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City Life Magazine Aug/Sept 2013



Aug/Sept 2013 Volume 11 Issue 4

ON THE COVER 28 Role Model: Stacey McKenzie teaches the value of persistence and self-acceptance in a world ruled by pre-defined beauty


Role Model


Naked AAmbition biti Sky Cranes and Electric Brains


Yonge + Rich Ri h

FEATURES 18 Viva Las Vaughan: What does the prospect of a casino coming to Vaughan say about the city? 22 Being Canadian: Robert Cohen journeys to the heart of Canadianism in his new documentary 44 Naked Ambition: Italian TV and film star Walter Nudo bares all in this revealing Q&A 64 10 Years of City Life: We celebrate our 10th anniversary with memorable interviews and why there’s no better time than now to love Vaughan ENTERTAINMENT 24 Behind the Scenes of TIFF: Select TIFF programmers reminisce about the highlights and controversies that make Canada’s most prestigious film festival such a hit 48 Easy Ryder: Canadian songstress Serena Ryder finds harmony in the biggest album of her career INNOVATION & TECHNOLOGY 60 Ideacity: Toronto’s annual “premiere meeting of the minds” boasts a bevy of world-changing ideas FOOD AND DRINK 32 Lunch on the Cheap: Don’t break the bank — these Vaughan locales serve up satisfying midday meals all for less than a 10-spot


Viva Las Vaughan

REAL ESTATE 52 Yonge + Rich: A downtown condo that defines the sophisticated lifestyle of Toronto “urbanity” BEAUTY 40 Minute Multitaskers: These multipurpose products will get you out the door in no time HEALTH 56 Losing Patience: Those in need of an organ transplant endure an excruciatingly lengthy wait, but it doesn’t have to be so — and you can help TRAVEL 58 Life Above the Clouds: Guest editor Adam Shepard ditches stability for an existential adventure into the unknown AUTOMOTIVE 11 Porsche World Roadshow 2013: German engineering hits the track at the Canadian Tire Motorsport Park IN EVERY ISSUE 8 Publisher’s Note 10 Editor’s Note 12 People & Places


Easy Ryder


Being Canadian 6 City Life Magazine Aug/Sept 2013


32 Beauty

Lunch on the Cheap

SAVE THE TAX on all KitchenAid appliances

SAVE THE TAX on all Jenn-Air appliances

City Life Magazine Aug/Sept 2013


PUBLISHER’S NOTE “Real glamour and beauty is not just mascara, Chanel No. 5 perfume and perfect lip gloss — it’s being a role model, being beautiful on the inside and caring more about others than you do yourself” — Sophia Bush




fter 10 years of publishing, the No. 1 question people ask us is what makes a cover story. As easy as it may seem to answer this question, it’s actually quite difficult. Perhaps the simplest response is to say that we’re always looking to highlight the good in people. We learned early on that as publishers we hold an important responsibility to bring stories that would somehow inspire our readers. Given that this issue celebrates our 10-year anniversary, and we’ve often been told that our publications are beautiful, we wanted to have on our cover someone who in our eyes is the definition of real beauty: supermodel Stacey McKenzie. My heart shivers when I recall the details that McKenzie so bravely shares in her story on page 28 of how her mother pretended that she was a doll in order to shield her from the hurtful words others directed at her. What pain this woman and her child must have endured in Jamaica and after moving to Canada. What gives us the right to judge people by their looks or decide whether they are beautiful or not? The first time I saw Stacey was at Fashion Week, and although I had not met her, I was so touched by her vibrant personality. When I heard about her Walk This Way Workshops Camp, I was impressed — her courage, beauty and compassion to teach girls to believe in themselves and accept their individual beauty was beyond inspiring. For beauty is not merely a physical state, it’s about character and being a role model. Anything less would be just like a beautiful bird with no voice. We hope you enjoy this anniversary issue and celebrate with us the true beauty of life!

Michelle Zerillo-Sosa Publisher/Editor-In-Chief


Become a Guest Editor City Life Magazine strives to uncover insights from professionals, published authors and qualified experts on a variety of lifestyle subjects that will heighten our readers’ lives. If you have a story you’d like to share with our extensive readership, we’d like to hear from you. To become a Guest Editor in one of our upcoming issues, please contact with your name and a topic of discussion. All submissions are subject to editorial consideration.

8 City Life Magazine Aug/Sept 2013

PUBLISHER / EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Michelle Zerillo-Sosa • MANAGING EDITOR Simona Panetta • DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS Angela Palmieri-Zerillo ART D E PARTM E NT CO-FOUNDER/CREATIVE DIRECTOR Fernando Zerillo • INTERACTIVE ART DIRECTOR Nan Chen WEB PROJECT MANAGER Steve Bruno GRAPHIC DESIGNERS Marianna Osko, Luay Saig E D ITO R IAL D E PARTM E NT COPY EDITOR Simona Panetta FASHION & HOME DECOR EDITOR Michelle Zerillo-Sosa BEAUTY & TRAVEL EDITOR Angela Palmieri-Zerillo PROOFREADERS The Editing Company, Toronto; Simona Panetta SENIOR WRITERS Michael Hill, Simona Panetta CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Rosanna Bonura, Rick Mueller, Adam Shepard, Amanda Storey INTERNS Rebecca Alberico, Dina Qahwaji CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Gene Driskell, Jesse Milns, Valeria Mitsubata, Sal Pasqua, George Pimentel, Ivana Shepard, Christoph Strube VI D E O D E PARTM E NT VIDEOGRAPHER & EDITOR William Lem REPORTER Amanda Storey PRODUCTION ASSISTANT Sal Pasqua PUBLISHER

ADVERTISING T: 905-264-6789 DIRECTOR OF NEW BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT Susan Bhatia • DIRECTOR OF MARKETING Angela Palmieri-Zerillo • ACCOUNT MANAGER Mario Balaceanu FRONT COVER Stacey McKenzie Photo By Christoph Strube / Makeup and Hair By Paul Venoit Wardrobe Styling: Tiffany Briseno/ Dress: Arthur Mendonça

City Life Magazine • Volume 11 • Issue 4 • Aug/Sept 2013 City Life Magazine is published bimonthly by Dolce Publishing Inc. 111 Zenway Blvd., Unit 30, Vaughan, Ont. L4H 3H9 T: 905-264-6789 • F: 905-264-3787 • Subscribe online at or by calling 905-264-6789. City Life’s yearly subscription fee is $13.80. We accept Visa, MC & AMEX. Send cheque or money order to Dolce Publishing Inc. 111 Zenway Blvd. #30, Vaughan, Ont. L4H 3H9. Publication Mail Agreement No. 40026675 Return Undeliverable Canadian Addresses to: Dolce Publishing Inc., 111 Zenway Blvd., Suite 30, Vaughan, Ont. L4H 3H9 All rights reserved. Any reproduction is strictly prohibited without written consent from the publishers. DISTRIBUTION AND CIRCULATION City Life Magazine reaches 251,200+ readers per issue through household distribution, newsstand sales and event partnerships across Canada. Inquiries about where City Life Magazine is available for sale should be directed to Disticor Magazine Distribution Services: 905-619-6565 ISSN 1206-1778 Next Issue: Oct/Nov 2013 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 Publishing Inc. 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 17 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.

©2013 Dolce Publishing Inc. • Printed in Canada Follow us @citylifetoronto

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Photo By Jesse Milns






he last decade has marked momentous changes in Vaughan — an influx in population, a rollout of mayors, a rise in infrastructure, Simona Panetta, Managing Editor a tornado (!) and more — it’s been a heckova ride. And we’re glad to have been part of it all. From the smallest of local business owners and international celebrities, to local philanthropy and lifestyle advice, we continue to capture history while inspiring the future. Despite worrisome industry trends threatening to topple print publishing, we are thankful to celebrate this milestone with our supportive readers. It’s been a journey of a million words, of exciting photo shoots and interviews, endless days and the brightest nights in putting it all together. But our ink has yet to run out. Welcome to City Life Magazine’s 10-year anniversary issue. Here’s to another 10.

Simona Panetta Managing Editor

GUEST EDITOR ADAM SHEPARD GUEST TRAVEL EDITOR Is spending a year abroad experiencing the heart-pumping and heart-breaking realities of a world outside our own a waste of time? Adam Shepard doesn’t think so. In “Life Above the Clouds” (page 58), Shepard shreds the stability myth swirling around the safe, routine nineto-five grind, and demonstrates why, whether seated across the table at a job interview or reminiscing about his year-long adventure across 17 countries 50 years down the road, he’ll do so with confidence, pride and no regrets.

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VIPs, Porsche World Roadshow team members and employees of Downtown Fine Cars Auto Group gather around a 911 Carrera S Cabriolet


A Boxster convertible

Aldo Di Felice, a VIP at this year’s event Three Panameras charge down a straight Two Panameras and a Cayenne take a corner

Fernando Zerillo (left), creative director of City Life Magazine, and his instructor Stef (right)

A Boxster S

A drifting 911 C2S Coupe

From left to right: Kees, Stef, Mike and Nick — the Porsche factory drivers

Drivers test the off-road capabilities of the Cayenne

A lesson from a factory driver

Derek Oberndorfer (left) shows off his award for the fastest time through the slalom challenge with his instructor Mike (right)

Joe Lawrence, CEO of Porsche Cars Canada, welcomes guests

A 911 C2 Coupe

Raffi Tokmakjian, president of Tokmakjian Group


he Canadian Tire Motorsport Park was alive with the roar of German engineering on May 30, 2013, as the Porsche World Roadshow rolled onto the scene. This exclusive event, which only comes to Canada every two years, gave VIPs the opportunity to experience the full capabilities of Porsche’s lineup. Downtown Fine Cars Auto Group hosted the day at the Bowmanville, Ont., racetrack, putting current Porsche owners and auto aficionados behind the wheel of the German brand’s range of performance vehicles. For many, this was a rare opportunity to push these vehicles to their limit in a controlled track setting. Over 20 imported Porsches — Euro plates and all — made up the roster of cars. From finely tuned performance machines like the flagship rearengine 911, which also celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, and the Boxster-derived Cayman, to the large, utilitarian Cayenne and luxurious fourdoor Panamera, there were plenty of iterations to test. Guests were teamed with Porsche factory drivers to assist with performance trials and to provide handling tips. After a day of on- and off-road racing, VIPs rode shotgun while their instructors demonstrated how, when in the hands of a real pro, these stallions can dance. Much rubber went up in smoke throughout this display of power and agility, followed by many smiles and newfound elation for the celebrated German company. City Life Magazine Aug/Sept 2013


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1a. Angela McKinnon, Kim Shaughnessy, Heather Wink and Alice Chan

1. THE BPW’S 18TH ANNUAL GOLF TOURNAMENT On June 13, the Business and Professional Women’s Club of Brampton held its 18th annual Ladies Charity Golf Tournament at the Caledon Country Club. Over $14,000 was raised, including $5,000 donated by the Scotiabank Bright Future Program, to benefit various charitable organizations, including the Honeychurch Family Life Resource Centre and Walk With Me Canada Victim Services. 1b. Daniela Gatti and Pat Dowling

2a. SickKids Foundation director JP MacMillan, Rev It Up grand marshal Jillian Smith and the Rev It Up board directors: Joseph Manzoli, Alex Lombardi and Salvatore Oliveti

2. REV IT UP FOR SICKKIDS The second-ever Rev It Up For SickKids Motorcycle Rally took place on July 14, bringing together 65 big-hearted bikers to ride 165 scenic kilometres from Ride Motorcycles Toronto in Vaughan to Rusty’s at Blue Restaurant and Bar in Blue Mountain, all in support of cardiology at SickKids. This year’s event met its fundraising goal of $80,000.

3. MAYOR’S PRAYER BREAKFAST Mayor Dave Barrow of Richmond Hill held the 9th annual Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast at Le Parc Dining & Banquet Hall on Thursday, May 30. Guests at this year’s event savoured a delicious breakfast while listening to keynote speaker Cardinal Thomas Collins. The yearly meeting is a Christian celebration of prayer hosted for the community leaders serving Richmond Hill.

