Ottawa Life Magazine Fall 2022

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LIFE MAGAZINE BUYER BEWARE: Ottawa homeowners discover they have been duped by an industry that protects their own . . . Their luxury reno’d home is a toxic deathtrap! A NightmareON HARE AVENUE Ottawa’s Arooj Boutique * Discover Quebec’s Fjord-du-Saguenay * Florida * Parenting Agreements Jews Need Not ApplyTrudeau government pays anti-semite to advise them on diversity. Jason Duffy is the king of Coopers Creative Kitchen. TÜRKIYE — a treasure trove of arts & culture.
SERVICING FINE ART We service artists, collectors, galleries and museums. Specializing in Fine Art framing, installation, crating and Conservation services. 160 Elm Street, Ottawa Ontario, Canada K1R 6N5 t: 613.232.7146 CHECK OUT OUR NEW WEBSITE! The inflatable boat that easily fits into the trunk of a hatchback. Best of all, no boat launch is required! 613-209-2573 The incredible true story of Rudolf Vrba: The first Jew to break out of Auschwitz “A powerful story of one man’s resilience in the face of extreme evil.” —Rosemary Sullivan, bestselling author of The Betrayal of Anne Frank AVAILABLE NOW WHEREVER BOOKS ARE SOLD

High praise for Ottawa author Mark Bourrie 11

Award-winning journalist and historian Mark Bourrie is an lawyer with a PHD in law. His unique experience and perspective shine through in his new book Big Men Fear Me: The Fast Life and Quick Death of Canada’s Most Powerful Media Mogul.

Arooj Boutique 15

Pakistani native Muntaha Arooj moved to Ottawa in 2018. Her love of unique embroidered fashion designs started attracting the attention of the local South Asian community and her virtual store, Arooj Boutique keeps growing!

Diversity and inclusion in the Trudeau government 18

Heritage Canada and the CRTC paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to a diversity and inclusion consultant who hates Jews. No civil servant in charge of the vetting process was fired or even held to account.

Nightmare on Hare 22

Digi Brokerage Ottawa realtors, The Spaull Brothers declare on their website they provide “a tenacious drive and uncompromising level of professionalism to ensure a successful outcome. With extensive experience in property renovations and construction in Ottawa.“ Sadly, an Ottawa couple believed them and now they are ill, out hundreds of thousands of dollars, and their ongoing nightmare is headed for the courts.

Education workers in Ontario 30 should be paid a living wage

OSSTF President Karen Littlewood says Ontario needs real investments in public education to ensure students get a robust learning experience. Littlewood calls on the Ford government to pay education workers — not teachers — but support staff such as custodians, educational assistants, clerical staff, early childhood educators, and many others a living wage.

Travel 35

If you’re anxious to recharge from post-pandemic burnout, discover Quebec’s Fjord-duSaguenay or live well at Le Livmore Montréal — a home away from home. Further afield, experience Türkiye’s Culture Route Festivals in Istanbul & Ankara, or take in all that Martin County, Miami, and Palm Beach have to offer!


Publisher’s message ................................................... 6 Best picks ...................................................................... 7 Coopers Creative Kitchen ................................... 8 Aristocrat of scent ....................................................... 9 Books 10 Ask a lawyer 29 OSSTF: Profiles ............................................................. 31 China/Canada ........................................................... 33 Travel: Livemore Montreal ........................................ 35 Travel: Türkiye .............................................................. 36 Travel: Quebec’s Fjord-du-Saguenay .................... 41 Travel: Martin County, Miami, and Palm Beach ..... 44

2022 • VOLUME 24 • NUMBER 3
41 44
15 36 22
PHOTO: @spaull_brothers

The city of Ottawa suffers from a profound lack of leadership and vision.

In January 2020, Ottawa city councillors spent days having a completely obtuse and useless debate to declare a housing and homeless emergency in the national capital. It passed after councillors agreed to strip the original motion of one word and call the situation both a ‘crisis and an emergency.’ Then they all patted themselves on the back and went home to bed. And therein lies the problem. We have elected officials obsessed with process instead of outcomes. They think having a meeting is doing something or passing a motion is an achievement. Walk down to the ByWard Market or along Elgin Street. There is no long-term or short-term plan or vision to get the hundreds of drug addicts, alcoholics, and, people in crisis who walk around in a continuous daze off the streets and into treatment so they can improve their lives. Ottawa’s ByWard Market has become a disgusting cesspool like Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, known for its high drug use, poverty, crime, mental illness, prostitution, and homelessness.

It will take a caring, committed, and visionary leader with a plan to end the shameful conditions in the heart of Ottawa that shock tourists and others, who must surely think they have stumbled onto the set of the Walking Dead instead of being just blocks from Parliament Hill. For over four decades, elected officials in Ottawa at the municipal, provincial, and federal levels have implemented a series of Kafkaesque policies that include providing free injection sites, free methadone, free syringes, and even free drugs to addicts, along with a cup of soup and a bed at night at one of the many homeless shelters in the market. This failed approach has contributed to further sucking the spiritual, mental, and physical life out of troubled souls in our city. These conditions in Ottawa -especially in the ByWard Market are truly a national and moral disgrace. Shame on all of us.

Policies that normalize or proliferate the behaviour of drug addicts in Ottawa are misguided. There is frustration and little else for those who live in and around the ‘zombie’ zone. A controversial plan approved by the city to drop a massive homeless Salvation Army to shelter on the main street in Vanier is patently ridiculous. City officials claim the “social services complex” will not have a negative impact on surrounding businesses or neighbourhoods. They are lying. They will also tell you a turkey can fly.

The hundreds of street people suffering in Ottawa need real help — we cannot and should not accept the continued normalization of this situation. Everyone deserves to live with basic dignity. Ottawa must be and can be, better than this.

What is required is a ten-year plan like the National Homelessness Strategy model implemented in Finland combined with mandatory rehab to end this crisis once and for all. Citizens must be prepared to commit over a half billion dollars to eradicate this problem over the next decade. Such a plan would require shelter, programming, and counselling to help get homeless people and drug addicts off the streets and into rehab. The plan’s expensive yet short-term financial cost will bring immense long-term benefits for the investment.

The homelessness crisis and mental health and drug dependency disaster playing out before our eyes in Ottawa exist because there is zero political leadership confronting it and demanding change. The addicts and others suffering include many displaced and homeless Inuit, Indigenous, and minority people who require intervention. The petty crime, urination, defecation, theft, and harassment that have become normalized in Ottawa as a by-product of what is, in fact a serious health crisis must end. Sadly, none of the candidates in the mayor’s race put such a plan forward. Instead, one want to borrow $250 million to build more bicycle lanes and the other wants to give the police even more money g

publisher/managing editor Dan Donovan

art director & web editor Karen Temple

social media manager Kat Walcott social media videographer Kayla Walcott

cover photo Homeowner Diane Clayton in front of her mould infested “Elegant and Sophisticated, Fully Renovated 4 Bed/3 Bath Bungalow” on Hare Avenue.

photographers Sean Sisk Photography, Karen Temple, Haley Donovan, Diane Clayton, Nika Cramer, Kat Walcott

fashion editor Alexandra Hunt accounts Joe Colas C.G.A bookkeeper Joan MacLean

contributing writers Michael Bussière, Sid Cratzbarg, Dan Donovan, Haley Donovan, Mckenzie Donovan, Chloe Hayes, Karen Littlewood, Cong Peiwu, Analise Saavedra, Paul Riley, Kat Walcott

web contributors Susan Alsembach, Reuel Amdur, Luke Barry, Adele Blair, Sofia Donato, Haley Donovan, Mckenzie Donovan, Pat Gossage, Dave Gross, Jennifer Hartley, Ryan Lythall, Owen Maxwell, Grace Mcgrenere, Kate More, Zarha Nafal, Aaron Nava, Rusel Olsen, Jane Staples, Mona Staples, Kat Walcott, Keith Whittier student intern Mila Bjelakovic

corporate advisor J. Paul Harquail, Charles Franklin

corporate counsel Paul Champagne editor in memoriam Harvey F. Chartrand

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6 OTTAWALIFE FALL 2022 publisher’s message by Dan Donovan
Ottawa does not need bike lanes and more cops, we need leadership.

Pancakes Make People Happy!

Mildred’s Temple Kitchen’s blueberry buttermilk pancakes have been making people happy for over 30 years. This holiday season you can make the special people in your life happy with Mildred’s Pancake Essentials Kit delivered right to their door. The kit includes Mrs. Biederhof’s Pancake Dry Mix, 250ml Lanark County Golden Maples Farm Organic Maple Syrup and 250ml Wild Blueberry Compote. The fixings for these perfect stacks come beautifully wrapped and gift-giving ready.

Mildred’s Temple Kitchen was founded in Toronto in 1989 by Ottawa-born Donna Dooher and Kevin Gallagher. Donna, a culinary graduate of Algonquin College, is an award-winning cookbook author and chef.

Cuisipro Herb Keeper

A smart solution for storing and extending the life of herbs. The Cuisipro Herb Keeper’s unique suspended tray system makes it easy to store and access herbs. The Herb Keeper is perfect when you wish to enjoy flavorful meals with the addition of fresh herbs. The Suspended tray holds herb bunches together to easily access required amount of herbs. For all types of herbs or asparagus. Stems are immersed in water for freshness and hydration that extends beyond refrigeration alone. Conveniently fits in most refrigerator doors. Removable tray lifts for easy draining. $33.50

You say

tomato . . . I

say MUTTI!

Did you know that not all tomatoes are the same? To help Canadians choose the right tomato for the job, MUTTI, Italy’s number one brand of canned tomatoes, has created a tomato guide. “The MUTTI Tomato Guide” breaks down different kinds of tomatoes and how to use them in the kitchen, such as using tomatoes with less seeds to avoid bitter sauces or using tomatoes with higher water content for recipes that require longer cooking.

The Simba Green Organic ‘Go’ Mattress will transform your sleep and your carbon footprint

If you want to improve your sleep and benefit the environment, Simba, Europe’s #1 trusted and award-winning sleep technology brand has the perfect solution. The Simba ‘Go’ mattress uses a 95% organic cotton cooling cover and 75% recycled anti-allergenic layer to combat dust mites. Latex is incorporated to balance airflow and pressure distribution while graphite absorbs unnecessary heat. The pocket spring base is transport-friendly which reduces its carbon footprint. This innovative and comfortable mattress is available now to transform your sleep for $2,499 from or in stores at Sleep Country & Dormez-Vous.

Glass poppy pins and brooches in remembrance to those that served

Ottawa Glass artist Grace Edward considers it an honour and privilege to make poppies for the Royal Canadian Legion who use the funds raised from the sale of the glass poppies for projects on behalf of Canadian veterans and their families. As an artist Edward has long had a love of working with glass, especially projects involving flowers and florals. November 11th is a day to be celebrated and respected. Memories and stories need to be shared. Lest we forget. Grace Edward’s poppies are available for sale through the Legion at or

Cuisipro Fat Separator

Create healthier sauces with the Cuisipro Fat Separator. The “Easy Drain” feature easily separates fat from your sauce, creating a delicious gravy your family will enjoy. Made of see-through, durable, and heat resistant Tritan material, the “Easy Drain” feature drains from the bottom, so only the fats are left behind. The Fat Separator has a 4 cup/1 L capacity, with an oversized straining basket. It is easy to disassemble, clean, and is dishwasher safe. $43

best picks


One of Ottawa’s top culinary talents, Jason Duffy knows a thing or two about creative cooking. The awardwinning chef boasts an impressive career, which spans two continents and includes some of Canada’s glitziest parties.

Currently the Executive Chef at Cooper’s Creative Kitchen, Duffy revels in the opportunity to let his creativity shine in a menu he describes as “classically playful”.

“Our menu is designed based on some of my happiest memories, and the idea that Cooper’s is the place for guests to create new memories of their own,” he says. “These new memories lead to new ideas, which is why everything is updated seasonally.”

Gaining notoriety across the capital’s culinary scene, Cooper’s is located inside the newly redesigned Embassy Hotel & Suites. Steps to Elgin Street and the banks of the Rideau Canal, its location is definitely one of its strong suits.

The location also allows Cooper’s to feature a four-season patio — heated during winter months, of course.

“When we began planning the redesign of our property, we knew that Cooper’s was an integral part of the new Embassy experience,” says Colin Morrison, General Manager at the Embassy Hotel & Suites. “Having worked with Jason in the past, I knew he was the right person to lead our Cooper’s team, both in terms of food and overall vision.”


Cooper’s menu features modern takes on classic favourites — presented with Duffy’s signature playful aesthetic. Staples like French Onion Soup are given a Canadian twist with local cheese curds and aged cheddar. Cooper’s Fish n’ Chips features fresh haddock battered in local Kichesippi beer, and local suppliers such as Le Coprin Mushrooms feature prominently throughout the menu.

With dishes ranging from the cultclassic 5-Napkin Burger to the Lamb, Chèvre and Mushroom Cannelloni, Duffy prides himself in maintaining an unpretentious, yet creatively approachable menu.

And despite a few years of industrywide challenges — complete with closures and health restrictions — Cooper’s is coming back strong, having recently introduced a rebrand of sorts. In addition to a new logo, Cooper’s has adopted the “Creative Kitchen” tagline in lieu of its former “Gastropub” connotation. This, Duffy says, was to reflect a friendlier, more approachable menu — and experience.

“Our team takes pride in being recognized as a hidden gem in Ottawa’s restaurant scene,” he says. “We love the neighbourhood vibe, and are happy that many of our neighbours have become regulars, enjoying our ever-evolving menu offerings.”

In a career that spans over two decades, Duffy counts his work with the JUNO Awards and Genie Awards as personal highlights. He also took home the silver

His passion for the industry began in his teen years in Gatineau and evolved into studying French cuisine at Montreal’s Institut de tourisme et d’hôtellerie du Québec. Jason’s studies led him to an apprenticeship in France where he learned local cuisine, creating innovative menus and, more importantly, how to run a restaurant. Upon returning to Montreal, he apprenticed at the Fairmont Queen Elizabeth prior to undertaking positions at Le Café Du Nouveau Monde and the trendy Boris Bistro.

A few years later, Jason moved back to Ottawa-Gatineau where he helped open Sterling as its sous-chef, establishing the chic steakhouse as one of the top restaurants in the region.

Following an invitation from then Executive Chef Jean-Pierre Bourghart, Jason joined the team at ARC The Hotel in 2005, rising to become its Executive Chef one year later. His passion and creativity helped establish the ARC as the region’s go-to for high-profile events. Jason later moved to the Delta Hotel in 2015, and has been at the helm of the Cooper’s team since 2017.

“The world is a different place than it was a few years ago, and it’s more important than ever to enjoy time with loved ones,” he says. “Let’s get back to enjoying time together, with a few drinks and some really good food.” g

For more information, visit

medal at the celebrated Gold Medal Plates in 2012.

What is that DDG scent you are wearing?

Ihad a blast putting together a collection of lighter and fresher takes on perfume that are a great addition to any Fragranceistas’ perfume collections. I love starting each day by spritzing a fresh, invigorating fragrance that always gets everyone’s attention with the response, “What is that beautiful scent you are wearing?” Visit Hudson Bay and Shoppers Boutiques to experience these drop-dead gorgeous (DDG), scentilicious scents and have fun finding your new signature scent!


1. Spray your clothes with perfume

Spritz perfume on your clothes. Remember, clothing fibres hold scents for a long time.

2. Spritz your fragrance

Don’t spray perfume in the air and walk through it . . . you are definitely wasting your perfume! Simply spritz a little on your skin.

