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City Life Magazine Feb/Mar 2013

| Vaughan Vaughan Mills 905-660-9993 Mills 905-660-9993 – Markville – Markville Mall 905-477-1273 Mall 905-477-1273



Feb/Mar 2013 Volume 11 Issue 1

ON THE COVER 28 The Happy Show: Graphic artist Stefan Sagmeister draws a roadmap to life’s ultimate purpose


Stefan Sagmeister it


Improve Canada

36 25

Décor Jill Home of all Trades

FEATURES 24 Courting Success: How Sportsnet Connected anchor Evanka Osmak hit a career home run 54 Undying Love: With The Walking Dead’s success, we explore audiences’ obsession with zombies 60 A Not-So Sobering Prospect: Will Ontarians soon see alcohol pop up in their local grocery and convenience stores? BUSINESS 32 Passionately Curious: Journalist Amanda Lang on The Power of Why 44 Entrepreneurial Confessions: Ontario’s top entrepreneurs share their Ernst & Young award-winning advice 48 The 50 Business + Life Lessons 2012 Taught Me: A Robin Sharma shortlist on life-changing goals

Sky Cranes and Electric Brains


ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT 20 Drawing Hope: Artist and photographer Shawn Van Daele creates storybook outlooks for children in need 64 Elisapie in the Sky: How a Montreal pop singer is making sound waves 65 In the Library: From Taschen’s Her Majesty to reporter Susannah Cahalan’s Brain on Fire, there’s a book for everyone

Evanka OOsmakk


Home Décor

WINE AND DINE 56 Food, Drink and Other “Likes”: Taste your way to a great night HOME DECOR & FASHION 36 Home is Where the Art Is: Interior design gets an edge with these glam, golden picks 50 Pantone State of Mind: Freshen your space and wardrobe with approved hues from the authority on colour PHILANTHROPY 62 The Privilege of Choice: Guest editor Rumeet Billan sheds light on basic human rights 63 Anthony’s Hero: Be the one to save a life BEAUTY 18 Makeup Your Mind: Say pretty please to these bang-on spring looks WEDDING 58 Wediquette: The dos and don’ts of wedding guest etiquette REAL ESTATE 34 Moving On Up: Get your key to the reshaped suburban landscape TECHNOLOGY 66 Better Life Apps: Get through the year with financial, spiritual and nutritional apptitude AUTOMOTIVE 52 Cadillac ATS: Is this compact Cadillac superior to the BMW 3-Series?


Cadillac ATS


IN EVERY ISSUE 8 Publisher’s Note 10 Editor’s Note 14 People & Places 49 Readers’ Survey: Take home these great prizes


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Pantone State of Mind 6 City Life Magazine Feb/Mar 2013












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City Life Magazine Feb/Mar 2013 SAFE FOR 7







say that time flies when you’re having fun is a huge understatement. This year we celebrate the 10th anniversary of City Life Magazine. Launched in 2003, our initial issues of City Life were very different from the copy you currently hold in your hands. In fact, some of you might recall that it was merely a digest — and barely 16 pages. Its purpose was to fill the void that Dolce Vita Magazine had left behind when we moved our distribution from Vaughan to Toronto neighbourhoods and to newsstands across Canada. Little did we know that it would grow into the well-received and much-anticipated bimonthly it is today. As Vaughan grew, so did City Life, blossoming into the go-to publication covering the city’s and your life’s most relevant stories. Over the years, and still today, our mandate is to highlight topics that are pertinent to the community, even when they occasionally stretch from across the globe. Stories of success, courage, sorrow, hilarity, sentiment, but always quality stories meant to inspire, empower and exude passion for life. We love bringing you these tales, and from your support and emails we know you love them, too. And for this I would like to thank you. It is an incredibly happy moment when we hold a new copy of City Life in our hands. All the challenges, long hours and hard work suddenly vanish. As the ink dries, a smile and a feeling of pride swells the heart, spreading from the printer foreman to our editorial team, to our designers and sales department, to the newsstands manager and our advertisers, to you, our readers. If we had to measure how happy your support makes us feel, we would turn to our cover man, Stefan Sagmeister (see story on page 28). According to this eclectic graphic designer, we should be able to measure this emotion on a scale of one to 10. Taking in everything that has happened over the last decade, we are happy to report a top score and 10 blissful years. We hope you enjoy this issue of City Life Magazine and the many more to come. PS: Send us photos of your old issues of City Life Magazine by emailing me at The oldest issue located will be entered to win a prize.

BEAUTY & TRAVEL EDITOR Angela Palmieri-Zerillo FASHION & HOME DECOR EDITOR Michelle Zerillo-Sosa COPY EDITOR Simona Panetta PROOFREADERS The Editing Company, Toronto; Simona Panetta SENIOR WRITERS Michael Hill, Simona Panetta, Madeline Stephenson CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Rumeet Billan, Robin Sharma EDITORIAL ASSISTANT Amanda Storey PUBLISHER

ADVERTISING T: (905) 264-6789 • Toll-Free: (1-888) 68-DOLCE DIRECTOR OF NEW BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT Susan Bhatia OFFICE ADMINISTRATOR Dina Mastrantoni FRONT COVER Stefan Sagmeister Photo By Jesse Milns

City Life Magazine • Volume 11 • Issue 1 • Feb/Mar 2013 City Life Magazine is published bimonthly by Dolce Publishing Inc. 111 Zenway Blvd., Unit 30, Vaughan, Ont. L4H 3H9 T: (905) 264-6789 • (1-888) 68-DOLCE F: (905) 264-3787 • Subscribe online at or by calling (905) 264-6789, TOLL-FREE (1-888) 68-DOLCE. City Life’s yearly subscription fee is $13.80. We accept Visa, MC & AMEX. Send cheque or money order to Dolce Publishing Inc. 111 Zenway Blvd. #30, Vaughan, Ont. L4H 3H9 Publication Mail Agreement No. 40026675 Return Undeliverable Canadian Addresses to: Dolce Publishing Inc., 111 Zenway Blvd., Suite 30, Vaughan, Ont. L4H 3H9 All rights reserved. Any reproduction is strictly prohibited without written consent from the publishers. DISTRIBUTION AND CIRCULATION

City Life Magazine reaches 251,200+ readers per issue through household distribution, newsstand sales and event partnerships across Canada. Inquiries about where City Life Magazine is available for sale should be directed to Disticor Magazine Distribution Services: (905) 619-6565

ISSN 1206-1778 Next Issue: Apr/May 2013

Michelle Zerillo-Sosa Publisher/Editor-In-Chief


8 City Life Magazine Feb/Mar 2013

The opinions expressed in City Life Magazine are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher or advertisers. Dolce Publishing Inc. does not assume liability for content. The material in this magazine is intended for information purposes only and is in no way intended to supersede professional advice. We are proud to be a Canadian company that has successfully published magazines for the past 17 years without any government funding or financial assistance of programs to cover editorial costs. It has all been possible thanks to the wonderful support of our readers and advertisers.

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



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— Amanda Lang Simona PPanetta Si Managing Editor



ack in December, during the mid-season finale of The Walking Dead, 10.5 million people tuned in, and I was one of them. Why are we drawn to media starring these wretched, shambling beings? It seems so bizarre. But as you’ll find out on page 54, these rotting hosts of infection are actually quite relatable. The repetitive nature and monotony of the 9-5 grind can often make us feel like zombies, shuffling through routine tasks, staring mindlessly at computers, idling in traffic and lumbering from work to home before we do it again tomorrow. Not Stefan Sagmeister. The graphic designer, who takes year-long sabbaticals to recharge his happy-o-meter, shows us how to break free from the chains and grasp happiness by the horns in our cover story on page 28. Journalist Amanda Lang paints a similar sentiment, probing Canada’s stagnant productivity industry and reminding us how much more content we’d be if we simply questioned the status quo (page 32). Childlike curiosity, she says, can lead us off the beaten path of innovation, big and small. We all hope to reinvent ourselves at some point in our lives — big changes, small changes, any changes. We want to look and feel better, we hope to be better friends and gain as many followers on Twitter as we can. But what does deep-down happiness mean and how do you go about finding it? Making magazines is what makes us happy. We hope you find it here, within the pages of our 10th anniversary kick-off issue.

Posting Dolce DOLCE MEDIA GROUP 111 Zenway Blvd. Suite 30 Vaughan, Ont. L4H 3H9 Fax: (905) 264-3787

As our company continues to expand, we are always looking for qualified candidates with publishing experience in the area of Sales, Web Design and Editorial. If you are interested in joining the Dolce Media Group team, we invite you to submit your resumé.

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*No animals were harmed in the making of this campaign.


The rights and freedoms we enjoy in Canada are a great privilege, a lesson Rumeet Billan learned during a journey to Africa in 2007. What she saw changed her perspective on life forever. In “The Privilege of Choice” (page 62), Billan tells her tale of revelation, and her ongoing endeavour to bring education and opportunity to developing countries around the world.

Web Design SEO [Search Engine Optimization] CMS [Content Management System] E-Commerce

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10 City Life Magazine Feb/Mar 2013

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City Life Magazine Feb/Mar 2013



PAUL’S BOOT CAMP Lucy sculpted, crunched and lunged her way to a fit body at Vaughan’s legendary Paul’s Boot Camp was June 2, 2010, when Lucy Addario made the decision that altered her life: she joined Paul’s Boot Camp (PBC). “I was tired of all the inhibitions that came with being overweight,” says Addario, a mother of two. She was 232 pounds when she first stepped into the caloriesearing atmosphere of PBC,with no expectation of reaching her ultimate fitness goal. But after a few hours on the mat with fitness guru Paul Walker, Addario had to admit that there was something different about the atmosphere. “My journey was not one of the ordinary,” says Addario, 43, who pushed through her initial doubt to slowly chisel her way down to a glorious 138 pounds. “It was long and challenging, yet despite these challenges, PBC helped me to accomplish my dream.” And what makes Paul’s Boot Camp such a hit? According to owner and certified personal trainer Paul Walker, his two key ingredients to a successful boot camp are a very passionate staff that pours their heart into training, and having a blast while blasting calories. Since joining Paul’s Boot “Lucy has inspired so Camp in 2010, many ladies at the studio Lucy Addario has lost 94 pounds through her determination and will,”says Walker.“She has made so many friends and has earned the respect of so many. She sets her goals and meets them.” As for Addario, she’s thrilled to finally be comfortable in her own skin. “This experience not only gave me my confidence back, it gave me a healthier perspective on the importance of fitness.”, 905.851.7722


12 City Life Magazine Feb/Mar 2013

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Tweet us your event at @CityLifeToronto


1a. A stunning selection of wedding gowns at Canada’s Bridal Show

For more events, please visit

For sponsorship inquiries, please email

1. CANADA’S BRIDAL SHOW Brides-to-be gathered at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre on January 4, 5 and 6 at Canada’s Bridal Show. From the latest in wedding wear to fresh décor themes and gush-worthy venues, exhibitors unveiled those perfect touches that make wedding days special. Celebrating all things bridal, the innovative show introduced a Bride Rewards Program, allowing ladies-in-love to receive points on purchases made at the exhibits. One lucky guest won a $5,000 wedding cake designed by special guest Cake Boss Buddy Valastro. Mark your calendars for the next Canada’s Bridal Show this upcoming September.


1b. Cakes and dresses and jewels, oh my! Canada’s Bridal Show brims with all things bridal

2. THE POLLINATION PROJECT What would you do with $1,000? Supporting individuals eager to put their social conscience in motion, The Pollination Project doles out a grand to today’s changemakers — individuals with ideas that will touch the lives of others — each day of the year. Whether your idea will benefit your neighbour, the environment, animals, social justice or community health and wellness, the non-profit organization aspires to nourish your intended good deed with financial support. Calling on individuals in our community to manifest goodness in the world through individual action, founder Ari Nessel, a Dallas-based entrepreneur, explains that almost everyone has the capability of spreading hope and change, no matter the size. “The Pollination Project believes not that we need more Mahatma Gandhi’s or Martin Luther King Jr.’s in the world, what we need is individuals — large amounts of people — who are making small changes in and around their community.” To kick-start change in your community, apply for a grant at

2. Ari Nessel founded The Pollination Project in hopes of sparking change through individual action

3. FORGET NOT Mary Morganelli often turns to art to express her emotions. Her recent painting, Forget Not, is a conceptualization of a mind-blowing disease — visual and spatial confusion, a struggle with memory and time, the remnants of one’s identity, a fragility of mind — that is both debilitating and permanent. The man represents her father who, along with a tidal wave of individuals diagnosed annually, has grappled with Alzheimer’s disease over the last five years. “My father was always the type to always be smiling; he loved life no matter how bad it was. Now he doesn’t know anyone anymore. It’s awful,” says Morganelli. The King City resident hopes to shed light on the devastating effects of Alzheimer’s on the individual and his or her family, as well as raise support for the Alzheimer Society of York Region, which helped to arrange care for her father at Maple Health Centre. Dubbed the “Silver Tsunami,” Alzheimer’s is an impending crisis that is a cause of concern for leading global experts. The Alzheimer Society predicts that 1.1 million Canadians will live with dementia by 2038 — that’s one person diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or related dementia every two minutes. “My father’s condition has made us more aware of how devastating it is for other families that struggle with Alzheimer’s.”

