SP-Living Spaces_June 26

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Lakeside Resort: Living the dream, so close to home


Grand prize show home goes Midcentury Modern


Arbutus reveals plans for solar-powered community

2019 Parade of Homes sure to inspire TAKE YOUR









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www.boychukhomes.com Office 306-374-3939 boychuk.info@sasktel.net 2


Bill Yano 306-850-9745 boychuk.bill@sasktel.net

• Modeled after our Award Winning Rosewood Estates project • Customize your floorplan or choose from FOUR Ready-to-Move-In units • 24’ deep two car garages w/concrete driveways • Fully landscaped

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LAKESIDE RESORT: Living the dream, so close to home BUILDER OF THE YEAR: Maison Design + Build takes home coveted award 2019 Parade of Homes will be the biggest ever! Local designers garnering international attention Nest Secret Garden tour reveals hidden gems PITCHING IN Habitat for Humanity launches Youth Build 2019

design & renovation

20 STORMY WEATHER Are you prepared for the next blackout? 24 Take your deck to the next level 28 Transform your yard with edible landscaping 30 FOR THE BIRDS How to create a backyard sanctuary

departments 11 ASK AN EXPERT: Jacqueline Chilliak, Century 21 Fusion 17 ASK AN EXPERT: Maison Design + Build

food & entertaining 22 ZestyKits brings family back to the table 32 In the Kitchen with Calories Restaurant 3



ummer has arrived in Saskatoon – time to get out and enjoy outdoor pleasures! Living Spaces reveals a new concept in lakeside living, at nearby Blackstrap Lake. Our outdoor theme continues with tips on edible landscaping and ways to make your back yard a bird haven. We also chat with this year’s Builder of the Year: Maison Design + Build… plus so much more! Enjoy!

email: jarmstrong@postmedia.com


Lakeside Resort: Living the dream, so close to home


Grand prize show home goes Midcentury Modern


Arbutus reveals plans for solar-powered community

2019 Parade of Homes sure to inspire TAKE YOUR




ON OUR COVER: Lakeside Resort at Blackstrap Lake To reserve your advertising space in the upcoming edition of Living Spaces, contact: mark Hamilton Tel: (306) 657-6415 mhamilton@postmedia.com







Jeannie armstrong

ART DIRECTION Lesley Cockburn

PHOTOGRAPHY elaine mark


Jeannie armstrong Jennifer Jacoby-smith tom eremondi elizabeth ireland Hilary klassen Carol todd


the starPhoenix


Lakeside resort:

Living the dream, so close to home


or many Saskatchewan people, this is the dream. We imagine owning our own cottages, perched on the side of a shining lake, overlooking a lush, green golf course. Coffee is served on the deck in the morning light, while we listen to the gentle breeze rustling in the trees and the tranquil echoes of a loon across the lake. The day flies by and activity options are endless. We launch the boat for some family fun on the lake or try out a new driver on the golf course. Evenings are spent barbecuing and laughing with loved ones as the sun slowly sinks into the horizon over the lake. Night time arrives, and under the starry sky we enjoy evening cocktails around the fire. The dream, though, usually requires driving a considerable distance, opening the cabin



Overlooking the lake, Lakeside Event Centre spans over 17,000 square feet with amenities that include: restaurant with fine dining and lounge, spa, pool, pro shop and multiple indoor and outdoor event space options.

The cottage interior finishes are beautifully luxurious, while durable enough to stand up to the activities of lake life. High quality vinyl plank flooring throughout, beautiful quartz countertops in kitchens and baths, marble ceramic tile shower surrounds and a gas fireplace with floor-to-ceiling tile are just a few of the stunning features in every cottage model.

on arrival, cleaning it before leaving, and carrying the full financial burden of a vacation property. Not this dream. Lakeside Golf Resort and Event Centre, Saskatchewan’s newest resort destination, offers more than just the benefits of lake living. It also features a turn-key revenue opportunity and unparalleled proximity to Saskatoon. Located on the shores of Blackstrap, Lakeside is a mere 25 minutes from the city via twinned highway. Phase One of the Lakeside Estates is sold out, with many expansive builds valued north of the $1 million mark completed. Another release of 58 lots, the majority backing

the golf course with beautiful vistas of the lake and rolling hills, become available in a masterplanned community on June 28. They represent the beginnings of an architecturally-cohesive community providing havens for cottage owners along with a unique option: Lakeside allows owners to earn revenue on their properties without having to lift a finger. “The resort’s property management company will take care of everything – marketing, maintenance, everything,” said Brandon Moore, Lakeside’s Strategic Operations Manager, who was instrumental

in cultivating Saskatchewan’s fastest-selling recreational community development – The Cottages at Elk Ridge, located just outside of Waskesiu. Lakeside offers several styles and sizes of cottages to choose from. They range from the Buttercup, a two-bedroom, 960 sq. ft. model priced at $298,000 + tax, to the spacious Prairie Lily, a 1,631 sq. ft. fully furnished walkout with loft that sleeps up to 14 people, priced at $479,000 + tax. Moore says the cottages will rent for approximately $200 to $650 per night, depending on the unit’s size and the time of summer 2019


The Prairie Lily (left), a lofted cottage with walkout basement features 2,688 square feet of fully furnished living space, priced at $479K + tax. The Bearberry cottage (right) features 1,354 square feet of fully furnished living space, priced at $369K + tax. All cottages come with a minimum half-acre lot.

year. Owners entered into the rental pool will receive 60% of all rental revenue. The cottages will attract such rates not only because they are well appointed. A spectacular feature of the resort is an elegant event centre for those seeking nature-based conventions, weddings and family reunions. Of course, the event attendees will require accommodation close by. “Given its proximity to Saskatoon and Regina, we know the event centre will be a big draw for weddings, industry events and golf tournaments,” Moore said. “The best part is, when owners are not using their cottages, they have the option to enter them into the rental pool, for as little or as much as they want, and simply collect cheques in the mail.” The event centre has been designed with soaring vaulted ceilings, expansive windows overlooking the lake, and amenities such as a full-service restaurant and bar, spa, pro-shop, four-season pool and event space options. In the snowy season, the resort transitions into a winter wonderland with activities such as cross-country skiing, skating, snowmobiling and a heated pool that can be opened to the elements. “We believe the master-planned community will be very attractive to rural Saskatchewan,” said Moore. “The city is a hub for many smalltown Saskatchewan residents for various reasons, such as functions, events and shopping. Lakeside provides rural Saskatchewan with the opportunity to have a luxurious place to stay when they come to the area, while earning revenue when not in use.” Lakeside’s owner and developer Dave Ferguson had considerable success in Ontario

before coming to Saskatoon several years ago. The family chose Saskatoon because his wife hails from the area, and they were seeking a quieter, better life in Saskatchewan. The nine-hole golf course is the longest in Saskatchewan from the black tees. With three additional tee deck options, the course is a perfect fit for both beginners and scratch golfers, says Ferguson. As an avid golfer and former Ontario Golf Club Champion, the course is Dave’s signature contribution to the resort. He has landscaped the course with rolling valleys, trees, flowing plants and irrigation to ensure a visually beautiful and exciting experience. “All the lots are fully-serviced with city water, natural gas and power with prime locations overlooking the golf course and lake,” Ferguson added. “As an added cherry on top, every owner will have access to the resort’s amenities, from the restaurant or lounge, swimming pool, gym and spa.” Moore has brought his experience to the cottage designs, with consideration for the conference market as well as the family stay. For example, each bedroom has a television and an ensuite bath offering the privacy and convenience of a hotel stay. Every cottage is situated on a minimum half-acre lot. The three walkout cottage options offer a cozy basement with fireplace, bar and games area, perfect for fun family times or team-building. For purchasers who opt into the rental pool, a full furniture, appliance and electronic inventory package is available that includes everything from bedding, cookware,

The Buttercup is 960 square feet, priced at $298K +tax.

art, games and electronics to patio furniture and an outdoor natural gas fireplace. The beautifully finished open-concept kitchen, living and dining areas have dramatic vaulted ceilings, a gas fireplace, floor-to-ceiling windows and patio doors opening to a large deck overlooking the golf course and lake. Double and triple garages can be purchased for personal storage or to increase the appeal to the rental market. The lot draw begins Friday, June 28. Those interested can submit their expressions of interest with a $2,500 fully-refundable deposit. Individuals in the lot draw will enjoy priority lot selection and a $20,000 discount on their cottage, an incentive reserved only for the opening weekend. “It is a high priority for us to reward those early adopters that can see the opportunity and choose to buy into the community over our opening weekend,” Moore said.* For more details regarding visit www. lakesidegolfresort.ca, or call 306-380-7931. * Additional terms and conditions apply.




