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Your FREE Guide to Family Fun in Ontario

spring 2012

It’s Blooming Spring Some secret (and not so secret) gardens to explore Six of Our Favourite

Historic Downtowns A Beginner’s Guide to

The Bruce Trail FORE! Family Friendly Golf Courses

Magical Marauders! and more.


Enter! 3 winners to join us on CN Tower EdgeWalk. Details P19.

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It may be one of the most valuable documents you’ll ever sign.

Play together. Win together.

Play smart – Go to for tips and tools on how to play responsibly as a group

Executive Editor: Geoff Hogarth (Pioneer) Publisher:

Gordon Green JAG Communications Inc. 905.745.1385

Art Director: Corinne Nyffenegger Writers:

Brian Decker Victoria Ford Chelsea Hellings Brian Jackson Katherine Low Ted McIntyre

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CONVENIENCE WITH VITALITY! CHECK OUT NEW PIONEER VERVE LOCATIONS Spring is a time of renewal, invigorating our spirits as warmer temperatures and spring showers coax new life to emerge all around us. At Pioneer Energy we are bringing new vitality to the gasoline convenience sector this spring with the unveiling of our Verve convenience stores at three locations – two in Mississauga and one in Niagara. These will be the first in a new generation of convenience stores that Tim Hogarth you will start to see emerging throughout the President and CEO Pioneer network. Pioneer Energy What is Verve? The dictionary defines it as enthusiasm, vitality, vigour. With our customers on the go with little time to spare, our Verve stores are designed to deliver convenience in new and exciting ways. You’ll know from the moment you drive up that Verve is different than anything you’ve seen before. We’ve designed the exterior with striking lines, vivid colours as well as the use of river rock. Inside, you will feel a sense of vitality and warmth in ergonomic design. Verve stores are designed with convenience in mind. New partnerships and product selections mean you’ll find more of what you’re looking for, including our ‘Better For You’ products to complement your busy, on-the-go lifestyle. I don’t want to give away too much here, but I invite you to sample our Verve by stopping in at one of these locations – 3015 Thomas Street at Winston Churchill, Mississauga; 150 Lakeshore Road at Highway 10, Mississauga; and 681 South Pelham Road, Welland. Please be sure to let us know what you think online at In the meantime, enjoy this issue of ROAM where we are featuring lots of affordable family fun, from hiking the Bruce Trail to time travelling through historic Ontario small-town downtowns. And don’t miss the Pioneer Great Ontario Bucket List Challenge – you may qualify to win an exciting ROAM adventure and great Bonus Bucks prizes by telling us the most exciting thing that you still want to do in Ontario. Happy Roaming!

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Roam Magazine™ is published by JAG Communications Inc, for and on behalf of Pioneer Energy LP (“Pioneer”). Opinions expressed in the articles appearing in this magazine are those of the authors and Pioneer does not necessarily share those opinions. Pioneer does not endorse third parties who advertise in this magazine or their products and services. Pioneer has not undertaken any independent confirmation that data and facts appearing in the magazine (including, for example, dates and places for any events) are accurate and the reader should independently confirm all such information. The publisher and/or Pioneer Energy and their respective affiliates shall not be liable for any damages or losses, however sustained, as a result of the reliance on or use by a reader or any other person of any information, opinions or products expressed, advertised or otherwise contained in this magazine. All of the information contained in this magazine is subject to change without notice, including, for example, product specifications and prices, and event dates and locations. All Pioneer trademarks appearing in this magazine (including the trademarks “Roam Magazine”, the word “Pioneer” and “Pioneer Bonus Bucks”) are owned by Pioneer Energy LP and when used by a third party are used under license from Pioneer Energy LP. © 2011 No part of Roam Magazine may be reproduced in any format, for whatever use, without the express written approval of Pioneer Energy LP.

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TIME TRAVELLERS by Victoria M. Ford

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Best Shots! Thanks to all for your photo entries Well, winter didn’t show up for most of us. But we’re pleased to see that didn’t stop the creativity of ROAM readers. Here’s a sampling of some of our entries for Give Winter Your Best Shot! Find more entries plus our Grand Prize Winner at

Cheryl B., Collingwood This photo was taken in my backyard on November 21, 2008. I love the way the snow looks on the trees!!!! I made copies of this picture to make my own Christmas cards that year. <

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spring 2012



Cobourgâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s historic Victoria Hall and its stunning clock tower dominate the downtown core. It was built during a boom in the mid1800s, and opened by Prince of Wales, Albert, who later became King Edward VII. Photo courtesy Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership Corporation

Time Travellers By Victoria M. Ford

Join us on a tour of six Ontario small downtowns where history comes to life. Small-town downtowns remain the heart and soul of Ontario. The province is rich with history preserved in the core of myriad small towns spread out across the province. Each offers up stunning architecture, real-life




history, great food and shops and landmarks that evoke ghosts from the past. ROAM invites you to become a time traveller on our tour of six of our favourite small-town downtowns.

COBOURG Nestled along the shores of Lake Ontario, Cobourg is just an hour’s drive east of Toronto. Beyond the natural beauty of the lake and its white beaches, the town is also beautiful in both architecture and attitude. “Clearly the best thing about downtown Cobourg is its beauty,” explains Andrew Hall, Coordinator for Downtown Cobourg. “So much effort goes into the beautification and maintenance of our downtown core. It’s something both the BBIA, the town, and the people themselves are proud of.”

Cobourg hasn’t buried its head in the proverbial historic sand though. Many of the historic buildings house modern and lavish shopping, dining and spa opportunities. But, if you are looking for a real trip to the past, simply book a stay at the town’s original jail, which has been converted to a unique inn – cells, lock downs, and all.