14 City Life Magazine Feb/Mar 2013

4. At Vaughan Mills Legoland Discovery Centre, kids build happiness, brick by brick

3. Artist Mary Morganelli hopes to inspire Alzheimer’s awareness through her art

4. LEGOLAND DISCOVERY CENTRE AT VAUGHAN MILLS Imagine your favourite childhood pastime come to life. Opening March 1, Merlin Entertainments, the world’s second-largest visitor attraction operation, invites Lego lovers to Vaughan Mills’ Legoland Discovery Centre, the company’s first-ever project in Canada. Complete with a 4D cinema, brick pools, Lego rides and more, the approximate 34,000 sq.ft. indoor playground will build the perfect day of fun for families.

City Life Magazine Feb/Mar 2013


Tweet us your event at @CityLifeToronto


For more events, please visit

For sponsorship inquiries, please email


5. IDS13 From January 24-27, designers from across the globe gathered at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre for the renowned Interior Design Show. A hub of experimentation, creativity and design synergy, IDS brings the Canadian and international design community together for a gathering of global proportions. Inspirational exhibits featured emerging and established designers, and highlighted international interior, architectural and product design trends. Canadian-made design stars, including Vancouver’s Douglas Coupland and founder of Dwell Studio Christiane Lemieux, were on hand, while Toronto’s Andrew Richard Designs unveiled a stunning new collection. www.interi

5. This mod design by Bo Concept brings a minimalist touch to the Inte the Interior ter tte erior i De Design esig sign nS Show ho how

7b. L'Altra Italia brings the finest Italian directors and films to Toronto and Vaughan

7a. L'Altra Italia will screen the Italian film Il Giorno In Più this spring

7. L’ALTRA ITALIA Culture-infused films straight from the boot is what L’Altra Italia — the non-profit organization highlighting Italian arts — has been bringing to Toronto since 2002. Partnered with TIFF, L’Altra Italia screens the finest Italian projects at one of the country’s most renowned locations. For a kick of culture, movie-lover members can catch the screening of Il Giorno In Più at the TIFF Bell Lightbox on February 8 or at the Colossus Vaughan Cinemas March 21. La Moglie Del Sarto screens at the Lightbox on March 1 and at Colossus on February 28.

6a. Vaughan Public Libraries hosts annual Black History Month activities that educate and inspire

6. BLACK HISTORY MONTH AT VAUGHAN PUBLIC LIBRARIES Vaughan Public Libraries is kicking off this year’s Black 6b. Artist Celia Wilson shares her work as part of History Month with this year's Black History a series of art Month celebrations exhibits featuring the works of Black History artists Celia Wilson and Samar Smith. The educational experience will continue with a visit from author Sandra Whiting, who shares legends and folktales from West Africa and the Caribbean in celebration and promotion of ethnic diversity.

8a. Giada Zingone, 5, donated her long locks to Angel Hair for Kids last winter

9. Pal Di Iulio, Karen Manarin, Nina Perfetto, Ann Andrachuk, Bruce Rodrigues, Maria Rizzo and various members of the Toronto Catholic District School Board, the Columbus Centre Board, Villa Charities Inc., along with local politicians 8b. Angel Hair for Kids aims to provide ill and underprivileged children with hair loss solutions

8. ANGEL HAIR FOR KIDS Five-year-old Giada Zingone made the decision to change a child’s life. Following in her older sister Noemi’s footsteps, Giada cut her hair and donated it to Angel Hair for Kids, a division of A Child’s Voice Foundation. Angel Hair for Kids is dedicated to providing wigs and hair loss solutions to children suffering from medical conditions or treatments that cause hair loss.

16 City Life Magazine Feb/Mar 2013

9. A RENAISSANCE BEGINS At a signing ceremony on Dec. 19, 2012, the Toronto Catholic District School Board and Villa Charities Inc. announced a joint development project that will function as a hub for Toronto’s burgeoning performing and fine arts community. Serving the educational, cultural and recreational needs of the Dufferin Street and Lawrence Avenue West neighbourhood, the $50 million redevelopment project will house a variety of services, including a reinvisioned Columbus Centre, Carrier Art Gallery, Day Care and a new Dante Alighieri Academy that will boast space for 1,300 pupils, extended fitness and music facilities, dance studios and a shared theatre. The first phase of the project is anticipated for completion in 2016.

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City Life Magazine Feb/Mar 2013



These spring beauty picks get the green light Written By Simona Panetta


4 2 5

1. LEAF IT TO ME Channel your inner mermaid goddess with this trio of Gold Leaf, Black Karat and Emerald baked eyeshadows. 2. BLUE CRUSH Ride the wave with a pop of turquoise. Sweep thiss kohl eyeliner along your waterline and pair with a soft matte grey eye. e. 3. THE SKINNY ON CHUBBY: Nude is all the rage this season, and d that’s where Curviest Caramel comes in. This new shade leaves a nude de pink pout that stays put. 4. GET CHEEKY From dull to doll, the pigments of fuchsia and orange ge in Pommettes d’Amour warm your way to a springtime glow. 5. END OF THE LINE This rich formula kicks crow’s feet to the curb and overcomes under-eye lines for a brighter, smoother gaze. 6. CRAZY FOR COCONUT Organic virgin coconut oil does wonders for or your sskin and hair. Use a small amount to heal blemishes and dryness, or pre-shampoo hair treatment to add volume and shine. as a p BELLE OF THE BALM Say good night to imperfections. This overnight 7. BEL g t treatment burns the midnight oil, helping to detoxify, rebalance and treatm purify your skin with 12 essential oils. TEAL ME AWAY From emerald and mint cream to olive and 8. TEA pistachio, green thumbs are springing up everywhere. Nail down a pistach weekend vibe with Truly Teal by Butter London. hip we www.but BEAUTY AND THE BRIGHT Packed with antioxidants and 9. BEA this tube of multi-purpose magic perfects and protects the SPF, th skin, cutting your morning beauty routine in half. www





3 18 City Life Magazine Feb/Mar 2013

Photo #1 provided by Holt Renfrew,; Photos #2 and 4 provided by Lancome,; Photos # 3,5,8,9 provided by Sephora,; Photo #7 provided by Shoppers Drug Mart,

Pret t y

makeup your mind




Gianna Ugolini, Owner, Esthetician

Cathy Korbis, Owner, Hair Stylist

rom Montreal to New York, esthetic designers Gianna Ugolini and Cathy Korbis of G.C. & Co. Salon & Med Spa have been perfecting their crafts and fuelling their mutual passion for scrubbing, lacquering and blow-drying the world beautiful. Today, this dynamic duo is bringing their world-class expertise to Vaughan. “People are under the impression that it’s impossible to have skin like today’s celebrities when in fact, they can,” says Gianna, who studied under celebrity skin care specialist Dayle Breault in New York. “If they just use the proper products and receive facials religiously, they can have gorgeous skin.” And with G.C. & Co.’s affordable prices, Gianna and Cathy make this

Vaughan’s beauty darlings Gianna and Cathy have relocated from Kleinburg to Woodbridge in order to expand and serve you better!

routine possible for those who don’t frequent the red carpet. “You feel good, your pocket feels good, you look great,” says Cathy, who studied in Montreal as well as in the Big Apple under Joico for over four years, honing her talents at the brand’s many hair shows. With their new location officially open, loyal clients and newcomers alike are welcome as Gianna and Cathy dish out fresh, unique and luxurious treatments, like their all-new Brazilian Blowout, oxygen facial with microdermabrasion — Gianna’s specialty — and bridal spa packages, which include detoxifying facials and hair treatments., (905) 851-0008 6175 Highway 7, Unit 7-B, Vaughan, Ont.

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City Life Magazine Feb/Mar 2013


Artist, photographer and philanthropist Shawn Van Daele proves that hope comes in many colours Written By Amanda Storey

Shawn Van Daele was inspired to use his talents to spark some hope in the world

Ryley, “The Queen of Hearts”


began with a child’s doodle. Shawn Van Daele’s parents were rummaging through their belongings at home when they unearthed an old hand-drawn picture created by their son. They passed it on to Van Daele to take a peek at his childhood talents, but the time-worn image sparked much more than reminiscing for the 35-year-old photographer. On that day in April of 2012, the Drawing Hope Project was born. Van Daele, an artist both behind the camera and in front of the computer screen, decided to recreate his sevenyear-old self ’s masterpiece using his

20 City Life Magazine Feb/Mar 2013

skills in photography and Photoshop. The end result was a fantastical, nostalgic mimic of the scribbled original, and it inspired him to offer that same magic to children struggling with life-threatening illnesses. “The idea behind it is to help kids realize that anything is possible,” says Van Daele of the Drawing Hope Project, which has made a colourful splash in the lives of families across North America. “They get to see their imaginations come to life.” Sick children from across the continent are conjuring up their own doodles for Van Daele. Once the art is in his hands, the magic begins



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City Life Magazine Feb/Mar 2013


Owen, “The Emperor of Penguins”

Jack, “The Hero of Hope Street”

Marco, “The Explorer”




David, “Keeper of the Stars”

with a photoshoot with Van Daele himself, followed by long hours at the computer. The end result: a recreation of their drawing that not only captures the whimsy and wildness of a child’s imagination, but shares their story of struggle and hope with the world. “It started out as a storybook,” Van Daele says of his initial plan. “I was going to take all the drawings and put them together, all the kids becoming a specific character in the book. It’s turned into something a lot bigger than that, though. It’s something that the families are finding hope in.” Seven-year-old Ryley Mitchell was one of the first to get involved in Drawing Hope. The recipient of a heart transplant at seven months old, Ryley and her family have been tugged through the ups and downs of childhood illness. “Her life is so — I don’t know, reality-based, I guess you could say,” says her mother, Johanna Mitchell. “She has tests and blood work all the time, so for her to be able to draw a picture and

22 City Life Magazine Feb/Mar 2013

Chance, “The Captain”

— Shawn Van Daele then have somebody make that picture magical, it’s sort of a little break from that reality.” Ryley makes her debut as “The Queen of Hearts” this February with the release of Th e Drawing Hope Project: Th e Hunt for the Hope Stone. Sailing, flying and casting spells alongside her are the likes of Kayla, “The Forest Keeper,” who was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease at the age of nine; Chance, “The Captain,” who struggles with pre-B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia; and Dominic, “The Time Traveler,” who was born prematurely with Down syndrome. “You know, it’s easy to be beat down and depressed in situations like that. But it’s also just as easy to try to find hope in the whole process of coping and dealing with stuff,” says Van Daele, who is optimistic that one day Drawing Hope will touch the lives of children not only in North America, but worldwide. “That’s kind of the route I took, and I took that as an inspiration, as well.”

Kayla, “The Forest Keeper” Alexandria, “Queen of Candyland”



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All treatment performed by Certified Specialists in Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics City Life Magazine Feb/Mar 2013




Everyone talks about “the moment.” Seizing it, grabbing it, going for it. But how many actually do it? Sportsnet Connected anchor Evanka Osmak is a case study for carpe diem Written By Madeline Stephenson / Photography By Jesse Milns


vanka Osmak was standing at the centre of the Sky Dome in the spring of 2006 when she saw an opportunity. The budding Oakville-raised news reporter, who was working for an NBC station in Yuma, Arizona, had flown to Toronto to interview Blue Jays’ catcher Bengie Molina. “I thought, ‘OK this is my chance. I’ve got to say something, I’ve got to act,’” says Osmak, who aspired to

24 City Life Magazine Feb/Mar 2013

return home and cover Canadian sports once her contract was up. Surrounded by veteran journalists, she stepped up to the plate and marched over to Sportsnet anchor Jamie Campbell. “I’m Evanka Osmak, I’m from Oakville but I’m working down in Arizona. Is there any chance I could send you my tape and you could critique it?” she said. Impressed by her confidence and charisma, he handed over all of his contact information and agreed to review her demo.

