Outdoor Lifestyle Magazine Fall 2016

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THE LEGACY OF THE LINE Rediscover your passion

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ON THE COVER 80 westholme tea farm The future of tea has arrived. 71 chef michael smith Transforming cuisine on Canada’s east coast, one plate at a time.

64 Rick mercer The iconic funnyman, his life, his influences, and why we love, love, love him.

60 amazing Lake athabasca Follow publisher Dave Maciulis into the majestic Saskatchewan wilderness, and re-discover your passion for people, stories and patriotism.


STYLE 16 what to wear Look the part out on the trails this fall. 20 our favourite things We offer up six of our sharpest, gooiest, and most

delectable favourites in Canadian cheese!

28 GET DRESSED Comfort, coziness and style, with a First Nation’s flair.


DESIGN 30 CARSON ARTHUR Tips on keeping your outdoor space private, functional and stylish.


34 DESIGNER PROFILES Some of the most talented and creative landscaping minds in the country...many working in your own backyard!

40 HGTV’s PAUL LAFRANCE Looking past the storms in our lives to

gain some perspective.

42 highway of heroes Show your support for our men and women in

uniform...with trees.

49 award winning landscape pro glenn curtis Bridging the gap between fantasy and reality when planning your outdoor renovation project. 55 Embracing Winter Get out and try a new sport or hobby this season with these exciting must-do winter activities.

living 68 romance for two Plan your next weekend jaunt or extended


vacation at one of our favourite B&B hotspots.

74 Warm up with whisky Our favourite Canadian Whiskies. 76 PATIO FARE Profiling unique ambiance and delicious fare at some of

the country’s finest patios.

discover 84 FUNGAL SUPERFOOD OL’s resident Shaman introduces you to Chaga. 86 OUTDOOR ART Talented craftsmen, working with the elements to produce breathtaking beauty.


Catching up with Canada’s up and coming musical talents, Robin Benedict and Jace Martin.

94 canada’s SUPER PLANT EXPERT, frankie flowers Everything you need to know about kale!

96 COMIC RELIEF It’s open season on your “favourite” politicians. 98 not so AVERAGE JOE Canada it’s time you met this guy!

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Dave Maciulis CLD

Editor IN CHIEF Tim Zwart



Creative Director+designer Susan Vogan




Kerri Kelly-Parkinson


Copy Editor Larry Boyd

Staff Writers

Lori Sweezey Glenn Curtis Brie Jarrett Peter Vogler Susan Mate Candice Klein Zack Fleming Patrick Dixon Dominic Brown Lori Sweezey


Darren Roberts Photography-Cover Ema Peter Photography McNeill Photography Zook-it Photography Phriesen Photography Kristi Brianna Boulton Nikki Jumper Melissa Thistle Sean Fenzi Lindsay Hunter, Hunter Design Shutterstock

For advertising opportunities please email: info@outdoorlifestylemagazine.com PUBLISHED BY Koru Creative Group President Dave Maciulis C.L.D Phone: 289-238-7910 Email: info@outdoorlifestylemagazine.com Outdoor Lifestyle Magazine is published twice yearly: Spring/Summer and Fall/Winter Single copy price is $8.95 Subscription Rates Canada USA 1 year (2 issues) - $17.90 1 year (2 issues) - $22.95 2 years (4 issues) - $33.95 3 years (6 issues) - $48.95

Mail payment to: Outdoor Lifestyle Magazine 14 Cross Street, Unit E Dundas, ON L9H 2R3

Printed by T.C. Transcontinental Printing

Available at Chapters, Indigo, Coles, and Atlantic News Stands across Canada.

Delivered to bookstores by Disticor Magazine Distribution Services. Copyright 2015-2016 All rights reserved. Reproduction without express written consent is prohibited by law.

contributors At Outdoor Lifestyle, we don’t just showcase national writing talent; we assemble some of the best storytellers in the country. This issue is all about inner reflection, gaining perspective and re-connecting with the simple things in life that we sometimes take for granted. We asked this group what aspect of their roots they were most proud of, and the results highlight the success of the Canadian melting pot that we call home.

Cassidy Tonkin

Reynaldo Amota

Marisa Baratta

Scott Bryk

A frequent OL contributor and professionally trained culinary artist, Cassidy began her writing career in 2013 as a hobbyist. Her personal melting pot is quite vast, but the aspect she’s most proud of? “I’m proud that despite having my roots in Finland, my family and I work hard to stay connected and see each other every year. You only get one family!”



The Billingual Senior Editor for YP.ca, and lover of all things veggie, this issue marks the OL debut for this soft-spoken Italian. She is patriotic to both her cultural background and The Great White North, but the aspect she is most proud of? “I love that in Canada we value peace, open-mindedness, and always respect one another!”

The ability to speak a second language. It unlocks a portion of the world for me that not everyone is privy to. Language is a beautiful thing and a strong part of my identity. It allows me to experience a whole different world and connects me to the thing that I love most. People.

The Executive Director of the C Highway Of Heroes Living Tribute project, Scott has a passion for M both people and the environment. A serial entrepreneur and business Y enthusiast, Scott is “most proud of my upbringing in Palgrave, On- CM tario, in the heart of the Greenbelt - playing in and learning about the MY environment from the ground up! CY


BUCKET LIST What are the top ‘to do’ items on your Canadian Bucket list?

Send OL your wish list and you could win a 1 year subcription and your story may be included in an upcoming issue! Email all entries to, info@outdoorlifestylemagazine.com



Frankie Ferragine

Arguably Canada’s most popular and trusted gardening expert and weatherman, Frankie is known for his ability to combine practical gardening advice with humour. He is a four-time best-selling author, husband, and father to two boys. The aspect about his roots that makes him the most proud? “My family! You can grow many things, but your family always gives you the best harvest in life!”

Oscar. de los Santos

Oscar, our resident Shaman/Medicine Man, is a proud Canadian with his roots set deeply in his Latin American culture. “I love the Latin people, the food and most of all their sense of spirituality.” He has studied and immersed himself intensely, in the cultures of many countries around the world. Lucky for us, he has chosen this country as his home base. Who would we look to for advice on all the things that only a Shaman could teach us?

Got a great idea for a future article? We’d love to hear from you! Email info@outdoorlifestylemagazine.com

Jordan Rigg

We are very excited to welcome our new cartoonist and youngest contributor to OLM. This is Jordan’s first piece of published work and we are very excited for him. Who knows where this will lead?! As a proud Canadian, Jordan is very connected to his French heritage.“I love when my family gets together. I feel like these are the roots that bind us together so tightly.” Maybe he can do a big cartoon at the next family gathering!


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letter from the publisher

CONNECT TO YOUR ROOTS Every summer when I was a child, my father would take my brother and I to the pow-wows on the Six Nations Reserve. I was always so drawn to the extraordinary colourful costumes, the rhythmic dancing, and the intense beat of the drums as they reverberated in my chest. I felt so connected in those moments, although, I wasn’t quite sure what I was feeling connected to! In hindsight, Dad was providing us with a lesson in Canadian history, instilling in us the importance of respect and gratitude to the country that he’d immigrated to as a young boy. What a great gift! Although I am a big fan of “moving forward”, I do think that it is imperative that we look at our past in order to reflect. Without doing so, there is no room for learning from past mistakes, seeing what worked well, and building for the future.

It’s wonderful to know your own family history, but this is our country, and as Canadians we must know it’s history; the good, the bad, and the ugly. The sins of our fathers are carried with us daily, they don’t just disappear. We can make amends, fix what needs fixing, and move forward to make it work for all of us. My hope is that this issue of OL Magazine will ignite a passion for patriotism in all Canadians, fueling the need for connection to our roots and each other, and helping us to take an honest look at where we came from, where we are and where we are headed. Make your connections. Learn our history. And proudly pass that on. Wishing you all a great season!

Dave Maciulis, CLD

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LETTER from the outdoor LIFESTYLE editor




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I’ve been talking about the loss of gardeners for awhile now, and I blame two simple little words; low maintenance. As landscapers and designers, we’ve been able to give our client’s their version of the perfect backyard that requires less work and less time to maintain. Homeowners routinely ask for a low maintenance space when talking outdoor renovations, and plants are simply no longer the focus. Effectively, we’ve taken the garden out of gardening. I’ve recently lead several charity projects involving community gardens, and have been amazed at how many of the younger generation were right in the middle of things, planting, digging and loving every second of it. Even in busy urban centres, we are seeing an increase of green spaces being allocated for growing food and produce by the local population. This is a trend I would personally love to see continue, as more and more Canadians begin the process of “getting back to their roots”, taking pride in their yards, the community and the environment. Carson Arthur, HGTV STAR

LETTER from the outdoor CUSTOM BUILD editor One of the dangers of being a passionate guy who believes in backing things that are “real” amongst all of the plentiful “plastic” of our culture, is that I can tend to spread myself pretty thin, gravitating towards the growing levels of authentic causes in the world (I also gravitate toward the use of run-on sentences). The challenge then, is to not simply regurgitate things in order to meet deadlines---which would only be another form of plastic. The theme of this issue of OLM, however, stopped everything for me. Getting back to our roots and understanding the importance of gaining “perspective” while living in our mad, mad world is a message we all need. As the old saying goes, “You can’t tell where you are going, until you know where you’ve been.” So I encourage you to take this issue in, amidst the quiet of nature, and remember the days when life itself...was quieter. Paul Lafrance HGTV STAR

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Models: Vogue Models & Talent - Hamilton, Toronto Stylist: Sandra Krueger/Vogue Models & Talent - Hamilton, Toronto Hair & Make up: Caitlin Allen Photography: Marta Hewson 16 I outdoorlifestylemagazine.com

Autumn inspires us to venture in style to the trails and mountains that

surround us in hiking gear made to endure. From natural brushed cotton in your favourite plaid to high tech wicking for the serious hiker. Enjoy the splendour of this colourful season.

Emily is wearing Adidas Running performance grey/black long sleeve t-shirt; Adidas Performance grey/black tight; Under Armour, Storm 1 stay dry vest; Stella McCartney tencel print short sleeve t-shirt; Icebreaker Merino wool socks; Adidas, tech friendly Breakaway back pack; McKinley Trail Trek Poles; The North Face, Women’s Ultra Fast pack II Mide GTX hiking boot all available at Sport Check sportcheck.ca OUTDOORLIFESTYLEMAGAZINE.COM

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fashion page Emily is wearing a Belmac Vest; Varley Plaid Shirt in Eden Mix; Dore Henley in Mustard Seed Mix;Roots Cabin Legging $78.00; Womens Cabin Flip Mitt; Womens Pop Cabin Sock 3 Pack in Racing Red; Nordic Boot in Warrior roots.com Marko is wearing a Denver Hayes Long-Sleeve Heavyweight Knit Raglan Sleeve Shirt; Dakota Quilted Duck Vest; WindRiver HD1 Rip-Stop Zip-Off Casual Pant; Denver Hayes 38MM Padded Oil Tan Belt; WindRiver Lefroy Waterproof Approach Hiker; WindRiver Canvas Backpack; Klean Kanteen Metal Water Bottle; WindRiver Classic Fit Plaid Brushed Cotton Shirt marks.com

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Having a Private Moment

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hgtv star carson arthuR


hen I think about getting back to my roots, I envision having to build an urban/suburban escape room to wall me off from the rest of the world. Unfortunately, having a private moment in our own backyards is getting harder and harder these days, and this trend shows no signs of slowing down. With larger homes on smaller lots and developers trying to maximize building space, having neighbours visually sharing your backyard is becoming an accepted way of life. So how do we change this? How do we take back our privacy and create a home oasis? First, let’s discuss what isn’t working. Fences down the property line and trees in the back corners just aren’t going to cut it any more. Most of the fence laws in Canada are already twenty years old and haven’t kept up with today’s builders. The maximum height for many provinces and municipalities is 2.13 metres --- and that includes the lattice on top. Instead, here are a few of my favourites ways to get a little privacy in the backyard.


