Page 1

the summer bucket list issue


Best Bets for A


Green YourBeauty

Routine back to

JACK The Legend and the Legacy


OYSTERS a beginner’s guide

Publisher: Karen Brochu Editor-in-Chief: Jessica Minervini


Editorial Department Executive Editor: Nikita Shah Managing Editor: Gina Macdonald




Sharp-Dressed Man


Changing Lanes


Home Sweet Home


Looking back and moving forward in honour of Jack Layton

Features Editor: Danielle Barron Arts & Entertainment Editor: Amelia Chester Food & Drink Editor: Lauren Jerome Health & Beauty Editor: Carly Brown Lifestyle Editor: Jennifer Martin

What two neighbourhood alternative schools have to offer when mainstream education isn’t the right fit

Chief Copy Editor: Cassie MacKenzie Copy Editors: Stacey Philipp, Lauren Sena, Rachel Kovach, Sarah Francis Fact Checker: Fowler Martens Art Department Creative Director: Sarah Beaudin

We talk to suit expert Saul Korman to give us the inside scoop on wedding season.

Art Director: Christie Belfiore Photo Editor: Sarah Francis Production Manager: Laura Couperthwaite Designers: Rachel Kovach, Joshua Legere, Katy Littlejohn, Aleathia Marshalleck, Samantha Meiler, Amy Postma, Nikita Shah, Erin Woods Sales & Marketing Department

Summer Odds ’n Ends

Sales Director: Leonicka Valcius Sales Manager: Amanda Grinstead Senior Sales Rep: Adam Abbas Marketing Manager: Ariel Kroon Senior Marketing Rep: Elissa Smith Marketing Reps: Delaney Caulfield, Maya Nadeem Editor-in-Chief: Stephanie Furlan

Letter from the Editor Talking Back My Introduction to North American Camping Culture

Web Designer: Samantha Meiler Managing Editor: Stacey Philipp Arts & Entertainment Editor: Katy Littlejohn Food & Drink Editor: Cassandre Cadieux Health & Wellness Editor: Amy Postma Lifestyle Editor: Megan Patterson Chief Copy Editors: Cassandre Cadieux, Sarah El-Riffaey

4 5 64

cover photo by: Daniel Molella cover models: Laura Beaudin & Jessica Jerome

On the Danforth is published twice a year by students of the Book and Magazine Publishing Program at Centennial College. This magazine would not be possible without the support of Centennial Book and Magazine Publishing faculty. Printed by Maracle 4 | Summer Bucket List

Back to Jack

Table of Contents Food & Drink

Arts & Entertainment

A Beginner’s Guide to Oysters

One Night on the Danforth



To Market,To Market

Climbing to New Heights



Bartender Picks

Life Art


18 22 24

Ariel Sushi

OTD Summer Playlist



Picky Eaters DIY Ice Cream

Health & Beauty The Best of Chinese Medicine


Patios to Poolside


Paddle Through Summer


Revitalized for the First Time


Green Your Beauty Routine


photo by: Sarah Beaudin

For mommies on the go –how to paper your skin while in the sunny spotlight.

On the Danforth


From the Editor would I work hard every day to get back to feeling healthy, but I would also work to determine the things that my disease had held me back from, and try to accomplish them as well. So I made a bucket list. Now this bucket list wasn’t put together in the traditional sense. In no way was I creating a list before I “kicked the bucket;” rather, it was my Summer Bucket List. That summer my list consisted of things such as recovering from major surgery, finishing a 2,500 piece puzzle of Marilyn Monroe, going to see a ballet, and most impressively, conquering my fear of heights by jumping out of a plane at 10,000 feet in the air!

When I think of summer, I always think back to my childhood: barbeques in backyards, our parents drinking wine and listening to Bob Marley, us kids running around making up dances, and swinging on the swing set until the poles came out of the ground. To me that’s what summer is all about. De-stressing, soaking in the sun, and spending time outdoors with family and friends until the whine of mosquitoes drives us inside. In April 2009, however, the “ease of the summer breeze” was no longer my main focus. After struggling with a severe case of Crohn’s Disease for seven years, my doctors told me it was time to have surgery. This meant that my summer would be spent recovering and paying special attention to my health. Despite being only 20 years old at the time, I took the whole experience as a reason to re-evaluate my life. Not only

Since that summer, I’ve continued to take advantage of whatever “oomph” we get from those few months of self-proclaimed vacation time and have made an annual Summer Bucket List. Throughout the years I’ve crossed off a lot of things: getting a tattoo on my foot; going to Las Vegas for my 21st birthday; attending a two-week creative writing retreat in Burgundy, France; graduating from university; and, most importantly, making the decision to come to Centennial College for Book and Magazine Publishing rather than teachers’ college. (And look how that worked out for me!) As I begin to compose my 2012 Summer Bucket List, I think of you, OTD readers, and how I and the OTD staff can help you create your own list. So, in this issue, we put together your very own, Danforth-inspired, Summer Bucket List filled with new and exciting ways to discover the neighbourhood you live in. From DIY ice cream recipes for the family, to finding that perfectly tailored suit, to discovering live local music— we’ve got it all! So explore the pages of ideas we’ve put together for you in the Summer 2012 issue of On the Danforth. I hope it will inspire you to create and add your own exciting items to your Summer Bucket List. I know it will for me!

Jessica Minervini Editor-in-Cheif 6 | Summer Bucket List

t alking back

W h a t ’s o n y o u r s u m m e r b u c k e t l i s t ?

Bike across the city.”

A m a n d a G r i n s t e a d ( S a l e s M a n a g e r, 2 7 ) Take up jogging, take a wine course, make jewellery…

be more decisive.”

L a u r e n J e r o m e ( F o o d & D r i n k E d i t o r, 2 6 ) “

Climb Mt. Logan (Canada’s highest peak).”

J e n n M a r t i n ( L i f e s t y l e E d i t o r, 2 5 ) “

Take acting classes.”

N i k i t a S h a h ( E xe c u t i v e E d i t o r, 2 2 )

(opposite page) photo by: Daniella Bumbacco // photos contributed by staff


J o s h L e g e r e ( D e s i g n e r, 2 2 ) “

Start a dance craze!”

A my P o s t m a ( O n l i n e H e a l t h & We l l n e s s E d i t o r, 2 6 ) “

Go to a Toronto beach.”

L e o n i c k a Va l c i u s ( S a l e s D i r e c t o r, 22) “

Discover the Toronto Islands.”

K a r e n B r o c h u ( P u b l i s h e r, 2 3 ) “

Swim with dolphins and catch the


F o w l e r M a r t e n s ( F a c t C h e c ke r, 2 3 )

On the Danforth


photo by: Sarah Beaudin

• exploring new foods: oysters, sushi, and gluten-free, dairy-free, yeast-free options • the best drinks on the Danforth • recipes for homemade ice cream

Food & Drink

in this section:

On the Danforth


A Beginner’s Guide to

OYST 10 | Summer Bucket List



TERS How to properly appreciate these aphrodisiacal molluscs by LAUREN JEROME

On the Danforth

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While some people

While some people cringe at the thought of sucking back these live, slippery delicacies, others get all giddy at the sight of a shucking tool— and with good reason. Often misunderstood by the inexperienced diner, oysters are like fine wines: dynamic and complex. Plus, how could you argue against a shellfish that turns a common piece of sand into a pearl?

Whether you’re trying to impress a date, expand your seafood horizons, or cross one off the bucket list, it’s worth giving these raw critters a chance— and letting On the Danforth be your guide.

12 | Summer Bucket List


(opening and previous page) photos, Stock Exchange //

photo by: Ben Hussman

c r i n g e . . .”

Choose your poison. First things first, what are you drinking? It is imperative to pair foods with a drink of parallel undertones. The safest route is to follow the common white wine/seafood rule. A Chardonnay or Pinot Grigio is always a reasonable bet. As for beer, the citrus undertones in wheat beers can complement

oysters and, on the opposite end of the spectrum, dry stouts can be surprisingly flattering. Caesars are always a popular choice and many establishments specializing in oysters incorporate these exemplary molluscs into the Canadian cocktail. If straight liquor is more your speed, try sipping on a premium vodka. Not drink-


ing tonight? Choose sparkling water with citrus on the side— avoid anything too sugary. Pick and choose. Always remember that your server is your most valuable asset. Ask for the specials and the rarities that the restaurant offers. Ask about regions, recommendations and staff favourites. The taste, size and texture of an oyster are directly influenced by their environment, so taste varies greatly according to region. West coast oysters, for example, tend to be creamier, whereas those from the east are generally saltier. Different species also show different characteristics: Kumamoto oysters (a great beginner oyster) are small and sweet; Malpeques are larger with a sweet, briny taste; Olympias are very small but with a strong, distinct flavour. Oysters are usually sold individually, by the half dozen, or as a full dozen, but if you’re out to try a few it’s a good idea to order a selection so you can compare and contrast. Six is a good number to start with; it gives you a fulfilling range but is not too overwhelming. Behold the oyster. Make sure they are fully intact and fresh (a good indicator of freshness is the amount of water in the shells, which is called the liquor and is the seawater that the oyster lives in). Note their sizes and colour; compare against the others. → On the Danforth

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T h e o y s t e r ’s l i q u o r i s n o t o o f a n o y s t e r ’s f r e s h n e s s , m a s t e r f u l l y s h u c k e d .”

