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SPRING/SUMMER 2014 COBRA Pools & Spas Inc.

RETREAT, REFRESH, AND REDISCOVER Take a look at designing the best backyard escapes


Make everyone feel welcome as soon as they walk into your backyard oasis


THE BRADYS AND THEIR STAFF HAVE BEEN INSTRUMENTAL IN THEIR COMMUNITY Staff at COBRA Pools & Spas Inc. believe in community involvement and giving back


hether it is selling tickets for a hot tub give away (proceeds went to the Canadian Cancer Society), installing a pool for the Canadian Children’s Wish Foundation, installing a fibreglass pool and spa combo in the U.S.A for disabled war vets, or being the first company in Canada to install a therapeutic Swim Spa for our disabled war vets, staff at COBRA Pools & Spas Inc. believe in community involvement and giving back. For that reason Bill and Judy Brady, co-owners of COBRA Pools & Spas Inc., located in Perth, Ontario, choose to support one of their local athletes, Myles Matheson, in his current endeavor to participate in the 2014 Winter Games in the sport of speed skating. A hot tub was donated by COBRA Pools & Spas Inc., and ducks were sold at $5 each, with a chance to win the tub. More than $5,000 was raised to provide funds for Myles’ training. The Bradys have yet to announce who the beneficiary will be for their next “NOT FOR PROFIT PROJECT.” But it will undoubtedly be community based.



ports – Perth Olympic speed skater Myles Matheson accepts


Photo: Contributed

Photo: Jose Francisco Jimenez Meca/123RF

Photo: Contributed

a cheque for $5,241 from Bill Brady, owner of COBRA Pools and Spas in Perth on Saturday, Sept. 28. The business raised $5,241 to help cover Matheson’s speed skating training costs, and gave away a free hot tub to the winning number drawn. Mr. Brady coached Matheson during his minor hockey in Perth.


Style Performance Quality

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267-4466 SPRING/SUMMER 2014 / 3

PROTECT YOUR FAMILY AND YOUR POOL Pool covers double as safety devices


eigh Hinsperger of H.P.I (Hinspergers Poly Industries) states that the way people can winterize their pools has changed dramatically over the past decade. The only option used to be an oversized tarp cover with waterbags to hold it in place, or a form-fitted snap-in cover for pools built with a double track. Safety covers were not nearly as common as they are now. Very few pools in the neighborhood used this form of cover due to the lack of availability, or the cost. Both of these factors have changed considerably. Safety covers are now very common and are actually provided for a majority of new pools being built. The cost has come down considerably due to increased competition, manufacturing techniques and raw materials being used. The mesh safety cover is also now commonly acknowledged as a winter pool cover as well as a safety device/feature. Bill and Judy Brady of COBRA Pools & Spas Inc. agree that going to a reputable company is the first start to getting a safety cover for your pool. A good pool company will know how to properly measure your pool for a tight fit. They will know all the information that the manufacturer will need. More importantly, they will know how to properly install the cover. Many of the higher end dealers have been trained by the manufacturers and have installed numerous covers in the past 10 years. They know not to cut corners to keep the cost down. Working with a pool professional will almost certainly guarantee you a top-quality product measured and installed perfectly.


Photos Courtesy of COBRA Pools & Spas Inc.


Photo: Kurhan /123RF


Published for: LeisureScapes Uxbridge, Ontario Operations Manager: Sarah Acorn, LeisureScapes




We take a look at the best backyard escapes

Look to your tablet, smartphone for help

Project Coordinator: Brad A. Sweet Published by: The Chronicle Herald, Custom and Community Publishing Department Chairman and Publisher: Sarah Dennis President and CEO: Mark Lever Director, Custom and Community Publishing: Jeff Nearing Editor and Project Manager: Claudia White Director, Design & Multimedia: Jayson Taylor Creative Lead: Brian Graham Graphic Designer: Julia Webb Advertising Coordinator: Tara Robitaille Cover Photos: Moodboard/123RF, Larry Malvin/123RF, Cobra Pools Š The Chronicle Herald 2014 All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced, stored in retrieval systems or transmitted in any form or by any means without the prior written permission from the publisher.




XVIII DID YOU KNOW? Dealers answer your questions

Necessary and delightful add-ons




GET THE PARTY STARTED Make everyone feel welcome

The ideal backyard setup


PRODUCT HIGHLIGHTS Great ideas to help enjoy the summer

The Chronicle Herald 2717 Joseph Howe Drive PO Box 610, Halifax, N.S., B3J 2T2

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Sunshine Pools & Spas Kelowna, British Columbia II / SPRING/SUMMER 2014


RETREAT, REFRESH, AND REDISCOVER From water treadmills and infinity edges to outdoor kitchens and pet-friendly pools, we take a look at designing the best backyard escapes BY

