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A short week ago, we were looking for a break in the rain. This week, a break in the humidity might be nice. Yes, we are under an extreme heat alert, with the humidex pushing temperatures into the 40s this week. The Middlesex London Health Unit issued the area’s second heat alert of the year yesterday, and it is expected to last until Thursday. I’d say that’s a perfect time to find any way possible to escape the heat in London, Ontario.

Escape the Heat

  • Have you been to the beach yet? Now is certainly the time! Grab your swimsuit, towel, a beach umbrella and don’t forget your sunscreen! Make sure you drink plenty of water while you are there.
  • You are never too old for a splash park. The City of London operates splash pads at several locations between 9am and 9pm. This is a great way to cool down fast, plus it’s FREE!

    Splash Pads are a great way to beat the heat

      • Gibbons
      • Rowntree
      • Lambeth
      • Forks of Thames
      • Kiwanis
      • West Lions
      • Bonaventure
      • Jesse Davidson
      • South East Optimist
      • Oakridge
      • Ed Blake Park
      • Medway
  • If a splash park isn’t your thing, head to one of London’s many Libraries or Community Centres. They’ve got air conditioning, activities planned throughout the summer, and are free for you to beat the heat.
  • A cool shower can bring your body temperature down quick

    Another great way to cool off is to step into a cool and refreshing shower or bath. Whether you have air conditioning at home or not, a quick trip into a stream of cool water will bring your body temperature down and help you to cope with the  extreme heat we are suffering through.

  • Along the same kind of lines, bring down your core temperature with cool cloths to the body. How about tucking a set of sheets into the freezer, pulling them out at bedtime, and melting into their cool, crisp embrace to drift off to dreamland.
  • How about a spritz every now and then? If jumping into the shower every 10 minutes isn’t possible, but you need something more than a damp towel on your head, then how about a spritz bottle to prevent a meltdown. Start at your wrists and move on from there.
  • Take regular breaks to ensure you keep cool during the heat of the day

    Take a break. From whatever activity you are doing. Even if that is typing away at your computer. Make sure your computer takes a break too, as when it goes into a low-power state it will produce less heat. Doesn’t that make sense all around?

  • What about the obvious one – drink more water! Skip the colas, coffees and coolers. Alcohol, caffeine and sugary sodas just dehydrate you. Stick to fruit juices, sports drinks and good old-fashioned water to quench your thirst.
  • Prevent temperatures from soaring in your home in the first place. Keep blinds closed during the day to keep the sun’s punishing rays out. Open windows at night to let in the cooler breezes. Don’t use the oven or stove to heat up your home. Turn off the lights to reduce your power usage and any heat that your light bulbs create. Set your thermostat to a comfortable temperature for when you are home, but allow it to raise during periods when you aren’t home (programmable thermostats save you energy and money). Think smarter, not harder!

How are you beating the heat wave in Southwestern Ontario this week?

 

Today is the last day of school for London and area children. In a few short hours, the kids will be released from school for the summer. Do you have your vacations booked? Is your car packed for the cottage? Are you ready to celebrate the Nation’s birthday this weekend? That’s right, not only do the kids get to celebrate the end of school, but summer is going to be ushered in with Canada Day celebrations this weekend!

I realize that not everyone has a cottage to escape to, or even much vacation time to draw on over the summer. There is always plenty to do around London and area though, and this weekend is no different. You can still celebrate Canada’s birthday and not necessarily have to spend a small fortune to do it. Why not look at these options;

Canada Day Fun In Your Neighbourhood

Canada Day celebrations in Summerside

Start the celebrations off early in the neighbourhood of Summerside. On Saturday, June 29th, the Summerside Optimist Club is sponsoring Canada Day festivities from 3-6 pm at Meadowgate Park. There will be inflatable bouncers, a kids dash, face painting, a maze, a BBQ by M&M, plus lots of other games and activities. Once the sun goes down, the sky will be lit up by fireworks. Glow sticks and snacks will be available to purchase as well. All profits go to further activities in Summerside, so make sure to get out and celebrate in your city.

Eldon House is getting in on the patriotic action as well. London’s oldest residence will be hosting free events in the garden between 12-5 pm. That includes live music, the chance to watch artists create en plein air, the opportunity to take in a game of croquet, Canada Day crafts for the kids, a puppet show, and even cake at 3 pm. Tours of the house are by donation.

The celebrations don’t stop there though. Between 6:30 – 10:30 pm a fundraising barbeque will be held. Tickets are $50. Dinner is served at 8 pm. There will be live entertainment, tours of the house, a silent auction, plus of course one of the best views of the fireworks being held at the Forks.

Dominion Day at Fanshawe Pioneer Village

If you want even more historic fun to ring in Canada’s 146th birthday, why not head out to Fanshawe Pioneer Village for their Dominion Day celebrations. You can watch a vintage baseball game, listen to patriotic speeches, enjoy birthday cake and lemonade on the green or a barbeque buffet in the Village Cafe. Admission is $7, with children under 3 free. Buffet prices are $13.50 for adults and $6 for children under 12.

