3 of the Best Ways To Enjoy Collingwood This Spring

While Collingwood has a great reputation as a top destination for those looking to enjoy quality winter activities such as skiing and snowboarding, it’s also a beautiful place to be outdoors in the spring. With an abundance of breathtaking scenery in and around Collingwood, there are several ways to enjoy the outdoors in Ontario’s spring weather.

For example, you can take a different scenic walk every day for weeks without visiting the same place twice. This includes walking through the lovely town to window-shop or visiting a local cafe to pick up some coffee and yummy sweet treats for a park picnic. You can even go foraging for some delicious and nutritious edible wild plants, like maple blossoms, dandelions, and mulberries.

Let’s explore three more fun activities you can enjoy in this lovely neck-of-the woods this spring.

Golf

While much of the rest of Ontario is locked down, golf courses have been allowed to remain open. Fortunately, Collingwood and the surrounding areas have some world-class golf courses in gorgeous locations. Overlooking Georgian Bay, there’s the top-ranked and aptly-named Georgian Bay Club and, besides the mountain, the Blue Mountain Golf & Country Club. Additionally, visitors can choose between Osler, Monterra, and Cranberry Gold Resorts for some of Ontario’s top golf courses.

golf ball on golf course

Hiking

One activity more and more people are enjoying is walking. With so many gyms and community centers closed, this healthy activity helps people expend pent-up energy and stay mentally and physically fit. Collingwood is home to over 60km of Georgian Bay hiking trails, including the Collingwood and Blue Mountain trails. Collingwood has even removed unused train tracks to create new hiking trails and welcomes walkers all year round.

hiking in the woods in the sun

Hit the Beach!

Although the spring may be a bit chilly for a dip, there are many other ways to enjoy a beach in and around the beautiful town of Collingwood. You could go for a walk along the rocky shoreline of Sunset Point, an iconic waterfront area in Collingwood. This beach offers lots of green space, playgrounds, and waterfront trails. Or, you could go for a paddle or try kiteboarding or windsurfing at Northwinds Beach, a very short cycle or drive from Collingwood.

If you’re interested in finding a home in this beautiful part of Ontario, there are online resources to help you save up for a Collingwood home. You could also contact a realtor familiar with the area — which also includes scenic Wasaga Beach — to learn more about what’s available for you.

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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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Plan Early With These 3 Ontario Vacation Ideas

Spring, summer, fall? The seasons and days seem to keep blending into each other. It feels like there is so much to do and nowhere really to go. Thankfully, the cold weather keeping everyone indoors will soon subside, and you can relight your inner spark. How so? Well, you can start exploring the beautiful Ontario countryside.

Whether you have kids still in school or are living alone, taking a break from the regular swing of things helps provide perspective, an atmosphere for setting goals, and relaxation, which everyone needs. While it is only natural to want to go on a vacation somewhere tropical, it may not be so easy this summer. Plus, vacations in Ontario tend to be more budget-friendly. 

Outlined below are three Ontario-based vacation ideas that are ideal for families and individuals alike. They are an excellent opportunity to get out of your house and journey through the gorgeous place you call home. 

Rent A Yurt

Have you ever stayed in a yurt? Not many people have. These round enclosures have been around for centuries and are scattered throughout Ontario’s wild country. One of the best things is that some people have redesigned these yurts to feature several stories, electricity, plumbing, and hot tubs. Why not dash into the woods for a weekend of mediation, yoga, and self-discovery? With so many options to choose from and beautiful landscapes to explore, you could even go yurting each weekend. 

Go On A Canoe Trip

While sometimes a challenge, xanoe trips are relatively easy to plan and accessible for all campers, whether you’re an avid outdoors person or never once stepped into the bush. These are genuinely a chance to become one with nature and leave all technology behind you. Throughout the pandemic, you may have been glued to your TV or computer, maybe once a day stepping outside for fresh air, so disconnecting for even a few days will surely do you some good. 

