Page 1



The Auld Spot Dishing out a unique style on The Danforth

Julie Sinden A tip of the hat to her vintage creations


Chef Lynn Crawford serves up local fare at Ruby Watchco 速

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contents 32

19 16



6 | Goodlife Beaches - December 2013 - January 2014


shopping spree


slow cooking


in the kitchen


crazy for cocoa




a fresh start




a sharing community



Try these skin-saving selections all winter long

Lynn Crawford brings local flavour to Ruby Watchco

The Auld Spot goes from Scottish to classic pub fare

Warm up with our trio of hot chocolate recipes

Julie Sinden creates vintage modern hats and scarves

Open and airy design make for a cozy Beach home

Paris: city of love, shopping, art and history

CC55 helps 800 families with toys, food and essentials

Bridgepoint’s Great Jewellery Heist is a shining success

VISIT WITH SANTA December 1-24

Complete Hours posted at the Santa Display All children having a photo taken with Santa will receive a FREE Gerard Square loot bag and FREE admission to Santa’s Village. *while supplies last.


Sunday, December 8 & 15 4:30pm to 6pm

HOLIDAY GIFT WRAPPING December 6-24 On the Upper Level at Toys R Us In Support of:

24 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS Follow us on facebook for your chance to win 1 of 24 daily prizes plus a grand prize of $300 in Mall Gift Certificates* *Get your ballot for the grand prize by bringing your Gerrard Square receipt(s) totaling $25 to the Lotto Booth. Receipts must be from December 1 - 24, 2013. Limit one per person per week.

Festivals, food, and friendship

ON THE COVER: Celebrity Chef Lynn Crawford discusses a slower approach to life and cooking.

8 | Goodlife Beaches - December 2013 - January 2014

by Peter Haggert

cessful jewellery heist. More than $200,000 was raised in support of Bidgepoint. You can see proof of the fun they had raising the money on Pages 48 and 49. Let’s not forget the seasonal efforts of Main St.’s Community Centre 55 (Page 46.) Their Share a Christmas campaign helped nearly 800 families last year with essential items and a little bit of Christmas cheer. It’s been 32 years since the centre began the annual campaign and there’s rich appreciation of this community collection of goods that stay in the community for those truly in need. Enjoy the transition to 2014 (where does the time go?) with family and friends. Try a family exercise in cooking. Pick a recipe everyone can own because they contributed to the making. Maybe it’s the start of a family tradition! As always, please let us know what you think of our magazine – and thank you for your support during our successful first year of publication.

Contact GoodLife magazine Editor-in-Chief Peter Haggert at



ere we are, preparing to head into a busy season of festivals, food and friendship. So it’s appropriate in preparation for this edition of GoodLife magazine we spent a good deal of time in the kitchen, learning about great recipes, wonderful places to eat and enjoying fascinating tales of entrepreneurial perseverance. You’ve got to cook with passion and you’ve got to cook with love. But first the simple stuff. You thought you knew cocoa? Well guess again with our fabulous trio of recipes on Page 22. Then let celebrity chef Lynn Crawford, owner of Queen Street East’s Ruby Watchco, motivate you with her obvious joy of cooking and an outstanding love for helping the community. Oh yes, and throw in her recipe for an “Everything green salad with green goddess dressing” (Page 14) as a legacy to the reading of Izabela Jaroszynski’s fine story. Then let chef John Cunningham and owner Nathan Hynes warm you with the new story (Page 16) of the Auld Spot. With fresh ingredients, in–house cooking, the Danforth Pub makes a case to become a home away from home for the dining crowd. One more note – congratulations to Bridgepoint Active Healthcare on their suc-

Publisher Ian Proudfoot

Mailing address: Metroland Media Toronto 175 Gordon Baker Rd. Toronto, ON, M2H 0A2 For further information regarding all our products, please call us at 416-493-4400

General Manager Marg Middleton Editors Julie Caspersen Alan Shackleton Antoine Tedesco Retail Sales Manager Angela Carruthers Regional Director of Production Katherine Porcheron Graphic Design Julie Caspersen Michele McLean Story Contributors Hilary Caton Warren Cartwright Rebecca Field Izabela Jaroszynski Erin Lukas Photography Contributors Dan Pearce Nick Perry

GoodLife is a lifestyle magazine published six times per year: February/March, April/May, June/July, August/September, October/November, December/January by Metroland Media Toronto, a division of Metroland Media Group Ltd. It is delivered to 20,000 households in the Beach, Leslieville, Riverdale, Beach Hill and Danforth neighbourhoods of Toronto, to households served by The Beach Mirror or The East York Mirror. GoodLife magazine is also available at select retail locations in these areas. Statements, opinions and points of view expressed are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent those of the publisher, advertisers or GoodLife magazine. All rights reserved. Any reproduction of this publication in whole or in part must be approved by the publisher.


Ian Proudfoot Publisher Marg Middleton General Manager Peter Haggert Editor-in-Chief Warren Elder Director of Advertising Debra Weller Regional Director of Classified, Real Estate Mike Banville Director of Circulation Katherine Porcheron Regional Director of Production

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winter-proof your complexion BY erin lukas


Protect the sensitive area around your eyes throughout the harsh season with Biotherm’s Blue Therapy Eye, which is suitable for all skin types. The non-sticky, non-shiny cream will reduce wrinkles and darkness as well as keep the skin of your face’s most noticeable feature firm. 25ml pot available for $55.


7 Winter days may be dull, but that doesn’t mean your skin has to match the weather. Brighten your complexion and eliminate pesky dark spots with Estée Lauder’s CyberWhite Brilliant Cells Full Spectrum Brightening Essence. Apply the fastabsorbing serum before your moisturizer every morning and night for the formula’s advanced anti-spot and illuminating technologies to work with your skin’s synergy to achieve clarity and radiance. 30ml tube available for $110. www.

7 Swap your moisturizing lotion for Dermalogica’s Super Rich Repair to combat extreme dehydration caused by chilly environmental conditions as well as correct prematurely aging skin conditions. A rich moisturizer like this one will quench and replenish even the driest of skin to restore its glow. 50ml tube available for $101 at select salons and spas. 10 | Goodlife Beaches - December 2013 - January 2014


Sub-zero temperatures can wreak havoc on your hands, leaving them severely dry and cracked. Soothe sore hands and prevent further damage with Kiehl’s Ultimate Strength Hand Salve. This thick salve is packed with a blend of botanical oils and a natural wax derived from olive oil that offers heavyduty protection throughout the day by repairing your skin’s appearance and protecting it against the frigid winter elements. 7 ml tube available for $18.

Seasonal dryness isn’t limited to your face. Keep your entire body hydrated and feeling smooth with Fresh’s Sugar Açaí Age-Delay Body Cream. Not only is the formula enhanced with Açaí oil that hydrates the skin and provides antioxidant protection, but it also boasts citrus fruit acids that remove dead, dry skin. Sugar apple extract and sweet almond protein that boost collagen production and firmness round out this super cream. 6.8 oz tube available for $75 at Sephora.


slowing down with

Lynn Crawford


h, those look really good.” Lynn Crawford, celebrity chef and owner of Leslieville’s Ruby Watchco, is eyeing a basket of local pears brought in by a merchant. “I’ve also got peaches,” he tells her. “The last batch of the season.” Crawford, known for her love of all things local and fresh, nods her head in appreciation and points him toward the kitchen where her head chef, Lora Kirk, is busy prepping for the evening’s meal. It is mid-afternoon and the kitchen at Ruby Watchco is buzzing. On this

particular day, the menu features a watermelon salad followed by grilled flank steak with sweet hot pepper sauce. Since opening its doors in spring of 2010, Ruby Watchco has become a staple for diners looking for a unique eating experience on this busy stretch of Queen Street East. The concept is pretty simple: the chef decides what to cook, using seasonal ingredients for inspiration, and the diners, well, they eat it. Only one set fourcourse meal is prepared each night and served, family-style, in red Le Creuset dishes. Diners, who’ve often made reservations weeks in advance, won’t know what they’re eating until that day. But Crawford promises it

BY Izabela Jaroszynski Photography by Nick perry will be delicious. “The food that is cooked here is very much how I like to cook at home,” she says. “So I guess I’m very lucky in that I can invite 100 guests to the restaurant every night and it’s like I’m cooking for them at home because Ruby Watchco is very much home to me.” Doing away with an a la carte menu is certainly a bold concept, but Crawford has the credentials to pull it off, day after day. One of Canada’s most recognized celebrity chefs – perhaps best known for her appearance on hit >> | 11

