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The Change Bringing Canada Closer to its Indigenous Roots

50

How to love the Skin You’re In: the Body-Positive Movement

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Gouda

Conversation

with Afrim Pristine

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#CityBites: Where Local Cuisine Sizzles and Bites!

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VOLUME 15 ISSUE 2 | APRIL/MAY 2017

28

CONTENTS

LITTLE MS. SUNSHINE: Breakfast Television’s bubbly morning co-host

ON THE COVER

40

34 40 RESTORING HOPE: How Dr. Meisami turned her grief into goodwill and is helping victims of abuse

56 AFRIM PRISTINE:

THE CHEESE MASTER The co-owner of Toronto’s Cheese Boutique spills on his cheesy love affair

75 CA’N BUSQUERA: An

architectural masterpiece in Mallorca

75

18 City Life Magazine

18 MOM: Mother’s Day

36 MUSIC: “Canadians need

21 PROM PERFECT: Fashion

44 FREEDOM THROUGH

gifts she’ll love you for

26

8

56

April/May 2017

and beauty pros share their best wardrobe, hair and makeup tips for the big night

26 #CITYFINDS: Craving something new? We have your spring wish list

to hear our voices”

FITNESS: A Q&A with personal trainer Nichelle Laus

50 THE SHAPE OF THINGS TO COME: Meet four crusaders in the fight for body confidence

More stories inside … www.mycitylife.ca


In addition to our delicious menu, Sarpa proudly introduces vegan options. This includes dishes like our porcini crusted tofu on a bed of mushroom risotto and spiced tomato soffrito, with roasted king oyster mushrooms AS SEEN ABOVE.

This Yonge Street eatery is a York Region hotspot. Sarpa’s cosy, relaxing vibe is the perfect se�ing for family dinners, lunch dates and corporate and private events. Come and enjoy a mouthwatering menu inspired by Chef Paul’s memories of his work in Veneto, Piedmont and southern Calabria.

13311 Yonge St, Richmond Hill, ON | 905-773-2188

www.sarparestaurant.com

www.mycitylife.ca

8199 Yonge St. Thornhill, Ont.

150 Jozo Weider Blvd. The Blue Mountains, Ont.

1959 Avenue Rd. Toronto, Ont.

April/May 2017

City Life Magazine

9


PUBLISHER’S NOTE

STOP DOUBTING

YOUR GREATNESS AND START LIVING AN

AWESOME LIFE

“Holding onto a grudge is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die”

Michelle Zerillo-Sosa, Publisher/Editor-in-Chief

A

re you a confident person? What is the first thought that comes to mind when you walk past a mirror? “I am too fat.” “I wish I were taller.” “I wish I had hair.” “I wish I were smarter.” “I wish I were richer.” You get the idea. But where does our confidence, or lack thereof, stem from? What makes one individual thrive while another succumbs to self-doubt? Some experts would argue that the messages we receive from very early on tell us that acquiring the latest product will transform us into a more confident, happy version of ourselves. And, lo and behold, should you be a renegade and not subscribe to the mentality of newer, faster, bigger and better — well, you, my friend, might run the risk of not fitting in. And then you might suffer from being less popular, less confident and — dare I voice it — less fun! And the 10

City Life Magazine

April/May 2017

consequences of being less fun, in this era of keeping score of the most likes and hearts, could be devastating to one’s already fragile self-esteem. Reality check: happiness and selfworth should be measured not by what people think of you but what you think of yourself. What we need to focus on instead of selfies is self-love and remind ourselves that most times when you see someone’s seemingly perfect selfie, chances are that photo was not a candid first attempt. It’s no surprise that, according to the Canadian Women’s Foundation, 50 per cent of girls in Grade 6 are on a diet. This issue’s story, “The Shape of Things to Come,” explores how the self-loving, body-positive movement will stop at nothing to promote and celebrate the acceptance of women in all shapes, sizes and colours. As they see it, it’s our social responsibility to show kindness not only to others but ourselves. After all, how can we aspire to live peacefully when we have trouble making peace within ourselves, and sometimes within our families? I love how our cover girl, Dina Pugliese, speaks about being grateful

each and every day for the blessings in her life, reminding us to “keep friends and family close, toxic people at a distance and don’t hold grudges.” In fact, there is a quote that her husband once shared with her on how to navigate unhealthy relationships: “Holding onto a grudge is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.” This soul-healing message, and many others that Pugliese holds close, has a lot to do with the Breakfast Television host’s magnetism, making her a favourite among so many early-morning viewers in Toronto. Our goal this issue was to bring you stories that show us how we can make a difference, even with simple acts of kindness — and what happens when we show kindness to ourselves first. We hope you are surrounded this spring by family and friends who love and support you. That, my friends, is what happiness is all about.

Michelle Zerillo-Sosa Publisher/Editor-in-Chief

@dolcetweets

@amorebagstoronto

www.mycitylife.ca


PUBLISHER / EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Michelle Zerillo-Sosa • michelle@dolce.ca DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS Angela Palmieri-Zerillo • angela@dolce.ca

Celebrate Spring

ART D E PARTM E NT CO-FOUNDER / CREATIVE DIRECTOR Fernando Zerillo • fernando@dolce.ca WEB PROJECT MANAGER Steve Bruno SENIOR GRAPHIC DESIGNER Christina Ban JUNIOR GRAPHIC DESIGNER Axl Valdez WEB DESIGNER Yena Yoo WEB DEVELOPER Jordan Carter E D ITO R IAL D E PARTM E NT FASHION & HOME DÉCOR EDITOR Michelle Zerillo-Sosa BEAUTY & TRAVEL EDITOR Angela Palmieri-Zerillo COPY EDITORS AND PROOFREADERS Francetoast Editing, Nina Hoeschele

Add Some Colour to your Easter Easter Bunny Festival with Easter Berries ®

WRITERS Rebecca Alberico, Amanda Storey CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Robyn Alexander, Dave Gordon, Deirdre Kelly, Amandalina Letterio, Rick Muller CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Mike Ford, Robin Gartner, Max Jamali, Jorge Parra, Carlos A. Pinto

Featuring NEW Custom Swizzle Colours! ®

SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGER Sarah Kanbar VI D E O D E PARTM E NT VIDEOGRAPHER Carlos A. Pinto

Treat Yourself!

PUBLISHER

ADVERTISING T: 905-264-6789 info@mycitylife.ca DIRECTOR OF MARKETING Angela Palmieri-Zerillo • angela@dolce.ca DIRECTOR OF NEW BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT Susan Bhatia SENIOR ACCOUNT MANAGER Mario Balaceanu ACCOUNT MANAGER Christina Bono

Happy Hour All Smoothies 1/2 price between 4 p.m. - 7 p.m. Monday - Friday

OFFICE ADMINISTRATOR Maria Rigazzi FRONT COVER Dina Pugliese / Photo By Max Jamali Hair and Makeup By Aitous Paris/House of Aitous Photo shot on location at The Hazelton Hotel Toronto City Life Magazine • Volume 15 • Issue 2 • April/May 2017 City Life Magazine is published bimonthly by Dolce Media Group, 111 Zenway Blvd., Suite 30, Vaughan, Ont. L4H 3H9 T: 905-264-6789 • F: 905-264-3787 info@mycitylife.ca • www.dolcemedia.ca Subscribe online at www.mycitylife.ca or by calling 905-264-6789. City Life Magazine’s yearly subscription fee is $24.00. We accept Visa, MC & AMEX. Send cheque or money order to Dolce Media Group, 111 Zenway Blvd. #30, Vaughan, Ont. L4H 3H9. Publication Mail Agreement No. 40026675 All rights reserved. Any reproduction is strictly prohibited without written consent from the publishers.

Treat All the Moms mss in your Life This Mother’s Day Mom t Wife t Grandmother t Mother-In-Law aw Sister t Aunt t Best Friend

Mother’s Day is May 14

DISTRIBUTION AND CIRCULATION City Life Magazine reaches 294,810 readers per issue through household distribution and event partnerships across Canada. City Life is also available to over 100 million digital consumers of Magzter Inc. and Issuu. Inquiries about where City Life Magazine is available for sale should be directed to Dolce Media Group: info@dolce.ca or 905-264-6789. ISSN 1206-1778 Next Issue: June/July 2017 The opinions expressed in City Life Magazine are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher or advertisers. Dolce Media Group does not assume liability for content. The material in this magazine is intended for information purposes only and is in no way intended to supersede professional advice. We are proud to be a Canadian company that has successfully published magazines for the past 20 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. ©2017 Dolce Media Group • www.dolcemedia.ca • Printed in Canada

www.mycitylife.ca

@citylifetoronto

www.facebook.com/citylifemagazinevaughan

@citylifemag

905-738-4100

3255 Rutherford Road, Building H Vaughan, ON L4K 5Y5

edible.ca

Edible , Edible Arrangements , the Fruit Basket Logo, and other marks mentioned herein are registered trademarks of Edible Arrangements, LLC. © 2017 Edible Arrangements, LLC. All rights reserved. ®

April/May 2017

City Life Magazine

11


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City Life Magazine

April/May 2017

www.mycitylife.ca


WE WARMLY WELCOME NEW SMILES

EXTRAORDINARY SMILES Every detail is considered to maximize the beauty of your smile.

ADVANCED TECHNOLOGY Modern treatment techniques are used to minimize discomfort, accelerate treatment and achieve optimal results.

DEDICATION Our doctors can be contacted on a 24-7 basis to accommodate emergencies in a timely manner.

FUN AND FRIENDLY ENVIRONMENT Enjoy our refreshment area, snack bar, game room, iPad station, monthly contests and Smile Rewards program.

CONVENIENCE Evening and weekend appointments are available.

Contact us to schedule your your FREE REE CONSULTATION CONS Firs Fi rstt or rs orth thod th odon od onti on ticc co ti cons nsul ns ulta ul tati ta tion ti on iiss re reco comm co mmen mm ende en ded de d at aage g 7•N ge o Re Refe ferr fe rral rr alss Ne al Nece cess ce ssar ss ary ar y First orthodontic consultation recommended No Referrals Necessary

3611 Major Mackenzie Dr., Unit 2, Vaughan, ON

2085 Lawrence Ave. East, Unit 6, Toronto, ON

(Major Mackenzie Drive & Highway 400)

(Lawrence Avenue East & Warden Avenue)

905-553-7778

416-901-7778

www.mycitylife.ca

www.tasiosortho.com

April/May 2017

City Life Magazine

15


A DV E R TO R I A L

All Scales Aside

When exercise becomes second nature, total health becomes the focus. Integrity Fitness celebrates its trainers and members who are unconditionally committed to the lifelong fitness lifestyle

T

he team at Integrity Fitness proudly boasts an incredible success rate among its membership, with an unbelievable number of women committed to the lifestyle that Integrity Fitness promotes: a lifelong dedication to total body fitness, inside and out. Owner Paul Walker and his team of trainers have an ongoing focus and passion to work alongside women in helping them achieve the best version of themselves. The team passes along empowerment and opportunity to women who think it’s impossible to maintain a long-term healthy lifestyle. With decades of experience in the industry, star trainers Sandra Mazzoli and Claudia Aversa epitomize lifelong fitness. Day in and day out Sandra and Claudia are motivated to help members stay dedicated and focused, while fostering love for a healthy lifestyle through their patient, compassionate and relatable approach. “I love seeing people’s lives transform mentally and emotionally — it’s not always about the weight,” says Sandra. Sandra has been dedicated to her own total body fitness since a health scare reminded her that fitness was more than just appearing in shape. “Fitness is important no matter what your shape or size,” says Sandra. “If you look fit, your heart and muscles need to be as well.” For Claudia, working out is a treat, a stress release that leaves her feeling rejuvenated and ready to tackle her days with energy and enthusiasm. It’s the contagious spirit she brings to each of her sessions that inspires members to take their workouts to the next level — never wanting to settle for the “quick fix.”

