• Hitting The Slopes In Canada

    Jan 16, 2018

    Are you ready for ski and snowboard season? From east to west, Timbercreek brings you this list of the best places to hit the slopes this winter in Canada.

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    Alberta

    One of the premiere provinces for snow sports, Alberta has an abundance of snow, and mountains which means it offers a near equal abundance of ski and snowboard locations. From Calgary’s Olympic Park to Banff’s famous trio of Sunshine, Lake Louise, and Norquay, Jasper’s Marmot Basin, Castle Mountain and Pass Powderkeg, Nighthawk, Canyon, and Misery Mountain Ski Areas, it’s got to be one of the most skiable provinces in the country! Check out more here.

    Manitoba

    While not the first place you’d think of for ski and snowboard destinations, Manitoba rocks when it comes to snowsports. Holiday Mountain in La Riviere features a freestyle terrain snowboard park and 11 downhill runs. Stony Mountain Ski Area near Winnipeg is the city’s prime snow spot, priding itself on being the first to open and the last to close each winter. Springhill Winter Sports Park maintains 10 runs for boarders and skiers with night skiing for insomniacs, and snowboard and freestyle ski contests throughout the season. Asessippi Ski Area is the province’s largest, with 25 runs, two freestyle terrain parks, three aerial lifts and a bustling winter village. Ski Valley, Falcon Ridge, Ski Hill, and Mystery Mountain are other great options for the Manitoba ski lover.

    Ontario

    While Blue Mountain tends to rule the minds of most Ontario skiers and snowboarders, there are in fact numerous options in central Canada. Mount St. Louis Moonstone, Glen Eden, and Uplands Ski Centre tend to be the Toronto/Southern Ontario locations of choice for proximity, with Horseshoe and Hidden Valley, as well as Hockley Valley, Devil’s Elbow near Peterborough, Batawa near Belleville, and a laundry list of other fantastic spots like Laurentian, Caledon, Mt. Antoine, Sir Sam’s and Searchmont. For a mostly flat province, Ontario has some great ski hills.

    Quebec

    An Alberta-worthy snow competitor, Quebec has a lot to be proud of when it comes to ski and snowboard hotspots. Mont Tremblant is a world destination located north of Montreal, with Mont Sainte Anne and Le Massif close to Quebec City offering some of the best skiing (and the highest vertical drop) in Eastern Canada. Mont Saint-Sauveur is known for its world class night skiing, with Mont Sutton and Bromont high on that list as well.  Quebec is also filled with Nordic trails through The Gatineau Hills near Ottawa.

    Timbercreek hopes you find the ski and snowboard hills of your dreams this winter. For more information about Timbercreek Communities in your city, please visit our website.

  • Get Fit In Your Living Room

    Jan 15, 2018

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    It’s hard enough getting to the gym in the sunny summer months, much less in the dark of winter. Good thing you can get in a killer workout without leaving the comfort of home. Even if you have nothing more than your own body and a pair of leggings, an intense workout is totally possible. To help get your heart rate up this season without leaving the house, Timbercreek brings you this list of living room workouts to help you get (or stay) fit this winter.

    HIIT

    High Intensity Interval Training is a system that revolves around short bursts of high intensity exercise followed by less intense periods of pseudo-rest. Nearly any exercise can be used, and while varied, standard intervals consist of 30 seconds of intensity, followed by a minute of low-activity rest. Think 30 seconds of jump squats followed by 1 minute of medium to low level jumping jacks. HIIT gets the heart rate up quickly and keeps it up, without the need for traditional exercises like running or a stairmaster. It's great for cardio and it activates the “Afterburn” effect where calories keep burning long after you’re done.

    Tabata

    A version of HIIT training, Tabata is a fitness system that’s as simple as it is effective. The basics involve 20 seconds of intense exercise, followed by 10 seconds of rest. Start with any group of 4 exercises (let’s say push ups, sit ups, jumping jacks and squats). Do the first for 20 intense seconds. Then rest for 10. Then repeat with the second, third, and fourth exercises. You then repeat that round of 4 anywhere from 4 to 8, or 10 times. It’s fast. Intense. And effective.

     

    Body Weight

    With just the weight of your body, you can get a killer workout. Exercises like squats, lunges (or jumping lunges), jumping jacks, running on the spot, and step-ups improve cardio and isolate your legs, butt, calves, and core; mountain climbers, sit-ups, leg-raises, and crunches target your abs; push ups and planks hit the triceps, chest, shoulders, abs, and back; while all of it, done in sets with no or little rest (as above), collectively get your heart rate up for cardio.

