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SINCE 2003


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I will show you mine if you show me yours I am a Money Sense approved financial advisor!

I’m a

I know a lot chartered I can help I’m a about the financial PEOPLE ARE NOT VERY COMFORTABLE TALKING you with your certified market! in our culture.consultant! We believefinancial that goals! ABOUT financial MONEY — it’s just not planner! “only a vulgarian” talks about how much they make or how they invest their money. We believe that a very cultured person intensely dislikes the mention of money and never speaks of it. In a 2006 national survey in Australia by ME, of those who don’t like talking about their finances, 78% were worried about their finances. We are less willing to discuss personal finances openly with other people than other thorny topics like politics, religion, death, or even sex or other emotions.

A h p f e

A b f


! F N O


E! E R

Why? Investors are unable to give a correct estimate of their own past portfolio performance and (even more serious) their portfolio risk. Therefore, ignorance is bliss. The incompetent is unaware. And yet, discussing your finances is linked with many benefi ts, such asAdvisor better financial management, reduced stressWe in Your Financial Money Sense Approved? relationships, and reduced worry about money stress, which also leads to reduced health stress.



All MoneySense Approved Financial Advisors President & advisor, Tony De Thomasis, have completed a rigorous accreditation Hon BSc (Math), CFP, RFP WHAT IF process to ensure they meet high standards • We could lower service your investment fees by up to Independant 50%? for fair and transparent fees, quality and financial advisor since 1987 experience. Advisory as low as 0.25% • We could lower taxes and increase your net return upfees to 20%?


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DE THOMAS WEALTH MANAGEMENT 9033 Leslie St., Unit 1, Richmond Hill, ON | 905-731-9800 | The MoneySense Approved rating is created for information purposes only and is not intended as financial advice. MoneySense Approved is not responsible for any advice or other communication provided to an investor by any Financial Advisor. Rogers/MoneySense makes no representations or warranties as to the suitability of any particular Financial Advisor and/or investment for a specific investor. Visit for the full methodology.

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We encourage you to compare our services, strategy, advisory fees, independence, transparency and performance to other financial firms.

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Independant financial advisor since 1987 Wealth Management is an independent wealth management Advisory fees as low as 0.25% firm. Since its foundationDein 1987, at De Thomas Wealth, we continue to Thomas Wealth Management A MoneySense advisor can provide you the best in-class service you’re lookingprovide for, at a objective and independent advice thatIncome is personalized to each ETF Funds, RRSPs, RRIFs, TFSAs, RSDPs, fair price. Tax Planning, Retirement & Estate Planning of our clients' unique investment goals and objectives. Our culture of ...And more. independence enables us to assure our clients that their best interests Act now: contact us for a complimentary, no obligation are our number one priority. De Thomas Wealth Management currently consultation. manages over $1 billion with 80 advisors across Canada.


9033 Leslie St., Unit 1, Richmond Hill, ON | 905-731-9800 |

FOR A FREE CONSULTATION PLEASE EMAIL OR CALL | 905.731.9800 | 9033 Leslie St. # 1 Richmond Hill, Ont.

MoneySense Approved rating is created for information purposes only and is not intended as financial advice. MoneySense Approved is not responsible for any advice or other communication provided to an investor by Financial Advisor. Rogers/MoneySense makes no representations or warranties as to the suitability of any particular Financial Advisor and/or investment for a specific investor. Visit for the full odology.

Tony De Thomasis BSc, CFP, RFP President, De Thomas Wealth Management Mr. Tony De Thomasis is a graduate of York University (1976), with an Honours degree in Math and Science. He started in the financial planning business in 1977. Tony De Thomasis received his CFP designation in 1981 and his RFP designation in 1985. He has been a member of the FPSC for over 25 years and is also an approved advisor of MoneySense.

*MoneySense Approved rating is created for information purposes only and is not intended as financial advice. Upon approval for listing, participating advisors pay a fee to MoneySense. MoneySense Approved is not responsible for any advice or other communication provided to an investor by any Financial Advisor. Visit for full methodology. Advisor. Rogers/MoneySense makes no representations or warranties as to the suitability of any particular Financial Advisor and/or investment for a specific investor. Disclaimer: *Assuming annualized compound growth 7% vs 8%. The information provided is for comparative purposes only and should not be construed as investment advice or an offer of any security for sale. The rates of return used are only to illustrate the effects of the compound growth rate and are not intended to reflect future values or returns on investment. Mutual funds are not guaranteed, their values change frequently and past performance may not be repeated. Commissions, trailing commissions, management fees and expenses all may be associated with mutual fund investments. Please read the prospectus before investing. Investors should consult their financial advisor before deciding as to whether it is a suitable investment for them.





LIVING THE SWEET LIFE, LITERALLY! YouTube’s How to Cake It star Yolanda Gampp shares her journey to success

32 UNBREAKABLE: After a rare

illness nearly took his life, Paul De Lio proves that recovery is about a positive mindset




LONDON HOME: Inside the garden designer’s floralinspire Victorian abode

74 TO BE BAHÁ’Í: Getting to know the world’s youngest religion with nearly 7 million followers

18 10

City Life Magazine


Mouth-watering dishes from local eateries that will leave you wanting more

18 GREEN THUMB DECOR: A fan of foliage? You’ll love this inspo page!


DREAM: From cured meats to hot eats

26 FUN LUNCHES FOR KIDS: The Plantiful Sisters share their creative meal ideas




More stories inside …

which local Instagram pages made the cut

Real Housewives of Toronto star Roxy Earle redefines beauty


WE DON'T JUST BUILD SOFAS...WE CREATE HEIRLOOMS. Since 1987 Canada’s Boss Leather has built the most beautiful sofas, sectionals and chairs in the world. At Canada’s Boss Leather our cathedral is the leather and our faith is our skill - our products are truly divine. We offer hundreds of styles: classic transitional tuxedo finish and classic traditional rustic. At Canada’s Boss Leather everything is custom made and every detail can be customized.

CANADA’S BOSS LEATHER FURNITURE 18 King Street East Unit A-4 Bolton, Ont., L7E 1E8 Tel. 905-951-8884. Ralph Ricciardi

President of Canada’s Boss Leather Furniture


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

Michelle Zerillo-Sosa,




ell, in the case of Yolanda Gampp, this could be a real possibility. If you’re not yet familiar with her work, she is a multi-millionaire YouTube baker (3.3 million subscribers, that is) … all thanks to her incredible imagination. This is a woman who dreams up cakes for a living — not traditional tiered shapes and flavours, but cakes that look like hot dogs, huge candy apples, watermelons, in flavours like the ultimate red velvet and chocolate cake … You get the idea. Sweet mother of God, this lady has the power to tempt even the strongest-willed person with her cakes! Her belief is that anything is possible, and with the love and support of family and friends, the highest levels of success are attainable. Read her story on page 38. Speaking of belief, we all pray that our faith need never be tested the way Paul De Lio’s is. Many of us go through life without ever having to question why tragedies strike our lives or the lives of others in the world. A few years back, we published 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 12

City Life Magazine

Oct/Nov 2017

natural disasters and extreme weather conditions, one could ask the same question now. In De Lio’s case, where was God when deadly bacteria infected his body, nearly taking his life and resulting in the amputation of both of his legs? In that article years ago, one of the questioned religious leaders replied that God was in the firemen going up the stairs to rescue the people in the towers. It’s a response that to this date gives me comfort. Likewise, now, God is in the rescue workers bringing relief to Puerto Rico, Mexico and Florida. And God was in the doctors who fought to save Paul De Lio. He was with the family and friends who prayed for De Lio’s life and later, for his recovery. Today, just a few months after his ordeal, De Lio is filled with positivity and gratitude. He is ready to help others find ways to live with motivation. Dare I say, then, God also resides in De Lio’s heart. See his story on page 32. Of course, it’s possible you do not agree with my thoughts on the whereabouts of God. We all know that one should not speak casually of politics or religion, for these are sensitive topics (although the weather isn’t exactly a safe topic anymore, either). But perhaps you will be interested in our story about the Bahá’Í Faith, a relatively new religion with 5 to 7 million adherents practising globally. If you believe in the betterment of the world, in unity, love and service, you might find your place here. Bahá’Í’s believe in equality of all sexes, races and creeds, and in the harmony of science and religion. Story on page 74. In this day and age, we could all use more unity, love and faith, regardless of what form it takes. May you enjoy this edition of City Life Magazine. It, like life, is yours to experience and do with what you will.

Michelle Zerillo-Sosa Publisher/Editor-in-Chief





WE HAVE YOUR NEXT MARKETING TOOL 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.

COPY EDITORS AND PROOFREADERS SENIOR GRAPHIC DESIGNERS Christina Ban, Luay Saig Catharine Chen, Nina Hoeschele, Susan Grimbly WEB DESIGNER Yena Yoo

SENIOR WRITER Rebecca Alberico




Pattie Barron, Daniel Calabretta, Dave Gordon,

BEAUTY & TRAVEL AngelaDonna Palmieri-Zerillo Amandalina Letterio,EDITOR Rick Muller, Paris


COPY EDITOR Simona Panetta CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Joe Childhorn, Alexandra Cousins, Robin Gartner, A. Pinto, PROOFREADERS Nina Hoeschele, SimonaCarlos Panetta Jesse Milns, Clive Nichols 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 EDITORIAL V I DINTERNS E O D EDaniel P A RCalabretta, T M E N TBianca Ricci CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS VIDEOGRAPHER Carlos A. Pinto Daniel A. Cooper, Andrew Fearman, Michael Hill, Jesse Milns, John Packman, Sal Pasqua, Lesley Pedraza







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



FRONT COVER COVERS Yolanda GamppFRONT / Photo by Robin Gartner



Cristine Prosperi and Sebastian Giovinco

City Life MagazinePhotos • Volume • Issue 5 • Oct/Nov 2017 By 15 Jesse Milns City Life Magazine is published 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 subscription fee is $24.00. online at callingMedia Group, We accept Visa,Subscribe MC & AMEX. Send cheque or money orderortobyDolce 905-264-6789. City Blvd. Life Magazine ’s yearly subscription fee is $24.00. 111 Zenway #30, Vaughan, Ont. L4H 3H9. We accept Visa, MC & AMEX. Send cheque or money order to Dolce Media Group, Publication No. 40026675 111 ZenwayMail Blvd.Agreement #30, Vaughan, Ont. L4H 3H9. All rights reserved. is strictly prohibited PublicationAnyMailreproduction Agreement No. 40026675 without written consent from the publishers. All rights reserved. Any reproduction is strictly prohibited

The 22-inch screen and brochure stand adds tailored visuals to your office space.

Fully branded fusion of video and traditional marketing, packaged in a box! Available in several sizes and styles.

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 sales and event partnerships across Canada. City Life is also available to over 100 million digital Magzter Inc. and Issuu. consumers of Magzter Inc. and Issuu. Inquiries about where City Life Magazine is available for sale should be directed to Dolce Media Inquiries about where City Life Magazine is available for sale should be directed to Dolce Media Group: Group: or 905-264-6789. or 905-264-6789. ISSN 1206-1778 Next Issue: Dec/Jan 2017/182015 ISSN 1206-1778 Next Issue: Aug./Sept. City Magazine areare those notnecessarily necessarilyreflreflectect The opinions expressed in City Life Magazine thoseofofthetheauthors authorsand and do do not The opinions expressed in Life 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 thisinmagazine is intended for for information wayintended intended The material this magazine is intended informationpurposes purposesonly only and and is inin 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 the past 19 years withoutanyanygovernment government funding funding or fifinancial published magazines for theforpast 20 years without nancialassistance assistance of programs cover editorial all been possible thanks to the wonderfulsupport supportof ofour of programs to coverto editorial costs.costs. It hasIt allhasbeen possible thanks to the wonderful and advertisers. readersourandreaders advertisers. Dolce Media • • Printed in Canada ©2017©2015 Dolce Media GroupGroup • • Printed in Canada @citylifetoronto



@citylifemag 905.264.6789 |

20 16

. . . a t i V e c l Do a L g n i v i l ! a m o We' r e l a P to La

g n i o g e r e w'


TORONTO Corso Italia

WOODBRIDGE Piazza Del Sole

1357 St. Clair Avenue West

200 Windflower Gate, Unit 1

City Life Magazine

Oct/Nov 2017



TORONTO Yorkdale Shopping Centre 3401 Duï¬&#x20AC;erin Street


Bianca Sofa

Duchess Sofa

Carolina Bed

Everly Dining

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


@chateau.le.parc Fresh ahi tuna salad from Chateau le Parc is an elevated experience everyone will love

@montecitotoronto Local burrata cheese with fresh tomatoes is the perfect early-fall pairing with a bottle of red wine

@continentalnoodles At Continental Noodles 50 per cent of proceeds from their rainbow pasta to go to DIPG research at SickKids

Foodies Unite @canoerestaurant Sunset dining at Canoe Restaurant is a peaceful experience that will take you on a mental vacation



With three locations to serve you, @pusaterisfoods has all the gourmet ingredients you’ve been craving

The fresh oysters from Hogan’s Restaurant in King City are a must try!


