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Home Automation: The Future is Here

By | Calgary, Design, Entertainment, Home, Home Maintenance, Home Security | No Comments

Picture this. You come home after a long day and your home is ready for you. The door is unlocked, the lights are on, blinds are drawn, the temperature is set to where you like it, and that package you ordered is waiting for you on the counter. No, you didn’t forget to turn everything off before leaving and no, you didn’t forget to lock your door, your home is smart. A quick trip over to your wall mounted, touch-screen control panel reveals the time that package was dropped off, how many times your door was opened during the day, and any motion that happened within your home.

Home automation may seem like science fiction, who can forget the iconic 2001: A Space Odyssey’s HAL? Okay, let’s forget about HAL, please! But home automation is exactly what it sounds like, the ability to control devices and things around the home. And it really isn’t the far off futuristic concept you might think it is. At its core, home automation is about setting up your home environment to adapt to what you do and how you live your life. You can do this remotely with the simple push of a button, you can program things in advance by using your touch-screen panel, and you can even control things with your voice once you are home.

On the show this week, we learned the best ways to keep our home secure. We teamed up with the experts at Adera Technologies learn the best ways to use home automation to complement a home security system to give added piece of mind.

Panel Touch-screen

This main access panel provides control over all automated aspects of the home. Think of it as your central control station. You can make changes instantly or program things in advance – like having your lights come on at a certain time of day or having your doors unlock just before you arrive home. A processor is at the core of every home automation system and this processor sets the customized system apart. Think of the processor as the brains of the operation – it keeps everything in check and allows you to add in features like voice activation or apps on your smart phone to control your system in different ways. When paired with an app on your phone, as long as you have access to the internet, you are able to control things when you’re away from home – however far away that might be.


Alexa or Google Home for Voice Command

Step up your home automation by adding in voice command system like Alexa or Google Home. Imagine walking into your home and using your voice to control the TV going on, the blinds going up, and the doors unlocking. It’s as easy as asking.


IP Cameras

In simple terms, these are cameras that can be accessed over a network connect. Read: as long as you have access to the internet, you can check on your home while you’re away. This digital video camera is commonly used for surveillance, which can be professionally set up to take your security system to the next level.


Automated Blinds

This is just want it sounds like, blinds that go up and down automatically. Step it up a notch with a device like Alexa or Google Home and use your own voice to command the blinds. These can also be controlled from a distance or programed in advance when tied into an overall system, giving you the ability to heighten your home security.


Door Stations

Have a nagging feeling that you forgot to lock the front door? Not a problem. Imagine being able to lock and unlock the doors to your home from a distance. You can take it a step further and monitor how many times the door has been opened during a specific timeframe. If something is being delivered to your home and you’d like it brought inside, check in on your front door IP camera, let the delivery person in, and then lock the door behind them – all from a distance.


Motion and Flood Monitors

Track motion throughout the home while you are away and use a flood monitor to ensure no problems arise while you are on vacation. When added to your home security system, these two monitoring system will take your security to the next level.

If you have any questions about home automation, check in with the experts at Adera Technologies.
ANA Interiors tours us through Adera Technologies on Homes & Lifestyles this Saturday, April 28 at 10:00 a.m. on CTV Calgary.

Top Five Things You Need to Do in Canmore

By | Calgary, Design, Dining, Entertainment, Lifestyle, Vacation | No Comments

Just a short hour-long drive from Calgary’s western city limits resides the beautiful Canmore Kananaskis area. Aptly named Calgary’s “local backyard,” this conveniently located gem has all you need for a quick weekend getaway. In our Mountain Living episode, we teamed up with Andrew Shepherd, general manager at Blackstone Mountain Lodge and Board of Directors Chair with Tourism Canmore Kananaskis, to share five things you need to experience on your next trip out to Calgary’s local backyard.

Take a Cave Tour

Year-round, rain or shine, Canmore Cave Tours has you covered. This uniquely Albertan experience proves exciting for even the most expert mountain goer. Join one of their passionate cavers on a tour through Rat’s Nest Cave – a wild, undeveloped cave under Grotto Mountain. They suit all levels of adventurers – from the bold and extreme, to those who like taking the scenic route – every caver has the opportunity to enjoy the cave in their own special way. And hey, if you really love it, they offer courses for those looking to take their caving adventures to the next level.

Snowshoe Tour 

Take in the last of winter (it is still winter, right?) with a snowshoeing tour complete with breathtaking views of the Canadian Rocky Mountains. Snowshoeing is a fun, easy winter activity for all ages and it requires no technical skills. Check out our host, Kim, on a tour with Claude from Kananaskis Outfitters – she makes it look easy. Easy to book and with tours leaving right from Canmore and the Kananaskis Village Centre beside the Pomeroy Kananaskis Mountain Lodge, Claude and his team have you covered. We also recommend White Mountain Adventures. With tours leaving from Banff, Canmore, and Kananaskis, you’re sure to find a tour that suits your needs.

