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FITNESS: GOMAN AND LOPEZ SHARE TIPS FOR A BALANCED LIFE

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EAT LOVE REPEAT: WHAT TO ENJOY NOW

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MUSKOKA: THE NEW BILLIONAIRE’S ROW AMONG THE RICH AND FAMOUS

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LONGO’S SUCCESS: A STORY BEGUN IN 1956

SINCE 2003

s e d n e M n w a Sh

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VOLUME 17 ISSUE 4 | AUG/SEPT 2019

CONTENTS COVER STORY

30

SHAWN MENDES: He is barely out of his teens and already has the world at his feet, but mostly he tries to surround himself with friends and family, keeping good people close by

46 28 64 50

C

M

Y

CM

28 MARBL RESTAURANT: The absolute hit,

MY

appealing to those who savour exquisite cuisine and crave adventurous cocktails

CY

CMY

46 ESPACE VITAL ARCHITECTURE: A

K

beautifully crafted dream home that sits in an oasis of tress strikes the perfect balance between a warming residence and the minimalistic approach of Espace Vital Architecture

50 FOREST CONTRACTORS: Success in

business for Domenic Gurreri, founder of Forest Contractors, is achieving your goals with integrity and surrounding yourself with great people in the industry who care as much as you do

64 DISCOVER WILD TERRAINS: literally — when you embark on all-women-only group trips that support female-owned businesses

14 GENESIS G70: This compact

luxury sport sedan is intended for true driving enthusiasts

22 THE MODERN-DAY COACH: Four coaches share their thoughts on what it takes to coach in today’s society

36 FRESH DESIGN IDEAS: All

36 10

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the featured items, brands and organization have one thing in common — original sense of design and purpose to improve our quality of life

40 THE LONGO’S STORY: From

market gardeners to mass merchandisers, the Longo Brothers Fruit Markets is a family business committed to giving back to its communities in a significant, focused way

58 CENTRAL ONTARIO

PARANORMAL INVESTIGATIONS: Would you know the difference between leaky pipes and old wiring, or whether you’re living in a haunted house?

More stories inside … www.mycitylife.ca


www.mycitylife.ca

Aug/Sept 2019

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PUBLISHER’S NOTE PUBLISHER’S NOTE

Michelle Zerillo-Sosa Publisher/Editor-in-Chief

Believe In a world that is fast becoming soulless Be challenged to find your own soul Then make it selfless. When the television portrays only tragedy Be challenged to turn it off Spend your time working on your own humility. If you’re surrounded by people who are envious Be challenged to cull the herd around you Fill your life with those who bring joyousness. During the times you feel utterly hopeless Be challenged to claw your way out Understand that genuine happiness is timeless. Zerillo in yourself. Trust in your God. FindFernando your soul. Believe Co-Founder/Creative Director Love your family. Share your plenty. Lean when you need. Live out loud. Love heartily. Grow your humanity. Infect the world with your faith.

What core values should we possess to reach success?

— from The Wife by Iris Imeneo

A

s you read through this issue, you will soon realize that the stories we compiled for you all hold true to certain core values, such as empathy, honesty, authenticity and a commitment to serving the community in which we live, work and play, where success is not measured by wealth and bank accounts, butMichelle throughZerillo-Sosa, social connection and human relationships Publisher/Editor-in-Chief and feeling emotionally fulfilled. Thus, it would be fair to say that the individuals with these core values could well be some of the wealthiest people. And not merely due to their financial successes, but for the human bonds they have built through their philanthropic efforts and the empathy they have shown toward others. The Longo family story began in 1956 by brothers Tommy, Joe and Gus. “A time when people never locked their doors and kids played until it was dark and then they went home … and they would take phone orders and make home deliveries,” Gus Gampp, Longo told in his ell, in the case of Yolanda thisus could be interview. Now with a10real million people in the Greater Toronto possibility. If you’re not yet familiarArea, with it is a completely diff erent era,she andisyet, six decades later,YouTube Longo’s her work, a multi-millionaire owns a huge share ofbaker the online through its is) Grocery (3.3 grocery millionmarket subscribers, that … all Gateway The familyimagination. has stayed true to their core values and thanksproperty. to her incredible This is acommitment woman who cakes living — not their genuine todreams helping up people in for theacommunity, as shapes andhospitals, flavours,kids’ but camps cakes that look like theytraditional continue totiered donate to local and charities, hot dogs, watermelons, in flavours like the including theirhuge mostcandy recentapples, donation of $2 million. ultimate velvet andwe chocolate cakesuffi … cient You get idea. To flourishred as individuals, need to have timethe outside Sweet motherpersonal of God,interests this lady has the power to tempt even of work to pursue and hobbies that make us happy. the strongest-willed with her cakes!isHer belief is that Domenic Gurreri, founderperson of Forest Contractors, a true believer of anything possible, and with the love and of family the core value is that when you surround yourself withsupport people who share friends, highest levels ofcompany’s success are attainable. Read yourand passion and the vision, a formidable corporate culture is her story on page 38. formed. Making time for his community and the numerous charities Speaking of belief, we all pray that our faith need never be for which he volunteers and fundraises alongside his family is integral tested the way Paul De Lio’s is. Many of us go through life to feeling successful. without ever having to question why tragedies strike our lives or Our cover boy, Shawn Mendes, is keen not to get caught up in the lives of others in the world. A few years back, we published the an hype and glory fame, hasofnoGod. intention of cracking under article aboutofthe defiand nition I remember asking the the writer spotlight. His secret is to always keep family and friends close. to pose this question to various religious leaders: “Where We was admire of approaching every day with the intention Godhisinmotto moments such as 9/11?” Given the recent state of

CAN YOU HAVE YOUR CAKE AND EAT IT TOO?

W

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natural disasters and extreme weather conditions, one could ask“being the same question now. De and Lio’sthen case, where wasyou God of grateful for what youInhave ignore what don’t when Mendes deadly bacteria infected nearlyand taking his life and have.” professes living ahis lifebody, of honesty authenticity. Most resultingheinhas thespoken amputation bothhis ofbattle his legs? recently, openlyof about with anxiety and went In that article years ago, one with of thehis questioned religious leaders public to see a therapist to deal psychological issues. He also replied that God was in the fi remen going up the stairs to rescue relies on a regular fitness regime to help him stay clear-headed. theHis people towers. It’s response thatmental to thishealth date gives storyinisthe a reminder toaall of us that can me affect comfort. Likewise, now, God is in the rescue workers bringing anyone at any time, regardless of how well put together or successful relief to Puerto Rico, Mexico and Florida. And God was in the one’s life may seem on their social media account. When listening to doctors who fought to save Paul De Lio. He was with the family role model Jaclyn Goman talk about her personal journey and battle and friends who prayed for De Lio’s life and later, for his recovery. with mental health and addiction, one can’t help but be inspired and Today, just a few months after his ordeal, De Lio is filled with motivated to look around He andissee howtoeasy it others is to identify someone positivity and gratitude. ready help find ways to who is perhaps struggling and suff ering in silence — if only live with motivation. Dare I say, then, God also resides inwe, Detoo, would become help 32. eradicate the stigma that comes Lio’s heart. Seeadvocates his story and on page with these diseases, even if just by off a hug moment of Of course, it’s possible you do notering agree withand myathoughts our time to listen. on the whereabouts of God. We all know that one should not Therecasually is nothing transformative than Bates, speak of more politics or religion, fortravel, thesesays areLauren sensitive founder of Wild Terrains, an all-women-led company whose topics (although the weather isn’t exactlygroup a safetrip topic anymore, goal is to But allowperhaps women to support andinterested bond withinone another. either). you will be our story Whether about you to Faith, embarka on one of her next trips orwith stay closer home and the chose Bahá’Í relatively new religion 5 to 7tomillion adherents globally. If you believe in the of travel to thepractising new Billionaire’s Row, a.k.a. Muskoka, andbetterment bump shoulders the world, in of unity, love and service, you might nd your with the likes Justin Bieber, P.K. Subban, Tom fi Hanks andplace Cindy here. Bahá’Í’s in equality all an sexes, Crawford, just believe remember to do so of with openraces heartand andcreeds, an open and infree thefrom harmony science and religion. on page 74. mind biasesof and stereotypes. Be kindStory and follow personal In this day weto could all use more unity, and faith, pursuits withand theage, intent achieve meaningful andlove fulfilling lives. regardless what form takes.edition May you enjoyLife thisMagazine, edition ofand We hopeofyou enjoy ouritrecent of City City Life Magazine. It, like life, is yours to experience until the next time, stay truthful, loving and successful. and do with what you will.

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

Fernando Zerillo Co-Founder/Creative Director

@citylifemag / @amorebagstoronto / @fernandozerillo @dolcetweets @amorebagstoronto

www.mycitylife.ca


PUBLISHER/EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Michelle Zerillo-Sosa • michelle@dolce.ca DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS Angela Palmieri-Zerillo • angela@dolce.ca ART D E PARTM E NT CO-FOUNDER / CREATIVE DIRECTOR Fernando Zerillo • fernando@dolce.ca SENIOR GRAPHIC DESIGNER Christina Ban SENIOR UI/UX DESIGNER Yena Yoo WEB DEVELOPER Jordan Carter JUNIOR UI/UX DESIGNER Nathan Chan E D ITO R IAL D E PARTM E NT FASHION & HOME DÉCOR EDITOR Michelle Zerillo-Sosa BEAUTY & WELLNESS EDITOR Angela Palmieri-Zerillo CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Jan Janssen, Nickolas Lombardi, Shaun Melady, Rick Muller, Donna Paris, Cece M. Scott COPY EDITORS AND PROOFREADERS Jennifer D. Foster, Nina Hoeschele CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Lindsay Lauckner, Carlos A. Pinto SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGERS Adriana Parente, Jessica Spera

HELPING BUYERS FIND HOMES AND SELLERS FIND BUYERS

VI D E O D E PARTM E NT VIDEOGRAPHER Carlos A. Pinto 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 MANAGERS Christina Bono, Adrienne D’amico OFFICE ADMINISTRATOR Maria DiRico

City Life Magazine • Volume 17 • Issue 4 • Aug/Sept 2019 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. We accept Visa, MC & AMEX. Send cheque or money order to Dolce Media Group, 111 Zenway Blvd., Suite 30, Vaughan, Ont., L4H 3H9 Publication Mail Agreement No. 40026675 All rights reserved. Any reproduction is strictly prohibited without written consent from the publishers. DISTRIBUTION AND CIRCULATION City Life Magazine reaches 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: Oct/Nov 2019 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 23 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. ©2019 Dolce Media Group • www.dolcemedia.ca • Printed in Canada

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auto

The 2020 Genesis G70 launched at Canada’s Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ). YYZ is North America’s second busiest airport

GENESIS G70

Genesis announces new features to the esteemed G70 at Toronto Pearson International Airport WRITTEN BY SHAUN MELADY

W

hat happens when you take the luxury of a Bentley mixed with the sportiness of a Maserati? You get the incredible compact luxury sport sedan — the Genesis G70. The company just announced the allnew advancements for the 2020 vehicle lineup, including wheel designs and upgrades, as well as higher performance engine options. Speaking of wheel upgrades, the new G70 will feature 19-inch wheels for all-season usage, while revamping the previous graphite pantone 18-inch base with a silver coat. In previous editions, the 19-inch wheel was only used during the warm summer months, but now the vehicle sports the larger bases, creating an opulent component. Brand-loyal customers will also be pleased, as Genesis has announced the vehicle’s new 3.3T Prestige version of the G70. This variant gladly marries the twin-turbocharged 3.3-Litre V-6 engine and the 3.3T Sport edition,

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2020 Genesis G70 Powertrain Options G70 2.0T Advanced: eightspeed automatic transmission G70 2.0T Sport: six-speed manual transmission G70 2.0T Elite: eight-speed automatic transmission G70 2.0T Prestige: eight-speed automatic transmission G70 3.3T Prestige: eight-speed automatic transmission G70 3.3T Sport: eight-speed automatic transmission

creating a luxurious sport car. This new edition will contain a napa leather interior that customers can enjoy, choosing from five colour options. For those wanting even more options and power, the G70 is available in two different powertrains, including a 2-L

turbocharged I4. This variant features a four-cylinder engine, 252-horsepower and a strong torque of 260 pounds per foot. The second option is the 3.3-L twinturbocharged V-6 boasting 365-hp and 376 pounds per foot of torque. This variant creates an advanced powerto-weight ratio and tops out at a top speed of 270 kilometres per hour (168 miles per hour), controlled by an allwheel-drive, eight-speed automatic transmission. Both guarantee the classy and sporty Genesis driving experience. The 2020 Genesis G70 starts at a low $42,000 and comes with the renowned Genesis at Home Concierge Service. This service is specific to Genesis customers, as it comes with complimentary scheduled maintenance, Genesis Connected Services, map and digital updates and more. To learn more about Genesis and the 2020 G70, visit the company’s website at www.Genesis.com. www.mycitylife.ca


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fitness

PUTTING MIND AND BODY FIRST

After becoming sober and dealing with her own mental health, Jaclyn Goman is now a prominent personal trainer and mental health advocate

Jaclyn Goman is giving back to her community by speaking up on mental health and fitness WRITTEN BY NICKOLAS LOMBARDI

M

ental illness can affect anyone at any time, but when listening to role models such as Jaclyn Goman, mental illness becomes a bit easier to deal with. Goman is a personal trainer who works at Bolo Inc. gym, located in downtown Toronto. Having gone through her own battle with mental illness and addiction, and having been sober for three years now, she has decided to share her success story with her followers, readers and clients. This super upbeat and inspirational woman turned to fitness as a way to put her mind and body first. Once she became a certified trainer and a mental health advocate, she created her own website: www.drfitlife.com. There, she openly talks about her battle with mental illness and how she became sober. Goman’s blog section on the site provides techniques on how to deal with your mental health every single day. After speaking with Goman, one matter is very clear: she is just trying to appreciate all the little aspects of life in order to 16

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enjoy it to the fullest. More people like Goman are needed in our society, so that anyone dealing with mental health issues has someone to relate to, in the hopes that others will be inspired to open up as well. Q. “Progress not perfection” is your quote on Instagram — can you explain where that came from, and what it means to you? A. For me, I could never see myself as perfect, and even when things might seem good in life, I always strive for selfimprovement. I am never going to be comfortable with the status quo for myself. I am always looking to accomplish more and more. And it’s important for your own self-growth to never feel satisfied because there are ways for improvement and ways to surpass yourself. And it’s also a reminder for yourself that you’re a work in progress and that you shouldn’t get down on yourself when things aren’t going your way.

