Lifestyle Magazine: January - February 2015

Page 1


Dream kitchens great ideas for a major makeover

High-end happiness Life can be Luxurious as a renter

Winter warmers Š

cozy accessories to beat the chiLL

w w


modern deSign + Statement pieceS

made to fit your lifestyle !

cusTom fabrIcs + colours avaIlablE



“Some people look for a beautiful place. Others make a place beautiful.” Hazrat Inayat Khan

HomE accENTs madE To INspIrE.

Isn’t it time to beautify your space ! COME VISIT OUR NEW LOCATION!

600 Wharncliffe road South london 519.649.0686


contents january

| february 2015

9 16 21 27 59 65 47 49 53 54 57


43 41 45 46

Homestyle Living large High-end rentals put you in the lap of luxury

Contemporary style Characterizes this outstanding property

Trends Marketplace Upgrade to the hottest new looks in furnishings, window and wall coverings

Kitchens That Really Cook Makeovers for the hardest-working room in the house

Yourstyle Don’t be snowed in It’s possible to be both warm and stylish

Too dry, too rough, too bad Save your skin this winter

Travellife Celebrating winter in style Old Quebec City loves cold weather

Flowers for a good cause Stratford Garden Festival raises funds for lungs

Tasty treats in Huron County Visit the Jerry Rader Homestyle Market

Culturelife Arts and entertainment Opera is in the air

Bending art Artist Abe Wall’s work

Autostyle Get your motor running At the Ultimate Automobiles test facility

Bizlife Red Door Renovations Gadsby’s Clothing Co. The Pristine Olive Tasting Bar

September/October 2014

Lifestyle 5






19 9 2



This recent renovation shows before, during and after photos that resulted in the transformation of an enclosed entryway, living room, dining room and kitchen modified into an airy and open concept living space.

20 Harvey Street, Aylmer, ON

519 765-2666

Member in good standing of the Tarion Home Warranty Program since 1997.

LIFESTYLE PUBLISHER Lana L. Breier ASSIStAnt PUBLISHER/ SALES MAnAgER Wilma Van Vaerenbergh 519-476-5571 EDItOR Jill Ellis-Worthington WRItERS Ellen Ashton-Haiste Clare Dear Jill Ellis-Worthington Beth Stewart Heather Toskan Richard Young ACCOUnt MAnAgERS Lorraine Lukings 519-520-7676 Jan McGrath 519-243-2932 Beth Moyer 519-686-0951 Elaine Norris 519-702-5583 gRAPHIC DESIgn EDITORIAL & AD DESIGN Nancy Greenfield Wendy Reid AD DESIGN Bill McGrath PRODUCTION Nancy Greenfield PHOtOgRAPHY Richard Bain John Morse PRIntIng Sportswood Printing WEB ARCHItECtURE Sean Hunt –

MoVe in fall 2015

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The very best of new urbanism

Lifestyle is published six times a year by 2251632 Ontario Inc. c.o.b. Lifestyle Magazine 108 Tuyll Street, Bayfield N0M 1G0 519-873-0989 Copies are distributed to selected homes, magazine stands and local businesses in London and area.

Canada Post Agreement #41277015 No part of this magazine may be reproduced without the written consent of the publisher. The publisher accepts no responsibility for unsolicited material. All rights reserved. Printed in Canada.

• Starting at $304,900 • Over 2,100 square feet of finished living space • Large master bedroom with en suite and walk in closet • Granite counters in your custom kitchen

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Model open Weekends froM 1 - 5pM or by appointMent January/February 2015

Lifestyle 7

editorial EDITORIAL



I love when the New Year rolls around, even though I’m not a big fan of winter, for its ‘do-over’ qualities. Though I have lived on this planet for a few decades now, and I know that January 1 is not really different than December 31, it doesn’t stop me from making plans, setting goals and gearing up to launch new projects. What does the new year hold for you and your home? Are you planning a major overhaul of the most-used room of the house and finally creating that dream kitchen you’ve always wanted? Ellen Ashton-Haiste talked to homeowners and renovation specialists to find out what it takes to plan and execute this type of large-scale project. Her story is on page 27. If updating the look of your home’s wardrobe of furnishings, wall and window coverings is on your must-do list for 2015, see page 21 for trend-setting ideas to make your space truly special. Having a fashion-forward home is great but what about your own wardrobe? That needs a cozy update as well and our steward of style, Heather Toskan, has many great ideas to make sure you’re warm and toasty during the winter months, on page 59. Our seemingly longer and longer winters – last year London had snow continuously from mid-November to mid-April – can be a bit overwhelming even for the most positive among us. So, if you feel in need of a mid-winter pick-me-up, see page 69 and send in your Jill Ellis-Worthington

Photography by Kamini Le Capelain of Silent Poetry Hair by Nina Badr of NU Hair and Makeup Studio

8 Lifestyle January/February 2015

‘before’ photo to enter our Beat the Winter Blahs makeover contest. A new hairstyle, new make-up look and a new outfit could be a real shot in the arm, and we thank Salon Entrenous and Hangar 9 for partnering with Lifestyle to bring this contest to our readers. For many of the aging demographic of baby boomers, planning to downsize living arrangements is on their goal list for 2015. For young professionals, making life easier by eschewing home ownership in favour of renting may be a highlight of the coming year. Londoners of all ages and stages are taking to renting over owning in greater numbers and seeing the variety of high-end housing available makes this an even more attractive option for many. Check out our story on page 9. Like many guidance gurus advise us, I try to set measurable, attainable goals for all sorts of projects, from personal growth to physical fitness to taming my DIY list. It seems like a good idea to have resolutions or goals to drive us forward but to be kind to ourselves at the same time. For instance, setting a goal of soaking in a long, warm bubble bath once a week as some me-time could be a worthy way of ensuring better life balance. Or setting aside a couple of hours to go to the Ultimate Automobiles test track and working out some of the week’s stress putting a Land Rover to the test is a great idea (page 43). Trying some of the excellent skin-care products on page 65 to help fight the dry skin syndrome that the winter months bring is a good start on your resolutions to pay better attention to your physical self, while indulging in a night at the opera, like La Boheme, on page 54, could mean fulfilling your desire to be a more culturally aware person. Whatever 2015 holds for you, the Lifestyle Magazine team wishes you and yours the happiest of new years – a year of abundance and gratitude for all!

Luxe living


By Jill Ellis-Worthington

Splendid views, high-end finishes and carefree living have many Londoners rethinking home ownership


fter years spent commuting from the suburbs, Marian Hamilton loves living downtown and being able to walk to work. The 49-year-old works for the City of London and enjoys the four-minute stroll to her job at Market Tower. Hamilton’s family occupied rented townhouses in various locations around the city when her children were younger. As a single mother, she liked the ease of rental and letting others be responsible for the property upkeep. Now that she’s an empty nester, living in a luxurious tower is great for those reasons, and she also loves not having to scrape her car in the morning, drive to work and find parking. Continued on page 11

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT A great view tops the wish list of many who reside in luxury rentals. Richmond Hill, perched north of the city, offers panoramic views of both the city and surrounding countryside. Ample living space is a sought-after amenity for high-end living, and Richmond Hill complies, with enough room to have both living and working areas. Outdoor living spaces are always prized, and The Renaissance delivers with a sixth-floor outdoor lounge that offers a nice view for residents as they cook dinner on the supplied barbecues. Well-appointed common areas are a perk of living at The Renaissance. Open concept living provides ample space to entertain guests at Richmond Hill.

10 Lifestyle January/February 2015

Luxe Living Continued from page 9

“Renting is simple and stress-free. I’m not a slave to a home and don’t have yard work,” says Hamilton, which suits her fine, as does the highend ambiance of The Renaissance. Likewise, 39-year-old Julie* is a single mom with three school-age children, and her family is enjoying living at Richmond Hill, the wellappointed high-rise building on Richmond Street, just north of the city.

ABOVE LEFT Richmond Hill’s common space features an area for quiet reflection. ABOVE RIGHT Open-concept living at The Renaissance offers cooking with a view of downtown.

