Lifestyle Magazine July/August 2024

Page 10





A 2400 sq ft main house featuring 4 beds and 3 baths, on 1.4 acres of private land spread across 2 separate lots on the serene shores of Lake Huron. The main house is complemented by a fully insulated, year-round "Bunk Building" located on the upper lot. There is a Koi pond, mature trees, pristine gardens, and a stairway that leads down to the lower lot. The lakefront lot features 2 charming bunkies and 85 feet of your own private beach and sparkling blue waters. Ridgeview on Huron is not just a home; it's a lifestyle, o ering the perfect blend of luxury, privacy, and natural beauty. Call John today for viewing.

Hug Summer, Embrace Change

Ilove summer. There’s so much to love — extra time with family and friends during vacations and long weekends; not having to put on layer upon layer of heavy clothing; cooking and eating outside; music and cultural festivals; abundant colours in the garden and a feeling of being carefree.

Turns out I’m not alone.

“Life is a series of seasons, each one a unique chapter of your story.”


Statistics Canada’s 2021 census numbers show how many of us appreciate the year’s warmest months. Hiking and backpacking (40 per cent) were the most popular outdoor activities. Also in that year, 26 per cent of people partook in wildlife viewing or photography. Water activities are also a favourite. In 2021: 19 per cent of people reported canoeing or kayaking; 15 per cent went motorboating or jet-skiing; 18 per cent of people fished, while another 18 per cent camped in a tent.

Recognizing this love affair with the outdoors, we’ve put together a vibrant multi-page spread (starting on page 26) on what to wear when gearing up to enjoy and explore the outdoors. You’ll look great enjoying your chosen activities.

But spending time outdoors comes at a cost, so we have advice from four experts on summer skin and hair care on page 32. Ben Franklin’s wisdom, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” is nose-on when it comes to prepping for outdoor activities.

The changing of seasons, whether you’re a confirmed fan of sun and sand or prefer the colder, snowy months, can remind us to embrace change as a whole. Aging is the change we see reflected in the seasons: the spring of youth to the summer of young adulthood,

the autumn of middle age and the winter of growing older. From the seasons we see that each is beautiful in its own way. Each holds us close, as we embrace the colours, aromas, activities and emotions rolling through each year, each decade.

It’s up to each of us to move through the seasons and the years with grace, optimizing our time on earth not just for ourselves and our loved ones but to enrich and strengthen the community as a whole. Healthier, happier people put less strain on social and health systems, leaving professionals time to devote to others with unavoidable health and wellness issues.

On page 60, we have a review of an interesting book. Though I enter the kitchen only to obtain morning coffee and when it’s my turn to do dinner cleanup, I’m intrigued by Sue Gordon’s review of Good Food, Good Mood Turns out we can be responsible for both mental and physical health just by choosing how to nourish our bodies.

Congratulations are in order. On page 24, you’ll see a sidebar announcing the formation of a new player in the area’s renovation scene, CLAY. Having known and worked with Bonnie and Craig Hardy and Mark Vaandering over the years, I’m happy for them, and Lifestyle wishes them the best as they move forward.



Chris McDonell


Jill Ellis-Worthington


Derek Botten

Lisa Brandt

Jill Ellis-Worthington

Sue Gordon

Bryan Lavery

Lois Quail

Sue Sutherland-Wood

Janis Wallace

Kym Wolfe


Jane Antoniak 519-719-9366

Annette Gent 519-200-0283

Lorraine Lukings 519-520-7676

Jan McGrath 519-243-2932


Wendy Reid


Bill McGrath


Wendy Reid



Richard Bain

Jesse Bellringer


Redding Design Inc.

Lifestyle is published six times a year. Copies are distributed through magazine stands and local businesses in London and surrounding area.

Wishing you all that is bright and beautiful,

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.

CONTACT LIFESTYLE AT 525 Huron Street, London ON N5Y 4J6 • 519-434-8349



It began with a desire to give back to the community. Nearly two years later, with the contributions of more than 50 members of the London Home Builders’ Association (LHBA) and the building community, the Green Home Build opened in March 2024.

The net zero ready house backs onto Warbler Woods in Riverbend. Net zero houses are more energy-efficient, reducing their impact on the environment. The term net zero, according to Canadian Home Builders Association, describes a new or renovated house that produces as much clean energy


throughout were chosen for energy efficiency and reduced emissions.

Set in the Warbler Woods community, the Sifton-built green home reflects its surroundings. Sale of the net zero ready home will support Heroes Circle/Kids Kicking Cancer as one of the London Home Builders’ Association’s give-back initiatives.

as it consumes. All parts of the house work together to provide consistent temperatures for more comfort. To be considered net zero ready, a house has to surpass the Ontario Building Code standards, with the infrastructure built to become net zero with the addition of a renewable energy source.

Continuing its impact on the community, LHBA decided to build a green home with the proceeds of its sale to support Heroes Circle/Kids Kicking Cancer. “It was 10 years ago that the first green

home was built in an effort to fundraise to support the creation of the Cancer Survivor Garden, so it is only fitting that today we are building our second green home with the proceeds being shared between LHBA programs and initiatives and a wonderful charity, Kids Kicking Cancer Canada,” says Jared Zaifman, LHBA CEO.

Sifton used Building Knowledge Canada’s optimized performance package to design the house.

“It was quite a process,” says Sifton

Reflecting its earth-friendly profile, the home’s colour scheme is subtle and soothing, with some moody punctuations, as in the main floor’s multi-purpose room, which can serve as an office, den or guest bedroom. Sifton’s interior decorating team selected colours, textures and finishes to create a calming feeling rather than a specific look.

interior design and décor consultant Gabi Brown. The lot was set aside in 2019, and planning began in August 2022. “We’re proud of it.”

The house fits the streetscape with its stately mix of stone and clay brick façade. It’s what you can’t see that makes the big difference.

“The envelope is thicker with more insulation,” says Nick Coates, estimator for Sifton Properties. “It’s a tighter house.” He lists some of the elements that create a tighter envelope: triple

The kitchen opens to the woodsy view, with soaring windows and double terrace doors to the deck, taking advantage of the lot’s position. It backs on to Warbler Woods and its lovely vistas of flowering plants, trees and wildlife. Nature’s rich colours are reflected in the green bar stools and brown flooring, contrasting with dark and light shades of grey. There’s space for entertaining, with seating in the eating area and at the island. 

pane windows with Low-E 366 glass to keep the heat in during winter and out during summer; heat pump and dualfuel furnace and air conditioner; and increased insulation top to bottom. The roof, for example, has 20 per cent more insulation. Energy consumption is reduced, and comfort levels boosted, he adds. Materials throughout were chosen for energy efficiency and reduced emissions. The paint is zero VOC, countertops are

mostly recycled material and even the concrete is a special low-emission mixture. The lot, which backs on to Warbler Woods — prized for its flowering plants, trees, wildlife and trails — influenced much of the design inside and out. “The plan was customized to take advantage of the surroundings,” says Brown. “The woods drove the design. The overall aesthetic is natural, not really modern so it would blend with its neighbours.”

With an archway leading from the kitchen, the pantry contains a small fridge, microwave, drawer, sink, storage and prep space, allowing the kitchen to remain a tidy, welcoming atmosphere when dining or hosting friends.

The back opens to the woodsy view, with soaring windows and double terrace doors to the deck. Emily Lebrun-Zandri, junior designer, says the layering of textures in neutral tones set the theme. An oversize fireplace, with step-back mantel, balances the windows.

One motif is fluting, seen on the back of the kitchen island, glass pocket doors, bar cabinet and linen tower. Another is soft, cozy fabrics, such as boucle and velvet. Metals and stone play a role, from

The primary bedroom and its ensuite offer a sanctuary-like feeling, as the large windows overlook nature’s beauty and the interior calms with subtle colours and textures. Arches are used to advantage, creating inviting rooms in which to relax. The ensuite typifies the project’s use of materials chosen for energy efficiency, while catering to current homebuyers’ tastes and needs for beautiful, functional spaces. The walk-in closet is a large, sumptuous space with plenty of organized storage.

the dramatic brass pendants in the great room to the alabaster light fixtures in most rooms. Arches repeat in doorways, niches and the primary ensuite.

“It fell together once we saw the alabaster fixtures and decided to use them throughout,” says Lebrun-Zandri. “They catch the eye but don’t jump out at you.”

Brown says the kitchen doesn’t have a large footprint because the pantry contains a small fridge, microwave

drawer, sink and storage. It’s one of the few spaces with rich colour. An oversize island and hood dominate the kitchen.

“Everything we selected was geared to creating a feeling rather than a look,” says Lebrun-Zandri. “We wanted it to be timeless but still impactful. We did that through detail. Everything has something special.” The details include wall mouldings, drapery and hardware.

On the main floor, a multi-purpose room can be an office, den or guest bedroom.

“The footprint of the primary bedroom is smaller, but it still feels spacious. We wanted something calming. You wake up, open the doors and it’s like a sanctuary.”

Upstairs, the primary bedroom, laundry, main bathroom and three more bedrooms offer a practical flow of space. Each bedroom features large windows.

“The footprint of the primary bedroom is smaller, but it still feels spacious” says Brown. “We wanted something calming. You wake up, open the doors and it’s like a sanctuary.” It echoes themes from downstairs in ribbed quilting, reeded glass, arches, including one that defines the shower in dramatic tile. “I love arches,” says Brown. “They create individual spaces that make them more special. They create a sightline looking through a doorway, so you want to go in and see it.”

A side entrance leads to the main level or to a partiallyfinished basement, allowing options.

During construction, students from Fanshawe College’s residential construction program toured the house. “Many had not been on a jobsite,” says Coates. “They could touch and see the home.”

Fanshawe design students also came to view the green and sustainability aspects. “It meant getting out of the classroom and seeing realities and possibilities,” says Brown.

Amanda Moss, LHBA director of marketing and communications, says the association promotes careers and community support. “We have a connection to the community through our members giving back. Finding one with this level of impact was important.” •

JANIS WALLACE has written for newspapers, magazines, scripts and social media on topics from music to dog food, fashion to décor, agriculture to gardens. She wrote a book about a theatre, a place she loves to be — in the audience or on stage.

Just the facts

Advanced construction methods and materials, with better heating, cooling and ventilation equipment, provide even temperatures throughout the house. This also creates better indoor air quality, reducing allergens and asthma triggers. As well as lower energy costs and higher durability, the house is quieter.

Components that cut energy consumption by 50 per cent include:

• 20 per cent increased ceiling insulation

• 15 per cent increased exposed floor insulation

• 2 inches of rigid insulation in exterior walls

• 2 inches of spray foam insulation under basement floor

• Triple-pane windows with tempered Low-E 366 glass

• Air tightness score of 1.5 ACH or less

• 96 per cent efficiency furnace

• 0.96 EF electric tanked hot water heater

• Plumbing fixtures for specific low-flow rate (such as 5.7L or less/min. on bathroom faucets)

• All Energy Star appliances

• All LED lighting


Both building trades and suppliers played a key role in creating the home. “We needed suppliers to participate with us,” says Sifton interior design and décor consultant Gabi Brown. “The majority came to the table immediately.” She says they donated or discounted the cost of major items. “There was so much positive reaction because of the cause.”


