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VOL. 01 ISSUE 12

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61

PUMPKIN B E YO N D THE PIE

T H E DAY T H E HONEYMOON BRIDGE COLLAPSED

Creative recipes featuring a favourite fall ingredient

An engineering marvel falls into the Niagara River

on the cover…

MASTERS OF THEIR T R A D E : Interviews with

three of Niagara Top Chefs

13


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61

PUMPKIN B E YO N D THE PIE

T H E DAY T H E HONEYMOON BRIDGE COLLAPSED

Creative recipes featuring a favourite fall ingredient

An engineering marvel falls into the Niagara River

on the cover…

MASTERS OF THEIR

T R A D E : Interviews with three of Niagara Top Chefs

13

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 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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GABRIELLE TIEMAN 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.

ANDREW HIND Andrew is a freelance writer specializing in travel, history and lifestyle. He has a passion for new adventure and experiences, and also for exploring little known stories. Andrew is never without a book or three in hand and some obscure historical fact at the tip of his tongue.You should follow him @discoveriesAM

//CONTRIBUTORS

RYAN SERRAVALLE As the creator of Revel from the ground up, Ryan Serravalle has signed nearly 40 agents and expanded Revel’s sphere of influence to two branch offices and a potential third. Ryan is equally motivated by an insatiable desire to “make deals happen” in the same way he is making “Revel” happen as a new and revolutionary philosophy on how to sell houses. He continues to establish himself as a multi-talented individual with experience in all facets of real estate. DR. CHRISTINA PLASKOS

LAUREN CHARLEY

MD, HON BSC PHARM, ABAARM

Lauren is a Copywriter and Journalist with a passion for travel and sharing stories. Born a tropical baby at heart, Lauren spent a year working for a magazine in the British Virgin Islands after graduating from The University of Western Ontario. Niagara-on-the-Lake will always be her home base, as she continues to allow her vocation to take her on adventures and discover the world.

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 cosmetic and wellness expert.

MARIANA BOCKAROVA 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

DAVID SOMERVILLE The founding partner at Capital Wealth Management Inc. has a passion for learning that has led him to attain a Certified Financial Planner designation; the highest level of professionalism in providing financial planning advice. Specialized in providing comprehensive wealth and estate planning advice to business owners, medical professionals and individual investors.

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.

CHRIS HECKLEY Chris Heckley is the Branch Manager of PenFinancial Credit Union’s new Fourth Ave branch in St. Catharines. Chris works very closely with his members to better understand what they want out of life as he knows this is an important first step in wealth management. Chris and his family live in Welland and there is so much they love about Niagara - hiking and biking the Twelve Mile Creek, Power Glen and Shorthills trails, taking wine tours with friends and by far, his favourite - taking his young daughter to the carousel at Lakeside Park in Port Dalhousie. TODAYMAGAZINE.CA 9


//INSIDE FOOD & DRINK

LIFESTYLE & CULTURE

HERE. SEE. DO. 71 WAYNE THOMSON: GUIDING NIAGARA

First elected to City Council in 1968, and Mayor from 1970 to 1983, Thomson, “learned very quickly that Niagara Falls was not the industrial community it was 25, 40, 70 years ago. All the jobs we had relied so much on disappeared.” 75 D.I.Y CENTREPIECES 13 MASTERS OF THEIR TRADE

Niagara only continues to become more and more of a player in the culinary arena. Innovation and world class cuisine thrive here. In this article, we catch up with three of Niagara’s most prolific chefs, all of whom represent mastery in their respective areas. 14 ROSS MIDLEY, EXECUTIVE CHEF 16 CHEF MING, MASTER DIM SUM CHEF 18 DANIELE UNNCHEDDU, PIZZAIOLO CHEF

23 ON THE TABLE

A look at what has made the famous Falls Manor withstand the test of time. 31 PUMPKIN, BEYOND THE PIE

Pumpkins are a symbol of Autumn, as they appear on our tables at Thanksgiving, decorate our homes in October, and are a much-anticipated flavour for our lattes. Although it’s not too tasty to eat on it’s own, our ancestors figured many years ago out how to turn this fleshy vegetable into something quite delicious when cooked and prepared in the right way. Check out this article for some amazing ideas on how to incorporate more pumpkin into your meals this upcoming season. 39 CRANBERRIES FOR THE HOLIDAYS

Cranberries are the quintessential holiday requirement. But how did they become so popular? Writer Andrew Hind takes a look back at the history of the berry, revealing why it became so prevalent on our holiday tables.

45 CYCLING NIAGARA

Feeling crafty? Sometimes it’s as easy and foraging in your own backyard. Check out these D.I.Y ideas for making your own centrepieces for your holiday table!

Is there any place better to cycle than in Niagara? Go on a ride with Victoria Gilbert as she joins local cyclists in a tour through some of 79 the best scenery Niagara has to offer. MYTHS: HOW STORIES 53 MONEY TALK

STRUCTURE OUR THOUGHTS

If you’ve ever woken up and David Somerville discusses the wondered about whatever it was strategies behind financial planthat had emotionally jolted you ning for a blended family. whilst in slumber, it only takes a 55 simple Google search to discover ALANA SOMERVILLE: that the strangest of dreams that are HOLDING ON TO NORMAL drummed up by our subconscious She was 33 years old and on are not only odd, but significantly maternity leave with her youngest more common than you could ever child when she found her lump. Her have imagined. If we lead such disworld crumbled under the weight tinct, individual lives, how is it posof her diagnosis of stage two breast sible that when we enter into sleep, cancer. As her journey unfolded, she the same themes emerge, regardless documented the ups and downs in of country, religion, or clout? a series of emails shared with family 84 and friends. Between this and the GET REAL dozens of survival tips she learned, It’s not often we associate food she wanted to share her experience with real estate. Although the with as many people as possible common myth of putting an apple to make theirs a little easier. And pie in the oven while showcasing that’s how her book Holding on to your home to a potential buyer Normal was born. has been dubunked, there is much 61 THE DAY THE HONEYMOON BRIDGE COLLAPSED

The massive Honeymoon Bridge threatened to collapse into the Niagara Gorge below. Metal girders supporting the span were heaving and would soon break apart, like river ice at the Spring thaw. What happened next is one of the most dramatic scenes the Region has ever seen. 69 IGNITE A BETTER YOU

As we enter into the fall months and the days grow shorter, cooler, and less humid, it is important that we alter our lifestyle and daily skin care habits to best align with the ever-changing circadian rhythm and environmental demands.

89 OUT AND ABOUT

Check out what’s happening around the Niagara Region in the upcoming months! 95 LIGHTWIRE THEATRE

Experience the brilliant combination of theatre and technology! On December 7, 2018, the Lightwire Theater will be performing at the First Ontario Performing Arts Centre in St. Catharines. 97 TODAY’S PEOPLE

Snaps of various events held throughout the Niagara Region.

more than just a link between food and real estate. 85 JIM DIODATI

A Q&A with the Niagara Falls mayoral candidate. 86 TRULY LOCAL ADVICE

A guide to investing when you are in your thirties, and how to deal with all those competing financial priorities. 87 VICTOR PIETERANGELO

A Q&A with the Niagara Falls city councilor, running for re-election.

TODAYMAGAZINE.CA 11


HOME TO NIAGARA’S BEST ATTRACTIONS

LAZER TAG, MIRROR MAZE, MINI PUTT, GUN RANGE, PAINTBALL, TWO HAUNTED HOUSES, FUN HOUSE & HUGE MIDWAY ARCADE.


// F O O D & D R I N K

Masters Of Their Trade

CHATTING WITH THREE OF NIAGARA’S TOP CHEFS We really are lucky here in Niagara; our culinary scene only continues to grow every year. Think of any type of food, and you can be sure, somewhere in Niagara, you’ll find a restaurant that not only specializes in that food, but does it amazingly. And while a lot of chefs in Niagara have impressive backgrounds and come from all over the world to cook in our restaurants, we couldn’t feature them all. However, we did

manage to catch up with three of Niagara’s best chefs, all of whom are masters of their trade. We have Chef Ross Midgley, Executive Chef at Ravine Vineyard Estate Winery, Chef Ming, Master Dim Sum Chef at Ma Chinese Cuisine, and Daniele Unncheddu, Pizzaiola Chef at Johnny Rocco’s Italian Grill. Read on to find out how they got to where they are, some cooking advice, and more. >>

TODAYMAGAZINE.CA 13


Ross Midgley, EXECUTIVE CHEF AT RAVINE VINEYARD ESTATE WINERY

Can you talk a bit about your background and why you became a chef?

I am sort of a ‘born again chef ’, having turned to the stoves after a couple university degrees, small business exposure and working for a big six bank. Basically I could not foresee myself banking for a lifetime, so I looked into my heart and realized I wanted to do something that centered on entertainment and creativity – the kitchen seemed like the most obvious choice.

What’s your favourite thing about being a chef?

Working with a mixed bag of really interesting people from all walks of life. I love the ‘piracy under the hood’.

If you could give people three cooking tips, what would they be? Be patient. Keep it simple and sustainable. Record what works and what doesn’t; a pencil and notebook are the most essential tools for a chef.

Do you have a favourite ingredient to work with? I love all seafood.

When it’s your day off, and you go out to eat, where do you like to go?

If I have enough money not to worry, I would seek out restaurants that are comfortable preparing the classics. Ultimately I am drawn to the authenticity and comfort of French bistro food and also adore Indian cuisine.

What city in the world would you say has the best food?

There is wonderful food in every city. Certainly Paris, London, England, New York come to mind, but every city will have world class restos.

If you weren’t a chef, what would you do for a living?

Dungeness crab shells while preparing a crab bisque for my then chef. His reaction to my ruining 40 litres of bisque – at exactly the wrong time – has helped to keep that moment fresh in my mind for 20 years!

What excites you in the world of food these days?

I am truly excited that many guests are paying attention to the food chain and how/where restaurants source product; that quality is important to them. It is a major step in the right direction toward fixing a broken food chain.

Do you have a cooking pet peeve?

I abhor laziness and cooks who just take ‘the easy route’

What’s your favourite thing about being a chef in Niagara?

We have such a great community of chefs down here that, while we all like a little healthy competition, there is a sense of being in it together. I really believe that many, many chefs in Niagara recognize that if any restaurant gets recognition, then it is good for all of Niagara.

How do you stay relevant in the culinary world?

My brigade will tell you that I am, most decidedly, not current! I did recently just grow a hipster beard, but I looked a little more like “Ancient Mariner” than downtown chef…so even that’s gone now!

How would you describe working in your kitchen?

We have a good time. I have respect for all of my team and learn from them every day. I think that by showing transparency in my own skills (good and bad) and comfortably promoting the most able among us to the task, I gain respect in turn. Watching people grow is a deep connection for me, so I try to foster growth in a machinations of our day to day. I love working with my ‘other family’.

I would love, still, to be a musician. I think music is the truest vehicle for expression.

What are your guilty pleasures food wise?

Do you have an embarrassing cooking moment?

What would you request for your last supper ever?

More than I can count. I will never forget scorching

French fries and aioli.

French fries and aioli. Roast pork. Guinness >>

TODAYMAGAZINE.CA 15


Chef Ming, MASTER DIM SUM CHEF AT MA CHINESE CUISINE

Can you talk a bit about your background and why you became a chef ?

I was born in Guangdong, Guangzhou. I have worked in the kitchen over 30 years. My father works as a chef in China, and he taught me how to cook. Cooking is my true passion, I started cooking when I was 7 years old. I came to Canada in 1986 and have been a chef my entire life.  I graduated from Guangdong Youdian University.  In Canada I worked at the Hilton Hotel restaurant and Wutai Vegetarian Restaurant before landing the highly sought after position at Ma Chinese Cuisine as Master Dim Sum Chef.

What are some of the differences between working in a restaurant in China and working at a restaurant here in Niagara?

Restaurants in China only focus on Chinese food. Restaurants here in Niagara focus on the fusion of Chinese food and Western palettes.

Where were you trained, and what did your training involve? I learned Dim Sum at Xingguang Restaurant in China Town. At the beginning, I spent a year practicing how to make a wrap for shrimp dumplings. Every day I learn something.  It keeps my mind young.

What inspires you? How do you come up with new dishes for the restaurant? I am inspired by discovering new ingredients and ways of cooking them. People change and so do their tastes.

Do you have a favourite ingredient to work with? Vegetables and Seafood. Like tofu, okra and shrimp.

What would you say is one of the most challenging ingredients to work with?

Shrimp. Shrimp needs low temperature to keep it.  The taste of the shrimp is based on the time and temperature you cook it. So, it is important to control them.

When it’s your day off, and you go out to eat, where do you like to go? Shopping at the supermarket. Watching football, basketball, baseball and of course hockey. I like to visit different restaurants to try the food. Doesn’t matter if it’s Chinese food or Western food. I try everything, because I will find ideas.

What city in the world would you say has the best food? Guangdong-Guangzhou and Hong Kong. Both places have diversified food.

If you weren’t a chef, what would you do for a living? Maybe painting or playing guitar.

What excites you in the world of food these days? Seasonal ingredients; I like to find new and different ways to cook with them.

How do you stay relevant in the culinary world?

I like to read Chinese food newspapers, read Niagara food newspapers or magazines. I find ideas from them and I am inspired.  Sometimes I hang out with friends who are working in the same industry to talk about the news about cooking and Dim Sum. 

How would you describe working in your kitchen?

When I work in the kitchen, I always come out with new ideas, then I will make them happen. I give much of the credit to Co-Founder Peter Li.  He allows me the freedom to keep trying and supports my way of working. Also, I always make new Dim Sum off the menu to give out on the weekend. I ask for the customer’s feedback after they try it.  I am looking forward to the newly founded “Chopstick Club” to create focus groups to try new menu items in the future. >>

TODAYMAGAZINE.CA 17


Daniele Uccheddu, PIZZAIOLO CHEF AT JOHNNY ROCCO’S

Can you talk a bit about your background and why you became a chef?

I was born and raised in Turin, in Northern Italy. I got inspired seeing my Nonna and then my parents cooking. I’ll never forget the smell of the house every Sunday morning. 

What’s your favourite thing about being a chef ?

Cooking of course, but also working with a lot of different people from different countries; a lot can be learned from other cultures.

If you could give people 3 cooking tips, what would they be?

When you cook pizza, first make sure you let the dough rise enough so it’s easy to spread.  Second, it tastes better when you use fresh ingredients, and third, cook it well so you can get a nice and crispy crust.

Do you have a favourite ingredient to work with? Pizza dough of course.

When it’s your day off, and you go out to eat, where do you like to go?

Do you have an embarrassing cooking moment?

