Skylife Magazine | Summer 2013

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Founder & President Gil Blutrich CEO Michael Sneyd President & COO Kevin Toth Vice President, Sales & Marketing, Skyline Resort Communities John Giffen Director of Communications/Managing Editor Kate Hillyar

Publisher Fred Sanders | Editor Bryan Dearsley | Art Director Mark Tzerelshtein | Advertising Sales Bill Percy | Advertising Design Christophe Boilley Contributors Brandi Schier Cameron Alexander Jordana Goldman Kate Hillyar Katie Thomas Kelly Hollinshead /Photography Kendra Nicholson Kim Kerr


here are few places in the world where summer is relished as much as in Ontario. With less than a handful of precious months of warm weather each year, we flock north to cottage country, whip up backyard barbecues and spend as much time as possible on patios and at outdoor events in the city soaking up the sun. Making the most of summer is easy when you have access to more than 800 golf courses, pristine lakeside locations and an abundance of activities and events to choose from. In this issue of SkyLife, we’ve featured some of our favourite things to do in Ontario for those of you planning to spend your summer close to home — from film festivals to classic boat shows (page 20), on- and off-road biking (page 52), a little spa pampering (page 56), or perhaps even a culinary adventure (page 38). And if you’re travelling outside of Ontario, be sure to check out our feature on Sun Peaks (page 34), a wonderful west coast destination. Either way, I hope you take time to enjoy your summer with family and friends. It’s also prime season for golfers and we, of course, have you covered with our four resort courses at Deerhurst and Horseshoe Resorts (page 26), as well as a review of one of our favourite Scottish golf destinations for the travelling golfer (page 28). And make sure to get geared up first with the latest in golf gear and gadgets (page 32). If you’re spending time in the city, be sure to drop by The King Edward Hotel, where we are celebrating the hotel’s 110th anniversary. This spring I had the pleasure of unveiling an historic photo display chronicling the hotel’s remarkable past — from the celebrity connections to the Crystal Ballroom, the beloved King Eddy certainly has its fair share of stories and secrets. Our cover story on page 8 explores the hotel’s colourful past, as well as some of our future plans for the property. No matter what you get up to this summer, I hope that you will take advantage of our gorgeous Ontario landscape. From our family to yours,

TELL US what interests you, tickles you or even leaves you wondering about SkyLife Magazine. We value your feedback.

SkyLife Magazine 90 Eglinton Avenue East, Suite 800 Toronto, ON M4P 2Y3 416-368-2565

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Gil Blutrich Founder Skyline Hotels & Resorts Skyline Destination Communities email:

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SkyLife Magazine, Summer 2013

8 UP-FRONT Cleaning the world, Pride deals … and making a wish at Blue Mountain

16 ENDLESS ADVENTURE Resort activities to keep you busy all summer long

20 SILVER SCREENS Ontario hosts some of the world’s best film festivals


From royalty to celebrities, Toronto’s historic King Edward Hotel has hosted the rich and famous for 110 years

24 LIFE’S A STAGE Toronto’s theatre district celebrates theatrical impresario Ed Mirvish

28 ISLE OF ARRAN ‘Scotland in Miniature’ offers endless fun for adventurous golfers

32 GOLF GEAR The hottest new golf gear, gadgets and gizmos



Ontario’s top resorts offer great golf, whatever your level

34 DESTINATIONS SUN PEAKS Summer adventures at BC’s top resort – the perfect getaway

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THE SKYLINE COLLECTION Deerhurst Resort, Muskoka 1235 Deerhurst Drive Huntsville, ON P1H 2E8 1-800-461-4393 705-789-6411

Horseshoe Resort, Barrie 1101 Horseshoe Valley Road Barrie, ON L4M 4Y8 1-800-461-5627 705-835-2790

38 FOOD, GLORIOUS FOOD Locavore movement means healthier dining options across Ontario



BEAUTY TRENDS Beer to bizarre: Spa treatments for the truly adventurous

Seeking a unique home that suits your lifestyle? We’ve got you covered

The King Edward Hotel, Toronto 37 King Street East Toronto, ON M5C 1E9 1-855-265-9100 416-863-9700

Pantages Hotel Toronto Centre 200 Victoria Street (Yonge & Dundas) Toronto, ON M5E 1E1 1-866-852-1777 416-362-1777

48 DESIGNING LIFESTYLES Your choice of surroundings can positively impact your life


Cosmopolitan Hotel, Toronto

Fun and fitness through exciting resort cycling programs

8 Colborne Street (Yonge & King) Toronto, ON M5E 1E1 1-800-958-3488 416-350-2000

54 LIVING THE SKYLIFE Unique rewards program designed to complement your lifestyle

Shizen Spa

60 TRAVEL WITH KIDS New book explores vacations aimed at broadening your child’s worldview

62 ROYAL-TEA King Edward Hotel’s High Tea: Fit for a King

Four locations

Port McNicoll Discovery Centre, near Midland, ON 81 Dock Lane Port McNicoll, ON L0K 1R0 1-877-678-7678 705-534-1088 For projects under development, visit

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UP-FRONT HELPING MAKE A CLEANER, BETTER WORLD… Clean the World is now an official partner of Skyline Hotels & Resorts, helping to divert hundreds of tons of soap, shampoo and lotion from landfills. The hygiene products are recycled and redistributed through partner non-profit organizations to more than 65 countries and disaster zones worldwide. Since inception, Clean the World has eliminated more than 1.4 million pounds of hotel waste.

WISHES DO COME TRUE Make-A-Wish® Canada and Skyline Hotels & Resorts have announced a charitable partnership in support of wish granting for children with life-threatening medical conditions. Announced during the organization’s 30th World Wish Day® celebrations to celebrate 30 years of wish granting, the collaboration means more wish kids will have unforgettable experiences.

LUNCHTIME JUST GOT GORGEOUS The Pantages Hotel is “prettying-up” lunch hour with a new Express Mani or Pedi available at the hotel’s Shizen Spa from noon to 2pm, Monday through Thursday. Perfect for a mid-afternoon pick-meup, the timely treatment includes a Quick Fix Manicure or Pedicure, plus a healthy to-go lunch for just $30. Choose from a wide selection of OPI nail polish colours. Lunch options are freshly prepared in-house daily and include a bottle of water, chef’s salad, choice of three speciality wraps and a piece of fruit. Call 416-369-7882 or email to book.

MORE GREAT SKYLINE PROPERTIES… Skyline’s roster of four-season communities just got bigger. The development company acquired 50% of Blue Mountain Village’s commercial retail space and 136 acres of developable land in and adjacent to Blue Mountain. The deal, completed by Aird & Berlis, LLP, means even more activityfocused options for Skyline homebuyers.

PRIDE FESTIVAL PACKAGES Skyline Hotels & Resorts has partnered with Prism Festival, North America’s largest summer circuit event, as host hotels for Pride Toronto. Celebrate in style at the Pantages or Cosmopolitan Hotels or book the Prism Pride package at The King Edward Hotel which includes access to all Prism events, accommodations, 25 per cent off room service and more. Party on!

ALL STEAMED UP… The historic steamship SS Keewatin is now ready for the season. This exquisitely preserved Edwardian passenger vessel—once a connection between Georgian Bay and upper Lake Superior—will be open for tours throughout the summer. While visiting the ship, why not spend a day exploring historic Port McNicoll and experience some real Canadian heritage. Visit for more details.

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King Edward VII's portrait has graced the exquisite foyer of Toronto's most famous hotel since it opened in 1903.

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oronto’s iconic King Edward Hotel, perhaps more than any other landmark in the city, has seen its fair share of history in the making. From the declaration of wars to the citywide partying that celebrated their end, to the soap opera-like shenanigans of rock and film stars… no other place in Toronto can lay claim to having played such an important role in the historic events and social change that have so shaped our world-class city. Now 110 years old, this majestic building in the heart of Canada’s largest city has, quite literally, seen it all. Occupying an entire city block in the downtown core with frontages on King Street East and Victoria Street, it’s perhaps a little surprising that more isn’t made of the King Edward Hotel’s important role as a backdrop for so many of the historic events and trends of the 20th century—events and trends which have helped make Canada what it is today. It’s a question often asked of Bruce Bell, a Toronto historian and guide with an undeniable passion for what he considers the grandest of the city’s landmarks. “It surprises me, too, because this hotel truly represents the history of Toronto in the 20th century,” declares Bell during a highly entertaining tour of the palatial hotel. “From the death of Queen Victoria right up to the end of the last century, it featured in just about every newsworthy event that took place in the city. It’s a remarkable history, and one that this very grand place is

worthy of,” he adds, pointing out the features of the breathtaking mezzanine lobby that is the heart of the building. That Bell is in his element in these opulent surroundings is very evident. A regular at the hotel, his entertaining and informative tours take visitors across Toronto in search of the city’s hidden gems. But it’s quite apparent that, as far as he’s concerned, The King Edward is the jewel in Toronto’s crown.

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Toronto's iconic King Edward Hotel boasts some of the most spectacular decor of any historic property in Toronto, as well as numerous references to its rich royal heritage.


Although opened in 1903 during the waning years of the Victorian era without a great deal of fanfare, it immediately became a place where the city’s financial and social elite gathered. And that was very much the intent. Sleepy Toronto (‘Toronto the Good’ as it was known) was slowly shaking off its colonial malaise, and by the early years of the 20th century was in desperate need of a grand hotel to mark its coming of age. The task fell to none other than George Gooderham, at the time one of the city’s leading businessmen, and one of its strongest advocates. Having made his fortune through the family’s internationally renowned Gooderham & Worts Distillery, he’d found even greater riches after branching out into areas such as banking and railways. Fittingly enough, Gooderham’s was the first name to be entered on the register when the “absolutely fireproof” hotel threw open its doors on May 11th, 1903. What greeted Gooderham was unlike anything that had been built in the dominion previously. The extravagant, multi-hued style embraced by architect E.J. Lennox was in evidence everywhere, from the ornate trim and cornices of the ballrooms and dining rooms, to the neoclassicism and epic scale of the two-storey lobby. Grand and classical in style, it impressed visitors immediately, leaving them in no doubt that they’d set foot into something special. The sumptuous décor was everywhere, and the massive columns of the lobby that supported the towering colonnaded mezzanine—like the walls, pilasters, and reception desk—was made to resemble marble. Even

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today, despite the fact these rich colours are gone, the sense of scale still impresses. Word soon spread that Toronto’s new, worldclass ‘palace’ hotel was open for inspection, and before long it had become the place in which to be seen. Almost immediately, social calendars and gossip columns would fill up with references to events at the King Eddy, as it affectionately became known. From ‘race week’ dinners and teas leading up to the prestigious Queen’s Plate, to the hotel’s formal opening on May 22nd with the Royal Canadian Yacht Club Ball, the hotel’s banquet rooms and parlours were abuzz with activity. “It was a time of great celebration,” says Bell. “Never before had Toronto seen so many spectacular events take place in so spectacular a setting. The ballrooms would have been alive with music and dancing, and the city’s business and social elite would have been dressed to the nines for the occasion. It clearly put Toronto on the map, and for good reason.”

NEVER THE TWAIN SHALL MEET… Despite being built at a time when social values were very different to those we cherish today, the hotel was nevertheless considered to be ahead of its time when it came to dealing with the gentler sex. Sensitive to the needs of women travellers, it introduced a more feminine style of furniture and soothing décor, and also made such things as the check-in process something that could be done without ever having to come into contact with male guests. Women even had their own elevator, parlours, maid services and high-end shops. “This was the women’s entrance,” declares Bell as he heads from the lobby to the hotel’s Victoria Street entrance, grinning at the somewhat shocked response this fact elicits. “You must remember that when the hotel opened, the world

was a very different place. Women and men were segregated, and it was very rare for a woman to travel alone. And when they did travel alone, they could never enter the front door unless accompanied by a gentleman.” It was an almost revolutionary concept. Not only did it allow the ever-increasing numbers of businesswomen a high degree of security, it fulfilled an even more important function: it safeguarded their reputations. “The one thing of value that all women had was their modesty,” declares Bell. “Their chastity was undoubtedly their most important possession. Without that, a woman was ruined, and this entrance is of that time. Men were never allowed through these doors. And while it may sound odd to us today, it was a very modern solution, and the hotel was ahead of its time in that respect.” Surprisingly, this attitude didn’t change until more recent years. In fact, says Bell, it wasn’t until 1972 that a woman was permitted to sit alone in the hotel’s sumptuous lobby. If she did, she ran the risk of politely being asked to move upstairs into the tea room and women’s lounges where she could keep a look out for her gentleman companion from the shelter of the second floor mezzanine.

Guide Bruce Bell offers fascinating tours of the famous "King Eddy".

