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B L O O R W E S T, H I G H PA R K , T H E K I N G S WAY & M A R K L A N D W O O D

Crawford cleans up


Making the Humber River green again

Etobicoke girl makes good on realty scene

CultureLink marks 25 years Settlement service celebrates with gala 速

I want to thank you for being so kind and taking everything me.. I k know tak ing ccare are of e verything for me now that my Mom is in the “Best Place In Toronto” all the staff have have been been just great. great. I really really am very lucky to have found you. A resident’s daughter

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We We cordially cordially invite invite you you to to our our upcoming upcoming free free events: events: Wednesday December 11th

Annual Holiday Social

1 to 3 pm Enjoy an afternoon with us including holiday treats, beverages and entertainment.

Saturday January 18th

Free Super Prize Bingo

1 to 3 pm Come to play Bingo and socialize with our residents while enjoying light refreshments.

Thursday February 13th

Laughter Yoga

2 to 4 pm Enjoy playful, fun exercises with Laughing Patricia that relieve stress, pain and high blood pressure.

We look forward to showing you our award winning residence. Visit us during one of our special events or call (416) 769-2885 and book your personal tour. Fully furnished rooms available for respite and short term stays. 2100 Bloor Street West A short walk to High Park and Bloor West Village

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6 | Goodlife Bloor West - December 2013 - January 2014


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Great Lakes Brewery’s craft creations win accolades

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8 | Goodlife Bloor West - December 2013 - January 2014

by Peter Haggert

maybe it’s a great bathroom. Check out the Scandinavian feel to the work of Francesco Di Sarra of Campoferro Design Build Group (Page 34). And you can’t just spend all your time relaxing in the spa or eating fine foods. You’ve got to keep fit. Let Brent Bishop, celebrity trainer, show you how (Page 50). Finally, we congratulate CultureLink, a settlement organization who recently celebrated 25 years with an Old Mill gala. Check out the fun (Page 56) had by all in our photo spread. 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, in homes and in the community. You’ve got to cook with passion and you’ve got to cook with love. First the simple stuff. You thought you knew cocoa? Well guess again with our fabulous trio of recipes on Page 22. The time spent in creation should well be worth the time spent enjoying these feature recipes. Looking for a little hoppier flavour? Enjoy the story of family owned Great Lakes Brewery (Page 18) and test your tastes with president Peter Bulut Jr. Back to your own kitchen, try our selection of recipes (Page 20) from seared duck breast with grape sauce to an irresistible saffron yellow bell soup. And while you’re sipping and eating, enjoy the fascinating story of celebrity realtor Sandra Rinomato of HGTV’s Property Virgins fame (Page 13) who proves, hard work, passion and a good role model can make a realtor’s dreams come true – let alone those of the new homeowners she has most famously helped trough the years. What makes a house a home? Well

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 Grace Peacock Antoine Tedesco Alan Shackleton Retail Sales Manager Alison Fauquier Regional Director of Production Katherine Porcheron Graphic Design Georgia Balogiannis Julie Caspersen Story Contributors Warren Cartwright Erin Lukas Daniela Piteo Tamara Shephard Lisa Rainford Photography Contributors Ian Kelso Mary Gaudet Giordano Ciampini

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 Bloor West, High Park, Kingsway & Markland Wood neighbourhoods of Toronto, to households served by The Etobicoke Guardian, and The Bloor West Villager. 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


anish Bah & Humbug with Festive Flowers

Banish Bah & Humbug with an elegant holiday centerpiece! Bring in your own vases or containers and we will custom design a gorgeous fresh arrangement perfect for every party and family celebration.

Stop in and browse our selection of New Yorker greeting cards and cocktail napkins, guaranteed to tickle funny bones! Create your own spa with our new line of Thymes body and bath products. Fresh, crisp and festive, Frasier Fir candles, room spray and diffusers scentsational for the Hostess or home. Open Sundays in December 11am till 4pm





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.

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 Bloor West - 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.

Presented Presented By By

Honorary Honorary Patron Patron


Juliana DeCaria, Jaxson, Chloe and Romeo


– Juliana DeCaria

MAKE A GIFT BY DECEMBER 31ST TO SHARE YOUR LIGHT THIS HOLIDAY SEASON! To make a donation, go to, call 416-530-6704 or drop by the Foundation office on the 5th floor of the Sunnyside Building.






Choose a light, a strand of lights or a customized wreath to show your support for St. Joe’s. Dr. Eddy Lau and Jaxson

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DOUBLETREE FALLSVIEW RESORT & SPA BY HILTON There’s always an excuse to get away. Whether it’s a last minute or planned escape,The DoubleTree Fallsview Resort and Spa by Hilton in Niagara Falls is only one hour away from the city—where a relaxing winter retreat awaits. With the rustic architecture of a Grand National Park Lodge, and the elegance of the Frank Lloyd Wright era, the four diamond CAA rated Resort and Spa isn’t like anywhere else in Niagara Falls. The grand lobby fire place offers an ideal lodge setting, perfect for lounging by the fire after a walk by the Falls or returning from the Fallsview Casino Resort located just 400 yards from the hotel. Located two blocks from the Horseshoe Falls and American Falls,The Resort and Spa’s 224 spacious guest rooms and suites feature signature bedding, complimentary high-speed internet access, mini-refrigerators, and 37-inch flatscreenTVs. Most guest rooms and suites offer panoramic views of the Upper Niagara River and top floors offer views of the American Falls. A great place to relax with a friend or a loved one, DoubleTree

Fallsview offers a variety of one and two night hotel getaway packages including a spa package with overnight accommodations, dinner at the delicious steak house, Buchanans Chophouse, as well as a $75 spa credit. Youareinvitedtounwindandreplenish your winter skin at the renowned Five Lakes Spa. Utilizing AVEDA products, the spa facials, massages, hand & foot therapies, and body treatments reconnect you to the earth through the power of touch and the life force of plants. Through an AVEDA Elemental Nature Questionnaire, the spa technician determine the appropriate service and products that are right for you. All massages are performed by Registered Massage Therapists. Enjoy a Duet Massage offering side-by-side treatment in the duet room. Continue relaxing throughout the day—your wellness includes full use of the on-site hotel indoor pool, whirlpool, cedar sauna, and fitness facility. Finish your spa service with a Tazo tea in the relaxation room. Though summer attractions in Niag-

ara Falls attract many crowds, the winter offers a breathtaking display of lights at the annual Ontario Power Generation Winter Festival of Lights on display until January 31. Grab a Starbucks coffee in the lobby’s Moose and Squirrel Coffee Bar, bundle up and head out to the Niagara Parkway’s Winter Wonderland to view the palette of stunning colours with three million sparkling tree lights

and over 120 animated displays. As of late Disney has been the main focus of the displays, but this year you won’t find Mickey Mouse, instead you will be treated to a beautifully-ornate, hand painted lantern display called Tunnel of Wish Lanterns, which will take your breath away. For hotel reservations and package information, please call 1-800-730-8609.