3a. Mayor Dave Barrow and Cardinal Thomas Collins

2b. John and Linda Simmen of corporate sponsor Visual Elements

3b. Major Dave Pearo, Mayor Dave Barrow, Cardinal Thomas Collins, Councillor Vito Spatafora, Mark Smith and Hiram Joseph

4. Constance Nobes of the Teresa Group; Nicci Stein, executive director of the Teresa Group; Steve Roy, event founder and stylist at SoloBace Salon; and Danielle Iversen of that PR thing

4. THE MANE EVENT The 16th annual Mane Event took place on Sunday, June 9, at the Schwarzkopf ASK Academy on John Street and at Lift Salon on Queen Street East. With stylists from SoloBace Salon, Mirror Mirror Salon, Salon Glamour and Lift Salon giving hair services and treatments to supporters, the event raised $25,000 for the Teresa Group’s programs assisting people affected by HIV and AIDS.

12 City Life Magazine Aug/Sept 2013

5. The Oskar Group at the groundbreaking of their latest project, Le Sedici Villette

5. LE SEDICI VILLETTE GROUNDBREAKING It was an exciting day for downtown Maple when the Oskar Group and Ashley Park Homes broke ground on Le Sedici Villette, their new townhouse development, on June 3. The Georgian-style residences, designed by Vincent Santamaura of SRN Architects Inc., will introduce timeless elegance and all the comforts of home to the corner of Keele and Killian streets.


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City Life Magazine Aug/Sept 2013


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WEB 6. Mariella Colucci and her team at Salon Halo & Spa

6. SALON HALO & SPA Mariella Colucci and the team at Salon Halo & Spa in Vaughan dedicated their Sunday, June 2, to giving free haircuts for a greater cause. The event raised $3,200 to renovate the recreational room in the children’s ward at North York General Hospital.

7a. From tough leather to delicate lace, Fall 2013’s black-and-white trend is an explosion of style

7. FOREVER 21 FALL 2013 PREVIEW The Forever 21 Fall 2013 Preview, hosted by ASC Public Relations Inc., was an explosion of prints, colours and twinkling gems. The popular line promises a treasure trove of fresh takes on classic trends like black and white, military and neon.

8. This year’s event raised a whopping $162,000 for the Meta Centre

7b. Bright, juicy gems are on the hot list for the new season

8. THE META FOUNDATION’S 12TH ANNUAL FAMILY WALK, RELAY AND RIDE In support of the Meta Centre, a non-profit organization benefiting adults and children with special needs, the Meta Foundation held its 12th annual Family Walk, Relay and Ride fundraiser on Sunday, June 23. Over 1,200 cyclists, relay runners, families and supporters made for a busy celebration that raised an amazing $162,000 for the cause.

7c. Underneath it all, bras are getting hotter with fierce and feminine accents

10a. Mario Calla, executive director of COSTI, and Damon Allen, host of the event

9c. Guests of all ages enjoy an evening of cultural celebration

9a. Liberty Entertainment Group’s president and CEO Nick Di Donato with wife Nadia, Liberty Group’s creative director

9b. Piazza Italia celebrates Italian heritage and its contribution to society

14 City Life Magazine Aug/Sept 2013

9. PIAZZA ITALIA On June 9, the Italian Chamber of Commerce of Ontario (ICCO) joined Liberty Entertainment Group and other Italian-Canadian organizations to host Piazza Italia, a re-creation of an Italian piazza at the Liberty Grand Entertainment Complex in Toronto. The event, which took place during Italian Heritage Month, celebrated the value of Italy’s cultural and commercial contributions and showcased the best in Italian culture, cuisine and entertainment.

10b. John Spina, vice-president of COSTI

10. COSTI 12TH ANNUAL GOLF TOURNAMENT COSTI Immigrant Services held its 12th annual Golf Tournament on June 18 at Glen Eagle Golf Course, hosted by Damon Allen. Over 100 golfers participated in this year’s tournament, and more than $20,000 was raised to support COSTI’s Art Therapy Program for Refugee Children as well as Connections, COSTI’s Youth At-Risk Program.



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11. Andrew Mizzoni, Lenny Mizzoni, Carlton the Bear and Evan Mackey

11. THE ANDREW MIZZONI CHARITY GOLF CLASSIC Nearly 200 people crowded at the Cardinal Golf Club in Newmarket for this year’s Andrew Mizzoni Charity Golf Classic on June 20. Almost $15,000 was raised during the afternoon, all in support of pediatric cancer research at SickKids Hospital. The event’s special guests included SickKids doctors and nurses, and the master of ceremonies was the electric Toronto Raptors announcer Herbie Kuhn.

12. James Battison, National Beach Volleyball Team, with Alan McFadyen, president of Yale Industrial Trucks Ontario Ltd.

12. HEATWAVE YORK FOR SICKKIDS BEACH VOLLEYBALL TOURNAMENT Twenty-two beach volleyball teams gathered at the Sports Village in Vaughan on Saturday, June 15, for the 8th annual Heatwave for SickKids Beach Volleyball Tournament. The event, started in 1995 at Ashbridge’s Bay Park in Toronto, has raised over $2.7 million for SickKids.

13a. Street Art Day was sponsored by Canada’s largest Benjamin Moore paint department store, Steeles Paint

13b. Artist Alejandro Piñero with one of his pint-sized helpers

13c. Kids of all ages got their creative juices flowing by chipping in

13. THE PUBLIC PAINT CANADIAN STREET ART DAY On July 20, Canadian artists Alejandro Piñero and Aelwynn Swanson presented all Torontonians with an opportunity to participate in the creation of an iconic mural near the base of Caledonia at Davenport Road. The theme of the current mural is meant to identify Canadian pride through the heroes and moments of hockey.

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14a. Douglas Eickmeier, Susan Eickmeier, Cherry Tabb and Dr. Sheldon Herzig

14b. Maurizio Bevilacqua, mayor of Vaughan, and Tina Tehranchian, McMichael trustee and event chair

14c. Bradley Walsh, Melani Chong, Franciska Veress, Shawny Campbell, Roger Moore, MT Meikle and Keyvan Foroughi

14. McMICHAEL MOONLIGHT GALA The McMichael Art Gallery in Kleinburg held its annual Moonlight Gala on June 8. Five hundred guests flocked to the renowned gallery in support of in-house programs offered to pique artistic interest in all ages. The event raised over $100,000 for the cause as guests enjoyed live entertainment from jazz singer Holly Cole and dinner prepared by chef Jamie Kennedy.

15. Front row, left to right: Nina Bertolo, Gabriela Caravaggio, Emily Grosso and Resi Covre; back row, left to right: Father Mark, Virginia Stirpe, Maria Pezzelli, Lesya Saverino, Sally Baldesarra, Maria Brussolo, Franca Luciano and Ede DiPede

15. CONSOLATA MISSIONARIES FASHION SHOW The 7th annual Consolata Missionaries Fashion Show took place on Wednesday, June 5, at Supreme Banquet and Conference Centre in Vaughan. Headed by Father Mark Bagnarol, Consolata Missionaries and 550 participants enjoyed an afternoon of fashion, food and entertainment while raising over $30,000 to support Consolata Missionaries’ various endeavours in Ethiopia, Tanzania and Mozambique. CORRECTION NOTICE: We would like to follow up “The V School” blurb in our June/July edition of People and Places with a few corrections: the Town of Kleinburg is not affiliated with this project; Pam is the one who volunteers her summers in Tanzania; and Enza Pellegrini and the Montessori School of Kleinburg have raised a total $7,000 for the cause so far. We express our sincere apologies to Enza and her fellow fundraisers for the mistake.

City Life Magazine Aug/Sept 2013




The possibility of a casino coming to Vaughan is very real — and it’s not something to be proud of Written By Michael Hill


aughan has done what Toronto refused to do. In the wee hours of the morning on May 29, city council voted 5-4 in favour of informing the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) of its interest in hosting a casino. Vaughan is now officially in the mix for OLG’s next temple to Lady Luck. That says plenty about how the city is changing — and not all of those changes paint the prettiest picture. This decision shouldn’t come as a surprise. Vaughan is a city on the rise with enough ego-boosting prospects to raise the Titanic. Numerous condo developments have their roots firmly planted, some already stretching skyward like steel and glass wildflowers; construction is underway on the colossal Metropolitan Centre, which will completely transform the city’s dynamic; the forthcoming Mackenzie Vaughan Hospital is warmly welcomed, even though construction won’t begin until 2015 at the earliest; and the extended Spadina subway line, a sure catalyst for economic influx, inches ever closer, tethering the heart of Vaughan to Toronto’s downtown core. Whether you like it or not, this aggressive modernization is transforming this once “sleepy suburb” into a magnet for commerce and big business. A new era is upon Vaughan, and a casino may just be another piece of that puzzle. But, wait! Not a “casino” — how foolish to suggest. It would be a “world-class cultural and entertainment district, which will include an integrated convention and trade centre,

18 City Life Magazine Aug/Sept 2013

five-star hotel and entertainment arts centre, including a gaming complex,” as the city’s website makes clear. “Gaming complex”? Filled with what, exactly? Felt-lined platforms of odds wagering? Lever-driven image aligners of possibilities? A euphemism this layered, this buried under dressedup language and lofty promises, should trigger alarms. The similarity to the linguistic showmanship that inundated Toronto during its casino courtship, where phrases like “integrated entertainment complex” were spun harder than a body-builder-operated roulette wheel, is apparent. Mayor Bevilacqua made it quite clear in a recent Toronto Star piece that “a stand-alone casino in the City of Vaughan would never be supported.” But there is no guarantee any of these promises will be delivered. Even if Vaughan is selected for the province’s next casino, the city is not the only player. Consensus between the OLG, a third-party casino developer (“gaming operators,” as current vernacular goes, like the Vegas big dogs that went after Toronto: MGM, Caesars Entertainment, etc.) and the city will need to be met before any building begins. Maybe the OLG and casino developer will back a hotel, but not a convention centre; maybe that hotel will be less than five-star. Concessions may need to be made to even get a little of what the city wants, and who knows how that will play out. Residents could see one of the oldest business tactics at work: if you want one thing, ask for five, then whittle them down until they agree to one; you



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get what you wanted from the beginning and the opposition the bottom of a bottle even though a Beer Store or LCBO is thinks they’ve won something. Beware of strangers bearing around the corner. gifts. Especially when they are packaged with this much OLG is also quick to remind us that money generated from grandeur: $32 million per year in hosting fees, $3 million in casinos helps to fund city projects like hospitals, downtown property taxes, 8,000-10,000 permanent jobs plus another revitalizations and community centres. “This is only part of 3,000 construction jobs during the casino’s building phase. the $36 billion OLG has contributed to Ontario since 1975,” How could any city pass that up? as the commercials go. Well, Toronto did. So did Markham. Mississauga stated There is a deeper moral dilemma than all that. What last year that it doesn’t have the land for it, and Richmond Vaughan should consider, just like any honest business owner, Hill hasn’t shown much enthusiasm. Perhaps they thought is the means by which it makes money. When it comes to the numbers were too good to be true. After all, Niagara Falls casinos, that means is never clean, especially in a growing did have to refund $16.4 million to city like Vaughan. There is nothing its two casinos after OLG won an reputable about using a casino eight-year property tax assessment to rake in additional millions in appeal back in February. There are no an already healthy economy, no guarantees in Casino Land, it seems. integrity in taking money under Even as neighbouring cities shut the the glitz-and-glam guise of false door on casino peddlers, Vaughan hope, no honour in encouraging city council — or more accurately, residents to spend more on the five male council members (draw “entertainment” just because it your own conclusions) — seemed to finances government. Sure, there are see what others missed. Have they those who gamble for light fun, but sniffed out a sweet deal, or are success that’s not where the money’s made. and glittering lights enticing them to Casinos, like drug dealers, prosper push their luck? There is certainly off the regulars, the returning much to be proud of in Vaughan, schmucks who habitually feed the but there’s a fine line between gambling machine. It’s why they pride in one’s accomplishments and issue comps to soften the blows, hubris. There’s a growing sense of as the Globe and Mail outlined in infallibility behind Vaughan’s rapid “Casinos Spend Millions to Make transformation, as though the “The Losers Feel Like Winners” — you City Above [Superior to? Greater don’t want your best customers to than?] Toronto” moniker is still OD, after all. Casinos are sought alive. Why does a city with so much by cities that either heavily rely on growth, with such bright economic tourism or face dwindling industry and income. Vaughan doesn’t need prospects, with all the tools to build a community that is the envy of its to resort to such desperation. It neighbours, feel the need to inject WHAT VAUGHAN SHOULD doesn’t need to suck more money gambling? Is the city that greedy that CONSIDER, JUST LIKE ANY out of its residents and neighbours it’s willing to sacrifice its integrity HONEST BUSINESS OWNER, by embracing such an infamous to further line its pockets? Such to prosper. The subway line IS THE MEANS BY WHICH vice action says much about what the will do more than enough to spur IT MAKES MONEY city is willing to give up in the name growth and draw more residents. If of progress. jobs are the desire, why not do it It goes beyond the fears preached by self-righteous through commerce? There is more pride to be had in building do-gooders, as well. You’ve undoubtedly heard the concerns: business instead of creating reliance on the gambling drug. increased gambling addiction, organized crime, prostitution, The OLG will select where it will build a casino sometime revenue sucked out of local businesses. Of course we’ll see in 2014. Over 40 cities have expressed interest in hosting a more gambling addicts — those dice-rollers who, by whatever casino, and that’s just within their designated gaming zones, delusion they cling to, believe through cunning or persistence so there’s still a long road to travel before any concrete plans or whatever ingenious strategy they’ve concocted a serious are set in motion. Vaughan, however, holds a powerful trump payout is mere bets away. A Toronto Public Health report card: not only is its location prime within the GTA, but has already warned there are 129,000 at-risk gamblers in the that subway line will provide easy access to Torontonians GTA; a casino certainly won’t quell that problem. But anyone and their cash. It’s not hard to see why Vaughan could be with enough wits about them knows that the novelty of a front-runner on the list. losing money to the house wears off quite quickly, and most Let your voice be heard and share your opinion at are level-headed enough to know when to walk away. Just and tweet us your thoughts like most normal people know not to sink their livelihoods at on Twitter at @CityLifeToronto