THE KING’S TOUR Actor, writer, storyteller, historian, guide… call him what you will, but there’s not much Bruce Bell doesn’t know about Toronto and its famous (and sometimes infamous) landmarks. As one of Toronto’s leading historians—and the official historian of The King Edward Hotel—Bell loves nothing more than to share his wealth of knowledge and expertise with an enthusiastic audience. In addition to his tours of The King Edward Hotel (expect to spend at least an hour on this magical experience), he also conducts fascinating tours of historic St. Lawrence Market, Old Town Toronto, the University of Toronto, Kensington Market, Yorkville and the Historic Distillery District, as well as walking tour weekends in New York City. Bell has also started a historical plaque program that has led to numerous sites around the city being recognized of historical significance, including Toronto’s First Jail, The Great Fire of 1849, and the hanging of the Rebellion of 1837 leaders Lount and Matthews. To learn more, visit Bruce Bell Tours website at

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THE TEST OF TIME… The King Edward Hotel has been at the centre of Canadian history for over 100 years, as welcoming to the rich and famous as it is to the rest of us. Charlie Chaplin, Mark Twain, Mary Pickford, Gloria Swanson, Rudolph Valentino, Louis Armstrong, Elvis Presley, Margaret Thatcher, Cher, Ernest Hemingway, the Beatles… the list of those who’ve stayed at the landmark hotel is as endless as the remarkable events to which it has borne witness.

1903: The King Edward Hotel, Toronto’s first ‘completely fireproof hotel’, welcomes guests. The formal opening coincides with the Royal Canadian Yacht Club Ball, a highlight of the Toronto social season, with guests of honour Lord and Lady Minto.

1912: Officials dine at the King Eddy before leaving to throw the switch at the city’s first power station, marking the introduction of cheap electricity. A crowd of 50,000 people turn out to cheer.

1921: An 18-storey tower was added to the hotel, and crowned with the exquisite Crystal Ballroom. 1934: The Great Depression is finally drawing to a conclusion. Prohibition ends, enabling The King Edward to once again sell alcohol.

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1957: More than 700 doctors assembled at The King Edward to hear news that a cure had been discovered for polio.

1914: News of the declaration of war against Germany reaches Toronto’s leaders while in meetings at The King Edward. They toast King George and sing God Save the King, confident it’ll be over by Christmas. When the conflict finally ends five years later, some 25,000 young men from in and around Toronto will have died.

1964: Richard Burton proposes to Elizabeth Taylor (for the first time) in The King Edward’s elegant Sovereign Ballroom. Later this same year, Beatlemania hits Toronto as the Fab Four visit the hotel.

ONE FOR THE BOYS… Despite catering to women, the King Edward’s core business inevitably depended upon the masculine sex. Built by men of business primarily to attract, serve and pamper other men of business, it did so with grace and charm… and clearly without any interference from women. Guests— men—were met by a bevy of staff ready to cater to their every need, and in the lobby they were greeted by a magnificent glass and mahogany newsstand and cigar store, and could dine at the antique oak-paneled Bar and Gentleman’s Café. Downstairs, they would be pampered by the staff of the well-appointed, high-ceilinged barbershop, after which they could enjoy a little ‘men-only’ company in the Grill or play some billiards. “The King Eddy was at this time strictly a bastion of maleness,” says Bell. “It was all cigars and whisky as it backed onto the old financial district of the city.”

1919: On the eve of the ‘roaring twenties’, the Prince of Wales, later Edward 8th, stays at The King Edward where a state dinner including the Prime Ministers of both countries is held in his honour.

1969: John Lennon and Yoko Ono spend two nights at the King Edward as part of their ‘bed-in for peace’ campaign. 1978: Cher gives an impromptu performance of Gypsies Tramps and Thieves. She’s the last performer to sing in the Crystal Ballroom… for now.

It was perhaps this ‘old boy’s club’ feel that so appealed to one of the hotel’s first (soon-to-be) celebrity guests, a then impressionable 19 yearold by the name of Ernest Hemingway. The budding young writer had travelled to Toronto from his home in Illinois as a companion to the son of Ralph Connable, an affluent man who controlled Canada’s Woolworth empire. Connable was convinced his less than athletic son would benefit from Hemingway’s influence in the ‘toughening-up’ department, and hired him in 1919 to tutor the lad in the art of manly pursuits. Legend has it that it was while staying at The King Edward as Connable’s guest that Hemmingway was introduced to fabled Toronto Star writer Gregory Clark, who in turn secured him a job and also acted as a mentor, guiding him in the early years of a career that would see him become one of the world’s greatest authors.


The aptly named Royal Suite has been the preferred home-away-from-home in Toronto for Hollywood's royalty, as well as visiting dignitaries and entertainers, for decades.

THE TIMES THEY WERE A CHANGIN’… With the advent of women’s rights, the hotel found itself having to make changes to keep up with the mood of the public. One of the first concessions to this new liberal attitude was the opening of the Cafeteria in the 1920s, a place where women and men alike could enter freely and mix and mingle. It was, however, to prove a shrewd business move. “The hotel needed modernizing,” says Bell, “so one of the first things they did was open the Cafeteria. Things were changing socially at an incredible rate since the end of the Great War, and women now had the vote and were taking a greater role in the economy.” The Bell phone company had just opened its main Canadian exchange nearby, in the process bringing some 10,000 wage-earning women into downtown Toronto. The Cafeteria was a huge success, and soon after the hotel found itself welcoming the Jazz era, becoming one of the first establishments in the city to recognize and accept what had until then been considered a degenerate fringe music. It wasn’t long before the King Eddy’s famous Crystal Ballroom was swinging to the sounds of bandleader Luigi Romanelli’s orchestra and other top acts. “The hotel really embraced jazz,” says Bell. “Legend has it the King Eddy was where the Charleston was first performed in Canada, and it was during the roaring 20s that the hotel really came into its own. The Edwardians had long gone, and the King Eddy was perfectly situated to be the most happening place in the country.” It was the swinging sixties, however, that saw the hotel welcome some of its most famous guests— not to mention some of the most challenging to the

social fabric that still somewhat defined the young nation. First up were actress Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, who set tongues wagging after establishing a love nest in the five-bedroom ViceRegal Suite prior to their marriage in 1964. For many, it was scandalous behaviour, and led to a series of protests outside the hotel against what the Vatican had labeled Taylor’s “erotic vagrancy”. The situation only quieted down after Burton proposed, and soon the fans far outnumbered the protestors. Today, the spot where Burton popped the question—in the cornered window of the Sovereign Ballroom—is highly priced amongst brides wanting a romantic wedding or engagement photo. It was, however, an even greater event just six months later that was to forever secure the King Eddy’s place in the history of the swinging sixties: the arrival of Beatlemania. Says historian Bruce Bell from the now modernized suites that Taylor and Burton, and later the Beatles, temporarily called home: “Two of the most important events that happened in Toronto happened right here in these rooms. We went almost overnight from being proudly dull to suddenly being very hip and trendy.” For the second time in a matter of months the normally sedate old hotel was once again the centre of a publicity storm… not to mention the focus of practically every teenaged girl in the province. Thousands of frenzied fans thronged the streets around the hotel hoping for a glimpse of their idols prior to their sell-out concert at nearby Maple Leaf Gardens. And occasionally, a small group would manage to sneak past the rather scant security. Bell recounts with glee one of the most interesting anecdotes of the frenzy, again involving journalist Gregory Clark who had by now moved into the King Eddy permanently. “A few overenthusiastic Beatles fans knocked on his door

Already 110 years old and one of Toronto’s bestknown landmarks, The King Edward Hotel undoubtedly has an even greater future ahead of it. To help secure the hotel’s place as a vital part of the city’s vibrant cultural and social fabric, part owners King Edward Realty Inc. have earmarked $37 million for a major renovation project to begin this summer. The first phase will include the complete renovation of 50 guest rooms on the hotel’s 6th floor, to be ready by early fall this year. Renovations and restoration will continue with the remainder of the 301 guest rooms, the famous Crystal Ballroom and the lobby over the course of the next three-four years (the hotel’s Fitness Centre has already been refurbished). “The new look is very contemporary, but with a reminder of our historic past in the choice of décor items and colour schemes,” says Jeff Waters, the hotel’s General Manager. “Even the choice of art and photography on our walls has been given careful consideration to properly reflect the important role the hotel has played in the history of this great city.” To celebrate the hotel’s rich past—as well as its bright future—Waters and his team recently unveiled a series of special celebratory offerings for guests to enjoy. Topping the list is a special 110th anniversary hotel rate running until end of the year where every second night’s stay is just $110. While there, guests can really get into the spirit of things by partaking in a special anniversary cocktail menu at the hotel’s Consort Bar. With names such as the “Ernest Hemingway” (the writer liked adding grapefruit and maraschino cherries to his Daiquiri) and “King Edward Moonshine” (a tequila cask aged bourbon available exclusively at the King Eddy), you’ll no doubt be tempted to propose a toast (or two) to the future of the wonderful old hotel you’re visiting. after sneaking into hotel,” he says with a chuckle. “When he answered, one of the kids asked, ‘Is this where Lennon is?’ Naively thinking they were referring to the Soviet Union’s Lenin, he replied: ‘No, he died 40 years ago!’” The Beatles connection continued when some five years later a very bearded John Lennon returned to Toronto with Yoko Ono for their ‘bedin for peace’. Within minutes of their unannounced arrival, radio stations across the city were broadcasting news of the visit. Inevitably, a gaggle of fans and members of the press turned up, some of whom—like then Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau—were even invited to join the couple in bed… a sure sign of just how far attitudes had changed in the decades since The King Edward Hotel first opened its doors. SL

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Treetop Trekking Course.




hen it comes to enjoying Ontario’s great outdoors, you can’t do much better than participate in one of the incredible adventures on offer through the summer season at the province’s leading resorts. Setting the standard for great family fun and adventure are Muskoka’s Deerhurst Resort, near Huntsville, and Horseshoe Resort just north of Barrie. Both of these year-round destinations are an easy drive from Toronto (two-hours and one-hour, respectively), and each boasts world-class accommodations, dining and activities. To help you plan your summer outdoor adventures—whether it’s part of a fun daytrip or a longer vacation package—SkyLife is pleased to highlight just some of the countless outdoor activities on offer at these resorts now the good weather’s here. So get out there and enjoy it!

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MOUNTAIN BIKING HORSESHOE RESORT There’s no denying the thrill and excitement associated with mountain biking, one of Canada’s fastest growing and most popular outdoor activities. Horseshoe offers some of the best downhill experiences in Ontario, boasting seven amazing trails from beginner to advanced. All you need do is take the lift to the top, kick off and ride the resort’s well-maintained trails, each featuring enough ladders, boxes and bridges to keep your adrenaline pumping for hours after the fun’s ended. Horseshoe Resort’s Mountain Downhill Bike Park is open throughout the summer, and while all levels of riders are welcome, a proficiency test is required prior to being allowed on the lift with your downhill bike. For newbies, orientation les-

sons are available, including a tour of the Bike Park, explanation of signage and basic downhill riding procedures and trail etiquette.

ZIP LINE AND TREETOP TREKKING COURSE HORSESHOE RESORT This thrilling family focused adventure at Horseshoe sees guests travel through fun, challenging courses high above the forest floor in the hills surrounding the resort, using zip lines—including the 900ft Big Zip—for an unrivalled adrenaline rush. Stride along the treetops using rope bridges, zip lines, climbing nets, footbridges, swings and more. In addition to the fun, there’s the very positive, character building attributes which make this incredible activity so popular amongst parents: it helps kids develop independence and responsi-

Riding Adventures by Yamaha.

bility, conquer fear of heights and focuses their concentration… not to mention providing an opportunity to get up close and personal with Mother Nature.

ADVENTURE PARK HORSESHOE RESORT The is the perfect place to spend a day learning alongside the kids with the vast array of activities on offer. One of the most popular of these is AQUA Ogo (Horseshoe is in fact home to Canada’s only fully operational Ogo Park). Riders simply climb inside a giant ball then roll and bounce down the hill in a thrilling wet and wild ride you won’t soon forget. AQUA Ogo. Photos: Mike Guilbault


Another extremely popular Adventure Park attraction is the climbing wall. Rock climbing’s another great sport to challenge yourself both mentally and physically, and helps overall cardiovascular health as well as flexibility and muscle strength. Then, when you’re done with the climbing, head over to Ridgetop Mini Golf, a fun-filled 18 hole course that includes rough, sand and water traps overlooking a spectacular backdrop of the Valley below. Next up, the Euro Bungy, a safe and fun gravity-defying attraction that allows guests to maneuver, bounce and flip on this bungy/trampoline hybrid. Finally, for something a little more relaxed discover a few gems at newest addition, Red Horse Mining Co. or visit the Red Horse Maze, a great (and puzzling) attraction suitable for all ages.

Riding a motorbike or four-wheeler requires a respect for the power these versatile vehicles possess, as well as an understanding of how to operate one. It’s this mix of machine and mastery that makes Riding Adventures by Yamaha such a fun family attraction. From the ‘base camp’ at the top of the ski hills you’ll get plenty of opportunity to enjoy the endless trails that zigzag across the rugged 200 acre Horseshoe Valley Forest. Offering a wide range of challenging terrain (including gravel pits and plenty of mud), all rides take place in a controlled and safe environment and are perfect for family outings. Tour packages include state-of-the-art Yamaha vehicles—everything from dirt bikes to ATVs—as well as lessons, safety gear and fuel.


