Real Estate|Thornbury, Blue Mountains & Collingwood | Karen Willison Thornbury , The Blue Mountains & Collingwood Ontario Real Estate & Homes for Sale Mon, 15 Jun 2020 15:05:32 +0000 en-US hourly 1,h_32,c_fit,q_80/CollaborativeRE/cropped-logo-512-website-png.png Real Estate|Thornbury, Blue Mountains & Collingwood | Karen Willison 32 32 2020 Homeownership and Financial Fitness Study Results Mon, 15 Jun 2020 15:04:17 +0000

Genworth Canada’s recent Homeownership and Financial Fitness Study is a snapshot of Canadians’ Homeowership Attitudes and Financial Fitness . Given the unusual economic and financial circumstances we’re in, this data provides a comprehensive look at Canadians’ view on homeownership and their own financial fitness.

The study takes into account both pre COVID-19 and mid COVID-19 data, which can be used to help shape some of the conversations you’re having with your customers. We hope these statistics give you the confidence to share a balanced outlook on future homebuying trends.

For more details view the study document

What’s On This Week – Local Events Sun, 07 Jun 2020 19:30:15 +0000 ]]> Hope in the Valley STAY AT HOME GALA – Saturday, June 6th Thu, 04 Jun 2020 22:26:16 +0000

Hope in the Valley STAY AT HOME GALA — Saturday, June 6t
…hosted by Thornbury-Clarksburg Rotary


Thorbury-Clarksburg ROTARIANS are organizing Stay at Home GalaHope in the Valley”  event to support struggling families, during this COVID social distancing without the benefit of their usual fundraisers.

Stay at Home GalaHope in the Valley” is a chance for our amazing community to come together, share some quality time — virtually — AND donate money that will allow T-C Rotary to continue supporting families.

Contribute what you can — tickets range from $25 to $1000 per device/household.

Goal is to raise $40,000!

Once registered for the Gala, you’ll receive a link by email just before the event so you can login and be part of the show as it unfolds online. The Gala is planned to run from 7:00 to 8:30 pm.

You will receive a tax receipt for all donations and for ticket contributions above the $10 virtual ticket value.

Check out the DINING section below and make your experience truly “gala” by choosing meals from one of the many fabulous local restaurants who are ready to serve you!!

VISIT THIIS LINK for information about ordering take-out from one of our amazing participating restauarants, entertaiment line-up and silent auction.

Local ENTERTAINMENT program is growing day-by-day.

Make sure you check out the items in our SILENT AUCTION Bidding will end at 9:00 pm on Gala Night and winning bids will be announced shortly thereafter! Bid early! Bid often!

DRESS CODE: Here’s a chance to get out of your pyjamas for a night! Well…..maybe not those cute, fuzzy bunny slippers — but you can add to this special night by dressing up a bit — glam it up — anything from funky to formal! Let’s get creative here!

Welcome Joanne Brown, Sales Representative Thu, 28 May 2020 21:45:54 +0000
Joanne Brown

Joanne Brown

Sales Representative

  • Office: 877/705-445-5520
  • Call or Text Direct:705-994-5255

We are pleased to welcome Joanne Brown, Sales Representative,  to The KW Collaborative Real Estate Team | Royal LePage Locations North, Brokerage.  Joanne is taking on the role of Operations and Client Care & Communications Manager for the Team.

Joanne’s Bio

After 30 years as a high school teacher and guidance counsellor in the Greater Toronto area, I made the jump into the Southern Georgian Bay real estate market as a Sales Representative in early 2019. I first fell in love with Collingwood almost 10 years ago, while driving my son to Blue Mountain to night ski with his high school ski club – the sight of the lights on the hill as you approach the town took my breath away. We quickly became weekenders and were hooked by all there is to see and do all year ‘round. It didn’t take long for my husband and I to know that this is where we wanted to spend our post-career life.

Since moving to Collingwood fulltime in the summer of 2019, we have become immersed in the community. We’ve hiked and biked the Georgian and Bruce Trails, tried out many of Georgian Bay’s best beaches, skied and snowboarded the beautiful slopes of Blue Mountain Resort, experienced some of the area’s best restaurants, enjoyed the many annual cultural and community events and attended the region’s fabulous farmers’ markets. I have been privileged to be able to volunteer with the local animal shelter, the Georgian Triangle Humane Society, feeding the cats, assisting at spay/neuter clinics, and helping to organize the annual walkathon, and with the Collingwood Community Clothing Swap.

“I love this area and love the idea of helping others find their forever home, their vacation home, or their vacation rental. Let us collaborate with you on your next move!”

Creative Gifts for Mother’s Day Fri, 01 May 2020 17:03:05 +0000

Everyone knows that it is difficult to purchase gifts from stores currently, but online stores and delivery services in Collingwood have amazing gifts for Mother’s Day. This is also the perfect time to get creative and make your own gift to show your love for someone special! 

Send a heartfelt card or letter
Sending a card or letter with a lovely message is always a thoughtful way to show how much you care and that they’re in your thoughts.

Send flowers
Many local flower shops and big online flower shops are still operating and making deliveries.

Shop Collingwood Flowers
Always Flowers & Gifts
Karen’s Flower Shop

Create a family video or photo album
Gather family members to create a heartfelt video with a video message for your loved one. Take your favourite family photos and create a beautiful photo album. 

Gift Cards
Purchase an in-store or virtual gift card from her favourite store to use at a future date. Supporting local stores, restaurants and services can really benefit your community. 

Redeemable Coupons
Handwritten or printed coupons filled with things to make moms happy are easy and free to do-it-yourself. You can put down shores such as “wash the dishes” or requests like “leave mom alone for an hour” on small pieces of paper which moms can redeem with any family members.

Serendipity Candle Company
A local candle company has incredible gifts for any occasion. With endless scents to choose from, Serendipity ships anywhere in Canada! 

DIY Edible arrangements
Use fruit or sweets that you have in the house, or have them delivered to make your own edible arrangement bouquet. 

There are many DIY ideas already online but you can get creative with your own quarantine-specific concepts.

Beaver Valley Weekly Bulletin Neighbours Helping Neighbours Wed, 29 Apr 2020 21:04:31 +0000


Beaver Valley Weekly Bulletin Neighbours Helping Neighbours April 27

The Beaver Valley Weekly Bulletin lists local stores that are providing online services, pick-up and delivery.

• Local Stores & Services – Check out Collingwood’s new one-stop online marketplace
• Local Information Resources
• Arts & Entertainment
• Bits & Bobs
• eTips
• Next issue: May 11 Health & Wellness

Download the Bulletin 


Takeout and Delivery Options in Collingwood and Surrounding Areas Wed, 25 Mar 2020 16:27:03 +0000

During Ontario’s current state of emergency, Collingwood and the surrounding areas are helping to minimize the impact by providing families with safe delivery and takeout with local restaurants. Below is a list of resources of which restaurants and markets are providing services to get us through this pandemic. 

How You Can Support Local Business During Covid19

Please consider purchasing gift cards on-line for future use to support our friends in retail and hospitality.  Links have been provided below for your convenience.

Restaurants offering takeout or delivery – Collingwood

Ashanti Coffee Collingwood – Ashanti Coffee Collingwood remains open, for now, for TAKEOUT only of coffee, drinks, treats, and sandwiches. Our hours of operation 8am-4pm. Since you probably will need to stock up and they also want to make sure you don’t run out of coffee beans for home, they’re offering 2 pounds for $25. Limit 4 pounds per purchase. Delivery available.

510 First St, Collingwood, Tel: 705.293.3013

Shop On-Line

BRGRZ – Offering delivery and takeout

316 Hume St.Collingwood, Tel:705.445.5449


Baked and Pickled – Open daily and are happy to continue offering takeout and curb-side pickup to our valued customers through call in and text ordering.

137 Hurontario St., Collingwood, Call 705-446-2253 or Text 705-607-0707


Bent Taco – Starting March 20th at 3 pm, phone lines will be open for dinner orders

48 Pine St. Collingwood, Tel: 705.445.0202


Blue Ridge Meats – is open and will deliver to your car.  Not accepting cash.

You can contact them by phone 705-446-9881 or email


Beaver and Bulldog – open for takeout

195 First St, Collingwood, Tel: 705.446.9711


Blue Mountain Tea Company – open 1:00pm – 4:00pm

66 Hurontario St, Collingwood, Tel: 705.293.1887

Website/Shop On-Line

Chef Patrick Gourmet Foods – gourmet frozen foods available for pick-up.

21 Stewart Rd, Collingwood, Tel: 705.444.2433 or 705.444.9041


Collingwood Olive Oil Co.

42 Ste. Marie Street, Collingwood, Tel: 705-293-OILS (6457)

Takeout/curbside delivery Tues-Sat 11-4. Free delivery Collingwood and Wasaga Beach. Call 705-293-6457 or to place order.

Website/Shop On-Line

Duncan’s Cafe – offering takeout and delivery

The Hungry Sumo – open for take-out and offering free local delivery.

188 First Street, Collingwood, Tel: 705.293.1037


Espresso Post – take-out available

139 Hurontario St, Collingwood, Tel: 705.446.1740


Low Down Cocktail & Snack Bar – offering free delivery and curb-side pick up.

65 Simcoe Street, Unit 5, Collingwood , Tel: 705.444.3696


Fish & Sips – Offering only take-out at this time

206 Hurontario St. Collingwood; Tel: 705.293.7477


Take-Out Menu

Gustav Chophouse & Bar – open for take out Call 705.443.4461 from 12Noon – 8PM.

10 Vacation Inn Drivem Collingwood – Inside the Georgain Bay Hotel, Tel: 705.443.4461


Lakeside Seafood & Grill – open for take out.

9 Harbour Street East Collingwood, Tel: 705.446.3274

Website/View Take Out Menu

Mad Dogs Coffee & Vinyl Cafe – Offering curbside pickup, call 705-445-1900

Sol Kitchen – open for take out.

19 Hurontario St, Collingwood, Tel: 705.994.5155


Tesoro Mercato – Offering free delivery, Tel: 705.444.9231

Tesoro Restaurant – Open for takeout and delivery.

18 School House Ln, Collingwood, Tel: 705.444.9230

Open: 4:00pm – 8:30pm Monday – Saturday, Orders & Pick Up in Ice Cream Parlour.


Mercato Groceries

Fig & Feta – Offering take out and delivery, Hours 11am-6pm.

65 Hurontario St, Collingwood, Tel: 705.446.9966


Freshii- Offering curb-side pickup

1 First St, Collingwood, Tel: 705.416.1366


Pie Wood Fired Pizza – open daily from 12-8 for take out. Call 705-293-3900 to order. The doors will remain locked, so they will have to call to order therefore calling in advance is essential.

499 First St, Collingwood, Tel: 705.293.3900


Press Juice Co. – Take out and delivery to Collingwood & surrounding areas.

1 Simcoe St, Collingwood, Tel: 705.293.5333

 Collingwood Bread Company – 10 Keith Ave Unit 103, Collingwood


Swiss Chalet – open for takeout. Call 705.445.1931

 Heavenly Cafe – open for take out, 9:30am-4:30pm Tuesday – Sunday.

10 Keith Ave, Unit 301, Collingwood, Tel: 705.444.2005


Harbour Street Fish Bar – from 4pm to 9pm Fridays & Saturdays.

10 Keith Ave #403, Collingwood, Tel: 705.293.3474

Surf Cafe – open daily from 8am – 4pm

209544 Ontario 26 #1, The Blue Mountains, Tel: 705.445.1313


 Collingwood Real Food Market – open Monday – Friday 9am-6pm & Saturday 9am-5pm.

395 Hume St, Collingwood, Tel: 705.293.5252


 Collingwood Brewery – open for retail and delivery.  

For residents of Collingwood, Wasaga Beach, Thornbury & Stayner – call or email the brewery between 12pm & 5pm, place your order (24 can minimum – mix and match any brands), provide a credit card number, and we will deliver the beer to your home within 1 business day. Although someone 19 years or older must be at home, no signature or contact will be required.

This option is also available for those who would like to pick up beer at the brewery. Contact us ahead of time, let us know when you arrive and we will bring the beer out to your vehicle. 

Black Bellows Brewing Company – offering free delivery within 10km of town (including the base of the mountain), Minimum purchase of 12 cans. Contactless drop offs after 6pm and curbside pickups at the brewery between 12-5pm. Call 705-532-1569 to place your order. Someone 19+ must be home to show their ID through the window. 

40 Simcoe Street,Collingwood, Tel: 705.532.1569


Northwinds Brewhouse & Kitchen – Collingwood location retail store remains open from 12-4pm daily.

499 First Street, Collingwood, Tel: 705.293.6666


Giffen’s Country Market 

The lunch counter is available for a hot meal and fresh sandwiches are ready to go.

Please call ahead if you need assistance with shopping.

55 Station St, Glen Huron, Tel: 705-466-3080 ext 222.

Georgian Triangle Humane Society – The GTHS operates a pet food bank for pet owners who have come across challenging times and require assistance with keeping their furry friends fed.

Given these uncertain times, the GTHS will be offering Pet Pantry services, despite the fact that the GTHS Animal Centre remains temporarily closed to the public.

Should you require use of Pet Pantry services, please call 705-445-5204 ext. 0. A GTHS team member will connect with you and schedule delivery of pet food right to your door. This service is strictly confidential.



Bruce Wine Bar: open for takeout Thursday-Saturday 4-8pm, phone lines open at 3pm. Call 519.599.1112

The Cheese Gallery: open for grocery orders and take out 9am-4pm.  Offering free local delivery.

11 Bruce St S, Thornbury, Tel: 519.599.6699

Website and check Social for updates

Thornbury Bakery Café: take out and non-contact delivery only.

12 Bruce Street S., Thornbury, Tel: 519.599.3311 for delivery area & minimums.


Ashanti Thornbury: take out only – Open 9am-5pm

39 Bruce St S, Thornbury, Tel: Phone: 519.599.5615


 Good Grief Coffee: take out only – open daily for take out until 4 and also offering free local delivery of coffee beens.


 Gather Grocery: open for grocery service.

51 Bruce St S, Thornbury, Tel:  905.706.9979

Website/Shop On-line

Goldsmith’s Orchard Market – open daily with some delivery options.

207600 ON-26, Thornbury, ON Tel: 519.599.3246 x23 


The Orchid: open until 2 daily for take out only.

81 King St. E. Ontario Hwy 26, Thornbury, Tel: 519.599.5944


 Thornbury Village Cider & Brewhouse: “patio pickup”. Call in your order and pick up on the patio.

90 King St E, Thornbury, Tel: 519.599.2616


Virtual Fitness Classes to do at Home Wed, 25 Mar 2020 16:26:43 +0000

As gyms and studios close during Ontario’s state of emergency, many gyms and meditation studios pivoted to offering online videos on social media as a way to leverage their platforms for social good, and connect with their local community. In an effort to keep people safe but also to stay healthy, health officials say that physical activity can help us during this confusing time. 

Local Fitness:

The Northwood Club will be providing complimentary virtual training, Monday through Friday, at 9 am. ⁣

Jonas Deline one of our respected trainers will take you through a full body workout with a focus on the items that you would have at your home. You only need a small space at home and access to Facebook/Instagram. We will be uploading the Live videos from Facebook each day to Instagram for any of you that have missed the morning workout.⁣

We encourage all of you to share these workouts with your loved ones as exercise is an optimal way of improving overall immune function. This is critical in avoiding illness.⁣

We will also be sharing daily tips with valuable information regarding all aspects of health and fitness through our Facebook and Instagram.⁣

You will not have to sign up for these classes in advance. If you have not used Facebook/Instagram or are new to it simply follow our page @thenorthwoodclub and start tuning in!⁣

Active Life Conditioning

Active Life is a training centre where all classes are designed by an exercise physiologist and implemented by highly qualified professionals to ensure quality and form. They are currently offering free virtual classes in pilates, boxing, and at home workouts. 

Visit their Facebook page for schedule and links to stream classes. 

Buddha Rider

Buddha Rider is offering virtual classes for their Yoga, Barre, and Power Ride classes! Starting Monday they will be launching live classes through ZOOM. You will need zoom downloaded on any device to be able to join.

Buddha Rider will be charging $25 per week and that will include all classes. This money allows for teachers to receive some compensation during this time. You can purchase your weekly pass through MINDBODY. Once you purchase your pass, your confirmation will be sent to you. Please look for info on your receipt for log in instructions. This log in will be the same all week.

If you are on a monthly unlimited or a yearly unlimited please email directly and they will give you your sign in for classes. All other passes will be put on hold at this time until Buddha Rider is back up and running. Each class is live streamed and you must be there at that time. These classes will not be recorded.

View Schedule Here

Obviously you will need a bike and trainer for the rides. All other classes will be prop free unless you have stuff at home. For yoga blocks you can use a stack of books, a water bottle or a can.

On top of this schedule. Shirlee has created a Facebook private group that everyone is also invited to. She is teaching Monday to Friday at 9:00 AM. This class is a live facebook class that can also be found anytime of the day. Please join her virtual yoga with Shirlee

Inner Journey Yoga Therapy

Joanne Pineau is hosting virtual yoga classes to rest and de-stress! This class includes gentle movements and stretches that will leave you feeling at ease. All you need is a thick blanket or yoga mat, a chair, and some gentle music of your choice. 

Visit the Facebook event on information to join.

Wasaga Beach Yoga

Daily online yoga classes Monday-Friday at 7pm and Sundays at 7pm. Classes are available for 24 hours after the live class for you to enjoy. 

Visit their Facebook place for all video classes 


Yoga and Meditation:

Hoame Meditation Studio – You can participate in three daily meditations, one of which is mindful movement, panel discussions, mental health tips, and chats with energy healers. The full list of daily programming can be found on their page.

Instagram – @myhoame

Misfit Studio –  continuing to offer modified versions of its popular yoga and meditation classes on Instagram Live: Get Lifted at 8 a.m. and Get Released at 7 p.m.

Instagram – @misfitstudio

Oxygen YogaLive on Facebook, and soon Instagram offering yoga as well.

Facebook –

Instagram – @oxygenyongeandeg

Power Yoga Canada – moved their classes to IG Live and Facebook Live five times a day starting at 6 a.m. until the final class at 8:30 p.m.

Instagram – @poweryogacanada



One Academy –  moving its community online. Every morning, at 6:15 a.m., you can find expert trainers motivating you with total body exercises across the One Academy Facebook page. The workouts can be completed at home, without any weights.

F45 Training – making at-home workouts available soon via Instagram Live. Stay tuned on their page for further information. Lift Corktown is going Live on Instagram every day at 10 a.m. for some heavy Crossfit workouts.

Instagram – @f45stclairwest

FitSqr – a new gym that was due to open in Yorkville next month, is pivoting to online classes. They’ll be running 30-minute HIIT classes every day at 10 a.m. EST.

Instagram – @FitSqr

Sweat and Tonic – is currently filming workouts for a selection of online classes. Meanwhile, they’ve started rolling out morning meditations on Instagram. Keep an eye on their IG stories for more classes.

Instagram – @sweatandtonic

Barry’s –  is continuing their intense workouts via Instagram Live starting at 12 p.m. with HIIT classes featuring Barry’s Canada CEO Joey Gonzalez.

Instagram – @barrys



CLI Studios – Offering free online dance classes of all styles to follow along

Canada’s National Ballet School – Online resources to help you experience the joy of movement from your home, free classes and techniques

Ride the rides of Wonderland in your own home! They’ve got 34 virtual rides, including all the biggest roller coasters, waiting for you on YouTube. Here’s how to do it:

Educational and Creative Resources for Children at Home Wed, 25 Mar 2020 16:25:36 +0000

Schools worldwide have closed in response to COVID-19, leaving parents and caregivers scrambling to find daily activities for their children that are educational, creative and entertaining. If you’re facing this challenge for the first time, there are many online resources that you can turn to during this uncertain period of self-isolation, social distancing and quarantine. 

Collingwood Public Library

The Collingwood Public Library is providing resources online to keep children entertained. Ashley Kulchycki, supervisor of children and teen services, continues to deliver storytime, singing, and crafts to the kids of Collingwood, but the room is empty and she’s on camera.

Every day, she is posting a video to the Collingwood Public Library Facebook page to keep up regular children’s programs as best she can.

Soon the library will also be posting videos of the Magic of Children in the Art exhibit, which features art from local kids. Since the library has been closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many families haven’t had a chance to come find their child’s artwork in the exhibit.

To watch the videos, visit the Collingwood Public Library Facebook page.

Blue Mountain Public Library

Read, listen, research, and learn online through our virtual library. Open 24 hours, 7 days a week! Perfect for finding children’s books and learning tools. 


Educational Tools:


Scholastic launched a Learn at Home website with daily lessons that combine videos, stories and prompts for drawing and writing activities. Grade levels include pre-K and kindergarten, grades 1 and 2, grades 3 to 5, and grades 6 and up.

Khan Academy

A free online learning resource offering lessons, exercises and quizzes, has daily schedules for organizing at-home learning for students ages 4 to 18 years. On weekdays, Khan Academy is also offering daily livestreams on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter to help parents and educators best utilize the website’s tools and resources.

Crash Course is a YouTube channel offering engaging educational videos suitable for high school students. The channel features a wide range of subjects, from anatomy to world history. is offering a free 30-day trial of its comprehensive early learning academy for children aged 2-8 and includes educational games and activities designed by teachers.

In response to school closures, dozens of companies that produce educational materials have made their resources available as free subscriptions; you can find links on the Kids Activities website. Links to free K-12 educational resources such as audiobooks, e-books, videos, multimedia materials and more are also available on the Open Culture website.

Creative Fun:

Color Our Collections offers free PDF downloads of coloring pages created from art in the collections of 117 institutions, including The New York Academy of Medicine Library, Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg, RISD Museum, the North Carolina Museum of Art, The Canadian Canoe Museum and The Royal Horticultural Society libraries. compiled a list of  26 of the most fantastic and productive graphic design resources that will keep the kids engaged. These will help them learn something new, and may enable them to develop a new hobby or think of a future career choice

Artist and writer Mo Willems (author of “Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!”) is hosting daily Lunch Doodles video sessions every weekday at 1 p.m. EDT. Each daily episode is accompanied by a downloadable activity page. 

What could be more soothing than watching jellyfish drifting serenely through the water? In “MeditOcean,” the Monterey Bay Aquarium hosts a soothing 11-minute guided meditation video, featuring the undulating and graceful ballet of several aquarium jellyfish. 

Children in grades 3 to 12 can learn to write their names in ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs, in this step-by-step guide from the Royal Ontario Museum in Canada.

A good story sounds even better when it’s read in microgravity. Story Time from Space sends children’s books to the International Space Station (ISS), where the books are read on video by astronauts as they orbit hundreds of miles above Earth.

