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Finding Luxury

BLACK CAVIAR

See What Wonders Await

NEW FANTASYLAND Walt Disney World

Ecuador's Natural Gem

THE GALAPAGOS ISLANDS

Balance In Beijing

FAIRMONT HOTELS


Our partnerships. Your pleasure.

Choosing Fairmont is just the beginning When you choose Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, you choose a world of premium offerings. We are proud to partner with some of the world’s most respected brands to bring you, our valued guest, exclusive benefits and exciting offers. All of which lead to a heightened travel experience. For more information on our partnerships, please visit fairmont.com/globalpartners

Our global partners include:


Full Scope Interior Design Services SPACE PLANNING • KITCHEN & BATH DESIGNS • CEILING & LIGHTING • TILE & FLOOR FINISHES • FURNITURE • WINDOW & WALL TREATMENTS

1440 HURONTARIO STREET, SUITE 100

MISSISSAUGA, ON

L5G 3H4

TEL: 905.271.2021

WWW.PARKYNDESIGN.COM


homes from $200,000 - $2,000,000

2013

EDITOR'S LETTER

Another Good Year

I hope everyone had a great holiday with family and friends, and that the new year will be filled with joy and prosperity! I was in Hawaii recently and found that the markets were coming back, and that the old saying in Real Estate "Location, Location, Location" still holds true. Price are still rising in the prime locations. The same is true in Canada, as people will always want to be where the best amenities and views are. The past year in Real Estate, was the best year ever for the Invidiata Team and I am truly thankful to our friends, clients, marketing partners and my team for making this possible. The to

success

was

confidence

in

due

largely

Oakville

and

Burlington's unique communities, coupled

with

new

immigrants

discovering the charm and beauty of these communities, and purchasing homes here. Both the Oakville and Burlington markets were above the previous year in volume of sales and average prices. 2013, looks to be a very good year again, with the US elections behind us, low interests likely staying until at least 2014, strong immigration, low unemployment and stable government. We look forward to being of service to you this year for your Real Estate needs.

CHRISTOPHER INVIDIATA PRINCIPAL REALTOR / TEAM LEADER RE/MAX ABOUTOWNE REALTY CORP. BROKERAGE

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the invidiata team - Re/max aboutowne Realty corp. Brokerage


Great design comes from surrounding yourself with the things you love. wendy reimer

I

N

C

O

R

P

O

R

A

T

E

D

Providing a full suite of interior design services. to arrange for an appointment, please contact: phone 905 • 842 • 0449

www.reimerdesign.com

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exCepTiOnAl ServiCe BY

exCepTiOnAl peOple

Helping YOur FuTure TAke FligHT

Clients Are The Heart Of Our Business. We can help you pursue opportunities, navigate challenges, create value and leave a legacy. Tax and Estate Planning | Assurance | Advisory | Wealth Stewardship

www.hendersonpartnersllp.ca | 224 Kerr Street | Oakville | 905-829-3701


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Properties From $200,000 + BLACK CAVIAR

Luxury Counts LUXE LOCAL

What Is Hot In Our Town

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PRESTIGE COLLECTION Homes From $2,000,000 - $5,000,000

45

NEW FANTASYLAND

60

U.S. REAL ESTATE The Perks, Pitfalls, and Planning

72

WATERFRONT COLLECTION Luxury Lakefront Properties

77

FAIRMONT HOTELS Balance In Beijing

89

ESTATE RESIDENTIAL Properties From $5,000,000 +

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THE GALAPAGOS ISLANDS Ecuador's Natural Gem Revealed

See What Wonders Await

110

BUY A JET WITH J.A. SPEARS Choosing The Right Private Jet

113

MEET THE TEAM The Ultimate Real Estate Experience

PG.106

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THE HOME COLLECTION

2215 Doulton Drive Mississauga LIVE YOUR DREAM


ISSUE 010 SPRING 2013

The Invidiata Magazine Inc. PUBLISHER Preferred Publishing EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Christopher Invidiata SENIOR EDITORS Chris Lowe Caleb Invidiata EDITORS Dana Gundy Marianne Knezovic Rosa Viviano Ashley Aberg Shae Invidiata Melissa Salazar ART DIRECTORS Caleb Invidiata Chris Lowe PHOTOGRAPHERS Caleb Invidiata Lauren Leies Geoff Grenville ADVERTISING SALES Lauren Lowe GRAPHIC DESIGNERS Susan Vogan Kayla Slager CONTRIBUTORS Nicolette Little Ivona Radon Nneka Onwualu For advertising inquiries please contact Lauren Lowe at 905.510.2344 or email llowe@flymedia.ca

View The Magazine Online At w w w. the i nv i di a ta m a gaz i n e. c om

THE INVIDIATA TEAM RE/MAX ABOUTOWNE REALTY CORP. BROKERAGE

All Square Footages Are Approximate. Some Square Footages Include Living Space In The Lower Level. Information Is Subject To Errors And Omissions. E.O&E. Not Intended To Solicit Properties Currently For Sale. *Each Office Independently Owned & Operated.


n e

az i

th se e n R Be ep st o rt 20 M ag 12 ”

C h o

R o bb

o f e

“B e th st by

TORONTO 1020 Lawrence Ave. W. (west of Dufferin) Tel: 416.256.2553

MISSISSAUGA/OAKVILLE 3050 Vega Blvd. (Dundas and 403) Tel: 905.820.4841

www.cameokitchens.com


2345 Wyecroft Road Unit 23 Oakville Ontario L6L 6L8 • 905.847.2071 • www.cheney.ca


Steps away from everything Oakville.

THREE INSPIRED PREMIUM CUSTOM HOMES STARTING FROM $1,898,000 IN AN EXCLUSIVE, PRIVATE ENCLAVE ADJACENT TO APPLEBY COLLEGE ONLY TWO REMAIN. LOT THREE LISTED FOR $1,956,550

SOLD

MODEL HOME NOW OPEN CALL MIKE HOWARTH AT 905.599.7653 OR EMAIL MIKE@THEINVTEAM.COM


"Everyone Has A Dream Of Home Ownership And That First Home Is A Magical Experience Of Being Safe, Secure And Feeling The Joy Of Love And Family." - Christopher Invidiata

Presenting Homes From $200,000 To $2,000,000 For Sale In Oakville, Burlington, Mississauga And Surrounding Areas.


homes from $200,000 - $2,000,000

SOLD 840 DUNDAS STREET WEST Unit 16 $399,900 Erindale | Mississauga Christopher Invidiata, Sales Representative Ping Shu, Broker

355 WELLAND ROAD $589,900 Fonthill | Pelham Christopher Invidiata & Patsy Gauer Sales Representatives

1581 Victoria avenue $619,900 Fonthill | Pelham Christopher Invidiata & Patsy Gauer Sales Representatives

4375 Adrian avenue $699,000 Shoreacres | Burlington Christopher Invidiata, Sales Representative Linda Tino-Zylik, Broker

2528 Rebecca street $749,000 Bronte | Oakville Christopher Invidiata, Sales Representative Cindy Avis, Broker | 2528rebecca.com

86 Lakeshore road $725,000 Downtown Oakville Christopher Invidiata & Michelle Kloet Sales Representatives

1419 GIBSON DRIVE $774,900 Clearview | Oakville Christopher Invidiata & Michelle Kloet Sales Representatives

203 third line $799,000 Bronte | Oakville Christopher Invidiata, Sales Representative Linda Tino-Zylik, Broker

1 mayheather drive $799,000 Freelton Christopher Invidiata & Amiee Kain Sales Representatives

2251 Yolanda drive $849,900 West Oakville Christopher Invidiata & Amiee Kain Sales Representatives

2226 EMILY CIRCLE $866,900 Bronte Creek | Oakville Christopher Invidiata & Patsy Gauer Sales Representatives

LEASED 3423 Lakeshore road $849,000 Burlington Christopher Invidiata & Pamela Gottschak Sales Representatives

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the invidiata team - Re/max aboutowne Realty corp. Brokerage


Ronny Khoury Mortgage Specialist 416-707-5592 ronny.khoury@rbc.com

Ruksana Khoury Mortgage Specialist 416-899-5799 ruksana.khoury@rbc.com

Susan Kopas RBC Wealth ManagementPrivate Banking 905-849-6230 susan.kopas@rbc.com

Lindsay Doke Mortgage Specialist 416-464-6423 lindsay.doke@rbc.com

Open the door to great financial advice.

Financial planning services and investment advice are provided by Royal Mutual Funds Inc. a member company under RBC Wealth Management. Royal Mutual Funds Inc., RBC Asset Management Inc., Royal Bank of Canada, Royal Trust Corporation of Canada, The Royal Trust Company and Phillips, Hager & North Investment Management Ltd. are separate corporate entities which are affiliated. Royal Mutual Funds Inc. is licensed as a financial services firm in the province of Quebec. † Personal lending products and residential mortgages are provided by Royal Bank of Canada and are subject to its standard lending criteria. ® / ™ Trademark(s) of Royal Bank of Canada. Used under licence.

45812 (01/2013)


homes from $200,000 - $2,000,000

275 seabourne drive $899,000 West Oakville Christopher Invidiata & Amiee Kain Sales Representatives

1381 WHEELwright road $899,900 Glen Abbey | Oakville Christopher Invidiata & Michelle Kloet, Sales Representatives Cindy Avis, Broker

1733 pengilley place $899,900 Mississauga Christopher Invidiata & Michelle Kloet, Sales Representatives Cindy Avis, Broker

3150 Trailside drive $949,900 Oakville Christopher Invidiata, Marija Kolesar & Mariola Broder, Sales Representatives

489 Rebecca street $970,000 Oakville Christopher Invidiata & Pamela Gottschak Sales Representatives

2366 valleyridge drive $997,000 Bronte Creek | Oakville Christopher Invidiata & Amiee Kain Sales Representatives

3113 Watercliffe court $999,000 Bronte Creek | Oakville Christopher Invidiata & Amiee Kain Sales Representatives

$1,148,000 2209 Hampstead Road River Oaks | Oakville Christopher Invidiata & Nadia Meco Sales Representatives

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239 allan street | Oakville Christopher Invidiata & Shae Invidiata, Sales Representatives

$1,179,900

the invidiata team - Re/max aboutowne Realty corp. Brokerage


international landscaping inc. landscape design | construction | maintenance

DISTINGUISHED LANDSCAPES OF EXCEPTIONAL VALUE WWW.internationallandscaping.com | 905-876-3000


homes from $200,000 - $2,000,000

10 Burnet Street $1,179,000 Central Oakville Christopher Invidiata, Marija Kolesar & Mariola Broder, Sales Representatives

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117 Spring azure crescent $1,249,900 Oakville | Exclusive Listing Christopher Invidiata & Shae Invidiata Sales Representatives

234 Brookfield | Burlington Christopher Invidiata, Marija Kolesar & Mariola Broder, Sales Representatives

88 Mississaga street $1,349,900 Bronte | Oakville Christopher Invidiata & Shae Invidiata Sales Representatives

233 Brookfield Avenue $1,399,000 Burlington Christopher Invidiata, Marija Kolesar & Mariola Broder, Sales Representatives

2416 RIDEAU DRIVE $1,449,000 Oakville Christopher Invidiata & Pamela Gottschak Sales Representatives

269 pinehurst drive $1,429,000 South East Oakville Christopher Invidiata & Kirsten Leggat Sales Representatives

150 Douglas Avenue $1,498,000 Old Oakville Christopher Invidiata, Sales Representative Cindy Avis, Broker | 150douglas.com

