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Greetings to the many thousands of readers over the past month from across Canada and the United States, as well as countries including the United Kingdom, Russia, Germany, France, India, Australia, Japan, the Ukraine, Mexico, Romania and the Netherlands.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Cottage real estate market in Ontario warms up for 2015

A piece of paradise in Ontario cottage country
Toronto --  Families who are researching a vacation property purchase this year should put the Spring Cottage Life Show on their list of events to attend. It all happens March 27-29, 2015 at The International Centre, Mississauga, ON.

There are bargains in cottage country, but you have to know where to look to find a piece of paradise.  This one-stop shopping event will provide an opportunity to speak to more than 100 realtors and developers representing thousands of recreational and waterfront properties.

Canadian bank economists’ analysis for 2015 is positive in that it suggests the existing employment rate of under 7% reflects health in the labour market as retirees exit the work force.

This also means a shift in existing baby boomer real estate holdings in urban centres as they downsize to more manageable condos in city centres, or move out of the city to areas that offer full services, but in a smaller community.  Cottage country may, for some, be considered as a new year-round housing and recreation option.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Celebrating International Day of Happiness: Everything is awesome – when you’re on vacation‏

(News Release)

TORONTO -- Across the globe, people are celebrating International Day of Happiness today (March 20). And, if there is one thing that most Canadians can agree on, it’s that a well-timed vacation almost always makes them feel happier.

Expedia.ca polled Canadians to learn just how important vacations really are to their overall health and happiness. Not surprisingly, the results showed that 80 per cent of Canadians associate vacationing with their overall happiness. In fact, when compared to other experiences eliciting happiness such as finding money (16 per cent), or receiving a tax refund (13 per cent), vacationing was chosen by 48 per cent of respondents as number one for generating happiness.

And, as it turns out, most Canadians (90 per cent) are willing to make some pretty significant sacrifices just to get their hands on a few more days of relaxation. For example, for one additional vacation day a year, Canadians would give up the following for an entire week:

o   56% would give up video games
o   46% would give up alcohol
o   45% would part with their favourite outfit
o   44% would give up chocolate
o   43% would go without television
o   36% would be willing to give up their cell phone / smartphone
o   36% would be willing to give up coffee
In the spirit of pursuing happiness, why not take a few minutes this Friday to do more than just daydream about putting those vacation days to good use. 

Would-be travellers interested in a spontaneous getaway to spark some bliss can visit Expedia.ca for sales and last-minute offers to destinations around the globe. Right now, Expedia.ca is hosting a Las Vegas Sale* and a Europe Sale**, both boasting up to 50% off your stay at countless hotels when you bundle flight and hotel together. 
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Sweet taste of spring awaits in Ontario’s Lake Country and Springwater maple syrup region



   One-Tank Trip for March 21/15

   (c) By Jim Fox

   How sweet it is.
   The sap is running after a long, cold winter and predictions are for a great maple syrup season across southern Ontario.
   They’re “Tapping into Maple” in Ontario’s Lake Country and Springwater that takes in Orillia, Oro-Medonte, Rama, Ramara and Severn, north of Barrie.
   This touring program involves 29 “maple destinations” for that “quintessential Canadian flavour” through May31,” said Jennifer Whitley, marketing manager.
Tom Shaw demonstrates the pail method of collecting sap. (Jim Fox photo)

The ROM's Around 1914: Design in a New Age has been extended until Oct. 12, 2015



TORONTO -- The ROM's original exhibition Around 1914: Design in a New Age was scheduled to close late this month. However, the showcase of the design and decorative arts created around the period of the Museum's 1914 opening is now extended until Monday, October 12, 2015.
 
Around 1914 is displayed in the Museum’s Level 3 Samuel European Galleries. It features over 100 objects from the ROM’s renowned European Decorative Art collection, including works by the era’s key designers and critically and historically renowned craftsmen, such as Christopher Dresser, Charles Rennie Mackintosh, Archibald Knox, Louis Comfort Tiffany, Frank Lloyd Wright, Emile Gallé, Carlo Bugatti, Georg Jensen, Otto Wagner, and Josef Hoffmann.

Wake from your winter slumber and experience a true Polar Rush at Horseshoe Resort


BARRIE, ONTARIO-March 20, 2015-Everyone remembers the fun of playing in the snow! As winter draws to an end, there are lots of opportunities to enjoy the snow with warmer temperatures, in a fun environment.
 Polar Rush, the most exhilarating snowy obstacle event and a rush unlike any other is a five kilometer run through twelve-plus obstacles. Obstacles will include: wall climbs, crazy carpets, tube runs, snow crawls and snowball tosses.
Taking place at Horseshoe Resort, a Skyline Resort, from 10am-4pm on March 21, 2015, the event also includes an after party with DJ’s, a beer garden and bonfires. The twist on the typical mud event will also feature a bonfire after party and the ultimate kick-off to spring.