20 City Life Magazine Aug/Sept 2013

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City Life Magazine Aug/Sept 2013



CANADIAN One comedy writer’s quest to discover the meaning of Canuck-hood :ULWWHQ%\0LFKDHO+LOO


ears ago, Canadian comedy writer Robert Cohen was out in Los Angeles when he noticed his American date seemed to have something on her mind. He inquired. “I just don’t understand,” she said. “Why would you ever have to take a dog sled?” Puzzled, he responded, “Why would I have to take a dog sled, where?” “Why do you guys drive those around? Why don’t you just get cars?” Such a strange notion: Why, indeed, would Canadians drive dog sleds as opposed to cars? The question is so ridiculous — so asinine — it’s amazing anyone would ever think it valid to ask. But this is just one of the numerous bizarre episodes Cohen has encountered while living in the Good Ole U.S. of A. that spurred him to make Being

22 City Life Magazine Aug/Sept 2013

Canadian, a documentary that cuts through the misconceptions shrouding the Great White North to the heart of what it means to, well, be Canadian. As the Calgary-raised Emmy Award winner explains, “It’s good to be liked, generally, by everybody around the world, but I actually wanted to find out the details and if they’ve changed.” Having lived in the United States for 30 years, working on various comedic television shows and films, including The Simpsons, The Big Bang Theory, Saturday Night Live and the second and third Austin Powers movies, Cohen has tangled with ignorance towards Canada in all its shapes and forms. From being ticketed for driving with fake plates (the cop never heard of “Al-bee-errta”) to American friends warning him of the shock he’ll likely feel from L.A.’s above-freezing winter weather, Cohen’s heard it all. “I’ve had the living-in-igloos

one million times,” says the 47-year-old. “Every Canadian has those stories.” Who hasn’t been asked by a befuddled American what it’s like to grow up on hockey skates or what type of maple syrup our pet polar bears prefer? We’ve all seen Rick Mercer’s Talking to Americans, we know many don’t know and don’t really care about their neighbours to the north. But Cohen found this ungrounded mysticism unbearably trite. He decided to shed light on the subject by rounding up some prominent Redand-White blooded countrymen. He reached out to old friends like The Kids in the Hall star Dave Foley and the host of Wayne’s World, Mike Myers. The pair jumped at the opportunity to be part of the project. Word spread like prairie fire and soon Cohen was meeting with other Canadian legends like Dan Aykroyd, Howie Mandel, Russell Peters, Michael


Comedy writer Robert Cohen travelled across Canada for his new documentary Being Canadian, meeting with Canucks of all walks of life, including this troop of horse-riding Mounties

J. Fox, Rick Mercer, Alex Trebek, Martin Short, William Shatner, Malcolm Gladwell and more. “I find that with Canadians, as we all know, we like to sniff out who else is Canadian. So it was sort of the same affect,” Cohen says. “It’s had this great momentum of very generous people wanting to sit down and do interviews.” While many of these Canucks are renowned for their humorous work, Cohen found deep-seated passions for Canada effortlessly surfacing, with many interviews quickly turning into serious philosophical journeys to the heart of Canadianisms. He notes how Howie Mandel bought his childhood home in Toronto so when travelling abroad he knows he still owns a piece of Canada, and how Mike Myers delved into Canadian history and the substantial contributions our country’s made to the world. Those were what made so many of these interviews so great, Cohen explains, when that pride and enthusiasm burst forth. “That’s the stuff that is going to be in this movie,” he adds. “There will be some jokes too, but that’s the best stuff.” To wrap up the film, Cohen recently spent 10 days travelling from coast to coast to capture candid perspectives from everyday Canadians. What he discovered was a new sense of confidence permeating among those who are traditionally viewed as polite and reserved. “It was the first time in my life that I’ve seen Canada and Canadians feeling cool and confident and sort of badass about themselves,” he says. And why not? We made it through the recession relatively unscathed; we’re quite progressive when it comes to immigration and gay rights, and some of the best comedians, actors, musicians and thinkers in the world call Canada home. There’s definitely plenty to be proud of. “This is my love letter to Canada,” Cohen says of his film. “I just hope Canadians realize how awesome we are and that being Canadian means something really great and fun and funny.”


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by Robert Cohen BEST CANADIAN TV SHOW SCTV BEST PRIME MINISTER Pierre Trudeau BEST CANADIAN ACTOR Donald Sutherland BEST CANADIAN EXPORT The Canadian sense of humour BEST CANADIAN CITY Calgary BEST CANADIAN DISH It’s a tie between an Alberta steak and poutine BEST CANADIAN BAND Rush or Triumph BEST CANADIAN WRITER Malcolm Gladwell or Douglas Coupland BEST CANADIAN COMEDIAN I don’t think I could pick just one: Wayne and Shuster, the cast of SCTV, Mike Myers, Jim Carrey, Martin Short. It’s tough. BEST CANADIAN KISSER Jennifer Cohen, Grade 7

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City Life Magazine Aug/Sept 2013












Toronto International Film Festival programmers share candid insights of Canada’s most prestigious celebration of cinema

Q: What has been the most controversial ďŹ lm shown at TIFF, and do you expect more drama this year? A: Over the years we have shown many ďŹ lms that have sparked debate and spirited conversation among critics and fans, including George Kaczender’s In Praise of Older Women; Dusan Makavejev’s Sweet Movie; Jean-Luc Godard’s Je vous salue, Marie; Peter Greenaway’s The Baby of Mâcon; and Mike Leigh’s Naked; but I think the most controversial ďŹ lm was Zev Asher’s Casuistry: The Art of Killing a Cat. When we announced the ďŹ lm, the title alone alerted animal rights activists and organizations, and it was not long before we were inundated with phone calls, emails, letters and editorials. No one had seen the ďŹ lm but us, so it was interesting to see how many people leapt to judgment in such an emotional way. We contacted the executives of the Humane Society and

24 City Life Magazine Aug/Sept 2013

other animal rights organizations to organize a screening for them. They were wonderful, professional and had not allowed themselves to get caught up in the controversy. Once they saw the ďŹ lm and realized that it was a serious piece of work, they became a part of the solution. Nevertheless, the theatre was picketed and we expected more incidents in the cinema but nothing happened. I don’t expect anything that controversial this year, but we have not selected all the ďŹ lms yet so you never can tell. NOAH COWAN Artistic Director of TIFF Bell Lightbox Q: What criteria do you employ when selecting ďŹ lms for TIFF? A: As programmers, we seek material that both captures the imagination and proposes innovations to the ďŹ lm form, to the heart and the mind. We also gravitate to ďŹ lms that are part of an ongoing speciďŹ c conversation we have with our audience. In my case

I have been tracking, writing about and communicating with audiences about Chinese cinema, queer cinema and moving image art for most of my career, so I tend to focus on ďŹ lms from those pools. Q: What ďŹ lm has raised a strong emotional response in you? A: There are too many to mention. I tend to connect very directly, very emotionally with the cinema that matters to me. Last year when I ďŹ rst saw Michael Haneke’s Amour, I felt shattered, but it was only several hours later, in the middle of another movie, that the full weight landed on me and I burst into tears during a very unsad Australian comedy! CAMERON BAILEY Artistic Director

Q: What’s the most interesting ďŹ lm you were nervous to show, and why? A: In 2009 I made the decision to present Lee Daniels’ Precious as a gala.


PIERS HANDLING Director and Chief Executive OfďŹ cer

It was only my second year in this job and I don’t think we’d ever had a gala with such raw content, dealing as it does with sexual abuse inside a family. It was also a film with the then-unknown Gabourey Sidibe in the lead — not a typical Festival red carpet. But I was confident in the emotional impact that Lee had achieved in the film. Of course it didn’t hurt that between the time I first saw Precious and the time it came to Toronto, Oprah Winfrey and Tyler Perry came on board to present the film, and then Mariah Carey and Mary J. Blige decided to join them in Toronto for the gala. It was an electric night. The often-stately ceremony of a Festival gala was transformed into a euphoric, cathartic celebration of the human spirit and the creative energy of African America. I couldn’t have been prouder.

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BRAD DEANE Programmer and Manager of Film Programmes

Q: In a world full of blockbusters and popcorn flicks, why are artistic films necessary? A: I think the real question is, why are artistic films not blockbusters? There have indeed been great examples of blockbusters that had more substance and left the audience with plenty to chew on; think of Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho (1960) or David Lean’s Lawrence of Arabia (1962). Sadly, nowadays we are provided with fewer choices of mainstream cinema that takes real chances. Luckily, there are still many venues, festivals and cinemas in the city that showcase artistic films, and it is our responsibility as audiences to be part of this equation, take chances and be more conscious of what we choose to watch.

Q: What’s your best memory of a TIFF film premiere/after party? A: My favourite TIFF moment began speaking with the legendary Academy Award-nominated actress Gena Rowlands. We were in the Green Room before a screening of the indie classic Faces (1968), directed by her late husband John Cassavetes. She wondered how many people would show up for a screening of such an old and difficult film. As I walked on stage to introduce

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THOM POWERS International Documentary and Mavericks Programmer

Q: For you, what has been the most memorable TIFF moment? A: When it comes to memorable moments, TIFF has an embarrassment of riches. I’m most moved to see the subjects of documentaries who aren’t famous as they experience the audience’s response. Last year we had two films — The Central Park Five and West of Memphis — about men who served long prison sentences despite evidence of wrongful convictions. We had another film, No Place on Earth, about Ukrainian Jews who survived the Holocaust by living in caves. I got to stand alongside these real-life characters as they received standing ovations. That beats meeting any movie star.

Q: What film triggers an emotional reaction from you? A: Dan Lindsay and T.J. Martin’s Undefeated, about a high school football team in Memphis and their extraordinary coach. That film makes grown men weep. It screened at the Festival in 2011 and went on to win an Academy Award. COLIN GEDDES International Programmer Every business can benefit from a boost. When a company’s story is left untold, its measurement of success is often a reflection. is the quickest and most creative way to connect with your audience and show the world what you have to offer. As your virtual passport, takes you behind the scenes of the city’s sexiest events, coveted cars and booming businesses. IT’S TIME TO TELL YOUR STORY … IN HD




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Q: What criteria do you employ when selecting films for TIFF? A: First and foremost, I’m always selecting films with the audience in mind, looking for films that they will enjoy and also be challenged by. For the Midnight Madness selection, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, my criteria is a little more ruthless, and films need to grab the audience’s attention right off the bat, either with outlandish action, creepy horror or black comedy. Midnight Madness is a roller-coaster ride of engrossing stories that will keep the audience riveted and awake into the wee hours of the morning. For the Vanguard selection, the criteria include a mixture of elements, but it

can usually be encapsulated as dark, dangerous, sexy, brash and bold, but also sophisticated. Genre films that have an art-house edge to them — or vice versa.