• FEATURE • >> Food Network shows Restaurant Makeover and Pitchin’ In – Crawford has spent nearly three decades working in some of the world’s hottest kitchens. In fact, it was her experience years ago in Alice Waters’ Chez Panisse kitchen in California that inspired her to create a table d’hôte-type atmosphere at Ruby Watchco. “I’ve always been enamored by that dining experience I had years and years ago at Chez Panisse,” Crawford says. “A set menu, chefs with heart, with talent, with passion cooking behind the stoves, creating that dining experience, matching it with local wines and sharing the table. And that’s what we do here.” For Crawford, who has had a spectacular international career since graduating from Toronto’s George Brown College, having her own restaurant in her hometown is a dream come true. “It’s what I’ve always wanted to do and now I’m doing it. I’m very, very lucky.” Luck may actually have very little to do with Crawford’s immense success. The Toronto-born chef has a strong work ethic, putting her heart into each new venture. She rose to the top while working at the prestigious Four Seasons hotel, becoming the company’s first female executive chef. She made a name for herself around the world with her down-to-earth television persona and her infectious love of local, seasonal food. And despite her busy schedule, Crawford finds time for charity work, helping raise funds for cancer research. In honour of a dear friend lost to kidney cancer, Crawford participates each summer as a judge in the Thrill of the Grill, a Danforth rib cooking competition that raises money for kidney cancer research at the Odette Cancer Centre at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre. “If I can inspire, if I can motivate, if I can help, I’ll be the first one there,” she says. On Dec. 7, she will participate in the culinary showdown at the KitchenAid Cook for the Cure at Toronto’s Fairmont Royal York hotel. “I just want to give back,” she says. “Food and fundraising just seems like the perfect match.” If there’s one theme that runs through Crawford’s life and career, it’s the idea of slowing down to share food around a table. She remembers her childhood when sitting down to meals

Ruby Watchco is located at 730 Queen St. E., with Ruby Eats located down the street at 742 Queen St. E. Call Ruby Watchco at 416-465-0100 or visit

12 | Goodlife Beaches - December 2013 - January 2014

‘It’s what I’ve always wanted to do and now I’m doing it. I’m very, very lucky.’ – Lynn Crawford with her family was important. “As you get older, you become busy and those times being at the table with my family, sharing laughter and stories and each other’s company, are the warmest memories. It’s just so important to take that time in the day.”

From the family-friendly atmosphere of her shared dining experience at Ruby Watchco to the simple family meals in her cookbook At Home with Lynn Crawford to the celebration of farmers on her show Pitchin’ In, Crawford just wants to inspire families to cook and eat together. “What I want people to do is I want them to cook at home. I want everybody in our busy lives just to take a moment, just to take a break, and realize that there are great joys in the simplicity of cooking for your family, for your friends, cooking at home.” GL

Top, the interior of Ruby Watchco. Below, Chef Lynn Crawford stocks the shelves of her restaurant with preserves from her retail store, Ruby Eats, located close to the restaurant.


Chatting with Chef Lynn Elevate your home-cooking with these tips from acclaimed Chef Lynn Crawford Get inspired! “You have to be inspired by the ingredients that you like. Look at what’s in season right now and get inspired by that. Get excited about cooking it.”


Stock up! “You should have stocks that you make yourself. It makes sense. You buy the chicken, you break down the chicken and you use the bones after you roast it for stock. You keep the stock for something else, like a soup.”


Be ready! Keep your pantry stocked with good quality ingredients. “You definitely have to have vanilla beans, espelette pepper, sea salt, a peppermill, hot sauce.”


What is your favourite holiday tradition? “For 24 years that I was with the Four Seasons, I never celebrated Christmas on Christmas Day. It was always something that you would celebrate before or after. Here at Ruby Watchco, we shut down for a couple of weeks and let all the staff enjoy family and friends during that festive time. I think that’s very special.” “My father always cooked a Scottish breakfast on Christmas day and it was always this highlight for us. He would prepare this great Scottish breakfast with tattie scones, eggs and black pudding sausage. He passed away many years ago and I still carry on that tradition.” | 13


everything green salad with green goddess dressing recipe I love salads to be filled with lots of vegetables rather than lots of lettuce. I add Boston lettuce to this one for its buttery flavour and wonderful silkiness, but otherwise I stick to beautiful robust green vegetables. The peas and asparagus – bright green, warm, and sweet – will stand out, complemented by the avocado’s creaminess, the dill’s freshness, and the feta’s saltiness. Serves 4

BY lynn crawford

ions, avocado, dill and feta. Add dressing and toss until salad is well coated. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve immediately.

Green Goddess Dressing with Shallot & Herbs Makes 1 1/2 cups (375 mL) 1 ripe avocado, peeled

1⁄2 cup (125 mL) sugar snap peas

1 shallot, chopped

4 spears asparagus, trimmed and cut in 2-inch (5 cm) pieces

1 clove garlic, peeled

1 baby cucumber, sliced

1⁄2 cup (125 mL) sour cream

1 small zucchini, cut in ribbons with a vegetable peeler

1⁄2 cup (125 mL) loosely packed flat-leaf parsley leaves

1 head Boston lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces 2 green onions, sliced 1 small avocado, peeled and cut in wedges 2 sprigs dill, coarsely chopped 2 oz (55 g) feta cheese, crumbled 1⁄2 cup (125 mL) Green Goddess Dressing Salt and pepper

1 cup (250 mL) mayonnaise

Half fill a medium saucepan with cold salted water and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Add snap peas and boil for 1 minute. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a bowl of ice water to stop cooking process and set colour. Boil asparagus for 1 minute, then transfer to ice water. When cooled, drain peas and asparagus on paper towels. In a large bowl, gently toss together peas, asparagus, cucumber, zucchini, lettuce, green on-

2 tbsp (30 mL) chopped chives 2 tbsp (30 mL) lemon juice Salt and pepper Place avocado, shallot, garlic, mayonnaise, sour cream, parsley, chives and lemon juice in a blender and process until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer dressing to a container, cover, and refrigerate until ready to use.

Melanie’s Bistro A Chef Owned and Operated Restaurant

1870 Danforth Ave., 416-422-1870 Toronto (West Of Woodbine)

Wishing You All Seasons Greetings

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Now taking reservations for a special New Years eve dinner Toronto Life calls “this east-end bistro (is) an anomaly in this non-trendy strip of the Danforth” Jan, 2009 BRUNCH SAT-SUN 10AM-3PM LUNCH TUES-FRI 11:30-2:30 DINNER TUES-SUN 5PM ONWARD



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916 Kingston Rd. (West of Victoria Park)




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Spot On

The Auld Spot serves homemade food with high-end ingredients


ince the inauguration of The Auld Spot on the Danforth more than 15 years ago, it’s gone from an authentic Scottish pub, to one that is breaking all the rules of classic pub fare for owner Nathan Hynes and Chef John Cunningham. GoodLife: Can you tell me about your food philosophy? Nathan Hynes: We took over the space in 2005 and it was a Scottish pub...which was pretty cool, but I just wanted to make it not have any rules about what kind of food we were going to have. So it’s less of a theme. We just wanted to make homemade food with really high-end ingredients. With the specials we try to do stuff that normally you would get in a fine dining restaurant, but you could have it here with the same ingredients, but at a more reasonable price in a more casual environment. GoodLife: Are there any crowd favourites on the menu? Nathan Hynes: Our poutine is very popular here. We have a very simple kind of classic poutine, but we use local organic cheese curds. We make our own gravy. Our fries are very impor16 | Goodlife Beaches - December 2013 - January 2014

tant to us. Everything starts with the french fry here because we do hand-cut fries. We chase potatoes around all year to make sure we have the best potato. If we have the perfect french fry, everything else kind of follows. John Cunningham: Especially with a dish as popular as poutine. Just the perfect crunchy fry. If they don’t get it, they’re not happy. Nathan Hynes: Yeah, crunchy, fluffy, good french fry. It used to be more difficult, it’s getting easier now because we’ve mastered our technique over the years. The quality of the potatoes we’re able to get is getting better. We seem to spend our year chasing perfect potatoes around the world. And now we have an Irish chef so it’s perfect. Oysters are a big thing for us, we always do fresh shucked oysters. There’s nowhere really on the Danforth that does them or on this side of town really. We get them from Rodney’s Oysters. We have a really good relationship with those guys. We always have two kinds of oysters, one east, one west, and on Tuesdays we have half-priced oyster night where we do $1.50 oysters. GoodLife: How much of your food is made in-house and how much do you get locally? Nathan Hynes: All of our food is made in-house,

Chef John Cunningham, left, and owner Nathan Hynes of The Auld Spot on the Danforth.

