Page 1


GIL’S DESK

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

A

s the Ontario winter rolls in and we prepare yet again for another season of

festivities and the optimism of a new year. Skyline has made many changes over the past year and as we continue to grow as a company I am constantly

amazed and inspired by the people that I meet.

Publisher Fred Sanders | fred.sanders@cdnpub.com

This June we had the pleasure of welcoming home a national treasure, the Edwardian-era passenger steamship, SS Keewatin. Over 7,500 people from all walks

Editor Bryan Dearsley | bdearsley@live.ca

of life and a flotilla of nearly 700 vessels of all sizes came to Port McNicoll to cele-

Art Director Mark Tzerelshtein | markintoshdesign.com

at the sheer number of admirers that joined us to share their stories and memories

Advertising Sales Bill Percy | bpercy@rogers.com

to get the ship ready for the public next year (you can read more about Keewatin’s

Advertising Design Christophe Boilley Contributors David Eisenstadt Georgi Bohrod Kelly Hollinshead /Photography Kim Kerr Mike Dojc Cameron Alexander

brate at the homecoming event and honour the history of the region. I was in awe of the ship. Since then, the Friends of the Keewatin have been working diligently return to Port McNicoll on page 8). This winter, I hope you’ll take some time to relax, spend quality time with family and explore Ontario—whether it’s hitting the slopes (page 20), getting pampered at a spa (page 30), trying a new food and wine pairing (page 26) or taking in winter in the city (page 14). Horseshoe Resort will be celebrating their 50th season in operation as a ski resort this year, so keep an eye out for our upcoming event announcements. We’d love to have you celebrate with us! You’ll notice that we’ve made a few changes to the format and look of this magazine, which was done in an effort to reflect our ever-evolving vision. We hope you’ll enjoy it, no matter where, or with whom, you spend the coming season.

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 info@skylineinvestments.com

Wishing you good cheer, health and happiness in 2013!

Gil Blutrich Founder Skyline Hotels & Resorts Skyline Destination Communities email: info@skylineinvestments.com twitter.com/GilBlutrich www.skylineinvestments.com

SkyLife Winter 2012 | 3


CONTENTS

SkyLife Magazine, Winter 2012

6 UP-FRONT Books, fitness, manicures (and martinis!)

14 CANADA’S COOLEST CITY Toronto’s winter wonderland is waiting to be explored

18 OFF-ROAD ADVENTURES Riding Adventures by Yamaha — year-round family thrills

8 LADY OF THE LAKE

Historic Edwardian-era steamship, SS Keewatin, comes back to Canada

20 SNOW COUNTRY Winter adventures and family fun in Ontario’s Great White North

24 SONG & DANCE Toronto welcomes a brand new Wiz

30 PERFECT PAMPERING

26 4 | SkyLife Winter 2012

FOOD & DRINK Pairing the best Ontario wines with the best Ontario food

How to maximize your spa experience (on a tight schedule)


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

Horseshoe Resort, Barrie

38 34 DIY TRAVEL Vacation ownership comes of age in Canada

36 RISING STAR

DESIGN THAT INSPIRES How to turn your bedroom into a masterpiece

Exploring BC’s Silver Star Mountain Resort

1101 Horseshoe Valley Road Barrie, ON L4M 4Y8 1-800-461-5627 705-835-2790 horseshoeresort.com horseshoevillage.com

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

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

42 URBAN COTTAGING How (and where) to own a piece of paradise in Muskoka

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

46 JOIN THE CLUB SkyLife Club offers the ultimate in private club memberships

Shizen Spa

48

MIGHTY MINI MINI’s new Countryman gets put through its paces on the slopes

50

TECH TOYS Gadgets you soon won’t live without

Four locations shizenspa.ca

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

SkyLife Winter 2012 | 5


UP-FRONT OPEN BOOK: MUSKOKA SPOTLIGHT There’s only one thing better than curling up in bed with a great book…and that’s hearing that great book being read by its author. Whether you’re taking a break in the city or heading north for a weekend getaway, Open Book: Ontario (www.openbookontario.com) tells you everything you need to know about author readings and related news across the province. Throughout December, Focus On: Muskoka highlights literary events and introduces key players in the community, including fascinating articles about the literary experience in cottage country. The group’s website also offers regional ‘Recommended Reads’, as well as a monthly contest for a $50 credit at a local bookstore of your choice. Be sure to bookmark the website for future author interviews, events listings, news, features, and an excellent map of Ontario’s literary landmarks.

ONE FOR THE LADIES... No longer will Tuesday ever be considered the dullest day of the week. At least, not at Pantages Hotel Toronto Centre. Throughout the winter months, the hotel will spice up your Tuesday with their new ‘Mani & Martini’ night at Martini Bar. Visit anytime between 5pm and 8pm for a Shizen Spa Quick Fix Manicure paired with a Henkell cocktail, all for just $30. Choose from the aptly named “French Mani” martini (raw sugar, lillet liquor, topped with Henkell Sparkling Rosé) or a flute of Henkell Rosé to start the evening off right. Shizen Spa’s knowledgeable therapists will then get you fully relaxed with a Quick Fix Manicure, including a cleanse, cuticle nourishment, nail file and polish application… what more could a gal want? To reserve your spot, call 416-369-7882 or email shizenspa@pantageshotel.com.

DESIGNED FOR FITNESS Who said getting fit on the road was a chore? The King Edward Hotel combines state-of-the-art technology with the grand sophistication of a centuryold hotel with the opening of its new Fitness Centre. Designed by The Design Agency, the revamped fitness space will feature new Precor cardio equipment, complete with built-in personal televisions; free weights and machines; and a quiet stretching/yoga area. Need workout gear or a running buddy? The hotel’s Clefs d’Or concierge service will take care of the details.

SEE THE FOREST THROUGH THE TREES... Skyline is taking the pledge to give back. In a new partnership with Trees Ontario, Skyline Hotels & Resorts is committing to reducing our carbon footprint and creating a cleaner and greener Ontario. The partnership program, which will roll out starting in 2013, will support the 50 Million Tree Program as part of the United Nations’ Billion Tree Campaign. Working with local tree planting agencies, Trees Ontario seeks to sequester carbon, enhance and diversify southern Ontario’s landscape, increase the province’s capacity to withstand climate change and promote wildlife habitats. Visit www.treesontario.ca to learn more.

6 | SkyLife Winter 2012


PHOTOS COURTESY OF THE FRIENDS OF KEEWATIN COLLECTION

DISTRACTIONS & EXCURSIONS

Homecoming Queen: The SS Keewatin’s return to Port McNicoll after an absence of 45 years drew thousands of excited spectators.

8 | SkyLife Winter 2012


LADY OF THE LAKES

COMES HOME HISTORIC TITANIC-ERA SS KEEWATIN TO BE CORNERSTONE OF NEW PORT MCNICOLL COMMUNITY BY BRYAN DEARSLEY

T

here’s no denying 2012 was a pretty big year for

some of the world’s best-known ‘grand old dames’. While the biggest celebrations fo-

cussed on the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee—a remarkable yearlong event that saw Elizabeth II celebrate 60 years on Britain’s throne—there was a lot of attention being paid to an even older gal this side of the big pond: Canada’s very own grand lady of the lakes, the

SS Keewatin. Built in 1907—five years before the ill-fated voyage of RMS Titanic—the 125 year-old Edwardian-era Kee-

watin made headlines across the country this past summer after returning to its homeport of Port McNicoll on the shores of Georgian Bay. This remarkable event was big news for a number of reasons, not least of which was the fact the ship had for decades been a cornerstone of the small community to which it returned after an absence of 45 years. Built along with sister ship SS Assiniboia in Scotland for Canadian Pacific Railways, the 350ft long vessel regularly carried 288 passengers plus a crew of 86 on the nearly three day journey across Lakes Huron and Superior to Port Arthur. Many of the same design and construction features found in the Titanic were first used in these two vessels, including the quadruple expansion steam engines capable of an impressive (for the time)

SkyLife Winter 2012 | 9


14 knots. The ship’s public spaces were also remi-

“I’d never been away from home, never

niscent of the Titanic, albeit on a much smaller scale,

worked with other men, but it was while working

right down to the inclusion of a beautiful grand stair-

the ship that I learned all those things men are

case, the Edwardian-style dining saloon, a barber-

supposed to learn,” says Conroy with a sly wink,

shop, a ballroom, and even a smoking lounge for

as if to underscore the role the vessel played in

women, all of them enhanced by copious quantities

his coming to manhood. “It’s always been a part

of hand painted Italian glass and oak trim.

of me, of my life, and I’ll never forget what I

By the 1960s, however, the glory days of the big steamships were numbered. Fire codes were

learned here. The influence on me, and so many other people for that matter, was huge.”

stricter, and faster, more convenient modes of

After two “glorious” summers working on the

transportation made travel aboard luxury vessels

ship—experiences he recounts in his entertaining

obsolete. Add to this perfect storm a sharp decline

memoir, Steak in a Drawer: Recollections of a

in both passengers and goods—the immigrants

Teenaged Cruise Ship Waiter—Conroy lost track of

and later the tourist traffic had all but ceased—and

both the vessel and the community that had built

Canadian Pacific found themselves with no alter-

up around it in Port McNicoll. “I thought about the

Warm Welcome: On hand to greet the Keewatin were (from left) Sgt. Rick Morris, RCMP (retired); Skyline's Gil Blutrich; Capt. Eric Conroy; Capt. Matt Fogg (tug Wendy Anne); and Staff Sgt. Michel Pelletier, RCMP.

native but to wind-down the loss-making enter-

Keewatin a lot,” he admits, “but figured it had gone

prise, ultimately abandoning Port McNicoll

the way all classic ships went and was scrapped.”

altogether, severing a connection that had lasted generations and which still resonates to this day. It’s a connection that Eric Conroy, General

of the Keewatin to add to his ever-increasing col-

Manager of the non-profit group now responsible

lection of memorabilia. To his astonishment, the

for the vessel, can certainly relate to. Conroy’s

model maker’s research revealed that the vessel

known the ship firsthand for 50 years and, along

was still around and very much intact. In fact, it had

with one of Ontario’s leading leisure property de-

been towed to Saugatuck on Lake Michigan

velopers (more on them later), was instrumental

where it served as a marine museum for over 40

in securing its return to Canada. Now 67, Conroy’s

years while slowly settling onto the muddy floor of

love affair with the majestic vessel began back in

the Kalamazoo River.

1963 when, at the tender age of 17, he was given a job as a waiter aboard the ship.

