• 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.
  • Winterize Your Pet

    Dec 19, 2017

    They might have a furry coat, but your pet can still get very cold in the winter. It never hurts to keep them safe and warm any way you can. Timbercreek Communities is here to help you with tips for how to winterize your pet.

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    Pet Jackets

    When it’s really cold outside, you wouldn’t dream of venturing out without a coat on. Why should your dog have to? Smaller dogs, with a higher ratio of body weight to body surface, lose heat easily. Doggie jackets and vests are available in a wide variety of sizes and styles to suit your shepherd or schnauzer.

    Pet Shoes

    Along with all the winter snow, comes all that winter ice, sand and salt. Salt does a great job of melting the ice, but it can do a number on a dog’s tender paws. If your pet ingests any of the salt by licking it’s sore paws, it can also get a tummy ache. Protect your pooch’s paws with a pair of boots or waterproof rubber socks. If your dog refuses to wear boots, make sure to rinse their feet thoroughly after contact with sand or salt.

    Invisible Boots

    Getting a dog to wear booties when they don’t want to wear is as easy as a magic trick. Fortunately, there is nothing magic about invisible boots. It’s actually a nontoxic wax that's rubbed on and in-between a dog's paws. Musher’s Secret was originally developed to soothe and protect the paws of hardworking Canadian sled dogs. The wax-based cream is easy to apply, moisturizes and helps to heal wounds. It’s useful year round as it also protects paws from hot pavement in the summertime.

    Identification Collars

    An ID collar is a must-have for any dog or cat, but never more so than in the winter. When temperatures drop, your pet is at an increased risk of harm. It’s important to locate them as soon as possible if they run away. No one ever plans on their pet getting lost, but with a little precaution and planning, you can make the unthinkable much easier to deal with. Reflective collars are easier to see in the snow and easier for drivers to see.

    Timbercreek wishes you and your pet a happy and healthy winter! To find your home with Timbercreek Communities, please visit our website.

  • Best Snow Boots for Canadian Winters

    Dec 13, 2017

    It’s no secret that Canada gets cold in the winter. But Canadians are resilient, and some even like the frosty season! Winter can be great if you're ready for it. Timbercreek Communities wants to help you prepare with the best snow boots for Canadian winters.

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    Sorel

    Sorel is one of the most trusted and recognizable boot brands in Canada. When the cold weather hits, you’ll see many-a-pair of their classic Caribou ($200) boots out on the streets. The brand goes well beyond the Caribou, with both heavy-duty and low-profile styles for the whole family starting at around $100. Their boots are designed to keep your toes toasty in temperatures as low as -32 Celsius.

    Kamik

    When you want stylish boots designed for life in Canada, you can’t go wrong with Kamik. The Cook family has owned and operated the company since its founding in 1898! The Montreal-based (and proudly Canadian-made) brand offers many styles and options, all perfect for Canadian winters. They also boast a sustainable manufacturing process and recycling program that will make you feel warm and fuzzy inside. They are also very affordable. Their long-lasting, adult winter boots range from $90 to $190 and are suitable for temperatures as low as -32 degrees Celsius.

    Pajar

    Another proud Montreal-based and family-owned company is Pajar. They are well known for their warm winter boots that never compromise on style. Choose from their

    Canada Heritage Premium Collection -- 100% waterproof boots that are leather-lined with rich genuine sheepskin. These boots are guaranteed to keep you warm in temperatures as low as -40 Celsius. The Pajar Sport collection features waterproof membranes and ice gripping soles with click out spikes to keep you stable. They can withstand temperatures as low as -30 Celsius. Their luxurious Oslo Apres Ski Collection are warm, funky and fashionable. Their most popular boots are in the $200 range.

    La Canadienne

    Montreal is the centre for style in Canada. La Canadienne offers stylish and streamlined women’s fashion winter boots. Available primarily in black and lined with shearling, these boots are designed to keep you warm while fitting in flawlessly with your business casual wardrobe.

