Goodlife Markham March/April Edition 2016

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| A P R I L 2 0 1 6

MAR C H / APR I L 2 0 1 6



GoodLife Markham, Richmond Hill, Stouffville, Thornhill Edition

GRAND PLAN Custom touches create one-of-a-kind space






Spring is bock



Easy access

“It shouldn’t be this hard!”

Get organized

Increase space



VISIT US AT THE GOOD LIFE MARKHAM LIFESTYLE SHOW APR 29 - MAY 1 at the Markham Fairgrounds 10801 McCowan Rd., Markham







8 8 Grand Plan 10 Elevate Your Entrance 16 Rooms Gone Right 22 Rooms Gone Right 26 Backyard Living 32 We Like It


Garden art

Custom touches turn a subdivision home into a one-of-a-kind space

Make a memorable first impression

Designer brings sleek, functional style to dated master suite

16 4 | GoodLife • March - April 2016


Awkward bathroom now a contemporary, spa-like space

3 tips for a multifunctional outdoor space

contents 38 On Tap 41 Warm Up to Spring 42


In the Kitchen

Village Grocer: A passion for food runs in the family

46 Picking the Right Path 48 Experiential Education 52 Events 58 Travel 60 In the Crowd 64 Portfolio

Spring is Bock

Hussein Dhalla: Fashionable by design

A meal for the season

How to choose a private school for your child

Summer camp teaches kids about themselves

41 42

Arts, culture and outdoor events for the whole family

Welcome to Spice Island

Richmond Hill Business Awards Chinese New Year Celebrations

60 52 | 5

Publisher Dana Robbins Regional General Manager Shaun Sauve Editor Lee Ann Waterman Contributors Emily Blackman • Bart Card • Jim Craigmyle Cathy Hillard • Naomi Hiltz • Andrew Hind Robin LeBlanc • Joann MacDonald Leslee Mason • Chris Palmer • Tracy Smith Advertising Director Maureen Christie Advertising Manager Mara Sepe Advertising Sales Kevin Brouwer • Pam Burgess • Dawn Chaykowsky Tyler Duncan • Anita Phelps • Stone Wu Regional Director, Production and Creative Services Katherine Porcheron

As a community-based media group reaching more than 300,000 households, we take seriously our responsibility to support community initiatives that help make York Region a great place to live, work and play. We support a wide variety of causes including health care and research, social services, education, arts and culture, community festivals, the environment, youth initiatives, volunteerism and much more.

Editorial Design Emily Ayranto Director of Business Administration Rob Lazurko Director of Distribution Mike Banville

GoodLife Markham, Richmond Hill, Thornhill and Stouffville is published by Metroland Media, York Region. Statements, opinions and points of view are those of the sources and writers and do not necessarily represent those of the publisher, advertisers or GoodLife magazine. Contents copyrighted. All rights reserved. Reproduction of any article, photograph or artwork without written consent from the publisher is strictly prohibited. Submissions are welcome from writers and photographers. We assume no responsibility for unsolicited material. GoodLife 115-50 McIntosh Dr., Markham, ON L3R 9T3 905-294-2200

6 | GoodLife • March - April 2016

editor’s note


It was an unusual winter. I went running in capris and a T-shirt on Dec. 24 and didn’t get out on my snowshoes once all season. On one Sunday in early February, I opened all the windows in my house to let the fresh warm air in and added another layer of mulch to protect my garlic, which had sent up 10-centimetre shoots. I didn’t keep track, but I am pretty sure our yard had more green days than white over the past three or four months—and the view out the back door was a constant reminder that I had neglected the fall cleanup of my perennial beds. It wasn’t the kind of winter I wanted—think deep snow and lots of crisp, clear days—but, by early this month, I was still ready to bid it goodbye. March is the month I plan for summer. I inventory my vegetable seeds, place an order or two with my favourite suppliers and sketch out my plots. I take note of any home and yard improvement or upkeep projects my husband and I should tackle. And I start working through the details of our summer vacation plans: trails to hike, restaurants to try, campsites and inns to visit. This issue of GoodLife will help you get a start on your warm weather plans, too. With the help of York Region Arts Council, we’ve sourced some garden-inspired items from local artists for our regular We Like It feature. We offer advice for sprucing up your front entrance and ask handyman and television personality Chris Palmer for his tips in creating a multifunctional backyard. You’ll find more inspiring ideas and products at our GoodLife Home & Outdoor Lifestyle Show scheduled for April 29, 30 and May 1 at the Markham Fairgrounds. Fore more information, see our home show section starting on page 29. I hope you enjoy this issue. We’ll be back in May. In the meantime, you can find us at

Lee Ann Waterman LEEaNNWATERMAn Editor

follow us @goodlifeyork |




Leslee Mason is a writer and editor whose work has appeared in a number of newspapers and magazines, including the Toronto Star, Today’s Parent and Best Health. A transplanted Torontonian who has called York Region home for the past 10 years, she says her favourite assignments are typically the ones that have a local focus.

JIMCRAigMYLE photographer

Jim Craigmyle was born in London, England and grew up in Montreal. He had an early start to photography with his interest beginning at the age of 10. He studied photography at Dawson College and Concordia University and began his career in commercial photography in Montreal before relocating to Ontario in 1996. He began his own business in 1993 shooting stock photography. Much of his commercial work is represented by Corbis.

JoaNNMACdOnALd writer

A vegan food blogger and nature enthusiast, Joann MacDonald is the proud mother of two children and two beagle-mix rescue dogs. Fuelled by tofu and green tea, she has been writing for as long as she can remember and is a graduate of Western University’s journalism program. Visit her at

CathyHiLLARd writer

Cathy Hillard was born and raised in the UK, training as a journalist and working in both radio and newspapers before adventure called and she left for Africa. Living in South Africa, she started working in television production, a career that spanned two decades and three continents as she moved back to the UK, then Ireland and finally to Canada in 2006. She writes regularly for Metroland Media, York Region publications and lives in Richmond Hill.

traCySMiTH writer

A freelance writer, health enthusiast and daughter of a general contractor, Tracy Smith loves writing stories that bring people together in their homes and community (and that have great beforeand-after shots). Her work has appeared in national and local publications and she is a regular contributor to GoodLife magazine, covering the Rooms Gone Right column since its inception. | 7

we like it



With the arrival of spring comes the urge to spend more time enjoying the out of doors. With the help of York Region Arts Council, GoodLife has sourced works from local artists that speak to the season—functional pieces for entertaining al fresco, items to add interest to your backyard or art that brings the outdoors in.


4 1


8 | GoodLife • March - April 2016


This unique vase was smoke-fired in a barrel with combustible materials to add age and interest to the piece. Helen O’Sullivan | $70


The more tails a kitsune has, the older and wiser it is. This silver fox, which is just over a foot high, was carved from a curved piece of metal and finished with a clear coat to protect its finish. Daniella Boerhof | $150


About the size of the palm of your hand, these fish are designed to swim through your garden, with your potted plants or perhaps in a vase on your window sill. Each one is handmade from sheet metal and carries a personality of its own. Daniella Boerhof | $55


This functional clay pitcher in cheerful yellow can be used for water, juice, sangria—or as an interesting vase. It has hand carved detail at the base. Helen O’Sullivan | $65


Crafted by hand, every flower is unique and will bring a bright splash of colour and joy to any garden. A variety of colours, heights and styles are available. No watering needed. Daniella Boerhof | $45 to $85 each


“The petals of pansies always remind me of dancing skirts, swirling delightfully in the wind. I wish to capture the liveliness of these spring flowers as they dance in the breeze.” Betty Wong | watercolour on paper wrapped around canvas and varnished, 18 by 24 inches | $500


Enjoy your morning coffee or afternoon tea outside in one of these dishwashersafe clay mugs. Helen O’Sullivan | $22 each


This hanging acorn birdhouse is a beautiful artistic piece that functions as a home for your feathered friends. Daniella Boerhof | $300


Made of a combination of fine and sterling silver, this fun little bird is sitting on three eggs in a nest. The ring is dynamic, allowing the bird to pivot on a riveted post. Amanda Brittin | $120


7 8 5

9 | 9

home tour | Stouffville

Grand plan

Custom touches turn a subdivision home into a one-of-a-kind space by L e s l e e M a s on | photogr aphy b y ji m cra i gmy le

When you think of typical subdivision houses, “builder basic” and “cookie cutter” can sometimes come to mind. But that’s definitely not the case for the Stouffville home of Stephanie and Cameron Veitch, where custom touches have created a familyfriendly space that is uniquely theirs. The “wow” factors include an oversized kitchen island and large fireplace. They’ve helped turn what Stephanie calls an ordinary space into something special. “It wasn’t a custom-built home and we’ve really tried to work with what we had,” she says, adding that with the exception of removing a wall between the kitchen and dining room, renovations have been kept to a minimum. 10 | GoodLife • March - April 2016

Two slabs of granite were used to create the oversized island.