At Westbury, it’s really quite simple. We design and build custom homes that fit your life, budget and style. At Westbury, it’s really quite simple. We design and build custom homes that fit your life, budget and style.

westburyhomes.ca | 306-880-5277 | westburyhomes.ca | 306-880-5277 |

Maison Design + Build’s show home located at 318 Dagnone Crescent in Brighton was a national finalist in the Canadian Home Builders Association’s Housing Excellence Awards. The show home is recognized as one of the top five production homes in Canada (1,800 – 2,200 sq. ft.)

maison design + build takes home

builder of tHe Year




ne of the greatest achievements residential construction companies can strive for is to be named Builder of the Year by the Saskatoon & Region Home Builders’ Association (SRHBA). Maison Design + Build was presented with this year’s prestigious honour at the SRHBA’s Housing Excellence Awards gala at TCU Place. It’s the second time that the firm’s owners, Andrew and Jilaire Wagner, have taken home the coveted crystal statue. Maison also earned the title of Builder of the Year in 2015. Then came the news that Maison Design + Build was being recognized at the national level, as a finalist in the Canadian Home Builders’ Association’s Housing Excellence



awards. Maison’s show home at 318 Dagnone Crescent in Brighton was named one of the top five production homes in Canada, in the 1,800 to 2,200 sq. ft. category. To qualify as Builder of the Year, SRHBA member builders must demonstrate outstanding achievement in design, customer service, community involvement, work safe practices and environmental leadership. The Home Builder of the Year winner is determined by the overall final scoring of each award category. “The first time, it was a complete surprise,” says Jilaire Wagner. “Between the time we first won and this time, the judging criteria changed quite a bit. They’re not just looking for a company that has an excellent track record building homes, they’re also looking for a company that is contributing to the

community and demonstrating leadership, environmental stewardship and safety.” Andrew Wagner says that winning Builder of the Year for a second time affirms that their hard work is paying off. “We’ve really been working diligently at building our business, creating a client centric process that improves the whole home building experience.” For Maison Design + Build, establishing a client centric culture ensures their customers’ needs come first and foremost. “We spend a lot of time determining ‘why’ our clients are building a house. When you start with ‘why’, instead of jumping right to ‘what’, everything falls into place. It’s a very different approach to what we see in the industry right now,” says Andrew. Jilaire adds, “I think we’ve really found a niche where our values are aligned with our


Maison Design + Build is currently designing and constructing three exciting infill projects in Saskatoon. Since incorporating in 2010, Jilaire and Andrew Wagner have grown Maison Design + Build to become one of Saskatoon’s leading boutique builders. “We build every house truly like it was our own,” says Jilaire Wagner.

Maison Design + Build has created a client-centric culture where customers' needs come first.

clients’ values. We strive to provide really great service to people who want a thoughtfully designed home.” No two homes constructed by Maison are alike, she adds. “Our homes aren’t just custom in the sense that clients can select their finishes, each floor plan is brand new.” Throughout the home building process, clients stay informed. “This helps them to make educated decisions around their overall project budget and make the most of their purchasing power,” says Jilaire. Winning the Avid Gold Award in 2018 for custom home builder is an indication of the rapport the Wagners have established with their clients. The award is presented by Avid Ratings Canada to the builder with the highest customer satisfaction score in their region. “Our scores are among the highest in North America,” says Jilaire. “It means our clients not only have trusted us through the process, they love the house they’re in and would make the same choice again. We put a lot of heart into those relationships and we build every house truly like it was our own.” At the SRHBA Awards, Maison Design + Build also received the Safety Leadership in Housing Award. “We’ve pursued our core certification through the Saskatchewan Construction Safety Association. It’s been a lot of work, but it’s been really worthwhile summer 2019



Mason Design + Build’s portfolio of custom built homes includes a number of impressive acreage properties.

because of the relationships it’s built with our trades,” says Andrew. Maison is also a pioneer on environmental issues. “We’ve implemented a comprehensive recycling program to reduce construction waste. We’re one of the only residential builders to be doing that. Through a really collaborative relationship with Loraas Disposal, we’ve come up with a very cost effective recycling program that diverts 70 per cent of the construction waste going to the landfill,” says Andrew. On average, the construction of a new home will generate four or five red bins of waste – everything from drywall remnants and cardboard packaging to metal, wood and plastic scraps. “Now we’re only throwing out one bin,” says Andrew. The husband-and-wife team built their first home in 2000. Since incorporating in 2010, they’ve grown their business to become one of the city’s leading boutique builders, specializing in design-driven homes. The Wagners now employ a team of ten and are quick to share their success with their staff. Community involvement is another criteria for winning Builder of the Year. Just one of Maison’s initiatives involved renovating the tub rooms at Porteous Lodge, a seniors’ residence in Saskatoon. “Atmosphere Design asked us to partner with them. Porteous



Lodge had a donor who paid for the tubs. Atmosphere did the design, then we did the construction. The whole construction team donated back in kind with their labour. It was a really great renovation. This year, we’re going to keep that rolling forward and participate in a similar project at Stensrud Lodge,” says Andrew. Maison Design + Build constructed 11

homes for clients in 2018. The Wagners say that 2019 is off to a great start; they’re already working on six starts, including three exciting infill projects. To explore Maison’s nationally recognized show home, visit 318 Dagnone Crescent in Brighton. Show home hours are Thursdays from 5 to 9 p.m.; Saturdays, Sundays and holidays from 12 noon to 5 p.m.


Real Estate


(306) 222-7211 jacquelinechilliak@gmail.com jacqueline-chilliak.century21fusion.ca

How to prepare your home for sale and impress potential buyers

We are planning to sell our home and are wondering what we can do to ensure our property stands out from other listings on the market? There are many factors that impact how quickly a home sells: price, condition, time of year, personal motivation and location. Quite often though, a sale is determined by the kind of impression your home has left with prospective buyers. Here are some helpful hints that will set your home apart from the others. 1. Consult with a professional REALTOR® prior to beginning to prepare your home for sale. They can give you helpful advice on what upgrades may be required to give you a good return per dollar invested. They can also help you determine a realistic asking price, factoring in the improvements you plan to make. 2. Complete the upgrades to your home before having that “For Sale” sign installed. Preparing your home can take time and delays can impact the number of homes you may be competing against. 3. Maximizing street appeal is key to making an initial first impression. Make your home shine from the outside in. To spring clean the exterior, be sure to: - Wash your windows. - Dispose of any pet excrement left behind during the winter. - Power rake and thoroughly water your lawn. - Sweep and rinse away any sand, gravel or debris from your driveway and garage. - Take down Christmas lights. - Remove debris from flower beds and plant some colourful flowers. - Ensure eavestroughs and downspouts are clean and in good condition. 4. Once the outside is shining, move inside: - De-clutter your home and remove excess personal photographs and items of value. - Make the bathrooms and kitchen sparkle. Wash grimy cabinets, fixtures and mirrors. - Fix leaky faucets. Replace burnt-out or dim light bulbs with regular bulbs for maximum luminance. - Empty out full closets and storage spaces. - Re-arrange furniture for an open, bright feel and easy flow between rooms. - Wash windows, blinds and light fixtures. - Store pet food in airtight containers, empty litter boxes daily and clean pet blankets, baskets and kennels regularly. 5. List your home with a REALTOR® on MLS®. They are trained to provide advice to buyers and deal with buyer objections. Remember, the first impression of your home is often the lasting impression. If a buyer’s agent is impressed, their clients will be too, resulting in a quicker sale and higher price for your home. For more information on preparing your home for sale or for a professional market evaluation, call or email Jacqueline Chilliak. She’s happy to help and has 25 years of experience as an award-winning REALTOR®.


