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BRYAN BAEUMLER ON BEING AN HGTV STAR

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VAUGHAN WELCOMES THE TTC TO THE VMC

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TIM HORTONS ROGUE FRANCHISEES: THE ACTUAL COST OF THE WAGE RAISE

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FOODSHARE’S RECIPE FOR CHANGE EVENT IS AN ALL-YOU-CANEAT BONANZA

SINCE 2003

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a i B t a h Nav

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for voting us the Top Orthodontic Clinic in Vaughan for the 4th straight year!

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VOLUME 16 ISSUE 1 | FEB/MAR 2018

CONTENTS ON THE COVER

34

45

30 54

NAV BHATIA: The story of an immigrant who made the Canadian dream a reality and now lives his aspiration to help improve the lives of children all around the world

30 PLAN YOUR DREAM WEDDING: Jessica Mulroney gives you the 4-1-1 on what you need to plan the wedding you have always wanted

45 IDS TURNS 20: Take a look at

some of the standout highlights of the 20th anniversary of Toronto’s Interior Design Show

54 TASTE OF THE CITY: Your guide to the best restaurants in the GTA

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10 CITY FINDS: Get your

25 THE ART OF LIVING:

18 MORE THAN JUST A

42 BRYAN BAEUMLER:

Spring on with these amazing finds from around the GTA

PUMPING HEART: Dr. Barbara Cifra is helping young children with heart conditions by introducing a new form of medicine

20 PANEL OF EXPERTS:

Legendary mind guru Bob Proctor shows you how to change your life The home reno expert talks balancing life as a reality TV star

58 MORE MONEY, MORE

PROBLEMS: Rogue Tim Hortons franchisees battle against the new minimum wage

Experts of their respective crafts come together to give you the best tips and tricks to improve your life More stories inside …

Feb/Mar 2018

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Michael Tibollo Tibollo & Associates Professional Corporation Barrister, Solicitor & Notary Public

Your Partner

in Corporate Legal Services Over the last 30 years, Tibollo & Associates Professional Corporation has become the preferred choice for hundreds of corporations, family businesses and individuals seeking professional legal advice.

Tibollo & Associates provides the community the highest quality of ethical, legal services while exceeding their needs at reasonable rates. Corporate Legal Services | Commercial Real Estate and Financing | Residential Real Estate Transactions Wills and Estate Planning | Employment Law | Litigation | Family Law visit our new office

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905-850-2269 | www.tibollo.net

Feb/Mar 2018

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PUBLISHER’S NOTE PUBLISHER’S NOTE 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 timelifestyle workingalong on your enjoy a gorgeous theown wayhumility. (because there’s no If you’re surrounded by people who are envious point becoming a business legend but falling short in your Be challenged to cull the herd around you personal life); and #21, Savour life’s simple pleasures. It’s all Fill your life with those who bring joyousness. about embracing things you’re probably already doing — or During the times you feel utterly hopeless areBeyou? challenged to claw your way out In “The Artthat of Living,” Proctorisexplains Understand genuineBob happiness timeless.that in order toFind succeed anything, must be Trust willing goGod. after what yourat soul. Believeyou in yourself. in to your Love your family. plenty. Lean go when you you really want. He Share arguesyour that most people after what they need. outthan loud.what they want. When John F. Kennedy can get Live rather Love heartily. Grow your humanity. asked back in 1962 what it would take to build a rocket that Infect the world with your faith.

Michelle Zerillo-Sosa,

Publisher/Editor-in-Chief

CAN YOU HAVE YOUR CAKE AND EAT IT TOO?

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

Fernando Zerillo

Co-Founder/Creative Director

W

JFK askedell,what would take in the caseit of Yolanda Gampp, this to could be a real possibility. If you’re not yet familiar build a rocket that could carry with her work, she is a multi-millionaire YouTube a man tobaker the(3.3moon and bring million subscribers, that is) … all thanks to her incredible imagination. safely backupto earth. Thishim is a woman who dreams cakes for a living — not traditional tiered shapes and fl avours, but cakes that look like Dr. Wernher Von Braun answered, hot dogs, huge candy apples, watermelons, in flavours like the “The will to do ultimate red velvet and chocolate cake it.” … You get the idea.

Sweet mother of God, this lady has the power to tempt even the strongest-willed person with her cakes! Her belief is that anything is possible, and with the love and support of family and friends, the highest levels of success are attainable. Read toopage often, her storyllon 38.we reach the end of a year full of regret for not having all the we’dnever set out Speaking of belief, weachieved all pray that ourthings faith need be to do. Well, 2018 is going to be different! In our tested the way Paul De Lio’s is. Many of us go through life Do Manifesto,” we have compiled a list without “To ever having to question why tragedies strike our livesof or ways to achieve a better version of yourself, with advice from the lives of others in the world. A few years back, we published experts such about as Robin Sharma, guru and author of an article the defi nitionleadership of God. I remember asking the the writer bestselling The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari. of to posebook, this question to various religious leaders:Two “Where God in momentsare such as 9/11?” the recent state of my was personal favourites #30, Build Given an amazing career but

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could take a man to the moon and back, Dr. Wernher Von — will fromto The Imeneo Braun’s answer was epic: “The doWife it.” by HisIris focus was not acquiring specific engineers, scientists and money, but simply natural the disasters extreme conditions, having will toand achieve thatweather goal! So there youone havecould it: the ask the same question now. In De Lio’s case, where was God secret of success is to never compromise by going after what is when deadly bacteria infected his body, nearly taking his life and easy rather than your true desire. resulting in the amputation of both of his legs? One person who really knows how to go after what his heart In that article years ago, one of the questioned religious leaders desires is our cover man, Nav Bhatia — you may know him as replied that God was in the firemen going up the stairs to rescue the probably caught glimpse this the Raptors’ people inSuperfan. the towers.You’ve It’s a response that to thisa date givesofme very animated fan standing courtside during Raptors games comfort. Likewise, now, God is in the rescue workers bringing at the ACC. You may knowand thatFlorida. he’s a kind relief to Puerto Rico,not Mexico Andand Godcharming was in theguy with some incredible accomplishments besides being doctors who fought to save Paul De Lio. He was with theSuperfan. family He earned the respect other players and coaches and has friends who prayed for DeofLio’s life fans, and later, for his recovery. for attending every Raptors home game for the past 23 years, Today, just a few months after his ordeal, De Lio is filled with never onceand arriving late He or leaving Heothers hugs fiplayers atto half positivity gratitude. is readyearly. to help nd ways time and motivation. counts Drake and Russell as friends. live with Dare I say, then, Peters God also resides inWhich De isLio’s great — but notonwhat heart. See that’s his story pagemakes 32. him super(fan). What’s Of course, it’s possible you do not agree myhisthoughts extraordinary about this man is how he haswith used notoriety onathe whereabouts God.around We allthe know that and one should nothe as platform to helpofkids world, how hard speak to casually of politics orthe religion, sensitive works unite the world via love offor thethese game,are working with topics (although the weather isn’t exactly a safe topic anymore, the MLSE Foundation and NBA Canada. In our interview with either). But perhaps you he willhas be succeeded interested in story about in him, Bhatia shares how asour an immigrant the Bahá’Í a relatively religion with 5early to 7challenges million this countryFaith, he calls “heaven new on Earth” despite adherents practising globally. If you believe in the betterment of and discrimination. His mission to give every child out there the world, in unity, love and service, you might fi nd your place a chance to succeed and to have positive influences is both here. Bahá’Í’s believe in equality of all sexes, races and creeds, humbling and inspiring. and in the harmony of science and religion. Story on page 74. We hope you enjoy this edition of City Life Magazine. Keep In this day and age, we could all use more unity, love and faith, reading, keep learning, keep doing good, and you’re sure to regardless of what form it takes. May you enjoy this edition of succeed in making 2018 your best year yet! City Life Magazine. It, like life, is yours to experience 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

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

www.mycitylife.ca


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

WE HAVE YOUR NEXT MARKETING TOOL

ART D E PARTM E NT CO-FOUNDER / CREATIVE DIRECTOR Fernando Zerillo /•EDITOR-IN-CHIEF fernando@dolce.ca PUBLISHER Michelle Zerillo-Sosa • michelle@dolce.ca SENIOR GRAPHIC DESIGNER Christina Ban DIRECTOR OF EDITORIAL Simona Panetta simona@dolce.ca JUNIOR GRAPHIC DESIGNER Axl •Valdez MANAGING EDITOR Michael Hill • michael@dolce.ca WEB DESIGNER Yena Yoo DIRECTOR OFWEB OPERATIONS AngelaJordan Palmieri-Zerillo DEVELOPER Carter • angela@dolce.ca R T DDESIGNER E P A R T MNathan E N T Chan JUNIOR AUI/UX CO-FOUNDER/CREATIVE DIRECTOR

E D I Fernando T O R I AZerillo L D •Efernando@dolce.ca PARTM E NT FASHION &WEB HOME DÉCORMANAGER EDITOR Michelle Zerillo-Sosa PROJECT Steve Bruno

Our products are vital in establishing your brand — as a business or a sole entrepreneur — and creating a more effective virtual presence. Our marketing, web development and design departments have fused together innovative thinking and state-of-the-art technology to produce a variety of promotional tools and resources, such as our enticing interactive video brochures and customized websites.

FOOD &GRAPHIC TRAVEL DESIGNERS EDITOR Angela Palmieri-Zerillo SENIOR Christina Ban, Luay Saig

PROUD WINNER OF

WEB Brandon DESIGNER Yena Yoo WRITER Harripersaud E DCONTRIBUTING I T O R I A L D EWRITERS PARTM E NT Rick& Muller, Bianca Ricci Zerillo-Sosa FASHION HOME Donna DECORParis, EDITOR Michelle

COPY EDITORS PROOFREADERS BEAUTY & TRAVEL AND EDITOR Angela Palmieri-Zerillo Catharine Chen, Susan Grimbly, Nina Hoeschele

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V I DINTERNS E O D EDaniel P A RCalabretta, T M E N TBianca Ricci EDITORIAL VIDEOGRAPHER Carlos A. Pinto CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Daniel A. Cooper, Andrew Fearman, Michael Hill, Jesse Milns, John Packman, Sal Pasqua, Lesley Pedraza PUBLISHER

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T: 905-264-6789 T: 905-264-6789 info@mycitylife.ca info@citylifemagazine.ca DIRECTOR OF MARKETING DIRECTOR OF MARKETING Angela Palmieri-Zerillo • angela@dolce.ca Angela Palmieri-Zerillo • angela@dolce.ca DIRECTORDIRECTOR OF NEW OF BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT Susan Bhatia NEW BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT Bhatia Mario Balaceanu SENIOR ACCOUNT Susan MANAGER SENIOR ACCOUNT MANAGER MarioBono Balaceanu ACCOUNT MANAGER Christina SOCIALADMINISTRATOR MEDIA MANAGERMaria SarahRigazzi Kanbar OFFICE

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FRONT COVER Nav Bhatia /FRONT Photo COVERS by Robin Gartner

Cristine Prosperi and Sebastian Giovinco

City Life MagazinePhotos • Volume 16 • Issue 1 • Feb/Mar 2018 Jesse Milns City Life Magazine isBypublished bimonthly by DolceCity Media 111 Zenway Blvd.,13Suite 30, Vaughan, Ont. L4H2015 3H9 LifeGroup, Magazine • Volume • Issue 3 • JUNE/JULY T: 905-264-6789 F: 905-264-3787 City Life Magazine is• published bimonthly by info@mycitylife.ca www.dolcemedia.ca Dolce Media Group, 111 Zenway •Blvd., Suite 30, Vaughan, Ont. L4H 3H9 905-264-6789 • F: 905-264-3787 Subscribe T:online at www.mycitylife.ca or by calling info@citylifemagazine.ca • www.dolcemedia.ca 905-264-6789. City Life Magazine’s yearly subscription fee is $24.00. We accept Visa,Subscribe MC & AMEX. Send cheque or money orderortobyDolce online at www.citylifemagazine.ca callingMedia Group, 905-264-6789. City Blvd. Life Magazine ’s yearly subscription fee is $24.00. 111 Zenway #30, Vaughan, Ont. L4H 3H9. We accept Visa, Publication MC & AMEX.Mail SendAgreement cheque orNo. money order to Dolce Media Group, 40026675 111 Zenway Blvd. #30, Vaughan, Ont. L4H 3H9. All rights reserved. Any reproduction is strictly prohibited Publication Mail Agreement No. 40026675 without written consent from the publishers. All rights reserved. Any reproduction is strictly prohibited without written consent from the publishers.

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City Life Magazine reachesDISTRIBUTION 294,810 readers perAND issueCIRCULATION through household distribution and event City Lifeacross Magazine reaches per issuetothrough household newsstand of partnerships Canada. City342,342 Life is readers also available over 100 milliondistribution, digital consumers Magztersales Inc. and andevent Issuu.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 City Life Magazine is available for sale should be directed to Dolce Media about where Group: Inquiries info@dolce.ca or 905-264-6789. Group: info@dolce.ca or 905-264-6789. ISSN 1206-1778 Next Issue: April/May 2018 ISSN 1206-1778 Next Issue: Aug./Sept. 2015 Magazine areare those notnecessarily necessarilyreflreflectect The opinions expressed in Cityin Life City Life Magazine thoseofofthetheauthors authorsand and do do not The opinions expressed the views theofpublisher or advertisers. Dolce liabilityforforcontent. content. the ofviews the publisher or advertisers. DolceMedia MediaGroup Groupdoes doesnot not assume assume liability The material in this magazine is intended for information purposes only and is in wayintended intended The material in this magazine is intended for information purposes only and is in nonoway to supersede professional advice. We We are are proud that has hassuccessfully successfully to supersede professional advice. proudto tobebea aCanadian Canadian company company that published magazines for theforpast 20 years without nancialassistance assistance published magazines the past 19 years withoutanyanygovernment government funding funding or fifinancial of programs to coverto editorial costs.costs. It hasIt allhasbeen possible thanks to the wonderful of programs cover editorial all been possible thanks to the wonderfulsupport supportof ofour and advertisers. readersourandreaders advertisers. • www.dolcemedia.ca • Printed Canada ©2018©2015 Dolce Dolce MediaMedia GroupGroup • www.dolcemedia.ca • Printed in inCanada

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#CityFinds Prepare for the coming of spring by adding to your home and wardrobe with these hot new items from around the GTA CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS Locally created, awardwinning garments by SHAN are luxurious and comfortable www.shan.ca

▲ BAG IT UP Leather bags perfect for your day at work or your day out www.harryrosen.com ◀ THANKS-DRINKING From the bourbon master distillers themselves, this natural and authentic bourbon has decades of history behind it www.wildturkeybourbon.com

▲ POWER BLUE Classic navy blue blazer from the masters of dresswear for men www.harryrosen.com

▼ REGAL DOG Add a sense of royalty in your living room with this ottoman www.walmart.ca

▲ GET A GRIP The shoes to complement your new bike www.the11inc.com ▼ BIKING AROUND The 11 Online Inc. presents the finest in bicycles, biking accessories and more www.the11inc.com

TEXT BY BRANDON HARRIPERSAUD

▲ SHARPEST TOOL Conair’s line of tools styles your hair and face the way you want them www.conaircanada.ca

MORE POWERFUL THAN EVER The all-new BMW M5 with xDrive is the vehicle of the season www.policarobmw.ca

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DELICIOUS FOOD, PICTURESQUE SCENERY

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

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

www.villaggio-ristorante.ca

Feb/Mar 2018

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#CityFinds Enhance your home and your life with these items that are bound to improve your 2018

▲ COMING IN CLUTCH These versatile clutches are big enough to fit all your essentials and are perfect for any occasion www.poppyandpeonies.com

CHILD’S PLAY Decorate the perfect bedroom for your child www.empirecommunities.com www.andrewpikeinteriors.com

◀ FOLLOW THE ROSES Take flowers with you wherever you go in these floral heels www.zara.com

A SLICE OF LIFE Crushed walnuts, flax and pumpkin seeds are baked into a delicious almond-flour loaf, low in carbs and gluten-free www.sliceoflifefoods.ca

STAND TOGETHER This old Havana cake stand perfectly accents any dessert you put on it www.anthropologie.com

HUMAN TEABAG Osmia Organics’ organic tea bath lets you climb into your own cup of tea to warm up www.anthropologie.com

▲ LIQUID SUNSHINE Fill your room with liquid sunshine, a scent that will bring cheery radiance and uplift spirits www.saje.com

◀ PINK POWER Pink trousers with belt and blazer bring back memories of the ’80s www.zara.com

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TEXT BY BRANDON HARRIPERSAUD

◀ ROSE GOLD FINGER This stackable pebble ring is made of 18-karat rose gold from the Birks Pebble collection www.maisonbirks.com

◀ STEAMED MILK Make perfect cappuccinos and lattes with this white milk frother www.caffitalycanada.com

www.mycitylife.ca


LIGHTING

www.mycitylife.ca

FURNITURE

ACCESSORIES

WALL

Feb/Mar 2018

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A DV E R TO R I A L

LUXURY HOME PRESTIGE YOUR PRESTIGE CONNECTION

Luxury Home (LH) Prestige, an awardwinning boutique real estate team, is redefining the Real Estate industry The Prestige Way

T

here is a belief that the real estate industry has lost its client focus and instead has become an industry solely driven by sales, often leaving the client feeling abandoned. Yet, the bottom line is, buying or selling a home is an extremely important process that deserves the utmost respect. That is why LH is founded on the principle that everyone deserves the “Prestige Experience.” Under the leadership of Lauren Parente, Founder and Executive Director, LH is rewriting the book on how clients experience buying and selling homes. After sitting down with Parente, a statuesque six-foot blonde dressed in a navy blue tailored suit, the motivations become clear that have led her and LH to become recognized as one of the most renowned real estate teams in the GTA.

