How to Keep Your Home Cool During the Summer (Without A/C)

Now that summer is officially in full swing, it can be a challenge to endure those hot, sweltering days, particularly if you do not have air conditioning in your Collingwood home. Luckily, there are several ways to keep your family cool and to make summer a little more enjoyable. 

Be Smart With Your Window Treatments

Did you know that up to 30% of unwanted heat in your home comes from your windows? To keep this heat away, be smart with your window treatments and keep them closed during the day. This is particularly important if the sun shines directly on certain sides of your home. 

To block out unwanted heat even more, consider blackout curtains. These products are designed to resist sunlight and will keep the rooms throughout your home cooler. 

Circulate Your Ceiling Fans Counter-Clockwise

The direction of your ceiling fan can affect the temperature in your room. When you run the fan counter-clockwise, the airflow in the room will create a breeze-like effect, which will help to cool down the room and keep yourself and all of your guests more comfortable. 

Sleep With the Windows Open

During the night, the temperatures outside drop to brisk and refreshing levels. Open up the windows throughout your home and let the hot air escape and the cool air enter inside. To help maintain this temperature, you should close your windows and curtains first thing in the morning.

To make the cool, outdoor air enter your home at an even faster rate, place a box fan in your window throughout the night and let it suck in the cool air. This will not only keep you cool but it will help drown out the outdoor noises as well. 

Don’t Use the Oven

Your oven lets out a substantial amount of heat. If left on for long periods of time such as to bake a casserole or several batches of cookies, this appliance can quickly heat up your kitchen. During the summer months, avoid using the oven as much as possible. As you prepare dinner, consider using appliances such as a slow cooker or an outdoor grill. Making a lot of sandwiches, wraps, and other no-bake dishes will also help you keep the house cool and is a great way to use lots of fresh, seasonal produce. 

Keep Doors Closed

If there are rooms throughout your Collingwood home that you do not use, make sure you keep the doors to these spaces closed. When open, cool air will travel to these areas and it will take longer to cool down more frequented spaces in your home.

Where to Find Swim Lessons in Collingwood

Summer is here and that means spending as much time as possible outdoors and in a swimming pool. If you have young children, you may be nervous about spending too much time around water and are looking for ways to ease that anxiety. 

There are several places around Collingwood that offer swimming lessons for children of all ages. Here are several of them.

Centennial Aquatic Centre

The Centennial Aquatic Centre is a popular location in Collingwood for swim lessons. Lessons are available for toddlers who are afraid to swim to tweens and teens who want to perfect their strokes. There are also first aid and swim patrol classes available for individuals who want to take their swimming skills to the next level. 

If you have several family members who want to become more confident in the water, family swim lessons are available at this location. These lessons are ideal for parents who don’t want to juggle three or four class times.

At the time of this writing, the Centennial Aquatic Centre is temporarily closed due to COVID-19. 

YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka

 

The YMCA is an excellent place to learn how to swim. If you are currently a member of the YMCA, swim lessons are included in your membership. The class options range from parent and toddler lessons to advanced swim lessons for older children and teenagers. If you want more personalized attention during each lesson, you can schedule private swim lessons as well. 

Clearview Centennial Pool

 

If you are willing to make a short drive, you can head to Clearview’s Centennial Pool for swim lessons. This pool is located at 255 Oak Street in Stayner and offers public swim lessons for all ages. Similar to other pools, this location offers beginning swim courses as well as lifeguard certification classes. Class times and prices for each session will vary. 

The Clearview Centennial Pool is temporarily closed due to COVID-19. Visit the pool’s website to learn about these closures and re-opening dates. 

PLUNGE! Aquatic Centre

If you are simply looking for a place to hang out and practice your swimming skills, the PLUNGE! Aquatic Centre is a must. While this location does not offer swimming lessons, its large pools are excellent for children to master their swimming skills. This attraction features both indoor and outdoor swimming pools as well as an indoor water playground. Keep in mind that several guidelines are in place to ensure social distancing is practiced and to keep all visitors safe from COVID-19.

Road Trip Ideas for When You Want to Travel 200km or Less from Collingwood

While there are dozens of activities you can do in Collingwood, there are also many locations to explore and sights to see that are within a short drive. No matter if you are looking for a fun day trip for your entire family or a quick weekend getaway with your friends, there are many options close to home. 

Here are a few road trip ideas for when you want to travel 200 km or less from Collingwood. 