Eat. Now the important part: get that thing from the plate into your mouth. It is very important not to dump the water from the shell, as this is an imperative part of the tasting process. The oyster’s liquor is not only an indicator of freshness, but also a sign of an oyster masterfully shucked. Using your cocktail fork, make sure that the oyster is disconnected from the shell by moving it around a bit. Next is the

garnish. It’s best to have the oyster au natural so as to not mask any of the flavours; however, a little bit of horseradish and some lemon juice can prove to be quite delicious. Also, a lot of restaurants specializing in oysters will make their own sauces, and there is no harm in trying them. Just don’t douse the delicacy or the sauce will overpower the intricate taste the oyster has to offer. Choose a part of the shell that’s smooth

enough so that the liquor and oyster can slide easily into your mouth. Eat the whole oyster at once and it is very important to chew. Note. If you’re interested in becoming an oyster connoisseur, keep track of what you taste: it’s a good idea to get your thoughts down on a napkin (perhaps discreetly, if you’re in a swanky place). Though each type has distinct features, it’s

Pay attention change while y l e t i t l i n g e r .”

14 | Summer Bucket List

Drink nly an indicator but also a sign of an oyster

(opposite page) photo, TheDeliciousLife (Flickr) //

photo, pointnshoot (Flickr)


easy to mix them up if you’re unfamiliar with them.

or chewy? The more attention you pay and work you put into it, the more refined your taste Indulge. will become. You’ll be surPay attention to the flavours prised by the different flavours and how they change while you and textures you can decipher chew: note the finish and let it with each new oyster you get linger. Is the taste sweet, salty, under your belt. Ostreaphiles, nutty, or a bit metallic? Pay or oyster enthusiasts, can talk attention to the texture. Is it soft about these beguiling bivalves

meticulously, poetically describe tastes and textures, and compare regions and farming techniques. It’s an intriguing gastronomy that is worth getting excited about. This season grab a couple of (non-squeamish) friends, bask in the glory of summer and taste a little bit of the ocean.

to the flavours and how they yo u c h ew, n o te t h e f i n i s h a n d On the Danforth

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To Market, To Market A closer look at two of the Danforth’s farmers’ markets by Ariel Kroon

Summer time is here, and whether your grocery list includes maple syrup, organic produce, free-range eggs, or just a healthy snack, Toronto’s farmers’ markets are there to provide. The Danforth is home to two major markets of its own: Withrow Park Farmers’ Market (between Logan and Carlaw Avenues) and the East Lynn Farmers’ Market (just west of Woodbine) have become annual fixtures of the Danforth area.

16 | Summer Bucket List

(opposite page and inset left) photos, Stock Exchange

// large and inset right) photos by: Roberta Stimac



Withrow Park Farmers’ Market

East Lynn Farmers’ Market

Withrow Park Farmers’ Market buzzes with organic farmers and vendors from May to October, and is now in its fifth year. In 2007, the market’s coordinator and founder Roberta Stimac had been walking through the park, reminiscing about the markets back in her native Croatia. Withrow Park’s market was founded with community enhancement in mind, and a drive to provide healthy, natural food to the neighbourhood.

FArther east on the Danforth, the East Lynn Farmer’s Market is home to a host of local farmers and vendors. In 2007, neighbourhood representatives eager to start their own farmers’ market contacted Diana Gonzalez, Toronto district supervisor for Farmers’ Markets Ontario (FMO). Gonzalez was happy to help start the market; residents provided the space, and FMO provided the farmers. Though the market has changed over the years in terms of available produce, the food has remained local.

“My experience was little grannies with their excess produce,” Stimac says with a laugh, explaining how she felt the need for a space where consumers could interact with farmers directly and build up relationships, an experience that is absent from the impersonal superstore structure in Canada. Withrow Park’s market was founded with community enhancement in mind, and a drive to provide healthy, natural food to the neighbourhood. The Withrow Park market values organic foods and produce: several of the farmers are certified organic, and all are personally committed to organic farming methods. Although it is easy for the busy consumer to buy food with a “certified organic” sticker, farmers face a much more rigorous process to certify their products as organic. Prepared-food vendors also try to use local and organic ingredients when they can, bringing ethical and environmentally friendly products to the Danforth community.

Gonzalez is proud that people “can ask the farmers exactly how something was grown and get a straight answer to that.” The vendors at the East Lynn market are MyPick-certified local farmers, meaning that their farms are inspected by Farmers’ Markets Ontario and verified as local enterprises that grow their own food, instead of just reselling imported products. Gonzalez is proud that people “can ask the farmers exactly how something was grown and get a straight answer to that.” Held in green spaces belonging to the community, these markets bring together local families and farmers and each market has something different to offer its visitors. Withrow and East Lynn Park’s markets share a dedication to bringing authentic, quality farm produce to the Danforth. On the Danforth

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BARTENDER Picks Three Danforth bartenders choose their essential drink of the summer by Amy Postma

With an eclectic and extensive mix of bars, lounges, and restaurants to choose from along Danforth Avenue, we asked three bartenders from some choice bars to recommend an enjoyable and refreshing drink for summer, covering the three booze basics: wine, beer, and cocktail. Each bar was hand-picked for its impressive drink menu: Allen’s for their ample wines, Local for their captivating cocktails, and the Only Cafe for their comprehensive beer list. These bars know their drink, and deliver.

Allen’s Typically, when thinking of summer, wine lovers gravitate to a light white option, such as Pinot Grigio. Sean Clark of Allen’s, however, recommends trying a refreshing red, like the Stoney Ridge Warren Classic Pinot Noir. While he generally prefers a heavier red with a meal, this offering from Stoney Ridge is a perfect summer wine to enjoy on its own. Light and dry, it has a subtle berry flavour.

Local One of Local’s biggest summer drinks on their cocktail menu is the mojito, but for a refreshing change of taste bartender Natasha Hrominchuk recommends a Local original: the Pear and Strawberry Vojito. A spin on the classic mojito, this drink combines a medley of fresh strawberries, limes, and simple syrup mixed with Grey Goose La Poire flavoured vodka and pineapple and cranberry juices. It is a tasty, light cocktail that instantly refreshes on a hot summer afternoon.

18 | Summer Bucket List



The Only Cafe

photos by: Daniella Bumbacco

With such a wide selection of beer to choose from, general manager Fabian Skidmore stresses options that are locally brewed; local beer means fresh beer, and fresh means thirst-quenching. When pressed to choose one beer for summer, Fabian selected the Toronto-brewed Denison’s Weissbier, a critically acclaimed and award-winning Germanstyle wheat beer. A pint of this authentic Bavarian provides maximum refreshment on a hot day with its combination of fruit and citrus notes.

On the Danforth

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8 7 4

5 6 9



By Ariel Kroon


for both the brave and the prudent eater


8 Food& Drink

On the Danforth

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1. Yakiniku

2. Soba

3. Gyudon

4. Sukiyaki

5. Butterfish

6. Ika

7. Uni

8. Hirame

This traditional combination of beef and rice is delicious and filling: the meat is sliced in thin strips, boiled in a sweet-and-salty broth, and then served over a bowl of rice. Regular sides to this include Japanese-style pickled vegetables, salad, miso soup, or raw egg in a separate bowl.

Butterfish, or oilyfish, is soft with a buttery flavour. A word of caution: some sushi houses serve escolar (a completely different fish) under the name of butterfish. Large amounts of escolar are indigestible and may cause some discomfort later on, so butterfish sashimi is best enjoyed in small quantities.

Sea urchin (uni in Japanese) is a small, round, yellowish piece of sashimi. It’s reputed to have a taste similar to cheese: in fact, uni is very mild tasting, with a soft texture reminiscent of Brie or Camembert.

These healthy buckwheat noodles can be eaten in several different ways depending on the season. Chilled soba is served with a sweetand-salty dipping sauce for the noodles, and is a refreshing summer meal. In the winter, soba is served in a steaming bowl of broth, often with vegetables, fish, or other meat to make a heartier soup.

