4 Ways to Bring Your Outdoor Space to Life

If planned right, a backyard or balcony space can be a personal oasis. By optimizing your outdoor space, you can greatly expand your living area during the summer months. Truly livable outdoor spaces share a few common elements. Follow these 4 simple ideas to transform your outdoor space into your personal dream garden.

1 – Entertaining area

To enjoy the outdoors, first and foremost you’ll need a place to sit. The joy of entertaining outdoors is you don’t always need a formal dining area or fancy dinnerware! A relaxed environment like this Collection Cosetta patio set is the perfect lounge set up for relaxing with a beverage and can double as a dining area for your next BBQ. If you’re looking for a dedicated dining space, this Collection metal foldable table set will allow you to have lots of room for all your guests to dine. In a tighter space, the Collection Bella folding bistro set is perfect for even the smallest of balconies. No matter the space, large or small, a seating area is the first step and we have a wide assortment to get your outdoor space comfortable.

2 – Outdoor kitchen

When enjoying the outdoors at home, you don’t want to trek to and from the kitchen. An outdoor kitchen doesn’t require a fancy built-in grill! It can be as simple as a dedicated surface to cook with a BBQ. The Kenmore pedestal 3 burner gril BBQ has everything you need, including two side tables for food prep. Another option is The Camp Chef XTG pellet grill which is a backyard powerhouse. It can slow smoke or grill any meal to perfection! While talking food, you’ll need to ensure you keep your beverages cold! We have some of the coolest coolers around. Like this unique van cooler. If you’re looking to save on space, this foosball cooler cart has a built in foosball table top, doubling as an entertainment centre that is sure to be a hit for all ages.

3 – Shade

Soaking in some rays is one thing that makes the summer special, however too much sun can be problematic. Making sure you have some shade is a great way to make the space livable at all times of day. The Collection aluminum pergola is a great option. Complete with two shades (one grey and one beige) it can be full shade, half shade or no shade depending on your needs. Also, its aluminum frame is sure to endure years of use. For something smaller a fiberglass windproof umbrella is a great option that is easy to move. For a more robust shade, the Bond offset umbrella is available in various colours and can cover your dining area with no obstructions or center pole. If you are working with a small balcony, this universal umbrealla for an outdoor chair is perfect as it will mount to any chair, and is also great for days at the beach.

4 – Ambience

Now that you have a sitting area, some shade, and a place to prepare your food, it’s time to add the final touches. Backyard ambience can be anything from décor to lighting. Solar lighting is a great way to add highlights to a large space without the trouble of connecting power. No matter your taste, we have a wide assortment of solar lighting options. Another final touch is to add some planters and garden décor.


From resin planters, to ceramic and even wood, there are a wide range of styles available to match any aesthetic. Add in some unique garden accessories like this Collection bird bath, and your personality is sure to come through. If on a balcony or in an urban area, a fountain like this unique Collection fountain with LED lights can help cut the background hum of the city streets and add a tranquil vibe. Lastly, a fire pit can turn relaxing evenings into a camping-like experience (but where you still get to sleep in your own bed!) Whether a table top, or stand alone unit, we have various options to fit any space.

No matter what you do to your outdoor space, we can help you transform it into an extension of your living area that can easily become your favourite place in the house. Shop our outdoor living collection today to have your dream back yard tomorrow.

10 Ways to Enhance your Outdoor Living

With people spending most of their spring and summer closer to home this year, there is no better time to create an outdoor oasis for you to spend your lazy afternoons in. Make it comforting and inviting with furnishings, outdoor décor and even backyard lighting for those cozy evenings.

BBQ & Outdoor Cooking Essentials

No one can argue that enjoying outdoor BBQs is one of the highlights of warmer weather. The Kenmore Pedestal Grill features 522 sq. in. of cooking space and the generous side shelves fold down for compact storage. This 3-burner patio grill features an electronic ignition for easy lighting, porcelain-coated cast iron cooking grids and a durable porcelain-enameled lid with a stainless steel handle.

Coleman RoadTrip 285 Portable Stand-Up Propane Grill features sturdy quick-fold legs and 2 wheels for hassle-free setup, take down, and transport. Plus it features an Insta-start ignition button for matchless lighting! (Just make sure to play it safe and picnic or barbecue at home to maintain social distance, until COVID-19 restrictions are lifted.) Find these and other BBQ and Outdoor Cooking Essentials here. 