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12 | Goodlife Bloor West - December 2013 - January 2014


Sandra Rinomato enjoys the sunshine outside her Bloor Street West office.

Sandra on



BY lisa rainford photography by ian kelso


t is no wonder real estate expert and TV personality Sandra Rinomato has such a fan following; the petite brunette is as much warm and upbeat as she is nononsense and forthcoming – the same in real life as she comes across on the small screen. On an unseasonably warm and bright autumn day, the HGTV star is good natured, posing for photographs at her Bloor West Village storefront realty office that bears her name. The sun streams through the almost floor-to-ceiling windows as “Nessie,” her four-year-old Old English Sheep Dog pads around her home-away-from-home greeting clients as they walk through the door. Rinomato will tell you, she had no idea a show that chronicles the experience of first-time home buyers would become such a hit. In fact, she couldn’t understand initially what the appeal would be to watch people go through the process of purchasing their first home. The series’ producers had to convince her to take the job. “I said no so many times,” Rinomato admits. “It was a huge commitment of time, I thought it would interfere with my business, it would interfere with my whole life.” Yet, much to Rinomato’s surprise, Property Virgins, which premiered in 2006, quickly became HGTV’s number one show and consistently remained at the top, a testament to Rinomato’s natural ability in front of the camera and her pull-no-punches approach to real estate. As host of Property Virgins, Rinomato coached buyers to adjust their wish list to fit their budget and the market. It’s been 17 years since the Etobicoke native first ventured into the real estate industry. “I called my friend, who’s a realtor. I had just come home from Europe and wanted to open a coffee shop,” Rinomato says. “He said, ‘Why do you want to work so hard?’ I said I didn’t – I wanted to work smart, not hard. He said, ‘Why don’t you go into real estate?’” Rinomato had spent years working in retail, which she says prepared her for a real estate career, which in turn prepared her for television. She enjoyed great success almost immediately. It was 1996; the housing market had crashed in the late 1980s and when Rinomato cut her teeth as an agent, the market was on the upswing again. “I was working in the Kingsway and the Prince Edward and Bloor area. Houses sold 15 minutes after listing. They’d go up on MLS (Multiple >> 14 | Goodlife Bloor West - December 2013 - January 2014

Rinomato with husband Gary Macrae and their dog Nessie outside of their Etobicoke home.


>> Listing

Service) at 9 a.m. and by 9:15 they’d be sold.” Born and raised in Etobicoke, Rinomato shares a bungalow in the Kipling and Eglinton avenuesarea with her husband Gary Macrae, and their 14-year-old son. She credits Macrae, her business partner and veteran realtor, for his unwavering support. Rinomato met her future husband when he became a tenant of hers 11 years ago. He was a model at the time. “I sent a picture to my friends saying, ‘Ha, ha, this is my next boyfriend,’” recalls Rinomato, laughing. The couple purchased their home seven years ago for its location and in-ground pool. It is not her dream home, says Rinomato matter-of-factly. She hates that the front door opens right into the living room and that the house does not have a side door. However, there’s a “fabulous” park across the street and the sidewalk out front is affectionately known as the “401 for dogs.” As someone who’s passionate about cooking, Rinomato renovat-

ed her kitchen to suit her tastes and needs. It boasts a red ceiling, fully integrated appliances and cabinet doors without hardware – “I hate the look of handles,” she says. Growing up, Sunday dinners were and still are a big deal in Rinomato’s family, which she attributes in part to being Italian. “I’m a pasta lover. I love risotto,” she says. “I would love to do a food show where I get to eat.” One of her signature dishes is turkey Wellington, compliments of acclaimed British chef Jamie Oliver. After 130 episodes and 10 seasons of Property Virgins, Rinomato decided it was time for a change. She went on to host a new show called Buy Herself that premiered on HGTV in March of last year and aired for a season. The show followed Rinomato as she helped single women purchase a home on their own. Rinomato is currently working with HGTV to develop a new project, yet is relishing in growing her realty business and enjoying more free time with family and friends, a luxury she >>

There’s a different feel when you walk into any room in the Rinomato-Macrae home. Top, the couple enjoys a cup of coffee in their red and white kitchen, above, their black and white dining room with a view of the pool and below, their spacious rec room with plush orange couches. | 15


>> didn’t

have while filming Property Virgins. She filmed 26 episodes each year across the Greater Toronto Area and beyond as well as in the U.S. “Now, I can go out for dinner any night of the week,” she says. Rinomato and her husband had wanted to open their own business for a long time. Sandra Rinomato Realty Inc. on Bloor Street West, east of Runnymede Road, is “a brokerage with heart.” “We didn’t want to be one of those big brokerages. I have hand selected agents to work here,” she says. Rinomato was raised in an entrepreneurial-minded household. Her late father was in construction, her mother opened a flower shop. Her dad, who passed away before Property Virgins aired, would be “unbearably proud” of his youngest daughter’s accomplishments.

