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Barrie, Ontario – March 20th, 2014. Pratt Homes, Barrie’s largest builder since 1890, is changing the face of Barrie’s South end by including landmark art installations in their upcoming community. The art will be created by internationally renowned artist Ron Baird, creator of Barrie’s famous Spirit Catcher. This will be the first time a company has done this in Barrie.

The Barrie Public Art Committee commended Pratt Homes’ vision stating they are “…pleased to learn that Pratt Homes is interested in acquiring art for their development and wants to ensure they receive the highest accolades for their efforts”.

The upcoming community, Yonge Station, will be located at the corner of Yonge Street and Madeline Drive, a main corridor into the city. Pratt Homes wants to instill a sense of community pride in Yonge Station and leave a lasting impression of Barrie’s commitment to culture as visitors enter and exit the city. Pratt Homes partnered with Ron Baird after seeing his enthusiasm and ideas for the project.

“It is a rare opportunity for a commissioned artist to be allowed to run free.  Pratt Homes let me off the leash, trusting I would return to them with a bone that they liked.” Says Baird. He continued to say “Here’s what they got: Fifteen gutsy rusted steel sculptures that will stamp the cultural landscape of their Yonge Station Project.”.

The Yonge Station community will host a captivating, 34ft in height by 22ft in width, feature art piece at the corner of Yonge and Madeline as well as several accent pieces that will be released at a later date. The art will maintain a “train” theme to represent the communities’ proximity to the Barrie South GO Station.

Baird stated “While chasing ideas, the most fun I had was designing a large clock who is the steam punk granddaughter of Barrie’s Spirit Catcher.” He finished by saying “In the tradition of the popular public clocks peppered throughout Europe’s cities and towns she will soon dance on the hour on Barrie’s Yonge Street”

Pratt Homes’ owner, Karen Hansen said “Working with Ron has been incredible. He really understood the scope of what we’re trying to achieve.  He has brought together 3 important ideas into one piece; suggestive elements of Barrie’s GO station, the up and coming South End and Barrie’s existing art culture.”

Models and renderings of the land mark art will be available at the grand opening of Yonge Station on Saturday May 3rd.  Stay tuned for more ground breaking news.

For more information on Yonge Station visit www.yongestation.ca.

About Pratt Homes

Pratt Homes has been building detached, condos and townhomes in Barrie for over 100 years. Pratt Homes is the founder of the successful CMHC approved Rent to Own program and has various sweat equity and low deposit structure programs helping homeowners afford their dream of home ownership.  Pratt Homes has an exceptional Tarion New Home Warranty record and is considered on of the most professional and experienced builders in Ontario.  Pratt Homes has been awarded SAM, ACE and Chamber awards for home building.

Available for Interview:

Todd Palmer, Marketing Director
Pratt Homes Barrie
todd@pratthomes.ca
705 792 3883

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Laminate flooring is quite possibly the best all-encompassing package for your decorating dollar and perfect for anyone who wants low maintenance flooring. Here are 5 impressive benefits:

  1. Laminate flooring is extremely durable – Protected by a tough external layer and resin coating, a laminate floor is much stronger and more scratch-resistant, impact-resistant and longer lasting that any hardwood, vinyl, or carpet. It’s virtually resistant to dogs, cats, kids and even high heels.
  2. Laminate flooring is stain, fade, and moisture resistant – Most laminate flooring manufactures offer extensive warranty protection against stains, fading, and moisture damage. The laminate offered through our design studio has a 25 year warranty.
  3. Laminate flooring is easy to clean and maintain – Laminate’s superior stain and moisture-resistant surface coating makes spills and other messes easy to handle. This special surface doesn’t require waxes or varnishes to keep it looking great.
  4. Laminate flooring is economical – Not only is laminate flooring generally less expensive than other hard surface floors to start with, but when its durability and longevity are considered, it becomes a particularly economical choice.
  5. Laminate flooring offers a variety of styles – While many laminate floors simulate the authentic look of hardwood or stone, the possibilities for new styles and colours are limitless. A variety of colour tones and patterns enable you to match the floor with the exact mood and style of your room, whether it’s rich and elegant or cool and contemporary. Our design studio is pleased to offer over 22 different colours that exhibit outstanding realism and quality for our homeowners.