Patio Heaters

Warm up on those chillier nights with Bond Steel Gas Firetable or Portable Gas Fire Bowl. The bowl comes with pumice stones, locking lid with carry handle, 10ft propane gas hose with regulator and tank seat. Both are great for marshmallow roasting or adding a relaxing ambiance to your outdoor space. Find these and other outdoor heaters here.

Outdoor Patio Furniture

Make the most of outdoor spaces with a fresh patio set. This Collection Cosetta Patio Set is made of light weight Acacia wood construction and soft comfortable cushions. It’s small enough to fit most patios, while still providing enough room to seat 4 adults. The coffee table offers a sturdy construction with a decorative slat design top and stabilizing cross bar at the bottom. The set includes 2 arm chairs, 1 bench all with cushions and 1 coffee table.

The simple classic design of the Collection Bistro Set features two folding chairs and a Bistro table that also folds. The silver metal construction with black mesh chairs will suit any patio décor.

Create some shade so you can cool off on the hotter days with this 10ft. Bond Offset Umbrella Set. It includes 4-piece base and is available in blue, red or taupe.Customize your outdoor space with these and other patio furniture and accessories here.

Entertaining Décor & Accessories

Express your personal style with our wide selection of tableware and accessories. You’ll be surprised at how many choices there are to fit your patio theme. Plus, with much of our tableware made from durable materials, you’ll have no problem bringing it outdoors. Browse our full selection here.

Garden Tools & Planters


Work on your green thumb with our selection of outdoor planters and gardening tools. Planters and pots are perfect for adding a pop of colour without digging up the backyard. With our large selection of different styles and sizes, we’re sure you’ll find something that fits your outdoor space, regardless of its size. Plus, you can cart along all your gardening tools in this handy folding wagon from our Collection line. Browse our full selection of garden tools and planters here.

Outdoor Accessories


If you want to add a bit of functional style to your outdoor space, check out this Craft Van Cooler from our Collection line. Not only does it add character to your patio, you can also keep all your beverages cold. You can even use it to store other items when you’re not using it as a cooler, to maximize smaller patio spaces. Browse this and other outdoor accessories here.

Sun Care

Regardless of how much time you spend outdoors, make sure you’re well protected from the sun. From lotions and sprays to mineral options, you can find a sunscreen that’s right for you here.

Summer Clothing & Shoes

Whether you’re playing with your kids, doing some gardening or just soaking up a little sun, make sure you’re adequately dressed for the outdoors. We’ve got a selection of sandals, hats and comfortable clothing to help make spending time in your backyard more enjoyable. Explore our full clothing and shoe selection here.

Portable Bluetooth Speakers


Music adds a whole new element to your time outdoors, so why not use a bluetooth speaker to play your favourite tunes outside? The portability makes it convenient to take it anywhere in your patio space. Browse our full selection of bluetooth speakers here.

Outdoor Toys & Fun

If you’re looking to have some fun outside your yard, the Pelican Fazer 100 Kayak is the perfect choice. Built on a twin-arched, multi-chine hull, this sit-in kayak offers great stability and good tracking. It features an adjustable ERGOFORM padded backrest with seat cushion for comfort, a storage hatch with bungee cord to store your gear, a cockpit table, bottle holder, drain plug and carrying handles. Made of RAM-X impact-resistant material, it is built to last. So bring your Fazer 100 with you on your next adventure at the lake and create memorable stories worth sharing with everyone.  Find these and other outdoor toys and fun here.

Fun Ways to Keep Cool

Fun Ways to Keep Cool This Summer

It’s finally here. Summer. The season we’ve waited for all year. Those long, lazy hot weather days we’ve been dreaming about are here, and well, now we’re feeling a little sweaty. And lazy. And we just don’t want to expend a whole lot of energy doing much of anything at all. Much less keeping cool.

But there are so many fun and easy ways to cool down while you chill out this summer. Here a few of our favourite ways to keep cool when the temperature soars.

Play in the Spray

You’ve seen inflatables decorating the neighbourhood during the holidays. Now they’ve found new purpose in the summertime: as sprinklers. That’s right, these inflatable sprinklers aren’t just cute, they’re also functional, and will bring out the play while you get your spray on.

 

Keep cool in an inflatable kayakGo Boating

A cool sea-breeze may be just the thing you need to cool down, and you can search for the best coastal breezes in your single-seat kayak. Get paddling!

