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THE LEGACY OF THE LINE Rediscover your passion

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ON THE COVER 80 westholme tea farm The future of tea has arrived. 71 chef michael smith Transforming cuisine on Canada’s east coast, one plate at a time.

64 Rick mercer The iconic funnyman, his life, his influences, and why we love, love, love him.

60 amazing Lake athabasca Follow publisher Dave Maciulis into the majestic Saskatchewan wilderness, and re-discover your passion for people, stories and patriotism.


STYLE 16 what to wear Look the part out on the trails this fall. 20 our favourite things We offer up six of our sharpest, gooiest, and most

delectable favourites in Canadian cheese!

28 GET DRESSED Comfort, coziness and style, with a First Nation’s flair.


DESIGN 30 CARSON ARTHUR Tips on keeping your outdoor space private, functional and stylish.


34 DESIGNER PROFILES Some of the most talented and creative landscaping minds in the country...many working in your own backyard!

40 HGTV’s PAUL LAFRANCE Looking past the storms in our lives to

gain some perspective.

42 highway of heroes Show your support for our men and women in

uniform...with trees.

49 award winning landscape pro glenn curtis Bridging the gap between fantasy and reality when planning your outdoor renovation project. 55 Embracing Winter Get out and try a new sport or hobby this season with these exciting must-do winter activities.

living 68 romance for two Plan your next weekend jaunt or extended vacation at one of our favourite B&B hotspots.


74 Warm up with whisky Our favourite Canadian Whiskies. 76 PATIO FARE Profiling unique ambiance and delicious fare at some of

the country’s finest patios.

discover 84 FUNGAL SUPERFOOD OL’s resident Shaman introduces you to Chaga. 86 OUTDOOR ART Talented craftsmen, working with the elements to produce breathtaking beauty.


Catching up with Canada’s up and coming musical talents, Robin Benedict and Jace Martin.

94 canada’s SUPER PLANT EXPERT, frankie flowers Everything you need to know about kale!

96 COMIC RELIEF It’s open season on your “favourite” politicians. 98 not so AVERAGE JOE Canada it’s time you met this guy!

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Dave Maciulis CLD

Editor IN CHIEF Tim Zwart



Creative Director+designer Susan Vogan




Kerri Kelly-Parkinson


Copy Editor Larry Boyd

Staff Writers

Lori Sweezey Glenn Curtis Brie Jarrett Peter Vogler Susan Mate Candice Klein Zack Fleming Patrick Dixon Dominic Brown


Darren Roberts Photography-Cover Ema Peter Photography McNeill Photography Zook-it Photography Phriesen Photography Kristi Brianna Boulton Nikki Jumper Melissa Thistle Sean Fenzi Lindsay Hunter, Hunter Design Shutterstock

For advertising opportunities please email: PUBLISHED BY Koru Creative Group President Dave Maciulis C.L.D Phone: 289-238-7910 Email: Outdoor Lifestyle Magazine is published twice yearly: Spring/Summer and Fall/Winter Single copy price is $8.95 Subscription Rates Canada USA 1 year (2 issues) - $17.90 1 year (2 issues) - $22.95 2 years (4 issues) - $33.95 3 years (6 issues) - $48.95

Mail payment to: Outdoor Lifestyle Magazine 14 Cross Street, Unit E Dundas, ON L9H 2R3

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Available at Chapters, Indigo, Coles, and Atlantic News Stands across Canada.

Delivered to bookstores by Disticor Magazine Distribution Services. Copyright 2015-2016 All rights reserved. Reproduction without express written consent is prohibited by law.


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contributors At Outdoor Lifestyle, we don’t just showcase national writing talent; we assemble some of the best storytellers in the country. This issue is all about inner reflection, gaining perspective and re-connecting with the simple things in life that we sometimes take for granted. We asked this group what aspect of their roots they were most proud of, and the results highlight the success of the Canadian melting pot that we call home.

Cassidy Tonkin

Reynaldo Amota

Marisa Baratta

Scott Bryk

Frankie Ferragine

Jordan Rigg

A frequent OL contributor and professionally trained culinary artist, Cassidy began her writing career in 2013 as a hobbyist. Her personal melting pot is quite vast, but the aspect she’s most proud of? “I’m proud that despite having my roots in Finland, my family and I work hard to stay connected and see each other every year. You only get one family!”