Laminate flooring from Beaulieu Canada

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cynthia Grassing
Decor and Colour Consultant
Pratt Homes Barrie 

waterfrontIn this next segment of Why I Love #Barrie, I will highlight the heart of our gorgeous city, our downtown core. From Toronto street to Mulcastor Street and even a little beyond, Barrie’s downtown is bustling with activity and excitement for the entire family. Downtown Barrie is also rich with culture giving you a reason to come in from wherever you live in our beautiful city.

The Downtown Barrie culture thrives! The centre for the performing arts is a world class facility and provides a plethora of year round programming. The Flying Monkey craft Brewery sits in the heart of our downtown offering tours and award winning ales.

The Maclaren art centre has a permanent collection of 26,600 works of art held in trust for the public and presents a year-round programme of world-class exhibitions, public art projects, education activities and special events. The Creative Space offers start-ups and micro businesses a collective space for creative collaboration as well as some awesome events like Ignite Barrie an idea workshop. There is so much more that you must experience for yourself.

Plus the Downtown Barrie Business Association plans and facilitates the planning of enough events to keep the people coming down in droves. Award winning festivals like the Craft Beer and Ribfest, Winterfest and Barrie’s Canada Day Celebration, Lawn Chair Luminata, Curb Appeal, the Jazz and Blues Fest and Barrie’s New Music Fest.

Our city core keeps your inner core in mind being conscious of the health and wellness options you desire. Start or end the day at Ann Green Yoga; their offer studios overlooks Kempenfelt Bay. Then pop into Bohemia which serves fair trade organic java and spectacular organic cuisine. Or, if you’re on the west side of downtown, stop by the exceptional Unity Market and feel the energy of social activity blended with awesome food and beverage.

The Local Foods Mart gives you the opportunity to take that good food home hosting your organic grocery needs. Rawlicious is your restaurant of choice for vegan cuisine. And of course Nutrition Plus is pretty much taking over the corner of Dunlop and Maple to provide you the nutrition you need!

You can shop at the myriad of stores like Janet Kemp or Imago Boutique just for starters then drop into a pub like Kenzington Burger Bar or Donaleigh’s Irish Public House or one of the many other independently owned restaurants and take a load off.

During the summer months the city’s pubs stretch their patio’s to the front of their establishments and sprawl out on the side walks of Dunlop offers those wandering around the opportunity to sit down and really breath in our incredible downtown.

All of this greatness surrounds Memorial Square  at the southeastern end of the Nine Mile Portage and was the site of the Barrie Railroad Station and the Post Office. In 1922, a cenotaph was dedicated to those who had lost their lives in World War I.  Today, the site remains a focal point of Barrie’s downtown.

This blog is just a small glimpse at the awesomeness Barrie’s downtown has to offer. You really need to check it out for yourself to fully understand why downtown Barrie is one of the many reasons why I love #barrie

Todd Palmer

Marketing Director, Pratt Homes Barrie

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Blue MountainThis weeks “Why I Love Barrie” blog post will shine a positive light on our snowy little region.

It is true, sometimes we do get pounded with snow here in Barrie. Sometimes it feels like you may spend more time with your shovel or snow blower than your own family (shameless self-promo: condo living will cure this pain) However, the bright side to this is, if you ski or snowboard than living in Barrie puts you in the heart of all the hills.

I love Barrie because within a maximum of a 50-60 minute drive (weather pending), you can find yourself at 7 different hills.  I will list them from closest to furthest away:

Snow Valley about 15 minute drive from Barrie (directions)

Horseshoe Resort about 20-25 minute drive from Barrie (directions)

Heights of Horseshoe same as above (directions)

Mount St Louis about a 35-40 minute drive from Barrie (directions)

Blue Mountain about a 50-60 minute drive from Barrie (directions)

Craigleigth Ski Club same as Blue Mountain (directions)

Osler Bluff Ski Club about the same as Blue Mountain (directions)

Each of the resorts have a variety of runs that satisfy the carving appetites of beginners to advanced riders. If you’re looking for a stay and play kind of a weekend you’ll want to focus your attention to Horseshoe Valley or Blue Mountain. These two resorts offer you the option of staying right by the hills. Blue Mountain has the ever popular Village which is almost like Whistler JR. There are shops, pubs, restaurants and many places to stay. Plus, it is close to the Scandinave Spa which can melt any any little piece of stress you may be holding on too. Horseshoe Valley is a little tamer but still provides restaurants, a spa and a variety of fun options for the kids. Snow Valley and Mount St Louis offer you the play option with no stay however, both have great skiing with tubing options as well as chalets where you can eat and grab a warm beverage.

