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SERGE IBAKA: How the Raptors star overcame poverty and malnutrition in Congo and earned his spot in the NBA


Experienced fashion designer Natalie Dusome reinvents the handbag for 2018




Chef Corbin talks about life as a chef in 2018, his first cookbook and shares his recipe for roasted baby vegetables with burrata

46 MOFFAT DUNLAP FOXWOOD: This gorgeous 92-acre country home is ideally positioned in the rolling hills of King City, Ont.



12 #CITYFINDS: Find all the new essentials for the season

16 DECK THE WALLS: LUMAS and The Skateroom come together to skate the boundaries between art and skateboarding


BAY: Renowned designer Brian Gluckstein’s tips on designing a home and his new position at Hudson’s Bay


CONNECTION: The stars of Acro Buddhas share how acro yoga has redefined their lives and relationship


City Life Magazine

Apr/May 2018


SPECIAL ENTERPRISE: Hawthorne Food & Drink is serving delicious dishes and saving lives, one plate at a time


BEAUTY BUSINESS: The founders of Fleurs de Villes realize floral fantasies by creating high fashion using picturesque flower arrangements

More stories inside …


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PUBLISHER’S NOTE PUBLISHER’S NOTE Believe In a world that is fast becoming soulless Be challenged to find your own soul Then make it selfless. When the television portrays onlytime tragedy hen was the last you posted a selfie Be challenged to turn itusing off a filter? without Spend your time working on your humility. In the world of own social media, there is an If you’re surrounded by people who are envious accepted attitude of narcissism that would be Be challenged to cull the herd around you shocking real-world situations. did we get here? Fill yourin life with those who bringHow joyousness. We suspect it began with the self-esteem During the times you feel utterly hopeless movement back inBe thechallenged ‘80s and ‘90s, which promoted to claw your way out the idea that the key to Understand that genuine happinessand is timeless. success was having high self-esteem extreme confidence. Find your in yourself. in your God. Parents weresoul. quickBelieve to praise their kidsTrust for absolutely everything your family. your plenty. Lean you toLove make them feelShare special. Now we’re notwhen suggesting that need. Live out loud. encouraging self-esteem is wrong, but perhaps all this focus Love heartily. Grow your humanity. onInfect self-image caused the world with our yoursociety faith. to lose touch with reality

Keeping it Real


Michelle Zerillo-Sosa,



Michelle Zerillo-Sosa Publisher/Editor-in-Chief

Fernando Zerillo

Co-Founder/Creative Director


in the casenever of Yolandaforgetting Gampp, this could be It’s all ell, about a real possibility. If you’re not yet familiar with where heryou from. Every work,come she is a multi-millionaire YouTube baker (3.3 million subscribers, that is) … all day, give thanks thanks to herIincredible imagination. to God for This is a woman whohas dreamsgiven up cakes me, for a living the life he and— not traditional tiered shapes and flavours, but cakes that look like I reflect everything have hot dogs, huge candyon apples, watermelons, in flIavours like the ultimate red velvet and chocolate cake … You get the idea. gone is the keyeven Sweet motherthrough. of God, this ladyThat has the power to tempt theto strongest-willed with her cakes! Her Enjoy belief is that living aperson balanced life. anything is possible, and with the love and support of family whattheyou awareRead and friends, highesthave, levels of but successbe are attainable. her story on page 38. that the most important things Speaking of belief, we all pray that our faith need never be tested the way Lio’s Many of us go through life in Paul lifeDecan’t bought without ever having to question why tragedies strike our lives or the lives of others in the—world. A few years back, we published Serge Ibaka an article about the definition of God. I remember asking the writer to pose this question to various religious leaders: “Where was God in moments such as 9/11?” Given the recent state of 10

City Life Magazine

Apr/May 2018

somewhat. Our values are distorted, and now more than ever, — from The Wife by Iris Imeneo popular culture celebrities are regarded as role models. This is a bit misguided. It seems as though personal qualities natural disasters and extreme weather conditions, one could and achievements like manners, kindness, work ethic, skills and ask the same question now. In De Lio’s case, where was God education are no longer as important as aspiring celebrities who when deadly bacteria infected his body, nearly taking his life and are famous famous. resulting in for thebeing amputation of Self-entitlement both of his legs? and materialism appear to be on the increase. a healthy self-esteem In that article years ago, one ofOf thecourse, questioned religious leaders isreplied great,that butGod having an overinflated sense of self will cause was in the firemen going up the stairs tojust rescue problems. And any process that feeds fantasy and glamour the people in the towers. It’s a response that to this date gives me without hard work —God even the narcissism comfort. Likewise, now, is in the“harmless” rescue workers bringing of posting heavilyRico, filtered selfies social And media —was could feed relief to Puerto Mexico andon Florida. God in the that problem. doctors who fought to save Paul De Lio. He was with the family This is why goalforhere at City Lifelater, is tofor profile subjects and friends whoour prayed De Lio’s life and his recovery. Today, just Ibaka. a few months his ordeal, Lio is kind filled known with like Serge Ibaka isafter a celebrity, butDe not the positivity and gratitude. Heorisaready help others find waysoftothe for outrageous behaviour lavishtolifestyle. A member live with Raptors, motivation. I say, then, Godathletic also resides in De Toronto heDare is admired for his prowess. But Lio’s heart. storystory on page 32. growing up in Congo, he what movedSee ushis is the of how, Of course, possibleofyou do notand agree overcame the it’s hardships poverty war,with andmy thethoughts challenges on the whereabouts of God. We all know that one should not of grief and rejection. Nothing was given to him, so everything speak casually of politics or religion, for these are sensitive he earned came of his own hard work. And once he achieved topics (although the weather isn’t exactly a safe topic anymore, to the fame and wealth that many dream of, he continued either). But perhaps you will be interested in our story about stay humble, to sacrifice and to model forgiveness. Time and the Bahá’Í Faith, a relatively new religion with 5 to 7 million time again, Ibaka goes back to his native Congo, and with his adherents practising globally. If you believe in the betterment of charitable foundation he creates opportunities to improve the the world, in unity, love and service, you might find your place lives of the kids eking out survival on the streets, just as he did. here. Bahá’Í’s believe in equality of all sexes, races and creeds, Serge is the kind of role and model we’d all do well to follow! and inIbaka the harmony of science religion. Story on page 74. We hope the stories in this issue encourage you to In this day and age, we could all use more unity, love andquestion faith, your reality, you’d like to be and whatofyou regardless ofwhat what sort formofit person takes. May you enjoy this edition can do to make that fantasy a reality … because after all, filter City Life Magazine. It, like life, is yours to experience anda do on a picture is only a temporary fix. Enjoy! with what you will.

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

Fernando Zerillo Co-Founder/Creative Director

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

PUBLISHER / EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Michelle Zerillo-Sosa • DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS Angela Palmieri-Zerillo •



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

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

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


WEB Brandon DESIGNER Yena Yoo WRITER Harripersaud E DCONTRIBUTING I T O R I A L D EWRITERS PARTM E NT Alex Brown, &Sarah Kanbar, Bianca Ricci,Michelle AngelaZerillo-Sosa Rotundo FASHION HOME DECOR EDITOR

COPY EDITORS PROOFREADERS BEAUTY & TRAVEL AND EDITOR Angela Palmieri-Zerillo Catharine Chen, Jennifer D. Foster, Kinneret Globerman, Nina Hoeschele



Geoff Fitzgerald, Carlos A. Pinto WRITERS Michael Hill, Amanda Storey PUBLIC RELATIONS MANAGER Sarah Kanbar

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Justin Mastine-Frost, Michael Hill, SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGER Sarah Kanbar, AmandaBianca Storey Ricci

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






WEBSITE DESIGN Multi-platform websites are created using the latest market research and target demographics.


FRONT COVER COVERS Serge Ibaka /FRONT Photo by Geoff Fitzgerald

Cristine Prosperi and Sebastian Giovinco

City Life MagazinePhotos • Volume 16 • Issue 2 • Apr/May 2018 Jesse Milns City Life Magazine isBypublished bimonthly by DolceCity Media 111 Zenway Blvd.,13Suite 30, Vaughan, Ont., L4H2015 3H9 LifeGroup, Magazine • Volume • Issue 3 • JUNE/JULY T: 905-264-6789 F: 905-264-3787 City Life Magazine is• published bimonthly by Dolce Media Group, 111 Zenway •Blvd., Suite 30, Vaughan, Ont. L4H 3H9 905-264-6789 • F: 905-264-3787 Subscribe T:online at or by calling • 905-264-6789. City Life Magazine’s yearly subscription fee is $24. We accept Visa,Subscribe MC & AMEX. Send cheque or money orderortobyDolce online at callingMedia Group, 905-264-6789. Life Suite Magazine yearly subscription 111 ZenwayCityBlvd., 30,’sVaughan, Ont., L4H fee 3H9is $24.00. We accept Visa, Publication MC & AMEX.Mail SendAgreement cheque orNo. money order to Dolce Media Group, 40026675 111 Zenway Blvd. #30, Vaughan, Ont. L4H 3H9. All rights reserved. Any reproduction is strictly prohibited Publication Mail Agreement No. 40026675 without written consent from the publishers. All rights reserved. Any reproduction is strictly prohibited without written consent from the publishers.


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




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City Life Magazine

Apr/May 2018



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▶ TROPICAL TABLE These charger plates patterned with tropical creatures will add a layer of interest to the meal

◀ OUI, PARIS Paris is always a good idea, especially in décor. Bring a little bit of the city into your home

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◀ GLASS HALF FULL Take on those bright, sunny days with a cool drink. This glassware collection mimics a hand-blown look ▶ VIVA IL VINO Sign up for Wine Align, for a curated wine selection based on your budget and your preference ◀ FLORAL FIESTA Keep your table tidy and stop napkins blowing in the breeze with these intricately designed napkin rings

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▶ GOLDEN AFTERNOON This stainless steel pitcher is excellent for keeping drinks cool or displaying beautiful bouquets

YELLOW BELLY Brighten up your kitchen with a professional-level appliance designed with style and function in mind


City Life Magazine

Apr/May 2018

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Lumas + The Skateroom:

Deck The Walls

Skateboards and art have never looked so good together WriTTen By Brandon Harripersaud


bout 12 years ago, Marc Ullrich and Stefanie Harig pooled their enthusiasm for art photography into creating the Berlin-based, now worldwide, art gallery known as LUMAS. With a gallery in Toronto’s historic Yorkville neighbourhood, LUMAS has excelled at creating venues where art can be more economical and attainable for anyone. Following a similar philosophy is the Belgium-based initiative, The Skateroom. Its team collaborates with contemporary and legendary artists to create editions of their artwork using skateboards as their canvases. Like LUMAS, The Skateroom wants to make art available to the public. In joining their same visions for art, LUMAS and The Skateroom have 16

City Life Magazine

Apr/May 2018

formed an organic partnership, allowing the gallery to sell these exclusive, esteemed decks. “The big thing for us in partnering with The Skateroom is the idea of making art accessible, approachable and affordable,” says Erin Lang, managing director of LUMAS Toronto. Both organizations share a similar philosophy as to what art is and can be. “Art has always been such a big part of the skate industry. If you look at skate decks, there have always been unique designs. People choose decks based on that, and it’s representative of themselves. It’s a natural alignment,” Lang says. Some of The Skateroom’s work features art by legendary artists Jean-Michel Basquiat and Andy Warhol. Both artists’ works pair well with what skateboards and skating culture represent.

“These artists all kind of force you to look at art a little bit differently,” Lang says. “Basquiat, for example, has that urban, street art feel that is perfectly encapsulated by skateboarding, whereas Warhol’s tendency to take everyday items and transform them into magnificent pieces relates directly to the transformation that occurs with these artistic skateboards.” All of The Skateroom’s decks, as well as LUMAS’s entire portfolio, are available to order online. Some of these can be seen in-house at LUMAS Toronto. Proceeds from every purchase go toward a charitable organization of the artist’s choice, as well as to Skateistan, an NGO that builds skate parks and educational programs in areas of the world where they are needed, such as Afghanistan, Cambodia and South Africa.

Christine sChellenberger director, portfolio LuMas Christine Schellenberger is the portfolio manager and heads the LUMAS Corporate Art Service, developing individually tailored art concepts for the company’s business customers

photos courtesy of lumas | skull (c) Jean-michael Basquiat, set of 8 coloured campBell’s soup cans (c) andy Warhol,

Andy Warhol’s iconic set of eight Campbell’s Soup Cans and Jean-Michel Basquiat’s Skull are two of the gnarly collections from The Skateroom


EXPLORE THE WORLD OF MARTIAL ARTS AT ANY AGE If you’re looking for an activity that will challenge your body and mind, no matter your age it’s never too late to learn karate. For more than 47 years, Northern Karate Schools (NKS) has been Canada’s premier martial arts organization. All NKS directors are professional martial arts educators and black belt certified. In every class and at every belt level, you’ll discover new skills as you explore the history, culture and philosophy of martial arts. Now accepting new students, ages four to 74. Sign up soon for an activity the whole family will enjoy.