Heather Laura Clarke

Photos: Contributed / Jeff McNeill © McNeill Photography


andscape designers are always looking for new ways to give their clients a space that’s beautiful, functional, and unique to their lifestyle. It’s an industry that’s quickly expanding with innovative new products and techniques — giving homeowners more opportunities than ever to have a truly customized backyard escape.



hen Scott Cooper met with homeowners building on a steep hillside in West Kelowna, he immediately saw this wasn’t going to be a typical project. “The pool needed to be built into the side of a bedrock slope, and it also needed to be planned, located, and excavated before construction on the house even began — so it had to be absolutely perfect,” says Cooper, a project manager with Sunshine Pools & Spas in Kelowna, B.C. The homebuilders spent eight weeks blasting and hauling away more than 480 truckloads of rock. When the lot was prepped, Cooper and his team began to construct the pool — one of only a handful he’s recommended be located in a front yard. But there’s no chance of traffic cruising by and watching the homeowners while they swim. Cooper says the lot’s privacy is incredible, with the house itself — perched six storeys above the main road — tucked away at the end of a 300-foot driveway. He says one of the pool’s most interesting features is a set of swim jets — a jet-propulsion system that allows you to swim in a stationary position. “It’s like a water treadmill,” says Cooper. “You can swim as long as you’d like, without moving from that same spot.”



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4JNQMFBOEJOUVJUJWFQPPM automation like you’ve never experienced.

Photo: Contributed


To take a closer look at OmniLogic or other Hayward products, go to or call 1-888-238-7665 Hayward is a registered trademark and OmniLogic is a trademark of Hayward Industries, Inc.Š 2013 Hayward Industries, Inc.

Total System: Pumps I Filters I Heating | Cleaners I Sanitization I Automation I Lighting I Safety I White Goods SPRING/SUMMER 2014 / V


ill and Judy Brady were called in to help a couple who had bought an old farm just outside of Perth, Ontario. They had redone the entire farmhouse, and wanted to create a backyard escape that complemented their new rural environment. “It’s a beautiful setting. You’re surrounded by hay bales and an old barn, and so much wide open space,” says Bill Brady, owner of COBRA Pools & Spas Inc. “We went with a fibreglass pool, which are a bit more expensive because they go into the ground

in one piece, but they have a lot of advantages — especially down the road. “They’re great for families with dogs, because you don’t have to worry about their nail’s ripping a liner.” The pool is used April through October, so an automatic retractable solar cover was a must — keeping the water clean and warm whenever someone’s ready for a dip. “Putting the cover on and taking it off is as easy as using a TV remote,” says Brady.

COBRA Pools & Spas Inc. Perth, Ontario

Photo: Contributed

BonaVista Leisurescapes Toronto, Ontario


hen you’re designing a backyard escape for a family with young children, Jennifer Gannon — owner of BonaVista LeisureScapes in Toronto — says it’s always a matter of combining safety, function, and fun. BonaVista LeisureScapes was recently approached by a client with a tricky sloping lot — high in the back, sloping down towards the house — that provided some unique design opportunities. They wanted a freeform custom concrete pool


Photo: Contributed

and a natural landscape that worked with the elevations, instead of imposing a design onto an environment. “In order to avoid large, looming retaining walls, we created a three-tiered pool and patio design with a cascading negative edge — also called an ‘infinity’ edge — to fall into a wading pool below,” says Gannon. “This gave the family a shallower pool for their younger children to enjoy, a beautiful water feature to complement the backyard vistas, and a landscape that flows with the

surrounding elevations.” A swirling Cyclone slide was a must-have for the kids, and they also designed covered seating, lounging, and dining areas for entertaining. Gannon says an important element of the project was choosing the dark Marbelite finish — custom-mixed cement overlay — for the pool’s surface. “It creates a more vivid depth to the colour of the water,” explains Gannon. “It makes the concrete textured and beautiful, and also makes it slip-resistant.”

What works for one family won’t work for another, and that’s why it’s important for homeowners to talk to their designer about how they plan to use the space — and how they envision the finished product. Once everyone is on the same page about the look, feel, and functionality, that’s when the fun begins ...



TRENDS IN OUTDOOR LIVING Some elements of backyard pools and hot tubs are necessary and some are delightful add-ons BY

Debra Wells-Hopey


o you took the plunge and installed a pool or hot tub — congratulations! But before you can truly enjoy these lifestyle improvements, you need to consider what you will need to maximize your personal oasis. In recent years copious advancements have been made in terms of pool safety, privacy, lighting and entertainment additions; and who better to give an update on the latest trends and developments then the leisure experts themselves? “Working closely with your dealer those first few months of ownership is critical to ensuring your initial feelings of thrill and excitement stay,” says Ken Reid of Sunshine Pools in Kelowna, BC. “They can make recommendations on not only your water care needs, but also the latest styles and technology to take things to the next level.” Some elements of backyard pools and hot tubs are necessary and some are delightful add-ons. Some can be both. For example, most city bylaws require fencing, which is not only a safety feature but also provides privacy. But it need not be unappealing — and can in fact add to the enjoyment of the space. “The type of fencing you choose may depend on how much you want your neighbours to watch your swimming and tubbing activities,” jokes Reid. “Living walls or trellis systems laced with ivy and strategically placed shrubs or trees can help immensely in creating a private oasis while also assisting with soundproofing.”