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We are able to achieve this because of the power of our team and the strength of our systemized business approach — Lauren Parente

As an experienced Real Estate Sales Representative, Parente has dealt with hundreds of clients looking to buy and sell properties. And as a proven entrepreneur, she not only leads the success of Luxury Home Prestige, but

also oversees the highly sought-after staging and design suite, Touch of Prestige. “It is this synergy that works to provide our clients a full-service boutique experience,” Parente explains. LH incorporates staging a home during the selling process to significantly improve the sale price. “When you cater to the buyer’s senses you are visually showing them why this home is a perfect fit,” Parente says. This One-Stop Shop experience provides the client with a collection of experts. Unlike most real estate teams, Parente’s is a diverse and robust roster of real estate connoisseurs driven to focus on customer service excellence. Parente elaborates, “I wanted to create a model in the Real Estate sector that is client-centric. By segregating the functions of the sales team member into different roles, we are

www.mycitylife.ca

PHOTOGRAPHY BY CHRIS NICHOLLS

LH Prestige has the right people in all the right places and they’re great at what they do. In fact, they’re extremely talented at what they do


able to ensure the client always comes first.” This perspective, unique to the industry, has become LH Prestige’s signature approach to providing real estate services. Parente says, “Why should one team member have to juggle every task? How effective can that be before mistakes occur, which could potentially cost clients thousands of dollars? We have in-house experts and partners who are specialists in every niche of real estate.” LH supports its team of professionals by creating specialized divisions: Administration, Customer Ser vice, Marketing, Call Centre Support, Systems Coordination, St aging, She just wants to do the best job she can. She wants to have the Mortgage Financing and most positive impact possible. She wants to make a difference Legal. “We also have Financial Advisors on call for our clients, providing information on wealth Matchmakers. Incorporate the above, management to ensure the longevity with over 3400 buyers in her present of their current and future success,” database, and its no wonder Parente Parente explains. wields an expertise for moving property And when you thought LH was done quickly and at top dollar. catering to its clients, Parente announces, The LH Prestige Team understands that “We recently launched a home renovation every client’s needs are different and that chapter to add even more value. The no two plans are ever the same. With a flexible commission structure based on its process of buying a new home can be a la carte menu, the team’s services cost stressful, and we wanted to be able to provide our clients the chance to move the same as those of other Real Estate into their picture-perfect dream home Sales Representatives but with much more with ease. added value. Countless testimonials on A major component of its business the LH Prestige Team’s various social is the team’s phenomenal marketing media feeds speak to the quality and division. It provides demographic-based consistency of its work. target marketing, which showcases your “We call ourselves the LH Prestige home to the right people in the best ways Team family and we really work together possible. “We can’t rely solely on MLS, very well. We have been able to grow one needs to be aggressive in attracting so successfully and quickly [because] my teammates are big advocates of the the right buyers. LH Prestige does not brand,” Parente says. “When the people believe in ‘listing-and-leaving,’ meaning you have to work with are happy with their we do not passively wait for buyers to company and treated well, they too pass come, we go out and find them for our clients,” Parente says. on that same treatment to you.” The Marketing division is supported Parente is not just building a company of workers, she is building a brand — a by various systems in place such as call brand that wants you to know it is the centre support, text messaging services, absolute best at what it does. Part of what voice broadcasting, print marketing and Parente does best is create and cultivate canvassing, among others. This is how great teams and experiences for those The Luxury Home Prestige Team has around her. become known as the GTA’s Property

www.mycitylife.ca

This is thanks to Parente’s No. 1 value: people. As an Executive Director within the John Maxwell Organization, Parente has been honing her skills under the guidance of the Intentional-Living Teacher, and Leadership guru’s organization. Parente has since started her own personal coaching company, Lauren Parente Coaching, and is now being asked to speak internationally. Parente says, “My passion is people. My passion is inspiring people [and] helping them live their best lives." Today, Parente is recognized by many of her peers as a woman of great influence. Parente’s desire to change lives has her doing just that, one person at a time. The LH culture has garnered burgeoning success in Vaughan, having since expanded across the GTA, with plans to continue on with its expansion. “We are able to achieve this because of the power of our team and the strength of our systemized business approach,” Parente says. “We’re big on collaboration and community and believe there is magic when the right people team up.” The care and consideration that goes into each and every person starts at the top, with Parente herself. Recently, Parente went on a trip to Peru to volunteer at an after-school centre to help young children, a program with UBELONG. Many of the children there live in poor conditions and have difficult home lives. Upon her return to the Great White North, Parente reached out to the program in an effort to become an official sponsor of Programs Colibri, providing food for the children for the entirety of 2018. While she does charitable work abroad, Parente also supports causes close to home. Roots of Humanity is the LH Prestige Team’s philanthropy division, which gives back to several causes in the community. When a colleague in the industry’s practice became compromised due to a sudden family illness, Parente took it upon herself to try to help. She started a GoFundMe campaign that would help take care of the family in this trying time. The initial goal was to raise $100,000. It

Feb/Mar 2018

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Customer service excellence is a must. It’s engrained in LH Prestige's culture. That’s how they put their stamp on what they do. From beginning to end their clients get the Prestige Experience with the Prestige Touch. They are your Prestige Connection

system in place to relocate a family that may later decide for whatever reason that they’ve made the wrong move. “We put a lot of time and effort into finding our buyers the right homes but we’re also plan B thinkers,” Parente acknowledges. “We want our buyers to feel safe in working with us so we offer special services catered to their needs.” The Luxury Home Prestige Team truly is the pinnacle of what makes a great Real Estate organization today. Comprised of experienced, well-organized and determined professionals who redefine customer service and corporate culture, Parente and the LH Prestige Team have soared to magnificent heights. Whether buying, selling or looking for an organization that puts you first, there is no better team than the LH Prestige "Family." As Parente says, “When we put our stamp on anything, it must be the Prestige experience. There’s a reason we sell more homes, faster and for more money than the average GTA agent.” Why settle for less? Insist on The Prestige Experience for your real estate needs.

FURNITURE FROM KARE DESIGN | PHOTOGRAPHY BY CHRIS NICHOLLS

has raised over $176,000 to date. It was from this endeavour, and in seeing the power of collaboration through these community efforts, namely that of the Craig Proctor organization, a new initiative was founded — Realtors Giving Back. The goal is that every year, a Real Estate Professional who is unable to work due to injury and illness will be chosen through the cause and financially supported until they are able to return to work. To assist the cause, Realtors Giving Back will be hosting a Gala event this winter, 2018. “Being involved in the community is one of my greatest passions. Having become a trusted confidant that can be called upon by clients when they are making major decisions, like buying a home, is an absolute honour.” With deep industry connections, and a reputation for success Lauren and team have developed great relationships with fellow Real Estate Professionals around the world. “We grant fellow representatives access to our Exclusive Proprietary system

known as Your Prestige Connection — a private collection of Exclusive listings available to VIP clients of the Luxury Home Prestige Team. “Exposing our clients to properties that they won’t find on the Internet is a huge deal,” Parente explains. In today’s competitive market it’s important that buyers are well positioned to gain access to the best properties at the most competitive price. By granting international access, “We are connecting buyers and sellers at the international level.” This means LH has the ability to sell homes without the buyer actually physically seeing them, a process only a talented and experienced team can achieve. Representing buyers properly is equally as important as listing effectively. It requires specialized knowledge and skills pertaining to accessing properties and securing the best possible price. The LH Prestige Team also guarantees a one-year warranty on the electrical and mechanical of the home along with having a special

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Interested in making a move or building your investment If you are a Real Estate Sales Representative looking to join a strong boutique portfolio? Call Lauren and the Luxury Home Prestige Team for brand, call The Luxury Home Prestige Team and Lauren today at 647-627-9555 to discuss opportunities with one of the fastest-growing teams in North America. HomeEvaluationsbyLauren.com your complimentary consultation today at 647-627-9555.

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Lauren Parente | Sales Representative | Re/Max Premier Inc., Brokerage 9100 Jane St., Building L, Suite #77, Vaughan, Ont. | 416-987-8000, 647-627-9555 | www.lhprestigeteam.com | www.touchofprestige.com | www.laurenparente.com 16

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Feb/Mar 2018

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medicine Dr. Cifra is leading the charge of changing lifestyles to help heart conditions

More Than Just a

PUMPING HEART Successful cardiac surgeries now save children’s lives, but one doctor has set her sights on more than just survival. Dr. Barbara Cifra is heading the Exercise Medicine program at SickKids, and the goal is to allow children with heart disease to lead a healthy lifestyle that includes exercise — so they can thrive well into adulthood Written By Donna Paris

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www.mycitylife.ca

PHOTO BY CARLOS A. PINTO

I

f you have a child with a heart condition, it’s scary — for the child and for the parent. So you try to protect them the best you can, thinking exercise isn’t a good idea as it could be too taxing on the heart. But Dr. Barbara Cifra, a staff physician at SickKids, is turning that idea on its head. “I truly believe that life is something more than a pumping heart,” she says. “It’s about empowering these kids to live at their maximum capacity and make these years more valuable.”


Each year in Canada, one out of every 100 babies born has a heart defect, and it’s estimated that about 91,000 children and 170,000 adults are living with congenital heart disease (CHD). Dr. Cifra points out that in North America children with congenital or acquired heart disease are more likely to be overweight because of physical inactivity compared with children without heart disease. On the other hand, some kids might underestimate the consequences of their condition and engage in unsafe sporting practices. “Add to this a lack of counselling and, unfortunately, only a small percentage of children with heart conditions and their families receive formal physical activity recommendations,” says Dr. Cifra. In fact, data from cardiac rehabilitation programs for adults with CHD has shown the positive effects of this program on the degree of obesity, the level of exercise capacity and the psychological state of these patients. For Dr. Cifra, it all started about seven years ago when she volunteered at SickKids as a researcher, and was then hired as a research fellow. She started looking at the model for adult cardiac rehabilitation, and the fact that it is a mandatory intervention for adults. “I started thinking, ‘Why don’t we do the same for children?’” she says. “Because these children will become adults and if we don’t counsel them on how to be active and healthy, they may also become obese and develop comorbidities like high blood pressure and high cholesterol.” This kind of thinking led Dr. Cifra to develop a new program at SickKids in the cardiology department. The program, Exercise Medicine, is Canada’s first pediatric program focused on exercise and physical activity counselling for children with heart disease. The overall aim is to evaluate the use of personalized physical activity counselling and exercise training recommendations to improve the quality of life and life expectancy of children with congenital or acquired heart defects. Actually, it’s as if the universe conspired to bring together all of Dr. Cifra’s training to culminate in this program.

It’s about empowerIng these kIds to lIve at theIr maxImum capacIty and make these years more valuable

She completed her medical training in Italy with a residency in sports medicine, which focuses on exercise physiology and sports participation screening. She spent five years at a children’s hospital in Rome but was also working with elite athletes at a private clinic. “The good thing about working with elite athletes is that they are practically superhuman and we can see how a certain type of exercise might affect someone who isn’t healthy or has a condition,” she says. Getting the Exercise Medicine program up and running at SickKids is Dr. Cifra’s goal. But in research, it is always a struggle for funds. Even when she would talk to friends and tell them what she was doing, Dr. Cifra noticed that they really didn’t understand, “so every time I mention research to people, they picture labs with mice or cells growing in a dish.” And with the public, the perception is that if they donate money to research it won’t impact medical care right way, she adds. “But this is not the case,” she says emphatically, adding that the research she is conducting rapidly changes the clinical care and some of the decision making, so it’s a shorter path. “And I was thinking, ‘How can I make this happen?

How can I make the public understand that certain clinical research can have a quicker impact on the medical system?’” So she set up Hope for Hearts, with a mission to improve the life expectancy and the quality of life of children with heart disease through research, innovation and education. In 2015, Hope for Hearts held a gala in support of this research, and another one in 2016. But last year, Dr. Cifra held a Yogathon instead. Why yoga? “Because I love yoga, I’m an instructor and I love the meditation part,” she says. “So it’s like an exercise event that is supporting an exercise program.” For Dr. Cifra, it’s really about perspective. “We can say to kids, ‘OK, you have this condition, but it is safe for you to exercise to a certain level and you have to do it, because you have to live your life fully,’” she says. “I also want to address their self-esteem and make them more confident.” And that’s really at the crux of her push for the program. It won’t just impact these kids’ cardiac function or muscle function, it will also impact the way they look at life in general, she adds. She has big plans for the program. “For me, the future is to make this program successful and to open it up to more of the pediatric population,” she says. “We’re starting with children with congenital and acquired heart disease now but we want to expand it to all children living with chronic disease.” The problems that her patients have are the same ones that children going though cancer treatment or living with diseases like rheumatism are facing, she explains. “There is no substitute for healthy lifestyle counselling: it’s an important issue for all of these children,” she adds. Dr. Cifra is tremendously grateful for the support she gets from SickKids. “They see the potential and the importance of a program like this one,” she says. “There’s no other place I could develop something like this.” One might call Dr. Cifra an inspiration — as well as simply amazing. “Or maybe I am just crazy!” she laughs. www.hopeforhearts.ca www.sickkidsfoundation.com

On Feb. 25, Dr. Cifra is chairing her second annual Hope for Hearts Yogathon at the Mattamy Athletic Centre in Toronto. As well, she’s looking at holding a gala event to take place this spring/summer. For more information, visit hopeforhearts.ca www.mycitylife.ca

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manifesto This is your 2018 to-do manifesto. Here are the ways that you can start off your year the right way and make 2018 your best year yet

Why Robin ShaRma iS a LeadeR To LeadeRS 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

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8. 9.

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Hard work is a force multiplier. Finding 30 minutes to be still and silent is one of productivity’s finest rewards. Exercising for 20 minutes first thing in the morning is a total needle-mover. If you’re not innovating daily, you’re on the path to obsolescence. Once you decide to do something in your pro or private life, go all in. Procrastination is an escape mechanism for people scared to do their best work. Give your customers 25 times the value they expect and they’ll tell everyone they know about you. Don’t do it if you’re not having fun. Let joy be your GPS. If you’re not scared a lot you’re not growing very much. Discomfort is a reflection of growth. Fast a few times a week to reset your system and boost your longevity. Be the most generous, optimistic, kind and brave person in every room you’re in. Your phone is costing you your fortune. When no one else believes in your vision, you absolutely must stay true to your vision. (Have the guts to stay in the game far longer than it makes any sense to.) The quickest way to build a superb business is to swiftly develop the leadership potential of every teammate. A job is only a job if you choose to see your work as a job. All work is a noble sport. All labour has dignity to it (if you choose to see it) People are craving people of transparency, originality, authenticity and decency. Be one. Creativity comes in seasons. There’s a time to harvest your ideas. And there’s a time to let the field sit fallow. (I’ve been working on integrating this lesson for years and am closer to getting it right more than ever before.) Sometimes the most productive thing you can do is rest.