48 chisholm street $1,639,000 Old Oakville Christopher Invidiata, Sales Representative Cindy Avis, Broker | 48chisholm.com

$1,499,000

the invidiata team - Re/max aboutowne Realty corp. Brokerage


TECHNOLOGY, MAKING YOUR HOME SMARTER. Apple iPhone/ iPad Controls | Lighting Control Systems | Motorized Window Treatments | HVAC & Radiant Heat Control | Touch Screen Controls | Flat Screen TV’s Surround Sound Systems | Dedicated Home Theatre | Multi Room Audio & Video Alarm Integration | CCTV & Recording Systems | Energy Management

3400 Ridgeway Drive, Unit #10 Mississauga, ON L5L 0A2 E dan@sublimeintegration.com

T 905 901-1025 F 888 643-0180 www.sublimeintegration.com


homes from $200,000 - $2,000,000

169 NORTH SHORE BLVD E | BURLINGTON Christopher Invidiata & Pamela Gottschalk, Sales Representatives

$1,789,000 296 Alscot crecent | Oakville Christopher Invidiata, Sales Representative Cindy Avis, Broker | 296alscot.com

$1,649,000

242 douglas avenue | old Oakville Christopher Invidiata, Sales Representative & Cindy Avis, Broker | 242douglas.com

205 pomona avenue | Roseland | Burlington Christopher Invidiata, Nadia Meco & Kirsten Leggat, Sales Representatives 24

2021 Ardleigh road | Oakville $1,699,000 Christopher Invidiata, Marija Kolesar & Mariola Broder, Sales Representatives

$1,799,000

$1,798,000

41 NAVY STREET | OLD Oakville $1,868,000 Christopher Invidiata, Sales Representative Cindy Avis, Broker | 41navy.com

the invidiata team - Re/max aboutowne Realty corp. Brokerage


invidiata.com

76 dunn street | old Oakville Christopher Invidiata, Sales Representative & Cindy Avis, Broker | 76dunn.com

$1,795,000

1012 rebecca street | south west Oakville Christopher Invidiata, Sales Representative & Linda Tino-Zylik, Broker

$1,999,000

the home collection - Re/max aboutowne Realty corp. Brokerage

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When it comes to

LUXURY it's the experience that C O U N T S By Nneka Onwualu

Ah luxury – such a tricky concept. How you define it and where you find it – in places or things – is a debate that has raged on for centuries. From the annals of great literature to today’s blogoshere, the question “What does luxury mean to you?” has garnered as many answers as there are people on the planet. So, how do you define luxury? At it’s most basic, luxury can be defined as something that brings comfort, pleasure or joy, an indulgence, not essential or necessary, the finest quality. For some, travelling to five star hotels in Europe or the white sandy beaches of a tropical resort is their idea of luxury. Others may delight in fine food and wine. Exclusive brand name fashions, high-end beauty products and being ahead of the trends in home décor may be your idea of luxury living. However you define it, luxury is really all about creating an experience, something the owners of Oakville’s Black Caviar know a thing or two about. In fact, it’s the defining premise behind the business that opened last fall. “Black Caviar is the culmination of what luxury inspired living means to us,” says Andrea De Rubeis, the boutique’s Online Director. “Inspired by food, culture, exclusive fashion brands, beauty products and travel items from across the globe rarely found in Canada or, in many cases, in North America, we wanted to share our travel experiences and the items that we found to bring luxury into our own lives with our clientele. By sharing these same items with our clients, we hope to help them discover for themselves what luxury means to them.” Co-owners Julia De Rubeis and Sanela Sehic have created in Black Caviar an experiential luxury retail destination where the emphasis on creating an experience is really what it’s all about. “A luxury experience is about how well 27


inspired

LIVING...

you are take care of, how every detail is thought of and all needs are attended to. It’s about service, quality over quantity. Whether you are travelling abroad or staying in the comfort of your own home, luxury can be found and felt in the things you do, the places you go and the items you buy and cherish. At Black Caviar, we offer items that will make your travels, your home and your lifestyle feel that much more luxurious,” say the luxury savvy pair. Black Caviar is best described as a “curated collection.” From the moment you step past the boutique’s distinctive black awning and enter the brightly lit all cream and white space, you are immediately greeted by a collection of unique and exclusive brands. “Black Caviar is a specially curated collection of our favourite pieces, items that we’ve experienced and discovered during our travels,” says Andrea. “We

want to be the cultural curators of your lifestyle, helping you discover the undiscovered so you become your own style and luxury navigator.” With that in mind, the owners of Black Caviar have put together an impressive collection of home, beauty, jewellery and fashion items from rarely seen brands from around the world brought together in jaw-dropping displays throughout the small space. More showroom than store and reminiscent of a small museum or Soho art studio, Black Caviar features merchandise in vignettes, display cases, and hanging shelves. The best in skin care products, like Eve Lom, Tata Harper, Herve Herau, airbrush tanning application and skin care maintenance products by St. Tropez and Rodin by Olio Lusso essential oils line the boutique’s shelves or are strategically placed on display cases alongside Assouline, Rizzoli and Taschen coffee table travel books that are more artwork than travel guide. Also at Black Caviar are Luxe City Guides that feature the best of the best of places to visit in the world from Tokyo to Bali, Dubai to Madrid, Miami to New York and L.A and everywhere in between. You’ll also find travel-friendly skin care products, resort and swimwear from Charlie by Matthew Zink (made famous by mega star Rihanna), and a variety of Archie Grand notebooks for you to journal about your adventures in luxury travel.

Black Caviar Is A Collective Of Our Own Experiences And Fascination With Luxury, Travel, Food, Fashion And Culture. 28


travel items from

ACROSS THE GLOBE Want to be ahead of the trends in home décor, jewellery, and fashion items? Black Caviar has brought in the hottest, most exclusive brands, including Vita Fede, ForgetMeNot cashmere blend and silk graphic scarves from Lake Como, Italy, clutches by Fiona Kotur, Banjo and Matilda cashmere imported from Australia, Tom and Hawk men’s sweaters, and, coming soon, LemLema hand crafted fashions developed by Liya Kebede, an international model from Ethiopia. For your home you’ll find Costes home fragrances and crystal pieces by Tom Binns, just to name a few. From all of the products offered at Black Caviar, it’s easy to see why the boutique defines itself as driven by luxury, inspired by travel. “Black Caviar is a collective of our own experiences and fascination with luxury, travel, food, fashion and culture. Our brands are special to us

because they all come with a story of how and why we carry them. It’s a culmination of our ideas and our lives shared with our clientele,” says Andrea. Whether catering to seasoned travellers or happy homebodies seeking to add a little luxury to their lives, this little Oakville boutique is about creating experiences – and relationships. “The relationship we want to build with all of our clients is the most essential. Black Caviar isn’t just a boutique, it’s an experience.”

finding LUXURY at BLACK CAVIAR - there's nothing trick about that

Black Caviar is located at 335 Lakeshore Rd. E., Oakville. Visit them online at shopblackcaviar.com.


VOLUME OF SALES OVER $1MILIION DOLLARS

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Chart two below, according to the real estate board, showcases how Canadian average home prices faired in 2012, compared to 2011. For instance, Oakville saw a jump in average price to 12 per cent in 2012 year-over-year. Canada, as a whole, increased average home price by 1.6 per cent year-over-year according to, The Canadian Real Estate Association. What had Canadian home sales doing well? The RE/MAX Housing Market Outlook 2013 report states that the low interest rates in 2012 influenced sales of homes. Tight inventory levels also ignited a series of home-buying activity. Then in November 2012, we witnessed a slowdown in the real estate market. According to the Canadian Real Estate Association, “Actual

THE 2013 FORECAST: POSITIVE FUTURE GROWTH What is remarkable about Canada is its ability to be resilient in face of global economic uncertainty. Its stability is the envy of the world. In 2013, we are expected to see this stamina again, fuelled by the low interest rates, which are expected to remain at 3 per cent or lower and further economic improvement. Another factor keeping Canadian interest rates low is the political instability in the U.S., as the nation is quickly reaching the legal limit of its debt in March. This will cause further economic concerns in the country and will keep interest rates low. Moreover, we are seeing signs of expected economic improvement which means we can expect a healthy housing market in Canada. Craig Wright, chief economist at the Royal Bank of Canada told the Globe and Mail, he predicts the Canadian economy to grow by approximately 2.4 per cent in 2013.  

PRICE INCREASES

Lastly, housing demand will continue because of immigration. The Greater Toronto Area is expected to receive approximately 100,000 immigrants this year. Condominium construction is while underway to accommodate new buyers and new immigrants to the city. Toronto had 147 construction sites towards the end of last year, making it the city with the largest amount of high-rises and skyscrapers under construction in North America according to research firm, Emporis. activity came in at 11.9 per cent below November 2011.” Home sales in Oakville were slightly lower in November 2012 at 642, than in November 2011 at 696. This may have been attributed to the presidential election in the U.S. The election had historically caused a slowdown in the Canadian real estate market. Election uncertainty and the fiscal cliff had economists and investors on edge, according to the Globe and Mail.

In addition, Halton and Peel regions will receive about 22,000 new immigrants this year. The focus on economic immigration will have us seeing quicker home ownership than in past years. This signifies an opportunity to invest in the Canadian real estate market.

Last year, we also saw sky-high prices in Canada’s largest cities. This grew fears of a potential housing bubble forming. Yet, new federal mortgage restrictions went into effect in July and were believed to be what tamed Canada’s real estate market

INCREASED BY 26% Grant, T. (2012, December 30). How the world will weigh on Canada’s economy in 2013. The Globe and Mail. Retrieved from http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/economy/how-the-world-will-weigh-on-canadas-economy-in-2013/article6802194/ Reuters. (2013, January 2). Flaherty welcomes fiscal cliff deal, but warns U.S. not out of the woods. Financial Post. Retrieved from http://business.financialpost.com/2013/01/02/flaherty-welcomes-fiscal-cliff-deal-but-warns-u-s-not-yet-out-of-the-woods/ Sharma, S. (2012, December 6). U.S. Housing Surge Will Help Canada. Advisor.ca. Retrieved from http://www.advisor.ca/news/economic/u-s-housing-surge-will-help-canada-98141 Staff. (2012, December 17). Canadian home sales remain at lower levels in November. The Canadian Real Estate Association. Retrieved from http://www.crea.ca/canadian-home-sales-remain-lower-levels-november Staff (2012, January 22). Market Watch. The Oakville, Milton and District Real Estate Board. Retrieved from http://omdreb.on.ca/market_watch/ Staff. (2013, January 22). National Average Price Map. The Canadian Real Estate Association. Retrieved from http://crea.ca/content/national-average-price-map Staff. (2012, October 30). Canada Won’t See U.S.-Style Housing Meltdown. Advisor.ca. Retrieved from http://www.advisor.ca/news/industry-news/canada-wont-see-u-s-style-housing-meltdown-93781 Staff. (2012, October 24). Toronto, North America’s New High-Rise Metropolis. Emporis. Retrieved from http://www.emporis.com/press/press-releases/toronto-north-americas-new-high-rise-metropolis Staff. (2012, November 14). The RE/MAX Housing Market Outlook 2013. RE/MAX of Western Canada. Retrieved from http://www.remax-western.ca/news/remax-housing-market-outlook-2013

CHRISTOPHER INVIDIATA PRINCIPAL REALTOR / TEAM LEADER RE/MAX ABOUTOWNE REALTY CORP. BROKERAGE

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Building Lots & Vacant Land

BUILDING LOTS & VACANT LAND

32

* Building Lots - 394 Lakeshore Road West, South West Oakville | Edgewater Estates

