Archive for Pickering

Destination Durham Region

Festival season is in full swing and not even an over abundance of rain can stop it in the Durham Region. You will find at least one festival, usually more, somewhere in the Durham Region every weekend right through until Labour Day. Durham Region has already had the first Ribfest in the area, in Pickering, Food Truck Frenzy in Whitby and the Spring Fair in Brooklin. We started the season with the Artfest in Pickering.

Actually the day included three great events: Discover Your city, which gave you the opportunity to meet city staff and learn more about how your municipal government works; How-To in 10 Festival, where there were 32 booths to learn how to do stuff in 10 minutes; and then of course, Artfest. This year the City of Pickering added a Youth Arts Showcase to the event which featured Pickering Youth ages 12-25 demonstrating the theme “I am Ontario”.

There were hands on activities,

 

live on stage entertainment, food trucks, the Doodle Trailer,

and artistic creations beyond your imagination.

With over 100 booths to choose from, the Esplanade was alive with creativity. Whether you wanted to browse, buy or learn, the choices seemed endless.  There was a fantastic variety of original art which included Paintings (Oil, Acrylic, Water Colour), Photography, Pottery, Wood Carvings, Jewellery, Hand Made Rugs, Stationary, Candles and more!

 

 

Alex Lazich was on hand to create a patriotic spray paint masterpiece right in front of our eyes that is destined to rest in the Youth Art Centre.

The Brooklin Wood Carvers demonstrated their work while encouraging onlookers to join their ranks.

It was a wonderful day celebrating all that is creative. The crowds couldn’t have been more impressed, many leaving with unique treasures. Some are already talking about their next festival destination in the Durham Region.

Diversify!

The Durham Region and diversification go hand in hand. Just check out our weather as of late. We’ve had Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall all show up this week.

Check out the “Feels Like” on Friday & Monday

The town of Ajax has recently embraced the Durham Region’s diverse population with its #AjaxForAll campaign featuring community members from all cultures. With that in mind, we thought it would be fun to share some Easter family traditions from the diverse Stacee-Free Team.

Judy’s Easter has always included traditions.

“I remember a story told by my father when he was a boy taking a basket of food to the church to be blessed by the priest then to be brought home for the family at Ukrainian Easter dinner. The priest told his mother that by the time he arrived almost half of the food was missing. Boys will be boys.

Growing up, we had traditional Babka (Easter bread) which was my favorite. Our mother always hid Easter eggs and over the years I continued this with my children. After a while, the fun went out of getting candied or chocolate eggs, so I decided to buy colorful plastic eggs and hide money inside. The person who collected the most money won an even bigger prize. Everyone young and old took part and had fun in the search.”

Easter brings Jo fond memories of her grandmother.
“My dad’s background is Polish and my grandma was a wonderful cook so I have lots of fond memories of Easter. All her lovely decorated wooden eggs on display that I would play with. Grandma would take palm leaves and baskets of homemade babka, kolbassa, ham and eggs to church to be blessed by the priest for us to eat. It was all very mystical and special to a young child. We also got a chocolate Easter bunny and I would promptly eat the ears. And, it was a great time to see my cousins, too.”

It’s all about family for John.

“At Easter we have always gathered the family around for a big dinner. Melanie and I like to explore what is going on in the kids’ lives and what is happening in their families and relationships. When the kids were young, we would hide candy Easter eggs around the house so the kids could have an egg hunt as soon as they got up in the morning. One year, that did not work out, however, because the dog decided to have her own egg hunt.”

Anna’s Irish roots put her faith foremost in her celebrations of Easter.

“My family’s Easter tradition growing up was attending Church for the Stations of the Cross on Good Friday, then, celebrating the Resurrection of Jesus on Easter Sunday.”

Kathy embraces her husband’s French heritage.

“Generations of families connect through their traditions and our family is no exception. I always remember going to my in-laws’, to Beverly and Jerome Lapointe’s home on special occasions and enjoying the fantastic French gourmet meals we had. I especially remember when Jerome made Bouillabaisse which is a typical French soup broth with saffron and loads of fish, like scallops, mussels, halibut, lobster and clams, served with crusty bread so you could sop up the heavenly tasting broth. There were always at least 14 people at the formal dining table and there were lots of laughs and good wine flowing. We would sit there past midnight catching up on what everyone was doing in their lives. Jerome was a great influence on my style of cooking. I’m sure he’s still watching me from above as I try to replicate his recipes. Easter, or any holiday, is a time to leave your worries behind and enjoy and share traditional meals that remind us of the loving memories that keep families together.”

However you celebrate Easter, it’s a good time to look around and be aware of how diversified the Durham Region is. That in itself is a good reason to celebrate.

