Tag Archives: ontario

Woodside National Historic Site

Woodside National Historic Site

The house and the park located on 11.5 acre property covered with mature trees. The park offers perfect place for walks and picnincs, beautiful shaded lawns and paths during the summer. The house opens for visitors from October till Chrismas.

Woodside National Historic Site, Entrance
Woodside National Historic Site, Entrance

Mackenzie King House

The house dates back to Victorian period, was built by James Colquhoun. After his death in 1877 varuois tenants occupied the house. One of them was the Kings family. They lived in this house from 1886 till 1893. The house was a home for a boy who later became Canada’s tenth Prime Minister, William Lyon Mackenzie King. Tha family had four children, and while visiting the house we can see their rooms and well kept personal items. His father John King was  a lawyer, and he taught his kids English, French, math and science. There is a large collection of boks, many of them are rare originals…

Woodside National Historic SIte, house of William Lyon Mackenzie King
Woodside National Historic SIte, house of William Lyon Mackenzie King

The house has a spacious living room with piano. The room was filing up with various guests during many holidays…

Living room in William Lyon Mackenzie King House
Living room in William Lyon Mackenzie King House

Travel  at that time was a challenge, so the house has a nice guest bedroom with all the necessary items…

Guest bedroom in William Lyon Mackenzie King House, Kitchener
Guest bedroom in William Lyon Mackenzie King House, Kitchener

The sisters were sharing the bedroom, we can see some of the clothing and original furniture.

Girls' room in William Lyon Mackenzie King House, Kitchener

We had a chance to enter the room of William, quite small and with very modest furnishings. The bedrooms are all on the second floor and interestingly, there is no heating – only the first floor of the house is heated, so in the winter the heavy blanket and the hot water bottle did the job!

Woodside National Historic SIte, house of William Lyon Mackenzie KingWoodside National Historic SIte, house of William Lyon Mackenzie King

The most important item of the kitchen is the original wood-buning stove. It is fully operational and if you visit the place during Christmas Holidays you may be lucky to try fresh baked cookies or bread! They say tastes amazing!

Woodside National Historic SIte, house of William Lyon Mackenzie King
Woodside National Historic SIte, house of William Lyon Mackenzie King

 

 

 

 

 

 

The House is not just a museum, there are different events and workshops offered for students.

To learn more visit https://www.explorewaterlooregion.com/listing/woodside-national-historic-site-kitchener/     and      https://www.pc.gc.ca/en/lhn-nhs/on/woodside

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Noreen Young’s “Under the Umbrella Tree” now on YouTube!

Noreen Young’s “Under the Umbrella Tree” now on YouTube

Gloria-puppet character from Noreen Young Show "Under the Umbrella Tree"
Gloria-puppet character from Noreen Young Show “Under the Umbrella Tree”

Gloria the Gopher, from CBC’s vintage “Under the Umbrella Tree” children’s series, is very happy to tell everybody that she and her friends Holly, Iggy the Iguana and Jacob Blue Jay, are now streaming on Canada Media Fund’s new channel, Encore+ on YouTube.  This is a channel that features Canadian television classics that viewers will enjoy seeing again and again.

Just in time for March Break!

26 English episodes.

26 French episodes.

For more information about Noreen Young, please see Wikipedia

Please note also:

A Puppet Retrospective comprehensive exhibition of Noreen Young’s puppetry creations and art works over the years.

The exhibit will run from July 14 to September 22, 2018 and the official Opening Night will be held on August 4 from 2 – 4 at the Mississippi Valley Textile Museum in Almonte.

Saturday August 25, 2 pm. Rock the Arts performance

Rock The Arts puppets performance will perform at the museum on Saturday August 25, starting at 2 pm to complement Noreen Young’s Puppet Retrospective exhibition, which runs July 14 to September 22. They will perform “Animal Adventure.” More details on the website rockthearts.ca

 

Saturday September 22, 2018, 1pm. Come play puppets with a PRO

Ever wonder what it would be like to puppeteer on a TV show? Always wanted to give it a try?

Well, here’s your chance.

