There's a surprising lot of interesting stuff going on around here, and this space is devoted to discovering and sharing it. We'll post regular updates on merchants, activities and events. Look in often and soon you'll see why Meaford calls itself "The other Big Apple".

posted January 8th, 2016
Four more programs to treat your body and your mind

We’ve covered fitness and dance classes. These programs top it off with a focus on physical and mental wellness. All classes are held at Meaford Hall.

Relax the Body, Quiet the Mind
Learn and practice a variety of techniques to quiet your mind and relax your body. Each class includes a brief discussion, meditation and breathing practices, simple stretches and a guided relaxation, and audio recordings of guided relaxations are included for home practice. You may sit in chairs or lay on the floor.

Yoga for Life
Combines poses and breathing techniques that balance, purify and strengthen both your body and your mind. A series of traditional poses designed to move you in all directions at your own ability.

Gentle Yoga
Boost your energy; improve your activity level; build strength, mobility and range of motion in your joints and spine. Suitable for anyone with no yoga experience or limited physical exercise.

Low Back Program
Enjoy a gentle, effective and adaptable to your body size and condition; a complete rebuilding program for your back. An evidenced based remedial and resiliency program for the low back.

For more information and to register, visit here.

posted January 4th, 2016
Four opportunities to dance your way to a healthy 2016

Workouts are one thing, but Meaford also has an array of dance programs which combine fun, fitness and fancy footwork. These programs are held at the Meaford and St. Vincent Community Centre.

Line Dancing
Come out ready to kick up your heels, stomp your feet and shake your booty to some great music. All ages are welcome to join in the fun while being active.

Enjoy a total workout combining all elements of fitness: cardio, muscle, conditioning, balance and flexibility. You’ll leave every class with a boost of energy and a serious dose of awesome.

Dance FIT
This class is tailored for adults looking to be active in a fun environment with a dance-based workout. Low impact moves paired with the joys of dancing improve strength, endurance and toning – all in one class. And you’ll learn some basic steps to fun, hip music.

Dance it out
Experience a total-body fitness-based dance workout that includes all styles of dance. The workout incorporates cardio, strength, endurance and flexibility and is paced so anyone can participate.

For more information and to register, visit here.

posted December 31st, 2015
Four ways to get fit in Meaford

If your New Year’s resolution is to get fit in 2016, you don’t need to look very far. Beyond the many outdoor activities waiting outside your door, you can get an indoor workout just about any day of the week. Here are some of the fitness programs available at the Meaford & St. Vincent Community Centre.

True Body Tone Workout
This high energy program for men and women helps you strengthen muscles through resistance exercises.

This program includes resistance training in combination with balance, aimed at reducing fractures and bone loss. This class is suitable for fracture reduction and provides a safe, effective evidence-based exercise program.

Low Impact Workout
Focus on full body fitness including cardio, strength, balance and flexibility. This high-energy class is great for all ages who want to become more physically fit. Certified instructor.

This class is a high-energy program filled with variety and different activities at every class, including circuits, weights, fitness balls, and core strength exercises. Guaranteed to get you results.

For more information and to register, visit here.

posted April 14th, 2014
Spring skiing in Meaford

Here are some photos from this past weekend — yes, this past weekend! It’s hard to believe how well-covered the slopes are, but for those who enjoy warm-weather skiing, this spring has been exceptional. The first two photos were taken at Blue Mountain on Friday under gloriously sunny skies. And while the sun didn’t cooperate for the Saturday ski at Georgian Peaks, mild temps made for great spring conditions. It’s not over yet. Easter skiing is on its way!

posted March 7th, 2014
It’s not too late for a great skate

While some warmer weather has the maple sap flowing, there’s still time to get your ice time in at the Meaford & St. Vincent Community Centre.

For only $2, you can enjoy an hour or two of skating with friends and family. Adult skate days are held Mondays and Wednesdays, 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., and Fridays, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Enjoy a few spins around the ice with musical accompaniment.

Bring the kids along for free public skating on Saturdays from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. and Sundays from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Or get the gang together for Adult Shinny Hockey. $50 gets you 50 minutes of ice time, available Saturdays from 10:05 to 10:55 a.m. through March 22. Non-contact, self-regulated fun (with helmets mandatory).

posted February 22nd, 2014
Fun winter fitness programs at Meaford-St. Vincent Community Centre

If you’ve been hitting the slopes, heading out on the cross country trails, or donning snowshoes for a backcountry trek, you’ve been keeping fit and catching some of those rare and welcome rays this snowy winter. But staying in shape doesn’t have to mean bundling up for the great outdoors. Meaford and St. Vincent Community Centre has a big slate of fitness programs to get your heart beating and your blood flowing this winter and spring.

