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SPRING 2014

P R I N C E

E D W A R D

C O U N T Y

A N D

Q U I N T E

R E G I O N

The Dance of the Hip Hops and so much more inside!

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PRINCE EDWARD COUNTY AND QUINTE REGION

14

SerENADE TO SPRING

the dance of the hip hops

Each issue available online at: www.countyandquinteliving.ca

46

At home on the bay of quinte

58

by the numbers

The return of

by Sharon Harrison

by Cynthia Peters

by Catherine Stutt

the solo ocean rower

18

30

56

by John Martinello

Hilary MacLeod’s Shore Series

by Cindy Duffy

4

24

IN THIS ISSUE

STEPPING BACK IN TIME

Brisley Village stays

Quinte Children’s Foundation Gala

by Gerry Fraiberg

66

Saitarg’s GQ

Canadian Music Legend

true to the past

Bernie Finkelstein

by Lindi Pierce

by Alan Gratias

COUNTY & QUINTE LIVING SPRING 2014

ON THE COVER

Larry Roche takes a walk through his hops crop on Big Island. Photography by Daniel Vaughan.


2014

COUNTY & QUINTE LIVING SPRING 2014

5


PRINCE EDWARD COUNTY AND QUINTE REGION

Group publisher Duncan Weir Duncan.weir@metroland.com publisher Ron Prins rprins@metroland.com

e s u o H pen OSunday, April 27 2 - 4 p.m.

Daily Transportation Available Join us to learn about our academic and post-secondary placement success. Tour the Early Primary Learning Centre, Junior or Senior Schools and get inspired! Observe the many talents of our students in arts and athletics. Bring your son or daughter to meet the faculty and talk with current parents and students.

editor Catherine Stutt editor@xplornet.com Photo editor Daniel Vaughan daniel@vaughangroup.ca Advertising Executive Laura Dawson 613.475.0255 x 208 ldawson@metroland.com design & production Kathern Bly and Monica McTaggart Susan K. Bailey Marketing & Design info@skbailey.com CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Lindi Pierce Cindy Duffy John Martinello Alan Gratias Catherine Stutt Sharon Harrison Cynthia Peters CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Gerry Fraiberg Sharon Harrison Lindi Pierce

Ramesh Pooran Kelly Taylor Daniel Vaughan

ADMINISTRATION Benita Stansel bstansel@metroland.com

Pre-Kindergarten to Grade 12/Post Graduate Day and Boarding School Belleville, Ontario www.albertcollege.ca

Distribution Kathy Morgan kmorgan@metroland.com County & Quinte Living is published quarterly and is available free of charge through strategic partners, wineries, golf courses, real estate, and chamber of commerce offices, retail outlets, and advertiser locations. County & Quinte Living may not be reproduced, in part or whole, in any form without prior written consent of the publisher. Views expressed by contributors are their own opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of County & Quinte Living. Subscription rate $25 a year. HST included. County & Quinte Living is a division of Metroland Media Group Ltd. 21 Meade St. P.O. Box 1030 Brighton, ON, K0K 1H0 Canada 613.475.0255 www.countyandquinteliving.ca Find us on Facebook Š2014 Metroland Media Group Ltd. Printed in Ontario Canada

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COUNTY & QUINTE LIVING SPRING 2014


COUNTY & QUINTE LIVING SPRING 2014

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psychotherapy. After this cursed endless apocalyptic winter of discontent, no one could blame us for questioning our sanity as we enter April under a tenacious blanket of snow.

from the

Editor’s Desk ypically at this time of year, I’d be too busy getting our gardens ready for the season to take much time writing my editor’s message. I’d be trimming spent blooms from the pasque flower and checking the beds several times daily for signs of spring bulbs, delighting in the appearance of grape hyacinths, and watching the buds swell on the caragana just outside my office window. Darryl would have already launched his lawn regimen, dethatching, sweeping, seeding, and giving dandelions his patented death stare. No doubt he’d spend an afternoon detailing his truck, inside and out, while chatting with the neighbours in our wonderful community. Yeah, this spring, not so much. I promised myself I wouldn’t write about the weather, but the truth is, writing this editorial is cheaper than

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COUNTY & QUINTE LIVING SPRING 2014

We’re hardy, though, and we know spring brings discovery. As the snow melts (I’m told it does every year) we regroup and begin to plan our gardens and prepare for outdoor living yet again. This year, after six months of snow, the green green grass of home will be even more welcome, the gardens more delightful, and the warmth more precious. We’re not going to wait, though. This issue of County and Quinte Living is going to deliver spring despite nature’s schedule. We deliberately thwarted our black and white existence with bursts of colour. From Larry Roche and his hops on the cover to Sharon Harrison’s spring gardening article, we affirm our belief in nature’s bounty and beauty. Sharon is new to CQL, but County residents are familiar with her passion for gardening. With this issue, we welcome home Jean Guy Sauriol, who became the oldest Canadian to row solo across the Atlantic, spending his 60th birthday literally in the middle of nowhere. John Martinello wrote about Jean Guy in the winter issue just before the voyage, and caught up with him a week after he reunited with his wife and son in Barbados.

We’re pretty proud of another new arrival here at CQL. We’re happy to include the premiere issue of Local Tastes. As the region’s culinary reputation continues to grow, it seemed a natural next step for our team, and we congratulate our food writer Cynthia Peters for nurturing the process from conception to your kitchen. As we try to release winter’s hold on us and look forward to warm days, Lindi Pierce looks back at the historic enclave of Brisley Village in Demorestville, where a dedicated family ensures history and heritage are not only preserved, but also embraced. With warm days and cool nights, there is still time to curl up by the fire with a good book, and Cindy Duffy introduces readers to local author Hilary MacLeod who is currently working on her fifth village mystery in The Shores series. It’s spring. It may not look like spring, it may not feel like spring, but we made it through a long winter, and we are more ready than ever for shorts, sandals, and sunshine. It’s a new season full of potential and delight, and we’re going to be out and about, learning about the great people and history of this region. Join us on our adventures, and thanks for turning the page.

Catherine Stutt, Editor, County and Quinte Living editor@xplornet.com


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ADVERTISER INDEX ACCOMMODATIONS

The Wexford House .............. 57

ARTS/EVENTS

My Theatre ............................ 63 Rotary Loves Kids .................. 42

AUTO

Bay Subaru ............................ 21 Belleville Toyota .................... 16 Lexus of Kingston .................... 5

BUILDERS/DEVELOPERS

Ducon Contractors ................ 48 Elliott Sage Design ................ 41 Hickory Homes ...................... 43 Hilden Homes......................... 67 RayCon Building & Ren. ..........44 Renovation Restoration ......... 26

COMMUNITY

Brighton Downtown .............. 42 Highland Shores CAS ............ 60 Invisible Ribbon Gala ............. 62 Welcome Wagon ................... 44

EDUCATION INSTITUTION Albert College ......................... 6

FASHION

City Revival ............................ 22 L’Elle Couture ........................ 23 Quinte Mall ............................ 52

FOOD/DINING/WINE

Natural Sequence .................. 64

HOME DÉCOR/GIFTS

Black River Trading Company................7 Countrytime Furniture ........... 45

French Country ...................... 11 Funk and Gruven ................... 13 Green Gables ........................ 32

