Tag Archives: Canada

Samsung Just Pulled Me Into the 21st Century

Photo of a Samsung Galaxy S7

Some people might have read in my previous blog posts that I am a big fan of Blackberry. Up to last spring, I was using a very old Blackberry device, and for the most part, while I was with Blackberry, they took really good care of me both with tech support and overall customer service. Unfortunately, Blackberry has changed over the last few years, and it more recent times it became evident that it was time to consider other devices.

During the last few years, I have also put up with a growing list of friends and family who were constantly making fun of my older Blackberry. In fact, my sister-in-law would even make fun of me for using my device because I still called it a phone and didn’t understand the power of what I could do with modern day technology.

A few months ago, after hemming, hawing and researching the subject to death, I finally took the plunge and moved to an android device. In particular, I ended up buying a Samsung Galaxy S7. I know Samsung has been having issues with their Galaxy Note 7 but my research showed me the Galaxy S7 would be a good investment. Within minutes of setting up my device (with the help of my sister-in-law), I realized she was absolutely right! Boy, was I missing out big time… there was a whole new world out there! Whether it’s getting news and sports updates, being able to quickly check the weather, making free long distance phone calls (using Skype and WhatsApp), navigating our congested roads, price matching or finding deals, there is an app for everything!

If my calculations are correct, the amount of money I have saved through price matching and free long distance calls has already more than aid for the phone. In addition to these benefits, the phone is constructed extremely well. It has an amazing camera that creates beautiful photos (who needs a $1000 camera anymore?), is great on speaker phone, looks nice and has an amazing charger that charges my phone quickly so I don’t have to sit there for hours to get my phone up to a 100% charge.

Despite the recent issues surrounding the Galaxy Note 7, I recommend a Samsung product if you are looking to update your phone. For full disclosure, I have done business with Samsung in the past but this had no impact on my decision to purchase the device, or share my experience.

Samsung
1-855-254-4747
www.samsung.com

 

 

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Where Should you go to Learn about the World Today?

Photo from the Nat Geo Series at Roy Thomson Hall

In the 80’s and 90’s people subscribed to National Geographic Magazine to learn about the world and all the places they wouldn’t necessarily travel on a regular basis. The magazine was smaller than traditional magazines and looks more like a book with glossy pictures. It featured a yellow border around the cover page and is primarily purchased by families with children.

National Geographic Magazine was usually a child’s first look at foreign places across the globe. It was also super exciting for children to browse through when it arrived in the mail each month.

Since I always found the magazine to be interesting and informative, earlier this year, one of my employees said I might be interested in a speakers series at Roy Thomson Hall called National Geographic Live.  Every few months, National Geographic Live has an event involving a speaker discussing a specific topic, somehow related to the world we live in. During the presentation, the speaker captivates the audience with stunning photos and video about the places they are speaking of, not to mention their personal experiences.

Roy Thomson Hall is an intimate theatre in the heart of Toronto that seats almost 3,000 guests. The theatre provides great acoustics, comfortable seating, and excellent service in all of their departments from the ushers, to the box office and the ticket takers.

Roy Thomson Hall is one of the few larger venues in Toronto that runs their own box office and they are always a pleasure to deal with.

For the National Geographic Live events, tickets aren’t necessarily expensive. The lower priced tickets start at $19.50 and if you buy in-person there is no service charge. These presentations are great for a nice afternoon or evening out.

The series is available Sunday afternoon or Monday and Tuesday evenings in January, March, and May 2017. This is a great way to hear some amazing stories, see sensational photography and learn about the world we live in.

National Geographic Live Speaker Series
416-872-4255
www.roythomson.com/natgeolive/

Roy Thompson Hall
416-593-4822
www.roythomson.com

 

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Take a leap of Faith… Tree Top Trekking

Tree Top Trekking Course

Although I am writing this well into the fall season I wanted to provide you with the information well in advance, so you can consider planning an activity for next spring or summer.

Earlier this fall I took my adventurous daughter, tree top trekking in Barrie, as she wanted to try something new.

Tree Top Trekking offers guests a challenging obstacle course above the ground, where customers travel from tree to tree. Some of the obstacles include: jumping through tires, walking across high wires / ropes and swinging on zip lines. Throughout the ropes course, customers are strapped into a harness so they won’t fall to the ground if they slip or miss a jump. If a customer falls, they just hang there until they pull themselves back onto the obstacle course.

Some of the courses are relatively easy while others are quite challenging, and you can choose which ones you want to complete. Some of the obstacles require you to be in really good shape while others are good for beginners. The courses could be completed by someone as young as nine, as well as adults…it has something for everyone! The best part of it, is that it’s a good workout and really fun!

Since our daughter had such a great time, we decided to take some out of town guests to another Tree Top Trekking location in Huntsville. Much to our surprise, the Huntsville location was also owned by the same company.

Tree Top Trekking is a very well-run operation. They offer great services and make safety their number one priority. The staff are well trained, helpful and knowledgeable. If participating in obstacles high in the sky isn’t your thing, Tree Top Trekking offers other experiences for you to choose from, but if you are looking for something different to do, and want to spend time outdoors in nature, get outside and try this.

Tree Top Trekking
705-835-7600
www.treetoptrekking.com

 

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OtterBox’s Phone Cases are Out-of-the-Box!

One of the reasons why I often hesitate to upgrade my mobile phone / devices is because I am quite hard on them, and frequently drop them.