19. All change is hard at the beginning, messy in the middle and gorgeous at the end. (And without change, there is no progress.) 20. Someone’s going to win in your space. Why not you? 21. A strong Mindset without a healed Heartset, calibrated Healthset and elevated Soulset is a completely empty victory. (My live event Personal Mastery Academy is all about this; next one is in June.) 22. Pursue progress instead of chasing perfection. 23. Celebrate small wins and you’ll unleash a huge amount of momentum and positive energy. 24. Learn for an hour a day, no matter what. I call this The 60-Minute Student practice. Running this daily ritual will help you see opportunities others can’t and deliver value to your industry that others don’t. And this leads to your winning. 25. Why go for good at what you do when you can stand for iconic at what you do? (Life gives us what we settle for.) 26. Transform your fitness and you’ll transform your business. 27. Delete victimspeak from your language. No more “I can’t” and “It’s not possible” and “It’s so hard.” More “I will” and “This is awesome” and “What’s the opportunity here?” 28. If you inspire one person each day, your day hasn’t been a waste. It’s been a gift. 29. Living in the past is disrespectful to your future. 30. Build an amazing career but enjoy a gorgeous lifestyle along the way. No sense in becoming a business legend but a human failure. 31. Look people in the eyes when you talk to them. Smile at people when you see them. Say “please” to respect them. And “thank you” to appreciate them. 32. It’s better to be an hour early than a minute late. Seriously. 33. The person who tries to do everything achieves nothing. Focus. Focus. Focus.

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Robin ShaRma Leadership Guru 34. Spend the first 90 minutes of your workday on real work versus fake work. (This was another gamechanging tactic that served me so very well over 2017; I call the protocol The 90/90/1 Rule.) 35. Spend time in meditation every day. You’ll never do Michelangelo-level work if you’re overstimulated by technology. 36. A rich life doesn’t have that much to do with money. 37. Your daily behaviour broadcasts your truest beliefs. 38. To have the results only 5 per cent of businesspeople have, have the acumen and discipline to do what only 5 per cent of businesspeople are willing to do. 39. World-class begins when you think you’ve done a great job but know you can do a better job. 40. The pain of your past can be exploited into treasures of wisdom, growth, creativity and productivity. 41. Everyone’s in Human Resources. And we are all paid to develop the talents of the people we work with. 42. Do not participate in the Collective DeProfessionalization of Business. 43. Be the most honest person you know. It generally takes 30 years to build a fantastic reputation. And 30 seconds to lose it by a single silly move. 44. Become a lion — never a sheep. Be a victor, not a victim. 45. Cheap is very expensive. 46. The more devoted you become to serving others, the more your career begins to build itself, automatically. 47. Look for amazingly good people and you’ll start to meet them, everywhere. 48. It’s OK to be strange. Everyone seems normal until you get to know them. 49. Use the remainder of your life as testimony for a mastery that will benefit humanity.

www.mycitylife.ca

Robin Sharma is a Canadian writer, leadership speaker and bestselling author of The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari

www.robinsharma.com

to do 2018 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25. 26. 27.

28.

Exercise daily. Get serious about gratitude. See your work as a craft. Expect the best and prepare for the worst. Keep a journal. Read The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin. Plan a schedule for your week. Know the five highest priorities of your life. Say no to distractions. Drink a lot of water. Improve your work every single day. Get a mentor. Hire a coach. Get up at 5 a.m. each day. Eat less food. Find more heroes. Be a hero to someone. Smile at strangers. Be the most ethical person you know. Don’t settle for anything less than excellence. Savour life’s simplest pleasures. Save 10 per cent of your income each month. Spend time at art galleries. Walk in the woods. Write thank-you letters to those who’ve helped you. Forgive those who’ve wronged you. Remember that leadership is about influence and impact, not title and accolades. Create unforgettable moments with those you love.

29. 30. 31. 32. 33. 34. 35. 36. 37. 38. 39. 40. 41. 42. 43. 44. 45. 46. 47. 48. 49. 50. 51. 52. 53. 54. 55. 56. 57. 58. 59. 60.

Have five great friends. Become stunningly polite. Unplug your TV. Sell your TV. Read daily. Avoid the news. Be content with what you have. Pursue your dreams. Be authentic. Be passionate. Say sorry when you know you should. Never miss a moment to celebrate another. Have a vision for your life. Know your strengths. Focus your mind on the good versus the lack. Be patient. Don’t give up. Clean up your messes. Use impeccable words. Travel more. Read As You Think. Honour your parents. Tip taxi drivers well. Be a great teammate. Give no energy to critics. Spend time in the mountains. Know your top five values. Shift from being busy to achieving results. Innovate and iterate. Speak less. Listen more. Be the best person you know. Make your life matter.

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Wellness CITY LIFE: How would you define your work? NICOLE MAHABIR: My life’s work is about restoring health, longevity, inspiration and well-being to humanity. The fundamental view is to recognize that health encompasses not just the absence of disease, but the overall harmony and balance of the mind, body, emotions and senses. Restoring vitality and harmony to these four human aspects can create a more positive and harmonious experience of life. When our mind, body, emotions and senses are in balance, we feel a sense of inner peace and harmony. If we were all to feel this sense of balance and peace, our world would reflect that harmony and peace.

Meditation is our natural state, it is not soMething that we need to Measure or achieve, it is innate within us — Nicole Mahabir

CL: What is your No. 1 tip for wellness to start the year off right? NM: Make time for yourself and spend quality time with yourself alone. We have lost the connection to ourselves and we seek that connection outside of us through various distractions. If you take time to reconnect to yourself, rediscover your personal values and your authenticity, you will experience a different feeling of fulfillment. There is nothing external from you that can create fulfillment for you. Happiness is fleeting, 22

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moods change and relationships change. Fulfillment and contentment come from within. Taking time to reconnect to yourself can create the connection that most of us are seeking. CL: What advice can you give to someone who wants to make a change In his or her life? NM: Change happens when we are emotionally and mentally prepared to commit to a new way of experiencing life. Whether it’s about health, love or career, to create lasting change you must be ready to commit to a new future and let go of the old patterns that no longer serve you. If you are sincerely ready to let go of the old you and order up the newer, better version of who you are, then you will need to be prepared to put your desire for change into a daily regimen of practice. Lasting change happens when our actions are able to realize and sustain the change that we want. Here are some steps that can help:

Nicole Mahabir Founding Director

Nicole Mahabir is the founding director of Jai Wellness, a platform for health education, mindful living and wellbeing. For the past 15 years, Nicole has led professional certified programs, teaching Nutrition, meditation, Ayurveda, yoga therapy and natural anti-aging beauty regimes.

www.jaiwellness.com

• Become clear about what you want • Set the intention for change • Make decisive action with certainty to make the change that you want with achievable steps toward your goal • Commit to the change that you want to experience with tenacity and strength • Focus your mind and align your emotional drive and steadfast determination with your goal • Be consistent with your actions every day toward your goal • When you feel like you cannot continue, re-evaluate and follow through

CL: What meditation tip can you give to someone who is just starting out? NM: Meditation is our natural state, it is not something that we need to measure or achieve, it is innate within us. When a baby is ready to crawl, or an infant is ready to walk, it happens naturally. In the same way, meditation occurs spontaneously when we create the right conditions for it to happen. Release your mind from trying to meditate. Sit with yourself and effortlessly breathe. When your mind wanders, simply witness it and bring your mind back to the breath. Remove the expectation of an outcome and it will happen naturally.

CL: Why is meditation important to you? NM: The practice of meditation is about self-realization. It is about coming to understand who you are and the meaning of why you are here. Meditation cultivates deep love, gratitude and peace. It eradicates the illusion of fear and separateness. It dissolves the negative self-talk and pain that we bear and helps us to see reality as it is. This brings profound insight, clarity and wholeness to the total being of life. From this place we can create, inspire and live in total fulfillment and health.

CL: Any meditation tips for someone who is experienced? NM : Once we have experienced meditation, we remember the innate intelligence and wisdom of nature. We become our own guide, and the guidance for what is required comes from within. So, meditation is a practice of autonomy and freedom. It empowers the body to remember its innate ability to heal. Therefore, we generally do not require meditation guidance from another person once we remember our natural state of being. www.mycitylife.ca


CL: Do you have success stories? How do they make you feel? NM: Living a life that is healthy and fulfilled brings great contentment. Success and challenge is simply part of our experience of life and it is important to remember that success and failure do not define the nature of our being. Our successes and our challenges are all part of the discovery of who we are, leading us toward deeper truths that are unveiled to us as we move throughout life. We are all human and my hope is that all sentient beings feel love, respect, health, peace and fulfillment. From a broad perspective, that is success.

Happiness CITY LIFE: What is your No. 1 tip to start the year off right? PAUL KRISMER: I would say the very most important tip is to consciously invest in your own personal happiness. The science is really strong on this point. People who make the investment [to] learn a little of what we now know through science effectively brings more happiness — it works. When you invest in happiness, you become happier. We’re often so busy, this time of the year included, [and] we tend to get so caught up in the whole rat race, that we don’t give the priority necessary to our own well-being. When we love ourselves, we have way more capacity to serve others. CL: How does someone invest in happiness? PK: The positive psychology research that is coming out shows that most of the things that people can do to become happier are really just learned skills. One, for example, is have a regular gratitude practice. Every day write down three things that went well in your past 24 hours. It’s super simple, but the science is incredibly solid and anybody can do it. And I know sometimes people create these false beliefs that they are not entitled to happiness or they are not capable, or it’s something that they have to postpone for later in their lives after www.mycitylife.ca

they accomplish or acquire something. That’s all just a bunch of baloney. We all can find a tiny bit of time to do some of these practices like writing down three things that went well. CL: It’s really a practice of recognizing the things in your life that you already have that are making you happy. PK: It’s not the positing and reflecting on what you’re grateful for in the last 24 hours that is important, even though that does in the moment cause you to feel happier. The real point of the practice is training your brain to look for things that are going well. We all have to; our natural upbringing [gives us something like] radars that are looking across our experience [for] things that are threatening or not going well — problems to solve. That’s the way the human brain evolves. It’s really helpful for us, but it makes for negative life experiences if that’s all we’ve got. Every time we stop and look at our past 24 hours and say, “what went well,” we are effectively building a new radar system saying, “throughout my life, in my universe of experiences, what’s going well?” I’m training myself to see it. When I first started the practice, like many people who first started it, you’re someone who is not very good at finding three things. I had to scratch my head and say, “did three things go well?” Which

Paul krisMer

Chief Happiness Officer Paul Krismer is a public speaker and trainer. For 20 years, he has served in senior management roles overseeing hundreds of staff, multimillion-dollar projects and growing future leaders.

www.happinessexperts.ca

there’s a whole cascading nuMber of bona fide, deMonstrated benefits that coMe froM positive eMotions — Paul Krismer

is ridiculous, of course, because we all have things go well. But I’ve now trained my brain to be genuinely scanning my experience all the time for things that go well. CL: It is a psychological exercise in a sense. PK: Yeah, it’s very much literally reprogramming one’s brain and automating the experience of finding things that are going well. CL: What would you say is the importance of happiness? PK: On the one level, of course, we all want to feel happy. The obvious answer is that happiness is its own reward. We want to feel that way. But one of the things that I think is essential for people to understand is that we, in fact, have greater life success when we’re happy. The science again is extremely clear: when people are experiencing a lot of positive emotions they experience big, bona fide health benefits, better immune response, lower heart rate, more energy, all kinds of health benefits. Cognitively they function better. We’re literally smarter when we’re in a positive mood. Our friendships and relationships are enhanced. People who have a lot of positive emotions get a greater career and income success. There’s a whole cascading number of bona fide, demonstrated benefits that come from positive emotions. And it makes sense from a natural perspective. Nature rewarded good times in our lives with positive emotions. Those good times generally made us stronger, more sociable and better capable of navigating the planet. As we get more positive emotions we actually feel the foundation with which to get more Feb/Mar 2018

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success in life, because of these things like greater help, better career success, better relationships, better cognitive functions. People might say, well you are so lucky, how are you so lucky? Well, no. If you’re looking to create your own luck, invest in your personal happiness, because then you start actually being able to navigate the universe with more tools at your disposal. CL: How does meditation contribute to your well-being? PK: I don’t think I can recommend that any more highly. The science behind this one is super good. The positive psychology movement has only been around for 20 years. What we know that’s true about meditation is that people actually change the way that they experience the world. We can demonstrate this even objectively on scientific imaging. You can teach young meditators to meditate for just 20 minutes a day for eight consecutive weeks, and if you do MRI scans of their brain before the practice starts and after, you’ll see that in just eight weeks of meditative training, the left prefrontal cortex of their brain literally thickens. More grey matter, more grey density, on the part of our brain that controls emotional regulation and our sense of contentment. The science has gone from people subjectively coming back from meditation to this point where we can actually look at the brain in real time, and we do know that meditation has a tremendous host of physical and emotional and mental benefits. Since my thing is happiness, we know that it leads to greater contentment and acceptance of what is. Maybe a better appreciation for the moment, instead of ruminating on our past mistakes or worrying about our future, you can just be with what is. Usually, in the North American, 21st-century lifestyle, from moment to moment, life is pretty good. If I were in my head, I might be going, “Oh, that bad thing happened last week and I wonder what I should do about it.” Or I’m going, “Oh, I’m worried I’m not going to make my connecting flight in Vancouver.” Not to say that I have overcome those things, but through many years of meditation, I think I’m less susceptible than I once was to getting caught up with worries and ruminations than I was without meditation. 24

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CL: It’s given you a peace of mind and a positive and optimistic outlook ... PK: And a realistic outlook. When you’re in the moment you are seeing what is actually happening. When you’re in your head, you are making a story. You worry about the past or you worry about the future, it’s all kinds of fiction, to some degree. Your past memories might be based on some level of truth, and your future worries might be based on some level of anticipated concern, but there’s a lot of fiction in our brains. Whereas if I can be really present in the moment, I’m only seeing what’s actually happening, what my senses truly are perceiving. There’s a world of difference between the stories in my head and reality.