Take a virtual field trip! More than 2,500 museums around the world have made their collections accessible online through Google Arts and Culture; you can also use Google to access virtual tours of national parks in the U.S. 

There are 10 live webcams at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, where you can peek at sharks, sea otters, penguins and more. The San Diego Zoo has 11 animal webcams, Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute has four animal webcams, and there are six webcams at the Houston Zoo

And if you’re feeling really adventurous, you can visit the surface of Mars in a spectacular high-resolution, 360-degree photo tour, created from images captured by the Curiosity rover.

Canada’s Wonderland is doing virtual roller-coaster rides for you to enjoy at home! Being in self-isolation just got so much better with a reminder that Canada’s Wonderland has been ahead of the online experience trend for years with videos that let you take dizzying rides on coasters from the comfort of your home. Canada’s largest theme park reminded everyone yesterday that they can experience all 34 of its rides and coasters on YouTube.

Be Prepared For Possible Water Damage Mon, 23 Mar 2020 00:00:57 +0000

Be Prepared For Possible Water Damage

This post is originally from The Co-Operators Insurance E-Alert and I’m sharing these great tips!

During spring, rising temperatures, rainfall and melting snow could cause water damage to your property. Strong winds are also a possibility. We encourage you to take care of what matters most and follow the necessary precautions to avoid injury and minimize property damage.

If you are one of our property insurance clients whose property has been damaged, contact us as soon as possible. When it is safe to do so, take pictures of the damage, both inside and outside your home, as well as any significant items.

Please take the following precautions:

  • Move your important possessions to a higher level to protect them from water damage.
  • Make sure your backwater valves/sump pumps are working properly. Watch for falling snow and ice from roofs; remove icicles or block areas where icicles may fall.
  • Clear gutters and areas around downspouts and exhaust vents so that melting snow can flow away from the house.
  • Shovel snow away from foundation walls.

During and after the thaw:

  • Keep children and pets away from waterways. Channels, small creeks and rivers can fill up quickly and banks may erode resulting in unstable ground.
  • Never try to drive through pooled water. Roads covered by water can be dangerous. If your car stalls in pooled water, get out quickly and move to higher ground.
  • Ensure a qualified technician examines your electrical panel for safety if it becomes submerged.
  • Avoid electrical shock; wear rubber boots, keep extension cords out of the water; shut the power off at the breaker box; ask your electrical utility company for help if needed.
  • Appliances that are sitting in water pose a risk of shock or fire when turned on. Do not use any appliances, heating, pressure, or sewage systems until electrical components have been thoroughly cleaned, dried, and inspected by a qualified electrician.
  • Beware of any damaged power lines, gas lines or electrical systems, which present risks of electrocution, explosion and fire. Report electrical hazards to the authorities.
  • Remove standing water within your property as soon as it is safe to do so; dry any wet areas thoroughly and remove soaked building materials, including drywall and floor coverings.
  • Mould contamination can appear within 24 hours of exposure to water. For more information on safe cleanup, visit the Health Canada website.

Article from Co-operators E-Newsletter

Flood Insurance Information
Visit Website


Royal LePage Luxury Property Report 2020 Thu, 05 Mar 2020 04:15:18 +0000


Toronto’s luxury condo prices forecast to surpass Montreal’s hot luxury market in 2020, according to Royal LePage

Greater Montreal Area posts highest appreciation in Canada for both luxury houses (8.5%) and condos (8.3%); Greater Toronto Area luxury condos also post significant price gains (7.0%)

Limited inventory and high demand will continue to fuel luxury home price growth as Royal LePage forecasts continued price appreciation across GMA and GTA luxury markets

Greater Ottawa luxury housing market posts healthy gains in balanced market for houses (2.7%) and condos (2.2%) as new build prices push demand for resale listings

Greater Vancouver’s luxury real estate market shows signs of stabilizing despite year-over-year price decline

Greater Calgary’s luxury house market stable as luxury condo prices continue to soften

TORONTO, February 25, 2020 – According to Royal LePage, luxury home prices are on the rise in the greater regions of Montreal, Toronto and Ottawa after posting gains during the twelve-month period ending January 31, 2020. In Toronto and Montreal, limited inventory in high demand areas was a significant factor in home price appreciation. Contributing to low inventory is the lack of confidence among potential move-up buyers that they will find a suitable listing if they sell their current property.

“Luxury condominiums in Toronto saw significant price appreciation as the region’s international reputation continues to grow,” said Kevin Somers, Chief Operating Officer, Royal LePage Real Estate Services Ltd. “Demand has remained healthy for luxury houses in Toronto and Ottawa, however, Montreal’s detached luxury home market continues to show significant upward price momentum.”

In Western Canada, both the greater regions of Vancouver and Calgary showed year-over-year declines in luxury home prices.

“We are seeing encouraging signs that Vancouver’s luxury market is stabilizing,” said Somers. “While no near-term price increases are expected in Vancouver and Calgary’s luxury markets, buyers and sellers are increasingly more confident that the market is stable.”

Data analyzed in this release contains both resale and new build transactions, provided by Royal LePage’s sister company, RPS Real Property Solutions, as well as company projections.

Greater Toronto Area

Over the past twelve months, the median price of a luxury house in the Greater Toronto Area rose 1.2 per cent to $3,629,916 while the median price of a luxury condominium rose 7.0 per cent to $2,402,650.

“Luxury buyers face the same low inventory scenario that challenges the overall residential market,” said Steven Green, sales representative, Royal LePage Partners Realty. “Some of the city’s most desirable pockets have a very low inventory of listings, which is unfortunate for sellers who want to move up in the same neighbourhood.”

Green added that high demand for condominiums reflects the range of buyers the housing type attracts. Boomers and young executives looking for low maintenance, luxury property are competing against investors and foreign buyers also seeking a low maintenance property to use as a secondary residence. However, all luxury listings, whether detached or condominium, mid- to downtown including central, east and west, are getting a lot of attention.

Over the next year, luxury houses are expected to increase by 2.5 per cent to $3,721,000 while luxury condominiums are forecast to increase 6.0 per cent to $2,547,000.

Greater Montreal Area

Luxury home price appreciation has remained strong in the Greater Montreal Area as inventory continues to tighten. The region saw the highest rate of year-over-year price appreciation for both luxury houses and luxury condominiums in the twelve-month period ending January 31, 2020. During this period, the median price of a luxury house in the Greater Montreal Area rose 8.5 per cent to $1,853,513 year-over-year. The median price of a luxury apartment-style condominium rose 8.3 per cent to $1,409,262 over the same period.

“While demand for well-established luxury neighbourhoods such as Westmount and Outremont remain steady, there has been a surge of demand for luxury properties in surrounding neigbourhoods such as Le Plateau and Griffintown,” said Marie-Yvonne Paint, Royal LePage Heritage. “Luxury homes in the West Island remain popular, which is driven by good schools and views of the water. Both features are popular among high net worth newcomers.”

A significant factor contributing to low luxury house supply in the region is a lack of confidence among sellers that they will find what they are looking for after selling their current property. Many are worried that the fast pace of price appreciation could mean that any delay in purchasing their next property could result in a loss of purchasing power while they are out of the market.

“Luxury house sales are happening quickly because buyers know there is significant competition for a limited supply of listings,” said Paint. “However, while demand continues to grow for luxury condominiums, buyers still have excellent selection and there is less pressure to move quickly when a listing becomes available.”

During the next twelve months, the median price of a luxury house is forecast to increase 5.5 per cent to $1,955,000 while the median price of a luxury condominium is forecast to rise 5.0 per cent to $1,480,000.

“Luxury sales in 2019 and heading into 2020 have been very brisk,” said Paint. “Buyer demand for luxury houses continues to grow but supply is not keeping pace.”

Greater Vancouver

During the twelve-month period ending January 31, 2020, the median price of a luxury house in Greater Vancouver decreased 6.7 per cent year-over-year to $5,394,594. Luxury apartment-style condominiums decreased 4.4 per cent to $2,411,773 over the same period.

While luxury real estate in Greater Vancouver is showing year-over-year declines in median prices for both houses and condominiums over the twelve-month period, a significant boost in luxury unit sales since October 2019 is moving the market towards stabilization. From October 1, 2019 to January 31, 2020, the median price of a luxury house in Greater Vancouver decreased 1.3 per cent year-over-year, while the median price of a condominium was relatively flat, posting a 0.2 per cent year-over-year increase.

“Vancouver’s residential real estate market is shifting towards a balanced market and this trend has been moving upward through the luxury market,” said Jason Soprovich, Royal LePage Sussex. “There is healthy demand for homes priced between $3 to $5 million and this segment is starting to stabilize. It will take more time for the upper-end segment to move into a balanced market but it is expected.”

Luxury home prices in the region are expected to decline modestly over the next year. The median price of a luxury house is forecast to decrease 2.0 per cent year-over-year to $5,287,000 while the median price of a luxury condominium is expected to decrease 1.5 per cent to $2,376,000.

“It is crucial for sellers to have the right strategy before entering the market,” said Soprovich. “To be competitive, sellers need a good marketing strategy from the start or they risk missing opportunities or, if they overprice the property, they could lose credibility.”

Soprovich added that there remain exceptional opportunities for buyers looking in West Vancouver and Vancouver West.

Greater Calgary

Over the past twelve months, the median price of a luxury house in Calgary dipped modestly by 0.8 per cent year-over-year to $1,950,591, while the median price of a luxury apartment-style condominium decreased 2.0 per cent to $887,011.

“We are seeing buyers who were priced out of the luxury market in previous years buy their dream home,” said John Hripko, agent, Royal LePage Benchmark. “Luxury home owners are also taking this opportunity to move up in the segment. The opportunity for those trading up within the luxury segment is unprecedented.”

Inventory for luxury property is not appreciably increasing and sales during the twelve-month period are steady compared to the year prior. Hripko added that luxury properties closer to city-centre have been more resilient at holding their value.

“Sellers are reluctant to put their properties on the market and sell at a loss,” said Hripko. “The collective impact of this trend has minimized price decline.”

Over the next year, Calgary’s luxury house prices are expected to be relatively flat. The median price of a luxury house is expected to decrease by 0.5 per cent to $1,941,000 while the median price of luxury condominium is forecast to decrease 3.0 per cent to $860,000.

Greater Ottawa

Over the past twelve months, the median price of a luxury house in the Ottawa region rose 2.7 per cent to $1,848,549, while the median price of a luxury apartment-style condominium rose 2.2 per cent to $1,010,870.

“Luxury new build condo projects are selling between $800 and $1,000 per square foot, which is more than what is being asked in the luxury resale market. The price gap is putting upward pressure on resale luxury condo prices. Rising land acquisition and construction costs are significant contributors to increasing prices in the luxury home market,” said Charles Sezlik, sales representative, Royal LePage Team Realty.

Executive-level employment in the IT sector as well as senior public sector employment are drivers of luxury demand, however, the region is also seeing growing interest from families with significant high net worth looking at property in the region due to Ottawa’s overall quality of life.

Sezlik added that while the market is balanced for luxury properties below $1.8 million, buyers looking for properties listed above $1.8 million will find more selection and have the luxury of a little more time before making their buying decision.

“Neighbourhoods where inventory is low and demand is high for luxury homes include Westboro and the Glebe. Of course, Rockcliffe Park remains the number one destination for buyers looking for upper-end luxury homes centrally-located,” said Sezlik.

Over the next year, the median price of a luxury house in Ottawa is expected to increase by 2.5 per cent to $1,895,000, while the median price of a luxury apartment-style condominium is forecast to increase 1.5 per cent to $1,026,000.

Royal LePage Luxury Real Estate: Median Prices in Canada’s Five Largest Markets

Download / View pdf

What to Do for March Break in Collingwood & Blue Mountain Mon, 02 Mar 2020 16:31:37 +0000



Collingwood & Blue Mountain have plenty of events and attractions for the family to enjoy while on March Break. Explore kids activities, and family-friendly resources.

🎿 Snowshoe or Cross Country Ski the trails at Scenic Caves Nordic Centre. Activities – Cross Country Skiing, Snowshoeing, Suspension Bridge, Scavenger Hunt, Path of Wooden Sculptures, Children’s Adventure Playground. Rental Equipment on-site.

⛷ Go skiing or snowboarding at Blue Mountain Resort. Lessons are available. Get ready for days filled with adventure and fun on and off the slopes!

🎢 March Break Blue Mountain Visit Blue Mountain Village. Activities in the Village – Taffy on Snow, Groove Dancing, Amazing Race!, Drumming, DJ Party, Magic Show, Live Music, Family Yoga.

🎳 Go bowling, followed by a game of pool at Georgian Bowl, always a fun time for families.

⚓ Learn about the ship building and former shipyards at the Collingwood Museum.

🧗‍♂️Take a guided tour of the winter caves with Free Spirit Tours. Make sure to book ahead. Apple Pie Trail Snowshoe and Wine Tasting

❄  Book a hummer and snowshoe tour with Xtreme Adventures.


International Women’s Day in Collingwood Fri, 28 Feb 2020 01:16:08 +0000
Celebrate International Women’s Day this March by showing appreciation for women in our lives that empower and inspire us. Collingwood has wonderful events to showcase the power of women through discussion panels, awards, community building, and fun nights out.

Community Events


Flag Raising Ceremony & Community Social

The Town of Collingwood will host a flag raising ceremony proclaiming International Women’s Day be recognized in Collingwood on March 5th, 2020. The event will take place at the Collingwood Public Library at 1pm and will include music, poetry, and free refreshments. All are welcome to attend.

Collingwood Public Library
55 Sainte Marie Street
Collingwood, Ontario

More information

Girls Nite Out presented by Theatre Collingwood

Join us in the beautiful Normandy Room at Collingwood’s Legion Hall to celebrate International Women’s Day!
After last year’s SOLD OUT performance, we are bringing Girls Nite Out due to popular demand!

This laugh-filled event is an all-female, all funny, mix of stand-up and improv comedy, led by fearless & fabulous, Elvira Kurt, and including Canadian Comedy Award Winners, CBC darlings and Second City alumni.

Grab your friends and join Theatre Collingwood for a fun-filled evening celebrating WOMEN!

Tickets and more information 

Social and Networking Events


Celebrating Women in Business – Event and Awards

Join us to celebrate local women in business who are making an impact in our community!

Annual Women In Business Awards & Accessory Extravaganza

Awards event includes a full buffet brunch, keynote speaker and book signing, accessory extravaganza, jewelery demonstration, vendor market and more!

Tickets can be purchased for $45 on Eventbrite, buy 8 tickets to reserve a table for you and your gal pals!!

Sunday, March 8th 2020 at 11am to 2pm | Doors open at 10:30am
RecPlex, Oakview Room
Wasaga Beach, ON

International Women’s Day Panel Discussion & Networking Social 

The Town of Collingwood, Ontario, wants to create a gender equal world. It understands that we’re all responsible for our own thoughts and actions and that we need to challenge stereotypes, broaden perceptions, and change situations.

For Collingwood, an equal world is an enabled world, so let’s all be #EachforEqual.

On Sunday, March 8, the town is hosting a panel Discussion and networking social from 2-4 pm, Simcoe Street Theatre. The event seeks to inform and inspire all genders while everyone explores what it means to be a gender equal world.

Proceeds from this event will be donated to My Friend’s House. Tickets will be $15 but no one will be turned away due to inability to pay.

More information 

Click here for the tickets!

Celebrate International Women’s Day with, ‘2020: Perfect Vision for the Road Ahead’ for Boomer Women and their Daughters

Guest Speaker: Dr. Elaine Dembe, Longevity Specialist, ‘Give it all ya got’! A Masterclass for a No-Regrets Life. Elaine is the author of two books “Passionate Longevity” and “Use The Good Dishes”.

Wellness Panel: Jenn, Dive Heart First, Melissa, Lemonade Collective; Cecile, Live, Life, Fit, Tara, Anytime Fitness.

Wednesday March 11

Marsh Street Centre
187 Marsh St.
Clarksburg, ON

Tickets and more information

Fitness and Athletic Activities


Run Away With Us – Women’s Circus Class

Featuring aerial silks, aerial hoop, trapeze and more. You just gotta try it! Your circus journey starts at any age. Join us for an hour class free of charge to discover your inner circus. All fitness levels are welcome. No flexibility required!


Collingwood Circus Club
95 Sandford Fleming Drive
Unit 4
Collingwood, Ontario

More information

sheSTRONG All-Women’s Workout

Join us for a celebration of fitness and women empowering one another through it. Our bodies are capable of amazing things. Join us for an all-women’s workout to celebrate that! The class is free but please book ahead as space is limited.

CrossFit Indestri
200 Mountain Road, Unit 3

Email to reserve your spot.

Valentines Day & Family Day Weekend Tue, 11 Feb 2020 22:15:58 +0000

Valentine’s Day Restaurants with Special Menus

Valentine’s Day at Lakeside Seafood & Grill
5 COURSE DINNER | $68 per person | Plus applicable taxes and gratuities

Valentine’s Culinary Theatre Dinner
5 COURSE DINNER | Live chef | $85 per person | Plus applicable taxes and gratuities

Reservations recommended | (705) 446-3274
9 Harbour Street East, Collingwood | Located in Living Water Resort & Spa  View Menu

Cranberry Resort – Memories Restaurant
$46 per person | Plus applicable taxes and gratuities
Reservations Required | (705) 445-6600 ext. 690  Memories Website

The Huron Club
 94 Pine St, Collingwood, ON L9Y 2N9
Phone: (705) 293-6677
Spending the evening with your sweetheart or your friends?! Visit The Huron Club for great food, and live music. Live entertainment from 8pm-11pm.
Reservations and more information

Romantic Restaurants



  • Fabbrica at Thornbury
    27 Bruce St. South, Thornbury,
  • The Mill Cafe
    12 Bridge St., Thornbury
  • Bruce Wine Bar
    8 Bruce St., Thornbury

 Collingwood Inclusive Skate

 Public skating for families of all abilities. Skate from 1:30 to 3pm for $3 per person or $8 per family. Skates, wheelchairs, sleds and helmets are available to rent. 

Sunday February 16th


Event details


Scenic Caves Family Day Weekend Activities

  • Cross-country skiing
  • Snowshoeing
  • Suspension Bridge
  • Guided Night Snowshoe Hikes (10+ yrs and up)
  • Scavenger Hunt
  • Children’s Play Park
  • Roast spider dogs and s’mores over an open fire pit
  • Rentals and lessons available.

February 16, 17 and 18, 2019. Celebrate Family Day weekend with outdoor adventures for all ages.

Blue Mountain Village Family Day Weekend

Gather the family for a weekend of active adventure and entertainment! Head off on a scavenger hunt, get moving with our interactive groove dancing, take in a fireworks show and so much more!

Saturday February 15th – Monday February 17th


Featuring guided snowshoe tours, scavenger hunts and giant games, dancing, magic shows, fireworks and exploring the Blumination Dream Trail, there are events for every family member to enjoy!


Visit Blue Mountain’s Website for event details


Collingwood Winter Blast Locations North Tue, 14 Jan 2020 01:06:23 +0000 2020 Collingwood Winter Blast

Thursday January 23rd at the Craigleith Ski Club

9:00am to 5:00pm

35th Annual Winter Extravaganza to benefit the
Hospice Georgian Triangle & Royal LePage Shelter Foundation

Collingwood Winter Blast

Have a BLAST with us this Winter! Enjoy a great day of outdoor fun, gourmet lunch and après ski extraordinaire.




Need Rentals? Book through Squire John’s


Our Spa Package will have you relaxing in the Heart of Nature at Le Scandinave. Travel by Shuttle from Craigleith Ski Club to Le Scandinave Spa to relax and rejuvenate, before returning to the ski club to join us for lunch and in the afternoon, take in our complimentary Yoga Class, presented by Buddha Rider.


Register ONLINE

OR Register In Person at the Collingwood Locations North Offiice at  330 First Street.

Locations North Holiday House Tour 2019 Wed, 16 Oct 2019 00:19:47 +0000
Collingwood Holiday House Tour
Saturday November 16th
8:00am – 5:00pm
Host Venue Craigleith Ski Club
164 Craigleith Road, The Blue Mountains
Tickets can be purchased below or by visiting us at the Collingwood Office (330 First Street). Tickets to be picked up on Saturday November 16th at the Craigleith Ski Club.
Tickets – $39.00 each

Tickets can be purchased online or in person at our Royal LePage Locations North Office in Collingwood at 330 First Street and picked up at the venue.

Thanksgiving Weekend Events in Collingwood & The Blue Mountains Thu, 03 Oct 2019 01:56:15 +0000
Apple Harvest Festival October 12th to 14th in the Blue Mountain Village, Thornbury, and Clarksburg!

There’s no better way to enjoy Thanksgiving Weekend and the beautiful fall colours than in Ontario’s largest apple-growing region! Fill your long weekend with tons of apple-themed activities including apple pie eating contests, craft workshops, caramel apple decorating, sidewalk sales, cidery tours, apple pancake breakfasts, art studio tours, and more!

Apple Harvest Festival Blue Mountain Village

Live Music, Family activities, and fireworks Sat. night at 8pm.
John Deere Kids Zone, campfire sing-a-longs, agriculture exhibits, interactive family groove dancing, and more!
Schedule of Events

Apple Harvest Festival Thornbury

Wander around downtown Thornbury to discover some amazing musicians, Salmon Jumping, Apple Pie Eating Championship, Apple Tastings, Buskers, Art and more!

Apple Harvest Festival Clarksburg

“Arts”burg Art Studio Tour, horse & carriage rides, apple pancake breakfast, apple pie contest.

Collingwood Downtown

Art Chair Auction & Final Farmers’ Market of the season…
Come to the Collingwood Downtown Farmers’ Market for your chance to purchase one of the much coveted Art Chairs. Silent auction bidding will begin at 10 am and will close at 1 pm sharp.

Local Canada Day Events Fri, 28 Jun 2019 15:06:41 +0000 It’s going to be a great weekend with all the events planned around Southern Georgian Bay. Here’s a list of events for Thornbury, Clarksburg, Meaford, Collingwood & Wasaga Beach.

Take Your Mom Out for Mother’s Day! Fri, 10 May 2019 21:35:12 +0000

GTHS Mother’s Day Kitten Shower!
The Georgian Triangle Humane Society is having a Kitten Shower, Mother’s Day – Sunday, May 12th Noon to 4pm.
The GTHS is expecting over 500 homeless kittens and nursing mother cats to enter their Animal Center this kitten season.
Please visit HERE to get more information about how you can help including a link to an Amazon Registry.
Consider a donation in your Mom’s name!!
Facebook Event Page
GTHS Amazon Gift Registry (Needs list!)

