HAVE KAYAK WILL TRAVEL EXPLORING NIAGARA’S WATERWAYS
FALL DOWN THE RABBIT HOLE
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meet the CONTRIBUTORS ANGELA AIELLO
ANDREA K AISER
Angela Aiello is the Founder of iYellow Wine Club home to over 10,000 members who build wine confidence through discovery through events, classes and tours. To learn more, join the wine club for free at iYellowWineClub.com or AngelaAiello.ca
Lynn is a food, wine and travel writer, author of three international award-winning cookbooks and regular contributor to REV Publications. Lynn specializes in culinary tourism covering regional cuisine destinations, slow food, culinary holidays, wine, spirits and “la dolca vita”. She can be reached for questions or comments at lynnogryzlo.com.
Andrea Kaiser grew up in Niagara, and is no stranger to the Ontario wine industry. You could say she was born into a life of food and wine and now shares this passion for Niagara Flavours through her writing, teaching and work. Well, we will call it work for lack of a better word.
ANDREW HIND Andrew is a freelance writer specializing in travel, history and lifestyle. He has a passion for new adventure and experiences, and also for exploring little known stories. Andrew is never without a book or three in hand and some obscure historical fact at the tip of his tongue. You should follow him @discoveriesAM
YOU CAN’T USE UP CREATIVITY. THE MORE YOU USE, THE MORE YOU HAVE. -MAYA ANGELOU
Gabrielle is a writer for REV Publishing and passionate about the written word. A newcomer to Niagara, Gabrielle is a graduate of the University of Ottawa’s Journalism program and has written for a number of newspapers and publications across Canada. Her passion lies in profiling members of the community and uncovering the hidden gems within a city. When she is not writing you can find her on her bicycle most likely with a large coffee in hand.
Convinced she would have made a better teen in the 80s instead of the 90s, Jill’s passion for writing came after seeing the movie Stand by Me. When Jill is not moonlighting as a freelance writer, she is an Elementary teacher juggling her three children. Along with being a regular contributor to Today Magazine, Jill’s articles have been featured in Canadian Running, Pedal, Allergic Living and @OECTA. jilltham. wordpress.com @JillBT
MARIANA BOCK AROVA Mariana Bockarova is a PhD Candidate at the University of Toronto, where she teaches Psychological Resiliency, the Science of Happiness, and the Psychology of Relationships. Her research explores narrative medicine and mental health. She also holds a Master’s degree from Harvard University concentrated in Psychology.
THE EDITOR W
elcome to the summer edition of Niagara On the Lake by Today Magazine. As a tourism publication, we bring you in depth articles on all the best things to see and do during your visit to Niagara-On-The-Lake. For this issue, we cover many different facets of Niagara: the adventurous side (with the exploration of Niagaraâ€™s waterways with Niagara Kayaking, page 42), the historical side (with a look at the history of the beautiful St. Marks Church, page 35) and the artistic side (with a behind the scenes look at the Shaw Festivals new production of Alice in Wonderland page 59). There is definitely something for everyone here. This is a great time of year to visit the Region, so take advantage of that by getting out and exploring all the amazing spaces and places we have to offer.
LesPalenik / Shutterstock.com
Kiev.Victor / Shutterstock.com
WELCOME TO NIAGARA-ON-THE-LAKE Welcome to the historic Town of Niagara-onthe-Lake, the first capital of Upper Canada in 1792. We are delighted you have chosen our town as your special getaway. Niagara-on-the-Lake has much to offer this time of year. From our beautiful countryside setting and pristine agricultural lands to premier wineries and the world-renowned Shaw Festival Theatre, there is something for everyone. Known as one of the most romantic areas and top visitor destinations in Canada, Niagara-onthe-Lakeâ€™s heritage district features many quaint shops and art galleries, outstanding restaurants, and noted historical, architectural sites. We are also home to some of the finest visitor accommodations, from local bed and breakfasts to 5-star hotels and spas. For the shopper in you, be sure to visit the
many shops in our Old Town heritage district as well as the Outlet Collection at Niagara, Canadaâ€™s largest outdoor shopping centre, which opened in May 2014. This amazing retail complex features over 100 high-end retailers and a food pavilion. We take pride in our many visitor attractions, historical sites, nature trails, and heritage architecture, and hope you will experience the best we have to offer. Enjoy your stay, and we look forward to welcoming you again. Best wishes,
Pat Darte Lord Mayor TODAYMAGAZINE.CA 9
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PUBLISHER Rev Publishing Inc. PRESIDENT & CEO Daniel A. Pasco GENERAL MANAGER Candace LeBlanc DIRECTOR OF SALES Sherry Madden SENIOR ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE Alex Mills ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES Joe Visentin, Nicole Morneault, Barry Archer BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT MANAGER David Mace EDITOR Megan Pasche CREATIVE DIRECTOR Tina Lanzillotta GRAPHIC DESIGNERS Tabitha MacDonald, Rachel Bertrand, Christina Picton, Jenn Blais IT/WEB DEVELOPER Justin Soungie MARKETING AND SOCIAL MEDIA COORDINATOR Kaila Henderson CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Jill Tham, Lynn Ogryzlo, Gabrielle Tieman, Andrew Hind, Angela Aiello, Andrea Kaiser, Mariana Bockarova PHOTOGRAPHER AJ Harlond TO ADVERTISE PLEASE CALL 905.356.7283 or 1.877.888.2825 WEBSITE todaymagazine.ca
facebook.com/RevPublishingInc @revpublishing www.revpublishing.com Niagara On The Lake by Today Magazine is published by Rev Publishing Inc. All opinions expressed in Niagara On The Lake Magazine are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the view of Rev Publishing, it’s employees or owners. Reasonable care is taken to ensure that the information contained in this magazine is as up-todate and accurate as possible, as of the time of publication, but no responsibility can be taken by Niagara On The Lake Magazine for any errors, omissions or comments made by writers or interviewees that are contained herein. Furthermore, responsibility for any losses, damages or distress resulting from adherence to any information made available through this magazine is not the responsibility of Niagara On The Lake Magazine. All unsolicited manuscripts and/or photographs submitted are assumed to be intended for publication or republication in whole or in part. The right to alter, edit or refuse photos and/or manuscripts intended for publication is assumed. All unsolicited material submitted to Niagara On The Lake Magazine are submitted at the author’s risk. Manuscripts and or photographs intended to be returned must be accompanied by sufficient postage. Niagara On The Lake Magazine does not assume any responsibility for any claims of our advertisers and reserves the right to refuse any advertising.
FOOD & DRINK 14
MAKING THE MOST OF YOUR BARBEQUE
HERE COMES THE SUN
23 26 32
Sensible BBQing from a simple summer. A roundup of our favorite summertime drinks.
NIAGARA WINERY SECRETS Here are just a few of Angela Aiello’s favourite things to do while she’s in Niagara-on-the-Lake.
MEGALOMANIAC WINERY Revolutionizing the Niagara wine industry one innovative wine at a time – each with a touch of sass.
WHAT MAKES NIAGARA WINE SO COOL? Our wines are some of the most food friendly in the world.
ABOUT TOWN 35
STORIES IN STONE
HAVE KAYAK WILL TRAVEL
THE JAM IS IN SESSION
THE BEST ROUTES
Exploring the secrets of St.Marks Church. Exploring Niagara’s waterways. Greaves Jams in Niagara-on-the-Lake is a unique company where traditions are embraced and quality is never compromised. Touring wine country on two wheels.
LIFESTYLE & CULTURE 59
FALL DOWN THE RABBIT HOLE
GO EASY ON THE EYES
A behind the scenes look at the Shaw Festival’s new production of Alice in Wonderland. Dr. Stoyan’s advice on how to best protect your eyes in the outdoors.
HERE. SEE. DO 76 81
NIAGARA-ON-THE-LAKE EVENT CALENDAR SEASONAL CELEBRATIONS Summer and Fall festivals in the Niagara area.
BBQing for a
Summer By Lynn Ogryzlo
FOOD & DRINK
Seven am on any given day is certainly not what you’d call prime-time TV. But when you’re walking the treadmill and channel surfing, a foodie will eventually settle on the Food Network. So there I was power walking in one spot and watching a chef thread thick succulent tentacles of octopus onto fancy metal skewers. These grayish appendages were about the size of a rather large, long carrot, all covered with slimy little suction cups. They had the texture of a puddle of Jello and flopped around aimlessly as the chef skillfully lanced each one through the center from end to end. Then he doused them with olive oil and covered them with a secret combination of herbs to no doubt offer plenty of flavour. Then he grilled them on a really hot barbecue grill. They looked amazing. What a great start to barbecue season! The next day I watched as another chef blanched whole artichokes on the barbecue. He took a large stockpot, filled it with water and then added not only the artichokes but plenty of other whole vegetables as well. He put the giant pot on the barbecue and closed the lid. It was to be left there for 45 minutes (one second TV time). The show never did demonstrate just how to remove the piping hot pot from the barbecue. I would have been interested to see just how they maneuvered such a large and hot pot to drain the vegetables. Obviously this would have to be done inside the kitchen, effectively steaming it up on a hot summers day. While the artichokes were cooking, he took some glowing red hot coals and put them in the bottom of a smoker (of course, who doesn’t have two major pieces of equipment ready to prepare one veggie dish?). Then he laid wet alderwood chips over top. The lid of the smoker was placed on top. The food rack slid into the middle. Next he took six Roma tomatoes and sliced them in half. The tomato halves went on the food rack, cut side down, the rack was set in place and the tomatoes left to smoke for about 20 to 30 minutes – 1 second TV time.
Direct Heat: Turn all burners on high, close the lid and thoroughly heat the grill. When you’re ready to grill, turn the burners down to medium and grill away. Direct grilling is very hot and suits smaller foods like fruits, vegetables, seafood and small portions of meat such as steaks or racks.
Indirect Heat: Turn all burners on high, close the lid and thoroughly heat the grill. When you’re ready to grill, turn one of the burners off. Place the food on the unlit side. Close the lid and allow your food to cook. On a three-burner grill, turn the center burner off and place the food on the centre grill. Indirect grilling is best for meats that will drip or for very large cuts of meat like pork shoulder or rib roast that take longer to cook. Once cooled the artichokes were halved, brushed with a bit of olive oil and laid on the hot grill to achieve all those delicious caramelized flavours (a favourite term used by all chefs who barbecue on TV). When the tomatoes were done smoking, they were diced finely and dressed with a special vinaigrette that was prepared in a food processor – also outdoors of course. The artichokes were arranged on a plate with their grill marks proudly showing and the luscious smoked tomato compote was spooned into the centre of each one. All six artichoke halves looked absolutely beautiful! Day 3, 4 and 5 of watching the food network was equally delicious yet equally unreasonable for home cooks to achieve on their own. Scallops poached in lobster stock and grilled for visual affect. Lavender grilled jumbo shrimp with creamy squash and sweet potato bundles. Bourbon marinated ostrich with French lentils and homemade mustard cream sauce. It all started my mouth watering and in no time at all I was dreaming of enjoying each and every one of these dishes. Now, I’ve come to terms with the fact that the barbecue shows I’m watching on the Food Network are strictly for entertainment purposes. I have no one to prepare them for me and I’d never try any of the >>
complicated and extravagant processes at home. But it is barbecue season and if you want more than just putting a slab of meat on the grill, there is one trick that makes outdoor cooking a lot more exciting with very little effort. I call it playing with the heat. Direct heat is quick grilling over an open flame, lid up or down and indirect heat, is grilling with the lid down with only one burner on and the food over the burner that has been turned off. With indirect heat you never put the food over the flame. In
either case, if you play with the level of heat in the barbecue, you’ll be able to cook many different foods at once and even your entire dinner with one piece of equipment – your barbecue! Convenient? You bet! As for the Food Network, yes I’ll keep watching as I’m walking. After all, who doesn’t find it fun to watch someone prepare a stenciled roast of venison stuffed with loin of rattlesnake and dressed with heritage beans harvested by an endangered tribe on the remote side of Tuscany?
