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“WHO I AM, WHAT I FEEL” — JULIAN FANTINO ON HIS REBOUND

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VAUGHAN TEACHERS ARE ON A MISSION TO GIVE BACK

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THE PAN AM GAMES TAKE OVER THE CITY — ARE YOU READY?

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RISE & SHINE, TORONTO! THE LATEST CONDOS HAVE EDGE

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AN EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH TORONTO FC’S $7-MILLION MAN

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A BLAST FROM THE PAST WITH ’80S-INSPIRED FASHION

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VOLUME 13 ISSUE 3 | JUNE/JULY 2015

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CONTENTS

YOUNG & BEAUTIFUL Get behind the scenes with our homegrown cover star, Cristine Prosperi

ON THE COVERS

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IS SEBASTIAN GIOVINCO THE PLAYER TORONTO FC HAS BEEN WAITING FOR? TFC’s star striker on his historic move to MLS

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FEATURE STORIES

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38 TEACHING CHARITY

How two Vaughan educators go beyond the classroom to give back to schools in need

72 ROAD TRIP

City Life heads to Headwaters, Ont. for an unexpected adventure of u arts and culture ar

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PAN AM GAMES

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50 28 IN CONVERSATION WITH JULIAN FANTINO The undeniable tenacity of Vaughan’s federal member of parliament 46 HIS ESSENTIALS We lay out the basics for the perfect Father’s Day gift

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56 RISE & SHINE A look at the latest condos that are pushing the creative envelope 64 2015 ACURA AND LEXUS Rev your engines with an hourglass grille and super handling all-wheel drive More stories inside …

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PUBLISHER’S NOTE E PUBLISHER / EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Michelle Zerillo-Sosa • michelle@dolce.ca DIRECTOR OF EDITORIAL Simona Panetta • simona@dolce.ca MANAGING EDITOR Michael Hill • michael@dolce.ca DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS Angela Palmieri-Zerillo • angela@dolce.ca

“A fflower lower never looks for a bee … it flourishes and the bee finds the flower”

W

elcome to our June/July edition of City Life Magazine! While reading this issue, you will quickly realize how full it is of individuals who are determined and positive-minded and bursting with excitement for their life and the city. A tête-à-tête interview with Toronto FC soccer player Sebastian Giovinco reveals all the courage and determination this young man possesses. He reminds us that in life, money can’t be the only motivator of one’s success. His dolce vita is within reach of everyone, from spending time with family and friends to “enjoying all the beautiful things that life has to offer,” at the top of his list. See story on page 40. Our heart-to-heart with Canadian actress Cristine Prosperi brings hope to young girls who aspire to an acting career, allowing them to tap into the courage to feel strong, opinionated and have the self-confidence to be who they really are, and, hopefully, look up to positive role models. See story on page 58. In essence, these are both excellent examples of young people “who are coming out of their comfort zone, trying some new things, ” as Jeff Stinco from Simple Plan says in our Q&A on page 66. A band that is on the verge of its fifth album release, they believe in pushing the envelope while holding on to their identity. Too often we hesitate to venture over to a new path out of fear of the unknown and a lack of confidence. But let’s take note from nature to not be afraid to open ourselves to new opportunities and dreams. Let’s fill our minds with positive thoughts. After all, if flowers would not have the confidence to bloom, and feared that bees would not come to them, then we would not be blessed with the beauty that fills our senses come each springtime. We hope you enjoy this issue of City Life Magazine. Until next time, we hope you have the same trust and confidence of a beautiful flower.

Michelle Zerillo-Sosa Publisher/Editor-in-Chief

Fernando Zerillo, co-founder of Dolce Media Group, with Sebastian Giovinco on location for cover shoot

@dolcetweets

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ART D E PARTM E NT CO-FOUNDER/CREATIVE DIRECTOR Fernando Zerillo • fernando@dolce.ca WEB PROJECT MANAGER Steve Bruno SENIOR GRAPHIC DESIGNERS Christina Ban, Luay Saig WEB DESIGNER Yena Yoo E D ITO R IAL D E PARTM E NT FASHION & HOME DECOR EDITOR Michelle Zerillo-Sosa BEAUTY & TRAVEL EDITOR Angela Palmieri-Zerillo COPY EDITOR Simona Panetta PROOFREADERS Nina Hoeschele, Simona Panetta WRITERS Michael Hill, Amanda Storey CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Justin Mastine-Frost, Michael Hill, Sarah Kanbar, Amanda Storey EDITORIAL INTERNS Daniel Calabretta, Bianca Ricci CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Daniel A. Cooper, Andrew Fearman, Michael Hill, Jesse Milns, John Packman, Sal Pasqua, Lesley Pedraza PUBLISHER

ADVERTISING T: 905-264-6789 info@citylifemagazine.ca DIRECTOR OF MARKETING Angela Palmieri-Zerillo • angela@dolce.ca DIRECTOR OF NEW BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT Susan Bhatia SENIOR ACCOUNT MANAGER Mario Balaceanu SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGER Sarah Kanbar OFFICE ADMINISTRATOR Alessandra Micieli FRONT COVERS Cristine Prosperi and Sebastian Giovinco Photos By Jesse Milns City Life Magazine • Volume 13 • Issue 3 • JUNE/JULY 2015 City Life Magazine is published bimonthly by Dolce Media Group, 111 Zenway Blvd., Suite 30, Vaughan, Ont. L4H 3H9 T: 905-264-6789 • F: 905-264-3787 info@citylifemagazine.ca • www.dolcemedia.ca Subscribe online at www.citylifemagazine.ca or by calling 905-264-6789. City Life Magazine’s yearly subscription fee is $24.00. We accept Visa, MC & AMEX. Send cheque or money order to Dolce Media Group, 111 Zenway Blvd. #30, Vaughan, Ont. L4H 3H9. Publication Mail Agreement No. 40026675 All rights reserved. Any reproduction is strictly prohibited without written consent from the publishers. DISTRIBUTION AND CIRCULATION City Life Magazine reaches 342,342 readers per issue through household distribution, newsstand sales and event partnerships across Canada. City Life is also available to over 100 million digital consumers of Magzter Inc. and Issuu. Inquiries about where City Life Magazine is available for sale should be directed to Dolce Media Group: info@dolce.ca or 905-264-6789. ISSN 1206-1778 Next Issue: Aug./Sept. 2015 The opinions expressed in City Life Magazine are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher or advertisers. Dolce Media Group does not assume liability for content. The material in this magazine is intended for information purposes only and is in no way intended to supersede professional advice. We are proud to be a Canadian company that has successfully published magazines for the past 19 years without any government funding or financial assistance of programs to cover editorial costs. It has all been possible thanks to the wonderful support of our readers and advertisers. ©2015 Dolce Media Group • www.dolcemedia.ca • Printed in Canada

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IT’S OK TO DREAM. IF ANYONE UNDERSTANDS, WE DO.

We’re proud members of a family business who are very thankful to our parents for taking the chance to IXOƓOOWKHLUGUHDPV Founded 36 years ago by three brothers, the Policaro Automotive Family has grown into a community-based business in two of the region’s most dynamic markets and we proudly accept the opportunity to build on WKHLUVXFFHVV Employing four-hundred staff and hiring more in preparation for the arrival of BMW Brampton this fall, ZHōUHDVH[FLWHGDVHYHUIRUDYHU\EULJKWIXWXUH From our family to yours, keep dreaming. The Policaro Automotive Family

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editor’s note

W

hen I first shook hands with Sebastian Giovinco, I just couldn’t believe that a man of his stature was at the forefront of the playoff push for the Toronto FC. He’s only five-foot-four, but the Italian forward has put the Reds’ offence on his shoulders and made the idea of a postseason berth — potentially the first in Toronto’s eight-year history — very much a possibility. For TFC fans, this must come with a sigh of relief. Big-name acquisitions of the past have all been virtual duds. Julian de Guzman, Mista, Jermain Defoe. They were all hyped as gamechangers — remember the “It’s a bloody big deal” marketing blitz for Defoe? — but no one panned out. And then along came Giovinco.

Until next time,

Michael Hill Managing Editor

Let us know what you think of this issue by sharing your thoughts on Twitter at @citylifetoronto

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PHOTO BY JESSE MILNS

Michael Hill, Managing Editor

Not only has the “Atomic Ant” been an absolute stud for TFC, he’s also the first superstar under 30 to commit to Major League Soccer long-term. MLS has historically been a retirement league for over-the-hill Europeans on their last legs as pros. But at 28, Giovinco is still in his prime. With his reported five-year deal valued at $7 million per season, it’s looking like he could not only be the cornerstone of TFC’s future, but a trailblazer for other young talent looking to make the trip across the pond. Despite all this pressure, Giovinco came across as very grounded and focused on making a difference for Toronto. It was a difficult choice to move his family to the unfamiliar territory of Canada, he said. But he’s enjoyed his time in Toronto so far, and says, “It’s a choice that I would make again.” (See story on page 40.) We hope you enjoy this inside look at what life is like for this Italian soccer star, as well as all the other stories lining these pages.


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FEEDBACK | A collection of comments made by our readers and advertisers on the latest issue of City Life Magazine As the premier magazine in Vaughan, we pride ourselves on the quality stories and original photography we offer the community with each and every issue. And because your feedback is important to us, we welcome you to share your thoughts and opinions to be included in our open forum. Reach us with your comments via Twitter, Facebook, email, Instagram or telephone and tell us what’s on your mind today! @citylifetoronto | www.facebook.com/citylifemagazinevaughan | info@citylifemagazine.ca | @citylifemag “Awesome new issue! @citylifetoronto Michelle and Michael always deliver great messages! Thank you @AndreaSeydel.” @LiveLifeMeHappy VIA TWITTER

▶ See pages 12 and 14 of this issue

“Hello Angela, I wish to take a moment and write to you and Fernando to thank you so much for my ad. It was an absolute pleasure working with you and your staff. They are incredible, very caring and detailed. I also appreciate the amount of work that is involved. Well done everyone.” Montessori School of Kleinburg (MSK) VIA EMAIL ▶ See page 31 of this issue

“Excited to be collaborating with @citylifetoronto again for a fantastic #spring #beauty page! Stay tuned... :)” @MakeupArtByRita VIA TWITTER

▶ See page 56 of this issue

“Happy to make the list! Thanks for thinking of us! For the record, we serve herbal tea to our clients in our beloved @breville :)” @freedomdaniela

APRIL/MAY 2015

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VAUGHAN’S ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS GET THE GRADE

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TORONTO MEN’S FASHION WEEK CRANKS UP THE HEAT

58

ONTARIO’S SKY-HIGH CAR INSURANCE RATES REVEALED

76 43 CAN A NEW PLAN GET THE SUBWAY EXTENSION BACK ON TRACK?

VIA INSTAGRAM

HIT THE BEACH WITH OUR MUST-HAVES OF THE SUMMER

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MAKE THIS MOTHER’S DAY ONE SHE’LL NEVER FORGET

66

HEAD COACH JASON BENT KICKS OFF TFC II’S FIRST SEASON

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TWO TORON CHEFS RECREATO ITALIAN CUISINTE E IN THE CITY

SINCE 2003

▶ See page 62 of this issue

VIA INSTAGRAM

▶ See page 36 of this issue

Kevin SpaHcey NETFLIX’S DEVILIS POLITICAL MASTERMIND Mike

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“We would like to thank the staff at City Life for the magazine opportunity. We had great feedback from family, friends and people in the Vaughan community. The experience was effortless and Michael was an absolute professional to work with.” Mike & Mike’s Organics VIA EMAIL

▶ See page 46 of this issue

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EXCELLENCE IN HARDWOOD The floor is more than the ground we walk on — it’s the fifth wall in a room, the platform on which we live and work and play. We at Weston Flooring Ltd. think the floor is something to be celebrated, and with our array of fine hardwood finishes and with the passion and expertise of our team, we create a surface of distinction in your space.

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Trade Contractor of the Year

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A DV E R TO R I A L

MONTESSORI SCHOOL of KLEINBURG

Where children not only excel academically, but become respectful, responsible and resourceful individuals

A

s you enter the warm, homelike vestibule of the Montessori School of Kleinburg, above the waist-high coat hangers, there is a quote from the writer John Ruskin: “Education is the leading of human souls to what is best, and making what is best out of them.” When you step into the bright, lightfilled classrooms it’s apparent that school principal Enza Marzano-Pellegrini and her long-time staff understand that there is more to education than just reading, writing and math. “Our goal is to guide each child into the person they are meant to be,” says Marzano-Pellegrini with a smile from her office overlooking the Humber River. For the past 14 years, Marzano-Pellegrini has done just that by offering the authentic Montessori experience to parents and their children in Vaughan. As one of the few accredited Montessori schools in the area, MSK has not just proven to be a leader in this renowned educational method, but also a trusted institution for developing bright, inquisitive and caring individuals. Created by Dr. Maria Montessori over 100 years ago, the Montessori method fosters critical thinking through a freedom-withinlimits approach and an understanding that each child is on a unique educational path. A key component of the process is the

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specialized Montessori materials that allow students to see the “why” behind the how. Materials can be simple lessons on daily tasks, such as Button and Zipper Frames, or introductions to academics through materials like the Pink Tower. Number Rods also help students understand the sequence of numbers from1 to 10 and the Sandpaper Letters are a child’s first steps to reading. These letters are made from sandpaper and allow for a multi-sensory approach to learning. Alivia, a graduating Grade 6 student in MSK’s elementary program, enjoys the electrical set, which teaches the basics of electricity. “It’s very hands-on and helps you remember things better than paper and pen,” Alivia says of the material. “You can see for yourself how it works rather than just reading about it.” Students at MSK are part of threeyear cycles, where three age groups, beginning from Toddler (18 months to 2 ½ years), Casa (ages 3 to 6), Grades 1 to 3 and Grades 4 to 6, learn in the same classrooms. This allows older students to refine their skills and act as mentors for the younger children. But it also means younger students experience advanced curriculum much earlier in their development. “Our younger students see a curriculum that they wouldn’t have an opportunity to look at for two or three years,” MarzanoPellegrini explains. This opens the door for the students to progress faster, giving

an advantage to those who stick with the full MSK experience, from the Toddler and Casa programs to Lower and Upper Elementary. The first cohort of MSK graduates have just completed their first year of university, enrolling in programs such as Aerospace Engineering and Microbiology. MarzanoPellegrini attributes it to the fact that, “The ministry gives us guidelines for each grade level and we surpass them. That’s what the materials and the environment allow children to do.” And parents couldn’t be happier with the results. Over the last decade, all three of Nancy Massaro’s children have been enrolled in MSK, and she and her husband have been impressed with how the school enhanced their children’s interests and exposed them to fundamental life skills. “They are self-confident, caring individuals who have a strong sense of who they are while recognizing the importance of mutual respect,” says Massaro. Because of MSK’s safe location, there is peace of mind from the moment parents drop off their kids. And when it’s time for children to be picked up at the end of the day, they don’t want to leave. MarzanoPellegrini invites interested parents to visit MSK and see for themselves the benefits of joining the Montessori family. 10515 Hwy 27, PO Box 445, Kleinburg, Ont. 905-893-0560 www.msk2002.com www.citylifemagazine.ca

PHOTOS BY DANIEL A. COOPER

Enza Marzano-Pellegrini, founder of the Montessori School of Kleinburg, has offered parents and students of Vaughan the true Montessori experience for 14 years


Your Laundry Room: Well Sorted For smooth daily operations of families big and small, the laundry room has become more important than ever. Organizational cabinetry, hidden laundry bins, drying racks and pull-out ironing boards are among the new essentials. Create your perfect, functional and stylish laundry room by booking your complimentary in-home design consultation today at organizedinteriors.com

Custom Closet Organizers / Bedroom Fitted Cabinetry / Laundry & Mud Rooms / Wall Beds / Home Offices / Entertainment Units / Wine Cellars www.organizedinteriors.com 201 Chrislea Road, Vaughan, Ontario L4L 8N6 905.264.5678 1.866.266.5678 www.citylifemagazine.ca

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Photo By Steve Bruno and Sal Pasqua Contact Dolce Media Group today and ask about our video and aerial photography services.