Oakville 498 Chamberlain Lane, Southeast Oakville 255 Westdale Road, Southwest Oakville 291 Dalewood Drive, Morrison Oakville 456 Lakeshore Road West , Lot 1, Oakville 346 + 362 Lakeshore Road West, Oakville

100' x 125' .40 Acres .40 Acres 75' x 140' 9.3 Acres

$950,000 $1,299,000 $1,485,000 $1,898,000 $18,900,000

Christopher Invidiata & Marija Kolesar, Sales Representatives Christopher Invidiata & Patsy Gauer, Sales Representatives Christopher Invidiata & Patsy Gauer, Sales Representatives Christopher Invidiata & MIke Howarth, Sales Representatives Christopher Invidiata & Nadia Meco, Sales Representatives Linda Tino-Zylik, Broker

Starting at Starting at

$950,000 $2,800,000

Christopher Invidiata, Sales Representative Christopher Invidiata, Sales Representative

$1,895,000 $2,295,000

Christopher Invidiata & Kirsten Leggat, Sales Representatives Christopher Invidiata & Pamela Gottschalk, Sales Representatives

$698,000 $949,000 $2,249,000 $2,649,000 $2,995,000

Christopher Invidiata & Pamela Gottschalk, Sales Representatives Christopher Invidiata & Pamela Gottschalk, Sales Representatives Christopher Invidiata, Sales Representative & Linda Tino-Zylik, Broker Christopher Invidiata, Sales Representative & Linda Tino-Zylik, Broker Christopher Invidiata, Sales Representative & Linda Tino-Zylik, Broker

Development Projects EDGEWATER ESTATES* 394 Lakeshore Road West, Southwest Oakville 14 Interior Lots 2 Lakefront Lots Cottage country Penman Island - Lake Rosseau, Muskoka 1000 Goffat Island, Ramara BURLINGTON 538 Stillwater Crescent, Burlington 534 Stillwater Crescent, Burlington 4156 Inglewood Drive, South Burlington 3156 Lakeshore Road, Roseland, Burlington 115 Appleby Place, South Burlington

50' x 110' 50' x 110' 160' x 192' 100' x 280' 220' x 298'

the invidiata team - Re/max aboutowne Realty corp. Brokerage


OAKVILLE'S NEWEST WATERFRONT COMMUNITY

1 6 L A K E S I D E E S TAT E L O T S "Be one of the few to build your dream home on this private 9 acre Estate. Set amongst towering trees & along the blue waters of Lake Ontario"

P R I O R I T Y V I E W I N G E V E N T A P R I L 6th STARTING AT

$950,000

CALL TO PRE-REGISTER 905.582.4662 OR REGISTER ONLINE AT EDGEWATERESTATES.CA sales@theinvteam.com


LUXE

WHAT’S HOT THE ARCEAU 43MM CHRONO Crafted in Switzerland. Classic, timeless and unpretentious, this watch embodies the Hermes style Available at Knar Jewellery Oakville. www.knar.com

BRIGETTE Voluptuous, shapely, sensuous women; The trademark French artist, Josepha. Beautiful lace garments cover just enough flesh to intrigue inquisitive senses.  Skillfully hand-cast in bronze. Extremely limited edition. 24” x 12” x 13” Available at The Bronze Frog Gallery. www.bronzefroggallery.com

ZO SKIN HEALTH Dr. Obagi’s newest line of skin care. Try Ossential Radical Night Repair Plus - This stuff is potent. Available through Dr. Grace at The Grace Clinic. www.drgrace.ca

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LOCAL IN OUR TOWN

CAMEO’S KITCHEN OF THE FUTURE From the core material of the doors which are FSC approved, to the water based sealers and urethanes that are CARB 2 compliant and have no VOC’s, to the LED lighting. Technologically this kitchen showcases ‘servo drives’ and lit drawer interiors. The WOW factor is the interactive backsplash, that is comprised of 3 monitors connected to a computer which allows multi-functionality. Marble counter tops and floor, chrome handles and the gorgeous lit agate breakfast bar complete the esthetics. Available through Cameo Kitchens and Fine Cabinetry. www.cameokitchens.com

WEATHERED CONSOLE Perfect for front hallways, mud rooms or covered outdoor spaces. Special in store promotion. Available at Elizabeth Interiors Retails for $799.99 www.elizabethinteriors.com

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LUXE

WHAT’S HOT

KALEIDESCAPE MOVIE SERVER The world’s premier movie server, the Kaleidescape System stores copies of all of your Blu-ray and DVD movies and beautifully presents your entire collection onscreen. Available through Sublime Integration. www.sublimeintegration.com

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RIGHT BANK X LOUNGE CHAIR Elegantly curved back and arm with a sophisticated X pattern on the back. Handcrafted from Rift Oak and upholstered with contrasting fabric.  Available with customer’s own fabric in a wide variety of materials and finishes. Available through Reimer Design Incorporated. www.reimerdesign.com

VITA FEDE a collection of luxury accessories inspired by art, architecture and culture. Made in Italy. Available at Black Caviar www.shopblackcaviar.com


LOCAL IN OUR TOWN

TATA HARPER’S SKIN CARE LINE 100% natural and thoroughly scientific in its approach to wellness and anti-aging. Available at Rosewater Spa Of Oakville. www.rosewaterspa.com

ANDERSEN ARCHITECTURAL FOLDING DOOR Blur the line between the indoors and out. Available to 48’ Wide by 10’ High. Available through Cheney Window and Door. www.cheney.ca

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MEDICAL

RETAIL RESTAURANT OAKVILLE - FOR SALE 1464 Cornwall Road - #8, South East Oakville 86 Lakeshore Road West, Kerr Village, Oakville Live / Work Unit 113 Lakeshore Road West, Central Oakville

1,025 Sq. Ft. W. 800 Sq. Ft. L. 2,000 Sq. Ft. 1,624 Sq. Ft.

$590,000 $725,000

410 Nebo Road, Hamilton Mountain, Hamilton 100’ x 139.99’ Lot

$379,000

$789,000

Christopher Invidiata & Marija Kolesar, Sales Representatives Christopher Invidiata & Michelle Kloet Sales Representatives Cindy Avis, Broker Christopher Invidiata & Marija Kolesar, Sales Representatives

Hamilton - FOR SALE Christopher Invidiata & Michelle Kloet, Sales Representatives

It's all about

Location the

SPA

OFFICE

Commercial &

Investment Properties

COMMERCIAL PROPERTIES

the invidiata team - Re/max aboutowne Realty corp. Brokerage


It's all about the

Lifestyle

BLUWATER

RAIN THE COVENTRY The Coventry - 253 & 261 Church Street | Downtown Oakville Unit 404

$2,595,000

Christopher Invidiata, Sales Representative & Cindy Avis, Broker

the shores - 1 Bronte Road | oakville Unit 519

$1,099,000

Christopher Invidiata & Shae Invidiata, Sales Representatives

THE BAXTER - 399 Elizabeth street | Burlington $374,900

Christopher Invidiata & Michelle Kloet, Sales Representatives

60 old mill road | Oakville Unit 304

THE BAXTER

$397,999

SOLD

Christopher Invidiata & Shae Invidiata, Sales Representatives

edgemere private residences Bluwater condos Rain condos

From From From

$2,500,000 $400,900 $199,990

Condo Living

Unit 506

111 FORSYTHE

THE SHORES

EDGEMERE PRIVATE RESIDENCES JUsT sOLd

REsIdENCE ELEVEN

$3,750,000

the invidiata team - Re/max aboutowne Realty corp. Brokerage

PREVIEW |

The

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Toronto Pearson Airport, Skyservice FBO NOTE: Please review this high 416-203-0600 resolution PDF, any typographical Cyan

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"When Life Gives You The Blessing Of Success, Home Ownership Blossoms To The Next Level Of Comfort, Quality And Architectural Beauty." - Christopher Invidiata

Presenting Exceptional Homes From $2,000,000 To $5,000,000 For Sale In Oakville, Burlington, Mississauga And Surrounding Areas.


homes from $2,000,000 - $5,000,000

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4400 Lakeshore road | Burlington Christopher Invidiata & Mike Howarth, Sales Representatives | 4400lakeshore.com

$2,199,000

380 Lakeshore road west | south west oakville Christopher Invidiata & Nadia Meco, Sales Representatives

$2,249,000

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invidiata.com

81 howard avenue | OAKVILLE Christopher Invidiata, Sales Representative & Cindy Avis, Broker | 81howard.com

$2,250,000

1249 Lakeshore road east | Morrison | Oakville Christopher Invidiata, Sales Representative & Cindy Avis, Broker | 1249lakeshore.com

$2,288,000

PRESTIGE home collection - Re/max aboutowne Realty corp. Brokerage

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Constructing Childhood Joy:

New Fantasyland and the continuing

Disney World dream

By Nicolette Little

W

hen seven-year-old C.J. Lowe lost his tooth during a trip to Walt Disney World, the resort staff were excited. “Tinker Bell takes care of the lost teeth in the Magic Kingdom!,” an excited cast member beamed. Handing C.J. balloons and a certificate, she added: “Tink puts pixie dust under the children’s pillows!” Low and behold, when C.J. woke up the next morning, Disney’s personal tooth fairy had left her mark in the gleam of sparkling powder she’d left behind. Tinker Bell’s mindfulness is one example among many of Disney’s attention to detail when it comes to constructing childhood joy. This trademark care is also evident in the expansion of Fantasyland, which officially reopened as “New Fantasyland” on December 6th, 2012. The original Fantasyland, located in Disney World’s Magic Kingdom Park, was constructed in 1971. It was populated with the fanciful characters of our youth: Cinderella, Snow White and Peter Pan roamed its streets, an exciting sight for the young and old alike. Time has marched onward, however, and so too has the number of magical stories Disney has spun into movies. Disney World now faces a generation of visitors who grew up on Beauty and the Beast (1991) and The Little Mermaid (1989), for example, rather than just Cinderella (1950) and Dumbo (1941). While Disney’s policy of rereleasing its classics every seven years has kept younger watchers aware of the older characters, Disney World has had 45


to expand Fantasyland to allow for Belle and Ariel to have homes there too. During the expansion—the biggest in Disney World history—Fantasyland grew from ten to twenty-one acres to accommodate this new litany of princesses, as well as the castles, French villages and underwater grottos that go in to supporting their fairy-tale mystique. The Beauty and the Beast characters have gained significant visibility in New Fantasyland. The Beast’s castle is a sight to see. Set on the outskirts of a faux French village and accessible through a “magic mirror” in Maurice’s cottage, it contains a West Wing like the one in the movie. Here, visitors can see the Beast’s enchanted rose as it slowly withers: According to an evil witch’s curse, and in order to transform back into the handsome prince he once was, the Beast must find true love before the last petal falls. An Audio-Animatronics Lumière—the movie’s singing, dancing, lady-charmer of a candelabrum—is so lifelike that visitors are floored when he begins to talk and move.

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The Be Our Guest Restaurant, which specializes in French cuisine, is also located in the Beast’s castle. According to Christine Fiorelli, a Vacation Specialist at Fairytale Dreams & Destinations, it is the first restaurant in Disney World to offer alcoholic beverages. In the name of authenticity, Disney has gone the extra mile to ensure a French restaurant isn’t without its crucial menu item: “du vin.” Fiorelli emphasizes that, for those who know the movie well, no details have gone unrepresented. Along with Ratatouille and other French specialties, you can order the delicious “grey stuff.” In the film, Lumière offers up this dubious sounding treat when he’s trying to convince a saddened and captive Belle to eat her dinner. The Little Mermaid was another hit for Generation Y. In the Under the Sea – Journey of the Little Mermaid attraction, fans of the film can visit a shipwreck and Prince Eric’s Castle. In Ariel’s Grotto they can meet the famous mer-princess herself, as she sits regally in a giant clam shell.


