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real estate | Luxury | Style


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The market changed overnight in October 2008 when the World's financial institutions were caught with toxic subprime mortgage debt in the USA. We saw our local market drop like a stone for six months. In May 2010, Canadians felt comfortable and confident with our local banks and Government the market recovery skyrocketed up to July 2010 due to the new fear of 13% HST. People didn’t know how the new tax would apply to Real Estate transactions. Again the market took off, sales were strong to $2,000,000. However, we had another Goliath to fight in South East Oakville, “The Trans Canada Power Plant”. After a victorious fight by the local Oakville residents, the Liberal Government made the decision to “close” down the plant in late 2010. Then 2011 had the green light and the $2,000,000 to $3,000,000 market started to recover in high end homes. 2012 had everything in check and it happened, we experienced sale after sale above $4,000,000 up to $16,000,000. This has been confirmed to date. So..... what’s next? The fall election in the USA will be a win/win. Depending on who wins the USA election the market confidence will be good or better and 2013 promises to have low rates. The key factor in Real Estate is the stable local Government and a strong Canadian economy. For the remainder of 2012 and for 2013 prices will be stable and immigration leading the way.

My prediction is a strong fall market; and the best is yet to come in 2013.

Christopher Invidiata Sales Representative & Team Leader 6

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ISSUE 008 SUMMER/FALL 2012 PUBLISHER Fly Media EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Christopher Invidiata SENIOR EDITORS Chris Lowe Caleb Invidiata Shae Invidiata EDITORS Alexis Culp Dana Gundy Marianne Knezovic Melissa Salazar Rosa Viviano ART DIRECTORS Chris Lowe Caleb Invidiata PHOTOGRAPHERS Caleb Invidiata Lauren Leies Geoff Grenville ADVERTISING SALES Lauren Lowe Lauren Leies GRAPHIC DESIGNERS Susan Vogan CONTRIBUTORS Nicolette Little Ivona Radon For advertising inquiries please contact Lauren Lowe at 905.510.2344 or email

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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.

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ROCK & Bryan Baeumler



Proposed Additional 16,000 square feet of space at ROCK’S head office in Burlington.

When it comes to building a house, there is no single component more important than a solid foundation. Without the proper support, it doesn’t matter how big it is, what it looks like, what it’s worth or what type of flooring, tiles or appliances are included – the simple fact is that over time, it will start to fall apart and eventually crumble under its own weight. It’s a very simple concept that in order to build something beautiful and worthwhile, a solid foundation is absolutely essential. My wife Sarah and I have spent the last 11 years together building our own foundation – literally and figuratively. It started with dinner and a show…it led to a wedding, our construction company, a marriage, a son, a television career, a ballet school, a daughter, more construction, more shows, another son…and now a fourth child due to arrive December 12th. I think back to the day we found out that we were pregnant with Quintyn - I promised Sarah that I was prepared to work 24 / 7 and do whatever was necessary to provide my family with everything they would ever need, and to provide them with a comfortable and happy life. Now that I look back, I think I’ve made good on that promise of a solid foundation – hard work does pay off, and we’ve been blessed with 3.5 beautiful, happy and healthy children. One thing that has always been important to us is giving back to our community, and to children in particular. We’ve always been big supporters of children’s charities - donating renovations for kids that need accessible homes, sending kids to camp, and providing auction items to help fund children’s hospitals. We don’t donate because our children need accessibility, can’t afford camp, or are ill…we donate because we have children, and there are cracks in the foundation of our communities. When you think about it, we’ll all grow old one day, and we’ll all need a strong foundation to lean on…if society is the house, children are certainly the foundation.


A few months ago, we were approached by an amazing group of people at Reach Out Centre for Kids (ROCK), an impressive foundation where they assess, diagnose and provide treatment to children and families with mental health disorders. ROCK’s facilities are warm and inviting, their staff very friendly and approachable. Their goal is to strengthen the ability of families and the community to raise and nurture children. Every year, they provide over 15,000 services to children and their families in Halton alone at one of 13 locations, yet there is still a huge waiting list of people in need, and a lack of space. They help children deal with anything from bullying at school or online, trauma counselling for kids and families at school, eating disorder counselling, obesity issues in children, teen suicide (the second highest cause of death for teenagers), dealing with divorced parents, homelessness, verbal abuse, physical abuse, anxiety disorder, panic disorder, peer pressure and much more. The fact is, about 800,000 kids in Canada, or 1 in 5 children, will develop some type of mental illness, of which anxiety disorders are the most common. Early diagnoses and treatment is very important and successful. It’s tough enough to be a kid these days, and it’s not going to get any easier in the future. I was invited to be the keynote speaker for the ROCK annual general meeting in Burlington, where plans to build an additional 16,000 square feet of space at their head office were unveiled. The current building was designed and built in 1992 to service 400 children per year – they currently see over 9,000 children, and there are well over 1,000 kids on the waiting list! During my speech I got pretty choked up as I shared my own experiences dealing with anxiety and panic in my late teens and early 20’s...believe it or not, I wasn’t even able to talk for a few

minutes! Despite my confident smile and surprisingly public career path, I spent a few years in a very dark place dealing with severe anxiety and agoraphobia. It’s something I hope no one ever experiences, but if they do it’s important for Sarah and I to know that there are people and services available to deal with it. It’s difficult for people who have never experienced it to understand, but it’s even more difficult to wrap your head around just how many people are affected by either severe anxiety or even the occasional panic attack, and don’t talk to anyone about it. It’s something that I’ve never talked about publicly - I suppose because of the stigma around it- but I now realize that so many of us are affected in one way or another. As they say at ROCK, it’s not mental health, it’s mental wealth. The statistics surrounding children and families in need are frightening – especially considering the amount of affluence we enjoy in Canada. There needs to be a more open and honest discussion around mental health issues for children, and to do that we need to remove the stigma surrounding it. We all know that building a healthy community for the future means investing in our children – and that’s exactly why a strong foundation is imperative. However, Foundations don’t build themselves, which is why we’ve invested a lot of time and energy into our next project: we’re about to launch the Baeumler Family Foundation for Kids (BFF). Our main goal will be to support other foundations like ROCK, and ensure we all have a rock to lean on in the future. Happy, well-adjusted kids with strong coping strategies grow up to be happy, productive and successful people who give back to their communities. That’s the kind of community I think we all want to grow old in.

HELP BRYAN AND ROCK BUILD HEALTHY FUTURES FOR OUR KIDS. DONATE NOW AT WWW.ROCKFOUNDATION.CA. FOR NAMING RIGHT OPPORTUNITIES CONTACT KIRSTEN DOUGHERTY AT KIRSTEND@ROCKONLINE.CA To learn more, check out, and stay tuned for the launch of the Baeumler Family Foundation for Kids. Bryan owns and operates Baeumler Quality Construction, a custom home builder and renovation company based in Oakville. For more information, visit, or email Managing Partner Stuart Riley:


At IDH we create thoughtfully designed living space for our clients with the purpose of improving the way they work, play and relax in their homes. We offer a vast array of stylish furniture with innovative and timeless designs. From bedroom collections to dining and occasional pieces we are able to offer high design furniture that endures the test of time and is uncompromised in quality.

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4047 Fairview St. Burlington, ON L7L 2A4 905.634.3439

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Monday - Wednesday 10:00 - 5:30, Thursday - Friday 10:00 - 9:00, Saturday 10:00 - 5:30, Sunday 12:00 - 5:00 28

$1,749,000 1321 Beaufort Drive | tyandaga, Burlington $5,500 LEASE Pamela Gottschalk & Christopher Invidiata, Sales Representatives

157 Dianne avenue $1,699,000 South East Oakville Pamela Gottschalk, Marija Kolesar, & Christopher Invidiata, Sales Representatives

$1,998,000 1093 Melvin Avenue South East Oakville Cindy Avis & Christopher Invidiata, Sales Representatives |

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$1,995,000 1471 Seagram avenue Coronation Park, Oakville Michelle Kloet & Christopher Invidiata, Sales Representatives |






GTA sellers are getting more than they could ever have imagined for their homes. The MLS Home Price Index shows that house prices, for homes under $1,000,000 rose in Canada’s biggest cities between 2011 and 2012.

GTA residents are lucky to live near one of the world’s largest, continuous expanses of fresh water. Lake Ontario, which reaches hundreds of kilometers east to west, gives townsfolk along its perimeter the chance to live, breathe and bask in natural splendour on a daily basis.