Sukiyaki is the king of all-you-can-eat restaurant deals, and features a large bowl of boiling water or broth made from soy sauce, sugar, and mirin (Japanese cooking sake). All diners at the table share this bowl, boiling their own noodles, leafy greens, tofu, scallions, and thinly sliced meat (beef and pork).

Cuttlefish is a fancy way of saying squid: the Japanese word ika covers both. Like squid, it’s chewy and requires a bit of a commitment to ingesting. It has a very delicate flavour, making it a great palate cleanser in between other, stronger tastes.

The white, almost translucent flesh of the flounder (or hirame) is instantly recognizable as the third part of the tuna-salmon-whitefish sashimi trio. Less firm than tuna or salmon, and with a more subtle flavour, hirame is a great gateway fish for the uninitiated sashimi student.

9. Hokkigai

Surf clam (hokkigai) is a strange-looking food, but don’t let prejudice get the better of you; it is an interesting non-slimy addition to the sashimi line-up. Its meat is quite substantial, and feels less like raw shellfish and more like a slice of cold cut.

22 | Summer Bucket List

(previous page) photo by: Danielle Barron // photo, Stock Exchange

Literally translated as “fried meat,” yakiniku is a major staple of Japanese-style bars (called izakaya), which serve alcohol and a variety of toothsome dishes. Yakiniku can be divided according to the meats used, usually pork, beef, or chicken, which are marinated before being cut into pieces, skewered and fried, often with slices of onion or scallions for extra flavour.

On the Danforth

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Picky Eaters A quick guide to some common food restrictions by Erin Woods

“What is it you’re allergic to?” asks the server, looking baffled. “Yeast.” I don’t bother telling her it’s not an allergy, exactly. “And vinegar, ripened cheese and mushrooms.” “Oh. I’ll ask.” She disappears into the kitchen and I slump in my chair. I hate eating out. When the server comes back she says, “Okay, so there’s no vinegar in the sauce, but there is wheat in the pasta.” “That’s fine.” “Really?” “Yes, wheat and gluten are fine.” “Oh. Okay, great!” She bustles off. When my meal comes I pick out the mushrooms and wish I had a simple dietary restriction. I’m constantly being offered gluten-free and vegetarian options; why can’t there be a yeast-free option? In fact, I would even settle for having people understand the difference between the different food restrictions.

24 | Summer Bucket List

Food& Candidiasis, AKA Yeast Overgrowth

Sensitivities and Allergies The difference between these two is in the part of the body that reacts to a food. With sensitivities, the gastrointestinal system fails to digest the food properly. It isn’t pleasant, but it isn’t lifethreatening either. An allergy, on the other hand, is an immune response. The body thinks the food is a threat and releases a flood of histamine, which produces symptoms that range from hives to death. Allergic reactions can worsen every time they happen. Vegetarian and Vegan

photos by: Sarah Francis

All vegans are vegetarians, but not all vegetarians are vegans. Vegetarians generally avoid meat, but some will eat fish, poultry or both. Vegans, on the other hand, eat neither meat nor anything that comes from an animal.

The Teatree Cafe 867 Danforth Ave.

Safe Eats on the Danforth

That’s what I have. Not all Canadian doctors are sure they believe in it, but never mind. The important thing is that lots of us who used to be chronically ill with symptoms like fatigue and depression find our lives turn around when we stop eating anything leavened or aged: bread, most cheeses, alcohol, soy sauce, yeast extract (also called MSG). Some people have to avoid fungi, too, and some have to limit sugar intake so they don’t feed the yeast already present in their bodies.


The owner of the homey Teatree Cafe makes everything from scratch: furnishings, décor, and especially food. Her sandwiches, entrees, brunch fare and desserts include dairy-free, gluten-free and vegan options.

The Magic Oven 798 Danforth Ave. The Magic Oven did not set out to become a haven for diners with food restrictions, but in seeking to always serve what clients wanted, it became just that. Their pizzas and pastas can be made to accommodate sugar-free, gluten-free, soy-free, lactose-free, garlic-free, nutfree and yeast-free diets—and more!

The Big Carrot Organic Juice Bar 348 Danforth Ave. Part of the worker-owned co-op The Big Carrot, the o r g a n i c juice bar is committed to the health of its clients and of the planet. Their juices—sold in degradable cups or in clients’ own reusable containers—provide a wide range of choice for those who eat organic , vegetarian or vegan.

On the Danforth

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Ice Cream Some wacky recipes to keep your family, and your taste buds, entertained all summer

by Delaney Caulfield

Are you in the mood for

with the same base and something delightfully then incorporate some tasty delicious? If indulgence is on ingredients. Once you’ve your mind, then be assured tried these goodies, feel free that these recipes will give to experiment. Think strawyou just what you’re looking berry and banana or bluefor, with or without an ice berry chocolate chip—the cream maker. Our easy-topossibilities are endless. All follow ice creams all start recipes serve 6.

Ice Cream Base 1 heaping cup superfine sugar ⅔ cup water 1 ¼ cup heavy whipping cream Combine sugar and water in a heavy pan and heat gently, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Bring to a boil, then, without stirring, boil for 5 minutes to form a syrup. Towards the end of the cooking time, keep an eye on the mixture to ensure that it doesn’t burn. Immediately remove syrup from heat and let cool for at least 1 hour. This is the syrup base for additional recipes. In a separate bowl, whip the cream until it holds its shape. Keep in the fridge until ready to use.

26 | Summer Bucket List


(opposite page) photo by: Jennie Faber // photos by: Delaney Caulfield

Pina Colada


Chocolate Cookie Crumble

A day at the beach never tasted so good

For the child in all of us

Syrup base 1 ¼ cup whipped cream (from base recipe) ½ cup orange juice ½ cup shredded coconut 1 ½ cup cubed pineapple 1 tsp rum flavouring

Syrup base 1 ¼ cup whipped cream ½ cup orange juice 1 ½ cup chocolate wafer cookies, crushed ½ cup cocoa 1 tsp vanilla

Place the shredded coconut and pineapple inside a food processor, running for about a minute or until the pineapple has been puréed. When the syrup base is cold, add the purée, orange juice and rum flavouring, mixing well. If using an ice cream machine, fold the coconut-pineapple mixture into the whipped cream, then churn in the machine following the manufacturer’s instructions. Alternatively, place the mixture in a freezable container, uncovered, for 1-2 hours or until it starts to set around the edges. Pour the mixture into a bowl and stir with a fork or beat in a food processor until smooth. Fold in the whipped cream. Return to the freezer uncovered, and freeze for an additional 2-3 hours or until firm. Cover the container with a lid for storing.

Once the syrup has cooled, add the crushed cookies, cocoa, vanilla, and orange juice and mix well. If using an ice cream maker, fold the chocolate mixture into the whipped cream, then churn in the ice cream maker following the manufacturer’s instructions. Alternatively, place the mixture in a freezable container, uncovered, for 1-2 hours or until it starts to set around the edges. Pour the mixture into a bowl and stir with a fork or beat in a food processor until smooth. Fold in the whipped cream. Return to the freezer uncovered, and freeze for an additional 2-3 hours or until firm. Cover the container with a lid for storing. →

On the Danforth

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Raspberry Amaretto After-dark satisfaction in a bowl Syrup base 1 ¼ cup whipped cream ½ cup orange juice 2 cup raspberries ½ cup amaretto Place the raspberries inside a food processor, running for about 30 seconds or until the raspberries have been puréed. To the cooled syrup, add the purée, orange juice, and amaretto, mixing well. If using an ice cream maker, fold the raspberry mixture into the whipped cream, then churn in the ice cream maker following the manufacturer’s instructions. Alternatively, place the mixture in a freezable container, uncovered, for 1-2 hours or until it starts to set around the edges. Pour the mixture into a bowl and stir with a fork, or beat in a food processor until smooth. Fold in the whipped cream. Return to the freezer uncovered, and freeze for an additional 2-3 hours or until firm. Cover the container with a lid for storing. 28 | Summer Bucket List


photo by: Amy Postma

in this section: • remembering Jack Layton • looking at housing, schools, and transit in our community • the best dressed man on the Danforth offers some advice

On the Danforth

| 29


Back to Jack by Jenn Martin

Revealing what Jack Layton meant to his constituents and how they can move forward to honour him in the community

A Time for Remembrance


t had always been my impression that political leaders were image-driven, that they worked hard to maintain a facade that actively distanced them from the public. I would watch them on television and feel slightly disconnected as they delivered refined speeches from beind their podiums. Then I spent an afternoon sweating on a treadmill next to a Spandexclad Jack Layton.

the treadmill next to mine, addressed me by name (we had met earlier that day) and proceeded with his workout. Being a curious observer and avid NDP supporter, I stole the occasional glance in his direction to confirm that yes, this actually was happening. The man I had seen dominate several leaders’ debates with his passion, eloquence and intelligence was running alongside me and, truthfully, putting me to shame.