Latitude: 43.8577 Longitude: -79.5061 Weather: Sun and clouds Temperature: 15 C Wind: SE 11 km/h Time: 12:20 p.m.

06-02-2015 Have you ever wondered what Vaughan looks like from up above? We sent our Dolce drone skyward to capture the city in all its beauty and this is what it brought back. We’ve always tried to be a lens for all the happenings in and around the city, but now we really have eyes everywhere.

PHOTOINREWIND


S P E C I A L A D V E R T I S I N G F E AT U R E

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city guide

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FOR EVERYTHING ERYTHING VAUGHAN & BEYOND

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3

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1. CUPIDO A purveyor of fine Italian luxury jewelry, Cupido is your source for timeless luxury pieces and fashionable charms that leave lasting impressions. Cupido has been exceeding expectations while happily bejewelling a dashing and diverse clientele with unique designer jewelry and watch collections from all over the world. Offering an inspiring range of mainstream and exclusive brands, Cupido’s lust-inducing showcase of classic and on-trend accessories is sure to fulfil his and her desires. 1 Bass Pro Mills Dr., Vaughan, 905-669-8522 www.cupidodesigns.com

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2. VILLAGGIO RISTORANTE

3. COSENTINO

4. CC HAVEN

In 2004, Chef Antonio Barbiere opened the doors to Villaggio Ristorante. Chef Antonio’s extensive and ever-growing wine collection is one to behold while further complementing Villaggio’s assortment of deliciously crafted dishes. Where charming ambience and the aroma of fresh ingredients entice, it’s no wonder why locals continue to dish out rave reviews on the Villaggio Ristorante experience.

No stranger to the surfacingmaterial game, Cosentino has been creating leading brands for kitchen and bathroom quartz surfaces for over 25 years. In 1990, Cosentino saw the birth of Silestone and ultra-compact surfaces, which offer the best of natural stone. Because of its exclusive nature, this unique brand has become linked to the world of fashion and design. Whether you’re renovating your home or business, Cosentino is your one-stop resource for all your surfacing-material needs.

Where nature, colour and design collide in beautiful harmony! CC Haven is a floral design studio specializing in fresh, elegant and one-of-a-kind arrangements. CC Haven is at the forefront of contemporary floral design, specializing in customized styles such as modern architectural, garden, minimalist and classic European arrangements and blooms that will fit perfectly into the surroundings of your next special event.

110 Nashville Rd., Unit 11, Kleinburg 905-893-4888 www.villaggio-ristorante.ca

665 Caledonia Rd., Toronto 647-350-6009 www.cosentino.com

13092 Highway 27, Nobleton 905-558-5540 www.cchaveninc.blogspot.ca

www.citylifemagazine.ca


Discover your maximum potential through the study of martial arts.

43 43

YEARS

201 13 READERS’ CHO OIC CE AWARD WIN NNER

Studies show that students enrolled in martial arts programs have increased self-esteem and improved focus and concentration abilities in the classroom. With 43 years of martial arts instruction under its belt, Northern Karate Schools is the trusted choice for many men, women and children in the GTA. With 10 world-renowned locations, NKS offers award-winning programs taught by instructors with decades of experience.

NORTHERN

SCHOOLS NEW LOCATION

WOODBRIDGE

VAUGHAN

MAPLE

3883 Rutherford Rd. 905.265.7777

4350 Steeles Ave. W. 905.856.4047

225 McNaughton Rd. E 905.303.5202

www.citylifemagazine.ca

WWW.NORTHERNKARATE.COM

RICHMOND HILL

11160 Yonge St. 905.508.5811 June/July 2015

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City guide FOR EVERYTHING VAUGHAN & BEYOND

DETAILING YOUR CAR

7

just got a little easier with the services provided at this Woodbridge-based shop

6

5

PARTY STAKES’

glittery cake toppers add a dash of whimsy as they warm the heartt

9 8

5. DOWN AND DIRTY DETAILING When you visit Down and Dirty Detailing, you can expect more than just the elimination of dust and stains in your vehicle. If you’re looking for fine detailing, steam cleaning, paint correction and restoration at an affordable cost, then Down and Dirty Detailing is the place for you. Stop by and discover for yourself how owner Nicholas Pettinella and his team can bring your car’s personality back to life. Average to high-end vehicles are welcome in an environment where vehicles are treated with respect and care. By appointment only 647-938-2301

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6. CARYL BAKER VISAGE

7. INTERSTONE

8. HOTEL NOVOTEL

Sit back and relax — it’s time to get beautiful. The team of highly qualified and certified face experts at Caryl Baker Visage understands the needs of women of all ages and lifestyles. Caryl Baker Visage offers a selection of prestigious skin care treatments, cosmetics, beauty treatments and spa services using the most advanced technology to give your skin a beautiful, radiant and youthful glow. From formal events to everyday pick-meups, the Caryl Baker Visage team delivers picture-perfect complexions.

For over 30 years, Interstone Marble & Granite Ltd. has offered marble, granite and porcelain products to those who value quality. Founders Vince Virgilio and his wife, Angela, have carved their own path to success in the highend industry of marble and granite. They pride themselves on intertwining beauty, style, elegance and timelessness in both their products and services. Enhance your home renovation with rich colours and luxurious feels perfect for countertops and flooring.

The contemporary Hotel Novotel Toronto Vaughan isn’t only renowned for its sophisticated stays, but it also sports the modern Trio Restaurant and Bar as well as a private banquet facility, making the hotel a hugely sought-after venue for baptisms and communions and other special celebrations. Make your party memorable with Novotel’s delicious, internationally inspired menu and lavish event space.

1 Bass Pro Mills Dr., Vaughan 905-597-6559 www.carylbakervisage.com

3240 Langstaff Rd., Unit D Vaughan, 905-760-1077 www.interstone.ca

200 Bass Pro Mills Dr., Vaughan 905-660-0212 www.novotelvaughan.ca

www.citylifemagazine.ca


Feast YO U R S E N S E S

SPIZZICO

SPUMANTE

RISTORANTE

8633 Weston Rd.

8000 HWY 27

8000 HWY 27

3991 Major Mackenzie Dr.

(Crestmount Plaza)

(Between Ashbridge Cir. & Zenway Blvd.)

Woodbridge, Ont.

Woodbridge, Ont.

(Between Ashbridge Cir. & Zenway Blvd.)

(Weston Rd. & Major Mackenzie Dr.)

Woodbridge, Ont.

Vaughan, Ont.

905.851.3355

905.417.0550

905.264.2323

www.citylifemagazine.ca zafferano.ca

905.851.3355

saporebyzafferano.ca

saporebyzafferano.caJune/July 2015

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City guide FOR EVERYTHING VAUGHAN & BEYOND

13

12

14 4

10

11

9. PARTY STAKES KLEINBURG With a passion for details and all things that glitter, Party Stakes founders Alison and Samantha know how to leave a little sparkle wherever they go. The Party Stakes collection offers a large assortment of cake and floral toppers uniquely crafted and personalized with your name or heartwarming messages like “Let Love Sparkle” and “Off the Market.” From corporate parties and birthdays to weddings and other special occasions, there’s a party stake for every event in your life. 2 Kellam St., Kleinburg 905-893-0055 www.partystakes.com

10. IT’S A CAKE THING It’s a Cake Thing specializes in artfully delightful custom-

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designed cakes that will light up the room with a wow factor. Known for her painstaking techniques that produce quality results, owner and cake artist Daniela Pantaleo has been creating elegant and nut-free cakes, sugar cookies and cupcakes since 2009. Using the finest ingredients and inspired by fashion, architecture and nature, It’s a Cake Thing reinterprets the traditional cake into a modern and luxurious confection. By appointment only 527 Edgeley Blvd., Vaughan 416-917-4897 www.itsacakething.ca

from regular maintenance n service to specialty repairs on g all types of vehicles, including powersport vehicles. Driven by an attention to detail and accommodating service, 905 Motorsport believes in the value of machines that are designed to last forever. 5732 Highway 7, Woodbridge 905-856-9059

12. BABY LAND Every first-time parent knows just how exciting yet overwhelming a new baby can be. Baby Land in Vaughan simplifies the process by providing everything needed to care for a child under one roof. This one-stop-shop for all things baby and toddler offers modern must-haves like the Bugaboo Runner, the Clek Foonf Convertible Car Seat and Piccolo Bambino blankets. 3175 Rutherford Rd., Building B, Vaughan 905-761-0301, baby-land.com

11. 905 MOTORSPORT

13. IMAGINE ART SCHOOL

905 Motorsport is your one-stop shop for all your motorcycle needs. The automotive and power sports repair shop in Woodbridge features highly trained and experienced bike technicians equipped to handle everything,

Some say creative expression is the key to a fulfilled and balanced life. Imagine Art School in Thornhill offers art lessons for all age groups that will open up the mind while expanding your little one’s horizons. Professional

tors guide fledgling instructors artists through a world of proportion and long-standing techniques that will enable one to embrace his/her own style. Art Party Workshops and twohour paint parties on Sundays are a fun and creative way to spend the weekend. 12 Centre St., Thornhill 416-856-9235 www.imagineart.info

14. BARTENDO Hosting a party but want to sit back and enjoy it all? Professional event team Bartendo specializes in mobile bar experiences that will get your celebration started the right way. From backyard parties to intimate gatherings, Bartendo has all the resources needed for a truly memorable experience. Whether you’re searching for a premium mobile bar, a cocktail bartender and server, or glassware rentals and beverage consulting, you’ll quickly be toasting to some pretty good times ahead. 4 Robert Speck Pkwy., Suite 1522, Mississauga 647-534-8080 bartendo.ca

www.citylifemagazine.ca


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tor s • T 1lbs st 2 s a lo a M ary s a lo i • • i A s t l l o r 4 i t o i 3 S l 0 M ar • r lo b s lo h t t od os los hris lbs t 28 t 3 0 s • R bs • st 4 lbs 5 0 l ost 4 tte Ma Rh lbs • • M aren n l a los 3 8 lb t alie s • C h los rrol 2 e l l • C s s o b • t n 5 l l 5 o • o 8 n K l t t 5 s Li in da 31 lbs bs os Na 3 lb bet Ca bs al al sti 33 st 2 hery ost os os s • hrist a l • Lin bs • 25 l 5 lb lost 65 i b l hri na l lbs • st 2 Eliza lbs • 45 l lle l abith dan lost o l n l l o i C t3 y 9 s e e • S ne st st re 0 T • T t 43 ue lo bs • t 43 lost Ed s • • Lo onia rac lbs heri s • S 6 lb st 4 ie lo e los and n lo st 3 lbs • s • T s • l b lb S s s os • G t 4 0 Kat 5 lb st 3 le lo elan Jan s • S Kare an lo 29 5 lb t ou los lbsS 3 8 a l aryl 5 lb t 9 4 0 lb bs • lbs o l 2 t s bi t z y s b 5 • 1 e s o l a l iche los 0 lb ost 2 T o • M Mar 3 9 l lbs • Su M • M st 3 los st 5 los lost bi lo d l 36 s ia n st a l da a 29 0 b M b

Celebrating 10 YEARS of GOOD SWEAT!

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172,481,735* Calories

49,280 Pounds

5,000+

1,724,817

74

Miles

Times

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905.851.7722 www.integrityfitness.ca www.citylifemagazine.ca

Woodbridge West

8000 Highway 27, Unit 1

Woodbridge East

61 Creditview Rd., 2nd FloorJune/July 2015

City Life Magazine

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profile

Julian Fantino, the federal member of parliament for the riding of Vaughan

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www.citylifemagazine.ca


In Conversation with

JULIAN FANTINO In an exclusive one-on-one, Vaughan’s federal member of parliament discusses bouncing back from one of the most difficult years of his political career

Written By Michael Hill Photography By John Packman

W

hat does a politician do when coming off one of the most challenging years of their career? If you’re Julian Fantino, you stick to your moral compass, continue to work hard and trust in your constituents. “I’m very confident the people in Vaughan are very supportive,” says Fantino, Vaughan’s federal member of parliament. His constituents are intelligent, reasonable people who understand the difficulties of public service, he adds. “I don’t think I need to draw them any pictures.” It’s a clear afternoon in April, nearly six months to the day of the tentative date proposed for the next federal election. Fantino, wearing a slate-grey suit with a soft blue check, exerts the stalwart composure of a seasoned general on the verge of battle as he sits in his Maple office. The fall election will be a watershed moment for Fantino’s political run, and it’s this dignified yet grounded self-assurance that may be the key to his victory in October. For the past five years, Fantino has become somewhat of a folk hero here www.citylifemagazine.ca

in the city. He’s a man who first called Vaughan home nearly 35 years ago and, through volunteer efforts and his various high-ranking positions in police service, including time as chief of police in Toronto and York Region, he’s been a central figure in helping the community blossom into the progressive city it is today. When he first jumped into the political ring in 2010, defeating Liberal Tony Genco in a neck-and-neck byelection after Maurizio Bevilacqua stepped down, Fantino planted the Conservative flag in what was a Liberal stronghold for over 20 years. When he won decisively in the 2011 federal election, it not only cemented his place as a star MP for the Tories, but also as a pillar that the people of Vaughan confidently rallied behind. But 2014 proved to be a testing year for Fantino. Almost immediately after he was named Minister of Veterans Affairs in July 2013, he was besieged with criticism for both reported failings of that office and, later, for his own attitude in front of the camera. There was the veterans omsbudman’s

report that the compensation provided by the government to soldiers was insufficient; the protests over plans to close eight Veterans Affairs offices; and the media frenzy over two unflattering videos, including one of a confrontation with a handful of veterans after Fantino was late for a scheduled meeting. Both the media and the opposition heavily criticized his time in Veterans Affairs, with the latter calling for his resignation on more than one occasion. The result was Fantino being reshuffled into the role of Associate Minister of National Defence in early 2015, a post he formerly held from May 2011 to July 2012.

“ IT’S ABOUT DOING

THE POLITICAL THING WITHIN MY OWN FRAMEWORK OF WHO I AM, WHAT I FEEL I CAN CONTINUE TO CONTRIBUTE, AND ALSO THE OPPORTUNITY TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE

— Julian Fantino

But despite those bumps in the road, Fantino isn’t entering this next election from the political perspective. “I come at this thing more as a community person, someone that’s been involved in community building from the very first day we came here, which was back in 1981,” he says. In those days, Vaughan was still in its infancy. A lack of infrastructure and facilities meant much work was needed to lay the foundation for the city’s future, and Fantino was at the heart of it all. He worked with volunteers on an industrial development advisory board, was part of the group that pushed for city designation and even joined the “407 in ’87” campaign. Today, he remains a familiar face at community events — he enjoys June/July 2015

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Building your dream outdoor

Sanctuary Providing a full line of soft and hard landscaping services, including interlocking, flagstone, asphalt paving, concrete, sodding, decks, fencing and waterproofing. Booking Available for 2015 Season! FREE Consultation!

647-637 0896

www.sbinterlock.com

Transform light into beauty.

Visit Centurian Window Fashions Locations

250 Rebate

3737 Major Mackenzie Drive Vaughan, ON 416.998.9993 1717 Avenue Road Toronto, ON 416.489.9990

when you purchase Silhouette with UltraGlide .

®

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Effective from May 1st to August 31st, 2015. Purchase a minimum of 4 Silhouette® with UltraGlide® and receive a $250 rebate. Also, when you purchase any number of these additional shades, you’ll receive an extra $50 for each. Valid at participating retailers only. The rebate will be issued in the form of a Hunter Douglas Prepaid American Express® Gift Card. THE PROMOTION CARD is a trademark of The Hunt Group. All Rights Reserved. THE PROMOTION CARD is a Prepaid American Express® Card issued by Amex Bank of Canada. ® Used by Amex Bank of Canada under license from American Express.

