Preparing For A COVID-19 Collingwood Ski Season

With an unprecedented year coming to a close and some cold and unpredictable months ahead, more people are thinking about how to get their daily recreation and leisure in during the winter. Skiing, the perfect combination of exercise and recreation, has long been a winter pastime for many Canadians throughout the country (primarily on the West Coast, in Quebec and Ontario.) 

Collingwood, one of Ontario’s most coveted ski destinations and the home of some established mountain resorts and private clubs, is witnessing a changing tide that could change not just the face of the mountains, but skiing accessibility in general. As more mountains prepare for a busy winter and try to navigate COVID-19 protocols without going under, skiers try to comprehend how they should approach the snowy season. 

If you are a skier and wondering what you can do to stay safe while also skiing regularly, you will need some advice. Whether you plan on moving to the area or are a long time visitor, these tips will help you feel more confident about the months ahead. 

Contact Hills Individually

A big mistake you might make this ski season is assuming the rules are the same at each ski hill. While past winters were as easy as driving up to a resort, unloading your gear, and hitting the lift, things are different now, much different. As most hills will be swamped trying to invoke a new system for booking and renting, you need to ensure you have the correct details before jumping in the car. 

If you are already living in the Blue Mountains area, currently looking for homes, or coming in from the city, knowing how each hill is approaching the season will help you prepare. You can find out what their scheduling system is like, what their COVID protocols are, and other information that will better inform your excursion. 

Avoid Renting

For tourists and people looking to try skiing for the first time, renting equipment is useful, especially if you realize you never want to do it again. However, if you tend to ski every year, even if only once or twice, but have never bought yourself gear, this is the year you should. Renting requirements could make your ski excursion more complicated, increasing wait times or costing you more money than usual. 

If you invest in some good skis or borrow from a friend, you will be better prepared for the Collingwood ski season. As you might also have to ski somewhere further from home or at a hill you’ve never visited, having your own equipment will ensure you actually ski and aren’t just waiting for your friends and family to finish.

Stay Updated

If there was ever a time to listen to the news, it’s now. With COVID-19 protocols in constant flux and more news regarding the months ahead being released every second, you should be staying up to date. Keeping informed about the issues and the state of various winter activities like skiing in the Collingwood area will ensure you don’t miss any critical information. 

Preparation will be necessary if you want to ski this winter in the Collingwood area. If you contact the various hills and find out their protocols, avoid renting and stay informed, you will plan your trip more effectively. While the upcoming months may be different than others, if there’s anything Canadians handle best, it’s the unpredictability of winter.

 

 

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Home Maintenance Tasks to Complete Before Winter

Before the winter weather in the Collingwood area is here to stay, now is the time to prepare your property. Many home maintenance tasks will keep your house in tip-top condition and can prevent major repairs and issues from occurring during this cold season. Some of these projects will take a little time and money, but they will help you feel peace of mind during the roughest winter storms and the freezing temperatures. 

Service Your Furnace

Your furnace is one of your most essential home appliances during the winter. You must take good care of it to ensure it works well all season long. While you should replace the filter often on this appliance, this isn’t enough. At least once a year, hire a professional to maintain and service your heating system. He or she will make sure the furnace is in excellent condition and will check for any potential issues. 

Maintaining your furnace now will prevent it from breaking down, causing you to potentially be without heat for some time. 

Clean Your Chimney

When was the last time your chimney was professionally cleaned? Debris and sticky deposits called creosote can stick to your chimney’s walls. These substances are highly flammable and can increase your risk of a house fire. If you plan to use your fireplace even once this winter, call a professional chimney sweep today to schedule your next cleaning. 

Clean Out Your Gutters

Before too much snow covers the ground, spend an afternoon cleaning out your gutters. Your home’s gutters can accumulate a lot of debris, twigs, leaves, and more during the year. If these items are not removed from the gutters, they can freeze and cause drainage issues. You increase the risk of water damage to your home’s foundation, roof, and other areas of your property. 

Improve All Seals On Doors and Windows

One home improvement task that will get your house ready for the winter weather is to improve all of the seals around your doors and windows. If there are cracks or holes in your seals, the hot air inside your house will escape. This will decrease your home’s energy efficiency and increase your monthly heating bill. 

As you fix the seals around your doors and windows, check both your interior and exterior seals. You may want to replace all old and worn-out weather-stripping on exterior doors as well. 

Get Snow Removal Items Ready to Go

Do you have your snow shovels ready? Do you have a full bag of salt to spread on icy sidewalks and pathways? You will not want to wait until the first big snowfall to get these items ready to go. Make these items easy to access and if your shovels are broken or you need more supplies, go to your local Collingwood store today to make the purchase. 