“I definitely didn’t fit the prescription of what a woman was supposed to be,” Rinomato says. “I had a role model. My mom’s sister was a career woman. She got married later in life. She was an airline attendant; she had a Mustang. I never realized what an influence she was on my life.” In 2008, Rinomato fulfilled a lifelong dream with the publication of her book, ‘Reality Check: The Real Scoop on Real Estate.’ The recipient of the Stevie Award for Women in Business for Best Canadian Entrepreneur, Rinomato has toured North America, appearing on such TV programs as The View, Steven and Chris and the Nate Berkus Show to share her knowledge and expertise. GL Sandra Rinomato shows some homes to perspective buyers on two episodes of Property Virgins which aired on HGTV.





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THE BEER NECESSITIES For Great Lakes Brewery’s President and Chief Brewing Officer Peter Bulut Jr., it’s the family atmosphere that makes his brewery such a success. Bulut was quick to point to his staff when it came to acknowledging why Great Lakes has won many awards in its relatively short history – including its most recent – the 2013 Canadian Brewery of the Year at the 11th annual Canadian Brewing Awards. Bulut sat down with GoodLife magazine to discuss the brewery, the fancy new mash/ lauter tun, and brought one of his brewers, Mike Lackey, along for a tour of the south Etobicoke facility. GoodLife: When did your passion for beer start? Peter Bulut: I was quite young, 22. I didn’t know craft beer. When my dad said, “Son, I’m thinking of buying a brewery, what do you think?” At the age of 22 I thought, ‘yay, man!’ But I can honestly say it didn’t start as a passion, but I love to work, I like an adventure, so I was in. 18 | Goodlife Bloor West - December 2013 - January 2014

BY ANTOINE TEDESCO PHOTOGRAPHY BY MARY GAUDET GoodLife: Why did your dad decide to buy a brewery? Peter Bulut: My dad was an entrepreneur, and always wanted to get into the alcohol business. A story he told was his dad, my grandfather, told him before he left the ‘old country’ of Montenegro, if you’re going to pick any business in North America you should get into the alcohol business. He spoke five languages, and he knew if he took to the streets asking people to support a ‘back-home man’, that it would be a no-brainer. GoodLife: Why pick Etobicoke – you could have picked anywhere? Peter Bulut: Dad really had a passion for this building – in the ’60s he did some work on this street. As soon as he knew he wanted to move the brewery he drove right to this street and there was a ‘For Lease’ sign on this building and the rest is history. We leased it with an option to >>

Top, Gary Rees keeps an eye on the bottles of brew coming down the line at the Great Lakes Brewery, while, above, the old copper kettles have been replaced by more resilient stainless steel kettles. The brewery still makes beer in small batches.



buy, and bought it two years later.

GoodLife: What was the first beer Great Lakes brewed? Peter Bulut: We started in 1990 with Great Lakes Lager, which morphed into Golden Horseshoe in 2000 with some rebranding when we started bottling. In 1996 we brewed Red Leaf – the second most popular in our mainstream lineup. Then we added Blackjack in 2003, and in 2006 Blackjack won a Bronze at the World Beer Cup – our first prestigious award. But our successes all started in 2006 with Devil’s Pale Ale, with the date of conception being 6:6:06, and it was really the guys saying let’s do something different. And let’s launch it at Toronto Festival of Beer. We printed Devil’s Pale Ale T-shirts, it was just a zoo – everyone went nuts.

President Peter Bulut Jr. pauses for a moment at the family owned Great Lakes Brewery in Etobicoke, founded in 1987.

GoodLife: What do you attribute all the awards to? Peter Bulut: It’s a testament to all the staff at Great Lakes – it’s a big family. We all have a real passion for beer, but a lot of our success happened when we installed the pilot system and put Mike on it. As you can imagine, you can really refine the tastes and flavours of beer you’re doing repetitively, then scale it up to the big system, have a couple of brews there to tweak it and perfect it, then push out the liquid. Not to sound cocky, but some of the best beer in Ontario is in the bottles coming out of this plant. GoodLife: What does the pilot system allow Great Lakes to do? Mike Lackey: It has changed everything here. I can literally wake up in the morning and want to make a tangerine beer, and get it going that day. We did a cranberry saison beer, which I had never brewed before. It’ll take about two to three weeks before we can taste it, but to get it going I can get it started fast. We did a jalapeno beer because as I walked in to work one of the girls at the front said we should make a jalapeno beer so I thought ‘why not?’ I headed to the store, bought some jalapenos and made one that day. GoodLife: Great Lakes just acquired some new equipment. Peter Bulut: Our new mash/lauter tun is more than twice as big as our old one and will not only improve efficiency but also improve the beer quality as it will filter the grain much finer. This will in turn make the wort cleaner and easier to filter when it’s ready. It is quite attractive and we’re

Left, brewer Mike Lackey has been with Great Lakes Brewery since the early days. His first job at the current facility was removing carpet to transform an office into a brew house. Today, he oversees production, and experiments with smaller batches, continually inventing new flavours. Right employees set up the new equipment at Great Lakes Brewery. Started with just one lager, Great Lakes Brewery has grown to include dozens of ales, lagers, and seasonal brews.

doing our best to integrate some of the beautiful historical copper tools and systems from our original mash/lauter. GoodLife: Do you think people still undervalue beer? Mike Lackey: It’s changing every day. It’s coming back to its roots. We are slowing going back to before the macrobrewries came in and industrialization. And it’s not just with beer; it’s what we eat as well. Peter Bulut: People’s perceptions are changing. I still think it’s somewhat undervalued. I think the biggest thing people need to get over is that you don’t need to drink beer, sometimes you can just

taste beer. When someone buys something like our RoboHop, an Imperial/Double IPA at 9.5%, I would tell them not to drink the can by themselves, grab a friend or two and taste it by itself, with food. You get the chance to smell it, sip it, enjoy it. We as brewers need to educate people about what the beer is designed for – it’s occasion-based, seasonal beers. It’ll evolve, which is great. GL

Great Lakes Brewery is located at 30 Queen Elizabeth Blvd. For more information, visit www. | 19


step out of your food comfort zone with these recipes, from starter to dessert




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-

20 | Goodlife Bloor West - 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


seared duck breast with grape sauce 1 large duck breast 1/4 tsp Kosher salt 1/4 tsp pepper 1/2 tsp garam masala 1/4 tsp cinnamon 1/3 cup red seedless grapes 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar 1/2 tsp honey potatoes for mashing

score the duck breast by cutting a crosshatch pattern into the fat (do not cut through the meat, only the fat). Season the duck with salt, pepper and garam masala on both sides. Let sit until ready to cook. Check potatoes as you want them cooked at the same time as the duck or even before. It is always easy to re-heat potatoes but for your duck, you want it rare. Start cooking your duck when your potatoes are close to tender.

