I know some of us had our doubts if it would ever arrive, but I think I am safe insaying Spring is finally here. it will probably be a short one and before long everyone will be complaining about the heat. Not me! I am a summer person and it has been a long cold winter! If you are tempted to rail about the heat and humidity in South-Western Ontario in the summer, just enjoy and remember what our winter was like.
The trees are sprouting and the flowering bushes are out in full bloom. My wife commented yesterday about the beautiful pink and white blossoms that are so beautiful but so short lived. She used to drive her grandmother around the city when she was with us to admire the Spring Sights. Grandma was a nature lover.
With Spring comes some yard work, maybe a little new landscaping and planting some annuals for color here and there and that so necessary. CurbAppeal for your home. We all want to create that `Welcome Look` to our front entrances. You may even have some wimdow boses mthat you can plant .The lawns have to be cut and it is time to spray those nasty weeds that keep coming up in the gardens. Be careful not to pick a windy day as you will get over spray and ruin your plants. Spray close to the weed root. Be sure to trim all the dead off your bushes and plants and give them room to sprout new growth.We always like to put a fresh coat of mulch on the gardens and spray weeds and fertilize the lawn at this time of year. If you do not know what to use, get some Professional advise.We have severalChatham-Kent Nurseries and Landscape Companies who can help. You may have to consider staining your deck to give it that fresh look as well.
Speaking of Nurseries, I just want to give a plug to the Glasshouse Nursery. I read a great article in the latest issue of CK Senior about this establishment. It was started by Papa (Martin) VanRaay close to 50 years ago. Our condolances to the family on his recent passing. The family is keeping his dream alive and well. It is a family owned operation and continues to thrive today. Sue and Dave Van Raay along with their children Sarah, Erin and Simon run the Business. In the article Dave thanks our great community for their continued support and assures everyone that their personal customer service which is a hallmark of the operation will continue.
Good planting everyone and enjoy the weather!
Chatham-Kent is the Affordable Lifestyle Location with many amenities. Call me Wayne Liddy 519-436-4810 Royal lePagePefier Realty Inc. Brokerage for all your Real estate need and visit my website for for the latest Chatham-Kent listings and upcoming Events.
According to the latest news report the site plan for the new Chatham Casino has been approved and plans are going ahead to make this $36M project a reality by the middle of 2019.During construction the DresdenGateway Casino will continue to operate. Although this is good new for the Minicipality Of Chatham-Kent, it is bittersweet and a real sense of loss for the Dresden community. Chatham-Kent has received a total of $700,000 in hosting fees from Ontario Lottery and Gaming as a result of the Dresden Operation but Mayor Randy Hope expects to see a considerable increase with the construction of the new facility in Chatham. Gateway is one of the largest Gaming and Entertainment operations in Canada and currently has a presence in Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia. This is good news for our Municipality and our Economy.
The new facility will have plenty of parking, 2 restaurants, 300 slots and 10 gaming tables. Its location at the corner of Keil Drive and Richmond, the former site of the Wheels Inn has easy access to the 401 via Bloomfield Rd.forr out of town visitors. Other great amenities are its close proximity to the John D. Bradley Convention Centre on Richmond and the Holiday Inn Select as well as other hotels, restaurants and coffee shops who will all welcome the new visitors. One of the best pieces of news is that the new 45,000 square foot Casino expects to create 200 new jobs in our Municipality. This is welcome news for our Economy.
Chatham-Kent is the Affordable Lifestyle Community, the area of choice if you are searching for Location Location Location with lots to see and do. Visit and you could very well decide to stay! Call me, Wayne Liddy 519-436-4810 Royal LePage Pefier Realty Inc. Brokerage for all your Real Estate needs and visit my website for the latest in Listing and Events in this great community.
Most of us are aware that April is Personal Income Tax Return month. By now you probably have all your T4 `s and are ready to finalize your return. if you have no financial experience and have never done your own taxes you may want to consider hiring a professional. In many cases, they are aware of deductions that may lower your taxes due or result in a return. This will often save you money in the end even though you will have to pay to have the return done. If you do hire a professional, you can save yourself some money by getting everything itemized for him or her.