10 | SkyLife Winter 2012

Until, that is, 1995. Acting on impulse, Conroy hired a model maker to construct a scale version

“It was a time capsule,” says Conroy, fondly recounting the memory of reconnecting with the


THE DAY THE KEEWATIN CAME BACK, IT WAS LIKE A UNIVERSAL JUSTICE. YOU HAVE TO UNDERSTAND HOW DEEP ROOTED THIS OLD SHIP AND PORT MCNICOLL ARE IN THE HISTORY OF THE FAMILIES THAT LIVE IN THIS AREA.

vessel. “Nothing had changed since I’d last been

McNicoll a few years earlier, and had already

new fan—and most importantly, one with the re-

aboard. Not the carpets, the décor, nothing. It was

begun putting its plans to revitalize the commu-

sources needed to save it. After being ap-

incredible. I recall wondering just how many peo-

nity into action. Fortunately for the Keewatin and

proached by Peterson with the news he was now

ple got to revisit a landmark from their youth only

its fans, Conroy and Blutrich had gotten to know

ready to sell, Conroy immediately told Blutrich of

to find everything’s exactly the same?”

one another after Conroy contacted the devel-

the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

Excited by his find, Conroy made a point of in-

oper regarding the purchase of his scale model of

“I didn’t know quite what to expect,” says

troducing himself to the ship’s owner, R.J. Peter-

the ship. What Conroy didn’t know was that

Blutrich of his first visit to the ship. “But I was

son, an American entrepreneur and a man who

Blutrich had already begun considering the pos-

amazed not only by its size, but also its grandeur.

would in fact save the ship from the scrapyard not

sibility of having a vessel such as the Keewatin act

And when I saw that picture of Queen Victoria in

just once, but twice. The first time came after he

as the focal point of the new 1,125-acre master

the cabin room, the old original chinaware with its

purchased the ship for $37,000—just $2000 more

planned Port McNicoll Resort Village.

Canadian Pacific logos, it really struck me that

than its scrap value—from Canadian Pacific. The

“When Skyline purchased the shoreline at Port

here was a chance to preserve a very important

second, according to Conroy, occurred in 2011

McNicoll, I started investigating the history of the

piece of Canadian history. I knew we had to get

after Peterson’s son reportedly informed the press

port, trying to understand the roots and the story

this national treasure home.”

that he’d sell the ship for scrap if he could.

behind the community,” says Blutrich. “Every

Peterson immediately contacted Conroy to let him know he preferred to sell the ship back to

piece of history we uncovered only made the story

THE VOYAGE HOME

even more fascinating.”

So began the five-year process of negotiation and

someone in Canada willing to preserve it, rather

This research inevitably led to a deeper under-

planning to bring the vessel back to Port McNicoll.

than see it sold for scrap. Wasting no time, Conroy

standing on the part of Blutrich and his team of

As Blutrich readily admits, the problem wasn’t just

immediately got in touch with someone he knew

the vessels that Canadian Pacific used to serve this

trying to convince Peterson to sell the ship at a

had a very strong desire to see the Keewatin re-

huge demand—including the Keewatin. “The

reasonable price. Instead, it was how to actually

turned to its rightful home in Port McNicoll.

more we found out about these big ships, the

get the ship out. Over the years, the river had de-

That man was Gil Blutrich, President of Skyline

more interested we became in finding out what

posited a great deal of silt and mud around it,

International Development, a company that owns

had happened to them. Most had been scrapped

leaving it stuck in a very heavy, dense muck—re-

a portfolio of luxury resorts and hotels including

or were destroyed by fire or sank. Only one, we

moving it would be a little like trying to pull a foot

Deerhurst Resort and The King Edward Hotel. Sky-

learned, had survived.”

out of a very deep pool of thick mud, albeit on a

line had purchased a large parcel of land in Port

The Keewatin, it soon transpired, had found a

much larger scale.

SkyLife Winter 2012 | 11


After much consultation and head scratch-

to the potential for the ship to become stuck in

ing, it was decided that the most cost effective

the middle of the river—not to mention the en-

option was to dredge the river. This, confirms

suing negative press this would cause—the

Blutrich, was a “huge dredging challenge” in-

team decided they’d come too far to turn back

volving clearing a swath of riverbed some 50ft

and pressed on.

wide and almost a mile in length. In addition to

“So much time and money had gone into it,

the physical work, a mountain of paperwork

we had to try,” says Blutrich. “We simply

also needed to be dealt with, ranging from as-

couldn’t give up. Then, the moment the ship ac-

sessments of environmental risks associated

tually began to move, it was amazing.”

with such important factors as fish habitats to

Although the disappointment of the previous

THE SHIP AND THE RENAISSANCE

approvals for the ship’s removal from various

day had meant few people actually witnessed the

The coming home of the SS Keewatin symbolizes a very real renaissance for Port McNicoll. Devastated and deserted when Canadian Pacific ceased operations there, the community soon stagnated as families who’d worked the ships for generations were forced to uproot and relocate in search of work. At last, almost 50 years after the fact, Port McNicoll is about to experience a change of fortune. With the Keewatin once again moored on the shoreline and ownership transferred to a not-for-profit group (Diane and RJ Peterson Great Lakes Foundation and Keewatin Museum) led by the lad from the ship’s dining room, Eric Conroy, the vessel itself has already undergone something of a transformation. Repairs and renovations are underway, much of it done by a team of close to 150 volunteers from within the local community, and tours of the big ship were conducted throughout the fall. Even now, clean up crews are finding relics from the ship’s heyday, and items such as Edwardian chamber pots, CPbranded tableware and boxes of never-used items such as British-made teapots turn up regularly. Future plans include using the ship’s cargo deck as rentable community space, and reopening its elegant first-class dining room as a restaurant and special events venue for weddings and other functions. Once moved to her final berth adjacent to the community’s new waterfront park—just steps from her original docking location—the Keewatin will be joined by a replica of the town’s original train station, complete with a number of restored rail cars. As for the planned long-term development of which the Keewatin will be the centerpiece, much has already been achieved. The massive grain elevator that once dwarfed the huge ships it served has been demolished and the land cleared to make way for future construction of the much-anticipated Port McNicoll Resort Village, the 1,126-acre master planned destination community being developed by Skyline. Encompassing some 6½ miles of Georgian Bay waterfront, half of the 825-acre development will be devoted to preserved wetland including a protected swan nesting area, while the remainder—on the harbour side—will be home to docking space, restaurants, cafés, shops, accommodations and housing.

levels of government.

ship being moved from her berth in the US, it was

12 | SkyLife Winter 2012

quite a different story back in Canada. June 23rd, 2012, was not only warm and sunny, it marked the 45th anniversary of the Keewatin’s departure from Canada as well as being 100 years to the day that it had begun working from the same dock. As expected, a crowd of thousands turned up for the big day, an event that was covered by all the major news networks in Canada. A 200-voice choir consisting of local residents sang boisterously, competing with the honking of countless horns from a huge flotilla of over 700 Canadian vessels that turned out to escort the old lady of the lakes home. It was a memory that Blutrich won’t soon forget. “I saw the ship through the same eyes as that young lad who saw them leave in 1965, when everybody thought they’d left for good and they closed the port, taking away people’s jobs. The day the Keewatin came back, it was The lad from the dining room: The Keewatin has been a part of Capt. Eric Conroy's life for 50 years.

almost like a universal justice. You have to understand how deep rooted this old ship and

With approvals firmly in hand, work finally began

Port McNicoll are in the history of the families

over the winter of 2011, and by June the ship was

that live in this area. People came to me that

ready to begin her voyage home. But it became

day and showed me photos of family grave-

clear almost immediately that even the best of

stones on which the ship had been carved. It

plans don’t always go the way they’re expected.

was their whole lives, for generations. It’s the

“There was such huge interest in the States

history and the pride of the region.”

that thousands of people showed up to watch

And, predicts Blutrich, it will be this same

the two big tugboats try to pull the ship out,”

deep-rooted connection to the Keewatin—

says Blutrich. “But it didn’t budge. We tried for

once the crown jewel in the Canadian Pacific

hours, but at the end of the day, we’d failed. She

Railway’s mighty Great Lakes Steamship fleet—

didn’t move.”

that will ensure the ship remains much more

An overnight consultation led to a dramatic

than just another tourist attraction. As it was for

change of plan. This time, instead of placing the

their ancestors, and as it will be for generations

tugboats at the bow of the ship, they were

to come, this historic vessel will remain an inte-

placed at the stern. Despite warnings from the

gral part of the fabric of their lives, their com-

US Coastguard that the maneuver was risky due

munity, as well as their hearts. SL


DISTRACTIONS & EXCURSIONS

ONE COOL CITY

TORONTO OFFERS WINTER FUN AND FESTIVITIES

BY KIM KERR

14 | SkyLife Winter 2012


L

ike most large metropolitan areas, Toronto has its fair share of urban myths. One of the most mystifying is the one that suggests that, come winter, Toronto and its residents tend

to hunker down and hibernate. Sure, Canada’s biggest city boasts some 28kms of underground shopping, services and entertainment… but sleep through winter? I think not! In fact, Toronto and Torontonians do much more than simply endure winter. They embrace the colder temperatures and the snow, even going so far as marking the season with a myriad of events and festivals unique to the winter months. To help you make the most of Toronto in winter—whether you’re a visitor or a full-time resident—SkyLife has put together a compilation of some of this great city’s very best winter activities… so wrap up and get out there!

Frank Restaurant at The AGO

FOOD, GLORIOUS FOOD! One unintended benefit of the winter season has got to be the fact it provides the perfect excuse to pack on a few additional pounds to help keep one warm (well, it works for me!). Which, of course, means you can participate in Toronto’s premier winter food event guilt free. Winterlicious (various venues, January 25th—February 7th, 2013) has been tickling the taste-buds and challenging the waistlines of food fans for a decade, offering

prix fixe menus at a number of Toronto’s top restaurants. Threecourse fine dining experiences, including starters, entrées and desserts, are made available for between $15– $25 for lunch, while dinner will only set you back between $25—$45 (prices are per person, plus taxes and gratuity, and reservations are strongly recommended). Exciting Culinary Events, such as dinner theatre and cooking demos by Toronto’s top chefs, are also available, offering unique experiences celebrating diverse cuisine from around the world. (www.toronto.ca) Skating is always fun at Harbourfront Centre on the shores of Lake Ontario

SkyLife Winter 2012 | 15


TAKE A CITY STROLL Don’t let a little cold weather prevent you from exploring Toronto’s wonderful streetscapes. Simply wrapping up a little warmer and leaving the cozy confines of your hotel suite offers a world of winter delights waiting to be discovered. To help you, here are a handful of SkyLife’s favourite things located just a hop, skip and a jump from the three downtown hotels—The King Edward, Cosmopolitan Hotel, and Pantages Hotel Toronto Centre—in the Skyline Collection. Christmas Tree at Distillery Historic District