When you are prepared for the winter weather, you will have less stress each time a major storm or freezing temperatures occur in the Collingwood area. Add the above tasks to your to-do list this week and prepare your house now for this wonderful, but cold time of year.

Holidays Decor Ideas on a Budget

The holidays are around the corner and that means it’s time to start decorating and preparing your Collingwood home for your upcoming celebrations. Luckily, you can have a festive, gorgeous house that is perfect for holiday parties without spending a fortune. Here are just a few holiday decor ideas for your Collingwood house this year. 

Focus on the Main Areas of Your Home

You don’t have to decorate every inch of your Collingwood house to add some holiday spirit. Instead, focus on just a few certain areas of your home such as the mantle and entryway. You may even add a festive tablecloth and centrepiece to your dining room table. Remember that when it comes to holiday decor, less is more and will prevent your home from appearing messy and cluttered. 

Get Crafty

DIY decor is an excellent way to save money and still decorate for the holidays. For example, grab a can of spray paint to transform old ornaments or Christmas decor. Grab a fun pair of Christmas socks at the local store and turn them into a pair of Christmas gnomes. You may even purchase tulle and use old ornaments to create a large and colourful wreath.

Buy Secondhand

Consider purchasing your decor secondhand at a thrift store or online yard sale to save yourself some money. As holiday decorations are often only used for a few weeks each year, you can find these items in excellent condition and at a great price. 

You may also find items that are old and outdated but with a little creativity, you can transform them into statement pieces inside your home. 

Incorporate Lights

Lights are a great way to enhance any type of holiday decor. Plus, holiday lights, such as mini lights, are inexpensive and you can find them at most stores. 

String some mini lights across your ceiling or around your mantle. You may also wrap the lights in a garage or a wreath to make these decorations even more special. 

Use What You Already Have

You may be surprised at the items you currently have around your house that could be incorporated into your holiday decor. For example, if you have a small wooden box, place a candle inside it and then fill the box with Christmas tree ornaments. This can become a great table centrepiece. Place candlesticks that you’ve been saving for a special occasion on your mantle with some greenery wrapped around them. These are simple ideas but can become gorgeous decorations. 

As you decorate your home for the holidays, you don’t have to drain your bank account. Have fun and unleash your creativity and you’ll love the results.

Stay Warm and Keep Your Energy Bill Low. Here’s How

Now that winter is making an appearance in Collingwood, you may notice your monthly energy bill start to climb. Heating your home can cost you a large sum of money if you are not careful. Fortunately, there are many small things you can do to keep your bill low and your home warm. 

Here are four ideas to help you stay warm and save money this winter. 

Use Your Wood-Burning Stove

If your home features a wood-burning stove, take advantage of it. On those cold winter days, burn a fire. While the stove may not be enough to heat your entire house, it will prevent your furnace from working too hard and consuming excess energy. Just make sure that before you use your fireplace, you have it inspected and cleaned by a professional. 

Install a Programmable Thermostat

Decreasing your home’s temperature by just a few degrees can make a difference in your energy bill. By installing a programmable thermostat, you can automatically adjust the temperature in your home, preventing your heating system from working overtime while nobody is home or in the middle of the night.

There are many types of programmable thermostats available and some offer more features than others. Choose a product that has the capabilities you desire. Plus, many of these products are easy to install and do not require professional assistance.

Service Your Furnace

When was the last time your furnace was serviced? Do you frequently change all filters? When your furnace receives the proper maintenance and service it needs, it does not have to work as hard to heat your home, saving you money. You also reduce the risk of the device breaking down or having issues in the middle of the winter.

If you have not serviced your furnace or changed the filters for some time, now is the perfect time to schedule an appointment and have this work completed in your home. 

Bundle Up

If possible, bundle up while you’re at home. Always wear socks on your feet and snuggle up in a blanket when sitting on the couch. By bundling up, you can keep the temperature in your home much lower than usual without feeling uncomfortable. However, if you have young children or elderly individuals living in your home, this may not be the best solution. 

Improve the Energy Efficiency in Your Home

Some of the heat in your home may be escaping and you do not realize it. Spend an afternoon and improve the energy efficiency in your home. For example, repair the seals around the windows and update the weatherstripping on your doors. If you have old, aluminum windows, you may consider replacing these items with more energy-efficient models. If you have questions about where particular improvements could be made, consider scheduling an energy audit.