Puppeteer, Bob Stutt, has decades of TV and film experience including seven years with the Friendly Giant, ten years with the Muppets and ten years as Basil Bear on Canadian Sesame Street where he was also lead writer. He performed Iggy Iguana on CBC’s “Under the Umbrella Tree” and also “Molly Doll” on The Big Comfy Couch. Bob has also filmed over 100 TV commercials in Denmark for the Danish National Railway.

And now he would love to spend some time playing puppets with you!

We’ll provide the cameras, monitors and a few puppets. You provide enthusiasm, imagination and any puppets of your own that tickle your fancy.

Come be a star for a day and experience first-hand the challenging, inspiring, silly world behind the puppets you see on TV.

Admission is $20 per person. This three-hour workshop is open to adults and kids over the age of 10 with a limit of ten to twelve people.

Toronto musician Gerry Shatford combines poetry and piano

Toronto music lovers will have a rare opportunity to hear “When I Sat Down to Play the Piano” performed live at Gallery 345 on Sunday, Nov. 5 at 2 p.m.

Inspired by the poetry of Al Purdy, the collection of compositions (several of which appeared in the 2015 feature-length documentary “Al Purdy Was Here”) will be presented by East York pianist and composer Gerry Shatford, accompanied by Neil Swainson on bass and Barry Elmes on drums. Toronto poet, editor and educator Paul Vermeersch will also be on hand to provide introductory narration for each of the pieces, reading the Purdy poem from which its inspiration was drawn.

Proceeds from this concert will be donated to the Al Purdy A-Frame Association which has overseen the preservation and restoration of Al Purdy’s historic residence in Ameliasburgh, Ontario. During Purdy’s lifetime, the house was a gathering place for famous Canadian writers including Margaret Atwood, Michael Ondaatje, George Bowering, Lynn Crosbie, Dennis Lee, Margaret Laurence, and numerous others. The A-Frame Association continues this tradition by financing a residency program for aspiring writers.

Gallery 345 is at 345 Sorauren Ave. Tickets cost $20 for general admission, or $10 for students and seniors. Tickets can be purchased at the door (cash only), and can be reserved by contacting info@gallery345.com

Group of Seven in Stone Cellar, Perth, Ontario

Every summer we try to make a few local trips to explore our province and  one of the regions we love to visit is Lanark County, which offers perfect combination of small towns, cottages on the beach and wild life. And after spending couple days in the cottage (“The Dancing Bass” Lodge cottage) we went to Perth for some shopping and lunch.

That lunch was a very special treat for us! Based on the art of Famous Canadian Group of Seven Chef Jamie Troutman from “The Stone Cellar” created the menu that interprets various elements present in paintings in “edible art”. Hours of research made it possible to reflect the famous Canadian art in the fine Canadian cuisine. In his creations Jamie is using the true Canadian ingredients coming from local farms. Chef Troutman, as per his own words, using the “deconstruction of the elements” from art into cuisine.

Lawren Harris, Icebergs by Chef Jamie Troutman

The shot glasses made of clear ice represent the art of Lawren Stewart Harris, who was criticized as being cold, but in fact deeply spiritual and one of the skilled abstract painters.

From ice and cold we suddenly surrounded by flowers and greenery of “Tangled Garden” by J. E. H. MacDonald –  Jamie Troutman’s sunflower salad full of summer colours and fresh herbs… MacDonald’s art is distinguished by dark palette, tough, rich and at the same time elegant design. And Jamie is using the dark of the stone slab as background for the splash of colours…

Group of Seven MacDonald Tangled Garden
“Tangled Garden” in sunflower salad by Chef Jamie Troutman

From flowers and greenery of the garden we travel to Nova Scotia with help of another Jamie’s culinary creation based on “Nova Scotia Cove” again by J. E.H. MacDonald.  Scallops and wild rice combined in a beautiful setting with shells to represent seashore…

Group of Seven, edible art
Chef Jamie Troutman, Scallops  served with Wild Rice – “Nova Scotia Cove” by J. MacDonald

We keep our taste buds tuned as next we get served Canadian beef – so tender! …accompanied by some root vegetables… chef’s creation based on the painting by Arthur Lismer “Habitant Farm”…

"Habitant Farm" Lismer and Chef Troutman
“Habitant Farm” by Arthur Lismer and Chef Troutman

Lanark County is well known for Maple Syrup producers and it would be logical to find this unique Canadian product in local cuisine and famous art.