Peaces Mother’s Day Market
Sunday, May 12th from 12 to 5 p.m. Side Launch Brewing Company
• Over 30 local artisans ranging from organic goodness to handmade decor and everything in between!
• Live music | Makeovers | Kombucha workshop | By-Donation yoga classes | Free outdoor workout experience | Henna artist, tarot card readings and lots of crystals 🔮 | Outdoor clothing trucks | G I V E A W A Y S
Side Launch Brewing Company | 200 Mountain Road, Unit 1, Collingwood | Tel. 705-293-5511 | website
Facebook event page

Collingwood Spring Market Place
Saturday May 11th 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. at Eddie Bush Memorial Arena
Over 100 vendors will have their products for sale in the indoor Spring Market held in the Eddie Bush Arena.
Facebook event page

Easter Weekend in Collingwood & Blue Mountains Mon, 15 Apr 2019 16:22:16 +0000


Collingwood Easter Egg Hunt!
Saturday, April 20th 10am-3pm
Hunt for Eggs at The Station – 10 to 11 a.m.
Children’s Activity Centre – 11 to 3 p.m.
Pick up your Easter Egg Hunt form from the Town Hall Activity Centre and count the eggs hidden in the store windows throughout downtown. There will be prizes awarded for boys and girls in all four categories. Children can also make a craft to take home and the Easter Bunny will have treats for kids of all ages.  More information at

Cranberry Golf Resort Easter Brunch Buffet
Memories Restaurant Sun. April 21st -11:30 a.m. – 3 p.m.
For reservations call 705-445-6600 ext. 565  More Information >

Meraki Spring Artisan Show
Saturday April 20th
Nottawa Community Hall, 4129 County Rd. 124

Celebrate Spring with a curated collection of incredibly talented local Artisans, Makers & Creators.  Spring Treat Bags for our first 100 visitors. Our guest GTHS will be on hand with information about the worthy cause and excepting your thoughtful donations.  List of Featured Artisans >

Blue Mountain Village

Blue Mountain Village will be hopping with Easter activities! From Friday, April 19 to Monday, April 22 families can join a Scavenger Hunt, Magic Show, take a horse and buggy ride, Interactive Drumming and Family Grove Dancing, Giant Games and Easter Egg dive at the Plunge
Schedule of Events.

Visit the Blue Mountain Village website for more adventures.

Enjoy an Easter Brunch at Oliver & Bonacini Cafe Grill (call for reservations 705-444-8680). View Menu


BVO Easter Eggstravaganza
Beaver Valley Community Centre 58 Alfred St. W. Thornbury
Saturday April 20th 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.

It’s time again for BVO’s annual super-fun Easter celebration! BVAS Pancake Breakfast 8-10 am. Crafts, organic face painting, games, Magic Egg Hunt, Beaver Valley Kinettes BBQ and more! Donations for Admission Welcome! WIN an Egg-Citing Easter Basket! FILL The Landscape Trailer for BVO Preschool with Gift Cards and New Outside Toys! More Information >

Easter Artisan Market
Thornbury Village Craft Cider & Beer
Sunday, April 21st 11 – 4 p.m.

Join Thornbury Village Craft Cider & Beer to celebrate Spring at their Easter Artisan Market! 🌷 Enjoy a craft cider or beer while you check out a showcase of local artisans.

Wasaga Beach

Easter Eggstravaganza
Wasaga Beach RecPlex 1724 Mosley St.
SaturdayApril 20th 10-3p.m.

Easter Eggstravaganza cracks opens in Wasaga on Saturday April 20th! The Easter Bunny joins the GIANT egg hunt at 10:30 am behind the RecPlex, with eggstrodinary prizes kids can win if they find some very special eggs! Enjoy incredible kids’ activities, rock wall, petting zoo, wagon rides, inflatables, crafts and games for loads of family fun! Colouring contests and surprice BIG feature everyone is invited to help create! Some small fees apply. Cash only.


Backyard Glam Tour 2019 Tue, 02 Apr 2019 14:06:30 +0000

Backyard Glam Tour 2019
Friday, July 5th and Saturday, July 6th, 2019
Website  | Tickets
Welcome to another great season for the Glam Tour!

Collaborative Real Estate is proud to be an EVENT SPONSOR!

Your ticket purchase includes the Night Tour on Friday July 5th from 8-10pm & 
Saturday July 6th The Breakfast Seminars from 9-10am & Day Tour from 10am – 4pm

Nine spectacular backyards on a tour, professionally landscaped and staged in the Town of Blue Mountains

This is not a Garden Tour, this is an Outdoor Lifestyle Tour

Southern Georgian Bay offers four seasons of weather and with new products on the market all the time we are able to enjoy Outdoor Living a lot more

Whether you are looking to create your outdoor space, enhance or just to be inspired, the Glam Tour is a great way to learn more about Outdoor Living

As well as touring these backyards the event also has a Night Tour on the Friday night, FREE Seminars on Outdoor Living and wonderful opportunities to win some fantastic gifts and or services from some of the participants

Tickets are $35.00 each (HST Included) and are available online or at Design Outdoors Canada Design Centre located at 13 Louisa Street East in downtown Thornbury, Ontario and is open Victoria Day Weekend to Thanksgiving Weekend, Saturday & Sundays 11am-4pm

$5.00 from each ticket sold will go to our local chapter of the Canadian Mental Health Association

When you purchase a ticket online, just print out the receipt and bring to the Design Centre on either Friday, July 5th or Saturday, July 6th to pick up your actual ticket, map and tour bag as you will not be able to access the backyards without these.

Schedule of Events

Friday July 5th

  • 4-9pm – Map & Tour Bag Pickup
  • Tour the Silent Auction in the Design Centre
  • 8-10pm – Tour the Backyards on the Night Tour

Saturday July 6th

  • 9am – Map & Tour Bag Pickup
  • 9am – Breakfast – Coffee, Tea & Muffins in the Design Centre
  • 9-10am – Breakfast Seminars, Door Prizes – in the Tent
  • 10am-4pm – Tour the Backyards
  • 3pm – Silent Auction Closes
  • 3pm – Ice Cream Sundaes at the Design Centre
  • 4pm – Draw for Outdoor Design Consultation
Coldest Night of the Year to Support Home Horizon Thu, 14 Feb 2019 02:39:19 +0000

The Coldest Night of the Year is a family-friendly walk that raises money for charities serving hungry, homeless, and hurting people in our community. Walk with us on February 23, 2019!

It’s cold out there.  And on February 23rd, I’m going to do something about it. Together with thousands of Canadians across the country, I’ll be walking and fundraising on TEAM MONKEY BUSINESS to support hungry, homeless, and hurting people and families in my community.

Walk with us! on Saturday, February 23, 2019 in the Coldest Night of the Year, don’t miss your chance to support the youth in our community that need us most. Grab a friend, your kids, some warm socks and walk to bring awareness for Home Horizon so they can provide housing and supportive services to youth in our community.

Support Us!  Help our team reach our goals by pressing the donate button below.

Local funds raised will help support The Barbara Weider House – a place of safety and hope for homeless youth. It’s services address the needs of youth in crisis and provides the support to help them master the tasks of adolescence as well as focus on their education and employment possibilities.

Thank you for your support

24 Hours BlueMtn in Support of Ontario Special Olympics & Collingwood G & M Hospital Thu, 14 Feb 2019 01:48:45 +0000

 Update February 25th

24 teams. $80k raised.  260 runs for our team.  Levareo Aviation 3rd overall and top fundraising team, top individual fundraiser and a team member with fastest lap!!

THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU  to all who contributed! 

I am excited to be participating with my team, Levaero Aviation, in an amazing ski event in support of two very important causes.

24h Blue Mountain is a non-stop ski relay over a period of 24 hours to raise much needed funds that will impact many people’s lives. The funds raised during the 24h Blue Mountain event will be donated to:

• Special Olympics Ontario, who provides year-round sports competition and health training for individuals with an intellectual disability

• Collingwood General and Marine Hospital, which provides exceptional medical and emergency care to the Georgian Triangle area

On behalf of these two organizations, I ask that you encourage and support my team by making a donation and contributing towards our fundraising efforts. We are proud to support both these worthy organizations. Every donation counts and you can help us to reach our goal! Read more about the event at

From February 22-24, 2019, you can make a lasting difference in the lives of many. I also invite you to join us live for the race at Blue Mountain Resort – come cheer on our team as we roll through the transition zone at the base of the mountain, or just come for the picturesque scenery and the enjoyment of the many activities in the resort village! 

Thank you for your support!

Southern Georgian Bay Real Estate Market Reports 2018 Wed, 06 Feb 2019 19:53:28 +0000
2018 in Review – Georgian Triangle Real Estate Mon, 28 Jan 2019 20:57:16 +0000

2018 In Review Georgian Triangle Real Estate Report

Click on the report cover to view/download the year end review for the overall region and below, individual market reports for Year End 2018 – The Blue Mountains, Clearview, Collingwood, Grey Highlands, Meaford and Wasaga Beach.

Monaco Collingwood Condos Mon, 26 Nov 2018 21:51:06 +0000

Monaco Collingwood Condos is a new luxury downtown development, located at 1 Hume Street, Collingwood.The development will have a total of 127 units with completion date set for April 2020. Sales for available units start from the $400,000’s.

Monaco’s new condominiums include the very best of refined, relaxed living, in an exclusive, heritage-inspired residence.


  • Heritage character with Beaux-Art inspired style architectural façade
  • Rooftop terrace with secluded BBQ areas, fire pit, water feature and al fresco dining
  • Rooftop and terraces offer breathtaking views of downtown, Blue Mountain and Georgian Bay
  • Multi-purpose lounge with expansive views, kitchen designed for entertaining, gatherings and flex space
  • State-of-the-art fitness centre
  • Elegantly appointed main and courtyard residential lobby with lounge and pedestrian access
  • Virtual concierge including two-way communication from selected common areas
  • Two elevators
  • Visitor parking for your guests’ convenience
  • Building equipped with provisions for electric car charging stations
  • Sprinkler system in all common areas
  • Dedicated indoor/outdoor bicycle parking racks
  • Wi-Fi enabled common areas
  • Conveniently located waste and recycling tri-sorter on each floor
  • Retail shops on street level for your convenience

Everything is of exceptional quality and no detail has been overlooked, from high-end appliances, countertops, cabinetry and finishes, to custom millwork and gorgeous baths, are uncompromising in both their design and appeal.

Contact Karen

Karen E. Willison, SRES®, ABR®
Sales Representative

Direct: (705) 888-0075

Royal LePage Locations North, Brokerage
27 Arthur Street (Hwy. 26)
Thornbury, Ontario N0H 2P0

Office: 877/705-445-5520

Fax: (705) 445-1545

Collingwood – Blue Mountains Christmas & Winter Holiday Events Fri, 16 Nov 2018 19:06:30 +0000
Get into the holiday spirit!

Christmas & family events in Collingwood, Blue Mountain Village, Thornbury and area.

Just click the images below for details about each event. Be sure to check back throughout the holiday season for updates!

Check out our Events Calendar for other events happening in the area.

Check out our Events Calendar for other events happening in the area.
Guess Blue Mountain’s Opening Day 2018 Contest! Thu, 18 Oct 2018 17:27:07 +0000

❄⛷GUESSBlue Mountain Opening Day 2018 CONTEST 🏂

Head on over to our Facebook page and enter our Guess the Date Contest for a chance to win a $100 Gift Card to use towards lift tickets, hotel stays, meals and retail items at participating Blue Mountain locations.

To enter – Comment on the Guess the Date post with your best guess for the opening date for the 2018-2019 ski season at Blue!

Winner will be selected on opening day. All entries with the correct date will go into a draw to win one $100 Blue Gift Card. Winner will be announced on our Facebook page and notified by messenger.
To help you out we have researched the Blue Mountain Resort opening date for the past 30 years!

2018-2019 Blue Mountain Ski Pass Savings

5×7 ® Pass – Most popular season pass – midweek from open to close (with minimal holiday restrictions) and weekend nights.
New for the 2018/19 season, passholders can ski Christmas Day & New Year’s Day.
Also new – the 5X7® has youth and senior pricing for the 2018/19 season. Adult $379 | Youth-Senior $329 until Dec. 13.

Double Down Pass – Two unrestricted Day/Night lift tickets (transferable) Until December 13, you can purchase your Double Down for only $124.

❄⛷Blue Mountain Opening Day 2017 🏂⛄

❄⛷Blue Mountain Opening Day Dates 1987 – 2017 🏂⛄
Take your best guess! To help you out we’ve compiled the opening dates from 1987 to 2017!
  • 1987-88 November 27
  • 1988-89 December 10
  • 1989-90 November 25
  • 1990-91 December 8
  • 1991-92 December 6
  • 1992-93 December 11
  • 1993-94 December 3
  • 1994-95 December 3
  • 1995-96 November 25
  • 1996-97 December 1
  • 1997-98 December 12
  • 1998-99 December 19
  • 1999-00 December 18
  • 2000-01 November 25
  • 2001-02 December 26
  • 2002-03 December 4
  • 2003-04 December 5
  • 2004-05 December 15
  • 2005-06 December 7
  • 2006-07 December 8
  • 2007-08 November 30
  • 2008-09 November 28
  • 2009-10 December 12
  • 2010-11 December 9
  • 2011-12 December 17
  • 2012-13 December 12
  • 2013-14 November 30
  • 2014-2015 December 5
  • 2015-2016 December 30
  • 2016-2017 December 11
  • 2017-2018 December 12
  • 2018-2019 – ????

⛷ What’s your guess for Blue Mountain’s 2018-2019 Opening Day? ⛷

New for 2018 – Blumination Dream Trail


The Blumination Dream Trail is a one-kilometer, magical winter stroll within the Village, around the Mill Pond, and straight through your mind’s eye. Featuring a number of interactive and entrancing light installations, it’s like Blue Mountain “through the looking glass”, a snow globe with you in it. It’s a mega-watt winter experience like none other in the region!

It’s the Village in a way you’ve never seen it before, and a way you’ll want to see again and again. The Blue Mountain Village Association has teamed with Collingwood production company Smash Reality Inc. and the Landmark Group to bring you the “Blumination Dream Trail”.

Upon arrival, guests are welcomed by hundreds of twinkling lights in the “Field of Dreams”. An excellent way to ignite the senses and set the stage for what is to come. Hundreds more lights guide you through a dozen stops including the “Mind Warp”, “Star Street” and “Light So Bright”, an over-sized, fully-functional, digital LiteBrite wall where you can let your creativity loose. The trail ends in the square with incredible light shows every evening at 7and 9 pm, with amazing fireworks every Saturday at 8 pm. It’s a magical experience words can’t describe, and an exciting addition to the many winter activities already available in the Village. “It’s an exciting new experience to add to group holiday parties,” says Patti Kendall, Director of Marketing and Events for Blue Mountain Village Association, “and a great addition to your family winter holiday traditions.” Beyond the Dream Trail, visitors can stroll the Village and enjoy excellent dining and shopping every day – including Christmas – with most shops open daily until 9 pm.

Plus, Blue Mountain Resort is offering lodging packages at special rates complete with free hot chocolate to keep you warm on your adventures. For more information about the Blumination Dream Trail including deals on winter accommodations. Visit for more details! (Source: Blue Mountain Press Release Oct. 11, 2018)


(Source for opening day dates: and Mountain Life )

Georgian Triangle Real Estate Report | Third Quarter Wed, 03 Oct 2018 18:02:01 +0000

Georgian Triangle Real Estate Report | Third Quarter

Click on the report cover to view/download the 3rd Quarter review for the overall region and below, individual market reports for  The Blue Mountains & Collingwood.

Southern Georgian Bay Real Estate Market Report August 2018 Wed, 26 Sep 2018 18:55:10 +0000 ]]> Diner en Blanc – South Georgian Bay Thu, 06 Sep 2018 18:44:58 +0000 On Saturday September 8th, 2018 South Georgian Bay will be hosting the first Diner en Blanc in our region, somewhere in Collingwood. We can’t tell you where – because it’s a secret!

About the Event

All guests must dress elegantly in head-to-toe white. No ivory, no off-white, and no beige… Originality is encouraged, as long as it is stylish and tasteful. Each guest must bring a square folding-table and two white chairs; a white picnic basket and/or bag including a gourmet meal for two, (catered meals and beverages are made available for pre-purchase on the e-store) a white tablecloth and cloth-napkins, cutlery, dishware, and glassware; and a garbage bag.
The event itself is founded in friendship, organic growth, partnership and community. It’s essence is to gather great friends to enjoy a fantastic meal together in an unusual location to celebrate life, friendship and joie de vivre!
On Saturday we will be in our finest whites and meet up to take a bus to the secret location for a chic picnic. The event hosts are Lisa Farano, Lori D’Agostino, Steve Vipond. Yours truly, Karen Willison is a Squad Leader!
We are looking forward to a fantastic evening and will update this post with pictures and video. It is sure to be an amazing event!
The event unfortunately is sold out for this year so be sure to put yourself on the waiting list for 2019!
“Over the course of the evening, guests experience the beauty and value of their city’s public spaces by participating in the unexpected. Beyond the spectacle and elegance of the dinner itself, guests are brought together from diverse backgrounds by good taste and a love of beauty. Le Dîner en Blanc recalls the elegance and glamor of high French society, and guests engage one another, knowing that they are taking part in a truly magical event. There are no disruptions: no car traffic, no pedestrian traffic—only amazed and astonished looks from passersby observing the scene before them. And participants, like spectators, wonder whether it’s all not a dream…”

Video from Richmond, B.C. 2018



Launched in Paris in 1988 by François Pasquier and his close friends, Le Dîner en Blanc de Paris continues to bring more than 10,000 people together each year in some of the French Capital’s most prestigious sites. Over the years, the event has grown in recognition and attendance, taking place at the Pont des Arts, the Champs-Élysée, in front of the Eiffel Tower, at Le Louvre and the garden of the Palais Royal, amongst others. 2018 marks the 30th anniversary of Le Dîner en Blanc de Paris!
Today, with the guidance of Dîner en Blanc International, close to 80 cities around the world host their own Le Dîner en Blanc, including New York, Sydney, Hong Kong, London, Los Angeles, Kigali, Haiti, Chicago, Philadelphia, Mexico City, Melbourne, Johannesburg, Singapore, Toronto, Vancouver, and Montreal and now, Collingwood!
Le Dîner en Blanc wishes to promote friendship and elegance, setting a new standard for chic outdoor events. Built by friends and for friends, Le Dîner en Blanc is a unique event. Now, guests in your city have the chance to be part of this chic and festive experience. It’s definitely a not to be missed event of the year!
Le Dîner en Blanc is an evening like no other. Once registration is confirmed, each guests’ participation becomes mandatory, regardless of weather conditions. Participants arrive at a designated departure point with their table, chairs, and picnic materials, and then make their way to the secret location with their Table Leader by chartered bus or organized public transportation. They take all of their belongings with them at the end of the night, including leftovers and trash, and they leave the site as clean as it was upon arrival.
For more information visit Diner en Blanc Website | Facebook Page
Baby Boomers Expected to Impact Canada’s Housing Market in a Big Way Between Now and 2023 – Royal LePage Boomer Trends Survey Wed, 08 Aug 2018 22:25:10 +0000
  • Baby boomers (born between 1946-1964) are expected to impact Canada’s housing market in a big way between now and 2023.
  • Of respondents willing to move for improved affordability, 35% would prefer to stay within one hour of their current residence, 30% would be willing to venture further out (one hour or more away), while 20% stated that they are open to living anywhere.
  • While the wave of older consumers will increase competition for condominium property in particular, there is no single type of home that baby boomers will be investing in.
  • Many boomers are willing to help their children with real estate purchases. If asked for assistance by their child, 41% would give less than 25% of the home’s total value, while 5% would give 25% of the home purchase price, or higher.
  • Smaller cities and recreational areas will attract more investment from baby boomers than major cities. Boomers view Canada’s big cities as generally unaffordable for retirement purposes.

More than 1.4 million boomers across Canada expect to buy a home in the next five years

  • 56 per cent of boomers consider their local housing market unaffordable for retirement
  • 9 per cent of boomer parents do not expect their kids to move out until after the age of 35; this number is almost three times higher in British Columbia
  • 32 per cent of boomers looking to buy in the next five years most likely to purchase a condo

TORONTO, August 8, 2018 – The Royal LePage Boomer Trends Survey, released today, found that 17 per cent of Canadian baby boomers (born between 1946-1964) are planning to purchase a new home in the next five years. This is expected to have a meaningful impact on the housing market, as the group represents 1.4 million[1] potential buyers and sellers. The research, conducted by Leger for Royal LePage, found that more than half (59 per cent) are opting to renovate their current residence rather than buying a new home.

“Don’t count them out yet – baby boomers will impact Canada’s housing market in a big way in the coming years, as another 1.4 million of this large demographic are expected to sell and buy real estate between now and 2023,” said Phil Soper, president and CEO, Royal LePage. “While the wave of older consumers will increase competition for condominium property in particular, there is no single type of home that boomers will be investing in.”

“Our research does indicate that smaller cities and recreational areas will attract more investment than major cities,” continued Soper. “This large segment of the population views our big cities as generally unaffordable for retirement purposes.”

The survey found that 44 per cent of respondents across Canada who still have children living at home expect them to move out between the ages of 21 and 25, and 21 per cent expect them to leave between the ages 26 and 30. Eighteen per cent anticipate their children will move out after the age of 30, with 9 per cent expecting them to depart after the age of 35. This percentage nearly triples in British Columbia, where 24 per cent of respondents with children living at home expect their children to move out after the age of 35. According to Royal LePage’s Peak Millennial Survey[2] conducted last year, 14 per cent of Peak Millennials surveyed are living with their parents.

“Our 2017 research into the largest group of first time home buyers in Canada, which we call the Peak Millennials, showed many were roosting in the family nest well beyond the traditional age of exit,” Soper said. “With this work, we have confirmed that boomers are allowing children to reside at home well into adulthood. Yet they won’t stay forever, and when they go, the folks are going condo shopping.”

Currently across Canada, according to the survey, over three quarters (77 per cent) of boomers own a home, nearly one in five (19 per cent) rent, while a very small number (1 per cent) live with family. When zooming in on current dwellings, the largest number (61 per cent) of boomers across Canada live in a detached home, followed by condominiums (21 per cent) and semi-detached/town homes (12 per cent).  Of boomer respondents planning to purchase a home in the next five years, 45 per cent are most likely to purchase a detached home, 32 per cent are most likely to purchase a condominium, while 10 per cent noted strongest interest in a semi-detached/town home and 5 per cent said a recreational property.

