From luxury facials, to deep laser resurfacing, we have everything you need to address sun damage, acne, aging and more.
Merriam-Webster defines a digital nomad as “someone who performs their occupation entirely over the internet while travelling.”
This editorial was inspired by a magazine my husband reads. The editor outlined, in some detail, his workday as a remote worker, defining that as “working at home in my pyjamas.”
The pandemic made this a reality for many; some love it, others not so much. The pandemic also generated a term that has defined my life for some time – digital nomad. Like many others, I now have adopted the term with enthusiasm. Before the fatal 2020 axe fell, I had been working wherever I was, as long as there was a decent internet connection and a place to set up my laptop.
So, my ‘day in the life’ is quite different from that of other editors because no two days are alike and that’s one of the many things I like about it. For instance, I write this as I sit in our travel trailer in a park near New Orleans.
While the process of copy-editing freelancers stories, writing headlines and photo captions, proofing layouts, soliciting images or material from sources, writing stories and dealing with deadlines is consistent, the places in which I do it vary greatly. Often, I’m sitting on the deck of our little trailer cottage near Bayfield or at my desk in my office in our downtown London apartment or in the living room of the winter place in Texas.
Some of the more exotic locales included the balcony of a condo in Hawaii, the front seat of the car while navigating Death Valley (my husband was driving), the front seat of the truck
chugging through the Ozark mountains and the dining room of a Florida condo. Armed with noise cancelling headphones, I’ve worked in planes, trains, buses and waiting rooms of all types.
Since I love travel, writing, editing and travel writing – this all works for me. Others need more consistency of routine. Obviously, that is the case for the other editor, but I love the freedom of choosing where I work – definitely not when, as that’s still dictated by the ever-present deadline.
I started my editing/writing career at magazines and newspapers run by corporations at a time when working from home would have been a laughable concept. But while the pandemic took much away it gave us a more flexible approach to how and where work happens. I love that I don’t get ‘the look’ anymore when I mention we can do a meeting or interview by Zoom.
Lest this sound too glamorous, there are downsides besides the threat of bad internet connections. Like most jobs, some days are just slugging through the minutia and mucking through delays. Working in a vehicle driving down a bumpy road definitely isn’t easy. But I wouldn’t trade it.
Are you a digital nomad or thinking about becoming one? I would love to hear about your adventures of working on the road.Jill Ellis-Worthington firstname.lastname@example.org
PUBLI S HER
Lana L. Breier
Annette Gent 519-200-0283 email@example.com
Lorraine Lukings 519-520-7676 firstname.lastname@example.org
Jan McGrath 519-243-2932 email@example.com
EDITORIAL & AD DESIGN
Richard Bain / Jesse Bellringer
Redding Design Inc. www.reddingdesigns.com
EdgeWater Estates, a community nestled along the banks of the Thames River in the town of Kilworth on London's western border.
NATURAL SETTING defines new communityBy Ellen Ashton-Haiste
The feeling of being surrounded by nature and having room to breathe can be difficultto-find elements in today’s developments stocked with newly constructed houses. But this idyllic combination is the centerpiece at EdgeWater Estates, a community nestled along the banks of the Thames River in the town of Kilworth, on London’s western border. Commitment to the environment is an integral element for South Winds Development, which has
built dozens of communities across southwestern Ontario over the past six decades. “We believe in environmental stewardship, in placing an emphasis on the environment and open green space for people to enjoy,” says company CEO Stacey Graham. “We call it the ‘luxury of space,’ and it’s a key component of all our developments.”
An equally essential element is giving back to the municipalities where their developments are located, Graham says. At EdgeWater
OPPOSITE PAGE: The community is built around a central 10-acre lake. ABOVE: The lake and adjacent Thames River provide stunning water views at all times of the day. INSET LEFT: A number of waterfront lots are available on the lake while others back onto green spaces. INSET RIGHT: A stretch of environmentally protected land along the river provides nature trails for residents, as well as a natural corridor for wildlife.
Commitment to the environment is an integral element for South Winds Development, which has built dozens of communities across southwestern Ontario over the past six decades.
Estates, the company has met both criteria by dedicating a 46-acre parcel of protected lands, along the river, for municipal use.
The community is adjacent to Komoka Provincial Park, with its myriad walking trails and wildlife viewing sites. This new development is built around a central 10-acre lake, so it has a number of waterfront lots. Others back onto the green spaces or feature mature trees and foliage.
The lots themselves epitomize breathing room, with frontages ranging from 65 to 120 feet. “Those are very large lots by all standards,” Graham says.
The master-planned community is building in its second phase, called Bayshore. These single-family homes are being constructed by five builders: Bridlewood Homes, Harasym Developments, Melchers Construction, Millstone Homes and Westhaven Homes. This is “a team of builders who set the bar for the industry as the finest in London and Southwestern Ontario. The builder selection was carefully planned by South Winds, and I’m very proud of the result,” says Graham. She says each builder has a unique style, which provides a diversity that
defines the character of the community. “EdgeWater is absolutely not cookie cutter. We have architectural guidelines and work closely with our builders to ensure that each home is custom.”
This diversity applies not just to the houses but also to the overall design of the neighbourhoods. “We don’t work by a grid system,” Graham says. “We don’t have long straight roads. We have undulations; we have turns. We believe in creating a community that takes the environment into account and will stand the test of time as we look ahead to our long-lasting impact.”
1. Bridlewood Homes: With more than 30 years building custom homes, Bridlewood brings quality and innovative design to the EdgeWater community 2. Westhaven Homes: With close attention to design, style, workmanship and quality finishes, Westhaven guarantees homes that will stand the test of time.
3. Melchers Construction: A family business providing design/ build services for three decades, Melchers works hard to ensure a rewarding experience for clients.
4. Millstone Homes: Working with award-winning architects and an experienced in-house design team, Millstone thoughtfully designs homes that boast warmth and charm.
5. Harasym Developments: A family business noted for attention to detail and service throughout the build, Harasym is committed to providing homes that exude beauty and value.
