One-Tank Trip for March 26/16
(c) By Jim Fox
A harbinger of summer and a ritual for Ontarians preparing to open their lakeside retreats is the Spring Cottage Life Show.
For cottage doers and dreamers alike, the show from April 1 to 3 at the International Centre in Mississauga is Canada’s biggest with more than 550 exhibitors.
|Sunrises, vivid sunsets are part of cottage life, with Cisco keeping watch. (Jim Fox photo)|
The show helps those preparing to head off to the lake, stream, cottage, cabin and bunkie with insight into what’s for sale and how much for those entering the market or moving up to a year-round retreat.
“The show reignites the excitement of heading back to the lake with everything a cottager needs and wants,” said publicist Peggy Sheffield.
This includes boats, docks, water toys, paddle sports, decor and furniture as well as hundreds of experts in cottage building, renovations, septic systems, water treatment and green-energy solutions.
Among the special features are walk-through model cottages, grilling demonstrations, a dock party, kids’ activities and special appearances from Cottage Life show celebs.
It’s one-stop shopping for all of cottage country, with more than 100 realtors showing everything from new builds, a turnkey cottage or a cozy cabin ready to renovate.
|Whatever floats your boat at the Spring Cottage Life Show.|
There will be two model cottages that showcase the growing trend of factory-built modulars from Guildcrest Homes, Sheffield said.
“The high-quality, energy-efficient cottages will give a first-hand look at the big appeal of buying affordable and contemporary retreats with small footprints that disturb less of the natural landscape and provide more opportunity to enjoy outdoor spaces,” she said.
Contractor Wayne Lennox is back showing how to build an outdoor shower.
Look, up in the sky
New is a stargazing exhibit that brings the night sky inside in a mobile dome that uses projection technology and astronomy software.
From the Ontario Planetarium, the dome can seat 30 people as space journalist and children’s author Peter McMahon and astro-photographer Rick Stankiewicz tell all.
Topics include the Earth’s seasons, constellations, tides, the solar system, Northern Lights and Chris Hadfield’s mission to the International Space Station.
|Children can select and prepare a white spruce seedling to take home from the show.|
The Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources & Foresty’s Learn How to Fish mobile unit has a casting pond, fishing simulator and do-it-yourself lure machine.
Visitors can learn about the underwater ecosystem and explore tanks filled with 13 varieties of regional fish.
The Cottage Wildlife Centre includes a bird rehabilitation and educational unit from Wild Ontario at the University of Guelph.
It features owls, falcons, ospreys and other birds of prey while Scales Nature Park will show reptiles and tell of their turtle hospital on Georgian Bay.
|Loula gets into the swim of things at the cottage.(Lisa Fox photo)|
Come and get it
The Cottage Kitchen will have demonstrations and new food ideas.
The Masters of the Grill program has Ted Reader’s step-by-step instructions on how to clean and cook fish.
The cooking stage has Chef Naz Cavallaro sharing grilling tips to get the most out of a barbecue or smoker.
|Cottage life includes dock parties on the water.|
Cottage Life magazine’s Jane Rodmell of All the Best Fine Foods and recipe tester Tony Armstrong of Headwaters Community Farm and Education Centre cook up recipes from the magazine.
There will also be peanut butter recipes using Adam’s Natural Peanut Butter.
On the main stage
The show has Cabin Pressure’s design duo Colin and Justin; What’s for Sale? with Rob Serediuk; decor maven Debbie Travis; Citytv gardening expert Frank Ferragine (Frankie Flowers); and Michelle Kelly, Cottage Life magazine editor-in-chief.
The social hub is the Cottage Life Dock Party with beverages from Muskoka Brewery.
The Family Activity Centre, in partnership with Camp Mini-Yo-We, will offer nature-themed crafts and the Tree Planting Zone is where kids can select and prepare a white spruce seedling to take home.
A play area offers two hours of free child care for children two to 12.
If you go
The show is at the International Centre, 6900 Airport Rd. at Derry Road.
Hours are: April 1, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; April 2, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.; and April 3, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Admission: $18; $9, ages 13 to 17; free, to age 12; $26, weekend pass.
Tickets for seniors (65 plus) are $13 on April 1 and there is a $4 discount on adult tickets after 4 p.m. on April 1 and 2. Free parking. cottagelife.com/shows
Jim Fox can be reached at email@example.com
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