It’s important to have at least one person you trust to open up to

Q. What is a personality trait that you hold in high regard, either within yourself or another person? A. I think honesty is super important. I used to live a way where I wasn’t totally honest, and now it’s my code. I tell the truth no matter how bad the situation is. Having honesty in all forms of relationships is super important. Q. How can we continue to fight against the stigma of people not believing in mental illness? A. I think it’s important for people to look around at everyone in their life. It’s very rare not to find someone close to you who is struggling or suffering in silence. And I think for people to be so harsh to those around them without even knowing what’s going on behind closed doors, it’s pretty sad. I think in order to get past that, it just takes more open dialogue for people being honest with others around them — about what they’ve been going through. It’s a compromise on both sides, but it’s important to have at least one person you trust to open up to. No one should feel burdened by dealing with life all on their own. Finding people to lean on is wonderful. @dr_fit__ www.mycitylife.ca


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fitness

MORE THAN JUST FITNESS

Jose Lopez is not only helping people to look good, but also encouraging them to enjoy their new bodies in other aspects of life

Jose Lopez gives his take on a well-balanced lifestyle inside and outside the gym WRITTEN BY NICKOLAS LOMBARDI

W

ith the popularity of fitness and nutrition everincreasing among the general public, finding personal trainers who genuinely care about getting results for their clients is rare. In a saturated market full of trainers, Toronto resident Jose Lopez is an experienced personal trainer who is actually making a difference. Having been a trainer for over 12 years now, Lopez has grown his brand from being based on word of mouth to a successful social media platform. With over 21,000 followers on Instagram and a highly engaging website, Lopez knows how to connect with people. He is an outgoing and humble man who wants to showcase his knowledge and interests with his followers. More than just fitness, Lopez blogs about a diverse range of topics to show that there is more to life than just the gym. Speaking from personal experience, once I took a gander at joselopezfit.com, I found myself grabbing a great ab routine that I have now incorporated into my workouts. And I also found great insight useful when travelling to Greece, as there was a blog post in reference to Lopez’s time there. Purely

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informative and fun, Lopez’s advice is something realistic that everyone can benefit from. Q. On your website, you have blog posts about men’s fashion, travel tips and music festivals, to name a few. Why is writing about these topics important to your brand? A. I have always been interested in these things, and I think it’s important to show my readers and followers that there’s life outside of the gym. We all work out for different reasons, but in the end, we want to celebrate our bodies in the real world. For example, I like to go hiking, and I want to have the right endurance level to climb up a hill. Or even going to music festivals and feeling good in the clothes that I’m wearing. It’s all about building our confidence and enjoying life. I want to share my experiences, so I can better inform people and give them some options when making their own decisions. Q. With being a trainer for over 12 years and having many clients, is there one success story that really stands out? And how did you help this person attain their goal? A. I once had a client who was a lawyer with an extremely demanding and busy career. But he lived a very unhealthy lifestyle; he would be working really late and be eating out or would go out for drinks and still stay out really late. Until one day, he had enough and realized that he had to make a change. Once he got into contact with me, we gave him a program that he enjoyed, and we trained together for two and a half years. He later went on to join amateur body-building competitions because he loved it so much. And to this day, we stay in contact and are still friends. Q. There are so many different kinds of diets and workout routines for people to try. What advice can you give that would help people narrow it down to one specific diet and workout routine? A. On the diet side of things, I like the paleo diet because it’s less of a diet and more of a way of eating. You’re staying away from processed foods and taking out refined sugars. And you’re focusing on eating lean protein, a moderate amount of fat and low carbohydrates. What I love about this diet is you can adjust it accordingly, for example, if you’re into endurance sports like running or CrossFit, where you need more energy, you can easily up your consumption of carbs. This diet can be adjusted with any workout routine that people enjoy. It teaches people to pick the right macronutrients to implement into their diet. But cooking at home is very important as well; knowing what goes into your food can just help further your fitness goals. And on the workout side, it doesn’t really matter what you do. It’s all about what you enjoy and what gets you to the gym. Just try a variety of group classes and see what you like. Ideally, you would want to add some weight training, some form of cardio and something that would involve flexibility or mobility training. @joselopez_fit www.mycitylife.ca


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A DV E R TO R I A L

Team spirit starts at the top: Jim Fee, president, with Jolanta Mroz-Trudell, Vaughan store manager

FURNISHING DREAMS FOR 50 YEARS The personable staff, innovative room stylings and commitment to community are the keys to Stoney Creek Furniture’s successful customer relationships

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Highly popular is Stoney Creek Furniture’s free design consultations, which assist customers with envisioning, creating and curating their dreams, room by room. “The takeaway for customers is that they can envision what they want and feel at ease about their choices,” Fee says. “I love when people come through our

WE ARE COMMITTED “ TO ENSURING THAT THE CUSTOMER IS FULLY HAPPY WITH THE END RESULT

stores and say, ‘Wow, that’s really cool.’ People look at furniture as a commodity and don’t give it credit for its ability to enhance their lives. But having a great chair to relax in after coming home from a hard day at work, or a nice sectional that the family watches a movie on, basically having an environment that destresses you after a long day has immeasurable value. When a person is ready to make a decision, we are there to help guide their dreams. Equally important is our backend delivery team, which is second-tonone; it is a team that consistently garners rave reviews.”

Stoney Creek Furniture cares about its customers and about getting things right. It is a philosophy that extends from the time customers enter the stores right through the purchase process, and to the end delivery and set-up. “We are committed to ensuring that the customer is fully happy with the end result,” Fee says. “That is why and how we have been in business for 50 years, with a customer base that encompasses the GTA, extends east to the Niagara area, Brantford and Kitchener, over to Lake Erie and north to cottage country. It is absolutely worth the drive to visit our stores in Stoney Creek and Vaughan. And remember, our Stoney Creek location is close to the wine region, so you can make a day of it and go for a wine tour and lunch.”

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PHOTO BY CARLOS A. PINTO

As

Stoney Creek Furniture celebrates its 50th anniversary, president Jim Fee credits his staff as being the key differentiator. “The experience of shopping at a familyowned, family-run business, versus a big box, comes down to the people working there,” says Fee. “A significant amount of Stoney Creek Furniture’s staff have been with the company anywhere between 10 to 30 years, a fact that has been instrumental in creating the commitment, family feel and enthusiasm that exists at both the Stoney Creek, Ont., and Vaughan, Ont., locations. People coming into the store sense a different vibe here. Because we are not commission-based, customers feel comfortable browsing in our relaxed environment.” The values established when Fee’s friend and business partner, Dennis Novosel, founded the Stoney Creek company in 1969 — i.e., a forward-looking vision with a focus on learning, key industry associations and a neighbourcentric commitment to community, which includes supporting local sports teams, along with charity fundraisers — continues to be intrinsic to the company’s core mission. “We are always trying to create excitement in the store and to give back,” Fee says.


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sports

THE MODERNDAY COACH Four coaches, spanning four different sports, share their thoughts on what it takes to be a coach in today’s society WRITTEN BY NICKOLAS LOMBARDI

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hen watching or playing sports, the focus is mainly on the players. And, for all intents and purposes, it should be because there is always one position that is underappreciated, and that’s the coach. Many might think that anyone can be a coach, as long as you have knowledge of what you are coaching. But being a successful coach in today’s society means much more than knowing the simple Xs and Os. No two players are the same, so not all can be taught the same way. All coaches are teachers, and when shaping young minds, a good teacher will get to know each student individually, so they can learn which students to be harder on and which ones to be more patient with. All the 22

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coaches that will be showcased here know their players well, and in doing, so they help their players to be better both on the field and as human beings. COACH GUS GYMNOPOULOS Having been in the Canadian basketball community practically his entire life, coach Gus Gymnopoulos is the next version of Dave Smart. And for those of you who do not know who coach Smart is, well, he is just one of Canada’s winningest coaches at the university level, as he is the current head coach of the men’s basketball team at Carleton University. Coach Gymnopoulos is the head coach and a physical educational teacher at Vaughan Secondary School in Thornhill, Ont. Coach Gymnopoulos

Q. What is the most self-rewarding aspect of your job? A. What makes it all worth it is developing the relationships with the young guys. You go through all these tough times with these players, and slowly and slowly as they get older, they understand why you were so tough on them. They understand that the lessons they learned can be applied on and off the court. And our bond gets even closer as the players grow up. When they move on from high school, these players always keep in touch and visit the school and my family. As a coach, the players have always known that I’ve always wanted what’s best for them. It was never about furthering my own career, just the simple fact that I enjoy www.mycitylife.ca

PHOTOS BY CARLOS A. PINTO

COACH GUS GYMNOPOULOS

has pretty much won everything at the high- school level and has also coached NBA players such as Andrew Wiggins and Nickeil AlexanderWalker when they attended Vaughan Secondary. When speaking with coach Gymnopoulos over the phone, his enthusiasm and ideals for the game got me so excited that I wished I had played under him. The coach told me that when he coaches youth players at his high school or at a basketball camp, his two ideals of being unselfish and putting the team first are the most difficult aspects to manage. But what makes it all worth it for Gymnopoulos is being able to see his players go on to become great players and, more importantly, better people.


When I see them as mature, grown men doing well, then that’s probably the most rewarding thing about coaching

COACH ADAM COLAGIACOMO

— Coach Gus Gymnopoulos

coaching and teaching them. When I see them as mature, grown men doing well, then that’s probably the most rewarding thing about coaching.

and very unselfish players on the court. And both guys are built for longterm success in the NBA.

Q. When coaching, how do you get through to players with behavioural issues? A. You have to have patience, and when coaching basketball, you have to model their life around that. What I mean is, you have to get to know the player and see what they are dealing with and try to understand them. Getting to know your player as a person and as an individual is very important in knowing what kind of support they need. Now, sometimes there are going to be players and families that you can’t help because who don’t want to take your advice, and those players can be very detrimental to the rest of the team. And the players who don’t want to take our advice won’t last long in our program, but at the same time, we will never give up on a player and we’ll do our best to help and challenge them.

COACH ADAM COLAGIACOMO Youth hockey in Vaughan has been flourishing under coach Adam Colagiacomo for 17 years now. Coach Colagiacomo runs the Pro Star Hockey School at Vaughan Sports Village. His school teaches kids aged four to 18 how to improve their skating, puck handling and many more fundamental aspects of the game. But more importantly, this coach prides himself on teaching his students how to be polite, responsible and hardworking — all quality traits that Colagiacomo views as essential factors in being successful. Colagiacomo comes with a vast knowledge of coaching, along with playing four years at the professional level. After getting to know all of his players and their families, Colagiacomo takes a fatherly approach to running his camps. When I spoke with him about his occupation, his eyes lit up with excitement while discussing his students. Coach Colagiacomo takes his time to help grow and guide his students to succeed in all areas of life, like any good father would. One example of this is former student and Vaughan resident Victor Mete, current NHL defenceman for the Montreal Canadiens. Colagiacomo’s school is a

Q. In regard to your former players Andrew Wiggins and Nickeil Alexander-Walker, can you speak on their progress so far? A. First off, I am most proud about both of them being outstanding young people. Classy as they come, both real good family men, kind with everyone they come into contact with and especially with the success they’ve had. They’re just humble and quiet people www.mycitylife.ca

great place for youth players to improve, but more importantly, to enjoy the game. What more can a parent ask for? Q. How did you get into coaching? A. When I was 23, I was at a crossroads in my career. When I was playing for the Chicago Blackhawks farm team, I went home to recover from a serious injury and a former coach asked if I wanted to help him coach youth hockey. From the third session in, I just fell in love with coaching and just knew that’s what I wanted to do. It was a way to give back to kids and help with their on-ice performance. But more importantly, you’re teaching them good habits and good life skills. Q. How do you teach kids of different backgrounds, cultures and religions? Aug/Sept 2019

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It takes getting to know all of your players and being able to manage different expectations and abilities. That’s one thing I enforce with myself and my other instructors, and that’s getting to know each kid individually — Coach Adam Colagiacomo

A. That’s the hardest part of being a coach, and that takes experience and time. I’m very lucky and happy to be a coach all the way from a four-yearold right to an 18-year-old pro. It takes getting to know all of your players and being able to manage different expectations and abilities. That’s one thing I enforce with myself and my other instructors, and that’s getting to know each kid individually by asking about how school is going, for example. Which leads to them wanting to work hard for you because you have given back to them, by getting to know them on a personal level. Q. What is the last message you tell your students right before they leave your school? A. First and foremost, I thank the kids for coming out and allowing us to be able to do what we love every single day. 24

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When you walk away from our school, I remind the kids about the importance of work ethic, and how you need to be hardworking in all aspects of life in order to succeed. COACH JIM BRENNAN There is light at the end of the title when it comes to Canadian football (soccer) with coaches such as Jim Brennan at the helm of York 9 FC. For those who do not know, Canada finally has a professional football league, which started this year. This league is called the Canadian Premier League, and York 9 FC is one of seven clubs that make up the league, which spans the country. Jim Brennan is a Canadian-born footballer with over 10 years of experience playing in England at the highest level. When listening to coach Brennan talk about Canadian football, a sense of passion and positivity is really