Retirement Plans and Perceptions on Housing Affordability

When asked about plans nearing or during retirement, one in five (20 per cent) boomers intend on buying a new property, while 71 per cent do not plan on buying a new home. Respondent sentiments were mixed on the desire to downsize, with less than half (41 per cent) stating that they would seek a smaller dwelling in retirement, while just over half (52 per cent) have no intention of downsizing.

Considering recent home price increases in several Canadian markets, more than half (56 per cent) of boomers polled said they consider the housing market in their city or region to be unaffordable. This number jumps to 78 per cent and 63 per cent of respondents in British Columbia and Ontario, respectively. When asked about their willingness to relocate, over one-third (34 per cent) of respondents nationally stated that they are open to moving to another city or suburb where property prices are more affordable. Of respondents willing to move for improved affordability, 35 per cent would prefer to stay within one hour of their current residence, 30 per cent would be willing to venture further out (one hour or more away), while 20 per cent stated that they are open to living anywhere.

A minority of respondents plan to purchase or reside in a secondary home or live elsewhere for portions of the year. Ten per cent plan to buy a secondary property, while 15 per cent plan to sell their primary residence and move into their currently owned secondary property full-time. Nearing or during retirement, nearly one quarter of boomers nationally plan to live in another city (24 per cent) or country (23 per cent) for at least three months of the year.

Financial Status and Support for Children

Overall, a large segment of the boomer population is on strong financial footing and on a clear path to being mortgage-free, if not already. According to the survey, over three-quarters (77 per cent) of those who own a home have paid off over 50 per cent of their mortgage, and 61 per cent have paid off over 90 per cent. Meanwhile, half (50 per cent) of boomers who own a home have less than 25 per cent of their retirement savings tied to real estate.

If they were to make a property purchase, 54 per cent of respondents stated having a budget of under $450,000, while 25 per cent possess a budget of $450,000 or higher. In the current market landscape, many boomers perceive very little impact from the federal government’s new OSFI measures on their personal circumstances. Half (50 per cent) of respondents do not feel that the new OSFI measures will impact the type of property they can afford. However, one in four (25 per cent) do believe the measures might impact their options, while approximately one in five (21 per cent) said they have caused them to second guess buying a home.

Many boomers are willing to help their children with real estate purchases, with 47 per cent affirming that they would subsidize their child’s home acquisition to some degree. If asked for assistance by their child, 41 per cent would give less than 25 per cent of the home’s total value, while 5 per cent would give 25 per cent of the home purchase price, or higher.

“Baby boomers are the most affluent generation in Canadian history, yet the journey has not been without challenge and adversity. Through several difficult economic recessions, the equity in their homes has proven to be wealth bedrock. This is a generation that deeply values home ownership and very much wants their children to have the same opportunity,” concluded Soper.


With the rapid appreciation of home prices in the province, boomers in Ontario are the most likely to consider downsizing as they approach retirement. Almost half (49 per cent) of all respondents said they plan to move into a smaller home as they near or enter their golden years, the highest rate in among all regions surveyed. Four-fifths (80 per cent) of boomers in the province currently own their home, and 20 per cent plan to buy a new property within the next five years.

As boomers in Ontario plan their retirement, they are also the most likely to consider changing cities as they look for a home they can afford. Forty per cent of respondents stated that they are willing to move to a new city or suburb where homes are more affordable, the highest rate in the country. Thirty-two per cent of those willing to move would consider moving more than an hour away from their current city.

While most boomers in Ontario would prefer to remain in a detached home when downsizing, many are open to condominium living. Forty-six per cent of respondents said they would consider a condominium for their next home purchase.

“Boomers in Ontario are looking to reduce expenses as they approach retirement,” said Caroline Baile, broker, Royal LePage Your Community Realty. “By downsizing to a condo or moving to a more affordable city, boomers are able to tap into the equity in their homes and have more certainty about their costs. They are looking to transition into a lifestyle that gives them more freedom to pursue other activities without having to deal with time-consuming upkeep and unexpected repairs.”

Half (50 per cent) of boomers in the region said they would be willing to give money to their children to help them purchase a home. Of those that are willing to help their children with a down payment, 44 per cent of respondents would be willing to contribute up to 25 per cent of the total value of the home. 

Source: Royal Lepage Media Room

[1] Derived from Statistics Canada 2016 Census data

[2] The term “Peak Millennial” was first coined by U.S. economist, Dowell Myers to describe the largest cohort of millennials and their potential purchasing power (born between 1987 and 1998). For the purposes of homebuyer research, Royal LePage focuses on Peak Millennials aged 25 and older. In June 2017, an online survey of 1000 Peak Millennials (age 25-30), was completed using Leger’s online panel.

Canada Day Celebrations in Collingwood & Blue Mountain Thu, 28 Jun 2018 18:30:04 +0000




Canada Day Eve Party

Saturday, June 30th from 4:00pm – 9:30pm
Beaver Valley Community Centre – 58 Alfred St. W.


The Blue Mountains Public LibraryTown of the Blue MountainsThornbury-Clarksburg Rotary are the hosts for the annual Canada’s Day Eve Party on Saturday June 30th, 2018 from 4:00-9:30pm at the Beaver Valley Community Centre.  Festivities include: live music from Graham Playford,  a BBQ by Black Angus Fine Meats and Game, fresh tacos provided by Culinary Designs.  There will also be fun & interactive children’s activities, face painting, face painting, treats from Chapman’s Ice Cream, a lemonade stand, and a beer tent sponsored by Creemore Springs and Ardiel Cider House.
More info…



Bring the family to celebrate with lots of festivities including; live music, face painting, balloon twisting, Rotary Chili & Hotdogs, Steve Baker Magic Show, Birthday cake, Performance Air Show (at the harbour).

Evening festivities include Music in the Park (Bayview Park – 106 Bay St.) featuring The Toronto All Star Big Band

See Schedule of Events >

Saturday, June 30th & Sunday, July 1st

Collingwood is hosting Canada Day with of free family activities throughout downtown Collingwood, Millennium Park and the harbour area. Gigantic Canada Day Birthday Cake, bike parade, face painting, strolling entertainment, water sports, fireworks, music and more! The Collingwood Optimist Club is hosting a Children’s Fishing Derby, Family Bike Parade, Rubber Duck Race and Pancake Breakfast.

Coldest Night of the Year | February 24th, 2018 Wed, 21 Feb 2018 20:27:35 +0000

It’s cold out there. And on February 24th, I’m going to do something about it. Together with thousands of Canadians across the country, I’ll be walking and fundraising much-needed funds to support and serve the hungry, homeless, and hurting. Please, give generously by following this link:


Event Date
Feb 24, 2018 4:00 PM
Location Name
Collingwood – Home Horizon
2017 – Q3 Southern Georgian Bay Real Estate Reports Mon, 29 Jan 2018 20:55:49 +0000

Click on images to open pdf reports.

2018 Ski-Snowshoe Day – WINTER BLAST Wed, 10 Jan 2018 23:07:53 +0000

Join us for Locations North’s 33rd Annual Winter Extravaganza for Hospice and Shelter! Enjoy a great day of outdoor fun and support  Hospice Georgian Triangle and the Royal LePage Shelter Foundation. This day is perfect for anyone who enjoys the outdoors, regardless of your skill level (indoor activity options available as well). Spend some time on the slopes then enjoy a gourmet lunch and aprés ski extraordinaire, to benefit Hospice Georgian Triangle.

When: Thursday February 1st 9:00am – 5:00pm
Where: Craigleith Ski Club

Get Your Tickets!

Tickets are available online or can be purchased at Royal LePage Locations North Office in Collingwood (330 First Street, Collingwood).

Early Bird Pricing (Until January 15th)
Snowshoe: $65.00
Ski: $140.00

Regular Pricing (After January 15th)
Snowshoe: $75.00
Ski: $150.00


  • Ski Racing
  • Buddha River Yoga + Cycle Studio will also be onsite, offering a yoga class from 1:30 – 2:30pm in the Brown Bag Room.
  • Beginner Ski/ Snowboard Lessons
  • Complimentary 1-hour ski or snowboard lessons are available. Register on the ticket order form (deadline: Friday, January 26th).

Rentals – Need to rent ski or snowshoe equipment for the day? You can reserve equipment from Squire John’s under Royal LePage Locations North. The deadline for reserving equipment is Friday, January 26th.

See you there!

Build a Snowman Contest Wed, 20 Dec 2017 20:48:40 +0000

We are having a Contest!

Build a Snowman and post your best shot!

Enter for a chance to win one of 3 Blue Mountain Dollars Gift Certificates!
1st. Place $250.00
2nd Place $100.00
3rd Place $50.00

You can use your gift certificate in Blue Mountain Village stores, restaurants, attractions, lift tickets and more (see list here).

As easy as 1.2.3.

  1. Get the family together and build your snowman. Be creative!!
  2. Take a picture of your snowman.
  3. Post on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram with tag #KWSnowman2018.
    Submit your photo by January 30th, 2018 midnight.

Winner will be announced and contacted through social media. 

Social Media Links




October 2017 Collingwood – Blue Mountain Market Stats Wed, 22 Nov 2017 03:53:44 +0000



Record volume of $99,404,833 – the first new monthly record since June – was up 5% from October 2016’s previous record of $94,406,889.
Units of 203 were down 20% from last year’s record 254.
New listings of 251 were down by 10% from the 278 of one year ago, while the sales/listings ratio of 81% was down 10%.


2017’s record volume of $976,264,520 is up 8% from 2016’s prior record of $904,770,325.
Units of 2135 – the second highest YTD total ever – are down 12% from 2016’s record 2437.
New listings of 3195 are down 11% from last year’s 3592, giving 2017 a 67% sales/listings ratio, 1% below 2016.
Lastly, the average sale price of $457,267 is up 23% from a year ago.

October’s record volume sales and stronger unit sales were a welcome rebound from Q3’s slowing market. October also had 3% fewer new listings than last October, 15% fewer total listings, and a 23% rise in the average sale price, all of which indicates that the regional demand for listings exceeds the supply.

The story of Georgian Triangle real estate activity so far in 2017 could perhaps be entitled ‘A Tale Of Two Markets’.

After the stratospheric sales of the first five months (involving a dizzying number of multiple offer and over-asking price deals), dollar and unit sales dropped 45% and 46% respectively from from their peaks in May to their depths in July. This was followed by a at third quarter, partly attributable to slowing Greater Toronto area sales and an increase in the Bank Of Canada’s prime rate.

Then came October, with volume of $99,404,833 – the first new monthly record since June – up 5% from last October’s record, albeit with much of the increase being due to a 32% jump in the monthly average sale price from a year ago. So was the slowdown just a blip that will now be followed by a modest rebound, or was October just a blip within a prolonged market levelling? Difficult to say.

One thing is certain. We’re still in the sellers’ market that began to gain huge momentum in 2014. October’s sales/listings ratio was a very high 81% and its total listings were down 15% from a year ago. So if you’ve considered selling your home there is plenty of demand and prices are way up.


Q3 Georgian Triangle Real Estate Market Report Wed, 22 Nov 2017 02:54:15 +0000

Click on the images below to read and download reports.

These changes have been attributed in part to the slowing Greater Toronto Area market and the Bank Of Canada’s July interest rate hike. However, one main difference between the GTA market and ours is that while the GTA’s slowdown involves a high overall listings count, our count is actually down 16% from one year ago. We are still in a sellers’ market. Demand remains strong.


2017’s record volume of $876,469,587 is up 8% from 2016’s prior record of $810,363,436. Units of 1933 – the second highest YTD total ever – are down 11% from 2016’s record 2183. New listings of 2950 are down 11% from last year, giving 2017 a solid 66% sales/listings ratio, equal to 2016. Lastly, the average sale price of $453,425 is up 22% from one year ago.


Despite September’s sales drop from 2016’s high-water mark, it was still the region’s second-best September ever for dollar sales and third-best for units. With a healthy sales/listings ratio of 63%, total listings down 16% from one year ago, and the average sales price up 22%, the regional demand for listings still exceeds the supply.


2017 Holiday House Tour | Saturday, November 18 Tue, 07 Nov 2017 21:52:42 +0000

Come tour EIGHT outstanding homes in Collingwood, The Blue Mountains and Thornbury at our 6th annual fundraising event. These unique homes will be beautifully decorated for the holidays by local designers and decorators. Complimentary coffee, tea and muffins will be served from 9am-noon at the host venue, Georgian Bay Hotel.

Back by popular demand! Enjoy a morning seminar with Kimberley Seldon, as well as a Marketplace, Silent Auction, and in the afternoon, a Fashion Show and Chef Demo. It’s all included in your ticket price!

Scroll down to learn more about this event, buy tickets, learn about celebrity designer Kimberley Seldon, and see a gallery of photos from previous years!

Event Details

Date: Saturday, November 18
Time: 8:30am – 5:00pm
Host Venue: Georgian Bay Hotel, Collingwood (Vacation Inn Drive, off Hwy 26, Collingwood)

This wonderful event features:

  • Stunning homes
  • Fashion Show
  • Silent Auction
  • Celebrity Decorating Seminar
  • Holiday Marketplace
  • Chef’s Holiday Demo
5 Issues that Commonly Scare Off Home Buyers Mon, 21 Nov 2016 20:52:56 +0000 screen-shot-2016-11-21-at-3-31-52-pmBy addressing each of these common issues that deter buyers from making an offer you will set yourself up for a smoother, faster and fair priced sale of your home. We will start from top to bottom. This list includes a few of the many reasons – rational or not – that potential home buyers bring up in their hunt for the perfect home. Do you have experience with naysaying buyers? Tell us about your top reasons

Issue One: The Rooftop  

Did you know that issues with roofs are responsible for more than 39% of homeowner insurance claims? Before putting your home on the market, ask yourself if you would be comfortable moving into your home with the roof as is, or, if your roof approaching the end of its typical life span. A typical lifespan for a shingled roof is about 20-25 years. If you are iffy on this point, chances are your potential buyers will be too. Consider replacing it or having it assessed and getting a certification that proves to buyers that it is in great shape.


Issue Two: Eavestroughs  

Just below your roof lies issue number two. You may overlook the importance of well-functioning eavestroughs in the fairer seasons – but come winter & spring it is of paramount importance that these bad-boys are in perfect working order. A faulty system could lead to flooding, damage to the roof line and even the foundation of your home. Tip: regularly clean out your troughs! Set aside 30 minutes a month to keep on top of it, a bit of time could save you a lot of money! If you want to hire someone else to do it, you should expect to pay anywhere from $5-$10 per foot.

Issue Three: Doors & Windows  

Serious buyers WILL check doors and windows. A sticky window or creaky door is a quick fix for sellers, while being a red flag to potential buyers. Replacing windows and doors can bring a 50% to 80% return on your investment. Then again, even if your doors and windows are a tad on the old side, but in working order, you can lower this on your priority list.

Issue Four: Appliances

Truth bomb: if your appliances look like they belong on the set of ‘That 70’s Show’ you would do well to replace them before putting your home on the market. Even if they work amazingly, you would be surprised at how important aesthetics are to a potential buyer. Moreover, if you plan to take any of your appliances with you when you move, make sure to mention this in your listing and seller’s disclosure.

Issue Five: Your Home’s Foundation  

We promised to take you from top to bottom, and that leaves us at your home’s foundation. Cracks in walls or the exterior foundation are often a sign of a larger issue. You should be prepared to correct structural issues before your house hits the market. Otherwise, be prepared to address the issue when it inevitably comes up in a home inspection. Our advice: manage these potential buyer-red-flags before you list your house. It will save you time and stress and will likely lead to a higher dollar value sale of your home.

Welcome Home, Active Families Tue, 18 Oct 2016 17:38:08 +0000 blog-welcome-families
In each post of the “Welcome Home” series, we’ll be exploring a different group of people who would find themselves at home in the area of South Georgian Bay. It’s our way of showing you how this area can appeal to people with all sorts of lifestyles and interests, and how it will surely appeal to you as well.

For our first post we’re looking at active families who are looking for events and sports to try with their kids, promoting healthy and active lifestyles for their children with elements of adventure and nature. Here, we explore just a few reasons why active families would find themselves at home in South Georgian Bay.

A wide variety of events
Fun, free, and unique – the events in this area cover it all. Every weekend there’s some sort of event that families can participate in. It’s not hard to find events that are free to attend, and inexpensive events are always around! Happening right now for the Fall season, for example, you can find apple picking, pumpkin carving, corn mazes, carriage rides, and even some spooky Halloween-themed events.

Activities for all ages
The area is very family-friendly when it comes to activities and sports that any age can participate in. For example, skiing is one sport that our area is known for, and it’s one of the few sports that can say it’s multi-generational. You’ll regularly see parents, kids, and even grandparents on the hill together – where you can’t say that about every sport. Another great family activity is hiking, which you can experience for free around many trails in the area. Experience the beautiful fall colours, or strap on some snowshoes and hike in the winter – it’s a year round activity for families to enjoy!

Parents can take a night-off
We can’t forget about the parents, who spend their days tirelessly running after their active children. Well, the area boasts something for them as well. There are multiple daycares, baby-sitters, and even local events that advertise taking care of your kids for a few hours so that parents can enjoy themselves. Pizza and Plunge, for example, is a weekly event at Plunge! Aquatic Centre during the summer season at Blue Mountain Resort. For this event, kids can be dropped off and will enjoy games and dinner while the parents can enjoy some alone-time at a restaurant within walking distance in the Village!

The Benefits of Working with a Realtor Sun, 02 Oct 2016 21:10:47 +0000 Unless you have years of experience navigating your way through the real estate on a daily basis, chances are listing your home on your own is going to be a challenge. By listing your home on your own, you’re cutting yourself off from building relationships, selling quickly, and getting top dollar.

A REALTOR® is someone who can be a friend, guide you through the market and be your best resource when you’re buying or selling a home. If you choose to sell your home on your own, you’ll be missing out on the value they bring.

Benefit From Networks & Increase Exposure

We’ve talked about the Golden Window of Opportunity; the limited time frame when your home is new on the market and in high demand. One of the ways to take full advantage of that window is leveraging existing networks of buyers.

Selling your home on your own means you’re missing out on an existing network of clients. REALTORS® spend years building relationships with people and expanding their networks, because it is crucial for business in this industry. They are networking professionals. By selling on your own, you won’t be tapping into this trusted network, and you will lose out on exposing your home to more buyers.

You’ll have to start marketing your home from scratch. Shouting from the rooftop that your home is for sale and doing all the work yourself. If you work with a REALTOR® to sell your home, you will increase your listing’s exposure and have access to an existing network of clients, REALTORS® and suppliers who they can market your home to. Now doesn’t that sound more convenient?

Reduce Legal Fees & Save Money

Sellers often choose not to use a REALTOR® because they want to save money. Or at least that’s what they think.

If you list your home on your own you will be subject to additional legal fees. If you lawyer has to draw up a contract for you your expenses will increase. Legal work = more time + higher fees.

Using a REALTOR® decreases the amount of time it takes a lawyer to review the agreement, keeping your legal fees down. Plus, your REALTOR® will have access to great legal professionals to work with. Remember: their network is invaluable.

List at the Right Price & Get Top Dollar

REALTORS® live and breathe the real estate industry, so they know how to strategically list your home to sell for top dollar. With extensive market knowledge and years of experience pricing homes, your home can be priced right.

Pricing your home right the first time is crucial to your selling strategy, because it gets more people through the door and attracts more buyers, putting your home in high demand.

Making the decision on your own could be a big mistake. You could miss out on eager buyers because you took too long to decide. Or worse, you could lose out on money because you don’t have the industry experience or market knowledge to properly price your home.

We already talked about how your REALTOR® has spent years building up a great network. Well this network is a key piece of the puzzle when it comes to getting you top dollar. More qualified buyers will be shown your home, which means more exposure, interest and offers.

Expedite Closing & Save Time

Buying or selling your home will be one of the largest transactions you’ll make in your life, so you want to do it right. Listing your home on your own means you’ll have to negotiate with the other party’s REALTOR® (because they probably have one on their team) and you probably don’t have the experience that they have. This could result in you getting the shorter end of the stick.

REALTORS® work through closings all the time; it’s literally what they do. They understand the language, the processes, and how to close the deal. Relying on a REALTOR® to help you through negotiations will get the deal closed right, insuring your needs are met, and closed quickly… giving you more time to focus on how you’re going to decorate your next home.

Receive Objective, Professional Representation & Negotiate Effectively

Selling your home is not only a massive task, it’s an emotional one. Without of professional to give you guidance, advice and insights, it will be a very overwhelming experience.

Our Team can help navigate you through the real estate market and your decisions with an objective mindset, and represent your best interests.

With the industry knowledge and expertise, our Team will strategically price and market your home, secure offers, and negotiate the final deal with you.

Local Business Spotlight: Tue, 27 Sep 2016 01:39:29 +0000 Mortgage Intelligence, along with affiliated company Invis, is one of the largest and most respected national mortgage brokerages in Canada, with Mortgage Consultants across the country, in every province, with representation in small and large cities across the nation.

Barry Johnson is a well-appointed mortgage broker with whom the AK Team has been recommending for many years.  you can be rest assured he will be able to access over 40 lenders to find the most competitive mortgage for your needs – he will research the many options available and ensure that you are delivered the mortgage that satisfies your financial goals.  When you are deciding on your single largest financial decision it’s comforting to know he will work on your behalf.

Having the size of one of Canada’s Largest mortgage originators behind Mortgage Intelligence allows them to negotiate with Canada’s leading financial institutions; they will work together to not only find the right mortgage, but also the one with the right conditions.  They will do the legwork for you.


Identifying Your Reasons For Selling Wed, 31 Aug 2016 20:05:52 +0000 Making the choice to sell your home is a big decision, and the reasons behind that decision can impact your selling strategy. Taking the time to think about and understand why you’re selling your home will help you make focused decisions when the time comes to think about the details of your listing.

These details include:
Your asking price
How much time and money you are going to invest in selling your home, including the resources you put into preparing your home
How you are going to market your home
How you are going to approach negotiations

These details are affected by the motivation you have to sell your home. We have outlined a few reasons you might be selling and how your selling strategy is affected.

Wanting vs. Needing to Sell
Wanting to sell is rooted in preference and the home you would prefer to live in. This is common with empty nesters who don’t have any immediate need for another home, but who would prefer something smaller.
Needing to sell your home will likely be because of time, location, or money. Your family may need to relocate by a certain date for work, or maybe there has been a change in your financial situation. Needing to sell your home will be linked to another variable in your life.
The difference between wanting to sell and needing to sell is urgency. This will help you determine the time frame you’re looking to sell in and how your listing price is affected by your timeline.