Open and airy Clean lines, natural elements and a light and airy palette were all must-haves for the main floor, which consists of a dining room, kitchen and family room. The couple turned to interior designer Jennifer Fowler for help. “The home was very compartmentalized and had a small kitchen,” says Fowler, owner of Signature Interiors. The project, she says, involved completely opening up the home to give it more practical, usable space suitable for entertaining. The wall was removed between the kitchen and dining room. “We wanted a grand island and in order to do it, that had to happen. When entertaining—and we do like to entertain—everyone is around the kitchen and dining room,” Veitch says, adding it just made sense to combine the two. » | 11

home tour | Stouffville

Along with making entertaining a breeze, the area is also where the family, which includes Ben, 13, and Madeleine, 10, spends a lot of its time. “The island was the key to creating a kitchen that was very user friendly and still gave a huge space for eating and hanging out,” Fowler explains. Despite really wanting the large island, Veitch admits to having a few concerns. “When we got this done four-and-a-half years ago, the kids were still young enough that we used our little round table all the time,” she says. “I worried that when we put in an island—although I wanted it— that we’d be all facing one direction and it wouldn’t be ideal for family dinners.” To address those fears, comfy chairs have been placed around the island, making it a perfect place for great conversation. “We finished the basement several years ago, but my kids grew up on the first floor. It’s convenient and handy,” explains Veitch, who says she loves how well the space now works. “I love the expanse of the kitchen. It looks great and it’s functional.” Eye-pleasing palette When transforming their home, the homeowners had a particular look in mind. “I really wanted that fresh white look offset with the glass and silver,” Veitch says. “It’s very clean lined and it’s fresh.” Pops of seasonal colour work well against the neutral palette, but Veitch says she appreciates how well the different elements visually flow together on their own. Take the white kitchen island and cabinets. “I wanted more of a homogeneous look,” she says noting the palette helps make the space appear larger and grander than it really is. »

12 | GoodLife • March - April 2016

“The chandelier is a really pretty element,� says homeowner Stephanie Veitch, noting it works particularly well against the clean lines of the dining room table. | 13

home tour | Stouffville

A large sectional in the renovated basement is perfect for watching movies, says Stephanie Veitch. “We wanted a large sectional so that everybody had a spot.”

SOURCES Interior design: Jennifer Fowler, Signature Interiors by Jennifer Fowler Living room sectional and chairs: Marc Antonio Designs Kitchen cabinets and island: John Valleau, Valleau Custom Woodworking, Stouffville

14 | GoodLife • March - April 2016

While sticking with a white base might not seem ideal for a family with kids, Veitch says it’s worked out great, including in the family room where lighter furnishings get put to the test on a regular basis. “The white sectional was added about a year ago and the fabric is phenomenal because it just wipes clean,” she says. Dark flooring and a white shag rug are other hard-working elements in the space. “We have a black dog,” she laughs, adding the white shag actually hides a lot. “It was a great choice.” While every room works harmoniously with the next, standout features in each space create bold statements. “Having the height of the ceilings allowed for going oversized without dominating the space,” explains Fowler, who notes the combination of light and dark colours provides balance. “Using different textures that work with each other also helps create unity and softness. For example, with the height of the white kitchen and the size of the island, the solid colour grey stone wall grounds and balances the space. Also, the size and beauty of the chandelier complements and softens the oversized fireplace mantel.” The fireplace has also helped transform what her client calls a space with mundane lines. “It added a piece of excitement to the room,” Veitch says. These days, there’s nothing mundane or ordinary about the home. And all of it—the bold statement features, light and airy palette, and clean lines—add up to a space that the Veitch family loves.


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home dĂŠcor|entrances

Paint, Dutch Tulip, Benjamin Moore Aura Grand Entrance

16 | GoodLife • March - April 2016


YOUR EnTRAnCE by tracy sMith

As visitors arrive at your home, the front entrance is the first thing they encounter and the first impression they will have of you, your home and what awaits them behind your closed doors. Amazing entrances have a way of welcoming guests in and making them feel at home before they’ve even stepped foot inside. Whether you are imagining a grandiose entryway or decorating a simple stoop, here are a few helpful hints to make your entrance memorable. A way to get there It might sound super simple, but providing visitors with a way to get to your front door is important. Guests want to know how to get to your entrance: Are they walking across the front lawn? Do they go to the side door? The front entrance should have a very clear route to get to it and the area should be clean and accessible; tromping through muddy grass or tripping on an uneven piece of pavement is not a great way to begin a visit. Stone paths, steps that widen out from the front door, hedges and lighting can all assist in guiding visitors to your entrance. Make it pop Front doors are a great place to add a pop of colour and bit of glamour to your home. “We are big advocates of having a nicely painted front door to set the tone for the rest of the house,” says Shima Yazdan, operations manager at Niche Decor in Aurora. “Any shade from a vibrant red to a rich, glossy black. It shows you care about your home and

it’s an opportunity to make a great first impression and have some fun.” But what colour to choose? Picking a palette for the exterior of your home is as important as picking one for the interior, says Katherine Porath of Katherine Joy Interiors in Newmarket. “Take the time to get it right and recruit professional help if you are not sure,” Porath advises. “Consider all of the exterior elements, including windows, garage doors, fascia and eaves, and the colour of your stone or siding. Having more than three colours working together often becomes too chaotic and distracting.” Paint brands offer a myriad of colours to choose from. Benjamin Moore recently introduced its Aura Grand Entrance collection with 32 custom colours dripping with character, class and beauty. Formulated specifically for front doors, the paint has a luxurious and smooth finish, is easy to apply and clean up, plus it is reinforced with urethane for outstanding durability, says Sharon Grech, colour and design expert at Benjamin Moore. Finish off the look with the right lighting (see sidebar), an urn or container with some seasonal greenery and accessories such as street numbers, a doorknocker, mat and mailbox. Choose items that complement one another in style, colour or material and add to the architectural features of your home. For example, if your house is very traditional in style, a sleek and modern silver mailbox may clash with your look, but a classic black metal one may hit the mark perfectly. » | 17

home décor|entrances

Paint, similar to Venetial Sky, Benjamin Moore Aura Grand Entrance

Paint, similar to Viennese Café, Benjamin Moore Aura Grand Entrance | Mat, saturday afternoons, Aurora

Classic Colours that impress Interior decorator Katherine Porath shares her favourite paint choices for 2016 from Benjamin Moore’s Aurora Grand Entrance Line. “Blackened Moss is a deep green with a hint of black that would look great with most red-brick homes,” she says.

Blackened Moss

18 | GoodLife • March - April 2016

10 Downey Street

English Scone

Impressionist Ruby

Paint, Aegean Teal, Benjamin Moore | Mat, saturday afternoons, Aurora

Paint, Stuart Gold HC-10, Benjamin Moore | Mat, saturday afternoons, Aurora

When choosing a bold colour for your front door, celebrate it in one spot, but don’t go overboard by adding it to shutters or the garage door.”

Notting Hill Blue

Port of Call

Viennese Café

Wild Blueberry | 19

home décor|entrances Lighten up Lighting serves both practical and esthetic purposes at your front entrance. Mary Lou Sorce of Prima Lighting in Vaughan offers the following tips for choosing the right light for your home. Get the details right. Fixtures are meant to create a glow not an unnatural spotlight. If a fixture calls for multiple 60-watt bulbs, use 40-watt to soften the look. Junction boxes for lights beside a single door should be hung at approximately two-thirds the height of the door (usually 72 to 80 inches). For double doors or single doors with sidelights, fixtures should be located at approximately three-quarters the height of the door. For overhead pendants, the fixture should hang above the top of the door or, if there is a window above, in the middle of the window.

Make it a focal point. The front entrance light should be a statement maker and be larger than garage and side-entrance lights. Size should be substantial and large enough to be seen from the street. Pick a style that complements rather than competes with your exterior style. (Lights shown available at Prima Lighting.)

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20 | GoodLife • March - April 2016 | 21

rooms gone right|master suite

Clean Mode

Designer brings sleek style to dated mas

By Lee Ann waterman | photograph

In the bedroom, panels of dark-stained walnut provide a dramatic backdrop to the bed. The dÊcor is minimal: simple nightstands with matching lamps, wall-mounted television, lucite table, director-style chair in white leather, a framed wedding portrait. 22 | GoodLife • March - April 2016

an + dern

sle e k, functional master suite

hotography by Jim Craigmyle | 23

rooms gone right|master suite STYLE GOAL Clean and modern, yet functional and comfortable master suite

WHY THE CHANGE? Existing space did not work with the homeowners’ sense of style or functional needs. “It wasn’t us,” homeowner Sandi Meisels says.


Remove giant tub. Build a large shower. Eliminate one water closet. Raise the ceilings. Add sleek, modern finishes.

FAVOURITE FEATURES The floor-to-ceiling walnut wall behind the bed: It took the cabinetmaker two attempts to achieve the look Tom Meisels wanted— panels with the woodgrain flowing between them and no visible nails.

SOURCES Floor tile: Escarpment Light Honed, Ciot Wall tile: Mosaique Lamelle Argille, Ciot Freestanding soaker tub: Slik Portfolii Plumbing fixtures: Taps Custom bed: Whittington Furniture Co. Fabric for bed: Avant Garde Venice, 610 Mill work: Avalon Interiors design, custom fabrication by California Kitchens

To hear Sandi Meisels describe the state of the master suite when she and husband Tom Meisels bought their Thornhill home seven years ago, you have to marvel a little at their confidence and vision. She depicts a space dominated by a room-forfour jacuzzi-style tub and featuring two water closets, a cramped shower, minimal closet space and multi-coffered ceiling. It was going to take more than a fresh coat of paint and new tile to take the space from dated and dysfunctional to sleek, modern and practical. The Meisels hired Tracy Kundell, designer and owner of Avalon Interiors, to oversee the transformation. Her first step was to bring the room back to bare bones, removing fixtures and some interior walls. A little investigating proved the coffers were not structural, which meant the ceiling could be raised several feet, instantly adding a sense of spa24 | GoodLife • March - April 2016

ciousness and grandeur. The new layout had to accommodate a large skylight in the centre of the room. The Meisels wanted to preserve this feature for the natural light it brought to the space. The solution was to relocate the plumbing, construct a separate water closet and build a wall that stopped several feet short of the newly raised ceiling to separate the closets, sinks, shower and tub from the bedroom. The bathroom/dressing room side of the suite is accessed via a pair of barn-style doors. Meisels admits to deferring to her husband and Kundell on the finishes. “They can see how things will come together. I don’t have that gift.” Matching vanities in a honed limestone are joined by a lower make-up table, all lit by dramatic vertical scones. A wall of mosaic tile in a modern linear pattern runs behind the soaker tub and expansive shower built for two, with matching showerheads featur-

ing rainfall and handheld options. Custom maple cabinetry with a rich warm stain houses clothes, shoes and accessories, towels and toiletries with room to spare. In the bedroom, panels of dark-stained walnut provide a dramatic backdrop to the bed. The décor is minimal: simple nightstands with matching lamps, wall-mounted television, lucite table, director-style chair in white leather, a framed wedding portrait. Meisels is also quick to point out the practical elements of the room, too: the full-length mirrors on the backs of the barn doors, the floating nightstands and vanities that make cleaning the floors a breeze, the mirror inside the shower for shaving. The overall look is modern but not trendy, sleek but still warm. “I didn’t want it to be dated, I didn’t want to be doing this again in 10 years,” Meisels says.

