31 MARATHON WOMAN: Q&A with the groundbreaking Kathrine Switzer
41 BRING BACK THE MONARCHS
on the coverâ€¦
LIVE FROM NIAGARA: K E L LY A N D R YA N TA K E THEIR SHOW TO THE BRINK
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//CONTRIBUTORS LYNN OGRYZLO 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.
GABRIELLE TIEMAN-LEE A writer for REV publishing for over three years, Gabrielle has written for numerous REV publications including Taste, Shopping & Travel. She is a graduate of the University of Ottawa’s Journalism program and has written for a variety of newspapers including the National Post, Ottawa Citizen and Montreal Gazette.
JILL THAM Jill’s passion for writing came after seeing the movie Stand by Me. She prefers listening to Niagara bands to practising her guitar and running the track better than shopping. 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
JULIE TANOS MARIANA BOCKAROVA 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.
CATHARINE PALMER Catherine Palmer is a Financial Services Specialist with PenFinancial Credit Union. A life-long resident of Niagara, Catherine is happy to be working at a truly local credit union that helps grow the lives of over 20,000 Niagara residents and businesses and allows her to give back and support Niagara communities as a member of PenFinancial’s Skates for Kids Program. You will often find Catherine walking her dog Oscar, through the nature trails of Dufferin Islands, or practicing yoga outdoors in Fireman’s Park. Check out Catherine’s financial blog at trulylocaladvice.ca
Julie’s love of reading good books and writing was sparked at a very young age. After earning her Bachelor of Commerce degree at the University of Guelph, majoring in Hotel and Food Administration, she returned home to Niagara Falls. While Julie considers the hospitality industry the meat and potatoes of her career, freelance writing is the delectable dessert! When she’s not busy enjoying her three kids, she and her hubby are root … root… rooting for the Blue Jays. email@example.com
SHERMAN ZAVITZ A retired teacher, Sherman Zavitz has had a fascination with the history of Niagara Falls and area for many years. Active in many history-related organizations, he has authored five books and has been a columnist for the Niagara Falls Review for over 20 years. He has been recognized for his historical expertise by being appointed official historian for both the City of Niagara Falls, Ontario and the Niagara Parks Commission.
DR. CHRISTINA PLASKOS | MD, HON BSc Pharm, ABAARM Dr. Plaskos received her Honours Bachelor of Science of Pharmacology and her medical degree from the University of Toronto. Dr. Plaskos also has continued her education by completing a fellowship at the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine which helps shape her practice at Aegis MD. Her mission is for everyone to ignite their well-being! She is a certified & advanced injector.
Volume 1 Issue 4 - May/June 2017
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31 MARATHON WOMAN: Q&A with the ground breaking Kathrine Switzer
41 BRING BACK THE MONARCHS
on the cover…
LIVE FROM NIAGARA: K E L LY A N D R YA N TA K E THE SHOW TO THE BRINK
On the cover: Justin Trudeau, Kelly Ripa and Ryan Seacrest on location in Niagara Falls. Photo: courtesy of The Kelly & Ryan Show
Today Magazine Niagara Edition is published by Rev Publishing Inc. All opinions expressed in Today Magazine Niagara Edition 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-to-date and accurate as possible, as of the time of publication, but no responsibility can be taken by Today Magazine Niagara Edition 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 Today Magazine Niagara Edition. 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 Today Magazine Niagara Edition are submitted at the author’s risk. Manuscripts and or photographs intended to be returned must be accompanied by sufficient postage. Today Today Magazine Niagara Edition does not assume any responsibility for any claims of our advertisers and reserves the right to refuse any advertising.
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LETTER FROM THE EDITOR
I’ve always had a soft spot for Monarch butterflies, right from when I was a kid. This is because I once found a caterpillar, kept him (her?) in a jar and witnessed the whole metamorphosis. My fluffy little caterpillar (Herbie) transformed into a beautiful monarch butterfly. I was quite convinced that whenever a Monarch butterfly came near me, it was Herbie saying hello. No, I wasn’t aware of the actual life span for a Monarch. And I’m not going to lie, I still do the same thing now, except I think maybe it’s a distant relative of his. So naturally, the rate at which Monarch’s are disappearing is alarming to me. As it should be to everyone, regardless of whether you did or did not ever have a pet caterpillar/butterfly. Check out Gabrielle’s wonderful story on the importance of Monarch’s and what we can do to help them on page 41. And while we are on the topic of outdoors, did you know that being outside actually helps your brain function better? I mean it seems obvious when you are in the woods and breathe in deep to get that fresh air all up in your lungs, but there have been several studies to show just why this is. Check out page 47. If you ever needed an excuse to go for a brief stroll during the workday, here it is! If you have a bit more time on your hands, check out our list of great places to go for some longer hikes in Niagara on page 71. If running on flat surfaces (or fearless women) is more your style, you’ll be glad that we were able to catch up with marathon runner Kathrine Switzer for this issue… she was the first woman to run in the Boston Marathon, and persisted despite the organizer trying to physically remove her from the course. And just this past year, at age 70, she ran it again. I don’t know what else to say, she’s awesome, and she’ll be in Niagara Falls for the Niagara Falls International Marathon on October 15th. Read all about her on page 31.
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// I N S I D E FOOD & DRINK
LIFESTYLE & CULTURE
PIZZA, REINVENTED In Italy, pizza is not considered a fast food. There it is an art form and the great pizzaiolos are stars just like famous chefs. Here we explore the passion and craftsmanship of local artisans.
KATHRINE SWITZER: MARATHON WOMAN Kathrine Switzer’s inspiring life took flight when she became the first woman to run the Boston Marathon: An achievement that set her on a path of women’s advocacy.
HERE COMES THE SUN 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! feature – on the table Profiles of chefs and restaurants in the Niagara Region.
RICCONE: NON SOLO BICI For those who want to ride with like-minded riders, and avoid the minutia of how to get an early breakfast, which route to ride and how to get your bike back in the box, the Riccione bike vacation awaits you.
IGNITE A BETTER YOU In this month’s column, Dr. Christina Plaskos talks about how to turn stress into success.
41 18 la scala Embracing Italian heritage. 26 johnny roccos Home of the happy kitchen. 28 watermark View from the top.
BRING BACK THE MONARCH Southern Ontario and portions of Quebec contribute to approximately 12 per cent of the monarch population due to these regions’ favourable summer climates. Here’s some steps to take to make sure they don’t disappear forever.
NATURE, MEET THE MODERN MIND Research has shown a leisurely 15 minute walk in the wilderness can lower cortisol, the principle hormone which catalyzes and sustains the stress response. Further, a 45 minute walk can improve cognitive functioning, and two weeks outdoors has been even shown to increase the immune-boosting killer T cells in women with breast cancer.
TEACHING THE REGION TO SING Choir Nation is a program that offers a unique singing experience to companies and communities around Souther Ontario.
MARK TWAIN’S FANTASTICAL TRIP Sherman Zavitz takes us back in time to when Mark Twain took a trip to Niagara Falls and weaved some quirky tales about his time here.
A WALK IN THE WOODS Check out our list of the best places to hike and bike throughout the Niagara Region.
LIVE FROM NIAGARA FALLS! Gabrielle Tieman catches up with Michael Gelman, producer of Live! With Kelly and Ryan, during their stop in Niagara Falls this past month to chat all about what it’s like doing the show in Canada and what’s in store for the show.
EVENTS Festivals, concerts, plays and more happening around the Niagara Region this summer!
TODAY’S PEOPLE Snapshots of you out and about at community events and festivals.
THE SANDWICH GENERATION Stress. Guilt. Worry. Exhaustion. These are words that describe the situation plagued by many middle-aged individuals, attempting to both raise their young family and care for aging parents.
FOR THE HERO IN ALL OF US The archetype of a hero, one who does what others do not, has been central in human culture since presumably the dawn of man.
TRULY LOCAL ADVICE, Sometimes, travel just doesn’t fall within the budget. But, that doesn’t mean you need to forgo a vacation all together? Why not try a ‘staycation’, and explore all Niagara has to offer?
//FOOD & DRINK
reinvented The Pizza Hall of Fame has declared Roberto Vergalito the Canadian Pizza Champion. The man behind Roberto’s Pizza Passion on Facer Street in St Catharines laughs and says, “you only become the Canadian Pizza Champion because you’re obsessed with pizza.” Roberto’s pizzas are thin crust, stone baked and full of fresh ingredients. That’s nothing new I thought, I can name a few other good pizzerias that this would describe, but then Roberto kept talking. He’s committed to the Neapolitan-style pizza crust and contrary to what you might think – it’s a thin crust or thick. Neapolitan-style refers to a pizza dough made from only four ingredients; flour, salt, yeast and water. But Roberto upscales his ingredients for an amazing texture. Roberto uses Double Zero flour (higher in protein) imported from Italy, unprocessed sea salt, pure water and instead of traditional yeast, he uses a 72-hour mother starter that he feeds every day with Oast beer. He talks about other factors such as the humidity of the day, ambient temperature, water temperature, the time and conditions of rising and he’s constantly adjusting what he does to compensate for the changing environment like the Walter White of the pizza world. “My crust has a nice crunch on the outside, but it’s soft on the inside and my pizza dough, while thin, is filled with lots of little bubbles. It’s the mother that makes it so light,” he explains. Roberto’s Molisana pizza is a white pizza with mozzarella cheese, mushrooms, crumbled Pingue Italian sausage meat and Fiore de Latte on a black truffle base. Each
Making pizza is a craft and you have to care about and respect the craft. bite of this light textured pie with the toppings spread evenly overtop offers a giant mouthful of rich, creamy and savoury flavours. He laughs as he watches my eyes pop, “you have to be a truffle lover but if you are, hold onto your hat!” This is not the same pizza as I remember from my teen years. In fact, I don’t think I’ve eaten pizza since then because it was just awful, thick, gooey and flavourless. I’m not usually a fan of pizza and Roberto isn’t a man who keeps his opinions to himself. “Pizza is all about the love you put into it and your memory of pizza was made by a teenager making minimum wage who didn’t care, didn’t know there was more. Making pizza is a craft and you have to care about and respect the craft. In Italy, it’s an art and the great pizzaiolos are stars just like famous chefs!” Pizzaiolo is a name they give to a professional pizza master in Italy, but we don’t have an equivalent word in North America so Roberto’s customers call him a pizza genius. Like chef ’s who strive to give their customers a fine dining experience, so does Roberto and that’s what has earned him this title – by thinking that pizza can be more. Roberto uses quality, fresh ingredients that are mostly sourced locally. “People don’t realize that the more toppings on a pizza, the longer it takes to cook and the heavier and soggier the pizza becomes. It’s not good, you have to reach for a balance. I use only good ingredients that deliver flavour and apply them lightly for a delicate but flavourful experience.” Roberto claims it only takes him seconds to cook a pizza, like flash freezing, his imported Italian, wood burning pizza ovens are so hot (900 degrees) that it cooks almost instantaneously which preserves the fresh flavours of the natural ingredients. Chef Jamie Smith of the Old Winery Restaurant in Niagara-on-the-Lake agrees with Roberto, “I use a sourdough starter because it gives me a lighter dough that puffs up with air when it’s baked. It looks good and is light so our customers are happy.” The pizza dough at The Old Winery Restaurant is made fresh every day, portioned off and rolled out. Depending on the day of the week and the season, they could sell up to 200 pizzas in a day so the crusts are par-bake. Then when a pizza is ordered, it’s topped and baked to finish it off. Walk in the door of the Old Winery Restaurant and the first thing you smell and see is the brick and stone, wood burning pizza oven with a giant fire flaming inside. Who wouldn’t want a pizza after seeing that! The tomato sauce is custom made by Adriano Marinelli of Niagara Falls (Marinelli Pasta Sauce), the cheese is a special in-house, grated blend (mozzarella/asiago/fontina) and all of the toppings from the sautéed mushrooms to the roasted chicken, are made by their chefs. The individual-sized pizzas range from roasted chicken to meat lovers vegetarian and truffle lovers of which Jamie can’t pick a winner, “they’re all equally popular.” It’s the individual sized pizza concept that sold Sofia Butera, owner of The Smile or as everyone knows it, Il Sorriso Café and Pizzeria on Clark Street in Niagara Falls. “I first had this years ago in my hometown of Lamezia (Italy),” explains Sofia. It was here that Sofia watched everyone order their own pizza. The super-thin crust pizza came in a small sized, whole pie – “it wasn’t cut”. So people ate it with their knife and fork. Sofia remembers it being light, flavourful and a sophisticated way to eat pizza rather than the folded triangle of soggy, heavy pizza so common in Niagara. “I didn’t think I could eat the whole thing, but it’s so light I did.” In 2010, when Sofia opened Il Sorriso, she wanted pizza like she discovered in her hometown and less like the common variety. In her small café and pizzeria Sofia serves small appetizers to accompany the fresh, individual-sized pizzas and good wine to round out the experience. Her ovens, imported from Italy of course, are both wood and gas fired with a rotating stone to cook
the pizza evenly from the sides to the middle. “We make sure the ingredients are well distributed around the outside and in so there’s no soggy middle, but the stone cooks it evenly anyway so there’s no chance of a soggy pizza here.” The Calabrese-style pizza is the most popular topped with a light coating of tomato sauce, mozzarella, hot salami and gorgonzola. Many of Sofia’s pizzas have fresh toppings that are added after the pizza is cooked from basil or rocket to prosciutto and speck (all of the meats are hormone and antibiotic free). But Sofia is taking the pizza experience to a whole new level with the soon-to-be-released Vesuvio (Volcano) Pizza. It’s stuffed with hot and spicy ingredients like Calabrese salami and hot peppers and then topped with a second thin layer of pizza dough. As it cooks, it puffs up like a volcano and when it’s served, it’s drizzled with grappa and ignited for an amazing tableside presentation. Now this is one pizza you’ll want to eat with a knife and fork to sop up all the amazing juices! If you thought pizza was just the thick, soggy, three-topping, giant, take-out pie then think again. The exciting news is the thin-crusted pizzas I found are lighter, fresher and healthier, they all come in gluten-free options and the pizza makers I talked to are well on their way to changing the pizza expectations of those who care about the food they eat. Enjoy. TM
Old Winery Restaurant 2228 Niagara Stone Road, Niagara-on-the-Lake www.theoldwineryrestaurant.com
Roberto’s Pizza Passion 22 Facer St, St Catharines www.theoldwineryrestaurant.com
Il Sorriso Café & Pizzeria 5983 Clark Ave, NF, 905-353-1989 www.facebook.com/ilsorrisopizzeria
HERE COMES 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? Weâ€™ve rounded up some of our favourite summertime recipes to shareâ€Śhope you enjoy them as much as we do!
TINA’S FRESH GOURMET CORN BUTTER INGREDIENTS • • • • • • •
1/2 cups of butter (soft) 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 3 tbsps of grated Romano/Parmesan cheese mix 1 avocado 1/4 cup of finely chopped cilantro 1 lime (juiced) shaved Pecorino cheese and black pepper to taste
DIRECTIONS 1) Place all ingredients into a food processor (I use my Magic Bullet) and blend until a creamy consistency. The texture should be a bit lumpy and thick - if you find it is too thick simply add more olive oil. 2) Once placed on corn, garnish with shaved Pecorino cheese and black pepper (this step is optional - but it’s makes a big impact). You can save any unused butter in a closed container in the fridge for up to a week. Taste great on eggs, toast or roasted veggies. Source // Tina Lanzillotta
BLUEBERRY YOGURT SWIRL POPSICLES INGREDIENTS • • • •
2 cups of blueberries 2 tablespoons of honey 2 cups of vanilla Greek yogurt a popsicle mold
DIRECTIONS • Blend the blueberries in a food processor or blender until they reach a smooth consistency. • 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. • 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. • You can easily remove them from the molds by running them under warm water. *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. Source // recipe from sallysbakingaddiction.com
BBQ CHICKEN FOIL PACKS INGREDIENTS • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut in 1-inch pieces • 2 cups barbecue sauce • 2 cups drained pineapple tidbits • 1 red bell pepper, diced • 1 small red onion, diced
DIRECTIONS • These can be cooked or grilled in the oven or on the BBQ. If done in oven, cook at 375 degrees. • Cut four large pieces of foil, arranged on a flat surface. • Toss the chicken pieces and BBQ sauce in a bowl until everything is equally coated. • Divide chicken pieces evenly among foil, and divide the pineapple, bell pepper and onion evenly over the foil. • Fold tinfoil together, but give space on the sides to allow for heat expansion. • Bake for 35 to 40 minutes. If grilling, cook for 10 minutes, turn the packs over, cook 10 to 15 minutes longer. Source // Pillsbury.com
PINK SOUTHERN LEMONADE
CHERRY LIMEADE SLUSH
BEST EVER BBQ SAUCE
• • • • •
• • • • • •
• • • • • • • • • • • • •
2 ½ cups of sugar 2 cups fresh lemon juice 1 ½ cups cranberry juice 5 cups of water Lemon slices
DIRECTIONS 1) Boil one cup of water, and then stir in sugar until it is dissolved. 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.