Q. From your experiences playing in a foreign country, what advice could you pass along to younger players who are currently or will be playing in a foreign country, such as an Alphonso Davies playing for Bayern Munich, and how they can deal with racist remarks or hassling of any kind? A. In regard to racist remarks, there is no excuse for any of that, there is no room for that in the game. But for the young boys over there, just enjoy the moment, dig your head down, keep working and prove to people that you can play this game and play at the highest level. Q. What has been the highlight so far in coaching York 9 FC? A. Every week there’s a new highlight, just watching these guys start to gel and express themselves. The highlight I www.mycitylife.ca

PHOTOS BY CARLOS A. PINTO

COACH JIM BRENNAN

evident. Along the same vein, the coach puts an emphasis on working hard to showcase one’s talent. The stigma around Canadian football comes from the idea that we are not a footballing nation. Brennan counters this notion, challenging his players to play with high intensity, but to also express themselves out on the pitch — essentially letting the play do all the talking. Coach Brennan is someone who enjoys being around his squad every day and knows his players inside and out. With coaches like Brennan, Canadian players will only mature and gain more confidence in knowing that they can compete with anyone.


get as a coach is watching and working with these guys every day and then seeing them go out onto the field and showcase what they’ve got. I’m really enjoying watching these guys and coaching them. Q. Do you see grassroots football in Canada heading in the right direction? A. See, that’s what the Canadian Premier League is for, and that’s developing players, coaches and administrators. We’re just going to create a bigger player pool, just look at our under-17s; there are so many Canadians playing professional football, it’s amazing. As the Canadian Premier League grows, it’s just going to create a bigger and bigger pool for our national team. And now with this pro game, it’s all about getting these local clubs out so these young kids can watch these pros, and maybe it can give them an opportunity to fulfill their dreams of playing professional football. COACH ALFONSO CASCIATO Another sport on the rise in Vaughan is baseball. And Major Peewee 1 coach Alfonso Casciato, of the Vaughan Vikings, is doing a spectacular job in coaching kids on how to play the sport with class and skill. Coach Casciato has been coaching youth baseball for almost a decade and is loving every minute of it. His passion and baseball IQ come from many years of playing baseball himself, starting from when he was a youngster, right up until he had his own children. When coaching, Casciato applies certain expectations based on the individual player and their specific skill set. The coach knows the right time to congratulate players and when to be a little tougher with them, in order to get the best out of each player. He bases this approach on reading his players’ body language and effort levels in order to react and coach in the appropriate style. During the entire interview, coach Casciato spoke with such a level of calmness that one can only imagine his personality rubbing off onto his players. The coach reminds his players of the importance of staying even-keeled and that losing teaches us way more life lessons than winning ever could. www.mycitylife.ca

Q. What is the most challenging aspect about being a coach? A. Teaching my players, in baseball and in life, to never get too high or too low. Also, not to dwell on past experiences, so kids can move forward and develop as a better player and person. Q. What is a key fundamental that all parents should ensure their kids have when trying to help improve a child’s overall ability to play baseball? A. Parents should look at their child’s passion, focus and compete level when wanting to help them improve. The coaches can work on the skills, but each child has a certain level of compete, passion and focus that should be recognized by their parents.

with each coach, the main focus for all of them was to shape these young minds into becoming better people. Each one of these coaches is a modern-day coach. This means that they all get to know each one of their players on an individual level and act accordingly to a player’s personality, background and circumstances. These coaches hardly get enough credit for all of their hard work and dedication in working with our kids. I hope this piece can shed some light on the many great coaches we have in our city. The City of Vaughan is in a golden era for producing great players and even better people.

Q. Where is grassroots baseball in Vaughan heading? A. I think in the last 10 years, we have seen more kids playing baseball in Vaughan and also across Canada. And that has translated into more players being drafted, coming up through the different levels and finally into the majors, where we now see more Canadians playing in Major League Baseball. After conducting interviews with four different coaches across four different sports in Vaughan, I am proud to say that youth sports in Vaughan is at an all-time high. Talking with each individual coach and seeing how passionate they are about growing and producing professional players was outstanding to experience. But the aspect that blew me away was how, after speaking

COACH ALFONSO CASCIATO

Aug/Sept 2019

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PHOTO BY @THEFOODIIEECOUPLE

PHOTO BY @HUNGRYBLONDE

PANERA BREAD When looking for fresh and healthy food options, Panera Bread never ceases to amaze. And the Caprese Sandwich is a prime example of that. www.panera.ca

EL BOSCO El Bosco is a new catering service and food truck featuring mouth-watering, Latin-inspired fare dreamed up by owners Ismael Castro and Marcela Geer. El Bosco’s menu focuses on clean eating and authentic ingredients with numerous plant-based and gluten-free options, while showcasing the flavours from Castro and Geer’s childhoods in Mexico and Colombia, respectively. www.elboscocatering.com

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Premium alcohol and fabulous places to grab a bite. Enjoy the variety WRITTEN BY NICKOLAS LOMBARDI

ALOETTE RESTAURANT A refined take on bistro fare paired with sophisticated and affable hospitality. Aloette offers a chic dining experience for anyone to enjoy. www.aloetterestaurant.com

FABBRICA RESTAURANT The McEwan Group is recognized as one of Canada’s premier hospitality companies, and this stands true for the authentic Italian cuisine it offers at Fabbrica. www.mcewangroup.ca

SAPPORO Japan’s oldest beer is sure to satisfy your tastebuds with its distinct malt flavour and a clean, crisp finish. www.sapporobeer.ca

FREEMARK ABBEY This 130-year-old company is a trailblazer in every right. Its classic Napa Valley wines of superior pedigree and quality will leave you wanting more. www.freemarkabbey.com 26

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URBAN TASTEMAKERS

MARBL RESTAURANT — THE EPITOME OF CLASSICAL COMFORT

Offering an American modern menu of elevated comfort foods with a twist, MARBL is standing out on King Street West

PHOTO BY RICK O’BRIEN

PHOTO BY JOANNA WOJEWODA

WRITTEN BY RICK MULLER

Executive chef Ryan Morrison’s vision was to bring something different to the King Street West restaurant scene

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hen executive chef Ryan Morrison arrived from Vancouver late last year, he knew exactly what he and business partner Peter Girges wanted when they created and opened MARBL Restaurant. They knew the location, where culture meets cool at 455 King St. W. near Spadina, was ground zero for some of North America’s finest culinary experiences, so Morrison looked to bring a little something different to the table. That started with balance in the chosen American modern menu. “Toronto has an incredible food landscape, there is no denying that. Especially along the King West strip, where there are world-class chefs

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running restaurants with diverse menus on every corner,” says Morrison. “What MARBL offers is the approachability of a casual restaurant paired with an elevated menu consisting of traditional dishes highlighting quality, seasonal ingredients, paired with a great wine selection, and creative and traditional cocktails.” MARBL has been an absolute hit, appealing to those who savour exquisite cuisine, who can be adventurous with their cocktails and who appreciate cool and classic contemporary design. The 180-seat restaurant and lounge is bright and airy in feel, with exposed brick and, quite naturally, generous amounts of clean and lush marble on the bars, pillars and throughout, accented by

tufted banquettes. It also features a large outdoor patio. Both the menu and space design are testament to Morrison’s extensive experience in the restaurant industry. After starting in a handful of kitchens in Toronto, he moved to New York, where he eventually landed a job as the chef de cuisine of Scarpetta, overseeing the New York, Beverly Hills and Toronto locations. After a time with Oliver & Bonacini back in Toronto, Morrison moved to Vancouver and joined the Glowbal Restaurant Group, where he formed his partnership with Girges, which led to their idea for the MARBL concept in Toronto. “With MARBL, we wanted to create www.mycitylife.ca


PHOTO BY PHOTAGONIST

an elevated dining experience that was still approachable and comfortable — to blend beautiful design with exceptional food in a casual fine dining atmosphere,” says Morrison. “MARBL is somewhere you can go to dinner or drinks after work, or celebrate a special occasion with friends and family. Our goal was to create a balance between formality and approachability, both with the overall design of the restaurant and the direction of the menu.” MARBL’s American modern menu features a collection of bistro classics such as steak tartare, caesar salad, roast chicken, a house burger and more original offerings such as its Montreal Smoked Octopus, Lobster and Ricotta Dumplings and its already craveable Veal Chop Parmesan. It’s important for www.mycitylife.ca

PHOTO BY PHOTAGONIST

PHOTO BY RICK O’BRIEN

With exposed brick, banquettes and (naturally) marble, MARBL is a casual, bright and easy environment

We wanted to create an elevated dining experience that was still approachable and comfortable

MARBL’S American modern menu features seasonal ingredients from local producers and suppliers

Morrison to offer a seasonal menu with the freshest local ingredients. “Seasonal ingredients are important and can define our menu, and by buying local ingredients we can support local producers and suppliers, and they in turn provide us with the best,” says Morrison of his menu philosophy. It all results in a light, casual and happy vibe, which is palatable at MARBL and provides Morrison and his team with the most satisfaction. “When guests pull the team aside to tell us about their experience, that is what makes me happiest,” says Morrison. “I love when people feel comfortable enough to share their appreciation for the food and the dining experience.” www.marbltoronto.com @marbltoronto Aug/Sept 2019

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MR. NICE GUY CANADA’S NEWEST

WITH A BACK CATALOGUE OF HITS AND A HOST OF MULTIMILLION SELLING ALBUMS TO HIS NAME ALREADY, IT’S EASY TO FORGET THAT CANADA’S LATEST HOT-SHOT MUSICAL EXPORT — AND ALLROUND AFFABLE CELEB — SHAWN MENDES IS ONLY JUST OUT OF HIS TEENS AND HAS THE WORLD AT HIS FEET WRITTEN BY JAN JANSSEN

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hawn Mendes may well be a pop icon, but the 21-year-old Canadian has had to contend with all the trials and tribulations brought on by mass adulation and the pressure to perform to his own heightened expectations. It’s a relatively common theme among the young stars spearheading today’s hugely open world of celebrity music, but thankfully, 30

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for this self-taught singer-songwriter, the worst is behind him, and he is now poised to take on the world. “There was a moment when I thought things were going too fast, but then I realized that it’s much better going fast than slow in this world,” Mendes says. “You might as well just embrace it. We’re so focused on the future, we forget to look at the beautiful parts of what we’re living right now.” He adds: “Every day I wake up and

I’m, like, ‘Dude, you’re doing what you love to do for a living,’ and I really have nothing truly to worry about at the moment in life.” The native of Pickering, Ont., has plenty of accomplishments to ease any concerns over what the future might hold. Having begun his extraordinary musical ascent at age 14, he’s already a veteran of three world tours and three hit studio albums under his belt. On top of that, last summer he became the www.mycitylife.ca


Toronto’s own Shawn Mendes adds sweet music and personality to the world, showcasing true Canadian style at the young age of 21 years old

www.mycitylife.ca

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first artist in history to have four No. 1 pop hits before his 20th birthday when his single “In My Blood” soared to the top spot on the Billboard charts prior to scoring a Grammy nomination. Having started out as yet another aspiring teen singer posting cover songs on Vine and YouTube, then as a young artist on Island Records, he made the transition into the mainstream with three LPs that debuted at the top of the Billboard 200 chart. Along the way he’s performed for Queen Elizabeth, all the while gaining millions of devoted teen followers on the back of his neon smile, skinny jeans and engaging personality. His list of hit tracks include “Stitches,” “Mercy,” “Treat You Better” and There’s Nothin’ Holding Me Back, all of which have become fixtures on mainstream radio playlists in North America and beyond. Now Mendes is also on track to become one of the top-selling musicians of all time, with 11 million albums and 110 million singles already sold. His songs have also been streamed more than 11 billion times, and he’s amassed more than 40 million followers on Instagram. It’s no wonder, therefore, that last year saw him create a sensation by playing sold-out concert dates at New York’s Madison Square Garden, London’s O2 Arena and performing for 120,000 people at Brazil’s Rock in Rio festival. Having spent a lot of time watching how Taylor Swift put on precisely choreographed sets while serving as her opening act in 2015, Mendes understands that developing and growing one’s fan base involves more than simply showing up for the gig. “People forget how important groundwork is — physically being in every city, meeting people — it’s like you’re in a presidential campaign. I’ve known nothing but that since I was 15, so it’s not like I was at one time very

private and now I have to be open. I’ve always been like that. I don’t find it hard or disruptive, and I think I’m OK with it — until I’m not, anyway.” Like many young artists, Mendes is aware of the risk of being swallowed up by the kind of meteoric career trajectory that has brought him to this point. Anxiety issues notwithstanding, he is also all too aware of the importance

‘‘

the public, but I still manage to have a private life. As soon as I go home to my parents in Canada, I turn my phone off for two days. I also don’t go on Instagram or do anything that takes me out of a very ordinary place, where I can just be myself. That helps keep me calm.” Blessed with a tousled-hair wholesomeness, Mendes’s affable persona and squeaky-clean rep have so far distinguished him from fellow Canadian recording artist Justin Bieber, as well as some of the bigger names in the pop world who create as much controversy as they do music. Mendes, meanwhile, is much more in tune with the more benevolent image of the Great White North that has propelled stars like Ryan Gosling to such esteemed heights among the adoring public, and he’s determined to conduct himself accordingly. “Just do it and [let the fans] take the photos and answer the questions,” he says. “And live the life that you have because that’s what it is. So just own it and be grateful for what you have and then ignore what you don’t have, you know?” Not that he has much time for relaxation for the rest of the year. Mendes kicked off his Shawn Mendes world tour on March 7 in Europe that will see him play more than 70 concert dates, including a full summer schedule of stops in all major North American cities, with Canadian performances in Vancouver, Edmonton, Ottawa, Montreal and Toronto. The tour is in support of his self-titled charttopping 2018 album, which followed his previous LPs Illuminate (2016) and Handwritten (2015). Mendes is appreciative of his Ontario roots — he still lives in the Toronto area — and feels a responsibility to carry on in the footsteps of so many internationally renowned Canadian artists.