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up against injustice. A person who stood up for people that are vulnerable in our society,” Tibollo says. A s Tibollo’s aspirations aligned with President Lincoln’s, so did his trajectory. When Tibollo found out Lincoln was a lawyer, he wanted to be one, too. (He also wanted to be president of the United States, but that dream was unfor tunately shattered when he learned that he had to be born in America, in order to qualify.) Now, Tibollo has more than 30 years of experience practising in the areas of corporate and commercial law. Born and raised in Toronto and living in Woodbridge, Ont., Tibollo has worked with families, corporations and small businesses, both locally and all over the Greater Toronto Area. Don’t let the power suit fool you. Tibollo holds a fifth-degree Tibollo & Associates works in black belt in the art of Taekwondo every area of law except criminal, and the law firm is well versed in eople’s heroes tend to be the needs of the community. All of the someone they admired growing firm’s lawyers, including Tibollo himself, up, someone they aspired to be. dedicate between 100 and 200 hours a These heroes are often athletes, year to not-for-profit work. musicians and celebrities. But not “If I had to distill myself down to my everyone grows up idolizing a president. essence, I would say that I am the type Michael Tibollo, lawyer and principal of of person who wants to be of service to Tibollo & Associates, found his childhood everyone in my community and make sure idol in none other than Abraham Lincoln, that the most vulnerable, the different, the 16th president of the United States. people who aren’t white Anglo-Saxon or When Tibollo was eight years old, he Caucasian are all included in the things was given the kids’ version of Abraham that we do,” Tibollo says. Lincoln’s life story, and the words “every Tibollo also serves the community in man is created equal” changed his life. a multitude of other ways by being part “The work that Lincoln did to fight the of several organizations. One of these is Caritas: The School of Life, a therapeutic oppression made me realize that he community for people living with mental was the kind of character I wanted to health issues, of which he is chair. be. I wanted to be a person who stood



City Life Magazine

Apr/May 2018

“Mental health is a huge problem in our society, and we don’t seem to get it. As a result, it’s very costly to our society from a health-care standpoint. I’m convinced that by providing services in those areas, we can do a great deal to help people who wouldn’t otherwise live a normal life,” Tibollo says. As an example of his level of dedication, Tibollo is in his second year of obtaining his PhD in clinical psychology, allowing himself not only years of experience, but also the proper education and knowledge of mental health issues. Additionally, as a beekeeper, his 56 hives are used to generate $50,000 annually, and every cent is put right back into funding Caritas. Tibollo says that “it’s really important that politicians and leaders understand that we have to keep every element of our society healthy if we expect our society to fulfill its role of being a safety net for people who are vulnerable.” As someone who wants to help people and had aspirations to be president, it is no surprise that he is interested in politics. To this Tibollo says: “I have done as much as I can for organizations that I have worked with being on the outside. As a result of that, I believe the only way I can do more to help and to provide better service is to focus my attention on making a difference politically and advocating on behalf of people with special needs, addictions and mental illness.” From admiring Lincoln to following in his footsteps, Tibollo is making his dreams of creating equality and freedom for all a reality.

133 Milani Blvd. Suite 100, Woodbridge, Ont. 905-850-2269



Tibollo’s long-standing passion for serving others has led to much personal and professional success, ensuring a better quality of life for everyone around him






possible solution. Every agent on the team is skilled in handling all aspects of mortgages, whether it’s a commercial or residential purchase, refinance, renewal, investment property or a reverse mortgage. The team at InTouch has significant expertise in dealing with complex situations — and can get the deal done. “Mortgages are complicated and can be a major source of stress even for a seasoned home buyer,” Anthony says. “We take the complexity out of the mortgage process. Our team of agents works hard behind the scenes to provide our clients with a simplified mortgage experience. We guide our clients through the entire process, explain everything they need to know and what documents they will need to provide, so there are no surprises.”

For more than four decades, Enza Venuto has proven to be a dominant force in the financial industry, garnering an exceptional reputation with lenders, lawyers, realtors and clients. She is owner and principal broker of InTouch Mortgage Solutions, an awardwinning boutique brokerage that promises to deliver a simplified mortgage experience. After a 30-year career in banking, Enza worked as an independent mortgage advisor until starting her first Centum franchise brokerage in 2009. In 2017, Enza launched InTouch Mortgage Solutions together with her two sons, Claudio and Anthony Venuto, who also have several years of experience in mortgage and finance. Enza is a proven leader in the field, having brokered over C$2.1 billion in funded mortgages to date. Why use a mortgage broker? When people need a mortgage, in most cases they go to their bank — but banks are limited and can only offer their own mortgage products. In contrast, mortgage brokers such as the team at InTouch have relationships with a wide range of lenders, including banks, credit unions, alternative lenders and private lenders. “We know what each lender looks for on mortgage applications — this helps us determine the most suitable lenders for the specific client situation — we then focus on getting the best mortgage type, terms and rate for the client,” Enza says. As Enza puts it: “We are not your average mortgage brokerage. We are truly passionate about helping people get the financing they need to achieve their goals!” Great leaders build great teams, and Enza has carefully built a team that shares her passion for helping people with the best

InTouch goes the extra mile and communicates with lenders, lawyers, realtors, appraisers and any others directly involved in the transaction, ensuring the process is on track, mortgages are funded and real estate deals close as scheduled. The firm also prides itself on always being accessible to clients. Claudio explains, “We are always connected and available ... our clients can reach us anytime, day or night, by phone, email or through social channels. We are also proud to say that we always answer our phones — and if by chance we can’t, we are quick to respond.” Unlike some brokers in the industry, with the exception of a few extremely complex cases, InTouch does not charge a broker fee for 90 per cent of its business. Enza and her brokerages have consistently won numerous accolades for their work. Most recently for outstanding achievements in 2017, Enza and InTouch Mortgage Solutions received the Centum Group Optimus Diamond Award; the Top Entrepreneur of the Year Award; Top Mortgage Brokerage Award; and Top Franchise in Canada; and spots on Canadian Mortgage Professional magazine (CMP)’s Top 75 Brokers list. Enza was also named one of Canada’s top Women of Influence in the mortgage industry, and also included in the 2018 CMP Hot List — a list of 45 outstanding industry professionals. With 75 per cent of its business coming from referrals, it’s safe to say that InTouch Mortgage Solutions is making a lasting impression on clients. Contact InTouch today to learn more about your best options. PHOTO BY CARLOS A. PINTO

This award-winning team is making waves and redefining the value that mortgage brokers deliver

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City Life Magazine

Apr/May 2018


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

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


Dusome studied at the prestigious fashion Design program at ryerson university

photos courtesy of poppy & peonies

Pristine PoPPies Natalie Dusome has revolutionized the handbag, presenting trendy, affordable options for today’s modern woman Written By Alex Brown intervieW By Michelle Zerillo-SoSA


City Life Magazine

Apr/May 2018


atalie Dusome is the owner and founder of Poppy & Peonies, a Canadian handbag line that has exploded in popularity since its launch in 2016. The well-loved collection of handbags has seen unparalleled success for good reason: Dusome has years of experience working in top design positions at retail giants such as Fossil, Aldo, Banana Republic and Abercrombie & Fitch. Her career in fashion has had her travel the world for inspiration on the latest trends in fabrics, designs and tricks of the trade. For her own brand, Dusome has infused her love of accessories and personal business savvy to create a line of practical, stylish handbags for the modern woman. With a series of purses that can be used in multiple situations — from diaper bags to totes, clutches and satchels — a bag by Poppy & Peonies accommodates the changing needs that come with being a woman in 2018. As a mother of one and regularly on the go, Dusome has incorporated her own experiences into her designs, showing that she truly understands the meaning of functional fashion. But beyond her design genius and ability to envision products that are both beautiful and pragmatic, Dusome’s career in retail fashion serves as an inspiration to all women. Her entrepreneurial spirit and drive are just one side to the story behind this small-town girl at heart. We recently caught up with Dusome to get a glimpse into her everyday life, style and tips on how to move up in the tough business of fashion. What is the best part of your day? When I pick my daughter up from daycare, and she yells, ‘Mommy’ and does her little happy dance. No matter how challenging of a day I’ve had, it always warms my heart. Why did you choose to become a bag designer? I love handbags and accessories. I chose it as my career, because it doesn’t feel like work. What do you love about Los Angeles? It has the best of everything — sunshine, beach, palm trees, ocean. It has an

Dusome wanted something practical and functional, yet still fashionable to help today’s mothers

When you take failing off the table, it’s incredible how resourceful you become outdoorsy vibe balanced with a city life, with the best shopping and most adorable restaurants and cafés. What does being a woman and a mom mean to you? It means that I am strong, powerful and beautiful. How do you stay inspired? When you love what you do every day, it makes staying motivated easy, because you have a deep, genuine interest and curiosity.   What have you learned as a designer of accessories over the years? It’s important to understand your business and analyze your sales. The key is to have your driving styles, the ones that pay the bills, and then to have lost leaders — the fun, playful ones that make the collection exciting and build your brand. What is in your purse right now? I have a three-year-old daughter, Poppy, so I literally have everything, from lipstick to crayons. 

What is the oddest item in there? The pacifier (suce) of my daughter’s favourite doll, [Baby] Annabell. Define your style. Edgy, with a feminine twist. What is your favourite movie? I love any movie regarding a heist. The Italian Job and Oceans Eleven come to mind. How do you define beauty? To me, beauty is confidence. What were some of the challenges you have faced over the years with your brand? There are so many challenges on a daily basis, from dealing with oversees suppliers, logistics, production schedules, cash-flow management and marketing calendars to building a brand and creating awareness, driving online traffic, social media channels ... the list goes on.  What advice would you pass along to young designers? Love what you do, work hard, don’t give up and you’ll succeed. When you take failing off the table, it’s incredible how resourceful you become. In terms of numbers, our bags are flying off the shelves, and we’re currently looking for a strategic partner/investor. We’ve been able to hit a niche market, offering trendy, affordable bags that are super-functional and can be worn many ways, which is great for the busy everyday woman.

Apr/May 2018

City Life Magazine






City Life sits down with skin-care expert Gianna Ugolini to discuss beauty trends and the latest in advanced facials

Gianna Ugolini is a master facialist and co-owner of G.C. & Co. Salon & Med Spa

Sculptural Buccal Lift is Gianna’s newest advanced facial that naturally lifts and contours the face, while also releasing tension in the jaw


City Life Magazine

Apr/May 2018



ianna Ugolini is one of the leading skin-care experts in the GTA. With almost 25 years of beauty industry experience, it’s no wonder the cofounder of G.C. & Co. Salon & Med Spa in Vaughan, Ont., is making waves for her expertise and cuttingedge skin-care treatments. The beauty industry moves quickly. In a world driven by social media, beauty trends and client demands are not only rapid, but they are also ever-changing. Every year, Gianna travels abroad to get trained on the latest techniques, practical tips and updates in the field of beauty. Just this past February, Gianna embarked on a journey to London, to become certified in Europe’s Non-Surgical Facelift — otherwise known as the “buccal” technique (an internal mouth massage), which is practised by only a handful of facialists in Europe and the Unites States, which of those being celebrity facialists to A-list stars. With practice, determination and a drive for successful results, Gianna has combined all of her favourite techniques to bring you the unveiling of her newest treatment ... the Sculptural Buccal Lift. This one-hour gem of a facial treatment involves a deep contour massage, beginning at the décolleté and leading all the way up to the scalp, followed by a massage inside the cheek and jaw area. This treatment works on almost every muscle of the face, focusing on three sculptural lines. It releases muscle tension, plumps up lips, brings back symmetry, improves blood circulation and lifts the cheekbones. Sound awkward? You bet. But it doesn’t end there. Her signature Lymphatic Drainage, Fascia Release and Pressure Point Techniques, as well as the Microcurrent Treatment, are all part of this session — a relaxing experience with proven results. Gianna is the first in Vaughan to offer the Sculptural Buccal Lift technique and swears by its benefits. “This treatment offers a range of benefits that clients can both see and feel. Some refer to this technique as the non-surgical facelift, because of its ability to naturally contour the face.” The benefits go well beyond the superficial: the technique is both recommended and used for those living with TMJ disorders —

skin-care GIANNA’S The expert recommends

Many people selfdiagnose their skin type. More importantly, they misdiagnose their skin type, often spending hundreds of dollars on the wrong products. This can cause long-term damage to the skin

a type of temporomandibular disorder that can cause pain in your jaw joints and in the muscles that control jaw movement. Many people with TMJ will also grind their teeth during sleep, causing mild to severe headaches. The Sculptural Buccal Lift can help address these symptoms. Gianna encourages people to have their skin analyzed professionally. “Many people self-diagnose their skin type. More importantly, they misdiagnose their skin type, often spending hundreds of dollars on the wrong products. This can cause long-term damage to the skin.” The skin-care expert recommends four beauty products for all skin types that she says will rejuvenate the skin by restoring its natural plumpness and adding a healthy glow. These products, along with advanced facials, are not only transformative, but they are also a musthave in every skin-care regime.