“The latest privacy walls are being made of sling fabric, frosted glass, Sunbrella fabric or a variety of woods such as cedar and teak,” explains Jennifer Gannon, owner of Bona Vista Leisurescapes in Toronto. “Tall ceramic and moulded plastic planters that are up-lit offer another way to create privacy when lined up and planted with hardy plants. Water features

add not only soothing sound but privacy too. “Also,” continues Gannon, “Planters or privacy screens delineate the space to create the outdoor walls of different ‘rooms’ such as dining or lounging areas.” Where you seek advice about your pool or hot tub is important. Elie Chassion of Funtime Pools in Moncton, N.B. stresses

Photo: Elena Elisseeva/123RF

that pool and hot tub owners should seek out a professional dealer even for the additions to your purchase. “A professional pool dealer will participate in continuous learning in the swimming pool industry,” says Chaisson. “They can show you the latest projects they have done through a website, photos or by visiting the sites. If you like what someone else has done you don’t need to reinvent the wheel.” While browsing through ideas, you may notice what’s available in outdoor entertainment. “Outdoor entertaining areas are often planned in a similar way to the main floor of a home,” explains Bona Vista Pool’s Gannon. “This means a lounge area for conversation, an outdoor kitchen and a dining area.” “A lot of hot tubs come with wireless sound systems that allow you to plug into a stereo or music player inside your home. You can even mount an outdoor television screen so you don’t miss the big game!” adds Sunshine Pool’s Reid. This new outdoor living area, as well as your pool or hot tub, will also need to be lit for security and enjoyment at all hours of the day. “There are many options these days for pool lighting, including using multiple multicoloured, extremely energy efficient LED lights,” says Reid. “How much evening entertaining you do may dictate your choices in this area. Yard lighting around the pool and patio area is also important to create the desired atmosphere.”


“Fire features are another growing segment, adding warmth, light and ambience,” suggests Gannon. “Many are made of metal or concrete and run on either propane or natural gas in round bowl shapes, squares or linear rectangles.” Additional possibilities are limitless. Fountains, torches, umbrellas, misters and outdoor heaters are all on trend right now. All-weather furniture is no longer the patio furniture of your parent’s generation — pieces are available in many price ranges and high fashion styles. Greg Butler of Bubba’s Pools in St. John’s, NL sums up the trends to add to your pool or hot tub. “A long time ago, I was advised by one of North America’s leading swimming pool experts that the backyard should be focussed on three things — fire, food and water,” says Butler. “As evolved and sophisticated as we all fancy ourselves, really we all still have a little of that cave man thing in us!” As in any vision for a backyard, the balance must be found between artistic design and practicality. “Your well lit and secured pool or hot tub, a barbecue and comfortable place to eat, and a fire feature such as torches or a concrete fire pot equals a perfect leisure space,” says Butler. “Add some music and you’re in heaven.”

Photo: zstockphotos/123RF

Photo: Robert Elias/123RF


BACKYARD SPAS ARE A COMPONENT OF HEALTHY LIVING The ideal backyard setup is a cool water pool combined with a hot tub


backyard pool or spa is a wonderful family gathering place, a place to escape the summer heat and have fun. It can also be your most effective fitness tool. Dr. Greg Gannon is a Toronto-based coach, trainer and a sports scientist. He says a backyard pool can provide the perfect workout apparatus, especially for older people or someone just starting out on an athletic regimen. Swimming laps is just one way to accomplish that. There are a whole list of aquatic exercises that can be carried out even in a small pool or spa, including running, stretching and resistance training. “To get the benefit from any training program, you have to follow the principle of physical overload,” says Gannon. “You need to place a load on your body and then steadily increase that load over time. Weights are one good way to provide that load. Water resistance is another. Because you increase the resistance on your body by moving faster, it’s very easy to control resistance exercises in a pool.” A former university kinesiology professor, Gannon worked for more than a decade training elite Olympic athletes and was involved in setting up sports institutes around the country before starting his own business, S2 Training Systems, in 2010. Today he works mainly with dedicated amateur athletes who are training for events such as marathons, triathlons, mountaineering expeditions and ultra-endurance races. He says water provides support for the body, making an exercise program more comfortable for people suffering from arthritis or joint problems. The lack of joint or muscle pain that often comes with dry land gym sessions can make the exercises more enjoyable too, increasing the chances that participants will stick with their exercise program. The ideal backyard setup is a cool water pool combined with a hot tub. “It gives you the benefits of going from a hot medium to a cold medium. Very therapeutic for your muscles after a workout,” says Gannon. For



Tom Mason those who don’t have the resources or the backyard space for that, a spa tub can also be an effective exercise tool for doing yoga, resistance exercises or stretches. There are other alternatives as well, including swim spas. Swim spas function as a kind of treadmill for swimmers. They contain resistance systems that create a strong current so that swimmers can swim in place. Their advantage lies in the fact that they are easy to install and affordable, says Kelly Devries, owner of Water and Wellness in Walkerton, Ontario. Devries’s company installs both in-ground and above-ground models. While in-ground swim spas often require elaborate installation, the above-ground models are usually easy to install. “You wire it up, set it in place and you’re good to go,” he says.