He never heard from her. Six months later, Campbell was hosting a holiday dinner at his family home when the phone rang. It was Sportsnet news director Mike English. He was combing the country for a female sports anchor and wanted to see if Campbell, who’s regularly approached by aspiring broadcasters, had any qualified leads. Campbell immediately recalled his conversation with Osmak, but her name escaped him and he had no

contact information. The only thing he could remember was that she was raised in Oakville and working in Arizona. “I said, ‘Look, here’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to spend no more than 10 minutes on the Internet and I will see if I can find her.’” Realizing his chances were slim, he monotonously typed the words “Arizona Television Stations” into Google. His search rang up 40 or 50 news stations, but when he saw the word Yuma, something struck him. He clicked the on-air talent link and “up comes this picture of Evanka from Oakville, Ontario. I remember sitting there going, ‘I cannot believe how lucky I was to find her so quickly and so randomly.’” English emailed Osmak to see if she was still interested in returning to Toronto. “I thought, ‘Is this a joke?’” She sent her demo tape and was swiftly flown to Toronto to read highlights during an onair interview. “It was so bigtime compared to what I was doing in Arizona, it was intimidating,” she says. “They liked me and I liked them and a couple of months later I was here working. If it weren’t for Jamie Campbell, I wouldn’t be here,” says the host of Sportsnet Connected. At the studio in downtown Toronto, Osmak looks right at home. Cinched in a sleeveless red and black dress, the buttery-blond broadcaster can’t be missed. “Osmak! You’re here early for your six-forty-five meeting,” a coworker yells. He’s right, she admits. It’s 2 p.m. and, considering she works the night shift, Osmak would normally be napping right now. Instead, she settles into a leather chair in a deserted lounge that’s usually abuzz with hockey banter. Eight-or-so TVs stare blankly at her. “It’s so upsetting that they can’t work something out,” she says, prior to the CBA ratification. “I love watching hockey, I love reading hockey highlights, but I don’t like talking about negotiations. It’s such a bore, so I hope they get something done.” Osmak has never been the type to hold back. The civil engineering graduate had been working in the field for two

years when she began questioning her career choice. “I was 24-years-old and I was lost,” she says. Inspired by a friend who was chasing his dream of coaching basketball in the States, Osmak began paying attention to her own passions. “I loved how he was so driven and I thought, ‘I’ve got to find something that drives me because engineering isn’t what I want to wake up for in the morning.’” Intrigued by the world of broadcasting, Osmak enrolled in a fourmonth radio and television program at


“I was making absolutely nothing and I was living in a hotel room, driving home every weekend.” She remembers her dad’s displeasure of telling friends his daughter left her great engineering job to live in a hotel and work as an announcer. “He’s defi nitely come around now. He’s one of my biggest fans,” she says with a smile. Persistent Osmak, who was born in Ridgewood, New Jersey, relentlessly sent her demo tape to stations across North America. In February 2005 she got a call from an NBC affiliate in Arizona. The news director for KYMA got straight down to business: “I got your tape. It looks good. If you’re willing to work for no money, come on down.” Her dual citizenship was a perk that paid off. “I said, ‘This is something I have to do.’” She went home, packed up the car and drove three days straight to Yuma with her dad. Whether it was covering high school football games, investigating illegal immigration or skydiving with the U.S. Army, her two-year contract gave her the experience she needed. “I was making peanuts in Arizona, getting up at two in the morning and then going out with the camera to the middle of the desert and being like, ‘What are we doing? Where am I?’ But I look back on it and that’s what’s made this even better,” she says, scanning her eyes across the studio. Since that game-changing chat at the Dome, the gutsy tennis enthusiast has become a powerful force in Canadian ¤



— Evanka Osmak Seneca College. ”I knew coming to the end that sports was what I wanted to do just because I’d grown up involved and surrounded by it and I thought, ‘That’s the avenue I want to take.’” “It didn’t work out that way at all.” Osmak hit a brick wall when she started applying for jobs after college. After being told numerous times that she needed more experience, she put her dream job on hold and took a news gig at a radio station in Orillia.

FAST FACTS 1 In high school Osmak was a ball girl for a Canadian tennis tournament called Sunlife Nationals. 2 Osmak played ultimate Frisbee with her brothers for seven years. “Everyone thinks it’s granola-eating hippies out there on the field just tossing a disc around — no, no, no! It got pretty aggressive and I‘ve had some injuries. It’s a pretty intense sport.” 3 One of Osmak’s first reporting assignments was covering a Prince concert at the ACC while studying broadcasting at Seneca College. “We just stood outside his bus and we were like, ‘He’s in there somewhere!’” 4 While she has a definite sweet tooth, Osmak’s favourite food is quinoa. “I just found out that Fresh is coming to Eglinton. More green goji salads, yes! I’m a bit of a loser like that.” City Life Magazine Feb/Mar 2013


EVANKA OSMAK HIGHLIGHTS Building on your own success, what advice do you offer aspiring sportscasters? I think for me it’s that experience I had in Yuma of doing everything. And volunteering, also, volunteering at Rogers TV. That’s what I always tell people who ask “How do I get into the biz?” or “What route should I take?” I think volunteering is so important because you have to know what everyone’s job is. Everyone’s job is so important to putting the show on the air at the end of the day. Without the guys cutting the highlights, my producer putting the show together, without the camera guy, without the director, I wouldn’t be able to do my job. There are so many people behind the scenes that you might not see at home, so having the experience of putting yourself in their position or doing their job for a day, for an hour, for whatever it is, is invaluable.

Which event from the Vancouver Winter Olympic Games of 2010 will you never forget? It will always be the gold medal hockey game. There wasn’t going to be enough time to go to a bar, we figured they’d all be packed, so about 25 to 30 of us crammed into the studio and we just watched the gold medal game together. And that was really fun, I enjoyed that. Who’s your favourite athlete to interview? I think I’ll always remember my very first interview while working at Sportsnet. It was on opening day at the Dome for the Blue Jays home opener and I talked to Aaron Hill. He was just such a nice,

friendly guy and he always remembered my name after that. He made it really easy and he was personable, I think that’s what I’ll remember. Is there a Toronto sports bar you frequent? I’m still trying to find a good one in my new neck of the woods. I guess I would say Real Sports but it’s a little overwhelming for me. I think my ideal sports day would be inviting people over and having food at home and then turning on a couple of televisions and going to different games. And then having my PVR and being able to rewind and record everything.

Evanka Osmak sits behind the desk of Sportsnet Connected. The 32-year-old anchor joined the Sportsnet team in 2007, after working as a reporter at an NBC affiliate in Yuma, Arizona

¤ sports broadcasting. “Some people are too afraid to say anything at all and maybe in that case, they’re not necessarily cut out to be on camera,” says Campbell. Reporting on events such as Rogers Cup and the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic Games, her distinctive voice resonates with viewers. “This is something I never imagined I’d be doing 10 years ago,” says Osmak, 32. But what if she never had the courage to approach Campbell? What if she decided, after a gruelling four years studying engineering that she should just stick to the original plan? Campbell still shakes his head at the chance of it all. “I just think, ‘I wonder if they would have found her anyway?’” Two hours have passed and Osmak has just enough time to squeeze in a wine tasting for her upcoming February wedding at The Royal Conservatory. In another twist of fate, she met her fiancé in Vancouver while covering the Olympics. Based on her serendipitous past, one must wonder what Osmak’s life will look like 10 years from now. “I hope to be right here,” she says.

26 City Life Magazine Feb/Mar 2013

City Life Magazine Feb/Mar 2013


Renowned graphic designer Stefan Sagmeister visits Toronto to debut his riveting installation, “The Happy Show�

Photo by Jesse Milns

What makes you happy? Tweet us at @CityLifeToronto



New York City’s glorified graphic designer Stefan Sagmeister showcases his acclaimed exhibition in Toronto Written By Madeline Stephenson


opies of Stefan Sagmeister’s Things I Have Learned in My Life So Far are carefully culled from a cardboard box and arranged like the Great Pyramid of Giza in the gift shop at Toronto’s Design Exchange. Handled like bone China, this inanimate book with content so far from idle has the razor-edged expression of irony. Its author, a wonder of the design world, is upstairs readying his highly anticipated exhibition for tomorrow’s big reveal. True to stereotypes, the New Yorker is running half-an-hour behind schedule. It’s 12 p.m. and beside the shop, two men have just begun adhering lifesize letters to a freshly painted taxicab yellow wall in an artery of the original Toronto Stock Exchange building. By the time Sagmeister is ready, the first six characters of his forthcoming exhibit’s title, “The Happy Show,” are revealed. A cheeky caricature of a copulating couple

covers the face of an elevator, offering a taste of what awaits as its doors provocatively slide open to let us in. On the second floor, the man of the hour is heard though not seen, wrapping up his third consecutive interview. Visitors are cautiously welcomed by Sagmeister’s handwritten advisory: “This exhibition will not make you happier.” The show is a sensorial glimpse of the designer’s decade-long exploration of that very emotion. This multimedia endeavour metamorphosed from maxims in his personal diary to a poetic book to a public portrayal of finding life’s ultimate purpose that will unravel in a feature-length documentary scheduled to debut in the fall of 2013. Sagmeister makes his mission clear through the words of French mathematician and philosopher Blaise Pascal lacquered on one of the walls: “All men seek happiness. This is without exception. Whatever different means they employ, they all

tend to this end. The cause of some going to war, and of others avoiding it, is the same desire in both, attended with different views.” Those polychromatic views are ubiquitous in this above-ground, underground-like space. A happiness scale designed out of 10 vertical gumball machines poses a stimulating question: How Happy Are You? Research on marital satisfaction, statistics on country-to-country happiness, evidence that money doesn’t mean much, video installations and typographic quotes from his coveted monograph, such as “Trying to look good limits my life” and “Keeping a diary supports personal development,” are especially striking. When Sagmeister emerges from a pop-up wall in the centre of the room, he instantly quells any preconceived notions one might have of a crowedabout graphic designer with a self-titled studio in the Manhattan neighbourhood of Chelsea and a self-cultivated esthetic that’s gone global. “Hi, hi, hi,” he says in his rich Austrian accent and auspicious smile. Dressed in a wooly, charcoal blazer, dark jeans and butterscotch Oxford shoes, the towering 50-year-old, known for his Rolling Stones album City Life Magazine Feb/Mar 2013


covers, edgy HBO ad campaigns and well-watched TED Talks, looks more like the rock star he once aspired to be than the A-list innovator he’s become. “Look,” he says with excitement, flashing a teensy, yellow-faced catalogue from behind his back. His oversized hands flounder as they fan through the pocket-sized paperback, titled The Happy Film, which will double as pitch material for the movie. Just like the revenue from his speaking engagements, all of its profits will be funnelled into finishing the film. “This is my first time seeing it,” adds Sagmeister, who moved from Vienna to New York City on a Fulbright Scholarship in ’87. A press coordinator asks if he’d like another coffee. His swelling smile says yes, but he hesitates as if we live in a world where lips could be read. “I always want another coffee,” he surrenders with a grin. We move to a leather bench where privacy pervades. It’s there that he explains his typical caffeine routine actually consists of seven to eight espressos a day, adding fuel to his organic alertness, his delightful repetition of words (ya, ya, ya, ya, ya), his need to cross and re-cross his legs every other minute, and his overall cheerful disposition despite having spent the last few days handwriting comments all over the exhibition. “I’m very happy with the progress, I think we’re going to be ready for the opening, ya.” Challenging the profit-prophets of overcrowded ad agencies that massproduce commerciality over creativity, Sagmeister has successfully branded himself an outcast. “Most design offices work to promote or to sell something, which is totally fine, and I admire the people that can do this in a fashion that is delightful, but I had always, since a long time, had the suspicion that it could also be used for other things — that if it can communicate ‘please buy this,’ it could also communicate many other things. So this is another attempt to see if that’s possible.” His philosophy of keeping his studio small and principled has gone beyond attracting a like-minded client bracket. In 2010 it inspired 23-year-old multidisciplinary design prodigy Jessica Walsh (who turned down a lucrative job at Apple) to seek a position that would

30 City Life Magazine Feb/Mar 2013

enrich her imagination. “Stefan’s work always struck a chord with me. I love that much of his work evokes emotion; whether it’s awe, shock, delight, disgust or humour,” says Walsh, who reached out via email. “He’s not only an extremely talented creative, but also very smart in business and a genuinely nice person. These are all things I strive for.” Sagmeister, who has a reputation for hiring as infrequently as Microsoft modifies its logo, responded immediately and invited her to visit his eponymous studio on 23rd Street to chat. “Our meeting was very brief. After 10 minutes of flipping through my book he asked me if I would be interested in working with him,” she remembers. Last spring, he went a step further and elected to make Walsh a partner. News of the new alliance was exposed in a risqué mailer that featured both of them in the buff with the explanation, “Nineteen years after the founding of

pharmaceuticals. What has he learned so far? “Well, a good number of things. One would be that exercise works better than meditation, which was a big surprise to me because I had meditated before and found it helpful,” says Sagmeister. Throughout the process he’s read more than three dozen psychology books and consulted several leading experts. “The whole show made a big difference in my life. I am engaged now which I wasn’t before, so definitely my life was clearly affected.” Sagmeister has also become famous for his 365-day sabbaticals, which he takes every seven years to recharge his creative batteries. As he explains in a TED Talk called The Power of Time Off that has nearly 900,000 hits, taking five retirement years and interspersing them throughout your career can prove to be highly stimulating. After his first sabbatical in 2001, Sagmeister says his job became a calling again, his firm was

HE DIPS BACK INTO HIS MIND’S INK, REDRAWING THE SCENE AT MICK JAGGER’S FOUR SEASONS HOTEL SUITE Sagmeister Inc., we are renaming the company to Sagmeister & Walsh.” Just like the mailer, the selling point of "The Happy Show" is in the transparency of its message. It lacks the overly crafted, abstract distractions that can make highbrow art utterly incomprehensible. It’s meant to be understood, discussed and interpreted while giving you some saucy, visual condiments along the way. “I have no claim to know what makes Canadians happy,” says Sagmeister. “I can only talk about what makes me happy. But I have also realized as I get older that I’m much less special than I thought when I was younger, and that whatever is true to me, a whole bunch of other people can relate to, too.” In the film, Sagmeister is seen as a social guinea pig for various happiness experiments that span from meditation to cognitive therapy and even

financially rewarded and everything that followed was a product of time off. He’s not alone. Both Google and 3M Co. have been lauded for their corporate innovation programs that offer employees a fair percentage of personal time to pursue work-related passions. These breaks supposedly bred the inventions of Gmail, Scotch tape and Post-it notes. “The work that comes out of that year flows back into the company and into society at large,” says Sagmeister. After informing his clients that he’d be conducting another fullyear of experiments in 2008, he jetted to Bali where he awoke to roosters at 5 a.m., meditated, created furniture and continued filming his documentary. As for the next one, “I put things on a list but I don’t know yet where it’s going to be or how we’re going to go about it.”

