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Making The Most Of Your Staycation In Ontario 

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, many people have been left with cancelled plans and open calendar dates to fill with family fun activities. As there are still many restrictions on domestic and international travel, this is the perfect opportunity to take advantage of a “Staycation” and put aside any unused funds for future savings. Ontario is a beautiful province that boasts a variety of wildlife, landscapes and ecosystems that make exploring our surroundings an exciting and educational experience for people of all ages. Additionally, there are many places hidden away that offer a great experience for a vacation close to home. 

To ensure you still get to make the most of your vacation in the sun, we have compiled a list of staycation ideas right in the heart of Ontario, so that you and your family can enjoy your getaway while staying close to home. 


Fern Resort

As a great place that focuses on family fun for everyone, Fern Resort has it all with leisure activities including golf, yoga, swimming, boating, indoor pools and more. Three meals a day will be included with your stay so you can eliminate any time spent cooking to enjoy your stay thoroughly. Please note that while the Fern Resort is open, there are restrictions in place that will be modified in accordance with the guidelines set forth by Health professionals and the Government of Ontario. 


Camping and Fishing

Beginning the week of June 22nd, Ontario Parks can officially begin to reopen to the public. While the reopening will be gradual, there will be services available including the use of public washrooms, drinking water, and trailer sanitation stations. If you prefer something a little more primitive, backcountry camping is also available at all provincial parks and conservation areas. If you intend on fishing, when camping or at home, ensure that you have a valid outdoors card and fishing licence before casting off.


Tobermory, ON. 

Tobermory is located just 4 hours north of Toronto and is a picturesque experience from head to toe. The Grotto, located in the Bruce Peninsula National Park will be reopening June 29th to a 50% capacity maximum, and has parking available by reservation; This site boasts clear blue water and underground caves, and is great for hiking and cooling off with a swim. As it is extremely popular and generally fills up quickly, it is important to book ahead to ensure your spot. Tobermory also has many other additional attractions including visits to Flowerpot Island, Fathom Five National Marine Park, rides on the Chi Cheemaun, and an assortment of local businesses that make shopping even more fun. 


1000 Islands, Gananoque

This relatively inexpensive getaway will allow you to stay close and enjoy some more local scenery. Pack a picnic and take a drive down the 401 to Brockville or Gananoque to set your sights on the visually stunning set of islands in the St. Lawrence River. There are many local boat tours that give excellent views of the water, islands, and millionaires row along with extra restaurants, parks, museums, and shopping to make your day complete!


Shamrock Lodge 

This all-inclusive Ontario resort is a must-see in the heart of Muskoka. Shamrock Lodge offers a waterfront stay on Lake Rosseau that provides both tranquillity and family fun that you won’t soon forget. Amenities include 3 freshly prepared meals each day, boat tours, water trampolining, and water skiing or tubing. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the kids' program and evening entertainment have been cancelled. Additionally, dining can only occur on the outdoor patio, or by take-out.


These Staycation ideas will likely all have restrictions in place during the summer months as we transition or adapt to our new normal. If a Staycation isn’t really your style, there are other things you can do with your money that will be beneficial to you at a later date! One idea is to put the money in a savings account to use for next summer's travel plans and take that one bucket list trip you have always dreamed of. Other financially friendly moves to take include paying off credit card debt or replenishing your rainy day fund if you have had to dip into it over the past few months. The most important thing to remember when planning your time this summer is to ensure you take a break, make time to relax, and have fun with friends and family in your physically distanced social circle.

Sellers Resources

Tiny Homes Provide Great Options for Homeowners 

Tiny Homes provide great options for homeowners      Tiny Homes can be a great addition for homeowners, especially those looking for an extra means of income. A tiny home, also known as a coach house, is a small free-standing apartment, detached from the principal dwelling but located on the same lot. Coach houses are intended to bring more density to established neighbourhoods without negatively impacting community spaces. This increase in neighbourhood density would naturally  increase the number of affordable homes.       The regulations concerning Tiny Homes vary from one municipality to another. Note: the following information is specifically regarding Tiny Homes in Ottawa. The Advantages of a Coach Home Building a Coach Home on your pre-existing lot can have countless advantages. The initial advantage is the extra means of income. The additional dwelling is connected to both city water and sewer lines through the primary residence. This means no new connections are required. Note, Tiny Homes don’t necessarily need to be a newly built structure. Accessory structures such as garages or sheds can also be converted into coach homes, as long as all building requirements are met. If having an extra income doesn’t lure you in, perhaps your in-laws are looking to downsize but your home just isn’t big enough to accommodate them. Tiny homes allow family members to reside close, while ensuring everyone has their own space and independence.  Eligibility The rules and regulations concerning Tiny Homes vary from municipality to municipality. In Ottawa, not all lots meet the requirements for the addition of a coach home. In general, lots can accommodate a Tiny Home if the following requirements are met: The lot is serviced by municipal water and sewer lines, or if the lot is in a rural area, it is 0.4 hectares or larger and is serviced by a private well and septic system. The lot contains a detached, semi-detached, duplex or townhouse dwelling. Note, the requirements for a Tiny Home located on a lot where the primary dwelling is a rowhouse, the coach house must have direct pedestrian access to a public road. The pathway provided must be 1.2 metres wide. The primary dwelling unit does not already contain a secondary dwelling unit such as a basement apartment, garden suite or any rooming units.  Other Important factors  Other requirements, such as preserving mature trees and integrating with the urban context of the homes located in proximity must also be respected while building your Tiny Home.  It’s important to note, coach homes must meet both size requirements and height restrictions. These regulations vary from one lot to another. Overall, coach homes must be smaller than the principal residence and not accede 40% of the main dwelling. As for height restrictions, urban areas must not exceed 3.6 metres in height, while certain rural lots allow for the possibility of a two story coach home. To ensure your lot meets the requirements implemented by the city of Ottawa, contact a Development Information Officer (DIO) to further evaluate your lot. Development Information Officers can be reached by simply dialling 3-1-1.  Coach Homes can be a great asset to any lot, especially in cities like Ottawa where the need for affordable housing is always in high demand.