Build closer to the home! – If you are adding a new deck or patio, stay tight to the house. Use your home to add some privacy on one side and then consider extending the roofline out over the patio. The further away from the house you are, the less privacy you are going to have.


Stay Low! When in doubt, try to get as close to the ground as possible for your useable space. Make the most of the privacy fence (if you have one), and add some decorative details to it so that it becomes part of the space. I like cedar shingles or even panels of decorative lattice inset into the fence.



Add Small Trees instead of big ones! Small trees are great for creating privacy because you can plant them closer to where you actually need them. Think about trees that stay in the 15-20’ range. You can plant these closer to the deck and really take advantage of all the privacy, without fearing that the tree will dominate your space. I love using Serviceberry and Redbuds.


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Photography by Lindsay Hunter Design


Add a trellis, arbor or pergola. Traditionally, these structures were a way to hold plants, but today’s versions are definitely bigger and more permanent. My favourite trellis or arbors will include 6x6 posts and decorative braces across the top. Plant a pair of complementary vines on this and you’ll have a stunning privacy panel. For even more privacy, try combining the vertical panel with a pergola. By adding hanging baskets or even lattice walls, you can effectively create privacy exactly where you need it. One small tip; use a wood that is pre-stained, like MicroPro’s Sienna lumber. MPS comes in a rich brown that weathers very well, so you don’t have to climb the ladder every spring to re-stain!


Use objects as hanging art pieces. Recently I built a frame on a deck to hold an old painted door. We hung the door on its side and got instant privacy! Now the door has become a conversation piece. You can also try this with an old fence panel. As long as the eye has something to focus on, you won’t notice the neighbours around you!


Umbrellas aren’t just for shade anymore! By adding a pair of bright umbrellas to the corners of your patio and tilting them on a slight angle, you can effectively frame your space and at the same time, hide those neighbouring second-story windows. Try adding a chair and a coffee table under the umbrella and you’ve created a perfect spot to sit and escape!


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The key to creating privacy is to really understand exactly where you need it. Sit in your patio furniture and look around, and try to visualize what your guests are experiencing. Remember, if you can see your neighbours, then they can see you! No one wants to feel like they are on display. Make the most of your own backyard this summer by trying a few of my privacy solutions!



Even the most ambitious dreams are born from humble beginnings. For John D’Ambrosio, the founder and driving force behind Brampton based Pro-Land Landscaping, it was no different. Fresh out of Humber College’s Civil Engineering Program, D’Ambrosia dove headlong into the world of landscaping as an eager 22-yearold, with little more than a pickup truck, a handful of tools, and a desire to make a name for himself. Those early days were by no means glamorous, but John quickly realized that he had found his true calling. “It was entry-level stuff – patio slabs, gardens, and rockeries. Basically, what anybody could give me. The more I did it, the more I enjoyed it. To move earth and shape the land was always something I was interested in.” Not one to shy away from a challenge, D’Ambrosio embraced 34 I outdoorlifestylemagazine.com

Photography by Jeff McNeill Photography

projects of increasing size and scope. Today, more than twenty-three years after that determined kid from Malton grabbed a shovel and followed his dream, Pro-Land has grown into an award-winning name in luxury landscaping across Ontario. It hasn’t been an easy road, but that is precisely what D’Ambrosio finds so exciting about crafting the ideal outdoor living space for his clients. “If you’re not having trouble, it means you’re not going after something new and exciting. If it’s becoming easy, then you’re not challenging yourself.” D’Ambrosio understands that meeting the needs of his clients requires more than the completion of a stellar product. The focus that he instills in the Pro-Land team is on providing a pleasant client experience from day one. Building a client’s

picture-perfect luxury spot is just as important as maintaining an open and courteous relationship, and D’Ambrosio values that trust and connection above all else. “Our clients love working with us because we treat everybody with respect and we love to go above and beyond. We want them to stay happy throughout the whole process.” D’Ambrosio credits much of his success to the support of his loving wife, Sonia, without whose patience and encouragement their business (and family) would not have grown. As a young man with a dump truck as his primary means of transportation, he could never have imagined a more ideal and faithful partner than her, and the life they have built together is truly a testament to the powers of love and hard work. “I’ll never back down. I’ve still got a lot of years left.” OUTDOORLIFESTYLEMAGAZINE.COM

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Photography by Melissa Thistle



As a young girl growing up in Newfoundland, one of Jeannette French’s favourite pastimes was gardening with her family, taking pride in the sustainable vegetable garden that quite literally put food on their table. She was inspired by the allure of her father’s entrepreneurial lifestyle, and made up her mind very early on that she was going to follow in his footsteps. Upon graduating from Memorial University in St. John’s with a Bachelor of Commerce degree, French took her dreams and creativity westward, deciding to pursue business and landscape culture in Mississauga, Ontario. One husband, two young daughters and a world of experience later, French ended up back where it all began: the east coast of Canada. Challenged by the ever-changing industry--and climate--her passion and dedication has gracefully blossomed into Daisy Design, the landscape design firm she now proudly owns and operates out of St. Phillips, Newfoundland. Focusing on utilizing Canadian products, locally grown plants and eco-friendly options, French makes a conscious effort to incorporate her Canadian roots into each and every project. Leveraging local talent and expertise (Mark Bowring, Bowring Ponds and Garden and Tom Lacey, Milestone Landscape), she strives to surround herself with professionals who focus on unique landscape design 36 I outdoorlifestylemagazine.com

concepts and exceptional customer service, both pillars of her own business beliefs and practices. In recent years, French has taken home awards from Landscape Newfoundland and Labrador on two separate occasions, and her incredible designs are becoming an industry standard for originality. She has previously served as a judge and past Committee Chair Member for the Canadian Nursery Landscape Association (CNLA), and is a former President for Landscape Newfoundland and Labrador (LNL), keeping her active and engaged in the landscaping community. This connection to her peers has given her the ability to travel throughout Canada, experiencing different lifestyles, facing new challenges and finding new inspirations everyday. While recognition and success are certainly appreciated, French’s ultimate goal is to provide every customer with a unique, functional and sustainable design experience. She wakes up every day with unmatched enthusiasm and passion, and it is this ability to make a difference in the lives of people that continues to motivate her. French has seen her own life come full circle since her early days growing up on the East Coast, and with a beautiful family now in tow, she has truly shown us what it’s like to work hard and stay true to your Canadian roots.


The apple, they say, doesn’t fall far from the tree—and for Brenda Richardson of Synergy Landscape Design, the fruits of a brilliant career are rooted in her childhood, in the Okanagan landscape, and in the ancient principles of feng shui. Richardson grew up in farming and husbandry—her mother ran a big dairy farm, and her father, an engineer, also kept family acreage. Her most vivid memories took place in her grandmother’s huge garden in Russell, Manitoba, full of sights and smells intoxicating for a young girl. A bright student, she scored high on tests of artistic and creative aptitude and originally considered psychology as a potential career choice, but ultimately could not resist the call of the outdoors. Soon after earning a degree in horticulture from Olds College, she met her business partner Max Hoogveld, a Quantlen grad, and they immediately clicked. Synergy Landscape Design was quickly founded,(named for their intuitive teamwork) and has since gone on to produce a 30-year flowering of creative work. Their designs reflect the Okanagan’s terrain and climate, with drought-tolerant species, thoughtful water-features (open water, surprisingly, wastes less water than your average lawn) and efficient irrigation. The two work closely with architects and emphasize get-

ting to know their clients’ values, creating spaces that harmonize with their lives. Richardson often works late to get quiet and focused design time, but still occasionally visits a nursery to hand-pick trees personally. That youthful interest in psychology plays a role, too—getting clients to open up, mediating between couples---and her interest in feng shui influences a lot of her design decisions. For some clients, she even works with a feng shui master to balance a whole array of features. “I like to keep water features out of the relationship zone, so as not to douse any fires.” Busy, successful, and creatively original Richardson and Synergy may be, but her favourite planting remains her own big patch of raspberries, which she devours as eagerly today as when she ate them with fresh cream from her mother’s cows as a child. Come day’s end, she can settle down to watch the birds at a bubbling fountain in her rock garden (away from bushes, so the cats don’t lie in wait) and watch the horses crop the lawn for her. Deep pleasures and deep roots, for a life devoted to making things grow.


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hgtv star PAUL LAFRANCE “Living in our modern, fast-paced culture has never emphasized a greater need for a place of rest. It is something I truly believe with my whole heart”


’ve been in the midst of a storm lately. The kind of storm that spits out downbursts and funnel clouds like a little kid trying dad’s chewing tobacco, that makes you thank God you’re not in a boat; or makes you beg for mercy if you are. I’m sure everyone can relate to these kinds of storms. We all know what it feels like to be so blasted by the winds and rains of life, to lose focus, to lose direction, and to lose ourselves. There are countless stories of how powerful storms have unearthed hidden treasures buried in time, whether it is the uncovering of an ancient ship that leads to a historical discovery, or an old war bunker that happens to be surrounded by land mines. All of these unearthed treasures hold real significance; some reveal marvels, some reveal dangers…but they are all treasures. I am sitting here in the serenity of my backyard haven for the first time since the dark clouds passed. The gentle breeze is flicking the shade canopy over my head, and the trickling waterfalls are drowning

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out the distant noise of traffic, meeting the pond below. It is calm. It is quiet. And I am starting to gain some perspective on the storm. I realized that I made some positive personal discoveries I was unaware of, that have now changed the path under my feet…and I will follow it. I also unearthed some personal hidden landmines that would have made the damage done by the cyclone I was just in, pale in comparison to the destructive potential that would have been unleashed had I stepped on one of them. Perhaps the storm was truly a beautiful thing after all? I have spoken from my soapbox till my voice has gone hoarse, that living in our modern, fast-paced culture has never emphasized a greater need for a place of rest. It is something I truly believe with my whole heart. What I have poured my passion into is about more than just creating places of rest in a world that has gone crazy…it is also about creating places of perspective! It is remarkable how the storms of life can force us into a place of perspective. The greater the storm, the greater the calm feels afterwards. They can remind us of what is truly important, and also, what is not. What is vital though, is that we choose to see the beauty in the storm, and that we humbly accept the treasures that they unearth and leave behind.


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A living Tribute




omeone once asked, “When is a tree more than just a tree?” I believe the answer is “when the tree is part of a memorial to honour Canada’s fallen heroes.” The Highway of Heroes Living Tribute Campaign aims to plant 117,000 trees along and near Highway 401; one for every one of Canada’s war dead. This living, breathing memorial offers an opportunity to tell the story of Canadian Veterans. It will remind those who travel along the highway of the great debt we owe these courageous servicemen and women. When a member of our Canadian Armed Forces falls, his or her final journey is over a stretch of the 401 called the Highway of Heroes. This portion of the highway, between Trenton and Toronto, was officially designated the “Highway of Heroes” on August 24, 2007. Canadians from coast to coast have been moved by the images of people lining the highway and overpasses to pay their respects; many standing at attention, many moved to tears. The time is now to honour those brave men and women, and all those who have made such a vital contribution to our way of life, by supporting the Highway of Heroes Living Tribute Project. This is a long-term project---estimated to take between four and five years to complete---and we’re committed to doing it right, giving our “Hero Trees” every opportunity to survive and thrive. To learn more or to make a donation, please visit www.hohtribute.ca

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Get involved and make a difference Make a donation online Subscribe to the monthly newsletter to stay informed of our progress Organize a fundraiser with your church, club, business or organization Let us share an article in your newsletter or publication Share and follow the news on social media


design district


Rendered concept sketches and photography by earthwormlandscapedesign.com

This project, east of Edmonton, Alberta, is a lush and colourful family oasis. A trout pond, wooded camping area and deluxe playground! A 9 hole golf course was designed for the backyard with 9 tees tucked in among the plants and waterfalls, all aiming at a single professionally constructed green, complete with a sand trap beach and sparkling water hazard pond.