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spending time with seniors, for instance, and delivers roses to seniors’ residences every Mother’s Day — and business roundtables; he even came from one for women entrepreneurs earlier this morning. As a son of Italian immigrants, Fantino understands the value of getting help when you need it most and that desire to give back propels his actions. “So for me it’s not so much about politics. It’s about doing the political thing within my own framework of who I am, what I feel I can continue to contribute, and also the opportunity to make a difference,” he says. “And that’s not always easy, obviously. But you just stay on mission and do the best you can.” The mandate for his current role at the Ministry of National Defence is Arctic sovereignty and cyber security. But he’s also going to continue to work on the things that are important to Canadians. “For me it’s not complicated,” he says. “I have a very grounded reality about the kinds of things that we need to keep on doing and do more of — the economy, jobs, public safety issues. Very uncomplicated.” Because of the difficulties he faced throughout the past year, one would think that the idea of defeat in the upcoming election would be on Fantino’s mind, that perhaps retirement might be a possibility for the 72-yearold grandfather. But you’d be wrong. When asked if he’s thought about what happens if he comes up short in the next election, Fantino says: “I never plan failure into anything I do.” He doesn’t mean it in an arrogant way, but you never begin a task thinking that you’re going to fail. “Never do that.” There’s an admirable tenacity to Fantino’s character, a never-say-die attitude that holds firm like a mountain in the face of a brewing storm. He knows that as a public figure he’s constantly under the microscope and that things can happen that are out of his control. But, he says, his value system remains his compass, and “my motivation is always honourable, it’s always ethical and it’s always well-intentioned.” Will that be enough for the people of Vaughan? We’ll find out come October. www.julianfantino.ca www.citylifemagazine.ca

FRESH & SIMPLE FOOD MADE TO PERFECTION

Come home to Trimani Ristorante. Treat your palate to world-class chef Domenic Colacci’s fresh, simple, European style with every dish executed to perfection. Celebrating 15 years in Vaughan, owner Robert De Zorzi ensures the satisfaction of every guest. Enjoy live music by singer/pianist Mello Dee as you indulge in a glass of wine from our extensive collection.

8555 Jane Street, Unit 6, Concord, ON L4K 5N9 905.660.7474 | www.trimani.ca June/July 2015 City Life Magazine

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The summer sun won’t stand a chance against this adventurous number. The plunging neckline and edgy leather details will quickly steal the spotlight. Gown by Zhivago; jewelry from Gregory Jewellers

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www.citylifemagazine.ca


HER NAME WAS SYDNEY Forget the Sydney Opera House or the Harbour Bridge — be your own main attraction with these daring looks while exploring Australia’s landmark hot spots

www.citylifemagazine.ca

June/July 2015

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White lace dress by Achea-Mpong by Suzan Mutesi; sandals by Shoes of Prey collaboration with Romance Was Born; bangle by Lotus Mendes; jewelry from Gregory Jewellers

PHOTOGRAPHER: ANDREW FEARMAN www.fearmanphoto.com Social Media @fearmanphoto PHOTOGRAPHIC ASSISTANT: ADRIAN PRICE STYLIST: LENYA JONES MAKEUP: CHEREINE WADDELL HAIR: LINH NGUYEN MODEL: STEPHANIE MURPHY – CHIC TEXY BY: SIMONA PANETTA LOCATION: SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA

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Beat the heat before hitting Bondi Beach with this wild and eyecatching minidress. The bold print and jagged hem ups the cool quotient as you rock the look from day to night. Sequin dress by Natalie and James; earrings and bangle by Lotus Mendes

Soak it all in with a black, sleeved cutout dress with daring side slit. Dress by Achea-Mpong by Suzan Mutesi; sandal heels by Shoes of Prey collaboration with Carla Zampatti; jewelry from Gregory Jewellers

www.citylifemagazine.ca

June/July 2015

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beauty

Summer Favourites

EFFORTLESSLY FRESH BEAUTY THAT LASTS

ABOUT RITA STIRPE From educating aspiring makeup artists to hosting her own show, Cosmetic Art, on Rogers TV, Vaughan-based makeup artist Rita Stirpe has been making the world a more beautiful place since the year 2000. In 2014, she was one of five top finalists for Makeup Artist of the Year at the Contessa Awards, and this year she made it to the finalist round for Makeup Artist of the Year at the prestigious Canadian Mirror Awards. Along with rouging the faces of celebrities and well-known personalities, Rita is also a top choice for local bridesto-be searching for expert makeup application on their big day.

Summer is here and the colour and beauty it brings is not lost on award-winning makeup artist Rita Stirpe. Here, Vaughan’s top beauty expert shares some of her favourite picks for a season bursting with bright lights, long nights and unforgettable adventures

1

Inspired by Hawaii, this nail lacquer by Opi reminds us of long sunset walks by the beach, sipping mai tais. Appropriately named after the fruity cocktail, this soft hue simultaneously satisfies the need for nudes and pastels | www.opi.com

@MakeupArtByRita www.makeupbyritastirpe.com

1

2

Argan oil, a.k.a. liquid gold, carries benefits that will leave your skin looking radiant and youthful. Who wouldn’t love the perfect skin achieved by Physicians Formula’s Ultra-Nourishing Argan Oil Blush? | www.physiciansformula.com

2

3

Revive your look throughout the day or during your morning routine. L’Occitane’s Pivoine Sublime Perfecting Mist will help your makeup stay on longer with the added bonus of keeping your face fresh all through the workday | ca.loccitane.com

4

A lip balm with colour brings the best of both worlds together. L’Occitane’s Pivoine Sublime Tinted Lip Balm is not only versatile, it also packs a punch of SPF 25 and up to eight hours of hydrating moisture | ca.loccitane.com

5

Heading out for a wine-tasting weekend and want to look your best? The creamy formula of Lise Watier’s Baiser Velours Velvet Liquid Lipstick in Fashion Kiss gives a matte finish and long-lasting wear so you can sip and savour without a care | www.lisewatier.com

3

5

4

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LIFE ISN’T BLACK AND WHITE. ENJOY EVERY

For over 25 years, we’ve provided the entire GTA with colour through wallpaper, fabrics, stains, lacquers, and so much more. Let our decorating consultants help brighten your life with the right colours for you.

SteelesPaint DÉCOR STORE

VISIT OUR 20,000 SQ. FT. DÉCOR CENTRE

4190 STEELES AVENUE WEST, WOODBRIDGE | 905.850.4040 | STEELESPAINT.COM 37 www.citylifemagazine.ca June/July 2015 City Life Magazine


charitable teachers

TEACHING CHARITY

We pull up a chair with two local teachers who go beyond the classroom — and our country’s borders — on annual missions to help those in need

Anthony Gorys

Written By Michael Hill

ANTHONY GORYS Teacher at Father Bressani Catholic High School

A

nthony Gorys and his students were busing back down from Monteverde, the Costa Rican town near the majestic Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, when they passed a school with a roofless building. Gorys, an English and physical education teacher at Father Bressani Catholic High School, had noticed the school before, having taken students up to Monteverde in the past. But that day they decided to stop. They had just dropped off supplies at another school in need, but many students dug deep into their own pockets for that year’s annual trip, resulting in a surplus of donated items. Maybe this school could use some too. The roof, they were told, had been destroyed in a storm. The school’s budget was so tight there was no money for repairs. Gorys and his students didn’t hesitate. They unloaded a bag of school supplies — pencils, pens, paper and more — and a couple of laptops and handed them over. Their beneficiaries were blown away. “It would have taken a good four years for them to be able to save the money to buy one laptop, and we drop off two at the school,” Gorys explains. For his students to be able to make that kind of a difference, “the feeling’s fantastic.” Gorys has guided groups of Father Bressani students on these charitable experiences in the Central American 38

City Life Magazine

June/July 2015

Anthony Gorys and his students with a group of children at a school in Costa Rica

“ EVERY YEAR THAT

I PLANNED THE TRIP AFTER THAT WE BUILT UP THE COMMUNITY SERVICE ASPECT AND REALLY TRIED TO HELP OUT DOWN THERE AS MUCH AS WE CAN

— Anthony Gorys

nation since 2010. It started small, six or seven kids, with one day dedicated to spending time at a rural elementary school. “Every year that I planned the trip after that we built up the community service aspect and really tried to help out down there as much as we can,” Gorys explains. Before the annual March Break trip, students raise money and collect

supplies that many Costa Rican schools simply can’t afford. It’s often just pencils and paper, but each school has different needs. Some need rice cookers, as Costa Rican schools are required to feed their students, which takes away from their already razor-thin budgets. At one school the students didn’t have a place to play, so, Gorys explains, “We raised the funds and built a playground for them.” For future trips, Gorys hopes to donate solar lights to tribal villages so villagers can read and interact at night without using kerosene lamps, which damage the eyes. While there are days for the extracurriculars — zip lining and horseback riding through mountains — the best part for Gorys’s students is always interacting with the Costa Rican children. “You can put kids in front of a bunch of monkeys in the rainforest, but the highlight is still being able to donate their time,” says Gorys. “And that’s the part that keeps it going.” www.citylifemagazine.ca


“ I LOVE TEACHING

AND I LOVE BEING WITH CHILDREN, AND SO THIS WAS JUST KIND OF A NATURAL EXTENSION FOR ME

Pam Leudke

PAM LEUDKE Teacher at the Montessori School of Kleinburg

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am Leudke was nervous the first year she participated in the Olive Branch for Children’s Montessori O utreach Program — and understandably so. The Canadian organization works to empower communities in remote areas of Tanzania through programs dedicated to such things as HIV/ AIDS prevention and care, food and water security and early childhood education. Leudke had participated in the organization’s Montessori teacher training program two years prior, in 2007, but that brought teachers into the city of Mbeya. This year, in 2009, she would venture out into the surrounding Mbarali District, where villages were so remote they had no electricity, many lacked wells and, because of poor roads, much travel would be by bicycle or foot. You can understand her apprehension. But by the end of her time there, her feelings changed. “I didn’t want to come home, because I just fell in love with the people I was working with,” she explains. “I just found my way back every year since then.” For the past eight years, Leudke has set aside four to five weeks every summer to travel across the Atlantic and Africa to bring education to this remote region of Tanzania — a trip she pays for entirely out of her own pocket. It seems like a massive sacrifice www.citylifemagazine.ca

to make, but for Leudke, that’s not the case. “We’re simple people and our needs are simple,” says Leudke, a teacher at the Montessori School of Kleinburg with 20 years of experience. “I’m passionate about Montessori education. I love teaching and I love being with children, and so this was just kind of a natural extension for me.” Leudke and her husband fi rst got involved with the Olive Branch after meeting Deborah McCrackenNangereke, the organization’s founder, through a presentation McCrackenNangereke made at their church. They liked how McCracken-Nangereke worked with villages from the collaborative perspective of “What do you need and how can I help?” The

Because of the remote location, Leudke must travel by foot or by bike to get to the villages where she helps cultivate education

— Pam Leudke

couple was looking at doing volunteer work over summer vacation and when they found they shared the Montessori connection with McCrackenNangereke they knew Olive Branch was the right fit. Since then, Leudke has spread the benefits of this education method to various villages in Tanzania, guiding teachers through its curriculum and working to educate their children. Today, 28 Montessori kindergartens have been established in the Mbarali region and they’re already seeing amazing results. “Now that they’re moving up, for the past two or three years, these children have been consistently at the top of their class,” says Leudke, who is now the Canadian co-director of the Montessori Outreach Program. “It’s beyond my wildest dreams.” With a new appreciation for the simple things in life, like food and water, Leudke is amazed at how happy the Tanzanian people are despite having so little. She sees the way they hunger for education, “because they know that’s the only way to improve their lives.” It’s an inspiring attitude, one that keeps her coming back year after year, especially when she knows she has the power to make a difference. “I can give back,” she says, “so why wouldn’t I?” June/July 2015

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Sebastian Giovinco, Toronto FC’s star off-season acquisition, sits in a dressing room at the Kia Training Ground

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SEBASTIAN GIOVINCO IS

THE PLAYER

TORONTO FC HAS BEEN WAITING FOR?

WE SIT DOWN WITH TORONTO FC’S LATEST (AND GREATEST?) ACQUISITION, ITALIAN SOCCER STAR SEBASTIAN GIOVINCO, TO TALK ABOUT HIS HISTORIC MOVE TO MLS, ADJUSTING TO LIFE IN TORONTO AND THE FUTURE OF TFC

WARDROBE PROVIDED BY PER LUI INTERVIEW TRANSLATION BY STEPHEN TALLEVI

S

WRITTEN BY MICHAEL HILL PHOTOGRAPHY BY JESSE MILNS

ebastian Giovinco carries himself with the poise of a man twice his size. The five-foot-four Italian footballer walks with the unmistakable swagger of an athlete fully and undoubtedly confident in his abilities, and with good reason. Sure, the guy just inked a deal with Toronto FC that made him one of the highest-paid designated players in Major League Soccer history — a few million dollars would add bounce to anyone’s step. But unlike so many top-billed imports of the past, Giovinco has quickly proven he’s the real deal. He’s young, highly skilled and already staked his claim as one of the league’s dominating offensive forces and the keystone of TFC’s attack. He could, at last, be the final piece of the puzzle that ends Toronto’s eight-year playoff drought. He could be the catalyst that changes the perception of what has historically been seen as a retirement league. He could be the future of the professional sport in Canada and the United States. And that’s just something money can’t buy. “Yes, obviously, it has been one of the decisive factors of my decision, among other things,” he says of his much-talked-about and highly lucrative contract, which is reported to be around $7 million per season for five years. “But, in life, money is not the most important thing.” It’s a hot and humid day late in May as Giovinco discusses his

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At the start of this year, Giovinco made the decision to walk away from Juventus, one of Italy’s premier football clubs. His groundbreaking signing with TFC is seen as potentially a decisive moment for the league, which hopes to attract further similar top-tier talent in the future

groundbreaking signing with TFC. He’s seated in a bare-bones dressing room at the Kia Training Ground wearing a simple off-white scoop neck T-shirt, grey track shorts and azure runners, residuals of the light training session he’s just finished. He fields questions with a hard, determined stare that never seems to leave his face and short, matter-of-fact answers. He’s certainly not much of a talker, soft-spoken and reserved — a trait, I’m told, that’s not so uncommon in grounded northern Italians like Giovinco. His tattoos, it seems, say more than he does. Busy black ink swirls around his left arm contrasting the colourful, more isolated tats dotting his right. A black and orange tarantula crawls down his right bicep just above a grinning Mexican sugar skull with soccer ball eyes. A hazard symbol with the word “DANGER” sits prominently above his wrist. On the inside of his forearm: a winking Popeye’s arm blends into Giovinco’s hand. “I like them all,” he says when asked if he has any favourites. When he sees the artwork is being inspected, he grins widely and flicks open the inside of his bicep, revealing a magnifying glass honing in on Atom Ant, the Hanna-Barbera character from where he gets his nickname: la Formica Atomica, the Atomic Ant. When the story broke in January that Giovinco signed on the dotted line with TFC, it was like dropping a nuclear bomb on the soccer world. For years, the Turin-born football prodigy was considered one of the most skilled prospects to ever emerge from the Juventus youth system, which he 42