The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) mirrors these figures, revealing that prices hit new highs in twenty of the twenty­‐six cities it follows. Homeowners who have renovated and improved their residences, then put them on the market in the past while, have been happily rewarded with first­‐rate profits. It’s been a seller’s market and houses are continuing to go at record prices. If you’re thinking of selling, the time to do so is now. The over $3,000,000 - $5,000,000+ prices have come down 10 - 30% so it’s time to profit from your smaller home and buy an estate. We have seen buyers recongizing the price drop and the purchase of resale homes are below replacement cost.

With the inception of new lakefront developments around Oakville, Mississauga and Burlington, the possibility of owning a shorefront home is leaving the realm of dreams and approaching that of reality for interested buyers. And, it’s something to purchase soon: because there’s a limited supply of land in places people are most intent on visiting. Lakefront residences not only provide owners with daily prestige and enjoyment, but maximum returns on their investment as well. To own a lakefront lot is to possess a natural gemstone that only grows in value through time. We took an average lot of 100’ x 200’ and did a 10 year comparison on the three communities for “Riparian Property” and here is what we found. The following areas rose; Burlington 162% - Oakville West 150% - Oakville East 237% - Mississauga 185%. Historic research completed on the three communities is compelling.

Editorial Team. (2012, July 25). BMO: Commercial property investment paying big dividends. Canadian Real Estate Wealth. Retrieved from­‐reporter-­‐commercial-­‐property-­‐investment-­‐paying-­‐big-­‐dividends Jones, V. C. (2012, July 26). Economists to condo investors: Smile! Canadian Real Estate Magazine. Retrieved from­‐economists-­‐to-­‐condo-­‐investors-­‐smile Kranc, J. (2012, July 27). Dragon’s Den star reveals why he’s still bullish on Real Estate. The Globe and Mail. Retrieved from­‐investor/personal-­‐finance/mortgages/dragons-­‐den-­‐star-­‐reveals-­‐why-­‐hes-­‐still-­‐bullish-­‐on-­‐real-­‐estate/article4440139/


Real Estate: Market returns to equilibrium. (2012, July 17). The Globe and Mail, pp. A8. Yew, M. A-­‐T. (2012, July 23). No condo bubble in Toronto: RBC report. Retrieved from­‐-­‐no-­‐condo-­‐bubble-­‐in-­‐toronto-­‐rbc-­‐report

USA: THE FIRST SIGN THAT THE BOTTOM IS BEING FORMED The USA is the worlds economic engine and home construction is one of the main industries that pulls the market forward. The chart below illustrates that the new builds are now on the rise and the markets are showing signs that prices are firming up.

CONDO LIVING STILL A GOOD PLACE TO BE The immigration figures are the most important variable in forcasting. The number of immigrants into the GTA is approx. 100,000 per year. The supply of new builds per year is 40,000 and vacancy rates are 2%. This is the main reason that condos are still a good investment. The Royal Bank of Canada recently published a report containing great news for condo owners: According to RBC, the condo market is “booming" and nowhere near the bursting point so many people feared. Condo owners have done well over the past few years, and this will continue to be the case: Statistics show that the construction of single-­ family homes has slowed, rental demand has gone up for condos, and that condos earn higher profits than do other residential rentals. These factors suggest that Lessors will continue to have a steady flow of money coming in on their investments and that the condo market will continue to grow in the foreseeable future. While some cooling is forecasted for next year, this correction will be minor. RBC pegs the average price reduction between 2­‐7%. Condo owners, rest assured: you’re in a strong place in terms of your much­‐debated investments!

HOME OWNERSHIP ON THE HORIZON Key trends in the Real Estate market suggest buyers who are currently searching for their ideal home will soon be rewarded. It’s common knowledge that we’ve been in a “seller’s market” for some time. With listings expected to rise in number and sales figures showing signs of impending descent however, supply will come to exceed demand. This results in the buyer’s dream: Notably, a drop in prices that eases the path towards the purchase of a new house. Buyers, keep your eyes open and start the scouting process: All signs suggest that happy homeownership could be on the horizon.

The Real Estate Minute: quarterly insights on current events related to today’s Real Estate market, statistics, forecasting, opinion & expert information. Look in each “Collection” magazine for all the latest info. If you’re interested in talking about these or any other Real Estate topics further, please call the office at 905.339.3444 to chat.


Building Lots & Vacant Land



Oakville 366 Maplehurst Avenue, West Oakville 498 Chamberlain Lane, South East Oakville 130 Burgundy Drive, Morrison Oakville 129 Thomas Street, Downtown Oakville 465 Maplehurst Avenue, South West Oakville* 327 Balsam Drive, Old Oakville 63 Second Street, Old Oakville 1 Maple Grove Drive, South East Oakville

78.5’ x 150’ 100' x 125' 100' x 152' 52.16' x 104.33 60’ x 272’ 116' x 323' 151’ x 259’ 160' x 368'

$699,000 $990,000 $1,398,000 $1,495,000 $1,890,000 $2,495,000 $2,595,000 $7,998,000

Michelle Kloet & Christopher Invidiata, Sales Representatives Marija Kolesar & Christopher Invidiata, Sales Representatives Cindy Avis & Christopher Invidiata, Sales Representatives Marija Kolesar & Christopher Invidiata, Sales Representatives Michelle Kloet & Christopher Invidiata, Sales Representatives Mike Howarth & Christopher Invidiata, Sales Representatives Pamela Gottschalk & Christopher Invidiata, Sales Representatives Linda Tino-Zylik, Broker, Pamela Gottschalk & Christopher Invidiata, Sales Representatives

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

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

$1,998,000 $2,095,000 $2,649,000 $2,995,000

Cindy Avis & Christopher Invidiata, Sales Representatives Linda Tino-Zylik, Broker & Christopher Invidiata, Sales Representative Linda Tino-Zylik, Broker & Christopher Invidiata, Sales Representative Linda Tino-Zylik, Broker & Christopher Invidiata, Sales Representative

*Includes Custom Home To Be Built Cottage country Penman Island - Lake Rosseau, Muskoka Lakes 1000 Goffat Island, Ramara

BURLINGTON 156 Walkers Line, South Burlington 4156 Inglewood Drive, South Burlington 3156 Lakeshore Road West, South Burlington 115 Appleby Place, South Burlington

99.54' x 201.28' 160' x 192' 100' x 280' 220' x 298'

the invidiata team

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WHAT’S HOT FROM ITALY WITH LOVE... The SOHO collection for those with a wilder side. Exclusively at Knar Jewellery. “RELAXING ENVIRONMENTS” A bed with a regal statement with Brass accents at the headboard and footboard. Elizabeth Interiors

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

THE BEES KNEES Add sparkle to any room! Distinctive chair features gold honeycomb linen fabric and fretwork in a luminescent caramel leaf finish available at Interior Design House.

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LOCAL IN OUR TOWN EXOTIC ARMCHAIR Handcrafted of solid hard wood and upholstered in luxurious Nguni hide Zebra print. $2,960 Touch De L’Afrique

TATA HARPER’S SKIN CARE LINE 100% natural and thoroughly scientific in its approach to wellness and anti-aging. Just in and exclusive to Rosewater Spa Of Oakville. BARRINGTON’S OWN Dijon Angora/Wool Coat With Silver Fox Collar And Cuffs. Made In Canada. $1,350 Barrington’s Fine Outerwear

PRTTY PEAUSHUN SKIN TIGHT BODY LOTION Gives you improved skin tone and texture while providing a beautiful glow. $40 Now exclusive at Rosewater Spa Of Oakville.

WRIST CANDY THAT’S BORN ON THE CATWALK and WORN IN THE CITY Tirisi Moda, designed in Holland and offered exclusively at Knar Jewellery.




From the moment I walk in the door to the time that we part ways, my meeting with Sublime Integration’s Dan Whitfield is an engaging experience. With a booming business making homes “smarter,” it’s been hard to book an interview with this company’s System Designer. Despite his busy schedule, though, I find a man at seeming ease, deftly pushing buttons on an iPhone’s screen. In keeping with his work—making some of the area’s finest houses meccas of technological convenience—he’s busy beta testing a new home, tweaking its thermostat and lighting, as well as remotely turning on the pool heater for the owners’ late day swim. Despite having only just met Dan, I’m already hooked on a phenomenal technology that’s revolutionizing the residential housing market, especially when it comes to high-end homes. I can’t wait to learn more about Smart Homes, and I’m not alone: This is the general feeling about town, and amongst homeowners, builders and architects alike.