HOME IMPROVEMENT/ DESIGN A & B Precast ........................ 12 Anderson Equip/Sales ........... 36 At Home Interior Design........... 51 Betz Pools ................................ 9 Carpet One ........................... 54 Constructall Granite .............. 27 County Arborists ................... 17 Edgewater Stonemasons...........35 Fireplace Specialties .............. 33 Nhance Wood Renewal ......... 50 Parallel Electric ...................... 53 Quinte Paint and Wallpaper .......... 65 Red Ball Radio ....................... 61 Sines Flooring ........................ 42 St. Lawrence Pools................... 3 Tablecraft ............................... 63 The County Fireplace ............ 51 The Window Centre .............. 51 Vanderlaan.............................. 40 VanVark Electric ..................... 44 William Design Company ......... 34

LANDSCAPE/GARDEN

Farmgate Gardens ................ 63 Lockyer’s Country Gardens......... 28 Picture Perfect Landscaping............13 Scott Wentworth Landscape Group .................................... 41

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COUNTY & QUINTE LIVING SPRING 2014


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PROFESSIONAL SERVICES - DENTAL

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PROFESSIONAL SERVICES - GENERAL

PRINCE EDWARD COUNTY WINERIES ............................. Pages 10-11

Dr. Brett’s ............................... 37 Dr. Younes ............................... 2 Riverside Dental .................... 29 Steinberg Dental Centres..............68

Exit Realty/Randy Kerr .......... 49 H & R Block ........................... 38 HelpLegal .............................. 55 IDesign Optical ...................... 13 Ontario Coachways ............... 65 Parallel Electric ...................... 50 Vaughan Group ..................... 56 Vision & Voice......................... 12

Laura’s Style ........................... 51 Polish Day Spa ....................... 39 The Country Salon ................. 42

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Serenade to

spring Words by Sharon Harrison

Photography by Sharon Harrison and Ramesh Pooran


“All through the long winter, I dream of my garden. On the first day of spring, I dig my fingers deep into the soft earth. I can feel its energy, and my spirits soar.�

The

journey to get here has been an arduous one, but one full of anticipation and promise. Early spring creeps in somewhat reluctantly as if not quite sure it should be here, at least not yet. Known for its mild and short winters, Prince Edward County will not soon forget the mountains of snow and frosty temperatures it endured over the course of this seemingly never-ending past winter season.

The very early days of spring are sometimes referred to as the fictional season of stirring. It’s an in-between season that is neither winter, yet not quite spring either. Winter aconites, in colours of pleasing muted yellows, are known as the first flowers of spring, and emerge shaking off hats of crystallized snow as they push their way up from the still-frozen soil. Their buttercup-like blooms are a joyous sight to behold. As the true harbingers of spring, they nestle comfortably with clumps of naturalized, bell-shaped snowdrops. These tiny conquerors of the garden take pride of place knowing they are the very first to brighten the dreary landscape.

~ Helen Hayes

As spring progresses, ever-expanding clusters of sunshine-yellow and deep-purple spring crocuses explode en masse, igniting the garden beds with riotous colour. Even the plain white varieties, although not as popular as their colourful sisters, put on an impressive show of velvet artistry, and there is no mistaking the slender leaves that envelop and hug the crocus blooms. Each leaf, with a formal silvery stripe through its centre, stands erect during the flowering process, as if on guard protecting its treasure. These beacons of light, with their vibrant silky petals, cast a warm glow across the bare garden, which has yet to fully awaken from its winter slumber. Even so, the heat from the sun, welcomingly strong at this young time of the year, softens the earth just a little, where these rays of colour stand united. The presence of birdlife is widespread and unmistakable in this most enticing of seasons. A celebrated early robin sighting usually signals the imminence of springtime. The first signs and sounds of collective chirping, tweeting, and singing from our feathered friends are entirely


welcome. A month into spring, however, the deafening cacophony of non-stop bird noise can become a little wearing, especially when there is no volume control or off switch, but these delightful creatures are what spring is about, and they have been missed. Chickadees chirp and chatter, mourning doves coo, blue jays screech, but as the songbirds begin to return, the symphony becomes kinder to the ear. There are ingenious nest-building techniques to marvel, melodious sweet song to enjoy, and curious mating antics to delight. “April is the cruellest month,” was how T. S. Eliot put it. Most gardeners would agree. It can certainly be a changeable time for the gardener, as days vary from teasingly warm to cold and frosty, with harsh easterly winds that can indeed be so cruel. The marvels of the April garden endure without complaint, as jaunty yellow daffodils flood the landscape, forsythia shrubs burst into sunny flower, and pussy willow branches produce their familiar soft, fuzzy catkins. Closer to ground level, dense masses of tiny muscari spikes, in shades of royal blue, accompany brilliantblue scilla bulbs, to form a dainty carpet of striking colour.

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COUNTY & QUINTE LIVING SPRING 2014


The quintessential flowering shrub of the garden, synonymous with the warming days of springtime, is the flamboyant yet elegant magnolia tree. Its beauty is captivating, its blooms exquisite, as leafless branches sit crammed with blossoms to create a flawless canopy of pink hues. A delicate, light fragrance wafts from the magnificent shrub invigorating the senses, and perfectly seducing the mind. With petals as soft and pure as silk, blossoms shimmer if the sunlight catches them at just the right angle. In bloom for just a few short weeks, its brief flowering period makes it all the more desirable. The slow pace of springtime is a pleasant one, at least in its early days. Insects emerge, seemingly from nowhere, and buzz about sleepily as if in a drunken stupor. Even a lone pestering wasp shows up on the warmest of days. As the sap flows, and streams begin to melt and trickle, nothing is too rushed, at least not yet, and it’s a pleasure to watch it all unfold in its own gentle way. It’s not a jolt to the system, but an easing in that seems a fitting time for reflective contemplation. As days becomes longer and lighter, the sunshine - missing for so long - is warm and uplifting. The first rain shower cleanses the grime and dust of a winter now mostly forgotten. It provides a unique freshness

to the air really only felt for a few precious weeks early on in the gardening year. Moisture, light, and warmth transform the garden into a sea of fresh, spring green as buds swell, leaves unfold, and fronds unfurl. Once the ground has warmed and softened, the allure and smell of rich, earthy soil becomes irresistible. The garden truly comes to life in May, frantically bursting alive at a terrific pace, heralding the peak of spring. Lissome tulips, in almost every hue imaginable, harmoniously dazzle with bold waves of colour. The tall heads of dramatic fritillaria give a graceful wave on a breezy day. Pure-white bleeding hearts grow beside baby-blue forget-me-nots. Polyanthus spread and naturalize in the shade garden, together with trilliums and lily of the valley, while weedy purple violets quickly fill any void. Perhaps the granddaddy of them all, the lilac shrub, with its unmistakably intoxicating fragrance, is the truest sign the season is at its magnificent zenith. The return of spring is much like welcoming back an old friend after a long absence. It may be long awaited but rarely is it a disappointment. Spring is about rejuvenation, hope, and new beginnings. It’s about stretching the imagination, fuelling the spirit and embracing the

essence of garden spaces. As spring is celebrated, new discoveries are forged, and it is hard to resist the tantalizing call of the garden. There is nothing quite like it, and the exhilaration has only just begun.