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April/May 2017

STAR TRAINERS

CLAUDIA

SANDRA

STAR CLIENTS

LUPE

SABRINA

“Sometimes people see it as a big sacrifice to exercise and eat well, but really you’re doing it for yourself and your family,” says Claudia. “You also become a role model, setting your family up for a healthy lifestyle too.” The mentorship that Sandra and Claudia demonstrate is easily translated to the gym’s members. Along with the

numerous transformation stories that are continuously emerging from Integrity Fitness, there are just as many stories that boast about existing members who have found an ongoing way to live a healthy and active lifestyle. Impressively, star member Sabrina has attended more than 1,500 boot camp sessions. In fact, during her second pregnancy, Sabrina trained at boot camp until the day she gave birth. She attributes her dedication to her workouts to the wonderful trainers at Integrity Fitness, who encouraged her to push through her obstacles, in turn instilling in her a lifelong love of fitness. Fellow gym member Lupe achieved her weight loss goals, but is far more proud of what she gained in exchange — increased energy and mental strength. Over the course of more than 900 training sessions at Integrity Fitness, Lupe has learned the importance of maintaining fitness in all aspects of her life. She praises Integrity Fitness for providing her with the necessary support to live her best life, physically and mentally. The team at Integrity Fitness believes that fitness is not a journey with a finish line, but rather a way of life. Trainers like Sandra and Claudia are committed to helping each member achieve their fitness goals and promoting a lifelong love of fitness with an abundance of support and guidance.

51 Jevlan Dr., Woodbridge, Ont. 8000 Hwy. 27, Woodbridge, Ont. 905-851-7722 www.integrityfitness.ca www.mycitylife.ca


WE START WITH YOUR VISION TO CREATE YOUR DREAM

CALL US TODAY TO BOOK YOUR FREE CONSULTATION! Quality landscaping increases the value and beauty of your property, brings a peaceful atmosphere to your home and expresses who you are. At Bongro we customize each project to suit your individual needs and envision your dream surroundings. Our team of qualified landscape professionals is prepared to turn your vision to reality, regardless of scope or complexity.

LANDSCAPE CONSTRUCTION • MAINTENANCE • SNOW SERVICE • DESIGN SERVICE

905-669-5499 | 13175 Weston Rd., King City, Ont. | www.bongro.ca www.mycitylife.ca

Dec/Jan 2016/17

City Life Magazine

17


gift guide

▶ High Tea: The prettiest addition to her collection www.desiree.ca

▶ Glossy Gal: These Prismatic Pearl Creme Lip Glosses are everything www.bitebeauty.com

◀ Furry Friends: This woolly white cat makes the purr-fect bookmark www.etsy.com

▼ Charmed: Customizable Pandora lockets for the sentimental soul www.cupidodesigns.com

▶ Love Bite: For a lip as bold as she is brave www.bitebeauty.com

m m When she tells you all she wants is your love this Mother’s Day, smile, nod and hand her the perfect gift anyway

▲ Gilded Emotions: Infinite hugs and kisses for mom with this chic tic-tac-toe set www.chapters.indigo.ca

Feet Up: We heart the Lavender Chair, featuring a rose-pink velvet microfibre and espresso wood legs www.theartshoppe.com

▲ Vegan Delight: Treat her to desserts as sweet as she is from this totally gluten-free and vegan shop www.sorelleandco.com

▶ Gentle Reminders: This mug is a surefire way to make sure she never forgets www.chapters.indigo.ca

▼ Eternal Flame: Mom’s love burns as bright as this French tulip Pagoda candle www.sedafrance.com

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City Life Magazine

April/May 2017

TEXT BY REBECCA ALBERICO

◀ Never Enough: Twotone Stessy heels are a shoe as bold as she is www.aldoshoes.com

www.mycitylife.ca


Fashion-forward products from across the globe, hand-picked by our lighting design specialists.

Exclusively selected furniture and designs that are built to last, and leave a lasting impression.

SHOP NOW AT PRIMALIGHTING.CA 255 Bass Pro Mills Drive l Vaughan, Ontario l 905 851 1188

www.mycitylife.ca

April/May 2017

City Life Magazine

19


A DV E R TO R I A L

Villaggio’s traditional dishes return following a thoroughly modern makeover to its popular Vaughan restaurant

V FOR VILLAGGIO

T

he cornerstone of Mediterranean cuisine in Kleinburg, Villaggio Ristorante, has undergone a major facelift after 13 years in business — it’s no coincidence that this number signifies luck for Italians. After six weeks of renovations, Villaggio reopened its doors to the community late February and the positive response to its modern makeover has been overwhelming. Over the years, the restaurant has gone through small upgrades, but this complete overhaul was a first for Villaggio. “It was impor tant for us to reinvigorate the business and the clientele by giving them this new, modern space to work in, eat in and enjoy,” says Sabina Barbiere, managing partner at Villaggio. While maintaining its authentic charm, the restaurant’s ambience exudes a new level of sophistication

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April/May 2017

— perfectly suited to the finedining service experience and warm hospitality Villaggio has always upheld. Along with its stunning esthetic upgrades, the restaurant’s chefs have been introducing fresh new flavours to the menu — modernizing some traditional dishes while inventing new ones. “We really want to emphasize our use of the fresh, local and seasonal ingredients that make up our dishes,” says Barbiere. Although the favourites, like the risotto aragosta, polpo and agnello, will remain menu staples, many plates are set to change seasonally to add variety and captivate new and regular patrons alike. The spring menu is set to include mouthwatering dishes such as sformatino di funghi, with fresh herbs and crispy prosciutto in a parmigianoreggiano cream sauce, and the

pappardelle agnello e tartufo, a slowcooked Ontario leg of lamb ragu, white wine and white truffle oil. In the spirit of growth and change, Villaggio has also introduced catering services within Vaughan and Kleinburg. For occasions with six or more attending, customers can pre-order trays of classic Villaggio antipasti, meats, pastas and seafood. Full menus are available on Villaggio’s website and updates can be found on the restaurant’s social media channels.

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

PHOTOS BY CARLOS A. PINTO / DOLCE MEDIA GROUP

Vaughan’s popular Italian eatery Villaggio Ristorante has reopened after closing for renovations earlier this year


PROM PERFECT We can’t help but fall head over heels for these Juan Carlos Pinera designs. With prom around the corner, it’s time to start thinking of the perfect prom ensemble. Our fashion and beauty professionals share their tips for achieving your best look — from head to toe

TEXT BY REBECCA ALBERICO

Brittany Gray, Fancy Face Inc. www.fancyface.ca

Red is an emotionally intense colour, representing strength, power and determination

www.mycitylife.ca

MAKEUP TIPS 1- Play it neutral for a timeless and chic look. 2 - Play up your eyes. A neutral eyeshadow with a touch of sparkle on the lid of the eye, soft brown in the crease, black shadow eyeliner for a softer effect and a layered lash look. A wispy strip of lashes on the eyes and a few individual clusters add extra length and dimension. 3 - Choose a fresh peach or pink colour for the cheeks to avoid looking washed out. 4 - An HD foundation will ensure the camera and the makeup work well together. 5 - Set your makeup with a powder. 6 - Add a highlighter powder to the tops of your cheekbones for that JLo glow. 7 - Choose a lip colour that complements you best. 8 - Choose a matte bronzer that is two tones darker than your skin to add warmth.

April/May 2017

City Life Magazine

21


A floor-length number with delicate spaghetti straps elongates the neck and accentuates posture

Marie Lawes, Beauty Emporium www.thebeauty-emporium.com SPRING HAIR Pastels shades of pink, violet and blue are in bloom — hues should be custom blended to compliment the skin tone. New to the scene is rose gold, added to blondes for subtle effect or dramatic highlight. Colourists are utilizing colour contouring to place lighter shades along the face for a brightening effect. Prom Hair: Luscious locks worn slicked back or half up half down does wonders to show off a freshly made up face. Incorporate hair extensions for added volume, colour or texture. Textured hair has also grown in popularity as more celebrities and stylists are working with their natural coarseness — think loose beach waves using a curling wand and texturizing spray.

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April/May 2017

www.mycitylife.ca


Don’t be afraid to experiment with unique textures and patterns. This is a night to have fun with fashion

Cristina De Francesco, White Cherry Boutique www.whitecherryboutique.com

Photography: Jorge Parra / www.jorgeparra.com Makeup: Daniel Avalos Hairstyling: Gabriel Noda Cocktail dresses and gowns by Juan Carlos Pinera Shoes by Aldo

FASHION TIPS One major trend we are seeing is the twopiece ensembles, whether it is actually two pieces or a faux crop top with mesh in the middle, everyone wants to show off the midriff. We’re also loving illusion beading and cut-outs. It’s such a great way to enhance the most flattering parts of the body. Try a dress with a cut-out if you are looking for a more dramatic look. The high slit: is it even a prom dress if it doesn’t have a slit? Taken directly from celeb red carpet style, this is one trend you don’t want to miss.

www.mycitylife.ca

April/May 2017

City Life Magazine

23


A DV E R TO R I A L

Dr. Michael Goldstein has been creating amazing smiles in Vaughan since 2007

SOMETHING TO SMILE ABOUT New name, same award-winning team: Tru North Orthodontics welcomes patients new and old to a refreshed environment

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www.mycitylife.ca

PHOTO BY CARLOS A. PINTO / DOLCE MEDIA GROUP

I

t may look like it’s new in town, but Tru North Orthodontics has been Vaughan’s go-to practice for more than a decade, having formerly operated under the name Davis Orthodontics. Under the leadership of Dr. Michael Goldstein, BSC, DMD, FRCD(C), the clinic is embarking on a fresh look. But while its new name and look symbolize the next chapter for Tru North Orthodontics, the heart of the practice is the same: staffed with the same team of doctors and experts — who have a combined 400 years of experience in the industry — it’s still the clinic that Vaughan has come to know and love over the past 13 years. Dr. Goldstein himself has been practising orthodontics for 15 years, and complementing his wealth of expertise is the clinic’s array of multidisciplinary specialists. By having multiple specialists in the office, including orthodontists, like Dr. Natalie Swoboda who has been with the team since 2014, registered orthodontic hygienists, sterilization technicians and more, Tru North Orthodontics is able to promise a wellrounded experience, ensuring each case is reviewed by different experts with varying perspectives and knowledge. Impressively, the Tru North Orthodontics team is also known for finishing treatments in 20 per cent fewer visits than the industry average, saving patients their cherished time, energy and funds. “The expertise of our doctors and team is one of the things I’m most proud of” says Dr. Goldstein. “Many of our team members have been with us from the inception of the practice, and we’re a very close-knit family.” Dr. Goldstein himself grew up in Edmonton and earned his doctorate in dentistry at the Oregon Health &


We strive to be leaders in the industry in treatment options, efficiency and affordability, so our patients can achieve spectacular smiles while having a great experience

Science University. When he brought his practice to Woodbridge in 2007, he quickly found his place at Davis Orthodontics — and today, as the head of the clinic, his goal is to continue to guide Tru North as it provides the highest level of orthodontic care using advanced technology in a fun, engaging and supportive environment. “We strive to be leaders in the industry in treatment options, efficiency and affordability, so our patients can achieve spectacular smiles while having a great experience,” says Dr. Goldstein, who is also a Fellow of the Royal College of Dentists of Canada in the specialty of orthodontics and is on the executive board of the Ontario Association of Orthodontists. Davis Orthodontics was always heavily

www.mycitylife.ca

involved in the Vaughan community, and Dr. Goldstein and his team are ensuring that Tru North carries on that tradition. In fact, he and the team are bringing on even more philanthropic commitments than before, from Adopt-a-Road and Adopt-a-Park initiatives to sponsoring kids’ sports teams. “The most rewarding part of what I do is improving people’s self-esteem, which gives them a greater chance of success in all aspects of their life,” says Dr. Goldstein. “Seeing a personality transformation happen once their braces are off and they have the smile that they’ve always wanted, that is what makes me excited to come to work every day.” In keeping with this commitment to improving patients’ self-esteem, Tru

The team at Tru North strives to provide the highest level of orthodontic care using advanced technology in a fun and engaging environment

North aims to maintain patient satisfaction and confidence in the final product. For this reason, the practice offers a unique Lifetime Retainer Program. “People worry that braces are expensive, but retainers are really what protect that investment,” says Dr. Goldstein. “We’ve created the program to ensure our patients are comfortable coming back here at any point to make sure their teeth and bite remain perfect.” With this type of dedication to patient satisfaction it’s no wonder Tru North boasts a referral rate of nearly 100 per cent and has won several readers’ choice accolades year after year. Dr. Goldstein encourages longstanding and new patients alike to come experience Tru North — same talented professionals, same awardwinning service.

