• Affordable Valentine’s Day date night ideas we love

    Feb 11, 2020

    Planning a date night for Valentine’s Day? If you’re on a tight budget, going out can be tricky. We want to help you enjoy a magical date with your date. Here are some fabulous Valentine’s Day date night ideas that won’t cost an arm and a leg.

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    Cook dinner

    If you really want to impress your date, on a budget, pull out all the stops and cook for them. Few things are sweeter than a delicious homemade meal. You’ll earn extra points if cooking isn’t your thing and you give it your all. If you’re new to the kitchen, there are countless recipes online tailored to beginners. Pro tip: ask if your date has any food allergies or restrictions before choosing what to make. 

    Go out for dessert

    Dinner on the town can be a bit pricey if you don’t have a big budget for your date night. A dessert on the town can be just as sweet, if not sweeter, and much more affordable. Pick a nice late night cafe, bar or restaurant and invite your date out for dessert. If you want to be super cute about it, you could both order a dessert or two to share. Ask if your date has food restrictions to ensure the place you suggest can accomodate them.

    Go skating

    If you can skate, you can go skating with your sweetheart. It’s a really fun winter activity that can easily be romantic. Hold hands, sip cheap hot chocolate and unwind as you take in the night (or day) together on the ice. Skating outdoors under the moonlight tends to be a bit nicer than indoors under a flourescent light.

    Go for a walk

    Another fun and active activity for your Valentine’s Day date night is going for a scenic walk. If you live near a beautiful park, ravine or trail, taking a scenic winter walk can be very romantic and fun. It will give you two plenty of time to talk or get to know eachother. Dress warmly, wear sensible shoes and bring snacks and drinks so you don’t have to cut it short.

    Go bowling

    If you want to plan an affordable date in a lighthearted environment, bowling can be a lot of fun. Going for a game is usually affordable but it can get pricey if you stay for hours. If your budget is tight, plan a post-bowl activity to ensure you don’t blow it all in one place.  

    Go see some comedy

    A comedy show is a great date night activity. The jokes will break the ice and put you and your date at ease. It’s usually an affordable activity too as many comedy clubs cost about $10 to $20 to visit. 

    Have a picnic

    If you live in a cold part of Canada we don’t recommend this, but if you’re in a mild climate a picnic can be a really fun date night plan. Pick a scenic spot and bring prepared foods or prep your own meal. If your budget is tight, sandwiches are affordable and easy to make. They also travel well.

    Go see a band

    Going to see a band can be affordable and fun. When we say “a band” we mean a local band as seeing a famous band can get really expensive fast. To earn extra points with your date, try to pick a local band that your date loves that is playing a show. If that doesn’t pan out, take the opportunity to introduce your date to a band you love instead.

    Grab a drink

    Though a bit generic, grabbing a drink is a classic date for a reason. It’s budget-friendly and will give you and your date an opportunity to get to know eachother and chat. Try to pick a bar based on ambiance. Look for something not too noisy or way too crowded. 

    We hope you enjoy your Valentine’s Day date night! Timbercreek hopes that these affordable date night ideas impress you and your date.

    To find your home with Timbercreek Communities, please visit our website.

  • Valentine's Day desserts for two

    Feb 12, 2019

    No matter what your Valentine’s Day plans are, plan on coming home for dessert this year. Timbercreek Communities wants to help you set the mood with some sweet and sinful Valentine’s Day desserts for two.

    Molten Chocolate Lava Cakes

    These rich and gooey Molten Chocolate Lava Cakes make a perfect Valentine’s Day dessert. Combine coarsely-chopped bittersweet chocolate with butter in a small saucepan. Heat on low until the chocolate and butter melt together. With an electric mixer, beat eggs with granulated sugar and vanilla for about 10 minutes. Fold one third of the chocolate/butter mixture into the beaten eggs. Spoon this batter into greased ramekins and bake on a baking pan at 425 F for about 12 minutes. When they have cooled, loosen them from the sides of the ramekin with a knife and invert them onto a plate. Served with a generous dusting of sifted powdered sugar on top, garnished with fresh berries and mint leaves.

    Pavlova

    An elegant Pavlova is sure to get your mouth watering this Valentine’s Day. If you’re not familiar with the classic dessert, it’s a crisp white cloud of meringue, layered with fresh fruit and whipped cream. It’s elegant and the perfect finish for a romantic evening. To make it, begin by beating egg whites until stiff but not dry. Do not overbeat your egg whites. Add in your sugar, one spoonful at a time. When the mixture is thick and glossy, gently fold in vanilla, lemon juice and cornstarch. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Draw a 9-inch circle on the parchment and spoon the mixture inside the circle, working from the centre out. Build the outside edge of the circle a little higher than the centre. Bake at 300 F for about an hour. As the meringues cool, beat heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Fill the meringues with the whipped cream and top with fresh berries. You’ll totally impress your date with this one!

    Dulce de Leche Mousse

    The rich caramel flavour of this Dulce de Leche Mousse is perfect for a romantic Valentine’s dessert. Sprinkle shredded coconut on rimmed baking sheet. Toast it at 350 F for 6 to 8 minutes, until golden. Beat heavy cream and kosher salt together with an electric mixer. When stiff peaks form, fold in your dulce de leche. Chill it in the fridge for at least an hour. Serve topped with the toasted coconut. It’s a light but satisfying dessert that anyone will love.