Best Snowshoe Trails Near Collingwood

Winter is on its way and that means it’s time to pull out your snowshoes and explore the nearby winter wonderland. Collingwood is near several trails that are perfect for snowshoers with all levels of experience and who desire varying distances.

Here are a few of the best snowshoe trails the Collingwood area has to offer.

Metcalfe Rock Climbing Area 

If you are looking to get outside as a family or you want a simple, easy trail for you to explore, the Metcalfe Rock Climbing Area should be at the top of your list. There is much to explore in this area including popular caves and cool rock crevices. You may even consider a guided tour to help you truly experience this area. Plus, trail access is near the parking lot, making the entire experience more simple and fun. 

The Bruce Trail

The Bruce Trail is one of the more popular trails in the area. During the summer months, this trail is busy with runners, walkers, and cyclists. In the winter, this is the perfect place to snowshoe or cross-country ski. This trail is unique as it travels from the Niagara region to Tobermory.

To help you follow the Bruce Trail while it is covered in snow, follow the white and blue blazes painted on nearby trees and fence posts.

The Georgian Trail

If you want to begin your adventure in Collingwood, you must check out the Georgian Trail. This trail follows the former Northern Railway route and is 34 kilometres long. The entire length of the trail takes you from Collingwood to Meaford so you’ll want to choose your route carefully. Plus, as you travel the trail, make sure to schedule some time to enjoy the gorgeous scenery in the area.

Loree Forest Loop

If you are looking for an easy snowshoeing adventure, the 7.1-kilometre Loree Forest Loop is excellent. The Loree Forest Loop is part of the Bruce Trail and is fairly flat aside from one or two small hills. This trail offers gorgeous scenery of the Georgian Bay that will leave you breathless. Make sure to follow the blue and white blazes to help you stay on the trail in the winter months. 

Before you head out on your snowshoeing adventure in Collingwood, prepare yourself. During the winter months, the weather can be unpredictable, and a fun and easy snowshoeing adventure can quickly turn into a scary and dangerous situation if you do not have proper supplies with you.

Awesome Flooring Options for Your Collingwood House

As the weather is starting to turn cold, you may be turning your attention to home improvement projects located inside of your home. One major project that can improve the look and feel of your house and give your property a major boost in value is to update the flooring in your home. 

However, updating your home’s flooring should not be a random decision. There are many flooring options to consider and you want to choose the best option for your particular lifestyle, budget, and more. 

Features to Look for in New Flooring

As you choose new flooring for your home, there are many features to consider as you make your choice. The best type of flooring will last for years to come, is easy to maintain, durable, and much more. Here are a few features to look for in this important product. 

Durability. This is particularly important in high-trafficked areas of the home and if you have indoor pets and children. 

Care and maintenance. You do not want to spend hours cleaning and caring for your flooring each week. Make sure the flooring you desire is simple to clean and maintenance is minimal. 

Ability to handle moisture. Some types of flooring, such as carpet, do not work well in high-moisture areas. If you are installing new flooring in bathrooms or kitchen areas, make sure the flooring handles moisture with ease. 

It fits within your budget. While you certainly don’t want to settle for a low-quality product to save some money, you must choose a material that fits within your budget and that will not cost you a fortune to install. 

Types of Flooring to Consider

While there are many types of flooring options for your Collingwood house, here are a few popular options in this area. 

Hardwood Flooring

Hardwood flooring can be installed anywhere throughout the home including the kitchen, entryway, living areas, and bedrooms. Hardwood provides a timeless design that complements all types of styles, trends, decor, and more. Additionally, hardwood flooring comes in a variety of wood types and colours so you can find a product that is unique and perfect for your home. 

Be aware that if you choose true hardwood, it can be a pricey addition to your house. You will also need to refinish the wood flooring after some time to help it maintain its gorgeous, rich appearance

Laminate Flooring

Laminate flooring is tough and durable and is ideal if you have children or pets at home. A major benefit of this material is it can look like other types of flooring such as stone or hardwood, but without the high price tags. Laminate flooring is also simple to install and keeping it clean is fast and simple. 

Carpet

Carpet is ideal for those areas where you want maximum comfort. Carpet is perfect for bedrooms, family rooms, and living rooms. There are all types of carpet options and you can choose the specific colours, cut, yarn type, etc., that you desire. 

Carpet does require more care than other flooring options and you will need to vacuum the flooring often as well as deep clean it. Carpet also does not handle spills and stains well so you must be mindful of where you choose to install it. 

Stone Tile

Stone tile creates a rich, luxurious, and gorgeous look to any area of your home. This type of material is perfect for kitchens, entryways, and bathrooms where it can encounter a lot of moisture. Stone tile is also easy to wipe clean if spills, mud, or other substances are on it. However, you will want to hire a professional often or take time yourself to clean the grout between the tiles. 