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rooms gone right|wet room wet room: a bathroom in which the shower is completely open or placed behind a single glass panel and the shower floor is flush with the rest of the room and water drains through a linear drain in the floor.

26 | GoodLife • March - April 2016

All Wet Awkward bathroom now a contemporary, spa-like space

By Tracy Smith | photography by Jim Craigmyle

Quite often, after purchasing a home, new owners are left scratching their heads when inspecting some of the design and construction choices that were made before they arrived on the scene. Take the Lee family’s upstairs bathroom. “It was all wrong in its layout,” Nympha Lee recalls. “The room was long and narrow and the shower was placed in the middle, enclosed with walls and a bulkhead. There was a porthole window that was completely blocked from view.” After finishing other parts of the home and living with the awkward layout for a decade, Lee decided it was time to tackle the second-floor bathroom. She tried to figure out a new floor plan on her own, but given the odd dimensions of the room and the complexities of plumbing and wiring, her vision kept coming up short. On a referral from a friend, she contacted Aurora-based design consultant Jackie Venneri in hopes of getting some professional assistance with the plan. “I was stuck and didn’t know how to solve our bathroom problems,” she says. “From Day 1, Jackie was amazing and thought of things that I would never have been able to on my own.” » | 27

rooms gone right|wet room The concept of a wet room—a bathroom in which the shower is completely open or placed behind a single glass panel and the shower floor is flush with the rest of the room, with the water escaping through a linear drain in the floor— was appealing in that it would make use of every single centimetre of space. Venneri explains that additional elements, like the monochromatic colour scheme, large mirrors, large tiles and wall-mounted vanities, were specifically chosen to create a spacious, spa-like bathroom. “The new layout made the room feel huge and the design was really contemporary and chic— perfect for my two daughters as they enter the teen years,” Lee says.


StyLE goaL


A contemporary look with a spa-like feel.

“We took advantage of trade prices at Restoration Hardware and HomeSense for some of the accessories, including the toilet paper holder and hooks, ” says design consultant Jackie Venneri.

Why thE ChaNgE? • • • • •

Awkward and narrow layout Wear and tear Blocked window Poor drainage Builder-grade products

rENoVatIoN ChECK LISt • • • • •

Eye-catching, contemporary design and layout Two sinks Added storage for two daughters and guests Window visible Durability

SpLUrgES “There are some things that I didn’t want to cheap out on, because they are integral to a great washroom,” says homeowner Nympha Lee. • Soaker tub • Tiles • Lighting • Heated floors

28 | GoodLife • March - April 2016

rEaCtIoNS “I love the new bathroom because I have my own space,” says Hannah Lee, 15. “With two sinks, a huge mirror and lots of drawers, my sister and I, or even my friends when they are over, can share the bathroom, but still have our own spots to get ready.” “I love the heated floors. My feet are always cold and the new floor in the bathroom is so cosy,” says Caden Lee, 11. “Oh and I really like the rain showerhead. It’s like a waterfall dripping from the ceiling.”

SoUrCES Contractor: Step Toe Carpentry, Newmarket Design: Jackie Venneri, Style it With Jackie Lighting: Union Lighting Tile: Ciot, Vaughan Custom vanity: Imperial Cabinetry Paint: Intense White Benjamin Moore OC-51

benjamin Moore intense White oC-51

Home & Outdoor Lifestyle Show

April 29th, 30th & May 1st, 2016 Markham Fairgrounds FRIDAY 12 PM TO 8 PM



Everyone dreams of getting their piece of the good life. Let us introduce you to local business people that can help you get there. Whether you’re planning a kitchen, bathroom or basement renovation, dreaming of a new landscape design, installing a brand new pool in the backyard or just looking for that right product or service to make your house a little more homey, we can make that connection for you. With local exhibitors from a wide variety of businesses and services, demonstrations and speakers, including handyman and television personality Chris Palmer and The Fish’n Canada Show hosts Angelo Viola and Peter Bowman, there will be something for everyone. We are committed to providing you and our exhibitors an event that brings the community together. Our goal is for everyone to share in the good life!

100 Exhibitors, Guest Speakers & How-To Demos!



We are looking for rooms and homes to feature in future GoodLife magazines.

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tips for a multifunctional outdoor space

Make the most of your backyard by c h r i s pa L Me r

When the warmer weather hits, the backyard becomes a “one-size-fits-all” for the entire family. It’s an extension of your home that fills many roles: a space to entertain friends, a playroom for your kids and, if you’re at all like me, a workshop. and while we may retreat inside during the winter months, there’s no denying the urge to spend every possible moment in the outdoors while we can. So why not create a space that you can use for any occasion? here are three tips to create the ultimate multi-functional backyard retreat that will help you save pennies and space.


choose furniture with versatility

Multi-purpose outdoor furniture is not only fun to experiment with, it maximizes your space. I’m an advocate for getting the most function out of every piece—especially those you can make yourself. My DIY go-to is the perfect addition to your yard—a multi-functional raised box that can be used as planter, bench and storage box. With yards getting smaller, planters are increasingly becoming the top choice for gardening enthusiasts short on space. This planter easily transforms into a bench, giving you additional seating for outdoor entertaining. I’m also a huge fan of hidden storage. While yards were made to get messy, too much clutter can take away from the natural setting. An outdoor storage box gives you a pot to stash those toys or gardening tools at a moment’s notice or store blankets for those cooler summer evenings spent lounging on the deck. You can find detailed plans for this multi-use box at

32 | GoodLife • March - April 2016

Often billed as Canada’s favourite handyman, Chris Palmer creates custom projects through his company Handcrafted by Chris Palmer. He made his television debut on the hit HGTV show Canada’s Handyman Challenge and is now a regular guest expert on Global Morning Toronto. See Palmer at the GoodLife Home & Outdoor Lifestyle Show, April 29, 20 and May 1 at the Markham Fairgrounds. For more information, visit

2 stick to one surface material If your yard has multifunctional spaces, using one material will help create a cohesive aesthetic. And if you’re dealing with a small yard, a single colour can create the illusion of a bigger space. It will also give you a blank canvas to play with and allow you to change up the look of your backyard at a moment’s notice. Get creative with your backyard accessories, incorporating items such as upcycled furniture to add a personal touch. MicroPro Sienna (pictured) is my material of choice for outdoor projects. It’s a pressure-treated wood that is environmentally friendly and certified low VOC and comes ready-to-build in a beautiful brown tone, without initial staining. It can be used above or below ground and in fresh water—giving you the versatility to use it on a variety of projects. It’s suitable for big jobs like decks or docks, but also a great option for fun DIYs like raised planters or even children’s play sets.

3 invest in simple pieces

You wouldn’t skimp on a bed or dining room table inside your house, so don’t pinch the pennies for those important purchases for your yard either. Just like a good quality couch, certain staple pieces can bring function and style to your outdoor space. Simplicity is key when selecting those anchor items. Invest in a harvest table, for example, and you’ll automatically inject some versatility. Its look can be elevated to host a formal dinner party with a nice table runner and some quality dishware or used as a buffet table for serving up veggie platters and mini-burgers at your child’s birthday party. A good outdoor living room set can go far, especially with the increasingly popular “chat and chill” model of furniture. You can get the best bang for your buck by investing in furniture with a variety of configurations—comfy lounge chairs and sectional pieces that can be grouped with ottomans, coffee tables or side tables or separated off into intimate vignettes. Ultimately, your backyard is the most coveted room of your house once the warm weather hits. Don’t let the space go to waste! Invest in simple anchor pieces and materials that can be complemented by multifunctional items and clever use of accessories. This will help boost the functionality of your outdoor space and open up its potential year after year. | 33

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Fish’n Canada hosts share advice, adventures With Angelo Viola and Pete Bowman, you can be sure of more than just a “fish story.” The pair hosts the Fish’n Canada Show, which has been bringing outdoors and fishing adventures to Canadians for more than 30 years. Viola’s passion for the outdoors and skills as a creative director and producer have served him well over the past three decades in one of “the best jobs in the world.” In 1983, Viola and his brother Reno shot the pilot episode of Fish’n Canada. The show ran on Global, then CBC television, making it the first weekly fishing program to be broadcast on a national network. In 1996, the Viola brothers launched the Outdoor Journal radio show and, in 2004, produced the first ever reality fishing show, The Last Cull. Reno has since retired from the fishing industry and Bowman, who has been a part of Fish’n Canada since the mid-1980s, has taken over as co-host. Today the show blankets all regions of Canada and boasts an audience of over 200,000, easily making it Canada’s most watched outdoors program. Like many angling enthusiasts, Bowman started

young—tagging along on fishing trips with his dad and spending time on the water during summer vacations with his family to Northern Ontario. Bowman is also an accomplished and published outdoor writer and photographer as well as a sought after speaker with a vast knowledge of angling and the outdoors. Both Viola and Bowman have been inducted into the Canadian Angler Hall of Fame.

angelo Viola

Hear Viola and Bowman speak at the GoodLife Home & Outdoor Lifestyle Show. For more information, visit

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36 | GoodLife • March - April 2016

in the kitchen|The Village Grocer

by c at h y h i L La rd | photogr aphy b y naoMi hi LtZ

38 | GoodLife • March - April 2016

he MacDonalds, who own the Village Grocer in Unionville, are passionate about quality food. But they are also passionate about their customers. Which, they say, is why some of those customers regularly travel from as far as Orillia and the Beaches to shop there. So it stands to reason that the Village Grocer Café, which forms part of the large premises on 16th Avenue at Kennedy Road, is popular for its sandwiches and hot food. From their early beginnings on Markham’s Main Street 30 years ago, Evan and Cathy MacDonald have been making sandwiches for customers, using the same top quality ingredients they served in the store, but it wasn’t until they built this location four years ago that they were able to move up a gear and open a proper café within the store. Now the Village Grocer Café is a thriving hub for locals and foodies, serving a variety of hot meals, soups, baked goods and, of course, sandwiches. It’s the made-in-house ham, turkey and roast beef, as well as the store-made mayonnaise and aiolis, that set the sandwiches apart, says café manager Thomas MacDonald, the 25-year-old son of Evan and Cathy, who has inherited the family passion for the business. Staff make about 250 sandwiches every day; their bestseller is the turkey and avocado with havarti and chipotle mayonnaise.

