Lifestyle Magazine: July - August 2015

Page 1


Home is where the heart is


ting a r b e l e C

Photo by: Hauser Stores


Discover family togetherness from the Driver’s seat of an rv

Fall forecast from catwalk to siDewalk, autumn’s top fashion trenDs

On the hunt chef collins shows how to forage for supper w w

Transform light into beauty.

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rom unique exteriors to innovative designs and quality finishes that are often considered upgrades, Domus Developments strives to offer customers high-end homes at affordable prices, says project developer Mike Mescia. “We put a lot of work into our exteriors, for example,” Mescia says, citing upgrades, products like clay brick and concrete siding. Interior features include granite counters, hardwood flooring, porcelain tile and extra-high ceilings. “And we’re very open to customizing in all our properties,” he says. “Whatever the customer wants to use or change, we’re flexible.” Three Domus projects are now taking shape in North London.

Upper richmond Towns This collection of townhomes in Upper Richmond Village at Richmond Street and Sunningdale Road, with its residential/commercial mix, sets a standard in affordable luxury condominium living. Spacious homes, with more than 2,100 square feet of finished living space, incorporate modern architectural designs with main-floor living space and an additional 500-square-foot loft.

domus developments offers home buyers ample choice “It gives the homeowner bonus space above ground, rather than below ground, in a basement,” Mescia says. Surrounded by green space, with ponds and nature trails, the homes feature open-concept layouts with nine-foot ceilings and classic detailing such as granite counters and a gas fireplace. Exteriors incorporate clay brick and James Hardie fiber cement board, which Mescia says gives a more attractive appearance than traditional siding. These homes are priced from $309,900 and will be available for spring move-in. MoDEL opEN WEEkENDS fRoM 1 - 5pM

meadows of sUnningdale This picturesque community of 56 one-floor units is taking shape at Sunningdale Road and Meadowlands Way, just west of Richmond Street. Stone and stucco exteriors plus flat roofs give these homes a European flair, Mescia says.

As one-floor units, ranging from 2,300 to 2,400 square feet, they’re tailored to professionals, retirees and empty nesters, he says. However, a second-floor 700-square-foot loft, open to the main floor, adds additional space and could be a guest bedroom and den or a large studio. Ten of the lots will back onto a ravine and nature pond. priced from $379,900, these homes will be available by spring. MoDEL opEN WEEkENDS fRoM 1 - 5pM

norTh poinT London's first modern loft project will offer 51 customizable boutique condos, ranging from 1,100 to 2,000 square feet, in a fourstorey building. The open-concept lofts, with 10- and 12-foot ceilings, full-height windows and generous balconies, feature hardwood flooring and granite counters as well as gas fireplaces, stoves and outdoor barbecues. Adjacent to the Masonville shopping and entertainment district, location is a key feature, Mescia says. Construction has begun on the first floor and occupancy is expected by the end of the year. Loft prices start at $309,900.

Model now open! For Further details contact Mike Mescia | 519.870.1335 | |

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contents july | august 2015

16 19 25 9 33 58 50 54 31 47 49 44


40 42 37 18 30

Homestyle Go South What’s developing in Port Stanley

Elegantly timeless Spacious custom built home for sale

Building a dream home Friends and family helped convert this cottage

Bestlife Home away from home RVs to upgrade your family vacation

Summertime wine Explore summer favourites with oenophile Billy Munnelly

Hearthstone Farm Riding high north of London

Yourstyle Fall predictions Planning your autumn wardrobe

Save your skin Common summer skin issues solved

Travelstyle Leave the men behind Options for women-only travel

Eating up Grand Bend Great patio dining with a view

Stay in style Grand Bend offers overnight options

Sailing into Port Stanley Party at Harbourfest

Culturelife Feeling festive London offers abundant live music options

Artistic bent Marine engineering meets glass artistry

Eatwell Going wild Chef Collins forages for dinner

Bizlife Ovenclean London Hensall Appliances and Mattress Centre July/August 2015

Lifestyle 5

6 Lifestyle July/August 2015

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 John Milner Beth Stewart Heather Toskan Richard Young ACCOUnt MAnAgERS Cathy Fuller 519-872-6366 Lorraine Lukings 519-520-7676 Jan McGrath 519-243-2932 Beth Moyer 519-686-0951 Elaine Norris 519-702-5583 EDItORIAL & AD DESIgn Nancy Greenfield Wendy Reid AD DESIgn Bill McGrath PRODUCtIOn Nancy Greenfield PHOtOgRAPHY Richard Bain Kamini Le Capelain John Morse PRIntIng Sportswood Printing WEB ARCHItECtURE Sean Hunt –

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.

July/August 2015

Lifestyle 7

editorial editorial Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under trees on a summer’s day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time. – John Lubbock


ummer seems like our most fleeting season, and the seventh and eighth months of the year are its ‘sweet spot’ – or so it seems to me. Rather than the idealized lazy days of summer that we dream of, this most delightful stretch of the year is actually one of our busiest. Between transporting children and grandchildren to sports practices and games, taking them to and from camp and wearing a track in the road to the office or job site, we don’t seem to have a lot of time to sit and enjoy the sultry weather. But taking some time to enjoy the triple H (hot, hazy and humid) days of summer is just what the doctor called for. Each of us needs to wind down work and family activities to spend time alone or with cherished companions in order to re-energize. In this issue, Chef Jonathan Collins outlines the dos and don’ts of gathering food from the land. Foraging for one’s supper has been growing in popularity over the past few years and now restaurants are following this trend as well. Chef Collins and his sons explored Algonquin Park to perfect their foraging skills and show readers how on page 37. When it’s time to kick back after work or on the weekend and spend time with friends, enjoying a nice glass of wine on the patio is an ideal summer pursuit. On page 33, wine expert Billy Munnelly shared advice with me so we can all serve the perfect wine for any taste or occasion. Defending oneself from bugs and sun is important when enjoying time outdoors in the summer, whether it’s relaxing with wine or actively

Jill Ellis-Worthington Photography by Kamini Le Capelain of Silent Poetry

8 Lifestyle July/August 2015

pursuing dinner. Since chemicals have become so prevalent in the products we use, some readers will be interested in natural protection options. On page 54, Ellen Ashton-Haiste’s story details safer, naturally sourced products available at stores in and around London. In Southwestern Ontario we are fortunate to be surrounded by three of the Great Lakes, and spending time on the waterfront is always a summer highlight. On pages 47 and 49, we have outlined options for dining and overnighting along the shores of Lake Huron. On page 16, a new development in Port Stanley gives homebuyers lakeside options. Exploring Ontario’s coastlines could be enhanced by a recreational vehicle. RVing is becoming more popular as baby boomers look for active ways to enjoy their leisure time. Some prefer to go big and others want to be as compact as possible, but all agree that the ability to take their own beds, move at their own pace and see sights on their own timetables are what attract them to living life on the highway. My story on page 9 outlines options for those considering hitting the road. However, there really is no place like home and London is lucky enough to have plenty of opportunities to get out and enjoy summer fun. On page 40, Richard Young details the many concert options available in the next couple of months. So push back from your desk, say so long to daily obligations and hit the road in pursuit of excitement or cocoon on your own deck or patio. Summer’s fine weather is fleeting and those much-vaunted lazy days are gone too soon. Lifestyle Magazine thanks Hauser for the use of the cover image as an example of living the outdoor good life in summer. The Lifestyle Magazine team wishes you bon voyage as you explore summer’s myriad delights.



warriors By Jill Ellis-Worthington

Hitting the highway and enjoying nature are among the chief attractions for those who enjoy the RV lifestyle


he Long and Winding Road, King of the Road, Life Is A Highway… all could be the background music for the RVer’s journey. Whether they choose to travel in a luxurious 40-plus foot movable mansion or a pop-up camper, those who choose to take their homes with them when they go love it and wouldn’t choose any other way of spending their vacation time. Though many start young, camping with their parents, others choose to spend the extra time associated with retirement or semi-retirement on the road exploring North America. Kirk Thomson, owner of Can-Am RV, says that domestic travel is up

since the early 2000s, adding that many are taking to the RV lifestyle because “it’s like cottaging without the maintenance.” He’s been camping in an Airstream since he was four years old and much prefers it to staying in a hotel. Most of those who enjoy the RV lifestyle agree. “I find camping very relaxing. It’s nice to be away from home where there is nothing to do and your biggest concern is what you will have for your next meal. Everything is stress free. It takes an hour to make a pot of coffee or heat up water to wash dishes, so our pace slows down immediately. We all like to be outside and sit around the campfire after dark,” says Andrea Arts

(46), mother of two teenagers. She and husband Ron (48) have been camping with Jason (17) and Ryan (15) since the boys were toddlers. They try to get away in the pop-up camper twice a summer. Arts values time spent with the kids and other family members. One highlight she described was playing a game they invented called ‘Man Hunt’ (she describes as hide-n-seek in the dark with parents versus children) with a large group of family and friends all camping together. Beth Schiks echoes these sentiments. She and husband John – both now in their late 50s – are retired and enjoy travelling in their Aliner to the East Continued on page 11

10 Lifestyle July/August 2015

road warriors Continued from page 9

Coast and northern Ontario. “It’s great for families but it’s also great for couples; it can really strengthen your relationship. At home, one person is watching TV in one room and another is watching TV or on the computer somewhere else. When camping, you have conversation around the fire, you laugh about a lot of things, you make your own entertainment and that doesn’t happen much in the modern world.”

