What is a Community?

You are part of a community, but what are you really part of?

We often talk about what is happening in our community, but I thought I would veer off and discuss just what makes us a community.

There are many levels to consider. For example, as REALTORS® we are part of the organized real estate community, which by the very MLS® rules we all agreed to abide by, make us part of a community of individuals working co-operatively to enable property owners and buyers to come together. We all work under the same guidelines, and have access to the same resources, through our local associations, our provincial associations and our national association. As part of this community, I can strongly recommend becoming involved in volunteering for these bodies, as you will gain a new respect for what they are trying to do on your behalf, and at the same time you will have a voice in how decisions are made that affect your business.

Another community level is within your business. At Coldwell Banker Pinnacle Real Estate we have a great community of individuals, who work together to help our clients, but also who work year round to help others in the Hamilton-Burlington area, through volunteering their time. Also, we work year round raising funds to help people in our area at the holiday season.

And the community that we all think of first is of course our geographic community, for me in particular the Hamilton-Burlington area, and in particular Ancaster, where I live. This is the community of like minded individuals who want the same services and enjoyment of what the area has to offer. This level of community likely has the greatest affect on your decision of where you want to live, and to REALTORS® is very important in helping people decide where they want to buy a home and raise their family.

We are very fortunate in the Hamilton area, as we benefit from a strong commitment to providing for our residents from our various levels of government. Our school systems are great, we have a comprehensive sports program for our youth, and also a strong support for seniors in the community.

Just think, all that and we have a great line up of events within our community, whether it be festivals, conservation area events, art festivals, theatre…the list is endless. We are very fortunate to be part of all these levels of community.

WHAT’S HAPPENING IN THE COMMUNITY?

Every once in a while Ann and I talk about what’s going on in our community. Well, this weekend we have one of the great summer festivals happening. The Locke Street Festival takes place this Saturday, September 7th from 10AM until 9PM.

Something that I find interesting this year is the festival is featuring the music of Westdale High School. If you didn’t already know, Westdale High has a great history when it comes to Rock and Roll music. Groups such as Teenage Head and Harlan Pepper had their roots at Westdale.

While you are exploring at the Locke Street Festival be sure visit all the unique shops on the street. They range from antiques to gifts to spas and more. You won’t be disappointed.

One more thing I would like to remind you about is the FOOD!! It is impossible to go hungry on Locke Street. There are great places to eat on both sides of the street from end to end. There is fine dining, pub and diner style food, gourmet burgers and pizza, just to name a few.

So if you have never been to the Locke Street Festival before and you don’t have anything planned for Saturday then I highly recommend you check it out. You won’t be disappointed!!

 

Summer is Coming! Summer is Coming!

Just trying to be positive here… Our Spring weather isn’t giving us much hope for summer, but it is time to start thinking about what to do when those warm summer days finally arrive.

I think there is nothing better to do than spend as much time as possible outdoors once the weather gets nice. It doesn’t need to be steaming hot, just pleasant. My favourite summer pastime is golf, and we are lucky enough to be surrounded by more courses than we could play in a summer. (I do have a job you know, for those that think they could get to them all).

If you are planning family outings, keep in mind all the local attractions, such as Wild Water Works, African Lion Safari, Christie and Valens Conservation areas, and more, that I don’t have room to name.

Now is also the time to be planning summer getaways, whether it’s the kids to camp, or the family off to the cottage. Don’t miss out by waiting to see what the weather is going to do… There are lots of things to do regardless of the temperature or precipitation.

Other summer pastimes for me include trips to Stratford and to the Shaw Festival. I enjoy turning them into day trips so we can sample what the areas have to offer, in addition to some fine entertainment.

I also enjoy going with friends on the wine tours in Niagara. Yes, pick the one who will be the DD that day, and go enjoy some of the fine wines Ontario has become so well known for. Drop in to one of the winery restaurants and enjoy local cuisine prepared by some of the best chefs around.

Looking for something more local? Spend a day walking through our abundant conservation areas, and then stop in to one of our local restaurants. Enjoy your beverage of choice on the patio…

Relax… Refresh. That’s what summer is all about.