Choosing the flooring for your Collingwood home is a major decision. Take the time to evaluate all of your options to help you choose a product that you will love.

Ways to Meet Your Collingwood Neighbours

No matter the location of your home in Collingwood, you can make friends with your neighbours. When you are friendly and know one another, it becomes easy to watch out for each other’s property, address concerns, reduce contention in the area, serve one another, and much more. 

While you don’t have to invite your neighbours over for dinner once a week, there are still many ways that you can meet your neighbours and get to know them. Here are several ideas. 

Spend Time Outside

Don’t hide inside your Collingwood home. Rather, spend some time outside. This could be completing basic landscaping tasks, enhancing your home’s curb appeal, or simply sitting on your porch and reading a blanket. When you spend time outdoors, it gives your neighbours a chance to say hi, to make small talk with one another, and to check in. 

Be Friendly

Don’t expect your neighbours to throw you a large “welcome to the neighbourhood” party when you first move into your home. You must take the initiative to get to know your neighbours. Spend an evening dropping off a small treat at their doorstep or if you see your neighbours outdoors, walk over and introduce yourself. This doesn’t have to be a long conversation but just a quick introduction and discussing a few friendly topics can make a difference. 

Attend Neighbourhood Events

If your neighbourhood has a homeowner’s association, make your attendance at the meetings a priority. If there is a summer neighbourhood barbecue party, stop by and say hello and don’t forget to pass out candy at the block party trunk-or-treat. These are all great ways to get to know your neighbours and become involved in the community as well. 

Offer Service

Service is one of the best ways to get to know one another and it helps you feel great about yourself. In a community, there are a plethora of ways you can serve throughout the entire year. For example, during the fall months, spend an afternoon raking up leaves for a few elderly neighbours. In the winter, help other families on your street shovel the snow on their driveways and sidewalks. Look for opportunities to serve in your Collingwood neighborhood and when you see them, grab onto them. 

Organize Playdates

If you have young children at home and your neighbours do as well, consider organizing and hosting playdates. This is a great way for your children to make friends and get to know others in the community. Plus, you can invite the parents of the children over and spend some time talking and getting to know one another and the families without any extra activities, worry, or stress. 

There are many ways that you can step outside of your home and get to know the people who live around you. What has been the most effective way you’ve gotten to know your neighbours?

Awesome Collingwood Halloween Activities

The year 2020 has been difficult in many ways but it is not going to spoil the Halloween celebrations for many witches and warlocks throughout Collingwood. Here are several spooky and not-so-frightening Collingwood Halloween activities for individuals of all ages that you may want to add to your calendar this year. 

Black Harvest Festival

The Black Harvest Festival is a favourite activity in Collingwood. This annual Halloween festival will take place on Saturday, October 31 in downtown Collingwood. There will be a variety of Halloween-themed activities, perfect for individuals of all ages, particularly younger ghosts and ghouls. For all brave guests, make time for a ride on the haunted bus at the festival as well. 

If bringing younger children to the festival, many downtown businesses are opening for trick-or-treating. Orange “witch” signs will be placed in all participating businesses’ windows. 

Morrison Pumpkin Farm

Pumpkin carving is a popular Halloween tradition and if you are looking for the perfect pumpkin to decorate, you must visit the Morrison Pumpkin Farm. This pumpkin farm is located at 4449 County Road in Collingwood and is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday through Saturday. 

While at the farm, you can find the perfect pumpkin for every member of your family. Plus, you will want to pick up many decor items such as decorative gourds, corn stalks, and bales of straw to decorate both the interior and exterior of your home. 

Rounds Ranch

If you are willing to go for a short drive, head to Rounds Ranch in Elmvale. Rounds Ranch has everything your family needs to celebrate the fall season and get into the Halloween spirit. 

Each weekend until Halloween Night, you can visit the ranch to pick your own pumpkin. While at the pumpkin patch, you’ll want to participate in all of the fun fall activities including pumpkin hockey, bowling, pie-eating contests, and much more. 

Every Saturday evening from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m., you can explore the flashlight corn maze. You can walk through the Cornfusion Cornfield Maze in the dark as a family or a group of friends using only your flashlight to guide you. While at the ranch, you can also choose a pumpkin from the pumpkin patch, indulge in some delicious hot food, and sit around the campfire. 

If you have little ones and don’t want to face the busy weekend crowds, every Wednesday to Friday until October 30 you can bring homeschooled children and preschoolers to the ranch for some hands-on activities.

