Get Ready For Spring With Some Landscaping Ideas

Getting ready for spring is usually easier to talk about than doing it. While you can clean your house and get rid of old belongings, sometimes it helps to think about the exterior of your home.

Spring is a time when you can take control of your yard before things start to get out of hand. You can lay the foundation of a beautiful garden so that come summer, everything looks incredible.

Collingwood soil has long been coveted for its nutrient density and its ability to sustain all sorts of plant species. Despite this, many people don’t know how to get started on landscaping. If you want some tips for how to achieve a yard you’re proud of, there are three simple things to do that are not too cumbersome and don’t require you to hire a third-party contractor.

Get Rustic With Vintage Pieces

Adding rustic elements to your garden can create a whimsical feel. You may want to opt for a cast-iron weathervane or a driftwood fence. If you go to any antique store throughout the Callingwood area, you are bound to find a ton of different knickknacks and features that you can add to your garden.

Similarly, if you have things in your home that you’re thinking about selling, you could consider adding them to your garden. Of course, you don’t want to be putting rustic elements everywhere, but adding a few here and there is a great way to add personality to your home and make your house stand out in the neighborhood.

Use Lighting To Your Advantage

It’s common for someone to spend countless hours and a large amount of money on landscaping jobs only to forget to add lights. Lighting doesn’t need to be expensive, and it can transform your yard. When choosing lighting, you can opt for small solar-powered lights that line a cobblestone path, or you can put in spotlights that shine onto one specific part of your garden that you’re proud of.

Some people also put the spotlight shining on their home, which can create a luxurious effect. If you have a small backyard patio and garden lights, it’s a great way to brighten up darker areas at night and create an inviting atmosphere where you can relax and look up at the stars.

Add Year-Round Greenery

When landscaping, you shouldn’t just think about perennial plants and greenery but also evergreen trees. You want plants that will keep their color all year round so that your yard doesn’t look completely dead when winter comes. When looking for this type of greenery, trees like cedar, pine, and juniper will be your best bet.

You can also walk around your neighbourhood and look for yards with shrubs and trees that have maintained their color throughout winter. You can then purchase these same plants to plant in the spring.

While winter still has a bit more life in it left to give, it doesn’t mean you can’t start thinking about the spring. By getting your mind focused on your yard’s potential, you can keep the winter blues at bay and get excited about living in one of Ontario’s most remarkable areas.


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3 Ways To “Get Together” Apart This Holiday Season

The holidays are a time when you get to enjoy time with family and friends while getting a bit of a break before you dive into the new year. You often think about the year’s accomplishments and set goals for the future. However, this year is not like others. 

If you want to get together with your extended family and friends this holiday season, you will have to do it “apart.” Thankfully, the pandemic happened at a time in history when connecting with people worldwide and in your own town is easier than ever.

Outlined below are three ways that you can “get together” apart this holiday season. While the pandemic might limit how close you can get to each other, it doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy some good conversation and laughs from afar. 

Zoom Recipe Swap

While you can have a video conference with all your extended family to catch up and hear about each other’s lives, it can sometimes be a bit overwhelming with everyone trying to speak at once. Sometimes it helps to have a goal for the call rather than hope everyone is willing to chat into the computer screen. A great way to enhance these video calls is by exchanging recipes beforehand with your family members and planning to cook them on the same night. After you have eaten, or even while you are eating, you can do a conference call and talk about how the recipes went. This activity is a great way to share traditions and celebrate the holiday spirit without leaving your home. 

Neighbourhood Campfire

Many people throughout Ontario and the Collingwood area have close relationships with their neighbourhood. Many people have even bubbled up with their neighbours during the pandemic as they see them nearly every day. If you live in a neighbourhood with some of your closest friends and family members, you may be tempted to have an indoor get-together, but unfortunately, that can’t happen. Instead, bundle up and get together with our neighbourhood at an outdoor campfire. You can visit some of the Collingwood hotspots or meet in someone’s backyard. 

Decorating a wild tree can be a fun socially-distanced activity.

Wild Tree Decorating

The wonderful thing about living in the Collingwood area is that most neighborhoods are in proximity to densely wooded areas with wildlife and beautiful pine trees. Go to a local wooded area and spend some time decorating a wild pine tree in some of your favorite decorations. You can bring a portable speaker and a thermos of hot chocolate. Together you will be able to enjoy the holiday spirit while keeping your distance and staying outside.