    Crossfit

    A variation on Tabata and HIIT, Crossfit combines an enormous array of exercises into a single system. With core exercises like the clean and jerk, chin up, push up, and squat, crossfit employs myriad (and sometimes tricky) variants (i.e. the rope climb) to get practitioners fit by applying and incorporating exercises from different sports and traditions. Check out their workout of the day.

    Pilates and Yoga

    Less intense options that still offer fitness, flexibility, and mental rejuvenation, Pilates and Yoga focus on holding static postures which simultaneously build strength and pliable muscles. A great option for indoor workouts in winter.

    Timbercreek hopes that this article helps you stay fit this winter in the comfort of your living room. For more information about Timbercreek Communities in your city, please visit our website.

  • Public Skating Rinks - Toronto, Ottawa, Quebec

    Dec 21, 2017

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    Whether you’ve got weak ankles, wobbly knees, or used to be a pro, winter skating can be a lot of fun. While ice hockey requires a ton of protective gear (and other players), you only need a pair of skates to enjoy a leisurely afternoon glide on the ice. Across Canada, most cities have at least one easy-access public skating rink where families, loved ones, and friends can enjoy a winter afternoon or evening. To get you back on the ice this winter, Timbercreek brings you this list of public skating rinks in Toronto, Ottawa, and Quebec City.

    Harbourfront Centre’s Natrel Rink

    While Nathan Phillips is without question the most popular skating rink option in Toronto, the rink at Harbourfront is an unsung hero. It’s nothing less than magical. With views of Lake Ontario, the Harbourfront bandshell, and the open starry sky, Harbourfront Centre’s Natrel Rink is a stunner. It’s also got Boxcar Social just a hop away for a post (or pre, or both) skate libation. Learn more here.

    Rideau Canal Skateway

    Each winter, the historic Rideau Canal becomes the Rideau Canal Skateway -- the world’s largest skating rink. At 7.8 kilometres long, it stretches from downtown Ottawa to Dows Lake. Skating season typically runs from January until late February, with many activities taking place in February during Winterlude. Skating is available in the open sections of the Skateway until 10 pm or 11pm daily, and skates can be rented at select locations. Learn more here.

    Quebec: Place D'Youville skating rink

     

    Open from mid-October to mid-March, Place D’Youville let’s you skate in style in the heart of the city. Glide across a refrigerated rink amid the ambiance of Old Québec, just across from Porte Saint-Jean and Capitole de Québec. With free admission and skate rentals available onsite, this gem of a rink ticks all the boxes. You can also warm up after your skate at Café-boulangerie Paillard. Learn more.


    Timbercreek hopes that this list of the best public skating rinks in Toronto, Ottawa and Quebec City gets you out for a skate this winter season. For more information about Timbercreek Communities in your city, please visit our website.

  • Holiday Checklist: Entertaining

    Dec 20, 2017
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    It’s Holiday time! Tis’ the season to deck the halls, buy or make heartfelt gifts, and strategically place the mistletoe. With Holiday celebrations comes great expectations.  If you’re planning on throwing a party this Holiday, Timbercreek  has created this Holiday Checklist for entertaining so you won’t miss a beat.

    Caroling party

    You don’t have to be Adele, Holiday songs are made for for everyone to sing -- tone deaf and vocally blessed alike.  So belt out some carols this year! With a little prep, you can host a caroling party that’ll be fun for all. Choose a setlist, print out some lyrics, find karaoke versions (or if someone plays guitar or piano go for it), and get busy. Healthy doses of wine or eggnog tend to make voices much, much better.

    Holiday Craft Hang

    For most of us, ‘busy’ is an understatement during the holidays. With so much to do before the big day, time with friends can fall by the wayside. Why not invite some friends over to tackle your Holiday crafts? Everyone has to take time to handle card writing, gift tagging,  gift wrapping, and (for the ambitious) gift making. So get together to plow through your collective to-do lists while swapping stories, blasting holiday tunes, and enjoying cookies and rum toddies.

     

    Holiday Cookie or Dessert Potluck

    When in doubt, delegate and diversify. Get more for less by hosting a Holiday cookie (or Holiday dessert) pot-luck. It’s super easy to do -- just invite a group of friends and ask everyone to bring their favourite Holiday treat. Have each person make one type of cookie or dessert to share (and a display plate). Then bring everyone together to sample the goods, and trade and package up leftovers in takeout containers or cookie tins. Easy peasy.