Float Down the River

Winter won’t last (we repeat; winter won’t last) and when it gives way to warmer weather, book yourself in for a unique water tour with Canmore River Adventures. Operating from June to September, bring your large or small group out for a guided tour down the Bow River. These family friendly tours are perfect for nature lovers of all ages. If you need pick up from your Canmore hotel, no problem, complimentary pick up is available. Conversely, the boat launch is a quick 5-10 minute walk from downtown Canmore.

The Iron Goat Pub & Grill

With two elevated patios overlooking the majestic Three Sisters mountain range, the Iron Goat Pub & Grill is a great place to end your busy day. Kick back with delicious food and drinks, while you experience mountain dining in a memorable setting. This place has history too. Inspired by Canmore’s rich railway heritage, the name comes from a memorable train engine named “The Iron Goat,” which hauled coal throughout the first half of the 1900’s. The Iron Goat has since been retired to Calgary’s own Heritage Park.

Stay at the Blackstone Mountain Lodge

Finish your busy, action-packed day with a relaxing stay at the Blackstone Mountain Lodge in Canmore. Raising the bar for luxury in the Rocky Mountains, guests are treated to a wide offering of on-site amenities. Equipped with outdoor hot tubs, a heated outdoor pool, on-site spa treatments, a games room, and a fully equipped fitness centre, relaxing is not problem here. From hotel rooms to one, two, or three bedroom suites, the Blackstone can accommodate couples on a weekend getaway or families looking for an adventure in the mountains. You can even test out the four bedroom penthouse suite for 2,100 square feet of living and entertaining bliss, complete with mountain views off of the enclosed balcony.

We’d love to hear from you. Please share some of your favourite things to do out in Canmore and Kananaskis.

The Blackstone Mountain Lodge was featured on the first episode of Homes & Lifestyles season two, airing March 28th, 2018 on CTV Two at 8:30 a.m. Miss it? Subscribe to our YouTube Channel to catch it.

The Kananaskis Nordic Spa: Nordic Tradition with a Canadian Twist

By | Calgary, Design, Dining, Entertainment, Kim Hayden, Lifestyle, Vacation | No Comments

Who can relate?

You’re at a spa for the first time and you don’t know what to do. Where do you sit? Where are the towels? And also, shhh, don’t dare speak. You feel completely aware of every move you’re making and you feel like everyone is watching you. They of course are not, and it’s pretty likely that many are feeling the same way you are. What is it about the traditional spa experience that can make us feel so uncomfortable?

Well take a deep breath. You will not experience this at the brand new Kananaskis Nordic Spa, located next to the beautifully updated Pomeroy Kananaskis Mountain Lodge. This deliberately different take on the hot-warm-cold-rest-repeat hydrotherapy lifestyle practiced in Nordic wellness circles for centuries feels, well, Canadian. *Read: comfortable, rustic, welcoming, friendly, and warm. Surrounded by alpine forest and rugged mountain peaks, deep in Alberta’s Kananaskis Country, this oasis combines the Nordic Spa style tradition of repair, relaxation, and rejuvenation with rustic, modern Canadiana.

We took a test run (someone’s got to do it!) and have highlighted what we found makes this Nordic style spa uniquely Canadian and experience you won’t soon forget.

Outdoor Campfires

Who doesn’t like a year-round outdoor fire? We’re Canadians after all, we don’t let winter hold us back from getting outside and gathering with friends by the fire. At the Kananaskis Nordic Spa, you’ll find social campfire settings within the outdoor woodland design. And rather than the traditional ‘silence-at-all-times-please’ approach typically seen at Nordic spas, guests can quietly socialize within a spa setting. Well it’s still expected that the ambience be quiet and respectful, guests are able to socialize in hushed tones while unwinding together.

Canadian Tartan Robes

Instead of the classic white robe you’ve come to expect, the Kananaskis Nordic Spa has deliberately opted for something a little more Canadian. The tartan selected as the fabric for the robes, is the maple leaf print designed in 1964 by David Weiser to commemorate the new Canadian flag, with its four colours representing the colours of the maple leaf as it changes through the seasons; green in the spring, gold in the fall, red at the first frost, and brown when it falls to the ground.

The Spa Lodge

Surrounded by a series of hot, saltwater, and cold plunge pools resides the modern-meets-rustic Spa Lodge. Step inside to find a mix of bold industrial features complimenting the décor of stained grey wood panel walls, white tile flooring and granite counter-tops – finished with clean, bright white lighting. Rich textures, luxe fabrics, and soft seating add a home-away-from-home feel to the spa space – like a chic Canadian style lodge.

