kids-summer
Family

Family-Friendly Activities in Toronto

It seems like in the blink of an eye school’s out and you’re suddenly left scrambling, trying to figure what to do with the kids. The good news is that there are a ton of family-friendly activities in Toronto this summer to partake in that will appease everyone, and keep boredom at bay. Here are some of the top family-friendly activities to check out in Toronto this summer.

Snorkel With Stingrays At Ripley’s Aquarium

Since the Ripley’s Aquarium opened it’s doors in 2013 in Toronto, it’s become one of the most popular attractions throughout the city. And it’s not hard to see why. Beyond the awesome aquarium that you and the kids can enjoy, there are also numerous other family-friendly activities to enjoy that will really crank up the fun factor. Kids that are ages six and up can swim and snorkel with stingrays in Ray Bay, accompanied by a Ripley’s diver. You and the family can have fun getting a behind the scenes tour with some of the stars of the aquarium.

You can check out all the detailed info here: https://www.ripleyaquariums.com/canada/programs/stingray-experience/

Jr. Jays Saturdays

Summer in Toronto means a ball game has to be involved at least once. And with the Jr. Jays program, you can bring the family to any Saturday home game to take in the action while participating in kid-friendly activities while you get to relax and enjoy the action. Kids can win prizes, or even be selected for stadium activities like Jr. Jay Announcer for the bottom half of an inning, or a moment of fame up on the video board, and for fans 14 ages and older, they can run around the bases after the game.

For more information, check out the details here: https://www.mlb.com/bluejays/

FringeKids Club At The Fringe Festival

If you’ve got theatrical lovers in the family then this is the place to check out this summer. The FringeKids Club was created for kid-friendly performances, with plenty of theatre-based activities that they can have fun with. This club is located at the George Ignatieff Theatre where kids can enjoy free activities. You can also catch a FringeKid performance, with this year’s puppet adaptation of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream and the comedy Pirates Don’t Babysit! Shows costs $5 per person.

For more information, check out the site here: https://fringetoronto.com/festivals/kidsfest

Redpath Waterfront Festival

If you’re looking for something unique to check out in celebration of the Canada Day weekend, head over to the Redpath Waterfront Festival. Here you can check out the fleet of tall ships, which includes the largest Viking ship built in modern times.  Aside from deck tours, kids can participate on the free navy-themed obstacle course, and fuel up on some tasty food from local bakers and chefs. There will also be tons of artisanal goods and even a dog show to check out. This is literally the place to be for everyone to enjoy – even your furry loved one. For more information, click here: http://towaterfrontfest.com/

If you’re wondering how to appease the kids this summer, check out some of these awesome family-friendly events that are happening in Toronto this summer.

 

 

summer-music-fest
Toronto News

Toronto Events: August 2017

With August comes the incredible heat and equally incredible opportunity to have a fantastic time. Summer has been in full swing, but Toronto is far from out of surprises yet. This month offers a unique blend of exhibitions and cultural celebrations that will surely excite Torontonians and visitors alike.

Rogers Cup Presented By National Bank (August 5-13)

Tennis fans will be undoubtedly captivated by the allure of the Women’s Rogers Cup, held at the Aviva Centre at York University. Tickets start as low as $15, allowing fans of all ages to enjoy days of friendly tournament competition without breaking the bank. Various on-site activities will be held, including autograph sessions and musical entertainment. In addition, visitors can enjoy great meals and beverages from a variety of patios, stadium concessions, and food trucks as well as purchase tennis gear and official Rogers Cup merchandise from various shops. The matches themselves are hugely popular and entertaining, and you’ll surely have an exciting and memorable time on any days you spend at this great event.

Veld Music Festival (August 5-6)

This two-day celebration of Dance Music and Hip-Hop is sure to bring crackling energy and vibrancy. Held at Downsview Park, the Veld Music Festival will offer the combined entertainment value of over 30 internationally renowned acts, and this year will showcase some of the most respected and popular names in electronic music. Performers include Future, Migos, Zedd, Major Lazer, Slander, Pleasurekraft, Claptone, Tïesto, and many more!

Krinos Taste of the Danforth (August 11-13)

Toronto’s 24th Krinos Taste of the Danforth is Canada’s largest street festival, and is a thoroughly immersive summer celebration of all things Greek. Danforth’s incredible selection of multi-ethnic restaurants brings their greatest dishes (and plenty of free samples) to this culinary and cultural street party, which is situated along Danforth Avenue in GreekTown. Culturally inspired activities such as plate-breaking and archery lessons, free Greek musical and cultural performances, and a variety of contests and children’s activities make the Krinos Taste of the Danforth a fun experience for the whole family. Expand your mind and fill your stomach with one of Toronto’s most authentic and entertaining cultural festivals!