Road Trip Across The Province 

Why settle for one place when there is so much to discover? If you live in the Collingwood or Blue Mountains area, you are in a great spot to take a road trip throughout the province. Maybe start by heading north towards Kenora, stopping at Sleeping Giant Provincial Park, and then maybe eventually heading southeast and taking a pit stop in the nation’s capital. Set aside a week or two this summer and let the open road take you away. Depending on the pandemic’s state at the time, you may be better off scheduling your rest stops ahead of time. In all cases, if you want to fly by the seat of your pants, bring a tent. 

While summer may be far away in some people’s eyes, just the idea of planning a vacation is enough to get your spirits up and the adrenaline running. From sticking it out for a weekend in a yurt to the thoroughly grounding experience of a canoe trip, Ontario vacations are your best option for the seasons ahead. 

 

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3 Tips For Preventing Spring Flooding

One of the benefits of living in Canada, especially in Collingwood, Ontario, is that you get to experience every season to its fullest. From the hot days of summer spent swimming in Georgian Bay to skiing the powdery slopes of Blue Mountain in the winter, Collingwood has it all.

Living amongst the different seasons can be exciting and give you and your family much to look forward to all year round. However, when winter begins to thaw, and the March and April rains begin to pour, many people who live in older homes are at risk of spring flooding.

Spring flooding is a common occurrence throughout Canada as copious amounts of snow all melt while there is increased rainfall. If you are worried about spring flooding, check out some of the helpful tips below. These are a great way to prepare your home for the spring.

Shovel Snow Away From Your Home Before Warm Weather Hits

If you currently have snow piled up around your home, the first step you should take is removing it from your home’s perimeter. The perimeter is where the water is going to leak inside. Shoveling the snow away from your home is a task you should stay diligent with as you can prevent flooding even mid-winter when there can be frequent freeze and thaws.

Invest In Window Well Covers

A primary source of all basement flooding in the spring is basement window wells. Many homes throughout suburban Collingwood neighborhoods have window wells, but not many people think to keep them covered. If you have basement window wells, you can purchase plexiglass covers so that light can still be let in. During the winter, the snow and rain will be unable to enter, and they can also be easily cleared off.

Get A Home Inspection

A home inspection is an excellent way to get a professional opinion on your property and its risk of spring flooding. While many people get home inspections if they are going to be selling their home, it does not hurt to have someone come and check out your foundation so that you can be sure spring flooding will be prevented. They may suggest some simple maintenance tips, or they may discover something severe that needs to be addressed. With the help of a home inspector, you can keep your home dry this spring.

With the winter almost coming to an end, you may be wondering what you can do to improve your safety against spring flooding. Flooding can cause severe damage to your home, which can be costly to repair. A great way to minimize this risk is by shoveling the snow away from your home, investing in window well covers, and having a home inspection performed on your property.

All of these tactics will be instrumental near the end of winter as you don’t want to be left having to deal with the headache of resolving a basement flood.

 

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Increase Your Home’s Value With These Three Renovations

Are you thinking about selling your home? One of the best ways to heighten your home’s value and get more money upon sale is by renovating. While you can paint and add in new curtains, other more extensive renovations will be more strategic and offer long-term benefits.

Now, these renovations don’t need to be ultra-expensive, but they do require an investment. If you have some areas of your home that may be lacking in modernity or visibly in disrepair, spending the money to renovate will not only increase the value, but it will get your home sold quicker.

Outlined below are three renovations that will almost always make your home more valuable. If you speak to a realtor, they can outline some other options for increasing your home value, but these three tend to stand out when it comes to renovations.

Update Your Roof

If your roof is clearly not in good shape with shingles buckling and missing, you need to replace it. When investing in a new roof, several materials tend to be more attractive than others. You may want to get steel or new, more defensive shingles. In some cases, you may also want to consider adding solar panels onto your roof, as this will increase the value and make your home very desirable to younger buyers. While this can be considered a more expensive investment, you’re sure to make this money back upon the sale of your home.

