Archive for Real Estate – Page 2

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.”

 

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

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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
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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

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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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Open Doors

Alexander Graham Bell once said, “When one door closes another door opens…”, and people have been quoting these words ever since. Often, those “open doors” lead to interesting and exciting opportunities or adventures. Such is the case across Ontario this season. Doors Open Ontario 2016 offers you the opportunity to discover the story behind every door.

DOORS OPEN 2016

Each year from April to October, the Ontario Heritage Trust invites you to explore Ontario’s heritage treasures at  free public events across the province.

“For 15 years, the Ontario Heritage Trust and its partners have provided opportunities for Ontarians to learn about their rich history and diverse cultures by experiencing our heritage at Doors Open Ontario events. This year, we are shedding light on places associated with medical science and innovation. Hospitals, universities, laboratories, medical schools and museums are participating in Doors Open Ontario and telling the story that medicine has played in our lives. We invite you to explore these and other engaging aspects of our history, identity and cultural heritage at events across the province!” – Thomas H.B. Symons, Chair, Ontario Heritage Trust

“Since it began, Doors Open Ontario has allowed millions of people to glimpse into some of our province’s most fascinating cultural sites. Not only does the program boost local economies, but it also raises awareness of and interest in heritage conservation. I encourage Ontarians and visitors to get out and discover the unique story and experience waiting behind every door.” – Michael Coteau, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport

This year we are fortunate that four of the 43 free events happen right here in the Durham Region.

Saturday May 7th, 2016 found Whitby opening doors to sixteen historical sites including The Carnegie Library Building, Intrepid Park – Camp X Memorial  and Station Gallery. You may recall that even Trafalgar Castle School allowed Mincom Jo access to its hallowed halls.

Trafalgar Castle

Clarington opened its doors on June 11, 2016 to fifteen diverse locations. The Massey Building, Ebor House and the Durham Masonic Lodge were all part of the event.  Mincom Jo was able to take in three locations – Richard Varcoe House, St. George’s Anglican Church and Rosemary’s Gardens. Contrary to what one might have expected, no ill came of Jo entering the church. It was worth the risk to see the two Tiffany of New York windows, at each end of the church.

TIFFANY WINDOWS

Mincom Jo & Her Aunt Pat Were Moved To Tears By The Tiffany Windows In St. George’s Anglican Church

Rosemary’s Gardens was perhaps our Jo’s favourite stop. Located at 215 Mill St. South in Newcastle, it would be easy to pass by and comment on what a lovely home and garden this is without really knowing the secret beauty hidden behind the gate. These gardens have twice won top recognition for Ward 4 in the Clarington Blooms contest.

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It’s not too late to cross over some mysterious thresholds in the Durham Region. Both Ajax and Oshawa will be unlocking doors on Saturday, October 1st, 2016. Click on the town names to find out what is available and make a day of it. Go behind doors that may normally be closed to the public and satisfy your curiosity. Doors Open Ontario is letting you in!

 

 

Storming The Castle

Once upon a time, in a land not so far away (we’ll call it the Durham Region), there lived a wee Princess named Mincom Jo. Now Princess Jo was a very happy Princess, but she longed to spend her time whiling away the hours wandering around a beautiful castle while her faithful subjects brought her food, mail and the remote. This little Princess knew all about castles and came from a very long line of castle experts who had handed down the knowledge for generations: a person’s home was their castle no matter what the size or curb appeal. So, although visions of turrets and moats danced in her head, she was not above enjoying a good “bouncy” castle.

I am a Princess. My Mother is the Queen. This is my Castle.

I am a Princess. My Mother is the Queen. This is my Castle.

Fortunately for Princess Jo, there actually exists a real castle in the Durham Region. The castle, in Whitby, has been a school for many a young maiden for over 140 years and although Princess Jo did not study there, Trafalgar Castle School “allows” her to visit a couple of times a year.

Trafalgar Castle

The Castle was built in 1859 by the Sheriff of Ontario County, Nelson Gilbert “Iron” Reynolds , as his private residence.  Joseph Sheard, the Toronto architect, designed the castle in an Elizabethan style built with limestone, stone and 15 towers. Remarkably, the castle cost $70,000 to build.

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Unfortunately, due to financial difficulties, Reynolds had to sell his castle in 1874, receiving only half of what it cost to build. For the price of $35,000, the Methodist Church of Canada purchased the castle including the land and turned it into Ontario Ladies’ College. In 1979 the school was renamed Trafalgar Castle School.

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There have been many upgrades and state of the art improvements over the years, but the integrity of the original castle has always been kept intact. The attention to detail is evident when you venture inside during an open house.