    Timbercreek hopes this list helps you entertain with style this holiday season. For more information about Timbercreek Communities in your city, please visit our website.
  • Top Holiday Events in Canada

    Dec 18, 2017

    The holiday season is here again. It’s time to dust off the decorations, put up the stockings, and whip out your ugliest Christmas sweater.  From hot chocolate to festivals, mall Santas to apple cider, there’s no shortage of seasonal events to tuck into this year. To help you celebrate the holidays, Timbercreek has put together a shortlist of events happening in your area this fall.

    Distillery District: Toronto Christmas Market

    Perhaps the best holiday event of the season, The Distillery District has once again transformed into the luminous Toronto Christmas Market. The popular event is on now until December 23rd.  Don’t miss the glowing sights, the merry sounds, and the decadent tastes of this annual holiday market. A monstrous Christmas tree dots the center of the action, while kiosks selling everything from chocolate covered bacon to St. Nick knick knacks, litter the Distillery’s brick streets. The market is free during the week and just $6 on weekends. Get more info here.

    Blue Mountain: Christmas Gift Show

    Blue mountain comes alive this season with a Christmas Gift Show. This vibrant, fun marketplace celebrates the holiday season in style. Enjoy the sights, sounds and smells of Christmas with over 100 vendors including artisans, crafters, jewelry makers, décor vendors, body and wellness brands, tasty treat makers and more. Learn all about it here.

    Edmonton: Singing Christmas Tree

    Running from December 14th through 17th, don’t miss the Edmonton Singing Christmas Tree. Imagine a stage decorated with whimsy, a 35-foot singing Christmas tree, and an audience in wonder. With dancing Santas, stunning ballerinas, amazing acrobats, and 150 phenomenal singers accompanied by a live orchestra, this performance is a seasonal sensation.  Get more info here.

    Quebec: German Christmas Market

    Celebrating 10 years of magic, Quebec’s German Christmas Market is “Exquisitely European” and “Exquisitely FREE”!  On now until December 23rd, 2017, this magical holiday wonderland never ceases to amaze. Featuring one-of-a-kind gifts, the market has a festive atmosphere with wooden kiosks and scintillating lights.

    Ottawa: Vintage Christmas Village of Lights

    Come out to the Cumberland Heritage Museum for some holiday celebration this Christmas. Make an ornament for your own Christmas tree, decorate gingerbread men, or take a nostalgic horse-drawn wagon ride through the illuminated village (lit by 5pm every evening). None other than Santa Claus himself will be there! Find out more here.

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    Timbercreek hopes this list of the best holiday events in Canada inspires you to get out there and celebrate the holiday season in style this year. For more information about Timbercreek Communities in your city, please visit our website.

  • Creative Christmas Tree Decorating Ideas

    Dec 12, 2017

    The holiday season is a busy time for all of us. With all the hustle and bustle, it can be easy to forget to slow down and breathe. Carve out an hour for yourself to create some fun DIY craft decor at home. Timbercreek Communities has some creative Christmas tree decorating ideas for you!

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    Pinecone Christmas Tree

    Don't waste your money on ornaments this year, decorate you Christmas tree with pinecones instead! It sounds strange but it totally works! To create a Pinecone Christmas Tree you’ll need craft glue, a paintbrush, glitter, a bowl, hot glue gun, mini glass balls or beads, twine, a needle and thread and scissors. Brush the craft glue over the tips of the pinecone scales. Spoon the glitter onto the scales, over a bowl. Use hot glue to create drop ornaments of pinecones of descending size. Glue the ball between each pinecone. For the garland, string small pinecones together with heavy duty thread and a strong needle. Alternate with red and green beads between each pinecone until the desired length is reached. The best part about making your own ornaments is that you'll cherish them for years to come.

    Treeless Ladder Tree

    If you think buying a real Christmas tree is wasteful, you are not alone! But there's something undeniably magical about them. This year, skip the tree and decorate a ladder instead for the same warm and cozy effect! This Treeless Ladder Tree is created by stringing lights, twiggy garlands, Hydrangeas and selected greens around an old wooden step ladder! There are no rules,  just pure creativity. Have a look around your apartment and grab anything festive that you think would look nice on your ladder. Think tone and texture rather than rhyme or reason. Have fun!

    DIY Clay Star Tree

    Create your own Christmas magic with these DIY Clay Stars for your Christmas tree. Start by rolling out the clay with a rolling pin. Use a star-shaped cookie cutter to cut the clay. Remember to remove the excess clay around the edges before removing the cutter. This helps to keep the edges clean and reduces warping. Use a toothpick to make a hole at the top of the star where you can put string or ribbon through once the clay is out of the oven and cooled.

