4 Scenic Picnic Spots in the Blue Mountains

In Ontario, we have been fortunate enough to enjoy the many beautiful landscapes in the Blue Mountains. Perhaps you are looking to spend a day at the foot of the mountains and enjoy some of the fantastic scenery. Hiking, mountain biking, cycling, canoeing, kayaking, caving and horse riding are all great ways to sample the Blue Mountains, and there are so many beautiful places to choose from. Here are some of our favourite spots in the area to enjoy a picnic!

Petun Conservation Area

Petun is one of the most picturesque places in the Blue Mountains, with the highest elevations on the Niagara Escarpment. The name comes from the indigenous peoples who lived in the area in the early 1600s. The 100-acre area connects with the Bruce Trail, making this location perfect for a picnic pre-hike. There are plenty of picnic spots to choose from. If the family is up for it, there is also camping available.

Northwinds Beach

Georgian Bay is the perfect place to take your family for an amazing picnic. Here you’ll find the best beaches in the region, including beautiful, secluded, and serenaded Northwinds. With a range of nearby fresh food and mouth-watering desserts, this is the perfect place to culminate all your outdoor adventures. Take a picnic basket to the beach and enjoy the beautiful scenery of the lake.

Craigleith Provincial Park

Craigleith Provincial Park is one of the most popular spots for picnics in the Blue Mountains, and it is a wonderful place to spend a lazy Sunday afternoon. There is something so satisfying in sitting down to a tasty picnic, surrounded by nature, on the grass. With a wide range of activities, from relaxing walks through the bush to white water rafting and camping, there is no better place to escape.

Scenic Caves Nature Adventures

The dense forest and cool winds that characterize the Escarpment extend uninterrupted to the edge of the Fern Cave, creating a landscape that is as diverse as it is beautiful. You can explore many trails and find jaw-dropping natural features like caves, trails, and gorges. If the family feels adventurous, they can try the zipline among the treetops before settling down for a picnic at one of the many breathtaking spots. 

What to Pack?

Do you need a list of what to pack for your summer picnic? There are just a few basic rules to always follow: don’t forget to bring your own dishes and cutlery, pack plenty of food and water, and bring something to sit on (just in case you can’t find an available picnic table!).

Whether you’re going to picnic on the beach, a park or even the city, it’s essential to have a well-stocked picnic bag with the essentials you need to make the journey enjoyable. We suggest hitting up the Collingwood Farmers’ Market to get all your fresh, local produce. 

The Blue Mountains is the place to be, summer and winter long. Check out these available properties in the area. 

Tagged : / /

Perfect Flowers for Your Garden in Collingwood

Collingwood may be in a cool zone, but the right outdoor plants can absolutely thrive here. Collingwood sits in plant hardiness zone 5, which means any number of plants and flowers can be planted right into your garden. As long as you take growing seasons into account, you’ll be absolutely spoiled for choices. Here are just a few of the plants that you can grow in Collingwood.

Lilies

Lillies are perfect for your garden in Collingwood

Lilies come in all shapes and sizes, from orange to yellow, to pink, to white. These flowers are an absolute magnet for butterflies and are a showy addition to your garden that will bloom year after year with minimal care. Blend together varieties that will bloom during different stages of the growing season, and you’ll have flowers from spring to the end of fall. 

Primroses

Growing up to 12 inches tall, primroses are a popular flower both for garden beds and for planters. They’re extremely versatile and can be found at the edge of borders, adorning window boxes, and as a way to add a bit of colour to rock gardens. They require very little attention, as long as they’re not blasted by the sun for longer periods of time. Some cultivars are scented and will attract a number of beneficial insects to your yard.

Tulips

Tulips are a classic, easy-to-care-for flower that can be found in plenty of gardens in Collingwood. They’re extremely easy to grow; bulbs that are planted in early fall will begin blooming as soon as the snow melts and it starts getting warmer. When choosing bulbs, make sure to pick ones that are firm; avoid soft or moldy bulbs.

Daffodils

Daffodils are the perfect edition to you garden in collingwood

These cheery, bright-yellow flowers are hard to miss in any garden. They bloom around mid-spring and look wonderful when planted in groups of ten or more. They return year after year and require very little care on your part. On top of that, daffodils contain a toxin that will deter rabbits and other rodents

Grape Hyacinths

These flowers get their names from the little clusters of purple “pearls” that grow all along the stem. They’re not too picky about where you plant them, as long as you don’t subject them to extremely dry or extremely wet conditions. As long as they get full or light sun, these tiny flowers will happily populate your garden. Just be aware that they spread very quickly, so you’ll need to plant them somewhere you don’t mind them spreading

Irises

These beautiful, dainty flowers thrive in Collingwood’s climate and require very little care after they are established. Named after the Greek goddess of rainbows, irises come in a fittingly wide range of colours, although it’s probably best known for its purple hues. They’re attractive to both butterflies and hummingbirds, bringing a number of beneficial pollinators to your garden. They’re an excellent companion for lilies. 