G.C. & Co. Salon & Med Spa 6175 Hwy 7, Unit 7 Woodbridge, Ont. 416-527-1023 @gianna_gcandco


the following four beauty products that are suitable for all skin types

▲ The Stone Crop Cleansing Oil by Éminence Organic Skin Care removes impurities, while providing the ideal glide for Gianna’s cupping set.

◀ The jade roller increases blood circulation, promotes lymphatic drainage and assists with product penetration.

▲ Gianna’s facial cupping set can be used daily to move stagnant lymph, plump up lips and reduce fine lines.

▲ The Hydro Cool Firming Eye Gels by skyn ICELAND are cooling transdermal gel patches which infuse the eye area with highly potent active ingredients and Icelandic glacial water to firm, tone and brighten the skin, while reducing the appearance of puffiness and wrinkles.

All products available at G.C. & Co. Salon & Med Spa.

Apr/May 2018

City Life Magazine


A dv e r to r i A l

Steeles Paint Celebrates "CALIENTE," Benjamin Moore’s 2018

"COLOUR OF THE YEAR" Steeles Paint has been a staple of the paint industry for the past couple of decades, and Caliente is sure to paint the town red

Claudio and devon Grisolia


City Life Magazine

Apr/May 2018

If all the colours of the spectrum walked into a room at once, I think you’d go over and talk to Caliente first — Claudio Grisolia

in a warm and seductive manner, yet very charismatic at the same time. Think of the red gallery walls in a stately mansion showcasing beautiful oil paintings." Given his livelihood and interest in paints, the more Claudio was exposed to Caliente, the more he was intrigued. “While Caliente is a radical choice for colouring a room, at the same time, dark rooms can be very seductive through the comfort red brings, the cocooning and assuredness,” observes Claudio. “Red is many times exciting, yet at the same time grounding and enveloping – a signal that this is a place to retreat. If all the colours of the spectrum walked into a room at once, I think you’d go over and talk to Caliente first – it has a warm and captivating personality.”

photo by Carlos a. pinto


n the competitive world of paint, obviously colour is everything, dictating moods, looks and design themes, especially within personal spaces. Paint has almost become a fashion statement, and like fashion, trends change. And there is a specific and serious science to this ongoing and complicated art. From the mind-blowing colours of the Disco ’70s to the minimalist European white of the ’90s, paint colours have now settled back into a pleasing palette of variety, style and sophistication. Such is Benjamin Moore’s 2018 Colour of the Year, “Caliente,” a bold take on red with earthy, warm undertones, now featured prominently at Steeles Paint Décor Store in Woodbridge, which at 20,000 square feet is Canada’s largest independent paint store and retailer of Benjamin Moore and Para Paints. Steeles Paint has become the go-to source for interior design, with 25 fulltime professional interior design experts and professional paint specialists, guiding both industry professionals and everyday homeowners through the often confusing world of paint colours and textures. “Caliente is a very interesting and bold colour – think about the gesture of a red door to a house, there is personality inside that house,” says Steeles Paint owner and impresario Claudio Grisolia. “The brown undertone makes it very soothing

Developing new colours is an exacting process, involving one part science, one part creativity and one part inspiration, according to Benjamin Moore director of strategic design intelligence Ellen O’Neill. And for Caliente, the timing was right, as its inspiration was unapologetically strongwilled and with purpose. “Last year I witnessed first-hand the Women’s March in Washington, D.C., the weekend before I went to Paris,” revealed O’Neill in an interview with Architectural Digest. “I just saw this undulating wave of colour, the pink spectrum, from dusty rose to red – it was a coating of colour as far as the eye could see and I thought on the plane to Paris, ‘OK, right now, colour is a voice.’ And red is like this cloak of luxury, you just felt like something important always happens in a red room.” So, if you’re thinking of reinventing your space, go a little further and reimagine a bold environment with the professionals at Steeles Paint Décor Store and Caliente as Benjamin Moore’s 2018 Colour of the Year. Caliente is definitely a statement colour, both au courant and oh-so fun.

4190 Steeles Ave. W., Woodbridge, Ont. 905-850-4040

Distinctive Property Sales

CALEDON MANSION | $14,995,000

Premier estate in Caledon on 160 acres. Irreplaceable zoning & amenities with deep trout pond, 20,000+-sq.-ft. main residence, gate house, 3 guest houses, indoor pool, tennis, sporting clays course. Garages for 10+ cars.

FOXWOOD, KING | $8,995,000

King’s finest estate overlooking Aurora on Bathurst Street & neighbouring ClubLink golf course. Impressive stone main residence with 2 elevators, indoor pool. 80 acres + 2 more homes, stable, pond and miles of trails. Superb location.



Famous hilltop estate with 15,000-sq.-ft. main house, century log 2-bdrm guest house. Art studio with 1-bdrm apartment. Pool, waterfalls & cabana with outdoor kitchen. Pond. Car building. Tennis court.

Newly renovated 25,000-sq.-ft. 6-bdrm home near King City with in-law suite. Huge indoor pool & basketball gymnasium. 2nd house plus guest house. Drive-in workshop. Elevator. 52 acres.




CALEDON MODERN | $4,350,000**

CEDAR RIDGE, CALEDON | $10,850,000**


92 acres with custom 6-bdrm home by Windemere. Huge kitchen with south-facing breakfast room. 2nd home. Elevated views. Pool & cabana. Stable & outbuildings. 5 mins to top schools.

Waterfall gardens, see through infinity-edge pool & clear swimming pond surround this newly crafted modernist home. *Sales Representative **Asking Price

FOXLEY GREEN, KING | $24,950,000

Expansive countryside vistas from this hilltop Georgian residence. Impressive home with pool, tennis, cabana, ponds. 100 acres.

, Brokerage

Toronto skyline views from classically designed 7 bedroom country residence. 86 acres rolling acres with gated entrance, pool & ponds.

Moffat Dunlap, Chairman; John Dunlap, Broker of Record, Peter Boyd*, Murray Snider*, Nik Bonellos*, Elizabeth Campbell*, Courtney Murgatroyd*, David Warren, Broker

W W W. M O F FA T D U N L A P.C O M | 9 0 5 . 8 41. 74 3 0

Apr/May 2018 Founded 1972: Celebrating over 45 years of service to the countryside

City Life Magazine


real estate

House of the


With a stunning exterior of brick and stone on a pie-shaped lot, this property is located just off of Islington Avenue and Major Mackenzie Drive


This incredibly majestic, 5,000-square-foot, brand-new home sits in the heart of the most exclusive part of Kleinburg Village WRITTEN BY ANGELA ROTUNDO


wning a home in today’s day and age can seem like a daunting task. It wasn’t too long ago that bidding wars and next-day sales were the norm when it came to buying a home. For families and first-time buyers looking to buy that dream house, it’s important to understand Toronto’s real estate trends. According to the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), home sales via Canadian MLS® Systems were down 6.5 per 28

City Life Magazine

Apr/May 2018

cent in February 2018. “Sales activity is down in many, but not all housing markets, compared to the end of last year, and [it] varies depending on price range, location and property type,” says CREA president Andrew Peck. Despite the dip in home sales, with a little research, patience and determination, those dream homes are available and waiting to be purchased. Just ask the team at Your Community Realty/ Royal LePage. After this property was listed at $3,288,800, they


A Home for the


FEATURES Unique light fixtures, bold colours and sleek steel railings are just a few of the distinguished design details that elevate this home’s allure

4 + 1 bedrooms 5 bathrooms 3-car garage Finished basement with guest room

were able to sell it at $3,160,000, managing a mere 4 per cent in sales difference. Your Community Realty’s years of experience prove that properties like this one are worth the investment. Blending timeless style with a modern edge, this brand-new property at 100 Donhill Cres. is one of those dream homes. Beautiful doesn’t even begin to describe the craftsmanship that went into designing this house. An exterior completely balanced between brick and stone, with sleek black awnings for a modern look, this home has some serious curb appeal. Inside the house, the creativity continues. The family room is just one of the highlights this property has to offer. Featuring rich cream and espresso brown motifs, this space is designed for enjoying movie nights in style. The built-in fireplace will help make those nights of staying in even more cosy.

The kitchen is fit for a master chef. Clean, white cupboards and marble countertops overlook a formal dining room ideal for entertaining. Along with granite flooring, the kitchen also comes with a walk-in pantry. One of the most impressive features in this home is the bedrooms. Each bedroom includes hardwood flooring, an ensuite bathroom and a walk-in closet. Styled with designer lighting and custom draping, these bedrooms are catalogue couture. Additional features of this home include a finished basement with guest room, laundry room, rec room and study. Balancing functionality with style, this property is sure to bring nothing but comfort to its newest owners.

Apr/May 2018

City Life Magazine


A dv e r to r i A l

The Cornerstone of Balancing

Business and home

Artistic Stone Design owners Mario Caravaggio and Christine FerrettiCaravaggio, a husband and wife team, are proof that working together can lead to a successful business and a happy marriage


ario Caravaggio began working with tiles in his early teens, and when it was time for a change, working with stone was a natural fit. Soon after getting married, he and his wife Christine decided to start their own business, Artistic Stone Design (ASD). ASD offers custom stone design for tasks large or small. Using high-quality materials alongside the latest trends, ASD provides quality craftsmanship for any project. Since the beginning, Mario and Christine have worked hard to build a reputation synonymous with superior presentation and exceptional service. For the last 10 years, Mario and Christine have been working every day side by side, surrounded by a team of dedicated and passionate individuals. “From our fabricators, office staff, templators and installers, we are very fortunate to have the team we have,” Mario says. A supportive staff is just one of the many keys to ASD’s success. For Mario, one of the biggest advantages of working alongside his wife is the trust they share. “Trust is never an issue. We’ve worked


City Life Magazine

Apr/May 2018

Knowing where each of us can take the lead is what makes our partnership so strong and balanced — Christine Ferretti

together for so long, at this point I would hate working without her,” Mario says. “It’s easier to balance our home life because we really do work well together, at home and at work,” adds Christine. Christine also notes that having a strong dynamic together and as individuals is one of the advantages of working with her husband day in and day out. As with any venture, there are certain challenges that come with owning a successful business. Then, there are those challenges that come with owning a successful business as husband and wife. “It’s tough to leave work at work. There are times when you have to bring work home,” Mario says.

“We have no choice but to communicate, even when we don’t want to communicate, even when we are in a disagreement. Balancing home and business requires constant communication,” adds Christine. At the end of the day, through professionalism and dedication, Mario and Christine strive to bring beautiful projects to life for the clients. According to Christine, their exceptional customer service is what separates ASD from their competition. Part of that exceptional customer service means that every client of ASD has a direct contact person for their project, ready to assist with any issues that may arise at a moment’s notice. Over the years, the satisfaction level of each ASD client has given Mario and Christine a very loyal following. The solid partnership between Mario and Christine Caravaggio is what ultimately makes ASD such a prosperous business. “Knowing where each of us can take the lead is what makes our partnership so strong and balanced,” Christine says.

photo by carlos a. pinto

the husband and wife duo have used their business to better balance their work and home lives

8550 Keele St., Concord, Ont. 905-482-3355

Big Bang Gold Ceramic. 18K red gold chronograph, with ceramic Apr/Maybezel. 2018 Structured City Life Magazine 31 rubber strap.


In Good Company Chef Corbin focuses on making the process of cooking joyful and avoiding strict, rigid rules

restaurant-quality recipes and the chef ’s personal inspirations for each. Recently, City Life sat with the master chef to find out how he infuses meaning into his cooking, what he’s aced throughout the years and what he thinks it takes to become a chef in 2018. At what age was your first memory of being in a kitchen? I can remember my mother cooking in our farmhouse kitchen since I was three years old. I remember the aroma of fresh-baked bread and all the other incredible foods she created. At age five, I would stack the old phone books up from the floor, so that I could stand on top to see what my mother was cooking on the stovetop. It was the beginning of an incredible journey.


