Lifestyle Magazine: May/June 2023

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Ilike to work, and I like to play. The old saying ‘all work makes Jack a dull boy’ (or Jill a dull girl) seems to be true but how do we handle downtime in this age of constant and instant communication?

We’re always on. The mini-computer (often referred to as a phone) in our hands, pockets or purses gives us immediate access to the world – hey Google, how many stars are there in the sky? – but it also gives others immediate access to us.

So how do we take time to smell the roses? If it’s not work, it’s a family member with an urgent need or a friend who wants some help. We are compelled to put others first and help that family member or friend but what about our needs?

This brings me to my thought for today: we talk about making time for recreation, but it really should be thought of as a time for re-creation.

To be a fully functioning person in our workplace and at home, we need to take some of that famous ‘me time,’ but so many are doing it in a way that self-care has become an annoying term for self-indulgence.

However, what about the legitimate need to re-create ourselves? To have energetic space and mental bandwidth to form fresh thoughts, build up some fresh energy and find a renewed spirit.

Weekdays are busy with work for most of us; weeknights are devoted to taking care of kids (grandkids) and making sure there is clean laundry; weekends often are spent hunting and

gathering at the grocery store or taking care of extended family.

Where is the gap in this frenetic schedule to squeeze in time to take a full, deep breath and re-create ourselves so that we can go out and create again in the world?

Maybe since it’s May, the beginning of summer, we can play hooky, using a beautiful day as an excuse to sneak out of work. Let someone else get groceries and make dinner. Maybe the coming summer months will offer a day (or two or three) to take a breath and re-create at leisure.

Summer activities like camping, boating, hiking, picnicking, cottaging –and the other fun outdoor activities we love – all take extra energy to prepare and execute. So, what we call these things – recreation – can further sap our resources.

I’m talking about – gasp – doing nothing or doing something so low-key that it renews energy rather than pulls from your reserves.

Re-creation is about recreating the term ‘lazy summer days.’

As we move from spring to summer, I hope you will take some time for re-creation.

Be well, Jill

“If bread is the first necessity of life, recreation is a close second.”
6 Lifestyle May/June 2023 OPEN SINCE 1980
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contents MAY | JUNE 2023 8 18 28 33 13 HOMESTYLE 8 Winning big D ream Lottery homes 13 Fresh, floral, flashy This spring’s décor trends 28 This old house Gets a makeover 36 Throwing shade Stay sun safe TRAVELSTYLE 24 On the road again Getaways close to home 33 Keeping it local At Dark Horse Winery BESTLIFE 40 Friends for life Making and keeping them 43 Up in the air Take off from London YOURSTYLE 18 Put a spring in your step With a dash of fashion BIZLIFE 45 Covers Designers’ Edge 46 Ellison Travel 18 May/June 2023 Lifestyle 7 LIFESTYLE
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. magazine

Dream Lottery allows lifestyle wishes to come true YOUR FANTASY AWAITS

Whether it’s small-town charm a stone’s throw from big-city amenities or the lure of lakeside living – those seeking to fulfill their home-finding fantasies may discover what they seek in London’s spring Dream Lottery.

Launched in 1996, the lottery has raised more than $55 million to support patient care, equipment, research and education for St. Joseph’s Health Care London, London Health Sciences Centre and Children’s Hospital at LHSC.

A stately family home in the rural community of Thorndale, just minutes from London’s northeast border, and a cottage-style condominium in the Lake Erie village of Port Stanley each offer unique attractions as the lottery’s grand prizes.

The Port Stanley one-storey, two-bedroom condo, by Domus Developments, is designed to project a “sophisticated cottage vibe,” says interior designer Pat

Kadlecik. Its warm ambiance is created with the extensive use of natural wood in the cabinets and flooring, as well as in accent beams highlighting the great room’s vaulted ceiling.

A distinctive great room feature, that Kadlecik describes as “contemporary beachy,” is a floor-to-ceiling fireplace with a unique ceramic tile surround. The rough textured surface of the sandcoloured tile replicates the look of weathered concrete, with characteristic cracks and imperfections.

The primary bedroom showcases a decorative accent wall with a threedimensional design in a soft deep grey. It includes an ensuite with a large tiled shower and a generous walk-in closet, with custom shelving.

The condo features a finished basement, which allowed Domus to tweak the floor plan, moving the second bedroom to the lower level. This creates a separate main floor dining room, featuring a builtin servery. Additional space was opened up in the kitchen for abundant cabinetry and an oversized island.

The lower level includes a full bathroom and large recreation room, with a wet bar and a gas fireplace bracketed by built-in shelving. “It’s a comfortable living space, with a bar and cozy fireplace. It’s ideal for entertaining, a great spot for watching sports or movies,” Kadlecik says.

The two-storey, four-bedroom home in Thorndale is modern Tudor style, says

8 Lifestyle May/June 2023



TOP Exuding a feeling of spaciousness, the kitchen’s 14-foot vaulted ceiling and extra-large windows overlook the backyard and an adjacent outdoor covered porch.

INSET Its modern

Tudor-style exterior features a steeply pitched roofline and unique cantilevered brickwork.


A classic interior is created with the use of warm colours throughout.

CENTRE Soft lighting, natural wood floors and shelving add to an ambiance of warmth.

RIGHT A large walk-in pantry offers ample work and storage space.


A prominent staircase, with natural oak rails and treads, extends from the upper bedroom level to the basement.

RIGHT The great room’s focal point gas fireplace is bracketed by built-in benches.


A main-floor office off the foyer is set behind floorto-ceiling glass doors and side panels.

RIGHT A central feature in the primary ensuite bathroom is a stand-alone soaker tub set against floor-to-ceiling windows.

Furnishings supplied by Warehouse 74.

Lukasz Drygas, president at Royal Oak Homes of London. The exterior, with grey brick and black Hardie Board siding, features a steeply pitched roof and showcases a cantilevered brick section above the front windows.