They camped in tents with their sons as they grew up, but decided to move up to a camper 10 years ago. “It’s easy to lie down and sleep on an air mattress, but it’s hard to get up in the morning,” she laughs. The concept of having one’s own bed and belongings along for a trip is echoed by many who pursue the RV and camping lifestyle. Wayne and Dianne Moser – both 62 – travel in a 45-foot Mirage Prevost.

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Continued on page 12

RecReational vehicle options

No matter the size of your camper, travelling the country with your home on wheels offers plenty of opportunities for exploration, relaxation and quality time with family and friends.

from smaller, compact tag-alongs to fifth wheels and luxury airstreams Aerolite 218 RBSL (interior)

Many RVs have luxury amenities like marble counters, leather couches and large-screen televisions, making them feel more like hotels on wheels than simple places to sleep.

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Lifestyle 11

road warriors

Like cottaging without the maintenance

Continued from page 11

“I like having my own bed, sofa, TV, refrigerator and all those things like home,” says Wayne. The couple now primarily uses the big RV for snow-birding in Florida, driving it down in the fall and back home in the spring, but spent several years exploring North America. “We’ve seen about 90 per cent of the U.S.,” says Dianne. Besides having all the comforts of home, Dianne emphasizes that travelling by RV allows them to see and enjoy the beauty of the land. “You have to realize what you’re flying over is what you’re missing. Road travel allows you to enjoy the amazing beauty around every turn wherever you are at different times.” She gives this example: “We were going through the Bighorn Mountains. I was working on my computer and I lifted my head and saw the beauty of the mountains. If we’d flown to Yellowstone (National Park), we would have missed the beauty of the mountains.” Exploring an area isn’t limited to time on the road. “When we stop someplace and look at the travel book, we say, ‘Let’s go see what there is to experience here,’” says Dianne. “We’ve lived among a lot of people who RV and there’s a common thread: they like to adventure and discover.” 

Kirk Thomson, owner of Can-Am RV, says that domestic travel is up since the early 2000s. Popular with retirees are the state-of-the-art luxury motorhomes like the Mercedes Interstate Class B shown here.

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There’s a social aspect to RVing as well. “When we were camping through Newfoundland, we travelled the same route as many others. We’d run into them at the parks night after night and get to compare notes. And you also meet people coming from the other direction and they tell you things too. For instance, we heard over and over about a huge iceberg close to Port Anthony, so we got to go watch National Geographic photograph it,” says Beth Schiks. After their many years of RVing, the Mosers have a wide acquaintance among road warriors and have built lifelong friendships. But the social aspect of the camping life isn’t limited to adults. Tom and Stephanie Davis purchased a 23-foot trailer last year and are excited about enjoying their second year of camping and trailer travel. The freedom their kids enjoy and the friendships that Aidan (7) and Liam (9) have built is an integral part of the experience, the parents say. “Last year we met a family from London when camping at Fanshawe Conservation Area and the (two sets of) kids haven’t stopped talking about each other,” says Stephanie (41). Tom (54) grew up camping with his park ranger dad and wanted the same experience for his boys. “I like the fact that my kids don’t tell me 100 times a day that they are bored like they do at home. They are at the playground or fishing, biking, taking canoe rides, so they are always busy when we are camping,” says Stephanie. Tom adds, “At camp, the traffic is restricted so they can use their bikes. The kids have more freedom. It’s building their independence and they can travel more freely like we did when we were kids.” Bernie Kelders, of Kelders Trailer Sales, agrees. “Young families enjoy the camping experience in the relative safety of the park.” Continued on page 14 July/August 2015

Lifestyle 13

Let the adventure begin...

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He adds that the feeling of getting back to nature is important to many who adopt the RV lifestyle. “Many retired people are buying park models to use six months of the year.” According to Wayne Hiemstra, of Hiemstra Trailer and RV Sales, one way that helps younger families – who are struggling with finding reasonable ways to vacation that are cost effective – to afford camping is to rent a pop-up camper. Though renters make up only five per cent of his business, Hiemstra says those who rent like that they avoid the cost of insurance, maintenance and storage by renting campers instead of buying. Others use it as a ‘try before you buy’ approach and receive a discount on the purchase price when they decide to purchase after getting their feet wet by renting. The RV lifestyle isn’t without its challenges. According to Wayne Moser, “You should be somewhat mechanically inclined because there are so many things that can go wrong. You could be stuck somewhere or have to pay someone whenever small things go wrong with the chassis or interior.” He adds that a love for the road is an important personality trait to have before one considers getting an RV. “You have to be a person who enjoys driving if you want to RV.” Size is also a factor; though you have all the comforts of home with you, they are scaled down and you must be judicious in what you choose to take with you on that road trip. If Life is a Highway for you, the RV lifestyle might suit perfectly. n

FOR MORE INFORMATION Can-aM rV Centre 6068 Colonel Talbot Road 519-652-3284 Hiemstra Trailer and rV sales 493 Third Street 519-451-6924 Kelders Trailer sales 9921 Lakeshore Road, Grand Bend 519-238-2647

14 Lifestyle July/August 2015

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July/August 2015

Lifestyle 15


Condo living on the beach

A new development in Port Stanley is set to increase options for home seekers By Ellen Ashton-Haiste

16 Lifestyle July/August 2015



indoor comfort


or sun and sand fans seeking beachfront living, there’s a new option about to rise at Port Stanley’s main beach. St. Thomas builder Prespa Homes is set to break ground this summer on a gated community at the corner of William Street and Edith Cavell Boulevard. The 15 three-storey, single-family detached condominiums will overlook the beach. The project was inspired by a demand from local home seekers for additional options in the Lake Erie village, says company president Frank Sherifi. On adjacent land on William Street, he hopes to also construct a high-rise building. “We want to offer choice to the people of Port Stanley, particularly older people,” he says. “If they want a single-detached accessible home, they can have it. If they want a one-floor apartment, we are going to offer that as well.” The condo homes will include four layouts, including one barrier-free model with an in-home elevator for full wheelchair access. They are threeand four-bedroom designs with four bathrooms and single-car garages. Each level features beachside decks and balconies, affording panoramic lake views. Sherifi points out that the community will be within walking distance of amenities, including shopping, dining, theatre and leisure activities. It’s close

Prespa Homes is set to break ground this summer on a gated community of 15 three-storey, single-family detached condominiums overlooking the beach.

to the downtown core and boaters will find the nearby marina convenient. He also believes the new homeowners will appreciate Port Stanley’s “quaint small-village feel,” and historical elements such as the King George VI lift bridge, the oldest of its kind in the province. There’s also Mackie’s, a fixture on the beach for more than a century with its famous burgers and orangeade, and the Stork Club Big Band Museum and Hall of Fame, recalling the heyday of the swing era. Construction of the first detached condo model is slated to begin at the end of August. n


Prespa Homes 8750 Centennial Road, St. Thomas 519-631-1739

Visit us online at Exeter Rd. Richmond St. at Wellington at Fanshawe 519-681-0212 519-667-3022 July/August 2015

Lifestyle 17

Really clean

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London company takes on the dirtiest job and does it right

Michele Henderson Broker cell: 519.859.0863

By Richard Young

Advantage Realty Ltd., Brokerage Independently Owned and Operated



A unique mobile service that offers handcrafted, deep cleaning quality, delivered by trained professionals without the dangers and toxic fumes of self-cleaning ovens and aerosol cleaners. OVEN • BBQ • STOVE TOP RANGE HOOD • MICROWAVE



“I just cannot believe how sparkling clean my oven and stove top look! Tilda and Dave transformed my appliance into a piece I can now love to use instead of dread trying to clean! I would highly recommend their services to anyone looking to freshen up or thoroughly clean their oven and/ or stove top. I will definitely use them again, maybe even for my BBQ this Spring! Thanks Ovenclean! Rhonda S 18 Lifestyle July/August 2015