Start your stroll over at the Distillery Historic District and partake in Lowe’s Toronto Christmas Market (to December 16th). Based on a European tradition that dates back some 700 years, this Old World Christmas market—complete with cobblestone walkways!—attracts some 200,000 visitors each year. On offer are unique artisanal products, Christmas decorations, entertainment, festive activities… and, of course, that awesome old world ambience. With over 40 vendors, 18,000 lights, a 45ft white spruce tree donated by Trees Ontario plus excellent entertainment, the event features a little something for everyone. There’s even a Santa’s Lane complete with a fairytale forest maze for the wee ‘uns, as well as Santa’s House, a kid’s sized gingerbread house… and elves. New this year is The South Pole, a kid’s fun area complete with Ferris wheel, merry-go-round, train and pony rides. Best of all for the grown-ups, the whole site is licensed, so you can keep warm while supping that mulled wine (Glühwein). Next stop, head for the southwest corner of Yonge and Queen Streets. Here you’ll find the always-wonderful festive window display put on by The Hudson’s Bay Company’s flagship store. Window after glowing-window (make sure you visit after dark!) contain animated scenes of Santa and his helpers preparing for the big day… allow at least a few minutes to gaze in awe at each scene, then do it all again! Another great place for a wonderful winter walk is the meandering pathway that loops through the historic Roundhouse Park area near the base of the CN Tower. This 17-acre park is home to a perfectly preserved roundhouse built between 1929-31, as well as a number of railway items and the Toronto Railway Heritage Centre. Displays include four full-sized locomotives, as well as freight and passenger cars… even a miniature train that can pull up to 24 people around the park. Your final destination on this whistle stop walking tour? If you’re not already staying there, you couldn’t do much better than pop into the historic King Edward Hotel to warm up. Ringing in more than 109 years of holiday traditions this winter, the hotel is hosting a month-long schedule of seasonal events, starting off with the installation of a 25ft Christmas tree in its stunning foyer. Time-honoured experiences throughout December and January include a festive Nutcracker Afternoon Tea, exquisite Sunday Brunch in the historic Sovereign Ballroom, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day menus created with local and seasonal ingredients. Visit www.thekingedwardhotel.com/festiveseason for details.

16 | SkyLife Winter 2012

Cavalcade of Lights at Nathan Phillips Square

LET THERE BE LIGHT… No winter trip to Toronto can be considered complete without taking in the incredible light shows that bring the city to life during the festive season. The biggest of these is centered around Toronto’s majestic City Hall at Nathan Phillips Square. Having kicked off with a big party mid-November, the 46th Annual Cavalcade of Lights is a spectacular light display that illuminates the heart of the city throughout the winter season. The tradition dates back to 1967 and was created to showcase Toronto’s newly constructed municipal buildings, and includes Toronto’s official Christmas tree, one of the biggest you’ll ever see. This huge glittering evergreen is the focal point of the display with its more than 100,000 led lights, and it positively shimmers with ornaments in various shades of white and silver, and is wrapped top to bottom with a light ribbon of holiday red… it’s the perfect spot for that family Kodak moment. The tree’s so big— usually up to 60ft tall—that cranes and a crew of six take four hours putting it in place. Another crew of four then spends two weeks decorating and lighting it! The lights are kept on each evening until 11pm, so bring your skates and enjoy some quality family time ‘stargazing’ under the canopy of fabulous glittering stars suspended from the Freedom Arches over the Square’s famous outdoor rink. (If you’re in Toronto for New Year’s, be sure to visit Nathan Phillips Square for CityTV’s annual New Year’s Bash.)


WINTER FUN ON THE WATERFRONT

jazz, and disco tunes—and the always-popular

Toronto’s Harbourfront Centre on the shores of

rentals, helmet rentals, change rooms, rental lock-

Lake Ontario is undoubtedly one of the best

ers and skate sharpening are available, so no need

places to enjoy a little winter fun and festivity.

to lug any heavy gear with you on your travels.).

HarbourKIDS Skating Festival. (On-site skate

Kicking off in December, this 10-acre waterfront

If the weather gets a little too nippy, head in-

site — a draw for some 17 million visitors each

doors and take in one of the Centre’s NextSteps

year with its more than 4,000 diverse events and

dance feature (through to May 25, 2013). The

activities — offers numerous family holiday and

event features the best of Canadian dance, re-

winter activities throughout December as part of

flecting the diversity of international backgrounds

their new Winter Family Weekends (December

and influences that make up our very multi-cul-

mon with the French Riviera than just sharing the ho-

8th, 9th, 15th, 16th and 23rd). Highlights include

tural city, including flamenco, contemporary, In-

nour of being host to one of the world’s most famous

unique gift ideas at the Holiday Market, free out-

digenous,

hop.

film festivals (the Toronto International Film Festival

door festive Winter Flicks (how better to experi-

Alternatively, York Quay Visual Arts is made up of

takes place each September)? Well, you may be sur-

ence How the Grinch Stole Christmas than under

10 traditional and unique exhibition spaces. Ven-

prised to learn that Canada’s largest city shares the very

the stars!), scavenger hunts, family activities and

ues are located within and outside York Quay

same latitude as Cannes, and is only a tad further north

plenty of live festive tunes and music.

Centre and range in size from a 2,000sq ft exhibi-

Afro-Caribbean

and

hip

The Hudson’s Bay Company’s Festive window display on Queen Street

COLD? WHAT COLD! Did you know that Toronto has much more in com-

than Boston. Despite popular misconceptions that we all live in igloos and winter lasts most of the year,

Fancy a skate? Harbourfront Centre’s Skate

tion gallery to individual vitrines and showcase

Culture program (through to March 10th) takes

the work of contemporary artists in fine art, crafts,

place on and around the scenic, artificially cooled

new media, design, architecture and photogra-

during winter, the average daytime temperature hovers

(so the ice is always perfect) ‘Natrel Rink’ overlook-

phy. Various courses and workshops for adults

only a little below freezing, and snowfalls in excess of

ing the Toronto Islands. Join in and enjoy your

and children wanting to learn something new and

more than 10cm are uncommon (even if, on occasion,

choice of recreational skating, lessons, DJ Skate

develop their artistic talents are also available.

we do have to call in the military to dig us out!).

Nights—now in its seventh year of funk, soul, R&B,

(www.harbourfrontcentre.com) SL

Toronto’s climate is tempered by Lake Ontario, making the city’s climate one of the warmest in Canada. In fact,


DISTRACTIONS & EXCURSIONS

ENGINES AT THE READY

OFF-ROAD EXPERIENCES OFFER YEAR-ROUND THRILLS

T

THE MACHINES

here’s a lot more to off-road riding than simply jumping on a dirt bike or ATV and gunning for the woods. Riding a motorbike or four-wheeler requires a respect for the power these versatile vehicles possess, as well as a sound understanding of the ins and outs of operating one safely—two very important factors that will ultimately maximize the fun quotient of these exhilarating machines. This mix of machine and mastery is very much in evidence at Riding Adventures by Yamaha, a fun family attraction located at

Horseshoe Resort near Barrie. With its ‘base camp’ located at the top of the ski hills, Riding Adventures by Yamaha is the perfect place from which to fully enjoy the endless miles of trails that crisscross the rugged 200 acre Horseshoe Valley Forest. Offering a wide range of challenging terrain from snowy peaks to gravel pits—not to mention an abundance of mud—all rides are in a controlled and safe environment, and therefore perfect for family outings. Tour packages include use of state-of-the-art Yamaha vehicles—everything from dirt bikes to ATVs and snowmobiles—as well as lessons, safety gear and fuel.

Once kitted out in mandatory safety gear including everything from helmets to boots and all stops in between, the real fun begins as riders are introduced to both their instructor and their machine (Yamaha, of course). Instruction is thorough and deals with all aspects of machine operation and safety. Then, once they’re convinced that you’ve mastered the basics, it’s off to the trails for an experience you won’t soon forget. SL

For further details about Riding Adventures by Yamaha, call 1-800-461-5627, e-mail yamaha@horseshoeresort.com or visit their website at www.cmts.org.

RHINO 450

ATV THRILLS

Yamaha Rhinos are white-knuckle inducing two-person vehicles with incredible off-road capabilities. Resembling a micro-car minus the panels, they’re extremely easy to operate. All Rhino Adventures include basic training followed by an exciting forest ride

Yamaha’s multi-purpose ATVs offer both comfort and safety and come in both adult (Kodiak 250) and youth versions (Raptor 80/90, Grizzly 125). Youth ATVs have less power, are smaller and easier to control, and are automatic or semi-automatic with throttle-governing devices to control speed.

18 | SkyLife Winter 2012


DUAL-SPORT MOTORCYCLES

OFF-ROAD MOTORCYCLES

SNOWMOBILES

Street-licensed riders can choose from Yamaha’s bigger dual-sport bikes, including the WR250R, WR250X and XT250. In need of a little warmup? Newer riders can practice on lightly travelled, rural mixed-terrain roads (pavement and gravel) before heading off to tackle the bigger hills and trails.

Yamaha’s rugged dirt bikes scoff at obstacles like sand, gravel, grass… and yes, even mud. Adult off-road bikes include the TT-R125 (small and large wheel), TT-R230, TT-R250, WR250F and XT225. For the little folks in the family, Minibike Fun Rides are taught on smaller automatic or semi-automatic machines with throttle-governing devices to control speed.

Along with your Yamaha four-stroke Phazer or Venture Lite snowmobile, you’re also provided with a warm Yamaha snowmobile suit, boots, gloves and helmet… as well as expert training before you’re let loose on the trails.

SkyLife Winter 2012 | 19


DISTRACTIONS & EXCURSIONS

THERE’S NO COUNTRY

LIKE SNOW

COUNTRY!

SKI AND ADVENTURE ACTIVITIES APLENTY ‘UP NORTH’ BY KIM KERR

O

ntario’s “great white north” has more

Many of these same trails are also great for snow-

fun stuff to do once winter settles in

shoeing, a sport that’s gained in popularity in re-

than most people could hope to ever

cent years. Minimal equipment is needed, and it

experience in a month of Sundays. By far the best

takes only a few minutes to figure out how to do

of the fun stuff takes place in what’s commonly re-

it. Modern snowshoes are also a far cry from the

ferred to as the Hwy 400 corridor, a swath of land

huge wood models of years past, and technology

that heads due north from Lake Ontario and

has led to a whole new generation of light, easy-

which encompasses two of the provinces busiest

to-use equipment that makes the sport easily ac-

tourist destinations—Horseshoe Valley near Bar-

cessible for the whole family. Snowshoes can

rie, and Muskoka (aka cottage country).

handle the deepest of snow, opening up the

Muskoka alone boasts more winter activities than you can shake a (hockey) stick at. With up to

backcountry for winter hiking and, for the real diehards, winter camping.

five snow-filled months (recent records indicate 18ft of snow in one season alone), the area offers excellent outdoor winter recreation opportunities. Skiers are spoiled for choice. For downhill enthusiasts— be it by ski or snowboard—Hidden Valley Highlands Ski Resort has an average annual snowfall of 318cms and can handle 6500 skiers every hour on its 35 acres of snow-covered heaven. Add to this mix a vertical drop of 100m and 11 different runs (the longest of which is 580m) from which to choose, and there’s little wonder Hidden Valley’s becoming increasingly popular as a downhill ski destination. Cross-country ski enthusiasts are well served, too, with the region’s many parks and resorts offering first-class groomed trails of varying lengths. In fact, a whopping 250 acres of wilderness in Muskoka is accessible to cross-country skiers.