“Bridlewood Homes selects only the best communities to build in. Premier sites with great amenities are not easy to find. EdgeWater has set itself apart as a triple-A site with its attention to the natural environment and its surroundings. We are so proud to be a part of such a great community,” Carmine Gargarella, president.
“We love the large lots, walking trails and vast parkland that EdgeWater Estates provides our clients. We are delighted to work with Stacey and her team at South Winds,” David Off, president.
“South Winds Development – Stacey and her entire team – are excellent to work with. EdgeWater Estates has walking trails, nature
preserves and large lots. The large lots at EdgeWater allow us to build a true custom home for our clients,” Chris Melchers, president and principal.
“EdgeWater Estates and South Winds are an important part of our Millstone team. We love EdgeWater having exceptional water views and being adjacent to the Komoka-Kilworth Provincial Park. We are able
to design, build and ultimately provide our clients with a truly bespoke experience at EdgeWater,” Vasile Caniuca, president.
“EdgeWater Estates is a oneof-a-kind development that offers large lots and water views. There is simply no other development like it in London,” Mike Harasym, president and principal.
OUTDOOR RUG COTTAGE CULTURE cottage-culture.ca
OUTDOOR DINING COTTAGE CULTURE cottage-culture.ca
OUTDOOR SOFA COTTAGE CULTURE cottage-culture.ca
CHAIR COTTAGE CULTURE cottage-culture.ca
LANTERN OAK & LINEN oakandlinenhome.com
CHAIR COTTAGE CULTURE cottage-culture.ca
SIDE TABLE OAK & LINEN oakandlinenhome.com
TABLES OAK & LINEN oakandlinenhome.com
SOFA COTTAGE CULTURE cottage-culture.ca
LANTERNS OAK & LINEN oakandlinenhome.com
TOSS CUSHIONS OAK & LINEN oakandlinenhome.com
LANTERN OAK & LINEN oakandlinenhome.com
CHAIR COTTAGE CULTURE cottage-culture.ca
OUTDOOR TABLE COTTAGE CULTURE cottage-culture.ca
POTS OAK & LINEN oakandlinenhome.com
OUTDOOR RUG COTTAGE CULTURE cottage-culture.ca
CHAIR & OTTOMAN COTTAGE CULTURE cottage-culture.ca
20 OUR TOP FASHION TIPSBy Jill Ellis-Worthington
TRENDS COME AND GO BUT GOOD SENSE DICTATES A FEW TRUTHS ABOUT STYLE
Style and image consultant Victoria Baird has worked in the beauty industry for over 30 years, building a solid library of knowledge from which to draw. She shares her favourite gems with Lifestyle Magazine readers as we merge into spring and summer, shedding the heavy garments of the cold months and thirsting for lighter, fresher, brighter styles and fabrics.
1&2 “Wearing neutral toned undergarments that feel good against the skin and provide proper support is the beginning of any great look.”
3 Play with patterns by pairing them with both solids and prints.
4 Don’t leave your blanket scarf behind this spring. It adds warmth and colour to a coat and looks great on its own as a wrap on a chilly evening.
5 Secret weapons in your spring outwear arsenal: classics like a trench coat and leather jacket.
6 “The key to wardrobe success is separates you can wear in multiple ways.”
7 “Every style and wash of denim is in style now, so find the right fit and look for you.” (Available at Lifestyles Women’s Wear.)
8 “Yes, belt your jeans but don’t hesitate to belt your cardigan or blouse, too. And don’t be afraid of big belts.”
9 Stripes are a fresh look for spring and summer. “The vertical variety create a leaner silhouette.”
10 Elevate almost any dress from day to evening by upgrading hair, makeup, footwear and jewellery. (Available at Lifestyle’s Women’s Wear.)
11 Baird’s third-piece rule: “To elevate any outfit – like jeans and a t-shirt – add a layering piece (blazer, jacket or shawl). This final touch creates the vibe and look you’re going for.”
12 “When you want to add a punch of colour to your spring and summer wardrobe, a scarf is a great way to do it.”
13 “Less is more when it comes to makeup as we age. Stay away from heavy powders because they settle into creases and can age you. Cream foundations, blushers and eye shadows are the way to go.”
14 “If you wouldn’t pay full price for it, don’t buy it because it’s on sale. Ask yourself, ‘Can I wear this three ways?' If not, don’t buy it.”
20 FASHION TIPS
~ Continued from page 23
BRA SALE EVENT
15 “Ask your stylist about alternative ways to do your hair. There are tricks to make it look different from the everyday style.”
16 Wearing layers when heading out will keep you warm and dry when April showers bring May flowers.
17 Don’t hesitate to walk on the wild side by having at least one animal print item in your closet. “If a jacket is too bold, a leopard-print purse or scarf or zebra-print belt or shoe will add some spice.”
18 “A seasonal review and edit of your closet keeps you organized and ready to head out the door quickly each morning.”
19 Especially on dreary days, brighten up the world by wearing a pop of colour.
20 Remember the words of Diane von Furstenberg: “Style is about confidence. That’s the real beauty.”
REGAINING YOUR joie de vivre
For Patricia Berendsen, 2020 was a grim time. Of course, the pandemic loomed large, as it did for everyone. She’s a registered psychotherapist, so it hit her business as it did all in person-to-person industries. She and her partner were living with a friend when the pandemic hammer came down. They had just sold a home and were having renovations done on the next house when supply chain issues slowed the whole process down to a crawl. Her mother had a health crisis and died later that year. But her own health crisis on New Year’s Eve of 2019 set up Berendsen for the need to find a way to navigate the depths of this dark time. She had been diagnosed with breast cancer at Christmas time and had surgery on December 31. “It was a crappy way to go into 2020,” says Berendsen.
Knowing that she’d have to dig herself out of a negative mindset – “it was just one crappy thing after another” –Berendsen thought about the medical benefits of gratitude. She knew she needed a more positive mindset to get through the discomfort of not being in her own home to recover from surgery and radiation, while dealing with losing her mother. As a therapist, she realized that negativity can impact physical health and the body’s ability to recover.
