5 Advantages of Replacement Windows
Home & Garden

5 Advantages of Replacement Windows

Looking to improve the functionality and appearance of your home? Whether your old windows are failing or you simply want to upgrade the value and look of your home, here are a few of the advantages of installing new windows:

Reduced Environmental Impact

Old windows are not efficient, which means your furnace and air conditioner need to work harder to maintain a comfortable temperature indoors. The harder your HVAC equipment needs to work, the more natural resources are needed. High-efficiency replacement windows, on the other hand, use state-of-the-art design and technology to keep heat in during the winter and keep heat out in the summer. There is less demand on your HVAC equipment and thus, fewer natural resources used. As a result, your home has a smaller carbon footprint.

Save Money on Energy

Do you balk when you open your Enbridge or Hydro One bill? Rising utility bills serve as an alert that your home is not energy efficient. Switching to high-efficiency windows could cut your heating and cooling costs by 30%. In time, replacement windows basically pay for themselves!

Increase the Value of Your Home

Are you expecting to sell your home in the near future? Not only will replacement windows raise the resale value of your home, they’ll make your home more attractive in a competitive market. Nowadays, buyers are looking for turnkey, energy-efficient homes that don’t need any work. Replacement windows can return about 85%-100% on investment, making them one of the smartest home upgrades out there.

Design That Gets People Talking

New windows make a stunning addition to any home, from beautiful, bright bay windows to decorative glass windows to European tilt and turn windows with exceptional function.  Available in a wide range of colours with grills, lites, and hardware to suit any taste, the options are endless. If your old windows are faded, cracked, or simply out of style, there’s no better time to upgrade.

Low Maintenance Solution

On a crisp fall afternoon, would you rather be inside watching the big game or painting and cleaning windows on the second storey of your home? The answer goes without saying. Vinyl replacement windows are practically maintenance free, requiring nothing more than a quick clean on occasion. They will not rust, corrode, warp, bow, chip, or fade.

Ready to invest in replacement windows? Eco Choice Windows & Door is a leading supplier and installer of GTA vinyl windows. With top-quality products, expert installation, and caring customer service, your home will be in the best of hands.

 

Planning an Anniversary Dinner to Remember in Toronto
Food & Drink

Planning an Anniversary Dinner to Remember in Toronto

If you and your partner are among the many who found love in Toronto, you may soon be approaching a milestone anniversary. Whether it’s one, two or even ten years that you’ve been together, there are a wide variety of fun, interesting and romantic things to do in Toronto. But, of course, we all know that you can’t beat a romantic dinner in a dim, candle-lit setting with your other half, especially when it’s a special occasion.

Quaint Corner House Pub

There are so many romantic restaurants in Toronto that choosing just one may be more difficult than you imagined. If you and your other half tend to enjoy calm, laid-back settings, then the Corner House Pub might just be the ideal place. It looks like a quaint little cottage from the outside, and has an incredible rustic ambience in the inside. It is located on Gerrard Street East in the Upper Beaches neighbourhood of Toronto.

Delectable Splendido

On the other hand, if you prefer to do things a little more elaborately, try Splendido. This restaurant is perfect for special occasions, and it’s safe to say that the menu is rather impressive. If you love the feeling of a concoction of flavours exploding on your taste buds, then you’ll definitely leave this restaurant feeling satisfied. Splendido is located on Harbord Street just west of the University of Toronto St. George Campus.

Luxurious Auberge du Pommier

Furthermore, Auberge du Pommier is a fancy French restaurant that serves incredibly luxurious food. If you don’t mind spending a lot of money in restaurants on special occasions, then this charming eaterie is ideal for you. It is located on Yonge Street in York Mills, near the Don Valley Golf Course.

Don’t Forget Your Reservations!

As you can probably tell, Toronto has a lot to offer where romantic restaurants are concerned. If you’re planning on taking your other half to one for your anniversary, then it’s definitely important to make a reservation in advance – and yes, this might mean weeks in advance, depending on the type of restaurant you choose.

