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Sunday, March 23, 2014

Spring things to do: cottage show, book that campsite, Sports Expo

   One-Tank Trip for March 22/14

   (c) By Jim Fox

   Now that spring has sprung, it’s time to start planning warm-weather pursuits at the cottage and parks.
   After a winter that kept on giving, mosquito and black fly season might even be somewhat appealing for those venturing into the great outdoors.
A stunning sunset from a cottage dock near Bass Lake Provincial Park. (Jim Fox photo)
   To get planning into high gear, the Spring Cottage Life Show runs from March 28 to 30 and it’s not too early to plan that Ontario Parks’ getaway.

   Cottagers unite
   Say “good-bye” to cabin fever as cottagers and would-be owners gather at the International Centre (6900 Airport Rd.) in Mississauga.
   “The Spring Cottage Life Show will give potential cottage owners the tools to begin their pre-research before they locate a realtor who can work with them to find that ideal dreamed-about cottage property,” said publicist Peggy Sheffield.
   More than 30,000 cottagers are expected at the show that features an expanded floor plan, along with 500 exhibitors and 100 realtors.
   The show features experts on topics including family preferences, waterfront location, travel time and daily sun, among other desires.
More than 30,000 people and 500 exhibitors are expected at the Spring Cottage Life Show.
   Succession planning for recreational retreats will be the focus of one of the seminars.
  There are also the latest high-tech innovations for everything from TVs on the dock to wireless sound systems controlled by an app.
   Cottagers can see how with an app or computer they can turn on the heat in their cottage on the drive up to the lake and monitor their property when they’re not there.
   Find out ways to improve phone reception and high-speed internet for those who choose to surf or work from the cottage.
   For anyone considering a modular cottage, one will be on display by Canada Builds of Lindsay while realtor Chris Winney talks about retiring at the cottage and Rob Davis “exposes the ugly truth about septic tank maintenance.”
The idyllic cottaging lifestyle.
   The Cottage Kitchen demo stage showcases a new outdoor kitchen design along with grilling tips from Chef Naz Cavallaro of Cottage Life TV.
   Other personalities to appear are “Colin and Justin,” whose show is about buying and renovating a Muskoka log cottage; Matt Basile, Rebel Without a Kitchen; Chef Jo Lusted from Compete to Eat; Michelle Mawby of Weekend Reno; Colin Hunter, Decks, Docks & Gazebos; Rob Serediuk, What’s For Sale?; and BBQ Diva Danielle Dimovski.
   Social hub is the RE/MAX Dock Party while there are plenty of things for kids to do and see including an activity centre with nature-themed crafts and cottage critters in the Wildlife Centre.
   Show hours are March 28, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.; March 29, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and March 30, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
   Admission: $18, adults; $9, ages 13 to 17; free, children 12 and younger; $26, weekend pass. Seniors (65 plus), $12 on March 28; and $14 that day for adults after 4 p.m. Discount coupon in April’s Cottage Life magazine. Free parking. Details: cottagelife.com/shows

   Pitch that tent
   Ontario Parks suggests that campers move quickly to book a campsite as campgrounds at popular provincial parks such as Sandbanks, Killbear and Pinery fill up quickly for summer holiday weekends.
   Campers can use the Park Locator tool on the Ontario Parks’ website for trip planning.
   It searches parks by facilities, services and activities, and can pinpoint parks close to urban centres and those with equipment rentals or backcountry experiences.
It will soon be time for family camping at Ontario Parks. (Ontario Parks photo)
   Copies of the 2014 Parks Guide can be downloaded from the site where there is much information including a video series called “Cool Things in Ontario Parks.” Details: ontarioparks.com

   Sports expo scores
   Fans can rub shoulders with some of their heroes at the Niagara Falls Sports Expo at the Scotiabank Convention Centre (6815 Stanley Ave.) on March 29 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
   “This is a rare opportunity for fans to get up close with some of their favourite professional athletes,” said show manager Chris Dabrowski.
   Along with legends such as baseball’s “Hit King” Pete Rose, Buffalo Sabres’ Gilbert Perreault and Toronto Maple Leafs’ Curtis “CuJo” Joseph, there will be autograph sessions, memorabilia, seminars, exhibits and attractions.
   Also attending will be legendary Leafs’ goalie Johnny Bower; former San Jose Sharks’ power-forward Owen Nolan; Toronto Blue Jays’ third baseman Kelly Gruber; former Buffalo Bills’ linebacker Cornelius Bennett and professional wrestler Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake.
   Tickets are $20; $10, ages seven to 12. NFSportExpo.com


Jim Fox can be reached at onetanktrips@hotmail.com
For more One-Tank Trips: http://1tanktrips.blogspot.ca

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