“There’s always something new going on at Disney World. The Beauty and the Beast and The Little Mermaid attractions are exciting modifications, but they won’t be the last.”

“The Beauty and the Beast characters have gained significant visibility in New Fantasyland. The Beast’s castle is a sight to see. Set on the outskirts of a faux French village and accessible through a “magic mirror” in Maurice’s cottage, it contains a West Wing like the one in the movie. “ The Walt Disney Company is famous for its powers of reinvention. Conceived in the 1920’s, it survived a World War, the Great Depression and a multiplicity of other twentieth-century ills. In the spirit of its parent company, Disney World shows a similar aptitude for staying abreast of trends. There’s always something new going on at Disney World. The Beauty and the Beast and The Little Mermaid attractions are exciting modifications, but they won’t be the last. In the next few years, for example, Snow White will have her own cottage in New Fantasyland, while her friends, the “Dwarfs,” will be given The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. This constant change is what draws C.J. and his family—his mom, dad and little sister, Devon—back every year. And, while there may not be a reason for another pillow-side visit from Tinker Bell, there will be plenty of other magical characters for him to see, and things for the Lowe family to do.

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homes from $2,000,000 - $5,000,000

$2,150,000

95 Howard avenue | old oakville Christopher Invidiata, Sales Representative & Cindy Avis, Broker | 95howard.com

1525 Warren drive | oakville Christopher Invidiata, Amiee Kain, Sales Representatives & Cindy Avis, Broker | 1525warren.com

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$2,398,000

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431 fourth line | west Oakville Christopher Invidiata, Sales Representative & Linda Tino-Zylik, Broker

$2,495,000

94 byron street | south east Oakville Christopher Invidiata & Pamela Gottschalk, Sales Representatives

$2,496,000

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200 Balsam drive | old Oakville Christopher Invidiata, Sales Representative & Cindy Avis, Broker | 200balsam.com

117 caulder drive | morrison | Oakville Christopher Invidiata, Sales Representative & Cindy Avis, Broker | 117caulder.com

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contact listing agent for price

$2,580,000

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2310 Kilbride street | Burlington Christopher Invidiata, Marija Kolesar & Mariola Broder, Sales Representatives

$2,599,900

1394 Lakeshore road east | sout east Oakville Christopher Invidiata & Pamela Gottschalk, Sales Representatives

$2,695,000

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456 Lakeshore road west | south west Oakville Christopher Invidiata & Mike Howarth, Sales Representatives

$2,798,000

410 drummond road | south east oakville Christopher Invidiata & Marija Kolesar, Sales Representatives | 410drummond.com

$2,899,000

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35 chartwell road | morrison | oakville Christopher Invidiata, Sales Representative & Cindy Avis, Broker | 35chartwell.com

$2,950,000

1416 lakeshore road east | south east oakville Christopher Invidiata, Marija Kolesar & Mariola Broder, Sales Representatives | 1416lakeshore.com

$3,100,000

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homes from $2,000,000 - $5,000,000

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129 appleby place | shoreacres | BURLINGTON Christopher Invidiata, Sales Representative & Linda Tino-Zylik, Broker | 129appleby.com

$3,295,000

481 country club crescent | rattray marsh | mississauga Christopher Invidiata, Nadia Meco & Kirsten Leggat, Sales Representatives

$3,399,000

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311 Maple grove drive | oakville Christopher Invidiata, Marija Kolesar & Mariola Broder, Sales Representatives

$3,485,000

1 Colonial crescent | OAKVILLE Christopher Invidiata, Sales Representative & Cindy Avis, Broker | 1colonial.com

$3,600,000

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1312 Lakeshore road east | SouthEast Oakville Christopher Invidiata & Mike Howarth, Sales Representatives | 1312lakeshore.com | Exclusive Listing

$3,788,000

5019 Lakeshore road | burlington Christopher Invidiata & Mike Howarth, Sales Representatives

$3,998,000

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67 HOWARD AVENUE | OLD OAKVILLE

$4,195,000

Christopher Invidiata, Aimee Kain, Sales Representatives & Cindy Avis, Broker | 67howard.com

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PRICE AVAILABLE TO QUALIFIED BUYERS

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THE PERKS, PITFALLS AND PLANNING

when purchasing

US REAL ESTATE by Joseph Sardella

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The US

REAL ESTATE MARKET in 2013 is expected to

awaken from a prolonged period of depressed prices and excess inventory.

According to US real estate and data company Trulia, US home-listing prices were up 5.1% nationally in December 2012 on a year-over-year basis. Out of the 100 major metro US markets covered by the report, 82 of them saw year-over-year gains compared to only 12 markets the previous reporting year. With the fiscal cliff fears addressed, economic momentum could result in increasing prices in California and Arizona with Florida lagging but improving.

US estate tax rules apply when an NRA dies holding US real estate. The US gift tax rules apply when an NRA transfers their interest in US real property to another person. In addition, there are specific tax rules that establish how depreciation and interest expenses can be claimed as well as filing certain tax elections unique to real estate. Navigating the complexities of the above rules can prove onerous even for most sophisticated investor.

The continuing relative strength of the Canadian dollar, low interest rates and home prices in Arizona, Florida, Nevada, and California as much as 55 per cent below their peak in 2007, Canada is outpacing all other countries world-wide with 23 per cent of international US real estate sales.

Purchasing US Property

Despite the appeal of a getaway in the sun, unless properly structured, the purchase, ownership and disposition of a US property can be fraught with complications for the misinformed and ill prepared. The US tax rules dealing with real estate are drafted in a manner that ensures their relevance throughout the entire ownership cycle. The purpose of this article is to identify significant “blind spots” facing non US persons (a “non-resident alien” or NRA) when purchasing, managing or disposing of a US real estate property whether for investment or personal enjoyment. A NRA holding US real estate is exposed to the possible application of US income tax rules as well as US transfer tax rules (referred to as US estate tax) and US gift tax rules. The US income tax rules that assert the US right to tax US real estate transactions are codified in the “Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act” (“FIRPTA”). These rules have significant legislative power and are broad enough to override tax treaty provisions possibly resulting in inequitable tax results. The

Most planning when purchasing US estate tax is designed to eliminate the application of US death tax which for NRA’s is imposed on the value of US situs (located) property. Therefore, US estate tax can apply to Canadians who at the time of death hold US real property. US estate tax can be significant since it is imposed on the fair value of assets held at time of death rather than any gain that has accrued on the asset over the course of the deceased’s ownership of the property. For example, if at the time of death of a Canadian citizen, approximately 25% of the value of their worldwide estate was represented by their $500,000 US vacation home, US death tax of approximately $70,000 would result under the 2013 US estate tax rules. In order to protect Canadian NRA investors from the application of US estate tax, planning has centered on having an intermediary entity own the US real estate. The entity can

OPPOSITE Luxury golf community in South Florida. RIGHT Sprawling estate property in Arizona. 61


corporate ownership arrangements are NO LONGER tax effective be a Canadian corporation, a Canadian trust; a Canadian partnership arrangement, or a combination depending on the investment objectives. Using a Canadian corporation to purchase and hold US real estate is the least desirable and tax effective manner in situations where the US property is primarily a vacation home. The application of the shareholder benefit rules under Canadian tax provisions will result in an income benefit included in income and subject to Canadian income tax. As well, US tax rules do not provide for a reduced or preferential

ABOVE New York City skyline at night. OPPOSITE LEFT California estate overlooking the pacific ocean. OPPOSITE RIGHT Beachfront condos on the Atlantic coast of Florida.

ELIMINATION of the SHAREHOLDER benefit concern 62

tax rate on realized capital gains for corporations. A Canadian corporation would pay US tax on the gain from the sale of a Florida property at a rate of 40%. By comparison, the gain would bear Canadian tax at a rate of only 23%. Since corporate ownership arrangements are no longer tax effective, holding US property through the use of a Canadian trust has become popular. An advantage of using a Canadian trust is the elimination of the shareholder benefit concern. In addition, capital gains on the sale of the US property enjoy the same lower preferential tax rate as individuals while providing

protection from US estate tax. Adversely, trust arrangements require that the settlor (i.e. the person who provides funds to set up the trust) may be required to relinquish control over the trust and the US property. Although the trust is subject to the Canadian 21 year deemed disposition rule this is not seen as a significant drawback. Using a trust requires that the US property be purchased directly by the trust. Ideally the creation of the trust is done prior to the closing date of the purchase. In situations where the US property is already owned by the individual, transferring that property to a trust post acquisition would trigger the application of the gift tax rules. Depending on the value of the real estate a direct sale to the trust may accomplish the desired result. The use of partnership arrangements to hold US real estate while offering protection from US estate tax is typically more


prevalent in large scale real estate development arrangements where liquidity is important. Although they can be used in private family real estate investments, their complexity (which requires the timely filing of check-the-box elections) and significant costs outweighs the benefits achieved.

Managing US Property The decision to generate rental income to help defray the carrying costs of US property triggers the application of complex reporting rules. The rents that are received are subject to a 30% US withholding tax, which tenants are required to deduct and remit to the Internal Revenue Service. This is a flat rate of tax charged on the gross rents. However, where there are expenses associated with renting out the US property the owner can elect to be taxed on the net rental income at graduated tax rates. In many cases, the tax on the net rent will be much less than the tax on the gross rent. Making this election will require the timely filing of a US tax return. Under US tax rules, depreciation is mandatory which will result in additional deductions. Proper compliance with the tax rules will require the completion and filing of US tax forms such as Form W-7 (Application to obtain a US taxpayer identification number); Form W-8 ECI (Advising the US payer that a “net basis� tax return will be filed) and Form 1040NR (income tax return).

Selling US Property A Canadian resident selling US real estate is required to report such sale for US income tax purposes even if there was no gain on the sale. In order to ensure compliance, the US tax rules state that where a NRA sells US real estate, the purchaser (regardless of residence) must withhold tax on the gross purchase price

at a rate of 10% and remit that amount to the IRS by a certain date. There are exceptions where the 10% gross withholding tax can be eliminated. These exceptions include situations where the ultimate tax on the gain is less than the 10% gross withholding or where the US property is sold for $300,000 US or less and the purchaser intends to use the property as a residence. Where an exception applies, the seller can apply to the IRS in advance for a certificate to have the 10% withholding tax reduced or eliminated. The submission of such application is subject to time sensitive deadlines which must be followed in order to obtain relief from the 10% withholding. In summary, investing in US real estate requires an understanding of both US and Canadian tax provisions and how they interact to ensure there is no double taxation. Consulting with a cross border tax professional to obtain advice in advance of a real estate transaction will ensure the acquisition, management and sale of such investment is handled in the most tax efficient manner.

