Rebecca Hesse

Rebecca is a Toronto-based writer specializing in travel, history, and lifestyle.

Ontario cottage country sees home price drops in the double digits

With early 2023 reports suggesting a year-over-year decline in cottage property prices, there seemed to be few exceptions. In Haliburton, prices fell by 26 per cent, whereas places like Kenora reported a decline of nearly 60 per cent. Even popular locations like Muskoka saw a double-digit slide. But what may have prompted this once red-hot market to cool?

John Fincham of Re/Max Parry Sound Muskoka Realty believes several reasons prompted the cooldown, including COVID-era purchasers re-thinking

The best places to buy a lakefront cottage in Ontario right now

From long summer days idling lakeside to admiring the reflection of colourful fall foliage on glassy water, most can agree that life on the lake is a blessing. For those hoping to get a cottage of your very own, the allure of having access to a beautiful lakefront is likely high on your list of must-haves. But before you venture off and snap up your dream cottage, you’ll want to research your options first.

You’ll want to ensure you know exactly what you’re getting when it comes to shoreline ow

Discover the charm of Mount Pleasant Village this spring

With spring finally in the air, Toronto’s many vibrant neighbourhoods, including the Mount Pleasant Village BIA, are full of life and ready for exploration. From art crawls and patios to boutique shopping and family fun, this part of midtown has a little bit of everything for everyone. Conveniently located between Davisville and Eglinton, Mount Pleasant Rd. is a delight!

See and do:

Stroll through Mount Pleasant Village on a sunny day and admire the many public art projects that dot the area,

Flower power: The best places near Toronto to enjoy summer blooms

With the warm weather and all kinds of nature coming to life around us, now’s the perfect time for flower lovers and garden worshippers to get out and explore. Here are some of the best places to enjoy the beauty of summer flowers in and around Toronto.

The ever-popular Toronto Flower Market has been selling top-quality blooms and garden-related items for the past nine years with roaring success. Inspired by the bustling flower markets of the U.K., this market brings old-world charm with a touc

A guide to navigating the ferry to the Toronto Islands this summer

The Toronto Islands may only be a few kilometers from downtown, but for those seeking an easy day trip, they can feel a world away. From ferry details to attractions and everything in between, here’s all you need to know to make your next visit exceptional.

The Jack Layton Ferry Terminal is located at 9 Queens Quay W. at the foot of Bay Street and offers year-round access to Hanlan’s Point, Ward’s Island and Centre Island.

Since parking can be nightmarish and expensive, it’s best to take publi

Ireland’s Great Hunger: 13 Facts About the 19th-Century Potato Famine that Devastated the Emerald Isle

Ireland’s rugged and beautiful landscape has captivated people’s imagination for generations. As picturesque as it may be, however, the North Atlantic island can be an unforgiving environment.

Before gaining independence in 1922, Ireland had been colonized for nearly 1000 years. The people had their ancient culture repressed and torn to shambles multiple times, and experienced severe poverty and famines—the longest and most devastating being the potato famine of the 1840s.

I Never Left

Imagine being a race car driver. You’re in the driver’s seat, and thousands of people are cheering from the sidelines. The pressure to win is on. “I have to conquer this race,” you think while speeding along.

You zoom past several cars and take the lead. You are on top of the world as elation pulses through your veins. Distracted by excitement, you let your guard down and expect an easy win — after all, you’re way ahead of the others.

Suddenly, the unexpected happens. Another racer has cut you off. You panic and veer to the side, causing your tire to blow. Your mood spirals as you watch the pit crew scramble to help. Other racers speed past and your heart sinks, and you say, “I’m never going to win. What's the point of carrying on?”

You’re back on the racetrack but can’t stop reflecting on how you have failed already. Consumed by your setback, you remain distracted by negativity. You wonder if throwing in the towel is a good idea before the race is over. You have given up!

For a moment, let's ponder this defeatist mindset. It's natural to get bogged down by emotions, especially when it concerns achieving a goal. But if every single person would quit when bumps in the road blocked them from reaching their goals, nothing would ever get accomplished!

13 Facts About Lady Jane Grey, England’s Unlucky Nine Days’ Queen

Nearly 500 years ago, a petite 17-year-old girl with freckles and auburn hair briefly ascended the throne of England and Ireland in what would be Britain’s shortest reign.

Named after her notorious great uncle Henry VIII’s third wife, Jane Seymour, Lady Jane Grey—otherwise known as the Nine Days’ Queen—would find herself in an impossible situation. She’s seen as an innocent victim of Tudor Dynasty politics, and her rightfulness to the crown is debated to this day. Here are 13 facts about her tr

There’s a $6.649 million ravine house for sale with a Hollywood connection

Combining cubic modernism with cottage charm, 24 Heathdale Rd, known as The Ravine House, is full of architectural delight and surprise — inside and out.

Nestled in the Cedarvale-Humewood locale, this award-winning home designed by acclaimed architect Drew Mandel not only compliments the wooded scenery tucked behind it but wholly embraces it.

“My favourite part about the house is how unassuming it is. You think you have it figured out, but the second you step through the doorway, that all chan

5 Ontario cottages that are still available to rent this summer

Now that the warm weather is here, perhaps you’ve found yourself daydreaming about an escape to Ontario cottage country for a much-needed summer break.

Whether that means heading up north to places like Haliburton and Muskoka, east to Frontenac, or south to the stunning Bruce Peninsula, it’s a good idea to do your research before booking your next cottage vacation.

To help navigate your online search, try using these five tips the next time you look to book:
• None Select listings that have be

9 cozy, snowy getaways to discover in Ontario this winter

Winter can be a magical time for those who seek to embrace it — and to help ignite your sense of winter wonder, here are some cozy local getaways in Ontario perfect for the season.

Head to Muskoka’s Peninsula Lake for a winter getaway filled with nostalgia. Since 1927, Cedar Grove Lodge has delighted guests with year-round lakeside cottage experiences. During the winter, lace up your skates and head for the frozen lake, or grab a toboggan for fun on the hills. Reel in trout in their ice fishing

12 pumpkin festivals in Ontario for the perfect fall adventure

Whether you love pumpkin pie, the festive glow of jack-o-lanterns or just want an excuse to get out and have some harvest time fun, pumpkin festivals are here and ready to spice up your fall! From pumpkin parades to pick-your-own patches, here are some spooktacular pumpkin festivals to travel to for the whole family in and around Toronto.

Head over to Downsview Park for a day of fall-themed delights for the next two weekends in October. Pick the perfect pumpkin from Peter’s Pumpkin Patch, have

This $4.595 million historic Rosedale home includes Victorian stained glass windows

On what was once the site of the Jarvis family’s country estate (who Jarvis Street is named after), the framework of what would become the community of Rosedale began in 1853 when William Jarvis subdivided his land to create Rose Park — Canada’s first garden suburb. Named after Rosedale villa, where wild roses grew in abundance, Rosedale has long been an alluring location to call home — with 57 Elm Ave. representing a fine example of what makes this nook so desirable.

Situated within the origin

This $3.995 million High Park home has a connection to an 80-year-old mystery

Backing directly onto the calm waters of Grenadier Pond and the lush expanses of High Park, 21 Grenadier Hts. is listed at $3.995 million and offers four bedrooms, five bathrooms and an enchanting landscaped garden.

In an exclusive enclave hidden amid scenic park lands and ponds in every direction, this quiet neighbourhood gives the impression of being many miles from the buzz of city life yet rests in the heart of Toronto’s vibrant west end and steps from a major Toronto theatre event.

Not on
Load More