 Before After 


fter taking a year off from their desk jobs to travel in 2013, David and Tilda King thought it was time to do something different. “We decided that we were not ready to retire, and our research for something different led us to looking at Ovenclean as a possibility for the London market,” says Tilda. “We saw the opportunity provided by the busy professional population, the active real estate market, the large volume of income and rental properties including student housing, and the large number of seniors in the area.” The Kings were familiar with Ovenclean, a British mobile oven and barbecue cleaning company, because of family in Scotland who had used their services. Tilda had seen the high standard of their work and felt that it was a quality product and service that they could confidently put their name on. The couple launched Ovenclean London, the first franchise in North America, in October 2014. Working from a retrofitted van, the Kings use 100 per cent caustic-free, environmentally friendly, odourless

cleaning products to deep-clean ovens, barbecues, range hoods, stove tops and microwaves. “While our work has been primarily residential, we have serviced churches, golf clubs, child daycare centres and cooking class kitchens. We have provided cleans for realtors and home stagers to assist with home sales and to landlords and property managers helping them to attract quality tenants and extend the life of their appliances. We have also done a number of fire recovery cleans,” says Tilda. Customer response has been enthusiastic, as evidenced by numerous repeat customers, referrals, and the glowing testimonials on their website praising the Kings’ quality work, efficiency and professionalism. For now, Ovenclean London remains a two-person operation, although that may change soon. “We have recently had discussions with a couple of organizations aimed towards hiring people with disabilities or parents who want to go back to school. One of our long-term goals was to provide a supportive work environment to individuals in these categories, and due to the increasing demand for our services we have arrived there sooner than expected,” says Tilda. “We want to build a reputable, sustainable company that will be here to service Londoners for many years to come.” b

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elegance By Ellen Ashton-Haiste

Unique touches give this quartercentury dwelling historic ambiance

This house is absolutely one of a kind,” Michele Henderson, broker with Remax Advantage Realty, says of a home she has listed in West London’s Old Hazelden neighbourhood. Although it was built just 25 years ago, many visitors believe it’s a century home, says owner Bob.* That’s because of the wealth of antique

and salvaged materials and hardware built into the home by its original owner. Unique elements include antique duct grates, a solid metal pillar in the master bedroom and another in an upper bedroom that has a raised image of Neptune, identical to one the owners have seen on a historic building in Strathroy. Continued on page 20

Above Many mistake this for a century home because of the wealth of antique and salvaged materials and hardware built into the home by its original owner. Unique elements include antique duct grates, a solid metal pillar in the master bedroom and another in an upper bedroom that has a raised image of Neptune, identical to one the owners have seen on a historic building in Strathroy.

July/August 2015

Lifestyle 19

timeless elegance Continued from page 19

A bright and airy dining space adjacent to the kitchen overlooks the property’s lush greenery.

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“It’s a mixture of elements I don’t think you’d find in another home,” says Bob’s wife Sue.* “It’s really old-world style but with a modern openness.” “There’s just layer on layer of wow factor,” Bob agrees. “It’s what we loved when we first saw it.” The foyer leads to an open hallway with a central floating staircase to the upper and lower levels. To the right is a great room with a soaring 24-foot cathedral ceiling. To the left, behind double antique doors, is a cozy formal living room and dining room separated by a three-sided gas fireplace with a marble mantle. In the living room, Bob points to another wow factor. Suspended from the ceiling and framing the room are four wooden quadrant arches, which Bob and Sue believe may have been salvaged from an old church. The great room, with its slate flooring and wood-burning fireplace set in a wood and brick surround, exudes “medieval charm,” Bob says. Behind it, a hallway leads to the master retreat with an adjoining library featuring a fireplace with a cast-iron firebox facing. There is also an extensive walk-in closet and ensuite bathroom with a clawfoot tub and large glassblock shower with one exterior wall, which lets in abundant light. Beyond the foyer, the rear kitchen includes an eating area, a two-tier counter with work and seating areas, granite surfaces, a six-burner gas range and walk-in pantry. The adjacent mudroom/laundry area accesses a generous two-car-plus garage with original carriage doors on the front and a large door opening to the rear yard. The kitchen, great room and master retreat all have French-door access 

TOP The cozy formal living room and dining room are separated by a three-sided gas fireplace with a marble mantle. BOTTOM A wrought iron patio overlooks the backyard swimming pool.

to a covered patio. An awning extending from the patio ceiling can be lowered right to the ground. “We’ve sat out here while it’s been hailing and were quite comfortable,” Bob notes. Steps lead down to an in-ground pool. The .64-acre property also includes an extensive rear lawn with space for a soccer pitch as well as access to the Thames River. The home’s upper level includes three bedrooms and an updated full bathroom. The rear bedroom has a wrought-iron fenced balcony that overlooks the pool and patio. The lower level is the only area that Bob and Sue renovated. Unfinished when they moved in, it now includes an office, home gymnasium and large rear theatre room with surround sound and a three-piece bathroom. This level is carpeted, except for hardwood in the exercise area. Original antique doors hide the furnace, mechanicals and additional storage. There’s also a convenient walk-up to the garage and rear yard. Oversize window wells admit natural light and would allow the office to be used as another bedroom.

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* Real names were not used at the request of the homeowners. Continued on page 22 July/August 2015

Lifestyle 21

timeless elegance

Partnering with

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Continued from page 21

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b kitchens, bathrooms, basements, renovations, additions and custom homes By removing walls, and adding flush beams, this once closed-off kitchen has become an open, bright and functional living space. see our Houzz profile for more pictures of this and other renovation projects.

ExtrEmE exterior The “wow factors” of Bob and Sue’s Old Hazelden property aren’t confined to the home’s interior. In fact, they start at the street, where a hammered iron swing gate bookmarks the driveway entrance. Paving stone sidewalks lead from the driveway to entrances to the mudroom, adjacent to the double-car garage, and to the front foyer. Both entrances are framed in red brick, which contrasts with the home’s grey stone façade. The front entranceway is delineated by a peaked post-and-beam framework with graceful arches. The exterior of the house is a combination of the same stone and brick. Headers of vertical red bricks crest the windows and garage doors. The red brick also sets apart the recessed patio at the rear of the home, which also features a peaked pine ceiling. The overall effect is “Muskoka-like,” Bob says. “There’s a definite cottage feel.” The patio, overlooking the in-ground swimming pool, also includes a barbecue built into a concrete counter with basin. Below-counter storage and mechanicals are concealed behind antique stained-glass panels. The entire pool and patio area is enclosed in black wrought iron fencing with gates leading to extensive lawns and gardens on either side. Another distinguishing feature of the home’s exterior is the distinctive chimney. Also constructed of red brick, it features a decorative pointed arch opening down the centre, reminiscent of Gothic revival architecture. It’s yet another element of the home’s medieval charm, according to the owners. Extensive shrubbery around the perimeter of the property adds to the cottage ambiance and provides an illusion of country privacy in the heart of the city. In fact, the home is just minutes from Springbank Park and shopping and dining in Byron. n



michele Henderson Remax Advantage Realty 519-649-6000

22 Lifestyle July/August 2015

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Lifestyle 23

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TOP This three-storey home in Grand Bend was built with main-floor living in mind. Everything the owners need access to is found on the main floor, including the kitchen and laundry facilities. LEFT The open-concept kitchen and comfortable great room are separated by a double-sided gas-log fireplace set in Wiarton ledgerock. Large windows provide lots of natural light and riverside views.

to dream home

From cottage

With a little help from their friends, the owners of a modest Grand Bend cottage replaced it with their dream home


or 15 years, a happy couple and their family spent long, lazy summers at their Grand Bend cottage, enjoying the Lake Huron beach and using the Ausable River at their back door as a launch for boating excursions on the lakes and beyond. So, when they decided it was time to swap their London home for a retirement location, the summer home beckoned. To help them replace their small three-bedroom cottage and backyard bunkee with the home of their dreams, the couple called on long-time friend

By Ellen Ashton-Haiste Matt Relouw, owner of Platinum Builders in Grand Bend, and home designer Steve Sims from The Barnswallow Company. The biggest challenge was definitely the limited lot size, says Relouw. “It was a tight space, not much room to work with and we were dealing with the conservation authority because of it being on the river,” Sims concurs. In the end, the team created a 5,500-square-foot three-level home that the owners are thrilled to come home to every day. Like all his projects, it’s unique, Relouw says. “I met the homeowners

through boating, so here the nautical theme is certainly something that stands out.” “I love that coastal feel,” she* agrees, surveying the galley-style kitchen that looks out over the rear patio and river beyond, where the couple’s two boats are docked. There’s also a country ambiance, notes Dean Martin, of Martin Wood Design in Bayfield, who designed the kitchen and master ensuite bathroom. He points to the Shaker cabinet doors with bead molding, older-looking seedy glass in the upper cabinets, pine ceiling, subway tile backsplash and her decoContinued on page 27 July/August 2015

Lifestyle 25


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Windows & Doors TOP Shaker cabinet doors with bead moulding, seedy glass in the upper cabinets, a pine ceiling and the subway tile backsplash give the kitchen a cozy country ambiance. RIGHT A blue and white nautical theme runs throughout the home, as the owners are avid boaters. BOTTOM The island is the star of the show in the kitchen, with an eye-catching dark blue base topped by grey and black granite that matches the perimeter counters.

rative vases and teapots as elements that create that atmosphere. The home is designed for mainfloor living. “We built with aging in mind,” she says. “Everything we need is on the main floor, including the laundry.” The entrance foyer accesses the front-facing master bedroom and ensuite bathroom, featuring an oversize marble shower, stand-alone soaker tub and marble-topped vanity. Across the rear of the house is the open-concept kitchen and great room, which are separated by a double-sided gas-log fireplace set in Wiarton ledgerock. A focal point of the kitchen, with its creamy cabinets, is the nine-byfour-foot island with a contrasting dark blue base and grey and black granite top matching the perimeter counters. A built-in mini-bar with dark blue cabinetry complements the island base.