Scan for video tour of Cobourg jail inn

The town’s BBIA has an excellent slate to work with and augment. A visit to Cobourg must include a walk along Division, College, George and Henry streets, where more than the majority of the 106 Ontario Ministry of Culture’s designated Historical Buildings and Sites can be found. The historic buildings that line Cobourg’s main streets transport both locals and visitors alike to a quieter, simpler, more relaxed time. From classic Ontario cottages to stunning examples of Beaux Arts Classical structures, the city has designated large parts of the downtown core and surrounding residential areas as a Heritage Conservation District. Even the Government of Canada has taken note of Cobourg’s distinctive downtown core. Victoria Hall, Cobourg’s original town hall first completed in 1860, is a National Historic Site of Canada.


Located along the Grand River, about 30 minutes north of Guelph, Fergus is about as close to Scotland as you can get this side of the pond, says Deb Daizel, Tourism Coordinator for Elora Fergus Tourism, and volunteer Director with the Fergus BIA. “The countryside, river, lush agricultural land and the historic downtown core and layout is recognizable to many from the old country.” Architecturally speaking, Fergus is rich in Scottish-inspired, historical limestone buildings. “Our rich cultural heritage is etched in the stone buildings of downtown Fergus, created by skilled Scottish masons of the mid-late 1800s; friendly merchants and old-world pubs on the high street could place The Brewhouse on the Grand, a fine example of limestone construction common in Fergus, was built as a tannery in 1851. It has also served as a power plant, a chick hatchery, and the Fergus Police Department. Photo courtesy Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership Corporation spring 2012



you quickly to nearly any neighbourhood back home,” Daiziel continues. When visiting be sure not to miss the post office, Melville Church and the Bredalbane Inn – all grand examples of this town’s history. And if you want to see Fergus in its Scottish glory, visit August 10 -12 when the town hosts Canada’s largest Highland Games.


Best known as the Gateway to the Thousand Islands, Gananoque welcomes guests to celebrate the 200th Anniversary of the War of 1812 with them this year. This is an excellent opportunity to see history come to life, all set in a beautiful backdrop. A visit to this historic town must include a boat cruise. Be sure the one you take makes a stop at Boldt Castle on Heart Island. A structural The Ganonoque Town Hall was built in 1831 for John testament to a real-life love and Henrietta McDonald and family. This heritage building features original cornices, moulding, stair story, the construction of rail and the original family school room. this monument was begun Photo courtesy Ontario Tourism Marketing by George C. Boldt for his Partnership Corporation wife Louise. The castle and surrounding buildings tell a story of what could have been – had tragedy not befallen the couple. Today, the castle continues to draw visitors, and Gananoque is the perfect town from which to begin your trip. Gananoque is perhaps as close to the “old world” as it gets, as a visit to the Pump House proves. There, visitors will read a capstone that proclaims: “LaSalle Landed Here 1673, Frontenac 1673” and more. The town’s homes are truly breathtaking, and harken a time many have forgotten. While examples of stunning Victorian style exist, the frame houses – including examples of Queen Anne Revival – are definitely worth a look. A stroll through the historic downtown core of Dundas includes such gems as The Horn of Plenty, which is located in the former Majestic & Roxy movie theatre building. Originally built in 1929, the theatre operated until 1961, when it became a dance hall (the Club Safari). The Horn of Plenty has been in this location since 1984. All of the buildings on this end of town were destroyed in an 1881 fire, but there’s still plenty of history here.





This quaint valley town is anything but quiet. On weekends you’ll find locals and visitors alike strolling the downtown shops and enjoying the cafes and restaurants in this regular Hollywood stand-in. Beyond being part of the City of Waterfalls (Hamilton), Dundas is perhaps best known for its friendly and welcoming atmosphere. “I think that Dundas is so unique for many reasons, but mostly its sense of community,” offers Phyllis Kraemer, Chair, Downtown Dundas BIA. “It’s a phrase that you hear over and over again when folks are describing Dundas, and it is so very true.” Walking Dundas’ downtown core, visitors can see the evolving history of the town played out in its architecture. A living history museum, Dundas has a number of homes and buildings dating from the 1820s to the early 1900s standing in their architectural glory. When walking the downtown core, be sure to look up, where the facings of the buildings often give away their former purposes. The Carnegie Gallery, for example, draws its name as it was once home to a Carnegie Library. Further up the block, an unassuming apartment shows the façade of a dairy. Almost everywhere you look,

spring 2012



history is making itself known in this valley town. From worker’s cottages to large Victorian and Edwardian homes, Dundas’ heritage buildings have often played starring roles in a number of Hollywood films and TV series.

Historic Dundas post office located in the centre of town.

Feeling lucky? Take a close look and see how many you can spot. Don’t know where to start? You might want to start at the Bangkok Spoon DeLuxe, a downtown Thai restaurant that took over the former De Luxe Restaurant, a 1950s-style diner that has been featured in a number of films and television productions including the NBC drama, The West Wing, and the 2006 Robin Williams film, Man of the Year.


“Our town is dripping with history,” says Lisa Dalpe, Chairman of the BIA. Established in 1850, Paris’ namesake is derived from the nearby deposits of gypsum – which is used to make plaster of Paris. But what makes Paris stand out as an historically important, small town is the cobblestone used in its architecture. While the Finger Lakes Region of New York is famous for its cobblestone buildings, only Paris, Ontario, holds the title of “Cobblestone Capital of Canada.” Cobblestone architecture is a unique building style, in which cobblestones are embedded in mortar to form the finish of both houses and commercial buildings. In Paris, there are examples of this form of building almost everywhere you look: from private residences to the downtown core and places of worship. Instead of booking a bus tour to upstate New York, why not plan a visit to Paris, and see a local take on this architecturally significant building style?