Written By alex brown intervieW By michelle zerillo-sosa

est known f or his appearances on popular Food Network shows like Restaurant Makeover, Restaurant Takeover, Dinner Party Wars and The Incredible Food Race, chef Corbin Tomaszeski is a cornerstone of the Toronto hospitality community. Having trained at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology, Chef Corbin (as he is most widely known) has held executive chef positions at Holt Renfrew Toronto and the Westin Harbour Castle Hotel. His unmatched passion for food and dedication to bringing the joy back into the kitchen has earned Chef Corbin a seat at the table of Toronto’s top restaurant experiences. Growing up on a farm outside of Edmonton, Tomaszeski first learned of the magic of food through sharing time with his mother in their home 32

City Life Magazine

Apr/May 2018

kitchen. And he credits his family and his upbringing for his love of food. As a child, he witnessed that family togetherness and bonding usually occurred over the preparation and eating of meals, either for celebrations or regular visits with loved ones. It’s the reason his career is so dedicated to the pleasure of cooking, not just the rules or techniques involved. “We’re so removed from where our food comes from and how to make it properly, because we’ve stopped making time to make food and spend that time with our families,” says the chef. He wants to change that. Now, Tomaszeski is looking beyond his career of preparing expert menus for well-known restaurants in Toronto and has decided to bring his knowledge of food into the kitchens of all Canadians. His new book, In Good Company, shares a series of treasured tales interwoven with

What have you mastered over the years in the art of cooking? I have mastered the ar t of organization, order and timing in the kitchen. Preparation is key to a successful meal or recipe.  Allow time to enjoy the process, and if you are a beginner, start with simple tasks and recipes. The more experience you gain, the better you become. Working in a restaurant teaches you that you can only succeed by timing, and it is like orchestrating a symphony, with many components all happening at the same time. I love the rush and excitement you get when in the kitchen.

Photos by Christian LaLonde

Popular Canadian chef Corbin Tomaszeski shares with us his love of food and what it means to be a chef

What do you love about cooking for others? There is something so magical when you see how cooking can create a difference in people’s lives.  I always let people know that food should “remind us of a memorable time and can create a memory.” Cooking fuels our senses and appeals to everyone on so many levels. An empty plate from someone with a smile is the best compliment anyone can receive after preparing a meal. There is always something to learn when cooking and sharing a meal with someone. Some of my best recipes are inspired by what others share. My kitchen is the heart of my home.

SERVES 4 INGREDIENTS 1 lb baby carrots, scrubbed 1 lb baby beets, peeled 1 cup pearl onions 5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (divided) 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar Pinch of red pepper flakes Salt and coarsely ground black pepper, to taste 6–8 oz burrata or fresh mozzarella cheese, whole and drained 1/2 cup curly endive lettuce or frisée lettuce, coarsely chopped 1 tbsp thyme leaves, torn 1 small baguette, torn into pieces METHOD

eXCerPted FroM IN GOOD COMPANY by Corbin toMasZesKi. PhotoGraPhy by Christian LaLonde. reCiPe CoPyriGht 2018 by Corbin toMasZesKi. eXCerPted With PerMission FroM FiGUre 1 PUbLishinG. aLL riGhts reserVed. no Part oF this eXCerPt May be reProdUCed or rePrinted WithoUt PerMission in WritinG FroM the PUbLisher.

1 Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 2 To make the salad, in a large bowl, combine carrots, beets and onions. Add 3 tbsp olive oil, vinegar and red pepper flakes and toss to mix. Season with salt and pepper. 3 Transfer to the prepared baking sheet and roast for 30–40 minutes, until tender and vegetables can be easily pierced with a knife. Set aside to cool for 5 minutes.

roasted baby Vegetables with burrata

With a little sea salt, good-quality olive oil and vinegar, this dish can be served as an appetizer with just about anything. Here, the sweet baby carrots and beets, along with the red pepper flakes and vinegar, blend beautifully with the milky cheese to create a bright and vibrant salad. If there was ever a salad to share among close friends, this is it

4 To serve, place burrata (or fresh mozzarella) on a cutting board, arrange roasted vegetables around the cheese and sprinkle endive (or frisée) lettuce and thyme overtop. Lightly drizzle with remaining 2 tbsp olive oil. 5 Enjoy with torn baguette.

VARIATION Whole Roasted Cherry Tomato and Bocconcini Salad Replace the roasted vegetables with roasted cherry tomatoes and replace the burrata with cherry bocconcini (or feta) cheese.

Apr/May 2018

City Life Magazine


If you could cook for anyone, who would that be? I lost my grandparents when I was quite young, and more recently, my father passed away. My mother is alive and well, and I am very grateful for that. If I could prepare a meal for my grandparents and parents as a professional chef, I would create a meal that speaks to their heritage and the legacies they have left behind. I would thank them for our families, history and stories as well. I would let them know how I was inspired by them, and that one of the reasons I am a professional chef today is because of them all. Tell us about the importance of your new book, In Good Company? In Good Company speaks to who Chef Corbin is and what I truly believe cooking represents. I share stories and inspirations, and hope that it becomes an “all-rounder” cookbook that people use for their inspiration when they cook at home.  The recipes are chef- and restaurantworthy and represent my career’s building blocks paired with accessible ingredients, with easyto-follow recipes and methods of preparation. I want this book to live on people’s kitchen counters, get stained, used and worn. I mentioned in the book that the greatest compliment I could receive was if people use it as a way to connect people to prepare “Easy Recipes for Everyday Gatherings.”

While working at a restaurant, you made Sophia Loren very happy with one of your dishes. Can you tell us a bit about that? I was the executive chef at Holt Renfrew Toronto; Holts was always famous for its incredible parties and events. It is the luxury retail capital of Canada, and at one particular event, we hosted a week-long extravaganza that celebrated everything about Italy. We hosted a VIP gala that week, and several famous designers and celebrities attended the party. Sophia Loren was our guest of honour, and prior to her speaking at the event, she asked for something to snack on. I prepared her a plate of fresh figs with Parma prosciutto and truffles. She loved it so much, she insisted on thanking me personally.

Define happiness for us. Creating a difference with food and sharing meals with those around you. Happiness is living life to its fullest, while remembering to be respectful and giving back to your community. Invite people over to share a meal that you have prepared and remember: it all does not have to be perfect; sometimes it is just as satisfying to be “In Good Company.”

Success in the

What advice would you share with someone who is interested in becoming a chef/ author? It is all about loving what you do. It is something that you think of when you wake up and reflect upon when you go to sleep. Being a chef is not a job, it is a lifestyle. Writing a book is no easy feat, but in hindsight, it allowed me to express my creativity and share my story on food and how I have become the chef I am today.

What is most important to you today that was not as relevant a few years back? Taking time to be in the moment and slow down to appreciate everything around you. My three sons remind me that it’s not what Daddy does or how busy he is that is important, but rather, the enjoyable time we all spend together.

kitchen is defined by incredible conversations and

What makes a successful get-together? In Good Company has a chapter on entertaining — simple tips and tricks when planning a get-together. I have even provided some simple menu plans with recipes from the chapters in the book.  From planning the “Perfect Backyard Feast” to food for the “Big Game” or even a “Romantic Meal” with a loved one, the chapters and recipes intertwine with one another and create some fantastic meals.  Success in the kitchen is defined by incredible conversations and shared stories. I hope that this book alleviates the stress and pressures in the kitchen and teaches people that incredible food can be easily prepared. Keep it simple, remember the details, open a bottle of wine and enjoy the book!  34

City Life Magazine

Apr/May 2018

shared stories

What makes you proud? I take it as a personal compliment when someone asks to have one of my recipes. It is so rewarding to know that they appreciate what I do and want to bring it into their homes and bring it to life. That is a proud moment. How has your family supported you throughout your journey? My parents encouraged me to always work hard and do something in life that made me happy; they were there from the beginning and very supportive. My wife and our three sons are my greatest accomplishment. The life of a chef in the restaurant and hospitality business means that you never have the same schedule. I often work long hours and at times can be away from my family with travelling for work. My wife, Charlene, continues to be my greatest support. She makes sure all of us get what we need. She also works full-time and always manages to keep our household running — she is my rock!

What do you love about our city? I love Toronto’s cultural diversity and eclectic neighbourhoods that all have incredible restaurants, food shops and people. It is a creative palate that allows me to explore and be inspired like no other. Last stamp on your passport?  Mexico — we travelled with friends and family to have some downtime. We ate like kings, took in some sun and enjoyed local hot spots, all while “In Good Company.” What is the one ingredient every household should have? A good bottle of olive oil. It is just like wine. It can be fruity, with many layers of flavour, and it’s a complement to every meal.


950 Dixon Road Toronto, Ontario M9W 5N4

262 Carlingview Drive Toronto, Ontario M9W 5G1

3100 Steeles Ave. E., Suite 601, Markham, Ont. 905-940-9409

Apr/May 2018

City Life Magazine


The Rise of




ity Life enjoyed an exciting evening when we visited the swanky hotel and residence One King West to meet one of the city’s most celebrated athletes, Serge Ibaka of the Toronto Raptors, for an exclusive. We set up our cameras and our team of stylists in the hotel’s impressive Fifteen Hundred penthouse suite. Upon the arrival of “Mr. Avec Classe,” the first thing that struck us was Ibaka’s grand stature, at 6-10, 235 pounds and 28 years of age. Behind his commanding presence and designer gear is a compelling story of survival and hope. His story begins in Brazzaville in the Republic of the Congo, in humble beginnings a world away from the fast36

City Life Magazine

Apr/May 2018

paced, glamorous life the NBA power forward now lives. Ibaka’s childhood of poverty and struggle would be the driving force behind his relentless motivation to succeed. Ibaka has chilling memories of his youth, in circumstances so adverse that children like himself were experiencing malnutrition and had to sell water on the streets to support themselves and their families — but often it wasn’t enough. Ibaka’s harsh reality was one of scarcity, at one time being homeless without a bed, food or clean water. But amidst the hardship, young Ibaka was aware of his talents and, moreover, of the opportunities his talent opened up for him. He made a vow to himself: “The way things are right now, I need to go play basketball abroad. Until there is nothing else I can do, I will never stop trying.”

Breitling Watch – Chronomat 44 mm, 18-karat Rose Gold, Black Alligator Strap Sauro Ring – 18-karat Rose Gold, 2.16-carat total Black Diamonds 10-karat Yellow Gold Ring – 2.00-carat Diamonds 14-karat White Gold Ring – 0.70-carat Diamonds 14-karat Yellow Gold Ring – 1.30-carat Diamonds

Ibaka’s ability to remain focused has helped him achieve success both on and off the basketball court


Gatto Gucci Bracelet Gatto Gucci Chain Swarovski Pendant Black Baraka Bracelet with Diamond Speedometer JEWELRY PROVIDED BY FINCH CENTRE JEWELLERS

Hat – Goorin Bros Shirt – Guess

Apr/May 2018

City Life Magazine


It helped that basketball ran deep in Ibaka’s blood. Both his mother and his father played for national basketball teams — his father for the Republic of Congo, his mother for the Democratic Republic of Congo. Like most parents who see potential in their children, Ibaka’s parents encouraged him to pursue his dreams from a young age. “My father was a big inspiration because he was a basketball player, too. He was hard on me and pushed me a little bit, but he didn’t pressure me to play, as basketball runs in our family’s veins,” says Ibaka. Basketball served a deeper purpose as not just a sport, but also an escape when Ibaka experienced a series of losses in his life. First came his mother’s untimely death, when Ibaka was eight years old. Soon after, the brewing civil unrest in the country boiled over into the bloody Second Congo War. The family fled the city for most of the war, but on their return to Brazzaville, Ibaka’s father was arrested for straying on the wrong side of the battlefield. During his father’s year-long imprisonment, Ibaka at first lived with uncles, but then was turned out to live on the street. Eventually, his grandmother took him in. And Ibaka resumed his training in earnest. “If I didn’t wake up to go run, I wouldn’t be here right now. During those runs, while everyone else was sleeping, I knew I had to do something different from the rest to have a different future. People would make fun of me and tell me it was worthless. But in my mind, I always had a vision and a goal,” recalls Ibaka. Ignoring the taunts of his peers, he woke at 4 a.m. every day to go for runs, despite his hunger, the lack of electricity and, sometimes, a lack of shoes. These runs defined Ibaka. Every morning as he embarked on his daily routine, listening to his feet pounding the pavement, he knew that with every step, he was building and shaping the basketball superstar he would become. At the young age of 17, Ibaka made the move to Spain to play in the second division league, first with L’Hospitalet, then with DKV Joventut. In 2007, he was invited to participate

in the Adidas Nations camp; this would be his big break and put him on the radar of the NBA scouts. The pressure on Ibaka was intense. This was not only an important opportunity, but also a chance to care for his loved ones back home. “In Congo, when you leave to go somewhere else, everybody thinks that you are a millionaire already. A lot of people expected me to take care of them, so there was definitely pressure. But it was also a dream of mine to be able to provide a good life for my family.” On June 26, 2008, Ibaka was selected as the Oklahoma Thunder’s 24th pick in that year’s NBA draft, becoming the first player from the Republic of Congo to be selected in the draft. He had a long career with the Oklahoma City Thunder (2009–16) and went on to play for the Orlando Magic (2016–17) before eventually signing a three-year contract with the Toronto Raptors on July 7, 2017, for a reported C$65 million. Since then, Ibaka has become a household name in Toronto as one of the team’s star players. His transition to Toronto has been steady, and he is quickly adjusting to life in The Six. “I felt a good connection with the team and the city right away since I arrived. I really enjoy Toronto. It has been a great fit for me, because it’s a very multicultural city. Canadians have really embraced me, and I like how open and supportive the city and its people are. I love Toronto!” says Ibaka. Ibaka is known for his skills on the court, but the public is quickly learning about another side of him. Philanthropy makes up a significant part of his legacy. Besides providing financial support to his family, Ibaka has made charitable work his life’s purpose, creating The Serge Ibaka Foundation, which aims to inspire children around the world to believe in themselves, even if they are growing up in difficult circumstances. Ibaka is determined to help change lives back home in Congo and elsewhere in the world by using his own struggles and successes to inspire. “I started the Serge Ibaka Foundation