According to Harvard Health Publishing: Two psychologists, Dr. Robert A. Emmons of the University of California, Davis, and Dr. Michael E. McCullough of the University of Miami, have done much of the research on gratitude. In one study, they asked all participants to write a few sentences each week, focusing on particular topics. One group wrote about things they were grateful for that had occurred during the week. A second group wrote about daily irritations or things that had displeased them, and the third wrote about events that had affected them (with no emphasis on
them being positive or negative). After 10 weeks, those who wrote about gratitude were more optimistic and felt better about their lives. Surprisingly, they also exercised more and had fewer visits to physicians than those who focused on sources of aggravation.
THE SAVING GRACE OF GRATITUDEBy Jill Ellis-Worthington
After trying several methodologies to improve her mindset – yoga, meditation, walking – Berendsen decided on gratitude journaling, but it seemed onerous to come up with a list of things about which she was grateful every single day. She started slowly with just one or two things, writing them down before bed. It helped her to sleep better, too. “It was good to have a practice, to build a mindset that was going to lift me up instead of down,” she explains. The other things she tried were helpful but didn’t allow for complete consistency due to weather conditions. Consistency is one of the most important factors in a successful gratitude practice, she adds.
Slowly she came up with a formula that was doable in just a few minutes. It is a three-step process that starts by asking ‘What am I grateful for about myself?’ That proved to be the most challenging part of the exercise. “It’s often the hardest to think of because we’re so outwardly focused, and especially when my body was betraying me.” Sometimes these self-appreciation notations were simple, like ‘walked to the mailbox today’ or ‘did the dishes today.’ Berendsen says this is important because “We need to have a positive relationship with ourselves first.”
The second and third on the list could be anything else she appreciated about the day. Often that would be about the kindness of the staff at the cancer treatment centre or someone else she encountered, or for the people in her business or family.
Next, she did a brief recap of what happened that day to add context. This is important because the last step is to add a sentence or two about what she had learned. “I would take some time to think about ‘what did I learn today?’ Sometimes I learned that I could go further on my walk than I thought, or that I’m really tired, and I do need to rest.” She adds that she learned things about her personality that were
Consistency is one of the most important factors in a successful gratitude practice, says Patricia Berendsen.
uncomfortable or that she was able to actually do nothing. The latter proved to be a challenge for this type A personality.
Three years in and Berendsen is still journaling her gratitude each night before sleep. She credits this with coming up with a short, doable way to journal and making it part of her daily routine. “I paired it with something I had to do, turn off the light before I go to sleep.” She adds that it doesn’t have to be a fancy journal: hers is a small notebook from the dollar store.
Patricia Berendsen’s simple gratitude practice
• What about myself am I grateful for today?
• What else am I grateful for today?
• What happened today? (briefly)
• What did I learn today?
Jackie Mott discovered the power of gratitude as a young single mom supporting a child, while on welfare. Now a mindset coach and author of a newly released book Believe! All things Are Possible , Mott still practices gratitude to defeat stress. “We feel we have to push and fight for things and that state of being can create a lot of stress,” she says, adding that prolonged stress can be catastrophic to health: heart issues , stroke, digestive problems, headaches and fatigue. “Having a gratitude practice helps to find out ‘what do I have right now in my life’ and makes it easier to navigate difficult situations.”
When she was a stressed out single mom having trouble sleeping, Mott came up with a method that she still uses and recommends today; she calls it ‘gratitude prayers.’ “Those were very, very tough times and I couldn’t fall asleep. I laid there and thought about what I did have instead of what I didn’t have. A car. Yes, it was a crappy, old car but it was still a car to get my kid and I around,” she explains. She would list all the positive things and people she had in her life and was able to fall asleep.
Mott now recommends taking this to a deeper level by asking, ‘What does this mean to me?’ She says this lets us truly appreciate the impact and importance of them.
In a moment of dire stress, when you need to find some peace, she
• What am I excited about right now?
• What has gone REALLY right for me this week?
• What was a random act of kindness I’ve given or received recently and how did that make me feel?
• What am I looking forward to?
• What have I done recently that is worthy of celebrating?
recommends this exercise: Stop; take three deep breaths to centre yourself; pick three things that really matter to you. Take a one-minute deep dive, asking, ‘What do these people/things/ activities really mean to me?’ or ‘What do they bring to me?’ or ‘What is the feeling from doing this thing?’
“In under five minutes, you will go from highly stressed to calm with perspective on what’s important,” she says. “When you’re dealing with something in your business or a legal issue or medical thing – any of the really hard things we have to deal with – excuse yourself and go to the washroom to do this. You’ll come back better able to deal with the stress of that situation, whatever it is,” says Mott.
SUMMER DAYS but, oh, those summer nightsBy Janis Wallace
Providing some of the best sunsets in the world; offering large swaths of sandy beaches; featuring winding trails through forests of rare trees, plants and wildlife; including outdoor activities for all ages and abilities – no wonder the Pinery is a popular destination for campers. If you’re planning to pitch a tent or pull a trailer this year, plan ahead to avoid disappointment. You can book up to five months before your stay.
Pinery Provincial Park, like most parks, is seeing an increase in visitor numbers. Gayle Jeffery, executive director, says the beaches, the size of the park, the hiking trails and accessibility are top attractions. “It’s a beautiful park. A city within a city. It has its own personality.”
The Pinery provides so many options for those who want to pursue an active vacation. About 10 kilometers of sandy beaches line Lake Huron. There are 10 walking trails, a 14-kilometre biking trail and 38 kilometres of groomed ski trails. Visitors can rent a canoe, hydro bike, paddleboat or kayak to explore the Old Ausable Channel, a significant wetland. Nature lovers will appreciate the Fragile Oak Savanna and Coastal Dune Ecosystems that home to more than 800 plants and 300 bird species. At the end of the day, there are always those famous sunsets. National Geographic ranked the sunsets among the Top 10 Best in the World.