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COUNTY & QUINTE LIVING SPRING 2014


Hilary MacLeod’s

Shores series

revitalizes the

dying art of

village mysteries Words by Cindy Duffy Photography by Daniel Vaughan

The Russian writer Leo Tolstoy once said, “All great literature is one of two stories: a man goes on a journey or a stranger comes to town.” In The Shores mystery series by Prince Edward County writer Hilary MacLeod, a stranger or strangers come to town unleashing bizarre and often humorous plot lines including murder, mayhem, accidental deaths superfluous to the rest of the plot, and even a little sex. The town these strangers come to is a fictitious village on Prince Edward Island known as The Shores. As though being on an island isn’t isolation enough, The Shores is only tenuously connected to the rest of the island by a sometimes impassible causeway.

COUNTY & QUINTE LIVING SPRING 2014

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“I was born on an island, my ancestors on both sides come from islands (Great Britain and the Isle of Skye), and only islands. I was mainly raised on an island (Montreal), live on what is essentially an island (Prince Edward County), and have a deep affection for and two houses on Prince Edward Island. I love islands and the isolation they afford. They have a deep meaning in my life and are important to my work.” Hilary, a former journalist, recently retired after 22 years as a professor of media studies at Loyalist College, now divides her time between Prince Edward Island and Prince Edward County. In the County she shares a year-’round cottage overlooking Muscote Bay with her cats Gus and Sophie. Although she has made some forays into fiction in the past, The Shores series - Revenge of the Lobster Lover, Mind Over Mussels, All Is Clam, and Something Fishy - is her first published fiction. Billed as a murder-mystery series, the murders and even solving the mystery are really secondary. Instead, the books are more character-driven describing the conflicts that arise in the relationships between the locals, the newcomers, and the strangers who come to the village as they are all plunged into a bizarre series of events. Hilary says her books are meant to be a light, quick read, but at the same time they are describing something important to her - a culture being lost. “A friend of mine once said these kinds of books - village mysteries - and these kinds of mysteries, are recording a way of life that is disappearing. With humour taken into the formula, my books are, in fact, recording a way of life that’s disappearing. The village of Sea View I based The Shores on is changing, the person I based the Gus Mack character on has since died.” 20

COUNTY & QUINTE LIVING SPRING 2014


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Gus Mack is one of the central characters in The Shores series. She could be described as the community’s matriarch who makes it her business to know everyone’s comings and goings. What she can’t see from her kitchen window she finds out over cups of tea at her kitchen table, and the teapot is always on the stove. The newcomers include Ian Simmons, a retired schoolteacher, amateur computer expert, and eligible bachelor. Freelance writer Hyacinth McAllister is always getting involved in the murders, either inadvertently by literally tripping over bodies or by inserting herself into the investigation. The most recently arrived is Jane Jamieson, an RCMP officer, brought in to investigate the murders. There is some ongoing tension among the newcomers, and even more tension between these newcomers and the locals whose families have lived in The Shores for generations, mostly fishers and farmers - those making a living legally, that is.

Hilary says she never thought she would It’s entertaining after all. I like to make write a murder-mystery, but one summer people laugh.” while on sabbatical, she was inspired by Hilary speaks highly of her publisher, reading M.C. Beaton’s Hamish Macbeth Charlottetown-based Acorn Press, but series set in the remote Scottish Highlands. says the reality in Canada is the need for Despite such influences, Hilary does not authors to actively promote their books, like the ‘cozy’ label for her books, often too. She has no problem stepping up to referring to the formulaic murder-mystery the occasion, sometimes outlandishly. In genre characterized by sanitized plot lines, keeping with the theme of her first book and often featuring amateur sleuths, such titled Revenge of the Lobster Lover, for the as Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple. “I don’t past two years she has taken part in the like to call them cozies,” she says. “There’s Bloomfield Santa Claus parade dressed as sex, and I do think they have some guts. a lobster. Each year she raffled off one of They have some truths and are worthy. I her books with the proceeds going to the Loyalist Humane Society, a cause dear to don’t think they are cozies.” her heart. If violent deaths incidental to the She has, in fact, gotten a lot of central plot are not typical of cozies, she has a point. For instance one of the locals, mileage from her lobster outfit. Last a senior, dies while on the toilet, and a fall she managed to shock local radio woman falls to her death when flattened celebrity Freddy Vette by showing up by a boulder toppled from an eroding for an interview on his show dressed as cliff. These deaths have nothing to do with a lobster – a moment made even more the murders. “I make no apologies for memorable because Freddy Vette was one all of these deaths. I like these tangents. of her first students at Loyalist College.

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In a more orthodox fashion of book promotion she has traveled to libraries from Toronto to Tweed to talk about her books. Last November she organized a well-attended book launch at Loyalist College for Something Fishy, the fourth book in the series.

fans. “She’s a great fan, a great supporter. She was the first person I emailed the book to when I was finished. ‘My Mom wrote a book, a real book,’ she said and I’m proud to say she has me proofread her stuff from time to time.”

The Shores series is available locally at Green Gables,

286 Main Street, Bloomfield.

Hilary can’t say for sure but expects there will be seven books in total. “For some reason I always had seven in my head,” she says, adding she has no intention of limiting herself to The Shores series. She has been working on another very different writing project, a historical romance fiction also set on PEI telling the story of The Yankee Gale. “I’ve been writing that one for 30 years,” she says. The Yankee Gale of 1851 was a storm that raged in the Gulf of St. Lawrence for two days and wiped out Hilary also gets help from her daughter almost an entire American fishing fleet Kirsten MacLeod, with promoting her from Boston. books and proofreading and editing, “I stopped saying I’m retired, because too. She describes her daughter, who lectures in English at the University of I’m not,” she insists. “I retired from Newcastle in England, as one of her best teaching, but who would retire?”

Something Fishy began with fish falling from the sky and ended with snakes falling from the sky. Hilary, now working on the fifth book titled Bodies and Sole, will deal with those snakes. She describes the next book as being a little more macabre than its predecessors, perhaps reflecting her current online studies in forensic science from the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, Scotland.

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The

Dance of the

Hip

Like an old patchwork quilt, the story of hops in the County is colourful and historical. Known most widely as the ingredient that adds the bitter taste to beer, it in fact has many additional redeeming qualities.

Hops Words by Cynthia Peters Photography by Daniel Vaughan


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COUNTY & QUINTE LIVING SPRING 2014

Hop farmers in Ontario now supply more than 50 breweries in the province.


W

ith the recent surge in the popularity of Ontario craft beers, local hops are taking centre stage. Hop farmers in Ontario now supply more than 50 breweries in the province. In Prince Edward County, there are two small-scale producers. Familia Ramirez Hop Yard is in Hillier and Wind Dance Stables and Farm is located on Big Island. Growing hops is not new to the region as the soil and climate are ideal for this unique crop. From 1860 to 1890, it was the crop of choice along with barley. American breweries were especially hungry for County hops. It was a common sight to see boats full of hops sailing across the lake until the 1890s when politics curtailed this once prosperous industry. At its peak, one third of the County’s cultivated farmland was committed to barley and hops. For today’s local craft brew and distillery establishments, fresh hops (within hours of picking) are delivered to two main customers – 66 Gilead and Barley Days Brewery. The region’s only distillery, 66 Gilead uses hops in the making of its Loyalist Gin. The distillery property is the site of a former hops farm. Luckily for visitors, the owners recently had the original hop barn restored to its former glory. As one of the few remaining hop barns in the County, the structure boasts two drying

lofts, multiple storage rooms, and a large open main floor. Historical photos and tools are also on display for admirers to view. Signatures from a few of the original harvesters can be found inscribed on the barn walls. At Barley Days Brewery, local hops are featured in two of their brews – Indian Pale Ale and Royal George Brown Ale. With fresh hops available only during a short window, large volumes of these brews are produced all at once. Indian Pale Ale uses half local fresh hops and half imported dry hops. Dried hops are produced in pellet form, while fresh hops are in their true cone shaped flower form. This ale is known for its bitter qualities and the beauty of the fresh hops addition creates intense aromatic qualities in the brew. Timing is critical from harvest to kettle. A few weeks before harvest, brewmaster Alex Nichols is in constant contact with the two farmers. Ideally, the hops are picked the night before their journey to the brewing pot. Usually the delivery is just before noon the following day and Alex’s brew is waiting in anticipation of the hops. Sometimes a small quantity is added post-boil to kick it up yet another notch. Fresh hops, due to its short harvesting period, are only used in specialty artisan beers. Additionally, the intensity of the bitterness is also unknown.