J. Troutman "Maple Glazed Pork" based on "The red Maple" by A. JacksonJ. Troutman “Maple Glazed Cheese” based on “The Red Maple” by A. Jackson.

Our experience would not be complete without the dessert!Apple dessert based on "Asters and Apples" by J. MacDonaldApple dessert based on “Asters and Apples” by J. MacDonald

If you decide to indulge in creativity and fine cuisine make sure to make a 48 hours reservation, and if so, you may need to find a fine place to stay. Luckily the area offers a good variety of hotels – one of our favourites is “Perth Manor” which offers classic architecture, cozy rooms, beautiful garden and friendly atmosphere.

The Stone Cellar Restaurant                                                                                   Address: 71 Gore St E, Perth, ON K7H 1H Menu: thestonecellar.com                                                                                       Reservations: opentable.com                                                                                 Phone: (613) 267-0200

Perth Manor Hotel                                                                                                 Address: 23 Drummond St. West, Perth, ON                                       Phone: (613) 264-0050 and if this one is not available –

Best Western Plus Perth Parkside Inn & Spa                                                   Address: 82 Peter St, Perth, ON                                                                 Phone: (613) 326-0082.

Farmstead experience on Blue Hen Farm in Lanark County, Ontario

After the four and a half hour drive from downtown Toronto we arrived at the Blue Hen Farm.  Right at the turn we saw an old cupboard filled with jars of homemade preserves and a sign “Honk for Service”…  And we saw the farmhouse in the opening between trees.

Farmers Jeff and Leslie greeted us and as we entered the house we were amazed by the old fashioned setting of the rooms – furniture, chandelier and even the old upright piano that produced some wonderful melodies after our evening meals…

Executive Chef, Costas preparing dinner for Farmstead Blue Hen Farm in Lanark County

 

Leslie and Jeff used to live in Ottawa and have jobs as many of us do… The idea of farming came up after some changes in jobs and also as a result of research of the food industry, commercial farming and agriculture.

Executive Chef Costas

Later, after getting settled in our rooms we headed down for dinner made by Chef Kostas who came out to tell us about the ingredients he used in his cooking, the dinner was amazing and filling.

As farmers do every day after dinner, we went into the barnyard to help with evening chores.

 

 

We found all the work surprisingly entertaining; we unloaded some 20 stacks of straw that will be used as bedding for the animals, fed the calves and pigs, brought the sheep and goats back to the barn and herded the chickens into their coop.

Farmstead Blue Hen Farm in Lanark County

There was a special place where hens lay eggs, so we picked our breakfast! The eggs were dark and light brown, white and even light blue…

Once the chores were done, tired we went to our bedrooms; may be the mattresses were so comfortable or the day was long – falling asleep was no problem at all.

Farmstead Blue Hen Farm in Lanark County
Farmstead Blue Hen Farm in Lanark County
Farmstead Blue Hen Farm in Lanark County

In the morning we woke up around half past six to the mouthwatering smell of bacon and eggs…

Breakfast during Farmstead Blue Hen Farm in Lanark County

And after breakfast we went to the yard to do morning chores which repeats the evening in the back order – letting the sheep and chickens out,  showering and feeding pigs… and saying hello to all of the farm animals.

Farmstead Blue Hen Farm in Lanark County
Evening chores during Farmstead Blue Hen Farm in Lanark County
Farmstead Blue Hen Farm in Lanark County
Farmstead Blue Hen Farm in Lanark County

 

The goats are very young and new to the farm and don’t know the barn yard, so they we carried to the pasture  like babies!

Calf is sucking a finger, Farmstead Blue Hen Farm in Lanark County

Although all of the chores seem like quite a lot to do, they were our favourite part of the day. We also found that doing chores and waking up that early in the morning was very refreshing which was useful since we had a long day ahead of us. We found all of the animals so cute… and especially the three kittens that roam around the barnyard. There are also two dogs that help farmers by guarding  the barn yard from foxes and other invaders.