If you’re the kind of person that lives outdoors during the winter and likes to rip on one or two planks, than living in Barrie is optimal for your shredding desires! Oh yeah, you can go tubing at pretty much all the resorts!!!

Close access to great skiing and snowboarding is just another reason why I love Barrie.

Todd Palmer
Marketing Director, Pratt Homes Barrie

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Simplify Life

Attachment-2I’ve been thinking a lot lately about practical ways to simplify life by making little changes in my attitudes, habits and environment.

Here are 10 of my favourite ways to simplify life and your environment that can help save time, space and energy–and perhaps create a little serenity for us all:

1. Downsize your Digs – A smaller home means less to maintain, less to clean and less to pay in mortgage, utilities and rent. Today I can’t help but think of all our homeowners who are taking possession of their new home this week and will be embracing on the adventure of  downsizing or simply embarking on the many benefits of condo living.

2. Get rid of excess furniture – This means less furniture to walk around, and less to move when you have to clean. Creating breathing space in a room can do wonders for the mind, body and soul.

3. Opt for multifunctional furniture – There is many options now that will allow your needs to be met with fewer pieces.

4. Get rid of excessive decor items (or knick – knacks) – This way you will spend less time cleaning around them.

5. Have a place for everything – It makes it much easier to find things when everything is organized and put away. Try beautiful containers to store small accessory items like jewelry, watches, scarves or hats, instead of scattering them about.

6. Keep your bedroom a peaceful oasis – Make your bed every morning which is an easy step that makes a big difference! Everything will look neater and it becomes easier to find what you’re looking for. Your bedroom becomes a more peaceful environment which contributes to an inner calm at the end of a busy day.

7. Create a “white” space – This allows you to highlight items of beauty or significance which are all the things you really want to surround yourself with. A white space can be incredibly important in creating a peaceful home and a simple life.

8. Keep your dining room table surface clear – Clutter attracts clutter. A dining room table with knick knacks, craft items or paper is far more likely to end up a catch all for incoming mail and reading material. Try a colourful bowl, simple vase, flowers or a candle.

9. Clean out valuable kitchen cabinet space – Get rid of bulky appliances like ice cream makers, bread machines or food processors if they are never used. This will open up more space for life’s essentials.

10. Free up storage in linen closets – Extra linens, towels and blankets can accumulate and take up valuable space. Consider this suggestion I heard a long time ago…..keep 1 set in the closet, one in the laundry and one in use. Give away all the rest.

It can be hard at first, but once you get into the spirit of lightening the load, it is truly liberating! When I have trouble letting go of something (usually sentimental), I remember my mom telling me “you enjoyed it for a long time, now let someone else enjoy it for a while too”

Mom was right as usual, and it has contributed to a “simpler life”.

What have you done to “simplify your life” ?

Cynthia Grassing, Décor and Colour Consultant

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people-eatingIf you’re considering moving to Barrie, ON you’re doing so for good reason. If you’re not considering it, then this next series of blogs will most likely change your mind. Barrie is such an incredible place to live. The city has a lot of awesome things to offer. That’s why I’ve decided to write about the many reasons why I love Barrie.

Today we will be discussing an event called Barrielicious that allows you the opportunity to discover the many exceptional restaurants and eateries that exist in our beautiful city. Here’s the jist of it, you visit the Barrielicious website and check out which restaurants are participating. There is no shortage for places to try considering there are 37 involved from the Barrie area… Then you make a reservation at the restaurant of your choice and wait in anticipation for the day to come. When your magical day arrives, you will be able to select three course meal options ranging in prices of $15, $20 and $25 dollars. Trust me, this is peanuts when compared to the euphoric joyride your pallet will endure. Most venues will offer wine pairing options as well.  The majority of the restaurants involved are privately owned and operated exposing you to more than just the usual corporate cookery.

I have dined out no less than two times per Barrielicious event since its creation and have been blown away every time. The chefs and restaurant staff really go above and beyond for you which increases your appreciation of your evening out.

Barrielicious starts this Friday January 24th, so if you’re new to Barrie make sure you book a reservation so you can experience the excellence which many locals have come to enjoy. I plan to go three maybe four times this year.