If you have done your taxes in the past and feel confident in doing your own return, you may want to google two areas on the Internet. One is `Free Tax Resources`which can be very helpful and `Free copies of income tax returns"
Good luck with the paperwork and enjoy the Spring Weather. I think it is finally arrived.
If you are considering a home purchase at this time, the spring market has arrived. Call me today, Wayne Liddy 519-436-4810 Royal LePage Peifer Realty Inc. Brokerage Chatham-Kent.
You love your home and your neighborhood. However, you are not adverse to adding a few new touches, here and there to give it some pizazz.
Let's cover a few key areas.
Front Entrances: This is the first impression visitors have or your home. Make it welcoming and convenient.
1) Mirror You can either hang a mirror over a table or if possible mirror a wall. This is a great optical illusion for small entrances. and it will give a feeling of spaciousness.
2)Table Place to drop your keys or visitors purse, phone or gloves while guests are removing their coats and shoes.
3) Bench or chair Someplace to sit while removing boots or shoes.
4) New entrance flooring to present the Wow factor
Family Room: With open concept great rooms being so popular today, this is the room where the family gathers and spends most of their time. Separate living rooms although still found in some homes are not the place where families watch television and congregate. If this is the case in your home spend the bulk of your budget on a comfortable servicable sofa with loveseat/chairs or a sectional. If it is possible, you may want to take a wall out between the living room and family room and create a large great room.
Fireplace: This adds warmth to a family room and a great focal point. Televisions can be mounted above which solves the dated problem of where to place the TV. If a gas fireplace is not feasable try an electric fireplace. The cost is much less and you can achive a similar result.
Glass Tables: Accent tables or a glass dining room table or desk will give the illusion of space.
Clutter Removal: If you have numerous books, or other items sitting around, consider a wall cabinet to show your accessories in a more organized way.
Area Rug: Search for a color scheme or pattern that pulls the room together.The rug does not necessarily have to be expensive. It is the overall look that is important.
Color: Monochromatic can be very attractive but not for everyone. If you like color, use it. Add splashes of your favorite tones to that monochromatic room and it will be transformed. This can be accomplished through accessories such as pillows, throws, wall and table art. The beauty of this inexpensive makeover is that when you tire of the look, you can remove the color and enjoy the serenity of that monochromatic room again.
Bedrooms: Chose colors that flow. If the hallway is a cool color keep the bedrooms which you can see from the hall in the same pallette. It does not have to be the same color or even similar but if it is also cool, the space will appear larger.
Chair/Table Desk: If space allows, a reading corner is a welcome addition especially to the master bedroom. In a child's room, a desk and chair are often needed for homework. If you are on a budget, watch the garage sales or the kijiji ads. You can slip cover a chair inexpensively or use a wooden chair like a rocker and put a throw and/or cushion on it to match your bedspread. Place a small table for reading beside and the room has a perfect place to read or spend some quiet time. For the child's room search for a compact desk and chair and some wall units if possible.
In all of the above remember greenery! It will add wamth to a room, fill empty corners and be your most inexpensive way to complete the look of your home. Have fun!
April is Cancer awareness month. Unfortunately, we have all been touched in some way by this terrible disease. The Canadian Cancer Society funds research on all types of cancer, offers information on cancer, treatment and risk reduction, and provides amazing support for those suffering with cancer as well as family members and friends. Canvassers will be asking for our support and many organizations and individuals host events for this great cause.
Many of us remember the Celebrate Life Fashion Show to honor Cancer Survivors held for several years and attended by many. Marie Anderson of Nina Marie's Boutiques started the Celebrate Life Fashion Show to honor her mother's fight with breast cancer. All the models for the show were Cancer Survivors and as each model shared his or her personal cancer journey, the evening becomes much more than just a Fashion Show but a touching and inspiring evening of Hope. Last year, the organizers decided to vary the program and held a very successful fundraiser for our own Chatham-Kent Hospice in October called 'Handbags for Hospice' If you have ever had a loved one fighting Cancer or another terminal illness and he or she spent their last days at the Hospice, you know what a remarkable place it is and how fortunate we are to have it here in Chatham-Kent. Watch my blog for further details on this years event in October 2018.