Buy or Sell with me* and receive 1000 AIR MILES®

Call JACQUIE at 306.222-7211 to schedule your




Not intended to solicit properties currently listed for sale or buyers under contract. *Some conditions apply. Independently Owned and Operated. ® ™ Trademarks owned by Century 21 Real Estate LLC used under license or authorized sub-license. © 2019 Century 21 Canada Limited Partnership, CENTURY 21 Fusion. ®™ Trademarks of AM Royalties Limited Partnership used under license by LoyaltyOne and Century 21 Fusion Realty Inc. * Some conditions may apply with the issuing of AIR MILES® Reward Miles -- please contact Jacqueline Chilliak - REALTOR® for more information on this rewards program.

summer 2019


2019 Parade of Homes will be the

biggest ever!

by Jeannie Armstrong


hen looking for a new house, you want a home that complements your lifestyle and personality. To find the perfect fit, visit the 2019 Parade of Homes, presented August 6 to September 15 by the Saskatoon & Region Home Builders’ Association (SRHBA). This year’s Parade of Homes is the biggest ever – with 33 different show homes extending across Saskatoon, Martensville, Warman, the R.M. of Corman Park – and for the first time ever, Blackstrap Lake. “We’ve got so much diversity in terms of location as well as the style of this year’s parade homes,” says Jennifer Lamontagne, SRHBA Director of Business Development. “Whether your preference is a home in or outside of the city, a new or mature neighbourhood – or golf course or lakeside living – you’ll find it in this year’s Parade of Homes.” The parade is a showcase of single family homes, townhomes, condominiums, golf course and lake resort residences. Each is professionally designed and fully staged, revealing the latest interior and exterior style trends. You can try on the exciting floor plans, features and innovations of each parade home, while exploring the amenities the different



neighbourhoods have to offer. “It’s easy and there’s no commitment involved. You don’t have to make an appointment with a real estate agent. You can come out and see a variety of homes at your leisure. We invite everyone to explore as many homes as possible during the six-week event,” says Lamontagne. All of the parade homes have been designed and constructed by members of the Saskatoon & Region Home Builders’ Association. Each is a Certified Professional Home Builder and each brings a different personality, vibe and style to the parade. Achieving Certified Professional Home Builder status is no easy feat. In addition to adhering to a strict code of ethics and completing safety training, builders must complete 11 different training modules based on national benchmarks, ranging from construction technology and adherence to building codes to business planning and customer service. All Certified Professional Home Builders must also provide third party new home warranty coverage – a consumer protection that many are surprised to learn is not legally required in the province of Saskatchewan. “That level of professionalism is what really elevates the Parade of Homes and ultimately benefits the consumer. The market is becoming increasingly competitive, so it’s even more vital

for consumers to make an educated decision when choosing a builder,” says Lamontagne. It’s important to select a builder whose personality and style complements your own. “The parade is a good opportunity to take in the personalities of the builders because each one builds in a different style. There are 18 different builders and at least that many different styles. Building a home is a personal process; you want to make sure that you choose a builder with whom you’ll enjoy working – and that’s different for everyone,” she adds. Parade-goers can look forward to viewing the latest offerings from the Association’s long-time builders as well as companies

The 2019 Parade of Homes is an opportunity to explore the styles and personalities of 33 different show homes located across Saskatoon, Martensville, Warman, the R.M. of Corman Park – and for the first time ever, Blackstrap Lake.

2019 Parade of Homes - aug.6 - sePt. 15 Arbutus Properties Arbutus Properties Barry Homes Boychuk Construction D & S Homes Daytona Homes Daytona Homes Daytona Homes Ehrenburg Homes Homes by Dream Homes by Dream Lexis Homes Montana Homes Montana Homes NewRock Developments North Prairie Developments North Prairie Developments

The Meadows in Rosewood The Meadows in Rosewood Greenbryre Rosewood Brighton Brighton Brighton South Kensington Brighton Brighton South Kensington Rosewood Brighton South Kensington Evergreen Stonebridge Kensington

participating in the event for the very first time. Over 18,000 people came out to see last year’s parade homes, says Lamontagne. “It was the highest attendance ever. As the parade attendance continues to grow, it’s not surprising that more builders want to participate. And this is the fourth year in a row that we have set a new record for the number

#624 – 701 Meadows Blvd. 213 Greyeyes-Steele Way 309 Greenbryre Lane 211 Hamm Cres. 314 Dagnone Cres. 4174 Brighton Circle 303 Dagnone Cres. 102 Labine Cres. 214 Brighton Gate 135 Skopik Road 626 Kensington Blvd. 315 Hamm Way 420 Underhill Rd. 222 Hassard Close 110 Ahktar Bend 101-315 Dickson Cres. 802 Kensington Blvd.

North Prairie Developments North Ridge Development Corp. North Ridge Development Corp. North Ridge Development Corp. North Ridge Development Corp. North Ridge Development Corp. North Ridge Development Corp. North Ridge Development Corp. North Ridge Development Corp. North Ridge Development Corp. Pawluk Homes Selkirk Homes Spruce Homes Vinland Homes Vinland Homes Warman Homes

of homes featured in the parade.” There will be numerous promotions, prizes and special events taking place during the six-week Parade of Homes, including the popular Family Weekend. Watch for updates at “pohYXE” on Instagram and Facebook. Parade home viewing times are Monday through Thursday from 7 to 9 p.m.; weekends and holidays from 2 to 5 p.m. The parade

The Meadows in Rosewood Rosewood Brighton Lake Vista, Martensville Traditions, Warman The Legends, Warman Lake Vista, Martensville Evergreen Montgomery Place Stonebridge Evergreen Aspen Ridge Haultain Lakeside in Blackstrap Aspen Ridge Traditions, Warman

178 Stilling Mews 303 Hamm Way 310 Germain Manor 1356 Parr Hill Dr. 410 Augusta Blvd. #1-435 Palmer Cr. #200-1200 Parr Hill Dr. #38-310 Evergreen Blvd. #18-3206-11th St W. #114-105 Willis Cres. 579 Boykowich Cres. 316 Bolstad 1014 – 7th St. E. 44 Bryden Rd. at Lakeside 703 Kenaschuk Link 812 – 1st Ave. N.

home located at Blackstrap Lake will only be open on weekends. Parade homes are closed on Fridays. “Our interactive map makes it easy to find and explore each parade home. It provides step-by-step directions to each location,” says Lamontagne. For more details, visit paradeofhomesonline. ca.

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Local designers garnering international attention PHOTOS BY ALEX LUKEY

By Jennifer Jacoby-Smith


t might seem that in order to have a successful interior design company you need to live in Toronto or Vancouver or even some avant garde hub such as Los Angeles or New York, if you want to get attention. In fact, when Curtis Ciona and Trevor Elmy moved back to Saskatoon after Ciona completed interior design school in Calgary, the pair were told their dreams of success would be elusive in the small prairie city. They were told their ideas were too brave, too unique for Saskatoon. After struggling to find someone to hire them, they struck out on their own and formed Atmosphere Design in 2003. Sixteen years later, the dynamic design duo have proven success can be achieved on the world stage – even if you’re located in a small-never-heard-of urban centre. After posting images on Instagram of their own finished 2,088-square foot penthouse condo in the Luxe building on Broadway, House and Home magazine contacted them to do a story. Another glossy publication followed – Home Beautiful from Australia. Both articles generated significant online buzz. The sumptuous pictures have been shared and liked over and over in the virtual world and even caught the attention of design industry leader Jonathan Adler. From the very beginning Atmosphere Design set out to push boundaries. Their The guest bathroom features a bold geometric pattern created with three different colours of marble tiles cut into triangle shapes. The result is a fresh, yet impactful.



There are going to be a few pieces that don’t look like the puzzle. But when you put it all together it all fits and it looks great. – Trevor Elmy

The ensuite off the main bathroom is tiled from floor to ceiling to create a spa-like atmosphere. The stand-alone soaker tub gets a beautiful view, as well.

Playing with textures could be considered a hallmark of Atmosphere

Design. The grasscloth wall coverings contrast with the polished soft leather accents.

philosophy is to be true to what the client wants, but also to take them a small step beyond their comfort zone. “We want to be able to give them all those things that we feel they could be ready for, that they could respond to, that they just haven’t told us about,” says Elmy. Elmy even warns clients as they sit down for a meeting that there may be elements in their design board that they don’t like. “There are going to be a few pieces that don’t

look like the puzzle. But when you put it all together it all fits and it looks great,” he says. As for the Luxe penthouse condo, which is currently on the market, Elmy credits the pairing of gold and grey for catching the fickle eye of social media. While grey might seem to be ubiquitous in show homes in the city, in other parts of the world and even in Canada, the colour isn’t as common. Far from blasé and neutral, when it’s paired with the warm hues of brushed brass and gold it turns into a posh combination. “It’s very striking; it’s very fashion forward,” Elmy notes. Add in luxurious textures and punches of geometric patterns and it’s easy to see why these images beg to be savoured, lingered over. Elmy notes that the powerful geometric

patterns also attract attention. Most people like patterns but are afraid of using them. “They don’t know how to put it all together.” The Instagram posts and photospreads have served as an online business card of sorts with new jobs opening up across North America. One online fan contacted them about doing a $2 million spec home in an affluent community just outside of Washington, D.C. after exhausting his search for the right design team. During the first open house of the finished space, an interested family asked who had created the spectacular design. Before the builder could even finish saying the full name of Atmosphere Design, the prospective buyers replied that they followed them on Instagram. summer 2019



The condo’s high-end design has created a space that looks like it was plucked from New York or Toronto and has garnered significant buzz online recently. In reality, it overlooks the trendy bustle of Broadway Avenue in Saskatoon.