BY REBECCA FIELD Photography by Nick perry we make everything from scratch. The only thing we don’t do in-house is we don’t bake our own bread – yet. We will be. The onion rings, only out of necessity, because we have a very small kitchen and we only have two fryers. To make homemade onion rings on the scale that we do here would just be impossible because we just couldn’t cook anything else in there. So that’s the one thing that we buckle on, but that could change as well. GoodLife: You’re planning on baking bread here soon? Nathan Hynes: We’re just toying around, John’s background is a baking background. John Cunningham: I’ve done everything from bakery to butchery, so we want to try to get as much of it as we can in-house and do our own butchery, do our own sausages, do everything. And then you have a much better product for the customer to have. Our clientele have really seen that. Nathan Hynes: We do a lot of R and D here.



The casual interior of The Auld Spot on the Danforth.

>> We don’t just take a recipe out of a book and cook it, we really try to invent our own styles of food.

GoodLife: What kind of atmosphere can people expect when they come into The Auld Spot? Nathan Hynes: Our servers have all worked here for a long time and they all treat everybody like they’re friends. Everybody gets treated like a regular. You’re always going to have interesting and adventurous specials. Really good homemade food, interesting ever-changing wine list, good selection of Ontario craft beer, lots of interesting whiskey, bourbon, scotch. It gets loud in here. The music’s loud, people talk loud, it’s fun. It seems like no matter where you are in town, or not in town, you’re always running into somebody. Everybody seems to know this place. It’s been here for a long time, too. It just seems like one of those places, like everyone’s been here even if they’re living on the other side of town. GoodLife: How does The Auld Spot fit into the Danforth and Riverdale area?

Nathan Hynes: This neighbourhood is very supportive of one another. We all go to each other’s restaurants. We all hang out together. We all recommend each other’s places. It’s very communal here. We’re like a family. We all look out for each other. We all want each other to do well. The more restaurants we have in the area that are doing well, the better it is because it becomes a restaurant destination. The Danforth is like a small town within the city. It feels like you live in a small town even though the only thing separating you from downtown is the Don Valley, so you really get that feeling around here. And people who live in this area eat in this area. The community supports the restaurants here. I think that’s why it’s done so well for so long. John Cunningham: I think it is the whole community feel here. It kind of transfers from community into all the restaurants and everyone fits in together. GL The Auld Spot is at 347 Danforth Ave. Call 416-406-4688, or visit

Top, a traditional British dish of bangers and mash. Middle, a seared tuna burger. Above, The Auld Spot offers two kinds of fresh shucked oysters, one from the East Coast and one from the West. | 17


step out of your food comfort zone with these wintEry harveST recipes




saffron yellow bell pepper soup 4 large Ontario greenhouse yellow bell peppers, roasted, peeled and seeded* 1 tbsp butter 1 white onion, diced

*Roasting method

1/4 cup vegetable oil

Coat bell peppers with a light layer of vegetable oil. Rotate peppers over open flame, either on a barbecue or gas stove, until peppers turn black and blister. If an open flame isn’t available, a broiler can be used. Slice peppers in half and remove the core, seeds and membrane. On a broiler plate, place peppers open side down and broil until skins are black and blistered. Cover peppers in a bowl and allow to rest 15 minutes. Peel off the black skin.

1 garlic clove, minced 2 cups chicken stock 1 large carrot, sliced 1 small jalapeño 1/4 tsp saffron threads 1 cup half and half cream salt and white pepper to taste

In a large sauce pan, melt the butter over medium heat, then add garlic and onions. Saute for five minutes. Stir in the stock, carrot, roasted Ontario greenhouse yellow bell peppers and jalapeno pepper. Crumble in saffron. Bring stock to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer. Cover for 20 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Puree in food processor until mixture is smooth. Strain, add cream and season to taste. Serve immediately with sprigs of cilantro. Serves four. Chef’s trick: To obtain an even colour with saffron, soak the threads in hot liquid for 15 minutes before adding another ingredient. Recipe courtesy of Ontario Greenhouse Vegetable Growers

ontario brussels sprouts casserole 3 lb Brussels sprouts, sliced across (slice from top to bottom leaving out bottom part of stem) 300 g bacon, cut into thin strips 2 medium onions, thinly sliced 6 cloves garlic, finely chopped 1 head fennel, quartered lengthwise and thinly sliced (optional) 2 cups dry white wine 500 ml 35 per cent cream 1/2 bunch herbs chopped (fresh thyme, oregano, sage or savoury) 3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (old white cheddar can be substituted) 1/4 cup canola oil Salt and pepper In a large heavy bottomed sauce pot cook bacon in canola oil over medium low heat (ba-

18 | Goodlife Beaches - December 2013 - January 2014

con actually gets crispier when cooked in some oil), stirring occasionally. When bacon is crisp, add onions, garlic and fennel if using, and sweat, stirring occasionally until soft. Add Brussels sprouts and a large pinch of salt. Turn heat up to medium and cover for about 30 seconds. Stir sprouts, when they are a bright green, turn heat up to high and add wine. When wine has reduced, add cream (sprouts do not need to be fully cooked at this point because they will finish cooking in the oven), add salt and pepper to taste keeping in mind the cheese is salty. Let cream reduce by a 1/4, then remove from heat and cool slightly. Add chopped herbs and some of the cheese (keep some cheese for sprinkling on top before baking). Transfer to a casserole dish, sprinkle remain-

ing cheese on top. You can do it up to this point a day or even two in advance. If you are serving it right away place in a 350 F oven uncovered, until cheese starts to brown. If you are baking it from cold, wrap in foil and put in a 325 F oven for 10 to 15 minutes, then turn oven to 350 F, uncover, and bake until cheese browns Note: In December when Ontario Brussels sprouts are no longer available, you can substitute green cabbage. Recipe courtesy of Chef Tawfik Shehata




classic hot cocoa

homemade hot cocoa mix

1/2 cup sugar

Makes 22 servings using 1/3 cup mix or 30 servings using 1/4 cup mix

1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

4 cups non-fat dry milk powder

1/8 tsp salt

1 1/2 cups sugar

1/3 cup half and half cream 4 cups whole milk

1 cup non-dairy powdered coffee creamer

whipped cream or mini marshmallows

2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

Makes 5 servings

In medium saucepan, whisk together sugar, cocoa and salt until blended. Then whisk in the half and half. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a boil. Simmer one to two minutes, stirring constantly. Add milk; stirring constantly, heat until warm. Do not boil. Remove cocoa from heat; whisk or beat until frothy. Pour into mugs and top with whipped cream or marshmallows. Recipe courtesy of Laura Powell,

1 (4 oz) package instant chocolate pudding Place all of the above ingredients together in a large bowl. Whisk together until well combined. Store in an airtight container. To prepare a cup of hot cocoa: add 1/4 to 1/3 cup of mix (I like 1/3 cup) to eight ounces of hot water. Stir until blended. Note: Different flavours of non-dairy powdered coffee creamers can be used to make a gourmet flavoured version. Recipe courtesy of Laura Powell,

mayan fire truffle shot Serves 2 to 4 This is an amazing, rich chocolate drink with many different layers. Rich and smooth, with a spicy kick at the end, it will take your tastebuds on an unforgettable journey! 300 to 325 ml hot water 3 tbsp plus 1 tsp extra virgin coconut oil


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3 tbsp plus 1 tsp Organic Fair Trade raw cacao powder (raw, untreated cocoa) 3 tbsp plus 1 tsp agave nectar generous pinch ground allspice generous pinch ground chili 1/2 tsp Organic orange zest Place all ingredients into a blender, and pour the hot water on top. Carefully blend, with the blender small cap slightly open/tilted (to allow for hot steam to escape). Blend on a slow speed, increasing speed for about 30 seconds. Make sure the main lid is secure. To avoid chocolate explosions, I like to place a towel on top, while holding the lid down firmly. Recipe courtesy of

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studded sensations BY erin lukas


Take a walk on the wild side by carrying this satchel by popular footwear designer Christian Louboutin, known for his exquisite red-soled heels. Gold studs over leopard-print calf hair will not go unnoticed in a sea of black bags. Spiked Leopard-Print Satchel Bag, $2,395 at Holt Renfrew.




Stack this silver bangle by Eddie Borgo or wear it alone to add some attitude to your favourite outfits. As one of the designer’s signature pieces, the bracelet is adored by trendsetters and jewelry lovers alike. Bangle, $510 at Holt Renfrew. Stand out in a far-from-average pencil skirt. The metal eyelet grommets on this soft leather skirt by Burberry give the timeless ladylike silhouette a total refresh and is a sophisticated way to channel your inner punk. Leather Eyelet Skirt, $3,595 at Burberry,





Kids can channel their inner rock star with a studded graphic top like this long-sleeve navy shirt by Ralph Lauren Childrenswear. Metallic accents on the punk-inspired motif provide a youthful take on one of this season’s biggest trends. Long-sleeve jersey top, $40 at The Bay.