Devries says that anyone planning to invest in a swim spa should do their homework and buy a quality brand. “The top brands place a strong focus on creating a natural swim based on the design of the swim tank,” he says. “The ones we sell come with a sport version and a trainer version for more elite athletes. For about 85 per cent of the population, a good quality sport version will be enough.” Gannon says there’s a mental health component that is often overlooked when it comes to spas. The spa experience is meditative, the sound of running water is therapeutic, and some of his clients even go so far as to add aromatic scents to the water to add an aromatherapy component to the mix. “It’s well known in our industry that spas are a key element of an effective training system,” he says. “After all, most Olympic training facilities are now spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on hydrotherapy equipment. They wouldn’t be doing that if it didn’t work.”

Photo: Contributed



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PRODUCT HIGHLIGHTS Great ideas to make your pool or hot tub more enjoyable this season

PICSURE MEASURING SYSTEM The proper fit of a vinyl liner is imperative for its longevity and appearance . Highbury Pools innovative PicSure Measuring System is the most accurate way to measure for a pool liner installation. Only Highbury Pools can accurately 3D render your pool to design a liner. The best fit, appearance and longevity, insist on a Highbury Pools Liner measured with PicSure Measuring System.

SILKY SWIM “GOODBYE DRY!” Goodbye Dry! is a unique water treatment applied to the pool for the swimmer, not the pool. Add Goodbye Dry! to your pool to enjoy the benefits of not only silky feeling water, but how the water also makes your hair tangle-free and your skin softer and itch-free.

HOT TUB CARE JUST GOT A LOT EASIER. Introducing Mineraluxe! Once a week, you just toss a cube into your skimmer, add a pouch of Mineraluxe Oxygen to your water, then add your bromine or chlorine. There’s just no easier way to care for a hot tub.



SUPERFLO VS PUMPS Affordable variable speed technology comes to standard pools for energy cost savings of up to 80% NEW SuperFlo VS pumps slash energy costs by up to 80%*, compared to conventional pool pumps. They come to you from the company that launched variable speed technology a full 5 years ahead of every other pool pump manufacturer - Pentair Aquatics Systems.

THE OMNILOGIC ELITE BACKYARD CONTROLLER The Breakthrough In Pool Automation You’ve Been Asking For The OmniLogic Elite Backyard Controller from Hayward combines the best connectivity, versatility and energy-efficient functionality with an intuitive touch display interface that makes the whole system simple to use and easy to customize. Access pool control applications from any computer, remote or mobile device.

LATHAM ULTRA-SEAM® LINERS Tired of visible floor seams detracting from the look for your pool? Vinyl liners made with Latham Pool Products’ exclusive Ultra-Seam® process have floor seams that are stronger and virtually invisible. Whether you’re purchasing a new pool, or want to replace your current liner, visit lathampool. ca or call (800) 638-7422.


THERE REALLY IS AN APP FOR THAT Look to your tablet, smartphone for inspiring backyard help


Lindsey Bunin


n a world where there’s always an app for that, consider how your phone or tablet could be of assistance during your next project. There are many facets to a pool or hot tub project that need to be completed before you can dive in to your backyard oasis. Installation, decor and landscaping are all valuable parts of the finished product. Harnessing as much power as your drill, why not let your apps be your right-hand-man? Photo: Sorapong Chaipanya /123RF

Handy tools

Find your inspiration

While you can’t pop a screwdriver from the side of your phone, there are plenty of apps to help lighten your tool box.

Idea sharing is one of the quickest ways to spark your own creativity. Through online forums, users are borrowing each other’s inspirations more than ever.

iHandy Carpenter ($1.99):

Handy Man DIY ($1.99):

Houzz (free):

Pinterest (free):

Keep five tools in your pocket at all times. This app includes a plumb bob, surface level, bubble bar level, protractor and ruler.

This multi-functional app allows you to keep a running list of materials, manage the budget, store measurements and provides handy how-tos for a wide variety of DIYs.

Featuring a drool-worthy collection of design and decor options, Houzz allows you to search photos by style, create collections to piece together an overall look, and share your plans easily with others.

A mecca of idea sharing, Pinterest invites users to pin ideas, links and photos to virtual bulletin boards. Simple organization helps you map out what you like most and create your own ideal project.