March Break fun continues at the Toronto Zoo




Special daily activities (10am to 2pm) and extended operating hours

March Break isn't over yet,  join us for animal adventures! 
Bring the kids to the Zoo this March Break for our Enrichment Extravaganza. Build enrichment items for our animals, big or small, then catch special animal enrichment demonstrations, Keeper Talks, animal encounters and more!
FREE with Zoo admission.
 
Build Animal Enrichment
10:00am to 2:00pm, Education Auditorium
Help us build animal enrichment items, big and small, for our Zoo animals!

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Almost time to head back to the lake with the Spring Cottage Life Show



    One-Tank Trip for March 14/15

   (c) By Jim Fox

   A sure sign of spring is the return of the Cottage Life Show to help shake off the remnants of a tough winter.
   There’s pent-up anticipation to get back to the cottage, chalet, lake house, cabin in the woods or whatever it’s called.
   The show, from March 27 to 29 at the International Centre in Mississauga, will attract 33,000 cottage doers and dreamers.
Cisco watches the sun set on another day at the cottage on Bass Lake. (Jim Fox photo)
   Along with seeing what’s for sale and the range of prices, the show has everything a cottager could ever need or want.
   “There’s an abundance of boats, docks, decks, water toys and paddle sports along with more than 550 exhibitors, plus exciting and informative feature areas and seminars,” said publicist Peggy Sheffield.

   An artist’s retreat
   The furnished model cottage on display is an open-concept, two-bedroom space with floor-to-ceiling windows.
   From Canada Builds, it will be installed on an island near Honey Harbour on Georgian Bay for landscape artist John Visser and David Hopper.
   Then, there’s the “ultimate cottage garage,” whether that’s a boathouse, toolshed, workshop or any outbuilding from Gladiator GarageWorks.

   Don’t try this at the cottage
Colourful Muskoka chairs line the dock awaiting the return of cottagers to Ontario’s lakes.
   Straight from Brojects, a Cottage Life TV series featuring brothers Kevin and Andrew Buckles, will be stories of their crazy building projects.
   Some include a floating hot-tub with outboard motor and a chair-and-waterski combo for those who want to sit back and take it all in while blasting around the lake. Viewer discretion is advised.
   Also on the main stage will be the stars of Colin and Justin’s Cabin Pressure discussing their latest cottage renovation project.
   Over at the Cottage Workshop, Wayne Lennox will be building a kid-sized picnic table.

   It costs how much?
   Show-goers can do some cottage shopping without leaving the city.
   For anyone looking for land to build on, a turnkey cottage or cozy cabin ready to renovate, there’s the Scotiabank Cottage Real Estate Centre.
   That’s where cottagers-to-be can meet with more than 100 realtors, comparison shop and learn about financing options.
   Realtor Rob Serediuk, host of What’s For Sale, a house-hunting show set in cottage country, will lead his Cottage Real Estate Quiz Show.

   Exhibitors galore
Kids can learn how to fish from conservation officers at the Spring Cottage Life Show.
   With so many exhibitors, there’s every topic a cottager could ever want covered.
   Along with all the sports and watercraft, there are “endless decor options,” indoor and outdoor furniture, art and gifts.
   For those building a retreat, there are “hundreds of experts” in cottage projects and renovations, timber framing and log-cabin building.
   There are also many innovative products and services for waterfront and rural properties including septic systems, water treatment, off-grid and green-energy solutions, and internet services to get away from it all while staying connected.

   Just for kids
   Are we there yet? Kids can enjoy the Family Activity Centre with nature-themed crafts and a camping zone.
   The Tree Planting Zone lets kids prepare a white spruce seedling to take home and plant.
   The Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources & Forestry has a display featuring fish tanks, a casting simulator, nature-themed activities and fire safety colouring book. Kids can also visit with critters in the Cottage Wildlife Centre.
   In partnership with Camp Mini-Yo-We, there are two hours of free “child minding” for youngsters aged two to 12.

   Sip and sample
   The Dock Party returns as the social hub with refreshments from Muskoka Brewery and Walter All-Natural Caesar Mix.
   There are summertime treats to sample in the Cottage Kitchen, along with seeing how to cook your catch and grilling tips from BBQ chef Naz Cavallaro and samples of Kawartha Dairy ice cream.