The Grand River runs through the historic downtown core of Paris, the backs of the main street buildings seen from a bridge. The town is renowned for its cobblestone construction. Photo by Karen Piovaty





Queen Elizabeth County’s natural beauty is something that locals easily boast about – and it’s also what draws visitors to its doors each year. Named after General Sir Thomas Picton, the town has a rich history dating back to the Battle of Waterloo. In fact, beyond Waterloo, Picton’s famous past also includes Sir John A. MacDonald – who managed a law office here with his uncle. History comes to life in Picton through its buildings and landmarks. Next to Williamsburg, Virginia, Picton and Queen Elizabeth County are home to the largest example of surviving Loyalist architecture. Easily identifiable by its simplistic and functional nature, Loyalist structures often boast twinned chimneys at either end of the home, large porches, and a central living plan on the main floor with sleeping quarters upstairs. While some Loyalist buildings are made of quarried stone, most were framed structures, which explains why so many have not survived the test of time. A trip to Picton allows you to see and enjoy this unique architectural style in its original format, not reconstructed in a historic town museum setting. Beyond numerous heritage homes, the town’s fairgrounds also houses the Crystal Palace – a scaled down variation of Joseph Paxton’s 1851 Crystal Palace in London. Taking a drive along the Loyalist Parkway (the same one that extends through Gananoque), visitors will see more than 40 archaeological sites and 125 heritage buildings. Visit our online photo gallery to see more of our small town downtowns. spring 2012




Lion’s Head



Flowerpot Islands Tobermory

Wiarton Sauble Beach Owen Sound






Beaver Valley Collingwood


Blue Mountains

Flesherton Lavender

Mount Forest

Dufferin Hi-Land


Hiking the Trails in Meaford


Arthur Orangeville

Caledon Hills

Caledon Village


Waterloo Guelph Kitchener Cambridge





Crawford Lake Mount Nemo (Milton)

427 Toronto Milton 407


Burlington Brantford 403



Hagersville Cayuga Port Dover




Webster’s Falls Greensville (Hamilton)



St. Catharines

the family guide to

exploring the bruce trail By Katherine Low


he Bruce Trail is one of Ontario’s most inspiring and beautiful natural settings. If you haven’t yet explored it, what are you waiting for? There is no better time than spring in Ontario to get out and discover the beauty of the Bruce. And while the trail may seem daunting at an impressive 900 kilometres (500 miles), it couldn’t be easier to plan your first trek. With nine distinct sections stretching from Niagara Falls to Tobermory, you can find the location that best suits your family and set out from there. Don’t forget to pack comfortable shoes, a hat, sunscreen, water bottles, lunch and bug spray – and you’re on your way! spring 2012



where are we anyway?

Scan for video overview

The Bruce Trail is Canada’s oldest and longest footpath and it begins along the Niagara Escarpment, a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve. Along the way you will see breathtaking views from towering cliffs, beautiful beaches, pristine waterfalls, wildlife habitats and historic sites.

Nearby the trail there are fantastic family dining options, attractions and resorts, so you are never far from a welldeserved reward after a good hike. Treks can range from an easy afternoon loop to a full-month hike of the trail from start to finish. There are many access points with parking along the trail and most hikes are suitable for beginners (including kids!). Avid hiker Ellen Griffiths has been exploring the Bruce Trail since she first visited the Flowerpot Islands as part of a high school geography field trip. “It’s like no other place in Ontario,” she says. “Every time I head out on the trail, I see a totally different patch than the one I saw before – the wildlife, the scenery, the nature – it’s unbelievable how different each segment can be.”

Flowerpot Islands




And while Griffiths has trekked longer distances on the northern stretch and camped out, she also takes advantage of day hikes close to cities. “It’s so convenient and we really are very lucky to have such a great resource in our backyards,” she says. “I see a lot of families on the routes closer to urban centres just out for the day, to have a picnic. It’s very accessible.”

where to go

Webster’s Falls

Each of the nine trail sections has its own hiking club and many offer guided day hikes. Check for listings, maps, guides, itineraries and hike resources before you go. One of the most popular routes for families is found along the Iroquoia section of the trail – the Webster’s Falls Side Trail in Greensville (Hamilton). At 21 metres (69 feet) tall, Webster’s Falls is a beautiful tiered waterfall and is one of the trail’s most popular attractions. Hikers can also see the Tiffany, Sherman and Tew’s Falls along the three-kilometre trek, as well as a reconstructed 15th-century Iroquoian Village in the Crawford Lake Conservation Area. Meaford native Zachary Kuehner is on expert on hiking the Bruce Trail. “My favourite stretch is on the Bruce Peninsula, where the terrain changes from riverside walks and intermittent farmers’ fields to solid forest, rocky plateaus, huge cliffs and great views of the Georgian Bay coastline,” he says. Kuehner recommends the camping at Cyprus Lake but warns that bookings should be made well in advance as it is one of the most popular areas for families. He also says it’s worth making a stop in nearby Lion’s Head, Wiarton and Hope Bay for spring 2012



great treks and family-friendly towns. These hiking hotspots offer great access to the trails but also plenty of other activities to keep young ones going. The Devil’s Monument Loop is a family favourite within Kuehner’s stretch. This two-kilometre loop in the Peninsula section features a maple forest, breathtaking views of the escarpment vistas and a boulder beach, perfect for an afternoon swim. Follow the trail to the escarpment edge for a stunning vista. can see the distant horizon, the blue waters of the bay... 16