Dress to Impress

Once you’ve made the reservation at the restaurant of your choice, it’s important to consider which attire you’ll opt for on the special night itself. For men, the best option would be a pair of black trousers, black shoes, and a shirt of choice. Women, on the other hand, tend to wear a formal dress with mid-length heels on this kind of occasion. Of course, you go for a non-formal setting, then a specific dress code does not apply.

No matter what you choose, we wish you a wonderful anniversary – and many more to come!

Dress Your Home to Impress
Home & Garden

Dress Your Home To Impress

A lot of people are interested interior design but they do not know what they are doing. Interior design doesn’t have to be hard, and the skills of a professional are not needed to create a fabulous living space. This article will give you some great tips on interior design.

A great interior design tip is to spend your Saturday mornings going to yard sales and your free time visiting thrift stores. You wouldn’t believe some of the unique things you can find if you know where to look. The typical places like IKEA give homes a pleasant but cookie cutter look, which simply won’t cut it. You might happen to come across a great end table, a timeless mirror, or beautifully decorated vase, but you’ll never get the chance if you don’t pound the pavement.

One tip that you should follow is to use as many designs and patterns as you can. Textures and patterns can always be used to add contrast and create visual appeal. To get the idea, think of combining opposites: hard and soft, muted and shiny, rough and smooth. If you’re making a contemporary room, textures and patterns are definitely a must.

Learn to choose paint according to the light level that exists in a given room. If there isn’t sufficient window area in your room, you should paint the walls a light and bright colour.

If you are remodelling your kitchen, renovating, or creating a whole new kitchen or bathroom, it is beneficial to contact a professional contractor. Your ideas might involve plumbing work or electrical work that is beyond your scope of expertise, and things could go terribly wrong if you don’t know what you’re doing. By contacting a professional renovator or contractor, they can help you to outline the exact scope of the project so it is done right and within budget.

This sounds simply, but use slipcovers. If you have old couches or chairs that you are getting bored with, think about simply buying a slipcover and giving the furniture a whole new look. Slipcovers come in all designs and colours, so you can definitely find one that suits the decor in your home. Make sure to wash the slipcover regularly, of course.

If you’re looking to add some elegance in a room, use sconces for lighting. The dim light emanating from a sconce creates an atmosphere that is fancy and romantic. You can also get sconces in a variety of shapes, colours, and designs. No matter the theme of your room, you’ll find an appropriate fit.

Armed with the information here, you are now well-informed and knowledgeable about interior design principles. It should certainly be a lot easier to make your home look great now. These dos and don’ts can act as a great guide, but don’t be afraid to trust your design instincts and come up with something unique. With everything that you gained from reading this article about interior design, there’s no doubt that you can make your home look stunning.

Winter Driving
Safety, Weather

Winter Safety in Toronto

We’re at the height of winter in Toronto, with chilly temperatures, heavy snowfalls, and gusty winds. Outdoor accidents can be deadly at this time of year, so it is very important to take precautions. Here are some tips to stay safe this winter:

Bundle Up

Even if you don’t actually expect to be out in the elements for long, it is paramount that you dress for the worst-case scenario. You could be driving to drop someone off and not expect to leave your car. But a stall or engine failure, very common in freezing temperatures, could leave you stranded for hours in the cold. So no matter your plans, make sure to dress with a warm coat, boots, hat, and gloves at all occasions. Scarves and neckwarmers are recommended, but the two most important items are undoubtedly a coat to protect your core and a hat to protect heat loss from your head.

Emergency Supplies

Make sure your car has a winter survival kit at all times. You never know when a snow squall or black ice will bring highway driving to a halt, or when freezing temperatures will prevent your car from starting. A winter survival kit should have blankets, non-perishable food like energy bars, water, extra clothing, a small snow kit (shovel, scraper, brush), flashlight, candles, a whistle, and a road map. Make sure to replace the water every six months, and replenish supplies as necessary. Hopefully you’ll never have to use your winter survival kit, but better safe than sorry.