3. Spray perfume on top of your ears

It sounds strange and weird, but oilier skin holds the scent, and the top of your ears is oilier than behind your ears.

4. Don’t shake your fragrance bottle

Shaking your perfume bottle allows air to infuse the fragrance and shorten its lifespan.

5. Perfume Vocabulary


The first scent you smell after applying fades quickly.


The scent that starts to develop after Top Notes fade.

BASE NOTES: The scent that stays longest on the skin.


Couturier Donna Karan founded Donna Karan New York. She has achieved fame for her incredible designs worn by Hollywood stars like Streisand, Jennifer Lopez, Angela Jolie, and Beyoncé, to name a few

The first perfume, Donna Karan for Woman, was launched in 1992. The Cashmere Mist Eau de Toilette is a beautiful warm and sensual fragrance. The floral woody musk fragrance for women has bergamot, jasmine, and cashmere wood notes. Cashmere Mist Eau De Toilette is definitely a true classic and feminine scent that all ages can wear.


I am a Bvlgari Man, I absolutely love their fragrances. When I wear Bvlgari I am always asked by people, “What is that fragrance you are wearing?” This Essence Collection fragrance is a fantastic woody scent for men, and it has been compared to Terre D’ Hermes. Terrae Eau de Parfum has a deeper and warmer aroma with a stronger earthy mood. The top notes are citron and calamansi, middle notes are vetiver and orris, with base notes of styrax.


This glamorous and feminine fragrance was introduced after the success of Alibi Eau De Parfum. The sculptured rose-coloured glass bottle, similar to the perfume edition, was inspired by the iconic Alibi bag with its gold lock clasp. This scent belongs to the Floral Musk Family and has notes of pear blossom, peach, white woods, and amber, to name a few. I absolutely love sharing this fragrance and hope you too can experience the world of Oscar De La Renta with their beautiful fragrance assortment.


Boucheron, the famous French luxury jewelry and watches house in Paris, was created by Frédéric  Boucheron in 1858. The first Boucheron fragrance was introduced in 1988. Boucheron pour Homme Eau De Parfum is a woody aromatic fragrance with notes of coriander, moss, white musk, and sandalwood. Launched in 2013, this fragrance is definitely for the man of distinction. Looking at the Boucheron bottles, you can easily see why the brand is winning awards for its exquisite designs.


I have loved wearing Jimmy Choo Man it is one of my signature fragrances, and I couldn’t wait to try this new release for men. Jimmy Choo Aqua is an aromatic aquatic fragrance developed to evoke the smell of the ocean. The flacon is housed in a glass cornflower blue bottle with the iconic Jimmy Choo crocodile top. It is a fabulous fresh fragrance suitable for all ages — start your day with a spritz or two!  This Eau de Toilette has notes of grapefruit, ocean woods, and patchouli. Jimmy Choo Aqua is a GHI (Gotta have it) scent I will add to my collection.


Bvlgari’s perfume vision is to show that each Bvlgari fragrance is an expression of luxury that captures the brand’s refinement and elegance. Bvlgari says this fragrance conjures the freshness of rosebuds. Goldea Blossom Delight is an incredible floral fragrance for women that Master Perfumer Alberto Morillas developed. It is a luxurious scent with notes of violet leaf, jasmine, rose leaf, and white musk, to name a few. This is a must-have for lovers of floral scents!

of scent by Sid Cratzbarg

From the Forest to the Sea: Emily Carr in British Columbia

Published by: Goose Lane Editions with Art Gallery of Ontario

Hardcover: $50 ISBN: 0864928696

This exceptional volume was designed to accompany an exhibition organized by the Dulwich Picture Gallery in London and the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto. It features more than 100 colour reproductions of Carr’s work, including some of her most renowned paintings, in dialogue with dozens of Indigenous artifacts from the Pacific northwest.

Generations– The Visionary Sobey Family and Their Relationship with Great Canadian Art

Hardcover: $55.00

Published by: Goose Lane Editions ISBN: 1773102680

Over three generations, Nova Scotia’s Sobey family has demonstrated their judicious and passionate commitment to Canadian art. Accompanying a major exhibition at the McMichael Canadian Art Collection and timed to coincide with the prestigious Sobey Art Reward’s 20th anniversary, Generations tells the story of a true visionary family and their engagement with Canadian and Indigenous art.


Published by: Goose Lane Editions with Art Gallery of Ontario and National Gallery of Canada

Hardcover: $45 ISBN: 9780864920171

Designed to accompany an exhibition at the Art Gallery of Ontario, Colville honours the iconic Canadian artist’s legacy and explores the continuing impact of his work on film, literature, and music. Alex Colville is a towering figure in the history of Canadian painting, known for his evocative, searingly unforgettable images. Colville worked with the contradictory genre of realism, creating paintings that while familiar and intimate, are not necessarily comforting.

Maud Lewis: Paintings for Sale

Published by: Goose Lane Editions with the McMichael Canadian Art Collection Price: $35 ISBN: 9781773101460

The vibrance of Maud Lewis’ colours and the eccentricity of her creations have won her a place as one of Canada’s most beloved folk artists. Born in 1903, Maud spent her life humbly encapsulating the enchanting, ever-changing places of rural Nova Scotia in her little cabin in Marshalltown, Nova Scotia until her death in 1970. Maud Lewis: Paintings for Sale by Sarah Milroy works to highlight what makes Maud’s artwork truly stand out, from her ability to use colours to shape a scene to the hopefulness and joy her artwork projects, even after her own life’s darker moments.

Too Dumb for Democracy?

Author: David Moscrop  Price: $15.99  Publisher: Goose Lane Editions  ISBN-10: 1773100416

Brexit. Trump. Ford Nation. What’s Going On? In Too Dumb for Democracy? political theorist David Moscrop dives deep into the why. Why do we make detrimental political decisions? Are our stone-age brains equipped for democracy in the age of social media and relentless news? Moscrop is a Canadian political theorist, podcaster, and columnist for sources such as Maclean’s Magazine and the Washington Post, known for his fearless criticism of Canadian politics and well-educated suggestions for remedy.

Published by: Goose Lane Editions with McMichael Canadian Art Collection Hardcover: $60 ISBN: 1773102052

A Like Vision is a lavish commemoration of the legacy of Tom Thompson and the Group of Seven, Canada’s canonical landscape painters. The Group’s depiction of the Canadian landscape’s rugged beauty – from the coastal mountains of British Columbia to the north shore of Lake Superior, the villages of rural Quebec, and the rocky, windswept coves of Newfoundland – urged Canadians to experience their country in a bold new light, changing the face of Canadian art forever.

A Like Vision – Appreciating and Re-evaluating the Legacy of the Group of Seven and Tom Thompson
books by Chloe Hayes

PUBLISHER: Biblioasis

ISBN-10: 1771964936 ISBN-13: 978-1771964937

NOTE: This review was first published by the Literary Review of Canada who along with the author have permitted OLM to re-publish it here.

George McCullagh walks out of archival obscurity and into modern consciousness on the dusty back roads of 1920s Ontario, where we first see him in Mark Bourrie’s remarkable and long overdue biography of one of the most consequential and least remembered Canadians of the past century. We catch an evocative glimpse of him as a young travelling subscription seller for the Toronto Globe, striding purposefully across the country byways, talking up the farmers, trying to cajole them into signing on for a publication that wasn’t as good or as interesting or as financially healthy as the Montreal Star. All this at a formative time for McCullagh and for Canada plays out in history’s rear-view mirror, so distant that there hardly breathes a soul who remembers how robust and how important the old Montreal Star was or, really, how important even a dull and dutiful paper like the old Globe could be in the life of its readers, scattered as many of them were in farm lots along Ontario’s concession roads, set out in disciplined grids of parallel lines and rigid right angles.

“Big Men Fear Me takes us back to a simpler, less complicated, and less jaded Canada; to a yeasty battle of ideas and collision of parties; and, above all, to the primacy of the newspaper.”

journos I know at the contemporary Globe and Mail, where I am a contributing columnist, have never heard of him. Largely forgotten and vanished, too, is the world he inhabited, the nation he helped shape, the fears and passions he stoked. Bourrie brings him back, puts his name into print again, and tells us a story that nobody has told before. McCullagh whom Pierre Berton dubbed the “Boy Wonder of Canadian Journalism”— is Canada’s unremembered magnate, a once dominant figure from the time that, down there across the border, Franklin Delano Roosevelt described as the era of the forgotten man.

This is a biography that also is something of a lament about a world that could toss aside the memory of a man like McCullagh, flawed and damaged as he was, and about a distant period that Bourrie describes with such texture and care. Big Men Fear Me takes us back to a simpler, less complicated, and less jaded Canada; to a yeasty battle of ideas and collision of parties; and, above all, to the primacy of the newspaper.

Today, George McCullagh who peddled and eventually would own and transform the Globe is forgotten. The

Personally, I delivered the Daily Evening Item and the Boston Evening Globe (and on many days did so while writing for

book review by David Marks Shribman

the Salem Evening News, with its image of a witch on the masthead). In my time, there still was the lingering sense that the newspaper was the poor man’s university and the wise woman’s glimpse of the world beyond the kitchen window. The paper boy (and the paper girl, too) trafficked in both commerce (those mere pennies of profit for a week’s toil of deliveries) and ideas (the ones that jumped out from under eight-column headlines, as well as those that were jammed onto the cramped editorial pages of the day). Gosh, how I miss all of that especially the newsboy colloquies at the front step, those brief front-porch exchanges on current affairs conducted through the screen door. And yes, sometimes that newsboy (George McCullagh and, I must say, me too) dreamed about covering the events that screamed across the page in sans-serif letters, set in boldface.

McCullagh eventually was hired on as a cub reporter you don’t hear that phrase much these days, it having vanished as if it had been written in disappearing ink and he discovered that life as a cub was granular, not a bit glamorous. But in his day, as in mine, it was freighted with possibility: that an enterprising cub might happen upon a triple homicide in his neighbourhood or a triple play in the local ball league or that the city editor might need to hire someone anyone! after the newsroom drunk fell down the stairs to his sad but unlamented death. How about that cubbie right over there? And so you’ll find some romance in these pages. Actually, this book holds a ton of romance at least for us ink-stained wretches who still have glue pots on our desks, grease pencils in our top drawers, and print copies of the local paper dropped at our doors (or, just as often, thrown in our bushes).

George McCullagh may have been, as Bourrie puts it, “the most powerful and dynamic man in Canadian publishing,” but he was also an outsider, even by newspaper standards. He did, however, possess two advantages that spoke of the time and of the Toronto of his era: he wasn’t Catholic, and he wasn’t Jewish. He soon drifted into business reporting, a fortuitous development, for then as now, to paraphrase the American president Calvin Coolidge, the business of Toronto was business. Our (besmirched) hero had a gift for gab, he was good company, and he became a skilled raconteur. “McCullagh was a man who had empathy, and understood human emotions because his own caused him so much pain,” Bourrie writes.

it. He began working as a stockbroker, and before long he was a force in financial as well as in Liberal circles, even though the overlap in the Venn diagram of the set theory of Toronto in the first half of the twentieth century was slender indeed. A seat on the University of Toronto board of governors helped to paper over his lack of a university degree or even a high school certificate. In time, he would make up for failing to acquire a diploma by acquiring the Globe, and he set out to give it respectability and reliability, two attributes that he might not have possessed in surfeit himself but that he reinforced after acquiring, in 1936, the Mail and Empire also (hence today’s masthead). He purged the old guard, and you would have thought the world had come to an end he sanctioned the appearance not only of horse racing results but also of advertisements for cigarettes and liquor: all this in a paper he hoped one day would dominate a Tory city known as Toronto the Good, a description that almost always was followed by the sobriquet “the town that fun forgot.”

“McCullagh was an outsider, even by newspaper standards.” “With cash to spend on the best executives and journalists, with job security for these people, many of whom had taken pay cuts and lived in the shadow of layoffs for the past six years,” Bourrie explains, “he would buy loyalty and productivity.” McCullagh also had bought himself a seat at Canada’s high table.

“In time, he (McCullagh ) would make up for failing to acquire a diploma by acquiring the Globe, and he set out to give it respectability and reliability, two attributes that he might not have possessed in surfeit himself. ”

Soon the merged Globe and Mail was in its ascendancy, its reporters chasing stories across the border and around the world, its pages full of Wallis Simpson and the Dionne quintuplets, the Hindenburg disaster and the ominous stirrings of war in Europe. Before long, the entire operation took up its glittery new headquarters at the corner of King and York Streets in downtown Toronto.

The origin of that pain: he suffered from depression, almost certainly experienced bipolar disorder, and had, as the news euphemism of the time put it, a fondness for the grape. In short order, he was unemployed, for he also had the very bad luck of being a drunk on a paper owned by a devout follower of the prohibitionists’ creed.

But there always was a but with George McCullagh the man who once covered business realized he had a real gift for

Of course, not everyone celebrated the Globe and Mail or luxuriated in McCullagh’s practices, pretenses, and peculiar pet projects. William Lyon Mackenzie King, for one, worried that McCullagh had a streak of the fascist to him, and the Liberal prime minister probably was not entirely wrong. Organized labour also came to despise him for good reason. McCullagh and Joseph Atkinson, the legendary leader of the Toronto Star, conducted a decades-long range war that did not end when Holy Joe died in 1948: in a distasteful vendetta, McCullagh and his holdings continued the battle by questioning the tax status of the foundation that Atkinson created for the Star ’s continued operation. (Later, McCullagh moaned about how Ottawa treated the Star Weekly as a magazine rather than a newspaper, a status that rendered it exempt from sales taxes.) McCullagh’s critics felt he was too close to mining interests and power executives, which of course he was. And like all press lords, he surely had too many powerful friends, including, for a time, Mitch Hepburn, the Liberal premier from 1934 to 1942. Together, Hepburn and McCullagh conspired in 1937 to make Ontario a one-party


province, the goal being, as Bourrie puts it, to do away with “the nuisance of parliamentary democracy.” He continues:

“Other provinces, such as Quebec and Alberta, had already elected quasi-fascist regimes that used brute force and lawyers to cripple their opponents. But Ontario was the only province where political leaders actually made a deal to kill Westminster-style parliamentary democracy. McCullagh and supporters of his scheme wanted a regime that got rid of what the Globe and Mail sneeringly called “partisanship” but the rest of us would call “democratic debate.”

After several weeks, the Toronto Star exposed the plot, and Arthur Meighen, still a Conservative force though no longer prime minister, essentially killed it.

Later, McCullagh fell in with George Drew, who led Ontario from 1943 to 1948 and who reigned as head of the national Progressive Conservative Party from 1948 to 1956. The two championed the Leadership League, which pressed for tax cuts and governmental reform. But the entire undertaking was a populist flop that enhanced the reputation of no one. McCullagh’s thoroughbred Archworth did better, winning the 1939 King’s Plate as well as the Breeders’ Stakes and the Prince of Wales Stakes. Perhaps his owner took solace in the notion that horse racing was the sport of kings, one grandstand where he could best Mackenzie King.

McCullagh can be credited for fighting press censorship during the Second World War and for crusading for better procurement practices during the early years of the conflict, though Bourrie points out that much of his paper’s journalism was “jingoistic” and could be biased against Catholics and French Canadians. Even so, McCullagh can be praised for offering cottages in Port Dover, Ontario, to Globe employees who otherwise couldn’t afford a proper family holiday and for trying to resuscitate and improve the Toronto Telegram, though under his leadership its support for George Drew, in his unsuccessful battle against Louis St-Laurent’s Liberals, is a shameful example of press overreach. “The Telegram came out of the election looking ridiculous,” Bourrie writes.