That said, when I recently got my spiffy new Samsung Galazy S7, I knew that I needed to protect it from damages given the cost, and the importance of having a working device.

Soon, after receiving my new phone, my sister-in-law introduced me to a protective case made by a company known as OtterBox. OtterBox cases are shock and drop resistant, and when she showed me her phone covered with one of the cases, I immediately noticed the added weight to an otherwise sleek phone. In addition, the phone certainly didn’t look very attractive, but as my sister-in-law said, “neither does a phone with a cracked screen that is all scratched up”. By the end of the conversation, it was clear to me that this purchase was a no-brainer, and the case was well worth the price.

While I was originally going to order a case online, I decided to call my local Best Buy, who had the case in stock, and was willing to match the online price (kudos to Best Buy for going after sales aggressively). Half an hour later, with some help from the Best Buy staff, I had my phone in the case, and was ready to hit the road.

The quality of the case is truly fantastic, and while a bit challenging to put on the first time, it really does what it is meant to do… protect your device. Although, I would say that when I get dirt on my phone screen, it takes a while to clean it up. However, once you get the hang of it, it becomes much easier to clean.

I should also mention that since there are a lot of counterfeit products in the marketplace, I highly recommend spending an extra few dollars and buying it from either OtterBox’s official website or a reputable retailer.

While having a phone encased in something heavy and bulky takes away from its sleekness, it is nonetheless better than a broken phone. Fortunately, I haven’t dropped my new phone yet, however, if and when I do drop it, I know it will be very well protected.

OtterBox
855-688-7269
otterbox.com

 

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Say “Roger, Roger” to Rogers’ Excellent Customer Service

Similar to many other Canadians, I’ve been using Rogers for phone, internet, and cable services for countless years. While I’ve had complaints, I’ve also had good experiences when dealing with some of their great customer service representatives.

Recently, two of my special offers were coming to an end, and I reached out to a representative to see what could be done about the pricing. In addition to receiving help, the representative even went out of their way to assist me in obtaining a new phone, and once I received the new phone (a spiffy, new, Samsung Galaxy S7) the representative helped me figure out all the new features, apps, etc. Being a Blackberry user for the longest time, I really appreciated them making the transition to a new device go as smoothly as possible.

Based on my recent interactions, and how the representatives took care of me, I believe that Rogers is truly making significant improvements in their customer service. In almost all cases, they have been able to help me out and keep me as a satisfied customer.

In the end, despite the ever-evolving world of telecommunications, I think that Rogers will be able to keep up with the needs of their customers.

Rogers Communications
1-855-381-7834
rogers.com

 

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Toronto Zoo is the Habitat for Everyone

For many years, I’ve been a big fan of what is considered a crown jewel of the GTA…The Toronto Zoo.

The Zoo is a place that I never get tired of visiting, over and over again. Every time I go there, whether for the arrival of a new baby animal, the beautiful scenery, or to just walk, jog, or hike around, there’s always something new and interesting going on. 

Aside from just visiting with the family, the zoo also has a number of education and camp programs, which include: school visits, zoo camps, youth badge programs, adult programs, and overnight stays. Whether it’s the Critter Cruisers for toddlers aged 2 to 4, the EnviroRangers program for ages 4 to 14, or the adult Zoo Membership program, there truly is something for everyone and every age group.

An exciting and upcoming event this weekend is International Migratory Bird Day, when The Toronto Zoo, in collaboration with Parks Canada, will be helping visitors learn to identify local birds as well as provide short guided bird walks. As for the rest of this month, you can look forward to World Turtle Weekend, the Walk to Make Cystic Fibrosis History Day, and the Raise Your Glass For Rhinos event.

While the zoo is an amazing place to visit at any time of year, one tip that I have for you is to consider going during either the early spring or the fall. At these times of year the weather is neither too hot nor too cold and the animals are generally more active.

Toronto Zoo
2000 Meadowvale Road
Toronto, ON M1B 5K7
(416) 392-5929
torontozoo.com

 

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LED Bulbs are a Bright Idea

Normally, I would highlight a business or an organization, however this week, something has been on my mind, as I’ve been debating about the usage of LED bulbs.

While some people say that LED bulbs help them save money, others say the opposite. Most people say that the bulbs save the most energy and last longer if they are of good quality, however, the biggest challenge to their acceptance may be that they are expensive.

That said, there are occasionally significant savings on the bulbs, by keeping an eye out for sales and online coupons. By applying this method, a $15.00 to $20.00 LED bulb could become only $5.00 to $7.00, which makes it easier to justify the purchase.

One thing to keep in mind is that you may run into an issue with the dimmer switches, which must be compatible with the new bulbs.  I’m told that some dimmers can cost up to $100.00, so you have to keep this in mind when considering a changeover.

Recently, when one of my friends built a new house, it was twice the size of their old one, but they have insisted that they are paying the same electricity bill as the old house, mainly because of the new LED bulbs.   

The debate continues, but I am nonetheless very happy with my LED bulbs. They save on energy, can be purchased at a significant discount, and have the bonus of helping the environment.  In the end, whether you are converting one room at a time or all the rooms at once, LED bulbs seem like a bright idea.

Toronto Hydro Corporation
500 Commissioners Street
Toronto, ON M4M 1B4
(416) 542-8000
torontohydro.com

 

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