Of course the City of London always pulls out all the stops with their Canada Day celebrations down at Harris Park. The free event features a First Nations gathering, exhibits honouring Canada’s Heroes, vendors and community exhibits, birthday cake, and plenty of live entertainment. Celebrations start at noon and run through til fireworks light up the sky after dark. In fact, here’s a preview of what to expect this Canada Day.

Have a great weekend and don’t forget to turn your alarm clocks off for the summer! 

The rain has stopped. Sunshine is forecast for the next few days. How perfect that it is just in time for the weekend! So what are your plans? Cleaning out the garage? Finishing up your garden planting? Or are you itching to get out and enjoy that summer weather on the town? It’s Father’s Day weekend. Heck, ditch the chore list and find something fun to do with Pops. That’s more like it!

Why not start with a clean slate before heading out. How about washing the dirt off your vehicle that the got kicked up by all the rain this week. On Saturday, June 15th, you can do just that, at one of 26 participating car washes in London for the Protect our Environment Carwash Event. There are car wash facilities all over the city participating, from touchless washes to self-serve facilities. The City of London has teamed up with the Canadian Carwash Association to raise awareness about environmental issues surrounding our waterways. Part of the money raised will be contributed to the London Cares Curbside Food Drive, which in turn supports the London Food Bank. So not only will you have a clean car to drive for the rest of the weekend, but you will be making a better choice for the environment and supporting a good cause in the process. Check the above link for participating locations and then make a plan to do something a little more exciting than washing your vehicle yourself on a sunny Saturday afternoon.

So after a spin through the washer, what else can you get up to? Last week I highlighted some of London’s Summer Festivals, and two of them are being held this weekend alone – Dragon Boat Festival and Kids Expo. They both could certainly be added to the roster of things to do. You could also go to another festival, that I failed to mention last week; the London International Quilt Festival. It started June 12th and runs through to June 15th in the Grand Ballroom at the Hilton Hotel (300 King St). The theme for this year’s Quilt Festival is ‘Africa’ and there are almost 200 quilts from all over that continent, with workshops and lectures from various African teachers. Hours are 10 am – 5 pm on Thursday and Saturday, and 10 am – 9 pm on Friday. The Festival will wrap up with a Gala Evening on Saturday, featuring music, dancers, fashion and a full-course meal. Sounds colourful!

Perhaps you would like something a little edgier, a little wilder to fill the weekend with though. Then head out to Wildwood Conservation Area (3995 Line 9,  St Mary’s) for the Wild Ride Mountain Bike Festival! This is a festival that just might take your breath away. The folks at the Lung Association know that it is worth it though. This exciting event raises money to help people breathe, long after the last racer crosses the finish line on June 15th. So what do you need to know? The event starts at 9 am. There are 25 km of trails to ride. Wild Kids (12 and under) ride free in the Dr Murray Forest. There will be a community barbeque, demos, exhibitors, plus an opportunity to go camping after the race is done. Now ride!

If you want the excitement, but can’t bring yourself to climb onto your bike that is hanging derelict in the garage, why not take Dad out to the ballgame instead. This event won’t cost a dime to get in, so it makes the perfect Father’s Day gift from the kids! That’s right, Sifton Properties is hosting the 4th Annual free event in celebration of their 90th anniversary, and they want YOU to be a part of it. All you have to do is register today for the Pack the Park 2013 at Labatt Memorial Park (25 Wilson Ave). Doors open at 1 pm. What Daddy wouldn’t appreciate an afternoon watching baseball with his family? So cheer on the London Majors, as they batter up against the Brantford Red Sox. This is a gift any Father would love.

Whatever you get up to, make sure to take the time to offer a bit of love to dear old Dad. He’s a pretty good guy, and deserves to hear it every once in a while. I am hoping for a hug or two of my own. Happy Father’s Day!

This weekend is the unofficial start of summer. Mother Nature even seems to be willing to cooperate, as the forecast is calling for sun and temperatures in the low 20s all weekend long. As it is Victoria Day on Monday, that means for the first long weekend of the summer! I for one can’t wait. So get ready to have a great weekend, as there is plenty to do in London, Ontario this weekend.

Victoria Day Weekend In Your Neighbourhood

For starters, City of London splash pads will be back in business starting on Saturday, May 18th. Just in time for the long weekend Londoners! Hours run daily from 9 am – 9 pm. There are twelve public splash pads to enjoy, as noted here;

  • Bonaventure Meadows – 141 Bonaventure Drive (next to Bonaventure Meadows Public School) – Note: Open restricted hours during school hours
  • Rowntree Park – on Whetter Avenue off Wellington Road
  • Kiwanis Park – off Hale Street
  • Fork of the Thames – off Riverside Drive and King Street
  • West Lions Park – on Granville Avenue beside Kinsmen Recreation Centre
  • Lambeth Centennial Park – on Beattie Avenue across from the Lambeth Arena
  • Jesse Davidson Park – off Monte Vista Crescent or Ensign Crescent
  • Gibbons Spray Pad – in Gibbons Park
  • Southeast Optimist Park – on Deveron Crescent
  • Oakridge – Valetta Street by Oakridge Arena and pool at top of hill
  • Ed Blake Park – near Huron and Barker Streets
  • Medway Park – beside Medway Arena and the Canada Games Aquatic Centre


Grab your bathing suits (and swimmers for babies – no diapers cloth or disposable diapers allowed) and get ready to get wet! Note that there is no standing water, as the splash pads are all sensor activated. There is also no supervision at any of the sites.

