New rebate to encourage homeowners to ‘go green’

For anyone looking to make your home more energy efficient, you’re in luck. The Government of Ontario recently announced the creation of a new program to help Ontarians improve the energy efficiency of their homes.
The province is investing $100 million from the Ontario Green Investment Fund to provide rebates for homeowners who conduct an energy audit on their property and then complete retrofits recommended by the auditor.
According to the Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA), offering rebates has been a great way to help consumers make green decisions when it comes to home retrofits or renovations. Between 2007 and 2011, the province administered the Ontario Home Energy Savings Program (HESP), which provided homeowners with up to $150 towards the cost of a pre-retrofit energy audit, and rebates of up to $5,000 for retrofits. This program helped over 428,000 homeowners complete energy audits and 380,000 to complete retrofits.
OREA has been a strong advocate for provincial funding to help homeowners improve the energy efficiency of their properties. Most recently, OREA made new rebates a central recommendation to the Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs during the committee’s pre-budget consultations. The association’s two-pronged recommendation for helping homeowners reduce energy consumption also includes inserting an energy audit into a standard home inspection.
“According to our research, three quarters of home buyers make an inspection a condition of purchase,” said Ettore Cardarelli, Chair of OREA’s Government Relations Committee. “Inserting an audit into a voluntary home inspection would give buyers important information about the property along with recommendations for how the new owner can improve energy efficiency of their home.”

Advertisements

When was the last time you rode the rails?

If you’ve never had the opportunity to experience this unique Dufferin County adventure, here’s your chance!

A ride on the Credit Valley Explorer is the perfect way to acquaint yourself with the landscape, enjoy some splendid scenery and spend a relaxing afternoon or date night. This classic 1950’s railcar experience winds through miles of rolling hills and lush valleys as passengers revel in the breathtaking scenery aboard a luxury train. Following a trail route established over 130 years ago, the Explorer travels along 74 kilometres of track, allowing passengers to discover the natural wonders of the Hills of Headwater and the magnificent landscape of the Niagara Escarpment from an excellent vantage point.

The Credit Valley explorer will host a number of sightseeing tours during the next few months – be sure to book early as tours sell out quickly! These mid-day sightseeing tours take passengers through the Credit Valley and Forks of the Credit from Orangeville to Snelgrove and return, with a rest stop in the village of Inglewood. Tour includes complimentary refreshments and light lunch served at your seat by friendly onboard attendants.

Sightseeing Tours are scheduled for:

  • April 23 at 11:30 a.m.
  • June 4 at 11:30 a.m.
  • June 19 at 11:30 a.m.

Enjoy a snowy day in beautiful Orangeville

No matter what the season, there’s plenty to do and see in Orangeville. Come wintertime, residents can enjoy ice skating, snowy hikes, sledding, skiing and much more!

Orangeville arenas offer public skating, adult skates, parent/preschool skates and active 55+ skates, plus adult and youth shinny at various times Monday through Sunday. The two local arenas are Tony Rose Memorial Centre and the Alder Street Recreation Centre. For those who love to glide across the ice under a bright blue winter sky, Orangeville’s four outdoor ice rinks are great for hours of family fun. Check the city website at http://www.orangeville.ca to find out when the rinks at Idyllwilde Park, Princess of Wales Park, Tony Rose Memorial Sports Centre and Orangeville Lions Club Sports Park are open.

If you’re looking for a quiet way to spend the day, ice fishing is quickly becoming a favourite winter pastime for many Orangeville residents. Fishing rods are available for rent at Island Lake Conservation Area, so bundle up, pack a thermos of hot coffee and get set for hours of quiet enjoyment with plenty of fresh air.

For years local thrill seekers have flocked to Hockley Valley Resort come wintertime. With snow covered hills as far as the eye can see, Hockley Valley offers 15 runs of varying difficulty and an amazing terrain park, all in the beautifully sculpted Hills of Headwater. Visit http://www.hockley.com to find out about their lessons, rentals, camps and hotel rates.

For cross country skiing enthusiasts, Mono Nordic Ski Club, located north of Orangeville just off Highway 10, is a non-profit community based facility offering 20 kilometres of trails, two with night lighting. Visit http://www.mononordic.com for rental information.

And for those frosty Saturday mornings when the weather outside is frightful, head to Town Hall for the winter edition of the Orangeville Farmers’ Market. Occupying the main floor atrium and upper floor mezzanine, patrons can purchase local meats, baked goods, unique arts and crafts and much more!

Winter fun in Dufferin County

What gorgeous weather we had during the month of November! It was the perfect time of year to get outside and enjoy all the region has to offer. Now that December has arrived, it’s probably safe to say that the frosty weather is on its way. Lucky for residents of Orangeville and surrounding area, it doesn’t matter what the season is – there’s always plenty of options for outdoor fun!

If you’ve always wanted to take up a new winter sport, why not try snowshoeing? An excellent way to stay fit during the chilly months, the sport can be tailored to every level of fitness. Island Lake Conservation Area is one local spot that offers snowshoe rentals, giving you the opportunity to try it out before you purchase your own. Enthusiasts love the freedom snowshoeing offers, allowing participants to venture off the beaten path and explore. If you don’t want to try it on your own, the Dufferin Hi-Land Bruce Trail Club offers many activities, including moonlight snowshoe hikes! Visit dufferinbrucetrailclub.org for more information.

Downhill skiing is another exhilarating option for outdoor winter fun and Hockley Valley Resort is just the place to do it. Located just outside of Orangeville, this massive facility has everything your family could possibly want in a winter resort, including a small skating rink and an 8,000 square foot spa! Ski, trek or board around all day before enjoying lunch or dinner at the Cabin Restaurant, one of three eateries at Hockley Valley Resort. This magical destination for people of all ages can really create memories of a lifetime. Picturesque scenery allows you to really appreciate the beauty of Dufferin County.

