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MAY 2011

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T H E U LT I M A T E G U I D E T O D O M E S T I C B L I S S O N T H E N O R T H S H O R E

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A20 - North Shore News - Sunday, May 29, 2011 A D V E R T I S E M E N T

RENOVATEMySpace Great Canadian Landscaping Makes Neighbourhoods Grow

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One of the biggest grassroots stories to emerge in the past five years has been the development and growth of Community Garden spaces. On vacant municipal land, people in neighbourhoods across the North Shore have partnered with local government to turn unused land into flower beds and vegetable gardens, adding to the local food supply and brightening streets. North Vancouver’s Great Canadian Landscaping Company has been an eager, pioneering participant in the movement.

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“We have formed a new unique partnership between The Edible Garden Project and Park Royal Shopping Centre to help set the stage to educate North Shore children on responsible and sustainability gardening practices for today and in the future.” For their part, Great Canadian is supplying the know-how and elbow grease. “We are mainly providing knowledge and good old fashion labour. Our general manager’s mandate is to operate 100% organically and to be carbon neutral by 2013. We have 32 team members that are more than willing to assist in these community initiatives through The Great Canadian Ambassador Program where they are encouraged and rewarded for being brand ambassadors when out and about in the community.” As part of their outreach, they are working with local students.

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“We have asked for the help of North Shore Grade 5 - Grade 7 science students to help test the effectiveness of their Activated Compost Tea as an eco friendly supplement to today’s traditional lawn and garden fertilizers. The company’s in house Scientist, Martin Harcourt, is the Compost Tea Master and holds the key to the secret ingredients which he says uses only sustainable natural plant products as a base to concoct the magic brew.”

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“We have formed a new unique partnership between The Edible Garden Project and Park Royal Shopping Centre to help set the stage to educate North Shore children on responsible and sustainability gardening practices for today and in the future.”

As well as the Park Royal program, The Great Canadian Landscaping Company is working with the Edible Garden Project at North Vancouver’s Loutet Farm- a cooperative initiative between the City of North Vancouver, North Shore Neighbourhood House and the University of British Columbia- to produce a sustainable year round harvest of locally grown produce.

“Suburban Gardening this past year or two has been front page news and at the forefront for local and national media,” says Great Canadian’s Jason Black. “We feel the movement of families successfully harvesting from their own suburban backyard for themselves and the community is naturally just around the corner and through this partnership we can help get the message out about food security in our community.”

The Great Canadian Landscaping Company is a member of the Society for Organic Urban Land Care and the BC Landscape and Nursery Association. In addition our staff are also attending Gaia College in Burnaby to continue their education and promote the practice of sustainable land care.

To do so, Great Canadian Landscaping has partnered with the Park Royal Shopping Centre and the Edible Garden Project.

To find out more about how to get the Great Canadian Landscaping Company working for you, call them at 604-924-5296 or visit them online at www.greatcanadianlandscaping.com

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Sunday, May 29, 2011 - athome - A21

Home Reading

From sustainable building to making space for four-legged family members, these books will inspire and educate

The dictionary defines hybrid as “a thing made by combining two different elements.” When it comes to homebuilding, author Catherine Wanek says: “A hybrid house is a thoughtful combination of construction materials and methods, selected for resource and energy efficiency.” Strategies for hybrid home design revolve around conservation and sustainability. Insulation, orientation to the sun, natural building materials, good use of air.

movement are all aspects that come into the planning of a complete home system. There are different considerations for varying climates and Wanek presents stunning examples, from a strawbale home in New Mexico to a magnificent clay brick house in northern Italy. — TERRY PETERS

THE HYBRID HOUSE by Catherine Wanek Gibbs Smith Publishers, 144 pages, $29.95

Home improvements are a normal part of looking after your residence. But what about your dog? How does he fit into a do-it-yourself world?

Each project begins with a list of tools, materials and a cutting guide, then stepby-step instructions show you how to build it.

Author Ruth Strother provides stepby-step instructions on the creation of some fabulous projects for your pet. Doghouses, dog beds, dog training aids, even a backyard agility course with jumps, ramps, weave poles and a hoop jump.