Please be aware that some areas may have strict restrictions and activity limitations due to COVID-19. 

Wasaga Beach

Approximately 17 km from Collingwood

Wasaga Beach is a beautiful, little town located in Ontario’s Georgian Bay. This is the perfect location if you want to spend the day on the beach and near some water. There is much you can do in this area such as walking and cycling or just relaxing on the shore. Be prepared to see some gorgeous wildlife in this area as well. 

The Bruce Trail

Click here for a map of the trail.

If you are looking to get outdoors and spend some time in nature, you will not want to miss the Bruce Trail. The Bruce Trail is Canada’s oldest and longest marked footpath. It is approximately 900 km and travels from Niagara to Tobermory and follows the Niagara escarpment. There are several sections of the trail you can explore that will take you all over the area and some sections of the trail are excellent for quick day hikes or for a long backpacking excursion. 

No matter how long you choose to travel on The Bruce Trail, be a smart hiker. Follow all trails and make sure you bring the right equipment and ample supplies to help you have an enjoyable and safe excursion. 

Irish Mountain Lookout

Approximately 44 km from Collingwood

If you want the perfect day drive where you can see gorgeous landscaping, beautiful apple orchards, and more, the Irish Mountain Lookout should be at the top of your list. This lookout is located just outside of Meaford and is the perfect spot for a picnic. Once here, you will have breathtaking views of the Georgian Bay that you will not want to miss.

Tobermory

Approximately 170 km from Collingwood

Tobermory is a town located on the Bruce Peninsula. It is a gorgeous area surrounded by a bright blue lake. It is part of the Niagara escapement and you are likely to see a variety of wildlife when around the town. Tobermory is home to Flowerpot Island and Bruce Peninsula National Park. While in this area, there are a plethora of activities you can enjoy including kayaking, swimming, fishing, shopping, scuba diving, and much more.

Awesome Trails in Collingwood for Biking

No matter if you want a calm ride on a paved road or you want an adrenaline rush down the side of a mountain, there are some incredible biking trails in Collingwood to meet this need. The list of trails in the area is long and extensive and you can find trails for every skill level and on all types of road conditions. 

Here are just a few of the trails that you will want to check out this summer. 

Collingwood Trails Network – Level of Difficulty: Easy

If you want to see many of the most popular attractions in Collingwood, the Collingwood Trails is the place you want to be. This trail starts at Sunset Point Park and takes you around many parks, the arboretum, historic downtown, and more. You can travel on more than 60-kilometres of the trail. This is an easy trail as most of the path is paved. Just make sure to watch out for runners, walkers, and skateboarders and others also enjoying the path. 

Iron Bridge Route – Level of Difficulty: Moderate

 

The Iron Bridge Route is a 35-kilometre journey across the Nottawasaga River, through the Cedar First Valley, and on the Iron Bridge. This path starts at the Wasaga Beach Rec Plex at 1724 Morsley Street and is relatively flat aside from some small hills you must climb. Be aware that some areas of this trail can be busy, particularly as you travel along the Wasaga Beach shoreline. 

Apple Pie Trail – Level of Difficulty: Moderate

 

Starting at the Blue Mountain Village, you can enjoy the beautiful landscapes and may even see some wildlife as you venture on this trail. To begin this 40-kilometre trail, you will take a ride on the Blue Mountain Gondola and then travel along trails and country roads. Be prepared as the first several kilometres of this trail are fairly challenging. You will want a bike that can handle both mountain trails and country roads well. 

3-Stages – Level of Difficulty: Advanced

 

If you are looking for a challenging mountain bike ride, this trail may become one of your favourites. It is a 22.5-kilometre, single-track trail with rough terrain. You will cross roots and rocks and some areas of the trail are tight and feature many sharp turns. Before you head onto this trail, be aware that e-bikes are not allowed and there is no drinking water in the area. 

To find additional trails in the Collingwood area visit Cycle Simcoe, SingleTracks.com, and Trailforks.

Reasons to Hire a Professional Landscaper

Could your Collingwood home’s landscaping use a little TLC? The exterior of your home is the first impression that guests will receive of your property. If you take little care of your grass, garden beds, plants, and other areas, you will weaken this impression. 

If you don’t have time, you don’t know what to do, or you simply don’t like to get your hands dirty, you may consider hiring a professional landscaper in Collingwood. Here are a few reasons why this is a wise decision. 