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joined when he was nine. During his time with Juve, Giovinco was part of rosters that would claim a Serie B title, two Supercoppe Italiane and back-to-back championships in Serie A, Italy’s top football league. In his 130 appearances for the Bianconeri, he notched 20 goals in all competitions. He also donned his country’s colours at the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup, where the team took home a bronze, and at the UEFA Euro 2012, where they finished as runners-up. But Giovinco’s frustrations over a lack of playing time with Juventus, one of Italy’s most storied clubs, were well documented, and he never seemed to establish himself as a starter. So when Toronto came knocking with the reported $35-million offer, the pint-sized striker said arrivederci to Juventus and ciao to the Great White North. It was a landmark decision — for Giovinco, TFC and the league. Generally speaking, the only big-name Europeans who make their way www.citylifemagazine.ca


across the Atlantic to MLS were those thirty-somethings with their best days behind them — think David Beckham in 2007 and, more recently, Robbie Keane, Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard. But that isn’t the case with Giovinco. Just turning 28 in January, “Seba” is a star smack-dab in the prime of his career, a young, dynamic talent with plenty of gas left in the tank. It’s the hopes of both the league and fans that his signing with Toronto could be the pivotal moment the league is looking for. Recruiting a high-profile player the calibre of Giovinco, a man who could just as easily play in premier European leagues, may be the first step in attracting similar talent to MLS in the future. It’s also a chance for Giovinco to prove that he’s not just a player, but the player. “To me, what I like is the challenge,” he says of being a key piece to the TFC puzzle. “I’m sure it’s not an easy challenge. But in life you have to set targets for yourself to see if you are able to reach them. This is an important challenge, and I take it seriously, for the sake of myself and for Toronto, and I will do my best to make the people happy.” The response from fans to Giovinco’s signing was immediate. The Toronto Star ran a story back in March noting how TFC has seen a boost in ticket sales of 3,000 new buyers, many from Italian fans, after he joined the team. His PR team even explains that since arriving in Toronto in February, Giovinco’s been hotly pursued by media from all over and they’ve had to turn down more than a few requests for one-on-ones. Giovinco’s impact has been felt early and often on the pitch as well, as he’s easily been the most explosive player for TFC so far this season. Wearing the coveted No. 10 jersey, his quick, shifty lateral agility has proven as difficult for defenders to pin down as a spooked rabbit, and his soft touch and sharp soccer IQ have been the linchpin of much of the team’s offence. At the time of our interview, not only are his five goals tied with American striker Jozy Altidore for the team lead (placing him in the top 10 of the league, as well), but he also leads the Reds with four assists and nine points. He’s also the most active shot-wise, more than

“YES, OBVIOUSLY, IT HAS BEEN ONE OF THE DECISIVE FACTORS OF MY DECISION, AMONG OTHER THINGS. BUT, IN LIFE, MONEY IS NOT THE MOST IMPORTANT THING”

HALFTIME WITH SEBASTIAN GIOVINCO Q How have you enjoyed being a father? Has it changed you in any way? “Being a dad fills your life with a different type of joy and gives new meaning to your life. As a dad all I can hope for is to raise my son to be honest and have a www.citylifemagazine.ca

good character in the best possible way.”

the way you eat at home, you can’t compare it to a restaurant.”

Q How have you found the food here in Canada? Is it as good as back home?

Q What is the best piece of advice anyone has ever given you?

“I think there are some good restaurants in the city. But

“Live in the moment, have fun and enjoy life.”

Q What is la dolce vita for Sebastian Giovinco? “Being happy, surrounded by family and friends, enjoying the simple things in life. Family and friends is my dolce vita.”

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Since joining the Reds, Giovinco has been the team’s most explosive player, posting five goals and six assists so far this season

“TO ME, WHAT I LIKE IS THE CHALLENGE. I’M SURE IT’S NOT AN EASY CHALLENGE. BUT IN LIFE YOU HAVE TO SET TARGETS FOR YOURSELF TO SEE IF YOU ARE ABLE TO REACH THEM” 44

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www.citylifemagazine.ca


www.citylifemagazine.ca

PHOTOS BY PAUL GIAMOU

doubling the output of TFC’s next closest player, Michael Bradley. If European players ever experience difficulty adjusting to the North American style of game, Giovinco has overcome that hurdle — and quickly. “Like anything else, when dealing with new things, you have to adapt,” he says about the learning curve to the North American game. “You hope for the best and try to adapt as quickly as possible. Surprisingly enough, it took me very little time to adjust to all the new things. I hope I get even better at this and I am happy about this new adventure.” In the past, TFC fans have found their expectations of big-name acquisitions deflated by either injuries or uninspired play. Julian de Guzman, Torsten Frings, Mista and more recently Jermain AN Defoe have all hit BMO Field and produced ILLUSTRATED little despite their sizable contracts. So far MAN Giovinco has more than lived up to the hype. Every one of He makes no effort to hide his hope for what Giovinco’s tattoos his play will mean for fans here in Toronto seems to say and back across the pond. “Quite often in something about him. Italy they speak of successful Italians,” he says. A hazard sign with “I’m hoping that one day they will talk about the word “DANGER” me too.” prominently sits While uprooting your family to a foreign above his wrist. The country is never an easy decision, Giovinco arm of a winking notes that his partner, Shari, and son, Jacopo, Popeye blends with are adjusting nicely to Canada. They’re Giovinco’s hand. happy to find themselves in Toronto, even if And the centrepiece: it’s “a bit too cold,” he jests. He hasn’t had the Atom Ant, the Hannachance yet to fully explore the city, especially Barbera character because of the early chilly weather, but he’s from where he gets been enjoying the culinary scene around his nickname, town, and was even spotted at Villaggio la Formica Atomica Ristorante here in Vaughan. (the Atomic Ant) “My idea was to make a change,” he says of the move. “It was a difficult choice because relocating your family to another part of the world is a difficult decision. But I find myself now in a beautiful city. I am very happy.” Adding: “It’s a choice that I would make again.” After opening the season with a big win over a tough Vancouver Whitecaps squad, TFC hit a snag, losing four straight. It’s the longest losing streak of any team this season and put Toronto in the basement of the league — and fans in the frame of mind of, “Not this again.” But TFC have rallied as of late. Over the past month they’ve posted four wins, two losses and one draw in their past seven games. Yes, it takes a team to be successful, but Giovinco has elevated the game of those around him, proving to be a major factor in the team’s upswing. The Saturday after we met at the Kia Training Ground, Giovinco was absolutely on fire against San Jose. He factored into

Top: Giovinco makes an aggressive challenge during a match against the Houston Dynamo Bottom: The Italian forward looks to create an opportunity in the friendly against Man City

all three TFC goals and assisted on two, bringing his total assists to six and helping defenceman Justin Morrow and forward Luke Moore notch their first finishes of the season. A crossbar and a post were the only two things standing in between Giovinco and the back of the net. With the win over San Jose, TFC has managed to go undefeated in their past four, with three Ws and a draw against New England. Giovinco feels the team is more focused and on the right track for making a playoff run, which, if they make it, would be the first for TFC since it was founded during the 2007 MLS expansion. “Little by little we’ll move forward,” he says, grinning and pumping his arms like a train chugging along a track. It seems that can now be said about TFC without exaggeration. And with Giovinco leading the way, maybe fans, like their new star, can finally walk a little taller too. June/July 2015

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The new city manager of Vaughan, Steve Kanellakos

MANAGING EXPECTATIONS We spend the morning with Vaughan’s new city manager, Steve Kanellakos Written By Daniel Calabretta

I

t’s a brisk, windy morning in May as I make my way to the fourth floor of Vaughan’s City Hall to meet Steve Kanellakos, the new city manager. While it’s only been a week since he’s taken on the demanding position, Kanellakos, who wears a navy blue suit, walks me down a hallway and into his spacious office with a commanding, confident gait. As I glance around, I notice a seating area with grey leather sofas, a flat-screen computer monitor propped up on a walnut-coloured desk and a plasma TV perched on top of a credenza. While observing, I say, “This is a really nice office, sir.” With a smile, Kanellakos shakes his head. “Please, don’t call me sir. Call me Steve. And you should have seen my office back in Ottawa,” he says, using his index finger to outline a space that is about a quarter of the size of his current workplace. “When I got here I

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couldn’t believe it. This is bigger than the condo I’ve rented.” When your duties as city manager entail making sure that council’s decisions and policies be effectively implemented in a strategic and costeffective manner, it’s no wonder why one needs the room to address the plethora of issues facing the growing city of Vaughan. Facilitating business, service and infrastructure development, as well as budgeting and providing strategic financial planning for projects within the city are just a few of the many responsibilities Kanellakos has after taking over the reins from interim city manager Barbara Cribbett. On top of Kanellakos’s to-do list is familiarizing himself with his new working environment and staff, attending council meetings, sitting down with key individuals and getting up to speed on a city deemed the

No. 1 municipality for investment in Ontario by Canadian Real Estate Wealth Magazine in 2014. A prescient individual, Kanellakos anticipated the flurry of information awaiting him at 2141 Major Mackenzie Dr. when he first accepted the position back in early February. “Lots of information was coming at me, it was like drinking from a fire hose,” he says. “But I’ve kind of thrown myself into it because I knew that I would have to.” While the 30-year veteran in the municipal sector admits to the adjustment stage that comes with every job’s preliminary phase, Kanellakos, 56, isn’t fazed by the challenge of getting accustomed to a new city and the many issues associated with it. In fact, during his tenure as the deputy city manager of Ottawa from 2004 to early 2015, he earned a reputation for being able to handle more than one significant issue with superior problem-solving skills. Former coworkers corroborate his impact, describing him as a proficient multitasker. “He was everyone’s go-to guy,” said Ottawa mayor Jim Watson in a 2015 Ottawa Sun article. “If you had a problem, you sent Steve K. an email or a pin and the problem got solved.” Optimistic about his new endeavour, Kanellakos describes how he is driven by the principle of teamwork to reach success. “Running a city is a team sport. It’s not about individuals. The one thing that attracted me to the job is that they [City of Vaughan] have great vision in terms of where they want to take the city. I believe that they have incredible plans and strategies.” These plans include the completion of the Vaughan Metropolitan Centre, which Kanellakos admits is a “top priority,” and the construction of Mackenzie Vaughan hospital, to name a few. “I think what I’m going to bring to support the team is to put some prioritization around what we can actually achieve during this term of council with the resources that we have.” During his tenure as deputy city manager of Ottawa, Kanellakos had many responsibilities, which primarily included overseeing community, social, emergency, protective, parks, www.citylifemagazine.ca

PHOTO BY MICHAEL HILL

CITY NEWS


recreation, culture, public works and transit services. A major initiative that Kanellakos was a part of was the “Housing First Model,” a funding decision with the goal to increase affordable housing options and end homelessness in Ottawa. Kanellakos says that the city’s strategy is proving hopeful as the number of people living on the street over the last few years has decreased from roughly 140-160 to 1525 people per night. “You know what the key to that is? It’s that the city staff didn’t do that on their own — they had an incredible network of community agencies who they managed to facilitate and everybody saw the same vision of what we were trying to do.” Kanellakos also feels that transportation has a significant effect on the economy. “If you don’t have a transportation network that allows people to get here easily and commute throughout the city and into other hubs that we need to draw labour from, you’re cutting yourself off from critical resources,” he explains. But the most important philosophy that Kanellakos has and one he keeps in mind in everything he does is fostering a culture of excellence. This principle is rooted in research within a 2012 political case study, published by the Queen’s Industrial Relations Centre, that Kanellakos was a part of. “I believe in a simple principle — that staff engagement drives citizen satisfaction which drives confidence and trust in your local government. I fundamentally believe that that can’t happen unless your employees are engaged and satisfied in the job that they’re doing and their organization.” This strategy proved effective when Kanellakos was in Ottawa, as he cultivated many positive relationships there. Nancy Schepers, a former deputy city manager of Ottawa herself, worked with Kanellakos for over eight years. “He had a staff that was very loyal to him and had a lot of respect for him,” she says. “I saw, while working with him as a colleague, that he was very, very confident and very able to deliver, working well with staff and council.” This commitment to fostering a culture of excellence dates back to the www.citylifemagazine.ca

I THINK WHAT I’M “ GOING TO BRING TO SUPPORT THE TEAM IS TO PUT SOME PRIORITIZATION AROUND WHAT WE CAN ACTUALLY ACHIEVE DURING THIS TERM OF COUNCIL WITH THE RESOURCES THAT WE HAVE

— Steve Kanellakos

days when Kanellakos was working at his family’s diner. “I enjoyed the serving. I enjoyed people coming in and making them happy, you know, the social part of it.” Even Kanellakos’s father and uncle expressed a desire to provide a good customer experience when they opened Mary’s Drive-In Restaurant in Ottawa’s south end in 1959. For the first couple of years, the diner was essentially open

24-7, Kanellakos’s father and his uncle taking turns sleeping on a cot in the back of the diner. “They never left the restaurant because they didn’t want to take a chance,” Kanellakos says. “They had to always be open, because they were so determined. My parents worked like dogs and never spent a penny to make sure we had everything.” Kanellakos learned the value of money and hard work from his immigrant parents, who ensured that he and his sisters would have a good life. And throughout his professional career, Kanellakos remembers to apply these lessons to his profession. “Once someone does that for you, how can you not live your life being a person who wants to give back and help others? It’s instilled in you.” Whether it was giving bacon and eggs to loyal patrons at his father’s restaurant, or implementing social and transit services in Ottawa, one thing is for certain: Kanellakos has devoted his life to serving others. www.vaughan.ca

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Dress, House of Vintage LA.

’80S-INSPIRED LOS ANGELES URBAN GROOVE

A blast from fashion’s past unfolds with glam vintage attire. An afternoon of creative expression awaits you 50

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Left: Dress, House of Vintage L.A.; shoes, United Nude. Right: Dress, vintage Diane von Furstenburg; shoes, Max Studio; handbag, House of Vintage L.A.

COMMAND SUMMER’S CONCRETE STREETS WITH CONFIDENCE AND GRACE Dress, vintage Courrèges Paris; shoes, BCBG; handbag, Marc Jacobs

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City Events

PAN-DEMONIUM

Get ready, get set: the Pan American Games are coming Written By Bianca Ricci

T

his year, Toronto plays host to the 17th Pan Am Games, which will see 41 participating nations, 36 sports and 52 disciplines come together in the love of sport. After winning 119 medals at the 2011 Games in Guadalajara, Mexico, Canada has set the bar high and is hoping to surpass this achievement on its home turf this summer. Here’s a look at some key events that’ll make city traffic this summer all worth it.

The largest multi-sport games ever to hit Canada will take over the city and surrounding areas with a variety of competitions and exciting activities. Let the Games begin!

TORCH RELAY The Torch Relay, The Torch Relay will be passing through Vaughan on June 24 at 1:30 p.m., at City Hall, located at 2141 Major Mackenzie Dr. in Maple. The torch will first be lit in Teotihuacan, Mexico, and will make the 41-day journey using over 60 modes of transportation to Toronto, spreading the spirit and history of the games over 130 communities.

PANAM PARK CIBC Panam Park will host the majority of the Games with 13 competitions held at multiple venues. Ontario Place will host water ski/wakeboard competitions and the triathlon, while the Exhibition Centre will be the place to be for all things roller-skating, rugby sevens and more. The Toronto Coliseum will house the gymnastic discipline, and the Chevrolet Beach Volleyball Centre will hold none other than the beach volleyball games. AQUATICS CENTRE A whole slew of events, such as diving, fencing and swimming, will be held at the CIBC Pan Am/Parapan Am Aquatics Centre and Field House in Scarborough. Construction on the NORR Architects-designed facility began in July 2012 on a plot of campus land jointly owned by the University of Toronto Scarborough and the City of Toronto at a cost of $205 million. ATHLETIC CENTRE The Ryerson Athletic Centre will host the much-buzzedabout basketball competition, where it has been confirmed that Anthony Bennett will suit up for Team Canada. Speculation is 52

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still swirling on whether Minnesota Timberwolves teammate and Rookie of the Year Andrew Wiggins will be joining him. TRACK & FIELD CENTRE York University has installed a brand-new Track & Field Centre especially for the Games. Check out the massive stadium for all track and field events, which will take place from July 21- 25. Tennis fan? You can also catch all the action at the Rexall Centre from July 10-14. ATOS MARKHAM & ANGUS GLEN GOLF CLUB The Games will descend upon Markham at two different venues: the Atos Markham Pan Am/Parapan Am Centre, where the badminton, table tennis and water polo competitions will be held, as well as the Angus Glen Golf Club and Conference Centre, where golf — one of four new disciplines to be included this year — will light up the green. Other newcomers include women’s rugby sevens, canoe/ kayak-slalom and women’s baseball, which will take place at various locations across Toronto. Toronto’s Pan Am Games will run from July 10-26, followed by the Parapan Am Games, which will take place from August 7-15. Tickets start as low as $20 for adults and are half price for those 16 and younger or over the age of 65. Tickets are available on the official Pan Am website. Toronto2015.org www.citylifemagazine.ca

PHOTOS COURTESY OF TO2015

PANAMANIA Sports not your thing? No problem; you can still join in with Panamania, the arts and cultural side of Pan Am. With four different events presented by the Games’ lead sponsor, CIBC, there’s a lot to see with performances in music, theatre, dance, visual arts and fashion. This 35-day-long festival will showcase more than 250 performances and exhibitions across Toronto.