Leave your baggage at home and keep your essentials close in a stylish pouch by the Canadian-based design duo behind Ela. Pyramid studs toughen up blush leather to add an element of cool to your wardrobe. Editor’s Pouch in Vintage Pink Stud, $218 at eLuxe.



A tried and true men’s footwear classic, the leather loafer gets an edgy update by way of allover gold studs and matching hardware. Pair these statement shoes by Gucci with casual weekend outfits or if you’re daring, your best business wear. The 1953 Horsebit Loafer, $895 at Holt Renfrew. Instead of playing it safe in run-of-the-mill basic sweaters, upgrade your cool weather staples with subtle studs. This crewneck Topshop jumper is trendy, yet refined enough to wear to work or in the evening. Knitted embellished jumper, $76 at Topshop at Hudson’s Bay.

7 | 21


Stacey Sniderman,Vice President of Update TV & Stereo


“We are currently one of the only stores in Toronto that are embracing Sony’s 4K technology for TV, which is the way of the future for television.” When it comes to home electronics, Sony is a leader in creativity, innovation and design— and as a dealer of new, exciting, never-before-seen products, Update TV & Stereo knows a good brand when it sees one. “Anything that is changing and evolving in technology, we are embracing it,” says Stacey Sniderman, Vice President of Update TV & Stereo. “We’ve dealt Sony products since we opened 21 years ago, starting with their CD player. Their products have evolved into higher end, top-ofthe-line, and today we sell Sony as lifestyle electronics for our clients.” Update TV & Stereo is on the cutting edge of technology, offering a 2,000 sq.ft. showroom dedicated to the future of home electronics. “We are currently one of the only stores in

Toronto that are embracing Sony’s 4K technology for TV, which is the way of the future for television,” says Sniderman. “4K format is not yet supported by cable providers – but it will be in a few years – which is why it’s beneficial to upscale to 4K when looking to upgrade yourTV or projector.” Sniderman calls it “future proofing.” With four times the resolution of regular TV, Sony’s 4K TV is ultra HD—and it’s creating a lot of buzz. Proudly displayed in the showroom, the TV shows the impeccable upgrade in display clarity thanks to the latest Reality Creation database and Super Resolution processing— as is the case with the Sony 4K projector. “We are also one of the first retailers to sell the Sony 4K projector in North America,” says Sniderman. “Many people think you can’t get the same picture quality from a projector as you can a TV, but with Sony, the projectors traditionally have a film-like quality, as opposed to something that looks computer animated.” Another first is Sony’s curved LED TV. The only one of its kind, Update TV & Stereo is the first showroom in Toronto to have it on display. “A lot of retailers shy away from displaying it on the floor due to the slight premium in cost that comes with the unique curvature feature,” says Sniderman. “But we want to give our customers the whole experience.”

U P D AT E T VA N D S T E R E O . C O M 22 | Goodlife Beaches - December 2013 - January 2014

1 0 7 5 5 L E S L I E S T. I

The screen is curved to give viewers a very immersed, realistic experience with a great field of depth. With four speakers built into the sides and virtually no glare, it offers a true theatre experience like no other. “The experience is beyond watching TV, it’s like you’re there.” But what is picture quality without superior sound? A leader in sound for many years, Sony is bringing TV and movies to life with its sound bar while maintaining a sleek, modern design— discretely displayed in your media room. Sony’s sound bar is a true 7.1 and has a built in receiver which can be placed between a mantel and TV and includes a wireless sub woofer. “Sony is the best when it comes to digital sound creation,” assures Sniderman.“We tested it against other units that are true surround sound, and they came out on top.” As a full-service home AV and solutions company, UpdateTV & Stereo takes care of everything from providing the products to pre-installation of home entertainment and smart-home technology, to post calibration. “We set up entire homes with a free consultation to the schematics and optimization,” says Sniderman. “We are THX system certified, and can bring our own crew to pull wires in a new home before we install.” With smart-home AV technology being top priority in new home builds and renovations, Update TV & Stereo recommends Sony ES receivers. “The receiver is Control4 certified and is the first AV receiver with built in home automation,” says Sniderman. “It has stunning 4K audio video quality, and allows you to stream music and video with easy home control capability.” Update TV & Stereo is dedicated to improving the lifestyle at home with the best in home entertainment solutions. Sony’s Xperia Tablet is a universal infrared remote with one-touch connectivity with NFC. It allows you to control theTV, radio, DVR boxes and much more with a few taps. The world’s thinnest 0.1 inch tablet is water and dust resistance allowing you to take it anywhere from the living room to the pool side. “Whatever your lifestyle in the home, we want to enhance it and offer the best home entertainment experience possible,” says Sniderman.“And that involves Sony’s innovative home entertainment products. Come and have a look for yourself.”










S T O R E . S O N Y. C A | 23



y this time of year, Julie Sinden is running a tight ship. Orders for homemade hats and scarves were taken in the early fall, and in November she’s ready to send them off to their new homes in time for the holidays. Once they are off, Sinden, of Julie Sinden Handmade, will be on the road for five weeks participating in craft shows in Vancouver, Ottawa, Toronto and Picton. “It’s game on right now,” Sinden says. Sinden’s line of functional and fashionable winter wear includes scarves, eight styles of hats, two of which are unisex, which she describes as “vintage modern.” “The shape and the style has a bit of a 1920s kind of feel, without being too costume-y,” Sinden says. All of her hats are made of 100 per cent merino-boiled wool and created by felting (shrinking) the hats in hot water. It’s a process that sees the hat transform from large and knitted to a shrunken version of itself 24 | Goodlife Beaches - December 2013 - January 2014

BY Hilary Caton Photography by nick perry

ARTISTprofile Julie Sinden that’s almost unrecognizable. “It’s just like when you accidentally shrink your wool sweaters, except I’m doing it on purpose. It shrinks so much it becomes thick and dense,” Sinden says. “It’s a controlled process. It’s a very annoying feature of wool when you don’t want it to happen, but a very cool feature if that’s what you’re going for. They’re a great solid winter hat that keeps you really, really warm.” Sinden first got into the hat-making business six years ago when she took part in a studio tour in her hometown of Port Dover, near Brantford, ON, after she graduated from the textile program at Kootnenay School of the Arts in Nelson, B.C. She was still working with merino wool and made woven baby blankets, small upholstery

items, purses and hats. “I had about 10 hats and they just went like that in about the first hour,” she says, snapping her fingers. “It was the perfect time of year. “So I was like, OK, maybe I’ll keep doing that. I guess I stumbled into the actual hat part of it.” From there, Sinden did a variety of small craft shows while waitressing full time. She continued making her hats, using the tips she made to buy more wool. Then one day she decided to become a vendor at the One of a Kind Show. “I was basically sold out after the first five days (of the show) and it’s 11 days long!” Sinden says. “I took orders, and spent the next few weeks making them. After that show I quit waitressing and did that full time.” Six years later, Sinden has an online store as well as three part-time knitters to help her with the busy fall seasons, and her products can be found across Canada and in some parts of the United States thanks to wholesale buyers. But even with a booming business, a bricks >>


line, once the baby arrives and she and her husband have settled into a new routine. She says she is also exploring the possibility of home décor items. “It is such an amazing fabric and you can do so much with it.” Sinden would like to create small house items such as ottomans, chairs and throws, all made out of the same merino wool. But could there be baby line in the future as well? “I don’t think so, they’re more cotton creatures,” Sinden says.“But I have been making little sweaters and blankets in preparation.” GL

and mortar establishment isn’t in her future – she’s expecting a baby Christmas Eve and she says things will need to change. Plus, she enjoys the freedom she has now and is just looking to increase online business. “It’s a lot of work (a bricks and mortar store) and you’re really committed to it and because of the seasonal nature of my product, it doesn’t really make sense,” says Sinden. “Plus I get to spend the summer in (my) home town and work from there. If you have a store, you can’t do stuff like that.” But Sinden is thinking about expanding her


Opposite page, Sinden wears a ribbon hat. Above, from left, a turban hat, a fur hat and a flower cloche.

To view more of Julie Sinden’s creations, visit

Nisbet Lodge and McClintock Manor celebrating 60 years of providing care and services to the seniors and their families in east Toronto

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• WINE •

tried and true Everyone needs a few house wines to warm the heart and get you through the work week. Not to mention the long painful winter ahead. These are not weekend wow wines to curl your toes. Alas, those generally cost a bit more. We will mention a few luxury level ones

once the snow hits and you truly need salvation and escape. Here are my winners for sheer value from around 50 wines tasted recently from the massive 2,000-plus wines widely available on the LCBO’s “General List.” Enjoy.


