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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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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Collingwood Wildlife: Try & Spot These 3 Animals

Ontario is home to thousands of animal species, and many of them are still active during the winter months. While you may be more inclined to go out into the wilderness during the summer and check out the different species, heading out into the cold winter air is a great way to have some fun and get out of the house.

If you find the weekends are slipping away and time is going by at a confusing rate, you probably want to spend your days doing something different. Getting outside, getting fresh air, and going hiking is an excellent way to experience some of the wildlife the Collingwood has to offer. Collingwood has it all, from birds to bears, combining both the luxuries of modern living with the wild outdoors.

The Majestic Snowy Owl

Many people are seeing snowy owls throughout southern Ontario, more so than in past years. The snowy owls are best seen during the early morning hours, near abandoned farms in the low-grown brush. If you go driving through the rural countryside of Collingwood during the sunrise, you may catch a glimpse of this majestic bird perching on a fence post. They are easy to spot against the sky, but they will easily blend into the surroundings if you’re looking at a snowy field. Make sure you keep your distance as many photographers venture too close and impede their hunting.

The Iconic Moose

While many people think they need to venture all the way to Algonquin Park to see a moose, there are some right here in your backyard. Moose are often present in bog-like areas and places where there is a frozen wetland, but some have been known to venture into suburban areas. During the winter, moose like to trek through areas where there is substantial snow cover. As moose tend to run hot, they enjoy the cold weather making them extraordinary wildlife for you to go and see. Even if you don’t see them on your first hike, it’s good to keep looking and make sure you always have your camera handy.

The Striking Bald Eagle

Bald eagles are becoming less common in Southern Ontario, with a majority being found near Lake of the Woods. The population in the southernmost parts of Ontario has significantly dwindled in the past years. Thankfully there have been some known to frequent Collingwood, but they are not common sightings. Bald eagles tend to perch high up in dead trees and often flee at the sight of any human activity. If you see a Bald eagle from afar, stay quiet if you want to snap a photo. As it is such a rare bird, it can be a fun challenge to try and spot one on your hikes through the Collingwood and Blue Mountain Area.

While this winter has been burdensome for many families with social gatherings limited and being stuck at home, you can still go out and enjoy the winter weather. If you set some wildlife spotting goals with your family, you can make it a fun weekend activity to get you learning more about the area.

 

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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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3 Delicious Meals To Enjoy During The Winter

During winter, there comes a time when things become dark and dreary, especially as the temperatures get colder. For those days in Collingwood, Ontario, where the sun stays hidden behind the clouds, and there is no way you will be heading to a local toboggan hill with the kids, as you may be staying indoors. While staying indoors too often can become a bit boring, you may be exploring new hobbies. One hobby that tends to be more popular now, more than ever, is cooking. 

Suppose you have picked up a cooking habit during the pandemic, or are looking to dive deeper and explore your culinary talents. In that case, you may want to consider meals specifically designed to warm you up during these cold winter months. Outlined below are three recipes that will bring the heat and make you feel cozier than ever during this time. By purchasing locally grown food and using organic herbs and spices, you can ensure these meals are delicious and fuel for the body and mind. 

A Hearty Stew

When you think of a stew, you may think of a culinary explosion featuring all the bits of leftover veggies and meat you have in your fridge, or you may have a go-to family recipe. If you are looking for a way to try something new this winter and spice up your stew. Try a recipe that includes lemon, honey, and ginger. While you may think this sounds like a home remedy for the common cold, this recipe is going to have you feeling hot and healthy from the inside out. You will be surprised at how well sour citrus fruit and spicy ginger brings out the meat’s flavors.

Homemade Ramen

Instant bags of ramen are chock full of salt and synthetic ingredients. While it can be fun ordering in ramen, it is often not as delicious as homemade. When homemaking ramen, you can choose your ingredients, making it a customized experience. Check out this delicious vegan ramen recipe for those of you jumping on-board this plant-based trend. 

 

Italian Style Pasta

There are some things that you think you are doing right, but then you learn of the right way to do it, and the way you were doing it before seems crazy. One way that you can warm up during the winter is by eating Italian style pasta. Many people will add sauce to their noodles and forget the key ingredients, including salt, lemon zest, and olive oil. When boiling your noodles, you should heavily salt the water and add olive oil. After straining, add your sauce and continue cooking, including some of the salty water. You will find your pasta tastes like no other you have ever tried before. Make sure to load on the fresh parmesan and grated lemon zest before serving.

 

Determining ways to stay entertained and cheerful while also adopting some new hobbies is not always easy. By mixing up a sour and savory stew, trying to make your ramen, and elevating your pasta dishes, you are sure to bring smiles to everyone in your home.

 

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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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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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3 Ways To “Get Together” Apart This Holiday Season

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

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

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

Zoom Recipe Swap

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

Neighbourhood Campfire

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

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

Wild Tree Decorating

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

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

 

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