ENGINEERING: Strik Baldinelli Moniz Ltd., Archibald, Gray & McKay Ltd. INTERIOR DESIGN AND DÉCOR CONSULTANTS: Gabi Brown, Emily Lebrun-Zandri WINDOWS: Centennial Windows & Doors WINDOW COVERINGS: Covers Designers’ Edge STONE/MASONRY: Jan Litwin Construction INTERIOR DOORS, TRIM, WALL MOULDINGS: North Pole Trim & Supplies, Dion Custom Carpentry FRONT AND SIDE DOORS, DOUBLE DOORS, GARAGE: Centennial Windows & Doors

TIMBER AND BUILDING SUPPLIES: Titan Truss, Copp’s Buildall, DuPont Performance Building Solutions HARDWOOD AND CARPET: Sacwal Flooring


CABINETRY, VANITIES, BUILT-INS: GCW Custom Kitchens & Cabinetry Inc.

COUNTERTOPS: Progressive Countertops

CLOSETS: Nieman Market Design

PLUMBING: Enercare by Atchison Plumbing & Heating

PLUMBING FIXTURES: Paton Bros. Plumbing

LIGHTING: The Lighting Shoppe

APPLIANCES: London Major Appliances

PAINT: Sherwin Williams

SECURITY: Alarmtech

ELECTRICAL: Arcon Electric Ltd.


Car-Wal Garage Doors Inc.

SIDING: James Hardie Building Products

STRUCTURAL CONCRETE: Concrete Forming (1980)

DECK: Forans Fence Deck & Spa

EXTERIOR GLASS: Eco Architectural Glass

PAVING STONE: Triple H Paving Stone

With no budget for furnishings, Austin & Taylor Home Furnishings stepped in to provide them. Ben & Britt at Home staged the primary bedroom and dressing room, adding décor from HomeSense and Structube

The second floor houses the primary bedroom and three others.



MODERN o makeover

Once-trendy design choices were showing their age on the main floor of this 20 -year-old Masonville-area home. The dark wood kitchen, oak staircase and choppy floorplan reflected the sensibilities of the early-2000s but weren’t working for the current owners in 2024.

A main-floor renovation was recently completed by Millenium Construction and Design, Inc. Millenium has just announced its merger with Covenant Construction and McKaskell Haindl Design Build, creating a new powerhouse in London’s renovation scene called CLAY. (See sidebar.)

Mark Vaandering, Millenium’s coowner and director of sales and design, led this renovation project. His clients wanted the main level modernized with

OPPOSITE PAGE Eliminating a wall separating living room and kitchen opened the space. EXTERIOR This north London home was built in the early 2000s. ABOVE The kitchen is on trend, exhibiting the use of multiple colours and textures. Big globe fixtures, herringbone tile and large island make this a bright welcoming space. BEFORE The kitchen’s awkward layout needed to be revamped.

“The team built a walk-through pantry that’s almost too pretty to hide.

a better flow and more space for people to gather. Job one was to remove a wall that separated the kitchen from the living room.

“You had to walk around the wall to get into the kitchen and there was a little corner pantry,” Vaandering says. “Eliminating the wall made the kitchen part of the space, but once the wall was removed the kitchen was too far back and felt disconnected from the living room.”

The kitchen island was moved forward,

and the team built a walk-through pantry that’s almost too pretty to hide. However, it’s situated behind a new wall that supports major appliances and cupboards. More like a room than a typical pantry, it houses smaller appliances, including the microwave, and a bonus sink. It also features beautiful fi nishes and plenty of openshelf storage.

Vaandering says homeowners want pantries that do more than just keep


The renovated space now flows for relaxed family living. To facilitate this, the banister was updated with new balustrades and finials, painted risers and a wool runner.


BEFORE The dated fireplace was replaced with a contemporary model integrated with open shelving and cabinets to form a stylish statement wall.

Sometimes clients can “shop” in their own home, surprised at what they’ve already got that’s worthy of display.

cans and jars out of sight. “We’re doing more pantries that are inclusive beyond just shelving. This one is just as beautiful as the kitchen.”

The smooth luxury of the countertops (supplied by Classic Granite and Marble) in the kitchen, alongside painted fi nishes on the cabinets and rich oak in the island, typify the current kitchen trend of using multiple colours and textures, says Vaandering.

“We’ve got wood on the island. The cupboards have a darker shade on the bottom, lighter on top and a little bit of

openness. In the pantry, we mimicked the same thing and then changed the counters to black granite, with a honed fi nish, for a complementary but darker colour scheme.”

Centura herringbone tiles form the kitchen’s backsplash, adding interest to the small area. In the pantry, a dark picket backsplash begins a beautiful flow that continues onto the countertop and deep grey cabinetry to the hexagon floor tiles. The colours are moody but expressive, giving the workspace a personality all its own.

Removing the original wall also required installing a beam to support the ceiling. Vaandering says a vaulted ceiling over the dining area looked like a “circus tent” once the beam was in place. Lowering the vault and creating continuity made the new work inconspicuous. “Removing the wall and installing a beam meant lowering the ceiling by two inches. So, keeping it level made more sense. We already had a high ceiling in the living room.”

Vaandering says it’s his job to refl ect and build on the owners’ vision.


An experienced designer, he nudges ideas forward when he knows an element will enhance the space, but his clients can’t quite picture it.

“When I suggested the large, globe light fi xtures over the island they were like, ‘Oh my gosh, are

LEFT and MIDDLE The enlarged and updated laundry area is now roomy enough to also act as a mudroom. To enhance the laundry portion of the room, a quartz countertop was added for folding laundry in style. A shiplap wall and patterned flooring give the room character.

they too big?’ And I said, ‘You’ve got a big space, so put in big lights.’”

They and all the new lighting, including a sputnik fi xture at the front door that replaced a pot light, were sourced at the Lighting Shoppe.

With new island chairs comfortable enough to relax in, the homeowners decided to place their large TV screen at one end of the kitchen. The frame-style TV is inconspicuous, displaying a family picture when it’s not in use.

Sometimes recycling is necessary for more than just environmental reasons. Standard flooring sizes have changed over the two-decade span. “This flooring is ash, and we couldn’t get the same size,” says Vaandering, “so, we extracted what was in the pantry and used it where the wall came out. And then Huron Flooring sanded the floor and did a matte fi nish.”


Three local renovation industry leaders have merged to form a new company called CLAY.

CLAY brings together Covenant Construction and McKaskell Haindl Design Build — who joined forces last year — with Millennium Construction and Design. The three combined are now known as CLAY, the largest renovation company in London and one of the largest in the region. CLAY has approximately 50 employees and offers a full suite of home renovation, design, construction, millwork and manufacturing services.

Craig Hardy, cofounder of Covenant Construction, is the president of the new entity. He says CLAY simplifies the renovation process by putting all elements under one roof.

“We have a 10,000-square-foot millworkcabinetry shop. Millennium had a smaller one as well, so we pulled them together. We also do full design — architectural, as well as interior design — in-house through to implementation. It will be one-stop.”

Hardy admits combining the companies has been “a process.” But it was simplified by shared values and depth of experience.

“There are so many similarities in how we run our projects. Our philosophy about employees versus subtrades. About working with the client hand in hand. It really hasn’t been as challenging as it may sound,” he adds.

CLAY’s head of sales and design Mark Vaandering agrees. “It’s a great collaboration. We all strive to do our best and have everybody go home happy. Our employees will have more opportunities as well.”

“The goal wasn’t to be the biggest,” explains Hardy. “It’s to be the best at what we do and what we can offer the client. And the synergy of these three companies together is going to give us the best opportunity to give clients as close to a hassle-free project as possible.”

Visit CLAY at and find them under the handle @ClayHomeSpaces on Facebook, Instagram, Houzz and LinkedIn.

Special touches, such as the use of gold hardware, gives the space its own personality.

A gorgeous new fi replace from Guildwood Lighting and Fireside is bookended by open shelves on either side. Vaandering convinced the homeowners to go for this clean yet functional look, and they’re glad he did.

“She said, ‘I’m not a knick-knack person. I don’t want to go fi nd things to put on it because I don’t know how to do that.’ I said, ‘Well, we’ll fi gure that out.’ A friend of hers went out and picked up a bunch of stuff and now she [the client] agrees it looks great.”

Sometimes clients can “shop” in their own home, surprised at what they’ve already got that’s worthy of display.

An oak-on-oak staircase was in desperate need of an update. Handrail ends featuring large swirls of polished oak were replaced with simple, painted newel posts to lighten the look. Millennium also painted the risers, added new finials from North Pole Trim 

and installed a beautiful carpet runner.

“I always like to use wool carpet stair runners because it’s such a durable product,” says Vaandering. “It’s also very natural looking.”

Down the hallway, the original laundry room was a tiny space at the home’s back entrance. This is where the homeowners enter the house most often. Once a Jacuzzi was removed from the adjacent ensuite off the primary bedroom, the renovators were able to steal floor space for a combination laundry room/ mudroom. A stacking washer and dryer opened the area even more.

They added plenty of storage, including bins beneath bench seating, hooks for hanging coats and a quartz countertop for folding clothes. The cabinetry here and elsewhere in the home was all built in-house by Millenium. A shiplap wall and fun patterned flooring give the mudroom character.

“We used the same cabinet colours as in the kitchen,” Vaandering explains, “but we did it opposite, with the uppers dark and the lowers light. We brought in the same oak as we used on the kitchen island and changed out the Berenson hardware colour. And we put a barn door on so we wouldn’t have to swing a door into this space.”

Carrying the colour scheme into the primary ensuite created a cohesiveness with the rest of the house. Special touches, such as the use of gold hardware, gives the space its own personality. Structural changes here also became possible once the Jacuzzi was taken out. Vaandering says, “The room [ensuite] didn’t need to be as big as it was, although it still feels spacious. We moved the toilet to the other side. The shower [from London Glass & Mirror] is gorgeous. The countertop is quartz. We played with black and gold on the light fi xtures and the mirror frames. And the flooring has in-floor heat.”

The renovated home is living space that feels open yet connected, practical but stylish.

Millenium’s expert team can be found under the new moniker CLAY at •

LISA BRANDT is a freelance writer, voice-over professional, podcaster and author of five books. You can find her at She lives in Port Stanley with her husband and their supervisor, a senior cat named Cuddles.


The sun is shining and tennis courts, golf courses, beaches and wooded trails are calling.

When it’s time to get out and play, gear up in fashion finds from area retailers. Go from here to there and back again in style and comfort.

Whether you want to garden, hike, camp, hit a few balls with a club or racket or stroll the boardwalk with your favourite someone, you will find something to love on these pages.