What is a Smart Home? The lingo is still new to many of us, although the technology has advanced substantially in the past decade and the trend, undeniably, has caught on. Basically, it’s a home in which the systems have been streamlined and made so simple to control with modern technology that it virtually runs itself. It has been built to respond to the owner’s wishes immediately, and with maximum convenience and luxury. A Graphic User Interface, or “GUI” (pronounced “gooey”), acts as the control board for the owner’s satisfaction: Placed at convenient locations throughout the home, or accessed remotely through popular technology like iPhones and iPads, it allows him to moderate things like lighting; home, pool and cellar temperatures; indoor and outdoor entertainment systems; and security features like cameras, gates and alarms with the mere touch of a button. As Dan mentions, the “coolness factor” is high when it comes to Smart Homes. And, in fact, by this point in our conversation, my jaw has dropped to the floor. I can only articulate that I’d like Dan to go on… The “coolness factor” is multifaceted, with convenience topping the list. By tying together all of a home’s subsystems—heat, entertainment and lights, etcetera— and having them controlled through a single, easy-to-use GUI, the inconvenience of walking around a larger residence, turning off lights, fiddling with the furnace and moderating internal or external entertainment systems is virtually eliminated. The fact that, depending on your preference or whatever technology you’re most comfortable using, your smartphone, iPad or laptop can also be programmed as your GUI is a bonus. According to Dan, “our fast-paced world can make technology seem like a trying or even scary thing.” Sublime Integration counters this malaise by making its integrated systems “incredibly simple” to use and “easily controlled through the gadgets you use day-today.”

Another selling point for Smart Homes is aesthetic. The convenience factor is again enhanced by the fact that “catch all” buttons can be programmed into GUIs. For example, perhaps you’d like your smart system to initiate and complete your nightly routine of turning off all the lights, alarming your home’s perimeter and shutting the gates. Dan tells me that a simple button, accessible through a touchscreen near your bedside, can be made to fulfill this array of day’s end actions. Or, perhaps you’d like to quickly prepare for guests who are coming? A button on your GUI—let’s name it “Dining”—can be programmed to cause the driveway fountain to sputter to life, the gates to open, the lights to dim and soft music to play for added ambiance. Your preferences for any situation can easily be plugged into the GUI for maximum home efficiency, enjoyment and ease. It goes without saying that Smart Homes represent the lap of luxury. And, luxury is another of the “coolness factors” upon which Dan elaborates: “Let’s say you’re out with company and have the sudden

urge to head home for a dip in the pool. By pressing a button or two on your phone, you can raise the temperature of the water, turn on the outdoor sound system and switch on lighting to accompany your night time swim.” Integrated systems—and all the convenience, security and entertainment-oriented features they support—add a considerable scoop of the ideal to your life. And, they’re crowd pleasers to boot. In fact, another bonus to having a Smart Home is the value it holds on the resale housing market. “Dedicated home theatre systems” and “automation,” when available in a home, are inevitably highlighted in listings. And, if a potential buyer is comparing two houses in the same price range, the one with Smart Home features will often win out. In fact, significant automation is coming to be expected in higher end homes. Oakville’s well-known real estate expert, Christopher Invidiata, confirms this trend, noting that “Smart Home features are gaining massive popularity, and fast. They’re becoming a common element in new homes, or in upscale renovation.” Invidiata especially likes the function that allows sellers to put a home in “showing” mode before an open house. With the click of a button, the lights are set to perfection, the blinds opened and the fireplaces started. In other words, it’s instantaneously ready to be shown to potential

buyers—and the mere fact that it contains such technology often helps it sell itself. As Dan amusingly puts it, integrated systems get rid of “home acne,” or, the litany of buttons, switches, remotes and other technological knickknacks that quickly clutter the walls and spaces of typical houses. As he emphasizes, “when all systems are run by an attractive, high-tech GUI, you can clarify the lines, the look and the simplicity of your home. More space can go to decorative features and design, which is just one more way your house can be made more enjoyable and exciting to be in.” This simplicity translates to the internal aspects of the home. In addition to getting rid of the so-called “acne,” the basic anatomy, or “organs,” of the home are purged: In a Smart Home, clearly mapped and minimalistic wiring replaces the mess of cables and functional elements in standard buildings. What’s the end result?: system

reliability and efficiency, as well as stress-free comprehension for future remodelling exploits. Choose an integrated design and not only will you be thrilled with the lifestyle and facility it affords, but your architects and contractors will thank you too. An hour spent chatting with Sublime Integration’s System Designer flashes by in what seems an instant. All I can think of by the end of our meeting, and on this hot day in sunny Oakville, is how badly I want to jump in the pool—and how I wish I could warm it up, turn on a cabana sound system and prime my favourite movie on an outdoor projector screen with just a tap to my laptop’s keys. But, while the realization of this dream would require more work from Dan and his team than a simple coffee interview affords, I can still say I’m fascinated by the trend that’s taking over in town—not to mention across Canada—in home design and functionality initiatives. A technology that was in its infancy only ten years ago is now fully developed, massively reliable and burgeoning in popularity. New Smart Home owners: prepare to wow all visitors to your home, and be wowed in return. “Sublime Integration” is not only the name of a company experiencing stellar growth, but an incredibly pertinent moniker for the “smart” organization of technology in new age, high-end housing. Sublime Integration is located in Mississauga. Dan and the Sublime Integration team can be reached at 905.901.1025, or admin@


international landscaping inc. landscape design | construction | maintenance



yoga studio

healthy life yoga mat

the secret to a long found on a The secret to a long healthy life is something that people have been searching for and theorizing over for centuries. Today, there is an overload of health advice. There’s the notion that you should eat meat, and that you shouldn’t eat meat. There’s the idea out there that you should exercise five days per week and yet still others maintain that you don’t need to exercise much at all. It’s no wonder so many of us are confused.

By Ivona Radon

Some Like It Hot offers classes to children from age four and up such as, the “Yogi Bears” class that lets children practice yoga with their peers. How do children benefit from yoga? Yoga provides children with flexibility, it strengthens their muscles and it provides them with confidence.

Jennifer Gilgan of Oakville, Ontario discovered the secret to a long healthy life. She learned that it was simple. As a runner Gilgan suffered from knee injuries which included two major tears. She started to practice yoga and found that her legs strengthened and her knees were no longer causing her problems.

It’s not just the children that are all smiles at Some Like It Hot. Courtney, 24 started yoga to relieve her muscle pain, but she found much more than muscle relief. She was able to sleep better and achieved stronger results in other sports. Yoga doesn’t only steer the young adults towards achieving good health, older people are seeing the benefits of yoga as well.

Gilgan enjoyed and believed in the power of yoga to transform both the mind and the body, so much so that she wanted to bring yoga to the public. She wanted

Seniors who take part in yoga classes at the studio also report significant health benefits. In particular, one senior who was visiting a chiropractor for

to open a yoga studio where people were part of a family; a place where there was a true sense of belonging. After her eight children grew up, Gilgan decided it was time to open a yoga studio and with that came the start of, Some Like It Hot.

years, no longer feels the need to visit his practitioner’s office since he started practicing yoga. Yoga is beneficial for athletes as well. One of the studio’s current programs is the, “Yoga for Hockley Players Workshop.” This six week workshop help athletes improve their range of motion, reduce injuries and increase recovery time. It also helps to improve core strength, as well as increase flexibility. “Flexibility is one component that helps us live longer lives,” says Gilgan.