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
1 ¼ cup ketchup 4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar 1 tablespoon minced garlic 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce 1 teaspoon salt ½ teaspoon garlic power ½ teaspoon onion powder 1 teaspoon dry mustard 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper ¾ cup brown sugar 1/3 cup molasses ¼ cup honey
5)Serve it with ice and garnish with a slice of lemon.
• Combine all your ingredients in a medium saucepan, and stir well. Bring to a boil over medium high heat, and then turn it down to medium low and let simmer for 20 minutes, while constantly stirring. Enjoy!
Source // Recipe from frugalcouponliving.com
Source // chef-in-training.com/
4) Mix it all together well, and put it in the fridge until it’s ready to serve.
ON THE TABLE//LA SCALA
BY GABRIELLE TIEMAN
he aroma of fresh bread, rich buttery sauces and fragment herbed pasta warm the air, wafting from an attractive modern Italian restaurant tucked away in downtown St. Catharines. La Scala Ristorante is one of Niagara’s best kept secrets; named after the iconic Opera House in Milan, La Scala has embraced a similar historical charm as the famous Italian landmark – converting a renovated heritage building into the restaurant’s latest home. La Scala has managed to orchestrate the impossible; a perfect ambiance that is simultaneously quiet and refined while radiating the inviting warmth of an old world restaurant. This juxtaposition of crisp fresh table linens and modern cast iron fixtures set against a raw stone statement wall and softly lit candles which rest at each private table set the tone for the truly outstanding authentic Italian feast to come. Fragrant and fresh bruschetta topped with ready to burst cherry tomatoes, melt in your mouth grilled calamari, pressed in house stuffed ravioli, veal scaloppini bathed in a creamy and garlicy Marsala sauce; the menu reads like a beautiful song and dance – an homage to traditional slow style of Italian cooking with a lighter modern twist – and packed with more flavour than your palette can identify. “I have been in business for 13 years and I have people that continue to come in and have eaten the same thing for over 13 years,” said Joe Marchese, owner of La Scala. “They don’t veer off at all because they love it.” La Scala was first nurtured to life only a few blocks away from its current home – making a name for itself in a quaint 28 seat location on Church Street for over 10 years. But Marchese said when the time to renew their lease arose, the urge to grow was strong. When he came across the over 200 year old Queen Street heritage building, the opportunity simply could not be passed over. “It took over nine months to renovate but it was worth it,”
said Marchese. “We wanted to preserve the unique and distinct characteristics of the building while bringing it into the modern century with details suited for a world class Italian restaurant.” Today, La Scala holds over 60 seats inside the multiroom restaurant as well as room for another 30 on the pergola adorned patio and a private functions space – appropriately dubbed the Tuscan Room – which seats up to 30 and is available for intimate group parties, weddings and events. And though the building has been nurtured, many of the original distinct characteristics have remained preserved in creative and functional ways; including a once hidden vault that was discovered during renovations and now serves as a beautiful semi-exposed wine cellar adjacent to the dining room. “I like to think about the old heritage [of the building] and the history of it,” said Marchese. “The floors, the fireplaces, the ceilings - the old fancy plaster ceilings - are all original.” The building also features a parking lot behind the restaurant and free parking for patrons – a rarity in the downtown St. Catharines dining scene. But Marchese’s drive to preserve old heritage reaches far past his interior renovating skills and creative eye. His dedication to authentic slow cooking techniques, hands on ownership and almost entirely made in house food is another reason why La Scala is an unforgettable dining experience. “We prepare everything from scratch,” said Marchese. “Homemade pastas, sauces, dressings, everything is from scratch. Our ravioli, our gnocchi is all handmade.” “I know with how today is going, everything is changing; everything is fast and franchised, but I am still trying to keep my old slow cooking technique,” said Marchese. “We are hoping that people hold on to that and that people in the Niagara Region stick to and appreciate places like us.” Marchese as well sources the majority of his produce from local farmers and suppliers when seasonally appropriate; personally venturing out into the markets to shop daily to ensure only the finest ingredients make their way into his kitchen. “I shop every day and I handpick all of my produce,” said Marchese. “I will go to Lococos [in Niagara Falls]
because they have lots and it is always fresh. I can handpick the best.” This dedication to utilizing fresh and seasonal local produce is reflected in La Scala’s evolving menus. Marchese’s said he encourages his chef Preston Maxwell to embrace the seasons, altering their staple heavy menu twice annually – for both the Spring/Summer and Fall/Winter seasons. Aside from their standard menu, La Scala offers weekly specials which feature alternative menus designed for trying something new. On Wednesdays, couples are encouraged to take advantage of their four course date night menu for only $59 dollars per couple; Thursdays Tapas Menu is the perfect opportunity for patrons to sample a variety of favourites from the menu in small plate style for a low cost. La Scala will as well host a variety of theme nights throughout the year; including their charity event A Night in Tuscany which will feature a six course menu paired with six Tuscan wines for $100 dollars per person. The event will also include live music throughout dinner. A percentage of the profits will go to support the not for profit organization Community Care. “We see a lot of homeless people [downtown St. Catharines] and we are trying to help a little bit in any way we can,” said Marchese. Theme nights are in planning to be hosted every few months – each focusing on a different region of Italy – but at a lower price point for customers. Marchese said he hopes that these theme nights will get locals excited about dining in downtown St. Catharines and encourage people to not be afraid to head downtown for dinner. Marchese said he is not only actively involved and dedicated to the recreation and preservation of his own building, but on the overall improvement of the downtown core. “[Business] is turning in a good way,” said Marchese. “The Arts Centre has helped me tremendously; and there are a lot of great places now downtown. But we need to change and we need to light up downtown. It should be like Broadway; it should be lit up and unintimidating whether you are a seventy year old out for dinner or a young twenty year old woman. The people are talking – and we want everyone to feel safe when they are walking downtown.” TM
IN GOOD TASTE
In Good Taste showcases a variety of Niagara’s most melt in your mouth, show stopping, delectable dining establishments and wineries. Whether their menus are unique to a restaurant or a familiar food that is prepared in a way you’ve never tasted before, it’s evident that Niagara is home to a food culture that is growing every day, and while it can be hard to choose where to engage your taste buds first, we hope these profiles give you a good head start. >>
Seeking an education of the senses? Look no further than Benchmark Restaurant at Niagara College. Benchmark presents an exciting dining opportunity, showcasing food, wine and beer created, prepared and presented by students from the programs at the Canadian Food and Wine Institute. Our rotating menu remains local and seasonal, including college-grown, regional and provincial bounties. All menu offerings are based on our academic semesters, allowing students to hone their skills and attain success at great culinary destinations. The dining room offers a picturesque view of our 40 acre vineyard to enhance your experience with a vibrant ambiance. Reservations recommended.
The Kasbah Mediterranean Qsine features the incredible cuisine of Vaughan Bulganian who was born in Armenia and grew up in a monastery in Jerusalem where he learned the true art of cooking Middle Eastern and Mediterranean food. The Kasbah features homemade farm to table Mediterranean delights from Greece, Lebanon, Armenia & more. All menus include vegan, vegetarian and gluten free options. The Kasbah is fully licensed with a total of 230 seats (patio, party room, dining, bar & lounge) Come join us for an incredible evening with amazing food, service, wine and Mediterranean music.
STUDENTS OF THE CANADIAN FOOD AND WINE INSTITUTE
135 Taylor Road., Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON 905.641.2252 ext. 4619 | ncbenchmark.ca
6130 Dunn Street, Niagara Falls, ON 905.357.1000 | thekasbah.ca
IN GOOD TASTE
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CASA MIA RISTORANTE
Casa Mia, owned and operated by the Mollica Family for the past 32 years, offers an outstanding dining experience, regardless of the occasion. And serves as a gathering place for food lovers who pay homage to the creativity, flair and culinary expression that defines matriarch and chef Luciana Mollica. The diverse menu abounds with creations, each imbued with vibrant colour, life and flavour. Located in the heart of Historic Stamford Village and gateway to Niagara’s Wine Trail. Niagara’s favourite local neighborhood Italian Restaurant. Complimentary shuttle service from Fallsview District Hotels. For reservations and more info call us at 905-356-5410.
Gusto at Johnny Rocco’s means savour. Savour the flavours of Italy. From our succulent hand rolled Zia’s Rice Balls, to our hand tossed pizza dough, cooked to perfection in our 600 degree wood fired oven. Pair our traditional dishes with our vast array of Italian and local wines. At Johnny Rocco’s gli amici sono la famiglia –Our friends are all family.
Coco’s is a very popular restaurant destination for tourists and locals alike. Guests rave about our famous wood-fired steaks and gourmet pizzas. Watch our staff prepare your fresh pizza from start to finish, it’s a cooking show right in front of your very eyes. Enjoy the awesome ambiance under the starlit Niagara skies as we offer nightly entertainment on the Terrace from 7:00pm onwards (in season only). Best of all, we offer ample free parking for all our guests! So visit Coco’s next time you’re in Niagara Falls and enjoy good times and great food that only Coco’s can deliver.
Your experience at Copacabana begins with a trip to our “Galleria” where you will be tempted by fresh baked breads and dips from our open concept bakery, fresh cheeses cut from the wheel, and expertly hand sliced charcuterie selections. Help yourself to as many crisp salads and colorful starters as you want; but leave room, your experience is just beginning.
St. Catharines 271 Merritt St. | 905.680.9300 Niagara Falls 6889 Lundy’s Lane | 905.358.0004
Back at your table, our carvers will serve up a feast of various CAB (Certified Angus) grilled meats prepared in a number of ways. Elevate your senses and sip on exotic cocktails and fine wines long with enjoying live entertainment on weekends. Copacabana is not just about the dining, it’s about the experience!
CHEFS CLAUDIO & LUCIANA MOLLICA
CHEF JOSHUA DAVIS
COPACABANA GRILLED BRAZILIAN
3518 Portage Road, Niagara Falls, ON 905.356.5410 | casamiaristorante.com
271 Merritt St., St. Catharines, ON 905.680.9300 | johnnyroccos.com
5339 Murray Street, Niagara Falls, ON 905.356-1333 ext. 171 | cocosniagarafalls.com
6671 Fallsview Blvd, Niagara Falls, ON 1.888.432.6721 | 905.354.8775 | thecopa.ca
THE KEG STEAKHOUSE + BAR
BUCHANANS STEAK & SEAFOOD
RUTH’S CHRIS STEAK HOUSE
KOUTOUKI GREEK CUISINE
Dine overlooking Niagara Falls in The Keg Steakhouse + Bar, located on the 9th floor of the Embassy Suites Niagara Falls Fallsview. This landmark location offers guests floor-to-ceiling panoramic views of the famous Falls and the highest quality steaks and seafood for a dining experience to remember.
Given it’s twelve years of service, this local hot spot was ready for a refresh, a reawakening if you will. Renovated dining room reopens with a blend of modern steakhouse and chic lounge – new menu items mixed with classic favorites like shrimp cocktail and French onion soup. This home-grown restaurant offers an appealing selection of hand-cut steaks charbroiled to your liking, tasty seafood, pasta & fresh salads. Lunch $12 – 16, Dinner $16 – 38. Savour Niagara Menu features $5 VQA Niagara wines & craft brews, $5 appetizers – daily noon – 6 pm. Live dinner music select Fridays/ Saturdays. Complimentary on-site self parking. Event space for up to 250 guests. Located at the DoubleTree Resort on Stanley Avenue.
The memory of a great meal stays with you long after the table has been cleared. This is why at Ruth’s Chris we thrive on our great food and service. Our menu offers a variety of dining options that will please all of our guests. Our passion lies in our high quality ingredients, attention to detail and that special sizzle. Inside Ruth’s Chris Steak House you’ll also find Niagara’s hottest bar and lounge. Treat yourself at this high-end lounge with your own private booth surrounding the bar and dance floor and a personal host to cater to your every need.
Take a break from your busy schedule! Come in and enjoy a glass wine or a pint of local craft beer. at our magnificent bar. We offer select wines from Greece and the Niagara region. Savour the flavours of our unique cuisine,carefully prepared by our chefs daily. Choose from an array of appetizers as a light snack or indulge in one of our traditional rustic entrees. Immerse yourself in our warm and cozy atmosphere. Our friendly and knowledgeable staff await you. OPA! Something is always sizzling at Koutouki! Reservations Reccommended | Free Parking
BUCHANANS STEAK & SEAFOOD
RUTH’S CHRIS STEAK HOUSE
“INSPIRED BY TRADITION”
6700 Fallsview Blvd, Niagara Falls, ON 905.374.5170 | fallsviewrestaurant.com
6039 Fallsview Blvd, Niagara Falls, ON 905.353.4111 | niagarafallsdoubletree.com
6455 Fallsview Blvd, Niagara Falls, ON 905.357.1199 | ruthschrisniagara.com
5745 Ferry Street, Niagara Falls, ON 905.354.6776 | koutoukiniagara.com
IN GOOD TASTE
BRASA BRAZILLIAN STEAKHOUSE
PRANZO RISTORANTE ITALIANO
FRONTIER BBQ & SMOKEHOUSE
Located in Hilton Niagara Falls/Fallsview Hotel & Suites and across from the Fallsview Casino, Brasa showcases the flavours and cultural flair of Brazil. Following a centuries-old tradition of cooking on an open fire, diners can experience endless cuts of succulent beef, pork, lamb, and chicken carved tableside in the style of authentic Brazilian gaúchos. The gourmet buffet features over 70 hot and cold items to accompany your meal including some Brazilian fare like Brazilian-style potato, seafood buffet and grilled pineapple. It is also home to a sophisticated wine collection with a fully enclosed, wine room containing an extensive selection of world-renowned wines. Brasa is the best place to experience a taste of South America.
As the signature restaurant in Hilton Niagara Falls/Fallsview Hotel & Suites, the Watermark elevates guests’ dining experiences to new heights. Voted most romantic, the Watermark’s inventive cuisine, extensive wine selection, and stylish design is only surpassed by its stunning, panoramic views of both the American and Horseshoe Falls. Decorated in shades of blue and white, and located on the 33rd floor, the Watermark’s elegant, contemporary ambiance is reminiscent of the majestic Niagara Falls itself. Our Executive Chef lovingly crafts his creative dishes by using only fresh and seasonal ingredients, from finecrafted Niagara Region wines to prosciutto from a local Niagara Falls artisan.
Located in Hilton Niagara Falls/Fallsview Hotel & Suites and in the center of the Niagara Falls’ Entertainment District, Pranzo Ristorante Italiano offers flavorful, hand-crafted favourites prepared to order in a lively open display kitchen. Be sure to try our signature brick oven pizzas and authentic Italian cuisine in a warm, inviting atmosphere. Children eat free with the purchase of any adult meal. There’s something for everyone at Pranzo.
Niagara’s first, Southern-style all-you-can-eat restaurant. We draw our inspiration from our neighbours to the South who have mastered the art of BBQ and serve locally-inspired sides for an authentic smokehouse experience. Our meats are smoked in a variety of woods including apple wood, mesquite, and hickory, lending to our unique Frontier flavour. Enjoy house-seasoned smoked meats direct from the grill served by our pit masters; plus over 50 hot and cold seasonal items including our ultimate potato bar with five types of potatoes and over 20 topping choices. Be sure to try our signature brisket and our house-made BBQ sauces.
HILTON NIAGARA FALLS
HILTON NIAGARA FALLS
HILTON NIAGARA FALLS
FRONTIER BBQ & SMOKEHOUSE
6361 Fallsview Blvd, Niagara Falls, ON 905.353.7187 | brasaniagara.com
6361 Fallsview Blvd, Niagara Falls, ON 905.353.7138 | watermarkrestaurant.com
6361 Fallsview Blvd, Niagara Falls, ON 905.353.7174 | pranzoniagara.com
6519 Stanley Avenue, Niagara Falls, ON 289.296.6367 | frontierniagara.com
NIAGARA LANDING WINE CELLARS
WINERY OF ELLICOTTVILLE
Street level and in the heart of Niagara Falls’ entertainment district, you will be in the center of the action. Spyce Lounge offers a sophisticated and lavish escape from life’s hustle and bustle with live entertainment every night and a full lounge menu. Whether you want to savor a signature cocktail mixed to perfection, mingle with friends, or watch live sporting events on Niagara’s largest TV, Spyce offers customizable services to help cater your every whim. Spyce is the perfect way to start, end, or enjoy your entire night.
Pepper Palace is an adventure for your palate. We sell over 1500 products for you to enjoy. You’ll find a great selection of Hot Sauce, BBQ Sauce, Salsa, Seasonings, Rubs and so much more.... Heat levels from Mild to Wild. Let our Saucesome Staff guide you through our free sample bar. Over 50 samples to try. You’ll explore sauces that can only be found at Pepper Palace. Our small batch sauces are crafted in the Heart of the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee. Bring home sauces and memories of Pepper Palace.