    Cougar

    Cougar makes waterproof boots designed in Canada for Canadian winters. There are many styles to choose from. You can't go wrong with the classic Original Pillow Boots ($230) -- if you grew up in Canada you've definitely seen them before. Cougar offers styles that range from rugged to refined, all featuring the warm insulation and weather resistance you need to protect you in plummeting temperatures as low as -30 degrees Celsius.

    Timbercreek hopes you keep yourself comfy and warm in these great snow boots for Canadian winters. To find your home with Timbercreek Communities, 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.

  • 6 Kid-Friendly Holiday Activities

    Dec 21, 2016

    The holidays are just around the corner, offering a great opportunity for some quality time with your family. Kids can get bored easily if they don’t have engaging activities that hold their attention. Timbercreek Communities has 6 kid-friendly holiday activities for you to enjoy. We hope you and your kids have a great time!iStock-499910260

    Ice Skating and Hockey

    It doesn’t feel like winter until you’ve laced up your skates and hit the ice. Whether you enjoy public skating at a local rink or a pick game of hockey with friends and family, check out these rinks and schedules for Calgary, Winnipeg, Halifax, Montreal and Toronto. Still not sure where to skate? Check with your local municipality.

    Go to the movies

    Take a break on a cold winter day and escape into a different world with a trip to the movie theatre. Going to the movies can be a great way to spend your time this holiday season. There are several fun family friendly films to enjoy this month, including the latest J.K. Rowling creation, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, the latest Disney animated feature, Moana, and another animated offering featuring the voice talents of Matthew McConaughey and Scarlett Johansson, Sing.

    Build a Gingerbread House

    We’ve all seen those elaborately decorated gingerbread houses on display, but few of us have actually attempted to build our own gingerbread house. Creating one from scratch is no small task, but as with many things in life, the joy is in the doing and it can be a great indoor, bonding activity for you and your kids. Simplify things a bit by purchasing a ready-to-assemble kit.

    Make a dreidel

    A dreidel is a four-sided, spinning top with a distinct Hebrew letter on each side. The game is to spin the dreidel to collect coins or candy depending on the letter that appears. Traditionally, dreidels are made out of clay and this video will show you how to make your own, or you can easily make one out of paper.

    DIY Christmas stockings

    As the snow piles up outside, having a fun and useful DIY project to focus on can be a great way to spend the day. Brew up some hot cocoa and get to work on DIY Christmas stockings that you’ll be proud to hang by the chimney with care.

    DIY Christmas Ornaments

    Decorating the Christmas tree is a great family tradition. You can make it even more personal by hanging some ornaments that you and your family create yourselves. These DIY Christmas Ornaments are fun to make. They’re also a great keepsake for future generations.

    We hope this post helps you spend a little quality time as a family this holiday season. For more information on Timbercreek Rental Communities across Canada, please visit our website.

  • 6 Winter Tips For Apartment Living

    Dec 20, 2016

    Canadian winters can be harsh and braving the cold day after day can be exhausting. Your home should be a warm, safe and comfortable space to rest in. Timbercreek is here to help with 6 winter tips for apartment living.
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    Invest in a sunlamp

    Sunlight has a big impact on your mood. Getting too little sunshine during winter can lead to the winter blues, feelings of depression, and in some cases it can even trigger Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Invest in a sunlamp, or therapy lamp, to feel better during the winter.

    Keep your apartment cozy with throw blankets

    Feeling comfortable and cozy is important during the winter. Security blankets aren’t only for children. The need to feel warm, safe and secure is real, no matter your age. Keep your apartment cozy with throw blankets that you can wrap around yourself and curl up under.

    Consider a rug for warmer wood floors

    Wood floors can be beautiful, but they can also feel a little cold during the winter months, especially if it is the first thing your feet touch when you get out of your warm bed. You may want to consider a throw rug to warm up those chilly wood planks.