The soon-to-be leader of the opposition came to my university gym in Waterloo, Ontario sporting bicycle shorts and a Richard Simmons-style headband. He approached

I wasn’t surprised that the long-time health enthusiast made a trip to the local gym a must-do on his campaign trail. He had always been an actively engaged leader who → On the Danforth

| 31

loved casual conversations and real-life experiences with members of the communities he visited. Despite knowing that about Layton, this event changed my idea of what a politician could be and further warmed my heart to this incredibly courageous and genuine man.

issues of equality, but also the way in which he actively sought out experiences that put him at the heart of communities, specifically his Toronto-Danforth constituency. Layton believed that investing in cities and neighbourhoods was necessary in order to move forward effectively. “My vision is for a federal government that listens to cities and entrepreneurs—a federal government A Time for Community that understands that [cities] are the engine, nd n August 22 of last year, not the enemy,” he said during a speech at Canada lost one of its most the Toronto Rotary Club last year. “Increasimportant political voices, ingly, building this country means building and the Danforth lost one of stronger communities.” its most valued and vibrant community members. Articulate, accessible Danforth MPP Peter Tabuns remembers and ever passionate, Layton was a leader who Layton for his accessibility and commitment gave residents of the Danforth and Canada to community. “Jack inspired community in as a whole a very real connection to federal everything he did,” remarks Tabuns. “As a politics. With the one-year anniversary of his politician he fed off the energy of everyone death approaching, Canadians are left with around him instead of being tired by it...and the question of how they can best honour he was responsible for presenting the face of him and the political legacy he created while this community to the nation at large.” serving with the New Democratic Party. Even while canvassing for elections, Layton Perhaps what most distinguished Layton made time to connect. Tabuns, having been from other politicians was not only his Layton’s municipal running mate, canvassed passionate and actionable commitment to along side him. Together they would knock


“My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world” -Jack Layton 32 | Summer Bucket List

on multiple doors and address several residents simultaneously, making sure to incite an open and honest dialogue. This willingness for conversation characterized Layton’s leadership style and perhaps explains why he consistently won a majority of seats in Toronto-Danforth: he was accessible, and his supporters truly knew him. According to Layton’s long-time partner Olivia Chow, my experience on the treadmill was one of many stories where Layton interacted in an everyday situation. “There’s hundreds of stories of chance encounters where he made a very close connection with people,” Chow says. “That’s the way he was.” Layton was always involved in projects to improve the Danforth community and was instrumental in the creation of many events that now define the neighbourhood. He was one of the initiators of Taste of the Danforth and attended the festival every year. Layton also funded local schools to prevent their closure, and worked with


Jack valued: Childcare | Environment | Education

You can: Get involved with the Danforth Childcare Centre Support local eco-friendly stores like Grassroots or the Big Carrot Seek out clean transit options and ensure their survival with the continued development of proper bike lanes Volunteer your services for libraries and literacy groups like Frontier College Explore and support alternative schools on the Danforth to foster engaged learners

“ ...ideas about what allowed you to change the world and what didn’t”

photos contributed by: Olivia Chow / NDP

change the world

hospitals in the area to make them a better place for seniors. He was involved in construction projects and local businesses, and Chow speaks warmly about his connection with the neighbourhood and his fondness for its parks and restaurants. “I can’t mention one restaurant and not mention another. There’s lots of favourite places—it’s everywhere.”

A Time for Action


fter Layton’s passing last year, the Canadian people showed an outpouring of support with various celebrations of his life. Cards and candles filled the streets and the space in front of his constituency office, while each community found their own way to honour him. According to Tabuns, the best way to honour Layton is to keep in mind his letter to Canadians, which is “a distillation of decades of the work he’d done: ideas about what allowed you to change the world and what didn’t.” In his letter Layton outlined the things that mattered most to him: → On the Danforth

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climate change, unequal distribution of wealth, and care for children and seniors. He praised Canada’s history of social justice and universal health care. He also predicted the hardships that might follow his death and reminded Canadians that the most important thing was to keep moving forward. Chow speaks of the importance of affordable housing and post-secondary education as well as lowering our greenhouse gas emissions in remembrance of Jack’s legacy. Her advice in honouring him was simple: vote for an NDP government in the next federal election to keep the momentum Layton helped to build. Jack Layton believed in Canadians. He also believed in the strength of communities. In a time of downturn that was devastating the economy, he advised Canadians that it was “a time to lead, not retreat.” Perhaps the best way to honour Layton—for both Canadians generally and residents of the Danforth specifically—is to take these words and advance into their communities as leaders with concrete and positive ideas on how to make change.

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Ctrl + Alt + Teach

photos by: Sarah Francis

Evaluating options for your child’s education may be a daunting bullet point on your summer bucket list, but it is a necessary one. Here’s what two neighbourhood alternative school have to offer when mainstream education isn’t the right fit by Cassie MacKenzie

As I traipsed through the locker-lined hallways of Eastern Commerce Collegiate Institute towards the connected alternative school Subway Academy 1, I sensed the walls closing in on me. Just as visions of my own high school’s nerdy band uniforms began to dance in my head (worn, I should note, by yours truly), I walked into Room 200, one of the Academy’s classrooms. The non-traditional layout of the room immediately made one thing clear to me: I was no longer in a typical high school. One of the oldest alternative schools in Toronto, Subway Academy 1 offers courses at the academic, college, and university levels for grades 9–12, and ac-

cepts students from ages 16–21. Curriculum leader Bonnie Whitehall, whose office consists of a desk in the classroom space of Room 200, calls the environment of the school a “nonpunitive, student-centred” one: “Most alternative schools [at this level] are stopgaps for students dropping out altogether,” she says. Taking cues from what works for their students, then, is especially important. For this reason, students know their teachers by their first names, and teachers make a conscious effort to keep the standardized curriculum current and relatable. As Bonnie says, “it’s all in the way we deliver.” Part of this delivery is reflected in the classrooms themselves;

gone are the neat rows of desks facing the teacher at the front. Instead, there are groups of desks scattered throughout the classroom, and tables lining the walls packed with everything from maps to stereos. Student demographics are as varied as the classrooms: some come from a homeschooling background, others have fallen out of gifted programs, and still others are dealing with challenges in their lives that necessitate a smaller time commitment. Students can find their way to the Academy based on the recommendation of a given guidance department or parent, but often they seek out the school of their own volition. Eschewing the inflexible mandatory → On the Danforth

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attendance policy of most Quest high schools, teachers Alternative Senior at the Academy work School makes its hard to accommodate home at 25 Bain Avenue their students’ schedules. A given class will meet three times per week for an hour, and coursework is completed both during class time and through guided independent study. At Subway Academy 1, the key is not necessarily to graduate “on time,” but to achieve positive results; as Bonnie so aptly states, “we talk wide field trips throughout the about where they’re at, not year, and in the week leading where they should be at.” up to big events like concerts, regular class is suspended altoOver at Quest Alternative Senior gether. “You couldn’t do that at School, the staff takes a simia regular school,” Joel explains. larly student-centred approach “That’s what we mean by size. to teaching. Teachers are also Stop now, do this. The guys who known to their grade 7 and 8 founded the place realized that students on a first-name basis kids at this age learn really well (much rarer at this level), while in focused, intensive blocks.” student-run committees take on Intensive is right: to take one everything from weekly garbage example, within the two years duty to EcoQuest, a massive these students spend at Quest, environmental science fair in they will complete upwards April. At Quest, the 68 students of 85–90 experimental labs in (34 in each grade) are selected science class. “They go to high by lottery from a pool of qualischool and it’s a let-down!” jokes fied applicants; the application Joel. One of these “intensive includes a report card, a teacher blocks” is the week-long trip to referral, and a brief essay. What marks this school as alternative, Subway says Math and History Academy 1 is teacher Joel Grisell, located at 16 Phin is its size. With 34 Avenue students in each grade, it is entirely possible to change schedules every few weeks. And that is precisely what they do: there are several week-long school-

36 | Summer Bucket List

St. Donat, Quebec, where students fully immerse themselves in both the French language and French-Canadian culture. There is also Art Week in June, where volunteers from OCAD and the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Education flood to the school to help teach workshops on everything from Photoshop to sculpture. While these two schools differ in the age group and needs they aim to serve, both take a collaborative, hands-on approach to teaching. If this sounds right for you or your child, head over to for more information.