 

 

Keep Cool with a Pool FloatieOr Floating

If the pool is your preference, bring your A-game with a fun and funky floatie for you, or for the whole gang! Splish splash!

 

 

Keep Cool with a Sun UmbrellaMake Some Shade

Sometimes you’ve just got to sit down and relax. But if you want it made in the shade, and your yard has other ideas, you’ll need to create your own little shady spot with a sun umbrella that’ll make lounging a lot less sweaty.

 

 

Keep Your Drinks CoolPack a Cooler

There’s nothing like an ice cold drink on a hot day, but keeping it cool can be a challenge. And going inside for a refill isn’t always feasible, especially if you’re spending the day at the park or the beach. That’s why packing a cooler is essential — whether it’s a single-serving thermal jug or a jumbo cooler on wheels so your friends can join the fun. Just don’t forget the ice packs!

 

Check out our outdoor living guide for more ways to have fun — and keep cool — in the sun.

7 Best Tips for Prepping Your Backyard and Patio for the Summer

Now that the weather has apologized for what it did to us last winter, it’s time to expand our living spaces outside. After all, the sun is shining, and the great outdoors are calling!

Whether you have a sprawling backyard or a chic downtown patio, there are several things you can do prep your backyard and patio for the summer.

Here are 7 tips to get you started!

1. Clean Surfaces

 

No matter what else you do to make your outdoor living space look nice, nothing will help if everything is dirty.

First, give all of the floor surfaces a good sweep. Once that’s done, it’s time to get in there and deep clean. 30-Seconds Outdoor Cleaner is great for cleaning large outdoor spaces, and it’s safe to use on lawns, plants, and fabrics. You can even attach the spray bottle right to a hose and douse all of the concrete, wood, siding, patio furniture, flower pots, and garden boxes if need be. Then just scrub with a brush and rinse.

Voilà! No more winter blahs.


2. Get Your Lawn Ready

 

Sprucing up the yard is more than just about mowing the grass – take your lawn to the next level with some extra TLC.

  • Aerate: Aeration helps the grass to breathe and also helps the water and nutrients reach the root system. You should aerate your lawn every 1 to 3 years, but high-traffic areas may require more attention. Here are some more aeration tips.
  • Rake: Debris that has accumulated over the winter can block sunlight and prevent water from reaching deep down to the roots of the grass.
  • Fertilize: Do a little research about what kind of grass you have, then fertilize accordingly.
  • Maintain: After checking your lawnmower for sharp blades, appropriate oil level, and properly inflated tires, mow the grass regularly, about once a week. Keep grass cut to a height of about 5 cm, except in the hottest part of the summer, when you should let it grow about 1 cm longer.
  • Water: Watering your lawn slowly allows water to get all the way down to the roots and avoids runoff, so choose a sprinkler that moves in smooth, sweeping motions. Don’t forget to check the water restrictions in your area, and water your yard at night or in the morning before the sun hits it so that the water doesn’t evaporate before it gets into the soil.


3. Prune Trees, Shrubs, and Potted Plants

 

Pruning dead and excess growth off trees, shrubs, or plants helps the plants grow, and gets rid of harmful insects and rot. Plus, it just looks nicer.

Make sure to also remove any branches hanging over driveways, sidewalks, or paths (these can be a major problem for anyone who has mobility limitations).

If you need a few tools to get started, you can grab heavy-duty pruning tools and protective gloves here. You got this!


4. Let Your Garden Grow

 

Choose a sunny corner of your yard or patio for a new flower bed, planter box, pot arrangement, or even a few containers for vegetables. Ask at the garden centre which varieties grow best in your region, then select your favourite variety of seasonals and perennials. It’s easier than you think!

Just remember to mind your watering — flowers don’t require as much moisture as vegetables.

If you’re short on space, check out this tutorial to make your own (adorable) shoe organizer herb garden! It works great even on a tiny outdoor balcony and you’ll have fresh, delicious herbs well into the fall.


5. Control Pests

 

Check your flowers, shrubs, and trees for any creepy crawlies. Remove any larger critters by hand or with a blast of the hose, and use natural pesticide for the rest. Not sure what works best? Here’s a handy guide to garden pests.

If you have some six-legged visitors in your yard that prefer to annoy people instead of plants, stock up on wasp, mosquito, or ant control products. While we share the outdoors with nature’s creatures, we don’t necessarily want any uninvited guests at our next backyard BBQ.