“From every viewpoint one can see the distant horizon, the blue waters of the bay, the white boulder beaches, the birch and aspen above them, and then the Escarpment itself which rises some hundred feet above the bay,” say veteran Bruce Trail volunteers, Clayton and Anne Roberts. According to the Peninsula Bruce Trail Club, the Devil’s Monument is a sea stack formed 5,500 years ago by glacial Lake Nipissing, an ancestor of Lake Huron when meltwater covered most of the Bruce Peninsula. The largest land-based flowerpot on the Bruce, the stack today stands 14 metres (46 feet) tall. The Mount Nemo Conservation Area is another family favourite as it offers beautiful views of Lake Ontario and Toronto’s CN Tower. Kids will also love checking out The Grotto or the Hole in the Wall, where they can climb in and out of deep rock crevices. Beamers’ Falls Conservation Area is a hotspot for bird watching during the spring and fall migrations. If you are packing a stroller, head to the Crawford Lake Conservation Area Trails, the best place for smooth and flat exploring.

what’s for lunch? Sometimes kids really do know best – when out hiking get back to basics with easy-to-pack sandwiches like peanut butter and jam. Or pack tomatoes into a travel mug to keep their shape, then slice over grated cheese for fresh, tasty sandwiches. Trail mix is always a favourite – swap Peanut M&Ms for chocolate chips for extra protein and mix with raisins, sunflower seeds, soy nuts and dried fruit for a quick snack. After a long day of trekking and sightseeing along the Bruce, a delicious meal is well-deserved and incredibly satisfying. At the start of the trail, the Niagara area is a hotspot for both family dining and fine dining paired with delicious Ontario wine. In fact, many parts of the trail wind right next to Niagara wineries – so why not stop in for a bite to eat? Hillebrand Winery offers a great tasting menu so you can pair different wines with delicious courses and learn about the wine-making process: On the other end of the trail is Coal Shed Willies restaurant in Wiarton – a casual family restaurant with fish and chips so good they are legendary all over the trail! Plus, the stunning view of Colpoy’s Bay doesn’t hurt – a worthy reward after all that time on the path:

after a long day of trekking and sightseeing... a delicious meal is well-deserved... wondering where to stay? Wondering where to stay while hiking the Bruce? Check out some of our favourites at

Albion Falls spring 2012



Qualify to

WIN! We all have certain things we want to do before… well, you know. Tell us what’s #1 on your Ontario Bucket List, and qualify to join me at the top of Toronto this spring at the CN Tower EdgeWalk attraction. Imagine yourself 356 metres (1,168 feet) above the streets of Toronto – hands-free! – on a 1.5-metre (5-foot) walkway. Don’t worry, I’ll be there to grab you if anything goes wrong. Kidding … everyone is attached to an overhead safety rail via a trolley and harness system. The walk, including a photo of the ROAM EdgeWalk team, will be highlighted in a special feature article in our Summer 2012 edition.

So tell me what ’s at the top of your list.

*No purchase necessary. For full contest rules and regulations visit

It must be something you can do in Ontario, and should be an activity open to anyone in reasonable health. If your idea is selected, you will qualify for a spot on our EdgeWalk team. Plus, we will write a feature article that includes your Bucket List idea.

Enter online at All participants will be entered into a draw for one of 3 - $250 Pioneer Bonus Bucks giveaways.

Gordon Green, Publisher – ROAM Ontario spring 2012



Magical Marauders! By Brian Decker

It was a Dickens of a year for the McMaster Marauders football team and their fans, serving up the best of times and the worst of times. When all was said and done, 2011 was simply magical for quarterback Kyle Quinlan and the team he led to the university’s firstever national championship.

McMaster’s star quarterback says he’s not exactly sure when he came to see that this was a very special team, but notes it was well before his team captured the coveted Vanier Cup in a double-overtime thriller. He knows equally well that the realization did not come to him until after a disastrous week in September that saw the fourth-year quarterback get into an altercation with police that led to a three-game suspension. Somewhere between those distressing lows and thrilling highs, Quinlan’s team gelled, making history by winning the national championship.

Scan for video highlights

their conference’s Defensive Player of the Year (fifth-year linebacker Ryan Chmielewski) and Most Valuable Player (third-year receiver Mike DiCroce). But while they looked like beasts by the time the playoffs were in full swing, it was only weeks earlier that it looked like a season full of hope and expectation might turn into a write-off and a black mark in the program’s history. “At some point, we all realized how special the team was,” says Quinlan, a fourth-year economics student who has many pundits buzzing about him becoming the first Canadian starting quarterback in the CFL in over 15 years. “You don’t get to play with a team that special in your career very often - I think a lot of guys realized that.” On paper, the results certainly indicate the Marauders were a special team in 2011. They lost just one game and boasted

not going all the way if we somehow beat Western in that game.” But perhaps even more importantly, the stage was set for the Marauders to learn a lot about themselves as a group of young men. That night, following the loss to the Mustangs, Quinlan’s altercation violated the McMaster student code of conduct, leading to his suspension and casting doubt on a season that just hours earlier had held so much promise.