Nutrition

CITY LIFE: What is your No. 1 tip for starting the year off right? ABBY LANGER: My No. 1 tip to start the New Year off in terms of healthy eating is to cook more. When you make your own food, you have control over what’s in it. Homemade meals tend to be overall healthier than restaurant meals. CL: If someone wants to make a healthy change in his or her diet, what do you recommend? AL: I would start by adding things rather than taking away. OK, maybe take out or cut down on sugary beverages such

abby laNger

Canada’s Food and Nutrition Expert Abby Langer has been a Registered Dietitian since 1999. She has worked extensively both in nutrition management and in clinical nutrition. Abby is passionate about all aspects of nutrition, from physiology to teaching to cooking.

www.abbylangernutrition.com

when you Make your own food, you have control over what’s in it — Abby Langer

as pop and sweetened drinks. Then, I’d focus on adding lots and lots of vegetables — at least two large handfuls at lunch and supper, and one or two fruits a day. CL: What are three items everyone should have in their kitchen? AL: Fresh produce. You should be shopping once a week to replenish this. Canned or dried beans. Eggs. CL: What are some easy, healthy snacks we can make for both our children and ourselves? AL: Medjool dates stuffed with nut butter; celery filled with nut butter and raisins; cheese and whole-grain crackers; a handful of nuts (pistachios are my favourite right now!); a yogurt with some pumpkin seeds; popcorn with melted peanut butter. CL: How do you keep the kitchen fun? AL: You try new things. Pick a new food — ideally a vegetable — to cook each week. Some people just don’t like cooking, and I totally understand that — but it’s so important that they do it anyhow because it’s hard to eat healthy when you’re getting all your food precooked. CL: Why is nutrition important to you? AL: It’s really one of the major building blocks and predictors of health. I also love food, and I love feeding people. I grew up in a very food-centric household. CL: For people who have busy schedules, what kitchen and cooking tips can you recommend to them? AL: One hundred per cent, batch cooking on the weekend so they’re prepared for the week. Meal prep is key. www.mycitylife.ca


Personal Best

The Art of Living Bob Proctor has worked in the area of mind potential for nearly 50 years. He has penned numerous bestselling books and has transformed the lives of millions through his writing, seminars, courses and personal coaching. City Life had the pleasure of speaking to Proctor about how to redefine your life and make the best of it Interviewed By Brandon Harripersaud

What is your No. 1 tip to start the year off right? To make a committed decision about what they’re going to do with the year. We’ve never been trained how to make decisions. When people make decisions, what they’re really doing is stating preferences. If a person decides they’re going to do something, if it’s just an interest, they’ll do it if it’s convenient. But if there’s a committed decision to do something, you’re going to do it regardless. That’s really what it takes, because what you’re talking about is changing your life. What are some easy steps people can take to start changing their lives? When people make a decision to change their life, really what they’re doing is looking at aspects of their life they’re not satisfied with. If they are going to change their life, they have to change the programming that’s in their subconscious mind. Otherwise, it doesn’t happen. If people want to start changing their life, I think they start by really understanding www.mycitylife.ca

themselves. In their life, who are they? That’s really what was put to me in 1961 when a man got me studying Napoleon Hill’s book, Think and Grow Rich, and I’ve never stopped studying it. I still read it every day. What can people do to figure themselves out? I think they have to understand how their mind functions. Just the thought of that stops the average person, because we think, “That’s beyond my reach.” But that’s not true; you can teach a child how the mind functions. As we start to understand how our mind functions, we start to understand why we’re getting the results we’re getting. How do we avoid snags that set us back when we’re trying to make a change? I don’t think you do avoid them. I don’t think there’s any such thing as avoiding them, because we don’t know everything. We’re not perfect, so we’re going to make errors. The trick is to not let the setbacks knock you down. To realize that is a part of life. We don’t learn from our successes;

we learn from our failures. We learn when we do something wrong and we start to see where we went wrong. We learn from that. Then that will be in our favour in the future. There’s no winning in playing it safe. We’re taught it’s better to be safe than sorry as kids. That’s a lie; you’re not better safe than sorry. If you play it safe, you generally don’t go too far. I think you’ve got to set out and bet on yourself. You are the surest thing in the world. You have infinite potential. It’s a matter of really learning how to utilize it. So if we do get set back, what do we do to get back to where we were? It’s a matter of looking at it objectively. If I don’t get back up, where am I going to go? You’re just going to go further in the direction you’re already going, and you don’t want that. If I do get back up, where can I go? There’s no limit to where you can go. The wisest people on the planet cannot guess as to what you and I are capable of doing. All science and all theology — the only two areas of reference you’ve got to find out about you — those clearly indicate our potential is infinite. I have a friend, Michael Douglas. He said when anything happens in our life, there’s a three-step approach. It is what it is; accept it. It’s either going to control you, or you are going to control it. That’s the first one: accept it. Number two: harvest the good. Look for the Feb/Mar 2018

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good in it. There’s good in everything. Number three: forgive all the rest. Forgive means to let go of completely, abandon. Now you follow those three steps when anything happens, and you are going to come out winning. How important is faith in your life? The opposite of faith is fear. They both demand that you believe in something you can’t see. So you’ve got your pick. Clarence Smithison and I were talking about faith. Faith to him was the ability to see the invisible; you build a picture in your mind of what you want. Believe in the incredible, that there’s a power within you that will take that picture and begin to move it into form with and through you. That will enable you to receive what the masses call impossible. There are things happening like that all the time.

about changing your way of thinking, you have to understand what thought is and how thought works. What is the advantage of thinking positively? You don’t allow yourself to think positively; you train yourself to do it. Think of this for a second: you can take a look at anything, it doesn’t matter what it is, and you have a choice of how you’re going to perceive it. You can see what’s wrong with it or you can see what’s right with it. The truth is it’s neither good nor bad; it just is. Nothing is good or bad, except our thinking makes it so. We make it what it is. That’s by our thinking. But we get in the habit of looking at things the same way. When a person is negative, they’re in the habit of looking at what’s wrong with life, what’s wrong with

THE OPPOSITE OF FAITH IS FEAR. THEY BOTH DEMAND THAT YOU BELIEVE IN SOMETHING YOU CAN’T SEE. SO YOU’VE GOT YOUR PICK People often don’t have that faith in themselves. They don’t. They don’t understand themselves. Most people think they are their name. I’m not Bob Proctor; Bob and Proctor are two words. That’s my name. You never hear anybody say “am hand” or “am leg.” They say “my hand” or “my leg.” We live in a physical body, but that’s not who we are. We moved into it and we’ll move out of it. But we’ve got to start to understand who we are. How might someone get out of the habit of thinking negatively? Every great leader that has ever lived, as far back in history as you can go, has been in complete and unanimous agreement on one thing: we become what we think about. There’s disagreement in virtually everything else. Most people are letting the results they get to control their thinking. If they’re short on money, that’s what they’re thinking about. That will attract more of the same thing to them, because that puts them in the vibration to get what they’re thinking about.... When you start to talk 26

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this, what’s wrong with her, him, or them. You’re going to find that people who are winning are in the habit of looking for what’s good. How does one transform their mind and their life for the better? It begins with your thinking. There’s no question about it. I think a person starts to understand that their results are an expression of the paradigm of what’s going on inside, and if they want to change the results, they have to change that paradigm. Now that’s a process, and it’s a process that we have to gain an understanding of to make it happen. That’s something we can learn. But the average individual doesn’t understand that. And so they start to look at it like, “I have to learn that? How long does it take?” Well, it takes the rest of your life. You do it every day. How important is money, really, to a person’s life? Money is a medium of exchange. It’s a reward received for services rendered. Earning money is a game. Most people

think you go to work to earn money. But working is the very worst way to earn money. Napoleon Hill says, “If you are one of those people who believe that hard work and honesty alone will bring riches, perish the thought, because it’s not true. Riches, when they come in huge quantities, are never the result of hard work. Riches come, if they come at all, in response to definite demands, based upon the application of definite principles, and not by chance or luck.” Most people don’t understand money.… Earning money is a game. And it’s a game anybody can learn and everybody should learn. But then, understand that you’ve got to control the money; you don’t let the money control you. When money controls the person, the person ends up very unhappy. We should love people and use money. Most people love money and use people. How do you define success? I’ve used the same definition of success since 1961. Earl Nightingale came up with it; it’s on the Strangest Secret record. He said, “Success is the progressive realization of a worthy ideal.” He said, “you could be a business person that has amassed a fortune of maybe $5 million, and you’re progressively working toward raising it to $10 million — you are a successful person. You can be a student in school with a C or D average, and you’re progressively working toward an A and B average — you are a successful person.” One is equally successful to the other. It has nothing to do with the end; it has to do with the direction in your life that you are moving. You have to have a target and be moving toward it. When John Kennedy asked Dr. Wernher Von Braun back in 1962 what it would take to build a rocket to carry a man to the moon and bring it back safely to earth, the good doctor answered him in five words: “The will to do it.” He didn’t talk about what he would have to do, where the money would come from, where the engineers or scientists would come from. Just five words: the will to do it. That answers true for everything. What does it take to get what you want? If you’re going after what you really want, odds are pretty good you haven’t www.mycitylife.ca


photo CoURtESY oF pRoCtoR GallaGhER InStItUtE

got any idea how it’s going to happen. You don’t have to know how it’s going to happen. You only have to know that it is going to happen. And most people don’t go after what they want; they go after what they think they can get. They compromise. Their life is nothing but a series of compromises. We should be going after what we want. In 1972, I sat in a room in a house on Maplewood Lane in Glenview, Illinois, and I wrote on a card that I was going to build a company that operated all over the world. I was by myself. I didn’t have a company. I’d worked for the Nightingale Corporation for five years, and I left. I had absolutely no idea how I was going to do that. Today we operate in over 100 countries. What does it take to be successful? What people need is really good counsel and coaching. I think if they are getting any coaching at all, they’re getting very poor coaching. The average company is not interested in developing people. They’re interested in earning a profit. But management is not the direction of things. Management is the development of people. The purpose of all human organizations is to make life more meaningful. I’ve had some excellent mentoring, but I didn’t get it by accident. I sought it out; I asked for it, and I got it. I think that’s what we need. We need a really good teacher. If you don’t have the

proper assistance, odds are pretty good you’re going to stay where you are. You really need somebody that cares for you, that really wants to help you, and that understands something about life. How do we make our dreams come true? I didn’t make my dreams happen; I’m making it happen. It’s an ongoing process. You need proper assistance. You need direction if you’re going to make a dream come true. You have to recognize the dream. You don’t compromise on your dreams. One of the rules is, if you know how to do it, it doesn’t qualify. Then it’s a repeat performance. It may take some work, and it may take money you haven’t got, but there’s no growth involved in it. You’ve got to go after something that you have no idea of how it’s going to happen. What advice can you give people who overthink or struggle with anxiety or depression? That’s where most people are caught up: overthinking and overanalyzing. There’s a little book called As a Man Thinketh, by James Allen. It was written in 1903. The last chapter in it is on serenity. I have had thousands of people write that chapter out by hand every day for 90 days. It changes their life. He starts the chapter out by saying, “Calmness of mind is one of the beautiful jewels of wisdom. It’s the result of long and patient effort in self-control.” I really believe that chapter

works magic on people. They have to get a hold of themselves and become calm. By writing that out, the repetition of it gets them to start doing that. How you do define yourself? I believe I am a soul. I don’t have one; I am one. My soul is forever gaining awareness of what it is. I think that’s what life is all about. That’s why we’re here. We’re here to get a better understanding of who we are, what we are, and where we are going. Our stay here is relatively short. We live in a physical body. We correspond with the material world. But no one will ever see the real me. We’re living in the body. We are a soul. We don’t have one. There’s a big difference. I think that soul is forever attempting to gain awareness of its oneness with God, because we’re all created in God’s image. Our spiritual DNA is perfect. We have perfection within us. The trick is to try and express it and bring it out. www.proctorgallagherinstitute.com Since 1961, Bob Proctor has invested himself in the study of mind development. Taking after Napoleon Hill in a long line of coaches, Proctor is the current world specialist when it comes to taking control of your life through the power of your mind. With companies in more than 100 countries, Proctor has shown that anything is possible if you set your mind to it.

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fitness

THE JACFLASH

Photo by basIt sultanI @vIsualslXyer

WAY TO FITNESS

Genovese’s muscles are proof of the effectiveness of her method

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Fitness, fashion and design specialist Jaclyn Genovese chats with City Life about living a life of fitness

In regards to diet, I suggest doing a food sensitivity test once or twice a year (your food sensitivities can change over the months) and base it around that. Personally, I try to stay away from refined sugars, dairy and gluten, as well as my food sensitivities. Aside from the things I stay away from, I literally eat whatever I want, whenever I want, and in whatever portions I feel I need in that meal or snack. Listen to your body! I have made it as much of a habit as possible to eat to nourish my body. I try to ask myself every time I eat: “Is this going to help me get stronger and healthier?”

What are the dos and don’ts of trying to get healthy? Again, consistency is key. If you have specific issues you want to deal with — for example, digestion issues, hormonal or skin issues, fatigue or something even more specific — I highly suggest seeing a naturopath. My naturopath (Dr. Tracey Beaulne) changed my life. Naturopaths cater more specifically to you. My naturopath did endless tests to see what was going on in every aspect of my body. Instead of saying, “nope, you’re fine,” and sending me on my way, she listened to me. If I was low or high in the normal range of a test, she still addressed it, as that was still a factor in what was affecting how I felt. www.mycitylife.ca

Genovese spends a lot of time at the gym, both working out and training others

Beauty, to me, is happiness. it is aBout moments in life where we feel most comfortaBle, happy, proud, excited and free — Jaclyn Genovese

Photo courtesy of Jaclyn Genovese

What are the basic rules to staying fit? For me, consistency is key to staying fit. Instead of saying, “this week is my week,” and jamming in five to seven workouts in the first week and then overexhausting yourself, I recommend setting two to three workout sessions a week and sticking to those for a long period of time. Even once a week is a great start! As this begins to become a routine, you will then crave more workouts and make your workouts a priority. As an entrepreneur, I do have the luxury of creating my own hours, so my staff know ahead of time what days my regular workouts are, and I revolve my entire week around those two to three workouts. Even when I’m travelling, I either make sure to do some at-home workouts in my hotel room or find a nearby gym so that I don’t lose my consistency. Once you take a week or two off, it feels almost impossible to start back up again! If you’re finding it hard to start, find your motivator, whether that is a kick-ass fitness class (try one of my #fitnessbyjacflash classes!), a girl squad to work out with, a personal trainer or an online fitness motivator to get you into the zone.

Photo by alana de haan @alanacdehaanPhoto

Interviewed by Michelle Zerillo-Sosa

Define beauty. Beauty, to me, is happiness. It is about moments in life where we feel most comfortable, happy, proud, excited and free. It is not about the pressures of looking one way, as we are all unique, with unique experiences, memories and accomplishments that connect to create our own versions of beauty. Our bodies are just a shell that we must take care of as best we can so that we can create more of these beautiful moments and share them with loved ones for as long as we are able. What is your goal for 2018? I want to become as strong as I can (both physically and mentally), I want to help in bringing women together, I want to support other women in both the outside working world and the inside one (i.e., stay-at-home moms). I want to speak up and push for change where I can, and I want to say “no” more and take time to relax where I can. What is your favourite kind of workout gear? As I owned a clothing store for eight years, I still have a great love for fashion. Right now, wearing matching sets is a big trend in fashion, so I love workout outfits that are made in a set, for example a burgundy sports bra with matching burgundy leggings. www.jacflash.net @jaclyngenovese Feb/Mar 2018

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Fashion

PLAN YOUR DREAM WEDDING very moderate pricing to couture, and because bridal trends are so quick now, people can see them instantly during bridal fashion week. Designers are able to turn out the most trendy, fashionable gowns right away at every price point, just like regular fashion, so really you can find your dream look at any price point. It’s insta-fashion.

Jessica Mulroney is a Canadian fashion stylist who specializes in all things bridal. City Life had the pleasure of speaking to Mulroney at the Sunwing Yorkdale CONCEPT store about planning your dream wedding in 2018 Interviewed By Bianca Ricci

Let’s talk bridal trends for 2018. The first thing I learned working with Sunwing and wedding vacations is you don’t have to compromise on style with destination weddings. For instance, a lot of people believe that if you have a destination wedding it’s going to be rustic, like a tiki bar and straw tables on the beach, but it’s certainly not like that. Destination weddings are comparable to some of the most beautiful city weddings I’ve ever seen. So really, when it comes to trends, anything that’s trending in general for weddings is trending in destination [weddings]. The one thing that you can see that’s different is florals, because there are certain florals that are 30

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better for destination [weddings]. Right now we are seeing a lot of greenery, a lot of plants, a lot of succulents for tables. But when it comes to style, you don’t have to compromise just because it’s on a beach. Normally your reception will be in an air-conditioned area, or if it is outside it won’t be on the sand, so you really can wear whatever your dream dress is. Do you think budget really plays into finding your dream dress? I don’t anymore; I think once upon a time when I got married there really wasn’t the choice out there. Now every designer has a bridal line, from

About weddingvacations.com, why is that such a useful resource? Because you can find everything! Anything from trend inspiration to gown inspiration, a lot of the photo shoots that we do — we shoot tons of celebrity brides in all different locations. Whatever you need to know about prices, about resorts, what kind of resorts are available, whether they’re family-friendly or not, whether they have a spa — everything you need to know about every single type of wedding, how you can organize the wedding, seeing pictures of weddings in those destinations, it’s all there for you, so www.mycitylife.ca

PHOTO BY CARLOS A. PINTO

Mulroney has styled a number of Canadian icons and is rumoured to be styling her good friend Meghan Markle for her upcoming royal wedding

What is unique about a Sunwing destination wedding? I have been working with Sunwing and wedding vacations for three years, and I have to say it’s the team in Toronto and the wedding planners in different locations. I’ve been to countless different countries and resorts, and I’ve met so many of the wedding planners at each and I’ve had the chance to actually witness so many of their weddings. I’ve been able to speak to so many of the brides, I’ve been able to speak to the parents of the brides, I’ve been able to speak to the guests, and one comment I always hear is that they can’t believe how well-organized and how easy the weddings have been. And it truly is a testament to the teams. The wedding vacation team here and the planners that are abroad, they’re amazing.


