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New math game makes learning easy as 123
IN THE MAPLES McMichael brings art of the screen goddess to Canada
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he icons of pop culture have a way of becoming so integrated into your life you presume them to be part of the natural landscape. And though you may never have even met them, when they’re gone you feel the hollowness of loss as acutely as if they had been permanent fixtures in your inner circle.
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Marilyn’s influence a study in reality
NEWS - FUN: Name that drill
Vaughan woman gets nod in TTC naming contest
DINING: Liz likes Our Thai
Local restaurant gets thumbs-up for authenticity
SPORTS: Finding fields for dreams
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On the cover: “Marilyn in the Maples” illustration by Eric McMillan, using image of “Twisted Maple” by Tom Thomson and photo of Marilyn Monroe by Milton H. Greene.
Fascinating study on the nature and dynamics of reality, that. Tragic endings have a way of further entrenching popular figures into the consciousness of a society. Michael Jackson. Anna Nicole Smith. Lady Diana. Kurt Cobain. John Lennon. Elvis Presley. They live on, as much through the will of a traumatized fan base that cannot let them go as it might be due to an enduring imprint they left upon the societies that knew them. Popular, yes, and arguably iconic in their own realms. But none of these possessed the transcendent aura that allowed them to permeate all strata of popular culture quite the way Marilyn Monroe did — and does. (Except, ironically perhaps, John F. Kennedy.) Where I grew up, American filmdom, though prominent, was not the primary entertainment source, nor was it considered a particularly compelling art form. And Marilyn Monroe’s death in 1962 came before I was old enough to have willingly integrated her into my world in any meaningful way; gone before I had learned the silent language referenced in the sly grins men would exchange whenever her name came up; gone before I had yet figured out why boys who were given to passing around ill-gotten pictures of scantily clad women in the school yard valued hers so very highly. But I came to know her through the years nonetheless. She has been there — elusive, but there — if not in substance then at least in essence: perhaps no more than an afterimage, as though she had turned the corner just as I was looking up; perhaps as subtle as the hint of a certain perfume on the evening air that one can’t quite identify but knows on some level who it belongs to anyway. Beyond the sexual overtones, the glamour and the tragedy, there was a presence you identified with, and riddles that dared you to try unravelling. She transcended place, so that she was resident both in the unreachable echelon of the ideal proposed by Hollywood and in the humbler surroundings of your imperfect reality. No other departed pop idol has risen to this level of mystique. Mari-
Dan Hoddinott Managing Editor lyn has remained in society with exceedingly greater decorum than, say, Anna Nicole Smith. She has allowed us to move on while leaving behind a fragrance that both pleases and mystifies. If pop culture and iconic worship is a study in reality, then the rather engaging Marilyn exhibits on display at the McMichael in Kleinburg can be considered a study in art. You can’t visit the McMichael without encountering the mystical presence of the Group of Seven. It is from here that their iconic canvases, like oracles, speak to successive generations of Canadians. Imagine the experience wrought when presences as powerful as those two meet! Our cover this month salutes just that convergence. Using visual tools of the day to manipulate iconic images from both timelines, Eric McMillan has produced “Marilyn in the Maples”, a startling interpretation of this curious juxtaposition of film and canvas, and of American and Canadian cultural influence. Art is patently art when it engages, when it unsettles, when it compels you to place yourself in a viewed scene, or when it commands reflection upon your own journey within the context of the piece you are pondering. On one level, revisiting the lost glamour of a screen siren whose candle burned out long ago will give you an opportunity to not only admire but to relive, to remember. On another level, the framed images may seem like looking glasses, where mysteries lurk in the reflections cast. And the faint scent of perfume wafting on the air may be from a lady who just turned the corner, or... MARCH 2011 VAUGHAN ToDAY
joshua freeman/vaughan today
APP DEVELOPER Peter Lacalamita with his in-house product testing team — Johnny, 9, and Miranda, 12 — at home in Woodbridge.
Lots of POP in new app By Joshua Freeman
ith iPad in hand, waiting for an app to download, Peter Lacalamita seems unhappy about the speed of his WIFI connection. “It’s strange,” he says, his brow furrowing slightly with disapproval. “It should be faster.” He might be more patient with another app, but he knows how long this one should take to download. He should, too. He created it. After years working as a graphic designer, the Woodbridge resident recently channelled his creative forces into a new passion: a colourful math game called 123 POP. It’s his first stab at creating an application for Apple’s hand-held devices. And so far the results are impressive. When the 123 POP logo finally materializes on his screen, his fingers set about tapping and sliding over the surface, eager to demonstrate the mechanics of the little game that has been downloaded about 2,000 times since it debuted in Apple’s App Store in November. “For my first app out, I think that was great VAUGHAN ToDAY MARCH 2011
for me,” Lacalamita says. Working from home in the Islington and Rutherford area, the 41 year old started teaching himself to program less than two years ago by creating simple Web games. Then in June he tried his hand at developing a program to run on the iPhone. That culminated in 123 POP for the iPhone and iPod touch. It was followed shortly by an iPad version. “For someone who wants to learn this sort of thing … the tools are there,” Lacalamita says. “You just need to spend the time.” Watching him demonstrate, the game appears simple. Numbered bubbles float around the screen, as soothing music plays in the background. The player has to tap two bubbles and then a third, the sum of the first two. The more correct sequences a player gets, the higher the score. Each level gets progressively harder while other elements, like a magic starfish and rocket ship, can help score even more points. Though it might look simple, it isn’t frivolous. It quickly becomes addictive as the user
tries to better previous scores. And that can be a good thing for someone trying to improve quick math skills, Lacalamita says. Although he calls the educational benefits a bonus, he admits they weren’t front-of-mind when he came up with the idea. “I wanted to do something very simple — something that would have universal appeal — and because it was my very first game I wanted to do something that was easy to do,” he says. In fact, it’s ironic his first serious programming venture is a math game because, he admits, the subject wasn’t his strong suit in school. “But there is something about the game mechanic of adding numbers together really quickly,” he says. “It was just something that Continued Page 5
Game can help kids improve math skills
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appealed to me, at the basic level, as a game that would be well-received.” Apparently he was right. Lacalamita says the game’s been downloaded every day since its release. It has sold in 12 countries and has even been featured in the App Store. “The secret behind the success of the App Store,” Lacalamita enthusiastically muses, “is they’ve made it so incredibly simple to buy stuff, and it’s so cheap. Because Apple has app stores in 90 countries, Lacalamita figures potential royalties can add up to “a nice sum.” He won’t say exactly how much 123 POP has brought in so far, but he points out some have made millions with wildly popular apps like Angry Birds and Doodle Jump. “The educational component appealed to me, as opposed to killing stuff,” he quips about the contrast between his app and Angry Birds. “Although in my next one I’ll probably throw in a zombie or something!” Though full-time programming is a relatively new venture for him, Lacalamita says it’s actually a return to an early passion. “When I was younger I was always using computers, trying to make simple games with my Commodore 64. And then I kind of dropped it. I was more into animation and building a career as a freelance (designer).” That career includes work for the L.A. Times, Chicago Tribune, Maclean’s and The Toronto Star, as well as package design for companies like Yoplait. He has also dabbled in short films and 3D animation. “Some people like to go fishing on the weekends, (but) I like to create stuff,” he says with a laugh. Not one to rest on his laurels, Lacalamita says his next venture will be creating interactive iPad books for kids. “You actually don’t have to print books,” he says. “If I had to self-publish, it would probably cost a lot just to produce one book, whereas with the iPad I can create something in a month and a half — my own story, my own graphics and interactivity — and put it in the App Store and potentially do well.” Though he admits the idea is still experimental, he says the fact it’s relatively new might work to his advantage. Another advantage is having in-house product testers: kids Miranda, 12 and Johnny, 9. Busily tapping away at 123 POP on their own iPod touch devices, they offer their dad a few tips. Johnny says he has an idea for a pair of characters that would work perfectly for a new game. “Zorro and Torro. They do everything, like Mario — one’s evil and one’s good. Zorro’s bad and Torro’s good.” So will Lacalamita use the idea? “I might, but then I’d have to give him a percentage!”