City Life Magazine

Oct/Nov 2017


@sarpaoakridges The team at Sarpa is always happy to welcome new and returning patrons

Whatever you’re in the mood for, whether it’s ahi tuna salad from Chateau le Parc or grilled olive oil cake with apricot coulis from Sarpa, we have a breakdown of the best that Vaughan and beyond have to offer. We eliminate the guesswork so you can rest assured that any of these outstanding culinary establishments will satiate your palate and allow you to explore your adventurous side without trekking too far. Experience cuisine from around the world in your own backyard

home décor @davidsfinelinens Wrap up after a relaxing bath in a cozy and luxurious towel from David’s Fine Linens

@chaptersindigo Set your table with natural inspiration. These Amazon Florals salad plates by Tar Hong bring a level of whimsy and elegance

@growersflower Fresh flowers always bring a level of beauty and sophistication to your space

@wayfair Add a little animal instinct to your space with the Gunnar zebra rug, hand-tufted from sisal for a cosy feel

@wayfair The Viz glass vintage pendant light pairs perfectly with an Edison bulb for a unique earthy meets industrial feel

green thumb dÉcor

@wayfair Recline onto the Swam Valley blooms antique pillow, the perfect combination of comfort and style for your sitting area

When it comes to home décor, the top trend of the last while has been natural, organic and raw For additional green thumb décor, check out Butter Wakefield’s Victorian villa on page 56

@anthropologie Jazz up your bedroom with a modern take on some bright florals with the Lulie Wallace floral quilt


City Life Magazine

Oct/Nov 2017

@steelespaint A pop of sunshine yellow can liven up any room in your home!

@potterybarn Love the look of succulents, but can’t keep them alive? These faux beauties are the perfect trick for an earthy look without any of the hassle


@burkedecor Make the most of your statement wall with banana leaf wallpaper in green and blue by York Wallcoverings, natural style for the modern home

“The experience felt extremely custom,” says Christine Dovey, published stylist, decorator and artist. “To see [the team] come in and want to take the time to

make it well done and well-craed really stood out to me.”



Check out these local Instagram pages for all of your fashion and décor needs in Vaughan and beyond

@ARTBOMB_DAILY Explore local art with @Artbomb_daily, your guide to fresh new pieces from local talent

@WILLOWKLEINBURG Gear up for fall with all the latest styles from Willow Boutique in Kleinburg

@LOVIACO Hello gorgeous, shop @loviaco for all the little details to brighten your day

@MONA_LISA_ BRIDAL_GALLERY Steal their hearts and the spotlight on your special day in this stunning Julie Vino gown from Mona Lisa Bridal

@PERLUITORONTO Fashions fade but style is eternal — no one knows that better than Per Lui


City Life Magazine

Oct/Nov 2017


@PRIMALIGHTING Light up your life with Prima, the premier lighting solutions store in Vaughan

BOOST YOUR TASTEBUDZ Refreshing alternatives to add to your VAPZ lifestyle!





Check out our full line of products at


80 Bass Pro Mills Dr. Unit 13, Vaughan, ON



WIN 1 OF 10!

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Visit @bramalifestyles on Instagram for contest details.



FAVOURITES Fall in love with all of Brama Lifestyles’s beautiful kitchen products—from stove to table, they have you covered 1. Lodge cast iron skillet 2. Le Creuset limited edition Beauty and the Beast soup pot 3. JURA coffee cup and saucer 4. Steelite Coupe plate and Simplicity bowl 5. John Boos walnut cutting board 6. Le Creuset Revolution 6-piece utensil set 7. Nespresso inissia capsule coffee machine 8. KitchenAid Professional Series blender 9. Riedel Big Apple wine decanter 10. Le Creuset pie bird and 9” pie dish


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City Life Magazine

Oct/Nov 2017

Oct/Nov 2017

City Life Magazine



a Carnivore’s Dream


Chef Gabriele Paganelli is a master of his craft. He also happens to be the only Assaggiatore Salumi in North America by the Organizzazione Nazionale Assaggiatori Salumi — the equivalent of a wine sommelier for all things charcuterie

Speducci Mercatto serves up the best in cured, dry-aged, fresh and prepared meats in the city, thanks to the traditional (and tasty) Italian methods to which Chef Gabriele Paganelli remains loyal Written By Rebecca Alberico 24

City Life Magazine

Oct/Nov 2017

hen it first opened its doors in 2014, owners Gabriele Paganelli and Rosie Scavuzzo couldn’t have anticipated the success of the then little-known Speducci Mercatto. Nestled in an industrial nook of a bustling city, the warm and welcoming butcherslash-market-slash-café grew and grew to become just what Torontonians had been looking for — a place to gather for good Italian food and quality products. Its mainstay is an award-winning selection of Paganelli-branded cured meats: mouth-watering prosciutto, pancetta and salami. Once you set foot in the door, the aroma, reminiscent of an Italian salumeria, paired with the beautiful visual of the cured meats hanging everywhere is enough to overload the senses and transport you back to Sunday lunches at nonna’s. The Ravenna-born chef (from the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy) grew up on the food he prepares and serves today. While working for the family business as a boy, he fostered an appreciation for the freshness of homemade goodness. Paganelli’s philosophy is simple: “I want to reproduce what we don’t have here in Canada, all the beautiful flavours.” As a duo, Paganelli and Scavuzzo proved to be the A-team — Paganelli has years of culinary experience, while business-savvy Scavuzzo has successfully opened and managed several eateries across the city over the years, including the Real Sports Bar and Grill with MLSE. Speducci Mercatto was destined to be a local gem. With an emphasis on using only the finest-quality, locally sourced cuts of meat (some of which are from the chef ’s personal farm) alongside fresh produce and using traditional cooking and curing processes, Speducci

photos by carlos a. pinto

Paganelli cured meats received praise and industry recognition from the Ontario Independent Meat Processors. The team was awarded three platinum awards and one silver award at the OIMP Awards Gala for Ontario’s Finest Meat, as well as the diamond award (Best of Show) for the Gentile Salumi

Mercatto hit an epicurean gold mine, slowly expanding their offerings to include more of what their customers were seeking. “If you’re true to your brand and stick to something great, people will come,” says Scavuzzo. Thinking back to the wild boar strozzapreti that she had me try just before our interview began, I have to agree: it’s a Chef Paganelli specialty. “Gabe’s food is extraordinary,” says Scavuzzo. “We don’t cook with a lot of seasoning or spice; we just use really good food, and it comes out in every single dish.” You’d be hard-pressed to find a more wholesome dish in the city at lunchtime. The boar meat, juicy and packed with a punch of natural flavours, sits on a bed of freshly made pasta and is complemented by a tomato sauce that nonna would not only approve of, but surely serve in her own kitchen. Other popular dishes include the award-winning truffle pheasant risotto and, of course, the speducci. Paganelli treats his constantly evolving menu with pride, mixing old-world traditions with modern techniques.

“ We offer high-

end and that’s What We’re sticking to — nothing less, it’s just not part of our business model.

— Rosie Scavuzzo

“We use the best ingredients on the market,” says Paganelli. “If you use the best then it’s easy to reproduce something good.” Whether you’re dining in, taking out or picking up an assortment of cured charcuterie and delicious imports, Speducci Mercatto is a hot spot for quality products and superior customer service. After hours, the café is also available for private functions, a popular

venue for parties, milestone celebrations and business dinners. “People come here for the quality and uniqueness of our products,” says Scavuzzo. “We offer high-end and that’s what we’re sticking to — nothing less, it’s just not part of our business model.” Everything, down to the grains of salt used in the special curing process, is top-quality. It’s an art form, really. Paganelli uses a special sweet sea salt from the Adriatic Sea. Not to mention that everything from the traditional sugo (tomato sauce) to the pizza dough and pasta is made fresh in-house almost daily to keep up with demand. “We owe a lot of our success to every single customer that comes through that door,” says Scavuzzo. “They’ve been our biggest advocates since day one.” On the horizon are two exciting extensions of Speducci Mercatto: a food truck expected to roll out in time for summer 2018 and an expansive 6,000-sq.-ft. event space for up to 300 people to cater to the growing demand in the community. Oct/Nov 2017

City Life Magazine



Fun Lunches for Kids

1. WAFFLE KEBABS WiTh sUnBUTTer & raspBerrY JaM (makes 2 kebabs)

Revolutionize the way your family is eating with these quick, creative and healthy lunch recipes brought to you by The Plantiful Sisters

1. W


le f f

Ingredients: • 2 Nature’s Path waffles • SunButter • Raspberry jam • Fruit of your choice • 2 skewers


Steps: 1. Spread SunButter on one waffle and jam on the other, as much or as little as you prefer. 2. Sandwich waffles together and cut them into quarters. 3. Assemble waffles and fruit on each skewer as desired.


2. asian-inspired Veggie nOOdLes (serves 2) c b





d 26

City Life Magazine

Oct/Nov 2017

Steps: 1. Heat oil and carrots with water for 3 minutes in a medium pan. 2. Add peas, broccoli and garlic. Cook until tender. You can cover the pan with a lid to speed up the cooking process. 3. Season with Tamari and ginger. 4. Meanwhile, cook pasta noodles according to package instructions.



o odl N . 2

Ingredients: • 1 cup broccoli florets • ½ cup chopped carrots • ½ cup frozen green peas • 1 clove garlic, minced • 1 tbsp avocado oil • 1 tbsp water • Generous pinch of ground ginger • 1–2 tsp gluten-free Tamari • 100g rice noodles or other favourite noodle

5. Remove cooked noodles and add to skillet with veggies. Toss well and taste. Adjust seasoning as needed. 3. Veggie ChiCkpea Wraps (makes 2 wraps) Ingredients: • 2 gluten-free tortilla shells • Romaine lettuce leaves For filling: • 1 cup Eden Foods chickpeas, mashed • ¼ cup chopped celery • 1 tbsp vegan mayonnaise • ½ an avocado, mashed • 1 tbsp lemon juice • 1 tsp Dijon mustard • Salt and garlic powder to taste

Steps: 1. In a bowl, mash chickpeas with a fork. 2. Add remaining filling ingredients and mix well. 3. Place 1–2 romaine lettuce leaves on tortilla shell and fill with chickpea mixture. 4. Roll up and cut in half. Secure with a toothpick if needed. snaCk ideas a. Yogurt Parfait made with Enjoy Yoso Coconut Yogurt & Living Intentions Superfood Granola b. Dumet Pitted Black Organic Olives c. All fruit and veggies from Mike & Mike’s Certified Organics d. Gogo Quinoa Chocolate Chip Cookies

The Plantiful Sisters Sister duo Angela Palmieri-Zerillo and Debora Palmieri combine their love of plant-based food and holistic living by creating healthy, delicious and easyto-prepare meals. These two moms are on a mission to get you to rethink and reinvent your kitchen.

@theplantifulsisters, @angshealthyeats, @nutritionistdeb_rhn

Oct/Nov 2017

City Life Magazine



#In Only10years

There has been a 50 per cent rise in food allergies among children and adolescents in recent years. This means that approximately one child in every classroom has a food allergy

New SickKids campaign vows to eliminate food allergies over the course of a decade, significantly improving the lives of hundreds of thousands of children living in constant fear of anaphylaxis Written By Rick Muller Interviews By Rebecca Alberico


there any parent dropping off their child at school who doesn’t say a silent “please keep them safe today” as they depart? Now imagine you’re the parent of a child with a food allergy — or, indeed, imagine being that child themself. The everyday dangers are magnified tenfold. For kids who live with the risk of anaphylaxis, every meal, birthday party, playdate and social interaction (let’s not even start on the dangers of Halloween) comes with the threat of a potentially fatal allergic reaction. Imagine having to interrupt the magic moment of your first 28

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kiss to ask, “Have you had any sesame seed or nut by-products in the last 10 hours?” That’s been the unfortunate reality for more than 2.5 million Canadians who live with the risk of anaphylaxis. For The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) in Toronto, one of the world’s most respected institutions and leader of children’s health care treatment and research, as well as a place of daily miracles, care and compassion, enough was enough. It’s time to stop this. It’s time to solve this. It’s time to cure this. And in the words of SickKids: “A cure is not a hope. It’s a certainty.”

In a testament to its expertise, leadership and history of significant change in children’s health care, SickKids has embarked on a $7.23-million fundraising campaign supporting its Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Program, with the ambitious goal of finding cures for food allergies within the next 10 years. That’s right. Not 50 years. Not a generation. But in just 10 years. That’s bold … and that’s how SickKids rolls. “Living with a food allergy is not a small thing; there are lots of lifestyle changes,” says Dr. Adelle Atkinson, clinical immunologist at SickKids. “Peanut allergies, for example, are approximately 1.7 per cent of the paediatric population and our message has been clear: parents who avoided giving peanuts to infants should now in fact introduce peanuts to kids in their first year, instead of age 3, which used to be recommended. The first thing parents can do to prevent the risk of allergy is by introducing early. Fully 80 per cent of peanut allergies can be reduced this way.” “SickKids is being very active in delabelling of people, meaning they may once have been told they are allergic to milk, for example, but through our programs they find they are not, and this can be life-changing,” says Dr. Atkinson. Beyond prevention in the infant years, SickKids is also working on how to best help those who are allergic, including working on blocking a molecule named PAF with certain medications, resulting in allergic reactions that are much milder. But the Holy Grail is still to cure food allergies entirely, and while there is lots of work to do, Dr. Atkinson remains optimistic. “We’re very active in oral desensitization, which gives very small amounts of certain foods to allergic kids, and this approach seems to have some validity in some groups of people. It could ultimately be an effective form of therapy,” says Dr. Atkinson.