I have lots of them! Thanks to those moments I can learn and grow. Every time we send a burnt pizza by mistake, it really hurts me.

What excites you in the world of food these days?

Everything! New ingredients and new styles of cooking. It’s good to improve yourself and try to cook with new methods.

Do you have a cooking pet peeve?

I don’t like people that open cans or boxes instead of cooking with fresh ingredients, when it could take the same time to cook it.

What’s your favourite thing about being a chef in Niagara specifically? The variety of fresh produce that is available, especially in the summer.

How do you stay relevant in the culinary world?

Mainly by reading articles on the internet, as well as occasionally reading culinary books.

I usually try to go to new restaurants or try out a restaurant from a different culture.

How would you describe working in your kitchen?

What city in the world would you say has the best food?

What is your guilty pleasures food wise?

Basque Country in Spain; it’s definitely  the best food I’ve ever had.

If you weren’t a chef, what would you do for a living? I’m not sure, maybe Prime Minister.

Friendly and chaotic at times but very enjoyable. Fresh seafood.

What would you request for your last supper ever? Spaghetti Frutti di Mare. TM

TODAYMAGAZINE.CA 19


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Ontario Power Generation Reservoir

Fallsview Tourist Area

QUEENSTONLEWISTON BRIDGE


Join Us For The Best Stand Up Comedy Comedy Every Weekend Thursday 8:00pm Friday & Saturday 8:00pm & 10:30pm Located across from the Fallsview Casino and Connected by Indoor Walkway Free Parking • Food & Drink Menu Available

Purchase tickets: yukyuksniagarafalls.com More information: info@yukyuksniagarafalls.com • 1-800-899-9136 6455 Fallsview Blvd, Niagara Falls, ON


// O N T H E T A B L E BY GABRIELLE TIEMAN

THE SECRET TO OVER 60 YEARS OF SUCCESS IN AN AREA HEAVILY SATURATED WITH RESTAURANTS AND KNOWN FOR ESTABLISHMENT TURNOVER: CONSISTENCY, AN UNPARALLELED DEDICATION TO THEIR CLIENTELE AND—SIMPLY PUT— REALLY GREAT FOOD.

FALLS MANOR RESORT AND RESTAURANT An integral part of the Lundy’s Lane landscape for over six decades, the family owned and operated Falls Manor Resort and Restaurant caters to both locals and tourists alike in search of an affordable, home cooked meal that is guaranteed to satisfy even the pickiest of eaters. Only a quick five minute drive from Niagara Falls, the bustling restaurant serves breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner seven days a week; consistently filled to the brim with couples tucked away in quiet corners enjoying eggs benedict, elderly groups chatting over hot cups of coffee and large families enjoying scrambled eggs and pancakes before they head to see the Falls. It is no wonder the restaurant has won the Reader’s Choice award for Number One Breakfast in Niagara Falls for over 16 years running; it is hard to find anywhere else that even compares. The secret to over 60 years of success in an area heavily saturated with restaurants and known for establishment turnover: consistency, an unparalleled dedication to their clientele and—simply put—really great food, says mother-daughter owners Annette Falletta and Bianca Perron. Annette, along with her husband Joseph, purchased the establishment in 2002. Bianca said it was their family’s first venture into the hospitality industry and they were happy to maintain the traditions set by the previous owners. “We kept everything the way it was,” said Annette. “We have modernized and we have redone the rooms and the cottages; we’ve redone the restaurant, but as far as the food goes, everything is the same.” “I think the locals and tourists are drawn to the fact that we are a cozy, comfortable atmosphere where they can bring their family,” said Bianca. “Young and old alike can really enjoy coming to the restaurant. We are reasonably priced, we give fair portions and quality food.” Included in this extensive repertoire of locally famous food is their broasted chicken; the Region’s original home of the dish. Broasted chicken

involves a process of pressure-cooking chicken, while tenderizing it and maintaining the natural juices and nutrition inside. “It is pressure cooked—it is not deep fried,” said Bianca. “Each piece is hand prepped and marinated; on average 1500 pounds of chicken are eaten [here] every week.” “The secret recipe was given to us [by previous owners] and we have kept everything the same,” said Annette. “Even the person who preps the chicken has worked here for over 30 years.” Annette said the chicken has become so popular that they decided to include it on the breakfast menu. The New Orleans inspired broasted chicken and a waffle is already a hit amongst returning customers. Along with the chicken, the menu overflows with popular made-inhouse options. All of their meats are prepared in house—including their Hungarian sausages and chili—their real potato home fries are made to order and their butter tarts have people lining up out the door to purchase them by the dozen. “We do not serve any processed meats,” says General Manager Paul Perron. “We cook our own roast beef and turkeys, we make our own Hungarian sausages and we prep and coat and batter everything to order.” And the cherry on top? The most expensive menu item is $22 dollars [for a full steak dinner]; allowing for large families to enjoy dining out in the expensive tourist district. Falls Manor also offers an additional 10 percent off menu items to all guests staying at the resort. Along with serving the day to day patrons, the restaurant also boasts a large private room in the back of the building which is available for private rental for parties up to 40 people and is ideal for large family gatherings, corporate events, holiday parties and celebrations. Take out is also available. As for the future, Annette said they will continue to stick with tradition; cooking authentic, home style dishes and remaining true to their roots. TM TODAYMAGAZINE.CA 23


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MEDITERRANEAN QSINE

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.

COCO’S STEAKHOUSE

THE KASBAH

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.

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.

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.

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.

COCO’S STEAKHOUSE

VAUGHAN BULGANIAN

5339 Murray St. Niagara Falls 905.3564333 ext. 171 cocosniagarafalls.com

6130 Dunn Street, Niagara Falls, ON 905.357.1000 thekasbah.ca


IN GOOD TASTE

THE WATERMARK

BRASA BRAZILLIAN STEAKHOUSE

FRONTIER BBQ & SMOKEHOUSE

SPYCE LOUNGE

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 fine-crafted Niagara Region wines to prosciutto from a local Niagara Falls artisan.

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.

Niagara’s first, Southern-style allyou-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.

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.

HILTON NIAGARA FALLS

HILTON NIAGARA FALLS

HILTON NIAGARA FALLS

6361 Fallsview Blvd, Niagara Falls 905.353.7138 watermarkrestaurant.com

6361 Fallsview Blvd, Niagara Falls 905.353.7187 brasaniagara.com

FRONTIER BBQ & SMOKEHOUSE 6519 Stanley Avenue, Niagara Falls 289.296.6367 frontierniagara.com

6361 Fallsview Blvd, Niagara Falls 905.354.7887 spycelounge.ca TODAYMAGAZINE.CA 25


BACKHOUSE RESTAURANT

HERNDER ESTATE WINES

FALLS MANOR RESORT & RESTAURANT

JOHNNY ROCCO’S

Quietly tucked away in a small stripmall in uptown Niagara on the Lake is one of Canada’s best restaurants. Backhouse offers a continuously evolving menu with a commitment to integrated cool climate cuisine and enlightened hospitality. Upon finding Backhouse, the aroma of peach wood burning in the brick oven and glow of the wood-fired grill lets guests know that they are not out for dinner but rather that they are embarking on a culinary journey of somewhereness. Boasting a finely curated local and international wine list dedicated to low intervention winemaking, craft cocktails, and tasting menus, guests are assured to have one of their best dining experiences.

A quiet country road, the gentle swell of vineyards beneath the brow of the Niagara Escarpment; turn down the lane, through a unique wooden covered bridge up to an immense, perfectly restored 1867 Victorian barn. Open 7 days a week, year round for complimentary tastings and weekend tours at 1pm. 30 different varieties of VQA wines, fruit wines and icewines keep Winemaker Angela Kasimos busy year round. Licensed patio, wine boutique and two floors of rustic beauty for weddings, private parties and dinners. Hernder also houses Niagara Vinegar a quality line of grapeseed oil, vinegars, reductions, hot sauce and homemade jellies. Come and explore all the good things at Hernder Estate Wines.

HOME STYLE MEALS FOR THE FAMILY. Falls Manor Resort and Restaurant has been part of the Niagara Falls landscape for more than six decades. Customers count on us to serve up delicious, home-cooked meals at affordable prices. Drop in today and experience award-winning cuisine guaranteed to satisfy even the pickiest of palates.

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.

At Falls Manor Restaurant, we are renowned for our gourmet broasted chicken and delicious, warm Belgian waffles.

From Banquets to Bachelor parties, Bridal Showers or Business dinners, our new Wine Cellar in Niagara Falls is ideal!

Niagara Region’s Original Home of Broasted Chicken. We’ve won the Reader’s Choice award for breakfast 16yrs consecutively. Try our Golden Dipped Pancakes or sample one of our Scrumptious Omelets. We offer takeout service for your convenience. Skip the cooking and pick up dinner today.

St. Catharines 271 Merritt St. | 905.680.9300

RYAN CRAWFORD CHEF & PROPRIETOR 242 Mary Street, NOTL 289.272.1242 Backhouse. xyz

WINERY & BANQUET FACILITY 1607 Eighth Ave. Louth. St. Catharines 905.684.3300 wine @hernder.com

FALLS MANOR RESORT & RESTAURANT 7104 Lundy’s Lane, Niagara Falls 905-358-3211 ext. 1 fallsmanor.com

Niagara Falls 6889 Lundy’s Lane | 905.358.0004

WINE CELLAR 6889 Lundy’s Lane, Niagara Falls 905.358.0004 johnnyroccos.com


IN GOOD TASTE

MICK&ANGELO’S KITCHEN & BAR

THE KEG STEAKHOUSE & BAR

THE SMOKIN’ BUDDHA

DOC MAGILLIGAN’S RESTAURANT & IRISH PUB

Now under new ownership, Mick & Angelo’s Kitchen + Bar is where family fun and great homemade food go hand in hand. Nicknamed the Locals Livingroom, this is the best place in Niagara Falls to be welcomed with open arms no matter where you are from. Our team makes every Guest feel like they are home.

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.

Located in the Old Train Station in the Canal District of downtown Port Colborne, The Smokin’ Buddha delivers your favourite dishes from around the world. Come experience our laid-back space where global comfort food meets local Niagara food culture. If you can’t make it to South Niagara, find us at these seasonal supper markets.

Recently nominated, as North America’s top 10 Irish Pubs and Winner of the Best Irish Pub Chef, North America by Irish Pub’s Global. The entire pub was built in Ireland and shipped lock, stock and beer barrel to our Lundy’s Lane location.

Our diverse menu and superior drink list is sure to please everyone’s palate. We serve up juicy, AAA-certifed steaks, incredible calzones, fresh pizza, and some of the best wings you’ll ever have.

Fonthill Farmer’s Market Every Thursday - 4:30 to Dusk N.O.T.L Supper Market Every Wednesday - 4:30 to 9:00

It’s no wonder Chef Mick has been voted “Best Local Chef ” by the readers of the Niagara Falls Review.

Crystal Beach Supper Market Every Thursday - 4:00 to 9:00 YEAR ROUND: Welland Farmer’s Market Every Saturday 8:00am - 12:00pm #lovethebuddha

MICK&ANGELO’S KITCHEN & BAR 7600 Lundy’s lane, Niagara falls 905-357-6543 mickandangelos.com

FALLSVIEW / EMBASSY SUITES 6700 Fallsview Blvd, Niagara Falls 905.374.5170 fallsviewrestaurant.com

KEVIN ECHLIN CHEF/OWNER 265 King St., Port Colborne, ON 905.834.6000 thesmokinbuddha.com

Doc Magilligan’s consistently delivers an authentic experience. Combine a stunningly-accurate interior design with great food, drink, music and, most of all, people. Guests are immersed in another world of warmth, conversation, laughter and fun. What the Irish call ‘the craic’…. real fun. Scratch made, comfort food at its best, inspired by heritage Irish recipes. Family owned, one-of-a-kind and open for breakfast, lunch & dinner.

GARY BEYNON EXECUTIVE CHEF 6400 Lundy’s Lane, Niagara Falls, 905-374-0021

TODAYMAGAZINE.CA 27


LANG VIETNAMESE HOT POT & BBQ GRILL

MOOSE AND PEPPER BISTRO

BUCHANANS STEAK & SEAFOOD

CAFFE GATTI

Canada’s 1st All You Can Eat Vietnamese Hot Pot & BBQ Grill.

At the Moose and Pepper we want you to relax, sip some wine or a craft beer and enjoy our fare. Come for dinner and let the candlelight and jazz be your escape. You are welcomed with a sampling of our home made black olive focaccia to stir your senses.

Dig in to a hand-cut steak, charbroiled to your liking!

Sisters Clara and Sarah GATTI welcome you to CAFFE GATTI. SMILES and friendly service await you as soon as you arrive. Serving Artisan Roman style pizza, salads, soups, gourmet sandwiches and ITALIAN cakes/pastries to go along with your choice of beverage.Serving all day Breakfast, Lunch, some Evening events. The cafe’s atmosphere was born, when the GATTI family travelled EUROPE extensively. It’s relaxed with beautiful music, while enjoying great food and local/imported beer or wines. The finishing touch fresh Italian cakes,pastries, and GELATO to compliment our freshly brewed locally roasted coffee, espresso, cappuccino, lattes, and ORGANIC teas. CAFFE GATTI caters in house or to your next EVENT!

The word Lang means ‘Village’ in Vietnamese. What we’re trying to do is give the experience of Authentic Vietnamese food here in Canada. Vietnamese cuisine is unique, and besides the different spices and flavours, the methods of cooking are unique as well. For dinner, there can be a grill in the middle of the table or a boiling pot. Whether you’re barbecuing your meal on a fire or cooking your food in the aromatic broth, you’ll get the full Vietnamese experience at Lang. Choose between our AYCE Vietnamese BBQ, or AYCE Vietnamese Hot Pot.

LANG VIETNAMESE HOT POT & BBQ GRILL 161 Church St, St. Catharines 289-362-2288 langrestaurant.com

An ensemble of flavours awaits you between the pages of our menu, surely to satisfy the most discerning taste buds. Whatever you choose on your journey with us, be assured we want you to be as pleased with your selections as we are preparing them. Enjoy.

MOOSE AND PEPPER BISTRO 4740 Valley Way Niagara Falls, On 289-296-8858 mooseandpepper.com

A blend of modern steakhouse and chic lounge. The menu highlights crispy calamari, lobster dip, classic shrimp cocktail and Buchanans’ French onion soup to start. This home-grown restaurant offers an appealing selection of hand-cut steaks charbroiled to your liking, tasty seafood, pasta, fresh salads, vegan & more. End your meal with our house made Sticky Toffee Crème Brulee and a Starbucks coffee beverage. Lunch $14 - $16, Dinner $18 - $38. Our “Why Limit Happy to One Hour” offers a full size appetizer paired with a VQA Niagara Wine (5 oz) or Craft Brew (12 oz. Pint) for $15 – daily 26 pm. Complimentary customer onsite self parking. Event space for up to 250 guests. Located at the DoubleTree Resort on Stanley Avenue.

