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  • Writer's pictureDemi and Ed

Chill Out in Niagara-on-the-Lake!

August 25, 2023 by Donna Vieira

The final four weeks of summer gift us with an optimal time to bring some order back to our chaotic areas of life. It’s time to ease off the “extreme” energy, and instead, microdose on self-care and duties. Small moves done daily add up to mega improvements and advancements.

The perfect motto for this time of year is “keep it simple,” and with this in mind,

STAY Niagara-on-the-Lake offers these tips on how you can tap into this grounding, calming energy.

Get Outside! A Japanese practice called shinrin-yoku, which means “forest bathing,” is a key component to preventive health care and healing in this hyper-activated world. Even being in the company of one single tree makes a difference. In Niagara-on-the-Lake, we invite you to immerse yourself in nature at the Bruce Trail Conservancy, the Niagara River Parkway Recreation Trail, the Niagara Glen, the Commons, Simcoe Park, Queenston Heights Parkand many more. Zoom Leisure has bikeshare stations in a number parks for your added convenience. Leave your phone behind, walk or cycle slowly and without any agenda, and savour the sensuous sights and smells under the canopy of nature.

Pump up the Self-Care! If a balanced, healthy life is a priority for you, it all begins with preventive medicine: exercise regularly and eat clean and green. Niagara-on-the-Lake is rich in fresh produce, much of which is sold at roadside stands throughout the area. For as little as $5.50, you can purchase a day pass and use the facilities in the fully equipped gym at the Community Centre. If your budget allows for bodywork, a number of spa outlets offer holistic modalities to keep your body humming like a well-oiled machine.

Do a Digital Detox While data and information may rule your daily lives, too much of anything is never healthy. Time away from your screens makes you more peaceful, thoughtful and present, even if it’s for just an hour or two. Humans are social beings, and we all need personal interaction that involves eye-to-eye in-person contact to feel truly connected and thrive. It’s in our DNA.

Clear Your Mind It’s easy to spiral into overthinking and become ungrounded in the process. So, while you’re walking, biking and detoxing, approach your life with mindfulness and intention. When you tune into why you’re doing things, you may discover there’s a much more serene way to go about your days, and life. Try meditating. There are so many free online meditation audios available.

Practise Random Acts of Kindness This is the ultimate character-building exercise! There is power in humility. Do good for good’s sake and offer help where it’s needed. It will do others — and you — a world of good. And, if you discover a “2 for 1” bargain, why not offer the “free” item to someone who needs it more?

Find Beauty in the Imperfect The Japanese have a word for this — wabi-sabi. Rooted in Zen, this simple concept reveres nature and accepts the natural cycle of growth, decay and death. Savour the magic of heirloom tomatoes in late August and crisp apples in September, even if they are slightly flawed or bruised. Accept their imperfect beauty as a reminder that nothing is perfect, and you’ll find you’re less self-critical as well.

Practice Makes Perfect You may need a little time to practise and integrate these tips into your daily lifestyle. You may also need someplace where you’re not distracted by the demands of your daily life. The best place to do that is right here in Niagara-on-the-Lake where a network of cycling and hiking trails weaves past grape-laden vineyards, pastoral farmlands and ancient forests. STAY Niagara-on-the-Lake offers a variety of lodgings ranging from modern, charming or quaint bed and breakfasts to self-catering villas, cottages and apartments. You can also find a list of things to do, restaurants, spa facilities right here as well as an interactive digital map to help you plan your stay with us. Find the peace you’re looking for in Niagara-on-the-Lake.

Fall Time Favourites If you want to turn up the excitement factor a notch, there’s still plenty to do in Niagara-on-the-Lake as summer winds down: Until September 15: Jackson-Triggs Summer Concert Series August 31: Heritage Garden Party at the Niagara-on-the-Lake Museum September 1-30: Solo Exhibition by Ronald Boaks at Niagara Pumphouse Arts Centre September 3: Bell Concert at St. Mark’s Anglican Church September 8: Moonlight Picnic at Niagara Pumphouse Arts Centre September 8-17: William Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night at Spirit Niagara Distillery September – October 4: Paint & Collage Course at Riverbank Art Museum September 14: This is Anne — Older & Wiser at Niagara-on-the-Lake Museum September 15: Icewine Cocktail Party September 21: Black Music History in Canada at Niagara-on-the-Lake Museum September 25: Famous & Infamous Lecture Series at Niagara-on-the-Lake Museum September 30: Reif’s Fire Dinner! at Reif Estate Winery October 13 & 14: Dig Our Roots at the Niagara-on-the-Lake Museum October 21: Doors Open Niagara-on-the-Lake October 21: Reif’s Annual Harvest Dinner at Reif Estate Winery October 28 to December 3: Bravo Niagara! December 2 & 3: Reif Holiday Market at Reif Estate Winery

Helpful Tips Did you lose something while you were in Niagara-on-the-Lake? Contact the lost and found centre at the NOTL Chamber of Commerce located at 26 Queen Street in the lower level of the building.

Or call 1-905-468-1950 or email for more information. Most Town parking meters, except for four located in the Heritage District, no longer accept credit card payments. They do, however accept credit card payments via the Honk Mobile app. The Town understands the frustrations this has caused visitors and apologizes for the inconvenience. Town is working on short- and long-term solutions to the matter. In the meantime, coins are accepted at all parking machines, and the four machines that still do accept regular credit card payments are located in the Court House lot, the Prince of Wales lot, Queens Royal Park lot (down by the lake) and near the Post Office on Queen Street.

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