Just as his working years are peppered with pauses, his words are punctuated by spaces of thought. In fact, the only story he seems to tell with the fluid recollection that leaves no room for hesitation is what Sagmeister deems one of his ultimate moments of happiness. It occurred in 1997, after he had just received the green light from The Rolling Stones to design their Bridges to Babylon album cover. “Keith Richards’s limo driver had picked me up at the studio and I think on that trip the sun was just going down and I was basically going to Newark Airport to fly to L.A. to meet them. That was the happy moment,” he says. “The meeting itself was more hilarious than happy.” He dips back into his mind’s ink, redrawing the scene at Mick Jagger’s Four Seasons Hotel suite. “It was so movie-set like. I had seen very gigantic suites, but it was just enormous.” Jagger and Sagmeister began discussing their favourite Stones album covers, both agreeing, in reverse order, that Exile on Main St., Some Girls and Sticky Fingers were at the top of their lists. Cuing the comedy, drummer Charlie Watts, who was listening in, leaned over and quietly asked Jagger what the cover of Sticky Fingers looks like. “For many Stones fans, that’s their favourite album,” says Sagmesiter, of late pop artist Andy Warhol’s iconic jean cover featuring a working zipper. “The fact that the drummer didn’t know what most people consider to be the best album they’ve ever done was just hilarious to me,” he says, curling into a laugh. Walsh offers another illustration. “The happiest I’ve ever seen Stefan was when he first fell in love — and when he was handwriting all over the walls at the first Happy Show installation,” she says. After an affable farewell, Sagmeister reunites with his bona fide business partner to present the freshly minted catalogue. Walsh teases that “it might be just a hair too small,” and they eventually segue into a storm of laughter. The advisory Sagmeister scrawled at the entrance is apparently a lie.

Stefan Sagmeister’s travelling exhibit, "The Happy Show," pictured at the Institute of Contemporary Art at the University of Pennsylvania “The Happy Show” will be running at Toronto’s Design Exchange until March 3, 2012.

City Life Magazine Feb/Mar 2013



you to a much more creative part of your brain where you do get some of those real breakthrough insights. Curiosity is the key because it never allows you to get complacent and do what happens yesterday just because it works, which is a very status quo bias. It’s a very seductive kind of a proposition that this is working already, why would we mess with it, but that is also the root to mediocrity and unhappiness.


Amanda Lang’s new book bares her passion for Canada and how curiosity can breed innovation

Amanda Lang found the key to unlock a happy life. How the “why” factor can push the rest of us to challenge our fears and overcome mediocrity ,QWHUYLHZ%\6LPRQD3DQHWWD


omplacency and mediocrity are given a swift kick in the pants in the thoughtprovoking, empowering life book The Power of Why. In it, Amanda Lang sharply explains how curiosity, inquisitiveness and the ability to connect to ideas can unleash our predisposed ability to think like innovators, both at home and in the workplace. Lang, co-host of the The Lang & O’Leary Exchange and senior business correspondent for CBC News, discusses her debut book. What are some of the qualities you need to be an innovator? I think you need to allow for your natural curiosity, which I’ve come to believe quite passionately is a universal trait — it’s something we’re all born with

32 City Life Magazine Feb/Mar 2013



— and we know that because little kids are naturally curious. Real innovation is just about seeing possibility and connecting ideas. That’s it. My favourite definition of innovation is, “an old idea meets a new idea, and then something changes.” Einstein once said, “I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious.” Why is curiosity necessary for innovation, especially in today’s world? The key thing about curiosity is that it completely undermines the status quo. So, curiosity says, it doesn’t matter that we know that this works and we’ve done it this way before, we’re going to ask ourselves,“What could be different?”And that right away changes the way you’re seeing things and leaves you open, and it could be very incremental, it could be a very small change, but it could also get

Why is it that the majority of us take the road more travelled in that we don’t act on our ideas? I think we’re not trained to think of them or spot them when they come up, first of all, and then I think that even when we see them or identify that we’ve had a great idea, we don’t want to take the risk and sometimes that’s totally reasonable. If you’re a doctor, you don’t want to go off all the time inventing new things just because you’ve had a great idea. So maybe it’s just a reasonable thing that you don’t pursue every single innovative idea you have. But I do think we would do a lot more of it in our own lives, in our own jobs, if we didn’t fear failure, if we were willing to take risks — that’s the biggest impediment to why we don’t innovate. We are afraid to get the wrong answer, we are afraid to take the wrong step. And that’s also something we learned at school and from our parents: that to fail feels bad. And so I think that is one of the things that holds us back the most. Do you often question whether or not the standard classroom teaching method will prepare children for what the future will bring? I do, 100 per cent. And educators do as

well. We all know it’s not new. The current school system was perfectly designed for the industrial era and it’s not perfect for the post-industrial era. And if you just think about the way kids consume information — something like social media has transformed the way they think about their peers and what’s happening in the world and how they’re going to get information. If we don’t respond to that in school, if we say, “well now we’re going to use a textbook and a pencil,” even though in your own lives everything you use is different, it’s electronic and it’s very horizontal — we’re not going to get through to kids. So I think we’re going to have to adjust and we’re going to have to adjust fairly quickly, because otherwise we’re going to have this whole generation that just isn’t really relating to learning. And we can’t afford that, we really can’t. Kids need to love to learn and leave school as lifelong learners.



me, it’s actually any mid-sized company that somewhere in its corporate culture says, “good enough is good enough” that needs to give themselves a kick in the pants, because that’s where the danger lies. The danger is: “Well, it’s working, we’re all doing fine, why do we have to worry, why do we have to get our exports to China, why do we have to buy that expensive piece of equipment that we don’t really need today but we might need tomorrow?” It’s all the cutting-edge stuff that we stop doing when we get any slight bit of success, and that’s actually where, I think for Canada, the biggest danger lies. How does missing out on opportunities to innovate affect our happiness? I think we want to improve things and so, if you think of innovation really as connection or engagement and then curiosity — you can think in your own life, if you don’t actually think about what you’re doing, take that moment to say, “Why am I living here, why am I in this job, why am I in this relationship?” and then take the next step and say, “What are the questions I need to be asking here?” Those two things are very powerful change agents, and so when you talk about what innovation is, it’s really problem-solving is one way to put it, incremental change is another way to put it, but the key is, you can’t get it if you’re not engaged, if you’re not connected, and then if you’re not actually being a little curious. And so personally, those two things actually lend themselves to happiness. For the full interview with Amanda Lang, visit


— Amanda Lang

Why is it so important for businesses to question their own existence? It’s both important and very difficult for a business to say, “We know that this is working — this thing that’s making us money and we’re selling — but what should we be doing that we haven’t thought of yet?” That is the innovator’s dilemma — how do you keep doing what you’re doing on that market but also think about the markets you haven’t thought of yet but that some competitor’s going to come along and steal. Some really good businesses do use that in the fabric of their DNA: they really force the idea of change and renewal; they create a whole culture around it, systems around it. Companies like Procter & Gamble would be a good example. They know that if they don’t keep innovating, they’re out of business, and so they don’t just accept that they have a bunch of good products and stick at that — they keep trying to come out with new things. What industry sectors in Canada would improve if they just asked more questions? You can point to our manufacturing industry as one that is in desperate need of innovation that would result in higher productivity. But, there’s some really good research done that shows that at the small-company level — companies that are young, five years or fewer in business — we’re pretty productive, that Canadians actually are entrepreneurial: we start things up, we invest. But as our companies get bigger and older, we get into some weird complacency that sets in. So for




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City Life Magazine Feb/Mar 2013




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Add a punch — okay, a fist fight — of colour with this funky Navarrete Cylindrical Pouf from Italian design guru Rosario Missoni. Designed to work with wind and rain, it makes a delicious addition to both indoor and outdoor décor. RUST-CHIC Looking to give your home that desired rustic touch? You’ll find it in these charming, old time-inspired pieces that will let you take a seat, roll in some drinks and get organized in a haven that’s organically yours.

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City Life Magazine Feb/Mar 2013


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reducing and inevitably eliminating existing problem areas. Laser is also a great option for those with sensitive skin and experience skin irritations from shaving and waxing.

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City Life Magazine Feb/Mar 2013




TAX TIME Trusted mortgage broker Cristina Piccirillo shows you how to make your mortgage interest tax deductible :ULWWHQ%\&ULVWLQD3LFFLULOOR

Cristina Piccirillo, mortgage broker with Dominion Lending Centres


t’s tax time again and most Canadians are wondering, ‘Can I make my mortgage interest on my home tax deductible?’ I have great news for you! According to the Canada Revenue Agency, interest may be tax deductible if you borrow money for the purpose of earning income from a business or property. There are basically two strategies in doing this. Let’s assume you have a house with no mortgage on it and you want to make a business investment. You can obtain a line of credit and use your house as collateral. The interest paid on the home equity loan is then tax deductible because it was used for business purposes.

42 City Life Magazine Feb/Mar 2013

If you have an existing mortgage and excess cash or investment, you could sell your investments, pay off the mortgage, and then re-borrow the proceeds to use for the purpose of business investment. By doing this, you have converted your personal mortgage into a business debt where the interest then becomes tax deductible. The advantages of this approach provide flexibility in obtaining personal mortgages at low rates while preserving the use of the mortgage for business purposes. If you have a rental property, you can also use this tax-reduction strategy even further. When you receive your rent, you can then use the funds to help pay down your personal mortgage. Once paid, the rental funds move to the line of credit and are then transferred to the

investment bank account. They are then used to pay down the mortgage on the rental property. Using this method, it is possible to have your mortgage interest become fully tax deductible. With any strategy there are risks involved because such strategies, if not properly executed, can be challenged by the CRA. Therefore, it is important to properly structure such strategies and get the proper professional advice from a chartered professional accountant, financial planner and professional mortgage broker. Visit Cristina Piccirillo at Dominion Lending Centres’ new location: 281 Woodbridge Ave., Unit 28 Woodbridge, Ont. (905) 605-5363 /






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City Life Magazine Feb/Mar 2013





How a mother of eight gave birth to a multimillion-dollar business, why two co-workers kicked their cushy jobs to the curb and what happens when a speed skater switches arenas. Ontario’s top entrepreneurs and Ernst & Young award winners give us a wak wake-up call with their wonderstruck callings ,QWHUYLHZV%\0DGHOLQH6WHSKHQVRQ


problems. These are the three key areas that helped me to succeed when I was an athlete and have helped me now in my current role at Right To Play.

JOHANN OLAV KOSS Right To Play International founder and CEO 2012 Ontario Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year recipient for Social Entrepreneurship




44 City Life Magazine Feb/Mar 2013

Johann Olav Koss created a global humanitarian organization that puts the ball in the court of marginalized, disadvantaged children in more than 20 countries by making sport and play a right, not a privilege. Right To Play’s pragmatic founder was deemed “One of 100 Future Leaders of Tomorrow” by TIME magazine.