Heat oven to 350 F. Peel and chop potatoes into large chunks. Cook until fork tender in medium-sized pot of salted water (about 15 minutes once at a boil). Slice grapes in half. Finely chop green onion, reserve white section for your salad dressing, green for your potatoes. Place salad greens in a bowl.

Sear duck: Heat an ovenproof skillet, the heavier the better, (do not use a non-stick pan) on medium heat for 1-1/2 to two minutes. Place the duck, fat side down, in the pan, and turn your heat down a touch as you do not want to burn the skin (you want to hear a sizzle as soon as it hits the pan). Do not touch the duck, but let it cook for two to three minutes at medium. You will see the duck fat start to melt, which is what we want and why we don’t use oil to start. Using tongs flip the duck breast. You want it to be a beautiful deep brown colour. If you see any white, cook a little longer but be careful not to burn the skin. Once the fat has rendered, place the pan in the oven for eight to 10 minutes, or until it reaches an internal temperature of 120 F (rare) or 130 F (med rare).

Prepare duck: Using a sharp paring knife,

Prepare salad dressing: In a small jar with a

2 to 3 tbsp low-fat sour cream 1 green onion organic spring salad 1 to 1-1/2 tbsp red wine vinegar olive oil (pantry) 1/2 tsp mayo 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard

baklava When you visit a Greek home, expect only the warmest hospitality and an abundant array of food. “Eat, my friend, we have lots of food”, is the suggestion. This is the norm during a visit most of the year, but when Christmas arrives, loosen your belt and expect to eat a little extra. I love making baklava during the holidays because there are so many ways to prepare it: layered, rolled, daisies or even pinwheels. I can play with the filling by switching up the combination of nuts or adding some dried fruits into the mix. The best part about baklava is that it stores well in a cool, dry spot like in your cellar, ideal in case last-minute family or friends drop by. 2 1/4 cups sugar, divided 1 cup water 1/2 cup honey 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice 2 cups walnuts 2 cups blanched almonds 1/2 tsp ground cloves 2 tsp ground cinnamon 3/4 cup white bread crumbs or ground melba toast

1 cup unsalted butter, melted 1 package phyllo, thawed, at room temperature Put two cups of sugar, water and honey into a medium pot over medium-high heat. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 10 minutes. Add the lemon juice and cook for another 10 minutes. Allow the syrup to cool to room temperature. In a food processor, pulse the walnuts and almonds until they are finely crumbled. Transfer the nuts to a bowl and add the cloves, cinnamon, remaining sugar and bread crumbs. Stir to combine and set it aside. Heat the oven to 300 F. Brush the bottom and sides of a 9x13-inch baking pan with the melted butter.

tight-fitting lid, combine 1 to 1-1/2 tbsp red wine vinegar (add only 1 tbsp if you like it a little less tart), 3 tbsp olive oil, 1/2 tsp minced green onion (white part), mayo and Dijon, salt and pepper, shake and set aside. Remove duck from the oven, plate and let rest. Finish potatoes and salad: Drain potatoes, add sour cream (and butter if you want your potatoes rich and even more delicious). Season with salt and pepper, sprinkle with green onion. Dress your salad. Pour off the duck fat. (Do not discard: save it and roast some potatoes in it the next day). Add 1 tbsp of butter to the pan, melt and add grapes and cinnamon, cook for one minute. Deglaze your pan with the balsamic vinegar and honey, stir for one minute, take off the heat. Thinly slice the duck on the diagonal, plate, spoon the sauce with grapes on top and add a scoop of potatoes. Enjoy with a salad on the side. Recipe courtesy of

Cover the phyllo sheets with a damp towel so they don’t dry out. Take a sheet, brush one side with butter, and lay it in the pan with a quarter of it hanging off the top edge. Repeat for the bottom, left and right edges of the pan. Place a fifth buttered sheet directly into the pan, so the entire bottom of the pan is covered. Sprinkle a third of the filling over the phyllo. Place four buttered sheets over the filling. Sprinkle another third of the filling over the sheets. Top the filling with another four buttered sheets. Sprinkle the remaining filling over the sheets. Top with four more buttered sheets. Fold in the hanging edges from the first four sheets and brush the entire surface with butter. With a sharp knife, score the top layers of phyllo, about 1/4-inch deep into serving squares. The scoring will make the baklava easier to cut after it is baked. Bake the baklava for 90 minutes or until the phyllo is golden. Immediately after baking, ladle the syrup over the entire surface of the baklava. Use all the syrup. Let the baklava absorb the syrup as it comes to room temperature. Cut the baklava and serve at room temperature. Cover and store at room temperature. Serves 16. Recipe courtesy Peter Minaki; | 21




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

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22 | Goodlife Bloor West - December 2013 - January 2014

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

homemade hot cocoa mix

classic hot cocoa

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

1/2 cup sugar

4 cups non-fat dry milk powder

1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 1/2 cups sugar

1/8 tsp salt

1 cup non-dairy powdered coffee creamer

1/3 cup half and half cream

2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

whipped cream or mini marshmallows

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,

Makes 5 servings

4 cups whole milk

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,





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 | 23


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.”

