Port Hope Construction Progress

Posted 07/13/2012 by Gordon Mason
Categories: News, Port Hope Golf and Country Club

Servicing begins at Mason Homes' Port Hope community.

In a blog post dated May 13 of last year, I wrote that our Port Hope Golf & Country Club community had passed the Port Hope planning committee.

One year and one month later, servicing is well underway at Port Hope, as the image above shows. Once this is finished, we’ll begin construction.

Port Hope will offer retreat-style adult living, including community outdoor activities and a wide selection of restaurants, boutiques and art galleries to entertain you. What’s more, the Port Hope Golf & Country Club is just steps away, so this will be a great community for those of you who love golfing.

I’m very excited about this community, so it pleases me to watch it become a reality.

If you’d like to learn more about our Port Hope Golf & Country Club community, this section of our website contains everything you need to know.

The New Canadian Dream?

Posted 07/06/2012 by Gordon Mason
Categories: Reflections

Mason Homes’ Avonlea was a hit with homeowners who value a walkable neighbourhood and Green for Life homes.

I recently came across an interesting New York Times article that discussed the American dream as it pertains to new homes.

People all over the world know that the American dream typically involves a big house and a big lawn, often out in the suburbs.

What many people don’t know is that the Canadian dream is very similar. Our homes may not be as big, but the truth is that, unlike most Europeans for example, Canadians families don’t really see themselves making do in a downtown apartment. They want a house, a big one, to raise their family in.

For a long time, Americans (and Canadians) could get away with making this dream real. But the dream doesn’t make as much sense now, not when commutes have gotten so long, gas more expensive, and traffic much worse.

As the New York Times writer argues, many American builders have stopped asking, “How much square footage are you looking for?” The new first question they pose to would-be homeowners? “What kind of community would you like to be a part of?”

We have found something similar at Mason Homes. People no longer want homes that are too isolated or require too much energy. They want homes that are easy on their pockets and provide a healthy background for their children to grow. Others want a home offering options for aging in place. Most wish they lived in a walkable community that allows them to reduce car usage, saving gas dollars and helping them make the most of good weather.

So while this article didn’t really illustrate anything our experience hasn’t shown us, it was still promising to see this topic tackled in a publication of that calibre. Hopefully the trend toward sustainable homes will continue, both in the U.S. and Canada.

What’s your dream home like? Is bigger better for you, even if means living in a remote neighbourhood with nowhere to walk to? And if you’re a builder, what does your recent experience tell you in terms of what Canadian homeowners want?

Family-Friendly Canada Day Events

Posted 06/29/2012 by Gordon Mason
Categories: Avonlea, Events, Fun

The 2012 Canada Day Parade theme in Peterborough is “Celebrate our Nation Through Song & Dance” (photo via peterborough.ca)

Although everyone has good reasons to look forward to a long weekend, chances are those of you who have a families of your own relish the opportunity to spend more time with your loved ones.

Our award-winning community Avonlea is home to many families. And since it’s located in Peterborough, which hosts great Canada Day events, those of you who own an Avonlea home have many options this long weekend.

Consider some of the activities taking place on Sunday:

  • 10 am to 4 pm: the annual Multicultural Canada Day celebration is hosted by the New Canadians Centre at Del Crary Park
  • 1 pm to 3 pm: the Douro Library holds its annual Big Book Sale and Family Fun Day
  • 11 am to 5 pm: the annual DBIA Hunter Street Canada Day Party takes place with family fun fair, crafts, and live music.

Now I turn it over to you: what are your plans for the long weekend?

Did You Know National BBQ Day is Here?

Posted 06/22/2012 by Gordon Mason
Categories: Green, Green Living

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Guess what important event takes place this Saturday, June 23?

National BBQ Day.

It’s no joke — the National BBQ Day is held two days from today across Canada. Created by Meal Exchange, the event is now on its third year, perhaps because it celebrates locally-sourced food and not just BBQs.