Wear Suitable Footwear

All too often we think we can get away with wearing sneakers all year long. While it certainly saves money, this is a dangerous practice that can cause real harm when bad weather strikes. Proper winter boots, with strong traction and water resistance, can protect you from slips on the ice, and can keep your feet dry in deep snow or slushy weather. Wet shoes and socks are a recipe for hypothermia and frostbite. Proper footwear that keeps you dry and sturdy in tough winter weather is very important.

Be Smart

If it is particularly vicious weather, with freezing rain, black ice, or snow squalls, consider whether an outdoor trek is necessary. If your trip can be delayed or cancelled, then do so. Safety is more important than most tasks. If you absolutely must head out, be sure to consolidate your tasks to avoid driving all over the GTA. Drive slowly and safely, exercise extreme caution with limited visibility, and beware of pedestrians. Stay safe this winter, Torontonians!

Toronto Celebrity
Celebrity, Movies, Music, Sports

Our Favourite Toronto Celebrities

Toronto’s a big city, with more than six million people in the Greater Toronto Area. In such a big city with thriving music, art, movie, and sports scenes, there are a lot of very talented individuals who have gained international fame for their abilities. Here are some of our favourite Toronto celebrities and why they stand out from the crowd:

Jim Carrey

For more than twenty years now, Jim Carrey has been busting our guts with hilarious movies. After a bit of a lull, he returned to what he knows best with Dumb and Dumber To released in the fall of 2014. Carrey was born in Newmarket and raised in Scarborough. He’s a huge Leafs fan, and even wore their iconic blue and white jersey while hosting Saturday Night Live in October. Toronto has a great comedy scene and has produced many talented funnymen, but nobody beats Jim Carrey.

Andrew Wiggins

Wiggins was raised in Thornhill and Vaughan. While there has been a recent surge of Toronto-area basketball players making it big in the NBA, nobody beats the phenomenal Andrew Wiggins. Wiggins highly regarded as a college player, and chose to commit to Kansas. He was the first overall pick by the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2014 and was traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves in the massive Kevin Lowe deal this summer. The son of a former NBA player and former Olympic athlete, Torontonians should be proud to share the same hometown as this talented man.

Steven Stamkos

Stamkos was raised in Unionville and Markham, and was the first overall pick in the 2008 NHL entry draft. Stamkos is arguably the best goalscorer in the NHL. He was kept off the Canadian Olympic team last year due to a brutal broken leg, but he’s arguably the second-best player behind only Sidney Crosby and lights up the league with his incredible sniping abilities. Stamkos only has one more year on his contract after this season…could he come home to the Toronto Maple Leafs? We’d love it!

Drake

28-year old Drake was raised in the affluent Forest Hill neighbourhood of Toronto. He has been repping Toronto for more than a decade, first as Jimmy on Degrassi and now as a world-renowned rapper and entertainer. We love Drake because he is proud to come from Toronto and lets the world know about it. He features everything from Shoppers Drug Mart to his old Forest Hill neighbourhood in his music videos. He is an Ambassador for the Toronto Raptors and shares his love for the team all around the world. Plus, it helps to have such a talented artist with sky-high potential representing our great city.

Of course there are so many other talented Toronto celebrities to name, but there’s no doubt these four are our favourites right now!

Toronto Christmas
Holidays

Toronto’s Best Christmas Sights

New York gets all the credit in the movies and on television as the ultimate Christmas city. Well, we Toronto residents know the real truth – that we have New York beat. Not only is Canada home to Santa’s workshop way up north, we also boast the best big city in which to celebrate the Christmas season. Here are some of our favourite must-see Christmas sights in Toronto:

Nathan Phillips Square

Located at the heart of downtown Toronto, the seat of the city’s government is also the centre of holiday action in our nation’s biggest city. Nathan Phillips Square is illuminated with the holiday spirit, and it’s the perfect place to introduce kids to the magic of Christmas or even share a romantic night with a date. The large Christmas tree shines bright, and the outdoor skating rink is a great place to observe the special combination of shining Christmas lights and glowing office towers at night.