Supporting the Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Program means SickKids is one step closer to reaching its goal to cure food allergies within the next 10 years

SickKids is fortunate to be supported in this #inonly10years campaign by Kraft Canada, which recognized early on what the campaign was trying to accomplish and supported it in a major financial way, partnering with SickKids to raise funds that go to research, education and clinical care. “It’s a great and bold ambition and we need to raise awareness of what we’re doing,” says Ayala Beck, associate director of Major Gifts at SickKids Foundation, and herself the mother of a child with a food allergy. “Though this is relatively new, we are already seeing a significant increase in the amount of research that is happening, and this will translate into what information families can access. This is definitely a cause now and we’re looking to rally the community behind this. Ultimately, we’re hoping to relieve the anxiety for families who have a child with a food allergy.” You only have to speak once to a child with a food allergy or their parent to realize how different their lives would be if this problem could be solved. What an impact this campaign to cure anaphylaxis would have on their lives, day-to-day and hour-to-hour. A 10-year goal — imagine the difference. Envision the impossible. So let’s find a cure and, as SickKids says, “It’s a certainty.” Dr. Adelle Atkinson, clinical immunologist, The Hospital for Sick Children Dr. Adelle Atkinson is the educational lead for the Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis program, as well the Immunity program, at The Hospital for Sick Children. Dr. Atkinson provides clinical education in the area of allergic diseases at all levels, including undergraduate, postgraduate and continuing professional education, as well as for the public via community outreach.

Oct/Nov 2017

City Life Magazine




Scottish-born Ian Dejardin has spent the last 12 years as the director of Dulwich Picture Gallery in the U.K., arguably the best arts and museum job in Europe. So why would he leave such a coveted post to become the executive director of the McMichael Canadian Art Collection? Dejardin sits down with CityLife to explain Written By Daniel Calabretta


hen the Montreal Rhapsody Orchestra started playing 1980s classics from the likes of Madonna and Michael Jackson at the 2017 McMichael Moonlight Gala, one keen man decided to hit the dance floor and break out a few moves. By his account, he did so for the next two hours. His name is Ian Dejardin. He’s the new 30

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executive director at the McMichael Canadian Art Collection. “Apparently, no previous director has ever danced at the McMichael Gala. And none of the staff did before, until they saw me hit the dance floor,” Dejardin says. This was the sixth year of the event. “There’s a certain relaxation. I think that’s what I bring, because I’m not bureaucratic. I like to be friends with my staff.”

Edinburgh-born Dejardin officially took over the executive director position from McMichael’s interim executive director, Nathalie Mercure, on April 3. Previously, he had been with Dulwich Picture Gallery in the U.K. for 19 years, 12 of them as the director. “It’s been great, [but] a bit of a whirlwind,” Dejardin says of the job transition. “When you start a new job like this, it seems to be all meetings, meetings, meetings. And I have to listen — this is the thing. Also, I have to be patient, because I like to get things done.” Being the director at Dulwich is considered by many in the arts and creative industries sector to be the best job in the U.K. So why would Dejardin give that up to be executive director at McMichael? “Because it’s the best job in Canada,” he replies. “It has a very strong brand. It’s the only gallery in Canada that has a mandate to celebrate the art of Canada.” Aside from the fact that he was already visiting Canada quite regularly planning for a 2018 exhibition featuring the works of revered painter David Milne, it was Dejardin’s unfettered passion for Canadian art that ultimately led him to McMichael. “I’ve come at Canada entirely through representation in two dimensions. That’s how I fell in love with Canada.” Dejardin says he’s been a fan of Canadian art since 1987, when he opened a book containing the first reproductions of the Group of Seven. He quickly became a deep admirer of the group’s work, especially their use of colour and landscape. “What fascinated me then was the fact that here was a school of landscape painting that was utterly vibrant, bright and suggestive of a country that was very different from where I was brought up,” he says. “I understood that this was Canada. This was the vast wilderness and landscapes of Canada, so beautifully painted, clearly in a language that relates to European art (for instance, Van Gogh and all those first impressionists), but was utterly unique.”


A fan of Canadian art for roughly 30 years, Ian Dejardin will have the chance to fully immerse himself in this nation’s artistic milieu as new executive director at the McMichael Canadian Art Collection

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Oct/Nov 2017

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Paul De Lio was a healthy, fit 30-year-old when a bacterial infection nearly took his life


City Life Magazine

Oct/Nov 2017



Paul De Lio almost didn’t make it — he was inches from death. This is a story of unimaginable strength, inspiring family bonds and one young man’s will to live against all odds Written By Rebecca Alberico

hen Paul De Lio was admitted to The Scarborough HospitalGrace Division’s intensive care unit on April 30, he was listed as the sickest person in all of Canada. His heart stopped for three entire minutes — his body was in shutdown mode. It was nearly a week — what seemed an eternity to the De Lio family — before doctors discovered, almost too late, which deadly bacteria had invaded Paul’s body. Paul was diagnosed with invasive group A strep. He spent three months in the hospital recovering from his near-death experience and the collateral amputation of both of his legs just below the knee. Paul was a healthy, athletic 30-year-old just prior to his illness. Nerves are high before we enter the De Lio home. Unsure of what to expect, we prepare ourselves for an emotional interview, tissues in hand. To our surprise, the apprehension dissipates in an instant. Paul’s confidence and positive spirit fill the room with a sense of calmness and comfort. “Would you like an espresso, water?” asks Paul, as he manoeuvres around his basement

“ The docTor

came over To Talk To me and jusT said, ‘Your broTher is verY, verY sick, and Your familY needs To prepare Themselves. he could die TodaY’

apartment in his prosthetics. It’s hard to believe he’s been out of rehab only a month; the young amputee is adjusting to his new life with optimism. Paul tells us what he was most passionate about: his role as an educator, coaching youth soccer and volunteering his time to teach catechism classes at local church for the past five years. He also gushes about his love for his four nieces and his nephew. Circumstances have changed, but he maintains that his dedication to the aforementioned hasn’t. He’s living proof that a positive mindset, an unbreakable support system and determination can pull you through anything. It was Wednesday, April 26, and the young teacher was just beginning a new contract position at an elementary school when he asked to leave early because he was feeling ill. One of the last things Paul recalls is visiting a walk-in clinic for what presented as a “typical flu” and being sent home. “The doctor told me, ‘Take some fluids. Get some bed rest. Go home.’ What else are they going to tell you to do? That was that,” says Paul, who admits to being a good advocate when it comes to his health. But in just 48 hours, Paul’s Oct/Nov 2017

City Life Magazine



“ i wanT To geT back To coaching

soccer and Teaching, buT i don’T wanT To be limiTed, which is whY i haven’T been back YeT





1. Peter De Lio, strong by his son’s side 2. Paul and his mother, Delia De Lio, who was at her son’s side during the entirety of his stay in the hospital. 3. The 31-year-old is passionate about sports and hopes to become an athletic director 4. Paul was a proud youth soccer coach and referee 5. De Lio siblings (From top left): Paul, Maria Ramjallacksingh, Frank De Lio, Vince De Lio 6. Paul and girlfriend Jacquelene D’Erasmo


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Oct/Nov 2017

innocent flu-like symptoms went from mild to lethal, and he collapsed in his home on Sunday morning. “I woke up in the hospital three weeks later.” Frank De Lio, Paul’s older brother, fills in the gaps. As he begins to share Paul’s story, he takes a deep breath. Although his brother is alive, it’s without a doubt that Frank’s heart aches recalling the day that changed his family’s life forever. “When we got to the hospital everyone was crying,” says Frank, with a crack in his voice. “The doctor came over to talk to me and just said, ‘Your brother is very, very sick, and your family needs to prepare themselves. He could die today.’” Paul’s organs were in distress simultaneously, and he had gone into cardiac arrest about 30 minutes after he arrived at the hospital. Struggling to stabilize Paul, the doctors put him into an induced coma — but the clock was still ticking on a diagnosis. “I remember going outside and just basically collapsing to my knees just crying; I couldn’t believe what was happening to my little brother.” Paul’s lungs and heart were failing and his kidneys had already shut down — he was on life support. Dr. Niall Ferguson, head of critical care at the University Health Network, which includes Toronto General, was called in to see if Paul was a candidate for a procedure known as extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO), a lung bypass. ECMO uses a modified cardiopulmonary bypass circuit for temporary life support of patients with potentially reversible cardiac or respiratory failure, essentially buying doctors more time. Dr. Ferguson tells us that Toronto General is the only hospital in the region that performs this life-saving service. “The doctors said Paul was a good candidate, but my parents needed to decide whether or not he would go through with it — there were a lot of potential risks,” says Frank. Grasping for any hope they could, Paul’s parents, Peter and Delia De Lio, gave the procedure the green light. The surgery was successful. “There was virtually no good news for the next few days because the doctors kept doing blood

photoS courteSy of paul de lio


work to try to identify which bacteria it was,” says Frank. “They kept looking at his white blood cell count, and the infection was still there.” But the De Lios didn’t lose hope. Delia was by her son’s side day and night. Doctors finally identified the bacteria as invasive group A strep, Paul was suffering from toxic shock; his blood was poisoned by the bacteria. According to the Public Health Agency of Canada, the vast majority of Strep A infections present as nonlife-threatening conditions, such as strep throat. In extremely rare cases like Paul’s, the bacteria can infiltrate other parts of the body that it wouldn’t normally, such as the bloodstream — these “invasive” strep A infections can be life-threatening. Variations of invasive strep A include septicemia (blood poisoning), meningitis and necrotizing fasciitis, sometimes called flesh-eating disease. “The doctors told us that 99.9 per cent of the time, the bacteria is completely harmless to humans,” says Frank. “We carry it on our skin, in our mouths. In this tiny percentage of people, it ends up being invasive and getting into where it’s not supposed to, and just attacking.” Dr. Ferguson says invasive group A strep is quite acute; it comes on quite suddenly and is not easily predicted. “There is a significant mortality associated with it, because despite antibiotics (which are the cornerstone to treating bacterial infections), often the body’s own immune system has a huge response to the infection and it can be difficult to get under control,” says Dr. Ferguson. “We often need to support the lungs with a mechanical ventilator, the heart with adrenalinetype medications, and often the kidneys need help with dialysis — all those things were true in Paul’s case, plus he needed ECMO support.” It was about two weeks before Paul was taken out of the coma, and Frank says he was terrified of what his brother would see when he regained consciousness. “Because they had him on some strong blood pressure medication, the blood vessels in his legs, arms and in his extremities closed, and it pushed the blood to his core. He needed the blood

at his heart and his lungs and his brain.” The De Lios were warned of the risk that Paul’s blood vessels could die, and that he could suffer from necrosis in his feet. It happened. “I couldn’t talk much when I woke up, but I remember looking down at my feet and asking my brother what happened,” says Paul, miming the way he had anxiously gestured to his feet. “They were black.” Although his organ functions were slowly improving, his toes and feet were damaged beyond repair. “I remember as he was getting worse, we were begging, I was begging the doctor, ‘Please, there’s something you guys have to do. He’s an athlete. He’s a soccer player. He’s a teacher.’ Losing his feet is like the worst punishment he could get,” says Frank. Paul’s attending physician suspected his immune system was expending large amounts of energy trying to repair his damaged feet, to no avail. “He expected his kidneys to recover after amputation as his body would focus on healing the other damaged areas, and it did,” says Frank. After the amputation Paul’s recovery sped up.  Both of Paul’s legs were amputated just below the knee, and after two weeks of recovery post-surgery (“it was supposed to be six, but I’m an all-star,” says Paul), he was transferred to St. John’s Rehab at Sunnybrook Hospital, where he would spend two months as an in-patient and slowly transition back to his home with his prosthetics. While at St. John’s Rehab, Paul was under the care of Dr. Amanda Mayo, a physiatrist with a subspecialty in amputee rehabilitation. Dr. Mayo is excited to share the progress Paul has made in the last few months and sheds some light on the challenges that Paul will face short-term and long-term. “I think initially Paul was in shock, and I think it was very hard for him to be dependent on other people,” says Dr. Mayo. “He was very adamant that he wanted to be independent and he didn’t want to be disabled.” This was understood from our meeting with Paul. The 31-year-old who lives in the basement apartment of his parents’ Scarborough home isn’t the type to rely on others. “Everyone

tells me to reach out if I need anything, but I’m never the type to ask for help,” says Paul. “I was so independent before, I haven’t asked my parents for money since I was 17 — do you know what I mean?” Very few modifications have been made to the home to accommodate his new challenges and he’s happy this way — for now. Dr. Mayo shares that amputees are always at risk of getting skin breakdown or knee pain, back pain and hip pain. They have an overall increased risk of wear and tear on their bodies because the prosthetics are quite heavy and require time to feel comfortable with. “That will be probably longer down the road; that’s why we’re encouraging Paul,” says Dr. Mayo. “Impressively, he’s quite motivated to keep as strong and active as he can.” Paul is currently attending physical therapy twice a week and visits Scarborough General once a week for finger therapy — due to the lack of blood flow, mobility in his fingers was severely hindered. Paul says he follows a lot of motivational pages and amputees on Instagram now. “There are amputees who are ripped,” says Paul. “It’s like, ‘Holy crap, how are you doing that?’ but it’s just that there’s nothing stopping them. The stronger you are, the more things you can do, and the more you can handle this.” “I think it’s a difficult journey and I wish all patients were as successful as Paul,” says Dr. Mayo. “Patients like Paul are inspiring to the other amputees that he comes across.” Another reality that is often overlooked is the financial hardships that amputees will face. For Paul, this means outfitting his home with support bars, purchasing a modified vehicle, high insurance premiums, physical therapies and a new pair of prosthetics every three years. “Paul’s legs are, I would call them, average type legs that he purchased; they’re not for running or walking on the beach,” says Frank. “They cost just over $20,000, and OHIP only covers 75 per cent of a basic, basic pair — for Paul this is only about 25 per cent.” In addition, Paul is an occasional teacher with the school board and didn’t have basic health care benefits at the time of his illness. Oct/Nov 2017

