Spooky, scary Halloween. We love Halloween – with the costumes, the décor, the jack-o-lanterns, and the sweet treats – but it’s going to feel a little different this year. We’re still in the midst of a pandemic, so trick-or-treating and Halloween parties will be off the table for many this year. That doesn’t mean we can’t celebrate, though!
Here are our top COVID-friendly ways to celebrate the spooky season this year:
1) Deck Out Your Home in Spooktacular Style
Nothing says October like Halloween decorations! Decorating your home – both inside and out – is a great way to embrace this fun holiday, pandemic or not. String up some lights and cobwebs, stuff some old clothes to make a headless scarecrow, or put up some creepy tombstones if you live in a residential neighborhood in Toronto with a front yard. If you live in a condo, you can decorate your windows with bats cut out of black construction paper or put a Halloween-themed wreath on your front door. Not into goblins and ghouls but still want to pay homage to the season? Try decorating with different colored pumpkins, gourds, and candles.
2) Carve a Creepy (or Cute) Jack-o-Lantern
No Halloween decorations would be complete without a jack-o-lantern – or three! Visit your local pumpkin patch to select the perfect pumpkin and then get creative with your carvings. Want to make it even more fun? Have a family contest – everyone gets to decorate or carve their own pumpkin – and then have friends or neighbors vote on their favorites. You can even carve a whole family of jack-o-lanterns. Don’t forget to save and roast the pumpkin seeds with a bit of oil and salt – yum!
3) Serve Up Candy to Trick-or-Treaters Safely
For those who are still trick-or-treating this year, safety is key. Kids crowding around doors can result in germs spreading, so explore new ways to hand out candy safely. You can create individual candy bags that you leave out on a table on your driveway for kids to pick up as they walk by, or dangle the bags of candy from a fence or tree. Another idea is to set up a candy graveyard in your front yard – leave candy in your front yard, amidst your Halloween decorations. Kids will love the excitement of venturing into your decked-out yard and will be able to stay physically distanced while picking up their loot.
Not trick-or-treating this year? Do a Halloween door drop instead. Create goody baskets for your closest friends or family members and drop them off at their doors with a little note or card. Full of items like candies and chocolate, glow sticks, silly glasses, and Halloween crafts or fun stickers, the goody baskets are a sure way to delight your loved ones and to spread some spooky cheer.
4) Have a Costume Party via Video Conference
If you’ve spent a lot of time and effort perfecting your Halloween costume, you’ll want to show it off – and kids especially love dressing up! Host a Halloween-themed costume or dance party on Zoom with your friends and family. Everyone can show off their costume on camera while enjoying a spooktacular playlist and some Halloween treats. Baking up some special Halloween treats for your virtual party is part of the party-planning fun. From Halloween-decorated pumpkin brownies to marshmallow ghost cupcakes and chocolate-covered strawberry ghosts, get creative and have fun!
Here are five fun Halloween Zoom backgrounds that you can download to make your virtual costume party more festive.
5) Enjoy a Spooky Halloween Movie Marathon
Halloween flicks are a great way to get in the Halloween spirit and to enjoy the spooky season safely from the comfort of your own home. From family-friendly classics to truly terrifying films, you can customize your selections based on your audience. Whether you choose The Addams Family or Psycho, The Nightmare Before Christmas or The Shining, there’s a scary movie to suit all tastes. Pop some popcorn and enjoy!
With the sun shining and the official beginning of summer just days away, Torontonians are looking forward to this magical time in Toronto.
Summer in Toronto means hot days spent on the beach or in parks, fun adventures with the whole family, and relaxing evenings spent sipping a cold beer or homemade craft cocktail on the porch or balcony. It’s the time when Torontonians come out of hibernation and enjoy the feeling of the hot sun on their skin and the beautiful blooms and lush landscapes that are so prevalent in this beautiful city. Summertime just makes everything better.
This summer will be different compared to the past summers, with many attractions and events closed or cancelled due to COVID-19. Regardless, there’s plenty to see, do, and enjoy in Toronto this summer.
Here’s a Round-up of Our Five Favourite Things to Do This Summer in Toronto:
Explore a Park or Conservation Area
Ontario Provincial Parks and Conservation Areas are open during the day, although beaches within them aren’t open. All parks located within the City of Toronto are also open. A visit to the park is a great opportunity to get some fresh air, relax in nature, explore a new ravine or forested area, and take pleasure in the sunshine. Enjoy a walk, hike, bike ride, or afternoon spent bird-watching.
Head to the Beach (Safely!)
From Sunnyside Beach to Cherry Beach, Toronto has several beautiful stretches of sand on Lake Ontario. Although they’re all closed until at least the end of June to limit the spread of COVID-19, Toronto residents are still able to stroll along boardwalks and waterfront trails, provided that physical distancing can be maintained. So lace up your shoes or put on your sandals and head to Lake Ontario to enjoy the crisp waterfront air. Visit The Swim Guide for the latest updates on beach closures.