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COUNTY & QUINTE LIVING SPRING 2014


The Hops plant can produce for more than 25 years in the right conditions.

Commercially dried hops are tested in a lab for their bitter concentration, allowing the brewmasters the ability to gauge quantities to create consistency in the final beer products. Royal George Brown Ale is a 100 per cent local hops brew, quickly selling out every year. Alex usually receives 50 pounds of fresh hops per shipment, which equates to approximately six burlap sacks. Small-scale producers usually hand pick the cones, while specialized harvesting equipment is required for larger operations. Once picked, hop flowers need to be used, cured, or dried immediately. Beyond beer and gin, hops were also a popular preservative, healer, and culinary delight. Macaulay House Museum in Picton grows a small patch of hops as part of its kitchen side garden. This annual plant delivers a nice crop for the volunteer cooks who use it every year in some of their recipes, especially for the hearth-baked bread visitors adore sampling. Nancy Woods, one of the lead cooks, explained they make the hop-leavening agent by putting two handfuls of freshly packed hops into a crockery bowl and covering it with warm water. The hops are left to stand until they sink to the bottom. The spent hops are then removed and the liquid is strained and used to make a sourdough starter for the bread.

Since Roman times, other edible variations include a simple boil of new hop shoots then a quick sauté in a hot pan with butter, salt, and pepper. Hops sauce is created to pour over chicken, fish, or mutton. Medicinally, hops are recognized as a good sedative to reduce anxiety and aid in digestion, usually taken in a tea form. Dried hops were also stuffed in pillows to help with sleeping. This remedy is still used today. According to the Ontario Hop Growers’ Association the plant can produce for more than 25 years in the right conditions. It reaches maturity in three to five years and can grow up to 30 feet high in a single season. Usually grown on tall open trellises commercially, it is a delight to see in a farmer’s field. Backyard enthusiasts generally do a teepee pole method or a few strings secured along a wall, allowing for good air circulation. For larger scale growers, investment in specialized equipment is important, with typical startup costs of $15,000 for a single acre. With the many uses of this hip plant and its long history in the region, it could become the next ‘return’ crop to the County and take a popular position beside grapes as barley did so long ago.

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Stepping back

in time


Words by Lindi Pierce Interior Photography by Daniel Vaughan Exterior Photography by Lindi Pierce

Brisley Village stays true to the past J

ohn and Diane Brisley are looking for new neighbours. After 20 years of work preserving historic buildings on their enclave near Fish Lake, Prince Edward County, they have decided to part with two. On offer are a yellow c.1810 pre-revolutionary Colonial style clapboard house and an 1823 neo-classical church on 12 acres of property across the road from their home, the pre-1820 John Demill House. Heritage-aware friends caution them, “You’ll have to watch as the dumpsters arrive,” alluding to contractors’ alltoo-frequent demolition of original interiors to suit the requirements of modern lifestyles. John and Diane are the real thing, as authentic as the early houses with which they have spent their lives. The couple talks about disturbing recent trends which see conflict between heritage preservation and architectural innovation. They despair of new makeovers of old homes.

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For the Brisleys, life has been devoted to authentic restorations of important early structures of Upper Canada – a life of study, sacrifice, and plain hard work. They’re purists. “And what’s wrong with being a purist?” they ask. The couple’s old house story began not in a stately ancestral mansion but in a mobile home/dental clinic in Sioux Lookout. John, a dentist, and Diane, a dental hygienist, operated a dental coach in 1967 in northern Ontario, when they were first married. Diane describes their life. “The dental coach would be parked near the school. Children streamed through all day for dental checkups, waiting on our couch in the tiny living room.” After their long day, the visiting dental team would open the folding door to their miniscule private quarters and fall exhausted into bed. John attributes their early attraction to heritage homes to Centennial celebrations in 1967, which raised

Canadian’s consciousness about our architectural history. The Brisleys were early adopters; by 1968 they had begun to restore an 1844 stone house near Peterborough, and their evolution into passionate heritage activists began. Meanwhile, John was beginning to fall in love with timber frame houses. “They’re like a piece of furniture – you can replace the worn spots and they’re good as new.” In 1977 the couple fell for the charms of Loyalist Bath and purchased an 1841 wood-frame Loyalist dwelling/carriage maker’s showroom with neo-classical façade on the village’s historic main street. They worked with the unique

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floor plan to create a cozy home, restoring paint colours and filling the place with their collection of early Canadian furniture and artifacts. In 1980 they added another home close by in Centreville, a fine but needy 1840s frame house with impressive Greek Revival cornice and corner pilasters and wide 18-over-12-pane sash windows. Those were exciting days; along with a growing number of heritage enthusiasts they learned and did the work themselves.

“Until 1967 there were a goodly number of old family houses still lived in by the same family, unchanged since their construction in the early decades of the 19th century, rundown perhaps, but original.” Having limited means was a good thing. No money for insulbrick or asbestos siding, fake wood panelling, aluminum windows and other ‘improvements’ meant irreplaceable mouldings, windows, doorcases, paint, and paper were preserved.

The Settler’s Dream by Peter John Stokes and Tom Cruickshank, that invaluable compendium of Prince Edward County’s architectural heritage, describes many unique pre-1820 homes in the Demorestville and Northport area. Many of them were in ruins by the date of publication, recalled only in archival photos. Stokes explains, “More than in other parts of the county, these buildings show the unmistakable influence of the American-born settlers,

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and out. There were holes in the roof, the front wall, doors and windows • were missing, ceilings were collapsing. John easily lifted the house’s southeast the tree branches. • F8/R8 transmission and 4-wheelThese narrow and •corner Compact and – the sills andnarrow foundationconstructi compact tractors offer exceptional brakes were in ruins. It was not a project for engine • Center-direct injection and power. • Bevel gearmaneuverability front-wheel drive with beginners, but the Brisleys were up to (E-CDIS) Bi-Speed turn the challenge. They could see past the • F8/R8 transmission and 4-whee • M6040/M7040/M8540 available in ravages to the potential. “We bought brakes an interior that hadn’t been touched ROPS models • M6040/M7040/M8540 available in ROPS unusual models about this home. Its tight • in Bevel 200 years.”gear front-wheel drive wit • M7040/M8540 available with • M7040/M8540 availableform, with centre chimney eaves, upright Picton Bellville Bi-Speed turn factory cab factory cab 13) 476-6597 Tel. (613)also 969-6246 Regrettably, very few would have clapboard siding • M8540and available with rear tracksremind the • M6040/M7040/M8540 available 13) 476-1594 Fax (613) 969-1653 • M8540 also available with rear tracks passerby of Nova Scotia perhaps, or had the vision, the skills, and the ROPS models Picton Bellville passion to rise to the challenge. John New England. Tel. (613) 476-6597 Tel. (613) 969-6246Stokes and Cruickshank • M7040/M8540 available with Fax (613) 476-1594 Fax (613) refer to969-1653 its uniquely American form, and Diane did, and preserved one cab County’s oldest Bellville Prince Edward a style known as Federal south of the of factory •homes. M8540 also available with rear tra Tel. (613) 969-6246 border, as its Yankee ancestry.

