Archives for Lifestyle

Christmas in the Capital

December has arrived! And with it, for many, comes the anticipation of holiday activities, traditions and celebrating with family and friends. We’ve been lucky to have had some truly incredible events in the Ottawa area this year, but it’s not over yet!   As Canada 150 comes to a close, there are a multitude of Christmas events that are taking place all over our City, allowing us to commemorate the end of one year, and the start of something new with our family and our friends. Here’s a taste of what’s happening in Ottawa this holiday season: Alight at Night at Upper Canada Village: travel back in time to the days where wagons were drawn by horses, and buildings were built by hand to view the magic that is the over half a million lights lit up throughout the village’s streets, trees, shops and homes. From December 1st to January 6th between the hours of 5pm and 9pm, Upper Canada Village will offer scenic horse drawn wagon rides, a life size gingerbread house, a toy train ride for the kids and so much more. Originals Ottawa Christmas Craft Sale: Ottawa’s very own 10-day holiday shopping event! Between December 7th and 17th, the EY Centre will gather some of Canada’s most talented artists, artisans and designers for you to meet and purchase from – over 200 to be exact! A great opportunity to support our local community as well as cross a few items off your shopping list! For more information on hours, admission and handmade goods, follow this link to their website. Stanley’s Christmas Village: get whisked away by horse drawn carriage to Ottawa’s only Elf Village! Every Saturday and Sunday through December (until the 23rd), Stanley’s Olde Maple Lane Farm offers you and your family the ultimate Christmas experience – as seen through the eyes of an elf. Enjoy a hot cup of cocoa, and take a ride through the Wrapping Warehouse, The Reindeer Stables, Ginger’s Bakery and so much more. And hey, why not end your day selecting your very own Christmas tree? Freshly cut, locally grown trees are now available at the Farm – all additional details can be found here! Viewing the Christmas Lights: With our nation celebrating its 150th milestone this year, the City of Ottawa (and across the bridge into Gatineau) have set up thousands of lights for your viewing pleasures. Catch the glow between December 7th and January 7th of 2018. And it doesn’t end there! if you’d like to experience even more spectacular “drive-through” light displays this holiday season, load up the car, blast the Christmas tunes and venture to the Magic of Lights in Ottawa’s west end at Wesley Clover Parks or even the beloved Taffy Lane in Orleans. Needless to say, the number of Christmas activities that our City has planned for us this holiday season are endless – and absolutely amazing. From rides in sleighs to light displays, there is something for everyone and more. Have a safe and memorable

Reflections on Canada 150

Canada Day is usually a big event in Ottawa; it is the nation’s capital after all, but this year was an even bigger celebration owing to 2017 being the 150th anniversary of Canada’s founding. In order to celebrate this momentous event, Ottawa pulled out all the stops to throw a Canada Day celebration that people won’t soon forget. The public turned out in record numbers to celebrate Canada Day in Ottawa this year, and the celebrations were also awash in celebrities. Justin Trudeau was in attendance, as were Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall, and Governor General David Johnston (who joined the Prince for a ceremony to mark the end of his term as the Queen’s representative). Other celebrities included Rick Hansen, Chris Hadfield, and musicians that included Bono and The Edge of U2 fame, and Canadian legend Gordon Lightfoot, who performed for the massive crowd of revellers. Besides the star-studded performers and attendees, Canada Day 150 was in many ways a larger version of what people see every year. A citizenship ceremony was held in the afternoon, so that those involved could enjoy the festivities as full Canadian citizens. The celebration included many food trucks that were offering Canadian favourites such as beaver tails and poutine. There were even Tim Horton’s trucks on site to deliver a much needed dose of hot coffee for tired or cold revellers. Besides the ubiquitous food trucks there were activities for all ages, and the night was capped off with an enormous fireworks display that was one of the largest in Ottawa’s history. Fifteen thousand individual fireworks were launched from five different locations across the city, lighting up the sky in an unparalleled pyrotechnic display. That doesn’t count the many fireworks that were fired skyward by enthusiastic citizens across the country of course, each determined to add their own lights to the celebratory glow. Despite the impressive spectacle, not all was “sunny ways” this Canada Day. In fact, the sun was barely in attendance, and rain was a constant and unwanted companion to people who were out to celebrate the 150th. The drizzle created puddles and ponds throughout Parliament Hill, and this combined with very long security lines to dampen the enthusiasm of some attendees. There were a few non-weather related faux pas as well, including the prime minister seeming to forget the province of Alberta during one of his speeches, and groups of protestors there to denounce the celebrations. However, despite the issues most of those who attended the celebration had a good time, and are likely looking forward to next year’s big Canada Day bash with enthusiasm. The post Reflections on Canada 150 appeared first on Team Realty. Source: Blog