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design district

Chappel East Parkette

Rendered concept sketches and photography by earthscapeplay.ca

Influenced by the surrounding woodlands, Earthscape chose an Eastern Screech Owl as the inspiration for the primary feature of this City of Hamilton playground. The play space is animated by a story of survival: the owl, mice and acorns. Who will eat first? Additional play elements include stepping posts, fallen logs, boulders and a basket swing.

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Custom design for those with a taste for quality and style.

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GREAT EXPECTATIONS The Top 5 Reasons why Homeowners Underestimate the Cost of their Landscape Projects By GLENN CURTIS – MONTREAL, QC

Step One: Understand the Top 5 reasons for the disconnect between perceived value and associated costs.


Lack of context: As a homeowner, you may undertake a landscape transformation only once or twice in your lifetime. If your approach to budgeting is “just throwing a number out there” without really researching what landscaping entails or costs, then you’re a prime candidate to experience a deer in the headlights moment.


Unreality shows: Popular home renovation and backyard makeover shows are certainly entertaining and a great source of inspiration, but generally promote unrealistic pricing and timeline expectations. Despite the starring role of hosts and their crews, reality shows can take weeks to shoot and local companies are often hired to do the grunt work. To offset very low pay, their names are included in the credits and they can often use “as seen on” promotions in their marketing. Sponsorships, product placement and promotional considerations further reduce the dollar value of the project.


The iceberg principle: Redesigns. Excavation and foundation work. Solutions to address slope, drainage and difficult access. Meeting code requirements and construction standards. Project oversight. The costs of higher quality and custom materials. Though our eyes focus only on the elements that can be seen, the majority of costs involved with installing a new landscape are beneath the surface.


Expertise and experience: A contractor who grossly undercuts industry-certified professionals will not deliver comparative services, equal craftsmanship, efficient timeline staging or expert judgment calls on the myriad of issues that arise on the fly throughout any complex project. Your landscaper’s degree of experience will inevitably define your experience with landscaping.


Professional design/build landscapers dream of presenting a project budget for the perfect design and hearing,“Wow! That’s much less than I expected, when can you start?” Inevitably, we wake to find the real world holds a much more common reaction: unrealistic expectations. Homeowners want it all in this day and age, and few understand that their dream of having a permanent, 5-star luxury resort experience in their own backyard, often can cost more than going on an actual vacation. In the landscaping industry we call this “sticker shock”, and fortunately, there is a way to immunize yourself against it.

The value of peace of mind: Satisfaction comes with knowing that your landscape is built right, made to last, and backed by solid product, workmanship and satisfaction guarantees. However, its price should also reflect the value of having complete confidence during its development, including the knowledge that your professional is reliable and properly insured. If you think it’s expensive to hire a professional, just wait until you hire an amateur. Simply put, do your homework before starting any outdoor renovation project. Ask questions. Check references. Hire for passion and credibility. And remember that the bitterness of poor quality will surely remain long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten.

Glenn Curtis is the President of Plantenance Landscape Group, an award-winning team of landscape designers, craftsmen and horticulturists, who have been creating extraordinary outdoor spaces throughout the Montreal area for more than 35 years | www.plantenance.com


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Going back to the Beginnings Inner reflection is never a bad thing. As I sit back and put my career into focus, I realize that a lot of things have happened since I first got into the pool game twenty-eight years ago. I’ve gone from labourer to foreman to sub-contractor to owning my own business all within that span, and as I’ve grown and expanded my knowledge and experience, so too have the advancements in my industry continued to change and evolve. I started in humble beginnings in 1988, working for a local company installing vinyl-lined pools in three days or less. The must-have options in those days were equally humble: a six-foot set of white steps, a diving board, a single light, and if you were lucky, a pool shape that wasn’t just a typical circle. Things like volume, sizing and energy efficiency were certainly not on anybody’s mind in those days, and very few pool owners had longterm project planning or maintenance in mind. As the 90’s rolled in so did the recession, and luxury home items like swimming pools took a major beating. A typical season of almost seventy installs dwindled to fewer than twenty, and the industry was quite literally taking on water (pun intended). I needed a release, a break, and some time to re-evaluate my next plan of action. I ended up finding all three halfway around the world in Australia. What started as a three to six month adventure turned into a career reboot; I was hired by a Sydney-based pool company within the first month of arriving, 50 I outdoorlifestylemagazine.com

and remained with them for the next six years. One detail in particular that was gaining popularity in the Australian market was something called the perimeter overflow, a technique where water and deck meet at equal heights. When executed properly, there is not a single ripple on the water, and its mirror-like reflection lends itself to a variety of backdrop visuals and features. Things like rainwater harvesting were also the rage, which gave homeowners the ability to capture and store rainwater for later use in both potable and non-potable applications. Armed with my newfound tools, I made my triumphant return back to North America, filled with promise, innovation and determination. As the years moved ahead, concepts like sustainability and the green movement gained traction, and the industry hasn’t slowed down since. Sustainability, I believe, is the single most important advancement in our industry today, and is simply a term for good design meeting sound building practices. It’s not just about incorporating all the latest and greatest products on the market into every project, but more so about starting with that first shovel in the ground, defining what is needed and building up from there.

Chris Gregory

is the Builder/Designer at Eco-Pools Inc. and is a Genesis 3 Gold Member. chris@eco-pools.ca | www.eco-pools.ca

we’re no one trick monkey.


“CUSTOM BUILT, DECKED OUT, HOME TO WIN & DISASTER DECKS” Transform any space with the help of HGTV’s Paul Lafrance. Custom Interiors, Outdoor Living Spaces and One of a Kind Furniture. HGTV is a trademark of Scripps Networks, LLC; used with permission.


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Red Seal Certified Brick and Stone Mason



ne of the first things you notice when you walk into a house, is also something that the majority of homeowners tend to overlook. It’s something we all sat around during holiday get togethers at our grandparents’ house, has been the quintessential centerpiece in homes for centuries, and is Santa’s “unofficial entrance”. That’s right, it’s your fireplace; and it’s time to start paying more attention to it. You can click on the ‘ole electric light show or switch on the gas flames in an instant, but nothing quite resembles the classic, wood-burning fireplace of years past. The crackle and pop of tinder breaking down, coupled with the dance and flicker of the flames, allows us to de-stress, relax, and unwind. If you have one of these appliances, whether it’s a wood stove, wood-burning insert, or the classic open fireplace, their use can be discouraging. Many people switch to gas or simply stop using them for this very reason, but a solution can be closer than you think. Sometimes that solution may be costly, but it can also be a perfect opportunity to create a whole new look and focal piece in your home. There are many options for a remodel, such as natural stone, reclaimed bricks, faux stone veneers, or even a custom creation (with maybe a hand hewn wooden mantel?). Whether you just moved into a home with a fireplace, you’re unsure about the one you already own, or you’re just looking for some answers on maintenance and upkeep, there are a few reliable sources you should tap into. Getting in touch with a local masonry company that specializes in restoration would be a good place to start, and you can also contact your local WETT certified technician or inspector for additional information. These are the guys the insurance companies look to for inspections, and they typically remain unbiased to any favoured style, look or brand. As the weather starts getting cooler and the days start getting shorter, the thought of wool socks and warm drinks next to the fire will gradually start working itself towards the forefront of your consciousness, and you’ll want to be prepared. And when the moment presents itself, you won’t care about trekking in that firewood or tearing up newspapers; you’ll be too busy warming up those fingers and toes. Because after all, owning a wood-burning fireplace isn’t just maintenance or an expense: it’s a lifestyle.

“There is no place more delightful than one’s own fireplace.” - Marcus Tullius Ciccero c.73BC

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Embrrracing Winter Sports By MARISSA BARATTA – MISSISSAUGA, ON

We’re hearing it more and more often now - Canada is one of the best countries in the world. We’re beloved throughout the globe for our peaceful lifestyle, our commitment to freedom, our abundance of snow... If an audible groan escaped your body after reading that last line, rest assured you are not alone. As beautiful and scenic as the Great White North is, the weather that goes with it is not ideal for everyone. In a country with such varying temperature extremes, it’s easy to say it’s too hot to go outside in July, or too cold to go outside in January—but don’t let that stop you. Consider warming up to winter, and joining the many Canadians who continue to enjoy new and exciting ways to get outdoors, while making the most of one of the coldest countries on Earth.

Snowkiting Picture holding onto a sky-high kite while standing on a board, leg muscles fighting to keep you balanced as you crash against unpredictable waves - of snow. Snowkiting involves standing on either skiis or a snowboard while a kite pulls you across a snow-covered surface in a combination of muscle and wind power. It’s a natural choice for kiteboarding fans who can’t imagine waiting six months to soar again, or skiers and snowboarders who want to try something different. And if you haven’t mastered these sports already, know that transferable skills are not required - just a sense of adventure. Not all of Canada has caught onto this burgeoning sport yet, but more businesses are offering interested snowkiters the opportunity to rent equipment and get lessons. Regardless of your level of experience, it’s a good idea to get trained on recommended techniques and safety precautions. While paying for lessons may hit your wallet upfront, it will pay off later as you can practice snowkiting in just about any open, snow-covered area. No entry fee required!


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Ice Climbing

Snowshoeing Snowshoeing offers Canadians of all fitness levels the chance to fill their lungs with deliciously cool, clean air while witnessing some of the most breathtaking views Canada has to offer. Snowshoes simultaneously keep Canadians above snow level while drawing their jaws toward it, thanks to the splendor and majesty that is our native land. Our country offers a myriad of marked trails, guiding snowshoers along undisturbed snow-covered plains and past snowkissed mountain peaks. Snowshoeing is known to be one of the least expensive winter sports, with very little equipment required— just dress warmly and strap on some snowshoes.! Most places rent them out, though you can buy a pair for a few hundred dollars or less. This low-impact sport is suitable for everyone from active kids to more sedentary adults, and will definitely help you get your daily dose of exercise. According to Snowshoemag. com, snowshoeing for one hour burns more than 600 calories, while also providing a luxurious form of cardiovascular fitness. Whether you’re a casual or competitive snowshoer, it’s easy to enjoy this irresistible sport. 56 I outdoorlifestylemagazine.com

Nothing defines the Canadian experience quite like snow, ice and resilience. Year after year, we see an abundance of the first two, and need a healthy dose of the third in order to survive another unforgiving winter. For those looking to get started in a new winter activity that challenges both the mind and the body, ice climbing may just do the trick. This blossoming cold-weather activity is growing in popularity and participation every year, and is rapidly becoming a go-to for both traditional mountain climbers and novices alike. Aside from the fact that scaling what appears to be a frozen waterfall is pretty epic, there is also the added bonus of pushing your physical and mental limits to all new heights (no pun intended). Using ice axes and crampons, one must pound away at the ice surface in order to acquire proper footings and handholds, a crucial element in your ascent. Unlike traditional rock climbing, ice climbing is typically done on a chosen path, dependant on surface stability, thickness and accessibility. Rock climbers tend to have more of a freelance element to their sport, whereas ice climbers are often not afforded that luxury. For those who think this sport may be too extreme for them, think again. Experienced ice climbers often compare the activity to climbing a ladder, as a rhythmic pattern of kicking and swinging is all the climb really boils down to.