Gardening and landscaping

Task management

Need a little advice on what to grow, or some inspirational images to help you image what your backyard can look like?

When taking on a large indoor or outdoor project, there’s plenty to keep track of, so why not keep your lists at your fingertips?

Grow Your Own (free):

iScape ($9.99):

Wunderlist (free):

Evernote (free):

Created by the Royal Horticultural Society, this app will help gardeners figure out what to grow and how to do it best, based on skill level. It also includes fruits and veggies if you want to supplement your landscaping.

While this app costs a bit more than most, it’s worth its weight in shrubs. With a library of more than 700 images and a variety of tools, it will tell you what to plant and where to plant it. Its photo and drawing features allows you to mock-up your space for the best results.

Make an account and use this app to make lists and manage your to-dos without missing a single detail. It’s also a great utility for multi-tasking business owners, and allows list sharing, too.

This multi-use tool allows you to sync your digital ‘notebook’ seamlessly between your phone or tablet and your computer to manage tasks and delegate and share lists with other users.

Before and after As with any home project, it’s beneficial to capture before and after photos — not just for bragging rights. Keep a running log of the home-improvement projects you’ve completed for your records. Don’t forget to upload the blooper videos, too.

U Saunas U Hot Tubs U Gazebos U Outdoor Furniture U Indoor Furniture

Camera+ ($1.99): This simple-to-use camera provides more editing options than the basic iOS or Android camera.

It’s the ‘little’ things we do that make a ‘big’ difference! 888.923.9813


TOP 10 REASONS why you should request that your pool dealer uses only Highbury Pools Ltd products for your dream backyard oasis. 9. Countless standard shapes and sizes - We can also assist in creating a custom design, giving 2. Invisiseal Vinyl Liners - Since 2008, we have been you an infinite number of choices and ensuring providing the strongest, most visually appealing you get the pool that you want. seams on both the floor AND wall seams. 1. WE ARE CANADIAN OWNED AND OPERATED.

3. We provide the best dealer support and fastest lead times in the industry standing firmly behind our Dealers. 4. Strongest steel panels - Our steel panels have STANDARD wall stiffeners at a maximum of 2’ apart and an encapsulated top rail making the sturdiest panel available in the industry.

10. We also carry a full range of distribution products, providing your dealer with a “onestop shop”. This means everything for your pool arrives at once, and there’s no holdups waiting on product.

5. PicSure Measuring System - Our exclusive Computer Aided Measuring software creates a virtual 3D model of your pool for the absolute most accurate fitting liner available. 6. Full line of Fibreglass and Luran stairs to help achieve the exact style you are looking for. 7. Versatility - Our Triumph On Ground Pools offer an alternative when an inground pool isn’t suited for your desired application. 8. Full line of coping including aluminum, PVC, and ProForm Cantilevered concrete forms.

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Saltwater pools are favoured for their simple approach, but they do have some unique maintenance needs when compared to traditional chlorine pools. Despite their popularity there is still some information that has not reached all Canadian salt pool owners. TRUTH 1 A salt cell generates unstabilized chlorine that diminishes rapidly when exposed to sunlight UV rays. A pool water stabilizer product shields against sunlight to extend the life of generated chlorine and minimize cell run time. Stabilizer levels need to be adjusted at spring opening and checked during the season. TRUTH 2 The process a cell uses to convert saltwater into chlorine contributes to higher water pH every time a cell runs. A pH reducer corrects high pH to protect surfaces and equipment and maintain bather comfort. Granular pH reducers are preferred for ease of handling and safer storage than liquid acids.

TRUTH 5 Saltwater pools need water balance levels tested on a regular basis just like traditional chlorine pools. Use test strips to ensure proper water balance for the best swimmer comfort, equipment «ÀœÌiV̈œ˜]>˜`Ã>˜ˆÌˆâiÀivwVˆi˜VÞ°-«Àˆ˜} start-up, monthly checkups and prior to closing tests at your professional dealer are recommended.

TRUTH 6 The amount of salt in a pool and the amount of chlorine being produced are independent of each other. Adding more salt (above what is recommended in the owner’s manual) does not improve ivwVˆi˜VÞ œÀ ˆ˜VÀi>Ãi ̅i }i˜iÀ>̈œ˜ œv chlorine. Test strips or dealer testing will Vœ˜wÀ“ Ã>Ì iÛiÃ° iÌ Ã>Ì iÛi ˆ˜ ̅i TRUTH 3 The environment within a correct range with a high quality pool salt cell can cause chalky white calcium-scale at the start of the season. deposits to form on a cell’s wall over time, decreasing the chlorine output and TRUTH 7 The process of generating ivwVˆi˜VÞ°1ÃiœvÃV>i«ÀiÛi˜Ìˆœ˜«Àœ`‡ chlorine within the cell will cause scale builducts will defend against damaging scale Õ«̅>ÌÀi`ÕViÃivwVˆi˜VÞ>˜`ŜÀÌi˜ÃVi vœÀivwVˆi˜Ì]œ˜}>Ã̈˜}Vi«iÀvœÀ“>˜Vi° life. Use of a cell cleaner removes built-up scale to restore cell to peak performance. TRUTH 4 Chlorine is effective at killing Starting each season with a properly cleaned bacteria and algae, but creates unpleasant cell is recommended. by-products when it reacts with contaminants like sweat or sunscreen. A shock treatment eliminates contaminants for clear, fresh water. Nothing is truly maintenance free, but with Shocking during the swimming season ensures some basic knowledge and the ongoing water quality and reduces stress on chlorine support of your professional dealer a salt generator. Chlorine or non-chlorine shocks can pool can be a backyard pleasure. be used.