I JUST MAKE SURE I ALWAYS KEEP MY FAMILY AND FRIENDS CLOSE, AND THAT I KEEP GOOD PEOPLE AROUND ME

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of distance. Alongside being dedicated to providing the very best experience for his fans, Mendes is keen to not get caught up in the hype and glory, and he has no intention of cracking under the spotlight. “I just make sure I always keep my family and friends close, and that I keep good people around me. It hasn’t been hard for me; it just has really been about making sure that no matter what, you are able to look at yourself in the mirror as things go on and make sure you stay the same person.” Adds Mendes: “I know what I owe

www.mycitylife.ca


Mendes is looking back and holding true to his Ontario roots by rapidly joining Canadian music legends

www.mycitylife.ca

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‘‘

I ALSO WANT TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN THE WORLD. I WANT TO HELP, AND I WANT TO USE MY VOICE AND USE MUSIC TO TAKE STEPS FORWARD

AND HELP PEOPLE TAKE STEPS FORWARD

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“Many Canadians have had a real impact on music. I’m thinking of people like Justin Bieber, Drake, Alessia Cara or The Weeknd, for example. I can’t explain what brings us together, but there is something special, it seems to me.” And although he has a recording studio in Malibu, Calif., he has no intentions of moving to Los Angeles, 34

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where most major entertainers wind up. “No way,” is his answer to that notion. “My mother has accepted the fact that I need my own apartment, and I’m planning on staying near Toronto.” One of the most impressive and refreshing aspects of Shawn Mendes is that there’s not an ounce of pop star arrogance or entitlement to him. He is the real deal when it comes to being a decent human being who believes in leading a life based on “honesty and authenticity.” Part of the pressure he admits to putting on himself stems from his ambitious nature that makes him want to be a positive force on the world stage that goes beyond simply creating memorable pop melodies. He is committed to using his voice in the broadest sense “to evolve as an individual” and to connect with his fans in a meaningful way. “I also want to make a difference in the world. I want to help, and I want to use my voice and use music to take steps forward and help people take steps forward.” In recent years, Mendes has spoken openly about his battles with anxiety. He has also tried to explore some of the darker thoughts that gather in his head on days when it is “difficult to get out of bed.” Last year, Mendes went public about his decision to see a therapist to deal with his psychological issues. He would explain that he was tired of having to go through wild mood swings, which would strike suddenly and leave him emotionally exhausted. “For me, it was, you know, being overwhelmed and kind of feeling like, you know, there’s mornings where you feel like you can’t get up and do what you gotta do,” he says. “It’s not this thing where you find yourself lying on the ground for a month. It’s one day you feel great, and even maybe in the morning you feel great, then in the afternoon you feel like everything is crashing down around you.” Nowadays, Mendes also relies on a regular fitness regimen to help him stay as clear-headed and focused as possible, while he deals with the demands of touring and living up to his own lofty expectations for himself.

“In reality, I lead the healthiest possible life. I exercise every morning and I eat try to eat well. I know that this business has damaged a lot of incredible performers, and I want to look after myself.” He certainly seems to be doing everything right, even going so far as making a solid impression on American audiences when he spent a week as musical artist-in-residence on The Late Late Show with James Corden in Los Angeles. And, of course, no musical collaboration with Corden would be the same without the inevitable Carpool Karaoke drive, where the pair belted out some of Mendes’s biggest hits, the young star following on in the esteemed passenger-set from the likes of Ariana Grande, Adele, Red Hot Chili Peppers and fellow Canadian heartthrob Michael Bublé. Youthfully gangly at 6-1, Mendes enjoys spending weeks or even months at a time in California, where he has a recording studio that offers majestic views and a chance to wander along some of the best beaches in the world. “If I’m in a writing rut, my favourite thing to do is to travel. I get most of my ideas on very busy weeks when I’m travelling through Europe or South America — that’s where my inspiration comes from. I just write my ideas down and bring them with me to L.A., where I write at the studio in Malibu.” “The studio has one of my favourite views in the whole world. You’re up on a mountain and you can see the whole cliff down the Pacific Coast Highway and all the way into the city.” Now in the midst of his tour, Mendes is squarely in his element. Still a babe when it comes to the concert tour grind, he is youthful enough to be able to enjoy the wandering life of the gypsy musician, including the joys of lavish hotel suites, 24-hour room service and the chance to see some of the most culturally celebrated cities the world has to offer. “I’m addicted to the road,” admits. “As much as I love being home in Canada, I’m there for five days and then I can’t wait to get away again.” www.shawnmendesofficial.com @shawnmendes www.mycitylife.ca


A DV E R TO R I A L

PHOTO BY IGO R MANU EL ALD OMAR

FEELING PEACHY? IT’S NATIONAL PEACH MONTH!

PEACHY TING

INGREDIENTS

Angela Martino, founder of Neece Electrolysis

1 part Grey Goose Vodka 1 part Peach Liqueur 1 part Chamomile Syrup 1 part Lemon Juice 3 pieces of peaches, cut in half Garnish: 2 oranges sliced extremely thin

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Add ingredients to shaker + muddle, add ice. Shake vigorously. Double strain over fresh ice. Top with soda. Garnish with Oranges + muddled peaches. Chamomile tea syrup: Bring 1 cup water + 1 cup simple syrup to boil, add 10 chamomile tea bags. Boil 1 min. Remove from heat, let cool. Steep tea bags in syrup overnight for best results.

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TULUM

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hen Angela Martino was 15, a hormone imbalance caused what she describes as “an excessive amount of hair on my face,” which led to embarrassment and low self-esteem. But Martino found a solution that helped her through it. “I started electrolysis treatments, which raised my self-confidence and put me on a journey to help others going through the same difficulty,” she says. Today, Martino, the founder of Neece Electrolysis, has become a certified laser technician and electrologist. Electrolysis is the only FDA-approved permanent hair removal system that has the ability to target all skin and hair types, delivering effective results for both men and women. 1. Is electrolysis permanent? Electrolysis is the only permanent method of hair removal recognized and approved by the FDA. 2. How many electrolysis treatments are required to obtain permanent hair removal? The number of sessions will vary from person to person. Call Angela for a personal consultation to learn more. 3. How do you decide between electrolysis and laser hair removal? Electrolysis can remove both light and dark hair. Laser hair removal treats dark hair. Angela will meet with you and advise you on what method is best.

INGREDIENTS

2 oz VIBE Organic Electrolyte Black Tea Peach 1.5 oz Tequila 0.5 oz Lemon 0.5 oz ginger syrup

DIRECTIONS

Serve in an old fashioned glass with salt rim Garnish with candied ginger

www.vibetea.com www.mycitylife.ca

Neece Electrolysis 9B-80 Carlauren Rd., Woodbridge, Ont. 905-856-8808 | www.neecelectrolysis.ca @neecelectrolysis Aug/Sept 2019

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WRITTEN BY NICKOLAS LOMBARDI

DESIGN IDEAS

Looking for innovative ideas to spice up your life? Look no further because the products, companies and designers here will do just the trick Cockatoos - Enjoy tropical vibes with this wallpaper by Andrea Haase. Featuring an illustrated cockatoo and detailed jungle foliage, this standout wallpaper will make a great addition in any bedroom or living room. www.wallsauce.com

Zilli Home - Inspired by founder, Natalie Papia’s love for incredible interiors, Zilli Home has handpicked and designed exclusive furniture and home furnishings to indulge the modern interior designer or home owner. www.zillihome.com

Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 - Samsung Canada is excited to unveil the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6, a new tablet that enhances your creativity and productivity. This natural fit between technology and art encourages pushing artistic boundaries and vision. www.samsung.com

All-Clad Canada - All-Clad Canada is introducing a D3 stainless ovenware collection. Durable and versatile, the seven new ovenware pieces feature the brand’s renowned D3 stainless three-ply bonded technology and trusted performance. www.all-clad.ca

Morgan Clayhall - Drawing from more than 20 years of design backgrounds, this Toronto-based design studio focuses on expert craftsmanship. The studio develops impeccable, original pieces of furniture and artwork. www.morganclayhall.com

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www.mycitylife.ca


DESIGN IDEAS Stantec - Designers Olivera Sipka and Andrew Wheelband of design company Stantec helped design three treatment centres for ErinoakKids, assisting kids with a variety of health issues.

Powell & Bonnell - The Powell & Bonnell company is design perfection at its finest. And now, announcing the addition of 10 new furniture products, which include stools, desks and chairs. www.powellandbonnell.com

PHOTO BY MARGARET MULLIGAN

www.stantec.com

David’s Fine Linens - Exceptional design and quality, David’s Fine Linens is a must have. Established in 1977, the goal has been to bring - top quality European linens to the North American market. www.davidsfinelinens.com

iDesign - Everyday living has its challenges, but iDesign makes organizing just a little more effortless. At iDesign, the core goal is to offer innovative storage products for the home at reasonable prices. www.idesignlivesimply.com

Reina - For decades, real estate development has been a maledominated industry. And now a group of women in Toronto are making a statement by introducing the country’s first all-female development team, named Reina. www.reinacondos.com

www.mycitylife.ca

Aug/Sept 2019

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Real Estate

FLIP-FLOPS ARE THE GREAT EQUALIZER Seaplanes and helicopters and 20,000-square-foot homes. Is it still possible for the average person to own a place in Muskoka? WRITTEN BY CECE M. SCOTT

H

ave you ever taken one of those two- to three-hour Muskoka Steamships cruises, on the RMS Segwun or the Wenonah II, that sail out of Gravenhurst, Ont., during the summer or fall seasons? All lathered up with sunscreen, rose-tinted sunglasses perched on eager faces, passengers onboard the specially themed Millionaire’s Row cruise pay their money to “ooh and aah” as the Segwun steams by 6,000-square-foot, 10,000-square-foot, 20,000-square-foot homes. Some are hidden behind the deep gatekeepers of evergreen trees, while others are partially hidden or superseded by the majesty of the home’s spectacular original statement boathouses. “Actually, I would have to say that Millionaire’s Row is long gone,” says Jim Williams, who is president and CEO of Williams Telecommunications

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and a long-time Muskoka homeowner. “The reality is, it is now Billionaire’s Row.” Williams, who bought his cottage 12 years ago on Lake St. Joseph (affectionately referred to as “Lake Joe”), estimates that real estate has gone up 60 per cent since then. The Muskokas, which have earned many “best” awards, including the No. 1 Best Summer Trip in the World (National Geographic, 2011) and one of Frommer’s Best Family Vacations in Canada, are commonly known for their “Big Three” lakes: Lake Muskoka, Lake Rosseau and Lake Joe. These lakes — and the private islands that dot the indigo blue, or gold and red autumn leaves–reflected waters — are havens for the A-listers of Hollywood, with the odd one owned by a Canadian. Martin Short has a cottage here, as does Jim Treliving, Kevin O’Leary, Tom Hanks, Cindy Crawford, Steven Spielberg, Kenny G., Paul Coffey, Darcy

Tucker, Shayne Corson, Wendel Clark and a host of other well-known hockey players. The renowned and popular hockey defenceman P.K. Subban, who first experienced the Muskokas several years ago, returns yearly and is, in fact, staying at Williams’s cottage for a week this summer. Crawford’s husband, Rande Gerber, has Kid Rock up for visits, and Vince Neil from Mötley Crüe has been known to hang out on one or two Muskoka docks. Justin Bieber rented a property in the Muskokas a couple of years ago that features a 70foot waterfall and a waterslide that goes right through the property. That only set the young singer back $65,000 for the week. So, what is it about the Muskokas that draws so many of the rich and famous to its fresh and deliciously warm waters? And is it possible for the average person to buy a cottage here? Joe Quinn, who lives on Lake Joe www.mycitylife.ca


and has been a real estate agent in the area for the past 25 years (currently for Chestnut Park Real Estate, Muskoka), says that the biggest percentage of new buyers are young Toronto professionals between 40 and 45 years of age. And while he acknowledges seeing a lot of high-profile celebrities on a daily basis, he is protective of his clients and prefers not to discuss either the resident celebrities or their comings and goings. “I am too close to these people,” he says. What Quinn does say, though, is that celebrities are treated like regular people in the Muskokas — no fanfare, no paparazzi, no demands for autographs. “Other residents respect that these people are here to relax,” he says. Is it just the influx of celebrities that has driven the cost of Muskoka real estate up into the double-digit millions or are other factors at play? Bob Clarke of Muskoka Realty attributes a few factors to the escalating costs. “There has been a lot of pressure from the eight million people who live in Toronto and want to get out of the city,” he says. “Real estate has become a limited-capacity item. And because people are looking to spend more time up here — making it a threeseason getaway — they are buying property, tearing down the old cottages and building new, larger homes that facilitate longer stays.” Clarke cites the escalating cost of building materials and labour; he estimates that it now costs $500 per square foot to build, compared to a cost of $330 to $350 a square foot a few years ago. In 1990, Clarke built his first cottage, which he sold in 1999 for $310,000. That cottage was recently sold for more than a million dollars. And with some spec cottages being built in the $15-million to $20-million range, Williams says that “it is almost at the point that the average person can’t get into the market up here anymore.” While it is true that the average person can only dream about owning one of the spectacular cottages on the Big Three, such as the house with a 9,000-square-foot boathouse to accessorize the 20,000-square-foot home, or the cottage with a boathouse/ garage that seats 100 guests for concerts featuring artists such as the Canadian www.mycitylife.ca

It’s a gathering place for families and friends with minimal distractions − a place where memories are made PHOTOS BY

@JIMMYWWILLIAMS

From top: another spectacular Muskoka sunset; million-dollar Views, boating – a must Muskoka mindset; Weekends are for dock parties