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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 | 25


BY TAMARA SHEPHARD PHOTOGRAPHY BY IAN KELSO acob Marley’s ghost flies through the Victorian British sky in a blast of blue hues, in a scene from the iconic Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. Award-winning artist Dave Rheaume is bringing the Christmas classic to illustrative life in a series of six 30x40-inch acrylic paintings on canvas in his A Christmas Carol exhibit running throughout December in Mimico Centennial Library’s second-floor gallery space. Rheaume’s series is cast largely in atmospheric blue and grey hues in scenes of Scrooge before redemption, the four ghosts: Jacob Marley, as well as the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future 26 | Goodlife Bloor West - December 2013 - January 2014

until light falls on a redeemed Scrooge. The nearly three-decade television director and editor best known for his editing of the 15-year running Marineland “Screamer” television commercials, paints winter archival scenes, many drawn from Canadian archival photos dating from the 1880s to the 1950s. Career learnings in film and cinematography translate to the canvas through Rheaume’s particular focus on story, composition and lighting. “I want to bring that storytelling, that history, alive,” said Rheaume, 50, of his work seated near the sun-drenched kitchen where he paints in his Mimico home. “I try to visualize the whole life of the person. I like the idea of these paintings being one frame of a film strip.” Self-taught, Rheaume attributes his affinity for capturing winter scenes to growing up in snowsaddled Ottawa.

ARTISTprofile Dave Rheaume “I’ve always been interested in weather, night, atmosphere,” he said. “I’ve always been fascinated by the first half of the 20th century. When I think of wintertime, I think dark and cold and snow coming down. It’s in my soul.” A professional artist for a decade, Rheaume has participated in juried art exhibitions in recent years, including Art Walk North in Mel Lastman Square, and in the Ottawa Art Expo, in which he won the Emily Carr Legacy Award and the Arabella Award, both in 2012. He won two of four possible individual awards among a field of 70 >>


artists in the latest Ottawa Art Expo. He describes his style as non-traditional, a “bit of a graphic novel element and comic style.” Stands to reason, since he developed his passion for art around 10 years old while hunched over a desk in summers creating characters and drawing monthly comics with his brother, Ross, a professional oil painter. He considered a career in commercial art as a teenager, but instead pursued filmmaking with a friend. Later, he realized the two art mediums share the same dynamic. “What’s interesting is comics and film are essentially the very same medium,” he said. “I heard that comment from a comics illustrator once. You have close-ups, reaction shots, birds’ eye views, worms’ eye views. If you look at a comic, it’s true. Filmmaking uses storyboards, which is essentially a comic of the movie.” His A Christmas Carol series is available for sale, but not before Rheaume digitizes his images for inclusion in a future children’s book based on the Dickens’ novella. GL >>

View Dave Rheaume’s work in person at his December exhibit, ‘A Christmas Carol’ at Mimico Centennial Library, 47 Station Rd. or online at

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Brothers Justin (l) and John Keating are the third-generation owners of Keating Roofing & Exteriors.

The expert Keating Roofing & Exteriors team responsible for rescuing a west end roof.


Trust the experts at Keating Roofing & Exteriors, and get the job done right - the first time. Roofs are perhaps one of the most major components of our homes. We tend to take them for granted, and rarely think about them until there’s a serious problem - especially if the roof or home in question is relatively new. You trust that it will stand up to all sorts of weather, keeping you and your family safe, warm, and dry. So imagine the frustration involved in discovering your 10-year-

28 | Goodlife Bloor West - December 2013 - January 2014

old roof has sprung several leaks. That’s exactly what happened to one west end family. Unbeknownst to them, their roof had been improperly installed - leading to leaks and costly damages. They called Keating for help. “Our senior exterior consultant, Vlad Blazanin, met with the clients to discuss why the flat roof was leaking on their 10-year-old house, and why it required replacement so early in its life,” says John Keating, co-owner and project consultant for Keating Roofing & Exteriors. “Upon Vlad’s inspection and review of the home’s architectural drawings, he found that the architect originally had specified to have a builtup tar and gravel roof system roof installed on the home.” Commonly used in commercial buildings where roofs have drainage issues and residual ponding water several days after a rain storm, this type of roof normally stands up quite well under those conditions. “However, during the construction of this home, the roofer and builder switched products and installed a modified Bitumen membrane system, or a rubber roof,” says Keating. “This type of

roof is a good system, but, as per manufacture’s specifications, it does require positive water flow – or sloping – towards the drain locations.” The original roofer failed to follow those specifications, which resulted in a roof that didn’t drain properly, with large pools of water collecting after every rainfall. Because the positive water flow was not achieved the roof failed prematurely, and the warranty didn’t cover the improper installation, leaving the homeowners on the hook. “Our solution was to remove the old roofing entirely, down to the original structure, and reconstruct the roof deck with positive drainage towards all drain locations. It’s not about getting the job done, It’s about getting the jobdone right with a long term soloution!” This involved a strategy to create multiple slope areas which drained in five different locations, ensuring there wasn’t any residual or ponding water 48 hours after a rain storm. This provided maximum roof life and a manufacturer’s warranty, giving the homeowners peace of mind in the process. Chances are, many homeowners who have undertaken improvement projects on their abodes have one or two stories like this to share.

Brothers Justin (left) and John Keating of Keating Roofing & Exteriors.

Finding dependable, honest, trusted and reliable contractors can be a daunting task, especially when it comes to respecting the unique character and charm of historic West Toronto homes. Over the last 13 years, John Keating, co-owner and project consultant for Keating Roofing & Exteriors, has helped many customers recapture their home’s curb appeal and beauty through experienced, invested and quality exterior remodeling work. Today, Keating Roofing & Exteriors has 27 inhouse full time employees – a team of several different crews, each consisting of five to six professionals, including a licensed carpenter, a cabinet finisher to handled detailed mouldings, an aluminum crew, flat roofers, shinglers, a stucco and stone crew, and door and window installation professionals. “There’s a lot of skill, a lot of knowledge, and everybody really does care,” says Keating. “When they finish a job, they stand back and admire the work they’ve done. There’s a great appreciation for what they do.” The company is so committed to quality workmanship that they have created a full training facility in their warehouse that contains an entire model home. Keating welcomes prospective customers to the facility and gives them the opportunity to see products and installations in person, instead of in pictures alone. Three generations of the Keating family have created something special in West Toronto, fostering relationships with their clients that extend far beyond the remodeling job. “I have had families invite me in for dinner and a glass of wine to thank me for the work our company has done. Nothing beats the feeling of satisfaction, knowing that not only are your customers pleased with the work, but they have also gotten to know us on a personal level, and have the same appreciation for our family business as we do.”