Q: What has been the most moving film you’ve seen at the Festival? A: One of my most memorable screening experiences, fraught with emotion, was seeing Lars von Trier’s Breaking the Waves at the Festival back in 1996. That screening left me utterly devastated and reminded me of how powerful film can be when it breaks out of the big screen and into your heart and mind. RASHA SALTI International Programmer

Q: What’s your favourite film to date (favourite film of all time), and why? A: That is such a difficult question, and the only way I can answer it honestly is to identify a different favourite film of all time every day. For the week that has gone by, this is my list: on Monday, it was Tey, directed by Alain Gomis (Senegal/ France, 2012); on Tuesday, it was One Man’s Show, directed by Newton Aduaka (Nigeria/France, 2012); on Wednesday, it was Una giornata particolare by Ettore Scola (Italy/Canada, 1977); on Thursday, it was Chronicle of a Disappearance by Elia Suleiman (Palestine/France, 1996); on Friday, it was The Night of the Iguana by John Huston (USA, 1964); on Saturday, it was Tropical Malady by Apichatpong Weerasethakul (Thailand, 2004); and on Sunday, it was My Heart Beats Only for Her by Mohamed Soueid (Lebanon, 2008).

Q: What’s your best memory of a past Festival? A: Any moment when Cameron Bailey, the Festival’s artistic director, takes a microphone and sings is a definite Festival highlight. Same for when fellow programmer Steve Gravestock sings too. Unforgettable. Any moment when Magali Simard, also a fellow programmer for the Festival, holds a microphone to give a speech, sing or express missives is a stellar and scintillating memory as well. For more insights and festival highlights from the TIFF programmers, visit






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City Life Magazine Aug/Sept 2013



Catch our interview with Stacey McKenzie on

28 City Life Magazine Aug/Sept 2013




tacey McKenzie was ugly from the day she was born. She was too tall, too thin, too fair and too freckly — a poster girl of peculiarity shielded by a pretense of plastic and glass eyes. “They used to make fun of me as a baby, so my mother used to pretend she was carrying a doll and act like she was crazy,â€? she reveals emotionally. “That was her way of having people not say anything about me. It was more so her protecting me. I didn’t have a happy childhood; I was always teased, constantly teased.â€? But the harder she fell the higher she would bounce. At half past 10 on a stiing summer morning, a urry of excitement rings through a nondescript corridor of Ryerson University’s South Kerr Hall. It’s Day 3 of McKenzie’s ďŹ rst annual Walk This Way Workshops Camp — a free, two-week motivational program aimed at empowering inner city girls through specialized seminars and celebrity mentors. “I’ve been preparing for this role my whole life,â€? beams the Canadian fashion model, hair braided and gathered in her typifying topknot, freckled complexion a nimbus glow. She hovers over the fracas in the classroom, her rapturous laughter catching in a sea of absorbent minds. Anyone who knows McKenzie — or has witnessed her life-of-the-party personality as a judge on Canada’s Next Top Model — is privy to her

hyperactive, arms-akimbo style, making the Jamaican native’s trajectory an antithetical one. It’s in her smile and spunk that you begin to ponder the cruelty of humanity, and how one can ďŹ nd the strength to heal. “I realized that I have the one vessel that I’m working with — this is what I look like, this is who I am. Once I accepted me, once I loved me, I just kept on moving. In the beginning I wasn’t owning who I was,â€? says McKenzie, who would chop her hair, conceal her freckles and minimize her lip size in a desperate attempt to be accepted. “I thought, I’m still the same person. What am I trying to do? It’s either I’m going to make the best of it or the worst of it. Once I stopped doing that, I owned Stacey McKenzie. I decided to love me and own me,â€? says McKenzie, who is currently penning her life experience in a no-holds-barred memoir. Her perseverance eventually gave way to fashion campaigns and landed her on runways and in magazines around the world. A rather unlikely occurrence for McKenzie came at a casting call in Paris, when none other than the exalted Jean Paul Gaultier exclaimed her beauty. “Nobody else really saw me, it was always about what their perception of beauty was, and you know, I was never accepted. So when he saw me — and he really saw me ‌â€? she trails emotionally, “when you come across that one person who, you know, just o the bat sees you

Stacey McKenzie with her ďŹ rst annual Walk This Way Workshops Camp class at Ryerson University

City Life Magazine Aug/Sept 2013


and just accepts you for who you are … it helped me to accept myself.” The image of beauty and all of its lofty, unattainable heights of perfect proportions is an ideal often dictated by who’s trending on the runway or gracing the front cover of Vogue. Yet we all play a role — insert your drool over Kate Upton’s curves here — in perpetuating the latest symbol of sexy girl standards. McKenzie’s summer camp, an extension of her company Walk This Way Workshops, makes for a timely addition to the mounting attention on low selfesteem in adolescents. “Real beauty, for me, is when you have a good heart, when you have a great personality and you’re humble, you’re kind and you’re confident in yourself,” says McKenzie, who in 2012 received the Success, Engagement and Empowerment Award from the Student Federation of the University of Ottawa for her support of youth. Rather than advocate the status quo, McKenzie is pushing everyone to embrace his or her individuality and develop an unshakeable confidence. It’s a mission so dear to her heart she broke the first rule of her camp: a class list of only 20 girls aged 14 to 18. But she couldn’t turn away a few more, one of whom is as young as nine. “I


TOP 10 LI ST 1 My 75-year-old mother. I’m so blessed to have her in my life

2 My siblings, aunt, nieces and nephews. I love my family even when we have our moments — which can sometimes last a while

3 My best friends Andrea and Chris, whom I’ve known since first arriving in Canada. They’ve been with me through the good, bad and ugly of my life

4 My gold bangles. I’ve bought a pair every birthday, a tradition I’ve continued from my mother. Over the years, I’ve sadly lost a large portion of my collection. I have a few left that I cherish very much, as they’re a reminder of where I came from and what it took for me to be where I’m at today

5 Walk This Way Workshops. I’m fortunate and grateful to have created an avenue for youths/people to be empowered and inspired through my experiences and expertise

6 My little bungalow with a river that runs through it, hidden high in the mountains of my beloved country Jamaica. It’s a piece of heaven


NOBODY ELSE REALLY SAW ME, IT WAS ALWAYS ABOUT WHAT THEIR PERCEPTION OF BEAUTY WAS, AND YOU KNOW, I WAS NEVER ACCEPTED met her mom and she told me that I’m an idol to her [daughter] because she gets bullied a lot at school and it’s really affecting her. She was telling her mom, ‘I want to be like Stacey.’ Then I just said, ‘you know what, I want her to come.’” Recalling the difficult days of when she was 16, navigating solo through the process of landing an agent only to be shunned over her quirky features, McKenzie is determined to educate youth on how to confront the cutthroat industries of fashion, entertainment and

30 City Life Magazine Aug/Sept 2013

the arts, empowering them with the tools to challenge the naysayers. In her own way, just like her mother, McKenzie is preparing them for our how wicked, how fiendish a world ruled by predefined beauty can be. The difference here is that she isn’t blanketing them in make-believe, cradling them in her arms as you would playthings. She’s teaching them that once the game is over, the king and pawn go back into the same box.

I looove food! Anything from Caribbean, Asian to Italian. My new fave restaurant in Toronto is Buonanotte. OMG: the food, staff and ambience are to die for! I can’t wait to drop by to have my regular Crudo pizza or try something new!

8 I’m a big-time dancer. The best club for me to let loose (plus eat some delish food while on a break) is Muzik in Toronto. It’s very very beautiful — not to mention the staff and owner Zlatko!

9 My collection of Jean Paul Gaultier, Todd Oldham and Christian Lacroix gowns and clothes. Sometimes I look at them and cry thinking about how blessed I am to have been a little Jamaican girl with dreams of becoming a model

10 My HUGE collection of pictures from all my travels and experiences since I was 14 years old. Growing up, I didn’t have a camera or any pictures of my childhood. So, when I was able to get one, I took pictures of EVERYTHING!

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ROCKIN’ ROLLS Looking for your next fix? Sushi addicts, be warned. Thanks to owner Justin Kim, who studied Japanese cuisine in Korea, this small sushi counter delivers taste and quality in a big way. Whether it’s Spicy Tuna, Dynamite or Veggie Tempura take-out, there’s a featured roll every day for just $3.99. 5731 Highway 7, Vaughan | 905-265-8808


GATHER ROUND Operating with three generations of bagel-crafting experience, What A Bagel knows how to ban hunger on a budget. Whether you’re craving bread (try the pumpernickel bagel, a customer crush) or brawn (its White Albacore Tuna Classic is a popular pick), find your favourite among the oodles of menu items under $10! 9330 Bathurst St., Vaughan | 905-417-5600

32 City Life Magazine Aug/Sept 2013

Photos 1, 3, 8 and 9 by Sal Pasqua


SEASONALLY YOURS Gilead Café and Bistro, a brainchild of Canada’s culinary crackerjack Jamie Kennedy, keeps things fresh and feisty with an evolving menu loaded with seasonally inspired dishes. Dig your spoon into its ever-changing and ever-tasty Soup of the Day, which at $9 ranges from spring’s Wild Leek to late summer’s Chilled Cucumber and Pea. 4 Gilead Place, Toronto | 647-288-0680

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THAT’S A WRAP Lip-smacking and luxuriously smoky, the towered wraps at Berto Osteria are becoming such a marvel that they might as well be a hundred feet each. Indulge in a two-tower steak wrap packed with Certified Angus Beef, rapini, zucchini, peppers and mozzarella for $9.95, and you’ll be soaring through the rest of the workday. 6150 Highway 7, Woodbridge | 905-264-2177





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City Life Magazine Aug/Sept 2013



THAI’M IMPRESSED Head out for lunch early today — this Thai hub packs up fast! And with its daily $6.99 lunch combo, it’s no wonder. Crunch your cravings with the abundance of exotic dishes bursting with flavour, from the sunny Fresh Mango Salad to the adventurous Kung Pow Shrimp. Impressed? Don’t hesitate to come back — the menu’s always alternating between 18 lunch combinations! 40 Innovation Dr., Unit 13, Woodbridge | 905-265-1122


POETIC PATTIES At the end of August, this Toronto hot spot is opening shop in Vaughan, where burger lovers can satisfy their carnivorous cravings by chowing down on creative (and drool-worthy!) patty stacks. We’re talking the likes of The Big Bad Wolf, The Depressed Cow and its signature The Holy Chuck burger, each $9.99 or under. 4421 Highway 7, Vaughan |


FROM ROME WITH LOVE Think outside the big-chain pizza box and grab a slice of “true Roman-style” pizza. Inventive combinations of fresh ingredients mingle to create customer favourites like the Carbonara pizza, inspired by the classic Roman pasta. You pick the cut size of your slice and price is based on weight — average slices float around four bucks. 28 Roytec Rd., Unit 12A, Woodbridge 905-264-2121 |



QUICHE CRUSH Not just a sweet lover’s haven, the Cookie Crumble Café will charm the mid-day stress out of your system with its heartwarming Lorraine or Leek and Mushroom personal-sized quiches. Made from scratch and preservative free, these creations will bring a smile to your wallet, too, at just $7.95. 10480 Islington Ave., Unit 9, Kleinburg | 905-893-2250

GUIDING LIGHT Craving home-cooked? The hot table at Lanterna Restaurant, starting at $8.95, is simmering with your best-loved Italian comfort foods — think pastas, pizzas and an oh-so-tasty assortment of gourmet sandwiches. Load up your plate and warm up your day with these dishes made with heart. 445 Edgeley Blvd., Concord | 905-761-5217


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From birthdays and weddings to corporate events and life milestones, Daniela Pantaleo’s sweet creations take the cake

It’s a Cake Thing Taste the custom cakes of an imaginative baker


one knows cakes quite like It’s a Cake Thing founder Daniela Pantaleo. From delicate hand-piped ruffles and handcrafted fondant flowers, to sweet Swiss meringue buttercream rosettes, Pantaleo’s custom-cake decorating techniques deliver the wow factor. “There’s nothing better than seeing someone happy, and knowing that you’ve blown them away,” says the Vaughan-based baker, who has been creating cakes, cupcakes and sugar cookies since 2009. Recognized for her jaw-dropping displays of sweet craftsmanship, Pantaleo works with the finest of ingredients to produce elegant confections. And with baking being a science that requires mathematical