As for what’s next, Elmy says they’re continuing to search for fresh inspiration and new creative directions all the time. But nothing beats home sweet home in Saskatoon. The pair remains involved with the Hospital Home Lotteries, a chance to deliver something fresh and exciting, yet inviting and comfortable. Atmosphere Design continues to design luxurious spaces for new builds and renovations – whether close to home on the prairie or in a far-off corner of the globe. Back at the penthouse condo, Elmy points out that each room has its own unique look, despite the open concept. Together the space flows and seems connected. “It’s cohesive. It’s dramatic. It energizes us when we come home. I like being there,” says Elmy. “Even if we’re folding laundry on the island we’re looking out at Saskatoon and Broadway and the energy that that gives us. You can’t get anything better. It’s just a feeling you get from something. It’s not the stuff you touch, it’s the feeling that a place gives you, that just makes you feel at home.”

A mixture of bold contrasts creates a glamorous kitchen. The glossy surfaces and gold accents reflect the natural light and add sparkle to an already glitz space. It’s easy to see how this can serve as a gathering point for family and friends when they visit.


According to Elmy, 12-foot ceilings can easily become boring, but adding a contrasting coffered ceiling in charcoal grey adds interest. Several rooms get pretty lids in the penthouse space.



#30-214 Joseph Okemasis Drive • 306.242.3653 build@maisondesignbuild.ca | www.maisondesignbuild.ca

Home Builder We want to build an infill home. How do we search for the location that will be the right choice for our future home? It can take six months or more to complete a search for the right infill location. Having a good understanding of what you are looking for, the market value of what you are looking for, and the right team in place will position you to make a quick decision when the right opportunity comes along. In terms of your team, we’d recommend having both a realtor and a builder to help you assess the property for suitability. Choose three or four streets that fit your criteria in terms of overall location, curb appeal and re-investment in the community. Look at the condition of the alley and which side of the street you would prefer to be on from an exposure and existing tree perspective. If you want a backyard pool, it would be best to try to secure a lot with a south- or west-facing back yard. Put together a list of addresses on your preferred streets that would be ideal and share them with your realtor. Look for addresses that have smaller homes that look like they are reaching the end of their lifespan. Those properties will sell for the least amount of money, meaning that more of your budget will be available to support the build. Determine the overall size of lot you need. This is where your builder will come into play. What footprint will your home take up? What size of garage do you want? Will you have major landscape features like a backyard pool or hot tub? Are an attached garage or a front driveway priorities to you? If they are, choose a property that already has an approved curb crossing. Once you determine the size of lot you need to support your future home, you will be able to confirm what frontage you need to complete your project. A 25-foot lot is most common and can accommodate a variety of design options, but often a lot of back yard is used up to build a more modern-sized home. A 40-foot lot provides a lot of flexibility with your house and site plan. A 50-foot lot provides unlimited flexibility but is also more difficult to find and is a larger investment. It’s also important to review construction costs for new builds so you have a realistic idea of the cost to build once you secure your property. This will also help you know how much to spend on your lot. Also think about the hidden requirements and costs associated with infills such as demolition, tree removal, infrastructure replacement and bringing overhead electrical lines underground.

Winners of the 2019 "Builder of the Year" Award, presented at the SRHBA Housing Excellence Awards.

WE BUILD BEAUTIFUL Maison Design+Build is a boutique builder specializing in design-driven homes. We are passionate about timeless design and dedicated to precision quality construction. Proudly named the 2018 Home Builder of the Year by the Saskatoon and Region Home Builders’ Association at their Housing Excellence Awards.

maisondesignbuild.ca | 306.242.3653 |

summer 2019


hidden gems

Nest Secret Garden Tour reveals By Hilary Klassen





he Nest Secret Garden Tour is not simply a quest for gratuitous beauty, although that has its merits. Yes, you’ll see gorgeous perennial gardens, succulent vegetable gardens, colourful annuals and unique species. Your $20 Passport will lead you to at least eight secret gardens in the north and west of Saskatoon. Committee member, Maureen McPherson, has joined the quest to uncover the best gardens in Saskatoon, in each of the tour’s 10-year history. “We look for yards that demonstrate an imaginative use of space,” she says. These are gardens that set a high standard yet are achievable and able to inspire others. They may present unique focal points, like a water feature. A bit of acclaim never hurts when choosing a secret garden for the tour. Featured in the 2019 Tour, Kathy Balaski has won the Chrones Best Garden Award from the Saskatoon Horticultural Society a couple of times. She’s been developing her huge pie-shaped lot since 1981, replacing older trees with newer ones when necessary and generally mucking around. The yard features trees and shrubs, a perennial garden, a vegetable garden, about 50 strategically placed flower pots that blend into the foreground, and plenty of annuals to provide pops of colour. A large double deck near the back with a gazebo on one side provides a unique vantage point, as does a sitting area with a glider. The yard has evolved over the years. “We planted raspberries and then decided we didn’t want those, and then some sour cherry trees which not doing the greatest but you get a few cherries,” laughs Balaski. There’s a walkway around the perimeter with trees along it, another reason the yard attracts so many birds. Some of her favourite blooms include lupins, delphiniums and Solomon’s Seal.



Get your yard in shape with a little inspiration from gardeners at the Nest Secret Garden Tour on July 28! You’ll simultaneously be supporting a great cause. Nest Saskatoon sponsors and settles refugees from different parts of the globe.

Balaski adores her vegetable garden which provides a harvest of beans, potatoes, carrots, onions and garlic that last her through the winter. The 2019 tour will also visit the home of a beekeeper with a giant vegetable garden. However, the tour serves a greater purpose, which perhaps reveals its deeper beauty. It supports refugee sponsorship and settlement through Nest Saskatoon. Nest is currently awaiting two families due to arrive in Saskatoon shortly – a woman and her young son from Iraq, and a family of four from Syria. “Last year was a record year because we brought in 29 people,” says McPherson. She has been present for emotional reunions at the airport when families arrive from international points of origin and are greeted by relatives already living here. “We always say they come here as refugees but as soon as they get off the plane they’re residents.” As a volunteer organization, Nest is able to handle some of the more challenging settlement cases. “We do sponsor some men, but mainly it’s women and children at risk,” says McPherson. The organization was featured this winter on two programs in the


second season of the series Bridging Borders on Citytv. On February 4, four original members of Nest received the Global Citizens Award from the Saskatchewan Council for International Cooperation for their work with Nest. In 2018, the Nest Secret Garden Tour raised over $7,000 for the settlement efforts of Nest Saskatoon. The tour is called ‘secret’ because the public has the opportunity to see the private areas of the gardeners’ yards. Each year, two of the gardens are designated as refreshment gardens, offering water, cookies and a bit of information about Nest. Each garden has two Nest volunteers

onsite, and visitors have opportunity to speak with the gardeners as well. The tour is self-guided and takes place Sunday July 28 from 1 to 5 p.m. Passports must be purchased in advance and will be available after July 1 at Dutch Growers, McNally Robinson and Anthology. Passports reveal the city block in which a featured garden is located. At 1 p.m., signs go up in front of the houses where the gardens are located. To take in some beauty, inspiration and support a great cause, enjoy an afternoon spent leisurely wandering the Nest Secret Garden Tour. summer 2019


Stormy Weather Are you prepared for the next blackout?

Power outages increased by over 40 per cent in Saskatchewan from 2016 to 2017, often caused by extreme weather.

by Jeannie Armstrong


askatchewan has the third highest rate of recorded power outages in Canada, according to the Blackout and Power Outage Tracker published by Eaton, a global power management corporation. The tracker shows that power outages in Saskatchewan increased by over 40 per cent from 2016 to 2017. Extreme weather and aging infrastructure are among the most common reasons for power outages in Canada. As we enter the volatile summer storm season, how can homeowners prepare for sudden blackouts and power outages? An increasing number of Saskatchewan homeowners are equipping their properties with backup generator systems, says Percy Hoff, manager of DSG Power Systems in Saskatoon. “I’ve been in business here in Saskatoon since 1983 and it used to be that people were never concerned about power outages. In the last five years, however, the concern over weather conditions and power failures has been increasing year over year.” Sales of home standby generators so far this year have already equalled the total number of systems DSG sold in 2018, he adds.