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kitchen adventure sponsored feature

PASTA SAUCE WITH

ITALIAN SAUSAGE

Bon appétit! This simple yet comforting pasta dish, featuring savoury Italian sausage in a tomato sauce, will surely be a hit at your next dinner party Ingredients

1 lb. Italian sausage links ½ lb. lean ground beef 1 tbsp. olive oil 1 onion, chopped 1 clove garlic, chopped 1 (16 oz.) can tomatoes 1 (15 oz.) can tomato sauce 1 tsp. salt ¼ tsp. ground black pepper 1 tsp. dried basil 1 tsp. dried oregano 1 bay leaf

Directions 1. Remove casing from sausage links and cut into ½-inch slices. In a large skillet, brown sausage over medium heat for about 10 minutes; remove and set aside. 2. In a large skillet, heat ground beef, olive oil, garlic and onion over medium heat until meat is nicely browned; drain. 3. Pour in tomatoes and tomato sauce; mix in salt, ground black pepper, basil, oregano, bay leaf and cooked sausage.

Simmer uncovered for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. 4. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for about 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain. 5. Mix cooked sauce with hot pasta and remove bay leaf from sauce before serving.

www.allrecipes.com

Marini Foods L td. Perfectly grilled, flavourful sausages are the quintessential summertime treat. Marini Foods Ltd., along with its labels Rea and Bona, provide a variety of Italian-style deli meats throughout Canada, along with over 50 types of sausage products. www.bonafoods.com | www.marinifoods.com 54

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condo living

RISE & SHINE

With condos continuing to pop up across Toronto and the surrounding areas, we explore the developments standing out from the rest

PSV

EAU DU SOLEIL

EAU DU SOLEIL Endless city and lake views, anyone? Eau du Soleil by Empire Communities rocks the shores of Lake Ontario with a waterfront condo brimming with luxury-appointed suites equipped with full-sized balconies and gourmet kitchens. Resort-style amenities include a saltwater pool, theatre room, lounge and, of course, phenomenal views. www.empirecommunities.com PSV CONDOS AT PARKSIDE VILLAGE Developed by real estate and construction firm Amacon, PSV Condos at Parkside Village will offer close to 300 units at the thriving corner of Burnhamthorpe Road West and Confederation Parkway in Mississauga. The goal of the development is to 56

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The latest crop of condos redefines high-rise living with award-winning design, stunning views and spacious interiors

capture a “true urban village,” which will include transit options and green spaces to accommodate the needs of pedestrians and drivers. Beyond PSV’s two-storey lobby, condo features and finishes will boast custom-designed contemporary cabinetry, 9-foot ceilings, private terraces and more. www.lifeatparkside.com ME LIVING CONDOS On the heels of a variety of successful condo communities across the GTA, Lash Group of Companies brings a healthy dose of inspiration and vision to its latest feat, ME Living Condos (Markham + Ellesmere Living). Situated near Highway 401 and just a short drive away from the Scarborough Bluffs, ME Living Condos has been

meticulously designed into a masterplanned complex of condominiums, townhomes, shops and parks. Alongside its ideal location, sleek architecture and design by an award-winning firm, the condo and townhouse development’s highlights include a private rooftop oasis and a Hollywood-style theatre. Scheduled for completion in 2016. meliving.ca TEAHOUSE CONDOMINIUMS Understanding that balance in the everyday is no small feat, Lanterra Development’s TeaHouse Condominiums propose harmonious living within exquisite East-meets-West interiors designed by award-winning firm Munge Leung. Located at 501 Yonge St., the two-tower development www.citylifemagazine.ca

Text By Simona Panetta

TEAHOUSE


embodies a serene spirit with the use of natural materials, symmetry and precise proportion, and is minutes away from Bloor-Yorkville and the Eaton Centre. teahousecondos.com RIVA DEL LAGO Scheduled for completion in 2016, Riva Del Lago on Lake Shore Boulevard West in Toronto will offer 186 units ranging from the low 300s to the mid800s. Developed by Monarch Group, the 14-storey waterfront boutique condo offers young professionals and families who value nature and close proximity to the city stunning views and modern design executed by Graziani + Corazza Architects. Featuring ecofriendly features such as Energy Star-certified appliances and watersaver showerheads, Monarch continues its commitment to create greener homes as a member of the Canada Green Building Council. www.monarchgroup.net CASA III CONDOMINIUMS The next phase of sophisticated living in the heart of Yorkville: Casa III, scheduled for completion in 2017, delivers a complementary modern-urban touch to the city’s sparkling fashion and culture district. The anticipated condominium’s soaring and sculptural glass tower will exude timeless Euro-chic design and luxury-appointed interiors that embody the very essence of an upscale condo lifestyle. An on-site blow-dry bar and catering kitchens, plus outdoor dining pavilions and a yoga studio, are sure to impress, as is a lobby lavished in Hermès. casacondominium.com ONE PARK PLACE Developed by The Daniels Corporation, One Park Place South Tower overlooking Toronto’s revitalized Regent Park neighbourhood holds a distinctly modern and welcoming appeal for both families and young couples. Designed by Hariri Pontarini Architects with interiors by Cecconi Simone, the complex consists of townhome and suite options plus a 24hour concierge, rooftop terrace, piano lounge and squash court. www.danielsoneparkplace.com www.citylifemagazine.ca

RIVA DEL LAGO TEAHOUSE

HOLLYWOODSTYLE THEATRES, PRIVATE TERRACES, SALTWATER POOLS AND A 24-HOUR CONCIERGE ARE JUST SOME OF THE LATEST MODERN AMENITIES TO ENJOY IN TOP CONDOS ACROSS THE CITY

TEAHOUSE

TEAHOUSE CASA III

ME LIVING ONE PARK PLACE

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Cristine Prosperi, best known for her role as Imogen Moreno on Degrassi, now stars in Open Heart, a new mystery-drama series airing in Canada and the U.S. Floral joggers, top and accessories, H&M; shoes, Christian Louboutin

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WARDROBE STYLIST: KIRSTEN READER / HAIR & MAKEUP ARTIST: RITA STIRPE

WRITTEN BY SIMONA PANETTA PHOTOGRAPHY BY JESSE MILNS


I feel like I’m on an HGTV show,” laughs Cristine Prosperi, an elated glow warming her face. “This place is amazing.” Wearing breezy black overalls and a basic T-shirt, the young Canadian actress is in full relaxation mode after wrapping up an hour-long shoot in a penthouse suite on the 55th floor of the Trump Residences Toronto. Outside and down below, the Bay Street Corridor bustles with people and cars as we stretch our legs out on a black, velvety couch in the suite’s great room, where a cascade of crystal pendants and Italian mouth-blown glass hangs impressively above a gleaming grand piano. Moments prior to our sit-down interview, Prosperi was jumping and down on a plush bed, her dark tresses splayed wildly, her contagious laugh floating down a marbled passageway branching off into brocade silk and pop art rooms. But despite the camera’s attention and the prestige of a residence set high above an infinite Toronto skyline, the bubbly brown-eyed girl from Newmarket, Ont., remains grounded. “Starting out in the Canadian acting industry and having close family and friends here kind of keep you downto-earth,” she says. “It’s just really easy, actually. Toronto’s a great city to be in.” Best known for playing the role of Imogen Moreno on Degrassi, Prosperi spent six months of each year, from 2011 www.citylifemagazine.ca

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‘‘

SUCCESS IS DEFINITELY A GOAL THAT I STRIVE FOR AND I THINK POSITIVE THINKING HELPS. THE SECRET IS TO ENVISION IT AND VISUALIZE” From left to right: Top and shorts, H&M; cotton maxi dress, gold chain and sandals, H&M; floral kimono, crop top with fringe and black linen shorts, H&M; shoes, Valentino

to 2014, shooting scenes for the long-running teen drama, which follows a group of high school students dealing with hard-hitting issues such as parenthood, mental disorders, alcoholism and violence. Boldly stepping into the scripted world of adolescent woes and complicated relationships, Prosperi, who landed the breakout role when she was 17, nimbly executed the nuances of the quirky and eccentric outsider, earning a Young Artist Award for Best Actress in a TV Drama Series in 2012. “I would never tell people that I would go out for auditions because I didn’t want to jinx it or have bad energy around it,” says the now 22-year-old, who got her start in a Unico commercial at the tender age of three. “I was actually at school when I got the role. My phone rang and I saw it was my agent and I said, ‘Oh no, this is important.’ So I went to the bathroom, answered the phone and he said, ‘you got it.’ My friends could hear me screaming and crying and they were like, ‘what’s wrong?’ And I’m like, ‘Oh my God, I got Degrassi!’” ver the course of 120 episodes, Prosperi grew into the role of Imogen as she became less gawky and eccentric upon the discovery of her dad’s dementia and her friendship with fellow classmate Fiona, who she ends up dating romantically before crushing on Adam, a femaleto-male transgender teen who perishes from injuries in a car accident caused while texting and driving. What she gained from the experience of playing Imogen, says Prosperi, was the closest feeling she’s had to living the life of a tiger that doesn’t lose sleep over the opinions of sheep. “Imogen taught me to be myself and not care so much about what other people think.

I know that that’s a cliché answer, but I do wish I could be more like that. I wish I wasn’t so nitpicky,” says Prosperi, who admits to treading cautiously on social media to uphold her responsibility as a role model to young girls. s the pansexual Imogen, and other roles like Tiara on the Family Channel series Really Me, Aria in Totally Amp’d and a minor role in the Rob Lowe thriller Stir of Echoes: The Homecoming, Prosperi has over the years developed a strong and loyal fan base, which includes over 67,000 Twitter and 98,000 Instagram followers — many of whom have praised her efforts in portraying a character bringing awareness to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community. “I was at an event and this girl came up to me and said, ‘you know, you and Fiona were the reason I came out,’” recalls Prosperi, who describes the encounter as her proudest moment yet as an actress. “You forget that you have that kind of impact on people, especially young people, so I thought, wow, my work is actually affecting someone’s life in a good way. Nowadays we are giving the

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Cristine Prosperi takes a seat in the master bedroom with walk-in closet at the Trump Residences Toronto

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LGBT community the attention it needs but there’s always is to envision it and visualize,” she says. “When I go to an room for more. I just think it’s so cool that I got to be involved audition I’ll tell people, ‘Oh, call me …’ (and this is really in a topic that will make parents think, ‘OK, maybe my son or silly) ‘call me Alison,’ because that’s the name of the character daughter is in this predicament. Let’s watch the show to see I’m auditioning for, so that’ll be the part that I get.” what we can do and learn,’ which is the most important thing. Eager to expand her résumé, Prosperi is currently living in It was amazing to be a part of that.” Los Angeles, where she attends auditions and creates selfWhen her breakout role came to an end, Prosperi quickly tapes for half the year before flying back to spend quality stepped into the glossy shoes of time with her close-knit family and friends in Toronto. Blessed with natural Mikayla Walker, an effervescent and ON GIRL fashionable hospital volunteer in the beauty and raw talent, Prosperi displays POWER new mystery series Open Heart, now a certain type of level-headedness “I want girls to feel strong airing in the U.S. and on YTV and that is rare in an industry glazed by and opinionated and unafraid ABC Spark in Canada. A departure superficiality and temptation. Her to stand their ground. from Imogen’s pigtails and glasses, the parents, says Prosperi, have played a key Hopefully with all the strong role of Mikayla presented Prosperi with role in building up a will and drive that female characters we’re the opportunity to delve into a character is needed to overcome the walls every seeing on TV girls will feel young actor climbs for a shot at stardom. and her trendy wardrobe that was quite more comfortable being Throughout the ups and downs, the similiar to her own personality and themselves and speaking fashion sense. Regardless, Prosperi laid thousands of “no”s and all the closed their mind, which is really out the same groundwork she applies doors, Prosperi’s parents have always important when you’re to every role she prepares for before been there to help her find a window. growing up.” The unrelenting familial support has letting it all go once the curtain comes undoubtedly prepared her to face the up. “I read scripts thoroughly because you can find a lot of different things good days and the bad. “People think ON REGRET each time you read it. I also do research working as an actress might be a little “In high school I used to post to really connect with the character. But easier or fun. It is fun, but it’s a lot of every picture, every event, when I leave set I know it’s my job, I hard work. You wake up at 6 a.m. and every party on Facebook. don’t think, ‘Oh, I’m this person when get to set at 6:30 for hair and makeup, When I see my little cousins I finish.’ I just become Cristine again, which can last an hour or two. And doing that now I think, ‘well, I’m me.” then all day you’re on set, sometimes maybe you shouldn’t post a or a fledgling star aiming to until 7 o’clock at night. Sometimes you picture where you’re doing rise above the ranks of the go to work and it’s dark in the morning this or that.’” Canadian acting industry, and then it’s dark at night. But it’s an Prosperi is acutely aware that landing amazing job and I’m so lucky. It’s just a her first big role on Degrassi, a show dream job.” known to have launched the careers s our interview draws to ON TORONTO of former cast members like Aubrey a close, I’m reminded of VS. L.A. Graham, a.k.a. Drake, now an the quick chat I had with “Actors in Toronto are lucky international rapper; and Nina Dobrev, Prosperi’s mother in the suite while because it’s such a small the former series lead of The Vampire her daughter was slipping in and out community and we all know Diaries, was a major coup for her career. of wardrobe changes for her shoot with each other. I just feel like And yet, like any aspiring professional City Life. With the same open smile I’m at home and doing my with laser-eye focus on success, Prosperi and kind eyes, she revealed what it’s like thing. In L.A., it’s a little more knew it would take that much more to behind the scenes for a mom of a young nerve-wracking because prove her versatility and relevancy in actress. “When it comes to this industry, you don’t know any of the an industry known for being fiercely it’s not for the faint of heart — you casting directors. You’re just competitive. To keep her feet in the have to have developed a very strong a small fish in a big pond.” long game, Prosperi has guest-starred character,” says Elizabeth Prosperi, on The Buzz and appeared in the 2013 whose presence solidifies the bond she teen movie Nicky Deuce starring the late James Gandolfini in shares with her daughter. “We’ve both had the model of going between seasons of Degrassi. Last year she launched a lifestyle in there and doing your best and just leaving it to the universe blog called Style Prosperity, where she connects with her fans to decide if it comes back to you. It’s not always been easy, it’s while offering advice on beauty and fashion. Applying an very cutthroat at times, and it can be hard on the psyche. But optimistic outlook while continuing to stretch her exposure if you have a passion for what you do, you keep plugging away in small yet vital moves, Prosperi is determined to light up and those nos turn into yeses. As a mother I’m so proud of screens over the years to come and maybe, just maybe, be her character and who she’s become. She’s just a really good the next Rachel McAdams. “Success is definitely a goal that kid with a beautiful soul.” I strive for and I think positive thinking helps. The secret styleprosperity.com

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auto review

JAPANESE FLAIR

A look at the 2015 Acura TLX and Lexus NX 200t, two Japanese luxury vehicles that won’t get lost in the crowd Written By Justin Mastine-Frost