SharpDressed Man

In peak wedding season, we turn to the Danforth’s suit expert Saul Korman to give us the inside scoop on what to wear for a man’s big day

photo by: Daniell Barron // (next page) photos by: Sarah Francis

by Danielle Barron


On the Danforth

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TRADITION SEEMS to dictate that weddings, and the fashion associated with them, are to revolve around the bride. Between dress decisions and the expectations for one’s “big day,” we have to ask—where does the groom fit into all of this? Saul Korman, founder of Korry’s Clothiers to Gentlemen, is celebrating sixty years on the Danforth this year and knows a thing or two about the importance of a well-tailored suit.

Know your budget

A suit is an investment. It’s important to see it as something that will last past your special day and something that you will want to wear multiple times throughout the year. “[The groom] has to understand the quality that goes into a suit, so he should try to buy the best quality that he can afford,” Saul explains. “We recommend a darker suit, black or dark grey, something that’s light fabric that you can wear all year.”

Know your body

With shows like Mad Men and Pan Am on prime-

time television, trends like the skinny pantsuit and tie are back in style. Although these trends can be seen on many celebrities, you have to be aware of your size and shape to find out what looks good on you and what doesn’t. Some tricks: if you are tall, make sure your jacket fits you at the right length.

“You don’t want to wear a tuxedo and go to the beach, so you may want to go with a great pair of pants, maybe linen, and a fullgrade sport shirt.” “There’s no rule of thumb, but it should cover your tush. If the man has a little tummy, and the

38 | Summer Bucket List

Lifestyle pant keeps falling below the waist, it’s not flattering. Get him to wear suspenders to keep the pant up and make sure to always wear the jacket if you have them on.” Saul continues to tell us that the best piece of advice for a man dressing for any occasion is “don’t let fashion dictate to you, you dictate the fashion.”

Know your location

For destination weddings Saul recommends “pure wools and high-twist fabrics, which mean they don’t wrinkle a lot. You don’t want to wear a tuxedo and go to the beach, so you may want to go with a great pair of pants, maybe linen, and a full-grade sport shirt.”

Know your tailor

In addition to helping you look good on your special day, you want this suit to last you through multiple occasions. According to Saul, “you’ve got to trust your retailer. What happens in today’s market, being in the business for so many years, people don’t ask enough questions. They don’t ask ‘Will this wrinkle? Will it retain shape? How do I clean it?’ You should ask! Make the tailor work for his money, or make the store work for their money.”

“If couples work on their problems, then they’ll have a successful marriage, a successful wedding day—everything is dependent on that.” Know Saul!

Famously coined as the “Duke of the Danforth” by former mayor Mel Lastman, Saul Korman is one of Canada’s most successful menswear retailers. Although some may recognize his lively voice on radio ads playing throughout the city, most know Saul as the voice of the Danforth located at 569 Danforth Avenue. When asked if he had any advice for newly married partners, he wisely stated that “young people don’t spend [enough] time to work out [their] problems,” or settle their differences. He explained that if couples work on these things, “then [they’ll] have a successful marriage, a successful wedding day— everything is dependent on that.”

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Changing by Vanessa Pinto and Lindsay Ulrich


hen you take a look down Danforth Avenue you may notice an increase in the number of cyclists on the road. Whether riders are entering the neighbourhood from Bloor Street across the Prince Edward Viaduct, or setting out for a leisurely ride along the Don Valley trails, it is clear that we are an active, health conscious, and cycle-eager community. So it makes you wonder: how would we benefit from bike lanes? After discussing the issue with several knowledgeable sources, we have cut through the misconception that bike lanes are a hassle for motorists and businesses, and uncovered three ways that bike lanes would benefit the community.

tive Ward 29 Bikes,Val Dodge points out that increased traffic congestion is largely the result of street parking. “On Danforth, outside of rush hour, almost half of the traffic lanes are taken up by parked cars. Danforth already has more parking spots available to drivers than any similar commercial strip in the city of Toronto.” “It’s a fallacy that bikes add to congestion woes,” says Tammy Thorne, Editor-in-Chief of the cycling magazine dandyhorse . “It’s well d o c u mented that cities with more cyclist c o m muters have less congestion.” Dodge feels much the same way on this issue . “The simple answer is that bikes don’t cause congestion—cars do. You certainly can’t eliminate congestion by encouraging more people to drive.”

B ike lanes support local business It is a common assumption that losing street parking will negatively affect local business. However, a study conducted by Clean Air Partnership reveals that the majority of patrons of small businesses arrive by transit, bicycle, or on foot and found that nondrivers were more likely to spend more money in the area and visit more often. B ike lanes ease road congestion By keeping traffic moving, freeing up lanes previously blocked by parked cars, and encouraging city-dwellers to leave their cars at home during shorter trips, bike lanes can do a lot to ease traffic congestion. As a member of the Danforth cycling collec40 | Summer Bucket List



Envisioning safer cycling in our community

(top) photo by: Erin Woods // photo by: Christie Belfiore

More cyclists on the road increases cyclist safety Most cyclists feel safer when there are other cyclists on the streets with them, and there is documented truth to the matter. A report conducted in 2003 by researcher Peter Jacobsen identified a “safety in numbers” effect, which indicates that motorists adapt their behaviour and drive with increased awareness when there is a greater number of cyclists on the road. Thorne says that “bike lanes make people feel safer—and that increases the number of cyclists on the road. There is safety in numbers. The more cyclists there are, the more motorists and policy makers take notice.” A M atter of Planning The drive to plan our city streets according to the needs of all those who share the roads is known as the “complete streets” approach, one that Thorne advocates, as well as Toronto-Danforth Councillor Mary Fragedakis. Fragedakis explains how “complete streets” is a method of urban planning that keeps all citizens in mind. “A complete streets policy ensures that city planners and engineers consistently design and operate the entire roadway with all users in mind—including bicyclists, public transportation vehicles and riders, and pedestrians of all ages and abilities.” Fragedakis emphasizes that she did not vote in favour of the Mayor’s Bike Plan in July of 2011, as it included discarding the plans for the Bloor-Danforth bike lane corridor. “I

Toronto Cycling Facts » » Toronto has the highest number of bicycle accidents in the country » » 25% of bike crashes involve a motor vehicle » » The two most common types of cycling accidents are being sideswiped by cars and cyclists crashing into open vehicle doors » » In Toronto there are 19,000+ cyclists in the downtown core on a typical weekday

felt that taken as a whole [the Mayor’s Bike Plan] would mean less cycling in Toronto and would decrease safety in comparison to the bike plan in existence at the time.” Fragedakis finds hope in the dedication and ingenuity of cycling enthusiasts in Ward 29 and across the city. Dodge offers a confident view of the Danforth with bike lanes. “Congestion would ease for those who still choose to drive, businesses would see more visitors, patios would be busier, and street life would improve.” On the Danforth

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Sweet HOME

One student’s story of a successful housing hunt by Samantha Meiler To a girl who’s never lived on her own, a one-bedroom apartment seems like a dream. Spending the duration of my undergraduate degree living under my parents’ roof, I constantly fantasized about having my own place; one that would be spacious enough to hang my entire wardrobe. When school ended, I had it all planned: my transition to Toronto would be flawless and my apartment would be a miraculous

blend of cheap, cozy, and chic. The internet offered me a smorgasbord of options; sites like Kijiji and Craigslist dangled perfect basement bachelors and newly renovated abodes in front of me. Despite hearing horror stories about Toronto housing hunts, I was convinced that I would be one of the lucky ones. So, sure that the housing market was ripe for my picking, I made the two-hour trek to the city to begin my search. I pounded the pavement, wandering up and down the unfamiliar streets of my desired East York neighbourhood, fruitlessly buzzing building superintendents. By nightfall—sweaty and dejected—I left the city with my dream on the back burner. On my next hunting trip two

42 | Summer Bucket List

weeks later, I was more determined. With my mum in tow, I vowed not to leave Toronto without securing a place to live. My prospects, however, had not improved; the apartments we saw were shabby, scuffed, and in need of repair. The rents were high and the value low. Panic was setting in. But, in late afternoon, we took a tour of a beautiful, slender building on Cosburn Avenue with large units and tidy hallways. My mother cooed over the tiled kitchen backsplashes; I hyperventilated over the rent. In the end, I learned to compromise. Although way over my (unreasonably low) budget, the apartment was undeniably perfect. My search ended happily—and with plenty of closet space.