Joseph E Sardella, CPA, CA Henderson Partners US Tax Services 905.829.3701 ext. 223 jsardella@hendersonpartnersllp.ca

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IT’S SIMPLY ABOUT TIME. Experience exceptional waterfront living in generously proportioned one- and two-level residences, each with main floor master bedrooms, meticulously planned kitchens, elegant finishes, expansive private terraces and breathtaking lake views. Register now to preview Edgemere’s custom-designed model suites. RESIDENCES FROM $3.170M | PHASE ONE OCCUPANCY SUMMER 2013 | PHASE TWO OCCUPANCY FALL 2014

Sales and Model Home Gallery 334 LAKESHORE ROAD EAST, OAKVILLE ON Mon-Fri 10am – 5pm | Sat & Sun 11am – 5pm For a private appointment please contact 905.842.1502 or visit EDGEMERE.CA Prices, sizes and specifications are subject to change without notice. E.&O.E. All features, dimensions and stated floor areas are approximate. Sept 2012 A Registered Cooperating Broker. RE/MAX Aboutowne Realty Corp., Brokerage The Invidiata Team. 83 Reynolds Street, Oakville, ON L6J 3K3 905-339-3444 www.invidiata.com

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“Project of the Year 2010” BILD Awards


"Waterfront properties represent the most sought-after real estate, due to their limited availability and breathtaking views and setting." - Christopher Invidiata

Presenting gorgeous waterfront homes and vacation properties on lake Ontario and in resort areas including Muskoka and Huntsville.


WATERFRONT PROPERTIES

538 Stillwater crescent $698,000 Waterfront | Burlington Christopher Invidiata & Pamela Gottschalk Sales Representatives

Penman Island | lake rosseau | muskoka lake Christopher Invidiata & Kirsten Leggat, Sales Representatives

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534 STILLWATER CRESCENT | WATERFRONT | BURLINGTON Christopher Invidiata & Pamela Gottschalk, Sales Representatives

$949,000

$1,895,000

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1000 GOFFAT ISLAND | GOFFAT ISLAND | RAMARA Christopher Invidiata & Pamela Gottschalk, Sales Representatives | 1000goffat.com

15 cudmore road | Oakville Christopher Invidiata, Marija Kolesar & Mariola Broder, Sales Representatives | Exclusive Listing

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$2,295,000

$2,700,000

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WATERFRONT PROPERTIES

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3204 shoreline drive | bronte | oakville Christopher Invidiata, Marija Kolesar & Mariola Broder, Sales Representatives | 3204shoreline.com

$2,990,000

5138 Lakeshore road | south west burlington Christopher Invidiata, Sales Representative & Linda Tino-Zylik, Broker | 5138lakeshore.com

$3,698,000

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4100 Lakeshore road | shoreacres | Burlington Christopher Invidiata, Sales Representative & Linda Tino-Zylik, Broker | 4100lakeshore.com

$3,698,000

1550 bayview road | south west OAKVILLE Christopher Invidiata, Sales Representative & Ping Shu, Broker | 1550bayview.com

$4,680,000

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854 longfellow avenue | lorne park estates | mississauga Christopher Invidiata, Sales Representative & Linda Tino-Zylik, Broker | 854longfellow.com

$4,875,000

2 ennisclare drive west | morrison | Oakville Christopher Invidiata & Pamela Gottschalk, Sales Representatives | 2ennisclare.com

$5,899,000

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18 Raymar place | south east oakville Christopher Invidiata, Pamela Gottschalk, Sales Representatives & Linda Tino-Zylik, Broker | 18raymar.com

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$6,895,000

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140 oaklands park court | aldershot south | Burlington Christopher Invidiata, Pamela Gottschalk & Shae Invidiata, Sales Representatives | 140oaklands.com

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$7,998,000

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WATERFRONT PROPERTIES

2100 Lakeshore road east | south east oakville Christopher Invidiata, Pamela Gottschalk, Sales Representatives & Linda Tino-Zylik, Broker | 2100lakeshore.com

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$16,995,000

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SOLD $10,196,000

154 + 162 Brookfield Crescent | Oakville Christopher Invidiata, Sales Representative & Linda Tino-Zylik, Broker

SOLD 1092 argyle drive | South east Oakville Christopher Invidiata & Pamela Gottschalk, Sales Representatives & Linda Tino-Zylik, Broker

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$11,499,000

the invidiata team - Re/max aboutowne REALTY CORp; BROKERAGe


Balance in Beijing

Alive with ancient traditions and modern industry, China’s capital provides the key to the greatest luxury of all: personal wellness. By Eve Thomas | photography by Andrew rowat

THIS PAGE A rare serene spot by the Forbidden City.

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Traditional Chinese medicine, while often referred to as alternative,’ is standard practice for most of China’s 1.3 billion people.

ABOVE Fairmont Beijing's resident tai chi master, Link Li, goes through his forms.

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I’M ABOUT 10 MINUTES INTO MY FIRST TAI CHI CLASS when I realize I’ve made a classic rookie mistake. At

dawn I had watched senior citizens performing the slow-motion stretches in a park by the Forbidden City and assumed it would be easy. I was wrong. But it isn’t my body that’s overtaxed, it’s my brain that’s tiring as I try to remember the next form, dan bian (single whip). Rather than emulating a graceful warrior, I look like a little teapot. Luckily, Link Li has the quality I most admire in a teacher. Patience. As the resident tai chi master at Fairmont Beijing and head of the hotel’s Find Your Inner Chi Apprentice-Trips program, he instructs foreigners who are, as he puts it, “intrigued by local traditions.” Like me, they’re taught that tai chi isn’t just a martial art (tai chi chuan translates as “supreme ultimate fist”), but part of a lifestyle in which the mind, body and spirit are inseparable, and every illness the result of an imbalance between them. I’ve encountered many luxuries at Fairmont Beijing – a rare bottle of Louis XIII Black Pearl Magnum Rémy Martin in the Champagne Bar, a Ming Dynasty bowl under glass in the lobby, even the building’s rose-gold facade – but to my mind, none can be enjoyed without the greatest luxury of all: wellness.

Traditional Chinese medicine (including massage therapy, acupuncture and herbal remedies), while often referred to as “alternative,” is standard practice for most of China’s 1.3 billion people. It’s their holistic view of health that I’m here to discover. “Yin yang,” Li observes, pointing to the traditional black satin outfit I was given for my lesson, then at his identical white one. Like most North Americans, I’m familiar with the black and white symbol, taijitu, but only vaguely aware of its meaning. “Everything in life is connected,” Li explains and I’m reminded of all the health-related headlines in that morning’s China Daily newspaper. I learned that a charity is giving seeds to locals so they can start their own urban vegetable gardens, that a small farmers’ market is being launched in Fengtai District and that the southern city of Hangzhou has a 60,000-bicycle public rental system. In “Why the World Should Eat Chinese,” an article about Michael Pollan, author of The Omnivore’s Dilemma, the writer cites qifen bao, the Chinese tradition of only eating until you are 70 percent full (said to lessen the strain on the body’s organs). “Positive space cannot exist without negative,” continues my tai chi instructor. “So, if one foot is up, the other is down.” I nod with fresh understanding and lift the wrong foot. TEA TIME

It’s 9 a.m. and I have a confession to make to Norman Zhang, my Beijing guide from Butterfield & Robinson tours. Before we venture out on foot to explore the city, I tell him that, despite my noble goal of seeking wellness in Beijing, back home my health regime is somewhat lacking. Coffee is a chai latte with extra foam. Exercise is an elliptical machine and an episode of Jeopardy. And cycling is a yearly subscription to my local bike-share program, which allows me to make a drop-off at the bottom of a steep hill. He assures me I’ve got nothing to worry about, and admits to being “a coffee man” himself, despite the first stop on our urban hike: Maliandao, Beijing’s tea street.


“Better to go without food for three days than without tea for one” goes an old Chinese proverb, and after 4,000 or so years the West seems to be catching on to the drink’s health benefits (especially those of green tea, with studies showing that polyphenols may prevent cancer, lower cholesterol and even fight tooth decay). In Maliandao, however, my vague preconceptions are dashed once again as I am met not with a back-alley bazaar thick with oversize bins and loud bargaining, but a brightly lit, modern shopping center, and the biggest tea market in Beijing. The fresh scent of jasmine hangs in the air, and each shop has colorful, carefully stacked displays, clearly marked prices and smiling attendants (though English remains rare). That the market resembles the country’s ornate, apothecarylike pharmacies is no coincidence: the Chinese turn to both for what ails them, and the cures are often more than the sum of their parts. Locals pay top dollar for ingredients like bird’s nest, ginseng root and royal jelly, gazing on as pharmacists fill their prescriptions via mortar and pestle and pack pills and powders into gilded envelopes. Here, customers get up close and personal with the ingredients they are about to ingest. The filling of prescriptions takes on an elegant transparency, not

just for the method of delivery but because, at these pharmaceutical companies, the human trials have been under way for millennia. Similarly, tea, while valued for its health benefits, is also appreciated for its beauty. In one window, objects that I first take for carved rosewood murals turn out to be artworks made of compressed tea leaves, used to decorate the boardrooms and offices of powerful Chinese businesspeople. Behind locked display cabinets I find dark brown nuggets of compressed Puer. They resemble large black truffles, and are just as prized. Once used as currency between Yunnan and Tibet, people continue to buy disks of the fermented tea as an investment. A piece the size of a bundt cake has its price listed in yuan. I do some quick math: It’s $20,000. “They cost as much as people are willing to pay for them,” marvels Zhang. “A bit like wine.” A merchant motions for us to sit down at her tea table – a massive wooden slab with flowers and fish carved into the edges – and we’re presented with a “wheel” of teas going from mildest to strongest. As she rinses, steeps and serves, we’re told about each tea’s region of origin: the altitude, the type of soil and the affect of each on taste. In the place of canapés, we’re of-

THIS PAGE In China, feeling ill can mean a trip to a pharmacy where natural ingredients are prepared before your eyes, or to a tea merchant for a custom infusion based on your symptoms.

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Experiencing Beijing by bicycle, every moment is fleeting, but real.

ABOVE AND OPPOSITE A cyclist rides by the Tiananmen gate to the Forbidden City; two girls try on traditional royal headgear sold as souvenirs; Beijing's aging population stays fit through fun and games.

fered spiced black pumpkin seeds and tiny, bone-dry cookies. With each cup, I’m also offered additional wellness claims. This one will leave my face firmer, that one will help circulation. “Chinese believe everything that goes inside shows on the outside,” the attendant tells me. And it works. I leave Maliandao with some loose oolong meant to make my skin glow. BIKING BEIJING

As a casual cyclist, the appeal of a bicycle tour was somewhat lost on me. Not as quick as a car for getting from point A to point B, and not as convenient as walking for sightseeing and snapping photos. It isn’t until I’m zipping by a lake in the scenic Shichahai area that I finally get it. Unlike driving in a car, you have to be acutely aware of your surroundings at all times. And having two hands on your handlebars helps avoid that modern tourist affliction: experiencing your travels through the viewfinder of a digital camera. This freedom allows me to see market stands overflowing

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with walnuts, melons and duck eggs; cyclists transporting bamboo scaffolding and rabbit cages; old men playing dominoes by the side of the road. Every moment is fleeting, but real. Lotus flowers are in bloom, and I smell them before I see them, flying through a long stretch shaded by their leafy branches. There’s no A/C out here to curb the dry heat, but the faster I go, the cooler the breeze. Mercifully, the bike lanes are wide, level and paved smooth throughout – there’s not a steep hill or pothole in sight. Perhaps it’s the subtle buzz from my morning green tea, but I’m amazed by my ability to keep up. We turn once and we’re whizzing by the highrise headquarters of a major bank, turn again and we’re weaving through pedestrians in a hutong, a traditional Beijing backstreet. We take a detour through a treefilled embassy area near Fairmont Beijing. Then we’re back in the mix, wedged between an electric scooter-riding teenager with streaked red hair and a fedora-wearing dandy transport-


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ABOVE The Shichahai lake area is known for its nightlife, but visit during the day and you'll find locals swimming laps and doing tai chi in the nearby parks.