The Billingual Senior Editor for, and lover of all things veggie, this issue marks the OL debut for this soft-spoken Italian. She is patriotic to both her cultural background and The Great White North, but the aspect she is most proud of? “I love that in Canada we value peace, open-mindedness, and always respect one another!”

The ability to speak a second language. It unlocks a portion of the world for me that not everyone is privy to. Language is a beautiful thing and a strong part of my identity. It allows me to experience a whole different world and connects me to the thing that I love most. People.

The Executive Director of the Highway Of Heroes Living Tribute project, Scott has a passion for both people and the environment. A serial entrepreneur and business enthusiast, Scott is “most proud of my upbringing in Palgrave, Ontario, in the heart of the Greenbelt - playing in and learning about the environment from the ground up!


BUCKET LIST What are the top ‘to do’ items on your Canadian Bucket list?

Send OL your wish list and you could win a 1 year subcription and your story may be included in an upcoming issue! Email all entries to,

Arguably Canada’s most popular and trusted gardening expert and weatherman, Frankie is known for his ability to combine practical gardening advice with humour. He is a four-time best-selling author, husband, and father to two boys. The aspect about his roots that makes him the most proud? “My family! You can grow many things, but your family always gives you the best harvest in life!”

Oscar. de los Santos

Oscar, our resident Shaman/Medicine Man, is a proud Canadian with his roots set deeply in his Latin American culture. “I love the Latin people, the food and most of all their sense of spirituality.” He has studied and immersed himself intensely, in the cultures of many countries around the world. Lucky for us, he has chosen this country as his home base. Who would we look to for advice on all the things that only a Shaman could teach us?

Got a great idea for a future article? We’d love to hear from you! Email

We are very excited to welcome our new cartoonist and youngest contributor to OLM. This is Jordan’s first piece of published work and we are very excited for him. Who knows where this will lead?! As a proud Canadian, Jordan is very connected to his French heritage.“I love when my family gets together. I feel like these are the roots that bind us together so tightly.” Maybe he can do a big cartoon at the next family gathering!


Catching the big game in your backyard on a beautiful sunny day… Movie nights under the stars with family and friends… An outdoor TV is the centerpiece of any outdoor living space, but who wants the hassle of setting it up and taking it down every time it’s used? Completely weatherproof, SunBriteTVs are designed for permanent outdoor installation. They easily handle rain, snow, extreme temperatures, and dusty environments and have ultra-bright anti-glare screens for the ultimate outdoor viewing experience. So when it’s time to watch TV outdoors… Relax, your SunBriteTV is ready.

letter from the publisher

CONNECT TO YOUR ROOTS Every summer when I was a child, my father would take my brother and I to the pow-wows on the Six Nations Reserve. I was always so drawn to the extraordinary colourful costumes, the rhythmic dancing, and the intense beat of the drums as they reverberated in my chest. I felt so connected in those moments, although, I wasn’t quite sure what I was feeling connected to! In hindsight, Dad was providing us with a lesson in Canadian history, instilling in us the importance of respect and gratitude to the country that he’d immigrated to as a young boy. What a great gift! Although I am a big fan of “moving forward”, I do think that it is imperative that we look at our past in order to reflect. Without doing so, there is no room for learning from past mistakes, seeing what worked well, and building for the future.

It’s wonderful to know your own family history, but this is our country, and as Canadians we must know it’s history; the good, the bad, and the ugly. The sins of our fathers are carried with us daily, they don’t just disappear. We can make amends, fix what needs fixing, and move forward to make it work for all of us. My hope is that this issue of OL Magazine will ignite a passion for patriotism in all Canadians, fueling the need for connection to our roots and each other, and helping us to take an honest look at where we came from, where we are and where we are headed. Make your connections. Learn our history. And proudly pass that on. Wishing you all a great season!

Dave Maciulis, CLD

Clothing provided by

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Models: Vogue Models & Talent - Hamilton, Toronto Stylist: Sandra Krueger/Vogue Models & Talent - Hamilton, Toronto Hair & Make up: Caitlin Allen Photography: Marta Hewson 16 I

Autumn inspires us to venture in style to the trails and mountains that

surround us in hiking gear made to endure. From natural brushed cotton in your favourite plaid to high tech wicking for the serious hiker. Enjoy the splendour of this colourful season.