City Life Magazine


The De Lios have started a fundraising campaign for Paul on www.FundRazr. com to assist with these amassing expenses. To date, the donations have surpassed $150,000, and the page is filled with messages of encouragement from friends, family, colleagues and students. Paul touched so many lives as an educator, and his impact was widespread. How is Paul today? Doctors say the full extent of damage caused by the bacteria will reveal itself over the course of six to 12 months, however, Paul is expected to make an 80 to 90 per cent recovery (never getting 100 per cent of his lung capacity back). “To my surprise, to my family’s surprise, my brother has been such an inspiration to us, because his attitude has just been absolutely amazing,” Frank says. “You know, people ask me how my brother is doing. My response is, ‘My brother is a stud. My brother is a champ,’ because I don’t know if I would have had the capability to handle it the way he handled this. You know, I’m so proud of him. I’m just so, so, so proud of him.” Paul shares that he is anxiously awaiting the day he can get back to living his life and hopes to put the past behind him — he’s getting a little bored of watching TV all day. “I want to get back to coaching soccer and teaching, but I don’t want to be limited, which is why I haven’t been back yet,” says Paul. “I could go back today, I can be there right now, but I would walk at a snail’s pace.” He contemplates the small challenges he’ll face if he rushes the process, like stairs or changing his shoes in the winter. Paul wants to be prepared. “I don’t want any favours,” he adds. His fierce independence is inspiring. He even manages to crack a joke or two about his legs to keep the mood light. Paul’s words of wisdom: “There are always other things you can do in life; you’ll always find new things that you can do. Try to find your motivation to allow you to do whatever it is that you want to do in life.” Without a doubt, with his family by his side, Paul will continue to persevere and be a prime example of courage and strength for all those he meets.

Paul hopes to get back to teaching by November, and is determined to face all his obstacles with the same tenacity with which he faced his recovery 36

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Often called the “Beyonce of cakes,” Yolanda Gampp uploads a new cake video to her YouTube channel “How to Cake It” every Tuesday


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Oct/Nov 2017

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Yolanda Gampp took the road less travelled to stardom, going from TV show SugarStars to the incredibly successful YouTube channel How to Cake It, which gained 1.5 million+ subscribers in its first year alone. And now, sheâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s done what she wanted to do from the start: publish a cookbook, How to Cake It: A Cakebook with more than 3 million subscribers behind her to date WRitten by donna paRis inteRvieW by Rebecca albeRico

Oct/Nov 2017

City Life Magazine



ou know it well: that moment of bliss when you take fork to cake. The anticipation of what’s to come is so exhilarating, nothing else matters. And if novelty cake artist Yolanda Gampp is baking that cake, then one thing’s for sure: she will take simple ingredients and parlay them into masterpieces that will make your jaw drop. Not just because of their amazing taste, but because the cake might look like anything from a massive PB&J sandwich, a scary shark or a Star Wars figure to a fidget spinner, a lovely teapot or a watermelon made of pink velvet cake — or anything else you can dream of. And when you bite into a piece, it’s like a tasting a little bit of heaven. It started with egg cartons and her Idol As a child, Gampp wasn’t the kind of girl who liked going outside. Instead, she preferred arts and crafts. “My mother would save every empty paper towel roll and egg carton for me,” she says. “Then I couldn’t wait for Mr. Dressup to come on TV because he’d often make a craft and I would want to make it with him.” For her Barbies, she would transform empty spools of thread and cupcake liners into mini lamps, which she would perch on coffee tables made out of the little plastic thingies they put in the middle of a pizza boxes to stop the cheese from sticking to the top. As for school, nothing ever really resonated with Gampp. In high school the culinary arts didn’t seem like an option — this was long before the Food Network, of course. But she knew she wanted to go into the arts, specifically OCAD in Toronto, where she lives. And then the universe intervened and directed her to chef school. “At the last minute, I decided to go to George Brown College and take the chef course — they had no cake decorating at that time, so I took culinary management, and it was probably the first time in school that I absolutely adored everything I learned,” says Gampp. At the time, there was a limited amount 40

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of baking in the course — some breads and pie — but that was enough for her. “It led me to realize that baking was my true passion.” She did a co-op in a bakery and they hired her right out of school. Gampp is grateful for her father, her first idol. “He was always creative in his own right, but he did the right thing. He had a family business so that he could take care of the family and be the main breadwinner, but on the side, he always worked on his passion, which was woodworking,” she says. “He was self-taught, and one of the first things he ever made me was a wooden turntable that I could ice cakes on.” Just to see him pouring his heart into his passion, even though it didn’t make him any money, was very inspiring for her. When it came time for Gampp to go to post-secondary school, her mother really wanted her to go to university. “She’s from a small island originally, Granada, where she would never have had that opportunity, but she saved for me. But at the end of the day, I wanted to go to college and become a chef,” says Gampp. “It was my father who said to her, ‘Let Yolanda do what she wants to do.’ Inevitably, that’s what led me here.” her first cake? MmMmM, leMon with buttercreaM Gampp has baked thousands of cakes. Even before going to college, she knew she liked baking. She baked her first one for a family friend turning 90 — it was a lovely lemon cake with buttercream icing and the top edge lined with fresh raspberries. She asked her father to pick her a rose from the garden, which she sugared as a spectacular final decoration. “I was so proud of what I had created.” In fact, like her father, Gampp is basically self-taught. Even though she worked at two bakeries and became very good at icing cakes quickly, she never worked. “The truth is that when I got very good at icing cakes, I felt bored and wanted to be challenged,” she says. Starved for information, she started buying books at the now-defunct Cookbook Store in Yorkville. When

she read about cake decorating, some involving fondant, she was fascinated. She started practising at home and baking cakes on the side for friends and family, which grew into a small business. She continued to build her portfolio (“If you say to somebody, I can make a cake that looks like a car, how do they have proof unless they see a picture of that cake?”) and then, about 12 years ago, she made a cake for a birthday party. “I’ll never forget it: it was a box of chocolates and somebody saw it and asked if I made bar mitzvah cakes, I said, ‘Absolutely!’” So she started taking on bar mitzvahs, bat mitzvahs, wedding cakes and monumental birthday cakes, and eventually making it her full-time job and quitting the bakery. from tV to Youtube Gampp got a big break when she was approached by the creators of TV show SugarStars to create her cakes on camera. When the show wasn’t renewed, however, she went back to baking cakes, but then she became pregnant. “I had to stop making cakes because I had a severely swollen ankle, and I stand so much when I work — so I had to refer all my clients to people I met,” she says. “It was a rough time for me; I realized how much I missed my passion, and I think I had taken for granted the fact that a lot of people don’t get to do that.” In the meantime, the show’s creators kept pitching the show, but weren’t getting any bites. But when Gampp’s son was about eight months old, Jocelyn Mercer and Connie Contardi called her with a YouTube idea. “They said, ‘Let’s do it ourselves and we’ll build this whole thing together.’ At the time I remember thinking, ‘Oh, what a great way to start again with a little video here and there,’ she says. It became much bigger than that and it happened much faster than any of them could have imagined — now they have more than three million subscribers to their channel, How to Cake It, with a new cake video coming out every Tuesday. It’s a punishing schedule. “People have no idea — unless they have some experience — how long it takes to make a cake, and we take about 16 hours to shoot a video and then edit it down

I feel like a cookbook Is permanent and helpful because I loved books when I was teaching myself: I’m really proud of It – It feels like another baby to me

Gampp’s How to Cake It: A Cakebook will include detailed directions for making 21 mouthwatering, stunning cakes

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City Life Magazine


to a 12-minute one, so that gives you no perspective on how long it actually takes,” she says. But people have always had that misconception, she adds. “Even when I took cake orders, people would call the day before for a birthday cake that looked like a Porsche and couldn’t understand why I couldn’t whip that up in six hours!” she laughs. under pressure In fact, Gampp takes many hours, and sometimes days, to create one of her cakes. The Lloyd cake from The Lego Ninjago Movie took her four days to make. “That cake stressed me out,” she says. “I’m not over it. I can’t lie. I can’t watch that video because my son is obsessed with Ninjago. All I could think was what if the cake doesn’t look like Lloyd?” Does she ever just go home and bake? “No! I never have time now, and when I do, I want to spend it with my son,” she says. “I love baking pies and cookies, I love making homemade ice cream — that’s my favourite thing — but there’s a lot to keep up with.” In addition to the YouTube channel, there are all the social media platforms like Facebook, as well as the website (Howtocakeit. com), that have to be managed. Speaking of her four-year-old son, he thinks his mom has the coolest job in the world. “One of the biggest side effects is that he thinks everything is cake. So when he sees a real watermelon, he says, ‘Oh, a cake!’” she says. “I always show him the cakes, and he watches the episodes with my mother on her iPad, which I had to buy her just so she could watch YouTube (she has no idea how to use it otherwise).” He’s a chip off the block, and he loves to play with fondant, so Gampp brings home any extra for him, along with cutters and old rolling pins. and now, a book! One thing she’s really proud of is her cookbook, How to Cake It: A Cakebook, which is coming out this October. “It’s always been my biggest dream and now it’s happening,” she says. “I feel like a cookbook is permanent and helpful, because I loved books when I was teaching myself. I’m really proud of it 42

City Life Magazine

Oct/Nov 2017


ConfesSionS What’s your favourite cake? I used to make chocolate banana, which was alternating layers of my Ultimate Chocolate Cake and my Banana Cake (both recipes available at, but I would alternate the layers and fill it with vanilla Italian buttercream. There’s something about it; it’s so perfect to me. It’s like having the perfect banana bread — but then, with some chocolate but the chocolate doesn’t overpower it. It’s amazing! What’s your favourite drink? Coffee! I really love a good cup of coffee, especially with a slice of chocolate banana cake. And I think when you drink coffee with something sweet, it’s very complementary. How much cake have you consumed in your life? I honestly can’t even answer that. Somewhere in the tons. I actually love eating the hump of the cake when I level my cakes, and that was always what I ate when I levelled my cakes for clients because, otherwise, that would just get discarded. Or I would make tiny little cakes out of the hump for my mom, my sister and my friends. What is your favourite cake of those you’ve created on How to Cake It? It’s my roast Thanksgiving turkey one. However, there are a few cakes in the book that I really love and am really proud of! What was your most memorable vacation? This past summer I turned 40 and my husband surprised me with a trip to Iceland. That was our family trip; all three of us went. To see a gorgeous part of the world like that, with my son, was so amazing.

— it feels like another baby to me.” Her mission for the book was to make a lot of her bucket - list cakes. “I really just wanted to make beautiful cakes, and I want the photos to inspire people,” she says. “Because there are a lot of instructions for cakes at this level, and I didn’t want the words to intimidate people; I want them to be inspired when they see the pictures and think, I need to make that,” she says. For Gampp, the best part of the book is that they have included some of her fans’ work. Every week, the show has a competition called Replicake, in which fans submit pictures of cakes they’ve made from one of Yolanda’s videos. “We were blown away; it was so flattering,” she says. “So we included some of these in the book.” And that is why Gampp can’t wait until her fans see it. “I can’t wait for the fans who made it into the book to see their work and feel proud and encouraged by that,” she adds. the secret to her success There are so many secrets to Gampp’s success, including a lot of hard work that she makes look easy in producing a new cake video every week. She’s comfortable in front of a camera, and it shows. She’s fun and bright and a little bit goofy sometimes. When she creates Lloyd from The Lego Ninjago Movie, for instance, she has no problem donning a ninja mask and openly admitting to mistakes (“I meant to cut it into three parts, but I cut it in half — but I didn’t let that throw me off. I just pieced it back together and cut it into three.”) She’s relaxed and funny, too, but most of all, she’s inspiring. She breaks down an incredibly difficult cake into achievable steps, doling out tips and encouragement along the way to make you think you can do it, too. And YouTubers respond with comments, sometimes in the thousands, like “The cake looks real!!!” “You should make a giant chipotle bowl,” “Can you make a peace sign cake?” or “Honey Yolanda, I would have eaten it halfway done.” Now Gampp is simply grateful for her life. “I never thought such a big business would happen to me when I was a mother,” she says. “I was always the type of person who had it all continued on page 45

The award-winning â&#x20AC;&#x153;How To Cake Itâ&#x20AC;? was launched 2.5 years ago and is one of the fastest growing influencer driven foods brands online

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check out this Jumbo candy apple cake recipe at

Recipes for Gampp’s marvellous cake creations are available on the How to Cake It website


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Oct/Nov 2017

Recipes and photo fRom How to Cake It by yolanda Gampp ©2017. published by haRpeRcollins publisheRs ltd. all RiGhts ReseRved.

jumbo candy apple


henever i walk by a display of candy apples, i always stop to look — there’s just something about the colours and textures that catches my attention. so i thought it would be fun to show you how to cake a jumbo one. What i love most about this cake is that there’s so much room to get creative with it. you can dress it up for a theme or a season by adding a different coloured ribbon or bows to the stick, just like real candy apples. or, if you’re giving it as a gift, you can decorate it with the recipient’s favourite colours and candies. most of my novelty cakes are covered in fondant, but i love how with this cake, in addition to fondant that makes it look like a real apple, we use chocolate and candy to enhance the outside to make it look like the real thing — and to add a ton of yummy flavour. and the other thing that makes it the apple of my eye? it’s still a pretty easy design to cake — so it will help you improve your carving skills. in fact, the hardest part about making this cake is trying not to eat all the toppings before you’re done.

continued from page 42

I know I can’t do everYthing and I’m ok with that. I alwaYs feel like If somethIng doesn’t work out, another door opens

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Villanova College, Class of 2007 LAWYER

planned out: I’m going to do this, then this, then that, then I’ll have a kid when I’m ready.” But, she says, being a mom now gives her a great perspective: “The craziest thing about the Internet and YouTube is that you can always get bigger, you can always grow, you can always put out more content,” she adds. “But at the end of the day, I know I can’t do everything and I’m OK with that. I always feel like if something doesn’t work out, another door opens.”