Just one of the great programs available for breast cancer survivors to participate in is the Breast Buddies Dragon Boat Team for Chatham-Kent. I posted anarticle on this most rewarding program last year. I knew nothing about it and was very impressed with the family like comraderie among the team members and the accolates of the members for its awesome support. The team competes across the country 4 times each year.
Chatham-Kent has many worthwhile causes but the Canadian Cancer Society is one that is unfortunately through exposure in one way or another, close to many of our hearts. Give generously. Chatham-Kent is the affordable giving community. It is the ideal location to live, work, raise a family, relocate to or visit. Call me, Wayne Liddy 519-436-4810 Royal LePage Peifer Realty Inc. Brokerage for all your Real Estate needs and visit my website for Chatham-Kent events and Happenings and Choice Properties for Sale.
Wednesday Night Movies at the Chatham Capitol Theatre
I am always tooting Chatham-Kent's horn for being "The Affordable Lifestyle Location" and I have just another example to prove my point. If you have heard someone say there is nothing to do in Chatham-Kent, they are just un-informed. Chatham-Kent is a very vibrant area with lots tosee and do. We will soon be into the summer months and as far as I am concerned, there is no better location. We are nestled in the middle of the Great Lakes and are often referred to as the Banana Belt. This is a reference to our milder temperatures in the winter time although this year, Old Man Weather decided to play with that a little. Oh well, we will soon be over the cold weather and on to Spring and Summer. Spring often is the shortest season in this area, going from cold to hot but we will see what this year brings. Regardless, before we blink, we will be heading to the beach to swim, boat or open up the family cottage at one of our Chatham-Kent Area Resorts Locations.
Our own Chatham Capitol Theatre in Historic Downtown Chatham has had some greatentertainment in the past few month. The talented Country Western Star, Aaron Pritchett was here in January, The Bernstein Bears Live made an appearance in March and the National Dance Company of Ireland performed the Rhythm of the Dance to the delight of the audience on March 19, just to mention a few of the recent shows. We are very fortunate to have this Venue right here in our midst in Chatham-Kent. We can enjoy some great entertainment, which I might add is very affordable, and never have to travel far. I hope you are checking the Capitol Theatre's website for upcoming events so you do not miss anything.
I spoke to someone about the great movie, "Wonder", we saw last Wednesday at Movie Night atthe Capitol Theatre and they did not know anything about it. As a result I decided to write about this fantastic affordable evening in this week's blog. Every Wednesday Evening at 7 P.M. at the Capitol Theatre is Movie Night. You can buy a season pass for $35.00 or pay $5.00 at the door for this week's movie. Popcorn is $2.00 and the bar is open. There is a wide variety of movies, sometimes a new release that did not come to our local theatre or perhaps one you missed. Last week's "Wonder" was a real gem and one I believe should be seen by every school child. If you missed it, take my word for it and be sure to rent it. Make it a family night at the movies.This Wednesday's movie April 4 willbe the 1959 Classic, "Ben Hur" with Charlton Heston, next Wednesday April 11 will be 'The Shape of Water" a new film from this year and the following week April 18, Disaster Artist will be showing. There was a great crowd last week so someone recognizes the great value of this movie night. Hope to see your there and enjoy the show!
Sister of St. Joseph Honored for their Role in Opening Original Hospital in Chatham
As many of us know, there have been many changes in our Health Care in Canada and namelyin our Chatham-Kent hospital structure. Chatham-Kent Health Alliance has come through a difficult period with the hospital being run for the last 18 months by a provincially appointed supervisor. In light of the many changes, it was recently decided to disband the three former hospital boards, including St. Joseph's and to operate under a single board. Many people do not know how or when our hospital began.The Sisters of St. Joseph created, opened and operated the Chatham St. Joseph's hospital since 1890.They began humbly in the former Salvation Army Barracks on Centre St. in the fall of 1890 with 16 beds. Two years later they opened their doors to the original St. Joseph's Hospital where the current Riverview Gardens Long Term Care facility is located today, under the direction of Municipality of Chatham-Kent. The Sisters main objective was to provide care and compassion to those in need and they did that unfailingly for many years.