From madness to man of mystery, McCullagh is in some ways Canada’s analogue to America’s Phil Graham, the Washington Post publisher who was just forty-eight when he died. Both fought debilitating depression, both sought solace in drink, both had inappropriately close relationships with politicians they would have done better to keep at arm’s length.”

that he is dead’ about George McCullagh. The world must be a terrible place for a man with melancholia akin to madness.”

By 1951, McCullagh was broken morally, politically, and medically. He was depressed and drowning in woes. A year later, at the age of forty-seven, he was dead. The reports of his death were exaggerated only in the method of his demise: It wasn’t a heart attack that killed him, as the press bellowed. It was his own hand. The next day, Brendan Bracken, a confidant of Winston Churchill and the founder of the Financial Times, wrote to Lord Beaverbrook: “I suppose it is right to use the platitude ‘it is better for him

From madness to man of mystery, McCullagh is in some ways Canada’s analogue to America’s Phil Graham, the Washington Post publisher who was just forty-eight when he died. Both fought debilitating depression, both sought solace in drink, both had inappropriately close relationships with politicians they would have done better to keep at arm’s length (Graham’s dalliance was with John F. Kennedy). And both died by suicide. Graham today is dimly remembered, and McCullagh is celebrated by nobody. Bourrie toiled for years to resurrect him, but, I’m glad to say, he did not wipe away the carbuncles, boils, and blisters. His portrait of a man who once was among Canada’s most powerful figures is, to choose two apt terms, both melancholy and masterly. George McCullagh: perhaps forgotten yet, in his way, unforgettable g

David Marks Shribman is the former executive editor of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

“The Charming Taste of Europe” supports European Film Festival in Canada

The EU-funded promotional campaign “The Charming Taste of Europe” once again sponsors the European Film Festival in Canada.

The Charming Taste of Europe is a promotional campaign that introduces exquisite items to the United States and Canada, such as Italian and French wine and fresh fruit from Greece, that showcase all of Europe’s charm, beauty, culture, history, art, heritage, and unmistakable tastes.

The mission of The Charming taste of Europe, co-funded by the European Union, is to increase awareness of the merits and quality standards of select European wines and fresh fruits with promotional activities in the competitive markets of the United States of America and Canada.

The Charming Taste of Europe project is promoted by the Consortium for the Protection of Wines of Abruzzo, the Union of Agricultural Cooperatives of Kavala (Kavala COOP), Agricultural Cooperative of Rachi Pieria “AGIOS LOUKAS,” and the Union of Sweet Bordeaux Wines. These European agricultural products, famous around the world for their outstanding properties, will continue to promote with initiatives and events dedicated to consumers, journalists and professionals. Through the superb high quality Italian wines, the juicy kiwis and cherries from Greece, and the melodious French golden wines produced with the artistry of agricultural traditions, this campaign will awaken the senses and a new culinary consciousness by connecting food, cultures, and territories and will undoubtedly bring European charm into the lives of many.

In an effort to support its initiatives, “The Charming Taste of Europe” is a major sponsor of the European Film Festival in Canada. EUFF draws the best films from the European Union to Canada, engaging 27 Consulates and Cultural Institutes in collaboration. Driven by excellence since it was founded, the festival has thrived by showcasing hidden gem and award-winning films to the great delight of Canadian audiences.

This year’s edition of the EUFF features films from participating EU countries: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden.

In addition, the campaign is hosting a wine-reception at Spadina Theatre - Alliance Française de Toronto, just before (7:45pm - 8:15pm) the screening of the Italian film “Diabolik”.

As a Major Sponsor of the event, “The Charming Taste of Europe ‘’ will gain awareness through the European Film Festival’s promotional material and a special posts on the festival’s social media. With its participation in the European Film Festival, “The Charming Taste of Europe’’ will consolidate its support to the European initiatives in the Canadian market, because of the outreach the audience provides in regards to specific demographics of interest.

Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the European Research Executive Agency (REA). Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.


Arooj Boutique

Muntaha Arooj is an Ottawa fashion designer. She collaborates with independent female tailors with small homebased businesses in Pakistan where her creations are produced.

Her clothes are modern and contemporary, yet retain a traditional vibe. Whether you are shopping for a South Asian dress, attending a Pakistani or Indian wedding, or celebrating Eid, Diwali, or similar occasions, Arooj has a unique piece for you.

Whether it is Phulkari, Gota, Sindhi, or Blochi tanka, Ajrak, cross stitch or others, her embroideries are completed by hand or machine, depending on the design complexity.

Most pieces are traditional Pakistani and Indian suits, known as Shalwar Kameez which are always accompanied with a Dupatta (a scarf). They are made from all types of fabric. For winter months, the most common materials are linen, khaddar, and karandi.

Arooj fashions are sized for late teens and adults, but for extraspecial events, she has designs for children.

Arooj designs have become so popular that she is building an e-commerce platform. For now, visit Arooj Boutique on Facebook.

15 OTTAWALIFE FALL 2022 fashion
PHOTOS: Sean Sisk Photography MAKEUP: Corey J Stone MODEL: Nadia

ABOVE: Muntaha Arooj continually creates new designs. Her customers return knowing they will always get something new and unique.



Arooj Boutique


Why Jewish people in Canada should fear the Trudeau government

Earlier in my career, I proudly worked for the Opposition Liberals under John Turner and later in the Liberal government of Jean Chretien. They were true Liberals—principled, informed, competent, and aware of history. The Chretien government, like the Mulrone y government before it and the Harper government that came after, were sensitive towards Canada’s small but strong Jewish communities and always had their antennae up to ensure spiteful, hateful anti-Semite agendas were kept at bay. Usually, if they reared their ugly head, it was by stealth. Not anymore. Over the past six years, under the stewardship of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, incidents of antisemitism have seen a disturbing increase in the public and government domain.

According to a report released this month by Statistics Canada, Canada’s 380,000 Jews were the most targeted religious minority for hate crimes reported to police in 2021. The report says that the Jewish community comprises about 1 percent of the population yet were victims of 14 percent of reported hate crimes. Further, Jews saw a 47 percent rise in reported hate crimes compared to 2020, according to the bureau. “We are deeply concerned that incidents of hate crimes rose yet again in Canada in 2021,” said Shimon Koffler Fogel, head of the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs. “This disturbing trend clearly proves the need for more proactive measures to stop the rising hate targeting diverse Canadians based on their identity.” Only Black

politics by Dan Donovan An anti-semitic fifth column has embedded itself in Trudeau’s caucus and in Canada’s civil service.

Canadians, who make up about 3.5 percent of the country’s population, reported more hate crimes. Overall, 1.3 Canadian Jews in every 1,000 reported being victims of hate crime in 2021. “Statistically, Canadian Jews were more than ten times more likely than any other Canadian religious minority to report being the target of hate crime,” Fogel said. “This is alarming.”

In 2020, the Green Party of Canada committed political suicide when it showed its true colours and prejudiced leanings by disposing of party leader Annamie Paul, a racialized Jewish woman, when she called for a deescalation of violence when Hamas and Palestinian militants in the Gaza strip fired rockets into Israel. Israel fired back and defended itself. A group of breathtakingly ignorant, antisemitic, and racist party members was apoplectic that Paul didn’t condemn Israel and declare it an apartheid state and went on to force Annamie out.

In doing so, they suffocated the credibility the Greens had with Canadian voters and led them to a disastrous defeat in the 2021 election. Paradoxically, Paul performed best in the national leader’s debate in that election, but it was too late.

Ironically, New Brunswick MP Jenica Atwin, the only Green MP from West of British Columbia, crossed the floor over the incident and joined the Liberal party because she said she was uncomfortable with Annamie Paul’s reaction to the Israel-Palestine conflict. The stench of hypocrisy and intellectual dishonesty in Atwin’s move still lingers, but Atwin still found a comfortable home for her views in the Liberal caucus.

At the time, she suggested her crossing the floor to the Liberals was a direct result of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict saying Paul’s call for de-escalation and a return to dialogue between the two was “totally inadequate.” On May 11, 2021, Atwin tweeted, “I stand with Palestine and condemn the unthinkable airstrikes in Gaza. End apartheid!” She too, of course, conveniently left out the facts — a key one being that the Israelis were responding to unprovoked missile

attacks launched by the Palestinians on their country.

In August Canada’s representative to the Palestinian Authority, Robin Wettlaufer, was posting tweets (since deleted) praising Palestinian official and convicted criminal Jibril Rajoub. The tweets showed both sitting on chairs with a Palestinian flag in between them with a picture of a young Yasser Arafat, the former leader of the Palestinian Authority, in the background. The tweet said, “fascinating discussion” about regional politics and described Rajoub as a “great friend of Canada.”

match in a stadium in Jerusalem.

Conservative MP Melissa Lantsman directed Wettlaufer’s remarks on the matter to Global Affairs Minister Melanie Joly — noting that “Jibril Rajoub has been convicted of committing multiple terrorist attacks. He uses sports to incite hatred and that FIFA agrees. A great friend? Will you denounce this?” she asked.

Joly, of course, was silent. One would think Joly would be at least sensitive to the issue, given that she was the Minister of Canadian Heritage in

“A big part of the false narrative taught in humanities and sociology departments at Canadian universities for over two decades is that Israel is an apartheid state, the Jews are not victims and, in fact, are to blame for the problems in Palestine are the sole reason why there is no nation called Palestine.”

Rajoub is chairman of the Palestine Olympic Committee and a former head of the Palestinian Preventive Security Force. He has a well-documented history of inciting violence toward Israel. He was sentenced to life in prison in 1970 after being convicted of throwing a grenade at Israel Defense Forces but was freed 15 years later in a prisoner exchange. Rajoub was rearrested several times after his release for militant activities before becoming a national security advisor to Arafat.

In 2013, Rajoub told the Hezbollahaffiliated television network Al Mayadeen that the Palestinian Authority would use nuclear weapons against Israel if it possessed them, saying, “I swear that if we had a nuke, we’d have used it this very morning.” Then, in 2018, he was suspended and fined by the FIFA disciplinary board for inciting hate and violence by calling on soccer fans to burn jerseys and pictures of Argentinian soccer player Lionel Messi ahead of his national team’s expected

2017 when Canada unveiled a new Holocaust Memorial in Ottawa. At the time, officials at Canadian Heritage deliberately, by omission, ignorance, or sheer stupidity, did not mention the word Jews, antisemitism, or the six million Jews who were murdered in the Holocaust on the plaque commissioned for the monument. Instead, Joly and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau unveiled a plaque that said the site honoured “the millions of men, women, and children murdered during the Holocaust. Public outcry caused the plaque to be revised.

Oddly, just a year earlier, in 2016, Trudeau and his officials made a similar gaffe when he issued a statement on International Holocaust Memorial Day about hate and failed to mention Jews. Instead, Trudeau said, “The Holocaust is a stark reminder of the dangers and risks of allowing hate, prejudice, and discrimination to spread unchallenged.”

One must wonder why this keeps repeating itself and how the word Jew or


Jewish or six million deaths is omitted. And therein lies the problem. The willing ignorance of Canadian officials, ambassadors, and civil servants when it comes to recognizing antisemitism, even when it sits right in front of them. It speaks to the credibility, qualifications, knowledge, and education of staff employed in key offices in the federal public service.

“Jibril Rajoub’s record speaks for itself, and he is certainly no friend to Canada,” says Shimon Fogel. His comments were echoed by Marvin Rotrand, national director of B’nai Brith Canada’s League for Human Rights, who said

fact, are to blame for the problems in Palestine and are the sole reason why there is no nation called Palestine. Sadly, we now have a generation of graduates who were sold on this bogus tripe instead of being taught real history, who are now employed in the federal civil service. This fictitious, subtle, and racist line of thinking has been oozing its way into public policy since 2015 and is disturbingly prevalent in the Liberal caucus with MPs and their staff

That this is happening at all should worry every Jewish person in Canada. It proves the point that ‘the left’ in Canada has elements in it that are as racist and

“You know all those loud-mouthed bags of human feces, aka the Jewish White Supremacists; when we liberate Palestine, and they have to go back to where they come from, they will return to being low voiced bitches of [their] Christian/ Secular White Supremacist Masters.”

— Laith Marouf, Community Media Advocacy Centre (CMAC)

he assumes that the quick deletion of the problematic tweet “indicates that someone spotted it and alerted (Robin Wettlaufer) to Mr. Rajoub’s history.”

The gas in the tank for anti-Semites in Canada is partially fuelled by the Trudeau government’s obsession with identity politics where everyone is a victim, except the Jews. This line of thinking deliberately suppresses historical facts that don’t marry with the ideological Marxist narrative postulated by many left-leaning tenured professors at Canadian universities. Like many Green Party members who attacked and disposed of Annamie Paul, they appear antisemitic and seem to loathe both the Jewish people and the State of Israel.

A big part of the false narrative taught in humanities and sociology departments at Canadian universities for over two decades is that Israel is an apartheid state, the Jews are not victims and, in

ignorant as the people on the right of the spectrum, who they are often quick to accuse of being prejudiced, and who they smugly attack when their views do not align with their own ideological positions.

Ironically, The Trudeau government has set up diversity and inclusion offices in every department and even has a Minister of ‘Diversity.’ These offices are stacked with left-wing ideologues who see a victim around every corner . . . . unless you are Jewish. If you are Jewish, then you are part of the problem. So it should come as no surprise that the same Canadian Heritage department who could not figure out that the words Jew, or Jewish, or six-million murdered Jews should appear on a plaque at the Holocaust Memorial for Canada would be the same oxygen-deprived brain trust of ‘civil servants’ running ‘diversity programs’ who saw fit to award an overtly racist organization called the

Community Media Advocacy Centre (CMAC) who call for violence in dealing with Jewish people, a $133,800 Department of Canadian Heritage grant to build an anti-racism strategy for Canadian broadcasting.

The CMAC has two partners/owners, the husband-and-wife team of Laith Marouf and Dr. Gretchen King-Marouf. Officials at Canadian Heritage were so enthralled and besotted with them that they did not bother to even Google name search them in the vetting process. They would have easily learned that Laith Marouf has a long history of hate-filled social-media posts, including: “I have a motto: Life is too short for shoes with laces or for entertaining Jewish white supremacists with anything but a bullet to the head.” Marouf’s wife Gretchen has a Ph.D. in ‘Communications’ and claims numerous multimedia initiatives, including “Radio Free Palestine,” an international, twenty-four-hour radio broadcast that marks the anniversary of the Palestinian Nakba. She lives in Lebanon, but both she and her hubby have been spectacularly successful in sucking the hind teat of the Canadian government contract process to provide their ‘diversity expertise’ for work with the CRTC who have awarded them upwards of $500,000 since 2016, according to data compiled by telecoms consultant Mark Goldberg.

Apparently, no one at the CRTC, which regulates Canada’s telecoms, knows how to do a Google search. If they did, they surely would have seen this little gem of a tweet from the self-described antiracist diversity expert Laith Marouf: “You know all those loud-mouthed bags of human feces, aka the Jewish White Supremacists; when we liberate Palestine, and they have to go back to where they come from, they will return to being low voiced bitches of [their] Christian/Secular White Supremacist Masters.” Oh, yes and did I mention that according to Goldberg, Marouf’s partner/wife Gretchen King-Marouf has received at least one taxpayerfunded SSHRC “scholarship” grant.

Former Chretien and Martin Liberal government Minister and human rights champion Irwin Cotler pointed out


that “over 100 of Laith Marouf’s posts have been compiled with these hateful, bigoted comments that target not only Jews, whom he referred to as ‘loud mouthed bags of human feces,’ ‘but also Francophones, and former U.S. Secretary of State, Colin Powell, whom he described as a ‘Jamaican house-slave’ and rejoiced at his death.”