Fix Up Outdoor Spaces

You can add more liveable space onto your property by fixing up any outdoor areas. If you have a deck with some rotted wood or a poor layout, you may find it beneficial to replace it with something more structurally sound and spacious. By replacing decks in the back of your home or your front porch and adding in other outdoor landscaped areas, there will be more reasons for potential buyers to get excited. If you want to show off these newly redone areas, make sure you list your home during the summer so potential buyers can appreciate the quality of work.

Remodel Outdated Bathrooms

Everyone is looking for new and modern bathrooms. People want somewhere they will enjoy spending time each morning and before they go to sleep. The bathroom plays a vital role in personal routine and tends to be one of the first things people look for when buying a new home. The best way to approach bathroom renovations to start with the most outdated first. In some cases, you may want to add another bathroom in the basement, as this is a quality that potential buyers often seek.

While considerable time and financial investments, renovations will boost your home’s value and get it sold in a quicker timeframe. If you aren’t looking to sell just yet, it is still an excellent tactic for building equity. Not to mention, you will probably enjoy living in a renovated more so in the time leading up to your departure. 

Make sure you call a Collingwood realtor once you decide to list. They may also recommend some other renovations so you can list your home for more. 

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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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Virtual School Is In Session: 3 Tips For Parents

With pandemic restrictions in full effect and virtual classes becoming the new normal, you may be having difficulty keeping your child on task during the day. As there are so many distractions around the house and possibly other people working from home, it can be complicated for your child to stay engaged with their teachers while also taking full advantage of the class.

If you have multiple children, you may find it even more challenging with everyone in class simultaneously. It can be draining trying to keep an eye on everyone to make sure they are on task.

Outlined below are some tips for you and your family to make virtual school a little easier. While most schools in Ontario are currently online, these tips will help ease the coming months as everyone hopes for a return to regularity in the future.

Limit Distractions

Even though most children have smartphones these days, it doesn’t mean that they need to have access to the smartphone at all hours of the day. During school time, their phone use should be limited, as it is a significant distractor. By having your child give you their phone at the beginning of the day, you will notice they are much more likely to stay focused during school hours. You can also put parental controls on their school computer to prevent them from visiting websites online throughout their day.

Create Learning Spaces

Creating learning spaces is an ideal tactic for parents of children in virtual schools. Having a space dedicated to their school will help them differentiate between home and school life. If you have multiple children, you should make sure there are clear boundaries between their spaces, as listening to someone else’s lesson can be a distraction. If there is not enough room in your home, opt for headphones or room dividers. You can even have each of your children personalize their space as they would their desk at a school.

Start & End The Day Outside

With the transition to virtual classes, one thing missing from everyone’s life is the commute. While a commute can be arduous, it is sometimes a great way to prepare for the day mentally. Start your day outside with your kids, before their classes start, by going on a brisk walk around your neighborhood. You can do the same in the evening. Through this exercise, you can help them prep for class and wind down after a day online.

Adjusting to the new normal will not be easy, and many teachers and parents are struggling now more than ever. Learning from home presents many hurdles. There are tons of distractions from phones to other family members, and staying engaged with a talking screen all day is not an easy task. With the three tips outlined below, you can attempt to ease the school days. Hopefully, by next September, virtual classes become a thing of the past, and you can get back to your standard way of life.

 

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How To Ward Off The Winter Blues

While Ontario is home to lush landscapes with diverse plant and animal species, it is also a victim of winter’s cold and dark days. While the lead up to the winter with preparing for festivities can be joyful, and the end leading into spring is exciting, the middle months of January and February can be long and arduous. 

For many people who live in the Blue Mountain and Collingwood area, winter is usually filled with long days at the ski hills and friendly banter next to blazing wood fires. However, with the pandemic in full force, people no longer have access to outlets that would usually keep them sane during these months. 

Outlined below are a few measures you can take to boost your mental health so you can forcefully take on the months ahead. 

Virtual Exercise Classes

One of the best ways to increase your mood during the winter and fend off the winter blues is through exercise. Through exercise, your body produces endorphins, which can have incredible effects on your brain. While getting exercise in the winter is difficult, especially with gyms being closed, you will have to think outside of the box. 