    Happy Valentine’s Day from Timbercreek!

    To find your home with Timbercreek Communities, please visit our website.

     

  • Winterlicious

    Jan 29, 2018

    From January 26th to February 8th, 2018 more than 200 of Toronto’s top restaurants will offer incredible three-course prix fixe menus in one of three affordable price categories. It’s a time when the city comes alive to light up the dark winter nights and celebrate the winter season. Partake in an array of innovative cuisine from all around the world for low prices only available at this time of year. To help sort through the options, Timbercreek brings you a list of top spots to hit this year for Winterlicious.

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    7 Numbers

    Just east of Broadview on Danforth, 7 Numbers is a “fun and lively neighbourhood restaurant” specializing in Southern Italian food. With fresh ingredients and a warm, unpretentious atmosphere, you’ll get a family-feel in this east end go-to. Enjoy their $33 Prix Fixe menu and try the Truffle oil and Mushroom Risotto or homemade Lasagne. See more.

    Cluny

    There’s lots going on at the Distillery this season. While the famed Christmas Market dominates the holiday event list, French Bistro “Cluny” is an elegant Distillery mainstay regardless of season. With a neo-Parisian, marble-infused interior, and French inspired cuisine, it’s Winterlicious menu is guaranteed to put a smile on your face.  Try the Gruyere French Onion Soup, Steak Frites, or Bourguignon Braised Beef Short Rib. $23 Lunch, $43 Dinner. Find out more here.

    Auberge de Pommier

    With renewed notoriety after being featured on Master Chef Canada, Michael Bonacini’s Auberge de Pomier was the original jewel in the Oliver & Bonacini crown. Serving Toronto diners since 1987, this exquisite French restaurant offers modern French cuisine, a wood burning fireplace, professional and personal service, and a 500 label wine selection. They will offer a $33 lunch, and a $53 dinner during Winterlicious. See more.

    Valens

    Located in the heart of downtown in beautiful Baldwin Village, Valens serves a wide variety of fusion foods including salads, seafood, aged steaks, grilled sandwiches and homemade desserts. With excellent service, a deep wine selection, and a warm atmosphere, it’s a great choice. $23 Lunch, $33 Dinner.

    Fonda Lola

    Located in the heart of Queen West, Fonda Lola focuses on fresh local ingredients and inventive tequila based cocktails. The menu features elevated Mexican food with an authentic, rustic atmosphere, offering a casual dining experience with friendly and professional staff. Try the Pico de Gallo, Chicken Mole Tacos, and don’t miss the Churros. They will offer a $23 lunch, and a $33 dinner.

    Timbercreek hopes this list of amazing restaurants to visit during Winterlicious gets you out and leaves you satisfied. 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.

  • Fun & Cheap Summer Date Ideas

    Jul 10, 2017

    Whether you’re meeting someone new or celebrating an anniversary, great date ideas are always useful. Dating can be expensive but it doesn’t have to be. Timbercreek has some fun and cheap summer date ideas for you to enjoy with someone you love or someone new.

    iStock-596081514A Walk In The Park

    A stroll in the park is possibly the easiest and cheapest of all date ideas.  If the weather is working in your favour it can be a beautiful way to spend the day. Best of all, if you’re nervous you don’t have to look at each other constantly. Up the romance factor by bringing a blanket, some cups and something to drink. Sunset is a great time for your stroll.

    Wine Tasting Event

    In Ontario, the LCBO offers an affordable range of wine tasting events that range from $30 to $100. They also have beer and scotch tastings, as well as longer term 4 week courses. A wine or beer tasting is social, public, and gives you something to talk about with your date. The events are often held in the nice LCBO buildings (like Toronto’s Summerhill location).

    Brunch

    Meeting at night for the first time is often ill advised. A classic brunch out is a cheap and delicious date option not to be overlooked. Brunch is really popular in Canada so you’ll have no shortage of restaurant options to choose from. Check out the best places in Toronto for brunch here

    Happy Hour Drink(S)

    It’s hard to beat happy hour -- another inexpensive daytime date option to consider. Most pubs offer it and more and more craft beer bars are adding it to their rosters. Grab a seat and enjoy a $5 beer or a half price glass of wine with your date. Worst case scenario, you get a cheap drink out of it.

    Street Festival

    In summer, festivals and street events are great options for cheap dates. Many of these events in big cities are free and allow you to walk through a number of big city blocks that are closed to traffic. These fun events usually come with a ton of cheap or free food, beverages, and entertainment. There’s always lots to do and you won’t be locked into a full restaurant meal or long event.

    Jazz Show

    Live jazz, while not for everyone, is sophisticated, interesting, and fun to listen to and watch. Because it’s improvised you’ll get to hear something unique with every show. Going to a concert is a great date idea and takes the pressure off of making witty conversation. If the music is bad it also gives you something to commiserate over. Normally less than $20, a jazz show is a great way to spend a date.

    Coffee

    Who doesn’t like coffee? A coffee date is almost guaranteed to be cheap --  even at Starbucks where it’s only $4 for a latte. Best of all it gives you the option to sit and talk, or walk and talk. Coffee dates can be short and sweet, or be a starting point for a longer date. The best thing about them is their flexibility and low cost.

    Timbercreek hopes this list of cheap date ideas has inspired you to get out there. For more information about Timbercreek Communities in your city, please visit our website

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