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Once the couple saw the Demill house, they were hooked, despite its appalling condition. “Most people would have walked away from this,” John recalls. “It looked totally unsalvageable.” Turkeys wandered in

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Everywhere is simple beauty with minimal modern intrusion. their busy dental practice. John shingled the roof in cedar and applied his courses in carpentry and brick oven building, Diane salvaged floors and windows. By 1992, John and Diane, teenagers Kip and Melanie, a dog and a cat moved in, storing all their furniture and sleeping on the floor. “The house was barely livable, no decorating done. I don’t think anyone else would have lived like this,” says Diane. A downstairs bedroom, a bathroom, and kitchen were completed first. John built all the kitchen cupboards, learning as he went along; the character of the rooms dictated the finish. A step inside is a step back to the early 1800s; to museum quality millwork and detailing preserved in the once-ruined house, the Brisleys have added their skills in cabinet-making, plastering, painting, and stencilling and their collection of primitive Canadian furniture, textiles, and household objects.

finished in weathered blue. The plain worn floorboards in front of the dry sink bear the imprints of the feet of several generations of farm women who toiled there, and drying racks still suspended from the ceiling give the impression that an 1820s housewife has just left the fireside for another task. Everywhere is simple beauty with minimal modern intrusion. The floor plan is unchanged; original slip rooms have been converted to bathroom, study, and dressing room, proving it is not necessary to ruin old layouts to accommodate modern conveniences.

stencilling and painted floors, fine early furniture, and decorative objects give life back to the once-abandoned refined New England house. Outside, the eye delights in the kitchen garden, rail and root fences, and travels the inviting path to the log cabin guesthouse. From the back, rustic lean-tos offer no hint of the convenient kitchen and other utility rooms they house. A drive-house in oxblood red, a trim barn, and a shed nestle among ancient trees. From the roadside, the home’s three sections, all built by 1820, reveal their symmetrical three bay façades. To the west, the exterior of the brick hearth and bake oven is evident. The centre section, with knee-height bedroom windows and the small square window of the box staircase, may well be the earliest. The two-storey section with its centre chimney, plainly trimmed 12-over-12 sash windows, and its classically detailed door surround is as upright as the staunch Loyalist who built it.

Bedrooms are serene with early Canadian furniture and artifacts – four poster and rope beds, early Quebec armoires, and handmade textiles. The original paint over rustic plaster was uncovered beneath layers of wallpaper in the master bedroom. Today bold orange-yellow walls, Prussian blue chair rail, and the black mop line in the In the keeping room, the couple bedroom give a glimpse into the tastes of The couple have advice for those preserved the original early 19th century the 1820s. contemplating purchase of an old home. kitchen wall with its bake oven, fireplace Living spaces are decorated with When buying an old house, take time! Don’t for open-hearth cooking, a simple mantel, a dry sink with dish cupboards, and a door to museum-like authenticity, yet feel homey start pulling out walls. Respect the original the steep winder stairs with the woodwork and comfortable. A rare box staircase, wall builder, the pride of the early owner, the

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taste, and workmanship of the time. Leave historic details, live with them. Preserve the old and make modern life fit into it. Build a sympathetic addition, in the right scale, if more space is needed. Consider building a reproduction instead of making too many changes. Don’t destroy irreplaceable history. Don’t save a scrap, a beam from a demolished wall repurposed as a mantel, to tell a home’s UEL history; let the original millwork, colours and scale tell the story. “What has ruined more old homes are people with a lot of money but no feeling for history and old houses,” they caution. By 1994 the restoration was complete. It’s been 20 years now, but in the meantime, the Brisleys haven’t been idle. A 1792 log house with its uncommon cantilevered porch from North Marysburgh found its way onto their property, its interior restored and furnished in period style. A valiant attempt to rescue and rebuild Babylon School from South Marysburgh ended in tragedy, when the disassembled structure stored in a friend’s barn was destroyed by fire. In 1996 yet another project beckoned, a rare timber-frame American Colonial style inn, which John and Diane had long admired on their many trips past its location

on Highway 2, a few miles east of Cobourg. The house proved difficult to date, but research placed it somewhere about 1810, likely the first home of newly married Caleb Mallory, entrepreneur. John and Diane investigated, negotiated and purchased, numbered, dismantled, and moved it to Prince Edward County. The house is unusual in its bold Cape style; it would seem more at home on the eastern seaboard of the U.S. or in Canada’s Maritime provinces. There are truly no other homes like it in the area. The project took 10 years. Three of the fireplaces in a centre block, 16 tons worth, were secured in a cage and moved intact. The mantels which had been removed by an antique dealer were located. John and Kip transformed the inn back into a commodious home, with their usual absolute fidelity to the finishes and furnishings of the period. It is this home - the Yellow House - John and Diane have placed in the hands of one of the county’s most informed realtors.

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The rescues continued. In 1997 John learned an 1822 neo-classical squareplan American meeting house style church in Adolphustown was about to be demolished. The Brisleys were heavensent for the St. Paul’s Anglican Church congregation struggling to maintain their 1880s stone church yet reluctant to destroy their earlier church heritage.

summer preceding the joyful day.

With the log house, the church, various picturesque barns, sheds, and the house, the place was beginning to look like a village. In fact, in some circles, the family enclave Once again the dedicated preservationists of early houses has been rose to the occasion. “It would be neat called Brisley Village. to have a church.” John, his son, and a Kip, an accomplished friend dismantled the building, loaded restoration carpenter the 50-foot beams onto a flatbed, drove it to their Northport area property, and and mason, learned his rebuilt it. They almost made it sound easy. skills early and has been An answer to a prayer, perhaps, pencil an invaluable partner jottings found on the timbers yielded over years of projects. the pattern for the lost original façade. He came by it naturally. Diane recalls In August 2007 a wedding took place in Kip’s Grade 5 talk about the ‘the eyes of the church - Melanie and her husband the house’ - the importance of retaining Shigeru said their vows in the simple and original windows. Kip, his wife Tracy, and serene space, which yielded not a hint of their children live next door, in yet another the flurry of activity at the site during the relocated farmhouse, appropriately, the

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1850s home of John Demill’s son Nathaniel. Its rare Greek temple front proportions are barely visible from the road. It’s a work in progress, awaiting full restoration and the reconstruction of a second flanking wing to recreate its temple form. Over the years, Diane and John have shared what they have learned at seminars and workshops and have welcomed thousands into their home - from passing curious cyclists to heritage groups and house tours, and a lady who was born in the house. They share their passion for restoration and their frustration with developers, unsympathetic makeovers, and additions. The Brisleys emphasize the importance of heritage awareness to communities, citing Port Hope as an exemplar, and salute Napanee and Stirling as examples of communities working together to realize their heritage potential. They mourn too many demolitions of important early

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buildings - due to weak heritage legislation, lack of awareness in councils, competing development priorities. They are hopeful that Picton’s proposed Royal Hotel resurrection will banish the ghosts of its Methodist church demolition, the removal of too many early homes for development and speculation, and the loss of landmark castles Rickarton and Villeneuve.