The 2015 Lexus NX 200t pulls design cues from the new IS and RC F models and makes a bold visual statement

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he Japanese premium auto segment has long lived in its own realm in terms of design. While the European and domestic segments took a turn in one direction, the likes of Acura and Lexus continued on their trajectory of somewhat futuristic design. By focusing on bold angles, creased sheet metal and other design elements looking like something out of a Ridley Scott film, both brands have developed a striking look that is seldom mistaken for anything else on the road. With that in mind, here is a glance at a couple of the most recent offerings from Lexus and Acura. 2015 Lexus NX 200t There was a time when I was just barely lukewarm to Lexus’ design esthetic, but as time has gone on the brand has become vastly more bold and creative in a way that I really appreciate. When it comes to the new NX compact crossover, Lexus has done an incredible job of drawing on design cues from the new IS and RC F models. The compact crossover sports the brand’s massive

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The 2015 Acura TLX features the brand’s multi-projector Jewel Eye LED headlights and its torque vectoring “Super Handling All-Wheel Drive”

hourglass grille as well as those funky checkmark-esque running lights, which reside just below its primary headlamps. The compact unit can come powered by a 235-horsepower 4-cylinder turbocharged engine or a compact hybrid powertrain with 194-hp and a hugely impressive fuel economy rating of only 7.1-L/100 km in the city and 7.7 in highway driving. The premium compact crossover segment has been booming lately with new entrants such as the Porsche Macan, BMW X4 and Audi Q3, and though the NX might not be the quickest of the bunch it

is certainly one of the top options for someone looking to make a bold visual statement. Add to that Toyota/ Lexus’ long-standing track record for reliability and you’re left with an option that will easily win over a good number of buyers. www.lexus.ca 2015 Acura TLX Freshly redesigned for 2015, the allnew TLX is right in line with the brand’s design direction, including its funky-yet-stylish multi-projector Jewel Eye LED headlights. The refined www.citylifemagazine.ca


Budget 2O15 is delivering tax savings for Vaughan residents Doubled the Tax-Free Savings Account Increased and Expanded the Universal 'LMPH'EVI&IRI½X Introduced the Home Accessibility Tax Credit to help seniors and disabled persons Balanced the Federal Budget

Top: Inside the Acura TLX, drivers will find heated front seats, a multi-angle rear-view camera and touchscreen navigation and infotainment as standard equipment. Above: On top of handy new tech such as a wireless charging tray, the NX 200t includes the Lexus Remote Touch Interface to adjust climate control and utilize GPS navigation

9401 Jane Street, Unit 115, Vaughan | (905) 303-5000 www.julianfantino.ca | julian.fantino@parl.gc.ca

sports sedan features the brand’s latest iteration of all-wheel steering as well as their torque vectoring “Super Handling All-Wheel Drive.” The base model is powered by a 2.4-L 4-cylinder engine capable of 206-hp and 182 lb-ft of torque, which isn’t half bad for an entry-level model. Bump up to the V6 models and not only will you be treated to a jump to 290-hp and 267 lb-ft of torque, but you also get to experience the brand’s new quickshifting 9-speed gearbox as well. Inside the passenger cabin you’ll find a seveninch touchscreen display controlling navigation and infotainment, as well as heated front seats, keyless entry and a multi-angle rear-view camera setup all as standard equipment for a reasonable $34,990 MSRP before the addition of taxes and fees. www.acura.ca www.citylifemagazine.ca

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music David Desrosiers, Pierre Bouvier, Sebastian Lefebvre, Jeff Stinco and Chuck Comeau of Simple Plan with the FIFA Women’s World Cup trophy during its stop in Toronto

SOC ROCK Canadian pop-punkers Simple Plan help kick off the FIFA Women’s World Cup on the verge of their fifth album release

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occer and rock ’n’roll might not seem like they go hand in hand, but for the boys of Simple Plan, the two couldn’t be a better fit. The Canadian poppunkers were the headlining act for two stops in the FIFA Women’s World Cup Trophy Tour by Coca-Cola, the cross-country campaign aimed at hyping up Canadians for the FIFA Women’s World Cup, which will be taking the pitch in various Canadian cities throughout June and early July. The band has been in L.A. for the past two months recording their fifth record, but lead guitarist Jeff Stinco took a break to spend some time with his family in Montreal. We got Stinco on the line to discuss being part of this huge soccer showcase and his band’s forthcoming record.

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Q You’re playing shows in Toronto and Moncton, NB to get people ready for the upcoming FIFA Women’s World Cup. Tell me a little about this event. A “It’s a big event. It’s the FIFA Women’s World Cup Trophy Tour and it’s basically a way to hype Canadians to the fact that we’re going to have the women’s soccer team and the FIFA World Cup here in Canada. And we’re very pleased to take the opportunity to start playing again in the light of that new album that’s coming out, too. So it’s a pretty exciting moment. I’m a soccer fan myself, soccer player myself. So it’s kind of cool. I love it when these things happen to Canada. This whole trophy tour, it’s 12 cities across Canada. It’s a big deal. I’m really grateful that we’re part of it, and it’s going to be pretty awesome.”

Q How did the band get involved in this tour? A “Well, they called my modelling agency... [laughs]. No, it’s just sometimes those things kind of line up and they work out. I think they wanted to work with a band that has some things going on and that fit in with their idea of who they wanted to talk to. I think it’s as simple as that. It wasn’t like a big planned thing. We got approached for this and it was really exciting to us and we wanted to be part of this. So it was a very easy match and a natural match. And to be honest, I think it’s always great to have a chance to play to our fans, especially in such an amazing setting where things are big and they’re well organized. It’s amazing for fans to be in contact with that trophy and I think it’s neat to be creating a bigger www.citylifemagazine.ca

PHOTOS COURTESY OF COCA-COLA

Written By Michael Hill


music 1

2 3

1. Vice-president of the Sparkling Business Unit of Coca-Cola Michael Samoszewski, MPP for York West the honourable Mario Sergio, Canadian women’s soccer player Carmelina Moscato, MP for Bramalea-Gore-Malton the honourable Bal Gosal, Canadian women’s soccer player Adriana Leon and FIFA marketing alliances manager Sarah Gandoin with the FIFA Women’s World Cup trophy 2. Bouvier, Simple Plan’s lead singer, takes a shot at the robot goalie during the tour’s stop in Toronto 3. Desrosiers, Bouvier and Lefebvre get competitive at the foosball table

event before the actual games take place. There’s something amazing about how big this is becoming in Canada and we were really proud to be part of it because of that.” Q This upcoming album is your first in about four years. What can fans expect from this new album? A “We put a lot of thought into that, because there’s that balance between keeping your legacy, keeping what people know you from, and we’re very conscious of that. We want to make sure that we don’t pull a one-eighty on our fans. So the energy, the melodic aspect of what we’ve done on the first few records, it’s still present. But at the same time, on the last record, we kind of allowed ourselves to push the boundaries of what we even limit ourselves to with as far as what the Simple Plan sound is. So there are songs that are pretty surprising, even coming from us. There are a lot of different instruments, a lot of different ideas that came in. But I think we managed to keep our identity. There’s nothing worse than a band that you hear on the radio and you’re like, ‘Why are they doing that? It’s not them.’ So I think we’ve achieved that idea of doing something new, just pushing, again, the envelope of what Simple Plan can www.citylifemagazine.ca

be, but at the same time maintaining our identity. So, yes, simply put I think there’s a lot of what Simple Plan was all about — the rocking, fun, fast songs. But at the same time there’s depth and there’s different influences that are creeping in as we’re listening to new music.” Q It’s interesting how you say you don’t want to throw your fans a curveball, and yet a huge band like Mumford & Sons recently released an album that came completely out of left field sound-wise. What are your thoughts on that? A “When I first heard the song [Believe] on the radio, I was like, ‘Who’s that?’ It took me a while before the voice of the singer gave it away, before I could figure out that it was Mumford & Sons. I just thought it was a sick song. That’s where it starts for me. I started thinking about it, and I’m like, wow, that’s surprising, coming from a band that, I don’t know if they created a sound, but they brought a sound back and they were like the biggest presence in that world, I would think. It surprised me a lot. But then I started thinking, the two last records they put out are probably some of the best songs of that genre. How can you repeat that? How can you

make it better? Can you do it again? AC/DC’s done it for years. Some records are better than others and that’s just the nature of the game. But I don’t blame bands for trying new things and challenge what the essence of it is. I always knew those guys were great players and they could probably play a lot of instruments, and that’s precisely what they’re doing. They’re coming out of their comfort zone, trying some new things. I think it’s neat. To bring it back to my band, there’s that spirit too. We think we wrote the best pop-punk record we could have written when we were doing album one and album two. But — it’s kind of funny, every time you do an interview and it’s a new record, every band says the same thing: ‘It’s our best record yet.’ Well, you really think so when you put it out, and you have to have some integrity and say, ‘Alright, it was the best pop-punk record that I could do at the time, and now what can I do different?’ Try to beat it? Well, maybe. You could probably try to do that on a couple songs, two, three, four songs. But after that, how can you stretch it further? And my band’s always been about that concept: what is Simple Plan and how far can we take it outside of its expected limits?” @SimplePlan June/July 2015

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A DV E R TO R I A L

A SENSE OF GENEROSITY

The fifth annual Mayor’s Gala is set to celebrate how citizens experience Vaughan — and, as always, to raise invaluable funds for local non-profits

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his year marks the fifth Mayor’s Gala of incumbent Maurizio Bevilacqua and while this annual affair has grown into one of the most coveted events of the year, it’s more than just a party. The Mayor’s Gala has become the premier fundraiser in Vaughan, generating millions of dollars for local non-profits and charity groups. “I first entered public life because I was motivated to make a positive contribution to my community,” says Bevilacqua, who’s been involved in politics for over 25 years. “What I noticed was that this event could be a great opportunity for the business community, and the community in general, to come together in an effort to help those who need it most.” Since Bevilacqua’s first Mayor’s gala in 2011, the annual fundraiser has grown by leaps and bounds, generating invaluable funds for over 100 not-for-profit charities and community groups. Between the Gala and the Mayor Maurizio Bevilacqua Annual Charity Golf Classic, $2.8 million net has been raised for these worthy causes, including the over $1 million from the live auction for a dinner with the mayor that benefits the forthcoming Mackenzie Vaughan Hospital. “The spirit of generosity truly defines the city of Vaughan and we are truly blessed with the ability and willingness to come together with the purpose and 68

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Top: Student Students at the newly built Vaughan-Wambilo Montessori Kindergarten in Tanzania, which was constructed entirely from funds donated by the Mayor’s Gala through the charitable organization The Olive Branch for Children. Left: The non-profit social service agency Reena provides programs that support individuals with developmental disabilities. Right: Mayor Mauricio Bevilacqua visiting a group of children at the Hospice Vaughan’s children’s program. Each child has dealt with the loss of a loved one.

goal of creating a community that is vibrant, dynamic and inclusive,” Bevilacqua says of the generous donations from Vaughan citizens. One organization that’s grateful for that generosity is Hospice Vaughan. The local charitable organization provides services, such as support groups and day programs, for families dealing with debilitating illnesses or the loss of a loved one. In total, Hospice Vaughan has received $25,000 from the Mayor’s Gala — money that

can often be the difference in providing those services. “The mayor is very much supportive of our hospice and the services that we provide in the community,” says Carmela Sisto, executive director of Hospice Vaughan. “We run about 10 programs and our services are free for the residents of Vaughan. There’s always a cost with running these programs, and so whatever little extra that we can get, it really helps us out.” The theme of this year’s gala is Sen5e in the City, which will celebrate how people experience Vaughan through the five senses. Canadian jazz-pop artist Nikki Yanofsky, the singer-songwriter best known for “I Believe,” the theme song for the 2010 Winter Olympics, will rock the Terrace Banquet Centre as the headlining performer. While the 2014 gala raised $600,000, Bevilacqua is approaching this year’s event, as he does with all his endeavours, with the attitude to do better than before. The city can’t directly control market conditions, but what can be controlled is the effort to make the Mayor’s Gala a success. As he explains, “We can always give our very best with the knowledge that we are part of something bigger than ourselves, and that is making a positive difference to the people in our community.” For more information on the 2015 Mayor’s Gala, visit www.vaughan.ca/events/mayors_gala www.citylifemagazine.ca


BellaCouture

WOMEN’S FASHION

PRIVATE ROOM

PRIVATE PARTY

CORPORATE

Sorrento Ristorante embodies the warm, Italian hospitality of the Amalfi Coast. Even the Italian Chamber of Commerce agrees it’s authentic, awarding the restaurant with the “Ospitalità Italiana” in 2014. Come by for one of our specialties: aged meat, homemade pasta or dessert. With live entertainment by Giordano Cattonar every Thursday, Sorrento is a must-try!

905.761.6886 3255 Rutherford Rd., Unit 34, Vaughan, Ont. OH SO SWEET Make your little one’s birthday a delectable one with the kids’ baking parties offered at the nut-free bakery Oh So Sweet. Choose from two scrumptious packages: the “Bake, Create and Decorate” party guides kids through the brownie- or cookiebaking process before they create their own recipe jar to take home, while the “Cake Idol” party presents each child with a premade five-inch cake for them to create and decorate. And with both options including invitations, food and loot bags, celebrating couldn’t get any sweeter.

965 Major Mackenzie Dr. West, Maple

289-553-2132 www.sorrentoristorante.ca

WOODBRIDGE SCHOOL OF DANCE Wood The Woodbridge School of Dance’s series of summer programs are designed to season your tiny dancer. Twinkle Toes, ru running from July 14 – 30, intr introduces children aged t five to the art of dance three to throug fun and creative group through classe For kids ages six and up, classes. Future Foundations runs from Augus 4 – 14, including full-day August classes in creative movement, ballet, hip hop and more. Whatever your child’s level of ability, feed their passion for dance with education, not competition, at the Woodbridge School of Dance.