Some Like It Hot is now a thriving yoga studio in downtown Oakville. The doors keep swinging open and you’ll find a mixture of people coming through them. From the young to the young at heart, there are people at the studio from all stages of life practicing yoga. They are all looking for something different which can be found within yoga. Some come for the stress relief since yoga is known to have a calming effect, others attend yoga for meditation purposes and still others attend, as part of their fitness regime. The studio’s variety of people hints to the fact that Some Like It Hot offers a wide range of classes and programs to meet just about everyone’s needs. “We have beginner classes for those who are new to yoga. We also offer more challenging yoga classes such as, ‘Vinyasa’, and for those who are advanced in their practice we offer our ‘Power Sweat’ yoga classes,” says Gilgan. “The really great thing about yoga is that it is not a competition. You go at your own pace and you choose to do what you are able to.”

what is next for some like it hot? The studio will remain focused on providing personalized care for its students and continue promoting a sense of community and belonging in its cliental. The big news is that Some Like It Hot is working to become a wellness centre. The studio hopes to expand to include an on-site massage therapist and fitness trainer. It is clear that the secret to a healthy, long and fulfilling life is doing what makes you feel best. For many that is yoga, in the fun and welcoming atmosphere encouraged at Some Like It Hot yoga studio in vibrant downtown Oakville. ◊




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By Nicolette Little

As the balminess of summer gives way to the freshness of fall, and as days and nights once spent out of doors are replaced by time in the home, we find ourselves craving warmth and the feeling of being enveloped by welcoming surroundings.

creating the ultimate refuge

& mth

Just as Mother Nature’s critters put their thoughts toward the building of winter nests, so to do we put ours toward ensuring comfort over the months ahead: A recent conversation with Elizabeth Law, design specialist and owner of Burlington’s well-known Elizabeth Interiors and Thomasville stores, revealed great tips for creating the bastion of warmth and revitalization—or “nest”—of which cooler temperatures make Southern Ontarians dream. Comfort is key when “nesting,” and several points need to be followed in creating the ultimate refuge. According to Elizabeth, by choosing furniture with relaxed lines, you can optimize the sense of calm a room emanates. Anything that allows you to recline to read your favourite book, or to indulge in a late afternoon snooze, is a start. Buying furnishings made of reclaimed wood is another good idea. “Reclaimed wood” refers to older materials, once used as beams in barns or in centuries-old homes (for example), that have been reused in new furnishings. The use of this wood has seen an understandable upsurge in popularity: Items made from age-old lumber virtually ooze history and a sense of tradition, as well as worn-in warmth. Adding reclaimed wood furniture or accessories to a room is a sure way to reduce its level of formality, and to up the sense of well-being >> Nicolette Little is a freelance writer. Visit her website at, or email her at


guests feel there. In addition to relaxed lines and timeworn planks, cushioning is key. When choosing couches and sofas, opt for ones with more opulent cushions than you might find in a typical living room setting. Also, use plenty of throws in fall-friendly materials like flannel, or cable-knit textures. Sinking into a sofa and cozying up in layers of blankets will help you feel protected and warmed—both psychological keys to comfort. In addition to these tried and true guidelines, an eye to current décor trends will help make your den feel fashionable and fresh. When asked about nest-worthy colours on this year’s fashion “hit list,” Elizabeth suggests that any shades of orange, red, aqua, or turquoise are a “go.” Apparently, “these colours have both warming and revitalizing effects—perfectly in line with what people crave as they hunker down for fall.” One cost effective and easy way to introduce these hues to your den is through the use of accessories. Elizabeth suggests that, if you’re conscious of keeping up with trends but don’t want to “break the bank” in the process, it’s better to buy major items like sofas or settees in neutral colours like beige or charcoal, or other earthy tones. These colours can be used as a base or background upon which other more vibrant accents can be added. Pillows, throws, lampshades, wall art and other décor objects are great choices when trying to add colour to any room. Accessorizing will allow you to trim your “nest” with the oranges or reds currently in vogue, but will also facilitate redecoration when it comes time to move to next season’s “it” styles. Another way to stamp a space with a dash of individualism is self-evident: add personal items. Are you a fan of 60s rock n’ roll? Or, an aficionado of all things golf related? By incorporating items that are personally meaningful into your den’s design, you’re one step ahead in terms


of forging a revitalizing space. There’s a caveat here, however: Personal items—while a great way to make you feel at home and show others what you’re all about— can clutter a space, making it look more like a sullen teenager’s bedroom than a place of idyllic retreat. To avoid this pitfall, Elizabeth suggests finding novel and classic ways to extend your hobby beyond the confines of your own interest, and into the realm of others’: “Try arranging memorabilia in a glass display coffee table,” she recommends. “This unique piece,” she continues, “will not only display your favourite items to advantage, but catch the eye of visitors as well.” Another caveat surrounding the use of personal items pertains to quantity. Gumming up your refuge with too many mementos can have an adverse effect, and not just because your space will seem cluttered. With almost scientific precision, Elizabeth comments on the divisions of space within a home, and notes that all houses contain public, semi-public and private areas. Although my first inclination is to relegate a personal den to the latter sphere, it turns out I’m wrong: According to this home décor savant, “because we feel so at ease in our ‘nest,’ we tend to want to share the space with our closer friends and acquaintances. It’s a semi-public space, and as such, it should reveal who we are, and something about our interests. But,” she continues, “it shouldn’t be strewn with too many family photos.” It’s shocking, I know, but apparently not everyone wants to see endless relics of our family moments, or pictures of Spot, the household pet. In further reflection on this point, Elizabeth suggests saving the copious numbers of well-loved snapshots for the home’s private spaces: notably, the upper halls and bedrooms. While your den should reveal something about you, the fact that it’s a semi-public rather than private space needs to be taken into account. This will keep it

away by the owner when he was craving a bottle of the eponymous liquor. Another curio that, between its old-world feel and intriguing story, can get any viewer’s attention is the “Harness Cabinet.” A massive wooden wall unit with an intricate latch, this piece was unearthed on an old estate in Metz, France, where it had been used to store horse harnesses. When the antiquarian who found it took a closer look inside its doors, he discovered that authentic racing results from an old newspaper had been used to line the panels. This piece, racing records and all, has been carefully replicated and can add curious charm—as with all talking pieces—to any chosen room.

welcoming and appealing, rather than cluttered or— heaven forbid—gaudy. And, creating a place of interest is certainly key when it comes to outfitting a “nest.” In the end, your den needs to be a place in which you want to spend time. And, as your preferred spot, you’ll also want to feel it engages those trusted or well-liked visitors who are privileged to be invited in. To achieve this effect, a “talking piece” is a great décor solution. When asked what this is, Elizabeth explains that talking pieces are items that “tell a story.” Exact copies of original furnishings that were found in unusual places, strange circumstances, or the houses of celebrities, they’re imbued with an element of notoriety or special interest. An example Elizabeth mentions is the “Johnny Walker Cabinet.” As the story goes, the original armoire had two beautifully ornate doors, both of which were gambled

Last but not least is the fact that your home’s surroundings and type should dictate the kind of “nest” you devise. If your home is in a natural setting—let’s say by the lake or in the country—then you’re going to want to extend nature’s tones and themes into your den. A cottage haven, for example, would benefit from a bowl of large pinecones used as a coffee table centrepiece, beach rocks strewn around the hearth, or a paddle fixed above the mantle, whereas these “au naturel” effects might be lost on a city home. Available space is also a key factor for consideration. In larger homes there’s simply more room for artistic licence. If you live in a smaller home in the city, however, you might find that functionality, storage space and multi-purpose elements become important aspects of décor. Ideal for condos are dual-purpose furniture items like coffee tables that pop up into dining or card tables, or sofas that unfold into spare beds. Whatever you do, make sure your decorative choices help rather than hinder the functionality of your space. At present, the days are still bright with the sun’s full light, and the temperatures are unusually hot. But beware: It’s with swift stealth that fall steals over us, as September and October approach. With the inspiration that warm weather brings, plan ahead for the cooler times to come. By putting thought into your ultimate fall “nest,” you can ensure that comfort, warmth and relaxation will be yours all year round. ◊

Check out Elizabeth Interiors at, or Thomasville Burlington at Elizabeth Interiors is located at 409 Brant Street, and Thomasville Burlington at 2269 Fairview Street, in Burlington, Ontario.


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TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE From helping construct school buildings in a village in Ghana, to studying zinc nanoparticles, to learning about diverse cultures and perspectives, Appleby College students are making a difference as they become leaders of character, major contributors to, and valued representatives of their local, national and international communities. Founded in 1911 and regarded as one of Canada’s leading independent schools, Appleby is committed to providing an exceptional educational experience for 725 boys and girls in grades 7 to 12, by blending academic excellence, athletic achievement and creative expression with opportunities for leadership and community engagement. Respecting and understanding different perspectives is a key component of the school’s educational approach. Appleby’s curriculum, with a strong focus on languages and global issues, international service programs and membership in Round Square and the G20 (a consortium of the top 20 independent schools in the world), create a unique learning environment that promotes global awareness and new models of co-operation. Appleby is the first boarding school in North America to offer an integrated global education program which culminates in the achievement of the Appleby College Diploma with Distinction in Global Leadership. Appleby is a globally recognized innovator in educational excellence.