Canadian National Exhibition (August 18-September 4)

This is the big one — “The Ex” is roaring back into Toronto for another round of adventures and carnival delights. This iconic end-of-summer celebration boasts a classic midway of thrilling rides, games with colourful and exciting prizes, comedy and animal shows, casino games, international performances, celebrity chef demonstrations, and plenty of shopping opportunities. Concluding with a three-day air show featuring the Canadian Snow Birds, the Canadian National Exhibition is a must-see. Surround yourself with neon-drenched excitement and carnival delights that offer a timeless experience full of magical memories.

Whether it’s live music, sporting thrills, culinary immersion, or carnival magic that you’re after, this August offers some of the most exhilarating and popular events to hit Toronto this year. Make some memories, fill your stomach, expand your mind, and be thoroughly entertained all at the same time!

canada-day-sparklers
Holidays

Canada Day Party Games

Looking to crank up the patriotic fun with some games to go with your Canada Day celebrations? Whether you’ve got kids, teens, adults, or even adults who could qualify as kids, we’ve got some suggestions for you. Here are some Canada Day party games to get your party going for the whole family!

For the Kids

Collective Flag Creations

If you’ve got a party full of kids to keep entertained and pre-occupied, this is a great activity for them to get involved with and explore their craftier side with the Canadian flag. All you need is enough pieces of square white square fabric for each person (or you can just use paper if you prefer). And with a variety of different materials (markers, stickers, glue-on shapes) ask the kids to re-create their version of the Canadian flag and what it means to them. They can draw moose, the maple leaf, even a Beaver Tail – anything to get them thinking about what they love most about Canada. Then put them up somewhere on display for the day.

Canadian Piñata

Who doesn’t love taking a swing at a piñata? Even if this is the only activity you have during your Canada celebration – it’s a winner. Everyone loves to watch as each person takes their turn flailing their arms around in anticipation for the candy. So hop online and check out places that sell them in your area. Or, you can make it a DIY project that you can make with the kids with a Canada theme to go along with. Either way, you can’t go wrong with this one!

Scavenger Hunt

Who says scavenger hunts have to be left for Easter? Kids absolutely love to go on the hunt for little treasures hidden around your yard or home. You can pick up a few items at the dollar store or candies and tell them to start hunting!

For the Grown-ups

Canada Trivia

The grown-ups need a little entertainment too. If you’re looking to test your knowledge of Canadian fun facts and things-that-you-should-know-but-don’t, then Canadian trivia is the perfect game to stimulate your mind while relaxing with a beverage in hand.

Bocci Ball

So this may have Italian roots, but Bocci Ball is a classic that you can’t go wrong with. It celebrates our diversity while getting the grown-ups out of their chairs and into the competition.

Wii Dance Party

Finally, if you have a Wii game system, throwing down a Dance Party addition at your Canada Day party will get both adults and kids pumped up and moving!

Throw some excitement into the mix at your Canada Day celebration this year. These games are guaranteed to crank up the fun factor and get the whole crew having a good time.

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Home & Garden

5 Awesome Basement Renovation Ideas

If the current status of your basement involves cold concrete floors and dark, creepy corners filled with boxes of junk, it can be hard to really see past all of that and imagine it as a whole new space that can actually look cozy and welcoming. The reality is, with a few good renos, you can really utilize that extra room, and provide you and your family with a warm and inviting living space.

So if you’ve been considering remodelling your basement, here are 5 awesome renos ideas that can help inspire you and help you imagine just how amazing that basement can look.

A Giant Playhouse for the Kids

Tight on space for the kids? Sick of tripping over toys? Well, why not turn the basement into a giant play area where they can spend time with their friends and get creative until their hearts are content? It’s the perfect space where you can get creative by installing cozy carpeting, add some fun and colourful furniture to the mix, and wow the kids with an area that’s all for them.

The Ultimate Games Room

Forget the kids – what adult doesn’t dream of having a games room? Create your perfect gaming den for when you have the neighbours or friends over. Begin by planning out what your priorities are – area for the big screen, the darts board, maybe even the pool table – you can customize your space for your own personal style.

The Wine Cellar

So maybe games aren’t your thing, but maybe wine is! Imagine having your friends or family over and asking them to go grab a bottle of wine – from the cellar! Stop dreaming. It’s a lot easier to have than you think. With a few customized shelves, and the perfect design and décor, you can have your very own sultry cellar in the comfort of your basement.