Tenors and Jann Arden — and don’t forget about the seaplanes tied up to docks or the heli-pads for Friday night fly-ins — Clarke says he doesn’t want to scare potential buyers aware from the Muskoka experience. “While new buyers might be priced out of the market on the Big Three, there are some beautiful small lakes around the area that are affordable,” he says. “Our lakes are filled with islands that still offer affordable water access and can be bought for between half a million and a million dollars. In fact,” he says, “I have clients who don’t want to have to keep up with the Joneses; they just want to relax on their dock, barbecue and boat. The cost of real estate in Toronto has changed dramatically, so really, it is not such a crazy stretch up here.” Beaumaris, a small well-known area on Tondern Island, with its three-season, 15,000-square-foot, 75- to 100-yearold cottages and dining rooms that can seat 40 people for dinner, is a standout area in the Muskokas for Clarke. Not to be outdone in the celebrity category, the Lake of Bays Bigwin Inn (now defunct) on Bigwin Island used to host the crème de la crème of celebrities, including Clark Gable, Louis Armstrong and the unflappable Winston Churchill. What is important for potential Muskoka buyers to note is that the majority of Clarke’s clientele are not, in fact, highfalutin celebrities, but rather, people who have come into money (one of his clients is a $50-million lottery winner). Or, they are people who have come up with an idea and done well. “I love hearing about people who started in low-paying jobs and who embraced opportunities, took over businesses and made it big,” he says. And while The New York Times refers to the Muskokas as the Malibu of the North, and Williams likens the area to the Hamptons on the water, Quinn’s description is one that resonates with its beautiful imagery. “It’s God’s country,” he says. “It’s a gathering place for families and friends with minimal distractions — a place where memories are made.” Clarke, who likes to keep things on a more local plane, says, “I would call Muskoka ‘the Rosedale of the North.’” @jimmywwilliams Aug/Sept 2019

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SUCCESS STORY

FROM MARKET GARDENERS TO MASS MERCHANDISERS Founded in 1956 by brothers Tommy, Joe and Gus, Longo Brothers Fruit Markets (Longo’s) is a family business committed to giving back to its communities in a significant, focused way

From left: Gus Longo, Joseph Longo, Rosanne Longo, Marie Iuglio and Nick Yeatman

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www.mycitylife.ca

PHOTO BY CARLOS A. PINTO

WRITTEN BY CECE M. SCOTT


A

s we go about our busy days, fighting non-stop traffic throughout our everexpanding city, rushing home to make dinner before taking the kids to soccer, dance, gymnastics and swimming, do any of us ever stop to consider how that sun-kissed red tomato, just begging to become a toasted tomato-bacon-lettuce-andmayo sandwich, came to be? Or how that juicy, lip-smacking watermelon evolved from a tiny seed? As shop-pay-andgo consumers, availability and choice are what we expect: a take-it-for-granted given that’s just part of our daily culture. Just for a second, imagine the legion of farmers who, once winter has waned and the frost is gone, are on their ploughs, turning and cultivating the soil, then dropping seeds of every imaginable variety — tomatoes, soy beans, green beans, yellow beans, hot peppers, cucumbers (the list is endless) — onto acres and acres of land. And the planting is just the beginning. Total hours of sunlight, irrigation systems, fertilizing and the ever-present throngs of plundering insects are just a few of the farmers’ considerations. Harvest time comes with its own set of challenges: picking the crop before it gets too ripe, proper packing to avoid bruising, refrigeration, shipping to distributors, competitive pricing. Imported vegetables and fruits can travel a thousand-plus kilometres to get to your grocer, as opposed to locally grown produce. It was into this kind of environment that the family-owned and -run business of Longo’s first began. They were no strangers to getting up at the crack of dawn, travelling to local farms and suppliers in their native Italy. Antonio Longo — father of the late Tommy and Joe Senior, as well as Gus (founders of Longo Brothers Fruit Markets) — was a market gardener in Italy before immigrating to Canada from Termini Imerese in 1949. Tony, the first of Antonio’s sons, followed him to Canada in 1950. By 1951, the rest of the Longo family, which included family matriarch Rosa, Gus and siblings, Joseph, Mary, www.mycitylife.ca

Zina and Tom, arrived in Canada. So how does a fledging family business, one started by three Italian immigrant brothers in 1956, grow, in a little over six decades, from one humble neighbourhood fruit market at Yonge

Longo family members in 1955, top row from left to right: Zina, Tommy, Rosa (mother), Antonino (father), Mary, Joe; front row from left: Gus, Sam

One of the core values of this family-owned and -run business is its genuine commitment to the community Street and Castlefield Avenue in Toronto to more than 36 locations (by the end of 2019) across the Greater Toronto Area? It is a story of hard work, sacrifice (all eight Longo family members lived for five years above the original store, which was only 1,500 square feet), long hours and familial loyalty. It is also a narrative of unimaginable growth, one that started with eight family members and has now grown to an extended family that includes more than 6,000 team members, a third-generation succession plan and a rich commitment to community that is actualized through the Longo’s Family Charitable Foundation. Gus Longo, who is 14 years younger than his brother Tommy and 10 years younger than his brother Joseph,

remembers coming home from school when he was eight years old and immediately starting his jobs in the store. “I bagged potatoes and oranges, and cleaned up all of the food trimmings from the vegetables. I would pack them up in boxes for the local farmers, who would come and pick them up to use as feed for their pigs. Even back then, we were conscious of the environment.” Gus also shares a memory of standing outside the front of the family store, covered in an apron his mom had tied around him, selling flowers to passersby. “It was a much simpler life back then,” Gus says. “People never locked their doors. Kids stayed outside and played until it was dark and then they went home. With 10 million people in the GTA, it’s a totally different world now.” Italy, like many European countries, was hit hard by the backlash of the Second World War. A harsh economy, struggling to right itself, resulted in a scarcity of jobs and food supplies. It was an environment that spurred the immigration of many Italians to Canada in the late 1940s and early 1950s. As the country burgeoned with the large migration of people looking to plant new roots, Gus acknowledges that there was a lot of discrimination in Canada, but, he says, it wasn’t something he couldn’t handle. “It wasn’t too bad as a kid going to school. Sometimes we’d get picked on, but we were pretty tough,” he says with a laugh. The larger-than-life spirit and commitment to family ties, so important to Italians, were values instilled in the burgeoning Longo family, which includes cousins, in-laws and large groups of extended family members. Groups of 40 to 50 people, all intertwined and connected, would gather for picnics every Sunday in places such as Niagara Falls or Midland, Ont. When Joseph was 20 and Gus was 10, the brothers were working at the family’s second store on Toronto’s Woodbine Avenue. “It was 2,000 square feet, 500 more than our first store. It was then Aug/Sept 2019

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that I decided I would go into the business full time,” Gus says. One of the core values of this familyowned and -run business is its genuine commitment to the community. Every Sunday (as well as for special occasions), the family would donate flowers to the church; they also supported the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul and gave out fruit baskets to those in need. After selling the business to cousins (but keeping the Longo name), the family opened a store in Malton, Ont., in 1967 and a supermarket in Burlington, Ont., in 1972. From there, Longo’s was on the fast track to success, opening store after store in quick succession. By 1990, the second generation of Longo’s had joined the business. The family as a whole credits the values the founders started with — quality personalized service and identifiable value to customers — as keys to their 63-years-and-counting success. “Those things haven’t changed and are what has set us apart from our competitors,” Gus says. Rosanne Longo, who is Longo’s spokesperson and chair of the Longo’s

We are still on a growth curve, providing new opportunities for our team members and the community Family Charitable Foundation, is one of Gus’s three children. Gus’s son, Mike, is VP, food services, and his daughter Carolyn is the customer response specialist. “While our original founders did not have a formal education beyond early high school, they had a level of innovation and entrepreneurship that has allowed us to stay ahead

of the competition and the trends,” Rosanne says. Being a small, independent proprietor, as was the culture in the 1950s and 1960s, allowed the family to serve their community in a way that multiple decades later has come full circle. “We were pioneers around taking phone orders and delivering groceries to local homes,” Gus says. And now, six decades later, Longo’s owns a huge share of the online grocery market through its Grocery Gateway property. “We are proud that Grocery Gateway is an extension of our instore experience,” says Rosanne. “And in fact, under the Longo umbrella, we have continued to expand the brand and develop a greater trust in online shopping.” In fact, Longo’s has just recently tripled the size of its Grocery Gateway dedicated pick centre, which now has a total of 400 team members (employees are referred to as team members) and a delivery scope that extends from Oshawa, Ont., in the east to Waterloo, Ont., in the west and Newmarket, Ont., to the north.

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Longo’s Rewards Program also drives “guest” loyalty. (Longo’s considers all of its customers valued guests.) “It is our way of saying thanks to our guests,” says Joseph Longo, the son of Joe Senior. Rose Buick, who is the marketing specialist for Grocery Gateway, and Jenny Longo, who is director of private brands, are Joe Senior’s other children who work in the business. Joseph, who is the general counsel and VP of real estate, was a litigator for 10 years before joining the family business. “We are currently in the process of revamping and enhancing these programs to make them even better going forward,” he says. The ability to stay ahead of trends has served Longo’s well. The fact that it is an independent, family-owned and-operated business means it has the ability to be more agile, test new initiatives and get to market quicker than the competition, setting them apart. “We are willing to take risks,” Rosanne says. “And by testing and evolving, we know that we will continue to meet the needs of shoppers.” The company also considers their employees integral to its long-time success. In fact, some of Longo’s team members have been with the company for close to 50 years, while others have been there 30–35 years. Not only are there first-, second- and third-generation Longo family members working at the stores, but also second generations of long-serving staff members. Marie Iuglio, front-end specialist and daughter of Tommy, says the emphasis on family values for team members at every level is a vital attribute to Longo’s success. “From our customer service reps (buggy boys) right up to our senior levels, we are committed to our team members. We encourage each one of them to speak up if they think core values are not being followed, even to the extent of calling the company president. We treat every person who comes into the store like family. We are all ambassadors of Longo’s, which means we share and are accountable to our values,” she says. With Longo’s having been recognized as one of Canada’s 10 Most Admired Corporations, as well as one of Canada’s 50 Best Managed Companies, Nick www.mycitylife.ca

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43


PHOTO BY MICHAEL COOPER

Gus at the Woodbine location (circa 1968)

Tommy Longo (oldest of the siblings) at Longo’s first store (called the Broadway store) at Yonge Street and Castlefield Avenue, September 1960

Yeatman, assistant category manager of produce (a third-generation Longo, Nick is the son of Tommy’s daughter Rosie Yeatman; Tommy’s other children are Anthony Longo, president and CEO; Joey, chief development officer; and the aforementioned Marie Iuglio), credits the family values handed down from one generation to the next as key to the company’s success. “Our values have remained constant from the very beginning and are defined by a sense of honesty, trustworthiness and mutual respect,” Nick says. “We share what we say in Italian, Voglia, which means a passion and a desire to always strive for a better tomorrow. We say to team members, ‘You have Voglia.’” “At any given time, between 20 and 30 family members are working in the business in a diverse set of roles,” adds 44

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Longo family team members

Joe at the Broadway store (December 1958)

Rosanne. “The three generations range from 18 years old to Gus, who, at 70, is the oldest.” (Many of the thirdgeneration family members start as part-time students, as did the second generation.) As each generation joins the family business, they bring their own insights and perspectives with them. The foundation for Longo’s success was crafted by the first generation. The second generation expanded on that foundation and put an infrastructure around it. The third generation brings what Nick calls uniqueness. “They work alongside each other and have found their niche within the organization, with a focus on the technological side and a fresh perspective,” he says. A broad range of topics are discussed at quarterly meetings, and a lot of new

ideas are brainstormed and welcomed. But, as was true in the days of Tommy, Joe Senior and Gus, team members might not always have the same ideas going into a meeting, but they always come out with one answer. “We are seeing great passion and strategy from the third generation,” Joseph says. “They are bringing a different lens from which to view strategy.” Longo’s has just launched a new meal-based shopping program called Meals Made Easy, which was initiated as a strategic response to consumers’ wants. “We are focusing on healthy programs that are customer-centric,” Joseph says. “There will be kiosk-like centres, where guests can buy all the fresh ingredients to make a full meal, including recipes, which can be emailed to the guests’ phones. We have a huge www.mycitylife.ca


selection of prepared meals, but what we are finding is, guests want to have that feeling of accomplishment, of making their own meal. Depending on the meal, the time factor to make it is about 25 minutes.” Since 1956, leaving a better footprint has always been on the minds of the Longo founders. Building strong relationships with local farmers has been an important initiative for the company from the get-go. “In fact, we are working with the third generation of the initial families with whom we began our relationships,” Rosanne says. “I think that is pretty special and unique. It is a working partnership to develop a better product for our guests.” In fact, 70 per cent of Longo’s meat and seafood products is now locally sourced, with meat being Ontariobased, seafood being Canadian-based and cheeses sourced from Ontario and Quebec. And in addition to Longo’s commitment to sourcing local, its commitment to the environment is a sustainable blueprint. “In 2017, 79 per cent of our waste was diverted from

landfills,” Rosanne says. “By 2020, we are aiming to increase that to as much as 85 per cent. Also, we are the first grocery store in Canada to open an energyefficient store (the store produces 65 per cent of its own energy), which is located in Stouffville[, Ont.]. Annually, that store reduces between 1,500 and 2,000 metric tonnes of greenhouse emissions, which is equivalent to taking 300 cars off the road annually.” In tandem with its commitment to the environment, a big part of Longo’s values centre around giving back to the community through both its corporate giving and Longo’s Family Charitable Foundation. Last year, Longo’s donated more than $2 million to local hospitals, kids’ camps and charities across the GTA. “The goal of the foundation is to complement our corporate giving, to give back in a more impactful, focused way as our business grows,” Rosanne says. “It is not just about writing a cheque; it is about time, talent and money. Many of our executives sit on charitable boards, and many team members volunteer as coaches. And a

lot of our team members are involved personally in raising money for several of our initiatives.” So, what’s on the horizon for Longo’s? In addition to its recently launched Meals Made Easy program, three new stores will be opening by the end of the year, including the Yonge Street and Sheppard Avenue (in Toronto) location on July 31; the Green Lane store, located on the East Gwillimbury/ Newmarket border, on October 1 and Toronto’s Liberty Village store on November 1. “We are still on a growth curve, providing new opportunities for our team members and the community,” Rosanne says. Deeply grateful for the myriad opportunities the country has provided for him, Gus says that being Canadian means the Longo family has been blessed with a better life, one that has allowed his children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews to grow, prosper and give back in a meaningful and impactful way. www.longos.com @longosmarkets

AUTHENTIC RUSTIC ITALIAN FLARE BLENDED WITH A NEW WORLD CHARM

Mario Turco

Owner and Executive Chef

OUR PATIO IS NOW

Since opening in October 2018, Cento40 has become the hot spot in the vibrant Market Lane neighbourhood of Vaughan. This Italian trattoria offers a true taste of Italian cuisine, featuring both traditional classics and modern staples, in a relaxed and inviting atmosphere. This rustic elegance makes Cento40 ideal for a casual relaxed meal yet sophisticated enough for a special night out.