DSG is the authorized dealer in Saskatchewan for Generac power systems. Founded in 1959, Generac was the first company to engineer affordable home standby generators and is considered the industry’s leading manufacturer. Generac produces a wide variety of auxiliary power systems, including portable models and standby generators. What’s the difference between the two systems? A portable generator can be moved from one outdoor location to another. It must be started and stopped manually, requiring the homeowner to be on site to operate the system. Portable generators run on gasoline, which means they must be refilled to continue operating. A standby generator is permanently installed outside your home, much like a central air conditioning unit. Connected to your home’s natural gas or propane supply, as soon as a power outage is detected, the generator automatically kicks in and runs until electrical service is restored. Diesel options are also available. “The standby generator will operate until the power comes back on. Once it senses that the power is back up, the generator cools

Photo: Getty Images

down and then shuts off,” says Hoff. Having a standby generator provides homeowners with peace of mind, he adds. “Here in Saskatchewan, so many people go south in the winter. There’s a lot at risk if the power goes out. A pipe could break, the sump pump could stop working. The food in your fridge could begin to spoil. If the power goes out and you don’t have a backup system, you could come home to a disaster,” says Hoff. Many of Generac’s standby generators come equipped with Wi-Fi or a Mobile Link feature, which allows the homeowner to monitor the operating status of the generator from anywhere in the world by smart phone, tablet or computer. The Mobile Link also provides maintenance alerts. Professional installation by an electrician is advised. “Typically, we have a certified electrician install the system. It has to meet the electrical code in Saskatchewan,” says Hoff. With newer homes, installation is fairly straightforward. “Sometimes when we get to older homes, there’s more work to do,” he adds. The power produced by Generac’s standby system is controlled and continuous. “Generac has what they call ‘two powers’; it’s very reliable and clean. Any electronics that

How to weatHer tHe storm


Connected to your home’s natural gas or propane supply, as soon as a power outage is detected, Generac’s standby generator automatically kicks in and runs until electrical service is restored. (Supplied photo)

are sensitive to voltage spikes are all protected with the Generac system. However, if the homeowner has something set up with a surge protector, they should continue to use that as well, as a secondary precaution,” says Hoff. Generac offers a diverse range of standby systems, which produce from 7.5 to 150 kilowatts of power. “It depends on what you want the system to do. You could get a lowbudget system that will provide the essentials, such as keeping the furnace and a few lights going. Or you can get one that powers

everything in the entire house, including your major appliances and the air conditioner. Those take more power,” says Hoff. “By looking at a homeowners’ previous power bills, we can analyze their consumption and provide an estimate. We can also visit their home and identify what the customer wants the system to power.” To book a consultation, homeowners can contact DSG Power Systems by phone or email. For more details, visit www. dieselservices.com.

In the event of severe weather, Generac Power Systems shares the following tips: • Keep your devices charged and ready to use. Confirm all necessary gadgets are powered up and use only as necessary. • Have a family communication plan. There are cell phone apps available that can connect everyone and provide safety updates. Remember that text messages use less bandwidth than phone calls. Identify someone outside the community who can serve as a point of contact if communication within the area is cut off. If local lines are jammed because of a disaster, it can actually be easier to make a long distance call. • stock up on food and water supplies. Planning for a power outage that may last up to three days means having nonperishable food and clean, bottled water on hand. • assemble an emergency kit. In addition to food and water, this kit should include a flashlight, first aid kit, battery powered radio, a whistle to signal for help and an assortment of hand tools. • fill up your gas tank. If power goes out for an extended period, gas stations will be challenged without use of their digital pumps. Take action ahead of time to avoid lines. • learn about evacuation plans in your community. Each community has its own evacuation strategy. Become familiar with the plan in advance so it is easier to use in the time of need. • choose a backup power source. Generators keep critical appliances running. Lights stay on, devices stay charged and weather updates are available on television, radio or online. Remember to never use a portable generator indoors or in an attached garage. They give off carbon monoxide fumes, which are deadly.

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ZestyKits brings family back to the table By Jennifer Jacoby-Smith


isters Annie and Catherine Beaudoin are on a mission. They started ZestyKits in May 2018 as a way to bring families together to cook. Annie and Catherine share their mother’s love of cooking. The pair, along with another sister, have fond memories of hours spent in the kitchen watching their mother create delicious food – always from scratch. Bringing families together to cook might sound a little far-fetched in today’s frantic pace where families run at a frenetic pace. Supper could be crackers and cheese eaten at the kitchen island after a long day of work, school, and soccer practice. Who has the time to cook an elaborate meal? Never mind thinking about a balanced diet or Canada’s Food Guide. The Beaudoins want to make supper a special event for families – a time to slow down, check in, laugh, and create some delicious food at the same time. “The goal of the company is to bring back home cooking,” explains Annie. She and her sister have always had a passion for cooking healthy meals made from real ingredients sourced locally when possible. ZestyKits takes care of the preparation and planning. The meal kit service delivers fresh kits for you to cook and assemble with your family. The meal kits come in two or four portions. There are four meal plans to choose from to fit your lifestyle: carnivore, with all three meals kits using meat-based protein; clean eating, which uses some plantbased protein and some meat-based protein;



J&L Photography

Sisters Catherine and Annie Beaudion created a new meal prep service that utilizes local ingredients. Their mission is to get families back into the kitchen to cook together.

vegetarian; and vegan. ZestyKits meals include a fresh and colourful poke bowl made with black rice, marinated cucumbers, mangoes, radishes and red cabbages. Another meal features pasta with Italian sausage from the Italian Star Deli. To make sure the meals are balanced, ZestyKits do adhere to Canada’s new Food Guide, which encourages more vegetablebased proteins. “We believe that the kitchen is the most important part of the home,” explains Annie. “Cooking is a lot more than just eating healthy foods. It’s a time to connect with people. And connect with each other in meaningful ways, and make memories together." After all the hard work creating a perfectly balanced meal, ZestyKits also makes baking kits for a sweet treat. Everything you need to make a delicious batch of cookies with your kids is already measured for you. There are several flavour options to chose from – including chewy ginger cookies, Grandma’s chocolate chip cookies, or matcha white chocolate cookie. Choose your family’s favourite. “We have some clients who never liked cooking and they actually have learned to like cooking and be excited about cooking,” says Catherine. Each meal kit also comes with health tips from a local naturopath that highlights an ingredient being used. Annie and Catherine also work with a pediatric nutritionist to provide insight on nutritional needs for your little ones. For instance, did you know it takes

multiple exposures for a child to learn to like new flavours? The focus on health for the Beaudoin sisters encompasses more than just physical health. There’s the health of the family, as shared cooking and dining brings them together and strengthens their bond. They’re also taking care of the health of the community by using environmentally friendly packaging. “And we endeavour to use as much local product as we can to encourage the local economy,” adds Annie. ZestyKits are currently delivered in Regina, Pilot Butte, and Emerald Park. The sisters have plans to expand to Saskatoon and Moose Jaw. Check their website at ZestyKits.ca for more information. In the meantime, Annie and Catherine have graciously agreed to share two recipes below, so you can start a new family dinner routine tonight!

PEA PESTO LINGUINE Prep time: 10 minutes Cook time: 10 minutes Total time: 20 minutes Makes 4 large servings

This delicious fresh dish is ready in 20 minutes. This linguine is filled with an orchestra of beautiful and simple flavours that will surprise you! Perfectly al dente linguine are coated with a rich pea pesto topped with lightly steamed sugar snap peas, green peas, fresh mint, parmesan and red chili flakes. Green peas are the star of this dish. Why peas, you ask? Well,

first peas are delicious and second each cup is filled eight grams of protein and 68 per cent of your recommended daily vitamin A. When you have a dish that’s family friendly and ready in 20 minutes, you know you’re onto a winner.

Pasta: ¼ cup fresh mint 2 cups snap peas 1 cup fresh peas 360 grams linguine ⅓ cup parmesan 1 tsp. red chili flakes 1 tsp. oil 2 tbsp. + 1 tsp. salt ¼ tsp. pepper Pea Pistou: 1 cup fresh peas 1 clove garlic ¼ cup parmesan 1 cup spinach ⅓ cup olive oil ½ tsp. salt ¼ tsp. pepper In a large pot, bring water to a boil for the pasta with 2 tbsp. salt. Slice the snap peas in half. Separate the fresh mint leaves. In a large pan on medium heat, add 1 tsp. oil and the snap peas. Stirring regularly cook about 3 minutes. Add the fresh peas and 2 tbsp. water to the pan. Cover and let steam about 2 minutes or until the peas are cooked but still are a bit crunchy. Add the pasta to the boiling water, stir, cover and cook 10 minutes or until desired texture. Once the pasta is cooked, save ½ cup pasta water and set aside. Drain the pasta using a colander and add the pasta to the pan with the peas. Add all the pea pistou ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning. Add the pea pistou to the pasta. Add about half the pasta water. Combine. Check the sauce consistency and add more pasta water to thin sauce as desired. Combine to coat the pasta evenly. Taste and adjust seasoning as desired. We recommend about 1 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper. Serve in individual bowls. Garnish each bowl with Parmesan cheese, mint and red chili flakes.

BLUEBERRY, CHICKEN & WILD RICE BOWL Prep time: 10 minutes Cook time: 30 minutes Total time: 40 minutes Makes 4 large servings

This beautiful superfood-filled bowl is the perfect dinner to complement a sunny day. This blueberry chicken wild rice power bowl is topped with a zesty blueberry vinaigrette and filled with three recognized superfoods: blueberry, almonds and spinach! This delicious bowl will leave you feeling satisfied and energized.