BUCHANANS STEAK & SEAFOOD 6039 Fallsview Blvd, Niagara Falls, ON 905.353.4111 buchanansniagara.ca

SARAH & CLARA GATTI 3 Race Street, St.Catharines, ON 905.641.5009 caffegatti.com


IN GOOD TASTE

PRANZO RISTORANTE ITALIANO

PERRIDISO ESTATE WINERY

LIV RESTAURANT AT WHITE OAKS RESORT

RUTH’S CHRIS STEAK HOUSE

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.

0ur boutique style winery produces premium wines the old fashion way, from handpicked grapes. Pinot Grigio & Riesling have expressions of ripe fruit, good balance and a long refreshing finish. 2012 was an exceptional vintage, our Cab/Merlot & Merlot captured that quality superbly, with full body and good tannins structure. Any of our wines will serve you well.

LIV Restaurant is the signature restaurant for White Oaks Resort and offers a fantastic dining experience. The menu is sublime, the wine list award winning and ambiance beautiful. Set time aside for LIV, don’t be rushed so that you can savour the whole event. LIV is where you want to celebrate special moments and treat yourself to a night out of fine dining, lingering over a fabulous wine and conversation.

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.

LIV RESTAURANT AT WHITE OAKS RESORT 253 Taylor Road, Niagara on the Lake 905-688-2550 ext.5248 whiteoaksresort.com

RUTH’S CHRIS STEAK HOUSE

Ask your server for Perridiso at the following fantastic local restaurants: Tiara Restaurant at Queen’s Landing Hotel, Oban Inn, Shaw Café & Wine Bar, The Old Winery Restaurant & Wine Bar, Casa Mia Ristorante, Windows by Jamie Kennedy, The Famous, Elements On The Falls and Il Sorriso Café & Pizzeria.

HILTON NIAGARA FALLS

PERRIDISO ESTATE WINERY

6361 Fallsview Blvd, Niagara Falls 905.353.7174 pranzoniagara.com

Niagara-On-The-Lake, ON 905 358 4222 Perridiso.com

6455 Fallsview Blvd, Niagara Falls, ON 905.357.1199 ruthschrisniagara.com

TODAYMAGAZINE.CA 29


A vibrant and impressive city located on the south shore of the scenic Niagara Region; Port Colborne is a community embedded in marine heritage and welcoming hospitality. With a generous climate, ample beachfront, and cultural attractions, Port Colborne is truly a destination you must visit.

Throughout the year, the uniqueness of Port Colborne is showcased as visitors and residents stroll along the Welland Canal, pop in and out of the shops and boutiques, immerse themselves in the local arts and culture, and relax on the beach. Visitors to Niagara’s South Coast can expect a getaway that is relaxing, fun and takes full advantage of everything this area has to offer. Experience Port Colborne – Experience what you expect life to offer on Niagara’s South Coast. 1.888.PORT.FUN • WWW.PORTCOLBORNE.CA PORT COLBORNE VISITOR INFORMATION CENTRE | HUMBERSTONE HALL, HWY. 3, 76 MAIN ST. WEST PORT COLBORNE, ON L3K 3V2 | 905.834.5722


PUMPKIN BEYOND THE PIE Creative Recipes with Pumpkin By Lauren Charley

Pumpkins are a symbol of Autumn, as they appear on our tables at Thanksgiving, decorate our homes in October, and are a much-anticipated flavour for our lattes. They are delicious in pies and have made a breakthrough in the offerings of baked goods. Every fall we can expect to see the much anticipated pumpkin pie served for dessert at home and in restaurants in the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving. Pumpkin spice lattes are one of the first indicators of the fall season, when we see them on the menus at our favourite cafes and coffee shops. Although it’s not too tasty to eat on it’s own, our ancestors figured many years ago out how to turn this fleshy vegetable into something quite delicious when cooked and prepared in the right way. Sweet or savoury, the squash can be a great addition in many dishes served over the holidays this fall and winter. Here is an overview for some pumpkin dishes trending on recipe apps and cooking blogs. You can search for a variety of complete recipes easily online.

Cheese Tortellini with Pumpkin and Ricotta

This tasty dish which is served at many Italian restaurants, can be made in your very own kitchen. It begins with homemade pasta dough, using flour, eggs, olive oil, salt and water. The shells are stuffed with a creamy mix of pumpkin and ricotta—a soft, white Italian cheese. Served with

a sage butter sauce or marinara sauce, you can get creative with herbs and seasonings to give this creation your personal touch.

Fun Facts about Pumpkin for the Dinner Table Carving pumpkins for Halloween has become a popular tradition, especially in North America. Did you know that the tradition of a carved pumpkin illuminated by a candle, known as a ‘jack-o-lantern’, is believed to have come from Ireland? The Irish used to carve faces into turnips, beets and other root vegetables as part of the Gaelic festival of Samhain. Early North American settlers began cooking pumpkin pies in the 1600s, where they began to incorporate ‘pumpkin spice’ into their cooking. Pumpkin spice (a blend of cinnamon, all spice, clove and ginger) does not however contain any pumpkin flavour at all. The name comes from it’s association with pumpkin cakes and pies.

Sweet Pickled Pumpkin

This sweet and tangy preserve could be your family’s next holiday tradition. To be served on a tray with cheese and crackers, as a condiment for the main course, or on top of ice cream, sweet pickled pumpkin is a simple treat to make. Using cubes of diced peeled pumpkin, all you need is a mason jar, sugar, apple cider vinegar, and cinnamon, for a preserve you can store and enjoy throughout the year. >> TODAYMAGAZINE.CA 31


Pumpkin Griddle Cakes

Add pumpkin puree and pumpkin spice to your favourite pancake recipe, for a twist that’s both delicious, and nutritious, as pumpkins are high in fibre. Be sure to follow close attention to your chosen recipe to ensure the ratio of pumpkin puree is accurate with the amount of flour you use. You can sub maple syrup for pumpkin sauce. Simply heat 1 cup of maple syrup with 1 1/4 cups of canned pumpkin and 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon on the stove top, to create a warm, syrupy mixture. Suitable for low-carb and Paleo diets, there are tons of recipes which use almond or coconut flour as an alternative.

Pumpkin and Corn Risotto

Inspired by fall ingredients, this creative side dish is perfect to serve with your holiday feast. Basic Italian risotto is arborio rice cooked to a creamy consistency on the stove, by adding butter and parmesan cheese. Pumpkin and corn risotto recipes typically call for normal rice, vegetable stock, and mozzarella cheese.

Tarragon and Pumpkin Scones

Savoury scones go well with cured meats, aged cheeses, and savoury jams—made with ingredients like tomatoes and peppers, rather than sweet fruits. Trending on Pinterest, the original recipe for Tarragon and Pumpkin Scones comes from Reader’s Digest, using cooked, mashed pumpkin and fresh tarragon leaves. The special ingredient is a little parmesan cheese to help enhance the pumpkin flavour.

Honey Pumpkin Dinner Rolls

Why serve plain white or whole wheat bread, when you can offer honey pumpkin dinner rolls? Add pumpkin puree and honey to the bread mixture, for deliciously sweet rolls, topped with pumpkin, sesame, and poppy seeds.

Potato and Pumpkin Gratin

‘Gratin’ is a culinary technique where the ingredients are topped with a browned crust. In a deep baking dish, alternate between layers of potatoes and pumpkin puree. Top with the breadcrumbs, eggs, and melted cheese and bake in the oven to perfect the crispy gratin style. Try using skim milk and parmesan cheese for a healthier alternative.

Pumpkin Tots

A healthier alternative from regular tater tots using potatoes, pumpkin tot recipes combine canned pumpkin, flour, and breadcrumbs. You can bake the tots in the oven, or pan-fry them in oil for extra crispiness. Add cheese and seasoning to the tot mixture to give extra flavour, and serve with sour cream, bacon bits and chives to garnish, or load them up with chili to make a complete meal.

Lebanese Pumpkin Hummus

Classic hummus, made from chickpeas, is a dish commonly associated with Israel. Lebanese Pumpkin Hummus, as the name suggests, is a recipe which comes from Lebanon, and uses pumpkin, along with the traditional hummus ingredients of tahini, lemon and garlic. You’ll need>>


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to bake or steam the pumpkin to soften it before making the creamy mixture in a food processor. Serve the dip with toasted pita, sour dough chips, or veggies for an Autumn-inspired appetizer.

Caramelized Pumpkin Pizza

This gourmet-style, thin-crust pizza is certainly fancier than your Friday night delivery. Start with a thin crust pizza base, white or whole wheat, and top with marinara sauce. If you enjoy a white-sauce pizza, try a recipe that uses cream cheese, olive oil, or low fat yogurt. Caramelize the pumpkin with onions and mushrooms in a frying pan separately, then add them to the base for a final bake. Top with parmesan cheese and arugula, or any toppings of your choice.

Savoury Pumpkin Pie

Taken from a recipe on The Rachael Ray Show, Savoury Pumpkin Pie is intended to be part of the main course, with cheese dominating the flavour rather than sugar. It’s not much different from the kind you serve for dessert, other than of course sharp, yellow cheese being a key ingredient along with chili powder. The recipe calls for brown sugar to maintain a little sweetness.

Pumpkin Vegetable Casserole

Casseroles can be made with a variety of vegetables and meat, cooked in the oven in a deep dish with stock and other ingredients. It’s no surprise that pumpkin can be added to a vegetable casserole to give it some extra flavour. Cauliflower pumpkin casserole combines roasted cauliflower and cheddar cheese, or try other root vegetables like squash, rutabagas and carrots. Look up pumpkin and sweet potato casserole for a new addition to the dessert table.

Guilt-Free Crustless Pumpkin Pie

Who says you can’t have a little dessert? No need to cringe at the thought of breaking your diet around the holidays. Indulge in a slice of Crustless Pumpkin Pie. With many variations available on recipe apps, a majority call for egg whites, sugar substitute, and fat free milk, and eliminate the need for pastry all together. Serve with frozen yogurt instead of ice cream, and go for an autumn walk after dinner. These are just a taste of all the possible ways to use pumpkin in your cooking and baking this season. A simple Google search, or the download of a recipe app is all you need to gather plenty of ideas to give you the inspiration you need to discover the many ways you can use pumpkin. Pick up canned pumpkin at the grocery store, or pick your own at one of Niagara’s local pumpkin farms. TM


EAT, DRINK & BE CHERRY! FRESH INGREDIENTS, LOCAL RECIPES, OUR DISHES AIM TO PLEASE. SLIDE BY OUR PLACE TO ENJOY THE GAME WITH A FROSTY BEVERAGE.

RAMADA PLAZA | 7429 LUNDY’S LANE NIAGARA FALLS, ON | 905.356.6119


REAL ITALIAN FOOD TRADITIONAL ITALIAN MENU ELEGANT, STYLISH DÉCOR SEPARATE BANQUET ROOM FOR MEETINGS OR EVENTS WELCOMING ATMOSPHERE EVERYTHING MADE FRESH DAILY

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By Andrew Hind

Cranberries for the Holidays

Vibrantly festive with their red hues, cranberries are the quintessential holiday accompaniment. Harvested during October and early November, these juicy, buoyant gems signal that the joyful Christmas season is just around the corner. One of the most enduring symbols of the holiday, cranberries are a staple of Christmas tables across all of North America. A Christmas table setting without cranberry sauce or cranberry stuffing just seems wrong somehow. This year, enjoy the red berries to the fullest by incorporating them into a multitude of flavorful recipes and yuletide décor. It was probably inevitable that the cranberry became associated with Christmas. With their bright red shiny colour, they reflect the season perfectly and consequently as early as the 1840s people were stringing them with popcorn to make festive garlands for the Christmas tree. At the same time, with their winter availability and the fact they were slow to spoil, cranberries represented one of the few fruits that could be served fresh during the holidays. To settlers’ delight, it was discovered very early that the

tartness of cranberry sauce helps cut the fat and richness of such traditional holiday fare as pork, goose, duck and turkey, making it a perfect complement to festive dishes. The tradition of serving cranberries at Christmas went from being a larger regional, New England tradition to a North America wide one around 160 years ago, during the American Civil War. By the autumn of 1864 the war had been dragging on for three long years and Union soldiers (many of whom hailed from the traditional cranberry growing region of New England) were growing homesick. To boost morale, Union generals provided their soldiers with a Thanksgiving feast with all the fixings of home, including cranberry sauce. Soldiers from rest of the Union were therefore introduced to the cranberry’s unique flavour, and after the war concluded, took home with them a taste of this most unique fruit. It became a staple on holiday tables at both Thanksgiving and Christmas, and slowly spread across all of North America. The introduction of canned cranberry sauce in the early 20th century only boosted its popularity further. >>

TODAYMAGAZINE.CA 39


While canned cranberries remain a supermarket staple, there’s no comparison between fresh and preserved berries—the former are simply way more flavourful. Fresh cranberries can be found in the produce section of supermarkets from September through December. Before using, wash and sort through the berries to discard any that are bruised or damaged. Fresh whole berries can be stored for up to two months in a tightly sealed plastic bag in the refrigerator. As with all berries, if one starts to rot it will spread to the rest, so be sure to sort out any soft ones if you plan on storing them for any length of time. Chris Smythe is the Executive Chef at Prince of Wales Hotel in Niagara-on-the-Lake. He’s passionate about the use of cranberries and works them into many recipes, both at Christmas and throughout the year. “Cranberries are available year round and are also very cost effective compared to other berries, so use them as much as possible. They have many health benefits and are also known as a “superfood,” mainly boosting immune systems and lowering blood pressure,” he explains. “Cranberries are very tart so they need to be balanced out with sugar and acid,” Smythe continues. “They can also be very dominant so pair then with dominant ingredients. Lemon, for example, pairs very well with cranberries (such as with the attached lemon cranberry tea scone recipe.)” Be wary about adding water to any recipe with cranberries; the berries—which are composed mainly of water—will simply break down. So what does one use: fresh or frozen? Some people swear by one or the other. For answers, we turned to Executive Chef Marc Lyons at Queen’s Landing in Niagara-on-the-Lake. “I prefer to use fresh for making cranberry sauce and garnish, but I prefer to use frozen or dried for any type of baking. With frozen cranberries, the fibers have been broken down more and are therefore more palatable in baked goods. With dried berries, the sweetness is more appealing,” he explains. An additional benefit of frozen cranberries rather than fresh is this that they tend to bleed less, making for a more aesthetic plate. You can purchase frozen cranberries from the supermarket or freeze your own fresh berries (perhaps picked up after a visit to Ontario’s only cranberry far, Johnson’s Cranberry Marsh in Bala) — simply wash and dry them, then place the berries in an airtight bag. Frozen cranberries will keep for up to one year, and they need not be defrosted before using. And of course no holiday table is complete without a bowl of crimson cranberry sauce at its centre. The reason is simple: the tartness of cranberry sauce is the perfect accompaniment for the gaminess of pork and turkey. But don’t go for canned variety when your cranberry sauce can be so much more: we’ve attached two outstanding recipes; pick one or try them both. A symbol of the holiday season, the cranberry should be embraced at Christmas. Elevate your cranberry sauce with game-changing homemade variety, then spread your wings with other dishes that take advantage of the unique flavour and festive pigmentation of these berries. Options for cranberries are limitless; it’s a matter of filling yourself with Christmas cheer and experimenting. TM