Jeffery attributes the increase in numbers to “a better appreciation for nature. People are maybe moving away from commercialization due to COVID. They took a daily hike and found enjoyment.”
Accessibility is another factor in popularity. Some trails are wheelchair accessible and a new dock makes it easy to get into a boat, even from a wheelchair. “People who need all kinds of access can launch their own vessels or rent one and get in safely,” says Jeffery.
For novice campers, the website provides tips from how to reserve a site; a checklist for what to bring; how to set up camp and build a fire; what wildlife you might see. There are campfire recipes for all tastes: popular s’mores, scrambled eggs, beef stew, pineapple upside-down cake, stuffed mushrooms with risotto, or tacos and shrimp pad Thai.
Jeffery recommends choosing an off-weekend, not a holiday that fills up early. In addition to attracting campers, day passes are also available.
Nature lovers will appreciate the Fragile Oak Savanna and Coastal Dune Ecosystems that are home to more than 800 plants and 300 bird species.ABOVE One of the Pinery's beaches is the perfect place to watch one of those famous Lake Huron sunsets. RIGHT Spot wildlife from a canoe or kayak along the Ausable River, like these Wood Duck ducklings.
Waking to the sounds of monkey and bird calls and being surrounded by the vivid colours of the jungle were top of the list of things that Brian Gent appreciated about his time in Costa Rica. He and a group of friends from London recently stayed at Tulemar Resort, along the west coast of this lush Central American country.
This 33-acre resort has a private beach, four pools and 40 rental properties that range from one-bedroom suites to private villas. These are all fully furnished, each with an on-call English-speaking concierge to make reservations and recommendations.
Gent, as part of a group of three couples, rented a private villa, with its own pool and hot tub. Their concierge arranged for several tours and a private chef to come in to cook twice during their week-long stay. “It was a modern, concrete and glass house that was spacious and really well done. We overlooked the bay and the beach,” he
Walk On The WILD SIDE IN
says, adding that they couldn’t see any other units, enhancing the sense of privacy of this luxurious villa.
EXOTIC COSTA RICABy Jill Ellis-Worthington
The property houses the Sloth Institute of Costa Rica on its grounds, according to Jules Scalisi, who manages it with her husband Glen Ferguson. Originally from Florida, the couple fell in love with Costa Rica, were married there 12 years ago and now own three properties in Tulemar. Scalisi says the luxurious accommodations, set in a lush exotic venue, make it popular with many North American guests. “They release rehabilitated sloths on the property, so there’s a good chance to see them. We have both two-toed and three-toed sloths,” she explains. She adds that the resort also has three types of monkeys (howlers, capuchin and squirrel monkeys), as well as scarlet macaws, toucans and iguanas. Though they enjoyed their walk through the renowned nearby Manuel Antonio National Park, Gent reports that “we saw as many animals on the property as we did on our walk through the park.”
As the resort overlooks the Pacific Ocean, the group enjoyed time on its private beach. “It’s a steep hike to get to the beach, but it’s good exercise,” says Gent. There is a shuttle for guests who don’t want to make the climb. Towels are supplied, as are paddle boards and kayaks. “There’s nice surf to play in,” says Gent. They also went zip lining, took a sunset
catamaran cruise with snorkeling and went on a jungle night walk to see different animals than the ones they saw during the day. Sensitive to the group’s anathema to snakes, the guide showed them frogs, centipedes, spiders and many dark-dwelling creations. Concierge Raphael made their excursion reservations and arranged for transportation,
which pleased Gent. “We hadn’t thought about renting a vehicle because driving there is something we don’t want to do,” he adds. Costa Ricans have a different approach to driving the steep slopes in this mountainous region, often passing on curves at high speeds.
According to Scalisi, other excursions that are guest favourites include whale
watching, white water rafting and tours of coffee and chocolate farms. Some opt for cooking classes from one of the private chefs in their villas. “They can teach you how to make a typical Costa Rican meal,” she says, with all the fresh ingredients immediately available.
The villa had a fully equipped chef’s kitchen for evenings when they had a chef do the cooking. They opted to visit the resort’s restaurants and a nearby breakfast spot – Agua Azul –for the rest of their meals. “We’re all foodies and were always happy with the meals we had,” says Gent. “We felt pampered.”
Scalisi says that this type of personalized service is one of the things that sets Tulemar Resort apart. From reserving the right type of accommodation to picking you up at the airport, English-speaking service agents and on-site staff walk guests through the process. Rates are more favourable during the rainy season, between May and November each year. The high season starts in December, which coincides with the holidays, so things get busier. Reserving well ahead is advisable she adds.
“We would definitely recommend visiting Costa Rica and Tulemar Resort,” says Gent.
• HAYHOE HOMES
• VRANIC HOMES
• DOMUS DEVELOPMENTS
• DOUG TARRY HOMES
• SPHEERO HOMES
• REMBRANDT HOMES SHOWN:
As John Vranic gears up to start building in Phase 3 in Ilderton’s Clear Skies neighbourhood, home seekers can see his design and features in a model home. “We’re showcasing lots of upgrades and some innovations by interior designer Sarah St. Amand,” Vranic says. New to the Vranic Homes team, Brantford-based St. Amand has worked with clients across southern Ontario for a quarter century.
The model, at just over 1,800 square feet, is a two-storey, fourbedroom home. The interior palette is white with gold accents in lighting and plumbing fixtures with a pop of contrast on the black doors. The exterior is white brick and Hardie Board with white stone accents and black windows.
Interior features include quartz countertops and light hardwood throughout, an electric fireplace
Interior features include quartz countertops and light hardwood throughout, an electric fireplace in the great room, a complete sound system and full security with cameras.
in the great room, a complete sound system and full security with cameras. To maximize space, the kitchen dinette includes banquette seating beneath rear windows and an oval table.
Vranic is again offering a $7,500 package for window coverings through London’s Made In The Shade Blinds & More.