Prime Minister Trudeau’s Minister of Diversity, Inclusion, and Youth of Canada, Ahmed Hussen, gave off the pretense of being astonished to learn that Heritage Canada’s Anti-Racism Secretariat awarded a huge sum of money to a racist antisemite. With feigned outrage, he committed that the CMAC would be contacted to determine how ‘it’ came to hire Laith Marouf. DUH. The CMAC is a twoperson operation composed of Marouf and his wife. Another example of the adage, you can’t fix stupid.

The only question Hussen should have been asking if he had an ounce of genuine concern about antisemitism in his department would be to inquire how this happened, what steps officials had taken to get the money back, and who – specifically who – in his department reviewed the application when they applied, who vetted it, and who approved it. Then, he would have ensured those people were removed from the file, demoted, re-trained, or fired. And I say ‘people’ because, with these types of programs, there is always more than one person involved in the approval process.

None of that happened because we have since learned that Hussen was warned about the Laith Marouf (CMAC) application and his disturbing antisemitic tweets by no less than a fellow Liberal MP, Anthony Housefather. Hussen and the department initially ignored Housefather’s concerns until the media started reporting them. If that is true, then given the content of the tweets, Hussen should resign. But of course, that will not happen because Housefather, like most backbenchers in the Liberal government caucus, has no influence, and is usually perfectly comfortable in being ignored until he needs to show up to vote on things . .

.  like funding for Heritage Canada’s Anti-Racism Secretariat.

The troubling problem of Liberal MPs obsessed with identity politics was magnified further over the CMAC funding when Chris Bittle, parliamentary secretary to Canadian Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez, went to Stupidville in a Twitter exchange and suggested that University of Ottawa professor Michael Geist, a descendent of Holocaust survivors, was motivated by racism in criticizing how Rodriguez and the Trudeau government handled the hiring of Laith Marouf as an anti-racism expert, despite years of

conduct and colour. Identity politics will do that to a person. Sadly, we have come to a point in Canada that when the Canadian government wrongly funds anti-Semitics who condone violence and are then called out for it by the very Jewish Canadians being targeted, the government minister does nothing to hold officials to account, and his parliamentary secretary has the temerity to suggest the Jewish person complaining is a racist.

Michael Geist is an exceptional lawyer and brilliant academic. Among his many honours and achievements, he was listed globally as one of the

“Sadly, we have come to a point in Canada that when the Canadian government wrongly funds anti-Semitics who condone violence and are then called out for it by the very Jewish Canadians being targeted, the government minister does nothing to hold officials to account, and his parliamentary secretary has the temerity to suggest the Jewish person complaining is a racist.”

Marouf publicly smearing Jews and other minorities.

Incredulously, Bittle suggested Geist was only being critical because Diversity Minister Ahmed Hussen is Black. Bittle accused Geist of “deliberately misleading your followers,” suggesting he was “blinded by hate for Pablo,” then asked if it was “because the minister responsible looks like this,” posting a picture of Hussen under his comment. Geist responded: “I’m the grandson of Holocaust survivors who thinks it shouldn’t be too much to ask the Heritage Minister to say something — anything — about officials in his department funding an antisemite despite multiple warnings. Instead, the Parliamentary Secretary suggests I’m racist.”

Biddle’s obtuseness is such that he cannot tell the difference between

top fifty influential people regarding intellectual property globally, and Canadian Lawyer has named him one of the 25 most influential lawyers in Canada on three separate occasions. Geist is widely known and highly respected in Ottawa and beyond for his contributions to the law, academia, and public policy. That he is accused of being a racist by a pipsqueak Liberal MP for calling out the Trudeau government minions responsible for funding a genuine racist and antisemite who has proudly tweeted, “I have a motto: Life is too short for shoes with laces or for entertaining Jewish white supremacists with anything but a bullet to the head” is beyond outrageous. It’s disgusting.

Jews in Canada should be very worried and very afraid of the Trudeau government. If they will go after Michael Geist, you may be next g




PUBLISHER’S NOTE: OLM contacted the Spaull Brothers of Digi Brokerage, Digi Brokerage CEO Jeffrey Mziray, and REMAX agent Julie Whittaker to respond to every issue raised in this article, but the request was turned down by all parties.

It read like a dream come true. “Elegant and Sophisticated, Fully Renovated 4 Bed/3 Bath Bungalow on Oversized Lot (64x129), Located in Prestigious Glabar Park. This Professionally Designed home boasts a stunning chefs kitchen w/ custom cabinetry, New Jenn Air appliances, and quartz countertops w/ marbled backsplash”….and on and on. Diane Clayton and her husband must have felt like the luckiest homebuyers in town, that was until all housing hell broke loose.

The couple owned a recently-built, stylish semi-detached in Westboro. In 2021, they decided to look in the vicinity of that neighbourhood for a home that would make for a pleasant, long-term home that could also accommodate Larouche meeting clients at home. A den off of the foyer, a nanny suite with a separate entrance, or even a large lot with space for a coach house would do the trick. There was nothing extravagant about their requirements, so the anticipation was that, even in a sellers market, there would be abundant inventory to fulfil their needs.

No doubt you’ve seen those reassuring ads touting the advantages of engaging a qualified, professional realtor versus one of those sell-it-yourself online services that undercut the commission fee. The benefits, expertise, and commitment of realtors in this province are outlined by the Ontario Real Estate Association, whose first general obligation outlined in its Duties to Clients and Customers states that its members must: “1. Exercise care and skill: have the requisite knowledge and skills; provide complete and accurate information; recommend relevant experts, where applicable.” And so, based on a referral from another agent on the Quebec side, the couple engaged the services of Julie Whittaker of REMAX.

Pricing anything in a free market is a gamble, especially something with as many variables and as much personal meaning as a house. There are professional home stagers who know that a Pepé Le Pew cookie jar and the aroma of coffee brewing all add to the ambience of what might become home. Air conditioning adds value

buyer beware by Michael Bussière Diane Clayton and her husband are going a through a living hell after purchasing an “Elegant and Sophisticated, Fully Renovated,” home. PHOTO: OLM STAFF

during an open house in July, but in February it’s just a technicality. Some people may love the idea of a wood stove, while others may find it a dusty pain that pumps carbon into the atmosphere. Savvy realtors may list a house below market value to stir up a bidding war fuelled by adversarial instinct and the gratification of victory. It’s all very intuitive, but buyers and sellers place their trust in their realtor’s rational expertise to calculate value based on comparable properties and other factors.

At her introductory meeting with Diane and Pierre on October 4, Whittaker allegedly recommended a list price for their Westboro home (four bedroom, three-and-a-half bath, custom build) of $1,595,000. This number came as a shock to the couple after another realtor gave them a valuation of $1,160,000 only six months earlier. They had purchased the property for $870,000 in 2015. Whittaker had supposedly used standard practices to determine that hers was the price to go for based on comparable neighbourhood listings. Diane and Pierre have since pulled those comparables themselves and of the four Westboro semi-detached homes they found to be sold in the ten months prior, the top sale price was only $1,389,000 for a unit much larger and newer than theirs. In those early days though, they still trusted Whittaker’s expertise, and so calculated their maximum new

home budget based on keeping their current mortgage the same and at least $100,000 in net gains to renovate or build a coach house in order to accommodate Pierre’s home office: $1,595,000 – 5% commission –$3,000 legal fees – $2,000 movers –$100,000 profit = $1,410,250.

A week later the couple spotted on the “Elegant and Sophisticated, Fully Renovated 4/ Bed 3 Bath Bungalow” located on Hare Avenue in the Glabar Park neighbourhood. The details were spot on with their must-have list, as was the current asking price of $1,374,900 that even left them with some pocket change after the land transfer tax. With winter approaching and the thought of losing out on this perfectfor-them home, Whittaker allegedly recommended listing their Westboro property as quickly as possible with only five days of showings at a price point intended to incite a bidding war: $999,000. Once again this number came as a shock to the couple. They repeatedly asked whether she’d ever seen a bidding war go more than half a million over the list price and received no clear reply, only urgings to proceed.

On October 22, Whittaker allegedly presented multiple purchase offers with the highest being $1,325,000, well below the expectation and bottom line. Furthermore, several lower offers came in near or below the asking price of $1,160,000 recommended six months

earlier. “At that point, we couldn’t figure out why Julie was presenting such low offers that came nowhere near what she knew we needed. It was like an anvil had landed on my head,” Diane recalled. “I knew that we were not getting that new house and we felt it was just time to pull ours off the market because the reality was just so far off.” So much for bungalow sophistication.

With Hare Avenue now out of reach and the Westboro buyer unwilling to increase the offer, Clayton and Larouche instructed Whittaker to remove their home from the market. The next day, October 23, the buyer’s realtor contacted Whittaker with an offer increased to $1,400,000 with the condition that it come furnished at a value of $18,500. That left $1,381,500 for the property itself, furniture that needed to be replaced and a final sale price more than $200,000 short of Whittaker’s alleged expectation.

On October 28, Whittaker reduced both parts of her commission (representing the couple as both sellers and buyers). The couple allege that, while Whittaker did not specifically discourage a home inspection, she did allegedly strongly recommend making an offer on Hare Avenue with no preconditions to secure the purchase from owner Christopher Spaull and listing realtor and brother Michael Spaull, who had no other offers in hand. Following negotiations, Spaull accepted the couple’s offer of $1,293,000 with a quick closing date of November 30.

This page was removed when the Spaulls were repeatedly contacted for comment on this article.

An appraisal of the Hare Avenue bungalow was automatically ordered by the Bank of Montreal, the couple’s mortgage holder, which was conducted on November 16. On November 23, the BMO appraisal came back at $1,050,000, amounting to a $243,000 shortfall. Sure, mortgage appraisals are conservative, but this was a doozy of a difference. That’s when the red flags started to flap.

When peculiarities started popping up over the winter, the couple called in several contractors and inspectors to investigate. For starters, they were repeatedly informed that the two basement “bedrooms” could not be counted as bedrooms in the listing


It wasn’t long into winter that the couple discovered how drafty and uncomfortable their “fully renovated” house was, so they contacted Shawn Rankin, Certified Level 1 Building Investigations Thermographer at Indoor Air Quality Ottawa.”


because neither had a legally-acceptable egress window (meaning, large enough to serve as an exit without physical support) nor a door directly to the exterior anywhere in the basement. They could only be described in the listing as finished basement rooms and not as bedrooms. A (legal) four-bedroom house lists higher than a (legal) two-bedroom house with finished basement rooms. It may sound like splitting hairs, but there is a measurable difference in market value. A realtor who spots an error can anonymously report it on the MLS site with the listing agent receiving notice and 24 hours to correct the error, or provide supporting documents to prove the listing information is accurate. The new information provoked what Diane called “an aha! moment” regarding what they paid for Hare Avenue relative to the bank evaluation. (Both the Spaulls and Whittaker were invited to explain how this could be listed as a 4-bedroom house, but chose not to comment.)

Another discrepancy was the construction year, stated as being 1970 in the marketing, and “1970 approx” on MLS. Building Permit #26917, easily obtained by Clayton from the City of Ottawa, contains the original drawings and plans for the home, with the “Expected Date of Completion” listed as August 18, 1957. Given the benefit of the doubt, the Spaulls may have also obtained this permit to satisfy their professional obligation of prudence and estimated that the house took 13 years to complete (Windsor Castle took 16). Georges Masserey of Prime Building Inspection Services, hired by the couple in April 2022, recognized the house as being from the 1950s before he even walked through the front door. (The Spaulls were asked about this and replied

through their lawyer with a no comment.)

Christopher and Michael Spaull are licensed realtors with Digi Brokerage of Ottawa and principals of Spaull Brothers Real Estate. Again, to avoid confusion, Christopher was the owner of the Hare Avenue bungalow until he sold it to the couple, and; Digi Brokerage and realtor brother Michael listed Hare Avenue on behalf of realtor brother Christopher. The relationship was disclosed in the MLS listing.

The “Ottawa Renovates” video series on the Spaull Brothers Real Estate Facebook page features Chris walking us through another property they’ve listed for sale. He tells us, “we bought this property with the intention of stripping it down…Follow along and watch us transform this house into an urban gem.” This could be what is known as house flipping, which is a legal, common, and highly-profitable practice among realtors. In another video celebrating the sale of Hare Avenue, Michael says, “Our team [meaning Spaull Brothers] was super proud to help our client [meaning brother Chris Spaull?] achieve the third-

highest sale price for a bungalow in the neighbourhood.”

Anybody who has ever purchased a home knows that realtors indulge in expressive language that may innocently overstate things just enough to make the most humble hovel sound like Xanadu, but technical accounts must still be accurate. The property description in the advertising for Hare Avenue stated: Fully Renovated ... NEW (2021) - ROOF; WINDOWS/DOORS; FURNACE; A/C; HWT; INSULATION; ELECTRICAL/PLUMBING. Turn-key luxury living awaits! The couple hired an array of specialist inspectors and contractors to investigate the “Fully Renovated ... NEW (2021)” details one by one over the last eight months. This is what they learned.


Georges Masserey, an engineer and one of Ottawa’s most experienced inspectors, found the following:

• Installation of roof shingles is substandard. Crooked rows of shingles were noted and excessive exposure

In 1970 could appear in a 1958 aerial photograph!

Shawn Rankin, Certified Level 1 Building Investigations Thermographer, scanned the walls and found serious issues.
Maybe Stephen Hawking could’ve explained how a house constructed

Both Clayton and Larouche have tested positive for multiple, highly toxic mycotoxins produced by the exact mould species found by White and are undergoing costly treatment for mould poisoning. ”

of shingles was noted. This can not be corrected without completely replacing the roof > major repair. Please note that these deficiencies would most probably void any manufacturers’ warranties.

• Leaking eavestroughs were noted along side of garage in particular. The flashing or drip edge above the eavestrough does not allow water to flow properly into eavestroughs and due to the protrusion of the fascia detail, it can actually allow water infiltration between this metal trim and rot out the original wooden fascia. (The Spaulls were asked about this and replied through their lawyer with a no comment.)


It wasn’t long into winter that the couple discovered how drafty and uncomfortable their “fully renovated” house was, so they contacted Shawn Rankin, Certified Level 1 Building Investigations Thermographer at Indoor Air Quality Ottawa, to conduct an Infrared Thermal Imaging Scan. Rankin reported the following:

• Small basement sliders appear to be insufficiently caulked or the sliders misaligned as these windows suffer from pronounced air leakage contributing to indoor drafts and cooler rooms.

• The large patio slider in the dining room and the frosted casement in the master bedroom bathroom do not close and latch correctly. Gaps with air leakage and frost were noted at window to frame unions. Please see below zero temperatures identified during the infrared camera scan.

The post-purchase replacement of

the basement windows, intended to bring them up to proper “legal bedroom” standards, revealed missing areas of foam sealant, bug and mould infestations and, for the larger window that the Spaulls installed, the old vapour barrier dangling loosely around it rather than being properly reattached. (The Spaulls were asked about this and replied through their lawyer with a no comment.)


“We moved in December 1, and with the first cold snap we noticed a lot of cold air entering from around the windows. We had a surface thermometer we used during COVID and it told us there was something seriously wrong in the walls,” Clayton says, and she was right. The thermal imaging scan revealed huge void areas in the walls. Cold air leaked in beneath baseboards along exterior walls on the main floor, and many cold spots that measured five or more degrees lower in surface temperature than other spots turned up in the scan of the same wall. A tear down of the basement drywall revealed what the “NEW (2021)”

insulation looked like, and it’s enough to make you sick to your stomach. (The Spaulls were asked about this and replied through their lawyer with a no comment.)