Good quality colour photographs, wellwritten descriptions and useful tips make this an exceptional guide. — TERRY PETERS

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A22 - athome - Sunday, May 29, 2011

Renovating for Accessibility The right renovations can dramatically change quality of life for the physically disabled. Zosia Ettenberg is thinking about renovating her kitchen. She’s not worried about granite countertops or new sink fixtures, she just wants to make the whole room accessible. Ettenberg uses a powered wheelchair to get around, and that puts her arms and shoulders below the level of most kitchen fixtures. “I’m really in a bad position to wash dishes … because it’s too high for me,” Ettenberg said. For people with physical disabilities, finding the right home isn’t just a matter of haggling with sellers or landlords. There are almost always renovations that can make it easier for them to do

This full height adjustable kitchen was recently designed and installed at ICORD by Peak Interiors.

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chores that fully able-bodied people take for granted.

Ettenberg said. “You need to do your own planning,” she said.

light switches lower, to make them easier to reach.

Ettenberg is looking into getting a sink that can be lowered and raised — a recent innovation on the North American market.

While municipal governments mandate that some units in new developments be built to flex-housing or accessibility standards, that usually means a number of minor changes. It might mean having extra supports in a bathroom wall so that bars can be added later. It might mean installing wall sockets at 18 inches high, or

But it typically doesn’t include modifications such as ramps, lifts, or major changes to a kitchen or bathroom. Once disabled homeowners know what they want done, they have to find funding.

There are a hundred other renovations, from major to minor, that might be needed to make a home accessible. And those renovations are often unique to each person and their own circumstances,

The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) does provide some funding for homeowners. If their homes

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Sunday, May 29, 2011 - athome - A23

Finding contractors who have the special skills to create an accessible home is another problem.

are below a certain value, they can qualify for up to $16,000 in the Lower Mainland.

The funding from the Residential Rehabilitation Assistance Program (RRAP) is considered a form of loan, but it is forgiven over 15 years. If the homeowner sells their home before that time period, they will have to pay back a portion of the funding. “So long as they’re occupying their home, they’re fine,” said Jabeen Janmohamed of the CMHC.

A similar program called Home Adaptations for Seniors Independence provides grants for those over the age of 65 living on a low income. Finding contractors who have the special skills to create an accessible home is another problem. Ettenberg remembers the last round of renovations she made to her home. “I had five different contractors,” she said. The CMHC also asked her to get three quotes for the work, but many of the smaller home contractors didn’t want to give quotes for relatively minor jobs. A recent entrant on the accessibility renovation scene is Peak Interiors, a Vancouver-based company that has taken

a page from European innovations in the field. “Everybody thinks it’s super-expensive, but it isn’t,” said Nancy Paris, the CEO of Peak.

Her firm works with contractors to create multi-level countertops, fridges, stove ranges, and even cabinets that drop from the ceiling. “You can have a standalone sink in an island that’s height adjustable,” Paris said. It requires getting some flexible hoses, and building in a motor to the countertop. Counters can be adjusted by build in controls, by remote, or possibly even by a smartphone in the near future, Paris said.

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That type of adjustable equipment is especially useful in a home where a couple that includes one person in a wheelchair and one able-bodied person live, Paris said. It allows them to adjust sinks or counters to the level comfortable for them.

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Paris said she enjoys the work because it allows people to do more — too many disabled people are cut off from using their kitchens because they have not been designed to their needs.

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A24 - athome - Sunday, May 29, 2011

Spring Cleaning Never Looked So Good What to look for in a green home.

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Purchasing a home involves making many decisions. How many bedrooms do you need? What neighbourhood do you want to live in? Should it be previously owned, brand new or custom-built?

In addition, homeowners are investing in upgrading their homes with green features to make them more energy efficient and comfortable, as well as to increase the sales value.

Here’s one more thing to consider: is the home a “green” home? That is, does it have features that will save energy and water, reduce maintenance costs and waste, offer a healthy indoor environment and have a reduced impact on the earth?

All of this is good news for buyers who are looking for a home with a particular shade of green. Whether you’re looking at a home that is previously owned or one that is new, here are some things to consider:

With growing awareness around being green and making the right choices for the environment, it’s not surprising that more builders are constructing green homes.