As a pioneer in the use of e-learning, Appleby’s use of laptops in the classroom, SMART Boards and Harkness tables is a model for best practices. Appleby’s curriculum incorporates innovative teaching and learning methods such as our ASCENT program - “Arts, Service, Cumulative Evaluation and Northward Bound”, in which students apply the knowledge they learnt in class to a series of activities. One of the many unique aspects of Appleby is its mandatory Grade 12 boarding requirement. All day students enter boarding in Grade 12. During this time students learn more about themselves as they grow together in a community while contributing to residential life, and at the same time, develop the responsibility and skills to assist with transitioning from high school to university. A personalized educational experience is also provided through Appleby’s advisor program. With a ratio of 9 students for every one advisor, the advisor is able to develop a special relationship with their students and parents, a relationship that has the success of the student at its core. Supported by an extensive guidance program, more than 95 per cent of Appleby graduates are accepted into their university and program of choice, including recognized institutions of higher learning such as Yale University, Princeton University, Oxford University, the University of Toronto, McGill University, Queen’s University and Western University.

My experience at



inspired my interest in science and engineering and the difference it can make in the lives of others.



SINCE 1911 57

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$250,000 Pledge To The Cardiac Care Unit at

The New Oakville Hospital. The New Oakville Hospital will be a stateof-the-art facility with a full range of health services. Once under construction, this project will create spin off jobs in the community and will stimulate economic development in the region. The hospital will be designed and built to meet the Canada Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) rating system. LEED® buildings focus on healthy indoor environments, reduced

greenhouse gas emissions and efficient use of energy, water and other resources. Infrastructure Ontario is a Crown corporation dedicated to delivering some of the province’s larger and more complex infrastructure renewal projects – ensuring they are built on time and on budget – and to providing the public sector and not-for-profit organizations with long-term financing to renew their infrastructure.

“The Invidiata Team is proud to support the New Oakville Hospital, and honoured to partner with them in the realization of this world-class health care facility. We have been blessed with the opportunity to meet and serve so many wonderful people in our local community, and are pleased to be able to give back with a pledge to the hospital’s Cardiac Care Unit.” Christopher Invidiata

By Nicolette Little

Driving the ROAD to REVITALIZATION How Mercedes-Benz Burlington has


the dealership experience

Stepping into Burlington, Ontario’s, Mercedes-Benz complex is like entering one of the architectural wonders of Dubai: A modern creation comprised of glass and flowing lines, it soars into the sky, creating a light, airy and even inspiring atmosphere within. Mercedes-Benz Burlington’s CEO, Ken Szekely, travelled the world extensively when planning this facility. With the twinned goals of fostering interconnectedness between customers and providing them with an incomparable experience, Ken pondered ways to make the proposed structure a uniting entity. The end result of his deliberations is a compound so unique that it even “blows away” the manufacturer’s tech-savvy German engineers—who are flown in expressly to see this previously unfathomable dealership model. While the building is architecturally worthy of the world-class cars it contains, its internal amenities are what most interest

visitors. In addition to the seemingly endless rows of famous luxury cars, the Mercedes-Benz complex contains a professional golf simulator, café and lounge—all aimed at creating the ultimate experience for customers. And recently, on May 28th, 2012, it opened its Q Spa, making Mercedes-Benz Burlington the first known dealership in the world to offer esthetics and wellness services for waiting customers. The addition of Q Spa has hoisted the Mercedes-Benz experience to an even greater realm of splendour. It is to this spa that I was recently shown, and given the chance to speak with esthetics director Aimée Cholette. Aimée’s efforts and expertise—in tandem with Ken’s one-of-a-kind vision and research—have helped create the stellar experience about which the Mercedes-Benz Burlington community is raving, and that earned the company the prestigious title of 2012 Mercedes-Benz Dealer of the Year. 61

They’ve turned servicing a car into an

"best of the best"

unparalleled experience in luxury, self-care and relaxation.

Given the seeming incongruity of melding a spa with a dealership, the first question Aimée and Ken often hear is “what inspired this idea?” The goals behind the spa are manifold and unique. “When people buy a Mercedes-Benz, they’re buying into a lifestyle,” says Ken. “They’ve achieved a measure of comfort and luxury in their life, and this is reflected in their choice of vehicle. The new spa is a further extension of that luxury.” And, indeed, at Mercedes-Benz, the usual tedium of waiting for a car to be serviced has been turned into a moment for unrivalled relaxation: With the inception of Q Spa, this time becomes a period for socializing, personal accomplishment, or self-pampering. Mercedes-Benz owners can get to know each other while having side-by-side manicures or pedicures, or they can work on a laptop in the private lounge nearby. And, for the busy executive or mom, Aimée notes that the spa’s popularity rests on the fact that “two birds can be killed with one stone”: Now, filling up a day with separate car and facial appointments, or idling away time that could otherwise be used to prepare for a formal evening event, can be avoided. Mercedes-Benz Burlington has made a service appointment something to be savoured, rather than a disruptive element in a day. In keeping with the quality for which Mercedes-Benz is renowned, Q Spa offers the “best of the best” in treatments, which are medical grade. Whether you’re looking into light therapy or microdermabrasion, you can rest assured you’re in sound hands. Also, Q Spa carries products like Valmont, Ilike, and Jane Iredale: These names are respected at the highest levels of the spa and wellness industries, and are synonymous with elite, incomparable rejuvenation. For a spa to even carry the Valmont line, it has to go through rigorous testing and its clinicians, specialized training. It is the brand carried by the world’s most prestigious spas, including those at the Hazelton Hotel in Yorkville, Toronto, and the

Ritz Carlton in New York. Ilike (pronounced “eleeka”) is another industry heavyweight. Produced in Hungary, Ilike products are all natural, organic, raw and cold-processed. Because studies reveal that using the entire plant aids in the absorption of healthful elements like vitamins C and E, Ilike products are also whole foods-based. As people increasingly acknowledge the benefits of natural living, and as cosmetic research enables us to critically consider the products we choose, Ilike has soared in popularity, taking its rightful place on the shelves of international, top-of-the-line spas. In addition to the available high-end procedures, Aimée’s background in holistic medicine takes Q Spa’s level of treatment one step higher. A student of the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition, and an educator in the field of holistic principles, Aimée’s aptitude for natural healing was evident early on: She would spend her time reading nutritional texts the way most people breeze through New York Times best sellers. While attending to clients, she offers a deeper understanding of wellness. “Instead of treating the skin as though it’s divorced from more complex health matters,” she says, “it can and should be searched for signs of internal problems that need attention and support, or correction.” This focus on root causes results in benefits that far exceed momentary pampering. Our skin is a fine-tuned barometer for our body’s overall state of health. Aimée’s awareness that many medical conditions can be determined by our skin’s appearance, and that common marketplace options are often just “Band-Aid solutions,” propels her to search her clients’ complexions for signs of deeper physiological complications. For example, diabetes-related problems can often be seen in the face: Apparently, “rosacea in the cheeks can be a powerful sign of an insulin resistance, and suggests too many of the wrong kinds of carbs are being ingested.” Thick, coarse nails are another sign of a circulatory system in distress, or of real or impending diabetes. When Aimée sees clients with these telltale irregularities, she’s able to make helpful dietary suggestions—avoid gluten and ingest more truly wholegrain foods, for example—to reduce the chance that a body response will worsen in the face of underlying concerns. So, wellness goes beyond the walls of Q Spa: Clients can adopt Aimée’s suggestions and incorporate them into their daily lives. The upstairs Q Café, also part of Mercedes-Benz Burlington’s compound, supports the holistic recommendations Aimée makes. When asked what menu ingredients can help support

Concierge, Café,

Simulated Golf and Spa A Luxury Hotel?

No, you’ve just arrived at Mercedes-Benz Burlington wellness, Aimée tells me that kale is a “skin care food”: It is “one of the best things you can eat when it comes to keeping your skin clear and healthy.” With a high content of silica and fibre, its detoxifying properties help keep skin uncongested and glowing. Avocados and quinoa are equally important in

inestimably soothing and the finest in quality. Essentially, no details and no particulars were missed in the creation of this space. And, it shows in the end result: When people leave, they’re glowing: They feel attractive and restored and, in the meantime, their car has been serviced to perfection.

the fight against aging: As Aimée explains, “because our skin is built of protein and fats, getting healthy sources of these two components in our diet is of the utmost importance.” Quinoa—often referred to as the “King of Grains” due to its high nutritional value—is gluten free, provides protein in grain form and is “essential for the renewal of skin.” Also, because the membranes of our skin are made of fat, we need to have plenty of healthy lipids, like those found in avocados, in our diet. As Aimée says, “many people assume that any kind of fat is problematic, but they’re wrong. Healthy fats are necessary for keeping skin youthful looking and healthy.” These recommendations help clients stay beautiful from the inside out.