The interior – by Jullian Summers of Upstaging – is classic, with warm colours, traditional arches in the hallways and hardwood flooring throughout the main level, Drygas says. Ten-foot ceilings on this level, with a vaulted

kitchen stretching to 14 feet, create a feeling of spaciousness. The kitchen showcases warm white cabinetry and an oversized island that has a dark wood base. A unique element is the self-venting stove set against a 12-foot window. A large walk-in pantry with black walls and shelving, fronted by an eight-byeight-foot glass door, is a “very dramatic” feature, he says.

Adjacent to the kitchen, the rear covered porch has a swing seat suspended

by ropes from the pine ceiling; it offers a relaxing spot to enjoy warm evenings.

The home’s upper level is comprised of four bedrooms, two with ensuites and the others sharing an adjoining bathroom. The focal point in the primary ensuite is a free-standing soaker tub centred among floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the front of the house.

Both homes are open for viewing.

May/June 2023 Lifestyle 9


This condominium is designed as a sophisticated cottage, with extensive use of natural wood for flooring, accent ceiling beams and the kitchen’s custom cabinetry. • A front dining room features a built-in servery along one wall. • The condominium home is an end unit, steps from the community’s outdoor pool.

• The primary bedroom features an accent headboard wall with a three-dimensional pattern in a relaxing soft grey. • The finished basement is an ideal entertainment space with a cozy fireplace, games area and wet bar.

• A distinctive beachy feature is the great room fireplace in a rough-textured ceramic tile surround that replicates the look of weathered concrete.

Furnishings supplied by Austin & Taylor Home Furnishings Inc.

● FOR MORE INFORMATION • DREAM LOTTERY, 866-319-9818, • DOMUS DEVELOPMENTS, 52-63 Compass Trail, Port Stanley, 519-439-3881, • ROYAL OAK HOMES OF LONDON, 247 Foxborough Place, Thorndale, 519-317-7592, ● ROYAL OAK HOMES – TRADES: • ASG Excavating • VanWeir Framing Group • East Elgin Concrete Forming • JRS Plumbing • JCR Masonry • Edge Contracting • North London Roofing • Teichroeb Exteriors • Builders Choice Air Systems • B-Superb Painting • NP Custom Woodworking • Natural Stone City • Eco Architectural Glass Inc. • GCW Custom Kitchen & Cabinetry Inc. • DiCola Drywall Ltd. • Car-Wal Garage Doors • JVW Woodworking • Brandao Carpentry SUPPLIERS: • Ferrell Builders Supply Ltd. • The Lighting Shoppe • Aqualux • Watford Roof Truss • Golden Windows & Doors • Skyview Windows • McNaughton Home Hardware Building Supply • Karl Moore Flooring • Medeiros & Son Trim Ltd. • Warehouse 74 • Covers Canada • Electrozad DESIGN/ENGINEERING: • Upstaging Limited • Underline Design • Clean Slate Concepts • MTE Consultants • SBM (Strik Baldineli Moniz) ● DOMUS DEVELOPMENTS – TRADES: • PV-EX Construction Ltd. • J-AAR Excavating • Archibald Gray & McKay • L.S. Couto Contracting Inc. • Gord Hicks Fence & Deck • East Elgin Concrete Forming Limited • Form & Build Supply Inc. • D-Gen Construction Ltd. • Akubilt Construction Partners • Fehr Renovations • Boman Kemp• Ron Van Erp Masonry Inc. • Dyck Exteerior Installations Inc. • Builders Choice Air Systems • Atchison Plumbing & Heating Ltd. • Cro-Can Drywall Ltd • Angton Electric • All-Pro Carpentry • Montana’s Painting SUPPLIERS: • JNF Ready Mix • The Steel Centre • Dashwood Windows • Car-Wal Garage Doors Inc. • Ferrell Builders Supply Ltd. • Pro-Stair & Railing • The Lighting Shoppe • GCW Custom Kitchens & Cabinetry Inc. • Slone Stone Design • London Major Appliances • Baresic Tile • North Pole Trim & Supplies • Austin & Taylor • Covers Canada • Details Home Collection • B&G Glass & Mirror DESIGN/ENGINEERING: • Designing Spaces • Orchard Design • CJDL Consulting Engineers 10 Lifestyle May/June 2023
May/June 2023 Lifestyle 11 Now SelliNg CoNDoS www.portla ND i N g S . C a 519.870.1335 • 3 models to choose from – Bow, Port & Stern • 1250-1325 sq. ft. of living space on the main floor • Vaulted ceilings, gas fireplace, single or double garage • plus many more standard features! PHASE 1 SOLD OUT NOW SELLING PHASE 2 Models Available for Viewing 45 York St. - 519.679.9000 1640 Fanshawe Park Rd. W. - 519.472.3648 2090 Dundas St. - 519.659.9989 4333 Colonel Talbot Rd. - 519.652.3575 45 York St. - 519.679.9000 1640 Fanshawe Park Rd. W. - 519.472.3648 2090 Dundas St. - 519.659.9989 4333 Colonel Talbot Rd. - 519.652.3575 photo courtesy of Think Copp’s for your decking projectThink Copp’s for your decking project STAIRS BY DESIGN 45 MEG DRIVE LONDON INFO@BRANDAOCARPENTRY.COM 519.281.0871 WWW.BRANDAOCARPENTRY.COM @BRANDAOCARPENTRY BRANDAO CARPENTRY LTD
12 Lifestyle May/June 2023 @salonentrenous @salon entrenous 21556 Richmond Street, Arva | 519.672.9514 facebook | instagram | | @oakandlinenhome YOUR LOCAL SOURCE FOR Fabulous Home Decor Furniture & Home Accents Housewares & Linens Decorating Services