Moving Up vs. Downsizing
Many people sell their homes over the years to find a better fit for their family. If your family is growing, you may need to sell your home and find a larger home when space gets tight. Similarly, downsizing space is common when children move into their own homes.
Both upsizing and downsizing affect your selling strategy because you will be working within the time restraints of moving into your new home. The alternative is selling and not buying another home. You may be renting or moving into a property you already own.
Knowing whether you are going to be buying another home will impact how you sell your home because timing and financial decisions will come into play.

Identifying the reason behind selling your home could be the first step you make toward getting to where you want to be without the hassle or emotion that may otherwise occur. If you are already committed to selling, put our team to work by speaking to one of our trained professionals.

The Final Walk-Through: What to Look For Tue, 23 Aug 2016 14:10:18 +0000 After price negotiations and a home inspection, closing on a new house is a deep thrill of excitement. However, before you get carried away thinking about how to set up the living room, don’t forget it’s standard for you to take one more walk-through of the home before closing the deal.

To help out, we’ve provided some guidelines for what you should do leading up to and during your final walk-through.

Make sure you have the following items with you:

  • Notepad: You will want to document the date and time of your walk through, take notes.
  • Camera: Take pictures to supplement your notes about questions or concerns that could arise in the house or on the property.
  • Inspection Summary: It’s important to double-check that all repairs have been completed as promised.
  • Your Real Estate Agent: Don’t do your walk-through without your real estate agent. They can answer any questions as well as guide you through the process.

Confirm Repairs

Double-check that repairs have been completed, and that the seller has left behind warranties and receipts for the work. If something breaks, you will want to be able to follow up with the person or company that made the repairs.

Pull The Plug

Check electrical systems by turning lights on and off, checking the circuit breaker (is it clean and working?) and looking at all outlet plate covers to make sure they’re free of damage. If not, you may have a deeper problem with electrical wiring that you’ll definitely want to sort out before closing.

Head to the Bathroom

Walk through bathrooms and check for mould, water damage, and standing water by the sink, shower, and base of the toilet. Mould can spring up in a matter of days, so it’s extra important that you check for this sign of a potential water leak. Then ensure the toilets aren’t running, and they flush properly. Turn on all the faucets (including the showerhead) and verify that they have hot water, don’t spray water, and don’t leak when turned off. All sinks and tubs should drain properly and quickly.

Confirm the Condition of the Kitchen

Check for the same signs of mould or water damage — paying careful attention to areas under the sink, by the dishwasher, and by the refrigerator — and be certain to turn on and off all appliances to ensure they work.

And Don’t Forget the Laundry Room!

While you’re checking appliances, head to the laundry room to turn on and off the washer and dryer. If there is a utility sink, fill it and make sure it drains properly.

Make All Systems Go

Even if it’s a hot-as-heck kind of day when you walk through the house, turn on the heat and make sure it’s working. Do the same with the air conditioning, and verify that the doorbell, security system, and garage door work.

Look Around

There is no doubt that buying a new home is a thrilling time in life; make sure that your experience in closing the deal goes as smoothly as possible by following these tips and making sure you look around the property without those rose coloured glasses on!

Perk Up Your Porch with These 7 Tips Tue, 26 Jul 2016 13:47:23 +0000 Save your money for big projects that are value added.  Sprucing up the front porch won’t cost you big, but your satisfaction will be enormous.

Before starting a porch upgrade, walk across the street to get a feel for how your home looks from a distance. You might find that your porch has lost its luster, or that the landscape bed beside it is too shallow, or too crowded. It’s a good starting point and will more easily establish what will work best for your home.

Update the Entrance

A freshly painted door will give you a dramatic pop, and doors are where you should let your style come through. Paint will show up more intensely outside than on a swatch, so don’t forget to do your diligence when selecting your palette.  Light colours tend to wash out more quickly and appear pale. Once you find a colour you like, paint a swatch and live with it for a week before making the final decision.

Clean Up

There’s rain, heat, and possibly snow, plus foot traffic and other wear and tear — your porch can look dull over time, and a simple cleaning can help. “Paint and power wash go a long way,” Trouten says. Use an outdoor bleach solution that’s available at a home improvement store. It attaches to your hose and works fast. After you clean, you can better evaluate what needs painting and updating. Here’s a tip when painting outdoor columns and shutters: Avoid semigloss paint that reflects sunlight, Trouten says, and opt for satin for trim.

Perfect a Path

Your guests will get a feel for how welcome they are, and how much you take pride in your home based on their walk to your front entrance. First task; ensure your pathway is wide enough. If it seems too narrow, line it with bricks or pavers on each side to give it character. The pathway to your home should curve to the house, as though it were an introduction. In addition, you should make sure your walkway is well-groomed, clean, and inviting for your guests. The pathway to your home entrance is really an extension of your home.

Beef up on Style

Dulled down columns take away from how pretty a porch can be.  Paint out, or add cedar to these pillars and that will make a big difference. Trim windows and add larger trim around your door, it will make your home appear more grande. You could also try adding a flagstone step or a stone veneer to your foundation front, this will add more substance to the look of your home.

Start Small

Add appeal with little things like hardware. Vintage mailboxes, house numbers, and door knobs will draw your eye to a new interest, just be sure to look for quality solid metal, and nothing too kitschy.   

Seating Stands Out

A welcoming sitting area adds warmth. Pair a couple of small chairs with bright seasonal throw pillows that can be changed to add interest year-round.

Keep it Simple

Less is more when it comes to decorating your front porch. If your porch is big enough to sit on, be sure you choose the right size of furniture. If your porch is small, add accents like a rug and bench. It’s best to use less on your porch than you think. The point is to make it inviting to sit on and if you keep it simple, it can be a fun way of giving first-time guests a sneak peak into your decor style.

Which Mortgage Features are the Most Important? Mon, 11 Jul 2016 15:08:33 +0000 From our friend Barry Johnson at Mortgage Intelligence in Meaford

Which Mortgage Features are the Most Important?

It’s easy to look online for a mortgage rate. But rate is only one aspect of saving money on your mortgage over the long term. It’s essential that you also consider mortgage features. Here are the big ones:

Early Payout Penalties. There are lots of reasons why it makes good financial sense to break your mortgage, even though you can expect to pay a penalty. But not all lenders calculate penalties the same way, and the differences can amount to thousands. Life happens, so make sure you choose a lender that has a fair early payout penalty. And watch out for no-frill mortgages that don’t let you get out of your mortgageat all, unless you sell or the term is up.

Pre-Payment Privileges. You want the ability to put lump sum amounts on your mortgage and increase your payments so you can pay down your mortgage faster and save on interest. You should always consider having this flexibility even if you don’t think you’ll use it; your situation may change that gives you the ability to pre-pay. This flexibility can also help you reduce an early payout penalty.

Collateral charge mortgage. This type of mortgage can be difficult to transfer to another lender and cost you legal fees if you do. You are more locked in, which means your lender may not offer you the best rates if you need to refinance or at renewal. Watch out!

Porting Flexibility. This is important if there is a chance you’ll move i.e. job change, growing family. You’ll want to take your mortgage to your new place to avoid penalties. But make sure your lender lets you increase too should you buy a more expensive home.

Blended Mortgage. If you move or refinance, a blended mortgage allows you to blend the rate of your current mortgage with the rate on the additional funds. This way, you don’t break your current mortgage and incur the penalty. Some lenders blend and extend to a new 5-year term, others blend only to the remaining term, or offer both.

There is definitely more to getting a mortgage than just rate. It’s my job to help you find the right mortgage with the rate and flexibility you need to be a happy homeowner.

Help Fight Parkinson’s with Rock Steady Boxing Wed, 22 Jun 2016 18:42:28 +0000 A very dear friend of the AK Team is living with Parkinson’s Disease a uses this great facility.

Rock Steady Boxing Toronto is the first Canadian affiliate of the unique and effective non-contact boxing program designed to fight back against Parkinson’s.

The Parkinson’s Resource Centre, a new non-profit organization (currently awaiting charitable status), offers Rock Steady Boxing and other programs and services designed to help people with Parkinson’s live better each and every day. While research for a cure is important, our goal is to help thousands of people with Parkinson’s live a fuller life and regain some hope and control over a challenging disease.

The benefits of forced, intense exercise have been shown to reduce the impact of Parkinson’s symptoms. Our professional and passionate coaches deliver the Rock Steady “tough love” approach in a dynamic, fun, and team-based environment that works for boxers of any age or fitness level.

Rock Steady Boxing Toronto classes are already full, and we have hundreds more on our growing waiting list. With your help, we can continue to expand and provide effective programs to help the thousands for people living with Parkinson’s in the GTA. We’ll launch six-week boot camps to introduce new boxers to Rock Steady exercises and we’ll expand our classes, starting with a new location in Toronto’s west end.

Parkinson’s disease is the opponent here, affecting over 100,000 Canadians now, with that number expected to double in less than 20 years.

We are asking you to help us fight back. Together, we can get hundreds of new boxers off of our waiting list and into the gym!

Please consider donating to this great cause:

Home Buyers Guide Thu, 16 Jun 2016 18:25:00 +0000 Why Buy?
Do you long to call a place your own? It’s fun to think about kitchen cabinets and colour schemes, but there are many practical things to consider first. For most people, buying a home is not only an emotional decision, but a financial one too. Buying a home is an investment that will appreciate over time, giving you more financial security later on in life. It will probably be the biggest purchase you’ll ever make.
The pride you will feel in making that purchase can sometimes be marred by the confusion that sometimes accompanies home buying. Read on for some tips on how to make the whole transaction go smoothly.

Get Pre Qualified
First-time home buyers should find out what kind of mortgage they can afford, even before they start looking. Too often, arranging a mortgage is left until the end, forcing buyers to scramble for financing. It is important to understand the parameters of your purchase.

Down Payment
How much of a down payment can you part with? Depending on interest rates, you may be able to spend a lot more or less than you imagined. It is important to remember what you have saved isn’t always what you want to use, as there are extra costs that will come up as you go through the purchase. While a conventional mortgage down payment is 20 per cent of the value of the home, there are mortgage options now that can offer you smaller down payment options.

Finding a Good Agent
Real estate agents are like matchmakers, bringing buyers, sellers, and homes together. Agents must be on top of the market – in terms of sales, listings and house prices in the area. But most importantly, real estate agents need to make their clients feel at ease.

Making an Offer
Your real estate agent will be an experienced negotiator, with a certain understanding of how flexible the seller will be. Before making an offer, do your research on the home to help you arrives at your offer price. When buyers and sellers strike a deal, loose ends often need tidying up before the deal is finalized, such as financing or selling your existing home. Once conditions are met, your offer will be firm!

Finding the Right Lawyer
Don’t wait until after the deal is struck before choosing a lawyer. When looking for a lawyer, make sure he or she routinely deals with real estate deals. To find the right one, remember that quality and experience are the key, not just the price.

Closing the Transaction
For first-time home buyers, closing costs are often an unwelcome surprise awaiting a thrilling experience.. Besides the basic purchase price, you will face a long list of expenses before taking possession of your new home: legal fees, land transfer tax, title insurance, disbursements, to name a few.

Buying a home is a wonderful experience, wrapped in a whirlwind of excitement. Make sure you prepare yourself the best way you can beforehand by keeping yourself informed during the process. See our comprehensive buyers guide to get yourself started, and congratulations in advance!

May Is A Good Time To List Your Home Thu, 12 May 2016 18:35:05 +0000 Spring is becoming routine by now: We are busy with harvesting our own local maple syrup, celebrating the new season with friends and family, and looking forward to many spectacular long weekends ahead. Another item to add to your list: Putting your home up for sale.
Homes often sell quickly and sometimes for a higher amount in spring months, and here is why.

1. The weather is *finally beautiful

Weather plays an important role for home sellers and their open houses. Severe weather makes transportation to different viewings a real challenge, especially if you have little ones or have difficulty getting around. If you are re-locating from a distance, it’s tricky to make the commitment to drive in lousy weather. People are inspired to get out more when the temperature climbs, and that lovely weather will also mean your home will look lovely. Your home will look its best when flowers start blooming and the lawn is freshly cut and green.

2. Buyers are getting serious

When the spring housing season begins, many buyers feel as if they have plenty of time to find a home and time their summer move. If nothing is happening by the time May comes, buyers may relent to submitting competitive offers in the hopes of finally sealing the deal.
Remember too that it’s a seller’s market; home values have gone up 20% in the Georgian Triangle, and buyers are just starting to look, they are excited about what lies ahead, and they look forward to exploring the beautiful communities and neighbourhoods in the Southern Georgian Triangle.

3. The timing aligns with the new school year

Families will want to close on a new home before the end of summer. Anyone with children, or who works in education, will feel that the year really centres on a beginning and end of a school year. To move when a school year has just started is difficult, especially if changing school districts. If you take the month of May to search for a home, you can close the deal in July or August, allowing time to settle before the school year begins.

4. The time is just right

You have endured an up and down winter, been away (or wished you had) over the March Break, school is still in session, and there is some serious pep in your step. Spring has a way of enhancing not just the looks of the outdoors, but also moods, too. May is a seasonal sweet spot, so to speak. Everything looks fresh and new, and everyone is happy and in a home-buying mood.
So if you have been hesitating, STOP!!! The timing has never been better than right now. Find out what your home is worth by filling out a customized Home Evaluation Report Request, and then let the AK Team do the rest!

5 Things to Consider When Selling Your Home Mon, 18 Apr 2016 18:45:49 +0000 Should have, Could have, Would have: don’t you wish you could see into the future of your home selling process? Here is a list of 5 things to consider when selling your home, no crystal ball needed!

1. The Value of your Home
It’s easy to get excited about your potential listing price, especially if you’re planning on putting your selling equity into your next home purchase. But that won’t do you any favours; make sure you have realistic expectations about your home’s value. Do your research to find out what your home is worth: look at comparisons, consider location and nearby home sales in the last six months, and narrow it down to properties that most closely resemble your own.

2. Your Listing Agent
Once you’ve decided to list your home for sale, the biggest decision you’ll make is choosing a real estate agent. The AK Team is dedicated to providing clients with exceptional customer service and making sure the home selling process is as smooth and pleasant as possible. You can rest easy knowing that the AK Team will be with you throughout the process, freeing you of unnecessary stress.

3. Staging your Home
Obviously, your home should be clean, but when your home is for sale, it should sparkle! Getting there means that everything, including the refrigerator, is gleaming. Closets should be organized, crumbs should be swept up, and unnecessary clutter should be boxed up, or donated to the local charity. When your home is for sale, it should always be tidy, and the best way to achieve this is by doing away with articles that don’t spark joy, which leads perfectly to our fourth point.

4. Should I put away the bathtub crayons?
YES, yes, yes! Kids are curious and sweet little creatures, but they are also rather messy. And the more you have, the more difficult they are to keep up with. Chances are if you do have children, they may have more toys, craft supplies and devices than necessary. When you list your home, consider storing extra (and messy) toys to avoid a panic attack when you realize your three year old has just painted a Picasso all over your dining room walls.

5. Furry Friends
If questioning whether or not you should leave your pets out to play with and meet potential buyers the answer is: NO, no, no! In the rush to get your house listing-ready, the pet factor can be overlooked. No matter how clean your place is, smelling a litter box will not earn you offers. It also should be considered that some potential buyers might be allergic to, or afraid of animals. Your best strategy, even though it’s not always easy, is to make pet footprints minimal in your home while you are selling.
Share with us: What secrets to selling your house do you wish you had known?

The Mortgage Kit Tue, 29 Mar 2016 14:05:45 +0000 From Barry Johnson at Mortgage Intelligence Meaford

The Mortgage Kit

Start with proof of your income.

We’ve all heard the Scout motto “Be prepared”. It’s great advice if you need a mortgage. Assembling everything your lender needs to verify your income is a critical component of mortgage success. A last-minute scramble for documents just adds to stress. Get a Mortgage Kit folder ready and begin collecting the verification you will need for your income type:

FULL-TIME SALARY: Provide a recent pay stub and a “letter of employment” on company letterhead that confirms a) your position, b) your annual salary, and c) the length of time you’ve been in your position. If you’re a fairly new employee, lenders will want to know that your probationary period is over. And they will follow up. Commissions and bonuses can be supported by your last two notices of tax assessments.

COMMISSION, CONTRACT, PART-TIME AND SEASONAL EMPLOYMENT: Company letter and pay stub are required. Income must be consistent and can be proven with a two-year average of tax assessments or T4s. If the position is contract, a copy of the contract and any renewals is required.

SELF-EMPLOYED: Assemble a) two years of tax assessments, b) business license or registration, or articles of incorporation, c) your T1 general tax returns for the last two years, OR the last two years of accountant-prepared financial statements (if incorporated). Lenders recognize that self-employed income is kept low, so some expenses on your statement of business activities can be added back. If income is difficult to prove, be sure to have a strong credit history and downpayment.

CHILD SUPPORT: A copy of the separation/divorce agreement and three to six months bank statements are typically required. This income should be less than 30% of total income.

DISABILITY: A letter confirming permanent status along with a pay stub.

MATERNITY LEAVE: Some lenders use full employment income if the employment letter confirms a return date within one year.

PENSION, RRIF, INVESTMENT INCOME: Most recent tax assessment, T4As for pension income. There must be sufficient funds in the investment for the income withdrawal.

If you are fully prepared, then you’re always ready to take advantage of opportunities!

TAX TIP: $750 tax incentive for first-time buyers
Did you buy your first home last year? You may be able to take advantage of the Home Buyers Tax Credit (HBTC) when you file your tax return. The $5,000 non-refundable HBTC provides up to $750 in federal tax relief. You qualify if neither you nor your spouse (or common-law partner) have owned and lived in another home for the past five years. For more information, visit

Early Spring DIY Project: Home Tapped Maple Syrup Thu, 24 Mar 2016 20:35:01 +0000 This might not be the March you had envisioned, with the up and down temperatures and icy slopes, but have no fear, there are still plenty of activities to do in this in-between season. Whether it’s just you, or you have little ones who need to get their wiggles out, why not try something new? Our advice: try to tap a maple tree and see if you can gather some of that delicious liquid gold. It may look intimidating, but it surprisingly easy to do it yourself.

When To Tap Maple Trees
Sap usually starts to flow between mid-February and mid-March. Sap flows when day temperatures rise above freezing and night temperatures fall below freezing. The rising temperature creates pressure in the tree making the sap flow.

Which Maple Trees To Tap
Select your maple trees based on their higher sugar content: Sugar, Black, Red, Silver. Select trees that are mature (at least 12 inches in diameter) and healthy.
12-20 inches
21-27 inches
Greater than 27 inches
Number of Taps

What Tools You Need
hammer, spiles (small metal peg used to obtain water from the tree), hooks, buckets, and lids.
You can buy these supplies at: Hindles Clarksburg Hardware

How To Do It “Tapping The Tree”
It’s simple.
1. Decide on the placement: The height of the tap hole should be at a height that allows easy collection. Generally, a height of about 3 feet works.
Tip: If the tree has been tapped in previous seasons, do not tap within 6 inches of the former tap hole.
2. Drill the hole: The size of the drill bit to be used depends on the type of spile you are using. Drill at a slight upward angle to create a downward sap flow from the hole. Gently tap the spile into the tree with a hammer (do not pound the spile into the tree, as this may cause the wood to split). If the sap is flowing, you should immediately see sap dripping from the spile.
3. Hang the bucket: Hang the bucket by inserting the hook into the hole on the rim of the bucket. Attach the lid to the spile.

Now, if you are not feeling brave or ambitious (and who can blame you!) Fortunately reaping the benefits of the maple syrup season doesn’t mean hard work for you if you’re not up for it. There are many maple syrup festivals and tours this time of year, why not enter your own harvest into one of the upcoming festivals!

Here are a few great festivals to get you started:

Maple Sugar Moon Festival – Grey Roots Museum
April 02 from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. As the snow melts and the voices of the crows are heard ringing out over the tree tops, the sap begins to rise and our thoughts turn to the sweet anticipation of Maple Syrup. Each year, the Anishinabe people looked forward, with much anticipation, to the harvest and enjoyment of one of Mother Nature’s greatest treats – maple sugar. To the Anishinabe, this treat was called Ziinzibaakwad (cee cee baw kwad). The First Nations people shared this knowledge with the early European settlers who quickly learned to appreciate this seasonal gift as well.

Come on out to Grey Roots and rejoice at this traditional rite of spring. Learn its history from the early days of our Aboriginal people to our first European settlers and beyond.

Maple syrup making and tasting
Wagon rides from 12 noon – 4 p.m.
Pioneer demonstrations
Aboriginal games for kids
Maple syrup songs and teachings
Hot maple cider
Hot funnel cakes with maple syrup
Kiwanis Club PANCAKES! (cash only)
Regular admission rates apply. Pancakes sold separately

Holstein MapleFest – Holstein
April 11-12th at Love’s Sugarbush – Bring the whole family for a day in our 40 acre sugarbush. Weʼll be serving our tummy filling Pancake and Sausage breakfast all day long. Enjoy our free craft sale with over 30 original vendors. Plenty of demonstrations in the sugar bush to enjoy, including the Fergus Highlands Pipe Band, Blacksmith, Taffy Pull, Ice Cream Making, Candle making, Catapults, our new Rope Bridge and plenty more.

Maple Syrup Festival – Elmvale
April 25th – The Festival offers something for the whole family. Our award winning maple syrup, arts and crafts, midway rides, pancake eating and log sawing contests, great music and of course the sugar bush tours throughout the day Saturday

There is no need to wait out the muddy season inside. With a little bit of creativity and planning, there is always something new and exciting to try in the Southern Georgian Bay!

4 Ways to Prepare for  Selling Your Home this Spring Mon, 07 Mar 2016 15:00:05 +0000 With the winter season slowly fading away to warmer and longer days, you might be wondering what spring project to tackle first.  After spending most of these last couple of months on our toes waiting for the winter-that-never-was, you might have an extra bit of energy to put toward these projects.  If selling your home is a consideration, did you know that according to spring is the best time to get the ball rolling?  There is a real advantage to listing in the early spring.  Summer months, especially those spent on the beautiful Southern Georgian Bay, are best spent enjoying what the area has to offer. If listing is in your future, get started early and enjoy the special advantage you have as a homeowner in Georgian Triangle.  After such a windfall last season, the selling inventory is quite low, and you know what that means, right?  Listing your home with the AK Real Estate Team will earn you top dollar for your home. If you take some time to consider that, that could mean a much sweeter beginning to the season ahead.  See the list below for some tips on preparing your home to sell, and be sure to get in touch with the AK Real Estate Team

1 – Prepare your Outside Space: After an uneventful winter, people are going to be looking for an inspired and vibrant outdoor space.  Nothing says good times are ahead like a well manicured garden/lawn, or a thoughtfully laid out patio space.