(previous page) illustration by: Samantha Meiler // photo by: Melissa Mather

• where to go for a great night out • meet local talent • sizzling songs for your summer playlist and a hot new read

Arts & Entertainment

in this section:

On the Danforth

| 43


night on the

Danforth Friday night on East Toronto’s main drag by Amelia Chester, illustrations by Samantha Meiler

I’ve always been impressed by the Danforth neighbourhood’s restaurants and unique,

locally-owned retailers, but as cosmopolitan as the neighbourhood may seem by day, I’ve never heard much about the nightlife. Having only spent time in the area during the week, I’m excited to spend a Friday night out on the town. Where do the locals go when the sun goes down? → 44 | Summer Bucket List

Arts &


On the Danforth

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At 8pm, the Danforth is bustling. Most of the shops are still open, and the restaurants I pass are filled with patrons. It’s still early, though, and it isn’t until I reach Christina’s that I discover some of the live entertainment that I’m here to see. Christina’s is a popular and well-established Greek restaurant—and it’s busy. It would be a great place for a date, a reunion with old friends, or a family celebration. It’s even versatile enough to accommodate me, solo, seated at the bar with just a diet Coke. At 8:30pm, a belly dancer begins to work the crowd, moving from table to table, eliciting claps in response, and encouraging several people to dance along, including two clearly enthralled young children. After her short set, a musical duo consisting of a keyboardist and bouzouki player takes the stage. They play traditional Mediterranean music that is an appropriate dinner accompaniment. I can imagine how the energy level will rise as the night goes on and the band and patrons become increasingly jubilant (and intoxicated), but I duck out to see what else is happening on this stretch. My next stop is a pub called the Black Swan Tavern. I love this place. One Thursday evening, I spent an hour in the downstairs bar listening to a traditional Irish music session— a casual collection of fiddlers, guitarists, and mandolin players. This venue has dartboards, a pool table, and even a jukebox; there is the feeling that this is a community 46 | Summer Bucket List

Arts & populated by regulars and wait staff who are intimately familiar with their patrons. Tonight, though, I am going upstairs, where the rectangular carpeted room feels like the kind of place in which a young band cuts its teeth. When I enter the room around 10pm, Wooden White are singing Dolly Parton’s “Jolene” in three-part harmony, and following this song they continue to perform a number of equally mellow acoustic songs. It’s their first show, and they’re doing a great job, but I want to check o u t t h e b a n d s across the street at Dora Keogh.


already seem familiar with. Their sound is pretty timeless—a little bit country, but a lot more rock and roll—carrying the torch from the likes of The Band. It’s close to midnight by the time I leave Dora Keogh. Despite my exhaustion, I walk west to Pape Station, hoping to catch a glimpse of the nightlife farther east on the Danforth before catching the subway. I pass by Local. I suspect the well-dressed individuals waiting o u t s i d e a r e adhering to a dress code, while the club’s speakers blast aggressively loud dance music onto the street. To me, the club looks out of place on the Danforth and seems a far cry from the warmth I experienced at the Black Swan Tavern. Local isn’t my kind of place so I don’t venture inside, but the line-up suggests its popularity and proves that the Danforth offers a diversity of popular entertainment opportunities.

the rectangular carpeted room feels like the kind of place in which a young band cuts its teeth

When I arrive, it’s hard to navigate through the crowd but I finally make it to the back of the room. Here, I am delighted to hear Raven Shields singing and playing acoustic guitar, supported by a stand-up bass and an electric guitar. Her sweet, plaintive voice reminds me of Gillian Welch, and her audience is treated to originals as well as covers by the likes of Feist and Jenny Lewis. But the main attraction of the night is The Long Haul, who take the stage at 11pm. The five-piece band is tight, and they write great songs both musically and lyrically. I’m particularly won over by a song written about their recent tour across Canada. The crowd pushes up close to the stage, dancing and clapping along to the music that so many of them

I finally reach Pape Station and collapse onto my TTC seat, the melody to that The Long Haul song referencing Moncton running through my head. I’ll be back, Danforth Avenue. It’s clear that there are many reasons to return.

On the Danforth

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What I’m doing is fiction… I don’t know these people and I won’t know these people so they kind of have to take on their own life and sometimes in order to do that you have to turn toward fiction.

Climbing to New Heights

Tanis Rideout discusses her debut novel Above All Things

by Leonicka Valcius

BETTER KNOWN for her poetry, Danforth writer Tanis Rideout is making her prose debut with her novel Above All Things. The protagonist is what Rideout calls, “the last great British gentleman explorer.” In 1924, George Mallory and his team departed on an expedition to climb Mount Everest. By some accounts Mallory reached the summit, but he never came home. Above All Things has two narratives: the rousing adventure of Mallory’s climb and the patient domesticity of his wife, Ruth. “[It became a] sort of a love triangle between him, the mountain, and his wife,” Rideout explains. The wife’s narrative provides the best insight into Mallory’s character. Her role helps to show a more personal and intimate side of Mallory and to cut through the hero mythology that surrounds him. Rideout grappled with the fine line between fact and fiction when she wrote “Arguments with the Lake”, an unpublished collection of poetry about Marilyn Bell’s swim across Lake Ontario. “I got an email from her daughter shortly after the poems were on the CBC. That sort of drove that home to me…There’s a person out there and I’ve taken their name and something that they’ve done and proceeded to use it for my own ends…

there is an anxiety and discomfort around that.” When writing Above All Things, the distance of time made fictionalizing Mallory easier but she still strives to be true to the character. “What I’m doing is fiction… I don’t know these people and I won’t know these people so they kind of have to take on their own life and sometimes in order to do that you have to turn toward fiction.” Inspiration Rideout’s inspiration for Above All Things came when she worked at an outdoor equipment store after she graduated university. One of her co-workers was an Everest fanatic and showed her a video about Mallory’s expedition. Rideout was instantly captivated by the physical and obsessive nature of the journey. “What is it that makes a person do something that extreme and that dangerous and that physically impossible? …You don’t just decide to do it; you have to keep deciding to do it.” “There’s a similar drive around writing,” she added. “You have to be obsessed to bother.” It was that drive that kept Rideout going during the long process of getting Above All Things to the bookstores. After collecting documents and researching Mallory’s life, Rideout wrote the first draft over the course of a summer six years ago. Three drafts and several revisions later, McClelland and Stewart picked up the manuscript for publication. With the book set to be in stores in June, Rideout can finally relax. “It’s becoming a very real thing now... it’s starting to feel like there will be a book as opposed to this stack of paper that’s been following me around.”

50 | Summer Bucket List


// (next page) art and photos by: Melissa Mather

Arts &

(opposite page) photo by: Nikki Mills // photo by: Sarah Francis

A young artist’s road to self-fulfillment by Aleathia Marshalleck


elissa Mather’s hair has gone through many stages. Her long, dark mane was dyed a brilliant red and shorn into a severe mohawk with the sides scraped clean. At present, a rich golden hue replaces the red and the sides have grown out slightly, but it is a style she → seems comfortable with, for now.

On the Danforth

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Label Me Silly! is a series Melissa made to create awareness of common addictions and obsessions. “Like every artist, I wish I could spend all my time travelling, painting and drawing, but to get money for supplies and to further develop my craft I must work and learn.”

er journey to discovering her true calling in fine art has been as varied as her hairstyles; she has gone through every artistic discipline imaginable. “I started playing music and singing when I was about seven years old, writing stories and poetry around [the age of] 11, photography around age 14, and [I] started acting and modeling when I was 16. Fine arts did not come to my ultimate attention until I was about 20.” The Open Life Drawing Studio class at Centennial College showed Melissa and her teachers that she had a knack for it. Now she says, “I feel like in the arts is where I belong; it’s my home.” The 22-year-old Scarborough native went to R.H. King Academy and is now enrolled in Centennial’s Fine Arts program. She describes her art as “emotional, expressive, and edgy.” She continues, “Most of my pieces are lively: full of colour and movement. I put a great deal of passion into my life drawings and enjoy using all sorts of different media in my paintings and sculptures.” Her favourite piece is called Label Me Silly, part of a series “to create awareness of common addictions and obsessions.” The drawing shows a girl surrounded by her favou-

52 | Summer Bucket List

Arts &


rite gluten-free treats in a bakery. The story behind the drawing, however, is not so sweet. A bout of food poisoning has now rendered Melissa allergic to a multitude of different foods, including wheat. Although Melissa has the support of family and friends, she still faces the challenges of time and money. “Like every artist, I wish I could spend all my time travelling, painting, and drawing, but to get money for supplies and to further develop my craft I must work and learn,” she explains. Melissa also takes her can-doit-all attitude outside of school. She takes part in The Transcendental Mirror: The Ultimate Variety Show, has a poetry group, and performs with the Greater Toronto Philharmonic Orchestra. She also helps out with annual art showcases like Photrospective, “a photography and networking event,” and another art show for young artists. On top of that, Melissa takes photos at events, promotes a Celtic rock band, The Last Calls, and experiments in cooking and baking with gluten-free recipes. As for the future? “I will eventually get my name out to collectors, museums and bigger galleries—just wait!” On the Danforth

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Ron Duffy, owner of Circus Books and Music (866 Danforth Ave at Jones) and Circus Coffee House (7 Woodmount Ave at Woodbine and Danforth) offers up his music picks for summer in the city.