3883 Rutherford Rd., Suite B-9, Woodbridge, Ont. 905-856-9200 www.truortho.com

April/May 2017

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#CityFinds

Treat yourself! We’ve curated a page of the prettiest things to splurge on this spring

▶ IT WAS ALL YELLOW: Refresh h your space with happy colourss www.steelespaint.com m

▼ BUON GIORNO: Cruise with the Honda Giorno 2017 www.motoretta.ca

▲ DRESS TO IMPRESS: Fresh colours for spring www.perlui.ca

▲ SOMETHIN’ STUPID: Surely a pillow Sinatra would have been proud to own www.chapters.indigo.ca ◀ LITERARY LOVE: A guide to living your best life www.jensincero.com

▶ GREEN-ISH THUMBS UP: Easyto-please succulents for your home www.ikea.com/ca ▶ ICE CREAM, YOU SCREAM: Chill out with a scoop or two of La Paloma’s gelato www.lapaloma.ca

▶ SUSTAINABLE STYLE: H&M’s Conscious Exclusive 2017 collection www.hm.com/canada

▲ GLAM SQUAD GOALS: Hair and makeup on point @houseofaitous

▲ WANDERING: A sculpture by the late Anthony Caro www.ago.net

▼ MALLOW OUT: Butter marshmallows by Pusateri’s www.pusateris.com

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We want to hear from you! Send your #CityFinds to info@mycitylife.ca for the opportunity to be featured in our next edition.

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HAIR AND MAKEUP BY AITOUS PARIS/HOUSE OF AITOUS PHOTOS SHOT ON LOCATION AT THE HAZELTON HOTEL TORONTO

Dina Pugliese, co-host of City’s Breakfast Television, was born in Toronto and raised in Woodbridge, Ont.

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www.mycitylife.ca


Since 2006, Dina Pugliese has been waking up with Torontonians as the co-host of City’s Breakfast Television

LITTLE MS.

SUNSHINE Dina Pugliese is the 6ix’s favourite early-morning It Girl. The Breakfast Television co-host and her contagious charisma give us a reason to love mornings again — even just a little Written by Rick Muller with files from Amanda Storey Photography by Max Jamali

T

he early-morning hours don’t typically lend themselves to mirth. Bubbliness, warmth, inquisitiveness, connectivity – these aren’t easy qualities to summon before the sun rises. Maybe that’s why broadcast personalities who work the early slot often seem to be laying it on a bit thick. But what’s clear upon meeting Dina Pugliese, who has been the co-host of the Toronto morning show Breakfast Television since 2006, is that her upbeat presence isn’t an act. www.mycitylife.ca

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“I’m exactly the same person I am onair as in real life,” says the Woodbridgeraised Pugliese. What is practised, however, is her technique for snapping into gear. “I have a pretty set routine. I shower, check emails and overnight stories, go over my notes for the show and eat a big breakfast. Believe it or not, I used to have nine cups of coffee before 9 a.m.,” she says. “Now I’m down to three or four.” The ritual, according to Pugliese, is essential to her success, but she’s also quick to credit her sustained buoyancy to a positive work culture. “Going to work that early certainly isn’t a normal lifestyle. At that time of the night it’s just me and the raccoons. But the great atmosphere behind the show is what gets us going,” says Pugliese. “The jokes and laughs from the security guards, makeup people and crew members honestly transfer onto the air.” Pugliese calls the cast and crew her “BT family” and believes the audience is both drawn in by, and feels included in, that dynamic. “We all feel so blessed that so many people feel connected to BT,” says Pugliese. “One of my great joys is meeting viewers. They always want to chat, take photos and thank us for getting their days started in a fun and entertaining way. At Costco recently a viewer approached me and wanted me to speak to her daughter on the phone.” Audience numbers back up the warm fuzzies: BT has almost 274,000 followers on Twitter, and more than 100,000 on Facebook. Tweets from Pugliese herself – who is also a spokesperson for Yorkdale Shopping Centre and Garnier – reach more than 125,000 followers. What’s more, on the ratings front BT has held the lead as Toronto’s top morning show since 2015. Given that Pugliese lives and breathes the role, it’s surprising to hear her say that, for a long time, she wasn’t sure what she wanted to do with her life. It wasn’t until she reached the end of a program in sociology and mass communications at York that the media bug bit her. “In fourth year, we had to do a mock newscast and I found it so much fun,” 30

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KEEP YOUR “ FRIENDS

AND FAMILY CLOSE, KEEP THE TOXIC PEOPLE AT A DISTANCE AND DON’T HOLD GRUDGES

she says. “I named myself Dina Black as an ode to Vanna White.” More interested in entertainment, health and lifestyle stories than hard news, Pugliese continued her education in the journalism program at Humber College, where her attraction to radio and television deepened. “I loved the immediacy of radio and TV and one of the great things about the Humber course was that you could do an internship at Global Television,” recalls Pugliese. “I did that and gave it everything I had, doing all the grunt jobs, and absolutely loved it. They then offered me a job when I finished school and I worked as a segment producer on The Bynon Show,” a daytime talk show hosted by Arlene Bynon. “It was a tremendous learning experience. I sometimes feel today’s younger generation feels entitled and just wants to start on an anchor desk, but it doesn’t work that way. You have to learn the ropes and I believe you appreciate it more if you do.” It wasn’t long after joining BT in 2006 that Pugliese’s infectious enthusiasm and engaging style — along with a willingness to try just about anything — won her fans. “Everything I learned is from Mary Ito,” Pugliese says of the CBC broadcaster. “She has been an incredible mentor to me. She showed me you could be kind and loving and not only survive but thrive in this business.” During her years working in the industry, Pugliese has developed a motto that applies evenly to the media business and life: “Work hard, be kind to others and don’t be a pushover. It’s OK if there are some people out there who don’t like me, as it’s a fine balance to be strong yet kind,” she says. There’s more: “Keep your friends and family close, keep the toxic people at a distance and don’t hold grudges. They eat away at you. My wise husband [Alek Mirkovich] once told me that holding grudges is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. Isn’t that so true?” Pugliese and Mirkovich have been together for 12 years. They don’t have children. “We tried too late, as fate would have it, and while we considered all the options available to us, we www.mycitylife.ca


Pugliese’s wardrobe on Breakfast Television, and on these pages, is provided by Yorkdale Shopping Centre

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Pugliese describes the CBC’s Mary Ito as a mentor and an inspiration. “She showed me you could be kind and loving and not only survive but thrive in this business”

eventually decided our lives were already wonderful. We have a very full life of being godparents and an attentive aunt and uncle to many nieces and nephews,” she says. “It’s really amazing how you can give back in so many ways without being parents yourselves.” Family, Pugliese says, is as important to her as the place she came from. “I spend most of my free time back in Vaughan surrounded by family, which is the absolute best time for me, as I still have so many connections there. I love to dine at Avenue in Kleinburg and just love Sweet Boutique’s zeppole — in fact, its owner, Anthony, made my wedding cake. I go back to visit my mom and dad and other family all the time.” Her travels also take her farther afield. On the schedule for 2017 is a trip back to Sardinia, one of her favourite destinations. “We just love it there — the food, the wine, the swimming, the hiking. I am amazed how many people there live to be 100 years old. Is it goat milk, sea air or just the joy of life?” she wonders. The latter is something Pugliese knows something about, both off the air and on it. “I truly believe laughter is the best medicine. It’s just so good for the body,” she says. “Everyone has a certain amount of stress in their lives, especially early in the morning when people are juggling so many things to get their day going. If we can inform them, give them a laugh or two – laugh at us or with us, it doesn’t matter – then I feel we are doing our jobs.” www.dinapugliese.com @dinapugliese @dina.pugliese 32

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auto

BMW X5 XDRIVE35I AND

The city-friendly xDrive40e plug-in joins the X5 team Written By Amandalina Letterio

XDRIVE40E

BMW X5 xDrive40e The X5 is notably sleek and sporty, and now it’s eco-friendly, too. But don’t let the electric engine fool you — the xDrive40e can reach up to 308 hp

B

MW calls the X5 an SAV: Sport Activity Vehicle — as opposed to a Sport Utility Vehicle or SUV.  The luxury brand says the term was created for this  new class that’s based on four-wheel drive, as opposed to the all-wheel drive that’s typical in SUVs. In other words: BMW has created a class all its own. After debuting in 1999, the X5 directed family SUVs toward power, refinement and versatility, giving parents everywhere the option to get 34

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things done without compromising on style. Now in its third generation of X5s, BMW has added a hybrid to its models, alongside other updates to the vehicle you already know and love. The X5 has that sleek sophistication you would expect from BMW. If you love the muscle of the X6 but want something a bit less sporty with the classic Beemer design, the xDrive50i is your ride: it reaches up to 445 horsepower. However, if you love the look of the X5 but don’t care for all that power (or burning that much

gas), the xDrive35i is the engine you’ll prefer. The 35i engine isn’t weak by any means — it still can reach up to 300 hp and gives you a nice roar. And it’s wellsuited to parents who want the space of a minivan when they are driving the kids around, with options like a third row to allow a few nieces and nephews to tag along. When the kids aren’t in the car, mom and dad still have a chance to feel stylish running errands in this vehicle. The xDrive40e, on the other hand, quietly zips down the road with a 111-hp electric motor, powered by www.mycitylife.ca


BWM X5 xDrive35i With an optional fold-up third seat, you can pick up the kids and some of their teammates after soccer practice

a 9.2-kWh lithium-ion battery and linked to a 2-litre, 4-cylinder turbocharged engine. The 8-speed automatic transmission sends 308 hp and 332 lb-ft of torque to all four wheels. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, this plug-in hybrid’s range is up to 22.5 kilometres (14 miles). In full throttle, this engine can only get you up to 120 km/h, which might make you want to use the gas if you decide to take

your X5 on that road trip down an American freeway. Otherwise, the xDrive40e is equally as beautiful as its sister models, but is a much more fuelefficient choice. BMW’s Sport Activity Vehicles have stayed at the top of their class for a long time. The X5 gets particular mention at the top of any list of high-end SUVs thanks to BMW’s motivation to maintain the line’s advancements and refinement. The luxury brand has preserved the spirit of the car by

keeping it a family vehicle and updating it, such as with the xDrive35i, while also expanding its clientele by offering twists like a sportier version with more power in the xDrive50i. Now added to its modern options is a more ecofriendly version, the xDrive40e, for people who love SUVs but hope to be conscious of the environment. With these new additions, BMW has clearly made the choice to remain at the top of its game. www.bmw.ca

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music

Canadians

need to hear

our voices Written By Deirdre Kelly with files from Amanda Storey

W

hat’s in a name? If you were to ask Alan Greyeyes he would say plenty. As a Juno Awards advisory chair, he pushed to have the Aboriginal Album of the Year award renamed the Indigenous Music Album of the Year. Greyeyes based his successful bid on the argument that the former title, in place since the 1990s, threatened to distort perceptions of First Nations people and their contributions to Canada’s recording industry at a time when indigenous rights worldwide are gaining attention. While acknowledging that aboriginal and indigenous are “aggregate terms,” synonymous in the vocabularies of most Canadians, Greyeyes observes an important difference. Aboriginal, a noun the federal government used to corral First Nations, Métis and Inuit under a single heading in the 1952 Constitution, loosely means “not original.” (The Latin ab- prefix means “away” or “from” or “separate” – as in abolish, abduct, abnegate, abdicate.) Meanwhile, indigenous means to belong naturally to a place and is less freighted with racist and repressive political overtones. Today it is the preferred word for the country’s first inhabitants. 36

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“For me the word aboriginal is what Canada will allow us to be, while the term indigenous is really more about how things should be for us,” says the 38-year-old member of Peguis First Nation who lives in Winnipeg, where he is a prominent community leader actively championing the music of indigenous people across Canada. “It gives us a chance to have a voice and a role in setting our own future.” The Canadian Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences (CARAS), which oversees the Junos, announced the name change in January, citing Canada’s adoption last year of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples as a motivating factor. “It was about making the indigenous music category more inclusive of indigenous people of all backgrounds,” says CARAS president and CEO Allan Reid in Toronto. “We’re not an ivory tower here. We rely on our members to give us feedback and when they do we listen. We saw it made sense and that it was the right thing to do.” Th at the name change signals a broader understanding of what constitutes indigenous music will become apparent at the next Juno awards show, taking place in Ottawa on April 1.