If you head out to Barrielicious, comment below and let me know where you went and what you thought.

This event is one of the many reasons I love Barrie. You’ll hear more soon.

Todd Palmer

Marketing Director, Pratt Homes Barrie

todd@pratthomes.ca

The following blog is going to show you how to use things around your home that can make your life easier. It is a condensed version of a post from a website called Viralnova. They provided 89 tips but we did the hard work for you and read through all of their tips to narrow it down to a clean and simple 15 tips.

Here are (what we feel) are the 15 best tips provided by Viralnova:

1. What a great way to hold your bagel sandwich!

bagel holder

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. A sponge in a freezer bag makes an ice pack with less mess. No more frozen peas for you.

sponge ice pack

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Your cellphone under a gatorade or powerade bottle makes a lantern…or cool party light!

 

Phone Light

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. …and you thought dental floss was just for your teeth!

dental floss knife

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5. Use an old jug to make a dust pan…Sure you could buy another one but this seems like fun.

cheap dust pan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6. No long matches? Use spaghetti to help light your candles. Be careful!

Spaghetti

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7. Need more closet space? A few pop tabs can help solve your problem.

expand your closet

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8. Sure you may have made a resolution to lose a few pounds. Here’s a tip just in case you decide to treat yourself for all the hard work.

fork oreo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

9. This actually make me feel a little less smart for not thinking of this myself. Also, I’ve tried folding the tape into a triangle as well. Works ok.

bread tab holds tape

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10. That old hanging shoe rack (if you even have one) can double as a cleaning supply holder.

hanging shoe rack holds cleaners

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

11. Pancakes made the easy and less messy way.

ketchup pancake mix

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

12. “UGH! How am I going to get all these groceries in the house?” One of whatever those things are called will help!!

Carrying Groceries

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

13. It can double as pacman or your old tennis ball can help you hold some things.

tennis ball holder

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

14. Lose an earring or some pins?

vacuum earring finder

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

15. I think we’ve all been in this situation…

fill a container

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As I mentioned at the beginning of the blog, if you want to see ALL 89 tips click here. We just thought we’d do you a favour, read through them and find the 15 best things around your home that can make your life easier.

Do you have any cool tips that can help? We’d love to hear them?

Todd Palmer
Marketing Director
Pratt Homes Barrie

 

This is the time of year where you start putting your new year’s resolutions into action. Eating healthier and exercising more are worthy resolutions but why not consider these 10 new year’s resolutions for your house and home…

#1 Resolve to “Buy fresh flowers for the house every week”

There’s something about fresh flowers, even if it is just a $3 bunch from the grocery store, that can make a house feel more like home.

#2 Resolve to “Update the entryway with functional furniture”

Slim console tables are perfect for small spaces that need a spot to drop your mail and keys.

#3 Resolve to “Add a little glamour”

Adding accent pieces in metallic silver, bronze and gold, Lucite, glass or shiny lacquer will do the trick. Complete the look with a luxurious faux fur throw.

#4 Resolve to “Add more colour”

Experiment with bold and striking colours. Try hanging an oversized art print in a bold shade, then pick up the same colour in an accent piece for a cohesive look.

#5 Resolve to “Personalize your space”

Try monogramming. A bold initial embroidered on towels, bedding or pillows are sure to make a personal statement in any space.

#6 Resolve to “Host more parties”

Entertaining can be less stressful if you are well prepared. Dedicate a cupboard to party supplies such as simple white dishes, inexpensive wine glasses and boxes of unscented candles.

#7 Resolve to “Declutter and Organize”

Decorative serving trays are perfect for keeping items on your desk top neat and tidy or arranging attractive toiletries on your bathroom counter.

#8 Resolve to “Make your bed, even if you’re the only one who sees it”

Go all out on your bed. Make your bed feel indulgent by fluffing it up with decorative pillows, a puffy duvet, pillow top mattress and a colourful throw. Fun patterns and bright new colours will motivate you to get the job done.

#9 Resolve to “Find a new home worth buying”

Visit our sales office today to consider a home worth buying and our sales staff will make this a very easy resolution to make…and to keep.

#10 Resolve to “Relax and Enjoy your Home”

Make places in your home that invite relaxation or feel like a mini retreat. Accessories like apothecary jars have a spa feel when daily items like cotton balls and bath salts are stored and presented in this very special way.