Emily is wearing Adidas Running performance grey/black long sleeve t-shirt; Adidas Performance grey/black tight; Under Armour, Storm 1 stay dry vest; Stella McCartney tencel print short sleeve t-shirt; Icebreaker Merino wool socks; Adidas, tech friendly Breakaway back pack; McKinley Trail Trek Poles; The North Face, Women’s Ultra Fast pack II Mide GTX hiking boot all available at Sport Check OUTDOORLIFESTYLEMAGAZINE.COM

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1 1 Chevron Throw Pillow - 2 Avera Fire Pit - 3 Combi Tealight Holder - 4 Innit Designs Acapulco Chair - Inspiration image from Photography -

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OL ONLINE IS HERE Interactive editorial, breathtaking photography, engaging profiles and insightful outdoor design advice. Take us with you...



Even the most ambitious dreams are born from humble beginnings. For John D’Ambrosio, the founder and driving force behind Brampton based Pro-Land Landscaping, it was no different. Fresh out of Humber College’s Civil Engineering Program, D’Ambrosia dove headlong into the world of landscaping as an eager 22-yearold, with little more than a pickup truck, a handful of tools, and a desire to make a name for himself. Those early days were by no means glamorous, but John quickly realized that he had found his true calling. “It was entry-level stuff – patio slabs, gardens, and rockeries. Basically, what anybody could give me. The more I did it, the more I enjoyed it. To move earth and shape the land was always something I was interested in.” Not one to shy away from a challenge, D’Ambrosio embraced 34 I

Photography by Jeff McNeill Photography

projects of increasing size and scope. Today, more than twenty-three years after that determined kid from Malton grabbed a shovel and followed his dream, Pro-Land has grown into an award-winning name in luxury landscaping across Ontario. It hasn’t been an easy road, but that is precisely what D’Ambrosio finds so exciting about crafting the ideal outdoor living space for his clients. “If you’re not having trouble, it means you’re not going after something new and exciting. If it’s becoming easy, then you’re not challenging yourself.” D’Ambrosio understands that meeting the needs of his clients requires more than the completion of a stellar product. The focus that he instills in the Pro-Land team is on providing a pleasant client experience from day one. Building a client’s

picture-perfect luxury spot is just as important as maintaining an open and courteous relationship, and D’Ambrosio values that trust and connection above all else. “Our clients love working with us because we treat everybody with respect and we love to go above and beyond. We want them to stay happy throughout the whole process.” D’Ambrosio credits much of his success to the support of his loving wife, Sonia, without whose patience and encouragement their business (and family) would not have grown. As a young man with a dump truck as his primary means of transportation, he could never have imagined a more ideal and faithful partner than her, and the life they have built together is truly a testament to the powers of love and hard work. “I’ll never back down. I’ve still got a lot of years left.” OUTDOORLIFESTYLEMAGAZINE.COM

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Going back to the Beginnings Inner reflection is never a bad thing. As I sit back and put my career into focus, I realize that a lot of things have happened since I first got into the pool game twenty-eight years ago. I’ve gone from labourer to foreman to sub-contractor to owning my own business all within that span, and as I’ve grown and expanded my knowledge and experience, so too have the advancements in my industry continued to change and evolve. I started in humble beginnings in 1988, working for a local company installing vinyl-lined pools in three days or less. The must-have options in those days were equally humble: a six-foot set of white steps, a diving board, a single light, and if you were lucky, a pool shape that wasn’t just a typical circle. Things like volume, sizing and energy efficiency were certainly not on anybody’s mind in those days, and very few pool owners had longterm project planning or maintenance in mind. As the 90’s rolled in so did the recession, and luxury home items like swimming pools took a major beating. A typical season of almost seventy installs dwindled to fewer than twenty, and the industry was quite literally taking on water (pun intended). I needed a release, a break, and some time to re-evaluate my next plan of action. I ended up finding all three halfway around the world in Australia. What started as a three to six month adventure turned into a career reboot; I was hired by a Sydney-based pool company within the first month of arriving, 50 I

and remained with them for the next six years. One detail in particular that was gaining popularity in the Australian market was something called the perimeter overflow, a technique where water and deck meet at equal heights. When executed properly, there is not a single ripple on the water, and its mirror-like reflection lends itself to a variety of backdrop visuals and features. Things like rainwater harvesting were also the rage, which gave homeowners the ability to capture and store rainwater for later use in both potable and non-potable applications. Armed with my newfound tools, I made my triumphant return back to North America, filled with promise, innovation and determination. As the years moved ahead, concepts like sustainability and the green movement gained traction, and the industry hasn’t slowed down since. Sustainability, I believe, is the single most important advancement in our industry today, and is simply a term for good design meeting sound building practices. It’s not just about incorporating all the latest and greatest products on the market into every project, but more so about starting with that first shovel in the ground, defining what is needed and building up from there.