Outdoor/Indoor

Boldly making ample use of both the outdoors and indoors is what sets this spa experience apart. Outdoors, guests benefit from the hydrotherapy cycles, peaceful rejuvenation and meditation practices, while quietly socialize within a spa setting. Inside the Spa Lodge, guests are met with an inviting plush, comfortable lounge setting – reminiscent of a contemporary-luxe Canadian cabin, complete with a lounge area that can fully open up to the outdoors in the summer months.

So ditch the white robe and head to the Kananaskis Nordic spa for a red Canadian tartan robe. They’ll take good care of you, while you take good care of yourself. Disconnect to reconnect.

The Kananaskis Nordic Spa will be featured on the first episode of Homes & Lifestyles season two, airing March 28th, 2018 on CTV Two at 8:30 a.m. We’ll be airing again March 31st, 2018 on CTV Calgary at 10:00 a.m. and again April 4th, 2018 on CTV Two at 8:30 a.m.

The New Kananaskis: A Home Away From Home

By | Calgary, Dining, Entertainment, Kim Hayden, Lifestyle, Vacation | No Comments

It’s been over 30 years since the original Kananaskis Lodge was built within the Kananaskis valley amongst the surreal Rocky Mountains. Emerging from a complete facelift and redesign, this boutique hotel has been officially renamed the “Pomeroy Kananaskis Mountain Lodge” and is now officially a part of Marriot’s exclusive Autograph Collection of Hotels. Not only is this the first hotel in Alberta to be a part of the Autograph Collection, but it’s the 5th one in Canada. As Calgarians, we are honoured to have this luxury mountain resort so close to home, as it’s only a mere 45 minutes away from Calgary’s City center, how exciting!

What does it mean to a be a part of the Autograph Collection? The Homes & Lifestyles team had the amazing opportunity to visit the lodge and get a full tour before the new identity was revealed!

Embodies the Local Surroundings

One of the requirements to be a part of the Autograph Collection is that it must be inspired by it’s ‘locale’ and be reflected in the experience. From outdoor activities to your experience at the lodge, The Pomeroy is meant to be an escape from the hustle and bustle, with an emphasis on modern, yet rustic mountain living. It aims to inspire adventures, reconnect you with nature, and reflect the rugged, pristine image of the Canadian Rockies here in Alberta. It’s simply the perfect intersection of backcountry beauty and luxury world-class comfort, which is presented in all the details.

Flawlessly Designed

Each suite has been carefully designed to be more like a condo rather than a hotel room, to give guests a feeling that this truly is a home away from home. Along with standard one-bedroom suites, the lodge offers two-level lofts, which give a sense of space, luxurious comfort and openness. Take in the alpine outdoors on your very own private balcony or enjoy the comfort of a fire on those cool mountain evenings. With everyone in mind, the lodge also offers the Hospitality Suite to larger groups and families. All suites feature luxurious textures, stylish furnishings, soft lighting and are designed with a timeless charm that not only looks amazing, but provokes a tactile and emotional connection for every guest that stays at the lodge.

Authentic Canadian Hospitality

To be a part of the Autograph Collection having a guest-centric mindset is key. Paying ‘ode to our well known Canadian culture, the Pomroy aims at giving each guest a custom experience that arm you with memories and have you coming back time and time again. From nourishing food offered at one of their 5 uniquely curated, on-site eateries, to access to worldclass amenities and services to a concierge service that will make sure you are well taken care of from the moment you walk in the door, you will never need to look far to be prepared to indulge in the natural beauty of the mountain region.

A Focus on Health and Wellness

From getting outdoors and reconnecting with nature to nourishing your body with health-focused meals, fitness and health are a priority at the lodge. With organized group activities, recommendations for surrounding active mountain experiences and trails for all levels with panoramic breath-taking viewpoints, you’ll never find yourself with a lack of adventure at your fingertips.

Relax at the Nordic Spa

We took a test run of this four season, mountain sanctuary and let us tell you, it’s unlike anything we have ever experienced! Combining the tranquil rejuvenation of a traditional Nordic Spa and the alpine stillness of the Canadian Rockies this spa is meant to provoke relaxation and give you the opportunity to discover clarity in the midst of the Rockies. Learn more about the spa here!

Accommodations for the Entire Family

The Pomeroy is designed to accommodate guests of any age, along with your furry best friends (your dog is essentially a part of the family, so they’re more than welcome). They offer accessibility services, an extensive list of kid-approved activities and seasonal programs, along with menu items that will satisfy the pickiest of eaters. Memoires made with your loved ones are the ones that matter most, and the lodge has been thoughtfully designed with this mantra in mind, aiming to get the entire family out to experience the natural beauty of the Kananaskis region. There’s also a recreational facility that is opening this summer that will feature an all-inclusive water park that will have you dragging your kids away at the end of the day. Stay tuned!