George P. White is a mycologist with over 33 years of experience, beginning at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. He did a thorough inspection of Hare Avenue. ”When I looked under the microscope at a sample of the pink insulation, it had some of the best developed mould I have ever seen on fibreglass,” White reported. “It’s likely Cladosporium but could be something else. There was obviously a good leak there.” White found six different types of toxic mould, mites, and droppings from insects that eat mould, trim and carpet tack strips covered with fully-formed colonies, and rotted wood framing along the exterior walls indicating years of unaddressed water exposure. His report stated that it was impossible that the old drywall and carpeting removed during the renovation did not contain evidence of these multiple, well-established colonies of mould. Five gaping holes from prior venting outlets

“A tear down of the basement drywall revealed what the “NEW (2021)” insulation looked like, and it’s enough to make you sick to your stomach.”

LEFT: Behind the drywall, the “new insulation” was anything but new.

ABOVE: Mycologits George P. White’s microscope images of multiple different hazardous moulds found at the fully renovated Hare Avenue home.

There were several clusters of live cut wires sandwiched into divider walls, plus old wires with worn-out sheathing stapled too far from service boxes.”

punctuated the walls with only a thin layer of mortar separating them from the outside, and which were found by the contractor to be soaking wet. (The Spaulls were asked about this and replied through their lawyer with a no comment.)

Both Clayton and Larouche have tested positive for multiple, highly toxic mycotoxins produced by the exact mould species found by White and are undergoing costly treatment for mould poisoning. If you want to know how the couple feels, move into a condemned motel and shove your head into the vacuum bag used to suck up the feculent carpets.


The couple noticed some electrical poltergeists haunting the house, including whole-house light dimming whenever the AC started up, and bathroom ventilation fans that take several minutes to rev up to full speed. There were several clusters of live cut wires sandwiched into divider walls, plus old wires with worn-out sheathing stapled too far from service boxes.


They are holding their wheezy breaths for what the main floor demolition— scheduled for next summer—might reveal. (The Spaulls were asked about this and replied through their lawyer with a no comment.)


The new basement shower drain wasn’t connected properly to the sewer system, and would have steadily leaked water into the slab with each use of the bathroom. There is still a four-foot length of corroded, cast iron pipe going from the clean-out port in the basement closet to the city hookup outside the foundation. (The Spaulls were asked about this and replied through their lawyer with a no comment.)


Way back in November, the couple took a pre-closing walkthrough with Julie Whittaker. The couple noticed a mottled appearance on the carpet in both so-called basement bedrooms. It was allegedly explained as shoe marks from all the showings in which the realtors, apparently, allowed people to

tramp around the house wearing dirty shoes, the strategy being that added filth always ups the selling price. They have since learned the cause is moisture wicking up from the concrete foundation floors upon which no subfloor or membrane had been installed.

During his inspection on February 2, 2022, Shawn Rankin of Indoor Air Quality Ottawa reported: “Excessive whole home humidity (noted by condensation on the new windows) has migrated into the attic causing frost on the attic hatch assembly and on the underside of the attic roof sheathing. This condition will encourage mould activity in the attic. This type of humidity condition must have a source.” (The Spaulls were asked about this and replied through their lawyer with a no comment.)

On February 17, 2022 during a thaw, Diane discovered water soaking into the carpet in Clayton and Larouche’s brandnew basement office. Sure enough, she located ice damming and standing water against the foundation, which she tried to mitigate with a pump, hose,

LEFT & ABOVE: Among the source of the excessive wholehome humidity problems were a cracked foundation, structural gaps, and five gaping holes in the foundation walls from previous venting outlets.

Georges Masserey reported missing window wells, major foundation and structural cracks, and poor grading and collapsed concrete patio slabs around the foundation suggesting water ingress.” Drywall removal uncovered hazardous hidden wires that where definitely not to code. ABOVE: Cracks in the concrete basement floor.

An old chimney was “unsupported” and had to be removed.

and sand bags, along with dehumidifiers that have been running 24/7 ever since. Between the droopy eavestroughs and the heaving patio stones, Shawn Rankin recommended Philippe Lafreniere of Abri Spec Inc. as the contractor he’d trust to do renovations on his own home and the guy to temporarily triage the problem of the water damming and prevent further water ingress during the spring rains and thaw until it could be thoroughly investigated, Things were about to go from living hell to downright apocalyptic.

Abri Spec subcontracted foundation team Les Entreprises Lemont to excavate and uncover the full extent of the deterioration, ruining the lawn and landscaping in the process. At present, the yard looks like tundra. The garage foundation was disintegrating, with large gaps, cracks, and missing infill support under the concrete slab. An unused brick chimney had no underlying support and was floating on the surface of the ground. In order to continue with the excavation and waterproofing, there was no choice but to remove it, meaning everything from the ground up to the roof needed to be repaired.

The demolition also uncovered improper decommissioning, severely deteriorated siding brick, roof rot, and a giant, wet, debris-and-mould-filled hole penetrating the foundation wall. (The Spaulls were asked about this and replied through their lawyer with a no comment.)

Georges Masserey reported major foundation and structural cracks that only became apparent after a winter freeze-thaw cycle when the garage heaved and broke through the freshly-

“An unused brick chimney had no underlying support and was floating on the surface of the ground. In order to continue with the excavation and waterproofing, there was no choice but to remove it.”

installed drywall, parging, and freshlyfilled and painted brick. A highlyskilled general house inspector may have questioned the fresh parging and raised a concern, but it was not until foundation specialist Patrick Lecours came on board to investigate these serious symptoms that the bandagedup wounds were identified. (The Spaulls were asked about this and replied through their lawyer with a no comment.)

Finally, all-new Luxury Vinyl Plank flooring was installed directly onto the still-damp concrete slab, ignoring the manufacturer’s installation instructions which require a poly moisture barrier. The cork backing of every single plank throughout the entire basement was damp and covered with mould and efflorescence, and was a complete waste. (The Spaulls were asked about this and replied through their lawyer with a no comment.)

According to the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) REALTOR® Code, a realtor is obligated to uphold the tenth standard of business practice which states:

The REALTOR® shall encourage parties to a transaction to seek the advice of outside professionals where such advice is beyond the expertise of the REALTOR®. 10.1. Outside professional advice would include, without limitation, lawyers, appraisers, home inspectors, surveyors, accountants, insurance agents or brokers, mortgage consultants, land use planners and environmental consultants.

The three realtors did not, allegedly, “encourage parties to a transaction to seek the advice of…home inspectors,” although Mike Spaull highly recommends seller pre-inspections in a video in which he outlines the three costly mistakes that sellers should avoid. They are:

1. Overpricing. You’ll get more offers if you don’t. FYI: Spaull listed Hare Avenue at $1,399,000, then dropped it to $1,374,900 within a few weeks, then $1,349,900, then finally $1,324,900. The Spaull brothers had no other offer in hand for Hare when Whittaker allegedly advised the couple to pitch.

2. Skipping the staging, meaning pick up your socks and do everything

All-new Luxury Vinyl Plank flooring was installed directly onto the stilldamp concrete slab, ignoring the manufacturer’s installation instructions which require a poly moisture barrier. The cork backing of every single plank throughout the entire basement was damp and covered with mould and efflorescence.”


reasonable for a good first impression. Well, they ‘staged’ Hare Avenue alright, like the Metropolitan Opera stages Wagner. It was a “professionally designed” renovation similar to others they do around town, as seen in their “Ottawa Renovates” video series.

3. Avoiding a pre-inspection. To that last point, Spaull advises sellers to “give buyers the peace of mind that there’s nothing being hidden, that any deficiencies have been addressed. Transparency equals trust.”

This last bit of sage wisdom raises a very interesting question. How did the Spaulls, in the course of working on this “fully renovated” house, during which they installed new drywall, flooring, parging, etc. etc., not discover infested pink insulation (see photo), condensation (see photo), a damp slab (see photo), a crumbling foundation (see photo), etc. etc.? If transparency is one of the Spaull hallmarks…well, I can hear my dear, late detective-sergeant dad say, “if it doesn’t make sense, then there’s probably something else going’ on!”

The Real Estate Council of Ontario (RECO) enforces the Real Estate and Business Brokers Act, 2002, “which promotes, among other things, transparency, honesty, integrity and fairness in real estate transactions. Real estate professionals must provide competent and conscientious service.” Home buyers can contact RECO, whose complaints process ensures, “fair and flexible handling of complaints about the conduct of real estate professionals and those holding themselves out as such [whatever that means].” RECO

does occasionally issue what it calls “public advisories” regarding realtor/ brokerage misconduct “to protect the public interest.” The last such advisory was issued 15 months ago.

So what happens when something as tangible as, for example, a wildlyapproximate construction date is published in a listing? According to RECO, “all features of a property advertised by a brokerage must be technically accurate and not misleading. If there are concerns about fairness and accuracy in a listing, RECO will investigate valid complaints that fall within its authority under the Real Estate and Business Brokers Act, 2002. All advertising complaints must come from a Broker of Record or a consumer.” Home buyers rely on their representative realtor to know if a listing is technically accurate. Something as straightforward as the construction date can be acquired using Geowarehouse, a service available to all realtors to obtain the details and entire history of a property. Pop in $27.00 and you have a document with the construction date in a matter of seconds.

Until such time as a transaction is completed, RECO outcomes regarding complaints about misrepresentations in listings range from, “no action to ad corrections or removal, dispute resolution, warning and education, and discipline proceedings. It depends on the individual nature of the complaint, the impact, whether it led to damages etc. If it was done unknowingly, we would see if education was appropriate and follow a progressive discipline approach.”

ABOVE: The removal of the drywall revealed unusually high levels of mould in the “newly renovated,” completely remodeled home.

Generally, once a transaction has been completed, disputes become a civil matter. RECO does not have the authority to, “address what a buyer or seller says or does,” nor does it, “award compensation or damages to complainants; that is, RECO cannot force the real estate professional to pay you money. We also cannot cancel a contract you have signed. Such concerns should be directed to the brokerage’s manager. These are matters you may wish to discuss with a lawyer.” And that’s exactly what Clayton and Larouche have done, resulting in massive claims being filed in Ontario Superior Court against Julie Whittaker and the Spaulls.

When all is argued and the costs tallied, we are left with an incalculable aspect to this tragic story, and that is the suffering endured by Clayton and Larouche. “My husband told me he woke up in a blind panic to the sound of me screaming in the middle of the night, only to find me sound asleep,” Clayton says. “So not only am I dreaming of water coming into the house in various ways every single night, but the nightmares are now assailing our already-grim days.”

She is a creator, he is a healer, and all they wanted was to shine as bright lights made brighter in the world by simply being at home together. What they got instead were days and nights made darker by an epic comedy of errors and an industry that lacks any serious regulations or enforcement powers concerning what is by far the biggest purchase, and the biggest gamble, any of us will ever make g

“ His report (George P. White) stated that it was impossible that the old drywall and carpeting removed during the renovation did not contain evidence of these multiple, well-established colonies of mould.”

Parents who decide to live separately often spend considerable time developing a parenting plan that allows both parents to maintain their relationship with the children. However, needs and circumstances change over time, and the original plan might eventually require revision.

Parents can modify their parenting time orders or agreements to suit current circumstances.

Parents Could Craft an Agreement

When parents concur about a change in a parenting time arrangement, the Children’s Law Reform Act s. 19.1 allows you to vary it. You could revise your plan yourselves or work with a mediator or other professional to form a new plan. You then would file the new agreement with the court for approval.

A judge will assess whether the new agreement serves the best interests of the children. In making that determination, the court will consider the needs and circumstances of the specific child. The judge typically will approve the modified parenting time plan if it provides the children with physical and emotional safety and the opportunity to have meaningful connections with both their parents.

In some cases, a judge might not be convinced a change that you agreed upon serves your children’s best interests. The judge might seek more information or schedule a hearing to question you and your co-parent in person. If necessary, a custody revision lawyer in Ottawa could help you prepare for such a hearing.

The do’s and don’t of changing PARENTING TIME AGREEMENTS

Bringing a Motion to Change a Parenting Plan

When parents disagree about the need to modify a parenting time order, the parent who desires the change could file a motion to vary. The parent requesting the change, must file several documents with the court to initiate the process.

One of the most important documents is an affidavit explaining why you are requesting the change. It is critical that the affidavit make clear that the requested change is necessary because of a significant change in circumstances and serves the children’s best interests.

In addition, many courts requires the party bringing the action, to submit a factum, which is a document stating the law they are relying on that supports the request to vary the parenting time agreement. It is by completing these vital documents, that helps to ensure that you make a persuasive argument for the court to consider the adjustment to the parenting time agreement.

Establishing the Need to Vary the Plan

The law favours maintaining the parenting time arrangement a court approved, because it wants people to be able to rely on court orders. However, courts recognize that situations change, and revisions to parenting arrangements are sometimes necessary. Situations that merit a change to a parenting time plan include:

• One parent wishes to relocate

• One parent is not complying with the existing order

• A child’s educational needs

• A child’s medical needs

• A child changed residences

• Other circumstances regarding the child require a change (such as a child unusually gifted in athletics or the arts receiving intensive and timeconsuming training)

In general, courts expect parents to tolerate a degree of inconvenience or expense for the privilege of spending time with their children, but every situation is different. You have to carefully craft your justification for the desired parenting time change, emphasizing how the proposed change will benefit the children.

Don’t Make Emotional Decisions

Parents have to be reasonable with their requests to change an existing parenting time agreement. The changes have to always be in the best interest of the children. It can’t be used as a mechanism to restrict or disrupt their access to the other parent.

Vary Your Parenting Time Agreement with the Help of an Ottawa Lawyer

If your parenting time agreement no longer works well for your children, processes exist to change it.

Contact an Ottawa parenting time modification lawyer to advise you about the steps to take to alter your agreements g

Paul Riley is Managing Director at The Riley Divorce & Family Law Firm. The firm has offices in Toronto, Ottawa and Kawartha Lakes and focuses on getting you out of bad relationships, while protecting what’s most important to you.

lawyer by Paul Riley

OSSTF: Ford Government Must Make Real Investments in Ontario’s Education System

It’s that time again: negotiations between the provincial government, school board representatives, and unions representing Ontario’s frontline education workers and teachers have just begun.

This bargaining round arrives after two years of unprecedented interruptions to student learning.

This summer, the Ford government unveiled their campaign to promote their Plan to Catch Up. The government’s main message is the importance of stability so students can make up the learning loss caused by the pandemic.

On this we agree.

Education workers and teachers working in publicly-funded schools want a return to a stable and safe in-person learning. They want to see the government and school boards fulfill their duty and come to the bargaining table with proposals that will ensure a continued highquality learning experience for all.

They know that all Ontarians benefit considerably from a strong, stable public education system.

However, the government’s implication that it is solely the responsibility of teachers and education workers to ensure stability ignores their own responsibility to the students of this province.

What does stability actually look like for those who learn and work in Ontario’s schools? It starts with ensuring we have certified and trained professionals in school that provide the supports and services that students need.

Stability also means class sizes that

reflect the needs of students. Learning recovery will require greater attention to student needs, all of which are provided by dedicated teachers and education workers.

And given the historic inflation we are facing, being able to attract and retain quality professionals in the education system is becoming increasingly difficult.

“We all lose when they choose to shortchange public education. For every dollar invested in education in Ontario, we receive a $1.30 in economic activity. ”

Over 20,000 of our Members are education workers. This includes hard working professionals such as custodians, educational assistants, clerical staff, early childhood educators, and many others. Our education worker Members earn less than $45,000 a year, and many must rely on a second or third job just to get by. They provide support to students that are most in need and yet are among the most underpaid and disrespected.