City Life Magazine

Apr/May 2018

Ibaka poses with a 2017 Porsche 911 GT3 outside of One King West in Toronto


Turtleneck – Christopher Bates Shirt – Joao Paulo Guedes Jeans – Frank and Oak Shoes – Parc City Boot

Apr/May 2018

City Life Magazine


Off the court, Ibaka is known for his distinctive sense of style Watch – Hublot Classic Fusion King JEWELRY PROVIDED BY L’ORO JEWELLERY

Suit – Thomas Henry Made Pocket Square/Bowtie – Thomas Henry Made Shirt – Guess


City Life Magazine

Apr/May 2018




because I felt I had to do something to help my people and others in need. Back in Congo, there are a lot of issues, and a lot of kids go through difficult times. I had many struggles as a child, which is why I want to focus on helping the youth. What lies ahead is a big project that we will soon announce, one which has been a lifelong dream of mine.” Some of the foundation’s great achievements include working with UNICEF and partnering with the Starkey Hearing Foundation in the summers of 2014 and 2016 to provide hearing aids to children in Ibaka’s hometown of Brazzaville. Ibaka says that, in light of his successes, he made a promise to himself and to God, to use his platform to help those less fortunate so that they, too, might overcome their challenges. He draws his strength from his long-standing faith, which also keeps him focused and humble in the face of the pressures and the notoriety that come with being a professional athlete.

“It’s all about never forgetting where you come from. Every day, I give thanks to God for the life he has given me, and I reflect on everything I have gone through. That is the key to living a balanced life. Enjoy what you have, but be aware that the most important things in life can’t be bought,” says Ibaka. It’s hard to imagine that this athlete and philanthropist was once a child forced to live on the street for a time, while his father was a political prisoner. But Ibaka holds no resentment; rather, he chooses to avoid hostility and navigate his life with dignity and grace. His family relationships are strong and an integral part of his identity, as are his Congolese culture and its traditions. During our photo shoot for City Life, Ibaka swaps out our playlist for his own: Congolese music he enjoys dancing to with friends and family back home. (You can take the boy out of Congo, but you can’t take Congo out of the boy!) As we watch him move to the rhythms, one realizes that there is much to admire about Ibaka, but perhaps one of his most admirable traits is the way he embraces who he is, where he comes from and how he got here. In part, this must be how he stays so grounded in contrast to some other NBA stars; if you have endured poverty, war, and the loss of parents as a child, you’re not likely to forget those painful memories. It is a credit to Ibaka that he chooses to let his story of struggle empower and educate others, particularly young people like his daughter Ranie. When he talks about fatherhood, Ibaka visibly fills with pride in his daughter. “I couldn’t be happier to have [Ranie] in my life. I want her to never forget where she comes from and to appreciate what she has. She has seen how a lot of kids her age live in Congo. Luckily, she didn’t go through the things I went through as a kid, but she needs to be aware of her origins and to be thankful, all while figuring out how she, too, can help others.” Ibaka is optimistic about the future. Never one to sit back and allow life to happen, he has always been the author of his own success, embracing opportunities that arise from his hard work and using his success to create new endeavours. This no-holds-barred approach to life drives him to keep learning, creating and bettering the world around him. “What’s next for me is to keep being hungry for more, in basketball and in life. I want to be a better player every season and to win a championship with the Raptors. Off the court, I want to do more business ventures and contribute to society with my foundation,” Ibaka says. At first glance, Serge Ibaka is an NBA powerhouse, nothing shy of the American Dream, with celebrity status, a lavish lifestyle and charm that are universally admired. But when he’s not Serge Ibaka the basketball player, he is Serge Ibaka the Son of Congo. It is an identity that he holds dear and does not take for granted. To the people of Congo, Ibaka is more than an NBA superstar; he is a symbol of hope. He is a force to be reckoned with, a symbol of survival and living proof that miracles do exist — we are the ones with the power to make them. @sergeibaka

Apr/May 2018

City Life Magazine




World-famous designer Brian Gluckstein speaks about his new position and regales with tales of design trends




Gluckstein is also on the board of directors of the Children’s Aid Foundation, which funds programs to support the education and welfare of vulnerable children


nternationally recognized as one of the top 35 designers in the world by Andrew Martin’s Interior Design Review journal, acclaimed designer Brian Gluckstein is known for creating luxurious, livable interiors. After graduating from Ryerson University’s prestigious Interior Design degree program, he started GlucksteinDesign in 1986. The firm has won numerous awards for



Apr/May 2018

design excellence, including ARIDO Awards for Excellence in residential, commercial and corporate design and the National Association of Home Builders Awards for Excellence in sales office and model design. Gluckstein has been announced as the new Home Design Ambassador for Hudson’s Bay. For the past 15 years, Gluckstein has built the GlucksteinHome brand at Hudson’s Bay, and now he will be able to offer his expert eye to inspire customers.

“We are thrilled to continue our important relationship with Brian Gluckstein as our new Home Design Ambassador,” says Alison Coville, president of Hudson’s Bay. “We want our customers to feel inspired to create the home of their dreams. Brian’s impeccable sense of style, his approach to interpreting trends for our customers and, of course, his incredible charisma make him the ideal fit to speak to our curated selection of the very best for every room in the house,” she says.

672 Chrislea Road, Woodbridge, Ontario • Tel 289 268 0020 •

Apr/May 2018



“For me, Hudson’s Bay is about the best of the best, available at all price points,” says Gluckstein. “Having a greater role as Home Design Ambassador is a natural evolution for me. I’m excited not only to continue to design my own collection, but also to communicate Hudson’s Bay’s overall vision and promote good design across the entire home category.” City Life asked Gluckstein a few questions about design and decorating mistakes, and here is what he had to say. Q: What are some home décor and design trends you would like to share with us? A: There is a big trend toward velvet. I love coloured velvet upholstery, because it changes with the light and is so beautiful and rich. Patterned dinnerware is also a great trend, because we’re going back to entertaining at home and setting a very personalized and glamourous table. Mixing and matching patterns on the table feels very fresh and eclectic.    Q: What are some things one can invest in to make their home feel fresh and welcoming? A: An easy way to make your home feel fresh and welcoming is through colour with paint. Art is also important because it gives the home soul. If you’re having overnight guests, beautiful bedding will make them feel special. Comfortable seating is also important for entertaining.   Q: Why is the partnership with Hudson’s Bay an exciting project for you? A: The partnership with Hudson’s Bay is exciting, because it’s an organic evolution and expansion of my role. I love designing our GlucksteinHome products for them, and now, as Home Design Ambassador, I’m involved in the creative aspects of all [home design products] at Hudson’s Bay.

A: Be relaxed. When entertaining have comfortable, intimate seating areas. Q: Tell us about some of the home furnishings that are part of your collection that most excite you. A: I have a bedding collection called Rhodes, which is a classic Greek key embroidered motif, and it’s been a perennial favourite that we’ve just introduced in white for spring. I have the champagne and grey colours at home, but I’m very excited about the white. Our new GlucksteinHome cottonlinen bedding collection is wonderful all year-round but in the summer it adds a relaxed European approach to the bedroom that I just love.

Q: Tell us about three things every home should have. A: A comfy sofa to stretch out on and read or watch movies. Art and books throughout the home, to show your personality. A really comfy bed, with a great duvet and beautiful bedding, to extend the weekends by reading the paper, scrolling through Instagram and having breakfast in bed. Q: What is the No. 1 mistake made by homeowners who want to decorate on their own? A: Scale. People often go too big or too small with their furniture, and it isn’t proportionate to the room.   Q: One of the best places you’ve discovered in the city to unwind and feel at home? A: My garden pool in the summer.   Q: Where do you go to recharge? A: Palm Beach and New York. Palm Beach to relax and New York to energize, depending on which I need.   Q: Best book or movie you read or watched last year? A: I watch a lot of black-andwhite films from the ’30s and ’40s all year-round on Turner Classic Movies. I read The Goldfinch last year and really enjoyed it.   Q: What is on your night table right now? A: A biography on Cary Grant and The Vanity Fair Diaries by Tina Brown.   Q: What is your favourite colour palette to work with and why? A: It depends on the client. I’ll use a more subtle palette or a more dramatic palette depending on their personality, the environment of the home, their art collection and the climate (Palm Beach versus Toronto versus Aspen). For myself, I prefer a neutral palette at home, because I spend all day with colour, texture and fabric, and I need the visual break when I get home.

For me, Hudson’s Bay is about the best of the best, available at all price points

Q: Finish this sentence for us: To make sure a house feels like a home, one must do the following things … 44

City Life Magazine

Apr/May 2018

My Brian Gluckstein by Lenox dinnerware collection is exciting and fun, because it gives me the chance to create striking patterns for a cool and glamorous table. And I always embrace summer, because it’s an opportunity to create an additional living space by extending the indoors outside with great patio furniture and accessories. This year, we have a modular conversation set that can suit any outdoor area and a fabulous three-piece bar for entertaining. Q: Define comfort. Define style. A: Comfort is warmth. I think of comfort in terms of physical comfort (a great sofa, comfy chairs) and also the comfort of a relaxed host who is uninhibited in their entertaining, with delicious food and drinks and lively, engaging conversation. Style is a personal expression of what one finds beautiful.


For over 20 years, Phases Hair Studio has been the premier hair specialty salon in the Toronto and Vaughan area, and it is pleased to welcome back Frank Tripodi, artistic director. Tripodi has travelled the world to expand his education. He now shares his knowledge and his love of hair not only with his staff, but also with hairstylists everywhere as an educator for the industry. Tripodi says the key to his success is teamwork and education. His passion and enthusiasm radiate through every hairstyle, every interview and every lecture. From the latest in hair colour trends to creating fashion-forward looks, Tripodi and his team at Phases Hair Studio will bring your vision to life.


180 Winges Rd., Suite 5, Vaughan, Ont. Email: | 416-226-5500 |

DESIGNER MENSWEAR SHOP QUALITY SINCE 1988 7600 Weston Rd. (at HWY 7) Woodbridge, Ont. | T 905-851-6500


Apr/May 2018



real estate

House For sale

Country Charm and Luxury in


This elegant country home is nestled in the heart of King City, Ont., and spans 92 acres of scenic, open, rolling lands Written By AngelA Rotundo

or the family looking to buy a country home just outside the city, this property offers a breathtaking landscape and so much more. Featuring a gated entrance, six bedrooms and 7.5 bathrooms, this home offers the best of both worlds, as serene nature meets modern luxury. With a vaulted beamed ceiling and stone floor, the main house foyer welcomes guests into the home. Rich, warm colours from antique furnishings and artwork create an inviting atmosphere. The foyer then opens into a large entertaining space with a walkout to the south-facing terrace. Just off the foyer is the living room, which features large picture windows overlooking the estate. Styled with vintage and rustic charm, the living room is complete with a gas 46


Apr/May 2018

fireplace and is sure to be one of the cosiest rooms in the house. The large living room opens into the formal dining room, furnished with wood flooring, which is ideal for entertaining. For all of those entertaining needs, this home has a kitchen beyond compare. The floor-to-ceiling windows fill the space with natural light and panoramic views. Ample cabinet storage space and a walk-in pantry make this kitchen an optimal meeting spot to grab a snack before stepping onto the stone terrace. Once outside, it’s time to enjoy the summer season. Those hot summer days were meant to be enjoyed in this backyard, complete with a large outdoor swimming pool and adjacent hot tub. A cabana overlooks the pool and hot tub area and includes changing facilities.