Fa vo u r it e … … s u m m e r s on g e ve r : “T ha t Su m m e r Fe e li ng ” – Jo na th a n Ri c … fr om yo u r c hi hm a n ld ho od , b y a Ca na d ia n b a nd : “S u m m e r ’s Up ” – M a x W e b s te r … fr om th e 80 ’s : “C e le b r a te d Su m m e r ” – Hu s ke r Du … s u m m e r a lb u m: Su m m e r te e th – W il c o

Battle of the Bands by Sarah Francis & Amelia Chester

Mike Waite, owner of Mike’s Music (105 Danforth Ave, east of Broadview) shares his summer favourites as well. Favourite...… ng ever: …... summer so s he Beach Boy “Surf’s Up” - T dian musician: …by a Cana Percy Faith ummer Place S A m ro f e Them l musician: …... by a loca et ensington Mark “Side I Am” - K ildhood: ... from your ch The Trashmen “Surfin’ Bird” , ten years: ... from the last r” -Calexico “Alone Again O en by Love) (originally writt ... album: - Wilco Summerteeth


54 | Summer Bucket List

(opposite page) photos (cassettes) by: Joost Bakker // (previous page) photos by: Sarah Francis // photo, Stock Exchange

• a look into alternative medicine and spa treatments • summer beauty tips • a cool way to stay in shape

Health and Beaut y

in this section:

On the Danforth

| 55

The Best of Chinese Medicine Eliminating bodily toxins with the ionic foot detox by Stacey Philipp

56 | Summer Bucket List


& Beauty

photos by: Gianluca Spezza

As I climbed the stairs towards Dr. Susan Hu’s clinic, I gradually lost track of the noise on Danforth Avenue in favour of the relaxing music playing faintly from speakers above me. Stencilled vines followed the banister to the top of the stairs, where four delicate panels hung next to an unassuming doorway, with a simple printed sign taped up: “Welcome to The Best of Chinese Medicine.”

I opened the door to a wide space with pale green walls, subdued track lighting, and a smell at once strange and appealing. The relaxing atmosphere was part of what drew me there, while the smell emanated from the hundreds of herbs that lined the wall behind the receptionist’s desk, each carefully labelled with intricate Chinese characters. Traditional Chinese medicine is considered an alternative type of

medicine within the Western world, but throughout Asia the practices of using detox, herbal medicine, acupuncture, and massage therapy are common within the medical field. Chinese medicine is not meant to cure diseases, but rather to prevent illness and to allow for improved organ function. My foray into the world of Chinese medicine was limited to the ionic foot detox under the supervision of Dr. Hu, the director → of the clinic. On the Danforth

| 57

Hailing from China, Dr. Hu has been practicing medicine for approximately twenty years, and has spent eleven of those years in

negative ions. These ions flow through the body and attach themselves to oppositely charged toxins and draw them out of the body through the soles of the feet.” This process of “osmosis” ...physical appearance is a great allows “a charged particle [to] pass through a membranous layer from an area of high conindicator that there is a surplus of centration to one of low concentration.” This toxins in our body. causes the water to change colour. In our case, the water was a shade of orange-brown, which her office at the intersection of Danforth and meant we were detoxing from our joints and Chester. Extremely knowledgeable in her field, liver. As the water changed colour it tinged our she instantly calmed my worries about trying feet, but the residue was easily wiped off. “Now the foot detox. “The procedure involves putting how do you feel about this?” I asked Sarah, as your feet into a bucket of water that has ions re- our feet continued to release toxins. “Disgusted. leased into it from an Ionic Cleanse Detox Sys- I didn’t know that there was this much dirt in tem,” she explained. my body,” she re“The theory is that plied, cringing as green-yellow kidney, bladder, urinary it is like walking she looked down tract, female/prostate area on a beach and is at the murky orange joints meant to relax the water. mind and body.” Dr. Hu explained brown liver, tobacco, After a long day, that physical cellular debris the mellow light appearance is a black liver and comfortable great indicator couch in the treatthat there is a dark green gallbladder ment room had surplus of toxalready alleviated ins in our bodwhite foam lymphatic system some of my conies. Take note cerns; the proof rashes, dark white cheese- yeast cedure sounded circles around like particles simple enough the eyes, swolblack flecks heavy metals and I was curious len joints, and a to see the release blemished comred flecks blood clot material of toxins with my plexion. Docown eyes. The tors of Chinese promise of more medicine believe energy and a better state of mind further that the process of eliminating toxins will not convinced me to give it a try. only improve your outer appearance, but also Sitting next to fellow newcomer Sarah encourage healthier El-Riffaey, I stripped off my shoes and socks organ function. and placed my feet in a tub of lukewarm water. At $60 per treatment, the ionic foot deI asked Sarah how she was feeling about the tox may seem a little steep given the controverprocess. “I’m excited but kind of skeptical,” she sy over the science behind it. Experiencing the said after a brief hesitation. “Do you think it’s treatment, however, is proof of its authenticity; actually going to work?” both Sarah and I felt relaxed, refreshed, and Five minutes later it seemed to be healthier as the treatment came to an end. We working. Dr. Hu’s website explains: “An ion said goodbye to the staff at The Best of Chinese generator produces millions of positive and Medicine clinic, planning on returning soon. 58 | Summer Bucket List


Other treatments available at The Best of Chinese Medicine

& Beauty

Acupuncture By placing needles into certain anatomical points, acupuncturists stimulate the body and encourage energy to flow freely.

Herbal treatments There are over 3000 herbs used traditionally in Chinese medicine; Dr. Hu stores over 250 of these in her clinic, and one prescription will often include several herbs.

photo (massage), Photostock

Massage therapy This soothing kneading helps to revitalize overused muscles, alleviate pain, and eliminate discomfort by relieving aches within the body.

On the Danforth

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Patios to Poolside

by Danielle Barron

For those mommies on the go, we ask freelance makeup artist Elise Tremblay to give us tips on how to pamper your skin while in the sunny spotlight

A: UVA rays can penetrate deep into your skin and damage collagen, which is a protein that provides your exquisite exterior with firmness and strength. Getting back to the basics with the perfect five-minute face will give you that long-lasting daily perfection all while staying protected against the sun. Tremblay recommends starting with MAC Studio Moisture Tint SPF 15 ($39, “Use the tinted moisturizer all over your face and allow it to set for one minute or so. Cargo has an amazing water-resistant bronzer [$28,]: just use a brush to apply to your cheeks, and even to your eyelids, for a touch of glow.” Top off your look by adding one to two coats of waterproof mascara. “My fave is Volum’ Express The Colossal by Maybelline [$10,].” Finish it all off with Dermalogica Renewal Lip Complex ($26,, which helps minimize contour lines and prevents signs of aging. “You will look fresh and ready to go! To add instant energy, and revitalize your skin during the day, give a spritz or two of Mineralize Charged Water by MAC [$27, www.]: it’s perfect for rehydrating your skin in the hot weather.”

60 | Summer Bucket List

photos (makeup) contributed by: Cargo, Mac & Maybelline // photo by: Elise Tremblay

Q: My kids can give me a run for my money. What’s a quick way to achieve a great summer look that’s also great for Elise Tremblay ( my skin?



he summer is finally here and it seems that every workout involving running, walking and biking is getting repetitive. Each store you pass is beginning to look the same, and the hustle and bustle of the city is getting more chaotic. So why not keep fit while experiencing Toronto

from a different perspective: in a kayak! Toronto’s Harbourfront Canoe and Kayak Centre  as well as  Toronto Adventures  offers those stuck in the city a chance to escape and experience the serenity of being out on the water without having to travel too far.

& Beauty

Kayaking, although daunting for first-timers, is a great way to spend time and a remarkable way to stay fit. It’s an alternative sport that doesn’t depend on others for success, but relies on self-determination, self-motivation, and a drive for adventure. Not only

u m m e S R

Paddle Through Stay fit while enjoying To r o n t o ’s o u t d o o r s on a kayak

photo, Stock Exchange // (top) photo by: Eva Ing

by Christie Belfiore

is kayaking exhilarating and enlivening, but it also allows you to work on building muscle, endurance, and balance without thinking about it. Using a combination of muscles in your back, shoulders, and abdominals to move you through the water creates an exercise routine that doesn’t feel like one. Let’s face it, staying active isn’t an easy gig, so take advantage of the summer weather and partake in an activity that ignores the pestering burn of overworked muscles or the torment of running that last kilometre. Kayaking is an enjoyable outdoor hobby that

heightens your senses and pushes your body to extremes you might have never thought were possible.


he Harbourfront Canoe and Kayak  Centre offers a variety of lessons: for beginners, classes touch on the basics such as balance, strokes and maneuvers, and recovery strokes; for advanced paddlers, lessons cover rescue skills, map and compass navigation, and even instructor certification. And, of course, for those not interested in sitting through classes, there are opportunities to simply rent a kayak and take a tour of the Toronto Islands. Toronto

Adventures, on the other hand, offers rentals and guided tours, but focuses on excursions on the Humber and Rouge Rivers, which present a different perspective of Toronto. ven if you’re a first-time kayaker, don’t hesitate— give it a try. It’s a good idea to take a beginner’s lesson to familiarize yourself with all that kayaking encompasses, and then take it at your own pace from there. It’s easier than it looks, and the view of Toronto from the coast of Lake Ontario makes the paddle worthwhile. Kayaking is your key to getting active and staying healthy this summer.