 The Zen Room

Sometimes, all we really need is to have our own peaceful Zen space to relax, mediate or dive into a good book. Although it may be difficult to envision it now, with the right designs and handyman to get the job done, you can have your own peaceful Zen room where you can escape the hustle and bustle of the world whenever you choose.

The Bar

Instead of paying a fortune at the local bar each weekend, turn your basement into the ultimate hotspot for Friday nights with your friends. You can become the cocktail master right in the comfort of home.

So give your basement a chance to shine. If you learn to look past the concrete and boxes, we guarantee once you place your design in the right sets of hands, we’ll create that perfect extra space in your home that you never thought was possible.

child-running-through-water-park
Family, Toronto News

Toronto Events: July 2017

As Canada’s 150th birthday rolls around, Toronto will truly be more alive than ever before. There is a stunning and mind-boggling array of events on offer throughout the month of July, and there’s certainly something on offer for everyone. Rest assured, you won’t be short on fun and exciting experiences.

Redpath Toronto Waterfront Festival (July 1-3)

Making full use of the revitalized Queen’s Quay and Waterfront, the Redpath Toronto Waterfront Festival offers a dynamic range of interactive on-land activities. Featuring the West Coast Lumberjack Show, exciting entertainment from Rhythm of the Nation, a visit from one of the Royal Canadian Navy’s 440-foot naval frigates, the popular Artisan Market, and yes, the much-discussed visit of the World’s Largest Rubber Duck, the Waterfront neighbourhood is sure to experience a frenzy of delights and exciting activities sure to please all ages. Come and Canuck it up!

Toronto Fringe Festival (July 5-16)

Calling all artists and art-lovers — the annual Toronto Fringe Festival is coming back! Showcasing 160 plays at 35 venues as well as 50 free events at the Fringe Club at Scaddling Court, Ontario’s largest theatre and performance art festival is guaranteed to blow your mind and endlessly inspire. With highly affordable $12 tickets for all fee-based events, Toronto Fringe Festival offers easy and budget-friendly accessibility to cutting-edge indie and grassroots artistic exhibitions for those in need of a heavy dose of vibrant culture.

Honda Indy Toronto (July 14-16)

For a rush of excitement and rip-roaring energy, look no further than the Honda Honda Indy Toronto. Held at Exhibition Place, this automotive celebration offers a vast array of activities including children’s activities such as golfing and face painting, complimentary midway-style snacks, driver autograph sessions, interactive exhibits, live entertainment, vehicle showcases, beer gardens, and plenty more for thrill-seekers in addition to the exhilarating racing itself. Head over for a complimentary cotton candy, snow cone, or popcorn, and partake in the various exciting activities and events Honda Indy Toronto has to offer!

Toronto’s Festival of Beer (July 28-30)

What good is summer without a tall, frosty cold one? Toronto’s Festival of Beer is here to quench the parched and thoroughly entertain the bored. A mouth-watering 418 incredible brews will be on offer from brands of all sizes, as will great food and company. The grilling tent, managed by skilled chefs who are culinary masters, will provide delectable fixings galore, and live bands including Method Man & Redman, Alan Doyle & The Beautiful Gypsies, and Sloan round out the exciting entertainment options accompanying spectacular brews. Bring a friend (or a few) over to Exhibition Place, and let your appetites run wild.

This July, Torontonians and visitors alike will have a huge selection of exciting experiences readily available throughout the weeks to come. Indulge in guilty pleasures and soak up some of the fascinating culture coming your way this summer! In Toronto, the possibilities are endless.

man-cleans-roof-gutters
Home & Garden

Spring Cleaning Roof Checklist

When spring cleaning, be sure to not forget to give your roof a little attention and elbow grease. Properly maintaining your roof will allow it to last for several years, minimizing the need for repairs later on. Here is a checklist of some key roof cleaning chores to carry out every spring.

Inspect Your Shingles, and Wash off Mildew

Keeping a close eye on the condition of your roofing shingles is absolutely crucial, as ignoring them will drastically weaken the structural integrity of your roof over time, exposing your home to leaks and other problems. Check for missing shingles and replace them immediately should you find any. Also, don’t forget to address cracked, peeling, bent, or cupping shingles as soon as possible, as they will cause all sorts of internal damage if left unattended.

Also be sure to wash off any mould or mildew that has gathered, as leaving it to fester will create all sorts of frustrations and expensive problems later on. To protect your home, it’s important to thoroughly spray any evidence of mildew or mould off and away from your roof.

