Tag Archives: Port Dover

15 Ways to Beat the Winter Blues in Norfolk

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We’re going to help you fight back against the dreaded winter blues.  Here are 15 things to do in our beloved Norfolk County to help keep you out of that winter slump.

Laugh it up at Sandbar on the Beach in Turkey Point. On the last Saturday of each month they host a Yuk Yuk’s event which includes an amazing buffet.

Bust out the broom and get a head start on your spring cleaning list.  With the indoor tasks out of the way you’ll have more time to spend on outdoor clean up in the spring. Norfolk County Council approved a 2018 county wide bulk pick up for this spring, so be prepared to get your items to the curb on time! 

Go ice fishing! Since we live near the lake, bundle up and head out on the ice (after you’ve checked out the ice safety conditions) to see what you can catch. Check out Jimmy Riggin in Long Point and Bayside Ice Fishing or Woodward’s Ice Fishing in St. Williams to get equipped for the sport. For the avid ice fisherman, putt your skills to the test in this upcoming tournament. But of course, safety first! Here are some ice fishing safety tips from Long Point’s Old Cut Boat Livery.

Trivia Night, Comedy Night, Movie Night, pick your passion!  New Limburg Brewery in Nixon hosts weekly events that are perfect for a date night or a hangout with friends. You can order from their epic beer menu of Belgian style ales and in house snacks. They’ve created an awesome space for you to just relax and have fun. Check out their Facebook page to see what’s going on each week.

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Re-decorate a room. Channel your inner interior decorator and give a neglected room some love. For you decor inspiration, check out Brushed Designs in Waterford.

Indulge in a night out, dinner and live music usually does the trick! 211 Main in Port Dover hosts a gastro pub atmosphere, an inspired menu, and local musicians.  Visit their Facebook page to see their menu and their live music schedule.

Focus on you. That’s right, slow down and make some time for you! We suggest checking out a yoga class or one of the other wellness services at Anume Health & Wellness Centre in Waterford. They even offer beer yoga for the boys!

Get creative! Attend a do-it-yourself sign making class hosted by Rural Inspirations. You’ll have a great time getting crafty and creating your personalized masterpiece. Their Facebook page showcases tons of sign inspirations and upcoming events.

Popcorn and a movie. You can’t go wrong with a classic movie night at Norfolk’s very own movie theatre, The Strand in Simcoe. Wether its a date night or a family night, check out what’s playing and order extra butter! 

Get in touch your wild side and take part in CRC’s Owl Prowl to learn about these awesome mysterious winged creatures of the night.  Meet some local owls up close then head out to the field and call in some wild ones! 

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Go for a hike and re-connect with nature. Trekking through the Backus trails in the winter season is a chance to see our beautiful county in a new perspective. The glistening trees and beautiful white blanket offer a very different view from the colourful forest of the summer (and there’s no bugs!) So, pull out you snow boots or snow shoes and hit the trails. 

Host a Norfolk inspired Wine & Cheese Party! Lucky for us, Norfolk has more than a handful of amazing wineries to choose from. Stock up on few bottles from these local wineries for your guests to sample. Then visit The Dover Cheese Shop in Port Dover and The Second Mouse Cheesetique in Delhi to pick up some fantastic specialty cheese options for pairing.

Sweeten up your day with some baked treats. Tie up your apron, get out the sugar and spend the day in the kitchen baking up some sweet creations.  You might even turn to your copy of Norfolk County’s Cook Book to find some locally inspired recipes. And for the non-bakers out there (like me), you can opt to skip the whisk and head over to Ritzy Cakes, Joy Bakery Cafe or Urban Parisian for some incredible baked treats.

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Try something new and take a beginners pottery class. Circle of Friends pottery is a creative learning studio for beginner potters of all ages. The art of pottery has been said to have some amazing health benefits including stress reduction.  So, give it a try and de-stress with this creative outlet. Find an upcoming class on their facebook page.

Take a lunch break in Port Rowan.  Country Fork has new a menu that your are definitely going to want to try.  Stop in for a delightful lunch then drive down to the harbour to take in the stunning views the lake has to offer at this beautiful time of year.