One of the best things about celebrating this event is that it involves — you guessed it — hosting a BBQ. This is where my previous blog post, “Tips for Green Summer Grilling, might come in handy (as a bonus, it contains a delicious recipe for grilled peaches).

So if you, like most people I know, are up for some grilling this weekend, consider signing up for National BBQ Day— you could even win a free Napoleon BBQ Grill!

Green Kids in a Green Home

Posted 06/15/2012 by Gordon Mason
Categories: Green, Green for Life, Reflections

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This Sunday is a great day for every dad out there. New dads in particular will always remember it. (One of the best things about building new home communities is interacting with families across all stages of their lives, from first-time parents at Avonlea to empty-nesters at Port Hope.)

Besides being a happy day, Father’s Day is also a good time to reflect on the education you’re giving your children.

One of the most important things you can teach them is how to live responsibly and how to grow into an adult who loves and cares for their family. Because doing will always set a better example than preaching, the best way to instil these important principles is to live by them.

Luckily, you’re setting the perfect example by living in a Mason Home. Your home and community not only protects the environment, but thanks to our Green for Life program, it also protects your loved ones and leaves more money in your pocket to provide for your family.

You can always do more, though. Be a role model — I try to take the following steps on a daily basis and to make sure I tell my son not just to do the same, but to take the time to explain why.

  • Turn the lights off when you leave the room
  • Always use reusable grocery bags
  • These days, most people recycle. Go a step further and recycle things many people still neglect, like running shoes and electronic equipment. You can even get your kids involved by recycling their school supplies
  • These children’s books are geared towards the environment, biodiversity, garbage and recycling

Now I turn it over to you:  what do you like teaching your kids on a daily basis? How do you do it?

Making Homes Affordable and Green Through Stud Spacing

Posted 06/08/2012 by Gordon Mason
Categories: Green, Quality

At Mason Homes, we believe efficiency plays a key role in building safe, affordable homes that preserve the environment as well as your pocketbook.

While I generally avoid writing about technical issues, a homeowner recently asked me whether we use studs at 24-inch spacing rather than 16. I wasn’t really surprised, as I have as of late noticed an increasing amount of homeowners who are curious about the technology and practices that make their home green.

What’s more, I noticed that this precise topic is getting a fair amount of attention online, as this article attests.

While using studs at 16-inch spacing is the traditional way to go, studs spaced at 24 inches have several advantages. They reduce costs somewhat, thanks to a reduced number of studs and reduced labour costs. More importantly, 24 inches on centre brings about improved insulation.

For all these reasons, Mason Homes use studs at 24-inch spacing, which helps make them energy-efficient and quite affordable.

The Most Popular Mason Homes Blog Posts

Posted 06/01/2012 by Gordon Mason
Categories: Reflections

My first blog post went up on December 9, 2009. Hard to believe it’s been that long.

Taking a look at the blog’s stats, I was surprised to find these 3 most popular blog posts to date are:

  1.  New Urbanism Feature: Narrower Roads
  2.  A New Gem! New Design Studio Coming to Peterborough
  3.  Mason Homes Sweeps PKHBA Awards (closely followed by Valentine’s Day: Green is the New Red)

The reason I was a bit surprised is because in writing this blog, I set out not just to share Mason Homes news and updates but also to discuss practical ways in which people can reduce energy while saving money.

My most popular blog post discussed narrow roads, a common feature of New Urbanism communities.

I’ve also attempted to discuss topics that interest me personally and are embodied in the Mason Homes philosophy — topics like  New Urbanism, which I discussed in the most popular blog post, according to the list I showed above.

In other words, I didn’t want the blog to focus on Mason news solely. I wanted to reward readers with tips and information they could use right away to better their lives.

Yet, for all the interest some of my readers have expressed in these topics,  the second and third most popular blog posts dealt with Mason Homes announcements.

(Of course, if I look at say, the next ten most popular posts, many of them deal with green tips and New Urbanism.)

Still, these findings made me curious: what would you like me to blog about? Which posts did you enjoy the most? I look forward to hearing from you!


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