You’ve found success in many arenas, first as an Olympic speed skater and now as the CEO of a renowned humanitarian organization. What is your attitude towards achieving your goals, regardless of the realm? Koss: I believe that in order to achieve your goals you must be willing to work incredibly hard, stick to your vision and be able to see solutions where others see

What is one factor most entrepreneurs overlook but you view as essential? Koss: I believe that it is important to fail — to occasionally not experience success. These are the opportunities we have in life to learn and to grow as people. I believe that everything you do in life is for a reason and gives you the experience and the knowledge to tackle future problems. Everything that has happened in the past makes you the person you are today. I have learned more from my failures than my successes. What advice do you give aspiring entrepreneurs? Koss: Be willing to work incredibly hard and be passionate about what you’re doing. Starting an organization and getting other people to believe in what you’re doing and support you is a lot of hard work, but if you really care about what you’re doing and are willing to persevere, you will be successful. You don’t need a fully finished plan before you start — it is impossible to know everything you need to do anyway. The most important thing is to start living your entrepreneurial dream. What book has given you the biggest bang for your entrepreneurial buck? Koss: The book that has had the biggest impact on me is the biography of Fridtjof Nansen. He was an amazing Norwegian.


As a woman, do you feel heard by your current investment advisor?

SHAUN RICCI AND SOMEN MONDAL Field ID founders 2012 Ontario Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year recipients for Social Entrepreneurship

A recent TD Waterhouse poll * shows that 53 per cent of Canadian women believe that there are differences in the way women approach investing and working with an advisor.

Independence-craving co-workers Somen Mondal and Shaun Ricci left their consulting company careers to plant their entrepreneurial seed in Field ID, a paperless approach to safety that combines software, hand-held devices and the Internet to automate safety compliance inspection.




— Somen Mondal How important is it to choose the right partner? Ricci: I think that finding the right partner is integral. You need somebody that you can completely trust to do things when you can’t or you’re not around. So how did we know? Well, I guess we didn’t! Mondal: I think it’s important that partners have complementary skills, so I might be good at certain things and Shaun might be better at certain things and combined we do a lot better. You’ll notice as well that we’re a software company, and a lot of the larger software companies have always had two people, like Google, Microsoft, Apple — there’s always been two people. So we really, definitely feel that partners are very important in growing a business. What’s one of the most unconventional things you did to succeed? Mondal: We focused heavily on sales to the point where we would fly to Texas and literally do door-to-door sales, going to companies, knocking on people’s doors — we weren’t invited — and stay in gross places, sharing rooms. For us it’s not conventional because I used to work at RBC Capital Markets and Shaun had really good positions at software companies, so to go from having those cushier jobs to not

Why? Women often have a wide range of considerations, from longer life expectancy to looking after children and aging parents, that factor in to their investment strategies. They're also more likely to look to their investment advisors for financial education, market information, and a partnership approach when it comes to their wealth management. And yet, only three in 10 (31%) Canadian women say they have a financial plan. A complete wealth management plan that takes into account your personal and family goals is an essential step toward achieving your financial freedom. Our team of accredited professionals will take the time to listen, then will help you document all of your wealth goals and work with you to create a plan for achieving each of them. Collectively, the MK Total Wealth Management Group has over $400 million in assets under administration and 40 years of investment experience. Recognizing that each investor has unique objectives, our focus is on helping you and your family develop an integrated, comprehensive and customized financial solution for your future. We are committed to the delivery of strong, long-term investment performance. Our ultimate goal is to preserve, protect and build wealth. It’s your life and your future. Realize your full potential! MK Total Wealth Management Group TD Waterhouse Private Investment Advice 4950 Yonge Street, Suite 1600, North York, ON M2N 6K1 T 416 279 1473

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City Life Magazine Feb/Mar 2013


If you could encapsulate your experience in one piece of advice, what would it be? Ricci: Don’t give up. Every now and then you can win the lottery but most real businesses take five to eight years to build and I think a lot of entrepreneurs that get started don’t think about that. They think very short-term. Have any unexpected challenges popped up along the way? Mondal: In the early stages it was all about getting investors — how do you convince people to give you money early on in the beginning? But now one of the bigger problems we face is hiring people. Hiring those A-players that really do make a difference in the company has been a surprise challenge. You’d think it’d be easy, but it’s actually very hard. So that’s something that we did not expect when we were modelling our business and trying to figure out how to grow. What does success feel like, knowing this all spawned from an idea, a conversation, a click? Ricci: Tough question because I guess I’m not sure I’d consider us extremely successful yet. I mean we’re doing well and I’m pleased with the progress but we have some pretty ambitious goals. So to be where we’re at feels great but I wouldn’t necessarily define it as super successful. Mondal: I would feel I’m never at the finish line, I always want more, I always want the next thing. Ricci: If we do $1 million in sales all that makes us want to do is $2 million — if you do $2 million you want $4 million. You never feel satisfied.

46 City Life Magazine Feb/Mar 2013

VICTORIA SOPIK Kids & Company Ltd. president, CEO and mother of eight 2012 Ontario Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year recipient for Social Entrepreneurship Named Canada’s Fastest-Growing Company in 2008 by PROFIT magazine, Richmond Hill-based Kids & Company was founded by Victoria Sopik (pictured) and Jennifer Nashmi. With dozens of locations across Canada, Kids & Company caters its child-care services to corporate employees seeking reliable, flexible and superior solutions for a thriving work-life balance.



having any sales experience and having to learn all that, that’s one of the more unconventional things we did; hitting the road and selling, selling, selling, selling. Ricci: At the end of the day it doesn’t matter how cool your technology is or what it does; if no one buys it, you’re not going to be in the business very long. I think that especially younger entrepreneurs, they read about Twitter and Facebook, and most of the world isn’t built up of companies that make things for free and give it away and hope to have a hundred million users. Most businesses are built the old-fashioned way.


What aspect of your business model has been most fundamental to your success? Sopik: We’re very customer service focused. We never want to say no to a parent, we want to do whatever we can to accommodate them and we send that same message to our team. We try to be as flexible as we can and we offer great career opportunities, so our hope is that teachers that work for us know how valuable they are to us because, as you can imagine, if we don’t have great teachers then we don’t have great child care. There are lots of opportunities for them to be promoted or for them to further their careers and what we know is if you have happy employees, you have happy customers. How have you gone against the grain to get what you want? Sopik: I’ll give you a good example. Most child-care centres in Canada will charge a late fee for a parent, so if a parent comes in late to pick up their child they’ll pay a dollar per minute. We don’t charge late fees because our feeling is that parents aren’t intentionally late — they’re late because they’re stuck in traffic or stuck at work. So what we do is, we schedule our teachers to stay for half an hour after the centre closes, so they don’t feel like they’re late and the parent has a bit of a grace period and doesn’t have to panic and rush to get their child. We

— Victoria Sopik call this being innovatively disruptive. We’ve disrupted what’s normally been happening because we’ve changed up [the market] and said, “we’ll guarantee you a child-care space and we’ll let you come when you want and we’ll try to accommodate all of your needs.” How do you achieve work-life balance as an entrepreneur and mother (of eight)? Sopik: I work and play all the time. With eight children you can imagine I spend lots of time with my children, but at the same point, I always have my BlackBerry. Sometimes people say, “well, why do you want to be on your BlackBerry at your children’s hockey games?” and I say, “well, at least I get to go to all their hockey games.” So for me I’d rather be there looking at my BlackBerry every so often and watching when they play. I don’t send emails when they’re on the ice, so when they’re off I don’t need to watch the other children and I can send them, that way it sort of allows me to combine both. What wise words do you have for aspiring movers and shakers? Sopik: Don’t overthink, because sometimes you’ll be thinking so long that somebody else is doing the business. It’s often best, if you have a great thing, to put your feet in the water and start to work and see how it goes.

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City Life Magazine Feb/Mar 2013





2012Taught Me

Author and founder of Sharma Leadership International Inc. knows a thing or 50 on how to improve one’s self. A Robin Sharma shortlist on life-changing goals and plans for a fresh start to 2013 :ULWWHQ%\5RELQ6KDUPD

1. Hard work is a force multiplier. 2. Don’t participate in recessions. 3. Exercising for 20 minutes first thing in the morning is a game-changer. 4. If you’re not innovating daily, you’re on the path to obsolescence. 5. If you want an A-level company, you can’t afford to hire B-Level players. 6. Procrastination is an escape mechanism for people scared to do their best work. 7. Give your customers 10 times the value they expect and they’ll tell everyone they know about you. 8. Don’t do it if you’re not having fun. 9. If you’re not scared a lot you’re not growing very much. 10. Invest the time to create great social media content and your base will go global + viral. 11. There’s never been a better time to be a social entrepreneur. 12. It’s never been easier to be of service to a large amount of people (and few things are as rewarding). 13. 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 makes any sense).

48 City Life Magazine Feb/Mar 2013

14. The quickest way to build a superb business is to quickly develop the leadership potential of every teammate. 15. A job is only a job if you choose to see your work as a job. All work is a noble sport. (The reality is all work is a chance to express your genius — and to inspire the world). 16. People are craving transparency + authenticity and community. Give it to them. 17. 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). 18. Sometimes the most productive thing you can do is relax. (When you relax, your brain shifts into alpha state — the time when million-dollar ideas present themselves). 19. 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. Ten times the size of your dreams because if you don’t, you’ll wish you did. 22. Pursue excellence versus 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. That’s not a waste of work time. It’s a brilliant use of your work time because you’re paid to know more than anyone who has ever done your job. 25. Why go for good at what you do when you can stand for iconic? 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 blessing. 29. Living in the past is disrespecting your future. 30. Build an amazing career but enjoy your lifestyle along the way. What’s the point of becoming a business legend but a failed human being. 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. Don’t be on time — be early. 33. The person who tries to do everything achieves nothing. Focus. Focus. Focus. 34. Spend the first 90 minutes of your work day on real work versus fake work. (Another game-changing tactic that served me so very well in 2012). 35. Spend time in silence each day. You’ll never do Jay-Z level work if you’re overstimulated by technology. 36. Goal-setting is mission-critical. (Review your Big 5, quarterly goals and daily goals constantly). 37. Your daily behaviour broadcasts your truest beliefs. 38. To have the results only 5% of businesspeople have, have the guts to do what only 5% 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. Remember that your greatest gift is so much stronger than your deepest fear. 41. Everyone’s in Human Resources. And we are all paid to develop the talents of the people we work with. 42. Mediocrity is a mindset. Avoid the mental viruses of negative people. 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 — not a sheep. 45. People are always willing to pay for the best. 46.The more devoted you become to serving others, the more your career begins to build itself. 47. Problems come to test your commitment to your goals, hopes and dreams. 48. As you become more successful, get more hungry. 49. Join Traffic University. Use every possible moment in the car to upgrade your skills, polish your gifts and elevate your mindset. 50. Use your life to make the world a better place.

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City Life Magazine Feb/Mar 2013



Spring is in the air, and Pantone’s Fashion Colour Report has you in the know for all the season’s hottest new shades. Hopscotch your way through a spectrum of lights and brights



Written By Amanda Storey


1. TAKES THE CAKE Planning a spring wedding? Treat your guests to a lip-smacking creation from I Do! Wedding Cakes. Cake designer Olivia Nguyen knows how to craft a delicacy that’s unique to you, making your fete a deliciously memorable one.


2. WORDS OF WISDOM Start your day with a positive kick by cracking open this charming weekly calendar. Stay organized and inspired while planning your 2013 adventures. 3. HEAD IN THE CLOUDS Bright and cosy, the Rosette Euro Sham from Anthropologie will infuse your home with energy and bring some warmth to your down time. 4. BRING THE BLING Australia’s trendiest accessories boutique has pieced together this coral-toned beauty. Reminiscent of the beaches, cocktails and sunsets of summer, it’s a piece that’ll give you a tropical boost.


5. NATURAL BEAUTY This Earth & Ore Cocktail Ring will bring a glamorous shimmer to your jewelry box. Slip it on to add the whimsy of nature to any ensemble.


6. TOUCH OF TULLE Call her your fairy godmother. Designer Ines DiSanto can transform any girl into a princess with her storybook-worthy creations. Don one of her romantic frocks and all eyes will be on you. 7. TABLE TALK Make your mealtimes memorable with this rosy dining set from Zilli Homes. Whispers of palace couture and tea time with royalty will have you and your guests smiling.

50 City Life Magazine Feb/Mar 2013

8 8. IT’S IN THE BAG On the go? This light and elegant leather satchel from Danier will keep up with you and get along easily with any fashion you might try on today.


9. TREE TIPS Try a touch of one of spring’s hottest colours by painting on an evergreen nail lacquer: a flash of this forest-inspired shade will give your style a natural feel.

10 11

10. EASY, BREEZY Lightweight knits are weaving their way through spring. Slip on this airy piece from H&M to lift your wardrobe to a bubbly, carefree style.