From top: 1. Additional sloping towards drain locations. 2. Carpentry started. 3. Completed roof sloped to drain locations. 4. Completed roof slope in six directions.

W W W. K E AT I N G R O O F I N G . C O M ( 9 0 5 ) 2 7 0 - 4 1 0 0 | 29

• 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

30 | Goodlife Bloor West - 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

• 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+ | 31

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Nov l19 til 2 Dec 2

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32 | Goodlife Bloor West - December 2013 - January 2014

Mon/Tues/Wed 11 - 6

Thurs/Fri 11 - 8

Sat/Sun 10 - 4



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. | 33

Morning Oasis


a Luxurious ensuite GIVES homeowners A TRANQUIL SPACE TO START THEIR DAY

BY daniela piteo photography by mike galea


t started with a simple idea to create a modern, beautiful and functional bathroom. It was accomplished through the vision of Capoferro Design Build Group. “An important function of creating a space is using quality materials that will age well over time,” said Francesco Di Sarra, Capoferro president. “The wood in the bathroom will age like a great leather bag becoming more beautiful with time.” Di Sarra chose a unique wood – zebrawood – for this project that was treated with a high-gloss epoxy finish that adds depth and warmth to the room. Zebrawood, native to Central America, is a light-coloured wood with dark stripes. The bathroom has a decidedly Scandinavian feel, elements of design that are often characterized by simplicity, minimalism and functional34 | Goodlife Bloor West - December 2013 - January 2014

‘It’s a very beautiful space and it’s a nice way for the homeowners to start their day – in a relaxing, spa-like bathroom.’ - Francesco Di Sarra ity, even though the homeowners and the designer did not set out to fashion it in the typical modern-contemporary design favoured by the Northern European nations. “The homeowners didn’t come to me with photos or a specific design in mind,” Di Sarra said. “They gave us a sense and feeling of what they wanted and we worked with that to design their master bathroom.” “Modern décor by nature relies on natural materials to add warmth and personality, and textural interest to the design,” Di Sarra said. The bathroom is modern and chiseled. The

super glossy ceramic walls add great contrast to the rich zebrawood. “It’s a very sensual space,” Di Sarra said. The master ensuite bathroom, according to Di Sarra, is meant to be an oasis for the homeowners to step into first thing in the morning. “It’s a very beautiful space and it’s a nice way for the homeowners to start their day – in a relaxing, spa-like bathroom,” he said. The custom designed room features a large soaker tub, a separate shower with bench seating and a long, sleek white his and hers sink. A new feature Di Sarra has started using in >> p36


Francesco Di Sarra is the president of Capoferro Design Build Group. The firm specializes in working collaboratively with architects, interior designers, home builders, and clients to deliver innovative custom homes, renovations and additions. Visit www.

The ensuite features zebrawood treated with a high-gloss epoxy finish and a two-way mirror on the shower that helps to create a spacious feel. | 35


>> design

is the inclusion of two-way mirrors. Instead of using the traditional glass door or shower curtain, two way glass allows the person in the shower to see out into the bathroom, while only their silhouette is visible from the other side of the door. It also gives the illusion of a larger space. The room is tied together with the door built from the same wood used for the cabinetry. Di Sarra, an architect, began his own company 11 years ago and used his grandfather’s nickname Capoferro, which loosely translates as ‘iron head’. “My grandfather hated that nickname, but I used it for my company to give the moniker a positive spin,” he said. Di Sarra described his grandfather as being stubborn and since he worked as a blacksmith, the name suited him. “Capoferro specializes in working collaboratively with architects, interior designers, home builders, and our clients – always delivering innovative and exciting custom homes,” Di Sarra said. GL

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& january

What’s happening in the communities of markland wood, kingsway, high park and bloor west village

DEC. 4 Christmas in the Park with Colborne Lodge 11 Colborne Lodge Dr. Costs, varies Call: 416-392-6916 Email: Website: Discover the magic of Christmas until Jan. 5. Enjoy the winter wonderland surroundings of High Park and enjoy a tour of Colborne Lodge, the picturesque home of the founders of High Park, which is decorated for a Victorian Christmas. You’ll discover festive traditions, decorations and foods enjoyed during the 19th-century in Toronto. Toast the season with a glass of hot mulled cider by the wood stove and nibble on holiday treats. DEC. 7 Etobicoke-Lakeshore Santa Claus Parade Time: 10 a.m. Website: The parade starts at Dwight Avenue, one block west of Royal York Road, travels west along Lake Shore Boulevard West and ends at Thirty Sixth Street, just before Browns Line.

DEC. 7 Cantores Celestes Women’s Choir - Vivaldi’s Gloria Runnymede United Church, 432 Runnymede Rd. Time: 7:30 to 9:30 p.m.

Cost: $20 to 29 Call: 416-236-1522 Email: cantorescelestes@hotmail. com Website: www.cantorescelestes. com Presented by Cantores Celestes Women’s Choir, which is celebrating 25 years and featuring Vivaldi’s Gloria and other seasonal favourites. DEC. 7 Etobicoke Centennial Choir concert: Sacred Traditions 2013 Humber Valley United Church, 76 Anglesey Blvd. Time: 7:30 to 10 p.m. Tickets: $20 Call: 416-622-6923 Website: The Etobicoke Centennial Choir launches its 47th season with Sacred Traditions 2013 a selection of joyful songs and carols to celebrate the holiday season. DEC. 8 AND 15 Artisans of the Metropolis Metropolis Factory, 50 Edwin Ave. Time: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Email: Vanessa Furtado at Call: 416-629-4297. Website: www.metropolisfactory. com The Artisans’ Bazaar is a sales event that brings together interesting vendors, artists and artisans with a vintage, unique or industrial vibe. Walking into the event will feel like stepping through a portal to the past. DEC. 8 Junction Jam: Christmas Vespers St. John’s Anglican Church, 288 Humberside Ave. Time: 7 to 8 p.m. Call: Rev. Samantha Caravan at 416-763-2393 Email: Website: com/a/ An evening of prayer and music. Christmas vespers with Robi Botos, piano; Brian Barlow, drums; Scott Alexander, bass; and vocalist Heather Bambrick. Sing Christmas carols and songs.