Casal Thaulero 2012 Merlot Cabernet Sauvignon $7.95 (Italy) Aromas of spicy plum and ripe black cherry, and flavours of mulberry, spicy cherry and a hint of black pepper. There are also hints of vanilla-laced spicy black cherry. LCBO #621953 Food suggestion: penne with tomatoes and spicy sausages Rating: 89

JP Azieto 2012 Tintoretto Red $8.95 (Portugal) A top value from Portugal, with a bouquet of plum, clove, sage and blackberry. The finish is very mellow, with lingering sage and clove notes. A terrific party red. LCBO #286195 Food suggestion: pepperoni pizza or chevre burgers Rating: 89

Concilio 2011 Pinot Grigio $12.45 (Italy) Here’s a great one, with a bouquet of lovely lemony pear, and pert flavours of candied pear, apple spice and lime slices. It’s clean, brimming with fruitiness, and very satisfying. LCBO #637595 Food suggestion: crab cakes Rating: 89+

26 | Goodlife Beaches - December 2013 - January 2014

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Don't Be Envious, Be The Envy! 1944 Queen St. E., 416.699.3407

• BEER •

warm up to



estled inside our warm homes, beers with enough body to warm you to the bone await at the LCBO. Another great collection of Ontario craft beers arrived including the bold and hoppy Plowman’s Ale (Grand River Brewing, Cambridge) with its five kinds of hops and chocolate, toffee, molasses sweetness. (3 out of 5). Black Oak Oaktoberfest (Black Oak Brewing Co., Toronto) is creamy smooth with a silk mouthfeel, which works nicely with the malty, oaken notes. (3 out of 5).

The head on the Bolshevik Bastard Russian Imperial Stout (Better Bitters Brewing Co., Burlington) quickly recedes leaving behind a lovely taste of roasted malts, dark chocolate and bitter coffee. The cloudy, pale golden colour of the Kissmeyer Nordic Pale Ale (Beau’s All Natural Brewing, Vankleek Hill) is augmented nicely with botanicals such as rose hips and dried heather flowers that are quite apparent in the floral aroma. (3 out of 5). All that said, there were a few noticeable standouts:






Vanilla Porter Mill Street Brewery (Toronto, ON)

Russian Gun Imperial Stout Grand River Brewing (Cambridge, ON)

Winter Beard Double Chocolate Cranberry Stout Muskoka Brewery (Bracebridge, ON)

Lake Effect IPA Great Lakes Brewery (Toronto, ON)

Weizenbock Mill Street Brewery (Toronto, ON)

It’s no surprise Mill St. Brewery’s Vanilla Porter is a cult classic at the Brewpub. This English-style dark ale greets the glass with caramel malt and continues to fascinate with its dark amber colour. It pours with a tight thick head, is smooth from the first sip and remains that way with its pure vanilla extract adding a warm, captivating flavour. There’s also a hint of chocolate, which mixes well with the spicy aromas of dried fruit.

Russian Gun Imperial Stout pours with a noticeable thickness and offers a slight, dark tan head atop the opaque near-black liquid. The flavours – primarily dark chocolate and molasses with a hint of coffee – are distinct but not overpowering. The brew offers a roasted malty bitterness with some staying power. It’s thickness remains in the mouthfeel, with the stout highly drinkable, but also heavy and filling. It’s definitely a solid beer for earlywinter, with richness and its 8.5% alcohol content making it a beverage to be savoured.

Age has been very kind to this bottle of 2011 vintage Stout from Bracebridge’s Muskoka Brewery. The dark black, nearly opaque, beer has a subtle but very pleasant aroma. It smells of dried fruit and dark malt. The thick creamy head has lasting power. Cranberry and chocolate are obviously present in the flavour. It’s well balanced between bitter and sweet, with just a hint of tartness in the aftertaste. This beer is perfect for chillier temperatures.

The beer is a cloudy, pale golden colour with a slight orange hue. The off-white head is thick and frothy, with a layer of foam lacing the glass from top to bottom as you enjoy the beer. The aroma is pine and citrus classic markers of North American hops. Malt flavours don’t stand out, but it has enough sweetness to back up the strong bitterness. Bitter is the key word in describing an IPA and this beer is no exception. The bite isn’t overly harsh though and if you enjoy the style, you’re in for a treat.

Mill Street Brewery’s Weizenbock hits you up front on the nose with the sweetness of bubble gum and banana, backed up by subtle notes of clove and cinnamon. This unfiltered beer is hazy from the high wheat content and residual yeast. It’s hazelnut in colour with a frothy offwhite head that settles to a thin ring around the edge of the glass. The use of wheat also adds a distinct silkiness to the mouthfeel. Definitely not a dry beer; the sweetness is matched with some warming character from the alcohol.

Pairing suggestions: hearty cuisine such as butternut squash soup, baked apples and slow cooker stews Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Pairing suggestions: dark meat or game

Pairing suggestions: savoury snacks such as toasted pumpkin seeds, or try it with vanilla ice cream as dessert

Rating: 4 out of 5

Rating: 4 out of 5

28 | Goodlife Beaches - December 2013 - January 2014

Pairing suggestions: spicy dishes such as jambalaya or Indian curries Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Pairing suggestions: roast beef for a hearty winter supper Rating: 3.5 out of 5

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Offering expert tailoring on site with free estimates • Sewing machine repairs to all brands done on site • Learn to sew like a PRO! Register today with certified instructors. Many levels to choose from including private and kids classes • Register online at • High quality sewing machines like a HEAVY DUTY from $ $ 198 reg. 329 • All Janome sewing machines have the lowest price tag • Every purchase comes with free private lessons • All machines come with a 17 year warranty • Sews through denim to silk without trouble Give that special someone the gift of creativity with The largest manufacturer of sewing machines in the world

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Give your guests a glittering entrance with this set of outdoor ornaments from Pottery Barn. Available in a set of three, each uniquely shaped ornament is lit from within and brushed with an antique mercury finish for the prettiest glow. Lit Mercury Glass Outdoor Ornaments, $89 for a set of three at Pottery Barn.



  Add a touch of elegance to your Holiday trimming with pre-lit garland from Pier 1 Imports. Adorned with warm gold beads and sparkling ornaments of various sizes, hang it on your staircase or doorway for a sophisticated touch that’s still warm and welcoming. Pre-Lit Garland in Gold, $69.95 at Pier 1 Imports,

Liven up your holiday display with a sophisticated reindeer from Pottery Barn. This cast aluminum statue with a bronze finish of the popular fabled animal is a regal way to greet visitors at your doorway throughout the season. Bronze Reindeer, $300 at Pottery Barn. potterybarn. com

Dress up your front door with a wreath from HomeSense that’s traditional with a twist. Although it may be garnished with classic Holiday favourites like berries and pinecones, the addition of wood antlers make this wreath standout from the rest. Berry and Pinecone Wreath with Wood Antler Detail (24’), $39.99 at HomeSense.

Fake a fresh snowfall to really get in the Holiday spirit with this frosted topiary and wreath from Canadian Tire. Conveniently prelit and battery operated for endless placement possibilities, the two pieces in this matching set make decorating easy. Pre-lit Topiary with Battery Operated Wreath, $124.99 at Canadian Tire. | 31


A Fresh Start mother and teen daughter both benefit from open and airy renovation


he cottage aesthetic in an urban setting isn’t a novel concept when looking into the homes of Toronto’s Beach neighbourhood. In the case of one home in particular, arts and crafts detailing and a connection with nature is present throughout the open concept kitchen, designed by interior designer Shelley Kirsch. Looking for a fresh start after a divorce, Alex Newman commissioned her friend of almost 20 years to convert the compartmentalized, closedoff living space into an open and airy haven – a place where her teenage daughter would feel comfortable hanging out. “I love her work, and she said you know it’s time you did something for yourself and got rid 32 | Goodlife Beaches - December 2013 - January 2014

of that old life,” says Newman, a freelance writer who met Kirsch while writing a story on a Victorian farm house Kirsch had designed in 1995. “I wanted to make sure that (my daughter) had a nice place that was open concept that she would bring her friends,” says Newman who said her daughter, Anna, continually fought against the more outrageous details Kirsch suggested, but came around in the end. “So we got it, and now she spends most of her time roaming the streets with her friends,” she laughs. The renovations were finished on time and without any real difficulties – something she gives credit to Kirsch as a professional for knowing all of the contractors, and pushing her into