1 2 3 5 6 7 4


1 Dorothee Schumacher’s All Time Favourites T-shirt and Victoria Beckham Fit-and-Flare denim skirt. Hangar9

2 Leather loafers from See by Chloé. Hangar9

3 Marc Cain laser-cut shopper bag. Hangar9

4 Sunray linen shirt and Rag & Bone ultra featherweight Logan beach pants. Hangar9

5 Tommy Bahama Kauai Legendary Leaves V-neck T-shirt. Studio Style

6 Tommy Bahama Aruba full-zip sweatshirt. Studio Style

7 Marc Cain crossover sandals. Hangar9

8 Free People sandals (variety of colours). Leslie’s Clothing

9 Hand-woven Heart Bali Bag from Pokoloko. Leslie’s Clothing

10 ECCO women’s Breathru sneakers. Ovation Shoes

11 Alison Sheri denim jacket. Studio Style

12 Violet Lola linen pant. Grace The Boutique

13 Tommy Bahama button-down shirt and Boracay jeans. Buragina’s Men’s Fashions 14 Button-down floral blouse. Leslie’s Clothing 15 Ilse Jacobsen Hornbæk’s tulip shoe. Leslie’s Clothing 

16 Merrell Speed Fusion web backstrap sandal. White Balmer Shoes

17 Woven straw fedora. Sparta Country Candles

18 Cutter & Buck polo shirt. Buragina’s Men’s Fashions

19 Cutter & Buck camo-print shorts. Buragina’s Men’s Fashions

20 Socksmith men’s Tee It Up socks. White Balmer Shoes

21 Woven mesh-top Panama hat. Sparta Country Candles

22 Cole & Parker no-show socks. Buragina’s Men’s Fashions

23 A Fish Named Fred casual shirt. Winston’s Men’s Wear

24 Cole & Parker ankle socks. Buragina’s Men’s Fashions

25 ECCO Yucatan walking sandal. White Balmer Shoes

26 Cole & Parker ankle socks. Buragina’s Men’s Fashions

27 Lightweight cotton bucket hat made in Canada by Parkhurst. Boutique Firenze
Tommy Bahama Ashby Isles Seabreeze three-quarter sleeve T-shirt. Studio Style
EsQulao blue tile print peasant blouse. Static Boutique


3-189 Adelaide St, London 519-649-4122 •


639 Southdale Rd, London 519-686-5217 •


76 Ontario St, Stratford 519-273-0005 •


620 Richmond St, London 519-672-0073 •


15 Bayfield Main St N, Bayfield 519-565-2303 •


6 Main St N, Bayfield 38 Main St W, Grand Bend 519-878-3808 •


164 Courthouse Square, Goderich • 519-524-5972


46361 Sparta Line, Sparta 519-775-0054 •

37 Toad & Co Clothing's Tempo polo shirt. Metanoia Boutique

38 Keen men’s Newport H2 hybrid hiking/ water sandals. Ovation Shoes

39 Linen canvas ball cap made in Canada by Puffin Gear. Boutique Firenze



40 Main St W, Grand Bend 519-238-1578 •


215 Main St, Port Stanley 519-782-7467 •


80 Courthouse Square, Goderich 519-612-1000 •


123 Ontario St, Stratford 519-271-6661 •


8 Courthouse Square, Goderich 519-440-0633


Tips for summer skin and hair care

Sun, sand, heat, humidity, chlorine, chemicals and fun in the sun. We can enjoy the last one without giving in to the others.

With care and consideration, summer’s skin and hair pitfalls can be navigated to minimize damage and enjoy all that is great about the best months of the year. We asked experts to weigh in with their best advice.

“Summertime is intense for getting sun exposure. Chronic sun damage accumulates over the years and gets worse as we age, causing photoaging,” says Dr. Arjang Yazdani, of Yazdani Aesthetics.

Wearing a hat and using sunscreen are

no-brainers and the experts agree that these two are number one and two on the list for a reason. “There are so many good sunscreens out there that match every type of skin. There’s no reason that anyone shouldn’t have a sunscreen and use it,” he adds. “It’s the most important item to have on your vanity.”

Dr. Corey Moore agrees that repeated overexposure causes structural damage, making skin leathery. It can damage DNA and cause cancer over time. In addition to his private practice at Woodfield Surgical Centre, Dr. Moore is a facial reconstruction surgeon, specializing in cancer surgery at St. Joseph’s Hospital.

“There are so many good sunscreens out there that match every type of skin. It’s the most important item to have on your vanity.”


Using a wide spectrum sunscreen, says Dr. Moore, is key. “Most sunscreens now protect against both UVA and UVB rays. In the past, they only protected against UVB, but now studies show that UVA protection is also important.” It has been recognized that the two types of UV rays work together to cause cancers.

Dr. Yazdani favours mineral-based sunscreens for the face, neck and decolletage area. “They work effectively and can be put on with other products; they are very safe to use.”

Mineral-based products are smoother and more sweat resistant; they are often tinted eliminating the need for foundation and work well with other products, as well as makeup.

What about SPF (sun protection factor)? Both doctors say that a product with an SPF of 30 is good but must be applied more often. One with an SPF of 60 or higher has to be redone less often but can be thicker. “They can be greasier and clog pores,” Dr. Moore explains. “Some sunscreens work well for some skin types but can cause problems for others.

The same mineral-based sunscreen used on the face can be worn all over. But if you want to use something different on face and body, Dr. Yazdani says a sports sunscreen, like EltaMD Sport, is a good choice.

“The best sunscreen is one that you’ll wear,” he adds saying that factors like texture and scent are important, theorizing that if you like it, you’ll wear it more often.

Dr. Moore also recommends wearing a T-shirt or UV-protective garments for extra protection. “All clothing blocks UV rays; some fabrics reflect a bit more, so are cooler to wear.”

Occasionally we can get a burn, and applying aloe gel can help. “It hasn’t been scientifically proven but from personal experience, aloe does seem to help,” Dr. Moore explains.

Both experts espouse wearing hats when outside for a longer time to protect the face and neck in addition to wearing sunscreen.

Stylists agree because shielding the hair and scalp from the sun is equally important. Wearing a hat protects your tresses from being dried and bleached by the sun and the scalp from being burned. As we age — says Maria Bikas, owner of Maria Bikas Salon (MBS) — hair thins, so scalp burns can become a problem when not wearing a hat. She advises using a mineral-based sunscreen, like Invisible Zinc Stick, on your part line.

But if your scalp gets a bit too much sun, spraying it with aloe water or aloe vera juice to cool it down can help.

If you’re not going to wear a hat, Bikas recommends spritzing on a heat protectant spray before spending time outdoors. “Damp hair, use heat protectant spray and put it up in a soft band,” she explains.

Most sunscreens now protect against both UVA and UVB rays. In the past, they only protected against UVB, but now studies show that UVA protection is also important.”

Theresa Abele, owner of Beauty Supply Outlet (BSO), concurs but recommends spraying on a multi-tasking spray-in conditioner before going outside. She favours Pureology Colour Fanatic 21 for the task.

Abele emphasizes that getting your locks wet while lounging poolside is not a good idea. “As soon as you get chlorine in the hair, it becomes fragile and porous, especially if it has been chemically treated. Chlorine changes the structure of the hair.”

If you do laps or do water exercise, she says that using a clarifying shampoo immediately after is imperative. “I recommend two washes and rinse thoroughly, follow with an intense conditioning mask.

Bikas has a low-cost trick she recommends, especially for blondes: “To limit the amount of chlorine absorbed by the hair, spray or rinse it with a quarter cup of apple cider vinegar before going into pool water.”

Both experts say that being gentle after washing and conditioning is important. “When your hair is wet, avoid pulling through it or gently use a wet brush or wide tooth comb. Aging means we lose elasticity. Hair becomes weaker and more brittle, so it breaks more easily,” says Bikas.

Abele adds, “Be very gentle. For long hair, do it in sections. Spray in a conditioner to get through it more easily. Being rough with wet hair can cause a lot of breakage.”

Thinning hair is often a symptom of a tight scalp, so she recommends giving

your head a brief, gentle massage while shampooing to increase circulation.

Showering off pool water also helps skin. “The concentrations of chlorine in pool water are not a concern. It tends to have a drying affect, so showering off may make the skin more comfortable,” says Dr. Moore.

According to skin therapist at Yazdani Aesthetics Katelyn McIntyre-Izawa. “Chlorine can be drying on the skin, so it would be beneficial to have a hydrating hyaluronic acid serum and rich cream to use post a long day of swimming.” She recommends Alastin HA Immerse Serum.

There are also myriad hair products available to choose from for summer hair care. Stylists at MBS have these recommendations:

To get beach waves, spray braided hair with Kérastase Curl Manifesto Creme before bed, according to Lindsay.

“Brush your hair out at night with fingers and use an overnight oil for a smoother look,” says Melissa.

Frizzy hair seems to be an unavoidable problem for people with curly or wavy locks. Athena recommends using Kérastase Crème De Jour Fondamentale for heat protection during blow drying to reduce frizz.

Recognizing the difficulty of deciding which products will work best for your particular hair type and lifestyle, Abele uses her experience to talk with customers about their hair habits. Then she’s able

to make recommendations from the wide array of professional-grade products stocked at BSO. “I ask a series of questions to help make recommendations. Many don’t know that using professional products actually saves money because they are concentrated, and you use less. So, to make sure they are using them properly, I can demonstrate on our mannequin in the store,” says Abele.

Purchasing and using the right skin care products can also be mystifying. Nadine Sabino, who is a nurse and a partner at the Yadzani clinic, recommends applying products from “thin to thick: cleanser, toner, moisturizer, sunscreen, daytime serum.”

Anti-aging products, with retinol or vitamin A can cause skin to be more sensitive to the sun and promote getting sunspots, according to Dr. Moore, so wearing a good sunscreen on areas — face, neck, decolletage, hands — treated by these products is especially important.

Though we need to be cautious about sun exposure and diligent about protecting both skin and, summer is a time for celebrating life outdoors.

“Enjoy the sun. It has mental health benefits, helping with vitamin D,” says Dr. Moore. •

JILL ELLIS-WORTHINGTON is fond of wordplay, with 35 years as a writer, editor and communications professional. She feels that a sense of humor is as important as breathing because there’s almost nothing a good laugh can’t make better.



You can protect yourself and your family and still have fun under the sun.

COVER UP. When the UV Index is 3 or higher, protect your skin as much as possible. Wear lightcoloured, long-sleeved shirts, pants, and a widebrimmed hat made from breathable fabric. When you buy sunglasses, make sure they provide protection against both UVA and UVB rays.

LIMIT YOUR TIME IN THE SUN. Keep out of the sun and heat between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. The UV index in Canada can be 3 or higher during those times. When your shadow is shorter than you, the sun is very strong. Look for places with lots of shade, like a park with big trees, partial roofs, awnings, umbrellas or gazebo tents. Always take an umbrella to the beach.

USE THE UV INDEX FORECAST. Tune in to local radio and TV stations or check online for the UV index forecast in your area. When the UV index is 3 or higher, wear protective clothing, sunglasses, and sunscreen, even when it’s cloudy.