Barbecued Beer-Can Chicken Chimichurri Sauce Chicken on the barbecue is popular at Directions my house but I don’t like to lather it In a small bowl, mix the mustard, butter, salt up with sticky sweet barbecue sauce. and pepper together. With fingers, carefully Instead, mine is simple, succulent and loosen skin from chicken breasts and rub mixture under and over skin. Tuck wings under chicken. refreshing. Refrigerate overnight.
Ingredients 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard 1 tablespoon butter, room temperature 1 tablespoon salt 1 teaspoon black pepper 1 whole chicken (3 ½ to 4 pounds) 1 can (12 ounces) beer ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil 2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped ½ cup fresh cilantro, chopped ½ cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice 3 tablespoon red wine vinegar 3 to 4 garlic cloves, peeled 1 shallot, peeled ½ teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
If you’re using your good roasting pan, line it completely with foil, or purchase a disposable roasting pan. Using a can opener, remove the top of the beer can. Remove one third of the beer and place it on the pan. Slide the chicken over the beer can until it is all the way into the chicken cavity. Place it on barbecue. Grill, covered, over indirect medium heat 1 ¼ to 1 ½ hours or until a thermometer inserted in thickest part of thigh reads 170°-175°. Do not lift the barbecue lid during cooking. Meanwhile, to make the chimichurri sauce, place the remaining ingredients in a food processor; puree until almost smooth (or as chunky as you like). Season with salt and pepper and chill. When the chicken is done, carefully remove pan from the grill. Remove the beer can from the chicken, cover the chicken with foil and let it stand for 15 minutes before carving. Serve with chimichurri sauce. Serves six. TM
Alistair Harlond PHOTOGRAPHY
WEDDINGS • FAMILIES FASHION • COMMERCIAL alistairharlond.com
The only thing we enjoy more than our view is sharing it with our friends.
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3930 Cherr y Avenue | Vineland, ON | L0R 2C0 | 905.562.5155 | megalomaniacwine.com Hours of Operation: Daily 11 am to 6 pm | 43˚ 08’ N 79˚ 24’ W
A view to thrill
Niagara Helicopters Flightseeing Tours
Niagara Helicopters 3731 Victoria Avenue Niagara Falls, ON
905 357 5672 niagarahelicopters.com
Quite possibly the best thing about summertime is the outdoor relaxation that comes with it. And what is relaxing outdoors, without a cold drink or treat in hand? We’ve rounded up some of our favourite summertime recipes to share…hope you enjoy them as much as we do! >>
SOUTHERN SWEET TEA INGREDIENTS • • • •
6 tea bags 2 cups of sugar 1 gallon of water ¼ teaspoon of baking soda (this helps cut any bitterness)
DIRECTIONS 1) Boil half of your water, and once boiling, add it to a glass pitcher with the tea bags and the baking soda. 2) Let steep for 15 minutes. After time is up, remove the tea bags, add the sugar, and then stir until it’s dissolved. 3) Add the rest of the water (cold), to the pitcher, and stir again. 4) Put it in the fridge for several hours before serving.
BLUEBERRY YOGURT SWIRL POPSICLES INGREDIENTS • • • •
2 cups of blueberries 2 tablespoons of honey 2 cups of vanilla Greek yogurt A popsicle mold
DIRECTIONS 1) Blend the blueberries in a food processor or blender until they reach a smooth consistency. 2) Pour the mixture into a large bowl, stir in the honey, then stir in the yogurt (mix it gently if you want your popsicles to be marbled looking). Taste the mixture; if you don’t think it’s sweet enough, you can add more honey. 3) Put the mixture into the popsicle molds. Add the sticks if you have them (the ones that come with the molds), if not, put it in the freezer for two hours, then put a wooden stick in each. Freeze for 4 to 6 hours or overnight.
Source // Recipe from the countrycook.net
4) You can easily remove them from the molds by running them under warm water.
FROZEN BLUEBERRY BITES
*This recipe can be adapted to use any kind of fruit…you can adjust the amount of honey depending on the sweetness of the fruit you use.
INGREDIENTS • 1 cup fresh blueberries • ½ cup light vanilla yogurt • Toothpicks
DIRECTIONS 1) Put a berry on a toothpick and dip in yogurt, then place on a parchment or wax paper lined cookies sheet. 2) Repeat until all the blueberries are done. 3) Freeze for about an hour. 4) Eat immediately or store in an airtight container in the freezer. Source // Recipe from liveatlearn.com
Source // Recipe from sallysbakingaddiction.com
CHERRY LIMEADE SLUSH INGREDIENTS • ½ cup frozen lime concentrate • ¾ cup maraschino cherries (no stems) and juice • 1 cup of lemon lime soda • 1 lime, juiced • 2/3 cups of ice • Extra cherries and lime wedges for garnish
DIRECTIONS 1) Add the ingredients to a blender and process until they are combined and smooth. 2) Garnish and drink! Source // Recipe from thefarmgirlgabs.com
STRAWBERRY LEMONADE POPSICLES INGREDIENTS • 1/3 cup of sugar • Six to eight strawberries • 1 cup fresh lemon juice (from about 4 to 6 lemons) • ½ cup water • Popsicle mold
DIRECTIONS 1) To make the simple syrup, bowl 1/3 cup of water, and once boiling, add sugar and stir until it’s dissolved. Take it off the heat, and let it cool completely. 2) Cut up the strawberry into small pieces and divide the pieces into the mold. Source // Recipe from sweetandsavorybyshinee.com
FROSTED & FROZEN LEMONADE INGREDIENTS • • • • • •
1 can frozen lemonade concentrate 1 cup milk 1/2 can sweetened condensed milk 2 to 3 cups of crushed ice Grated lemon zest Whipped cream
DIRECTIONS 1) In a blender, mix lemonade concentrate, milk and ice. 2) Add in sweetened condensed milk (keep tasting and adding until it reaches a taste that you enjoy) 3) Pour into glasses, garnish and serve! Source // Recipe from attagirlsays.com
• • • • •
1) Boil one cup of water, and then stir in sugar until it is dissolved.
2 ½ cups of sugar 2 cups fresh lemon juice 1 ½ cups cranberry juice 5 cups of water Lemon slices
2) Once dissolved, allow it to cool and refrigerate for one hour. 3) Add the sugar mixture, the juices, and 4 cups of water to the pitcher. 4) Mix it all together well, and put it in the fridge until it’s ready to serve. 5)Serve it with ice and garnish with a slice of lemon. Source // Recipe from frugalcouponliving.com
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The ulitmiate summer adventure.
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iagara wineries are nothing short of amazing. From the beautiful architecture to stunning wines and dining masterpieces, itâ€™s a place where youâ€™ll be enchanted by rural luxury. Growing up in the region, I spent many days running through vineyards and hiding behind cellar doors - and learning what to sample at the tasting bar. >>
ere are just a few of my favourite things to do while I’m in Niagara-on-the-Lake (voted by Trip Advisor as Canada’s #1 Food and Wine Destination):
Make a stop at Ravine Vineyard and check out the cheese boutique at the back of the tasting room. Taste some cheese and purchase your favourite to savour at home. ravinevineyard.com
Sip amazing Chardonnay at Southbrook Vineyards. Although there are many reasons to visit this winery, their Chardonnay is one of my favourite in all of Ontario (if not the world!). Taste through a few and find your own favourite. I also love the architecture of this winery – it’s LEED certified and the floor to ceiling windows are just incredible. southbrook.com
Get to the underground barrel cellar at Jackson Triggs. Although this is a large and well-known winery, it is still one of my top places to visit. The unique outdoor amphitheatre is in amazing proximity to the vines, and the barrel cellar is soulfully calming. Not to mention, their 2012 red wines are incredible (I’ve bought by the case load). jacksontriggswinery.com
Stop at Stratus and appreciate your surroundings. The entire winery is the epitome of country chic. From the outstanding wines to the picturesque patio and interior, this winery is a real treat and also LEED certified. stratuswines.com
Taste the Sparkling Ice Cuvee at Peller Estates Winery. This perfect Sparkling wine (I’ve also bought cases of ) is made with a dollop of Icewine in the traditional Champagne method. While you’re sipping, stop by the restaurant and enjoy some cheese. Their wine shop is quite beautiful as well. peller.com
Discover Canada’s wine treasure by tasting an Icewine flight at Inniskillin or Pillitteri Estates. Learn about the different grapes used to produce Icewine (Chardonnay, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Riesling, Gewürztraminer and Vidal). Find your favourite and take a few bottles home to share with friends and family. It will last a while in your fridge if you want to open it right away too. Just remember to airtight seal it. inniskillin.com & pillitteri.com
Drive up to the beautiful Chateau Des Charmes, Canada’s only Chateau winery. Owned by the Bosc family, this impressive winery produces a really wonderful Old Vines Riesling. Spend some time by the calming waters out front and take a picture in this lovely setting. fromtheboscfamily.com/chateau-des-charmes
Check out a wine museum at Rockway Vineyards. This is a great place to spend a sunny afternoon. Enjoy a round of golf or simply hang out and sip some wine and catch-up with family and friends. rockway.net
Wander through the wine shop at Hillebrand Estates Winery/ Trius Winery and take a stroll around their magnificent property. When it comes to wines, I am a big fan of their Sparkling Brut and Signature Trius Red. Their tasting bar is located in the middle of the wine shop! www.triuswines.com
Love Pinot Noir? Stop by Coyotes Run Winery and taste the difference between their Black and Red Paw Pinot Noir. It’s a neat experience to learn how soils really make wine taste different. coyotesrunwinery.com TM
What better way to go local? Extraordinary Wine Experiences at our Chic Sensory Bar Call 905-468-WIN to book today! @reifwinery facebook.com/ReifEstateWinery
15608 niagara parkway niagara-on-the-lake | canada
MEGALO photography: AJ Harlond location: John Howardâ€™s Estate
WINERY BY GABRIELLE TIEMAN
Original in their product, bold in their flavours and audacious with their branding, Megalomaniac Winery continues to revolutionize the Niagara wine industry one innovative wine at a time – each with a touch of sass.