SunShield Stabilizer ®

shields against sunlight to extend the life of generated chlorine and minimize cell run time.

pH Reducer corrects high pH to protect surfaces and equipment.

Scale Defender protects against damaging scale for efficient, long lasting cell performance

Cell Cleaner removes built-up scale to restore cell to peak performance. Chlorine-Free Shock Oxidizer eliminates contaminants for clear, fresh water.

For more information, contact your BioGuard Dealer.

DID YOU KNOW? Dealers answer your most frequently asked questions * BY

Lindsey Bunin


hen it comes to pool and hot tub sales, installation and service, who better to answer your frequently asked questions than the professionals? Ken Reid, of Sunshine Pools and Spas in Okanagan Valley, B.C., says his business prides itself in the ability to maximize customers’ leisure time by looking after all their swimming pool and hot tub needs, with a passion for making pool and hot tub ownership easy. They offer design and construction services for in ground pools and a full service and maintenance department all brands of pools, equipment and hot tubs, as well as a wide selection of backyard accessories.

Do I need a permit for an in-ground pool? Yes, a permit is required for all in-ground pools in our jurisdiction. Local cities or municipalities have certain restrictions that must be met when putting in a pool, and often will want a geotechnical engineer involved in the project to ensure the ground condition is sufficient or optimized to support the swimming pool.

Do I need a safety barrier around my above ground swimming pool? Yes, all pools require an approximate 4-ft. high safety barrier around them. If the above ground pool walls are 4-ft. or higher, they can be considered the safety barrier, as long as any ladder or entry system into the pool can also be blocked off.


How do I decide what size pool to select?

What is the lifespan of a pool?

There are many factors that go into selecting pool size and shape. Mainly, budget, size and shape of yard, and your desired use for the pool. The larger your pool, the more it will cost, so once you have determined a budget for your project, your dealer can price out a pool that fits. Yard size and shape are important to consider as you need to determine how much room you have available for the pool versus play area, patio area, landscaping, etc. With today’s smaller lot sizes, this becomes more of a deciding factor in how large a pool you can put in.

If well-constructed and maintained, pools should be a permanent aspect of your landscape design. Many of our clients still live in the home where we built their concrete pool back in the ’60s. They may require a new surface coating (paint or marbelite on a concrete pool, new liner on a vinyl pool) over the years and mechanical service on their filter, heater and pump. The benefits of maintaining proper water chemistry is that it protects the mechanical equipment and the pool surface. Taking your water sample to a LeisureScapes professional helps to preserve the life of your pool as they will share responsible and easy annual water care and maintenance tips.

——— A second-generation, family-run business, BonaVista LeisureScapes in Toronto is operated by siblings carrying on their father’s tradition of building custom, concrete pools, hot tubs and water features for the residential and commercial markets in Toronto with special projects all over Ontario.

How do I choose a pool dealer? Ask friends and family for a referral. If they’ve had a backyard project done, search the local market for a location to visit and on the Internet for reviews. After narrowing down the search to a minimum of three quality builders, interview or meet with each on site to see what they recommend for your space. Ask for references and email or call them to ask about their experience with the company. Price should not be the only factor that contributes to your decision. Rapport with the sales and construction crew, as well as scheduling will also be important when you undertake a backyard project so your expectations are met and the experience is a positive one.

——— With more than 18 years’ experience, family-owned Vantage Pools in Langley, BC, has two retail stores where manager of operations Rhett Bradshaw and his crew provide service work, parts, chemicals, water testing, hot tubs, toys, and specializing in building vinyl and fiberglass swimming pools.

What can I do to make my pool last longer? It’s been said that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. This is absolutely true of swimming pools and related equipment. Weekly maintenance is a key to prolonging the life of your investment. One of the biggest factors is properly balancing your pool water. Unbalanced water can take a heavy toll on pumps, heaters, pool surfaces, stainless steel items and more. Being too low in mineral content results in acidic water that can eat away at plastics, metals


and even concrete. On the other hand, having high levels of alkalinity, pH or calcium can also cause issues such as staining, scale build up, inefficiency of equipment. By simply taking 15 to 30 minutes per week, you can protect your swimming pool and get the most out of your well-spent money.