“But it has kind of killed my love for avocados, because I have to cut 50 of them every day,” Thomas jokes. With a full kitchen in the basement of the building, the place is a hive of activity, producing meals from scratch—butchering meat, brining hams and bacon, preparing stocks, sauces and soups and baking fresh cookies, cakes and muffins. There’s a smoker and a pizza oven. It is all part of the philosophy the family has of doing things right and doing things the traditional way. “Lunch is our favourite meal of the day, so our chef is always coming up with something new for the hot options,” Thomas continues. “We have a lot of people who come in every day, like the teachers from the school next door and businessmen, and the last thing I would ever want is for people to come in and say, ‘Oh I had that yesterday.’” The same goes for the muffins. With 34 recipes to choose from, the bakers select about eight different varieties to bake each day, so customers will never get bored. And they always sell out. Much of the success of the Village Grocer and the Café is down to the personal touch that the MacDonalds provide. “We are a community business,” Thomas says. Some longtime customers have been coming to the Village Grocer since the early days and remember the young man as a baby. »

MapLe Marinated Leg of LaMB ingredients boneless leg of lamb (1.8-2.2 kg or 4-5 lb) 500 mL (2 cups) maple syrup 60 mL (1/4 cup) lemon juice 30 mL (2 tbsp) mustard 250 mL (1 cup) oil 5 mL (1 tsp) salt 5 mL (1 tsp) pepper 2 sprigs each thyme and rosemary

Method Mix the maple syrup, lemon juice, oil, mustard, salt, pepper and herbs in a bowl and marinate the meat in this mixture overnight. Next day, remove meat from marinade and reserve. roast lamb at 350 F for 1 hour and 30 minutes (for medium done). Let the meat rest for 30 minutes before slicing. Meanwhile, reduce the marinade with the drippings from roasting pan to form a glaze and season to taste. Slice lamb 1/2 cm (1/4 inch) thick and serve on a bed of mashed potatoes with the glaze poured over. | 39

in the kitchen|The Village Grocer

“Thomas was literally born into the business,” recalls Evan MacDonald, who started out as a butcher. “The day we brought him home from the hospital, we actually brought him to the store first and he sat on the back bar of the store while we finished our work that day. There are customers here who remember that.” And while Thomas may not remember back that far, he does have strong recollections of the family business. “A good part of my childhood was in a car seat on the butcher’s block, so from as early as two

years old, I was just watching sides of beef get hacked,” he says. Despite this upbringing, he never much liked food as a child, especially meat, only discovering his passion for food once he went away to university. “Then I realized how good I had it at home,” he says. Now he says he relishes the job of making delicious food every day. With an array of housewares, a garden section, cookery classes upstairs and an abundance of fine foods to complement the freshly prepared

• R E S T A U R A N T S • F O O D • E N T E R T A I N M E N T

food, the Village Grocer is a destination. Offering a rare “old school” attitude to food, the customers’ enjoyment is at the heart of everything. “If you are doing something well, then people will come to you,” Thomas says. “We are doing something that nobody else does.”

The Village Grocer and Café 4476 16th Ave., Unionville 905-940-0655



Specializing in

5402 Main n Street, Stouffville • www.stakeoutdini 40 | GoodLife • March - April 2016

on tap|spring beer

Spring is ‘bock’ Salute its arrival with this fantastic and traditional beer style b y roBi n LeBLa nc The days are getting a little longer and the temperature is, bit by bit, getting a little warmer. At this time of year, I like a beer that strikes the balance between dark, warming notes of caramel and roasted malts to fight the cold and a lighter body to refresh during the warm moments. In such cases as this, bock is my go-to spring beer. Originally brewed as an ale in the town of Einbeck, Germany in the 14th century, bocks were later adopted by Munich brewers and

altered as a lager. There are several theories on how the bock style—which translates to “billy goat”— received its name. Many believe that the Bavarian dialect altered the name of the beer’s place of origin so “Einbeck” was pronounced “Ein Bock.” Another theory is that it was due to the beer being primarily brewed in the winter months, ruled by the star sign of Capricorn. Whatever the origin, bocks, as well as their offshoots, are unquestionably the traditional

beverage to celebrate the coming of spring. With that, it’s a good thing that Ontario has both local and international options to help bring in the season properly.

Robin LeBlanc is an award-winning beer writer, owner of and co-author of The Ontario Craft Beer Guide, to be published in May.

1. Celebrator Doppelbock Ayinger Brewery


ABV: 6.9% LCBO#: 254656


This Bavarian brewery has been operating since 1877 and has been making this award-winning, world-class beer for about as long. Doppelbock translates “double bock,” which means it tends to pack a punch flavour-wise and, boy, Celebrator does that. Molasses, coffee, chocolate, dark fruit and berries dance together in a creamy mouth feel with a light-bodied, dark chocolate finish.


2. Captivator Doppelbock Tree Brewing Co. ABV: 8% LCBO#: 288951 Since 1996 this Kelowna, B.C. brewery has been delivering fantastic beers and, by making frequent appearances on LCBO seasonal shelves, has become very familiar to Ontario residents. The Captivator Doppelbock is a boozy tribute to the bock’s monastic history, where it was a substantial meal substitute during Lent. The beer pours a coppery brown and contains sweet bready aromas and distinct flavour notes of plum, fig and caramel with an earth-like, biscuity finish. 3. Bock Me Gently Big Rig Brewery ABV: 7.2% LCBO#: 443408 Award-winning Big Rig Brewery is one of Ottawa’s fastest growing breweries, thanks to the star power of its co-founder, Ottawa Senators defenceman Chris “Big Rig” Phillips, and the talent of brewmaster Lon Ladell. While originally brought in during the winter months, local LCBOs and Beer Stores have been carrying this beer well into the spring. Called a Copper Bock because of its distinct colour, Bock Me Gently has beautiful sweet, bready flavours with toffee and roasted malt, paired with a light, earthy mouth feel and a crisp finish. | 41

food|warm up to spring

WARM UP TO SPRING rECIpES aND photography by eMiLy BLacKMan

Spring is the time to slowly introduce a more colourful and lighter style of cooking. While stews and dense breads are warming as winter fades, the brightness of a lemony chopped salad and brown butter scallops hint at the warmer weather to come. 42 | GoodLife • March - April 2016

Chopped Salad with Simple Lemon Vinaigrette ingredients 1/2 head iceberg lettuce 2 cups spinach, chopped 1/2 onion, sliced 10 cherry tomatoes, halved 4 mushrooms

vinaigrette 1 lemon, zest and juice 80 mL (1/3 cup) olive oil 1 mL (1/4 tsp) pepper 2 mL (1/2 tsp) salt 10 mL (2 tsp) honey 5 mL (1 tsp) Dijon

Method to make the vinaigrette, place all the ingredients into a mason jar, screw on the lid and shake. Chop lettuce into strips then chop strips in half or thirds, depending on the size of the head. place lettuce in serving bowl, add spinach and toss. add onions, cherry tomatoes and blue cheese. top with dressing and serve. Note: this salad can be made with whatever vegetables you enjoy. but be sure to add iceberg lettuce for a nice crunch. the simple lemon vinaigrette will complement any vegetables you love.

Brown Butter Scallops with Parsnip PurĂŠe Serves 4 to 6

ingredients 680 g (1-1/2 lb) scallops 15 mL (1 tbsp) olive oil 60 mL (4 tbsp) butter 1 lemon, zest and juice 2 parsnips, peeled and cubed 30 mL (2 tbsp) whipping cream pinch of nutmeg salt and pepper

Method In a small pot, steam the parsnips until they are very soft. place parsnips in a food processor or blender and add cream, nutmeg and a little salt and pepper. blend until smooth. Check seasoning and add more cream, if necessary. If there are any remaining chunky bits, pass though a fine mesh sieve. heat a skillet over medium high heat. While the pan is heating, pat the scallops dry. add olive oil and sear scallops on one side, season with salt and pepper. Flip when they start to brown and add butter. Scallops only take a few minutes to cook and should be finished as soon as the butter starts to brown. add a squeeze of lemon and remove from heat. to plate, spoon purĂŠe on to plate and place scallops on top. Drizzle with butter and top with lemon zest. | 43

food|warm up to spring

Whole-Grain Soda Bread ingredients 450 g (1 lb) coarse whole-wheat flour 50 g (1-3/4 oz) rolled oats 5 mL (1 tsp) salt 5 mL (1 tsp) baking soda 30 mL (2 tbsp) maple syrup 450 mL (2 cups) buttermilk, or milk with 15 mL (1 tbsp) lemon juice 15 mL (1 tbsp) melted butter

Method preheat oven to 400 F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Whisk together dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl and make a well in the middle. Stir maple syrup into buttermilk until well mixed, then pour into the well and, very quickly, stir together with your hands until you have a soft, sticky dough. Form dough into a round and place on baking sheet. Cut a deep cross on top of the dough. bake 50 minutes to an hour, it, until crust is golden and loaf sounds hollow when tapped underneath. brush with melted butter and leave to cool slightly before serving. It is best eaten soon after baking.

