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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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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Great Rainy Winter Day Activities For The Whole Family  

Do you know those days when it’s not cold enough to snow but not sunny enough to spend it outside? The days where the rain doesn’t stop pouring, but it’s not warm enough for you to splash around in the puddles? Well, in Canada these days happen more often than not, especially in the Collingwood Area. 

If you have recently moved into the neighborhood and looking for something to do, the list below has got you covered. When the days are lovely, you can get excited to indulge in some of the most fantastic outdoor scenery that Ontario has to offer. 

Indoor Treasure Hunt

If you have kids and live in the Collingwood area, an indoor treasure hunt is a perfect activity for a cold and rainy day. While you may want to get some fresh air still, you probably don’t want to spend too much time outside, so why not spend what little time you do outside on a cold rainy day, collecting natural treasures. 

Head outside with your outdoor gear and have your kids collect unique stones, driftwood, or other tiny treasures. You can then head inside, make some hot cocoa, and hide the objects around the house. Your kids will be excited to find their outdoor treasures inside. 

Living Room Camping

While Blue Mountain and Collingwood are prime areas for camping and enjoying the outdoors, you won’t be getting to do much outdoor adventuring when the winter is cold and rainy. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t bring that camp atmosphere indoors. 

Bust out your old tent, get some flashlights and sleeping bags, and set up a campsite in your living room. Your kids can camp out for a night or two, or the whole family can snuggle up for a movie marathon. Once you’re enclosed in the tent, the rain pattering away at the window, it will feel like you are deep in the woods. 

Make A Rain Gauge

If you have young kids, they may be studying science and learning about the weather and atmosphere. What better way to help progress their learning while having fun than by seeing if the weather channel predictions are accurate. You can create a rain measuring device by merely attaching a ruler to a bottle or can with a flat bottom. You can then measure the rainfall over a day and see if it matches up with weather reports. You can give away prizes to whoever has the closest guess.

While rainy days are not the most enjoyable, you may have more fun than you think if you try the above activities. Once the snow starts falling, you can grab your skis and head to one of Collingwood’s gorgeous resorts. While they may be closed for a short period, they will undoubtedly be back up and running in no time. 

If you are not a skier, no need to worry. The spring and summer present just as many opportunities for enjoying the fresh air in Collingwood. With a bit of time, you will soon come to realize you are living in the best place in Ontario. 

 

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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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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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Collingwood in the Winter

If the colder temperatures, snow-covered ground, and icy roads have you feeling like you just want to hibernate inside, think again! Collingwood has an amazing winter scene.  There is so much to see and do here at this time of year, you’ll be sad that you missed it if you wait out the winter inside.

 

Play in the Snow

Located as the gateway to the Blue Mountain Ski Resort, a Collingwood winter isn’t complete until you go play in the snow.  Take advantage of Collingwood’s proximity to the mountains and stay in town by night, visiting the mountains to ski by day.  If skiing isn’t quite your thing, there are still lots of snow playing opportunities around town.  There are many hiking trails, which go along Georgian Bay for you to explore – by foot or on snowshoe.  Pack a thermos of hot soup and make a day of it.  If you are interested in some old-fashioned snowman building and rolling in the powder, head to Harbourview Park where kids and adults alike can play. In addition, although a bit colder, the beaches are still a great winter destination and create the perfect landscape for a nice weekend walk or afternoon out with the dogs.

Go to Events

If you can’t get the family out walking outdoors in the winter, it’s a wonderful time of year to get them together and go to some local community events.  The winter market happens on Saturday mornings, and is a great way to support local farmers as well as stock up on healthy food for the week. There are several Santa Claus Parades coming up in early December, and you can take the kids to visit Santa and his Reindeer every Saturday all month long! And don’t forget to look into upcoming Christmas craft and gift markets.  These happen most weekends around the town and are the perfect opportunity to tick some shopping off your list or find a unique gift for that hard to buy for person.

See the Town

Once you’ve done your shopping, it’s time to take a little stroll around town.  You may have spent plenty of time strolling around Collingwood under the summer sun, but have you seen it in it’s snow-covered glory? The town takes on a completely different life when you walk around under starlit skies, seeing rooftops laden in freshly fallen snow, and houses glowing with Christmas lights.  Instead of ice cream, stop in to one of our lovely cafes and get a hot chocolate or warming tea to walk around with, and finish the evening staring up at the gorgeous Blue Mountains or sitting on the waterfront.  It might be a bit chilly, but you’ll appreciate the town that little bit more for its ability to be a delight in all four seasons.

 

Don’t let Old Man Winter fool you and keep you inside.  There is lots happening around town over the winter months and you’ll be sure to find something you enjoy.  And even if it is a little colder than sitting inside by your fireplace, it will totally be worth it.

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Collingwood Santa Claus Parade and Other Festivities

Whether you were elated or depressed by the sign of that white stuff falling from the sky this week in Collingwood, the first signs of winter are definitely here. And with winter inevitably comes Santa Claus, right down the streets of Collingwood, for the annual Collingwood Santa Claus Parade.

The festivities get started on November 18th at 5pm for this night parade and you truly don’t want to miss the fun.

There will be a tree lighting downtown on this day, where the city will be magically lit and stay that way for the rest of the year. Fireworks will complete the night. Who doesn’t love fireworks!

This year’s Santa Claus theme is Christmas in Canada, which is very timely during the year of Canada’s 150th birthday.

Not only will Santa be making his way down the streets during the parade, there will be much more to see and do. Many of the downtown merchants will be having open houses and you can start doing your Christmas shopping at many of the unique shops and of course stop for a bite to eat before the parade. There will be carolers serenading the crowds and dancers and clowns will delight all of the little kiddies while they await Santa’s arrival. Storefronts will feature unique Nutcracker dancers along Hurontario Street before the parade, from 3pm until 5pm.

You don’t have to wait until evening to join the fun. Head to the Town Hall between 12:30 and 3:30 that day so kids can visit with Santa’s reindeer in training.

The parade itself will feature floats from all over the community, as it makes its way down the downtown streets of Collingwood. Find a spot anywhere along Hurontario from Hume to First Street, but get there early for the prime spots. The Christmas tree lighting ceremony will happen at the end of the parade. The fireworks will happen at the harbour and your best spots for viewing will be by the Sidelaunch Basin Ampitheatre.

There is still time to register your float and there is a chance to be judged in three categories to win prizes.

The annual Santa Claus Parade is a great tradition that helps get kids and adults into the spirit of Christmas. The beautiful and historic downtown of Collingwood is always a delight to see at this time of year, so even if you can’t make the parade and all its festivities, be sure to take a walk downtown and revel in all its beauty.

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