Festive Cranberry Recipes Anise Scented Cranberry Sauce by Chef Chris Smythe 1 lb fresh or frozen cranberries 1 orange (quartered) 2 cinnamon sticks

2 pieces star Anise 1 lb raw sugar

Add all the ingredients into a small soup pot and simmer on low heat for 30 minutes. Pull the orange and spice out of the mix and pass it through a fine strainer. What you will be left with is a warm cranberry sauce; this should be chilled before serving. Serves 10-12 people

Lemon Cranberry Tea Scones by Chef Chris Smythe 500G baker’s flour 100g sugar 30g lemon zest 30g baking powder 115g cold butter (cut into cubes)

½ cup whole eggs 175 g frozen cranberries 250 ml 35% cream

1. Thaw out the cranberries and strain. 2. Combine the dry ingredients and mix until combined. 3. Add in the butter and mix until mealy texture (slightly smaller than a pea). 4. Mix together the cream and eggs, add to the dough slowly while it is mixing. 5. Add in the cranberries and lemon zest then mix until combined. 6. Rest the dough in a well-floured pan for approximately 1 hour. 7. Roll dough to about 1 ½ inches thick. Cut to desired width. 8. Egg-wash the tops of scones, let rest for another 20 mins. 9. Bake at 340 degrees F. for approximately 8 – 15 mins, or until golden brown top. Be sure to open up at least 1 to ensure the middle is baked enough. Makes 12 scones

Festive Foccacia Bread with Cranberries by Chef Marc Lyons FOCACCIA BREAD 300 grams hard flour 300 grams AP flour 15 grams sea salt ground 25 grams fat (olive oil) 80 grams dried cranberries 80 grams chopped walnuts

50 grams blue cheese 8 grams yeast 15 grams sugar 475 ml warm water FINISHING MIX 3 part olive oil, 1 part chopped sage, thyme and rosemary

Method 1. Mix together yeast, sugar and a little warm water, allow frothing up. 2 Sift flours and salt together into mixing bowl. 3. Make a well in flour. Pour oil, yeast/water and blue cheese into it. 4. Turn on mixer on low speed and pour in the rest of the water. 5. Allow to mix for 8 to 10 minutes allowing gluten to form. 6. Once done empty mixer onto floured surface. 7. Cut dough into 2 equal pieces and knead into desired shape. 8. Store each on a parchment lined baking pan. Cooking 1. Rub generous amounts of oil onto dough and allow to proof until doubling in size.


2. Sprinkle nuts and cranberries evenly over top of each loaf. 3. Then oil finger tips and use them to dock holes into dough. 4. Bake for 3, 10 minute sessions, brushing with oil in between each cook. 5. Once finished cooking, brush with a generous amount of olive herb oil and season with crushed sea salt. Yields two decent-sized loaves for around 15 people for dinner bread service. It freezes raw very well. If you want to freeze one of the unbaked loaves, let it defrost and then follow the baking steps provided

Grandma’s Cranberry Sauce by Chef Marc Lyons 1 package fresh cranberries ¼ cup brown sugar ½ orange, diced 1 cinnamon stick 1 tsp.sweet spice mix (clove, all

spice, star anise, coriander) 1 tbsp.fresh ginger, peeled and grated ¼ bunch chopped thyme 1oz. Grand Marnier Liquor

Method Mix everything together and simmer on low heat until desired thickness and the cranberries are soft. Either keep whole or blitz with emersion blender to desired consistency. Serves 30 people for Christmas dinner

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TODAYMAGAZINE.CA 41


// L I F E S T Y L E & C U LT U R E

CYCLING SURRENDER WRITTEN AND PHOTOGRAPHED BY VICTORIA GILBERT

The trick is to smile. Not too much, just the sides of the mouth pulled up ever-so-slightly, as Naomi Campbell says, “smize”. The road is curved ahead and our bikes whirr around a corner flanked by old trees. The constant pumping of your legs and those of a girl with a nice round bum in front of you are all you can think of at this moment – and the trees – in Niagara, Ontario, they are everywhere and they smell like a fairy tale forest – especially now, as you soar past them at 30 kilometers an hour, using exactly zero gasoline and 100% personal energy, expended

in one of the best possible ways; cycling in Niagara with friends. “Okay, Queenston is up ahead,” says Shannon as she pulls her bike beside mine. “Just press the little thingy on your right down until it feels right.” Queenston Hill must have been part of what Sir. Winston Churchill was talking about when he famously said the Niagara Parkway was “the prettiest Sunday drive in the world.” There it is ahead now. The hill looks pretty, sure, but it also looks steep. “Loosen your hands,” says Mike, a seasoned cyclist who drops back to chat, “don’t grip the handle bars too tight and breathe.” >>

TODAYMAGAZINE.CA 45


The clicks of the gears switching down and the beating of your heart in your ears is all you focus on as you ascend Queenston for the first time. The slender 185 foot high monument to Major General Sir Isaac Brock, one of Canada’s heroes of the War of 1812, stands watching you and your friends as you pump relentlessly up, up, up. As you reach the midway point, your heart rate evens out and you relax enough to look around. To the one side is a verdant Canadian forest where deer, wild turkeys, owls, foxes and more dwell. On the other, is a view to fall in love with. The Niagara River curves and widens between a green tapestry and is at its most romantic at the midway point of Queenston Hill. There is a spot to pull over, kiss your lover or hug your child, but today you are riding this hill. Your heart pumps beautifully and your body thanks you. Getting on a bike, any sort will do – maybe it comes with a wicker basket between the handlebars, handy for buying a dozen fresh peaches or local honey from the roadside Mennonite stands or a carbon-fibre feather light fit for the Tour De France, will be just fine; the landscape of the Niagara Region is fit for the bike ride of your life no matter your speed or your style. Even if you haven’t owned a bicycle since it had tassels on the bars or those plastic clickers on the wheels, not a problem, Steve from Zoom Leisure Bikes will help you out. “Zoom is open year round but most people prefer to use our services during the ‘nice’ weather here which is April through November, but if you want a bike on New Year’s Eve or Christmas Day, we make it happen,” says Steve deBoer, owner of Zoom Bikes. Steve and his wife Rebecca, run the business out of their Niagara On-The-Lake shop (431 Mississauga St.) but you can rent their bikes at the 12 Zoom Leisure bike share self-serve locations throughout the Region where all you need is a credit card, a smart-phone and a free app. Cycling in Niagara has become increasingly popular drawing celebrities the likes of Clive Owen and Adam Sandler who have both rented bikes at Zoom in recent years. “The motion of the wheels, just the momentum, the freedom, the personal power you can choose to put into it through training. It’s the best exercise you can do, there’s no pollution and yet you see so much of your own community or experience a new community,” says Steve. >>


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“Try to keep your goals reasonable. You don’t become a pro at balancing or clipping in or climbing a hill right away. It takes work, so take baby steps and set simple goals.” “It can get very addictive,” he chuckles. The top of Queenston is in sight now and the roundabout which takes you down roads leading to bustling Niagara Falls, the village of St. David’s or endless rows of vineyards, fields of peach trees and protected forests of the Greenbelt open up before us. “How was it?” asks Shannon as we turn off for a quick water break by a floral display and a park filled with picnickers. Your eyes are a little blurry from the sunscreen which has bled into them, but your limbs are tingling in strange and new ways and you begin to understand how the endorphins flooding every vein could be “addictive.” “You’re almost ready for the circle loop,” says Mike with a wide smile. The loop Mike is talking about is referred to officially by the Niagara Region tourist board as the ‘Greater Niagara Circle Route’, a 140 kilometer adventure past the Welland Canal, the Niagara River, the Friendship trail along the north shore of Lake Erie and finally Niagara-On-The-Lake. The Circle route takes a good six hours and is for intermediate cyclists or you can simply relax and just try part of the loop. The Welland Canals Parkway Trail makes up 45 km of the loop and is worth the journey if simply to make it

a reason to stop at the best coffee shop in Welland; The Black Sheep Lounge. When we stopped for a cup of joe, 40 kilometers into the ride, it may be that distance cycling makes everything taste better, or it may be that owner, Lucas Spinosa really knows his coffee. Covered in tattoos and more than a few piercings, Lucas is rumoured to run for city council in Welland, although when we met him at the Black Sheep, he was on his way to a Marilyn Manson concert. The Friendship Trail sounds corny, only it’s not. This well-maintained trail was once a rail line and is now a 24 kilometre trail through lush forest and singing birds past sleepy towns leading to sandy beaches along Lake Erie; ideal spots to strip off your sweaty spandex and jump into the lake. Cycling along the Parkway, the majestic power of the famous Horseshoe Falls pounds endlessly, as the fine mist from the world’s most visited waterfall caresses and cools you down as you whiz along the road past the hordes of tourists. Queenston Hill is before you again now, only this time you fly down, past the killer view point, past General Brock who would love to jump off his high podium to join you and down-down-down to the recently dubbed, “friendliest town in Canada” Niagara-On-the-Lake where freshly shucked oysters or a glass of Ontario Chardonnay is awaiting you. If the trick is to smile, you smile wide, because who knew a hill, a bike and some friends could be one of the best days of your life. TM

CYCLING ETIQUETTE

FOR DRIVERS: Slow down when you approach riders and give them at least

FOR RIDERS: The roads are meant to be shared and so riders should do their

best to stay single file and as close to the right side of the road as possible. If you want to chat on the road, make sure there are no cars behind you, talk briefly and get back in line. Helmets are legally required under the age of 16 in Ontario but it is highly recommended all cyclists wear helmets. You can ride on most roads, except: • controlled access highways, such as Ontario’s 400-series highways • across a road within a pedestrian cross-over - you must walk your bike to the other side

one meter of space when passing. A motorist may cross the centre line of a roadway in order to pass a cyclist. If this cannot be done, he or she must slow down behind the cyclist until it is safe to pass. If a group of cyclists are hogging the road, feel free to use your horn, they should be single file. TO RENT BIKES IN NIAGARA: Zoom Leisure Bikes: zoomleisure.com 1-866-811-6993


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MONEY TALK//COLUMN

A Blended Family Requires a Financial Game Plan Over the past few years the one area of financial planning that I feel is being completely overlooked by most is the planning around a second marriage and/or the blended family. In Canada today, census reports tell us that 1 in 8 families with children are those of the blended mix, this requires a game plan more than ever. This new cohort is a completely special planning segment of its own. Blending a family is challenging and on top of the emotional aspects, there are many financially pressing issues that these families need to give attention to. Four specific areas that I see need planning on are: the cohabitation of family finances; asset ownership and succession; wills and estate planning strategies; and family harmony planning. So let’s start with the cohabitation of finances. In this area, begin with a simple household budget and allocation of expense sheet. It makes sense to take into account each individuals take-home income and having a prorated allocation to the overall expenses. Keep this as fair as possible so that each spouse has approximately the same amount left each month. We are all creatures of habit and each individual has their own way to address spending and expenses. Sit down and have an open conversation, get the past on the table and design a game plan for your future. Next is asset ownership: Do you keep things separate? Do you add your new spouse as the beneficiary? What happens if one spouse dies? I think it’s important to really keep separate financial silos especially in the first 5-10 years. What’s mine is for my family and what’s yours is for your family. Of course you will both share the income but the assets should stay with your own bloodlines. Sometimes the best solution for this is possibly using life insurance. It’s a simple and yet very effective way to protect the lifestyle of your loved ones. Probably the biggest area of uncertainty is on the wills and estate planning side. Do you have new wills? How is the estate plan designed to protect not only each other but also the children and families as well? Is it wise to have a co-habitation agreement if living together and possibly a prenuptial agreement once married? Is there a financial provision for the lower income earning spouse should something happen to the bread winner? How does your estate plan protect your children? Are the assets structured to go to the new partner or do they revert to the children? This is a very serious part of the blended family game plan and not dealing with this is only going to cause conflict and heartache if something unforeseen happens. This is an area I highly recommend you understand the laws related to the death of a common law or a spouse with/or without a will. The fourth area that needs attention is simply creating a new family harmony plan. This plan can get into things such as friends over for dinner, allowances, homework time, chores, TV time and simply identifying that with a blended family you have two families coming from different pasts and trying under one new roof to become a one family unit. I have always said that it takes a village to raise a child and a blended family can be an incredible gift to all of the family as long as mom and dad really sit down and design a game plan with precision and understanding. My advice is to seek out a holistic financial advisor to help you create your blended family game plan, it might be the best investment you ever make.