BY REBECCA FIELD Photography by dan pearcE choosing certain details that she wouldn’t have thought of herself – including levelling off the floor and vaulting the ceiling at the back of the house. “The feeling of the house is obvious,” said Kirsch, sitting at the long, low-maintenance, quartz island. “To pretend that the house is different would be a mistake.” Kirsch’s design connects the kitchen to the backyard through floor-to-ceiling windows and French doors shaded by a large maple tree. Through the glass, a couple of cats hang >>


Homeowner Alex Newman sits in her newly renovated open and airy kitchen, designed by Shelley Kirsch. >> out in a cat enclosure. and French doors shaded by a large maple tree. Through the glass, a couple of cats hang out in a cat enclosure. The pale greenish hues present in the door framing, wall colour, and kitchen backsplash bring the outdoors in – lengthening the feel of the space. “The potential for the backyard was not being exploited, and we so much wanted to bring light into the house,” says Kirsch. “When you use these kinds of seafoamcoloured glass and you use a light colour floor, it’s not jarring at all.” The eclectic feel of the room continues with the cabinetry, built with two different materials – painted lacquer and a stained oak base cabinet. The laminate countertop has a wood edge lining to dress it up against the opposing quartz. A strip of oak covers the hanging bulkhead in the middle of the room, bordered in copper with copper nailheads, tying in the look with the oak cabinetry, giving the room a lofty feel. Kirsch kept a big oak dining table New-

‘The colours, the textures; they’re sort of tipping their hat to something that is of a different era.’ – Shelley Kirsch man already had in the home and added cedar shakes onto the side of the house, visible from the kitchen and the sitting area in the corner of the room. “Even the detailing extended to the outside,” said Kirsch. “It’s these kinds of things that blend very well with the outside. These tones of green brings all of the foliage in.” Kirsch’s design further respects the cottage and arts and crafts motifs through her use of Newman’s collection of vintage knick-knacks. The walls are lined with paintings done by Newman’s great aunts and uncles, which were reframed and hung by a local framer. “The fact that Alex’s family did this artwork – they’re wonderful. They also suit the vintage

of the house,” says Kirsch. The paintings are from around the same time that the house was built in 1927. With respect to Kirsch’s attention to detail, hanging underneath the room’s original crown moulding is a collection of vintage Beaches Lions Club plates brought home by Newman’s grandfather from all over the United States. He was president of the Lion’s club in the 1920s. “These were novelty souvenir plates that were prepared for these kinds of general meetings, but they have a lot of iconic interest for me,” says Kirsch, respecting the proximity of the house to the Beaches Lions Club and the history of the neighbourhood. Near the plates you can see Victorian tin on the side of the fridge, adding a contemporary feel to the vintage detailing of the kitchen. “The colours, the textures – they’re sort of tipping their hat to something that is of a different era,” said Kirsch. “But at the same time, it’s very contemporary. Ten years from now, you’ll walk into this kitchen and there’ll be nothing about it >> | 33


>> updated powder room at the back of the house. “It wasn’t providing for the function that it was intended for,” says Kirsch, who added a new sink and vanity, along with heated floors and a window. The sitting area, which was intended as a place for Newman to wind down after dinner and get some work done, has also been taken over by Anna and her friends. “Alex imagined that her daughter would be in the TV room, so she wanted to have a separate area where she could sit and read. She’s taken over the whole space. It’s fair game for everybody,” says Kirsch. “People will use the benefits of the renovation,” she says. “Why are you going through this if it’s not going to improve family life?” After Newman and Anna spent a winter secluded upstairs during the renovations, they’re now taking advantage of the space that was built just for them. GL

See more designs by Shelley Kirsch at

The sitting area next to the kitchen is a popular hangout for Newman and her daughter, Anna.

Edward R. Phillips Certified Interior Decorator 519-841-6363

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34 | Goodlife Beaches - December 2013 - January 2014










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& january


UNTIL DEC. 15 Toronto Christmas Market Distillery Historic District, Cherry and Mill streets, Monday to Friday, noon to 9 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. A traditional European-style Christmas market offers events, children’s activities, vendors, beer garden and more. UNTIL DEC. 18 Nellies Online Holiday Auction Website: Bid on items from gift baskets to gift certificates during Nellie’s Online Holiday Auction. Money raised will help women and children fleeing abuse. DEC. 17 Blue Christmas Service Eastminister United Church, 310 Danforth Ave., 7 to 8 p.m. Website: www.eastminsteruc. org A peaceful service for those

who find little comfort at this time of year. DEC. 4, 11 & 18 Craft Connections Gerrard/Ashdale library, 1432 Gerrard St. E., 2 to 3 p.m. Call: 416-393-7717 An afternoon gathering for adult crafters. Learn a craft, teach a craft and create personal and community projects in a friendly casual setting. DEC. 5 Christkindl Market Community Centre 55, 97 Main St., 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Call: Evonne, 416-691-1113, ext. 222 Cost: $70 Community Centre 55 hosts a trip to the Christkindl Market in Kitchener, a traditional German seasonal market, followed by lunch and a tour of the MacDonald Stewart Art Centre. DEC. 5 Holiday Origami for Adults Queen/Saulter library, 765 Queen St. E., 4 to 5 p.m. Call: 416-393-7723 Make themed origami that you can use to get into the spirit of the holiday season. Materials are provided. SATURDAYS IN DECEMBER Adult’s Chess Club Gerrard/Ashdale library, 1432 Gerrard St. E., 1 to 2:30 p.m. Call: 416-393-7717 Those 13 and older can enjoy a casual game of chess. DEC. 14 Cookie Decorating for Kids Riverdale library, 370 Broadview Ave., 2 to 3 p.m.

36 | Goodlife Beaches - December 2013 - January 2014


DEC. 10 Carolling in the Park Glen Stewart Park, just south of the wooden bridge at the park, which is on Glen Manor Drive, just north of Queen Street East, 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. Call: David Breech at 416-7599997 Featuring traditional Christmas carols and contemporary holiday-themed songs with accompaniment by the Salvation Army band. Song sheets will be available. Hot apple cider and hot chocolate will be served and donations to the Sally Ann appreciated. Santa Claus will hand out candy canes.

Dave ‘Nacho’ Emilio, centre, heads out at the start of the annual Hair of the Dog run and walk at the Balmy Beach Club Jan. 1, 2013. The event brought out some 100 participants willing to get the blood flowing following their New Year’s Eve celebrations.

Call: 416-393-7720 Come listen to a holiday story and decorate some cookies to take home. For children two and up. Registration required. DEC. 18 Brain Busters Queen/Saulter library, 765 Queen St. E., 4 to 5 p.m. Call: 416-393-7723 Challenge your brain with board games, puzzles and more. DEC. 19, JAN. 16, FEB. 20 Creative Knitting and Fibre Arts S. Walter Stewart library, 170 Memorial Park Ave., 5 to 7 p.m. Join Cathy Thomson, expert knitter and spinner, in an exploration of the fibre arts. All skill levels welcome. Bring your needles and join with others in fun evenings of knitting and creating with fibre. JAN. 1 Hair of the Dog Run and Walk The Balmy Beach Canoe Club,

foot of Beech Avenue, 10:30 a.m. registration; walkers set out at 11:30 a.m. and runners at noon Cost: various prices Call: Gaynor, 416-693-1063 Website: The annual three- or ninekilometre run and walk starts and finishes at the club and offers participants a trafficfree course along the scenic Boardwalk and Martin Goodman Trail. A hot lunch will be served to participants following the run. FEB. 1 Tapestry Songbook Ernest Balmer Studio, Distillery Historic District, 55 Mill St., 7:30 p.m. Cost: $25 Call: 416-537-6066, ext. 225 Website: www.tapestryopera. com Tapestry, Canada’s leader in the development and performance of new opera, features the next generation of opera stars who display their virtuosic talent.