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Exhibits trace her journey P
rovocative. Compelling. Dazzling. Breath-taking. The words used to describe Marilyn Monroe are as varied as the stories that have attempted to interpret her meteoric streak through Hollywood, and the impact of her mythical imprint on pop culture that lingers nearly 50 years after her tragic end. A loveless beginning. A fairy tale story that included wealth and fame beyond belief, and firsts in many pop culture areas — including being featured in the first edition of Playboy magazine. The desire of many — rich and poor, famed and unknown, powerful and powerless. Two simultaneous and equally thought-provoking exhibitions at the McMichael Gallery in Kleinburg make an attempt at interpreting this enigmatic phenomenon who became the personification of Hollywood glamour in the 20th century. Life as a Legend: Marilyn Monroe and Marilyn in Canada, which opened Feb. 19 and will be on display until May 15, offer separate interpretations of the who, what, where, when and why behind her continuing status as a pop culture goddess.
You’ll probably want to go for the pictures. Life as a Legend, brought to McMichael by a German curator and an American touring group, is at the final stop of an international tour. A collection of about 150 works explores the diverse artistic responses to Monroe’s image. It includes paintings, photographs and prints by worldrenowned artists such as Andy Warhol, Robert Indiana and Eduardo Paolozzi, and photographers Richard Avedon, Henri Cartier-Bresson and Bernard of Hollywood. The Marilyn in Canada exhibition is a Canadian-content based effort, curated in-house by McMichael’s own assistant curator, Chris Finn. It
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documents the film star’s experiences while filming in Canada, as well as her popularity among Canadian contemporary artists. The exhibition features photographs, paintings, prints and sculptures by artists such as George S. Zimbel, Shelley Niro and John Vachon, whose works offer commentary on the influence of American popular culture in Canada. Zimbel contributes iconic images shot during a photo session with Monroe during the 1954 filming of The Seven Year Itch. Niro, a First Nations artist, has restaged her own version of the famous scene, which depicts Monroe dressed in white with a fan blowing beneath her dress.
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By Joshua Freeman
ormer Ward 1 councillor Peter Meffe has been appointed to the board of the Vaughan Health Campus of Care. The privately operated not-for-profit, which builds healthcare infrastructure in Vaughan, named Meffe as its vice president of planning and development on Feb. 16. Melinda Gorgenyi, a former director at Halton Healthcare Services, was named the group’s first CEO at the same time. They will work with York Central Hospital in a bid to bring a new hospital to Vaughan. Meffe lost to Marilyn Iafrate by just 92 votes in October’s municipal election. Other former Vaughan councillors to serve on the VHCC board include Joyce Frustaglio and Mario Ferri, as well as current regional councillor Michael DiBiase. The appointment comes on the heels of councillor Iafrate having asked city staff to clarify the role of VHCC in the hospital plans.
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oley Moley, it’s Yorkie and Torkie. The people have spoken and the names of the tunnel-boring machines that will be digging the York-Spadina subway extension to Vaughan have been chosen. Whew! It might have been Slice and Dice or Huff and Puff. It was Rosa Rinella, of Vaughan, who came up with Yorkie and Torkie. Thomas Cohen, of Toronto, thought of Holey and Moley. They had participated in a TTC contest last fall where citizens were asked to think of names for the machines. Of 720 pairs of names submitted, organizers selected 10 to be voted on by the public. Rinella and Cohen had their ideas picked over other entries, which actually did include names like Slice and Dice, and Huff and Puff. Rinella, who lives in the Weston and Rutherford area, says she went to the dogs to get her names — literally. Her inspiration for the names came from her pet dogs. “Yorkie” and “Torkie” are short forms of breed names. “We all know that dogs love to dig sometimes,” Rinella said. However these machines are no Jack Russells. Each borer is over 6 metres in diameter, capable of digging the 8.6 km of tunnel at a rate of as much as 30 metres a day, according to the project’s chief engineer, Andy Bertolo. Built by Caterpillar Tunneling Canada Corp., the massive machines, which cost about $13-million each, will be transported in sections from the west-end Toronto manufacturer to the construction site near York University. The tunneling for the project that will bring subway service to Vaughan is scheduled to begin ROSA RINELLA in the spring. Rinella and Cohen will be on hand for the accompanying ceremony. The tunnel should be complete by the end of next year. The entire $2.6-billion project should be finished by 2015. Cohen, who rides the Rocket to his job as a professor at York University, says he can’t wait until subway service is up and running. “I would benefit because it’ll make the York trip go down to maybe 35 minutes from Yonge and Eglinton,” he said. The names he selected — Holey and Moley — came from old Batman comics and he did his best to ensure his idea was a winner. He says he began a campus-wide social media campaign that quickly spread. A native of Philadelphia, he even had friends and relatives in the U.S. voting. “I had my students setting it up on Facebook,” Cohen said proudly. “I had my kids in New York get their friends to vote for Holey and Moley. “I’d get up and lecture — ‘How many of you guys voted for Holey and Moley?’ — and I invented crazy slogans like, ‘Go to bat, man, for Holey and Moley’, playing on the Batman theme.”
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VAUGHAN VIPERS hockey cards contain community-positive messages.
It’s in the cards By Tristan Carter
ason Fortier demands a lot from his team. But these days it’s okay if his players are a little flat. Vaughan Vipers junior hockey team and York Regional Police have teamed up again this year to produce and distribute a series of hockey cards that feature community-positive messages and police photos along with the usual player photos. Head coach Fortier says he’s happy with the way his players have worked with their new teammates. “I think the Vaughan Vipers and the York Region Police have done a great job,” he said, shortly after the Vipers card pack was unveiled at Al Palladini Community Centre. “There’s been a lot of communication back and forth and we’re always willing to help with any ideas that they have if they’d like to get the message out to some of the hockey fans.” Head shots of Vaughan players appear on one side of the cards, with photos of various police detachments, like the K-9 or marine units, on the reverse. Slogans such as “Always swim with a buddy” and “To get respect you must give it” are imprinted on both sides. The program, which started with Newmarket Hurricanes in 2008, sees cards given out to fans at home games. Seven other teams in the Ontario Junior A Hockey League also receive cards to give away to their fans. The cards for this year’s Vipers team were unveiled on Jan. 24, prior to a game against Toronto Canadians at Al Palladini Community Centre. New police chief Eric Joliffe dropped the puck for the ceremonial face-off. Constable Johnny Campuzano was on hand, along with Morris the Moose, one of the York Regional Police mascots. “This initiative is a positive way to continue building relationships with our community members and at the same time recognizing those teams and players who are being positive role models in our community.” Campuzano said afterward. The response from the community has been so positive in seasons past that the teams often ask for more decks and the police quickly run out, Campuzano noted. Young Vipers fans often ask the players to autograph their cards, but the fans aren’t the only ones who like them. Coach Fortier says they’re also popular among the players themselves. “The young kids that get them, they like receiving the hockey cards and the players themselves like the recognition, so I think as a whole it’s been a great project,” Fortier said.
Baby, it can feel like spring By YAEL PANET
hile the winter weather is still lingering, spring fashion is dominating in malls and boutiques, giving shoppers hope that the warmer weather is right around the corner. However, every year Canadians are faced with the same dilemma: how do we incorporate the trends shown on the runways and in the magazines while we are still battling temperatures of 30 below? To get you in the swing of things, I have found some key items that you can introduce into your wardrobe now and continue wearing throughout spring! Fringe This is a hot trend for spring 2011 and is seen on everything from jackets to dresses to accessories. To begin sporting this look now, try a leather bag with tassel or fringe detail on it. This is an easy piece that can be worn day or night, whether it is warm or cold out. Look for one in a neutral shade like tan, gray or black to maximize its wear-ability. Bright colours When the weather shifts from cold to warm, people are naturally drawn to wearing brighter shades, as it is a welcome change from the drab black and greys of winter. For spring we are seeing hot colours, such as pink, yellow, blue and
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orange, on all sorts of items. To incorporate this look now, consider a coat in an unexpected shade to give your outfit a pop of colour, or try a pair of bright sexy pumps to turn an outfit from blah to wow. Maxi skirts As an expecting mom, this hot item is one of my favourite go-to pieces (hello, elasticized waist). For now, I’m wearing mine with boots, a tank and a blazer, but when the weather warms up ... look out! This basic will be a staple with a flowy t-shirt, low-slung belt and sandals. Every woman should own a basic black maxi skirt in her wardrobe, as this is a trend that comes and goes season after season — and this one is no exception.
