch.
The current global challenges and the extended bouts of isolation have been difficult for everyone to endure. Many people have been trying to find ways to gain some solace, and meditation is one of the most effective modes of achieving that.

What is Meditation?
That’s a pretty broad question because it can take so many shapes, but essentially it’s a way of giving your brain a break because, in meditation, you’re meant to clear your mind of all thoughts. Achieving this is easier said than done, and it definitely does take practice. Some yogis recommend that the best way to teach your brain how to “shut off” is to work towards quieting the mind for even five minutes a day.

Health Benefits of Meditation
Stress buster: when you’re stressed, your body creates cortisol, and in one study, scientists found that after an eight-week stint of daily meditation, participants’ Cortisol levels were sliced in half!
Kick anxiety to the curb: in a similar eight-week study, different participants with a variety of generalized anxiety disorders found that after committing to daily meditation, they also found themselves able to better cope with stress and other emotional triggers.
Win the pain game: for people who suffer from chronic pain, feelings of limitation and depression can be overwhelming and pretty prevalent. However, with the magical powers of meditation, participants noticed a marked improvement in their pain levels and an ability to manage pain flare-ups better.

older woman meditating
Time to Trek Into the Great Outdoors: Next Stop, Meditation Station
Many people the world over believe strongly in the spiritual powers of being amidst nature, and it doesn’t have to be spent meditating. It’s thought that being outside – and it doesn’t have to be an ancient forest. It can be your backyard or balcony, though being in real nature is ideal – it helps make your meditation skills more potent.
It’s easier to quiet the mind outside because zoning out from the world and turning inward is much easier with the sound of a trickling creek or birds chirping, not the bustle of the street with all its
There’s something about being outside with the great Mother Nature that helps you to put down your darn phone for once. Some people have found that meditating outside also allows them to connect with nature. A lack of connection with nature, which is fundamental to wellbeing, is actually an issue for individuals living in metropolises.
Do some double-time good for your body: as previously mentioned, the health benefits of meditation are a-plenty, but so is the effect of getting in 20 minutes of vitamin C, compliments of the sunshine.
In the market for a leafy backyard to really get your zen on, or maybe need the beach within reach? Check out our tips for finding the best home to suit your lifestyle.





This Summer and Spring Avoid Season Allergy Flare-Ups

Lady suffering from seasonal allergiesAllergic Rhinitis. Hay fever. Seasonal Allergies.

Different names for similar symptoms, including: 

  • Persistent sneezing. 
  • Relentlessly scratchy eyes. 
  • A dry, squeaky sore throat.  
  • Ferocious itchiness, all over. 

It’s enough to drive anyone insane. 

Sigh. Or, in this case, wheeze. 

No matter how exciting it is to consider that spring is just around the corner, pesky seasonal allergies always seem to put a dampener on the fun. If you suffer from seasonal allergies, you’re in good company, because so does nearly  25% of the Canadian population

Ways to reduce allergy Flare-ups this Spring and Summer

Help reduce the amount of seasonal allergy-related suffering this pollen-packed spring and summer by remembering to:

  1. Change clothing before you come into your home. That goes for shoes too! Clothing attracts pollen, and dragging it around the house on clothing only exacerbates allergies.
  2. Wash your hands when you come in from outside. What is a no-brainer task (for most of us) is a necessity for hay fever sufferers. Pollen can stick to your hands, and one absent-minded itch of the eye with a pollen-saturated hand can prompt some major suffering.
  3. Keep in mind there are two significant types of pollen trigger seasonal allergies: tree and grass pollen. Figuring out which triggers their allergies can help hay fever sufferers avoid the outdoors during pollination times. Early spring, in April and May, is when pollen counts from trees are the highest. June and July are when grass pollen takes over. 
  4. Check out these tips for keeping your house clean during showings; it applies to allergy sufferers too. As funny as comparing the two may be, eradicating pollen from your home is a lot like getting ready to have your home shown;  it boils down to diligence and a take-no-prisoners attitude.

This summer is uniquely challenging because we have to figure out how to sneeze into a mask, on top of battling hay fever. Just like sneezing before COVID, sneezing requires etiquette when possible.

sneezing in a mask etiquetteCOVID- Era Sneezing Etiquette

  • Stick with what works, which means many experts suggest it is still ok to sneeze into your elbow with a mask on. Just make sure your sneeze is as contained as possible and no moisture has gotten on your clothing. 
  • Try to keep social distancing intact to protect others around you. The idea is to keep others’ germs and particles away from you and keep your germs and particles away from others.
  • If the idea of sneezing while wearing a mask makes you feel like you’re“wearing your sneeze,” make sure you have backups. After a particularly juicy sneezing fit, find a place to switch your masks safely. 

Try not to feel too badly. It can be a harrowing experience to sneeze in public during a pandemic. Though we can’t see smiles with masks on, remember there are others around smiling at you, probably relating to the embarrassment you feel because they suffer from hay fever too.