Mercedes-Benz Burlington has accomplished what no other Mercedes-Benz dealership in the world has done: They’ve turned servicing a car into an unparalleled experience in luxury, self-care and relaxation. They’ve been so successful, in fact, that some clients come in weekly—“just to get their car washed”—or, in other words, to regularly enjoy the indulgence and sense of community this facility has on offer. Although, as Ken notes, Mercedes-Benz Burlington is the only dealership in the world to offer such services, with the enjoyment they proffer, it can’t be long before the notion that car maintenance should not be forcibly equated with tedium will take wider root, and spread. ◊

Specific treatment details aside, the experience at Q Spa is unparalleled. On par with some of today’s top health and wellness centres, it provides a sanctuary that’s private,, or email her at

Nicolette Little is a freelance writer. Visit her website at www.english-


Proof that Mercedes-Benz Burlington is an experience like no other.

Mercedes-Benz Canada


Mercedes-Benz Canada

Star Dealer Of The Year 2012

Gold Award Retail Store Design

No.1 Star Diagnostic Technician in Canada

Recognized by Mercedes-Benz Canada as one of Canada’s best in Sales, Parts, Service, and most importantly–Customer Satisfaction.

The International Council of Shopping Centers honoured our cutting edge architectural design and outstanding on-site customer amenities.

Mercedes-Benz Canada acknowledged our expertise and dedication with the award for Canada’s Top Technician.

There’s a difference in everything we do at Mercedes-Benz Benz Burlington and these awards are a reflection of our commitment to making your experience with us unlike any other. Come in today and discover what uncompromising excellence means for you.

Mercedes-Benz Burlington Visit our spectacular showroom 441 North Service Rd. Burlington Sales & Service 905.632.4222

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129 Appleby Place | Shoreacres, Burlington Linda Tino-Zylik, Broker & Christopher Invidiata, Sales Representative



the invidiata team

54 Ennisclare Road west | south east oakville Cindy Avis & Christopher Invidiata, Sales Representatives |


285 Dalewood Drive | Morrison, Oakville Kirsten Leggat & Christopher Invidiata, Sales Representatives


PRESTIGE home collection


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


1312 Lakeshore road east | morrison, Oakville Mike Howarth & Christopher Invidiata, Sales Representative |


5019 Lakeshore Road | Burlington Mike Howarth & Christopher Invidiata, Sales Representatives


the invidiata team

SOLD 59 barringham Drive | Morrison, oakville Linda Tino-Zylik, Broker & Christopher Invidiata, Sales Representative |

67 Howard Avenue | Old Oakville Aimee Kain, Cindy Avis & Christopher Invidiata, Sales Representatives |

PRESTIGE home collection





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

Private Collection

Luxury Living On The Lake In Mississauga PRICE: $9,998,000 Sq. Ft. 6,221 + 3,693 | Bedrooms: 5 | bathrooms: 7+2 | Views Of Toronto Skyline


Magnificent South East Oakville Estate Listed for: $16,998,000 Sq. Ft. 10,980 + 7,031 | Bedrooms: 5+2 | bathrooms 6+2 | Minutes To Downtown Oakville

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



SOLD 5421 Blezard drive | beamsville Tina Roberts & Christopher Invidiata, Sales Representatives


156 walkers line | waterfront burlington Cindy Avis & Christopher Invidiata, Sales Representatives |


SOLD 1364 lakeshore road west | south west oakville Linda Tino-Zylik & Ping Shu, Brokers & Christopher Invidiata, Sales Representative



the invidiata team

Pay for private school with tax-free money The RBC Dominion Securities Family Trust


Tax-saving program to help fund children’s /grandchildren’s private school costs Parents / grandparents who fund the trust can retain control over initial capital

The William Vastis Wealth Management Group

RBC Wealth Management Dominion Securiies 200 Bay Street. Suite 2500 Toronto, Ontario M5J 2J2

Tel: 416-842-2414 Fax: 416-842-2362

When providing life insurance products, Investment Advisors are acting as Insurance Representatives of RBC Wealth Management Financial Services Inc. ®Registered trademark of Royal Bank of Canada. Used under licence. RBC Dominion Securities is a registered trademark of Royal Bank of Canada. Used under licence. © Copyright 2012. All rights reserved.



1000 Goffat Island | goffat island, ramara


Pamela Gottschalk & Christopher Invidiata, Sales Representatives

10 Park avenue | old oakville Cindy Avis & Christopher Invidiata, Sales Representatives |



the invidiata team

21 first street | old oakville Cindy Avis & Christopher Invidiata, Sales Representatives |


117 Colonial court | lakefront burlington $3,288,000 Cindy Avis & Christopher Invidiata, Sales Representatives |





5138 Lakeshore Road | South west Burlington Linda Tino-Zylik, Broker & Christopher Invidiata, Sales Representative


4100 Lakeshore Road | Shoreacres Burlington Linda Tino-Zylik, Broker & Christopher Invidiata, Sales Representative


the invidiata team

41 Arbour Drive | Ford, Oakville Linda Tino-Zylik, Broker & Christopher Invidiata, Sales Representative

1550 Bayview road | south west oakville Ping Shu, Broker & Christopher Invidiata, Sales Representative






Through Wellness


For her birthday, on an auspicious day around thirteen years ago, Liz Belford’s closest friends conspired to send her to a luxurious out-of-town spa. While there, she relaxed and reposed, and let the worries and stressors of her day—of her year, even—melt away. A facial, massage and body treatments later, Liz was aware that the wellness centre’s effects had gone deeper than she ever could have imagined: In fact, her birthday gift had made her see that she had a new calling. “Literally overnight,” Liz says, “I realized I wanted to be in the business of restoring health for others. I knew I wanted to take spas to a whole new and elegant level.” It was at this moment that the seed was planted for what has become the Rosewater Spa of Oakville. A consummate entrepreneur, and passionate when it comes to the health that spa services can proffer, Liz came to notice that a number of couples were coming to the Rosewater to reconnect with each other over shared relaxation. Aware that modern life can stress relationships, and that time is needed to make any good relationship work, Liz designed packages that could help couples bond and enjoy valuable time together. These packages have proven a “hit” because of the specialized treatments, fine details and reconnection-oriented ethos they incorporate. The majority of couples who walk in the door are there for the purpose of finding relaxation. To help them attain this goal, the private suites to which they are first shown are insulated against outdoor noise, while the massage room is doubly protected with sound barriers. Once a couple has crossed the spa’s threshold, they are transported away from the dizzying world of cellphones, busyness and noise. Also, the treatments area contains heated massage tables and a fireplace. The Rosewater Spa is designed to keep the world’s distractions at bay, and to provide a casually elegant atmosphere.

Nicolette Little is a freelance writer. Visit her website at, or email her at

The array of available massage options has proven to be another strong point for the couples’ packages. Thalassotherapy (which uses a therapeutic, certified organic and deeply penetrating seaweed gel to soothe muscles and joints), reflexology, aromatherapy, relaxation, deep tissue and hot stone therapies are a few of the possible choices. >> 81

Relaxing as they are, the couples’ package treatments go beyond superficial soothing. Each individual therapy can be tweaked to focus on a person’s specific wellness preferences. If neck tension, headaches or workplace anxiety are causes for concern, for example, the client need only mention this to the massage therapist: Registered Massage Therapists (RMTs) are trained to address a number of physical and emotional complaints through the use of precisely applied pressure and care. Also, the Rosewater specialists’ ability to tell a client what is going on with his or her body on a deeper level is—as Liz puts it— “uncanny.” Liz explains that a labyrinthine system of nerves connects our organs to our feet and head. When reflexologists manipulate certain areas of the foot, they can gain insight into more significant

A number of “special details” make the Rosewater’s couples’ packages even more noteworthy. For example, when the couple first walks in, they’re given a menu. They get to choose what they’d like to have as part of a catered lunch—complete with a glass of champagne—that will await them after their specialized treatments. This post-treatment meal, served in an antechamber outside the treatment room, affords valuable “face time” for a couple. They get to enjoy a sumptuous (but healthy!) dining experience, chat about their time in the massage room and just be in each other’s presence. This added touch makes the day that much more special. In addition to a meal, all couples’ packages start with a eucalyptus steam bath. After getting ready in their personal V.I.P. suite, the couple is shown to their very own, private steam room. Here, warmth combines with heady eucalyptus oils to relax the body’s muscles. The soothing vapours not only feel great on their own, but—once in the treatment room—they help the massage therapist access any knots or areas of tension in the body. As Liz notes, “the details are what count,” and “we’ve done everything possible to make this an unrivalled experience for both men and women—the couples—who visit the Rosewater.”