    Children's Tree

    This is a great DIY project if you have kids or nieces and nephews. They will love helping you create felt animal ornaments to put on the tree this year. Start by downloading and printing the free template. You can adjust the size of the templates to fit your tree and your taste. Cut out two of each template -- one that shows the black outline and one that omits it. Pin the black outline template to some light coloured felt. Trace it with a disappearing-ink pen, then cut out. Pin and trace the other template twice on some coloured felt. Remove the template and cut out. Once you're done, hang the felt ornaments from gold or silver thread. Adorable!

    Happy Holidays from Timbercreek! We hope you give these creative DIY christmas tree decorating ideas a try this holiday season. To find your home with Timbercreek Communities, please visit our website.
  • Most-Pinned Homemade Holiday Gifts

    Dec 11, 2017

    The Holiday season is here! Show the people you love that you care, and avoid the stress of holiday shopping, by creating a few thoughtful DIY gifts. Timbercreek Communities wants to help you light up someone’s holiday with these most-pinned homemade holiday gifts.

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    Body Scrub

    This thoughtful and simple to make Body Scrub requires only 4 ingredients to prepare. Mix together Epsom salts (or organic cane sugar) and your chosen carrier oil. Add one drop at a time of essential oil, and a drop of food colouring. Stir until the colour is uniform and spoon the contents into your canning jar. You can even download clip art labels to give your gift a professional look.

    Fleece Blankets

    This easy tutorial will walk you through how to make beautiful Fleece Blankets for your loved ones. A cozy blanket is the perfect DIY gift for friends and family members, and hard-to-buy-for folks on your list. It’s also perfect for a first time sewing project. You’ll need a large piece of fleece (about 2 yards), decorative trim to protect and decorate the edges, a needle and thread or a sewing machine -- which is ideal so that you can complete this project quickly and seamlessly.  If you can do a basic straight stitch, you can do this DIY!

    Microwaveable Heat Packs

    Give the gift of soothing comfort this season with these Microwaveable Heat Packs. All you’ll need is some fabric, sewing supplies and corn kernels or grains of rice to fill the packs. Cut your fabric to size. Sew the pieces together inside out (the outsides facing each other). Leave enough of an opening to turn the bag right-side out. Fill the bag ¾ full with corn or rice. Sew the final seam closed. To use it, heat the bag in the microwave and apply to achey areas of the body.

    DIY Lip Balm

    Don't let your loved ones endure dry, cracked lips this season. This DIY Lip Balm requires only 3 ingredients: coconut oil, beeswax and peppermint essential oil. In a glass measuring cup in the microwave, melt together coconut oil and beeswax. Stir in the essential oil and pour into decorative containers.

    Homemade Coffee Scrub Soap

    This DIY couldn't be more simple. This Homemade Coffee Scrub Soap can be made in less than 10 minutes with easy-to-find ingredients. Coffee is a great scent loved equally by men and women, so this is a great gift for anyone on your list. It's also incredibly affordable to make at home.

    Happy Holidays from Timbercreek! We hope you love these most-pinned homemad holiday gifts as much as we do! To find your home with Timbercreek Communities, please visit our website.

  • How to Cram for an Exam Like a Pro

    Nov 27, 2017

    There’s no doubt about it, exams can be stressful. Make it easier on yourself by adopting some time management and stress management techniques. While some people thrive under pressure, it’s best practice not to leave studying until the last minute. Make a plan and find a balance. Timbercreek Communities can’t take away the pressure of exams, but we can help you learn how to cram for an exam like a pro!

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    Go Somewhere Quiet

    Everyone is different and their study habits differ. Some students require absolute silence to study, while others prefer white noise or even background music. What’s most important is that you find or create a space where you can comfortably focus. You need enough room to arrange your notes and books, the right amount of light, and to be reasonably comfortable.

    Work Hard But Take Breaks

    It may seem counterintuitive, but studying as much a possible may be counterproductive. For long-term knowledge-retention, taking regular breaks is essential. Again, everyone is different, so you’ll need to find the right balance for you.

    Study With A Friend

    Studying with a friend or a group can be an effective tactic. You may have questions they can help answer, and answering other people’s questions can help you solidify your grasp on the subject matter. As long as the study session doesn’t become a social hangout session, it can be very effective. Make sure you stay focused for an agreed period of time -- you can socialize during scheduled breaks.

    Don’t Forget To Eat And Sleep

    It can be easy to convince yourself that you don’t have time to eat well or get the proper amount of sleep, after all you’re too busy studying! To function optimally you need to consume nutritious food, stay hydrated and well rested. Choose foods that improve focus and memory, drink plenty of water, and get the right amount of sleep.