soft colours and textures

marketplace interiors
May/June 2023 Lifestyle 13
14 Lifestyle May/June 2023 CONSULTATIONS BY APPOINTMENT SHOWROOM • YOUR HOME • VIRTUAL 519-652-0222 OR EMAIL SHOWROOM HOURS M-F 9-5 PowerView® and Somfy Automation experts LONDON NORTH 1950 HYDE PARK RD • 519-660-3661 LONDON SOUTH 297 EXETER RD • 519-652-0222 Alustra ® Vignette ® Rolling with PowerView® Automation YOUR DRAPERY AND SHADE SPECIALIST SINCE 1987 USE FOR • GARAGES • POOLS • PORCHES, • BASEMENTS & MORE! Exceptional Epoxy Floors Durable, beautiful and long lasting! BOOK AN APPOINTMENT ONLINE OR CALL FOR A FREE QUOTE TODAY! LONDON/ST. THOMAS AREA 519.637.0606 Windows & Doors 519-659-3550 SHOWROOM 535 First St., London Mon-Fri 9-5:30; Sat 10-2 • Free in-home quotes VINYL & WOOD WINDOWS DOUBLE & TRIPLE GLAZED STEEL, FIBREGLAS & WOOD DOORS VINYL PATIO DOORS with INTERNAL MINI BLINDS NEW OR REPLACEMENT 30 ®






metals add zip and zing





marketplace interiors
May/June 2023 Lifestyle 15
wAREHOUSE 74 Proud Furniture supplier for spring 2023 Dream Lottery Home Furniture & Decor 2425 Oxford St. W London • 519.473.1723 • OVER 40 YEARS OF EXCELLENCE! LEADERS IN RETRACTABLE AWNING AND SOLAR SCREEN SYSTEMS STAY COOL IN SUMMER WARM IN WINTER 519-914-6380 • Ask about rebates! • Attic Insulation • Thermal Imaging • Blower Door Testing WHATEVER YOUR ADVENTURE we make it happen! 110 Riverside Drive, Suite 202, London 519-435-1111 AIR • SEA • LAND & GROUP TRAVEL 16 Lifestyle May/June 2023


light, bright decor touches

marketplace interiors
May/June 2023 Lifestyle 17


When spring is in the air, our fancies turn to lighter fabrics, brighter colours and floral patterns. It’s time to toss off heaviness of any kind, whether it’s bulky jackets, oversized sweaters, thick leggings or weighty footwear. Bright, light and pretty are buzzwords for spring and summer. Natural fabrics are a natural for hotter months and design ers don’t disappoint. Runways are shimmer ing, shining and glowing with silky chiffons, floaty linens and wispy cottons. So, slip into a frothy frock, slide on a pair of strappy san dals, grab a straw tote. Complement this fab ensemble with glittery jewellery and top it all with a luxurious pashmina – it’s time to kick up your heels and bring on spring.

yourstyle spring bring on
1 4 3 2 5 6
18 Lifestyle May/June 2023

1 From Italy, this 100 per cent linen ensemble is designed by Me and Gee, a company that specializes in natural fibres. It’s available in sizes XS to XL at Lifestyles Women’s Wear.

2 Available at Hangar9, the Sara Roka floral cotton midi dress has a leather belt. It can be worn fully buttoned or you can show a little leg as the season heats up.

3 Need just your lipstick, phone and a credit card for a beautiful spring day? This Dorothee Schumacher Dègradè Dreams mini straw bag, from Hangar9, is perfect.

4. When there’s still a nip in the spring air, step out in accessories from Boutique Firenze. A beautiful silk

chiffon scarf by Massimo Ravinale from Florence, Italy, a chambray linen hat with SPF 50+, made in Canada by Puffin Gear, and embossed leather and deerskin wristlets by Panabo Designs, made in Canada. Add some bling with necklaces by Joanna of London, Ontario. 5 & 6 Available in various silhouettes and colours, Gavazzeni Vitto leather handbags are made in Italy and available at Hangar9.

7 The Aragon top from Montreal designer Melow is one of those great dress it up/dress it down pieces. Made of bamboo rayon and spandex, it’s available at Curiosities Boutique.

8 Available at Hangar9, you’ll reflect the sun’s

brightness with this Dean Davidson Sol multi-stacking ring.

9 Brighten up your day with Dorothee Schumacher’s electric Dégradé cardigan at Hangar9.

10 Sustainably constructed from stretch fabric, Frame Le One flare jeans are available at Hangar9.

11 You’ll be noticed in these Dean Davidson Sol statement drop earrings with orange onyx gemstones from Hangar9.

12 Warm up a chilly spring walk in the Kerri Rosenthal chunky knit cotton sweater from Hangar9.

13 Curiosities Boutique gives you casual comfort with the Cokluch Camasia playsuit. It’s made in Montreal and, best of all, has pockets.

14 These comfortable relaxed Malia jean joggers from Yoga Jeans are made to order for weekends, from Curiosities Boutique.

15 Cheer up even the gloomiest day with Me and Gee’s scoopedneck pocket dress, with adjustable roll sleeves, from Lifestyles Women’s Wear.

7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15
May/June 2023 Lifestyle 19
20 Lifestyle May/June 2023


BOUTIQUE FIRENZE: 189 Adelaide Street, South Number 3 • 519-649-4122 •

CURIOSITIES BOUTIQUE: 174 1/2 Wortley Road 519-432-0434 •

HANGAR9: 620 Richmond Street 519-672-0073 •

LIFESTYLES WOMEN’S WEAR: 615 Richmond Street 519-663-1143 •

We have hundreds of beautiful designs to choose from for engagements, anniversaries, and general expressions of love.

• Canadian Diamonds

• Quality Craftsmanship

• Superior Service

~ Continued from page 19
16 18 17
16 From Montreal designer Luc Fontaine, the Emotion dress combines sophisticated black with lively spring colours. Available at Curiosities Boutique. When you’re on the go, this Rattan woven tote bag – with ruched lambskin handles and cotton twill lining from Dorothee Schumacher – is ready to hold all you need. 18 Both chic and comfortable, Dorothee Schumacher’s sporty heeled Femininity sandal makes it easy to hit the streets when spring calls. Both available at Hangar9.
May/June 2023 Lifestyle 21 721 Talbot Street, St. Thomas,
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Time to get back in the habit

One of life’s truisms: the more often we do something, the easier and better it becomes.