USE SUNSCREEN. Put sunscreen on when the UV index is 3 or higher. Use sunscreen labelled “broad spectrum” and “water resistant” with an SPF of at least 30. Apply generously and evenly, at least 15 minutes before you go out in the sun and reapply at least every 2 hours during exposure. Reapply it more often if you are sweating, swimming, or towelling off.

PROTECT YOUR LIPS TOO. Use lip balms with SPF.

AVOID USING TANNING EQUIPMENT. There is no such thing as a “healthy” tan. Using tanning equipment damages your skin and increases your risk of developing melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer.

DRINK PLENTY OF COOL LIQUIDS (especially water) before you feel thirsty. If sunny days are also hot and humid, stay cool and hydrated to avoid heat illness. Dehydration (not having enough fluids in your body) is dangerous, and thirst is not a good indicator of dehydration.

Source: Health Canada



Summer trips on the road are a fond memory from my younger days. In my mind’s eye, I can still see the sharp images of a pile of kids in a station wagon towing a trailer to see new sights, the memory bringing a wistful smile.

These days, my style of road travel is somewhat more refined. I don’t yearn for the chores of setting up the trailer, unfurling sleeping bags and gathering firewood, or the variables of blazing sun, bugs or rain. Give me an air-conditioned room with hot and cold running water and climate control, and I’m a much happier “camper” when I’m on an adventure. So, when I plan for a road trip these days, I assume I’ll be in my comfortable vehicle, staying in motels and eating in restaurants. (Your mileage may vary.)

That said, whether you’re packing up to rough it in a tent, heading to the cottage, beach or somewhere across the country, planning is crucial for an enjoyable road trip. I’ve put together a list of some travel add-ons to consider. Some of these are essentials for me, so in no particular order here are some suggestions to consider bringing on your journey:


Whether it’s used for drinking, cleanups or pet hydration, it will serve you well to have some potable water available. Water will keep better in a clean glass container rather than a plastic one.


Whether you are carrying kids or not, having a package of baby wipes can give a quick refresh to sticky fingers, smudged glasses, dirty device screens and a dry and tired face. For bigger clean-ups, I once saw a traveller that had bungee-strapped a roll of paper towels to the inside of the trunk lid. Brilliant!


Always store valuable items in a locking console or glove box. Bigger items left in an unattended car should be out of sight under a rear package tray.



It’s always a good idea to be able to charge your phone in the car and to pack extras for road trips. Most drug and office stores have them. There’s nothing worse than having your device run out of juice, especially if this is also your GPS to navigate your trip, but we use them for

so many things during a day. I seem to be particularly hard on my phone because it usually goes in my pocket, so I have a case that encloses the phone and has slots for a few business cards and a credit card or some cash. (Does anybody else still use cash anymore?)


A dash cam can be helpful for safety or insurance reporting reasons, but it can also create an entertaining video of your road trip adventure. Some offer wide-angle lenses, GPS tracking and other Smart features, such as incident reporting and voice control, but even a basic unit will record your trip successfully. The playback, at high speed most of the time, is a great way to revisit all the sights when you’re back home.


Roof racks are by far the best spacesaving idea in the history of car accessories. In addition to storing luggage, there are custom options for mounting bicycles, canoes and other small watercraft. You can put most or all your luggage on the roof and have the trunk vacant for small bags, souvenirs, or other items picked up

along the way. Pack things up top that you won’t need in the cabin of the vehicle and maximize valuable leg and elbow room for passengers.


A rooftop luggage box also provides a great storage option. Caution: this works best if you or one of your travel companions is tall and strong enough to load and unload the box. If that’s not your situation, another idea is to get a trailer hitch installed, even if you’re not planning to tow a boat or camper. You can pull a small luggage box and size it according to your anticipated needs. Sleek options are available that even look stylish, if you’re driving a sportscar, but

there are models for any car with space restrictions and/or a convertible roof. In any case, be sure to confirm the box is waterproof or tarp it after it’s loaded to keep rain out.


There are many ways to utilize space on the back of the front seats. While some vehicles come with pockets or pouches to use, you can make that space even more useful with some of the gizmos on the market today.

• Headrest hooks to hang purses or packages.

• Organizers. Useful to store all the small items you want readily accessible.

• Device mount for smartphones or

Planning is crucial for an enjoyable road trip.

tablets or Nintendo Switch games.


Napping in a car during the summer can be like trying to fall asleep in an enclosed glass porch. A little shade goes a long way. While some people close the window on a towel, special window shades are available that pull down or stick to the glass with suction cups.


Motion sickness bands are excellent for minimizing nausea and other travel illnesses. If you or your companions suffer from morning sickness, motion sickness or migraines you may find natural relief without drowsiness or side effects.

in the history of car accessories.


Make sure the spare tire has air in it and you have the factoryequipped jack with you OR carry an up-to-date auto club membership card.


Jumper cables, duct tape, zip ties, screwdriver/pliers, a small knife, a coil of wire, extra fuses and penetrating oil can often get you rolling again in an emergency.


Cuts, scrapes and insect bites happen. It’s always good to have some first aid basics on board. You can either buy a pre-made kit or assemble some of the essentials from your home base. In addition to bandages and gauze pads, make sure you have disinfectant gel, tweezers and scissors. I have also used Krazy Glue as a temporary way to seal small cuts. Between trips, it can be used in the shop or garage.


This can stay a part of your car essentials all year long. It’s a handy way to organize tools, a first aid kit, jumper cables and extra protein bars. It’s far easier to find things when you always know where they have been stored!


Instead of stuffing used wipes, napkins and snack wrappers in doors and cup holders, contain all your trash in a portable garbage bag. Empty it at every stop. It will keep your car neat and tidy during the trip.


It’s nice to be able to grab a frosty beverage while you are stopped for a picnic lunch or at a scenic lookout. The savings alone over travel stop prices can justify the cost. It runs off the 12-volt power of the vehicle.

I hope this list gives you some inspiration and adds to your experience.

DEREK BOTTEN is a gearhead, who is a former local radio broadcaster and motorcycle show promoter. He currently does voicework and writing from his home studio to finance his motorcycle and classic car habits.

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From now on, fighting over the best seats will be a thing of the past. Introducing the all-new 2024 Lexus TX , the three-row SUV that provides a new era of luxury for everyone who gets the indulgent experience of driving in one. Not only is every seat the best seat, the new TX offers the best of everything: extraordinary comfort and interior space, an unmatched driving experience, incredible all-wheel handling, and a choice of gas or powerful selfcharging hybrid engines. The TX is the next chapter of Lexus SUVs, and it takes luxury to a completely new place.

A WARM WELCOME from the West Coast

The “Lifestyle ladies” hit the road again, on a mission to explore Huron County. It had been a personally challenging month for both of us, but we quickly found a measure of serenity as we slid into a sleek, shimmering 2024 TLX A-SPEC premium sport sedan from Acura West. The tasteful interior offered every comfort, including heated or cooled seats and individualized climate controls. Micro adjustments fitted the driver’s seat and steering wheel to my body like a glove, optimizing great visibility and nimble handling. The quiet engine hummed demurely as green fields flew by; we were enroute to what proved to be an invigorating and healing three days of Huron luxury.


Goderich, known as “the prettiest town in Canada,” has bounced back from a devastating tornado in 2011 with evident vitality. Shops and restaurants ring The Square in Courthouse Park, the unique octagonal centre “square,” a venue for music and culture festivals and the farmers’ market every Saturday. Down at the water’s edge, the newly renovated shoreline includes boardwalks connecting three pristine beaches, scenic heritage trails and parks perfect for enjoying spectacular Lake Huron sunsets. We went to Beach Street Station for lunch. In a feat of engineering, this historic railway station bistro was moved to its present location on Cove Street, directly across from Main Beach. Large panoramic windows and a spacious patio offer the best view on the coast. The interior is graceful and uplifting, with high arched ceilings. Our calamari fritto appetizer was crispy and tender, with the aioli giving a lively, spicy zing. We followed with a power bowl and fusion bowl. Both offered a generous medley of healthful, fresh ingredients, artfully arranged to please the palate and the eye. Post lunch, we toured the shops around Courthouse Square. First up was the aptly


named Something Irresistible, a small, independent boutique serving Goderich since 1992. Owner Shelley Peet joked that the store had survived two fires and a tornado while gaining a dedicated clientele. The quietly elegant women’s clothing draws on Danish and Dutch style, both sophisticated and casual. We loved the flowing designs and natural fabrics, as well as the thoughtful accessory items.

Just around the corner, an enticing display drew us into Winston’s Men’s Wear Ironically, Diane Brattain and her husband Bill moved to Goderich to retire, only to discover a lack of men’s clothing stores in the area. Seizing the opportunity, they established Winston’s, which offers everything from casual wear to highquality suits. Shoppers come from afar for designers such as A Fish Named Fred, excellent pricing and customer service

that includes alterations for a perfectly tailored fit.

A warm staff greeting launched a joyful shopping experience at All Around the House, where cottagers have clearly been kept in mind. We found a wide assembly of home décor items for every room of the house. Serving the community for three decades, this is the place to find a thoughtful gift or a treasure for the home.

“The more you know, the more you can create,” advised Julia Child. “There’s no end to imagination in the kitchen.” With 11 years in the business, The Culinary Poet can help novice and practiced chefs alike find new creative heights. Artfully arranged, this shop carries the best in quality cookware, bakeware, hand tools, chef’s knives and china. We were charmed by the extensive collection of cookie cutters, with shapes for every occasion.

We took a slight detour away from

Photo courtesy of Ontario’s Southwest.

Courthouse Square, heading to the iconic Culbert’s Bakery and its famous cream puffs, but came across Blake Street Bakery, in its first year just doors away. While admiring the fresh baked goods (They are already celebrated for their scones.), we met a dynamic young man. Liam chatted with us about his love for Goderich, praising its virtues for young people. He brought our attention to Maitland Valley Grotto bouldering gym, skateboarding opportunities and the exhilarating surfing available from the town’s beaches. He told us we had to visit SurfSup Eco Shop and we made that our next stop.

Warm, enthusiastic Tarah Coates established SurfSup Eco Shop in 2017. In addition to selling surfboards, longboards, paddle boards and associated gear, the store offers rentals and lessons. It also helps protect natural ecosystems by partnering with organizations that reduce environmental impact and create innovative, value-aligned products. The shop also offers a vibrant community space with an indoor mini skateboard ramp and a café serving locally roasted Kona coffee.

We were thankful we made a reservation for dinner at Part II Bistro. The cozy restaurant was completely full on a Tuesday evening, lively with the hum of happy diners. A friend who had recently retired to Goderich from Banff joined us for dinner and extolled the charms of small-town living. The menu, created by award-winning Chef Peter Gusso,

presented us with innovative approaches to traditional dishes. A pear salad burst with flavour, surprising us with shredded coconut and a cumin sheep gouda from local Blyth Farm Cheese. Each of our mains was deeply satisfying: the truffleinfused richness of the sacchietti pasta, the hearty lamb bolognaises with gnocchi and the tender and savoury salmon encrusted with citrus panko were all outstanding. After our dinner, Chef Gusso walked among the tables, ensuring all his customers were happy, a lovely way to end a delightful evening.


