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February 2022

Durham Region Winter
Outdoor Adventure Guide
Getting outside is good for your health. From lowering blood pressure to boosting your mood, increasing physical activity with outdoor activities in Durham Region is a safe way to enjoy the cold months this winter.

Whether you crave a scenic outdoor walk, want to test your skills on skis, or need a change of scenery from your living room, there are many ways to get outside and enjoy the great outdoors with Durham Region’s beautiful winter amenities.

Durham Tourism has put together a winter outdoor adventure guide to help you embrace winter!
Enjoy a skate on an #ODR
in Durham Region!
Lace up your skates! Whether you’re looking to skate under the stars or hit around a hockey puck, there are lots of places for outdoor ice skating in Durham Region.

There are 16 (and counting!) outdoor ice rinks across the Region to enjoy this winter.

Check the rink status before you go to ensure it’s open. Ice-making and maintenance are weather-dependent. Please remember to respect the health and safety rules of any venue or facility you visit.
The Ultimate Valentine's Day Guide
in Durham Region
Love is in the air!

With local love in mind, our team of specialists has compiled a list of the best confections, flowers and dinner spots to help make your Valentine’s Day in Durham Region the sweetest ever! Offering curbside pick-up, takeout and delivery, there are several spots in your neighbourhood that can’t wait to make your Valentine’s Day a special one.

Flowers and chocolates are often a go-to gift for a loved one on Valentine’s Day. Durham has a variety of florists and chocolatiers offering delicately curated bouquets and locally-made chocolates that are perfect for your valentine. If you’re looking for something sweet and decadent but less chocolaty, there are cafés and bakeries offering an assortment of delicious goodies!

Some say that dinner is the most important part of a successfully planned Valentine’s Day. This is the part where we turn it over to the expert chefs in Durham Region! You’ll want to get on this early and make a reservation or pre-order for the special weekend. Call ahead or check online to make sure that you don’t miss out!

Want to know where to #ShopInDurham for your Valentine’s Day goodies but not sure where to start? We’ve got you covered! With more than 100 local businesses featured in this blog, we’re making it a breeze to #LoveLocal with the one you love! We’ve broken down the list by municipality to make it easier to navigate.
Celebrating Black Achievements
in Durham Region
Join the “Together We Rise Durham” Black History Month Committee tonight (February 1) at 7 p.m. for a live virtual celebration of Black achievements that recognizes local health-care heroes in Durham Region.
Honouring Black Athletes
Sport Durham is committed to diversity and inclusion in all our activities and advocacy where our voice lends strength. During Black History Month, we will honour local Black athletes and their contributions to sport here in Durham Region and beyond.

An outstanding number of high-performance Black athletes have represented our region and made us proud and continue to do so.

Seeing someone who looks like us and comes from the same place can be inspiring and motivating. We hope to encourage our community’s next wave of Black athletes and help them see all that is possible by spotlighting just a few success stories from Durham Region.

Follow our Sport Durham accounts on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook as we share these stories.

We encourage you to learn the story of Bernie Saunders (Ajax) who became only the fifth Black hockey player in the NHL (albeit too briefly). Read his book entitled, Shut Out. Learn more too about his brother John who left hockey and became a beloved ESPN sportscaster. Follow and talk about current local athletes, including decathlete Pierce LePage (Whitby), soccer players Nichelle Prince (Ajax), Jayde Riviere (Pickering), Derek Cornelius (Ajax) and Deandre Kerr (Ajax), basketball players Cory Joseph (Pickering) and Shaina Pellington (Pickering) to name but a few.

And join us in continuing to watch, listen and learn.
Durham Region International Film Festival
Opens 2022 Submissions

The Durham Region International Film Festival (DRIFF) is proud to announce filmmaker submissions for its fall festival are now open. DRIFF 2022, running September 29 to October 1, will be the first to be guided by the organization’s newly released strategic plan which aims to connect Durham communities through the power of film.

Features, shorts, documentaries, animations, comedies, and student film projects are all invited for submission. Cash awards are given to winners in the following four categories:

  • Best Student Film - $500
  • Best Short Film - $500
  • Best Feature Film - $500
  • Best Regional Film - $1,000

The early bird deadline for filmmaker submissions is April 4.

DRIFF plans to continue drive-in presentations in the summer of 2022 while the festival returns in September.
Culinary Corner: Featured Recipe
Durham Tourism, in partnership with local Chef Alex Page, will be sharing seasonal recipes to inspire you to try something different and support local farms.
This month’s recipe is: Poached Duck Egg with Swiss Chard and Chorizo Hash
What you’ll need:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil 
  • 1 fresh chorizo sausage, casing removed 
  • 1 small white potato, finely diced
  • 1 bunch Swiss chard, trimmed and chopped into 1 inch pieces, leaves and stems divided
  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced 
  • 1 tbsp white vinegar
  • 2 Alphaven Farm Duck Eggs 
  • Crusty bread for serving 

Cooking Instructions:

  • Set a large skillet over high heat, add oil and, once smoking, crumble in sausage and use a wooden spoon to break meat apart as it cooks. When chorizo is cooked through and golden, about 4 minutes, add diced potato and chard stems, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook until potatoes are fork-tender, about 5 minutes. Add chard leaves and cook for 3 minutes, then add garlic and cook for an additional 1 minute. Reduce heat to low and keep hash warm. 
  • Meanwhile, crack duck eggs, one at a time, into a fine mesh strainer to remove any excess egg whites before gently setting them in individual ramekins. Set aside.
  • Fill a medium sized sauce pot with water and place over high heat. Once boiling, reduce heat to a gentle simmer and stir in vinegar. Swirl water with a wooden spoon to create a vortex, then gently add duck eggs, one at a time, and cook for 3 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer poached eggs from water to a paper towel lined plate to drain. 
  • Top warm hash with the poached eggs, season to taste with salt and pepper, and serve immediately with crusty bread.
Recipe serves two.
YDH Family Farm Spotlight: Kendal Hills Farm
York Durham Headwaters (YDH) is the home of rural Ontario! Our strongest asset when it comes to local food, the reason that people travel here from throughout the GTA and beyond, is our network of wholesome family farms. In this YDH family farm spotlight, learn about Kendal Hills Farm.

Kendal Hills Farm in Clarington is one of our family-run farms, owned and operated by Dave Kranenburg and Emily Tufts and located just outside of Orono. Not only does it have a unique story, but it grows a unique product as well: mushrooms!

Learn more about Kendal Hills Farm and be sure to read all the way to the end for a nourishing, delicious mushroom soup recipe perfect for these cold YDH-winter months.
Town of Ajax Love Letters for Local
This month, let’s show some Town of Ajax love for local businesses!

Send a shoutout to your favourite local business on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram for a chance to win weekly prizes!

Draws will take place every Monday in February.

Here’s how to participate:

  1. Follow the Town of Ajax’s social channels on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
  2. Watch for the Town’s “Love Letters for Local” post which will be posted to all platforms every Tuesday and Thursday in February.
  3. In the comments section or in response to the tweet, tag an Ajax business you couldn’t live without and tell us what makes them so great!
  4. Add the hashtag #LoveLocalTOA.

Every comment will be automatically entered into a weekly draw to win a $50 gift card to the Ajax business of your choice!
For unique trip ideas or to plan your perfect day, visit DurhamTourism.ca, or call 1-800-413-0017. If this information is required in an accessible format, contact Durham Tourism.