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Lifestyle 27

CoTTage DreaM HoMe Continued from page 27

Four banks of tall windows across the kitchen, the adjacent eating area and great room overlook the rear patio and river and let in abundant natural light. This bright, open area is a family favourite. “I love to stand at the island and work and enjoy the river views.” An open staircase between the foyer and kitchen/great room leads to the home’s upper and lower levels. The loft-like upper storey includes an office, guest bedroom and what she calls “the dorm.” The long room, furnished with double and bunk beds to sleep 10, is designed for visits from the five grown children and their friends. This level also has a full bathroom. The lower level is entertainment central, with a full bar and pub, featuring a ledgerock wall and a stone archway separating the pub/bar from a theatre room. Behind the bar is a full kitchen, by Distinctive Kitchens of London, with bright cherry-red cabinets. “We do a lot of entertaining, so this is perfect, with the theatre, bar and outdoor access plus the kitchen where guests can bring in dishes and we can prepare dinners.” This level has a walkout to the paving stone patio with its barbecue and eating area, linear gas fireplace also set in ledgerock, a sitting area and a resistance pool with three waterfalls that allow it to double as a water feature. This lower level also includes a full bathroom and large craft room that could alternatively provide space for an office, bedroom or exercise room. n * Names withheld by request.


Platinum Builders 14 Main Street, Grand Bend 519-238-6755 The Barnswallow Company Southwestern Ontario: 519-495-0433 Georgian Bay and Muskoka: 705-774-2494 Martin Wood Design 74603 Bronson Line, Bayfield 519-565-5302

28 Lifestyle July/August 2015

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Lifestyle 29


City selection and

Country service Look no further than Hensall By Richard Young


osh and Hilary Alexander, owners and operators of Hensall Major Appliance and Mattress Centre, like saving their customers a trip to the big city. “As a GE Appliance Centre dealer, we are able to offer the same pricing as the big box stores,” says Hilary. “It also allows us to offer a price match guarantee on all GE appliances. Our customers know they are getting the best price.” For over 90 years, Hensall Major Appliance and Mattress Centre has been serving area customers in the same main street location under various names and owners. The Alexanders purchased the business from former owner Mike Graham in 2013. Josh, who has been the service technician at the centre since 2010, carries on in that capacity, while

Hilary runs the sales and day-to-day business operations. “We serve all of Huron County, and go as far as Stratford, St. Marys, Ilderton, Thorndale and Goderich, and everywhere in between,” says Hilary. The store’s showroom features a full line of GE kitchen and laundry appliances and Springwall mattresses. “We have a ‘live’ GE kitchen suite and laundry centre that is hooked up and working so we can give product demonstrations,” says Hilary. “We offer the full GE Café series and exclusive Slate kitchen products.” GE top and front load washer and dryer sets and compact and unitized sets are available, and all appliances are delivered and installed. The store’s sleep centre offers Canadian-made Springwall chiropractic

mattresses, Comfort Pocket mattresses, mattress protectors, beds and frames. Hensall Major Appliance’s Long Last Major Appliance Repair Service is a big selling point, says Hilary. “Customers know if they have a problem, they do not have to call a 1-800 number. We can get to most people within a day or two,” she says. “We service everything we sell, and we are an authorized service depot for most makes and models of appliances. We can fix pretty much everything and offer a full line of parts.” The Alexanders appreciate the support they have received from new and returning customers and continue to work hard to maintain the level of service people have come to expect from the business. b

Hensall Major Appliance and Mattress Centre, 107 King Street, Hensall 519-262-2728

30 Lifestyle July/August 2015




By Jill Ellis-Worthington

Female-centric travel is taking oFF


hether they are married or single, some women find getting away on women-only tours to be a refreshing way to

The ages of the women-only groups range from 40 to 80, with the majority being 50 to 70 years old. Some women go on mother/daughter trips together as part of the group.

travel the world. Cheryl McGuire, of Oil Springs, Ontario, has met friends, enjoyed exotic locales and had amazing new experiences because she’s made three trips with Broad Escapes. The 57-year-old has visited Austria and Bavaria; Ireland; and Vietnam and Cambodia and thoroughly enjoyed herself on all three trips. She enjoys travelling with her husband, but when she wants to experience a location he’s not interested in she hits the road on her own or with her sister-inlaw. She is always in good company as part of a tour group organized by Bonnie Hinschberger. “The trips are so well organized and they deliver on promises. I have no worries about travelling by myself,” explains McGuire. Successfully organizing trips for six years, Hinschberger saw a niche market that she could fill. Two years ago she partnered with Ellison Travel and Tours to form Broad Escapes. “Though group

travel is common, with our groups a woman never feels like a third wheel. They can really let their hair down and relax,” she says. The ages of the women-only groups range from 40 to 80, with the majority being 50 to 70 years old. Some women go on mother/daughter trips together as part of the group. Hinschberger says that half her clientele are married women and half are single, widowed or divorced. “Women tend to be more adventurous, and some husbands don’t want to visit the same destinations as their wives.” Hinschberger’s personal favourite destinations are Kenya and Peru. Of the former, she says, “I’ve always loved nature and seeing the wildlife is exciting for me. When I take the women to Kenya, they are buying the trip to go on safari but people they meet there make the true memory. They get involved in the village they visit, sponsoring children to attend school. It’s a real feel-good experience because you know you’re changing a person’s life.” Deborah Rutherford, 61, of Toronto, has taken four female-centric trips and loved them more each time. First was a Continued on page 32 July/August 2015

Lifestyle 31

girl timE

Continued from page 31

“Though group travel is common, with our groups a woman never feels like a third wheel. They can really let their hair down and relax.” Specializing in unique escorted tours, group travel planning & getaways for women. l Broad Escapes is an all-female travel network that co-ordinates female-friendly tours and provides a forum for like-minded women to share travel experiences. hs.

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shopping trip to New York City, then a two-week trip to Russia, followed by a canoeing trip to Algonquin Park. Finally, she too went on a Kenya trip and agrees that it was a game changer for her. “I had an enriching experience in Africa,” says Rutherford. Because her trips have been so varied, Rutherford says she feels that the women-only options made the experiences better for her. She’s looking forward to her next trip with Broad Escapes – to Peru later this year. Kathy Hayes is from Toronto. The 70-year-old has also taken four women-only trips: Vietnam and Cambodia, Portugal, Morocco and Kenya. She notes that the safety measures built into the trip are one factor that keeps her coming back to Broad Escapes. Since she’s single, she enjoys travelling with friends. When no one of her immediate acquaintance wants to journey to a destination she desires visiting, she’s pleased that Broad Escapes can match her up with a compatible roommate with their Roommate Matching Program. She says she’s made good friends as a result and is pleased with the cost savings as well, as she doesn’t have to pay the single supplement. “It’s fun to have someone to hash over the day with,” she adds. “I would definitely recommend (going on women-only trips); just say ‘I’m going to do it,’” says Hayes. n

FOR MORE INFORMATION Broad Escapes, a division of Ellison Travel and Tours 311 Main Street South, Exeter • 519-235-2000

32 Lifestyle July/August 2015




Ahhhh, the fairest season is here and it’s time to sit and enjoy


By Jill Ellis-Worthington

itting on your patio or deck and enjoying a light libation is one of this season’s greatest pleasures for many. Oenophile Billy Munnelly has plenty of advice on how to make the most of the too few lovely hours we are given to enjoy this pastime. “Taking extra effort to match the wine with the occasion is like matching your mood to the right music,” says the wine blogger and tour operator. When hosting a summer soirée, planning the food, wine and ambiance to reflect summer themes and lighthearted moments makes an afternoon or evening extra special. Also, don’t be afraid to flout some long-standing wine conventions in the summer. Munnelly advises chilling all wines – not just whites – when it’s hot outside. “I throw all reds in the fridge for 15 minutes or the freezer for five before serving as it

makes the wine more refreshing and kicks up the flavour.” He adds that serving red wine at room temperature when it’s 80 degrees Fahrenheit outside makes it “taste just awful.”

