Tips on How To Cool Your Home

Posted 05/25/2012 by Gordon Mason
Categories: Green for Life, Green Living, Tips

Heat Wave

A fun but impractical way to cool down.

Hot enough for you?

With spring in full bloom and summer just around the corner, it’s time to consider how you’ll keep your cool for the next few months — ideally, in a way that doesn’t just save energy but also preserves your pocket.

Last year’s blog post about “Prep Your Home for Summerproved pretty popular, and I have since  learned new tips (some of which I heard from our homeowners).

So without further ado, here’s a list of simple tips you can follow to make your home cooler:

Use natural ventilation. If it cools down at night in your neck of the woods, consider opening your windows and turning off the cooling system. Shut the windows when you wake up in the morning, not forgetting to close the blinds as well. This will effectively trap the cool air inside your home.

Don’t underestimate fans. They don’t just support air conditioning (see the next tip) — they can even replace it if you want to open your windows and enjoy the breeze. Besides table fans and ceiling fans, window fans are a great option. Today’s units are cheap and even include thermostats. Consider getting two: place one on one side of your home, blowing outward so that it expels hot air, and place the second on the opposite side, blowing inwards so it cools your home. (If you live in a two-storey home, place the outward-blowing unit upstairs; since hotter air rises, the fan will remove it sooner.)

Fans need not rule out air conditioning. In fact, they can support it. Using a ceiling fan allows you to raise the thermostat setting up to 15°C higher without reducing your comfort.

Use the thermostat to your advantage. There’s no need to turn your home into the North Pole. Set your thermostat as high as it’s comfortably possible. The smaller the difference between indoor and outdoor temperatures, the lower your overall cooling bill will be.

Seal it. Proper insulation is as important in the summer as it is in the winter. Sealed cracks and openings will prevent warm air from finding its way into your home.

Of course, if you already live in a Mason Home, this isn’t a concern for you, thanks to the Energy Efficiency component of our Green for Life program that keeps perfect temperature year around, all while keeping dust, moisture and pollen where they belong — outside.

Mother’s Day Events Close to Some of Our Communities

Posted 05/11/2012 by Gordon Mason
Categories: Events

Tags: , , ,

Fleming's Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar Mother's Day Brunch


Mother’s Day is almost here, and while many of you will likely be eating pancakes made by the kids on Sunday morning, or taking your mother out for dinner, you might still find the following list useful, as it contains events taking place close to some of our current communities.

Barrie (home to our Just4U community)

Beaches, a fine market grill, will offer brunch and dinner on Sunday. Dinner consists of a four-course menu as well as the Beaches’ popular Prime Rib Feature.

Where: 268 Bradford Street
Contact: 705-728-3000 and beaches@beachesbarrie.ca

Port Hope (home to our Port Hope Golf & Country Club community)
There will be a Mother’s Day Wildflower Walk in the Ganaraska Forest from 2 pm – 3:30 pm, to be followed by hot tea. (Call 905-885-8173 to register.) Also, this article offers great suggestions on how to spend Mother’s Day in Port Hope.

Peterborough (home to our Avonlea community)

Habitat for Humanity Peterborough will host both an online auction and a Mother’s Day event at Lansdowne Place. The latter will allow kids to create unique hand-painted flowerpots, with proceeds going to the 2012 Women Build Project.

Now it’s your turn: what are your plans this Sunday?

The Port Hope Farmers’ Market is Now Open for 2012

Posted 05/04/2012 by Gordon Mason
Categories: Communities, Green Living, Port Hope Golf and Country Club

Having blogged last week about Peterborough’s farmers’ markets, I should mention that the Port Hope Farmers’ Market will open for the season tomorrow, after which it will open every Wednesday and Saturday until October 27th.

Selling fresh produce, home baked goods, and arts and crafts, this is quite a popular farmers’ market. (Be aware that while the location remains the same on Saturdays, it has changed to 48 Mill St. S. for Wednesday sessions.)

Either location is a mere 5-minute drive from the Port Hope Golf & Country Club sales office, which is located at 415 Lakeshore Road. Our staff will gladly answer your questions from noon to 5 pm on weekdays and 9:30 am to 6 pm on weekends.

Designed with active adults in mind, this is the perfect community for those of you who have more leisure time after a lifetime of hard work, and wish to spend it leading an active lifestyle, playing golf, strolling, and visiting the nearby parks and conservation areas. Learn more here!