Beautiful Places To Hold A Memorial Service In The Durham Region

Death is a part of life. It is something that we all have to deal with at one point or another. The funeral industry itself has changed over the years to accommodate modern culture and emerging trends, cremation being one of them. In the last decade or so, cremation has skyrocketed in popularity, in part due to its flexibility. Memorial services featuring cremated remains can be customized to accommodate a range of needs and tailored to truly honour the person they’re celebrating.

Durham Region plays host to plenty of stunning outdoor spaces that are perfectly suited for hosting a memorial. From leafy enclaves suited for small gatherings to open spaces made for a crowd, we cover them all in our guide to Durham Region’s most beautiful memorial sites.

Greenwood Conservation Area

Greenwood is an obvious choice. It offers guests a chance to escape the city traffic and enjoy the beautiful nature preserves along the banks of Duffins Creek. There are many hiking trails that allow you to explore the forest and river valleys and provide you with the opportunity to find your own unique spot to celebrate a life. Greenwood is especially beautiful in the fall when it’s surrounded by a mosaic of warm colours.

Paradise Park
Paradise Park looks like a scene from a movie with its brilliantly sandy shores. It is a great place to spend an afternoon as well as celebrate a loved one. For generations, residents of Ajax have visited this park as a popular city getaway. It features an expansive shoreline and boasts picturesque outcroppings of trees, bushes, and flowers.

Heber Down Conservation Area
The Heber Down Conservation Area offers guests over 700 acres of recreational land. It is ideal or fishing, hiking, and picnicking. The nature valley of Lynde Creek intersects with a section of the conservation area and provides guests with a variety of unbelievably scenic landscapes.

Countryside Preserve
This beautiful space is perfect for those who love the great outdoors. The massive green landscape is filled with grass, trees, and bushes as far as the eye can see. It is one of Uxbridge’s best kept secrets. The idyllic forest is a fantastic spot to celebrate a recently departed friend or family member.

Ganaraska Forest
The largest forest in southern Ontario, Ganaraska offers guests an unmatched outdoor experience. The forest features hundreds of kilometers of trails that play host to activities like hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, cross country skiing, snowshoeing, and nature appreciation. It offers guests an immersive wildlife experience and is the ideal place to host a memorial for any nature lover.

Many thanks to our Guest Blogger, Basic Funerals,  for providing this thoughtful post.

“Basic Funerals is a licensed funeral home in Ontario, Canada, offering simple, cost-effective services that can be arranged online, over the phone, or in person. Our goal is to create a fresh perspective in funeral services.”

 

A Brand New Year

It’s 2017. Day one. It’s a glorious day! The sun is shining, the temperature is springlike and it actually feels like a fresh start.

What can we say about 2016? It was challenging in many ways. We witnessed, from what some might say was too short a distance one of the craziest Presidential races in history. Indeed, the results shocked many of us. Our top news story for the year, however, was the ferocious wildfire that forced nearly 90,000 to flee Alberta’s Fort McMurray and the surrounding area. It was merciless and unpredictable,  “Not even a Hollywood script could match the terror, uncertainty, and heroism to come out of what seemed to be a surreal event,” wrote Dave Barry, news director of CKPG TV in Prince George, B.C.  We also said goodbye to many throughout the year. Some were intimate personal losses, while others were felt worldwide as the plethora of celebrity deaths seemed to never let up.

There are many ways to start a new year but one of the most symbolic  is the tradition of the doors. It’s simple and anyone can do it. At the stroke of midnight, open your back door to let out all the bad luck and negativity from the year that has just ended. Then, open your front door to let in all the good luck and positive energy for the new year.

We have a lot to look forward to in 2017. In the Chinese Zodiac, 2017 is the year of the Rooster which begins on January 28th under the sign of the Fire Rooster. Being a sign of rising, of awakening to life and of triumph, this promises to be a year of great achievements.

year-of-the-rooster

The Pantone Color Institute has announced “Greenery” as the colour of the year. A refreshing and revitalizing shade, Greenery is symbolic of new beginnings. It’s a fresh and zesty yellow-green shade that evokes the first days of spring when nature’s greens revive, restore and renew. Illustrative of flourishing foliage and the lushness of the great outdoors, the fortifying attributes of Greenery signals consumers to take a deep breath, oxygenate and reinvigorate.  According to Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute,

“Greenery bursts forth in 2017 to provide us with the assurance we yearn for amid a tumultuous social and political environment. Satisfying our growing desire to rejuvenate and revitalize, Greenery symbolizes the re-connection we seek with nature, one another and a larger purpose.”

greenery-colour-of-the-year

Perhaps one of the best things to look forward to in 2017 is Canada’s celebration of its bi-centennial. That’s right. We are 150 years old this year and we are going to party! To find out about events and celebrations throughout the year visit Celebrate Canada 150. On top of that, we are all getting a birthday present from Parks Canada — Free admission to Canadians and visitors from all around the world to all Parks Canada Locations from coast to coast to coast. For all of 2017, this pass gives you unlimited opportunities to enjoy National Parks, National Marine Conservation Areas and National Historic Sites across the country. To order your 2017 Parks Canada Discovery Pass click  here.