Peter Smith, a third-generation owner, oversees winery and vineyard operations today, in vineyards dating back to the late 1800’s. Niagara Landing Wine Cellars was the first winery to open in Niagara County, NY in over a decade and the first winery on the Niagara Wine Trail. We currently produce 31 varietals ranging from very dry to very sweet, as well as a unique Hot Pepper wine. Our wine can be sampled in our tasting room on Van Dusen Road, as well as many area liquor stores and wine tasting events throughout New York State. We invite you to stop in and sample our award-winning wines.
Nestled in the foothills of the Allegany Mountains, the Winery of Ellicottville is surrounded by first class skiing, incredible outdoor recreation, and first class restaurants. The Winery boasts over 20 varieties of award-winning wine that are enjoyed by visitors and residents alike. All winemaking for the Winery of Ellicottville takes place on-site by a family of second- and third-generation vintners. They use only local grapes and natural ingredients to craft wine their Italian predecessors would be proud to serve. Tastings are available daily and the knowledgeable staff will help you select the perfect wine for any occasion.
Also located in the Outlet Collection Niagara, 300 Taylor Rd., Niagara-on-the-Lake.
HILTON NIAGARA FALLS
6361 Fallsview Blvd, Niagara Falls, ON 905.354.7887 | spycelounge.ca
6380 Fallsview Blvd., Niagara Falls, ON 905.358.8338 | pepperpalace.ca
WINEMAKER DOMENIC CARISETTI
4434 Van Dusen Rd., Lockport, NY 716.433.8405 | niagaralanding.com
WINEMAKERS SAM & BETH SHEEHY
14 Monroe Street, Ellicottville, NY 716.699.1055 | wineryofellicottville.com
IN GOOD TASTE
LA SCALA RISTORANTE
Savour the perfect pairing at Kitchen76 with dishes specially created to compliment our full spectrum of wines, icewines and sparkling. Delight your palate with the everchanging tastes and flavours of the season inspired by the Italian table. Incorporating some of the best cheeses, fine Italian olive oil and other Italian imported ingredients, our menu features locally grown vegetables, fruits and herbs, some from our very own garden. Kitchen76 provides a warm and inviting atmosphere. The stone fireplace, rustic rafters and communal table with panoramic vineyard views allow for formal or casual dining. The terrace offers magnificent al fresco winery dining. Our table is yours!
Once in a while in life, people come across a place where time stands still…where pride and passion still exist, and love for food is evident. With our new exciting location, NEW private Tuscan room and sleek lounge, La Scala is ready to embrace all of our old and new customers. Nestled in the heart of downtown St.Catharines, La Scala Ristorante offers many Italian recipes which are generations old. Freshness, and local content is extremely important here all complimented with VQA or wines from our extensive list. New features created by the chef daily and in house catering available as well as on site small banquets and weddings.
MEGALOMANIAC JOHN HOWARD CELLARS OF DISTINCTION The cellars and vineyards of Megalomaniac sit on a 96 acre site in Vineland. The winery boasts a newly completed 30,000 square foot winemaking and hospitality facility with gorgeous views of the Toronto ad Niagara Falls skylines. Of note to try are the Pinot Noir and Chardonnay crafted by winemaker Sebastien Jacquey and his dynamic cellar team. Summer hours are from 11am - 6pm Email firstname.lastname@example.org
STRADA WEST EAT & SIP HOUSE Hosts, brothers, Anthony and Tom Roberto welcome you to Strada West, centrally located on Lundy’s Lane. In keeping with family traditions the food is all prepared in house! Their menu features homemade pasta, sauce, hamburger patties and meatballs. The menu also features specialty burgers and sandwiches using bison, lamb, lobster and veal. Pasta dishes include fettuccine, gnocchi and ravioli. Plus they have a great wine selection & 9 beers on tap! Winners of the Reader’s Choice, Best Overall Restaurant Award and Trip Advisor’s Certificate of Excellence. Strada West, Eat & Sip House. Located on the WEGO Red Line and plenty of on site parking, reservations are suggested.
CHEF JUSTIN LESSO
LA SCALA RISTORANTE
ANTHONY AND TOM ROBERTO
240 John St. E, Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON 905.468.0592 | twosistersvineyards.com
9 Queen Street, Saint Catharines, ON 905.684-5448 | lascalaristorante.ca
3930 Cherry Avenue, Vineland, ON 905.562.5155 | megalomaniacwine.com
7805 Lundy’s Lane, Niagara Falls, ON 905.371.2272 | stradawest.com
SELL YOUR SOUL THIS SUMMER to the TD Niagara Jazz Festival | July 28th - 30th, 2017 If you have ever felt the urge to have a soulful affair, this is the summer to be bold. TD Niagara Jazz Festival is launching its 4th annual festival, with Jazz and Funk in the City, at the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre on Friday July 28th. Headliner band Chops n’Soul, brings exactly that – jazz, funk and whole lot of soul, in a beautiful, classic marriage between world renowned Chops Horns and singer, writer and producer, ‘Soul Joel’ Parisien. Darryl Dixon, founder of Chops Horns, cut his teeth as a member of George Clinton’s Parliament-Funkadelic collective, one of the best-known P-Funk bands in the business. Their recordings have been ‘extensively’ sampled in rap and hip-hop music. After his exit, he founded Chops Horns. That led to a lengthy stint as the ‘house horn section’ with the historic rap label, Sugar Hill Records one of the most influential Hip Hop labels of all time. They recorded sessions for a series of Gospel and R&B artists, as well as Grandmaster Flash and The Furious Five, The Sequence, Spoonie Gee, and The Sugarhill Gang. Their horn section quickly became regarded as one of the best music has to offer – with the late great Bernie Worrell, Dennis Chambers and Fred Wesley. Today their ‘chops’ are legendary. They’ve shared their signature arrangements with some of the biggest artists in the world - Aretha Franklin, Lou Reed, The Police, Alicia
Keys, The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Christina Aguilera…. the list goes on. And then they met ‘Soul Joel’ Parisien in Europe. Parisien, a singer, writer and producer with multiple Billboard© top-five singles under his belt, knew that what he heard was more than just a horn section for hire. It was the birth of Chops n’ Soul. Said Daryl Dixon: “I’m an ear candy kind of guy. When I arrange for Chops, I’m creating a wide spectrum of sound - almost like a big band, and not just four people playing…” Horn player David Watson agrees. “And when we talk about funk, or R&B, or soul, you have to always realize the big umbrella is soul – because soul music is music that comes from the heart.” And that’s exactly what Chops n’ Soul brings - the kind of music that makes you feel like you could dance, play, and love all night long. Just another reason to have a soulful affair this summer… And then keep holding hands, for the very next night, Saturday July 29th, as TD Niagara Jazz brings you Soul Jazz in the Vineyard, at one of Niagara’s newest wineries, The Hare Wine Company. Join the heart-stopping, irrepressible Cinnamon Jones, and the equally soul-infused, masters of renaissance jazz, The Andrew Craig Trio. Cinnamon Jones is back at the TD Niagara Jazz Festival by popular demand. Her passion and dedication to the art of her music is a powerful elixir, and a journey not for the faint-hearted. Taking her inspiration
from the roots of gospel, Cinnamon Jones blends Blues, Jazz, Pop, and R &B into an earthy, bluesy, and soul-filled mighty arrangement. Cinnamon has also had the privilege to perform as an opening act for R & B legends Rick James and Jeffrey Osborne, Neo-Soul artist Eric Benet, Jazz artists Marion Meadows and Rick Braun, along with comedians Paul Mooney and Tommy Davidson. But it is her vocal prowess that leaves an indelible impression upon her audience, and her commanding stage presence that takes your breath away. And then The Andrew Craig Trio will wrap themselves inside your heart, with soul infused rhythm, blues, and gospel jazz, that will burst your soul-filled heart. So beware. Andrew Craig brings to his music a lover’s eye, an artist’s ear, and a director’s vision. He routinely performs his original music, directs orchestras, and produces albums, for radio, and television, and finds time to compose for theatre. He has worked with artists such as Molly Johnson, Wynton Marsalis, Measha Brueggergosman and Jackie Richardson, opened for Bobby McFerrin, directed tributes to Oscar Peterson and Quincy Jones, and performed twice for Nelson Mandela. Join him and his trio, TJ Whitelaw on guitar, and Otis Williams on drums, for ‘renaissance meets soul.’ So be bold, have that soulful affair this summer, with the TD Niagara Jazz Festival, July 28, 29, 30th, 2017.
JAZZ AND FUNK IN THE CITY FLAGSHIP LAUNCH EVENT Friday, July 28th, 2016 | 7:30pm – 11pm Partridge Hall | First Ontario Performing Arts Centre 250 St. Paul St., St. Catharines Tickets: firstontariopac.ca | Box Office: 905 688 0722 SOUL JAZZ IN THE VINEYARDS Saturday, July 29th, 2017 | 8pm – 11pm The Hare Wine Co. 769 Niagara Stone Road, Niagara-on-the-Lake Tickets: firstontariopac.ca | Box Office: 905 688 0722 The TD Niagara Jazz Festival is a cutting edge celebration of all types of jazz, performed in intimate indoor and outdoor venues in the heart of Niagara’s stunning wine country. www.niagarajazzfestival.com
ON THE TABLE//JOSHUA DAVIS
home of the happy kitchen
JOHNNY ROCCO’S BY GABRIELLE TIEMAN
resh mussels and hand rolled Sicilian arancini parmesan balls sizzle in a fragrant Pomodoro sauce. Full bodied Italian Chianti pairs with bone in veal chops and melt in your mouth Osso Bucco; sipping and savouring on a sun soaked patio. No, you are not resting on a terrace overlooking the rolling hills of southwest Italy; these timeless Italian classics are being served in the high-end yet home style dining room of Johnny Rocco’s Italian Grill – a principle in Niagara’s dining scene and one whose food could give Nonna a run for her money. Johnny Rocco’s is a modern twist on the classic family-friendly Italian restaurant – and this long standing Niagara restaurant is dedicated. Dedicated to not only serving classically slow cooked dishes with made in house ingredients, but as well offering a consistency across their multiple location franchise that is rarely found outside of big box chain restaurant. New to Johnny Rocco’s is Chef Joshua Davis. This latest addition to the Johnny Rocco’s kitchen family has taken the restaurant by storm; elevating the high traffic restaurant’s classic dishes with techniques refined in a number of Niagara-on-the-Lake’s most revered fine dining establishments. Davis’ background is diverse; his extensive portfolio of work includes a young apprenticeship in the famous Oban Inn and training under world tiered chefs in the kitchens of Pillar and Post, Queens Landing and Prince of Wales – to name only a few. By 18 years of age Davis was named a chef de partie at the European-styled Shaw Café and Wine Bar running the food line on a day-to-day basis and serving hundreds upon hundreds of people at the busy establishment. “I went from bar cooking to fine dining very quickly,” says Davis. “[The Kitchens] were all led by lots of knowledgeable chefs – they would bring people in from other countries to show their skills – so I was learning so much stuff and technique.”
Davis later attended Humber College for Business Marketing – with the intentions of switching careers – but quickly found himself back in the excitement of the kitchen post-graduation as he took on a position at Montana’s BBQ and Bar. Though Davis said there isn’t a strong focus on cooking and culinary in the chain restaurants, he learned valuable managing skills, supervising and food costs, portion control and systems that have aided him since. When a position at Johnny Rocco’s was brought to his attention, Davis said he knew that it was the right move. Now, Johnny Rocco’s open concept kitchen is his new home and Italian is his new style. “I have done it all,” said Davis. “But this is the first truly Italian restaurant I have worked in and I like it just fine. We are a very, very busy restaurant and that is my skill set. “And in my 32 years I have never eaten as much pasta as I have in the last eight months.” And though Davis said his own personal style of cooking is much heavier than the fresh and uncomplicated techniques of Italian cuisine, Davis said both his and Italian styles of cooking have major components in common; a dedication to fresh ingredients, bold flavours and a love for fresh, crusty bread which has set him right at home in the fast paced eatery “The most important thing I have learned about Italian cooking is simplicity,” said Davis. “It has to taste good. When I cook at home, I open the fridge and I start tossing things in the pan. It gets convoluted and very rich and sauce heavy. In Italian cooking, you need to try and keep it simple; a tomato sauce is nothing but tomatoes, olive oil and basil and if you deviate from it, people get upset.” Davis said this dedication to classic cooking is law in the Johnny Rocco’s kitchen. All menu items and weekly features are crafted from fresh, local ingredients and pastas, sauces and marinades that are made fresh in house. Davis said flash frozen and pre-packaged do not hold a place in their kitchen. “I make six big batches of Pomodoro from scratch a day and three big batches of alfredo a week,” said Davis. “The vast majority of our pastas are made in house – including our own pappardelle pasta. These are family recipes that are crafted by the owners and management or have been passed down by their families.” Included in these recipes are family heirlooms passed down from generation – including Johnny Rocco’s famous
rice balls that is the owner’s own grandmother’s recipe that he personally took and brought into the restaurant for the chefs to recreate and master. These are all vital in creating consistent dishes for their dedicated and loyal customers who continue to fill their two restaurants on a weekly basis and host large-scale parties in the St. Catharines’ location’s banquet hall. “I think a lot of people think, because of the consistency of our food and because it is always the same, people assume it is prepackaged and it is definitely not,” said Davis. “It is not. It is about very precise recipes and people following them exactly. “All of our dishes are the same because we care about the food,” said Davis. “And we work really hard at it. You come to the Falls [location] and have the chicken parm and it is great; next week you come to the St. Catharines location and have the same chicken parm it is going to taste exactly the same.” And though the menu consists heavily of both family and customer favourites and the chefs are not to deviate from the recipes guidelines, the kitchen is given the opportunity to experiment and be creative with weekly features and limited time offers that give adventurous customers a taste of something new; utilizing local meats and produce to elevate classic Italian dishes. “The features give us the opportunity to elevate the food and be a little creative and teach our cooks new things,” said Davis. “We also have limited offer menus and seasonal dishes three to four times a year which switch things up for the regulars and the kitchen.” Popular features and limited time menus since Davis’ tenure began have included twists on the classic Pappardelle carbonara, beef cheek ragu and a Zuppa di Pesce filled with fresh calamari, mussels and fish. Davis also encourages his staff to enjoy their time in the kitchen. A music lover himself, David said when possible the kitchen is filled with music and conversation. “You can’t stop me from singing,” said Davis. “Whatever is on the radio; I listen to music in the kitchen before we open, while we are prepping and then the last hour of service when my guys are winding down. “I encourage my guys to sing during that hour of music it keeps spirits light,” said Davis. “We have a clean kitchen, we have a happy kitchen; and this means the food is the highest quality.” TM
Beautiful • Exceptional • Flawless Receptions
8444 Lundy’s Lane, NF 905-356-8444 email@example.com
ON THE TABLE//WATERMARK RESTAURANT
VIEW FROM THE TOP BYJ I L L T H A M
here truly is no better place to view the Niagara Falls and surrounding area than the Watermark Restaurant in the Hilton Hotel. A trip to the Penthouse Level will transport you to an elegant, yet affordable oasis from the hustle and bustle below. Born in Windsor, Head Chef, Tim O’Donnell went to school in Toronto and after graduating remained in the area working at different restaurants. During his apprenticeship, O’Donnell was privileged to learn valuable skills from the best. “I had a really great chef I worked with in Toronto named Arpad Magyar. He taught me how to treat your customers and the importance of throwing them a little something special to keep them coming back,” explains O’Donnell. “He also taught me how to work with and take care of your staff and how to keep your cooks happy. It’s not a reality show,” says O’Donnell. Most importantly, Magyar taught O’Donnell how to be creative with food which O’Donnell finds to be one of the most gratifying aspects of his job. “I love the creative part and there is a lot of freedom to it,” says O’Donnell. “There is a lot of work, but it is one of those jobs where the time just flies by; you are not a clock watcher. “I love my job. My wife thinks maybe too much,” laughs O’Donnell. In the 17 years that O’Donnell has worked at the restaurant he has seen many changes in food trends. “One big change is that it has gone from continental to farm-to-table over the years,” says O’Donnell. One thing that hasn’t changed much is his staff. “We have lots of staff that have been here between 10 and 17 years. I love being in charge of a large brigade,” says O’Donnell. Along with great ambiance comes great food. At Watermark there are many crowd pleasing dishes to choose from. “It is comfort food at a higher level,” says Sarah Nemeth, Manager at Watermark. “The menu has something that resonates with everyone,” says O’Donnell. “Our New York Strip is a huge portion of angus beef. The quality of the food is top shelf; nothing frozen or second grade.”