Go on an Epic Bike Ride
Toronto’s Waterfront Trail allows Torontonians to cruise across the city, from Etobicoke in the west, right through downtown Toronto and to Scarborough in the east. Between Woodbine Beach and Balmy Beach, there’s a beautiful asphalt pathway for cyclists and in-line skaters. The downtown section of the Waterfront Trail along Queen’s Quay is newly-constructed and user-friendly, with wide dedicated bike lanes. This scenic route is safe and offers gorgeous views of Lake Ontario. Other places for an epic bike ride include parks, conservation areas, or even your local neighbourhood.
Enjoy a Frozen Treat
Ice cream, popsicles, paletas, Thai ice cream rolls and churro ice cream cones – the variety of delicious, sugary frozen treats in Toronto is truly impressive. And what’s a hot summer day without a tasty frozen treat? Check out Summer’s Ice Cream in Yorkville, Punto Gelato in the Yonge and Eglinton neighbourhood, Sweet Jesus near Yonge and Sheppard, or D Spot Dessert Café near Victoria Park and Eglinton.
Create a New Summer Tradition
Your favourite summer activity may be cancelled this summer (such as a visit to the CNE or a music festival), so why not create a new tradition? Get creative and brainstorm with your partner or family members to create a new activity that you can enjoy for years to come. Backyard BBQs, picnics, scavenger hunts, arts and crafts projects, your own family Olympics, movie nights, book clubs, kitchen dance parties… the options are endless.
We wish you all a fun and sunny summer full of adventure!
Whether you’re working from home, staying at home with your kids as they’re off school, or self-quarantining, many of us are spending a lot more time at home lately. As the COVID-19 pandemic spreads and the government recommends that we stay at home to help slow the speed of transmission, everything from school to after-school activities, sports, and music lessons, and playdates have been canceled. You may find yourself looking for ideas to keep your family occupied without leaving the house, apartment or condo.
Here are 20 fun family-friendly activities to explore:
Family members of all ages will love bringing out their inner Picasso or Frida Kahlo by doing arts and crafts, painting, drawing, making sculptures with Play-Doh, taking photos or making videos. Have fun with it!
Have a Pajama Party
As there’s nothing more fun than wearing your pajamas during the daytime, and it’s an activity best enjoyed at home! Make some yummy snacks, have a pillow fight, and tell each other some spooky ghost stories.
Make a Fort
Whether with sheets, pillows, or cardboard boxes, making a fort is a fun activity that shows kids’ imaginations and keeps them engaged.
Play Board Games or Cards
What better time for a game of Monopoly, Clue or Uno? Checkers and jigsaw puzzles are also great options to keep everyone happily occupied for a couple of hours.
Have a Family Game of Charades
It’s impossible to stay bored when you’re playing charades! Categories can include movies, TV shows, activities, musical artists, books, or whatever else you can think of.
Start a Family Band
You don’t need real instruments, either (although if you have them, all the better)! Create makeshift instruments using drums made out of cans and buckets, paper plate tambourines, glasses of water filled at varying heights and a spoon for a homemade xylophone, and Tupperware filled with different materials for shakers.
Dance, Dance, Dance
While you’re having fun making music, get your groove on and have a family dance party.
Create an at-Home Scavenger Hunt
There are all kinds of knick-knacks in your home or condo that can be used as bounty in a fun treasure hunt.
Have some fun in the kitchen and enjoy the fruits (or donuts) of your labor! Baking cookies, cakes, brownies or other treats is a fun activity that the whole family can enjoy. Better yet, did you know that baking has been shown to reduce stress and anxiety?
Have an Indoor Picnic
prepare some picnic-style munchies (think salads, sandwiches, veggies and dip, olives, or cheese and crackers), lay out a blanket, get cozy and enjoy.
Learn Something New
Have fun doing it! The extra time spent at home is a great opportunity to teach your kids something new. Show them how to play chess, teach them a few chords on the guitar, or show them your favorite recipe that has been passed down through the generations. You can also embrace online education and help your kids stay on top of their learning with tools like Osmo, BrainPOP, Scholastic or Mystery Science.
Call or Facetime Family Members
This is a great time to catch up with people in your family and also to check in on them and see if they need any support during this challenging time.
Appreciate Art and Museums
Many art galleries and museums have opened up free online e-visits, including the Louvre, the Boston Children’s Museum, the British Museum, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, the Musée d’Orsay in Paris, the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Seoul, the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History and more. Explore art and natural wonders all from the comfort of your couch.
Go on a Digital Field Trip
Just as museums and art galleries have opened up e-visits, you can also take a virtual visit to places as exciting and varied as Yellowstone National Park, the Parliament Buildings in Ottawa, the Canadian Arctic, or a variety of farms across Canada. With Google Earth, you can explore almost anywhere in the whole wide world with just the click of a button.
Bust Out the Dress-up Box
Let your imagination run wild! Kids of all ages love dressing up and pretending to be various characters and creatures.
Start a Book Club
Take turns picking favorite books and then read them together. It’ll be fun to get different family members’ take turns and reactions to the same story.