He is enthusiastic about the attractions of Ilderton, with its small town charm yet just a short drive from the big-city amenities in North London.
“ We don’t just build homes, we build relationships”
CONDOS COME TO PORT STANLEY LANDINGS
Compass Point 52-unit condominium development is taking shape at Domus Developments’ Port Stanley Landings. “We are excited to say the first homeowners have moved into this unique community,” says project developer Mike Mescia. “The second construction phase is well underway, and construction of the community pool is on the horizon.”
The homes are themed with deep contrasting colours and materials, tying into the village’s lakeside character. Standard features include vaulted ceilings and gas fireplaces in the great rooms, tray ceilings in the primary bedrooms and oversized rear windows with transoms. These custom details provide an ambiance of space and breathability.
Kitchens showcase solid surface
counters and custom cabinets in a selection of styles and finishes. Main bathrooms have soaker tubs and primary bedroom ensuites have custom tile walk-in showers.
Interiors also include engineered hardwood flooring, carpeting in bedrooms and porcelain tile in the foyer, kitchen, dining room and bathrooms. Lower levels, including roughed-in bathrooms and fullsize windows, may be finished as an upgrade.
Exteriors feature stone on the front and a three-foot stone ledge with Hardie Board horizontal siding around the side and rear. Homeowners enjoy covered front porches and rear paving-stone patios.
Landings is nestled in the northeast sector of this Lake Erie village, on East Street south of Dexter Line.
Doug Tarry Homes
HOME READY AND WAITING
Building a new home – with options for planning the layout and choosing colours and materials - can be a rewarding experience, but it’s not always a practical one. Factors such as the timing of a job change or a quick sale closing on an existing home can necessitate a faster move. For buyers in these situations, who want a brand new home, Doug Tarry Homes has a solution.
The builder has a selection of more than two dozen quick possession homes in several neighbourhoods across St. Thomas. “Our move-inready quick possession homes are ready when the client is,” says sales manager Suzie Dennis. “The house price is set so they will know exactly what their costs are.”
The homes range in size and style including detached and semi-
detached bungalows, one- and two-storey and split-level models. Many come with features that would normally be upgrades, such as hardsurface countertops, hardwood and ceramic flooring, fireplaces, and some finished basements.
Dennis notes that all Doug Tarry Homes are Energy Star certified and Net Zero Ready, meaning they are more energy efficient than those built to existing codes. The houses offer peace of mind for home maintenance by being enrolled in the Tarion new home warranty program.
“Our move-in-ready quick possession homes are ready when the client is.”
SHARING VISION AND EXPERTISE
“Anything worth doing is worth overdoing,” says Jay Stegehuis. It’s the philosophy he brings to his company, Spheero Homes, a fullservice design and build company that specializes in custom homes and renovations.
Stegehuis has been designing and building homes since 2003 and cites quality craftsmanship and integrity as the hallmarks of his business. He says he and his team work diligently to build a strong comfort level with clients, encouraging communication throughout the process to ensure expectations are met.
“Customer service is paramount in all that we do,” he says. “All aspects of our clients’ dream homes are completed to the highest standards. We are there every step of the way,
At Spheero Homes we value…
b QUALITY craftsmanship
b HARD WORK across all facets of our organization
b CUSTOMER SERVICE is paramount to all that we do
b HONESTY in our actions and words
b AUTHENTICITY in all that we do
b COMMITMENT to a job well done
b BEAUTY in all that we design
b FINANCIAL STRINGENCY to best protect your investment
b TRANSPARENCY across operations and processes
working side-by-side with our trusted contractors, to ensure the home they deserve is delivered on time and within the established budget.”
Spheero Homes offers more than a dozen home plans that customers can choose from, making modifications along the way to suit their needs. Conversely, designers will work with clients to create their own dream home vision.
All Spheero homes are registered with the Tarion New Homes Warranty program.
“All aspects of our clients’ dream homes are completed to the highest standards. We are there every step of the way.”
LOOKING BACK a renovation in retrospectBy Ellen Ashton-Haiste
To sell or renovate? That is the question that faces many homeowners after decades in a home.
Londoners Jennifer* and Jack* found themselves at this crossroad in 2018. They built their home in 1992 on a lot given to them by Jennifer’s parents and her dad supervised its construction. They didn’t see it as dated but there were elements that were no longer meeting their needs.
“We have such a sentimental attachment to the house,” Jennifer explains the decision to stay. “We raised our children here; this is the only house my kids have known. My dad’s hand is evident in it. And the property is lovely.” The pie-shaped lot with mature trees was an initial attraction, and they transformed the lush backyard into a relaxing oasis with a patio and pool. The couple turned to DUO
Building Ltd. to give the house a facelift, which became an extensive nearly-year-long project, lead by Keelan Malloy.
Three years after completion, DUO co-owner Gayle White-Malloy wonders if the result is still meeting their expectations. “You don’t often get the chance to go back years later and say how is it? Do you love it?” For this couple the answer is resoundingly positive.
“We don’t have any regrets with any decisions and DUO was great. We’re enjoying the update,” Jennifer says. Malloy says Jennifer and Jack were ideal partners to work with, helping to realize DUO’s vision of creating “clients for life.”
The home’s main level is now a more open space. The floor of the original sunken family room was raised, allowing the kitchen to be expanded and for the creation of a pantry,
including an office for Jennifer, that had previously been part of the kitchen. “I love it,” she says. “I feel like I’m in a little cocoon back there.”
The expanded space also allowed the addition of a mudroom off the garage, Keelan Malloy notes.
An unused three-sided fireplace between the kitchen and family room was removed and a large indoor-outdoor fireplace was added, linking the family room and patio. “Much of the project was about connecting inside and out and having a place for family and friends to congregate with a view of the backyard,” he says.
The dining room’s original two-storey cathedral ceiling was replaced with a flat ceiling, making room for a
OPPOSITE PAGE LEFT Opening up the main floor allowed furniture placement to define various spaces like sitting areas for quiet conversation. Accent walls also provide the homeowners with the ability to showcase their collection of artworks.