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REVITALIZED For the First Time Tranquility Presides in the Amethyst Spa and Salon by Adam Abbas

It is said that to be truly human is to be constantly exploring. I think this is true, but even so, we all have boundaries we aren’t willing to cross. For some men, the idea of receiving a treatment at a spa is abhorrent and at best would only be attempted when accompanying a woman. This phobia of effeminacy still dominates, even though it has no bearing. So when approached to write an article about my first spa experience, I agreed— but I had to be comfortable in my own skin, so to speak. On a Saturday morning I visited Amethyst Spa and Salon, located on Danforth Avenue just west of Coxwell Station. I was greeted by owner Yvonne Wilson, who was friendly and understanding of the fact that I’d never received any type of spa treatment. Yvonne, who has been practicing since 1972, explained her spa services to me. “Our facial therapies are customized for each person, we do a skin analysis first by using a magnifier to determine the type of skin care.”

She also told me that she specializes in therapeutic pedicures, which help diabetics by improving circulation. “And our Salt Cave is the only one to be found on the Danforth. It’s been used in Eastern Europe for many years. It helps alleviate respiratory problems such as smoker’s cough and sinus congestion.”

to help take away the dead skin cells permeating my face.

She then asked what kind of fruit I liked, and I figured she was going to bring in some fruit for me to eat. “Grapes,” I said truthfully, unaware that my subconscious was probably forming a Romanesque dream of luxury. But my naïvety was met A witty customer receiving a with a laugh as Yvonne pedicure swore to the high explained that she asked in quality of the variety of ser- order to give me the right vices available, so I chose the kind of facial mask. I had the Amethyst Spa Special, an choice of strawberries or affordable package includ- papayas. ing a facial, massage and manicure. I went into a quiet I was wary of walking in pubroom with Vivaldi’s The Four lic with a face smelling of Seasons playing gently on strawberries so I chose the the speakers, changed into a papaya. After seven minutes robe and lay down on a the mask was lifted, and my comfortable bed. face carried no aroma; instead it looked cleaner and Moments of reticence passed brighter. None of the treatthrough me; was I really in ment was the least bit harmneed of the treatment? What ful and it made my face look if it backfired? But my worries and feel great. If you’ve gone were in vain. Yvonne to a spa before or if it’s your applied an array of moisturiz- first time, rest assured that ers, interspersing them with Yvonne will look out for your heated moist towels, a steam best interests. cleanser, and several brushes

62 | Summer Bucket List

Green Your Beauty Routine


& Beauty

7 tips for reducing your carbon footprint this summer by Carly Brown

2. Skip the Shower

The average shower uses 160 litres of water, so give dry shampoo a try! Just rub a small amount of powder into your roots and brush it through your hair so it’s evenly distributed. Not only will you be saving the environment, but you’ll also be reducing your water bill.

(opposite page) photo, Stock Exchange // photos contributed by: Priya Means Love

3. Air-Dry

Hair dryers can use up to 1200–1875 watts per use! Reduce your hydro bill by letting your hair air-dry after you shower. Bonus: no more split strands. Overdrying your hair damages your locks, leaving unruly split ends and slowing down hair growth.

4. Cut the Chemicals

Make sure to read the ingredients listed in the products you’re using. One in eight of the 82,000 ingredients used in personal care products are industrial chemicals, including carcinogens, pesticides, reproductive toxins, and hormone disruptors. A general rule: the less ingredients, the better! Look for products that are all natural, as they won’t harm your health.

5. Buy Sustainable Products

A sustainable resource is one that is replenished at the same time that it is used. Bamboo is a great sustainable resource and it can be grown without the use of pesticides. There are plenty of ecofriendly products made from bamboo and sold locally: check out Grassroots’ selection of makeup brushes and hairbrushes.

3 green beauty products to try this summer

Liquid soap contains extra water, and the pump often causes overuse. Barred soap is less wasteful and contains the moisturizing liquid glycerine, which is beneficial for those suffering from eczema.

recommended by Grassroots’ manager Michelle Shahoud

1. Grab a Bar

1. Priya Means Love Lavender Mud Hair and Scalp Cleanser - $18 This cleanser is all natural, organic, and made locally! It contains red clay which sucks up the oils in your hair and leaves your scalp clean, exfoliated, and refreshed. 2. Sigrid Rose Blossom Face Cream - $26 A light moisturizer is perfect for the summer. This one is made locally and has a delicate scent for sensitive skin. 3. Priya Means Love Herbal Lip Therapy - $8 Banish dry, chapped lips this summer with a lip balm packed with healing ingredients. It comes in tinted and non-tinted. And Don’t Forget the Boys! Just for Jack Natural Shaving Oil - $15 Sick of razor burn? This shaving oil has a light scent and is nourishing for your skin. It’s perfect for shaving around blemishes and works great in the shower. Grassroots is located at 372 Danforth Avenue

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6. Use Organic Cotton

Don’t just wear organic cotton: most drugstores sell organic cotton balls, swabs, and pads. Do you need an incentive for making the switch? Organic cotton is hypoallergenic, more absorbent, and—unlike traditional cotton products—doesn’t contain toxic bleach residue.

7. Recycle!

Most products have recyclable packaging, and some stores will even give you an incentive when you return empty packages. For instance, MAC Cosmetics has a program called Back to MAC, where if you return six empty packages you receive a free lipstick!

64 | Summer Bucket List

On the Danforth

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My Introduction to

North American Camping Culture byNikita Shah My father is Indian. My mother is Trinidadian. I’ve been raised immersed in a mix of Eastern and Western culture. While I have spent most of my life in North America, there are still things in North American culture that I have not picked up on. Among these are a love of classic rock, an understanding of the purpose of Christmas crackers, and most of all, camping. It seems every one of my peers went to summer camp year after year when they were children, and continue to go camping every summer.

It was only upon sharing my adventures with other people that I learned that it’s not truly camping unless you’re in a tent, hunting your own food, and wiping with a leaf. Anything more civilized than that is just plain luxury. Aren’t I spoiled?

I find that in most cases, camping starts out as a family excursion. Coming from two cultures that aren’t known for their outdoorsiness, I missed out on this growing up. I stay in the city while my friends, one by one, drive out to the middle of nowhere and set up camp for a long weekend or longer. Then they come back and gush about how much fun it was. That’s okay. I’ll stay here in the realm of toilet paper, thank-youvery-much.

I’d never swum in a lake before. That was embarrassing to reveal, but I had to provide a reason for being so squeamish around murky water. I grew used to that. I got eaten alive by bugs despite the spray. I got used to that too. We went hiking and my legs and arms got cut up by pointy shrubs. Got used to that. I went cliff diving. Ignoring that self-preserving voice saying “don’t jump off a cliff ” was a challenge, but yes, I got used to that too.

This was my attitude until very recently. My best friend and her family have rented cabins on the French River every year for 20-odd years. In order to get the entire campground to themselves, they rent out four or five cabins and invite friends to join. This is where I learned about camping, or as I later learned it was called, “camping.”

Surprisingly, the only thing that didn’t require adjustment was the inability to access Wi-Fi. I didn’t need it. Why would I? The French River was gorgeous; there was so much to do and to explore. Turns out, North Americans know what they’re doing with this whole wilderness thing—and I even got to keep the toilet paper.

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photo by: Kimberli Francis

It was mid-August when we went. We drove for roughly 10 hours—mostly sleeping or listening to tunes, or munching on Timbits. We arrived at the campsite in the afternoon, the sun glistening off of the water, the nearby island beckoning for exploration.


Tel: 905.803.0050 Fax: 905.803.0066 700 Dundas Street East


Tel: 416.234.0599 Fax: 416.234.9920 4133 Dundas Street West




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Tel: 416.421.8588 Fax: 416.421.5477 154 Wicksteed Ave

On the Danforth - Summer 2012  

On the Danforth Magazine, produced by Centennial College.

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