Billy’s best (sound) bites – “Rosé is the great wine of summer because it’s refreshing and good with food, but mostly because it’s fun,” chuckles Munnelly, who, after 30 years in the business – writing, speaking and talking about all things grape – knows his wines. Munnelly’s favourite dry rosés include Henry of Pelham ’14 Rosé (VQA Niagara), Campo Viejo ’14 Rosé (La Rioja, Spain) and Ogier ’14 Rosé (Châteauneuf-du-Pape, France). To make an occasion even more special, serve sparkling rosé. “This is a happy wine and a good way to kick (the evening) up. It puts everyone in an instant good mood.” Billy’s pick: Cono Sur Sparkling Pinot Noir Rosé (Chile). Continued on page 35

Rosé is the great wine of summer because it’s refreshing and good with food, but mostly because it’s fun.”

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For a thirst-quencher on a hot day, Munnelly says to look closer to home for dry Rieslings, such as Cave Spring ’13 Dry Riesling (VQA Niagara). “Many people say they don’t like dry Rieslings, but on a hot day it’s really refreshing. Sometimes, after I’ve served them a couple of glasses, they’ll say they don’t like dry Riesling and I’ll say, ‘That’s what you’ve been drinking.’ They are always surprised.” When in doubt about what to serve on a warm afternoon or evening, think about countries where they celebrate summer, such as Spain, Italy, Portugal and the South of France. “That fills out the picture,” chuckles Munnelly. Two whites from these regions are Munnelly’s summer faves. For a party social white, he recommends Villa Sandi ’14 Pinot Grigio (Italy). Though some wine lovers feel Pinot Grigio is too pedestrian, Munnelly says it’s perfect for a social occasion because it doesn’t become a distraction from the event. He calls it “the background music of wine.” For a lower alcohol libation to serve, try Vinho Verdes from Portugal; he recommends Aveleda ’14 Vinho Verde, a great idea if you’ll be enjoying several glasses of wine through the afternoon or evening. Summer gatherings often revolve around grilling goodies for the crowd to enjoy and serving the perfect wine alongside will make you the perfect host.

Billy’s recommendations: With juicy, smoky grilled hamburgers, serve Louis Bernard ’13 Côtes-du-Rhône (France), as it’s a fuller bodied wine to serve with heartier fare. With succulent grilled salmon, service Lindeman’s ’14 Pinot Noir (Australia).

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Lifestyle 35

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True taste of summer bestlife

Dinner found fresh from the land

By Chef Jonathan Collins

the bottom of a pan. But before we continue, I must say: Do not eat anything you cannot positively identify and deem safe. On a recent trip with my boys to Algonquin Park for our annual back country adventure, we planned to forage for whatever was available. With hiking boots on and a large strip of birch bark as a makeshift basket, I went into nature’s market

with high hopes. After searching for some time, I found a patch of light in the thick forest that revealed the brand new growth of ostrich ferns. Unmistakable in appearance, just as the name implies, the bright green new growth was poking through the floor of the woods. Since they were still a little young, I left them for the next day, hoping for a bit more substance. We pressed on Continued on page 38

Some of the most common and accessible ingredients in Ontario are fiddleheads, dandelion greens and mushrooms.



oraging goes against everything most of us have been taught. If it doesn’t come wrapped in styrofoam and cellophane with a government seal on it, we ask, “Is it safe to eat?” It’s a fair question, and that’s the number one concern when looking for dinner in the great outdoors. But it’s also the thrill and excitement of finding an otherwise elusive ingredient that will blow the minds of the people you serve it to. Noma, where at least one component of every dish has been foraged, has been at the top of the food chain in terms of world’s best restaurants for many years now. (It’s been number one for three years.) Chef René Redzepi has become an authority on the subject to the point of mind-bending madness. It’s truly incredible when you begin to see the world as he does, possibly the truest form of local, in-season and fresh! If the top restaurant in the world with the most inventive and insightful chef does it, then we should certainly begin. Some of the most common and accessible ingredients for us in Ontario are fiddleheads, the tender new shoots of the fern; those pesky dandelion greens and flowers that we have been pulling from our yards; and, one of my favourite ingredients, mushrooms. Happening upon oyster, chanterelle and morel mushrooms in the middle of the woods is like finding a golden nugget at

ABOVE Fiddleheads are one of the most recognizable and enjoyable foods foraged. Accessing foraging grounds on trails or by water is an enjoyable way to find dinner and enjoy the outdoors. July/August 2015

Lifestyle 37

True TasTe of summer Continued from page 37

and quite by accident found the one and only patch of morels. I almost set my bag on top of them, but crouching down it was easy to see the unique appearance and confirm the mushrooms’ identity. Occasionally ingredients have evil twins and there is a false morel. It’s important to study both and understand the differences. We marked the spot and planned to return the next day to harvest and prepare our find. As kids, our

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curiosity for everything outdoors is so high, but as we get older I think we forget how much fun it is to get out and muck around looking for a bit of an adventure. Foraging is great exercise with a chance to see flowers, birds and all kinds of wildlife – often without cellphone service. Even if you’re unsuccessful in locating ingredients, the journey is well worth the effort. Farmers’ markets often have vendors

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Foraging is great exercise with a chance to see flowers, birds and all kinds of wildlife – often without cellphone service.

who have sweet spots where they forage they’ll never share, but you can get a taste of some of their bounty. Back in Algonquin, we returned to the marked locations and harvested the fiddleheads and morels. I had planned a very simple dish of potato gnocchi, which is no more than russet potatoes, flour and water (remember, no eggs in the back country). A quick blanche of the gnocchi and sauté of the morels and fiddleheads combined over the fire for ‘gourmet outdoors.’ The end result was so satisfying and we were grateful that we had found some of what we looked for. Foraging can be enjoyed anywhere in the world and is great to share with children, keeping our imaginations and palates fresh! n

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Get into the


of summer

Forest City offers opportunities to escape the heat with these cool beats By Richard Young


ach summer, London hosts three major outdoor music festivals – TD Sunfest, Rock the Park, and the Home County Music and Art Festival – attracting thousands of Londoners and visitors. For many people, they have become synonymous with summer in the city. “They are prototypical examples of the kind of events the community wants to experience,” says John Winston, Tourism London general manager. “Their contribution to cultural vibrancy, diversity and inclusion in our community is significant and they have become a mainstay of the summer.” Certainly, in terms of musical variety and tastes, the three festivals offer something for everybody.

 Afro-Cu


Sarah Slean 

 Martha Wainwright



TD Sunfest’s artistic director Alfredo Caxaj says three factors account for the world music festival’s sustained growth and longevity: the artistic quality of the program, keeping it free and accessible to everyone, and its global nature. “The festival provides a global village environment where people feel comfortable and celebrate cultural differences,” says Caxaj. “I don’t think there is any other event that has the same social impact.” The 21st edition of TD Sunfest will fill Victoria Park with exotic sounds, food and crafts from around the world July 9 to 12, featuring headliners like The Afro-Cuban All Stars and many others. Admission is free. 

Photo by Ian Davies

The 42nd edition of the Home County Music and Art Festival, London’s longest-running outdoor summer music festival, sets up shop in Victoria Park July 17 to 19 with a lineup of local, regional and national performers reflecting the festival’s evolution. “Over the past 10 years, Home County has expanded its music programming beyond the confines of traditional folk music to include more contemporary styles of Canadian music,” says artistic director Darin Addison. “Many younger acts are incorporating traditional instruments into current songwriting methods. Folk music has also evolved over the past 42 years.” Headliners include Sarah Slean, who opens the festival with Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield emceeing on Friday, followed by family act The Leahys on Saturday. Sylvia Tyson closes on Sunday night. Admission is by donation.

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Created by the Jones Entertainment Group to support Bethany’s Hope Foundation in progressing research for Metachromatic Leukodystrophy (MLD), the re-branded Rock the Park Music Festival has been expanded to five consecutive nights – July 14 to 18 – in Harris Park this year. “Rock the Park has raised over $2.1 million for the Foundation in its first 12 years,” says Brad Jones, president of Jones Entertainment Group. He adds that ticket sales have been brisk for the 2015 event, which offers everything from country to pop to hard rock to indie acts. U.S. band Train headlines opening night July 14, followed by two nights of Gone Country featuring Keith Urban on July 15. Arkells headlines July 17, while Billy Talent headlines July 18. This is a ticketed event and prices vary. Full lineups for the three festivals are available on their websites. b

 Arkells





Welcome to the ultimate in relaxation! Home County Music and Art Festival July 17 to 19, Victoria Park Admission by donation TD Sunfest 2015 July 9 to 12, Victoria Park Free admission Rock the Park and Gone Country Music Festival July 14 to 18, Harris Park Ticketed event, prices vary

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July/August 2015

Lifestyle 41



Glory in the glass Elgin County home to prolific artist By Ellen Ashton-Haiste This large black dragon panel, with layered glass scales and horns, won awards at both the World Fantasy Convention and Dragon Con, the world’s largest fantasy/sci-fi convention.