If comfort is what you are aiming for then try the tender Braised Short Ribs with Mashed Potatoes “People go gaga over it,” explains Nemeth. With other popular menu items such as seafood linguini, Watermark’s menu is just as colourful as the panoramic view. Watermark Restaurant has a “customize your dining experience” style of menu. “The way the menu is structured, diners can select from three or five courses,” says Sarah Nemeth, Manager of Watermark. “We like people to plan their meal the way they would like it.” “We change the menu a few times a year and it reflects what we can get locally sourced,” says O’Donnell, who enjoys cooking with fresh herbs, cracked black pepper, and Italian parsley. “The basic flavour builders like garlic must be in there. Especially the holy trinity of carrots, celery, and onion that are the basis for stocks,” says O’Donnell. Charity and playfulness are always a priority at Watermark, “Chef has created different menu items for our yearly event, Dinner in the Dark,” says Nemeth. In this experience, participants must give their trust over to Chef O’Donnell and his staff. “We blindfold them and offer them a four course dinner with wine,” explains Nemeth. “They don’t get
to know what the food is and they have to use their senses to guess,” says Nemeth. “We get to serve food people wouldn’t normally order,” explains O’Donnell. “It’s a great chance to be creative and have fun. This year instead of sorbet to clean the pallet we used fun dip,” says O’Donnell, who gives each guest a photograph of the dishes for them to take home. The uniqueness of the evening leaves customers booking for the event one year in advance. “We have received great feedback about the experience,” says Nemeth. Allow the restaurant to take away the worry of wear to park with complimentary valet parking. In the evening, guests will also enjoy an intimate and up-close view of the fireworks over the falls. There is also a private dining room ideal for parties and elopements. Located in the upper level of the restaurant is Myst Lounge, a full service bar specializing in martinis, appetizers, and desserts. If atmosphere, appetizing food, and affordability is at the forefront of your night then Watermark is the place to be. For more information visit watermarkrestaurant.com. TM
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COCO’S STEAKHOUSE @ HO LI DAY I NN BY T H E FALLS 5339 Murray St • Across from Fallsview Casino • 905.356.1333
Boston Finish 75: In 1975, I ran my personal best time in the Boston Marathon at 2:51.37. I was very Happy!!
//LIFESTYLE & CULTURE
Credit: Jeff Johnson
KATHRINE SWITZER BYJ I L L T H A M
BRINGING HER FEARLESS APPROACH TO LIFE TO NIAGARA It would be exceedingly difficult to summarize all of the amazing accomplishments of Kathrine Switzer in just one article. Her inspiring life took flight when she became the first woman to run the Boston Marathon: An achievement that set her on a path of women’s advocacy. Today Magazine had the pleasure of speaking with Kathrine as once again she prepares to be the special guest at the Niagara Falls Women’s Half Marathon. >>
Boston Marathon 3 Part. Credit:Boston Herald
Just after the incident in 1967. Credit: Brearley.com
UP CLOSE & PERSONAL WITH THE LEGENDARY â€œMARATHON WOMANâ€?
Switzer after Boston 67: Me with bloody feet but very happy after finishing 67 Boston. Credit: Brearley.com
When did you start running? I started running at age 12 when my father encouraged me to run a mile a day so I could make the field hockey team in my high school. Why did you want to run the Boston Marathon in 1967? I discovered early that running always made me feel powerful, free, and fearless. The longer I ran, the stronger I felt, so the 26.2 mile distance intrigued me. It was supposedly open to anyone that wanted to try to run. I felt thrilled by the prospect of running 26.2 miles in a race where supposedly anyone could run in the same race as the greatest runners in the world. There was no other sport like that! Did you ever think the photos of the official attacking you during the race would have the impact and staying power that they did when you first saw them in the coffee shop driving home that night in 1967? My teammates and I thought the whole incident was pretty strange, but I think we were all glad it was caught in photos because it is the kind of thing nobody would believe unless they saw it! I knew the photos would be memorable, even humorous to some people (Yes! the original caption began:
Switzer tying up hair: In 1972 Boston Marathon, women were official for the first time. A photographer caught me pinning up my hair mid-race. This became a “Poster Photo” in the media. Credit: Jeff Johnson “Who Says Chivalry is dead?”) but I did not know they would become iconic. How does it feel now 50 years later to see the photos? I am more impressed now than ever with the expression on my face, one of both fear but incredible determination. How did a 20-year-old girl in her first big race make a decision to finish under such pressure? At 70, that ability to face adversity and go forward impresses me! And it is why that bib number, 261, has come to mean ‘fearless in the face of adversity’ and created a movement, and now a big foundation called 261 Fearless which aims to empower women around the world through running. I have read you received a lot of hate mail after the 1967 Boston Marathon. How did you overcome the negativity surrounding you? Easy: I threw out the hate mail, and read the positive mail. And anytime I felt negativity, I put on my shoes and went out for a run. When you run you feel happy, fearless and free. And it gives you creativity to solve the negative problems. How has the Boston Marathon experience changed your life? In just about every way because by the time I finished the race, I was inspired to both become a better athlete myself and create opportunities for other women in running. All this led to several interesting careers, almost all of which I designed for myself and are connected to running and social change. The 1967 Boston Marathon also told me I could persevere over anything. And it has helped me to be fearless in other ways, too. Was the Boston Marathon in 2017 somewhat of a nostalgic experience? I would not say nostalgic, but celebratory. It is so entirely different now—extremely crowded, very colorful, very loud, exuberant, mostly non-competitive. It used to be my Number 1 competition of the year, where I put myself on the line 100% so it was never fun or celebratory.
What significance does it hold for you to be there 50 years later? The significance was to celebrate achievements of the past and reflect on the social revolution in women’s running that in many ways began on the streets of Boston, and it was a look forward, a passing of the torch if you will, to the next 50 years of change that will surely come but be done by others and by the 261 Fearless movement and foundation. Finally, there was enormous significance in terms of gratitude—I am extremely grateful to have had the health and inspiration and determination to be able to run this 42.2 km race, 50 years later, at age 70. Although plenty of women have run marathons at age 70, 80 or even 90, no other woman has ever run one 50 years after her first one, and although I’m proud of it, I’m also very lucky and grateful. In your memoir, Marathon Woman, you stated “women don’t have the opportunities to prove they want those things. If they could just take part, they’d feel the power and accomplishment and the situation would change.” In your opinion where do women still need to have opportunities aside from what you have written about women and running? Almost everywhere. In the workplace, at home, in the community, in the voting booth, in taking care of her health, in the way she raises her children. Most of the women in the world—most!—still live in a fearful situation. She may be in Afghanistan or she may live next door to you, but because she has never had the opportunity to do something that makes her feel fearless, she tolerates the often limited and apprehensive life she has because she sees no alternative. What do you like best about the Niagara Falls Women’s Half Marathon? The NFWHM is a fabulous event for lots of reasons—first, it actually goes by the Falls twice, you see, hear and feel the power of the falls and get a good dose of spray without all the tourists around— it’s like you have a private pass or something. Nobody
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gets tired of seeing the falls! Plus the course is really good—smooth surface, lovely green and undulating, no hills; quite fast. Lastly, the spirit is exceptional—huge fun, lots of support and whoops. Also, a special commemorative medal, I don’t know what it is this year but I was certainly pleased when they put my face on it one year! What makes the NFWHM beneficial for runners? It is a great course on which to get a fast time if you are looking to snag a PB (personal best) or a qualifying time for another race. And if you are not competitive, a half marathon is a good challenge; it’s still a long way and gives you a huge sense of victory while being fun at the same time. But for sure, when you travel for a race, I always say go to a destination and enjoy it while you are there; see the sights! And being a half marathon means you can run hard and still have the energy to be a tourist, where with a marathon the days before you need to stay off your feet and the days after you are too sore to walk. Lastly, you can come by yourself and not know anybody, but by the time you go to the expo, the run, the festivities, you will find a bus-load of new best friends.
ANYTIME I FELT NEGATIVITY, I PUT ON MY SHOES AND WENT OUT FOR A RUN. WHEN YOU RUN YOU FEEL HAPPY, FEARLESS AND FREE. AND IT GIVES YOU CREATIVITY TO SOLVE THE NEGATIVE PROBLEMS.
What message will you bring to the Niagara Falls Women’s Half Marathon and in your dinner speech at Betty’s Restaurant. Every year at Betty’s I have a new important subject. In the past it was some of our historical stories, like that first Boston or getting the women’s marathon into the Olympic Games. Last year was the launch of the 261 Fearless foundation and announcing that I was going to run Boston Marathon for my 50th anniversary. And asking women there to join me— several of them did and raised money, too, for the 261 Fearless Foundation—Bravo to them! So for sure I will be applauding them. This year I will talk about what it was like at 70 to do it, the significance of it, and how aging actively is the best path to getting old. Some women runners come to this dinner annually! Plus the truth: it’s the best food in town. Normally I do not eat when I make a speech, but at Betty’s I chow down!! What special connections or memories do you have of the Niagara Region? I have many, and over the years also have made many friends, such as Jim and Ruth Ralston who first invited me many years ago to NF for the International Marathon and started my friendships here; Peggy & Les Potczyk, who are Volunteers Extraordinaire and work a lot of races including the Boston and NYC Marathons; and the Minsk family (owners
of Betty’s), and especially their daughter Julianne Miszk, who is a runner who is battling cancer. I met her when she was a young girl and apparently inspired her. She last year won an Athlete of the Year award from one of the newspapers. Often women put their health and fitness needs second to family and work obligations. What advice to do you have for women to get them started on the right track? First they need to understand that if they are not good for themselves first, how can they be good for anyone else? Usually, it is [being] overweight that eventually drives them to fitness, but my tips for getting started are these: put your sneakers by the door and just go out for 10 minutes a day, no fuss, just for you… nobody sees you, no judgment…get a friend who wants to move too and make that person your ‘buddy’ and meet three times a week, you don’t keep a buddy waiting…and then have a goal, say you are going to do a local 5k in three months’ time and work up to it. A goal gives you a focus. Lastly, you are never too old, heavy, or uncoordinated to start a fitness program. The body wants to move. Just put on your shoes and go out the door, you deserve to feel good. AND, you’ll be a good example to your family. Plus, people respect you when you claim some personal space. What is your biggest victory? My biggest running victory was winning the 1974 New York City Marathon. I thought my biggest life victory was being a major part of getting the women’s marathon accepted officially into the Olympic Games in 1984. However, I now see that another big accomplishment may lie yet ahead of me: the founding of ‘261 Fearless.’ A global movement that is empowering women well beyond the Olympics. Any final words of advice for our readers? Yes, I’d like to remind many of them that fitness and running has transformed them and it would be wonderful if they could spread this message by starting a 261 Fearless running/ walking club in their own communities. It’s about creating a non-judgmental community of women, not about elite running or competition. If running has been so good to you, imagine if you passed this sensation on to other women! That is how we will empower women around the world, many of whom have no opportunities at all. We’ll show you how; sign up at 261fearless.org. TM For more information or to order copies of Kathrine’s books visit marathonwoman.com
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RICCIONE, ITALY May in Riccione is equivalent to any Monday in Italy; a day to ease into the work week. On Monday, stores open around noon, avoiding the slap in the face of an early morning after the weekend. For cyclists, especially for those of us from colder climates, May in Riccione is a rebirth, full of the smells of summer. It is a time to discover new roads and old friends, to test the legs and to set some goals for the months to come. But although Riccione is a great base to ride from and boasts some of the best bike hotels and grandfondos in Italy, it truly is not only about the bike. It has a welcoming atmosphere and the quiet season allows visitors to enjoy it together, almost in secret. Walk aimlessly on the long stylish boardwalk. Wander into the most “in” stores and pinch yourself. The seaside bar and restaurant owners are very available, and the unhurried atmosphere gives rise to conversations and exchanges that could never happen during the frantic summer crush of vacationers. Somehow, the lycra wearing invaders signal a gentle wake up for what is to come. The Riviera Romagnola has been a popular and trendy seaside retreat since the 1930’s. Even Benito Mussolini had a villa built in Riccione in 1934. It is known for it’s great nightlife and also attracts many families in the summer months. Nightlife and theme parks? How exactly do cyclists fit into this formula you may ask?
Cycle tourism has injected valuable business into the tourist industry. More than 20 years ago a handful of hotel owners saw the potential to attract more cyclists, who headed inland to experience far off places like San Marino, Verucchio, and Gradara on their racing bikes. Part of the draw that existed for the early groups of cyclists was the fact that nearby Cessenatico is the home of the great Marco Pantani and also the start town of the largest granfondo in Italy, I Nove Colli (the nine hills). The early groups were from Germany and France, which still take the top two spots in terms of number of visitors. Number three however is a bit of a surprise considering the distance…Canada. For Terrabici, the consortium of Emilia Romagna bike hotels, spring did not always bring this boost in business. “It was not always funny. At first I did it because I had to do it,” explains Stefano Giuliodori, the owner of the popular Dory Hotel and president of Italy Bike Hotels, the extension of the concept which began in Riccione. “I had to take some risks twenty years ago, and now I do it because I enjoy it.” Giuliodori’s Dory Hotel Experience offers a fully equipped bike room with mechanics, wash stations and high-end rental bikes. The Dory receives riders from all over Europe, the UK, Canada, Australia and the USA.
Having hosted the Italian U23 National team’s training camp and several pro teams in preparation for the Giro, the Dory has definitely built a reputation as a cycling mecca. It is not rare to see Romagnolo ex-pro and cycling commentator Davide Cassani moving about the Dory’s mezzanine or to notice the Dory sponsored kits at every granfondo in the region. It did not happen overnight as Stefano explains. Observing him in action, it is easy to see that it all trickles down from his insatiable desire to share the experience of his region. The Dory guides are a very special hand-picked lot who know every bump in the road, exude the essence of Italian cycling, and like their boss, love to share their knowledge with guests. On an average day at the Dory, four different guided rides roll out after the famous Dory breakfast. Different distances, average speeds and totally different destinations make for great conversation when the Dory brunch is laid out for the returning cyclists at 3pm. After a few beers, shuffling the 200m to the beach for a soak in the Adriatic is exactly what the doctor ordered. For those who want to ride with like-minded riders, and avoid the minutia of how to get an early breakfast, which route to ride and how to get your bike back in the box, the Riccione bike vacation awaits you. TM
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Turning stress into success.
When we view stress in a positive way using cognitive reappraisal, it actually helps us focus better, be more alert, perform better in daily activities, and experience less depression and anxiety, says Dr. Christina Plaskos. Most people want to look and feel their best and will go to great lengths to do so. We buy fashionable clothes, get stylish hair treatments, and put on the best kind of make-up. Some of us go a little further and invest in top of the line skin creams, Botox, filler, and laser treatments, in addition to spending hours at the gym to optimize our physique. But few of us truly take an internal inventory of ourselves to determine what our purpose is, our innermost stressors, and how can we create sustainable change. When working with patients, I consider three layers. The inner layer (our intrinsic self, governed by our thoughts, hormones, physiological and genetic make up, etc.), the intermediate layer (skin, physique, enhanced through behaviours, lifestyle practices, etc.) and the outer layer, i.e., things you put on the very surface (clothes, makeup, accessories etc.). The first two layers - inner and intermediate - are the foundation upon which we build lasting health and self-confidence. The outer layer should be our last priority and is easier to optimize when the first two have been looked after. To begin, the founding layer, of course, is our mental wellbeing. Are you able to reframe your mind to view stress as a means to make you perform better and instill purpose in your life? Are you able to make good lifestyle choices to optimize your hormones? From our inner self, we move to the next (intermediate) layer. Are you giving yourself the best kind of skin care as well as working hard at maintaining a healthy body composition? We should always strive to make the first and intermediate layers priority. The beautiful designer handbag and the most luxurious make up won’t matter if the wearer is stressed, anxious, and tired, and sending this kind of energy out into the world. This apparel will not have a lasting effect on how we feel about ourselves. So what are some practical steps to improve the first layer? First we have to reframe the way we view stress. This is referred to as cognitive reappraisal—reframing an event in order to change one’s emotional response to it. Stress has been portrayed as an enemy to our health, and this is true in many cases. Having higher levels of stress shortens telomere length - the protective cap on our DNA. When this cap is eroded cells die, which accelerates the aging process and associated health risks. Longer telomeres are associated
‘I have always held the belief that we can’t always change our situation but we can always change the way we think about it.’
with better health and less disease so it is important we learn to handle stress so that our telomeres aren’t negatively affected. Research shows that chronic stress contributes to high blood pressure, promotes obesity, and causes brain alterations such as depression, anxiety, and addiction. For example, cortisol (a stress hormone) increases appetite, which causes us to eat more and much of that extra energy is stored as fat. In one study, people reporting having a high level of stress and the perception that stress is harmful had a 43% increased risk of premature death. However, people that did not view stress as being harmful had no increased risk of premature death. In the former group, people augmented their stress two-fold by worrying about their amount of stress. The outcome to this study is ground breaking as we now have evidence that we have much more control than we previously thought when it comes to the harmful effects of stressful events in our lives. I have always held the belief that we can’t always change our situation but we can always change the way we think about it. In another study, patients with hypertension were instructed to incorporate relaxation techniques, which resulted in significant improvements in blood pressure and several patients were able to successfully remove one of their blood pressure medications under medical supervision. The patients’ stresses didn’t change… just the way they dealt with the stress. When we view stress in a positive way using cognitive reappraisal, it actually helps us focus better, be more alert, perform better in daily activities, and experience less depression and anxiety. The stress response has evolved as a survival tool and we can and should utilize that benefit today. When viewed this way… stress isn’t bad, rather it is stressing over the stressful situations that’s harmful to our long-term health. Now we can’t simply use this technique and expect all of our stress to magically disappear. One of the best stress reducing techniques is simply to do the hard work and not procrastinate. Get to the gym, change eating habits, stick with a budget, and build meaningful relationships. Take one positive step each day towards reducing your stress (or viewing it more positively) and experience the harmonious, yet powerful ripple effect it will have in your life. TM Sources: https: //www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gopubmed/22201278, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18315510
Dr. Christina Plaskos,
HONORS BSC PHARM, MD, ABAARM, AEGIS MD Dr. Plaskos practices at Aegis MD. She is a certified & advanced injector.
