• Earth Hour 2014

    Mar 27, 2014
  • Earth Hour Tips

    Mar 26, 2014

    On March 29th between 8:30 pm and 9:30 pm the global initiative Earth Hour takes place. Hundreds of millions of people around the world unite each year to support the largest grassroots environmental event in history. Earth Hour asks people, businesses and governments around the world to turn off their lights for one hour to support urgent action on the pressing global challenge of climate change. Timbercreek Communities has gathered some fun and eco-friendly tips for making the most out of Earth Hour in your Richmond Hill apartment.

    Unplug
    The first and most important thing to do on Earth Hour is to simply ‘unplug’ what you can. This involves more than just switching off the lights, including turning off your computer, appliances and other digital items. You might now be asking yourself ‘what to do now’?

    Have a party
    Invite family, friends and neighbours over for some old fashioned fun by candlelight. Host a board game night in the dark with plenty of different game options and snacks. Earth Hour is all about people coming together to celebrate our world, so why not spend it with some fantastic company. Our board game suggestions include Clue, Cranium, and of course Scrabble. If board games aren’t your forte, keep a few decks of playing cards on hand.

    Candle-lit dinner
    Celebrate Earth Hour with your partner, friends, or family by hosting a candlelit dinner party. Try to make your dinner based on the main ‘Livewell’ principles as outlined by the WWF Earth Hour dinner guidelines. These principles include eating more plants, wasting less food, eating less meat, eating less processed food and eating more certified food (food that meets a credible certified standard). The guidelines are outlined in the ‘Come Dine with WWF’S Earth Hour’ guide found here.

    Nighttime city walk
    Why not take a nighttime stroll around Richmond Hill’s city core to see what has switched off around the city? This is a healthy and active way to spend your Earth Hour, and you can do it in the company of family, friends and even pets. Last year many landmarks worldwide turned off their lights including the Sydney Opera House, the Eiffel Tower, and even Big Ben in London. Hillcrest Mall, located less than a 20-minute walk away from our 274 Cedar Avenue apartments, hosts an annual block Party celebrating the annual Earth Hour conservation awareness campaign. Walk on over to Hillcrest Mall for exciting entertainment including dancers, a live DJ, light paintings, prizes and more.

    Spend your Earth Hour establishing fun annual eco-conscious traditions that will help in the fight against global climate change. For more information on Earth Hour you can visit the official website here.

  • Start planning your summer container garden

    Mar 25, 2014
    A container garden is a beautiful and easy way to enjoy many vegetables, flowers, herbs, shrubs and small trees, right at home in your Ottawa apartment. Follow these tips and tricks for your perfect summer container garden. We’ve also included some of our personal suggestions for plant types that do especially well in a container environment.


    Helpful Tools to Have

    Pots

    Anything can be a pot, as long as it has a drainage hole in the bottom. It’s better to invest in slightly larger pots than you think you need, as a variety of small plants can be planted together if the pot is too big for just one plant. As a fun DIY project, try painting old existing pots for a fun and creative update.

    Potting Soil
    Potting soil is designed specifically for drainage, and is the best option for container gardening. You can however, add some compost (if you have a compost bin) for extra soil nutrients and moisture. Metro grocery store is located less than a 5-minute walk away from Timbercreek’s 135-145 York Street apartments, and when spring rolls around you’ll be able to find plenty of gardening essentials.

    Gardening Tools
    Most container gardening is relatively simple and hassle-free, and does not require fancy gardening equipment or tools. Tools you will need include a spoon (for digging), clippers (scissors will also work), watering cans (you can just reuse juice or milk jugs), and twine (for top-heavy plants placed on the balcony).

    Plan Before Planting
    Before choosing your container plants, think carefully about where you will be placing them. Some plants need more sun, water, and humidity than others. The great thing about container gardening is that you can easily move pots around to more favorable conditions if needed. If planting different flowers in one pot, make sure to group plants with similar growing conditions. Use your imagination and combine different varieties of plants for varied colour, effect, and style. Canadian Tire is located less than a five-minute drive away from Timbercreek’s 2870 Cedarwood Townhomes, and carries all of your planting supplies, accessories and needs.

    Selecting Plants:
    Vegetables and Herbs

    Herbs and vegetables can be easily grown in individual containers, from large barrels to tiny planters. Dwarf or bush forms of vegetables such as pumpkins, squash, tomatoes, etc., are available for container culture and are easy to work with. Edible flowers that work well in containers include marigolds, pansies, and nasturtiums. One fun option is to plant a container salad garden with different colourful lettuces, along with a variety of fragrant and delicious herbs.