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You can find Your dream look at anY price point. it’s insta-fashion

if you are planning a destination wedding, if you go onto the website, there’s nothing you won’t find. What is the most important factor a couple should consider when deciding between having a destination wedding and having their wedding in the country they live in? Cost is definitely something; it actually can be less expensive to do a destination wedding than a city wedding depending on what you want to do. I think you have

to decide what exactly you want to do. I think a destination wedding is usually a great direction to go in. It’s like having an extended vacation with your friends and family, so whether it’s three days, four days, a week, you really have a chance to connect with your family and friends and truly celebrate your wedding as if it’s a week long, [or] three days long. Sometimes when you only have one wedding day, what happens is you barely get a chance to see your friends and your family, you’re kind of just like “hi, hi, hi, hi, hi” — you don’t get a true moment to enjoy each other, so on a destination wedding you really have that time to relax, enjoy, spend time on the beach. It’s just a bit of a different, more relaxed atmosphere than you would have at a wedding in the city. What would be your biggest tip for couples who want to break the news that they’re having a destination wedding that maybe not everybody can attend? Well, if they can’t attend I think the nice thing to do if you are having a destination wedding is to not have an expectation that

everybody can come. But if you do have a lot of people that have kids maybe make sure you choose a family-friendly resort, and if some people can’t come, it’s not a big deal. Make sure they’re included in other parties like your bridal shower, your bachelorette, make them feel included if they can’t make the vacation happen, although, within wedding vacations there are so many price points that there’s definitely a destination wedding that’s affordable for most people to go on. What would be in your bridal survival kit if you were having a destination beach wedding? I like those MAC sweat sheets, lip gloss at all times, the really good powder sunscreen that’s out now (so you don’t have to worry about getting your dress or your clothes all mucky), anti-humidity sprays for your hair, and always have the regular things an emergency kit would have: a sewing kit, safety pins, any of that stuff is really good … and a pair of flip-flops. www.sunwing.ca @jessicamulroney

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Nav Bhatia: this RaptoRs

“supeRfaN”

is a supeRmaN Superfan Nav Bhatia’s passion for basketball has led him to pursue his lifelong goal of improving the lives of children all over the world. City Life had the pleasure of speaking to Bhatia about his life, journey and quest to change the world Written By rick muller intervieW files from Brandon harripersaud photography By roBin gartner

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Bhatia sports his custom “superfan” jersey, gifted to him by the raptors organization

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NavBhatiasupeRfaN

Bhatia’s instagram features nBa players, organizations he is a part of, and toronto’s own drake and former u.s. president Barack obama

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I

n their 23-year history, there have been three constants to watching a Toronto Raptors home game: a frenzied, sellout crowd chanting “We the North”; a Raptor driving the lane toward a monster jam or arching an elegant “all-net” threepointer; and one notable man jumping up from his baseline seat at the Air Canada Centre every time the Raptors make a basket. That’s every Raptors basket made at home. Ever. Since they started playing in 1995, this same fan has been at every home game to cheer them on, wearing his Raptors jersey and distinctive colourcoordinated turban. His name is Nav Bhatia, and he is universally recognized as the Raptors’ designated “Superfan.” Just how many times has he jumped out of his seat over the years? Let’s have some fun with math to work this out. The Raptors have played approximately 925 home games in their existence. Bhatia has a perfect attendance record, having never missed a home game in those 23-plus years. (Nor has he ever been late or left a game early, win or lose; his self-imposed rule is to stay in the arena until the refs have headed back in the tunnel.) Bhatia estimates he’s attended over a hundred road games; therefore, he guesses, he has probably seen them live 1,000 times. If we assume the Raptors have averaged about 85 points per game over that span, then they’ve scored approximately 85,000 points in all the games Bhatia has attended. That means Bhatia has jumped up out of his seat to cheer them on more than 40,000 times (allowing for three-pointers). That’s a lot of jumping … and that’s not counting the number of times he stands to heckle the refs, taunt opponents or cheer during time outs. To say Bhatia is energetic during games is one of the greatest understatements of all time. Bhatia’s rise to his current status in the world of Raptors fandom was not intentional. After immigrating to Canada from his native India in 1984, he was looking for ways to assimilate into the culture of his newly adopted country. “It means a whole lot to me now and what I’m doing with my life, but www.mycitylife.ca


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“my puRpose with BasketBall is Not my owN fame as supeRfaN, But what i caN do with the fame aNd celeBRity status that i have”

photo courtesy of nav bhatia

it didn’t start that way,” says Bhatia. “It was simply entertainment for me, as I didn’t have any hobbies. But once I went to that first game, I was completely hooked. You felt entertained the entire 48 minutes.” Those early days for Bhatia were not without their difficulties, unfortunately. In the beginning he endured a lot of racial slurs like “Paki” and “Towel Head,” and one incident in particular stays with him. “I went to a phone repair store, and a white man was there talking on the courtesy phone to his wife,” recalls Bhatia. “When he saw me, he said into the phone, ‘OK honey, I’ve got to go, my cabbie is here.’ I was wearing one of my finest suits. I was looking good. I wasn’t his cabbie. I was there to get my phone fixed, just like him.” It was a hard lesson about his new country, but Bhatia took it as a personal challenge. He continues to work hard in all facets of his life to change misguided perceptions in a positive way, and he remains a deeply passionate Canadian. “I tell people all the time: if there is a heaven on earth, Canada is the heaven,” he says proudly. “I travel a lot in my business, and I tell you, Canada is the best country in the world. It has given me everything.” Upon his arrival in Canada at age 33, Bhatia was eager to find work as a mechanical engineer. However, unable to do so, he sought work as a car salesman instead. Luckily, Rexdale Hyundai took a chance on him, and Bhatia did not let them down. Over a three-month period, he sold 127 cars, about 11 for every six-day week, a record which still stands today. He was promoted to manager of the once-struggling dealership, and just two years later, he bought the dealership outright. Today, he owns two highperforming Hyundai dealerships, among the most profitable in the country, which he runs with the same passion that he brings to every aspect of his life. While proud of the performance of his dealerships, he is probably prouder of the fact those dealerships top the list in terms of charitable donations. Helping others is a passion and belief that runs deep within Bhatia. There is no better evidence of this than the story

behind his and his wife’s adoption of their daughter Tia 25 years ago. “I was abandoned as a child in India and sent to an orphanage in Delhi,” says Tia. “My parents always wanted to go the route of adoption to give a child a life they couldn’t have, but it’s a very lengthy process. Finally, after all the paperwork, they got the call that there were 19 baby girls available at this particular orphanage, and my mom prepared to fly from Toronto. My aunts in India came to the orphanage first, and I was the first baby brought out. They said something in my eyes told them to take me. My mother agreed, and my Dad came to India, and we’ve been inseparable from the moment I saw him. Many of us believe in that upper being, and for me, my god is my Dad.” “I selected the route of adoption because I wanted to give a life and a loving home to a child,” says Bhatia. “It has given me the most beautiful child in the world, with an abundance of love and affection. She is my everything in life.” The life lessons Bhatia and his wife have passed down to Tia are numerous, but most special is that of equality and opportunity. “Some people asked my Dad, wouldn’t a girl be a burden because she can’t be the ‘man of the house’?” says Tia. “But my Dad said, ‘No, she is not a burden, she is my daughter.’ That’s been such a lesson for me: that every child deserves to be loved, no matter what condition they’re in or what age they are, and adoption is such a beautiful thing. I will do it in my future because I want to give a child a life.” Bhatia’s status as Raptors superfan has afforded him some meaningful opportunities to give back. For example, in last year’s Eastern Conference Finals, with the Raptors trailing the Cleveland Cavaliers 3–0 and perhaps only one more chance at a home game, he received a text just hours before game time. The text was from someone he didn’t know asking a favour: could he help grant the wish of a sick child who wanted to see a Raptors game? For most people, granting this request during the NBA Conference Finals would be next to impossible. But not for Bhatia. He quickly arranged tickets for the boy Feb/Mar 2018

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and his family, and as icing on the cake, arranged for the family to meet with players from both teams. That’s just one example of how Bhatia spreads the love from his baseline seats. He also works with the Raptors to organize multicultural nights at some of their games. During Vaisakhi and Diwali, he purchases about 2,000-4,000 tickets to give to Sikh and other youths, giving the kids memories to last a lifetime. He is working on the Nav Bhatia Superfan Foundation. The goal is to build basketball courts across Canada with the help of the MLSE Foundation and NBA Canada so that kids can play basketball rather than be exposed to negative influences. “Sports have such a positive influence on kids,” says Bhatia. “You don’t have to become a professional athlete — you can become a doctor or a banker — but sports teach you discipline in life, which is so very important.” Bhatia is also working with World Vision on their Daughters of India initiative to build girls’ washrooms in 20 schools across rural areas in Punjab, making it safer for more than 30,000 girls to attend. Recently he became an ambassador for the WE Movement and delivered an inspirational speech before 17,000 kids in Ottawa. “It fits entirely with what I want to do — to inspire the kids,” he says about joining forces with the WE Movement. “Kids need to be diversified to understand how the world is going to be. Don’t look at the colour of the skin, don’t look at the gender or the faith they belong to. At the end of the day, 99.99 per cent of kids all have the same passion to be good, and by inspiring kids between 10 and 16 years of age, we can have a better society and a better world.” Bhatia’s fortuitous relationship with basketball has given him a platform through which he can give back and effect change in the world — and for that, he is very grateful. “My purpose with basketball is not my own fame as Superfan, but what I can do with the fame and celebrity status that I have,” he explains. “I want to reach out to the kids who need a chance. Every kid deserves a chance in 38

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what it takes to Be a

“supeRfaN” 1

Not missing a Raptors home game in 23 years, and never being late or leaving early

2

Attending approximately 925 home games and over a 1,000 games overall

3

Standing at the baseline cheering, shouting and yelling support for the Raptors at every home game and some away ones

4

Forming close personal relationships with players, coaches and management throughout the league

5

Spending approximately $300,000 yearly on the Raptors organization

6

Having an empty glass case in your home for the Larry O’ Brien championship trophy

life. I want to make the [people of the] world closer, to love each other through the game of basketball, and this so-called fame gives me the tools to achieve that.” That fame is very real, and it extends beyond just the ACC. Bhatia is recognized throughout the NBA as much as a LeBron, Curry or DeRozan — and that in no way is overstating his leaguewide notoriety. “With every team, I know most of the people, the coaches and security,” says Bhatia. “I travel to many other cities, and I am so blessed to get so much love in the NBA from everyone, including the fans.” His pregame time at the ACC is jampacked with posing for selfies with fans from across the country who all want to meet the Superfan. He counts musician Drake and comedian Russell Peters as good friends. Sometimes, though, that “celebrity thing” is lost on him — with amusing and endearing results. Take that road game in Orlando when Bhatia was courtside, “chatting with a charming young lady sitting beside me,” but puzzled by the number of photographers surrounding them and the attention many fans were giving them. Following a text exchange with daughter Tia, however, Bhatia learned that the young woman beside him was the musician Rihanna. He now owns 13 individual season tickets. His two coveted baseline seats were originally purchased from friend and former CEO of Research In Motion, Jim Balsillie. His courtside seats are next to the family of DeMar DeRozan, and the two families have become very close, besides Bhatia’s ritual of hugging DeRozan every halftime. He has become friendly with many Raptors over these last two decades. Witness the fact that he was at Vince Carter’s wedding and that he recently travelled to Lithuania for the wedding of Jonas Valanciunas, which was, he reports, “off the charts.” Bhatia’s life is a Raptorspalooza. His vanity license plate has a Raptors logo and his “Superfan” nickname on it, and his expansive home, while not heavy on Raptors memorabilia, does contain an empty glass case. That, Bhatia explains, is reserved for the Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy, awarded to the winner of the NBA Finals. www.mycitylife.ca


photo by robin gartner

Bhatia poses with a gifted spurs 2014 championship basketball, signed by the entire team and coaching staff

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His passion for the Raptors is a huge annual investment of both time and money, and it’s not one necessarily shared by members of his immediate family. That said, even though some of his off-the-court, personal Raptors obligations have taken him away from family events and celebrations, his family remain understanding and supportive. “I am so blessed to have the support of my family to allow me to do what I do,” says Bhatia. “And my family at work as well. We have an incredible team of 160 people and take the team approach to support each other in everything we do. It’s very much like sports in that the team approach is the most successful approach.” There’s an expression about those who have long been engaged in the world of sports: “He’s seen them all.” Well, in the case of Nav Bhatia, he has indeed seen them all. Though in basketball only five players take the court at once, Bhatia has watched every single Raptor who has ever donned the dino logo — literally hundreds of players. And he is not hesitant to name his all-time favourite.

tia_Bhatia

youtube: tia bhatia

Bhatia is very close with his daughter, tia, who is a creator and aspiring actor

“All the Raptors are my favourites, but my most favourite is Vince Carter, not only because he’s a great player and dunker, but for what he has done for Canada,” says Bhatia. “He made the future for Canadian basketball. He’s the one who gets that credit. Fifteen or 20 years ago, there were not many Canadians in the NBA. Right now, Canada has 15 players in the NBA, and Vince Carter is the one who inspired them — and we have many more coming up in the next few years. It would be my desire and wish he return to the Raptors to end his career,” he says, expressing a wish shared by many Raptors fans. Nav Bhatia attended a Toronto Raptors game on November 3, 1995, and found something there which helped shape his life going forward. Yes, it was just a game, but within it and himself, he found the inspiration not only to assimilate in his new country, but also to truly help others. And if his character and his impressive track record are anything to go by, this Superfan is never going away. For that, we should all be grateful.

@navbhatiasuperfan 2nAdsk ab GUASuiteout t RAN Renhe TEE tal !

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A DV E R TO R I A L

REAL ESTATE TALK with Vivian Risi

For 20 years, Vivian Risi, president and CEO of Your Community Realty, has worked hard at building a successful career

A

single mother of three, Vivian Risi has cemented herself as a prominent figurehead in the real estate industry, bringing her children into the fray and making her company the family business. Customer service is at the forefront of everything that Risi does. City Life had the pleasure of speaking to Risi and picking her brain on today’s real estate market as well as what has led her to where she is today.

PHOTO COURTESY OF ROYAL LEPAGE YOUR COMMUNITY REALTY

Q: What do you anticipate for the Toronto real estate market in 2018? A: [We’re] forecasting a 6.8 per cent increase in Toronto-area housing prices next year, with starter homes — particularly condos — expected to be in high demand again. Q: Experts say based on an interest-rate hike and stricter mortgage rules we could expect a slowdown in the first quarter. How would you advise our readers? A: The government wants to make sure that the market could withstand any future mortgage rate increase. The new guidelines will ensure the consumer comes up with a 20 per cent down payment requirement. A survey by industry group Mortgage Professionals Canada showed the tougher regulations would affect one in five potential homebuyers. The tougher laws will not stop buyers from buying; they will readjust the expectations of the price range and/or location the buyer is buying into. www.mycitylife.ca

Risi has made this a family business, including all three of her children

Q: What do you think is the mood of the overall market? A: The mood of the overall market is still positive. The buyers are just being more cautious. They are ensuring that they take their time before making a decision to purchase. Q: Has the recent mortgage rate increase, along with the new government policy of needing more than 20 per cent of a down payment to purchase a home, had any effect on the market? A: The stress test is one of several variables influencing the Toronto region housing market. It predicts that the new mortgage stress test rules that kicked in on Jan. 1 will mean a slow start to 2018. Many move-up buyers, who can’t qualify for the financing to purchase the housing they want, will probably delay putting their existing homes on the market. Overall in Toronto, the lack of housing supply is forecasted to drive prices up once the market adjusts to the new mortgage rules. Q: What advice would you offer people who are skeptical about jumping into the market again? A: Buying real estate has been proven to be the best investment. Ownership is what everyone dreams of. Do your research. Seek out a professional realtor who will work in your best interests. They will have access to

more information than you have access to, and this will enable you to buy the home of your dreams, or the investment you are looking for to build you equity. When you work, you make a living — but when you invest in real estate, that’s where you can truly make a fortune. You don’t need to search too hard through our history books to find that most fortunes have been amassed through real estate. With the rule of thumb being that property values tend to double every seven to 10 years, the equity you put into property will no doubt in future be a safety net for yourself and your family.