10 Things To Do in Norfolk Before Summer is Over

Anyone who has visited Ontario’s Southwest Coast during the summer months would agree that they were lucky to enjoy the breeze from the lake, the locally sourced dining experiences, the sandy beaches, and the abundance of available outdoor activities. Summer is nearing an end and it’s time to squeeze in every last bit of fun that Norfolk County has to offer. This is our list of 10 things to do in Norfolk County before the summer is over!


Head out to Lakeside Vista to take in the epic views over-looking Lake Erie and join in the 3 day Music & Arts Festival. This years Saturday headliner? THE TREWS!  This is a family friendly event with lots of activities for the kids and 18 awesome concerts. Camping, beer tent and food vendors are all available on site. Start packing up the truck, this event is taking place this weekend, August 25-27, 2017! As an added bonus, founders of the festival and Lakeside Vista owners Ryan and Lisa VandenBussche announced that all proceeds from the event will be donated to Six ’N’ Pix!

Wine Down Wednesday

blog5Through to the last Wednesday in August, you can enjoy a mid-week “wine down” at Burning Kiln Winery. Wind-down on the picturesque patio with a glass of your favourite wine, live music, bonfire, lawn games, and David’s On Tour food truck specials. Burning Kiln hosts a relaxing atmosphere perched above the Long Point World Biosphere Reserve escarpment with views of the flourishing vineyards and surrounding countryside.  The perfect setting to sip away the summer evenings.

Yoga in the…

Yoga in the serene lavender fields at Apple Hill Lavender Farm, Yoga (and berries and wine) in the blueberry patch at Blueberry Hill Estates, Yoga (and live music and beer) in the hops at Ramblin’ Road Brewery Farm! Paige Logan, AKA the Yoga Paige, has been hosting a number of yoga inspired events around Norfolk County and offering amazing blog7opportunities to experience Norfolk in a more relaxing and mindful manner. If you’re ready to unwind outdoors and flow with Paige then follow her on Facebook to find her classes at The Yoga Paige.

Turkey Point Mountain Biking Trails

A casual roadside bike ride is nice, but it can’t quite compare to the excitement of mountain biking through the Turkey Point trails.  Thanks to the Turkey Point Mountain Bike Club, Turkey Point boasts over 50km of well maintained and clearly mapped trails.  The trails can be tackled by riders of all skill levels. Take it from a beginner, the ride was exhilarating and a ton of fun. Of course, I mostly stuck to the beginner trails with the exception of bravely attempting two intermediate runs. For the experts riders, Turkey Point is known for offering some of the best trail riding in Ontario! If you’re just getting started, you can sign up for a guided tour with Long Point Eco-Tours. So, strap on your helmet and spin up some dirt this summer.

Normandale Century Inn

We recently discovered this hidden Norfolk Treasure while out for a Sunday drive. The live music on the packed patio undoubtedly caught our attention. We hadn’t visited the Normandale Century Inn before so naturally we were curious what was drawing the crowd.  To describe our visit, pleasantly surprised would be understatement. The menu was packed with items created with local ingredients and the drink selections showcased local wineries and breweries. It was a fantastic tribute to Norfolk County and surrounding area.  If you have yet to visit the serene hamlet of Normandale be sure to do so before September 3 on a Sunday afternoon when The Normandale Century Inn is featuring live music!

Long Point Country Bayfest

September long weekend is widely celebrated as the last long weekend of summer, before the leaves start to turn and the days get shorter. In Port Rowan, we celebrate Labour Day long weekend with an epic Annual Festival! Originally known as Tomato Fest, Bayfest takes place on the water front and in the streets of Port Rowan just a short drive North of Long Point Beach. There are many activities to take part in including the soap-box derby, casting competition, and midway rides. In true festival fashion you’ll find vendors, food, entertainment and of course a parade. The festival kicks off with Friday night’s Fire Up Festival and hosts a finale of fireworks on Sunday. Celebrate another summer in the books with the family at Long Point Country Bayfest September 1-3, 2017.


blog3At Waterford Ponds or in Lake Erie off the Port Dover beach, South Coast Watersports hosts a ton of awesome paddle board activities! Who knew you could do so much on a paddle board? Sure, you can rent a board and go for a paddle. But if you’re feeling adventurous, you can paddle in to a game of SUP Polo, undergo some race training, or work on your balance with SUP yoga.  Check out their rentals and events calendar and get paddling.