Garrett-Jenkins’ first project, a Japanese crane window made for her mother, is on display at Rubyeyes Kraftwerks.

ABOVE “Rocky Mountain Meadows,” a painting on glass using crushed glass as the medium, was a Juror’s Choice award winner at the Art Emporium 1-2-3 Foot Squares Show in Port Stanley last November. RIGHT Garrett-Jenkins’ popular glass poppies generate funds for the Port Stanley Legion poppy fund.

Cheryl Garrett-Jenkins creates one-of-a-kind glass artwork in her Port Stanley studio.


hobby that started with some stained glass classes three decades ago has blossomed into a career creating unique and exquisite glass artworks for Port Stanley artisan Cheryl Garrett-Jenkins. Always passionate about art in its many forms, Garrett-Jenkins dabbled in everything from painting to sculpting to wheat weaving during a long career as a marine engineer, working on ships around the world. But it was glass that finally captured and held her imagination. “I love the glass because it’s never the same,” she says. “I get easily bored but I don’t get bored doing glass.” She likes to discover secrets held in the glass. “You never know for sure how a piece is going to turn out. Sometimes the result completely surprises you.” There’s nothing she won’t try. If a customer has a proposal, she’s up to the challenge. Garrett-Jenkins is continually learning new techniques and skills to experiment with. Her shop, Rubyeyes Kraftwerks, is filled with one-of-a-kind creations resulting from that training: three-dimensional flowers, distinctively shaped bowls, delicate wind chimes and jewelry, and paintings created using crushed glass (or frit) as the medium. A class in zentangle a couple of years ago has resulted in numerous pieces that have structured patterns drawn into intriguing glass panels. Rubyeyes’ showroom is dominated by a large panel displaying a black dragon with multiple layers of scales and horns. It has won awards at both the World Fantasy Convention in Toronto (2012) and at Dragon Con (2013), the world’s largest fantasy/ sci-fi convention, held annually in Atlanta, Georgia. Other pieces have taken numerous awards over the 


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MADAME VANIER Children’s Services is planning a staff reunion at the Hellenic Centre on October 2, 2015 to celebrate its 50th ANNIVERSARY! If you are a former staff or teacher, we want to hear from you… OR check out The celebrations continue the following night with a Blues Bash being held at the London Music Hall!


Boler Rd. at Byron Baseline Rd., London

Celtic art is a recurring theme in Garrett-Jenkins’ artwork.

years at sci-fi conventions, juried art shows and local exhibitions. Garrett-Jenkins also carries unusual pieces of high-quality glassware, including decanters, mugs and dishware, which can be personalized with sandblasting. Recently she has added metalwork – creating signs and frames – to her repertoire. Originally launched to showcase her work, the shop is becoming a gallery as she promotes and sells the jewelry, beadwork, ceramics, photography and paintings of other local artists. Her gallery is the only venue with a display by members of the Association of Port Stanley Artists. Garrett-Jenkins believes strongly in giving back to the community. One of her most popular items – glass poppies – generates 50 per cent of the sales for the Port Stanley Legion Poppy Fund. She also supports five other charities – War Amps, Animal Aide, All Breed Canine Rescue, Pets Friends for Life, and Port Stanley Cat Rescue – with the sale of used books and stuffed animals throughout the year and a donation of 10 per cent of December sales. The artisan creates her artworks in a large studio behind the store, where she also offers increasingly popular classes that are personalized to her students’ interests and schedules. b

Rubyeyes Kraftwerks 235 Colborne Street, Port Stanley 519-782-7443

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July/August 2015

Lifestyle 43


A safe harbour Port Stanley Harbourfest returns By Richard Young


ort Stanley’s annual Harbourfest returns to the picturesque Lake Erie port August 8 and 9 with a full slate of activities and events for all ages. “This is the fourth year for the event,” says organizer Michelle Fournier. “Our mandate as always is to attract people to the port to show them our harbour and hospitality.” Last year’s event was held on Labour Day weekend, but organizers feel going earlier in August this year will be less likely to conflict with other events in the area. Tall ships have always been part of Harbourfest, but Fournier says organ­ izers want the event to be about more than just tall ships. This year only one tall ship, the Pathfinder, will be in port and be available for dockside tours and cruises throughout the weekend. The Pathfinder is a two­masted sail­training vessel operated by Toronto Brigantine. With the exception of the captain, the crew are all 13 to 19 years old. Cruises depart on Saturday and Sunday. Cruises are two hours includ­ ing a half­hour for pre­boarding. Tickets are $40. Dockside tours will be random and by donation. On Friday night, Canadian band Great Lake Swimmers will be perform­ ing at the Port Stanley Legion.

44 Lifestyle July/August 2015

Street performers have always been a major attraction at Harbourfest. Back again this year is Fireguy – Torontonian Brant Matthews – who will be thrilling visitors with his pyro­ technic performances including fire eating, juggling and breathing. Watch for him at Glover Park. The Harbourfest Pirate, Captain Thom Bedlam, will be roaming the habourside throughout the weekend, regaling visitors with his tales of the sea. Think of him as a Harbourfest Ambassador, says Fournier. Watch for other street performers, including stilt walkers. Vendors and artisans will be offering their unique wares and handcrafted treasures to visitors in the Dominion of Canada warehouse building on the har­ bour from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. both days. Fournier expects port merchants, restaurants and galleries to be offering their own Harbourfest specials and entertainment. “It will be a festive weekend includ­ ing tours and cruises on a tall ship, fun with street performers, live music, vintage train rides, sailing races, and open patios,” says Fournier. b

Port Stanley Harbourfest August 8 and 9

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July/August 2015

Lifestyle 45

Grand Bend & Area


46 Lifestyle July/August 2015

Lakeside dining

GoinG Gastro in Grand Bend By Jill Ellis-Worthington

Food with a view” is how the Growling Gator could be described. As the anchor of the Grand Bend strip – the part of Main Street that cars prowl up and down on summer evenings – the Gator offers diners a panoramic peek at Lake Huron. Having enlarged the patio and with a menu that caters to an eclectic palate, with choices from New York steak to Aegean shrimp to Cajun jambalaya, the Gator has upped its game from a little place with pub grub to an eatery that can please the taste buds as well as the eyes. Though the Gator still carries favour­ ites like chicken wings, sandwiches and burgers, the healthier menu choices are delicious as well – try the pear and goat cheese salad. Sitting next to Purdy’s Fisheries on the Grand Bend pier, it’s not surprising that Smackwater Jack’s Taphouse offers fresh perch and pickerel caught from the blue waters of Lake Huron.

Owner Brad Oke takes pride in offer­ ing fresh, locally­sourced ingredients in Smackwater Jack’s dishes. Featuring choices made with pork and beef from Metzger’s Meats, turkey from Hayter’s Farm and lamb and duck from area farms, Smackwater Jack’s menu is as sustainable as it is delicious. For a decadent bite, try specials like the lobster ravioli in truffle sauce or the perpetually popular roasted garlic bacon dip. Because they want the whole family or party of friends to be able to enjoy the hospitality at Smackwater’s, they offer shuttle services to visitors in Grand Bend and as far away as Bayfield, Ipperwash and Exeter at no cost. Tips are donated to Mothers Against Drunk Driving and they’ve been able to give $2,500 so far, according to Oke. Both of these eateries offer a view of one of the world’s best sunsets over Lake Huron.

travelstyle Just off of Highway 21, F.I.N.E. A Restaurant offers both indoor and outdoor dining. Partnering with a gallery, F.I.N.E. is also a treat for the eyes; diners are able to enjoy the works of local artists while enjoying excellent cuisine. At lunch, you can order from the small plate or large plate sections of the menu. With delicious salad choices – like traditional Caesar, served with a warm parmesan breadstick, which owner/chef Erryn Shephard says is the reason some people order this peren­ nial favourite – or an equally delicious stout fondue, served with naan bread, the noon meal will be dining pleasure. Shephard encourages reservations for this diminutive seasonal eatery, open spring, summer and fall, as it has just 60 seats both inside and on the patio. The sweet­toothed Shephard con­ fesses that her favourite menu item is also one for many of the customers. Trio of Brule features three flavours of petite brule served in espresso cups: chocolate, vanilla and butterscotch. b

F.I.N.E. A Restaurant 42 Ontario Street South, Lambton Shores 519-238-6224 Growling Gator 86 Main Street West, Grand Bend 519-238-1300 Smackwater Jack’s Taphouse 71 River Road, Grand Bend 519-238-5556