Kids will love to create their own jewelry because it’s a fun, creative process and they’ll be left with something they can wear and cherish. For easy DIYs that you can make use of supplies you may already have at home, try making classic beaded necklaces, embroidered bracelets, sculptural folded paper bracelets, or washer necklaces.
Practice Learning a New Language
Whether by speaking together or by using an app like Duolingo, learning a new language is a great way to keep kids learning with a useful skill that will benefit them in life.
Write a Story Together
collaborate on creating a unique mystery story, sci-fi adventure or hilarious comedy.
It’s easy with the free virtual tours of the Langley Research Center offered by NASA. You can also check out Space Center Houston’s app, which provides virtual tours, augmented reality experiences, videos and audio stories about space exploration.
We hope you enjoy family time at home during this challenging situation making use of the fun-activities listed so far, and we wish you good health!
New year, new interior design trends! 2020 is a year that’s full of fresh new inspirations and trends when it comes to decorating your new condo or townhome.
Whether you’re in the market for a new condo for sale or are looking to make your current home feel more fresh and stylish, February is a great time to review the top trends of the year and to discover which ones you love the most.
Here are some of the new looks and trends for interior design in 2020:
Unique, Eclectic Looks
2020 is the time to let your personality and eclectic style shine. Unusual materials, unique artwork and distinctive furnishings have a major moment.
While neutrals are in vogue in 2020, various beautiful colours are also shining this year. From deep, saturated colours and jewel tones – like Pantone’s colour of the year, Classic Blue – to soft and subtle feminine tones – like Benjamin Moore’s colour of the year, First Light – 2020 is all about colour. It’s a great year to be bold in selecting designs. Embrace patterns, bold trim ceilings and high contrast (like black and white). If minimalism isn’t the choice, then try on maximalism and embrace the grandeur!
Let the interior design reflect your individuality and tell a story. Allow your authentic style to be expressed and have fun.
Enjoy a luxurious lifestyle and a lavish living space, while also enjoying the comfort and a relaxed vibe. 2020’s luxurious interior design is all about turning home into a personal sanctuary. Explore soothing, cozy design elements like furniture in luxurious fabrics, plush carpets and mixed textures to create a decadent yet comfortable feeling.
Consumers are becoming more aware of the ecological and environmental impacts of their purchases. The era of fast fashion is on its way out, and the same holds true for interior design. Say goodbye to fast furniture and decor. Invest in beautiful, high-quality classics that will stand the test of time.
Sustainable and Natural Materials
Continuing with the environmentally-conscious thread, sustainability is a big trend in 2020 – and a trend that we predict will stay. Materials that complement an eco-friendly lifestyle – such as natural materials like wood, marble, linen, wool and velvet – are both sustainable and luxurious choices. Natural materials bring warmth, depth and an earthy element to interior design. This makes for spaces that are more grounding and calming.
Sophisticated, European-inspired looks are a big trend in 2020. The European-style design includes mixing antiques with new décor items, layering the old, the new, as well as embracing elegance, comfort and art.
In furniture, European design features include plenty of curved lines, asymmetrical details, metal legs and luxurious materials.
While all-white kitchens have been trendy for years, two-toned kitchens are the latest trend this year. Kitchens with two tones have more depth and personality. They are an ultra-chic interior design statement.
Whether you’re upgrading your current home or saving ideas for when you purchase a new home or condo, interior design trends are a great way to get inspired. And if you’re buying a new home, remember that one of the greatest benefits is being able to customize the features, which finishes to suit your personal preferences, lifestyles, wants and needs. The process of selecting finishes and personalizing living spaces is a pleasure many dream about and a rare opportunity that is available at all BAZIS new condos and townhomes, including our upcoming Bartley Towns community of contemporary townhomes near Eglinton and the DVP.
Are you excited about what the future holds for homeowners? There are so many amazing new home innovations just around the corner. Here are a few of our favourites for the living room, kitchen and bath. Continue reading
Torontonians love their new homes. In a 2018 Globe and Mail Report, there will be well over 100,000 new pre-construction townhomes, Toronto between 2010 and 2020. With all the new houses built in the GTA, it’s easy to see new trends as they emerge, and new home buyers demand them.
It’s important to consider not only the upgrades that have *sizzle* but also the practical upgrades that are costly to do later, as well. These are things such as upgrades to ceiling heights, electrical, and insulation. Continue reading
Buying a new condominium is an exciting adventure. The downtown Toronto lifestyle is hard to beat. You have the ultimate freedom. Just lock the door and leave. The city awaits!
When thinking of buying a new condo, learn the steps to buying a new condominium or townhome in Toronto. Living in a home purchased directly from the builder means that you get to be the first one to live in your home and you get to choose exactly how you want it to look! Continue reading
One of the biggest benefits of buying new is being able to make it exactly how you want it. Bartley Towns new Toronto townhomes offer just that. The ability to customize their Bartley townhomes is a huge benefit for busy Toronto families.
The process of selecting your own finishes is a pleasure to dream about. Start by choosing your favourite looks in magazines and keeping an eye on interiors that reflect your personal style. It can be as much fun to choose your home’s finishes, as it is to put together your fall wardrobe! Continue reading