20 | SkyLife Winter 2012

Eclipse Restaurant at Deerhurst Resort, Muskoka


Horseshoe Copeland House

Winter Sleigh Ride at Deerhurst Reort

HEY, WHY DON’T YOU LIVE HERE? Your winter outdoor fun needn’t end there. For

cross the region, making Muskoka one of the

Interested in living the vacation lifestyle all year long?

the sheer fun of it, most Muskoka communities

most traversed snowmobile destinations any-

If so, you’ll want to check out Horseshoe Copeland

have long-running winter festivals, many of them

where. For those who don’t have a machine of

House, a whole-ownership development that has al-

taking place during Christmas and March Break,

their own, many area marinas keep themselves

ready begun selling its second phase. Prices begin at

and often run in conjunction with area resorts like

busy each winter with machine and equipment

$219,900 for beautifully appointed suites in the first

Deerhurst. Other popular and accessible activi-

rentals. For something completely different—and

new condominium to be built as part of Skyline In-

ties in Muskoka include skating, pond hockey, ice

a darn site quieter—dogsledding offers one of

ternational Development’s master plan for Horseshoe

fishing, dogsledding, winter horseback trail rides,

those quintessentially Canadian experiences.

Resort and Village. It’s the perfect cottage or leisure

curling and snow tubing. For those who like a lit-

Racing through silent forests, the only noise you’ll

property solution for those who enjoy being active

tle more speed, the area lies smack-bang in the

hear is the hiss of the sled skimming over the

during all four seasons as ownership includes access

middle of Ontario’s very extensive snowmobile

fresh snow, along with the occasional barking

to more than 52 activities and amenities… all within

network. In all, more than 1,600kms of trails criss-

from excited dogs.

walking distance of your home-away-from home.

SkyLife Winter 2012 | 21


Horshoe Resort

WINTER PACKAGES NOW AVAILABLE Two great packages are now available that offer an excellent introduction to two of Ontario’s leading winter destinations—Horseshoe Resort near Barrie, and Muskoka’s Deerhurst Resort.

Winter Your Way: Deerhurst Resort

SIMCOE, THE OTHER GREAT LAKE

Available December 21st, 2012 – March 17th,

There’s nothing quite as exhilarating as walking on

2013, this package includes accommodation as

water… hard water, that is. Heading across a

well as a $100 resort spending credit nightly toward activities and amenities from spa services to dining, live stage shows to winter activities.

frozen lake on a sunny day as you anticipate that first strike makes ice fishing an experience not soon forgotten. A number of Barrie-based businesses offer fun ice fishing excursions on the very large Lake Simcoe (just a few minutes drive from Horseshoe resort) once the ice is thick enough (generally 12cms). Almost overnight, fishing huts

Discover Ski and Boarding: Horseshoe Resort

pop up like a makeshift shantytown, and people

Horseshoe Resort: 50 years as Central Ontario's top ski destination

travel from far and wide for their chance to land

abundance of snow. It also provided an obvious

that trophy fish, whether it be trout, northern pike,

new name—Horseshoe Valley.

walleye, whitefish, or perch. A typical ice-fishing

That very first ski season was certainly a modest

package will include a four-hour session in a four-

affair. Horseshoe opened with just five alpine

person hut, each with its own propane heater and

slopes serviced by two T-bar lifts, a rope tow and

fishing gear, and is a splendid way to spend an af-

a small lodge. Two years later, 10km of cross-coun-

ternoon with the family.

try ski trails were added, extending into the adja-

For those hankering for slopes a little closer to

cent Copeland Forest to satisfy the growing

home (or right outside your hotel suite), the afore-

demand for winter activities from the growing

mentioned Horseshoe Resort is a must. Founded

number of visitors to the region. Fast-forward 50

th

Available December 7 , 2012 – March 23 , 2013,

in 1962, this season marks the resort’s 50 anniver-

years and today Horseshoe has become a 600

Horseshoe’s Discover Ski and Boarding package

sary as a ski destination. Conceived by Toronto

acre year-round playground encompassing two

includes accommodation, breakfast and two

builder Bill Lohuaru in what used to be known as

golf courses, extensive accommodation options,

Alpine lift tickets (valid from time of check in

Hungry Hollow, the property’s unique shape is the

an expanded ski offering with 26 slopes, six winter

until the hills close on departure day). A ski or

result of action by receding glaciers that left it with

snow tubing chutes, restaurants, an Adventure

snowboard rental option is also available, and a

some of the highest elevations for miles. The val-

Park and a number of real estate projects. (To

1½-hour beginner/novice group lesson is in-

ley opens up like the bottom of a horseshoe fac-

keep abreast of celebrations throughout this year’s

ing west and the waters of Georgian Bay,

ski season, including events and special packages,

something Lohuaru realised would lead to an

visit www.horseshoeresort.com). SL

th

rd

cluded for two (this must be booked in advance at the Ski School Lesson Desk).

22 | SkyLife Winter 2012


DISTRACTIONS & EXCURSIONS

We’re off to see

THE WIZARD ANDREW LLOYD WEBBER REIMAGINES OZ

BY KIM KERR

T

he big news for Toronto’s theatre scene this winter season is undoubtedly the arrival of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s much anticipated new production of The Wizard of Oz. The timing’s certainly right, as the classic movie on which Weber’s production is based has been a festive TV staple for decades. Performances begin December 20th at The Ed Mirvish Theatre, and ticket sales have been brisk thanks to the popularity of CBC TV’s Over The Rainbow, the reality show that saw Dorothy wannabes battle it out for the much coveted red shoes... and Toto. The top spot went to Danielle Wade of LaSalle, ON, a second year student at the University of Windsor starring

24 | SkyLife Winter 2012


in her first professional engagement. Playing opposite her as the Wizard is Gemini-winner Cedric Smith, one of Canada’s most respected actors. Other veterans of stage joining the all-Canadian cast are Lisa Horner, best known for her role as Claire in the Fringe hit My Mother’s Lesbian Jewish Wiccan Wedding, who plays the Wicked Witch; actor and choreographer Mike Jackson stars as the Tin Man; and Mamma Mia! star and Dora Award winner Lee MacDougall plays the Lion. Jamie McKnight, known for his performance in The Producers and as one of the Canadian Tenors, stars as the Scarecrow, while Robin Evan Willis, star of many Shaw Festival productions, plays Glinda. Put together by the same award-winning creative team that recently delighted Toronto audiences with a revival of The Sound of Music, the joint production promises plenty of razzle-dazzle. Developed from the ever-popular MGM screenplay, it contains all the beloved songs from the movie, along with the favourite characters and iconic moments… plus a few surprises along the way, including new songs by Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber. Tickets are now on sale for performances through to March 31st, and range from $35 — $130. For show times and other details, call 416-872-1212 or visit www.mirvish.com.

take on the role of all seven dwarfs as super spy 007 (get it?). Other ‘unexpected’ guests (intruders?) dropping in on Snow White include Second City alumnus Reid Janisse, making his panto debut as one of the Three Little Pigs; Bryn McAuley (the voice of Caillou) as Little Red Riding Hood; and Billy Lake, in his 6th season at the Shaw Festival, as Pinocchio. For tickets (ask about the Family 4-Pack!) and show times, visit www.rosspetty.com or call 1-855-599-9090.

THE WONDER THAT IS INDIA

WAR HORSE GALLOPS TO THE FINISH LINE

SNOW WHAT? SNOW WHITE! Tis the season, it would appear, for wholesome family fare to strut it’s stuff across Toronto’s stages. Kicking off a few weeks before The Wizard of Oz comes Ross Petty Production’s Snow White: The Deliciously Dopey Family Musical! starring Graham Abbey, Eddie Glen, Melissa O’Neil… and, as is the tradition, the very funny Ross Petty himself. It’s pure family fun all the way in Petty’s 17th annual holiday pantomime, which runs to January 5th, 2013, at the Elgin Theatre. This somewhat different telling of the classic fairytale stars Canadian Idol Melissa O’Neil, fresh from the Broadway production of Stratford’s Jesus Christ Superstar, in the lead. A neat twist is provided by having Stratford leading man Graham Abbey single handedly

There’s still time to catch the fantastic Canadian production of the National Theatre of Great Britain’s international phenomenon, War Horse, which concludes its Toronto run January 6th, 2013, at the Princess of Wales Theatre. The production has set a record in Canada as the longest-running professional drama of all time—when it closes, the production will have played 368 performances. Set at the beginning of WWI, War Horse tells the uplifting story of young Albert, his beloved horse Joey, and the incredible obstacles they overcome both individually and together. The real stars of the show are the amazing life-sized horse puppets: they’re simply magnificent as they gallop and charge across the stage. Filled with stirring music and innovative stagecraft, War Horse is a remarkable tale of courage, loyalty and friendship… not to mention a theatrical experience you’ll not soon forget. For an even more memorable experience, check out the King Edward Hotel’s ‘Night Out On The Town’ package (www.thekingedwardhotel.com /packages/nightout), which includes your choice of accommodation plus two premium orchestra level tickets to War Horse.

Toronto gets to welcome back the thrilling Bharati: The Wonder That Is India, for a return (limited) engagement February 9th –10th, 2013, at the Sony Centre For The Performing Arts. This spectacular live presentation of the dance, music, fashion, and folk traditions of India consists of dancers, actors, singers, acrobats and musicians pulling together to portray a powerful tale of love and homecoming. The story focusses on the cynical Siddharth, an Indian-born engineer raised in the US who returns to his homeland to work on the Ganga Cleaning Project, and who finds himself attracted to a mysterious Indian woman named Bharati. As she re-introduces him to the wonders of India, Siddharth ends up discovering his true self… and the meaning of love.

Featuring original music plus 19 Bollywood hits, all played and sung live, each musical scene represents a regional Indian tradition, creating a unique cultural portrait through the clever use of rhythms, instruments, vocal arrangements, melodies, choreography, costumes, and video images. For tickets and other information, visit www.sonycentre.ca. SL

SkyLife Winter 2012 | 25


FOOD & DRINK

HELLO FOOD!

MEET WINE…

PHOTOS: KELLY HOLLINSHEAD

ONTARIO VINEYARDS PRODUCE EXCELLENT PAIRING POTENTIAL

26 | SkyLife Winter 2012

T

he best things in life undoubtedly come in pairs. Brad and Angelina, fish and chips, yin and yang… and, of course, shoes. Which is why no dining experience worth its salt should ever be served without careful consideration for the wine that’s best paired with it. For this Winter Edition of SkyLife magazine, we decided early on in the planning process that we’d pay tribute not just to the great homegrown produce available in Ontario, but also to the wines best suited to accompany them. To help, we enlisted the services of Horseshoe Resort’s Executive Chef Dylan Tulloch and his top-notch team at Silks Restaurant.