The Rosewater Spa is certainly a treat for the senses. And, so often in today’s bustling world, couples are in need of just such an experience. issues within the body, as well as soothe any related physiological symptoms. Thalassotherapy—or “ocean” therapy—is another modality that allows for a more profound restoration of body and mind. Using algae and deeper level ocean water, which is free of surface pollutants, the body is re-mineralized and its chemical balances are restored. While all available modalities provide a sense of calm, they also offer a deeper reading on, and recalibrating of, one’s overall health. These benefits last long after the spa’s visit has ended. While the treatments themselves offer enhanced wellness, the mere decision to visit the spa for a romantic date is a step towards health. As one of the Rosewater’s RMTs, Samantha Pearce, puts it: “Couples often fall into a rut of doing the same thing, and that same thing isn’t always conducive to fitness. Sometimes couples go out to dinners, or go to the movies where they eat lots of buttered popcorn, and this can be unhealthy.” When couples enjoy themselves at the spa, it’s a “safe” and even healthy indulgence: Together, they take a step away from bad habits, and towards a shared new experience of wellness.


Finally, the Rosewater’s location is, in and of itself, an ingredient in the recipe for a couple’s relaxation. Nestled in charming and historic downtown Oakville, the Rosewater is steps away from Lake Ontario, magnificent harbour gardens, and a plethora of intriguing boutiques, cafés and restaurants. So, a couple can leave their treatment and head out directly for a hand-in-hand stroll, some window-shopping, or dinner. The rejuvenation and ease achieved within the Rosewater’s relaxing walls can be carried back out into the day. The Rosewater Spa is certainly a treat for the senses. And, so often in today’s bustling world, couples are in need of just such an experience. With its tranquil atmosphere and treatments, and with the attention to special detail that’s palpably a service “must,” the Rosewater Spa is a great place to go when you’re hoping to enjoy some valuable time with that special someone. ◊ The Rosewater Spa is located at 482 Elizabeth Street in Burlington, Ontario, and at 156 Church Street in Oakville, Ontario. Please visit for more details.

PhasE OnE nOw undEr cOnstructiOn 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. P h as E t wO P r EviEw: 5 0 % sO l d | f rOm $2 , 6 0 0,0 0 0 | Occu Pa n cy m ay 20 1 3 9 0 5. 8 4 2 .1 5 0 2 | 1 5 0 2 l a K E s h O r E r O a d E a st, O a Kv i l l E , c a n a da l 6 J 1 m 1 | w w w. E d G E m E r E .c a

a registered cooperating Broker rE/maX aboutowne realty corp., Brokerage the invidiata team. 83 reynolds street, Oakville, On l6J 3K3 905-339-3444

project of the year 2010 Prices, sizes and specifications are subject to change without notice. E. & O.E. Photography is representational.


854 Longfellow Avenue | lorne park estate, Mississauga Linda Tino-Zylik, Broker & Christopher Invidiata, Sales Representative

2 Ennisclare Drive west | morrison, oakville Pamela Gottschalk & Christopher Invidiata, Sales Representatives




the invidiata team

18 Raymar place | South east oakville Linda Tino-Zylik Broker, Pamela Gottschalk & Christopher Invidiata, Sales Representatives |


1 Maple Grove Drive | South East Oakville | Building lot Linda Tino-Zylik Broker, Pamela Gottschalk & Christopher Invidiata, Sales Representatives




THE PINK PALACE Great event to launch this magnificant Esate design & built by Ferris Rafauli of Grandeur Homes sponsored by Knar Jewlery & Willam Vastis Of RBC Dominion Securities Wealth Management



Oakville Chamber Orchestra at the Powell Estate 'Chelster Hall' with sponsors; BUDDs Jaguar, BUDDs Ranger Rover, Fisker & Porsche.



comes to play




Networking with the Better & Best Brands



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



the invidiata team

140 Oaklands park court | lakefront burlington Pamela Gottschalk, Shae Invidiata & Christopher Invidiata, Sales Representatives





1092 Argyle Drive | South East Oakville Linda Tino-Zylik, Broker, Pamela Gottschalk & Christopher Invidiata, Sales Representatives



the invidiata team

2100 Lakeshore Road East | South east oakville Linda Tino-Zylik, Broker, Pamela Gottschalk & Christopher Invidiata, Sales Representatives |




"Sometimes in life we are blessed to live in our dreams." - Christopher Invidiata

Presenting The Finest Homes Currently Available For Sale. Starting at $5,000,000+


ESTATES Starting At $5,000,000


495 macdonald road | south east oakville Nadia Meco & Christopher Invidiata, Sales Representatives |


563 north shore blvd east | south west burlington Linda Tino-Zylik, Broker & Christopher Invidiata, Sales Representative |


the invidiata team

1081 Argyle Drive | South East Oakville Pamela Gottschalk & Christopher Invidiata, Sales Representatives




ESTATES Starting At $5,000,000

The fine art of building SOLD

124 Maple Grove Drive | South East oakville Nadia Meco & Christopher Invidiata, Sales Representatives |



the invidiata team

275 Balsam drive | south east oakville Pamela Gottschalk & Christopher Invidiata, Sales Representatives |





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

CHRISTOPHER INVIDIATA Sales Representative & Team Leader 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. Christopher continues to drive and push the real estate industry in creative and innovative directions, continuously giving clients the ultimate real estate experience.

for 98


For The Past 10 Years


2 0 1 1 the invidiata team


By Ivona Radon


MODERN DAY CASTLE Norfolk inspired estate in our own backyard Since construction completed in 2006, one of the largest and most awe-inspiring homes in Canada has been sitting for years behind its beautiful gates on Oakville’s stunning waterfront, just out of view of passersby. People have been left to wonder about the mysterious estate. On a warm summer day, as I pull my car up to the gates of one of Canada’s most distinguished private estates, my curiosity is about to be satisfied. I’m about to enter the legendary grounds of Hugo Powell’s magnificent, Chelster Hall. >>


sold out

Concert Performance by the Oakville Chamber Orchestra On this rare occasion the grounds and gardens of Chelster Hall are open to over 200 honoured guests. Guests have gathered on a Saturday afternoon for a sold out concert performance by the Oakville Chamber Orchestra, proudly presented by The Invidiata Team RE/MAX Aboutowne. Hugo Powell has opened the doors of his home for the event. Mr. Powell is the former chief executive officer of Interbrew SA of Belgium, as well as the former president of John Labatt Limited companies. As we stand on the well-manicured lawn of Chelster Hall, between greeting his guests – business leaders, government figures and other Oakville Chamber Orchestra supporters, Mr. Powell has a chance to let me in on what makes his home

significant, and the huge effort it took to build the massive property. It all started when Mr. and Mrs. Powell wanted to find a good home for their family and their young daughter Britany. They wanted to build a house in Canada and when Mr. Powell’s sister, who is an educator recommended enrolling Britany in all-girls school, St. Mildred’s-Lightbourn in Oakville, the decision was set. Mr. Powell sought to build a grand waterfront home inspired by Blickling Hall in Norfolk, England, which is the area where he grew up. Blickling Hall is where Anne Boleyn, mother to Queen Elizabeth I lived. Not only was this detail a significant undertaking but Mr. Powell wanted the house to measure 54,000 square feet.


Mr. Powell entrusted Canada’s leading residential RE/MAX realtor, Christopher Invidiata, with finding the ideal Oakville

waterfront land on which to build Mr. Powell’s legacy. Mr. Invidiata was made known in the real estate industry by selling some of Canada’s most expensive luxury properties. To present day Mr. Invidiata has led his team to be the #1 RE/MAX Team in Canada for a decade and in 2007 led his team to receive the honour of being the #1 RE/MAX Team Worldwide. Last year Mr. Invidiata’s team was the #2 RE/MAX Team Worldwide. Mr. Invidiata explains to me that assembling four hectares of land for a residential property was something rare and the news went around the globe. The ambitious plan proved to have its challenges. Mr. Powell

had to seek planning permission from the town. Mr. Powell first consulted with neighbours and agreed to decrease the size of the planned property from 54,000 to 47,000 square feet. After a series of meetings, Mr. Powell’s neighbours decided it was better to have the large home on the property than a subdivision, and so, the undertaking to build Chelster Hall commenced. Today, the home’s features are what make the space feel special. Chelster Hall was built to last generations with only the finest Canadian materials. Mr. Powell says, “The hope is for the house to look the same in 200 years.” The chapel on the property is dedicated to St. Francis of Assisi, Patron Saint of Animals. It provides the opportunity for reflection and prayer. Today it is filled with the sunshine reflecting off of Lake Ontario. With the outside of the home being so grand, I am curious as to the home’s interior. Mr. Powell says, “It is not the size of the home that matters, but the height of the ceilings and the volume of the rooms.”