    Invest in thermal curtains

    A single pane of glass from a closed window can lose almost 10 times as much heat as the same area of an insulated wall. Windows (even when closed) are usually the biggest cause of heat loss in your home. Invest in thermal curtains to retain more heat and save on your heating costs.

    Humidifiers are a renter’s best friend

    In the winter, while it’s cold outside and the heat is turned up indoors, the humidity of the room may drop as much as 20%. That drop in humidity can cause adverse health effects because it can dry out mucous membranes in the nose and throat which can lead to respiratory issues. Even if the dry air indoors doesn’t bother you, it can damage wooden furniture, books and even your artwork which can become brittle in low humidity. The good news is that a humidifier can solve all of these problems.

    Discover home workouts on YouTube

    Trudging outdoors to go to the gym during the dead of winter can be a lot to ask of yourself. It’s important to get your exercise in, even when the temperature drops. The good news is that you can get a great, full body workout, without using expensive equipment by discovering home workouts on YouTube. Whether it’s cardio, bodyweight, HIIT, or yoga, there is something for everyone, for every fitness level.

    Timbercreek hopes that these 6 winter tips for apartment living help to make your winter as comfortable and healthy as possible. For more information on Timbercreek Communities across Canada, please visit our website.

  • 10 Favourite Holiday Dinners

    Dec 15, 2016

    It may be hard to believe, but the holiday season is almost here. The holidays are all about getting together with friends and family, and enjoying good food. Hosting a holiday get together this season? You’ve got to try Timbercreek’s 10 favourite holiday dinners.

    iStock-589962378Turkey with all the trimmings

    Turkey with all the trimmings is the iconic holiday meal in North America. If you’ve never tried to tackle it, it’s important to have a plan. Figure out what can be made ahead of time so you can prioritize and even ask for help from your guests. People like to be helpful, especially at this time of year. Encourage your guests to bring a vegetable side dish or a dessert to reheat. Taking a few minor obligations off your plate can make hosting the holiday dinner more enjoyable.

    Glazed ham and Couscous

    Not everyone likes turkey. For guests who aren’t fans of fowl, we suggest serving this equally impressive Brown Sugar Mustard Glazed Ham with Couscous. This meal is a breeze to prepare compared to turkey and all the trimmings. It can be ready to serve in two to three hours.

    Brisket and Latkes

    Our favourite holiday dinner for Hanukkah is Braised Brisket and Latkes. It’s a deeply satisfying meal of meat and potatoes, done holiday style. Crispy, oniony, latkes pair perfectly with rich and savoury brisket. Brisket can be a tough cut of meat to master. If you’ve never prepared a brisket before, check out these tips on how to do it perfectly.

    Christmas Roast Beef with Yorkshire Puddings

    We love the classic British Christmas Dinner of Roast Beef with Yorkshire Puddings. You don’t have to hail from the UK to love enjoy tender and delicious roast beef with savoury pastries. Best of all, you get to drench everything in a rich brown gravy!

    Italian Feast of the Seven Fishes

    Pescatarians will love this Christmas tradition. On Christmas Eve (December 24th) Italian families serve fish instead of meat. There are no rules for preparing The Feast of the Seven Fishes, but the classic meal typically consists of a snack-sized seafood appetizer course, a seafood salad course, a meaty grilled seafood course, followed by a seafood pasta, a stew and vegetable course, and finally a fish-free dessert.

    Beef Bourguignon with Parsley Potatoes

    We love the rich textures and intense savoury flavours of Beef Bourguignon with Parsley Potatoes. Beef Bourguignon is a hearty classic French dish that involves a lot of umami loaded ingredients (wine, mushrooms and cognac, bacon etc.). This meal is elegant but substantial and can be ready to serve in less than two hours with about 45 minutes of hands on prep time.

    Rack of Lamb with Roast Potatoes

    Rack of Lamb with Roast Potatoes is a classic holiday meal that looks dramatic and tastes delicious. Don’t be intimidated by this one -- it only takes a few minutes to prepare (not including marinating time). The trick is to be restrained with the herbs. The flavour of the lamb is strong on it’s own so the seasonings should complement this flavour without overpowering it.