2 – Show-off your Assets: You know because you live in the space, but how do you expect potential buyers to recognize the beauty of your picture window views if the curtains are drawn?  More importantly, how lovely is the cross breeze?  Consider the full experience of your house in the springtime from inside to out.

3 – Scrub-a-dub: Salt stains in your mudroom, dust bunnies in that high traffic corner, or just too many different clothing seasons represented in your closets?  Clutter and mess can distract potential buyers from the potential of what lies beneath the chaos.  

4 – Make a Splash: Winter’s palette, while beautiful, is stark, and by springtime we look forward to experiencing a colourful splash. Spruce up entry ways and little nooks with a splash of colour and a fragrant bouquet of spring trimmings.

With a change of the season, put a little spring in your step and don’t miss the opportunity to list your home. The 2016 market is 2 months ahead of where it usually is. Houses are moving fast, and there are simply not enough on the market. If you have been considering selling your home, now is not the time for hesitation. We understand the reservations involved with putting a home on the market, so let us clear up at least one for you with our complimentary, custom home value report. Click here to request your home value report.

Local Business Spotlight: The Generator Guys Tue, 23 Feb 2016 20:34:13 +0000 The Generator Guys, a local business operating out of the village of Clarksburg, has been in existence since 2004.

After years of working in the metal fabrication and millwright industry, the current owner Gary, seeing an exciting and new opportunity, purchased The Generator Guys and now runs it with his son-in-law Matt.

Since 2011 Gary and Matt have worked together to install and provide maintenance for Generac Generators.

As a family business, The Generator Guys, pride themselves in installing a quality product and ensuring customer satisfaction. Their qualifications allow them to provide customers with  electricity when the power goes out. For some customers this can be vital to their home or business, if they depend on a sump pump, or their personal health and safety, like elderly customers who depend on specialized medical equipment.

Gary and Matt love knowing that they’re helping families and business by guaranteeing they will have power during power outages. They serve the following areas:

Southern Georgian Bay

Blue Mountain


Beaver Valley



Wasaga Beach

Grey County

Simcoe County

Bruce County

To contact Gary and Matt email them at or call them at 705-888-0690

Heavenly Café New Location! Wed, 17 Feb 2016 19:34:17 +0000 The aroma of chocolate and croissants waft through the air as you pull open the door to the Heavenly Café now located in the Cranberry Mews in Collingwood. It’s likely that hand-rolled truffles are lovingly being prepared or soups and sandwiches are being made using local farm fresh eggs and organic greens.

The quaint and elegant ambience is warm and inviting. It is reminiscent of a European café with good food, beautiful pastries and desserts, strong coffee, and the perfect pairing of wines, scotches and liqueurs. It really is “a touch of Paris in Collingwood”.

Heli Vogrin, owner of Heavenly Café, began cooking and baking in her mother’s kitchen as a young girl where she says she learned how “cooking comes from the heart and not the pages of a cookbook”. This lead her, in her adulthood, to create beautiful and delicious “heavenly sweets”. Her first bricks and mortar establishment was located in the quaint village of Thornbury and was a gourmet chocolate shop called Heavenly Sweets. However, having a desire to create a space for people to “enjoy life’s simple pleasures” she opened up a dessert café in Collingwood in 2010.  The café has since transformed even further to include soups, sandwiches, wine and cheese pairings, quiches, and more.

In January 2015, with the help of the AK Real Estate Team, Heli relocated the Heavenly Café to the Cranberry Mews in Collingwood. The new location in Heli’s words, “has been a very positive move and business, thus far, in the first weeks in operation has been great”.  

Heli’s love of cooking and her creativity are evidenced in everything she does. From the textures and flavours she creates in the food she prepares to the beautiful café she has furnished, filled, and invited people to share in.

While you’re exploring Collingwood be sure to stop in at the The Cranberry Mews which is now fully leased out with a wide range of businesses. It is the perfect place to stroll along, shop, and enjoy something “heavenly sweet”!


A Year in Review Wed, 20 Jan 2016 22:20:20 +0000 2015 has been an amazing year for the Andres and Karen Real Estate Team! With records broken and sales up we’re looking forward to what 2016 brings.

2015 sales for Royal Lepage Locations North were up 20.8% over 2014’s record breaking year. What makes this even more amazing is that the total number of listings in 2015 were actually down 15.3%  from 2014. In 2015 we had 4347 listings as a brokerage compared to the 5129 in 2014.

One of the most exciting turn of events this year, and telling of the desire to live here in the Georgian Triangle, is the fact that every month of 2015, from January to December, broke 2014’s previous monthly sales record. So, although it was a seller’s market, buyers were buying, and sales prices were up.  

As mentioned in our December Market Update –  2015 was the year of the seller. There were far fewer listings then demand required and it looks like it may be a similar story in the outset of 2016 in the Georgian Triangle.

What does this tell us? Well the number of buyers tells us that people want to live in this beautiful area. The fact that demand exceeded supply tells us that people living here don’t want to leave!

So, what can we look forward to seeing in 2016? It looks like the pattern may continue. 2013, 2014, and 2015 were increasingly banner years for sales. If this is the case it will be another great year for home sellers in the Georgian Triangle. So, if you’re considering selling now may be the perfect time to put your home on the market. And if you’re buying – you’re moving to a beautiful, much desired area!

If you’d like further information on the current market, or if you’re interested in selling or buying a home, don’t hesitate to contact us; we’d love to meet with you!

2015 Sales Graph

Where to eat in the Town of the Blue Mountains: TripAdvisor’s Top Ten Thu, 07 Jan 2016 01:28:58 +0000 Looking for a place to eat? Whether you’re just grabbing a bite for lunch, craving a snack, looking for a caterer, or planning a dinner with friends, there are no shortage of restaurants to choose from in the Town of the Blue Mountains. Rated as the top ten on TripAdvisor the following are some of our Blue Mountain favourites!

#10 Firehall Pizza Co

Located in Blue Mountain Village Firehall Pizza Co offers delicious food at reasonable prices. A recent review from TripAdvisor reads, “One of the best pizzas we ever tasted! Pasta and appetizers were delicious as well. Not expensive considering you are in the main tourist villa. Also, my compliments to the staff, who were working on Christmas day, with a smile and nice attitude”.

#9 The Mill Cafe

Overlooking the beautiful Beaver River The Mill Cafe offers charming ambience and delicious flavours. Chef Andrew Barber uses fresh, local, ingredients and creates inspired meals that will make your taste buds dance while you relax and enjoy.

#8 The Pita Pit

Although the Pita Pit isn’t unique to the Blue Mountains its customer service stands out. Customers reviewing it state, “…went to this place twice in the last week, I was amazed by the service provided by the employees.” and “It’s the friendly service that’s worth noting. The young man was so uplifting and friendly towards my kids.” So, if you want a quick and familiar bite to eat, experience the exceptional service of the staff at the Pita Pit in Blue Mountains Village.

#7 Beaver Tails

Craving a sweet snack? Beaver Tails in the Blue Mountain Village is the place to stop! A classic, quintessentially Canadian, dessert is a must have after skiing the slopes or enjoying all the Village has to offer.

#6 Thornbury Bakery Cafe

Fresh breads, rich desserts, creative sandwiches, and friendly staff are what make up this cozy cafe in the heart of Thornbury. For over 80 years the Thornbury Bakery Cafe has been serving customers, and it’s obvious why; care and quality go into each cup of coffee served, each loaf of bread baked, and each sandwich that is prepared.

#5 The Cheese Gallery

The Cheese Gallery is the perfect name for this beloved Thornbury shop. From hand crafted cheese boards, local pottery, and artisan preserves to colourful desserts, delicious espresso, and, of course, cheeses from around the world, The Cheese Gallery will engage all your senses. Stop in for the best grilled cheese sandwich you’ll ever eat!

#4 Simplicity Bistro

This savoury gem is on highway 26 just on your way into Thornbury. Chef Scott Chalmers uses simple, fresh, Canadian ingredients, coupled with French culinary techniques, creating beautiful flavours that are far from simple.

#3 Bruce Wine Bar

There is always something happening at the Bruce Wine Bar – from Tuesday’s corkage nights, Open Mic on Wednesdays, to live music on weekends! Featuring fresh, local, food by Chef Shaun Edmonstone, Bruce Wine Bar is the place to go for a delicious, wood fired, pizza – and really anything else on their menu.

#2 Culinary Designs

Looking for a quick, delicious, and nutritious lunch? Wanting to impress guests with amazing catering? Or looking for a personalized meal plan to eat healthier?  Culinary Designs is what you’ve been searching for. Find them in their new location, on Bruce Street, in downtown Thornbury.

#1 The Dam Pub

With 273 reviews The Dam Pub Gastropub rates number one on TripAdvisor; and it’s no surprise why. Executive Chef, Suzette Gerrie, creates traditional Scottish dishes that are both delicious and filling. Some classics are the braised Lamb Shank, Fresh Georgian Bay Whitefish and Steak & Kidney Pie. Featuring over 700 whiskeys and having been featured on “You’ve Gotta Eat Here” you really do – need to eat here that is – and experience some of Southern Georgian Bay’s Scottish charm.

The Minimum Down Payment Increases Wed, 23 Dec 2015 21:06:25 +0000 On December 11th, 2015, the Liberal Government made some significant changes to what is required in obtaining a mortgage in the housing industry.

One of the most noteworthy changes is the amount needed for a downpayment to qualify for government-backed insurance. Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporations (CMHC) will, starting on February 15, 2016, require a 10% downpayment on a portion of a home’s sale price if the total purchase is in between $500,000 and $1million.

Although this change appears significant on paper, it is a 50% increase from the previously required rate of 5%, Finance Minister Bill Morneau stated in a press conference that he expects this change to affect only 1% of the market or less.

With such a small portion of the market being affected, why the change? Tamsin McMahon of the Globe and Mail stated that, “Unlike past changes that have been aimed at the entire Canadian housing sector,…the new rules, which affect higher-priced properties, are mainly targeted at the most expensive markets, particularly Toronto and Vancouver”. The hope is that, “this will create stability for the overall market by targeting pockets of risk” Morneau stated in Ottawa. The other benefit to a higher required downpayment percentage is that it will help Canadians “take the right approach” when they invest in a home.

For those who are considering investing less than 500,000 in a home purchase the downpayment requirements will stay the same at 5%. Homes priced over $1million will also stay consistent in their minimum downpayment requirements of at least 20%.

If you’re considering purchasing home between $500,000 and $1million in the near future Steve Heubl, of says that the change of rules to the Canadian mortgage industry could have been much worse. The new rules may just mean you have to save a little longer to afford the downpayment towards the home you want.




If You’re Thinking of Selling NOW is the Time: A Market Update Wed, 09 Dec 2015 02:20:54 +0000 2015 has been an exceptionally strong year for real estate in Southern Georgian Bay. Similar to the rest of the year November has set new records with an increase of over 15% compared to last year’s sales.

Important Highlights for Sellers and Buyers:

  • The average price for a home in the region of Southern Georgian Bay has increased by almost 7%, an increase of roughly $22,000
  • The average price for a home in Town of the Blue Mountains has increased by nearly 12% which means most homes are selling for over $600,000, an increase of roughly $64,000
  • Sellers: The number of homes for sale is down significantly this year compared to 2014. With fewer homes on the market many listings are going into multiple offer situations. If you’re thinking of selling; now is the time!
  • Buyers: The demand for homes is far exceeding the supply; you’ll need to make the decision to buy quickly or your dream home may be sold while you deliberate

Based on the market it’s obvious that Southern Georgian Bay is a place that people really want to be. The following graph shows just over a 200 million dollar increase in sales since 2013.

Georgian Triangle MLS Sales: January to November comparing 2013, 2014, and 2015

Untitled design (10)

2015’s monthly sales have been up consistently over last year’s. Such a beautiful place to live with four seasons of activity, from sailing to skiing, is a draw for many to the area.

Georgian Triangle Monthly MLS Sales to Listings Ratio: January to November comparing 2014 to 2015

Untitled design (11)

Expired listings in 2015 are dramatically lower than expired listings in 2014 (see below graph). In fact the sales to expired listing ration is at 153%! This means that if you are planning to sell your home the chance of it selling in a timely manner is quite high.

Georgian Triangle Monthly MLS: January to November 2015 Comparing Listings, Sales and Expired Listings 

Untitled design (3)

And so, at risk of sounding redundant, now is a great time to list your home. According to the data you have a great chance of selling your home in a reasonable amount of time and for a good price. If you’d like further information on the current market, or if you’re interested in selling or buying a home, don’t hesitate to contact us; we’d love to meet with you!

Highlights from Collingwood’s Community Based Strategic Plan Thu, 26 Nov 2015 20:19:40 +0000 Collingwood’s “Community Based Strategic Plan” (CBSP) is a document designed to guide the town in accomplishing its vision and goals for the future. The creation of the CBSP included community involvement through brainstorming at pop-up booths, workshops, and a questionnaire, thus allowing the voice of the community to be heard throughout the process, and ensuring that residents were given a chance to express their wants and needs in shaping the future of Collingwood.

Collingwood’s Strategic Plan will be implemented over the next 20 years with small, medium, and long term actions that have been set in place. Built into the plan is time and space to revisit and revise the CBSP so that, over the years, it continues to respond to the needs and desires of the community.

To ensure that Collingwood will continue to be a vibrant, healthy, and exciting community in which to visit and live the “Community Based Strategic Plan” outlines five goals with actions to aid in the implementation of these goals.

The goals are:

Accountable Local Government

It is important to the residence of Collingwood that their government is fiscally responsible and transparent in decision making. The actions set in place to achieve this goal are:

  • A financially secure and sustainable Town
  • Effective management of Town Debt and Assets
  • Frequent, proactive communication with the public
  • Commitment to implement the CBSP

Public Access to a Revitalized Waterfront

The town of Collingwood is committed to explore opportunities that will allow the waterfront to have a greater variety of public uses while ensuring that the natural environment is protected. The action to achieve this goal is:

  • Develop a comprehensive Waterfront Master Plan that guides future development, as well as preserves natural and cultural heritage and improves public access

Support for Economic Growth

Collingwood’s economy is largely based on tourism. It is the desire of the residence, however, that the town diversify Collingwood’s industry while keeping the tourism sector a priority. The actions to achieve this goal are:

  • Continue to implement the Town’s Economic Development Strategy and undertake a public review of the results achieved within each term of Council
  • Support small businesses, entrepreneurship and career advancement initiatives

Healthy Lifestyle

The town of Collingwood already creates spaces for developing a healthy lifestyle, however, residents would like to expand this to include “convenient access to the trails system, improved access to local health care, access to a range of social services, access to locally grown food, an appreciation of the natural environment, and an increase in shared public space. Each of these actions will further the community’s goal for sustained healthy, active and compassionate living” (CBSP). The specific actions to achieve this goal are:

  • Maintain and improve indoor and outdoor recreational facilities including trail networks, arenas, pools and parks
  • Promote a balanced and healthy lifestyle
  • Public support for improved access to health care within Collingwood
  • Preservation of the Natural Environment

Culture and the Arts

The town of Collingwood has an ever growing arts community. To continue to support this growth, it has been suggested by the community, that the town “create a wider range of festivals, events and attractions than already exist throughout the year” (CBSP) and that, during these local events, highlighting and promoting local artists and business would be a priority. The actions to achieve these goals are:

  • Support and expand the diversity of community events and festivals
  • Promote arts and cultural programs
  • Continued recognition of Collingwood’s unique heritage

These goals and actions will allow the town of Collingwood to remain focused on their vision. Amazingly, the projection is that by 2031 Collingwood will be home to 33,000 people. The CBSP will guide Collingwood into the future, ensuring that, starting now and in the years to come, Collingwood will continue to be and grow into a place where people can live creative and healthy lives.

A Dash on the Canadian Dream: Proposed Changes to the Municipal Land Transfer Tax Mon, 09 Nov 2015 20:57:09 +0000 Thinking about buying your dream home? The province of Ontario is ready to give municipalities the right to levy a municipal land transfer tax (MLTT) which could double the current amount of land transfer tax when buying a home.

This means that the land tax on an average Canadian home could increase to upwards of $10,000. For the 90% of Canadians who believe that owning their own home is a part of their Canadian dream, the potential hike in land transfer taxes will make this dream much more difficult to attain.

The idea of bringing in the MLTT isn’t new to Ontarians.  In 2006 this tax was adopted in Toronto. The MLTT in Toronto led to a loss of 15,000 jobs through out its first five years, the loss of 2.3 billion in economic activity, and the loss of about 722 million in potential labour income (Ipsos Reid 2014-2015). These factors, among others, revealed it was not a good, long-term, financial solution.

Thankfully there is hope, MPP Steve Clark is calling on the Ontario government to oppose the MLTT. On December 3rd Clark’s motion will be tabled for debate in the legislative assembly.

The Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA) is actively lobbying against the proposed tax. Recently, the association that represents more than 60,000 real estate brokers and salespeople in Ontario launched a website with the purpose to educate, inform, and campaign against the MLTT. The site includes a simple petition tool and a transfer tax calculator.

What can you do? Get informed and contact your local MPP to encourage them to vote in support of Steve Clark’s motion on Thursday, December 3rd.

Summary of facts:
  • 90% of Ontarians think home ownership is part of the Canadian dream.
  • 6 in 10 Ontarians think the MLTT is an unfair tax on homeowners.
  • 3 out of 4 Ontarians say that an MLTT would delay their decision to buy a home.
  • When implemented in Toronto, the MLTT hurt Toronto’s economy and lead to the loss of nearly than 15,000 jobs
  • The average cost of a home in Ontario is $445,000, meaning the average homeowner will be paying nearly 10,000 in Land Transfer taxes.


Feature image by:


Holiday House Tours Are Fast Approaching! Mon, 19 Oct 2015 20:30:20 +0000 Mark your calendars! The Annual Collingwood & Creemore Holiday House Tours are coming up in November. Tickets sell fast so don’t hesitate! Each tour features 6 stunning homes fully decked out for the season. There are also Holiday Decorating Seminars and a great Silent Auction, with proceeds from the ticket sales and auction going to support local charities. The A & K Team and Royal LePage Locations North, Brokerage are proud sponsors of these great events.

Collingwood Holiday House Tour2

Saturday, November 14th

Tickets $30.00

Creemore Holiday House Tour

Saturday, November 28th

Tickets: $30.00


The Importance of Carbon Monoxide Detectors Wed, 14 Oct 2015 17:59:10 +0000 From our friends at AmeriSpec Inspection Services, a good reminder about the importance of Carbon Monoxide Detectors in our homes:

On October 15, 2014, a new regulation came into effect in Ontario requiring carbon monoxide (CO) detectors be installed in every home. The Hawkins-Gignac Act, Bill 77, is named in honour of a Woodstock, Ontario family who tragically died from CO poisoning in 2008. Two adults and two children perished one night from this silent killer. In fact, 50 Canadians die from CO poisoning each year.

Carbon monoxide is a tasteless, odourless, invisible gas that is a product of combustion. It comes from car exhaust, furnaces, fireplaces, barbecues and other devices that burn fuel. It builds up slowly in a home from faulty equipment, creating flu-like symptoms. Over time, CO poisoning can cause irreversible brain damage and even death.

The Ontario Building Code has required carbon monoxide detectors since 2011. However, the Bill now covers all homes in Ontario, not just new builds.

Even though the Bill does not cover the rest of Canada, keep reading for some good advice that could save a life. Fortunately, protecting your family is easy. New CO detectors are affordable and simple to install.

  • Carbon monoxide detectors are available at most local hardware stores for under $50.
  • Detectors can be battery-operated, plug-in, or hard-wired into the wiring of your home. Some devices are combination units, detecting both smoke and carbon monoxide. (These units might be priced slightly higher.)
  • They emit a different sound than a standard smoke detector, so make sure your family knows the difference. Just like with smoke alarms, when the carbon monoxide detectors goes off, leave the building and call 911 from a safe place.
  • Because CO mixes with air and doesn’t rise like smoke does, it can be placed at any height in a room. Of course, if you have a combination unit that also detects smoke, it must be placed at ceiling height, the requirement of smoke detectors.
  • Carbon monoxide detectors need to be positioned beside the sleeping areas of the home. That provides the maximum amount of protection against the killer gas.
  • Just like smoke detectors, CO detectors will need to have the batteries replaced every six months. A good rule is to replace the batteries whenever you change your clocks in Spring and Fall. That’s also a good time to schedule inspections for your furnace and fireplace to ensure they are in safe working order.

With a properly installed and functioning carbon monoxide detector placed in your home, you can sleep easy knowing your family is protected.

Art Camp (Not Just) For Kids! Thu, 17 Sep 2015 13:13:19 +0000 Nancy is the owner and founder of the Art Studio (not just) For Children, which is based in North Toronto. Nancy is a mom, a lover of the creative and artistic process, a lover of people of every age, and a believer that we can do anything to which we set our minds. Nancy ran her first summer day camp in the Collingwood area this year which sold out; and it will be back again next year! Here’s a brief Q&A with Nancy about the Art Studio.

Tell us a bit about your studio.4

Art Studio (not just) for Children ( has served over 4,500 North Toronto, Muskoka, Collingwood & cottage country families through a variety of programs and initiatives. We work with adults who love to paint and create, children who crave more art and corporations who want to team build through creative projects.

Whereabouts would we find you?

Our studio is everywhere! We have a beautiful home studio in North Toronto. We have a lakeside summer sleepover camp studio on Lake Simcoe. (Just south of Orillia off hwy 11) a farm day camp in the Town of Blue Mountains/Collingwood area (10th line close to Ravenna). Additionally we serve the Muskoka and Georgian Bay areas with programs through various Golf Clubs.

What is it that is special about your Studio?

Firstly – I adore people. My connection with people of all ages is what makes my art school and life unique. I am grateful that many of my clients have become my friends and many of my friends have become my clients. I approach life and this work with a sense of humour and a love of beauty and creativity. My goal is that both the process and outcome will astound you. The result does not end up on the fridge (or in the recycling!) but rather framed and enjoyed with pride for years. Our projects are unique and awe inspiring. I have worked with entire families; all four kids and eventually mom and dad and the clients return year after year.

How was your first Blue Mountains/Collingwood camp experience?1

Our first Collingwood camp sold out. We hired a fabulous local high school teenager to help out and the camp was a hit. We had a Gallery Walk on the final day and the artists proudly showed their work. We look forward to doing it again next year.

What other programs can we expect to see from your Studio?

We will continue to offer Mother Daughter retreats, Summer Sleepover Camp, Day Camps in Collingwood, Muskoka and Toronto, Weekly Classes, Artist in the School Initiaitives, our famous Original Family Portraits and more. Stay tuned as we excitedly offer Yoga/Fitness/Art Retreats later this year. Please visit our website to join our database so that we may include you and yours in all our artful plans.