That’s what Simon Joynes wants to see happen. The artistic director of Port Stanley Festival Theatre (PSFT) wants audiences to “get back into the habit of going to the theatre.”

After the two year hiatus caused by the pandemic ended and live theatre was on again last summer, PSFT enjoyed some success with its abbreviated 15-week season. Down from 2019’s best season attendance record, the 2022 season saw better-than-expected numbers. Joynes is counting on the theatre faithful to gain con dence from that and start coming out again on a regular basis.

“This is industry wide, and we are hoping people who had subscriptions to various theatres begin to re-engage,” he says.

There’s a lot to engage with this summer at PSFT. One is a Canadian premier of an all-female performance, called The Beaver Club, a road-trip story of four women heading to Newfoundland.

Some more traditional favourites include a Norm Foster play, Wrong For Each Other. The season kicks off with Early Morning Rain, The Legend of Gordon Lightfoot, for music lovers.

Warning: great live theatre can be habit forming.

May/June 2023 Lifestyle 23
your spring travel
(519) 782-4353 20 23 S U M M E R T H E A T R E JULY 12 - JULY 29 ON THE AIR By Ephraim Ellis PortStanley FestivalTheatre A comedy about dreams pursued in the unlikeliest of places! Reserve Seats Show Sponsor The Loon 87.9 on your FM dial has seen better days! What do you do when nobody, literally nobody is listening? Corporate Sponsor 211 Main Street, Unit 2 Port Stanley 226.658.0122 We are committed to our community providing genuine care! Supplements, homeopathy, allergen- free & organic foods, non-toxic body care, essential oils, baby care products, green cleaning supplies and much more. Open Wednesday-Sunday 11am-5pm 519-782-7467 215 Main Street, Port Stanley


We've rounded up our top picks within a few hours drive 



take a day (or more) away to play

Now that travel is again a ‘thing,’ it’s easy to forget how many tourists come from around the world to enjoy what Ontario has to offer. It’s tempting to look abroad for new experiences but staying closer to home can be enriching culturally and financially since there’s no costly or onerous flight.

Here are some ideas to get your creative juices flowing to start planning your spring and summer road trips.


Curious about Canada’s oldest penitentiary? You can visit now and spend as little as 45 minutes exploring on the Express Tour, if you’re in a hurry, or two and a half hours on the Extended Tour, if you’re really fascinated by the history of this institution. Having housed some of the nation’s worst ‘baddies,’ you’ll see where they lived and worked from the 1830s. There is also a Film Tour and an Architectural Tour, both last one and a half hours. Tours must be booked in advance online and fill up fast, so planning is a good idea if you want to ‘break out’ of Kingston Pen. •


Get up close and personal with the mighty Niagara River at Niagara Park’s The Tunnel. You’ll descend in a glass

elevator and follow the path of a water outlet from the former Power Station to its mouth. When you emerge, you’ll be at the river’s water level across from the Falls. Time it right and a rainbow will greet you. Before or after your trip down The Tunnel, take some time to tour the Niagara Parks Power Station.

• the-tunnel-niagara-falls


When you’re in Niagara, take in some colour at an oldie but goody: the Floral Showhouse. It will be festooned with petal power from May 3 to September 10 and the surrounding grounds bloom all summer long.


The Floral Showhouse at Niagara Falls. • The Kingston Penitentiary. Photo: Jordan Milani. • The Tunnel at Niagara Falls. Photos 1 and 3: Niagara Parks.
 May/June 2023 Lifestyle 25
Jill Ellis-Worthington


A beautiful drive along Lake Erie’s coast is reason enough to head southwest but complement that with a wine tour of epic proportions and you’ve got a reason to go for a day, but you’ll want to stay for the weekend. EPIC stands for Essex Pelee Island Coast and this wine region is a must-see for enophiles, as well as casual sippers. Why not let someone else do the driving so you can sample at several of the excellent local wineries, with Grape Vine Tours? Many offer tasty food to go along with the sips. •


Elora has earned a reputation as ‘the’ place for a romantic getaway. Stay at the lovely Ayrshire House; try your hand at glass blowing; do some taste testing at the local distillery; sample high tea at the Wild Tart and finish up in luxury at the AFYA Haus Spa. The best part

is that neither of you has to do a thing because 21 Tours and Events Co. makes all the arrangements.



From buggy path to railroad line and now a multi-use path, the G2G (Goderich To Guelph) Trail is a 132kilometre stretch of gravelled pathway. It winds through verdant agricultural land and forested areas. It is mostly level with some slight grades and hills. You can hop off the trail and get lunch at local favourites, like Cowbell Brewery, or there are plenty of green spaces and parks to enjoy a picnic.


Bike 25 kilometres from Niagara Falls to Niagara-on-the-Lake on a paved pathway. You’ll wheel by historic sites and cycle through lush wine country, so if

you want to stop and sip or sit and gaze, opportunities abound.


From bike to beach: this is the perfect hot day escape. Ride Pinery Provincial Park’s 13-kilometre loop trail through its forests and meadows to work up a sweat. Then head to one of this iconic park’s stretches of sand to enjoy a cool swim and picnic. •


In the words of Dirty Harry, “Are you feeling lucky?” Answer is “yes” because casinos are open again and Caesars

Windsor Hotel and Casino is ready to play. There’s usually a major entertainer doing a show in the auditorium (The Colosseum) and, nearby, The Keg has great views of the Detroit River to enjoy with a delicious steak.


 26 Lifestyle May/June 2023
TOP LEFT The village of Elora. Photo: The Ayrshire House. TOP RIGHT Caesars Windsor Hotel and Casino. BOTTOM (l-r) Muscedere Vineyards, Essex County. • North 42 Degrees Estate Winery, Essex County. • J.P. Wiser Distillery, Windsor. Photos: Tourism Windsor, Essex, Pelee Island.