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3 Outerwear Staples Necessary For A Collingwood Spring 

Warmer weather, rainy days, and muddy trails are just some of the things you will encounter during spring in Collingwood. As the beautiful landscape begins to awaken and plants start to bud, the weather becomes somewhat unpredictable, making it challenging to prepare for outdoor occasions. 

Having proper clothing to wear in the Collingwood and Blue Mountains area is necessary when planning outdoor excursions. Whether it is hiking along the Bruce Trail or scanning the springtime beaches for washed-ashore treasures, having the right gear will make you feel more comfortable. 

Check out some of the outerwear staples that you should keep in your front closet this spring. While the pandemic restrictions have eased up a bit, it is still essential that you gather with friends and family outdoors. Thankfully, you live in one of the best places in Ontario, where you can enjoy modern city amenities and outdoor wildlife. 

Without further ado, these are the outwear staples you need!

A Microdown Puffer

Having something lightweight and warm is critical during the spring. While the forecast may highlight warmer weather and sunshine, you may leave for a hike only to realize that you didn’t prepare for the cool breeze sweeping in. A micro-down puffer will be your best friend for this season. You can stuff this into your trail pack or even a small shoulder bag. You can even buy some with stuffing sacs, making for a compact and portable cold weather shield. While summer is just around the corner, you don’t want to be too underprepared and ruin your outdoor excursion. 

Merino Wool Base Layer

Layering is essential in the spring. Your temperature can quickly fluctuate, especially if you tend to work up a sweat with a bit of exercise and cool down quickly. Having a reliable and temperature-consistent base layer is the key to success. Merino wool is the best option because it is very thin and stays warm even if it becomes damp from sweat. It will not feel bulky underneath your other layers, and it will prevent you from getting a chill. If you like to wear lighter layers but still want to feel warm, merino wool should be at the forefront of your closet this season. 

Trail Runners

Things can get slippery in the spring. Snow will start to melt, and rain will pour, making grass and dirt trails mudslides. On top of this, the temperature can sometimes drop without ample notice, causing the wet ground to freeze, making for an even more precarious footing. Walk on a solid foundation with trail runners. These are lightweight and will have excellent grip so that you can zip through the trails without feeling like you are about to lose your footing and fall. It will also be better for your body as it keeps you from danger and ensures you are running in the correct posture.

Take the spring by the reins by preparing yourself with these three staple outerwear items. Having a lightweight puffer, a reliable base layer, and grippy trail runners will ensure you are ready to hit every trail in the Collingwood area with confidence. 

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Plan Early With These 3 Ontario Vacation Ideas

Spring, summer, fall? The seasons and days seem to keep blending into each other. It feels like there is so much to do and nowhere really to go. Thankfully, the cold weather keeping everyone indoors will soon subside, and you can relight your inner spark. How so? Well, you can start exploring the beautiful Ontario countryside.

Whether you have kids still in school or are living alone, taking a break from the regular swing of things helps provide perspective, an atmosphere for setting goals, and relaxation, which everyone needs. While it is only natural to want to go on a vacation somewhere tropical, it may not be so easy this summer. Plus, vacations in Ontario tend to be more budget-friendly. 

Outlined below are three Ontario-based vacation ideas that are ideal for families and individuals alike. They are an excellent opportunity to get out of your house and journey through the gorgeous place you call home. 

Rent A Yurt

Have you ever stayed in a yurt? Not many people have. These round enclosures have been around for centuries and are scattered throughout Ontario’s wild country. One of the best things is that some people have redesigned these yurts to feature several stories, electricity, plumbing, and hot tubs. Why not dash into the woods for a weekend of mediation, yoga, and self-discovery? With so many options to choose from and beautiful landscapes to explore, you could even go yurting each weekend. 

Go On A Canoe Trip

While sometimes a challenge, xanoe trips are relatively easy to plan and accessible for all campers, whether you’re an avid outdoors person or never once stepped into the bush. These are genuinely a chance to become one with nature and leave all technology behind you. Throughout the pandemic, you may have been glued to your TV or computer, maybe once a day stepping outside for fresh air, so disconnecting for even a few days will surely do you some good. 

Road Trip Across The Province 

Why settle for one place when there is so much to discover? If you live in the Collingwood or Blue Mountains area, you are in a great spot to take a road trip throughout the province. Maybe start by heading north towards Kenora, stopping at Sleeping Giant Provincial Park, and then maybe eventually heading southeast and taking a pit stop in the nation’s capital. Set aside a week or two this summer and let the open road take you away. Depending on the pandemic’s state at the time, you may be better off scheduling your rest stops ahead of time. In all cases, if you want to fly by the seat of your pants, bring a tent. 

While summer may be far away in some people’s eyes, just the idea of planning a vacation is enough to get your spirits up and the adrenaline running. From sticking it out for a weekend in a yurt to the thoroughly grounding experience of a canoe trip, Ontario vacations are your best option for the seasons ahead. 


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