    Roast Chicken with Wild Rice Stuffing

    Roast Chicken with Wild Rice Stuffing has been a popular Christmas dinner since the 1990s. It offers a light and elegant alternative to turkey with bread stuffing. This recipe takes about three and a half hours total to prepare, but only about 45 minutes of that is hands-on prep time, so it's a perfect meal option if you have a lot on your plate.

    Aloo Gobi (Potato and Cauliflower)

    Spice things up this season with Aloo Gobi! This hearty spiced potato and cauliflower dish is popular across India and Pakistan and will impress your vegetarian guests.

    Beef Wellington with Roasted Veggies

    If you really want to wow the crowd this holiday season, serve Beef Wellington with Roasted Veggies. This classic show stopping meal is perfect for a special occasion like Christmas. If you’ve never tasted Beef Wellington, it is an incredible mix of textures. Prime cut filet mignon is wrapped in buttery puff pastry and baked -- the decadent result is unforgettable.

    Happy Holidays from Timbercreek Communities. We hope you enjoyedi our 10 favourite holiday dinners! For information on Timbercreek Rental Communities across Canada, please visit our website.

  • Holiday Cat - Proofing For Your Home

    Dec 14, 2016

    The holidays are a busy and exciting time. What’s fun for some can be overwhelming for others. The abundant decorations and lights can be very distracting and enticing for your cat. From tipping over the tree in an attempt to climb to the summit, to sniffing and scratching toxic plants and decorations, there is much that you need to deter you curious cat from exploring this holiday season. Timbercreek Communities has some great tips to help you cat-proof your home for the holidays.

    Hang your mistletoe and holly high (it can be poisonous)

    Hanging mistletoe and holly can be a happy holiday tradition (and a great way to get some free kisses) but did you know that the mistletoe berries contain polysaccharides and alkaloids that can be poisonous to your pets? To keep this tradition a happy one, make sure that these plants are kept well out of your cat’s reach.

    iStock-530405527Use cat-safe tree decorations and avoid tinsel

    You may have noticed that your cat loves your Christmas tree, maybe even more than you do. What cat wouldn’t be happy to have a tree arrive, indoors, and then to have that tree adorned with all sorts of hanging ornaments to bat around?  Knowing this, it’s important to cat-proof your tree. You may want to choose ornaments that are less shiny, less dangly and therefore, less attractive to your kitty. You can also make your own cat-friendly decorations for your tree. There are some decorations out there that simply are not conducive to keeping your cat safe that should be avoided. Tinsel can be a choking hazard and even cause intestinal blockages, as can dangly ribbons. Fake snow can be toxic, and of course, real candles should not go anywhere near your tree.

    Keep orange peels under your tree to repel your cat

    The smell of orange peels and citrus can be delightful during the holidays, but it’s not something cats enjoy. If you are having trouble keeping kitty from climbing the tree, placing some chopped orange peels under there may be enough to keep your cat at bay. Replace the peels about once a week to keep the citrus oil scent strong.

    Mist citronella on plastic trees

    A citronella solution may be just the solution you need to keep your cat away from your artificial tree. Since there is no pine smell from a plastic tree, the citronella scent will be a strong deterrent for your cat. It’s important to make your solution strong enough, so be sure to use a ratio of 1 part citronella oil to 4 parts water.

    Avoid poinsettias

    Poinsettias, with their festive red and green colour, are a popular plant to buy and give during the holidays. Many people mistakenly believe they are poisonous for pets. The truth is they are only mildly toxic, so if someone shows up with one as a gift, there is no need to panic, but you should keep them well out of reach of your cat. Even a mildly toxic effect can cause discomfort and distress for your pet for which there is no effective treatment. Keep the plant high up and away from things your cat can climb easily.

    Timbercreek wishes you a happy holiday season! We hope these tips help you cat-proof your holiday decorations this year. For information on Timbercreek Communities near you, please visit our website.

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