APPETIZER #1 Pan Seared Nipissing Farms Quail Supreme Warm Wild Rice and Bala Cranberry Salad, Harvest Plum Compote, Trius Chardonnay Scented Jus

WINE PAIRING Trius Chardonnay (Andres Wines Ltd.)

CHEF SAYS… This full-bodied Chardonnay is the perfect accompaniment for this tasty starter made from very local produce, and lends itself extremely well to the scented jus that goes with it. It’s got a lovely clean taste with just a hint of ripe melon and toasted nuts, plus an underlying buttery note with a pinch of spicy oak.

CHEF DYLAN

APPETIZER #2 Ontario Butternut Squash and Apple Soup Sage Crème Fraiche and Granny Smith Apple Chip

WINE PAIRING Organic Cabernet/Franc Rose (Frogpond Farm)

CHEF SAYS… Fresh and fruity, this versatile medium bodied wine also pairs well with pork. It reminds me of currants and blueberries and has a natural, earthy overtone.

Born and raised in Barrie, Executive Chef Dylan Tulloch graduated from the Niagara College Culinary Program in 1997. After graduation, he spent time in Whistler, BC, working for the muchlauded Araxi Restaurant, gaining extensive knowledge of seasonal and locally grown food. Once back in Ontario, Dylan worked at Epic in the Fairmont Royal York Hotel in Toronto before becoming sous chef at Horseshoe Resort in 2005, then Executive Chef in 2007. Dylan uses only the very best of ingredients, which he sources from local growers and farmers whenever possible, thereby ensuring his guests the freshest organically grown foods possible. An active member of Simcoe County Farm Fresh and the Muskoka and District Chefs Association, Dylan also volunteers with the Seasons Centre for Grieving Children in Barrie. Dylan is currently pursuing his Chef de Cuisine and is constantly looking for ways to take his talents to the next level.

SkyLife Winter 2012 | 27


ENTRÉE Rosemary Roasted Rack of Ontario Lamb Sautéed Tri Colour New Crop Potatoes, Harvest Vegetable Gathering, Malivoire Small Lot Gamay Jus

WINE PAIRING Small Lot Gamay (Malivoire Wine Co.)

CHEF SAYS… Ontario’s Gamays, especially this one from Malivoire, are definitely on par with those from France. Fresh and fruity, medium bodied… it’s refreshing with a hint of juicy red berries and peppery spice, and pairs exceptionally well with Ontario lamb and harvest vegetables.

DESSERT Spiced Apple Rum Cake Cinnamon Icing and Caramel Sauce

WINE RECOMMENDATION Late Harvest Riesling (Cave Spring Cellars Ltd.)

CHEF SAYS… Cave Spring picks the grapes for this medium sweet dessert wine after a frost, which intensifies the wine’s flavour. It reminds me of fruit such as pears, even mango and apples, and has just a touch of cinnamon. Perfect for any dessert that includes caramel. SL

28 | SkyLife Winter 2012


HEALTH & WELLNESS

SHIZEN SPA

THE PERFECT TIME FOR PAMPERING

BY KATE HILLYAR

A

visit to the spa doesn’t have to mean a whole day of pampering. No matter how much time you have, Shizen Spa can accom-

modate your needs. With two convenient downtown locations (Yonge/Dundas and Yonge/King) and two resort locales (Barrie and Huntsville), this spa has got you covered no matter where you travel.

30 | SkyLife Winter 2012


15 MINUTES Eyebrow shape is an essential part of the face and even a quick clean up can have a dramatic effect on the shape of your eyes and the balance of your face. Services: • Eyebrow Clean-Up ($15) • Brow Shaping ($20) • Eyelash or eyebrow tint (prices vary)

30 MINUTES Manicures keep hands healthy and improve your overall look while showing off your sense of style. • Quick Fix — Can be used for hands or feet. Includes cleanse, cuticle nourishment, nail file and polish application ($25) Who says you can’t reverse time in 30 minutes? Try one of these facials: • AHA Time Reverser Facial — Stimulate cell regeneration and improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, pigmentation and superficial acne scars ($70). • Express Atoxelen Oxygen Infusion — Target expression and stress lines using pressurized oxygen and special serums and vitamins designed to get results ($100). • Teen Time Facial — Spend some quality mom and daughter time with this facial, custom designed for younger skin. Suitable for 12 years and up ($55).

45 MINUTES Got nearly an hour to spare? Refresh with an exfoliating scrub or top up your nails with a fresh coat of paint. • Pure Muskoka Scrub (Deerhurst location only) — Treat yourself to a body scrub that sounds good enough to eat! Choose from Muskoka Maple or Cranberry Honey ($110). • Shellac Manicure — The secret to long-lasting nails, Shellac dries in seconds and keeps nails chip free for up to two weeks ($50).

1 HOUR Perfect for your lunch break or a quick pick-me-up before a night on the town, Shizen Spa has several treatments that take only an hour. • Reflexology — Restore the natural flow throughout your body with this ancient Chinese ritual (from $105). • Shirodhara (Pantages Hotel location only) — Take the time to try this Ayurvedic therapy which focuses on the ‘third eye’ ($110). • Shizen Signature Wrap—Hydrate and relieve stress with a detoxifying wrap featuring your choice of two aromatic essential oil blends (From $100).

SkyLife Winter 2012 | 31


HEAT IS A MAJOR FACTOR IN DRYING THE SKIN, SO PLUG IN A HUMIDIFIER AND AVOID LONG HOT SHOWERS AND BATHS.

32 | SkyLife Winter 2012


ASK THE EXPERT: HOW TO BEAT WINTER WEATHER LAURENCE ROPTUS, Spa Director, Shizen Spa at Pantages Hotel Toronto Centre and Cosmopolitan Hotel offers winter tips and tactics. What are some of the common skin issues that you encounter during the winter months? The harsh cold and winds that come with winter weather can wreak havoc on the skin, bringing uncomfortable dryness and damage to the face, hands and feet. Skin can become chapped, cracked and dry, so we need to give it a little bit of extra attention during this time of year.

Guinot Paris products. It uses a very mild electrotherapy and gentle rollers to massage the plant-based ingredients into the skin. Then we do a customized mask to make the skin feel healthier, smoother and younger. We also find that the Intraceuticals Oxygen Facial ($165 for 60 minutes) is popular. Used by many celebrities, the facial cools and calms the skin using pressurized oxygen. We use a combination of hyaluronic acid, Vitamins A, C & E and green tea to create dramatically smoother, moisturized skin. This is good for concealing those fine lines and wrinkles by developing firmness in the skin.

Are there winter issues that affect men or women specifically? Yes. Men tend to have thicker and oilier skin, so it’s less sensitive to irritation and also less prone to irritation caused by winter weather. Women, on the other hand, have thinner skin, but because they’re more likely to take protective measures (moisturizing daily, visiting the spa, etc.) it counter-balances the differences. I highly recommend that both women and men take the care necessary to protect their skin during the winter.

Do you have any tips for maintaining a healthy glow between treatments? Certainly avoid any harsh products, peels or alcohol-based toners, which can take vital oils from the skin. Instead, use cleansing milk or a gentle foam cleanser. If you like to use masks, try one that is specific to hydrating the skin and avoid clay, which will draw moisture from the face. Heat is a major factor in drying the skin, so plug in a humidifier and avoid long hot showers and baths.

What services do you recommend to counteract dry, chapped and irritated skin? For the body, I recommend our Skin Repair Body Treatment ($145 for 70 minutes). It helps to restore elasticity and balance to the skin. The treatment starts with a full-body dry brush exfoliation, followed by a moisture-rich wrap and then a relaxation massage. Pure heaven! Our signature Shizen Manicure & Pedicure ($115 for 90 minutes) keeps the hands and feet from cracking. Guests can add on an organic mud mask or lavender paraffin wrap for the ultimate in pampering.

What are some moisturizing and soothing ingredients to look for in products? Look for Shea butter to soften the skin, Jojoba oil to restore the hydro-lipid film, essential oils such as thyme, rosemary and lavender. Vitamin E is a good anti-oxidizer and vitamin D helps combat the lack of sunlight at this time of year. Also keep an eye out for Omega oils 3, 6 and 9 to nourish and restructure the skin.

What about for the face? There are a couple of facials that work well around this time of year, depending on what area the customer wants to concentrate on. We have a great Hydradermie Facial ($115 for 75 minutes) which uses our popular

What products do you recommend for use during the winter months? • A daily protection cream such as Guinot Continous Nourishing Cream ($68) • Hand and foot cream, like SoapStones body lotion ($9) • Lip balm, Sacred Nature lip balm ($28) • Sunscreen with SPF 30 • A body scrub — Guinot smoothing body scrub with loofah extracts ($45) SL

SkyLife Winter 2012 | 33


DESTINATION

HOME

AWAY FROM HOME…

THE BUZZ ABOUT VACATION OWNERSHIP IN CANADA

34 | SkyLife Winter 2012

BY GEORGI BOHROD

R

ecession? What recession! If you talk with Ross Perlmutter, former President/CEO of the Canadian Resort Development Association (CRDA), he’ll tell you that “Canada has consistently been the best producing economy of the entire G8, and has always managed both its government and household debt extremely well. Canada is home to a wealth of natural resources and, in fact, the country has more oil in the ground in one of its provinces (Alberta) than in all of Saudi Arabia. All of this has served to elevate Canada on the global economic stage.” As Canada’s dollar hovers above (or close to) par with the US, a combination of pent up consumer demand and increased purchasing power has resulted in a veritable flood of currency that’s now flowing southward—money used to acquire everything from household items to vacations to luxury goods, including several billion dollars’ worth of recreational and investment real estate. Not all of those dollars are migrating south, however. Plenty are staying right here at home. In a recent article in Perspectives Magazine the author states: “Canada remains the only industrialized country in the world that has survived the last two years of financial and economic stress without a single bank failure.” And, “…in Canada, even though mortgage interest is not deductible, home ownership is actually higher than in the USA, resulting in more disposable income for the purchase of a timeshare vacation.”


VACATION OWNERSHIP OFFERS THE OPPORTUNITY TO PURCHASE OR CONTROL, FOR ONLY A FRACTION OF THE COST OF FULL REAL ESTATE OWNERSHIP, FULLY FURNISHED VACATION ACCOMMODATIONS IN A VARIETY OF FORMS.

A VACATION HOME OF YOUR OWN Armed with this knowledge, a number of existing vacation ownership companies have weathered the rough seas and continue to provide vacation opportunities in Canada. But what, exactly, is vacation ownership? Vacation ownership is known by several names, including timeshare, shared ownership and interval ownership. Vacation ownership offers owners or members the opportunity to purchase or control, for only a fraction of the cost of full real estate ownership, fully furnished vacation accommodations in a variety of forms. The most common are weekly intervals or point-based systems. For a one-time purchase/membership fee and payment of annual maintenance dues, individuals can fully control their own vacation accommodations. Spacious floor plans and home-like amenities are very attractive when compared to traditional hospitality products. Home-away-from-home vacation ownership also provides the space and flexibility needed to easily accommodate families and larger traveling parties. The shared cost of amenities and individual accommodations make the concept extremely attractive when compared to full ownership or hotel room rental—a fact which no doubt accounts for the over six million timeshare owners in the US alone, a number that’s continuing to grow.