July/August 2015

Lifestyle 47

Grand Bend & Area


48 Lifestyle July/August 2015

Stay and

play By john milner

Relax and enjoy some time on Lake Huron


long Lake Huron’s shores, two couples – Wei and Steven Jiang near Zurich and Nadene and Pat Ballantyne in Port Franks – are discovering the challenges and rewards of running a bed and breakfast. Neither Brentwood on the Beach, owned by the Jiangs, nor the Bee’n’Bee Bed and Breakfast, owned by the Bal­ lantynes, are new businesses. Brent­ wood on the Beach was in business for 25 years before the previous owners retired last October. The Bee’n’Bee started 10 years ago but hadn’t been taking reservations for three years due to the former owner’s illness. The couples took different paths to the bed and breakfast business. Originally from Shanghai, the Jiangs came to Canada in 2011, moving to London in 2013. For Wei, taking over Brentwood was a chance “to do some­ thing to contribute for our coming to Canada.” Nadene and Pat Ballantyne came from a manufacturing background. Initially looking for a rental property in Grand Bend, they found the Bee’n’Bee on MLS and “just jumped right in,” taking ownership last July. Brentwood on the Beach was already well known within the area. “The prev­ ious owner had a very good reputation,” Wei says. The situation was different for the Ballantynes. “We had old pamphlets,

an old website,” Pat explains. Both couples took steps to market their business, creating new websites and employing Expedia to draw new guests. The results have been “fantas­ tic,” Pat says. One challenge both couples faced was how to attract business during their first winter, the normal off­season and one especially harsh this past year. “We had to scope (the area) out and see what was available,” Nadene says. With the Pinery Provincial Park close by, Bee’n’Bee is able to offer snow­shoe­ ing, skiing and tobogganing. Meanwhile, Brentwood on the Beach offers retreats, including those devoted to quilting, scrapbooking and reading, so guests are able enjoy themselves when the weather doesn’t cooperate. Both couples agree one of the greatest perks of running a bed and breakfast is “meeting new people,” Pat says.

travelstyle “(The customers) are very wonder­ ful. They inspire me a lot. Every day I talk to new people and it helps me to learn North American culture,” Wei says. Both bed and breakfasts are find­ ing success. “We have a lot of great guests. Some have been coming for 10 or 15 years and they come back year after year,” Wei says. Nadene and Pat also know the importance of attracting repeat customers. They have had one couple come and stay four times over the past year. As well, they have what they lightheartedly refer to as their own British Invasion: a party of a half­dozen women, all originally from the United Kingdom but resid­ ing now in Ontario who are en route for another stay. “I think (the guests) feel very com­ fortable. They don’t have to do any­ thing (here),” Wei explains. “They can focus on their hobbies where, at home, they have to focus on their jobs and housework.” “It’s clean when they come and they don’t have to clean when they leave. It’s really good. We have a lot of fun,” Nadene says. b

Bee’n’Bee Bed and Breakfast 7196 Outer Drive, R. R. #1 Port Franks 519-243-2828 Brentwood on the Beach 33937 Moore Court, St. Joseph Shores, Zurich 519-236-7137

July/August 2015

Lifestyle 49


fall fashion


By Heather Toskan


he calendar may still say summer, but now is a great time to review what’s new and start planning your fall wardrobe.

“New fashions can seem extreme when first viewed on the runways or in magazines, but by the time they arrive in store, the trends have morphed into very wearable clothes that will update and freshen your personal style,” says Darlene Sharpe, the assistant buyer and manager at Susan J Fashions. A handful of fall fashion must-haves and a few shots of seasonal colour are likely all that’s needed to bring your wardrobe up to speed. Stalwart neutrals of black and charcoal set the tone and pair well with fall’s more colourful fashion hues, which include blue, wine, plum, magenta, green, goldenrod, orange, blush pink, teal and turquoise. Popular patterns include glen check, geometric, floral, snake and animal prints. “Strong individual (clothing) pieces that are easily layered play the main role for fall, with many styles highlighted by modern asymmetrical shapes, high-tech materials, neoprene, glossy finishes and faux fur trim,” says Giuliana Athans, the owner of Moda di Giuliana. “A key piece is the indoor-outdoor coat, which replaces the blazer as a fashion statement,” notes Athans. Wear indoor-outdoor coats over skirts, dresses, pants and jeans to express your style. Other fall must-haves include oversized sweaters, bomber jackets, boot-cut trousers, soft flowing pants and midi length skirts and culottes.

Autumn trends are cool, colourful and comfortable top LeFt A graphic topper adds a layer of style over turtlenecks and other fall wardrobe essentials, such as leggings and slim pants. The outfit is by Luisa Cerano and is from Susan J Fashions. BottoM LeFt A soft, unconstructed, fringe-trimmed jacket makes an easy transition from casual to dressier occasions. The jacket by Riani is from Susan J Fashions. top RigHt A brocade indoor-outdoor coat dresses up anything it is paired with, including this skirt and turtleneck. The coat and outfit are by Laurel and are from Moda Di Giuliana.

Shoes that fit

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BottoM RigHt Asymmetrical details, pattern and swaths of colour add up to a layered look that swirls with style. The outfit by Michael Phillips is from Sara Sohan.

FoLLowing page  A neutral toned indoor-outdoor coat dresses up jeans and other fall wardrobe basics. The outfit by Laurel is from Moda Di Giuliana.

opposite page top RigHt A colour blocked mini dress, featuring a dropped waist line, looks fresh and modern. The dress is by Laurel and is available at Moda Di Giuliana. opposite page BottoM LeFt An indoor-outdoor coat, paired with coordinating slim pants, makes a stylish, colourful statement. The outfit is by Laurel and is available at Moda Di Giuliana. July/August 2015

Lifestyle 51


trends are arriving daily!

Continued from page 51

&FAshions Accessories from Canadian & European Designer Collections

Cherryhill Village Mall, 301 Oxford St. W. 519.964.1006 Mon-Fri 9-8pm • Sat 9-6pm • Sun 12-5pm

621 Richmond Street ~ 519.601.2213 9 Main Street North in Bayfield


“Wide-legged pants and culottes are already popular with our customers who find them comfortable and easy to dress up and down with a simple change of tops and accessories,” says Marian Bentley of Sara Sohan in Cherryhill Village Mall. Pair culottes with boots to lay the groundwork for almost anything you’re likely to wear this fall. Slim pants and body skimming skirts, tops, tunics and dresses hold currency, but slightly more voluminous silhouettes in pants, skirts and other fashions are also growing in importance. “Pull-on pants with a tie-waist and straight or tapered legs made of soft, flowing fabrics like brushed poly are stylish, versatile, and a great starting point for any fashionable fall wardrobe,” says Sharpe. “Wear tie-waisted pants with traditional tapered blazers and new, oversized sweaters and jackets with roomier silhouettes to create softly suited looks,” advises Sharpe. Boot-cut and flared jeans round out the bottom line on pants, but if you’d rather skirt the issue, midi, maxi and mini lengths cover the long and short of it. “Along with boot-cut trousers … mini-skirts and dresses reminiscent of the styles of the 1960s are among fall’s key looks,” says Athans. Colour blocking and drop waistlines highlight ’60s-inspired dresses and tops. Tops and dresses with asymmetric shapes and diagonal high-low hemlines remain stylish, as do long, pleated skirts. Style seekers may also take pleasure in clothing and accessories featuring crochet knit, lace and fringed trim. Express your individual style with scarves, layered necklaces, oversized hoop earrings and pearl jewelry, which may be combined with metals and other materials for an updated look. n FOR MORE INFORMATION Moda di Giuliana 630 Richmond Street • 519-672-3834 519.672.0073 @hangar9byfc

52 Lifestyle July/August 2015


Sara Sohan Cherryhill Village Mall 301 Oxford Street West • 519-964-1006 Susan J Fashions 256 Oxford Street East • 519-679-8511

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July/August 2015

Lifestyle 53

2015-06-10 9:49 AM


Naturally beautiful this summer Use natUral prodUcts for a beaUtifUlly safe season By Ellen Ashton-Haiste


h, summer! Sunshine, warm breezes, the scent of fresh-cut grass.

Then there are the other signs of the season – hot, blistering skin after a lazy day on the beach; mosquitoes, wasps and other flying or crawling menaces. Fortunately there are products that can aid summer fun enjoyment without worry. Best of all, these are as natural as the season itself. Ingredients like lavender, tea tree oil, lemongrass, aloe and coconut oil can be both soothing to the skin and repulsive to creepy-crawlies. These are some key components of products offered by Lambeth’s Jaydancin and Sparta’s Steed and Company Lavender Farm. 