OPPOSITE PAGE RIGHT A neutral palette is offset with splashes of colour. For instance, the lime backsplash and stools brighten up white counters and grey cabinetry in the kitchen.
ABOVE Neutral walls and flooring provide the perfect backdrop for vivid shades in accents and decor
INSET Renovating versus building: homeowners are able to enjoy the lush backyard oasis with its mature trees and greenery.
Three years later, the homeowners adore the big, bright spaces created by the renovation.
new much larger primary bedroom suite on the upper level and creating a showcase wall for the couple’s art collection. The original bedroom has been repurposed as a large walk-in closet.
Another major change has been in the home’s colour palette with neutral tones and light ash hardwood flooring highlighted by accent walls, as suggested by interior designer Myra Tuer. “I used to have fuchsia and purple walls, but Myra told me ‘that chapter’s done,’” Jennifer says. “She said to stay with subdued colours and let our
accessories do the talking.” Jennifer describes the colour scheme as “an oatmeal-like shade with some black accent walls.” She adds that it works. “I’ve left my colour behind, and the art against the black is really stunning.”
* Names changed to protect privacy
CLOCKWISE FROM TOP
The expanded kitchen is ideally suited for entertaining with a large island, curved to facilitate maximum seating capacity.
• An original two-storey ceiling in the dining room was replaced with a flat one, creating space to enlarge the upper-level primary bedroom.
• The newly created pantry has a workspace for Jennifer.
• Eliminating the dining room cathedral ceiling created an upper wall to showcase larger pieces of art.
autos SPRING 2023
CONSUMERS ARE GAINING MORE CHOICES as automakers expand their product lines with more hybrid, electric and conventional gasoline-powered vehicles.BY CLARE DEAR
The Toyota Corolla Hybrid sedan lineup has been expanded for 2023 with the addition of three all-wheeldrive models, plus two new S Line trim levels – SE and XSE – that add sporty styling and performance.
The Toyota Corolla Hybrid sedan, which starts at $26,090, has a low centre of gravity and wheels that are pushed to the corners to inspire confidence in its ability to power through twists and turns.
Inside, the Corolla Hybrid offers comfortable space for up to five adults. The cabin features automatic climate control, soft-touch controls and premium materials. Front seats are heated, while the rear seats split 60/40 to make space for additional cargo.
All models feature a display audio system with eight-inch touch screen, plus wireless Apple CarPlay and wireless Android Auto connectivity.
Under the hood, the self-charging Corolla Hybrid delivers a spirited performance, outstanding fuel efficiency and reduction of CO2 emissions. Its 1.8L fourcylinder engine is mated to two motor/
generators through an electronically controlled continuously variable transmission, providing instant torque, 134 peak horsepower and a combined city/highway fuel efficiency rating of just 4.7L/100km for the front-wheel-drive model.
New this year, three versions of the Corolla Hybrid are fitted with an available all-wheel-drive powertrain.
The Corolla Hybrid LE AWD (starting at $27,590) introduces all-wheel drive to the lineup, plus a heated steering wheel. The SE AWD ($29,890) is a new model that injects additional sportiness. It features Toyota Multimedia Remote Connect, 18-inch alloy wheels, a seven-inch digital speedometer, sport fabric upholstery, Toyota Smart Key with push button start, heated leather-wrapped steering wheel, a wireless charger for personal electronics, a sunroof and electronic parking brake. The new XSE AWD ($34,290) adds premium features to the sporty SE AWD trim level, including Toyota Multimedia Drive Connect, an eight-way power adjustable driver’s seat, heated rear seats and Softex upholstery.
For 2023, all Corolla Hybrids have been upgraded with Safety Sense 3.0 –Toyota’s latest bundle of active safety technologies and systems. Other standard safety features include the Toyota Star Safety System, 10 air bags, a tire pressure monitoring system, back-up camera and Toyota’s Blind Spot Monitor system with Rear Cross Traffic Alert.
The new MINI Countryman ALL4 is as daring and adventure minded as you are. Whether you prefer playing in the city or escaping it at the first opportunity, you’ll have the freedom and flexibility to go wherever your wandering mind takes you in this small crossover.
The Countryman, available in four configurations, is larger than a Mini Cooper five-door or Mini Clubman. All models feature Mini’s ALL4 all-wheeldrive system and deliver responsive performance and handling. The spacious cabin can accommodate five passengers and still have ample cargo space – 3.6 litres with all seats upright; up to 1,250 litres with seatbacks folded.
The base Countryman is powered by a 12-valve, three-cylinder Twin Power turbocharged engine that generates 134 horsepower and 162 lb-ft of torque. It’s coupled to an eight-speed Steptronic automatic transmission and can sprint from a standstill to 100 kmh in 9.6 seconds. The Countryman Cooper S models use a turbocharged four-cylinder engine with 189 horsepower and 206 lb-ft of
2023 MINI Countryman ALL4
Small crossover with big capabilities
torque channeled through an eight-speed Steptronic automatic. The John Cooper Works model also uses a turbocharged four-cylinder engine pumping out 301 horsepower and 331 lb-ft of torque; it can hit 100 kmh in just 5.1 seconds. There’s also a plug-in hybrid SE model that com-
bines the turbocharged three-cylinder engine with an electric motor and engine for a combined 221 horsepower.
The base 2022 Mini Countryman Cooper model starts at $33,490, while the Cooper S model starts at $36,490. More powerful John Cooper Works edition models start at $43,590 while the hybrid SE model starts at $44,990.
Standard features include automatic trunk, power seats with driver memory settings, automatic climate control, Apple CarPlay preparation, MINI navigation system with advanced real-time traffic information and a full digital instrument display.
Safety features include eight airbags, a dynamic safety control system that uses braking and engine deceleration to adjust power output to the wheels and help eliminate over- and under-steer; a camera-based Driver Assistant System that alerts the driver about changing driving conditions, new speed limits and approaching pedestrians; four-wheel disc brakes with a high performance anti-lock braking system and electronic brake force distribution.