Pony ride at Deerhurst Resort.


SEGWAY ADVENTURES HORSESHOE RESORT Explore the forests around Horseshoe propelled along on a specially designed all-terrain Segway. Your adventure begins with a 15-minute introduction and training session on your Segway x 2 before heading off on a guided tour through the forest. (Stay tuned for further details, or contact Horseshoe Resort directly.)

Now open for 2013, guests get to experience the very best of Muskoka… all at tree top level. Zip, climb, swing and stride on an unforgettable journey through the forests around this magical resort using ropes, bridges, zip lines, Tarzan ropes, climbing nets, foot bridges and swings. Whatever your level of agility, experience or age, progress is at your own pace so the experience is safe, friendly and accessible to everyone.

HORSING AROUND DEERHURST RESORT Visit the stables at Deerhurst and take part in one of their many equine activities. Suitable for all levels of experience and ages, supervised rides include adult trail rides, a “Kids ’n Ponies” introduction to horsemanship (also check out the “Kids ’n Critters” barnyard fun for the little ones), as well as carriage and horse drawn wagon rides.

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Deerhurst waterfront activities.

RESORT SUMMER CAMPS Horseshoe Resort has been offering children and their parents healthy, active learning experiences for over 50 years, and its summer camp programs—combining fun with skill development and structured play using natural elements and activities—have seen countless generations of family return time and time again. Rock climbing is always fun.


Kids Camp (ages 4-7): The Kids Camp is for those little ones ready for some adventure of their own includes activities such as climbing, minigolf, Ogoing, Eurobungy, swimming, kayaking, archery, hiking and arts and crafts… enough to ensure your kid campers will sleep well at night. Discover Camp (ages 8-14): Campers get to participate in activities like climbing, mini-golf, Ogoing, Eurobungy, swimming, kayaking, archery and hiking, as well as having the option of addingon a variety of day trips or a campfire cookout.

With three outdoor pools, a sandy beach, beach volleyball and lengthy boardwalk, guests at Deerhurst have plenty of opportunity to swim, stroll or laze the day away on the shores of beautiful Peninsula Lake, including over 50 different water vessels to use or rent, including canoes, windsurfers, stand-up paddleboards and kayaks. Kids, of course, will never want to leave the Splash Zone, the country’s largest inflatable park on water. Featuring inflatables from bouncing trampolines to slides—even a fun “walk the plank” attraction—the zone includes a pint-size play area for children and a larger layout for older kids, as well as the young at heart. Boating enthusiasts can rent a variety of fun watercraft including EZ Cats or replica wooden boats, while the truly adventurous can learn to wakeboard, ski or tube. Alternatively, if you’re feeling a little lazy, guided tours are available of Peninsula and Fairy Lakes. And for fisher-folk, why not try your luck catching a northern pike or lake trout, a task made all the easier thanks to the resort’s on-site gear rental and licensing team.

HIKING Adventure Camp (ages 9+): Aimed at preteens seeking more physically challenging activities, this camp has an amazing action packed weekly schedule including mountain biking, treetop trekking, kayaking, paintball, stand-up paddle boarding, and Yamaha Adventures. When not at camp, Adventure Camp attendees get full access to the Horseshoe Adventure Park and resort facilities.

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DEERHURST The Muskoka area is crisscrossed with numerous great hiking trails. All you need do is put on some hiking boots, pick up a hiking map and explore the countryside around the resort, including the wonderful Lookout Point for a magical view of the vast property. For the adventurous, make sure you head over to nearby Algonquin Park, just a 25

Off roading at Deerhurst.

minute drive away, and pop into the Visitor Centre for everything you need to know to make the most of your adventure.

OFF ROADING DEERHURST & HORSESHOE For those who enjoy a real ride on the wild side, ERA Tours offer unique Hummer and Rock Buggy tours of the beautiful and rugged terrain of Muskoka. Hummer tours include an experienced driver ready to deliver an expert demonstration of this versatile vehicle’s incredible off-road capabilities. You can even take control of your own off-road vehicle, a custom-made Rock Buggy, and best of all, you don’t have to be an expert driver to operate these incredibly versatile machines. All that’s needed is a little instruction and off you go. Powered with biofuel, these green machines are the meanest things to hit the trails and are only available at Deerhurst Resort. SL



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et you didn’t know that Canada is home to some 100-plus film festivals, did you? Didn’t think so, and nor did I. Running the gamut from festivals focusing on ethnicity (Toronto alone is home to film events focusing on Asian, Latin and Jewish cinema), sexuality, genres (horror and fantasy, anyone?) to animation for adults—and of course kids—Ontario is a veritable hotbed of film festival activity just waiting to be explored. While some of the biggest and best are located in Toronto—the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) is arguably one of the most

important anywhere on the planet—some surprising gems turn up in small-town Ontario. A personal favourite is Film North in Huntsville. The festival’s wonderful Muskoka setting ensures it taps into the tourism and cottage market in what is undoubtedly one of the most picturesque towns in the province, and is reason enough to visit. Film North presents a unique opportunity for festival goers to experience an excellent program of significant Canadian and international films, celebrity led panels, award galas and dinners, as

CLASSIC RACERS COME TO MUSKOKA Fans of those wonderful classic wooden boats seen gracing the Muskoka lakes won’t want to miss The Greatest Race Boat Show in Canadian History, part of the annual Antique and Classic Boat Show held in Gravenhurst. Now in its 33rd year, this year’s event (July 6th) celebrates 100 years of boat racing and will feature more than 150 classic boats on display in water and on land.

Miss Supertest III

TIFF in the Park. Photo: Sonia Recchia

well as fun receptions and parties in a charming, easy-paced atmosphere (no prima donnas here). Now in its fourth year, the festival will again offer three days of stellar screenings at the Algonquin Theatre on Main Street, Huntsville, from Sept. 19th through 21st (visit their website,, later this summer for program specifics). As with previous seasons, the eclectic program will include short- and feature-length films in a variety of categories from documentary, horror, drama, environmental to comedic and political, many of them world- and Canadian premieres.

The highlight, of course, will be the inclusion of the racers, including Miss Canada IV, Miss Supertest III, and Miss Canadiana, along with many other world and North American championship winners. Along with the boats, a number of Canadian and American champion drivers, including Hall of Fame members, will be in attendance. Visitors will be entertained throughout the day with demonstrations by the big hydros as they strut their stuff, showing off their speed and power on a special demo course set in Gravenhurst Bay. The star of this year’s show will undoubtedly be Miss Canada IV. Built in Gravenhurst in 1949, this newly restored beauty is powered by the same powerful Rolls Royce Griffon engine that propelled her to a speed of 138.8 mph, setting a North American speed record that she later beat after becoming the first boat to eclipse the 200 mph mark in 1950. Boat Note: If after visiting the Antique and Miss Canada IV restoration Classic Boat Show you fancy spending some time in one of these elegant watercraft yourself, you might want to check out Port Carling-based Muskoka Launch Livery. This company provides classic boat rentals from Severn to Parry Sound, Kawagama to Georgian Bay, and all the small lakes in between. It’s a unique opportunity to skipper your “own” classic boat for a day or two, and is especially fun for weddings and family reunions… and as the company motto states, “the slower you go, the longer it takes”. For details, visit their website at

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Indie Fridays with Saida Baba Talibah

THE HEART OF THE CITY It’s hard to believe that iconic Yonge-Dundas Square in the heart of Toronto is already 10 years old… wow, where does the time go? Since then, YDS, as it’s affectionately known, has earned a reputation as one of Canada’s liveliest intersections, illuminating downtown Toronto with countless activities and an eclectic range of always free public events. The upcoming 10th anniversary season promises another summer of non-stop entertainment, including free concerts by rockin’ musical acts, classic cult films and other fun events. (To put things in perspective, previous appearances included Beyoncé, The Flaming Lips, Shania Twain, Broken Social Scene, John Mayer and Iggy Pop!) On August 9th, YDS will celebrate its birthday with a spectacular collection of buskers and street performers, and a beer garden will open at 4pm to really get things going. Then, at 7pm, a stellar line-up of Canadian musical superstars will entertain into the evening, including Divine Brown, Royal Wood and Spirit of the West. Summer favourites (until Aug. 27th) include the return of City Cinema: Cult Classics, a series

of free outdoor screenings of classic cult films at sunset every Tuesday. Films include the hilarious Anchorman, The Legend of Ron Burgundy, the beyond-quirky Napoleon Dynamite, and the all time cult classic, The Godfather. Music fans will be thrilled to attend Virgin Mobile’s

Indie Fridays, a series of free concerts every Friday night from 8-10pm. Toronto’s biggest patio will be the hot spot to cool down with performances by in demand cover-band Dwayne Gretzky, indie darlings Plants and Animals, and Toronto hip hop sensation Cadence Weapon.


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The Banquet

In addition to the glitz and glamour of its marquee event taking place each August, the aforementioned Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) hosts a number of exciting programs throughout the summer that are well worth checking out. Running through to Aug. 11th, A Century of Chinese Cinema—TIFF’s flagship program of the summer season—is a large-scale exploration of Chinese film, art and culture featuring film series, exhibitions and special guests. Presenting a major film retrospective of over 80 titles, many of which are new prints, digital restorations or

archival 35mm prints, and several of which have never before been seen in North America, the program traces the shared cultural and historical connections between the cinemas of the Mainland, Hong Kong and Taiwan, and offers a range of cinematic options for all tastes. A veritable “who’s who” of Chinese cinema will descend on TIFF Bell Lightbox over the course of the series, including the wonderful Jackie Chan, returning to Toronto to introduce past works such as Drunken Master and previewing the upcoming Police Story 2013. Another highlight will undoubtedly be Nansun Shi, one of Asia’s most respected producers, who promises to share her industry experience and thoughts on two muchloved genre films, A Better Tomorrow and A Chinese Ghost Story.

Roman Holiday, 1953

Clueless, 1995

Oh, one final word about TIFF. Be sure to check out their wonderful TIFF in the Park film series. Shown free every Wednesday at sunset throughout the summer in conjunction with the Toronto Entertainment District BIA, these outdoor screenings of romantic classics at David Pecaut Square (directly west of Roy Thomson Hall) are this year all about romance… so take a blanket and your sweetheart. Confirmed titles include Casablanca, Sleepless in Seattle and Moonstruck. SL

A little closer to home—and on a much less serious note—is a fantastic piece of programming called TOGA! The Reinvention of American Comedy. Showcasing 27 rude, crude and brilliant movies that revolutionized American comedy, this fun-packed program brings with it a bevy of special guests including father and son producers Ivan and Jason Reitman in a special “In Conversation With...” session on July 17th. The elder Reitman was/is responsible for the classic Ghostbusters franchise (number three in the series is in the works) while son Jason was behind such hits as Juno and Young Adult. Another brilliant event is the muchanticipated Animal House Reunion scheduled for July 18th. This happening brings together the already mentioned Ivan Reitman, John Landis, Matty Simmons, Tim Matheson, Stephen Furst and Martha Smith to share their memories of the classic film. Landis himself will be the subject of an “In Conversation With…” on July 20th, and will be on hand to introduce The Blues Brothers. The Blues Brothers

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Les Miserables




t’s been 50 years since Ed Mirvish began his grand theatrical adventure in Toronto with the purchase of the Royal Alexandra Theatre on King Street West. At the time, the theatre was stuck in the middle of a disused industrial area and, like the neighbourhood around it, had been neglected for years. To his credit, Mirvish restored and renovated the theatre, helping kick-start the revitalization of the area. This bold move helped launch a new era in Toronto theatre, introducing a local commercial

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segment that helped grow the talent pool—and the industry—into one of the largest and best in the world. What began with one venue has now grown into four very distinct theatres in Toronto, including The Royal Alexandra, The Princess of Wales, The Panasonic and, of course, The Ed Mirvish (formerly the Canon), named to honour one of the city’s most beloved boosters. To celebrate its 50th year in show biz, Mirvish Productions will present 14 shows in Toronto for one of its biggest seasons ever. One of the

highlights will undoubtedly be Cameron Mackintosh’s acclaimed new production of Les Misérables which kicks off in October, marking the Canadian Premiere of the 25th anniversary production of the show that has broken box office records across North America and internationally. Ramin Karimloo, a local lad from Richmond Hill who has spent the majority of his career in the UK where he starred in the London production, will take on the role of Jean Valjean. And from Quebec, Genevieve Leclerc stars as Fantine, a role she’s currently playing in the US tour of Les Mis. Speaking of classics, it’s not too late to pick up tickets for Cats, which recently began its current Toronto run at the Panasonic Theatre. Cats is widely acclaimed as the show that revolutionized musical theatre around the world, and most significantly in Toronto, so its fitting that it makes its triumphant return with the original Canadian producer, Marlene Smith, at the helm of a new production. One of Andrew Lloyd Weber’s most successful stage productions, Cats has been seen by over 50 million people in 26 different countries and translated into 10 different languages since its opening in London in 1981, so seeing it in Toronto again should be considered a must. (Performances to Sept. 1.)