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Sunday, May 29, 2011 - athome - A25

One of the best ways to reduce heat loss and gain is to ensure ceilings, walls and foundations are well-insulated and draftfree. Energy Star windows and doors will also help keep your heating and cooling costs down while improving comfort.

everything you need for living within an area where it is easy to walk, cycle or take a bus. This includes schools, shopping, jobs, recreation facilities and libraries. By spending less time in your car, you will significantly reduce your environmental footprint and save money on gas.

last up to 10 times longer than regular bulbs and use one-third of the energy.

Heating System A home with an older model heating system that operates at 65 to 75 per cent efficiency can realize significant cost savings by converting to a new energyefficient model that operates at 85 to 98 per cent efficiency. Look for heating systems that use high efficiency motors as well as reduce electricity costs. Water-efficiency Water is a precious resource. Newer front loading clothes washers can use far less water than older top loaders. They can save on water heating and clothes drying costs too. Also, ask if the home has low-or dual-flush toilets and low-flow shower and faucet fixtures. Water use can be further reduced by limiting the amount of water required to maintain lawns and gardens through the use of hardy, indigenous plants, capturing rain water for irrigation and limiting lawn area.

Durable Building Materials When a building material requires frequent repair or replacing, it becomes both an environmental and economic burden. Durable materials don’t need to be replaced or repaired as frequently and this reduces repair costs as well as the amount of resources consumed to supply the materials and the amount of material taken to landfills. Look for things like exterior siding that doesn’t need frequent painting, roofing materials built to last for 20 years or more, and moisture-resistant finishes in bathrooms and kitchens.

Hanging Baskets and Peonies

Variety Sustainable neighbourhoods offer a variety of housing options, from townhouses and condos to single family homes and can accommodate people along the full spectrum of needs and budgets.

Indoor Air Quality Choose materials and finishes that have low odour and low pollutant emissions. A ventilation system that provides fresh outdoor air and deals with moisture and odours can also help maintain a healthy indoor environment.

One way to check the nearby destinations in any neighbourhood you’re considering on your green home hunt, is to visit www. walkscore.com and enter the address of the house you’re looking at. This tool calculates a walkability score for that address based on its proximity to transit, grocery stores, schools and other amenities. This is one element of sustainability that can be compared to other neighbourhoods.

Where you live matters, too. If you’re committed to living a green and sustainable lifestyle, the location of your home can be just as important as what it’s made of. During your search, think about looking for a sustainable neighbourhood - one that will allow you to reduce your environmental footprint even further and save you more money.

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A26 - athome - Sunday, May 29, 2011

Here comes the sun . . . we hope Though the cool drizzle outside might have slowed your garden down this year, it’s almost summer and there are chores to be done.

■ This is the month for weeding and deadheading to keep your garden looking its best. Remove weeds before they can form and shed seeds.

Gardening gurus include these tasks on the list for June.

■ Finish filling hanging baskets, patio pots, window boxes and planters with flowers.

■ Keep your compost well aerated or turned for speedy decomposition. ■ Continue to thin seeded vegetable plantings. ■ Mulch rhubarb generously after harvesting stops near the end of the month. Remove any rhubarb flowerspikes that develop.

■ Plant salad crops of lettuce, radish and spinach in a lightly shaded location with cool, moist soil.

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■ Cut chive clumps down to a few inches from the ground, a small section of the clump at a time, to keep fresh, tender new growth coming along. ■ Remove dead foliage from spring-flowering bulbs.

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■ Once the warm weather finally arrives, mow the lawn high to protect the roots and crowns of the grass plants from burning. A thick, healthy lawn also makes it more difficult for weeds to take hold. During dry weather water long and deep.

The gardening tools have generally evolved from equipment made by men for men. Modifications have been made for women but often in terms of sizes and colour choices.