Tired after a full day, we made the short drive to Blyth to stay at the sumptuous Hotel Lux. The hotel, established in 2018 in a 130-year-old historic building, shows the highest standards in construction, materials and design. Tall ceilings, dramatic full-length drapes, local vintage photos and strategic lighting combine to create a stunning and inviting space. Owners Shane Yerema and Colleen Jordan completed both the design and construction, ensuring every detail was perfect. Filling a need for luxury ac-

commodation, the Inn serves visitors to the Blyth Festival Theatre and nearby Cowbell Brewing Co., as well as cyclists completing the Guelph to Goderich Rail Trail. A secure bicycle shed, complete with tools and air pump, make it the perfect stopover point on the trail.

The best coffee in Blyth is across the street at BRØD Bread & Pastry. In addition to an array of unique home-baked goods, outstanding hot and cold drinks retail coffee, tea and preserves, this inclusive community hub offers a safe space for all. Dedicated to creating a welcoming environment, supporting local businesses and connecting with every customer, the bakery also provides materials on local services for those in need, drawing on the owner’s background in mental health and addictions support.


Bayfield is not only a magnet for artists and galleries, the town itself is a work of art. Nestled on the cerulean shores of Lake Huron, this quaint village offers more than its stunning sunsets and pristine beaches. The historic downtown is a delightful stroll, lined with tall trees, boutique shops, art galleries and restaurants that emit the peaceful ambiance

FROM TOP DOWN, LEFT COLUMN SurfSup Eco Shop; Something Irresistible, Goderich. CENTRE COLUMN Blake Street Bakery; Part II Bistro; Winston’s Men’s Wear, Goderich. RIGHT COLUMN The Culinary Poet, Goderich; Hotel Lux, Blyth.

of an earlier era. The preserved 19th-century architecture gives Bayfield a timeless allure, while a vibrant community spirit is evident in a myriad of festivals and remarkably friendly residents.

The elegant Patina Studios & Gallery presents works from local artists and artisans. We immersed ourselves in beautiful paintings of regional landscapes, functional and decorative pottery, hand woven items and other fine crafts. Painter and co-owner of the gallery Joan Bailey reminded us that the most important aspects of our lives need to be fed. For her, this means getting up early and painting every day and the wonderful results line the walls of the gallery.

Entering the courtyard of Marten Arts Gallery, we discovered a serene oasis of metal and stone sculptures amidst greenery and a tranquil water feature. Appropriately named the Garden of Artists: A Collection of Garden Art with Form and Function, it is a subtle introduction to a wide collection of works by Canadian artists. For over 20 years, Marten Arts Gallery has been a prominent showcase for diverse art media, from whimsical to fine art. Whether seeking the perfect feature painting for your home or a keepsake from your Bayfield visit, the gallery has something for everyone.

We wandered across Main Street and received a warm greeting from Charlene Whitlock of Leslie’s Clothing. Her mother Leslie created this women’s boutique 35 years ago, and the mother/daughter team now run it together. The shop emphasizes natural fabrics and sustainable fashion, featuring Canadian and European designers such as Pokoloko, Tonia Debellis and Sanctuary. We were excited to find a broad collection of Tulip Platform shoes by Ilse Jacobsen, known for their lightness, funky style and natural rubber soles. This is a “go to” place to find stylish travel clothing and comfortable beach designs.

The sun was hot, and our feet were tired; it was time to find a shady patio for lunch! The Black Dog Village Pub provided ideal respite with a lively atmosphere and outstanding service. The menu changes seasonally and supports local producers. A lightly dressed, flavourful and very fresh Caesar salad was the perfect accompaniment for the scotch egg, a decadent compendium of Metzger’s sausage, hard boiled egg, panko crust and savory tomato chutney. A local woman comes in specifically to prepare this unique dish from the British Isles. Those desiring a more substantial meal will appreciate the stacked burgers or the popular haddock and chips. We enjoyed a refreshing Pom

and Stormy (pomegranate, lime and ginger beer) and Erdinger Alkoholfrei, but examined the cocktail, beer and scotch menus for another time. Connoisseurs will appreciate the extensive selection of local and imported beers as well as the staggering number of fine scotches.

Beautifully curated by colour, the Metamorphic Rock Shoppe and Gallery showcases items ranging from geodes and gemstone jewelry to paintings, plants, gifts, greeting cards and fossils, featuring the works of over 40 local artists and artisans. Owner Kaytlyn Creutzberg aims to inspire awe and transformation in visitors as they explore the gallery. Promoting vitality and peacefulness, the shop offers services such as Bio Pulsar-Reflexograph and colour vitality consultations. Whether for transformation, self-discovery, or simply appreciating beauty, visitors are encouraged to “colour their life” with the vibrant array of stones and artistic creations available.

A number of locals directed us to The Village Bookshop, a cherished institution since 2001. In a display of true community spirit, residents formed a human chain in 2013 to move the books to the current location. In 2020, five recently retired good friends purchased the bookshop, reopened it on March 19 — and had to close the next day due to the pandemic. This setback inspired a creative solution, and they were soon offering free delivery throughout Huron County, providing literature and puzzles for house-bound patrons. The store has flourished since, catering to the reading interests of the community and bringing awareness to new and local authors. Watch for events, both in the store and in the garden: book readings, the Glee Sisters, antique shows and more. The Village Bookstore is a proud sponsor of the Alice Munro Festival of the Short Story and was a favourite haunt of the

late Nobel laureate.

We were delighted when we saw our rooms at The Little Inn, which has been welcoming guests since 1847. Each of the Inn’s 16 meticulously maintained rooms balances historic charm with modern comfort. The jewel of the Inn, Room No. 1, is more like a sophisticated cottage than a hotel room. The inviting main area features a cozy sitting space with a fireplace, opening onto a private screened verandah leading to the garden. The expansive bathroom gleams with an opulent soaker tub and a spacious shower. This suite begs guests to linger and savour the sweetness of quiet and luxury.

As we enjoyed our dinner on the verandah overlooking Main Street, our engaging host, Jamie McDougall, described how he had been involved with the Inn since 2016 and became he owner/manager in 2023. His passion and dedication to the heritage of the building shone through as he described the care put into renovations and restoration of the premises. He aims to deliver a world-class experience for visitors through beautifully appointed accommodations and exceptional fine dining, while maintaining the charm of the old-world architecture.


FROM TOP LEFT Charlene Whitlock of Leslie's Clothing; Patina Studios & Gallery; Laurien Trowell, co-owner of The Village Bookshop, all in Bayfield. Gerrit Sepers, co-owner BRØD Bread & Pastry, Blyth. Black Dog Village Pub and Bistro's Scotch Eggs; Marten Arts Gallery, both in Bayfield.

PortStanley FestivalTheatre 4202


Breakfast in the elegant Willow Room of the Inn was hearty and urbane. We enjoyed smoked salmon eggs benedict and a prosciutto, goat cheese and mushroom omelette, accompanied with banana sourdough bread. A carafe of rich coffee completed our delicious repast. Our stay at The Little Inn left us refreshed in body and soul.


over 1,000 sets of garden furniture from 10 companies. Cushions and umbrellas are manufactured onsite, allowing for custom colour schemes and superior materials. The design experts at Casual Industries work with their customers to expand living spaces outdoors, creating a smooth indoor/outdoor transition and effectively increasing the pleasure of outdoor living.

Seeing a white squirrel is considered good luck; dining at White Squirrel Golf Club & Restaurant is simply good planning. The Squirrel takes relaxation seriously, offering an expansive patio with a variety of seating options overlooking the scenic course. Soaking up the laid-back vibe, we enjoyed Tropical Bliss and Faux-Perol Spritz virgin cocktails with our honey garlic wings. Both delivered on taste and refreshment, leaving us revitalised for a busy afternoon.

Also tucked off Highway 21, just a few kilometres away, Casual Industries puts in the hard work to help customers elevate patio enjoyment to a higher level. Serving the region since 1978, the company originally manufactured PVC garden furniture, but has since grown to offer

Only five kilometres south of Grand Bend, Westland Greenhouses is a delight to the senses! Open seven days a week, the friendly team at Westland offers free coffee, tea and cookies, along with their gardening expertise. Visitors will enjoy interacting with birds, guinea pigs, chickens and rabbits, with the option to feed the bunnies for just $2. The greenhouse boasts unique and exotic tropical plants year-round (I was excited to find plumeria.), along with site-grown field perennials harvested in July and August. Gardeners will appreciate the wide variety of shrubs, trees and perennials, as well as a stunning selection of indoor and outdoor décor. Need the perfect host gift? Westland Greenhouses offers beautiful plant arrangements that will brighten any home or cottage. Make a day of your visit by

ABOVE Smoked salmon eggs Benedict at the The Little Inn, Bayfield. RIGHT Cocktails at the Tipsy Pelican, Grand Bend.

2024 celtic roots

exploring the adjacent Pinery Market on Sundays. Over 200 vendors offer an astounding array of unique items, from new handcrafts to vintage treasures and everything in between.


Celtic College & Kid’s Camp

August 5-9, 2024 Celtic Festival

August 9-11, 2024



Archie Fisher & Garnet Rogers

Karan Casey

Allison Lupton Band


Matt & Shannon Heaton

Rory Makem



Heron Valley


Jane & Kyle

Martha & Dennis Gallagher Fiárock

Pressgang Mutiny


Cara Wildman

Finally in Grand Bend proper, we met Christina Masschelein, the founder of Metanoia Boutique. During her Fashion Business Management studies at Seneca College, Masschelein became aware of the true high cost of fast fashion, both environmentally and socially. Trying to transform her own shopping habits to align with her values, she realized the difficulty of finding ethical brands in one location and created Metanoia Boutique to address this need. The word metanoia comes from ancient Greek and means a transformative change of heart. The shop is now in its fifth summer and offers over 25 ethical and sustainable brands, many Canadian. A second store recently launched in Bayfield.

Across the street, raving customers drew us into the funky Tipsy Pelican. We were not disappointed. We shared crispy Brussels sprouts, prepared with smoked chili maple glaze, bacon, parmesan and garlic aioli. These tender bundles of savoury sweetness could prove addictive! Crispy shrimp, presented on a generous bed of green papaya slaw, teased the palate with a spicy tang and left a lingering, gentle heat. Tuna tartare, served with mashed avocado and wontons, was light and flavourful. A refreshing tour of creative and delicious cocktails and mocktails finished our evening, as we basked in the glow of the setting sun.

After only three idyllic days on Ontario’s west coast, we knew we had glimpsed something very special and felt rejuvenated as we headed home. We had been warmly welcomed by caring businesses, awed by sweeping lake views and heartened by seeing small town values in action. Thank you, Huron County! •

Apolline 2024 Emerging Artist

Our next stop, Static Boutique, began in 2001 as a small beachwear store on the north side of the strip. Owner Natalie Mirazic captivated us with the story of how she used to look longingly at the store across the street and dream of the displays she could make behind the large plate-glass windows. In 2021, that vision became a reality, and she now gloriously displays stylish women’s wear that hint at the wide selection of designer brands inside. Static Boutique is open daily year-round, a remarkable service in a town with a long off-season. In Mirazic’s words, she “wanted to make something beautiful; a place for women to gather and create a sense of community.” She has succeeded, wonderfully.