In 1993 the Order of the St. Joseph's Sisters decided to move on and no longer be involved in the administration of the hospitals that they had founded in Chatham, London andSarnia. This led to the formation of the St. Joseph's Health Care Society which has been involved in hospital administration since its beginning. My Wife is a Laboratory Technologist, trained and worked under the Sister's capable administration for years, finding it a very rewarding experience as did many others.
Thus 2018 marks the end of the role of the St. Joseph's Health Care Society. The recent Celebration of Legacy held at the CKHA was held to honor the society and the order of Sisters who were instrumental in the beginning of the first Chatham Hospital. Sister Margo Richie of the Sisters of St. Joseph addressed the audience in reference to the importance of the latest technology in delivering Health Care today. " If it is not rooted in the compassion or that capacity to let love flow through us, health care is very diminished' We are all optimistic that this latest change will be a successful step in our Chatham-Kent's Hospital's future.But having said that, let us not forget where are roots are and what they stood for way back in 1890.
There has been much speculation the last several months on where, if at all, a new Casino would be coming to Chatham. Gateway Casinos & Entertainment has announced that it will be building a new casino in Chatham on the northeast corner of Richmond and Keil Dr.on the former WheelsInn site. According to Stuart McFadden, Chatham-Kent's acting director of economic development, the location of the site is a real plus. The close proximity to the 401 access, the John D. Bradley Convention Centre and the Holiday Inn Select as well as other Motels and already established nearby Business', makes the site a great choice.
As many of us know, first hand, the Gateway Dresden Casino has been operating for severalyears and will continue to do so until 2020 during construction of the new casino. Counsel man Joe Faas expressed some concern for the community of Dresden but was pleased the facility will be build in Municipality of Chatham-Kent. will announce further details in the weeks to come including employment opportunities. The new Casino is slated to have Slotsas well as Gaming Tables.Government and land acquisition is still pending. Gateway will announce other details including size and investment into our Chatham-Kent Municipality in the near future.
Chatham-Kent is the Affordable Lifestyle Location and every amenity that isaddedis a catalyst for other Business' to come here and for visitors to make Chatham-Kent a stop on their vacation plans. Years ago when the Wheels Inn was at its peak many people visited Chatham-Kent and I believe will come again when the word gets out as to what we have to offer. We have something for everyone from Beaches, Fishing, Boating, Entertainment and now a new Casino. My Motto for Chatham-Kent is " IT IS ALL HERE ALL YEAR!"
I know it is March Break and the children have the week off from school. A lot of people are away but there are still families who are not travelling and are looking for activities closer to home.I was with a friend last week who is having her grandchildren for some of the week and we were discussing fun activities to keep them occupied.
She mentioned swimming. Check the areas pools for free swim times and also the arenas for free skate times.There is also an option for some cultural knowledge. Have you every taken your children or your grandchildren to some of our area museums? Chatham-Kent is steeped in Black History and has direct ties to the Underground Railway of the Slavery days. Unfortunately, some children do not know their history and would not know what you were talking about if you mentioned these Historical facts.. Why not call Uncle Tom's Cabin Site, The Buxton Museum or any of the other Museums in our area of Chatham-Kent and open theminds of our young people.They will love it! I have not been but I hear the Railway Museum by the tracks on Queen St. is great. What child does not like trains. Have Fun!
Also this week, the Chatham Capitol Theatre has a full schedule. There is something for everyone's taste. On Wednesday March 14 at 8 P.M., Juno Award winner, Tom Cochrane withRed Rider will take centre stage. Early in his career, he was the driving force in Rock Music with Red Rider, going on to become an International Success with his album " Mad Mad World' and its signature song" Life is a Highway" He has achieved many accolades in his career becoming an Officer of the Order of Canada and an Inductee into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame among other honors bestowed on him.