 

The splash pad at Storybook Gardens will also officially open this weekend. For the remainder of May, hours are Monday to Friday from 10 am – 4 pm and weekends 10 am – 5 pm (including holiday Monday on the 20th). Prices for the 2013 year are Adults $7.50, Children (2-17) $6.50, Families (2 adults & 2 children) $25, Seniors (65+) $6.50, Infants (under 2 years) free. If you know that you’ll be heading there often enough, you might even want to consider purchasing a seasons pass for $35. It is good for one full year from date of purchase, so that you can enjoy the park in winter or summer. Plus it enables you to get 10% off any purchases in the Treasure Chest Gift Shop, at the Village Square Cafe concession stand, and for select programs.

 

Fireworks over Lake Ontario in Toronto on Vict...

It just wouldn’t be a long weekend without fireworks! If you are looking for sparkling skies and a big bang or two, head out to Fanshawe Conservation Area on Monday, May 20th. Fireworks displays begin at dusk, but there is plenty more to do there before then. There are 20 km of trails for hiking and biking, plus 8.5 km dedicated exclusively to hikers. You can go fishing or boating on Fanshawe Lake. Or bring along a tent or trailer and enjoy the park all weekend for a camping trip (note there is an alcohol ban in place for the May long weekend). While you are there you can also head over to Fanshawe Pioneer Village, as it officially re-opens for their 54th season on Saturday May 18th. They will be stepping back in time on May 20th to celebrate her majesty Queen Victoria herself with historical games, speeches and a vintage baseball game. Entrance to the Pioneer Village is $7 with children under 3 free. To get into Fanshawe Conservation Area, you just need to pay $12 for a vehicle day pass.

Happy Victoria Day Weekend Canada!

Well, I hate to break it to you, but this sunshine isn’t going to last. The slightly balmy weather is here to stay though and is only going to get warmer this weekend. Fabulous, you think? Well, except that the warmer temperatures are supposed to bring an awful lot of rain. Which will probably result in a fairly brown and muddy world in London, Ontario. Not so fabulous in my books.

Looks like I’ll be looking for some inside activities to keep me busy this weekend. I have just the thing for the 19+ crowd; The 8th Annual London Wine and Food Show! Running from January 10-12 at the Western Fair district, this year’s event is certain to be another great success. Hours are 5-10:30pm on Thursday and Friday, and 12-10:30pm on Saturday. Tickets cost $10 in advance or $12 at the door. If you are wondering what that gets you, the answer is plenty! Tonight is opening night and the red carpet is getting rolled out for you and Food Networks star, Chef Corbin. Friday is Ladies Night and you will also be treated to a fashion show from local designers. There will be a full lineup of activities on Saturday, with wine tastings, cheese sampling, cooking demonstrations and more.

 

Build a Budget Workshop

How about something slightly different? Would you be interested in learning about the City of London’s 2013 budget? How about being able to give a little feedback on what it looks like? On Saturday, January 12th, 2012 you get your chance as the city is hosting a Build a Budget Workshop. From 9am to 3pm at the Top of the Hall Cafe (12th floor) in City Hall, you will get an opportunity to have your say on this year’s budget. There will be stations set up where you can ask questions and provide feedback on what you would like to see with the 2013 budget. While you need to register for this event, it is free and open to members of the public. Sessions are from 9-11 am and 1-3 pm and cover topics such as ‘Budget Basics’, ‘Comment Corner’, ‘Ask the City Treasurer’, ‘Priority Pole’ and ‘Your Voice’. There will even be a Twitter wall, where tweets will be shown featuring the hashtag #LdnBudget13, for all the tweeters out there. Welcome to the 21st century London!

If you can’t make it, but would still welcome the opportunity to offer your input on the 2013 budget, there will be a public participation meeting held at 4 pm on January 14th at the Council Chambers. Time to step up and make your voice heard Londoners!

 

Or you could stay home and work on some of your new year’s resolutions – like that clear the clutter one? It’s always worthwhile to dedicate time to the upkeep and maintenance of your home folks. This weekend might be the perfect time to purge and organize! Just a suggestion. Have a great weekend Londoners!

Welcome to In Your Neighbourhood!

Allow me to introduce myself. The name is Jim. You want to know more? Well, check out my "About Me" page! Don't forget to take a peek at my "Local London Listings" while you are here too! I update it regularly. Enjoy your visit and drop me a line to let me know you were in the neighbourhood!

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