For those who have been waiting all year to strap on a pair of skates, there are a number of outdoor spots in the area to enjoy Canada’s favourite winter pastime. There’s Idyllwilde Park at Fourth Street and Second Avenue, Princess of Wales Park at Saxon Street and Alder Street, Tony Rose Memorial Sports Centre at 6 Northmen and the Orangeville Lions Club Sports Park at 120 Diane Drive.

Whatever you are in the mood for, Orangeville and surrounding area has many options for winter activities!

White named colour of the year for 2016

Benjamin Moore, the paint, color, and coatings brand, announced its highly anticipated colour trends for the upcoming year and white made the top of the list!

In the home, white is a timeless and versatile design statement, says Ellen O’Neill, Benjamin Moore’s creative director.

“The colour white is transcendent, powerful, and polarizing – it is either taken for granted or obsessed over. White is not just a design trend, it is a design essential. The popularity of white, the necessity of white, the mystique of white, is quantifiable in our industry. Of the top 10 bestselling Benjamin Moore colours, variants of white occupy five spots. It was inevitable that we would ultimately recognize white as our colour of the year.”

The Benjamin Moore Color Studio forecasts colour trends after a year of research attending major industry shows around the world, while also taking cues from standouts in architecture, fashion, textiles, home furnishings, and the arts.

White transcends style, and is seen in traditional, transitional, and modern interiors. Here are some tips when decorating with white:

1. White is forgiving. If you are unsure of your colour choice, white is always a good place to start. It’s a blank canvas – begin with white and decorate with bold. You’ll be amazed at how such a light colour can transform your space with little effort.

2. There isn’t only one shade of white. There are many undertones to the shades so choose carefully – some are blue, pink and green. Many times the sample you think is white in the store actually has an undertone of blue when you get home. And check your sample at different times of the day – the light will change the colour.

3. White is always in style. Even if you don’t have an interior decorator’s eye, using white in your decor or walls instantly adds elegance, creates an airy space, and the illusion of tidiness – even if there’s clutter!

4. White can create dramatic impact whether on the wall or in your furniture choices – think ceiling to floor draping white thick curtains, the gorgeous white sofa that’s a statement piece, or creating a grand entrance by painting your foyer white, especially if you’ve got ample natural light and high ceilings. Understated, elegant, classic and modern all at once.

Harvest season in the Hills of Headwater

When it comes to the harvest season, many Dufferin County and Peel Region locals head to Dixie Orchards. This family owned apple farm offers more than just fruit when they open their doors from September until the end of October. A corn maze, straw jump and farm animals attract family members of all ages. Don’t miss the weekend barbeque at Dixie Orchards after you pick your own pumpkin. Start a new annual tradition with your family this fall at Dixie Orchards in southern Caledon!

Another spectacular Caledon and surrounding area favourite is Downey Farm Market. Open daily from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., this large family destination has much to offer all age groups and members of the family. A market, bakery, corn maze, Christmas trees, birthday parties, wine and a Pumpkinfest all happen at this popular farm! Visit Downey Farm Market any time between September 26 and October 31, until 4 p.m. daily and discover horses, puppet shows, wagon rides, pedal carts, a goat slide, duck races and more!

Pumpkinfest is a great event in the Hills of Headwaters, which also honours the season with its very own Taste of Harvest happening at multiple venues across Peel and Halton Region, Wellington and Dufferin County! Warm up to some hot cider, take part in a cooking course or tip toe through a haunted forest at this year’s event. From historic downtown Orangeville’s Farmers’ Market to the Brampton Flight Centre, Taste of Harvest is in full swing. You’re bound to find some exclusive finds along your travels while making it a season to remember! Visit http://thehillsofheadwaters.com for more information!

Fall in the Hills of Headwaters truly is a magical time of the year. Be sure to take the long route and enjoy the autumn colours on your way to choosing this year’s pumpkin!

The advantages of selling your home in the fall

Thinking of selling but wondering if the fall season is the right time? Traditionally, a spring market is always the busiest, but home sales switch hands all year long and fall is a great time to attract serious buyers. Deciding to sell your home during the cool fall season can create hidden benefits to your sale and help ensure you get top dollar for your property. Don’t worry about the changing seasons, here are a few reasons why autumn has its benefits:

Curb Appeal – Often regarded as one of the most important details when showing your home, the fall season is a great time to make the most of your curb appeal with well-maintained lawns and polished landscaping. As the season cools, neighbours often invest less time in their yard work. Use this to your advantage and your perfectly maintained property is sure to stand out on the block.

Selling a home is much like selling an image. Cool fall weather is the perfect time to finish do-it-yourself projects, repaint window coverings and garages, stain the decks and repave driveways. Transform your front door with a fresh coat of paint and change outdated locks and handles on your front door, replace rusty fixtures and add lighting to the front porch and yard.

You can also appeal to the season and decorate with bold fall colours to brighten up your exteriors and add a boost of colour to your garden with fall bloomers like mums and pansies.

More time to dedicate to the sale – Selling your home can be a lengthy process; attracting buyers, arranging meetings and drawing up offers to complete the sale takes a lot of time. Fall schedules usually see people home from vacation and back into scheduled routines. This applies to both sellers and buyers. It can also apply to professional inspectors, appraisers and notaries you may need to hire to complete your sale. Back to their scheduled routines means they are able to complete work more quickly.

Serious Buyers– Fall buyers are serious buyers. Often new home owners, retirees and people moving for career changes, these buyers are well researched and ready to commit to the sale. As winter gets closer, most buyers want to ensure they are comfortably moved into their new home before the holidays and the stormy weather begins.