82

ing his wife sidesaddle. His passenger sits primly in a flowered dress and straw hat, barely moving a muscle as the bike lurches forward. When we stop to get some sugarless iced tea, Zhang asks an old man selling souvenirs to guard our things. “They say everyone gets nine bicycles in Beijing,” Zhang tells me. “I’m on number three.” To thank the man, Zhang buys me a small, hollowed-out gourd with a perforated wooden top. “It’s to hold crickets,” the man explains, via Zhang. “Listen to them chirp when it grows cold, and they will remind you of summertime.” Another round of city cycling, then we stop for lunch at the Bamboo Garden hotel, once the private residence of Sheng Xuanhuai, a powerful minister of the late Qing Dynasty. We leave our bikes in the designated bicycle parking lot and take a seat overlooking the lush courtyard, where the transparent floor reveals a koi pond beneath. I tap twice and the uniformed tea sommelier refills my cup using an antique pourer with an elongated spout, ideal for stretching across large teahouse tables.

Luxury is also about the little things, and there’s no beating the serenity of a wide-open space in a city of 20 million people. The crowds and traffic behind us, we dine quietly in our oasis on sticky Kung Pao chicken, steamed broccoli and ragged-cut noodles. I’m truly at peace, and it makes perfect sense, from a holistic point of view. True wellness won’t come in a single cup of tea, healthy meal or afternoon of exercise. It has to be, as tai chi instructor Link Li said, part of your lifestyle. And lifestyle, I realize, isn’t necessarily dictated by culture. It can be built and adapted based on your experiences, what you do, feel, touch and taste at home or halfway around the world.

To find out more about Fairmont offers in Asia, visit: fairmont.com/exploreasia


TOP TO BOTTOM The gleaming rose-gold facade of Fairmont Beijing; the Great Wall of China; a theater inside the National Centre for the Performing Arts.

CONCIERGE STAY Located in the city’s central business district, Fairmont Beijing is a contemporary space with an old-world luxury feel, and must-sees like Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City are all a 20-minute taxi ride away. Experience an urban oasis over three floors, with the Willow Stream Spa, gym and pool spread across the property’s stunning skybridge area, and treatments inspired by the building’s rose-gold facade. Take part in the Find Your Inner Chi Apprentice-Trip package or explore the city with a Fairmont Beijing guide on a hotel-supplied BMW bicycle.

PHOTO: EVE THOMAS (GREAT WALL)

fairmont.com/beijing

DO For an unforgettable Great Wall experience, head to Mutianyu. A 60- to 90-minute drive from Beijing, it’s less crowded than the famous Badaling section, and the tiny town at its base is home to The Schoolhouse. Stop there for glass-blowing demonstrations and understated gourmet dining featuring local ingredients. Get a table on the upper terrace and eat with a Great Wall view. theschoolhouseatmutianyu.com

See a show at Beijing's National Centre for the Performing Arts, or simply marvel at the stunning architecture, inside and out. For an alternative half-day trip, try the 798 Art District, a factoryturned-artists’ community featuring cute cafés, art installations and tons of trendy people watching. www.chncpa.org/ens, 798district.com

The Shichahai area is popular with tourists and locals alike for its huge selection of restaurants and

BUTTERFIELD & ROBINSON

Slow down to see the world with biking, hiking and walking tours tailored to your activity level. Expect insider access, expert local guides, fine dining and one-of-akind experiences on every trip, from sipping champagne on the Great Wall of China to horseback riding across a glacial stream in Patagonia.

nightclubs. Get there early to see people fishing in the lakes, or “walking” their birds (swinging birdcages gently and placing them in the trees). EAT Try Fairmont Beijing’s range of restaurants: The CUT, Sushi Bar, Champagne Bar and Lunar 8, which is famous for its Peking duck (don’t forget to order ahead). Or take a break between spa treatments to sample the Willow Stream menu.

butterfield.com, +1 800 678 1147 83


Wellness Across China

Take a grand tour of China and you’ll never be far from a Fairmont, or its range of health-promoting services. Fairmont Beijing

Fairmont Taiyuan

Fairmont Peace Hotel, Shanghai

Discover the property’s iconic green roof and Art Deco elements (see page 11 for details) or head to the Willow Stream Spa for the Zenspiration fullbody treatment, a truly tailored wellness experience.

Fairmont Nanjing Fairmont Yangcheng Lake

Fairmont Peace Hotel

fairmont.com/peacehotel

Fairmont Yangcheng Lake, Fairmont Nanjing

Fairmont Taiyuan

Kunshan

In development on the south bank of the Yangtze River, Fairmont Nanjing will feature 371 spacious rooms and a Willow Stream Spa. Want to see the benefits of healthy living in action? In August of 2014, the city is hosting the Summer Youth Olympic Games.

The capital of Shanxi province is set to welcome a Fairmont hotel, currently in development. Situated along the Fen River, the hotel will have 330 rooms and suites and a Willow Stream Spa, and a major sports center is currently under construction nearby.

A popular destination for the Shanghainese, this waterfront resort offers activities like fishing and rock climbing at its water park. Relax in the Willow Stream Spa, or explore the area on the bicycles available for rent. Try the hairy crab, a local delicacy!

taiyuansalesinquiries@fairmont.com nanjingsalesinquiries@fairmont.com 84

fairmont.com/yangchenglake


Lawyer, Robert J. Cross: Steers clients to financial success

By Ivona Radon

The hustle and bustle of the big city may leave you yearning for a calmer alternative. I discovered just that and more at the office of lawyer, Robert J. Cross. On a mild winter day, Mr. Cross greeted me at his downtown office in Oakville. There was no waiting, on my part; I had his full attention. I realized I was receiving the personal and focused service that has made Mr. Cross a successful lawyer in the community.

My objective is to provide courteous and efficient service to a handful of clients who are interested in building a long-term relationship with their solicitor.

In the 1980s, while completing his law degree at Osgoode Hall Law School, Mr. Cross developed a model for delivering efficient, courteous legal services to consumers. Mr. Cross began his working career outside of the practice of law and in product management, working for international corporations such as General Mills and Labatt Breweries. In 2002, after 17 years in marketing positions of increasing responsibility, Mr. Cross left his business career to open a law office in Oakville. Today, Mr. Cross provides real estate, wealth and estate planning, and business advisory services to a focused client base. “I prefer to restrict my practice to a smaller client base. This allows me to invest the time and attention I believe is required in order to achieve exceptional results for each of my clients. My objective is to provide courteous and efficient service to a handful of clients who are interested in building a long-term relationship with their solicitor,” he said. Mr. Cross stated that many owners of business start-ups are under-resourced, both in terms of human capital and financial capital, which makes tasks such as defining a unique selling proposition for their product or service, or establishing effort priority against a practical and well documented business plan to be especially challenging. Mr. Cross draws on his years of

business experience to provide advice to such business startups. What is unique about Mr. Cross’s law office is that he offers a combination of legal and marketing advice, which has often enlightened small business owners. “The essence of a good marketing effort is to understand the needs of your consumer and then marshal the resources available to you, in the most efficient manner possible, to meet those needs. Present your product or service in a way that catches the attention of consumers and allows you to generate a profit,” he concluded. When Mr. Cross's clients demonstrate to him a need for advice in other disciplines, he can refer them to professionals such as realtor Christopher Invidiata, and other members of the Oakville Advisory. The Oakville Advisory is a league of trusted industry leaders, in whom Mr. Cross has the highest confidence. As our conversation drew to a close it was clear that Mr. Cross cares about the community and the health of its businesses. Courteous and efficient service, along with marketing knowledge and experience has clients coming back to seek his counsel.

R OBERT J. C ROSS BARRISTER & SOLICITOR

Real Estate

| Wealth & Estate Planning

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Business Advisory

110 Deane Avenue, Oakville, Ontario robertcross@bellnet.ca 905.845.2556


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A Journey to the Galapagos Islands: Ecuador’s

natural gem

revealed

By Nicolette Little

94


Nature’s Paradise

J

utting up from the south Pacific and straddling the equator, the Galapagos Islands are scattered 936 kilometers below South America’s southernmost tip and almost 1000 kilometers west of mainland Ecuador. A grouping of islands, islets and oversized rocks in seeming disarray, they stand as a beacon to travelers, nature lovers and scientists alike with their unusual history, famed flora and fauna, and resplendent beauty. Christine Fiorelli, a GTA resident and Vacation Specialist at Fairytale Dreams & Destinations, recently visited the Galapagos Islands and had the experience of a lifetime. The history of the Galapagos Islands is a curious one. They were officially discovered in 1535 by the Bishop of Panama, when his ship was blown off course. Upon the bishop’s eventual return to Spain, he and his crew told of a land populated densely by tortoises and iguanas. So, when the islands first appeared on maps thirty-five years later, they were referred to as the “Insulae de los Galopegos,” or “Island of the Tortoises.” The Galapagos’ giant tortoises, though endangered, live on the islands to this day.

“extraordinary”

Throughout the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, the Galapagos served as a hideout for British pirates. Targeting Spanish ships by day, these wayward men would revel in their

treasures—precious metals culled from the New World—by night. As a tribute to its days as a marine thieves’ haven, many of the archipelago’s islands were named after early pirates. While spots like “Buccaneer Cove” still harken back to this colourful period, most names were eventually replaced by Spanish ones. In 1832, the Galapagos Islands were annexed by Ecuador. Only a few years later, in 1835, the HMS Beagle—carrying the famed British naturalist, Charles Darwin—landed there. By watching the islands’ birds and noting how similar species showed unique features, Darwin developed the concept of evolution by natural selection. It was this concept that led him to pen his famous work, On the Origin of Species, in 1859. This book would impact humanity’s understanding of evolution and the development of all species. Just as it captured Darwin’s imagination, the wildlife inhabiting this archipelago is one of its draws. Boasting both introduced and endemic animals (an “endemic” species is unique to one specific spot on earth), mammals, reptiles and birds of all sorts can be found on the islands. For birdwatchers, the Galapagos are heaven on earth. Blue-footed boobies, swallow-tailed gulls, dark-rumped petrels and Galapagos doves: Depending on the island being visited, winged creatures with fantastical names— and even more fantastical colours—are abundant. They haunt the lagoons, beaches, forests and volcanic plateaux of this natural paradise, which was named the first World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1978 and a “biosphere reserve” in 1985, and is widely considered to be one of the wonders of the world. Even the birds that most captured Charles Darwin’s attention, nicknamed “Darwin’s finches,” can still be found there today. Along with the plethora of birds, many species of tortoise, whale, sea lion, seal and iguana—to name a few—make the archipelago a naturalist’s dream come true. It is this paradise—teeming with life, beauty and charm—that Christine experienced when she booked her Adventures by Disney trip to the Galapagos Islands. 95


A Journey to the Archipelago Christine didn’t know what to expect when she headed to the Galapagos Islands in November of last year. She had been raised in Canada and had visited a number of North American locations, but hadn’t yet ventured into remarkably different international domains. The “wow factor,” as she puts it, was unbeatable during her nine days through Ecuador and the Galapagos on the luxurious Andean Highlands and Galapagos Islands tour.

Ecuador

Day 1

Christine flew into Quito, Ecuador, and settled into the JW Marriott hotel. Here, she met Laura and Eduardo, Adventures by Disney’s specially selected tour guides. They would prove to be godsends throughout this South American adventure. As Christine put 96

it: “This was the first trip I’ve taken where I didn’t have to worry about any of the details. Our guides took care of all our documents; I didn’t have to think about when to catch a boat, bus or plane; and, they had amazing chemistry with each other, and with each of us in the group!”