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FOR SUMMER

140 Woodbridge Ave., Vaughan, ON. | 905.605.8775 www.cento40.com

www.mycitylife.ca

Aug/Sept 2019

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design

MINIMALIST LIVING AMID THE FOREST 46

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ESPACE VITAL Architecture creates a masterpiece in Montreal with the PilonHébert residence on Lake Memphrémagog WRITTEN BY SHAUN MELADY

www.mycitylife.ca


A side and rear view of the Pilon-Hébert residence, including a backyard pool

The first floor, featuring an open floor plan and interior design options with a side walk-up

W

PHOTOS BY STÉPHANE LEMIRE

hen you picture your dream home, what does it contain? Some might desire an extravagant pool in the backyard, while others fantasize about a terrace overlooking the green landscapes of the mountainside. Others may just dream of Montreal’s own Pilon-Hébert residence masterpiece www.mycitylife.ca

made by ESPACE VITAL Architecture known as the Running Head Home. In the Township of Potton, ESPACE has created a beautifully crafted country house that sits in an oasis of trees and scenery overlooking Lake Memphrémagog. This landscape is situated near Owl’s Head ski resort, surrounded by the majestic mountain ranges of Montreal. Aug/Sept 2019

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A DV E R TO R I A L

Dr. Rebecca of Kleinburg Veterinary Hospital

The reasoning behind building this home was for the owners to experience a balance between a warming residence and the firm’s minimalistic approach to design. ESPACE has also utilized the elements around the home to create an intimate setting for the homeowners, using its creativity to further expand the space to accommodate the owners’ needs. “The area in which we could implement the house was not very big,” says Paul Faucher, architect and associate at ESPACE VITAL Architecture. “Furthermore, even if the road is not very busy, we wanted to design a curved driveway to maximize intimacy and create discovery when approaching the residence.” The planning and execution of the house included a deep understanding that the owners wanted a balance between urban and rural elements. The front of the property allows oncomers to see the modern architectural structures, such

‘TAIL’-BLAZER: DR. REBECCA OF KLEINBURG VET

If

you’re one of the lucky fur babies under the care of Kleinburg Veterinary Clinic, then you probably already know that Dr. Rebecca Greenstein and her pet care team have carved out a reputation for providing inspired veterinary care for dogs and cats. We recently caught up with Dr. Rebecca, vet expert on CTV’s Your Morning and The Social, to ask her about blazing her own trail as a 21st-Century vet and being the new face of modern pet medicine. Q. When you won Top Clinic in Vaughan, what was your reaction? We were over the moon! Our clients love that we know every little nuance about them and their animals. Our focus isn’t just on treating illness, it’s on helping pets to live their best lives (literally!)

110 Nashville Rd. Kleinburg, Ont. 905-893-3303 www.kleinburgvet.ca @kleinburgvet 48

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A feature of modernistic and cubic designs, crafted by ESPACE VITAL Architecture within a natural setting

www.mycitylife.ca

PHOTOS BY STÉPHANE LEMIRE

Q. How do you feel about representing vets on a broader stage and putting Kleinburg Vet on the map? What I hope comes across to pet owners is that I’m passionate about what I do. After over a decade as a doctor, I’m convinced that great health care is about exceptional bedside manner and a good heart.


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905.264.6789 | info@dolcemedia.ca www.mycitylife.ca

A DV E R TO R I A L

Principal architect Nas Amer

PHOTO BY CARLOS A. PINTO

as geometric, cubic patterns that create a simplistic yet futuristic look. Upon entering the house, visitors can witness its openness into the natural setting, with views of the a lush forest and serene lake. To ensure an easy and seamless transition for each phase of their lives, the homeowners have kept the main floor plan on one level. This level contains a living room, dining room, kitchen and master bedroom, which has a walk-in closet and ensuite bathroom. The entire floor plan hosts floor-to-ceiling windows, allowing natural light to grace the level and easy viewing access to the scenery. The house also includes a lower guest level for family and friends. This level contains two guest rooms, a full bathroom, a living room and a gym. Guests can also step outside into the natural setting featuring a beautifully lit pool, surrounded by forest and the stone-lined property. Welcoming wooden interior and exterior structures showcase clean and modernistic line work, complementing the home’s open floor plan. This look was specially crafted to the homeowners’ wishes for a mix of the simplistic and contemporary. The firm created a large roof overhang to keep the house’s interior fresh and protected from overexposure to the sun. This was also designed to give the residence a new and dynamic look. To learn more about ESPACE VITAL Architecture and the Pilon-Hébert residence’s Running Head Home, visit its website at www.espacevital.com.

ARCHEYE ARCHITECTS: BEAUTY IN THE EYE OF THE BEHOLDER The most innovative architects reside at ArchEye. They are continuously exceeding expectations

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ew disciplines stir passion as much as architecture, which during the Renaissance Johann von Goethe defined as “frozen music.” Architecture is an art and an experience, and few artists define this better than ArchEye Architects of Richmond Hill, Ont. The firm believes “architecture in its form is not just seen, it is experienced.” This is the guiding philosophy of principal Nas Amer and his entire team at ArchEye, which they bring to every client, challenge and assignment. ArchEye believes that great architecture invites people in, fusing form with function to stir senses, motivate, inspire and intrigue. “Finding the fine balance between form and function is ArchEye’s DNA,” says Amer. “It is the first things we inspire in every hire, to have an eye for detail and sense of ownership. It is second nature to us to think of what is the best solution we can deliver for our clients.” Providing full architecture services, interior design, residential, commercial and industrial design for a variety of world-class developers, ArchEye has worked on residential towers in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, custom homes in King City and all around Ontario and major corporate projects in Europe and the US, taking the extra time to understand both clients and assignments. “We value the people involved in the project, not just the project itself,” says Amer.

ArchEye Architects Inc. Park Place Corporate Centre Suite 511-15 Wertheim Court, Richmond Hill, Ont., L4B 3H7 905-235-4888 www.archeye.com @ArchEye.Architects @archeye Aug/Sept 2019

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Leadership

FOREST CONTRACTORS: WHERE PRIDE, PASSION AND PERFORMANCE PROVIDE THE FOUNDATION FOR SUCCESS

A setback early in his early was not enough to derail Domenic Gurreri, who through passion and perseverance has built Forest Contractors into a leading contractor in southern Ontario WRITTEN BY RICK MULLER INTERVIEWED BY NICKOLAS LOMBARDI

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PHOTO BY CARLOS A. PINTO

Its equipment yard contains a full fleet of heavy equipment, allowing Forest Contractors to take on any job, big or small

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e all experience setbacks in life, but the true measure of a person’s character is how we deal with them, overcome them and perhaps use them as motivation for future success. A perfect example is Domenic Gurreri, founder and owner of Forest Contractors in Vaughan, Ont., one of his industry’s most respected companies. Basically kicked out of a bank as a teenager, he had the unmitigated audacity to seek a start-up loan to buy heavy equipment to begin his company. While still at Toronto’s George Brown College studying civil engineering to fuel his passion for the construction industry, Gurreri was 19 years old and had started to do work around people’s homes. If he wanted to start his own contracting company, his biggest challenge would be securing the financing for this capital-intensive business because of the required expensive equipment. “I remember going to a bank one day after school to apply for a $33,000 loan, and the bank manager literally laughed at me,” recalls Gurreri of this early setback. “But I was fortunate enough that my parents could co-sign the loan for me, and in other times during the initial stages of growth, I was able to get direct financial assistance from my family, but I paid back every dollar.” It was Gurreri’s commitment to a hard work ethic that motivated him to pursue his passion, starting Forest Contractors, which is celebrating 25 years as an industry leader and has been named one of Canada’s Best Managed Companies. Those two traits he directly attributes to his upbringing in a close Italian family. “I grew up with old-school Italian parents, who made me work during summer holidays,” says Gurreri of his early working career. “My father had a janitorial company, and I was working for him, but I’d watch all my friends’ families who were all in the construction business and I was enamoured by it. His father, Alfonso Gurreri, never pushed him into his janitorial business and let him find his own path, and that attitude had an enormous influence on Gurreri and stays with him today. “My

father has been my No. 1 mentor,” he says. “While never in the construction business, his guidance in life in general helped me build disciplines to learn and better myself in whatever I wanted to do. He helped me make the decisions that I needed to make in business. I don’t expect my son or daughter to enter my business, and that’s OK because my father never pushed me into his.” Domenic invested in 15 key pieces of equipment in 1996, and he recalls in those early years that when he started to make money, every single dollar was reinvested into the company to help with its organic growth. Today, Forest Contractors has grown to provide a multitude of services and is a successful company that stands on integrity with its extensive experience in superior asphalt and other services. The company prides itself in being a leader that sets new standards in this competitive industry. Along with its newly opened head office in Vaughan, Forest Contractors also has Forest Paving in Concord, Ont., and a vast equipment yard in Brampton and Burlington, Ont. Forest has invested significantly in cutting edge road grinding technology and a Green Asphalt Plant to enable it to execute its core service of asphalt pavement rehabilitation. In concrete, Forest Contractors’s curb machine is equipped with a variety of moulds, and its quality craftsman can hand pour almost any shape or form for special designs. If you’re ever fortunate enough to see a concrete mixing truck and crew pouring a sidewalk or curb, don’t walk away. Stop and you’ll be captivated. Mixing and pouring wet concrete is a “live” event. You have one shot to get it right as the concrete hardens and quickly. Forest Contractor crews are master artists in timing when it comes to the mixture and perfect texture of wet concrete, getting the measurement and moulds to the most exacting millimetre, as well as the overall coordination. The process is a symphony of synchronization. The asphalt, concrete and aggregate business are also subject to the fickle weather and temperature changes Aug/Sept 2019

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southern Ontario can deliver. Whether it’s a -40 C wind chill in winter, variable freeze and thaw cycles or the above 40 C summer humidity, the work must go on and the deliverables delivered. Accordingly, protecting against decay is a large part of Forest Contractors’s business, carrying out a variety of repair services for drainage systems for commercial or other properties. All of these services require a dedicated team, which holds a very special place in Gurreri’s heart. “Without the team around me, you’re nothing,” he says. “Everybody says that in business, but I believe not everyone believes it. I believe it. It’s very important to me, and everyone’s contribution to the company is what will make it successful, coming together to achieve our goals with fairness and integrity.” In such a predominately maleoriented field as construction, Gurreri is proud of the number of women who work at Forest Contractors, which, he 52

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says, might be surprising to some. “We have a lot of women engineers who do different roles within the company, such as estimators or coordinators, who have technical experience in the construction world,” he says. “In the field, we have several women who are operators of heavy equipment. In fact, at our sites if you see our crews working, it would be rare not to see a female as a member of the crew.” Forest Contractors’s success has been a source of pride for the community and caught the attention of local leaders, including Mayor of Vaughan, Maurizio Bevilacqua. “Domenic’s contribution to the City of Vaughan is making a meaningful difference to our community. Forest Contractors, a company he founded in 1994, has created jobs and opportunities for thousands of people. He has been an active participant in Vaughan’s strong economy,” says Mayor Bevilacqua. “What is equally impressive is

www.mycitylife.ca

PHOTOS COURTESY OF FOREST CONTRACTORS

Forest Contractors has become a go-to contractor for some of the most important and high-profile asphalt, paving or concrete jobs in Southern Ontario, valued by civic government and leading corporations alike when the job needs to be just right

his spirit of generosity, as Domenic continues to demonstrate his passionate involvement and support of countless charitable initiatives. His philanthropic endeavours speak to his deep understanding of the important of corporate social responsibilities. His efforts are a reflection of his personal core values, which are rooted in hope and optimism. He is a genuine and authentic person who exemplifies the very best of Vaughan citizenship.” In the contracting business, the equipment you have is key in showcasing to clients you have the resources to handle any job. Its equipment yard in Brampton includes heavy trucks, concrete curb machines, asphalt grinders, heavy rollers, asphalt spreaders, tractors and bulldozers. It’s all a far cry from a 19-year-old kid being laughed at by a bank manager when he was trying to get a simple start-up loan to purchase some initial equipment. The expertise of Forest Contractors has allowed it to work on major projects in southern Ontario. Forest continues to be a major contractor for regional and municipal governments, and fortune 500 companies. “None is more important than any other, as each project is a piece of the puzzle combining to get the company to where we are after 25 years,” says Gurreri. During those 25 years, there have been many triumphs as well as sadness, no more so when the Gurreri family lost son Ross in 2007 to cancer. Gurreri’s voice softens as he remembers his brother. “Even though he was younger than I was, he often played the role of second father to me. He was a great listener who only spoke after he had digested all the information and he was very disciplined. That was his approach and philosophy. I continue to live my life from what I learned from him,” says Gurreri. In honour of Ross, the Gurreri family commissioned the Ross Gurreri Park in 2010, and a courtyard was dedicated in his memory at St. Padre Pio Church, both located in Kleinburg, Ont. It is just one of the ways Forest Contractors and the Gurreri Family give back to the community. They are also active supporters to The Hospital