While the government says they can’t afford more investments in education and its workers, they are choosing to underfund the public education system. Right now, they have nearly a billion dollars of unspent federal money meant for Ontario’s schools.

We all lose when they choose to shortchange public education. For every dollar invested in education in Ontario,

we receive a $1.30 in economic activity. This is a terrific return, and one that makes it more galling to remember that the Financial Accountability Office projected an education spending shortfall of $12.3 billion dollars over the next nine years if this government continues its current plans – that works out to $16 billion dollars in economic activity that will be lost.

Investing in Ontario’s world-recognized public education system is an investment in our shared future and well-being.

We will fight to make sure that this government does not set the system up for failure. Our southern neighbours in the United States have already shown us how detrimental it can be to increase privatization in public education. This includes charter schools, voucher systems, and tax credits for private schools, all of which have directed more public money towards for-profit corporations instead of investing it in the classroom where it belongs and will have the greatest impact.

Ontario could be headed towards a similar path, with the government recently conducting polling on charter schools and again choosing to take more money out of the public system to hand it out for private tutoring.

Ontario needs real investments in public education that ensure students get a robust learning experience in a stable environment with access to the supports and services they need.

Students deserve nothing less g

Karen Littlewood is the President of the Ontario Secondary School Teachers Federation (OSSTF/FEESO)
back to school/public education mat ters series by Karen Littlewood

Chris Borris:


The definition of a Renaissance man or woman in the Merriam-Webster dictionary is a person who is well educated and sophisticated and has talent and knowledge in many fields of study. Chris Borris fits the description perfectly, and he likes to make people laugh.

By day Borris is an Educational Assistant (EA) working in a Behavioural Intervention Program. At night and on weekends, he pivots to perform as one of Ottawa’s most well-known and beloved stand-up comedians. When we asked Borris how he self-describes, he said, “education worker, comedian, writer, dad, son, brother, uncle, and husband.”

Borris says he started his education job as a casual EA and quickly moved into a full-time role. “I have a degree in Psychology. I’ve worked in group homes and for the school board for a long time.  I think it’s important to be part of a workspace where you can have a positive impact on young lives.”

However, Borris is like many of the thousands of education workers in the province who want to stay working in education but are constrained by the reality that they earn less than $45,000 a year on average. Most work a second or third job to support themselves and their families. For Borris, this means running a comedy club (Yuk Yuks) and performing stand-up comedy.

“I enjoy working in the education sector, but it’s proving increasingly difficult,” says Borris. “I feel like the financial return for my work as an EA is prohibitive, so I may not be able to do the job full time for much longer as I have several other employment opportunities. He adds, “It is important to properly staff a school which has meant class closures or bus closures, all of which make it very difficult to do my job properly.”

Curious to learn more about Chris Borris, we went to see him at Yuk Yuks in Ottawa. The crowd loves his infectious humour, which is clever,

satirical, and very smart. He talks about growing up in his Ottawa South Keys neighbourhood, his family, school, how he met his wife, and numerous hilarious interactions with his young kids that he has turned into comedy bit gems.

You just know from listening to his act that it’s all based on actual experiences and that Borris has had lots of interactions with all kinds of students, education workers, teachers, students, and other parents and their kids.

Borris is eminently likeable and the type of person who brings value and quality to Ontario’s public education system. He’s got the degree, the experience, the personality, and the smarts that would make him a valued person to any employer.

The Ontario government needs to ensure they create the funding envelopes to ensure people like Chris Borris can continue to work in education in Ontario. The obvious beneficiaries of this will be Ontario students. g

Ontario has one of the best secondary and post secondary school systems in the world. While teachers are well compensated and negotiate with the province annually over wages and benefits, the same cannot be said for all ‘education workers’ — the educational assistants, continuing education teachers and instructors, psychologists, secretaries, speech-language pathologists, social workers, plant support personnel, attendance counselors, custodians, school office staff, lunchroom supervisors, early childhood educators and multitude of support staff who bring their ‘A game’ to work everyday to support students in the classroom. Here are some of their stories. back to school/public education mat ters series by Dan Donovan


Rachel Robillard:


Rachel Robillard is the Operations Coordinator for the Centre for Language Learning and the Official Languages and Bilingualism Institute (OLBI) at the University of Ottawa. She is responsible for all logistical and material resources (class scheduling, enrollment, student concerns, sponsorships, contracts, and a host of related things that keep the processes at OLBI running smoothly so students and staff have a great experience while at uOttawa.

Throughout her career, Robillard has always been directly or indirectly involved in academia and education. She says that, as an uOttawa alumna, “I always felt I would return to the university. I am also a proud Franco-Ontarian, and bilingualism is a vital part of my identity. I was living out west for over a decade and had moved back to Ottawa in 2018 when the opportunity to pursue my career at uOttawa (specifically OLBI) presented itself. I jumped in, feet first.”

Robillard is a professionally trained actor and teacher and holds degrees in both fields. She has worked as a secondary school teacher, an artist in

the classroom, and as a performer for the Theatre for Young Audiences, and she has over 600 stage performances with various companies across Canada. She considers herself a ‘Jill of All Trades’ and says, “I have worked as project manager for a large-scale performing arts festivals as well as for Simon Fraser University, acting as a bilingual recruitment coordinator for the Office of Francophone and Francophile Affairs and, I spent a decade in international education recruitment, travelling abroad and working for a UK-based company.”

It seems education has followed her, or she has followed it wherever she goes, and her passion remains working with students in the education field. “The current government sentiment towards education is making it increasingly difficult for educators to keep students at the epicentre of what we do.”

Every day, I try to give myself the task of helping a single student overcome a specific situation or circumstance. It could be something as small as assisting with registration and enrollment, to implementing an emergency bursary for international students experiencing

financial challenges directly impacting their ability to study,” says Robillard.

Robillard’s commitment to her work and career is built around the belief that every individual holds limitless potential. “My role is to nurture and support, and when possible, remove barriers, for that potential to grow and the individual to thrive. I have also been privileged to witness and participate in the unifying force of art in the classroom. Art is a gateway for many students — a means of expression and a creative outlet. It builds basic life skills and aptitudes that would otherwise potentially go underdeveloped or neglected. It offers assessment possibilities outside the main framework and breaks down accessibility barriers,” she says.

Robillard brings a great philosophy to the workplace and one that is even more admirable, given that Robillard has six-year-old twin boys at home. One must assume that her positive outlook, kind energy, and commitment to education will benefit them as they grow, in the same way, that her work has helped so many of the students and staff she supports each day. g

Ontario has one of the best secondary and post secondary school systems in the world. While teachers are well compensated and negotiate with the province annually over wages and benefits, the same cannot be said for all ‘education workers’ — the educational assistants, continuing education teachers and instructors, psychologists, secretaries, speech-language pathologists, social workers, plant support personnel, attendance counselors, custodians, school office staff, lunchroom supervisors, early childhood educators and multitude of support staff who bring their game’ to work everyday to support students in the classroom. Here are some of their stories. back to school/public education mat ters series

Those who are familiar with China might know that the Shanghai Port is one of the largest ports worldwide, with an annual container throughput of over 47 million Twenty-foot Equivalent Units (TEUs), ranking first for 12 consecutive years in the world and bearing the heavy responsibility of “transit hub” in the global logistics chain. Since the outbreak of the new wave of COVID-19 pandemic last March, the Shanghai municipal government has coordinated and sent over 20,000 port workers for operations in the lockdown area of the Port for nearly two months. Process optimization of Bill of Lading (B/L) and Switch B/L, pressure sharing of land transport by railways and waterways, electronic passes and other measures were adopted to ensure smooth port operations round the clock. The port operation was not shut down even for a single day. In July, the average daily throughput of the Port of Shanghai was close to 140,000 TEUs, which has recovered to the level before this wave of pandemic. From January to July, the Port of Shanghai achieved positive growth in container throughput year-on-year, effectively ensured the stability and smoothness of global industrial and supply chains.

The story of the Shanghai Port is the epitome of China’s efforts in coordinating pandemic prevention and control with economic and social development. In the first half of the year, in the face of the complex

will inject new vitality into global economic recovery China’s economic development

evolution of the global and regional situation, the resurgence of sporadic COVID-19 cases and other unexpected factors, China responded vigorously and achieved a stable rebound in the national economy, with a year-on-year Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth of 2.5 percent. From January to August,

“The story of the Shanghai Port is the epitome of China’s efforts in coordinating pandemic prevention and control with economic and social development.”

the added value of industries above designated size increased by 3.6 percent, the actual amount of foreign capital used surged by 16.4 percent, the total value of imports and exports went up by 10.1 percent, and 8.98 million new jobs were added. It is worth mentioning that China’s Consumer Price Index (CPI) only rose by 1.9 percent year-on-year, which created favourable conditions for a steady economy and people’s livelihood improvement.

China’s economy still possesses great growth potential. In the first half of the year, China’s economic aggregate reached 56 trillion yuan, with the

total retail sales of consumer goods exceeding 21 trillion yuan. China will continue to adhere to seeking progress while maintaining stability, properly implement fiscal and monetary policies, and actively expand demand. We will maintain reasonable and adequate liquidity, promote imports and exports, expand imports, and introduce technology and foreign capital to consolidate the economic upturn. The offline consumption scene will gradually recover with the improvement of the epidemic prevention and control situation. Coupling with the efforts of the consumption promotion policy, consumption is expected to continue to recover. We believe that China’s economic development will reinvigorate the global economic recovery.

In the near future, the Communist Party of China will convene its 20th National Congress. It will be an important meeting to be held at a critical time as China embarks on a new journey toward its second centenary goal of building a modern socialist country in all respects. China will continue to follow the Chinese path to modernization to achieve the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation, and to promote the building of a community with a shared future for mankind. By doing so, China will create new opportunities for the world with new advances in China’s development and contribute our vision and strength to world peace and development and human progress

china-canada friendship series by Cong Peiwu, Chinese Ambassador to Canada


Le Livmore Montréal,


If you are visiting Montréal for a short to mid-term stay and are looking for relaxed comfort, style, and a place that provides all the amenities of home with some unique touches, you can’t beat staying at Le Livmore Montreal. Each Le Livmore property incorporates the perfect balance for remote professionals and leisure travelers.

From the apartment layout to the luxurious furnishings by Casa Suarez, Le Livmore Montréal is designed with convenience in mind, while the 24/7 concierge experience is tailored for excellence. Guest services include housekeeping, desirable amenities, and contactless check-in/out.

You’ll be living in the heart of downtown Montreal in Ville-Marie, one of the most cherished parts of the city. It’s just a ten-minute walk to Old Montréal and five minutes to marvelous Saint Catherine Street with all its shops, bars, cafés, restaurants, and the energy that you can only find in Canada’s most enchanting city.

It is easy to stay connected to the entire city with two adjacent metro stations, Place-des-Arts and Placed’Armes, and a Via Rail station within

walking distance of your suite.

Le Livmore Montreal provides a comfortable and secure stay and an exceptional living experience that balances work and life. The owners have redefined what it means to rent by offering state-of-art amenities and comfort near all the happening parts of Montreal, its diverse gastronomy, cultural sights, and exhilarating nightlife. Their brand-new stylish suites provide the personalized living experiences you take for granted at home.

Le Livmore offers spacious studio, one, two-, or three-bedroom suites where functionality is key. Each unit features a modern and contemporary design with high ceilings, beautiful tiled floors, and tasteful but not overstated decor.

I stayed in a one-bedroom unit with a kitchen with quality appliances. There was lots of closet space, complimentary WIFI, a large flat-screen TV, comfortable sofa, dining table and place settings for four, pot and pans, an iron and ironing board, a washer and dryer.

All units come with smart home technology by SmartOne. Other amenities you can access when staying

Corporate Stays has been a leader in the corporate housing business since 2008, providing solutions for both short and long-term stays and as of today, Corporate Stays offers accom-modations from east to west in Canada’s most dynamic cities. Through personalized service, outreach, and world-class facilities, the company focuses on meeting the needs of customers. Guests are guaranteed to find the perfect home away from home across Canada and be-yond.

include a pool, yoga room, 2,000 square foot gym, co-working space, a lounge with a fireplace, a party room, a private wine cellar, a theatre/music room, a dog park with a spa and an outdoor terrace with a BBQ lounge and social area. Oh . . . and more good news, pets are allowed!

I loved this place from the moment I arrived. There is a wall pad in the building lobby with a concierge button. The doorman grants access to the building then you access the unit using the door lock codes sent to you via email. Once inside the unit, there are two fobs (for the building entrance, parking, and amenities), a mailbox key, and a parking sticker. It is so easy! I parked my car for my three days stay and walked or took city bikes to meetings. (Guests can also access discounted car rental services from Corporate Cars while staying at Le Livmore).

If you have any concerns or questions about anything during your stay, call or text the concierge. I had no problems and was quite impressed when the concierge called me to ensure that I had arrived and was all settled in.

Le Livemore Montreal is located at 1180 De Bleury Street on the corner of René Lévesque in downtown Montreal. Short-term monthly rentals are between $1640 for a studio to $3,990 for three bedrooms. g

travel by Dan Donovan

Türkiye’s Culture Route Festivals in


One of my favourite destinations in the world is “Türkiye.” I say “Türkiye,” not “Turkey,” because in June, the United Nations formally agreed to the request from Turkish foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu to officially change the country’s name from “Turkey” to “Türkiye.”

The request was part of a rebranding campaign initiated last year by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who said that the name “Türkiye is the best representation and expression of the Turkish people’s culture, civilization, and values.”

Most Turks already know their country as Türkiye. However, the anglicized form Turkey is widely used, even within the country. (As the state broadcaster TRT

explained, one of the reasons for the image rebrand was the association with the bird traditionally associated with Christmas, New Year, or Thanksgiving).

The rebranding doesn’t change the fact that Türkiye is one of the great travel destinations in the world and a place that should be on every traveler’s bucket list. Located in the Mediterranean and connecting the continents of Europe and Asia that are separated by the famous Bosporus, Türkiye has always been a hub for cultural interaction and home to varying climates. It inspires visitors today with its history, nature, and gastronomy that reflect the diversity of civilizations for centuries.

Türkiye has a distinctive understanding

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: Ariel view of Turkey’s largest city, Istanbul, at dawn from the European part of town that includes the Galata Tower, one of the oldest towers in the world (507-508 AD). (PHOTO: ISTOCK) The Anatolian Civilizations Museum is located near Ankara Castle, in the historical Atpazarı district The Grand Bazaar in Istanbul is the oldest and largest covered market in the world.

of art and fashion, which is the synthesis of tradition and modernity, and its extremely dynamic shopping and entertainment life attracts visitors from all over the world. It remains the crossroads of cultures, where east meets west socially, geographically, musically, artistically, in fashion, sport, and business. This democratic country

summer/fall travel by Dan Donovan PHOTO: DAN DONOVAN (UNLESS STATED OTHERWISE)

has deep historical roots embedded in centuries of sophisticated governance, initially by Anatolian civilizations, then by Christians, followed by the Sultans and Ottoman Empire, and later, via its modern-day transformation led by the great Mustafa Kemal or Atatürk. One of the great figures of the 20th century, Atatürk rescued the surviving Turkish remnant of the defeated Ottoman Empire at the end of World War I. He united the Turkish people against invading Greek forces who sought to impose the Allied will upon the warweary Turks and repulsed aggression by British, French, and Italian troops. Over the next two decades, as President of the new republic, Atatürk created a modern state that would grow under his successors into a viable democracy.