Chris Gregory

is the Builder/Designer at Eco-Pools Inc. and is a Genesis 3 Gold Member. |

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“CUSTOM BUILT, DECKED OUT, HOME TO WIN & DISASTER DECKS” Transform any space with the help of HGTV’s Paul Lafrance. Custom Interiors, Outdoor Living Spaces and One of a Kind Furniture. HGTV is a trademark of Scripps Networks, LLC; used with permission.


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Imagine a world where you could take the best of everything and deposit it all in one centralized location. In this utopian experiment, you may find Canadian beer and maple syrup, French pastries and breads, Italian pastas and pizza, or any number of dishes that one might expect to see at a giant, global buffet. But what are the factors that make these things iconic and known the world over? Well, for starters, you have to be better at something than anybody else. Then you have to bring it to the masses. Dave Copperthwaite is a man who embodies this line of thinking. His epiphany came one day while traveling to Buffalo, NY with his daughter and her rep hockey team. A common stop during these frequent visits to the States was a little place called Frank and Teressa’s Anchor Bar, home of the original buffalo wing. The family couldn’t stop raving about the food, service and atmosphere each time they returned home. The portions were generous, the burgers were amazing, and those wings...oh, those wings were to die for. Never one to miss out on an opportunity, Copperthwaite decided that Canada needed a place like this. And so, after months of approaching and negotiating with the owners, he was finally able to acquire the exclusive franchise rights to Anchor Bar in Canada; and on October 27, 2016, he opened his flagship store in Burlington, ON. Stepping foot inside Anchor Bar is a feeling like no other. You are immediately hit with the sense that something is different here, that the place seems to operate on a level somewhere between a mainstream franchise and a small, mom-and- pop diner. You are greeted and engaged from the moment you arrive, and the unity of the staff is truly an amazing thing to behold. This isn’t one of those places where a handful of waitresses and bartenders are running around like stressed out and overworked caffeine addicts. The team is well-stocked to provide intimate

and individually-focused service, often a rarity for an establishment of this size. And once you are seated and the food starts coming, you are in for quite a treat. The calling card of Anchor Bar are their chicken wings, and they do not disappoint. Large, meaty and plump, these bad boys are shipped fresh from local Quebec farms, and are consumed at a rate of 750-800 pounds a day! Smothered in their signature sauces, still shipped in directly from Buffalo and available to purchase, sitting down to Anchor Bar wings is like kneeling to pray at the altar of Wingdom. But if wings are not your thing, don’t worry…there are plenty of other options. The Anchor Bar features a dynamic selection of pizzas (made fresh with flour imported from Italy), juicy and hearty Canadian AAA burgers, and some of the best poutine outside of Quebec. And there is no better place to enjoy your meal and the totality of the experience than on their brand new outdoor patio. Designed and built by Natural Landscape Group, Copperthwaite spared no expense in making this a unique space unlike anything you will ever see. Upon this L-shaped template every luxury and cutting-edge piece of outdoor technology was placed: there are automatic misters that kick-in when a certain temperature is reached, multiple outdoor TVs...designed to be anti-glare and to withstand the elements, beautiful custom stone and brick work, a large outdoor fireplace, space and mood lighting, and a custom made water feature that is breathtaking. Family owned and operated (Dave’s daughter, Shaina Eva, is the VP of Operations, and his son, Chandler, is the Executive Chef), they have since expanded to another location in Hamilton, ON, with plans to open twenty more stores across the country in the next five years. So get ready Canada, a storm of great food is heading your way. You’re going to need a good anchor.