Bold stripes Many of the highend designers, such as Louis Vuitton and Prada, went heavy on this look for their 2011 collections, making it a hot look for the season. The stripe is shown using bright bold tones, such as reds and yellows paired with blacks and whites. To be ahead of the game, why not try a knit sweater with these hot bubblegum stripes alongside a pair of your favourite denim? Lace The angelic aura of white and cream lace is a popular look for spring, but there is no reason why you can not love wearing this look now. Just recently, I outfitted a client for a girls’ night out dinner in a cream lace dress with black opaque tights, ankle boots and a leather jacket. The juxtaposition of the pieces made the outfit current, yet totally weather-appropriate!
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MARCH 2011 VAUGHAN ToDAY
Ask the experts Please write to our experts: If you would like to take advantage of their years of experience, send your questions to “Ask the Experts” and they will be happy to reply to you in this space. By E-mail: email@example.com, by Fax: 416-488-3671 or write: Ask the Experts, c/o Town Crier, 101 Wingold Ave., Toronto, ON, M6B 1P8. Marc Linett, a partner in the personal injury law firm of Linett & Timmis, has been practicing accident and insurance litigation in Toronto for over 35 years. His firm has established a solid reputation representing thousands of injured victims and their families throughout Ontario.
Linett & Timmis Personal Injury Lawyers 1867 Yonge St., Suite 1004, Toronto
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: I had a bad fall on my way to the subway the other day. The sidewalk was very icy and slippery in front of someone’s house. They hadn’t bothered to shovel or put down salt. I hurt my back and the doctor is sending me for an MRI and physiotherapy. Can anyone be held responsible for the dangerous condition of the sidewalk where I fell?
: In Toronto and other municipalities in Ontario, the local by-laws delegate the responsibility for clearing public sidewalks to the adjacent homeowners. However, the municipality remains responsible to people who are injured if the homeowner has failed in his obligation. In cases involving falls on snow and ice, the injured victim must establish gross negligence on the part of the municipality. This can often be done by examining the city’s inspection policies and procedures to determine whether they have been properly followed. There is a requirement that the city be notified in writing of the claim including details of the accident and its location within 10 days. Failure to give this notice may be fatal to your chances of success. Accordingly, even if you are not sure whether you have a good case, you should immediately notify the municipality to preserve your rights. You should seek legal advice promptly to understand your rights in this complicated area of personal injury law.
francis crescia/vaughan today
HIGH-ROLLIN’ IN VAUGHAN: Stefano Mercuri’s idea of complete VIP services includes armoured rides and “Ace of Spades” champagne.
Vegas, or Vaughan By Kelly Gadzala
e knows who to call when that $10,000 Gucci purse needs dry cleaning, can summon a private jet within four hours — tops — and has figured out how to deliver a New York pizza, fresh, to a man who wasn’t even his client. Armored car? No problem, though some of the best concierges in town may be hardpressed knowing who to call for that one. That’s according to Stefano Mercuri, the man behind the Maple-based company, Complete VIP Services. The three-year-old company founded by Mercuri offers an exhaustive list of VIP services and packages that far exceed your
run-of-the-mill limo rental services. Take the Divorce Freedom package, a service Mercuri developed after noticing people didn’t just go to Las Vegas to party before they got married; they also went there to party after getting divorced. At $10,000 for 10 people for the uppertier package, the 12-hour-long service includes, among other things, pampering at an upscale spa that’s closed especially for the party, a penthouse rental and breakfast prepared by a personal chef. Though he caters to local socialites, Bay Street lawyers and international A-list musicians, Hollywood actors and politicians — Continued Page 14
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How très Canadian By Liz Campbell
an you name a typically Canadian dish? Because of our immigrant history, it might be anything from roast beef to chow mein! After all, from 1788, when the first Chinese workers came to Canada, every small Canadian town had its local Chinese restaurant and chow mein was as ubiquitous as burgers. But there is one dish that is distinctly Canadian and it’s found nowhere else. Tourtière is a French Canadian pie of ground meat encased in a rich pastry crust. It dates to the earliest French settlers and uses some or all of the four spices — cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice —in common use in France at the time. In a true Quebec tourtière, the hint of some of these spices lurks in the background, giving the dish a unique flavour compared to other meat pies. It should be noted, however, that there are as many recipes for tourtière as there are French cooks making it. In Saguenay-Lac St. Jean, the dish takes on a whole different aspect. Here the meat, which often includes game meat, isn’t ground but chopped, and the dish may contain potatoes. It is generally made as a vast, deep pie, able to serve a dozen people. In fact, Quebecois distinguish between tourtière and tourtière du Lac-Saint-Jean. There is considerable evidence that early settlers used passenger pigeons to make tourtière. These rather stupid birds were easily trapped simply by tossing some food on the grass and throwing a net over them. Unfortunately, they are now extinct, so we will never know how that particular form of tourtière tasted. These days, the meat is generally pork or a blend of pork and beef or veal. Traditionally served at Christmas or at New Year, tourtière is now served almost anytime. Indeed, the French Canadian dish of today is rich, meaty and robust; it makes an ideal winter dinner.
Tourtière My original recipe came from the Canadiana Cookbook of the quintessential Québécoise chef, Mme Jehane Benoit. But I have doctored it slightly, using other Quebec sources. I think you’ll like the result.
in the same manner. Cool and pour into a pastry-lined pie pan. Cover with top crust. Bake at 400 F until golden brown. Serve hot. A cooked tourtière can be frozen 4–5 months. It does not have to be thawed out before reheating.
1 lb ground pork/beef combination 1 small onion, chopped 1 small garlic clove, minced 1/2 tsp salt 1/4 tsp celery salt 1/4 tsp ground cloves A grating of fresh nutmeg 1/8 teaspoon allspice 1/2 cup water 1/3 cup oatmeal Pastry dough of your choice
Pastry Use your favourite pastry recipe, but with gluten intolerance a major issue these days I thought I would offer a gluten-free alternative for making pastry. The tourtière in the photo was made with this gluten-free flour mix. But using gluten-free flour means the consistency of the dough is wetter. So chill it for 20 minutes and roll it out between two sheets of parchment paper. When ready, roll it onto the rolling pin, then unroll it onto the pie plate.
Place all the ingredients except the oatmeal and pastry in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and cook uncovered for 20 minutes over medium heat. Remove from heat and add a few spoonfuls of oatmeal. Let stand for 10 minutes. If the fat is sufficiently absorbed by the oatmeal, do not add more. If not, continue
Multi-blend gluten-free flour 3 cups brown rice flour (requires refrigeration) 1/4 cup potato starch (not potato flour) 2/3 cup tapioca starch/flour 1/3 cup cornstarch or potato starch
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Authenticity in the air Liz Campbell
here was a time when Thai food was fairly exotic, but these days Thai restaurants are almost as ubiquitous as Chinese. And as with Chinese restaurants, the secret is to find a good one, whose food is fairly authentic. This month, I hit the jackpot. Despite being located in a large mall, Our Thai makes brave attempts at creating the right atmosphere. Carvings of dancing figures and elephants here and there give a hint to the origins of the food. We start by ordering their signature starter platter ($15.99) — Thai fresh rolls (not the deep fried standard version) with a homemade tangy dipping; mango salad with plenty of strips of fresh mango; and skewers of beef and chicken satay with a wonderful thick peanut sauce. I particularly like the cold vegetable-filled Thai rolls and sauce, which isn’t the usual sweet gluey one but a tangy, zesty version that appears home-
made. The mango salad wins kudos all around and the satay sticks perfectly complement the rich peanutty sauce. To accompany dinner, my guest has a bottle of Singha beer ($5), an authentic Thai brew which he approves as very malty. I have ginger tea with honey ($1.99). It’s warming on a cold night and appropriate as an accompaniment to dinner. For our main course, we order two curries and the obligatory Pad Thai. We request our Shrimp Panang curry ($13.99) prepared hot rather than mild. It’s definitely zesty. Says my guest: “Wow! That jerked me right up. But it’s not too spicy. It’s just right.” Fat shrimps repose in a rich coconut curry sauce in which the flavour of lime leaves and holy basil are discernible. Rainbow Chicken ($10.99), from the stir-fry menu, is appropriately named. Large pieces of chicken tossed with red and green peppers, julienned carrots, wedges of eggplant, green peas and onions make for a colourful dish. Spicy and redolent with Thai seasonings, the vegetables are still crisp and the chicken steeped with flavour. Vegetable Pad Thai ($9.99) proves a lacklustre contrast. The noodles are thin and a little greasy, and there are very few vegetables or threads of egg. There just isn’t enough zip for my taste. It’s a real letdown beside the other two dishes.