8099 Weston Road, Unit 15, Woodbridge www.ohsosweet.ca • 905-265-9898

Market Lane, 140 Woodbridge Ave., Woodbridge

www.woodbridgedance.com • 905-851-5511 www.citylifemagazine.ca

June/July 2015

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city events

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GET THE PARTY

STARTED

The Redpath Waterfront Festival is set to deliver arts and culture, plus a spectacular pedestrian esplanade, at its anticipated annual summer celebration

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dding sweetness to the city for the fifth straight year, Toronto’s Redpath Waterfront Festival promises free entertainment, excitement and adventure that will kick off summer with a bang. Taking place June 19 to 21, 2015, this year’s five-event giant party will celebrate the revitalization of the waterfront with Party on the Promenade, an extravaganza that will include parades and familyfriendly activities along Queens Quay Boulevard and the Martin Goodman Trail. Produced by Water’s Edge Festivals & Events in association with Redpath Sugar and the Waterfront Business Improvement Area (WBIA), the festival will boast Toronto’s newly renovated waterfront as a premier location for leisure, entertainment and commerce. “The overall goal is to continue to connect people to Toronto’s waterfront and showcase all of the great things we have to offer,” says Kevin Currie, chair of the WBIA. 70

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“We want to really highlight the fact that there’s so much going on here all year round. Whether it’s sailing, arts, culture, theatre or just plain old good restaurants, the waterfront is unique to the city.” Arts and culture will be a primary aspect at this year’s festival. The Party on the Promenade will take place throughout the June weekend to celebrate the end of construction along the waterfront and Queens Quay area. Nancy Gavin, president of Water’s Edge Festivals & Events, expresses her excitement on the newly refurbished promenade and how the wait has finally come to an end. “What I’m most excited about is the opening of the new promenade along the Queens Quay,” she says, “and we’re calling it the Party on the Promenade because after three years of construction, through Waterfront Toronto, it’s all going to be open now.” Gavin believes that Torontonians will be happy to have the promenade open once again. “I think

everyone is looking forward to having the street open to the general public.” The party will include pop-up entertainment pods of live music and dance, with former So You Think You Can Dance contestant and Mississauga native Blake McGrath performing on June 19 at HTO Park. The Party on the Promenade will also consist of Art in the Park, waterfront lifestyle activities and professional buskers from Bay to Spadina streets. There will also be a Waterfront Artisan www.citylifemagazine.ca

PHOTOS 1 AND 3 COURTESY OF SAMBA ELÉGUA PERCUSSION BAND; PHOTO 2, COURTESY OF THE WATERFRONT BIA; PHOTO 4, COURTESY OF STACEY RENEE; PHOTO 5, COURTESY OF CANOE TORONTO; PHOTO 6, COURTESY OF ALAKAZAM; PHOTO 7, COURTESY OF SHADOWLAND THEATRE; PHOTO 8, COURTESY OF TORONTO ISLAND SUP

Written By Daniel Calabretta


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Market highlighting the works of local designers, chefs and bakers taking place at HTO Park East and Queens Quay Boulevard. The Toronto-based Samba Elégua percussion group is another “can’t miss” performance. “The Redpath Waterfront Festival, taking place at HTO Park East, Sugar Beach, Sherbourne Common South and Queens Quay Boulevard, is open to everybody and I think everyone will find interest in it too,” says Gavin. towaterfrontfest.com www.citylifemagazine.ca

1. A member of Samba Elégua gazes on as she creates musical joy inspired from the Rio tradition of bateria 2. After three years of construction, the newly refurbished promenade walkway is finally open. Featuring the curving Simcoe WaveDeck, the area is a great place to take in the views of Toronto’s Harbourfront 3. The explosive and high-energy Toronto-based percussion group Samba Elégua will rock from Sherbourne Common to HTO Park East as part of the Waterfront Community People’s Parade. Their creative and exhilarating rhythmic beats will have you dancing and chanting 4. Party on the Promenade will showcase the sweet sounds of professional musicians and buskers 5. Canoe Toronto will offer canoe rides to guests of the festival at HTO Park 6. The Waterfront Artisan Market grants visitors an opportunity to purchase handmade crafts, housewares and one-of-a-kind gifts 7. The ways in which he can contort his body will leave you speechless. International performance athlete Alakazam will be one of many featured artists at the three-day-long festival 8. (Stilting Heron) Shadowland Theatre will lead the Community Waterfront Parade from Sherbourne Common to HTO Park East 9. Surfing and stand-up paddle boarding are only two of the many aquatic activities to take in at this year’s festival

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LOCAL TRAVEL 1 The blackhouse at Landman Gardens & Bakery hosts regular dinners for an alternative, homemade culinary experience

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ROAD TRIP: HEADWATERS, ONTARIO City Life treks to one of Ontario’s charming hidden gems for fresh air and local fare Written By Amanda Storey

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You’re going to Caledon for a weekend? Why?” I was asked this question multiple times prior to my two-day adventure in Headwaters, Ont., the area made up by Caledon, Dufferin County, Mono, Shelburne and Erin. You’ve probably heard of (or passed through) this ultra-rural corner of the world just northwest of Toronto, and you might have caught wind that the area’s been labelled as more of an ideal place to retire rather than a perfect road-tripping destination. Ignore those claims because as it turns out, Headwaters is an unexpected haven of all kinds of fun. The area recently gained attention for being the host of the Toronto 2015 Pan American Games’ equestrian events this summer, and riding on the wave of this newfound fame, Headwaters has totally rebranded itself. Now identifying as a 72

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quick and easy getaway for city dwellers who want to escape the smog without really leaving home, Caledon, Dufferin County, Mono, Shelburne and Erin are opening up their formerly hidden arts and culinary scenes to those passersby who never knew there was really anything to do there. Which, admittedly, was most of us. Funnily enough, nothing has really changed in Headwaters. It’s still the same pocket of serenity that it’s always been, only now it’s finally decided to tap into its potential as one of Ontario’s jewels. Bubbling with quaint bed-and-breakfasts, a professional theatre company, a plethora of rustic art studios, flying lessons, horseback rides and organic, family-run farms, Headwaters is a place to catch your breath before promptly losing it again — in a good way. My first adventure on Headwaters soil is a trek out to the www.citylifemagazine.ca

PHOTOS COURTESY OF HEADWATERS TOURISM

The Headwaters Parade of Horses is an art installation on-site at the Equestrian Park made up of more than 25 life-size fibreglass horses


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Caledon Pan Am Equestrian Park. Revamped specially for the Games, the place is as beautiful as it is impressive. Though I don’t speak equestrian, by the sounds of it this facility is going to blow away the international newcomers with its wide-open spaces, top-of-the-line tech, beautiful architecture and an overall better-quality environment than what most athletes are used to. Toward the tail-end of my tour I’m pleasantly surprised by the unveiling of the Headwaters Parade of Horses, an art installation on-site at the Equestrian Park made up of more than 25 life-size fibreglass horses, each one uniquely painted by a local artist. The next item on my trip’s agenda is a stop at Plant Paradise Country Gardens, whose name says it all. Nestled in the trees, this place is actually the home of folk musicians Lorraine and Rob Roberts, who in recent years concentrated their passion for plants into a full-on profession. The large property is dotted with gardens bursting with blooms that Lorraine planted herself and can name like they’re her own kids. The Roberts’ story — the one about a city-dwelling couple who escapes the smog by moving north to savour a more rural life — is one shared by tons of other Headwaters folks. Some wealthier downtowners, I find out, even relocate to Headwaters, buy some farmland and rent it out to farmers who can’t afford to buy their own space. The perk: this friendly transaction saves the landowners property tax. After helping Lorraine pot a day lily (and impressing myself by actually doing it somewhat correctly), I’m off to Heatherlea Farm Market, a family-run farm that seems to have been stolen right out of a western romance novel. A tour of the cattle barn and the on-site market shop shows me how truly “farm-to-plate” the place is. During a cooking lesson in the farm’s commercial kitchen, I’m taught how to prep Angus beef sliders using meat from the farm, and when I settle down with the meal at an outdoor lunch table decked with burlap and lace, Mason jars and fresh flowers, I enjoy it with good stuff like pickles, tomatoes and desserts sourced from other nearby farms. Local love is a common theme I find throughout my two-day stay in Headwaters, which also ushers me into a jewelry-making class, a candlelit dinner at Hockley Valley Resort and a side-splitting play at Theatre Orangeville. The people who live here love what they do, whether it’s glassblowing, horseback riding, music-making or goat farming, and there’s a family-like support that exists between neighbours. My stay in Headwaters is wrapped up with a surprise lunch at another family-run farm, Landman Gardens & Bakery. Nestled in the Landmans’ front yard is a blackhouse – a cosy stone hut designed after the traditional type of house that was popular in Scotland back in the day. We tuck in for a quaint brunch inside the fairytale-worthy hovel, where we’re served three courses of scrumptious homemade everything.

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HEADWATERS IS A PLACE TO CATCH YOUR BREATH BEFORE PROMPTLY LOSING IT AGAIN — IN A GOOD WAY

www.citylifemagazine.ca

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1. The Caledon Pan Am Equestrian Park was revamped specially for Pan Am Games 2. Headwaters is dotted with ample family-run farms, bakeries and other institutions, emphasizing its love for local goods 3. A peek inside the blackhouse at Landman Gardens & Bakery 4. Blacksmithing, glass-blowing and jewelry-making are just a few of the unique and creative activities offered in Headwaters 5. Plant Paradise Country Gardens is one of many spots to soak in some local vegetation 6. Visitors to Headwaters can seize the rare opportunity to see what goes on behind the scenes at Ontario’s local farms 7. Headwaters has the highest elevation in Ontario, making it a fresh and beautiful environment for farms

I’m happy to hear that the farm hosts lunches and dinners in here on the regular for those foodies who want a “different” celebratory dining experience. The Headwaters team sends me off with an old-fashioned basket stuffed with local goodies, from a berry pie baked by the mayor of Erin herself (yes, really) to a Mason jar full of manure (yes, really), making me wish I could spend just a bit more time here, in the crisp air and clean scenery at the highest elevation in Ontario. Thankfully, though, I’m leaving not just with a bucketload of rural treats, but also with a long list of ideas on what I’ll do next time I visit — which will definitely be soon. www.headwaters.ca June/July 2015

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chef adventure

Left: Certified chef de cuisine Domenic Colacci is the mastermind behind the ever-evolving menu of Trimani Ristorante Right: Robert De Zorzi, owner of Trimani and a near 40-year veteran of the restaurant industry

SIMPLY PREPARED, PERFECTLY EXECUTED How an uncomplicated strategy of friendly service and simple, balanced dishes has made Trimani Ristorante a jewel of Vaughan for the past 15 years Written By Michael Hill

R

obert De Zorzi makes it his mission to learn the name of every customer that dines at his Vaughan restaurant, Trimani Ristorante. He greets them when they enter, he takes their orders and he makes sure to thank them when they leave. It’s all part of the personable service he believes is at the heart of a great restaurant experience. “This is like my house,” says De Zorzi, owner of Trimani, who started in the business when he was 14. “So if somebody’s coming in to spend their hard-earned money in my place I have to treat them with respect.” De Zorzi knows that in a restaurantrich city like Vaughan a successful establishment needs to be different and consistent. Whether it’s the live music,

the perfectly chilled wine from their newly installed wine fridge or the menu that changes with the season, it must be a unique and welcoming experience. And that attitude has helped make Trimani a go-to for lunch, dinner and event catering for over 15 years. Last October, De Zorzi brought in certified chef de cuisine Domenic Colacci to help elevate Trimani’s offerings. Trained in Germany and Switzerland, Colacci has a globetrotting pedigree that’s exposed his palate to the flavours of Australia, Italy, Thailand, Mexico, the U.S. and Canada, and developed an understanding of what makes a great dish. De Zorzi explains that “I can give Dom anything and he’ll make it work.” Colacci cooks European-style,

applying old-world influences to the top-quality North American ingredients that are brought in fresh daily. Recipes, he says, should be simple, allowing the flavours to blossom through a balanced combination. He recalls when he learned how to make true Neapolitan-style pizza in New York. The pizza chef used a volcanic-stone stove from the 1920s and very few ingredients — dough, sauce, olive oil, a bit of buffalo mozzarella. It was minimal, but outstanding. And that’s the same philosophy Colacci applies to Trimani. “We like to keep things simply prepared, but executed properly. That’s what creates, I would say, a fullrounded, perfect dish,” he says. “It’s the balance of flavours that makes it exceptional.”

Unique and Welcoming

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PHOTOS BY SAL PASQUA

WHILE TRIMANI IS OPEN DAILY for lunch and Friday and Saturday evenings for dinner, its spacious dining room can comfortably seat up to 70 guests for private functions. A recently installed wine fridge also keeps bottles from an extensive wine list perfectly chilled for pairing with meals. If there’s a special bottle or vintage you like, call ahead and De Zorzi will bring it in www.citylifemagazine.ca


chef adventure

PERONI-MARINATED BEEF TENDERLOIN BBQ SAUCE

Ingredients 1 ½ 1 ½

piece 12-oz. beef tenderloin bottle Peroni beer tsp. chopped fresh herbs (rosemary, thyme, parsley) tsp. cracked black peppercorns Kosher salt

1 clove chopped garlic 1 slice of each type of heirloom tomato (your favourites) 1 oz. baby arugula 1 tsp. red wine vinegar 1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

Method 1 Marinate tenderloin with beer, garlic, herbs and black pepper for about 2 hours. 2 Remove from marinade. 3 Season with salt while searing all over on high heat on BBQ. 4 Turn down BBQ to medium and brush meat with BBQ sauce occasionally. Cook to desired doneness, about 12-15 minutes. 5 Allow to rest, 7-8 minutes. 6 Slice tomatoes, season with salt and olive oil, and grill. 7 Make arugula salad. 8 Arrange on platter.

Ingredients ½ 2 ⅓ ½ ½

bottle Peroni beer reduced by ⅔ tbsp. brown sugar cup ketchup tsp. Tabasco chipotle sauce tsp. tomato paste

Method Place all ingredients in pot, reduce by ⅓, allow to cool.

“We like to keep things simply prepared, but executed properly. That’s what creates, I would say, a full-rounded, perfect dish. It’s the balance of flavours that makes it exceptional” — Domenic Colacci

www.citylifemagazine.ca

June/July 2015

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philanthropy

THE LONG ROAD TO HOPE

Through perseverance, determination and strength, a cancer fighter shares her story as she continues to walk for a cure You have cancer.” It’s probably the most terrifying phrase an individual will ever hear. Unfortunately, that message is relayed to more than 500 Canadians on a daily basis. To say that the path to defeating cancer is overwhelming would be a significant understatement. For Maria Luisa Bianchi, a thyroid cancer survivor, the keys to overcoming life-threatening illness (and a marathon) are hope and perseverance. “I’m sitting here at my desk right now and the first thing I see in front of me is a book that says the word ‘hope’ on it,” says Bianchi, an educational assistant at York Catholic District School Board. “That’s what keeps me going.” A tireless cancer fighter, Bianchi describes how the element of hope is what continues to drive her forward. “We need to be hopeful in everything that we do in life and not just in illness. It’s mind over matter.” Despite being cancer-free for 10 years, Bianchi, alongside her daughter, Alessia, 17, will be participating in the Shoppers Drug Mart OneWalk to Conquer Cancer benefiting the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre on September 15, 2015. The “Walking for a Cure in the Future with the PMCC” team will join the mother-daughter duo on the one-day, 25-kilometre walk through Toronto’s historical and cultural neighbourhoods near the waterfront. This isn’t Bianchi’s first charityrelated endeavour. In 2010, she took part in a walk supporting the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, traversing a distance of 32 km for an event that 76

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Maria Luisa Bianchi is in preparation mode for the upcoming OneWalk to Conquer Cancer benefiting the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre in September. Bianchi is also a committee member of the local Retro Gala — A Cure in the Future

“ WE NEED TO

BE HOPEFUL IN EVERYTHING THAT WE DO IN LIFE AND NOT JUST IN ILLNESS. IT’S MIND OVER MATTER

— Maria Luisa Bianchi

raised over $10 million for cancer research. Bianchi is also on the committee board of the annual Retro Gala – A Cure in the Future, which recently raised $500,000 for Princess Margaret’s research department. “The first time I walked was primarily for breast cancer and women’s cancers. [OneWalk to Conquer Cancer] got my attention because you can allocate your funds to a charity of your choice. You can choose to support lung cancer, breast cancer, gynecological cancer, testicular cancer … wherever you want.” Funds raised from OneWalk will benefit the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre and the development of its first in-hospital survivorship program. For over a decade, 50,000plus walkers have raised over $145 million through cancerwalk events for PMCC. With each participant responsible for raising a minimum of $1,500 individually or by joining a team to raise the amount collectively, this year’s OneWalk will continue to raise vital funds for one of the world’s leading cancer research centres. Reflecting on the support she’s received from her entire family over the years, Bianchi is both proud and emotional, especially when describing the first time she walked. “Their signs were up and they were rooting me on and everything else,” she says. “It was overwhelming. I broke down and started crying.” Bianchi will continue to have an unlimited amount of support from her family when she crosses the finish line this fall. www.onewalk.ca

www.citylifemagazine.ca

PHOTOS PROVIDED BY MARIA LUISA BIANCHI

Written By Daniel Calabretta


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June/July 2015

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People & Places A RUNDOWN OF LOCAL EVENTS LIGHTING UP THE CITY

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1. Stars Hair Salon staff and family with Vaughan mayor Maurizio Bevilacqua 2. Nael Hurmiz, Madeleine Scali, Sonia StrazzeriTammaro, Franca Carnovale, Teresa Fasciano and owner Thaer (John) Hurmiz 3. Thaer (John) Hurmiz, Maurizio Bevilacqua and Luna Munir

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STARS HAIR SALON GRAND OPENING — VAUGHAN