Lamb Stew with Roasted Root Vegetables Serves 4 to 6

ingredients 900 g (2 lbs) lamb shoulder, cubed 2 onions, coarsely chopped 2 white turnip, peeled and cubed 6 small carrots, peeled and halved lengthwise 5 small beets, peeled and halved 60 mL (4 tbsp) olive oil 250 mL (1 cup) chicken stock 250 mL (1 cup) Sawdust City red rocket Stout 4 fresh bay leaves 30 mL (2 tbsp) maple syrup salt and pepper

44 | GoodLife • March - April 2016

Method In a large skillet or dutch oven, heat 30 mL (2 tbsp) of olive oil over medium high heat. add lamb shoulder and sprinkle with salt and pepper. brown meat on all sides and remove from pan. add onions to pan and cook until softened and starting to brown. Deglaze the pan with beer, then add chicken stock, lamb, bay leaves and maple syrup. reduce heat to simmer and let cook for 1-1/2 hours. While stew is simmering, heat oven to 400 F. place beets, turnip and carrots in roasting pan. Keep beets separate from the other vegetables as they will turn everything bright red. top with remaining 30 mL (2 tbsp) of olive oil, salt and pepper. roast for 45 minutes, until vegetables are soft and starting to brown. Set aside. When stew has cooked for 1-1/2 hours, add vegetables and simmer gently for 30 minutes. Serve hot with a piece of buttered soda bread.

Buttermilk Whisky Pie ingredients


125 mL (1/2 cup) butter

Combine 100 g (3-1/2 oz) of flour and salt in bowl of a food processor. pulse twice to incorporate. Spread butter cubes evenly over surface. pulse until no dry flour remains and dough begins to collect in clumps, about 25 short pulses. Use a rubber spatula to spread dough evenly around bowl. Sprinkle with remaining 75 g (2-1/2 oz) of flour and pulse until dough is just barely broken up, about 5 short pulses. transfer dough to a large bowl. Sprinkle with water then, using a rubber spatula, fold and press dough until it comes together into a ball. Wrap tightly in plastic and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. roll out dough and place in a 23-cm (9-inch) pie plate. preheat oven to 350 F. Cream together softened butter and sugar. Mix in remaining ingredients. pour into crust and bake 45 minutes, until top is golden. Wait until completely cool to slice.

310 mL (1-1/4 cup) sugar 30 mL (2 tbsp) flour 3 eggs 250 mL (1 cup) buttermilk 5 mL (1 tsp) vanilla 15 mL (1 tbsp) whisky 5 mL (1 tsp) nutmeg zest of half a lemon

crust 5175g (6 oz) all-purpose flour 5 mL (1 tsp) kosher salt 5 mL (1 tsp) sugar 160 mL (2/3 cups) unsalted butter, cut into cubes 60 mL (4 tbsp) cold water

Whisky Lemonade with Honey and Mint Serves 1

ingredients 1/2 lemon, juice and zest 10 mL (2 tsp) honey, local if possible 30 mL (1 oz) whisky 2 sprigs mint, plus one for garnish 30 mL (1 oz) water ice cubes

Method Using a peeler, remove a long piece of zest off the lemon. Slice into thin strips to use as a garnish. In a shaker, place room temperature whisky, honey and lemon juice. Shake until honey is dissolved. add three ice cubes and two sprigs of mint. Shake until shaker is cold to the touch and drink is thoroughly mixed. Strain into a tall glass over more ice and garnish with the lemon peel and mint. | 45

portfolio |designer Hussein Dhalla

Fashionable by

design b y Dav i d Li

46 | GoodLife • March - April 2016

I was known for always sporting statement accessories or clothing that didn’t conform to the status quo. My inherent fashion sense was what I was known for growing up.”

From young professionals and corporate executives to international celebrities, men are turning to Hussein Dhalla when they want to look their very best. The Richmond Hill business owner is the son of hard-working immigrants who, in 1974, moved from East Africa to Canada in pursuit of a better life. In addition to observing the long hours his parents spent on the family business, Dhalla also took notice of their sense of style. “I have been interested in fashion for as long as I can remember. My parents always made a point to dress up wherever we went, so I was influenced by that,” he says. “I was known for sporting statement accessories or clothing that didn’t conform to the status quo. My inherent fashion sense was what I was known for growing up.” Dhalla’s journey toward becoming a respected stylist and fashion designer required a bold detour. His parents stressed the importance of completing a post-secondary education and Dhalla followed their advice. Upon his graduation from the University of Toronto, the business major landed a job in the financial industry, working on Bay Street. While his day job provided him with financial security, Dhalla felt his need to express his creativity was not being fulfilled. “One day, I finally worked up enough courage to quit my nine-to-five job and begin creating designs. I would then travel around the city and sell my merchandise from the trunk of my car,” he recalls. “Getting your name out there isn’t easy. I knew I had a great brand, but I had to get people as excited as I was.” And that took work. The backing of a supportive team, a presence at Toronto Men’s Fashion Week, promotion on social media and the launch of his website, houseofdalla, came together to build the Dalla brand. Opening his own studio in Richmond Hill in 2008 was a pivotal moment for the young designer. “The space on Beaver Creek is perfect to not only house the many pieces of my collection, but it also serves as a stylish space for my clients to view and try on all the different looks Dalla has to offer,” he says. “Over time, I’ve transformed

the studio into a unique space for my clients to shop, chat and enjoy.” The store, which specializes in high quality tailored fits, has a clientele that ranges from young grooms to Bay Street corporate types to international celebrities. Store manager Jonathan Siemens says Dhalla’s creativity sets him apart from others in the industry. “What I respect most about Hussein’s sense of style and fashion is that it is constantly evolving and he isn’t afraid to take chances,” Siemens says. “When I say it’s evolving, I don’t mean that he’s just keeping up with current trends, but he himself is a trendsetter. “I get a lot of inspiration in my own style from him. Sometimes people forget that before he was a fashion designer and creative director, Hussein was a stylist and continues to style everyone from local wedding parties to global celebrities.” Today, Dhalla’s clothing and designs are worn by celebrities attending some of the biggest entertainment events—including Toronto International Film Festival, the Grammy Awards and the Oscars. Among the notable celebrities are Kardinal Offishall, Vinay Virmani and The Weeknd, and the list continues to grow. The respected stylist and fashion designer says his work ethic and ambition have played a big part in getting him to where he is today. “I think dreaming big pays off. I am constantly setting higher and higher goals for myself and then going out and doing what it takes to turn them into a reality,” he says. Siemens can talk first-hand about his boss’ commitment: “Hussein is one of the hardest working people I’ve ever had the experience of working with; he has this drive and inner fire that always amazes me. “I think what I respect most though is his openness to listening to others and their ideas.” While Dhalla strives for greater success, he says his biggest accomplishment is living his own unique version of the Canadian dream and finding fulfillment on his terms. “I think there is still a lot of path to be paved for my brand in this industry. But I think personal success hit me when I realized I didn’t have to be what anyone wanted me to be in order to be successful. “I just want to continue to do what I love and stay grounded and happy.”

From top: Dalla on the runway; Hussein Dhalla at Toronto Men’s Fashion Week; Dhalla with Canadian rapper and record producer Kardinal Offishall and actor Vinay Vermani, star of Dr. Cabbie. | 47

education|private schools

Picking the r

how to choose a private school for your ch

48 | GoodLife • March - April 2016

right path

ur child

b y tracy s Mi th As parents, we want the best for our kids— including the best education. In Canada, we are fortunate to have access to one of the top-ranking public education systems in the world (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development’s Program for International Student Assessment findings). In addition, in Ontario, there are also more than 700 private and independent schools offering instruction to approximately 5 per cent of the province’s students.

why private? According to Ontario’s Private Schools: Who Chooses them and Why?, a 2007 study conducted by the Fraser Institute, parents choose to send their kids to private school for a variety of reasons, including: class size; the dedication of teachers; morals, values and religion; emphasis on academic quality; supportive, nurturing environments with individualized attention for each child; safety; character development, increased independence and confidence building; and disappointment with public or separate schools. “We switched our two sons to private school because one of our sons needed additional support that his old school couldn’t provide and our other son needed more of a challenge,” says Aurora resident Brad Smith. “We switched to a private school so our children could receive the attention they needed; at their new school, they are viewed as individual people to develop and are flourishing as a result.”

finding ‘the best’ school Committing to a private or independent school is a choice that will impact your child, family, routine and, undoubtedly, pocketbook, so making the right choice is important. “The most important question isn’t ‘Which is the best school?’ rather it’s ‘Which environment will my child be the most successful in?’” explains Glen Herbert of Our Kids Media. “These questions won’t have the same answers and bestschool lists cater to a very one-dimensional view (i.e. top athletic results, best academic scores or

most famous graduates). These lists fail to paint the whole picture of what a school has to offer and it’s important to remember that what works well for one child may not work at all for another.” To find the best school for your child, you will need to devote some time to research. Consider some of the following criteria: • large school with countless facilities and amenities or a smaller, family-like setting • a strict academic focus or a well-rounded education of the entire child • co-ed or not • day school or boarding school • rural or urban setting • athletic options • teaching methods • school philosophy and values • class sizes • specific extracurriculars or leadership opportunities “When we were choosing a private school for our boys, we knew we wanted an environment that focused on a well-rounded student—academics, leadership and extracurriculars,” Smith shares. “It was also important to us that our boys be in separate homeroom classes and the school we chose had to be large enough to accommodate this.”