Near the beach are several tantalizing restaurants. The Growling Gator was already jumping when we walked by in the late afternoon. The patio of this local icon is a gathering place for friends and families to enjoy post-beach beverages and delectable eats, all within view of the azure water and white sand.

LOIS QUAIL is an avid cyclist and adventurous

• Turbocharged engine

• 10-speed transmission

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• AcuraWatch safety and driver-assist technology

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HD display

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ABOVE Static Boutique, Grand Bend. RIGHT Metamorphic Rock Shoppe & Gallery, Bayfield.


Marten Arts Gallery, Bayfield, Outdoor furniture. Casual Industries, Grand Bend,

3 Monstera house plant. Westland Greenhouses, Grand Bend,

4 Original art by Suzette Terry. Marten Arts Gallery, Bayfield

5 Indoor/outdoor original art by Rob Mitchell. Patina Studios & Gallery, Bayfield,

6 Red & white petunias. Westland Greenhouses, Grand Bend

7 Adirondack chair. Casual Industries, Grand Bend

8 Original fabric art. Metamorphic Rock Shoppe & Gallery, Bayfield,

9 Crinoid Fossil. Metamorphic Rock Shoppe & Gallery, Bayfield

10 Sculpture. Marten Art Gallery. Bayfield

11 Cat house. All Around the House, Goderich,

12 One-of-a-kind light fixture. Marten Arts Gallery, Bayfield

13 Hand woven baskets by Sandy Mitchell. Patina Studios & Gallery, Bayfield


Marten Arts Gallery, Bayfield,

15 & 16 101 Fascinating Canadian Music Facts and The Covenant of Water from The Village Bookshop, Bayfield,

17 Textured pottery vase. 18 Pottery floral vases.

19 Stoneware look pottery vase. All from Patina Studios & Gallery, Bayfield,

20 Bérard olivewood mortar and pestle set. The Culinary Poet, Goderich,


21 Summer weight long shirts. Something Irresistible, Goderich,

22 Stark x summer dress. Leslie’s Clothing Bayfield,

23 Billabong springsuit. 24 Billabong full wetsuit.

25 Fast-drying poncho. 26 Great Lakes hoodie. All from SurfSup Eco Shop. Goderich,

27 Crossbody bag. Something Irresistible


28 Bruno's Cookbook. The Village Bookshop, Bayfield,

29 Danica apron. 30 Danica oven mitts.

31 Danica tea towels. 32 Felted flowers. All from All Around the House, Goderich

33 Emile Henry bread cloche. 34 Staub cast iron French oven with trivet. All from The Culinary Poet, Goderich,


The Ontario government is sticking to its promise to expand the province’s alcohol beverage marketplace to provide more options and convenience for shoppers ahead of schedule. Starting in August, consumers can purchase new products such as coolers, other ready-to-drink beverages and more pack sizes at grocery stores selling wine or beer. New retailers can sell a more comprehensive selection of local, domestic and international alcohol products safely and responsibly. By the end of October 2024, all convenience, grocery and big-box stores in Ontario will be able to sell beer, cider, wine and ready-to-drink alcoholic beverages.


With full-time lobbyists in every region of the country working with all levels of government, Restaurants Canada helps shape policy, informs members on emerging issues that impact business and ensures the voice of food service is heard. They also offer many resources, benefits and costsaving programs exclusively to members.

The Restaurants Canada Show, held in April at the Enercare Centre in Toronto, provided an opportunity to catch up with the Italian Trade Agency. We also enjoyed a curated sensory journey through some of Italy’s culinary specialties with Nicole Pinch, Salumi and Formaggi manager, Certified Cheese Professional ACS CCP of Eataly Toronto ( Incidentally, Eataly announced two more new Toronto locations, in Don Mills (now open) and the Eaton Centre.

My dining companion and colleague Kathy McLaughlin and I ran into Cambridge’s Langdon Hall Executive Chef Jason Bangerter at the Restaurants Canada Show. Chef Bangerter is an influential culinary maverick with international credentials on the national cooking stage. He is also a dedicated advocate for sustainability

The Buzz Culinary community notes

and seafood conservation. Renowned as the ultimate guide to Canada’s dynamic culinary landscape, the digital magazine Canada’s 100 Best hails Langdon Hall as “one of Ontario’s most enchanting rural escapes.” In its 2024 list of the 100 best restaurants, Canada’s 100 Best named Langdon Hall the fifth-best restaurant in the country, noting that Chef Bangerter crafts a “terroir-driven cuisine” that showcases the drama of local ingredients in his presentations, promising a unique and thrilling dining experience. Chef Arron Carley (formerly of Stratford’s Braai House and The Bruce Hotel) has also joined the Langdon Hall team.


Quynh Nhi said a “bittersweet” farewell after 23 years in London’s Blackfriars neighbourhood. Words cannot describe the hardships suffered by Vietnamese “boat people” when they fled their homeland in poorly constructed watercraft, sparking an international humanitarian crisis over more than a decade. Some survivors languished for years in refugee camps, while countries like Canada took in more fortunate

refugees like Tan Pham. His initial attempt to escape the country had resulted in 20 months of hard labour in jail. Subsequent attempts to secure a better future for his family, who were facing the prospect of poverty or death, were unsuccessful. In 1990, he fled Vietnam with only the shirt on his back, paying a steep price for a better life. At that time, his family’s future seemed bleak, facing the prospect of poverty or death. After time in Singapore, Tan was able to reunite his family and bring his wife Du Bui Pham and their four children to London.

After making a name for herself at her Trail’s End Market stall with her hand-rolled, high-quality spring rolls and stir fries, Du Bui Pham turned her signature spring roll into what her sonin-law, Long Phan, refers to as the birth of two restaurants: Quynh Nhi and the former Tamarine by Quynh Nhi. Now, after considerable deliberation by the Pham family, including the namesake daughters Quynh and Nhi, the remarkable owners of the restaurant are able to retire and enjoy some relaxed years with their family, that now includes 10 grandchildren.

I recently had the opportunity to visit the much-lauded restaurant Pho Ngoc Yen in Etobicoke, operated by Chef Trin Tran, who worked alongside the late Chef Mies Bervoets for eight years. (Side note: The Mies Bervoets Culinary Scholarship Dinner, hosted by Fanshawe College’s Chef’s Table Downtown Campus, has already awarded $5,000 this year to deserving Fanshawe College students and continues to build a legacy.) Chef Tran has a second location in Mississauga and a third opening at The Well in downtown Toronto. The cuisine at Pho Ngoc Yen is sophisticated and pushes culinary boundaries without breaking the tenets of traditional Vietnamese cooking. Flavours are multi-faceted and subtle, and dishes have plenty of visual


appeal. During my visit, my friend Nick Yeung and I sampled a stunning dish of perfectly cooked red snapper served with aromatic galangal and lemongrass dipping sauce rolled in lettuce with fresh herbs and eaten with our hands.

The Vietnamese custom of wrapping fresh rolls and spring rolls in lettuce leaves and fresh herbs is a remnant of the original cultures before centuries of Chinese influence. Chef Tran’s genius is adapting foreign influences to develop a distinctly unique, subtle, and innovative offering with contrasting flavours and textures.

Salty flavours balance sour ones, and heat from chillies and ground pepper tempers sweet notes. Tran’s Vietnamese coffee, with condensed milk and notes of crème caramel and chocolate, is otherworldly.

As in China and East Asia, the Vietnamese serve their rice in bowls with chopsticks. Meat is an accompaniment rather than a central offering. Over the centuries, Chinese cooks contributed many culinary techniques, including their art of stir-frying using a wok.

Pho, a popular street food in Vietnam, is an intensely flavoured broth with long rice noodles, fresh herbs and thin slices of meat, most often accompanied by a side of bean sprouts, peppers and lime wedges. Pho has become the mainstay of many Vietnamese restaurants. In London, students and other devotees have given Dundas Street’s Vietnam Restaurant cult status due to pho’s hearty, mealin-a-bowl, comfort food popularity and relative affordability that dyed-in-the-wool purists brag about.


Growing Chefs presents Londonlicious from July 19 to August 11. London’s iconic food festival is an enjoyable way to revisit or discover diverse and delicious restaurant experiences. Growing Chefs endeavours to support our local hospitality sector, which is still recovering financially from the global pandemic and navigating an unprecedented rise in food and operational costs. Londonlicious highlights our city’s venues and spotlights what is unique and delicious, while offering new and previous customers the opportunity to enjoy specially curated prix-fixe menus with a diversity of price points and options.


Covent Garden Market continues to offer its Outdoor Farmers’ Market every Saturday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. A free hour-long cooking class or demonstration is hosted by market chefs at 11 a.m. upstairs in the Market Kitchen (first come, first served). Sampling Sundays, showcasing a different Market vendor every week, run from noon until 2 p.m., or until supplies last, in the Centre Court.

The Colombian Gastronomy Festival runs July 19–21, offering authentic Colombian food and drinks, as well as Latin music on the Covent Garden Market Square. Island Fest, held the following weekend (July 26–28), is a celebration of Caribbean food, culture, art, music and history on the Square. Dive into a world of flavour with delicious food, awesome vibes and good company on the Square at JJ’s Jerk Fest, August 10–11. Celebrate all things Mexican at Taco Fest, August 23–25, including authentic and fusion tacos and other dishes, as well as a tequila/ margarita bar.


The acclaimed and unique Michelin star-worthy Reverie Restaurant continues to receive accolades. It showcases a modernist Canadian-focused menu.

Owners Jerrah Revilles and Chef Brian Sua-an offer an intimate, immersive, innovative experience with exciting platings and vibrant flavours. Wine pairings are optional but highly recommended. Reservations required.

Mori, located next door to the Wolfe Brothers’ admirable Wortley Village Company Bar, is a modern izakaya serving sushi and sashimi classics. Expect delicious riffs on Japanese noodles and rice. Also delicious are bite-sized tempura, with delightful seafood and exceptional vegetables, skewered, coated in a light batter and fried until golden.

If you’re looking for an excellent Italian restaurant that infuses stories into regionally inspired dishes, offers a wine list for every palette, makes everything from scratch and believes that your experience is the restaurant’s raison d’être, consider the stalwart Abruzzi Ristorante on King Street, which continues to impress.

Restaurateur Joe Duby, owner of Gnosh, which opened in West 5 on Riverbend Road in fall 2022 and closed its downtown location last fall, sees the Riverbend neighbourhood — located near the centre of Byron, Oakridge and

Kilworth — as an emerging food hub. Using locally sourced and sustainable ingredients to create delectable fare is the passion of Chef Cynthia Beaudoin and her culinary team. Next door, Duby and business partner Brad Brown are opening bili rubin’s, offering casual fine-dining pub fare. He’s also in talks to open a third restaurant, an upscale coffee bar with baked goods and food.