Summer Festivals 

Summer Festivals Summer festivals are a great way to ensure you take full advantage of everything the season has to offer. The great thing about summer festivals, especially the ones in the west end of Ottawa, is that there is a large variety of events. This means, everyone is sure to find a festival that suits their interests. Here are 5 of the most popular festivals that take place in the west end of the city. Note the list also includes a rural festival, the Almonte fair. Escaping the city’s hustle and bustle can be fun all on its own.  West End Food Truck Rally - August 10th 2019 - Christ Church Bells Corners What’s better than a fun event that supports a great cause? We agree, nothing’s better! This event has more than 10 food trucks that serve both sweet and savoury foods in support of The FAMSAC Food Cupboard. Enjoy great music, family friendly activities and entertainment while munching on some great food.  Westboro Fuse- August 17th and 18th 2019 - Westboro Neighbourhood This festival is essentially a weekend long block party that showcases live music, family friendly-activities and great food. It’s sure to have you enjoying the modern vibe Westboro has to offer all while spending time in the sun. Folk Festival Birthday Picnic at Britannia Park - August 25th 2019 Britannia Park is a beautiful family activity all on its own but the Birthday picnic means you don’t have to plan lunches, or snacks or even activities. Join your community for this family friendly Birthday Picnic to celebrate the exact 25th anniversary of the first Ottawa Folk Festival. This will be a family favourite, with beautiful views for the adults and lots of activities for the kids. Bridge Street Summer Festival -August 3rd - Carleton Place This year’s theme is everything Motown! Seven bands will be performing various songs all in line with the overall theme. The festival doesn’t stop at live music, family friendly fun takes place all day long. Local shops also set up booths along the street while food vendors offer tons a yummy options to snack on.  Almonte Fair- July 19th, 20th and 21st 2019 - Almonte Summer festivals like the Almonte fair add variety by offering events that tend to take place in the fall months. The Almonte fair has demo derbies to wrestling competition. Enjoy local food vendors and other more rural family activities.  Whatever your interests may be, summer festivals are always a good choice when planning your time off, especially seeing the kids aren’t in school and the weather is beautiful. Just be sure to remember all the summer essentials like sunblock, water bottles and your favourite ball-cap to ensure you can enjoy all the festival has to offer.  

How To Boost Your Curb Appeal This Fall 

How To Boost Your Curb Appeal This Fall The cooler air is here and before we know it, the leaves will begin to change. Fall is a season of transition as we (and the world around us) prepare for the winter months ahead but this is no reason to assume that curb appeal doesn’t matter. If you have your home listed this fall, it’s important to remember the importance of first impressions. Ensure that your home looks its best inside and out. Keep Lawns Clean and Maintained Although you may not need to get the mower out every week, depending on the weather, the grass does still grow throughout the fall. Make sure that your lawn remains well kept and that you mow it when necessary. It’s also important to clean up any debris including leaves and garbage to ensure that everything is in top shape for buyers. Sweep the Front Step This may seem like a little detail but it can make all the difference as someone is walking up to your home. A front step that is neatly swept gives off the impression of a pride of ownership that is likely carried through the entire home. Bring in Fall Decor Adding some fall decor and plants to your front step can brighten up the space and provide a pop of colour. Consider including pumpkins and gourds in the weeks leading up to Halloween. Mums also look great in front of any home and do very well in the colder weather of fall. Paint the Front Door Even if you don’t have time to take on the whole front of your house, painting the front door can really freshen things up. Consider adding some colour to your home by painting the door a contrasting colour to the rest of your home. Red, yellow, and blue are all popular colours for front doors right now. Trim the Trees Fall is a great time of year to trim your trees. If your trees are growing too close to your home or driveway, it’s important to get them cut back. It’s also important to look for dead and broken branches and to get them taken care of as soon as possible as they may pose a safety risk. If you are not comfortable with heights or a chainsaw, it is always best to hire a professional. Clean the Windows Summer can be a very season. Dry weather can mean lots of dust and this ultimately finds its way to the windows. Make sure that all your windows are cleaned inside and out to ensure the best views of your now ready to list property!

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