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BRING BACK THE
MONARCH BY GABRIELLE TIEMAN
We have to find a way to help people – especially children – understand that even really small things can be done that can help quite a lot,”
It could be heard before we entered the room; the soft, unmistakable sound of wings. Thousands of pairs of wings delicately fluttering amongst each other, weighing down the tropical branches of Niagara’s Butterfly Conservatory’s humid manmade habitat that they call home. The days of catching a monarch butterfly fluttering through your backyard have dwindled from common to slim to none right before our eyes; as their species continues to remain threatened and monarch populations in North America drop from nearly one billion in the mid-1990s to less than 35 million in 2013. Threatened by deforestation, pesticide and herbicide use, climate change and the destruction of milkweed plants – both their habitats and life source – the monarch’s North American population has declined rapidly within our generation. “There truly is no one cause to the problem,” says Liette Vasseur, a Biologist with a focus on climate change and member of the Environmental Sustainability Research Centre at Brock University. “This destruction of habitat - especially of the species for which [the monarch] live – the drastic change in climate, the extreme weather events that now occur … these are all factors that contribute to the problem.” With this realization, efforts to save the endangered monarch butterfly have intensified in more recent years; with North America investing in research into the monarch’s migratory patterns – among other components – and pledging to protect the magnificent insect and their habitats. Here enters the North American Commission for Environmental Cooperation whom infused the North American Monarch Conservatory Plan in 2010. This plan has the objective to contribute to maintaining healthy monarch populations and intact habitats throughout the migration flyway in North America while also educating and creating improved livelihoods for the butterfly in conjunction with local communities where the monarch chooses to settle. Monarch butterflies embark on a marvelous migratory phenomenon. Their migratory journey takes between two – five thousand kilometers or more from the Midwest United States and Canada to central Mexican forests. Today, it is being noted that it is not about the impact that >> only one single country has on the species, but the impact of all three together and their individual climates and the practices of each combined. “We are going through a change of climate,” said Cheryl Tyndall, Curator for the Niagara Parks Butterfly Conservatory. “That is altering things: how plants grow, when things move, when [animals] migrate. Weather seems to be extreme; the winds seem to be in general stronger than they used to be and, in my opinion, more constant. And on a small butterfly that weighs way less than an ounce, it can have a pretty significant impact.” “As the monarchs migrate north, with the change of climate, they really have hit extreme weather conditions coming up through Texas and the more southern states over the last four to five years,” said Tyndall. “If [The southern states] have an early spring or a late spring as the monarch fly through their area, it creates a challenge. A late spring means the plants they need may not be ready yet; if they have an early spring and there are lots of plants, they don’t have to keep going as far north as soon. So their return to Canada is becoming delayed.” This delay in returning to Canada due to climate may seem like a minute problem to some, but Canada plays an impactful role on the species’ growth and repopulation; with Southern Ontario and portions of Quebec contributing to approximately 12 per cent of the monarch population due to these regions’ favourable summer climates. “The life cycle of a monarch is about four weeks to go from egg to adult,” said Tyndall. “So if they land here in the beginning of June, they get all of June for a lifecycle, then all of July and August and then those butterflies all move on. If they don’t arrive in Canada until July, they really only have two generations up here to reproduce due to the timing of our summer months.” Though we cannot control the climate, government officials are now trying to help the monarch’s migration by tagging the butterflies in order to track their journeys and designate the specific areas that are crucial to the species’ survival. This mapping process as well goes hand in hand with designating the agricultural areas that are detrimental to the success of the journey and pinpointing obstructions in the migratory route. “When you look at history over the last 30 to 40 years, and you look at Central America, we have changed our agricultural practices drastically,” said Tyndall. “The use of herbicides and pesticides is still in practice. We now have large, massive acreage covered in corn or soybean. So what used to be smaller, more organic fields with hedge rows and wildflowers and milkweed growing in between, now a lot of that is gone.” Due to this destruction of these small habitats, Tyndall said that a butterfly may now find itself flying hundreds of kilometres further between necessary plants – a distance
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which used to be a short, quick journey. “If you have a route and you take the host nutritional plants away, they’re going to have to change where they migrate,” said Tyndall. “So now we have a fragmented migratory route. There is a little patch here and a little patch there, but the distance between patches is becoming far enough apart now that it is greatly reducing successful migration.” Residents along these migratory routes are now being tasked to rebuild and repair small habitats within their own area; with monarch activists encouraging residents with access to even the smallest lot of land to grow pollinator gardens and plant milkweed in their own backyards – the dominant life source for the butterfly. “If more people create mini habitats by planting milkweed, then mini habitats can fill in the fragmented habitats corridor that we have,” said Tyndall. “The more and more people that do this, the greater the corridor becomes and the greater the survival opportunities become for the monarch” Female monarch will lay their eggs on milkweed plants; then the eggs develop to the pupae stage on the milkweed then feed off the plant until they are grown. But an unfortunate trait to the milkweed plant though is that most often it is mistaken for a weed – and overlooked when gardens are planted. Both Vasseur and Tyndall emphasize the fact that you do not have to cultivate your entire backyard to make a difference. It is easy to add a few fluffs of the plant into your existing space; and with many different species of milkweed in Canada, it is easy to choose one that will work both aesthetically and non-evasively in your yard – while having a positive impact on the monarch. “Unfortunately most people think of these plants as weeds,” said Vasseur. “It is easy though: if you have some land to spare and you can plant a few milkweeds, or a couple of golden rods or another native plant, do so; it is not complicated.” And if you are afraid the sometimes invasive plant may overtake your garden, simply watch the plants’ growth; Vasseur said the plants do take patience and will not grow to maturity overnight but are no more difficult to maintain than the other plants in your garden. As well, Tyndall explained that once the summer season has concluded and the milkweed has gone to seed, it is very easy to transplant these seed pods and distribute them in more wild area to germinate so they do not spread throughout your yard; this will still help the issue and increases the life span of the plant throughout the region. Education is another huge component to fighting the battle against Monarch extinction. Schools are now helping to not only educate kids about the plants that local animals need but also teaching them how to cultivate these plants and avoid harming their environment “We have to find a way to help people – especially children – understand that even really small things can be done that can help quite a lot,” said Vasseur. Education as well reaches past future generations and towards the communities and municipalities charged with the beautification of regions – with roadside mowing for cosmetic reasons another contributing factor to the loss of milkweed in rural areas. “It is so important for communities and municipalities to be aware of these plants and avoid mowing because they tend to cut a lot of them along the side of the roads without knowing,” said Vasseur. “I know that it is happening along the waterfront trails in St. Catharines and it is quite sad, because these are places where you would probably have these butterflies.” Looking to get involved and help the monarch? Gardeners can visit MonarchWatch.org for a list of the best types of milkweed for your yard and a range of other plants that are perfect for the monarch’s appetite. The Butterfly Conservatory in Niagara Falls also hosts a range of family-centric educational events throughout the year featuring the monarch – alongside other species of butterfly. These events – held both in the spring and fall – are a perfect opportunity for educating children on the butterfly’s life cycle and how they can help the insect. TM
N A T Umeets R Ethe
MODERN MIND BY MARIANA BOCKAROVA
Over the past six years, Mark Brandon*, a student at the University of Toronto, has begrudgingly taken part in what is amongst the most psychologically and academically demanding feats in a young researcher’s career; completing a PhD. The process usually involves taking graduate courses, teaching undergraduate courses, researching multiple projects round the clock for an oft challenging supervisor, and writing, publishing, and presenting numerous papers to unrestrained crowds quick to point out flaws. This all culminates in a 20-minute presentation of one’s own research to a committee of distinguished and highly discerning professors considered experts in their field, who then spend roughly two hours questioning the researcher before them, hopefully determining that the coveted doctoral designation is well deserved. Needless to say, the process can be a gruelling one which lasts well over half a decade, and can sometimes feel, in physical description, as though swimming through molasses, which might help explain why the attrition rate of just about the 50 percent mark. On an particular day, however, Mark interrupts his habitual woes of doctoral dread and frustration to me with refreshing news; after a long, dark winter, he will be spending the first weekend of spring buying plants to put around his office. According to research, he’s got the right idea. In a newly published study by Harvard researchers Joseph Allen, Jack Spengler and Piers MacNaughton, and collaborators Suresh Santanam at Syracuse University and Usha Satish at SUNY Upstate Medical, 24 workers,
including managers, architects, and designers, were asked to spend six days over a two week period in a highly controlled work environment at the Syracuse Center of Excellence, wherein they were asked to complete their normal work routine from 9 AM to 5 PM, while unbeknownst to them, the researchers altered the air quality in the room. The quality changed daily from habitual office air quality to optimal quality, by doubling the amount of outside air into the room and lowering the level of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) by limiting the amount of surface cleaners, dry erase markers, dry cleaned clothing, and building materials in the room. The researchers also tested three levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the air: low levels (600ppm) typically seen in highly ventilated areas, typical levels (950ppm) seen offices and higher levels (1400ppm) typically seen in schools. Each day, the workers were tested on their decision-making performance and found that breathing better air led to significantly better decision-making performance in response to higher ventilation rates and lower levels of carbon dioxide and VOCs. According to the researchers, “the results showed the biggest improvements in areas that tested how workers used information to make strategic decisions and how they plan, stay prepared, and strategize during crises. These are exactly the skills needed to be productive in the knowledge economy.” Similar studies have found the same result: At the end of the day, better air quality means better cognitive functioning, whether it’d be decision-making or even relaxation. As related
Research has shown a leisurely 15 minute walk in the wilderness can lower cortisol, the principle hormone which catalyzes and sustains the stress response. research has found, it is not only the physical quality of nature that tends to optimize our functioning as human beings, but the typical sound of nature itself: According to researchers Cassandra D. Gould van Praag, Sarah N. Garfinkel, Oliver Sparasci, Alex Mees, Andrew O. Philippides, Mark Ware, Cristina Ottaviani and Hugo D. Critchley in the newly published study, Mind-wandering and alterations to default mode network connectivity when listening to naturalistic versus artificial sounds, sounds found in nature help relax the functioning of our fight or flight response. The response is the typical physiological reaction humans have in times of stress, wherein our body essentially must prepare to fight a physical or psychological stressor (including, in modern times, writing a test or giving a presentation at work), or flee the scene. The research, which was done in conjunction with Mark Ware, an audio visual artist who recorded sounds in nature versus sounds in artificial environments, consisted of participants listening to either of the sounds while laying in an MRI machine, having their brains scanned for clues into what works best to relax the modern mind. Participants also had their heart rate monitored, which is generally elevated in stressful conditions; after all, you can neither fight nor flee with a heart that’s barely beating. After analyzing the results, the researchers concluded “when listening to natural sounds, the brain connectivity reflected an outward-directed focus of attention; when listening to artificial sounds, the brain connectivity reflected an inward-directed focus of attention, similar to states observed in anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder and depression. There was also an increase in rest-digest nervous system activity (associated with relaxation of the body) when listening to natural compared with artificial sounds, and better performance in an external attention monitoring task.” Participants who benefitted the most from listening to natural sounds were those who were particularly stressed to begin with, while interestingly enough, participants who were quite relaxed actually found an increased heart rate when listening to natural sounds. Not only do sounds of nature - in general, at least - help ease our bodies and minds, but specific sounds of nature can help with our sleep quality, too: According to Orfeu M. Buxton, a neuroscientist and faculty member at the Harvard Center for Population and Development Studies, the types of sounds in natural environments, such as ocean waves crashing or a thunderstorm are “slow, whooshing noises” that are “the sounds of non-threats, which is why they work to calm people”. As Buxton said in his interview with Livescience, “it’s like they’re saying: ‘Don’t worry, don’t worry, don’t worry... Having a masking form of noise [such as ocean sounds] can also help block other sounds you don’t have control over, whether someone is flushing a toilet in another part of the house, or there are taxis or traffic outside — whatever the acoustic insult is.” Because of the repetitious, non-abrupt character of natural noise, which helps muddle alerting sounds, like a scream or siren, and soften the effect so as to mediate the threat detection system in our
minds which would otherwise serve to wake us up, listening to the outdoors in slumber can help produce better sleep. Indeed, the benefit of nature in sleep is further corroborated with research from the University of Illinois and New York University School of Medicine, which found, based on data from a national survey of 255,171 adults collected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, along with a U.S. Department of Agriculture index, that respondents who had chronic sleep difficulties had less access to green space and natural amenities compares to others. This may be a good indicator of how much natural conditions may work to shape a person’s natural internal clock, known as the circadian rhythm, which helps regulate sleep, among other bodily activities. Similar research by Frances Kuo found that housing projects which had many trees in comparison to those without trees, had a lower crime rate and lower rates of aggression, which may further suggest nature’s soothing effect on both our mind and bodies. Perhaps the largest benefits from nature, however, can be derived not only from the physical properties of outdoor air, nor the particular qualities of sound, but from its sites: Research has shown a leisurely 15 minute walk in the wilderness can lower cortisol, the principle hormone which catalyzes and sustains the stress response. Further, a 45 minute walk can improve cognitive functioning, and two weeks outdoors has been even shown to increase the immune-boosting killer T cells in women with breast cancer. In more practical terms, a walk in the park, as the idiom would suggest, can help with mental illness too: In a controlled experiment set to investigate whether a risk factor for depression known as rumination (self-talk that is focused on negative aspects of oneself), could be affected by nature, researchers found that “participants who went on a 90-min walk through a natural environment reported lower levels of rumination and showed reduced neural activity in an area of the brain linked to risk for mental illness compared with those who walked through an urban environment. These results suggest that accessible natural areas may be vital for mental health in our rapidly urbanizing world.” With 50% of people currently living in urban areas with increasingly limited green space - a number which is set to jump to 70% by 2050 - this conclusion gives urban dwellers something to ponder. Luckily, however, new evidence suggests that just looking at urbanized nature, that is, spaces like “green roofs” – rooftops which contain trees, shrubs, or other greenery, even on a computer screen has shown positive effects: A study published in the journal, Environmental Psychology, found that interrupting an attention-demanding task with a 40-second break to simple look at a computerized image of a green roof had a positive effect on focus and subsequent performance on the tedious task. Whether a city slicker or a country bumpkin, the science is clear: Take a walk in the park, or buy yourself a plant and open a window; it’s good for your brain. * Name has changed. TM
CHOIR NATION NIAGARA: TEACHING THE REGION TO SING
By Jill Tham In the 1970s, the band The New Seekers had a hit song called “I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing (In Perfect Harmony)”. Coca Cola assembled a group of individuals from all corners of the world to sing a variation of the song on the top of a mountain, for their commercial. Choir Nation brings to life the 1970s hit song and raises it to a whole new level. While conducting research for Brock University, Todd Green met musician Murray Foster, formerly of the bands Moxy Früvous and Great Big Sea. Green, Assistant Marketing Professor at the University, began discussing ideas with Foster on how to merge companies and music together. “We started thinking how to bring the two together and we decided to teach the company how to sing,” explains Green, who has prior research experience in the growing area of employee engagement, team building, and life-work balance. Realizing that choir would be an immediate way for employees to make connections in the workplace, the pair founded Choir Nation, a program that offers a unique singing experience to companies and communities around Southern Ontario. “There is lots of research of the benefits of having friends at work,” says Green. Their grass-roots method helps to build relationships among colleagues and improve morale in the workplace. Foster and Green have found that through involvement in a choir everyone is on the same level playing field. “Anyone from any level in the company is open to join the choir and it takes the hierarchy away.” says Green. >>