Together we can do anything. Let us know how we can bring more art into your lives and the life of your family.

Nancy, Owner and Founder, Art Studio (not just) For Children

416-662-0047 (Visit the website to follow up on Instagram, Facebook & join the mailing lists for future updates).


Local Business Spotlight: Trusted Transitions Fri, 28 Aug 2015 14:36:41 +0000 trusted transitionsMoving is stressful. No matter which way you go – DIY, hire it all out – it is a time consuming, expensive process. And if you’re downsizing, that process is even more complicated as you have to weigh what stays and what goes with you to your new smaller space. For some that means parting with furnishings or heirlooms passed down through family – no small decision.

Trusted Transitions is here to help. They offer detailed planning and guidance through major life changes, executed by experienced Senior Move Managers. The Managers will lead you through the entire process, no matter what the change involves, whether it is relocation, home modification services (de-cluttering, safety measures), estate executor duties and many more related services.

Cathy Smart is the Seniors Move Manager for the Collingwood/Blue Mountains area. Catherine started a consulting company eleven years ago when she and her family moved to Thornbury. She has been able to blend her love for working with people, her organizational skills and her thirty years of experience promoting independence for persons with a disability into many exciting projects within the Grey/Bruce and Simcoe regions including her role at Trusted Transitions.

The Andres and Karen Team has two accredited Seniors Real Estate Specialists (SRES®) on our team. A Seniors Real Estate Specialist® is experienced & knowledgeable in meeting your specific needs and that can make all the difference in the world. As we age, we demand specialists in our health needs, so why not in our housing & equity needs as well? An SRES® brings a customized approach to your situation, working to fit your living situation in with your overall life plan.

If you or a loved one need assistance through a moving process, get in touch with Cathy and our Team to find out how Trusted Transitions & The Andres & Karen Team can provide support.

Catherine Smart

Seniors Move Manager

Trusted Transitions

Collingwood/Blue Mountains Area

705-606-0985 /

Mortgage Tips: Buying & Selling Your Home Tue, 28 Jul 2015 19:09:02 +0000 The real estate market in Southern Georgian Bay is moving along at a brisk pace. Here are some helpful tips from our friends at Mortgage Intelligence/Bayshore Mortgage on preparing for buying/selling a home.So there’s a move in your future. It can be a stressful juggling act: selling one home, buying another. We deal with this all the time, and have some tips for making a smooth move through these two transactions:
  1. Dig up your mortgage papers. You’ll want to begin with the facts on your current mortgage. Find out if it’s portable. If so, you may want to carry your mortgage to your new property: saving you discharge penalties. Are there any conditions to port the mortgage, and if you need more funds, can you blend the rate?
  2. Ask about penalties. If you want to pay out your mortgage, what is the penalty? Sometimes it’s worth paying a penalty for a much lower overall interest rate. I can run the numbers for you.
  3. Find out what your home is worth. Get a market evaluation of your home from your realtor. Understand the costs involved in selling; you’ll want to know how much you will have available to purchase your new home.
  4. Get a mortgage pre-approval for your new home. Know how much you can afford.
  5. Ready to shop. With your realtor, start the business of buying and selling.
  6. Plan your downpayment. If your downpayment funds are coming from the sale of your current home, you’ll need to provide a current mortgage statement and a copy of a fully-executed sale agreement.
  7. Qualify for your mortgage. This will be similar to getting approved the first time, although your employment, credit situation, or lender guidelines may have changed, which means qualifying could be different. I will advise you accordingly.
  8. Bridging any gap. Sometimes the sale of your old house closes after you take possession of the new one. Your lender may be able to provide a short-term bridge loan.
  9. Make a smooth move. And celebrate this important milestone!

Barry Johnston and the team at Bayshore Mortgage can serve all your mortgage needs. They have access to over 50 of Canada’s Top Lending Institutions and can be reached at:

Tel: 519-538-6772
Email: ]]> Ask the Inspector: Building a Deck Fri, 19 Jun 2015 19:41:21 +0000 Here’s some great information from our friends at AmeriSpec Home Inspection Services. Happy deck-building this weekend!

I am thinking of building a deck in my back yard….

Are there alternatives to pressure treated wood for me to consider?

The concerns associated with pressure treated lumber system stem from the chemical Chromated Copper Arsenate (CCA). When applied to wood, CCA protects wood from water, sun and pests, prolonging its functional life. However, arsenic is a known carcinogen and the arsenic in CCA treated wood can be ingested by hand-to-mouth contact after touching the wood or the soil below the wood (which may also contain elevated concentrations of arsenic if the deck has been in place for a long period of time). Children are especially vulnerable while playing on equipment built with CCA treated lumber, since they may have a tendency to put things in their mouths. This is why playground equipment constructed with CCA treated lumber has been replaced in many areas. Although there have not been any direct links between CCA treated wood and arsenic poisoning or cancer, the EPA in a voluntary agreement with the industry began restricting the use of CCA in treated timber for residential and commercial construction in 2004. Existing structures made from CCA treated wood do not need to be removed; however, measures should be taken to protect people (especially children) from the arsenic. A good sealant should be applied to the wood every two to three years to prevent direct contact between the chemicals and any surface that can be easily accessed. If you have any concerns about pressure-treated wood in any existing structures on your property, consult a certified inspector for recommendations.

There are now other types of products on the market that can be used in place of CCA treated lumber. These include pressure-treated wood containing Alkaline Copper Quat (ACQ) or Copper Azole (CBA-A), wood with natural preservatives such as cedar or redwood, or composite materials. Composite materials consist of recycled plastics and wood by-products and are more costly than wood; however, they require much less maintenance and are rot, insect, salt, and weather resistant.

What type of supports should I provide for my deck?

There are many aspects of a deck that should be considered when discussing the structure. These include: joists, beams, post size, supports, spacing, decking thickness, guard/railing height, and spindle spacing. All of these elements, not just supports, work together and are especially important when a deck is high off the ground or supporting large loads.

How is the deck evaluated in a home inspection, and is there any building code to follow?

During a home inspection, the deck is evaluated in terms of safety, rather than code compliance, since the home inspection is not a code inspection. If connections are poor, railings too low, or supports undersized, they are identified as safety issues. In addition to safety and installation guidelines, a home inspection would report on wood rot and deterioration.

It is important to keep in mind that there may be regulations requiring a building permit and/or a code to which the deck must adhere. Determining whether a permit was obtained for construction of the deck as well as code adherence is outside of the scope of a home inspection. To find out if there are regulations in your community regarding building and code of decks, it is best to check with your local authority or lawyer.


Call Us Today!
AmeriSpec of Barrie, Orillia, Muskoka & Collingwood
(705) 722-5876

It’s a HOT market! May 2015 Georgian Triangle Market Report Thu, 07 May 2015 18:26:22 +0000 Southern GBARRoyal LePage Locations North just released its May 2015 Georgian Triangle Market Report, which you can access here. Spring is in the air and the market is really heating up!

If you are thinking about listing your property for sale or looking to make a purchase, please consider interviewing our team to learn more about how we can help you achieve your real estate goals!

Managing The Big Thaw Fri, 10 Apr 2015 14:00:51 +0000 Amerispec Inspection Services sent us the following useful tips on managing the winter thaw. Given the rain we’ve seen this week and warmer temperatures, these are important things to watch out for.



Although it may not seem like it, Spring is coming and all the snow accumulation will eventually melt. The big question is, how can we make sure all that melted snow stays outside and doesn’t make it into the house?

The first step is to take a tour of your property. Make a note of any major snow accumulation, especially around doors and windows and be sure to clear it away before the weather warms. While you’re outside, survey your roof. Note any areas where the snow seems to have melted earlier than other areas, and compared to your neighbours, such as around your chimney or in patches over the roof area. Also check for large icicles and ice dams. These might be problem warm spots in your attic where the insulation has fallen (or been pulled!) away. Take a photo if you can so you can refer to it later.

Continue your tour and look at any other foundation access points to your home, such as venting for your furnace, water heater and dryer. Clear any ice and snow build-up immediately. A blocked vent can add to a build-up of toxic fumes in your home, which you very definitely don’t want. Inspect any caulking around these areas. If it is cracked or missing, you’ll want to take care of it before the snow and ice melts. Cold temperature caulking can be applied in temperatures down to –20 C, so you don’t need to wait. Talk to your hardware store pros and find a good quality product for the job.

You’ll also want to clear away snow buildup around your eavestrough downspouts to ensure quick runoff when the weather warms up.

Back inside, now is the time to take a look at your sump pump and pit. Once Spring hits, the sump pump will be working overtime, so now is a good time to ensure it’s in good working order. Take a flashlight and check the pit to ensure there is no debris that could impede the float. The pit should be very clean. If it isn’t, raise the float to activate the pump and before it refills, clear out anything that has fallen into the pit.

With these few tasks, you’ll keep your home safe from spring water infiltration and keep the headaches to a minimum.

AmeriSpec of Barrie, Orillia, Muskoka & Collingwood
65 Cedar Pointe Dr Suite #479
Barrie, Ont   L4N 9R3
(705) 722-5876
amerispec foot


Turn Your Home On – Red Brick Group Property Solutions Thu, 09 Apr 2015 18:57:45 +0000 redbrickThe smart home has come a long way in the past decade – it used to be as simple as making sure a home had coax cable and telephone lines run throughout during construction – now, we expect, and demand, a whole lot more from our home. And Red Brick Group can deliver that.

Whether you’re building a new home or retrofitting an old one, Red Brick can help you create the secure, smart home you desire. Based right here in Thornbury, husband and wife team Doug Johnston and Carla Nicolson have been providing automation and security systems to clients in the residential market since 2005. Doug is an experienced professional engineer, and Carla holds an MBA in Finance and Marketing. Together they bring a wealth of experience in designing, installing and managing large-scale integrated home projects that deliver on time, on budget and with happy clients.

Red Brick works with architects and contractors, as well as directly with homeowners, for new home builds and older home renovations, and say that options abound for both types of properties. “An older home with an unfinished basement or in the midst of a renovation that removes drywall creates many possibilities for A/V integration,” says Carla Nicolson. “There are also tools like the Nest thermostat that doesn’t require any cutting into walls. In a new build, we can be at the table during the early design phase to ensure our client’s needs are fully addressed every step of the build to the final training on how to use their system.” And if wireless access with your smart phone, tablet or computer is what you want to use for control of your lights, window shades, temperature, televisions, house audio, and more, Red Brick will make it work for you easily and conveniently.   Red Brick will also manage your security services and be your point of contact on an ongoing basis.

Even as their company has grown, Carla and Doug are personally involved in every single project to ensure the quality continues to meet their exacting standards. Most of their business comes from client referrals, as well as the architects, project managers and contractors they’ve built lasting relationships with.

For more information about their services, please visit their website or contact Carla and Doug with the below information.

Red Brick Group Inc.


Three Ontario REALTOR® Associations Integrate MLS® Systems Wed, 08 Apr 2015 17:37:19 +0000 TSouthern GBARhe REALTORS® Associations of Grey-Bruce Owen Sound, Muskoka-Haliburton-Orillia (The Lakelands) and Southern Georgian Bay recently completed the database integration of their respective MLS® Systems providing a combined membership of over 1,500 with the ability to seamlessly search property listings across all three Boards.  The integrated systems are hosted by Millennium Real Estate Solutions, a subsidiary of Lone Wolf Real Estate Technologies.
This project represents a huge benefit for buyers.  It removes the technology-imposed borders that previously restricted property search capabilities of Buyer Representatives to a single Board jurisdiction.  Property Sellers will also benefit, as their listings will now have greater exposure to potential buyers, without the added cost of placing listings on multiple MLS® Systems.
The data integration represents a substantial undertaking for the three participating Associations and Millennium Real Estate Solutions, who performed the integration. Unrestricted access for the REALTOR® members of these Associations now covers a vast area of central Ontario.  The searchable area includes properties in Bruce and Grey Counties, parts of Simcoe County, the District Municipality of Muskoka, Haliburton County and portions of Parry Sound District.  The boundaries include Lake Huron in the west from Point Clark in the South and Tobermory in the North; along the shorelines of Georgian Bay from Tobermory down to Collingwood and back up to Go Home Bay, Sundridge to the north; Wilberforce in Haliburton Highlands to the east, Gamebridge to the south-east of Orillia, with Clearview, Grey Highlands and upper Wellington County to the south.
The Southern Georgian Bay Association of REALTORS® represents close to 500 REALTORS® registered with its member offices.  The geographical area served by the Association includes the Towns of Midland and Penetanguishene, the surrounding communities of Elmvale, Port McNicoll, Victoria Harbour, Coldwater, Port Severn, Honey Harbour and Tiny, Tay, Springwater, Oro-Medonte, Severn and Georgian Bay Townships, Wasaga Beach, Collingwood, Clearview Township, The Blue Mountains, Municipality of Meaford and Grey Highlands.


February 2015 Real Estate Market Activity – Southern Georgian Bay Tue, 17 Mar 2015 16:55:00 +0000

Below is a press release from the Southern Georgian Bay Association of REALTORS® detailing the sales activity in our region in February 2015. Click here to view the full release & comparison charts for February activity.

Southern Georgian Bay home sales post average month of February

Residential sales recorded through the MLS® System of the Southern Georgian Bay Association of REALTORS® came in above year-ago levels in February 2015. Home sales numbered 154 units in February, up 12.4 per cent from the same month in 2014.

The Southern Georgian Bay Association of REALTORS® comprises two distinctive markets. Home sales in the Western District which includes Wasaga Beach, Collingwood, Clearview Township, The Blue Mountains, Municipality of Meaford and Grey Highlands increased 16.3 per cent on a year-over-year basis to 114 units. Home sales in the Eastern District encompassing the Towns of Midland and Penetanguishene, the surrounding communities of Elmvale, Port McNicoll, Victoria Harbour, Coldwater, Port Severn, Honey Harbour and Tiny, Tay, Springwater, Oro-Medonte, Severn and Georgian Bay Townships totaled 40 units in February. This was an increase of 2.6 per cent from last February.

“Home sales came in in line with historical averages in February, marking a bit of a slowdown from the blistering pace of activity we’ve seen since last May,” said Kevin Woolham, President of the Southern Georgian Bay Association of REALTORS®. “That said, the slowdown in sales coincides with a sharp slowdown in new supply and an associated drop in overall supply, so it’s more than likely the moderation in sales is less a story about demand and more a story about how all of a sudden there’s fewer homes being made available for sale.”

The number of new residential listings in February 2015 was 321 units, down 21 per cent from a year earlier. New listings were down in both the Western and Eastern Districts. There were 1,203 active residential listings on the Association’s MLS® System at the end of February 2015, down 25.5 per cent from year-ago levels. There were 7.8 months of inventory at the end of February, down from 11.8 months at the end of February 2014 and the lowest number of months of inventory since 2005.

The value of all residential transactions in February was $46.5 million, up 3.6 per cent from a year earlier. Sales of all types of properties numbered 168 units in February, an increase of 1.8 per cent compared to the same month in 2014. The total value of all properties sold in February 2015 was $51.6 million, up 0.9 per cent from last February.

Encompassing several communities along the shores of southern Georgian Bay, approximately 11⁄2 to 2 hours from the Greater Toronto Area, the area is one of Canada’s premier four season recreational playgrounds.

The Southern Georgian Bay Association of REALTORS® represents close to 500 REALTORS® registered with its member offices. The geographical area served by the Association includes the Towns of Midland and Penetanguishene, the surrounding communities of Elmvale, Port McNicoll, Victoria Harbour, Coldwater, Port Severn, Honey Harbour and Tiny, Tay, Springwater, Oro-Medonte, Severn and Georgian Bay Townships, Wasaga Beach, Collingwood, Clearview Township, The Blue Mountains, Municipality of Meaford and Grey Highlands.

Provided by:

Kevin Woolham, President
Southern Georgian Bay Association of REALTORS®

REALTOR® is a trademark that identifies real estate professionals who are members of The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and, as such, subscribe to a high standard of professional service and to a strict Code of Ethics

Second best year for home sales in Southern Georgian Bay Thu, 08 Jan 2015 01:26:48 +0000 ASouthernGeorgianBayAssociationofREALTORS350.fwn excerpt from the Southern Georgian Bay Association of REALTORS® press release regarding home sales stats for 2014:

Southern Georgian Bay home sales have second best year on record
Residential sales recorded through the MLS® System of the Southern Georgian Bay Association of REALTORS® came in well above year-ago levels in December 2014.
Home sales numbered 160 units in December, up 42.9 per cent from the same month in 2013 and a record for the month. On an annual basis, sales numbered 2,846 units in 2014, up 6.1 per cent on a year-over-year basis. This marked the second best year on record, standing just half of one per cent below the record set back in 2007.

Click here to read the rest of the press release. If you’re not already on our mailing list, visit the main page of the website to receive our newsletter in a few weeks with our review of 2014 and look forward to 2015.

Renting out your home this Winter? What you need to know about Insurance Fri, 12 Dec 2014 16:05:42 +0000 Ski season is upon us and many homeowners in Collingwood and The Blue Mountains decide to rent out their chalet or home for the season. Did you know that many insurance carriers either limit coverage or do not offer a policy at all when you rent out your property?

Noble Insurance sent us some information we thought was valuable on an Insurance Program they offer specifically for this purpose. We talked to Julianne Cornfield, a Broker at Noble Insurance, about what this program offers.

“The home and/or condo package that we have designed does not limit any regular home insurance features; in fact, it adds additional coverage for damage caused by tenants and rental income protection,” says Julianne. “We offer this specific exclusive coverage through Gore Mutual for both home and condos.”

It’s important to protect your interests when renting out your property, whether through a security deposit or proper insurance.

If you’d like more information about this policy, please contact Julianne directly at or 705-443-5592. You can also view the brochure here.

Collingwood Holiday House Tour – November 15-16 Fri, 07 Nov 2014 15:43:52 +0000 The third annual Collingwood Holiday House Tour is almost here! Sponsored by our brokerage, Royal LePage Locations North, this year our team is proud to also be sponsoring the event, and we’ll be hosting one of the 8 beautiful homes on the Tour. CHHT-logo

Tickets are still available – here’s what your $30 ticket gets you:

  • Visit 8 stunning homes in the Collingwood & Blue Mountains area
  • Attend morning design seminars with complimentary refreshments both days
  • Silent Auction to support Our Friend’s House
  • Fashion Show
  • Holiday Marketplace

Plus, a portion of the ticket proceeds will benefit local charities. So – what are you waiting for?

A full list of ticket outlets is available on the event’s website –

We hope to see you on the Tour! Also, check out the current issue of Our Homes Magazine to see the feature profile on our own Karen Willison’s home, which tied for first place as the favourite home on last year’s Tour! christmas

Apple Harvest Festival in The Blue Mountains Thu, 09 Oct 2014 01:22:24 +0000 fall-trail Thanksgiving is a blast in The Blue Mountains. There is so much to see and do, not to mention turkey, mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie….mmmm….and apples! It is the heart of apple season right now and so don’t miss an opportunity to get out and enjoy the season’s bounty at the Apple Harvest Festival. Taking place Saturday-Monday at Blue Mountain Village, Thornbury & Clarksburg, there are great activities for the family including horse & wagon rides, balloon twisting and face painting; apple picking at The Farmer’s Pantry is a must-do; plus there is live music on the main street in Thornbury and in the Village.

If you haven’t already, visit a few stops on our award-winning Apple Pie Trail, explore the new Cedar Grove Labyrinth and meet some of our local artists on the Blue Mountains Studio Tour of the Arts. Phew! That’s a lot to do. We hope to see you out and about enjoying the Fall Colours!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!apple harvest

Enjoy the Arts this Fall in Southern Georgian Bay Wed, 24 Sep 2014 18:32:47 +0000 fall-mill-creekSouthern Georgian Bay is home to a large and diverse artists community – from watercolour to ironworks to photography, wonderful crafters of fine art, objects and more surround us. There are studio tours taking place throughout the year but Fall in particular plays host to a number of them. They are a lovely opportunity to step inside the artist’s studio, perhaps learn about a different medium or experience and purchase art from someone in your local community.

Here is a round up of several tours taking place between now and Thanksgiving weekend. We have taken in the Blue Mountains Tour in and around Thornbury and Clarksburgmany times but this year perhaps will head further afield and experience another artist community.

Collingwood Art Crawl
September 27
Saugeen Autumn Leaves Studio Tour
October 3-5
Creemore Festival of the Arts
October 4-5
Contact: or
Meaford Apple Harvest Craft Show
October 4-5
Escarpment Studio Tour
October 10-12
Contact: 519-794-0365
Blue Mountains Studio Tour of the Arts
Oct 11-13

 art tour

National Post profile – Cabin in the Woods Sat, 20 Sep 2014 19:00:00 +0000 Our rustic ‘Cabin in the Woods’ listing in Kolapore (The Blue Mountains) featured in the National Post!

Click here for more details about this listing, or contact us to learn more or arrange a showing.


Municipal Land Transfer Tax a Threat to Home Ownership Sat, 20 Sep 2014 17:43:15 +0000 The Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA) is launching Phase 2 of their campaign against municipal land transfer taxes (MLTT). Currently when you buy a home in Ontario, you will pay a Provincial Land Transfer Tax. Municipalities have been lobbying the Government of Ontario for a new source of revenue through a MLTT. Currently the only city in the Province that has this additional Land Transfer Tax is the City of Toronto – and the potential spread of this tax could threaten home ownership dreams by adding another large expense to the closing costs when buying a home.

Municipal elections are nearing in cities and towns throughout the province including here in the The Blue Mountains & Collingwood, and it’s worth your time to investigate a candidate and party’s position on imposing a MLTT in your town. In addition to this, you can visit the OREA website – – for more information and a form letter you can submit to your local candidates to have your voice heard.

National Post Profile – Blue Mountains Chalet Sun, 17 Aug 2014 03:06:05 +0000 We were thrilled to have one of our listings profiled in the National Post last weekend! Click here to read about this beautiful custom-built chalet on Arrowhead Road in the Blue Mountains. Located at the base of Alpine Ski Club and close to everything the Blue Mountains and Collingwood have to offer, this is a luxurious home away from home that would make a wonderful four-season retreat. To view this listing click here or contact us for more information.