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After understanding that an overwhelming majority of people’s issues with bloating, indigestion, tiredness and sluggishness are caused by an inability to process gluten, Mauro Candido saw the need to explore alternatives

Slice of Life

Bread Is Improving Life One Slice at a Time They say necessity is the mother of invention, so when Mauro Candido needed a gluten-free loaf that was delicious and health conscious, he created one — and Carb Wise Bread was born


hen a focus on health and wellness began to permeate society approximately 50 years ago, the question of all devoted foodies was, “How can I add


City Life Magazine

Oct/Nov 2017

something delicious to my diet without gaining weight?” Mauro Candido was listening — and his new Slice of Life bread product, which is about to be launched, may provide an answer. Candido and his wife Rose are the

creative hands behind the successful Euro Harvest Bakery, providing the freshest and highest-quality baked goods as a wholesale seller to major grocery stores. While taste and quality have always been crucial to their products, for Candido the introduction of Slice of Life bread had much more personal origins. “My family members and I suffer from digestive issues, and I noticed that many people who came into Euro Harvest had the same issues and were asking for gluten-free breads,” says Candido. “Many said they always felt bloated. I felt the same way and started to do some research on wheat allergies and celiac disease. Then in 2014 my health became an even bigger concern, so my diet became a primary focus to me.” That year, Candido was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma, a cancer of the blood, as well as developing a certain bacteria of the stomach. He became very sensitive to certain foods, and while undergoing many treatments and procedures, tests were coming back negative, so it became clear to him that his symptoms may be the result of the foods he was eating. “A friend introduced me to the ketogenic diet, which involves [a diet that is] extremely low in carbohydrates but high in fats — the right kind of fats, such as coconut oil, salmon and avocado,” recalls Candido. “Fats don’t make you fat as long as they are the right fats. It’s carbs and sugar that make you fat, especially after the age of 40, when they’re not used as energy anymore and we store it in our butts, bellies and legs, which is so puzzling to many people who may think they are eating correctly and exercising.” With the ketogenic diet, the liver starts to produce ketones, which is what happens when your body uses your fat for energy. “I started to feel fantastic,” says Candido. “It was amazing; I got my youth back, was losing weight, had high energy and no stomach issues. It was like I was in my twenties again!” However, the steady diet of salads, chicken and perhaps avocado soon became tedious and all too repetitive. As a baker, Candido missed bread and just wanted a sandwich from time to time, but like some diabetics and those with wheat allergies or suffering from celiac

Photos by jesse milns

A dv e r to r i A l

the signature Carb Wise Bread is Canadian diabetes Association approved, and contains 10 grams of protein and 4 grams of fibre at only 120 calories per two slices — wholesome and delicious

disease, no carbs were allowed. Given his professional skills, Candido did some research and went to work. The most difficult challenge was finding an alternative to wheat flour as the main ingredient for this new type of bread product. There are many different types of flour, but all are very high in carbohydrates. Candido experimented and never gave up. “Then I came across nuts, and I was able to find a flour made of almonds, which are low in carbs,” says Mauro. “I added more fats like crushed walnuts, flaxseed, flax meal, psyllium husks for more fibre and even pumpkin seeds — those are the main ingredients of this bread.” Slice of Life bread is low in carbohydrates, gluten-free, wheatfree and yeast-free, yet it contains so many added nutritional benefits and is delicious at the same time, making it great for sandwiches or French toast. Candido says it’s the only bread he and his wife now eat. Proof that Candido’s hard work and determination has paid off is in the numbers. While the average slice of toast bread contains 20 grams of carbohydrates, Slice of Life bread contains only 3.5 grams of carbs per slice, minus 2 grams of fibre, which produces 1.5 grams of “net carbs”

We just “

want to accommodate people who have a need for good food

— Mauro Candido

this is how diabetics judge which foods they can actually have. For now, it’s just the Slice of Life bread that Candido and Euro Harvest will be launching, but given their exceptional baking capabilities, there could possibly be extensions of this diet-changing formula. Products such as almond cookies, cheesecake or pound cake — all without the sugar — This would be an attractive possibility for diabetics, those with celiac disease or wheat allergies, or simply people who want to lose weight at a later stage in life, when losing weight becomes more difficult.

For Candido, Slice of Life is a personal passion to improve life and the diets of many people. As he says himself, “we just want to accommodate the people who have a need for good food.” Slice of Life is now available for purchase online at where you can purchase online, or preorder and pick up in store at Euro Harvest Bakery, Thursday through Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

8677 Weston Rd., Vaughan, Ont. 416-528-9600 Oct/Nov 2017

City Life Magazine



SenSational Slime

One Toronto Instagrammer-turnedauthor is cashing in on the Internet’s latest obsession: slime. Sixteen-year-old Alyssa Jagan is in the business of poking, popping, stretching and pressing the sticky substance, bringing joy to nearly 700,000 Instagram followers. Now, with her first book nearing publication, the young entrepreneur has managed to monetize this oddly satisfying Internet phenomenon Written By Rebecca Alberico

Sixteen-year-old Alyssa Jagan is passionate about entrepreneurship and hopes to pursue business in university. Proceeds from her slime sales go toward her tuition


City Life Magazine

Oct/Nov 2017

Photo by carlos a. Pinto


here is no way you haven’t been slimed. If you have kids, you’ve likely already made several trips to your local craft store to pick up Elmer’s Glue by the gallon. In fact, all the slime recipe ingredients have been strategically placed at the entrances. Or, if you’re a full-grown adult, you’ve probably been inundated with hundreds of ear-pleasing slime videos that you just couldn’t help but watch three or four times over. We don’t blame you; it’s addictive. Slime is comprised of two main ingredients: glue and activator (typically contact lens solution and baking soda, liquid starch or laundry detergent). From this basic recipe you can add lotions for scent, shaving cream for added fluff, foam balls for that famous crunch or various glitters and pigments for colour. It’s a total sensory overload! There’s a science behind it, but frankly we’re more interested in the insane following that 16-year-old Alyssa Jagan has amassed and how she managed



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City Life Magazine

Oct/Nov 2017

Ultimate Slime, published by Quarry Books, will hit bookstores October 17. The vibrant paperback features more that 100 borax-free slime recipes produced, tested and approved by Jagan herself

to utilize social media for more than mindless scrolling by promoting the creation of original content and community building. “Kids are so creative, and I really wish more parents would let their kids experiment with things the way Alyssa did,” says Singh. “I think the first inclination is to say no because [parents] aren’t familiar with the medium, but I think [social media] is their future and we need to do our best to guide them through it regardless.” Posting so often meant that Jagan had to get creative, and it also meant that

slime-filled yogurt containers filled every inch of her bedroom. “As supportive as she is, my mom came into my room one day and suggested I cut back,” says Jagan. “So being the logical person I am, I decided to sell it so I could have the space to make more. That was my thinking; it was never for the money.” When Jagan began selling her batches of slime, she had no idea how popular her Etsy shop would become — keeping up with the demand was nearly a fulltime job in itself. In less than a year, she managed to sell more than one thousand containers of slime. Each order ranged from $8 to $16 depending on materials and quantity. This means that the young entrepreneur has earned thousands from her accidental business. “All the money I’ve made is going toward my university tuition and a new camera,” says Jagan. “I do all my filming on my iPhone but I’d love to use a professional camera.” “We really have to push our kids on the idea of entrepreneurship,” says Singh. “They have so many ideas, and we really owe it to them to allow them to pursue their talents.” Jagan’s hard work and slime-celeb status also snagged the attention of a number of agencies and brands wanting to collaborate with @craftyslimecreator. Along with her mother, Jagan weighed the options and decided that a partnership with her editor, Joy Aquilino, was a no-brainer. It took three months to shoot and produce her first book, Ultimate Slime, which features more than 100 different borax-free DIY slime tutorials — fishbowl, crunchy, fluffy, you name it. “I like to call it ‘the guide to anything and everything slime’ — there are so many things to learn,” says Jagan. For the ambitious 16-year-old, it’s no surprise that one of her personal goals was to author a book before she finished high school. “I didn’t think it was possible, honestly,” says Jagan. “It’s totally surreal to me.” Ultimate Slime is set for release in Canada on Oct. 17 and will be available in eight different languages globally. Visit us at for exclusive slime recipes from Alyssa Jagan’s new book, Ultimate Slime.


Photo courtesy of alyssa Jagan

to do this as a full-time student, who also happens to play for her school’s basketball and badminton teams, coheads spirit council and art club and is a proud member of the robotics team. Jagan was always a crafty person, and often took to social media to show off her other passions, like needle felting and polymer clay charms (certainly a step up from the beaded lizard keychains and gimp bracelets of the ’90s). When she stumbled upon a few dozen slime videos by other creators, Jagan was inspired to try out a few recipes herself — it was right up her alley. “I was actually pretty late to the trend, by a couple of months, compared to the other slime accounts,” says Jagan. “But I decided I wanted to give it a try — I honestly didn’t really think it would be a thing. Neither did my mom.” With her mother’s permission, she uploaded her first video — it wasn’t long before her account, @craftyslimecreator, would go viral. As Jagan experimented with variations of the sticky sensation she started a routine of posting three videos a day, filming all the clips over the weekend so as not to interrupt her school responsibilities. “It was so much fun to try new recipes and develop new types of slime,” says Jagan. “When I first started there was your basic glossy slime and some floam, but not the comprehensive list we have today.” What’s more, Jagan has also proven herself to be something of a social media genius. Not only do her videos garner an average of 200,000 views each, but her engagement is through the roof. How does she do it? Simple: she posts a fun, completely unrelated question in the caption — What’s your favourite Disney character? Which emoji describes your day? — compelling fans and followers to join the convo. “I want to make it as easy as possible for my followers to interact and get to know each other,” says Jagan. Her favourite type of question involves encouraging her audience to compliment the last person to comment above them, a random gesture of kindness. “I try to do this every so often because it spreads so much positivity,” says Jagan. “Sometimes people online can be mean, so I try to promote kindness as much as possible.” Jagan’s mom, Ahilya Singh, believes parents should encourage their children

A dv e r to r i A l


K photos by carlos a. pinto

leinburg’s favourite boutique is getting a facelift and a lovely new owner who’s passionate about making women look and feel fabulous. Christina Infusino, owner of Femme by Christina, first started working at the existing boutique part-time and knew she had to jump at the opportunity when the previous owner was looking to sell. “Everything just clicked for me,” says Christina. “I love everything about the business.”

Femme by Christina carries racks upon racks of gorgeous designer wear, from ella Moss to ted Baker and a number of unique international labels. Christina is constantly on the lookout for beautiful pieces to introduce in the boutique

The 22-year-old fashionista has an undeniable passion for her community and her clients and is dedicated to offering quality designer apparel in a fresh new space. If you follow the trendy shop on Instagram, you’ll see the boutique carries everything from intimates to outerwear and footwear, and there’s something for everyone. “I keep all my clients in mind when I’m buying,” says Christina. “Although it can be difficult, I love being able to style women of all ages here.” Femme by Christina brings fun, vibrant styles to Kleinburg and beyond.

905-893-0697 10522-A Islington Ave., Kleinburg, Ont. @FemmeByChristina


1 Queensgate Blvd., Bolton, Ont., 905-857-9040 www.mercato

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keys to my rides From the young professional to the full family experience, here are three multifaceted cars for every stage of your life Written By Amandalina Letterio

2017 Honda CiviC type r


his is the car you buy when you land your first big job. Honda calls their Civic Type R “a race car for the road,” and rightfully so. This Civic looks like it should be in the lineup of the next Fast and Furious movie with its black and red aluminum-alloy wheels and triple-centre exhausts that capture the soul of the speedway while controlling the exhaust tone. The skirt package, consisting of front, side and rear spoilers and a red-hot style line, was inspired by the modern racetrack. It has an aggressive rear wing spoiler which is aimed to keep the Civic Type R grounded by producing downforce for better handling and control. Under the hood you’ll find a 2.0-Litre, 16-valve


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Oct/Nov 2017

VTEC turbocharged 4-cylinder engine with 306 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque and a 6-speed manual transmission that has rev-match control — this is arguably one of the best Civics the brand has come out with in years. Honda didn’t just aim to make heads turn when you pull into the parking lot at work; safety was just as much of a priority as style. Some of the better interior features are the multi-angle rearview camera with dynamic guidelines and driver-assisted technology. Navigation, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and a 540-watt/12speaker stereo are all standard, making this the perfect vehicle for the millennial that doesn’t plan to settle down anytime soon.