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When the school first opened it had 25 residential students. It now has over 200 students including 70 boarders. It boasts the “World-Best Curricula” including Latin, Mandarin, the highly regarded Singapore Science & Math, Robotics, English Writing and I-Think. “Since 1874, well before the world openly accepted educated women, we’ve been inspiring our students to think progressively and innovate in the face of social challenges…Girls at Trafalgar excel in every discipline.” In fact 100% of the school’s graduates are accepted by the universities of their choice.

Princess Jo’s favourite time to visit Trafalgar Castle School is when they hold their annual May Court Festival. This year marked their 109th traditional dance around the May Pole.

Trafalgar Castle School Photo

Trafalgar Castle School Photo

The festival marks the official arrival of spring. Traditionally, graduating students who best exemplify the School’s motto of truth, virtue and loveliness are elected as the May Queen and her Counselors.

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Trafalgar Castle School Photo

This year’s formal ceremony included words from local dignitaries to mark the sense of tradition and history passed on year after year. Alumnae and locals from the community enjoyed the celebration including many cultural dances performed by boarding students from China and Mexico. When the formalities were finished it was time to enjoy some of the other activities available including Castle Art tours, dunk tanks and a Strawberry Social.

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Local vendors offered fun-fair food and freshly squeezed lemonade.

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LemonadePrincess Jo has yet to be invited to dance ’round the May Pole. It could be that she arrives after that part is over.

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That’s OK, she spotted a squirrel horses.It must be her Royal Horse Drawn Carriage arriving to take her for a spin.

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1 Mayday 1 Horse Drawn Carriage

She found a perfect spot to pick up a few new Princess dresses…

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and some royal jewelry.
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Our special little Princess was even able to connect with some of her loyal subjects. She had this lizard laughing his head off.

Laughing Lizards

It was a good day for everyone and Princess Jo was content to go home to her own castle to dream of next year’s visit, leaving everyone to…live happily ever after.

The End

March Madness

March can get a little crazy in the Durham Region.  When it comes to weather one might even say it is bi-polar. One day you are getting emergency weather winter storm warnings, with “polar” temperatures and record snowfalls. The next day the sun is shining and you are tempted to walk about in your shorts. We won’t mention any names (Mincom Jo). Let’s face it, we are Canadians — there was a lot of shorts-wearing going on.

If the weather didn’t have you confused, there is always the calamity that goes with changing our clocks to Daylight Saving Time. Some people will always be confused. Try to remember we “Spring” forward and “Fall” back. That’s right. We lost an hour of precious sleep on the 14th.

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There were “Snow Days” with the kids home from school, then “March Break” let them off school for an entire week: not a problem if you live in the Durham Region where there was a lot going on for kids and their families. Ontario Power sponsored a whole week of events including hiking, crafts, skating and swimming. Purple Woods Maple Syrup Festival launched March 12, 2016 just in time

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Anna & Family At the Purple Woods Maple Syrup Festival

for the break and can still be enjoyed over the next couple of weekends. The Oshawa Airport hosted Girls Flying Girls, giving young girls one of the most exciting adventures of their life.  The Bowmanville Tackle Swap and Fishing Show was in full swing.  Both the Pickering Town Centre and the Oshawa Centre had activities for the kids and March break camps were offered through the City of Oshawa, City of Pickering, Town of Whitby, Town of Ajax, Municipality of Clarington, Township of Scugog, Township of Uxbridge or Township of Brock. This list goes on.

Things are always a little whacky on the 17th. The “Wearin’ of the Green” can make for some strange outfits on St. Patrick’s Day. You can pretty much find anything and everything coloured green…your food, your drinks, buildings and even bodies of water. One thing we don’t colour green is our Anna’s (Stinson) mouthwatering homemade shortbread. You can’t get more Irish than Anna and her shortbread. We are also fortunate that we have the number one ranked Irish restaurant in all of Ontario here in the Durham Region. The Snug, in Newcastle, brings authentic Irish fare right to your table. We recommend you save room for the Sticky Toffee Pudding.

Shortbread

The Snug

Walsh’s The Snug In Newcastle, ON

The kids are back in school for a short week. This weekend is Easter weekend giving them the day off on Good Friday. There will be an Easter Parade in Pickering and an Easter Egg Hunt in Ajax, both on Saturday. The Oshawa Airport is hosting an Easter Egg-stravaganza on Sunday.

Easter Parade In Pickering

Easter Parade In Pickering

In case we haven’t mentioned it, we also officially welcomed the March Equinox whose dual identity is called Spring, on Sunday, March 20th, 2016.  Yes, Spring has definitely sprung. Enjoy it folks!

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