Summer Fun in Ottawa

After a long and rainy spring, summer is finally upon us in the nation’s capital. Now that the sun has actually come out, it’s time to get outside and enjoy the weather. Whether you live in Ottawa or are just visiting, there are a lot of fun and unique activities to enjoy all throughout the city, and there’s no better time than a warm summer day. The changing of the guard You can watch the changing of the guard any morning between late June or early July, and August 25. The ceremony takes place at Parliament Hill and starts at 10 am sharp, but you will want to arrive at 9:45 or before in order to make sure you get a spot with a good view. The ceremony is quite a spectacle, with brilliantly uniformed guards marching in unison to the accompaniment of a regimental band and bagpipes. It’s a fantastic sight to see, and a great opening to a day spent downtown. RBC Bluesfest 2017 Ottawa’s Bluesfest music festival is an annual tradition in the nation’s capital, with great musicians, great food, and a party atmosphere that lasts a full ten days from July 6th to July 16th! The line up this year includes artists that range from Pink and 50 Cent to Muse and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, so there will be music for anyone’s taste. Tons of great local food vendors will also be present to make sure you don’t go hungry, and there will be fun and games, and cool contests as well. Lumiere Lumiere is a festival of lights held in Ottawa on August 26th. During this festival you can enjoy the ambience created by hundreds of lanterns, each crafted by a local community member. Lumiere has more to offer as well, with a labyrinth to explore, local performers to watch and listen to, and local food trucks to enjoy. The whole festival is lit only by lanterns and lamps, making for a magical atmosphere that will make a great end to the day. La Machine For the first time in North America, people will be able to see the wondrous machines of La Machine in person. These enormous animatronic wonders are shaped like gigantic beasts, and the massive spider and dragon horse will be coming to Ottawa, traveling its streets from July 27th to 30th. Stop by and share the wonder as the giant creations stride through the city, looking down at the crowds and exploring Ottawa’s landmarks. The Sky Lounge The most expensive of the events listed here, but also one of the most unique experiences you can enjoy, the sky lounge is like nothing else. Enjoy an astounding cocktail hour or a gourmet dinner, prepared by professional chefs from only the finest local ingredients, all while seated at an open-air table 150 feet in the air! Nowhere else can you enjoy a view quite like this, and the food is top quality to match the surroundings. No matter what you decide

Canada 150: Let’s Celebrate!