It’s a time Quinlan considers “the lowest point” of his life, and the ongoing case The season’s first game was is still before the courts. But a dominant 26-2 victory somehow, instead of the over the Queen’s Gaels, a incident tearing the team win that made Mac look like apart, it brought them closer a legitimate championship together, something that favourite. That was thrown started translating into wins. into doubt just six days “People talk about ‘football later when the Marauders family’ a lot, but my team were run over by a potent showed that they truly cared Western running attack about me,” says Quinlan. A and looked outmatched native of South Woodslee, in a 48-21 defeat. FootballON, Quinlan played for the wise, the game helped the Essex Ravens in the Ontario Marauders gauge where their Varsity Football League weaknesses were and what alongside McMaster receiver they needed to work on. Brad Fochesato. Now in his “We weren’t as good then as fourth year with McMaster, we thought we were. That Quinlan says he’s never felt humbled us and I think that more at home. helped us in the long run,” “They were there for me and says McMaster offensive supported me all the way.” coordinator Jon Behie. “We’re spring 2012


21 of the most thrilling championship football games in recent memory. “They had his back through some pretty tough times. It wasn’t about football,” says Behie. “They knew he messed up. It was about having his back, and being there for him as a friend and teammate.” The results that followed in the suspension’s wake were remarkable: Quinlan’s backup, Marshall Ferguson, stepped in to lead the team to three wins over Windsor, Guelph and Waterloo. By the end of Quinlan’s suspension, instead of the doomsday scenario many had feared, the Marauders were now 4-1 and about to get their most dynamic player back. On Oct. 6, Quinlan returned to the starting lineup as Mac took on the Toronto Varsity Blues, with nobody quite sure how he would fare upon his return to the field. Would he show signs of rust? Would the legal procedures distract him from his play? Would the Marauders be better off staying with Ferguson, who had proved to be nothing, if not serviceable? The answer was obvious




well before the game was over. Quinlan threw for a career-best 455 yards and five touchdowns in just three quarters of play, leading the Marauders to a 50-14 win, leaving no doubt he was ready to play.

win their first Yates Cup since 2003. They followed that up with a 45-21 win over Acadia in the Uteck Bowl, giving McMaster its first berth in the national championship game since the 1967 Canadian College Bowl, a game McMaster lost 10-9 to Alberta. By the time the Marauders reached the Vanier Cup, things looked to be going almost too well. Taking a 23-0 lead over the favoured Rouge et Or at halftime, they looked in control, prepared and well on their way to victory.

Adversity struck almost immediately Pioneer President Tim Hogarth, in the second half. An left, prepares to present Yates interception and punt Cup after the Marauders take the return led to Laval provincial championship. He’s assisted by Gord Grace, President touchdowns, and the of Ontario University Athletics. tables were suddenly turned. The momentum McMaster had gained suddenly made them look unbeatable. Two more regular season wins (A 25-6 win over Laurier and a 51-24 crushing of Ottawa, both supposed contenders) closed out the regular season, and the Marauders charged through the playoffs, beating Queen’s 40-13 at home and crushing a suddenly overmatched Western team 41-19 to

But given what the team had been through in 2011, that they responded to adversity with composure and execution should come as no surprise. And after Tyler Crapigna’s 22-yard field goal in double overtime gave the school its first-ever national championship, the books were closed on what was one of the most thrilling championship football games in recent memory.


By Ted McIntyre

BraeBen Golf Club 10th Hole. This family-friendly course is located in Mississauga, bordering with Brampton.




Our guide to family-friendly golf courses that favour all levels of talent and income.

Golf is meant to be challenging. If that were not the case, holes would be a foot wide, fairways and greens would be devoid of sand traps and the only water on the course would flow from coolers and fountains. The gameâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s many challenging features, however, often frighten newcomers and youngsters from embracing the sportâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;or even participating in it. With a difficult economy, more and more golf facilities are recognizing the need to attract entire families to the activity. And that means addressing two of the biggest hurdles: time and expense.

Fortunately, a handful of Ontario courses are leading the charge.

spring 2012



Deerhurst Resort This sprawling 800-acre retreat boasts the region’s most underrated four-star golf course, the spectacular Tom McBroom/Bob Cupp-designed Deerhurst Highlands. But it’s the resort’s short course—the par-64 Lakeside—that makes this an ideal family golf destination. Although just 4,600 yards, the scenic, well-conditioned Lakeside is far from a pushover, with water coming into play on several holes. But the short distances between tees and greens is perfect for beginners. And here’s the great part for families – Lakeside offers free golf for any five to 12-year-old when accompanied by a paying adult. The Lakeside fees are modest, topping out at $70, and you can save more with early twilight and sunset rates as well as special junior rates. When the golf clubs are put away, there’s a myriad of other options at Deerhurst to keep everyone entertained, from a vast assortment of water activities to tennis, biking, fitness, Hummer tours, paintball, horse riding and nightly entertainment (Don’t forget this is where Shania Twain got her start!). There’s also the resort’s Shizen Spa, if your body needs a little recovery time afterward!

Looking for golf that plays in under an hour? Check out our Mini-Golf Guide online:




Chedoke GC (Martin Course) Here’s a Hamilton gem that’s perfect for families, and all skill levels. Located a few minutes from the city core, and easily accessed off Highway 403, Chedoke Municipal Golf Course features two 18-hole layouts. The oldest and most family friendly is the Martin Course. Dating to 1896, the design measures just 5,745 yards from the tips. While it’s not as demanding as its sister course, the Beddoe, if offers a thorough test through an undulating, well-treed bit of terrain that has long drawn youngsters and entire families to its scenic fairways. Check out the views of the city and Bay from some of the upper holes along the escarpment. Juniors pay just $20 for 18 holes, while their parents will pay no more than $37 to accompany them.