Farmers’ Markets You Should Visit in Peterborough

Posted 04/27/2012 by Gordon Mason
Categories: Avonlea, Communities, Events, Green Living

One of the best things about spring is the fact that farmers’ markets begin opening up everywhere.

Peterborough is no exception. Home to our award-winning Avonlea community, this great town has more than its share of great farmers’ markets.

Consider this list:

  • Peterborough and District Farmers’ Market: This one is open year-round, but will only come outdoors and away from the heated indoors area on April 30th. This weekend, it will host an event called MapleFest Pancake Breakfast. I don’t know about you, but the name alone makes me want to go!

              Hours: Saturdays from 7 am to 1 pm

              Location: the Morrow Building & Parking Lot at the Corner of Lansdowne Street and Roger Neilson Way

             Hours (from May 2 to October 3): Wednesdays from 8:30 am to 2 pm.

             Location: the Louis Street Parking Lot (on the corner of Charlotte Street and Aylmer Street)

Feel like exploring the towns nearby? This blog post lists a few options, such as the Lakefield Farmers’ Market, a short distance from Peterborough.

If you happen to go to one of these markets and haven’t purchased an Avonlea home but are curious about our community, drop by for a visit at our Sales Office, located at 1224 Chemong Drive. (Hours are Mondays through Fridays from noon to 7 pm and weekends from 11 am to 6 pm.) You can also call 705-741-3676 for more info.

What do you like best about farmers’ markets? 

These Simple Earth Day Tips Will Benefit You as Well as the Planet

Posted 04/20/2012 by Gordon Mason
Categories: Events, Green for Life

Did you know Earth Day is this Sunday, April 22nd?

In fact, on that day events will be held in over 175 countries. Their aim? To increase awareness and appreciation of the Earth’s natural environment.

Having blogged last year about this important date (and having already linked to this page where you can find related events in your area), I’d like to talk about the simple steps that will preserve the environment and provide immediate, measurable benefits for your family and you.

  • If you already own a Mason Home, you’ve already taken a big first step. Our Green for Life program ensures you preserve energy (which saves you money), plus it provides your loved ones with great indoor air quality and helps you lessen your dependence on your car.
  • Using plug-in kettles rather than stovetop ones will help reduce energy consumption.
  • Buying local food also brings about positive consequences for the earth (reduced energy consumption) and for you (fresher, more nutritious, more delicious food). I often tweet about farmers’ markets. (Hint: follow me here.)

What are your favourite tips? I’d love to hear about them!

Final Clearance of New Homes in Downtown St. Catharines

Posted 04/13/2012 by Gordon Mason
Categories: Chicory Walk, Communities

Final Clearance of New Homes in Downtown St. Catharines

I thought I’d let you know our Chicory Walk community in downtown St. Catharines is having a final clearance sale. Our Mockingbird townhome is on final clearance for $179,999, and the Yorkton model is on sale for $249,999.

Offering family-friendly streets and beautiful architecturally-controlled streetscapes, Chicory Walk is Green for Life. This Mason Homes program helps ensure the well-being of your family as well as the environment’s. It also puts more money back where it belongs — into your pocket.

Check out the community link here for an idea of what makes Chicory Walk a great community, including local amenities and the community plan.

Located at 6 Chicory Crescent, the Chicory Walk Sales Office is open from Monday to Wednesday from noon to 7 pm, and from 11 am to 6 pm on the weekends. Our staff are looking forward to meeting you there — or you can contact us at stcatharines@masonhomes.ca or 905-688-3777.

Make this Easter Weekend a Green One

Posted 04/05/2012 by Gordon Mason
Categories: Fun, Green

A Green Easter

With Easter Weekend coming up, it’s time to consider celebrating it in a manner that’s friendly to and respectful of the environment.

The following tips will help:

Reuse the previous year’s baskets. Why not start with the obvious? And if you don’t have the baskets anymore, be sure to hang on to them this time around.

Make your own treats. This site has great recipes. Pressed for time? (Or maybe you aren’t much of a baker?) Consider getting organic brands, or brands that carry the Fair Trade logo.

Use natural dyes. There’s no reason to expose your kids to more chemicals. This blog offers excellent instructions (and a fun video) on how to use natural dyes.

Get free-run or organic eggs. They have a lower impact on the environment.

Forego the car. Having guests over for dinner? Thanks to New Urbanism design principles, our communities promote walking, so if your guests are from the neighbourhood, encourage everyone to make the most of the beautiful spring weather by stretching their legs. On other hand, if walking’s not an option, arrange carpools.

Your turn! What are you doing this Easter Weekend? Have you considered making it “greener”?


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