General speCs

4 doors 4 passengers front-wheel drive 10.6/8.3-Litre/ 100 kilometres city/hwy 2.0-L Direct Injection DOHC VTEC turbocharged 16-valve 4-cylinder engine 306 horsepower 295 lb-ft torque

CL Young professional approval rating

2017 Honda pilot tourinG CL Young family approval rating

2018 aCura tlX

CL Young business executive approval rating



his three-row, all-wheel-drive crossover might just be the reason most parents are switching from minivans to SUVs. It has great functionality, thanks to the versatile interior, and is a smooth and steady ride. With its light off-road ability and the capacity to tow 2,268 kg, you’ve basically got a more attractive, taller and tougher minivan.

o, you’re finally past the minivan stage because the kids are older, but they aren’t quite off your hands yet … Enter the Acura TLX. It’s sophisticated for a professional like yourself and has comfy seating and space for your teenagers. With its new sporty look and classy presence, the TLX is definitely the car you want to drive next.

General speCs

General speCs

4 doors | 7 passengers | all-wheel drive 12.4/9.3-L/100 km city/hwy | 3.5-L, 24-valve, Direct Injection, SOHC, i-VTEC V-6 engine 280 hp | 262 lb-ft torque

4 doors | 5 passengers | front or all-wheel drive 10.0/7.1-L/100 km city/hwy | 2.4-L, 16-valve, Direct Injection DOHC, i-VTEC 4-cylinder engine 206 hp | 182 lb-ft torque


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“Fitness is not a destination. Fitness is a lifestyle” — Paul Walker

G.C. & Co. Salon & Med Spa


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

photos by carlos a. pinto


dored Vaughan salon and med spa G.C. & Co. is excited to announce its latest renovation to create a new treatment room, a larger salon and provides an overall refreshed, sun filled space. Owners Gianna Ugolini and Cathy Korbis say the spa’s menu of facial treatments and hair services have expanded, so the building facelift was necessary to more comfortably accommodate new and loyal clientele. Gianna’s new microcurrent facial is the most popular treatment, which incorporates her signature contouring, sculpting and cupping massage. “Over time, the muscles of the face stretch, which causes drooping,” says master facialist, Ugolini. “Microcurrent re-educates the muscles and increases ATP by 500 per cent, giving the skin a beautiful, even colour and texture.” She recommends a series of 10 consecutive treatments followed by maintenance once a month. Tutorial facial videos can be seen on Instagram @gianna_ gcandco. For smooth, strong hair, Korbis is now offering the Peter Coppola Beauty Keratin Smoothing and Refinishing Treatment. This innovative formula promotes overall hair strength and vitality to provide a restorative boost and unmatched protection for your hair. Clients are also loving the new Balayage hair coloring techniques perfected in California earlier this year. “We were excited to be Canada’s host this past month for California-based The Business of Bayalage at G.C. & Co., where hair stylists from across the country joined us for the best Balayage training out there,” says Korbis. Ugolini and Korbis travel abroad with the team every year to bring home only the best products and techniques in the beauty industry — next stop, Paris.

Step into style

Count on Vaughan’s trendiest shoe and clothing boutique to offer quality name brands, many exclusive to its retail location. Explore a selection of sport and formal shoes for the entire family this fall. Visit today to take advantage of the latest promotion and spend $150 before tax to RECEIVE A GIFT with your purchase.


2396 Major Mackenzie Drive, Unit 3, Maple, Ont. 3069 Dundas St. W. • 6239 Bathurst St. (outlet) @perfectpairshoes


Via Monte Milano BOUTIQUE

Women have been turning to Via Monte Milano Boutique for designer apparel for over two decades. Explore racks of trendy evening gowns and cocktail dresses, perfect for your next gala, formal or ceremony. Expert stylists are always happy to help you pair your ensemble with the perfect heel and clutch — guaranteed to have you feeling like the belle of the ball.

905-850-4090 136 Winges Rd. Unit 13, Woodbridge

Oct/Nov 2017

City Life Magazine



Butter Wakefield’s London Home

Colourful table setting with Geranium and Red campion flowers, Hydrangeas in stone urn, Houseplants and glass pot of Delphinium flowers on kitchen counter

We’re green with envy over this stunning Victorian villa in Stamford Brook. Garden designer Butter Wakefield has transformed her English countryside property, inspired by her floral fascination


ummer is a year-round event in Butter Wakefield’s Victorian villa in Stamford Brook, west London. From the hallway papered with a pattern of palm fronds to the botanical prints on the kitchen wall and lettuceware china in the conservatory, every room is decorated with foliage and flowers, in prints and patterns, on fabric and in vases wherever there is a ledge, 56

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sill or tabletop. An American who learned from the best while working as a young assistant at interior design institution Colefax & Fowler, and who simply adores the English country garden, Butter Wakefield somehow gets it just right, so that the overall effect is not oppressive, but delightfully easy on the eye. When she got divorced a couple of years ago and the drawing room

ceiling fell down about the same time, Wakefield, ever the optimist, saw a decorating opportunity. “I thought, this is my cue! I can get rid of all his furniture and the décor can be as crazy as I want without anybody going, ‘I really think you’ve got enough green.’” Certainly, there is a lot of green in every room, but it’s fresh and lively and works well with her revised palette of pale-grey paintwork, as well as the black

photos by Clive NiChols GardeN piCtures

Written By Pattie Barron

Wakefield has over 15 years of experience creating many inspirational and purposeful gardens of all sizes, and is a RHS Chatsworth 2017 Gold Medal Winner

Oct/Nov 2017

City Life Magazine



City Life Magazine

Oct/Nov 2017

photos by Clive NiChols GardeN piCtures

and white oversized checkerboard floor that runs through the hall, kitchen and conservatory and makes a great foil for vibrant colour. “It’s good old-fashioned linoleum. I’ve renewed it a couple of times over the past 25 years. It’s soft underfoot, and if you drop things on it, they don’t necessarily break.” With her obsession — her word — for flowers, it’s For garden designer Butter no surprise that Wakefield Wakefield, incorporating is a successful garden nature indoors is the key to a happy home. Using the designer and, wherever she same principles she does could, she has designed the while designing a garden, interiors of her home not Wakefield incorporated a variety of patterns and only to reflect the style of colours to bring this indoor an English garden, but also oasis to life to capture views of her own garden. The roomy kitchen, originally a skinny galley with an adjoining music room, has a stable door that perfectly frames the flowery mini meadow beyond. To maximize on the through-view, Wakefield tossed out the dining chairs and replaced them with two long, sleek benches, dressing them up with zebra-print seat cushions in lime, secured with contrasting fabric in delphinium blue. Dainty glass garden lights are strung across the ceiling, while flowers snipped from her borders and popped into jugs and jars feature on a daily basis whether guests are expected or not. “It’s the small touches that make a house a home,” believes Wakefield, so when guests are invited to lunch or dinner, the limed oak table might be laid with green-glass charger plates set on exquisite mats made from circles of real preserved box leaves. Instead of the more usual cupboards, the kitchen walls are tightly packed with all manner of botanical prints gathered over time. “I put pictures up years ago because I couldn’t afford hanging cupboards, and now I rather like not having hideous cupboards taking up every corner,” says Wakefield. “There is a theme that links all the pictures, though: a black frame. A lot of the pictures are postcards and others are very good prints or paintings, but it’s the combination of them all in black frames that makes it work.” The conservatory, added 10 years ago, was another way of bringing the garden indoors, hence the huge sash window and picture seat beneath to


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A lovely green, black and white palette runs throughout the house but is most prominent in the conservatory and kitchen, where there is a plethora of lettuceware china and foliage-inspired prints

admire the magnolia tree just on the other side of the glass. Instead of doing the predictable — banking up the lightfilled space with hothouse flowers — Wakefield has made it a cool green retreat, using splashes of emerald green for velvet cushions and glazed pots on either side of the plumped-up palegrey sofa, which hold ferns emerging from beds of moss. There is much here to distract the eye, most notably one of Wakefield’s many collections of china displayed on the wall in a decorative plate rack. “I love the cabbage-leaf green, these are all Wedgwood, and I jumped for joy when I found the flowery plates on the Portobello Road. I do love a bit of china. If I’m wandering by an antique shop, they wink at me and I might have to nip in. I’ve got a pink lustreware thing going on in the kitchen, but my latest craze is silver lustre, which I’ve only just started. I’m on the hunt all the time.” 60

City Life Magazine

Oct/Nov 2017

Twin marble fireplaces, elegant cornicing on the ceilings and dove grey on the walls make elegant, neutral backdrops in the double sitting room, while a plumped-up, pinstriped sofa, linen cushions and sisal flooring make the ambience easy and relaxed. “When we moved in, the fireplaces were mean and miserable wooden surrounds, so we replaced them with these, and what I love about them is the depth, which gives me a surface,” says Wakefield. “It’s all about tabletop landscaping for me, creating pretty vistas on a tabletop or a surface. And a fireplace with depth adds importance to a room, as well as scale.” What also brings importance to these rooms is the simple addition of flowers in the form of oversized focal points: huge statement blooms that Wakefield gathers at dawn in New Covent Garden Flower Market, then displays in giant tinted apothecary-style jars.

The feel of a country garden on a summer’s day continues upstairs. In the main bedroom, for example, the walls are painted palest leaf green and the window blind is a lively lime and white print, and white cabbage roses trail in a lazy pattern across outsize cushions on a bed dressed in pristine white linen. In the guest bedroom, acid-green viburnum blooms in twin vases complement a fabulous black and white chest of drawers inset with mother-of-pearl. The palm-leaf print that romps above the dado rail in the entrance hall and all the way up the stairs was a brave move, but a worthwhile one for Wakefield, who sees it as a way of easing in guests to what lies beyond. “To me it just screams happiness. It’s all about the leafy green, and it’s telling you what the rest of the house is like: ‘Be prepared — here we go!’”

Oct/Nov 2017

City Life Magazine


fashion Palermo stands proudly with her models showing off all the best parts of her gorgeous collection with Banana Republic


for PALERMO Olivia Palermo and Banana Republic team up to take the fashion world by storm at New York Fashion Week 2017



City Life Magazine

Oct/Nov 2017

A stunning collection of mid-luxury products line the walls of the Banana Republic Flatiron location in New York

photos by Joe schildhorn /


Models strut down the catwalk showing off the juxtaposition of military and ultra-femme styles

mericaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s sweetheart, Olivia Palermo, debuted her highly anticipated Banana Republic x Olivia Palermo collection at New York Fashion Week (NYFW ) 2017. The Connecticut native made a name for herself back in 2009 as a star on The City reality television show. The socialite now has her own site,, where she gives her readers a weekly roundup of the best in fashion, beauty, culture and shopping, plus insider tips from Palermo herself. Palermo, 31, set out on a new adventure this year, this time curating a line of fall-appropriate clothing as Banana Republicâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s newest style ambassador. This collaboration also marked a new step for Banana Republic as they launched their first-ever seenow-buy-now presentation.

Oct/Nov 2017

City Life Magazine


Banana Republic was founded by Mel and Patricia Ziegler in 1978. The couple had a fascination with collecting interesting clothing pieces from around the world, which they acquired while travelling for work. The â&#x20AC;&#x153;newâ&#x20AC;? Banana Republic burst onto the scene back in 1983 when Gap Inc. acquired it, and since then Banana Republic has been rebranded into the popular mid-luxury clothing retailer now found in many shopping centres around the world. The NYFW show took place at the Banana Republic Flatiron location on Sept. 9. Media, influencers and customers flocked in for a chance to meet Palermo and

1. Models, media and influencers melded together in the store for the first-ever seenow-wear-now presentation by the brand 2. Model, Johannes Huebl 3. With vibrant yellow and classic denim, this line encapsulates exactly what every woman wants: choices


photo courtesy oF bAnAnA republic



City Life Magazine

Oct/Nov 2017



photo courtesy oF bAnAnA republic



photos by Joe schildhorn /


4. Omar Nobil and Olivia Palermo 5. Mark Breitbard, President and CEO of Banana Republic 6. Simon Huck 7. Pretty paisley paired with luxurious leather, the perfect homage to Palermo

shop the limited-edition collection. The line has 70 unique pieces in a variety of high-quality fabrics specially crafted in Italian mills. This collection encompasses Banana Republic’s classic style while weaving in strands of Palermo’s eclectic esthetic. Gold- and maroon-brocade military jackets, faux-python trench coats and intricately pleated dresses, as well as lace-up flared trousers and elegant silk scarves, can all be found in the lineup. The brand and the socialite have perfectly juxtaposed traditional military style with feminine features and classic details, infusing rich colours and a variety of neutrals into the collection.


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celebrity Recently the Real Housewives of Toronto star walked the runway for Mac Duggal at New York Fashion Week

Roxy Earle is breaking down the barriers of traditional beauty and encouraging self-love and inclusivity through her viral movement, #MySizeRox Written by Dave Gordon Interview by Sarah Kanbar

Reality check


Roxy Earle had her way, clothing companies would do away with the term “plus size,” and there would be more acceptance of diverse body shapes. She’s doing her part to encourage these progressive changes. Roxy has been catapulted into fame with her appearances on TV’s Real Housewives of Toronto, and the spotlight has afforded her the opportunity to be a model, a positive-image advocate, and a commentator on modern beauty. Fans know her as the curvy, outspoken tour de force seeking to change the public perception of “standard sizes” by creating her own lifestyle brand. Among her many endeavours, she recently collaborated with Le Chateau on an apparel line of fashionable garments in a larger sizes. Clothing brand Addition Elle has hired Roxy, alongside model Ashley Graham, to promote a campaign with a similar thrust. Real Housewives of Toronto — which has just wrapped up filming of its first season on Slice TV — has enabled Earle 66

City Life Magazine

Oct/Nov 2017

to launch Luxurious Roxy, a trademarked online platform where fans can enjoy her musings on fashion, travel, and lifestyle living, as well as purchase a myriad of garments modelled by Roxy herself. “You have empowered me to change the way the world perceives women with curves, without curves, with small bums or large ones,” she tells her supporters. “You have given me a platform to change the way people judge bodies and beauty in the media, and I am so thankful.” Given her former life as an awardwinning marketing and advertising executive with Ogilvy and American Express, few should be surprised at her ability to promote her bold style and forward-thinking message. City Life Magazine caught up with Roxy to ask her all about image, beauty and her message of positivity:

some amazing meetings in New York. The #MySizeRox movement is going international. It’s really exciting.