The five nominees assembled for the newly reimagined Indigenous Album of the Year category represent a wide range of musical styles, from soul and country to electronica. Among them are Crystal Shawanda, nominated for her bluesinflected Fish Out of Water album, who comes from Ontario’s Wikwemikong First Nation on Manitoulin Island. Quantum Tangle’s Tiffany Ayalik and Greyson Gritt, the duo behind the nominated Tiny Hands release, are from Yellowknife, N.W.T. Bryden Gwiss Kiwenzie, who created the Round Dance & Beats (Powwow) album, is Ojibway, Odawa, Potawatomi, Delaware, Oneida and Mi’kmaq. He was born in Cape Croker, Ont., and grew up in Indian Brook, N.S., where family members are notable East Coast fiddlers. Silla + Rise’s fi rst (and appropriately named) album, Debut, fuses ancient voice traditions to a sonic beat. The voices behind Silla are throat singers Cynthia Pitsiulak and Charlotte Qamaniq, from Kimmirut and Iglulik, Nunavut; Rise is Ottawa’s Rise Ashen, a producer and DJ known for futuristic electronica. William Prince, the self-described storytelling singer from Peguis First Nation in Manitoba (Greyeyes is his cousin) is the final nominee in the category, for his latest release, Earthly www.mycitylife.ca


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Continued from page 36

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Days. The Oji-Cree with the deep baritone observes that the diversity and wide-ranging musical tastes of the contenders prove “the narrow niche of ‘aboriginal’ [music]” needed rebranding. “I want to be recognized by every standard and not just by where I happen to be born,” says Prince, also nominated in the category of Contemporary Roots Album of the Year. “Right away you think of Buff y Sainte-Marie and what she did back in the time when it may have been unusual to see indigenous people singing modern-style music. To this day, I find people are shocked to see it’s me doing what it is I do. So it’s definitely something that still needs to be addressed.” Aboriginal, a word linked to the abuses of colonialism, has tended to lump all First Nations people together as if they were a unified group with shared customs and bloodlines. The Junos’ decision to drop the term aims to dispel that myth. A liberating gesture, the name change also frees up creative space for indigenous musicians of all backgrounds and artistic styles to sharpen their identities as artists. Just as important is the opportunity it affords Canadians in general to re-examine and ultimately challenge lingering stereotypes. “Canadians need to hear our voices,” Greyeyes says. “They need to hear our perspectives and stories and they need to learn more about our languages. But they also need to understand that we are not one conglomerate. We’re not a collective. We’re individuals.” Adds Reid, “Certainly we have all seen, over the last little while, the struggle of indigenous people in this country — Attawapiskat up in the north and elsewhere — and their communities are talking about that and singing about that and all this turns into music and also into a rallying cry of ‘See me, hear me, don’t ignore me. These are my challenges.’” Leela Gilday is one artist who’s lending her voice to it. Originally trained as an opera singer, the Dene-Canadian folk artist took up songwriting after teaching herself to play acoustic guitar eight years ago as a way of expressing the complicated feelings she experiences living in the world today. “Like most songwriters, I write about the things that matter to me, that touch me or make me angry,” says Gilday from Yellowknife, where she was born and raised. “A big part of this is my identity as Dene and as an indigenous woman. It’s been such a turbulent year and I have lately been writing a lot of songs to come to terms with the politics and how they affect indigenous people — the whole situation at Standing Rock for instance, involving the pipeline and traditional lands. I spend my time thinking about these things, and it naturally comes out in my music.” Audiences respond enthusiastically to it. Gilday frequently plays to packed houses on her tours across the country. She credits her success to having won a Juno in 2007, back when the category carried the old name. While the term ‘Aboriginal Album’ didn’t sit comfortably with her, Gilday was grateful for the recognition. “It marked a noticeable shift in my career,” Gilday says. “It’s an important award.” All the more reason to get it right. www.junoawards.ca

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Community

Restoring Hope Project Restoring Smiles offers dental care at no cost to survivors of domestic violence. Its founder, Dr. Tina Meisami, and team of dedicated medical professionals talk about their passion for the project – and the role self-confidence plays on the road to female empowerment

A

t one point or another, everyone experiences loss — of a loved one, a friend or an acquaintance. It changes us, and sometimes

inspires us. When Toronto-based oral and maxillofacial surgeon Dr. Tina Meisami lost her beloved brother, Dr. Borna Meisami, she lost her guardian, role model and biggest supporter. The world lost an accomplished orthopedic surgeon, a compassionate feminist and a dedicated advocate for women’s rights. It was through her grief that Dr. Meisami came to understand that she needed to honour her brother by continuing his legacy as a humanitarian. Since its inception in 2011, the Dr. Borna Meisami Foundation has been dedicated to Project Restoring Smiles, a program that offers professional dental care at no cost to women who’ve experienced abuse, helping them regain their oral health and self-confidence by restoring their smiles.

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Sadly, the need for these services is great. According to Statistics Canada, on any given night in Canada, roughly 3,491 women and their 2,724 children are sleeping in shelters because it is unsafe at home. Of these women, five in 10 have reported being physically injured. Visible trauma to their mouths can be considerable and, given the accompanying emotional suffering, it’s only part of their pain. “It wasn’t until I lost Borna that I realized how lucky I was to have a role model and supporter like him, because most people don’t have that at all,” says Dr. Meisami. “I hoped [with the foundation] I would create that sense of security, the sense that someone’s got your back. I think it’s incredible to be able to provide that for these women living in shelters who are at a dead end.” The charitable foundation that fuels Project Restoring Smiles is overseen by Dr. Meisami and a dedicated team of doctors in the field of dentistry and works directly with women’s shelters across the Greater Toronto Area. All of

the doctors involved work on a volunteer basis, running their own practices full-time while dedicating their personal time to contributing their expertise and resources to helping women who have experienced abuse. Dr. Meisami admits that initially the team faced a number of obstacles in linking up the project with shelters. For the safety of residents, for instance, there were strict security protocols to follow. So the surgeon and her team made dozens of cold calls, visiting the shelters in person, before finding the first five to participate; now the project has approximately 25 affiliations. Emotions run high as the doctors recall their first experiences meeting shelter residents, who were often there with young children. “Even though you know and read about [abuse] and you’re aware, it’s something else to see for yourself, as a care provider, the impact of abuse,” says Dr. Meisami. “A lot of it was not about front teeth. It was about neglect. They were dealing with so many things,” adds Dr. Yasmin www.mycitylife.ca

PHOTOS BY ROBIN GARTNER

Written By Rebecca Alberico


Restoring Smiles is the recipient of a multi-year grant from Green Shield Canada (GSC), representing $200,000 over four years

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Restoring Smiles was founded by five University of Toronto Faculty of Dentistry alumnae – Dr. Tina Meisami, Dr. Shiva Shadmand, Dr. Maureen Fenn, Dr. Renu Varshney (left) and Dr. Yasmin Mawji (right)

Mawji, founding board member of the Dr. Borna Meisami Foundation. One thing Dr. Mawji believes makes a difference is that participating doctors host patients from the project in their regular practices. “No one ever knows that the women are pro-bono, because they visit and check in like any other patient would,” says Dr. Mawji. The project performs services and procedures that average a total of nearly $150,000 a year, with total contributions surpassing half a million dollars. But Dr. Meisami isn’t stopping anytime soon, and the team is actively seeking more dental experts, administrative staff and financial contributors to volunteer, in order to help the project grow. Fellow founding board member Dr. Renu Varshney says she focuses on the success and progress the women experience after being helped by Project Restoring Smiles. “Our patients are otherwise capable women that have just been in really bad situations,” says Dr. Varshney. “They just need a bit of a helping hand.” Dr. Varshney is always inspired by the change in the women’s confidence. “I know we’re supposed to be there to 42

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EVEN THOUGH YOU KNOW AND READ ABOUT [ABUSE] AND YOU’RE AWARE, IT’S SOMETHING ELSE TO SEE FOR YOURSELF, AS A CARE PROVIDER, THE IMPACT OF ABUSE

— Dr. Meisami

empower them, and I feel like in the end they start to empower us,” says Dr. Varshney. The doctors never pry, but their project clients sometimes feel comfortable enough to open up about their struggle, and that’s when Dr. Meisami and the team will offer whatever encouragement and support is needed. Most often all the women need is an ear.

Dr. Meisami recalls conversations she had with her brother when she was an emerging young medical professional and credits a great deal of her confidence and resilience to his unconditional support and advice. “He used to tell me, ‘As a woman in a “man’s field,” you have to be better, you have to be stronger and you have to work so much harder, because it’s so much easier for men,’” she says. So it was from a young age that Dr. Meisami realized the value of female empowerment and the importance of encouraging other females, regardless of their circumstances, to feel it for themselves. Now, her project has become a platform that promotes progress in gender equality. “I have two young daughters, and recently I realized that in their innocence they have no sense that there is such a thing as inequality,” says Dr. Meisami. “I think one of the things that drives me is the hope that my children don’t have to deal with a lot of issues we’ve had to deal with — or that we see these women dealing with — in the next 30 or 40 years.” www.drbmeisamifoundation.com www.mycitylife.ca


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fitness

FREEDOM THROUGH

FITNESS

A Q&A with Nichelle Laus: the supermom that left her full-time career as a police ofďŹ cer to pursue her love for ďŹ tness Interview By Michelle Zerillo-Sosa

Family is everything. Laus and husband Dave take great pleasure in raising their four sons

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HAPPINESS IS LOVING YOURSELF AND YOUR LIFE AT ANY GIVEN MOMENT

N

PHOTO BY DAVID LAUS

ichelle Laus has a passion for fitness. Personal trainer, motivational speaker, cover model, brand ambassador and an all-around expert in women’s transformations — it’s clear Laus has boundless energy when it comes to sharing her love of fitness with the world. With her history working as a police officer and competing as a boxer, Laus understood from the start what it would take to be a world-class trainer, from grit and determination to empathy for others. Now the owner of Optimum Training Centre, Laus continues to use her experiences and her dedication to inspire people of all fitness levels to meet their goals. City Life sat down with Laus to discover some of the secrets behind her drive — and find out how she recommends keeping fitness fun in your everyday life.

www.mycitylife.ca

City Life: What inspired you to make fitness such a big part of your life? Nichelle Laus: I was always very active growing up, playing various team sports and being naturally athletic — I excelled at most of them. I went through a rough time in my life when I broke my silence about child abuse I had been experiencing for a long time. I turned to kickboxing as an outlet, but it took me a long time to realize how much it helped me overcome my situation. By channelling anger and negativity into something positive, I was able to overcome a lot of demons and pain. I competed in kickboxing, and later boxing as well, for many years. I had to give up the competing when I started having kids as the training schedule was far too intense. Because I enjoyed the competition aspect of sports, I decided to enter the fitness

competition world instead. Here, I was able to train on my own time and work out a schedule that fit best into my own busy life with four children, and a full-time career as a police officer. I am constantly inspired by the lives I have touched and changed over the years. It is because of my clients, and the love and gratitude I get from their successes, that I continue to do what I do. For many, the transformation is not just physical. It’s mental and emotional as well. CL: When should parents encourage their kids to be fitter? NL: As soon as they can! I don’t necessarily recommend pushing it on them, but allow them to be aware that movement, or any activity, whether recreational or competitive, is fun. We don’t realize how early they understand things, and how influenced they are by not only our actions, but others around us. By making fitness a lifestyle, it will never seem forced. CL: How do you inspire your kids to choose fitness over video games? NL: To say my kids never play video games would be a lie. But we definitely have a balance and priorities in our household. Their play time is monitored, as well as earned on behaviour. We are really strict with that. I inspire our kids by walking the walk. By showing them that fitness is a huge part of my life, and a lifestyle, they are inspired to live the same way. They love to be included in my workout videos, they enjoy laughing and playing outside with each other and their friends, and they also include some fitness (and dance) in their interactive video games. April/May 2017

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CL: Defi ne a “healthy lifestyle.” NL: It is being able to maintain a sense of balance with exercise, food and mental growth, all while enjoying life to the fullest. CL: What is the one thing you value the most as a trainer? NL: Def initely the physical transformation of my clients is one thing, but what is even more gratifying is the way I have changed their lives emotionally and mentally. All are stronger and more confident, physically and mentally. CL: What is the one thing that you have learned as a former police officer that you still value today? NL: All actions have circumstances; not all people who do bad things are “bad.” Some people just make bad decisions based on their present circumstances. I apply that to all areas of life. People make decisions that seem right at the time, however, if put in that same situation at another time in their life, that decision might not be the same, or it might have a different outcome.