liz campbell/vaughan today
Two distinctly Thai desserts are made on the premises. We try both. Coconut sticky rice ($4.99) is basically rice pudding made with coconut milk, topped with scoops of fresh coconut and sprinkled with sesame seeds. This is gorgeous — rich and creamy. Fried bananas with honey ($5.99) is patently not freshly made. The bananas are coated with dough and deep fried, but the texture of the banana leads me to think this might be frozen. While it’s tasty enough with the honey, it has an odd consistency I find unappealing. Despite a couple of false steps, this spot is a treasure. We’d go back again just for the curry. Our Thai, 60 Interchange Way, (Hwy 7 and 400), Concord. 905-760-1288. www.ourthai.ca.
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Cont. from Page 10
and he is firm about not divulging the names of his clients â€” Mercuri says his services arenâ€™t just for the high-rollers. Thereâ€™s a faction of 10 guys out there, he says by way of example, that will save up and use his company once a year to party. Still, one has to wonder how a 29 year old living in Maple got to the point where heâ€™s hobnobbing with movie stars and other celebrities. â€œIâ€™ve always lived the lifestyle,â€? Mercuri says. â€œItâ€™s been a long time partying.â€? Born and raised in Switzerland, Mercuri has lived in Maple for a decade, and itâ€™s in Vaughan where he cut his teeth catering to celebrities. â€œI worked in every restaurant in Vaughan,â€? he says. Two years at Dave & Busterâ€™s restaurant, bar and arcade in Vaughan in his early 20s seemed to have cemented his business fate. The place was frequented by Raptors and NHL players, he says, and even though he was a waiter he ended up showing Tie Domi around one time. Then he says Domi started asking for him every time he came in. â€œI started thinking, â€˜I just want to take care of celebrities.â€™â€? When the restaurant got a call from Chris Chelios (then of Chicago Blackhawks), asking for him by name, Mercuri says he realized he had a knack. â€œWhen that phone call happened â€Ś I knew I must be doing something right.â€? Life on the other side of the bar looked better, he says, so he shifted into promoting Toronto clubs, doing that on and off while attending school and working at bars in Vaughan. After graduating from a recreation and leisure program at Humber College, Mercuri did three years of psychology study at York University. â€œSomething about psychology really got to me,â€? he says. â€œIt helps you
understand people.â€? While working as a promoter he flew around the world, he says, meeting lots of people and getting loads of business cards. But he also talked with celebrities and got a sense of what they were looking for that wasnâ€™t available in a widespread way. What he does is offer services in multiple cities, whereas other companies tend to operate only in the city in which they are based. At the moment, he services Las Vegas and Toronto, but for a premium heâ€™ll offer services anywhere in the world. Plans are in the works to expand to 14 cities â€” mostly in the U.S. â€” by summer. Mercuri speaks like a real person and is bereft of hoity-toity language and highfalutinâ€™ demeanor. â€œThe â€˜realâ€™ part is what makes me different,â€? he acknowledges. â€œI treat [celebrities] as human beings.â€? Heâ€™s been known to say no to people who are perhaps accustomed to getting their own way. Once he had a request for drugs; another time, a group of men and women wanted to â€” um â€” party in the back of a limo for hours. Mercuri said no to the former and rented the latter a suite. â€œAs long as itâ€™s legal and mostly moral itâ€™s okay,â€? he says. Thereâ€™s a growing corporate VIP services arm thatâ€™s playing out locally. There are many corporate offices in and around Vaughan, and American CEOs are staying in local hotels. A new direction for the business is partnering with these hotels by offering them concierge services, an opportunity he says he is exploring. Some high-profile people donâ€™t like staying in downtown Toronto anymore, he says â€” and there could be strategic benefits to certain VIPs staying in the area. â€œNo one is going to follow them to Vaughan.â€?
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MARCH 2011 VAUGHAN ToDAY 15
Others’ worlds suit him fine BY Joshua Freeman
joshua freeman/vaughan today
RELAXING IN A COFFEE SHOP, TV writer Adam Till recounts some of the great stories lived on his ecclectic career path.
You’re invited to a
Unique Intercultural Celebration For one night only, experience a stunning exhibition featuring over fifty renowned works from the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, along with works by some of Canada’s finest contemporary Canadian artists of Italian heritage.
Tom Thomson (1877–1917). Byng Inlet, Georgian Bay. 1914–15, oil on canvas. Purchase with the Assistance of Donors and Wintario. McMichael Canadian Art Collection.
Joseph D. Carrier Art Gallery at the Columbus Centre 901 Lawrence Avenue West Tuesday, March 29, 2011 6:30 to 10:00 p.m. Opening Remarks at 7:30 p.m. Tony Bianco. Georgian Bay Sunset. 2009, oil on linen.
This special exhibition will explore works by the Group of Seven and others who found inspiration in our nation’s rugged landscape, as well as contemporary artists incuding: Tracy Thompson (Colero), great-grandniece of Tom Thomson The late Albert Chiarandini, who painted with members of the Group Salvatore Gallo • Sam Paonessa • Giuseppe Pivetta Germinio Politic • Tony Bianco • Joseph Catalano
Tickets are available for $185 each or as a Patron’s Package of ten tickets for $1,850. For inquiries contact Maria at 905.893.1121 ext. 2207 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Tax receipts wil be issued to the maximum allowable amount. Inspired by Canada is a joint event with the proceeds to be share between the Joseph D. Carrier Art Gallery and McMichael Canadian Art Collection. Media support:
Corriere Canadese • Vaughan Today Tandem • Town Crier • Toronto Today
16 VAUGHAN ToDAY MARCH 2011
dam Till has picked up a kind of life philosophy in his 36 years. “Whatever you do, have a great story to tell about how you got there,” he says. It’s advice he seems to have followed on his own eclectic career path from lawyer to TV producer and educator. While Till would eventually go on to co-create Billable Hours, a successful Showtime comedy about the antics at a law firm, the Thornhill native took his first steps in the working world back at Garnet A. Williams and Dufferin-Clark community centres as a referee, camp counsellor and activity supervisor. “It’s funny to look at your resume from 15 years ago. It’s like, ‘Ooh — I did that?’” But that resume would grow, even if it did zigzag. After doing an economics degree at York University and then enlisting in an LLB/MBA at Osgoode, Till went on to article at a Toronto firm before realizing he was on the wrong track. He found himself working long, monotonous hours poring over papers. Feeling his creative talents were going to waste, he decided to call it quits at the firm after being called to the bar. But he didn’t leave empty-handed. Having used his last free summer to do some creative writing, he had some good ideas down on paper. Together with actor pal Fabrizio Filippo, he refined a pitch for a show about a quirky law office. Through networking and some chance meetings, including one with Atom Egoyan, the pair landed at Showtime, where the show eventually got the go-ahead. Working at one another’s houses, the pair managed to craft what became the highest rated original series in Showtime’s history. “It was amazing,” Till says. However, the show’s initial success met a snag the next season: A team of writers were brought on board to work with the pair, and Till and Filippo were forced to cede creative control. Although the show’s second season still managed to score a Gemini award for Best Writing in a Comedy Series, ratings dropped and the third season in 2008 was the last. “I’m not angry looking back,” Till says. “This is just how these things happen. “I know now, moving forward I’ve got to try and own my projects. I can’t let other people produce them.” Since Billable, Till’s been hard at work. Together with Filippo, he formed a production company and wrote a movie for Lifetime called Too Late To Say Goodbye. Starring Rob Lowe and Lauren Holly, the film aired last winter. Currently, the creative duo is developing a new show for Global about a loveable loser who moves to a retirement residence with his father. Still in its early stages, Till describes the project as a “post-slacker” show that will speak to financial and cultural realities. If all goes well, the project will get a pilot episode in the spring. In the meantime, he’s maintaining his creative energy by teaching screenwriting and media law at Ryerson. He’s also at work designing a curriculum for a new screenwriting program at the Toronto Film School. “It’s a very cool opportunity,” Till says. “They’re letting me fulfil my vision for how this sort of writing should be taught.” In between it all, the writer finds time for his wife and two small kids, and still manages to watch a bit of TV. “What I always loved about TV was going into someone else’s little world,” Till says. “It was a great escape — almost like going into someone else’s brain. “It’s scary, but I almost think in sitcom.”