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Holding On To

Normal BY GABRIELLE TIEMAN-LEE

“I looked at all the sick people around me. Was I going to be like them? Was that already me? Did I suddenly have a time stamp on my life? Would I make it out of this alive?” Alana Somerville’s life came to a screeching halt in 2010. The healthy, 31-year-old new mom found her body under attack; a single lump, discovered while breastfeeding her son, shook her world. A young woman, with no family history of cancer, was now staring down the barrel of an aggressive cancer diagnosis. Did she sit back and wallow? No. Did she give up? Definitely not. The cancer was relentless—but so was Somerville. Today, Somerville sits healthy, healed and happy at a Starbucks bistro table. Sipping her coffee, blonde hair falling across her face in the summer heat, she is a survivor: calm and full of life as she discusses her book “Holding on to Normal: How I Survived Cancer and Made it to the Other Side, Happier, Healthier and Stronger” and how far she has come since that fateful summer night clutching her newborn, unsure what the future held—or if there was to be one. “My daughter was three-years-old and my son was six months old and I was nursing him and I found a lump,” says Somerville. “I had no family history, of course, and I didn’t know the last time I had checked. “I called my doctor and I said ‘I have to come in immediately, I found

a lump,’” said Somerville. “Everything changed from there.” Following the initial appointment, a number of red flags, ultrasounds, biopsies, mammograms and what Somerville said felt like a million weeks later, Somerville was diagnosed with almost stage three breast cancer—a triple negative diagnosis with grade three tumor growth—the most rapidly growing on the scale. “Basically a few weeks later, I am diagnosed with cancer,” said Somerville. “I was [in denial] 100 per cent. “At first I thought, maybe I don’t have to tell anybody,” said Somerville “There is this weird feeling of almost embarrassment. Like, why is this happening to me? I did everything right, what did I do wrong?” Somerville said she couldn’t find the words to tell people what she was going through, so she turned to writing: she turned to her email list of approximately 100 close friends, family and coworkers. “To say you have cancer, you can’t just spit that out,” said Somerville. “I basically [emailed] people saying not to come visit me, I have cancer, I don’t want to talk to you, I know this is a shock, but please leave me alone.” Somerville said the results were interesting; some people listened and left her alone and some people did not; which Somerville said was probably what she needed the most at that time. >> TODAYMAGAZINE.CA 55


“I immediately had this support group of people that wanted to help and listen,” said Somerville. She continued to write, week after week, to her network of supporters; detailing her appointments and the pain of 16 sessions of chemotherapy and the trauma of losing her health and along with it her hair— all in the span of a few months. “So at this point, I have been diagnosed with cancer, had the chemo, lost my hair, had the double mastectomy, all while I was on maternity leave essentially,” said Somerville. It was this support group who encouraged Somerville to write her book; encouraging her to reflect on these emails and the pain she had described and put her experiences into words. So Somerville began reading back on the emails she had been sending her friends and compiled them into a document. The initial goal was that one day her kids could read them and hear about her journey through her own words. But, once the emails were all put together, Somerville said she began to see them fold into the other and the bones of a book were born. “I would read a few of the emails and think, I want to add to this one, and I want to add to this one, and now I’m typing away and thinking huh, maybe I can write a book,” said Somerville. Somerville said one of her goals with her book was to take the fear out of her diagnosis and create something that would make such a tough disease more easily understood. “The crazy thing is, these things happen all the time, and nobody talks about it,” said Somerville. “[Breast Cancer] is all around us; one in seven women will get it, but no one talks about it. “When I was diagnosed, I was looking for a book that would tell me exactly what to expect—not from a doctor’s perspective, not a ‘here is what you might feel’; but I wanted the down and dirty,” said Somerville. “I wanted the scoop on what is going to happen. And the more I talked to people, the more I realized, they wanted this too.” In 2012, her original manuscript was born—and swiftly rejected by all 15 publishers she emailed queries to. But Somerville yet again surged forward, reaching out to Indigo for assistance and guidance. “With suggestion, I put the book on consignment with Chapters,” said Somerville. “I did a book signing, I called the local paper and at the end of that day I had sold 50 books. That’s when I knew there had to be a market. So I asked what the next step was—where did I go from there?” “You can wallow in self-pity or you can say fuck this, this is what I am going to do,” said Somerville. Somerville pushed forward with Indigo; reaching out to Jeremy Cammy, the VP Publicity and Marketing, who guided her in her process and directed her towards publisher Simon & Schuster. It was this drive which drew the attention of actress Elizabeth

Hurley. Hurley—the global ambassador for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation–was at a charity event in Toronto when Somerville asked to meet with her in hopes she would read her book. “I guess, after I gave it to her, she asked to be left alone, and read it on her flight back home that night, and then she said she couldn’t put it down,” said Somerville. “She tweeted at me the next morning about how much she loved it. I couldn’t believe it.” It was this praise that gave Somerville the courage to ask Hurley to write the forward for her completed book. Hurley immediately said yes and soon after, Somerville had the note in her hands—citing, “I read without pause to the end,” said Hurley. “I felt drained, but enlightened as I journeyed with Alana in her fight against this terrible disease.” “You’ve got to be your own advocate and you’ve got to push for what you want,” said Somerville. “This forward [by Hurley] was the push I needed to get attention from publishers. It changed everything. And if I hadn’t asked, who knows what would have happened. ” Somerville said the book was never created for selfish reasons, but born as way to help both herself, her family and for others touched by cancer learn how to cope with the disease and better understand it —both from a fighter and caregiver perspective. “I wanted people to feel less alone,” said Somerville. “We wanted the book to be vulnerable and honest so it actually had a chance of helping others. My mom read it and she cried, she said she had no idea I went through all of this. And I said well yeah, we try to keep it together for everyone around us.” It is this raw, passionate honesty which puts Somerville’s book a shelf above the rest; a characteristic which Somerville said her editor and publishers pushed her for through years and years of editing: to go deeper and be more honest when describing her journey. “I have learned that cancer does not discriminate,” said Somerville. “It just happens. I had no family history: my odds of getting it were 1 in 773 based on my age.” Whether you’re a man or woman, been touched by breast cancer, had someone in your life have it or if you have ever had the thought cross your mind, you need to read this book “[This book] is not just for cancer patients,” said Somerville. “It is for their caregivers; because they may not want to tell the people taking care of them what they are going through. It is to help these people understand what they are going through.” “I had to have gone through this; and it was not for nothing,” said Somerville. “If I can help someone while they go through it, or help someone who is going through it with someone they love, then it was worth it.” You can currently find the book both in store and online. Visit alanasomerville.com/ for more details. TM


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THE DAY THE HONEYMOON BRIDGE COLLA P SE D By Andrew Hind

Photos from the private collection of Sherman Zavitz

The massive Honeymoon Bridge threatened to collapse into the Niagara Gorge below. Metal girders supporting the span were heaving and would soon break apart, like river ice at the spring thaw. Moments before, creeping onto the crippled structure had seemed like a harmless adventure for Douglas and Wesley Styles, aged 12 and 13. But as the bridge swayed underfoot and the metal groaned threatening, the two looked at one another aghast, eyes wide in terror. What had begun as mischievous fun now seemed like a terrible, and perhaps fatal, mistake The metal beneath them shivered and writhed again. Douglas and Wesley ran for the safety of shore. They reached the shore just as the metal bowed and buckled and then, with a thundering groan, the Honeymoon Bridge collapsed into the river below. Douglas and Wesley collapsed. They were silent, the nearness of their death bearing down on them like a crushing weight. When Douglas finally broke the awful silence, only one thing

emerged from his quivering lips: “I hope Mom doesn’t find out about this.” Mom did find out. Indeed, all of North America found out. The collapse of the Honeymoon Bridge on January 27, 1938, captured the attention of millions on both sides of the border and newspapermen, anxious for additional drama to sell the story, focused on the experiences of the Styles boys as a thrilling sidebar to what was already a thoroughly captivating story. The Honeymoon Bridge, so-called because so many newlyweds crossed from the United States on their way to romantic honeymoons in Niagara Falls, Ontario had been built forty years earlier, in 1898. It represented an engineering marvel for its day. For exactly four decades the Honeymoon Bridge dominated the profile of the Niagara River gorge looking downstream from the falls. Then, in late January, 1938, this proud pinnacle of engineering was suddenly brought crashing down by the forces of nature. >> TODAYMAGAZINE.CA 61


MAINTENANCE CREWS HAD BEEN HURRIEDLY SUMMONED TO THE SCENE IN A DESPERATE ATTEMPT TO SAVE THE STRUCTURE. Starting on January 25, an enormous ice jam began to develop in the Niagara River gorge immediately below the falls. The volume of ice was exceptional, but not immediately worrying—most winters would see ice from Lake Erie gather below the Falls. But by the early hours of the 26th, people started to grow alarmed as the ice began to pile up around the pillars of the Honeymoon Bridge in quantities never seen before, putting immense strain on the steel supports. Maintenance crews had been hurriedly summoned to the scene in a desperate attempt to save the structure. They climbed down into the gorge and frantically began to clear ice away from the supports, but within a few hours it became apparent that they were fighting a losing battle; the ice was simply accumulating faster than they could remove it. Meanwhile, engineers inspecting the structure made a startling discovery: several of the support girders were already beginning to buckle under the immense stain. At 9:15 am, the decision was made to close the bridge and suspend ice-clearing efforts. The Honeymoon Bridge was left to her fate. By the next morning, the ice jam reached a height of 150 feet (45m), creating a virtual dam. Popping rivets could be heard as the bridge groaned under the strain, and everyone on shore knew that it was just a matter of time before the doomed bridge gave up the struggle and collapsed. As word of her imminent demise spread, thousands of curious spectators were drawn to the scene, braving the cold to watch the death of a landmark. Police had set up a barrier on both sides of the bridge, preventing people from getting too close. But security wasn’t tight enough to stop two adventurous boys from slipping past and onto the bridge. When asked later why they did it, Douglas and Wesley Styles answered that they had simply wanted to get a better point of view from which to take pictures of the spectacular ice formations in the gorge below. The best spot, they decided, was from the bridge itself. The structure still seemed safe enough. What was the harm? So they snuck past the guards and brazenly ventured out onto the dying structure. Then rivets popped like gunshots, metal groaned, and the ground shifted underfoot. The bridge trembled as the ice literally pushed it off its footings on the American side. They had just reached shore when the bridge behind them, starting from the centre, began to collapse. From the time the bridge was pushed off its footings to the moment of its collapse took no more than ten seconds. The time was 4:20.

Hearts pounding, oblivious to the mayhem of excited onlookers around them, the boys peered over the edge of the gorge. The bridge lay in a crumpled heap in the frozen river, awkwardly twisted, broken in four main sections. What just days before was an engineering marvel was now little more than a mass of twisted steel and wood. Newspapers across Canada and the United States flashed the story of the Bridge’s demise on front pages. One of the papers with a correspondent on hand was the Niagara Falls Review. It recorded the death of the bridge in dramatic fashion: “With startling suddenness, and what sounded like a weary groan, the mighty structure sagged and fell into the gorge. There was not a great deal of noise as the 2600 tons of steel and 300 tons of wood, which comprised the framework and floor of the bridge, sank to rest, and onlookers scarcely believed their eyes as they saw the destruction of the once proud span which now lies in the shape of a great twisted W on the ice bridge.” The following Sunday, Niagara Falls experienced one of the busiest days in its history up to that point as thousands came from as far away as New York City to view the remains of the bridge lying shattered and broken below. Some simply couldn’t believe this landmark was gone. >>


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Engineers were worried that the mass would cause an obstruction in the river, and it was deemed prudent to break it up into smaller pieces. Rather than cut it up, a painstaking process, dynamite was used to break the wreckage into six pieces. The plan was practical, but not well thought through; the concussion from the blast shattered windows throughout Niagara Falls, causing around $10,000 worth of damage. The remains of the Honeymoon Bridge lay on the ice until the April thaw. On the 12th, the ice bridge began to break up and the debris slipped from sight under the water where it had fallen. Planning began almost immediately after for a new bridge to link Niagara Falls, Ontario, with Niagara Falls, New York, though it was

decided to move it five hundred feet further downriver. On June 7, 1939, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, the parents of the current ruling monarch, Elizabeth II, cut the ribbon on this site during a brief ceremony. Ground was officially broken for the construction of what became the Rainbow Bridge on May 4, 1940. Thousands of tourists, honeymooners among them, continue to come to Niagara Falls via this new bridge every year. Most are blissfully unaware of the drama that accompanied the previous bridge’s final dying moments. The collapse of the Honeymoon Bridge remains one of the most spectacular demonstrations of the destructive power of the Falls, reminding us of the fragility of even the best human engineering in the face of nature’s fury. TM

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FALL INTO FALL WITH THESE SKIN CARE ESSENTIALS As we enter into the fall months and the days grow shorter, cooler, and less humid, it is important that we alter our lifestyle and daily skin care habits to best align with the ever-changing circadian rhythm and environmental demands. On the skin care front, there are three things we need to do as we exit summer and enter the fall season: 1. Repair sun damage. 2. Restore hydration caused by lower humidity levels. 3. Protect against the upcoming cold by fortifying the skin barrier. Although most people see aging from the outside-in, it generally starts from the inside-out and therefore the skin care habits we incorporate must also start from the inside-out.

RESTORE HYDRATION As humidity levels drop, trans epidermal water loss (TEWL) increases. Therefore we need supplements such as Luma Glow™ that contains essential fatty acid oils to trap the water within our skin cells and moisturizers that are richer and contain ingredients such as ceramides, hyaluronic acid, and vitamin B5 which also help to hold water within our skin cells. Having a humidifier in the home during winter months can help as well. However, if you are prone to acne, lower levels of humidity will be beneficial as sebum production declines in accordance. For those wanting to restore moisture to the fullest, facial oils containing kukui nut and jojoba will be your best defence and add a dewy hue to your skin’s complexion. Finally, with the advancement of silk peel technology, we can also infuse ultra hydrating ingredients into your skin while exfoliating off dead skin cells.

REPAIR SUN DAMAGE There are various means to repair sun damage, however prevention is always best, making year round sunscreen essential for everyone. Additionally, having internal antioxidant sun protection through a carotenoid such as Astaxanthin is vital as it quenches free radical damage caused by UV rays. Astaxanthin can be consumed through salmon as it’s the pigment creating its bright red colour, however it can also be consumed in supplement form found in Luma Glow™. The most common post-summer skin issue I hear from patients is uneven complexion caused by brown spots, spider veins, redness, and increased lines and wrinkles. Increasing foods and supplements such as Luma Glow™ that are anti-inflammatory and include fish oil, evening primrose oil, and flax oil will help reduce redness and irritation. Skin creams with a high concentration of vitamin C will brighten skin and smooth out discolouration. The next level of repair comes in the form of laser treatments such as an IPL which can eliminate spider veins, brown spots, and stimulate collagen in the process. IPLs deliver immediate results with no down time. The degree of skin colouration is best assessed by a medical professional before starting these treatments as that will dictate the intensity and safety at which the lasers should be used. Lastly, Botox and filler can tighten and provide volume to fill out lines and wrinkles caused by sun damage and even act preventively by not allowing lines to form in the first place that will ultimately deepen due to sun damage over the years if left unchecked.