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It is now time to welcome a new homeowner to the village. The Brisley family is looking for very special buyers, with a love and knowledge of old houses – or the hearts to learn. They hope new owners will understand and shoulder the responsibility of stewardship of irreplaceable built heritage. “An old house is more than just a shelter. It is a part of history, continually reminding us people lived before us in different times and circumstances. Through the house, we share an experience in common with these other people of long ago. Keeping up an old house is keeping faith with the past, and gives us a sense of continuity with previous generations,” John and Diane say.

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At Home on the Bay of Quinte Words by Catherine Stutt Photography by Kelly Taylor


The

myriad natural, economic, and on-site frequently, and perhaps even social attractions of the Bay of working alongside contractors to put a Quinte area continue to entice personal touch on their dream home. newcomers to its shores, creating a robust There is another sort of homeowner in and diverse economy. the area, one who wants the same level As new full-time and seasonal residents of luxury and for one reason or another continue to flock to the region, joining perhaps has neither the time nor the desire those who established their local roots to be at the forefront of the project. Perhaps long before, many are high-profile people they are young, active, still advancing a building gorgeous new homes which career with huge demands of its own, or become a familiar part of the landscape. maybe they have lived a life in the spotlight They are joyfully immersed in every detail, and are seeking a quieter presence.


Fortunately, area builders and designers about the client, learning his needs, are able to handle either approach, thanks wants, and inspirations. I knew I wouldn’t to a wealth of talent and integrity. have unlimited access to him throughout the project, so learning as much as I “There are so many contractors in this could in those early sessions helped so area who go above and beyond to deliver much as the project progressed. I created a project. They are skilled artisans who a design, walked through with some of can be trusted to work together and bring ideas to life for our clients,” said Darlene the tradesmen to get their thoughts on whether it would work efficiently, and Paradis of At Home Interior Design. then drafted a custom design concept and a budget based on his input. He then stepped back and let me and the craftsmen take over.” Acting as the general contractor, Darlene was intent on working with local trades whenever possible. “We work together a lot, we trust each other, and we share the same goals to build our community together. There’s an extra motivation for all of us to put a little extra into every project when we know we’re going to run into each other in the grocery store,” she laughed. Darlene laughs easily and often, and her positive attitude is infectious, which may During a recent project, teamwork and trust became paramount to the success be why she can get the most out of her of the mission. Darlene’s client is a local team on a project. professional who wanted to embark on a The first call was to Ducon Homes major home renovation and simply didn’t Ltd. of Trenton. Known for exquisite have the time to spare from his busy craftsmanship, it was a natural choice. schedule to handle the day-to-day details. With Fred Kroezen managing Ducon’s role, “We met several times during the interior demolition and reconstruction quickly started. Walter Koning, initial stages, discussed his wish list, Ducon’s journeyman carpenter and his budget, and then in a couple of less assistant Kyle Rhebergen quickly began formal conversations I was able to learn to transform the home. “They really about his lifestyle, his vision for the went above and beyond the scope of renovation, and his personal tastes. We their contact. It says a lot about them walked room to room, discovering more personally and everything about Ducon.”

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“To have Walter and Kyle on-site every day was a treat,” noted Darlene. “This project was unique in so many ways, including having the home still in use by the family. My client and his family were living in the house throughout the renovation. We had to remember our worksite was their home.”

certainly a key component to a successful outcome. The starting point revolved around the tangibles – the fixed elements, including two beautiful brick fireplaces and the intangibles - the client’s love of the outdoors and the desire to bring that atmosphere inside in harmony with the bright and spacious waterfront home.

Darlene’s client agreed. “He would come home day after day to the renovation, and he just thought they were the salt of the earth,” recalled Darlene. “That’s so important because what we’re offering above all is customer service, and delivering that is so reliant on the trades.”

“He has a very keen eye for detail and a refined side, so there were wonderful foundations for us,” explained Darlene. “The client wanted a rustic cabin feel to the home, and at the same time the location and light cried out for a coastal theme. We found a perfect blend.”

The project involved much more than Minor renovations occurred in a facelift, although a fresh décor was the kitchen by moving the laundry


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room – once in an alcove near the eating area, to a new home in the basement, where space was reinvented and realigned to create better sight lines and specific use areas for a bar games room, and home theatre. Some changes were cosmetic, centring on a focal point like a favourite painting or a view, and all created a massive shift in the mood of the house, its flow, and its presentation.

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Back in the kitchen, the old laundry alcove was transformed into an efficient pantry, and new appliances selected created a modernized look, with the décor brought together with a new backsplash by A&E Ceramic Tile. Other rooms were full reconstruction, including the massive changes in the master bath, and this is where Darlene once again was in awe of the Ducon experts. They gutted the room, removing the double sink, shower, tub, and tower cupboard and then started the transformation. They installed a chromotherapy tub with jets, a shower, and a custom vanity crafted by Ducon’s cabinetmaker John Aandewiel. “The bathroom is perfect to the last detail,” said Darlene. “Ducon is wonderful with custom details and they do beautiful work. The vanity is a great example of their ability to interact with a project, bringing out extra efficiencies and luxury. They had to match existing beadboard and they breezed through it seamlessly. We had to provide access for the plumbing and electrical for the soaker tub and came up with a magnetic clip.” A similar style and function moment came with hiding a radiator under a decorative valance. Rounding out the bathroom involved bringing in A&E again and Vic’s Glass – both local companies and favourite colleagues of Darlene’s. “Watching Mike from A&E is like watching an artist; he is a gentle giant and grace in motion. Vic’s Glass is known for specialty showers and their dedication and expertise certainly shone on this project.”

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power needs and changes as well as change the face of a room,” explained Darlene. “The dining room has a large vaulted ceiling and I held my breath as Brent Donnan climbed 30 feet to install the stunning fixture. Using qualified electricians not only ensures a safe installation but often identifies unforeseen problems.”

from room to room. Accent rugs, custom drapery, and shutters from Carpet One, and Larry Pascal’s magic touch with the new paint palette throughout supplied by Quinte Paint and Wallpaper.

All work and no play is no way to complete a project, so Darlene co-ordinated with Red Ball Radio to install a new televisions and a Darlene, again, heaps praise on the significant home theatre system for indoor trades. “They have such grace and care entertainment. when they work. They take on the most Outdoors, Darlene found a blank delicate jobs and it’s like poetry in motion. canvas around the patio and pool area They are gifted; it’s like watching athletes at and she orchestrated a facelift with a the top of their game, the way they move, redefined seating area with a flame pot the way they hold their tools, the way they from Fireplace Specialties, a smoker, and approach each task with speed and ability, outdoor appliances. New custom furniture and the way they move in concert with one completed the area, and gave Darlene one another, often in tight spaces. Above all, more reason to love her local connections. they share my level of commitment to each “St. Lawrence Pools supplied the outdoor client.” furniture, and the custom green we ordered Finishing touches brought the home was delayed from source. Mike at St. together, with a subtle thread contiguous Lawrence provided an extra set of cushion


covers in a neutral colour for my client to use until his arrived, and to keep as an extra set. It’s another example of a local business helping me satisfy my customer’s need extremely well. We all came away feeling good about the solution.” Darlene’s yardstick for success varies from project to project, and on this private renovation, she reached that magic moment where she could move on to the next client. “This is their home, it’s their kitchen and bathroom and bedroom; it’s where they live and entertain and raise a family and love. This home is now so personal to its owner, reflecting his tastes and lifestyle; it’s a sanctuary for him. That’s a good feeling.” COUNTY & QUINTE LIVING SPRING 2014