Working at Western University meant that her job could be changing in a few years, so she opted to rent after selling the family home, which was also located in the north end. “We wanted to stay in the same area as the children’s friends and in an area with good schools,” she explains. The 2,000-square-foot apartment not only has stunning views as it rises above the city but also provides

about the same living space as her single family home. It has “room to do cartwheels in the living room,” she chuckles. While single professionals are a strong segment of the rental population, they only make up part of the demographic of people wishing to enjoy the ease of renting. Kevin Arbuckle, director of property management for Killam Properties, Continued on page 12


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Lifestyle 11

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12 Lifestyle January/February 2015

owners of Richmond Hill, estimates that half of the tenants are of retirement age, while the other 50 per cent is made up of people who work at the university or hospitals. Conversely, Craig McColl, property manager for The Tricar Group, owners of The Renaissance, says that the demographics of that building is split evenly three ways: graduate students, retirees and young professionals. Stella and Vito Moretti are in their early 80s, retired and have lived at Richmond Hill for just four months. Vito feels somewhat stifled without a home and property to take care of, but the couple felt that moving to an apartment was the right move when they sold their family home. “We want things to be easier for us and for our children since we are getting older,” he says. They chose Richmond Hill because they liked the high-end feel of the building and that the units don’t have much carpeting. The couple decided to rent rather than to buy a condominium because “I don’t like condo fees, paying $300 or $400 a month,” he shakes his head, adding that saving the money spent on property taxes was also a factor. Garnet Smalley and his wife Suzanne Agnew moved from a large, rural property to Richmond Hill nearly five years ago. Wanting a less expensive and less intensive lifestyle, they enjoy the quality appointments of the building. “We wanted to live in the north end of the city and this was the most lovely building; it’s perfect,” says Agnew. As the owner of The Wool Boutique, she works long hours, so spending less time on home maintenance is a key factor for the couple. “There’s no shoveling the driveway and it leaves your money more liquid,” she explains. Many who have sold their homes and chosen to rent agree on the latter statement. Investing the bulk of monies realized from selling real estate and paying rent – while saving insurance, property taxes and maintenance costs – makes sense to them. “We are more able to travel,” says Agnew. “We went to Africa for a month and are more able to do things that would have been more difficult with a home.” As with any housing decision, location is a key factor. For those who crave nightlife and being able to walk to Continued on page 14


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January/February 2015

Lifestyle 13

Luxe Living Continued from page 12

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519.850.7830 14 Lifestyle January/February 2015

entertainment venues, downtown makes sense. When she first contemplated moving to The Renaissance, Hamilton was concerned about living downtown. “It is a myth; you are as safe here as in other parts of the city,” she says. “I walk everywhere at night; there are always people around and I feel safe.” While admitting that living near two busy nightspots does mean extra noise at closing time, Hamilton says that living in a high-rise is also a calm and quiet situation. And the views are amazing. Built in 2008, The Renaissance has 277 units of various sizes spread over 28 floors. It has two lounges, an exercise room, and a sixth-floor deck equipped with barbecues, with all amenities available for the use of tenants. Each unit has a balcony that affords sweeping views of downtown or various locations around the city. Because of the mixed generational setting, Julie feels that there’s a real sense of community at Richmond Hill. “Our neighbours look out for us,” she says, adding that they know her children’s names and enjoy chatting with them in the elevator. “There is a coffee hour once a week, a games night once a month and we barbecue together,” she adds. Richmond Hill is six years old with 137 units on 12 floors. There is an exercise room, a lounge and an outdoor gazebo all for the use of tenants. It is located near shopping areas like Masonville Place. While there are financial and lifestyle advantages to renting in a top-notch building, there are downsides, too. Among those cited were not having a garden to tend or a yard for children, but most renters feel that the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages. “It is really a way to live a better lifestyle, while living a simple, stress-free life,” says Hamilton.


The Renaissance 71 King Street 519-652-8900 Richmond Hill 1985 Richmond Street 519-663-5538 *Name withheld by request.

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January/February 2015

Lifestyle 15

outstanding property for sale

PhotographyJohn Griffis

Contemporary elegance

Clean, fluid and multi-demographic design characterizes this home

E ABOVE FROM TOP The open living space in this Upper Richmond Village home receives natural light from the nearly 16-foot, museum-quality, filmed windows. Overlooking the natural green spaces and ravine, the contemporary features are furnished to match the elegance provided by the home. Added touches include a ribbon-flame gas fireplace with floating gunmetal grey engineered quartz mantle. The property is listed at $1.195 million and includes outdoor space with a pool as part of its high-end amenities.

16 Lifestyle January/February 2015

By Ellen Ashton-Haiste

ntering through the wide double front doors of the home in London’s Upper Richmond Village, visitors are greeted by a wide-open living space bathed in natural light. The spacious foyer opens to a great room, with soaring 15.5-foot ceilings, overlooking a deck, lower salt-water pool, natural green space and forested ravine beyond through a wall of stacked eight-foot and four-foot windows. A ribbon-flame gas fireplace to the left tops a floating gunmetal grey engineered quartz mantle. To the right, the kitchen – characterized by clean, sleek lines, white cabinetry and tile backsplash with contrasting stainless steel appliances and gunmetal grey Caesarstone countertops – leads to a rear dining area. Here, another wall of windows showcases the natural environment and glass patio doors lead to the deck. “It is beautiful and dramatic contemporary architecture and

there is little of that in London at the moment,” says Kim Mullan, broker with Sutton Group-Select Realty, who has the property, at 2702 Torrey Pines Way, listed at $1.195 million. “It is a fluid space that is great for entertaining.” Added value, Mullan says, emanates from the fact that the home was custom-designed by the owners who had it built two years ago by Bridlewood Homes. “They’ve taken advantage of the setting with the walls of windows,” she says. And, as an extra luxury touch, the windows are glazed with museum-quality film to reduce heat and fading. The kitchen also features a large island with a deep stainless steel sink, an induction counter cooktop, built-in oven and microwave and minimal upper cabinetry with plentiful deep soft-close lower drawers. A laundry/mudroom separates the kitchen from the two-car garage. There is also an adjacent two-piece powder room. Continued on page 18


1026 Talbot St., St Thomas, ON N5P 1G3 ph 519-631-8428

January/February 2015

Lifestyle 17

OutStandinG pROpeRty

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Continued from page 16

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Photo: John Griffis

It’s Time to Find Your Dream Home

KIM MULLAN, Broker cell: 519.871.1775


ove! It’s Your M 18 Lifestyle January/February 2015

To the left of the foyer is the mainfloor master retreat with patio doors from the bedroom to the deck. The ensuite bathroom features an oversize glassed-in shower with multiple heads and seating, as well as a free-standing soaker tub and separate water closet. Transom windows in the shower and above the bathtub afford plentiful natural light. Beyond the ensuite bathroom is a walk-in closet room with front-facing windows. Graphite-toned maple hardwood flooring and custom forged steel registers add to the contemporary ambiance. A floating maple staircase leads from the foyer to an upper level over the front of the home. This level includes a landing lounge area, two large bedrooms and a five-piece bathroom. According to Mullan, the layout allows for multiple demographics to reside comfortably together. “It is basically a ranch with a loft. With the main floor master and laundry, it could accommodate a retired couple looking for one-floor living with additional space for family and friends. Or for a family with teenagers, the upper area would be a perfect space for them.” The home also features a finished lower level with Burl Storm cork flooring. This level includes a large recreation room with fireplace, a bedroom, exercise room/office space, and full bathroom/pool change room with a smoked glass/tile shower and porcelain floor. The lower level has a walk-out to a concrete patio, sheltered by cedar privacy screens and leading to the upper deck and pool. The home’s exterior also includes a front natural lava stone feature wall and rear armour stone retaining wall framing the pool area. The 36-by-14foot deck is galvanized steel and concrete with glass and metal railing and requires “zero maintenance,” Mullan says.

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January/February 2015

Lifestyle 19

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trend marketplace



Dark, sleek, multifunctional – tHEsE ArE somE of tHE BuzzWords you Will BE HEAring A new year brings new looks for fashion – both home and wardrobe. Here is an overview of what you will be seeing the best-dressed homes sporting in 2015. By Jill Ellis-Worthington



Traditional shutters remain a strong contender in 2015.