Following an online video exercise class can be useful. Still, the live feedback you would gain from an in-person class is usually a primary motivator for people who wouldn’t typically work out independently. However, how many fitness instructors are scheduling online, live virtual lessons. You connect your camera, and they can see and give feedback while you follow along in your living room. 

Eat Healthy Foods

You are probably eating raw fruits and veggies throughout the summer, going outside often, and breathing in the fresh air, but these behaviors tend to disappear in the winter. People often adopt unhealthy eating habits throughout the winter, eating heavily processed foods high in sugar, salt, and chemical additives. When you eat this way for a prolonged period, it can severely impact your mood. 

By subbing out processed foods with whole raw ingredients, you will notice that your mental state improves. You can look up some new recipes or speak to someone you know who eats healthily for some help. While it can take time to change up your diet, with a bit of determination, you will come to see it is well worth the effort. 

Try Supplements

If you are eating healthy but still find you are not getting all the minerals and nutrients you need, try supplements. Most people lack vitamin D during the winter, affecting mood, the immune system, and several other bodily processes. 

By adding a few vitamin D drops into your water each morning, you can combat the deficiency. There are also several other vitamins and minerals like B12 and magnesium that can help support mood. If you speak to your healthcare practitioner, they can steer you in the right direction. 

Defending yourself from the winter blues requires an adjustment. You need to carve out time during your day to prioritize mental health. By exercising, eating right, and supplementing, you will feel incredible by the time spring arrives when you can go out and enjoy your neighbourhood

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Foraging In Collingwood: 3 Edible Wild Plants You Can Find In Ontario

For many households, the pandemic has initiated an interest in culinary experimentation. People are busting out old cookbooks and looking to get creative in the kitchen. From sourdough starters to banana bread, the cooking trend has been growing, especially now that it is winter and people are spending even more time indoors. But did you ever think of using foraged ingredients in your meals?

One of the best things about living in Ontario, especially in the Collingwood Area, is the proximity to wild forests and beautiful beaches. These wild landscapes are home to a diverse network of plants that are not only beautiful to look at but edible. Foraging in Ontario has become more popular, and people are doing their research now during the winter to get ready when the vegetation starts to bud in the spring. 

If you are interested in trying your hand at Collingwood foraging, you will want to know which plants to choose. Once the warmer weather comes along, get out your wicker basket and head into the woods with your best pair of garden shears. 

Maple Blossoms

Almost every Canadian is familiar with maple syrup, but maple blossoms are not as well-known, especially when eating. Maple blossoms grow in the spring, and they are most prominent before the actual leaves begin to form. These are said to be sweet, and crunchy, and best served covered in batter and fried. You can also try and pickle them and eat them at a later time. Make sure to search for some reference photos, so you know you are picking the right ones. 

Dandelion

An unknown superfood, dandelions are very common throughout Ontario. These yellow-flowered plants are not only delicious but extremely nutritious with a hefty amount of antioxidants. When picking dandelions, make sure to do so in wild areas rather than in urban areas as there may be pesticides. You can throw the leaves in a salad, use the stems as a pasta- substitute, and add the flowers to a stir-fry.

Mulberries

Mulberry trees are prominent throughout Ontario. These large trees can yield tons of berries every spring and summer, but many do not realize they are edible. These tart delicacies are perfect for adding to a summer pie or your favorite jam recipe. They tend to look similar to a blackberry but can come in red and lighter shades as well. A reference photo will be your best friend as you hunt for these sweet treats. 

With a wildlife oasis in your backyard, you should start getting ready for the many activities you will get to explore when springtime arrives in Collingwood.

While it may be cold now, the winter will breeze by in no time. When it does, you can get ready to pick some delicious maple blossoms, some healthy dandelions, and sweet mulberries. You could even make a salad combining all three.

Make sure that you always do your research before picking edible plants. These three tend to be very distinct and safe, but many others could pose health risks. 

 

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