If you can manage to focus on even a few of these new year’s resolutions for your house and home they will contribute to a prosperous 2014.

Have a great day

Cynthia Grassing
Colour and Design Consultant
Pratt Homes Barrie

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Shovelling Tips

shovelling_colorGood morning friends, it’s that time of year when shovelling the drive way is something that just has to be done (unless you’re lucky and live in a condo of course). Especially if you live in Barrie, ON, you are no stranger to waking up to impressive depths of snow. The Weather Network is predicting several cm’s of snowfall over the next four days. So this article on shovelling tips is timely.

Below is a list of 15 shovelling tips from Popular Mechanics. (read full article)

1. Stretch first
2. Don’t move snow twice
3. Move snow the shortest distance possible
4. Clear cars first
5. Do the foreground then the background
6. Maintain proper posture
7. Keep hydrated
8. Rest frequently
9. Be thorough but not fussy
10. Don’t overdress
11. Whenever possible, team up
12. Go easy on the de-icer
13. Whenever possible, get a head start
14. Maintain your equipment
15. Stretch when you’re done

Shovelling Tips from us:
1.Don’t do it drunk. As much fun as you think it will be, this could end up poorly.
2.The mouth of the driveway is usually the hardest, consider a digging shovel as opposed to a pushing shovel
3.Plan your shovelling route ahead of time

I would encourage you to read the full article from Popular Mechanics as it really breaks down the first 15 steps.

Todd Palmer
Marketing Directions, Pratt Homes Barrie.

Buying a new home?Are you in the market for buying a new home? Many news sources are producing articles about the Canadian housing market as of recently. There is discussion about it being too hot, about it cooling off, about mortgage rates rising, about personal income levels not allowing affordability. Based on the reading I have done, it is becoming more difficult to decide whether or not home ownership is for you. Here are a few really basic tips on what to do and expect when you consider buying a home.

1.What does your lifestyle allow for? You really need to consider if you are a detached, condo or town home kind of person/couple/family. A condo offers you a lot of freedom in terms of not requiring up keep to the outside of the home. Owning a detached is a lot of work and costs a lot of money. Therefore, look at the long term costs of condo fees vs. purchasing equipment like snow blowers, lawn mowers as well as gardening materials. Also, do not forget to value your time. So many people forget that your time has a cost. Owning a town home almost gives a hybrid of both, however that depends if it is a freehold or condo town home. Freehold means you own the property around like backyard and drive way.

2.Do your research: Research is a must. However, do not get crazy or you will get analysis paralysis which basically means you will be stifled by too much information. Do a brief cost of living analysis in terms of living locations, look at prices vs. products variety among different builders as well as understand your commuting costs. We all know it is more expensive to live in or around the GTA verses cities like Barrie. Make sure you research what you can afford. If you do not know your budget. You are pretty much writing your own bankruptcy claim.

Also, look at the builder image and make a reasonable assessment. Every home builder has experienced problems before. No one is perfect. However, the past is the past. What a company did five years ago is not a reflection of what they are doing now. Look at their current projects and assess the quality to really get a feel.

3.Don’t bite off more than you can chew: This is plain economics. Live within your means. If you make 45K per year and you have very little down payment, do not go after the most expensive house you can afford. Make sure you can pay the mortgage, the bills and still have money left over for personal savings and stuff like food.

4.Mortgage rates will rise: I cannot tell you by how much, but the common consensus among articles I have read on the National Post, Huffington Post, and Toronto Star etc… is that Mortgage rates will have increased and will continue to increase. Therefore, if you are in the market now, consider buying sooner than later. Also, in most cases mortgage brokers are more likely a better option than big banks for obtaining an mortgage the suits you best. (read article)

5.In Barrie, growth paying for growth: The city of Barrie has a growth strategy until 2031 to increase population to 200,000 K+ and over 100,000 jobs. Development and permit charges on new home builds will help pay for that growth which in turn means housing prices will rise. It is inevitable. For more information ask our sales team who has been equipped with information to help you better understand the future of this. (read article)

Most importantly, I am not an expert. Do not take this advice as gospel then run out and instantly purchase a home. Do your homework and ask advice. This is one of the biggest decisions you’ll make in your life.

Todd Palmer
Marketing Director, Pratt Homes Barrie.
todd@pratthomes.ca

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