Even though the holidays are looking a little different this year, it doesn’t mean you can’t still try and make it as festive as possible. By doing a video conference recipe exchange, a neighborhood fire, or decorating a wild pine tree, you can get a taste of a regular holiday season without putting yourself at risk.  


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How To Stay Social, Active, & Outdoors This Winter

With the days getting colder and with outdoor activities being more limited, people are wondering how to navigate the months ahead. While you will want to stay active and social, with indoor gatherings limited, you might have some trouble. During a year that has seen multiple hurdles, finding ways to interact from afar while outdoors will undoubtedly be more challenging this winter.

If you and your family or group of friends are trying to rethink the months ahead and find ways to stay safe and connected while simultaneously enjoying the fresh air, you might need some help. Thankfully, Collingwood is a perfect spot to make the most of the outdoors. 

Explore Collingwood Area Hikes

The Collingwood area is a natural wonderland and home to many popular destinations that attract Canadians from coast-to-coast. For those currently living in the Collingwood area or thinking about relocating here from the city, luckily, there are many hiking trails that you can still enjoy during the winter months. 

Many people often balk at the idea of hiking in the winter, claiming it will be too cold or snowy. If you prepare, though, you can make it just as fun, if not more so, than hiking in the summer. Prepare yourself some hot drinks, bundle up, and put on a good pair of waterproof shoes. Once you eliminate potential discomfort, you can head out and enjoy the Georgian Trail, Loree Forest Loop, The Beaver River Trail, or one of the many other scenic hiking spots. 

Lake Skating

While there are many outdoor rinks and community centers that offer places to skate throughout the winter, it does not compare to the wild feeling of skating across a glass lake with nothing but trees and snow surrounding you. Skating on lakes can be an excellent activity for the whole family, but you have to make sure it is cold enough before settling on a destination. 

There are various places to get ice thickness reports, which can let you know if it’s safe to skate. When it’s cold enough, you can skate on Georgina Bay, Lake Simcoe, or you can head to Eugenia Lake just a bit south of Collingwood. 

Campfire Cookouts

There’s something special about having a roaring fire amidst a snowy landscape. The smell of the fire, the cool air on your cheeks, and good company at your side can transport you to another time and place. There are many places to have a bonfire throughout Collingwood, whether it’s at your friend’s country house or a provincial park. 

Once you have a spot, call up some friends and have a socially-distanced cookout. You can wrap up some sweet potatoes in foil, roast sausages, or even throw some hamburgers on a grill. A cookout will be an excellent way to get a hefty dose of fresh air and social time. 

As you look ahead to the winter months, rather than get discouraged by the various pandemic-restrictions, try and look on the bright side. There are still great ways to get together with friends while also enjoying the fresh air. 

By checking out the Collingwood hiking trails, lake-skating, and having a campfire cookout, you can be sure your winter won’t feel too different from past years.  


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Collingwood in the New Year

As we enter into January, and the prime of the winter season, in many ways Collingwood is just starting to come alive.  The days may be short, and the darkness comes early, but there are lots of fun and exciting events to get you through the winter and into spring.  Not to mention, a great line-up of exciting things to come in the latter half of the year, and plenty of events to look forward to for kids and adults alike as we embrace a new year with new possibilities as a community.  Get out your calendar to mark down some dates and get ready to join in on the fun!

Celebrating Winter

As a town located at the foothills of the Blue Mountains, and spending much of the time in winter mode, there are still several months of snow and snow activities to look forward to as we kick off 2018.    The Skate Trail through Discovery Harbour will open on the weekends until (hopefully!) mid March, and this year, in addition to skating, will be offering a snowshoe trail and a snow tubing hill.  As has become an annual event, Locations North will host their annual Winter Blast fundraiser as a ski and snowshoe day in February.  Book your tickets now to enjoy a day of outdoor winter fun and support a good cause at the same time. And finally, for all the pie lovers and food connoisseurs in town, don’t miss out on the Apple Pie Trail Feest!  For an evening combining snowshoeing, wine, and pie, strap on your snowshoes and trek across moon-lit trails and stop at fire-lit cabins where you get to enjoy food and drink featuring local chefs and local products.  Definitely an evening not to pass up!