This cheeky line is a daring turn for a Niagara homegrown – touting cult favourites SonofaBitch Pinot Noir, Bravado Cabernet Sauvignon, Narcissist Riesling and Pink Slip Rose on their long list of incredible wines. But though Megalomaniac may use their unique branding and attitude to poke fun at the occasionally rigid and traditional Niagara wine industry, each wine remains loyal to the Niagara Region with their elevated homegrown characteristics; creating a truly unique reflection of a Canadian winery with a global perspective. What began as strictly a retirement venture for owner John Howard has since rapidly grown; evolving from a brand of limited quantity, hand-crafted wines into an established award winning winery citing a 25-30 per cent per year growth over the last four years. “We have gone from two thousand to 40 thousand cases in four to five vintages,” said Howard. “But that is all accredited to the people that I work with; they are all really personable, very grounded, they are all people who have a very dynamic spirit. They really walk the talk in terms of producing a quality wine and experience for the people who come here.”>> TODAYMAGAZINE.CA 27
photo: (left) John Howard; (right) winemaker Sébastien Jacquey. photography: AJ Harlond location: Megalomaniac Winery
Resting upon what is believed to be the highest vantage point on the Niagara Escarpment between Milton and Niagara Falls, Megalomaniac’s 120 acres of vineyard on the Vineland Upper Bench in Lincoln has been cultivated and restored to its natural glory. Boasting five varietals on premise and a multi-level winery, Megalomaniac is a must visit while in Vineland; featuring an open concept tasting bar, retail facility, private tasting rooms and the new addition of a wraparound stone patio and rooftop terrace adorned with glass railings and seating for an unobscured panoramic view of both the Niagara Region and Toronto and Niagara Falls skylines that is simply breathtaking. The patio is not the only new addition to the winery’s impressive repertoire; welcome acclaimed winemaker Sébastien Jacquey to the team. The dynamic and highly educated winemaker from Burgundy, France is known for using a combination of old world style in the new world; diligent in his quest to create premium wines while fostering a comfortable environment that promotes creativity, discovery and spontaneity. “Six years before I met him I said that the wine he produced, Le Clos Jordanne, a pinot noir, that it was the best red wine ever produced in Niagara,” said Howard. “I’ve said this for six, seven years – and I had never met him. So when he came to talk to us about joining us, we talked about Le Clos Jordanne and he said ‘I’ve heard you say publicly that you think
it’s the best red wine.’ And I said, ‘That’s because I believe that. Well I want you to produce more.” Jacquey’s extensive education includes five years of vocational training, a university diploma in Technology and Biology with a specialization in Food and Biology, a National Diploma in Oenology and his Professional Agricultural Aptitude certificate. He later received his Master of Earth and Environment studies, specializing in Vine Management and Terroir and then went on to the l’Institut Supérieur d’Agriculture, RhoneAlpes, where he graduated as an Engineer of Oenology and Viticulture. Recognizing that knowledge is not only gained by textbook, Jacquey’s rigorous training has been complemented by lots of hands on experience in wineries around the world. “The really important thing, the key thing, about thresholding a culture where people can become creative is you have to make them comfortable,” said Howard. “If they do not have that threshold then it is very difficult to ascend for that level of greatness. The environment [ Jacquey] creates allows for this level of spontaneity and discovery and exchange of ideas.” Howard, the former proprietor of Vineland Estates Winery and Executive Vice-President for Canon’s North American operations, is no stranger to the evolution and growth of industry. Under Howard’s innovative eye, Vineland Estate’s once petite winery grew into a high-end
- JOHN HOWARD
operation with much acclaim; expanding vineyards by 300 acres and growing production from its humble two thousand case beginnings into a 50 thousand case operation over the course of eight years. Howard has done the same with his newest venture. What began as a single vintage meant to help financially support his charity Kids’ Health Links Foundation, which provides computers for children in hospital so they can stay connected to family and friends, took off. And though Howard’s initial goal was to limit annual production to a few thousand cases while keeping the bottle price low, the winery’s growth could not be stunted. “I was going to spend my retirement fly fishing for Atlantic salmon, I was going to spend time developing our projects in Bordeaux [France], and I was going to farm this property,” said Howard. “I wasn’t really keen on the notion of making wine again. For me, I was done making wine in Canada; I had two Wine Chateaux in France [With the Jeanoueix family, a dynasty in the wine industry]. So we did one vintage, where a portion of the proceeds would go to the charity, and called it Megalomaniac.” The original vintage sold out within 90 days and in tandem with the wine’s success, the foundation established a threshold. It became clear to Howard that the foundation could have a huge impact on children hospitals across the country. The notion of taking it national came up, so he made another vintage. Today, neither the winery nor the foundation has
I CALLED IT MEGALOMANIAC FRANKLY TO POKE FUN AT PEOPLE IN THE WINE BUSINESS WHO TAKE THEMSELVES TOO SERIOUSLY. ceased growth; with the foundation currently residing in 11 of the 13 children’s hospitals across Canada. With the intention of keeping Megalomaniac Canadian, Howard and business associate Bernie Beauregard set out to find a creative label to match the unique brand. “I called it Megalomaniac frankly to poke fun at people in the wine business who take themselves too seriously,” said Howard. “Everyone, including [Beauregard] was nervous about me using Megalomaniac. They thought wine journalists and people like that would think I was mocking them - which I was, unequivocally, so everyone was nervous. “Our sense was that if we produced a really good wine at an affordable price, there would always be a place for that product,” said Howard. “That has been a bit of a threshold; producing the best wines we can, but presenting them at a very affordable price. Our underlining theme is value and it is very important to us and our customers.” Their search ended at an art institute where they held a contest to find the winning label design to accompany the cheeky name. A young woman from B.C. was the first to introduce the image of the faceless man in a bowler hat. The brilliant packaging went on to receive much acclaim in 2007 when Narcissist Riesling was singled out as the only individual design to earn >>
photo: John Howard photography: AJ Harlond location: Megalomaniac Winery
double-gold honours at the San Francisco International Wine Competition under unanimous vote. “I really think the branding struck a note with wine people internationally,” said Howard. “To win gold, first you have to have more votes than anyone else from the tribunal, but to get double gold it has to be unanimous. It’s a pretty big deal for Napa [Valley].” Megalomaniac quickly found themselves at the forefront of interest in the wine world. Though Howard says he had no aspirations to expand the brand past its original concept, Howard said they had no choice but to construct the new winery – which opened in 2014 – to accommodate current and future growth. Rising upwards from the Underground Cellar Howard had constructed years previous to house farming equipment, a winery of esteem rose with one reoccurring theme; that it be Canadian. “I wanted it to be Canadian,” said Howard. “And I wanted it to be organic. All of the stone is from the escarpment. Majority of the wood is Canadian. It’s supposed to look Canadian and I want it to look Canadian
because we are in Canada. This idea of trying to emulate Italy, France; I don’t get that. You want property that looks French? Buy in France!” Though they farm a variety of Bordeaux varietals imported from France on the property, this passion for a true Canadian winery can be found flowing effortlessly among the grapes surrounding the vineyard – with Howard’s patriotism mirrored by the Crimson King Maple Trees that line the drive into the winery. “Anyone who takes a photograph - there is a maple leaf in front of it,” said Howard. “That’s who we are. But it was natural that we would have Bordeaux varietals here because of what we were doing in France. Some of the same vine clones we have on our properties in France are planted here so it gives us an interesting dynamic.” The winery farms an evolving crop of varietals on the home vineyard and rolling fields of the main vineyard. This includes all Bordeaux varietals – Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc – and Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Riesling. Following an unfortunately rough winter, Megalomaniac was forced to uproot many of the damaged vines surrounding the property on flat land – losing 40-45 per cent and the entirety of the home vineyard merlot. But Howard said he is looking towards the future and not back at the damaged grapes; this uproot has allowed their team to plant new vineyards – including more Chardonnay and Pinot Noir to cater to Jacquey’s interests. “I love planting vineyards but you don’t really want to plant vineyard by virtue of ripping out vineyard,” said Howard. “But I don’t think we will have that problem again.” “We are very keen on farming what we put into the bottle,” said Howard. “We want people to see that and see the commitment we have got in terms of owning and operating and maintaining the amount of vineyard that we have.” The winery also features on premise labs and state of the art fermentation and barrel rooms for on-site wine tasting, testing and experimentation. Megalomaniac chose to invest in both high end cigar barrels and traditional round barrels for developing their wines – allowing their wine makers the opportunity to experiment and test aging and development components on the same grapes. But expansions are not set to cease in the near future. Howard said the winery will continue to work on expanding their new patio, adding an additional roof top component above the current patio, all to help soften the concrete exterior and provide even greater views of the surrounding region. Howard said they are also looking to build an experimental kitchen for catered events and add drone technology into the vineyard for live profiles of the grapes. All renovations sit with the same goal of creating an all-encompassing Niagara wine experience. “We really want people to come out here and have fun and get a perspective of Niagara that is traditional,” said Howard. “If it wasn’t for this industry, all of this land on the horizon could soon be planted with basements. We’ll always pride ourselves in protecting our Agricultural Heritage.” Whether it be their world-class wines, phenomenal views or Howard’s warmth and character that draw you to Megalomaniac, you are guaranteed to find something that will keep you coming back for more.
“We’re proud of our Niagara Heritage and we’re certainly proud of our homegrown wines!” TM
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BY ANDREA KAISER
Do you ever wonder why your favourite Ontario Cabernet Franc pairs so perfectly with a rack of lamb or why local Rieslings pair perfectly with Chinese take-away? And why sparkling wines from Niagara go with just about everything? Of course, different wines pair better with certain foods, but it’s also true that because our wines are ‘cool’, that they are among the most food friendly wines in the world.
OUR VINEYARDS ARE LOCATED IN A ‘COOL CLIMATE’ WINE REGION, WHICH IS KNOWN GLOBALLY TO PRODUCE SOME OF THE MOST ELEGANT AND BALANCED WINES IN THE WORLD.’ But it’s not our hip winemakers, nor our trendy labels, that couldn’t be cooler. What’s really cool about Niagara wines is where the grapes are grown and as a result, what’s in the bottle. Our vineyards are located in a ‘cool climate’ wine region, which is known globally to produce some of the most elegant and balanced wines in the world. Historically speaking, the majority of the world’s most famous wine regions were located in the northern hemisphere and to this day still produce some of the world’s best wines. Who does not think of Champagne, Alsace and Burgundy when asked to think of some of the most distinguished wines of the world That is not to say that wonderful wines are not produced in the hot climates of the southern hemisphere, they are just different. If you have ever tasted fruits like pineapple or mango, think about how they are unlike local apples and pears. While they are both ripe and sweet, the latter has a much higher acidity and freshness. And the same is true with wine: grapes ripen differently depending on where they are grown and if you start with a riper, sweeter grape, you will have a much softer wine. Warm climate wine regions also tend to have more consistent temperatures throughout the season, meaning the fruit also ripens very quickly. By contrast, grapes grown in cooler regions ripen gradually and accumulate their flavour slowly. As a result, the wines from countries like New Zealand, Germany and Canada tend to be more complex, making them some of the most foodfriendly wines in the world. Temperatures also often rise and fall at intervals throughout the season and in autumn as the temperatures drop quickly, the acidity levels are preserved providing for fresh bright lively wines. These intricate flavours and higher acidity levels help to accent the flavours in the food you’re eating. And that’s why sparkling wines generally pair so beautifully with most foods as the grapes are among the first harvested while sugars are low and acidity is high. So get out into Niagara wine country and meet our hip winemakers, see some trendy labels and savour and sample some of the world’s most food friendly wines. And the next time you are setting your table, make room for only the coolest. TM
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THE CREEK IS CALLING Looking for a wine and food experience that’s slightly off-centre, yet right on the mark? Then come on down to the Creek, and see why Creekside Estate Winery is Niagara’s destination of choice for travellers looking to shop, dine, taste and tour the very best Niagara has to offer.
