• Fun Family Day Ideas

    Feb 13, 2018

    Family Day, a day for the little things, like hanging out with parents and grandparents, playing with your kids, seeing cousins, and otherwise making time for those most important people in your life. It’s also a small miracle during February, the “cruelest” month of the year, when Easter break is still months away. With this in mind, Timbercreek brings you a list of ideas for things to do on Family Day weekend this year.

    Snowsports

    Whether it’s skiing or snowboarding, snowshoeing or tobogganing, skating or snowmobiling, there’s a winter activity out there to suit every locale and taste.  And yes, snowman making and snowball fights count too.

    A Walk in the Park

    Just because it’s winter doesn’t mean you can’t get outside. Every city in Canada has a quality park (or collection of them) worth strolling through on family day. Lace up your boots, throw on a parka, and get outside.

    See a Movie

    Perhaps #1 in the collective mind for a family day event, going to the movies is the perfect holiday hang. Get a jump on this popular activity by buying tickets online. Click here to find out what’s premiering in February.

    Art for Art’s Sake

    Whether you hate art or love it, galleries are guaranteed at the very least to be cool buildings to explore. They generally boast interesting architecture, history, art, fun and often free activities for kids, and a restaurant or cafe where you can grab breakfast, lunch or dinner.

    Concert

    While tricky to find genres and bands that satisfy the entire family’s musical tastes, a concert is a great way to enjoy some culture with the family. The symphony, an opera, or a ballet performance are also good options.

    See a Play

    From indie theatre to Fringe festivals, musicals to mainstage productions, a theatrical performance can be a fun way to spend an afternoon on family day.

    Movie Marathon

    Whether you’re a Trekkie, prefer The Wars, love the Matrix, or Finding Nemo, a movie trilogy is a killer way to entertain the entire family in one room.

    Family Cook-a-thon

    From smoking to grilling, braising to brining, there’s nothing more satisfying, time consuming, or fun for the whole family than cooking. Don’t just pick something easy -- explore slow cooking, making something from scratch, baking, or a new-to-you cuisine.

    Do Absolutely Nothing

    Family Day is a great opportunity to rest, enjoy the little things, and spend some time together. You don’t have to do anything special to make the most of the long weekend. Sometimes a quiet chill-out day is all it takes.

    Timbercreek hopes that this article gives you some ideas for how to spend your Family Day this year. 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.
  • 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.

  • Black Friday: How to Navigate the Crowds

    Nov 06, 2017

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    Black Friday is considered the beginning of Christmas shopping season, with major retail stores offering huge promotional sales. Since 2005 it’s been the busiest shopping day of the year! The name originally referred to the blackout of car and pedestrian traffic in city centers caused by post-Thanksgiving shopping. If you’re ready to brave the shopping storm, Timbercreek has a list of ways to navigate the Black Friday crowds like a pro this year.

    Make a List Prior to Going Shopping

    Narrowing down a set list of what you want or need can cut your shopping time in half, and reduce the amount of time you wait in lines and dodging wide-eyed shoppers. This is tough to do; one of the things with flash sales like Black Friday is not knowing exactly what will be on sale. While almost every retailer advertises incessantly before Black Friday, they still like to draw shoppers into their brick and mortar locations by offering surprise sales on items only available in-store. Stay strong, stick to your list and save yourself a headache this year.

    Don’t Take the Kids

    Let’s face it; your kids slow you down. In retail stores where space is tight and hordes of people race through the aisles and checkout lines, keeping track of your kids can be a nightmare. It might be best to shop solo on Black Friday. Even if you’re picking up items specifically for your kids, it’s easier to do it with them safely and happily at home.

    Arrive Early

    Showing up in the mid-afternoon or early evening on Black Friday is near-insanity. At the very least, you’ll be looking at empty shelves, and crowded aisles. Show up early and beat the rush. Stores tend to open even earlier on Black Friday. You might have to wait in entrance lines, but you’ll generally run into fewer people and have a better chance at snagging the items you want.

    Shop Online

    Avoid the Black Friday crowds by skipping the madness! While Cyber Monday seems like it has the online side of retail sales more or less wrapped up, Black Friday is pretty much the same. Most of the promotions and products you’ll find in the store will also be available online, and as always with e-commerce, there’s no need to negotiate crowds, deal with cash, or worry about getting your purchase home.

    Want to avoid the masses on Black Friday? We hope these tips from Timbercreek help you make the most of your shopping experience. For more information about Timbercreek Communities in your city, please visit our website.

  • Sweet Pumpkin Recipes for Fall

    Oct 12, 2017

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    Pumpkins are a big, bright symbol of the season. These gorgeous gourds are also delicious to eat. If you’re a pumpkin fan, Timbercreek Communities has some sweet pumpkin recipes for you to try this fall.

    Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

    Cinnamon rolls may be one of life’s greatest pleasures. We adore these Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls. The soft pumpkin dough combines perfectly with the spiced sweet filling, and the gooey maple cream cheese icing takes them over the top. This recipe is pure pumpkin perfection.

    Pumpkin Spice Latte

    As soon as the leaves start to change, Pumpkin Spice Lattes begin popping up at pretty much every coffee shop. They taste good, but they are pricey and most contain no pumpkin at all! This homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte is the perfect pairing with any sweet pumpkin treat on this list. It’s also easy to make and actually contains pumpkin. Imagine that!