After 19 years on King Street, Chef Patson Massey is moving Massey’s Fine Indian Cuisine to Riverbend (2013 Kains Road). Massey built his reputation by combining and roasting exotic spices, bestowing and building subtle and complex flavours to great effect. We



enjoy everything from tandoori to butter chicken to naan and various exotic accompaniments. We especially love his stellar variety of plant-based offerings and classic favourites like smokyspiced baingan patiala.

We will miss Jess JazeySpoelstra’s Rhino Lounge at Museum London. The Rhino bakery and pastry team will continue to create their decadently fabulous desserts from North Moore Catering headquarters on Wharncliffe Road. Who can forget baker Michele Lenhardt’s cronuts or signature lemon tart with shortbread crust? The team will continue their wholesale business, supplying restaurants, bakeries and shops around London, including Jazey-Spoelstra’s Craft Farmacy (with co-owner Chef Andrew Wolwowicz) and the soon-to-open Los Olivos, a California-style restaurant in Riverbend.

Radu Rotariu, owner of Byron’s popular Bocconcini (, has opened a sister restaurant in the elegant former home of Ivy Ristorante on Oxford St.

at Adelaide. Five87 Bistro (named for the street number) offers “modern cuisine,” with twists on a variety of international classics. The menu also leans on a number of classic pastas that Bocconcini is known for and includes solid wine and cocktail lists.

Sadly, Pete Annson — the former sommelier/partner at Grace Restaurant, who instituted an exciting and eclectic wine selection that emphasized the importance of small-production vineyards — passed away in May. A celebration of life will take place in Paisley, Ontario.


Bluebird Restaurant & Bar offers a “bistronomy-inspired” menu, featuring curated dishes that combine seasonality with uniquely local agricultural offerings while promoting “neighbourhood-level charm.” Menus are flexible, bridging the gap between classic casual fare (snacks, small and large plates) and original gastronomic riffs on local ingredients. The menu is paired expertly with a

compact, accessible wine and cocktail list.

ELIZABETH. is a neighbourhood restaurant with an open kitchen featuring elevated cuisine in the heart of downtown Stratford. Operated by Chef/owner Brian Clarke and his partner Sarah Sylvester, the 38-seat restaurant features a frequently changing chef-driven menu based on the availability and seasonality of local ingredients. This is a living wage restaurant building a solid reputation.


Mercer Kitchen + Beer Hall + Hotel is a local mainstay featuring comforting menu items while retaining some tried-and-true signatures. There are 15 draft lines and over 120 bottles, including international award-winners and hard-to-find one-offs. Menus showcase items meant to be shared, perfect for the lively, dynamic atmosphere.

Café Bouffon (previously Pazzo Taverna) is a French-inspired café and restaurant overlooking the Avon River in downtown Stratford’s heart, offering classically inspired French cuisine by Chef Courtney Noble, such as escargot, crêpes, croque monsieur and steak frites, with a focus on sourcing locally and sustainably. They serve an exceptional chocolate mousse and lemon tart. Open for lunch, weekend brunch or an elevated dinner service.


The Old North Sconery and Market, an artisanal bakery whose owner Tracie Aarts says is “known for the scones,” has relocated from its former location at the Arva Flour Mill to 462 Cheapside Street at Maitland in London’s Old North neighbourhood.

Baker Emerson Silva of Churis Bread (Adelaide and Victoria) has opened a second location at 1600 Hyde Park Road (at Gainsborough) for his delicious artisanal breads and pastries.

Arva Flour Mills will host an open house with tours in September but will be celebrating an incredible 205 years of local heritage this summer. Their Red River Café is getting rave reviews. •

BRYAN LAVERY brings years of knowledge as an award-winning culinary experience facilitator, food writer, chef, restaurateur, mentor and hospitality consultant. Always on the lookout for the stories that should be told, Bryan welcomes your tips about the area’s cuisine scene —

Artwork by Sheri Cowan
ABOVE Stratford's Bluebird Restaurant & Bar; Mercer Kitchen + Beer Hall + Hotel; ELIZABETH.; Café Bouffon.

Keeping It Real

The bend to non-alcoholic beverages

When Milos Kral opened his craft beer emporium in downtown London more than a decade ago, he carried nonalcoholic beer from day one. In the Czech Republic, Kral’s birthplace, people often socialized with a non-alcoholic drink in hand, and Kral wanted to offer his Canadian customers the same option. “I have always felt that we were not in the business of getting people drunk, but rather provide them with a well-made and good-tasting beverage,” he says. Initially that meant importing beer from Europe.

“Over the last two years, the demand for lower or no-alcohol beverages has really increased dramatically. With that, some of our Ontario small breweries rose to the challenge and started to produce a wide variety,” says Kral. “We like to source our beer as locally as we can; the closer it is the fresher. But this is more difficult to make than alcoholic beer and requires expensive equipment, so a lot of the small guys don’t want to go there.”

While he keeps his eyes peeled for local options, he currently carries a range of non-alcoholic brands from Ontario (mainly Toronto and Ottawa) and from across Canada. When visiting Pub Milos (, you’ll always find a selection on the menu and in the cooler to take home.

We’ve come full circle

The last time Ontario breweries pumped out large quantities of low and noalcohol beer was a century ago — not by choice and not in response to customer requests. Carling and Labatt were still making regular beer for export and to fill medicinal prescriptions, but domestic sales of “near beer” helped keep their

doors open during the lean years between 1916 and 1927. But as soon as prohibition ended, Ontario breweries went back to producing traditional alcoholic offerings, as did vintners, distillers and cider makers.

Eventually drinking and driving laws changed. People became more conscious of how alcohol consumption can affect their health. There was an uptick of interest in low/no alcohol adult beverages — this time driven by consumer demand. Over the past decade that has prompted producers to create an increasingly larger array of non-alcoholic choices — from beer, wine and cocktails to Kombucha and botanical brews.

Small brewers get creative

Because the process of de-alcoholizing beer is not easy or affordable, many small-batch brewers have turned to making creative alternatives, like sparkling hops water, craft sodas and botanical brews.

London Brewing Co. (londonbrewing. ca) introduced its first non-alcoholic hop water for Dry January 2023. “At its most basic, it’s just hops and water,” says head brewer Aaron Lawrence. “The real magic, we discovered, comes from an

ABOVE London Brewing Co.’s Chinook Bubbles. TOP RIGHT
A selection from Designated Drinks. RIGHT An in-store Dry Variety display. OPPOSITE PAGE TOP The No Booze Bundle from Bellwoods Brewery. BOTTOM Three options from Harmon’s Craft Brewing.

addition of yeast. While there’s nothing for the yeast to ferment, they are able to go to work on some of the compounds in the hops, changing the flavour in delicious and unexpected ways. We trialed local Chinook, Cascade and Triple Perle over the course of the year, with Chinook being the fan favourite.”

Many breweries offer non-alcoholic options through guest taps, sourced from fellow Ontario craft brewers like Hamilton’s Collective Arts, Bellwoods Brewery or Free Spirit Brewing (a sister company to Rorschach Brewing Co.). The latter two are located in Toronto. Some use co-packers like London’s Equals, which produces and cans a variety of brands, including Toronto-based Harmon’s which has specialized in nonalcoholic beers since it opened in 2021.

Take out the alcohol, but not the taste

When the big breweries started jumping into the non-alcoholic market in a big way, it became easier to find their beers at The Beer Store or the local supermarket, but for a craft beer lover like Londoner Mike Norris, “They weren’t really lighting any fires.” As he and his wife Kris searched for non-alcoholic options that taste more like the traditional drinks that they enjoy, they realized there was a gap in the market and aimed to fill it.

In 2022, the couple launched Designated Drinks (, a London-based online business that also has retail coolers, located in retail shops in London, St. Thomas, Hamilton and Guelph. The small start-up has

People became more conscious of how alcohol consumption can affect their health.

grown to be one of Canada’s largest suppliers of non-alcoholic beers.

Londoner Amber Wisniewski had a similar experience when she started rethinking her wine drinking during the pandemic, when lockdowns and stress led to unhealthy habits. Trying to find non-alcoholic wine that she enjoyed led her to launch Dry Variety (dryvariety. com) in 2021, selling a curated selection of premium non-alcoholic drinks — primarily wine, spirits and cocktails.

Dry Variety has a satellite bottle shop in Annie’s Chocolates in Hyde Park, but most of its business is online. Wisniewski distributes to consumers across Canada and supplies a few local restaurants, bars and event venues. These businesses want to offer a wider variety of nonalcoholic beverages that taste very much like a traditional drink.

De-alcoholized drinks — what’s the point?

Some people enjoy relaxing with a drink at the end of the workday; they like the taste of a cold beer on a hot day; they like the feeling of having a drink in their hand when socializing with friends. Yet they also want to consume less alcohol, especially after Health Canada’s announcement in January 2023, recommending a limit of two drinks per week.

“The new guidelines were a wakeup call for a lot of people,” says Mike Norris. “About 80 per cent of people who drink non-alc still drink regular alcohol, just not as much.”

Some are drinking only non-alcoholic beverages during the work week and indulging on weekends. Or alternating between alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks over the course of an evening with friends. Or simply opting for nonalcoholic beverages as a lifestyle choice.

“This past summer was my first with only non-alc drinks,” says Kris Norris. “I had the same relaxed feeling when I socialized with a beer in my hand, but there were no hangovers or other negatives. I honestly didn’t miss it at all.”•

KYM WOLFE is the author of several books, including Brewhopping Across London, the history and highlights of craft brewing in the Forest City. You can reach her at

Good Food, Good Mood

100 Nourishing Recipes

to Support Mind and Body Wellness

This newly published Canadian cookbook starts out with a great question: Can what you eat improve your mood? Their well-supported answer: yes.

Tamara Green and Sarah Grossman, both certified nutritionists, began writing a book about food and how it affects our mood just before COVID-19 struck. They already understood there are many pieces to mental wellness through their education and research work, their private practices and as teachers. They knew that nutrition impacts all areas of the body: gut microbes, hormones, neurotransmitters, vitamin and mineral stores, nervous systems, blood sugar levels and so much more. Green and Grossman, like many of us, were challenged by mood swings the pandemic created, and those experiences really helped them hone how to be their best selves through simple shifts in diet.

As founders of The Living Kitchen in 2010, Green and Grossman began teaching ongoing classes to outpatients for the Canadian Mental Health Association. They offer online nutrition education programs for clients worldwide, as well as private chef services to their local clients. They are also recipe and content creators for Food Network Canada, among other digital brands and received accolades as co-authors of The Living Kitchen: Nourishing Whole-Food Recipes for Cancer Treatment and Recovery (2019). It is clear they love cooking for people and educating them on what foods they choose to eat can impact every aspect of their lives.

The early chapters of Good Food, Good Mood share easy-to-understand, well-organized facts about healthy guts, fibre in foods, prebiotics, probiotics, nutrients that support mood and balancing blood sugars. Then they follow up with how to use this information with a hundred recipes and countless suggestions for how to put these concepts into

practice. I also appreciated how wellindexed this book is.