Overlooking the Town of Aurora and the Township of King, this majestic mansion boasts every luxury, including a private wine cellar, a stable complex, billiard room, media room and home gym. This idyllic country estate is listed at $8.995 million. Learn more about this property from John Dunlap at

photos courtesy of moffat dunlap


this property was built by one of toronto’s most well-respected builders, Windemere Homes

We are the only Hearing Clinic in Vaughan to carry Audibel Hearing Aids.

8787 Weston Rd., Woodbridge, ON | 905.850.7997 | Great Products | Great Service | Great Prices


905.851.2300 |

136 Winges Rd. 13, Woodbridge, Ont.

Call us today for your FREE ESTIMATE.

Apr/May 2018




WORK SMART for Your Money

Bruno Ricchio wants everyone to know that he is going to continue to be here for the next 25 years

The majority of Ricchio’s clients have been with him for 25 years


inancial planning is more than budgeting, saving or the perfect investment strategy. It sets you on a course toward actively achieving your life goals through the proper management of your monetary affairs. This is why working with a financial planner is integral to your overall financial success. Led by its namesake owner Bruno Ricchio, Ricchio Financial Group has been an independent, successful financial business in the Vaughan area for the past 25 years, helping people achieve their life goals. For someone who has been such a mainstay in the community, one would not think that Bruno Ricchio got into this side of the financial business by accident. As an economist by background, Ricchio’s first job out of university was for the provincial government. With a degree in accounting, he was then able to get a job as an auditor at the federal level. Here, he would manage portfolios and monitor how the fund companies were making their portfolios. This gave Ricchio an idea — to provide these same strategies on a more personal level. Starting with his own family business, Ricchio showed them how to plan their tax and manage their finances so that they could work smart for their money



Apr/May 2018

Our client is our No. 1 priority — Bruno Ricchio

instead of working hard for their money. He then started his own business with the intention of helping others do the same. Over two decades later, Ricchio has done exactly that, serving countless families and businesses. “The greatest satisfaction I have for myself is seeing my clients grow, develop and knowing that my firm and I have been an integral part of their growth and success,” Ricchio says. As a boutique financial planning agency, Ricchio Financial Group covers everything from personal finances to tax planning — everything from A to Z. His qualified team of professional accountants, and his referral agreements with some of the top mortgage brokers, insurance agents, lawyers and more, works together toward the common goal of the client’s best interests. In fact, Ricchio has always put the focus on the client. “Our client is our

No. 1 priority, always has been. And I won’t deviate from that for a dollar,” says Ricchio. His care for people extends beyond his work too. Ricchio helped to set up the Robbie Foundation, named after one of his clients. Every year the charity hosts a golf tournament that raises an excess of $200,000 dedicated to various charities including SickKids and the Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation. The charity then sends five families on an all-expenses-paid trip to Disney World. Staying in business for 25 years is an impressive feat that should not be underestimated, especially considering Ricchio Financial Group does not have a website and that virtually all of the group’s clients come from referrals and have been with him since day one. “The greatest compliment I can ever get is when they are referring me to their family and they say, ‘this is the guy you want to deal with.’ That’s the true sign of their satisfaction,” Ricchio elates.

25 Edilcan Dr., Suite #5, Vaughan, Ont. 905-761-0888

photos By carlos a. pInto

Ricchio has assembled a team of experienced and certified professionals whose No. 1 goal is customer satisfaction

A DV e r tO r i A L


fIne lInens

With a ridiculous renovation sale of up to 80% off, it is time to upgrade your home in comfort and style

David’s Fine Linens is a one-stop shop for luxury linens and accessories. revel in top-rated brands like St. Genève, St. Pierre, Marzotto and Missoni


or a limited time only, David’s Fine Linens is having a massive renovation sale at both its Vaughan, Ont., and Toronto locations. With items up to 80% off, the company is practically giving its exclusive products away. David’s Fine Linens carries some of the finest brands on the market, including the St. Pierre Bamboo collection, St. Genève, Marzotto and Missoni. The sale is the perfect time to add some Graccioza bath mats and bright, floral summer bedding to your home. With bathrobes, bath mats, towels, blankets, bedding, pillows, slippers and even table linens, David’s Fine Linens will have you living in style and comfort from the bathroom, to the bedroom, to the kitchen. Don’t miss out on the renovation sale of a lifetime — visit David’s Fine Linens at either location today. Renaissance Commercial Plaza 8099 Weston Rd., Unit 25, Woodbridge, Ont. 905-264-7778

Bayview Village Shopping Centre 2901 Bayview Ave., North York, Ont. 416-590-7311 Toll-Free: 1-877-591-1115



905-669-5499 | 13175 Weston rd., King city, ont. |


Apr/May 2018




The Language of


Acro Buddhas Miranda Cobbett and Ryan Scott have increased their love and passion for each other through the meditative practice of acro yoga

Acro yoga has become a language that they both share, completely understand and in which they are fluent



Apr/May 2018

photo by tami Klein

Written By Brandon Harripersaud


Ry and I are able to create something together that is part of the deepest part of what we love to do

photo by jay crews

ove at first sight is typically reserved for Hollywood rom-coms and fantastical depictions of romance, but what about love at first pose? This is true for the dynamic duo behind the popular and successful acro yoga brand Acro Buddhas. Miranda Cobbett and Ryan Scott had been together for six years before Cobbett stumbled upon her first glimpse of acro yoga on Instagram. She showed it to Scott, and they attempted to do the acro yoga in her parents’ backyard.

— Miranda Cobbett

As partners and best friends, Cobbett and Scott do everything together. their love has grown because of acro yoga and how it relates to their past and their interests

For the average individual, performing acro yoga would be incredibly difficult. But for Cobbett, who has years of yoga and competitive dance and cheerleading experience, and for Scott, who has had years of fitness, martial arts and gymnastic training, it came natural to them, and they loved it. “At six years, you’ve established trust, connection [and] playfulness. It’s always exciting, but this is like, ‘Oh my gosh.’ It brought our relationship to another point that we can’t really see [happening otherwise],” Cobbett says. What started as a passion project has developed into an international phenomenon. With more than 70,000 followers on Instagram, Cobbett and Scott are reaching and affecting lives worldwide with their gloriously staged artistic photos and videos. “I think that when you are doing what you love, things just manifest. It’s crazy that something that we thought so little about has turned into something that has an international presence,” Cobbett says. Cobbett and Scott are based in Toronto and hold many workshops around Toronto and the GTA. They also teach and perform all over the globe. As much as acro yoga has allowed them a

new career path, it has also enhanced and increased their relationship in ways they would not have thought possible. “Ry and I are able to create something together that is part of the deepest part of what we love to do,” Cobbett says. “We can communicate verbally, but we can also communicate with our bodies. He can anticipate how I’m moving, and it literally turns us into one.” Scott adds: “It’s like this unspoken dance that we have between each other. It’s magical, and it’s really amazing to experience that and have that connection with someone whom you love and care about so much.” Cobbett, who is a flyer, according to the terminology, describes the act of doing acro yoga as an intuitive dance between two souls. “It feels like flying, floating and it feels supportive and connective,” she says. Scott, who is a base, feels an intense and deep focus and in the present while doing acro yoga. “It’s almost like things around you are not moving at the same speed as what you are experiencing and what is going on within you,” he says. Sometimes the two of them switch roles, allowing each other to experience what the other side feels like. While acro yoga has increased and evolved their already-strong relationship, Cobbett and Scott have also seen the impact of it on the people with whom they have worked.

Often, people come in who are skeptical and down on their selves about the entire process. For those who are more into fitness, it can be very humbling, as it is not just about strength, but also about openness and focus. By the end of the class, people are successful and happy, hugging and highfiving others they just met, and they wonder how the 90 minutes flew by so quickly. “It gives me goosebumps every time,” Cobbett says. That, in a nutshell, is the power of acro yoga. It helps you focus and be in the present, something that we often leave to the wayside, distracting and keeping ourselves busy as much as we can. Acro yoga grants you a deeper sense of connection, with both your partner and within a community. And it is empowering, because you are able to create something special and unique together, sharing that with everyone around you, everyone who gets to see it. This is certainly true for Cobbett and Scott, and that easily comes through on Instagram. As acro yoga’s burgeoning success continues to rise, you can be sure to see the Acro Buddhas grow alongside it. With plans to evolve and be more creative with their poses and to continue pushing their limits, one can only wait to see what amazing, majestic routines they do next.

Apr/May 2018







A carefully curated selection of the finest beauty and health professionals the GTA has to offer


eauty is often described as subjective, with each person having his or her personal definition of what the quality is. Health, on the other hand, tends to be more objective and defined on a much smaller scale. Beauty and health often go hand in hand, as some would describe “being beautiful” as feeling and looking healthy. Here at City Life, beauty and health are our subjects. We take it upon ourselves to ensure that you, our readers, are given the best insight and opportunities necessary to better your lives. City Life has curated some of the most well-respected experts in naturopathy and fertility, beauty academies, makeup artistry, tanning centres, hair removal, bespoke clothing, salon and spa services and boutique dentistry — experts whose aim is to enhance and bring joy to their clients’ lives.



Apr/May 2018

or some, the gift of fertility comes with its challenges. With the help of science and technology, those struggling to conceive are often presented with a range of options such as fertility drugs, intrauterine insemination, in vitro fertilization and more. While these treatments have proven to be successful, many doctors are discovering the added value and effectiveness in naturopathic Dr. Timea Belej-Rak, MD., and Dr. Tanya Wylde, ND., combine the benefits of medicine fertility programs. conventional medicine and naturopathic With 25 years of experience medicine to create unique and effective combined, Dr. Timea Belej- fertility programs Rak, MD, a fertility specialist and her colleague naturopathic doctor, Dr. Tanya Wylde, ND, create unique mind-body programs for their patients, which incorporate conventional medicine and naturopathic medicine. This approach works to increase fertility and has been successful with many of their patients. “I put together resources for my patients that I felt would be helpful and empowering. As naturopathic medicine has become more evidence-based, I have found that by combining conventional medicine and complementary therapies including mind-body techniques, counseling and naturopathic medicine; which includes nutrition and therapeutic lifestyle changes, the success rates are higher,” says Dr. Belej-Rak. As Canadian Infertility Awareness Week approaches (April 23–29), Dr. Belej-Rak is thrilled to be speaking at the Canadian Fertility Show, taking place April 14, 2018, where she will be discussing her new book Embrace Your Fertility. The book, which features a chapter by Dr. Wylde, provides heartfelt stories from patients and brilliant insights Embrace Your Fertility from some of today’s top thought is available at leaders in the health industry. “We want couples to understand there is a lot we can do to help and there are a lot of options to explore in achieving a healthy pregnancy,” says Dr. T. Wylde.

Dr. Timea Belej-Rak, MD 201-9955 Yonge St., Richmond Hill 905-237-4411



between Naturopathic and Conventional Medicine Treatments for Fertility

Dr. Tanya Wylde, ND 1160 Clarence St., Woodbridge 905-850-5142



ngela Martino, the founder of Neece Electrolysis, has been a certified laser technician and electrologist for over 25 years. Her techniques effectively target all skin and hair types, delivering exceptional results for both men and women. Angela Martino, founder of neece electrolysis

iMiTaTed BuT NEVER repLiCaTed


n the most important day of your life, you need to look the best you ever have. With a bespoke clothing store and a full-service salon and spa, GG Customs is the only place to get everything you need for your special day. “We wanted to make it a onestop shop for our customers,” says Gloria Garofali, owner.


Gloria Garofali, owner of GG Customs

Anna Velocci founded Glow Vaughan in 2014


permanent HAIR REMOVAL specialists

HeaLTH proFessionaLs



Before discovering Neece Electrolysis, I was embarrassed by all of the unwanted facial hair that was particularly noticeable on my cheeks and chin. I had tried everything from tweezing to threading, waxing and even laser hair removal, but nothing seemed to get rid of those stubborn dark, coarse hairs that appeared on my face. I decided to book a consultation with Angela at Neece Electrolysis, and upon meeting her I instantly felt comfortable. We discussed my hair removal goals and expectations, and she also took the time to examine my hair and skin type to ensure that I received the best and safest treatment possible. I am truly delighted with the results that Angela has achieved! She is knowledgeable and passionate about what she does and is committed to ensuring that her clients are successful with their treatments. I truly recommend Angela to anyone who is looking to get rid of unwanted hair.”