Chedoke is a Hamilton gem that’s perfect for families, and all skill levels. BraeBen Golf Club Centrally located near the Mississauga-Brampton border, BraeBen was built on top of a former landfill site. The undulating, challenging Ted Baker design boasts prime-time green fees as low as $46 for walkers, making it one of the best values in the GTA. But it’s even more celebrated for its award-winning junior program, rated No. 1 in Canada by Golf Canada’s Future Links program, with nearly 400 participants in 2011. The club is also running a Junior Golf Development Centre—an initiative of the Golf Association of Ontario—and features some outstanding game-improvement facilities, including a nine-hole Academy course. BraeBen embraces the entire family by combining its junior clinics with Family Night, summer camps, a Girls Club and a popular junior golf league on Sunday nights. Capping the lineup is possibly the most popular ladies’ league in Ontario, where the Academy course is reserved Tuesday and Wednesday evenings for ladies only, with nine holes being paired with socializing, dinner and drinks. continued>>

spring 2012



Shelburne Golf & Country Club If you want to learn about a golf course’s philosophy, talk to the guy who runs the golf program. In the case of Shelburne Golf & Country Club, situated north of Orangeville on the western edge of the Niagara Escarpment, that guy would be CPGA professional Sam Young. Boasting as long a list of junior instruction accolades as anyone in Ontario, the nationally acclaimed Young has seen his students win five provincial championships in the past seven years. But he also excels at basic training—not simply promoting proper golf swing fundamentals, but also golf management, the etiquette of the game, the psychological approach and health and nutrition. Young also provides lessons for adults at scenic Shelburne, where green fees cap out at a mere $44.

Royal Ontario Golf Club Located in Hornby, just north of Oakville, is another favourite of the Executive Women’s Golf Association, which likes the fact that almost all power carts have ball washers aboard. Among criteria that the EWGA uses to recommend courses, Royal Ontario’s par 3s are all under 150 yards, and there are full-service washrooms available at the clubhouse and one on the course halfway through round. For players aged 12 and under, there’s the KaneffGolf Kids Club, where juniors receive a free membership card and discounts on food, range balls and even play golf at no cost.

The Executive Women’s Golf Association provides a list of women-friendly facilities on its website:




Rockway Golf Course A favourite among members of the Executive Women’s Golf Association (EWGA), this respected Kitchener facility has been home to such Hall of Fame golfers as Moe Norman, Gerry Kesselring and Gary Cowan. Wellmanicured and eminently playable from all tees, Rockway added a chipping and putting complex to its 77-yearold layout in 1998. Its golf academy includes clinics for beginners and women-only, while the course’s green fees max out at a modest $40. “Although we have a list of criteria that we cover when rating the courses, we also take into account a club’s interest and flexibility in making the overall experience a pleasant one,” notes EWGA Canada Treasurer Cindy Pereira. “Some courses, like Rockway, take that little extra time to ensure this!”

Some courses, like Rockway, take that little extra time to ensure a pleasant overall experience.

Honourable mentions: Near-misses to our list included the public Cardinal RedCrest Course in Newmarket and Glen Cedars in Pickering—two favourites of the Executive Women’s Golf Association—as well as the following private facilities: RattleSnake Point in Milton, Cutten Fields in Guelph (which features “kids’ tees”) and the Granite Club in Stouffville. —Author Ted McIntyre in an award-winning Canadian golf writer and former editor of Ontario Golf and GolfStyle Magazine spring 2012



beam me CAR TECH: By Brian Jackson

Ford’s Sync AppLink For many Canadians toting smartphones into their car it’s hard to resist picking up that device to play a quick game of Angry Birds, or switch to the next song




on your Internet radio app while you’re staring at an endless string of red taillights stretching down the highway. With Sync AppLink from Ford Motor

Company, drivers can control more of their smartphone apps simply by speaking commands to their car – it’s a far less distracting way to use your applications.

up Scotty

Smartphone apps chart new frontier in controlling your ride. If you’ve ever locked your keys in your car, you’ve probably wished there was an easier solution than calling a service truck to bring over a Slim Jim. Today, just like many problems faced in the modern world, there’s an app for that.

Ford’s Sync AppLink

Auto makers are providing the convenience of controlling newer models from your smartphone, unlocking doors with the tap of a screen without a whisper of embarrassment. And that’s just the beginning – you can control your car’s entertainment system, navigation display and more. Here’s how four different manufacturers are taking things typically controlled from behind the wheel and putting them into your pocket. AppLink ties into Ford’s Sync Bluetooth connectivity system and enables voicecontrolled access to apps available for iPhone, Android and BlackBerry. The app currently supports two Internet radio apps (Pandora,

which is not available in Canada and Stitcher, which is) and OpenBreak, a Twitter client. Though currently only available for the Fiesta, Ford will include it in 10 new 2012 models such as the F-150, Expedition, Super Duty,

Fusion, and Mustang. Ford drivers merely need to download the compatible apps, such as Stitcher, and the AppLink functionality is already built into it. Then they simply step into their spring 2012



...drivers can control more of their smartphone apps simply by speaking... car, which has a Bluetooth pairing connection with their phone, and ask for the app by name, and Sync will identify it on the phone. More Applink enabled programs are coming soon, with 2,500 developers having registered with Ford to include the functionality. Future apps ranging from entertainment to health categories are possible, according to Ford, including one that helps diabetics with insulin pumps monitor the operation of their device.