Bowl: 1 cup brown rice ⅓ cup wild rice 2 ⅔ cup water 1 tsp. lemon pepper spice mix 400 grams chicken breast 4 cups spinach 2 oranges 1 cup blueberries 1 cucumber ¼ cup sliced almonds ½ tsp. salt ⅛ tsp. pepper ½ tsp. oil

the sink, place the rice in a strainer and rinse it well. In a pot, add the wild rice and brown rice, 2 ⅔ cup water, about ¼ tsp. salt and a pinch pepper. Bring to a boil on high heat. Reduce the heat to low, cover and cook 35 minutes or until the water is absorbed and the rice is tender. Remove the pot from the heat and set aside. While the rice is cooking, place the chicken breasts on a non-stick lined baking sheet, coat the chicken with lemon pepper spice blend, about ½ tsp. oil and ½ tsp. salt. Once the oven is hot, bake the chicken for 15-20 minutes. Let rest for about 5 minutes and cut the chicken in 1/2 cm slices. While the chicken and rice are cooking, cut the cucumber in 1/2 cm slices. Cut the orange in slices: Start by slicing off the ends of the orange. Place the orange on one of its cut surfaces, then insert the knife blade into the space between the flesh and the skin at an angle that matches the contour of the fruit. When all the skin is removed, slice the orange in 1/2 cm slices. In a blender, add all the dressing ingredients and blend until smooth. In individual bowls place the cooked wild and brown rice, the spinach, cucumber, orange, blueberry and lemon pepper chicken breast slices. Drizzle each bowl with about blueberry dressing. Garnish with almond slices. Serve.

Blueberry dressing: 3/4 cup blueberries 1/2 cup olive oil 2 tbsp. red wine vinegar ½ tbsp. maple syrup 1 clove garlic minced 1 tsp. Dijon mustard ½ tsp. salt ⅛ tsp. pepper Turn on the oven to 375° F for the chicken. In

summer 2019


supplied Photos

The addition of a fire table and deck shade solutions adds comfort and extends your outdoor living season, says Ryan Leslie, owner of Vinyl Guys Fence and Deck.

next level

Take your deck to the by Tom Eremondi


t one time, the typical household deck wasn’t much more than some posts driven into the ground, some beams and boards hammered together, and some lawn chairs thrown on it. All that’s changing as homeowners realize the wonderful space that their decks are – and can be, says Ryan Leslie, owner of Vinyl Guys Fence and Deck Ltd. “The over-arching goal for every homeowner’s outdoor living area is to maximize time and enjoyment outdoors. People want to get out on their decks earlier in the spring and be using them later into the fall. “They also want to be cooking and entertaining on their decks more, so they’re opting for larger spaces and more functional spaces – there may be things like separate cooking and lounging areas. Essentially



homeowners are seeing their deck as another room and an extension of their house.” In business for 10 years, Vinyl Guys Fence and Deck Ltd. is pretty much just that, Leslie says. “We supply or supply and install highend, maintenance-free products for fences, decks and railings or other applications. Our products range in price and quality to fit your needs; they all come with extensive manufacturers’ warranties along with our five-year installation warranty.” Leslie says the process begins with a custom-design. “Because we have such an extensive selection of product, we can mix and match to create a very unique look. We can also add planters, lights, custom-railings and numerous other features to create an overall deck that is truly yours.” He notes there are many ways customers are doing that. “One of them is with deck shade solutions, designed not only to offer

protection from the sun but privacy as well. Products such as lattice and decking are now being used to give shade but to do it in a visually appealing way.” Homeowners are also opting for bold colours, Leslie adds. “The industry is seeing colours such as rich cappuccino, chocolate, and chili pepper making their way into outdoor living spaces. We’re seeing deck board colours such as red browns, earthy shades of clays, caramels, and mushroom tones. People are adding to unique looks with picture framing boards, textured embossing, unique variegation and fresh railing hues.” He says customers can mix it up even more by using more than one colour of deck boards. Paving stones are another new and inventive option that will make a deck sizzle. Also changing is what’s considered the traditional space for a deck, Leslie reports. “We’re seeing more rooftop and free-standing

decks becoming prevalent especially because of the arrival of innovative, moistureresistant deck under-structure systems. One that we offer is Trex RainEscapes, that sees a waterproof bladder system installed between the joist system, draining towards the eaves. “Homeowners are also using water features – ponds and fountains – around which to create their outdoor space so we’re seeing features such as floating decks and pathways. Enhancing this are deck boards that offer minimal moisture absorption, enhanced traction, and warranties that cover ground and water contact. They’re ideal for decks in and around water.” Because people are spending more time on their decks throughout the year, Leslie says they’re needing elements such as lighting and heaters. “These features are being designed to complement the deck and railing. We’re seeing clean, sleek modern appearances but also low-voltage lighting with elegance and modern angles.” Leslie says Vinyl Guys’ typical customer is someone with an older home in an established neighbourhood. “They’ve got an old, square deck that they’re just not using as much. It’s a box baking in the sun that they have to paint and stain every year. We can come in and create a deck space that’s three-, four- or five-hundred square feet that they can use five to six months of the year and allow them to entertain.” He says customers can also take comfort knowing that Vinyl Guys Fence and Deck is a member of both the Vinyl Manufacturers’

New innovations in low voltage outdoor lighting will add elegance and sophistication to your deck or patio.

Association and the North American Deck and Railing Association. For more information, visit VinylGuys.ca. You can also call the company at 306-3419292 or see their showroom at 2211 Ave. C. North.

More homeowners are making water features the centerpiece of their outdoor living spaces.

Roof-top decks have never been more popular, thanks to the development of moistureresistant deck under-structure systems.

summer 2019


PitcHiNg iN: Habitat for Humanity launches Youth build 2019


Habitat for Humanity Saskatoon launched a new Youth Build project in mid-June. Youth volunteers will help build a duplex on Avenue W South, providing affordable homes for two local families



abitat for Humanity’s Youth Build is Saskatoon’s first-ever project entirely built by teams of youth. From the framing to drywalling, to flooring and everything in-between, these youth will learn useful skills that they can take with them for the rest of their lives. Mark Soloway is the COO and director of resource development of Habitat for Humanity Saskatoon. This is his fifth year working with the organization; Soloway jokes that he “caught the Habitat bug.” The Youth Build 2019 is intended for young people ages 16 to 30. Following a Youth Build kick-off event in mid-June, the organization’s goal is to complete a duplex located on Avenue W South for two families by late fall 2019. Objectives of the Youth Build include raising approximately $250,000 for the costs to build the duplex. A portion of the home has already been constructed, under supervision, by Langham High School’s shop program.



Habitat estimates that approximately 350 to 500 youth volunteers will take part, including dedicated teams from trades programs through local high schools. Saskatoon is in an affordable housing crisis with some of the highest rent-to-income levels in the country. Habitat believes that Saskatoon residents need some relief and the Youth Build is part of the solution. Can participating in the Youth Build be considered a high school credit? Soloway explains that is up to the individual school but Habitat can provide proof of volunteer hours if needed. “The more the merrier,” says Soloway. Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter became involved with Habitat for Humanity in 1984 and has since become its highest profile proponent. Soloway notes that even in his 90s, Jimmy Carter “still swings a hammer” at build sites. The Avenue W Project is located in the community of Meadow Green. This in-fill duplex will house two deserving families. Each home will have four bedrooms and two

bathrooms, totalling about 1,800 square feet of living space. The two families will also have their very own green space to enjoy. Habitat for Humanity Saskatoon has been in the city since 1992 and has built 60 homes, including the six complete Slimmon Road units in southeast Saskatoon (the Slimmon Road project will eventually have 12 homes in total). In terms of the selection process, Habitat for Humanity focuses on providing homes for families. The organization emphasizes the benefits that stable housing provides for children and their continuing development. The typical Habitat applicant family would be below the low-income cut-off point, show commitment to the process and can service the mortgage going forward. The mortgage is calculated as 25 per cent of the family’s annual income. To enable objectivity, the family selection committee is not tied to the paid staff of Habitat for Humanity Saskatoon. “Selected families are also asked to contribute 500 hours of volunteer hours to

the build. Up to 100 of those hours can be performed by friends or family members over the age of 16,” explains Soloway. The selection process includes two interviews with the family, plus assessment of other criteria such as their current living conditions and the greatest need among the families under consideration. “I describe filling out the Habitat for Humanity application as similar to filling out a passport application. Our hope is for the family to go above their current socioeconomic standing and the time to come for them to get a traditional mortgage,” explains Soloway. Whether it is the Slimmon Road or Avenue W project, Soloway says a journeyman carpenter is always on hand to deal with any building deficiencies (the construction staff are paid and not volunteers). “We build homes to a high standard.” Habitat for Humanity Saskatoon building sites are open Tuesdays through Saturdays and closed Sundays. Mondays are staff days on-site. The organization is always looking for businesses to support lunch for the volunteers. “In terms of other opportunities, Adopt-aDays are for corporations and organizations who would like to donate and bring their staff on our build site for the day, as a team-building exercise. We also have kids, between the ages of 10 to 15, who would like to get involved and are willing to collect pledges for Habitat Saskatoon,” says Soloway. To find out more, visit the website habitatsaskatoon.ca, click “get involved” then select “volunteer” or “youth build 2019.” Habitat encourages potential Youth Build 2019 volunteers to reach out on Facebook Messenger, Instagram DM, through WhatsApp @habitatsaskatoon or to send a text to (306) 280-9399.