Skiing Come wintertime, Canada is awash with snow-covered slopes from coastto-coast, beckoning to the adrenaline of winter enthusiasts. SkiCanada.org estimates that more than two million Canadians take part in skiing or snowboarding every year, making it one of the most accessible and participatory sports around. Friends and family can chat amicably as they ascend a slope and push off down the hill together, and can catch up afterwards in the warmth of a chalet or lodge. There are trails and hills for varying skill levels across the country--from Whistler to Newfoundland’s Marble Mountain--so finding a slope to scratch your winter itch is never a question. And should Mother Nature have other plans, many ski resorts now have the technology to produce artificial snow, making it almost impossible to miss out on the next ride of your life. While skiing won’t win any awards for affordability - you could easily spend hundreds of dollars on skis, poles, waterproof clothing, boots and a ski pass, it is arguably one of the most rewarding winter activities around. Skiing pushes you to achieve your full potential, as you careen down incredibly tall slopes, thigh muscles tensing as you shift left and right to adjust your speed, your mind racing even faster than your body in order to calculate your next move. Skiing is as rewarding as it is challenging, and it’s particularly satisfying to top it all off with a relaxing social après ski, where you can drink all the hot chocolate you want!

Curling You can’t talk about Canada’s most iconic winter sports without mentioning curling. While the sport may have been brought here by the Scottish, it is widely recognized as a truly Canadian pastime—in fact, the Royal Montreal Curling Club was the first ever sports club of any kind in the country! A new generation of young Canadians have taken to the sport as a way to wait out the long, cold winter months, and have stayed for the physical, mental and social components that make the game so appealing. A typical curling team is composed of four players: lead, second, vice (third) and skip. Curlers launch what is called a stone or “rock” down the ice, where a team of sweepers equipped with brooms is then incorporated to smooth out the ice surface underneath it for easier rock maneuvering; all in an attempt to guide the rock closer to a target, or to position it between the opponent’s target and your own. While skill and strategy are key components of the sport, curling is also beloved for its camaraderie. OUTDOORLIFESTYLEMAGAZINE.COM

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Photography bySpirit Ridge Nk’Mip Resort

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Spirit Ridge at Nk’Mip Resort a tribute to culture and heritage By SUSAN MATE – CALGARY, AB


ith its red clay hills, pockets of sagebrush and abundance of wild horses and rattlesnakes, Canada’s only Aboriginal-owned resort and winery blends seamlessly into its desert surroundings. Tucked among vast tracts of manicured vineyards overlooking Osoyoos Lake, Spirit Ridge at Nk’Mip Resort could easily pass as Sedona, Sonoma or part of Washington’s Columbia Valley. The afternoon sun is typically hot, and lingers long and high above the colourful adobe-style suites nestled at the slope of Anarchist Mountain on Osoyoos First Nations land. This resort is where the Osoyoos First Nation first entered the tourism business some forty-five years ago, opening a modest campground on the shore of Canada’s warmest lake. Situated away from the party atmosphere that dominated the town’s main strip, the native campground was serene, with minimal amenities. Back then, the Okanagan’s many lakes and abundant waterports were matched only by its numerous fruit stands, orchards and undeniable small-town feel. Inevitably, the young families, retired folks and those seeking a mellower escape (such as this writer) started booking their summer vacations there, removing themselves from the cottage party scene and trading it in for great scenery and a more relaxed atmosphere. One could spend days here just exploring the region, soaking up autumn rays and sleeping a few feet from the lake’s lapping waters. The campground has grown from a tiny tent spot into an established life-

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style resort, and amenities such as showers and snack shops keep some RV residents here all year long. The desert shimmers like lost light in a prism as you stroll the 4.5-star resort’s shale paths and cobblestone walkways. They are lined with exotic desert flowers, ornamental grasses, vines and an occasional giant insect. Landscaped paths run between the villas, painted in earthy variations of burnt orange, bright terra cotta and deep-green sage. A short walk through the grounds leads to the nine-hole Sonora Dunes golf course, where the hazards include venomous reptiles and the occasional bear. But the resort’s main attraction is Nk’Mip Cellars. Housed in a dramatically curved, two-storey structure that radiates orange in the midday sun, the complex’s crown jewel opens up into a sprawling retail store, specializing in selling select wines, local crafts and food products such as jams and dried fruits from local orchards. Harvest seems to be perpetually mere weeks away when strolling the grounds of the vineyard, and the vines are bursting with a myriad of different grapes, including Syrah, Cabernet and Pinot Noir. Guests are allowed to sample the varieties on the spot, and often scrunch their faces trying to identify what the wine might taste like when finally bottled (an impossible but very tasty task). There is a two-storey cultural center made with an innovative rammed-earth-wall technology, an ancient practice similar to that used to create the Great Wall of China, where tons of cement, earth pigment and water are pressed against a wooden frame and compressed. The building is literally laid up against the side of the mountain, and is a fully-functioning work of art. Innovation aside, the centre provides an interactive glimpse of local history, culture and traditions, as well as all the flora and fauna important to the area. A frequent local visitor here is the coyote – it is revered as a spirit guide of the Osoyoos First Nations – but they are also joined by the occasional bear or cougar. There are also hundreds of feral horses, and flocks of osprey, monitoring both the land and air like unofficial guardians. The interpretive centre closes from early October to April to make the most of the peak tourism season while conserving the green building’s energy when the visitors have gone, but the resort itself remains open all year round. There is never a bad time to visit, but leaving may be something else entirely.

Photography byDoug Kruger

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t one point or another, most of us have been collectors of something. Maybe it was dolls, baseball cards or coins when we were kids; watches, shoes or handbags when we grew up; or homemade crafts to frame or put on the fridge when we became parents. To those outside of our own unique little world, many of these things hold little to no measurable worth. You can’t buy a tank of gas with the locket your great-grandmother passed down to you, nor can you offer up your child’s first finger painting in lieu of a missed mortgage payment. These keepsakes have a sentimental appraisal that cannot be measured on a monetary scale, and the value that they add to our lives is far greater than the value that they could ever add to our bank accounts. And while these things may be precious to us in their own unique ways, they also share a common thread which binds them all together: the stories that make them special. Storytelling is one of the oldest traditions of mankind, and also one of our most dated collectables. To share and to retell a story is a universal practice around the globe, and this oral accounting of events is truly what makes us unique as a species. Whether they take the form of fable, myth, tall-tale or eyewitness reporting, stumbling across a great story can excite you in ways that few

other things can. It’s something like discovering a fossil in your backyard or some ancient insect frozen in a block of amber, and sometimes all it takes is the right person to come along at the right time for the results to be magical. You wouldn’t think it at first glance, but a tiny and remote resort called Athabasca Fishing Lodge in northwest Saskatchewan, may just be one of the greatest sources of untapped stories in the country. Originally purchased by husband and wife team Cliff and Stella Blackmur in 1974, Athabasca has been providing material for both stories and storytellers alike ever since. A visit to the grounds of their picturesque retreat is almost like traveling back in time to simpler days, when Canadians could hunt, fish, and just get by living off the land. The scenery and tranquility are worth the price of the trip alone, and approaching the resort from the air is nothing short of breathtaking. Just picture yourself flying in on a small, intimate float plane, unexplored wilderness stretching out before you, as far as the eye can see. The Otherside River suddenly breaks the expanse of emptiness below, like a single brush stroke cast upon a previously blank canvas. Your descent into the rich Saskatchewan forest is an exercise in inner reflection, and before you know it, you have quietly nestled onto the surface of Lake Athabasca,


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Photography byDoug Kruger

as gently as a whisper over silk. Lining the tributaries of the river are fisherman and outdoor enthusiasts in a variety of boats and canoes, with local photographers gliding along in kayaks, patiently looking for that perfect shot. From the second you arrive, you are almost immediately overwhelmed by the sense of community and family at play in this place. Nearly everybody here knows each other, and many have been making the trek to these hallowed grounds for decades. Travelers come from all over the world, and each one has their own unique story to tell. Take the Scherr family of Dubuque, Iowa, for example. Drawn in by the hills and rocky terrain surrounding Lake Athabasca, the family has made an annual pilgrimage to northern Alberta for one thing, and one thing only: to catch some of the largest fish anywhere in the country. For the past nineteen years, they have made these cabins their home, and in the process, have established a legacy that is now three generations strong and growing.Their story started with a simple but grandiose idea: to catch as many twenty-pound Northern Pike as was humanly possible. Bob Scherr, the family patriarch and grandfather, was the first to venture from his American home to the Great White North, and for the next two decades, the family trip has continued to expand. Next was Bob’s son, Mike, followed by his sons, Matt, Danny, and now Billy. Sitting down with any one of them is a treat, and the conversations that follow help to give a tiny inkling into just how special this place really is. Though it’s true that fisherman are often credited with being some of the best storytellers around, the line between factual accounting and tall-tale is oftentimes hard to decipher. Many have been known to exaggerate, embellish or spin a good fishing yarn from time to time---the big one that got away comes to mind---but not the Scherr men. Northern Pikes are their favorite targets, and Mike can spend hours telling you about the countless number of them he and his sons have hooked that were in excess of forty inches; some even coming close to fifty inches in length! The men have used the same Athabasca fishing guide--a humble young fellow named Felix---for seventeen out of their nineteen expeditions, and his fabled fish-whisperering skills never disappoint. 62 I outdoorlifestylemagazine.com

Theirs is just one of countless stories that line the shores and permeate the cabins at Athabasca Fishing Lodge. Virtually everyone that you come into contact with has something to say, and if you’re wise enough, you’ll take the time to listen. On any given night, you can gather at the lodge bar and swap tales or share opinions with a multitude of people, on a multitude of subjects. Fishing always comes up, of course, but you could just as easily find yourself in a discussion involving politics, patriotism, First Nation’s rights, travel or love. And in a way, this type of setting is a perfect representation of Canada as a whole. We are people from all walks of life, every ethnicity, religion, gender and creed, all coming together in a beautiful land that inspires us and keeps us coming back for more; we are one large, extended family, helping each other, guiding each other, and bringing out the very best in each other; we are generation after generation of adventure seekers, outdoorsmen, nature lovers and backyard enthusiasts. But at our core, we are all either storytellers or storymakers, and there is an unlimited amount of both just waiting to be collected and shared. All you have to do, is get out there and look.

Heritage Brick & Stone - We Don’t Repair Masonry, We Restore It. Our experienced tradesmen, through traditional craftsmanship, will bring your building or home back to its original lustre. We specialize in the art of heritage conservation, preservation, and restoration. heritagebrickandstone.com

Photography by Michal Grajewski - Rick Mercer Report

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N D U L O A ND F W E ’

favourite SON



side from perhaps the iconic Maple leaf, there are few images more recognizable to the Canadian public than the sight of Rick Mercer. Most of us have witnessed him poking fun at everything from politics to social ills as host of CBC’s celebrated comedy the Rick Mercer Report, and over the years he has continually reminded us of just how privileged we are to reside in the Great White North. In some respects, Mercer has, at his core, been the ultimate Canadian tour guide, providing weekly maps of previously unchartered territory to viewers across this great nation. He’s allowed us to catch a glimpse of what it might be like to raise the flag in Ottawa’s Peace Tower, or to work a lobster boat off Grand Manan Island, N.B., or to grease the mast of the Bluenose, or to circle Niagara Falls aboard a vintage WWII Lancaster bomber. Perhaps no Canadian—past or present—has drank deeper from the cup of patriotism and national pride than has Mercer. But Newfoundland’s favourite son is not just a one-trick pony. Though known to star on stage and screen, Mercer has also authored three best-selling books based on his popular TV exploits. Coincidentally, he is perhaps the most famous public ranter in our nation’s history, and his signature marches through Toronto’s back alleys, passionately speaking on hot-button topics, have become fixtures in Canadian pop culture. He has accomplished most of this with class and dignity through respectable satire, donning a simple dress shirt and blazer outside, while ceremoniously wrapped from head-to-toe in the Canadian flag on the inside. No matter how you happen to take in this comedic genius, his talent, wit, humor and intellect are certainly gifts to behold. The mind of Mercer is truly a unique prism through which to view the world, but what will be the lasting legacy he leaves on our society? With this upcoming season of RMR rumoured to be his swan song (predictably, Mercer isn’t commenting on the future of the show), sadly, the end of an era is now upon us. And though he is certainly one of the country’s biggest and most successful personalities, Mercer proves to be remarkably accommodating and engaging while reflecting on it all.