FIT FOR LIFE know the scene
Being aware of the many yoga styles can keep you from giving up
Plus: How to be berry creative with snacks photo courtesy jason lu/yoga tree
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MARCH 2011 VAUGHAN ToDAY 17
Finding your inner yogi By Kelly Gadzala
t’s your first yoga class ever and as soon as you sit on the mat the instructor launches into an impossible-looking V-sit — followed by the entire class except you. Vowing never to return, you decide then and there to swear off yoga for life. You’re not alone. The experts say that one bad class can wreck yoga for a person. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Here are some tips for finding the yoga style that’s right for you: Open your mind Keeping an open mind is a start. A lot of people have misconceptions about yoga, even though they’ve already tried a class, says Jason Lu, owner of Yoga Tree in Thornhill. When he started practising yoga almost a decade ago, Lu says, he had misgivings, too. “My conception was yoga was only for women.” Today, about a quarter of those he teaches are men. “I think most guys are scared to try it,” he says. If you’ve tried a class and hated it, Lu says, you’ve got to ask yourself why,
THE INDEPENDENCE I WANT Enjoy life the way you want. support your independence. We put a world of options and a tips. You make your own choices, and we’ll help you maintain your
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600 Valley Vista Drive, Vaughan For more information, please call us at 905-417-8900 or visit us online at www.chartwellreit.ca 18 VAUGHAN ToDAY MARCH 2011
Join us as we celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with complimentary refreshments, great food and live entertainment featuring Malachy Kearns and his band. Wear green to win prizes. RSVP to Lucy or Lisa as space is limited.
to figure out what exactly wasn’t working for you. Then, try another class. Even though keeping an open mind about those yoga stereotypes is important, Lu suggests that to a certain degree, it’s the job of those in the profession to educate people as much as they can. His studio has yoga advisors who take every class and who know the different styles. “The scariest thing,” he says, “is sending a person to the wrong class.” For beginners, Lu will even modify his Hot Yoga class by lowering the temperature in the room from the standard 38 degrees Celsius by 10 degrees. “It’s hard for a beginner to jump into 38 degrees,” he says. “Twenty-eight degrees eases them into it.” Hit the mat and experiment If you’ve already done a class, pat yourself on the back for getting out there and trying yoga in the first place. There are so many styles and yoga studios out there that it can be intimidating just getting to the studio. Yogi YuMee Chung says there are nine internationally recognized brands of yoga, but that different styles spin out of those and that people also mix and match the different types. “There’s so many hybrid styles,” she says. “You name it, it’s out there.” Chung advises surfing the ’Net to get a sense of what each style entails — she recommends websites torontobodymind.ca and yogajournal.com as good yoga resources — and then jumping in and trying classes. “It’s such an experiential thing,” she says. “You can talk (it) ’til you’re blue in the face.” Chung co-founded Passport to Prana five years ago in Toronto to give people the chance to experience different yoga styles. She says at the time there wasn’t a lot of crossover between the different types of yoga. The passport card, which has taken off in the last year and is in Vaughan, Toronto, New York and San Francisco, enables users to try out a yoga class at participating studios in their city. Your Affinity Place, which has its grand opening March 9 in the Hwy 7/27 area, is another option. Owner Rina Ristagno promises a downtown loft type of experience, where yoga poses like sun salutations and c-scoops are en vogue. Ashtanga or restorative? If you’re unsure which class to try first, try matching a yoga style to your personality. It’s a phenomenon Tasha Rooke has noticed while teaching yoga classes at Toronto wellness facility Zen Beginnings. Type A personalities tend to be athletic and have high-stress jobs, she says, and they want a more fiery class where they move around. For that reason they tend to gravitate towards a form of hot yoga called Moksha, where the room is heated to over 37 degrees Celsius. Either that or Ashtanga, Bikram and Power, all dynamic styles that entail lots of cardio. Those looking to relax and de-stress may prefer Hatha yoga, or other styles where you move slowly through the poses and really focus on what’s happening inside. For high-stressed or injured folk, Rooke recommends restorative yoga. It’s slower, can be less intimidating for beginners and can also complement more rigorous regimens, she says.
At Amica, our residents get to keep their most prized possession: their independence.
We understand that moving from a long-
time family home can be a heart-wrenching experience, at any age. Yet when our new residents settle in and see how much they have gained in the way of comfort, friendship, services and amenities of a luxurious resort, they begin to realize that the most important aspect of their move is that they kept their dignity, self-respect and freedom of choice. All things considered, it’s what you can't put a price on that we value most.
What to expect Being open to the various benefits and effects of yoga can be a good strategy when you first start a yoga regime, as often there are unexpected results. Some people are surprised that they sweat and are sore the first few weeks, Rooke says. Others expect to get the poses right in the very first class (remember the V-sit?). If you don’t get the poses straight away, she says, be patient: “Yoga is a practice. It takes time to master.” On the flip side, those who seek out yoga for physical fitness reasons often discover it has other effects. “It does really calm your body and mind,” Rooke says. “It brings more than physical stuff.” Aside from better flexibility, more energy and better circulation, the calming effects of yoga can extend beyond the yoga studio. “You start to take lessons from the mat and apply them to your personal life,” Rooke says. Chung can relate. She took her first yoga class when she was a stressed-out lawyer and it changed her life. She left the world of law and became a yoga instructor and yoga studio owner — and now, a yogi entrepreneur. Yoga gives her insight into her emotional life, she says, and the breathing she’s learned through yoga helps her deal with challenging or stressful situations. Today, at close to 40, Chung says she’s healthier and happier than she’s ever been, thanks to yoga. ADVERTISING FEATURE
“I strongly recommend Osteopathic treatment to anyone who wants to improve their health.” “After so much pain day in and day out, this was music to my ears.” “Things that were impossible for so long like sitting in a movie theatre or even getting dressed were things I could do again.” These are testimonials from patients who have benefited from osteopathic treatments. Many people who suffer from various ailments like pain, muscle weakness, impairment of physical function, headaches, digestive problems etc have been to many other practitioners or taken various treatments and remedies without success and continue to be frustrated. After successful osteopathic treatments, these patients feel they can return to LIFE!
The practice of OSTEOPATHY was developed in the late 1800’s by a physician named Dr. Andrew Taylor Still. Its modern counterpart is practiced today in Canada and internationally. Osteopathy offers a manual treatment approach with gentle non-invasive techniques. The osteopath is a highly skilled practitioner who is able to assess and treat many conditions. Osteopathy is effective for people of all ages, from infants to the elderly. The philosophy of osteopathy includes the belief that the body has an innate mechanism to self regulate and ‘heal’ itself. Osteopathic treatments are aimed at helping the body to regulate and restore health. For more information, go to www.osteopathy associates.com. For an appointment, call (905)-2662199.