    Pumpkin Loaf

    Picture this: you’re curled up on the sofa with a slice of Spiced Pumpkin Bread, a blanket and hot cup of tea or cocoa -- it’s heaven on a chilly day in fall. If you want to make that fantasy a reality, prepare a couple of loaf pans and preheat the oven to 350°F. Combine sugar and oil in a big bowl and blend. Add in egg and pumpkin. In a separate bowl sift flour, baking powder, baking soda and spices (cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg). Combine the two mixtures, add in walnuts for an even more substantial snack, and pour the mixture into loaf pans to bake.

    Pumpkin Pie 

    It’s tough to beat a perfectly prepared piece of Pumpkin Pie in the fall. Prepare your pie by combining pumpkin, sweetened condensed milk, eggs, sugar, salt and spices (cinnamon, clove, ginger, nutmeg) in a bowl and beat until smooth. Pour the mixture into a prepared pie crust and bake at 425°F for 15 minutes, reduce the heat to 350°F for another 50 minutes. Allow it to cool before you dig in!

    Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

    Chocolate chip cookies are a classic dessert any time of the year. Put a fall twist on the traditional treat with this Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies recipe. They’re easy to make and require less than 15 minutes to bake!

    Timbercreek hopes that these sweet pumpkin recipes help you get the most out of pumpkin season this fall! To find your home in one of Timbercreek’s Communities, please visit our website.

  • How to Plan a Great Last Minute Summer Vacation

    Jul 18, 2017

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    Summertime makes planning a vacation painless. School is out, there are multiple long weekends to take advantage of and the weather is almost guaranteed. If you put off planning a vacation this year but have found some free time this summer, Timbercreek Communities has some tips for planning a great last minute vacation.

    Set Your Budget

    Pretty much everything about a vacation is determined by your budget. How long you can stay away, how far you can travel and what you can do once you get there are just a few of the things that depend on it. A last minute vacation is spontaneous by nature, but still requires some planning. Figure out how much you can afford to spend before you go. Keep in mind that hotter destinations, like the Caribbean, are in off-season during the summer making them much more affordable. You can even find some great deals on unsold cabins on cruises a week or two before departure.

    Determine Your Destination

    You may have a list of dream destinations on your travel bucket list but you should also keep an open mind about locations that present themselves while searching for last minute flights. It may not be what you originally had in mind, but spontaneity is key to any great last minute travel experience.

    Make the Time to Travel

    If you wait for the perfect time to travel, you may find yourself waiting your whole life. There may never be a perfect time, you have to make the time you have perfect. Research has shown that travel is good for you, so don’t put it off. Can you add a vacation day or two to a summer long weekend? Even if it’s only for a long weekend, it’s better than nothing. Don't stand in the way of your travel dreams.

    Know Where You Will Stay

    Don’t go overboard with the spontaneity. Picking up and leaving last minute can be a great feeling, but having nowhere to stay when you get there is not. Plus, they will probably ask you at customs where you are staying. If you are planning a longer vacation, book a hotel for the first few days at least. That will give you time to plan your next move once you get there.

    Go it Alone

    It can be hard for family members or a group of friends to be spontaneous at the same time. Don’t be afraid to go solo. Traveling alone lets you make the most of your time, doing only what you want to do. You can stay on the cheap in a hostel and meet new people, or sign up for a tour group if you don’t want to spend too much time by yourself.

    Timbercreek bids you bon voyage and hopes these tips help you make the most of your time off this summer. To find your home with Timbercreek Communities across Canada, please visit our website.

  • Meatless Meals You Can Grill This Summer!

    Jul 04, 2017

    iStock-538168264Summertime is officially grilling season. Not everything you grill has to have grazed on grass or been grain fed. Timbercreek Communities wants to share some recipes for meatless meals you can grill this summer!

    Grilled Eggplant and Roasted Red Pepper Sandwich with Halloumi

    These delicious Grilled Eggplant, Roasted Red Pepper and Halloumi Sandwiches are a tasty way to enjoy some summer produce while you fire up the grill! Halloumi is a firm Greek cheese (from Cypress) that can stand up to the grill. This is one serious grilled cheese you'll never forget.

    Grilled Tofu Tacos with Avocado Cream

    Looking for a great gluten-free vegan meal to throw on the grill this summer? Try these Tofu Tacos! The tofu is marinated with chipotle and paprika for a smokey, summertime flavour that pairs perfectly with a tangy red cabbage simple-slaw and a cooling, avocado cream with lime. If you really want to go all-out, you can make your own corn tortillas (it’s easy!).

    Seitan Negimaki

    These Seitan (pronounced: say-tan) Negimaki are beautifully grilled vegan teriyaki rolls stuffed with vibrant scallions marinated in a simple (and simply delicious) hoisin and mirin marinade. They are juicy and delicious -- the perfect blend of savoury and sweet. You’ll never miss the meat!

    Grilled Portobello and Peach Burger

    You may never have thought to put them together, but you’ll be glad you did when you try this Grilled Portobello and Peach Burger. The texture and flavour are amazing. The combination of beefy herb-marinated portobellos and sweet peaches is perfect -- especially when combined with creamy guacamole and sweet potato fries.

    Cilantro-Lime Marinated Veggie Kabobs with Barley Kale Salad

    If you want a versatile grilled veggie meal and you’re not really into following recipes, then these Cilantro-Lime Marinated Veggie Kabobs with Barley Kale Salad are for you. This is a rough recipe, a guide. Simply use whatever veggies you have on hand and add some cheese if you’re in the mood (try feta, goat, or a little queso fresco). The non-recipe comes together quickly and the skewered veggies are fun to toss on the grill.

    Timbercreek hopes these grillable vegetarian recipes make you want to fire up the grill. These meatless meals are tasty, easy to make and filling! To find your home with Timbercreek Communities across Canada, please visit our website.

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