The home also contains an indoor pool with chandeliers hanging from the ceiling. In addition to the pool there is a two-story library that houses about 3000 of Mr. Powell’s treasured books. What is perhaps the most aw-inspiring aspect of Chelster Hall is the home’s spherical ceiling. The spherical ceiling was difficult to complete. Three different craftsmen laboured and it took several tries to get it right and complete. With all this in mind I think back to who first helped Mr. Powell purchase the four lots which would make his dream home a reality – Christopher Invidiata. The Invidiata Team RE/MAX is sponsoring the event today in order to help raise funds for the Oakville Chamber Orchestra’s Youth Program. While the Oakville Chamber Orchestra plays Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons, Mr. Invidiata explains to me that his team is always looking for opportunities to support the community, and so they were pleased

to sponsor this event. Mr. Invidiata values the arts and recognizes that the youth of Halton need strong programs, such as the Oakville Chamber Orchestra Youth Program, to reach their goals and to continue to make the community of Oakville a vibrant place to live. How successful is the fundraiser at this notable property? Charles Demuynck who is the artistic director for the Oakville Chamber Orchestra says, “The event has had a big impact on our financial situation. It will mean stability and added excellence to the music audiences hear at Oakville Chamber Orchestra concerts.” As the event draws to a close, it is certain that Chelster Hall is not just one of Canada’s largest properties, but that it is one man’s dream home. Chelster Hall is a dream home that has astonished many, achieved worldwide status in Canada, and raised funds to give back to the surrounding community. Chelster Hall leaves me wondering – what is my dream home? ◊

Hugo Powell's magnificent Chelster










147 CHARTWELL ROAD | south east oakville Pamela Gottschalk, Nadia Meco & Christopher Invidiata, Sales Representatives


Price available to qualified buyers


ESTATES Starting At $5,000,000

2215 doulton drive | mississauga Nadia Meco, Pamela Gottschalk & Christopher Invidiata, Sales Representatives |



the invidiata team

294 Chartwell Road | South east oakville Linda Tino-Zylik, Broker, Pamela Gottschalk, Shae Invidiata & Christopher Invidiata, Sales Representatives





CHRISTOPHER INVIDIATA Sales Representative & Team Leader 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.

CINDY AVIS Sales Representative 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.


the invidiata team

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 15 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.




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.


the invidiata team

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.

TINA ROBERTS Sales Representative Tina has been a licensed Realtor since 1997. She grew up in Burlington and now resides with her husband and kids in Stoney Creek. For the past six years, Tina was a dedicated Buyer Specialist to two of the “Top Ten” teams in the Hamilton Burlington Real Estate Board. She is experienced in Residential and Condominium Resale, New Home Sales, Rural Residential Sales and offers specialized knowledge in the Home Buying experience from Starter home to the “Ultimate Home”.

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.



By Ivona Radon

Royalty Visits Toronto and Reveals the Meaning Behind the Sport of Kings 112

Move over Prince William and Duchess Kate – there’s new royalty in town. This royalty will give us a peek into the art of sport and socialization through an ancient cultural tradition. In a world where texting, tweeting, following and blogging are becoming more frequent than causal meetings with friends, it’s nice to look back at how we used to mingle and be entertained by sport. The royal family of India embraces socialization through the sport of kings. Polo is a social sport that brings many members of society together. What better place to celebrate and learn about polo than here in Canada? After all, here we welcome and embrace the cultures of the world. Just north of Toronto, overlooking a beautiful spanning field on a hot spring day, I join a large group gathered to watch a polo match. This is no ordinary match. We stand under a massive white tent shielding ourselves from the blazing sun. We are waiting; photographers are rushing to get their cameras ready. We are all about to meet royalty. The honoured guests are Her Royal Highness Princess Diya Kumari, daughter of His Highness the late Maharaja Sawai Bhawani Singhji and Her Royal Highness Maharani Padmini Devi. The princess will be joined by her husband Maharaj Narendra Singh. The royal couple is visiting from India with one of the nation’s most well-known fashion designers, J.J. Valaya. Maharaj Narendra Singh is to lead the Royal Jaipur Polo Team in an exhibition polo match against the Toronto Polo Club. There is something about polo that captivates viewers worldwide. Polo is one of the most challenging sports in the world. It requires a strength and athleticism that only the most skilled players are able to master. It is also one of the oldest sports in the world and dates back to over 2000 years ago. Polo was first used as a training game for elite military troops on horseback. Today polo is a sporting event that brings members of society together. Women wear their best fashions. The horses are beautifully groomed. People attending expect to experience a grand spectacle of sport and high society. First, I have the honour of meeting Her Royal Highness Princess Diya Kumair’s husband, Maharaj Narendra Singh. He amicably explains to me that polo is important to the royal family because it has been a part of his family’s history for generations. The family won the world cup in 1957. In addition, the royal family in India has ruled over the sport of polo for centuries and as a result, Indian teams have offered spectacular wins. >> 113

the enjoyment of food, drink and high fashion 114

Maharaj Narendra Singh goes on to explain how he was not trained in polo at an early age. If fact, the first time he rode on a horse was during his own wedding. He was terrified and even though he was not confident in riding, his fatherin-law encouraged him to learn polo. He started learning to play polo in 2003, and now he is a skilled polo player that has led his team to victory numerous times. As I speak to Maharaj Narenda Singh I am reminded of how Canada is made up of many unique cultures. Immigrants from India are among the largest populations coming to Canada. At The Invidiata Team RE/MAX Aboutowne, realtors are seeing an increase of South Asians purchasing homes in Burlington, Oakville and Mississauga. I ask Maharaj Narenda Singh, why an increasing number of Indians choose Canada as their new home. He answers that there are two main attributes which attract people to relocate to Canada. One is that Canada is one of the most prosperous countries in the world and the opportunity for business is clear. Second, the environment is welcoming and the Canadian people are some of the kindest and friendliest people in the world. Maharaj Narenda Singh’s kind words spark a deep sense of Canadian pride within me. Suddenly, with the blink of an eye, Maharaj Narenda Singh is rushed away by event organizers. He needs to get ready to play in the polo match. The match starts and it is a spectacle. The game intensifies and a pack of players on horseback rush past our section of spectators. I am easily captivated and I start to understand why people are drawn into watching polo. I have been told that society’s elite frequent polo matches and that fashion is just as important as the show of sport and skill of the athletes taking place on the field. I am certainly reminded of that today. Towards the back of the tent I meet J.J. Valaya, who is a fashion icon and one of India’s best known designers. He designs for the royal family in India and is known for his avant-garde approach and ready-to-wear style. I ask him what he thinks of Canadian style and the direction it should take. He explains that Canada needs to develop its own signature style. Canada needs to move beyond the pencil skirt. Standing there in my pencil skirt - I am humbled.

J.J. Valaya is celebrating the 20th anniversary of the House of Valaya with a cocktail dinner and fashion show in Toronto. He lets me know that he has done a countless number of fashion shows over his 20-year career and with each fashion show he is looking to evoke a reaction from the audience. When I ask J.J Valaya what is his secret to success, he answers, “I don’t know.” I am surprised at how honest he is. After a short pause he explains that you can’t focus on what other people are doing. You need to look at what you’re doing and find ways to improve on that to be successful. With that, our conversation ends and it is half-time. Everyone starts rising from their chairs laughing, talking and heading to the back of the tent to look over the lunch selections. As the players leave the field the spectators begin an activity of their own. It is customary for the spectators of the polo match to enter the playing field and pat down the earth that was torn up by the horses’ hooves. I see children running towards the field to participate. Some are too young and are led by their parents. This tradition of “stomping of the divets” involves the spectators in polo just as much as the players. Her Royal Highness Princess Diya Kumari is with the event organizer Ayesha Mawaz-Khan, eating lunch while watching the children play on the polo field. I have seen her in photographs, but in person she evokes an even greater beauty and elegance. I learn that Her Royal Highness Princess Diya Kumari is much more than a symbol of the Indian monarchy. She believes in the power of education. She has established two prestigious schools. The Princess plays a strong role in maintaining both schools and believes that education has the power to change society for the better. As the match resumes, I realize that the Indian royal family has shown me a glimpse into their way of socializing. Polo is an exciting sport that not only showcases the skill and prowess of the athletes on the field, but also encourages spectators to socialize and be involved off the field. The spectacle of sport, the stomping of the divets, the enjoyment of food, drink and high fashion all stands to honour the tradition of polo as the sport of kings. ◊

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