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It’s all in the blend By Liz Campbell
I ADVERTISING FEATURE
To Live Is To Dance at the Maple Academy of Dance Since its opening in 1998 MAD strives to be known for excellence and innovative approach to all students. The Art of Dance does not only benefit the student who chooses dance as a career, but also the recreational student who will gain self confidence, social interaction skills, physical fitness, poise and an appreciation for
the Performing Arts. We take pride in individuality and bringing out the best in each and every student at our Academy. We are confident that
20 VAUGHAN ToDAY MARCH 2011
every student will have an enjoyable and successful season! We offer classes in Jazz, Tap, Ballet, Acrobatics, Musical Theatre and Hip Hop at Recreational and Competitive Levels. We also offer Recreational and Intense classes during our Summer Camp Programs. Call us now at 905-660-6800 for more information.
t’s mid-afternoon. Lunch is long gone and dinner seems a long way off. It’s the time most of us take a coffee or tea break and we probably down a cookie or other sweet baked goodie with it. It’s 8 o’clock and you’re watching TV. Wouldn’t some popcorn or peanuts taste good about now? Better yet, when the energy is low or the tummy is craving a snack, how about a smoothie? A smoothie is healthy, and because it’s made with real fruit it’s full of fibre and vitamins. It fills the void and can actually make you feel good. And because there is no single way to make a smoothie, you can make a different concoction each time. The idea is to blend one or more fruits with liquid at high speed in order to create a thick, richly flavoured drink. Best of all, it feels like a real indulgence but doesn’t have to be loaded with calories. A true smoothie should contain whole fruit and a liquid to blend this in. After that, the rest is up to you. The liquid could be water or juice, yogurt or soy milk or regular milk. Soy milk is popular because of recent evidence of its health benefits. And while many of us find soy milk less than appealing, adding it to fruit in a smoothie makes it creamy and delicious. Another healthy addition is a teaspoon of ground flax meal, which provides lots of minerals and anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acid. One trick that ensures a drink that’s as rich as a milkshake with a quarter of the calories is to freeze the fruit. For example, when bananas start to get soft, cut them into pieces and throw them in the freezer. You can also buy bags of frozen fruit pieces. The sweetness in the fruit can be brought out by adding a little honey. And I like to add fruit juice as well as low-fat yogurt. Apricot juice works really well, but so does plain old orange juice.
Smoothies that’ll make you dance Tropical Trio 1⁄2 cup pieces of pineapple (fresh or frozen) 1⁄2 banana, (fresh or frozen) 1⁄2 cup frozen mango pieces (fresh or frozen) 1⁄2 cup low fat yogurt (optional, but it makes it creamier) 1⁄2 cup pineapple juice or water 1 tbsp. honey
Health Blend 1 cup frozen berries (strawberries, raspberries, blueberries) 1⁄2 banana cut into pieces (fresh or frozen) 1⁄4 cup soy milk 3⁄4 cup strawberry or cranberry juice 1 tbsp. maple syrup 1 tbsp. wheat germ
Blend until very smooth. Add a little more juice if required. Pour and enjoy with a thick straw.
Blend the first five ingredients until smooth. Add the wheat germ and blend for another 15 seconds. Serve.
Cold-combating Concoction 1 whole orange cut into pieces and frozen 1⁄2 cup melon pieces (I pull these out of the frozen fruit blend) 1⁄2 cup pineapple pieces 3⁄4 cup orange juice 1⁄2 cup low fat yogurt 1 tbsp. honey Blend these together and serve. Note that you can add some Echinacea to the blend for extra flu-fighting power.
Opening Now Chryssalis Curvez our Women’s only
Chryssalis Skin Renu specializing in cosmetic laser & skin rejuvenation, using elo’s technology, is now proud to present the opening of “Chryssalis Curvez”, our “Women’s only” 30 minute workouts, Fitness Centre. Complete Cardio and Strength Training Workout. The circuit has resistance machines which work the major muscle group. Chryssalis Skin Renu is fully equipped with showers and convenient daily lockers. We also have a hydrotherapy Tub and showers for a small fee or special rate for all out
Chryssalis Curvez Members. We also have more than 50 salon and spa services available, including hair extensions and bronze spray tanning. “Everything under one Roof”. And available to members at discounted savings and a great investment. Chryssalis Skin Renu has 4000 sq ft of elegance and class. Our staff is professionally trained, friendly & helpful. We also have doctors and nurses that specialize in Botox, Filler Injections. Your first consultation is “Free”.
We would like to invite you to a free two week membership trial, complete with all spa, salon and laser services. All new members will receive free facial and manicure or pedicure and a free laser trial of their choice, and further discounts on future services. They will also receive monthly giveaways and bonus specials. If you belong to another fitness club, simply show your membership card to receive discounts which are available to teachers, students, weight loss Clinique members, etc…
We are conveniently located at 5875, Hwy#7, Unit #4 in the heart of Vaughan, Ontario, L4L 1T9. Close to intersection at Hwy #27 and close to Hwy#427 north. Please join us February 26th, 2011 for our wine and cheese opening and receive an additional two weeks membership at Chryssalis Curvez. Chryssalis Skin Renu, 5875 Hwy 7, Unit 4, Woodbridge, ON L4L 1T9, (905) 856-6767 Or (647) 680-3915 www.chryssalisskinrenu.ca, www.skinrenu.ca
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MARCH 2011 VAUGHAN ToDAY 21
Plan now By Mary Fran McQuade
photo courtesy trillium associates
SPRING IS COMING, and this is the perfect time to talk to a landscape designer about getting your garden ready.
ust a few more days to the beginning of spring. Who cares if winter still has a temper tantrum or two? It’s on the way out. The sun says so, and he’s the boss of the seasons. As of March 20, the days are longer than the nights, and we’ve turned the corner toward warmer weather. More proof: The sap is rising in the sugar maples and it’s time for the traditional maple syrup festivals throughout Ontario. Our own Kortright Conservation Centre’s annual sugaring-off event begins this month. And then there are Canada Blooms, March 16–20 (www. canadablooms.com), and Success with Gardening, March 31–April 3 (www.home-show.net/successfulgardening). So … hint, hint … this is the perfect time to talk to a landscape designer about your garden. Don’t worry that it’s coated with snow and maybe even ice. I spoke to several designers, and they all told me the same thing: the earlier, the better. If you wait, you’re going to have to get in line. Which means your garden may not get attention until August, and what fun is that? “It’s a creative process,” says Ron Swentiski, landscape designer at Trillium Associates in Thornhill, “and creativity needs time to be done well.”
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for garden Why use a designer? So why involve a landscape pro? See if anything on this checklist sounds familiar: • Your garden last summer was a disaster and you don’t know why. • You want to get more use and pleasure out of your garden. • You want to be able have both an attractive garden and a place for the kids to play. • The kids are older now and you no longer need a mini-soccer field in the backyard. • You want a nice garden, but don’t want to have to work so hard at it. • You don’t know the first thing about gardening and don’t have time to learn. • You have problem areas — ugly views, standing water, too much/too little shade — and you don’t know what to do about them. Experienced landscape designers know how to get in there and fix things like this. “The whole point of design is to remedy problems,” Ron says. If you’re starting with a blank slate, a good designer can help you avoid problems in the first place. Of course, if you enjoy gardening, you can always do it yourself. But dedicated amateur gardeners know that gardening involves hard work, careful research, frustration and occasional heartbreak (a little bit like the Olympics, in fact.) You do get the thrill of victory when the perfect peony blooms, but if that doesn’t turn your crank, then leave gardening to the pros. Finding a good match The idea of dealing with a landscape designer can be a little intimidating, but the real thing shouldn’t be. It’s your garden, after all, and a good designer will adapt to your wishes (assuming they’re within reason!). If he or she doesn’t pay attention to what you say at your first meeting, find someone else. You should be comfortable talking with your design professional and be honest about your expectations. “We’ll work with your needs, wishes, aspirations,” says Ron. And don’t feel you have to have a ginormous property with room for waterfalls and gazebos, either. Designers do enjoy that kind of thing, but many are happy to work on smaller family gardens. Another comforting thing to remember is that you don’t have to do everything at once. Nearly all designers are happy to develop an overall garden design for you that you can build on over time. Flower and veggie beds first, for example, followed by patio, then water feature, and so on. “An experienced designer will ask questions and help you make a wish list,” Ron says. He or she should also help you face reality. If you have limited space, you probably shouldn’t set your heart on planting a row of oak trees along the property line. (Those things get big, you know!) If you want to do some of the grunt work yourself, that should be okay with your designer, too. “We can provide a starting point and a direction,” says Ron, pointing out that sometimes all a homeowner needs is a new perspective. The designer develops an overall design, along with a plant list and detailed planting plan showing what goes where. You and your family can take it from there. Fun homework to do If you’re thinking of calling in a landscape designer, get a head start by collecting some ideas of your own. It’s not hard, and it’s actually fun to do. • Look through gardening magazines and make notes/copies of gardens you like. • Get plant catalogues and picture books and mark the plants that catch your eye. (Just don’t expect to grow a big banana tree here.) • Collect brochures, photos, etc., of man-made things like trellises, gates, benches and other garden accessories that appeal to you. • Allergies in the family? Must-haves such as shade? Note those. • Absolutely hate fussy roses, floppy plants, the colour yellow? Start a “dislikes” list, too. • Decide a ballpark figure for how much money you’re willing to spend. A good professional design can cost $2,000 (not including plants). If your budget can’t stretch that far, a garden centre may be able to provide a basic plan at less cost.