File photo/IAN KELSO

WEDNESDAYS Montgomery’s Inn Farmers’ Market 4709 Dundas St. W. Time: Wednesdays, 2 to 6 p.m. Website: www.montgomerysinn. com By popular demand, the Montgomery’s Inn Farmers’ Market will continue indoors all winter. Buy winter veggies, greenhouse produce, meat, cheese, fresh-baked bread, sweet-baked goods, prepared soups, sauces, pickles and more.

Participants in the Etobicoke-Lakeshore Santa Claus Parade ham it up for the crowd as they walk alongside their float in 2012.

DEC. 14 Getting Ready for Winter – Family Nature Walk High Park Nature Centre, 440 Parkside Dr. Time: 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Cost: $2 to $5 per person or donate-what-you-can Website: Plants and animals are prepared for winter. Are you? Search for busy squirrels, sheltered insects, friendly chickadees and sleeping oak trees to learn their survival strategies. Family-friendly event. Registration not required.

DEC. 14 AND 15 Crazy Christmas Extravaganza Church on the Queensway, 1536 The Queensway Time: 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.; Dec. 15 at 3 p.m. Cost: $5 for general seating Call: 416-255-0141, ext. 242 Email: Visit The Christian Performing Arts Centre and the Church on the Queensway presents a musical theatrical experience featuring singers, dancers and actors and accompanied by The Toronto Youth Wind Orchestra. DEC. 21 AND 22 Christmas Cookie Creation Colborne Lodge at High Park, 11 Colborne Lodge Dr.

Time: 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Email: Tickets: $22.50 plus tax Children eight and 12 participate in this baking workshop that uses a Canadian gingerbread recipe from the 1830s. Tour included. Registration required. JAN. 5 Toronto Maple Leafs Skate for Easter Seals Kids MasterCard Centre for Hockey Excellence, 400 Kipling Ave. Time: 2:30 to 5:30 p.m. Cost: Participants can select to pay or fundraise the $125 fee. Spectator tickets will be available Jan. 5 for $30 Website: www.eastersealsskate. org Call: 416-421-8377, ext. 313 The Toronto Maple Leafs Skate for Easter Seals Kids is a fundraising event that offers fans the opportunity to skate with members of the Toronto Maple Leafs in support of Ontario’s kids with physical disabilities. Register online and choose your skate session colour in order by time: yellow, red, blue, green, purple and orange. This is the 36th year of the annual Toronto Maple Leafs Skate for Easter Seals Kids, an event that has raised more than $5.3 million for Easter Seals Ontario. To get your event in the February/ March edition of GoodLife, email | 41



& 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.

42 | Goodlife Bloor West - December 2013 - January 2014

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



Wishing you lots of love, joy and happiness!

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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. | 45


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 46 | Goodlife Bloor West - 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

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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


48 | Goodlife Bloor West - December 2013 - January 2014









ight back? Stiff neck? Abnormal pain after a workout? All of these may be blamed on one thing: lack of movement. In today’s society we have become victim to conveniences of technology, quick fixes to problems and a sedentary lifestyle. Our bodies are built to move. Placing a consistent focus on mobility can do wonders for your performance and help you lead a healthier lifestyle.

flexors and quadriceps). Myofascial Release We can’t always get in for a deep tissue massage, however there are some excellent self-massage tools that can help ensure we are increasing blood flow to our muscles and optimizing the health of surrounding tissues. n Foam Roller: great, easy-to-use tool to release fascial adhesions and associated muscle tension in the IT bands, quads and back. Regular use also increases tissue-tolerance, allowing your body to get more out of exercise, pain-free;

Pre- vs. Post-Exercise Stretching Prior to going for your run or workout, it’s important to stretch dynamically. This ‘active’ stretching allows you to prepare your joints, muscles and nervous system for the activity you are about to engage in. Circling arms and straight leg hip swings are examples of how to increase circulation to the shoulders and hips. After your workout, static or ‘passive’ stretching is effective because the increased circulation from your workout makes your muscles and surrounding tissues softer and more pliable. During this stretching you should be relaxed and still. Try focusing on long breaths and holding your stretches for at least 60 seconds for maximum benefit. Full Range of Motion Our bodies are built to move through a full range of motion, so we need to ensure our joints are strong, stable and mobile through the entire joint range. Focus on conditioning your joints by implementing exercises such as walking lunges, single leg balance exercises and postural exercises like scapular retractions (drawing shoul-

n Lacrosse Ball: the perfect travel tool to administer regular deep-tissue release of tense muscles from sport or repetitive use; n Stretch Strap: using a strap for stretching the large muscles of your body allows you to relax for longer, more effective holds during passive stretching;

Photography by Mary Gaudet Brent Bishop and client Stephanie Sibbio stretch using a foam roller and a monster band at Think Fitness Studios.

der blades together). Essentially these movements assist in increasing joint mobility and promote body/muscle awareness to prepare you for more complex exercises during the main workout – a great way to maximize workout performance and reduce injury risk. Think External Rotation and Extension More times than not, we find ourselves in positions of internal

50 | Goodlife Bloor West - December 2013 - January 2014

rotation (i.e. rounding shoulders forward at your computer) and excessive flexion (i.e. hours at your desk seated in a ‘flexed’ position). It’s important to make a conscious effort to counteract these postural pains by focusing on the opposing movements. You can achieve this by doing exercises that focus on strengthening the back of the body (i.e. pulling exercises) and enhancing flexibility through the front of the body (i.e. stretching the chest, hip

n Dowel: a simple wooden stick – excellent for releasing overworked calves from high volume running. Regular flexibility and mobility work can be the difference between repetitive strain injuries and good mechanics that promote optimal performance. Be sure to make the time to incorporate these essentials into your workout regimen, your body will thank you for it. GL BRENT BISHOP is a celebrity trainer, on-air fitness expert, author and owner of Think Fitness Studios. More about Brent:

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Rick Crawford removes a discarded car seat from the Humber River during his annual cleanup effort.