CL: How do you balance four kids, a career and mentoring, and still fi nd time for yourself? NL: I have definitely mastered the art of multitasking! Family is always first. I usually set my major priorities and then create the smaller ones under that. Because daily tasks always change, I need to be as flexible as possible, which is great about owning my own business. I try to make myself as available as possible (within reason) and then rearrange priorities as needed. I also multitask a lot. For example, I will use car rides to make phone calls, check emails while doing cardio and work on my online clients’ programs while I am waiting for my kids at their activities.

your life at any given moment. It is smiling at your successes, embracing your opportunities and not sweating the small stuff. CL: What is the one regret you have in life? NL: I wish I would have travelled more when I was younger. I would have loved to tour Europe, Africa and other wonders of the world. CL: What do you love about being a mom? NL: Everything! The good, the not so good. Being a mom has taught me more lessons and challenged me more than anything I have ever done before. It has also made me a better person overall.

CL: What are you most grateful for? NL: Defi nitely the support of my husband and family. Without their support, a lot of what I do would not be possible. They believe in all my quests, and they support me all the way with any decisions I make or ideas I have.

CL: What is the one exercise you swear by? NL: Squats! They are the most effective for targeting all the muscles in the legs, and they also strengthen the hips and lower back, which helps prevent injury.

CL: What is your definition of happiness? NL: Happiness is loving yourself and

CL: Tell us about a memory that still brings a smile to your face.

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NL: The trip my husband, Dave, and I took to California, where we got engaged on the Friday and married (in Vegas) on the Sunday! Th irteen years and four children later, we are still as happy as ever! CL: What would you say to someone who is struggling with a negative body image? NL: I always try to turn a negative into a positive. I always tell them to pick the three things they love about themselves and write them down. Whenever they are feeling down, I always tell them to focus on their positive points. We have all struggled at one point with body image, and I am a strong believer in positive affirmation and learning to love yourself at all stages of growth and change. CL: Where do you like to dine, shop, vacation? NL: I am rarely without my family, so if we do dine out, it will always be somewhere that is relatively inexpensive and that has great variety. Some of our favourites include Swiss Chalet, Montana’s, Sanremo Bakery, Papa Giuseppe’s, The Q and other Italian-style and pizza places that offer lots of variety. My kids love pasta! I usually shop somewhere I can go in and out of and that is a one-stop shop. I tend to get too lost in malls, so somewhere quick and convenient like Walmart where I can grab everything is great. I have also been getting used to doing a lot of my shopping online, which helps a lot. We don’t go on vacation much at all. We do weekend getaways sometimes with the kids that usually include camping, or Great Wolf Lodge, or sometimes a quick weekend trip to Niagara so we can pack several fun things into a couple of days.

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CL: What is your favourite brand of running shoes? Athletic wear? Healthy snack? NL: My favourite brand of running shoes is Puma. I like to choose my shoes based on comfort first. Puma has a lot of styles and colours to choose from, and they are great for running, which is something I enjoy doing when I need to get my cardio in. My favourite clothing is also Puma, but I also love the styles and comfort of Lululemon and Industry Active. Again, I base my selection on comfort and style. My favourite healthy snack is rice cakes and peanut butter. I also enjoy a refreshing shake made with almond milk, banana, chocolate protein powder and peanut butter. So yummy! CL: What is your favourite Movie? NL: I usually can’t stay awake during movies. That happens to be my claim to fame! But if I had to choose a favourite current movie it would be The Other Guys. I liked it because being an ex-police officer, I relate to the humour. Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg make such an awesome comedy combo. I love to laugh! CL: What is on your workout playlist? NL: Usually anything Eminem, Drake or current Top 40 with a bit of hip-hop.

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A DV E R TO R I A L

A Local Gem For more than three decades, Pallotta Jewellers has been creating custom engagement rings and stunning diamond pieces for customers who just keep coming back for more

Owner Susan Pallotta also proudly imports gorgeous sacramental and statement pieces from designers across Italy

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hen you’re in the market for a diamond, Pallotta Jewellers features stunning Italian imports and brilliant custom pieces. Owner Susan Pallotta’s passion for the art and her dedication to her valued clientele is the brand’s true crowning jewel. Pallotta Jewellers has been in business for 35 years, with its success attributed to loyal customers and referrals — a testament to Pallotta’s passion in maintaining her core values of honesty, integrity and quality. “When the doors of Pallotta Jewellers open and a customer walks in, their experience is my focus,” says Pallotta. “It’s not about selling, but rather about options. I work with my customers to find and create the best piece that meets and exceeds their vision and their needs.” Her studio sits in the heart of Woodbridge. It’s where she meets with customers for one-on-one consultations. Pallotta proudly bases a lot of her business around getting to know her clients — their style, likes and dislikes, their hobbies and passions.

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Creating the best piece for my customers’ needs … creating memories to last a lifetime. It’s about options, design and perfection

“Prior to Pallotta Jewellers, my family and I had been to a myriad of other jewellery stores throughout the city, and let me tell you, the knowledge, dedication and passion Pallotta Jewellers have by far surpasses anyone we have ever encountered elsewhere,” says repeat customer Tania Di Giovine. Developing a relationship with her customers is crucial to Pallotta’s work and has proven to be even more important in an industry in which a reputation of high-pressure sales tactics is often the

norm, leading customers to purchase well outside their comfortable budgets. “My clients can expect a no-pressure, respectful experience. I work within their price range and budget, offering a myriad of options sure to please,” says Pallotta. Her unrelenting commitment to exceeding her customers’ needs brings Pallotta to fondly recall the memory of a couple who entered her studio and purchased their 25th wedding anniversary piece with her, and now, 25 years later came back to commemorate their 50th anniversary. “I am privileged to experience the excitement of all occasions, often generationally, of my clients, from engagements to marriages, baptisms to confirmations. It is humbling, and I take pride in the fact that Pallotta Jewellers serves as a catalyst bringing joy to these precious moments.” Pallotta’s selection of the finest diamonds and gold, coupled with her expertise and impeccable craftsmanship, has culminated in the longevity of her brand and has served to leave a warm, welcoming and longlasting impression with customers. “It’s all about my customers ... their needs, their vision.”

136 Winges Rd., Unit 13, Woodbridge, Ont. 905-851-2300 www.pallottajewellers.com

www.mycitylife.ca


A DV E R TO R I A L

A Fête Above the Rest Event planning boutique Fab Fête is changing the way Toronto parties

PHOTO BY CARLOS A. PINTO / DOLCE MEDIA GROUP

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ichelle Garber and Tamara Niyazov are the champagnepopping, checklist-making girl bosses behind Thornhill-based event planning boutique Fab Fête, which has swiftly become one of the most sought-after firms of its kind in Toronto and the GTA. “We’re young, we’re hip and we like doing ‘different’ versus the same old,” says Garber, who earned her event planning stripes in the sports marketing world before entering the sparkly soiree industry, founding Fab Fête with Niyazov’s help in 2011. “If somebody were to come to us and [tell us] they want, for example, an out-of-the-box themed wedding, then we’re all about that!” With the experience and know-how to make any party a beautifully memorable one, Fab Fête has ushered in a new

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generation of event planning. Garber and Niyazov have created an array of packages tailored to fit any event, any personality and any budget, from intimate, intricate gatherings to bold and bustling bashes, from events that require two years’ planning to ones that only need assistance the day of. “We really enjoy dealing with different personalities, different people all the

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time,” says Garber. “And it’s the best feeling when our clients tell us, ‘oh my God, this was the best day of my life.’”

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health

THE SHAPE OF THINGS TO COME A growing group of self-loving bodypositivity warriors will stop at nothing to defend, celebrate and promote the acceptance of women of all shapes, sizes and colours. Trolls, be warned Written By Rebecca Alberico

Everyone is allowed to exist and have a part in this life, no matter how much space they take up on this Earth.” This statement, from the popular blogger and plus-size model Karyn Johnson, could easily pass as the motto for the body-positivity movement, which, thanks to a growing team of activists, continues to pick up steam. Still, no one can argue the movement doesn’t have its work cut out for it: according to the Canadian Women’s Foundation, 50 per cent of Grade 6 girls in Canada are on a diet, and only a shocking 36 per cent of girls in that grade would call themselves self-confident. Johnson is one of many activists who’s doing her part to correct that. Her journey in the body-positive 50

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movement began after her blog, Killer Kurves, evolved from a straightforward fashion-and-beauty advice resource for plus-size women to a platform that promotes self-love and acceptance. “I started getting messages from women, thanking me for helping them dress their bodies, and love their bodies, again,” says Johnson. “It changed the game, and I knew I had a whole new responsibility to them.” She started posting articles about body positivity on her blog, sharing more selfies and promoting other plussized beauties on her Instagram page. A scroll through Johnson’s feed reveals considerable confidence. Her comment section is a sea of praise, with only one or two bad fish in it. She often ignores them or smiles as she watches a few of her more than 70 thousand followers put the haters in their place.

Those steadfast reactions from Johnson’s followers are a window into how broadly the body-positivity movement is being supported, and how entrenched its position is becoming. Take, for another example, Playboy Playmate Dani Mathers, who late last year was charged with a misdemeanour after she body-shamed an unclothed woman in the dressing room at LA Fitness by posting a picture of her, along with a cruel caption, on Snapchat. Within hours Mathers was banned from the gym franchise and suspended indefinitely from her job at a local radio station. Yoga teacher, public speaker and activist Dianne Bondy says she was pleased to see how quickly other women came to the victim’s defence. “I loved seeing women speak up to defend other women and say, ‘No way, that’s www.mycitylife.ca


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Putting on a bathing suit and going to the beach is a simple pleasure that Karyn Johnson can’t live without

Marbella Carlos encourages youth to THINK before posting to social media: is it True, Helpful, Inspiring, Necessary, Kind?

about the media and how to process the unrealistic standards imposed upon them. She is beginning to see some positive change. “There’s a whole trend now that’s happening, where personal trainers are showing the world the unedited versions of themselves and what they look like before and after editing and Photoshop,” says Carlos. “I think it’s great that we’re able to see the ‘behind the scenes,’ not just the overly processed and edited versions of people.” Carlos stresses the importance of thinking critically about what we consume on social media, and of remembering that often what we’re seeing is just a highlight reel and not the full feature. “When you’re looking at someone’s selfie, understand that they probably took more than one shot before posting,” says Carlos, who believes it’s especially important to encourage media literacy among young men and women during their formative years. Sam Sisakhti, founder of the popular e-tailer UsTrendy that allows up-andcoming designers from around the world to post and sell their looks, agrees. “Our customers started posting photos of their purchases on social www.mycitylife.ca

PHOTO BY ERIKA REID PHOTOGRAPHY

PHOTO BY ERIKA REID PHOTOGRAPHY PHOTO BY JEFF BROEDERS

Dianne Bondy will be a guest speaker at this year’s Body Image and Self-Esteem Conference with NEDIC in Toronto from May 11—12

PHOTO BY ALICE XUE PHOTOGRAPHY

not what we’re about,’ and empower one another,” she says, recalling how catty and competitive women were when she was growing up in the ’70s and ’80s, during the diet-industry boom. The Burlington, Ont., native has been practising yoga since the age of three, but she claims she is an “accidental activist.” It wasn’t until she started attending local yoga classes that she realized no one in the industry reflected her body type or colour — plus-size and black. This prompted Bondy to publish the article “Yoga Isn’t Just for Skinny White Girls” in the Elephant Journal, and she was quickly dubbed an activist in the early days of the movement, when social media wasn’t quite at its peak. Since then, Bondy has owned a successful, and inclusive, yoga studio in Windsor and now regularly speaks at seminars about self-love, body positivity and female empowerment. In 2016, Bondy joined Penningtons’ ongoing #iwontcompromise movement. She showed off her best yoga poses in a TV ad focused on shattering common misconceptions about plus-sized women and their ability to do, well, anything. The video went viral and garnered more than one million views. “When you think critically about the messages we’re receiving, you start to see who is benefiting from you hating yourself, and who is benefiting from body-shaming,” says Bondy. “People are just starting to wake up to the idea that it’s OK to be OK with the body you’re in and that it’s OK to take your power back from an industry that is only interested in keeping you buying things that don’t work.” Still, those industry messages are insidious. According to statistics posted to the National Eating Disorder Information Centre (NEDIC) website, nearly 30 per cent of high-school girls engage in weight-loss behaviours. Marbella Carlos, an outreach and education coordinator for NEDIC, who herself has experienced an eating disorder, intimately understands what those girls are up against. Her journey to recovery was her inspiration for wanting to give back to the community and work with an organization like NEDIC. In her role, Carlos educates those struggling with eating disorders


