Explore / Travel / Urban agriculture

Travel Tuesday – Collingwood, Ont


Both of us deeply in need of a mid-summer weekend getaway, @oncewasaredelf and I went on a short roadtrip to visit my parents near Collingwood last weekend.  Now that my parents live on Georgian Bay, I visit the area regularly.  Cassiopeia spent a summer with my family at a cottage many years ago and we were overdue for another summer gathering.

I absolutely love the drive across the middle-Ontario counties: Halton, Wellington, Dufferin, Simcoe, Grey (and sometimes even up the Bruce Peninsula).  We got off to a bit of a slow start, getting stopped by a train just outside of Campbellville, but we had fun counting the cars with #mavericjhm. Our first road-trip stop was entirely by coincidence – Maveric wanted to open some windows so I pulled over to stop and open them (the Safari-van side panel windows are the pop-out kind) and the very next driveway was the Halton County Radial Museum!  We didn’t pay to go inside the whole museum property, that’ll have to be an adventure for another day, but for a good mid-drive break we spent half an hour “hunting for ghosts and aliens” in these vintage HSR buses.


{apparently we both love a good bookshelf selfie}


After arriving at Lighthouse Point for a quick lunch with my parents, @oncewasaredelf #mavericjhm and I set off to explore downtown Collingwood.  We admired all the different store window displays and wandered through many of the great boutiques.  Collectively we agreed on Coriander as our favourite downtown shop with Blue Mountain Tea Co a close runner-up and my splurge purchase coming from the Body Bar by Kalola Botanicals.  I admire Cassi’s patience and supermom skills so much, I hadn’t anticipated just how many breakable items are in the stores downtown!  As a reward for not breaking anything, Maveric found a great stuffed hedgehog named Felix.


While we were exploring downtown Collingwood, we came across an incredible community urban-agriculture project initiated by property owner Craig Marsh and facilitated by Robert Patterson ‘The Growing Connection‘.  Built on a rubble-filled empty lot, a former demolition site, this pop-up garden is demonstrating the use of Caja container growing systems to turn even the harshest environment into a green growing space.  The Caja containers are very water efficient, using 80% less water and their enclosed design means no weeding!   The note on the planters encouraged people to enjoy the bountiful produce so we brought a few bunches of herbs to dinner.


Speaking of dinner, I love my mum‘s summer BBQ chicken!  She fed us super well this weekend.  I’ve been having some GI issues so I’m trying to stick with an anti-inflammatory diet: high in fibre; lots of fresh, whole foods; leafy greens and fresh fruits; salad-dressings made with walnut or flax oil; and bone broth.  My mum taught me so much of what I know nutritionally, that I know I’ll be well-fed at her house.



The Collingwood area is a great place to visit with kids.  I’ve been coming to the Blue Mountains since the summer I was Maveric’s age so my parents were full of great suggestions.  Lighthouse Point has a great playground; an indoor and outdoor pool; and a long shallow beach perfect for new swimmers, beginner kayakers and rowdy water-gun fights; all of which we experienced with Maveric!  Visiting the Blue Mountain village he was a literal kid in a candy store at Happy Valley Candy Co, and also got some great tools at Jack & Maddy toystore.


Sunday we walked along the Georgian Bay shoreline on our way to spend a lovely, lazy day at the beach.  Maveric paddled in the shallow sandy inlet, made a new friend by hopping on a stranger’s kayak, and squirted us endlessly with waterguns.  I forgot my book, but thankfully it was a bit overcast so I lay on the sand for a bit without risking a sunburn.


Bad weather forced us off the beach…


…but I do love watching storms roll in over the Bay!



“you know you’re in a ski-town when” — chairlifts as landscape decor


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