Bloor-Yorkville

This trendy shopping district is a perfect place to enjoy an evening stroll, looking at the beautiful Christmas lights and impressive window displays and artwork while sipping a hot chocolate or warm cider from one of the great vendors in the neighbourhood. Bloor-Yorkville is a great place to pick up Christmas gifts for friends and family, or just enjoy some holiday magic as you see the trees glow with seasonal colours.

The Nutcracker

Presented by the National Ballet of Canada at the Four Seasons Performing Arts Centre, The Nutcracker is a must-see event for all Canadians and Christmas lovers. Tchaikovsky’s classic Christmas story set in Imperial Russia is so elegantly performed by Canada’s best ballerinas and ballet dancers, your jaw will drop just like a nutcracker. With iconic music, a timeless story, and gorgeous choreography, The Nutcracker will get any Torontonian into the holiday spirit.

Toronto Christmas Market

The Distillery District is host to this annual holiday street market that features some of the best and most creative vendors in Canada. It’s the perfect place to pick up a unique and memorable Christmas gift while enjoying great entertainment, food, and cider and beer in the beer gardens. The kids will love shopping here, with a life-sized gingerbread house, carousel, and visits from Santa and his reindeer. You can get a taste of European Christmas tradition without leaving Toronto.

These are just some of the incredible events and sights that offer a hint of holiday magic to Toronto residents and visitors during the most festive time of year.

Great Shape
Health & Wellness

Strategies for Getting Into Great Shape

If you don’t have the knowledge you need to be motivated, it can be hard to set goals when trying to lose weight. If you want to make your workout more enjoyable, there are a lot of ways you can make that happen. Start by reading this tips, and you’ll be well on the road to losing weight successfully.

Even the most sedentary people can moving thanks to the magical quality of music. It’s hard to resist moving your feet to a catchy beat, or singing at the top of your lungs to your favourite tunes. Because music is so associated with movement, you should definitely make music at the centre of your workout routine. Crank the tunes and get moving! When you’re working out, music can help you feel so much more alive and energized. This extra boost of energy helps you perform even longer at higher levels that you ever could with no musical accompaniment.

Do you know anyone else who is also trying to get fit? Latch on to them! Together, you can track your progress, and frankly it’s just fun to have someone to exercise alongside. When you have a buddy, time seems to fly. You can work your butt off yet it seems like you’re not even working at all. When the workout is a bunch of fun, you actually enjoy it. Imagine looking forward to a trip to the gym instead of dreading it.

If you are looking to break up the monotony, maybe you can watch exercise videos on TV or online. Invest in a few so you don’t get bored of them. The workout video brings a lot of noise and energy which distracts you from the burn of exercising. Many people are able to exercise for longer because of this distraction.

Who says you have to workout in ratty clothes? You deserve to wear workout attire that flatters your physique and makes you feel confident. This helps you get motivated to go to the gym, when you know you look hot. There are so many great looking outfits out there, and many of them offer very useful features like moisture wicking, and some even haven built-in armbands for iPhones and other crazy cool features.

Nothing is exciting if you do the same thing every day, so why would you do the same workout day after day? Give yourself a spark and switch things around so you stay motivated and excited. Play a different playlist, do different exercises, or switch up the order of your circuit. Don’t let yourself fall into a rut.

A lot of people find better motivation when they set rewards for themselves. This is entirely up to you – a trip to the spa, some new workout clothes, or a night out at the movies. Just make sure the reward doesn’t undo all the hard work you did at the gym!

Exercise does not have to be something you dread. Look for ways to make your exercise routine so much fun that you look forward to doing it. Apply this advice to make your workout routine more fun.