    Caffeinate

    The effects of caffeine fall into the ‘everyone is different’ category. For some people, it sharpens focus and awareness and elevates their mood. For others, it can interfere with normal sleep habits and cause jitters. Observe how caffeine affects you personally, before you use it as a study aid, or rely on it for a cram session.  Even if it is effective for you, there is such a thing as too much.

    Timbercreek hopes these cramming tips help you hit the books effectively! To find your home in one of Timbercreek’s Communities across Canada, please visit our website.

  • Decorating your Home for the Holidays

    Nov 21, 2017

    The holidays are fast approaching! Deck the halls, the walls and the table with festive holiday decor that is easy and cheap to create yourself. Timbercreek Communities wants to help put you in the Holiday spirit with some ideas for decorating your home for the Holidays.

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    Peppermint Twist

    Adorn your door or any wall in your apartment with this festive and easy-to-make Peppermint Wreath! All you’ll need is some red or white duct tape, a Styrofoam wreath form, floral wire, a few bags of peppermint candies, ribbon, tape and glue.

    Non-Electric Light Garland

    Capture the festive glow of holiday lights without electricity with this Vintage-Look Holiday Light Garland. It’s made by dipping inexpensive bulbs in craft paint to create the illusion of illumination! Wait until the paint dries, glue the bulbs to tinsel, and string it up wherever you like!

    Snow Terrarium

    In just a few minutes you can create your own Holiday Snow Terrarium! This lovely display is made by filling old Apothecary Jars with faux snow, mini-lights and decorative pieces of your choice! You’ll love the warm and festival glow they create in any room, and the glow they give to others when you give them as gifts!

    Put On a Pot of Potpourri

    This recipe for potpourri isn’t a decoration, exactly - although it’s beautiful and full of colour! Decorating your home for the holidays is all about creating a warm, cozy and inviting atmosphere. A big part of creating that atmosphere is the aroma. The smell of cinnamon and spices, vanilla, cranberry, tangerine, and pine gently warming on the stove will tie together the overall feeling you’ve created with the decor!

    Happy Holidays from Timbercreek! To find your home on one of Timbercreek’s Communities across Canada, please visit our website.

  • Hot chocolate, 5 ways!

    Nov 20, 2017

    The weather is cool, crisp and comfortable. It’s perfect for long walks in cozy sweaters and makes cozying up with a cup of hot chocolate feel great! To keep your hot chocolate options interesting this season, Timbercreek Communities presents hot chocolate, 5 ways!

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    Nutella Hot Chocolate

    For a hazelnut twist on traditional hot chocolate, switch out the cocoa for nutella and make Nutella Hot Chocolate. It’s so easy! In a small saucepan, combine milk and nutella over medium high heat. Whisk together until smooth and creamy. For an extra creamy treat, serve with a dollop (or two) of whipped cream.

    White Hot Chocolate

    The White Hot Chocolate trend is red hot right now, and for good reason - it’s delicious and easy to make! Make your own by mixing together chopped white chocolate, your choice of milk (almond, rice, or half and half cream) with vanilla extract. If you want to go the extra mile, try this homemade vanilla extract. Stir the mixture over medium heat until it simmers -- don’t let it boil! Serve it with marshmallows and whipped cream for an over-the-top treat.

    Oreo Hot Chocolate

    Take hot chocolate to the next level with this Oreo Hot Chocolate recipe. Yes, it is as good as it sounds! We’ve all done the oreo dunk. This drink infuses every sip with that same great flavour! To make it, blend milk with sweetened condensed milk, cocoa, cornstarch and of course, Oreos! Heat more milk in a saucepan and add in the Oreo milk mixture. Whisk it together over medium low heat for a few minutes and serve.

    Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate

    Before you enjoy this amazing Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate you’ll need to prepare the Salted Caramel Sauce! Store it in the fridge and use it to make a mug at a time, and also enjoy it on ice cream, toast, oatmeal - or anything else! Mix together milk, caramel sauce and finely chopped dark chocolate and stir over medium heat. When it becomes a thick and rich liquid it’s ready to serve.

    Peppermint Hot Chocolate

    This Peppermint Hot Chocolate is cool and refreshing, and warm and relaxing, all at once! It’s made by combining milk, cream, sugar and salt in a saucepan over medium-low heat. As the mixture starts to steam, stir in finely chopped chocolate. As it thickens, add the peppermint oil and serve with whipped cream and some chocolate shavings.

    Timbercreek hopes that these  decadent hot chocolate recipes help make fall even cozier! To find your home in one of Timbercreek’s Communities, please visit our website.

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    Read More >>>
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