Türkiye’s seven distinct regions (Marmara, Aegean Region, Southern Mediterranean, Black Sea of Turkey, Central Anatolia, South Eastern Anatolia, Eastern Anatolian) include the volcanic landscapes of Cappadocia, the incredible beaches in the south in Antalya, Troy, the Bosporus Sea, Ölüdeniz beach and Babadağ (Mount Baba), the Gallipoli peninsula, Aspendos, the Sumela Monastery along the Black Sea Coast, historic Gaziantep and the Zeugma Mosaic Museum, the Istanbul Grand, the Istanbul Topkapi Palace, The Blue Mosque, the Hagia Sophia, Ephesus and the ancient ruins of Pergamum in modern-day Bergama. There is so much to see that it can be overwhelming when trying to figure out where to go in this land that has it all: a rich and multi-layered culture, natural beauty, wonderful people, and food to die for.

My trip took me to Türkiye’s largest culture and art event, the Beyoğlu and Ankara Culture Route Festival in Istanbul and Ankara, which celebrate the two cities’ cultural, architectural, and historical heritage. This annual affair runs from the end of May through mid-June and features more than 2000 events with over 6000 performers in the spectacular port city of Istanbul and the historic capital Ankara.

These festivals are literally a cultural treasure trove to showcase the best of Türkiye. And there is something for everyone’s tastes, whether it’s visiting

the world-class museums in both cities, visiting the opera, going to a world music concert, or taking in the animated festival or some of the dozens of art exhibits that are part of the route. Many Ankara and Istanbul streets also host free open-air concerts during the two-week extravaganza.

Beyoğlu (Istanbul) Culture Route

Istanbul is in the Marmara region of Türkiye. Once called Constantinople, it uniquely sits on two continents. It is the home of landmark buildings like the Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, and Topkapi Palace. Since it was conquered by the Ottoman Sultans in 1453 from the Byzantine empire, the Turkish economy continues to revolve around Istanbul. The European side belongs to the Thrace area, but locals use

ferries  to cross over to Asian Istanbul daily. Surrounded by the Bosporus straits, the Golden Horn, and the Sea of Marmara, other important places include Gallipoli and the Dardanelles, feature points during the Turkish war of independence.

The Beyoğlu (Istanbul) Culture Route is four kilometres long and includes 84 locations from the Atatürk Cultural Centre (AKM) to Galataport, including Atlas Cinema and Istanbul Cinema Museum, Galata Tower, Galata Mevlevi Lodge, Tarık Zafer Tunaya Culture Centre, Garibaldi Scene, TophaneAmire Arts and Culture Centre and Taksim Mosque Culture and Arts Centre.

Two highlights of the visit to the AKM were the digital exhibition “Rumi Dreams” by Turkish artist Husamettin

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: A maze of streets filled with shops surround the Grand Bazaar. Atatürk Cultural Centre’s iconic front façade facing the Taksim Square is the Opera Hall. (PHOTOS: TURKIYE TOURISM) Located on the European shore of the Bosporus Strait, Galataport is a cruise ship port and the newest social living area in Istanbul with arts, culture, dining, museums, and historical sites. (PHOTOS: TURKIYE TOURISM)

Kocan and a concert in the theatre later that evening by renowned international singer and Greek artist Glykeria “whose Rebetika Songs” are very popular in Turkey. AKM has a superb restaurant called DIVAN, a must before the show.

You’ll need several hours in Istanbul to experience the wonders of Istiklal Street with its shops, restaurants, museums, bars, and exhibits. Stop by the Bedri Rahmi Eyuboglu collections and the Grand Pera Cercel d’Orient exhibition. Cinephiles will find dropping in at Istanbul’s Atlas Cinema Museum, a great place to spend a couple of hours learning about the many contributions of Turkish cinema, playwrights, and actors to the profession over the past century.

Even though it is ‘touristy,’ a visit to the

Galata Tower is worth it because once on top, you can get a 360-degree view of spectacular Istanbul in all its glory.

Most people have heard of the famous Whirling Dervishes, but seeing them chant, dance, and perform live at the Galata Mevlevi Lodge was a real trip highlight and unforgettable cultural moment.

Galataport is the new port development on the Bosporus in the Istanbul city centre that offers access to one of Istanbul’s most pristine walks along the 1500-metre-long Karaköy coastline. You’ll see breathtaking views with sunny skies and turquoise waters that illuminate the surrounding architectural beauty of the area. (Below the promenade is Galataport’s

underground terminal, which is also accessible to visitors). Foodies love Galataport’s collection of restaurants, coffee shops, and bars which offer a variety of the most exquisite tastes and recipes from around the world and offer a healthy serving of incredible Turkish cuisine that includes the best of Istanbul street food for all tastes and budgets. A local favourite is the historic Liman Restaurant, one of Istanbul’s most popular restaurants.

The 6th-century Hagia Sophia (officially the Hagia Sophia Grand Mosque) is easily recognizable with its vast dome and colourful marble columns. It was built on the site of the Eastern Roman Empire’s acropolis by Emperor Justinian (532-537 AD). The monument presents superbly exquisite Eastern Roman mosaics and fine examples of unique Ottoman calligraphy. Hagia Sophia was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1985, under the title Historic Areas of İstanbul. As one of the oldest holy shrines in the world, the awe-inspiring edifice today serves as a mosque to the common culture of humankind.

The word hippodrome comes from the Greek hippos (horse) and dromos (way). The Hippodrome of Constantinople, located in Sultanahmet/Istanbul, was constructed under the reign of Eastern Roman Emperor Septimus Severus AD. 200. It was a public arena for gladiatorial games, chariot races, official ceremonies, celebrations, protests, the public torturing of prisoners and convicts, and other civic matters. The Hippodrome continued to function during the Roman (203-330 CE), Byzantine (3301453 CE), and Ottoman (1453-1922) periods. Over time the Hippodrome would be enlarged and connected to the Great Palace of Constantinople that today lies underneath the Blue Mosque.

In Istanbul, there are many incredible restaurants, but if you want to have an idyllic evening right on the water, go to Lacivert Bar/Restaurant. The food, service ambiance, and view all come together to make for a memorable dining experience. Another great dining experience combining the distinctive and succulent tastes of Mediterranean and world cuisines is at the sprawling roof terrace IZAKA Restaurant & Bar at

TOP: Tourist and locals alike head to Istiklal Street (which means “Independence Avenue”) in the heart of Istanbul for its shops, restaurants, cafés, street shows, and more. (PHOTO: TURKIYE TOURISM) View from the historic Liman Restaurant in the Galataport neighbourhood.

the CVK Park Bosporus Hotel Istanbul near Taksim Square. The food is as spectacular as the stunning panoramic view from the historic Golden Horn Peninsula all the way to the Bosporus Bridge.

Istanbul is also the site of the famous Istanbul Grand Bazaar, where you can spend hours exploring countless stores and stalls selling everything from the finest Turkish rugs, spices, and teas to modern-day fashions. Outside and all around the Bazaar, you’ll find restaurants, cafes, and shops. It is a must-see destination on any trip to the capital. For a great lunch, stop by Hamdi restaurant, one of the best kebab places in Istanbul. You won’t be disappointed.

The Ankara Culture Route

Ankara is the capital city of the Turkish Republic at the heart of Anatolia on the eastern edge of the great, high Anatolian Plateau, at an altitude of 850m. (It is located 200 km south of the Black Sea). With its yellow wheat fields, young volcanoes, and infinite steppe, the plateau offers a stern landscape though a look at its history reveals millennia rich with emotive episodes. Because of its location in the centre of the country, the region has been a historical junction of major trade routes and a crossroads of migratory streams.

The Hittite Empire, one of the superpowers in antiquity, emerged here in Central Anatolia. The Hittites distinguished themselves not only through the civilizations they created but also through the state structure they evolved and their tolerance and respect for human rights. Throughout its history, Ankara has been an important cultural, commerce, and arts center and a major stop along the Silk Road between east and west.

Due to its strategic position, Ankara was chosen as the headquarters of the War of Independence by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. Hence, Ankara was declared the capital of the new Republic of Türkiye on October 13, 1923. With the proclamation of the Turkish Republic, Ankara developed swiftly as the capital city that today remains the second

biggest metropolitan city in Türkiye.

The architecture of the city reflects its history. The Ankara Culture Route presents exceptional architectural and cultural examples of pre-Republican and Republican periods and the new contemporary Ankara. There are historical sites and remains from the Anatolian civilizations, Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman eras.

On the arts and culture side, Ankara has much to offer. It is home to one of the oldest orchestras in the world, the Presidential Symphony Orchestra, founded in 1826. CSO Ada Ankara is a music campus that opened in 2020 in the center of Ankara, between Ankara Castle and Anıtkabir. This impressive music campus, with its minimalist wood, glass, and concrete design, is quite spectacular. It has a 2023-seat concert hall with incredible acoustics, a 500-seat blue hall, a 600-seat historical hall, an exhibition hall, a gift shop, and an open concert hall.

Several of Ankara’s museums that

showcase Anatolian history are housed in renovated Ottoman buildings. Among the museums, art galleries, historic buildings, and monuments along the 4.7-kilometre-long Ankara Culture Road Festival are the  Ankara Castle, Museum of Anatolian Civilizations, and the Ankara Painting and Sculpture Museum, Hacı Bayram Veli Mosque, Hamamönü, Temple of Augustus and the Roman Bath, the Ethnography Museum, the Bank Economic Independence Museum, the Ziraat Bank Museum, the PTT Stamp Museum, and the CSO Ada Ankara.

Much of the route is in the cosmopolitan Çankaya district of Ankara, which is home to the Grand National Assembly of Turkey and nearly all foreign embassies. Çankaya is a cosmopolitan district and considered Ankara’s cultural and financial centre. To get a sense of the size and breadth of Ankara, visit one of its most important landmarks, the Atakule Tower.  Built on a hill in the middle of the city, the massive communications and observation tower stands at an imposing height of over 408

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: The Ankara Painting and Sculpture Museum. An art exhibition in the foyer of the CSO Ada in Ankara. Unlike other multi-purpose concert halls, the CSO Concert Hall is a purpose built for symphony orchestras. (PHOTO: TURKIYE TOURISM)

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: A view from the Atakule Tower in Ankara. School children visit Anitkabir (mausoleum) to learn about Atatürk. The Atatürk Mausoleum is the final resting place of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the leader of the Turkish War of Independence and the founder and the first president of Republic of Turkey.

Getting There

Turkish Airlines (TA) is one of the top airlines in the world, and Türkiye has some of the most modern and efficient airports, including the world’s largest airport—the Istanbul Airport—which is located at the Çatalca-Göktürk-Arnavutköy area, in the European side of the city, 40km from Taksim and 52km from Kadıköy.

Set in the middle between Tayakadin and Akpinar village, it serves more than 350 domestic and international destinations in 110 countries, while its duty-free area is one of the largest (if not the largest) worldwide.

Turkish Airlines has weekly return flights from Montreal and Toronto, and you can’t go wrong by upgrading to business class. The 10-to-11-hour flight is a breeze, and you’ll be well taken care of by attentive and service-focused flight attendants and staff. TA Business Class passengers can avoid airport queues by checking in at dedicated TA Business Class counters. TA Business Class entitles customers to an extra baggage allowance and provides a priority baggage label allowing for quicker baggage collection upon arrival.

The Turkish Airlines Business Class Lounge at Istanbul airport is an absolute dream for any weary traveler. It screams comfort and the customer service is exemplary. As you wait for your flight departure, you can make use of the massage service, take advantage of the many entertainment options, or sample the delicious menu offerings.

feet tall and can be seen from almost anywhere in the city.  The observatory deck at the tower’s top section offers spectacular 360-degree views of the city.

To truly understand modern-day Turkey and the Turkish people, an absolute must-stop is the Atatürk Mausoleum, one of Turkey’s most notable examples of 20th-century modern architecture, which also sits high on a hilltop. Designed by Turkish architect Emil Onat, this colossal complex is the final resting place of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the founder and first president of the Turkish Republic.

Prior to the opening of this site in 1953, Atatürk’s remains were housed in Ankara’s Ethnographic Museum. The reverence and respect Turks have and continue to show for Atatürk, and his legacy are on full display here. A grand staircase, the Path of Honour, is flanked by reclining Hittite lions, leading up to the Court of Honour, where the mausoleum and a museum about Atatürk’s life come together. Thousands of Turkish school children visit the site daily to learn about their history while citizens and tourists come to pay their respects.

Like Istanbul, Ankara has exceptional hotels, but one that stands out is the JW Marriott Istanbul. It is centrally located, has excellent services and restaurants, and offers a wonderful respite after a day of touring in Ankara.

There is much to do in Türkiye from touring and recreational activities to arts and cultural enrichment. Of course, one of the best things about the country is the food, and when you visit, you’ll spend lots of time sampling Turkey’s delicious specialties that are at the very heart of Turkish culture and life. Whether it’s the famous baklava or other deserts, Turkish coffee, raki or Aegean vegetables layered in olive oil, spicy Anatolian kebabs, incredible fish and seafood dishes, eating and enjoying Turkish cuisine will be a big part of the cultural awakening you will become absorbed in when you visit Türkiye g

For more information on travel in Türkiye, visit




For those of us living in major cities, we often overlook Canada’s diverse landscape of mountains, forests, and rivers when planning a getaway but a recent visit to Québec’s Fjord-duSaguenay region convinced me there is no better place for travel than here, particularly for urbanites anxious to recharge from post-pandemic burnout.

A Short History of Québec

The Saguenay River played a vital role in the history of our nation. During my stay in Tadoussac, a village of 800 people located at the meeting point of the Saguenay Fjord and the St. Lawrence Estuary, I had the pleasure of visiting the oldest wooden church in Canada as well as a replica of the Chauvin Trading post. The chapel faces north towards the Rivière Saguenay and contains a small exhibit of artifacts dating back to its founding in 1747. Behind sits a replica of the Chauvin Trading Post originally built by the French navy under the command of Captain Pierre de Chauvin, in 1600.

Shortly after reaching shore, the French

captain chose Tadoussac as the place for the first permanent settlement in ‘New France.’ Thus, the trading post became a critical hub for the burgeoning fur trade between the French and Indigenous Peoples in North America.

I was taken aback by the charm of Hotel Tadoussac, originally built in 1864— and rebuilt by Canadian Steamship Lines President William Hugh in 1942. Tadoussac has cozy-small-village energy coupled with vintage architecture that makes it feel as if you are strolling through the grounds of an old movie set.

All About the Whales

Residents in the surrounding villages of the Rivière Saguenay take immense pride in the whales that frequent the Saguenay-St. Lawrence Marine Park. We travelled from L’Anse-SaintJean to Tadoussac by zodiac with Saguenay Aventures, a trip that takes approximately 90 minutes. During boat trip that we saw the most whales of our time in Saguenay. What is more, the zodiac guides are incredibly cautious

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: The oldest Church in Canada, Chapelle de Tadoussac dates back to 1747. Beautiful view across the Saguenay River from Parc Aventures Cap Jaseux, Saint-Fulgence. Glamping accommodations at Parc Aventures Cap Jaseux include tree houses, suspended spheres, domes, log cabins, and cool boxes. Our hiking guide at Sépaq Parc National de Fjord-du-Saguenay, RivièreÉternité.

about maintaining a respectful distance between their vessels and the whales to avoid disrupting their ecosystem while ensuring guests get some sightseeing action.