Q: Why is volunteering and philanthropy such a big part of the culture you promote among all your 1,400 realtors across your 16 offices? A: We believe in the importance of community and in standing up for worthy causes. Our realtors advocate for various local charities and they often get involved in events that benefit the extended improvement of the area. At Your Community Realty, we give back to the public in order to create a stronger, more united community. Our children’s future depends on the dedication that we show today and we are always trying to live up to this vision.

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Success Stories

BrYaN BaEuMlEr:

ThE FiXeR

Baeumler and his wife Sarah, with their four children Lincoln, Charlotte, Josephine and Quintyn, are the stars of Bryan Inc.

HGTV and home renovation expert Bryan Baeumler’s fixation on fixing life, work and everything he can get his hands on

ith his Bryan Inc. being the most-watched show on HGTV, breaking the previous premiere record held by his former show House of Bryan, Bryan Baeumler finds himself as an over 10-year veteran in the reality TV world with no plans of stopping. Now and for the past few years, Baeumler has transitioned from shows solely about his work and moved to ones also showing his family life, highlighting 42

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his wife, Sarah, and four kids, Quintyn, Charlotte, Lincoln and Josephine. “The kids were born into this and they find it quite normal,” Baeumler says. “The camera crew actually has become family. They are over for birthdays and we’re shooting at the house quite often, they stay around at the end of the day for dinner and a campfire.” While being on camera is the only life the kids know, the same cannot be said for Baeumler himself. “I never got

into this for the notoriety or to have people wave to me and yell my name as I’m driving down the street. It’s not something, to be honest, that I’m super comfortable with,” Baeumler says. Baeumler wanted to advertise his company and saw HGTV as a good opportunity to do so. His natural sense of humour and personality led him to host the show Disaster DIY, and since then he has moved on to having numerous shows over the past decade. www.mycitylife.ca

PHOTO BY HGTV CANADA

Written By Brandon Harripersaud


Still, even after 10 years, some of this is surreal and does not make sense to Baeumler. Baeumler loves meeting fans of the show, even if he does not fully comprehend their fandom. It is not always fun and games either: Baeumler has been almost driven off the highway and has had people grabbed by security at airports for being too aggressive in their pursuit of a picture and more. “We’re part of people’s lives which is great. It’s a strange one-way experience ... A lot of people hang out with us every morning and every night, and we don’t necessarily hang out with them every morning and every night,” Baeumler says. Because of his job, Baeumler gets to spend copious amounts of time with his family, but still works on the balancing act of life. “Going through life with a marriage, a business, a TV show, friends and family, work events and time for yourself, you have to carve out what percentage is needed where. There’s no solution, there’s no balance. It’s a constant adjustment,” Baeumler says. For Baeumler, it is a continual recognition of the areas in life that need focus on a daily basis, and reprioritizing himself in order to fix those areas, whether they be his marriage, work or children. “You have to constantly balance and understand that life is not a perfectly posed and filtered Instagram photo. It’s a moving, living, breathing thing that needs constant attention and adjustment,” Baeumler says. With the constant flux of life, Baeumler understands that you have to be able to enjoy the moment when you are in it, and not stress over the areas that cannot be fixed until you can fix them. “I always say, take a deep breath and enjoy the journey between here and there, because between now and the end there is only a limited amount of time, and why waste it being stressed and upset and grumpy?” Baeumler says. This philosophy has followed Baeumler around all throughout his life, and is why he defines himself as a fixer. Whether it is a problem at home or at work, Baeumler is compelled to fix the situation, as he wants everyone to be stress-free and happy. The resolution of an issue gives Baeumler “a great feeling of accomplishment and a peace and calm that everything is the way it should be.” www.mycitylife.ca

@bryanbaeumler

@sarahbaeumler

While Baeumler’s Instagram focuses on his work on-site, Sarah’s Instagram shows off her design prowess and technique

Since Baeumler loves experiencing the honeymoon period after a problem is fixed, it is no wonder that he has fervour for construction and home renovation. “I love going through all the stages and seeing [the project] come to fruition. It’s almost like watching the progression of when [Sarah and I] were having kids. From the day you find out you’re pregnant till the kid is born, it’s such an interesting process, and the final product is just so mind-blowingly cool,” Baeumler says. Not only does Baeumler enjoy seeing a project come to life, he also relishes the opportunity to help people change their lives. “When we’re doing [construction and renovations], we bring the homeowners in at the end and show them the final product, and quite often they tear up,” Baeumler says. In addition to working on customers’ homes, Baeumler has had the opportunity to work on a lot of charity projects building and repairing homes for people. “Some of the basic needs of any human are shelter and protection from the elements. There’s so much more to it too. Where you wake up every morning has such a huge impact on how you start your day and how you feel; where you relax in the evening before you go to bed is the same thing,” Baeumler says. “Making people feel house-proud and taking that concern off their shoulders ... it’s an incredible feeling. We’re doctors for people’s homes at the end of the day.” With a big trade shortage coming up, Baeumler says that the stigma around trade work needs to be changed. Baeumler is involved with @wrksapp on Instagram, a trade matchmaking program that allows labourers and employers to find work and workers. “I think the shows on HGTV are doing a great job as well of just highlighting exactly what we do, and kind of making that renovation and construction industry a little sexy,” Baeumler says. And for customers who want work done, “they want someone that is skilled and educated ... And that costs money. So it’s no longer a default career, it’s something to strive for. It’s something to be proud of.” Baeumler can certainly be proud of the life and career he has created. After wrapping up this season of Bryan Inc., Baeumler and his family are heading to Feb/Mar 2018

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IF YOU THINK YOU CAN GIVE 110 PER CENT, YOU’VE NEVER REALLY REACHED 100

After 10 years in the reality TV business, Baeumler and Sarah show no signs of slowing down

the Bahamas for nine months to renovate and rebuild a resort. Do not worry, Island of Bryan (working title) will premiere on HGTV later next year. Baeumler’s work ethic and passion is what has made him so successful and turned him into a staple of Canadian television. His balancing act of trying to make his life the best he can is what keeps Baeumler at the top of his game, in every aspect. “My view — and Sarah shares that view — is, you are brought into this world with 100 per cent to give, that’s all you’ve got. I hear people talk about, ‘I’m gonna give ’er 110 per cent.’ If you think you can give 110 per cent, you’ve never really reached 100,” Baeumler says. www.bryanbaeumler.com

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PHOTO BY HGTV CANADA

— Bryan Baeumler


From the Laurent Collection, milk globes that distill the essential relationship between circle and sphere www.lambertetfils.com

design

IDS TURNS 20

The 20th anniversary of the Interior Design Show brought out some of North America’s best designers, showing off their designs and products for the New Year

T

Written By Bianca Ricci

PHOTOS COURTESY OF INTERIOR DESIGN SHOW

he Interior Design Show (IDS) took Toronto by storm for the 20 th year in a row. The event drew in many top-tier designers such as Brian Gluckstein, Kathryn Ireland and Jane Lockhart, to name a few. Taking place at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, the IDS was a major hit, bringing in hordes of designers and design lovers alike to take in all the new projects, pieces and top styles for 2018. The massive hall was lined with projects and panels from all the best designers across North America. There were a plethora of installations to

The Connection collection UP dining table by Huppé is a contemporary assemblage of wood, glass and metal, showcasing its geometric frame www.huppe.net

behold, from the most futuristic and contemporary designs to the most regal and traditional out there. All the bases were covered. One of the standout projects from this event was the 5 th-anniversary display sponsored by Caesarstone, who commissioned New York architectural firm Snarkitecture to create a conceptdriven installation called “Altered States” to anchor the floor of the IDS. The event drew in huge crowds to enjoy everything that 2018 home style has to offer.

Sweetheart Sampler by Peter Anton is an oversized, lushly detailed, delicious-looking sculpture of food www.debellefeuille.com

Bubbles by Matt Donovan is a mixture of concept work and technical design www.olgakorpergallery.com

toronto.interiordesignshow.com

Exquisite hand-knit carpets blending art and décor www.jan-kath.com

Locally produced bespoke furniture provides exceptional quality and timeliness www.kastella.ca

www.mycitylife.ca

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A dv e r to r i A l

So Easy It’s

AutomAtic

For nearly 20 years Automatic Switching has led the home-automated game, completing every household with its technology and expertise

Johnny Pecorelli runs the business with his entire family, including his son Armando, who is the next generation of Automatic Switching

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photos by carlos a. pinto

A

s the advent of new technology continues to accelerate at a rapid pace, there is one company that has been at the forefront of incorporating new technology into households since back when stereo system setups were still prominent. Over the past 18 years, Automatic Switching has developed and progressed into a company that covers all of your home-automated needs. Founded in the year 2000 by John “Johnny” Pecorelli, an electrician by trade, Automatic Switching started out of a garage as a structural cabling business. He always had thoughts of owning an audio-video company as a child; he did not think it would actually happen. But it did. The company soon moved out of the garage and into a retail unit, then expanded to two units, and finally to the three units where it currently resides on Edgeley Boulevard. Along the way it incorporated audio-video technology and made its way into the full home automation business. Now, Automatic Switching covers everything automated in your household, from home security to home theatre systems and lighting. “We’re a full-stop


We’re a fullstop solution for all clients. We do everything — John “Johnny” Pecorelli

solution for all clients. We do everything. This way they don’t have to go through three or four different vendors, they can come just to us and they’ll find everything they need under one roof,” Johnny says. Automatic Switching is a family business, with Johnny’s wife, son, daughter, future daughter-in-law and sister all being part of the company. John’s kids are the next generation in line to continue to the path of Automatic Switching. Instead of being simply a store where anyone can walk in, Automatic Switching schedules appointments with its clients in its showroom. Building a relationship with his clients through one-on-one appointments allows Johnny to give a personal touch that other places do not offer. Some of his clients he has had for 17 years, and they are still his clients today — a testament to the close relationships he has formed over the years. Plus, Johnny himself is the person people deal with directly. There is not a salesperson that is going to try to upsell you on something you do not need. In fact, he goes out of his way to make sure to consult people on what they do not need, as it is not about selling for him, but about improving people’s homes and lives. The one-on-one consultations and dedication to each customer are part of the major tenet of Automatic Switching: customer service.

www.mycitylife.ca

That key of customer service enables Automatic Switching to go above and beyond what is required and to be held to its word. This dedicated service is the reason why customers from nearly two decades ago still continue to come to Automatic Switching. Since most of the company’s work comes from customer referrals, Automatic Switching prides itself on not having advertised for 18 years and still being in business. It speaks to the quality and service that the company and its employees have been able to offer all these years. Led by his son Armando Pecorelli, the installation team are experts in their field. The technicians are always being sent to courses to better themselves and get new training on new products that come out all the time. The Automatic Switching staff is always up to date and well educated on new technology, ensuring that they can not only offer you the best product, but will install it reliably and efficiently. All of the products that Automatic Switching works with are from companies that it has developed relationships with. This ensures that the company is able to get the support it needs for its work and for the clients themselves. “We carry a good variation of brand lines and we believe in their products. To ask someone to purchase from us… we have to believe in [our] products. Once I believe that it would be good in my house, [I know it will be] good in their house,” Johnny says. One of the products that Automatic Switching features is called Elan g. The Elan g system is user-friendly and accessible, allowing for full and complete control of the automated systems with relative ease. For other systems, if a client needed to make changes, they would need to call the company to reprogram the system, which would come at a cost. The Elan system allows people to make the changes they want without the hassle of a service tech.

the elan g system is user-friendly and easy to use, making it Automatic Switching’s preferred option for full home automation

For Automatic Switching, this is about making your life the best it can possibly be. “Everybody’s home is their castle. You should be proud of your home. If automation is something that makes your life easier then that’s something to be said for [it],” Johnny says. If you are looking to make your life easier, Automatic Switching is the company for you.

391 Edgeley Blvd., Unit #12-14, Concord, Ont. 905-669-6310 www.automaticswitching.com Feb/Mar 2018

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Transportation

&

Beyond

Originally planned as an extension into York University, after 10 years, the new TTC subway expansion to Vaughan is finally here Written By Brandon Harripersaud

S

ome may be asking, “Why Vaughan?” But those who live in the area certainly understand why. With an already dense population and more and more homes being built, research indicates that growth in the York region of the GTA is going to surge immensely in future. People will be needing methods of transportation that do not contribute to the already congested roads. Enter the TTC subway extension. According to Vaughan Mayor Maurizio Bevilacqua, it was built not only for current needs, but also with the future in mind. “The subway extension signifies a new era for Vaughan,” he says. “It will continue the transformation we are witnessing in the VMC and across our growing city.” The extension runs along six new stations. The largest of these is the terminal station, Vaughan Metropolitan Centre (VMC), a vast building off of Highway 7 with a bus terminal and retail space. Surprisingly, VMC does not have TTC parking lots, but there are two city parking lots nearby. Kelly Graham (planner) and Justin Polce (business office manager) of Weston Consulting say that VMC is Vaughan’s new “downtown and urban growth centre.” Mayor Bevilacqua adds, “Our new downtown, the Vaughan Metropolitan Centre, is taking shape and is now a major transportation hub connecting communities and getting people where they need to go in a faster, more efficient way.”