Norfolk County Beerstock

Get hoppin’ on Sblog2eptember 30th in Powell Park with the Crepe House. Beerstock, sounds epic right? Sipping on samples of craft beer, and tasting wines and ciders from local wineries. All while listening to live music and joining in lawn games in the midst of the bustling tourist town of Port Dover. Of course, you’ll be able to try out some inspiring menu items from local food vendor as well.  It doesn’t get too much better than this, or does it? Actually, you can purchase the VIP package and also enjoy breakfast at the Crepe House followed by a trip to the ropes course at Radical Lines Aerial Adventure Park escorted by Ride the Bine.  Cheers!

Backus Woods’ Trails

blog4The enchanting trails that wind through the Carolinian Backus Woods’ forest located just North of Port Rowan offer breathtaking hiking trails. The trails are accessible year round but they are fantastic to experience at summers end and in to the fall. We typically depart from the trail head on the 3rd concession surrounding ourselves in Norfolk’s wildlife and work our way North on the trails sheltered by the canopy of towering trees. The trails are maintained by the Nature Conservancy of Canada and there are a number of access points and routes to explore. Pick up a trail map and lace up your hiking shoes.

Ride the Bine

If you haven’t already heard then I guess it’s time someone filled you in, Ontario’s ridetehbineSouthwest is becoming a sought after winery and craft brewery destination! Ride the Bine is in their first season and is providing guided tours to some of Norfolk’s wineries and breweries for both locals and tourists. They are inspired by their industry experience and passion for Norfolk County and that passion truly shows through their memorable tours. Gather a group and join the team at Ride the Bine for a cruise through Norfolk’s countryside.

With only a few weeks left and so much to do, how will you be spending the final weeks of summer in Norfolk County?

10 Ways to Prepare Your Home for Winter

Preparing Your Home For Winter

Now that fall is officially here, it’s time to prepare your home for cold weather. These steps, most of which you can do yourself, will help lower your utility bills and protect your investment.

Tune Up Your Heating System

A technician will inspect your furnace or heat pump to be sure the system is clean and in good repair, and that it can achieve its manufacturer-rated efficiency. The inspection also measures carbon-monoxide leakage.

If you act soon, you’ll minimize the chance of being 200th in line for repairs on the coldest day of the year.

Reverse Your Ceiling Fans

If your ceiling fan has a reverse switch, use it to run the fan’s blades in a clockwise direction after you turn on your heat. The fan will produce an updraft and push down into the room heated air from the ceiling (remember, hot air rises).

This is especially helpful in rooms with high ceilings. It might even allow you to turn down your thermostat by a degree or two for greater energy savings.

Hit The Roof

roofMake sure the roof is in good shape. Inspect for missing and loose shingles. Ice, rain, snow and wind combined with rapidly changing temperatures and humidity wreak havoc on roofs. Your roof is your first defence in protecting your home. Without it functioning properly, water damage can occur. This causes deterioration to insulation, wood and drywall, making electrical, plumbing and HVAC systems vulnerable. It’s better to proactively deal with repairs in the fall than to discover a leaky roof during a snowstorm. For safety’s sake, have a roofing professional check the condition of your roof.

After leaves have fallen, clean out the gutters and downspouts, flush them with water, inspect joints, and tighten brackets if necessary. Clogged gutters are one of the major causes of ice dams. Replace old or damaged gutters with new ones that have built-in leaf guards.

Caulk Around Windows and Doors

caulkingIf the gaps between siding and window or door frames are bigger than the width of a nickel, you need to reapply exterior caulk. (Check the joints in window and door frames, too.) Silicone caulk is best for exterior use because it won’t shrink and it’s impervious to the elements. Add weatherstripping as needed around doors, making  sure you cannot see any daylight from inside your home.

Divert Water

Add extensions to downspouts so that water runs at least 3 to 4 feet away from the  foundation.