Preparing for College in the Fall
School

Preparing for College in the Fall

Close your eyes and picture where you want to end up in 10, 20, or 30 years. Whatever you picture, your choice of going to colleges, majors, and educational paths will have a huge impact on your life. According to College in Your Community, your future earning prospect and overall career satisfaction may be determined by the decision you make at 17 or 18…scary thought. It is so important to understand the world of higher education, and everything it has to offer you before you make a decision. Let’s get started with some basic information.

Making Friends

When you walk into the dorm room on your very first day of university or college, you should definitely make an effort to introduce yourself to your dorm mates and get to know them. These will be the folks that you spend most of your time with for the rest of the year, so you’d be wise to make friends with them right away. You never know, these could become friends for life (or even a love match – but keep your eyes on the education prize for now!)

Study Time

No matter what the movies tell you, college isn’t about wild parties, it’s about getting an education that will set you on a good path going foward. With that in mind, you should set aside some study time every day. Yes, not just the night before an exam! Sure, it’s important to socialize and connect with people, but the more effort you put into your education, the more it will reward you in the end. Besides, you’ve got a long summer vacation ahead. For now, focus on excelling in class. When you have a high paying job after graduation, you’ll be happy you put in this effort.

Cooking

Now that you’re away from home, you should definitely learn how to cook. For one, it’ll save a lot of money instead of going out to eat all the time. It’ll also be a lot healthier and give you a more filling meal. You’ll have more energy and more focus, which is so important when you’re a student.

Class Load

When it comes time to choose your classes, don’t just choose the ones with the latest start times! We think it’s best to have a balance, with a couple hard classes and a couple easy ones each semester. Otherwise you might get overwhelmed and not do as well as you could. A balance will ensure you get the best performance each semester.

Location

When you choose a college, you’re also choosing to become at least a temporary resident of the city or town where the college is located. For this reason, you should think about what the city is like. What does the city have to offer beyond the campus? Is there shopping? Museums? Nightlife? Good transportation? Close to home? You’ll be in this town for at least four years and many students end up living in the community later in life, so this is not to be overlooked.

Part-Time Job

So the student life is mostly about studying, but you may also be looking for a part-time job to give you a bit of spending money or help pay for expenses. Do you want to choose a job related to your future career path? Or what about a job with nice perks, like free food or discounted products? Every little bit helps when you’re a student. At the end of the day, it’s a good break from hitting the books.

Internship

When you’re in college, you should think about doing an internship or getting a co-op placement. It’ll let you get a break from studying to try some hands-on learning. Plus, you get to see what a career would be like in this field. Many students make such a good impression during their internship that they are offered a job after graduation. Talk to the relevant department at your school to explore your internship/co-op opportunities.

Work Study

If you’re looking to get professional experience, how about enrolling in a work study program? Basically you get to be half student, half worker. You make some money which can be used to finance your education, you get professional experience, and you also gain professional contacts that can be invaluable down the road. Again, speak with the relevant department at your school to find out more.

Obviously, college plays such a big role in people’s lives and can really dictate how careers turn out. Even though you’re young, your decisions at this age will have ripple effects throughout your life. But follow these steps and go in with an open mind, and you’ll have a rewarding college experience.

Interior Design Tips
Home & Garden

Interior Design Tips

Not everyone has the ability or renovate their home to the fullest extent of their tastes. If you happen to be one of the fortunate few, there’s no question you want to do it right. You definitely don’t want to fall for some common pitfalls. Keep reading for great ways to tackle your interior design planning.

Using things that have multiple purposes can help you to make the best use of small spaces.

Budget

There’s nothing worse than getting deep into a project only to find out that your funds have run out. It’s so important to know the costs involved beforehand and give yourself wiggle room. This will lessen the anxiety and stress levels when designing your new space.