They Have Unique and Creative Ideas

One benefit of hiring a professional to improve your landscaping is they have creative and fun ideas to transform the curb appeal around your home. They can more easily envision where to place flower beds and how to build gathering areas. They are familiar with some of the best and most up-to-date landscaping trends that they can incorporate into your yard, creating a gorgeous outdoor oasis. 

They Have Much Knowledge

The best professional landscapers are familiar with various plants, trees, flowers, and more. They know what type of plants will grow best in the area, can help you choose flowers and plants that best match the level of care you are willing to dedicate to your yard, and know which plants will give you the colour, texture, and contrast that you crave. 

As the pros consider various plants for your home’s exterior, they will also think about each season of the year and how the plants change and affect the look of your yard. These extra details will ensure you have excellent curb appeal all year long. 

Gorgeous Landscaping Can Increase Your Home’s Value

When your home’s exterior is in excellent condition and appears well maintained, it can increase your property value. You don’t need to have an extravagant yard either to enjoy an increase in value. Rather, just simple tasks such as maintaining full flower beds, keeping your trees trimmed, and watering and mowing your grass are all going to give your home a gorgeous appearance. 

Saves You Time and Energy

Transforming your outdoor space can be a project that lasts all summer long. There are many factors to consider and smaller tasks you will need to complete to reach your end goal. When you hire professional landscaping companies, you will have experts who will complete all of this work for you. This means you can enjoy your summer and have a gorgeous outdoor space in little time. 

In Collingwood, there are many professional landscapers throughout the area. Some of these experts can help from the landscaping design all the way to the final product. Do your research to find the company that can best help you have a yard that you love. 

Best Places to Purchase Sweets in Collingwood

Do you have a sweet tooth? Are you craving a delicious cookie, a sweet piece of candy, a scoop of ice cream? No matter what delectable dessert you desire, you can find it in Collingwood. This Ontario city is home to many businesses that offer delicious desserts, candy, treats, ice cream, and much more. 

Here are just a few of the best places to purchase sweets in Collingwood.

 

Heavenly Cafe

 

Heavenly Cafe is a local favourite. This establishment is a cafe, bistro, and dessert bar that will have your mouth watering the minute you walk in. Heavenly Cafe offers a wide selection of sweets including tarts, pies, flans, French macarons, cookies, and more. If you want something delicious, sweet, and filling for breakfast, this cafe offers several options as well including crepes, scones, and much more. 

Heavenly Cafe is located at 10 Keith Ave, Unit 301 in Collingwood. Contact the cafe at 705-444-2005. 

 

Amy’s Espresso Bar and Bakery

 

If you are searching for dessert or a sweet treat that is unlike anywhere else in town, visit Amy’s Espresso Bar and Bakery. Here you can find a wide assortment of bread including bagels, pretzels, biscuits, and more. There are also many pastries and custom cakes and all items are made from scratch in the bakery. All recipes are nut-free and gluten-free and dairy-free items are available, but you must call ahead. 

Amy’s Espresso Bar and Bakery is located at 209814 Highway 26. Call ahead at 705-444-3232. 

 

Collingwood Ice Cream Co. 

 

When the weather becomes too hot and you need to cool off, a delicious ice cream cone will hit the spot. The Collingwood Ice Cream Co. is a bit unique as it is a truck that you can visit to get your favourite treat. The truck resides at Millennium Park but you may see it spotted at various other locations in town. You will want to follow the company’s social media channels to discover the exact location of the truck that day. 

 

The Candy Factory

 

No matter if you live in Collingwood or you are traveling through, The Candy Factory is a must-stop shop. Here you will find a wide selection of candies and chocolates. You will be amazed at the wide selection of sweets available and you will likely have a difficult time choosing your favourite. One unique feature of The Candy Factory is its viewing room. Here, you can watch candy and chocolate being made with old-fashioned, traditional methods.

The Candy Factory is located at 645 Hurontario Street in Collingwood. You can contact the shop at 705-445-2400. 

Home Improvement Tasks for Spring

Before summer makes its grand entrance, several tasks around your property should be a priority. These are tasks that will keep your Collingwood house in excellent condition and help you better prepare for the upcoming change in weather. While there are many tasks you may need to complete to improve your property, there are a few common projects that you do not want to overlook. 

Here are several home improvement tasks you should add to your to-do list. 