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hoir Nation offers a variety of programs for participants to choose from: Battle of the Choirs, An Evening With, Harmonies for Help, customized events such as Conference Choir, as well as a weekly drop in choir for members of the community. “We have a team of music directors in Niagara, Hamilton, and Toronto,” says Green “It could be a 90 minute way to break up meetings or a way to end the day or a way to lead a performance with our artist roster,” explains Green. “We can pretty much do anything.” Previous choir and singing experience is not necessary as each program begins with a music lesson by a trained professional including: basic vocal warm ups and techniques. The group rehearses and learns three to four songs before performing. Green and Murray will match the group with a professional musician to perform with on the day of the final performance. From large corporate groups on a concert stage to a small ensemble of university students singing in a common space, the versatility of the programs reaches all types of groups in a variety of settings across Southern Ontario. In their program Harmonies for Help, Choir Nation brings companies and the community together. “Before Christmas, we had 20 singers from the Brock University MBA program and a second group sing three songs each at the St. Catharines General Hospital. Then the two groups joined together to perform “Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer,” says Green. “The response from the community was overwhelming, everyone in the hospital commented on how great it was.” Each Harmonies for Help event comes with a $1000.00 charitable donation to the hospital. “We provide support to our hospital partners,” says Green. Choir Nation also donates a portion of all profits from their programs to three music charities. While Harmonies for Help focuses on bringing together co-workers, the drop-in program joins strangers in the community together for a few hours of fun. Their drop-in choir meets every Monday evening from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm in St. Catharines, Ontario at the Maytay Cafe. For a nominal fee of $15.00 the group will learn a song or two and then head into the main part of the cafe for a performance. “One reason why I love the drop-in program is that what we learn is well-known and not traditional choir songs,” says Kelly Vlaar, a weekly drop-in participant. “During the first week we learned Toto’s ‘Africa,’ which is a song I love, and in a little over an hour we learned their different parts and sounded very good.” The program is a casual, yet invigorating experience for participants. “It peaked my interest because I wanted to try something adventurous in 2017,” says Vlaar, who admits when she sang in the past she often would lip sync the challenging parts of a song. “I knew it would put me out of my comfort zone, which was my goal.” “From the moment I hesitantly walked by myself into the room the first evening, the friendly faces that greeted me and initiated conversation helped me to overcome my fear and initial anxiety,” says Vlaar who looks forward to having an evening to herself away from a hectic family and work schedule. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I knew once that first session had finished, the program was exactly what I was looking for.” Tammy Sweeney was introduced to Green while organizing a Conference Choir session during the Women in Leadership conference that she organizes. Impressed by the experience, Sweeney joined the drop-in choir “I travel frequently for business, so the drop-in feature is key. I don’t want to feel like I am letting down a choir,” explains Sweeney. “I love to sing, and I love to meet new people.” Sweeney has found a great deal of solace with the program. “I am in a very stressful place in my life right now, and I don’t make much time to play. One night a week I get to relax, be with great people, and sing my heart out. It’s freeing,” says Sweeney. Choir Nation is a way to bring people together regardless of their musical abilities. “Sing loud and proud. You are a lot better than you think you are,” says Green, who admits he gets a bit of stage fright when performing. “If you sing it wrong no one will judge you. Our choir director will work with the group and help overcome any fear or embarrassment people may have,” says Green. “It is a great way to step out, do something different and make friends really fast,” says Green. “We are not an app or a form of social media, it is an old school way of bringing people together.” If we could assemble the original crowd of singers that Coca Cola brought together on a hilltop in Italy in 1971 to sing “I’d Like to Buy the World a Coke,” and ask them how they felt that day I think their experiences would be the same as Sweeney’s words, “I get to sing great songs, meet great people, and perform. You just can’t beat it.” For more information visit choirnation.ca. TM
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150 YEARS IN THE MAKING
Five generations of fostering this land is proudly displayed in our farm restaurant and award winning wines from our organic vineyard. Experience Ravine. 1366 York Rd, St. Davids VISIT US RAVINEVINEYARD.COM
fantastical TRIP By Sherman Zavitz
NIAGARA FALLS IS A MOST ENJOYABLE PLACE OF RESORT. THE HOTELS ARE EXCELLENT AND THE PRICES NOT AT ALL EXORBITANT.” “Niagara Falls is a most enjoyable place of resort. The hotels are excellent and the prices not at all exorbitant.” This observation was made by the famous American author and humorist Mark Twain in an article of his entitled “Niagara.” Originally appearing in the Buffalo Express, it was one of a number of Twain’s essays published in 1875 in book form under the title Sketches Old and New. The creator of Tom Sawyer, Huckleberry Finn and many other memorable characters, Twain probably visited Niagara Falls a number of times. From February 1870 to October 1871 he lived in nearby Buffalo where he was an editor and part owner of the Express. An astute observer with a well-developed wit, Twain, whose real name was Samuel Clemens, offered a number of comments about various aspects of his Niagara experience. For example, he mentions climbing down a 148-foot staircase to stand by the edge of the river and then observes, “after you have done it, you will wonder why you did it; but you will then be too late.” After paying an admission fee, he listened to a guide relate, “in his blood-curdling way,” how he saw the Maid of the Mist piloted downriver through the Whirlpool Rapids to Queenston on June 6, 1861. Twain noted “She did finally live through the trip after accomplishing the incredible feat of traveling seventeen miles in six minutes or six miles in seventeen minutes, I have really forgotten which.” (If I may be permitted, Mr. Twain, it was the latter -SZ) Twain felt it was “worth the price of admission to hear the guide tell the story nine times in succession to different parties and never miss a word or alter a sentence or gesture”. He crossed over the Suspension Bridge to view the Falls from the Canadian side. The bridge, an engineering marvel of the time, stood where the Whirlpool Rapids Bridge is now located. It was a double-deck span with trains using the upper level, while the lower deck was for carriages and pedestrians. Twain found (or pretended to find) the crossing to be disconcerting, writing, “You drive over the Suspension Bridge and divide your misery between the chances of smashing down 200 feet into the river below, and the chances of having the railway train overhead smashing down on you. Either possibility is discomforting taken by itself, but mixed together, they amount in the aggregate to positive unhappiness.” As his carriage approached the Horseshoe Falls, which he describes as “stupendous,” Twain was surprised and somewhat upset to find “long ranks of photographers standing guard behind their cameras.” Back on the American side, he took the Cave of the Winds trip – a popular experience with visitors still today. As he crept along the footbridges built over the rocks near the foot of the American Falls, Twain was awed by the “monstrous wall of water thundering down from above…I raised my head with open mouth and most of the American cataract went
down my throat.” After he dries out, Twain’s amazing imagination and sense of fun really takes off. He relates how he stopped to talk to a group of men who turn out to be ruffians. They “whack” him a number of times, tear off his clothes and then pitch him into the Niagara River. He goes over the Falls. Eventually pulled out, he’s then arrested “for disturbing the peace by yelling at people on shore for help.” The judge fines him but Twain has no money since it was in his now lost pants. A doctor’s examination determines that “only sixteen of my wounds are fatal. I don’t mind the others.” A few years later Twain (now recovered!) brings Niagara Falls into a short story he authored entitled “Extracts From Adam’s Diary.” Based on the Bible’s Book of Genesis, it’s a humourous account, written in diary form, of how Adam met various challenges in what he has named the Garden of Eden. His first major surprise is a “new creature” with “long hair” that suddenly appears and, to his annoyance, starts following him around. Equally disturbing, this “new creature” who he refers to as “It,” begins naming “everything that comes along before I can get in a protest.” This includes the garden’s great waterfall, which It names Niagara Falls. It also objects to the name Garden of Eden, claiming that the area “looks more like a park than a garden.” “As a result,” Adam sadly says, “without consulting me, the garden has been renamed Niagara Falls Park. This was sufficiently high-handed, it seems to me. And already there is a sign up saying “Keep Off The Grass.” Eventually the new creature tells Adam her name is Eve and asks that he refer to her by that name or “she” or “her,” but not It. Eve then makes a request. We’ll let Adam pick up the story: “She has taken to beseeching me to stop going over the Falls. What harm does it do? Says it makes her shudder. I wonder why; I have always done it – always liked the plunge and the excitement and the coolness. I supposed it was what the Falls were for. They have no other use that I can see and they must have been made for something. She says they were only made for scenery – like the rhinoceros and the mastodon. “I went over the Falls in a barrel – not satisfactory to her. Went over in a tub – still not satisfactory. Swam the Whirlpool and the Rapids in a fig-leaf suit. It got much damaged. Hence, tedious complaints about my extravagance.” As in the Biblical story, Adam and Eve are eventually banished from the Garden of Eden or, as Eve calls it, the Niagara Falls Park. Nevertheless, Adam eventually confesses he was mistaken about Eve when he first met her. He has come to love her and now admires “the goodness of her heart and the sweetness of her spirit,” an agreeable note to end a Niagara tale like no other. TM
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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.
GET UP CLOSE & PERSONAL
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 one-of-akind, up-close views of the American and Horseshoe Falls it’s an idyllic 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 under the stars 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-ofthe-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 open daily in season from 8:30 am - 8:30 pm. 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. Available 5 days each week, Mondays through Fridays from June 12 to September 4. With special performances on holiday weekends in May, July and September. Boats board at 9:15 pm. Boats sail 9:3010:10 pm. 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 snacks 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. The Falls Illumination Cruises operate on select dates from May 5 to October 28, including Saturdays and Sundays each week from June 3 to October 8. Boats board promptly at 9:15 pm and sail from 9:30 pm - 10:10 pm. 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. todaymagazine.ca 59
Live Entertainment Nightly Niagara’s Largest TV Open Daily From Noon Located in Hilton Hotel & Suites Niagara Falls/Fallsview directly across from Fallsview Casino Resort 6361 Fallsview Blvd, Niagara Falls, ON L2G 3V9 +1 905 354 7887 spycelounge.ca |
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GENERATION caught in the middle by JULIE TANOS
Guilt. Worry. Exhaustion. These are words that describe the situation plagued by many middle-aged individuals, attempting to both raise their young family and care for aging parents. Trying to establish a healthy balance between work and a growing family can be stressful in itself, but once you throw a third critical factor in the mix, suddenly your sense of direction in life is skewed. Generally all young parents raising their children are looking forward; forward to helping them learn and grow, and eventually flourish into young adults themselves. Suddenly the tug from an elderly parent in need can freeze you in your tracks or conversely, pull you backwards, putting any plans of moving forward on hold. >>
‘Somewhere in the middle, as a caregiver to both the young and old, it’s important to not lose yourself and risk damaging your own health or personal relationships’
im is exhausted after his workday and an evening with the kids,” explains his wife, Marci, “he feels like he is neglecting us at home because of being busy at work and with his dad.” The Morandin’s are a local couple, who have found themselves in the stressful situation of raising their three young children while providing care for Tim’s father, Joe, who was recently diagnosed with cancer. Tim and Marci are both employed full-time and have their hands equally full at home, with a 9 year old son and 3 ½ year old twins. “We would like to put our kids in more things, or spend more time with them, but it’s just too hard to juggle everything,” Tim explains. Most family caregivers find themselves victim of the guilt factor at some point, amidst trying to balance everyone’s demands, needs and wishes. For example, just as you feel the needs of the children are being met – a successful soccer practice, homework help provided- the unsettling feeling of guilt that another area is being neglected, creeps in. “I wonder how my Dad is feeling tonight? If he remembered to take his medication? I hope he doesn’t feel lonely.” Having lost his wife in 2012, Tim’s father has chosen to continue to live in the same home he and his spouse shared, however with many more limitations due to his declining health. What makes their situation especially stressful is that their network of support is limited; Tim’s siblings also help look after their father, yet each has a young family of their own and Marci’s family is back in her hometown of Oshawa. So to call on help and have an aunt or cousin show up with a moment’s notice, isn’t a luxury in which they can indulge. The Morandin’s have found themselves having to take personal time off from work in order to take Joe to doctor’s appointments, for blood work and chemotherapy, not to mention anytime the children become sick and need to stay home. However not all hope is lost. In fact, there are more organizations emerging to provide assistance and relief for caregivers, than ever before. One of which is Meals on Wheels, a meal delivery system that brings hot or frozen nutritious meals to local residents up to five days a week. This service is mainly
provided for seniors who are 65 and over, however those with a physical or ongoing health issue may also be eligible. Mindful of the limited income situation that most seniors are faced with, Meals on Wheels only charges their clients for the cost of food – delivery is free from volunteers and there is no added cost from any staff services (meal preparation, administration). But the intangible bonus that comes with utilizing such a service is that it also serves as an informal safety and well-being check for the client. As Ann Ellis, Program Coordinator for Meals on Wheels Niagara describes, “it puts eyes on them at least once a day … which is especially helpful for families that are not in town, and can’t just pop in.” If during a delivery the volunteer notices a safety or security issue, they will bring it to the coordinator’s attention who will then contact the client’s main caregiver. She also mentions that by having the one, daily meal brought in, “can help replace grocery shopping costs and the work for those who can’t prepare meals themselves.” The value speaks for itself in what you receive, with all hot meals consisting of: soup, an entrée of meat, fish or poultry, side of potatoes, noodles or rice, two vegetables, bread and butter and a dessert. Cost varies from client to client but generally begins at $5.00 with delivery taking place daily at noon. This is one service which Tim and Marci have arranged for Joe, to help alleviate their worry in at least one area. When it comes to everyday tasks that are a part of independent living in one’s home, there are important, local agencies that can provide practically any type of help for which you’re seeking. Community Care Access Centre (CCAC) provides clinical in-home assistance by qualified, health care professionals, including nurses and physical therapists. After the initial home visit, the Care Coordinator will be able to determine the individual’s abilities and needs and customizes a plan to ensure quality health care at home. Another organization that provides support for aging loved ones is Home Instead Senior Care. “The demand is there – the desire of seniors wanting to stay in their homes,” describes Denielle Cuoco, Managing Director and Owner of Home Instead
Niagara. She adds that allowing them this opportunity with assistance “results in more positive outcomes.” Home Instead is a non-medical in-home support network, with a team of caregivers providing a plethora of vital services to their clients. The list includes but is not limited to: medication reminders, companionship and physical assistance (going for a walk with the client), laundry, in-home meal preparation, hygiene, help with errands and transportation. Similar to CCAC, the initial care consultation between the agency representative, client and the client’s family is the first step. Based on this informal meeting, “we focus on the compatibility between the caregivers and the clients,” explains Denielle. After all, personalities can vary and of course clash, so Home Instead will find the best caregiver to make your loved one feel comfortable. The time commitment and associated cost varies based on the in-home services chosen, but are generally outlined at the time of the initial consultation. As for the family of the loved one, who remain as the primary caregiver, Denielle provides a helpful website link geared to caring for YOU. Visit caregiverstress. com to find articles, blogs, videos and other helpful resources directed at caring for those, who are busy caring for others. Spotting signs of stress, family communication issues, financial issues and more – all potential byproducts of dealing with an elderly parent or loved one, are explained and sorted through on the aforementioned website. For Tim and Marci, “the day to day to day struggle of knowing you have to keep going, is what keeps us going.” While they try to still make time for their own interests, family comes first. We all want the best for our kids, and we also want to be there for our parents and give back to them for all they’ve done for us. Somewhere in the middle, as a caregiver to both the young and old, it’s important to not lose yourself and risk damaging your own health or personal relationships. Resources are out there to offer a respite, and they are in place for a reason. It takes a special kind of person to graciously offer themselves up for the service of others; but there is nothing wrong with getting a little assistance to help ease the load just a little. TM
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THE HERO IN ALL OF US
PRINCIPLES TO LIVE BY
By Mariana Bockarova
ot long ago, my grandfather, a 78-year old nimble man, felt his legs lock before losing consciousness in the middle of a very busy public square. As I stood for a few moments, frozen, watching the scenario unfold from afar, I noticed that three people, three complete and utter strangers, not with any particular training or medical knowledge arose from the hurried horde and immediately lifted him by brute force to a safer place. As a crowd gathered, one of these three strangers called an ambulance while stroking his face gently with her hand, the other ushered onlookers out of the way urging that the man on the ground needed space, and the third whipped off his own jacket and immediately draped my grandfather with it, despite the temperature being well below zero in the cold Canadian winter. After hours in the hospital, my grandfather thankfully made it home with a simple diagnosis: carry around a chocolate for when your blood sugar drops, and sit down if you feel light-headed. Though some time has passed since, the sheer character shown by these brave individuals has stuck with me. There is something about people who go above and beyond the efforts of any ordinary person, who break through from both the literal and figurative crowd to perform extraordinary acts, usually in the service of the helpless, not for particular recognition, but simply because of who they are. And who they are, in a word, is a hero. The archetype of a hero, one who does what others do not, has been central in human culture since presumably the dawn of man: Indeed, we find this character in modern films, books, religious texts, stories, and even the oldest of ancient literature. In fact, the Epic of Gilgamesh, a poem which historians estimate is the first written story, inscribed on clay tablets in Mesopotamia nearly four thousand years ago, follows Gilgamesh, king of Uruk, and his friend, Enkidu, as they bravely defeat various monsters put before them. Gilgamesh, however, does not begin his journey as a hero, rather a cruel tyrannical king who comes to develop a moral sense through his journey. The idea that heroes are not born, but made, is one that has presumably been around quite some time. Perhaps, then, we can all develop ourselves as heroes, and following these five time-honored principles may be a good place to start: >>
“t here is a SUPERHERO in all of us. we just need the COURAGE to put on the cape.” – Superman –
TELL THE BUT ONLY AS IT NEEDS TO BE TOLD
At the root of it, telling the truth is being honest about your thoughts, emotions, and actions. While it sounds simple enough to enact, many have difficulty being honest because throughout life, they may have learned the obvious advantages of being dishonest. For instance, why tell your mother you broke the vase instead of blaming it on the dog, when one scenario will lead to extra chores and the other, a leisurely weekend? Others lie to cover up their insecurities, or create confabulations to seem to be more than they are. Lying to cover up insecurities is a tedious cycle, wherein with each lie told, the insecurity grows: You begin to feel weaker and weaker, as the chasm between what you really are and what you say you are widens, as the fear of being found out grows. Proverbially, lying is bad, but it is so, in essence, because it unravels and distorts the fabric of reality, taking with it integrity, trust and intimacy. When one is found out for lying, which either occurs through one’s own admission – conscious or otherwise – or through the admission of others, life can significantly deteriorate in quality: Indeed, there are few things worse in any given society than being branded a liar. However, some lies are told to spare others of bad news. For instance, if your wife asks “do I look fat in this dress” or your husband asks “am I as handsome as I was when we first met?” is there truly more harm done in lying than in telling the truth and bruising the ego? Or, in the case of my grandfather, was it better for the kind stranger to say “I have no idea what’s happening” than “everything will be okay”? When it comes to honesty, the line of right and wrong is a thin one, narrowly paved, however Buddha’s Vaca Sutta provides good guideline to knowing when and how to tell the truth: “A statement endowed with five factors is well-spoken, not ill-spoken. It is blameless & unfaulted by knowledgeable people. Which five? “It is spoken at the right time. It is spoken in truth. It is spoken affectionately. It is spoken beneficially. It is spoken with a mind of good-will. In other words, the truth is welcome by the wise if it timely, honest, spoken with genuine love and care, done so in order to be helpful, and with benevolence. If you ever experience hardship in whether or not to tell the truth, ask yourself: “Do I speak at the right time, or not? Do I speak of facts, or not? Do I speak gently or harshly? Do I speak profitable words or not? Do I speak with a kindly heart, or inwardly malicious?”