TRADITIONAL GREEK CUISINE
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ABOUT Town BY ANDREW HIND
It is said that Major General Isaac Brock, commander-in-chief of the British forces in Upper Canada during the war of 1812, used to sit on a rock in the middle of this burial ground, plotting battles and keeping an eye on the enemy just across the Niagara River. The fabled rock is still there, just one of the many secrets that St. Mark’s Anglican Church and Cemetery in Niagara-on-the-Lake reveals to modern visitors. Besides being stunningly beautiful and soothingly tranquil, this holy ground is unusually rich in history.
The cemetery at St. Mark’s, for example, is the oldest anywhere in Ontario. Even before the cemetery was established in 1792 to serve the village of Newark (as Niagara-on-the-Lake was then called), the grounds had been used for centuries as a First Nations burial site. The earliest tombstone dates back to 1794, and memorializes Elizabeth Kerr, daughter of Molly Brant (sister of Joseph Brant and herself an influential Mohawk leader) and her mate Sir William Johnson, the British Superintendent of Indian Affairs. But an even older headstone resides within the church. Therein lies an interesting story. During the construction of the church transept in 1828, a weathered old grave marker belonging to Leonard Planck was discovered. Planck, a member of Butler’s Rangers, had died
in 1782 at the military hospital that was located to the east of the church. His death was a painful one, as he lingered for months after being wounded at the Revolutionary War’s Battle of Upper Sandusky. No one knows where he was buried or where the headstone originally was placed, so it resides today within the church. Because Newark was a small community, over the next few decades only a handful of others joined Elizabeth Kerr in St. Mark’s cemetery. That all changed in the autumn of 1812, when the United States declared war on Britain and invaded her Canadian colonies. For the next four years, the Niagara frontier became a hotly contested battleground. Hundreds fell on each side, with many of those who fought under the British banner ending up, at St. Mark’s Cemetery. >>
fact, St. Mark’s has literally been scarred by that conflict of long ago. The church, only four years old when war erupted, was pressed into service as a hospital to treat soldiers gruesomely wounded in battle. Surgeons had no recourse but to amputate if lives were to be saved. Deep gouges left by the surgeon’s axe can still be seen in several flat tombstones that served as impromptu operating beds (another explanation, that the marks were made by American soldiers in an attempt to deface the tombstones has little merit; why were the upright stones, so easily broken or removed, not disturbed?). Naturally, the church continued to perform its sacred role as well, and was here that Brock’s funeral service was conducted after he fell at the Battle of Queenston Heights. When the Americans occupied Newark, they pressed the church into service as a barracks and dug rifle pits in the cemetery, the contours of which can still be seen. Later, when they retreated in the winter of 1813, they set the church alight with the rest of the community. Thankfully, the church’s greatest treasure, a vast library of priceless books, survived the fire. How? The church’s first rector was Robert Addison, who arrived in 1792 who brought with him over 1500 books (this at a time when even a middle-class family might have but a few books in their possession due to prohibitive cost). This literary treasure trove survived the fire because they were housed in Addison’s home, Lake Lodge, outside of town. Preserved today in Addison Hall, a climate-controlled room in the church, the books are available to view upon request, and represent the oldest library west of Quebec. The window over the altar also bears a special distinction. Installed in 1840, it is the oldest stained glass window in Canada west of Quebec. Interestingly, a number of symbols on the lower parts are Masonic in nature.
Take the time to wander the grounds and read the inscriptions on some of the headstones. They are windows into the past, and relate some fascinating historical stories. One of the stones you will find belongs to Colonel William Kingsmill (1794-1876), a prominent figure in early Upper Canada. He was commanding officer of the Durham militia, Sheriff of Niagara, and a member of the provincial legislature in Toronto. But his most interesting distinction is that veteran of the Napoleonic Wars was one of the officers entrusted to guard Napoleon Bonaparte during his exile on the island of St. Helena and, during that time together on the isolated island, became good friends with his erstwhile enemy. Another veteran on the Napoleonic Wars was Richard Hiscott (whose magnificent home stands on Prideaux Street). Hiscott fought at the Battle of Waterloo, and therefore played a role in the defeat of Napoleon Bonaparte. After the war, in search of a new start and new adventures, he came to Canada and settled in Niagara where he died in 1820. Elsewhere, we find the stone of an interesting figure known as Old Riley. William Riley was an African-American, likely a former slave, who served with the British in both the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812, even though he would have been about 50 at the time of the latter conflict. Though there was widespread prejudice at the time, he found a welcoming home in Newark and over his 80 years living there became a popular figure about town. Old Riley lived to 106 years of age. His granddaughter owned the home that now houses Trish Romance’s gallery. Under the canopy of ageless trees one finds the tragic headstone of Sarah Ann Tracey, who was only 7 years old when she died in 1840. She was the child of Thomas Tracey, the troop sergeant major of the King’s Dragoon Guards stationed at Fort George, and his wife Hannah. There are plenty of other graves for children as young as Sarah Ann in St. Mark’s Cemetery,
many even younger, so what makes her so interesting? Many have come to believe she is the mischievous child spirit encountered so frequently over the years at Fort George. Another tragic story surrounds a somber memorial erected in the grounds by the Royal Canadian Yacht Club. July 11, 1874, dawned beautifully and so seven lads, the product of wealthy Toronto families, decided to take their yacht, the Foam, across Lake Ontario to Niagara-on-the-Lake. Sadly, a sudden storm swept across the lake later that afternoon, descending upon the yacht before the boys could find a safe port. They raced for Niagara-on-the-Lake but couldn’t outrun the waves and winds that swamped the vessel within sight of the Niagara River and drove her to into Lake Ontario’s depths. All seven boys died. When their bodies were later recovered, they were buried at St. Mark’s Cemetery and a memorial erected to honor their untimely deaths. A spectacular church, St. Mark’s reflects Niagara-on-the-Lake’s rich history. It tells stories in stone—both in the building itself and the headstones huddled in its sacred shadow—and provides an invaluable window into the past. TM
ST. MARK’S HAS LITERALLY BEEN SCARRED BY THAT CONFLICT OF LONG AGO. THE CHURCH, ONLY FOUR YEARS OLD WHEN WAR ERUPTED, WAS PRESSED INTO SERVICE AS A HOSPITAL TO TREAT SOLDIERS GRUESOMELY WOUNDED IN BATTLE.
NIAGARA TWENTY VALLEY
Why Twenty Valleyâ€™s wine region is worth the visit
Our regional (VQA) appellations, Niagara Escarpment and Niagara Peninsula, and our sub appellations, Beamsville Bench, Short Hills Bench, Twenty Mile Bench, Lincoln Lakeshore and Creek Shores, produce Ontario wines recognized and celebrated across Canada and the world. Our tastes are born from our location: The mighty Niagara Escarpment at our back, magnificent Lake Ontario at our front and in between, soil churned and made com-
plex by grinding glaciers eons ago. Once you add in a little magic called the Lake Effect (constantly circulating breezes between the Lake and the Escarpment that moderate temperatures), you get the unique combination of earth and climate that make Niagaraâ€™s Twenty Valley an extraordinary place to grow fruit and craft wines, luring artisans dedicated to creating their own vision of perfection in a glass.
CREEKSIDE ESTATE WINERY 2170 Fourth Ave. Jordan, ON creeksidewine.com
Just off the beaten path, Creekside Estate Winery is Niagara’s destination of choice for spirited travellers looking for a wine and food experience like no other. Our award-winning winemaking team delights in defying winemaking conventions and our chef relishes in preparing honest and rustic local cuisine. At Creekside, we’ve uncorked the perfect way to shop, dine, taste and tour all Niagara has to offer.
HENRY OF PELHAM FAMILY ESTATE
1469 Pelham Rd, R.R.#1 | St. Catharines, ON henryofpelham.com
Henry of Pelham Family Estate Winery has been making premium wines for almost 30 years. Taste award winning wines in our cellar tasting bar or have lunch at the Coach House Café. Coach House hours are Thursday-Monday 11:30am-5:00pm from Victoria Day through Thanksgiving. Come as a guest, leave as family.
HERNDER ESTATE WINES 1607 Eighth Ave. Louth St. Catharines, ON hernder.com
From rolling vineyard to wine press, barrel cellar to bottling line, a tour of Hernder Estate is a fascinating excursion. Open 7 days a week for complimentary tastings and weekend public tours at 1pm. Hernder’s also houses two banquet rooms available for private lunches, dinners, events and weddings. Visit www.hernder.com for more information including pricing.
SUE-ANN STAFF ESTATE WINERY
3210 Staff Ave. | Jordan, ON sue-annstaff.com
Sue-Ann Staff Estate Winery is the ultimate assemblage blending over 100 years of family grape growing experience on the 200-year-old estate with Sue-Ann’s international winemaking acclaim. Become part of the family in Niagara’s friendliest winery where great wine tasting occurs right in Sue-Ann’s kitchen. Premium, historic, educational and memorable. Open daily from 11am.
FIELDING ESTATE WINERY
4020 Locust Ln. Beamsville, ON fieldingwines.com
3290 Ninth St. St. Catharines, ON rockway.net
Join us at Fielding Estate Winery to shop the Lodge and enjoy an artisanal cheese plate and delicious glass of VQA wine on our deck overlooking the lush vineyards and beautiful scenery of Lake Ontario. Open seven days a week, yearround Fielding offers a variety of carefully crafted wines for every palate and occasion.
Rockway Vineyards is a family-owned VQA craft winery located on premium grape growing land in the Twenty Mile Bench sub-appellation. It is the only winery in Ontario which also features an 18-hole Championship Golf Course. It also houses Ontario’s only Antique Wine Museum, a collection of artifacts from 19th Century France. Guests have the option to enjoy a self- guided tour, or guided tours can be booked by appointment. It also features a restaurant and banquet facilities where you can take in beautiful views of the surrounding scenery while enjoying a delicious meal prepared by our Chef.
WINE MAKES DAILY LIVING EASIER, LESS HURRIED, WITH FEWER TENSIONS AND MORE TOLERANCE. -BENJAMIN FRANKLIN
�3TH STREET WINERY
3930 Cherry Ave. Vineland, ON megalomaniacwine.com
1776 Fourth Avenue St. Catharines, ON 13thstreetwinery.com
The Cellars and Vineyards of Megalomaniac John Howard Cellars of Distinction sit on a 96-acre site in Vineland and boast a newly completed 30,000 sq. ft. winemaking and hospitality facility with gorgeous views of the Toronto and Niagara Falls skylines. Of note to try are the Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Homegrown series wines.
Our goal is to create exceptional wines that reflect the unique terroir of Niagara while providing a place for guests to congregate and escape; to relax and discover; to experience and learn. We invite you to visit our tasting bar and wine boutique then explore our art exhibits and sculptures or relax on our verandah with a glass of wine. Make sure to visit the 13th Street Bakery for delicious fresh baked goods, jams, jellies, artisan cheeses and much more!
taste • play • shop • stay
twentyvalley.ca • 905.562.3636 •
@twentyvalleytourism • #twentyvalley
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KAYAK will TRAVEL By Gabrielle Tieman
Exploring Niagaraâ€™s Waterways
oasting one of the most captivating natural settings in Ontario, Niagara Region is home to a number of rich outdoor adventure landscapes awaiting those ready to fill their lungs with fresh air and venture out to discover. But the problem for many is: they’ve seen it. They have hiked the gorges. They have cycled the trails. They have walked and scooted and rolled their way around every nook and cranny of the beautiful peninsula. It is time to breathe new life into the same backdrop and add a fresh perspective on the beloved Niagara outdoors. And there is only one way to discover a fresh perspective in our own familiar backyard; the secret is to paddle. There is something captivating about spending time on the water in a kayak: water enthusiasts annually take to Niagara’s rivers with this vessel of choice to discover a new perception on Niagara’s natural habitat, beautiful shorelines and local wildlife. But for many, especially for the tourists visiting the region and many apartment dwelling locals, easy access to both kayaks and the water is limited.