financial fit Annual tuitions can vary by tens of thousands of dollars between private school options, so a discussion surrounding the costs you are willing to put aside for school is important. Ask schools about additional fees that may be expected or required in addition to annual tuitions, including athletic fees, uniforms, books, technology rentals, instruments and donations.

philosophical fit While every school’s philosophy speaks to excellence and development of students, the approach will vary and you’ll need to find the right fit for your family. » | 49

education|private schools The Hill Academy in Vaughan, for example, is an independent high school designed for dedicated student athletes that focuses on athletics and academics, university scholarships and peak performance. “I switched to the Hill Academy because the university I am attending next fall (Harvard) believed it was a much better balance of academics and athletics for me,” explains Dalton Follows, who will graduate in 2016. “I am constantly inspired by the culture of passion, dedication and hard work that is reinforced at the Hill. I know I will miss my time at the Hill Academy, but the lessons I have learned here, I will carry with me for the rest of my life.” Some families seek an academic environment that reinforces religious values and tradition. Villanova College, a co-ed independent Catholic school in King City, has a mission that includes spirituality and Augustinian values are a cornerstone of its approach. The Montessori self-directed approach to learning is the guiding principle at several schools in the region, including TMS in Richmond Hill, Trillium School in Markham, Aurora Montessori School and Unionville Montessori School (UMS). “The heart of the Montessori method tells us to ‘follow the child,’” explains Rosemin Remtulla, director of education at UMS. “Under the guidance of the teacher, students at UMS are given the opportunity to learn at their own pace and to understand concepts fully before moving on to a new lesson; we teach to each student individually rather than to the entire class as one. By allowing and encouraging children to develop independence and self-discipline, Montessori sets a pattern for a lifetime of good work habits and a real sense of responsibility.”

50 | GoodLife • March - April 2016

the essential school visit “The single most important thing any family can do during their decision-making process is to visit the school they are interested in, with their child, during the school day,” says Michael Roy, director of admissions, marketing and business development at St. Andrews College in Aurora, Canada’s largest all-boys boarding school. “By visiting during school hours, parents and prospective students get to see the campus in action—what it looks like, feels like, what everyone is doing, what activities are going on, how the teachers and students interact—and they have the opportunity to decide if they could really see themselves attending there.”

Background check All private and independent schools are not created equal and it is important to look into each school’s accreditations. Principals and teachers at non-public schools are not required to be certified by Ontario’s College of Teachers; educators may have higher levels of degrees and experience, but with no official requirement, it is important to find out more about staff credentials. There are a number of different associations and accreditations for private and independent schools—CAIS, The Association of Boarding Schools (TABS), the International Boys’ School Coalition, the Canadian Council of Montessori Administrators (CCMA) and the Association of Christian Schools (ACSI)—that can help identify what professional standards, requirements and attributes certain schools attain. Private school expos, fairs and open houses are held on a regular basis during the year and are great ways to get to know more about the schools you are interested in. Check your local newspaper, school websites and school/events for upcoming events.

private versus independent the terms private and independent are often used interchangeably when referring to any non-public school, however the terms can mean different things. according to the Canadian accredited Independent Schools’ (CaIS) website, independent schools are generally not-for-profit organizations that are accountable to a board of trustees and because of their charitable status, donations may be eligible for tax receipts; private schools are for-profit organizations and have many different and varying management structures. both types of schools do not receiving funding from the government.

extracurriculars one of the benefits of private schools is students are exposed to subjects, interests and activities that they might not otherwise have the opportunity of learning about. Interested in radio and television arts? pickering College has the only CrtClicensed school radio station in Canada. Students can also take equestrian training and compete in horse shows. Unionville Montessori offers Mandarin, ballet and cooking classes after school. at St. andrew’s, there are programs ranging from squash to the pipes and drums band.


Internationally recognized since 1961, TMS School delivers a seamless, internationally-acclaimed educational experience designed to inspire and challenge students, from 18 months to 18 years, to discover the best of who they are and to achieve their full potential. ouR ContRiBution to tHE CoMMunity

SECREt to ouR SuCCESS TMS seamlessly combines a flagship Montessori program for students from age 18 months to Grade 6, and an International Baccalaureate (IB) Programme for students from Grade 7 to Grade 12. The program focuses on more than mastering basic skills and knowledge, the students develop fully in academics, arts, athletics and citizenship. Starting at 18 months of age, TMS helps students to help themselves. Students develop confidence and higher level thinking skills necessary to make the most of whatever challenge they encounter. In TMS grades 7 through 12, individual student learning is globally benchmarked against other students in the IB program.

Bayview Campus 8569 Bayview Avenue Richmond Hill

Elgin Mills Campus 500 Elgin Mills Rd. East Richmond Hill

At all ages, our students learn to take action to make positive differences in the school, the community and the world. The Bayview and Elgin Mills Campuses are located in Richmond Hill. TMS is a member of CAIS (Canadian Accredited Independent Schools) and accredited by IBO (International Baccalaureate Organization), CIS (Conference of Independent Schools) and CCMA (Canadian Council of Montessori Administrators).

(905) 889-6882 Ext 2254

education|summer camps

Experiential education

summer camp teaches kids about themselves b y joa nn Macdona Ld

you can’t blame a kid for being happy when school lets out for summer. but two months of freedom means something different for parents. Challenged to keep children active, safe and entertained, parents turn to summer camps. thankfully, summer camps are not merely babysitting opportunities for working parents— the right camps offer a wealth of experiences, learning opportunities and skills.

52 | GoodLife • March - April 2016

“Campers can benefit from social interactions and make new and sometimes lifelong friends,” says Lauren Steckley, manager of recreation programs for Richmond Hill’s community services department. The town offers summer camp programs for children and teens ages four to 18 in a wide variety of interests, including crafts, sports, dance, theatre and science. “Campers can experience new things, such as specialized sports or photography, and learn new skills, such as cooking or computer programs,” Steckley says. “Campers can also benefit from physical exercise and activities and enjoy fresh air when they play outdoors.” Steckley says young campers gain independence when participating in programs without

their parents. And camp staff may act as positive role models for children. “Experiences at camp could give campers positive memories that last a lifetime,” she says. Summer camps may offer some children a chance to further explore a subject they enjoy and feel they don’t get enough exposure to at school. Donna Burwell-Stevens, an artist-in-theschool at schools throughout York Region, offers art programs to children ages seven to 13 in her Newmarket home each summer. She believes a summer arts program can give children with an aptitude for art an opportunity to shine. “I tell parents of kids who love art, ‘Encourage them, because art is a form of expression and, for some, it’s their form of release, so if they have

issues or problems, art is therapeutic. It can be a lifelong passion.’” Art practice also increases fine motor skills, a benefit that’s not just for toddlers. “It’s something that people can become more adept at when they’re practising,” Burwell-Stevens says. “There are a lot of techniques that can be learned. Art programs offer children the ability to express themselves through art—having fun, experimenting, trying art techniques and materials.” “School teaches you information that you memorize and learn. Camp teaches you about yourself and others,” says Heather Heagle, executive director of the Ontario Camps Association (OCA). » | 53

education|summer camps

A voluntary, non-profit organization, OCA is devoted to maintaining high standards for organized camping. Heagle says the member camps share a vision to enrich the lives of children and families and to nurture values such as honesty, fairness and integrity. She believes that camp experiences can help kids recognize and protect the worth of every person, including themselves. “Building relationships and demonstrating concern for others is important,” she says. “There is so much technology today that children don’t learn this piece as much. Camps put the onus back on the child to build that relationship, to build the care and concern.” While some parents are fearful of sending their child to overnight camp, Heagle urges them to reconsider. “Homesickness is a good thing, because it teaches the child about themselves, teaches them independence,” Heagle says. “We’re not happy all the time. Parents today want to shield their children. They can’t find the tools they need to get back to happy.” Heagle says that most children who feel homesick don’t actually want to go home. They simply want to talk to somebody about their feelings. To minimize the odds of a child giving up on the camp experience, Heagle advises allowing the child to have a say in what camp he or she attends.

54 | GoodLife • March - April 2016

caMps to consider camp arowhon Encourage your little urbanite to put down that personal electronic device and explore the vast wilderness of algonquin park. Camp arowhon is set deep in the interior of algonquin on teepee Lake. “Camp arowhon’s social safety tool kit ensures the emotional and social well-being of every child, in a community where kids take on safe challenges and grow self-confidence,” says director Joanne Kates. Campers enjoy water sports such as sailing, canoeing and windsurfing, plus horseback riding and outdoor adventures such as climbing, ziplining, canoe trips and exploring nature. If that isn’t enough to capture your child’s attention, there’s archery, arts and crafts, drama, guitar, fitness, tennis, basketball and frisbee golf. Information: camp huronda owned and operated by the Canadian Diabetes association, Camp huronda is located on the beautiful shores of Lake Waseosa in huntsville the camp is one of 12 D-Camps across the country for children living with type 1 diabetes. Nestled on over 110 acres of land, Camp huronda offers traditional summer camp activities like pottery, mountain biking,

canoeing, kayaking, archery, climbing, outdoor living skills, art, drama and land sports, as well as a sense of community and belonging. Camp huronda allows living with diabetes to simply be part of the day while helping kids thrive and become their own advocates. Information: olympia sports camp your sporty child is sure to love this Muskoka waterfront sports camp. olympia boasts more than 90 sports and activities. Campers receive focused instruction in their chosen specialty. “at olympia, we believe every camper embarks on a hero’s journey, where they don’t just improve in their sport or activity, but they become the best versions of themselves,” says marketing coordinator Michelle Stockstill. “We help campers set goals and give them the tools and guidance they need in order to achieve them.” the camp has over 45,000 square feet of indoor training space, including six indoor pro basketball courts, a yoga studio, a weight room and an aerobics floor. Set on 40 acres of land, olympia’s outdoor space includes three full-size playing fields, two beach volleyball courts, rope courses and a 40-foot tall, four-sided climbing tower.

