Q Can we still buy tickets for Quebec City's Carnival?
-- F. Singh, Brampton
A The Quebec Winter Carnival continues through Feb. 17. Passes called The Effigy (a Bonhomme figure), can be purchased for $15 from 450 shops in the Quebec City area -- Uniprix drugstores, Couche-Tard corner stores, SAQs, etc. -- or at the festival gate. The pass provides access to all sites.
Q My niece from out of town is coming for a brief stay. We want to take her to Collingwood. Do you know of any places for nonskiers?
-- G. Cote, Mississauga
A Accommodations run the gamut from quaint B&Bs to cozy country inns. Willow Trace B&B (collingwoodbedandbreakfast.com, 705-445-9003) is a quaint three-room dwelling on 2.42 hectares. Run by Chef Philip Tarlo and restaurateur Leanne Calvert, the breakfasts and the mountain views are highlights.
Two blocks from Georgian Bay, the home fire is burning at Beild House Country Inn and Spa (705-444-1522, beildhouse.com). Innkeepers William and Stephanie Barclay make guests feel at home in this cozy setting. Furnished with the TLC you would expect from an ancestor of the Christie cookie empire, a fabulous portrait of great-great-grand dad Mr. Christie hangs in the home.
Chef Eric Madden, who once dished out haute cuisine at Toronto's Scaramouche, cooks with locally sourced produce. A five-course menu ($65) includes pastries whipped up by William, who carries on his family's baking legacy. Other dining options are The Hungry Sumo (sushi, noodles, etc.) on Main street or more than 20 restaurants at the base of Blue Mountain (bluemountain.ca). See visitsouthgeorgianbay.ca.