Fitting perfectly with the mid-century modern look of this room, these sheer blinds diffuse light and create a warm space.


Continued on page 23

 Window coverings echo the dark tones of walls in a monochromatic room to create a lush, relaxed environment.

 Remote-control options make it easy to cover large windows without the hazard of climbing on a stool to open or close, while also ensuring that maximum light enters the space when open. Combination blinds and sheers allow light to enter the space but deny damaging UV rays entry. Pretty and private at the same time. January/February 2015

Balancing the need for privacy with the desire to let in as much light as possible is the dilemma met by many of this year’s hottest trends in shades, blinds and sheers. Window coverings are an important part of the overall design of the room. This year’s trends run the gamut from shimmering sheers that allow in light while permitting privacy to traditional-looking shutters. High-tech has found its way into window coverings, with remote-control options available to ensure that aging boomers can reveal the large windows that are a prominent feature of contemporary homes. Exterior blinds and blinds that disappear at the push of a button are preserving that design esthetic. “People are keeping it really simple now,” says Jessica Davis, of Jessica Davis Design, with easily raised options like roller blinds. With simple fabrics used as headers or curtains, she adds, more emphasis is often given to the hardware associated with window coverings. “They are keeping the fabric simple but making the hardware like jewellery, adding a real pop of colour in the finals and (curtain) rods,” says Davis.

Lifestyle 21

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22 Lifestyle January/February 2015


trend marketplace

 

The calming effect of colours found in nature will be seen as a trend in 2015.

Various shades of dark blue provide drama when contrasted with light-toned furniture, according to Davis.

Continued from page 21


Continued on page 25

According to Davis, colour and contrast are two of the leading elements noticeable in wall coverings for 2015. “Dark, moody walls are big, so don’t be afraid of using this year’s big colours of navy and dark tones of peacock and indigo on your walls,” she says. But the drama is in the contrast, so stock your room with light-toned furniture if you do go to the dark side for the walls. Conversely, if your furniture is dark, light-coloured walls – perhaps sporting one of the highly textured wallpapers that continues to be popular – would provide dramatic contrast. Robin Manton, of Red Bird Designs, notes that large, geometric patterns on wallpaper “give a modern look but without being too industrial” for those pursuing the still-popular retro look in interior design. Wallpaper with trellis patterns are proving popular, according to Manton, and “more traditional damasks are making a strong comeback.” Classic always works. Manton sees a trend toward “colours that promote relaxation and reflection in our interior spaces, because we’re spending more time indoors.” She cites Farrow and Ball’s Breakfast Room Green as a living green that is slightly botanical as an example.

Shades of grey paired with yellow remains a strong trend, according to Manton.


Larger geometric prints – often sporting metallic touches – continue to be popular. “Some are really retro,” says Davis.

Textured wallpapers, some that shimmer or show natural patterns – like leaves – are going to be big, according to Manton. “The additional patterning makes them a bit more decorative.” January/February 2015

Lifestyle 23




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Visit us at the Lifestyle Home Show BOOTH # 115, Jan.30, 31, & Feb.1




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Visit us online at: OR at our bakery located at: 275 Wharncliffe Rd. North, London

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2015 

trend marketplace

Updated versions of older designs, featuring both comfort and clean lines, fit well with the current esthetic that says mid-century modern to a generation of baby boomers who are downsizing.

Continued from page 23

furnishings Concrete and other natural, textural materials will be seen in coffee tables, dining tables and end tables as seen here.

The swell of downsizing baby boomers is driving the home furnishings market toward smaller-scale furniture while promoting the concept of multi-use pieces. “There’s a big shift toward condominium living, with empty nesters wanting to live in small spaces. This requires modular furniture that can come apart and be more versatile,” says Davis. She adds that the eclectic look – one that combines several styles of furnishings in one space – remains the strongest trend of the season. Rustic elements, like reclaimed barnboard, recycled bricks and concrete, mixed with sleek metals, marble and stone, “provide an organic look that is extremely popular.” n


Mixing reclaimed wood with metal is a hallmark of today’s eclectic look that fits well with open-concept and loft spaces, according to Davis.

Furniture pieces sporting multiple tones and materials continue to be favoured in 2015.

Is it art or a shelving unit? It’s both! Pieces that serve double duty are an important trend for 2015, with more people downsizing and expecting more from their space.

January/February 2015

Lifestyle 25

trend marketplace Dulux Paints 843 Wharncliffe Road South 675 Fanshawe Park Road West 561 Southdale Road



Hyde Park Paint and Paper 1700 Hyde Park Road 519-472-4100

Urban Barn 3189 Wonderland Road South 519-686-6600

Wallpaper Loft 1026 Talbot Street East, St. Thomas 519-631-1187

Blind and Drapery Co. 865 Riverside Drive 519-641-3022

Modern Living London (formerly EQ3) 600 Wharncliffe Road South 519-649-0686 Quantum Furnishings and Design 487 Richmond Street 519-438-5944




coming soon!

Drapery Man and Co. 1579 Hyde Park Road 519-472-3052 The Blind Spot 130 Fanshawe Park Road West 519-433-6602


487 Richmond StReet 519.438.5944

where highest Quality meets affordability Stephenson Home Improvements has been run locally for 56 years. Carl and Marvin Stephenson are brothers and owners of the business that their father began in 1959. The company is so confident in what they do that they stand behind their workmanship with a lifetime guarantee. Work is never subcontracted. In fact, every job is priced by a Stephenson and the work is done by a Stephenson. They value their customers, whose satisfaction is top priority! Since all the employees are Stephensons themselves it makes them even more determined to uphold their name. Every quote is free and they have a large showroom for you to visit, view and try out their products.

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EvErything you nEEd for windows & doors! 26 Lifestyle January/February 2015



that really cook

The hardest-working room in the home deserves to be the hottest-looking By Ellen Ashton-Haiste


today’s kitchens evolve as the heart of the home, acting as both the family gathering place and entertainment central, homeowners are customizing this space by mixing and matching diverse elements, from traditional to classic and modern. “They’re thinking more outside the box, trying different things,” says Martin Jesko, owner of Martin Jesko Custom Cabinetry. Some trends he’s seeing include combining modern features like slab doors and exotic or high-gloss veneers with more classic elements such as barnboard and raw steel. Beth Telfer, designer with GCW Custom Kitchens, is also seeing this trend. “I’m doing a lot of barnboard with high gloss – wrapping an island in barnboard to get that old feel but with a modern twist.” “People like a mix of colour, warming up the modern,” agrees Herbert Hildebrandt, of Möbelhaus Furniture and Cabinetry. “We’re seeing a real move to incorporating the warmth from traditional woods and pairing them with elements of modernity – clean lines and not a lot of extra detail. You have a clean-cut kitchen but with a look that is a little warmer than ultra-contemporary.” Mixing tones in colour palettes as well as materials is also trendy, says Jennifer McIlveen, at Casey’s Creative Kitchens. “There are two-tone details – a lot of white with wood accents and dark hardwood flooring as opposed to tile. We’re also seeing a lot of grey tones.” Consumers are also leaning toward simplicity and less visual clutter, McIlveen says. They’re replacing upper cabinets with pantries to hold their gadgets as well as their food. “They’re even hiding appliances.

It looks sleek and clean but you move a panel and there’s a TV or a microwave.” Other trending items, she says, are banquettes and dual islands, where space permits. In addition to style, it’s also about functionality and convenience. Base cabinets with drawers in a variety of configurations are popular today, says Drew Pelc, president of Dynamic Kitchens by Jem-Dor. “Gone are the days of getting on your hands and knees to dig through those inaccessible lower cabinets,” he says, adding that pullouts for spices, trays and canned goods have also become commonplace. Another major trend, Pelc says, is incorporating LED lighting in a variety of areas. “It’s incredibly efficient and will last until it’s time for the next kitchen remodeling project.” For convenience, Hildebrandt recommends soft-close hardware, which Möbelhaus includes as standard in its kitchens. “You’ll never hear slamming doors or drawers.” In efforts to create these dream kitchens, consumers are turning more and more to custom designers. “More people today are looking for custom, quality cabinetry,” says Alison Dudek, of Woody’s Custom Cabinetry. “With the influence of home design websites, they are more educated and informed on the look that they want to achieve. We have seen a huge increase in our referral-based clients.” “People are recognizing the importance of a qualified professional who knows kitchen design,” agrees Casey’s McIlveen. “There are so many different options. The majority come to us because they have no idea where to start.”