Take in the Arts

We have mentioned before about the amazing arts scene available in Collingwood, and this year will be no different.  With an exceptional line up of plays and on-stage performances happening at Theatre Collingwood, and Meaford Hall, and the Elvis Festival taking over the scene in July, if your heart lights up when you see shows on stage, you’re in for a delight in the year ahead.  The call for artists has gone out for the Blue Mountain Foundation for the Arts annual Juried Art Show, and awards will be presented on April 22.   Put your talent to the test and submit your artwork for the whole community to enjoy.

collingwood in summer

Let’s Do Summer

While there may be lots to love about Collingwood in the winter, things come alive in the summer too!  The prime location on the Georgian Bay means there are endless options for beach days, spending time with the kids building sand castles and swimming.  And don’t think that the mountains are only best when they are covered in snow.  In fact, the Ridge Runner Mountain Coaster is a summer-only activity in the Blue Mountains and is a must-do in the warmer months – if you dare!  While you’re there, go on a hike or enjoy a gondola ride, and then enjoy a beer at one of the many local breweries once you reach the bottom.  Summer has lots to offer and spending it out in the community in the sunshine is the best way to take it all in.

With 2018 just around the corner, start now to plan your year, book your vacation and secure your theater tickets.  Collingwood is sure to live up to your desires for a year of fun.

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Art Events in Collingwood

Collingwood is a town not only known for its fantastic skiing and recreation, but also a thriving art scene. During the month of November, there are a number of art events to keep anyone even vaguely interested in the arts busy while you wait for the snow to fall.

Music for a Sunday

This event has been happening since September, but if you haven’t heard of it yet, you’ll definitely want to check it out in November. It is a series of 10 concerts over five Sundays and four of them are happening this month. ZimZum, CCI Jazz Band, the Venuti String Quartet and Rowyn Campbell are all playing at the Simcoe Street Theatre this month. Ticket prices vary, but you can get through Blue Mountain Music or at the Simcoe Street Theatre box office.

Points of View: John David Anderson and Mark Hope

Head to The Blue Mountains Public Library to witness the points of view of John David Anderson and Mark Hope, as expressed through a painting exhibition. Their work will be displayed from November 3rd until the 30th.

Annual Square Foot Show

At the Loft Gallery in Thornbury, this show happens on November 4th from 4pm. You’ll start at the Corner Café, across the street, where you’ll be getting a numbered ticked for the show. All paintings sold will be 12×12 in size and sell for $144 plus tax. All work is original and gorgeous!

Candle Making Workshop

You don’t have to just view art, you can make it. Head to Serendipity Candles at 20 Balsam Street, Unit 14, for a 60-minute candle making workshop, where you’ll learn to make four candles. You’ll select your scent and jar and do all of the fun stuff yourself!

Creative Collingwood Symposium

An initiative for arts and positive change in communities, the 4th annual Creative Collingwood Symposium happens on November 8th at the Simcoe Street Theatre. This incredible event brings together what they call “creatives” from across the South Georgian Bay area for learning and networking. There will be keynote speakers, breakout sessions, plus networking with refreshments. The event is completely free and you just need to register to reserve a spot. Anyone who is a creative professional or even who has an aspiring talent is welcome to join.

Sweetwater Film Festival

Film buffs will love the lineup of 11 short films focusing on the outdoors and outdoor recreation. Happening at the Gayety Theatre, this event donates 100% of the proceeds to outdoor programs for local youth. It happens on November 11th at 7pm and tickets are $25.

Do you know of any other great arts events happening in our region? Let us know!

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May Long Weekend Fun in Collingwood!

It’s finally here! This weekend we celebrate summer’s first long weekend (unofficially). The weather is supposed to be great, so visitors and residents to Collingwood will be partying and having a fabulous long weekend as there are a number of fun events planned!

Fun at the Blue Mountain Village

You’ll definitely want to head to Blue Mountain Village, where the party won’t stop all weekend long. There are a number of special events planned for the entire family, including a very special performance by Lighthouse, one of Canada’s very own success stories.

Starting on Saturday, there will be music all day at the Coca-Cola Stage in the Village Plaza. DJs will spin the latest tunes from 2pm until 7pm and then live performers will take the stage until 9pm. From 9pm until 10pm, there will be groove dancing and then a fabulous fireworks display over the mountain at 10:15pm.

On Sunday, the music continues with Fresh FM live on location and then Lighthouse’s set at 8pm. Don’t miss out on Rusty’s Rib Eating Contest at 11:30am at Rusty’s at Blue.

ribs in collingwood

On Monday, there will be even more live music under 3:30pm, plus a really cool hula hooping demonstration at 11:30am.

Be Local at the Collingwood Downtown Farmer’s Market

The May long weekend is also when the Collingwood Downtown Farmer’s Market begins, and you don’t want to miss that. In its 13th year, local vendors offer everything fresh, local and organic, as well as some great handcrafted items. The Collingwood farmer’s market adheres to the 100 mile market credo, with produce only sold that was grown with 100 miles of the market location. Head to the Pine Street parking lot at 8am until 1pm to partake in the fun.