CATS. Photo: Racheal McCaig

FOR THE KIDS… AND FOR FUN Mirvish’s 50th season also includes some new and classic shows suitable for younger audiences. Amongst the new is Disney’s Aladdin, coming to the Ed Mirvish Theatre in time for Christmas (so book early). Adapted from centuries-old Arabian folktales such as One Thousand and One Nights, Aladdin features a full Broadway score plus a number of tunes from the animated film. And although it’s still some way off, you might want to start planning for the return of The Lion King in April 2014 at the Princess of Wales Theatre. Helmed by award winning director Julie Taymor, the show will include the wonderful songs penned by Elton John and Tim Rice, including the classics Can You Feel The Love Tonight and Circle of Life. And while on the subject of big-hearted fun, be sure to catch the Canadian premiere of I Love Lucy—Live on Stage. Adapted for the stage with new material by Kim Flagg and Rick Sparks, this must-see begins Oct. 15th at the Royal Alexandra Theatre. This brand new hit musical stage show is based on the longest-running and most beloved television program in history, and not only stars Lucy, Ricky, Fred and Ethel, it also features some of the very best bits from the series. SL

Ma-Anne Dionisio as Grizabella. Photo: Racheal McCaig

Martin Samuel as Rum Tum Tugger in CATS. Photo: Racheal McCaig

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Horseshoe Highlands Golf




hether you’re dusting off your clubs, getting ready for a new season or starting fresh and just learning the ins and outs of ‘the perfect game’, Skyline Hotels and Resorts has an excellent and diverse selection of golf options for all skill levels.

HORSESHOE RESORT Located just north of Barrie and only an hour’s drive from the GTA, the 680-acre Horseshoe Resort has two uniquely challenging courses that will test the skills of even the most advanced golfers. This season, Horseshoe welcomed a new director of golf, Kevin Sebulski, who brings with him more than 10 years’ experience as a PGA of Canada Class A professional. Most recently, he served as the Director of Golf at the prestigious El Camaleon Mayakoba Golf Club, host of the only PGA Tour Event in Mexico, and prior to that was the head golf professional at Jasper Park Lodge.

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Designed in 1974 by renowned golf course architect Rene Meullart with input from members Al Balding and George Knudson, Horseshoe’s Valley Course is well known for its excellent conditioning and a challenging design. Set amidst the lush treed landscape of Oro-Medonte, although the 71-par course plays to a short 6,202 yards it’s by no means leisurely play. Rewarded for accuracy, players make their way from the foundation of the ski hill through dense forest to a dramatically elevated tee at the 18th hole. From here you’ll enjoy a panoramic view of the valley and the final fairway cutting sharply to the left. “This is a golf course that makes you use every club in your bag,” says Sebulski. “Golfers who score well on the Valley Course sacrifice distance for accuracy off the tee and choose to hit an approach shot with a 7-iron rather than having to chip out of the trees and trying to get up and down from 120 yards for par.”

Joining the Valley Course in 1991, the resort’s Rene Meullart designed Highlands Course originally opened as a nine-hole track. In 2002, Shawn Watters added the second nine to complete the current championshipstyle course. Playing over 7,000 yards from the tips, the par-71 Highlands Course is known for its sweeping scenic resort views, rolling hills and lush landscape. The course has hosted several professional events over the years, including the 2006 CPGA Canadian Tour Championship, and is one of the top-rated public courses in Ontario. “The Highlands course offers two distinct nines,” says Sebulski. “The back nine – the original nine – is more of a parkland setting with wider landing areas. The front nine is beautifully carved into the Copeland Forest and features spectacular views from greens and tees and is a challenge for all skill levels.”

Deerhurst Golf

Deerhurst Golf — Lakeside

Horseshoe Highlands Golf

DEERHURST RESORT Only two hours north of Toronto, Deerhurst Resort has been welcoming guests to the shores of Peninsula Lake and Sunset Bay since 1896. Spread across 760 acres and boasting some 400 guest rooms, Deerhurst is home to two celebrated golf courses. With its sweeping lake views, Deerhurst Lakeside is known for its challenging layout and meticulous grooming from tee to green. Perfect for all skill levels, the course has gained a reputation for being fun… and fair. Originally built in 1966 by C.E. (Robbie) Robertson, it underwent a redesign by Tom McBroom in 1988. McBroom took full advantage of the course’s lakeside setting, providing the perfect backdrop for a Muskoka game. This 4,596-yard, par-64 course flows around Sunset Bay before making its way to picturesque views of the surrounding countryside and Peninsula Lake for the back nine. Making the most of

Deerhurst Golf

the Muskoka landscape, Deerhurst Lakeside incorporates elevated tees, rippling greens in valleys, strategic water hazards and deep bunkers, and will have you using every club in your bag. Setting the benchmark for golf tourism in the region and sparking its emergence as a must-play Canadian golf destination, the famed Deerhurst Highlands was the first championship golf course built in Muskoka and remains one of the most played courses in the area. Designed in 1990 by Robert Cupp and Thomas McBroom, the par-72 course capitalizes on the region’s dramatic landscape, taking players through elevation changes, rugged granite outcroppings and densely wooded areas. “Deerhurst Highlands is the original Muskoka course,” says the resort’s Director of Golf, Danny Jackson. “It’s a must play for any seasoned golfer.” Built to stand the test of time, this challenging 7,011-yard course features six different sets of tees, making it a customizable and

Deerhurst Golf — 8th hole

rewarding game for players of any skill level. Consistently ranked among SCOREGolf’s “Top 100 Courses” nationwide, the course also received a 4.5 (out of 5) star rating in Golf Digest’s “Best Places to Play”. A must for any golfer, the golf academies operated at both Deerhurst and Horseshoe specialize in customized instruction designed to improve any player’s skills. Led by Director of Instruction Dave Castellan, the academies each use proven and innovative techniques and programs including group clinics, corporate teambuilding programs, junior camps and private instruction. And Castellan certainly knows his stuff: named one of the Top 50 PGA of Canada instructors by the National Post, he’s a two-time nominee for Ontario PGA Teacher of the Year and has worked with Canadian golf legend, George Knudson, and was lead instructor for Deerhurst’s ESPN Golf School under the tutelage of Hank Haney. SL

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Whiting Bay course — 14th hole.



here’s a wonderful anecdote you’ll no doubt be told when you start talking golf with the locals on Scotland’s beautiful Isle of Arran. It’ll go something like this: Walter Hagen, once one of the US’s most prolific golfers, wanted to play a few rounds in the birthplace of golf back in the summer 1937 after being told by his friend Tommy Armour (aka The Silver Scot) about the wonderful course at Machrie. Setting off with trickshot artist Joe Kirkwood, he made it to Glasgow’s Central Station, flagged a cab and asked the driver to take them to Machrie Golf Club. Upon being dropped at the Ayrshire coast, they took a steamer to what they assumed was the right island. To their surprise, they were met at the club by a couple of unlikely challengers (one somewhat clumsy, the other a bit of a contortionist), and a crowd of some 200 locals. Undeterred, Hagen went on to play the course twice, in the process setting a club record of fifty-three strokes that stands to this day. Upon his return to the US, Hagen chided Armour for having sent him so far just to play a

Corrie — 2nd hole.

nine-hole course sprinkled with farm animals and wildlife. Armour’s response is legendary. “You should,” he told his friend between chuckles, “have been on the Isle of Islay, not Arran!” It’s a great tale, even if it doesn’t do this incredible little island much justice. Arran is in fact so picture-perfect that it’s been dubbed “Scotland in Miniature”, and with only 5,000 fulltime resident lays claim to having one of the world’s highest ratios of golf courses per capita (and a total of 93 holes waiting to be played). In addition to the already mentioned Machrie Golf Club—still only nine holes (2278 yards, par 33), but challenge enough on a blustery day—the island boasts a further six golf clubs, each with its own unique charms, and each a throwback to a gentler time when golf was something one did for relaxation, rather than competition (a fact that makes Arran the perfect couples golf destination). In short, it all adds up to a pleasing, and much less expensive, alternative to the high-cost, high-traffic mainland courses.

Lochranza’s deer hazards

Lamlash — 15th hole.

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MORE TO ARRAN THAN JUST GREAT GOLF It’s for good reason that the Isle of Arran is called ‘Scotland in Miniature’. Only 166 square miles in size, Arran is a mirror image of the landscape found on the mainland. And like mainland Scotland, it boasts majestic mountains, moorland, sandy beaches, wildlife, castles, fishing towns, a distillery… and plenty of friendly people. And for Canadians, it’s easy to get to. Direct flights are available from Toronto to Glasgow, with fast rail and ferry links to the island. Once there, buses run regularly around the island, or rent a car and explore.

Machrie — 4th hole

Shiskine Golf and Tennis Club.

WHERE TO STAY: The options are plentiful. From five star resorts to quaint B&Bs to self-catering cottages, visitors are well served when it comes to finding somewhere to lay their heads. A personal favourite is The Big Wooden House (, an exquisite self-catering home that sleeps up to 10. Built by an architect in 1938, this wonderfully preserved home overlooks Brodick Golf Club, and there’s not a disappointing view from any of its 43 windows. For something a little cozier, the cute-as-a-button Grenrof Cottage in Whiting Bay is a minute from the water, and a short stroll to the golf course, buses, pubs and restaurants ( WHERE TO EAT: Gone are the days when British cuisine was something to sneer at. Arran boasts some of the best dining you’ll find anywhere, from tasty full-Scottish breakfasts to fresh fish pub suppers. If you can, try to time your trip to coincide with the monthly Arran Supper Club ( for a wonderful mix of fine food and wine glass is provided, you bring the rest) and excellent company, and offers a unique chance to spend time with the locals while making new friends. WHAT TO DO: Pubs. Arran’s got some great ones, including the Ormidale Hotel in Brodick ( It’s a fun mix of great food and drink, as well as dancing (the famous Saturday Disco), local music (Sunday’s) and quizzes (Trev’s Tuesday Pop Quiz). And while on the topic of libations, the Arran Distillery is a must. Sample the distillery’s fine malts, take a tour… heck, you can even buy yourself a cask, write your name on it, then come back and collect it 10 years down the road. WHAT TO SEE: Brodick Castle with its incredible collection of antiquities, its iron age house and wonderful gardens is a must see (expect to spend the best part of a day there). Goat Fell, the 2,866 ft mountain that dominates the island, is a must climb (if you’re fit enough). When you’re done, you’ll find yourself back at the Arran Brewery for the most welcoming pint of your life. For further details, contact the very helpful folks at Visit Arran (

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GREAT GOLF’S JUST A STROLL AWAY While visiting the island earlier this spring— and just weeks after the storm of the century had shut the island down—I was thrilled to catch Tour professionals Ronan Rafferty and Stephen McAllister play at Brodick Golf Club along with former European Tour player Stewart Smith. Their enthusiasm for this 4,747 yards, par 65 course, as well as the island in general, was very evident, and for good reason. The 18hole, 100-year old Brodick course has a long history of exhibition matches featuring many of Scotland’s top players—amongst them Jack McLean, Ronnie Shade and Charlie Green—and is a real pleasure to walk due its lowland layout. But it’s not without its challenges. The parthree eighth hole is your first real cause for concern (it’s a 167-yard dogleg destined to cause headaches for big hitters), but get it right and you’ll be talking about it for weeks. And don’t let your guard down too early: the 18th, a tight 222-yard affair bordered by water and woods, seems hell-bent on keeping you out of the clubhouse bar for as long as is possible.

Lochranza Golf Club (5487 yards, par 70) is undoubtedly one of the most scenic courses on the island (and that’s saying a lot, as there’s not a bad view on the island). It too has some unique challenges of its own. These stem not from its playability—it is a lot of fun!—but have more to do with its unique layout: its 18 tees play to 12 greens, six of them doubles, so you need to pay attention. But once you get used to things like having to cross the same stream eight times, as well as avoiding the many deer that frequent the course, you’ll be rewarded with a day of golf you won’t soon forget. And you certainly won’t forget the longest (of just three) par fives on the island, the appropriately named 542 yard ‘Warrior’. The whole experience is only matched by the scenery: the course overlooks the quaint village of Lochranza with its harbour and castle, and the surrounding hills complete the picture. It’s Scotland at its very best.