Laser skin rejuvenation

Jaydancin owner Vickie Balazs came to appreciate organic, plant-based products during a decade of operating a Northern Ontario wilderness resort. She now puts that awareness to use in creating a plethora of skin-care offerings. Suzanne Steed, of Steed and Company Lavender, finds her background in public health nursing affords better insight and understanding of her product ingredients. Balazs researched her sun protector, Simply Coco Loco, at the Coconut Research Centre in Colorado with Dr. Bruce Fife, a naturopathic doctor and internationally-recognized expert on the health and nutritional aspects of coconut and related products. Balazs emphasizes that it’s not a sunscreen but a product that protects skin from the sun’s harmful rays. According to Fife, “Coconut oil protects the body from sunburn without blocking the beneficial UV radiation, so you get the benefit of both worlds. It works by preventing free-radical reactions which lead to all the consequences caused by overexposure to the sun.” It’s easy to apply and not sticky or greasy, Balazs says. “And it works. My grandkids have used it since they were born and it’s perfectly safe.” She developed Jaydancin’s Love Bug Spray as a product to keep bugs at bay but not kill them. “These bugs are part of the ecosystem and I did not want to destroy or violate what nature created.” 

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12:52:07 PM

Continued on page 56

Jaydancin’s Simply Coco Loco and Love Bug Spray use coconut oil and essential plant oils to naturally protect skin from the sun and bugs. July/August 2015

Lifestyle 55

NATURALLY BEAUTIFUL Continued from page 55

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The spray combines essential plant oils with astringent and moisturizing ingredients. Oils from eucalyptus and lemongrass have antiseptic and antibiotic properties to heal and naturally repel insects. The scent of lavender oil is a potent bug deterrent. She also uses witch hazel, soothing aloe juice and grapeseed oil, which is a natural preservative and moisturizer. “We tested (the spray) last year at a cottage,” she says. “We sprayed one arm with Love Bug and left the other without any spray. Not one mosquito bite on the Love Bug arm.” Steed and Company’s Lavender Bug Balm contains lavender, tea tree oil and lemongrass – all natural insect repellents, Steed says. “It’s really quite effective and it’s been wonderful to get that feedback from our customers.” She notes that, last summer, a woman from Prince Edward Island was skeptical about the product but bought one anyway. A couple weeks later, she emailed to order another 14 because her country club chums were Steel & Co.’s so impressed. Lavender Bug Steed says lavender is a Balm natural analgesic so she uses the essential oil directly on the skin when her children get mosquito bites or bee stings. While Steed and Company doesn’t have a specific sun protection product, she says customers report using the company’s linen spray on sunburns and that it takes away the burn and sting. As a bonus, customers can see where the lavender in their purchases comes from. The farm grows about 10,000 angustifolia lavender plants, which are harvested and used in the products. b

Jaydancin and Zoe’s Market Place Café 2454 Main Street, Lambeth 519-203-1333 Steed and Company Lavender Farm 47589 Sparta Line, RR#5, Aylmer 519-494-5525

56 Lifestyle July/August 2015

Goderich explore

Ontario’s West Coast Huron County Canada

Kelly L Elson CRT, CH

A whirlwind of activity


nce known as one of Canada’s prettiest towns, Goderich continues to recover from the tornado of 2011 and again earns that moniker. Celebrating its world famous sunsets, this charming village on Lake Huron features ceremonies with music from the Celtic Blue Highlanders Pipe Band each Friday at Rotary Cove from July 10 to August 28. Piping Down the Sun is a must-do for your list when visiting here. Spending a day on the beach at Goderich is a summer essential for locals and visitors alike. With swing sets, tables and pavilions, a day spent picnicking by the water will please all members of the family. Stroll along the 1.5 kilometre boardwalk to enjoy the beauty of Lake Huron, while enjoying a delicious ice cream cone. If your walk has made you hungry, pop into Goderich Harbour Restaurant for some their famous fish and chips. If you’re in the mood for a more substantial meal, in town Thyme on 21 offers casual fine dining. A menu that emphasizes fresh, local ingredients can be enjoyed in the ambiance of a lovely century home. On Saturdays and Sundays, flea and farmer’s markets take place in the city square, where local farmers and artisans display their wares.

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Goderich UpcominG events - august 2015 SaturdayS in auguSt GODERICH FARMERS’ MARKET On the Square, goderich 8:00 am - 1:00 pm

SundayS in auguSt SunDAy EvEnInG COnCERTS Lions Harbour Park 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

SundayS in auguSt GODERICH FLEA MARKET On the Square, goderich 9:00 am - 3:00 pm

aug. 3, - aug 6, 2015 CELTIC COLLEGE FESTIvAL Series of four workshops. Free evening concerts nightly. 9:00 am - 4:30 pm

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tuE, auguSt 4, 2015 BEHInD THE BARS

Special interactive evening tours. Huron County Historic gaol

7:00 pm - 8:00 pm adults $10, Children $5, Family $25

Fri, auguSt 7, 2015 Sun, auguSt 9, 2015 GODERICH ART CLuB SHOw & SALE MacKay Centre, 10 nelson St. East Fri. Sat. 9 am - 6 pm Sun. 10 am - 4 pm

visit for details on these and more events!



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34 CourthousE squarE, GodEriCh 519.612.1919 July/August 2015

Lifestyle 57

Lucan’s Hearthstone Farm offers boarding facilities and much more for human and equine clients





here’s a peace and tranquility pervading the river valley fields and pastures at Hearthstone Farm that visitors describe as “magical.” Gail Lamb, owner of the boarding and riding facility outside Lucan, feels it in the evenings when the staff has gone home and she goes out to the barn to tuck in the horses for the night. “It’s my favourite time,” Lamb says. “It’s quiet with just their soft nickering because they want their bedtime treat of beet pulp.” The horses feel the magic, too, she believes. It can take up to three weeks for a horse to be comfortable in a new environment, but they usually settle in in a matter of days at Hearthstone. Maybe it’s the love they feel from their landlord and her staff. Stable manager Casey Gardner has been the main caretaker at the barns for two years. She studied equine management at the University of Guelph, an educational pursuit that only strengthened her love of horses.

By Ellen Ashton-Haiste

Beth Watson, an equestrian coach, teaches riding skills. She also offers Equine Facilitated Learning, which she describes as “a journey of discovery” building on the human/horse relationship to promote personal awareness, self-reflection and growth. For Lamb, horses have been a lifelong passion. But she never dreamed she would end up with a boarding facility in her backyard. Growing up in Montreal’s west end, she would visit local stables, where $1 bought you an hour on horseback. She had hopes of becoming a veterinarian but instead studied architecture at McGill University. One of the first women to enter this field, she built a career that has garnered her accolades and honours. Just this year, the London Society of Architects recognized her contributions to the profession by launching a scholarship in her name. However, when Lamb and her family moved to London in the 1960s, she found her way back to the equine world. With her three children, she took riding lessons. Eventually some ponies and horses joined the family 

ABOVE Nallu and Stormy in the pastures that are an integral part of the quality care horses receive at Hearthstone Farm. TOP RIGHT Owner Gail Lamb with her horse Miesha. MIDDLE RIGHT Stable manager Casey Gardiner is one of the staff members at Hearthstone Farm. BOTTOM RIGHT Horses, who receive quality care and training from Lamb and her staff, seem to acclimatize quickly at Hearthstone Farm. 58 Lifestyle July/August 2015

Beauty & Good Health Begins on the Inside Simply Coco Loco Sun Care Protect the skin from harmful UV rays 3 ingredients and it works!



Love Bug Spray It really works! Made with 7 ingredients, just spray it on! Bottle ABOVE Gail Lamb’s lifelong love for horses has enabled her to help others express their own equine delight, as she trains horses and their riders in the fine art of dressage.

menagerie. She and her second husband, also a horse lover, bought the Hearthstone Farm property 30 years ago. When that marriage ended, she stayed on. The boarding started with one horse and grew to two or three, and more stables were constructed. Soon the original 1,150-square-foot shed had become a full-size horse barn with comfortable box stalls. When Lamb designed and built the state-of-the-art indoor arena with 72 lineal feet of mirrors, she also tacked on some more stalls. Today the facility can accommodate 22 horses. Heated tack rooms, a lounge and wash stall have been added over the years. The property also includes an outdoor riding ring and two kilometres of scenic trails along the Little AuSable River. In her years of riding, Lamb has pretty much done it all, including some hunting and polo playing. But she has developed a specialty in dressage. Many people think of the sport as horse dancing, but Lamb describes it as a training exercise, a series of movements that, like gymnastics for the horse, help it become more supple and able to carry its rider’s weight with greater ease. An eye condition means she no longer competes. Now at 79, she still does dressage routines almost daily with her 21-year-old mare, Miesha. “I don’t ride long but I do ride often,” she says. She has finally qualified for the Century Club where the sum of the riders age and the horses age is 100! n FOR MORE INFORMATION

Hearthstone Farm 34219 Neil Road, North Middlesex 519-661-9000



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