36 City Life Magazine Aug/Sept 2013

exactness, her approach to every project is with discipline. “In the span of a week I’ll only take on the task of creating three to five cakes. It’s not because I don’t have the time — it’s because it takes time to produce quality,” explains Pantaleo, who especially loves to experiment with new shapes and sizes. The result is a mouthful: Victorian-style wedding cakes, themed celebratory/ birthday cakes, signature ruffle styles with gum paste flowers, porcelainsmooth ceremonial cakes, sweets and candy tables. Extending tiers of joy to every occasion, Pantaleo keeps her skills sharp by taking private lessons with leading cake designers and has attended classes at the Bonnie Gordon College of Confectionary Arts. She’s looking

forward to a baking workshop in Australia this winter, proving that her craft has no boundaries. A true testament of her talent shines through when commemorating special events in unconventional ways. Pantaleo’s latest venture into foodinspired cakes displays a true artist at work, capturing real-life similarities of anything from a fully loaded pizza to a pot of spaghetti and meatballs. Receiving numerous likes on her social media pages, it’s clear that Pantaleo’s passion for cakes keeps her tuned into the latest trends in the baking world. In September, Pantaleo will hold a fundraiser to raise awareness and funds for Icing Smiles Canada, a non-profit organization that provides celebratory cakes to families with critically ill children. As she paints, pipes, stamps, quilts and pattern-impresses her way to cake magic, Pantaleo — a volunteer project leader for the charity — ensures that everyone gets the chance to smile on special occasions. “When you look back at your old memories, there’s always a picture of you and your birthday cake. I can’t imagine the hardship parents and families go through when a child is sick,” says the mother of two. “I just hope my cakes give everyone even just a few moments of happiness.” 416-917-4897 Visit It’s a Cake Thing’s new studio! 527 Edgeley Blvd., Unit 6, Woodbridge, Ont. By Appointment Only




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City Life Magazine Aug/Sept 2013



Taste the tradition of a revered Italian bakery



NINO D’AVERSA BAKERY Domenic D’Aversa stands tall as co-owner of Nino D’Aversa Bakery, a fixture in the community for over 40 years

aughan’s heart and soul is nestled into Nino D’Aversa Bakery, to which both faithful patrons and wide-eyed newcomers flock, and where the hungry get lost in the displays of fresh-made European pastries and artisan bread, the rainbow of homemade gelato, the simmering hot plates of authentic Italian dishes and the rotating rack of wood-oven pizzas. This culinary playground has evolved like a steadily growing family since its founding in 1969. What originated as a traditional Italian bakery has flourished into five restaurant-bakeries across the GTA, each infused with a pizzeria, gelateria and espresso bar. But as much

as the family-owned business has grown, it’s sticking to the values that have set it apart since the beginning. “Our co-founders were passionate about offering fresh-made products every day at a reasonable price,” says Michael D’Aversa, co-owner. “Making sure the customer is getting value is what has made us who we are today.” Whether you’re seeking lunch, craving a treat or in dire need of some fresh, hand-kneaded bread, Nino D’Aversa Bakery invites you to come and taste the tradition. Nino D’Aversa Bakery invites you to come and taste the tradition in Woodbridge, Maple, Downsview, Thornhill and Aurora.

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38 City Life Magazine Aug/Sept 2013


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President and CEO of Condrain Group Jim V. DeGasperis converses with Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne





The Ontario Premier addresses the BIL audience


oads, houses and schools make up the physical infrastructure of our neighbourhoods. But equally important is the social infrastructure that helps people connect to their community and their neighbours. This is something that the GTA’s building industry understands and supports. In June 2013, the 31st annual Building Industry Luncheon (BIL) raised $1.2 million in support of United Way York Region. Over 1,200 builders and developers from the GTA gathered at Le Parc Banquet Hall in Thornhill to raise a record $775,000 — a 10 per cent increase over last year’s total. In addition, two anonymous donors pledged $450,000 to celebrate BIL founder Alfredo DeGasperis, who passed

away earlier this year. In its 31-year history, the event has raised over $8 million for local communities. United Way York Region CEO Daniele Zanotti recalled DeGasperis’s enthusiasm in putting together the event year after year. “He would say, ‘We’re going to bring a few more guests, raise a little more money, so we can help more people — and get everyone the hell out by 2 o’clock so you can all go back to work.’” Dubbed “the premiere networking event for the building industry,” this year’s BIL saw a new generation of philanthropic leaders committed to continue DeGasperis’s legacy of giving back to local communities. This year’s chairs were Jim V. DeGasperis, president and CEO, Condrain Group; Marc A. Muzzo, president, Pemberton Group;

along with returning chair, Bill Fisch, chairman and CEO, the Regional Municipality of York. “What an honour for Marc and I to continue the partnership with United Way that our fathers started some three decades ago,” said Jim V. DeGasperis. “I think it’s a testament to our industry’s heart and soul to build strong communities for all,” he added. Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne was the event’s keynote speaker. In her speech, she recognized the building industry’s civic-mindedness and thanked them for contributing to “the kind of communities we want to build.” “The people in this room build our roads, homes and schools, but they are also taking care of their friends and neighbours by partnering with United Way, and this makes me so proud,” said Wynne. “In a region that is growing so fast, services are running to keep pace. The extra support should be celebrated. Bravo.” Building strong communities is one of United Way York Region’s key priorities. Last year, thanks to the generosity of donors, United Way helped 28,000 children and youth through after-school, counselling and mental health programs; 12,000 people living in poverty access jobs and housing; and more than 40,000 people in their neighbourhoods — seniors maintain their independence, newcomers receive settlement services, and individuals with mental health issues and disabilities receive support. United Way York Region serves nine municipalities: Aurora, East Gwillimbury, Georgina, King, Markham, Newmarket, Richmond Hill, Vaughan and Whitchurch-Stouffville. In addition to its traditional role of supporting agencies to meet urgent needs, United Way is working to tackle the root causes of social issues. To help strengthen York Region’s quality of life, United Way is uniting people and resources on three priorities: helping kids be all they can be, moving people from poverty to possibility and building strong neighbourhoods. For more information, please visit or follow @unitedwayyork on Twitter. City Life Magazine Aug/Sept 2013


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Fall schedule looking packed? These versatile picks will highlight your natural beauty in seconds Written By Rebecca Alberico


5 8

4 1. HONEY I’M HOME The Honeymania Body Scrub polishes the skin with a nourishing burst of antioxidants 2. GLOW ON A beauty oil inspired by the peony, Pivoine Flora Shimmering Oil emphasizes the face, body and hair with a touch of golden glamour 3. AUTUMN KISSES The latest hues to join the Hydra Chic family, Agave, Cassia and Cerise impart a long-wear, satin smooth finish for both day and night 4. TRIPLE THREAT Three cheers for the Shhh Bar — an all-in-one soap fit for gym-goers and travellers. Cleanse your hair or body or shave with this chemical-free grooming bar 5. MORNING MAGICIAN A flawless foundation, moisturizer, sunscreen and corrector in a single tube of Smashbox Camera Ready CC Cream. Ta-da! 6. GREY DAY Whether you’re heading to the grocery store or a red carpet event, this Vernis in Love shade in Grey Lumière makes an adaptable complement to any look 7. OOH LA LA Romance and enhance your complexion with Blush Rose Désir. A tribute to Paris, the deeper shade sculpts your cheekbones while the pink tone warms up the skin 8. ISLAND FLING Dab, blend and go. Infused with refreshing coconut water and skin-softening argan oil, Coconut Water Cheek Gelee in Deep Wine adds a quick flash of natural colour to your cheeks and lips 9. LASH OUT Better Than Sex mascara lives up to its lascivious name with a promise to lengthen, fill and add volume to your lashes 10. CALM AND COOL A time-saving makeup remover with an oh-so-soft formula, the Camomile Silky Cleansing Oil will purify your pores while lifting stubborn traces of mascara, foundation and lipstick

40 City Life Magazine Aug/Sept 2013




Photo #3 provided by Holt Renfrew,; Photos #5, 8 and 9 provided by Sephora,; Photos #6 and 7 provided by Lancome,





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City Life Magazine Aug/Sept 2013





Dr. Gerry Catapano


been said that the eyes are the windows to the soul — but Dr. Gerry Catapano of the Woodbridge Smile Centre thinks differently. “It’s the smile. The smile is the introduction to the person,” he says. “It reflects on who we are and our self-confidence.” And as one could guess from the name of the practice, smiles are Dr. Catapano’s passion. It’s that self-confidence that he and his team at the Woodbridge Smile Centre strive to give to each of their clients, whether through cosmetic services like veneers or Invisalign Clear Braces, medical procedures like wisdom teeth removal or periodontal surgery or even a simple checkup. “I just believe in knowing what you’re doing and having fun while you’re doing it,” says Dr. Catapano, who graduated from the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Dentistry in 1987.

42 City Life Magazine Aug/Sept 2013


But according to the Woodbridge Smile Centre team, the patients’ confidence shouldn’t only come from their pearly whites — it should also come from their comfort level while in the dentist’s chair. “The quality of service and the patients’ experience is what sets us apart,” says Dr. Catapano. “We take a friendly, low-stress approach to dentistry, and we make

sure each of our patients is informed so they’re at ease.” Add to the mix free consultations and discounts on services for seniors and students, and it’s clear that patient happiness comes first at the Woodridge Smile Centre — and at all of Dr. Catapano, Dr. Lorne Newton and their experienced partners’ various locations, which include Barrie, Orillia and the towns of Keswick, Innisfil, Courtice and Lindsay. The latest addition, King City Dental, is scheduled to open in early September. It’s the Woodbridge Smile Centre’s fresh synergy between patient and doctor that has left patients across the GTA smiling. And as Dr. Catapano says, that’s the most gratifying part of his job. “Seeing our patients smile — it’s a beautiful thing.” 905-832-3310 3582 Major MacKenzie Dr., Woodbridge, Ont.


Dr. Gerry Catapano and his team at the Woodbridge Smile Centre give patients that rare thing: a pleasant time in the dentist’s chair 89 Auto Vaughan Dr. Dr. Vaughan ONON L4A 4A1 89 Auto Vaughan Vaughan L4A 4A1 Jane Jane St. North of Rutherford Rd (Next to Canada’s Wonderland) St. North of Rutherford Rd (Next to Canada’s Wonderland)




City Life Magazine Aug/Sept 2013 Maple


Catch Walter Nudo’s full interview at



44 City Life Magazine Aug/Sept 2013

An Italian TV star for the past two decades, heartthrob Walter Nudo has experienced the highs and lows of fame first-hand. We caught up with the Montreal-born, L.A.-dwelling actor on his first visit to Toronto to talk about hope, the pitfalls of stardom and his lead role in the Italian Contemporary Film Festival (ICFF) flick Hopeful Notes

CL: In your latest film, Hopeful Notes, you play Alex — who’s a bit of a lost soul searching for meaning in life. Tell me about how you prepared for this role. WN: Just like all the other roles, I get the script and I read it and I read it, and I keep reading. You keep reading because you want to know why the author wanted to do this movie, you want to know what’s the message of the movie, of the characters, of all the scenes. Once you get in touch with it, you start to get inside the mind of the author, and then something happens. You say, “OK, I understand why Alex does this.” Then you start to get inside the brain of Alex — maybe his shoulder hurts, maybe all the things he’s bringing are from the past or he’s guilty of something. And then you start seeing his shoes, his socks, his pants, his shirt, the tie, you know, so then you fix it. You see, an actor is like a sculptor, a sculptor that sculpts the character and then puts his heart into it. When Donatello makes a beautiful statue, he sculpts the face, finger and the nails, you know, he starts with this and then creates it, and it’s almost alive. That’s what an actor is: a sculptor.