This area has a rich history of supply and demand, and you can learn all about how it met that demand during Prohibition at the J.P. Wiser Distillery Experience. You’ll also be able to taste some of their spirits during the tour.



Sometimes you just need to escape with a group of your besties and have a day of carefree fun. Start by getting picked up to head to the coast of Lake Huron, stopping at three wineries, three breweries, three cideries or one of each. You will sip and savour lunch, learn about these libation producers and their scrumptious creations, then be entertained with games or live music. All driving and details are handled by 21 Tours and Events Co.



Ride along with sommelier Ian Nicholls to tour some of Prince Edward County’s notable wineries. Visit four vineyards to sip and sample 16 to 20 wines, while learning about their terroir. Lunch is included in this immersive full-day experience for four to six people.



Capture a special memory for one of life’s milestones by starting with a toast of one of Cornerstone Winery’s sparkling libations. Then a helicopter picks you up and flies you over Lake Huron, landing at Eddington’s of Exeter for a celebratory dinner designed by Chef James Eddington to your tastes. After, you’ll be driven to the beach for a sunset photoshoot to commemorate the special occasion. 


Group getaway with 21 Tours and Events.
May/June 2023 Lifestyle 27 Visit our showroom 148 King St. Hensall ON your space  BUY FRESH SUPPORT LOCAL! Apples, honey, jams, maple syrup, apple cider, apple vinegar, peanuts, frozen pies locally sourced gluten free products and much more. • 519.666.0286 • 23778 Richmond Street N. (10 mins from Masonville at 15 Mile Rd.) CruniC an OrChards SINCE 1877 OPEN all year!
Photo: Christina Marshall.

Character driven


London’s Old South neighbourhood exudes historic elegance with its stately homes, many dating back to the late 1800s. That’s something one couple was intent on preserving when they decided to renovate their century cottage-style home.

“It’s an exceptionally cool house, well over 100 years old, and they wanted everything to be in keeping with its age,” says Jamie Melnick, partner with MelBarr Design Build. “It’s fun to work with clients with a goal

like that. Older houses have a mystique, and this one had a great feel.”

While the renovated house is replete with 21stcentury features, from heated floors to Wi-Fi-enabled appliances, to the casual observer it still looks like it stepped out of the early 20th century, he says.

The old-style stucco on the exterior was cost-prohibitive to reproduce but James Hardie cement board painted a complementary colour looks like it was always part of the house. All interior trim, from

28 Lifestyle May/June 2023

OPPOSITE PAGE According to Jamie Melnick, the year-long makeover could have been more quickly accomplished but great care was taken to preserve the character of this century home. TOP RIGHT As part of the kitchen’s facelift, a larger window was added that allows a view to the backyard.

INSET PHOTO While Hardie Board provides a better option to preserve the house's era-appropriate exterior facade, custom-made interior trim was milled by MelBarr to blend with existing woodwork.

windowsills to baseboards, was custom milled by MelBarr to blend with the existing woodwork. Custom tile treatments in several rooms, in designs complementing the home’s character, add a unique flavour, Melnick says. “Overall, it’s a nearly seamless transition from the original house.” He adds that the almost yearlong project could have been completed more quickly by substituting some of the materials, but the homeowners were willing to go the distance to preserve the ambiance.

The renovation transformed the home’s main level, gutting two bedrooms and adding approximately 400 square feet to create an L-shaped addition with three bedrooms, including a primary suite and a main bathroom. The kitchen was given a complete makeover and two rooms were added: a main-floor laundry and a mudroom.

The new kitchen features a larger working island and custom cabinetry, including a floor-to-ceiling pantry cupboard. A small window was replaced with a larger one, allowing

more natural light. It overlooks the backyard, which Melnick describes as “really quite lovely.” This area is ideal for entertaining with two patios, a pool and hot tub. It is accessed by two new doors from the mudroom and the primary bedroom.

The primary suite features a walk-in closet, plus two smaller closets. Melnick notes that throughout the project opportunities were found to add closet space, which is often rare in older homes. The ensuite bathroom includes a large vanity and make-up area, walkin shower, soaker tub and separate water closet. A new main bathroom was added with a shower/tub encased in custom glasswork and cabinetry including a linen closet.

The original home has two bedrooms and a full bathroom on the upper level, which was the former attic and not part of the renovation. This will become a guest suite now that the main level includes the primary and two bedrooms, as well as a full bath.

The new kitchen features a larger working island and custom cabinetry, including a floor-to-ceiling pantry cupboard.
May/June 2023 Lifestyle 29

TOP Closet space was amplified wherever possible as part of the renovation. The primary bedroom features three closets: a walk-in and two smaller ones.

ABOVE The primary ensuite has both a walk-in shower and a soaker tub.

TOP RIGHT Features like an oversize vanity and separate make-up area are unusual in a home of this age. RIGHT A separate water closet is a nice touch for privacy.

MELBARR DESIGN BUILD • 27 Pinegrove Crescent • 519-902-0907 •
30 Lifestyle May/June 2023
The primary bedroom features three closets: a walk-in and two smaller ones.
May/June 2023 Lifestyle 31 519-236-4030 DESIGN FOR LIVING. BUILD FOR LIFE. | 519.902.0907


Danu Cellars loves local

When Sue Ann and John Rasenberg established Dark Horse Estate Winery in 2014 it was a bold move. But, as the name implies, the winery has proved to be an unexpected winner. Building on that success, the couple and their daughter and son-in-law, Ashley and Craig Horlor, opened Danu Cellars to showcase their products and the bounty of local farms.

“It’s a cornucopia of local produce and protein,” said Andrew Cieszkowski, hospitality manager. “We offer the best local food, the best local wine available.”

In true field-to-fork fashion, the menu features meat from Van Osch and Cedar Villa farms, Metzger’s Meat Products and Hayter’s turkey; fish from Lake Huron; coffee roasted in Goderich and produce from the area. Cieszkowski says when local diners see the Van Osch Farm’s beef

listed on the menu, “Oh, I know the Van Oschs.”