Service Your Air Conditioner

If you have an air conditioning unit, hire professionals right away to maintain this device. When you service your unit, you remove debris from inside the unit, replace the air filters, clean the coils, and more. A professional is best for this task as they can examine your unit and look for potential problems that could cause issues later in the summer when your machine is working at its hardest. Plus, proper maintenance will keep your A/C unit working efficiently and can increase its lifespan. 

Clean Your Gutters

Have you cleaned your gutters this spring? Throughout the winter months, your gutters can take quite a beating. They can accumulate a lot of debris such as garbage, twigs, dead leaves, etc. Animals, such as birds and squirrels, may also be causing havoc in these areas. If your gutters are not properly cleaned out, it can affect the water drainage around your home. 

Spray for Bugs

As the weather begins to warm up, you will notice a significant increase in pests around your property. You want to put a stop to this as soon as possible to prevent a full infestation. You may consider purchasing insect repellant from your local home improvement store and spray it yourself around your property. However, it may be best to hire a professional as they have the most effective chemicals and equipment to ensure the job is done well. 

Pressure Wash Your Home’s Exterior

When was the last time you deep cleaned the exterior of your home? Regardless of whether the exterior of your house is siding, bricks, or other materials, you want to keep it clean. One way to do this is to pressure wash the exterior of your home. Using a pressure washing machine, you can remove spider webs, animal droppings, dirt, and other substances that have accumulated on the outside of your property. This is a great way to give your home a refreshed appearance.

When your pressure washing machine is ready to go, consider spraying your sidewalks, driveway, and other areas that can accumulate a lot of dirt as well. 

Paint

Take a walk around both the interior and exterior of your house. Spot areas that could use a fresh coat of paint. This project will breathe new life into these areas and is an inexpensive update to make. Look at areas such as the trim, railings, shutters, window boxes, etc. Also, don’t forget to evaluate areas such as wooden decks or fences as they may need some fresh paint or stain to help them look impressive all summer long.

Tips to Becoming an Awesome Neighbour

No matter if you live in a detached home, an apartment, or even a townhome, you are somebody’s neighbour. While you do not need to become best friends with your neighbours, you still need to be friendly and neighbourly. Here are a few tips to help you become the best neighbour in Collingwood. 

Maintain Your Property

If you want to become a great neighbour, you must make the curb appeal of your property a priority. When you provide little maintenance and care to your yard, it can not only affect the appearance of your own home, but it can impact the houses around you. It can also affect the property value of your neighbours and can make their homes less appealing to potential buyers. Plus, nobody wants to look at ugly, junk-filled yards each time they step out of their front door. Maintaining your property is a great way to help your entire community. 

You don’t have to spend a lot of time and money maintaining your property. A few simple tasks you can complete include: 

  • Water your grass frequently
  • Mow and trim your grass
  • Keep flower beds clear of large weeds and plant fresh flowers if desired
  • Trim all trees
  • Paint when needed
  • Keep the front porch area tidy
  • Do not leave belongings scattered around your yard

Set a Curfew

Do not be the loud neighbours that everyone in the community dislikes. While you can still go outdoors and enjoy yourself, be mindful of your noise levels. It is also ideal if you set your own curfew so you aren’t keeping your neighbours up until the late-night hours. This is a great way to be courteous and to stay on all of your neighbours’ good side. 

Be Friendly

You don’t have to invite all of your neighbours over for a summer barbecue but it is important that you are friendly. When you see a neighbour walking down the street, wave to him or her. Don’t be afraid to go up to your neighbours and say hello and to ask how they are doing. Additionally, by being friendly, you can get to know those who live in your community and can meet some incredible individuals. 

Watch Your Pets

If you have pets, watch where they may go when outdoors. Your neighbours do not want to pick up after your pet or have your pet trample through their flowers and garden areas. Train your pets so they stay only in your yard and provide certain measures to keep them secure. This will not only be beneficial for your pets, but your neighbours will greatly appreciate it as well. 

What additional tips do you have to be a great neighbour in Collingwood?

Best Parks in Collingwood

If you want to get out of the house and enjoy some beautiful scenery, warm sunshine, and excellent amenities, the parks in Collingwood have what you need. The city of Collingwood has several gorgeous parks throughout its city limits that provide plenty of green space, excellent walking trails, fun playgrounds, shelters, and more. This summer, as you are looking to get outside, consider one of the following parks in town. 