Over 100 people gathered at 7611 Pine Valley Dr. to celebrate the grand opening of Stars Hair Salon on May 24, 2015. After Vaughan’s mayor Maurizio Bevilacqua joined the festivities and ribbon-cutting, guests enjoyed a live DJ and an abundance of snacks and drinks to commemorate the occasion. www.starshairsalon.ca

MUCHO BURRITO’S NORTH VAUGHAN GRAND OPENING — VAUGHAN

PHOTOS COURTESY OF STARS HAIR SALON

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Feisty Mexican burrito chain Mucho Burrito celebrated the grand opening of its Weston Road and Major Mackenzie Drive location on April 18. Vaughan mayor Maurizio Bevilacqua and the location’s owners Domenic Tassone and his wife, Beverley, were on hand throughout the day, which consisted of great food and fun and a live DJ playing hip-swaying tunes. Guests in attendance took advantage of a $5 grand opening special and free giveaways such as flavourful hot sauces and other delicious foods. www.muchoburrito.com

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The ribbon-cutting ceremony for Mucho Burrito’s North Vaughan location drew in a crowd that included Vaughan mayor Maurizio Bevilacqua

GRAND OPENING OF THE ARCHERY GAME — VAUGHAN

Now Vaughan can tap into its inner Katniss Everdeen at The Archery Game, which opened in the heart of the city this past April. Over 200 people gathered to celebrate the occasion, many of whom took part in an actual round of the Game — which is essentially dodgeball, but with bows and foam-tipped arrows instead of balls — at a discounted price. www.thearcherygame.com 1. The Archery Game is like next-generation dodgeball, wherein players are armed with bows and arrows instead of balls 2. Vaughan residents can now enjoy an alternative option for getting fit and having fun 3. The new gym also provides an interesting venue for birthday parties and other events

TWEET US YOUR EVENT AT @CITYLIFETORONTO

For sponsorship inquiries, please email events@dolce.ca. For more events, please visit www.citylifemagazine.ca/people_places

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PHOTOS COURTESY OF THE ARCHERY GAME

PHOTO BY MARIO BALACEANU

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People & Places 1

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PHOTOS COURTESY OF MOST WANTED

MOST WANTED 2015 — VAUGHAN

One of Toronto’s most anticipated fashion events of the year returned for its ninth edition on May 7, 2015. Taking place at Eagles Nest Golf Club in Vaughan and hosted by The Social’s Melissa Grelo, the event spoiled guests with a champagne and dinner reception followed by a runway featuring the latest, “most wanted” styles from the likes of Harry Rosen, The Row, Chloé, Balmain, Alexander Wang and more. A whopping $150,000 was raised at the event, which will once again go toward Princess Margaret Cancer Centre’s Immune Therapy Program — the only one of its kind in Canada to conduct such groundbreaking women’s gynecological cancer research. www.mostwantedfashionevent.com

www.citylifemagazine.ca

1. Models at Most Wanted 2. Julian and Ashleigh DeGasperis 3. Lia Dolente and Raff Severino 4. Royal LePage’s Vivian Risi and guests 5. Most Wanted Committee

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People & Places 2

A five-course dinner, an open bar, a live auction and entertainment made this 10th annual dinner a memorable one. Held at Bellvue Manor on April 10, 2015, the event raised funds for the Olive Branch for Children’s programs that focus on HIV/AIDS prevention and care, early childhood education, food security and vulnerable children and women throughout Tanzania. www.theolivebranchforchildren.org 1. Enza Marzano-Pellegrini, Josie Bifolchi, Lidia Beros, Gina Palmerini and Sharmila Cappa 2. Deborah McCracken-Nangereke and guest 1

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INTEGRITY FITNESS CELEBRATES 10TH ANNIVERSARY — VAUGHAN In celebration of its 10th anniversary, Integrity Fitness is hosting a client appreciation day on June 13, 2015. Scheduled to be held outdoors at the Ciociaria Culture Centre at 7412 Kipling Ave. in Woodbridge, the event will treat guests to a barbecue, kids’ activities and entertainment. www.integrityfitness.ca

2

OPENING OF WARE MALCOMB ARCHITECTS’ NEW LOCATION — VAUGHAN

PHOTOS COURTESY OF WARE MALCOMB

Paul Walker founded Integrity Fitness a decade ago

Make-Up & Cosmetics

Portfolio Preparation

June/July 2015

Fine Arts

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Fashion Arts

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Sewing & Patternmaking

CEO Larry Armstrong, Mayor Bevilacqua and regional director Frank Di Roma

YORK REGION’S FIRST & LEADING FASHION ARTS & PORTFOLIO PREP SCHOOL, FOR OVER 16 SUCCESSFUL YEARS Fashion & Art Shows

About 100 people gathered to celebrate the opening of Ware Malcomb Architects’ new location at 180 Bass Pro Mills Dr., Unit 103, the first Canadian instalment of the full-service architecture firm, which offers interior design, planning, branding, civil engineering and architecture services. Catered by Autostrada and with live music by Nick Lucchese, there was plenty to enjoy at the event, which also featured a Steam Whistle truck, a wine station and a dessert station by We Bake in Heels. The opening took place in the wake of a big win for the new office, which was recently awarded the NAIOP Industrial Development of the Year award for the project they completed for Adidas Canada. www.waremalcomb.com

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PHOTO BY SAL PASQUA

THE OLIVE BRANCH FOR CHILDREN’S 10TH ANNUAL FUNDRAISING DINNER — VAUGHAN

PHOTOS COURTESY OF THE OLIVE BRANCH FOR CHILDREN

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PHOTOS COURTESY OF THE GENNUSO FAMILY

WALK WITH LUCA — STOUFFVILLE

A year has passed since 21-month-old Luca Gennuso nearly drowned in his family’s unfinished pool. Though he was pulled out almost immediately, it took doctors 27 minutes to revive him, and the near half-hour of oxygen deprivation left him with severe damage in the parts of the brain that control movement and coordination. With the love and support of his parents and the help of medical professionals, against all odds Luca survived the trauma. One year later, Luca is now a two-year-old but is very much like a newborn, says his mother, Laura. He can slowly eat by mouth, see and hear, but he can’t walk yet. His family spends around $2,000 weekly on his treatments. On May 31, 2015, the inaugural Walk with Luca took place at Memorial Park in Stouffville. Over 300 people were in attendance, and the amount raised was split between the Gennuso family and Brain Injury Canada. To donate, visit www.lucaswilltolive.com 1. Luca’s family spends about $2,000 a week on his treatments 2. On May 31, friends of the Gennuso family hosted Walk with Luca to raise funds for him and Brain Injury Canada

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People & Places

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At an intimate dinner on May 19, 2015, Swiss watch manufacturer Breitling presented the Wayne Gretzky Foundation with a donation of $99,000. The sports icon accepted the gift on behalf of the foundation, which provides less fortunate youth with the opportunity to experience hockey. The donation came from a portion of the sales of Chronomat GMT Wayne Gretzky Limited Edition timepieces, a series of 99 watches honouring the famous jersey number of the “Great One.” www.breitling.com

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1. Ted Schneider on behalf of Breitling Canada presents Wayne Gretzky with a cheque for $99,000 2. Matteo Mattei, Mariana Tosic and Wayne Gretzky 3. Wayne Gretzky, Ted Schneider and Jeremy and Jonathan Epp from Independent Jewellers

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PHOTOS BY GEORGE PIMENTEL

The Fairmont Royal York Hotel felt like Gatsby’s mansion on April 18, 2015, as the 20th annual Starlight Children’s Foundation Canada Gala — themed “Roaring ’20s” — took over its premises. Over 700 guests donned their best ’20s attire and marvelled at the luxe décor and fabulous performances by Juno Award winner Divine Brown and Belluscious. ET Canada co-host Rick Campanelli returned to host this year’s event, which raised $500,000 for the foundation. www.starlightcanada.org

City Life Magazine

Even the event’s coordinators were amazed at the $13,320 raised through the bake sale and other festivities at the event

18TH ANNUAL BUTTERFLY BALL 2015 — TORONTO

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Boost Child & Youth Advocacy Centre held its 18th annual fundraising gala, the Butterfly Ball, on May 28 at the Four Seasons Hotel in Toronto, raising a record-breaking $425,000 in support of helping children, youth and their families who have experienced abuse or violence. With over 400 guests in attendance, including honorary chair Suzanne Rogers, the event was a sold-out success. boostforkids.org

PHOTOS COURTESY OF BUTTERFLY BALL

20TH ANNUAL STARLIGHT CHILDREN’S FOUNDATION CANADA GALA — TORONTO

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Children’s fashion boutique Trendy Bambini hosted Toronto Bakes for Nepal, a fundraising event in support of the Nepal crisis, which took over 8,000 lives and left 600,000 people homeless. Planned by Candice Pirali, owner of Trendy Bambini and its new sister store Shaye Collezioni, alongside Louise Lu and Gita Khanal, the outdoor event raised $13,320 that will benefit Samaritan’s Purse, Care Canada and Red Cross. www.trendybambini.com

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1. Mark and Leah Watkin 2. Juno Award winner Divine Brown 3. Rick Campanelli with Starlight child Emily 4. Patrick Lefrancois, Ghyslain “Stretch” Gagne, Trevor Dicaire, Brian Bringolf, Jeannie O’Regan, Phil Caplan and Sheldon Davis 5. Suzanne Rogers

PHOTOS COURTESY OF BREITLING

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PHOTOS COURTESY OF TRENDY BAMBINI

TORONTO BAKES FOR NEPAL — TORONTO

BREITLING CANADA DONATES $99,000 TO WAYNE GRETZKY FOUNDATION — TORONTO

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KING OF THE MOUNTAIN — 100-KM GIRO 2015

Near the end of the 100-kilometre Giro route, ardent cyclists reached the daunting Strawberry Hill Trail on Weston Road, just north of 16th Side Road. With a sensor at the bottom and top of the intimidating incline and chips attached to each bike, the amount of time it took each rider to get over the hill was tracked and recorded for the King of the Mountain title. Best-time participants included Steve Gobbatto and Lisa Carr, who came in 17th place. NAME

PHOTOS BY SAL PASQUA

VILLA CHARITIES’ 8TH ANNUAL GIRO — VAUGHAN

Villa Charities hosted its 8th annual Giro event on May 24, 2015. This year saw its biggest turnout yet as 260 cyclists participated in the challenge, which gave participants the option of taking part in a 60-kilometre or 100-km ride. The first seven Giro events have raised $700,000 in support of Villa Charities’ efforts in improving the lives of Italian-Canadian seniors in and around Toronto. www.villacharities.com 1. Team Bomanite 2. The start of the ride 3. Gino Reda 4. Giro volunteers 5. Tanja Lis and Joey Papa from California Sandwiches 6. The Dolce Magazine Team 7. Frank Ciccolini Jr., right, with Marco Guglietti, who received the coveted Maglia Rosa for the top fundraising team

TIME

1. Steve Gobbatto 2. Andrew Iacobelli 3. Livio Agneletto 4. David Ford 5. Marco Redigonda 6. Marco Di Battista 7. Fernando Tito 8. Emilio Tesolin 9. Dave Jeffries 10. Augy Marmello 11. Enzo Iafrate 12. Sandro Scarsellone 13. Rob Colleli 14. Domenic Reda 15. Joey Papa

1:50.8 1:51.2 1:59.7 2:01.1 2:03.9 2:06.1 2:11.1 2:14.9 2:17.9 2:19.4 2:22.0 2:24.1 2:33.5 2:35.2 2:36.6

For the full list, please visit www.citylifemagazine.ca

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1. Daniela DeGasperis and Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders 2. Angela Palmieri-Zerillo, Jenn Kuzuian and Sabrina Tokmakjian 3. Ani and Dino D’Amato 4. Sylvia and Koko Aghamanoukian

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June/July 2015

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author

Colette Lafia first met Brother René in 2002 during a retreat to the Abbey of Gethsemani monastery. The two became pen pals for years, forging a long-lasting friendship rooted in spirituality

SEEKING SURRENDER

Author Colette Lafia tells us how the one thing we’re missing is what we’ve spent our whole lives trying to avoid: surrender Written By Amanda Storey

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any of us think of the act of surrender as giving ourselves up to something negative — letting the enemy win. But according to Colette Lafia, a San Francisco-based writer, spiritual director, blogger and part-time librarian, it’s the opposite. “I see surrender as something active, not passive,” says Lafia, who just released her second book, Seeking Surrender: How My Friendship with a Trappist Monk Taught Me to Trust and Embrace Life, this spring. “Surrender is not about shrugging your shoulders and feeling defeated. It’s about learning to be the receiver of life, rather than trying to control life.” Even chatting with her through email, Lafia emanates zen. But she’s had a lot of practice with written words — in fact, her spiritual journey of surrender began with a pen pal. His name was Brother René. Lafia first met him in 2002 when she and her husband trekked out to the Abbey of Gethsemani, where they’d been advised to stay for a while after weathering a very challenging season of their lives. Lafia had been struggling with the death of her sister from cancer, her husband’s business challenges and infertility, and 84

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following a friend’s suggestion, the couple set out for the monastery. Brother René was working at the hospitality desk when they arrived. “At one point, I spontaneously asked him if he was ever lonely,” recalls Lafia. “That question, and his subsequent reply, was the beginning of our unlikely friendship.” The trip to the Abbey of Gethsemani had been a turning point for Lafia. Once she and her husband returned home, she decided to keep in touch with Brother René, with whom she’d sparked an instant friendship. She typed out a letter and mailed it to the monastery, not sure of what to expect in return. A week later she received his handwritten response — and the rest is history. Lafia and Brother René continued their conversation for years, always via letters. The friendship allowed Lafia to come to realize there was a spiritual aspect to the acceptance she needed in her life, which was called “surrender.” “Over time, with the help of Brother René’s wisdom, I understood I was on the path of surrender,” says the author. “I just needed to have faith in it, embrace it and learn how to live it.” This was no easy task. Human

instincts have us in a constant debate between fight and flight, so to accept a completely alternate option — to surrender — may seem impossible at first. But like all important skills, raising this white flag takes patience and practice. The inability to surrender is a downfall that just about every North American adult is subject to, and that’s why Lafia created Seeking Surrender — to help free those of us who are locked in our phones, in our workdays, in our long lists of setbacks. “I can surrender into my day, into my relationships, into my work and into how I feel — or I can spend my day in resistance, holding back and wanting things to be different,” says Lafia. “I can surrender into my marriage and appreciate my spouse for his gifts, or I can keep trying to change certain habits of his that I wish I could change. Even when I’m in a grocery store line, I can surrender and relax, or become agitated and impatient. Every moment is an opportunity to choose surrender.” It may sound like a scary science, perhaps too big for the average spirit to swallow, but Lafia’s story speaks a language that will resonate with any reader. Lafia has filled every page with mind-blowing advice that will flip perspectives like a light switch, all extracted from her own learnings and experiences. The interesting thing about Seeking Surrender is that in the five years Lafia took to compose it, she was discovering surrender herself. The lessons taught in the book, she says, weren’t things she’d already known and then decided to write about. The act of writing the book was part of her journey towards surrender — which is why the contents feel so real, human and relatable to readers. It’s like Lafia is both the student and the teacher, learning with the reader as they flip each page. “They say that you write what you need to learn, and in this case, it was definitely true,” says Lafia, who’s considering writing a third book about tapping into the immense subject of love. “Now I know how to practise surrender — to release, let go and yield.” www.colettelafia.com www.citylifemagazine.ca


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City Life Magazine — June/July 2015  

Featuring Sebastian Giovinco, Cristine Prosperi, Toronto Condos, Lexus NX 200t, Acura TLX, Julian Fantino, Pan Am Games, Fashion and much mo...

City Life Magazine — June/July 2015  

Featuring Sebastian Giovinco, Cristine Prosperi, Toronto Condos, Lexus NX 200t, Acura TLX, Julian Fantino, Pan Am Games, Fashion and much mo...

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