Celebrate Art on the Street

You also won’t want to miss the 7th year of Collingwood Art on the Street, with the streets of Collingwood turning into an outdoor art gallery. This year’s theme is Collingwood celebrates Canada, a very fitting theme with Canada turning 150 years old this year.

Head to a Brew Party

Head to the Collingwood Brewery for their 3rd anniversary party, happening this Saturday from 4pm until 7pm. There will be activities for all ages, plus the live music of Neil Crowe. Adults can try out this year’s 1854 Anniversary Ale, plus the other great brews served. What’s awesome is that they’ve got a Beer Bus, which will shuttle people from Eddie Bush Memorial Arena to and from the brewery for the event.

With so many fun events and activities this May long weekend, you are sure to have too much fun in Collingwood.

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The Collingwood Art Crawl

There are some really top-notch events that happen in Collingwood, but the Collingwood Art Crawl is truly one-of-a-kind. Happening Saturday, September 24th from 6-10pm, this completely free event features over 100 artists at more than 40 venues all in downtown Collingwood.

You read that correct: this event is free and it is also self-guided. Take a walk down Hurontario from First Street to 4th street (and down a few side streets) to discover all that this art crawl has to offer. Along with all of the wonderful art, you’ll also be able to experience live music and food and beverage samplings.

Catching artists in action as they make their art of choice, with several live demonstrations throughout the evening, is one of the events not to be missed.

There are some amazing art projects to be seen this evening, with some great causes. The REDress Project is an initiative to bring attention to missing and murdered Native women in Canada. Art from this project will be featured during the Collingwood Art Crawl. The Youth Art Connect Project is dedicated to creating art sessions for young people, through various forms, so you’ll want to visit them at their location to learn more.

You also won’t want to miss the live body painting, a realtime experimental electroacoustic noisescape, youth aerial skills demonstration, and mural slam, among many other live art exhibits going on during the Collingwood Art Crawl.

There are ways you can participate too, as art isn’t just about viewing! Take part in the Zentangle Mosaic, where your simple line or circle will contribute to the end piece.

Musical performances will be held both inside and outside a variety of venues along the strip. These locations will also be offering food and beverage samplings, so you’ll want to bring your appetite with you. You can find out which venues are offering what on the Collingwood Art Crawl’s website, along with a list of who is performing and when. You can also check out their Facebook page for more in-depth content about what’s happening tomorrow night.

This event will bring in residents and visitors from all over Ontario, so you may want to get there early to find parking near the downtown core.

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Collingwood Public Art

Here in Collingwood, we have something really unique and fun! It is called the Public Art Program and its aim is to “enrich the lives of Collingwood residents and visitors by enhancing public spaces, fostering cultural identity and pride, promoting creativity and encouraging dialogue among citizens”. What this means is that after sending out a call to local artists, the Parks, Recreation and Culture Department in Collingwood commissioned these artists to create art that would be displayed uniquely in public spaces.

In 2015, local artist Stephen Hogbin created two unique public art benches that look similar to waves for the boardwalk at Harbourview Park.

In 2014, Rogue Goat artists Josh and Allison Hill completed a beautiful mural for the lobby of the Centennial Aquatics Centre. It fits perfectly with the swimming theme of the centre.

Also in 2014, artist Allison Hill created a template for a mural that was completed by campers at the Environment Network summer day camp. Painted right on a storage container at Sunset Point Park, this mural explored the camp’s many themes and looks fantastic!

One very visible public art display that you may have seen is located in downtown Collingwood. At the south west corner of First Street and Hurontario, the Side Launch Mural resides, completed by artists Allan Bender and John Nobrega of Blinc Studios.

collingwood art

The Public Art Program is not to be confused with the Collingwood Art on the Street event that runs from May 23rd until October 10th and is now in its sixty year! This event features outdoor art exhibitions by over 50 local artists. You’ll see hand-painted Muskoka chairs and colourful art banners, which feature paintings, sculpture, stained glass, ceramic, jewellery and more.

If you want to find out the locations of all this public art, be sure to stop by the Parks, Recreation and Culture office, which is located on the third floor of the Collingwood Public Library. Alternatively, you can stop by Station Museum at 45 St. Paul Street to pick up a map and do your own self-guided tour.

Obviously Collingwood is a very artsy place, full of culture and liveliness. It is a great place to visit and an even more attractive place to live.

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