Kitchen

A new looking kitchen redesign doesn’t have to be a big ordeal. can be as easy as replacing some new cabinet doors away. Use a nice visual appearance to accent your cabinets.

Room Purpose

Think about your room’s purpose is when designing it. How many people will be in the room at a time? What will be the primary (and secondary etc.) uses of the room? Your family should always be your first consideration when you’re designing a room, but definitely think about your friends and visitors.

Wallpaper

Wallpaper only a portion of your wall because redecorating your walls can cost quite a bit of dough if not planned properly. If you want to save some cash, your best course of action is to only use one wall of wallpaper, don’t go crazy. Give your wallpaper a bolder border and then just paint the rest. This is an excellent method of maintaining a stylish-looking home, but saving money at the same time.

Room by Room

Each and every room in your house should be personalized to your style. While you want something that looks nice for visitors, at the end of the day you’ll be the one living in it. Don’t worry about what others think – do you! You never know if you’ll start a style trend!

Lighting

Lighting is critical in any home. It sets the room. Bright lights are used to project a more positive vibe and are particularly well suited to rooms like kitchens.Try using dimmer lights in bedrooms and living rooms for this type of feel.

Trends

Incorporating trendy elements in your plans can be fantastic. They can modernize a room a sense of modern style. Use trendy pieces only as they can overwhelm a room if used too liberally. A cheetah print lamp shade can be replaced no problem if it happens to go out of style. A cheetah print sofa won’t be as easy to replace.

With all the knowledge you gained above, you can figure out how to improve the inside of your home. Keep these ideas in your mind as you work on your home decorating project.

Broken Heart Fixed
Health & Wellness

How Diet And Exercise Can Help Cure The Blues

Depression can create an unhealthy condition to live with. You can really help yourself out of depression by making lifestyle changes. You will appreciate the fact that you read this article.

You are My Sunshine…

Go outside and soak up some healthy sun ray for a little bit every day. Research has demonstrated that insufficient exposure to sunlight can make people more depressed. Obviously remember to apply sunscreen and wear a hat.

You can help defeat depression by taking steps to solve personal problems in your life. Take only gradual steps, but you’ll notice lots of change even with these small steps. You can get the causing factors under control by setting smaller goals to try to combat your depression.

Vocabulary Change

Eliminate the word “depression” from your vocabulary. While it is a very real condition, especially if it is diagnosed clinically, the terminology that is associated with that word can leave people feeling stigmatized and overwhelmed. Instead, if you start to feel upset, think of it as a low mood. What can you do to combat a low mood?

As the saying goes, if one has hope, one can have a reason to keep going and looking for a better future.

You may not be suffering from depression if there is a specific event that has caused you to feel a bit down. Depression is a constant clinical problem, not sadness about how something went.

Having fresh cut flowers around can really brighten your day. Flowers are amazing and that they can bring pleasure to humans. Their pleasant aroma can lift moods. Use this to your advantage and grow some fresh flowers around your house.

Avoid Drugs & Alcohol

Do not use alcohol or do any drugs when you feel depressed. People turn to drugs, alcohol and other harmful substances sometimes when dealing with depression, but they actually make things worse.

The Nature of Depression

It can be oh so helpful to attempt to understand the nature of your depression. The fact is, depression can manifest itself in both physical and psychological ways. These different manifestations may lead to increased feelings of depression to get bigger. Anti-depressants can be helpful for dealing with depression, and for this reason are prescribed for those with depression. There are other natural ways to help increase your serotonin levels, which will improve your mood and help to combat depression. Stay away from stimulants. If you want to help alleviate your depression, make sure you get plenty of rest, exercise regularly, and practice healthy eating habits.

You can fight depression by remaining positive. Build yourself a good support network by surrounding yourself people who are supportive of your depression.

Even when you are feeling depressed, you are still in control of what activities you take part in and how you choose to live your life. Using the tips here, start regaining control. There are some simple steps you can take to get started on your journey. Combat depression and your life will benefit in so many ways.