supplied photo

Volunteers are essential to Habitat for Humanity Saskatoon’s efforts to build affordable homes. The 12-unit townhome development on Slimmon Road is the largest build yet for Habitat for Humanity Saskatoon. Families are now in residence in six of the 12 units. supplied photo

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Transform your yard with edible


This tasty salad was made from edible annuals.



rairie gardens need not be just one thing or the other – they can easily be both beautiful and a source of fresh food at the same time. Permaculture, a blend of the words permanent and agriculture, can be defined as an ecological design system that provides our needs while mimicking natural ecosystems




to create functional beautiful landscapes and settlements. That’s quite a mouthful, but Jenine Kozey, of Edible Landscapes in Regina, says it can be more easily defined as ensuring everything in the yard has more than one function. “Every element has more than one function and every function is performed by more than one element, so it’s a very stable design system,” she says. And, it is easier than you might think to

have a landscape that is both beautiful and edible. “We can grow food without having the work of an annual garden. It’s not as difficult as people think to grow food in their yard. You don’t need a massive annual garden or a ton of knowledge to incorporate even a little bit of food in your yard,” Kozey says. She suggests starting small and replacing one or two plants and buying edible perennials instead of just a decorative plant. Many medicinal and culinary herbs lend themselves to incorporation into flower beds or elsewhere in the garden to add interest and food value. A trailing rosemary is a good addition to a rock garden and there are varieties of thyme that make good groundcover that can even be walked on, sending a puff of herbal aroma with every step. Lemon balm planted near the patio or in a pot on a deck not only keeps the mosquitos away, its leaves can also be made into tea, as well as making a refreshing addition to ice tea or wine spritzers. In addition to those more obvious choices, Kozey suggests replacing tall decorative grasses with daylilies, where all parts of the plant are edible. There are also numerous reblooming cultivars available for a splash of colour all summer long. “It’s going to give that grassy effect, but still has leaves, flowers and tubers that are all edible. They grow anywhere, they’re easy to plant and care for. They’re lovely,” she says. Even many of the annuals people think of as purely decorative are also edible. Kozey says hollyhocks, with their edible flowers and seed pods, are undergoing a bit of a revival. “I’m finding that now people in their 20s are seeking out hollyhocks because they have these nostalgic ideas about their grandmothers’ garden. So there’s the sentimental value there as well,” she says. Other edible annuals include nasturtiums, marigolds and violets. Violets, like hollyhocks, are self-sowing, meaning their seeds drop close to parent and come up the next year, so there’s no need to replant. Kozey says many of the plants she recommends for permaculture, like daylilies, are also geared for the prairie climate and are low maintenance. Her favourites are lovage, a celery substitute, and Good King Henry and French sorrel, both of which can be used in lieu of spinach. “They are my three absolute favourite edible perennials, because they’re super, super hardy,” she says.


Jenine Kozey’s flower bed features plants that are both edible and decorative: arugula, French Sorrel and Marigolds.

Lovage is a tall perennial plant. The herb has a taste similar to celery. Only a few leaves are required to flavour a dish. Late in the season, the plant flowers and produces seeds, which can also be used in cooking. (Photo: Edible Landscapes)

Edible annuals and perennials were combined to create this lovely tiered garden.

The interest in permaculture has, literally, grown steadily in recent years, Kozey says. She points to her experience at Seedy Saturday, the annual Saskatchewan event that gathers gardeners to exchange seeds and information. “Four years ago, two people had heard of permaculture, out of the hundreds through the doors. This past year, every single person had heard of it,” she says. Edible Landscapes got its start five years ago and Kozey offers on-site consultations to help people incorporate permaculture into

their landscapes, as well as offering advice on soil amendments and other aspects of garden and yard design and maintenance. In addition, she also consults on alternative lawns, using prairie grasses for example. “A lot of what I do is just basically swapping out plants you would normally find in a landscape,” Kozey says. As an example, she points to the small front yards in newer subdivisions, where purely decorative shrubbery can be replaced by a berry bush, such as hascap or honey berry. “It’s still a beautiful bush that can be trimmed

nice and round and as beautiful as can be, and produce some fruit at the same time,” she says. At her acreage north-west of Regina, Kozey offers workshops on a variety of subjects, including gardening by the moon, as well as hosting plant walks and foraging tours for people to learn about the edible plants that grow in the wild. She offers two major courses throughout the year — an 18-hour class on the edible and medicinal plants of the prairies and, of course, permaculture. Details can be found at elpermaculture.com.

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summer 2019

FOR THE BIRDS: How to create a backyard sanctuary Photo: Getty Images

The undisturbed mixed-grass prairie in Grasslands National Park attracts an abundance of common and rare bird species.

By Elizabeth Ireland


eith and Denise Giroux are the owners of Wild Birds Unlimited Nature Shop in Saskatoon and focus on ways for homeowners to make their back yards more appealing to birds. Denise and Keith Giroux have operated the popular store for the past six years, along with help from their four children: Jaye, Kyron, Tara and Heather. Why did the Giroux family choose to open a Wild Birds Unlimited franchise? “We are nature lovers and birders. We want to help increase nature appreciation, local biodiversity and people’s enjoyment of their yards. To give an example of biodiversity, our son Kyron can go on a 24-hour hike at a nearby lake and encounter 150 species of birds. There is such diversity among the bird population native to the Prairies and Saskatchewan.” Lyndon Penner is an author, horticulturist and radio personality. Penner was in town to share his expertise at Hort Week 2019 at the University of Saskatchewan and he stopped by Wild Birds Unlimited. “I take any opportunity to be in the store with Keith and Denise. My message is that good gardening choices increase insect diversity and increase bird diversity,” says Penner. To stress the importance of nature, Keith Giroux mentions how that in Japan physicians can prescribe shinrin-yoku or “forest bathing” to their patients. This type of nature therapy



was developed during the 1980s and serves as both preventive healthcare and a form of healing. Penner describes how a large green lawn was a historical sign of wealth and a “symbol of affluence” in the United Kingdom, but this type of garden is not entirely sustainable in the Saskatchewan climate. “No birds like lush lawns, maybe a robin grabbing a worm. Birds need habitats to thrive.” Penner recommends a visit to Grasslands National Park in southern Saskatchewan for an example of ideal bird habitats. “It’s like going back in a time machine with the astonishing diversity of undisturbed grasslands. It’s actually noisy with all the birds competing for attention.” The trio agrees that in order to successfully maintain biodiversity, everything is interconnected. The three main things that attract a range of birds to a back yard are water, food and shelter (in a variety of trees and shrubs). In terms of a water source, some birds don’t want to be up high and vulnerable to predators so it’s a good idea to also have a second bird bath lower to the ground. With regards to the Giroux family’s own Photo: Lyndon Penner

Lyndon Penner, a leading authority on birds in western Canada, describes his own yard as filled with sunlight, nesting areas, fruit-bearing shrubs and native plants, and “always a water source.”

garden, Keith explains how “the birds come first, and we come second. We have no lawn but we do have nest boxes for the birds, plus we grow potatoes and tomatoes.” In general, native flowers, trees, shrubs, grasses and groundcover all create food sources and natural habitats for birds. While Penner grew up in Saskatchewan, he now lives in Lethbridge, Alberta. He describes his own yard as filled with sunlight, nesting areas, fruit-bearing shrubs and native plants, and “always a water source.” Penner stresses the important role of conifers and the permanence that these trees and shrubs provide for birds. There also some items that Keith and

Photo: Getty Images

To make your back yard more appealing to birds, it’s important to provide three components: food, water and shelter. The nannyberry (Viburnum lentago) is a favourite with birds because of its tasty berries.