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Success in business is achieving your goals with integrity, and what I do today helps me strengthen for tomorrow for Sick Children, which has raised thousands of dollars for cancer research and family services. “I’m fortunate enough to be able to give back, and it’s important to do so for the betterment of generations to come. That’s got to be a part of success, being able to give back to needy causes for the right reasons,” says Gurreri, who welcomed a son in 2010 and whom he and his wife named in memory of Ross. His philanthropic efforts and commitments are much appreciated by those in his community. “Domenic invests countless hours each month, as he plays an integral role with many local charities, including leading our Ride for Health cycling events,” says Dwayne DiPasquale, director, Advancement, MacKenzie Health Foundation. “Forest sponsors many events throughout York Region, and Domenic is compassionate and committed to serving his community, bringing a keen business and analytical mind to the cause and inspiring others through his own passion. He possesses the ultimate in character, integrity 54

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and values of any person I have had the privilege of working with, and his inspirational qualities are passed on to his employees and encouraged as part of the company’s corporate culture.” In speaking with Gurreri, you can hear in his voice and tell by his words the passion he has for his family and his work, as well as the pride he has in his employees. Even though he may be required to wear a business suit, he’s not afraid to roll up his sleeves and get his hands dirty, or be actively involved with his front-line troops, whatever the job, day or time. These experiences have provided him with a valuable life lesson. “Surround yourself with great people in the industry who care as much as you do,” he says. “They have to have the same vision and passion that I do in business, and to have that, [you must] lead by example. Whether it’s being here at 6 a.m., or on a Saturday or Sunday morning, when we have a special mixture to run, show them we’re all part of the same team.” That’s all part of Domenic’s recipe

Forest Contractors moved into its new head office in Vaughan earlier in 2019, a state-of-the-art facility for a state-of-the-art company

for success, be it in business or in his personal life. He is humble, honest and fair in all of his dealings and extremely thoughtful in his approach to both work and family, who all realize and respect how passionate he is about his business. “Success in business is achieving your goals with integrity, and what I do today helps me strengthen for tomorrow,” says Gurreri. “I want to build something that’s going to help me grow for years to come. And success is achieving what I need to achieve while being fair, and finding success with my family along the way, making them an integral part of my life. I work hard, but I also strive to put time into my family, and that’s also part of a successful business.” Domenic did not let an early setback impact him and only used it to motivate him to achieve the success he has. The story of Domenic Gurreri and Forest Contractors is one of passion, perseverance and persistence, engineered from the ground up. www.forestcontractors.com @forestcontractors www.mycitylife.ca


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Culture

PHOTO BY TOM FERGUSON

INSTAGRAMMABLE MOMENTS TO WATCH FOR AT THE INSIDE WORLD FESTIVAL OF INTERIORS IN AMSTERDAM

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PHOTO BY TAI NGAI LUNG

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This astonishing and jaw dropping festival is taking place in Amsterdam. The INSIDE World Festival of Interiors stems from the World Architecture Festival, and is a feast of creativity, inspiration and knowledge for the interiors industry WRITTEN BY SHAUN MELADY

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xquisite interiors that cater to our Instagram-frenzied culture are a must in today’s digital world. Cue the 2019 INSIDE World Festival of Interiors, featuring the most “Instafriendly” designs from around the globe. At the 12th annual INSIDE festival, worldwide venues vie to create the most Insta-worthy designs to take home their respective awards in these categories: Bars and Restaurants Civic, Culture and Transportation Creative Re-use

1. Retail category: Gift shop of the National Museum of Qatar, Koichi Takada Architects, Doha, Qatar 2. Bars and Restaurants category: Karavanstop Cafe — One Bite Design Studio, Lantau, Hong Kong

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This year’s INSIDE festival will take place in Amsterdam from December 4–6 and will be scored by professional designers, editors and other architectural gurus from around the world. From the aforementioned categories, the shortlisted participants will showcase their designs to a panel of international judges, then the winner will be deemed with the World Interior of the Year Award. This highly esteemed accolade will be presented on December 6 at the Festival’s Gala Dinner. The INSIDE World Festival of Interiors stems from the World Architecture Festival, which judges interiors from world-class designers and adjusts the scope to the modern age of social media. “INSIDE has been a growing part of the overall World Architecture Festival program since 2012 and continues to grow in terms of quantity and quality,” says Paul Finch, World Architecture Festival director. “We are delighted with the intriguing designs and geographical spread of this year’s entries and look forward to the live judging in Amsterdam.” Some of the early top contenders in the Bars and Restaurants sector include Copenhagen, Denmark’s Noma restaurant, which features greenhouse themes and a culinary village. Another is Manhattan, N.Y.’s Büro Ole Scheeren, which will display a fast-food setting that highlights a white Corian and steel centrepiece, celebrating the artistic factors in the food industry. Another category to be on the lookout for is Civic, Culture and Transportation. Some featured themes will include a library that showcases Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, which can be found in Singapore. Another is a beautifully adorned wedding chapel in Japan in the shape of a glass cloud. To learn more about the INSIDE World Festival of Interiors and to see more of the contenders, visit its website at www.insidefestival.com.

PHOTO BY ANDREW MEREDITH

Display Health and Education Hotels Offices Residential Retail

3. Bars and Restaurants category: The Fortnum’s Bar and Restaurant at The Royal Exchange — Universal Design Studio, London 4. Retail category: HUUU! Eyewear Trendsetter, Tanatkiat Chongkriengkrai/AA+A, Bangkok

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Paranormal

LEAKY PIPES? OLD WIRING? OR MAYBE WE’RE LIVING IN A HAUNTED HOUSE?

You hear noises at night. What’s that rattling sound? Are you hearing voices, too? Is the house settling? Is it a bad reno — or is it a ghost? It’s probably nothing. Or maybe not. Maybe you have some unwelcome roommates, and it’s time to call in the experts WRITTEN BY DONNA PARIS

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ou know what it’s like buying a home — you get the shiny new keys, you’re excited and you’re a little bit nervous, too. That’s exactly how Glenn Laycock felt when he and his wife moved into an older home 12 years ago. “I think it was our second day there that I had a door slammed in my face,” Laycock says. They would come home from work, and the dining room chairs would be in the kitchen. They started hearing voices, too. “We’d have company come over, and people would 58

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say, ‘Is your TV on downstairs?’” And that is how Laycock became a paranormal investigator. “Because if you tell people this stuff, they say, ‘You’re crazy’ — and I know what it’s like to be that person,” he says. Laycock messaged a few others who were involved with another paranormal investigation group, and together they cofounded Central Ontario Paranormal Investigations (COPi). One thing Laycock wants to make clear is that they don’t charge anyone for an investigation. “We do it because we want to help,” he says

simply. And he doesn’t like the term “ghost hunters,” either. “I prefer the term ‘paranormal investigators’ because we try to figure out what’s going on by conducting an investigation,” he says. So how is an investigation conducted? The team listens to the issues, they take a walk around the house and usually arrange a date to stay overnight and set up their equipment. “We try to look at everything; we’re all about hard evidence,” says Laycock. “We ask what could be causing the disturbance: Is it rattling pipes? Is it a furnace? Is the www.mycitylife.ca

PHOTO BY CARLOS A. PINTO

From left: Tina Jackson, Paul Jackson, Wendy Laycock, and Glenn Laycock


house shifting? We want to be able to record it, videotape something and get something that is tangible.” The investigators then look at the evidence and reveal their findings to the client. Many times, common everyday occurrences are mistaken for paranormal activity. Laycock cites the example of a mother and her two children convinced that their house was haunted. Laycock and the other investigators saw absolutely nothing. The woman, who was visibly upset, couldn’t understand it, telling them that her young daughter said that her bed was vibrating at night. Laycock asked permission to speak to the child. As it turned out, she was sleeping with her phone under her pillow, which vibrated when friends — not ghosts — were trying to contact her. But the daughter was also seeing shapes at night. “On the wall at the foot of her bed, she had a huge mirror — she was actually seeing herself,” says Laycock. Sometimes, however, things can’t just be explained away. In one small town, the town hall has some very active paranormal activities going on. The investigators recorded voices and revealed their findings to the mayor, who was shocked. “She asked me if it was a good idea to perhaps get a minister in to do some kind of ceremony,” says Laycock. “I said, ‘Sure, there’s nothing wrong with that, it wouldn’t hurt.’” Sometimes, however, paranormal activities can be downright scary. In

We aren’t afraid of them, we just live with it. It’s just part of being there and it’s fine

one instance, COPi was contacted by a couple because the husband thought he was being attacked at night: he had the feeling that he was being held down, and his wife was really upset. “The place was quite active. We had a lot of evidence; we left a recorder overnight and we recorded voices and footsteps,” says Laycock. In another case, a grandmother lived with her son’s family, and she was very ill. One night, they caught her going into the son’s bedroom with the intent to harm

him because that is what the voices in the house were telling her to do. In these cases, people often just want to get away and so they sell the house and move into another home, says Laycock. But in most cases, if they do find something, Laycock says things can frequently be fixed by saying something like, “I live here, and you’re not supposed to be here; you need to leave.” Some people feel more comfortable involving someone of their faith, or Laycock will conduct a smudging ceremony to purify the space. And even if they don’t find anything paranormal, it gives people peace of mind just knowing what was causing the disturbance, he adds. As for Laycock and his wife, they still live in their haunted house. “We’re still there and we still have things happening — I would say it’s calmed down a little bit, but it still happens, and we hear voices or find something has been moved on a regular basis,” he says. “We aren’t afraid of them, we just live with it, it’s just part of being there and it’s fine.” Not a believer? Then check it out for yourself. At this year’s Fall Home Show, Laycock will be sharing stories and talking about the most common household noises that are often mistaken for ghostlike activity. He’ll also be leading a behind-the-scenes tour of the Exhibition Place grounds, wellknown for unexplained supernatural activity since their construction. www.copi905.ca

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CITY NOTEBOOK 1

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ZANCHIN AUTO On June 11, Zanchin Auto Group broke ground for its upcoming Jaguar/Land Rover dealership in Brampton, Ont. The dealership will be located at the 410-Mayfield Auto Mall and it is expected to open in summer 2020. The 55,000-square-foot facility will include a showroom for up to 19 vehicles, a luxury customer lounge and a state-of-the-art service facility with 21 bays. Once fully operational, the new dealership will add 77 new jobs to the 410-Mayfield Auto Mall. www.zanchinauto.com

1. Laura Zanchin, Wolfgang Hoffmann, Joseph Zanchin, Andria Zanchin, Paul Gommerman 2. Gianluca Filippetti, Catherine Zanchin, Harkirat Singh, Gurpreet Dhillon, Joseph Zanchin, Wolfgang Hoffmann, Laura Zanchin, Andria Zanchin, Paul Gommerman, Monte Weis 3. Ava Coppa, Andria Zanchin, Catherine Zanchin, Joseph Zanchin, Laura Zanchin, Allegra Filippetti, Gianluca Filippetti 4. Gurpreet Dhillon, Laura Zanchin, Joseph Zanchin, Andria Zanchin, Harkirat Singh

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THANK YOU FOR SUPPORTING TORONTO YOUTH THROUGH SPORT MLSE LaunchPad has received a generous $20,000 donation from companies associated with Easton’s Group of Hotels, The Gupta Group and Rogue Insight Capital. The initial goal was to raise $10,000 for the Sport For Development facility, but they were able to surpass that. All proceeds are going toward a summer camp run at MLSE LaunchPad in Toronto, a place where youth use sport to recognize and reach their potential.

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www.mlselaunchpad.org 1. MLSE LaunchPad provides free sport, life skills and employment training programs for youth aged six to 29 2. The facility partners with expert organizations to deliver programming that support its four pillars: Healthy Body, Healthy Mind, Ready For School and Ready For Work

FEDDEV ONTARIO Deborah Schulte, member of Parliament for King-Vaughan, announced on July 12 a FedDev Ontario contribution of $3 million for Vaughan, Ont., manufacturer Northern Transformer Corporation (NTC) to adopt innovative clean technology, scale up production and create more than 30 skilled jobs. FedDev Ontario’s contribution will allow NTC to retrofit its 105,000-square-foot facility in Vaughan. NTC is a fast-growing designer, manufacturer and tester of power transformers used by energy infrastructure clients in the utilities, renewable energy and industrial markets. Deborah Schulte, Member of Parliament for King–Vaughan, announced a FedDev Ontario contribution of $3 million to help NTC

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PHOTOS BY SILVANA MARSHALL

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CITY NOTEBOOK

PHOTO BY VALERIA MITSUBATA

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1. Jordan Binnington holding the Stanley Cup 2. Jordan at the microphone, addressing the young hockey players from Vaughan

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2 1. Peter Cipriano and volunteers 2. Peter Cipriano (middle) and friends

JORDAN BINNINGTON BRINGS THE STANLEY CUP HOME

IRPINIA CLUB HAD THEIR SUMMER PICNIC Irpinia Club had its summer picnic on July 14, 2019, at Peter Cipriano’s farm in King City, Ont. Cipriano is the current president of the Irpinia Club of Toronto, which promotes and celebrates the rich diversity of Italian culture in Canada. The club under Cipriano is heavily involved in fundraising to benefit health care for the elderly community. With tons of food and entertainment, the event was enjoyable for all.