OLM: I see you’re sporting your signature white shirt and black jacket. Who are you wearing? RM: “I won’t say who I’m wearing, but I will say where I buy it—Korry’s (Clothiers to Gentlemen) on Danforth Avenue. And that’s not because what I wear is outrageous, just that I want to give Korry’s the bump.”

OLM: How did you develop the look? RM: “I’ve always liked wearing a suit, and if you wear a classic-cut men’s

suit you’ll always be in style. I remember hosting the Junos and they wanted to dress me. At the time everyone was wearing suits that went to the knees, with these bedazzled arms. I said, ‘I’m not wearing this.’ And they said, ‘This is very hot right now!’ And I said, ‘Five years from now, I will regret this, because it looks like a woman’s housecoat.’ So I guess I’m not fashion-forward; I’m fashion-consistent.”

OLM: You never got your high school diploma? RM: “I don’t have many regrets in life, but that’s a big one. Not because of the consequences—it turned out there were no consequences, other than not going to university, which is something I would have liked to do. I just regret not having figured out how school worked, because the evidence suggests that had I applied myself, I would have gotten through, because the marks were there. I don’t make a point of talking about it, though, because when I was in grade 10, I’d get very excited when hearing something like ‘the head of General Motors never finished high school.’ And you start to use it to justify why you aren’t working or paying attention. So I wouldn’t want to be used as an example by anyone.

OLM: What do you consider your biggest break? RM: “The biggest was when I was doing a one-man show at the Great

That is the end game - to have a piece of Northern Ontario, with a lake and a comfortable chair. To me, that’s absolute happiness.

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Canadian Theatre Company in Ottawa, which sounds very impressive, except that it was actually an old garage that sat like 80 people. The show was called Show Me the Button, I’ll Push It, or Charles Lynch Must Die. Charles Lynch was very much alive at the time and a very respected journalist and former war correspondent. And here I was, this snot-nosed 19-year-old. We went on television together to debate the Meech Lake Accord, and I started yelling, because I wasn’t really in any position to debate anything with Charles Lynch. And we became a bit of a sensation. He loved my show and would talk it up. He called himself the Salman Rushdie of Newfoundland—that I’d put out a fatwa on him! While I was doing that show, in another part of the country there was another one-person show opening, a co-production between a theatre company in Vancouver, Toronto and Ottawa. They’d all put a lot of money into it and it was going to have a substantial run. But it didn’t work out for technical reasons, so suddenly all those theatres had a hole in their seasons and needed a one-man show, and I went from an 80-seat theatre to playing the Factory Theatre in Toronto for a month, then a full run in Ottawa and Vancouver—stuff normally booked years in advance. That helped make my career.”

OLM: You’ve been part of winning 25 Geminis, but in 2014, you were appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada. Where does that rank? RM: “It’s something I’m most proud of, and something I certainly didn’t see coming. Before that, the greatest night of my life was probably at the Gemini Awards in 1995 when This Hour Has 22 Minutes won best comedy show and best writing in our first season, and we all won for best cast.” OLM: Did you ever have your IQ tested? RM: “Oh God, no. In fact, when I was a kid, my mother was vehement-

ly opposed to anyone having their IQ tested. She worked in adolescent mental health and she probably didn’t want to burden me with a low IQ.” Continued on page 97

If you’ve been toying with the idea of building a swimming pool or hot tub on your property, or remodeling your existing pool, look no further than Eco-Pools Inc. We specialize in various swimming pool styles and designs; Custom Concrete, Cocktail, Vinyl Liner, Fiberglass and Natural. Eco-Pools Inc.’s passion to elevate beyond its competition echoes throughout every project. With continuous education at Genesis 3 University and sound construction practices, every swimming pool is designed to meld seamlessly into the structural architecture and landscape of the property. Genesis 3 is synonymous with ‘superior quality” which is reflected in all of Eco-Pools builds. Also integrated into every project is energy efficiency through product, sanitation, automation and hydraulic design. The end result is an outdoor entertainment space beyond expectation and one that will last a lifetime. We travel throughout the GTA and serve many of the surrounding areas.

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BED & BREAKFAST hot spots

BRIMAR BRITISH COLUMBIA BriMar Bed and Breakfast, perched on the south end of Chesterman Beach in Tofino, BC, provides some of the most relaxing and elegant accommodations around. Perfect for any time of the year, they pride themselves on creating a genuine and memorable experience for each and every guest. From whale watching to kayaking, surfing, beach combing, paddle boarding and everything in between, BriMar is a preferred destination for both locals and tourists alike. The Pacific Rim National Park offers hikers a variety of trails less than a 10 minute drive away, and venturing out onto Chesterman Beach itself is never a disappointment. If dining is your thing, there are several hotels in the area that provide both exceptional food and value, including the famous Wickaninnish Inn, Wolf in the Fog, Shelter Restaurant and SoBo, all of whom focus on offering a “boat-to-table” experience utilizing the freshest organic ingredients possible. This fall, complete relaxation can take the form of sipping hot, organic tea and reading a book by an old-fashioned wood stove, or carelessly watching the waves break as you drift off into your own personal reverie. However you prefer to charge your batteries and unwind, BriMar Bed and Breakfast and the city of Tofino have got exactly what you’re looking for. brimarbb.com

FROM COAST TO COAST Quaint, Cozy & Luxurious


SERENITY RANCH ONTARIO Rustic peaceful lodging awaits you at the beautiful, award-winning Serenity Ranch, located just west of the historic village of Ancaster in southeastern Ontario. One of the country’s hidden gem is right smack in the middle of a beautiful, lush greenbelt and surrounded by picturesque farmland, You are certain to find peace, tranquility and relaxation in this rich, natural setting. Serenity Ranch Bed and Breakfast offers five fully equipped suites on two acres of land, and is surrounded by scenery that one could only hope to see in a classic painting or work of art. Featuring a gorgeous wrap-around veranda, which comfortably seats twelve guests. All are welcome to relax, read, chat, or appreciate the panoramic view of the countryside at their leisure. This is not a place for fancy amenities or the technologically connected, but instead offers a true getaway and refuge for those looking to escape the harsh realities of everyday life. Everything about the establishment screams tranquility, and whether you choose to enjoy afternoon tea beside the lily pond or rest while forgetting about your worries at Sunset Cottage, this cozy and unique jaunt is definitely the place to be. Serenity Ranch: A Better Way To Stay. serenityranchbb.com

TROUT POINT LODGE NOVA SCOTIA Trout Point Lodge, located in the heart of the Tobeatic Wilderness in southwestern Nova Scotia, offers luxury, adventure, travel and eco-tourism vacations to suit any budget. Beautifully isolated 40 minutes from the Yarmouth International Ferry Terminal-featuring daily service to and from Portland, Maine-and 3 hours from cosmopolitan Halifax, Trout Point is the quintessential wilderness lodge & nature retreat. If you are a fan of the great outdoors and Mother Nature, then this is truly the spot for you. Enjoying the Canadian backwoods and the country’s east coast has never been more breathtaking, and each day you spend here is truly a treat for both the senses and the soul. A member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World, every hotel room, suite, and cottage boasts stunning river and wilderness views. Recommended for stays of at least two nights, Trout Point is perfect for a relaxing getaway or special occasion, with an atmosphere that allows you to check your cares and stresses at the door. An award-winning wine list compliments a menu featuring fresh, local market cuisine in the renowned Trout Point dining rooms, the perfect complement to a relaxing retreat. This enchanting location and spacious accommodations make for a secret hideaway that is sure to rejuvenate and inspire! troutpoint.com

BriMar 2015 Certificate of Excellence - Trip Advisor • Serenity Ranch 2015 Travellers Choice Award - Trip Advisor • Trout Point Lodge Fodor’s Choice Distinction, 2015 BedandBreakfast.com Top Canadian B&B, Member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World. 68 I outdoorlifestylemagazine.com

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Chef, author & Television personality

MICHAEL SMITH “He knew from a young age that he wanted his culinary career to focus on incorporating simple, sustainable ingredients grown from his own garden, helping families to better connect with each other and what’s on their plate”


he word home evokes a certain universal feeling for us all. We often think of this as a place of comfort, tranquility, relaxation and peace, far away from the demands and stresses of daily life. This location need not be where you were born nor where you grew up, but something about it just feels right. Like the emotions stirred in you after finding your significant other, discovering a place to call home can be hard to describe; sometimes you just stumble upon something and you know it’s meant to be. And for world-renowned Chef Michael Smith, both of these things were found in one of the most unlikely, yet beautiful places on earth. For Smith, New York City was where it all began. He was born there, raised there, and grew up surrounded by inspiration on seemingly every street corner. He graduated with honours and an Associates degree in Culinary Arts from the Culinary Institute of America, and immediately jumped at an opportunity to apprentice alongside Chef Michael Roux Jr. at the prestigious Michelin two-star restaurant Le Gavroche in London, England.

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“Our vision is to blur the lines separating the indoors from the outside.”

series called Lentil Hunter, created ten of his own unique cookbooks, and earned a spot as a judge on Chopped Canada in 2012. No stranger to being busy, Smith has seamlessly filled the role of chef, author and television host admirably. But his two most important titles are that of husband and father, and it is here where his life ultimately finds meaning. A humble advocate for a homegrown, family-oriented experience, Smith and his wife Chastity agreed to purchase The Inn at Bay Fortune in 2015, and haven’t looked back. Completely revamping both the building and the grounds, the Smiths have created nothing short of a completely unique culinary experience for every guest they have the pleasure of serving. Staying true to his career-long focus on locally grown, sustainable ingredients, Smith’s restaurant, FireWorks, features a menu comprised entirely of vegetables and fruit harvested from the eight-acre organic farm surrounding the property. This is all perfectly complemented with locally sourced meat and fish, and a variety of wild mushrooms, kelp and greens foraged from natural growth all over the island. An evening at the Inn starts with a whimsical stroll around the gardens, where the staff prepare unique cocktails and fresh appetizers over five authentic, wood-burning fires.

His passion for his craft only grew abroad, and after returning home, Smith spent time gaining experience and perfecting his art, working under David Bouley at the number one restaurant in the United States, Bouley. All this success in such a short period of time might make any up-and-coming chef stop to pinch themselves, but for Smith, there was something more he longed for. He knew from a young age that he wanted to focus his culinary career by incorporating simple, sustainable ingredients grown from his own garden, helping families to better connect with each other and what’s on their plate. That doesn’t seem like too much to ask, right? Well it turns out, as a young man living in one of the biggest cities in the world, finding a backyard that you can call home was going to be far more difficult than he’d anticipated. And so in his early 20’s, Smith took a leap of faith, uprooted his life, and relocated to Prince Edward Island, Canada. Thus began his now incredibly successful and internationally known career at the Inn at Bay Fortune in PEI. Seven short years later, his career skyrocketed. He has since netted himself 5 Food Network television shows...Chef at Home, The Inn Chef, Chef Abroad, Chef at Large and Chef Michael’s Kitchen, started his own web

REAL FOOD, REAL GOOD Real food is easy to make, delicious and good for you. Michael Smith, a passionate advocate for healthy homemade meals enjoyed around the kitchen table, knows what it takes to keep cooking simple and chock-full of natural, wholesome ingredients. In Real Food, Real Good, Michael shares more than 100 brand-new recipes with ingredients that are great choices for a healthy lifestyle. Real Food, Real Good is a fantastic way to approach everyday cooking—simple, good-for-you food. Available September 2016.