Favourite Restaurants & Pubs Fri, 08 Aug 2014 03:41:31 +0000 Azzurra

Bruce Wine Bar

Bridges Tavern

The Dam Pub

Sisi’s Trattoria

The Mill Cafe


Area Attractions Fri, 08 Aug 2014 03:21:20 +0000 Georgian Hills Vineyards
496350 Grey Road 2
Blue Mountains 519-599-2255

Coffin Ridge Vineyard & Winery
599448 Concession Road 2 N
Annan 519-371-9565

Free Spirit

Scenic Caves

Blue Mountain Village

Plunge! Aquatic Centre

Cedar Grove Labyrinth

Kolapore Springs

Clarksburg Farmers Market

Collingwood Farmers Market

Meaford Farmers Market

Creemore Farmers Market

Thornbury, Ontario

Clarksburg, Ontario

Blue Mountain Village

Visit Georgian Bay

Ski Clubs Fri, 08 Aug 2014 02:56:49 +0000 Local Ski Clubs

Georgian Bay Ski Club

Alpine Ski Club

Craigleith Ski Club

Osler Ski Club

Blue Mountain Resort

Golf Courses Fri, 08 Aug 2014 02:53:06 +0000 Georgian Bay

Lora Bay


Osler Brook


Municipal Links & Reources Fri, 08 Aug 2014 02:48:17 +0000 Town of Collingwood

Town of The Blue Mountains

Town of Meaford

Grey County

Simcoe County

Clearview Township

Restore our Water Levels – Important Event Thu, 07 Aug 2014 16:35:38 +0000 As you may know, the Great Lakes Water levels have been in decline for several years. Georgian Bay is no different; and we firmly believe in the importance of organizations such as Restore Our Water International, Stop the Drop and others who are dedicated to advocating for our Bays and Lakes so they are here for future generations to enjoy & for the wildlife who depend on them. 

Below is an invitation from Restore Our Water International to an information event on August 16th that we thought would be of interest to you. 

Attend a Special Meeting on Saturday Aug 16, 8AM Thornbury,
OR Saturday August 16, 4PM, Collingwood

YES WE CAN with your help!

Water levels are up, but the wolf is still at the door

Continued work is required to get our governments to finally meet the terms of their outstanding agreement to restore Georgian Bay water levels.

We still have a crisis of water levels on Georgian Bay. The record precipitation does not end the problem. The potential crisis can be avoided.

-why the 2014 water level ‘increase’ is a blip
-the man-made causes of reduced water levels
-solutions proposed by ROWI, the International Joint Commission and others
-latest progress in Washington
-next steps towards action
-how you can help

SATURDAY AUG 16 AT: Harbourside Pavilion, Thornbury Harbour, 8-9AM 
ph 519-599-3131 Ext 254 
SATURDAY, Aug 16 AT: Mountain Springs Resort & Conference Centre, 4-5PM 
796468 Grey Road 19 (Beside Toronto Ski Club)
ph 705-606-1452                     

HOST: ROWI (Restore Our Water International) a group of US and Canadian volunteers committed to saving the middle Great Lakes for future generations
SPEAKER: Roger Gauthier, Chair, ROWI.
MORE INFORMATION: Joe Hayward ph 705-443-8684  or click on the email icon below

It can be done, and we have the strongest international team to convince governments to do it. We must do this for our children, grandchildren and all the wildlife that depends on the Great Lakes.

We want you to be there. If you can not, you can help ROWI to convince the governments to act on the latest IJC recommendations by sending your contribution to:

Sierra Club Canada Foundation, Great Lakes Section,
One Nicholas Street, Suite 1510
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
K1N 7B7

Americans can now donate to ROWI and receive an IRA tax receipt by donating to the Tides Foundation and indicating the funds are for ROWI. Please contact Mary Muter for the form for Tides US donations.
Talisman Resort gets new lease on life Tue, 13 May 2014 17:40:23 +0000 talisman-mountain-resortNews reports yesterday confirmed the great news that Talisman Resort in the Grey Highlands has been sold to a new ownership group. The resort closed in 2011 and has since fallen into disrepair; the Township of Grey Highlands did take it over when no buyer could be found, however we are thrilled to hear the resort will be given new life. The new ownership group is headed up by Brian Ellis, a real estate developer with over 30 years experience, and plans are underway to revitalize the resort as a hotel and conference centre, complete with a spa and there are also plans to refurbish the golf course. Work will be started immediately and opening is tentatively scheduled for Spring 2015.

It is great to know that Talisman Resort will have a future again, and this new hotel and conference centre will most certainly have a positive impact on our region’s economy, including tourism dollars and job creation.

Click here for the CTV Barrie story.

Click here for the Owen Sound Sun Times story.

Home sales down, new listings rebound in April Wed, 07 May 2014 18:46:53 +0000 SouthernGeorgianBayAssociationofREALTORSClick here to read the full press release from the Southern Georgian Bay Association of REALTORS® on the state of the real estate market in April 2014.

In addition to the press release, here is the Performance Record and the Market Statistics Overview for a more detailed overview of the ‘Western District’ made up of Wasaga Beach, Collingwood, Clearview Township, The Blue Mountains, Municipality of Meaford and Grey Highlands.

Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions about these statistics.

Celebrate Spring with Two Outstanding Festivals in the Woods Tue, 29 Apr 2014 19:06:21 +0000 Screen Shot 2014-04-29 at 2.34.20 PM

We have been waiting, and waiting, and waiting for Spring, all through this incredibly long, drawn out winter that saw snow falling in Thornbury on APRIL 26th!!!!! The nicer weather has to be coming soon, and with that the start of many wonderful outdoor events in the Blue Mountains area over the next few months.

Two of these Spring events happen to fall on the same day this year which means you’ll have some decision-making to do – but both offer an incredible opportunity to celebrate local food, local food makers and the awe-inspiring bounty Mother Nature provides. These events – Feast in the Forest and Eigensinn Farm’s Wild Leek & Maple Syrup Festival – take place May 25th and if you have figured out how to be in two places at once, do it.

Feast in the Forest is in its third year and promises to be better than ever. Held at the Kolapore Springs Fish Hatchery in the heart of the Kolapore Uplands, this event features local ingredients prepared by some of the best talent our area has to offer, including chefs from Bruce Wine Bar, Simplicity Bistro, Cabin Bistro, The Cheese Gallery, The Tremont Café and more. Stroll through the woods as you enjoy treats & libations as well as music from some of our many talented local musicians including Romney Getty and Strange Potatoes.

Only 150 tickets will be sold to this event so you’ll want to get yours soon – $110 plus tax is the price of admission, and this year’s ‘Feast’ is held in support of Elephant Thoughts and Beaver Valley Outreach, two local organizations that support their communities as well as global initiatives.

Visit to purchase tickets or call 705-606-1377.

The Wild Leek and Maple Syrup Festival is held at Eigensinn Farm, the home of acclaimed chef Michael Stadtländer. Each year he invites many of his chef colleagues to his farm in Singhampton to herald the arrival of spring and the start of foraging season. Guests wander through the woods and are treated to food prepared by chefs from Böehmer, Rose & Sons, Drake Hotel, Oyster Boy and of course Michael Stadtländer himself!

Tickets are $160, and it’s a ‘bring your own glass/plate/cutlery/booze’ affair from 1-4pm. For tickets call 519-922-3128.

Both events are sure to sell out quickly so be sure to get your tickets ASAP!

Local Builder Black Tusk draws inspiration from Frank Lloyd Wright, West Coast Mon, 31 Mar 2014 19:31:46 +0000 Black_Tusk_4You’ll have to look west for the inspiration behind Black Tusk Development Group’s custom homes. Just south of Whistler, BC in Garibaldi State Park you’ll find Black Tusk Mountain. This imposing mountain appears, at first glance, a very challenging climb; but when it is broken down into small parts is achievable. This mirrors the Black Tusk team’s approach to home building & design, breaking the project down into smaller pieces and integrating custom design from the very start of the build all the way through to the finish, keeping the final summit in mind at all times.

Owners Bill Brown and Barb Patton-Brown are a husband and wife team based in The Blue Mountains. Bill brings 30 years experience, both in BC and Ontario, in architectural design and planning to every custom home project, and Barb excels at managing each project down to the smallest detail, in addition to providing interior design planning & execution services to all of their clients. Black Tusk operates out of the couple’s Craftsman style custom home they built in Lora Bay back in 2008.

Black Tusk homes are known for flowing design and use of natural light, owing in part to their being inspired by the practice of Frank Lloyd Wright. Bill and Barb’s 2,500 square foot home is no exception, with an open concept main floor offering numerous thoughtful design elements, such as the double-sided wood burning stone & timber fireplace, the reclaimed hemlock wood wall in the dining room and the live edge Cherry bar in the kitchen.

Bill & Barb are also clients of ours, having recently listed their home for sale with us as they prepare to build a smaller home within the Lora Bay community. We recently sat down with them to get a better understanding of their business and approach to home building in Southern Georgian Bay.

 1.     Tell us about your approach to new home design in Southern Georgian Bay right now.
Our approach is client based – all of our work is custom.  We provide a design & service that fits their unique & personal lifestyle.  Our first designs were mainly centered around the weekend family home (summer & winter) essentially 3200 square feet and larger that would potentially become a retirement home for them in later years.  We still do a number of these homes however we are getting more requests for a smaller bungalow style home with a little more emphasis on full-time.  It still functions as a weekend retreat and can host family but with a smaller footprint & high level of finish – less cost to build & maintain. A home with a smaller footprint uses fewer materials & is friendlier to the environment (less materials, less waste & uses a smaller carbon footprint).  To design that smaller home with all the same functionality requires experience & skill.  It is more difficult to design a smaller home than a larger home.
 2.     What sets Black Tusk apart?
Our design skills – we understand our clients well & find creative solutions to their unique design needs. Our attention to detail is acute we are truly a ‘concept to completion’ design build firm.
3.     Where does your inspiration come from?
A number of places & people.  Frank Lloyd Wright – functional spaces, quality materials & use of local materials.  William Krisel – scale, site orientation, windows, light.  Travel – Palm Springs is a treasure trove of good design & interesting use of materials.  Also BC & the West Coast  – we want to combine the lifestyle of the west coast with the sensibilities & climate in Ontario.
4.     Why are you moving? What can we expect in your next home?
To downsize – we don’t require quite so much space. Our next home will be a bungalow (approx. 1800 SF) with some modern twists, creative details & include a 4-season room.  We continue to learn & grow as Designers. We are thrilled to be able to build again in Lora Bay & we are excited about a new family purchasing our home to begin their traditions & memories.

Visit for more information about Black Tusk Development Group.

For more information about this home for sale, please view the listing or contact us today to arrange a showing.

Black Tusk Custom Builder Collingwood Blue Mountain

Home Inspection Service offering 30-Day Home Warranty Plan Thu, 13 Mar 2014 19:39:58 +0000 Slide1We recently wrote about expected changes to the regulation of the home inspection industry. Well, we’re back on the subject of home inspections again, but this time with an offer to share with you.

A home inspection is one of the most crucial elements in the purchase/sale of any home. A GOOD, thorough home inspection can alert you to any repairs or issues with the home that you should be aware of BEFORE completing the purchase so there aren’t any ‘surprises’ when you take possession. There is also something very valuable in the peace of mind you will get from a third-party review of the home with no bias or emotional investment to help guide you in this significant investment.


We work with several quality home inspectors on a regular basis that we can recommend to our clients as needed/requested. One of those home inspection services that we have heard consistently positive feedback from clients about is AmeriSpec Home Inspection Service. Based in Barrie, this branch of the Canada-wide company has been in business since 1998 and offers a visual inspection of over 400 items including the foundation, roof, and structural components, plus visible electrical, plumbing and mechanical operating systems of the property, culminating in a detailed evaluation post-inspection.

AmeriSpec is currently offering a free 30-day Home Warranty Plan that buyers can use when they close on their home.

Coverage includes:

  • Central heating & cooling systems
  • Interior electricity system
  • Interior plumbing system
  • Refrigerator
  • Stove & oven
  • Dishwasher & more.

Contact AmeriSpec directly to take advantage of this offer – and if possible please reference us, Andres Paara & Karen Willison, as the source of the referral. In our business, the referral means everything to us – a happy client is our best form of marketing. So please always remember that we are never too busy for you, and never too busy for your referrals!

AmeriSpec Home Inspection Service

Active Life: Coach Based Conditioning a Recipe for Success Thu, 06 Mar 2014 00:38:08 +0000 active life image

Many clients looking to purchase recreational or retirement properties in our area ask us about how well ‘serviced’ we are in Collingwood & The Blue Mountains. We likely overwhelm them with our answer; going on at length about the wonderful restaurants, specialty shops, spas, and fashion retailers we are lucky enough to be surrounded with.

One area that is of particular interest for both our clients and us is maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle, wherever we are – at home, or our home away from home. Up here that often means outdoor activities, of which there are plenty – skiing & snowshoeing in the winter, kayaking, swimming, hiking and running in the summer – but how do we stay in shape for these sports? And what happens in the off season(s)?

This is where Active Life Conditioning comes in.  Founded by Sarah Applegarth in 2001, this not your average gym. This Training Centre facility works on a coach-based system to help all their clients meet their fitness goals. You won’t find a room full of people running on treadmills at Active Life – rather you’ll find a packed schedule of high energy, small sized conditioning classes where your particular needs and goals are assessed and there is plenty of opportunity for one-on-one attention from the coach. Active Life currently has a roster of 12 coaches and works with a variety of clients ranging from Olympians to those looking to improve their general health and wellness.

Owner Sarah Applegarth, MSc, R.Kin, CSCS is an exercise physiologist who specializes in monitoring a coach based training system. Sarah was ahead of the curve in 2001 with her business model; coach-based conditioning like CrossFit and BootCamps taking off across North America in the past decade. Active Life works with everyone from elite athletes to average folks like us, and is dedicated to helping each and every client meet their fitness and healthy lifestyle goals. The facility offers group conditioning, youth conditioning, yoga, seniors programs and CrossFit in addition to one-on-one training. Youth Summer Camps are also available.

Our team’s firsthand experience working out at Active Life has been incredibly positive. The coaches are motivational, and the small class sizes offer an opportunity to really let your coach get to know you and your personal challenges and goals, which leaves you with a much more rewarding fitness experience.

One other thing we love about Active life is the membership structure – or lack thereof. The commitment period is session based vs. annual membership, so you sign up for your desired class for an 8 week period, and then you renew from there as it fits your schedule. For even more flexibility Active Life has introduced Sampler Packs, a drop-in option for people with schedules that don’t allow them to commit to one day/class. This set up is well suited to many of our clients who may spend one or two seasons here, or are here part-time.

To complement their training facility, Active Life has also expanded to include Physiotherapy, Chiropractor and Athletic Therapy services.

Active Life is currently located in the Cranberry Mews Plaza on Highway 26 in Collingwood; however the business has seen such great success in its four years in this location they are on the lookout for a larger space that would allow for a proper entranceway and lounge area as well as a more comfortable Yoga/ Pilates studio, treatment rooms and some outdoor green space.

Their units in Cranberry Mews are now available for lease; if you or someone you know is interested in the retail space or knows of space available for Active Life to grow into, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Click here to view the listing.

Royal LePage’s new mobile app breaks industry barriers Thu, 27 Feb 2014 20:09:29 +0000 20140227_C7786_PHOTO_EN_37208

Royal LePage today announced the launch of the new Royal LePage mobile app (currently available for iPhone, iPad, iTouch, etc.) for Canadian house hunters.

The Draw-and-Search feature allows you to select the geographic region you’d like to search simply by drawing a circle (or square, or triangle I suppose) around the area of interest, and it will populate only the listings within that area. We’ve taken a quick look and it seems to work VERY well, and the search results are clean, easy to read and  very user-friendly. You also have the option to save searches and have the app update you when new listings appear within your selected area.

Click here to read the full announcement or better yet, download the app and take it for a test drive!

Cedar Grove Labyrinth – Good for the mind, body & soul Fri, 14 Feb 2014 17:54:30 +0000 lab-largeDid you know: Walking a labyrinth has been proven to help children living with a cognitive deficit such as ADD or ADHD to significantly improve their behaviour over time? This is just one of the many benefits of a labyrinth, which we learned thanks to The Blue Mountain Women of 12, an impressive group of women in the Blue Mountains who have come together to make the Cedar Grove Labyrinth of Thornbury a reality.

While we never would have thought of a Labyrinth as anything more than a decorative ‘nice-to-have’, there are apparently many benefits and modern day uses to Labyrinths, which have been around for more than 3,000 years. Some of their uses include: in hospitals, to relieve stress and aid in rehabilitation, staff, recovering patients and their visitors walk labyrinths. Community groups and retreat centres use labyrinths for meditation, reflection, and exercise. School labyrinths can serve as an activity zone for students. They can stimulate creative thinking and problem solving, and act as a tool for conflict resolution.

The site is located off the Georgian Trail behind Pipers Sports Bar & Grill nestled among the cedars on what was formerly the Bayview Park Campground. The 55 foot diameter labyrinth is intended to be a space that is welcoming, aesthetically pleasing to the eye and brings community together naturally. Universal design has been incorporated, meaning the Labyrinth is accommodating to wheelchair users, persons who use walkers and families with strollers. It is also entirely free of charge!

The estimated completion date for the project is Spring 2014.

According to the group’s Vice-Chair Catherine Smart, these like-minded women came together specifically for this project, and are actively seeking support for the project – their target is to raise $35,000 to fully fund the first phase of the Cedar Grove Labyrinth, which includes construction of the labyrinth itself (Phase 2 will add additional landscaping elements, signage entry structure, etc.). The group has raised $17,000 to-date but needs further support (monetary and in-kind donations welcome) from sponsors and the community to complete the project.

We live, work and play in The Blue Mountains, and are always thrilled to learn of new initiatives, businesses and services that make our community a better place to live and visit. The Cedar Grove Labyrinth would definitely do just that, and we are proud that our brokerage, Royal LePage Locations North, is a sponsor of this worthy project.

If you’d like to learn more about The Cedar Grove Labyrinth and/or lend your support please visit

Property for Sale in South Georgian Bay Makes for Perfect Vacation (or Permanent) Homes Mon, 21 Oct 2013 14:00:05 +0000 Property for Sale in South Georgian Bay Makes for Perfect Vacation (or Permanent) Homes

The number of Baby Boomers nearing and entering retirement age has heavy implications in many real estate markets – particularly those markets that also happen to be popular vacation spots. None is a better example of the exploding demand and responsive development than the South Georgian Bay of Ontario.

The property for sale in this area, which includes Blue Mountains, Meaford, Collingwood, and surrounding locales, is set to increase dramatically over the next few years as developers strive to meet the anticipating, and already existing, demand that not only the retiring Baby Boomers, but even some younger home buyers, are putting on the marketplace. But why is this area so special?

Property for sale in the South Georgian Bay area offers the benefits of living in a holiday area all year round. But unlike other holiday destinations, this area changes throughout the year, offering natural outdoor activities, not to mention beauty, suitable for every age and personality.

In the warmer months, wide and well-kept golf courses provide access to sporting fun. Numerous hiking trails of various difficulties, along with perfect opportunities for kayaking in the picturesque landscape of the Georgian Bay and surrounding water bodies, will be more than enough to fill the appetite of any outdoor enthusiast.

But the colder months are what this area is truly famous for. The largest and best ski slopes of Ontario can be found here around Blue Mountains. Since this area has been attracting visitors for decades, it is sensible that some retirees are looking at property for sale here for their retirement living.

The South Georgian Bay is currently set to undergo a wide-scale residential development, supplemented by sufficient commercial development to meet the needs of new residents. For anyone considering this area as a retirement location, vacation getaway, or even an earlier permanent move, there has never been a better time than now to start taking action. Contact Andres Paara & Karen Willison of Royal LePage Locations North for information on opportunities for your new home!

Houses for Sale in Ontario Offer Year-Round Activities Mon, 23 Sep 2013 14:00:35 +0000 Houses for Sale in Ontario Offer Year-Round Activities

The South Georgian Bay, particularly in the areas of Collingwood, Thornbury, Blue Mountains, and Meaford, may be the perfect place for those looking for houses for sale in a relaxing yet engaging atmosphere.

Located in Ontario, the South Georgian Bay is a popular destination for vacationers year-round. In the summer, the area offers numerous golf courses and clubs, the famous Wasaga Beach, water sports such as kayaking, and beautiful hiking trails with breathtaking views.

In the winter, the popular Blue Mountain ski resort currently offers 36 trails and is set to soon further expand by six trails over 64 acres. This addition is part of a greater overall expansion that the area is currently experiencing, and the number of houses for sale is set to also increase as building development commences. Over 3,000 new homes are planned over the next ten years in the Blue Mountain area alone.

Realtors and developers in the South Georgian Bay are currently taking bids and forming contracts for those interested in making the area their home. Those who come early will benefit greatly, as the price of new properties and houses for sale here is currently greatly reduced.

Offering activities for every season and combining rural relaxation with the comforts of being close enough to town, this Ontario region may provide just what many prospective home buyers are searching for: a great place to find a new home in an engaging environment for a more than reasonable price.

Home Selling – Helping you prepare your home for sale Thu, 19 Sep 2013 13:54:33 +0000 Record July for Georgian Triangle Home Sales Thu, 29 Aug 2013 10:05:18 +0000 Residential sales recorded through the MLS® System of the Georgian Triangle Association of REALTORS® came in well above levels from a year earlier in July 2013.

Home sales numbered 205 units in July 2013, up 22 per cent from a year earlier.

“Housing demand has been on the rise in recent months, and is now sitting at record levels,” said Andres Paara, President of the Georgian Triangle Association of REALTORS®. “Not only was it a record for the month of July, it was actually the third best sales figure for any month in history.”

A total of 1,092 homes have traded hands so far this year. This stands six per cent ahead of the sales in the same period of 2012, and remains on track to be the best year on record.

New residential listings numbered 426 units in July 2013, up six per cent from a year earlier.

There were 1,615 active residential listings on the Association’s MLS® System at the end of July 2013, down 10 per cent from year-ago levels. Inventories have been declining steadily since peaking in late 2011.

There were 7.9 months of inventory at the end of July, down from 10.7 months at the end of July 2012. The number of months of inventory is the number of months it would take to sell current inventories at the current rate of sales activity.

The value of all residential transactions in July was $61 million, up 17 per cent from a year earlier. This was an all-time record – the first time that the dollar value of homes sold through the MLS® System of the Georgian Triangle Association of REALTORS® has ever topped the $60 million mark.

Sales of all types of properties numbered 227 units in July, an increase of 22 per cent compared to the same month in 2012. The total value of all properties sold in July 2013 was $67.4 million, rising 17 per cent from last July.

The Georgian Triangle Association of REALTORS® represents more than 350 REALTORS® registered with its member offices. The geographical area served by the Association covers the area known as the Georgian Triangle region of Ontario, and includes Clearview Township, Wasaga Beach, Collingwood, The Blue Mountains, Grey Highlands and Municipality of Meaford.


Provided by:

real estate agent andres paara

Andres Paara,

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