10 tips for successful overnight camp The Ontario Camps Association offers this advice to help your child mentally and emotionally prepare for an overnight camp experience. 1. Visit and tour the camp with your child prior to the first day. 2.

Spacious Studios with Sprung Floors & Parent Viewing Areas

Call other parents whose children attend the camp for information and references. Schedule a get-together so your camper can get to know their camp friends.

3. Get excited with your child. Mark the first day of camp on the calendar, talk about what to expect and how they can cope with different situations they may face. 4.

Recreational & Competitive Classes from 3 years to Adult: Acro, Classical Ballet, Pointe, Contemporary, Hip Hop, Jazz, Salsa/Latin, Musical Theatre, Tap & more...

Don’t schedule a significant family event for when your child is at camp. The disappointment of missing a family celebration will outweigh the positive camp experience.

5. Tell your child that homesickness is normal and encourage them to talk to other campers or counsellors about their feelings. Even the most tearful will eventually adjust. Don’t promise to pick your child up if he/she is homesick. Communicate confidence in your child’s ability to handle being away from home.

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6. Pack a favourite item or send your child to camp with a friend to ease homesickness. When writing to your child, don’t dwell on how much you miss them or what they are missing at home.


7. Write your child letters (even a few days before camp starts so they’ll get them in the first few days). 8. Talk with your child about what to expect at camp. Are calls home allowed? Is there a time for parents to visit?

~ home ~ arts ~ food

9. After your child returns home, encourage them to practice their new skills and encourage them to maintain friendships through emails, letters or phone calls. 10. Ask the camp director for a list of essential items to pack, as this will vary from camp to camp, depending on the activities. Find more tips at ontariocampsassociation. ca.


~ shop ~ travel

Don’t miss out Be a part of the Good Life 905.943.6100 | 55

ELGIN MILLS 10909 Yonge Street

(off Yorkland St. behind plaza)

Check website for more details & current attractions at: ELGIN MILLS 10909 YONGE ST.





Rainbow Elgin Mills has 10 auditoriums with digital projection and comfortable seating. The cinema’s multiple screens showcase mainstream Hollywood, Canadian and foreign films to serve the rich and diverse community of Richmond Hill. All auditoriums have wheelchair access and assistive listening devices. Matinees shows are scheduled everyday. Tuesdays are discounted at $5. Group rates and two party rooms are available for your movie going enjoyment.





A Lifetime: Day by Day, Five Women and Their Diaries Until April 30 Whitchurch-Stouffville Museum On loan from the Archives of Ontario, this exhibit provides insights into the everyday lives of early female Ontario pioneers—in their own words. Share the thoughts of these early residents in an intimate and immediate way. Information:


Men of the Deeps 50th Anniversary Tour April 7 Flato Markham Theatre Spend the evening immersed in the rich folklore of Cape Breton, as Canada’s legendary Men of the Deeps returns to Markham. Comprised of real coal miners, this choir is known “to sing from the heart” about the mining community. Enjoy ballads, spirituals and folk songs. Information:


On Your Mark: F.H. Varley, Kate Wilson, Claire Scherzinger Until May 8 Frederick Horsman Varley Art Gallery From historic and contemporary perspectives, On Your Mark explores how artists use marks as both a means to an end and as ends in themselves. When F.H. Varley learned to draw at the end of the 19th century, line, shape, proportion and perspective were the fundamental elements of every drawing and skill was assessed by the individual’s ability to recreate a convincing illusion of the three-dimensional world. Today, artists defy this notion and redefine what a drawing is and can be. Information:

On Your Mark


York Symphony Orchestra presents Tchaikovsky April 17 Richmond Hill Centre for Performing Arts Experience the power of Tchaikovsky in a concert of his most magnificent works, including Waltz from Sleeping Beauty, Piano Concerto No. 1 and Symphony No. 4. York Symphony Orchestra performs with guest artist Jerry Chen on piano. Information:



Sarah Cale: Instants Passing Through the Air I Breathe Until May 8 Frederick Horsman Varley Art Gallery Toronto-based artist Sarah Cale uses “secondhand” brush strokes to create meticulous and colourful abstract paintings. Her paint is first applied to a plastic surface and, once dried, peeled off and collaged to a canvas or linen support. In this way, Cale stretches the boundaries of her medium as she departs from traditional methods and processes of painting. Information:

in your community

Wu Man


Wu Man and the Shanghai Quartet: A Night in Ancient and New China April 9 Flato Markham Theatre Explore the music of China with this new multimedia production by Chinese composer, Zhao Jiping, featuring some of his most famous Chinese cinema scores, Raise the Red Lantern, To Live and Farewell My Concubine. The program also includes traditional Chinese folk songs as well as solo pipa works by Wu Man. Looking back to their roots, but with a contemporary vision, these artists meld sounds of China with western string quartet and pipa for an incredible evening of grand music. Information:


La Traviata April 14 and 16 Richmond Hill Centre for Performing Arts Opera Belcanto of York presents one of Verdi’s most loved operas, La Traviata, the story of demi-mondain Violetta who falls in love with the well-born Alfredo. Information:

Richmond Hill Philharmonic Orchestra: Nordic Reflections April 17 Richmond Hill Centre for Performing Arts The countries that ring the Arctic Circle at the northern edge of Europe may be small, but their music has had a big impact. Nordic music has a distinct sensibility that can be described as sublime. Edvard Grieg, Jean Sibelius and Carl Nielsen not only composed music reflecting the landscape and nationalistic sensibilities of their countries, but they also provided us with some of the most endearing sound the symphonic orchestra can produce. Experience music that is extraordinarily fluid, epic in character and wonderfully individual, and take home a breathtaking experience. Information:


Boys of Broadway April 18 Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts Monday nights may be dark on the Great White Way, but not in Richmond Hill. Broadway superstars Anthony Rapp (Rent and If/Then) and Telly Leung (Godspell and Flower Drum Song) make their Richmond Hill debut in a dazzling night dedicated to the best of musical theatre. Information:

7 Kate Wilson, Botanicals in Motion,

58 | GoodLife • March - April 2016

Victoria Ballet Company presents Cinderella April 16 and 17 Richmond Hill Centre for Performing Arts Full of happiness, humour and kindness, Cinderella is a fairy tale for the whole family. Information:

Boys of Broadway: Anthony Rapp


Midori April 20 Flato Markham Theatre Since her debut at the age of 11 with the New York Philharmonic 32 years ago, the gifted violinist Midori has established a record of achievement that sets her apart as a master musician, an innovator and a champion of the developmental potential of children. Last season she added two new recordings, one of which won a Grammy Award, and remains one of the most beloved violinists on the global music scene today. Information:


Earth Week Walk April 23 York Region Forest, Hollidge Tract Celebrate Earth Week in the forest! Discover the many health benefits from walking in the forest. Learn how to protect the wild places you love. Registration required. Information:


Fashionable May 3 Hilton Toronto/Markham Suites Supporting Participation House, which offers services to enhance the quality of life for York residents living with disabilities, this event includes a cocktail reception, dinner and fashion show. Information:

Bowser & Blue


Bowser & Blue April 29 Nineteen on the Park George Bowser and Rick Blue write and perform music and comedy. They appear frequently at the Just for Laughs comedy festival and they can often be seen on CBC television and the Comedy Channel in shows compiled from those appearances. Their Christmas CTV special Two Nuts Roasting on an Open Fire was nominated for a Gemini award. Information:


Kim Mitchell May 4 Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts Canadian rock icon Kim Mitchell’s career has spanned over three decades, from the frontman for the band Max Webster to a multiple Juno award-winning solo career. With a slew of hits like Go for a Soda, Rock ‘n’ Roll Duty and Patio Lanterns, Mitchell has stood the test of time. In 2004, Mitchell became the host of Q107’s afternoon drive show, further cementing his legendary status among rock and roll loving Canadians. Information:


Hand in Hand Gala April 30 Copper Creek, Kleinburg A memorable evening in support of Cedar Centre (formerly the York Region Abuse Program), featuring cocktails, dinner, dance, live entertainment and live and silent auction. Information:

Kiran Ahluwalia


Kiran Ahluwalia April 28 Flato Markham Theatre Kiran Ahluwalia’s hybrid of Indian and Pakistani grooves, Saharan blues and western jazz shows borders are meaningless in one’s heart and on the world stage. This two-time Juno awardwinner’s love of Indian and Pakistani music has grown, merging with multiple global influences in each accomplished release. Information:


Andreas Varady April 29 Flato Markham Theatre Regarded as a child prodigy, 17-year-old jazz guitarist Andreas Varady began playing at four years old. He polished his skills busking on the streets of Limerick and Cork, Ireland, and soon after began touring Europe and performing in jazz festivals. There, he caught the eye of music industry veterans Quincy Jones and David Foster, who signed him to their affiliated labels. Information:


Charlotte’s Web May 2 Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts TheatreworksUSA’s production of Charlotte’s Web is based on E.B. White’s loving story of the friendship between a pig named Wilbur and a little grey spider named Charlotte. Wilbur has a problem: how to avoid winding up as pork chops! Charlotte, a fine writer and true friend, hits on a plan to fool Farmer Zuckerman— she will create a miracle. This treasured tale, featuring mad-cap and endearing farm animals, explores bravery, selfless love and the true meaning of friendship. Information:

Andreas Varady

Kim Mitchell


Motus O’s One-Hit Wonders May 6 Nineteen on the Park Ever wondered what happens to those performances that Motus O dance theatre creates for a single special occasion and only performs once? They end up in this show! Come see pieces that have been popular hits, but have never been on our stage before. Information:


A Night at the Movies May 29 Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts York Symphony Orchestra presents a selection of classical music from the movies along with blockbuster film scores. Featuring Mozart Piano Concerto from Elvira Madigan, Gabriel’s Oboe from The Mission, Schindler’s List, Pirates of the Caribbean, Star Wars, Raiders March and many more! Information:


Looking for something fun to do? Check out events on | 59


Welcome to

Spice Island by BarT Card

As a native Bermudian, I’ve certainly experienced my fair share of the Caribbean. I’ve criss-crossed the Islands, in fact, spending time in Bermuda, Barbados, Jamaica and all points in between. Yet the nation state of Grenada, in the West Indies, has remained a tiny parcel of the Caribbean I had yet to have the opportunity to fully explore.