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When it’s time to eat, everyone joins together at a communal table, all eyes trained on the chefs as they work, everything intimate and in plain view. Smith’s son Gabe often lends a helping hand, shucking oysters with the skill of a seasoned professional. Four separate stations line this 25-foot wood-burning, brick-lined, fire-breathing beast; and trust us when we tell you, you have never seen anything like this before. The inspiration behind his latest creation is for people to experience the authentic connection to the land and the ocean surrounding the island, and to truly celebrate all that PEI has to offer. With all of this on his plate...pun intended, Smith’s favourite way to unwind is to spend time with his wife and three children (Gabe, Ariella and Camille), appreciating the beautiful island they get to call home. He has always been an avid outdoorsman, and enjoys spending his hard-earned free time windsurfing, hiking, and practicing his newfound love for kite sailing. Being out among nature and embracing an active, outdoor lifestyle helps to keep him both grounded and connected to this magical place that he admires so much. Throughout his career, Chef Michael Smith has always remained humble, connected to his roots, and committed to simple, sustainable home cooking. His latest venture and current focus, FireWorks is a magical experience and paints a perfect picture of what Chef Smith has always envisioned: a true passion for connecting families with each other, their food, and the stories to be shared while enjoying it all.

GRILLED PINEAPPLE and RED ONION SALAD This is my all-time favourite grilled salad. It’s amazing how much savoury flavour your grill can add to a simple pineapple and some red onion. Next time you fire up the works try this salad and you’ll have a new favourite for your repertoire too! INGREDIENTS:

1 whole pineapple skinned and uncored 1 red onion thickly sliced in rings a few generous splashes of olive oil 1 lemon zest and juice a few handfuls of fresh basil sea salt and freshly ground pepper PROCEDURE:

1. Preheat your barbecue or grill 2. Drizzle the pineapple and onion rings with olive oil and season to taste with sea salt and pepper 3. Grill the pineapple until golden grill marks appear and the fruit softens - about 5 minutes each side 4. Grill the onion rings until soft and lightly charred 5. Quarter the pineapple slices into wedges and roughly chop the onions 6. Toss with lemon zest, juice and basil Variation: This sald is very good tossed with a grilled chicken breast or two.Try tossing in some shredded coconut or sliced green onions as well. Serves 4 OUTDOORLIFESTYLEMAGAZINE.COM

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OKANAGAN SPIRITS ~ LAIRD OF FINTRY After years of barrel-aging in French and American Oak, this single malt is smooth, non-peated and combines solid forest notes. okanaganspirits.com



ODD SOCIETY ~ MONGREL Straight from the still, naked, raw and pure. Made from 100% rye grown in Dawson Creek, British Columbia. oddsocietyspirits.com



CALDERA DISTILLING Grains grown on distillery property in River John, Nova Scotia. Distilled for a lingering taste and a smooth finish. caldera.ca

Dave is of two minds when it comes to fashion. OK, let’s be serious...Dave is not a fashionista. Dave’s passion is not fashion. That’s why he shops at . So his clothes can be both fashionable and functional. As a Certified Landscape Designer, Dave’s passion is your outdoor space. Any questions? Just ask Dave! Dave Maciulis is a certified landscape designer at Natural Landscape Group, public speaker and all ‘round landscape guru with more than 25 years of hands-on experience in the field.

For free landscaping advice



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Weatherproof Television sunbritetv.com

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Imagine a world where you could take the best of everything and deposit it all in one centralized location. In this utopian experiment, you may find Canadian beer and maple syrup, French pastries and breads, Italian pastas and pizza, or any number of dishes that one might expect to see at a giant, global buffet. But what are the factors that make these things iconic and known the world over? Well, for starters, you have to be better at something than anybody else. Then you have to bring it to the masses. Dave Copperthwaite is a man who embodies this line of thinking. His epiphany came one day while traveling to Buffalo, NY with his daughter and her rep hockey team. A common stop during these frequent visits to the States was a little place called Frank and Teressa’s Anchor Bar, home of the original buffalo wing. The family couldn’t stop raving about the food, service and atmosphere each time they returned home. The portions were generous, the burgers were amazing, and those wings...oh, those wings were to die for. Never one to miss out on an opportunity, Copperthwaite decided that Canada needed a place like this. And so, after months of approaching and negotiating with the owners, he was finally able to acquire the exclusive franchise rights to Anchor Bar in Canada; and on October 27, 2016, he opened his flagship store in Burlington, ON. Stepping foot inside Anchor Bar is a feeling like no other. You are immediately hit with the sense that something is different here, that the place seems to operate on a level somewhere between a mainstream franchise and a small, mom-and- pop diner. You are greeted and engaged from the moment you arrive, and the unity of the staff is truly an amazing thing to behold. This isn’t one of those places where a handful of waitresses and bartenders are running around like stressed out and overworked caffeine addicts. The team is well-stocked to provide intimate

and individually-focused service, often a rarity for an establishment of this size. And once you are seated and the food starts coming, you are in for quite a treat. The calling card of Anchor Bar are their chicken wings, and they do not disappoint. Large, meaty and plump, these bad boys are shipped fresh from local Quebec farms, and are consumed at a rate of 750-800 pounds a day! Smothered in their signature sauces, still shipped in directly from Buffalo and available to purchase, sitting down to Anchor Bar wings is like kneeling to pray at the altar of Wingdom. But if wings are not your thing, don’t worry…there are plenty of other options. The Anchor Bar features a dynamic selection of pizzas (made fresh with flour imported from Italy), juicy and hearty Canadian AAA burgers, and some of the best poutine outside of Quebec. And there is no better place to enjoy your meal and the totality of the experience than on their brand new outdoor patio. Designed and built by Natural Landscape Group, Copperthwaite spared no expense in making this a unique space unlike anything you will ever see. Upon this L-shaped template every luxury and cutting-edge piece of outdoor technology was placed: there are automatic misters that kick-in when a certain temperature is reached, multiple outdoor TVs...designed to be anti-glare and to withstand the elements, beautiful custom stone and brick work, a large outdoor fireplace, space and mood lighting, and a custom made water feature that is breathtaking. Family owned and operated (Dave’s daughter, Shaina Eva, is the VP of Operations, and his son, Chandler, is the Executive Chef), they have since expanded to another location in Hamilton, ON, with plans to open twenty more stores across the country in the next five years. So get ready Canada, a storm of great food is heading your way. You’re going to need a good anchor.


The finest things to compliment ANY outdoor space! SUNBRITE TV

At SunBriteTV we believe that life should be lived outdoors as much as possible, under blue skies or glittering stars. Our TVs are completely weatherproof and can be installed anywhere, providing a great high definition entertainment experience. With sizes ranging from 32” up to 84”, there is a SunBriteTV model perfect for any backyard, patio, or outdoor space. Go ahead and escape the confines of indoor living, give the indoor kitchen the weekend off, and take the party outside with a SunBriteTV.



Maynooth Natural Granite of Maynooth Ontario (the mineral capital of Canada) has got the goods. Home to Canada’s most sought after variety of granite, Maynooth Natural Granite is a “visual goldmine” of stunning 100% granite accents. Beautiful smooth surfaces, intriguing patterns and rich colours will bring any project to life! maynoothgranite.com

Illuminate your unique outdoor space. We spend close to half our lives surrounded by darkness. This is why, at in-lite, we know how important outdoor lighting can be. Since the early 2000s, in-lite has helped pioneer 12 volt LED lighting in North America and Europe. in-lite is now a leader in providing safe and energy-efficient low voltage lighting. Whether you are inside or outside your home, our lighting helps you to enjoy the outdoors all year round. Let us show you what light can do.


universal misting systems

Looking for something to keep you cool on hot days? We’ve got just the right system for you! Evaporative cooling operates under high pressure, releasing millions of water droplets into the air, whose diameter is smaller than that of human hair. Mist released by the system evaporates before making contact with anything, so people in cooled areas will feel only the pleasant temperature, not moisture! Perfect for outdoor patios/decks, doorways, greenhouses or poolside.

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British Columbia LIFT BAR & GRILL We often think of patios as a summertime thing. You know, laughing and drinking with your friends, shouting stories at each other after a hot day on the beach, allowing a nice, cold brew to marginally decrease our biological temperature. But not all patios are summer-exclusive, my friends. A perfect illustration of this is LIFT, situated in Vancouver’s Coal Harbour. Built upon a three-thousandfoot concrete pad in the harbour itself, LIFT is a sweet lily pad of fun and fellowship, enjoyed year-round by locals and tourists alike. For those wandering around Stanley Park, LIFT rises up before you like a fairy tale, mesmerizing and irresistible. When you walk along the seawall and catch a glimpse of it, it immediately drains you of your willpower. You are overcome with an intense urge to go inside - and then ironically, to pass right on through, back outside to the patio! LIFT prides itself on a menu that is based on West Coast fusion, consistently placing them on a majority of top-ten lists among Vancouver-area eateries. And while it is a decidedly restaurant atmosphere, the setting does get lively on warm summer nights. Many a merry soul has---perhaps under the influence of a spirit or two---taken occasion to voluntarily remove their clothing and recklessly jump into the gentle, salty waters of Vancouver’s harbour; a decision better suited to theory than to practice. But that is summertime frolics. Winter is the preferred time of gathering, at least from a local’s point of view. The area around Stanley Park is transformed by storms that whip tall, crashing waves into the seawall, unleashing an energetic combination of water and wind under a hard, grey sky. Warm and cozy, the patio allows you to look out at the weather from a comfortably roofed and heated vantage point. The winter menu is specially created to warm and soothe those seeking refuge from the rain and cold, and nothing says comfort like a perfect gourmet meal. An evening at LIFT is truly a memorable affair, and whether you are celebrating a special occasion or just looking for a relaxing night out on the town, you can never go wrong with this local hot-spot.