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By the numbers

Words by John Martinello Photography by Jean-Guy Sauriol

The return of the solo ocean rower There he was - on a clear and sunny February 15 standing, with a small smile on his face, alive. Just one day after he had returned from Barbados. Just nine days after Jean-Guy Sauriol and his 6.3-metre long rowboat called Maple completed a 74-day solo crossing of the Atlantic Ocean. He looked like he just returned from a southern vacation.

people to row solo across any ocean finds himself in a unique position on a planet of approximately 7,145,000,000 persons, is one the .00000000019 per cent. Despite all of his uniqueness and all of the perils of his solo ocean crossing, Jean-Guy is very modest and matter-of-fact about the whole experience. When asked which one number would best describe the sum of all his experiences related to his ocean crossing, Jean-Guy did not say negative 50.8680, the greatest number of kilometres he went backwards in any one day. Nor did he say zero, the number of sharks he saw, or three, the number of times he capsized during the crossing. He passed on 13 - the number of 1.5 litre bottles of Coke Zero he drank and the 1,779 hours he spent in a watery kind of solitary confinement, rowing from the Canary Islands to North Point, Barbados. He didn’t pick the 4,814.348 kilometres between the Canary Islands and North Point, Barbados.

His face was slightly tanned, his beard bigger and whiter, his legs peeling from sunburn. Even his hands, hands that had gripped oar handles through salty calm and storm, did not seem worse for the wear. There were calluses, but nothing more than expected from a season of working in the garden, and because ocean rowing involves mostly two positions - laying down to rest and sitting down to row - Jean-Guy did lose muscle mass in his legs and arms. Even with this loss of muscle mass he appeared No, it was none of these. For Jean-Guy, to be the very fit and healthy the number best describing the sum of all 60-year-old man he is. his experiences related to his ocean crossing Jean-Guy is now the is four. “It was a four-year project that was oldest Canadian, and the on target, on time, and on budget,” he said. third or fourth oldest person in the world to have rowed solo across any ocean; a man who chose to spend his 60th birthday alone and, as

and spectators watching the launch of what most people would call a daring and dangerous adventure? No, just 15 or so people, including Tony Humphreys, JeanGuy’s onshore weather, logistics, and communications advisor. Prior to his launch, Jean-Guy was concerned about his first night alone on the ocean. It turned out to be as low-key as the launch itself. As Jean-Guy described it, “Before I left I thought I would freak out, but nothing happened. It was a total non-event.” Not far beyond the non-event first night lurked troubled waters. From December 2 to December 8, all alone at about 280 kilometres off the desert coast of West Africa, winds and waves pushed Jean-Guy in a 140-kilometre diameter loop that took him closer to his starting point than his end-point in Barbados. Just when it looked like he had broken out of the bottom of that first loop, from December 8 to December 13 winds and waves pushed Jean-Guy about 140 kilometres north and away from Barbados. Those 11 days of going more backward than forward did not frustrate Jean-Guy. Asked if he ever considered turning back, Jean-Guy’s answer was quick, “Never. I knew if I lasted 10 days, I would be done. That’s it.”

This simple, low-key statement may be reflective of the actuary Jean-Guy is and of the operation itself. At about 12:30 p.m. November 24, 2013 on a cloudless and beautiful day, Jean-Guy pushed away from it happened, approximately the dock at the Puerto Rico Marina on Gran The gods of winds and waves turned 1,850 kilometres off the coast of Africa. Canaria in the Canary Islands. Were there favourable and from December 13 to This man, who as one of approximately 135 crowds of television and radio reporters February 6 and Jean-Guy beelined, COUNTY & QUINTE LIVING SPRING 2014

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seemingly unstoppable, along a magnetic compass heading of 255 degrees towards Barbados. Each day, he frequently made more than 93 kilometres – like rowing across Lake Ontario from Brighton to Rochester, New York.

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The unstoppable beeline was not uneventful. On December 17, all alone and about 740 kilometres from the nearest land, Jean-Guy capsized. Not once, not twice, but three times. The first time was while rowing in four to five metre high waves frothing foamy white. It was not that the waves were high and breaking; it was that they were coming from all directions. There was no safe direction for Maple to go. Jean-Guy heard the roar of the wave before he saw it, and, before he knew it, he was in the water. The other two capsizes happened that same night while Jean-Guy was sealed into his cabin and Maple did what it was supposed to do - right itself. Although Jean-Guy was banged around in the cabin, he never felt the water, and tweeted just one of the capsizes so as not to worry his wife. It was a scary event, but Jean-Guy knew it could happen and was prepared for when it did. As he said about capsizing, “It’s preferable to be in the cabin as opposed to on deck. It happened so fast.” Nonetheless, Jean-Guy experienced what he describes as two types of fear - the fear of the moment and the fear of anticipation. The approach of the catamaran sailboat Callisto on a partly cloudy December 13 caused Jean-Guy’s greatest fear of the moment. Until it was about 500 metres away from Maple, and despite attempts to make radio contact, Jean-Guy did not know if Callisto would run over Maple. He fired a white flare to ensure the crew of Callisto would see him. They did and for one minute, from about 50 metres away, Jean-Guy spoke with the crew of Callisto as it sailed, unstopping, towards the Caribbean. On December 31, Jean-Guy celebrated his 60th birthday in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean by taking a break from rowing in the morning and having Coke Zero, Pringles potato chips, and chocolate pudding for dinner. The high point of the day occurred when three reporters from Reseau de l’information (the CBC’s French language news channel) sang Happy Birthday to him live on national television. As Jean-Guy said it was, “A big moment, quite special.” Jean-Guy’s greatest fear of anticipation came while deciding to jump into the water to inspect and clean barnacles or other growths from Maple’s hull. The extravehicular inspection happened on January 15 when he jumped into the “surprisingly warm” water approximately two kilometres above the Mid Atlantic Ridge, approximately

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1,850 kilometres from the nearest point of land on South America. The inspection lasted about four minutes. His fears of deepsea monsters allayed when he watched a small fish – it looked like a sole – swim by.

in Barbados. He took his hands off the oars for one last time, stepped out of his boat onto the dock, and did what he wanted to do most. He hugged and held his wife Lucie and his son Jean-Christophe.

Jean-Guy saw very few sea creatures during his 74 days on the ocean. He found small flying fish stranded on the rowing deck of Maple; twice he saw “the big blue type” whales, and when he was about 740 kilometres from Barbados he saw a school of what he thinks were barracuda or tuna skimming along the surface of the ocean. Other than that, nothing. No sharks stalked him. No giant squid tangled its tentacles around Maple.

Jean-Guy was also greeted by his brotherin-law Pierre, Tony Humphreys and his girlfriend Clare, and several bystanders, including 27-year-olds Alex Bland and Harry Martin-Dreyer, two English ocean rowers who landed in Barbados just five days before Jean-Guy’s arrival. They completed the same route Jean-Guy followed, in a seven-metre plywood pairs rowboat called Alexandra, in 50 days.

