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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Build a Life You Don’t Need a Vacation From

Build a life you don’t need to take a vacation from: that’s the mantra that many are putting into effect in 2017. Part of building that dream lifestyle is finding a home that lets you be on vacation 2/47, 365 days a week. Stop looking, because 120 Brooker Blvd in the Blue Mountains is that home that will be the perfect retreat each and every day.

Whether your family is into winter activities like skiing, snowboard and snowshoeing or into warm-weather activities like mountain biking, swimming and hiking, this house is the perfect home base. Located steps away from Blue Mountain Village and a short drive or hike from Georgian Bay and all of Southern Georgian Bay’s best trails and hikes, your family can bike, ski, boat or simply lounge while living here.

With four bedrooms and three bathrooms, this 2100-square foot ski chalet has enough room for your large family and their guests. Gorgeous views of the mountain through the large windows in the open concept living space are just what you need after a long day at the office. Warm up by the gas fireplace when the weather is cool or sit on your large deck when the weather is warm.

The Blue Mountains has a rich history of being a place where everyone comes to ski, but there is so much more to enjoy. Of course, you can’t forget about all of the fantastic places to eat and things to do in the area, because location is truly what makes a home worth it. Ever wanted to try your hand at rock climbing, there are many great opportunities here for that as well.

Priced at $885,000, just try to compare that to what you can get in Toronto for under $1 million and you’ll realize that Blue Mountain can truly be your home.

If you would like to book a viewing of this fabulous home and see if your lifestyle needs a little something, contact Paul Casey at 705-606-2510 or by email at [email protected]. What are you waiting for?

 

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New Additions to Collingwood

With the summer season, also comes the season of construction, but for many, that isn’t a bad thing. In Collingwood, there are a number of new and interesting developments that will only make the city a better place to live, work and play. From something for the kids to something for the adults, here are some of the best new construction projects happening in the Collingwood area!

New skateboard and BMX park

The kids are going to love the newest addition to Heritage Park in Collingwood, with construction to be completed by October. The ground was broken just a few days ago in anticipation of the building of the skate park. The cost is approximately $300,000 but will provide area teens with a fun, safe and interesting place to hang out and practice their tricks.

New paramedic station

With the increase in population in Collingwood, the current paramedic station built above a garage wasn’t adequate. A new 5,900 square foot facility will be built at the corner of Ontario and St. Paul streets and will include five garage bays and be fully accessible. The cost will be $3.6 million for the new station, including the land and it will be completed by the fall of 2018.

New condominium complex

The former Admiral Collingwood school site will now be a condominium and commercial complex. The property, located at the corner of Hume and Hurontario streets has been through a lot of hand-wringing and finally has a plan. The development will include unique and upscale condos, with construction set to start in 2018 and occupancy to be available in 2019.

Collingwood’s Harbourfront Plan

While it is going to take many years to come fully into fruition, Collingwood’s Harbourfront Plan is definitely a huge boon to the city. You can expect to see new pavilions in Harbourview Park, a non-motorized boating hub, cafe, skater’s lounge, skating trail, splash pad and more in the next few years. Sunset Park will also see some major developments with a new EnviroPark.

Whether you are just looking to visit Collingwood, or want to come here to stay, these major developments are helping to make our town a wonderful place to live and play.

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How Airbnb is Affecting Collingwood’s Real Estate & Rental Market

Collingwood is a town with a population of almost 21,000 residents who live here year-round. But, we also have a very thriving visiting population of those who come here to experience all that Collingwood and the Blue Mountains have to offer. While those visitors are here, they inevitably need somewhere to stay. While there are a number of hotels and other types of rental accommodations, short-term accommodations can be had by using a service such as Airbnb, an online marketplace that advertises vacation rentals in homes and apartments. The owner of the home or apartment sets up the accommodations and uses Airbnb to coordinate bookings. Sounds great, doesn’t it?

Airbnb started off as a way that owners could rent out a room or their entire dwelling to those looking for affordable short-term stays, but it has evolved to a giant marketplace where people are purchasing dwellings with the purpose of renting them on an Airbnb service. This is technically a direct violation of the service and is causing larger problems within the real estate market.

Because of the sheer number of properties being used for short-term rental purposes, affordable long-term rental housing is being eaten up. Vacancy rates are dropping while rents are increasing. The short-term housing market is much more lucrative for property owners, so there are even stories of people being evicted and being replaced by short-term renters through these types of services.

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Implications for Collingwood

In Collingwood, where tourism is a large part of the framework of the town, this could amount to a significant issue, as it is in other tourism-heavy cities in Canada. Airbnb has over 300 listings for the town of Collingwood and the Blue Mountains, with everything from entire cottages to private rooms. Located throughout the town, including in typically suburban neighbourhoods, it is easy to see that short-term rentals could affect the long-term rental market in Collingwood.

Even in 2014, vacancy rates were incredibly low and were even called disastrous, with rents rising along with the decreasing rates. Airbnb’s impact could very well decrease the number of affordable rental units for residents in Collingwood, while supplying them with raised rents.

Another issue that should be looked at is the fact that there is already fewer and fewer homes for sale all over Canada and by having investors purchase properties for investment purposes, it can encourage the shut-out of other buyers. With increased competition for a limited amount of homes, buyers will have a harder and harder time finding an affordable home to buy.

Done correctly, Airbnb can be a viable option for those looking to help with mortgage costs and daily living expenses, when they rent out a vacant room in their home or their house while they are away. Considering the number of first-time homebuyers in the market and the increase in house prices, new buyers could supplement their incomes, without affecting the long-term rental market.

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