Photography by Zook-it Photography


Six Years in a Cup

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A Historic moment for tea tradition in Canada On the lush, verdant, and fertile slopes of the Cowichan Valley, deep in the heart of a region called Westholme, a new chapter in Canadian history is quite literally growing. This picturesque region of Vancouver Island, BC., is known for a great many things, but perhaps its greatest claim to fame may have just been discovered. Rising out of the hillside and surrounding valley, like a silent army of tiny soldiers, are over eight-hundred plants, the likes of which this country has never seen. These are the fabled grounds of the Westholme Tea Farm, the first ever tea plantation to be commercially grown on Canadian soil. Owners Victor Vesely and his wife and business partner Margit Nellemann, conceived of this vision from their shared love of tea, brewed and cultivated from years of travel around the world. Their focus was a desire for high-quality, organic tea, locally grown and sourced with the faintest ecological footprint; not to mention, Vesely loves a challenge. “There was nothing I was told I could never do, and tea was one of them and nothing was going to stop me from doing that or at least trying.” Westholme Tea Farm or “the experiment”, as Vesely likes to call it, has evolved rapidly since the purchase of their eleven-acre farm in 2003. The beginnings were humble, and the couple grew reasonable harvests of things such as lavender and garlic, biding the time before their tea empire was ready to emerge. These early days were also spent showcasing Nelleman’s art: stunning and one-of-a-kind ceramic creations, each piece a labour of love taking months to complete. These tea pots, cups, saucers, and other tea accessories can still be purchased today, and the detail and craftsmanship that goes into each piece is truly remarkable. Their focus began shifting almost exclusively to their love of tea making some time later, and in 2008, they began sourcing organic and biodynamic artisanal teas from other small-scale farms. From this simple and natural foundation, Nellemann and Vesely could then hand-blend many of their teas with locally-sourced, organic herbs, and now offer over 100 different tea varieties and creations. They even opened their very own, on-site tea house, which guests can visit to sample teas and delectable, handmade sweets, all served on Nellemann’s ceramic treasures. “We are unique as a company,” says Vesely, “we don’t use any synthetic essences or flavourings whatsoever, so no chemical structures.” Now boasting 800 Camellia Sinensis tea plants and an ever-growing following, the pair recently decided to change the company’s name from The TeaFarm to Westholme Tea Farm, their way of paying tribute to the plant’s region of origin. A feat that was deemed nearly impossible given the unpredictability of the Canadian climate is now vibrant and flourishing, marking milestones in the market seemingly every day. The culmination of years of hard work, dedication and perseverance is now paying off in a big way, and the company recently launched Canada’s first ever commercially grown tea, Tree Frog Green: Spring Harvest tea

Photography by Sean Fenzi



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(which has since been followed by Swallow Tale Oolong: Canadian tea). Both flavours made their debut alongside 140 commemorative handmade teacups...created by Nellemann, appropriately enough, on July 1st, Canada Day. A historic and noteworthy moment both for the farm, and for the country; and not too shabby an outcome for just an “experiment.” So what does it take to grow and produce the finest, purest organic tea in Canada? First, a profound love of tea, followed by a deep connection to nature and a resolute spirit, and finally heaping spoonfuls of patience; six years of patience to be precise. Self-taught in the art of tea growing and tea making, Vesely articulates, “There is not a lot written about tea making. It’s an art form more than a science. There is no instruction manual. There is the basics, and then, you work from that.” Most people have never been to a tea estate and don’t realize that all tea comes from the same plant. It is how the leaves are processed that ultimately determines whether the tea they produce becomes green, black, white or oolong styles. Oxidization is the process that affects the tea leaf when it is processed, so green tea leaves no decay or oxidization of the leaf. By contrast, black tea is 100% oxidization, with white tea at around 5-20% oxidization, and the oolong style coming in anywhere from 20 to 80% oxidization. Hand plucked and processed, tea farming is one of the most labour-intensive crops, next to perhaps vanilla beans and saffron. “Everyone can grow grapes but not necessarily make wine” says Vesely, “so it’s the processing and the pushing of the oils from the stem to the leaf and that specific art form, the manipulation, to create that flavour. You can’t just take a tea leaf and dry it and put it into water and call it tea. There is a process, there is an art form, there is an evolution, there is a knowledge and a skill to it. The farm is completely self-sustaining, so the tea produced does come at a premium, but its one-of-a-kind, unique process and flavour cannot be found anywhere else in the world. Plans for the future include creating a product line of culinary teas and oils that can be used in cooking and in salads, and the pair also have their eye on developing a tea-flavoured honey, locally sourced from the 300 hives of bees living right next door to them. Says Vesely, “For me personally, philosophically, as well as practically, the larger ills in our world are because people are disconnected from nature and from their environment. My partner, Margit ,creates the chalice; the vessel that captures the art of tea making, and at that moment, the elements (water, earth and fire) come together to create the most accessible connection to nature. We don’t grow and make a product, we create an absolutely authentic experience.” An anomaly to some, a curiosity to others, and an education for all, Westholme Tea Farm has already begun to draw worldwide attention. Everyone from DNA plant experts in Taiwan, to tea growers in New Orleans and even Chemical Engineers from the University of Toronto have come calling, keeping Vesely and his team ever humble to the power of the tea plant. And in some small way, Westholme Tea Farm has shifted thousands of years of tea history, creating a new Canadian chapter with a bright and healthy future ahead of it. As Vesely puts it, “We are always going to be creating beautiful clay and beautiful handmade teas, in an exquisite setting. There will be more tea farms, but there will always be this one that started it all.” www.westholmeteafarm.com | @tasteteafarm

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The Immune Boosting Superfood BY OSCAR DE LOS SANTOS - MEDICINE MAN


ny nature enthusiast knows the importance of making fire as a basic survival skill. Finding a resourceful way to burn embers, produce heat and cook meals was a milestone in our evolution, and like any worthwhile discovery, a certain portion of trial and error was required. Enter the discovery of a rather odd looking, but uniquely beneficial form of fungus, called Chaga. Though not much to look at, Chaga was identified rather quickly as having the ability to both readily take a spark and to make an ember, immediately catching the attention of our early ancestors. This elusive fungus grows in cold, northern climates on common White Birch trees, and has been revered for centuries across most of Siberia, Russia and parts of Asia for its medicinal benefits. Although its burnt-like outer surface is unmistakable, Chaga can be quite a challenge to find. It can appear anywhere on the side of dying White Birch trees, but is typically found on only one out of four hundred specimens. If you are indeed one of the lucky few to come across this rare treasure, then prepare your mind, body and soul for a treat. Truly an all-around, natural remedy, the exterior of the Chaga fungus is high in Betulin, a substance that has been known to arrest the growth of cancer and tumours (in some instances). The soft yellow center is high in Polysaccharides, is an autoimmune adaptogen, and is the single most powerful antioxidant on the planet, 3,500X more powerful than Vitamin C! Reaping the benefits of this potent beauty could not be easier. Simply simmering a small chunk (about the size of an ice cube), for 20 minutes, produces an entire pot of aromatic tea that is to die for. An earthy flavour with a slight vanilla undertone is the end result, and once you try it, Chaga will be a staple in your tea collection for years to come.

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Simplify your life.

Residential & Commercial Property Maintenance Our experienced staff will help create your landscape design, update you property’s appearance and beautify your lawn. Call us today to discover our full range of services designed to create and maintain all your beautiful spaces and simplify your life.



Piece: Large Black Walnut Charcuterie Board

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REBIRTH Mike Willoughby is an established artist from Dundas, ON., who specializes in custom projects using reclaimed wood. Working with ethically sourced materials such as glass, stone or metal, Willoughby has created everything from charcuterie boards to small pieces of furniture, leveraging his keen eye for potential into original artistic focal points. He possesses a great appreciation for both nature and history, and it is his passion for illuminating the rebirth of forgotten or overlooked material that drives his work. This original piece is an example of something called crotch wood, a natural growth in the tree which creates beautiful rippling effects in a variety of colouring. Live sawn from a Black Walnut tree, the dark middle coloring is often referred to as heart wood, and can take on a myriad of black, brown and gold hues. The outer growth, otherwise known as sap wood, creates a gradual contrasting effect, and the transition in colour from gold to blonde helps to display both the complexity and simplicity of the piece. “I love to keep some of the past in the future� dundas-charcuterie.com

Piece: Whale Wall

Noel Brown

Jack Willoughby

The perfect storm…the collaboration of Noel Brown and Jack Willoughby can be described in no other terms. Together, they create magic. The Whale Wall uses Brown’s design and was fashioned by Willoughby. Noel Brown is a member of the Snuneymuxw First Nation, on the east coast of Vancouver Island, and has been carving professionally since 1995. Brown’s art and knowledge of the true cultural meanings of his carvings were passed down to him from his forefathers. His art can be found worldwide in galleries and private collections alike. Anvil island Design, located on Vancouver Island, is home to the studio and workshop of metal artist Jack Willoughby. His career as an artist began in steel working, then teaching metal work at the B.C. Institute of Technology, where the freedom to create his own designs soon turned into a fulltime job. Willoughby is well known in North America for his unique, humorous, and whimsical designs, using steel, aluminum, and copper. He is often commissioned to do one of a kind metal art for clients all over the world.

Piece: Children of the Sun Carving for over 30 years, Brian Walker was inspired by First Nation mentors and the rich cultural history of the Kwanlin DĂźn, his adoptive Yukon First Nation. His ten year exploration of traditional copper repoussĂŠ and chasing practices has culminated in the exceptional collection currently at the Inuit Gallery of Vancouver.



oments after the sound of her voice begins to fill the air, a wave of emotion travels from the depths of your soul to the surface of your skin. It’s the voice that brings you to your knees and forces your mind’s eye to relive those really significant moments that we all experience throughout our lifetime. It’s the voice reminiscent of Janis Joplin’s rawness, mixed with the intricate and smooth sounds of Heart, but you somehow know that this is the unique voice of singer/song writer Robin Benedict. Admittedly a late bloomer to the field of performance music, Benedict seemed to underestimate the exceptional quality in her voice. With some prompting by friends and family Benedict hired herself a voice coach, fine tuned her abilities and set out to share her music with the world. Her first taste of worldwide notoriety came in the form of a viral YouTube video, when she and a friend sang their rendition of Blondie’s “Heart of Glass”, while in a car on their way to the airport. “I couldn’t believe it! Within days of posting that, we had over 2 million views! My inbox blew up with people asking where they could purchase my music. That began the ride of my life. My dreams were finally starting to take form.” That exposure was the catalyst to Benedict’s original, mind blowing Indie-Rock CD “Dance Away The Darkness”, produced by Andre Kaden-Black at the infamous Jukasa Studios in Calednonia, Ontario, and engineered by Tal Vaisman of Ascott Royals. Her fans were not the only ones to take notice of her raw talent. Some of the music industry’s most respected musicians jumped at the chance to develop Benedict. Acclaimed Canadian musicians Sean O’Grady, Duncan Coutts (Our Lady Peace), and Steve Strongman all helped to craft her record, and the result is nothing short of musical brilliance. “It was magical to witness the passion and confidence of these guys,” says Benedict. “They inspired my performance and made me feel at ease. I learned so much recording this album; they opened my mind to all sorts of future possibilities. Working with them showed me what it is to be a true professional. They were enthusiastic, well studied, and happy to be playing my music. What an honour!” There is nothing in this world that Benedict would rather be doing. Music is what breaths life into this “vocal power

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Photography by Nikki Jumper

home grown

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house.” Her life is made up of a variety of vignettes…all connected to music and performance in one way or another. She understands profoundly that music is the very thing that crosses all boundaries and connects people together, regardless of age, gender, race or religion. Her work in bringing music (and instruments) to the youth of Negril, Jamaica, is a testament to her deep-rooted belief that music not only connects the masses, but can also heal the broken spirits of the world. Give a listen to “Dance Away the Darkness”…Benedict’s entrance to the world’s music stage, and watch for her upcoming tour. Visit www.robinbenedict.ca to join her newsletter and stay tuned!

home grown

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hen you first meet Jace Martin, it is difficult to get a read on him. He seems distracted, distant, maybe even a little aloof. But the longer you sit with him, the longer you talk and engage in conversation, you begin to discover that these character traits are simply just an energetic pairing of his humility combined with a palpable passion for his craft. What I had mistaken for an air of distance or indifference, had instead revealed itself as a man lost in his own world, a soul truly encapsulated by the very essence of the music that surrounded him. Picture a young and boisterous lad, cooped up in his room, eagerly awaiting his favorite songs to come on the radio. He hunts restlessly for a solo or a verse he can record onto a cassette, his intention to find any bits or pieces of music that he could play back in order to learn them. “That’s how I taught myself music”, he nonchalantly says to me. It was very apparent that his ambition and grit were in full gear very early in the game, and both would eventually pay off for him in a big way. At the age of thirteen, he had earned his first professional gig, working under the mentorship of Canada’s Queen of Jazz, Salome Bey. This once-in-a-lifetime opportunity---in the form of Salome’s production of “Rainbow World” ---would end up being his big break into the music industry. However, Martin isn’t just singing for himself. Youth development and mentorship play a pivotal role in what continues to drive him. The Darren Ross Agency, which he founded and admirably named in honour of his late brother, is a vehicle of inspiration which has gone on to sign many great artists, including Crystal Shawanda, AK Mcleod Blues Band, and Leah Belle. Through Darren Ross he hopes to support and inspire youth with dreams like his own, helping them to navigate their way through the music industry. He also works tirelessly to introduce a thriving music community into his childhood home of Six Nations, Ontario, his way of giving back to those who have given him so much. I asked him, if he were to lose everything he had today, but still had all of his knowledge, what would he do? And the answer came back as enthusiastically as the man himself. “Acting is a big passion of mine!” he says. “I would pursue auditions and grind my way into the film industry. I’ve been in about 18 different roles to date.” Yes, Martin can be found in a slew of documentaries, films, TV shows and voice- over pieces, all of which document the fact that he is simply a natural born performer. From his energy on stage to his fantastic yet grounded vision, you can tell he’s full throttle on every project that he undertakes. As his hit single “Free to Fly” might imply, Martin’s music represents fun, freedom and positive influence. And he delivers on every angle.