6. Ready, Set, Grill!

 

Speaking of BBQs, prepping yours is an essential part of preparing your yard for summer.

Luckily, modern grills are easy to clean. Turn your grill on for 10-15 minutes, then allow it to cool for a while before cleaning it with a heat-safe tool. (Wire brushes can be dangerous, so here are some alternative grill cleaning ideas.) And don’t forget to fill up your propane tank — nothing is worse than preparing delicious homemade burgers only to find out there’s not enough fuel to cook them.

We’ve got some great deals on grilling tools and BBQ essentials right here.


7. Sit Back and Relax

Now that you’ve done all the hard work of making your outdoor space beautiful, enjoy the fruits of your labour and relax. You’ve earned it!

Invest in some comfortable, sturdy, weather-resistant furniture to take full advantage of your backyard space.

If you’ve got the room, consider adding an entire dining set. If you have a smaller space, a bistro-sized table and chairs can make even the smallest patios fashionable and a joy to be on! You’ll be surprised how much time you and your family spend out there. Don’t forget to add a shady umbrella for the hot days, and some inviting mood lighting or a home fire-pit to really enjoy your outdoor experience well into the warm, summer evenings.

 

If your backyard or patio is in need of some upgrades, London Drugs has everything you need to improve and beautify your outdoor space.  Check out our Outdoor Living Guide or just stop by and talk to one of our experts about your unique needs. We’d love to see you!

 

Entertaining in Your Outdoor Space Like an Expert

Ah, the season of sunshine. Spending more time outside in the summer months is treat enough! A couple of folding lawn chairs and patch of grass can be enough to enjoy the warmer weather, but if you want your backyard gatherings to become the talk of the neighbourhood, we’ve got some tips to help take your outdoor space from fine to SHINE!

Step One: Tidy Up

First thing’s first—you need to make sure your space is clean and tidy. Here are our tips for getting your yard into tip-top shape for the summer.

Then, decide what style speaks to you. Choose sleek and modern, bright and tropical, cute and cozy, or any vibe that fits your space and your taste, and then decorate accordingly. A consistent style will make your space more polished and sophisticated. Here’s some eye-catching inspiration in case you’re stuck on what style to choose.

Step Two: Choose the Furniture

When choosing furniture for outdoor use, you’ll need to make sure it can stand up to the elements. Keep an eye out for metal, rattan or weather-treated wood, and coverings and fabrics should be waterproof (or at least moisture-resistant if they’re under cover). We have a great selection of outdoor furniture and accessories to suit many different styles and spaces.

Outdoor Living Guide London Drugs

If you’re on a budget, there is power in a yard sale purchase, some spray cleaner, a can of paint, and a few cute accessories. Not sure if your new-to-you furniture is meant for outdoor use? Never fear, because you can DIY it to make sure it withstands whatever mother nature has to offer. Your local hardware store will have all kinds of paint for metal and plastic protection. Wood and fabric takes a little more work to fortify (here’s a handy guide) but a little elbow grease is worth it for a gorgeous outdoor sitting area.

Step Three: Find the Shade

Your outdoor space will most likely be used in the afternoon or evening, and sun at that time of day can still be pretty harsh. There’s nothing like a bunch of squinting and hand-on-forehead-eye-shading to ruin a backyard get together, so make sure your guests have ample shade. An umbrella is the obvious choice for providing shade in your yard, but there are other options. Strategically-planted trees can provide lovely, dappled shade, or a gazebo-style cover can take care of a larger area.

Step Four: Turn On the Lighting

Days are longer in the summer, but the sun does eventually go down—lighting is an important element if you want to entertain outside in the evening. String lights create a pretty atmosphere in any outdoor space, stake lights will brighten up dark pathways and gardens, and solar- or battery-powered lanterns can be hung in trees for a romantic feel. Speaking of romance, don’t forget the candles! Make sure they’re in holders or use flameless candles to avoid being snuffed out by summer breezes.

Outdoor Patio Backyard Lighting London Drugs

Step Five: Dining Design

Any dishes and glasses will do for outside dining, but a backyard makeover is your chance to embrace bright and colourful design that might not fit in with your interior. Why not branch out a little with some fun dishes and accessories?

Keep food casual for backyard meals to capture the classic summer feel – salads, fresh fruit, cold drinks, finger food. Elaborate courses and lots of cooking is impressive, but keeps you in the kitchen and missing all the fun.