right, NOT good
François de La Rochefoucauld, in his 1665 book of Maxims, wrote, “No one should be praised for his goodness if he has not strength enough to be wicked. All other goodness is but too often an idleness or powerlessness of will.” This seems, at least to me, to be a variant of the proverb, “the road to Hell is paved with good intentions”. In other words, it isn’t just sufficient to be ignorantly good, for any action that is malevolent can be justified in the name of goodness. A great example of this comes from the film, The Sound of Music, where despite Rolfe’s love for the oldest Von Trapp daughter, Leisl, he literally blows the whistle on her, alerting his fellow Nazis that her family is hiding in an abbey. While Rolfe’s action can be justified as “good” for doing what he was told by his officers, it is certainly not right. Instead of succumbing to doing good for goodness’ sake, aim to do what is right.
compare YOURSELF TO NO ONE
As best said by famed American writer Ernest Hemingway, “there is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.” Comparison breeds jealousy, anger, pettiness, and contempt; the lowest of human emotions, only ever worsening the human condition. Compare yourself to only your own past, and aim for your future to be greater.
forgive others, FORGIVE YOURSELF
The Buddhists were careful to note that “knowledgeable people” would find little fault in those speaking the truth, even when it may offend. But, what about not-so-knowledgeable others? The great Marcus Aurelius, famed Emperor of Rome from 161 to 180, in his book of Stoic philosophy, Meditations, encouraged one to become knowledgeable him- or herself, if ever angered or wronged and to forgive the wrong-doer: “When someone wrongs you, ask yourself: What made him do it? Once you understand his concept of good and evil, you’ll feel sorry for him and cease to be either amazed or angry. If his concept is similar to yours, then you are bound to forgive him since you would have acted as he did in similar circumstances. But if you do not share his ideas of good and evil, then you should find it even easier to overlook the wrongs of someone who is confused and in a moral muddle… It is within a man’s power to love even those who sin against him. This becomes possible when you realize that they are your brothers, that they wrong you unintentional or out of ignorance...” In similar vein, forgive yourself of indiscretions, for you, too, may have lived ignorantly in the past.
One of the most famous lines in English literature, comes from Act 1, Scene III of Shakespeare’s, Hamlet, where Polonius says, “To thine own self be true”. The meaning of this, at least by one interpretation, is that you must act according to your conscience, for you have no one else to truly be accountable to. There is truly so little to be gained by walking in the already marked footprints of others, but how do we break free of what is expected of us in order to act in accordance with who we really are? For this, Friedrich Nietzsche, whose writings helped form the bedrock of Western philosophy, notes: “How can man know himself? … It is also an agonizing, hazardous undertaking to dig into oneself, to climb down toughly and directly into the tunnels of one’s being. For the most important inquiry, however, there is a method. Let the young soul survey its own life with a view of the following question: “What have you truly loved thus far? What has ever uplifted your soul, what has dominated and delighted it at the same time?” Assemble these revered objects in a row before you and perhaps they will reveal a law by their nature and their order: the fundamental law of your very self. Compare these objects, see how they complement, enlarge, outdo, transfigure one another; how they form a ladder on whose steps you have been climbing up to yourself so far; for your true self does not lie buried deep within you, but rather rises immeasurably high above you...” TM
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Vacation on Veranda Beach. You don’t need to go away to get away – when travel doesn’t fit in your budget, and a ‘staycation’ is your only answer, Niagara delivers on fun in the sun. Spring has sprung in Niagara. Birds are chirping. Plants are growing. Mud is everywhere. Warmer winds are blowing. But when we look out our front windows at the sun on our verandas, we can imagine the glory of summer. And the fun of summer vacations! On a recent not-so-sunny-day, a member came in to see me about just such a thing: he wanted to plan a summer vacation. As a teacher, he saw his colleagues planning their holidays. He just wasn’t sure he could afford to travel. Sure enough, we reviewed his finances, discussed his plans to replace his roof in the fall, and I had to break it to him: summer travel didn’t fit in his budget. Before he left with a rain cloud over his head, I found a patch of sunshine for him. I recommended travelling in Niagara. A vacation on Veranda Beach, if you will. I explained that he could stay close to home and still enjoy the benefits of travel without breaking his budget. I don’t recommend taking on debt to travel. I like to be a bit more realistic. A vacation to reduce stress doesn’t do much good if you return to a cycle of debt that stresses your finances and your family! Luckily, it’s not hard to find relaxing, low-cost adventures in Niagara. Our region is full of amazing places to escape to and explore. Here are a few day trips I recommend to have fun in the sun while living within your means:
NIAGAR A GORGE
Whether you like hiking, rock climbing, barbequing with friends and family, or meditating in nature, the Niagara Gorge is a great place to visit. If you like a bit of a thrill, try the Wildplay Niagara Zipline and Adventure course or a Whirpool Jet Boat ride! For the horticulturally inclined, check out the nearby Floral Clock and Botanical Gardens.
Check out the beautiful sandy beaches in Port Colborne, including Sherkston Wyldewood Beach, Sherkston Elco, and Pleasant Beach. These beaches have all you need for swimming, kayaking, picnicking, and having fun in the sun and sand with friends or family. Close your eyes and imagine yourself saving all the money you would have spent to fly to a far off beach to do the same things.
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It is easy to forget how many people travel to our region to see this wonder of the world. Play tourist for a day. Check out the Falls in different ways: from street level or a tower, with Journey Behind the Falls, or from below the falls on the White Water Walk. If your budget allows, and you enjoy the misty views, experience the falls from the water with Hornblower boat tour.
Enjoy Lakeside Beach, a frozen treat, a game of Frisbee, and a 5 cent carousel ride. Check out a nearby restaurant for lunch or dinner, and walk across the scenic bridge to visit Jaycee Park for a view of the sunset over Henley Island. Perfect for family or friendly fun, and even a romantic evening.
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Stroll the stores on the main street, visit a fruit stand on the Niagara Parkway, or enjoy a winery tour (or several). If the local architecture doesn’t take you back in time enough, visit historic Fort George or the Olde Angel Inn (say hi to Captain Swayze while you’re there!). Skip over to Queenston Village to check out the Laura Secord homestead and other historic sites.
Explore this awesome area on foot, on wheels, or on horseback. With its gorgeous beaches, yummy fruit stands, and thrilling skydiving, Wainfleet has more to offer than you may realize, including several beaches and Wainfleet Wetlands Conservation Area -- a great place for nature buffs and photographers to escape.
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SHORT HILLS PROVINCIAL PARK
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Come for a hike or a trail ride in this sprawling park and revel in the beautiful views. Pop over to nearby Morningstar Mill at Decew Falls to see a piece of Niagara’s history. Cap off your day with a visit to a nearby winery, such as Henry of Pelham or Hernder Estates, for a tour or a meal.
Hop on a bike and make a day of riding from Fort Erie to Niagara- on- theLake. This safe trail is great for families and fitness folks and offers many spots to picnic, rest, and enjoy amazing views of the Niagara River. Feel the wind and sun on your skin and relax in the beauty of our region. Remember that member I mentioned earlier? He’s planning to visit Queenston Heights for a day with his family. Maybe even check out the Gorge. Then he plans to return home to his front porch, kick his feet up, and enjoy feeling rested and rejuvenated. You know what he won’t feel? Stress or worry. He’ll have enjoyed a vacation close to home, supported his community, and lived within his means. Sounds like a great summer vacation to me! TM
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A WALK IN THE WOODS
“We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm and adventure. There is no end to the adventures we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open.” – Jawaharial Nehru
Niagara is full of amazing places to get outside and explore; we are lucky to have conservation areas filled with walkways and wildlife, scenic walking and biking trails, and tons of hiking paths that snake and meander through some of the best scenery this province has to offer.
LOUTH CONSERVATION AREA
This is Canada’s oldest and longest footpath, and the Niagara portion of it stretches from Queenston to Beamsville. Planned hikes are available on pre determined days, or you can hike solo whenever you want. Badges are given if you register and then complete the entire Niagara section of the trail. If you are extremely ambitious, you can sign up to hike the entire trail from end to end. To put it in perspective, if you hiked for 8 hours a day, it would take approximately 30 days to finish the entire trail. There is no set time limit for doing an end-to-end hike, you could take thirty days or thirty years, and either way, you still get the coveted badge at the end. Maps are available online from the Bruce Trail Conservancy.
Located along 16-mile creek in Lincoln County, the trails in this conservation area are lined with rock formations, some impressive waterfalls and if you are lucky, filled with the sound of singing songbirds. There is a small parking lot located on Staff Ave.
NIAGARA GLEN These hiking trails run right along the Niagara Gorge, and through four kilometres of Carolinian forest. There are three different trails: white, blue and red, and they are all clearly marked. Some of the trails in this area are on rough terrain, and you’ll find yourself climbing up and down slopes, over trees and around boulders. Be prepared for an elevation change of 200ft, and make sure to stay safe with proper footwear. And though it may seem tempting, especially in the hot summer sun, don’t venture out into the water, as swimming is prohibited. Parking can be found in a lot along the Niagara Parkway, but keep in mind this place can get very busy in the summer time, so if you are looking for solitude while hiking, this might not be your best bet. >>
WATERFRONT TRAIL The Waterfront Trail stretches from Niagara-on-the-Lake to Quebec, following the shores of Lake Ontario. The Niagara portion begins in Niagara-on-the-Lake and goes through St. Catharines, Lincoln and Grimsby. The trail varies between off road paths and streets in residential neigbourhoods. It is a multi use trail and is good for cycling, walking or rollerblading. Trail maps are available online from the Waterfront Trail official website.
ST. JOHN’S CONSERVATION AREA There are four different trails here, all marked by different colours. You’ll be able to see the old growth forest, a large collection of Tulip Trees, a large pond with fish, turtles and frogs, and lots of other beautiful scenery. Some of the paths have wheelchair accessibility. Located at 3101 Barron Road, between St. Catharines and Pelham.
ROCKWAY CONSERVATION AREA Protecting a portion of the Niagara Escarpment, this conservation area is a great spot for hiking, as it’s not too busy, and is hidden halfway between Jordan and St. Catharines. Parking is available on 9th Street or Regional Rd 69 at the Rockway Community Centre. You can hike along the 15-mile creek and enjoy the views of many different kinds of trees, as well as two different waterfalls. There is also the remnant of a salt spring that makes the area quite historically significant as the spring was thought to be used as far back as 1792.
SHORT HILLS PROVINCIAL PARK Short Hills is a huge 735-acre natural environment park, which covers parts of St. Catharines, Pelham and Thorold. It’s a great place for hiking and mountain biking, and trails are marked according to which activity is permitted on the trail. This is an area where it is extremely important to stay on the marked path, as it’s very easy to get lost in Short Hills (I speak from experience; I have had to be rescued not once, but twice from Short Hills. I didn’t even knowingly leave the marked path, so fellow directionally challenged people beware) Parking is available off Pelham, Roland and Wiley Roads.
BALL’S FALLS This beautiful area set in Twenty Valley got its name from the family that originally lived there. In addition to being able to see the original home, restored church, an operating flour mill, a lime kiln, a black smith shop and carriage shed, there is also a recently opened Centre for Conservation, which has many interactive exhibits and programs. Several trails run through the area, and maps are available online, which will lead you to the various points of interest, as well as the upper and lower falls.
There are over 200 scenic routes available for cycling options in the Niagara Region, so it is easy enough to find itineraries for every level of rider, every type of scenery and every length of ride. The Niagara Region website listed at the bottom of the article has a great tool which allows you to sort bike routes through themes (heritage, culture, water), length of ride, terrain, surface, difficulty and more. It’s probably the most comprehensive tool you’ll find when looking for new bike routes to explore in the Region. What follows are just some highlights of what’s available.
NIAGARA RIVER PARKWAY TRAIL This is a beautiful 56-kilometre bike path that links Niagara-on-the-Lake and Fort Erie. It’s paved, so it’s accessible, and is great for both walking and cycling. This path runs parallel to the Niagara River, and passes some beautiful sights along the way, including numerous points of interest for tourists, such as the Floral Clock, Fort George and the Butterfly Conservatory.
FRIENDSHIP TRAIL This bike friendly path runs sixteen kilometres across Fort Erie, and winds through farmland, villages, watersheds and residential areas. Not only is it great for cyclists and walkers, but it is also wheelchair accessible. Parking is available on Ridge Road, Crescent Road, and Lakeshore Road.
WELLAND CANALS PARKWAY TRAIL This paved recreational trail links the cities that the canal passes through and extends from Port Colborne to St. Catharines. The full length of the trail is 42 kilometres, and it’s great for walking, hiking or rollerblading. You’ll get the unique opportunity of watching the ships as they go through the canal, and for the most part, the path runs right alongside it. TM Check out niagararegion.ca/exploring/cycle/ Bicycle-Niagara
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alter Travis designed our course almost 100 years ago in 1922. Since then, we have had the pleasure of hosting greats such as Gord McInnis Sr., Ben Hogan, Gene Serezen, Walter Hagen, Bill Kozak, Marlene Stewart-Streit, and Cathy Sherk. We’ve also built an incredible culinary team to make sure the food is as incredible as the view. Have you ever seen Niagara Falls from on top of the Niagara Escarpment? Oh, and membership has never been easier. Our flexible membership categories are designed to suit your lifestyle. Holes: 18 | Par: 72 | Length: 6,696 Mens’ Tees: 6,696 | Ladies’ Tees: 5,620
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pread over 142 acres in the Niagara Peninsula, Twenty Valley G&CC is a Par 72 championship caliber golf course. With 6 tee decks to choose from ranging in yardage from 5203 to 6701 yards, we can accommodate golfers for every skill level. Recently named the course with the “Best Greens in Niagara”, watch out for the Twenty Mile Creek which flows throughout the course to catch wayward shots. The Valley Grill, a full service public restaurant is on-site. Twenty Valley G&CC offers picturesque country golf at Niagara Region’s finest Member Owned / Semi Private Golf and Dining Facility.
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Holes: 18 | Par: 72
Holes: 18 | Par: 70 | Length: 5,745 Mens’ Tees: 5,745 | Ladies’ Tees: 5,505
MENS’ TEES Gold: 6,701 | Blue: 6,303 | White: 6,061 | Green: 5,755 LADIES’ TEES Red: 5,203
he Beddoe Course is a wonderful mature parkland course that’s defined by its rolling terrain, beautiful tree lined fairways and hazardous Chedoke Creek. Holes: 18 | Par: 70 | Length: 6,084 Mens’ Tees: 6,084 | Ladies’ Tees: 5,464
he Martin Course has always been that “small town” public course that people love to play, providing comfortable but challenging golf, for more than a century.