Use a professional “Talk to a designer. Get a few opinions. You could take four designs, use something from each and have a product that’s quite unique.” — Martin Jesko

allow time “Start planning early. Often people don’t realize how long it can take to nail down a design. There are so many options out there.” — Jennifer McIlveen

edUcate yoUrself “If you’re Internet savvy, look around. Catalogue what you like and don’t like. With everything at our fingertips, we can eliminate a lot of stress. Once we learn what is most important to you, we can design something around that.” — Herbert Hildebrandt

January/February 2015

Lifestyle 27


“Kitchens are our passion ... let us create one for you.� We proudly offer a lifetime warranty.

passion 10-283 Northfield 4045 Blakie RoadDrive East, Waterloo, Ontario London, Ontario 519.888.0401


2013 SABA Award Most Outstanding Kitchen

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that really cook

Casey’s Creative Kitchens

Lemontree Photography Inc.

Lemontree Photography Inc.


n designing the kitchen for the Fall Dream Lottery Home by Wastell Builders Group, Casey’s Creative Kitchens pulled out all the stops to reflect what a dream kitchen today looks like. “We wanted to push the envelope and do things beyond what you would see in a standard kitchen,” says marketing director Jennifer McIlveen. The focal point is a marble backsplash along the entire wall behind the stove. Sliding doors at either end, enclose walnut shelves for decorative items. Above the backsplash is a custommade, stainless steel hood. Marble was also used for the countertops, including two islands sporting waterfall edges. Warmth was added with the use of dark hardwood flooring and Moroccan walnut accents and pantry doors. The kitchen highlights a trend to eliminate upper cabinets and install large pantries for storage. It also features a corner banquette and brass light fixtures.

INFO Casey’s Creative Kitchens | 4045 Blakie Road

| 519-652-9029 |

January/February 2015

Lifestyle 29

Mennonite Custom Furniture

Custom solid wood kitchens and furniture. Visit our showroom, open Tuesday to Friday 9:30-3 and Saturday 9:30-4. 519-644-0000 143 Borden Avenue, Belmont, Ontario

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that really cook

Woody’s Custom Cabinetry


he kitchen voted “best new kitchen in a home over $500,000” for this year’s London Home Builders’ Association’s ACE awards is truly a dream kitchen, says homeowner Melanie Sener. “It’s become the heart of the home,” she says. Various elements went into designing a highend, classic ambiance, says Woody’s designer Shawn Fentie. These included engineered quartz countertops, custom glass mullion doors, a sizeable hidden pantry, an oversized range hood and mosaic marble backsplash. The large, furnituregrade maple island is a favourite element for Sener. “It’s become the focal point of the house. I love it. The entire family gathers around it.” She also appreciates the functionality of the space. “It’s a cook’s kitchen, so it allows for you to create wonderful meals. The organization — the pantry, the storage — overall has created a fabulous kitchen, beautiful and inspiring to work in. It’s been a lovely addition to our family and our life.”

INFO Woody’s Custom Cabinetry | 1491 Fanshawe Park Road West

| 519-473-7338 |

January/February 2015

Lifestyle 31

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2014-12-08 9:26 AM


GCW Custom Kitchens and Cabinetry

that really cook


hen the Veeke family sat down with GCW Custom Kitchens and Cabinetry and A Fine Design to plan a kitchen renovation, a major consideration was how to incorporate a functional work space and an ideal setting for entertaining. The resulting island centerpiece is “unique, with a lot of interesting detail and without a doubt my favourite feature,” says Jen Veeke. The oversized curved island has two tiers: a raised portion – which Veeke calls “the party island,” with butcher-block top and a television that raises up from the end – and a lower working section with a honed granite counter and a waterfall edge. A combination of modern and traditional elements include the contrast between the island’s dark counter, with stainless steel accents, and lighter perimeter counters and creamy cabinetry, including panel doors enclosing the extra-large refrigerator, as well as a floating-shelves wine rack and soft curved lines on the range hood.

INFO GCW Custom Kitchens and Cabinetry | 3537 White Oak Road

| 519-668-3006 |

95 South Edgeware Road, St. Thomas | 519-631-8373 January/February 2015

Lifestyle 33

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34 Lifestyle January/February 2015

Martin Jesko Custom Cabinetry


that really cook


Lemontree Photography Inc.

he trend for today’s consumers who are looking for a kitchen makeover is to mix elements and styles, such as a combination of modern and traditional details. This is what Martin Jesko has demonstrated in his kitchen design for Treadstone Development’s Fall Lottery Dream Home. “It combines a number of elements to create something totally unique,” he says. High-gloss cream flat panels on the pantry with white Shaker upper cabinets contrast with lower cabinets in grey tones. Stainless steel in the appliances and drawer accents and white engineered quartz countertops further a modern ambiance. “Then, we added some raw steel floating shelves and a raw steel backsplash for the cooktop,” he says. An element that contributes to the more traditional character is the barnboard backing the seating area of the island, which blends with a barnboard ceiling and dark oak flooring. As well, the copper tile backsplash adds extra colour. INFO Martin Jesko Custom Cabinetry | 571 Commercial Crescent

| 519-872-9252 |

January/February 2015

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that really cook

Dynamic Kitchens by JEM-DOR


hen Cathie and Bill Sischek decided to upgrade their London home of 26 years, they wanted a kitchen that was functional and elicited a wow factor. Dynamic Kitchens designer Shelley Pelc saw their vision immediately and helped them design a kitchen that flowed with the style of the home, bringing in various traditional elements. These included arches, crown moulding, face-framed open shelves with beadboard backs and drum-shade pendant lighting, combined with a dark cherry cabinetry finish. “We were impressed with the creativity Shelley brought to the project,” the Sischeks say. Decorative elements also include the customcovered hood with keystone arch, a hutch with glass upper cabinets and a Tuscan-style framed wine rack, plus the large custom-built island that anchors the space. “The fit, finish and trim of the cabinets are superb,” the couple says, also commending the “high level of customer care and satisfaction” they received.

INFO Dynamic Kitchens by JEM-DOR | 4094 Eastgate Crescent

| 519-652-5091 |

January/February 2015

Lifestyle 37

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Unique furnishings and decor that you won’t find anywhere else 269 Main St, Lucan, (519)227-0074 Made in Canada


that really cook

Möbelhaus Furniture and Cabinetry


hef Jonathan Collins filmed his recent online TV series, Cuisinart Culinary School, in his own St. Thomas kitchen. For that, he needed a makeover. “I wanted it to have some style, but also to be functional,” Collins says. He was working with limited space in his galley-style kitchen. Möbelhaus incorporated working spaces on the island and near the stove, then built a large pantry to hold food as well as Collins’ kitchen gadgets and equipment. “One of the things I love is that giant pantry,” the chef says. He’s thrilled with the island and particularly delighted with the Neolith porcelain countertops used throughout. “That is major for me. You can take a hammer across and it won’t scratch. It takes punishment, then cleans up and looks fresh and bright.” The colour palette combines white counters and upper cabinet doors with walnut accents and lower cabinets to provide warmth.