Famed Italian actor Walter Nudo at Buonanotte resto-lounge in Toronto

CL: What message do you hope this film brings to those who watch it? WN: The message is no matter when you go to sleep at night and when you wake up in the morning, the last word has to be hope. The hope through this movie is through music, but hope for tomorrow. Like Scarlett O’Hara from Gone With the Wind says, “Tomorrow’s another day.” That’s what it is. CL: You were 19 when you moved to L.A. to study acting. But what has acting on set taught you that a class never did? WN: On set you learn a lot. That’s the real deal. You learn a lot of acting when you’re in a class. But when you’re on the set you learn to get to the point. Robert De Niro said, “Sometimes you just gotta get up and do it.” Just do it. And that’s about life. Sometimes it’s important to feel it but sometimes it’s “OK, now it’s time to get up.” That’s what it is on the set. CL: You’ve led a bit of an eclectic life with ups and downs along the way. You’ve written a book, raced cars, tried your hand at boxing, were a contestant on Italy’s Survivor in 2003. But there were also moments when you were floating around and waiting. Are you happy with where you are at this moment? WN: I believe that all the moments and ups and downs that I’ve had brought me here. I was always continually searching,

searching for things. I had good sensation acting, I had good emotions acting, but there were times I needed other emotions to be stronger. That’s why I went into boxing. That’s why I did a lot of things and I pushed myself to the edge. I just want to push and I want to see — that’s, by the way, one of the things I want to do tomorrow, the Edge Walk. That’s the feeling of what it feels like when you’re almost on the edge and how far can you push the edge. How far can you go? That’s the question. I believe that whatever comes in your life is because you create it, because you want it. And looking back, I was looking for myself, I was looking to know myself more, and sometimes I was just bored. City Life Magazine Aug/Sept 2013


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46 City Life Magazine Aug/Sept 2013

CL: When you launched your career, and your fame increased, you garnered a reputation as a heartthrob. Did you ever find that attention overwhelming, being considered one of the sexiest men in Italy? WN: Well, the attention sometimes was too much, because I am a very private guy. Even if I’ve done a lot of things in my life that don’t seem private — I worked in America as a Chippendales dancer — I’m a private guy. Sometimes when you’re so known you have no privacy. When you go to a restaurant or you go to the bank or the grocery store, people recognize you. And in Italy they are pretty passionate when they recognize you. So, you know, sometimes it can be nice, good, and sometimes it can be a little bit too much. CL: In Italy, you were well known for your role on Incantesimo, but eventually left the show because you felt you were becoming too much like your character and struggled with the emotions involved. There’s a story about how you then went on a journey, walking for three days. Why do that? WN: I left the show after two years. We were done shooting, a driver took me home at 5 o’clock, and everything was over. After two years of doing so much and caring so much, everything was over — it was my choice, but everything was over. I felt lost. So what I did, it was 8 o’clock, I was in Rome, I grabbed a little bag, and I just walked outside, and I started running, and then I walked. I walked for three days, from Rome to Elba Island, which is in Tuscany. So it was about 200 miles. CL: Why not take a car or a scooter or a cab? WN: No, no, no. Because when walking and running, you realize something. Life is a journey, and I wanted to do it on my own. Me, just me. CL: What does success mean to you? WN: Success? I believe that there’s a lot of meanings for a lot of people. For me, success is something to be complete, to be fulfilled, of what you are and what you do. There was a point three or four years ago that I was very successful, and I loved the success achieved through my work, my job, my career. But I looked at myself in the mirror and I just didn’t like what I saw. It was not a connection for what I was inside. So then I started a very deep journey that’s still going on. I want for what I see to be what I am. So that’s success — success is really fulfilled when you discover who you are inside, and it matches what you do and what you are outside. This interview has been edited for clarity

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City Life Magazine Aug/Sept 2013



Canadian singer and songwriter Serena Ryder talks to City Life about her most successful album to date, her battle with depression and the importance of standing by her beliefs


hances are you’ve had her smash hit “Stompa” stuck in your head. The catchy tune has put 30-year-old Canadian singer and songwriter Serena Ryder on the music charts, winning the 2013 MuchMusic Video Award for Rock/Alternative Video of the Year. The single conveys the message that we all face problems and that music is a powerful source to help cope with life’s worst moments. This is something Ryder personally knows well as she recently opened up about her battle with depression. Being in the spotlight, depression has led Ryder to periods of doubt and questioning her potential. However, those lows have taught her the best lessons. “The voice of depression can really pull you down. I think it’s really important to realize that those voices are not really telling the truth. You have to find that inside

48 City Life Magazine Aug/Sept 2013

voice that is really who you are. I think the best thing to do is concentrate on what’s really good and what is really true in your life instead of thinking about the things that you want to change,” she says. Leading a balanced life and having a daily routine has been a big part of Ryder’s coping process, helping her find a happy and healthy medium between career, family and friends. Today, Ryder is content with her present success. Harmony — her biggest

Photos Courtesy of Universal Music Canada

Written By Rosanna Bonura / Interview By Simona Panetta

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City Life Magazine Aug/Sept 2013


album to date — won the 2013 Juno Award for Adult Alternative Album of the Year. It’s also earned Ryder her first career Platinum Certification. Merging her past, present and future experiences the outcome is exactly what she intended it to be. “I wanted to make a bunch of music that I wanted to listen to myself. I wanted to make a record that as many people as possible could enjoy and be inspired listening to. So far everything feels as if it has worked out perfectly,” she tells City Life in an interview from her Toronto home studio, known as “The Cottage.” Much of Harmony was recorded in Ryder’s studio, giving her a greater sense of ease to create. “This record was the easiest thing for me to write. A lot of it has to do with being at the right place at the right time. I feel like it can happen really, really naturally, especially if you find the right person to work with,” she says. Despite the fact that Harmony may become the biggest album of Ryder’s career, she has no intention of making another just to say it will be bigger and better.“I feel like the reason why this record is doing so well is because I created it because I love making music, and I wanted to write songs that I had fun singing. It’s very simple.” Drawing upon a spectrum of life experiences, Ryder’s songs are raw and full of emotion. She pens lyrics that are relatable and, in many ways, comforting. This energy is matched by her sound — a fusion of roots, folk, country and adult contemporary.

when it happens, but I really don’t think that I’ll have arrived anywhere and that’s something that I find relieving, because if you arrive somewhere what is the point of going anywhere else?” As proof of her rising success, Ryder was recently selected to lead this year’s Canada’s Walk of Fame Festival. She will make her debut headline performance at Massey Hall on Sept. 20th.

“THIS RECORD WAS THE EASIEST THING FOR ME TO WRITE. A LOT OF IT HAS TO DO WITH BEING AT THE RIGHT PLACE AT THE RIGHT TIME. I FEEL LIKE IT CAN HAPPEN REALLY, REALLY NATURALLY, ESPECIALLY IF YOU FIND THE RIGHT PERSON TO WORK WITH” Part of Ryder’s journey has been her growth both personally and musically, which she says goes hand in hand. “It’s really how you’ve evolved as a human being,” she says, that shapes how “your sound evolves. For me, that is something that has always been really important. I think that definitely this record has evolved, I feel like so much more than the rest of my recordings because I’ve kind of found a place of freedom when it comes to producing music. I feel like I’ve gone back to my roots and to the reasons why I started performing, because I love doing it.” The album’s second and latest single, “What I Wouldn’t Do,” is already proving to be another hit. The Indie-Pop song lyrically speaks about the lengths one goes to for love, but dig a little deeper, and it can also draw parallels to the measures Ryder has taken to get to where she is today. Her key to success? Remaining present and standing by what she believes in. “I feel like there’s nothing that I regret from what I’ve done. When it comes to writing and performing music and being a musician, I’ve always been true to whom I believe myself to be at the moment.” Born in Toronto, Ryder started performing at the young age of seven and received her very first guitar — an El Degas classical — from her dad for her 13th birthday. That same year, she wrote and played her first song on it. With no doubt that she’s made it in the music industry, Ryder is adamant that “making it” means more than the number of albums she’s sold or charts she’s topped. For her, ultimate success comes from within and is measured by one’s self-respect. “I think I will feel that I’ve made it when I have a sense of peace inside of myself. It sounds very simple but profound and I do have moments of that experience and that feels really good

50 City Life Magazine Aug/Sept 2013

Harmony, Ryder’s latest and most acclaimed album, has garnered a handful of awards, including the 2013 Juno for Adult Alternative Album of the Year

City Life Magazine Aug/Sept 2013




rbanity” can be best described as the characteristics, personality traits and viewpoints associated with cities and urban areas. Given that description, “urbanity” could be used to describe Great Gulf ’s new 50-storey condo project, Yonge + Rich, located in the heart of Toronto’s downtown and fast becoming known as one of the most sophisticated and unique condominium projects currently underway in the city. “The site created the design,” says Alan Vihant, senior vice-president at Great Gulf. “It’s a great neighbourhood with a palatable new buzz happening and we wanted Yonge + Rich to connect with that, making the project

52 City Life Magazine Aug/Sept 2013

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City Life Magazine Aug/Sept 2013


54 City Life Magazine Aug/Sept 2013


Courtesy of Burdifilek

— Alan Vihant

Photo By Great Gulf

an integral part of the neighbourhood and attracting purchasers who wish to simplify their living and experience everything the Yonge and Richmond area has to offer.” Originally conceived as two towers, Great Gulf wanted to preserve some of the heritage properties on the site, which led to the creation of a single 50-storey tower, but with a unique difference. “It’s actually two buildings in one,” continues Vihant. “The bottom twothirds and upper third are different suite designs attracting different purchasers. The lower two-thirds will attract firsttime buyers who crave the luxury of walking to nearby jobs or enjoy our connection to the PATH system, and the upper third, with larger suites, balconies and unparalleled views, will attract more sophisticated empty nesters.” With this in mind, Great Gulf designed each portion of the building to have separate entrances (off Richmond Street and Lombard Street, respectively), individual concierge services and distinct amenities. One of Yonge + Rich’s most unique features is the oversized balconies built into the suites of the upper-third portion. Six to eight feet wide and 30 to 40 feet long, they are designed for outdoor living and easily become personalized open-air terraces. Their design is unrivalled among Toronto condominiums. Almost as important is the fact that the views from these floors — of Lake Ontario, Yonge Street, the St. Lawrence Market area and the financial core — are protected by the city’s existing height restrictions for planning and development. Connecting Yonge + Rich to its central location and surrounding neighbourhood vibe was another theme that contributed to the design of each of the suites. “There is a different language being spoken here, a faster lifestyle, and we know Yonge + Rich purchasers are very design aware,” says Diego Burdi, creative director at Burdifilek: International Interior Design. “They are young, urban professionals who travel extensively, and we wanted them to come home to a great space they have made their own. Peter Clewes at architectsAlliance gave us a superb building design and

Alan Vihant

Diego Burdi

layout, so we incorporated huge walls into the suite designs to give owners a canvas to paint on, to customize their homes to their particular and very individual tastes.” Burdifilek describes their suite designs at Yonge + Rich as modern and classic. “We wanted them to be open and spacious,” says Burdi. “The composition of the suite, with large floor-to-ceiling windows and sliding doors, has created an almost seamless transition between indoors and outdoors.” Burdi also says that what Great Gulf is doing at Yonge + Rich is being noticed throughout the industry. “We work with many developers and the size of the outdoor terraces at Yonge + Rich we know is an ‘aha moment’ in the industry, as this project is breaking

through a design ceiling that’s very exciting,” says Burdi. “Life can stop at a wall in many developments, but here homeowners can create their own personalized green spaces and life seems to go on forever with possibilities.” Living in a vertical environment also means anything in the building outside of your home should be treated as an extension of your personal space, and Yonge + Rich delivers the best amenities possible in creating a very social atmosphere. Two fl oors off er a range of entertainment possibilities, including a huge outdoor pool and terrace, an outdoor BBQ with lounge area and bar, a movie room with a fully stocked library of films and a fully equipped gym with pilates and yoga studios, all of which open onto a large outdoor terrace. It’s very possible residents will choose to hunker down for weekends and enjoy the full range of social experiences. But once they do journey outside, Yonge + Rich residents are exposed to a bounty of style and substance in one of Toronto’s fastest growing and most exciting neighbourhoods. Within minutes one can reach Yonge and Dundas Square, the Eaton Centre and the St. Lawrence Market, along with parks, quaint shops, historical architecture, hidden laneways, café’s, exciting restaurants and the world-class theatre that defines east of Yonge Street. Yonge + Rich once again brings the Great Gulf “difference” to downtown high-rise living, building upon its 40 years of experience and previous successes at 18 Yorkville and One Bloor East, now under construction. “Great Gulf is a design-first company,” explains Vihant. “And our homeowners can have confidence in our strong brand and excellent reputation. Our finishes are the finest in the industry and, as we are demonstrating again with Yonge + Rich, our projects are designed to complement any neighbourhood, adding to the quality of its surroundings.” With its unique design features and superb finishes, central location and spectacular amenities, Yonge + Rich may not have created the word “urbanity,” but may well have defined it.