The entry model into the world of BMW X is now more appealing than ever. In its third model generation, the 2023 BMW X1 (pricing starting at $45,800) boasts a more prominent design, superior spaciousness and advanced digitalization. A new control/operation system with BMW Operating System 8 and BMW Curved Display, plus a far wider selection of automated driving and parking systems, also help to define the forward-looking character of this Sports Activity Vehicle (SAV) for the premium compact segment.
The new BMW X1 features a clearly structured design language on the exterior for a sporty and self-assured presence, while the modern interior is equipped with high-quality materials and innovations.
The 2023 BMW X1 is now longer, wider and taller than the previous generation, resulting in more interior room for five passengers. It’s the most spacious version offered since its introduction in 2009. Based on a wheelbase that’s 22 millimetres longer, the additional cabin space provides a noticeable increase in shoulder
and elbow room for the driver and front passenger. The rear seat folding backrests are configured in a 40/20/40 split for more versatility. Track widths have also increased front and rear, benefitting handling composure and on-road agility.
The 2023 BMW X1 delivers a suite of
the latest safety and technology features as standard equipment. Advanced technologies, such as BMW’s assisted driving and parking systems, are now available.
Substantial improvements in driving assistance features include blind spot monitoring for the first time on a BMW X1, proactive route suggestions by BMW Maps - Connected Navigation, smartphone integration that supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto plus a wireless charging tray that charges your smartphone inductively.
The X1 is powered by a revised 2.0-litre TwinPower Turbo four-cylinder engine that now generates 241 horsepower and 295 lb.-ft. of torque. The engine is mated to a new seven-speed dual clutch automatic transmission. The engine’s output is controlled by BMW’s xDrive system, which intelligently distributes power to all four wheels to maximize traction, agility and directional stability in all weather and road conditions. This powertrain can launch the X1 to 100 km/h in just 6.4 seconds.
2023 BMW X1
The 2023 Acura RDX is a compact luxury crossover that will get your adrenaline pumping with its peppy 272-horsepower VTEC turbo engine and Super Handling All-Wheel Drive that enables the driver to take on corners with confidence. Its intuitive Integrated Dynamics System helps ensure you’re always prepared for the road ahead by providing four unique driving modes – snow, comfort, normal and sport. Available adaptive dampers give you precision control over your ride.
The third generation RDX starts at $57,206 and all models in the lineup are powered by a 2.0-litre turbocharged fourcylinder engine that produces 272 horsepower and 280 lb.ft. of torque. It’s coupled to a 10-speed automatic transmission and has a towing capacity of 1,500 lbs.
All RDX models are fitted with Acura’s latest fourth-generation Super Handling All-Wheel Drive system, which has now evolved into the fastest, smartest and most capable version of this torquevectoring AWD system. It can overdrive a single rear wheel by 2.7 per cent, al-
lowing it to rotate faster than the average speed of the front two wheels, providing enhanced agility, as well as total control in all weather conditions.
With tech features such wireless Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, True Touchpad Interface and wireless phone charger, you can stay connected in your RDX. Also available is a colour Head-Up Display that projects relevant driver information
above the steering wheel, helping you focus on your drive.
In addition to a panoramic sunroof that invites fresh air and natural light, the 16-speaker ELS Studio 3D premium audio system makes the well-appointed RDX cabin truly enjoyable.
Other technology features in the RDX include built-in Alexa. Using your voice, you can control music, use navigation, check the weather, control compatible smart home devices and more by simply asking Alexa.
ACURALINK helps you stay connected to your RDX through your smartphone. Its features include remote start, find my car, automated collision notification and enhanced roadside service.
Another technological feature in the RDX is ACURAWATCH, a suite of innovative safety and driver-assistive technologies engineered to help enhance driver awareness, avoid collisions and mitigate the severity of an impact. Blind Spot Information and Rear Cross Traffic Monitor systems help further improve driver awareness.
The 2023 Genesis GV70 all-wheel drive compact luxury SUV features a sweeping exterior design and a luxuriously appointed five-passenger cabin that rivals more expensive brands. Its turbocharged four or twin-turbo six provides more than enough power and all-wheel-drive is standard. Handling is nimble and its ride is comfortable.
The GV70’s cabin is lined with fine materials, plus touches of luxury, such as the knurled glass shift knob. It has a large, widescreen infotainment display with a rotary controller mounted on the console. Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot are standard.
Engine choices include the base turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder and a twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter V-6 engine. The 2.5-liter four-cylinder is turbocharged and intercooled and produces 300 horsepower and 311-lb.-ft. of torque. The sporty 3.5 T models are fitted with a 3.5-litre V6 with twin turbos and intercooler. It delivers 375 horsepower and 391 lb.-ft. of torque. Both engines channel their output through an eight-
speed automatic transmission.
Key standard safety features include automated emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane-departure warning with lane-keeping assist and adaptive cruise control.
The 2023 GV70 lineup begins with the 2.5T Advanced AWD ($57,500) which features a panoramic sunroof, 19-inch aluminum alloy wheels with Michelin
all-season tires, leather seating, ventilated front seats and heated rear seats, power folding exterior mirrors with puddle light, automatic climate control front and rear and a power tilt/telescopic steering wheel.
The 2.5T Advanced Plus ($61,500) adds a Lexicon premium audio system with 18 speakers, head-up display, surround-view monitor, blind-spot monitor, manual rear side sunshades and a 110-volt AC power outlet in the rear cargo area.
The Prestige trim ($65,500) adds sport appearance features, alloy pedals, Nappa leather seating with suede inserts, microfiber suede headliner, driver seat power cushion extension and power bolster, parking collision avoidance-assist rear and remote smart parking assist.
The GV70 lineup also includes two 3.5T Sport models: the Sport AWD ($70,500) featuring the 3.5L twin-turbo V6 engine, an electronic controlled suspension system with road preview and 21-inch alloy wheels. The Sports Plus model ($77,500) upgrades include an electronic limited slip differential and 12.3-inch LCD digital instrument cluster.