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Continued from page 52

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media and I couldn’t believe the amount of body-shaming and cyberbullying that was going on,” says Sisakhti. “I thought, ‘Our demographic is young women, and if at this age they’re getting this kind of [negative] response from their peers and complete strangers, I need to do something about it.’” Through his organization Believe in Yourself, the body-positivity movement translates into real-life campaigns for change. The American non-profit offers girls new designer dresses to wear at school functions, recitals and other special occasions. Believe in Yourself visits community centres and low-income housing neighbourhoods to deliver the garments and spread the message of body positivity through mentoring and celebrity guest speakers. Discouraging body-shaming and encouraging women to love and accept the skin they’re in is everyone’s duty. It requires activism from everyone. This starts with being mindful of what we post on social media — are we manipulating our images to conform to arbitrary beauty standards? If so, we need to focus on loving ourselves first and foremost. Change will follow. www.killerkurves.com diannebondyyoga.com www.nedic.ca www.believeinyourself.org www.mycitylife.ca


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food

Afrim Pristine:

The Cheese Master With a true love of all things cheesy, Afrim Pristine mixes playfulness with a passionate dedication to his craft Written By Rick Muller, with files from Rebecca Alberico

I

f smell is the most powerful and acute of the senses, then walking into the Cheese Boutique at 45 Ripley Ave. in the South Kingsway is the ultimate sensory workout. Prosciutto hangs from the ceiling, truffles are available in season, there are olive oils from 80 different terroirs, beef is dry-aged a minimum of 40 days and approximately 500 different cheeses line the shop. It even has a cold locker and a cheese vault, where you can see (and smell) some of the world’s longestaged wheels. The 47-year-old shop is the universe of maître fromager (cheese master) Afrim Pristine, who now owns and operates the family business, the Cheese Boutique, with his older brother, Agim, continuing a longstanding family practice of making, and selling, cheese and meats the traditional way. “My main role is as a supplier of happiness,” says the affable Pristine. “This is all I’ve done all of my life and I do what I do for the love of cheese. I just love the happiness it can bring people. I’m humbled by any accolades

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and honours that may come our way, but I really just want to showcase amazing cheese, as it has given me so much in life.” The Cheese Boutique started out in a humble storefront in Bloor West Village, opened by his grandfather in 1970, before moving to Ripley Avenue in 2000. Today the Cheese Boutique sells roughly 2,500 pounds of cheese per week. “I am so thankful to my father and grandfather, who were such incredible mentors.” When he speaks of his parents, who met while studying at university in Naples, Pristine is quick to mention their work ethic. “My father didn’t take a week off for 20 years,” says Pristine proudly. “We had nothing back in Italy, but if you worked hard, you would be rewarded. We never got an allowance. We always worked during March and Christmas breaks, for $2 per hour. I learned very early to appreciate even the smallest things.” As a child Pristine wanted to be a teacher or an astronaut, and he laughs when he recalls a lightbulb going

off in his head when he was older, realizing that he was working in a shop surrounded by some of the world’s finest foods. “My father never pushed me, but I told him when I was 21 that I wanted to follow in his footsteps, that I loved the food, the business and appreciated the hard work [required] to make it happen,” says Pristine. “So he sent me to Europe to learn cheese-making — to France, Italy and Switzerland. My dad wanted me to really see and experience the craft. Today there are schools for that, even at George Brown, but not 20 years ago. I was so blessed. Because of my father’s reputation I was brought inside the best of the best within Europe to learn the craft.” Now, Pristine considers it his job to continually improve the Cheese Boutique. “To run a successful business in Toronto, you have to adapt to the times,” says Pristine, who is at work by 6 a.m. seven days a week. “With big multinationals now getting into the cheese business you constantly need to reinvent yourself, yet stay true to your roots. We’re always looking at elevating www.mycitylife.ca


Afrim Pristine is the co-owner and maître fromager of Toronto’s Cheese Boutique

THIS IS ALL I’VE DONE ALL OF MY LIFE AND I DO WHAT I DO FOR THE LOVE OF CHEESE. I JUST LOVE CHEESE AND THE HAPPINESS IT CAN BRING PEOPLE PHOTO BY MIKE FORD

www.mycitylife.ca

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PHOTO BY MIKE FORD

The boutique’s 300-squarefoot cheese vault is open to the public and stocks hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of cheesy goodness, along with truffles, prosciutto and other treats

our game to get better and better. If you sit on your hands, nothing is going to happen. We feel like our dad gave us the keys to a Ferrari; we’ve just got to keep driving it hard.” It seems the Pristine brothers are doing just that. The Cheese Boutique has about $1.5 million invested in cheese, which is currently aging in the shop’s aging rooms. “We’ve never sold more cheese than we are now and awareness has never been higher,” says Pristine. “I think we’ve got the strongest team of staff we’ve ever had. We’re in a very good spot, making world-class products and continuing to push, thrive and set our marks here in Toronto, and to honour what my father has given us. We’re very European with old-school training but we’ve got a new-school attitude. That’s the secret of our success.” So is a strong desire to share is passion for the craft. Pristine’s forthcoming cheese-focused cookbook is being published by Penguin Random House. 58

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WITH SO MUCH CRAZINESS IN THE WORLD, LET’S JUST SIT BACK, OPEN SOME WINE, ENJOY SOME GOOD BREAD AND SOME FANTASTIC CHEESE

“My goal is, when you open the book, it’s like walking into the shop,” he says. “It’s about me, my personality, my stories, but most importantly, it’s going to be fun and aims to take the intimidation and pretension away from cheese, because I feel that’s a misconception.” That’s hardly a surprising statement from a man who even has a favourite joke about the foodstuff: “In queso emergency,” he grins, “I pray to Cheesus.” After all, he says, cheese is about pleasure. “It’s so gratifying going home and putting that cheese on your board, with maybe some bread, olives, some wine or a beer, and that taste, it’s such a win for people,” says Pristine. “I believe cheese is in the DNA of most North Americans, and I don’t care if you grew up with processed cheese slices.” According to Pristine, it just proves you’re a cheese fan. www.cheeseboutique.com www.mycitylife.ca


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A DV E R TO R I A L

Delivering a Decade of Indulgence Proudly celebrating 10 years of excellence in the health and beauty industry

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corner, and Ms. Kooner is gearing up to offer incredible relaxation packages that any parent would love. Mandara Spa has been serving up superior beauty treatments in Woodbridge for 10 years, with an extensive menu of services to satisfy that relaxation craving. Whether you are looking for a quick fix like a nail service or massage, or a more complex package that includes a day’s worth of pampering from head to toe, Mandara Spa has something for you. As Ms. Kooner reflects on a decade of service to her valued clients, she is amazed at the spa’s growth. She also doesn’t hesitate to credit the other half of Mandara Spa, her late brother Mr. Paul Kooner, who helped bring her vision to fruition. “My brother was my biggest supporter. He was always encouraging me to do things that I never thought I could — in business and in life,” says Ms. Kooner. Since her brother’s passing, Ms. Kooner has maintained a sharp focus on her commitment to providing professional services with honesty and integrity, and is determined to keep the family-oriented, “homey” vibe of Mandara Spa alive. In keeping with

this approach, Ms. Kooner only sells products and services that she backs completely and would use on herself. Because her clients are like family, it’s important that she develop and maintain trust with each person who walks through her doors. The spa owner encourages people to indulge in a body treatment or massage now and again, especially those people not used to treating themselves. “If you take care of yourself, you’ll have a restored sense of positivity and be able to spread that happiness,” says Ms. Kooner. In the near future Kooner and her staff look forward to introducing more noninvasive medical spa treatments to their already extensive menu. To celebrate the spa’s 10th anniversary this coming October, Ms. Kooner plans to roll out special promotions to thank her new and loyal clients. Be sure to visit the Mandara Spa website frequently to keep updated with Mandara Spa’s latest services and upcoming promotions.

MENTION THIS AD & RECEIVE A FREE EYEBROW THREADING from the most trusted eyebrow expert in all of Vaughan, Ms. Manvir Kooner PHOTOS COURTESY OF MANDARA SPA

The name Mandara is appropriately derived from an ancient Sanskrit legend about eternal youth — the pursuit of being “forever young.” It’s by this mantra that spa owner and beauty expert Ms. Manvir Kooner and her dedicated team of estheticians, nail technicians, registered massage therapists, medical estheticians and makeup and hair stylists provide their magical elixir of rejuvenating services for skin, body and hair. “We’re known for creating a very comfortable, familiar experience,” says Ms. Kooner. “We take the time to personalize each client’s service by getting to know them and guaranteeing they walk out refreshed and satisfied.” Which is exactly why an experience at Mandara Spa makes the perfect gift this upcoming Mother’s and Father’s Day. The spa’s busiest season is just around the

Mandara Spa owners, Ms. Manvir Kooner and brother the late Mr. Paul Kooner

8000 Hwy. 27 Unit 2, Woodbridge, Ont. (Hwy. 27 & Zenway Blvd.) 905-266-1800 www.mandaraspa.ca

www.mycitylife.ca


PHOTO BY CARLOS A. PINTO / DOLCE MEDIA GROUP

A DV E R TO R I A L

DELICIOUS FOOD, PICTURESQUE SCENERY VILLAGGIO RISTORANTE IN THE HEART OF KLEINBURG For over 10 years, Villaggio Ristorante’s award-winning Mediterranean-Italian dishes have exceeded guests’ expectations. Featuring only the freshest ingredients, and coupled with a contemporary fine-dining atmosphere, Villaggio has quickly become one of the top restaurants of Vaughan’s competitive dining scene. Come for the food, stay for the memories. Villaggio Ristorante.

905-893-4888

Zero 20 Kids has been a mainstay in children’s couture in Vaughan since 1983

Spring into Style Zero 20 Kids is Vaughan’s one-stop shop for occasion outfits that are fashionable and that fit

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ith an abundance of clothing options for kids on the market, trust the name that thousands have been turning to for the past 34 years: Zero 20 Kids. The store’s selection of everything for babies, children and preteens, for both boys and girls, is incredible. It carries the best brands the world has to offer, from Mayoral to Hugo Boss, giving you endless choices at affordable prices. All the pieces are carefully curated by sisters Anna and Santina and every category is covered. You won’t find a bigger selection anywhere for baptisms, communions, confirmations, bar/bat mitzvahs, weddings and birthdays. Whether you’re shopping for your own children or for a unique gift, Zero 20 Kids’ team of helpful fashion consultants will find you the perfect look. The store offers in-house alterations with dedicated seamstresses ready to tailor or customize any ensemble. From simply adjusting a pant hem to making a matching bowtie, your little man will impress, and your little girl will bedazzle with added beads, crystals and the perfect fit. “Fashion is a form of self-expression, and it’s important to allow children to discover that at every stage in their life,” says Santina. Zero 20 Kids is constantly updating its extensive inventory and encourages clients to visit its website, Facebook and Instagram to see the latest in premium children’s fashions.

110 Nashville Rd. Unit 11, Kleinburg, Ont. www.villaggio-ristorante.ca 7700 Pine Valley Dr., Vaughan, Ont. 905-851-6041 www.zero20kids.com

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food

It’s time to come out of hibernation. Here are eight dishes worth hunting down from a handful of the GTA’s most inspired chefs Written By Rebecca Alberico

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s there anything more satisfying than sinking your teeth into a perfectly cooked steak, organic and aged to perfection, or a fresh seafood dish garnished with vibrant local produce? City Life brings our distinguished epicures a menu of local fare that is the perfect combo of comfort and class, and there’s something for everyone.