INFO Möbelhaus Furniture and Cabinetry | 516 John Street North Unit 2-1A, Aylmer | 519-773-3793 |

January/February 2015

Lifestyle 39


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Home showcase


By Ellen Ashton-Haiste

hen Chris and Tanya Layton discovered an early 19th-century farmhouse on an acre of land on Baseline Road in the heart of London’s Old South neighbourhood, they knew it was meant for them. They also knew it needed a lot of work. There was mould, water damage and the roof was collapsing in places. Friends advised them to tear it down and rebuild. “But we had a vision,” Tanya says. And renovation is what Chris does. So he set to work creating an entirely new interior. The result – retaining much of the classic ambiance that honours the home’s history combined with myriad modern touches – has provided a perfect showcase for Red Door Renovations, Chris’s new business, officially launched in January 2014. “It really shows what Chris can do,” Tanya says. She adds that although she’s seen what he’s accomplished in the past, she was impressed with how he crafted their vision into reality. “Many people are lost when they decide to renovate,” Chris says. “They don’t know what they want. This lets people see what is possible, gives them some visuals.” He used the renovation as a palette to illustrate many of those possibilities. This included taking down a brick support wall to create an open kitchen and family room, adding a five-by-10-foot island in the kitchen – plus crown moulding and a tray ceiling – and installing three fireplaces throughout the home, including one in the master bedroom. A unique feature was a separate second-storey space not accessible from the main house. “Given the era, it may have been a maid’s quarters,” Tanya speculates. Chris installed a stairway from the family room and fashioned the space into a bachelor-style apartment. It’s currently being used as his office but could be a granny suite or young adult quarters, he says. While he’s been doing renovation work for some 15 years, Chris hopes his new business will attract more projects like their home. “I’d like to do more of this kind of transformation.” However, he says all jobs are welcome, from kitchen or bathroom renovations to building an addition or a second storey. b

INFO Chris Layton Red Door Renovations 519-318-8007

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Testing the best

Ultimate test site demonstrates Land Rover’s off-road prowess

By Clare Dear


ver decades of off-road use and abuse around the globe, Land Rover vehicles have earned a reputation for being nearly unstoppable, regardless of the terrain they encounter. Rarely, though, do typical Canadian owners of these premium SUVs ever take their prized vehicles anywhere near the limits of their legendary capabilities. They likely know their Land Rovers can do amazing things off road, but usually the biggest challenge they may tackle is a bumpy trail to the cottage. The folks at Ultimate Automobiles, which holds the Land Rover franchise in the London area, think their customers should experience firsthand their vehicles’ offroad capabilities. Ultimate Automobiles general manager Gord

Collins acknowledges his customers will likely never push their Land Rover to the extreme, but says they should at least know what it can do in challenging terrain – and also have some basic knowledge about off-road driving. To achieve these goals, the company has developed an outdoor all-terrain test facility, complete with moguls (bumps that push the suspension and chassis to their limits), a steep, man-made hill that highlights its climbing and descent technologies, and even a water feature that demonstrates the Land Rover’s fording capabilities. “The course shows what Land Rovers can do outside normal

highway driving,” Collins explains. “It demonstrates the features and capabilities that separate Land Rover products from the rest of the herd.” This new off-road layout isn’t the dealer’s first experience using an allterrain facility to help demonstrate products and introduce customers to driving off road. It developed a circuit on a field behind its former Isuzu/Suzuki dealership, though Collins notes that layout was definitely not as extreme as this latest facility. The vehicles the dealership was selling at that time didn’t have the capabilities and technologies built into today’s Land Rovers – features such as suspension settings that are adjustable at the push of a button and downhill descent controls that 

 The company has

developed an outdoor all-terrain test facility, complete with moguls, a steep, man-made hill that highlights its climbing and descent technologies, and even a water feature that demonstrates the Land Rover’s fording capabilities. January/February 2015

Lifestyle 43

Land Rovers are capable of traversing a remarkable number of terrains and the challenges that are inherent in off-roading. By taking drivers to their all-terrain facility, Ultimate Automobiles imparts the techniques owners need to face moguls, sand, mud, gravel, water, rock and stone. Some owners may never get a chance to use these unique capabilities outside of the circuit.

slow the vehicle to a crawl without the driver ever touching the brakes. Collins says clients who’ve driven on the new circuit “are quite enamoured with it. It gives them an opportunity to experience that adventure feeling that’s part of the Land Rover experience.” The facility, which is available yearround, is being used as both a sales tool and a familiarization session for new owners. Rob Pate, who is Ultimate Automobiles’ Land Rover expert, uses the course to demonstrate the vehicles’

off-road prowess to potential buyers – certainly a “test drive” that’s unique in the London area. Once a sale is completed, Pate helps the new owner check out his/her own vehicle on the course and become familiar with its controls and capabilities. In addition, new Land Rover buyers are also invited to attend an extensive off-road experience Land Rover conducts in Montebello, Que. The all-terrain course is located on property adjacent to a training track

the Hully Gully Ultimate Toy Store uses for introductory lessons for new motorcyclists. The site is just east of the company’s Ultimate Marine showroom at 1629 Wharncliffe Road South in London. INFO

Ultimate Automobiles 1035 Wharncliffe Road South 519-686-3754


RANGE ROVER SPORT NOW TAKING ORDERS FOR 2015 MODELS The Range Rover Sport doesn’t just get you where you need to go. It takes you there in style, thanks to a spacious interior lined with premium leather seats, Meridian™ audio and a panoramic roof. In fact, the only thing more remarkable than what’s inside lies under the hood: a 510hp supercharged engine worthy of the Land Rover name.

LAND ROVER LONDON 44 Lifestyle January/February 2015

1035 WHARNCLIFFE S., LONDON, ON • 519.681.9400

bizlife Complimentary hot drinks from the in-house cappuccino bar are offered while you browse.

A manly experience

Easy ambiance provides atmospheric shopping at Gadsby’s

By Richard Young


wner Paul Gadsby calls shopping at his family-owned Stratford and Cambridge men’s clothing stores an “experience.” “Gadsby’s is more than just menswear – it’s the whole experience in shopping. When you come to our stores, you come home,” says Gadsby. “The atmosphere sets you at ease. Walking through our doors for the first time, customers can expect a warm greeting, just to acknowledge we’re glad you have come to visit. We offer complimentary hot drinks from our in-house cappuccino bar while you browse. You won’t encounter jammed racks and overstocked tables. What you will experience is expert consultants who honestly care about what you are buying and how it will look on you.” Gadsby has been in the retail business for over 30 years. His Cambridge location has been in business for eight years, while the Stratford store opened in April 2014. Customer service is what most sets Gadsby’s apart from the competition. “We do home deliveries of our products, we have a unique mail service for out-of-town clients, great tailoring

‘The Feel, The Fit, The Look.’ Honest selling is our strong point. If it doesn’t look good, we won’t sell it to you.” Paul Gadsby

service and we also like to entertain with six live jazz events a year,” says Gadsby. “We chauffeur customers to Toronto to view the latest in outdoor Tilley activewear products and we may be the only store in Canada that has ever done this. We create our own commercials and we have just recently finished a movie with a producer, providing clothing to the actors in the film. The list goes on.”

Key brands carried by the two stores include its own exclusive line, The Great Gadsby Collection, as well as Bugatchi, Jack Victor, Tommy Bahama, Tilley, Au Noir, Haupt, Alberto, and Brax. Wedding packages – complete with Freeman Formalwear rental or purchase, caterers, photographers and limo services for your special day – are also available. “We work with customers with a budget and ensure their dollars are well spent,” says Gadsby. Gadsby sums up his business philosophy succinctly: “Our other slogan is ‘The Feel, The Fit, The Look.’ Honest selling is our strong point. If it doesn’t look good, we won’t sell it to you. After all, our customers are walking billboards for Gadsby’s. When customers say, ‘Thanks for the experience,’ it makes it all worthwhile.” INFO

Gadsby’s Clothing Company 56 Ontario Street, Stratford (519) 305-3555 758 King Street East, Cambridge (519) 653-4571 January/February 2015