11. FOOD FOR THOUGHT Add some pizzazz to your lunch or dinner by sinking your teeth into one of Gelato Pizza’s deluxe and interestingly named delights. Try the vegetarian Manhattan, meat-lover’s Bradd Pitt, or classic Lynn Z Low N. 12. ECO-ECCENTRIC Earthy and tribal, these monochromatic beads travel all the way from Australia to amp up your look. Sydney-based Elk Accessories loves to dress the world in eco-friendly, natural-toned pieces that are always in season. 13. SOFA, SO GOOD Treat your sitting room to the elegantly comfortable Melrose Sofa from Zilli Home. With its luxurious, classic design and laid-back comfort, it’s the perfect addition to any décor scheme.


14. HAPPY FEET You’ll get noticed in these eye-popping sneakers from H&M. Classically designed and blended with a shout of colour, it’s a fashion dare you won’t regret.


15. MONEY MATTERS The Money Receptacles folder from Knock Knock will help you get a grip on your finances. With its colourful, minimalist design, it’ll keep the cute and cut the clutter. 16. PRINTS CHARMING If the sunny wrapping isn’t enough to clean off your frown, the goat’s milk soap inside is sure to put a smile on your face. Coconut oil and shea butter blend to create a rich and organic lather. 17. FOR THE LOVE OF LEMONS Craving something sweet? Dig your spoon into a scoop of lemon gelato from the President’s Choice Blue Menu. With zero per cent fat and 100 per cent flavour, it’s the ultimate guilt-free dessert. 18. LEATHER WEATHER Cool spring temperatures call for the coolest seasonal colours: this leather jacket from Danier will electrify your look while keeping you warm.



17 18 City Life Magazine Feb/Mar 2013


Tweet us your thoughts of the Cadillac ATS at @CityLifeToronto

new kid on the block takes aim at the CADILLAC Cadillac’s top of the compact luxury segment :ULWWHQ%\0LFKDHO+LOO


eneral Motors hasn’t been coy about its intentions for the Cadillac ATS. It’s targeting the top of the compact luxury segment — and when you aim for the title, you go after the champ: the BMW 3-Series. A tall order, indeed. In most cases, such crowing would be passed off as typical marketing hype. But GM isn’t just beating its chest. It has poured serious dollars into the ATS’s development, building this brand-new Caddie from the ground up — new platform and all. The final product is not to be ignored. Visually, the ATS retains the sharp-edge design of its big brother, the Cadillac CTS. The ATS, however, benefits from some dramatic evolutionary details. Those square angles have been softened for a sleeker esthetic, and the headlights are more aggressive as they slice over the top of the fenders. It’s familiar, but distinct — a design that definitely works. The interior, covered in wood, aluminum and leather, is equivalent to competitors. The dash has distinct personality, and mounted in its centre is the new CUE (Cadillac User Experience) interface. It’s clean and novel, using a touchscreen much like a tablet, but could, however, become cumbersome to operate while driving.

52 City Life Magazine Feb/Mar 2013

Beside rivals like the BMW 3-Series, Mercedes-Benz C-Class and Audi A4, one of the major drawbacks to the CTS has always been its weight: it’s notoriously heavy for this segment. Thanks to a lightweight yet sturdy chassis, the ATS, on the other hand, comes in as one of the lightest in the class. With lightness comes agility, and the ATS is certainly nimble. A balanced 50/50 weight distribution and a multilink suspension system keep it firm and poised in the corners. This Cadillac has no problem going blow for blow with the Bimmer when the roads get windy. There are three engine options, including a standard 2.5-Litre and 3.6-Litre direct-injected V-6. But the real winner is the 2-L turbocharged, direct-injected four-cylinder. With 272-horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque, it’s quick and responsive, but also great on fuel: 9.9 L/100 kilometres in the city and 6.3 L/100 km on the highway. It’s also the only engine with an optional 6-speed manual. It’s solid performance without sacrificing efficiency. It’s clear the ATS is a driver’s car, an enthusiast’s delight. And that’s its biggest problem. The trunk is the shallowest in its class, and passengers taller than a toddler will not be fans of the tight backseat. Enthusiasts may look past this, but families, perhaps not.

Leather and wood line the interior of the Cadillac ATS, accenting its sharp dash

The ATS was built on an all-new platform for added performance and safety

SPECIFICATIONS, CADILLAC ATS Engine: 2-Litre Turbo (272-HP, 260 lb-ft) Transmission: 6-speed automatic, available 6-speed manual 0-100 km/h: 5.9 seconds Fuel Economy L/100km: City 9.9 / Highway 6.3 Base MSRP: $36,985 Overall, is the ATS better than the 3-Series? If not yes, it’s quite close. This is one of the best cars Cadillac has built in years, and the accolades acknowledge it. The AJAC recently named it the luxury car of the year, and Esquire magazine dubbed it as its car of the year. Take note BMW and Mercedes: Cadillac is back in the ring, and with the ATS, it’s coming out swinging.

City Life Magazine Feb/Mar 2013


Tweet us your favourite zombie film @CityLifeToronto


54 City Life Magazine Feb/Mar 2013





ombies — the lumbering, reanimated remains of the infected. Rotting, mindless, driven by voracious greed and a penchant for braaaiiinnnsss — they’re putrid beings, and yet television audiences fancy them over the most carrot-coloured New Jerseyan, the most vapid, superficial socialites and, yes, even Charlie Sheen. Case in point: The Walking Dead. With its decaying swarms and weapon-strapped protagonists, Walking has been crowned the king of basic cable. In December, this television adaptation of the eponymous graphic novel drew 10.5 million viewers for its mid-season finale, easily dominating its peers. Back in October, during its third season’s premiere, more than 10.9 million viewers tuned in, making Walking the most watched television drama in basic cable history. You heard right: the most watched basic cable drama ever — ever — is about zombies. But television isn’t the lone medium plagued by this zombie resurgence. Zombie films, for one, regularly drag in A-listers and profits alike. With Will Smith as the lead, I Am Legend scored big in 2007 when it made $585 million worldwide. This summer, Brad Pitt and his flowing locks are set to battle

— Matt Mogk the hordes of undead in World War Z, and you can bet strong ticket sales will follow. For some digital zombie action, rifle through your kid’s video game library for titles like Dead Rising, Left 4 Dead and Plants vs. Zombies. Try cracking open a copy of Seth GrahameSmith’s Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, a New York Times bestselling novel, for a gruesome twist on a classic, as well.

Zombies, it seems, are more alive today than they’ve ever been (pun intended). But how did this happen? Why are groaning corpses luring audiences like, well, peckish zombies to an all-you-can-eat human buffet? “That’s sort of the million-dollar question,” says Matt Mogk, founder of the Zombie Research Society and author of Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Zombies. For Mogk, there are three key factors to zombies’ sustained popularity, with believability taking centre stage. “We don’t believe in fairies or magic anymore in our postmodern society,” he says. “Zombies fit into that.” While a reanimated corpse certainly stretches plausibility, zombies are inherently biological, free from the elaborate mysticism surrounding other fictional creatures. Their origin is based in science, often the result of a viral outbreak, and unlike vampires, ghosts or werewolves, zombies have no special powers. They can’t fly, walk through walls or live forever — they’re just rotting corpses. “There’s no ‘I have to bite you three times’ and ‘don’t go out in the daylight’ and all these rules. No, you have a disease, a really bad one,” Mogk says. The simplicity of zombiism — its biological roots — fits easily into our rational paradigms, allowing audiences

to feel that, yes, a zombie outbreak could happen. So much so that Mogk labels it “an unrealized threat,” meaning while it hasn’t happened yet, it could. Chilling. Secondly, for Mogk, zombies go hand in hand with the end of the world. Armageddon is, after all, one of humanity’s oldest loves. Doomsayers from every epoch of civilization have trumpeted oblivion’s imminent arrival, and those pessimistic prophecies are still beaten into our skulls today. Ice caps melting, global economic collapse, lurking terrorists, nuclear catastrophes, Apocalypse 2012 (although we dodged a bullet on that one, phew!) — the End of Days is forever dancing on our front lawn. This gloomy outlook is the “zombie sweet spot.” Zombies are very much in sync with our fears of societal collapse, at the heart of panic and mass hysteria. “You never see one zombie,” Mogk explains. “One zombie equals 10 zombies equals a million zombies, which a) fits in with that notion of an infectious disease, but b) really fits in with our contemporary concern about large, global problems.” Steven C. Schlozman, assistant professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and author of The Zombie Autopsies, builds on this notion of supposed forthcoming catastrophe, but adds a philosophical twist. Zombie texts, he explains, allow us to contemplate grim existential dilemmas. “If there were truly a horrific pandemic,” he proposes, “where you had to make difficult decisions about quarantining people whom you knew would die, how would you make those decisions? Would everybody be considered equal? Would certain members who can contribute quote-unquote more be considered more equal?” Schlozman feels that in all likelihood us Westerners will never have to contend with such grandiose moral dilemmas, and that our pessimistic concerns towards the future are often inflated — by the media, a growing distrust towards government and so on — but perceptions of uncertainty can still lead to feelings of being less than human. Combined with an increasingly depersonalized culture of automated

customer service hotlines, conversing via text, email and social networks, and the eternal queues at shopping malls or government service centres, it’s not hard to see why people start to feel like zombies. “It’s sort of the zombification of all of us,” says Schlozman. “And people resonate with that.” Which adds to Mogk’s last point: zombies have a grassroots appeal. Zombies are undiscriminating and indiscriminate. The horde isn’t exclusive or selective, neither elitist nor rejecting.

thousands of shambling, groaning participants all dressed like the undead. Last year, in fact, over 7,000 zombieclad people gathered for the Toronto Zombie Walk, explains Munster. According to Guinness World Records, the largest gathering of zombies was at the Zombie Pub Crawl in Minneapolis, Minn., when over 8,000 people donned fake blood and tattered clothes. Online, however, there are reports of hordes growing to over 10,000, with one in Buenos Aires, reportedly reaching

Left: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Zombies by Matt Mogk. Right: The Zombie Autopsies, by Steven C. Schlozman, assistant professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School

“It’s the only club that wants the CEO just as much as they want the guy in the mailroom,” says Mogk. “Zombies want everybody.” Unlike snobbish vampires who treat immortality like a yacht club for billionaires, zombies have no regard for race, sex, age or social standing. If they get their hands on you, you’re in. And it’s always nice to be included. This acceptance is exemplified by, and imbued in, the very essence of the now extremely popular zombie walks. “If you go to the zombie walk you’ll see kids that are two years old and people that are in their 70s,” says Thea Munster, founder of the Toronto Zombie Walk. The first official zombie walk started in Toronto in 2003, with Munster and six friends as the only participants. Since then, these gruesome gatherings have exploded into a global phenomenon, drawing

25,000 last October. Echoing Mogk’s grassroots ideology, Munster describes the communal nature of zombie walks, where boundaries are torn asunder and different communities commingle effortlessly. “In death we’re all the same,” she adds. The Walking Dead’s third season returns February 10, and there’s no question fans will be out in droves. While you may scoff at the violent nature of horror-survival drama, or perhaps snicker at the peculiarity of pretend zombies shambling along streets, these revelries of death are not so uncommon. For many, they’re part of life. “There are lots of other cultures that have a celebration of death,” says Munster. “I think that we need that, because without death you can’t appreciate life.” City Life Magazine Feb/Mar 2013


Tweet us the recipes you’d like to see in City Life at @CityLifeToronto

Christopher Palik, executive chef L-Eat Group/Paese Ristorantes

CHOCOLATE CAKE L-Eat Group/Paese Ristorante’s executive chef Christopher Palik shares his recipe for a deep, rich and delicious dessert TOOLS REQUIRED Large and small mixing bowl Whisk, rubber spatula Baking sheet and a loaf pan Parchment paper Nonstick spray

, d foo





INGREDIENTS 280 grams all-purpose flour 454 grams of white sugar 90 grams of cocoa powder 1 tsp of baking powder 1 tsp of baking soda A pinch of salt 2 eggs 1 cup of coffee 1 cup of canola oil 1 cup of buttermilk 1 tsp of vanilla extract





ith its eclectic blend of culture, flavour and activity, your local culinary scene is packed with edible adventures. From classic to modern, from bubbly bar scenes to rustic atmospheres, here’s a hand-picked hot list of mouth-watering mealtime destinations for you to sink your teeth into.

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METHOD Preheat oven to 148 C (300 F). In a large mixing bowl, whisk flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt by hand until completely combined. Crack the eggs and have the coffee at room temperature. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk eggs, coffee, oil, buttermilk and vanilla together. Mix the wet and dry ingredients together with a rubber spatula until completely combined. Pour onto a greased and parchmentlined baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes. Allow to cool.