& about

Toronto has plenty of events, destinations and attractions; here is a sampling of what’s on around town

HARBOURFRONT CENTRE – NATREL RINK Behind York Quay Centre and set against the shore of Lake Ontario, the city’s most scenic rink awaits. DJ Skate Nights are Saturdays from Dec. 17 to Feb. 23 from 8 to 11 p.m. Various DJs. There is a heated indoor change room with lockers and washrooms. Hot food and drinks are available at the rink-side restaurant. Skating is free. 235 Queens Quay W. Call 416973-4000. Visit ONE OF A KIND CHRISTMAS SHOW The One of a Kind Christmas Show features unique products from more than 800 artisans including ceramics, jewelry, furniture, clothing and accessories. Browse through art galleries, watch a fashion show, take part in artistic holiday activities and participate in workshops. Now on until Dec. 8 at the Direct Energy Centre. Call 416-960-3680. Visit toronto/index.php LOWE’S TORONTO CHRISTMAS MARKET Experience a traditional Old World European Christmas market at The Distillery District with hundreds of unique and local handcrafted items. Family-friendly children’s activities include storytelling, Santa’s Elves Workshop

Photo by Nancy Paiva

BIG at the ROM The Royal Ontario Museum goes BIG with Fashion and Textiles in an exhibition showcasing textiles and costume that are each in their own remarkable ways BIG: big in size, big in historical importance, big in the news, perhaps created by a big name, and often carrying a big price tag. They range from Egyptian clothing to 18th- and 19th-century Western costumes to 20th-century Haute Couture. Until Jan. 26 at Royal Ontario Museum, 100 Queen’s Park, in the Patricia Harris Gallery of Textiles and Costume, Level 4. Visit www.

Visitors take in the Christmas tree at the Lowe’s Toronto Christmas Market in the Distillery District in 2012. This year’s event is on until Dec. 15. and Santa himself. On until Dec. 15 at the Distillery Historic District, 55 Mill St. Visit

Now on until Jan. 4 at Elgin & Winter Garden Theatre Centre, 189 Yonge St. Call 1-855-9852787. Visit

CHRISTMAS AT BLACK CREEK On December weekends, participants visit with Santa and take a ride on a horse-drawn wagon. Black Creek also hosts its annual Christmas by Lamplight event, where people can wander the village lit by lanterns, sample traditional foods and create crafts Dec. 7, 14, 21. Dinner is also available. Visit http://christmasbylamplight. ca/dinner.shtml to order tickets. Now on until Dec. 23 at 1000 Murray Ross Pkwy. Call 416-7361733. Visit events/

ALADDIN The Ed Mirvish Theatre hosts the world premiere of Aladdin, based on the Disney animated movie about a boy and his magical lamp. Now on until Jan. 5 at Ed Mirvish Theatre, 244 Victoria St. Call 416872-1212. Visit shows/aladdin for details about this show.

THE LITTLE MERMAID Ross Petty’s annual production is back, and this year features The Little Mermaid. Taking after the Hans Christian Andersen tale more than the popular Disney movie, this production promises to be the less common version of the fairy tale and offers a little more fun and music.

THE NUTCRACKER The National Ballet of Canada presents its annual Christmas show, The Nutcracker. The show also includes an interactive telling of the magical holiday story designed to enhance children’s experience of the ballet. The story takes place 45 minutes before every performance in the Richard Bradshaw Amphitheatre at the Four Seasons Centre. Takes place Dec. 14 to Jan. 4 at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, 145 Queen St. W. Call 416-345-9595.

Visit performances/season1314/The_ Nutcracker/#StoryTime-tab DISNEY ON ICE: PRINCESSES AND HEROES Families of all ages will enter a world of wonder where heroes and hearts prevail. Join Ariel, Maleficent, Prince Eric and others in this show where believing is just the beginning. Dec. 20 to 29 at various times and prices at Rogers Centre, 1 Blue Jays Way. Visit CHRISTMAS TREATS TREK Visit the Toronto Zoo on Boxing Day to see the seasonal treats animals are enjoying. Bring a nonperishable item for the food bank. Half price admission for everyone all day. The zoo also hosts a New Year’s Eve family countdown with entertainment and animal visitors from 5 to 8 p.m. Dec. 31. Countdown begins at 8 p.m. Dec. 26 from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Toronto Zoo, 361A Old Finch Ave. Visit www.torontozoo. com | 37


Paris For Art, history or shopping, in springtime or anytime, paris is a traveller’s paradise story and photography By warren cartwright

From every angle, the Eiffel Tower is an iconic symbol. | 39


Arrête! C’est ici l’empire de la Mort (‘Stop! Here lies the Empire of Death”); the inscription on the ossuary entry, as you enter this most unusual museum.


aris in the springtime evokes scenes from some of Hollywood’s greatest movies and while the expectations are set high, it is one of the few places that can live up to the hype. Paris draws around 27 million visitors each year, making it by some accounts the third-most visited city in the world. As the city and its region contain more than 3,800 historical monuments and four UNESCO World Heritage Sites, there is no shortage of attractions for visitors to experience. For many that come, Paris is about the arts, and some of the world’s greatest collections are housed within the walls of The Musée du Louvre (arguably the world’s greatest art collection), The Musée d’Orsay (Impressionists) and the Dalí Espace Montmartre (for those more Surrealistically inclined). Architecture lovers will be drawn to the iconic Eiffel Tower, the Panthéon and the Arc de Triomphe. And of course one cannot forget the majestic sites of some of Paris’ famed cathedrals, Notre Dame and Sacre Coeur. And one should check out the back of both of these magnificent buildings, rather than just the front where most of the tourists will stay. For a change of pace, one of the most unique attractions of Paris is underground – Les Catacombes 40 | Goodlife Beaches - December 2013 - January 2014

‘When spring comes to Paris the humblest mortal alive must feel that he dwells in paradise.’ – Henry Miller, Tropic of Cancer de Paris. This museum, while not for everyone, is one of the most fascinating attractions in Paris. The two-kilometre-long series of underground tunnels is an ossuary (a site made to serve as the final resting place of human skeletal remains) near Place Denfert-Rochereau. The ossuary holds the remains of about six million people and fills a renovated section of caverns and tunnels situated in the remains of Paris’s stone mines. As the city grew in the late 1700s and early 1800s, the cemeteries filled up and the need for space to accommodate the growing city resulted in the use of the old mines as the new resting place for the remains. While originally opened in the late 18th century, the underground cemetery has been open to the public on a regular basis from 1874. The tour takes about 45 minutes to complete, and requires good mobility.

In the spring, Paris’ parks offer many locations to enjoy the outdoors and the explosion of colour that comes with the blossoms. Both the Tuileries and the Jardin du Luxembourg are must-sees for visitors, but some of Paris’ lesser know parks will delight just as much. Buttes-Chaumont, at the north end of the city, is a sweeping, romantic-style park with rolling green hills and dramatic waterfalls. At the south end of the city, not far from Montparnasse, the Parc Montsouris is a peaceful retreat from the crowds of museum-goers and shoppers. Like the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre, no trip to Paris is complete without a stroll along the Champs-Elysées. Whether you are a window shopper, a people-watcher, or searching for a one-of-akind designer piece, you can find it all along Paris’ famous tree-lined shopping avenue. A visit to the Louis Vuitton store, with its constantly changing facade, is definitely a must for every visitor. A sunny spring day in Paris will result in packed cafes, where you can rest your feet and take in the sights and sounds. Whether you have come for the arts scene, the history, the shopping or just a little bit of everything, Paris is a special city that will touch your soul, and leave you with a lifetime of memories.

• getaways •

when to go? There’s never a bad time to be in Paris as its superb selection of attractions allows you to be inside when the weather is poor or outside when the sun is shining. Spring is a magical time in Paris: the leaves are coming out, there are blossoms on the trees, and there is a freshness in the air that is missing at other times. April to June are some of the best months as you will avoid both the crush of tourists that come to Paris in the summer, along with heat that can border on unpleasant.

WHERE TO STAY? The Arc de Triomphe de l’Étoile sits at the western end of the ChampsÉlysées. Beneath the Arc is the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier from the First World War, and is one of the most moving memorials to the Great Wars.