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PHOTOS BY CARLOS A. PINTO / DOLCE MEDIA GROUP

VILLAGGIO RISTORANTE Since undergoing a major facelift this winter, Villaggio Ristorante has reopened with a fresh, modern vibe and a new spring menu. In Villaggio’s Polpo, octopus is marinated with fresh herbs and lemon, then grilled and served with mashed potatoes and confit tomatoes. The dish is finished with a balsamic glaze and extra-virgin olive oil. CHEF: Matteo Napoleoni DISH: Polpo ADDRESS: 110 Nashville Rd., Kleinburg, Ont. 905-893-4888 www.villaggio-ristorante.ca www.mycitylife.ca

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THESMOKE Chef Cam Dyment, owner and executive chef of TheSmoke, is serious about barbecue. The Rib and Wing Combo includes hickory-smoked pork back ribs, with over a pound of signature smoked wings. The ribs are dry rubbed with two delicious rubs, a sweet rub on the top and TheSmoke’s basic rub on the underside, then smoked with hickory pellets for five to six hours. Finally, the wings are rubbed with the chef’s secret chicken rub and smoked for two and a half hours (drool!).

PHOTOS BY CARLOS A. PINTO / DOLCE MEDIA GROUP

CHEF: Cam Dyment, executive chef DISH: Rib and Wing Combo ADDRESS: 3560 Major Mackenzie Dr. W. Vaughan, Ont. 905-832-3456 www.thesmoke.ca

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JOEY RESTAURANT Joey Restaurants serve up internationally inspired fare, influenced by bold flavours from around the world. The Katsu Chicken Salad is one of Joey’s newest dishes rolling out as part of the fresh spring menu. “Chicken Katsu” is a Japanese dish built around a seasoned crispy chicken breast, popular in Hawaii. This is the foundation to the Katsu Chicken Salad, topped with a refreshing salad of green papaya, kale, vegetables and peanuts, all tossed in a miso carrot dressing. CHEF: Chef Rupert Martin, CCC, VP of Culinary Operations East, Joey Restaurants DISH: Katsu Chicken Salad ADDRESS: Yorkdale Shopping Centre, 3401 Dufferin St., North York, Ont. 416-783-5639 www.joeyrestaurants.com/yorkdale

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SMASH KITCHEN + BAR Chef Mark Esguerra is classically trained in French and Italian cuisine. He began his career in Toronto’s top restaurants, Canoe and Auberge du Pommier, and quickly rose to be the opening executive chef of Smash Kitchen. Smash Kitchen + Bar focuses on southern comfort cuisine and its techniques revolve around smoking and braising lots of meats. The Half Rack and Mac features a half rack of BBQ ribs, L.A. mac and cheese, chipotlelime-roasted corn and a creamy coleslaw.

PHOTOS BY CARLOS A. PINTO / DOLCE MEDIA GROUP

CHEF: Mark Esguerra, executive chef DISH: Half Rack and Mac ADDRESS: 4261 Hwy. 7, Unionville, Ont. 905-940-2000 www.smashkitchen.com

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255 BY ALTA ROSSA With more than 35 years in the industry, 255 by Alta Rossa provides a fresh new take on authentic Italian cuisine. The restaurant’s modern interior and rustic charm set the ambience for a unique gourmet experience. The Bumble Bee Pescatore al Vino Bianco is a fine combination of clams, garlic and shallots, sautÊed in white wine and fish stock, and tossed with sea scallops, mussels, shrimp and octopus over an al dente bed of fresh pasta. CHEF: Gabe Tatangelo Occhiuto, executive chef DISH: Bumble Bee Pescatore al Vino Bianco ADDRESS: 255 Bass Pro Mills Dr., #703a, Concord, Ont. 905-669-1255 www.255altarossa.com

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XXI CHOPHOUSE

PHOTOS BY CARLOS A. PINTO / DOLCE MEDIA GROUP

XXI Chophouse offers an incredible variety of carefully selected organic local meats, along with a wide selection of wild fish from different regions of the world. Chef Sam Khalil strives to bring to a guest’s table the finest-quality product using innovative cooking techniques. For the Tomahawk Steak, XXI always selects the fi nest cuts of meat and dry ages it for a minimum of 60 days. This helps to reduce beef moisture in order to increase flavour and to soften meat tissue, resulting in a tender and flavourful steak. CHEF: Sam Khalil, executive chef DISH: 48-oz Tomahawk Steak ADDRESS: 21 Nashville Rd., Kleinburg, Ont. 905-893-2467 www.xxichophouse.com 68

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STONEFIRE BAR AND GRILL Stonefire’s chic and upscale décor pairs perfectly with Chef Mauro Venchiarutti’s menu, boasting the ideal combination of classic and contemporary dishes. Chef’s Lobster Marinara includes a delicious squid ink linguine with fresh scallops, mussels, baby clams, black tiger shrimp and broiled Atlantic lobster tail in a zesty marinara sauce. CHEF: Mauro Venchiarutti, owner and executive chef DISH: Lobster Marinara ADDRESS: 8700 Bathurst St., Thornhill, Ont. 905-709-3473 www.stonefirebarandgrill.com

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GOURMET BISTRO Nestled in the heart of Thornhill, G Bistro presents patrons with classic gourmet bistro fare and original creations with globally inspired fl avours, as diverse as the community it caters to. The Surf and Turf features a fl amegrilled, 11-oz choice Chicago ribeye with pan-seared jumbo scallops and black tiger shrimp, served on a bed of cheesy cheddar mash and glazed fresh market vegetables. This delightful dish is finished with a red wine demi-glaze.

PHOTOS BY CARLOS A. PINTO / DOLCE MEDIA GROUP

CHEF: Donna Fillmore, owner, and Shawn Shapiro, events coordinator DISH: Surf and Turf ADDRESS: 8707 Dufferin St., Thornhill, Ont. 905-907-9000 www.gourmetbistro.ca

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The contemporary Hotel Novotel Toronto Vaughan offers simple elegance and an award winning culinary team making the hotel a sought-after venue for baptisms, communions and other special celebrations. Make your next event memorable at Novotel Vaughan. Choose from Trio Restaurant or one of our private function rooms. We look forward to welcoming you!

905.660.0212 www.novotelvaughan.ca 200 Bass Pro Mills Dr. • Vaughan, ON L4K 0B9

arcadiamusicacademy.com Woodbridge

Bolton Maple

www.mycitylife.ca

Burlington Newmarket

North, West, & South Brampton Richmondhill

April/May 2017

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WINE

The Sweetest Pairing LCBO introduces Woodbridge to Destination Italy, a specialty store carrying the best in imported vino Written By Dave Gordon

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The fabulous thing about Italy is that there is no shortage of wine or wine styles to pair with any cheese or entrée you can imagine

La Tunella 2015 Pinot Grigio Colli Orientali del Friuli

$22.05

for a real magical experience, try it with caramelized onion cheese,” Casselton Kuhn says. “Th is cheese has an element of sweetness along with the obvious caramelization of the onions that matches the elements of this wine perfectly.” Don’t forget to also try the Vin Santo with almond biscotti. “It also works well if you deglaze your pan with it when you are making your chicken liver pâté,” she advises. For a completely different experience, why not try the most amazing, mouth-fi lling Pinot Grigio around? “La Tunella Pinot Grigio from Friuli is a tremendously fragrant white with notes of peach, apricot, honeysuckle and lime,” Casselton Kuhn says. www.mycitylife.ca

PHOTOS COURTESY OF LCBO

he beginning of the New Year saw the opening of the much-anticipated LCBO Destination Italy specialty store, located at 8260 Hwy. 27 in Woodbridge. It boasts the largest selection of Italian wines and spirits available in a single store outside of Italy. There are some 500 unique products available only at this location, and it even has its own product consultant, Jo-Anne Casselton Kuhn. Casselton Kuhn studied under such wine aficionados as Master of Wine James Cluer and WineAlign writers David Lawrason and Sara d’Amato. She has also achieved accreditation with the Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET), among other certifications. “The fabulous thing about Italy is that there is no shortage of wine or wine styles to pair with any cheese or entrée you can imagine,” she notes. “We all know that Tuscany is famous for Chianti, and that it is one of the most food-friendly wines in the world, but what about the little-talked-about Vin Santo?” And with that, she offers a primer on where to get started with Italian wines. Fermented for three-plus years in small oak or chestnut barrels, dried white Trebbiano and Malvasia grapes will oxidize and take on a burnished amber colour with almond and caramelized flavours on the palate, she says of the Vin Santo. “Th is sweet ‘holy wine’ would pair well with most strong cheeses, but


Award-Winning Meat

La Tunella 2012 Schioppettino Colli Orientali del Friuli

Castello della Paneretta 2007 Vin Santo del Chianti Classico

$33.95

$48.70

Jo-Anne Casselton Kuhn, LCBO product consultant

“It finishes long and silky and is more full-bodied than any Pinot Grigio or Pinot Gris that I have ever enjoyed.” Her suggestion is to pair La Tunella Pinot Grigio with white stilton and apricot cheese. “The fruit flavours in the wine will accentuate the fruit in the cheese and the beautifully balanced acidity will cut through the creaminess.” Th is unique Pinot will also lend itself well to any seafood dish, such as grouper or scallops. One more wine that needs to be highlighted here is the all-but-forgotten Schioppettino grape from Friuli. Again brought to us by La Tunella, this black grape is very rare and few are exported to North America. It is a difficult vine to grow and very few producers even bother. But the Woodbridge store carries this wine, in which one can enjoy notes of bright, fresh black cherries, vanilla and pepper. “It is truly a gem when paired with ParmigianoReggiano from Parma, or any of the BellaVitano cheeses from Wisconsin.” Both types of cheese boast a strong, sharp and salty savouriness that, in Casselton Kuhn’s opinion, “screams out for this well-balanced, complex and silky red. It goes without saying that this wine would also complement any grilled beef or tomato-based pasta dish.” For a truly rich and diverse Italian wine and spirit experience outside of Italy, visit the Highway 27 Woodbridge location of the LCBO. www.lcbo.com www.mycitylife.ca

BRINGING BBQ FROM THE SOUTH UP NORTH Join us for a quick lunch break, or family dinner, and tantalize your taste buds with our award-winning smoked meats, complemented by our succulent sides and homemade sauces.

Dine In and Take Out

Take Home Ribs, Trout, Brisket and more.

705-293-5522 498 First Street, Collingwood, Ont.

905-832-3456

3560 Major Mackenzie Dr. Vaughan, Ont.

www.thesmoke.ca

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A DV E R TO R I A L

MOVING MANIA A sale this good may leave you wondering if Christmas came early

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our favourite linen emporium is hosting an exclusive renovation sale at both of its fabulous locations. David’s Fine Linens in Woodbridge will be relocating to a brand new store next year and the treasured Bayview location will be undergoing a complete facelift — so everything must go. Take advantage of the outstanding offers and shop gifts for all of your upcoming occasions this year. Find bedding, table linens, throws and more, up to 80 per cent discounted.

David’s Fine Linens makes it easy to step into spring with its best sale yet

With deals like these, it will be tough to resist picking up a little something for yourself. Get a new duvet for summer or consider refreshing the bathroom décor in your home — subtle changes that make a world of difference.

www.davidsfinelinens.com

Renaissance Commercial Plaza 8099 Weston Rd., Unit 25, Woodbridge, Ont. 905-264-7778 Bayview Village Shopping Centre 2901 Bayview Ave., North York, Ont. 416-590-7311 Toll-Free: 1-877-591-1115

leave a natural legacy. A green memorial is not only good for the environment, it’s a celebration of your life. Rely on your Dignity Memorial® professionals to help you create an unforgettable memorial—naturally.

JERRETT Life Celebration Centre THORNHILL

905-889-8889 JerrettLife.com A division of Service Corporation International (Canada) ULC .

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architecture This view from the doorway of the poolside guest suite shows the naturally inspired lines (they are rather like contours on a map) of the hard landscaping in the outdoor area. The poured concrete and hand-laid pebbled areas, as well as the planting and decorative pieces such as the fountain, work together to create a harmonious and welcoming space

PHOTOS BY GREG COX

Fresh from a sensitive renovation, this townhouse in the picturesque village of SĂłller, Mallorca, is the very deďŹ nition of the perfect holiday home Written By Robyn Alexander Styling By Tille del Negro

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Oro del Negro and Manuel Villanueva Combine del Negro’s expertise in Mallorcan vernacular construction and Villanueva’s experience with major international architecture firms and you have More Design. The Mallorca-based architecture, design and landscaping firm meshes a contemporary design approach with a revision of traditional practices and construction methods.