As a L’Oréal professional salon who also offers other high-end brands such as Oribe, all GG Customs stylists and barbers are fully certified/licensed and up-to-date with the newest styles and trends, creating the ultimate luxury experience. Now that you’ve got the look you want, it’s time to get the clothes you want. With legendary brands like Zegna, GG Customs creates made-to-order clothing for both men and women specific to one’s liking, allowing each customer to pick their buttons, stitching, fabric, lining and fit. Competitors attempt the same quality and craftsmanship, but are unable to replicate the excellence of a GG Customs bespoke piece. “If you’re looking for quality you are going to get that,” says Gloria. To better suit your needs, GG Customs is opening multiple locations around the GTA.

— Francesca Maringola

9B-80 Carlauren Rd., Woodbridge, Ont. 905-856-8808

25A Caliber Crt., King City, Ont. 905-859-2500

dmit it, you feel better with a tan. Now imagine achieving that golden glow guilt-free. Thanks to Anna Velocci, founder of Glow in Vaughan, Ont., now you can. The spray tanning expert sat down with City Life to discuss her unique approach to achieving that natural glow you oh-so desire. “My clients range in age and culture. Whether they come to me as part of their beauty regime or in preparation for an event, they all desire to enhance their features with a natural-looking tan that is both beautiful and harmless,” says Velocci. With over a decade of experience in the tanning industry, Velocci has managed to eliminate the common misconceptions and fears of spray tanning. “Product and technique go hand in hand. The solution I use is Canadian-made, organic, vegan and doctor recommended. I believe the key to a perfect spray tan is choosing the right solution for the customer, based on their skin type, tone and hair colour. This is not something you become good at overnight, it takes years of experience and training,” says Velocci. Interest in health and beauty products and services that embody holistic concepts continues to rise. So, go ahead, get your glow on. We promise you’ll love it and so will your skin.

Maple, Ont. 647-924-6701 Apr/May 2018




HeaLTH proFessionaLs






Francesca is dedicated to using her skills and craft to change and improve lives for the better

own your



akeup, eyelash extensions and getting your eyebrows done is not just about looking good, it is about feeling good. The right esthetics make you feel empowered, confident and able to walk into a room without fear because you feel amazing. Francesca Le Coche, owner and esthetician of Beauty Boss, gives her clients that feeling every time. “I want to be able to help people own their beauty in every way,” says Francesca. Since she was a little girl, Francesca was fascinated by makeup, practising with her mother’s collection. Now, Francesca is able to live out her passion, helping others achieve their beauty goals and feeling the positive impact of doing what she loves. Unlike other makeup artists, Francesca establishes a one-on-one connection with her clients, ensuring that their needs are met and that they feel changed — so they can use that newfound confidence to go out there and do the things they never thought they could do. To be a Beauty Boss. Beauty Boss is offering free consultations to anyone who schedules an appointment.

56 Pennsylvania Ave., 170 North Queen St., Unit K, Unit 15, Vaughan, Ont. Suite 7, Toronto, Ont. 416-571-5199 54


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Dr. Ali Ahmed has taken over and is revitalizing napa Dental, bringing stability to the private practice


apa Dental is a private dental practice offering comprehensive dental services, with weekend and late-hour availability to suit everyone’s schedule. Dr. Ali, and his family have devoted themselves to running this clinic as smoothly as possible. True to his craft, Dr. Ali does not hesitate to put his clients’ needs before his. With patients from around the world, his knowledge, dedication and reputation speak to the expertise he has to offer. As a father, husband and friend, he values and understands the relationships he has with his clients in order to offer them the best service possible. He believes in sharing knowledge in complete transparency with his patients to earn their trust. With over 20 years of experience, Dr. Ali has kept himself updated with the latest knowledge and technology, which he incorporates into his daily practice. When he is not working in the dentist chair, Dr. Ali enjoys attending car shows, going on cross-country drives with his family and reading books.

75 Napa Valley Ave. #5, Woodbridge, Ont. 905-893-8939

Mary, Director of Dash, with her professionally developed Beauty Academy workbook


t is said that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so why not take matters into your own hands? Dash Beauty Academy, a division of Dash Beauty Bar, in Vaughan, Ont., offers Certificate Beauty Training in Makeup Artistry, Bridal Hair Design, Eyelash Extensions, Eyebrow Microblading, Expert Brow Shaping and Waxing. Dash is expanding its training division with more new and exciting courses coming soon! Industry professionals teach all courses at Dash Beauty Academy using only the finest products and tools in their training, including the Make Up For Ever line. As a private facility, Dash Beauty Academy offers training with a small teacher-student ratio that warrants individual attention, unlike the larger classes available in colleges. In addition, Dash Beauty Academy provides ongoing support to its students after graduation, with reference and employment assistance. “We’re always happy to hear [our] students are doing very well,” says Mary Centorame, owner and professional makeup artist. With five-star reviews from its students, and success stories of people gaining their dream jobs, Dash Beauty Academy is where you can learn how to build it beautiful.

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Lifestyle Chef Donald Williams (far left) is a full-time chef and instructor. Two of his students, Daniel Naminya and Samah Albaghdadi (right), a Syrian refugee, both completed the culinary pre-apprenticeship program

Hawthorne Food & Drink is giving the underprivileged an opportunity to find gainful employment and give back to the community WriTTeN By Brandon Harripersaud


hen SARS hit in 2003, it had a catastrophic effect on Toronto’s hospitality workforce. Thousands of people were laid off, and hotel occupancy rates dropped from 80 per cent all the way to 20 per cent. In order to circumvent the gap in the workforce, hospitality workers and six of the major downtown hotel chains got together to create an organization necessary to deal with the workforce issues. This organization would come to be known as the Hospitality Workers Training Centre (HWTC). Ten years later, the HWTC would come up with the revolutionary concept for Hawthorne Food & Drink, for which it won the United Way’s Social Enterprise Case Competition. “The concept of Hawthorne was to use the operations of the restaurant to provide free training for in-demand jobs that would support people who 56


Apr/May 2018

experience unemployment. [The training would help them] to move into those jobs,” says HWTC’s executive director, Mandie Abrams. All of the people who apply for and are accepted into this program are unemployed and do not have the necessary skills to find a job or gain training by themselves. These trainees have not had the access to education or opportunities that some more experienced people have had. “We work with individuals who might be experiencing disability, new immigrants, people who have not graduated from high school, people who are experiencing illiteracy [and so on],” says Abrams. The model Hawthorne uses is to provide short-applied vocational training and the assistance of employer support, which involves taking on trainees for short, unpaid placements. Participants in the program are able to

gain workplace experience, as well as coaching and mentoring from industry professionals, with help finding work upon completion. In 2017, 70 per cent of program participants went on to find employment. “We are able to provide them with an applied way to build the skills they need to get good jobs in a growing industry,” says Abrams. One of Abrams’s favourite success stories of this program is a woman named Jae, who was a participant in the culinary pre-apprenticeship program, where the students learn to work in the kitchen. Jae lived in a shelter in the east end of Toronto, as she had to move from a very dangerous situation. She had been through other training and employment programs, but nothing seemed to stick. When she got into Hawthorne, Jae was not an easy trainee, but she worked hard, and they worked hard with her. After Jae completed the program, she

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Mandie Abrams works hand in hand with chef Williams to ensure that the program and the restaurant are running smoothly

went on a placement with a large caterer, who wound up offering her a job that she in turn rejected. Instead, Jae got a job managing the same kitchen at the shelter for which she used to be a client. Abrams explains: “She says that, for her, she’s got a job, she’s got an office, she’s got benefits — and all that is great. But more so, she knows that she is giving back to everybody who walks through that door. She can nurture them, she can give them the basics of a good, warm meal, and those, to her, provide as much satisfaction as the office, the benefits and the salary.” Stories like this — and this is only one of many more — show the impact of how helping people move into employment can not only improve their lives, but also enable them to give back to their own communities. A recent United Way report states that a significant portion of the population is unable to improve their lives, because they do not have the social capital and assets needed to advance into employment. “It is our business imperative to recognize who the workforce is going to be and to work with agencies such as ours to get the best possible preparation and access to them,” Abrams says. Hawthorne is demand-driven, meaning it recognizes the needs the

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industry currently has, and then trains people as quickly as possible in order to fill those jobs. This allows Hawthorne to help two causes: one is assisting those who are struggling or have no other means of gaining valuable employment actually gain said employment, and the other is recognizing the burgeoning field of hospitality workers and creating a pipeline in order to fill those jobs. “The workforce is going to grow, and we need to support our most vulnerable jobs to be able to participate in it,” says Abrams. While Hawthorne is a social enterprise that is part of the HWTC, it is also a full-service, 40-seat restaurant that does breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as catering and events. The majority of its products are seasonal, sustainable and locally sourced — straight from farm to plate — as Hawthorne believes in supporting the community. Most of the staff at Hawthorne are instructors, providing training from the front of the house all the way to the kitchen. Executive chef and instructor Donald Williams relishes the opportunity to educate chefs, saying, “to see that they

If we can use food to nurture beyond the nutritional value, to nurture careers, to nurture lives, to nurture an industry, that’s an amazing opportunity — Mandie Abrams

graduate, get a job and continue to strive to become a better person and a stronger person in their career [brings me joy].” He continues: “Each day, they learn something new and something different, and they just want to learn more and more and more. That, to me, is just priceless.” At the centre of this important social enterprise is one of nature’s greatest gifts to humanity — food. Food here is used to train people, to build skills and confidence, to support the environment and the community, allowing all of these aspects to come together harmoniously. Williams says: “It doesn’t matter what creed, gender or race you’re from; food is food to all of us. It may have different names or be cooked in a different way, but food is food, and it is vital to society and the people.” Abrams sums it up best: “If we can use food to nurture beyond the nutritional value, to nurture careers, to nurture lives, to nurture an industry, that’s an amazing opportunity.” And with Hawthorne Food & Drink, the HWTC is making the most of that opportunity.

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city Notebook The season’s hot newsworthy events, couture, restaurants and designs that must be experienced Yorkdale Prom This is the time of year to get prom and party ready. In its fifth iteration, CONCEPT at Yorkdale will inspire shoppers getting ready for prom, a wedding or any special event. CONCEPT is an evolving space devoted to new thinking, designed as a showcase of new tastes, trends and technology. Yorkdale style experts will gather the latest trends in fashion and accessories, and guide shoppers to the stores that best suit what they are searching for in their look. Shoppers can also sign up for a private or semi-private one-hour shopping session with a Yorkdale style expert.

towers of love Blending emotional connection with an unconventional architectural design, Torontobased architect Alva Roy brings forth his Towers of Love. By taking the notion of love and shooting it toward the sky, his design allows onlookers to consider its mystery as they walk through its hallways and corridors, fully immersed in the recesses of its heart. “Love is when two entities join to become one,” says Roy. “So I went to meticulous care to make sure that this design would be emblematic of this inextricable bond that is the very essence of love.”

reetu GuPta Reetu Gupta, COO of the Easton’s Group of Hotels and the Gupta Group, was awarded the Rising Star Award at the International Women’s Day: Pink Attitude 18 Awards. Presented to a South Asian woman, the award recognized Gupta for her exceptional social, political and economic achievements. Introduced as “the voice of the generation and a leader of a movement,” Gupta was celebrated as a woman who breaks through barriers, while inspiring and empowering others to be prominent leaders.

taIkan everYthInG, natIve shoes and stance socks Boa-franc For the second time in a row, Boa-Franc has received a Grand Prix award, in the small-to medium-sized independent manufacturing company category. The award recognizes organizational excellence and outstanding results, but Boa-Franc was further singled out by the jury for the quality of its strategic planning process and its attentiveness to both customers and markets. “It’s proof positive that teamwork, continuous improvement and making everyone accountable for quality really do pay off,” says Jacques Beaudoin, Boa-Franc executive vice president and CEO.

text by AngelA Rotundo

Spring has officially arrived. Warm weather will be here soon, and that means it’s time to ditch your boots for sneakers and dark colour palettes for pastels and prints. With a hands-free fanny pack ideal for festivals, skateboarding or simply accessorizing your look, TAIKAN offers a refreshing take on a classic silhouette for spring. Native Shoes’ unique footwear line will embrace spring with bold sneakers inspired by Japanese Mochi, flats that can be worn from the office to the beach and pastel pink kicks. Stance socks have everything from super invisibles that keep your feet cool in warm weather, to floral fashion socks that pair well with heels.

