Fun Back to School Activities For the Family

With September quickly approaching, you’ve got a few more weeks of summer activities to look forward to before the school year begins. But don’t let the sweltering heat drive you to the couch; you’re a busy person who needs to use some of that free time. We’ve listed some fun things to do during September for the whole family that won’t break the bank. 

Visit a Market Out of Town

September is a great month for spending time outdoors because it’s still warm enough to spend time outside. So why not check out some local county fairs? You can usually still get funnel cakes and some good rides on a budget. And who knows, maybe you will discover your love for something new (like a new neighbourhood).

Go School Supply Shopping

School supply shopping can be a fun family outing. Kids love getting new supplies, and it helps them get more excited to head back to school. Everyone can participate in the process by picking out their favorite pencils, notebooks, and pens. You may want to let your kids choose a few extra things for school, like some fun binders or maybe even a new folder with their names on them!

Go on a Final Summer Season Hike

September weather is still perfect for outdoor family fun. If you don’t have any plans on Labor Day weekend, pack everyone up and go join the throngs of people who will be out hiking. Try a new area, or hike a few different hikes in one area you haven’t explored before.  

Take a Sunset Drive

Take a drive up to the mountains and enjoy the beautiful views. This is a fun activity that the entire family can do together. Take along some snacks, map out your route ahead of time, and stop often to take pictures and enjoy nature.

Go Pick Apples

Have a family outing to a local orchard and pick apples. Lots of farms have apple picking parties in the fall, which are also a lot of fun for the kids.

Take Advantage of the End of Patio Season

With patio season drawing to a close, it’s time to get out and enjoy the outdoors while you can. Hit up a local restaurant that has a patio. Enjoy the weather while you can because we all know fall is just around the corner!

Try Your Hand at Some Gardening

Haul out the gardening supplies and take control of your own patch of land. Have some fun in the dirt together. Grow a little indoor garden to enjoy this fall and winter!

Do Some Outdoor Painting

Pick a fun theme, like fall leaves. Decorate pumpkins or gourds, and then paint them! Have an old t-shirt that could use some new life? Why not try your hand at screen printing on it? Let the kids have their imaginations run wild as they decorate to their hearts’ content!


Toronto: Things to Do in The Summer

The summer is a great time to go out, explore the city and find some great things to do. Toronto has plenty of things to do (our province’s smaller cities do, too!). By many accounts, it’s the number one summer getaway destination in Canada. With its hot summer climate, great food, and exciting nightlife, Toronto is a fantastic place to vacation. Here are some top picks for the summer of 2021.

Kensington Market

Toronto is a city with a thriving food scene, active arts, and interesting urban culture. That’s why we decided to highlight a few of the places you might not have heard about before, especially the Kensington Market – a hidden gem in the Toronto area. Kensington Market was only officially designated in 2006, and is still a great place to visit on the weekend all year round. It’s a bustling open-air market, where you’ll find fresh produce, specialty foods and crafts, as well as live entertainment and fun bars. The bohemian feel is a unique escape from the hectic city and one you won’t want to miss.

Visit Breweries

Plan your own brewery tour or sign up for one.  The craft brewing scene is rapidly growing in Toronto, and you’ll find breweries scattered throughout the city. Most of them offer free/cheap samplings, so make sure to try a variety! If you’re up for it, visit some of the local breweries that may be further out from downtown: Mill Street Brew Pub (207 Queen’s Quay) or Collective Arts (777 Dundas St W).

Distillery District

Tour the Distillery District and turn back in time. Toronto’s historic distillery district is one of the most picturesque areas, and a must-do in the summertime. With its brick buildings, shopping, and art galleries, you’ll feel like you’ve stepped back into the early 1900s.

Toronto Island

Take a ferry from the city centre and spend the day on Toronto Island. The island is an oasis of waterfront parks, quaint shops and restaurants, and green space along Lake Ontario. There are also a couple of beaches (one nude beach!) and a fantastic boardwalk.

Visit St Lawrence Market (92 Front Street East)

Grab lunch or dinner at Toronto’s oldest market, open since 1801. You can find fresh fruit and vegetables, fishmongers and butchers all under one roof. Go for lunch on Saturday when the market is fully open.  There are lots of cute restaurants and pubs around the market for dinner.

The Toronto real estate market isn’t for everyone, and many people are looking to invest outside of the city for more affordable housing. Check out what’s available in the Collingwood area.


Tagged :

Rainy Day Activities in the Area

Do you feel like there isn’t much to do because of the rain? You’re not alone. It’s normally hard to think up what to do when it’s raining, and it can be hard to keep yourself from doing the same old thing. However, things aren’t as bad as they seem. There are plenty of things to do even when it’s a rainy summer day—from painting to grabbing a cocktail!

Collingwood Museum

The museum is located at the replica of the 1873 Railway Station. It’s a self-guided facility, so you will have to venture your way around. Don’t worry, though, staff are present to answer your questions! Check out the website to see what current programs are running before attending. The admission fee is by donation.