HILLY CLIMBS AND GREAT SCENERY The Shiskine Golf and Tennis Club is perhaps the best known of Arran’s courses. It’s also


the busiest, its unique 12-hole layout (yes, you heard right) seeing some 20,000 rounds played a year. Opened in 1896, this 2,996 yard, par 42 course is one you’ll want to play more than once. With its panoramic views of the spectacular Kintyre Peninsula (cue Paul McCartney’s Mull of Kintyre… you can’t not sing it when you see it!), it’ll keep you on your toes with challenging blind shots like ‘Crows Nest’ and the hilly ‘Hollows’. There’s even one called the ‘Himalayas’, a large gorsecovered hill located bang smack between the tee and green. Corrie Golf Club (1,915 yards, par 31) is also a charmer. Like the other courses, this nine-hole blue-collar course makes the most of the one thing that Arran has in abundance… hills. Before you know it, you’re heading up and down links that aren’t shy about making the most of the terrain, or about making you work a little. It’s a distinctly non-North American way of handling what nature has provided, but each time you reach a green, you can’t help feeling a sense of wonder that anyone would even attempt to build a course on such ter-

rain, let alone have done it so well. The island’s other two courses seem imbued with this same attitude to hilly terrain.The 18-hole Lamlash Golf Club is a must-play, and is a particularly good workout. Built in 1,889, this 4,510 yards, par 64 course will have you puffing all the way to the 11th tee, the aptly named ‘Last Climb’. But once there, the commanding views of the Holy Isle make it all seem worthwhile. Whiting Bay Golf Club is another good workout. Situated high above the town of the same name, you’ll need the rest of the day to recover once done here. But it’s a treat to play… and take your camera for the wonderful views of the Ayrshire coast. To get the best of your Arran experience—unlike Walter Hagen—plan on spending at least a few days on the island. Better still, purchase an Arran Golf Pass. Costing just under $150, these handy passes give you a round at each of the island’s seven courses, and can be purchased at the courses themselves. One final tip: if you can’t make it this year, then book early for 2014 for Scotland’s ‘Homecoming’ celebrations. SL

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No doubt about it, it’s been a long winter. A very, very long winter. But now that the golf season’s finally underway, we thought we’d ask our friends at Golf Town, Canada’s golf superstore, for a few tips about the best new golf gear and gadgets for 2013. FOOTJOY SHOES — HIS AND HERS For the guys, Footjoy’s M-Project Shoe—constructed of proprietary M:Spec leather by Pittards—provide a thin, supple, comfortable feel. The unique PINS spike system comes with thinner spike receptacles and Stealth cleats by Softspikes, and the ProTekt toe guard is designed to provide abrasion resistance in a key wear area, ensuring game-long comfort and traction. Ladies, meanwhile, will want to check out Footjoy’s Summer Series line. Made from EVA (ethyl vinyl acetate), these shoes provide the kind of cushioned underfoot comfort needed for a day on the course.

CLIC GEAR 3.5 PUSH CART The Clicgear Model 3.5+ Push Cart is a compact, reliable, and easy-to-use push cart that makes walking a course a breeze. Based on the Clicgear Model 3.0—a hugely popular push cart model due to its easy-to-use folding frame, multiple convenience features, and wide selection of available colours —the new Model 3.5+ takes things a little further with plenty of updates made based on customer feedback.

TITLEIST PRO V1 Tour-proven around the globe, Titleist’s new 2013 Pro V1 Golf Balls combine exceptional distance, consistent flight, very soft feel, and Drop-and-Stop greenside control. How’s it work? Put as simply as possible, the multi-component construction of the Pro V1 utilizes softcompression ZG Process Core technology and features a responsive ionomeric casing layer and an improved high-performance Urethane Elastomer cover system with a 352 tetrahedral dimple design to deliver unparalleled performance… ok, not so simple, but it works!

CLEVELAND RTX WEDGE Welcome to the new face of spin! Cleveland’s 588 RTX CB Wedges—available for both men and women—combine the legendary 588 performance with added forgiveness and the breakthrough Rotex Face, producing Cleveland Golf's most advanced spin technology ever.

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ODYSSEY VERSA PUTTERS The Versa line of putters offers Odyssey’s latest breakthrough innovation: Visionary High Contrast Alignment. The black and white contrast accentuates the face angle at address, through the stroke and at impact, all the while improving concentration and allowing more accurate alignment to the target. In addition to offering this innovative alignment technology in their mallet and progressive style putters, this technology has been applied to Odyssey’s blade style putters, providing a functional alignment aide to a traditional style putter. Coupled with a new and improved White Hot insert, the Versa line provides options for all players.

The TaylorMade R1 Driver is the one driver model that can be tuned to fit Tour pros and amateurs alike. Shotshaping movable weights promote a neutral/straight flight or a distanceenhancing draw, and improved aerodynamics reduces drag over the head to promote a much faster clubhead speed. And that’s not all: the thick-thin crown provides a lower, more-forward center of gravity location, resulting in a higher launch, faster ball speed, and lower spin. In addition, the club’s unique Inverted Cone technology, milled into the inner side of the clubface, expands the portion of the face that delivers high ball speed. Fans of this amazing adjustable driver can now also have their own version of the hat worn by TaylorMade Tour Staff pros Dustin Johnson and Sergio Garcia during the product’s Tour launch at the Northern Trust Open. The hat includes a special “YOUR1” logo on the front, and the colour scheme—white, orange and gray—matches that of the awesome R1 clubhead.

GARMIN S3 WATCH Rugged and waterproof, the Approach S3 golf watch is packed with information related to tens of thousands of courses worldwide, and displays yardages to the front, back and middle of greens on a high-resolution, glove-friendly touch screen. It even lets you manually position pins, get distances to doglegs and layups, customize yardage points, and print digital scorecards for stroke play and stableford. A golf gadget musthave if ever there was one.

NIKE TW STRIPE POLO Made with strategic perforations and faded print detail on sweat-wicking jersey fabric, the TW Stripe Men's Golf Polo offers both comfort and a modern style on the

PUMA SOLID TECH SHORT Puma’s Golf Tech Shorts—available in a variety of styles for men and women—not only feature classic styling for that sought-after pro look, their innovative fabric construction allows for ease of movement, as well as reduced cling while providing serious comfort. Best of all, a special moisture-wicking finish inherent in the yarn draws moisture away from the body, leaving you dry and distraction-free though out the day.

PING G25 IRONS Ping’s sassy new G25s offer gameimprovement technology—high trajectory, distance, and extreme forgiveness—in a sleek, confidenceinspiring head that’s custom-engineered to ensure a solid feel and distance with control. And you’ll love the club’s progressive sole widths, designed to help optimize CG placement for accurate distance gapping. Both in appearance and performance, these 17-4 stainless steel designs will appeal to golfers of all abilities. SL

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iles above the meeting place of the North and South Thompson Rivers sits the easily accessible mountain community of Sun Peaks. Getting there is an incredible journey that takes you past the desert flora and fauna of Kamloops, up past countless sparkling lakes and creeks, and finally through endless lush forests to Sun Peaks, one of Canada’s most popular Alpinestyle Villages. Once there, you’ll notice the air is comfortably cool and carries a note of adventure: local vendors’ spread their wares in the sunshine at the bustling farmers’ market, and glasses clink as guests toast the day’s adventures and make plans for tomorrow’s exciting experiences. Located just 45 minutes northeast of Kamloops in BC’s sunny interior, Sun Peaks is situated at the intersection of the province’s two primary highways (Highways 1 and 5), making it the perfect stop on any itinerary between the coast and the Rockies. Only a four-hour drive from Vancouver, it’s easy to see why Sun Peaks has become an ideal destination for a quick summer weekend getaway, or even longer summer couples’ or family vacations. Home to British Columbia’s second largest ski resort, a remarkable transformation takes place each summer at Sun Peaks. People gather to experience festivals, musical performances and sporting events hosted in an unforgettable mountain setting. And best of all, it’s all paired with B.C.’s highest 18 hole golf course, lift-accessed hiking and mountain biking, fishing, canoeing or kayaking on area lakes, as well as superlative shopping and spa services.

UNIQUE EUROPEAN FLARE The Tyrolean inspired village is the heart of the community at Sun Peaks and serves as a versatile

venue for many events and festivals throughout the summer months. After attracting thousands of new visitors to Sun Peaks last summer, the Summer Concert Series continues this year with musical performances from stars including Canadian rock legend Burton Cummings and his full band (July 13). Every weekend, the sound of music floats through the village, all of it provided by local and regional bands, and larger musical events—such as the popular Retro Concert Weekend (August 16—18) and the Summer Concert Series (August 31), always draw large crowds. The Kamloops area is renown as a world-class mountain biking haven and the legendary Sun Peaks Bike Park is no exception. Open from late June to early September, the park features nearly 2,000ft of lift-accessed vertical, as well as 35 distinct trails ranging from flowing downhill trails,

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For those looking for something with a more relaxed pace, the Sun Peaks Golf Course opened June 1 for resort guests and golf enthusiasts. The 18 hole, Graham Cook designed course is well known for its tight and challenging front nine and stunning views, compliments of its central location amongst the three surrounding mountains. Located 1,200m above sea level, it’s British Columbia’s highest course—consequently, your golf balls fly farther and the air is usually around ten degrees cooler than courses in nearby Kamloops, which can be a sweet relief during BC’s hot summers.


including a dirt jump trail, to scenic all mountain and expansive cross country trails, ensuring there’s plenty of terrain for every level of rider. The Sun Peaks Bike Park also offers lessons, camps and clinics coached by experienced, local riders, including some of BC’s top professionals. Bikers new to Sun Peaks can also take a guided tour to help them better explore the trails and find sections best suited to their ability and tastes. This summer, Sun Peaks Bike Park will host the Canada Cup (July 7—9), featuring talented local competitors as well as riders from across the nation.

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Sun Peaks also offers lift-accessed hiking in the summer via the swift Sunburst chairlift. This means one of Canada’s most stunning displays of alpine wildflowers is also Canada’s most accessible. Guests of all abilities and ages can hike and explore the colourful natural phenomenon in an area once rich in volcanic activity and soils. The alpine wildflower displays are a dream for amateur and professional photographers alike with the stunning backdrop of the Thompson Okanagan. A Canadian Senator and Sun Peaks resident for almost two decades, Nancy Greene Raine leads a hike to the top of Tod Mountain during Canada’s Alpine Blossom Festival (August 3—5). Joined last year by many hikers, including a family of 20 spanning numerous generations, the ‘Reach the Peak’ hike is a signature Sun Peaks summer experience that should not be missed. Hiking on the mountain, as well as the many valley trails,

provides countless opportunities for a spot of wildlife viewing at Sun Peaks. The village blends seamlessly with the surrounding forest and landscape and is home to black bear, red fox, mule deer, marmot and other wildlife. Guests can rent canoes or kayaks to float along nearby lakes Heffley or McGillivray, the natural habitat of Canada’s iconic moose and the elusive osprey and heron and their nests. Wildlife sightings are almost guaranteed, so be sure to bring a camera. A true family destination, Sun Peaks offers activities and interests spanning a multigenerational spectrum. Kids are able to treat the resort as a summer playground while parents can enjoy it as a well-deserved summer escape. For the young ones, the golf course offers camps and clinics for all abilities, while the more adventurous can head into the Sun Peaks Bike Park for a freestyle camp. Art Zone classes spark the creativity in kids, allowing them to experience different mediums and meet knowledgeable local artists. Parents can unwind in the Sun Peaks Spa, bordering on the surrounding forest, or share a date night in one of over 20 eateries in the village. Sun Peaks offers the best of everything BC has to offer in the summer, all of it condensed into one easy-to-access, easy-to-explore area. From outdoor activities and adventures to music performances and village dining, Sun Peaks’ experiences are always delivered with a friendly smile, which may very well be the best reason to return time and time again. SL

Brandi Schier is Media and Marketing Coordinator at Sun Peaks Resort.


Executive Chef of King Edward Hotel — Daniel Schick. Photo: Kelly Hollinshead



ood—at least the food available in many of Ontario’s best restaurants and hotels—is undoubtedly undergoing somewhat of a renaissance. And foodies— those of us who enjoy the locally sourced, lovingly prepared, healthy and wholesome food these establishments serve—are becoming increasingly spoilt for choice. Naturally, this ethic has been taken very much to heart by the chefs and staff at Skyline’s collection of resorts and hotels where

ingredients used are amongst the best available and, whenever possible (and sometimes, when almost impossible!), sourced locally. To give you an idea of just how good the food offerings at Skyline’s restaurants and dining venues are, we visited them all (heck, someone’s got to do it!), photographer in tow, to find out what—besides their creativity and talent—went into the dishes they’re most proud of.

Pantages Bourbontini striploin.