A Cosy and Inviting Atmosphere

Continuing the theme of a home away from home, the lodge aims at being a spot you want to hang out at. Curl up by the warmth of the roaring fireplace in the Blacktail Bar or the lobby and enjoy some lounge time tucked in one of their complimentary fluffy blankets on the low, sofa seating available. There are also games and a scrabble board available so you can recreate the excitement of a family games night in the middle of the lodge.

All Elements Combined Work to Tell a Story

From the details in the design to the outdoor spirit to the dedication to reconnecting guests with the beauty of nature, each element captures all the glory and natural beauty that Kananaskis is known for. The new logo says it best, combining nature, shelter and location, in a modern representation that highlights the mountain ridge and the expansive valley below the resort. Each element is meant to be a subtle reminder of the natural beauty of the lodge, the surrounding wildlife and laid-back coziness that is embodied in the ambiance of the new Pomeroy Kananaskis.

The Pomeroy Kananaskis will be featured on the first episode of Homes & Lifestyles season two, airing March 28th, 2018 on CTV Two at 8:30 a.m.

We’ll be airing again March 31st, 2018 on CTV Calgary at 10:00 a.m. and again April 4th, 2018 on CTV Two at 8:30 a.m.

The Kananaskis Nordic Spa: Hot-Warm-Cold-Rest-Repeat!

By | Calgary, Design, Dining, Entertainment, Lifestyle, Vacation | One Comment

Looking for a new spa experience? Look no further than the Kananaskis Nordic Spa, a four-season, mountain sanctuary that combines the alpine stillness of the Canadian Rockies with the tranquil rejuvenation of a traditional Nordic Spa. This concept is the first of its kind here in Alberta and is located just 45 minutes out of Calgary. You can easily come out for the day or turn it into a weekend getaway and stay next door at the newly renovated Delta Lodge at Kananaskis (soon to become an Pomeroy Kananaskis Mountain Lodge; an Autograph Collection Hotel).

We’ve taken a test run (tough job but someone’s gotta do it!) and are here to help you navigate your first visit.

So what is a Nordic Spa?
Commonly referred to as Nordic or Scandinavian hydrotherapy, this traditional Nordic style spa ritual involves moving through a hot-warm-cold-rest-repeat hydrotherapy cycle (ideally completing the sequence 2-3 times). First of its kind in Alberta, this centuries-old relaxation method has only just recently left northern Europe. Lucky for us, it’s now right here in our backyard!

What to do at the spa?

The Saunas
Start your journey by warming up in one of the three sauna rooms; the Barrel Sauna, Banya Sauna and Finnish Sauna, or the Eucalyptus & Alchemist Steam Cabin infused with select aromatherapy oils. The Exfoliation Cabin houses a selection of salts for self-exfoliation of the skin. Then take it to the cold pool (set between 5-10°F) to cool down.

The Pools
You’ll find a series of hot, medium, and cold plunge pools that you can move between. Ideally you’re meant to cycle through a hot to cold rotation three times. You can do this by moving through the warm to cold pools, while integrating the steam rooms and saunas into the beginning of each cycle. Finish it off in The Gathering Pool (a favourite spot of Jennifer Buckler, the Vice President of Spa & Development).

Spa Lodge
Relaxation and reflection are both a major part of the Nordic Spa ritual. With 8 treatment rooms opening in May, including relaxation in your visit is easy. If you have a benefit plan that covers massage, rejoice! All massage therapists are fully licensed. A minimalist menu of deep tissue, relaxation, and hot stone massage will be available in the treatment rooms located on the third floor. Find a spot and relax in the communal area on the main level. Rich textures, luxe fabrics, and soft seating add a home-away-from-home feel to the spa space – like a chic Canadian style lodge.

The Two Trees Bistro
Hungry? The Two Trees Bistro, located on the main level, is a great spot to relax and gather with friends for a healthy bite to eat, a warm cup of post-hydrotherapy tea, or a therapeutic glass of wine or beer (hydrotherapy, right?).


The Kananaskis Nordic Spa is a nature inspired oasis where you can enjoy a centuries old method of relaxation and wellness. We want to hear from you! Tell us about your spa experience and share any tips that you have.

Disconnect to reconnect.

The Kananaskis Nordic Spa will be featured on the first episode of Homes & Lifestyles season two, airing March 28th, 2018 on CTV Two at 8:30 a.m. We’ll be airing again March 31st, 2018 on CTV Calgary at 10:00 a.m. and again April 4th, 2018 on CTV Two at 8:30 a.m.