he renovated 1930s-era house Rick Crawford shares with his wife, Kira, and two children is spotless. The open-concept main floor, boasting a kitchen, dining room and living room, is sparsely furnished. The only evidence that Theadora, 9, and Alexander, 5, share the home is two colourful paintings that lean against the fireplace mantel. 52 | Goodlife Bloor West - December 2013 - January 2014

“We’re minimalists,” Crawford says, sitting at his kitchen island. Maintaining such order in his life is the only way the High Park-area resident can juggle all his responsibilities – from parenthood to career to his entrepreneurial endeavors and his contributions to the community. An 18-year veteran of the Toronto Fire Services, Crawford is also president of the rubbish

removal company 1-800-RID-OF-IT that, for the third year, has undertaken a cleanup of Humber River and its shoreline. With a team of 30, including his staff and a volunteer crew from The Complete Paddler canoe and kayak store, and using eight canoes, as much as two tonnes of garbage was pulled from the water and along its banks on a sweltering early fall morning. >>


Rick crawford is about health and safety: he takes the time to lead a volunteer cleanup of the Humber and its shoreline; as a firefighter he works to keep his community safe. truck carries 16 cubic yards and we filled a truck and a half – and we just scratched the surface,” Crawford says. The outdoorsman and avid kayaker says the accessibility to the river makes it an easy target. “Hundreds of people live around it,” he says. “There’s definitely illegal dumping going on.” The most common culprit: plastic. There were also tires, TVs, shopping carts, two carseats, which “was odd,” says Crawford, a door of a porta-potty – even a message in a bottle, written in Polish that he had yet to translate. “I don’t know where the stuff goes in,” he says. “We take it to a transfer station to dispose of it properly and recycle where possible.” While Crawford and crew make a difference, he says they could be out every day cleaning up the water and there would still be no end to the amount of garbage. A kayaking excursion of the Humber in 2008 spurred Crawford, 43, to implement the annual cleanup. The pollution isn’t just impacting the river’s ecosystem, but burying Toronto’s history, he says. Crawford’s love for the outdoors was borne out of an adventure tour of sea kayaking on Georgian Bay about two decades ago. He and his family spend their summers camping on an island property they own two hours east of Peterborough where they have four kayaks, canoes and a pontoon boat. In fact, he and his wife met up north working at the Ontario Track 3 Ski Association where they taught mentally and physically challenged children how to ski. Crawford grew up in Delaware, Ont., just outside London. His father owned a brokerage company and was a volunteer firefighter. As a kid, he’d be at the fire hall washing the trucks. Like his dad, as a teen, Crawford became a volunteer firefighter and recalls wearing a beeper to school. He says he gets his entrepreneurial spirit and desire to give back to his community from his grandparents and parents, who were active on boards and committees such as the local library, Lion’s Club and Scouts, among others. Crawford initially contemplated becoming a

>> “Our

AVIGAYIL CASHED IN $1,384 Courtesy photo

Rick Crawford with his wife, Kira, son Alexander and daughter Theadora.

police officer, but realized it wasn’t a lifestyle he coveted. Instead, he went back to school and then became a firefighter. Meanwhile, he has always maintained a side gig, first a windowwashing business and now the environmentally conscious rubbish removal company. “I like to be busy,” he says. In addition to his duties at Station No. 434 at Browns Line and Horner Avenue, Crawford makes time to run with his daughter as part of her school’s cross-country running club in High Park in the mornings. For three years, he volunteered for the Rotary Club of Parkdale-High Park. Crawford first came to Toronto for post-secondary education and settled in East York and later in the Beach as a newbie firefighter. When a friend of his said he had a place available in Roncesvalles Village, Crawford made the move. “I realized I’m a west-ender. It fits me,” he says. Crawford says he loves cleaning up the Humber each year in part because it has an immediate impact. His company has also hosted a holiday food and toy drive as well as a Christmas in July event and helped the Toronto District School Board move equipment. “We do a food drive with the Greater Toronto Apartment Association – we donate our truck to pick up food,” he says. GL


• 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.

54 | Goodlife Bloor West - December 2013 - January 2014

Reduce glare and choose your degree of privacy from sheer to total blackout, all with the quietest blind and drape system on the market.


2899 STEELES AVE. WEST, UNIT 17, TORONTO, ONTARIO TEL: (416) 736-8600 FAX: (416) 736-8601


Years and counting CultureLink, a settlement organization in Toronto, marked its 25th anniversary with a gala at the Old Mill this fall. As life in Toronto changes, so do the organization’s services, ensuring it adapts to changes and creates new programs which best respond to clients' needs. photography by giordano ciampini

Above, Parkdale-High Park MP Peggy Nash, left, and Parkdale-High Park MPP Cheri DiNovo with CultureLink executive director Ibrahim Absiye. Below, Abdi Warsame and Asmahan Mussa spend some time enjoying the evening’s ambiance.

56 | Goodlife Bloor West - December 2013 - January 2014

CultureLink volunteers Amparo Velez and Daisey Avendano at the organization's 25th anniversary gala at the Old Mill.

Above left, guests Amelia Porras and Katrin Henao, and at right, Zarina Decambra and Sabrina Gollnow. Below, dancers from the Polish community twirl across the dance floor.


Above, Roma singer Ildiko Varga sings traditional songs for guests. Below, Olivia Kazmierczak and Karol Marunkiewicz perform a traditional Polish folk dance as part of the evening’s entertainment.

Back row, (left to right) are Jacqueline Daley, Zeinab Ibrahim-Green, Joseph Kojo, Joseph Amankrah and Diane Walker; centre row (left to right) Ahmed Ali, Kemi Jacobs, Sulecha James and Kola Iluyomade, seen here seated.

CultureLink Executive Director Ibrahim Absiye with Trinity Spadina MP Olivia Chow.

From left, Lynda Young, Anya Barkan, Erika Ivanic and Jared Kolb.

Above, Halina Miernik lets loose on the dance floor, while below, Filipina-Canadian singer Chyrell Samson belts out the Canadian national anthem.

Monika, a server at the Old Mill carries a tray of desserts to guests during the event. | 57

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December 2013/January 2014