Canada Day is coming up, and there is no shortage of celebrations to enjoy on July 1st this year. With Canada turning 150, there’s no better time to join in the festivities. If you are looking for something fun to do this Canada Day with friends and family, here are some suggestions. Downtown Events The Canada Day events hosted in downtown Ottawa are always the biggest and most impressive, and this year looks to be no exception: Parliament Hill – Parliament Hill will be holding Canada Day events from morning till night, including ceremonies, shows, activities for young and old, all culminating in a spectacular fireworks show over the Ottawa River. You won’t want to miss it! Major’s Hill Park – Major’s Hill Park will be filled with day events this July 1st, including a wide variety of multi-cultural exhibits, displays and performances. There will be plenty of activities for people who want to get involved, or just watch on the sidelines, so pick your activity and have some fun! Canadian Museum of History – The Canadian Museum of History will be hosting a number of events throughout the day, with plenty of inside and outside games, performances, exhibits and other activities aimed for kids and families. There’s even a free shuttle from Major’s Hill Park, and the museum is right on the Ottawa River, so you can watch the fireworks from there if you find Parliament Hill too crowded.  Municipal Events For people who can’t get downtown, or don’t want to face the crowds, there is plenty of Canada Day fun to be had throughout the city. We’ve included a list of a few below, but you can also find the official list of all the civic events here: Canada Day in Barrhaven­ – This large event in Ottawa’s South attracts big crowd every year, and includes a carnival with rides and games, the Homeniuk Midway, plenty of food vendors, fun and games for kids and adults, and of course a fireworks show. Canada Day in Kanata – This event has plenty to do for people of all ages, from the Carter Shows Midway to the Kanata Festival of Beer, and also features a marketplaces for local small businesses, a breakfast for seniors, baseball games, demonstrations of martial arts and dancing, and plenty more. A fireworks display will close the day off with a bang. Canada Day in Stittsville – Stittsville may be smaller than Kanata or Barrhaven, but that doesn’t mean it lacks excitement. Stittsville’s Canada Day celebration will include a petting zoo and horse-drawn wagon rides for animal lovers, a sports demonstration, family games and activities, a magic show, plenty of food vendors for when people get hungry, the Royal Canadian Legion Colour Party, and live stage entertainment. No Canada Day celebration would be complete without a fireworks display, and Stittsville will certainly deliver. No matter where you decide to celebrate it, make sure to have fun on July 1st this year, and make the 150th Canada

Let us help you find “Your Perfect Life”

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Costs on Your Home Over the Christmas Season: Trimming the Holiday Stress

Christmas is indeed a time for many things. It is time well spent with our families and our friends, a time for celebration, a time for passing down holiday traditions (as well as creating new ones); and, of course, with the end of year approaching, it is a time of reflection and resolution. Moreover, with the abundance of festivities that our communities offer over the holidays, it’s a time to try new things, and to collect memories with your loved ones.   With the joys of Christmas comes, of course, the stresses of the season. It’s only natural. We host parties, allow for relatives to spend a night (or two), and typically spend a little more money on maintaining our homes, among other things. This said, it’s important to plan accordingly. One of the biggest factors that tend to impact our pocketbooks is our hydro usage. And with all the hustle and bustle that is the holiday season, we must be cautious with when and how often we use it. Luckily, Hydro One has set, off-peak hours (that include weekends and holidays) with set, off-peak prices. What this means is that on Christmas Day, on Boxing Day, and even on New Year’s Day, these off-peak prices, when you utilize your main hydro sources between 7:00 PM and 7:00 AM, will apply. Furthermore, being mindful of your guest’s access/usage of such amenities as cable and/or WiFi is also key. It’s important to be diligent with whom you share your passwords with, and cautious as to how often you turn on your television in order to entertain. Failure to keep track can result in a relatively hefty bill at the end of the month. Less money spent, and less stress to be had.   With respect to controlling your stress levels over the holidays, there are several ways that you can host and entertain your guests inexpensively and effectively. To avoid the cable costs of perhaps always having the game on, why not host a movie night instead? There’s nothing like reminiscing over the classics that we all grew up with. Games are also a great way to create memories on a low budget. They allow for us to bond with our friends and our families, all while creating new traditions along the way. Want to transform your home into the winter wonderland you’ve always imagined? Tree-trimming parties are an excellent way to decorate your home for the holidays, and host an unforgettable evening filled with laughs and creativity.   So turn on those catchy Christmas tunes that we all (secretly) admire and enjoy, sing aloud to the words you know and love, cook up some munchies and capture all that this holiday season has to offer. Lastly, and above all else, remember the importance of togetherness. Volunteer. Donate to your local charities. At Royal LePage, we are committed to strengthening the communities we live in – that’s why we have The Shelter Foundation – our very own charitable foundation that helps