Naturally, the dishes are paired with Dark Horse wines. The estate is planted with six varietals, so Cieszkowski says the wine list is complemented by other Ontario wines. As a sommelier, he hopes to offer a seven- or eight-course tasting menu to highlight pairings in the future.

The restaurant is an elegant setting beside the working barrel cellar. “You can enjoy a glass of wine and the next vintage is aging in a barrel six feet behind you,” says Cieszkowski. “It’s unlike anything else in Grand Bend. There are lots of casual (places), but few fine dining. This is fine dining but comfortable. It’s in the middle –

welcoming, good value.”

Dark Horse Estate Winery includes a tasting room, banquet facility and ballroom, VIP lounge, barrel cellar and patios. Cieszkowski says the patio will continue to provide seasonal fare, including the outdoor pizza oven, charcuterie boards, cheese boxes and tasting flights. “This part of Ontario is an emerging wine region. We want to showcase what we can produce in the region, in terms of wine. And now, do the same thing from a culinary point of view.” 

● FOR MORE INFORMATION • DANU CELLARS • 70665 B Line, Grand Bend • 519-494-2325 • bestlife
Danu Cellars offers fine dining in a casual setting, where guests can enjoy wines while the next batches are ageing in nearby barrels.
May/June 2023 Lifestyle 33
INSET Following the field-to-fork philosophy, the restaurant pairs Dark Horse wines with locally sourced foodstuffs.
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May/June 2023 Lifestyle 35

Made For The Shade


With Old Man Winter in the rearview mirror and summer on the doorstep comes the urge to get outdoors and enjoy the sunny season. But that welcome sunshine can heat up to uncomfortable levels, driving us back to air-conditioned comfort. Enter the solution: awnings and shade screens.

These options are embraced by homeowners seeking sun protection, says Christina van Dorst, co-owner

with her husband Dennis of London Awnings. The company specializes in retractable models that are easily opened for shade or privacy and withdrawn when the sun’s warmth is desired. “They provide an attractive outdoor staycation area to entertain friends and family while still being protected from the sun,” she says.

Clients also appreciate the health benefits of sun protection, van Dorst says. “The fabric on the awnings

and mesh on the screen systems have a high level of protection from ultra-violet rays. They block both UVA and UVB rays.”

London Awnings, a second-generation family business serving the region since 1982, offers a wide range of models and styles, both motorized and manual, for decks, patios, porches, pergolas and more. Ninety per cent of their clientele is residential. Classic and cassette overhead awnings are popular with homeowners. The ~ story continues on page 38

36 Lifestyle May/June 2023

OPPOSITE PAGE Overhead awnings for porches and backyard decks are smart options to create cool, sun-safe spaces for outdoor entertaining.


Retractable awnings may be opened for shade or withdrawn to enjoy the sun.

• Permanent awnings allow outdoor spaces to be used in light rain, as well. • Retractable side screens provide privacy as well as temperature control.

• An awning can be a cost-effective alternative to constructing a covered patio or an enclosed terrace.

• Awnings are available in four standard colours with powder-coated aluminum frames. 

May/June 2023 Lifestyle 37

newest style, the cassette awning, retracts into a sleek box. When it’s closed all that’s seen is a slim box, as the fabric is tucked inside. With the standard classic awning, a valance hangs down when retracted. All come in four standard colours with powder-coated aluminum frames.

Van Dorst notes that their awnings are manufactured in Ontario, guaranteeing quality and speedy service turn-around times. The company provides custom installation with its own fabrication shop, allowing the ability to meet clients’ unique needs and specifications. It is also known for its post-installation service, she adds. “We don’t just install an awning and walk away. If there’s a break, we come out and fix it. We really pride ourselves on the service we provide from start to finish.”

This has built a strong reputation resulting in frequent word-of-mouth referrals, she says. “We’ve had many clients tell us they want to deal with us because they’ve heard from family or friends that we are the best in the business. We get a lot of feedback from clients saying how wonderful our technicians are during on-site installing.”

London Awnings serves the region within an hour outside the city, from Sarnia to Woodstock and Grand Bend to the Lake Erie shoreline. At its showroom, located in the city’s west end, customers can view working models of the awnings and screen systems. 

Van Dorst notes that their awnings are manufactured in Ontario, guaranteeing quality and speedy service turn-around times.
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Blend in or stand out – how will you make a friend today?

About one-third of adults worldwide feel lonely. That’s according to a 2019 global survey by Statista. com, with the numbers in Canada coming in slightly better with 31 per cent of respondents saying they “often, always or some of the time” felt that way. The U.S. had the very same response, while Brazil topped the chart with 50 per cent reporting loneliness as being a problem.

With many adults moving to new locations for work or other commitments, making new friends as an older person presents new challenges. When we were children, school, sports and clubs provided friend-making opportunities. When we went away to college or university, living in a dorm, fraternity/ sorority or apartment often put us near others of similar ages and interests. When our offspring were young, their school, sports and club activities meant that other parents were around who shared similar life experiences, producing opportunities to be befriended.

But when we’re older and move to a new place, it’s not as easy. Perhaps our company still has a remote work policy, or we don't attend church or service clubs, or we don't golf or have other social hobbies that bring us in contact with others. This all makes finding new friends a challenge. Add a natural tendency to shyness or introversion and you have a tougher nut to crack.

But friends are good for us as older adults. According to Medical News Today, lack of social interaction affects not only our mental health. Studies have

shown that a low quantity or quality of social ties is linked to many medical conditions, such as cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, cancer and impaired immune function.

Silvia Plester-Silk, a registered social worker and energy psychotherapist, says that “friendship is important to those over 50. We’ve spent most of our lives caring for other people – children, parents or both – and ask, ‘when is it my time?’ We learn about ourselves in different ways now, and it’s really about finding people who have similar energy and interests.”

other wives and partners.” Later when the couple moved to a larger city, she learned from that experience and took crafting classes.