FORTIFY SKIN BARRIER The skin barrier acts as our shield against the external environment. If this is dry, cracked, or thin throughout the fall then we will be fighting an uphill battle heading into the winter when the air gets cold, dry, and windy. My patients often complain of red and bumpy irritated skin in the fall. Conditions such as rosacea, acne, and eczema are prevalent due to accelerated water loss and increased inflammation. It’s extremely important to treat the skin from the inside-out with food and products that balance our skin’s physiology. Consuming ample healthy fats (avocado, nuts, flax, fish, or a supplement such as Luma Glow™), while also applying skin-identical ingredients (ceramides, cholesterol, and free fatty acids) in the form of moisturizers will fortify the skin barrier to the fullest. On a broader level, the fall season brings a change in daily rhythms. There is strong research implicating the disruption of daily rhythms (known as your circadian rhythm) and the association with reduced mental performance along with higher rates of obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s, and even cancer. Therefore, it is a time to rest and sleep more as the days grow shorter to reduce cortisol levels and rejuvenate our systems on a deeper level after a summer in which we are typically more active, stay out later, and consume more alcohol – all of which are key elements to a balanced and healthy mentality. Embrace the fall as a time to repair and rejuvenate your skin, mind, and spirit so you can be the best version of yourself year round!

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TODAYMAGAZINE.CA 69


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Wayne BY JILL THAM

Thomson: GUIDING NIAGARA FALLS YESTERDAY, TODAY, AND TOMORROW

Niagara Falls City Councillor and former Mayor, Wayne Thomson believes that for a successful tourist destination three essential factors are required. “If you are going to have a tourist destination you need a casino, transportation, and a convention centre,” says Thomson. Over the last 50 years, Thomson has committed himself to making Niagara Falls the place where each year millions of tourists visit by promoting tourism and municipal projects. “We used to have the magic 100 days where the tourists came after the May long weekend until September and take a picture by the Falls before they went to New York. Then everyone would be laid off,” says Thomson. “We were not a place to stay.” Thomson knew there needed to be attractions to entice the tourists to remain in the city for longer than a day. “Marineland was one of the first places that accomplished this,” says Thomson. “John Holer, the late owner of Marineland, was responsible for 57% of the overnight stays, which was unbelievable,” says Thomson. First elected to City Council in 1968, and Mayor from 1970 to 1983, Thomson, “learned very quickly that Niagara Falls was not the industrial community it was 25, 40, 70 years ago. All the jobs we had relied so much on disappeared.” >>

TODAYMAGAZINE.CA 71


Where else can you fly a helicopter over the falls, take boat ride up to the falls, and jet boats through the rapids? “In 1991, in the middle of a deep recession, I was elected Mayor of Niagara Falls for the second time,” explains Thomson. “When I went around to different labour groups, I was criticized and asked what I was doing to create more jobs,” explains Thomson, who knew in order to improve the unemployment rate in the city the tourist industry would need to pick up the slack by attracting more visitors to Niagara Falls. Luckily, it wasn’t long before Thomson was in the right place at the right time. “I was driving in my car listening to a radio interview with Finance Minister, Floyd Laughren, who said there would be an opportunity for border towns that are affected by cross border shopping to be considered for a casino,” says Thomson, who devoted the next three years to lobbying for a Casino in Niagara Falls. Throughout the process, Thomson remained cognizant of the thoughts of the community by listening to concerns of community members and municipal polls “We had a publicist on the municipal election and results of the city poll showed 64% of the community said we need a casino. We need jobs!” recalls Thomson. In 1996, Thomson recalls people lining up down the street waiting for the doors of Casino Niagara open. Thomson is pleased by the thousands of jobs that have been created by the casinos and the benefits to the entire community. “It became a crane city of high rises. Each hotel created 2,500 jobs and that was the turning point and success of the city,” says Thomson. “We are the most fortunate municipality in Ontario because the casino gives the municipality a percentage of the winnings,” explains Thomson. “Last year they handed us $26 million dollars and I think that is going to continue.” Next, Thomson set his goals a bit higher for the city. “I have previously been the Chairman of Scotiabank Convention Centre,” says Thomson. “I worked hard and now we have a very successful Convention Centre. Convention Centres are not supposed to be financially stable, they are supposed to create rooms. The Scotiabank Centre, which was created with no debt is making a profit annually, which is highly unusual,” explains Thomson. “I worked for years on a monorail system that would go through the city,” says Thomson. “It would have gone through the hotels and to all the major attractions for convenience: especially in the winter months,” says Thomson, who was disappointed when the proposal was declined by the stakeholders. “The WeGo system, which has worked out successfully, now runs to Niagara-on-the-Lake connecting Niagara Falls to the wine regions.”

With his three major aspects accomplished, Thomson focused on sustaining the future of the tourist industry. ““Those are three of the things I worked the hardest on. What we concentrate on now is marketing the destination properly,” says Thomson. “We have 14 million people coming here and it seems to be growing. It tells you how much the tourists enjoy the beauty of the Falls and there is much to do after that.” “It is an exciting time to visit Niagara Falls,” says Thomson. “We have the zip lines going down in front of the falls, a new 5000 seat theatre, and a race car attraction,” says Thomson. “Where else can you fly a helicopter over the falls, take boat ride up to the falls, and jet boats through the rapids? All exciting and interesting things to do. We cater to everybody,” he adds. Thomson is anticipating how changes made by the Liberal Government will affect the city. “Now that cannabis has been approved it will have a huge impact,” says Thomson. “This may increase traffic coming over here because marijuana is legal in Canada.” Thomson’s desire to help others is evident in his advocacy work, often sitting on many charity and community boards. “I enjoy the social aspect of dealing with people. I drive home every day and I think I helped an individual get a new sidewalk in front of their home or I helped someone with their hydro bill,” says Thomson. “It may seem like an insignificant thing, but to them it is big. Being on City Council you have to be available, return phone calls, and find solutions to help them.” Thomson’s excitement for the job of City Councillor hasn’t diminished over the years. “I think you have to have a passion for doing this kind of work,” says Thomson. “With my background in the health department I dealt with people’s problems, concerns, and issues,” explains Thomson. “That is why it was an easy transition for me.” Tourism isn’t the only focus that Thomson has a zeal for. He is committed to advocating for lower taxes, improving infrastructure, promoting a new industrial park, adding exercise equipment to public trails, and replacing 10 municipal parks. Commitment to community initiatives has remained the core of Wayne Thomson’s philosophy throughout his long standing career in municipal politics. Thomson is proof that consistency and persistence are the keys to making sound changes and advances in Niagara and keeping the city, as Thomson calls it, “A vibrant spectacular destination.” “I get the most satisfaction out of what we have created here in this city and what opportunities still lie ahead,” says Thomson. TM


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TODAYMAGAZINE.CA 75


ORNAMENTS Over the years, many of us tend to accumulate a ton of Christmas tree ornaments, and now is the perfect time to pare down what goes on the tree and see what can be put to better use. You can display ornaments on a platter, in a pretty bowl, or in a large vase. The key is to pick colours that complement each other, or keep it all one colour and go for a mix of shiny, glitter and matte.

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NATURE Pinecones are one of natures cutest botanical creations. You can leave them au natural and display them in a bowl, or wrap each pinecone in a different colour yarn to add a bit of a pop!

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A super simple and pretty centrepiece can be as easy as draping your table with pine clippings and interspersing a winter fruit (maybe pomegranate, figs or clementine’s,), for a pop of colour. Add some tall candles in, and it will be looking magazine worthy in no time.

Think snow globe, but on a much larger scale. You can transform the inside of that cake stand into a tiny winter wonderland. Fill it with fake snow, tiny trees, maybe even some battery powered lights, and your got yourself a pretty cute centrepiece. It’s like a Christmas diorama that everyone at the table can enjoy!

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A square bowl or vase can be filled with fake cranberries and then on top of that, add in some cream coloured roses. Not only will this make a lovely centrepiece, but it will look and smell lovely for about a week afterwards.

If you like the minimalistic look, some bare branches might just do the trick. Head out on a hike (or to your backyard if you are blessed with lots of trees), and see what kind of branches you can find. Long, bare ones can make for a really impactful centerpiece when put in a tall vase.

GIFT BAGS Just like the presents, another common Christmas item that makes a lovely centrepiece is a gift bag. You can play with the size and design, but generally, the small to medium ones work best for this. Fill them with some pine and branches, and you’ll have rustic Christmas décor in no time. You can even paint your own winter scenes on the brown paper gift bags.

MASON JARS The mason jar trend is not going anywhere anytime soon, so why not embrace it for a centrepiece idea? Line up your mason jars and layer them with fake cranberries, sprigs of pine and Epson salt (makes great fake snow). You can even put some candles in every other jar to create a nice, warm glow.

WREATH Another Christmas decoration that normally goes elsewhere, a wreath, might also deserve a prime spot on your holiday table! Lie it flat on your table, and in the middle, you can put a tall serving dish, or some pillar candles of varying heights.

PRESENTS Presents don’t just have to go under the tree, they can also go in the middle of your table! Wrap some boxes in matching paper, stack them according to size, tie them all together with a ribbon, and voila, instant table centrepieces! As we said, the possibilities are truly endless! As long as you start with the basics, and keep a matching or complementary colour scheme in mind, you should be able to make something perfect for your table, that doesn’t break the budget. If flowers are more your thing, but you still want to have a DIY element to your centrepiece, make sure to keep an eye on various florists around Niagara, as many offer workshops around the holidays (and sometimes year round), that could help you with making your own floral urn, centerpiece or wreath. Check out The Watering Can (wateringcan.ca), BBBlooms (bbblooms.com), Country Basket Garden Centre (countrybasetniagara.com), the Floral Showhouse (niagaraparks.com), and Mori Gardens (morigardens.com), all of whom offer various classes throughout the year. TM


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Myths: How Stories Structure Our Thoughts By Mariana Bockarova

Little more than a year ago, I was asked to give a talk to a large gathering of the general public, discussing the topic of my choice. The audience, though ‘general’ of sorts, would be made up largely of affluent individuals, I was told – some still working, some retired, but all quite intelligent and eager to jump at the chance of debate. As I toyed around with the topic, I landed on a subject I had written about years ago: Mental health and the philosophies surrounding it. As I took the stage, readying my microphone, the strangest, most off-script question came to me:  “How many of you have ever had a dream where you were falling?” The audience raised their hands sporadically. “Look around,” I said, “if you don’t

know each other, if you’ve led distinctly different lives, if you have different thoughts, beliefs, and values in your lives, how is it possible that you’ve all had the same dream?” In effect, if you’ve ever woken up and wondered about whatever it was that had emotionally jolted you whilst in slumber, it only takes a simple Google search to discover that the strangest of dreams that are drummed up by our subconscious are not only odd, but significantly more common than you could ever have imagined. If we lead such distinct, individual lives, how is it possible that when we enter into sleep, the same themes emerge, regardless of country, religion, or clout? >>

TODAYMAGAZINE.CA 79


why ‘ Butdoes

knowing the reason for a break-up matter so much?

According to Jordan Peterson’s book, “Maps of Meaning: The Architecture of Belief ”, the reason our dreams may be so similar (though I am extrapolating from his basic ideas here) is perhaps because, as humans, just as we are hardwired to see the world, physically, we so too are hardwired to see the world psychologically – through stories and myths, which are filled with respective meaning and symbolism. Indeed, the universal themes in myths that emerge seem to reflect certain universal themes we encounter – like conception, birth, tragedy, death and rebirth, themes which exist from Buddhism and Christianity through to ancient mythology – regardless of our walk of life. Differing from the scientific way we reason about the world (which is largely based on describing phenomenon, creating hypotheses around that phenomenon for when we change certain variables leading to that phenomenon, and testing it out, then describing the phenomenon and approving upon the process again), myths, on the other hand, according to Peterson, define behavior: What we should do and how we should act. But why might it be so important to understand stories in such a way that is similar to

the way we are hard-wired for sight or sound? Perhaps it is because the idea of myths and stories give us a strong and foundational sense of cause and effect that goes unparalleled except through our own actions in the world, which could be too costly to bear. The power of myth, here, is that we don’t have to act in follow; we are safeguarded from the perils that could be, and that perhaps have been, traversed by successful and unsuccessful others, as per the philosopher David Hume’s explanation of the need for stories in our lives. In this sense, myths and stories, while perhaps hardwired within us, allow us to learn, deeply, what certain actions have certain consequences, so that we may avoid troubles and move towards acting in a way in which we ‘win’. A particular domain which highlights this well is in the romantic sphere, often rife with hurt feelings and spurned partners; sometimes rejected with great reason, and at times, with none. What I have found, many times, from pained students, clients, and friends, who have similarly been spurned, is a deep regret, a deep sadness, a deep need to know why.  Those who do best after a break up, however, are generally the ones who know why; who have a cause an effect,

knowing what they or their partners have done to lead to the break up. Those who do the worst are those who are given no why, no explanation, no cause. In other words, they’ve been given no story to help them see any sense of cause and effect; they are left in unchartered territory. In cases like this, wherein a spurned partner receives no story as to why the relationship has ended, not only is the pain massively prolonged, but the obvious advice is to move on by yourself, lack of coherent narrative aside. The issue with that, from a ‘stories’ perspective, however, is that when someone is rejected and refused honest answers about why the relationship ended, they are left depleted of their and the advice to ‘get your own closure’ infuses the notion that the person who has just been rejected is now responsible for moving past a decision they do not fully understand (and therefore cannot psychologically reconcile), and did not make (and are thus insufficiently prepared to navigate). The devastation that comes from a break up is thus not only caused by the partnership that is lost, but also by the lack of clarity, the lack of story, around why the relationship was dissolved. But why does knowing the reason for a break-up matter so much? >>