Cold drinks are important on warm summer evenings, so make sure your guests are adequately hydrated. Coolers will keep bottles and cans cold without repeated trips to the kitchen, and if you’ve got the room and electricity spare, a drinks fridge is a good investment for serious outdoor entertaining. A lemonade or iced tea station on a side table will keep guests refreshed, or for larger parties, a rolling drinks cart stocked with a selection of beverages, glasses, ice and straws can easily move back and forth from the kitchen for repeated refills.

Step Six: Curate the Music

Everyone knows the perfect playlist can really make a summer party, so keep the music portable with a high-quality, weather-resistant Bluetooth speaker.

Small space? You can still entertain!

 

Yes, even your teeny, tiny apartment balcony can be warm and inviting for guests. You’re paying for that valuable square footage, so why not make the most of it?

  • Choose smaller, narrower furniture and arrange it around the perimeter – guests will have more standing room in a smaller rectangular space instead of having to navigate around large pieces. Two small couches facing each other take up a lot less room than a group of chairs.
  • Non-traditional furniture like a bar table can multi-task as an area for food prep, eating, and outdoor entertaining, all rolled into one.
  • If you have access to a shared space that you can’t take over full time, have some folding furniture on hand for spontaneous courtyard hangouts.

Check out the London Drugs Outdoor Living Guide for all your backyard entertaining needs. Make this summer the best one yet!

8 BBQ Tips To Make You a Backyard Superstar

Summer is in full swing, and that means your backyard should be ground zero for the majority of your meals for the next few months. Whether it’s the smoky, delicious flavour barbecue provides or just the act of cooking al fresco, BBQing is one of the pleasures of summer. Here are eight tips to help make you the master of the grill.

Brining and injecting aren’t cheating

Master grillers might look down their noses on these methods, but when you’re barbecuing at home, you’re not in a competition. You’re only cheating yourself if you’re not using all the tools at your disposal that will help you get the most flavour out of your meat. Brining (letting the meat soak in salted water for up to 24 hours) and injecting (where you use a syringe to inject flavourful liquids into the meat) helps to ensure that the meat will be moist and tasty. There’s nothing worse than a dry piece of BBQ, so rigging the game for a favourable outcome is just smart cooking.

Smoke it if you’ve got it

If you only have a gas-powered barbecue, it’s perfectly fine – you’ll get effective heat distribution with gas. But if you do have access to charcoal it will give your meat a distinctive and delicious flavour that you just won’t find with gas.

Searing is a waste of time

Just like the idea that you can see the Great Wall of China from space, the idea that searing meat will hold in moisture is a myth. Instead, it’s more likely that searing will cause the fibres of the meat to tighten, which in turn  means you’ll lose moisture. The crusty surface that’s formed by searing isn’t waterproof, and therefore won’t hold in any fluids.

Don’t poke your meat

While you might be tempted to use that impressive looking BBQ fork, don’t. If you puncture the meat, you’re letting valuable juices leak out. Instead, use the less cool but far more effective pair of tongs when you need to flip things.

Cook it low and slow

If you know you’re going to be using the grill, plan ahead. If you’re not rushed you will have the ability to cook the meat at a lower temperature for a longer amount of time. The higher the temperatures, the more the fibres of the meat contract, squeezing out moisture and taking away from the flavour of the cut. But if you’re going to grill at low temperatures, make sure you give the meat enough time to cook so that it doesn’t come out raw.

Patience is a virtue

When you’re done grilling, take a few minutes and wait before you cut your meat. We know – it’s tough to sit there salivating when a perfectly cooked piece of steak is sitting right in front of you, but trust that the wait will be worth it. By holding off, you’ll effectively retain a lot of those precious juices you’ve been cultivating from the very beginning. If you cut into the meat right away, those juices will just spill out onto the plate, where they can’t be enjoyed.

Boil? Never.

If you’re looking for the quickest way to rob your meat of flavour, by all means, boil it before putting it on the BBQ. By boiling, you’re losing all of the feat and flavour that provides taste. Even if you’re pressed for time, don’t take this shortcut.

With veggies, speed is key

If you’re cooking veggies on the grill, speed is your friend. Slice your veggies into thin strips and then char along the bars. You don’t have cook them for long to achieve that BBQ appearance and flavour.


If you want to up your BBQ game this summer, London Drugs has everything you need to become a master griller, including barbecues, camp stoves, tools, fuel, and accessories.