EXCITING NEW VENTURE Toronto-based Skyline Investments is also now eyeing the shared ownership industry. As a premier operator and developer of destination communities in Ontario, the firm invests in hotels and resorts with sizable unleveraged land banks and significant mixed-use development opportuni-

ties. With experience in both urban and country properties, Skyline is well positioned to enter the timeshare market should research continue to trend positively in this area. “We’ve been considering the timeshare vacation ownership sector for a number of years, and the climate is right for us to take our mission to the next level,” says Michael Sneyd, Skyline’s CEO. “To that end, we made the decision to bring on industry veteran Jude Carrillo as President of Skyline Vacation Ownership and charged him with moving this project forward.” Carrillo, whose experience in Canada was previously with Club Intrawest, says that he’s excited to be involved with Skyline. Skyline controls properties in and around Toronto including cottages and land in the world-renowned wooded golf

community of Deerhurst, the new Horseshoe Village master planned community, and the 1,126 acre master planned destination community of Port McNicoll Resort Village. Among the three properties, there are some exceptional marketing opportunities and terrific products to offer those wanting to enjoy the timeshare vacation lifestyle. “We’re currently actively investigating opportunities to provide exceptional experiences and products for new customers through the vehicle of a vacation club structure,” adds Carrillo. “As well, we’re considering partnership with one of the larger, branded vacation ownership companies in the industry.” SL

Georgi Bohrod is Principal of GBG & Associates, a San Diego-based marketing and PR firm.

SkyLife Winter 2012 | 35


DESTINATION

Big SNOW

BY CAMERON ALEXANDER

SILVER STAR’S SKI SEASON STARTS EARLY, ENDS LATE

W

hen one thinks of the world’s truly great

Boasting over 2,500 vertical feet of superlative

skills at one of the resort’s terrain parks. For newbies,

ski destinations, Whistler certainly ranks

skiing and average daytime temperatures of just

the Beginner Terrain Park—a tamer version of the

up there amongst the biggest. But, as

–5ºC, the air around Silver Star is consistently cold

hardcore, 16 acre Telus Terrain Park—is equipped with

with all things in life, ‘biggest’ doesn’t necessarily

enough to keep the snow light, fluffy… and fan-

small jumps and rails aplenty, allowing guests an op-

mean it’s best for everyone.

tastically fun. Add to this mix the resort’s lofty ele-

portunity to experience the thrill of boarding without

For those seeking that big hill experience but on

vation—the village itself is located some 5,280ft

fear of getting in over their heads. Looking for a more

a less grandiose scale—yet retaining the same level

above sea level—and you’re almost always guar-

challenging ski experience? If so, 60 of the resort’s runs

of facilities and capacity for family fun—you

anteed an early opening every season. In fact, the

are located on the Putnam Creek side of Silver Star

couldn’t do much better than giving some serious

2012/2013 season began a full seven days ahead

Mountain, an area serviced by the high-speed Powder

consideration to the Okanagan Valley’s award-win-

of schedule thanks to the arrival of over 40cm of

Gulch Quad. This area’s well known for its black dia-

ning Silver Star Mountain Resort. Located near Ver-

much-welcomed snow, allowing the resort to

mond runs and deep, deep powder, groomed

non, BC, Silver Star encompasses in excess of 3,000

open groomed trails as early as mid-November

overnight to ensure optimum conditions. If you’re in

acres of skiable terrain and boasts an annual aver-

without the aid of snowmaking machinery.

need of a little instruction before tackling these more

age of 23ft of some of the best “powder” any-

In all, the resort boasts 12 lifts serving 115 well

challenging runs, Silver Star offers ample training op-

where. And it’s easily accessible too—this

marked trails, as well as terrain parks, all of which are

portunities, including the Ultimate Academy Option

much-smaller-than-Whistler, Victorian village-style

open from 8:30 am to 3:30 pm, seven days a week and

package (lift tickets, instruction, transportation, a day

resort is only 45-minutes from Kelowna Interna-

serving some 14,000 skiers/boarders per hour. Board-

at nearby Revelstoke—even a three-course farewell

tional Airport.

ers in particular will want to spend time honing their

meal and drinks—are all included).

36 | SkyLife Winter 2012


PHOTOS COURTESY OF SILVER STAR MOUNTAIN RESORT

‘SNOW’ MUCH TO DO…

levels of experience, and has enough rollers and

colourful tree that adorns the square, and festive cele-

If you prefer your skiing a little less on the hilly side,

jumps to keep the kids coming back for hours.

brations include fireworks, a traditional torch-lit parade,

the resort’s built up a stellar reputation as a first

Other fun winter activities to enjoy in the great

and a chance to meet Santa in person. Other fun family

class Nordic ski destination. Silver Star’s Nordic

outdoors include a snow tubing park, outdoor

events include movie nights, a kid’s carnival, family

program—encompassing cross-country, ski jump-

hockey and skating pond, numerous snowshoe

bingo and the always popular ‘Silver Star Idol’, as well

ing, Nordic combined and biathlon—is considered

trails, and snowmobile tours (including wonderful

as indoor rock climbing. Shoppers, too, are well served

one of the best in North America, and many na-

mini sleds for smaller members of the family). To

by an eclectic array of boutique shops and galleries.

tional teams and Olympic athletes train there reg-

help make the most of your stay and maximize the

Even the dining at Silver Star can be a little on

ularly. The resort is crisscrossed by some 105kms

fun-quotient, the folks at Silver Star have even intro-

the adventurous side. The resort offers its unique

of trails, four kilometers of which are lit at night, as

duced Canada’s first all-inclusive season pass and

Paradise Camp Dinner Tours every Friday and Sat-

well as two certified biathlon ranges. Also avail-

day ticket. The ‘My1Pass’ program provides alpine

urday night, a delightful experience that includes a

able for guests to enjoy is the neighbouring

day ticket and season pass holders free unlimited

ride on the ‘Paradise Express’, a 12-seat snow cat

Sovereign Lake Nordic Club—together, the two

access to 55kms of Nordic trails, 16kms of mapped

that takes you over the snow to the Putnam Creek

properties provide enthusiasts access to some of

and marked snowshoe trails, the Tube Town Adven-

side of the mountain. Once there, you’re treated to

Canada’s best Nordic skiing.

ture Park, and outdoor skating on Brewer’s Pond.

a spectacular fine dining experience in Paradise

Another increasingly popular winter sport for

The village itself is a great place to unwind once

Camp’s cozy rustic cabin. Another fun option is tak-

families—largely thanks to Canada’s tremendous

you’re done on the hills and trails. Christmas is an es-

ing the magical sleigh ride to the Wild Horseman’s

prowess in the event at the 2010 Winter Olympics—

pecially active time, particularly for families. In the lead

Cabin where you’ll be treated to a warm, welcom-

is snowcross. Silver Star’s course is suitable for all

up to Christmas, the village is lit as brightly as the

ing atmosphere and a delicious meal. SL

SkyLife Winter 2012 | 37


DWELL & DECOR

INSPIRED DESIGN

HOW TO GIVE YOUR HOME A HIGH-END HOTEL MAKEOVER

BY KATE HILLYAR

I

Suite at Pantages

t’s no coincidence that the “suite” life is often associated with

the sweet life. How many times have you checked into your hotel room, settled in and thought to yourself, ‘how can I incor-

porate this type of ambience into my everyday life?’ The luxury and prestige of the hotel living space has been an aspiration and an inspiration for many—we all want that relaxed and carefree feeling that comes with hotel living. “It’s all about the dream,” says Michael Kaye, Director of Design and Procurements at Skyline International Development. “The hotel look, with its crisp, clean linens, streamlined furniture and everything in its place is desirable. Guests then go home and say, ‘Why can’t I have that same look for my bedroom?’ We try to du-

Eight Wine Bar

38 | SkyLife Winter 2012

plicate what we like and see.”


Eight Wine Bar Model Suite at The King Edward Hotel

Bedrooms are a good place to start when it comes to transforming your home into a hotel-inspired haven. The first spot to consider is where you spend nearly 1/3 of your day—the bed. “The bed is the most important piece of furniture in any bedroom, so you want to pick a mattress and linens with comfort in mind,” says Kaye. The mattress doesn’t need to be over-the-top expensive as long as it is of good quality and comfort. Another misconception is that higher thread count equals better quality. “In terms of linen, it’s most important to select sheets that feel silky to the touch,” Kaye recommends. Egyptian cotton is most popular and will last over time, and layers are the key to creating a sense of indulgence. In addition to a fitted sheet, flat sheet and lightweight duvet, consider purchasing a few decorative pillows and blankets to fill out the bed and give it a sense of luxury. Texture can be incorporated into the bed by choosing different types “Fabric is one of the top trends in bedroom design right now,”

TOP TIPS FOR MAKING YOUR BEDROOM HOTEL-WORTHY

adds Kaye. “The headboard is a great place to incorporate an in-

• Make the bed every day and keep it clutter-free.

of fabrics or purchasing a textured headboard.

teresting fabric or neutral pattern. It’s also very functional for read-

It’s surprising how this two-minute task will really

ing or watching TV in bed.”

make the room feel put together. • Swap coloured linens for crisp white to give a sense of freshness. • Keep clothes tucked into dressers and closets, and minimalize items on surfaces for a streamlined effect. • Install lighting controls with dimmers near the bed to create the ideal bedtime ambiance. • Select blackout drapes that will promote deeper sleep and turn any electronics that emit light away from the bed. • Plug in an air purifier or scent diffuser with lavender to keep the air fresh and relax the mind for sleep.

SkyLife Winter 2012 | 39


Modern Suite at The Cosmopolitan Hotel

HOW TO MAKE A HOTEL BED • Prepare new bedding by washing it to soften the fabrics. • Start with the fitted bottom sheet, pulling it tightly across all four corners. • Stand at the foot of the bed and shake the flat top sheet out over it, adjusting so it drapes evenly on each side. Smooth the hem along the edge of the mattress. • If you use blankets, stand at the end of the bed and billow them out over the sheets. Fold the top sheet over the blanket and smooth it down. • Create hospital corners: Stand on one side of the bed and grab the sheet and blanket, pulling the edge up about 12 inches from the end of the bed. Lift the edge to make a diagonal fold, lay the fold onto the mattress and pull it smooth. Tuck the hanging portion of the sheet and blanket under the mattress, then drop the fold and pull it smooth to tuck under the mattress. Repeat on the other side. • Fluff up your pillows and fold the bottom edge of the case in to create a pocket. • Toss a lightweight duvet over the blankets and make sure it’s even on all sides. • Add a few decorative pillows and a blanket for a hotel finish.