Leslie and Jeff ask that visitors do not  bring or wear any fragrances on the farm including mosquito spray, however they do supply their own free of charge so that you do not get bitten by pesky flies.  Leslie makes her own natural soap – I found it very smooth and took a little piece home as a souvenir. Around the house we also found natural fragrances, bug spray and soap – all handmade from natural ingredients that smell like summer fields…

Their mission statement is free range thinking, meaning all of the animals are free to roam the field and raised with no antibiotics or chemical supplements at all. “Being a novice in such a tedious business as farming should be challenging for city folks” – I asked… yes, and they learn every day.

We also had a chance to learn – about how to feed pigs and chickens and how to take care of sheep and goats;  we would join Leslie to let the animals out of the barn with the first rays of sun and get them all back in the evening…

For us it was just two days – but these days were filled with smiles and laughter, delicious homemade meals and that feeling of love and happiness…

After Dinner Chat

We took a lot of pictures that will remind us about this wonderful place and people that are so enthusiastic about  what they do.  Thank you Jeff and Leslie for teaching us some very basic skills that we miss in our city life!

So, time to leave The Blue Hen Farm… I think I  saw tears in some eyes…, we hope to come again.

Ctrl – V Experience in Waterloo, Ontario

As soon as we knew that we are going to CTRL-V we were so impatient that could not wait for 8 pm! The dinner took so long… Finally at 8:10 pm we arrived at Ctrl-V  – Canada’s first virtual reality arcade that was opened in Waterloo just recently.                                       We walked in the first set of doors… First the parents  had to sign the waver for safety reasons… after the wavers we watched the helpful demonstration video… and finally were ready to start!                           My first game was “Climbey”.  I had a tutorial, also the staff helped me to figure out walking and climbing techniques.  After playing “Climbey”, I choose a game where you pick a song and with your controllers you bump to the beat of the song – I chose “Shake it off” By Taylor Swift. It was a good exercise. My  about an hour experience felt like ten minutes…

By Anna Sophia

Needle Felting with Peg Learn in Ottawa Valley

Felting with Peg Learn in the Ottawa region

Needle Felting  with Peg Learn

After spending the day in Almonte, we arrived at the Blue Hen farm for a felting workshop presented by Peg Learn ( Learn Creations). She greeted us with a big smile, hand holding a large red dragon made from felt pieces … Surprisingly felting is much easier than it may look; everyone was given a felting needle, a foam pad and of course some colourful wool. Since we are the beginners Peg suggested that each of us make a simple Halloween pumpkin. The process is started by taking wool strands and using the needle to compress the wool together by poking it and combining into a ball. The pad is used to rest the material while using the needle. It was quite entertaining and after we got the pumpkin form down we started customizing our pumpkins in different ways. I put a French mustache on my pumpkin while others placed eyes, and/or smiles..

Peg Learn

It was very fun and informative and we highly recommend it as something to do while in the area. Peg also told us about her experiences in felting competitions where the winner receives many pounds of felt, which means a LOT  of felting fun! And according to Peg ” It is the most fun when you can have stabbing something repeatedly and legally” … It was a great eye opening experience that made something that appeared hard quite easy to learn.

If you wish to learn felting and have really fun workshop with Peg, her contact is: www.facebook.com/learncreations.

By Jonathan K.

Family trip to African Lion Safari, Hamilton, Ontario

African Lion Safari, Hamilton, Ontario

African Lion Safari first opened its doors to the visitors in 1969 and since then went through a lot expansions and animal additions… About 6,000 visitors come here daily to see the exotic animals that are roaming free in the fields or just enjoying the warm summer day in their artfully created habitats on land and water.