1. FAMOSO NEAPOLITAN PIZZERIA When co-owner Justin Lussier toured Italy in 2005, he fell head over heels for the fire-roasted pizzas he tasted in Naples. It was this delicious experience that inspired him and his two partners to bring Italy’s famous Neapolitan pizzas to Canada. Taste the phenomenon yourself at the highly acclaimed Famoso! 2. MILL STREET BREWERY Thirsty? Surround yourself with rustic charm, talkative friends and world-class beer at Mill Street Brewery in Toronto’s historic Distillery District. The deliciously unpolished style of Mill Street Brewery will add a kick of interest to your downtown dining experience. 3. VINSANTO With a menu stocked with fresh, classic dishes complemented by a charming Florentine design, Vinsanto Restaurant is as much a work of art as it is a place to dine and chat with loved ones. For a meal to remember, dive into Vinsanto’s extensive wine list, savour the buzz of energy in the air and fall in love with its authentic first-generation Italian recipes. 4. MARCELLO’S PIZZERIA Heartwarming comfort foods soaked in Italian authenticity are waiting for you at Marcello’s Pizzeria, where the classic atmosphere is just as famous as the dishes. Slip into a Roman getaway by munching on the much-loved pizza alla compagniola or the delectable fettuccine con bocconcini. 5. THE GLENLIVET While it may not be a locally brewed masterpiece, a bottle of Glenlivet whisky houses a taste that hits home. Crafted in northeast Scotland, where distilling is a passion, Glenlivet’s world-renowned taste and quality will leave you buzzing. What are your local “Likes”? Tweet us @CityLifeToronto to let us know your favourite hot spots!

2 3 4

5 City Life Magazine Feb/Mar 2013


Share your memorable wedding moments at @CityLifeToronto


Photo By Douglas Foulds / Pear Studios

Who to bring, what to wear, when to leave, how much to give and why it all matters. The evolution of wedding guest etiquette Written By Madeline Stephenson



hile the rule of thumb used to be that you pay for your plate, Toronto wedding planner Karina Lemke believes people have long been smashing that sacred proverb (often without even realizing it). With a nuptial landscape that’s greener than ever, covering your palatable plate of rosemary organic chicken, truffle risotto and the cavalcade of buttercream desserts that follow can mean dishing out $600–$1,000 per couple, if you consider the countless rounds of Cabernet that coincide. Instead, Lemke estimates that the average couple gives closer to $250–$400, regardless of how posh the property is. While you should consider boosting your busta to cushion the blow, “most etiquette experts would back up the philosophy that if you’re throwing or hosting a party, you’re doing so with the expectation of nothing in return. You’re doing it because you’re a host.” The rise of destination weddings has also ushered a new wave of gifting, which Lemke personally experienced while exchanging vows with Yuk Yuk’s

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founder Mark Breslin in an intimate Laguna Beach ceremony in 2010. “If you’re getting married away you have to assume that you’re not going to get very much because their contribution is the fact that they’re going — and they’ve probably spent anywhere from $3,000 to $6,000 a couple to join you for the week.” The Emily Post Institute Inc.’s etiquette blog also dispels the pay-your-plate myth, suggesting that “the amount you spend is strictly a matter of your budget, how close you are to the bride and groom and what you think is an appropriate gift.”

WHITE WEDDING The white-dress dilemma has become somewhat of a grey area in recent years. For more traditional brides, finding out you’re not the only blanched belle of the ball can be catastrophic, while others are as cool as the liquor luge ice sculpture. “I don’t think it’s a big deal anymore. I actually love to see bridesmaids all in white, I love to see everybody in white or crème, I think it looks lovely,” says Lemke. Make a decision that leaves

you some room to dance in — and if you find out the bride’s following the coloured gown trend, à la Jessica Biel and Reese Witherspoon, then white may end up being a wise hue after all. “I think as a guest you have an obligation to look lovely or to put an effort into your appearance, but I don’t think it is ever right to deliberately try to outshine the bride. If you’re putting on something that looks bridal or you think will draw a lot of attention to you, it’s probably not the best plan,” she adds. If you sense an impending train wreck, then don’t lose a friend over fashion. Oxblood and emerald will bring out your eyes.

SAVE THE DATE You swipe the seal of a glittery, script-inscribed envelope, shake out the contents, flip the wedding invitation upside down, and finally grab a nickel out of your purse to scratch any metallic areas that might crack a “plus-one” cryptogram. Guess what, it looks like the hosts aren’t giving you the option of bringing a date. “No one wants to meet anyone new on their wedding

Photo By Jenna Muirhead Photography

day,” says Lemke. If ring, roam, buzz, snap and you’re not married or in flash, carrying the potential a committed relationship to socially spoil an affair then you’d be wise to with intimate intentions. “I go solo, even if there is don’t think you should be a courtesy “plus-one” having dinner with anyone stated. “I generally don’t and be texting, whether think it’s a good idea to you’re at home, at a take someone just for the restaurant or at a wedding,” Wedding planner Karina sake of taking someone. Lemke of Rich Bride Poor says Lemke. “If you’re You’re there to support Bride fame gives us the there, you should be there.” dos and don’ts of being a the people that you care modern-day wedding guest That means engaging in about and that care about face-to-face conversations, you enough to invite you. I don’t think introducing yourself to fellow guests it’s the time to introduce people to at your table and never making an exit anyone.” Also, if the invitation doesn’t before the main speeches. “Part of your say “children welcome” or indicate the obligation as a guest is to be present.” number of attendees, then you’re safe to assume it’s an adult-only affair. “You SPIN THE BOTTLE can call to make sure, but you should probably arrange for a sitter.” Late etiquette icon Emily Post once said, “The good guest is almost THE ENGAGEMENT invisible, enjoying him- or herself, communicating with fellow guests, Guests of the digital era need to and, most of all, enjoying the generous be cognizant of tech-culture wedding hospitality of hosts.” Being invisible is conduct. Where there are 200 suits and a pleasant euphemism for not getting gowns, there are 200 cellphones that inebriated and embarrassing the hosts.

Lemke recalls the horror that washed over a recent wedding when two cousins were caught in an awkward embrace on the dance floor as a result of overdoing the booze. “I don’t think it’s good to get potted at any social event,” she reiterates. In addition to drinking responsibly, you should also never be the last person left. “If the lights are on and you’re still there, leave. Quickly.”

FOOD FOR THOUGHT According to Lemke, all allergies, whether to nuts, strawberries, gluten, lactose or shellfish, should be brought to the attention of the hosts at once, as the implications of not doing so are far greater. Keep in mind that there is a big difference between allergies and aversions. “You should be careful not to be too picky; just remember the couple has one to 200 people to accommodate and if everybody wanted special treatment, it would be impossible.” As long as ample notice is given, the venue will easily accommodate you.


Compliments of A1 Autostrada’s seasoned chef and risotto master Roberto Del Papa, this easy-to-prepare, traditional Italian favourite is the perfect addition to any dinner table as a side dish or as a comforting, feel-good treat on its own

INGREDIENTS 600 ml 100 ml 100 ml 100 ml ½ 200 ml 2l 100 ml 475 ml 10


(2 ½ cups) Carnaroli Nano rice unsalted butter extra-virgin olive oil mascarpone medium-sized onion, minced dry Prosecco vegetable broth Gorgonzola green asparagus, peeled, lightly blanched and diced thin slices prosciutto (for garnish) Serves 6

Chef’s recommendation: Choose Galbani or Igor Gorgonzola. Both offer a sweet and creamy finish to this dish. P R E PA R ATI O N Sauté the minced onion in olive oil and half of the butter over a low flame until golden brown. Add the rice and stir until golden in colour. Add the white wine. Continue stirring and add a quarter of the broth, slowly. Simmer 10 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Repeat with broth until finished. Add mascarpone, Gorgonzola, remaining butter and asparagus. Continue stirring until texture is creamy. Garnish risotto with prosciutto and asparagus. City Life Magazine Feb/Mar 2013


Should alcohol sales be privatized in Ontario? Tweet us at @CityLifeToronto


PROSPECT Written By Michael Hill



ilk, eggs, bread … beer? Under an Ontario Progressive Conservative government, six-packs, 26ers and bottles of red could be lining shelves next to the essentials provincewide. Ontario PC leader Tim Hudak has made it clear, if elected, he has no plans to be involved in the booze business. “Let’s let the private sector into the alcohol business, let’s have some more competition,” he said to reporters back in December. “It’s time to end the LCBO and Beer Store monopolies.” Easier access to alcohol is certainly enticing for consumers who enjoy the odd drink. But what would having alcohol in grocery and convenience stores mean for the province? Furthermore, will it even happen? For Dave Bryans, CEO of the Ontario Convenience Stores Association

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(OCSA), such reform would meet consumer demand for convenience.“This is an archaic alcohol control system,” he says of the LCBO and Beer Store, both established in 1927. “We live in a more mature, quicker moving society that expects convenience.” According to Bryans, Ontario is dragging its feet and needs to keep pace with other provinces, like British Columbia, Alberta and Quebec, which all have partially or fully privatized systems. This past July, a petition containing more than 112,000 signatures calling for alcohol to be sold in convenience stores was presented by the OCSA to the Ontario government, bolstering Bryans’ position. “These

are voters,” he says, “Liberals, NDPs and Conservatives standing in line at convenience stores saying we want you to carry our voice to Queen’s Park and help us.” “We know that Ontarians are seeking more convenience in where they purchase their wine, beer and spirits,” says Scott Blodgett, spokesperson for the Ministry of Finance, which oversees the LCBO. In response to consumer demand, the LCBO plans to implement two new store formats: LCBO VQA Destination Boutiques, which will offer a larger selection of Ontario’s VQA wines in select LCBO stores, and LCBO Express, which will

DRINK IT IN BOTH THE LCBO AND BEER STORE were established in 1927 as a means of controlling alcohol distribution in a socially responsible way after Prohibition.

LAST YEAR the LCBO brought in $1.6 billion for Ontario. ACCORDING TO THE LCBO ANNUAL REPORT, 2010-11, the Beer Store accounts for roughly 78 per cent of total beer sales in the province, while the LCBO accounts for 84 per cent of wine sales.

ACCORDING TO THE BEER STORE, commodity tax on a 24-case of cans is $9.81. In Quebec, it’s $4.26; in New York State, it’s $0.32.

WHILE THE LCBO is state-run, the Beer Store is owned by Labatt Brewing Company Ltd., Molson Coors Brewing Company Ltd. and Sleeman Breweries Ltd., all owned by multinational conglomerates, none of which are Canadian.

THE BEER STORE currently has over 440 locations and employs more than 6,500 workers. The LCBO has over 630 locations and employs over 7,000 full- and part-time OPSEU workers.

sell alcohol in larger grocery stores. “Alcohol will not be available in the aisles of grocery stores. Convenience will be achieved in a socially responsible way by having LCBO stores, operated by LCBO staff, located in large grocery stores,” Blodgett says, adding this also ensures that government revenues remain protected. Revenue has been a key factor stopping privatization in the past. In 1985, Liberal premier David Peterson took a swing at privatizing alcohol sales, but the movement didn’t make it through legislature. Former Conservative premier Mike Harris stepped up to the plate in ’95, vowing to sell off the LCBO, but

backed off due to the substantial dollars the organization brought Ontario. The LCBO remains a revenue-generating powerhouse today: last year alone it brought in $1.6 billion for Ontario. Could the Ontario government walk away from such guaranteed income? According to Michael Smart, professor of economics at the University of Toronto, Ontario need not worry about lost income. “Privatization would not reduce government revenues,” he says. “Ontario could still tax alcohol any way it liked, at both the wholesale and retail level.” Although opponents of alcohol privatization point to the higher prices in Alberta, where alcohol is fully privatized, Smart explains those prices are due to higher taxes. Privatization, he adds, would increase transparency, as the government would generate tax revenue instead of “dividends” from the LCBO. It is those taxes driving higher prices, says Jeff Newton, spokesman for the Beer Store. “The big perception out there is that privatization means corner stores, and corner stores mean cheaper prices,” he says. However, considering the Ontario commodity tax alone, tax on a 24-case of cans is $9.81, he adds. In Quebec, on the other hand, taxes are

roughly half that; in the United States, taxes are negligible by comparison. “Without corresponding tax cuts to levels that exist in corner-store markets, like in Quebec or New York, you’re going to get higher prices.” Even if Ontarians accept higher prices for privatization, is dreaming of easier access simply that: dreaming? The Beer Store employs more than 6,500 people, and over 7,000 Ontario Public Service Employees Union (OPSEU) members work for the LCBO. That’s a lot of lost jobs. Jobs that likely won’t be lost without an uproar. Peruse the Public Sector Salary Disclosure list (or “Sunshine List”) for the roughly 250 LCBO execs making over $100,000 per year, as well. With that much power — and income — at stake, you can bet they’ll have their say before any reform is enacted. With both the Beer Store and LCBO so deeply entrenched, it’s yet to been seen if a politician is ready to step on that many toes in the name of convenience. The current Liberal government seems content with the system, so unless Hudak takes office and follows through, it looks like we’ll be making two stops for the essentials: grocery and liquor stores. City Life Magazine Feb/Mar 2013