Saturday is a Touch of Broadway night at the Capitol with a Tribute Show called the "Buddy Holly's Rockin' Dance Party" The late great Buddy Holly died tragically in a plane crash on February 3,1959 but his music lives on! This show features Jeff Giles, an amazingly talented touring artist and is produced by Bill Culp Productions, the Premier Production Company in Canada. I think I am showing my age but songs like 'Peggy Sue' and 'That'll be The Day' bring back great memories. As a added feature, the show will include early Rock and Roll songs from Elvis, the King of Rock and Roll. The show is audience interactive and will appeal to all ages. Get your tickets today!
Last, but certainly not least, is the 'Rhythm of the Dance' being presented by the National Dance Company of Ireland on Monday March 19 at 7 P.M. The show is 2 hours of extravagant music and dance so the children still will not be out too late since school is back in session by that time.The production features a live band, three tenors and 22 dancers who have wowed 4.5 million fans around the country.
Don`t miss at least one of these fantastic shows taking place right here in Chatham-Kent. Check on-line for tickets or call 519-354-8338.
Have you every felt like you are running out of steam? We all need to recharge our batteries from time to time. We live in a stressful society and that is a fact! Life can be VERY Good but we have to stop and smell the roses from time to time. The everyday pace we all keep today can be very tiring! Why do you think statistics for heart attacks and strokes are up and not only in our aging population but in mid 40's and 50's?
I know we cannot always jump on a plane and head for warm weather when life gets hectic.We all have a different set of circumstances and each of us must decide what is bestfor us and our families. I do know one thing for sure! We all have to set goals and plan rewards for reaching those goals. They do not have to be huge goals. When our children were young and getting away for a winter holiday was not always an option for the March Break, we always planned a day outing for the family. Maybe we drove to the Henry Ford Museum in Detroit and stopped for a Hamburger on the way home or went someplace else close to home. London Ontario has a great Children's Museum. But it was a day away anda family outing.Search google and find something of interest for the whole family. Make it a group decision and get everyone involved even down to 'where will weeat?'We had fun and we all looked forward to the day even if it was not a whole week which we had been able to do some years.
However, if you are planning a Winter getaway, there are certain things you can do ahead of time to relieve the stress of planning that perfect vacation. In our case, my wife is the planner. We decide together of course, where we are going. The children are grown and it is just us but we sure have fond memories of planning with the kids. It is a different season in our lives and we are enjoying this time as well. My wife is the planner as I mentioned. We just returned from Mexico where we met a great couple who were telling us that the husband was the planner and the wife followed his direction. Just make sure one of you knows which flights and how to reconfirm 24 hrs before, where you are going and hotel reservation confirmations or it could be A MESS.
Here are just a few things we do or should I say she does and life sure is easier.
1)If you are not real savvy with a computer, you should use a travel agent. They can make life easier. Find one you trust even if you have to shop around at first. Then do repeat business with that individual. They will learn what you like and want and you can relax! They are often privy to Travel Agent Specials that you will not be aware of.
2) Chose all Inclusive Vacations. All Inclusive Trips can remove all the stress of planning activities, additional monies for amenities, food, beverages and even transportation to andfrom the airport to the resort. We love them and find they give us a real reprieve from day to day living. Each to his own. Remember it is your holiday and has to recharge your batteries.
3) Become an airline repeat customer. Each airline has different baggage fees, carry on luggage rules and often additional costs for seats etc. If you become a repeat customer you know what to expect and can be better prepared.
4) Always buy Travel Insurance. Yes, it is an additional cost but well worth the investment. Many offer protection against trip interruption or cancellation, lost or stolen luggage and even some medical expenses.
5) Switch to a Credit Card that has some travel benefits. The point system can be very helpful for extra costly flights to out of the way destinations.
Now get going and do not feel guilty if you can truly afford it. Life is too short and I guarantee you will be more productive when you return!