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from the falls By Gabrielle Tieman Niagara Falls was buzzing early this summer as the latest and greatest broadcasting duo of Ryan Seacrest and Kelly Ripa brought their LIVE with Kelly and Ryan stage to Niagara Falls for a special Canadian broadcast of their iconic morning talk show. >>
The co-hosts made their home in Niagara Falls’ Oakes Garden Theatre joined by a live audience. Along with an impressive list of guest over their two day show – which kicked off with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and continued with Orphan Black star Tatiana Maslany, America’s Got Talent judge Howie Mandel, Canadian-American actor Nathan Fillion and musical guests Erin Bowman and French Montana – the show also showcased a number Niagara Falls’ favourite and most exciting attractions. This was the show’s third time broadcasting live from Niagara Falls and marked Seacrest’s first remote broadcast with Live with Kelly and Ryan. I spoke with Live with Kelly and Ryan’s long standing executive producer Michael Gelman following the shows live broadcast from Niagara Falls to discuss LIVE’s relationship with Canada and what can be expected from the show with their new dynamic hosts.
Mr. Gelman! How did you and your team enjoy your time in Canada? Michael Gelman: We had a great time. Very happy with our shows and we had fun. We had good weather and everything worked out. We had a lot of dire [weather] predictions and I am so happy when they didn't turn out to be correct. You can tell we were having a good time in [Niagara Falls].
You also visited Two Sisters Winery while you were here how did you enjoy Niagara's wine country? Oh it was great. [Two Sisters winery] is such a beautiful structure and their wines were delicious. They did a nice job with the food and the wine. We can only say good things about that whole region. It was nice that [Niagara] was able to build this great business from scratch.
Why host a third LIVE show in Niagara Falls? Even though we have been here before –it was over a decade ago that we were here last; 11 years actually. And I thought it was about time. We had such a great time the last time and there is so much to do and it is such a gorgeous background. The [Oakes Garden] theatre is great, the fans are great – and you get to really access people from Toronto, from Buffalo, from Rochester, that whole northern border area. So I am happy we came back.
Now, other than the shows you have hosted in Canada over the years, what is LIVE’s overall relationship with Canada? Well, I like to say I am half Canadian, because my better half - Laurie Gelman, formerly Laurie Hibberd – is Canadian. Originally she is from Ottawa but she lived in Toronto when she was on YTV – she did a show called Rock'n'Talk – and then she did The Mom Show for four or five years out of Toronto more recently. So I feel a kinship with the place. And again, there are so many great locations in Canada; we have taken the show to Banff, we have taken it to PEI, and I feel a real kinship with the people and the audiences [in Canada]. So it is always nice to bring the show up here.
While you were in the Falls, you and Kelly and Ryan and the team were able to enjoy a few of Niagara’s top attractions. In particular, the Whirlpool Jet Boat Tours. How did you enjoy the ride? I loved it. I did it 20 years ago when I was [in Niagara] and I remember it being exciting but I don't think I remembered quite how exciting it was. When those waves are coming over you, you really feel it. As well, Kelly took a tour in a helicopter. How was filming the ride over the Falls? It is a great piece. It was nice to be able to get [Kelly] up there and surprise [her son] Michael with a little bit of a birthday celebration. We had a really great time.
With Ryan Seacrest now co-hosting LIVE, what new things do you see happening to the show with this new, fresh dynamic? We have always produced the show really for the hosts’ personalities and it is different with every single person. And when you add a new person, then you have a new dynamic. So we try to tailor what we do - from a humour point of view, from an interest point of view – to the new pair. We are feeling our way through it and I think we are really capturing [Seacrest's] personality and you can see that the two
of them are having a good time and that we all are as well. We like to have fun. We like to keep it light. We cover pop culture and will continue to do the things that we normally do. And it is going well - we are getting a great response. You can really feel Kelly and Ryan’s friendship come across when they are together - it feels very natural. Kelly's had thousands of hours of live TV experience and Ryan is a master of live TV also. Put the two of them together and it is magic. They both are seamless broadcasters and so the two of them together, supporting each other, makes it even better. What are some of the other secrets behind LIVE’s decades of success? One of the big things is definitely picking the right person and after that it is about doing everything we know works. The audience really wants something different and to see everyone differently and see the hosts as their own person. So we really try to let the reality of who they are come through. We continue to do this now and it seems to be working. As [Seacrest] is on the air more and more, the audience will get to know him more and more. I think it will all unfold in front of your eyes and hopefully the [audience] will continue to enjoy it. We are enjoying working with him and Kelly – who is obviously a pro. They handle everything we throw at them. We try to put them in situations that maybe make them a little uncomfortable, like the Jet Boats or the Helicopter, and when you do that, you kind of see who they are as people. TM
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NIAGARA FALLS COMIC CON
June 1 to 3 at Scotiabank Convention Centre The event takes place just steps away from Niagara Falls and will feature more than 150,000 square feet of exhibitors, comic books, movie cars, cosplay contests, celebrity autographs and photo-ops, a video gaming arena, Falls Horror Fest and more. Some guests include Jeremy London, Barbara Eden and Jason Mewes. More info at niagarafallscomiccon.com >> Art by Niagara native Karl Kerschl â€“ courtesy of DC Comics, WONDER WOMAN 75TH ANNIVERSARY SPECIAL #1.
2017 marks Canada’s 150th birthday and the Oh Canada Eh? Dinner Theatre is celebrating all summer long! The Oh Canada Eh? Dinner Show features over 2 hours of all Canadian music, food and fun! Meet a singing Mountie, Hockey Player, Anne of Green Gables and other Canadian characters during this high-energy musical revue which features music from Paul Anka, Celine Dion, Shania Twain, Avril Lavigne, Justin Bieber and many, MANY more! Full of laughs, this musical celebration of Canada will delight audiences of all ages! While guests enjoy the show, performers serve a delicious, all-Canadian, family-style meal: French Canadian pea soup, garden salad, roast beef, roasted chicken, battered and fried haddock, cake and more! Get your tickets at ohcanadaeh.com.
A view to thrill
Niagara Helicopters Flightseeing Tours
SUPPERMARKET May 24 to Sept. 20 | 4:30 - 9 pm Niagara’s “Original SupperMarket” invites locals and visitors to a weekly community gathering, featuring 20+ food trucks and food vendors, local beer, wine, cider and local entertainment. Free admission & ample free parking. For a true taste of Niagara, join us weekly 4:30pm to 9pm May 24th to September 20th for this fun-filled, family oriented event. More info at marketatthevillage.ca
ANDY WARHOL’S THE FACTORY June 2 | 7pm | Riverbrink Art Museum Andy Warhol’s New York Studio, The Factory, is coming to Queenston! Come and get creative, listen to music by DJ Juice Willis Entertainment, enjoy food by Go-Go Food Co, and drinks by Oast House Brewers! This is a 19+ event. Tickets are $10 online, or $12 at the door. More info at canadahelps.org/en/charities/niagara-historical-society/ events/andy-warhols-the-factory/
MAGIC MEN LIVE!
June 2 | 8 pm | $26.25 - $100.00 | Partridge Hall FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre, St. Catharines Premier Events Entertainment presents a night for ladies to let loose in an empowering, fun-filled environment and embark on an unforgettable night out with sexy productions of thrilling choreographic displays and themed acts set to the hottest music and original compositions.
Niagara Helicopters 3731 Victoria Avenue Niagara Falls, ON
905 357 5672 niagarahelicopters.com
NIAGARA’S U LT I M AT E ADVENTURE! FULLY GUIDED WHITEWATER TOUR
ROYAL GERANIUM SHOW-NIAGARA PARKS June 3 - 30 | 9:30 am - 5 pm| Floral Showhouse The Regal Geranium Show at the Floral Showhouse runs for the month of June, featuring regal geraniums, fuchsia, caladiums and more! Dates are approximate and subject to change. Get more info at niagaraparks.com/ Niagara-falls-attractions/floral-showhouse.html THE ST. CATHARINES ARTS AWARDS | June 5 | 7 pm | $10.52 | Cairns Recital Hall FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre, St. Catharines The City of St. Catharines presents the St. Catharines Arts Awards. SHAW GUILD GARDEN TOUR June 10 | 10 am - 4pm | Shaw Festival This year’s garden tour has been expanded to include beautiful gardens in the nearby village of Queenston in addition to stunning gardens in Old Town NOTL, all being shown for the first time. Ponds and waterfalls, views of the Niagara River, hundreds of varieties of perennials, magnificent specimens of trees and shrubs will all delight our visitors. As an added bonus, several of the gardens surround beautiful historic homes. Marvel at the dry stone wall built by one of the owners. More info and tickets at shawfest.com/beyond-the-stage/all/#shaw-garden-tour MENOPAUSE THE MUSICAL Jun 14 | 7:30 pm | Partridge Hall | $36.00 - $60.00 FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre, St. Catharines
Shaggypup Productions by special license from GFour Productions presents laugh out loud comedy staged to 25 classic hits of the ‘60s, ‘70s and ‘80s.
FR ANCE - CIRCA 2003: A stamp printed in France shows Marilyn Monroe by Andy Warhol, circa 2003. Shutterstock.com
CANADA’S 150TH Running until October 21st I Oh Canada Eh (8585 Lundy’s Lane)
DOUBLE TROUBLE WITH PETE PAQUETTE & DEAN Z Sat, Jun 17, 2017 7:30 PM | $39.00 - $41.00 I Partridge Hall FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre, St. Catharines A Paquette Productions presentation. Pete Paquette and Dean Z from the USA, with the Rockin’ Royals Showband and the Tonettes, taking you back in time to re-live the various eras of the King’s music career in this fun, authentic and interactive concert. NIAGARA HOMEGROWN WINE FESTIVAL June 17 to 18 Celebrate the start of summer with the Niagara Homegrown Wine Festival. Where better than Niagara to get that taste of summer, through fresh farm flavours and delicious wines? Award winning winemakers will be showcasing their best new vintages for visitors to try. There is sure to be a wine to suit every possible palate. To participate, purchase your Discovery Pass now! This pass has 8 tickets on it, which allow for 8 different experiences at various wineries. You can use them all for yourself, or buy a pass and split it with somebody else! Each pass can be used during the June 17 to 18 weekend, and can be purchased online as well as at the Ontario Travel Centres on Stanley Avenue, Ontario Travel Centres on York Road, Niagara Falls Tourism on Robinson Street, or online at Tickets available at niagarawinefestival.com/tickets. Passes are $40 + HST or $30 + HST, depending on if you are getting the designated drivers pass or not.
DOWNTOWN RIDGEWAY SUMMER FESTIVAL I July 8 and 9th It’s the biggest street party of the year! There are artisans, live music, a car show, a Kids Zone, commercial vendors, magicians, street food, and a Saturday night street dance! Entry to the event is free, and more info can be found at: ridgewayont.ca/ MUDDY PAWS WINE FESTIVAL I July 8 and 9 Vineland Estates Winery This festival allows you to enjoy Niagara’s famous food and wine, and bring along your best four legged friend (well behaved and on leash only) You can enjoy new and favourite wines by the glass, and eat up some delicious food cooked up by some of Niagara’s best chefs. A portion of money made at the event will go towards to support National Service Dogs. Tickets are $20, and include access to Festival rea, one glass of wine and one commemorative glass. More info at https://vineland.com/ event/muddy-paws-wine-festival-5/ TM
WINNER “NEW YORK STATE’S BEST CRAFT BREWERY” - TAP NY 2016
TD TAILGATE PARTY Saturday, June 17 I 6:00 – 10:00pm Niagara College Teaching Winery The annual TD Tailgate Party is the premium event celebrating the Homegrown Wine Festival in Niagara. This unique celebration of Niagara’s Homegrown assets features over 35 Niagara wineries uncorking their seasonal best alongside 10 top local chefs preparing farm-to-table favourites in the vineyard at the solstice celebration. Welcome summer with award-winning wines, delicious local foods and entertainment at this all-inclusive event unique to Niagara. Niagara Homegrown Wine Festival’s anchor celebration, the TD Tailgate Party, welcomes wine and culinary enthusiasts focusing on showcasing the bounty of Niagara where local wineries offer an exclusive preview of the newest vintages. FOSTER FESTIVAL - SCREWBALL COMEDY Cairns Recital Hall FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre, St. Catharines
CELEBRATE BEER. CELEBRATE BUFFALO. 55 E. HURON ST, BUFFALO NY | 716.854.5050 | WWW.BIGDITCHBREWING.COM
PREVIEW Jun 21 & 22 at 2 pm | June 22 at 8pm | $25.00 - $31.00 OPENING NIGHT Jun 23 - July 7th | 8 pm | $25 - $36 A Foster Festival presentation. More info at https://www.fosterfestival.com/site/ screwball-comedy-festival SHAKE, RATTLE AND ROLL, SOCK HOP AND CRUISE NIGHT July 7 | 7pm | Niagara Falls History Museum Shake, Rattle, & Roll is a 1950’s style swing dance and retro Cruise Night with live music by Little Peter & The Elegants, historic cars, Cash Bar, and food by The Smokin’ Buddha! This is a 19+ event. Tickets are $10 online or $12 at the door. More info at canadahelps.org/en/charities/niagara-historical-society/events/shake-rattle-roll/ YES WAY, ROSE June 24 and 25th, 11 to 5 Wine Country celebrates everything rose this weekend! You’ll be able to taste some of the best wines in Ontario at the three participating wineries as well as the new distillery. Tries Winery, Peller Estates, Wayne Gretzky Estates and Thirty Bench Wine Makers are all offering complimentary tastings! Food, shopping and more! You can pick up your touring pass at any of the participating wineries!
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JULY 2 $1000.00 SHOWDOWN. FEATURING
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St. George’s Ukrainian Church
THURSDAYS FROM 3PM TO 7PM
June 1st until Thanksgiving Weekend
NIAGARA ON THE LAKE FARMERS MARKET
The Village (corner of Niagara Stone Road & Niven Road) SATURDAYS FROM 8AM TO 1PM
May 27th to October 7th WEDNESDAYS 4:30PM TO 9PM
May 24th to September 20th
PELHAM FARMERS MARKET
Municipal Parking Lot, Pelham Town Square
THURSDAYS FROM 4:30PM TO DUSK
May 4th to October 5th
PORT COLBORNE FARMERS MARKET
1716 HWY. #3 EAST, PORT COLBORNE, ON | HUMBERSTONESPEEDWAY.COM
Market Square, 66 Charlotte Street
FRIDAYS FROM 7AM TO 1PM
October to May Fridays from 6am to 1pm May to October
RIDGWAY FARMER’S MARKET
Municipal Parking Lot on the Friendship Trail SATURDAYS FROM 7:30AM TO 12:30PM
May 7th to October 8th
ST. CATHARINES FARMERS MARKET Market Square, King Street
TUESDAYS, THURSDAYS AND SATURDAYS FROM 6AM TO 4PM
SYLVIA PLACE MARKET, NIAGARA FALLS 5943 Sylvia Place
SATURDAYS FROM 6AM TO 12PM
WELLAND FARMERS MARKET 70 Young Street Saturdays from 6am to 12pm Year Round . TM
Lakeviewâ€™s new Wine Shop is now open.
Wine lovers rejoice! All of us at Lakeview Wine Co. welcome you to experience our top-selling Ontario VQA wines at our stunning new retail and tasting centre â€“ nestled in the heart of the Niagara Peninsula. Visit our tasting room. Book a cellar tour. And stock up on these exceptionally valued wines: Lakeview Cellars, EastDell, 20 Bees, FRESH and Dan Aykroyd signature wines.
FREE Cellar Floor Experience for Two! ($20 value. Mention this ad at time of booking to redeem. Reservations required.)
1067 Niagara Stone Road, Niagara on the Lake, Ontario
LakeviewWineCo.com | P: 905.685.5673
SHARING THE LAUGHS, CELEBRATIONS & NEW BEGINNINGS
Home Builders Association’s Builder of the Year
Winners of the Niagara Home Builders Association’s Builder of the Year Award as well as Excellence in Green, Most Outstanding Production Home Over 1800 sq.ft. and Best Website. From left to right: Kim Kopyl (Director of Sales & Marketing) Robert Lucchetta (Principle of Lucchetta Homes) Dora Lucchetta (Wife of Robert Lucchetta) Brenda Lucchetta (Wife of Ed Luccheta) Ed Lucchetta (Principle of Lucchetta Homes)
Business After 5 - Niagara Brewing Company May 2 – The Niagara Brewing Company hosted the Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce Business After 5. Pictured top right are Robert Somma, Director Retail Sales, FirstOntario Credit Union (left) and Janis Deciccio, Sales Manager of Niagara Restaurant Solutions Co. (right) with a plaque celebrating their 55 years in business.
IN THE SOIL In the Soil Arts Festival (April 28-30, 2017) brought Niagara artists from a range of disciplines together to provide unique audience experiences. Held downtown St. Catharines, the festival aims to showcases talent, encourages innovation, offers learning opportunities for youth and provides intimate and uncommon platforms for audiences to experience work by contemporary performing and literary artists, musicians and media artists.
Photo credit: Lauren Garbutt Photography
HAVE AN EVENT YOU WANT TO SHOWCASE? Contact us and you could be part of our next Today’s People!
Photo credit: Lauren Garbutt Photography
Photo credit: Marc Delledonne www.marcdanielphoto.com http://www.inthesoil.ca/
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