Lifestyle 45



The Pristine Olive Tasting Bar offers highest quality EVOO


ith more than 100 recipes featuring olive oil as a main ingredient on their website, you’ll never tire of trying new ways to enjoy all the different varieties of extra virgin olive oil carried at The Pristine Olive. Since opening in June 2012, this charming boutique’s top priorities have been to bring Londoners the freshest and highest quality extra virgin olive oils and balsamic vinegars available, but also educate Londoners on what makes the difference when it comes to true taste. Featuring 63 all-natural olive oils and balsamics, there is myriad of choices to ignite your taste buds. Each product is also available to try before you buy. The shop’s proprietor, Jamie Griffiths, guides customers through the tasting process, helping them taste the products and select the right olive oils and balsamic vinegars. After a customer chooses his/her favourites, he fills a bottle from a stainless-steel tank called a fusti, which line the shelves throughout their store. Owned by Jamie and Clara Griffiths, The Pristine Olive is more than just a retail store, it is a place you really need to experience. According to Jamie, “Once you taste our products, you will be amazed by the difference real quality makes.” Many do not realize the importance of freshness when purchasing extra virgin olive oils. “Think of your olive oil as a freshly squeezed fruit juice, you wouldn’t want your orange juice sitting around for three years, would you?” asks Jamie. To ensure maximum health benefits, Jamie advises that you only purchase what you would consume within six to eight months. This focus on freshness is only possible by the rotation of all their olive oils with every harvest. For half the year, they carry

oils produced in the Northern Hemisphere (Italy, Spain, Portugal, California, etc.), and the other half of the year only oils from the Southern Hemisphere (Australia, Chile, Peru, etc.). “We never have olive oils available past the 12-month mark following their harvest date,” says Jamie. The Pristine Olive’s Ultra Premium (UP) standard for extra virgin olive oil was developed to define and distinguish the freshest, highest quality olive oil in the world. Established by their supplier, the world-renowned Veronica Foods, this new category for extra virgin olive oil is well beyond any current industry standards. As a result, The Pristine Olive is proud to be the only place in London to offer their customers the Ultra Premium (UP) Certified Standard in olive oil; the ultimate in olive oil flavour, authenticity, tree-tobottle transparency, third party sensory and chemistry lab testing. They know their customers value purity in their premium food products, as a result, a year ago The Pristine Olive was proud to announce that all of their aged dark balsamic vinegars are now caramel colour free. They are proud to be one of the few companies in the world to offer a truly colour-free product, with no added thickener or sweeteners. In addition to their many olive oil and balsamic vinegars, The Pristine Olive also carries many items made exclusively with their olive oil products: natural olive oil soaps, a line of hair and skin care products, pesto, tapenades, marinated roasted red peppers, and spreads all made with the finest ingredients, and, of course, loads of their very own, fresh, vibrant UP certified extra virgin olive oil! Visit The Pristine Olive Tasting Bar at or at 462 Cheapside Street (at Maitland).

Celebrate Canadian


Join in the fun in La BeLLe Province By Jill Ellis-Worthington


hile many Londoners flock to southern climes during the winter months, others savour the cold temperatures and ample snow of home turf. Jane Antoniak doesn’t hide from the cold and embraces winter by skiing and spending time out of doors. “I grew up in Thunder Bay and always prefer to spend my winter vacations somewhere cold,” she explains. One such trip was visiting Quebec City with a friend a few years ago. As a freelance food writer, she appreciated the city’s fine cuisine but also was enchanted by its

architecture and Old World charm. “I walked the whole wall of the old city around Fort Frontenac, enjoying the really great view of the St. Lawrence (Seaway).” Winter Carnaval drew her to Quebec City – celebrated this year from January 30 to February 15. It is an annual magnet for 600,000 people from across Canada and the world. Jay Menard is another Londoner who prefers cold temperatures. “Quebec City is always beautiful but especially with a blanket of snow; it is a city made for winter enjoyment.”

ABOVE Akin to the cities of old Europe, Quebec City is arguably most beautiful during the winter months, where it can be seen lit up like the Northern Lights, ready for frostynosed tourists. INSET Take a stroll down historic Avenue Saint-Denis in the heart of Old Quebec, where winter is to be enjoyed, not wished away.

Continued on page 48 January/February 2015

Lifestyle 47


Continued from page 47

He chose to spend some time there in early January a few years ago, helping his daughter learn about Canadian culture and history. Juliana was nine at the time, and Jay says that walking the streets of Old Quebec is a living workbook. “You are really taken back in time with the architecture and cobblestone streets. There’s so much to experience and learn by osmosis and doing it in a way that’s entertaining and enjoyable.”

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Many Canadians visit Quebec City during Carnaval, like Denise Lalonde and her family. While Mom really enjoyed browsing and buying in the quaint shops of Old Quebec, sevenyear-old Madison was fascinated by the Carnaval mascot Bonhomme, collecting several souvenirs that sported his likeness. “Staying in Old Quebec was just charming,” says Lalonde. “It really is very similar to walled cities in Europe, so you get a really Old World feel there.” Outdoor skating, the ice castle and evening parade also were highlights of their trip. Further embrace the elements by learning to drive sled dogs. Bruno Saucier and his crew of mushers at Secrets Nordiques provide what he calls “family dog sledding, which is more about the relationship with the dogs” and less about the sledding experience. Going in pairs, one participant is the driver and the other is the passenger, and there are ample opportunities in the two-hour session to experience both. After a brief overview of the finer points of dogsledding, participants head out for either an easier tour – a flat course – or a more challenging, hilly one, providing a more stimulating experience. The Hotel de Glace – Canada’s famed ice hotel – is a not-to-bemissed experience. Antoniak says that enjoying an ice-wine martini served in an ice glass on the ice bar was one of the highlights of her trip. With the hotel structure and furniture made of snow and ice, the room temperatures are between 3C and 5C. The beds are also made of ice, supplemented with wood and covered with a mattress. Sleeping bags are supplied to keep guests warm during their chilly stay. Stopping in for dinner or a drink to check out the crystalized surroundings, or braving a night in icy luxury, including a spa visit, will cap off your trip to one of Canada’s most stunning cities. INFO

Carnaval de Quebec 418-626-3716

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Secrets Nordiques 418-827-2227

Hotel de Glace 418-623-2888 48 Lifestyle January/February 2015


beautifully Stratford Garden Festival sets the stage for spring

By Richard Young


he Ontario Lung Association’s annual Stratford Garden Festival returns for its 15th year to the Stratford Rotary Complex March 5 to 8 with the theme “Blooming Beautiful.” Named “2014 Festival of the Year” by the Canadian Garden Tourism Council, the event supports the mission of the Ontario Lung Association to fund medical research and provide educational support for the one in five Ontarians living with some kind of breathing problem. The show contributes about $115,000 annually towards that goal. “What started out as a one-off event organized by a small group of volunteers and local landscapers has developed into the major annual festival,” says Deedee Herman of the Ontario Lung Association. Some of the area’s leading landscapers will be creating this year’s gardens including Copper Beech Custom Landscape Construction, Drummond Brothers Landscaping, Helena’s Gardening, Richard’s Lawn and Garden Care, Sebringville Garden Centre, the Stratford and District Horticultural Society and A Touch of Dutch Landscaping and Garden Services. And, as usual, leading area garden-related businesses will be represented at the festival. Special events this year include a Seniors’ Tea and the Opening Garden Party on March 5, featuring red and white wines from Pelee Island Winery, beer from a craft brewery, a selection of finger foods showcasing the Flavours of Perth prepared by local restaurants and live music in the gardens. Friday, March 6 is Family Fun Night. Parents can enjoy the gardens, while their children can enjoy complimentary refreshments, create a garden craft, have their faces painted and take part in a scavenger hunt. As in the past, expert speakers have been scheduled throughout the four-day festival, covering a variety of topics including Preserving Your Produce with Chef Ryan O’Donnell, Seed Saving 101 with Kim Delaney, Creating a Healthy Balanced Water Garden with Lisa VanderWallen, The Crazy World of Gardening with Frank Ferragine, The Edible Garden – Native Plants for Beauty and Flavour with Lorraine Johnson, among others. “After 15 years, if you will pardon the pun, the Stratford Garden Festival is still blooming,” says Herman. “We look forward to delivering that taste of spring that everyone looks forward to in March.” b

INFO Stratford Garden Festival

50 Lifestyle January/February 2015



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de salads, roasted turkey, Homemaady meat pies . . . Meals Re ! Fresh baked fruit pies To Go & assorted baked goods Christmas & Home Decor Christmas Gifts for Everyone Women's Fashion Gift Certificates