Apr/May 2018



city Notebook call It sPrInG Call It Spring has united with social enterprise ME to WE to launch a limited-edition line of socially conscious accessories that gives back to three key impact pillars in developing communities in Kenya: education, clean water and opportunity. Designed by actress Bailee Madison and triple threat/Dancing with the Stars winner Jordan Fisher, the Call It Spring + ME to WE capsule collection was handcrafted by Maasai Mamas in a WE-supported community in Kenya, using traditional techniques passed down through generations. All of the net proceeds from the sale of each accessory go back to WE Charity.

hazelton wood desIGns For your next renovation project, you expect the highest in quality and nothing less will do. Hazelton Wood Designs will work with you to create customized solid wood doors, trim, mouldings and decorative hardware. Its designs feature a beautiful balance of solid wood, architectural detailing and the finest accessories. The talented team will bring your design inspirations to life, handcrafted to meet your detailed specifications.

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Dwell on Design, a dynamic four-day design conference, will welcome Jonathan Adler, Seph Lawless and Paula Wallace, three of the most prolific names in design, as featured speakers for 2018. Adler will be discussing his charitable work with Project Red and current influences in his new product lines, as well as upcoming design collaborations, including Uniqlo and Clinique. Best known for his extensive documentation of deserted locations across the globe, Lawless will discuss the origins of his career in photojournalism and touch upon the changing economies, consumerism and technologies of the locales he documents. Wallace is the president and founder of the Savannah College of Art and Design, a private, non-profit, accredited university with a mission to prepare students for creative careers.

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kona GrIll vauGhan If you’re looking for a great new place to dine, Kona Grill Vaughan offers global food, friendly people and unique cultures — all in one place. Its menu features contemporary American favourites, award-winning sushi and specialty cocktails all made from scratch, using only the freshest ingredients. Whether it’s dinner with the girls or hanging out at happy hour, you’re sure to enjoy refreshing cocktails and your favourite Kona Grill bites. With servers and chefs trained to accommodate your dining desires, the staff at Kona Grill hope you’ll join them soon for an exclusive culinary experience.

Topshop Splash! has been recognized at the Frame Awards as Window Display of the Year. YourStudio created the multisensory and interactive installation to launch Topshop’s summer swimwear line. The project took customers on a waterslide ride through virtual reality. Flowing water, squawking seagulls and sunscreen scents brought each customer’s senses to life for an original digital experience.

text by AngelA Rotundo

Discover the brand Mia Città, a trendsetting online clothing store offering first-rate goods and exceptional customer service to shoppers in the comfort of their own homes. An Italian/Toronto line with a passion for its city and heritage, this successful business is made up of innovators and forward-thinkers. With everything from stylish sweaters to trendy tees, this brand is not only about the passion and heart for Italian culture, but also about what it takes to accomplish something driven by a force that makes owning a clothing company worth the work.

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“I only use the finest ingredients out there to make unique desserts from scratch,” says Cirillo, who opened up shop in 2012. “Whether your sweet tooth is craving an ornate cake or a batch of simple cookies, we promise to create a memorable and delicious dish.” photo by carlos a. pinto

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Apr/May 2018


A Blossoming

tina Barkley and Karen Marshall have more than 25 years of experience cultivating content in the beauty and lifestyle industry

Beauty Business Fleurs de Villes founders, Tina Barkley and Karen Marshall, saw an opportunity to combine their passions of flowers, fashion and design into an international brand

Written By AngelA Rotundo intervieWed By Michelle zeRillo-sosA


photo courtesy of fleurs de villes

magine original dresses made entirely of fresh blooms. These days, anything is possible. Don’t miss the chance to witness floral fantasies become high fashion. The third annual Floral Mannequin Series, brought to you by Fleurs de Villes Inc., will be on display at Vaughan Mills from April 19–23. An experience like no other, this award-winning event brings both floral and fashion enthusiasts together. City Life caught up with Tina Barkley (TB) and Karen Marshall (KM) to discuss how some of the top local Toronto florists and leading brands will bring their couture creations to life and much more.

Tell us how the idea first came about for Fleurs de Villes. KM: As lovers of great content and beautiful things, we both came to a point in our careers where we saw an opportunity to build something that connected the two — through flowers. Tina had been passionate about creating flower market pop-ups, and I, as a lover and keen observer of the partnership aspect of the Chelsea Flower Show, always wondered how we could do a smaller, more bespoke version here. Those ideas and brainstorms quickly led to us realizing we could combine

flowers, markets, fashion, design, partnerships and more to create not only an experience like none other, but also an international brand. What do you love about your exhibits? What is the reaction that people have when they encounter these installations? KM & TB: We love the creativity our floral designers bring to each show — their imagination, their talent and their passion. People literally stop in their tracks and engage: they “ooh” … they “ahh” … they photograph; they tell their friends; some come back every day; and so much more. No two shows are the same, and we connect 90 of the top florists

in the country. We are so, so proud to support our florists, these entrepreneurs and these artists. What are some memorable projects and events you have worked on? KM & TB: Recently, we had the incredible opportunity to work with the Royal Ontario Museum [ROM] in Toronto, to help promote, in flowers, its Christian Dior couture exhibit. We worked with our floral design partner Elevated Events to create a stunning gown, based on Dior’s 1951 Autriche

dress. With over 1,000 fresh flowers and weighing over 300 pounds, this dress was a stunner — and right in the lobby of the fabulous ROM. Apr/May 2018



What makes your working relationship successful? KM & TB: We are such a great balance.

The first time we met [was] for a quick business thing, and the meeting lasted two hours, because we just hit it off. We can finish each other’s sentences and yet challenge each other and respect each other’s territory.

What is next for your brand? KM & TB: First, we are adding exciting

fine food elements to a few of our shows this year — for our Vancouver show at Metropolis at Metrotown, and in Edmonton at Southgate Centre, we will be doing long-table dinner and high-tea events — all flower-focused, of course … then … the world. We have had interest from a number of international markets, [so] extending Fleurs de Villes abroad is a strategic priority. From the start, we wanted to create a timeless, international, world-class brand, and we feel we are really working to that vision and staying true to it. And with that, the response has been truly amazing.

Fleurs de villes puts the flower in floral with these revolutionary and exquisite dresses made of elegant arrangements

We are also both Gemini, so it’s like four of us in the room at any time. We are never short of ideas, of inspiration and a get-up-and-go attitude. Any challenges, we both just put our heads together and figure it out. We also have a great team of people who “get” us and can help implement the vision. What is your favourite flower? TB: Do we have to pick just one? Dahlias.

Piano roses. Sweet peas. KM: Peonies and magnolias.

How do you choose the locations for these exhibits? KM & TB: We are always looking to

work with partners who have lovely public spaces, who understand the power of floral art and are looking for something unique. Partnerships are incredibly important to what we do, so it’s not enough to have the space. We want to ensure our partners are aligned on the vision and what we project to the community.

What makes a beautiful flower arrangement? KM & TB: Can you go wrong? Flowers

make us happy, and we have a business to prove it. But a well-placed peony will always make it perfect. A ranunculus. A

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photo courtesy of fleurs de villes

Tell us about yourselves. Were you always attracted to a career that involved flowers? KM: Flowers were always an interest, a fantastic and beautiful wonder in life, but I never thought I would work in flowers. I am a marketer, partnership curator and content creator by profession, working mainly in the magazine and digital media sectors for most of my career — from Western Living to Vanity Fair, Chatelaine, Maclean’s, Flare, Hello! Canada and more. Fleurs de Villes is a compilation of all of the things I have learned in my past career — and continue to learn. TB: I grew up with European grandparents who had seven fruit trees and a full vegetable garden in urban Vancouver. Full of flowers, too, I had an early love and appreciation for flowers. As a lifestyle expert, flowers are a vital part of my “job.” Flowers have always played a huge role in décor, in styling and bringing spirit and life to spaces and celebrations. Bringing this show to life that makes such a huge impact on so many people is so satisfying.

double tulip. We love texture and fullness in flowers. We love a tight bouquet even though the trend is toward more whimsical arrangements. We love all white, with a bit of lime … oh. What flowers do you like to have in your home/garden? TB: Sweet peas are a favourite of mine.

My grandparents grew a whole wall of them every summer, and I grow them every year as a tribute, but also because the aroma … oh, the scent. I have an amazing collection of dahlias and love bringing the beauty inside. KM: I am hydrangea-mad — my garden is full of all kinds of them … and in my home, orchids. What is the source of inspiration when creating an installation? KM & TB: The beauty of our shows is that

we feature the inspiration of 15 different, talented florists. They are inspired by a brand partner, a vision, a couture gown, a connection to a painting, a story, a popculture element, a hockey team and so much more. We truly bring all of that to life across the country with this year’s 90 inspired florists. Tell us about where you like to vacation and why. KM: Europe is a favourite for me. Having

lived in London for an extended period, and starting my life in Edinburgh, Scotland, I long for British country

We are so, so proud to support our florists, these entrepreneurs and these artists houses, tiny, winding roads through the valleys and great, ancient pubs and gardens, and the Highlands of Scotland. Conversely, I love the culture, people and colour of Mexico. TB: Great minds think alike. I went to school in Paris when I was younger and spent countless summers travelling to many countries to visit extended family. Portugal is one of my fave countries, but Croatia, and [particularly] Dubrovnik, is where my heart is. What is the last thing you purchased on your credit card? TB: Café au lait dahlia tubers. They are

my fave, so I just bought a bunch of tubers to plant soon. I love getting the garden prepped. KM: Tickets to the Skookum Festival in Stanley Park [in Vancouver] over the Labour Day weekend. Florence and The Machine — yes.

What is the best compliment you have ever received? KM: At our show in Victoria last year at

Mayfair Shopping Centre, a woman and her 13-year-old daughter sought me out to simply thank me/us — for putting on the show, for supporting local Victoria businesses and for simply making so many people happy when they came into the mall. Brings me to tears every time I think of it. It was so heartfelt and so genuine and beautiful. She stood there thanking me over and over for about 15 minutes — it was an incredible moment I will never forget. Favourite movie/book/song? TB: Fave movie: Out of Africa. Fave book:

Cutting for Stone. Fave song: Aretha Franklin’s “Think” — gets everyone in the kitchen dancing. KM: Fave movie: Impromptu. Fave book: Jennie Churchill — Winston’s mother was a fascinating, strong woman. Fave song: “September” by Earth, Wind & Fire right now — my daughters love it, and I do, too. Where is your happy place? TB: A sunny, cool, crisp day anywhere

(maybe my garden), with loved ones close by. KM: The National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa or The National Portrait Gallery in London.


Apr/May 2018




The five-storey spiral staircase highlights the building, providing colour and access to the entire campus

Stairway to Graduation WriTTen By brandon harripersaud

olleges require a campus that inspires students, one that motivates them and encourages them to pursue and achieve their dreams. Architecture is proven to have an impact not only on someone’s mentality, but on their creativity. This is precisely why phase two of Sheridan College’s Hazel McCallion Campus (HMC2) was created with such intricate, extraordinary design. Created as a joint venture by award-winning design firms Montgomery Sisam and Moriyama & Teshima, the phase two expansion is home to Sheridan’s Sustainable Built Environment Department, consisting of architecture, interior design, interior decoration and visual merchandising programs. The building combines state-of-the-art formal and informal learning spaces to become an incubator for invention and applied creativity. At the centre of the campus sits the Creativity Commons, a double-height atrium around which a series of learning spaces gravitate. The highlight feature of the centre is the scissor stairs, escalating five storeys through the atrium, connecting all of the spaces visually and physically. As users ascend and circulate, their experience of the building changes. By expanding the public realm through qualitative elements such as integrated and connected floor plates, openness and 66


Apr/May 2018

legibility of major programmatic elements, and a showcase of student achievements, the building redefines traditional approaches to education to support learning anytime, anywhere, encouraging encounters between users and an exchange of ideas. With only 220,000 square feet, the campus required efficient planning to keep a compact footprint, maximizing site potential and the program area with minimal material consumption. The architects were forced to be creative in their design in order to meet all the necessary requirements of the design-build. Vertical strips of seam metal and curtain walls interchange methodically to play with light, shadow and the level of transparency of the facade to create the building’s expression, all while maintaining an enclosure. Efficient construction assemblies and systems design yield aggressive waste reduction and produce immense energy savings. The campus is considered to be a living laboratory with live performance informatics, interpretive signage, mockup displays and exposed building systems, readily accessible to occupants and designed to demonstrate sustainable building practices and inspire a positive campus-wide energy culture.

photos courtesy of MoriyaMa & teshiMa architects


Sheridan’s new campus in Mississauga, Ont., presents cutting-edge design-builds to inspire students and redefine traditional education architecture


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