Locally inspired dining at Eight Wine Bar

THE PANTAGES & COSMOPOLITAN HOTELS TORONTO When it comes to food and dining, two of Toronto’s top hotels have the good fortune to share the attention of Executive Chef Shane Straiko. And for Straiko, who has spent time working in such famed kitchens as London’s Savoy Hotel, quality is always key. “I try to use as many local and Canadian products as possible for our menus,” he says. “And nearly all our dishes are handcrafted by our chefs using fresh ingredients.” While Straiko and his team are regular visitors to Toronto’s various markets, they purchase the bulk of their organic produce from Augusta Fruits and Vegetables out of Kensington Market, and have also signed-on with Haystrom Farms from Prince Edward County for the best farm fresh local produce during the summer months. “Our Beef is always AAA or better Canadian beef hand selected by our butcher,” he adds. “Our Omega-3 hormone free pork from Willowgrove

Hills Farm is the best you’ll ever taste, and our lobster, sourced directly from the east coast fresh from the boat, is shipped the same day it’s caught.” Straiko has even created a new ‘sharing plates’ menu for the Eight Wine Bar at The Cosmopolitan that uses many of the local ingredients he finds, including Ontario lamb and local double smoked bacon for their signature handmade pizza. Many of these ingredients he finds on his frequent forays to Toronto’s famous St. Lawrence Market, where he’s always on the look out for fresh ideas. A favourite stop is the market’s numerous cheese suppliers, to sources great produce for his clients such as Quebec’s fabulous Bries and Camemberts. Ontario in fact offers a vast array of produce during the summer months that Straiko and his team work into their offerings. Topping the list are the province’s fresh strawberries and wild blueberries, and Straiko’s even been known to head north to Muskoka to participate in the occasional spot of mushroom foraging. “There’s nothing quite like chantrelles fresh

Pantages vegetable samosas

from the woods, sautéed in a little creamery butter, ” he says. “But wherever we can find them, I think it’s always very important to source out local and Canadian ingredients. Not only for the freshest flavours and to support our farmers, but being a hotel in Toronto presents an excellent opportunity to showcase Canadian food and flavours to tourists.”

HORSESHOE RESORT, BARRIE Silks Restaurant at Horseshoe Resort near Barrie has long been a supporter of the locavore movement—never more so than under the direction of Executive Chef Dylan Tulloch. It was in fact while working for the much-lauded Araxi Restaurant in Whistler where he gained his extensive knowledge of seasonal and locally grown food, knowledge that he uses to great effect today. “Whenever possible, I like to use the very best ingredients sourced from local growers and farmers,” says Tulloch, adding that he’s also a member of Simcoe County Farm Fresh and the Muskoka and District Chefs Association, groups

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The King Edward Hotel’s Consort Bar: Making the most of seasonal, local ingredients. Photos: Kelly Hollinshead

that actively promote the use of local produce. “That way, I know our guests are getting the freshest organically grown foods and the best flavours possible.” Menu items that Tulloch’s particularly proud of include appetizers like his excellent pan seared Nipissing Farms quail supreme, with warm wild rice and Bala cranberry salad, harvest plum compote and a Trius Chardonnay scented jus; and the popular Ontario butternut squash and apple soup, with sage crème fraiche and granny smith apple chips. For an entrée? Locavores will want to try the rosemary roasted rack of Ontario lamb with its Malivoire Small Lot Gamay jus, made from wine produced, at a Niagara-area winery.

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KING EDWARD HOTEL, TORONTO Toronto landmark The King Edward Hotel— known to many simply as the King Eddy—has a long tradition of excellence when it comes to dining. No one’s more aware of this than the hotel’s executive chef of the past 20 years, Daniel Schick. Despite his background working in some of Europe’s leading kitchens, Schick remains a very ‘hands-on’ chef with a keen eye to detail… and the freshest of local produce. “All our dishes are based on flavour first and foremost, and always using just a few simple ingredients,” says Schick. “Also, it’s very important for us to use only the very best quality products, and whenever possible from local sources. That way,

everything’s always fresh, in season, and certainly not processed.”Schick’s emphasis on seasonal, local ingredients—as well as traditional cooking methods—has helped build the King Eddy’s reputation as a provider of elegant dishes that not only captivate the eye, they also delight the palate. In the exquisitely appointed Consort Bar, for example, menu items and daily specials alike reflect his desire to ensure his guests get the very best. “We take great pride in producing everything in house,” says Schick. “It’s of great importance to us that we are sustainable and environmentally conscientious, as well as providing guests with a first-class experience using only the very best local produce.”

A wide variety of local produce is always available at Deerhurst's Eclipse restaurant.

DEERHURST RESORT, HUNTSVILLE World-renowned Deerhurst Resort near Huntsville has long been a leader and supporter of the locavore movement. Not only is the property a longstanding member of Savour Muskoka, a group set up to bolster the area’s food producers and their end-users, it encourages its chefs to promote locally sourced foods on their extensive menus. “We’re working hard to create and sustain a unique identity of what Muskoka cuisine is through the utilization of as many local suppliers and Savour Muskoka products as possible,” says Deerhurst’s new Executive Chef, David Bakker. The resort takes the locavore ideal so seriously, adds Bakker, that it has even started many of its own food production initiatives, including a sugar shack to make maple syrup, as well as its own apiary for its honey needs. “This allows us to uniquely utilize our own products throughout our menus,” says Bakker. As a new addition to the team, Bakker has had the good fortune of having become acquainted with the bounty of wild produce available on Deerhurst’s 700-plus acres. “We’ve found a plethora of ingredients, from foraged wild leeks growing around the golf courses, to morel mushrooms and herbs,” he says. “We’re even working on having some large gardens put in to

expand on the tomatoes, herbs, spring onions, rhubarb and edible flowers we already grow.” The resort’s grounds department is also extremely supportive, and when doing their spring planting will consult with Bakker to find out if they could help by including plants that could be used in the kitchens for cooking, pickling or preserving. And to store all this local bounty, a large pantry is under construction to allow staff to draw upon produce such as pickles, preserves and smoked

meats throughout the winter months. “While the locavore movement has been around a long time, it’s only now becoming mainstream as more people become interested in what they’re really putting into their bodies,” says Bakker. “I know too many chefs that still believe produce is just something that comes in a truck, with meats pre-portioned in bags. But I think the time has come to celebrate the way we’re really meant to eat, the way food was meant to be.” SL

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e all have a favourite place. For some, it may be that first tee at a much-loved golf course, especially as that early morning mist rolls over the lush green. Perhaps it’s simply curled up by the fireside with a cup of tea (or something a little stronger) and a good read. Or it may even be the local beach, always a wonderful place to visit with that feeling of wind in your face as you walk or jog along the shore. Whether it’s your first, third or even umpteenthtime, buying a home is as much about price and location as finding a connection with a place and space that just feels right. Which is why Skyline Resort Communities, one of Ontario’s most dynamic developers of residential resort communities, has curated a collection of one-of-a-kind homes and homesites, designed specifically to help homeowners find their own special place in the world.

FOR NATURE-LOVERS Set amid a spectacular 145-acre nature reserve, Deerhurst Sanctuary provides homeowners full access to explore the trails, scenic views,

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Deerhurst Golf Cottages

Horseshoe Copeland House


SKYLIFE CLUB Finding your perfect place just got easier with SkyLife Club, Ontario’s first-ever city and country club offering access to everything Skyline has to offer. For a limited time only, homeowners will receive a complimentary one-year membership when purchasing a Skyline Resort Community home or home site (valued at $25,000) as a special bonus. Members enjoy unprecedented access to Skyline’s portfolio of leisure and social activities—from ski, to golf, to dining. wetlands, streams and mixed forest habitats of this special region. With only 32 homesites available ranging from 1.5 to 6 acres, owners are given the opportunity to create and customize the home of their dreams. Ideal for nature enthusiasts, Deerhurst Sanctuary is just steps from three year-round hiking trails (short, intermediate and advanced). The mixed hardwood forest features interpretive signs and wildlife checklists as part of its design by

internationally respected naturalist Robin Tapley. Owners who find their place at Deerhurst Sanctuary have the best of both worlds. The town of Huntsville, just 10-minutes away, has plenty of shops, restaurants and services that cater to every need. One of the greatest benefits is a direct connection to Deerhurst Resort (mere minutes away), providing all the resort amenities that owners could ask for in a stunning Muskoka setting. With more than 52 activities at the year-round retreat, homeowners can enjoy the Muskoka cottage country lifestyle whenever they wish. Two kilometres of waterfront embrace crystal clear Peninsula Lake, perfect for sunning and boating, water skiing and even playing in the Splash Zone, Canada’s largest inflatable water park. For a quiet respite, Sanctuary owners also have the exclusive use of a private owners’ beach. Back on land, Sanctuary owners enjoy two golf courses, four outdoor pools, stables with horseback riding and petting zoo, tennis, indoor rock climbing, a Shizen Spa, world-class live shows and both casual and upscale dining. A private runway even provides direct access by air.

If golf is more your game, then Deerhurst Golf Cottages are your place. This special community marks the first time cottages have ever been offered for sale at the renowned Muskoka resort. Set on the prestigious Deerhurst Highlands, Muskoka’s first championship golf course, purchasers will delight in the immaculate, yet natural surroundings. With just 39 cottages in this exclusive community, purchasers have the option of contracting Skyline’s builder, Paul Barber, or working with their builder of choice to create their ideal home. Constructed homes range from 978 to 2,086 sq. ft. and take full advantage of the four-season, indoor/outdoor lifestyle with wrap around porches, perfect for enjoying long, lazy evenings. An exterior gas hook-up makes barbecuing and entertaining a breeze. Deerhurst Golf Cottages are designed to be an extension of their natural setting. Exterior colours range from fieldstone greys and beiges to moss and juniper greens, so the cottages blend beautifully with their landscape. Muskoka-style details like peaked gables and accent windows fit right in with the inspiring surroundings. Of course, what attracts homebuyers above all is the stunning golf course location. Renowned for having established the benchmark for golf tourism in Muskoka and sparking its emergence as a must-play Canadian golf destination, Deerhurst Highlands is nothing short of remarkable. Designed by Robert Cupp and Thomas McBroom in 1990, the par-72 takes full advantage of its dramatic landscape, capitalizing on natural elevation changes, rugged granite outcroppings and densely forested areas. No wonder Deerhurst Highlands was recently ranked among Canada’s Top 100 Golf Courses by SCOREGolf Magazine. Golf-lovers will also appreciate Deerhurst Lakeside, a par-64 executive course which flows around Sunset Bay before making its way to the back nine, with picturesque views of the surrounding countryside. Built by C.E. (Robbie) Robertson and redesigned by Tom McBroom in 1988, the course is a true challenge that will ensure you get to use every club in your bag.

WATERFRONT LIVING ON GEORGIAN BAY Do you imagine a quiet place onboard a sailboat or lazing in the lake on a hot summer day? Skyline’s Swan Island Estates give homeowners direct access to Georgian Bay in sleepy Port McNicoll. Just minutes from Midland, Ontario, purchasers

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Copeland House living room

Deerhurst Golf Cottages

TAKE OUR QUIZ TO FIND THE PLACE THAT’S BEST FOR YOU! Answer these questions to determine which Skyline Resort Community is best suited to you and your family. 1. Your ideal summer weekend involves: a) Spending quiet time with your family and enjoying nature and gentle wildlife. b) Being active. You love to do exciting activities like biking and hiking. c) Golfing with friends or on your own. As long as there’s a club in your hand, you’re happy. d) Anything to do with water. Whether it’s sailing, waterskiing, dipping your toes in or diving head first, your summer weekends are complete with a lake. 2. Your ideal place is: a) Secluded and far away from the big city. b) In the middle of it all with lots to do. c) Set apart from the action but still close enough that you can partake whenever you want to. d) Close to town with access to boating and waterfront just outside your front door. 3. What type of place would best suit you? a) Some place grand and elegant. b) Some place cosy and comfortable. c) Some place spacious and modern. d) Some place classic and inviting. 4. What size home are you looking for? a) Big and elegant. b) Small and quaint. c) Spacious and modern. d) Midsized and inviting. 5. How important is it for you to be right on the water? a) Not that important as long as I can walk to it. b) Direct access is not important, but I would like to be close. c) Not important at all. d) It’s a must. If you answered: • Mostly As — Deerhurst Sanctuary is for you. You enjoy being surrounded by nature away from the big cities and value your privacy. Deerhurst Sanctuary Estate Homesites are large, wooded and secluded ranging from 1.6 acres to 6 acres and are just seconds away from the waterfront. It’s the perfect place to build the large estate home of your dreams. • Mostly Bs — You’re an active individual who likes to be part of the action. Horseshoe Copeland House allows you to be in the middle of it all. It’s located in the mist of Horseshoe and only minutes away from the city of Barrie. The condominiums vary from one to two-bedrooms and are designed to suite your busy lifestyle. • Mostly Cs — You like to golf and enjoy being close to the action but not necessarily right in it. Deerhurst Golf Cottages are nestled directly on the Highland Golf Course just seconds from Deerhurst Resort main pavilion. Cottage designs are spacious and modern and are perfectly designed for golf course living. • Mostly Ds —You’re attracted to waterfront living and enjoy having the convenience of a large town nearby. Swan Island Estates located in Port McNicoll provides the ideal lakeside living experience. With your estate site you have the opportunity to build the Georgian Bay home of your dreams.