   Need to know
   The Spring Cottage Life Show is at the International Centre, 6900 Airport Rd. at Derry Rd., Mississauga.
   Hours are March 27, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; March 28, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.; and March 29, 10 a.m. to 5 pm.
   Admission is $18, adults; $9, ages 13 to 17; free, children 12 and younger; $26, weekend pass. Seniors get in for $13 on March 27 and there’s $4 off adult prices after 4 p.m. on March 27 and 28. cottagelife.com/shows

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Jim Fox can be reached at onetanktrips@hotmail.com
For more One-Tank Trips: http://1tanktrips.blogspot.ca

Saturday, March 7, 2015

BigFeast, Disney on Ice, Legoland, hockey fame, maple sugar highs and more for March Break week



   One-Tank Trip for March 7/15

   (c) By Jim Fox

   If the kids are “bugging” you to take them someplace during March Break, how about BugFeast?
   That’s where Chef Jeff Stewart of “Creepy Crawly Cooking” serves up insects au honey at the Cambridge Butterfly Conservatory.
   No butterflies are on the menu for BugFeast from March 13 to 22, offering a chance to “sample delicious insect treats.”
Chef Jeff Stewart will be cooking up candy bugs at the Cambridge Butterfly Conservatory.
   These include honey fudge topped with roasted superworms, honey-mustard flavoured crispy crickets and honey crunch protein bars made with cricket flour.
   “You’ll find they are surprisingly good – especially when covered in honey – and are high in protein and nutrients,” said Adrienne Brewster, conservatory executive director.
   The chef who is the associate dean of hospitality and tourism at Niagara College has a true passion for entomophagy.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Performance added for Disney On Ice Frozen in Toronto for March Break

Skating Spectacular Glides into Rogers Centre

Anna and Elsa
TORONTO, ON – Due to tremendous public response, Disney On Ice presents Frozen will continue to entertain audiences in Toronto this March Break!

The show plays Rogers Centre March 18-22/15 and a new performance has been added on Wednesday, March 18th at 3pm, plus new seats have been released for all shows. This exciting new ice show has become one of the hottest tickets in town, and the additional show and seating will help accommodate the numerous box office requests.

The Academy Award© winning tale will be told live for the first time in this production, capturing the dynamic between two royal sisters, Anna and Elsa. Anna, a girl with an extraordinary heart, embarks on an epic journey to find her sister, the magical Elsa, who is determined to remain secluded as she finally feels free to test the limits of her powers.

This March Break, Disney On Ice presents Passport to Adventure in Hamilton, Ontario



Ariel and Sisters

HAMILTON, ON – January 12, 2015- Join Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse as they travel to four exciting destinations all in one fun-filled ice production!  Pack your bags and get ready for globe-trotting adventures in Disney On Ice presents Passport to Adventure performing in Hamilton at FIrstOntario Centre March 19-22/15 for 9 performances.  Tickets are on sale now.

Audiences will be transported straight from their FirstOntario Centre seats into the magical worlds of Disney’s The Lion King, The Little Mermaid, Peter Pan and Lilo & Stitch in this sightseeing spectacular created for the entire family

Explore the Pride Lands with Simba, Timon and Pumbaa; voyage under the sea with Ariel and all her aquatic friends; tour London with Peter Pan and Wendy, before flying to Never Land; and travel to Hawaii to visit Lilo and Stitch. 

Sunday, March 1, 2015

2015 Maple Leaf Monster Jam Tour brings it big to Budweiser Gardens in London, Ontario



LONDON LINEUP FEATURES 2 NORTHERN NIGHTMARES, 2 CANADIAN DRIVERS, PLUS
SCOOBY DOO! 
 
LONDON, ON  – Get ready to roar at Budweiser Gardens this March! Feld Motor Sports® has announced the Maple Leaf Monster Jam Tour kicks into high gear March 7-8/15 at Budweiser Gardens in London for three massive shows. Tickets are on sale now.

Monster Jam is the most exciting form of family motorsports entertainment on the planet. The stars of the show are the biggest performers on four wheels: the Monster Jam® trucks! 

Approximately 12-ft. tall and about 12-ft. wide, Monster Jam trucks are custom-designed machines that sit atop 66-inch tall tires and weigh a minimum of 10,000 pounds. Built for short, high-powered bursts of speed, Monster Jam trucks generate 1,500 to 2,000 horsepower.

London fans will be first to see two Northern Nightmare Monster Jam trucks in action, two Canadian drivers including Cam McQueen, the original driver of Northern Nightmare, and Cynthia Gauthier, driver of Monster Mutt Dalmatian, plus Scooby Doo making its London debut with driver Brianna Mahon! Other Monster Jam trucks competing in London include Grave Digger® and Storm Damage. Trucks are subject to change without notice.