40 | SkyLife Winter 2012

Consort Bar at King Edward Hotel


SHINE A LITTLE LIGHT… If the bed is the star of the show, then lighting is the supporting act. Hotel bedrooms are designed to optimize light when guests need it most and minimize it when you’re ready for sleep. “The Cosmopolitan Hotel in Toronto has floor-toceiling windows, so we had to

Michael Kaye

be careful selecting the right window coverings,” says Kaye. “The hotel is focused on relaxation and ‘Urban Zen’, so it was about blocking out the city to create a serene environment.” A simple reading light installed from the wall near the headboard can make all the difference in setting the tone for a restful night’s sleep. Kaye recommends using an LED bulb and installing a dimmer to control the mood of the room and prepare the body for sleep time. Curtains also play an important role. Layer up sheers and blackout drapes to eliminate light for sleeping but let in natural light during the day. “I always recommend a level three blackout for drapes. Make sure they overlap some wall in order to avoid light penetrating through pesky cracks,” remarks Kaye. Adding a pop of colour can bring life to the bedroom and make it personalized. “One of the hottest colour trends right now is the accent wall—painting one wall in a very bold colour to stand out from the rest of the neutral pieces,” says Kaye. Not sure which colour to use? Try experimenting with pops of colour first—an accent pillow, art, or small piece of furniture. Kaye describes the new model suite that he helped design at Lobby at The Cosmopolitan Hotel

Toronto’s historic King Edward Hotel using “bold colours as accents to create a feeling of grandeur” and tie-in a modern look to the traditional elements of the nearly 110-year-old property. “Hotels are minimalistic, yet highly functional. With a few simple changes it’s easy to transform any bedroom and give it a suite feel.” Have a question for Skyline’s design expert, Michael Kaye? Send it to info@skylineinvestments.com and you might be featured in our next issue. SL

Suite at Pantages

Want a more in-depth look at design? Visit bit.ly/SkylineKohler and click on “Featured” for a video series on Skyline Hotels and Resorts’ bathrooms. Or download the Kohler mobile app at www.ca.kohler.com/mobileapp.

SkyLife Winter 2012 | 41


DWELL & DÉCOR

URBAN COTTAGING

COMES TO

DEERHURST

RESORT

OWNING A PIECE OF MUSKOKA HAS NEVER BEEN EASIER BY DAVID EISENSTADT

I

s there anything more exhilarating than wak-

try”. It’s also why people are snapping up

tion of 32 Legacy Homesites at the magnificent

ing up in Muskoka in the spring as the sun

whole-ownership residences at Deerhurst Re-

Deerhurst Sanctuary. Part of iconic Deerhurst

rises over massive granite outcroppings and

sort & Village so they can indulge in urban cot-

Resort & Village is a spectacular 133-acre Na-

taging all year long.

ture Sanctuary, offering the opportunity for

stands of towering maple and pine? Or gazing at the reflection of a canoe paddle dipping into

One of Southern Ontario’s most dynamic de-

families to establish residential compounds in

a glassy lake in summer? Or going for a brisk

velopers of exceptional residential resort op-

breathtaking Muskoka. The Legacy Homesites

walk as vibrantly coloured leaves rustle beneath

portunities, Skyline Destination Communities

range from 1.5 to 6 acres in size, and each can

your feet in autumn? Or setting out on a crisp,

has created a variety of choices that capture

accommodate a principle residence plus an ad-

clear morning to cross-country ski amid the vi-

the unique appeal of Muskoka. The response

ditional private cabin.

sual magic that only winter brings? These are

has been overwhelming from those who want

Situated between glorious nature and the

but a few of the reasons why National Geo-

to do more than dip their toes in the waters of

amenity-rich streets of Huntsville just minutes

graphic Traveler magazine chose Muskoka as

this internationally coveted area for a brief stay

away, Deerhurst Sanctuary offers the best of

one of its 2012 “Best of the World—Must See

in the summer. In a brilliant melding of nature

both worlds—cottaging in tranquil surround-

places,” calling it “quintessential cottage coun-

and convenience, Skyline now offers a collec-

ings without feeling isolated. The lifestyle is be-

42 | SkyLife Winter 2012


Derrhurst Resort

yond fabulous, especially with the homes on

SHARED VISION

the Legacy Homesites so close to the Sanctuary’s

It’s a vision Skyline shares, making the Legacy

three year-round hiking trails (short, intermediate

Homesites even more desirable. The Sanctuary of-

and advanced). A nature photographer’s delight,

fers a unique opportunity for families to bond and

this mixed hardwood forest features interpretive

experience the wonders of the surrounding wet-

signs and wildlife checklists as part of its design

lands, streams and mixed forest habitats. Some of

by internationally respected naturalist Robin Ta-

the Legacy Homesites back onto the Sanctuary,

pley. Having grown up in Muskoka, Tapley truly

and in most cases are completely private from

understands the deep connection with the earth

neighbours. The properties are serviced for hydro,

that makes this habitat so healthy for fauna and

telephone and cable, paving the way for the effi-

humans alike. In his years of experience, he has

cient introduction of homes on the properties.

led expeditions to Antarctica and the Galapagos

Located just two hours from Toronto, one of

Islands, and is passionate about connecting peo-

Canada’s most exciting and cosmopolitan cities,

ple with the natural world.

Deerhurst Sanctuary is only a 20-minute drive to

SkyLife Winter 2012 | 43


Algonquin Theatre, Town of Huntsville

Golf at Deerhurst Resort

Snowmobiling at Deerhurst Resort

Algonquin Provincial Park, another favourite

PRIDE OF OWNERSHIP

wilderness wonderland. When practicality calls

The value at Deerhurst Sanctuary Legacy Home-

and errands are in order, Huntsville is less than a

sites continues with the benefits of prices that

10-minute drive away with its shops, restaurants,

begin from the mid-$200,000s, lower taxes than

services and more. Culture and entertainment

the waterfront properties in the area, and the op-

abound as well, with venues such as the Algo-

tion for owners to place their homes into Deer-

nquin Theatre, galleries, Muskoka Heritage Place

hurst’s fully and professionally managed rental

and the Huntsville Public Library offering an array

program to receive rental revenue when they are

of experiences. In addition, Muskoka Algonquin

not in residence.

Healthcare includes both Huntsville District Me-

All of this comes from a developer that has

morial Hospital and South Muskoka Memorial in

earned a stellar reputation. Skyline International De-

Bracebridge, providing excellent care for resi-

velopment Inc. was established in 1998 by 2004

dents and visitors of all ages.

Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year, Gil

One of the most attractive aspects for pur-

Blutrich. This Canadian company has amassed a

chasers is their direct connection with the ameni-

rare world-class portfolio and is a dynamic force in

ties at Deerhurst Resort, a true Canadian treasure.

the Canadian commercial property industry. Guided

Owners will have access to 52 different facilities

by Blutrich’s visionary leadership, Skyline has recog-

and activities beginning with two km of resort wa-

nized opportunities that have established the firm

terfront and the use of boats, water skis, tubes, ca-

as Canada’s premier destination community com-

noes and more. Deerhurst Resort features two golf

pany. Deerhurst Sanctuary is a prime example.

courses, four outdoor pools and an indoor pool;

When it comes to superb residential opportu-

tennis courts; hiking; horseback riding; tubing;

nities, Skyline also currently offers Deerhurst Golf

skating; fishing charter opportunities; boat tours;

Cottages, with Deerhurst Lakeside Lodge water-

cross-country ski trails; dog-sledding; snowmobil-

front condos to come; ski-in/ski-out Copeland

ing; casual and fine dining; world-class shows; a

House condominiums at Horseshoe Resort & Vil-

luxurious Shizen Spa—and even an airstrip for

lage; plus townhomes and detached homes at

those wanting to fly directly to the resort. Kids of

Port McNicoll Resort Village near Midland, On-

all ages love Deerhurst’s Splash Zone, Canada’s

tario, where a major waterfront rejuvenation is un-

largest inflatable park on the water. In addition,

derway. In addition, Skyline owns prime urban

purchasers at Sanctuary will also have the exclu-

Toronto properties including the Pantages Hotel

sive use of a private owners’ beach.

Toronto Centre, Cosmopolitan Hotel Toronto and

Skyline’s innovative approach to the ultimate in

The King Edward Hotel (undergoing a $30 million

year-round resort living includes the creation of the

renaissance under Skyline management). Expan-

SkyLife Club. Ontario’s first-ever city and country

sion into the US includes acquisition of the historic

Club offers family-oriented recreational, leisure, so-

Cleveland Arcade and Hyatt Regency Cleveland.

cial and travel activities and benefits through Sky-

Unprecedented access to nature and outdoor

line Destination Communities’ premier portfolio.

activities, proximity to urban amenities and a sub-

Those who buy a Legacy Homesite at Deerhurst

stantial property in the midst of it all—Deerhurst

Sanctuary will receive membership into the SkyLife

Sanctuary offers the chance of a lifetime in a one-

Club Program (valued at $25,000) as an exclusive

of-a-kind setting. For those who would like to set-

bonus. Members enjoy unprecedented access to

tle in for a good night’s sleep being serenaded by

Skyline’s northern and urban properties such as un-

crickets and tree frogs rather than traffic and

limited skiing, golfing, adventure and perks at

sirens, this is the place to be.

Horseshoe Resort, Deerhurst Resort and other Skyline Hotels and Resorts properties. Among the op-

To register for Skyline’s Deerhurst Sanctuary in Muskoka, visit www.deerhursthomes.com. SL

portunities eligible for special deals and discounts Deerhurst Resort

44 | SkyLife Winter 2012

are treatments at Shizen Spas, skiing equipment

David Eisenstadt is a Partner at The Communi-

rentals, golf club and cart rentals and greens fees.

cations Group in Toronto.


SKYLINE CORNER

CLUB Life

SOCIALIZING, SPORTS, GETAWAYS… SKYLIFE CLUB OFFERS YEAR-ROUND FUN

BY CAMERON ALEXANDER

SkyLife Club President John Thornton shares a smile with Member Services Coordinator Wendy Doherty in the Member’s Lounge at Horseshoe Resort. “Our members know good service, and they expect it.” PHOTO: KELLY HOLLINSHEAD

46 | SkyLife Winter 2012

F

or decades, the basic premise of the private

But times change, as do our needs, wants and

club—be it based upon golf, skiing, yachting

desires. As a result, these often staid clubs—tied

or some other sport or activity—has been to

to a particular location or seasonal activity—are

provide its members with an intimate environ-

finding it harder than ever to recruit individuals due

ment in which to pursue their favourite pastimes,

to their increasingly diverse recreational interests.

as well as offering perks, privileges, and opportu-

The solution? Skyline International thinks it’s got

nities to mix and mingle with likeminded individ-

the answer: why not give people something trendy

uals. It’s a concept that’s been around for

and new with the kind of flexibility, fun and choices

centuries, beginning with private gentleman’s

a typical club can’t match, and which includes mul-

clubs in Europe before morphing into the typical

tiple activities at a wide variety of locations? To

golf and country club format we’re so familiar with

meet the increased demand for such a product,

in North America today.