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City Life Magazine Aug/Sept 2013



PATIENCE Anthony Socci has spent the last three years waiting for a new kidney. How one man copes and how we can help :ULWWHQ%\$PDQGD6WRUH\


hat’s four hours to you? It’s half a work day; half a full night’s sleep. Four hours can be a movie marathon or a running marathon, a visit to the beach or a drive to the cottage. But to 28-year-old Anthony Socci, four hours is the amount of time he has spent in dialysis five days a week since his kidney failure three years ago. But what’s worse is that his waiting doesn’t end there. Socci, a Richmond Hill native, was born with the rare Fabry’s disease — a genetically inherited condition that results from a buildup of a certain type of fat called globotriaosylceramide. Socci spent his childhood suffering with excruciating pain in his hands and feet, blocking him from the soccer field and social scene. “Things just got a thousand times worse after my kidney failure,” Socci explains. And it wasn’t only the physical pain that multiplied. The emotional toll became staggering as his daily dialysis began, stripping him of his time and energy, and as the strenuous search for a kidney donor got underway. “It got to the point where he was going through all these excruciating treatments for the sake of staying alive, but it was robbing him from actually living his life,” says Anna Maria Socci,

56 City Life Magazine Aug/Sept 2013

Anthony’s aunt and one of his most cherished caregivers. But what Socci claims hurts him the most is the ticking of the clock. In the beginning, there was the nail-biting span of time while he waited for his lifesaver to step up. But even though an anonymous donor finally offered his kidney after the Step By Step Organ Transplant Association hosted a fundraising event for Socci in January of 2012, the waiting period between the donor’s offer and the actual transplant is still taking an unbearably long time. Now, after watching the clock for three years, Socci has grown tired of waiting. “We need two things,” he says. “The first is awareness. We need more people donating their organs. We need them to know why it’s important and how they can go about donating. The second is a shorter amount of time between when a donor steps up and when the actual surgery takes place.” But according to Dr. Gary Levy, director of the Multi-Organ Transplant Program at the University Health Network, these goals are one and the same. “There are many reasons why the process could be protracted,” Dr. Levy says. “It all depends on the testing results, and on the candidate’s availability to be tested. Also, many of the candidates decide along the way that it’s too risky and opt out.” These setbacks have cut

one’s chances of successfully becoming a donor down to one in six, making the selection process a long and tedious one. If more people were stepping up to become a live organ donor, Dr. Levy says, those chances would increase — in turn speeding up the waiting time. Patients like Socci aren’t the only ones advocating for more donors to step up. Past donors like Clairmont Humphrey, who donated a piece of his liver to a 14-month-old baby girl in 2008, are rallying for other healthy candidates to join them in saving lives. “The waiting list in Ontario is too long, and folks are dying every day. They don’t have to die,” says Humphrey. “We’ve been told time and time again that it’s better to give than to receive, and becoming a living donor is the epitome of that calling.” It’s a calling that many would label as terrifying, but Socci doesn’t underestimate people’s bravery and goodwill. Even though still waiting for the operation, he appreciates what it means for a donor to anonymously offer him a kidney. “It feels amazing, seeing the goodness in people. Knowing that that kind of goodness actually exists in humanity is humbling and refreshing.” To register as a live organ donor and discover if you’re able to save someone’s life, speak with the organ and tissue transplant team at your local hospital.

City Life Magazine Aug/Sept 2013 57 3+2726&2857(6<2)&28175<:,'(+20(6

Exploring a shipwreck off the coast of Honduras


Adam Shepard volunteers his time at a children’s talent show in El Porvenir, Honduras

ABOVE THE CLOUDS From scaling sheer cliffs to diving off the coast of Honduras, an adventurous twentysomething embarks on a yearlong journey into the wide blue yonder. What he discovers is beyond what you’d find in a 9-to-5 setting


eople ask me why I took this trip. And not because they are curious about why I would jet away from my regular life for a year in favour of bungee jumping and mustering cattle and volunteering with children and fighting bulls. Rather, they are curious about why I would take the risk to give up so many good things going on at home. Career moves; a lively social life; weekly meals with my family; the healthy stability. And it’s just that: the stability. I realized at the time that stability is kind of a myth and that I didn’t need it. We’re reared within this very stiff paradigm: do your homework, find the right internship, graduate, work, meet the right guy or girl, work some more, make babies, take two weeks of vacation a year, retire, take a few cruises, die. We leave little room to really escape, to truly get lost, to get away and see what the world has to offer, to foster our identity. And I realized that the implications of breaking the stiff paradigm of my life just might turn up something positive. At least this is what I presume my seventy-year-old self will be thinking. I can see myself nestled comfortably in my

58 City Life Magazine Aug/Sept 2013

La-Z-Boy as my grandchildren draw in close and ask me questions about that trip from way back in my twenties. The aroma of a honey-glazed ham and greenbean casserole and stuffing and hash browns and mashed potatoes drifting softly into the living room from their grandma’s kitchen. Two pies — pecan, my favourite, and pumpkin, which I don’t care for — are cooling out back on the screened-in porch. And I will tell them what it feels like to stand atop a bungee-jumping platform with the mountain tips of the High Tatras in the background and dive into the air; to stare across the ring at the snarling nostrils and bloodshot eyes of a horned beast readying for the charge; to make a difference in a child’s life who has, quite literally, no possessions to her name. And they will wonder if they might take a trip of their own one day. Critics, after all, cite the gap year as playtime, an obstruction in the career climb. Wasteful, they say, asking how one will find a job when he/she returns. One of the volunteers in Honduras, Chris Hays, answered this blankly. “Even in an economic crisis, crappy jobs aren’t going anywhere. I had a crappy job when I left, and — if I want another one — there’ll be one waiting for me

when I get back. My trip, however, won’t wait.” Is this irresponsible? I say no. Yes, a career is important, but don’t we sometimes spend so much time with our lips on our boss’s cheeks that we miss out on some primetime moments of exploration? More than that, aren’t employers ravenous for innovative candidates with the ability to think critically? A classroom education is essential, but isn’t there also value in seeing the world as it really is, rather than just through a textbook or cocktail-party conversation? In this global economy, isn’t it important to actually get out there to investigate the globe? Am I not an improved citizen now that I’ve spent a little time outside? Hasn’t this year imparted teachings that maybe I couldn’t get any other way? Won’t lessons learned with the concert tickets in Guatemala or in that taxi in Managua or examining the financial intricacies of the AustralianIndonesian cattle trade apply to the business world? Won’t meeting people face-to-face in a social setting, and seeing where they come from, develop my professional relationships with them and other foreigners to whom I outsource work?

Photos By Ivana Shepard

Written By Adam Shepard

Am I now better equipped and ready to embrace uncertainty? At the very least, haven’t I improved my potential interview patter? All I know is that if I had not set off from home a little over a year ago, it would have been the next on a very short list of regrets in my life. My seventyyear-old self isn’t going to look back on my twenty-ninth year and say, “I wish I would have watched a documentary on Auschwitz instead of going there to see it for myself.”


ADAM SHEPARD GUEST TRAVEL EDITOR With a goal to develop and enrich his identity beyond the rigid paradigms of society, Adam Shepard recounts his yearlong journey across 17 countries, four continents and one haunting encounter with a savage bull in his second book, One Year Lived. In his keynote speech, “What Will You Do Next?”, the business management graduate from North Carolina encourages initiative and details strategies for capitalizing on both triumph and misfortune.

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12-5100 Rutherford Rd. Woodbridge, Ontario L4H 2J2 City Life Magazine Aug/Sept 2013


MOSHE HAMMER To launch the 2013 Ideacity conference, Moshe Hammer took the stage with 150 violin-equipped children and led an adorable rendition of “O Canada.” But it wasn’t just to elicit the oohs and awes of an enamoured audience. Hammer is a world-renowned violinist who believes

research project, Tapscott and his team interviewed 11,000 millennials from 10 countries and found quite the contrary. What he sees is a “digital generation” with high IQs living at a time when it’s never been harder to get into top universities, where volunteering continues to grow and alcohol, drug use and youth crime continue to decline. For the first time in our history the youth are leading the way and finding themselves as authorities on an all-too important subject, the digital revolution. According to Tapscott, educational systems are not keeping pace with this accelerating generation. Schools need to focus more on collaboration and less on top-down lecturing to better encourage students’ development. His message: “Boomers: lighten up. The kids are alright.”

MICHAEL GREEN There’s a problem with the way we build buildings. In the U.S., transportation accounts for 28 per cent of total energy use. The manufacturing and operation of buildings? Nearly 50 per cent. When it comes to carbon dioxide emissions, air travel generates 1.6 per cent of America’s total emissions while shipping creates 3 per cent. Steel and concrete, two major construction materials, on the other hand, are responsible for 4 per cent and 5 to 8 per cent, respectively. This is a concern for Michael Green. The B.C.–based architect believes this matter isn’t talked about enough within his field. While many starchitects focus on esthetics and iconic-looking structures, Green feels these staggering figures indicate that a shift is needed in how buildings are created, especially with swelling urban populations. He explains how everyday 100,000 new people need a home. By 2025 that will bring an additional 3 billion people, 40 per cent of the world’s population, into the housing market. “It means we have to reinvent the materials we build our cities with,” he says. Green’s firm, Michael Green Architecture, is experimenting with incorporating wood into large-scale buildings, including skyscrapers. Using the “Finding the Forest Through the Trees” model, Green proposes using mass timber panels that function like concrete and steel as a primary building material in multi-storey buildings. Not only is wood highly durable and rapidly renewable, but it also “sequesters carbon” during maturation, helping to remove it from the atmosphere. Of course, deforestation is a concern, but through “certification plus conservation,” it’s a matter Green believes we can regulate and monitor. “The choice of material matters,” he says, and wood could provide the answer.

deacity From wooden skyscrapers to data dating and printable skin, these 10 progressive concepts show why Toronto’s Ideacity conference is “Canada’s premiere meeting of the minds” Written By Michael Hill

2 DON TAPSCOTT Gen-Yer’s take a lot of flak. They’re often labelled lazy, entitled, narcissistic and ignorant, with poor social skills and bad values. They’ve even been called “The Dumbest Generation,” by Emory University professor Mark Bauerlein. But according to Canadian CEO, consultant and author Don Tapscott (Macrowikinomics), these criticisms are ungrounded. In a recent $4-million

60 City Life Magazine Aug/Sept 2013


Photo #1 By The Hammer Band, #2 By Kris Krug, #3 By Gaile Guevara, #4, 7, 8, 9, 10 By Gene Driskell, #6 By Jena Duncan


music has the power to change lives. He founded The Hammer Band in 2006 as a response to the gun violence that raged in Toronto in 2005, with the wish “to change violence into violins,” he explains. The Hammer Band is a unique, and free, opportunity that provides students with both a violin and lessons for the year. The classes foster problem-solving skills and teamwork, boosting each child’s self-worth and steering at-risk youth away from violent paths. Since its inception, The Hammer Band has grown from 40 kids to over 350. Hammer hopes to see that number hit 500 this fall. Donations are warmly welcomed and greatly appreciated.




JACK ANDRAKA When a family friend was taken by pancreatic cancer, Jack Andraka turned tragedy into hope. The then 15-yearold did some digging, researching how doctors identify and diagnose pancreatic cancer. What he found shocked him. Over 85 per cent of pancreatic cancers are diagnosed too late, when the chance of survival is only 2 per cent. The test to detect that cancer was the problem: it was grossly inaccurate, shockingly outdated — over 60 years old, “that’s older than my dad,” Andraka jokes — and at $800 per test, too expensive. There had to be a better way. He toiled for months, sifting through thousands of proteins found in the blood of those diagnosed with cancer, until he found one that seemed more prevalent in patients with pancreatic cancer: mesothelin. A stroke of luck in biology class gave him the idea to combine carbon nanotubes with antibodies on a simple paper detector to help identify that specific protein. He compiled his research and sent 200 proposals to professors at Johns Hopkins University, hoping for a chance to develop a working detector in a lab setting. He received 199 rejections. But Dr. Anirban Maitra offered to hear him out, and Andraka convinced him of the great potential of his dipstick sensor. Seven months later Andraka had his working detector. “It costs three cents and takes five minutes to run,” he says. “It’s 168 times faster, over 26,000 times less expensive and over 400 times more sensitive than our current standards for pancreatic cancer detection.” By swapping in different antibodies, Andraka explains, his patent-pending sensor can detect any number of cancers or other diseases, potentially changing how we identify and diagnose life-threatening diseases. Not bad for a 15-year-old.