Day 2

After a good night’s sleep, the group traveled to Otavalo, where a visit to the equator was the highlight of the day. Here, at the earth’s centremost and hottest parallel, Christine stood on the latitudinal seam of our planet’s northern and southern hemispheres. After journeying to the “middle of the earth,” the group visited a flower plantation in the neighbouring town of Peguche. In a country where roses and chocolates are the chief exports, Christine was astounded to find that a dozen long-stemmed flowers cost only three dollars. The number of pictures she took on this day stands as a barometer of her excitement: Her visit to the equator is captured ad infinitum, as are colourful rows of blooms.


In the afternoon, the group checked in to a seventeenth-century, colonial style hacienda, or traditional estate, where Adventures by Disney had arranged for everyone to stay. At the Hacienda Cusin, which is located in the Andes Mountains, “antique skeleton keys opened the old world doors, a peacock visited our window every morning and we were treated to a celebratory dinner and traditional folklore show.” Also, at 8500 feet above sea level, “the beauty of the estate and its surroundings was

“amazing”

amazing!”

Day 3

On Day 3, Christine got a first taste of what the Galapagos would be like. Ecuador and its attendant islands are a Mecca for flying creatures of all sorts. Four kilometers outside of Otavalo, and perched atop a steep volcanic cliff, Parque Condor centre rehabilitates sick birds, including hawks, vultures, eagles, falcons and owls, as well as the famous Ecuadorian condor. Christine watched an array of birds, free to fly at will, circling the valley and its surrounding volcanoes. “It was beautiful,” she said: “The birds come back on their own, to the people who feed and take care of them.” The rest of the day’s highlights included kite flying; visiting locals’ homes to learn the traditional arts of weaving and flute making; and being treated to the music of a local band. Christine’s time spent in Otavalo, surrounded by Ecuador’s formidable mountain range, provided a mental image that will never

97


Day 6

Genovesa Island is an ancient volcanic mound and one of the Galapagos’ lowest islands. At fourteen square kilometers, its small size doesn’t allow for many land-roving mammals. But, Genovesa is renowned for its bird watching and has even been nicknamed “Bird Island.” The Adventures by Disney group was captivated by the blue-footed boobies which had sky-blue feet and would “dive bomb” from great heights to catch fish. The penguins and flamingos, although not unknown to North Americans, were also fascinating to see in these natural surroundings.

be erased. Nor will her friends forget, actually, as a shot of the Andes now holds a permanent place on her Facebook cover page.

Galapagos

Day 4

The Adventures by Disney travelers drove to Quito’s Mariscal Sucre International Airport, where they caught a plane for Baltra, the main island of the Galapagos. At nearby Santa Cruz Island, the group’s first excursion was to the Charles Darwin Research Station. This interpretive centre works to educate visitors about the archipelago’s flora and fauna. It also functions as an animal rehabilitation facility for creatures facing extinction or illness.

Day 5

On this morning, Christine got to enjoy Santa Cruz’s Bachas Beach. The wildlife she saw there will stay with her forever. And, she “got the most amazing pictures of crabs, sea lions, marine iguanas and birds. Seeing them all together, and interacting, was incredible.” A great aspect of the trip, in Christine’s view, was that Adventures by Disney handpicked first-rate naturalists to join the group on all its excursions. “This really helped us understand the sights we were seeing. We learned a lot, and felt a lot closer to the nature.”

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That night, they boarded the Galapagos Explorer II, a luxurious vessel, to visit other sections of Santa Cruz, as well as the islands of Genovesa, Rabida, North Seymour and San Cristobal. Once everyone was on board, Adventures by Disney threw a surprise celebratory dinner for the group, with personalized printed pictures of the day’s sea lion adventures as place settings. “It was really special,” Christine says. “We always had a private dining room on the ship, and were the first to board and disembark. Also, on every day of our adventure, we got a pin that depicted the adventures we’d had. These helped me re-tell my experiences to friends, and relive the memories of my time in Ecuador and the islands.”

From Genovesa, the Explorer II sailed on to Rabida Island, where steep cliffs, reddish sands and aquamarine waters had the travelers holding their breaths in anticipation. Rabida’s beaches are known for their sea lion colonies, and these creatures captured both Christine’s interest, and heart: Apparently, “the mothers are really protective. They’ll leave their babies alone all day while they hunt for food, but they always come back to find, and feed, the pups.”

Day 7

As the Explorer II moved on to North Seymour Island, more penguins, boobies and sea lions could be seen, along with greedy scarlet-throated fridget birds that stole the group members’ food. By this stage in the journey, the group could appreciate the sights in a new way: “We had grown accustomed to seeing the animals. While it was all so beautiful, we could now sit back and enjoy the bigger picture.” After North Seymour Island, the ship returned to Santa Cruz to check out its other side. On this volcanic atoll, intensely hot lava flows once bored their way through the ground, leaving massive, hollowed out tunnels behind. Christine and the group got to descend into the earth via an extremely narrow stone staircase, then explore the inside of these rocky lava tubes. After the excitement of the lava tunnels, Santa Cruz’s “unbelievably huge,” but sluggish tortoises provided welcomed repose. At the National Park Tortoise Reserve, the group went hiking and got to see these creatures in the wild. Because of looming extinction, great care is put into protecting this animal. When one of the Reserve animals is sick, it is brought to the Darwin Research Station for immediate treatment. When asked exactly how big these tortoises can get, Christine is emphatic: “A tall man from our group got inside an empty shell without even crouching!” It’s amazing to think these monolithic creatures exist on our planet. And, apparently, the Galapagos are the place to see them.

Day 8

This was the last full day of Christine’s trip. After breakfast on the ship, it was time to say goodbye, but not before visiting San Cristobal Island. As the Explorer II sailed into San Cristobal harbour, the sea lions were everywhere. From the decks and gutted cabins of abandoned boats, families of them peered out almost tauntingly, enjoying the luxury of their appropriated living spaces.


San Cristobal holds an important place in the hearts of its residents and the British alike. It was here that Darwin first landed his boat, the HMS Beagle, on that pivotal journey in 1835. Fittingly, the San Cristobal Interpretation Centre was erected in 1998 to honour Darwin’s contribution to scientific knowledge and educate visitors about evolutionary processes. For Christine, this day was bittersweet. Although it was filled with learning, lush scenery and, incidentally, coconut ice cream and the best fresh fruit juices she’s ever tasted, it was time to head back to Ecuador, and home to Ontario the next day. “Saying goodbye to our tour guides and the group was hard,” she says. “Laura and Eduardo were like our parents in the best possible way, and they gave us so many special moments. They even taught us how to sing ‘Happy Birthday’ in Portuguese, because one of our members had a birthday and didn’t speak English.” She continued: “I was sorry to leave after such a great adventure.

A Paradise for Generations to Come In writing about the Galapagos Islands, the words “amazing” and “extraordinary” keep wanting to flow onto the page. While overly enthusiastic and repetitive drivel is a positive “no-no” for any self-respecting writer, research on the archipelago and a discussion with Christine Fiorelli about her travels reveal that the Galapagos are indeed islands of uncommon natural beauty and wealth. Challenges face the archipelago, however: Tourism has increased drastically over the past thirty-five years. And, unconscionable

accidents, like the running aground of the oil tanker, Jessica, in 2001, have also threatened the area’s environmental integrity. Thankfully, however, the international community seems sensible both to the Galapagos’ riches and fragility. Since the 1950s, organizations like the Charles Darwin Foundation, the Galapagos Conservation Trust and the aforementioned Charles Darwin Research Station have been created to research and consult in the interest of its protection. Also, large swathes of land and ocean have been set aside in recognition of the islands’ precious biodiversity. In 1959, the Ecuadorian government absorbed any lands that had not yet been settled into the Galapagos National Park. Similarly, in the 1980s and 90s, 70,000 square kilometers of oceanfront were nominated a marine reserve, while other sections were declared whale sanctuaries. In terms of biodiversity, this area is simply so unique that the Ecuadorian and international governments appear to set aside their differences and work together to confirm the islands’ protection. To visit the Galapagos is an uncommon opportunity that should be embarked upon with due excitement, but also appreciation and respect. Luckily, Christine’s trip with Adventures by Disney was marked by exhilarating excursions and views—but also by care for this natural phenomenon and its animal habitats. The Galapagos Islands are an incredible sight to see, and— while challenges to their preservation in our modern world will be ever present—it is a lucky thing that awareness and environmental responsibility seem to be hallmarks of new tours to their wonders. Christine Fiorelli is a Vacation Specialist at Fairytale Dreams & Destinations, http://www.fairytaledestinations.com 99


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Should you buy

A private jet?

You bet! By Nneka Onwualu

110


Computer. Laptop. Cell phone. These are the recognized tools used by today’s businesses, but using a private jet? You bet, especially if you want to succeed in today’s global marketplace. “Private air travel is just one more tool that serves the needs NOTE: Please review this high PDF, any typographical errors or omissions, orsuccessful design ofresolution today’s companies,” says Jamie Spears, president changes after this point will be Client most approve this pdf created March 6th 2012 charged at a rate of $75 per hour. and founder of J.A. Spears, a Toronto-based company that Magenta (Printer must supply colour proof and must be signed by client. The designer is not responsible for specializes in aircraft sales, acquisition and leasing. “The printing errors or modifications to this PDF for printer plate Yellow positioning. Richard Talbot advantages ofcan flying privately versus flying commercially are signs off on printer proof and can be present at press approval at many, saving time being chief among them. Many of our the same hourly rate as Black mentioned above. clients are busy executives who often need to fly to hard to reach destinations or who need to fly to the U.S. at a moment’s notice. In some cases, a private jet owner can arrive at his destination in the same amount of time you’d need just to board a commercial flight. It’s really all about saving time and maximizing efficiency.” Cyan

A pilot himself, Spears has seen incredible advances in air travel since founding the company in 1979. “Private airplanes have some of the best safety records of any transportation method and either create or utilize the most cutting edge technology in terms of engine design, greater fuel efficiency and safety. Innovative airframe developments include the addition of winglets (vertical extensions of wingtips that improve an aircraft’s fuel efficiency and cruising range). Phenomenal advances in computer technology have dramatically impacted the precision of aircraft avionics (the computerized communications and navigation systems, kind of like the GPS of a car). These technological advances translate into safer, more efficient travel to anywhere in the world.” Unlike choosing a computer or cell phone, choosing the right plane can be a daunting task. That’s where the specialists at J.A. Spears come in. “The number one question we’re asked is ‘How do we choose the right airplane?’” says Judy Spears, the company’s Director of Marketing and Business Development. “We listen to the needs our clients and help them identify which plane is right for them. After we’ve fully analyzed their

“With a private jet, you can leave the office, taxi down the runway and arrive at your destination in the same amount of time you’d be waiting around to board a commercial flight. It’s really all about saving time and maximizing efficiency.” professional and personal needs, we review our database of hundreds of available aircraft from around the world and suggest the plane that will meet all of their needs. From Bombardier to Falcon Jet, we strive to get the best deal for our clients, and we always keep in mind what will be the best investment – today and for the future.” Choosing the right plane is just the first step in the process but it’s the long term commitment to their clients through every step that sets J.A. Spears apart from other consultants. “We develop a partnership with our clients, from helping them choose the right aircraft and walking them through the legal, financial and tax steps, to selecting the right management service.” After the process is complete, J A Spears continues to provide market trends, valuations and insight to their jet aircraft. “We’re with them every step of the way,” says Spears. Another question the Spears are often asked is “Why buy now?” “It’s a great time for Canadians to buy – prices have dropped substantially in the last five years, the Canadian dollar is strong and interest rates are low. If you or your company have the means to buy, and the need, then there really is no safer, more convenient and efficient way to travel.” J.A. Spears specializes in aircraft acquisition, sales and consulting. Visit them at www.jaspears.com or call them at 416-203-0600. 111


‌connecting YOUR PROPERTY to 80 countries, over 5,000 offices and 70,000 agents worldwide.