    Annuals
    For container gardens that last throughout the year, look for warm-weather annuals that bloom throughout the summer and have foliage that still remains attractive. Plants such as geraniums, marigolds, begonias, and scarlet sage are all great choices that will last the entire year with proper care. Exquisite Blooms is located within close walking distance of our 222 Maclaren Street community, and has a diverse selection of flowers and plants for all occasions.

    Perennials and Shrubs
    Another great sustainable option for your summer container garden is planting hardy perennials and shrubs. Examples of perennials that work well in planters are daylilies and hostas, although most other varieties will also thrive in this environment. Shrub varieties that work well for container gardening include ferns such as European wild ginger, sedges, sedums, and lamiums. Ornamental grasses, smaller shrub varieties, and dwarf conifers are also great in containers.

    Follow these tips, tricks, and plant suggestions for a beautiful container garden all year long. For more information on Timbercreek Communities, including our Ottawa communities, please click here.

  • How to find a doctor in Montreal

    Mar 20, 2014

    Finding a trusted doctor can be difficult to do these days. There is a definite shortage of doctors in Quebec, but with the following tips and tricks from Timbercreek, you will be one step closer to finding a reliable and knowledgeable doctor in your area. Timbercreek Communities has apartments in 27 cities throughout Canada, including our Greater Montreal properties.

    Finding a doctor
    The following methods are your best bet when looking for a family doctor:

    Your family
    Often times doctors whose practice is already full will still agree to take on their current patients’ family members. This is a great place to look for a new doctor as you can get the trusted opinion of your family, and it is a much easier than having to ‘cold call’ random clinics where you have no connection.

    New doctors
    Both young and new-to-the-area doctors typically do not have an established patient clientele. It’s a great idea to keep your eye out for new medical clinics or those that have added new doctors to their staff. You might have to do a bit of research in order to find these doctors and clinics, but chances are they will have space available.

    Network clinics and hospitals
    There are many network clinics and hospitals that offer services without appointment. Walk in clinics, although not a permanent solution for a lack of family practitioner, are a great resource to use for minor emergencies and unexpected bouts of sickness. Call ahead of time to ensure that a doctor will be able to see you. Also, if possible, always try to return to the same clinic when you need to. The medical team at the facility will have access to your file, and will better be able to offer you accurate care. Make sure to ask the doctor and healthcare team at the clinic if they know of anyone looking for new patients. For more serious healthcare emergencies make sure to visit your local hospital. Saint Lambert Hospital is located less than a 10-minute walk away from our 222 Woodstock apartments in Saint-Lambert.

    Finding a specialist
    If you are looking for a referral to a specialist and do not have a family doctor don’t panic. There is a referral centre available for citizens of Quebec here. A nurse clinician will contact clients for a brief assessment, evaluate priority levels based on medical needs, and then refer to either a family practitioner or to a particular specialist. The registration form can be accessed online here.

    It’s alarming that one out of four people in Quebec currently do not have a family doctor. The above tips will help to get you and your family one step closer to having a reliable and knowledgeable family doctor or specialist. For more information on Timbercreek’s Communities, including our Montreal apartments, please click here.

  • Stylish Shelves: organize your books with an eye for design

    Mar 18, 2014

    Avoid the curse of the cluttered and disorganized bookshelf in your Mississauga apartment with the following tips and tricks for a well-styled bookcase from Timbercreek Communities. These suggestions are easy, effective, and aesthetically pleasing.

    Don’t Just Use Books
    While bookshelves were designed specifically for books, adding a mixture of books, accessories, collectables, and photos, can create a more visually pleasing and interesting piece for any room in the home. A bookshelf is a great way to display a ‘gallery’ of some of your prized possessions while creating an interesting focal point for the space. Home Outfitters is located less than a four-minute drive away from our Mississauga community at 30 Central Parkway West, and has a great selection of unique and eclectic accessories perfect to display on your bookshelf.

    Create a Theme
    One of the best ways to keep bookcases looking as chic and well organized as possible it to work with items in the same colour palette or aesthetic. A mixture of books, framed pictures, art, and other accessories in the same colour palette or theme can really center and pull a room together.

    Go for Colour
    If you are attracted to bold and bright colours, your bookshelf is the perfect place to add that pop of colour. Adding colourful accessories such as bookends, frames, and other knick-knacks, can really brighten and accentuate not only your bookshelf, but also the room it’s in. You can try organizing your books by their colour for an interesting and unexpected design twist. It’s recommended that you organize your books first by category, and then by colour. Chapters is less than a five-minute drive from Timbercreek’s Mississauga property at 1867 Bloor Street West, and has a great selection of books to fill your shelves.

    Contain Clutter
    It’s easy for bookshelves to become cluttered and disorganized. Avoid a messy bookcase by doing your best to contain clutter, especially when the shelf is in plain view. To keep things organized, try adding baskets, bins, and boxes to the shelf. Store items by their category, such as electronics, office supplies, and more.

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