Catering For Large Functions 52 Lifestyle January/February 2015


Go to Huron County for great eats This market offers more than just potato salad


By Richard Young

aclyn Rader, a secondgeneration owner alongside her brothers Deryk and Cam, readily admits that Jerry Rader Homestyle Market and Catering is famous for its homemade potato salad. The popular southwestern Ontario food retail business began as a catering company, operating out of a small shop behind Brenda and Jerry Rader’s home in 1986. A storefront was created in Zurich in 1996 and in 2009 the business expanded to Goderich. The company continues to cater for large events of 75 to 250 people, but the stores have really diversified in recent years. There’s no denying the popularity of their potato salad – the staff makes an average of 1,000 to 2,000 pounds of it each week in the summer months. But Rader says there’s so much more on the shelves at the family-owned stores in Zurich and Goderich. This includes their individual chicken, turkey and

beef meat pies, Dutch apple fruit pies, creamy coleslaw, baked beans and much more. The Market offers a unique variety of giftware, frozen meal ideas, baked goods, and a deli with fresh salads and meats. Take-out lunches are also available. From the store you can see the staff preparing the food in the kitchen. “We have become a one-stop shopping destination for many people – they will plan their trips to come and load up on meal ideas and gifts,” says Rader. “We love hearing people walk through the door, saying, ‘I just love this place!’ She suggests that shoppers allow extra time to browse as the stores are full of home décor, seasonal décor, gifts for everyone and every occasion, gourmet food items and women’s fashion, including clothing, purses, scarves and jewellery. The two stores are open seven days a week, year round.

ABOVE After operating out of the Rader’s home for 10 years the Homestyle Market opened a beautiful, modern yet downhome, storefront, in Zurich. Selling homemade quiches for quick lunches is one of their specialties. LEFT The Dutch apple and other fruit pies are also deliciously popular items at Rader’s

INFO Jerry Rader Homestyle Market and Catering 38110 Zurich-Hensall Road, Zurich • 519-236-4039 56 Stanley Street, Goderich 519-440-5151

January/February 2015

Lifestyle 53



is in the air

Story of poor boy provideS rich experience

By Richard Young


ed Baerg had one main task when he established Western University’s UWOpera program in 1996. “I was engaged to enable growth in the opera and vocal area at the Faculty of Music,” he says. “In that first year we did one production and I doublecast for the first time.” Since then, UWOpera has grown significantly, becoming for many Londoners the city’s unofficial opera company, something Baerg modestly downplays. “We have certainly made wonderful strides in production, quality and numbers. We are doing several productions and a gala this year. All productions are double-cast and where we started with about 25 singers in the course, we now have over 120 auditions and accept just over 80,” says Baerg, who has 40 years of professional operatic productions under his belt. UWOpera brings Giacomo Puccini’s opera La Bohème to Western’s Paul Davenport Theatre, January 30 to February 8. The opera, about young starving artists struggling in 1830s Latin Quarter Paris, is one of Puccini’s best known and loved works. Audience members will be “transported by the genius of Puccini’s music and how it brings life and is brought to life by the story,” says Baerg, who likens the opera to “an amazing movie score that supports and suggests everything that happens.” Familiarity brings advantages and challenges, suggests conductor Alain Trudel, who leads the 30-piece Western Orchestra which will provide

54 Lifestyle January/February 2015

UWOpera presents

Puccini's beloved opera about young bohemians in Paris struggling




to fulfill their dreams and to find love


In Italian with English SURTITLES™

Paul Davenport Theatre, Talbot College, Western University January 30 & 31, February 6 & 7 at 8 p.m. February 1 & 8 at 2 p.m.

Tickets $30/$20 (seniors and students) available through the Grand Theatre Box Office at 519-672-8800 or online at

For more information, visit

TOP The opera about young starving artists struggling in 1830s Latin Quarter Paris is one of Puccini’s best known and loved works. BOTTOM LEFT Chad Louwerse plays Marcello, one of the story’s lead characters. BOTTOM RIGHT Alain Trudel leads the 30-piece Western Orchestra, which will provide the music for the opera. OPPOsITE PaGE Ted Baerg established Western University’s UWOpera program in 1996.

the music for the opera. “Being so well known gives us a bit of a head start in putting it together but also adds pressure to the cast as it makes, subconsciously, everyone’s expectations higher,” he says. Trudel is honoured his student orchestra performs with UWOpera. “It is paramount for all instrumentalists

to get accustomed to accompaniment as it is more than 50 per cent of what they will be doing if they ever make it in the professional world. I am very proud that Western can provide this opportunity to them,” he says. The double-cast features graduate students in the leading roles with senior undergrads in the chorus.

UWOpera presents

Ted Baerg

According to Baerg, audience members will be transported by the genius of Puccini’s music and how it is brought to life by the story, with an amazing movie score that supports and suggests everything that happens on stage. Master’s candidate Chad Louwerse plays Marcello, one of the story’s lead characters. Hailing from the town of Sidney, B.C., Louwerse cut his teeth doing school productions with Vancouver Opera’s Touring Ensemble and getting small roles with Pacific Opera Victoria. His big break came when he was accepted into Opera de Montreal’s young artist program, Atelier Lyrique, in 2005. “It was that experience that really launched my career,” says Louwerse. “Western does great productions with full orchestras,” says Louwerse. “The fact that UWOpera is presenting La Bohème says a lot about the quality of singing and teaching at the school of music.” Baerg says UWOpera’s long-term goal “is to remain as professionally relevant as possible within an excellent academic experience.” To be sure, this production will go far in upholding that goal.


Puccini's beloved opera about young bohemians in Paris struggling to fulfill their dreams and to find love

Paul Davenport Theatre, Western University Jan. 30 & 31, Feb. 6 & 7 at 8 p.m., February 1 & 8 at 2 p.m. Tickets $30/$20 (seniors and students) 519-672-8800 or

For more information, visit



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UWOpera presents Puccini’s La Bohème Paul Davenport Theatre, Talbot College, Western University 1151 Richmond Street Tickets available through the Grand Theatre Box Office (519) 672-8800, January/February 2015

Lifestyle 55

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56 Lifestyle January/February 2015

Prices starting at $379,900 located at 2215 Meadowlands Way, off Fanshawe Contact Michael Mescia 519.870.1335 2013 London UrbAn design AwArd winning bUiLder

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culturelife Lion of Judah, steel, 60 x 56 x 28 inches, 2007.

His sensibility and vision By Beth Stewart


culptor Abe Wall’s work is a clear illustration of the phrase “less is more.” Born into a Mennonite colony in Mexico, Wall moved as a child to Canada in 1973. Navigating through a world that was quite foreign, Wall found common ground in art. In Mennonite life there is a purpose for everything. Wall says, “There is nothing purely selfindulgent about it.” Raised Mennonite, Wall never thought to pursue a career in art. “It was something to do when there was nothing else to do,” he recalls. Schooled in the value of hard work, Wall first trained as a millwright. Later, with his father’s blessing, he pursued a fine arts major at the University of Guelph. While he enjoyed creating all forms of art, he fell in love with sculpting. He was told by one professor: “I think you’ve found your voice.” Education begat education and Wall worked first as a secondary school art teacher and now as a vice-principal. But art-making has remained dear. “It is,” Wall says, “part of my journey.” In recent years, that undercurrent of art has bubbled to the surface to become an intentional force. Wall loves “playing” with marble, steel and wood, and is having a great time of it. His work is influenced by scripture, art history, his

Job, steel, 10 x 6 x 10 inches, 2006. Angel Michael, steel, 66 x 34 x 30 inches, 2005.

Ready, steel, 84 x 108 x 30 inches, 2005.

Brother Crow, steel, 32 x 15 x 12 inches, 2014.

Continued on page 58

January/February 2015

Lifestyle 57

ArtwAtch Continued from page 57 Dusk, marble, steel and wood, 11 x 10 x 7 inches, 2013.