Turn Off Outdoor Taps

Undrained water in pipes can freeze, which will cause pipes to burst as the ice expands. Start by disconnecting all garden hoses and draining the water that remains in faucets.

If you don’t have frost-proof faucets (homes more than ten to 15 years old typically do not), turn off the shut-off valve inside your home.

Prepare to Store Away Your Mower

lawnmowerAs the mower sits through the winter, fuel remaining in its engine will decompose, “varnishing” the carburetor and causing difficulty when you try to start the engine in the spring.
John Deere offers these preventive steps: If you’ve added stabilizer to your fuel to keep it fresh longer, then fill the gas tank to the top with more stabilized fuel and run the engine briefly to allow it to circulate. If not, wait until the tank is nearly empty from use and run the engine (outdoors) to use up the remaining fuel. Check  your mower’s manual for other cold-weather storage steps.

Test Your Sump Pump

sumpSlowly pour several litres of water into the sump pit to see whether the pump turns on. You should do this every few months, but especially after a long dry season or before a rainy one.

For more complete instructions for testing and maintenance, check your owner’s manual. Most smp pumps last about ten years, according to Chubb Personal  Insurance.

Call A Chimney Sweep

Before you burn the Yule log, make sure your fireplace (or any heating appliance burning gas, oil, wood or coal), chimney and vents are clean and in good repair. That will prevent chimney fires and prevent carbon monoxide from  creeping into your home.essentials

Restock Winter Essentials

Don’t wait for the first winter storm to restock cold-weather essentials, such as salt or ice melt. Stock up on windshield washer fluid, too.

Schofield’s Bistro

This past Christmas I was the lucky winner of the Erie’s Edge Real Estate Facebook contest – Best Decorated tree. I won a $100 gift certificate to the Norfolk County Restaurant of my choice. The choice for me was a no brainer…Schofield’s Bistro.

I have lived in Port Dover all of my life and have eaten at all of the great restaurants that the town has to offer. When a new establishment opens, I can’t wait to try their food. I am usually not disappointed. When I first dined at Schofield’s Bistro on Main Street four years ago, I was amazed.

Their food which is described as “casual gourmet with Norfolk flavour” is outstanding, but where it comes from is even better. Everyone who lives in Norfolk County knows how great the variety of fresh ingredients that our area has to offer are. Schofield’s Bistor uses these local elements to their advantage. Not only do their dishes consist of farm to table ingredients, they offer a variety of options that feature the work of other local businesses such as The Port Dover Cheese Shop, Silver Lake Vodka, and my personal favourite, The Little Cheesecake Company.

Schofield’s offers a variety of succulent dishes ranging from their popular Grazing Plate appetizer which features the chef’s weekly selection of artisanal crafted charcuterie to their beef tenderloin medallions. They also offer different daily specials, depending what is in season. I cannot get enough of their linguine alfredo with chicken. The creamy white wine sauce is packed with cheesy flavour and the chicken is grilled to perfection. The dish is served with crusty garlic loaf that I look forward to every time I dine there. 

As a picky eater, I enjoy checking out a restaurant’s website prior to visiting. Schofield’s website does not disappoint and describes everything they have to offer in detail. Make sure to check it out at http://www.schofieldsbistro.com. Their Twitter and Instagram pages are also great as they often post their specials which will be sure to get your mouth watering!

The ambiance of Schofield’s Bistro is just right. It is located in a historical building and features hardwood floors and exposed brick walls which are decorated with pictures of Port Dover’s past and the work of local artists which is available for purchase. The tables are always decorated with fresh flowers and in the evening, the lights are dimmed and candles are lit, making it my favourite date night location with my fiance. Schofield’s is next door to The Lighthouse Festival Theatre and offers a dinner special for those attending a show. This is perfect both locals and those visiting from out of town.

The Little Cheesecake Company’s Coconut Cream Cheesecake available at Schofield’s Bistro

If you are attending the theatre, or just looking for a great place to dine with friends or someone special, do not overlook Port Dover’s Schofield’s Bistro.

Written by Andrea McIntyre, winner of the Erie’s Edge Christmas tree contest.