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Writing about the relationship in this way, over the course of 4-days, has been shown to reduce the emotional suffering that can come from a relationship ending, perhaps because you are re-writing your own. Inherently, because we are hardwired for stories, we also understand the world through stories in our psyche, ourselves: We create a past, present, and future, and navigate our world through this cognitive structuring. Most healthy intimate relationships generally have a good sense of where they’ve been, where they stand, and where they are heading. Similarly, within the story structure, we have a good sense of who we are and how we feel within each part of the story, although this can change depending on our current mood when reflecting. When a one-sided break-up occurs, however, it traumatically interrupts the story for the person on the receiving end, particularly if the break-up was unexpected. By knowing the reasons why the relationship isn’t working, the initiator of the break-up has already sorted out his or her story. However, the person being broken up with is thrust from being in safe psychological territory into an abyss, particularly if the relationship was seemingly safe, secure, and serious. A similar analogy can be made, for instance, when one discovers his or her partner has transgressed the sanctity of the relationship. When given closure, we can re-structure our past, present, and future in a healthy way, through understanding what went wrong and reconfiguring our story accordingly. When we are refused closure, however, attempts to understand what happened flood our conception of our past, present, and future. We are left to wonder, ‘what did I do?’, ‘how could someone I thought I knew so well do this to me?’ and ‘how can I trust myself to make future decisions when my past decisions have caused me so much pain?’. Without answers of why a break-up occurred, the way we view our reality through our past-present-future story structure can become warped, because we lose our sense of what we know about who we are and the trust that we have in our decisions. While this is generally mediated by things like personality, social comparison, available others, attachment styles, and mood, not receiving closure can nevertheless be a deeply traumatic experience. In cases such as these, I often tell my clients that they may find peace in confronting their ex-partner’s hurtful actions by writing him or her a letter without expecting a response, which they may or may not choose to send. A specific type of writing, research shows, can be particularly effective in lessening post-dissolution distress: Examining the relationship through a

redemptive lens, wherein one focuses on the positive outcomes that arise from a break-up, or a negative event. Writing about the relationship in this way, over the course of 4-days, has been shown to reduce the emotional suffering that can come from a relationship ending, perhaps because you are re-writing your own. In fact, this may be why ‘popcorn therapy’, as it is known, can be so effective in salvaging relationships: According to research published in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, exposing a couple to stories in the form of movies may just be a trick to saving a marriage. The research, comprised of a study designed to address gaps in existing research exploring the efficacy of skill-based programs which help prevent divorce, randomly assigned 174 engaged and newlywed couples to a 4-session, 15-hr small-group intervention which taught conflict and problem resolution (known as ‘PREP’) or skills in acceptance, support, and empathy (known as ‘CARE’), or a 1hr session on relationship awareness (‘RA’) where couples received a list of 47 movies with an intimate relationship as a major plot focus and instructed to watch one movie per week together and discuss 11 open-ended questions about the movie and how it relates to their relationship as a couple for about 45 minutes following each movie. The results of the efficacy of each program was then compared to couples receiving no treatment at all. The research found that couples receiving no treatment at all divorced at a rate of 24% compared to couples who completed PREP, CARE, or RA, who divorced at a lesser rate of 11%, regardless of the intervention. This means, whether one received specialized training or simply discussed the stories presented on movies on the list, a couple’s chance of dissolving the relationship did not differ; they were both 13% lower than couples who received no intervention. What’s encouraging about these psychological theories surrounding stories and their importance for our psychological structuring of the world is mostly that if you want to change a direction in your life – whether that’d be your break up, your relationship, or indeed, even your dreams, you all but have to imagine it as though a tale - not only then will your story can change for the better, but you will build a new one. TM


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GET REAL//COLUMN

FOOD, SUMMER HOLIDAY AND THE REAL ESTATE TRIPLE THREAT It’s not often that we associate food with real estate. Although the common myth of putting an apple pie in the oven when showcasing your home to a potential buyer is often debunked by presumed experts, there is much more than just a link between food and real estate. As a proud foodie myself, there is nothing more captivating than a night out with family and friends enjoying the summer holiday warmth, sipping wine and grazing through a number of delicious appetizers or barbecue. Just as stimulating is the ambience of the setting and the staging of the tableau. Memories are made in such settings and retained by all of the senses, not solely those of taste alone. Which is why, real estate, and more specifically, the rooms that offer value to your home, are often those that optimize an elaborate kitchen, an outdoor entertaining area, poolside decks, or even elegant dining rooms. The principles of real estate, like the principles of a good meal, revolve around pleasing all of our sensory applications. It’s not enough that we eat good food unless we find ourselves in good company in a setting that reflects the mood, atmosphere and even the menu of the event. When a potential buyer strolls through your home on a weekend open house during the holiday, they are projecting such expectations or associations onto your home in real time. Will this kitchen be able to host parties? Does this open concept floor plan accommodate a family reunion? Is this recreation area grand enough to entertain the guys for the first weekend of the football season? Therefore, your primary real estate investment, primarily your home, possesses the potential to sell your home before it is even listed. I have sold numerous homes to buyers who were participants or attendees at events in the showcased home. They were practically sold by these memories, or associations with food related events, even before seeing the lawn sign or a single interior pic. So if you are thinking of selling your home, how can you maximize your home’s potential selling persona through food and the holiday spirit? If you are indulging your senses this holiday season, be sure to capture your private food festivals at home on camera. Take pics, selfies, and even full group gatherings to showcase the capability of your home to a larger audience. Be sure to include what your kitchen, per say, is capable of creating, what happiness it can bring to others and yourself, and what potential it may provide to future visitors or owners. If, perchance, you are considering leasing your house, or a portion of it in the future, why not renovate it to appease a renter’s market. Make the bedrooms appear as hotel room comfort zones, or the backyard an escapable holiday oasis. Above all else, be sure to collect the memories in some way if solely for the purpose of crystalizing the inherent value of your home to you and your loved ones.

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BY GABRIELLE TIEMAN-LEE

JIM DIODATI RUNNING FOR MAYOR OF NIAGARA FALLS How would you summarize your political platform for the upcoming election? This next phase of council for me will be about following through on strategic priorities of council.  Some of the big lofty goals take time, effort and persistence.  Things like the new South Niagara Hospital will be the largest investment by the Province of Ontario in the Niagara Region—ever.  It is slated to be an investment of 1-2 billion dollars by the time it is complete.  A project of this magnitude takes years of planning, lobbying and focused effort to keep it moving forward.  Projects like these can easily stall out, and they often do, with changes in government like we just had at the province.  What people may not realize, is that keeping this on the priority list for the government of the day, and coordinating with the many organizations involved is still a main priority and focus and needs to continue to be for the council ahead in order to see this to fruition.  Residents have told me time and time again that fixing our roads, and upgrading sewer and drainage throughout the City is important to them.  I intend to continue with these and other major projects, like keeping the GO train on track for daily service to our City by 2023, working with Ryerson University on an innovative partnership to bring jobs and students to our downtown, and working with CN on re-routing trains outside of our City, as we look ahead to the next 4 years.   What is your long term plan and/or goal for Niagara Falls? My long term plan or goal for Niagara Falls is to leave it in a better place than I found it.  Many years ago when, as a student, I left Niagara Falls to go to university, I remember feeling like students were supposed to go away and learn and then find work and job opportunities elsewhere, in some other city or province.  That was then.  This is now.  The tide is changing.  It is my goal that our young people might go, get their education and come

back to Niagara Falls with excitement to be able to participate in the opportunities that are here now and growing. We want people to be able to stay close to their families and friends and participate in new, exciting opportunities for unique jobs, business and growth right here. Do you believe your time battling Hodgkin’s Lymphoma has better equipped you to understand the health care system in Niagara? What have your learned? Yes, since being diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma it has better equipped me to understand the health care system in Niagara, 100%.  I have been a customer and I know first-hand that we have exceptional care at Niagara Health.  Under the leadership of Dr. Kevin Smith, health care in Niagara has grown leaps and bounds which I feel is directly related to the affiliation with the Hamilton Health Sciences network.  You have been working through social media campaigns to entice Ellen DeGeneres to come to Niagara. How do you believe this kind of media/celebrity attention can affect the city? Yes I do feel that this type of positive attention can affect Niagara Falls in exciting ways.  In the past when there has been international attention on Niagara Falls it has only positively affected our city.  Big shows like LIVE with Kelly and Ryan, New Years Eve broadcasts with big name performers like Keith Urban and when Nik Wallenda famously walked a wire over the falls have brought more attention to our city than millions of dollars worth of marketing might have.  Things like this keep us on people’s radars around the world.  We are one of the most well-known cities in the world!  Niagara Falls is achieving good things when it comes to tourism for this reason; but there is potential to be great!  I feel that we still have a long way to go.  For example, Orlando, (a city built on a swamp, no less) sees 60 million visitors per year, and Las

Vegas, in the middle of the desert, welcomes 40 million people per year, compared to our 14 million visitors. We have the falls!  With the natural wonder as our backdrop and with our operators continually elevating the quality of offerings in Niagara Falls, the buffet of fun and entertainment that we offer here is only expanding!  I am committed to keeping that the focus of attention.  You recently tweeted about the city’s new designation as a Bee City in Canada; with another term as mayor, how will you ensure the city continues to improve environmentally?   Improving environmentally is an ongoing process and can be illustrated in hundreds of ways, from planning our City, to the environmentally conscious products we use in works projects and more.  It is hard to just choose a few, but I will talk about a couple of the initiatives that we are leading the way with when it comes to environmental advancement in our City.  I was passionate about bringing forward an idea that Council passed a motion on, which was “remove a tree, replace it with 2 or 3.”  Though the motion was passed, we still don’t have an official policy.  That needs to be next.  I am committed to seeing that through in the next term of Council and diligently ensuring our tree canopy expands throughout Niagara Falls.  Along with our Bee City designation has come the establishment of pollinator gardens.  Another way we are achieving great things is with the quality of our water.  We have some of the most highly regulated water anywhere that consistently is a top performer in rigorous annual testing by the Ministry of the Environment Conservation and Parks, as well as by the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) often exceeding the Ontario Drinking Water Quality Management Standards.  In other words, I am proud to say Niagara Falls has some of the cleanest, most drinkable and best tasting fresh water, anywhere. TM TODAYMAGAZINE.CA 85


TRULY LOCAL ADVICE//COLUMN

Building Blocks for your Future Learning to Invest in Your 30’s Welcome to the 30’s! After the heydays of school, life tends to become increasingly more mundane – I mean complex. Really though, in your early 30s you’ll likely take on more responsibilities and the accompanying financial obligations. Think about it. Marriages, new jobs, new(er) cars and loans, rent or mortgages, babies, maternity leaves, daycare costs, and vacations. The list goes on. You have more to do, and more to pay for, and those competing financial priorities can be confusing. You no doubt have questions about your finances and how to optimize (or prioritize) your investments. • • • •

How do I pay down student debt while paying rent and saving for a home? Do I listen to my parents and drop money in a GIC at the end of the year or do I explore more complex investing? How much do I invest in retirement when I’m about to take a maternity leave? How do I balance my future needs and wants with my current mess of responsibilities?

Most of us have a lot of questions at this Jengaesque time of our lives. We want to stack our blocks higher and higher to reach our goals, but it often means moving things around. Whether those things are income, goals, investments, or expenses – it can be hard to know which block to move and when to move it to keep your money growing for future success. My primary advice is this: trust your wealth advisor to help you strategize. Your parents may have guided you to this point, but its time to move onward and upward. A wealth advisor will help you do several important things as you navigate your changing life.

IDENTIFY AND ASSESS YOUR SHORT AND LONG TERM GOALS. How long do you want to drive your mom’s 1999 Corolla? How much money do you need to live if you retire at the age of 60 like your dad did? CALCULATE AND ASSESS YOUR FINANCIAL PROFILE. What is your cash flow and what are your expenses? How will your cash flow and expenses change in the future? How much can you put away today to grow for tomorrow? EVALUATE YOUR INVESTMENT POTENTIAL. Can your savings add up to meet your goals? If not, what can you do to align the two? How can you stop banking on your parents’ money to get you through? IDENTIFY YOUR RISK TOLERANCE AND PORTFOLIO PREFERENCES. You have a few years until you retire, so do you want to up the ante and be a bit more aggressive with your investing? You’re in a growth stage now, but when are you moving into your preservation stage?

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FIGURE OUT HOW TO MAXIMIZE GOVERNMENT GRANTS AND OPTIONS. Are you investing in RESPs, RRSPs, TFSAs, RDSPs, or any other government-created acronyms? Did you know you can still invest on a limited budget? REGULARLY ASSESS YOUR LIFE AND FINANCIAL SITUATION, YOUR INVESTMENTS, AND YOUR GOALS TO KEEP THEM ALIGNED. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? What does your perfect retirement day look like? What do you need to make it through today – can you picture living without that in the future? Remember that you may be a full-fledged “adult” in your 30s, but you don’t have to do it alone. You don’t need to bank on an inheritance to cover your debt or retirement either. Working with a wealth advisor helps you create a steady stack of blocks for your future, even when one or two shift. With some trusted advice, a solid plan and frequent monitoring and updating, you can win this game.

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BY GABRIELLE TIEMAN-LEE

VICTOR PIETRANGELO RUNNING FOR NIAGARA FALLS CITY COUNCILLOR How would you summarize your political platform for the upcoming election? I have been serving as a member of the Niagara Falls City Council for the past 24 years – since I was 26 years old – and I have always enjoyed being involved in shaping and molding the future of our city. Throughout my time on city council, I have always brought to the table a sensible and grounded approach to problem solving while addressing the needs of the community in a fiscally responsible manner. It is my hope that I will continue to serve the needs of the community. What do you believe has been your biggest accomplishment as a city councilor, to date? I have always believed in taking an active leadership role on City Council. Even when I was in my twenties, I had leadership roles with city council; and that was at a time when the next closest person to me [on council] was over double my age. Currently, I am the Chairman of: • The Finance Committee [or over 12 years] – which most notably approves the city budgets. Currently the city is down almost $11 million dollars in debt in this term of council alone. • The Committee of Adjustments – which deals with minor variances and land severance applications • The Park in the City Committee – which handles beautification projects and environmental issues • Sleep Cheap/WonderFalls Pass – I was tasked with refreshing the Sleep Cheap program. And I asked myself, what do the people on Sleep Cheap do? So I came up with the idea of the WonderFalls pass – which is 10 attractions in the Falls for $10 dollars [including Niagara’s Journey Behind the Falls, a trip up the Skylon Tower, Screaming tunnels Haunted House and others]. 100 per cent of the funds that are raised

from this program goes towards the purchase of accessible playground equipment. In 2018, we are adding 10 different pieces of equipment to 10 different parks – without utilizing a single tax dollar. I have also worked on; • The project which renamed the Highway 420 to the Niagara Veteran’s Memorial Highway • Lead the process for the new Community Centre – which continues to be our busiest building within the city • Lead the preservation and purchase of Fireman’s Park and the expansion of Ker Park. One of my goals is to create an entirely accessible area within Fireman’s Park where you have swings and merry-go-rounds and things of that nature that people in wheelchairs can enjoy. What are your long term plans and/or goal for Niagara Falls? Niagara Falls needs to follow through on some of our major initiatives; namely, the construction of a new South Niagara hospital and the expansion of the GO Train into Niagara Falls. Both of these initiatives will lead to greater prosperity and more opportunities will be created as a result. Do you have a hope/dream you would like to make reality that citizens should know about? We need to build relationships so we see Niagara Falls grow as a city. I want Niagara Falls to be a place where our children aren’t forced to leave once they grow up and a place where they can find opportunity within. We need to create an environment which is appealing to investors who can diversify our industry; working with other levels of government to create an environment where we can utilize our major transportation corridors to diversify and attract more industry is possible. We can’t leave all of our eggs in one basket – with automotive and

tourism. In doing this, hopefully you grow as a Region. Creating partnerships with post-secondary educators and advocating for a medical school in Niagara Falls would attract opportunity. We need to advance our medical facilities to become a leader in the province. Then we can attract more innovation and partnerships within the medical field. Right now, I think kids find greater opportunity if they leave the Region; we need to entice them to stay. There is no better quality of life than in this Region. You recently proposed to the Niagara Region and the province to support a fully functional Highway 405; please elaborate on how this highway would change the Region for the better. Right now, Highway 405 is not fully functional. Any traffic heading north on the QEW from Niagara Falls cannot access Highway 405; similarly, our traffic heading west on Highway 405 cannot access the QEW south. This design flaw needlessly forces traffic (including large trucks) onto local roads. Having a fully functional Highway 405 would diminish traffic on city roads, diminish noise for residents, diminish costs associated with maintenance and reconstruction of local roads and allow traffic to reach their destination quicker. It is a no brainer. With so many changes happening within council throughout the Niagara Region - with eight incumbents not seeking re-election - how do you believe this election will change the region? Everyone has a different view on how the Region should operate and be governed. In the end, a unified approach is always the best. The best example of this is when the Region spoke in unity regarding the expansion of the Go Train in Niagara. Unified approaches that benefit the Region as a whole should be the focus. TM TODAYMAGAZINE.CA 87