Skyline—the company behind premier resorts and


hotels such as Deerhurst and The King Edward

include corporate (four transferable member-

Hotel—created The SkyLife Founders Club, a

ships), family (two adult and two transferable

prestigious portfolio of luxury properties and out-

memberships), couple (one adult and one

door adventures that run the gamut from golf to

transferable membership), and single (one

skiing and snowboarding, spas and wellness…

adult membership). Initiation fees start at

even dining and luxury hotel experiences.

$6,000 for couples and increase in five-year increments, right up to a 25-year corporate mem-

A FIRST FOR ONTARIO

bership for $49,000. Most memberships also

Billing itself as Ontario’s first ever year-round

come with transferable cards that provide the

city, country and international club, SkyLife Club

same level of access and benefits for guests ac-

offers family-orientated recreational, leisure, so-

companying you, and memberships can be

cial and travel activities and benefits through

sold or passed along.

the premier portfolio of Skyline’s destination

“Basically, you’re putting money up front for

communities and strategic alliance partner-

services you’re going to get over the next few

ships. In short, all those things you love to do

years,” says Thornton, who became a club

with your family, friends or business associates

member—along with the 20 friends he encour-

is now conveniently packaged into a single club.

aged to sign up at the same time—before be-

“The goal of the club is to get high-users of

coming SkyLife Club’s President. “If you plan on

our facilities to join and orient their whole

playing a lot of golf, or enjoy activities like ski-

leisure time to the many different components

ing or taking in some culture in the city, it really

of Skyline’s offerings,” says the amiable John

is an affordable alternative.”

PROPERTIES AND PRIVILEGES Membership in SkyLife Club is a little like belonging to a number of different clubs, all rolled into one. Members get numerous privileges and benefits (see below for examples) at the following luxury resorts and hotels in the Skyline Collection: Cosmopolitan Hotel, Toronto; Deerhurst Resort, Muskoka; Horseshoe Resort, Barrie; The King Edward Hotel, Toronto; and Pantages Hotel Toronto Centre.

SkyLife Ski • Unlimited access to Alpine ski lifts (Horseshoe), Nordic trails and equipment rentals (Horseshoe/Deerhurst) • Discounts on ski and snowboard equipment repairs and ski lessons (Horseshoe)

SkyLife Golf

Thornton, President of SkyLife Club and the

Adds Thornton: “We have to be certain that

guy responsible for building membership. “Our

everything is exactly as it’s promised. And that’s

view, essentially, is that we can give members a

my job, making people feel comfortable that

• Unlimited green fees, Valley Course and Highlands Course (Horseshoe) • Unlimited green fees, Highlands Course and Lakeside Course (Deerhurst) • Unlimited access, Highlands Course Driving Range (Horseshoe) • Unlimited access, Lakeside Course Driving Range (Deerhurst) • Free golf club and cart rental (Horseshoe/Deerhurst) • 30 day tee time booking window (Horseshoe/Deerhurst)

million excellent things to do.”

they’re getting what they’ve paid for. Even after

SkyLife Marine

they join, we have to continue to deliver that

• Free use, two-person sailing boats (Deerhurst) • One free ride per day, motorized pontoon boat (Deerhurst) • Free access, Splash Zone (Deerhurst Resort)

Thanks to Thornton and his team, a membership in SkyLife Club includes a number of unique

wow factor as we go along.”

“clubs-within-a-club” offering a variety of experi-

And deliver they do. One of Thornton’s first

ences at Skyline’s various destination properties.

tasks after joining the SkyLife Club team a year

These include golf, ski, and adventure clubs, a

ago was to ensure that the General Managers

wellness and spa club, a residential club, and the

of each of the properties in the portfolio fully

planned-for sailing and fishing club. An extensive

embraced the program in order to ensure

list of member benefits have also been created

members’ expectations were met.

that allow members to enjoy discounts and special

“We’re all working together to ensure our

privileges. These include unlimited golf at both

guests get the best possible experience,” says

Deerhurst and Horseshoe resorts (a total of four

Thornton. “Our members use their services

top courses), priority reservations, free rentals and

and are extremely frequent users of their re-

carts, as well as complimentary rounds for friends

sorts. So much so that they’ve become like a

and family; full access to Horseshoe’s ski hills and

built in focus group. They know good service,

facilities, seven days per week; three free nights

and they expect it, so we get a lot of important

per year at one of Skyline’s luxury resorts or hotels,

feedback.”

SkyLife Adventure • Unlimited access to Adventure Park activities, including snow tubing; mini golf; Ogo ride; tower climbing; Red Horse Maze; Mountain Bike Park (Horseshoe) • Discount off mountain bike rentals, Zipflyer (Horseshoe)

SkyLife Hospitality • • • •

Three free room nights 50% discount for an additional 20 nights per year Free upgrades Discount off real estate (equal to the applicable portion of initial SkyLife Club membership)

SkyLife Dine • Discounts, food and non-alcoholic beverages • Monthly food and non-alcoholic beverages credit

plus a further 20 nights at half price; and a monthly

SkyLife Club has also been made available

food allowance for use anywhere from the golf

to purchasers of Skyline’s vacation home prop-

course snack carts to martini bars and restaurants.

erties. For example, purchasers of a Legacy

General

Homesite at Deerhurst’s Sanctuary develop-

• Discounts, Shizen Spa • Unlimited access to Sports Centre exercise facilities and activities (Horseshoe/Deerhurst) • Discount, Kids Korral (Horseshoe) • SkyLife lounge (Horseshoe Resort) • Invitations to SkyLife events

FLEXIBLE FUN

ment receive free membership as an exclusive

Membership options are designed to suit any

bonus. For further details regarding SkyLife

lifestyle and recreational need. Categories

Club, visit www.skylifeclubs.com. SL

SkyLife Winter 2012 | 47


IN STYLE & ON TREND

48 | SkyLife Winter 2012


Big MINI BY BRYAN DEARSLEY | PHOTOS: KELLY HOLLINSHEAD

O

kay, I confess: I like MINIs. A lot. But even I was skeptical when MINI Georgian in Barrie invited me to take the new Countryman for a spin. (What I really wanted was to test drive the gorgeous new convertible MINI Roadster, but the sub zero temperatures put paid to that idea.) I accepted, but didn’t tell them what I had in mind to test this compact crossover’s mettle. At least, not until I’d finished. Instead of the open road, I made straight for the ski hills at Horseshoe Resort—or, to be more precise, the muddy bits the resort’s extremely accommodating maintenance guys had told me about. The Countryman also made short shrift of the gravel service roads that meandered through the trees and across countless ski runs. But it was the season’s first snows that really allowed the vehicle to show off its excellent ALL4 all-wheel drive system. The feisty little car with its 1.6 litre turbocharged engine was as nimble as a go-kart, although a lot more comfortable thanks to its rigid body structure and excellent suspension. Even a standing start pointing directly up the hill at what must have been at least a 20-degree angle—on a slippery, snow-covered section of grass, no less—didn’t faze this bighearted little vehicle. Loss of traction never happened, and I only slowed down when I ran out of slope. I learnt afterwards while reading through the manufacturer’s brochure that this was possible thanks to the Countryman’s standard Dynamic Stability Control system, a traction control feature designed to “counteract loss of grip by intervening in the engine management and applying braking force to individual wheels at front and rear as necessary.” Indeed. All I cared was that it worked, it was fun, and promised great handling in winter. SL

TEST MODEL: Cooper S Countryman ALL4 DOORS/PASSENGERS: 4/5 ENGINE: 1.6L L4 DOHC 16-valve Twin-Scroll Turbo DRIVETRAIN: All-wheel drive TRANSMISSION: 6-speed manual or automatic FUN FACTOR: Endless Test vehicles provided by MINI Georgian.

SkyLife Winter 2012 | 49


IN STYLE & ON TREND

FUELLING THE REVOLUTION GADGETS AND GIZMOS WE SOON WON’T WANT TO LIVE WITHOUT

N

BC’s dramatic new TV show, Revolution, envisions a near future where electricity and even batteries have stopped working, rendering anything with bits and bytes and a power button deader than the dodo. While the plausibility of this bucolic tech-savaged dystopia where Priuses are reduced to glorified flower beds is far fetched, the show sure makes us appreciate the veritable harvest of alternating current and lithium-ion apparatuses we tap, type, and swipe away at everyday—including newbies like these… — BY MIKE DOJC

GARMIN nüvi 3590LMT Thanks to the good folks at Garmin, never again will you be left wondering if that snow-covered road you just turned onto actually does lead somewhere. It will, because the super-skinny 5” nüvi 3590LMT comes complete with a lifetime of Digital 3D traffic and map updates, advanced lane guidance and much more, providing the most comprehensive and current navigation capabilities available. Add to the mix innovative voice-activated navigation, and you can easily control the device without ever having to take a hand off the wheel… or that coffee cup. garmin.com

NIKE Hyperdunk+ Running shoes embedded with telemetry are nothing new. The Adidas 1 first wowed sneaker-heads back in 2005 with a 20-megahertz onboard computer that auto-adjusted the sole’s cushioning to match a wearer’s pace, weight… even the terrain. Nike has also treaded in the digital toe space for a number of years now, but their latest offering is no puffed up pedometer. The Hyperdunk’s sensors measure hustle and quickness, previous x-factors that never show up on the scoreboard. Vertical leap is also tracked, perfect for chronicling your above the rim exploits for posterity. All the data wirelessly synchs with your smartphone via the Nike + Basketball app. nike.com

AlpineReplay Mobile App AlpineReplay is the hottest new ski/snowboard app to hit the hills. Available for Apple and Android platforms, this funky free app allows easy tracking on any slope, anywhere in the world. It also measures speed, distance, vertical, and calories burned… even how long you spent airborne. AlpineReplay also enables runs to be separated, information which can be reviewed immediately on the slope. Alternatively, progress can be reviewed later on the AlpineReplay website, where you can compare stats with friends, push them to Facebook… or replay the action in glorious 3D. www.alpinereplay.com

50 | SkyLife Winter 2012

SONY Cybershot RX1 Size used to matter when it came to cameras—the bigger the negative and later the chip, the higher the quality of the resulting image. The RX1 aims to quash any remaining doubts darkroom preservationist holdouts clinging to the old rules (and there still are plenty) may harbour. Billed as the world’s first compact full frame digital camera, this palm sized digital pioneer features the same full-frame image sensor found on a DSLR. Featuring a premium Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* 35mm lens, 24.3 megapixel resolution, and the ability to shoot full 1080p HD video at 24 frames per second, the RX1 is a pro quality camera on Slimfast, aimed at avid shutterbugs sick of lugging around a full bodied device yet unwilling to sacrifice clarity, colour reproduction richness, and overall image quality. sony.com SL


SkyLife Magazine | Winter 2013  

Skyline Hotels & Resorts | Winter 2013 edition

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