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Frankie Flowers is

Crazy for Kale FRANKIE FERRAGINE I’m crazy about kale, the kale you eat and the kale you just enjoy! Fall is a fantastic time to celebrate the coolness of ornamental kale in gardens and pots! Their fresh foliage in colours of pink, purple, red, rose and white make perfect partners to fall garden mums (chrysanthemum) pansies, fall asters and the fantastic leaf colours fall has to offer. Kale thrives best in sun! Here are a few of my favorites.

Flamingo Plumes Taller, larger kale with notched leaves, on purplish foliage with magnificent deep magenta centres. A perfect centre piece to a container or used as a specimen plant in the garden bed. The downfall-a little slow to develop colour.

Pidgeon White

Pigeon series of kale boast round shaped solid heads on compact plants. Pigeon white kale are best described as outer leaves medium to dark green while centres turn creamy white. Heads begin to color when temperatures reach approximately 15c /60° F.

Redbor Purple

Edible and ornamental! Stunning dark red foliage with an upright habit make this tasty green a must have centrepiece in any fall garden or container. Cooler weather intensify both colour and flavour! Think about it as a fashionable plant you can eat!

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Kamome Pink

Pretty in pink in fall! Finally a pink kale that is “pink”! Fringed leaves with dark green outer foliage that contrast and surround pink centres! Medium height, an excellent filler in any container. Combine with bright lights, swiss chard, purple cool wave pansies and a purple garden mum for a fantastic planter.

“ I’ll treat your project as if it were my own backyard.“ Trevor KuBiaK, all Mechanical

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Call or email for a free Outdoor Mechanical Consultation 905-549-5116 • info@allmechanical.ca


comic relief


ou’re sure to see and hear this appeal more than a few times this fall, as Donald Trump’s campaign warship goes into hyper-drive. First used by Reagan, the slogan is a marvel of campaign messaging. So pleasingly vague and amorphous, it says whatever you want said, hints at whatever you want hinted at. The words summon visions of a magical past, and embattle Americans to fight to re-establish that great America of the past: an America in which the nannies, line cooks and terrorists are exclusively home-grown; an America from which everybody with a three-digit IQ wants the hell out of. An America in which you’re free, even encouraged, to ponder whether you would date your daughter if she wasn’t your daughter. In short, Trump’s slogan is a winner. He knows words. He has the best words (just ask him). And that’s why I assert that we hijack this mantra for our own ends. I believe we need to Make Canada Great Again! Wait, aren’t we already great, you may be asking? What’s so wrong with Canada? Well as it turns out, quite a lot. For evidence of the creeping national rot that afflicts us, look no further than our most recent choice of Prime Minister: a lithe little smarty-pants with a silver spoon in his mouth and a disgusting record of jostling female parliamentarians and doing yoga. He’s emotional and engaging, and worse: his hair moves


too much. A proper Prime Minister is a warrior, with hair like a helmet and lips like a pair of voluptuous mandarin orange segments. Need more proof that our nation is a shadow of its former self? How many coffee shops can you see out your front window? If you count fewer than six Tim Hortons and more than zero of anything else, you’ll know we’re close to ruin. Coffee isn’t meant to have Italian names. It’s meant to make us go to the bathroom. It’s meant to be tasteless and acidic. That’s the flavour profile that best complements two heaping tablespoons of sugar and two glugs of 18% cream! Feeling doomed? Don’t retreat to your bomb shelter yet. There are signs that the tide is turning. Citizens of the UK have been pining for the old times, and recently voted to “Make Britain Great Again”. The details of their exit from the EU still need sorting out, but it’s only a matter of time before good jobs rain down on those deserving communities that subsist on state benefits, alcohol and xenophobia. And right here at home, CTV has taken steps to “Make Canada Great Again”, by ending Ron MacLean’s banishment to that Sunday night hockey show that frequently featured him wearing a varsity letter jacket like some 50 year-old high school quarterback. Ron’s return to Saturday night is a victory for common sense and immaculately steepled fingers. Spread the word. Heed the call. Let’s Make Canada Great Again! After all, nobody wants to live in the White North.

Continued from page 66

OLM: Speaking of mental health, do you worry about Donald Trump? RM: “Yup. I worry anytime I see a group of people so divided, and there is

a huge divide between those two camps. Never mind the fact that I think he would be a terrible president. I mean, we’ve seen bad presidents and bad Prime Ministers, but I’ve never seen a Prime Minister before where I thought, ‘Oh my God, this could be the end of the country!’

OLM: What would you ask him? RM: “I can’t even begin to think what I’d ask him because, for starters, I

wouldn’t believe anything he said. It would just be some weird pat answer. I hope it’s all an act. I could deal with it if it was just an act.”

OLM: Newfoundlanders seem to have the ability to laugh at themselves. RM: “We try not to take ourselves that seriously. I find the ability to be

self-deprecating an admirable trait in an individual and also in a country.”

OLM: You’ve travelled so extensively. Is there anyplace in Canada still on your bucket list?














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RM: “I’d like to spend some more time in the north. I’m very lucky to travel the way I do. My cameraman Don Spence, who pays attention to these sorts of things, pointed out to me a couple years ago, ‘Do you realize in the last seven days we’ve shot three openers on three separate oceans in Canada—the Atlantic, Pacific and Arctic?’ It hadn’t even dawned on me that that was extraordinary. I mean, I knew it had been a busy week.” OLM: You’re a fan of Fogo Island off Newfoundland. RM: “I went there as a kid, before it was one of the trendiest places on

earth. I remember I wanted to go to Disneyland, and Dad said, ‘I think we’re gonna go to Fogo.’ When I went back there and did two pieces for the show, the pressure was incredibly intense. I didn’t want to screw those up—those are my people!”

OLM: You’ve gotten some special access on the Rick Mercer Report. RM: “I can’t tell you how many times I’ve shown up somewhere and there

are other TV crews, perhaps shooting a massive documentary, and they’re like, ‘You’ll never get into Place A—no one is allowed there!’ And 15 minutes later we’re in Place A, and I can’t even look at that other crew. I think people trust me, though. Like any relationship, it takes time to develop. I think people know that if I’m there, I’m there to celebrate, not to tear down, such as the Peace Tower, which I will treat with the reverence it deserves.”

OLM: Do you own a cottage? RM: “No, I rent one every year in Huntsville. And I love it. That is the end game—to have a piece of Northern Ontario, with a lake and a comfortable chair. To me, that’s absolute happiness.”


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FAVOURITE RECIPE: East Coast Ribs Ingredients: 2 slabs of pork spare ribs (2 to 2 1-2 lbs each) 1 1/2 cups of ketchup 1/3 cup cider vinegar Coarse salt and ground pepper 2 tbsp. of chili pepper 1/2 onion grated 2 cloves of garlic minced 2 tbsp. of Worcester sauce 1/4 tbsp. of cayenne pepper 1/3 cup of brown sugar Directions: 1. Preheat oven to 400 . Season ribs with coarse salt, ground pepper and chili powder . Wrap tightly in foil and bake on a baking sheet for 2 hrs. 2. Melt butter in a sauce pan over medium heat, add onion and garlic and season with salt and pepper. Cool for 2-3 mins. Add ketchup and vinegar, worcestershire sauce , cayenne and brown sugar. Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally until slightly thickened. Remove from heat and set aside. 3. Lightly oil grill and heat to medium high. Carefully remove ribs from foil ( they will be very hot). Brush ribs generously with the sauce. Grill until charred 2-3 minutes per side. Serve with extra sauce if desired.

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ichael Fifield is certainly not your Average Joe! With twelve years of landscaping and outdoor design experience under his belt, it wouldn’t be a mistake to call him an expert in the field. Fifield started his career with Bowering Gardens in 2004, and has called the award-winning company home ever since. Over the years, his position has changed from young apprentice to seasoned foreman, currently overseeing hardscape projects and working closely with new clientele to design stunning properties. Bowering Gardens took root in St. John’s, Newfoundland in 2002, and was founded by the hardworking and kind Mark Bowering. When listening to Fifield talk about his experience with the company, it is evident that he and Bowering have grown close over the years. “Mark has been very good to me. When I first began in the industry, he taught me the ins and outs of stonework.” Aside from learning from the founder of the company, Fifield is a self-taught man with a passion for hard work and customer satisfaction. As the company has grown over the years, so have the projects. Bowering Gardens started out with a few men, and has since grown to a staff of fifteen. In turn, they have spent many seasons working on large properties and high-end projects. As a child, Fifield enjoyed spending time fishing with his father and friends. Most of his days were spent outdoors, exploring the woods and

Food: Newfoundland Jiggs Diner Music: Live Irish music Pastime: Fishing TV Show: Gold Rush Time of Year: Christmas Beverage: Beer and Vintage wine Place to travel: Jamaica Hero/Mentor: My dad

roaming free. As a result of his innate love for the nature, he couldn’t imagine being confined to an office space or cooped up inside. Thus, he combined his passion for design, his keen eye for detail, and his love of nature, and has leveraged them all for a rewarding career. Fifield is a family man who truly does everything he can to ensure the happiness of his wife and three children. He attributes much of his success to his wife who keeps him organized. “Without her, I’d be a total wreck,” he jokes playfully. When asked about his philosophy on work, he answers with an earnest chuckle, “I’m very picky about the quality of work. If you don’t do it right the first time, you’ll be doing it again. I try to make everything look magazine-quality.” Michael Fifield is truly an inspirational person. His philosophy on life is something to be admired. Kindness, love for his family, and his work are the driving forces in his life. When asked where he sees himself in five years, he replied, “I’d like to see my girls in a good place with a good education, and for my wife and I to be a bit better off. We’re a young family, we’ve only been married three years, and so everything is still new to us. I want to see my family grow old and strong together, continue to work at Bowering Gardens, and to see good things happen for the company.”

Prepare yourself for an unparalleled golfing experience. Flamborough Hills Golf & Country Club is a pleasure for golfers of any skill level to play and enjoy. Our 27 hole golf course will challenge your game, while also providing you with a relaxing, picturesque backdrop for wonderful walk in our park. Featuring Live Entertainment on Sunday evenings throughout the year. Come join us for dinner. Relax and enjoy the view.

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