While Paris offers an incredible range of standard accommodations, the best way to really get a feel for the city is

to become a local for a time and rent an apartment in a residential neighbourhood. Paris is a city that needs much more than a week or two to explore, and by renting an apartment you can extend your stay and give yourself more time to enjoy all that Paris has to offer. You can frequent the local cafés and get to know the baker as you stop in for fresh croissants for your morning breakfast. There are many services offering access to a selection of different, high-end apartments throughout Paris. A good place to start is Paris Luxury Rentals ( They have a range of properties from a one bedroom in the Latin Quarter overlooking Notre Dame to a 4,500-square-foot loft that sleeps eight in the Opera-Vendome District. | 41


1 3

1 The Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Paris is at the summit of the butte Montmartre, the highest point in the city. There are spectacular views from the steps leading up to the cathedral. 2 In the springtime, the leaves burst forth from their long dormancy, and a freshness envelopes the city. 3 Throughout the two-kilometre long tour of the Catacombs, the carefully arranged walls of bones are used to artistic effect. 4 The detail in the façade of Notre Dame de Paris is spectacular. The building is generally considered to be one of the best examples of French Gothic architecture. 5 I. M. Pei’s iconic glass pyramid has become as much a part of the Musée du Louvre as the original Louvre Palace. It is the world’s most visited museum. Warren Cartwright is a nature and landscape photographer. Visit www. warrencartwright. com


42 | Goodlife Beaches - December 2013 - January 2014



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Help prevent injury Reduce muscle tension Increase range of movement in the joints Increase circulation of blood to various parts of the body Help overall energy, which will improve circulation

my top 5 stretches

To stretch or not...that is the question. There is no proof that stretching will improve performance, however, everyone should learn to stretch regardless of age or flexibility. Stretching should be a part of your daily routine, but don’t over stretch. By adding a foam roller to your daily stretching routine, you will help avoid IT band syndrome, a persistent knee injury that causes pain mainly on the side of the knee, and other flare ups due to tight muscles. The foam roller also helps people de-stress by its relaxing movement and tension release. Therefore, the answer is find time to stretch and make it a regular part of your daily routine. Your body and mind will thank you. And remember, to never stretch a cold muscle. Make sure to first raise your heart rate and blood flow with some light movements such as walking or jogging on the spot.




downward dog


low lunge


hanging from a bar


lying piriformis



Larry Track is owner and founder of Track Fitness, 328 Lonsdale Rd. Visit

PROFILE & INTERPLAY Dance Companies present Mixed Program and excerpts from The Nutcracker Sunday, December 15, 2013 at 1:00 p.m. Betty Oliphant Theatre, 404 Jarvis St., Toronto

Buy tickets now! PSB Dance Academy ~ 416-284-6784 Interplay ~ 416-972-1316

Miracle on Main

Photo by Nick Perry


BY Hilary Caton


ost people begin thinking Christmas on Dec. 1. But those at Centre 55 have been talking and planning for Dec. 25 since July as the centre gears up for its Share a Christmas campaign. Last year, Share a Christmas helped approximately 800 Ward 32 families in need by providing toys, food (both fresh and preserved) and essentials, including toothpaste, toothbrushes, soap and hygenic products. “The community is very receptive,” says Debbie Visconti, executive director of Centre 55, in regards to the volunteers who contribute, then pack and distribute the hampers. “We’ve been doing this for 32 years and people like to hear that the stuff they donate is staying in the community.” By early November, Centre 55 had already began collecting items. Monetary donations are used to buy groceries, gift cards for teens (a group that is often forgotten during Christmas giving), pet food and baby formula. On Dec. 22, a tractor-trailer full of fresh produce, milk, turkeys and ham pulls up to the Main Street centre and the community comes together and helps pack everything in boxes. Nancy Culver, the events and volunteer co-

46 | Goodlife Beaches - December 2013 - January 2014

Community Centre 55: the destination for the community ordinator at the centre, says boxes were stacked nearly to the roof last year. “It’s quite amazing, it’s like a miracle on Main Street,” Visconti says. The Share a Christmas campaign also allows businesses to adopt a family. Centre 55 matches families with participating companies or classrooms for a more personal take on the campaign. Participating families can make specific requests about their needs, which could range from a new winter coat to a new hockey stick. Centre 55 doesn’t have a goal in mind, but Visconti predicts they’ll will help the same amount of people this year. “Generally it’s the same people every year,” Visconti says. “Chances are if you were needy last year, you’re needy this year.” While Community Centre 55 has been helping people at Christmas for more than three decades, for the past 38 years it has been helping people in the community with various programming throughout the year.

This summer, about 200 kids were registered for camp with the centre and this school year they accepted 250 kids in their daycare program, which runs in partnership with Kimberly Junior Public School across the street and Ted Reeve Community Arena on Main Street. The centre also offers programs for seniors as well as community meetings. “The demand is growing (for various programs), we’re able to provide as much as we can,” Visconti says. Centre 55 is a common destination for residents seeking community programs as it is in a heavily residential area and is within walking distance to many of the seniors and residents in the area, Visconti says. Another factor that plays into the demand is the affordable price of the programs and the fact many programs run on a donation basis. The centre doesn’t receive any funding from the City of Toronto. With their budget, the centre can only afford six permanent staff. “(We get) no money to run programs so we fundraise. Or charge people for programs and more affordable daycare,” Visconti says. The community centre only has a few rooms to work with on the main floor while the second floor consists of offices. The daycare is run in >>


Community Centre 55 is at 97 Main St. Call 416-691-1113, or visit www.

Photo by Dan Pearce

>> the basement, also the location of a storage room that still has the original jail cells from when the building was the 55 Division police station until 1975. “It’s more like it was a rickety drunk tank than anything else.” In the early 1900s, the building was a town hall, according to the heritage plaque outside the building. The exterior of Community Centre 55 was declared a heritage building by the City of Toronto. What remains is the original brick workings, the front door and front desk, the original tile work in the small foyer of the building and an air raid alarm on the roof. But the majority of the interior has been changed. “It’s been repurposed,” says Visconti. “We’re just grateful that we can do as much as we can, with what we’re given.” GL

Opposite page, Community Centre 55 is a fixture in the community. Above, Debbie Visconti, executive director of Centre 55, with a painting of Hamper, the centre’s mascot.

‘Tis The Season



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3 48 | Goodlife Beaches - December 2013 - January 2014



1 2 3

Guest Trudy Bundy at the Great Jewellery Heist. Soprano Simone Osborne sings at the event. Vicki Breech, Bridgepoint’s president, Marian Walsh, chief executive officer, and Susan Cunningham.

4 5 6 7

Joan Lozinski, Audrey Davidson and Rosemary Dover.

8 9

Guests take their seats at the fundraiser.

Pianist Anne Larlee performs. Guests peruse the silent auction table. Catherine Murray, BNN anchor and honourary chair of the Great Jewellery Heist, and Catherine Nugent, keynote speaker, senior development officer, Bridgepoint foundation.

Jewelry designer Rebekah Price.





9 | 49

• PETS •

seasonal safety Keep cords tucked under rugs, taped to baseboards and out of the way to prevent any playful teeth from getting a shock from biting them.


Keep your pet away from ribbon and shiny wrapping paper. It also fits into the tummy trouble category if ingested.


Put noisy (unbreakable) ornaments on the bottom of the tree or crinkly material such as tin foil under the tree skirt so you can hear when disaster is about to strike.

If you have a real Christmas tree, clean up the needles daily so no one swallows them. Also, particularly for cats, consider tethering the tree to the ceiling if you think kitty might decide to make it a jungle gym.


7 7

Pia Lauretti is volunteer president of the Etobicoke Humane Society. Visit www. etobicokehumanesociety. com

And while you’re at it, toss the tinsel. It can cause intestinal blockages, and no one wants to feel those pains, particularly at this time of the year.


Since animals explore the world partly through their mouths, Christmas tree lights and ornaments might as well be blinking the


It may not be right to put Baby in the corner (Dirty Dancing...anyone?), but consider putting your Christmas tree there. It’ll be out of the way of any playful activities and less tempting for your four-legged friends.

message “Chomp on me!” Keep lights and breakable ornaments off of the bottom part of your tree.


Christmas trees, presents and food are all part of the holidays and traditions we hold dear. Each of them, however, can mean trouble for your pets. While you’re busy with shopping and party planning, add these reminders to your holiday to-do list to keep your pets happy and healthy.

If you’re expecting guests, remember your pets may experience each person the same way you do. They might enjoy the attention from your BFF, but they probably won’t be crazy about being chased around the house by your cousin’s toddler or mauled by your Aunt Gertrude. Consider either giving your pet a secluded safe haven for the evening or sharing with guests how your pet prefers to be treated.


Keep your eye on all of the edibles. Holiday plants such as poinsettias, decadent food and those edible Martha Stewart-inspired ornaments you stayed up late making can all be poisonous to their digestive systems. Our pets undoubtedly add to the warmth and love to the holidays. Pack the festive season with family, friends and memories to cherish, and keep it safe for everyone.

50 | Goodlife Beaches - December 2013 - January 2014



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Tuscan Cellars Handcrafted Wine Rooms

A wine cellar is considered a significant architectural addition to a home. More and more wine enthusiasts are looking to convert and dedicate an existing room in their home for their wine collection. At Tuscan Cellars our team of knowledgeable wine cellar experts are at your service to capture your vision and work with you to bring your dream cellar to fruition. From the initial meeting with our designers and engineers we will gather your design criteria - from the initial concept, to material selection and bottle count requirements to lighting needs and cooling specifications. We are certain you will be impressed with our wine cellar expertise and capabilities along with our professional and detailed approach to ensuring that all your design and installation needs are met and exceeded.

2899 Steeles Ave. W. Units. 16-18

416-661-9463 (WINE)

December 2013/January 2014  
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