A Visit to Barrel Warehouse Park

During my daily stroll, I happened across this open space in front of the Seagram distillery buildings. Designed by Janet Rosenberg & Studio, it's places like this that make me happy to be in the profession of landscape architecture.

As I stepped into the space, the street noise faded, the shade made it comfortable, and the water created a soft bubbling noise. It's this type of oasis in the city that is so important. They help us relax. They make us slow down. And they bring us back to nature.

I think I could try and explain the importance of landscape architecture until I'm blue in the face, but no one can really "get it" until they visited these spaces and felt it themselves.


The HTS: Part 6/10: How to change your perspective 

Photo: Mike Wilson

I’m not sure if this is much of a how to post… more of a rant (fasten your seatbelt a everyone). 

We all have our opinions, and that’s fine! It’s great actually, and it should be celebrated that in Canada, I can have freedom to live how I choose. However, we all have very different  persepctives/values/beliefs. This means my perspective is going to be much different from someone who has led a very different life from mine. So who’s right? 

Trick question! This is where my how to part comes in. I’ve realized that it’s very important to be able to stop and try and change our perspective for a minute. If you don’t understand something, picture it differently. Try and put yourself in “their shoes”. 

It seems like a small thing but if everyone could do this when they were faced with unknown situations, I feel like there would be a lot more understanding and acceptance in this world. 

Try it out! 🌞

The HTS: Part 5/10: How to know where you’re going in life…

Okay, so I’ll admit that this is quite the splashy (and somewhat fib-like) title for this article. How on earth do you know where to go next? How can you possibly know where a certain decision will take you in life? Well, unfortunately there’s no way for me to tell you exactly where you might go, but you can definitely set yourself up for the best possible outcome! 

I’ve only just started out in my career and in big life decisions but here is what I’ve figured out so far:

• Optimism is your best friend: having positive thoughts about yourself and about your future is a serious game changer. Your outlook changes how much you care, and your ability from within to believe in yourself. 

• Turn it off. So I’m starting to realize that if you don’t stop what you’re doing and take a break, you will burn out. I know durimg weeks where I don’t set enough down time aside, I get grumpy, stressed out and don’t treat those that I love as I should. 

• Oh, and work hard. Yeah, unfortunately there’s no way around this one. Set those goals and work on them. Putting things off won’t solve anything so moving ahead is a sure fire way of getting where you want to go. 

All in all, you are the only person who can get to where you want to go in life. It takes time, hard work and self love to get there. You can do it!

The HTS: Part 4/10// How to be productive when you’re busy

How do you cope with being busy? Some people thrive; they go, go, and go some more. But that’s not everybody. It’s easy to get overwhelmed when we are busy. Our society seems to think that being “busy” is good. But is it really? Think about how you handle being busy, it is really worth it? Below are a few tips on how to deal with being busy. 

• When you get busy priorities become important. Maybe something simple like doing laundry won’t get done. Or maybe the house can be cleaned next week. Either way, if you try to load too much on yourself at one time it will lead to overall unproductivtity. 

• Evaluate all of things you have to do. Can anything be done later (truthfully) or not at all? It’s easy to get too busy with things that don’t really matter. Creating a level of importance will help you work through each task in a linear fashion. 

• Don’t be unessescarily busy because it’s “cool”. Look at all of the items taking up your time and get rid of the ones that aren’t actually things (believe me, I’m sure there are a few). 

• Lastly, plan ahead! Looking forward can help you take on or not take on certain things that suit your schedule. This will help you manage all of the things going on at the same time. 

I know this isn’t everything you could possibly do, but it’s a start! It’s also a reminder that you are only as busy as you decide to be. YOU have the power to change that if you want. Have a happy, productive day!

A Short Story: running free

 Harper looked out over the glowing sky, shining like bright orange sorbet in the morning light. The quietness and occasional chirping of birds was calming and made her feel safe.

But today, she had bigger and better things on her mind. Harper was going to leave the small town she loved so dearly and move to the city. Her best friend Beatrice had won her over with her, “come on Harpy, it’ll be great”, and, “nothing ever happens in the middle of nowhere, you have to leave that place so you can spread your wings”. At first, Harper had been hesitant. Having just finished high school, she was used to the small community she had grown up in, and where her family owned a small farm on the outskirts of town. However, Beatrice had been persistent, and had eventually persuaded Harper to move out.

They planned to find a small apartment and work at a nearby restaurant, where Beatrice was already working. They both had dreams and of more education and a successful career. As Harper gathered her belongings together and headed out onto the front porch, her father hugged her. “Take care of yourself, and don’t forget about home”, he said gruffly. Harper smiled and promised she wouldn’t. She then quickly jumped into her little car and sped away.

Several months had went by. Harper was alone in her room when a feeling that had been in the pit of her stomach since she left came boiling to the surface. She felt caged in. Like an animal caught in a trap. Ever since moving, she had been nervous. She never felt comfortable, and she couldn’t remember the last time she had seen a sunrise. Don’t forget about home… home…home…

Her father’s word kept coming back to her. Haunting her, reminding her. As she pushed through the days, everything kept closing in around her. Was this really what she wanted? This is what Beatrice said was the thing to do. Harper knew this was the way to be successful, to get an education and then get a good job. But why did she feel like this? So lost. So forlorn? Don’t forget about home… home…home…

Beatrice noticed it too. “Harpy, what’s wrong? You aren’t the same. You seem sad”.

“It’s nothing”, Harper reassured her, “just missing home, that’s all”.

“Well maybe you should go home this weekend and see your parents, might be nice”, Beatrice advised.

Harper’s heart started pounding in excitement as she thought of going back. To the wide open spaces, and the quiet beauty. Yes, she would go for a visit, or maybe she would just stay there… for good. It’s where she belonged.

Follow what your heart tells you… that’s what Harper did.

HTS Part 3/10: How to Relax 

I was thinking today about how we relax. I don’t know about you but when I think about relaxing I think about a hammock and birds chirping, and an empty day ahead of me. But is that really what relaxing is? I can hardly imagine that with so many different people out there that this is all what we would want to do. 

Okay, so then how to do we relax? Well, the more I live the more I realize relaxing is a STATE OF MIND. And whatever bring you to that ideal state is what is relaxing for you. I know as much as you do that if you are laying in a hammock and all you can think about is something that went wrong the day before, you probably aren’t overly relaxed. 

So how do you achieve this state? Well, I’m no expert but I can say that it does have to do with self love. I often “take myself too seriously”. I beat myself up about things that I did and think that I should have done.  If I can’t learn to get over myself then I’ll never learn to relax! 

Bottom line: life goes on, you are awesome, and you need to take the time to relax (mentally). It may not be by laying in a hammock, it may be by going for a run or cooking a delicious meal; whatever it is, do it! It’ll be good.