To start our visit we boarded the “African Queen” boat that took us around the island where we saw monkeys jumping in the ropes and multiple birds such as vultures and pelicans.  One of the spots was taken by two lemur families. The boat operators told us about animals routine and some funny life stories…

A day with Family in African Lion Safari, Ontario, Canada

The boat came back to the pierce and we decided to take a bus that goes to African savanna . We had to enter through the specially designed gate system that allows buses and cars to safely go in and out of that area. “Keep your arms and heads inside, no windows opening”…. The bus tour goes through multiple enclosures  each housing different wild animals.  We are surrounded by lions,  then  we pass by cheetahs… We got to see many mountain goats as well as rhinos and many giraffes…

A day with Family in African Lion Safari, Ontario, Canada

The best part of the bus tour was visiting the giraffes, they came up very closely so we had around four of them circling around the bus, one of them even licked the bus mirrors. It is quite a spectacular view  – one of them gracefully approaching our window, the other is in the front of the bus… oh, one more is in the front!

A day with Family in African Lion Safari, Ontario, Canada

Following the bus tour we went on the ”Nature Boy” scenic railway, the tour lasts around fifteen minutes. On the way we got to see the elephants habitat, a donkey and many turtles that came out of the pond for summer sun. It was a nice way to give our feet some rest and enjoy the fresh air coming from the lake and trees…

A day with Family in African Lion Safari, Ontario, Canada

 

Elephants Bath time was now up, so we headed to the lake to see them coming gracefully – leading was a large male elephant and then smaller ones – females and young siblings. Elephants got in the water, it looked like they are walking on the bottom of the lake – but no, some places are deep and they do have to swim, sometimes we could only see the very top of the head and the trunk… they had some fun time splashing and spraying each other; later rangers came and started throwing apples to the elephants – which was a lot of fun for all!!

Elephant swim
A day with Family in African Lion Safari, Ontario, Canada
A day with Family in African Lion Safari, Ontario, Canada

It was a hot day – we would not mind to go for a plunge too – and we could at the Safari’s water park area – however, we were quite hungry and went to the cafe to have lunch…. We had to say goodbye to all the animals big and small before heading of to our next destination.

By Jonathan K.

 

 

Day trip to Collingwood, July 2017

After the 1 hour drive from downtown Toronto we arrived at the Cranberry Village. We first arrived to the rooftop patio, which has the best view in all of Collingwood.

Roof top Patio in Living Water Resort, Collingwood

From the roof you can see the lake Huron, the 19 hole golf course as well as the newly refurbished marina.

Cranberry Golf Resort

Following a quick resort tour and lunch on the roof top patio we went to do paddle board yoga (SUP Yoga).

 

SUP Yoga, by Blu Wave in Living Water Resort, Collingwood

 

At first we thought that there was no way we could balance on a paddle board, let alone do handstands, bridges and other meditation poses.

Paddle Board Yoga by Blu Wave, in Collingwood Ontario

It turned out however that meditating on a paddle board while being gently rocked by the lake was very relaxing as well as a slightly challenging workout, after about an hour we returned back to the village to take on the iron chef challenge.

The iron chef challenge works like this; two teams of equal size are given 10 minutes to plan a dish using unknown ingredients
They can also “ purchase” products such as a lemon or herbs using the team’s points, which are then deducted from the final score.

Iron Chef Challenge Team 1, July 2017
Iron Chef Challenge food preparation

Once they have used up their 10 minutes of planning time, they are given 20 minutes to cook and arrange their chosen dish. The team at the end with the most points wins. However its not that simple as the chefs who organize the competition/exercise will throw in some really odd ingredients to challenge the contestants even more. For example in our list of products that we must use was included local fresh perch and oddly enough, a small box of cereal, again, all of the given items must be included.

Iron Chef Competition
Second Team in Iron Chef Challenge in Living Water Resort, Collingwood
Iron Chef Challenge winning team, July 2017

 

After completing the challenge, we went to the lakeside grill to enjoy their specialty steak, we heard that it was delicious because they had recently invested quite a lot of money into a brand new grill that cooks the whole steak perfectly and evenly and it was delicious, so delicious in fact that we all wanted another plate of steak even though we were full.

And like that the day was finished, we said our goodbyes and got in the car for the 1 hour drive back home.

By Jonathan K.

Family Travel & Tourism