Vaughan Metropolitan Centre is the new terminus of Line 1. With a bus terminal and unique coliseum-like architecture, VMC is the new hub for Vaughan’s downtown centre

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pHotos By carlos a. pinto

Just five minutes down the road from VMC is the new Highway 407 Station. With more than 600 parking spaces (which already get filled daily, so that people have started parking alongside any curb they can find) and connections to other transportation networks — GO, YRT, Viva — Highway 407 has become a standout favourite for commuters (especially because parking is free until the end of March). Closer to the border of Vaughan and Toronto is Pioneer Village Station, whose parking lot will be the secondary one when the one at Highway 407 is full. Pioneer Village Station adds muchneeded subway support along Steeles Avenue and boasts an impressive 1,800 commuter parking spots. Moving along into Toronto, at the originally planned terminus of the expansion is York University. The addition of a York University station eliminates the need for quasi-shuttle buses and “will free up the university’s bus terminal for more prominent bus routes,” say Graham and Polce. York U station will also make travelling to and from the university significantly easier for students and employees. Another option for overflow parking, especially for those in the west end of Toronto, is Finch West Station. Situated at Keele and Finch, Finch West Station will help reduce the numbers of people needing to travel to Sheppard West, Wilson and Yorkdale. Finally, the addition of Downsview Park Station (causing the formerly named Downsview Station to be renamed Sheppard West) will alleviate the stress and traffic at Sheppard West Station, especially for commuters who live farther west. All of the new stations are wheelchair accessible and have free Wi-Fi. Although some have complained that the new stations (except VMC) lack bathrooms, it is typical for nonterminal TTC stations not to have them. The new stations also feature unique design and public art. Stuart Green, senior communications specialist for the TTC, says, “We had public art juries that were involved with both the design and the artwork, and they were all put together in a way that would create stations that are open, inviting, welcoming to www.mycitylife.ca

An emphasis on natural lighting and collectors outside of toll booths make for a safer, lighter space

people, bright, [and] that allow for good movement of people at the busiest times.” In contrast to older TTC stations, with their limited space, each of these new stations has its own considered design. “There’s a lot of windows, a lot of use of natural light, and that gives it an airier feel,” Green says. “It allows you to feel more connected. It’s safer, it’s brighter [and] it means that we can save on energy costs, because we don’t have to light them during the day. We have very limited lighting and electricity costs during the day because of the natural light. There’s a method as to why those stations are as big as they are.” While the usage of the stations are already quite high, there is plenty of room for more passengers. Green says, “We are under no illusion that they are at their peak use yet,” he says. For TTC and the City of Vaughan, the new expansion is all about planning for the future and estimating what they expect usage to be. “You think five, 10 years down the road, and you think VMC, you think about the development that’s happening around there, the number of people who will be attracted to the subway because they’ve heard from their friends that it’s a much faster way to get in and out of the city. We’re going to see incredible ridership growth in those areas,” Green says. He likens the central hub station, VMC, to an airport. At its busiest times,

an airport needs a large amount of space for people to move around efficiently. The same is true for VMC, since it is not only a terminal subway station, but a bus terminal as well. The anticipated use for the extension alone in a mere three years is 24 million people. Furthermore, several of the new stations will be home to retailers. “There are a number of contracts that have been signed with retail outlets. VMC is an interesting one because it has a direct connection to the YRT terminal, a connection to the Viva and a bus terminal on the other side. There are a lot of walkways and connections. At those connections you will see retail,” Green says. The issue of safety has also been addressed. In addition to all of the safety measures already in place — designated waiting areas, emergency strips on trains and dedicated transit enforcement — the staff at all of the new stations will not be confined to collector booths, but move about the station and on the platform at all hours to ensure that anyone feeling unsafe has someone they can go to for help. But aside from the new stations, the major advantage of the subway expansion is that it improves traffic and commuting time — not to mention, it reduces carbon emissions from long drives into the downtown core. It now takes approximately 42 to 43 minutes to get from VMC to Union. This saves you a significant amount of time if you are accustomed to driving into Toronto to take the subway. Green says, “One of the things that we’re hearing a lot from people who are coming in from VMC in particular is how much quicker they’re getting in and out of the city. We’ve had people tell our station staff that they used to drive an hour and a half from King City and the like. Now they’re able to drive only as far as Vaughan, park, and then take the subway, and they’re literally saving half their journey…. That’s not insignificant. If you add that up times five days a week times two trips per day, that’s hours a week that people are able to save if they use the public transit alternative.” During peak hours of traffic, both Highways 401 and 400 experience major congestion, which adds time to alreadylong commutes. While the numbers have yet to come in, there is speculation that, Feb/Mar 2018

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— Stuart Green

Each station is uniquely designed to accentuate the space of the interior

because of the expansion, this congestion will have been reduced, because fewer people need to drive into Toronto to take the subway. Graham and Polce say, “It is now possible to reach areas in Toronto within an hour by subway during rush hour, which is an upgrade in juxtaposition to having to rely on vehicles during these peak, heavily trafficked hours.” Ridership appears to be quite high, and the parking lots in both VMC and Highway 407 are mostly full. “This is hopefully a sign of improving the flow of traffic between Vaughan and Toronto.” That said, riders of the new expansion are still experiencing some of the same old problems, such as stoppages and delays and trains going out of service. As much as the expansion has improved things, there is still a ways to go.

Even so, the subway expansion has truly opened up Vaughan in a way it never has been before. “Vaughan has undergone a tremendous transformation in the last seven years and is now at a turning point in its evolution,” Mayor Bevilacqua says. The opening of VMC boosts an already burgeoning Vaughan downtown core and further influences its growth and expansion. “With the growth in our new downtown, we anticipate 11,500 new jobs, of which 5,000 will be new office jobs being created in the VMC alone,” Bevilacqua says. New tenants taking early advantage of the VMC office space include KPMG, Miller Thomson, PwC, GFL Environmental and Harley Davidson. Not only does the expansion help cement Vaughan as a business-centred city, it also provides an easy route to

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pHoto By carlos a. pinto

We’re going to see incredible ridership groWth in those areas

people who wouldn’t normally travel to Vaughan. Graham and Polce illustrate this point with an anecdote: “For the first time ever, our firm’s principal, Peter Weston, was able to host a luncheon in the Vaughan area that included all Toronto-based attendees, who commuted to the area using the subway.” And more commuters coming into Vaughan will have positive effects on its economy, tourism, growth and ability to be recognized not only in the GTA, but outside of Ontario and even Canada. “We are the only municipality outside of Toronto to be connected to the subway. Vaughan is now linked directly with the core of Toronto with a 42-minute ride from the VMC Station to Union Station — something that no other 905 municipalities can claim. It means a great deal to us, because we have been given a golden opportunity to maximize the potential of our city and provide Vaughan residents the transit services they deserve,” says Bevilacqua. As of now, the only other subway additions planned by the TTC are a line 2 extension from Kennedy to Scarborough Town Centre, a downtown relief line and an extension of line 1 on the Yonge side up into Richmond Hill. But here’s hoping the Vaughan subway expansion, a project that required collaboration between multiple cities and branches of government, sets a precedent for the continued growth and improvement of our transit system. www.ttc.ca


Food

Ginger Zucchini Noodles INGREDIENTS

SERVES 2

MIKE COLELLA HEAD CHEF - NATURE’S EMPORIUM

DIRECTIONS

1 Tofu and Marinade: Combine garlic, ginger, soy sauce, maple syrup, shallots and sesame oil in sealable bag and add tofu. Marinate for 12-24 hours.

For Zucchini Noodles 2 organic zucchini (spiralized) 1 carrot (julienne cut) ½ sweet red pepper (julienne cut) 1 tsp. organic garlic (chopped) 1 tsp. organic ginger (chopped) ½ tsp. dried organic red chili flakes 1 tbsp. organic gluten-free soy sauce 1 tsp. organic sesame oil 2 organic green onions (sliced)

3 Assembly: Remove tofu from marinade and pat dry. Sear both sides in olive oil until golden brown. Place on top of zucchini noodles and top with chopped green onions. Enjoy!

RECIPE PREPARED BY MIKE COLELLA, NATURE’S EMPORIUM FOOD STYLING BY ANGELA PALMIERI-ZERILLO, DOLCE MEDIA GROUP | PHOTOGRAPHY BY CARLOS PINTO, DOLCE MEDIA GROUP

For Tofu and Marinade 1 pack (454g) of extra firm premium organic tofu (sliced into thirds, then halved) cup organic gluten-free soy sauce 1 tsp. organic ginger (chopped) 1 clove organic garlic (chopped) 2 tbsp. pure maple syrup 1 tsp. organic sesame oil 1 tsp. organic shallots (chopped) 2 tbsp. organic extra virgin olive oil

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2 Zucchini Noodles: In a medium-sized hot frying pan add sesame oil, garlic, ginger and chili flakes. Sauté quickly, 5-10 seconds. Add zucchini, carrots, peppers and toss quickly. Add soy sauce to coat evenly. This should be done quickly to ensure zucchini isn’t overcooked and still has a firm bite to it.

Recipe from Mike & Mike’s Organic Plant-Based Recipes’ book coming soon at a Nature’s Emporium near you.

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Food

In the forest and high up in the mountains, it’s not unusual to find large fields of cranesbill geraniums. The flowers are a lovely purple and the leaves change colour in the fall. This elegant pavlova says “summer,” full of fresh berries and candied cranesbills

WALNUT PAVLOVA with Whipped Cream And Berries 52

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W a l n u t P a v l o va Cranesbills • • • •

Cranesbill flowers 1 egg white Pinch of salt Superfine granulated sugar

Make the candied cranesbills at least half a day in advance so they have time to dry. Follow the instructions below. 1 Go for a walk and pick cranesbills. Put the flowers in water until you’re ready to use them. 2 Cut strips of paper, approximately 0.4 inch (1 cm) wide and 3 inches (8 cm) long. 3 Glue each paper strip into a ring. 4 Cut the flowers, leaving a bit of the stem so you have something to hold on to. Remove the pistils and the stigma inside the flower. 5 With a fork, lightly whisk the egg white with a pinch of salt. Paint the front and back of the flower with the egg white. 6 Dip the flower, front side down, in the sugar. Use a spoon to sprinkle sugar on the back side of the flower. 7 Cut off the stem. 8 Set the flower in a paper ring to dry so it keeps its shape.

• • • • • • •

4 egg whites Pinch of salt 1 cup + 2 tbsp (225 g) granulated Sugar 2 tsp cornstarch 1 tsp white wine vinegar ¾ cup (75 g) walnuts, coarsely chopped

1 Preheat the oven to 350ºF (175ºC). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and draw a circle, approximately 8 inches (22 cm) in diameter, on the paper. This will make it easier to form a round cake. 2 Using a handheld mixer, beat the egg whites in a bowl at medium speed until foamy. 3 Add the salt. Gradually add the sugar, continuing to beat at medium speed until the sugar is dissolved and you have a thick meringue. Add the cornstarch and white wine vinegar, then turn out the meringue onto the prepared baking sheet. Make a dip in the middle of the cake if you want more room for the filling. Sprinkle the walnuts over the cake. 4 Put the cake in the oven on the middle rack and reduce the temperature to 250ºF (125ºC). Bake the cake for 75 minutes, then turn off the oven, but leave the cake in until the oven is cold.

Cream and berry Filling

photos by Marit hovland

• • • • • • • •

1 ¼ cups (300 ml) whipping cream 2 tbsp granulated sugar ¼ tsp vanilla bean seeds, or 1 tsp Vanilla sugar or extract ¾ cup (100 g) raspberries ¾ cup (100 g) blueberries ¾ cup (100 g) blackberries ¾ cup (100 g) black currants

Using a handheld mixer, whip the cream with the sugar until fluffy. Add the vanilla seeds toward the end. Spread the whipped cream over the pavlova. Decorate with berries and candied cranesbills.

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Excerpted from Bakeland: Nordic Treats Inspired by Nature by Marit Hovland, published April 2018 by Greystone Books. Reproduced and condensed with permission from the publisher.

MARIT HOVLAND is a Norwegian graphic designer, photographer, and cookbook writer with a passion for baking and nature. She shares photos of her recipes, nature photography, and other hobbies on her website at borrowmyeyes. com, and with her more than 18,000 followers on Instagram at @borrowmyeyes. www.borrowmyeyes.com

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food

TasTe of The CiTy

The city’s most authentic Italian and Peruvian and the finest bar and grills and chophouses this side of the GTA Written By Brandon Harripersaud Photography By Carlos A. Pinto

T

he GTA is filled with great restaurants from different cultural backgrounds serving some of the finest, most authentic cuisine in the world. In this year’s Taste of the City, we take you to some of the nicest digs the GTA has to offer. Whether you are craving

classic Italian food paired with vintage wines, chophouses serving the finest cuts of meat and seafood, authentic Peruvian cuisine made with imported ingredients fresh from Peru or want to have a chill night out at one of the best bar and grills in town, this guide has you covered.

villaggio risToranTe For over 25 years Antonio Barbiere and his family, including current owner Aradena Barbiere, have brought classic Mediterranean-Italian cuisine to their customers. Since Villaggio Ristorante opened its doors in 2004, it has been met with nothing but rave reviews. Chef Matteo Napoleoni’s bistecca is a savoury delight of 10 oz. of USDA prime striploin with a Gorgonzola cream sauce, served with vegetables and potatoes. For the spicy food lovers, orecchiette salsicce is a spicy Italian sausage made in-house, paired with rapini, white wine and garlic. owner: Aradena Barbiere Chef: Matteo Napoleoni Dish: Bistecca ADDress: 110 Nashville Rd., Kleinburg, Ont. www.villaggio-ristorante.ca 54

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sparks premium grill + Bar The perfect venue for great food, good times and enjoying the game, Sparks Premium Grill + Bar is not your regular bar and grill. With a robust and diverse menu, Sparks Premium has all of the classic bar favourites, with exquisite grill options to satisfy any palate. In addition, an express lunch menu priced under $10 guarantees lunch in 15 minutes or less on weekdays, a fantastic deal for those who want good food in a rush. Owner Maria Gorobets and co-owner/chef Kumaran Navaratnam serve up the perfect appetizer, flamin’ calamari, grilled to perfection alongside peppers and onions and topped with fresh cilantro. Enjoy sumptuous Peruvian delicacies such as charbroiled rotisserie chicken, lomo saltado, ceviche and jalea at the GTA’s premier location, Los Chicos Brasa. With specially prepared herbs and spices straight from Peru, this is the city’s most authentic Peruvian cuisine. Winner of the Consumer Choice Award 2015 for GTA East, Los Chicos Brasa has lively Latin background music that contributes to the atmosphere of the bustling dining room. Pictured here is owner Alvaro Carol’s award-winning charbroiled half-chicken marinated in a unique recipe and cooked in a special Peruvian traditional oven, served with your choice of side and delicious mild or hot sauces.

owner: Maria Gorobets owner/Chef: Kumaran Navaratnam Dish: Flamin’ calamari ADDress: 2620 Rutherford Rd., Vaughan, Ont. www.sparksgrill.ca

owner: Alvaro Carol Dish: Charboiled half-chicken ADDress: 3560 Rutherford Rd. Unit 36, Vaughan, Ont. www.loschicosbrasa.com

los ChiCos Brasa www.mycitylife.ca

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Terra Since 1995, Terra’s stature and reputation has made it known as one of the best restaurants in Toronto. Winner of several awards, specifically multiple awards for its wine selection, Terra continues to push its high standards while consistently growing and evolving. With an eclectic menu ripe with a variety of dishes that changes every season, Terra is the quintessential dining experience for group and business outings, as well as a celebratory meal with a friend or loved ones.

Sasso’s combines food with tradition, bringing Italian delights to its signature restaurant. The relatively new restaurant serves lunch and dinner, offers catering and takeout, as well as private functions in its delightful venue. With live music, a family-friendly atmosphere and a lot of sass, Sasso’s is the hottest new trattoria in the GTA. On the right is chef Daniele Campo’s veal marrow pipe bone with buttery mashed potato and a pancetta-infused onion jam topped with crème fraîche.