Jordan Binnington is a Canadian professional ice hockey goaltender who plays for the St. Louis Blues of the National Hockey League. Binnington was raised in Richmond Hill, Ont., and Toronto. The 26-year-old goaltender helped the St. Louis Blues capture their first-ever NHL championship title last month after defeating the Boston Bruins. On Friday July 12, 2019, Binnington brought the Stanley Cup home to Richmond Hill and the Sports Village in Vaughan, Ont., to a welcoming crowd.

www.irpiniaclub.com

www.richmondhill.ca

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12TH ROBBIE NACCARATO MEMORIAL CHARITY GOLF The 12th Robbie Naccarato Memorial Charity Golf was held in support of Robbie’s Dreams, SickKids Hospital and Sunnybrook Hospital on July 12, 2019. At the dinner, a donation of $100,000 was made to the SickKids Hospital and a donation of $30,000 was made to Sunnybrook Hospital. Special guests to help raise funds were Wendel Clark and Mark Giordano. www.therobbiefoundation.com

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1. Champions of the Robbie Naccarato golf tournament 2. Dr. Agostino Pierro with his research team at SickKids Hospital 3. Presentation to Dr. Forte and Dr. Pierro of SickKids Hospital and Dr. Maggisano of Sunnybrook Hospital by the Naccarato family

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CITY NOTEBOOK 1

MAYOR’S GALA 2019 The 2019 Mayor’s Gala took place at Universal Eventspace in Vaughan, Ont., on June 13. The highlight of the event was the generous donation of $40 million from the Cortellucci family. The large donation will help to build the new Mackenzie Vaughan Hospital. Another takeaway from this year’s gala was the night’s theme, #WeAreVaughan. The hashtag is a reminder to all its citizens to have a sense of pride in making Vaughan one of the best cities in the country. www.vaughanmayorsgala.ca

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2 1. Mayor Maurizio Bevilacqua announces that the Cortellucci family has donated a historic $40 million toward building the new Mackenzie Vaughan Hospital 2. Mayor Maurizio Bevilacqua formally addresses guests at the 2019 Vaughan Mayor’s Gala 3. Mayor Maurizio Bevilacqua and members of council at the 2019 Vaughan Mayor’s Gala

VILLA CHARITIES

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Sara Dalla Guarda and her installation

SICK KIDS EXPERIENCE A HOT AIR BALLOON RIDE

At the Ontario Science Centre in Toronto, a Samsung media event was held to launch the new Samsung QLED 8K TV and in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission. In honour of Apollo 11, special guest Dr. Robert Thirsk was in attendance. Dr. Thirsk is a former Canadian Space Agency astronaut and holds the Canadian record for longest time spent in space, with one of his missions lasting over six months.

When sick children and their families are in need of any kind of assistance, Chai Lifeline Canada is there to lend a helping hand. One of the organization’s many programs is a day camp called Camp Lifeline. At the camp this summer, a group of seriously ill Toronto children had a chance to rise above their challenges, as they took to the sky in hot air balloon rides. This uplifting event took place on July 31, 2019, in Thornhill, Ont.

www.samsung.com/tvs

www.chailifelinecanada.org

SAMSUNG 8K LAUNCH

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www.villacharities.com

PHOTO COURTESY OF CAMP LIFELINE

1. Pat Bugos, vice-president, sales and marketing, home electronics, Samsung Electronics Canada Image 2. Dr. Robert Thirsk, former Canadian Space Agency astronaut

Villa Charities will present an original, interactive art installation called IMPACT: A Dialogue on Art & Memory at the Columbus Centre in Toronto from August 12–31, 2019. The exhibit tackles the important topics of Alzheimer’s and dementia by highlighting how people tend to associate memory with inanimate objects to create a sentimental attachment. Toronto-born artist Sara Dalla Guarda is the artist behind this exhibit. Her inspiration came from her grandmother, who suffers from dementia.

Sick children have the ride of their lives on a hot air balloon at a special summer camp

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CITY NOTEBOOK

Roy Foss Cadillac Woodbridge, the first Cadillacexclusive dealer location in Ontario opens in Woodbridge

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CADILLAC IN WOODBRIDGE Woodbridge is renowned for distinguished car companies, and now it has Ontario’s first Cadillac-exclusive dealership to add to the list. Under the leadership of dealership president Sam Alaimo and Foss Automotive Group CEO Karen Foss, the new facility, located at 2 Auto Park Cir., is home to a new facility offering 7,000 square feet devoted to Cadillac’s brand of luxury customer service. The dealership was shown off with a ribboncutting ceremony on July 29, 2019. Every part of the process at Roy Foss Cadillac in Woodbridge will be designed to craft the exceptional experience Cadillac customers expect. Special features include two Cadillac “delivery pods” — areas inside the dealership where owners complete their purchasing journey and take possession of their new vehicles — as well as four Cadillac-dedicated service bays. The facility is also LEED certified and features three electric vehicle charging stations, as Cadillac prepares to deliver on an all-electric future. Roy Foss has operated in Woodbridge for 13 years and has remained an active participant in the community. The dealership sponsors the Roy Foss Leadership Award for local graduating high-school students. It is also a long-standing supporter of the Vaughan Film Festival, as well as local charities and youth sports.

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From left: Vaughan Mayor Maurizio Bevilacqua, Roy Foss Cadillac Woodbridge president Sam Alaimo, Foss Automotive Group CEO Karen Foss, and GM president and managing director Travis Hester officially unveil the new Roy Foss Cadillac Woodbridge

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When looking for a good hair salon as a client, you want to be able to walk away with confidence. Owner Erica Tiano and her staff at Central Hair Salon embody this mindset. They want to ensure that not only is your hair left looking flawless, but that they also provide an enjoyable experience in the process. Central Hair Salon has recently opened a new salon in King City, Ont., and they have created a trendy, upscale salon where you can feel completely at ease. From beautifully blended colours to tailored cuts and styles, they have you covered. www.centralhairsalon.ca

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1. Erica Tiano and King City Mayor, Steve Pellegrini 2. Mary Tiano, Erica Tiano and Joe Tiano 3. Erica Tiano, owner and the yongest entrepreneur ever in King City at the age of 21

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Women Entrepreneurship

PHOTOS BY LINDSAY LAUCKNER

Q&A WITH

LAUREN BATES

Wild Terrain’s founder Lauren Bates connects like-minded women around the world with group travel experiences that support local, women-owned businesses and female entrepreneurs at their destinations

Wild Terrain’s five-day, four-night Mexico City experience takes travellers through the bustling metropolis known for its diverse cuisine, vibrant culture, rich history and incredible design

SCHEDULE ANNOUNCED 0 2 0 2 FOR WILD TERRAINS The first travel company to lead women-only group trips that support female-owned businesses, Wild Terrains announces its schedule for upcoming journeys to Mexico City and Portugal INTERVIEW BY MICHELLE ZERILLO-SOSA

W

ashington, D.C.-based Wild Terrains, a boutique travel company, recently announced 2020 trip dates for its women-only group experiences in Portugal and Mexico City. Wild Terrains specializes in small, curated group trips for women, focusing on vibrant and culture-rich destinations for the creative minded. Q. Why do you think there is a demand for women-only travel opportunities? A. A very long time ago, we used to live

in villages where it was easy for all the women in the community to gather, talk and support one another. With the advancement of cities and increasing globalization, it’s very common for us to be scattered across the globe. For example, I live in Washington, D.C., my mom lives in New York, 64

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some of my best girlfriends live in San Francisco. Thank goodness for things like FaceTime and group texts, but if we want to spend time together in person, we have to be intentional about planning it. No matter what, someone is travelling somewhere. This scatter effect also means that it’s becoming harder and harder to build lasting relationships and friendships wherever we are. Yet, as human beings, we crave that connection to others. I truly believe a little bit of magic happens when you give women a space to connect with each other. And, so, I think women-only travel is one of the solutions. Q. What makes this sort of trip popular among today’s travellers? A. There’s nothing more transformative

than travel. Doing it by yourself or with

a group of other women makes a superpowerful statement about how far we’ve advanced in the last decade. Again, women want to connect with other women, regardless of where they’re from, what age they are, what their history is. We’re seeing this idea hold true with female-fuelled businesses in other industries as well — for example, The Wing for co-working and Bumble BFF for friendship/networking. I think travel is the next powerful medium for women to take charge, show independence and live a fulfilling life. Q. Where did the inspiration come from to create this company? A. The idea for Wild Terrains came to

me when I was looking for a womenonly group travel experience to go on myself, and I couldn’t find what I was www.mycitylife.ca


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PHOTO COURTESY OF WILD TERRAINS

PHOTO BY VANESSA TEODORO

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PHOTO BY LINDSAY LAUCKNER

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1. Wild Terrain’s Portugal itineraries include experiences curated by Portugal’s top female artists, designers and architects 2. Wild Terrains breaks away from the city during its group trip for some rest and relaxation in the magical region of Alentejo, Portugal 3. Women supporting women: Wild Terrains celebrates its women partners in Mexico City 4. Spend three days touring beautiful Porto during Wild Terrain’s eight-day/seven-night Portugal experience

www.mycitylife.ca

PHOTO COURTESY OF WILD TERRAINS

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looking for. Most women-only trips are centred around a specific activity (yoga, trekking, surfing) or a specific age group. That frustrated me on a personal level, because I’m a more dynamic traveller and I wanted a more dynamic travel experience – something that incorporated local culture, food, art, design, shopping and history, and exposed me to a more diverse group of women, not just women like me. It also frustrated me on a broader level, because I believe globally we tend to market to women in a very one- or twodimensional way that misses the mark on what women are really craving in terms of experiences and connections. Just because you like yoga doesn’t mean you want to do yoga every day on vacation, and just because you’re 70 years old doesn’t mean you want to be on a seniors-only trip. So, I started a travel company where those labels don’t exist. Wild Terrains exists for women from all walks of life, in all stages of life. We want to give women not only a safe space to explore the world, but also a space to nourish their creativity and build relationships with each other. To bring things full circle, we’ve also made it our mission to always collaborate with the local women doing cool things in the places we visit. If you look at the itineraries of other women-only group tour companies, you’ll find the majority of the local businesses they support with their tours are male-owned. That felt like a true disconnect to me. If I were going to be bringing groups of women to a destination, I felt a responsibility to support local, women-owned businesses. At Wild Terrains, we curate group trips for women and every aspect of our itinerary partners with women business owners, chefs, artists, designers and architects. What we’ve seen with Wild Terrains is that this actually creates an incredibly powerful and inspiring dynamic between our travellers and our partners. There’s something truly beautiful that happens when we give women a space to connect with each other.

popular tour. We are sold out for 2019, and many of our 2020 dates are already half full. I think it’s done so well because the itinerary is so special — we stay in woman-owned design hotels like Ignacia Guest House and Nima Local House; we have a private cooking class with one of Mexico City’s star female chefs, Mercedes Bernal; and we do one-of-a-kind workshops with talented Mexican designers like Carla Fernández and Mariana Villarreal. Most of the experiences included in our itinerary are not available to any other tour group, and we build in time with the women business owners behind them. It’s a really special itinerary.

Q. What is the most popular tour and why? A. Mexico City is by far our most

I have always been the type of person who wakes up on the bright side each day. My family, my friends, my cosy

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Q. What is your definition of success? A. My definition of this word has

definitely evolved over the past decade. The more time I spend in this business, the more it has changed. We are in the people business, so success is when everyone we interact with feels included, accepted, happy and fulfilled. I think a lot of companies forget to focus on the people. Ultimately, it’s all that really matters. Q. What life lessons have you learned from your travel experiences? A. I have learned so much about myself

and relationships. I also have learned the very valuable skill of how to pack for two weeks at a time in a carry-on.

Q. Tell us about your childhood, where you grew up and what your family dynamics looked like. A. I was born in Houston. I have a twin

brother, which is funny to consider now, because I spend so much of my job now thinking through group dynamics and I basically lived my entire childhood as part of a twosome group. My dad was an entrepreneur, and my mom worked in the hospitality industry, so I guess the apple doesn’t fall very far from the tree. As you can imagine, I make lots of phone calls to them for entrepreneurial and hospitality advice.

Q. What makes you happy? A. Oh, the list is long. I am lucky that

apartment in Washington (that I barely see.), our Wild Terrains partners, our travellers, exploring new places, meeting new people, deep conversations over coffee or wine, beautifully designed spaces or products … I could go on for pages. Q. Where do you see your company going in the future? A. Our mission is to create spaces

where women connect. Travel is just one medium that makes that possible. We are starting to explore the others.

Q. What are some of the things your guests are able to do that they would not have been able to experience if accompanied by a male companion? A. I honestly don’t love to distinguish

the genders in this way. I think men would also love our trips. That said, I do think women tend to have more open, honest, heartfelt conversations at a dinner table or over drinks if men aren’t present.

Q. What is your favourite city to visit and why? A. I can’t pick. All I can say is, there is

a reason our groups go to Mexico City and Lisbon. I could visit those places a thousand times over.

Q. What do you like and dislike about social media? A. Social media is complex. On one

hand, it’s so vital for a young business like ours. Many of our travellers discover us on Instagram. On the other hand, it definitely presents a curated view of everyone’s life. I’m sure our feed makes my life seem pretty glamorous – travelling to far-off places, meeting with super-cool women and eating amazing food. In reality, that’s my life one week a month, and the rest of my time is spent in airports, living out of a suitcase — and it’s not all that glamorous.

Q. What is one place everyone should visit in their lifetime and why? A. I think where their family originates

from. What’s more important than understanding where you came from and how it’s influenced you? www.wildterrains.com www.mycitylife.ca


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City Life Magazine - August/September 2019  

City Life Magazine captures an audience that is passionate about what’s happening in the community of Vaughan and beyond. Delivering an imme...

City Life Magazine - August/September 2019  

City Life Magazine captures an audience that is passionate about what’s happening in the community of Vaughan and beyond. Delivering an imme...

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