Clean Gutters and Clear Debris

Left untreated, clogged gutters can cause significant damage to your roof and home over time. Cleaning out leaves and other debris will prevent your gutters from being overwhelmed by water accumulation, which will protect your roof and foundation from water damage typically associated with an ineffective gutter system.

Also, it is imperative that you address any overhanging threats to the overall health of your roof, such as heavy branches or loose pieces of metal and brick from neighbouring buildings. Anything that falls onto your roof can easily puncture it, resulting in leaks and all of the damages and problems associated with them. Also be sure to remove any debris that has gathered on your roof, inspecting for damage at all times.

Inspect Chimney and Flashing

Chimney flashing is what seals around your chimney to maintain a snug fit, and ignoring open spaces that appear invites all sorts of pests and leakages into your roof and home. It is common for flashing to pull away from the chimney over the years, so be sure to apply what is normally an easy fix to keep everything clean and exposure-free.

When performed every spring, these cleaning duties will make it easier than ever to keep your roof and home dry, pest-free, and fully insulated. If you’re ever unsure of what to do or require assistance, don’t hesitate to contact a roofing professional to make sure your roof is in good shape and prevent future problems!

family-plays-carpet
Home & Garden

Nice Furniture and Children Under The Same Roof

Are you starting to wonder if you can maintain nice furniture under the same roof as your children? Well, you can! It can be hard to imagine for some, but there are ways you can keep your furniture free from damage and pesky stains while in the presence of your kids. Here we look at a couple ways you can protect your favourite items and keep your kids safe at the same time.

Washable Slip Covers

Slip covers really were designed for families. Your fancy decorative couch can be just as nice with an elegant slip cover. There are so many different styles and colours to choose from, you are sure to find one that you love. Plus, you don’t have to worry about the spills or stains. You can easily throw it into the laundry and have it come out looking brand new.

Buy Fabrics that are Easy to Clean

If you’re not keen on slip covers, you can also focus on selecting furniture, such as couches and chairs, that have material that’s stain resistant and easy to clean. That way you can have some peace of mind knowing that when spills or dirty hand prints land on your couch, a simple wipe will get them out.

Consider Leather Furniture

If you’re a fan of leather, then consider this when furniture shopping! Leather is much easier to maintain than other materials. You can easily clean it, plus, leather actually looks better as it gets used and worn in.

Add a Rug Pad

If you have new and lush carpet you would prefer to keep looking as elegant as when you bought it, try using a thick rug pad made for protecting your carpet. These can protect you carpet, while minimizing any tripping hazards.

Closed Cabinets

Closed cabinets can help keep your beautiful wine glasses and delicate dining ware safe. There are many cabinet designs that don’t come with handles. Instead you need to press on the top corners in order to open them. This can be a great addition to your décor and a good way to childproof items from your toddlers.

Any parent can tell you that with kids, accidents just seem to happen out of nowhere. But it is possible to furnish your home nicely while having kids. You just need to be selective so that when something does spill on your new couch, at least you know that you can handle it without having to begin shopping for a new one.

front-door
Home & Garden

How to Create an Entrance that Says “Welcome Home”

Choosing the door itself is a big part of making your front entrance more inviting. In addition to the door of your choosing, the details will make a big difference in the presentation of the space. Adding decorations and lighting will make your front door even more appealing and welcoming for your guests. Nothing says “welcome home” quite like a stunning front entrance.

Paint

If you’re not ready to replace your front door, or if you’re limited by your budget, painting your front door is a great way to set your door apart from the rest of the neighbourhood without having to make the commitment. Consider painting your front door in a bright colour that will charm your guests and cheer you up when you get home from a long stressful day at work.

Let there be light

An easy way to make your home’s entrance more inviting is to make sure that your front door is well-lit. Add lighting that matches the style and size of your front entrance. This will help guests find their way to your front door once the sun goes down, and it will also make your home feel more secure at night.

There are many styles of lighting to consider, whether it’s a ceiling mount or a wall mount. Choose one that displays your personal style and suits the type of entrance that you have.

Make sure your front door is accessible 

It’s a walk to your front door, not a trek through the Amazon! You don’t want your guests to have to cut through branches and overgrown plants just to get through to your front door. Make sure that there is a clear path that leads from your driveway to the door and that the path is easily accessible. In climates with rough winters, this means making sure your path is freshly shoveled and salt or de-icer is sprinkled to prevent any nasty slips.

Use flowers and plants

Use seasonal flowers and plants to decorate the space around your front door. Seasonal arrangements are easy to put together and make your front door more inviting, adding a playful air. For example, in the fall, add harvest-themed decorations and closer to Halloween add some spooky decorations. Make sure not to add those Christmas decorations too early!