What activities around Collingwood around your favourite this time of year? Did yours make our list?

Improve the Smell of Your Collingwood House. Here’s How

Does your home have a musty smell to it? Do your Collingwood neighbours wrinkle their noses each time they walk in your front door? There are many causes of poor odours lingering in your home. Thankfully, there are several things you can do about it. 

No matter if you’ve been living in the home for years or you’ve recently purchased it, here are a few awesome tips for removing those lingering, poor odours throughout a home. 

Wash the Walls 

If you have a lingering smell of smoke from cigarettes or tobacco, it can be a challenge to get it out. One of the first places to start is the walls. You will want to scrub every inch of the walls all around your home. You can try a soap and water mixture or a vinegar solution to reduce the smell. There are also strong cleaning solutions that can do the trick and are specific to removing these types of odours. 

Make Baking Soda Your Best Friend

For poor odours, baking soda can become one of your greatest cleaning companions. You can sprinkle baking soda on your carpet and let it sit for a few minutes before vacuuming it up. This will help to capture the poor smells in your flooring. If there is a specific room in your house with a poor smell, you can leave an open container of baking soda on the counter or table. The baking soda will help to capture the smell in that room and minimize it. 

You can also use baking soda to clean out your home’s appliances and remove all funky and musty smells that emerge from these devices. For example, when cleaning your dishwasher, sprinkle baking soda all around the inside of the device. Fill a dishwasher-safe cup with vinegar and place it on an empty rack. Then, run the dishwasher cycle to remove all the scum and water deposits that build up inside this powerful machine. 

Use Candles, Potpourri, Air Fresheners, Etc.

If you simply want to improve the smell around your Collingwood home for a specific length of time or you want to enjoy a certain smell each time you walk in the door, there are many items that can help. For example, light your favorite candle and place it on the counter or make your favorite potpourri on the stovetop and let the smell waft throughout your home. You can even place air fresheners in every room throughout your home as well. 

Take Drastic Measures

In some cases, you may have to take more drastic measures to remove poor odours throughout your house. For example, if you just can’t get out that musty or smoke smell, you may need to remove items where the smell is the strongest. For example, it may be time to replace the carpet throughout your home, update your refrigerator, and throw out your old garbage can. You may need to hire a professional painter to paint the walls throughout your home with odour-blocking paint as well. 

Sometimes, a few home upgrades can solve the problem, increase your home value, and improve the look and feel of the space.

Awesome Date Night Ideas Near Collingwood

You don’t have to travel far to have a romantic evening with your long-time partner or to have an incredible blind date. The Collingwood area is home to countless activities that create memorable, exciting, and fun date nights. Here are a few ideas to help you brainstorm.

Axed Throwing

Axe throwing is becoming a popular activity for date nights, birthday parties, large group gatherings, and more. While the Axed Throwing indoor location is closed due to COVID-19, they are offering an outdoor trailer that creates an incredible outdoor adventure for you to enjoy. Visit the company’s website to learn the latest updates on Axed Throwing and subscribe to its newsletter to make sure you never miss an update about this establishment. 

Wine Tasting at the Georgian Hills Vineyard

The Georgian Hills Vineyards is a terrific place to spend an evening as a couple or on a large group date. There are a variety of experiences offered at this location including intimate patio tasting or large group tastings. If you are considering a group tasting, up to 10 individuals can meet and enjoy a sparkling cocktail, as well as artisanal cheese paired with glasses of various wines. 

No matter if you are considering a large group tasting or want something a little more intimate, reservations are required. The Georgian Hills Vineyards is located at 496350 Grey Road 2 in the Blue Mountains. 

Free-Spirit Tours

If you want to get outdoors and do something a little more adventurous, give Free-Spirit Tours a call. You can choose from a variety of outdoor activities such as paddling, kayaking, canoeing, stand-up paddleboards, and more. Lessons are also available for stand-up paddleboarding if you want to spend the afternoon mastering this water sport. In the winter, snow sport activities are available including snowshoeing, hiking, and snow caving. 

If you want to book an adventure, you will need to make a reservation in advance and make sure to read through the recommended guidelines and rules on the company website. 

Blue Mountain Village

If you are looking for a date night that is relaxing and calm, consider exploring the Blue Mountain Village. This area is filled with delicious cuisine, fun shops, and unique activities. You can easily spend the entire day at the Blue Mountain Village hiking, shopping, or even exploring the Apple Pie Trail. While there are several places to eat in the Blue Mountain Village, if there is a certain establishment that you’ve been craving, make sure to call ahead in case reservations are required.