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Oh, it’s going to be a great year! We can’t wait to see what the Durham Region has in store for us to discover in 2017.

Happy New Year Everyone!

 

The Most Wonderful Time

This is the most wonderful time of the year. It’s a time when almost everyone can believe in the magic of Christmas. Whether you are five and just starting to make those magical memories, or 85, and thinking back over the years, everyone has at least one special memory of Christmas. This year, we would like to share some of ours with you.

Jo likes to keep things simple.

“Christmas memories…traditional family gatherings, lots of food, people and prezzies. Caroling as kids, snow angels, snow ball fights and sledding down some pretty big hills. Then, as adults, it was Christmas parties and winter events. All were wonderful, but some of my most favourite rememberings were going up to the barn at midnight to see if the horses talked…and enjoying a few Christmas’s on my own (by choice), not having to travel, buy gifts or overeat…just me in my PJ’s with some great movies. This year I’ll be alone at the lake enjoying some Peace on Earth so I can continue to have Good Will towards Everyone.” Jo Ann Rucinski, Sales Person, Administrator

jos-winter-lake

Family and food provide the Christmas magic for Kathy.

“Christmas for us is always about just slowing down and spending time together, because life is such a rush. I think my favorite part of Christmas is having my family together…and the food. I love cooking and my family loves eating! We traditionally do a French ‘Night before Christmas’ dinner— an homage to my husband Paul’s background— with home-made Tourtier, chicken liver pate flavoured with Courvoisier, cold seafood like salmon Gravlax, arugula salad with figs, and the best pumpkin pie, made by my son. Then, for Christmas dinner, we always have a turkey. We give it a name, like Fredrick or Henry, and the boys roast it on the BBQ. Santa usually gets us a new board game so there’s always lots of passionate competition. And of course, we wish everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!” Kathy Lapointe, Sales Person

Anna shares one of her favourite memories of Christmas.
“My grandfather would set up the Nativity Scene (with the exception of baby Jesus) and he would tell us kids the Christmas Story. Then, on Christmas morning we would rush downstairs to see baby Jesus lying in the manger. Even after all these years I can still see him waiting for us on Christmas morning.” Anna Stinson, Sales Person
annas-nativity-for-blog

John would like the Christmas magic to last all year long.

“I think of Christmas as a very special time of year. It is a time when special things happen. People put aside their differences and are actually nice to each other. Perfect strangers will wish you a Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays. People are also more aware of those less fortunate. Countries at war have even stopped fighting to celebrate the day or a portion thereof. It is truly sad that this spirit only lasts for a very short time. Then, on Boxing day, it’s “Get out of my way, there’s a deal somewhere!” John Martin, Salesperson

Attending the recent Christmas party for the Durham Contact Business Exchange at the Waterfront Bistro had Judy reminiscing about Christmas past.

“THOSE WERE THE DAYS…

Overlooking Lake Ontario and Frenchman’s Bay at the end of Liverpool Rd, the Waterfront Bistro holds many warm memories for me. MinCom’s Christmas party was the first function ever held at the Waterfront when they opened in ’96. The owners, George and his family told us that they were not quite open for business but if we were game so were they. And so we did! Construction was ongoing and the kitchen was still under renovation, so the food had to be prepared and then transported from Lord Byron’s Restaurant to the Bistro for our party. There were at least 30 to 40 people in attendance, all dancing and enjoying the festivities. Wayne sang his ‘Night Before Christmas’ (in Rap) song. It was such a great hit that it became a tradition and Wayne did it at our parties for years. We had many wonderful times at the Waterfront, singing Karaoke led by Garth Riley or dancing to the live tunes of ‘The Johnny Max Blues Band’ just to mention a few. Garth always had such fun in store for us. I wish I could find the pictures of a game we played. Garth had the men wear white long johns and the women had to stuff as many full balloons inside to win a prize. We all laughed until we had tears in our eyes. Many years have come and gone, but there is one thing we can all agree on. MinCom had some of the best Christmas parties ever!

The Waterfront Bistro has evolved over the years and so have we, but it will always have a special place in my heart, especially around Christmas.” Judy Stacee-Cleaver, Broker of Record

mincom-party

From The Stacee-Free Team and everyone at Mincom New Choice Realty Ltd. , have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

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