Denise Giroux point out are not conducive to attracting birds to a back yard. At the top of this list are leaf blowers and free-roaming cats. Attaching a bell to your cat’s collar before letting your cat outside is a good idea. Denise Giroux also recommends window alerts to prevent bird collisions and resulting fatalities. Finally, what sort of questions do the Wild Birds Unlimited staff ask customers before

Photo: Lyndon Penner

A water feature will attract birds to your back yard. The Nikka Yuko Japanese Garden in Lethbridge is always teeming with birds thanks to the garden’s reflective pools, gurgling stream and sparkling waterfall .

recommending specific products such as bird houses and bird feeders to their customers? Important factors to consider include types of trees in the yard, the proximity of neighbours and children, the amount of shade and the amount of time the customer has available for maintenance tasks (such as refilling bird feeders). In Penner’s words, “the garden has to serve the gardener.” The store offers backyard birders the items

to attract and enjoy Saskatchewan’s regional bird population. Denise Giroux makes sure to also carry a selection of locally produced items, such as bird houses. Wild Birds Unlimited Nature Shop is located at 330A – 2600 8th Street East, by phone at (306) 955-2473 or by email at wildbirds@ sasktel.net.

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In the kitchen

with Taszia Thakur Calories Bakery & Restaurant



s the saying goes, do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life. This philosophy would easily describe Taszia Thakur, one of the new owners of Calories Bakery and Restaurant. Taszia and husband, Karan, took over the iconic restaurant on Broadway Avenue in Saskatoon on January 1 of this year. Growing up on a farm near Tisdale, Thakur credits a grade eight home economics class in triggering her love of the culinary arts. She often went home from school and proceeded



to duplicate whatever they had made in class that day. By grade 10, she’d taken over the daily cooking, often feeding extra farm workers during busy seasons. That same year a family vacation took her to Prince Edward Island. While there, Thakur visited the Culinary Institute of Canada at Holland College. She even shadowed one of the chef instructors for the day. As soon as she graduated from high school, she followed her dreams and headed to PEI. Thakur graduated from the CIC’s culinary

arts program and spent a year working in Switzerland at a family-run restaurant. She added training in hospitality management in Niagara while cooking at a winery. “Whatever region I am in in the world, I like to use what’s there – the local ingredients,” says Thakur. “The fresher the produce the better. That’s the philosophy at Calories. It always has been for the last 33 years and it will continue to be. That’s my vision. That’s why Calories works so well for me.” Thakur says she returned to her roots – to be close to home, her family, and her beloved farm. She has been cooking up creative classic dishes at Calories for six years. “It’s just a comfort for me. I’m in my element in the kitchen,” Thakur says. She admits that family potlucks are not really potlucks since she usually volunteers to do the cooking and bringing the ingredients. “It’s just me doing it and I love it!” You don’t have to score an invite to a family gathering to experience the passion Thakur puts into each plate. “Most people know Calories for the dessert, it’s always been that way,” Thakur says. “But we really want people to know that we do great food.” Seasonal local ingredients create classic food with a slightly different spin. One of the things that sets Thakur and her team apart is their involvement with local farmers. She sometimes helps picks the beans needed for the evening service. She also visits one of organic farms to pick up freshly butchered meats. Despite the change in ownership the same high quality, freshly sourced local ingredients will continue to inspire Thakur and her team. “We want people to know that it’s the same Calories it’s been for 33 years,” she says. Thakur has graciously agreed to share a few recipes with our readers.

aPricot cruNcH cHutNeY

1. Put all ingredients except seeds and nuts in a medium pot and simmer over low heat, until liquid is evaporated. Be careful as it can burn quickly. 2. Cool the chutney and stir the nuts and seeds in when ready to use. Note: the chutney can be kept for up to one month covered and stored in the fridge. Only add in the seeds and nuts to the portion that will be used immediately. The seeds and nuts add a better crunch when


100 grams dried apricots, finely chopped ¼ red onion, finely chopped 100 ml water 40 ml apple cider vinegar 50 grams brown sugar 30 grams dried sour cherries (I use fresh local that I dry myself) 1 sprig fresh rosemary, finely chopped 1 garlic, finely chopped 1 lemon, zested 2 grams salt pinch cayenne 20 grams pistachios, shelled and toasted 20 grams pumpkin seeds, toasted 20 sunflower seeds, toasted 20 grams pine nuts, toasted

added right before serving. 3. Use this chutney on a warm sandwich with Brie cheese, wrap it up in a phyllo pastry and bake it for an appetizer, serve it on a charcuterie and cheese board. Or (my favourite) punch out and bake off small

rounds of puff pastry. When the pastry is fully baked cut them in half, add a piece of brie cheese, a teaspoon of the chutney and warm slightly in the oven just until the cheese begins to melt then put the top back on and serve. Yield: 1 cup

at 300°F. Let cook for about 15-20 minutes. The salmon is cooked when it flakes easily. Do not let the fish over cook as it will become dry. 6. In the meantime, prepare the blueberry salsa.

Combine all of the ingredients and adjust the seasoning as necessary. I like to prepare this recipe when wild Saskatchewan blueberries are in season, however, this can be prepared with any berries, mangoes or pineapple.

cHarcoal bbQ salmoN witH blueberrY salsa 1 wild salmon fillet (about 800 grams) 500 ml wild blueberries 1 small red onion, finely diced 1 small garlic clove, minced 30 ml cilantro, finely chopped 30 ml olive oil 2 limes, zested and juiced Salt and pepper, to taste 1. If desired, soak a cedar plank for about six hours. Note: a cedar plank is not necessary. The salmon fillet can be prepared directly on the grill. 2. Prepare a charcoal barbecue to 300°F, or warm barbecue to 300°F. 3. When the grill is hot, quickly rub it with oil, or place your plank on the grill. 4. Season the salmon fillet generously with salt and pepper and place it onto the prepared grill or plank. 5. Place the lid on the barbecue and maintain

summer 2019


WILD RICE RISOTTO 250 grams wild rice 60 ml olive oil 60 ml butter 250 grams onion, small diced 2 garlic cloves, minced 450 grams wArborio rice 40 grams salt 2 sprigs rosemary 250 ml white wine 2000 ml vegetable stock (preferably homemade) 15 ml fresh tarragon, finely chopped 15 ml fresh chives, finely chopped 1 lemon, zest only 500 grams fresh fiddleheads 150 grams garlic butter (preferably homemade) Fresh chevre PHOTOS BY ELAINE MARK, D & M IMAGES

1. In a medium pot, cook the wild rice with about 2 litres of water and a pinch of salt. Cook for about 40 minutes or until the rice just begins to split open. Drain and set aside. 2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and add the fiddleheads to blanch. Let boil for about 7 minutes, then drain and put in a large bowl of ice to shock them and stop the cooking process. Once cold, drain and remove to a towel-lined plate to remove the excess water. 3. Put the vegetable stock in a pot and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat and keep warm while preparing the risotto. 4. Meanwhile, in another large pot over mediumhigh heat add the butter and the olive oil.

When hot, add the onion and sauté until it begins to caramelize. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. 5. Add the Arborio rice and stir to coat all of the grains of rice with the fat in the pot. 6. Add the white wine and reduce until almost all the wine is gone. Add a ladle full (approximately 250 ml) of the hot vegetable stock and stir constantly until again, almost all of the stock is reduced. Add the salt, pepper and the rosemary sprigs. 7. Continue to add the stock one ladle full at a time, stir almost constantly, until the rice is cooked, about 20 minutes. Stir in the cooked

wild rice, the tarragon and chives (or herbs of choice), the lemon zest, and half the amount of the garlic butter. Set aside. Add a small amount of vegetable stock just before serving to adjust consistency. 8. About 5 minutes before your risotto is done, heat a frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the remaining garlic butter and quickly sauté the fiddleheads until heated through. Season to taste. Note: This could be done with peak of the season fresh asparagus too. 9. To serve, place the risotto in the bowls, top with the fiddleheads and chevre, or substitute your favourite cheese.

2. In a medium bowl, beat the whites until they begin to hold their shape. Gradually add sugar, beating constantly, until egg whites are thick and glossy. 3. Fold in the vinegar, vanilla, and cornstarch. 4. Using a piping bag with a large round tip,

pipe the meringue into a 1.5 inch round circles. 5. Place the cookie sheet gently into the preheated oven, immediately dropping the temperature to 175°F. Set the timer for 90 minutes. 6. Again drop the temperature to 100°F and bake for another 60 minutes. 7. When the meringues feel dry to the touch, turn the oven off and allow the meringues to dry completely in oven overnight. 8. The following day, whip the cream to soft peaks. Add the second amount of sugar and vanilla extract, continue whipping to stiff peaks. 9. Using a star tip, pipe a dollop of whipped cream onto each meringue. Garnish with your fruit of choice. Drizzle with chocolate or dip fruit in chocolate, if desired. Serves 10.


40 ml egg whites, room temperature 65 grams sugar 2 ml white vinegar 2 ml vanilla extract 3 ml corn starch Decoration:

250 ml whipping cream 30 grams sugar 2 ml vanilla extract Fruit of choice Dark chocolate (optional) 1. Preheat oven to 250°F. Prepare a cookie sheet with parchment paper.






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