Meaford fitness programs

Here’s a taste.

Tabatas is also known as the “four-minute miracle”. This high intensity interval workout torches calories and gives you better fitness gains in less than time than ordinary cardio.

If you like your fitness with a taste of fun, try line dancing. It’s 50 minutes of boot-stomping booty shaking to good ol’ country music.

Designed especially for the 50-plus crowd, Golden Jazz FunFit offers low-impact moves in a dance-based workout to improve strength, endurance and toning.

Separate Tap FunFit classes for kids and adults will have you tapping your way to better toning.

The Essential Low Back program offers a complete remedial and rebuilding program for your back. Gentle, effective and adaptable to your body size and condition.

If you’re wondering what exercise is best for you, try the Stay FitClass and get introduced to a wide range of fitness aids. You’ll do weights, fitness ball, circuits, body weight, partners, tabatas and more.

Target one of the most important areas of your body with Core Strength. Your core stabilizes your body during any type of movement and is essential support for your back.

Let’s Get Physical is a fun, musical workout that’s perfect for chronic conditions, such as arthritis, diabetes and osteoporosis.

To learn more or to register, visit Meaford Parks and Recreation.

posted June 28th, 2013
Meaford cycling shop offers comfort bikes for all ages (that means you 50-plus Boomers)

If you haven’t been on a bike in awhile, or even if you’re an avid cyclist, you might have considered looking into a “cruiser”. Rather than dropping a bundle on a high-end mountain bike or road bike, you can get comfort, style and fitness in a lower-priced package. And now, Meaford has it’s own dealer of Elektra brand cruisers, comfort bicycles and hybrids at Ride On Bikes. Not ready to buy yet? Try one out. You can rent one of these popular bikes and set off on your own, or join one of the guided tours the new store is offering.

Ride on Bikes opens in Meaford

The original cruisers were the most popular bikes in North America from the 1930s through the 1950s, then after a 30 year slump, they started making a comeback among baby boomers and retirees about 15 years ago. Elektra, launched in 1993, is one of the main companies credited with the resurgence of the cruiser.

In the early 2000s, Paul Bishop worked in the shop at Toronto’s Bikes and Boards, a spin-off of Sporting Life. “I was building Elektra Townies, among other bikes,” he says. “I liked them, and I saw they were selling 10 to 15 a week, so I knew they were a good thing.”

Cycling had always been a huge part of Paul’s life. He was a mechanic for various retailers, and he worked in Sporting Life’s shop from their opening. He also raced criteriums for Duke Cycle, started their racing team in the 1980s, and toured through Europe on bikes. “I’m a huge cyclist,” he says.

A few years back, Paul met Janet Perks, Meaford born and bred, and four years ago, the Toronto native found himself moving in with Janet to her family farm. “All of a sudden, I’m living on a 100-acre farm and driving a tractor,” he says. All he needed to do was incorporate bikes into the mix.

He started offering bike repairs at the farm on the 7th line, but he kept thinking about opening a shop. When he saw the opportunity for a space on Trowbridge Street, just east of Sykes, he and Janet jumped at it. Ride on Bikes held its grand opening two weeks ago.

Paul says his market is anyone who wants to ride and is still able to. “These bikes are perfect for people who maybe haven’t been on a bike for awhile or who aren’t comfortable on ordinary bikes, who maybe get sore backs or shoulders from riding,” he says. “These things are amazing. You can ride them forever.” Elektra’s “Flat Foot Technology” (or “crank-forward” design) means you can rest your feet on the ground while sitting in the saddle, but still get full leg extension and power when you pedal.

“I have three-speed and seven-speed cruisers and 21-speed road hybrid bikes, which are great for the Georgian Trail, and can easily take you on a 30 K ride,” says Paul. “The internal three speeds are awesome. They’re a blast to ride, and they use coaster brakes, which are great.”

Ride on Bikes rents the comfort bikes for $25 for a half day and $40 for a full day, and that includes a helmet, lock and bike trail map. And if you’ve ever wanted to try a “bicycle built for two”, you can rent the tandem for $15 an hour.

Janet Perks and Paul Bishop Ride on Bikes

Janet Perks and Paul Bishop, of Meaford’s Ride on Bikes, try out the tandem.