The nitty-gritty Check whether the designer works with residential properties, not just commercial or institutional clients. Ask for client references and check them. Ask about experience and any accreditation. Find out who will be actually
doing the work and if subcontractors are involved. Get a contract that covers scope of the work, cost, payment schedule, start and completion dates and warranty, if applicable. See www.landscapeontario.com for more information on how to choose a landscape professional.
SILHOUETTE By Hunter Douglas ON SALE NOW! Why settle for ordinary when you can have extraordinary Silhouette
Extraordinary Window Fashions. Extraordinary Places. You Could WIN!*
Visit this participating dealer or online at www.hunterdouglas.ca/promotions/extraordinary to see how you can enter the Extraordinary Window Fashions Contest* for your chance to win a $20,000 Dream Vacation.**
* Contest runs from January 1, 2011 to April 30, 2011. No purchase necessary. Correct answer required to skill testing question. See complete Entry, Prize, eligibility and Contest details in the Official Rules at any participating Hunter Douglas dealer in Canada or at www.hunterdouglas.ca/promotions/extraordinary. ** Prize comprises $20,000 CDN Carlson Marketing Ltd. travel certificate.
VAUGHAN - VILLAGE OF VAUGHAN MILLS 407-255 Bass-Pro Mills
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MARCH 2011 VAUGHAN ToDAY 23
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Madeira Hardwood Floors Ltd. 331 Trowers Rd., Unit #5 Woodbridge, Ontario L4L 6A2
Tel - 905.851.5233 Fax - 905.851.5956 www.madeirafloors.com
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Feb. 26 - Mar. 2, 2011
EVERY SINGLE ITEM IN-STORE ON SALE NOW! DONâ€™T MISS OUT!
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Front Load Laundry Pair
Front Load Laundry Pair
Tall Tub Dishwasher Â›,L\v\cWXj_Jyst\d Â›;\capWash Â›CfekrfcLfZb
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with the purchase of select Maytag Performance Series Laundry Pairs
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Top Mount Refrigerator
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$1,547 SAVE $900 AFTER $200 INSTANT REBATE. PLUS FREE OTR!
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, CLEARANCE ITEMS INSTANT REBATE! *
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M Maytag French DDoor Fridge
See Sales Associate for details. Valid at participating authorized Jenn-AirÂŽ appliance dealers.
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â€ $3,300 maximum Instant Rebate amount based on the purchase of a 5-piece kitchen consisting of range YJDRP548WP, built-in refrigerator JS42NXFXDW, refrigerator panel kit JPK42FNXWPS, dishwasher JDB3600AWP, range hood JXW9048WP from the same participating authorized Canadian Jenn-AirÂŽ appliance dealer at the same time. *Limited time only. Some restrictions may apply. In-store instant rebate will be deducted at time of purchase. Qualifying ÂŽ Purchase qualifying Jenn-Air appliances include Jenn-AirÂŽ refrigerators, ranges, wall ovens, cooktops and dishwashers and ventilation hoods. See reverse for qualifying models. No substitutes qualify. Open to Canadian residents only. One claim per household per product category. Offer is not available to dealers, builders or contractors. This offer cannot be combined with any other Jenn-AirÂŽ Home Appliance offer. GST/HST/QST and Provincial Sales Tax (where applicable) are included in the rebate amount. ÂŽRegistered Trademark/ TM Trademark of Jenn-Air U.S.A. Used under license in Canada. ÂŠ2011. All rights reserved. See store for details.
For The Pair
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MARCH 2011 VAUGHAN ToDAY 25
Mark Your Calendar Mon., March 7 – Mon. April 18 Nobody’s Perfect program for young mothers under 25, Mondays, 10 a.m. – 12 noon at Vaughan Community Health Centre, 9401 Jane St., Suite 206. Feel good about doing your best as a parent; be ready for each new skill your child learns; help your child learn positive behaviour. Transportation and child care available. Call Kelly at 905-3038490 ext. 153 or Regi at 905-853-5514 ext. 224 to register. Thurs., March 10 Triple P Workshop – Homework Routine, for parents of school-aged children, 5:30-7:30 p.m. at Vaughan Community Health Centre, 9401 Jane St., Suite 206. Call Kelly at 905-303-8490 ext. 153 to register. Sun., March 13 Start off the March break with some art. Works by Norman Rockwell will be on display at the McMichael Art Gallery and accompanied by an appearance from Michael Martchenko, the illustrator best known for his drawings in Robert Munsch’s stories. Create artwork based on the Rockwell exhibition and Martchenko’s illustrations. 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. Cost included with admission. Sat., March 19 The search is on! The 2011 City Green Planet Beauty pageants kick off in cities across Ontario. Organizers are on a mission for environmentally conscious young women to represent their cities at the first Miss Green Planet Canada Pageant in Victoria, B.C. in May. Information at 1-888GREN111. Sat., March 19 – Sat. April 30 Open auditions for the fourth annual Beauties of Asia calendar, produced by the Global Asian Interactive Youth Association, to be held at Market Village in Markham. Eighteen girls selected from the auditions will compete to become Miss Beauty of Asia 2011. The final competition will be held at the Grand York Ballroom at Sheraton Parkway. Register at email@example.com. Information www.beautiesofasia.com. Wed., March 30 The second of three interactive workshops being held by the York Catholic District School Board and York Region Community Health Services to help with the implementation of the Ministry of Education’s new school food and beverage policy, 4-6 p.m. at St. Joseph the Worker Catholic Elementary School, 475 Brownridge Dr., Thornhill. School council members, school volunteers and parents welcome. Fri., April 8 Artists are invited to submit original works of art to the City of Vaughan’s fifth annual juried art exhibition. A work may be selected for future installation in a designated public city centre or space. The work would later be housed in a municipal art collection. Deadline for submissions is April 8, click on Arts & Culture at www.Vaughan. ca/culture_recreation/recreation_programs/. Information about public events to be held in the Vaughan area may be submitted by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. 26 VAUGHAN ToDAY MARCH 2011
We didn’t always get along By J.L. Granatstein
n the year before WWI began, celebrations abounded along the Canada-U.S. border. It was 100 years since the end of the War of 1812, and orators at great banquets in both countries hailed the century of peace between Canada and the U.S. The “undefended border” between the two North American nations was an example to the world, they all proclaimed. If only Europeans could act like Americans and Canadians. If only it had been true. In fact, Americans and Canadians had been fighting ever since settlement began. English adventurers from the American colonies seized Quebec City in the 17th century and French soldiers and First Nations warriors had attacked English settlements repeatedly into the 18th century. Even before the Declaration of Independence created the United States, in 1775 the Continental Congress had sent an invading army to capture Montreal and to attempt to seize Quebec. The War of 1812, its end celebrated in 1914’s ceremonies, had closed in a bloody stalemate. Then came the Rebellions of 1837-38 in the Canadas, followed by attacks on British Canada by “Patriots” from the United States who sought to “free” Canada. In 1839, there was the Aroostock War, a boundary dispute between Maine and New Brunswick that led both sides to mobilize troops before negotiations cooled everyone down. During the U.S. Civil War, fear of an American attack that might bind up the wounds of war with a victorious drive northwards led the British North American provinces to join together in the Dominion of Canada. The British colonies knew they had no chance separately; together they just might survive against the bigger, richer U.S. The British and their North Americans colonies also had seemed more sympathetic to the South than to Abraham Lincoln’s Union, and when Confederate army raiders struck from Canada across the U.S. border, looted Vermont banks, and fled back to Montreal, the courts turned them loose — with their stolen money. Despite such provocations, the U.S. did not attack, but Irish-American Fenians, men who hoped to liberate Ireland from British rule by attacking Canada, did launch repeated attacks from United States territory against Quebec, Ontario, New Brunswick and Manitoba, attacks that continued from 1866 to 1871. Most of the raids were more comic opera than war, but at Ridgeway in Upper Canada in June, 1866, the skirmish was bloody — and the Fenians defeated a Canadian-British force before escaping back across the border. The Fenian raids were the last armed confrontation on the border, it’s true. But Canada, as a British possession, could never consider itself safe. Every time the United States and Great Britain engaged in a diplomatic confrontation, Canadians shivered in their boots. What if the dispute turned to war? This was not an unrealistic concern. In 1895, the border between Venezuela and British Guiana, a South American boundary dispute a long way from Washington, London and Ottawa,