Niagara Kayak Rentals removes the struggle from getting onto the water and allows it to simply be easy and fun for all. The first entirely mobile kayak rental company in the region, the family run business is 100 per cent user friendly; not only will they meet you at the launch location and supply all of the equipment – including user-friendly kayaks, lifejackets, water bottles, rain jackets and dry pack bags for your belongings – they will even lend instruction to new paddlers and pick all of the equipment up after you are done. So all your group has to do is show up ready to enjoy a day out on the water. “We take all of the trouble out of the equation,” said Lisa Palmer, owner of Niagara Kayak Rentals. “We fully facilitate the launch; we bring all of the equipment and anything else you may need for a day out on the water – then pick it up after you are done. We will even pick a group up at their hotel and drop them off at a winery or other location afterwards. We try to make it as easy as possible.” >> TODAYMAGAZINE.CA 43
It is about making getting out on the water easy and accessible to everyone. Directed towards paddlers of all skill levels yearning for something different [with the appropriate swimming ability and confidence on the water], Niagara Kayak Rentals services all water ways in the region from the lower Niagara River to Lake Ontario; an area steeped in a rich history and natural beauty. “Anywhere there is water that you can access by foot, we can launch from,” said Palmer. shore“There is zero other ways to enjoy those shore lines unless you are in a jet boat.” Serviced waterways include the popular Niagara-on-the-Lake beach launch, Chippewa Creek, the Port Dalhousie Launch tour and guided tours that travel down from Queenston Heights; habieach offering their one unique set of wildlife habi tats, nesting grounds and historic sights. The mobile company’s fleet includes a full complement of 40 Canadian-made recreational, light touring kayaks. Both single and tandem famkayaks are available to rent and ideal for fam ilies, couples, corporate team building groups and others in between. “Transporting equipment can suck the joy out of the sport – it is a lot of work and these boats are heavy,” said Palmer. “It is about making getting out on the water easy and accessible to everyone.” Palmer said the company began when her and her family noticed a strong need for increased water sports and light recreational use of the Niagara River. With her background in heritage conservation in both natural and built sectors and as an active member of Niagara-on-the-Lake’s sailing community, the company was simply a perfect fit for her and her three children. “I have a natural inclination towards a less intrusive way of enjoying this corridor,” said bioPalmer. “It is such a beautiful, natural bird bio sphere. And rather than my teenage children kitchworking summer jobs in hot restaurant kitch ens, we thought what an opportunity here, that we could offer a service to both locals and tourists alike that was easy and offered a low carbon footprint.”
All three of her children, along with the other employees, are avid paddlers and hold varying degrees of certification from Paddle Canada. Each season, the team undergoes training to ensure they are prepared to help guide newcomers to the river and make the trips as easy and enjoyable as possible. All paddlers are required to listen to the tutorial provided by the team leaders and fill out the company’s waiver before heading out on the water. “[The staff ] is trained to profile our guests to ensure they are in the appropriate equipment and offer a tutorial on safety and basic kayaking instructions,” said Palmer. “We cater to all types of groups, age brackets and paddling skill levels. We even cater to groups with prosthetic legs; we have trained our staff how to add counterweights to the boats so they can remove their prosthetic legs and be comfortable for hours out on the water.” And as they enter their fourth season on the water, they hold a zero incident record and pride themselves on their steady growth. With this growth, Palmer has expanded the company’s website to include an online booking section and pre-pay option as to better facilitate same day launches and make it easy for groups traveling from out of town to reserve boats and schedule tours with confidence. “We can exceed 100 launches a day and the majority of the volume that we do on weekends is a lot of walk ups,” said Palmer. “We get lots of people who at the last minute decide that it is a beautiful day, they want to get out on the water, so they come to us. Online booking will allow us to better accommodate those last minute additions and have them feel assured that they have their time booked.” Though Niagara Kayak Rentals has a retail location on Niagara Stone Road in Virgil, Palmer wants kayakers to understand that the business is not located in a single spot. The best place to reach herself and the team is always through the website or email. “The beauty of being a mobile service is that we can literally be in the middle of Lake Ontario and still be able to process a credit card,” said Palmer. “This allows us to move with the paddlers and still cater to those not yet on the water.” Rates vary according to style of kayak rented and chosen launch location. All information on rates, how to book, where to download the waiver and contact information is available at niagarakayak.com. TM
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THE JAM is in
BY JILL THAM | PHOTOS BY AJ HARLOND
have our favourite restaurant, our favourite pair of jeans and many other “old reliable” things that make people creatures of habit. Greaves Jams in Niagara-on-the-Lake is a unique company where traditions are embraced and quality is never compromised. Once you have placed Greaves Jam on your breakfast table, nothing else will compare. It will fit just like that favourite pair of jeans. In 1927 Mabel and William Greaves were making marmalade in their kitchen and driving it up to Toronto to be sold. Around the same time, the Greaves family opened up a storefront on Queen Street in Niagara-on-the-Lake where for over 60 years the family produced and sold exceptional jams, jellies, fruit spreads, marmalades, and condiments. When Angela Redekopp, her husband Lloyd, and their partner, Rudy Doerwald, purchased the company from the Greaves family in 1989 they fully intended on honouring the company’s traditions and upholding the integrity of the jam. “We still have the original recipe book written in Mabel Greaves’ handwriting,” says Angela Redekopp, Vice President of Operations and Co-owner of Greaves Jams. From stirring the mixture with a
large paddles over an open kettle, to placing the jars on the conveyor belt, many aspects of the production and packaging is still done by hand as it was in 1927. “We pit every navel orange, grapefruit, and lemon during the citrus season,” says Redekopp. Over the years, the Redekopps and Doerwald have remained true to the traditions of the Greaves family while taking the business into the next generation. “We moved the processing plant from Queen Street to Walker Road to allow more space for labelling; which was a huge improvement to production. We also added an extra kettle, introduced a rotary filler, and smaller components like a grinder for vegetables and fruits,” says Redekopp. The storefront building, constructed in 1845, still serves many tourists and local residents each year. To produce approximately one million jars of jam per year, the company purchases the fruit from local growers and all throughout Ontario. “We start locally and then extend outwards to the province and then the country,” says Redekopp. “The fruit comes in differently every year and we have to adjust the recipe to compensate for tartness. “ The recipe for Greaves Jam is simple: fruit and sugar. The sugar content keeps the jam well preserved and the health benefits of a product that lacks preservatives, pectin, additives and colour is an unusual find at your grocery store. So uncommon that a few decades ago the high quality of their jam became quite the controversy when Greaves Jams was visited by a government inspector who deemed the product too pure to be labelled a “jam.” As requirements dictate, there is a certain amount of fruit, sugar and filler, for lack of a better word, that are required for a product to be called a jam. Redekopp and Doerwald wouldn’t back down and call their >>
THE COMPANY CONSTANTLY STRIVES TO LIVE UP TO THIER MOTTO,
jam a fruit spread, and rightfully so as their product holds no preservatives, pectin, additives, or artificial colour. The company constantly strives to live up to their motto, “Canadian Quality, Purity, Naturally.” Although Greaves Jams produces 40 different types of flavourful jams, jellies and marmalades, there is also a delectable line of condiments. Their peach chutney, chili sauce, cranberry sauce, salad beets, and mint jelly are very popular with customers. Mabel’s recipe for relish is always a strong seller as it adds an extra kick to potato salad, tuna salad, hamburgers, sausages, and hot dogs. “The relish also makes a great tartar sauce for fish,” says Redekopp. “We also prepare gift baskets, wedding favours and gift boxes for individual and corporate events,” adds Redekopp. The company also supplies sophisticated 28 ml jars of jam, marmalade, and honey to various hotels across North America. Along with locations in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Greaves Jam can be found in the Four Seasons, Ritz Carlton, and Park Hyatt hotels. “We are proud they serve our jam to their clients,” says Redekopp. “Some of the rich and famous are eating our jam.” In more recent years, Greaves Jams has acquired a following in Asia. “We do some export in North America and we have recently started doing business into China. They have embraced the Canadian products and we are doing exceptionally well with them,” says Redekopp. Above the Greaves Jams retail store is “Sweet Escape” a boutique accommodation in a historical building that comfortably sleeps four to six individuals. The 1800 square feet of modern living is complete with all the amenities. This loft suite overlooks the main street in historic Niagaraon-the-Lake and is just steps away from shopping, restaurants, golf, Shaw Theatres, bike trails, and historic attractions. “It has been a privilege to provide this nostalgic feel to visitors of the area,” says Redekopp.
CANADIAN QUALITY, PURITY, NATURALLY. Greaves Jams is not immune to the challenges that can arise from owning and operating a business. “The economy has been the biggest challenge for us. Gas prices, the U.S. dollar, and even passport requirements have affected sales,” she says. Redekopp has pleasantly noticed a surge in Canadian customers. “It is nice to see Canadians are spending their money at home more and exploring their own neighbourhoods. Especially because we are a Canadian company employing Canadians.” Along with online sales, Greaves Jams can be found all over Ontario in a variety of locations. “Our products can be found in local bakeries, gourmet shops, delis, hotels, and grocery stores and chains like Foodland, Sobeys and Metro,” explains Redekopp. “Toronto is still one of our largest markets,” says Redekopp. The continued goal of the Redekopps and Doerwald is to have Greaves Jams present on every kitchen table. “We want our product to be affordable enough for everyone to enjoy,” says Redekopp. They are certainly on their way to reaching that goal and with the expansion of stores offering Greaves Jams and their international sales, Greaves Jam will soon be in everyone’s shopping carts. If you haven’t tried Greaves Jams before, drop in to one of their retail locations and make Greaves Jam your new habit. For a complete list of Greaves Jams retailers please visit greavesjams.com and search your city in the store locator section. TM
SAVE A BUCK. A CITY GUIDE IN THE PALM OF YOUR HAND.
BEST ROUTES ARE THE ONES NOT YET RIDDEN BY JILL THAM
EXPLORING NIAGARA BY BIKE Fresh air in your lungs, wind at your back, a feeling of peace and an exquisite view of the Niagara Gorge as you peer over the embankment riding down the Niagara Parkway; there is no other way to experience what Niagara has to offer then with Zoom Leisure Bike Rentals and Tours. “People are always in the best mood when they see us,” says Rebecca Deboer, co-owner of Zoom Leisure Bikes. Zoom Leisure Bike Rentals and Tours, locally owned and operated for the past 18 years, is the only company in the Niagara area that specializes in bikes. “Although we offer tours, our business is built on well-maintained bikes. We keep a mechanic on site and have the newest equipment,” says Deboer. The husband and wife team of Rebecca and Steve Deboer, were recent graduates of Niagara College when they established Zoom Leisure Bikes. “We started renting bikes out of a rusted old minivan to the hotels and our business grew from there,” says Deboer. Popularity of this singular experience is growing exponentially, leaving Rebecca and Steve with little space left in their shop on Mississauga Street in Niagara-on-the-Lake. “We have a wide variety of bikes to choose from including hybrid, cruiser, tandem, mountain and road bikes. We also have child and specialty attachments,” explains Deboer. >>
On our self-guided tours we want people to get out there and EXPLORE. Zoom Leisure provides custom corporate, selfguided, wine and microbrewery tours. “On our self-guided tours we want people to get out there and explore,” says Deboer. Zoom Leisure Bike Rentals and Tours is committed to giving their riders an exclusive experience that is not bound by the clock. “We are the only company that offers late night returns,” says Rebecca. Zoom Leisure staff will go the extra mile and pick up your bike at your hotel – free of charge. “People love that they can end whenever and wherever they want,” she adds. They also have rental kiosks in the Whirlpool Aero Car plaza and Smuggler’s Cove, which are both located along the Niagara Parkway. With a Zoom Leisure guided tour you are in for an unforgettable experience. Their wine tours last for approximately five hours and consist of visiting four to five different wineries. Their guides are local, well versed and know how to give their customers the royal treatment. You’ll get to experience everything, from the winery’s tasting room to the sampling bars, where you can try some of Niagara’s best local wines. If the wine you taste is to your fancy, Zoom Leisure will arrange for one of their staff to pick up your merchandise at the winery and deliver it to the Zoom Leisure Bikes storefront or your hotel.