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of these stunning waterfront properties will enjoy the respite of a quiet community but with the added convenience of having shops, patios and restaurants nearby. Set in an 825 acre, master-planned community, Port McNicoll affords more than 10km of Georgian Bay shoreline, currently being transformed into a world-class resort village. While over half of the region will remain preserved wetland, including a protected swan nesting area, the harbour side will be developed over the next decade to include retail shops, dining and a hotel. Port McNicoll also pays homage to our past. Over a century ago, Canadian Pacific chose Port McNicoll as the southern terminus for its Great Lakes Passenger and Cargo Fleets. It was here that one of Ontario’s largest ports was built with a mile-long deep-water slip to accommodate the ships. It was a golden age of adventure travel with graceful ships, elegant staterooms and white glove service. Skyline International Development has acquired the last remaining Edwardian passenger ship that serviced the region, the SS Keewatin, and in June 2012, brought her back in all her glory to Port McNicoll. The Keewatin will be the focal point of Port McNicoll’s renaissance, providing a historic attraction and integral piece of Canadian history, right at the owner’s doorsteps. Skyline has also purchased Orillia’s Ossawippi Express train cars, which will be preserved

and turned into a replica of the town’s original train station from the early 1900s.

FUN FOR THE FAMILY Prefer to spend your days with the wind at your back on the ski hill or bike trail? Horseshoe Copeland House redefines four-season living just steps from the resort amenities. Just 15 minutes from the conveniences of Barrie, homeowners will feel like they’ve escaped the city but still have everything at their fingertips. With the Copeland Forest in your backyard and ski in/ski out access, there’s no reason to stay inside, no matter the season. Plus, Horseshoe Copeland House’s lock-andleave lifestyle means no maintenance worries plus, the advantage of joining the optional rental program. Living at Horseshoe Copeland House gives you access to the abundance of active pursuits in the region. The resort is home to two golf courses, a 10-acre driving range and practice green. Enjoy more than 60km of trails perfect for biking, hiking and Nordic skiing. Other onsite activities include ATV and Segway Tours, Treetop Trekking and an Adventure Park, perfect for learning and exploring new skills with the kids or grandkids. In the winter, experience the rush of 26 ski runs, Terrain Park, snowmobiling or tubing. There’s learning and fun for anyone of any age. SL


Organization is key to live/work spaces like this Jeffrey Fisher-designed garage. Photo: Paul C.

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ave you ever wanted to re-invent your space so your home truly echoes the life you’re living? Chances are your space is already a reflection of your lifestyle, and an upgrade could be as simple as reupholstering a couch or hanging new artwork. How you choose to design your space can say a lot about you, your style, and ultimately the life you lead. “The pieces you choose and how you arrange your space says a lot about you as a person,” says Michael Kaye, Director of Design and Procurements at Skyline International Development. “But designing a personal space is different from designing a hotel room. You have to consider the ‘every traveller’.” Creating a hotel where every traveller feels at home is no easy task. As Kaye says, there are numerous “moving pieces” to consider: the type of clientele the hotel attracts, where the hotel is located, the theme and feel, as well as the functionality of the room, are all big considerations when designing a space. Resort properties such as Deerhurst Resort have a completely different design aesthetic than city properties such as Pantages Hotel Toronto Centre. Newly renovated, Deerhurst caters to families and adventure seekers, with the look and feel of the resort echoing its Muskoka backdrop. Rich woods, fabrics and rustic textures creating the perfect environment to explore cottage country. Pantages, on the other hand, has built a city centre, urban chic retreat for business and pleasure travellers alike, with clean lines and modern, minimalistic yet comfortable furniture. The result? Pantages is the ultimate urban haven for the busy traveller.

A trundle bed accommodates unexpected guests. Photo: Paul C.

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The King Edward Hotel: After 110 years, still a design icon. Photo: Kelly Hollinshead

CHANGING IT UP… If you’re considering changing things up a little in the home design department, you might want to take heed of the advice on offer from the likes of experts such as Kaye: hotels by their very nature are constantly changing, and it requires a skilled eye to design a room that will not only survive 10-15 years of wear and tear, but will still look great. “Everything eventually becomes dated,” says Kaye. “By using high quality items, neutral colours and fabrics with easily interchangeable accent pieces, you can extend the life span of a room and update it easily when the need arises. You should also stay away from seasonal trends. Sticking to classic pieces will ensure a room stands the test of time.” A great example of this is the restoration project currently underway at the fabled King Edward Hotel in Toronto. “We stuck with classic mid-18th century lines for the furniture,” says Kaye. “We gave those pieces a modern flare by updating the fabrics and adding accent colours.” The updated rooms feature a neutral palette with pops of royal accent colours in red, green and purple that mirrors the grandeur that The King Edward has become famous for.

Cosmopolitan: Suite living area and Designer Penthouse (right)

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Toronto’s famous Umbra store: a leader in design trends.

DREAM DESIGNS… Creating a cozy haven where you feel at home is probably something you’ve been doing unconsciously all along. “The environment we create around us describes our accomplishments, our aspirations and our beliefs, and the objects we collect and engage with are part of that environment,” says Paul Rowan, co-founder and vice-president of inspiration at Umbra. Take a moment, he suggests, to sit back, close your eyes and think about your perfect life, your perfect house, your dream room. “We all have a virtual view of our lives inside our heads,” he says. “At Umbra, we believe in design democracy. Everybody deserves to have good design in their lives.” This concept was validated in 1996 when the Museum of Modern Art in New York inducted Umbra’s GARBINO trashcan, designed by Karim Rashid, into their collection. The same design ethics—striving to have a truly international design style by curating pieces from every continent—remain integral to Umbra today, with the company’s design team consistently creating products that suit their own lifestyles. Allowing design to be dictated by our everevolving need for convenience is something that Jeffrey Fisher, co-founder of Jeffrey Fisher Home, also adheres to. “Design and lifestyle are interwoven,” says Fisher. “Without one, there cannot be the other. If you think about it, the wristwatch, elevators—even cell phones—are all examples of the evolution of great design impacting our everyday lives.” Where you live is also an indicator of the type of function your space will take on. “We’re all shaped by our environments,” says Fisher. “Form generally follows function. Your design needs typically differ based on where you live. A city townhouse is going to take on a completely different look and feel to a cottage on a beach or a ski chalet in the mountains.”

Fisher’s best advice for designing a blank slate? “Continuity, continuity, continuity,” says Fisher. “I cannot stress this enough. Whether it’s through a common theme or colour palate, continuity is essential to creating a cohesive space.” If you’re moving into a new space, Fisher recommends taking some time to live in it before committing to an actual design concept. This allows you to develop a sense for the functionality of your environment and create a design style for yourself. “It takes time to cultivate your own personal style, but it’s worth the wait,” he cautions. But just because you have space doesn’t mean you need to fill it, either. “Often times, less is really more,” remarks Fisher. “Whether it’s my design clients or my bedding clients, the lifestyle I envision for them is one that appreciates a love of quality and good taste. Despite what many may think, you can have both with varying budgets.” When it comes down to it, the consensus seems to remain the same: there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to designing your lifestyle. Ultimately, the pieces you surround yourself with and the environment you create are up to you, although there are some cautions: remember to choose a neutral backdrop and punchy accent pieces so you can be more flexible with updating your space; stick to the classic lines with an updated fabric; always look for high quality and durability in your furniture; and finally, let your imagination take over and create your lifestyle however you see fit. SL

Katie Thomas is the Public Relations Manager for Skyline.

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here’s no doubt about it: biking is not only one of the best ways to see some of the finest scenery Ontario has to offer, it’s also one of the very best ways to get in great exercise at the same time. And thanks to some of the province’s leading resort destinations, there are a variety of ways to enjoy the many benefits of cycling, whatever your fitness level. A personal favourite, and undoubtedly one of Muskoka’s most unique cycling experiences, can be found at Deerhurst Resort in Huntsville. Known as Bionx Bikes, these wonderful machines allow riders of all levels to scoot up hills, tackle the strongest of head winds, or even take the long way back to the resort, all without breaking a sweat. How’s it possible? Well, it’s all thanks to a fascinating new electric assist technology that basically turns a rather ordinary bicycle into an exciting motorized e-bike. In short, it’s a simple yet amazing piece of technology capable of taking the hard work out of cycling, yet at the same time ensuring a degree of exercise. The heart of these sweet electrically assisted machines is the battery, which powers a motor that provides a boost to your own personal efforts that enables users to ride farther and faster with significantly less effort. It works like this: as you pedal, the motor provides a proportional

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response. Pedal a little, and you get a little bit of electric assistance. But pedal hard, and you get a whole lot of assistance, with an energy boost of some 300 per cent. Add to the mix a range of up to 105kms, and we’re talking some serious exploring potential in and around Muskoka. “Our Bionx Bike Program has been extremely successful,” says Danielle May, Director of Recreation at Deerhurst Resort. “We’ve received a lot of excellent feedback from guests after returning the bikes, as they offer a great alternative to traditional bicycles for exploring the challenging Muskoka terrain.” Using it is not unlike riding a regular bike, but when a boost is needed, just simply engage the drive system with the flick of the wrist and away you go, only pedalling when you feel like it. Perhaps best of all for a motorized device, no driver’s license or written test is required, although riders operating an e-bike are required to wear an approved bicycle or motorcycle helmet. May adds that the program has proven particularly popular for private and corporate groups seeking a fun, organized tour. Individual rentals are available too, and cost $25 for a one-hour rental, or $40 for a two-hour time period (an age restriction of 17 years applies).

CYCLING AND HEALTHY LIVING Over at Horseshoe Resort, near Barrie, the many health benefits of cycling are taken so seriously that a special cycling program has been created to promote healthy, life-long learning. “Currently,” says Jonathan Reid, the resort’s Director of Snow Sports and Events, “there’s no mandatory physical education requirement in the public school system, so there’s a gap where children would traditionally have explored and learned basic fundamental skills through sport.” In short, says Reid, it’s the ability to having access to new activities at a young age that helps children explore movement and develop the building blocks essential to healthy and active lifestyles. Adds Reid: “Horseshoe Resort responded by developing a cycling program that explores a variety of cycling disciplines in one unique setting. It acts as a complement to our successful ski, golf and camp programs. The progressive nature of the program promotes learning for all ages, stages and abilities.” With its existing network of downhill mountain biking trails, direct access to the lush Copeland Forest, a lift-access bike park and over 800 km of pristine paved roads, Horseshoe Resort’s cycling program takes full advantage of its natural assets. Plans are already underway to expand existing

biking trails with a total of 20km of mixed crosscountry and downhill terrain, expected for completion mid-summer. The planned addition of a pump track will be ideal for honing fundamental cycling skills such as balance, agility, coordination and speed. Once the basics are mastered, cyclists can test out and hone their technical skills and endurance on the faster-paced cross-country terrain, while more experienced riders can enjoy the network of lengthy forested trails and downhill runs of the lift access bike park. In addition, three Ontario Cup cycling events are planned for Horseshoe for 2013, making trails suitable for even the most proficient cyclists. For road cycling enthusiasts, the paved roads in Oro-Medonte Township provide excellent conditions—as a testament to their quality, Centurion Cycling events are also staged from the resort. “We’ve also enlisted the help of leaders in various disciplines to support our growing cycling program,” says Reid. “Many of them live in the

region for the thrill, challenge and diversity of terrain, so they know the area extremely well.” A partnership with the local Simcoe Cycling Club, for example, provides access to coaching, equipment and the expertise necessary to guide participants as they progress in the sport. Plans are also under way to involve national and provincial level coaches and counselling for those who wish to pursue cycling competitively. Membership in the Welcome Cyclists network ensures core standards for quality and safety are in place and that Horseshoe remains a cycling-friendly destination. Horseshoe has also partnered with Norco Bikes to provide quality bike rental equipment for those just starting out in the sport. The aim is to make it easy for guests of any age to experience one or all of the disciplines and make it a part of their visit or their lives. In addition, Horseshoe continues to donate rental mountain bikes to local programming that is allowing youths to try cycling who would not otherwise have the means to do so. SL

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otels and resorts have traditionally advertised themselves based on the various on-site activities and services the hotel brand can offer. Skyline Hotels & Resorts, however, has taken a refreshing new approach to reaching consumers by recognizing that the majority of travellers visit destinations for a particular activity or experience, not just what a hotel can provide within its walls. The result is the SkyLife Rewards VIP program, launched early in 2013 to provide the ultimate travel experience for guests. Developed as an employee or member benefit for partner organizations to provide ongoing incentives in an effort to both engage and add value to their current offerings, SkyLife Rewards VIP is much more than a loyalty program—it’s a way of living and an all-access pass to the “good life.” The program gives corporations, individuals and families exclusive savings and benefits on over 50 activities and adventures in Ontario, including a minimum 15 per cent guaranteed discount on everything offered in the Skyline Hotels & Resorts collection, from golf to room nights to dining. “We want to be the hotel company that people look to for experiences outside of the hotel, which is in fact the guest’s main purpose of travel,” says Tom Price, Vice President of Marketing at Skyline International Development. “Nobody travels because of a hotel, but because of the destination.” A dedicated SkyLife Rewards VIP website has been designed to support the program, acting as a powerful trip planning tool for members. In addition to accessing unbeatable deals at Skyline Hotel & Resort properties, members become part of an online community that encourages two-way communication between members, partners, and Skyline. The website runs on Speechbobble, a one-of-a-kind social platform developed by Toronto-based social app gurus, SociaLabra.