General Motors OnStar RemoteLink General Motors drivers have been given the option of OnStar services in their vehicles for several years now, making use of the service’s location tracking, 24/7 access to live assistance, and hands-free features thanks to voice commands. Last year it launched OnStar RemoteLink, the mobile app component available on iPhone and Android platforms that connects drivers with their car, no matter where they might be. It works with more than 20 models, including Cadillac, Chevrolet, Buick and GMC models. Not only can it lock or unlock doors remotely, but it can inform drivers

RemoteLink has been adopted by more than 23,000 Canadians since its February Using OnStar’s voice-enabled launch, and has features, social network seen more addicts can even update than their status on Facebook or choose to “Like” their friend’s 68,000 status. Drivers can also plot a interactions, according to GM. Add that to the 130,000 route to a destination using users south of the border the app’s mapping system, and 3.5 million interactions and then send it to their car’s turn-by-turn navigation completed there since October of 2010 and that’s display. Or subscribers can quickly call an OnStar advisor one popular smartphone for assistance, even when not app. in their cars. how much gas in the tank, how efficient fuel economy was on their last trip, display oil levels, or even start the engine. It brings features once thought worthy of the Batmobile into the pocket of any smartphone user.

My BMW Remote

Nissan Leaf iPhone app The Nissan Leaf is one of the first widely available 100 per cent electric cars that Canadians can drive off the lot with zero amount of tailpipe emissions. Drivers who want to feel like they are driving a futuristic vehicle with this electric motor car will no doubt take advantage of Nissan’s Carwings service that offers apps for iPhone, Android, and BlackBerry. Since charging up your electric battery is a little bit more involved

than pulling into the next gas station, Nissan’s app focuses on giving drivers information about the status of their battery. In addition to the percentage of charge left in your battery, the app will estimate how far that charge will actually take you. It will also direct you to the nearest charging stations (which are continually updated). Drivers can also control when their Leaf sucks up the most electricity, so it is done at hours when the cost will be minimal. Canadians may appreciate

the Leaf for its name, but they’ll really like the ability to adjust climate control settings from their smartphone and heat up the car before getting in on cold winter mornings.

My BMW Remote Drivers of these Germanengineered, luxury-brand cars certainly wouldn’t want to be left out in the cold when it comes to having the latest remote access features beamed into their smartphones. And so long as they have an iPhone or Android phone, they won’t be – they can even heat up their car at any distance by accessing the remote start and climate control features. Connecting to BMW’s ConnectedDrive service, My BMW Remote allows drivers a slew of convenient

features and perks. Never be lost in a parking lot again, BMW promises. Just use this app to remotely flash your headlights to quickly spot your car. Or plan your route for your next drive from the comfort of your home using the app’s tie-in to Google Local Search, which displays businesses and other locations of interest on an interactive map, and send the directions to your car’s navigation system for turn-by-turn directions when you’re ready to get behind the wheel.

For BMW owners worried that others might be able to tap into their car’s controls from another iPhone, the Germans have taken security into consideration. Users registering vehicles with the service must prepare two authentication questions and a PIN code to restrict access. For those of you lucky enough to have multiple “beamers” parked in your driveway, you can manage two or more cars from the same app. Just connect and manage your vehicles under the settings menu. spring 2012 | 33



Spring By Chelsea Hellings

Get out and explore Ontarioâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s (secret and not-so-secret) gardens. spring 2012



Until last year, the closest I had come to a garden of any sort was within the spellbinding pages of the childhood classic, The Secret Garden, in which author Frances Hodgson Burnett creates a mysterious and magical place. While visiting the Royal Botanical Gardens (RBG) in Burlington, I remembered the magical garden of those pages so clearly, and was amazed that such a place existed so close to home. There are many hidden (and not-so-hidden) gardens for you and your family to enjoy across Ontario, and there’s no time like spring to start exploring. The Royal Botanical Gardens (RBG), located on the border of Hamilton- Burlington, features more than 40,000 plants across the five major garden exhibition areas. With 80 years of history, the RBG serves as a tourism site for botanical enthusiasts and children connecting with nature for the first time, as well as playing a vital role in the ecological sustenance and plant preservation of the region (the RBG stewards more than 2,300 acres of diverse ecosystems). The Rock Garden alone features more than 70,000 spring flowering bulbs and 40,000 summer annuals. The Centennial Rose Garden within Hendrie Park boasts an impressive collection of antique and hybrid roses (don’t be surprised if you see busy beavers hard at work). The RBG always has a full calendar (including a Chocolate exhibit on from late January to April 2012 for those with a sweet tooth!) beyond the permanent collections, gardens, and nature sanctuaries. To get a better idea of timing on specific blooms you want to see, visit and look under Visitor Information. Tulips In Bloom

Scan for online tulips video

Tulips and spring are practically inseparable, and the RBG dazzles visitors each year with 150,000 blooms. The bulbs, planted in the Fall, are donated by Holland as a thank you for Canada’s role in the country’s Second World War liberation. If you’re looking for a special Mother’s Day getaway, tiptoe




through the tulips and on to the Mother’s Day Brunch on Sunday, May 13 from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Ottawa hosts the world’s largest tulip displays during the Canadian Tulip Festival, showcasing 50 varieties and nearly one million blooms across the National Capital Region. The first Tulip Festival took place in 1953, the idea stemming from a gift of 100,000 tulips to Ottawa from Princess Juliana of the Netherlands in 1945 in recognition of Canada’s role in the liberation of the Netherlands during World War II. This year the festival is marking its 60th anniversary from May 4 to May 21, 2012. Garden and Flower Festivals Across Ontario The Niagara Parks Botanical Gardens are the outdoor classroom for the students of the Niagara Parks Commission School of Horticulture, serving as an apprenticeship for the students under the direction of staff and alumni. The Gardens, which are free and open to the public seven days a week, encompass 100 acres of beautifully maintained landscapes.