All the guides are Niagara experts, and will enlighten you with a bit of history and useful tips such as the best places to shop and eat, as you tour around the most pristine places in Niagara-on-theLake. The tour also stops in all of the most photogenic places in town, allowing you to get some great shots. “I have toured individuals that have been biking for years to those who have never ridden a bike before. We have something for everyone,” states one tour guide. Whether her guests request an intense ride or a leisurely pace, the beads of sweat will be whisked from your forehead as you quench your thirst with a Signature Series Ice Cuvee Classic, a sparkling wine with a splash of ice wine from Peller Estates Winery. At each stop made, guides will use their intuition, knowledge of wine and uniqueness of each winery to find the perfect match for their guests. Water and snacks are provided with each wine tour and picnic lunches can also be arranged. This summer guests will not only be treated to the best of Niagara’s wines, but a cheese and meat plate will also be added to the tour. If you are not interested in a wine or beer tour, Zoom Leisure Bike Rentals and Tours will cater to your desires. “We have arranged custom tours for architecture groups, school groups, history buffs and geology tours for Brock University professors,” states Rebecca. “We recently hosted the Buffalo Sabres and every year we cater to an all-ladies group that ride in their stilettos and miniskirts. All the male staff request to work that weekend,” laughs Deboer. With Zoom Leisure Bike Rentals and Tours, time does fly when you are having fun. Whether a large group or just two lovebirds on a bicycle built for two, you won’t want to get out of the saddle. TM
Niagaraâ€™s South Coast
ocated where the Welland Canal joins Lake Erie, Port Colborne is a working marine community with rich nautical history and welcoming hospitality. Throughout the year, the uniqueness of Port Colborne is showcased as visitors and residents stroll along the promenade beside the Welland Canal, pop in and out of the shops and boutiques, immerse themselves in the local arts and culture, or relax on the beach. Visitors to Niagaraâ€™s South Coast can expect a getaway that is relaxing, fun and takes full advantage of everything this area has to offer.
#tourismportcolborne TASTE THE LOCAL CUISINE:
There’s no better way to discover a place than by tasting it. Experience the unique restaurants and cafes where the locals like to eat. Serving regional and global favourites, Port Colborne’s restaurants offer the perfect recipes for a foodies’ paradise. No matter what type of cuisine you may be craving, you’ll find plenty of flavours to savour in Port Colborne.
Unique shopping experiences abound in Port Colborne. Visit our two historic commercial districts along the Welland Canal for a diverse selection of antiques and collectables stores, galleries, gift shops, and fashion boutiques. The city mall is home to brand name retailers and Port Colborne’s Farmers’ Market is the place to find quality Niagara tender fruits and vegetables. Friendly merchants, great selection, and fair prices… that’s shopping in Port Colborne!
ULTIMATE FISHING DESTINATION:
Niagara’s South Coast is home to worldclass Trout, Walleye and Bass fishing. In a recent competition hosted by the World Fishing Network (WFN), Port Colborne was chosen as Canada’s Ultimate Fishing Town.
CYCLE & HIKE TRAILS:
Discover the outdoors on Niagara’s South Coast by pedal or foot by exploring the numerous cycling and hiking trails. The City of Port Colborne offers easy access to fantastic paved multi-based trails surrounded by beautiful scenery. Great for cycling, walking and rollerblading.
Discover and explore a world of creativity on Niagara’s South Coast. Niagara’s South Coast Arts & Culture Route is a self-directed, year-round guide to the studios and galleries of some of the most creative people in Canada. The route leads you through the communities of Wainfleet, Port Colborne, Ridgeway and Crystal Beach, introducing you to painters, potters, sculptors, glass artists, and fine artisans. Route brochure and map are available at portcolborne.ca
CELEBRATE WITH US: Celebrate our heritage, pride and passion with one of many year-round festivals on Niagara’s South Coast. Gather your friends and family to take in a food-lover’s paradise, a sail on a tall ship, a classic car show or step back in time at our local marine heritage museum.
PORTCOLBORNE.CA I 1-888-PORTFUN I #PORTCOLBORNE
ntario’s Lake Country can be found north of bustling city streets, skyscrapers, and the fast-pace nine to five lifestyle. It’s where relaxation and adventure blend perfectly within the natural Canadian backdrop. It’s here, in the heart of lake country that you find a place exactly like nowhere else, a premier entertainment resort that sheds the stereotypical larger than life facade of most Vegas style resort casinos - Casino Rama Resort. Your exploration of the great indoors begins with the resort’s luxury all-suite hotel. Inspired by the classic lakeside cottages that were grandfathered to the area, the impressive hotel lobby is dominated by timber beams, natural stone and the warm light that bathes the area from the impressive atrium windows. Comfort and style extend throughout each spacious hotel suite where plush bedding, an all-marble four piece bath, separate seating area and cozy gas fireplace treat you to a home away from home. Immerse yourself in the feeling of calm and relaxation at the full service Balance in Life Spa. Offering a variety of treatments for both men and women, this acclaimed spa features monthly specials including those just for Players Passport and Facebook Fan Club members (tip: membership to both clubs is free!). The saltwater indoor horizon pool, looking out to a sun soaked rooftop patio invites guests to take their time and settle into true
relaxation by taking a quick dip or a leisurely swim pre and post treatment. Be sure to leave time to enjoy the invigorating eucalyptus steam rooms and hot tub, available to all spa and hotel guests. Surrounding the resort are pristine fields farmed for generations by local families making for easy access to farm to table cuisine, something the award-winning Chefs at Casino Rama Resort take pride in. From maple infused dressings and desserts, to fresh berry compotes, Ontario lamb and the bounty of the fall harvest season, each one of the resort’s eight unique restaurants brings the sweetness of nature to their specially crafted menus. Fine dining and comfort food go hand-in-hand under cedar branches and waterfalls, offering something for every palate. The “come as you are” atmosphere at Casino Rama Resort creates an inviting experience on the gaming floor. It’s fun and electric without being intimidating or pretentious even with over 2500 of the hottest slot machines and more than 100 of the most popular table games. The eager and friendly staff is happy to highlight the newest games on the floor, explain how to play and to ensure you have a memorable experience, treating guests like friends and friends like family. In flip-flops and a farmer’s tan you may wind up seated next to the night’s big name entertainer at the casino’s
centre bar, because that’s just how comfortable everyone feels here. At a place where Billy Idol, Smokey Robinson and Don Henley can all perform on the same weekend and it makes perfect sense, Casino Rama Resort’s Entertainment Centre adds that touch of excitement unlike any other destination resort. Some of the biggest names in entertainment and sports have performed at the 5,000 seat, world-class theatre that has also transformed into a sporting showcase as a tennis court, an ice surface, an MMA octagon and a boxing arena. The legends of country, comedy, classic rock, pop and the silver screen enjoy the intimate setting that brings them so close to their beloved fans while entertainment seekers are treated to a true rock star experience. Stay, relax, dine, play, rock out and explore all there is to offer in this northern playground. Casino Rama Resort offers the perfect retreat from the everyday with all the amenities of a full entertainment destination. It’s a place that fuses adventure and excitement with the easygoing character of cottage life and truly is a place pretty much exactly like nowhere else. Welcome to the Great Indoors. Welcome to Casino Rama Resort! To begin your adventure at the Great Indoors visit us at casinorama.com or @CasinoRamaResort on Facebook.
at Shawâ€™s Alice in Wonderland
BY JILL THAM
LIFESTYLE & CULTURE
FALL DOWN THE RABBIT HOLE
“ YO U ’ R E E N T I R E LY BONKERS. BUT I’LL TELL YO U A S E C R E T, ALL THE BEST P E O P L E A R E .” A L I C E T O T H E M A D H AT T E R // TIM BURTON’S ALICE IN WONDERLAND
hy, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.” This recognizable quote by Lewis Carroll from the classic storybook Alice in Wonderland are words that Shaw Festival Director, Peter Hinton, doesn’t shy away from. His motivation and flair for thinking outside the box are what sets his productions apart from the mainstream. As Hinton’s productions create a definite buzz, his 2016 adaptation of Alice in Wonderland, is bound to launch him into an elite category of Canadian directing, playwright, and dramaturg. The idea for the production of Alice in Wonderland started with a conversation between Hinton and Shaw Festival Artistic Director, Jackie Maxwell. “We were talking about plays that young people and adults could enjoy equally. One of the most read, translated, and influential books of all time is Alice in Wonderland,” states Hinton. “It would have intrigued Bernard Shaw too,” adds Hinton. The Shaw Festival Theatre, located in Niagaraon-the-Lake, is named after Irish playwright, George Bernard Shaw, and produces plays from and written about his era. Shaw wrote more than 60 plays in his lifetime, 1856-1950. With four different theatres: Festival Theatre, Courthouse Theatre, Royal >> TODAYMAGAZINE.CA 61
George Theatre, and Studio Theatre, The Shaw Festival is the second largest repertoire theatre in North America. Intrigued with the story of Alice as it looks at society from a child’s point of view, Hinton was eager to adapt Alice for the stage. “Wonderland is a story that children continue to love today. For me it is a great work of literature, a great story about growing up. Sometimes children have very simple questions in an adult complicated world,” says Hinton. Alice in Wonderland has a broad appeal as it also speaks to an adult audience. “Any adult that were to read it now would be utterly engaged,” explains Hinton. “Wonderland is an allegory for adults. Alice is a story that asks the question ‘Who am I?’” states Hinton. “The question ‘Who am I?’ is in every great classic play like Hamlet and Hedda Gabbler.” Hinton also contemplates the impact the story has had on society in general. “How many times have we used the expression, ‘I really went down the rabbit hole?’” asks Hinton. Although Hinton has adapted other plays, novels, and short stories, Alice in Wonderland presented a few challenges. “As a director, one challenge was to make it equal to what people imagine when they read the book,” states Hinton. “Everyone has a picture of the Mad Hatter in their head and some will come to the theatre with a notion of the original illustrations from 150 years ago.” Despite any kind of hesitation, Hinton was confident that his ideas could be realized by the staff and actors at the Shaw Festival. “I knew I could adapt Alice because I had people skilled in the manners of the time.” Hinton has an incredible team behind him consisting of 21 actors, 67 crew members, and three managers. “A huge assembly of people have helped make Alice come to life,” adds Hinton. “It is a live show with 19 songs. It has the scale of a musical and the precision of a play. It is fantastic it has a component of mystery throughout the performance,” explains Hinton. With costumes that start as a pattern out of large brown paper and turn into spectacular works of art, Alice in Wonderland has six different teams of tailors working diligently to fit each actor into their custom-made costumes. From start to finish, each costume takes between 100 to 150 hours to construct. “All the costume
designs reference the Victorian era,” states Sydney Cavanagh, Head of Wardrobe for the production and former Assistant Head of Wardrobe for the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics. Walk through the wardrobe department on any given day and you will be delighted to see the magic of Alice come to fruition. From a green lizard’s head made out of a bowler hat to hand made feathers on a bird’s costume, every detail of each costume is exquisitely thought out and executed. Audience goers will be treated to the best that costume and design has to offer as this production pushes the boundaries of costume design. All the face cards in the Queen of Hearts Army first had the top of their costumes tailored and then the upper torso of the actors in costume were professionally photographed. Next, their picture was printed onto fabric and sewn to the bottom of the costume creating an exact reflection of themselves. “When projected onto the backdrop it will look like thousands of face cards,” explains Cavanagh. “With Alice so many things had to be invented. They didn’t come from the props department,” says Hinton. Hinton has embraced technology in the theatre and in recent years found creative ways to incorporate it into his productions. The technology witnessed in last year’s productions of Pygmalion and Touch the Sky were on a much smaller and complementary scale when compared to the technology needed to make Alice in Wonderland come to life. “With Alice, we have characters that are all projection,” explains Hinton. “Alice has to grow, she has to swim in a pool of her tears, there are mythical creatures, and an entire deck of cards has to come to life.” With this many facets to consider, it is no surprise that the design of Alice in Wonderland has been years in the making. A commitment to striving for excellence is where Hinton and his team shine as they have found the perfect match between modern technology and good old fashioned theatre acting and costume design. Hinton’s impressive career has taken him across Canada and since 2012, he has found a home among the local wine and talent in Niagara-on-the-Lake. “My proudest moments have been my times here at the Shaw. The Festival is a true national treasure,” states Hinton. From rehearsal rooms to prop and costume fittings, take a tour back stage and see the creativity and elbow grease that has gone into this year’s production of Alice in Wonderland. “It is unlike anything I have ever done before,” concludes Hinton as this is the first time a commissioned piece is taking the main stage at the Shaw Festival. For Hinton and his team, the Shaw Festival’s production of Alice in Wonderland will truly be a trip “down the rabbit hole” as director Hinton explores new concepts in order to give his audience a surreal and delightful experience. The show runs until October 16th. TM
For tickets and show times visit shawfest.com
“I’M AFRAID I CAN’T EXPLAIN M Y S E L F, S I R . B E C AU S E I A M N OT M Y S E L F, YO U S E E ? ” ALICE // ALICE IN WONDERLAND
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GET UP CLOSE & PERSONAL WITH NIAGARA FALLS Whatever you do while visiting be sure to include an evening out at Hornblower Niagara Cruises. They’re certain to deliver an amazing experience and memories that will last a lifetime.
