• Why We Love London, Ontario

    Feb 27, 2018

    It has a Thames River, Covent Garden Market, and Piccadilly Street, but don’t confuse it with London, England. Ontario’s favourite British namesake, London, has a large population of 494,069 people. It is surrounded by woods -- so much so that ‘The Forest City’ is its historic nickname. As one of Ontario’s largest municipalities, London has a ton of landmarks and attractions, and boasts some great activities. Whether you’re thinking of relocating to London, or passing through, here are just a few reasons why we love this great city:

    It’s a Great School Town

    London, Ontario is home to Western University and Fanshawe College -- two great Canadian institutions with beautiful campuses. Because it’s home to a prestigious university and a great college, London is the epitome of a college town. There are tons of students here, not to mention student-friendly housing, a student-friendly bar scene, affordable restaurants and businesses. It’s a great place for young people pursuing post secondary education to live.

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    Prince Albert’s Diner

    You don’t truly know London until you visit Prince Albert’s Diner. Located in the heart of downtown, it’s a famous haunt for all age groups and taste buds. Specializing in (larger than life sized) milkshakes and your typical nostalgic, retro style features, Prince Al’s is a must-visit in the Forest City. Read More.

    Brewery Tour

    Canada’s oldest brewery, Labatt’s, is headquartered in London and they offer tours and tastings year round. If craft beer is more your style, you should visit Forked River Brewery, Anderson Craft Ales, and Toboggan Brewing Company. Learn more.

    Check out East Park

    There’s something for everyone at East Park. Outdoor activities include mini-golf, go-karts, batting cages, year-round rock climbing, and Wally World's 7 waterslides.

    Banting House

    The former house of Dr. Frederick Banting, this museum is dedicated to the life of Canada’s famed inventor of insulin. It features Banting Square, which has a glorious garden and numerous sculptures. See more.

    Covent Garden Market

    Covent Garden Market is home to 52 vendors and a combination of indoor and outdoor markets. Twice a week, the outdoor Farmers' Market offers fresh and local food and produce. See more.

    Budweiser Gardens

    Whether you want to catch a game, play, watch shows on ice, or see your favorite performer, London’s premier arena, formerly known as John Labatt Centre, is the place to do This mammoth centre accommodates up to 10,000 attendees. Learn more about it.

    Cycling

    A truly unique adventure can be had by seeking out the city’s bike paths. With 330km of paths winding through some of the most interesting neighbourhoods and historic parts of the city, it’s an easy way to discover downtown London.

    Museum of London

    Southwestern Ontario's leading establishment for the collection and presentation of visual art and material culture, Museum London's collection has more than 5,000 regional and Canadian artworks and 25,000 artifacts.


    Festivals

    London hosts numerous festivals throughout the year including Sunfest -- the second largest world music event in the country. With big draw events like London Ribfest and the London Fringe Theatre Festival, you’ll never be bored. Learn more.

    Storybook Gardens

    Storybook Gardens is a family-friendly amusement park that’s open year-round. It features rides, games, recreational activities, ice-skating, wagon rides, and theatre. Read more.

    Timbercreek hopes that this article inspires you to explore London, Ontario.

    For information about Timbercreek Communities in London, with several options conveniently located in trendy Woodfield and others near Western University, please visit our website.

  • Petiquette 101: How to Crate Train a Puppy

    Feb 26, 2018

    Crate training is an excellent way to welcome a new puppy and start its education and adjustment right away. A crate is a puppy’s dedicated place. A safe, secure nest that’s all his/her own. It has a number of uses beyond this from potty training, to time outs and resting, as well as discipline. To help you navigate the big job of training a new puppy, Timbercreek brings you this list of ways to crate train your furry friend.

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    Bars Aren’t Bad

    On first look, the bars on a dog crate seem awfully cage-like. But your pup doesn’t see it that way. He/She sees a warm, cozy cave where he/she feels comfortable to sleep in safety. It’s also a puppy’s own private spot. While dogs do well carving out their own nooks and territory, they generally have to share a house or apartment with their owners. A crate comes in handy in this regard to give them a place that no one else can use.

    Prep for Your New Pup

    Before bringing a new puppy home, make some preparations. Start with the right sized crate. Ideally the puppy should have room for a bed and water bowl, and be able to stand up, turn around, and lie down. If possible, also get a blanket that smells of the mother dog, and place it inside the crate. The familiar smell will be a huge source of comfort.

    Where to Put the Crate

    Crate location is important. Your dog wants to feel connected and included, but also have a  place where it’s quiet enough to rest. A great spot is the corner of a living room or den, where he/she can see the family but have space of his/her own. A laundry room or basement isn’t ideal for this reason as he/she may feel isolated and act out.

    Not Too Long

    Keep your pup’s crate time short and sweet. Start with a few minutes, gradually building up the time. Once he’s/she’s happy and settled down, be careful not to leave him/her in it too long. Avoid leaving even older dogs unattended in a crate for more than four hours at a time. It isn’t fair to your best buddy, who may start to resent the crate rather than love it.

    Don’t let it be for discipline only

    Most would-be pet owners assume a crate is used for sleep, and discipline. And while it can be used to good effect to this end, it foremost should be a place your dog enjoys. Using it to positively reinforce behaviour is a better tactic to take.