Each recipe spans two pages, with gorgeous colour photography of each dish. Directly under the recipe’s name, “mood benefits” are listed, such as Calm, Energize, Focus or Uplift. An array of possible “nutrient benefits” are also listed. These include Blood Sugar Balanced, Fermented, Fibre-Rich, Healthy Fats or Protein-Powered.

I’ve chosen two “Mains” recipes to excerpt here, but Good Food, Good Mood includes ideas for all times of the day and different needs. For example, Breakfasts, such as Blistered Tomatoes with Jammy Eggs, energize and enhance focus; Snacks, such as Easy Seedy Flax Crackers, help balance your blood sugar; Sides, such as Ribboned Carrot Slaw with Miso Sesame Vinaigrette, is uplifting and fibre-rich; and Desserts, such as Lemony Fresh Fruit Tart, has healthy fats and is protein-powered. Also, there are Drinks, such as a Fermented Virgin Mint Mojito, which enhances calm while supporting your gut microbiome with ginger kombucha. The recipe serves two, but I might double it!

I made the Melon Poppy Seed Shrimp Salad and was excited about both the mood and nutrient benefits. This is a cold salad, with many colourful components that can be prepared the day before or the morning of, then mixed just before serving, while dressing with the restaurant-worthy sweet and tangy Honey Lime Vinaigrette. The four servings were generous and made for a satisfying meal, with an interesting blend of flavours and textures. I will make this again, as it met all my expectations.

The Sheet-Pan Zhoug Salmon with Roasted Cabbage Wedges made for a delicious meal that I shared with appreciative friends. The directions were simple, and the pan looked great coming to the table. I especially loved the flavours of the zhoug, a spicy cilantro sauce, which really woke up the tastebuds atop the flaky salmon. I had never served cabbage in wedges before, but it also worked well. Did I feel uplifted by a healthy, tasty, beautiful dinner for four that involved 10 minutes of prep time? Definitely! But I also subscribe to the authors’ theories on the gut-brain connection and good food’s impact on our mental health. I’m looking forward to trying a lot more of their recipes. •

SUE GORDON has taught baking to high school students, including running an alternative school’s commercial bakery in Carcross, Yukon. Now a retired nurse and educator, she is enjoying trying new things in her kitchen and garden.
Tamara Green and Sarah Grossman





Fresh and colorful, this salad is a one-bowl meal with all the vegetables, protein, and healthy fat you need for balanced blood sugar, to feel full, focused, and energized. The sweet-and-sour dressing brings everything together in this summery, uplifting meal that was inspired by our friend Sonia Wong, of the blog saltandpepperhere. We love the beautiful array of colors here, pastel orange and purple and our favorite, green—you can be sure that you’re eating a variety of micronutrients and minerals that support you in feeling more joyful.

+ Blood Sugar Balancer

+ Colorful + Fiber-Rich

+ Healthy Fats + Prebiotic

+ Protein-Powered

1 lime, halved

½ tsp sea salt

8 black peppercorns

1 lb large, raw shrimp, peeled and deveined (tails can be left on, if you prefer)

½ package of thin rice noodles (optional)

2 radishes, cut in matchsticks or half-moons

1/3 cucumber, cut in matchsticks or half-moons

1 cup chopped snap peas or snow peas

½ cup cantaloupe, cut in ½-inch cubes

¼ small red onion, thinly sliced, or ¼ cup pickled red onion

½ –1 avocado, peeled, pitted, and sliced

½ –1 cup roughly torn mixed fresh herbs (mint, basil, and/ or cilantro)

1 Tbsp poppy seeds


1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/3 cup lime juice

¼ cup + 1 Tbsp rice vinegar

1 Tbsp honey

1 small garlic clove, minced

½ tsp sea salt

A few cracks of pepper

1 Pour 16 cups of water into a pot, squeeze in the juice of half a lime, and then put both lime halves in the pot, add the salt and peppercorns, and bring to a boil. Add the shrimp, cover the pot, and remove from the heat. Let stand for 5 minutes or until the shrimp turn pink. Using a slotted spoon, immediately transfer the shrimp to a sieve and run under cold water for 45 seconds to stop the cooking.

2 If you’re using rice noodles, boil a pot of water, turn off the heat, and add the noodles, giving them a quick stir. Let sit for 7–10 minutes, then drain and rinse under cold water.

3 To make the vinaigrette, whisk together the oil, lime juice, rice vinegar, honey, garlic, salt, and pepper.

4 In a large bowl, toss together the shrimp, radishes, cucumber, snap peas, cantaloupe, red onion, and noodles. Pour the vinaigrette overtop and toss to coat.

5 Top with avocado, fresh herbs, and poppy seeds. Give it all another gentle toss to incorporate the toppings. It’s best to enjoy this recipe right away.




Zhoug is a spicy cilantro sauce originating from Yemen. This version is milder than traditional preparations, but the flavors are still bright and zippy. Who doesn’t love a good sheet-pan dinner with minimal dishes and prep? When you roast cabbage, it becomes softer, slightly crispy, and sweet. Plus, it’s one of those vegetables that can last in your fridge for a while, so it’s easy to keep on hand.

+ Blood Sugar Balancer

+ Colorful + Fiber-Rich

+ Healthy Fats + Prebiotic

+ Protein-Powered


2 Tbsp + 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil, divided

1 small green or purple cabbage

½ tsp sea salt, divided

A few cracks of pepper


¼ cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling

2 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice

2 Tbsp water, plus more as needed

1 bunch cilantro, including stems (about 2 cups)

1 small garlic clove

½ tsp ground cumin

¼ tsp ground cardamom

¼ tsp sea salt, plus more for seasoning

A few cracks of pepper, plus more for seasoning

4 salmon fillets (4–6 oz each)

1 Preheat the oven to 375°F.

Make the Cabbage

2 Drizzle the bottom of a baking sheet with 2 Tbsp of oil, and place it in the oven.

3 Slice the cabbage into 8 wedges. You may only need to use one half of the cabbage if it’s very large. Remove the hot baking sheet from the oven and place the cabbage on it—you’ll hear sizzles. Drizzle the remaining 2 tsp oil overtop the cabbage, and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 15 minutes.

Prepare the Zhoug Salmon

4 Place the oil, lemon juice, water, cilantro, garlic, cumin, cardamom,¼ tsp salt, and pepper in a food processor or blender. Blitz until vibrant green and a similar consistency to pesto.

5 Once the cabbage has roasted for 15 minutes, remove from the oven, flip the wedges, and move them to the outer sides of the baking sheet to make room for the salmon. Place the salmon in the middle of the baking sheet, drizzle with a little oil, and season with the salt and pepper.

6 Roast the salmon and cabbage for 15–20 minutes, until the fish is 145°F. Fish is perfectly cooked when the thickest section gently flakes when punctured with a fork. Once the fish is cooked, remove from the oven and generously spoon the zhoug over the fish and cabbage. •

Excerpted from Good Food, Good Mood by Tamara Green and Sarah Grossman. Copyright© 2023 Tamara Green and Sarah Grossman. Photographs by Daniel Alexander Skwarna. Published by Appetite by Random House®, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.

ON THE ROAD AGAIN Summer Sojourns

Whether you’re planning a trip to the cottage or simply getting out of town for the day, the anticipation of some upcoming vakay is hard to beat. Despite all the prep work, the joy of finally backing out of the driveway, coffee at the ready, makes everything worthwhile.

But no matter how much organization goes into a trip, (Am I the only one who goes to the drug store at least 50 times?), it’s important to understand that even the most predictable vacation may not always be . . . well . . . predictable.

After years of camping, our family knew how to do things right. Sleeping bags pressed tightly into their sleeves, a quality coffee perk and all kinds of “what if” additions were loaded militaryfashion into our aging hatchback.

My chief task was meal planning, at least for the first night. We strived for “real” dinners when camping, so on this occasion I opted for butterfly pork chops and included a twist of foil with a fennel-paprika rub to be added just before they hit the heat. There was also some good wine, new potatoes and a few convenience items — just in case.

The campsite was hours away and we only had one cooler, so I packed everything carefully, strategically sliding in freezer packs, like a game of Jenga.

But sometimes, you just know that things are not going to end well. (Often right after your partner produces that “awesome” playlist of pounding, experimental Dubstep tunes.)

As we pulled into the campground, the rain — the kind that hurts your head — began to pour. We sheltered in the car, waiting for it to stop, and it was dark before we could finally set about the squishy task of setting up the tent. Mosquitoes — with measurable wingspans — descended like the monkeys in The Wizard of Oz.

Finally, though, the tent was erected, and we had a decent fire crackling. Exhausted, I popped open the cooler and was horrified to discover a perfect “yin and yang” of pork chops, frozen into a solid embrace. They could not be separated. It was too late to seek

I remember the boys singing along to the radio as a loaded quarry truck pulled out in front of us. Luckily, we were not going fast when a melon-sized chunk of rock suddenly dislodged and came hurtling towards us. I’ll never forget that smack; the sound of the windshield shattering. No one was hurt, thankfully, but we were shaken. As we scouted for a local repair shop, the car was silent, except for the regular squeak of Henry’s wheel as he cheerfully decided to go for a spin.

Many of us can recall our first lengthy road trip. For us, it was Florida.

out other dining options, so we sat in frustrated silence nibbling dry ramen noodles with sooty fingers, the adults passing the wine bottle back and forth. Did I mention that the sleeping bags got wet?

Family trips to the cottage are full of tradition and famously reliable. There’s the fruit stand for the annual pies and that same rusty box for egg payment further up the road. Although we didn’t own a cottage ourselves, we rented the same one for many years and considered it ours, compiling precious memories.

One summer, with dogs and two boys packed into the backseat and the trunk at capacity, we set off. I had groceries and a hamster cage on my lap, as my youngest decided his buddy Henry had to come as well. The smell of cedar shavings, small children’s feet and anticipation filled the car.

With the naivete that comes with lounging with a map at home (years before we had the internet), we hugely overestimated how far we could go in one day. As the sun was setting, a sign for a tiny town came into view, like a mirage. We gratefully pulled into the first diner we saw. When we stepped inside, busy restaurant chatter stopped as everyone pivoted to openly gape. Awkwardly, we walked to a booth, but once we were sipping sweet tea I felt more optimistic.

A surly waitress had slapped a menu card on the table as she passed. It boasted typical diner fare, including something called “The Gator Tail.” I was curious about this. Since Hummingbird Cake and Hush Puppies are not actually what their names suggest, I presumed that this was yet another playful Southern offering.

I asked the server politely, “What is the Gator Tail?”

She gave me a long, hard stare from under her heavy lashes, and looked side to side before leaning in to share an exaggeratedly slow response. “We-ll. It’s the tail … of a gator.”

I ordered the club sandwich.•

SUE SUTHERLAND-WOOD has contributed to many publications, both in print and online, and her short fiction has won awards. Sue enjoys writing personal essays, feature articles and always strives to resonate with the reader. Read more of her work at

SEPT. 22, 2024

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