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The Immune Boosting Superfood BY OSCAR DE LOS SANTOS - MEDICINE MAN


ny nature enthusiast knows the importance of making fire as a basic survival skill. Finding a resourceful way to burn embers, produce heat and cook meals was a milestone in our evolution, and like any worthwhile discovery, a certain portion of trial and error was required. Enter the discovery of a rather odd looking, but uniquely beneficial form of fungus, called Chaga. Though not much to look at, Chaga was identified rather quickly as having the ability to both readily take a spark and to make an ember, immediately catching the attention of our early ancestors. This elusive fungus grows in cold, northern climates on common White Birch trees, and has been revered for centuries across most of Siberia, Russia and parts of Asia for its medicinal benefits. Although its burnt-like outer surface is unmistakable, Chaga can be quite a challenge to find. It can appear anywhere on the side of dying White Birch trees, but is typically found on only one out of four hundred specimens. If you are indeed one of the lucky few to come across this rare treasure, then prepare your mind, body and soul for a treat. Truly an all-around, natural remedy, the exterior of the Chaga fungus is high in Betulin, a substance that has been known to arrest the growth of cancer and tumours (in some instances). The soft yellow center is high in Polysaccharides, is an autoimmune adaptogen, and is the single most powerful antioxidant on the planet, 3,500X more powerful than Vitamin C! Reaping the benefits of this potent beauty could not be easier. Simply simmering a small chunk (about the size of an ice cube), for 20 minutes, produces an entire pot of aromatic tea that is to die for. An earthy flavour with a slight vanilla undertone is the end result, and once you try it, Chaga will be a staple in your tea collection for years to come.

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oments after the sound of her voice begins to fill the air, a wave of emotion travels from the depths of your soul to the surface of your skin. It’s the voice that brings you to your knees and forces your mind’s eye to relive those really significant moments that we all experience throughout our lifetime. It’s the voice reminiscent of Janis Joplin’s rawness, mixed with the intricate and smooth sounds of Heart, but you somehow know that this is the unique voice of singer/song writer Robin Benedict. Admittedly a late bloomer to the field of performance music, Benedict seemed to underestimate the exceptional quality in her voice. With some prompting by friends and family Benedict hired herself a voice coach, fine tuned her abilities and set out to share her music with the world. Her first taste of worldwide notoriety came in the form of a viral YouTube video, when she and a friend sang their rendition of Blondie’s “Heart of Glass”, while in a car on their way to the airport. “I couldn’t believe it! Within days of posting that, we had over 2 million views! My inbox blew up with people asking where they could purchase my music. That began the ride of my life. My dreams were finally starting to take form.” That exposure was the catalyst to Benedict’s original, mind blowing Indie-Rock CD “Dance Away The Darkness”, produced by Andre Kaden-Black at the infamous Jukasa Studios in Calednonia, Ontario, and engineered by Tal Vaisman of Ascott Royals. Her fans were not the only ones to take notice of her raw talent. Some of the music industry’s most respected musicians jumped at the chance to develop Benedict. Acclaimed Canadian musicians Sean O’Grady, Duncan Coutts (Our Lady Peace), and Steve Strongman all helped to craft her record, and the result is nothing short of musical brilliance. “It was magical to witness the passion and confidence of these guys,” says Benedict. “They inspired my performance and made me feel at ease. I learned so much recording this album; they opened my mind to all sorts of future possibilities. Working with them showed me what it is to be a true professional. They were enthusiastic, well studied, and happy to be playing my music. What an honour!” There is nothing in this world that Benedict would rather be doing. Music is what breaths life into this “vocal power

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Photography by Nikki Jumper

home grown

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house.” Her life is made up of a variety of vignettes…all connected to music and performance in one way or another. She understands profoundly that music is the very thing that crosses all boundaries and connects people together, regardless of age, gender, race or religion. Her work in bringing music (and instruments) to the youth of Negril, Jamaica, is a testament to her deep-rooted belief that music not only connects the masses, but can also heal the broken spirits of the world. Give a listen to “Dance Away the Darkness”…Benedict’s entrance to the world’s music stage, and watch for her upcoming tour. Visit to join her newsletter and stay tuned!

Prepare yourself for an unparalleled golfing experience. Flamborough Hills Golf & Country Club is a pleasure for golfers of any skill level to play and enjoy. Our 27 hole golf course will challenge your game, while also providing you with a relaxing, picturesque backdrop for wonderful walk in our park. Featuring Live Entertainment on Sunday evenings throughout the year. Come join us for dinner. Relax and enjoy the view.

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