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environment, and his experiences growing up. He has a great admiration for the work of Group of Seven painter Lawren Harris. Like Harris, Wall seeks to capture the essence of his subjects. Thus his work is not slavishly realistic – it is his “interpretation” of natural forms. In his work, shapes are reduced to their essentials. The effect is both austere and spiritual. For example, Wall’s series of birdon-a-tree sculptures feature a minimalist approach to sculpting form that is aesthetically effective. His Vishus Tunacanthus, an abstract vision of a prehistoriclooking fish, is both fluid and stoic. As an artist, Wall’s greatest sense of satisfaction comes from others’ reactions to his work. “It is deeply moving when someone else is moved by something you’ve created,” Wall says. He recalls a woman who was brought to tears by the story behind his steel sculpture Job. Wall recognizes the importance of keeping this piece of who he is moving forward. He feels obligated to make time for art, and experiences a sense of guilt if he does not. “This time of year I spend most evenings in the shop,” he reveals. Wall is working towards “coming up” with a line for art rentals. In the meantime, his work can be viewed online. He readily admits, however, it is not easy to let go of anything.


Abe wall 58 Lifestyle January/February 2015


Baby, it’s cold outside But you can be fashionably warm with the right footwear and accessories


By Heather Toskan

rigid temps and blustery winter weather may find you running for cover, but why not sail through winter feeling warm and looking stylish from head to toe?

Top Whimsical slouchy hats in an array of colours by Cindy Goble Luxury Hand Knits. Available at and Hangar 9.

Continued on page 60

above righT Tall, black, waterproof leather boots feature genuine shearling lining and shearling on the outer shaft and real rubber lug soles. Boot Style: Hopper by La Canadienne, available at Jas Shoes. January/February 2015

Lifestyle 59

BaBy, it’s Cold Continued from page 59

TOP LEFT Multi-tonal ombre, fringe-trimmed Cashmink scarf and purple textured fabric texting gloves make a great pair, available at LifeStyles Women’s Wear.

CENTRE Red plaid, waterproof boots with pull-on handles are rated 100% waterproof. Style: Bogs Classic available at Mugford Shoes.

TOP RIGHT Black, knit lace-up, fingerless gloves with fur trim and pom-poms, at Studio Style Ladies Apparel and Accessories.

Visit Our New Downtown Location at Richmond & Carling

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For a list of retailers, visit: CINDYGOBLE.COM 519.670.4144 60 Lifestyle January/February 2015

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Waterproof, black suede, zippered ankle boots with a front zip closure – the convertible roll top displays the boot’s genuine shearling lining. The boot also features a genuine rubber sole. Boot Style: Dublin by La Canadienne, available at Jas Shoes.

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A fashionable hat, some colourful and patterned scarves, gloves and a pair of serious winter boots can weather most storms. Faux fur and fur-trimmed Cossack and trapper-style hats in solid and checked patterns – as well as new variations on slouchy toques – all make the scene. “I call my new hat the ‘Whimsical Slouchy,’” says London-based luxury knitwear designer Cindy Goble, of Cindy Goble Luxury Hand Knits. Her unique design is crafted of soft, luxurious yarns including merino wool, sheared beaver, mohair, silk and alpaca and is topped by a removable fur pom-pom. Natural and colourful real and faux fur scarves are popular notions, as are super-soft Cashmink scarves that run the rainbow of colour, texture and pattern – sometimes all on the same scarf. “Many scarves feature interesting combinations of patterns,” says Sharon Lehman, owner of LifeStyles Women’s Wear in London. Chunky, textured and open-weave, knit-fringed, infinity scarves make the scene, as do others made of crinkly and smooth materials in patterns ranging from classic checks and plaids to floral, ikat and animal prints. “Having a selection of warm and toasty scarves and gloves will update your winter coats and outfits in a flash,” adds Lehman. Continued on page 62


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Lifestyle 61

BaBy, it’s Cold Continued from page 61

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Protecting your head, hands and feet is vital when the temperature drops. Fabric and leather texting gloves that allow ease of digital action without taking your gloves off are a popular notion, as are gloves trimmed with real and faux fur. “I can barely keep these black, knit lace-up, fur-trimmed, fingerless gloves in stock,” says Kim Ariesen, proprietor of Studio Style Ladies Apparel and Accessories in Port Stanley. Tall and ankle boots on heels of varied heights with decorative zippers and buckles give winter the boot, as do those fashioned from luxurious materials like suede and shearling. “Don’t be afraid of sexy, rich-looking black suede boots, which are pre-treated for low maintenance,” says Patti MugfordPooley, general manager of Mugford’s Shoes. Practical lug soles are stylish and provide welcome traction on some styles. “Our customers are happy that there are so many stylish boots that are both comfortable and warm this season,” notes MugfordPooley. INFO

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The skinny on Quality care protects your skin

By Heather Toskan


f the cold, blustery weather wreaks havoc on your skin, it’s time to take comfort by adopting some expert winter skincare tips.

“During the winter months, almost everyone’s skin suffers from dryness and dehydration. It can be a real challenge to maintain healthy, attractive-looking skin as the skin’s natural hydrolipidic barrier is stressed by the effects of the cold, dry outdoor winter weather as well as by the drying effects of indoor heating,” says Dr. Wei Jing Loo, a dermatologist and the medical director of DermEffects in Hyde Park. Continued on page 66

“The skin is the body’s largest organ. In order for it to function optimally, it must be properly cleansed, nourished and protected.” Jan Drogemuller, aesthetician at Mayfair Salon and Spa

Skincare Continued from page 65

“The skin is the body’s largest organ. In order for it to function optimally, it must be properly cleansed, nourished and protected,” says Jan Drogemuller, an aesthetician at Mayfair Salon and Spa in London. Handling your skin gently, booking a skin-care analysis to determine which specific products and routines are best for your skin and using top-quality products are among Drogemuller’s recommendations. Skin cells take longer to rejuvenate and turn over during the winter months, and the skin’s blood vessels constrict, slowing circulation to reduce heat loss in response to the cold – all of which results in a dull, devitalized appearance and the buildup of dead skin cells and flakes on the skin’s surface. “Take action before your skin feels tight and dehydrated with the blotchiness, rough patches and dry, flaky areas that are so typical of winterstressed skin,” recommends Kristen Stegehuis, the developer of the MOOi Skincare line and the owner of MOOi Medical Aesthetics and Spa in London. 

Skin cells take longer to rejuvenate and turn over during the winter months, and the skin’s blood vessels constrict, slowing circulation to reduce heat loss in response to the cold.

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66 Lifestyle January/February 2015

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“Exfoliating your skin is a must, and it’s important to adjust your winter skin-care routine with moisture-intensive treatments such as serums and masques,” adds Stegehuis. Regular exfoliation is vital to remove dehydrated, dead surface skin cells and flakes year round, but skin may need more frequent exfoliation during the winter months so that serums, treatments, masques and moisturizers can absorb effectively. When caring for your skin and exfoliating at home, use a very gentle hand. Don’t tug or pull on skin when cleansing and be certain not to grind exfoliating beads into your skin or use them around the delicate eye area. Some other very basic solutions to help relieve winter-parched skin include turning down your thermostat a few degrees so as not to overly dehydrate your home, and drinking lots of water. “Use a humidifier to add moisture to your indoor environment, bathe with warm – rather than hot – water and avoid lengthy soaks in the bath or hot tub,” recommends Loo. Handle your skin gently, patting rather than rubbing yourself dry after cleansing, and apply moisturizers and creams to your face and body while your skin is still slightly damp to seal in moisture. “From a dermatological point of view, some of the skin-care products that I recommend include medical grade, topical, antioxidant serums, which are important year-round to help fight free radical skin damage from the environment,” says Loo. “Humectants and emollients are vital to reinforce the skin’s natural protective barrier function and it’s an absolute must to wear sunblock year round,” she adds.

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Lifestyle 67

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INTERESTED IN VIEWING ONLINE ONLY? Check out our current & past issues at – 68 Lifestyle January/February 2015

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Beat the Winter


Winter can wear out our skin and our hair. It can make us feel sad – yup, that’s the winter blahs! If you’re feeling blue and in need of a change, Lifestyle Magazine is offering a contest to help. Beat the Winter Blahs with a makeover! Get a new hair style, new look for your make-up and a new outfit too.


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