AMY WEBB Is there an algorithm for love? Amy Webb thinks so. But it isn’t one formulated by an online dating site — it’s one you write yourself. Webb, a digital strategist and author of Data, A Love Story, had experienced all types of “truly awful dates.” While friends and family thought she was too picky, Webb’s heart was set on finding her Prince Charming. She refused to settle. She decided to try online dating. These digital matchmakers advertised the use of algorithms to fix up supposedly suitable mates, and as a data analyst herself, this tactic was appealing. Webb found, unfortunately, that there was more to it than just inputting info. “Most of us don’t answer all of the questions on these online poles and systems totally honestly. We tend to answer aspirationally,” she says. Instead of letting the site do all the work, she took the initiative — she reverse engineered and “gamed” online dating. She composed a list of desirable attributes she wanted in a man, prioritized them and developed a scoring system to find Mr. Right. She did further research on the competition, examining how the most successful women built their profiles, and she subsequently optimized hers in a similar fashion. Her strategy worked. She was inundated with scores of emails from potential suitors. None, however, ranked high enough in her system. But her patience eventually paid off. She met a man that fit her desires, and after a year of dating, he popped the question — she had found her husband. “You have to figure out what you’re looking for,” she says, noting honesty with yourself as an important first step, “and be brave enough to go after what you want.”

BRUCE DUNCAN The key to overcoming death isn’t found in some fabled fountain of youth. According to Bruce Duncan, the answer is in technology. Duncan is the managing director of the Terasem Movement Foundation (TMF), a not-for-profit with the mission of using technology to extend human life. Through the foundation’s LifeNaut project, Duncan and his team are interested in transferring human consciousness into new forms. “The Internet is not just growing us a new nervous system,” he says, “it’s actually contributing to the extension of our neocortex.” On the LifeNaut website, users can create a free “mindfile” that they fill with their interests and personal thoughts. Things like videos, documents, the places they’ve been, anything that highlights the personality and experiences of the user, similar to how we use social networking sites like Facebook. In the future, it’s Duncan’s hope that these foundations will be used by Artificial Intelligence software to build digital representations of those users, ones that can explore and share new experiences and ideas with the original. It also means the potential to upload those digital representations into other bodies, including robots. Bina48 is the first example of this possibility. Using TMF co-founder Bina Rothblatt’s mindfile, this robotic bust can converse with people — with attitude and wit, no less — and when connected to the Net, search for specific data and answers to questions. It’s (she’s?) an uncanny model for the project’s possibilities. Duncan foresees a future where it won’t be unusual to have multiple representations of our selves, online and possibly in robotic form, exploring the universe. He sums up his enthusiasm with an iconic Back to the Future quote: “Where we’re going, we don’t need roads.”

City Life Magazine Aug/Sept 2013




AXEL GUENTHER There may be no bigger term in the revolutionary technology department today than “3D printing.” While it’s been touted as the Next Big Thing in manufacturing, one of the most interesting applications is in the field of medicine. Axel Guenther is the scientific director of the University of Toronto’s Centre for Microfluidic Systems in Chemistry and Biology, where he and his team have developed a prototype 3D printer that prints skin. This process, often called “bioprinting,” creates thin sheets of “biotissue” filled with human cells that are then layered on top of each other to produce a material that assumes human tissue-like properties. One square metre of this “tissue duct tape” can be produced in about 45 minutes. Guenther has been collaborating with the Health Sciences Centre at Sunnybrook Hospital to use this printing technique as a workable solution for burn victims. Not only could 3D printing change how we customize our goods for personal use, but in the medical field, it could prove to be an invaluable restorative tool.

NAVEEN JAIN Everyone dreams of coming up with that next billion-dollar idea, to be that entrepreneur with the next paradigm-shifting invention. But Naveen Jain believes most are looking at the problem from an outdated angle. Entrepreneurship, says the business executive and technology pioneer, isn’t about starting a company; it’s a state of mind. It’s about framing problems in novel ways that fit our rapidly changing world, and finding the courage to go out and live that vision. Jain adds fuel to the fervour by presenting scenarios that are ripe for the picking. Can healthcare be improved using one of our most powerful tools, smartphones? How can we develop clean and renewable energy sources using our most abundant resources, sunlight and ocean water? How can we replace current education systems, often described as relics of the industrial age, with modes of learning that foster innovation and problem solving in the 21st century? Those are the avenues entrepreneurial thinkers should travel down. “There’s not a problem on Earth that innovation and entrepreneurship can’t solve,” he states. We just have to go after it.

8 JULIET JIANG How fast can a skyscraper be built? If you asked Juliet Jiang, senior vice-president of Broad Sustainable Buildings, she’d tell you “pretty fast.” Broad’s specialty is pre-fabricated skyscrapers, buildings that are 95 per cent made in a factory. Modulars are made in an assembly line fashion and then put together at the construction site in extraordinarily time. Broad already used this technique to erect a 30-storey hotel in only 15 days. But as Jiang explains, Broad’s next project is vastly more ambitious. It’s called Sky City, an 838-metre tall, 202-floor megastructure that will tower over Changsha, China. It’s a response to the rapid sprawling of booming metropolitans. The idea is to provide everything residents will need all in one building: housing, businesses, schools, shopping, entertainment and healthcare. It’s designed to ensure peak earthquake resistance, energy efficiency and durability. Thanks to the pre-fabrication construction, Broad boasts it will be assembled in only three months (plus four months of factory construction) with an estimated completion of April 2014. If finished according to plan, Sky City will be the tallest building in the world and could be, as Jiang notes, the next step in urbanization.

62 City Life Magazine Aug/Sept 2013

10 MICHAEL NICULA The Canadian political system can be painfully frustrating. Remember when Dalton McGuinty promised not to raise taxes — and then did? This seems to be the trend of many politicians vying for votes: lots of promises, little accountability. Michael Nicula wants to change all that with the Online Party of Canada (OPC). Like many disgruntled Canucks, Nicula was once disenfranchised with the unfulfilled promises scattered in the wake of the political process. Today, however, he sees the Internet as a means of holding politicians responsible for their words. The OPC uses “electronic direct democracy” so members are able to immediately vote on an issue. The party officials must then support the position the majority voted for, regardless of personal opinion. As the OPC is non-partisan, members can change their vote at any time. Party officials must also sign a Promissory Letter of Resignation before they can run for candidacy, so if they don’t follow through with the majority’s wishes they can be forced to resign. Nicula hopes this direct democracy will foster greater participation, hold politicians accountable, and put the power back in the hands of the people.

City Life Magazine Aug/Sept 2013




To celebrate our 10th anniversary, we reflect on the past, revel in the present and look to the future of City Life Magazine — and the community it calls home







10 REASONS TO LOVE VAUGHAN 1. A FOCUS ON HEALTH CARE Between SickKids opening Boomerang Health and the forthcoming Mackenzie Vaughan Hospital, Vaughan is providing more access to excellent medical services than ever before. 2. VAUGHAN METROPOLITAN CENTRE AND SUBWAY EXTENSION Not only is the Vaughan Metro Centre revolutionizing the downtown core, but the Toronto-York Spadina subway extension will link residents to the sights and sounds of Canada’s most exciting city. 3. HOME TO STAR ATHLETES From basketball prodigy Andrew Wiggins to top-20 tennis pro Milos Raonic and Olympic gold medallist Rosie MacLennan, elite athletes are a dime a dozen in the Vaughan area. 4. FANTASTIC DINING With a diverse demographic and a citizenry passionate about their cuisine, Vaughan boasts numerous fine-dining establishments that could tango with Toronto’s best. 5. GREAT SHOPPING The boutiques on Market Lane, the chic outlets at Vaughan Mills — there are plenty of avenues for fashionistas to do their thing.

64 City Life Magazine Aug/Sept 2013

6. CANADA’S WONDERLAND Because having the most roller coasters in the country right at your doorstep is pretty sweet. 7. A GIVING COMMUNITY From noble social endeavours, like the Vitanova Foundation and a Yellow Brick House women’s shelter, to generous charity galas, Vaughan is a community that knows how to give back. 8. THE MCMICHAEL CANADIAN ART COLLECTION Because having a renowned Canadian-focused gallery shows the city’s dedication to the arts. And if there’s anything Glee has taught us it’s that art is the coolest. 9. EXOTIC CAR DEALERSHIPS Yes, we have a Ferrari (Ferrari Maserati of Ontario) and a Lamborghini (Lamborghini Uptown Toronto) dealership right here in Vaughan. If the sexiest of sports cars don’t turn your crank, well, we just feel sorry for you. 10. A GROWING CITYSCAPE With more developments than slices of pepperoni on a meat-lovers pizza, Vaughan is experiencing a metamorphosis that’s ushering in a new era for the city. We can’t wait to see it unfold.

10 BEST QUOTES FROM PAST ISSUES 1. “I’m totally down with lying and deceiving, especially when it comes to making people healthy” — Rocco DiSpirito, celebrity chef


2. “I believe that it is important to fail — to occasionally not experience success. These are the opportunities we have in life to learn and to grow as people” — Johann Olav Koss, Right to Play International founder and CEO


3. “Anything you do from a sense of opportunity, you’re going to do differently. I see corporate social opportunity, in other words, corporate philanthropy, as an incredible opportunity to change the world. I find amusement when I hear people say, ‘Oh yeah, but with great wealth comes great obligation.’ No. With great wealth comes great opportunity” — W. Brett Wilson, entrepreneur and philanthropist 3

4. “I find the best thing to do when you get stuck is really just stop, take a break, because the answer always comes, and it will come in the most bizarre moment” — Steven Reineke, principal pops conductor of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra


5. “Real innovation is just about seeing possibility and connecting ideas. That’s it. My favourite definition of innovation is, ‘an old idea meets a new idea, and then something changes’” — Amanda Lang, senior business correspondent at CBC 5

6. “Food does not have to be something that we revere. We have to actually understand it and use it to our advantage. We go too much for the fluff and not enough for the value and the quality” — Massimo Capra, celebrity chef 7. “It isn’t the amount you save, it is the discipline you establish that sets you up for life financially” — Patricia Lovett-Reid, CTV News Channel’s chief financial commentator 6

8. “Death is very likely the single best invention of life. It’s life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life” — Steve Jobs, co-founder and former CEO of Apple Inc.


9. “Every single person in the world could be a genius at something, if they practised it daily for at least 10 years” — Robin Sharma, motivational speaker and bestselling author 8

10. “It’s a mistake to think that once you’re done with school you need never learn anything new” — Lisa Ray, actress and model









GOLF Eagles Nest

FINE DINING T2 Lounge (voted Best Restaurant in Vaughan)

FOOD AND FUN Dave and Buster’s


CLUBBING Luxy Night Club


SHOPPING Vaughan Mills

KNOWLEDGE Pierre Berton Resource Library

SPORTS HISTORY Canadian Soccer Hall of Fame

THRILLS Canada’s Wonderland

City Life Magazine Aug/Sept 2013





id you know that you can instantly increase the value of your home? There’s no need to save up or wait! The cost of your renovations can be included in your mortgage monthly payments at low rates without having to use costly, high-interest credit cards or second mortgages. This is a product called Purchase Plus Improvements. The search for your perfect home can be tiring — especially when you come across one in the perfect neighbourhood, only to find that its kitchen is outdated, the floors need to be redone, the basement isn’t finished or the bathroom isn’t exactly the spalike oasis you dreamed of. Rather than waiting seven to 10 years to tap into your equity on your home, you can instantly renovate at the time you purchase your home and the bank will finance it! The first step is making the purchase offer conditional on getting approval for the renovation mortgage program. The next stage of this process includes getting a contractor to give you a quote to determine what will get done, and at

66 City Life Magazine Aug/Sept 2013

what cost. The Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) will approve a loan of up to 95 per cent of the “as improved” value of the home. The bank will send an inspector to confirm that the work has been completed, and the bank will then release the funds to the client. The benefit is that banks will only allow you to access 65 per cent of your line of credit, so you can be waiting quite some time before you can tap into your equity. Another option is a second mortgage at much higher rates. A disadvantage of a high ratio mortgage — and it’s certainly not for everyone — is that the mortgage insurance premium gets added to your mortgage. To be sure homebuyers are not biting off more than they can chew, it is important they do their research and speak with a mortgage professional.

Cristina Piccirillo, mortgage broker with Dominion Lending Centres Visit Cristina Piccirillo at Dominion Lending Centres’ new location: 281 Woodbridge Ave., Unit 28, Woodbridge, Ont. 905-605-LEND /

City Life Magazine Aug/Sept 2013

67 68 City Life Magazine Aug/Sept 2013

City Life Magazine Vaughan Toronto Aug/Sept 2013  

Featuring: Role Model: Stacey McKenzie; Being Canadian: Robert Cohen; Naked Ambition: Walter Nudo; Easy Ryder: Serena Ryder; Casino in Vaugh...

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