Nor, in his 74 days at sea did Jean-Guy see all kinds of floating garbage, nothing more than one drifting plastic bag. More than anything else, the weather stalked Jean-Guy and Maple. Despite all the high tech electronic communications equipment connecting him to the world, Jean-Guy described “the big weather” as “the part most hard to know,” as the one thing he could absolutely not control. On May 13, 2013, Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield and two other astronauts packed into their Soyuz descent module, hurtled earthward at speeds of more than 20,000 km/h. About 10 kilometres above Earth, a series of parachutes deployed to slow their speed to about 26 km/h. About one second before they gently thudded onto the sunny Kazakhstan steppe, two pods of three rockets again slowed their descent to about 6 km/h. Chris Hadfield and his fellow astronauts were greeted by technicians and medical staff who gently unpacked them from their descent module. Their safe return from the International Space Station was world news. On a sunny February 6, 2014, Jean-Guy gently decelerated his craft from its average speed of 4.5 km/h and nudged up to a small wooden dock at the Port St. Charles Marina

Jean-Guy’s return to land did not make the world news, but his story was in the local Barbados newspaper the next day.

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The fastest Jean-Guy had ever travelled on his 74-day Atlantic crossing was about 22 km/h when he surfed down a five-metre-high wave for about 20 seconds that “seemed an eternity.” Mostly he plodded along at 4.5 km/h, just as he planned. Before he responded to two final questions – one about what he missed least while he was on the ocean, the other about what he missed most about being on the ocean – Jean-Guy turned his brown eyes to stare out over the waters where he had once trained for his ocean crossing. He quietly and very matter-of-factly responded to the first question, “All the corruption. Life on the boat is so simple. You have lodging, food. You have everything you need. I was totally isolated from land. Nothing bothered me.” In the same manner with which he responded to the first question, Jean-Guy responded to the second question. “Being on the ocean. It is fascinating to see how you become one with your boat and the ocean.” Jean-Guy has decided against attempting another solo ocean crossing in a rowboat.

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At his age, he doesn’t think he could dedicate another two or three years to just one project. What would he tell any person seeking his advice on a solo ocean crossing? “Do it.” On a full moon night in mid-January 2014, with the sounds of Rachmaninoff’s Symphony Number 2 drifting out onto the calm waters of the Atlantic Ocean, Jean-Guy turned his head upward and gazed at the stars above him. The same stars you and I and Chris Hadfield gaze upon when we turn our gaze to the night sky. He had imagined this moment for the longest time – a magical moment. Jean-Guy stands apart from almost every one of us. Now, at home with family and safe from the perils of the ocean, when JeanGuy gazes upon the stars, he can recall his 73 nights, alone, on the Atlantic Ocean and say to himself, “I did it. I rowed by myself across the Atlantic Ocean.”

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COUNTY & QUINTE LIVING SPRING 2014

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G r av i ta s Q u o t i e n T Gravitas Quotient is a measure of one’s reserves of inner wisdom.

Photo by Daniel Vaughan

S a i ta rg ’s Canadian music legend Bernie Finkelstein shares his Gravitas with Alan Gratias. What are you going to do about growing old? Through thick and thin with warmth and laughter. What have you not got from your life so far that you hope to get? Too late. What makes your heart stand still? A red Cardinal against white snow. What recipe for a successful home life do you want to share? Put some oil in a pan, add some anchovies and chopped onions and garlic and then... If you knew the truth, how would you reveal it? Very carefully. We all hope there will be one more time. One more time for what? For the Blue Jays to win the World Series. What do you wish your mother understood about you? She’s now passed away, but I don’t know if I ever told her how much I owe her for just about everything. What are you fatally attracted to? Chocolate.

Give one example of life’s absurdities? Mayor Rob Ford of Toronto. Why do we sometimes crave chaos? Chaos gets all our senses working and we like that...sometimes. How do you stay clear of the rocks and shoals? Avoid boats. Why should we hang onto our illusions? Illusions get us through the day. If they aren’t causing anyone any problems including yourself, enjoy them. What would your father make of you now? He died when he was quite young and I was only 25. I think he had great hope for me and I think he’d be quite proud of what I’ve done. What is your favourite recipe for unhappiness? The sound of a vacuum cleaner. What takes you down the rabbit hole? The blue pill, no it’s the red pill or is it the white...

Discover your Gravitas Quotient at www.gravitasthegame.com

About Ber nie :

Bernie Finkelstein has been one of the leading figures in both the Canadian and worldwide music industry for over 45 years. He began his career managing two of Canada’s earliest internationally known groups - The Paupers and Kensington Market. Later, he handled management for Bruce Cockburn, Murray McLauchlan, Dan Hill, Barney Bentall, Stephen Fearing, and Blackie & the Rodeo Kings. Currently he continues to manage Bruce Cockburn. In 1969 he founded True North Records - Canada’s oldest and one of its largest independent record companies. Over the years the label released recordings by Bruce Cockburn, Murray McLauchlan, Stephen Fearing, Carole Pope & Rough Trade, Randy Bachman, The Rheostatics, Lynn Miles, Lenny Breau, 54-40, Moxy Fruvous, Lighthouse, and Lorraine Segato, to name only a few. With more than 500 releases, 40 Juno Awards, and 40 gold and platinum records to its credit, True North is an incredible Canadian success story. Bernie’s catalogue includes works by songwriters including Bruce Cockburn, Murray McLauchlan, Barney Bentall, and Rough Trade. Other copyrights include artists as diverse as Anne Murray, The Barenaked Ladies, Jerry Garcia, k. d. lang, The Rankins, Maria Muldaur, Jimmy Buffett, Judy Collins, Elbow, Dan Fogelberg, and The Barra MacNeils. In 2003 he was elected to the Canadian Music Hall of Fame and in 2006 received the Walt Grealis Special Achievement Award at the Juno Awards held in Halifax. This is the highest honour given to a non-musician by the music industry. In 2008 he received the Estelle Klein Award from the Ontario Council of Folk Festivals. On February 9, 2007 Bernie was awarded the Order of Canada. In 2012 he released his memoir True North - A Life in the Music Business. On October 10, 2012 Bernie received an honorary Doctor of Letters degree from York University in Toronto and on June 18, 2012 he was awarded the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee medal. Bernie Finkelstein was born in Toronto, Ontario, where he still lives and works when not at his country home in Prince Edward County.


Picture Perfect! Nothing beats life at Kingfisher Cove.

A beautiful sunrise on the Bay of Quinte. A visit to an award-winning winery. Fine dining restaurants, chic shops and boutiques. All this and much more just minutes from your doorstep at Kingfisher Cove. Come see how wonderful your life can be at Kingfisher Cove on the shores of the Bay of Quinte. Our beautifully decorated model home is open daily.

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Rebecca McNevin Office Manager Deseronto

Brittany Hawker

Registered Dental Hygienist - Deseronto

Dr. Gokhan Shevket Doctor of Dental Surgery

Team Effort. For the past six years, we’ve been striving tirelessly to raise your expectations of what a dental practice should be. The secret? It’s all in our “A”-Team of Dental Professionals. From the enthusiasm of our Office Manager Rebecca, to the thoroughness of hygienists like Brittany, and the serious passion of Dr. Gokhan Shevket - our Deseronto team will make sure that you and your family are in good hands. After all, you only have one set of teeth.

Isn’t it time you raised your expectations?

Choose Wisely.

Deseronto Madoc Web Twitter

613.396.2974 613.473.2142 steinbergdental.com @SDCDentalCentre COUNTY & QUINTE LIVING AUTUMN 2013

1

Cql spring2014  

County and Quinte Living Magazine Spring 2014

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