Plenty of flowers will happily grow in your Collingwood garden. Bring some colour and life to your yard with these beautiful, easy-to-care-for flowers. 

Tagged : /

How to Create a Family-Friendly Backyard

In response to the COVID-19 virus, many safety measures have forced kids to spend much of their time at home away from friends. With most extracurricular activities cancelled or postponed, kids need to have outdoor spaces where they can burn off pent-up energy.

Fortunately, public parks are open, and Collingwood does have an abundance of outdoor spaces. But, to follow the restrictions of stay-at-home orders, many kids will need a family-friendly outdoor space right in their own yards. So, to ensure they won’t get bored and dive back into their video games, create a family-friendly outdoor space with these simple tips.

Hang a Swing

There’s nothing like a good old-fashioned swing for adding some simple charm to your backyard. Kids can spend hours on swings pretending to fly, and once they are old enough, they can even entertain themselves. In addition, swings are ideal for smaller yards that may not have space for a large play structure.

Set Up a Cozy Fire Pit

Fire pits are ideal backyard spots for spending some quality time with your family. Once you have a fire permit, cook up some s’mores or heat some weiners on roasting sticks. To make your space even more fun, pull out some soft outdoor cushions and blankets and get cozy on a cool spring evening.

Take advantage of the nice weather to stargaze with your kids and teach them some constellations. You’ll be amazed at how fulfilling and educational this is for everyone involved. You never know. You may even inspire a future astrophysicist!

Build a Dream Play Structure

A basic swing set is great, especially for a single child. But if you have more than one, a single swing could cause squabbles. If you have space, add some extra fun features like raised walkways and climbing nets. These additional activities will stimulate both physical and imaginative play and keep your kids busy for hours.

Plant an Edible Garden

Growing an edible garden with your kids’ participation is an excellent way to nurture a green thumb at an early age. Prepare the soil and plant seeds with your kids to encourage them to stay involved. Make a ritual of checking in on the plants for signs of growth.

When your fruit and vegetables are ready to pick, plan a menu with your kids that incorporate them into your dishes. If kids are allowed to pick some edibles and eat them on the spot, they will quickly gain a deeper understanding and appreciation for the sources of their food.

 

Tagged : / / /

Help Your Home Shine for the Spring Real Estate Market

Spring is a great time to get your home ready to sell. Even if you’re not ready to list it, making some improvements now will allow you to enjoy them until you do. Creating the best first impression possible will help home hunters fall in love with your home as soon as they see it. First impressions are crucial for convincing potential buyers that your home has been waiting for them.

Spend some time this spring tidying up both the outside and inside and reap the benefits when it’s time to list your home for sale. Here are some top tips that will help your home shine in time for the spring real estate market.

Freshen Up Your Outdoor Spaces

Getting your home ready to sell can be a great motivator to clean up your outdoor spaces from the long winter behind us — as if you need an excuse to get outside these days! Once you’ve cleared away last year’s ground cover of dead leaves and plant stalks, take a good look at your outdoor space’s design.

Ask yourself these questions to see what work needs to be done. Are there spaces in your flower beds that need new life? Should you add a birdfeeder for a splash of colour and non-screen-based entertainment? You might consider adding some exterior solar-powered lights for a welcoming look and planting some flowering annuals to add instant colour to the front walkway.

Clear Out Your Indoor Clutter

Decluttering your home can be a big, but rewarding project that is an essential step to preparing your home to sell. You may end up hosting a yard sale of your purged belongings or donating items in good shape to a local shelter. Besides opening up your home to more light and less dust, decluttering now will make your eventual move that much easier.

Get That Deep Clean Shine

Once you’ve decluttered, your home’s pre-listing deep clean will be a cinch. If you’re not up to the task, consider hiring a professional local cleaning service to save you time and effort. The tell-tale shine of a deep clean is an extremely effective way to make buyers desire your home.

Paint With Neutral Colours

Once your decluttering and cleaning are complete, it’s likely your walls and trim will need refreshing with some neutral-coloured paint. This task will make your home appear bigger and brighter and more of a blank canvas for other’s art and other decorative items. 

As you get close to your listing date, continue to carry out these tasks, so there’s no last-minute scramble. Once you decide to list your home, get in touch with a reputable real estate agent for some additional advice on making a first impression that lasts.

Tagged : / / / /

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.

Tagged : / / / / /

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.

Tagged : / / / /

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. 

Tagged : / / / /

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. 

 

Tagged : / / / /

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.

 

Tagged : / / / /

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. 

Tagged : / / / /