FALLSVIEW LICENSED PATIO
Nestled at the river’s edge in the Great Gorge, Hornblower’s new Fallsview Licensed Patio is as close as it gets to the Falls. Boasting oneof-a-kind, up-close views of the American and Horseshoe Falls it’s an idealyc setting to relax and enjoy the natural surroundings and majestic beauty of Niagara. Here you can enjoy Niagara-inspired Mist Gourmet Fresh Express cuisine, local Craft Beers and fine Niagara Wines while enjoying live musical entertainment and Hornblower’s “Salute to Summer” Great Canadian BBQ Event in season. At night gather round the outdoor bonfire with good friends for great times in Niagara Falls. Open daily May 1 – November 30.
VOYAGE TO THE FALLS BOAT TOUR
The legendary boat tour of Niagara Falls is Canada’s favorite visitor experience. It’s been thrilling millions from around the world for more than 150 years. You may have seen the Falls before, but you’ve never experienced them quite like this! Hold onto your heart and get ready for the thrill of a lifetime. Hornblower Niagara Cruises will take you on a ride you’ll never forget, into the very heart of the Horseshoe Falls. Prepare for an awe-inspiring journey aboard Hornblower’s state-of-the-art Catamaran boats. You’ll experience the world-famous boat tour of the Great Gorge, American Falls, Bridal Veil Falls and of course an up-close and very personal connection with the world’s most famous cataract. You’ll thrill to the awesome power, thundering roar and amazing mist of the mighty Canadian Horsehsoe Falls! Hornblower’s Voyage To The Falls boat tour is a once-in-a-lifetime experience not to be missed and an absolute must-do for every visitor to Niagara Falls. Boats operate April 1 to November 30. Open daily in summer from 8am to dusk. Boats sail every 15 minutes. Don’t miss it.
HORNBLOWER NIAGARA CRUISES
#BUCKETLISTAPPROVED FALLS FIREWORKS CRUISE
This is Niagara Falls’ most talked about experience! These 40-minute cruises promise to be the highlight of any visit to Niagara Falls. From the convenience of our on-board licensed bar you can savor local Craft Beer, Niagara Fine Wines and cocktails while cruising the Great Gorge and taking in the majestic views of the Illuminated Falls and city skyline. Colors whirl and sparks fly with the famous Falls Fireworks Spectacle directly overhead at 10pm. Hornblower’s Falls Fireworks Cruises are the ultimate evening out. Falls Fireworks Cruises operate May 1 – October 31 Wednesdays, Fridays, Sundays and holidays. Doors open at 8pm. Boats sail 9:45-10:25pm. With limited availability tickets sell out fast. Come early and take in the sunset over Niagara Falls from the comfort of our extraordinary Fallsview licensed patio.
FALLS ILLUMINATION CRUISE
If daytime thrills aren’t your cup of tea, then be sure to enjoy Hornblower’s all new night-time Falls Illumination Cruise. Featuring on-board licensed bar, light bar snack and on-board music these 40-minute cruises are Niagara’s ultimate evening entertainment. Set to the backdrop of starry skies, the dazzling city skyline and the amazing colored Illumination of the Falls these intimate cruises are without doubt the best way to view the Falls at night. Falls Illumination Cruises operate May 1 – June 30 on Saturdays; July 1 – September 5 on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays; September 6 – October 31 Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and holidays. Doors open at 8pm. Boats sail from 9:45-10:25pm. Tickets online at www.niagaracruises.com Toll Free 1-855-264-2427 Located at 5920 River Road (Niagara Parkway) at the foot of Clifton Hill, Niagara Falls, Canada.
E Y E H EA LT H I N THE OUTDOORS By Mariana Bockarova
mongst my favorite memories as a child, there is one particularly cherished of which only a small vestige remains. I was no older than age seven when I conferred to do everything in my power to make my great-grandfather, whose age had just surpassed ninety at the time, happy: He had lost his wife in the springtime many years prior, and as memories often do, his sadness awakened in temporal fashion, with the melting snow and brightening sun. For hours, in hopes of drawing a smile, I danced around the front lawn while he sat on the staircase, cane in hand. With the dirt covered hands of a child who pays no mind to what is clean or proper, in concentrated effort, I climbed into his lap, legs swinging below, and placed flowers in a crown-formation atop his still jet-black hair. The kind man that he was, he slouched down to ease his head for my short arms' reach. As my hand looped below, a flower meant for his crown accidentally swatted into his eye. Though shrapnel from an exploding bomb in the Second World War would cost him the privilege of two seeing eyes, of all chance, I had the misfortune of poking "the good one". As he rubbed hastily, instead of a smile, I had inadvertently drawn a tear. “When a person is poked in the eye, watering is a common response,” says Dr. James Stoyan, head optometrist at Stoyan’s Optical, easing my childhood worry as I recall my memory in conversation with him. He pauses for a moment; then, with the depth and clarity that only an optometrist of his lofty expertise and distinguished experiential stature could achieve, he details exactly what to do should a similar situation ever arise, noting from his lengthy practice that most of us -- myself included -- are completely unaware of proper protocol: “In a surface injury, a poke doesn’t penetrate the cornea (a protective layer of tissue on that covers the iris, the coloured part of the eye, among other mechanisms integral to our ability to see). The cornea has five layers and if an injury goes past the second layer, I might tell my patient to use artificial tear drops and cover it, and it should get better.” A common mistake, says Dr. Stoyan, is rubbing eyes after an injury, which can worsen potential cuts by causing ‘corneal abrasions’. If the cut becomes penetrating, however, which sometimes occurs through rubbing, “infection might set in and without the use of a steroid, antibiotic or antiviral, blindness can occur.” And with that, he answers my ever-lasting question of why my great-grandfather, now deceased, went blind after the shard of metal entered his eye: “Nowadays, if a flake of stainless steel enters the eye, doctors might choose to leave it in because it doesn’t rust. Other substances, however, can badly damage the eye, through infection or rust, so I always recommend safety goggles if welding or for certain outdoor activities.” >>
Being cautious about what enters our eyes in the outdoors is not only privy to shards of metal, however, but everyday substances such as grass, trees, and sand: "Grass and trees have the potential of giving you a fungal infection if they enter the eye. If so, you'll have to be treated with an anti-fungal. If it's sand or dirt in the eye, you might get a viral or bacterial infection. If [a substance enters the eye], the first thing you should do to prevent infection is to wash the eye out thoroughly in cold water immediately and continuously for 10 minutes. After that, you have hopefully washed out all of the pathogens, but to be extra safe, if the eye still looks red or the patient feels something, see an optometrist or ophthalmologist." Though Dr. Stoyan recommends thoroughly washing one's eyes with water, he cautions not to keep our eyes open underwater for too long, particularly if spending the summer months in swimming pools: "The tears of our eyes have a pH of 7.3 or 7.4 out of 14. If you put water in your eyes, which is slightly more acidic [meaning the pH, a measurement of acidity, is less than 7.3], it burns a bit. A small amount of acid is put in swimming pools to keep them clean, and if you're in there long enough, your cornea swells and you may feel burning. It's best to wear under-water goggles if you swim repeatedly, because it would otherwise be constant exposure to acid in the eyes." While mild exposure to swimming with our eyes open rarely cause long-lasting damage, Dr. Stoyan warns it's bathing of another variety
which is the source of major harm to our vision: Sunbathing. "Years ago, when I was a kid, we didn't wear sunglasses; no one suggested it. Now, we suggest that all kids wear them because for those who didn't and are now turning 60, we are seeing the development of cataracts. When a child wears sunglasses, they may age to 80 or more without cataracts or retinal damage." Why does sun exposure increase the damage to our eyes? The optimal amount of light intensity for our eyes (measured in units called foot-candles) is 150-200 foot-candles. In retail environments, such as shopping malls, the light intensity soars up to 1,000 foot-candles, which tends to make everything look brighter and therefore much more aesthetically pleasing. On a cloudy day outside, the light intensity is roughly 3,000 foot-candles, but in broad daylight, it can go as high as 12,000 foot-candles, nearly six times more than what knowledgeable specialists like Dr. Stoyan would consider optimal intensity for our eyes. To further complicate matters, the infamous 'UV radiation' is strongest in summer months (May to August) which can not only cause skin cancer, as dermatologists often warn, but also damage eyes, causing cataracts, macular degeneration
and even solar burn - literally, a sunburn inside the eye. "I had one patient who had his vision reduced after the solar eclipse because he was looking at it for more than 10 seconds… This caused what is known as 'solar burn', which left a scar in the back of his eye, permanently reducing his vision," Dr. Stoyan recalls. "We're told not to look at the sun, but we still do because of a false idea that sun-gazing is healthy for our eyes, but this isn't the case." So, how do we protect our vision from the damaging effects of the sun? Besides seeing a qualified optometrist for eye tests (Dr. Stoyan recommends once a year for children, every two years for adults aged 20-40, and yearly checks thereafter), wearing appropriate protection can make all the difference: "When you put sunglasses on, your pupils (the opening of the centre of our eye in which light enters) dilate to allow more light in, to produce a better image. When sunglasses do not contain UV protection, the UV radiation has even greater exposure to the naked eye through the dilated pupils, producing damage." In other words, wearing sunglasses without UV protection would be the equivalent of your bare skin burning in the sun for hours on-end, with no sunscreen in sight. Though all sunglasses must have UV protection as mandated by Canadian law, Dr. Stoyan notes "the difference between the sunglasses you can buy at drug marts and convenience or retail stores versus Stoyan's Optical is in the lens. Cheaper sunglasses use one UV coating, but better quality sunglasses can use up to 14 coatings. The quality of the cheaper glasses won't cut out the UV as well as better quality glasses and won't produce a clear image." The lesson here is to get into the habit of wearing high quality sunglasses, preferably purchased from a store staffed with certified opticians like Stoyan's Optical, whom you know and trust, and, of course, wearing your sunglasses whenever outdoors. Dr. Stoyan also recommends an unlikely source of keeping eyes healthy: Exercise. Proven by scientific research to prevent the degeneration of neural cells in the retina (which cause a condition known as 'macular degeneration'), there may be no better way to spend the outdoors than getting eye healthy by dancing around your own front lawn. TM
QUICK TIPS FOR EYE HEALTH • Get regular eye examinations by a qualified and certified Optometrist. • Invest in high quality sunglasses, with help from a trusted Optician, and wear them as often as possible. • Get children into a habit of wearing sunglasses early. • If a substance enters your eye, wash it in cold water for 10 minutes, avoiding rubbing. If it is still red or painful thereafter, see an optometrist, ophthalmologist or go to the hospital. • If macular degeneration runs in your family, wear sunglasses, take vitamins, (particularly lutein and zeazanthin), and exercise.