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// H E R E S E E D O

Out & About FALL HANDMADE MARKET

SEPTEMBER 14 AND 15 13TH STREET WINERY The 8th Annual Fall HandMade Market will present 140 curated artisans from across Ontario, Québec and Canada’s East Coast offering handcrafted jewellery, bags, fashion accessories, home décor, canning & preserves, natural bath & body products, original art, designer & children’s clothing, textiles, wood and leather, hand bound books, ceramics, candles, food and so much more! Entry fee is $6. More info at handmademarket.ca/

ANNUAL BEGONIA DISPLAY SEPTEMBER 15 TO OCTOBER 21 NIAGARA FLORAL SHOWHOUSE Remarkable Reiger Begonias and a wonderful mix of fall colours combining displays of coleus, tropical foliage plants are featured in this annual display. Entry is $5. More info at niagaraparks.com/events/event/ reiger-begonia-show

NIAGARA FALLS NIGHT OF ART SEPTEMBER 20 NIAGARA FALLS HISTORY MUSEUM It’s the biggest night of the year for the Niagara Falls arts and culture community. This free night includes live music, art installations created specifically for this show, dozens of artists and artisans selling handmade pieces, food trucks, alcohol, and much, much more. More information at niagarafallsmuseums.ca/events/calendar.

5TH ANNUAL GRAND CANADIAN STEAMPUNK EXPOSITION

LISTINGS FOR ENTERTAINMENT. ART. CULTURE.

SEPTEMBER 21 TO 23 FORT GEORGE A grand exposition of Canadian Steampunk grandeur, a festival of epic proportions, sites and sounds to entertain and delight...all this and more. Three days of Canadian steampunk amazement and astonishment in southern Ontario in the Niagara Region, featuring a night time concert (performers to be announced)! A largely-outdoor Steampunk festival within a War of 1812 fort, with activities, presentations and workshops for all ages and interests. For more information, please visit canadiansteampunk.com. >> TODAYMAGAZINE.CA 89


MEMPHIS GOSPEL HOUR OCTOBER 24 GREG FREWIN THEATRE The Memphis Gospel Hour was first introduced at the 2017 Niagara Falls Elvis Festival and was a huge success. The show is inspirational, uplifting and incorporates Gospel styled quartet vocal harmonies, heartfelt moments, some great humour and many surprises. The show includes Elvis, Johnny Cash and Jerry Lee Lewis Tribute Artists, as well as young teenage Elvis, performed by Connor Russo, who has won many Youth Elvis Festival Contests in North America. More information at gregfrewintheatre.com/ memphis-gospel-hour.html

NIAGARA GRAPE AND WINE FESTIVAL SEPTEMBER 21 TO 30 VARIOUS SPOTS THROUGHOUT NIAGARA In Niagara, we celebrate the harvest by throwing the largest wine festival & street parade in Canada! Enjoy 100+ events at the 67th Niagara Grape and Wine Festival. Montebello Park serves as the festival hub, where you can enjoy live music and activities for the whole family. More information at niagarawinefestival.com/wine-festival

NIAGARA FALLS OKTOBERFEST OCTOBER 5 SCOTIABANK CENTRE Enjoy this fun filled event, as Niagara Falls Oktoberfest is rolling out the barrel for the second year in a row to celebrate all things German. Beer. Bratwurst. Music. Dancing. There will be live entertainment all weekend long, as well as more than 20 premium imported and domestic beers and wines on tap. And don’t forget the array of delicious German food, including pork and chicken schnitzel, beer braised sausage, German potato salad, and more! More information at fallsconventions.com/events/ niagara-falls-oktoberfest-ltd/

BATTLE OF QUEENSTON HEIGHTS COMMEMORATIVE TOURS OCTOBER 6 AND 7 Join the Friends of Fort George and Parks Canada as they commemorate the 206th anniversary of the Battle of Queenston Heights, and the death of Major General Sir Isaac Brock, saviour of Upper Canada. Brock’s Monument will be open from 10 am to 5 pm all weekend. There will be guided tours of the battle site, and a chance to climb up the 235 steps to the top of Brock’s Monument. For more information, call the Friends of Fort George at 905-468-6621 or email admin@friendsoffortgeorge.ca.

THOROUGHLY MODERN MILLIE OCTOBER 11 TO 18 FALLSVIEW CASINO RESORT Six-time Tony® Award-winning musical Thoroughly Modern Millie will take you back to the height of the Jazz Age in New York City, when “moderns” were raising their hemlines, bobbing their hair, and rewriting the rules of love. This hilarious musical comedy features spectacular dance routines and great songs. Information on tickets, dates and times available at fallsviewcasinoresort.com/entertainment/event/thoroughly-modern-millie

HALLOWEEN OWL HOWL OCTOBER 26 NIAGARA GLEN The Canadian Raptor Conservancy will host a meet-and-greet with owls and teach guests various owl calls. Admission is free. More information at niagaraparks.com

ROCKY HORROR SHOW LIVE OCTOBER 26 TO NOVEMBER 3 OH CANADA EH THEATRE Celebrating their 16th annual production, Oh Canada Eh Theatre proudly presents Richard O’Brien’s The Rocky Horror Show! Don’t dream it, be it at the Oh Canada Eh? Theatre. This is an adult only show. Show tickets start at $29.95. More information at ohcanadaeh.com/shows/default/view/15/

ANNUAL CRYTHAMTHMUM DISPLAY OCTOBER 27 TO NOVEMBER 18 FLORAL SHOWHOUSE The diversity of the Chrysanthemum’s colour and form can be truly appreciated during a visit to this show, which features shades of pinks, yellows and bronzes. The displays are a combination of traditional bush varieties, cascading varieties in baskets, pillars and pyramids. Equally impressive are the single stem exhibition types, some with individual bloom diameters of over 8” across. The majority of these varieties are grown for exhibition purposes only and are traditionally not available in the commercial market. Admission to the Floral Showhouse is $5. More information at niagaraparks.com/events/event/annual-chrysanthemum-display >>


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FRIGHTMARE IN THE FALLS OCTOBER 27 TO 28 SCOTIABANK CONVENTION CENTRE For two days only, Frightmare in the Falls, takes over the Scotiabank Convention Centre for the most intimate and interactive Horror Festival in North America. The event will feature everything horror, including memorabilia, panels, celebrities, movies, autographs, displays, movie cars, cosplay, special effects props & much more! For more information on the show and tickets, please visit frightmareinthefalls.com/

WINTER FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS NOVEMBER 3 TO JANUARY 31 QUEEN VICTORIA PARK, NIAGARA FALLS Be sure you explore the amazing glowing light displays that make up the Ontario Power Generation Winter Festival of Lights. Each winter the festival captures the magic of the holiday season. In addition to the breathtaking displays, the Winter Festival of Lights also has several events taking place each season including Opening Ceremonies in Queen Victoria Park, Laser Light Shows, weekly fireworks presented by Fallsview Casino, the Fallsview Sound & Light Show on the Oakes Hotel, the Deck the Falls Holiday Walking Tour, nightly Falls Illumination, Festival of Stars Concerts, the Sparkle Lighting Awards, Niagara Falls New Years Eve Concert & the Niagara Falls Icewine Festival. More information on all the events happening during the festival, please visit: wfol.com/

THANK YOU CANADA TOUR NOVEMBER 4 MERIDAN CENTRE Canadian figure skating superstars Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir along with Patrick Chan, Kaetlyn Osmond, Elvis Stojko, Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford, and more bring their new figure skating show Thank You Canada  to the Meridian Centre in Downtown St. Catharines. For more information, please visit the Meridian Centre website at meridiancentre.com/ events/detail/thank-you-canada-tour

CHRISTMAS CARD WORKSHOP NOVEMBER 10 MACKENZIE PRINTERY & NEWSPAPER MUSEUM Create your own unique Christmas cards this season using one of the historical presses at the printer. Leave with a dozen cards made by you! Admission is $7, and event takes place from 1 to 3. More information available at niagaraparks.com/events/event/christmas-card-workshop/

Rotary Clubs of Niagara Region Mega TV Auction

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November 29,30 December 1 2018 on-line viewing and bidding will start on the Wednesday November 21, 2018

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BY JILL THAM

PHOTO CREDIT: lightwiretheater.com PHOTO CREDIT: facebook.com/LightwireTheater

PHOTO CREDIT: facebook.com/LightwireTheater

PHOTO CREDIT: facebook.com/LightwireTheater

Magical is the word used by David Denson, Vice President of Entertainment and Booking for the Mendelson Entertainment Group. Denson was running a large performing arts centre in Dallas, Texas when he met entertainment legend, Barry Mendelson. “I had become acquainted with Barry and fell in love with Lightwire the moment he introduced me to them,” says Denson. “I began booking them in my venue right away and brought them back every year for several years.” Lightwire Theater creators, Ian Carney and Corbin Popp, wanted to combine theatre with technology. The idea for the Theater was created after they discovered a product called electroluminescent wire or “el wire.” These thin copper wires, covered in phosphor, create the perfect addition to costumes and props that take theatre to a higher level. “There are other groups who make some similar use of technology and light, but mostly as enhancement for dance choreography,” says Denson. “No one tells stories the way Lightwire does.” Recycled household items are used when designing costumes and props. The result is a spectacular show of movement and light. “Their use of light and dark can really surprise an audience in delightful ways,” says Denson. “Little ones enjoy the story and the comical nature of the characters who feel familiar to them. Adults tend to be delighted because they can understand the mechanics of what’s happening, but they still manage to be surprised by what the show has up its sleeve.” Lightwire Theater embodies many of the secrets to success held by Producer Barry Mendelson, television producer and CEO of Mendelson Entertainment Group. “Hard work. Hard work. Hard work,” says Mendelson. “Early on I made the commitment in my life to be defined by my work.” Mendelson, with a longstanding career in the entertainment industry, has many accomplishments to be proud of. “I was hired at the age of 26 by Jack Kent Cook, the owner of the Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Kings and the Los Angeles Forum,” says Mendelson. “Mr. Cook was the foremost entrepreneur in sports at the time and being able to learn from him gave me a wealth of knowledge

and experience in the marketing and promotion of sports,” says Mendelson. “He was the one that clearly showed me that sports were entertainment.” For 50 years Mendelson has been accumulating accolades and high points in his career. “We sold 87,500 tickets for the Rolling Stones – the largest audience for an indoor concert. Also, we sold 26,511 tickets to the New Orleans Jazz and the LA Lakers – the largest crowd to attend an NBA game at the time and the first NBA game to sell over 25,000 tickets. Also, when Larry Bird scored 60 points – the highest of his career – in a game I promoted in New Orleans,” says Mendelson. With Mendelson’s success, he is proud to be able to assist others. His biggest accomplishment is establishing a scholarship fund in the name of his sister. The scholarship has provided college funding for 29 individuals. Mendelson encourages others to strive for their dreams in the entertainment industry. “Pursue them with vigor and you’ll never have any regrets in life,” says Mendelson. “I think it’s important for young people to put themselves out there and search out opportunities. Offer to volunteer, anything to get your foot in the door. Enthusiasm counts for a lot in this business,” adds Mendelson. “To be a young kid from Western, NY, and grow up and eventually be hired to be in charge of all the entertainment at Madison Square Garden was, for me, going to the mountain top,” says Mendelson. “I was born in Rochester, NY and my family was from Buffalo. I spent my early years on summer holidays in Crystal Beach, Ontario which I enjoyed immensely. I’ve always had a fondness for the Niagara Region and consider it my home.” On December 7, 2018, the Lightwire Theater will be performing at the First Ontario Performing Arts Centre in St. Catharines. “We pride ourselves in bringing theater to adults and children who can come together and both really enjoy it. That’s the dying thing these days, something that parents and kids can do together and have a good time,” says Denson. “Get your tickets before they are all gone!” For more information or to buy tickets visit firstontariopac.ca/Online. TM TODAYMAGAZINE.CA 95


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TODAY’S PEOPLE

SHARING THE LAUGHS, CELEBRATIONS AND NEW BEGINNINGS.

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5 1. REMEMBERING NYAE’ MILLS Debra Attenborough & Amy Gilbert, NF Art Gallery, accepting a $4100 donation cheque from Jeff & Lynette Bavington, Hudson College, Toronto, with Nyae’s mother, Stephanie Mills & Aunt Sandy Mills. 2. TD NIAGARA JAZZ FESTIVAL, SIMCOE PARK Emcee Laura Fernandez (Jazz.FM 91.1) with TD NJF Executive Director Juliet Dunn 3. THE NIAGARA CHAMBER CHALLENGE Cup Winner Mike Knapp, Board Member of the Welland Chamber with Cup Sponsor PenFinancial Representative Rhonda Taylor 4. PRESENTING THIS YEAR’S BURSARY RECIPIENTS Mayor Wayne Reddekop Dolores Fabiano, Executive Director of the South Niagara Chambers of Commerce, along with Greater Fort Erie Chamber President, Jonathan George. Also in Photo, Joyce Morrocco, Dean Demizio, Caitlyn MacInnis, Samantha Meli, Gabriel Demizio, Laura Kim, Payton Midgley, Kendell Perchaluk, Jakob Schulz, Noah Desmarais, Holly Smith & Barb Hopkins 5. THE PORT COLBORNE-WAINFLEET CHAMBER OF COMMERCE’S LOBSTERS N’ LAUGH Server from Whiskey Run Golf Club 6. GREATER FOR ERIE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE GOLF TOURNAMENT THE DRIVE FORE BUSINESS Wayne Gates, Johnathan George and teammates. TODAYMAGAZINE.CA 97


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