    Dos and Don’ts

    DO: Encourage the pup to explore the crate. This means hiding tasty treats and special toys inside for him/her to discover.
    DON’T: Force the puppy inside.
    DO: Praise him/her when he/she sits inside without crying.
    DON’T: Let him/her out when he’s/she’s crying, as this rewards the noise and makes him/her more likely to cry in future.
    DO: Very slowly extend the amount of time pup is left inside the crate.
    DON’T: Use the crate as a place of punishment or leave him/her in for hours on end. Check out more here.

    Timbercreek hopes that this list helps you welcome home your new puppy and start off his/her training the right way. For more information about Timbercreek Communities in your city, please visit our website.

  • In Between Seasons Décor, From Winter To Spring!

    Feb 21, 2018

    Post-Christmas winter is a bit of a grey area for decor. You still want to be cozy and warm, but Spring is on the horizon so you don’t want to feel, well, too hot and boxed in come April. February is a fantastic time to embrace the Danish design concept of Hygge! It translates as a feeling of contentment and coziness, and it’s a great source of inspiration for between-seasons decor. Hygge style can bring warmth to your home in the darkest months of the year, without being overbearing or inappropriate for Spring. Timbercreek brings you this simple list of ways to keep your space cozy and delightful as the seasons change.


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    Bask in the Glow

    The lighting in your home can make a huge difference in the intimacy and warmth of the space. Natural light is ideal for daytime, while adding a cozy glow at night can be very comforting. Try to have multiple light sources in every room -- aim for a handful. Use a mix of table lamps, floor lamps, task lamps, and overhead lighting. Warmer light bulbs offer the coziest ambience.

    Comforting Mementos

    Increase the comfort factor in your space with your favorite photos of loved ones, antiques, or art that inspires you. Everything from special mementos to simple things that make you smile add charm.

    Textures

    One of the best ways to warm up a space is by incorporating a variety of different textures. Incorporate different touch-worthy materials like pillows, drapery, throw blankets, rugs, lamps, and furniture. Velvet, woven, knit, embroidered, grain sack, faux fur, tweed: the sky’s the limit. If you want to easily transition the look from winter to spring, stick mainly to neutrals but add a touch of bright colour here and there.

    A Cozy Nook

    Make yourself a special cozy place to relax in your space. Couches and sofa chairs can be tucked into an inviting corner, alongside some good books in a basket, a warm lamp, a footstool, side table, and a soft blanket. A space like this is great to retreat to year-round.

    Add Some Life

    A room comes to life with the addition of an organic element. Every room can benefit from a plant, bouquet of flowers, or even a sprig of greenery like eucalyptus. Read more here.

    Timbercreek hopes that this list helps you keep your home warm and cozy through the remainder of the winter months, and easy to transition to Spring. For more information about Timbercreek Communities in your city, please visit our website.

  • 10 Worthy Staycations

    Feb 20, 2018

    Winter is undoubtedly cold and dark, but it can also be beautiful and fun. If you’re taking some time off this season, but can’t afford to travel, it’s time to embrace the staycation. To help you spice up the winter this year, Timbercreek brings you this list of ways to enjoy the season without leaving your postal code.

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    Unplug

    To have a really enjoyable and uninterrupted staycation, you need to unplug. Start with your phone, then move on to your laptop and tablet. If you want to do a full digital detox, disconnect from the internet too -- even Netflix. Turn off your phone ringer, set an auto email response, avoid the news, put away your devices, and let go -- you’ll be so glad you did. It’ll all be there when you get back to the grind.

    Movie Marathon

    Star Wars, James Bond, Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter! Plan your own movie marathon at home. Get cozy on the couch with a pile of chips, dips, and drinks.

    Eat Out Or In

    A staycation is a great opportunity to eat out and try new restaurants near you. You can make a reservation, get dressed up and paint the town red. Or if you’re feeling cozy, call in for some take out, get delivery from your favourite places, or hit up services like UberEats to discover the best your area has to deliver. Treat yourself this staycation!

    Be a Bookworm

    Pick up a new novel and skip the heavy stuff. No economics or science please. Then kick back, clear your schedule, and dive headlong into storyland. The Huffington Post rounded up their favourite fiction titles of 2017 -- check it out here.

    Get the House Cleaned

    By this we mean for you; not by you. Getting your house cleaned is one of our top 5 best things to do for yourself. Pay a cleaning service to tackle every neglected nook and cranny of your kitchen, closet, and bathroom. It’ll feel like a new home.

    Rearrange

    There may be no better and cheaper way to transform your home, and break from your routine, than rearranging your furniture. It will breath new life into your space and maybe even help you relax.

    Hometown Tourist

    Pick a spot on the map -- a new neighbourhood, a restaurant, bar, or coffee shop you’ve never been to. It doesn’t have to be far, just new. Turn your city into a tourist destination without leaving its borders. You might fall in love with it again!

    Brew

    Brewing your own beer or wine can be really fun. It’s a great activity when you have some spare time at home. There are a few gear essentials to acquire, but with a bit of research, brewing is a great staycation activity.

    Play

    When’s the last time you picked up that guitar or struck a chord on the piano? Pick one new-to-you song, look it up online, and make a one-week goal to play it.

    Cook

    When you don’t have a million things to do, you can challenge yourself to try new things. Skip your standard meals and pick a few semi-difficult recipes to master. Hearty dishes like Boeuf Bourguignon, braised short ribs, or homemade pasta are all comforting winter meals with flare. Find a recipe or a recipe video, pick up or have your ingredients delivered, and get started.

    Timbercreek hopes these tips help you plan the best staycation ever. For more information about Timbercreek Communities in your city, please visit our website.

  • 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.

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