A view back toward the house through the archway that leads to the small citrus orchard at the bottom of the garden

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ere is a recipe for the perfect summer-holiday house: take one part gorgeous yet under-the-radar location, add one part charming view and gently mix together while adding secluded en suite accommodations and relaxed living spaces. Stir in a few private nooks for siestas and, finally, add a refreshing swimming pool alongside a spacious outdoor living and dining area. With the recipe complete, you can sit back with family and friends, and enjoy. The inspiration for this recipe is Ca’n Busquera, a renovated traditional stone townhouse located in Sóller, a picturesque village on the Spanish island of Mallorca. Ca’n Busquera is 76

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an ideal house for holidaying with a group of people — there are indulgent spaces in which to spend time together, as well as tranquil spaces for peaceful alone time. A discreet entrance gate provides access to the property off the narrow street (it is only wide enough for a single car, as is the case in many other parts of this historic village). Th e gate is made of metal, painted dark green — matching the house’s equally traditional shutters — with hinged doors that fold back to allow cars access and a pedestrian entrance set into the wider gate. After the narrow confines of the street and entryway, the view just beyond the gate is a real eye-opener:

around the side of the house there is an expansive garden, swimming pool and outdoor living area that sweeps the eye out toward the towering Tramuntana mountains beyond. It’s an instant dose of calm. Oro del Negro and Manuel Villanueva of More Design, a local design and architecture practice based in the nearby village of Deià, were asked by the home’s owners to redesign this outdoor area. They have subsequently worked on a range of updates to the house as well, but the design process began with careful attention to the hard landscaping in the garden, with the intention of carefully organizing and “breaking up” this large area. Across the space immediately in front of the house, rough cobblestones have been used, and they have mostly been left without full grouting — so that small, hardy groundcover plants can “invade” this area, anchoring the house in the landscape. Old stone pillars have had beams placed atop and between them, and creepers are already speeding their way up and onto these supports. On one side of the swimming www.mycitylife.ca


Tille del Negro, a friend of the owners, in the kitchen with her daughter Maxine. The counters and central preparation island are topped with textured natural stone (the stonework is by local artisan Juan Camposol) and the cupboard doors are made from stripped, whitewashed wood. The Gota ceramic hanging lights above the table are by Senaià Studio (www.senaiastudio.com) and the wood and metal stools are from Restoration Hardware (www.restorationhardware.com)

Ca’n Busquera is an ideal house in which to holiday with a group of people — there are indulgent spaces for spending time together, as well as tranquil spaces in which to enjoy peaceful time to oneself

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pool, a small patch of lawn softens and greens the outlook, while behind it a tall hedge of oleander and bamboo provides privacy. The area around the pool has been alternately finished with smooth poured-concrete paving and hand-laid river pebbles. Softly textured underfoot — they almost massage bare feet when walked on — the pebbles add visual depth and interest. And a lovely texture along with a touch of almost marble-like shine (especially when it’s wet) have been created in the concrete finish too. The large, rectangular swimming pool is the focal point of the landscaping — with good reason, as temperatures here regularly rise into the mid-30s during the island’s long, hot summers. The saltwater pool is edged with wide, textured stone slabs and is contained at one end by a low stone boundary

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1. Rough-hewn wooden floating shelves, created by Mallorcan artisan woodworker Pedro Casanovas, in the open-plan kitchen-dining area hold cookbooks, holiday reads and a selection of glassware and knick-knacks 2. Maxine and Mio del Negro take a dip in the swimming pool, which has a pale grey mosaic interior and is edged with large, very slightly raised slabs of natural stone laid by local artisan stoneworker Juan Camposol 3. The poolside guest room, which is located in an old outbuilding close to the house, features a sculptural built-in bed and a private en-suite bathroom 4. The rustic wooden dining table, created by Mallorcan artisan woodworker Pedro Casanovas, is surrounded on two sides by built-in seating 5. A small outdoor cooking area features this natural stone prep sink, as well as a gas barbecue 6. In the laid-back living room, the classic furniture is upholstered in white linen. Through the restored wood and glass patio doors is the covered exterior lounge area 7. The master bedroom on the first floor of the house features traditional wooden ceiling beams and an original stone tiled floor. Wooden interior shutters are used instead of curtains and the décor is kept simple. The bedside lamps are made by winding electrical flex — with classic bulbs attached — around rustic wooden stakes that have been implanted in the walls

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wall, beyond which is a small citrus orchard that can be accessed through an archway at the end of the garden. Alongside the pool area is a large, cast concrete, built-in table — an item of which del Negro is especially fond. “It was a labour of love, creating this table,” he says, “and the best thing about it is that it’s going to weather and age so beautifully — in 10 years’ time it will look even better than it does now.” Behind the table, running along the wall of what used to be an outhouse, is built-in stone seating (topped with canvas-upholstered seating pads) and on the opposite side is a simple wooden bench. A rustic wooden pergola above the table supports more burgeoning plant life as well as handmade ceramic tubular lights. This is the perfect spot for outdoor dining during the long, warm evenings of summer. Since its inception in 2011, More Design has rapidly built a reputation for meticulous attention to detail, and here, del Negro and Villanueva have considered every aspect of what holidaymakers might want. This outdoor area, for example, is a short distance from the house — so built www.mycitylife.ca

into an old utility building that backs onto one side of the outdoor table is a changing room with basin and toilet, meaning there’s no need to go back into the main house to change into your swimsuit. The remainder of this building has been converted into a poolside guest suite with a generous built-in bed, en-suite bathroom and metalframed glass doors through which one can gaze out at the garden and pool from bed before taking an early (or very late) dip. Entry to the house itself is directly into the open-plan kitchen and dining area on the ground floor. The kitchen is elegantly simple and quite compact, with a beautiful slab of natural stone topping the prep island in its centre. The countertops are also made from the same softly textured natural stone, with an integrated, shallow rectangular sink. Across the rear of the kitchen, a weathered tree trunk has been added to the front of the plastered “chimney” area that contains the extractor over the stovetop. Traditional existing materials have been left in situ wherever possible

in the house: the old stone treads on the staircase, for example, have been here for a very long time indeed. The retention of such materials — and the use of natural, local materials whenever elements are added to a space — is also typical of More Design’s approach. Says del Negro, “Our first choice is to work with local resources and available materials.” Additional examples of these choices in the kitchen-dining area include rustic wooden floating shelves (on which the owners stack cookbooks and holiday reads), distressed wooden cupboard doors and beautiful poured micro-cement floors. Directly adjacent to the kitchen is a dining area with built-in seating provided along two sides of the square wooden table. On one side, the seating has radiator heaters built into its back, making this a delightfully cosy spot during the winter months, which can be quite chilly in Sóller (it is not uncommon to see the Tramuntana mountains topped with snow). Also in this space, and again backing onto a radiator along a wall, is a built-in couch — the ideal spot for lounging while chatting to the cook. April/May 2017

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Up a short flight of stairs — with those stone treads and with risers and wall edges clad in traditional Mallorcan patterned tiles — is the living area, which features two seating spaces. One is more suited to socializing, and is oriented around a wood-burning stove, while a more “private” spot is perfect for reading and relaxing. The furniture here is classic in style, but it’s given a casual holiday feel by being covered in textured white linen. Further up the staircase are the private spaces: immediately to the left at the top of the stairs is another hidden nook ideal for moments of retreat, in which a built-in day bed is surrounded by shelves crammed with books. This space doubles as a kids’ play area, as one side of it leads onto a classic children’s holiday bedroom, with three single beds placed dormitory-style alongside one another. Lying in one of these beds and having the story of Peter Pan and the Darling family read to you on a summer evening might just be the perfect childhood holiday memory. Take a right turn at the top of the staircase into a spacious master bedroom suite, complete with weathered natural stone tiles on the floor and the exposed wooden ceiling beams that are typical of traditional Mallorcan architecture. The en-suite bathroom features one of More Design’s earthily distinctive hand-moulded plaster bath and shower units, a duo of natural stone basins and plenty of simple, open storage space. From the windows at the front of this room are gorgeous vistas of the garden and the Tramuntana mountains, while the windows at the rear look out onto the street behind the house. Just a short stroll away lie all the charms of Sóller: pretty squares, tempting restaurants and shops, beautiful churches and the village’s much-loved old tram, which still carries passengers up and down to Port de Sóller, situated at the ocean nearby. The village sits neatly in a curve of the mountain range that makes it feel as if it is contained in an embrace — and when you’re also enfolded within the tranquil surroundings of Ca’n Busquera, it’s difficult to imagine how you are ever going to be able to leave. www.moredesign.es www.mycitylife.ca


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grandprixkartways.com prixkartways Downsview Park | 75 Carl Hall Rd. Unit #9 | Toronto, ON | M3K 2B9 | 416.638.5278 www.mycitylife.ca

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GIUSEPPE THE MC’S 40TH BIRTHDAY ROAST

When one of Vaughan’s favourite comedians turned 40, he celebrated the best way he knew how — a birthday roast. On March 4, over 500 guests and local comedians gathered at Twenty7 Automobile Club for a night of bellyaching laughs and good food, all in support of The Hospital for Sick Children. www.giuseppethemc.com 1. Left to right: Nick and Tanya Sisto, Giuseppe the MC and wife Rose Marie, Lisa Pisano and Marques Sousa 2. Giuseppe the MC, Angelo and Rocco

TFI’S 30TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION

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It was a night to remember as fashion lovers and visionaries alike congregated at Waterworks in Toronto on March 9 to celebrate the Toronto Fashion Incubator’s 30 th anniversary. The event also aligned with the non-profi t’s TFI New Labels Fashion Design Competition & Show and the opening celebrations for the first-ever Toronto Women’s Fashion Week. Mayor John Tory, Sylvia Mantella of Mantella Corporation, ET Canada’s Cheryl Hickey and philanthropist Simona Shnaider were in attendance. www.fashionincubator.com

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1. Mayor John Tory, Michael Zoffranieri, Suzanne Rogers, TFI executive director Susan Langdon and models celebrate ZOFF’s 2017 TFI New Labels win 2. Michael Zoffranieri walks the runway with two looks from ZOFF’s FW17 collection after being announced the 2017 TFI New Labels winner

In celebration of International Women’s Day, CIBPA Toronto hosted Women in Business on March 8. The event was held at Château Le Parc, with Andrea Trentadue of CHIN TV running the evening as the mistress of ceremonies, and boasted an exciting lineup of speakers. CIBPA Toronto thanks all the supporting sponsors, donors and vendors who helped make the event a great success. toronto.cibpa.com Left to right: Enza Ciciretto, Andrea Trentadue, Beata Caranci, Dianna Morello, Andi Petrillo, Sarah Wells, Stella Acquisto, Erin Henderson and Fulvia Cantarutti

STARBUCKS NAMED ONE OF WORLD’S MOST ETHICAL COMPANIES

PHOTO COURTESY OF CIBPA

CIBPA WOMEN IN BUSINESS

For the 11th consecutive year, the Ethisphere Institute has named Starbucks one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies. To earn one of only 124 spots, Starbucks reigned supreme in various categories including: Reputation, Leadership and Innovation, Corporate Citizenship and Responsibility, and Ethics. Starbucks represents the only winner in the Specialty Eateries category — how “grande”! www.starbucks.com Canada is just one of Starbucks’ many international locations — the coffeehouse has properties in more than 60 countries around the world

PHOTOS BY GEORGE PIMENTEL PHOTOGRAPHY

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PHOTO COURTESY OF STARBUCKS CORPORATION

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PHOTOS COURTESY OF GENNARINO.CA PHOTOGRAPHY AND FILMS

People & Places

Employees and special guests came together on March 21, at the Food Basics Employee Appreciation Party and media launch event, to welcome a new store to the Woodbridge community at 9600 Islington Ave. Mayor Maurizio Bevilacqua and councillor Tony Carella were in attendance for the ribbon-cutting ceremony and to present the store with a welcome certificate. www.foodbasics.ca Mayor Maurizio Bevilacqua, store manager Mauro Bartelli, city councillor Tony Carella, Food Basics senior vice president Paul Bravi, and executive vice president and Metro Ontario division head Carmen Fortino. They are joined by Food Basics Woodbridge employees, family and friends

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City Life Magazine

April/May 2017

www.mycitylife.ca

PHOTO COURTESY OF FOOD BASICS

FOOD BASICS NEW STORE OPENING


Lifestyles For the Chef at Home

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