Scan for Butterfly conservatory

Also located on the grounds of the Niagara Parks Botanical Gardens is the Butterfly Conservatory, which features more than 2,000 free-flying butterflies of around 45 different species. The Butterfly Conservatory (the largest of its kind in North America) mirrors the tropical conditions of a rainforest with humidity kept at 75 percent. Few of us can dispute the joys we had as a child when catching a butterfly in our hands (even if briefly) and imagining its journey to that very place, your hands. A trip to the Butterfly Conservatory is guaranteed to bring a smile (and perhaps a memory) to your face. Please note that there is an admission fee for the Butterfly Conservatory. For more information, please visit:

Also a must-see within the Niagara Parks Commission region is the Floral Clock (picture) located at 14004 Niagara Parkway in Queenston. A popular attraction, the intricate design on the clock is created using up to 16,000 carpet bedding plants. The floral design, which is changed twice a year, was built in 1950 by Ontario Hydro. Have a peek around the back of the tower – if the door is open you can see the Westminster chimes that mark the quarter hour. spring 2012



You are not alone if greenery is not the first thing you think of when planning outings in and around Toronto; however, there are gardens and greenery hiding throughout the city for you to enjoy with friends and family. The Casa Loma Gardens is one of these hidden gems in the middle of the city. The renovation of the gardens was a partnership between the Kiwanis Club of Casa Loma and the Garden Club of Toronto. The five-year project began in 1987 and now the public is able to enjoy the fruits of that labour across more than four acres of specialty gardens. The Casa Loma Gardens open on May 1 and remain open through to the end of October.


The Toronto Music Garden is a truly magical experience located within downtown Toronto at the Harbourfront Centre. Designed by international cellist sensation Yo Yo Ma and landscape designer Julie Moir Messervy, this garden combines the beauty of nature and love of music to provide an enchanting experience in the heart of the city. Take a guided tour or take your own audio tour to hear the relationship between Bach’s Suite No. 1 in G Major for unaccompanied cello, BMV 1007 and various parts of the garden. Also of interest may be the free music events held on Thursday evenings or Sunday late afternoons as part of the Summer Music in the Garden series. The performance series is scheduled to begin in late June, but the 2012 schedule has not yet been posted. Check the website for further details as we get closer to Spring: For orchid enthusiasts, the Bruce Peninsula Orchid Festival in June is notto-be-missed. Located within the town of Tobermory on the northern Bruce Peninsula, this festival is filled with events to experience the delicate blossoms of the largest family of flowering plants. The tours are kept small to avoid trampling, so you can enjoy the wondrous flowers within an intimate setting. To learn more, visit ROAM takes you to some lesser known spring garden spectacles – the Bruce Peninsula’s Larkwhistle where spring perennials are a sight to behold; and the Corby Rose Garden in Belleville.





Hamilton - Now through April 15 Chocolate: The Exhibition

The story behind chocolate is every bit as rich and captivating as the sweet itself. With Chocolate: The Exhibition, visitors will indulge in a captivating journey, from chocolate’s ancient beginnings to today’s multi-billion dollar industry.

TORONTO - April 13-15 SING! The Toronto Vocal Arts Festival

Welland - May 18 through September IlluminAqua: Sixth Anniversary Season

IlluminAqua is a unique blend of music, fire, and fountains all set on the waters of the Old Welland Canal. Live performances take place on a floating stage surrounded by floating fire pods. Tickets available online.


TORONTO - June 1-3 Waterfront Blues

Canada’s first-ever a cappella festival features free and paid events at the Toronto Harbourfront Centre.

In its eight year, Waterfront Blues in Woodbine Park in the Beaches continues to grow featuring a range of top Blues performers from across Canada.

Grimsby - April 21 Raptorfest

DUNDAS - June 1-3 Dundas International Buskerfest

An all-day event dedicated to Ontario’s birds of prey. Get up close and personal with live birds, reptiles and animals at Peach King Centre on Livingstone Ave. Admission is free.

ontario wide earth Day - April 21-28

Various activities across Ontario are a great way for you and your kids to learn how you can have a positive impact on our environment. For a schedule of events by community, visit:


Greensville - May 12 Greensville Optimists Fishing Derby

Tagged fish will be worth $50 each, and anglers will be given an opportunity to win a Hamilton Conservation Authority Family Prize Package. The event runs from 6 a.m. to 11 a.m.

ontario wide - May 12 Science Rendezvous

This event, dedicated to taking science to the streets, presents hands-on activities, demonstrations, and explosive experiments designed for people of all ages. There are activities at various centres across the province. Look for one near you at:

The town’s BIA promises three days of non-stop laughter for adults and kids alike – and it’s all free. The event attracts the best buskers and pavement performers from around the world.

BURLINGTON - June 14-17 Sound of Music Festival

Four days of fabulous music on various stages at Burlington’s Waterfront Spencer Smith Park. Event includes a midway and food concessions. Admission is free.

WINDSOR - June 15-17, 22-24 Carrousel of Nations

Billed as a fusion of cultures, this huge outdoor and indoor event was voted Ontario’s eighth favourite festival in voting last year. Live entertainment, cooking demonstrations, fabulous cuisine and a Children’s Village are among the highlights. Visit the ROAM Ontario

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Spring 2012 Exploring the Bruce Trail; Great Ontario Bucket List Challenge; Magical Marauders; Family Links (Golf feature); It's Blooming Sp...

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