What is the best kind of landscaping for around my pool?


Photo: HaveSeen /123RF

While big leafy plants and trees can provide needed shade during the heat of summer, they can also result in a lot of extra work. Deciduous trees (trees that lose their leaves) can be a pain when fall rolls around. The last thing you want is to be scooping leaves out of the pool or fishing out grass trimmings on a regular basis. Using river rock, lava rock, or other low maintenance ground coverings around the pool will ensure you can spend more time swimming and less time cleaning. Rockscapes are becoming increasingly popular for many pool owners. You may also consider evergreens as a way to add life to the backyard without adding work to your life.

Different regions of the country have different bylaws governing what you can and cannot do on your property. While these answers are meant to provide you with as much information as possible, the answers may be slightly different in your area of the country. For example, a safety barrier in B.C. may have a different height requirement than one in N.S. Please check with your local authorities as well as your knowledgeable LeisureScapes dealer before making any decisions. SPRING/SUMMER 2014 / XIX

GET THE PARTY STARTED Make everyone feel welcome as soon as they walk into your backyard oasis

Photo: Hanna Monika Cybulko /123RF


he food and drinks are fabulous. Your beef-filled appetizers in phyllo wrappers. BY guests feel right at home. And you’re the “For the main course you can take your baramazing host who also has a chance to becue to another level by grilling lamb with a haDiane Merlevede enjoy the party. It’s what backyard entertaining rissa spice blend,” says Filippou. “You can serve is all about — celebrating the summer with family couscous too. It all would work really well.” and friends. Serve food with ease on stylish outdoor dinGet the party started by making everyone feel welcome as soon nerware that combines the look of fine china with the durability of as they walk into your backyard oasis. melamine in summery colours and patterns. Offer drinks with class “We want our guests to experience a sense of ease and comfort, in the latest acrylic pitchers and stemware that reflect the elegance and we can help create that by having some food and drinks ready of crystal without the worry about broken glass. for them, some music and some ambience,” suggests Tom Filippou, The kids can have their own special treats, and maybe even their executive chef for President’s Choice. own activities under the careful supervision of an experienced sitter. “Set up small stations or areas where people can walk up, grab a “You could set up a sundae bar with all sorts of toppings and cones, drink and grab a bite. Put out pitchers with some great cocktails, such and let the kids make their own,” suggests Filippou. as sangria or cosmopolitans. Then your guests can chat and watch as Sounds like a blast, doesn’t it? Don’t be surprised if some of the you’re preparing the main course on the grill.” grown-ups want a sundae bar too! Perhaps plan your menu around a theme with international flair, Here’s to a summer full of good food, good company and such as a Moroccan-style barbecue, starting with Moroccan cigars — good fun.




Photo: Contributed



At your next cocktail party, impress your guests with a pitcher of this beautifully coloured and citrus-studded sparkling sangria. With the addition of Red Sangria Cocktail Mixer, very few ingredients are required.

Ingredients: 1 bottle (750 mL) white wine or Prosecco 1½ cups (375 mL) PC Black Label Sangria 6 thin round lemon slices 6 thin round lime slices 6 thin round orange slices 3 cups (750 mL) ice cubes ½ cup (125 mL) raspberries Instructions: 1. In pitcher, stir together wine and sangria cocktail mixer; add lemon, lime and orange slices. 2. Add ice cubes and raspberries; stir gently to combine.

Chef’s Tip: Sangria can be made a couple of hours or up to a day in advance. Refrigerate pitcher after adding lemon, lime and orange slices. Just before serving, stir in ice cubes and raspberries.

Serves: 6 Per Serving: protein 1 g. Source: SPRING/SUMMER 2014 / XXI

“bloo” Juice Morning Power Smoothie Photo: Contributed

Smoothies are a very popular way to start the day. When building the ultimate healthy smoothie it is important to blend together four essential ingredients – a liquid base (preferably a high antioxidant juice like blueberry), a good protein (Greek yogurt or your favourite protein powder), a healthy fat (flax seeds, walnuts and avocado all contain omega 3 fatty acids) and a high fibre carbohydrate (highest fibre fruits are blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, peaches, pears, apples and oranges). This smoothie is packed with all the right ingredients for that power boost first thing in the morning, or you can enjoy this smoothie any time of day when you feel like a delicious metabolism boost. XXII / SPRING/SUMMER 2014

Ingredients: 1 very ripe banana, frozen 1 fresh peach (with skin), cut into segments or 1 cup frozen mango segments 1/2 tsp grated fresh ginger 2 tbsp ground golden flax seeds (use whole flax seeds) ½ cup Greek or any unsweetened plain yogurt 1 cup “bloo” blueberry or “bloo” blueberry citrus juice

Method: Wash peach before cutting into segments, set aside. Place whole flax seeds in blender and pulse until fully ground. Add all other ingredients to blender or Magic Bullet. Blend for approx. 30 seconds to one minute on high or until smooth. If consistency is too thick, add more bloo juice to your liking.