A FRENCH CONNECTION
International flair and local love at Oak and Linen HomeBy Ellen Ashton-Haiste
Homeowners who want to update their home’s décor, perhaps adding a taste of European flavour, will find a wealth of ideas at Oak and Linen Home. The store – set in a historic coach house in the village of Arva, north of London – opened five years ago. It offers a unique collection of textiles, furniture, lighting and home décor items. Owner Lisa Barron’s passion for the French countryside style is reflected in the stock.
“I love that style and it’s a foundation of the store,” Barron says. European imports of custom-made linen items, including clothing, bedding, and oak furniture by French Country Collection are staple offerings. But she’s always on the lookout for new merchandise. “I try to get unique items and things that I love.”
Despite challenges like pandemic shutdowns and the impact of the Ukraine war on supply chains, those efforts have been eminently successful. “We’ve got lots of new products and lines we never had before,” Barron says. “The business has grown and evolved with the discovery of new suppliers and development of our own branded products.” In that regard, she references examples like a signature line of candles from a Collingwood company, specialty loose-leaf tea from Germany and bedding that carries the Oak and Linen label.
In fact, COVID closures gave rise to some unforeseen benefits, including an immediate move to online sales. With customers unable to pop in to see what was new, Barron initiated a monthly subscription box. It includes three to five items, often something personal like a scarf or jewellery, a décor item and something for the home like a wreath or pot pourri.
In addition to European imports, the shop’s inventory has a strong emphasis on Canadian products. Highlighting her mission to promote
shopping local, Barron carries items by more than a dozen regional artisans, such as wood products from a Lucan craftsman, knitted and crocheted baby clothes, metal items fashioned by a blacksmith, hand-made jewellery and art and photography. Her 16-year-old son, Mitch, markets his own line of soy candles. Labelled Ilderton Cares Candles, some of the sales proceeds are donated to organizations in their home community like the Optimists and Lions clubs.
Lisa Barron is committed to promoting the concept of shopping local. She carries items by more than a dozen regional artisans: wood products from a Lucan craftsman, knitted and crocheted baby clothes, metal items fashioned by a blacksmith, hand-made jewellery, as well as works by area artists and photographers.
100+ pickup locations!
Accent Furniture - 1-1422 Fanshawe Pk Rd
Acura - 759 Wonderland Rd N
A&M Garden Center - 4171 Colonel Talbot Rd
Angelo’s - 755 Wonderland Rd N
Beachcomber’s - 754 Wharncliffe Rd S
Boston Pizza - 3090 Wonderland S
Boutique Firenze - 189 Adelaide St S
CCR Building and Remodelling2416 Sunningdale Rd W
Copp’s Buildall - 4333 Colonel Talbot Rd
Copp’s Buildall - 1640 Fanshawe Pk Rd W
Copp’s Buildall - 2090 Dundas St
Covent Garden Market - 130 King St
Cover’s Canada - 1950 Hyde Park Rd
Crunican Orchards - 23778 Richmond St N
Curiosities - 174 1/2 Wortley Rd
Covers by Designers Edge - 297 Exeter Rd Dr
Corey Moore - 444 Waterloo St
Dr. Marignani - 1055 Fanshawe Rd
East Side Mario’s - 94 Fanshawe Pk Rd E
Ferrell Brick and Stone - 5735 Colonel Talbot Rd
Gordon’s Gold - 760 Hyde Park Rd
Guildwood Lighting - 5 York St
Hangar9 - 629 Richmond St
Hully Gully - 1705 Wharncliffe Rd S
Hyde Park Paint & Paper - 1175 Hyde Pk
Kelsey’s - 805 Wonderland Rd S
Lifestyles of London - 615 Richmond St
Living Lighting - 1673 Richmond St N
London Bath Centre - 596 Wharncliffe Rd S
London Fine Furniture - 1040 Wharncliffe Rd S
London Home Builder’s - 571 Wharncliffe Rd S
MacKinlay Mercantile - 174 Wortley Road
Maria Bikas Salon - 1673 Richmond St N
Modern Living London - 600 Wharncliffe Rd S
Museum London - 421 Ridout St
Oak & Linen - 21556 Richmond St N
Oke Woodsmith Building Systems70964 Bluewater Hwy
Paradym Spirits - 100 Kellog Lane
Redecor - 1055 Sarnia Rd
Rembrandt Homes - 1560 N Routledge Pk
RONA - 820 Wonderland Rd N, London; Atwood; Exeter; Hanover; Mitchell; Seaforth; Strathroy; Tillsonburg; Zurich
Salon Entrenous - 579 Richmond St
Simpsons Fence - 320 Exeter Rd
Sloan Stone Design - 75 Midpark Cres
Unger’s Market - 1910 Gainsborough Rd
John’s Valu-Mart - 179 Wortley Rd
Village Walk Family Dental - 200 Villagewalk
Warehouse 74 - 1737 Richmond St
Wastell Homes - 1895 Blue Heron Dr
Western Fair Agriplex - 845 Florence St
Oak & Linen - 21556 Richmond St N
Shopbike - 11 Main St
The Albion Hotel - 1 Main St
Bijou Boutique - 1289 Commissioners Rd
Metro - 1244 Commissioner’s Rd
Rivertown Galleries - 431 Boler Rd
Cowbell Brewing Company - 40035 Blyth Rd
Exeter Tourism - Main Street
Hansen’s Independent Grocer - 62 Thames Rd
Foodland - 88 King St E
- 432 Talbot St
Mugford’s - 204 Central Ave
Muscat Jewellers -722 Talbot St
Studio Style - 209 Main StPort Stanley
White Squirrel Golf and Restaurant - 72538 ON-21
• Lifestyle Home Show
• St. Thomas Home Show
• LHBA Parade of Renovations
• Studio Style Fashion Show
• Feast With Friends, Bethany’s Hope