Paul plans on guiding some tours in the fall, but staff mechanic (and avid rider), Christian Lewin, is ready any time, says Paul. Christian is also working on a series of self-guided rides, with detailed maps and directions, called “Christian’s Picks”.

Visit the website to learn more.

posted June 22nd, 2013
Work out like it’s 1871 – exercise from a bygone era

It seems every generation laments the lack of physical fitness in its children. Back in the days before Xbox and YouTube, Catharine E. Beecher took Americans to task.

“[The American people] have taken very little pains to secure the proper education of the body for their offspring during the period of their school life,” she wrote. “In consequence of this dreadful neglect and mismanagement, the children of this country are every year becoming less and less healthful and good-looking. There is a great change in reference to this matter within the last forty years. In former times, the children in school-houses, or on Sunday in the churches, almost all of them had rosy cheeks, and looked full of health and spirits. But now, the children in churches and schools, both in city and country… either of have sallow or pale complexions, or look delicate or partially misformed.”

Thus she introduced her attempt to remedy this situation. “Physiology and Calisthenics for Schools and Families”, published in 1871, prescribed a series of exercises to help American children, like the Greeks of ancient times, become “strong, healthful and beautiful”.

Work out like it's 1871

Yesterday at the Meaford Museum, Mary Solomon introduced some brave modern souls to these “calisthenics” during Meaford’s Longest Day of Play. When it came to leg exercises, Mary noted, the girls could do fewer repetitions. The heavy skirts of the 19th century meant they were doing twice the work of their male schoolmates.

In this video, Mary and Sarah Naylor demonstrate some of the exercises.

posted January 12th, 2013
Meaford Tai Chi classes for beginners and experienced practitioners

Had a chat with a friend the other day, and was surprised to learn she has just begun her “continuing class” (that is, the next level after beginner) of Taost Tai Chi, right here in Meaford. The two-hour sessions, which involve numerous excercises, just got more complicated and intense, she says.

Based on the traditional schools of this internal Chinese martial art, Taoist Tai Chi is a set of gentle, slow moving exercises aimed at improving your health and fitness, no matter what your age. Classes continue pretty much weekly throughout the year.

If you’re interested, now’s the time to check it out. On Monday, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., the group is holding an open house at Meaford Arena. Meet the instructor and learn more about this complex and rewarding practice. Visit the website. Or contact Judy Birch at 519-538-0288.

posted January 4th, 2013
Meaford’s new year’s ski conditions

Meaford had a white Christmas, and as the year kicks off it’s time to break out the skis and/or snowshoes if you haven’t already. Here’s a quick rundown on a few of the local runs and trails and their current conditions.

Blue Mountain
Twenty minutes down the road, Ontario’s largest ski resort is hopping with lots of snow from both Mother Nature and it’s state-of-the-art snowmaking system. With an average base of 55 cm. and groomed powder conditions, Blue has 12 of 15 lifts open and 30 of 36 runs open, as well as one terrain park. And the Village Mill Pond is open for skating.


Massie Hills
Head 20 minutes in the other direction, and you’ll find a groomed 10 km cross country trail system that gives you the feel of a backwoods ski. Though we’d enjoy some more snow (and the weather guys tell us it’s coming), the trails have been groomed and are in decent shape, with a few rocks still poking through.


Kolapore Uplands
Yet another extensive cross-country trail system awaits you within a 20-minute drive. These wilderness trails are ungroomed (and it’s a good idea to carry a map, available from various nearby locations).

Currently, the snow’s about 25 cm deep, and the trails are in decent shape overall; just keep an eye out for rocks. At the moment a small section of trails on the 60-km system are closed for logging.


Nordic Centre at Scenic Caves
Within a half hour scenic drive, this attraction offers 27 kilometres of groomed beginner and intermediate forested trails with occasional spectacular views. As of today, they offer a base of 20 cm., with the entire system track-set. Skating, too.


Highlands Nordic
Not much further down the road, about 40 minutes from town, you’ll discover one of Ontario’s premiere cross country ski resorts. Nestled in the highlands, it seems to be in its own little snow belt within the snow belt. Twenty km of trails are currently open for classic and skate.


Holiday skiing at Highlands Nordic

Sawmill Ski Trail
Take a 40 minute drive in the opposite direction, and head north of Owen Sound for 10 km of groomed classic and skate trails branching off from the cozy log clubhouse. While the trails are not yet track-set this year, skating’s good, and with snow in the forecast it won’t be long.


Oh, and did we mention there’s more snow in the forecast?

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