City Life: Tell me about New York Fashion Week. Roxy: I was walking in New York Fashion Week for the designer Mac Duggal. That was an incredible experience. I had

City Life: What does body positivity mean to you? Roxy: I think body positivity is a movement in society now where people are accepting bodies of all sizes. It is

City Life: How do you compare the Toronto and New York Fashion Weeks? It seems that New York is much more size inclusive. What’s your message to fashion designers, whether local or international? Roxy: I would definitely say I haven’t felt the embrace from the Canadian designers. It would be great to see some of our big Canadian designers embrace what I’m doing, because American ones have already started. No one asked me to walk in Toronto Fashion Week, but a lot of designers were interested in having me attend their shows and walk in New York Fashion Week. I would say it’s time for Canada to get with the program.


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about ending the judgment that’s been placed on people around their bodies. I feel that women, when they lead with judgment about other people’s bodies — it just creates so much tension between women. She’s skinny, she’s fat, she’s too this, she’s too that. The worst of all is we bully ourselves when it comes to our bodies. We look in the mirror, and we say things about ourselves. Body positivity to me is a real shift that I’m seeing in society around a lot more inclusive and diverse images and diverse views of what it means to be beautiful and what a beautiful body is. I think the world is ready to show that people of all shapes and sizes are real, beautiful people. City Life: So we are often our own worst enemies, especially when surrounded by the pressure to fit a cookie-cutter idea of beauty. How do you suggest women smash those unrealistic standards in their minds? Roxy: I think one of the best things that I’ve done to break down that barrier is I’ve stopped surrounding myself with unrealistic images of a beautiful body. So I tell women to change up their social media feed. Change up the shows they watch or the magazines they consume and start surrounding yourself with images that are more in tuned to a healthier version, a more diverse version of what a body consists of. I often tell people that on their social media there’s incredible, inspiring people out there who are advocating for diversity, beautiful models that come in all shapes and sizes, different fashion brands that have different ideas of what a standard size is So, for you, if you’re self-conscious about being too small, or you’re selfconscious about being too big, change up your feed and start providing yourself with images that are beautiful, that are diverse. That begins to train your brain. City Life: What has been the most rewarding part of your journey as a body positivity expert? Roxy: It’s not that there is one single pivotal moment, but walking in New York Fashion Week has been a very cool experience. Six months ago, I set out to become a model. To break down that barrier and walk in New York Fashion Week six months later is a pretty cool 68

City Life Magazine

Oct/Nov 2017

moment. But I think most rewarding is every single day I interact with my fans in an incredible way. I hear from them about how I have helped them overcome something. I’ve helped them overcome body issues, eating disorders, insecurities, depression. To me, that’s the rewarding stuff. City Life: Was there a moment in time when you thought, “You know what, enough is enough. I need to start embracing myself.” Or, was that always your attitude? Roxy: I think it’s a journey. I think loving yourself comes over time. I definitely remember, around the time of my wedding, I was buying a beautiful wedding gown and the first interaction I had was a negative experience. They said, “We don’t have anything that comes in your size.” I left in tears. That’s the moment I remember telling myself, “This is my wedding. I’m not going to let insecurity or someone else’s judgment of my body shape how I get to enjoy this really magical experience.” Buying a wedding gown with my mom and my sister-in-law — that’s a special moment. One of my girlfriends was with me. She said, “You want to wear a dress that embraces you. Don’t keep trying to find a dress that obviously isn’t going to fit you. Go find a dress that makes you look beautiful, because you’ll look beautiful in anything you want. Don’t let this process and all of this stuff about a dress fitting overtake what is special and important here.” Which is me getting to marry the love of my life, and buy this special gown, and be surrounded by my family. That’s when I realized that my body wasn’t going to be a moment that took away from my wedding; it was going to add to my wedding. Me being beautiful, and me being comfortable in my own skin is something I wanted to exude on my wedding day. Definitely, on my wedding day, I said, “Enough is enough. I don’t want any more talk about wedding diets and craziness.” City Life: Today we live in a society that is both diet and plastic surgery obsessed. Many would argue that social media glamorizes both. Do you agree? Roxy: I absolutely think so, if you

consume certain types of social media. This is why I continue to say that social media can be a beautiful thing. Instagram has been a way that I can connect with people all over the world and inspire them with real images of my real body. I’m really proud of that. Me, putting out realistic images of myself — and I’m maybe not fitting into the typical size of what you see when girls post pictures of themselves in bathing suits on Instagram. Because young girls and women see me posting pictures on Instagram in my bathing suit. Me feeling very beautiful, proud, confident, and fashion forward they are able to look at me and go, “Oh, look how stylish she looks in that swimsuit.” So that is how things begin to change. You have to change up who you follow. There are incredible women out there on Instagram, if you follow the right people. If you only follow Victoria’s Secret models, you are only going to have one idea of what a beautiful body looks like in a bathing suit. City Life: What ’s your advice to parents for helping their children navigate the pitfalls of social media, in terms of unrealistic standards, Photoshop, and cruel comments? Roxy: I would make sure that they follow the right kind of people and that they are educated on what a photo in a magazine does. People forget that they are trying to sell a swimsuit. For some companies, trying to sell a swimsuit means putting it on a girl that only looks one way. For me, if you want to sell a swimsuit to me, I want to see it on a girl who looks like me. I want to see images of differentshaped women. I think parents need to educate their kids about everything that is done to make a photo look good. There’s so much out there to help educate them on that topic. They need to know that an image is altered. I would encourage them to follow me on my journey. I often talk about social media. I talk about what’s real and what’s not. I show off stretch marks and cellulite, and I’m proud of it. Because it’s real. A lot of women look like that, and they appreciate it. They appreciate a woman feeling sexy and beautiful and confident while being real.

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City Life Magazine






“ I’m not here

to judge what Is healthy and not healthy. I’m here to tell gIrls to stop hatIng themselves every sIngle day

City Life: Some would argue that body-positive advocates are glamorizing obesity. What are your thoughts on that, and where do you draw the line on what is healthy and what is not healthy? Roxy: I’m not here to judge what is healthy and not healthy. I’m here to tell girls to stop hating themselves every single day. I’m always going to advocate that you be healthy. Girls see photos of me at the gym all the time. I constantly talk about the importance of physical exercise, not just for your body but for your mental health. What I’m trying to say is, I’m not saying you shouldn’t be the healthiest version of you. I’m saying, stop hating yourself in the process. I’m also saying that healthy bodies come in a lot of different sizes. Just because you are a size 14, it doesn’t mean you aren’t healthy. I think that is important for people to know. Why don’t you focus on the real issues here? Why isn’t anyone talking about how fashion models glamorize eating disorders? City Life: If your body could talk, what would it say? Roxy: I’m proud of it. I’m proud of you. STARRING



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City Life: I am beautiful because … Roxy: I am confident. City Life: What is the one thing that every girl should aspire to in regards to her body image? Roxy: I think all girls should aspire to come to a place where they feel confident being themselves and not trying to compare themselves to someone else. Once you decide to love yourself and be confident and comfortable in your own skin, beautiful things can happen in your life. City Life: What is your ultimate goal for #MySizeRox? Roxy: I’d like to inspire as many women around the world to feel confident in their own skin. I’d like to be responsible for designers increasing what a standard size is. I’d love to have fashion lines with beautiful elegance be inclusive of all sizes.


City Life Magazine

Oct/Nov 2017


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The Fairmont Queen Elizabeth hotel reopened this past June after a facelift upgraded the landmark building to a modern-day marvel while maintaining its classic Montreal charm



City Life Magazine

Oct/Nov 2017

Sid Lee Architecture makes Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth a star again in Montreal Written By Rick Muller Interview By Rebecca Alberico

Photos by stÉPhANE bRUGGER


today’s frenetic world, there are very few buildings we consider foundations or icons in the ever-changing cityscape, where structures just 30 years old are replaced by newer and shinier ones. That rarity is the beauty and the treasure that is Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth hotel in Montreal. Like a great ocean liner, referred to as “she,” the Queen Elizabeth has held center stage in one of North America’s most international cities for close to 60 years. She has hosted kings and queens, presidents and prime ministers, Hollywood royalty and rock stars as a destination of choice and the personification of international style, elegance and service. She is, quite simply, one of the grandes dames of Canadian hotels. But even a grande dame must keep au courant; that job was entrusted to Sid Lee Architecture, which recently unveiled its work after a year of extensive renovations. “Ivanhoé Cambridge asked us to think big picture on what could be done with the building; it really didn’t start as an interior design project,” says Martin Leblanc, principal with Sid Lee. “So we looked backwards. In the ’50s and ’60s Montreal was an international city with a vibe and positive energy. This hotel was very ambitious in that it would be the new downtown of Montreal and an international icon, and we wanted to return to that energy and spirit and reconnect the design to the will of its origins.” Sid Lee Architecture turned out to be the perfect choice as the renovations

The third floor of the hotel is home to an ultra-modern business campus with several thematic meeting rooms

were revealed to positive acclaim this past summer. Originally a communications and branding company, it added its architectural element in 2009 as a natural extension of its creative abilities. And it gladly took on the challenge to reinvent the Queen Elizabeth as a hub and destination for businesses. “If we were to create business meeting rooms in Montreal, we needed to look at how business is conducted in Montreal,” says Leblanc. “Montreal has many creative technology and gaming companies, and business meetings are very casual in nature, so we needed to create a tool that could work for them. We created open concepts with a contemporary feel where it’s possible to sit and have a casual meeting without having to formally book a meeting room. To be a business hotel in Montreal, you need to understand and fit with the way business is done in this city.” With a large hotel of 950 rooms, it was also important for Sid Lee to create a certain flow to the multi-levels and enormous space. “We wanted a hotel

which is an evolution from the lower levels upwards,” says Leblanc. “There are a lot of different spaces, but when you are walking through, it feels like a progression between design styles, which also reflects the many different types of people who visit, stay and use the hotel, and all of the different types of moments they experience.” It was also important to Sid Lee, Ivanhoé Cambridge and Fairmont Hotels to stay true to the long and proud history of The Queen Elizabeth, which, among other notable events, was the site of the recording of “Give Peace a Chance” during John and Yoko’s “bedin” in 1969. “We wanted the design to reflect the Fairmont brand, as well as for the design to be reflective of the architecture and the era, and to be unique, inspiring and relevant,” says Leblanc. Unique, inspiring and relevant. Three longstanding traits of the iconic Queen Elizabeth hotel, now brought gloriously back to life by Sid Lee Architecture.

Oct/Nov 2017

City Life Magazine



To Be

Bahá’í One of the newest world religions is facing the disintegration of society with unity, love and service. Bahá’ís are committed to the betterment of the world and mankind, paying no mind to race, religion or gender Written By Rebecca Alberico

Elena (above) and Emad Toukan host a devotional gathering in their home. The Bahá’í Community of Canada comprises more than 35,000 members


City Life Magazine

Oct/Nov 2017

Photos by carlos a. Pinto


y journey researching the Bahá’í Faith started on Google and lead me to the living room of Emad and Elena Toukan, local Toronto Bahá’ís. The couple invited me to attend my first-ever devotional gathering, hosted in their East Toronto home — and the experience was inspiring. Bahá’ís don’t have a church or formal clergy like most monotheistic religions; believers nurture their connection to their creator (God) individually or through informal community gatherings like the one I attended. Impressively, the gatherings are open to everyone, which is reflective of Bahá’í’s foundational belief in oneness. The religion was born in Iran, stemming from the Bábí religion. The Báb is the Herald of the Bahá’í Faith. In the middle of the 19th century, He announced that He was the bearer of a message destined to transform humanity’s spiritual life. His mission was to prepare the way for the coming of a second Messenger from God, greater than Himself, who would usher in an

“ If I love you,

I need not contInually speak of my love — you wIll know wIthout any words. — Abdu’l-Bahá, son of Bahá’u’lláh

age of peace and justice. That Messenger was Baha’u’llah. The Bahá’í Faith is one of the youngest world religions, with a community of approximately five to seven million people worldwide. Although it originated in Iran, it is now practised in over two hundred countries throughout the world. At its core are two basic values: the unity and equality of all people. To be a Bahá’í means believing in the oneness of all religions, that Bahá’u’lláh was a prophet of God, just like Jesus, Buddha, Krishna, Abraham, Moses and Zoroaster. It also means believing in the equality of the sexes, races and creeds and in the harmony of science and religion. For Elena, being a Bahá’í means building the bonds of fellowship and pursuing a life in which Bahá’u’lláh’s teachings of patience, kindness and love can be put into action. “I think the teachings are necessary for humanity today,” says Toukan, who was raised in the Bahá’í Faith. “These principles aren’t supposed to be answers; it’s something we need to learn about and come back to at many different times in our lives.” These are values that the couple hope to pass on to their young son. As the gathering started, Elena passed out prayer sheets, and graceful chanting began. Each of the five people gathered read one of the passages and added thoughts or intentions from the heart. With heads bowed and eyes closed, everyone drifted into deep reflection, truly absorbing the words they were hearing. Many of the prayers reflect themes of unity; “consort with the followers of all religions in a spirit