If you have any favourite things to do, please share. We are always looking for great ideas to enjoy summer.

SUMMER FESTIVALS ARE JUST AROUND THE CORNER!

Yes I know summer isn’t here yet, but its’ coming, I think. After the mild winter and early summer we had last year people seem to be a little impatient this year with the slow arrival of the warmer weather. You should take this time and start to plan which of the great summer festivals in our area you would like to attend this year.

One of my long time favourites is the Festival of Friends held in August each year. They have great artisans selling their creations, many different food vendors to satisfy any appetite, and let’s not forget the stellar line-up of entertainment. Over the years I have enjoyed the likes of David Clayton Thomas, Lighthouse, Randy Bachman, Eric Burden and the Animals (they we fantastic), to name but a few. And don’t forget, IT’S FREE.

Another favourite is the Dundas International Buskerfest in June. The wide range of entertainment is astounding. And we must not forget the Dundas Cactus Festival in August. Again, there is great entertainment, crafts, food, and more.

I have not been to the Winona Peach Festival or the Oh Canada Ribfest in Waterdown but I have heard great things about them so I am adding them to my summer to-do-list.

So, if you’re looking for some great family fun this summer, go to one of the many summer festivals in the Greater Hamilton Area.

For a list of festivals, dates and places, go to

http://tourismhamilton.com/events/events.php?sub=*Festivals&offset=10

I invite you to share your favourite festivals with our readers, so they too, can enjoy a great festival experience.

IT’S THAT TIME AGAIN – WHAT TO DO ABOUT A CHRISTMAS TREE

I saw my first Christmas tree on the roof of a car last weekend and I thought, is it that time already? This is a seasonal chore that I really enjoy and it also brings back some great memories. When I was a young boy my father acquired our Christmas tree in many different ways. Sometimes we would just go to the parking lot at the grocery store where we would buy a pre-cut tree or we would go to a tree farm and cut our own. One very memorable year was when money was very scarce for us so my Dad decided we would go out into the woods and cut down a tree. Well, Charlie Brown’s Christmas tree had nothing on us!

When my Dad brought the tree into the house my Mom said, “What am I supposed to do with that?” Throw some decorations on it and it will be fine was his response. After my Mom did the best she could, she asked my Dad to tie the tree to the wall because she felt it was so crooked and uneven that for sure it would fall over. My Dad said, “Not a chance. It is fine the way it is.” My Dad left to work the night shift and sure enough around 8:30 in the evening down came the tree with ornaments smashing and lights flashing. It took a long time for my Mom to forgive my Dad for that one.

My wife’s family has always made the Christmas tree cutting a great family outing with all the children and grandchildren. It was always a lot of fun for the kids and it was a challenge to see who could get the best tree. Just for the record, you couldn’t choose the first tree, because you had to check out almost every tree at the tree farm. The only time we would choose one of the first trees was if the weather was too harsh. As the children got a little older we would use them as markers. Sarah you stay with this tree and make sure nobody takes it, Ali you stay with this one, Clayton you stay here. The problem with that method is sometimes it is difficult to find your way back to your kid. So now you have the parents walking around calling out their children’s names and saying “where are you?”

When talking about Christmas trees I would be remiss if I didn’t mention my wife’s passion for Christmas. When it comes to our tree it has to be BIG!!! So big in fact, that last year our tree was so full and beautiful that I had to tie it down in two different places as well as screw the tree stand into the floor so it would stay in place. We have enough ornaments in our house to decorate about four trees. Our children all have their own ornaments that we have given them over the years at Christmas. We have even had discussions about getting more than one tree. One year I made the mistake of suggesting an artificial tree. I thought my family was going to hang me up like a piece of mistletoe!!! So whatever your preference is in your house, enjoy your tree trimming experience and I wish everyone All the Best this holiday season.

This blog is dedicated to my wonderful Mother –in –law Edith Fitzhenry who passed away last month. This holiday tradition of cutting down the Christmas tree was one of her favourite holiday activities and in her memory we will continue with this great family tradition.