For children: For a fun and nutritious treat for children, blend all ingredients except the ginger and flax seed in a blender. Fill a Popsicle mould with mixture and freeze for a healthy, tasty refreshing treat. Makes 6 to 8, depending on size of Popsicle tray. For another kid-friendly treat, you can freeze just the blueberry juice in Popsicle tray.

Serves: 2-4 Source: Photo: Contributed




Whether you already own a pool or just starting to think about owning a pool, you can find resources, ideas and tips to help you get the most from your backyard oasis.

Photo: Contributed

Harissa Lamb Chops A fiery blend of chillies, spices and oil, the harissa spice blend is a dry spice mix that makes an ideal rub. Naturally suited to one another, this delicious combination of harissa and lamb will impress discerning guests.

Ingredients: 12 large lamb loin chops, about 1.3 kg 3 tbsp (45 mL) olive oil 1/4 cup (50 mL) PC Black Label Harissa Spice Blend Instructions: 1. In bowl, combine lamb chops, oil and harissa spice blend, massaging spice blend into the meat. Cover. Place in fridge to marinate for at least 1 hour, or up to 4 hours. 2. Preheat gas barbecue to high heat. Remove lamb from fridge 10 minutes before grilling. 3. Turn barbecue to medium heat. Place chops on greased grill. Cook with lid up for 4 to 6 minutes, giving chops a quarter turn halfway. Turn chops over and repeat on other side.

Serves: 4 Per Serving: 680 calories, fat 54 g, sodium 1450 mg, carbohydrate 2 g, fibre 0 g, protein 47 g.


PACIFIC Tilestone Wall

7” (17.78 cm) galvanized steel top seat Resin seat cap Galvanized steel top track


8’, 12’, 15’, 18’, 21’, 24’, 27’, 30’ and 33’ Oval


A-Brace 10’ x 16’ 10’ x 21’ 12’ x 18’ 12’ x 21’ 12’ x 24’ 16’ x 26’ 16’ x 32’ 18’ x 33’ 18’ x 38’ 18’ x 44’

6" (15.24 cm) galvanized steel upright 52" (1.32 m) corrugated steel wall Injected resin bottom connector / foot collar combination Galvanized steel bottom track Visible steel A-Brace System for oval pools NBS system for oval pools SPRING/SUMMER 2014 / XXIII


CLEANER. SAFER. EASIER-TO-MAINTAIN. Turn common salt into chlorine, right in your pool. And worry less about harmful chemicals and daily upkeep. Featuring an easy-toread display, the IntelliChlor® Salt Chlorine Generator keeps you up to date on salt levels, cell cleanliness, sanitizer output and water flow. So, you’ll always have safer, sparkling clean water without all the worries. Find a dealer at ©2013 Pentair Water Pool and Spa, Inc. All rights reserved.


CONSTRUCTION LTD. s3%04)#3934%-3 s3%7%27!4%2 ).34!,,!4)/.3 s,!.$3#!0%$%0/4 s%8#!6!4).'

s3!.$ s'2!6%, s4/03/), s34/.% s3./70,/7).'

613-267-5722 C - 613-812-0575

Serving Travellers for over 80 years! 230 Gore Street East Perth, Ontario



(613) 267-3914






Specializing In Interlock . Large Natural Stone . Retaining Walls . Garden Design and Construction . Tree Planting . Property Maintenance . Excavation . Ponds & Water Features . Cedar Post & Rail Fencing . Sod . Winter Maintenance


3OUTH3T0ERTH /.s+('


tt SPRING/SUMMER 2014 / 29



n December of 2012, the Pool & Hot Tub Council of Canada awarded COBRA Pools & Spas Inc. the Dealer of the Year Award for Canada. Bill and Judy Brady were both honored and surprised winning this award, but quickly pointed out that without the help and support of their entire staff, it would not have been possible. “We never thought that we would ever be so fortunate to win an award as we did in 2012,” said the Bradys. Also on December 4, 2013 COBRA Pools & Spas Inc. was awarded seven pool construction awards. Three were one-piece fibreglass pools and four were steel-wall vinyl liner on-ground pools in different categories. Twelve judges selected by the Pool & Hot Tub Council from across Canada took part in selecting the award winning projects. Pictured with the seven Canadian Pool Construction Awards are (left to right): Bill Brady, Judy Brady, Andrew Brady, Michelle Eves, Barbara (Brady) McKnight and Bill McKnight.

Photo: Contributed

Photo: © Michael Anderson

Dolphin Fiberglass Pool installed by COBRA Pools & Spas. Building designed & constructed by RT Warwick Construction, Perth, ON.


105 Dufferin St. Perth




“Independently Owned and Operated�




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105 Dufferin St. Perth



Backyard Escapes - Spring/Summer 2014 - Cobra Pools & Spas  
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