60 | GoodLife • March - April 2016


es, I do recall a quick stint in Grenada once—a stay that lasted all of one day. I was a passenger on a Holland American Line Cruise some 20 years ago and we dropped anchor and took a tender in to St. George, the island capital. A submerged volcanic crater forms St. George’s naturally deep harbour. One of the most picturesque in the region, it is a port of call for several cruise lines, yachts, ferries, cargo and other boats. I do, of course, remember this as if it were present day because I have the scar on the bottom of my right foot to prove it. As other passengers dashed off the Holland American to conduct their shopping and take a trip to the local market, my eye caught a glimpse of the brilliant white, hot sand of the Grand Anse Beach. The two-mile beach was to become my first Grenada experience. I couldn’t wait to stroll along Grand Anse and enjoy a dip in the cool blue waters before joining my fellow passengers shopping. Yet my agenda was quickly cut short as I suffered a slight injury— something sliced my foot and I knew in an instance that it couldn’t be the work of a seashell. Looking down, I noticed a discharged and shredded 50-calibre shell casing.

Upon further inspection, of both my bloodied foot and the shell casing, my mind raced back to 1983 and 1984 when a military faction within Maurice Bishop’s New Jewel Movement took control of Grenada. As a former solider in the British Army, I’m always fascinated with wartime activities. The turmoil and purported threat to the United States medical students stranded on the island served as the catalyst for the famed rescue mission by U.S. forces a short time later. The overwhelming support for the action by the Grenadine population was evident from the start and has not subsided today. Grenada is one of the best-kept secrets of the Caribbean. Its three islands of Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique are located in the eastern Caribbean between St. Vincent and the Grenadines to the north and Trinidad and Tobago to the south. Once home to Arawaks, Ciboneys and Caribs, it was sighted by Christopher Columbus on his third voyage in 1498. Following colonial wars in the 18th century when France and Britain traded the island back and forth, it became solely under British control in 1783 and achieved independence in 1974. » | 61

travel|Grenada This time around, there was no rush for me to head to the Grenada beaches for I was prepared to spend a relaxing week on the island soaking up the sun in addition to Grenada’s rich history, fine food and accommodations. I quickly settled in for the majority of my stay at the Secret Harbour Resort. This tremendous facility has all the ingredients for a perfect tropical getaway, offering superb vistas of the sea from every deluxe suite. The Old World Mediterranean ambiance is felt in sweeping patio arches and sunny, tiled terraces bordered with bougainvillea. This is a hotel with atmosphere and charm, a hotel made for romance. Close by is The Moorings, a spectacular marina where people fly in from across the world to board their yachts for outstanding sailing. Sailors find themselves drawn by the picturesque harbours lined with sun-drenched beaches, waterfalls cascading amidst lofty mountains perfumed by fragrant spices. It is here at The Moorings you sense the pastoral country life of the people—an easy-going spirit that greets your first step on these sparkling sands. Grenada is one of the few Caribbean destinations where eco-tourism is a main attraction. Every article I have ever read concerning this beautiful destination makes reference to Grenada as “Spice Island” and yes, the smell of nutmeg does hang in the air. Grenada is the world’s second-largest nutmeg producer, but aside from the spices, Grenada is so much more. It is the friendliness of the locals and the popular activities—ranging from savouring the local cuisine to enjoying the resounding sound of steel bands. A pastel rainbow of dockside warehouses surrounds St. George’s harbour, while the Carenage on the waterfront has duty-free shops that offer great bargains. Other stops to note include the Concord Waterfall, Dougaldston Spice Boucan, Leaper’s Hill, Morne Fendue Plantation House, the Levera National Park and the River Antoine Rum Distillery. You mustn’t forget to drop by Camerhogne Park on the Grand Anse Beach for First Impressions’ whale and dolphin tour. And if diving is more your style, the underwater scenery in Grenada is every bit as breathtaking as it is above the waves. From lazy drift dives over coral gardens to an eerie and challenging exploration of the wrecks of the Bianca C, these waters are captivating more and more visitors each year. The farthest site is around Kick ’em Jenny and Isle de Rhonde, where the underwater visibility is unparalleled and the sea life magnificent. Divers can easily do two dives a day for a week without exhausting Grenada’s dive sites. Perhaps one of the finest resorts in Grenada is Laluna Hotel, an exclusive, Italian-owned romantic hideaway in Morne Rouge. Featuring 16 one and two-bedroom cottages, the resort combines Indonesian elements with open-styled Italian architecture. Bedrooms with king-sized beds open onto large verandahs, creating unique indoor/outdoor living rooms.

62 | GoodLife • March - April 2016

If enjoying the exclusive hand-made soaps and lotions from a monastery in the Italian Alps haven’t kept you from venturing out, partake in a special dinner in the intimate environment of the thatched-roof dining room. Situated directly on the beach, the restaurant offers a great experience, with tempting dishes prepared by the hotel’s European chef, popular Italian wines and romantic views of the bay.

Laluna has recently expanded its accommodation options, adding the luxury villas of Laluna Estates. Back home in Ontario, recalling my Grenada adventures, I smile to myself as I sit in front of my laptop, out of the corner of my eye I can see 50-calibre shell casing I stepped on years ago. From its original home on the Grand Anse Beach, the Grenada souvenir is

now housed on my office bookcase. I guess I have come full circle, where Grenada is concerned. I’m content to share my pleasant memories of this beautiful Caribbean island— instead of my first, more painful recollection.

For more information:,, | 63

in the crowd RICHMOND HILL BUSINESS AWARDS The Richmond Hill Chamber of Commerce held its 25th annual Richmond Hill Business Awards, March 8 at the Sheraton Parkway Toronto North. The winners were: 360 Degrees Kids (non-profit), Sarah Stock of Laserlight Chiropractic & Health Centre (young entrepreneur) Elizabeth Hill of Elizabeth Hill Consulting (lifetime achievement award ), Compugen (mayor’s award) Snap’d Richmond Hill (one to nine employees), E.B. Box Company (10 to 24 employees), emergiTEL (25 to 45 employees) and Maxim Financial Services (49-plus employees). NAOMI HILTZ PHOTOGRAPHY 1.

Sally Abdelmasih and Mav Jain of Sheraton Parkway Toronto North


Stephanie Spring, Kristen Kennedy, Jeannine Beatty and Karen Novia of Oak Ridges Retirement Community


Bryce McGregor and Mara Sepe of Richmond Hill Liberal, Metroland Media


Richmond Hill MPP Reza Moridi and chamber board chair Bryon Wilfert


Ian Nyman, Caron Jones and Stephanie Bernie of YMCA of Greater Toronto


Sharon Chandran of Lott & Company, Chartered Professional Accountants, Arun Channan of Profiles International, chamber director Opal Rowe and Joanne Lott of Lott & Company


Mike Kemper and Gail Kemper of Brainiacs Tutoring & Learning Centre


Michael Maglayo and Kasra Mousavi of Lexus Richmond Hill


Andrea Gust and Christine Quesnelle of Treefrog
















10. Samantha Neale, Sally Abdelmasih and Sandy Xu of Sheraton Parkway Toronto North 11. Mackenzie Health board chair John Mills and board member Ray Archer 12. Janine Purves and Tina Tehranchian of Assante Capital Management 13. Kitty Yung, Daniela Mazzaferro and Yahya Nabih from the office for economic development at the Town of Richmond Hill 14. Richmond Hill Councillor Vito Spatafora, commissioner of planning Ana Bassios, Councilllor Castro Liu and commissioner of corporate and financial services Dean Miller 15. Linda Obadia of HomeLife CultureLink Realty, David Obadia and Arja Lindfors of Retire-atHome Services

64 | GoodLife • March - April 2016



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in the crowd CHINESE NEW YEAR CELEBRATIONS Markham Mayor Frank Scarpitti hosted his annual Chinese New Year dinner, Feb. 18 at the Markham Event Centre.



Alex Shaw, Benjamin Kong and Kammy Zang of Peak Garden Developments


Simon Ip and Daisy Louie


Emily Ding, director of Changzhou Association of Toronto, Markham Councillor Alan Ho and Tommy Tam, president of the World Golf Psychology Association


Alex Zhang of Global Unionville Development, Justin Tse and Karine Wu


Bob Clarke, retired superintendent at the Toronto Police Department, and Rose Clarke


Angel Kwok and Steven Li


Donna Woo, Clarington Councillor Willie Woo, Sandra Tam, senior business development officer for the City of Markham, Markham Councillor Tammy Mok


Johnson Yu of Re/Max, Jason Yu of Re/Max, Markham Councillor Nirmala Armstrong, Markham Councillor Amanda Collucci, Janet Yu of Re/Max and lawyer Amelia Choi


Markham Mayor Frank Scarpitti and Markham Councillor Alan Ho











10. David Lee, Markham Councillor Joe Li and Rita Lee 11. Lelin Ye, vice-president of marketing and sales at Wyview Group, Markham Mayor Frank Scarpitti and Councillor Joe Li


66 | GoodLife • March - April 2016

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68 | GoodLife • March - April 2016