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NIAGARA POLO September 10, 12 to 5pm The Commons, Niagara-on-the-Lake
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NIAGARA ON THE LAKE ULTIMATE FOODIE TOUR Runs until November 27, 2016, Thursday through Sunday 1:30 p.m Embrace your inner foodie while enjoying a picturesque 3-3.5 hour walk along the streets of the Old Town. This tour focuses history and culture while introducing you to fantastic flavours of local food as well as delving into current food/wine trends and Niagara VQA wines. Price is $65 per person. Advance purchase is required, space is limited to 12 people. For tickets www.niagaraculinarytours.com.
SUPPERMARKET May 25 to Mid September 21 Taking place at Garrison Village in Niagara-on-the-Lake, this event features food trucks, prepared foods, fresh produce, live music, wine and beer from local vendors, artisans and more. More information is available at marketatthevillage.ca.
WALKING TOURS OF OLD TOWN June to September Starting Saturdays and Sundays at 11am, enjoy a walking tour of old town NOTL. Walk begins at the gazebo in Queen’s Royal Park. Tickets are $10 (and include admission into the Niagara Historical Museum as well)
THIRD ANNUAL NIAGARA INTEGRATED FILM FESTIVAL June 10 to 19 This year, the festival expands into another week! Hosted at various locations across Niagara, there are several different film series to enjoy. This festival is full of food, wine and most importantly, film. More info at niagarafilmfest.com
63RD ANNUAL STRAWBERRY FESTIVAL June 18 from 9 to 3 This event hosted at St. Andrews Presbyterian Church features live music, a silent auction, BBQ, strawberry baked goods and treats, children’s fun and games, steamed corn on the cob, and church tours. Festival is free for all.
JACKSON TRIGGS SUMMER CONCERT SERIES Live music at the Jackson Triggs Amphitheatre, as well as great wine, delicious food, all enjoyed in the vineyard under the stars. Some of this year’s performers include Stars, Bruce Cockburn and The Arkells, please visit jacksontriggswinery.com for full lineup and ticket information.
ARTISTRY BY THE LAKE July 1 to July 3, 10am to 5pm Queen’s Royal Park hosts a variety of artists showcasing sculptures, paintings, jewellery, photography, wood, fibre art, pottery and more. Overlooking the mouth of the Niagara River and Lake Ontario there couldn’t be a more picturesque setting. Free Admission.
CANADA DAY CELEBRATIONS AT FORT GEORGE July 1 from 10 to 9 Celebrate Canada Day at Fort George beginning with a pancake breakfast in Simcoe Park. As the tradition goes, the Fife and Drum Corps lead a giant birthday cake down Queen Street to Simcoe Park. Admission is free, and the day includes music, muskets, and artillery demos. In the evening, enjoy some spectacular fireworks. >>
SUNDAY CONCERT SERIES AT QUEENSTON HEIGHTS PARK Sundays: June 12 - September 4 from 2 to 4 Set in the beautiful Queenston Heights Park, Enjoy free Sunday afternoon concerts that bring the sound of big band, Dixie, blues and more at these family-friendly outdoor concerts.
THE PAST IS PRESENT HERITAGE FESTIVAL August 1 from 11 to 4 The Niagara Historical Society and Museum hosts this fun festival, which features historic demonstrations, heritage activities, live music and more! Free admission. More info at niagarahistorical.museum
NIAGARA POLO September 10, 12 to 5pm The Commons, Niagara-on-the-Lake The Niagara Historical Society & Museum presents Niagara Polo, a public demonstration match played on the historic Niagara-on-the-Lake Commons. Join us for an afternoon of the “Sport of Kings” with two live games, traditional divot stomp, half-time entertainment, and food and drink vendors. Admission is $15 and children under 12 are free. There is free parking at the John Street entrance. More info and tickets at niagarahistorical.museum
THEATRICAL CEMETERY TOURS September 23, 24, 30 & October 1 Meet the spirits of local residents buried at St. Mark’s Church. Tours starts at 6 pm, 7 pm and 8 pm. Tickets are $10 and must be purchased in advance. Visit niagarahistorical.museum for more info.
NOTL HORTICULTURAL SOCIETY’S 55TH ANNUAL GARDEN TOUR July 9 from 10 to 4
SUPPERMARKET May 25 to Mid September 21 On this page: We love! Manual Labour Coffee
The Garden tour offers people an opportunity to tour several private gardens spread over Virgil and Historic Old Town. Fresh gardens are showcased each year, and the event goes on, rain or shine. Funds raised from the ticket sales support the Society’s charitable activities. Tickets are $12 each in advance or $15 on the day of the tour. Tickets available at the Niagara-on-the-Lake Chamber of Commerce or online at notlhortsociety.com/gardentour.html TM
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NIAGARA’S SUMMER FALL FESTIVALS
BY GABRIELLE TIEMAN
Annually throughout the summer and fall months, the Niagara Region hosts a vast selection of both small and large scale festivals for both locals and visitors alike to partake in and enjoy. Between celebrating the best in Niagara’s agriculture and natural bounty to showcasing renowned international and local film, there is no lack of option when deciding how to spend those sweet summer weekends and vacation hours.
FRIENDSHIP FESTIVAL | JULY 21-24 friendshipfestival.com
Listed as one of the top ten festivals in Canada by Canadian National Geographic, the world renowned Friendship Festival is a multi-day extravaganza of music, fun and entertainment celebrating the over 200 years of friendship and peace between Canada and the United States. The free festival, held annually in Fort Erie, Ontario and Buffalo, New York, attracts thousands of tourists of all ages to the two regions. The festival includes free concerts, talent shows, rides, midway games, local food vendors and plenty of activities. 2016 concert headliners include performances by singer and American Idol finalist Josh Gracin and local group John Genet Arms of America U2 Tribute.
CANAL DAYS MARINE HERITAGE FESTIVAL | JULY 29-AUG 1 portcolborne.ca/page/canal_days
History buffs and lovers of everything nautical rejoice at the annual Canal Days festival – held annually along the water in picturesque downtown Port Colborne. Celebrating their 38th year, the free Marine Heritage festival – held every civic holiday weekend – gathers hundreds of thousands of visitors for a four day celebration of history along the canal. Travel aboard pirate-worthy ships docked along the canals, cruise the waterways and learn the history of the marine community on a guided tour or take in the sights and nightly fireworks from the deck of your own boat on Lake Erie. The festival also hosts Ontario’s largest >> TODAYMAGAZINE.CA 81
NIAGARA-ON-THE-LAKE PEACH FESTIVAL | AUGUST 13 10-5
Tickets can be purchased ahead of time or at the door. Special proceeds will go to support the festival’s charitable partner Red Roof Retreat – an organization that provides quality respite and recreational programs for children, youth, and young adults with special needs and their families within the Niagara Region.
GRAPE AND WINE FESTIVAL | SEPTEMBER 10-25
outdoor Classic Car and International Kite show, two days of concerts and live entertainment, a children’s midway and an indoor craft show.
Celebrating the sweetest member of Niagara’s agricultural family, the two-day Niagara-on-the-Lake Peach Festival is a buffet of everything peach. Featuring the freshest peaches from local growers, many restaurants, amateur bakers and professional chefs come together to try their hand at elevating the region’s famed fruit. Peach pies, peach ice cream, jam and many other peach related treats are available to purchase and take home or try on premises as you enjoy live entertainment, salsa music and local wine and craft beer. You can also enjoy peach inspired menus at a number of Niagara-on-the-Lake’s 17 signature kitchens. More information at 905-468-1950.
NIAGARA CRAFT BEER FESTIVAL | AUGUST 5-7 niagaracraftbeerfestival.ca
Niagara’s 3rd Annual Craft Beer Festival features over 100 of Ontario’s best small batch craft beers and ciders for people to sample and enjoy. Hosted along the water in picturesque Port Dalhousie, the festival will overlook the Royal Henley Regatta, allowing the thousands of attendees to enjoy Regatta racing, live music and outdoor lawn games including Ping Pong, Bocce and Giant Jenga while sipping on the best in Canadian craft beverages. Past participating breweries have included locals Silversmith Brewing Company, Oast House Brewers and Brimstone Brewing Co. as well as Quebec brewers St- Ambroise and Ontario famed Mill Street Brewery.
The famous Grape and Wine Festival is a month long celebration of Niagara’s greatest bounty, agriculture and globally recognized achievement: wine. Returning for the 65th year, the annual festival will once again encompass over 100 celebrations and special events held throughout the region during the month of September; ensuring there is no lack of activity to partake in or wine flight to taste. The home base of the Niagara Wine Festival can be found in historic Montebello Park in downtown St. Catharines. One of the most beautiful parks in Niagara, Montebello will come alive for two back-to-back weekends in September to showcases the best in VQA wines and regional cuisine presented by top local chefs and winemakers. Over 50 wineries, restaurants, craft breweries and vendors set up shop in the park to offer samples, showcase unique vintages and educate on their unique brand and produce; proving why the event is recognized as a top 100 event in Canada. Other festival highlights include the family favourite Meridian Grande Parade held on the final Saturday morning of the festival and the unique wine tours and special pairings offered at many of the wineries throughout the region; many of whom also hold their own celebrations on premises in conjunction with the festival. TM