Plester-Silk was following Franco’s first bit of advice for making friends: put yourself out there. Finding a group, class, club or organization that meshes with your interests is a good first step. Introverts may tend to stay home and not want to enter social settings but not putting oneself in the line of fire means that you’ll never get to take a shot at friendship.

Having followed her own advice, Plester-Silk tells clients to find something “that you might genuinely enjoy. Make a list of 10 or 20 things and try them. If you’re creative, try a pottery class, for example.” She adds that it’s important to set yourself up for success. “If you only tolerate golf, it might not be a good place to start.” If you do hit it off with someone, they might be disappointed when you don’t accept an invitation for a weekly date to play.

In her book Platonic: How the Science of Attachment Can Help You Make – and Keep – Friends, Marisa Franco (PhD) outlines many factors that play into our ability to not only develop friendships but also to maintain them.

Plester-Silk was one of those adults described earlier in the story: moved to a small community as an adult, had no children, didn’t attend church or service clubs. “It was a village, and everyone had connections through church or kids or sports.” She wasn’t into sports, but her husband was. “That’s how I met some women. I became friends with the

Franco’s second step is to take initiative and strike up a conversation with someone by asking them to have coffee or lunch after the group activity is over. “It’s a process of reaching out over and over again. It’s meeting someone we like and, instead of letting the moment pass, hoping that they ask for our phone number, seizing the moment and asking for theirs,” she writes in the chapter entitled Taking Initiative. Usually, the other person will be flattered to be asked. Honestly saying, ‘I like you and would like to get to know you better’ could be hard but wouldn’t you be flattered if someone initiated friendship in this way?

Pat Mussieux (71) was 55 when she

40 Lifestyle May/June 2023
“Friendship is important to those over 50. We’ve spent most of our lives caring for other people – children, parents or both – and ask, ‘when is it my time?’

moved to London. Since her father was in the military, Mussieux had moved around so much that she wasn’t able to make lasting friends as a child. “But I learned great networking skills,” she says. She put those skills to work as an entrepreneur and started to build her network by attending events and meeting a lot of people. One of those was Wanda McKay. They were seated next to each other at a networking lunch and discovered they had much in common: both were single, ran their own businesses, loved to travel and shared religious views. McKay asked Mussieux to attend church with her, beginning their 15-year friendship that lasted until McKay died of ovarian cancer.

“We were soul sisters,” says Mussieux. “It couldn’t have been a better match.”

When Mussieux attended that networking lunch, she easily accepted McKay’s invitation to attend church because she was confident and felt worthy. Franco says this is another key to finding friends: assume people like you. Our self-view can dominate how we interpret others’ actions or inactions. “Secure people know their worth, so they assume others do too. Rejection sensitivity – the tendency to project rejection on ambiguity - is a key feature of anxious attachment and it hurts anxious people and their relationships,” Franco explains. When we are confident we assume that when we show up to events others will like us, making it easier to approach them or to be approached.

Acknowledging that these directives would be nearly impossible for many, Franco suggests an introvert-friendly technique to build up confidence: reach out to old friends or acquaintances to renew the relationships. In these post-pandemic times, many acquaintanceships suffered, and people are now ready to rebuild their social sphere.

Another suggestion Franco has for the socially hesitant among us is – paraphrasing – don’t be a wallflower. Finding a class or group event to attend is just the beginning, speaking up during the class to ask or answer a question or following up with someone who had an interesting elevator pitch at a networking event is imperative to making friends. As Kermit says, “It’s not easy bein’ green. It seems you blend in with so many ordinary things.”

Speaking up and standing out is also an important first step in making friends. Franco calls it “overcoming covert and overt avoidance” and encourages us not to be tempted to hide in a corner but to step up and step into our own power.

Amanda Ellis (no relation to the






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writer) confirms this. The 47-year-old is a quiet person, who works in banking but loves the arts. Though commonalities are the bedrock of many friendships, sometimes those things aren’t as important; one of her closest friends is 20 years younger. Ellis and her friend Katie, who is an artist, met at networking events when Katie would bring her baby and Ellis would help entertain the infant. This gave them a starting point to talk about, but their friendship grew out of a shared love of the arts and a thirst to bring that passion to a wider audience. Katie wants to open an art gallery-coffee shop-creative space and has been seeking business opportunities to make that happen. Ellis’ experience with financing and the business world allows her to help Katie on this path.

“She (Katie) is an old soul, but the age difference made me feel more comfortable giving advice.” Ellis goes on to explain that she’s often the recipient of advice from older friends, so this feels like paying it forward to her. The two serve on a gallery development board together, talk or text daily and get together every couple of weeks.

Plester-Silk characterizes the levels of friendship as inner, middle and outer circles. Outer circle friends are people you know; middle ones are acquaintances with whom you might have a casual coffee, but inner circle might be described as your ‘ride or dies’ or your ‘shovel friends’ (the ones who would help hide the body) or, as Joseph Rapai (71) would say: moving friends. A retired director of the Catholic School Board who has adopted Bayfield as his home in recent years, Rapai has bought and sold several homes causing him to move often. “Middle circle friends become inner quite quickly, which I find out when I have to move. Some you thought were middle circle friends show up, and some inner circle disappear quite quickly.”

He also points to changes in circumstances, like retirement or divorce, as impacting the quality and longevity of friendships.

In her book Franco clarifies that to maintain healthy friendships “you must be the type of friend you want to have.”

It really isn’t easy being green “but green’s the colour of spring and green can be cool and friendly like,” according to Kermit so why not step out and find a friend? It’s good for your health.

Continued from page 41
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London International Airport is taking off

Spring is in the air and many folks will be thinking about taking to the air. With school breaks and the summer holiday scene, the London International Airport (YXU) is ready to get passengers to destinations south and across Canada. “Local travellers want to get out and explore the world again … says Gerry Vanderhoek, the airport’s director of commercial and air services. “Canada was probably one of the most restrictive countries in the world (in terms of travel during the pandemic) so I really feel there’s this pent-up demand.”