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The King Edward Hotel


Shizen Spa

Deerhurst Resort

SOCIAL NETWORK CONNECTIONS On the SkyLife Rewards website, visitors can view and book exclusive deals, plan their trip itinerary and share their experiences with other community members. The social connection between members opens up a world of like-minded individuals who have joined the SkyLife community, allowing them to interact and share their experiences. Users are encouraged to post items related to their favourite activities, upcoming events and relevant news, regardless of whether it relates to Skyline or not. The platform also provides an opportunity to participate, give feedback and advice to ensure that guests become not only consumers, but contributors to the program. “We have seen early signs of people organizing themselves towards common activities and goals,” says Josef Zankowicz, President of SociaLabra. “And ultimately fun experiences,” adds Price. “The member becomes a VIP in every sense, from accessing exclusive deals to becoming a direct contributor to the program.” To maintain its exclusivity, SkyLife Rewards VIP

members must be invited through a partner organization. Consequently, Skyline is busy inviting large groups and associations to join the program, forming important partnerships that will add value to the customer experience. Several partners have already come onboard to offer SkyLife Rewards VIP to their membership base. The Human Resource Professionals Association (HRPA) has introduced the program to their 20,000 members and their organizations, and has positioned the loyalty program as a health and wellness benefit to its members to help promote mental and physical well being through an active lifestyle. Car sharing company, Zipcar, has also joined the program by offering SkyLife Rewards VIP as an add-on to their membership. Together, Skyline and Zipcar are working on an innovative offering that will enhance the car sharing program. For further details, visit or phone 1-855-368-2565. SL

Jordana Goldman is a student at Queen’s University and a public relations intern at Skyline.



“There is no exquisite beauty… without some strangeness in the proportion.” — Edgar Allen Poe Behind every beautiful woman is an arsenal of products all claiming to contain miracle ingredients capable of making all her insecurities melt away. And in the never-ending quest to find the fountain of youth, women are more than willing to try some unorthodox treatments (and encounter some strangeness) along the way.

THE BEER BATHS CZECH REPUBLIC The Chodovar Brewery in Chodová Planá is considered the Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory for beer lovers. It’s a place that could only exist in the Czech Republic, a country that produces enough beer to satisfy the rest of the world, and fill a few bathtubs too. The treatment starts with a certified spa therapist (or bartender) stirring up a blend of the brewery’s beers, Czech Saaz hops and brewer’s yeast, all of it seasoned with a unique blend of herbs. Guests then sink into the bath, which promises to detoxify and open up pores, while the yeast regenerates cuticles and the bubbles relax and relieve muscle tension. The Czech Beer Baths claim to be good for the hair, nails, skin, muscles and soul, and if you’re still feeling a little tense you can order a frosty pint. But a word of warning: Don’t be tempted to drink the bathwater! While there are no scientific results available to back up the claims of treatment benefits as yet, the proof might well be found in the facility’s bookings. Typically, the baths are booked solid with in excess of 10,000 visitors annually making a stop at the Czech Beer Baths in Chodová Planá, making it a must-visit for anyone on a European spa adventure. The cost? A 30-minute soak will set you back just $33.

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SNAIL SECRETION FACIAL NYC The Snail Secretion Facial might sound like some strange science fiction horror story, but with the scientific evidence to back this slimy treatment up, snail based products have been flying off the shelves in Europe. Scientists have in fact concluded that snail serum can not only help reduce scarring, stretch marks and keloids, but is also effective at counteracting sun damage and premature wrinkles… exactly what your $200 face cream promises to do. How does the “snail trail facial”—otherwise known as Secretion of the Mollusk Cryptomphalus Aspersa—work? Well, the snail secretion contains powerful antioxidants which protect the slimy creatures from oxygen radicals in our atmosphere as well as from environmental pollution and UV radiation. When the serum is applied to fibroblasts (a cell that plays a critical role in regeneration) it supercharges cell capabilities which increase the skins firmness, strength, suppleness and elasticity. Unlike salicylic acid (the typical acne medication used to combat similar skin disorders) which tends to be drying, snail secretion extract hydrates while healing, and also helps reduce the redness of blemishes and acne scarring. Although this bizarre beauty trend is fairly new to the marketplace, the concept has been used in healing since ancient Greece. Hippocrates reportedly prescribed a mixture of sour milk and crushed snails for skin inflammations, and would also advise his patients to crush snails and apply them to wounds to encourage the healing process. The cost for a little snail slime today? Expect to pay around $175 a facial or $25 for a 40g jar of 80% snail secretion.

INTRACEUTICALS OXYGEN FACIAL TORONTO This treatment to the stars has been popping up in high end spas all over Toronto. The hyperbaric oxygen treatment is used for tightening, brightening and plumping the skins surface (no need to hold your breath for results with the oxygen facial). Results are noticeable within 24 hours of treatment, which is one reason why celebrities from Justin Timberlake to Rihanna are making treatments a priority before major television appearances or award shows. The application is carried out by pressurized oxygen which promotes the delivery of a hyaluronic acid serum specially formulated to suit their skin concerns. Treatment options include: • Opulence: Brightens, balances and smoothes the skin surface. This treatment is ideal for uneven and dull skin prone to acne scarring. The treatment reduces hyper pigmentation and lightens blemishes and scars to reveal a brighter, even-toned complexion. • Atoxelene: Clears, refines and calms the skin. This is a targeted treatment which helps to smooth the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. The treatment lifts, plumps and firms the appearance of lines caused in expressive areas around the forehead, lips, eyes and nasal folds. • Rejuvenate: Hydrates, lifts and tightens the skin. This treatment naturally increases moisture levels of the skin while a boost of vitamins and antioxidants defend and protect the surface, instantly reducing fine lines and wrinkles while firming skin and restoring volume. While it seems women will always be chasing the latest and greatest miracle treatment, the irony is that, at the end of the day, the miracle treatment we seek is a lot closer than we think. It might just be the beer in your hand, or the snails in your garden. Or it might even be found in the air we breathe. SL

Kendra Nicholson is the Social Media Manager at Skyline Hotels & Resorts.

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one are the days of the solitary bottle of 2-in-1 dandruff shampoos in the shower. Today’s men are getting much savvier with their grooming techniques and are looking beyond the deodorant and shower gel aisles to skin care and hair styling products formulated specifically for their specific concerns and skin types. In fact, according to a report by Global Industry Analysts, Inc., men’s grooming products market will exceed $33.2 billion by 2015. The lineup at Shopper’s Drug Mart isn’t the only landscape that’s changing. In a recent survey of 2,000

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adults, 78 per cent of men reported visiting a salon or spa in the last year. Consequently, the spa industry is responding by changing how they cater to male clientele. Some spas now offer men’s nights where guys can come in for treatments and not feel judged by the state of their talon toenails. Other spas have taken it one step further by creating male-friendly waiting rooms to welcome business from the other half, replacing ambient spa sounds with Sportsnet, swapping green tea for single malts and chocolate covered strawberries for pork rinds.

Shizen Spa

We interviewed Julia Morrison, Spa Manager at Shizen Spa Deerhurst Resort, to ask if her clientele in Muskoka have embraced the cultural shift towards “manscaping” . What’s the most popular spa treatment that men come in for? Massage is by far the most popular treatment at the resort. It’s the perfect end to a long day hitting the links. At Deerhurst we offer the Back Nine Massage, which is incredibly popular with golfers after a day on the course. The massage starts with a gentle exfoliation to draw out any impurities in the skin, followed by a massage focusing on tense or tender areas of the body. The experience is taken to euphoric heights when the back is cocooned with a warm towel while the legs and feet are carefully kneaded. What treatments do you think all men should incorporate into their grooming regime? As a rule of thumb, it’s important for men to add in a facial when the seasons change because your skin undergoes environmental changes with every season. Male and female skin have different needs, which is why we offer the Gentleman’s Facial focusing on the basics—removing impurities, rebalancing oil production and leaving skin with an even, balanced, yet decidedly masculine glow.

Men new to the spa experience should also consider foot health an important part of their grooming routine. This is especially important for men who work on their feet all day. Happy feet mean a happy body! Do most men come in solo or with their partners? Generally, men come in for the first time with their partner. However, after realizing that the spa atmosphere isn’t anything to be intimidated by, we tend to see men coming back for repeat treatments on their own. What’s the typical reaction from your male clients after their first spa treatment? Every gentleman that we’ve had in for the first time walks out on cloud nine and can’t wait to schedule a return visit. Once they’ve gotten over their original fear, they don’t want to leave the spa atmosphere. It also helps that we have a steam room and shower facilities right here in the spa so after (or before) their treatment they can unwind and just take some time to themselves. The most common response from first time spa goers is, “I feel like I’m floating.” Now, who wouldn’t want that? SL

Kendra Nicholson is the Social Media Manager at Skyline Hotels & Resorts.

Shizen Spa

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hen it comes to educational experiences, few things can broaden a young, inquisitive mind like a good dose of travel. And, according to Keith Bellows, Editor-in-chief of National Geographic Traveler—one of the world’s leading travel magazines—a passport is the new diploma. “The world is the greatest classroom we have,” says Bellows about 100 Places that can Change Your Child’s Life, a travel book aimed at encouraging parents to travel more with their kids. “I’m convinced that any parent willing to give the gift of travel offers a gift that keeps on giving. Children who learn to travel will travel to learn. And they will do it all their lives.” From the treetops of Costa Rica, to the Grand Canyon and Loch Ness, Bellows’ book presents each destination through a child’s eyes. Divided into various regions of the world, the book delivers the scoop on travel locations for children in North America, the Caribbean, Mexico and South America, Europe, Africa and

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the Middle East, Asia… even Antarctica. Each chapter contains contributions by regional experts and experienced travellers and travel writers, each offering tips and tactics on how best to communicate the location’s value to children. “I never went to a theme park until I was an adult,” Bellows states. “The world was my theme park. And that’s what I wish for my kids—and yours. I want them to discover the real, not just the faux, and to find it here, not just abroad. I want them to thrill to all the planet has to offer. And see as much of it firsthand and soon.” In addition to detailed descriptions of each location and advice on how your children can best experience the world at their own level, 100 Places that can Change Your Child’s Life offers scores of tips, ideas and opportunities for fun activities, as well as useful, practical tidbits to ensure parents get the best out of the experience, too. These include “Insider Tips” that tap into the experiences of the local population; suggested books, movies or music that can provide a sense of location; a list of connections to organizations and

Practicing what he preaches: Writer and editor Keith Bellows makes a point of travelling with his kids regularly.


resources providing more in-depth information; trivia and unique shopping suggestions; volunteer opportunities; kid-friendly food and accommodation options; and intriguing ways to jump-start conversations with your child about their experiences.

CANADIAN CONTENT Bellows is also a big fan of Canada, and just so happens to feature Muskoka, one of his favourite destinations, in his new book. “I had to think long and hard about including Muskoka,” confesses the father of three from his office in Washington DC in a recent interview with SkyLife. “Sometimes you want to keep the really, really good stuff a secret.” Perhaps unsurprisingly, Muskoka featured quite heavily in Bellows’ own childhood. Canadian born and bred, he recalls cottage country being a rite of passage. “I went to summer camp up there when I was a kid. It was where I learned to waterski and canoe. More importantly, it’s where I really learned to appreciate nature.” “I think Muskoka’s one of the purest expressions of natural wonder, combined with the potential for childhood wonder,” adds Bellows. “Muskoka has a unique ability to withstand progress. You can still go to a small cabin that hasn’t changed for decades. Nor has the area changed much. It has this amazing purity to it, and it doesn’t take itself too seriously. It’s simply a wonderful, wonderful slice of the world.” SL

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For a right royal treat, why not pay a visit to The King Edward Hotel as it celebrates its 110th anniversary and indulge in a spot of tea? Set in the magnificent towering lobby of this historic Toronto landmark, tea at the King Eddy remains as much a social occasion today as it did back in 1903 when the hotel opened its doors to a salivating public. A personal favourite is the aptly named King’s Tea, quite literally an afternoon treat fit for a monarch. A many-tiered platter is delivered to your table—under the watchful eye of King Edward himself, whose portrait takes pride of place in the lobby—chock-full of delightful offerings, including a selection of finger sandwiches (lightly curried coronation chicken with mango chutney, medium rare beef with stilton butter and port jelly, and Ontario maple and grain mustard confit of salmon with tender leeks); a selection of delicate pastries (chocolate and earl grey infused madeleine slice of spiced carrot and cardamom with white chocolate cream cheese, and freshly baked scones served with traditional Devonshire cream and strawberry preserves); and, of course, an unlimited selection of tea. And for the princes and princesses in the family, there’s the Jester’s Tea Party (12 and under). This fun treat includes a platter of double decker grilled cheese and mini peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, “northern” fried chicken on a stick with plum dipping sauce, a tasty cupcake, strawberries ‘n’ cream scone, and their choice of beverage. SL

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