Photos courtesy of @Justinbaldoni

Justin Baldoni of CW’s Jane the Virgin and wife Emily Baldoni are devout Bahá’ís. The couple have one daughter, Maiya Grace Baldoni, and are expecting a son this October. Baldoni often shares real, honest messages of faith and family through his Instagram page

of friendliness and fellowship,” one person quoted from Bahá’u’lláh. Part of the reason devotional gatherings are paramount to the faith is that, throughout his teachings, Bahá’u’lláh encouraged individuals to seek the truth for themselves. “One thing I was always interested in is that the Faith demands that we investigate reality for ourselves instead of assimilate ideas blindly, because then religion can become tradition without rationality, without meaning,” says Aryan Ziaie, another local Bahá’í. Bahá’ís spend their lives translating the teachings into action, serving their families and communities with the hopes of contributing to a larger, widely felt difference in the world. One quote by Bahá’u’lláh that resonates

with Ziaie and motivates his service to the community is, “The betterment of the world can be accomplished by pure and goodly deeds, through commendable and seemly conduct.” When possible Ziaie spends his time enriching the youth education in the community through literacy programs for adolescents. For Justin Baldoni, Los Angelesbased actor, director, filmmaker and Bahá’í, being Bahá’í means rebuilding the world one heart at a time. It also means that we learn to see each other as brothers and sisters, without letting our differences divide us. “One of the most important things in the Bahá’í Faith is non-judgment and the elimination of back-biting, social and racial prejudices. The unity of all religions — imagine if Oct/Nov 2017

City Life Magazine


we all focused on even just one of these things for the rest of our lives,” says Baldoni. “Can you imagine what would happen to our world?” Could you do it? Could you promise yourself never to speak one unkind word about anyone for the rest of your life? Surely even those with the purest of souls are capable of missteps now and then — that what makes us human. Baldoni admits it’s natural for the intention to get lost sometimes, but what’s important is how we choose to proceed and nurture our character, for ourselves, our children and the world. “The true test of raising a child is your deeds; it’s not what you say, it’s what you do,” says Baldoni. “Character building and the refinement of character in the Bahá’í Faith is one of the most important things.” Baldoni stresses the importance of having an occupation as a Bahá’í and 76

City Life Magazine

Oct/Nov 2017

“ character

buIldIng and the refInement of character In the bahá’í faIth Is one of the most Important thIngs.

— Justin Baldoni

ensuring that occupation is of service to humanity in one way or another. The actor utilizes his talent as a creative to build a platform to speak to people’s hearts through his docu-series My Last Days; his annual Skid Row Carnival of Love, an event to help the homeless; and his upcoming men’s talk show,

Man Enough, with which he aims to challenge gender norms and what it means to be a man. Baldoni says the upcoming show is covertly feminist, enforcing the Bahá’í belief that the true equality of women and men is essential. Thinking back to the devotional gathering at the Toukans’, I recall something that Elena said: “We must nurture the forces that bring us together.” The Bahá’í Faith is one that is open to individual interpretation, so perhaps we should reflect on what this statement means to each of us — to the hope for world peace, the end of prejudice and injustice in the world. This Oct. 22 marks the bicentenary of the birth of Bahá’u’lláh, the prophet and founder of the faith. True to Bahá’í principles there will be several open community events to mark the special celebration.

Photos by carlos a. Pinto

Left: The Toronto Bahá’í Centre is used for special celebrations and commemorations, conferences, meetings, training sessions, public events and administrative work Right: Aryan Ziaie and his 10-month-old son


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MedIcaL MarveLs

OrthoCarolina hand surgeons bringing new hope to amputee victims


a transformational medical advancement for people who may have suffered an amputation, two Charlotte, N.C., OrthoCarolina hand surgeons are pioneering a procedure that offers patients unparalleled use of their upper extremities following an amputation. OrthoCarolina is one of the United States’s leading orthopedic practices for comprehensive orthopedic care. The doctors’ procedure is called Targeted Muscle Reinnervation (TMR), and it transplants nerves and allows them to “reinnervate,” or grow into, another muscle. This allows nerve signals which have been transferred into a new muscle, say a forearm, to control the prosthestic device as a normal human arm would, 78

City Life Magazine

Oct/Nov 2017

using nerve impulses sent directly from the brain. “Even when a limb is gone, nerves are still available for the body to use,” says Dr. Glenn Gaston, who along with Dr. Bryan Loeffler has been developing this new technique as a significant advancement for amputee patients. “Reassigning nerves to another part of the limb gives a patient easier control of their prosthesis and can also significantly reduce the phantom pain often felt by amputees.” “Phantom pain” is a significant issue for amputees — you may have lost a foot, but your brain could still be signalling that you have pain in that foot. Simply put, this TMR procedure being developed by Drs. Gaston and Loeffler allows upper extremity amputees

the ability to learn to work with a new prosthetic device by utilizing the remaining nerves in the arm to operate the device, just like nerve signals from the brain allow us to use our hands. The doctors have performed approximately 15 successful below-the-elbow surgeries to date. One of their most notable TMR patients is a 32-year-old mother of three, Tiffany Johnson, who lost her right arm when she was bitten by a shark while snorkelling off the Bahamas this past June. The surgeons amputated Johnson’s arm just below the elbow joint — and this was extremely significant. By amputating below the elbow joint, the doctors could ensure functional and sustained use of her right arm.

photos courtesy of orthocarolina

Written By Rick Muller | Interview By Rebecca Alberico

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Bryan Loeffler, MD, Timothy McCormick, Glenn Gaston MD

Despite the badly damaged muscles and skin of Johnson’s right arm, the doctors transferred nerves that controlled the hand from the severed limb into another part of the arm, then reinserted those nerves into another muscle. In their new location, and through the strength of the new muscle, Johnson’s nerves can function as they would have previously — and she is in the process of learning to use her new myoeletric hand,

of the body, including the forearms and legs. They also completed the first surgery for a prosthetic hand with an individual finger control in 2016. What’s more is that OrthoCarolina has a Reconstructive Center for Lost Limbs, a clinic for amputee patients that gathers once per month. This gives the doctors a chance to check in with patients and gives the amputee patients a chance to socialize. “Most patients don’t

“ What’s incredible is if you lost

your arm 10 years ago, that nerve is still there and it’s still capable of sending a signal to your brain

which is controlled by signals from the brain, just as her hand was controlled previously before amputation. Most importantly, Dr. Gaston stresses that the TMR procedure does not have to be performed at the time of the accident or amputation; it can take place years later. “What’s incredible is if you lost your arm 10 years ago, that nerve is still there and it’s still capable of sending a signal to your brain,” says Dr. Gaston. “We can do this even decades later for patients and achieve the same result.” This forward-thinking and innovative Targeted Muscle Reinnervation procedure is just the beginning for Drs. Gaston and Loeffler, who are also developing other forms of TMR by adapting the principles to other parts

— Dr. Glenn Gaston

know anybody who has gone through what they have gone through, but then once a month they meet with 30 other people who know exactly what they’re going through and you see them talking about everything,” says Dr. Gaston. “It’s very therapeutic for amputee patients to be there monthly, and it’s one of the clinics we most look forward to.” One of America’s leading orthopedic practices for comprehensive orthopedic care, OrthoCarolina’s slogan is, “You. Improved.” For Tiffany Johnson and potentially many, many more, the work of Drs. Glenn Gaston and Bryan Loeffler are bringing that slogan to life.

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People & Places gianni giRo 1


The annual bike race to raise money for the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre and the Heart and Stroke Foundation, graciously supported by the Country Day School, pushed off again for the third year in a row, on Sunday, September 24. Carlo and Tonia LiVolsi founded Gianni Giro in loving memory of Carlo’s father, Gianni. Amongst the 350 cyclists who rode this year was our very own co-founder, Fernando Zerillo, who participated in the 45km ride—also available were the 5KM family ride or 90KM long distance ride. To date, this charity bike-a-thon has raised nearly $1 million. “We are truly touched and humbled by the generosity and support we felt from our sponsors and attendees and grateful to them for helping us raise $300k [this year] for heart health and research,” said Tonia LiVolsi www.



1. Gianni Giro founders Carlo and Tonia LiVolsi with their sons 2. Cyclists enjoy the sunshine during the family fun ride 3. Dolce Media Group co-founder Fernando Zerillo and Director of Operations Angela Palmieri-Zerillo 4. There was even a unicyclist who partook in the 5km Family fun ride

1. Mary Strazzeri, CEO of Safety First is honoured by the recognition of her company’s growth 2. Mary and team are very proud of their accomplishments


City Life Magazine

Oct/Nov 2017

photos By cArlos A. piNto

Twelve years ago Mary Strazzeri started Safety First with a staff of two, no contracts and a vision for a company that was built on integrity and hard work. Today, Safety First has 30 employees, each hand-selected by Mary herself, and a loyal client base that know they are with the best. “I credit everything to the people I work with,” says Mary, “I hire for character and build skill,” she adds. When asked what winning the Fastest Growing Company 2017 award means to her, she responded saying, “it is further recognition that we are doing what we should for our clients, we are providing them with the best service possible.” Mary left her previous job to start her own business, she overcame a male-dominated industry to rise to the top and she says she owes it all to her staff! Congratulations Safety First!

On Friday, September 15, 2017, Global Medic and Sunwing volunteers and staff packed hygiene kits with essential items such as soap, toothbrushes and toothpaste and water purification sachets to provide clean drinking water for 3,000 people affected by Hurricane Irma. Global Medic and Sunwing also sent building material to help with reconstruction so that families could move back home as soon as possible. Later that day, a Sunwing flight carried the supplies, as well as members of Global Medic’s Rapid Response Team to deliver the aid, “it takes a coordinated team effort to be the first carrier into airports that are closed, to coordinate the delivery of much-needed humanitarian aid, and to help evacuate stranded tourists from all nations. I am proud of our employees for their actions. In partnership with the amazing rapid response team at Global Medic, we have been able to help the people of Antigua and Barbuda, Cuba, and St Maarten,” said President and CEO of Sunwing Stephen Hunter. Sunwing employees and volunteers work with Global Medic to prepare and load hygiene kits and building materials for affected areas

photo courtesy of suNwiNG trAVel Group

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safety fiRst






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Oct/Nov 2017

City Life Magazine


People & Places Wednesday, August 9, 2017, marked the grand reopening of the Vaughan Food Bank, a new location for a bright future. The Vaughan Food Bank originally opened 1995 and since then has been a pillar of the community, doing their part to help needy families in the area. They are now located at 5732 Hwy 7, Units 3-4. The new facility is much larger, which will help them to serve the Vaughan community more efficiently. They now have a larger waiting room, registration office, and shopping area. As well, the receiving, storage and sorting areas will greatly improve collection of food donations because there is more space to store, organize and categorize items. The Community Legal Clinic of York Region will still be partnered with the Vaughan Food Bank and have a more private and confidential office on the upper floor.


1. Executive director, Peter Wixson smiles brightly with Giulia Mazzella, Nina Bertolo, Mary Grossi and Olga Bressan 2. Gino Rosati, Sunder Singh, Maurizio Bevilacqua (Mayor of Vaughan), Peter Wixson (Executive Director of the Vaughan Food Bank), Sandra Yeung Racco and Tony Carella 3. Local firefighters and fire chief, Larry Bentley, gather with Peter Wixson to celebrate the occasion


photos courtesy of VAuGhAN fooD BANK

vaughan food bank




With 3,003 participants in attendance and $6,078,000 raised, the Rexall OneWalk to Conquer Cancer was a huge success for the 15th year in a row! A total $168 million has been raised to date in support of personalized cancer medicine at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, one of the top five cancer research centres in the world. “Nearly one in two Canadians will develop cancer in their lifetime and the funds raised through the Rexall OneWalk continue to help Princess Margaret Cancer Centre make transformational advances in personalized cancer medicine,” said Paul Alofs, President and CEO of the PMCF. “They can improve standards of care, deliver new treatments and lead the way in Personalized Cancer Medicine because of the funds raised.” www. 1. Toronto Mayor, John Tory, gives an inspiring speech that excites participants 2. This year participants are more excited than ever to help raise money for this amazing cause


City Life Magazine

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photos courtesy of somBiloN stuDios

Rexall oneWalk to ConqueR CanCeR

On August 19, 2017, Kleinburg residents flocked to the centre of town to receive their free softserve cones courtesy of local real-estate broker, Jerry Carinci of ReMax West Realty Inc. This annual event is a hit with residents, retailers and visitors of Kleinburg. Jerry also stopped at the nearby Bindertwine Park where he handed out many cones to hikers enjoying the trails. Carnici, the winner of multiple Platinum Club Awards, goes above and beyond for his clients and the public as a portion of all his transaction fees is donated to the Children’s Miracle Network and the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation. www. Jerry Carinci smiles wide with Elisa Fidani and ice cream man Nicholas at his soft serve event

photos courtesy of jerry cAriNci

JeRRy CaRinCi






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City Life Magazine

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City Life Magazine — October/November 2017  
City Life Magazine — October/November 2017