There are direct flights to sunny – warm places such as Orlando, Cancun and Punta Cana – and last December, the lower-cost passenger airline Flair started transporting people to Tucson, Arizona. Vanderhoek says that destination out of the Forest City has been so successful officials are already planning for next winter. “We’re definitely looking at…doing twice a week (flights).”

He says 2019 was a record year with 700,000 passengers at YXU and that is slowly building back up. Close to 450,000 travellers flew in and out of London last year. That number will surely climb in 2023. “We’re bordering

bestlife  May/June 2023 Lifestyle 43
ABOVE With traveller traffic slowly increasing and getting back to pre-pandemic levels, management at London International Airport is increasing the number of carriers and frequency of flights. To serve the travelling public, they are also improving facilities and adding attractions.

on the most non-stop routes that the airport has seen.”

London International Airport is also offering more choices in airlines. “Flair certainly opened up our market,” Vanderhoek says, adding he is pleased the air carrier has such confidence in the London region and that means more opportunities for lower fares.

If air travel out of London to Canadian destinations of Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Halifax, Montreal and Toronto is your hope for a summer trip, start planning. “We’re seeing very, very strong bookings this summer already,” Vanderhoek says.

The airport is also offering travellers more choices as they wait for their flights. The YXU Market continues to expand with local craft beer, coffee and breads. “People at the airport can be proud of what we have in London and people visiting will get a bit of a taste of London. We’re spreading it out through the terminal,” he says.

Work continues with additional seating and accents being installed in the market area. “We’re putting in cool trees and clouds coming down from the ceiling. We carpeted the whole area. It’s going to look pretty neat. We’ve been working on it for the past year.”

Airport management has also been seeking more ways for public engagement post pandemic, Vanderhoek says. With community pickle ball courts and an ice rink, and of course the popular Airshow London, they hope people will check out all the airport offers. The rink may become year round if a sponsor can be found to help with a concrete pad, Vanderhoek says. “You could do ball hockey in the summer and ice hockey in the winter. People get to see the airport and get to see what we’re offering.”

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Photography adds new dimension to window coverings

When the view outside the window isn’t optimal, there’s an option available that can add flair to any room. It’s a technique that brings art, from photographs to abstract designs, to window shades.

Imagine X - developed by Altex, an internationally renowned Quebecbased window coverings manufacturer – is a system that prints virtually any image onto window shades. The possibilities for customizing home décor are limited only by imagination, says Kevin Fellner, president at London’s Covers Designers’ Edge. “It could be personal photos of the kids or animals, sports shots, landscapes, patterns or designs – really anything.”

While the technology is not new,

its quality has evolved and improved drastically over time, Fellner says. “So, today, images can be displayed on very large shades in high resolution colour with spectacular results. We installed a 10-by-10foot shade in our London showroom, with a landscape image of Flowerpot Island in Georgian Bay near Tobermory, and the quality is truly stunning.”

He says the idea started in the commercial sphere with businesses putting ads and logos on window shades for marketing purposes. But he believes improved technology, resulting in higher quality results, will generate increasing interest in the residential market. “I see a lot of potential for this in residential as well as commercial settings. It’s a

unique system, and you can do huge screens on huge windows. Builders are putting massive windows in new homes, and it can get boring looking at the roller shades. This has the potential to add some spice.”

Fellner says the process works on many sizes and styles of shades. “It can be on a solar screen that you can see through; it can be on a black-out fabric or anything in between. It puts an image onto the shade, so that image can be facing inside or outside, but most often it’s facing the inside.”

Whether a client is looking to take a living room to a new level or brighten up a child’s bedroom, he says the product will be expertly crafted using the highest quality fabrics. 

 FOR MORE INFORMATION • COVERS DESIGNERS’ EDGE • 297 Exeter Road • 519-652-0222 •
May/June 2023 Lifestyle 45


A new generation navigates family travel business

Ellison Travel and Tours is entering a new era. After four decades growing from a two-person office in Exeter to a national agency with close to 100 employees, owners Doug and Cathy Ellison are handing the reins of the family business to the next generation.

The new team is made up of Doug’s daughter, Marcie Ellison Outerbridge, who works out of the company’s North Vancouver office and spearheaded the company’s growth in Western Canada in recent years – and Cathy’s daughter, Michelle Branco, and her husband Paulo. The couple formerly worked in public health and information technology respectively. They have relocated from Toronto to Exeter to work out of the head office. Paulo is general manager, while Michelle is general manager for marketing,

people and development. Marcie is general manager in charge of sales and group travel.

“We’re all extremely passionate about travel,” says Branco. “We share the vision and the values of the company.” That vision, she adds, stems back to Doug’s 1980 decision to leave a teaching career to follow his own passion for travel by founding the tour business.

The new leadership took over in 2021 in the midst of the global COVID pandemic, a time Branco describes as “the most challenging in the travel industry’s history.” She’s confident in their ability to successfully weather whatever lies ahead. “We’re a great team. We have our unique strengths and balance each other really well.”

While Branco acknowledges that COVID has generated lasting changes

for the travel industry, her team is finding positives as they rebound. “The industry has really exploded,” she says. “We’ve just had our best winter season ever with incredible demand.” She adds that this is being fueled, in part, by a “bucket list trend” as people are becoming less inclined to put off travel plans.

Because of the post-pandemic challenges to travel, many clients tend to seek assistance from professional advisors. Here Ellison is well poised to step up. “We’re lucky to have an incredible team of knowledgeable professionals who are good at what they do,” Branco says. “And we have partnerships with major global travel consortiums that provide us with products and supports so that we have the best to offer our clients.” 

ELLISON TRAVEL AND TOURS  FOR MORE INFORMATION • ELLISON TRAVEL AND TOURS • 311 Main Street, Exeter (Head Office) • 519-235-2000 • 4 -1930 Hyde Park Road • 519-672-7020 •
bizlife 46 Lifestyle May/June 2023
LEFT TO RIGHT Marcie Ellison Outerbridge, Doug Ellison, Cathy Ellison, Michelle Branco, Paulo Branco.
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