Chef: Cesar Naranjo Dish: Grilled octopus ADDress: 8199 Yonge St., Thornhill, Ont. www.terrarestaurant.ca

Chef: Daniele Campo Dish: Veal marrow pipe bone ADDress: 12926 Hwy. 27, Nobleton, Ont. www.instagram.com/sassostrattoria

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Located in The Doctor’s House in an estate in Kleinburg, XXI Chophouse is a high-end steakhouse that serves fresh and aged organic and USDA beef, as well as fresh seafood selections. Shown here is chef Sam Khalil’s 18-oz. bone-in striploin, aged in-house for 60 days and served with a grilled Maine lobster tail and garlic butter. Chef: Sam Khalil Dish: 18-oz. bone-in striploin ADDress: 21 Nashville Rd., Kleinburg, Ont. www.xxichophouse.com

XXi Chophouse

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Opinion

More Money, More ProbleMs

While the new minimum wage’s effect on the economy remains to be seen, the lacklustre response of some Tim Hortons franchisees is a model for how not to respond Written By Brandon Harripersaud

s of January 1, 2018, the minimum wage in Ontario has gone up to $14/hr, significantly more than the previous rate of $11.60/hr. The increase is one step toward enabling minimum-wage workers to improve their quality of life. However, early reaction to this raise has been negative. Several franchisees of Tim Hortons responded by eliminating their employees’ paid breaks, cutting health benefits, and getting rid of periodic perks such as free coffee and uniforms. Public backlash to this move has been swift and strong. While these actions are not illegal per se, they show a spiteful side to a Canadian franchise that has long been viewed as a symbol of wholesome Canadian values. Tim Hortons has effectively developed its brand into an icon of Canadian culture, a champion for children and a place where folks meet to share good food. But what of those values now that some of its franchisees have proven so ungenerous to the employees who help to secure the brand? In fact, the very first franchise location to issue these changes is owned by children of the Tim Hortons co-founders: wife and husband, Jeri Horton-Joyce and Ron Joyce Jr. The heirs to the multibillion-dollar company claim they are unable to afford the new wage increase without making cuts. City Life reached out for a response, but Tim Hortons corporate refused to comment at this time. 58

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Tim Hortons rogue franchisees have eliminated the take-home drink workers used to receive at the end of each shift

Chris Buckley, the Ontario Federation of Labour (OFL) president, finds it “offensive” that employers are being “vindictive and disrespectful to workers because they had to give them a raise” — a raise that is now law in the province of Ontario. As reported by the Toronto Star on January 12, these rogue franchisees insist that Tim Hortons’ parent company, Restaurant Brands International (RBI), needs to raise the price of items or cut costs in order to eliminate the cutbacks that the franchisees have made (since

then, Tim Hortons Inc. has raised the price of its breakfast items by 10 to 20 cents, which they claim is not connected to the increase). Buckley calls the franchisees’ claims a “cop-out,” as the majority of franchises have not disadvantaged their employees due to this raise. He explains “What I find offensive is the government announced on May 30th their plans to increase the minimum wage across the province. Since May 30th, these franchises have had an opportunity to try to work out their business plan…. They chose not to.” This is not a point to be overlooked. The wage increase was not sprung upon businesses at short notice. The complaining franchisees had several months’ time to raise concerns and come up with ways to offset the changes in wage, but instead, they decided to take it out on their employees. Since other businesses and, in particular, other Tim Hortons locations have not made similar cuts to employee benefits, what excuse do these outlier franchisees have? RBI has come out against these actions, saying, “It saddens all of us to see [the brand] jeopardized by the recent news stories and comments on social media caused by the actions of a reckless few.” But these words are little more than a PR move unless something changes for the employees in question. Kaylie Tiessen, economist and policy analyst at Unifor, says, of the effect of these cuts: “This will likely have a negative www.mycitylife.ca


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effect on worker engagement in their job, worker well-being, and could actually have the opposite effect of what they intended. Perhaps then the wage bill is technically lowered, but if folks aren’t as engaged in their work, unable to take breaks and reinvigorate themselves for the next part of their shift [that will have a negative impact.] Those are clearly considerations that weren’t taken into account.” Whereas these cuts are a detriment to employee morale and productivity, the mandated wage increase has many benefits associated with it. “We see less turnover, higher engagement of the workers who are employed in that environment, and then productivity goes up. You can perhaps serve even more people than you were before,” Tiessen says. While the raise necessitates an increase in cost, that cost is absorbed in many ways. Sheila Block, senior economist and long-time research associate and participant for the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA), says, “Part of that cost is going to be increased productivity from workers, so that does not have an increase in cost. Part of that is going to be a decrease in profit as we shift income from profit to labour. Part of that is going to be passed through to consumers at slightly higher prices.” Block gives the example of over a century ago, when the labour workforce shifted to no longer include children. “That shifted the cost structure for employers. Those changes had to be absorbed and accommodated, but the sun continued to rise and set. We now have a similar situation where people who work full time, full year, should not be living in poverty. That is going to require adjustments on the part of employers. The dynamism of the business sector means they are going to figure it out, and some of them will do it in a way that has the potential to harm their relationship with their customers and their reputation, in the way Tim Hortons is, and others will find more efficient ways to accommodate it.” The OFL and Buckley encourage the franchisees who have found more efficient ways to offset costs to publicly state their opposition to the actions of the rogue franchisees, even take the issue to RBI themselves, as the OFL plans to do, and fight for the workers’ rights. 60

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“It’s important for people to remember that, for over a decade now, Ontario has lost an excess of 500,000 goodpaying, permanent jobs. They have left this province and they are not coming back. When you look at the employment landscape across Ontario, we are predominantly made up of a service sector and retail economy. And if that’s the type of economy and that’s the type of jobs that we have in the province, then those workers deserve to have an increase in pay and to have stronger rights in regards to employment standards and labour law,” Buckley says. n the ongoing conversation about the increased minimum wage, part of the popular narrative is that jobs will be cut and prices will go up, so the raise will be no more than a face-value maneuver that moves the goalposts farther away. But research says otherwise. Spea k ing on more than 20 years’ economic research, Block says, “Increasing the minimum wage does not have a negative impact on employment. But what it does do is decrease income inequality. By raising the labour market income of people who are at the bottom of the wage spectrum, what it does is raises up the bottom, which is good for income inequality.” Tiessen adds, “This is going to put more money in the pockets of people who are working and currently working low-wage jobs. The vast majority of economic literature on the subject of jobs finds that there is very little or no statistically significant effect on the level or number of jobs when the minimum wage is increased.” A recent report released by the Bank of Canada has been “widely misinterpreted by the media,” says Block. “What it said was, there would be a 0.1 per cent increase in consumer prices; that was a national figure as a result of the increase in minimum wages. So we’re in a very low-inflation environment. A little bit of an increase in prices is something that absolutely can be absorbed.”

Tiessen concurs. “Certainly,” she says, “the studies that are out there right now that have been floating around in Ontario are overblown and actually talking about something that is not a loss of jobs, but a slower growth of jobs. That in the media has been reported incorrectly as well.” Buckley calls these tactics and misreporting fearmongering. He gives a recent example where a similar raise happened in Alberta with no massive negative ramifications. “People need to understand: the sky is not about to fall. This is about helping workers. This is about helping workers have a decent living and have rights in the workplace. We all should want that for every worker in this province.”

It’s not the solutIon for everythIng, but It wIll make concrete progress toward reducIng Income InequalIty In the provInce — Shiela Block

Certainly, the crux of this issue should not be how the wage increase will affect profit margins, but how it will benefit people overall, and whether it will take us closer to creating the Ontario that we want to live in. The increase is a step toward giving full-time workers a chance at a living wage (which varies between cities, but in Toronto is $18.52/ hr minimum). While the raise to $14 and the scheduled raise to $15 next year are great first moves, there is still much ground to make up. As Block says, “It’s not the solution for everything, but it will make concrete progress toward reducing income inequality in the province.” www.timhortons.com www.mycitylife.ca


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Philanthropy

ThE ReCiPe FoR ChAnGe

P

Written By Brandon Harripersaud

icture yourself entering a warm building out of the cold February weather. You are immediately intoxicated by an aroma of foods from different cultures, from a bubbling curry to a hearty stew. Flourishes of green brighten and liven up the venue. Everywhere you look you can see a multitude of chefs making their own special dishes. The cacophony of people chattering about the food, sharing their delights and happiness, has an infectious air. You pick up your own plate and cutlery and make your way around the location, tasting, sampling and enjoying all of the delectable food that is being offered. And yes, you can have seconds. You can have thirds. You can have as much as you possibly want. This is the Recipe for Change event. FoodShare, a non-profit organization based in Toronto that works with various communities to support increased access to high-quality healthy and fresh food, hosts the Recipe for Change event every year as a way of raising funds for its programs. 62

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Chefs and volunteers happily hand out their delicious food to salivating eventgoers

The event started nine years ago from the passion of many wonderful chefs working with FoodShare. It allows for “the opportunity to deepen the impact of the work we do connecting children and youth to hands-on food literacy programming — cooking, growing and tasting,” says Paul M. Taylor, executive director of FoodShare. Mary Luz Mejia, a woman who lives, breathes and certainly eats food, curates the event. With careful consideration through several months of planning, Mejia puts together a host of chefs, micro-entrepreneurs and local breweries and wineries, all from the GTA, for this one special night. Since becoming curator five years ago Mejia has turned the event into a veritable cornucopia of cultural delights, featuring food from chefs who represent a host of international flavours. “We’ve got people from all over the world. People from every background and stripe participating from Thailand, Mexico, Italy, Canadians and beyond who are making this special [by bringing] flavours from their corner of the world to Toronto in a very celebratory, exciting and delicious way,” Mejia says. While the show supports food literacy and FoodShare, it also gives a platform for many chefs, specifically women and

PauL M. TayLOr eXeCutiVe DireCtor of fooDShare Taylor has been a guiding force in the food security conversation for several years. A champion of social justice, Taylor fights for food to be a fundamental human right.

people of colour, who would not normally be asked to cook for an event like this. In this way, the event becomes a celebration of where we live. Mejia says, “We’re in one of the most multicultural cities in the world, so why not celebrate that and make that a real point of empowerment for the people that come and dine with us?” As part of FoodShare’s pillar of inclusivity, this is the only event that caters to everyone, no matter their dietary restrictions or choices. Whether you are an omnivore, vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, vegetarian, pescetarian, the list goes on, Recipe for Change is one of the few events where people of varied diets can attend and actually feel full. “It’s a lot of fun for Toronto to see itself reflected in its food, and to feel like, ‘this is for me,’” Mejia says. www.mycitylife.ca

photos courtesy of foodshare

The ninth annual Recipe for Change event by FoodShare is an all-youcan-eat bonanza that supports chefs around the GTA and provides valuable funds to promote food literacy


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Curator of reCipe for Change Mejia is a food and travel journalist with several years of experience in food TV production and direction and a plethora of catered events under her belt.

As part of that reflection, the show itself is not flashy. In fact, it is the exact opposite of that. Even with big-name chefs like Luis Valenzuela, John Higgins, Nuit Regular, Hooked’s Kristin Donovan and more, Recipe for Change is not a stuffy, pompous show. It’s all about comfort, collaboration and enjoying great food together. All of the funds from the event, including a silent auction that takes place during it, are given to FoodShare to help improve food literacy across Toronto and the GTA. Last year, the funds accrued were enough to hire a coordinator who could then go into a school and teach the students about the importance of healthy eating. “Food literacy is having an awareness of the impact that our individual and collective food choices have on the environment, our health and our communities,” says Taylor. “For FoodShare, one of the ways in which we inspire food literacy is through creating opportunities for people to (re)connect with the process of growing, harvesting and cooking food.” FoodShare helps develop community-led markets to allow people a chance of getting healthy, organic vegetables, as well as initiatives like the Good Food Box and Mobile Market, which aim to serve larger communities. In 2016 alone, FoodShare distributed over “2.2 million pounds of produce throughout Toronto through their various programs, as well as providing training to 8,697 individuals and [supporting] 1,261 community-led food initiatives,” says Taylor. Speaking to the power of food, Mejia says, “to people, [food] is as basic as water or air. It has the power to unite us. It’s that one common element we all have no matter where you are from. No matter how rich or poor you are you can relate to food. It’s what we use to celebrate with and it’s what we use to grieve over. It is a powerful tool that can unite and break down barriers.” Taylor adds, “Food has the unbelievable ability to bring people together. For cultures across the world food is a significant part of celebration. We can use it to share stories, build community and to have conversations about inequities in our society and the food system itself.” The importance of food literacy and healthy eating cannot be overstated. FoodShare is an important organization fighting the food fight for a better, healthier Toronto and more, and events like Recipe for Change give us an opportunity to support the organization while enjoying some of the delicious, amazing food it wants people to know about. Recipe for Change takes place on Feb. 22. www.recipeforchange.me www.foodshare.net 64

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Mary and Joe Tiano, owners

CORE ATHLETIC CLUBS IS KING CITY’S FIRST MAJOR GYM

Core Athletic Clubs is the first all-inclusive fitness centre to open in King City at King Road and Dufferin. The new facility offers state-of-the-art cardio, strengthening and functional training equipment, free weights and classes ranging from yoga to spin, Pilates and more. The centre features a rooftop track, as well as a rooftop lounge and classes such as rooftop yoga. The massive complex also includes spacious changing rooms with showers and lockers, infrared saunas and the Core Café. www.coreathleticclubs.ca 1

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1. Vivian and David Arduini 2. Stephen Lecce – PC Candidate for King-Vaughan, King Mayor Steve Pellegrini, Mary Tiano, Joe Tiano and Councillor Cleve Mortelliti 3. Peter Cipriano 4. Left to Right: David Pereira, Pat Morton, Mary Tiano, Joan Machin, Joseph Gurgis, Cleve Mortelliti and Mayor Steve Pellegrini 5. Mary Tiano, Joe Tiano, Mayor Steve Pellegrini and Councillor Cleve Mortelliti 6. Mary Tiano, Massimo and Gina Arduini 7. Left to Right: David Pereira, Chris Frenette, Samantha Caringi, Julianna D’Assisi, Pat Morton, Joseph Gurgis, Louie Tiano, Angelica Khajadourian and Joan Machin

www.mycitylife.ca

PHOTOS BY CARLOS A. PINTO

Mary Luz Mejia

photo courtesy of foodshare

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This past January, Joan Kelley Walker from The Real Housewives of Toronto threw a private fundraiser to kick off 2018. The party displayed the works of art by artist, singer and songwriter Ache (formerly known as Hector Hernandez). Ache followed his display of artwork with a memorable performance, singing some of his most notable pieces and classic hits. All proceeds went to support World Vision Canada, with a portion of the proceeds from Ache’s artwork being donated as well. www.joankelleywalker.com

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Feb/Mar 2018

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People & Places VOLUNTEER MBC CELEBRATES CANADA 150 BY RECOGNIZING VOLUNTEERS IN THE PEEL REGION

Volunteer MBC is a well-known and highly regarded matchmaker of volunteers to notfor-profit organizations in the Peel region. This past December, it celebrated Peel Cares Canada 150, coinciding with International Volunteer Day, which is recognized worldwide. The celebration took place at the Brampton Courtyard by Marriott Hotel and was marked by a cocktail reception. The highlight of the night was the presentation of commemorative Canada 150 pins and Volunteer MBC “Peel Cares” certificates to 101 Peel residents who had contributed at least 150 volunteering hours in 2017 to local organizations and causes. The “150” was chosen to commemorate Canada’s 150th birthday. The Government of Ontario was represented by MPP Amrit Mangat, who signed letters of appreciation on behalf of the province, and by MP David Tilson, who signed on behalf of the Canadian government. www.volunteermbc.org

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PHOTOS COURTESY OF VOLUNTEER MBC

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1. Volunteer MBC’s executive director Carine Strong addressing the audience 2. MP Amrit Mangat handing out an award to one of the volunteers as Councillor Johanna Downey and Councillor Jennifer Innis look on 3. Brampton Mayor Linda Jeffrey handing out a Peel 150 gift bag to one of the recipients 4. Peel Police Chief Jennifer Evans handing out a Canada 150 pin to a volunteer 5. Town of Caledon Mayor Allan Thompson handing out a Peel 150 recognition certificate to a volunteer

THE NORTH AMERICAN VOICE FOR ITALIANS IN NORTH AMERICA

HELLOFRESH RAISES $20,000 TO FUND SCHOOL GARDENS WITH EVERGREEN

PHOTO BY CARLOS A. PINTO

For over 50 years, Mario Cortellucci has been a part of the Italian community in North America. He is familiar with the needs and aspirations of the Italian community, as he has been a part of and lived this reality. Cortellucci has decided to run for Senate in order to strengthen the relationship between the Italian government and Canada and to create a greater alliance between Italians in North America and in Italy. www.mariocortellucci.com

HelloFresh made a donation of $20,000 toward the Toyota Evergreen Learning Grounds Program, funding community gardens in Canadian public schools. Raised through HelloFresh’s holiday donation box program, the funds will provide two grants to school applicants across the country, enabling students to engage with food and garden experts to design and build a space that is reflective of their unique Canadian climate and growing conditions. The Evergreen partnership marks HelloFresh’s first major CSR initiative, highlighting one critical mission pillar: to educate young Canadians on the importance of food literacy. www.evergreen.ca

Enzo Ferrari, president and CEO

FERRARI & ASSOCIATES

Mario Cortellucci

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Feb/Mar 2018

PHOTO COURTESY OF HELLOFRESH

Ferrari & Associates Insurance and Financial Services has moved to its brand new head office location at 7675 Hwy. 27. “Our new office location is to help better serve our clients and accommodate our growing firm,” says the firm’s founder and president Enzo Ferrari. “All of us at Ferrari & Associates are passionate in our commitment to our clients and looking forward to serving individuals and businesses in the Greater Toronto Area community.” www.ferrariinsurance.ca

www.mycitylife.ca


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City Life Magazine — Feb/Mar 2018  
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