Beverly Hills, California

Queens Town, New Zealand

London, England

THE INVIDIATA TEAM | INVIDIATA.COM OAKVILLE, ONTARIO, CANADA

New York, New York

Valencia, Spain


“Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.” -HENRY FORD

CHRISTOPHER INVIDIATA Sales Representative & Team Leader Re/Max Aboutowne Realty Corp. Brokerage Christopher Invidiata began his real estate career in 1985 as he was looking for a profession that would allow him to be actively involved and present in his family life – a career that would keep him close to home. Today Christopher has two wonderful children, Shae (27) and Caleb (25), and an incredible wife of 30 years, Lesley, who has supported Christopher’s visions and efforts in business. For decades Christopher has been a leader in the community to give back as he believes “we are blessed to be a blessing.” Christopher has been a consistent supporter of many charities including, but not limited to, Sick Kids Hospital, Children Miracle Network, Circle of Care, Run For Life, Dreams Take Flight, The Fight Against Breast Cancer, and The Red Cross. The “secret” behind Christopher’s success has been loving people, whether they are part of the community or clients. Christopher Invidiata is recognized as one of the most successful Real Estate professionals Canada has known. He is RE/MAX’s leading Residential Realtor for Canada; serving the Greater Toronto Area for 25 years and specializing in Oakville’s waterfront property since 1987. RE/MAX is the largest real estate company in the world. With over 100,000 Sales Associates in more than 6,300 offices operating in more than 78 countries worldwide, RE/MAX recognizes Christopher as a “true leader amongst the leaders of the Real Estate Industry.” Christopher has sold some of Canada’s most expensive residential properties, including properties on Oakville’s waterfront. Christopher’s expertise in the Real Estate arena has made him a sought after speaker and mentor to real estate professionals in Canada, the United States, Italy, Turkey and Argentina. The team’s market expertise, and commitment to exceptional service has earned them the #1 ranking in Canada for ten years, since 2001 and again in 2011. In 2007 Christopher’s team achieved the prestigious honour of being the #1 RE/MAX Team worldwide, and in 2010 and 2011 achieved #2 RE/MAX Team worldwide. Christopher is one of the few RE/MAX agents to ever receive the Circle of Legends award. Recently Christopher was appointed to the Board of Regents, an exclusive membership of Who’s Who in Luxury Real Estate. On average, The Invidiata Team produces over $350 Million in sales volume per year. In October 2011, Christopher received the Billionaire’s Club award presented by John Brian Losh, Publisher of Who’s Who in Luxury Real Estate. The Billionaire’s award is given to agents who have achieved over a billion dollars in sales volume during their career. This year the marketing team was awarded the number one print marketing award from Who's Who in Luxury Real Estate. Christopher continues to drive and push the real estate industry in creative and innovative directions, continuously giving clients the ultimate real estate experience.

for

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EXCEPTIONAL HOME BUYING & SELLING SERVICE

CINDY AVIS Broker As a top producer for the Invidiata Team, Cindy Avis believes her success comes from the Team’s philosophy of valuing people over properties, building trust, and providing outstanding service. Cindy specializes in the luxury market and is the recipient of the prestigious Diamond Club, RE/MAX Chairman’s Club, the RE/MAX Platinum Club, and The Hall of Fame. Cindy’s ethics and professionalism ensure that the client’s best interests are always a top priority and she is committed to providing oustanding service to her clients.

Mariola Broder Sales Representative Mariola has held a senior executive role in the telecommunications industry and established a successful small business providing commercial and residential interior decorating services. Throughout her career, Mariola has consistently placed customer satisfaction as her number one priority. Mariola is a long time resident of Oakville and Mississauga and currently resides in Mississauga’s Lorne Park. She is active in these communities through her volunteer efforts for the Women’s Center in Oakville and Trillium Hospital in Mississauga.

CLAUDIA CHOPIK Sales Representative Born and raised in Oakville, Claudia began her real estate career in 2005 with RE/MAX Aboutowne Realty Corp., Brokerage. Before real estate, she was a Registered Nurse and Health Journalist. Claudia worked at Oakville Trafalgar Memorial and Credit Valley Hospitals, and also did research and producing for CTV National News and Discovery Health Channel. Claudia is a member of the Zonta Club in Oakville a global organization of executives and professionals working together to advance the status of women worldwide.

Richard Denninger Sales Representative A long time resident of Burlington, Richard had an active career sitting on the board of his family company for over 20 years. Looking for a new challenge, Richard transferred his extensive knowledge in customer service to assisting clients in finding their dream home. He has a law, economics and business degree and is also a member with the prestigious Institute for Luxury Home Marketing, which assures the purchase of your new home, will be completed with the utmost professionalism. Richard specializes in helping clients in Waterdown, Carlisle, Kilbride and surrounding area.

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PATSY GAUER Sales Representative Patsy’s career in real estate began back in 1995 as a second career after spending 20 years in the financial service industry. As a 16 year resident of Oakville, Patsy feels a sense of pride and connection to this great community that has become one of the most coveted residential centers in Ontario. Working as part of The Invidiata Team for the past 10 years, Patsy has a philosophy of listening closely, providing information and allowing the client to make the decisions with no pressure.

PAMELA GOTTSCHALK Sales Representative Knowing that owning real estate may be one of the largest and wisest investments one makes, it is important to have a dedicated professional like Pamela who delivers quality service. Her strong work ethic and drive, and simply going that extra mile, have allowed her to build long lasting relationships with her clients. Pamela’s diverse work background, and having been involved in many aspects of the real estate business for 20 years, allows her to be devoted to understanding her client’s needs.

MIKE HOWARTH Sales Representative Mike immigrated to Canada with his wife Kalpna from the UK 20 years ago and has called Oakville home ever since. He has been fortunate enough to travel extensively throughout Canada and has come to realize how special Oakville and the surrounding areas are. With a solid business background and four successful years as an Independent Realtor, Mike is thrilled to be part of the Invidiata Team. Mike feels strongly that “something magical happens for clients when competent people work together collaboratively.”

SHAE INVIDIATA Sales Representative With an Associate in Marketing from Hawaii Pacific University and a Bachelor of Arts from The University of British Colombia, Shae Invidiata joined the Invidiata Team in 2009 and has had the privilege to work alongside her father, Christopher Invidiata who has been servicing the Oakville, Burlington and Mississauga community for 27 years. Over the past year, Shae has become a part of the Toronto community. Shae has been focused on expanding The Invidiata Team into the Toronto market, looking after clients who are purchasing and selling in Toronto.

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EXCEPTIONAL HOME BUYING & SELLING SERVICE

AIMEE KAIN Sales Representative A 30 year resident of Oakville, Aimee has lived in both College Park and South East Oakville and has a strong affinity for the community in which she lives and works. She joined the Invidiata Team in November 2009 as a Support Team Member before becoming a Sales Representative. Holding bachelor degrees in Commerce and Radio & Television Arts, along with her MBA, Aimee prides herself on being a skilled negotiator but also one who builds relationships easily.

MICHELLE KLOET Sales Representative Michelle has made an impression on her clients as they continually introduce her to the people they care about to help them buy, sell and invest in Real Estate. As a committed and creative agent who enjoys taking the complexity out of the transaction, Michelle’s clients feel confident with each step of the home selling or home purchasing process. Being able to contribute to the community through charitable events keeps Michelle active in the area she works and lives.

MARIJA KOLESAR Sales Representative With passion and vision, Marija has helped her clients realize their goals in Real Estate for the past 17 years with The Invidiata Team, and through the process has created many meaningful and lasting relationships. Marija holds the designation of Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist, and has achieved RE/MAX’s prestigious Platinum Club and Hall of Fame awards. The care that she brings to her clients assures complete satisfaction beyond their expectations.

Kirsten Leggat Sales Representative Kirsten has been an Oakville resident since 1995 and brings with her over two decades of combined experience in residential real estate and Custom Home Sales and service. She offers specialized knowledge in the new home market, a comprehensive understanding of land values, and expertise in luxury home design. Her guidance through the intricate building process has proven invaluable to her clients, from finding the perfect lot, to customizing floor plans and selecting finishes.

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NADIA MECO Sales Representative Nadia has spent most of her life in Mississauga, and has made Oakville’s West Oak Trails community her home for the past few years. Originally from Montreal, she is fluent in French from her years living there. Nadia is experienced in residential real estate in the Oakville & Mississauga areas, and offers specialized knowledge in the luxury market and new builds. Before delving into the real estate world, Nadia enjoyed a successful marketing career.

Maggie Newlove Broker A resident of Oakville since 1975 and licensed since 1980, Maggie’s depth of knowledge, complimented by an impeccable reputation for integrity and sales has made her a successful entrepreneur. Maggie adds value to her clients by being completely bilingual in French. Maggie embraces her slogan “I Love Oakville” in all aspects of her life. She is a passionate sailor and an enthusiastic advocate and ambassador of our community. Maggie looks forward to working with you!

PING SHU Broker Ping is originally from Beijing, China and has been living in the Toronto area for over 10 years. She possesses more than 10 years of real estate experience and has been licensed as a broker for 9 years. Prior to her real estate career, she spent over a decade working for international IT companies. Most of Ping’s clients are first time buyers from mainland China. As an immigrant herself, she understands the needs and wants of this unique demographic, helping her provide a more tailored service to each of her clients.

LINDA TINO-ZYlIK Broker Linda counts it a privilege to help you with what can sometimes feel like a daunting task. Her goal is to make your experience as stress- free as possible and one of her greatest pleasures comes from knowing that she has been instrumental in helping you get to where you want to be. Linda is a lifetime resident of Oakville and has been licensed as a broker since 1988. She shares the Team’s primary principle of putting the needs of the client first and looks forward to the opportunity to work for you.

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Weddings at Piper’s Heath

EXCLUSIVELY YOURS Our romantic stone clubhouse hosts up to 180 guests. Making your wedding day unforgettable is our one and only responsibility.

Private wedding garden with gazebo for ceremony and photos. Attention to every detail assisted by your personal Wedding Coordinator. Exceptional cuisine named “Best Food in Ontario” by Ontario Golf magazine. Select from our designed menus or customize your own. Begin your journey by visiting pipersheath.com for more information on amenities, menu options, and pricing. 2013 & 2014 dates available.

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INT ERNA TIONAL


Relax. We Have You Covered. Family owned and operated, Dan Lawrie Insurance Brokers and our 90+ employees specialize in all areas of Personal, Commercial and Financial Services products including employee benefits, life and disability. Celebrating 30 years of dedication to the Community and outstanding service, we’re proud to be recognized as one of the largest and most respected insurance brokerages in Southern Ontario, ranking in the top 5% of insurance brokerages in Canada. Today, over 10,000 individuals, families and companies depend on us to protect everything that they have worked so hard to achieve. So, relax. We have you covered. For your personal no-obligation quote (personally and/or corporately), please call Bob Lawrie, President at 1-800-661-1518 or email at blawrie@danlawrie.com.

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The Invidiata Collection  
The Invidiata Collection  

Spring 2013

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