Accessorize

Add details that add personality to your front entrance. Consider adding a welcome mat or a wreath to your door. Remember to let your personality shine, as this will make a great first impression on your guests.

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Family

Welcome Home Gift Ideas for the New Mom

Baby season has arrived! When you go to visit the new bundle of joy, be sure to bring a little something for Mom too! Mom has been through a lot bringing this little bundle of joy into the world, so now’s time to celebrate her as well! Here are some thoughtful gift ideas to show Mom how much you care.

Flowers

After having a baby it’s very nice and calming to be surrounded by beautiful flowers. It’s a common gift to give to new parents for a reason, because it’s always lovely to look upon pretty flowers at the end of a long day.

Jewelery

You can give your wife a memorable gift such as something in the baby’s birthstone. A little something to say “thank you for giving me the best present in the world”. It will be a keepsake for her to cherish as baby grows up.

Gift basket

Don’t send a gift basket to the hospital because the parents will have enough to carry home. Have a gift basket just for moms waiting at home to welcome her to her new life. The basket should contain calming things she can use to relax. Things like herbal teas, her favorite chocolate or snacks maybe even a good book.

New pajamas

Face it, a new mom is going to spend a fair amount of time in her pajamas, so why not surprise her with a brand new pair! She might be in between sizes directly after having a baby so a new set will be a blessing.

A massage

Sure you can give her a massage if you want, but you should also buy her a professional massage. This serves as a two part present; first is the professional massage that she desperately needs and two is some quiet time away from the baby.

Bringing home a new baby is very exciting and overwhelming. Don’t get so caught up in the excitement of things that you forget to celebrate the woman who gave you the beautiful baby.

air-vent-floor
Home & Garden

Tips for Cleaner Indoor Air This Spring/Summer

With the warmer weather comes increased humidity and temperatures, which can result in a variety of detractors of air quality. With some careful planning by implementing the following tips, however, you can easily minimize the negative impact spring and summer can have on your home’s interior air quality.

Put That Green Thumb to Use

By adding more plants to your home’s interior, you’ll have lighter and more breathable air in no time. The ideal pollution-killer, plants absorb gases and negative compounds from the air, absorbing them into their leaves and roots. This process is called phytoremediation, and it’s a highly effective way of producing more oxygen and cleansing your home of pollutants. Having multiple larger plants throughout your interior will make it even easier to maintain a more beneficial air quality, so long as you keep up with watering and treat houseplants with the same respect they offer you.

Sufficient Ventilation and Air Filtration

A home that isn’t provided with adequate air ventilation will result in interiors becoming increasingly stale and sweltering as the warmer seasons ramp up, leaving their occupants with heavy, stuffy air and a lack of sufficient filtration, as well as greater potential for mould and mites. Ensuring you have a reliable, efficient, and fully functioning ventilation system installed for the impending heat waves and humidity will help protect your home from any further dips in air quality, and possibly improving it over time. Ensure each room in your home is properly ventilated to prevent humidity from collecting in specific areas. Of course, using a dehumidifier or air filtration equipment such as Distinct HVAC’s General Air MAC2000 Air Filtration System offers results quickly and efficiently, sucking in fresh outside air and cycling heavier, more stagnant air out of your home.

Make Your Home a Smoke-Free Zone

Cigarette smoke is toxic in more ways than you could possibly imagine, and your home’s interior air quality is far from immune to it. Ventilation and air filtration can suffer tremendously from homes exposed to smoke on a consistent basis, and it’s not a surprise considering they contain over 4,000 chemicals. If you plan on making your air more breathable, butt out or take it outside if you absolutely must have a smoke. Various cancers, diseases, heart attacks, and deaths stem from second-hand smoke, and living in an ever-present cloud of it will do far more than suffocate your air quality.

Switch to Fragrance-Free Products

Those fruity-scented soaps, detergents, bath products, cleaners, and aerosol sprays are known to emit dozens of volatile organic compounds into the air, making it all the harder to keep your home fresh indoors despite the intended uses printed on their labels. By substituting for all-natural alternatives or fragrance-free items such as sliced lemons and baking soda for kitchen freshness will help to filter toxins out of the air. With spring and summer in full swing, now’s the time to open the windows, pull back the curtains and let fresh air into every room in your home. Combined with less invasive and far less toxic cleaning solutions, it’ll be easier than ever to maintain indoor freshness.

The quality of your home’s indoor air depends on how much effort you’re willing to put into filtering it. By implementing these fresh tips and being careful about what products you use, it will be an absolute breeze to have clean, light, and healthy air at home.