Blue Mountain Foundation for the Arts

It’s always enjoyable to peruse down aisles of art. Located in downtown Collingwood, the Blue Mountain Foundation for the Arts boasts the town’s best local talent. The Foundation aims to promote the arts by supporting local artists and providing them with resources. They regularly showcase art shoes and programs. 


Northwinds Brewhouse & Kitchen 

There’s nothing like a good beer at the end of a long day to escape the rain. It’s the best way to spend time with friends and family and give you that perfect sense of relaxation. Whether you’re there with a beer in hand or sitting with some locally sourced snacks, the Northwinds always have the ability to make you feel at home. 


The Candy Factory 

Made on-site, the candy factory boasts all sorts of sugary goodies, from chocolate to old-fashioned humbugs. Watch the candy makers at the factory make treats in person. This tour of the factory holds the secrets of how to make candy the right way!


Living Shore Spa

When it’s not the warmest day of the year, there is no better way to spend it than by getting pampered at a local spa. Not only will you enjoy a relaxing massage, but you’ll also feel totally rejuvenated afterwards, ready and raring to face whatever life throws at you. Living Shore also offers facial treatments, nail treatments, body treatments, and salon services. 


Seeing what’s on the real estate market is yet another rainy day activity. Check out some real estate properties here



Collingwood Olive Oil Co. 

Curious about trying different olive oils? Collingwood Olive Oil Co. carries them like never before. Head to the tasting bar to sample over 45 different flavours of international oils. Of course, they also have an array of balsamic vinegar. 


Georgian Bowl

Rainy days are a great choice for bowling. The weather and the activity itself can help you blow off steam and get you to chill out. Those who enjoy playing sports like bowling can find it’s the perfect way to get in some exercise. Bowling can be a fun way to spend a rainy day, spending quality time with loved ones and friends. The Georgian Bowl offers 12 lanes of 5 pin bowling, 18-hole mini-golf, pool tables, and more games.


Crock A Doodle Studio

Sometimes there is no better way to spend a rainy day than a pottery studio. No matter what you’ve been up to, taking a few hours to paint a ceramic mug or plate can be a soothing and rejuvenating experience. The studio is located right in the Blue Mountain Village.

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 : / /

This Spring, Walk into Wellness

10,000 steps. 4 miles. An hour and a half a day. No matter the measure, we all know how good walking is for us. Or, do we? With the advent and subsequent seismic boom of the step counter, we’re all obsessed with walking and steps. Have we really taken the time to consider the why when it comes to walking? Walking is low impact, which means that long-term, walking won’t harm your joints like other aerobic activities. Walking can help reduce inflammation and joint pain. It also doesn’t call for equipment, save for a good pair of sneakers!


Walking is one of the most underrated physical activities. Hitting the elliptical or rowing machine will get you huffing and puffing pretty quickly, and the same could be said for walking. It’s all about the speed, and you should be able to talk at an optimal aerobic pace but not sing. 


Why Walking Is Good For Your Body

  • It helps increase bone density, which is essential because our bones become more brittle and susceptible to breaks as we age. Walking can also improve balance. 
  • Walking helps keep your cardiovascular and respiratory system healthy, which can also help reduce heart and lung disease risk.
  • Just approximately 30 minutes of walking a day can decrease body fat percentage, as well as increase muscle tone and overall endurance.
  • Walking helps to lower and stabilize your blood sugar in addition to boosting your immune function and even your energy levels too.


Ways to Kick Your Walk Up A Notch

  • Find an incline. Whether it’s walking up and down small hills in your neighborhood park or more aggressive inclines found in forest areas, inclines will make you feel the burn in no time.
  • Carry weights. Only one- or two-pound weights will escalate the intensity of your workout, even if you don’t feel it at first. Some people prefer other options like ankle weights or weights with straps to keep their hands free. 
  • Walk a dog. If you don’t have a dog, ask a friend or neighbor to borrow theirs. Fido will likely be pulling on the leash, and the added resistance will intensify your workout. 
  • Don’t skip the stairs. Try to find some staircases, inside or out, that you can scale a few times if you’re looking to get your heart rate up.
  • Walk for longer and walk faster. Any kind of activity that gets your body burning energy is a good thing, and a few thousand steps extra a day can mean the difference between sustaining weight and losing weight. 


Above the physical benefits of walking, it’s also beneficial to your overall wellness. As many of us are still working from home, it’s easy to forget how important, rather, imperative it is to get up and move around every few hours. Even if it’s for a short time, feeling the fresh air, hearing the birds chirping, and (hopefully) the sunshine on your face is restorative beyond measure and should be added to your daily routine. 


If you’re interested in finding a home closer to walking trails, check out some of the great features of living near Wasaga Beach here. If you’d like to be closer to nature and perhaps living in a smaller home, too, check out our article on finding the best property for your lifestyle


In-Season Salads That’ll Have You Seeing Stars 

“I can’t remember the last time I had a salad,” you say to yourself as you indulge in another chocolate-covered blueberry, which, by the way, does not count in terms of daily fruit and veg intake. It’s easy to fall into a slump, dietarily speaking, but now that spring has sprung, it’s time to reconsider salad. Salad is the ultimate chameleon, offering a rainbow of delicious flavors, but sometimes, it needs an added spark. Consider adding in these in-season ingredients that are both highly nutritional and delicious.