In Tadoussac, the Centre of Interpretation on Marine Mammals (CIMM) contains an excellent exhibit on aquatic biology. There is so much to see and do at the exhibit for all ages. I was fascinated by the authentic whale skeletons suspended from the ceiling. The CIMM guides are incredibly knowledgeable and passionate about the work they do to protect whales and other aquatic mammals in Saguenay.

travel by Haley Donovan

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: The whale exhibit at the Centre of Interpretation on Marine Mammals in Tadoussac. The whitewashed walls, red roof, and dormer windows of the Tadoussac Hotel. The frescoed walls of the beautiful Cloverdale restaurant inside the Tadoussac Hotel. The bilingual naturalist-guides aboard a Croisières AML whale-watching cruise will teach about the giants of the sea in the Saguenay-St. Lawrence Marine Park. Bears we spotted climbing a tree on the Rivière-a-Mars canyon trail at Okwari Le Fjord-Contact Nature.

I was amazed at how little I knew about the whale population in Quebec—it is such an important part of the Maritime identity in this part of the country and understandably so.

It takes less than ten minutes to walk from the CIMM to Tadoussac wharf where Croisières AML runs two daily three-hour whale-watching excursions. The cruises offer a VIP section with gourmet lunch boxes and beverages so you can sit back and sip on a G&T made with Quebec gin while touring the Marine Park in the St. Lawrence Estuary. I was happily surprised to find out just how flavourful Quebec gin is and how expansive the industry is across the province.

If beer is your beverage of choice, make sure to stop at the quaint Microbrasserie Tadoussac. We stopped for a pint of Pale (Wh)ale post-cruise. The cute play on words is yet another example of the extraordinary pride of the locals in the marine mammals inhabiting the Saguenay-St. Lawrence River.

National Parks

Whales aside, the Saguenay is a dynamic destination with many activities for the outdoor enthusiast. At Okwari Le Fjord, we walked the trails and footbridges of the Rivière-a-Mars canyon. Our guide informed us that since 1870, the Saguenay-Lac-SaintJean area is the largest producer of blueberries in Quebec.

In the late 19th century, settlers deforesting land started a fire that quickly grew into a massive forest fire. The cleared land attracted farmers who subsequently developed a booming blueberry industry. The ubiquitous berries seem to have found their way into every dish in Saguenay. No complaints, they are absolutely delicious.

A personal highlight was spotting black bears. Our guide handed me her binoculars to get a closer look. Her gesture of Saguenay hospitality further enhanced an already impressive view of the creatures and made for a highly memorable experience.

At the Sépaq Parc national du Fjorddu-Saguenay, our naturalist/guide was


equally as friendly. On our morning hike through the Rivière Éternité section of the park, he shared so much knowledge about the diverse land and water ecosystems of the Fjord. It was thoroughly enjoyable. He told us about a species of deep-sea sharks in Rivière Saguenay that live up to 400 years— you could not pay me to swim in that water.

I did, however, get close to swimming during a three-hour sea kayaking tour with Fjord en Kayak. There is no better way to spend a sunny day in Saguenay than in a kayak on the Fjord. The scenery is majestic, and the guides are filled with such positive energy.

Our Saguenay trip concluded with an afternoon of mushroom picking and an evening of glamping at Parc Aventures Cap Jaseux. On our way to the campsite, we stopped at a tiny local food shop to pick up provisions for our dinner. The shop contains only locally grown and raised products. We decided on lamb and rice which we later cooked using the campsite’s sous-vide machine.

The meal was delicious, and it reinforced the importance Saguenay residents put on preserving nature. Everything from sightseeing to harvesting crops is done in a way that balances respect for the natural surroundings while simultaneously protecting and preserving the biodiversity of the region.


Parc Aventures Cap

Jaseux offers several alternative-style camping accommodations: tree houses, suspended spheres, domes, log cabins, and cool boxes. For anyone looking to further ‘glampify’ their glamping experience, I recommend the cool box. It is the only accommodation with running water. The treehouse and sphere boxes make for the most unique camping experience since they are far beyond ground level. I woke up extra early to watch the sun rise and breathe in the fresh forest air before heading off to Bagotville airport.

There is something special about life in

Restaurant O’Batillage is a classical French-style restaurant that goes above and beyond by incorporating local Saguenay produce into all its dishes. The medium-rare steak with local potatoes and carrots was simply delicious.

Pick-up Grillé: Quebec is known for having some of the best tartar in Canada. I tried the salmon tartar served with fresh salad. There were so many layers of flavour. The restaurant is a must-try for the tartar alone!


A glamping suspended sphere at Parc Aventures Cap Jaseux. We took in the beauty and the marine life of the Saguenay up close on a three-hour adventure with Fjord en Kayak. Some of the edible mushroom we picked with the professional guides at Parc Adventures Cap Jaseux in SaintFulgence.

Saguenay. The people are kind, the food is delicious, the whales are spectacular, and the natural environment is truly restorative.

If you are guilty of spending too much time in the city, consider a trip to the Saguenay Fjord and the St. Lawrence Estuary — you won’t believe you are in the same country! g

For more information on travel in the region visit,

Bistro La ChassePinte: We tried the beef tartar at this quaint lakeside restaurant. It was packed with a rich smoky flavour which paired well with local Quebec cider. The bistro is popular among locals due to its extensive beer and cider list, a musttry microbrewery.

La Galouine Restaurant is perfect for seafood lovers. The dishes incorporate fresh lobster and salmon and are to die for. The service also stood out. Our waiter was focused on every detail and provided an exceptional guest experience. Make sure to stop for a meal when you are in Tadoussac, but be forwarned, your cocktails may have blueberries in them!



When you think of Florida, nostalgic childhood trips to Disney World likely come to mind. However, The Sunshine State has so much more on offer. Miami, Martin County, and The Palm Beaches represent some of the best of Florida, whether you’re young, old, travelling solo, or with friends and family.

Sailing, stingrays, and more in Martin County Martin County is a hidden gem. The county is located along the scenic Treasure Coast and is a prime spot for anyone who enjoys boating, fishing, and high-quality seafood.

Stuart, coined one of the “best small towns in the USA” by Country Living Magazine, is a city of just over 16,000 people and is the county seat of Martin County. It’s an incredibly familyfriendly, quaint but progressive city where the locals are welcoming and so kind

I stayed at the lovely Marriott Hutchinson Island Beach Resort, Golf & Marina, and I highly recommend it, especially if you are travelling with friends or family. The rooms are spacious with large windows and an accessible balcony with stunning views of the beach.

Explore Stuart with the help of a local guide from The Flavor Excursion. You’ll not only visit various cafes, bars, and eateries to sample the flavours of the city, but your “food tour” guide will also walk you through the fascinating

history, including the town’s significant role in the prohibition-era bootlegging industry. Starting at $75 for adults and $45 for children, the three-hour walking tour is a great way to get to know the city.

Learn about Stuart and Martin County from a different angle by taking a scenic cruise. The Schooner Lily Sunset Experience by Treasure Coast Sailing Adventures, headed by the knowledgeable and entertaining Captain Fred, is a two-hour experience that departs from Shepard Park and sails up the St. Lucie River. This is an excellent opportunity to find out about the different wildlife that call the region

ABOVE: The waters of Miami Beach, Florida. (PHOTO: VISIT FLORIDA). BELOW: Captain Fred of Treasure Coast Sailing Adventures has been sharing his knowledge about the Treasure Coast since 2010. (PHOTO: KAT WALCOTT)

home, the fishing culture, treasure hunting along the coast, and more while taking in the gorgeous views. Don’t forget to snap some photos during the journey; the shots you’ll get as the sun sets will be top-notch!

For a close-up experience with the county’s wildlife, book a day at the Florida Oceanographic Coastal Center, located on Stuart’s Hutchinson Island. The 57-acre educational and research facility houses hundreds of animal species to view and, in the case of the stingrays, directly interact with. Weekly, from Wednesday to Sunday, the centre hosts a special stingray program that includes an informative presentation followed by a feeding time where participants get to hand-feed the stingrays. It is a great activity for kids or for adults who are kids at heart.

While visiting Martin County, you’ll likely bump into other Canadians. Originally from Montreal, I was delighted to meet not one but two fellow Montrealers during my stay. Sign up for a Sound Vibrational Healing class at the Elliott Museum, and you’ll be led by expert sound healer

travel by Kat Walcott

and Montreal native Deena Mahill.

The hour-long session gives you a new appreciation for relaxation and opens your mind to alternate ways of meditation and coping with anxiety. It’s an experience that everyone should try.

Kai-Kai Farm is a top-rated venue in Martin County for a destination wedding or special events. The beautiful farm, located 35 minutes outside of Stuart in the small village of Indiantown, is owned by the wonderful couple, Carl Frost and Diane Cordeau — another fellow Montreal ex-pat.

Wrap up your stay in Martin County with a haunted walk in Port Salerno, just a 15-minute drive from Stuart. Whether you believe in the supernatural or not, Port Salerno Ghost Tours is a fascinating and fun experience. For just $20 USD, the post-sunset two-hour walk takes you to some of Port Salerno’s most haunted spots. You’ll be equipped with an EMF reader to track any ghostly activity around you while learning about the town’s creepy history. Don’t forget to snap some photos during the walk; you never know what your camera will pick up.

Picturesque Palm Beaches

The Palm Beaches is the collective name for over 30 cities and towns that line a 47-mile stretch of coast in southeastern Florida. It is one of the nicest regions to visit, where you’ll find beaches, trendy shopping districts, and great public transportation.

Stay at the Aloft Delray Beach, located in the small but adorable city of Delray Beach. The modern, urban loft-style hotel has 122 sleek, pet-friendly rooms and is within walking distance to the city’s best shops and restaurants.

There are quite a few places you’ll want to check out in Delray. The good news is that you don’t need a car to get around. FreeBee is a south Florida-based company that provides free electric transportation throughout Downtown Delray. Use the FreeBee app to book a ride from anywhere you are, and a friendly driver will pick you up in one of FreeBee’s adorable electric cars.

For a serene experience, consider spending a day at the Morikami

Museum and Japanese Gardens. Created to promote and educate the public about Japanese culture and the significance Japanese immigrants played in the development of South Florida, the principal building features art exhibits and educational spaces inside and 16 acres of stunning green gardens outside. Follow the garden’s winding trails and keep your eyes open for wild iguanas––they may be invasive in Florida, but here in the gardens, they look like beautiful mini dragons amongst the foliage. Take in the ponds full of koi and other wildlife too.

Get to know the food and cultural scene by heading to Delray Beach Market for lunch. The modern indoor food court is a great hub to get familiar with the local scene and support independent merchants and restaurants. Opened shortly before the COVID pandemic hit, the market was established to modernize Delray Beach, and it is definitely doing that. Its fun design,

lighting, and overall vibe are fresh and exciting. Make sure to taste the Asian and Hawaiian eats at Tanuki, located on the eastern end of the market. Their crispy rice dishes are to die for!

For dinner, you’ve got to go to Lionfish, a popular Delray eatery and easily one of the best restaurants. The menu offers seafood and steakhouse classics with a modern twist. Lionfish focuses on ingredients and flavours that are distinctively coastal and fresh. Everything is exquisite, but I had to recommend the Tableside Hot Rocks Slice Wagyu as an appetizer and the Whole Steamed Florida Snapper for an entrée.

Shopaholics won’t want to miss the chance to spend a day at The Square in Downtown West Palm. The outdoor shopping complex and food destination offer a curated mix of over 50 retail stores and restaurants and open spaces for community events and art installations.

CLOCKWISE: The Delray Beach Market is a modern food court that is a great spot to grab lunch. (PHOTO: VISIT FLORIDA). Morikami’s Japanese gardens span 16 acres and feature winding trails, ponds, and various wildlife. (PHOTOS: KAT WALCOTT)

Shops at The Square include global brands like Lululemon and Restoration Hardware, as well as local shops like inclusivity-focused children’s bookstore Rohi’s Readery and apparel and gift shop Life in Palm Beach, to name just a few. Check out The Square’s event calendar before you visit to take advantage of live music, farmer’s market, and more. Get to and from The Square, and explore

site restaurants, the hotel is a vacation destination itself.

other parts of West Palm by jumping on a Circuit. Similar to Delray’s FreeBee, Circuit is an entirely free shuttle service that services downtown West Palm. Simply download the handy app to reserve your ride.

Miami is considered one of the sexiest cities for a reason—with its hot weather and iconic beaches, you will want to wear your swimwear everywhere you go, just like the locals!

If you’re all about shopping, nightlife, and rooftop bars, book your stay at the JW Marriot Marquis Miami, in the heart of Downtown Miami. The fivestar property is quite reasonable–you can book a room for as low as $360 CAD during the off-season, and many of their bookings include breakfast. With its spacious rooms, stunning views, and all its amenities, including the exquisite Enliven Spa & Salon, complete fitness centre, and five on-

Brickell City Centre is within walking distance of the Marriott and is a mall unlike any other. With its enclosed roof and open sides, the centre has the vibe of an indoor mega mall and an outdoor strip mall. The vast space takes up over five blocks of the recently redeveloped financial district of Downtown Miami. It is home to popular fast-fashion retailers like Zara and Victoria’s Secret, cosmetic shops like Sephora and MAC Cosmetics, and high-end retailers like Saks Fifth Avenue and Coach, to name a few. Instead of a fast-food court, the centre is home to some of the best restaurants in Miami, including the beloved Pubbelly Sushi, a delicious Asian-Latin fusion spot with a great, lively atmosphere. Pick from an array of fresh ceviches, sushi, handrolls, various fish cooked in every way possible, and grilled classics like steak and chicken.

lies in the heart of Wynwood and is a must-see for all street art fanatics. The installation features over 80,000 square feet of “walls,” and many are recycled shipping containers that feature the works of graffiti and mural artists from around the world. Wynwood Walls is free to visit, making it a great budget-friendly alternative to visiting a traditional museum or art gallery.

CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: New Yorkbased Buff Monster is one of the many artists whose work adorns the Wyndwood Walls, Miami’s most famous outdoor art district. (PHOTO: NIKA CRAMER) Sugar is East Miami’s rooftop bar, complete with good drinks, food, and views. (PHOTO: SWIRE PROPERTIES) Ocean Drive is world-famous for its preserved art deco buildings that date back to the 1930s.

Get re-fueled after your art tour at BAKAN. The Mexican restaurant is a three-minute walk from Wynwood Walls and offers all the traditional Mexican fare made with the freshest and tastiest ingredients. I recommend the “Tacos de Short Rib” and any of their mole dishes. For a refreshing drink, the “BAKAN Clasica” margarita is to die for.

If you prefer the feeling of sand on your feet and more tropical vibes, Miami Beach may be more your speed. This island resort city, separated from mainland Miami by stunning Biscayne Bay, has picturesque views and holds so much rich and fascinating history.

Book a walking tour with Miami Design Preservation League to learn about the city’s architecture and design, including how it was one of the first cities in North America to adopt the art deco style. Ocean Drive, Miami Beach’s main street and the heart of the Miami Beach Architectural District, is home to many of the city’s original art deco-style buildings. Walking past them will make you feel like you’ve been transported back to the 1920s. Ocean Drive is also home to the infamous “Versace Mansion,”–– a stunning estate built in the Mediterranean style and the site where fashion designer Gianni Versace was assassinated in 1997.

After dinner, head for drinks at EAST Miami’s trendy rooftop lounge, Sugar. Expect great food, drink, music, and the city’s best views.

A short drive north of downtown Miami is the young and trendy neighborhood of Wynwood––home to one of Miami’s most famous art districts. Wynwood Walls, a mural installation conceived by urban planner Tony Goldman in 2009,

In Miami Beach, stay at the Loews Miami Beach Hotel, located on Collins Avenue, less than a mile from Ocean Drive. The hotel mixes modernity with a touch of the city’s signature art deco style and is an experience all of its own. Inside the hotel, enjoy the fully equipped gym, kids’ centre, spa, or wellness lounge. The hotel’s exterior property features multiple pools and swanky cabanas available to rent. g

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