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Sunday, May 29, 2011 - athome - A27

Go play in the dirt Summer is all about spending time outdoors and enjoying the warm weather. Gardening is a great way for families to spend time together away from television and video games, while learning about nature and getting in some great exercise. The President’s Choice brand’s garden guru Peter Cantley, vice–president, Floral and Garden at Loblaw Companies Limited, has more than 45 years of experience. Want to help get kids excited about gardening?

Follow Peter’s simple tips for parents and soon your kids will have green thumbs of their own. Kids love getting dirty — so let them! Weeding and planting is an easy activity to get kids started. Kids can join parents in the garden by digging in the soil with a small spade and finding roots and worms. Engage little ones in the responsibility. If your child is old enough, ask them to help water the lawn or plants. If your child is really taking an interest in helping out, why not give them their own section of the garden? Watching plants grow from seeds into flowers or vegetables is not only fun for kids, but a great learning opportunity. To mark their special spot, have them make signs identifying each type of produce in their garden. Share your love of gardening with others! If the family is headed over to visit friends for Sunday night barbecue, pick some fresh tomatoes from your garden and bring them over as a thoughtful hostess gift the kids can be proud to give. Remember to have fun. Canadians only have the summer heat for a short time so make the most of it and start planting! For more tips on planning a garden and President’s Choice garden products visit pc.ca.

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A28 - athome - Sunday, May 29, 2011

Make your small space BIG accessories. Whatever you can do to reduce visual contrast will be helpful in your quest for a more spacious-feeling room.

Back in the real world, however, most people are dwelling in more realistic, average spaces. In these typical dwellings we make the best of the space we’ve got, utilizing storage techniques and decorating to reach a visually pleasing outcome.

If you have the option to do so, glass partitions of any kind will help make a space feel less enclosed.

In the realm of decorating a smaller space there are techniques that can be used to make a diminutive room appear open and airy. Many of them can be applied to your own home to make any space feel larger. A semi-monochromatic colour scheme lends itself to an open feeling. The floors and walls are all covered in the same colour and pattern. In a room without strong visual contrast, the eye wanders about the space effortlessly. Accents like dark trim, baseboards and door frames, for instance, break up the visual space and make a room feel smaller. Older homes that have enhanced decorative trim do tend to feel more compact. Painting wood trim has been a divisive strategy among decorators, but by painting out dark features such as this you can create a more open and airy space. Horizontal lines add width. They can be infused into a room through paint techniques, choice of striped linens (like a shower curtain) and even some

Strong pattern or colours in an area rug break off the visual floor space, which can make a space feel smaller. Use tones similar to the flooring around the area rug for less contrast and choose a subtle pattern (if any at all) to further support your efforts. Wall art. Pictures, paintings or any item displayed on the walls of a room have the potential to break up the visual flow. While it’s not necessary to forgo any wall art, in a smaller space it’s important to make note of the colours and contrast of the artwork and framing when choosing your pieces. How you choose to display these items can help make a difference as well. Hanging sets of three or five prints gallery style will provide the desired horizontal line while allowing you to display interesting artwork. Straight lines. Choosing contemporary or modern furniture will keep that linear feel to a small space. Similarly, window coverings that are simple and sleek further support the cause. Ruffles and floral patterns are better suited for a larger space. Other items that can help enhance your efforts are mirrors, neutral linens

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Choosing contemporary or modern furniture will keep that linear feel to a small space. Similarly, window coverings that are simple and sleek further support the cause. Ruffles and floral patterns are better suited for a larger space. Pictures, paintings or any item displayed on the walls of a room have the potential to break up the visual flow. While it’s not necessary to forgo any wall art, in a smaller space it’s important to make note of the colours and contrast of the artwork and framing when choosing your pieces.

(to cover a dark dining table for instance) clear or mirrored furniture (Urban Barn has items along these lines) symmetrical versus asymmetrical placement and good old inexpensive paint, which can be used to correct a myriad of problems.

De-clutter. Tables overflowing with magazines and piles of toys on the floor can quickly negate your efforts. De-clutter your small space as much as possible. BY CONNIE OLIVER WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

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Most people covet grand rooms with endless floor space and soaring ceilings. Spaces like this give us a sense we’re living in opulence and grandeur.

AT HOME_29May11  
AT HOME_29May11  

home and gardens in the North Shore

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