School children play and greet Rumeet Billan, a visitor from Canada Juliana, a fashion writer in Brazil



2007, my perception of our world was altered in a meaningful way. I was 24, and I had just applied to graduate school before getting on a plane to spend time in Africa where I had contributed to building a primary school. It was this trip, six years ago, which set the stage for what would turn out to shape not only my perspective, but also my purpose: enabling opportunities in education. With an early start to the day, I was ready to change the world, although I did not yet appreciate that first I needed to understand it. There I was. So far from what I knew as my reality; so far from those I loved. As we headed towards the site, the roads were unpaved and the air was dry. We drove past more than one slum, looking down each time out of fear of making eye contact and perhaps offending the wrong person. Cameras weren’t used here to capture what we saw, but emotions of disbelief and sadness imprinted in my memory. This wasn’t my reality, but it was the reality of many. Hours later we had arrived, and there was the first school that I had

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Prashant, a co m consultant in Indputer ia

helped to build for children I had never met before. Although the bell had rung and the school day was over, they stayed to meet the visitor from Canada. As I got out of the car, the children grabbed my hands, touched my hair and said jambo to greet me. The excitement was overwhelming and their impatience with me to learn their names and pose for pictures with them was amusing. They wanted to be remembered beyond that day. Later that afternoon, I saw two mothers leaving the site with their

The construction of Billan’s school-building initiative in Kenya

children. Both had infants strapped to them using long pieces of fabric while carrying pails with what I assumed was

ren Billan with child a from rural Keny

An existing pre-school for children in rural Kenya without supplies, games, tables or a chalkboard

water from a well nearby. Their children were running ahead, anxious to go back home. These children didn’t choose to not have access to electricity, clean running water or basic primary education. They were just children. They were born into this circumstance, a circumstance that any one of us could have been subjected to without choice. It was in that moment that I realized: this could have been me. During my short stay, I was given a glimpse into the limitations and realities that children in rural communities faced. While I was choosing what graduate school I would apply to, these children were choosing whose turn it was to walk half a day, barefoot, for water. I questioned what I was taught to believe were my basic human rights and why they were practised as privileges in different parts of our world. I questioned whether I recognized and appreciated the access to opportunities that I had. Six years later, contributions were made to three primary schools in Africa and South America, and to an initiative to support uniforms and textbooks for orphans. After conducting research in Ecuador, a teacher-training centre was conceived of and built in rural Kenya to guide early childhood educators in the community. Each contribution has come with its lessons and has inspired and led to the next project. Each one has shown me that we have the privilege of choice to help those who are in circumstances that they themselves did not choose — and where there is choice, there is possibility.


RUMEET BILLAN GUEST SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP EDITOR Rumeet Billan is a social entrepreneur, educator and PhD candidate at the University of Toronto. She is the president and CEO of Jobs in Education and over the past seven years has contributed to school-building initiatives in Africa and South America. She teaches, writes and speaks on leadership, social entrepreneurship and youth wellness. At the age of 25 and again at 28, Billan received the honour of being named one of Canada’s Most Powerful Women. She continues to integrate her business and doctoral studies with her passion for creating change through education.


HERO Anthony Socci is in desperate need of a kidney transplant. Find out how you can help.


Jan. 26, 2013, an emergency fundraiser is being held for Anthony Socci, 28, who is in desperate need of a kidney transplant. Hosted by the Step by Step Organ Transplant Association, which was founded by George Marcello, a two-time organ recipient, the fundraiser will be held at Riviera Parque Banquet

Centre in Vaughan. The event will be a night of dinner and dancing, with an open bar, door prizes and poker tournament. Tickets are $100. From February 5-22, 2013, Step by Step’s official torchbearer Khaled Khatib will embark on a 500-kilometre search for Anthony’s hero as he carries the Torch of Life from Ottawa to Toronto. City Life Magazine Feb/Mar 2013




Canadian talent Elisapie explores love, life and womanhood with folk-pop melodies Written By Simona Panetta

Travelling Love is the sophomore album for pop artist and documentary filmmaker Elisapie Isaac


a child, Elisapie Isaac was known as “that little singing girl.” Her mother recognized her natural ability right away, encouraging her to voice her talent to the community. But growing up in the most northern village in the Nunavik region of Quebec was a rather unlikely springboard for a singing career. Releasing an album, performing nationwide — these were but pie in the sky ideas to Elisapie. Until the day that the little singing

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girl realized that life is what you make it. “When you’re from the North, you don’t necessarily have those kind of dreams,” says Elisapie, who has since received a Juno Award for Aboriginal Recording of the Year, industry buzz for her solo albums There Will Be Stars and Travelling Love and the Claude Jutra Award for best new director for her documentary If the Weather Permits. “We’re all dreamers when we’re young, but you know, to actually do it as a career, it was just not possible. We didn’t have a lot of references or examples of people

making it. It took a while, but it grew on me, and I realized, gosh, I just hope to give it a try.” For Elisapie, making her mark in an industry fraught with challenges encompasses more than just recognition or applause. It means going back to the drawing board, fuelling up on inventive approaches and undergoing a process of renewal that will hopefully continue to keep her growing fan base enthused. The result is an ethereal experience, with string instruments dotted by synth elements and moving lyrics in multiple languages. “I go to a place when I write songs, a place where it’s so personal. There’s a lot of reflecting on the life we choose to live,” says the folk-pop artist, whose distinctively sensual song “Navvaatara” is featured in the soundtrack of Jean-Marc Vallée’s moving drama film Café de Flore. A self-described city girl living in Montreal with her daughter, Elisapie has recently scored a song and the role of Sedna in the 3D animated children’s film The Legend of Sarila, featuring Christopher Plummer. Her 2013 tour for Travelling Love has begun to pick up cross-province momentum. Revealing raw, intense emotions on love, understanding and the doubts we encounter as humans, songs such as the catchy “Life Is What You Make It” and the dreamlike “It’s All Your Fault” are resonating with her fans, leaving Elisapie overwhelmed with gratitude. “They’re totally getting it. There’s a connection that’s there and it’s fun for me to continue in that direction.”

Which books are you excited to read? Tweet us at @CityLifeToronto

Books #1, 4 and 9 courtesy of Random House Canada, Book #5 courtesy of HarperCollins Canada, Books #2, 3, 7 and 8 courtesy of Simon & Schuster Canada, Book #6 courtesy of Taschen Books

MIDNIGHT AT THE DRAGON CAFÉ BY JUDY FONG BATES 1 It’s 1960s small-town Ontario; a Chinese-Canadian family is being twisted and tested by vicious secrets and the clashing of cultures. A challenging story bursting with character, Midnight at the Dragon Café is the enticing debut novel from Judy Fong Bates.


BRAIN ON FIRE: MY MONTH OF MADNESS BY SUSANNAH CAHALAN Susannah Cahalan is six months into her job as a 2 reporter for the New York Post when strange things begin to happen to her — paranoia, hallucinations, seizures, memory loss. In this moving memoir, Cahalan chronicles the rapid spread and the debilitating effects of her undiagnosed illness, and the doctor who saved her life.

PERDITA BY HILARY SCHARPER In Hilary Scharper’s ghostly Perdita, readers follow character Garth Hellyer as 3 he nurses the aftermath of his tragic love affair using the most unusual of remedies: conversing with the world’s oldest people. A tale woven with love, loss and mystery, Perdita blends youth with age, old with new, to create an alluring masterpiece that will captivate readers.



SLEEPING FUNNY BY MIRANDA HILL A blush-worthy sex-ed class, a 19th century 4 country village and a post–Second World War victory garden; author Miranda Hill transports readers to these places and more in Sleeping Funny, her fresh and unexpected collection of short stories that will trigger an explosion of thought, emotion and laughter.

STRAY LOVE BY KYO MACLEAR Colourful, intoxicating 1960s London is the 5 backdrop for this eclectic story centred on the life of Marcel, the abandoned child of a bohemian mother. Readers will be electrified as Marcel weaves his way through the churning era in hopes of finding where he belongs. A wonderful second novel from Kyo Maclear.

HER MAJESTY After 60 years on the throne, the Queen has a story to tell. From palace-worthy couture to meeting The Beatles, from the Second World War to the 21st century, that story is being captured in 366 pages of stunning photography.

ON LOOKING BY ALEXANDRA HOROWITZ Following up her wildly acclaimed novel Inside of a Dog, author Alexandra 7 Horowitz emerges with On Looking, an eye-opening commentary that will flip readers’ minds and keep them on their toes. Through eleven explorations, Horowitz demonstrates how to squeeze life out of the everyday through simple, open-minded observation.

THE MILF DIET BY JESSICA PORTER Tap into the fountain of youth and get your 8 pre-baby body back with Jessica Porter, the whole foods guru who knows how to sculpt muscles and shred pounds using the power of eating well. The MILF Diet carves a delicious and easy path for moms to make their way back to health and confidence.

SWEET JESUS BY CHRISTINE POUNTNEY Three strikingly different 9 siblings and one lifechanging journey are what readers will discover in this witty and deeply moving novel from Christine Pountney. In her very real reflection of family bonds and human emotion, Pountney solidifies her place as one of Canada’s freshest authors.


City Life Magazine Feb/Mar 2013


MEDITATION HELPER For Android users looking to steady the soul and calm the mind, Meditation Helper offers everything you need — nothing more, nothing less. Set a meditation schedule, time daily sessions and customize bell sounds. It also tracks the number of consecutive days you meditate for further motivation. The perfect companion for technophiles strolling down the path to self-realization.



leaving only essential features. Review stats, such as distance, time, pace and heart rate; track your progress; take preand post-workout images and share it all with your friends via social networks.

GRATITUDE JOURNAL 365 Ò Studies show that the regular practice of gratitude leads to a happier life. If you’re struggling to find those silver linings, give Gratitude Journal 365 a go. This digital journal allows users to make daily notes for everything they’re grateful for. Nice weather? Good health? Seeing old friends? Add it to the list. Take photos to commemorate each day and share them via social networks. It also tracks and stores the total number of your gratitudes to remind you that life ain’t all that bad.

FOODSCANNER Ò Calorie counting is tedious, so leave it in the capable digital hands of FoodScanner. It tracks the food you eat, much like other daily food logs, but thanks to its nifty bar-code scanner this nutritional app makes monitoring eating habits a breeze. Just scan the bar code and FoodScanner separates and catalogues meals. An in-depth database also lets you search and store bar-code-less items, like meat and veggies.

CLEAR Ò We all lead busy lives with an average of 8.639 million things to do. And that’s just before lunch. Simplify your day with the cleanest to-do list app out there: Clear. Taking a bare bones approach to organization, Clear allows you to personalize lists of all shapes and sizes. Make lists for shopping, everyday chores, books to read, exotic tea flavours to sample, whatever. When they’re complete, just swipe to erase. It’s that easy.


MINT.COM Ò PERSONAL FINANCE Money comes and money goes, so stay on top of your expenses with the Personal Finance app. Set budgets, track cash flow and manage investments with its clean, comprehensive interface. Safe and secure, this handy, hand-held financial planner works with all major Canadian banks and is a great way to keep your money in check. RUNKEEPER Ò One of the first apps to utilize the iPhone’s GPS feature, RunKeeper is a tried and tested, pocket-sized personal trainer for runners, hikers and bikers alike. It’s received a facelift for 2013 that strips away the fat,

66 City Life Magazine Feb/Mar 2013

A new year means a fresh start — a clean slate, as they say. It’s time to commit to change and fulfil those pesky resolutions. To help with your self-improvement journey, these handy apps are ideal tools for targeting body, mind and, yes, even soul

MENSA BRAIN TEST Ò Mensa members are pretty smart — like, “in the top two per cent of the population” kind of smart. So when it comes to exercising the ol’ grey matter, they know a thing or two. The Mensa Brain Test app allows us everyday folks have a crack at the questions this prestigious institution uses to assess prospective members. Prep in the training mode before tackling tests of 20, 40 or 60 questions. Break a mental sweat and post your score on its global leaderboard.

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City Life Magazine Feb/Mar 2013



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City Life Magazine Vaughan Toronto Feb/Mar 2013  
City Life Magazine Vaughan Toronto Feb/Mar 2013  

City Life Magazine Vaughan Toronto featuring The Happy Show: Stefan Sagmeister; Courting Success: Evanka Osmak; Passionately Curious: Amand...