Before we get started, it’s important to address one of the biggest complaints about salad. Typically, it’s that it doesn’t keep you full for long. The secret is to add a protein including any of the following:

  • Eggs
  • Almonds
  • Cottage cheese
  • Chicken breast 
  • Tuna
  • Lean beef
  • Lentils
  • Quinoa
  • Fish
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Peanuts
  • Brussel sprouts


These options can be attuned to whatever dietary restrictions you have. If you find that even after adding some more protein to your salad, you still feel hungry, add a bed of whole-grain rice or root veggies to the bottom of your bowl. The rice/veg will soak up all the salad dressing and the gorgeous flavors of your in-season produce, making your salad even more enriched and satisfying. When it comes to a good salad, it’s helpful to think less about caloric intake and more about nourishment. Eating the rainbow is such a great way to get the nutrients your body needs to get you through the day.


Now onto the salad that’ll have you seeing stars…


There are two major reasons to eat in-season produce. The first is that they’ll taste better and are far more affordable too. The second is sustainability. Picking, packaging, and transporting produce to far-off lands leaves a huge carbon footprint. When the options are endless at home, it’s time for a stellar in-season salad. 

Fruits and Vegetables: In Season This April!

  • Rhubarb: jam-packed with antioxidants and roasted to perfection, this barb of goodness is as delicious in a salad as it is in a pie.
  • Beets: add some color to your palette with a beautiful purple beet. They pack a punch because they’re high in fiber and folates too. You can even use its juice in your vinaigrette.
  • Parsnips: supports immune function and high in fiber. Delicious sauteed or roasted, these give a salad a density and richness other veggies don’t have. 
  • Rutabaga: another stellar root veggie, and in addition to adding tons of fiber to your salad, it can also help you feel fuller, longer. 
  • Sprouts: mixing them with lettuce makes an amazing texture and a delicious bed for traditional salad, and they’re packed with folate, magnesium, phosphorus too! 


Salad is all about experimentation, and now that Spring is here, there are so many more types of fresh produce available. Challenge yourself to add one thing to the salad you’ve never had before! If you’re especially inspired by this week’s article and are thinking you’d like a bigger garden to kick your sustainability efforts up a notch, Collingwood has the gardens and homes you’re looking for. If you’d really like to get the ball rolling, check out our article on tips to spruce up your current home. 


Are You Interested in Meditation? This Spring, Take it Outside!

young woman meditating
Ahhhhh! Spring has finally sprung, and as we take our meals, fun, and even work outside, one cannot help but wonder, what about meditation? Typically, meditation is saved for a quiet and dark room where you can genuinely zero in on the present moment, but the benefits of bringing zen from the den to the great outdoors could kick your overall well-being up a notch.
The current global challenges and the extended bouts of isolation have been difficult for everyone to endure. Many people have been trying to find ways to gain some solace, and meditation is one of the most effective modes of achieving that.

What is Meditation?
That’s a pretty broad question because it can take so many shapes, but essentially it’s a way of giving your brain a break because, in meditation, you’re meant to clear your mind of all thoughts. Achieving this is easier said than done, and it definitely does take practice. Some yogis recommend that the best way to teach your brain how to “shut off” is to work towards quieting the mind for even five minutes a day.

Health Benefits of Meditation
Stress buster: when you’re stressed, your body creates cortisol, and in one study, scientists found that after an eight-week stint of daily meditation, participants’ Cortisol levels were sliced in half!
Kick anxiety to the curb: in a similar eight-week study, different participants with a variety of generalized anxiety disorders found that after committing to daily meditation, they also found themselves able to better cope with stress and other emotional triggers.
Win the pain game: for people who suffer from chronic pain, feelings of limitation and depression can be overwhelming and pretty prevalent. However, with the magical powers of meditation, participants noticed a marked improvement in their pain levels and an ability to manage pain flare-ups better.

older woman meditating
Time to Trek Into the Great Outdoors: Next Stop, Meditation Station
Many people the world over believe strongly in the spiritual powers of being amidst nature, and it doesn’t have to be spent meditating. It’s thought that being outside – and it doesn’t have to be an ancient forest. It can be your backyard or balcony, though being in real nature is ideal – it helps make your meditation skills more potent.
It’s easier to quiet the mind outside because zoning out from the world and turning inward is much easier with the sound of a trickling creek or birds chirping, not the bustle of the street with all its
There’s something about being outside with the great Mother Nature that helps you to put down your darn phone for once. Some people have found that meditating outside also allows them to connect with nature. A lack of connection with nature, which is fundamental to wellbeing, is actually an issue for individuals living in metropolises.
Do some double-time good for your body: as previously mentioned, the health benefits of meditation are a-plenty, but so is the effect of getting in 20 minutes of vitamin C, compliments of the sunshine.
In the market for a leafy backyard to really get your zen on, or maybe need the beach within reach? Check out our tips for finding the best home to suit your lifestyle.





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 : / / / /