Please note: Due to COVID-19, certain amenities in the city parks may be closed such as public restrooms, playgrounds, etc. For more information on potential closures, contact the city of Collingwood.

Collingwood Arboretum 

If you are looking for a park to explore and that is filled with gorgeous plants and flowers, the Collingwood Arboretum should be at the top of that list. This park features both paved and dirt trails that are perfect for hiking, walking, and biking. The extensive plant life throughout the park makes for stunning photos and impressive backdrops for special occasions such as weddings or parties. 

The Collingwood Arboretum is located on Hickory Street, right off of First Street.

Central Park

Central Park is one of the more popular parks in the city. This park includes many amenities for individuals of all ages. For example, this 17-acre park features three baseball diamonds, 300 feet of trails, and an outdoor ice rink. It is the ideal place for when you need to get outdoors and move your body.

Central Park is located on Hume Street, between Minnesota Street and Patterson Street. 

Harbourlands Park

If you want to spend time along the water, you will enjoy Harbourlands Park. This park was built in 2000 and features many landscaped paths and gardens for residents to enjoy. It does not offer numerous amenities like other parks such as large ball diamonds, but it is perfect if you are looking for a space that is quiet and gorgeous.

Harbourlands Park is located on Huron Street and Heritage Drive. 

Sunset Point Park

If you are looking for a waterfront park with many amenities, Sunset Point Park is where you need to be. This 30-acre park is located right on the water and features large, open green spaces. Sunset Point Park has many amenities including volleyball courts and a large playground for children. This park also features many trails, making it easy to explore and take in multiple waterfront views. 

Sunset Point Park is located on St. Lawrence Street. 

Heritage Park

Heritage Park is another community park that has numerous amenities. This park features baseball diamonds, soccer fields, and a popular skateboard and BMX park. If you want to spend the day at this park, pack a lunch and sit at a picnic table or enjoy your meal on one of the many bleachers. Collingwood’s new Centennial Aquatic Centre is also located in this area. 

Heritage Park is located at High Street between 2nd and 3rd Streets.

Tips to Spruce Up Your Collingwood Home’s Landscaping

Warm weather is finally here and that means it is time to get outdoors and start sprucing up your Collingwood home’s landscaping. Not only does a beautiful and well-maintained yard boost your Collingwood home’s curb appeal, but it will increase its property value as well. 

Here are just a few simple ways that you can spruce up your Collingwood home’s landscaping. 

Focus on the Essentials

If you hate working out in the yard, that’s okay. However, this doesn’t mean you can ignore many outdoor tasks. You should still complete projects such as watering the grass, mowing, weeding, etc. These are tasks that will help keep your yard well maintained and healthy. Additionally, depending on the size of your yard, these tasks shouldn’t take too much time to complete. It is best to schedule a certain time each week, such as a Saturday morning or a Wednesday evening, that you set aside to focus on these essential landscaping tasks. 

Aerate and Reseed

Thick, luscious grass often doesn’t grow on its own. You may need to complete a few extra steps to breathe new life into your lawn and to help it grow well. Aerating and reseeding are two steps you can complete during the spring months to give your grass an extra boost. Aerating is when you make small holes throughout your grass. This allows for additional moisture and oxygen to reach your grass’s roots. You can aerate by using a pitchfork or an aerating machine. 

When reseeding, you simply spread grass seed throughout your current grass. This is particularly important in those areas where the grass is thin. You do not have to do too much extra work when reseeding. Cut your grass so it is very short, lay down the seeds, and water. The seed does not have to be buried in the dirt for it to grow. Rather, it simply needs to come in contact with the soil for it to germinate. 

Declutter

Do you have snow shovels sitting on the side of your house? What about bicycles, gardening tools, and other items lying around? If you want your home’s landscaping to look good, you must declutter. You must remove all eyesores that take away from the beauty of your yard. Spend some time organizing these items or donating them if you do not use them anymore. You may consider installing a small shed on the side of your Collingwood home to store many of these outdoor items and to offer an extra level of protection for them as well. 

Turn On Your Sprinkler System

If your Collingwood house has a sprinkler system, have you turned yours on yet? You can turn on your sprinkler system when freezing nights are sparse. Your sprinklers are an excellent way to keep your grass green and to prevent manually watering all of your plants and flowers every day. If you have any problems with your sprinkler system, call a Collingwood company that works with sprinkler installation or repair to prevent potential damage to your pipes and sprinkler heads.