almost started a conflict between Britain and the United States. For a brief period, Canada began a small rearmament program, before the peaceful settlement of the border question let Ottawa sink back into its normal neglect of defence. The point is that peace, while desired by almost everyone, was always threatened. There were hotheads in the U.S. Congress and in some newspaper offices who believed that all of North America should be American. It was the United States’ “manifest destiny,” they said. It wasn’t that Americans disliked Canadians; it was that Canada was a British colony, and Britain, the nation against which the Americans had revolted, offended by its mere presence. For their part, those Canadians who did not emigrate to the United States — tens of thousands did every year, seeking greater opportunities — resented the constant threats from the south and disliked what they saw as bragging, boasting Yankees who seemed to believe that everything they did was right and proper. And yet, during WWI when Canada found itself in serious economic difficulty, it was forced to ask Washington, just into the war, for assistance in the summer of 1917. What is interesting is the way Canada approached the U.S. The finance minister wrote to his American counterpart to say “We have in your time and mine always been good neighbours. Occasionally a verbal brickbat has been thrown across the fence,” Sir Thomas White wrote. “But we have always sympathized with each other … In our attitude towards constitutional liberty and all social problems our people are very much alike and understand each other better I think than any other two peoples in the world today.” We are all North Americans together — that was the message, and White got the help Canada needed. It was and is true in 1917 and today. But Canadians should not pretend that it was always so. The undefended border and the century of peace after the War of 1812 were myths, not fact.
Some ideas were myths, not facts
J.L. Granatstein is editor of The Canadian Experience and writes on Canada-U.S. relations, foreign and defence policy, and political history. Next Instalment: Canada’s Great War The Canadian Experience is a 52-week history series designed to tell the story of our country to all Canadians. Sponsored by Multimedia Nova Corporation and Diversity Media Services/Lingua Ads partners, the series features articles by our country’s foremost historians on a wide range of topics. Past articles and author bios are available at http://www.cdnexperience.ca. The Canadian Experience is copyright © 2010-2011 Multimedia Nova Corporation.
Fun-time expeditions By Mathieu Yuill
ports coupes are a funny category. While clearly served best to a market that doesn’t have to consider driving kids or anyone else around, they also have appeal as a good midlife crisis option. The Mitsubishi Eclipse makes a decent choice for both types of consumers. Priced starting at just a touch under $25,000, the Eclipse has an available big engine for the segment outputting 265-horsepower from a 3.8-litre V6, an unusually good warranty for both the standard fair basic version (five years or 100,000 kms) and a 10-year, 160,000 kms powertrain and some interesting features not often found at this price range. Most notable is the back-up camera, available as part of a package. This feature used to be found only on luxury vehicles with price tags at $60,000 and higher, but the Eclipse has one on both trim levels. When putting the car in reverse, a screen appears on the left hand side of the rearview mirror giving the driver a wide-angle view of what’s behind the car. What should be standard on any sport coupe are big wheels, and the Eclipse delivers on this in spades. There were days that 15-inch wheels were the upgrade, but big and fat wheels are the norm here. Eighteeninch, 10-spoke wheels with P235/45 tires come off the factory line. The base GS model has a few bells and whistles that were nice to find from a safety perspective. While the 162-horsepower on the entry level won’t blow the doors off of any barns it is torquey. The traction
control did a fine job of keeping the car from going all screwy under spirited acceleration from a standstill. And because those wheels are so big the brakes come with big expectations. ABS is standard on both trims and kicks in when called upon. While driving along a particularly unkept road in the GTA, a passenger of mine “didn’t like the shocks on this vehicle.” It’s not surprising: the Eclipse is definitely sport-tuned and the suspension is set up to keep the car tight around some fun-time corner expeditions. The caveat is that jaunts to the corner store or to and from work can get a bit tiresome from feeling every bump along the way.
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Lessio ready for NHL draft By Brian Baker
he Land of 10,000 Lakes is beckoning Maple bornand-bred Lucas Lessio this summer. The NHL will be flooding St. Paul, Minn. June 24–25 for its annual entry draft. Lessio is one top prospect under the microscope, currently carving up the left wing with Oshawa Generals of the Junior A OHL. Ranked 44th at the midterm by the NHL’s Central Scouting Bureau, the anticipation is mounting in Lessio, but he says he relishes it. “As the draft approaches you really feel the heat and the pressure, but not pressure in a bad way; in a good way,” he said. “It really puts momentum into your game and really challenges you to work your hardest, because you dream all your life for something like this.” And Lessio knows the time is nigh. “It only happens once in a lifetime,” he said. “So you want to make the best of it and finish off the year strong so your time in Minnesota will be better.” A “lifetime” for him is 18 years. He grew up on a street rife with youth. “We were never inside. We were always outside playing any sports we could.” His parents, Claudio and Claudia, registered him in house league hockey at age 4. From there he kept at it and eventually played AAA with Vaughan Rangers. Now, Lessio’s skating with a deep Generals roster, featuring Canadian junior team member Calvin de Haan as well as two other 2011 draft hopefuls: Boone Jenner and Nicklas Jensen. Lessio has flourished in his rookie OHL season — so much so he was chosen to Team Orr at the CHL Top Prospects game held at the Air Canada Centre in January. Teamed up with other draft prodigies Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Dou28 VAUGHAN ToDAY MARCH 2011 28 VAUGHAN ToDAY MARCH 2011
gie Hamilton and Jonathan Huberdeau, his crew won 7-1 over Team Cherry, much to the elation of his coaches. “Dougie Gilmour, Stan (Butler) and Wendel (Clark) told us before the game, ‘You know guys, if we lose this one we’re going to hear about this on Coach’s Corner every Saturday, how Don beat us.’” But it wasn’t all fun and games. Every player was out there trying to prove himself to the scouts, while working within the team game, he said. “The coaches were on board with winning and that really helped us.” Through it all, his parents have been his source of inspiration, Lessio says. “They’ve been my support and my everything since day one.”
photo courtesy fabio brusco
Home field for Vaughan kids By Brian Baker
he football coaches of St. Joan of Arc Catholic Secondary School had a vision in 2008. In the absence of a football league in the City Above Toronto, they created one: the Vaughan Football Association. With the patience of a saint, the fledgling association received permits almost three years after its inception. And last year ikt got together over 60 kids from ages 8–14 to play in an impromptu league after finally receiving field permits. Only two teams were formed, but it allowed Vaughan kids to get a taste for the gridiron before they reach high school. “Through coaching at the school and understanding the community and knowing the kids that are into the sport, we saw from day one it was a shame that these kids were not exposed to the sport earlier,” recalls president Fabio Brusco. That’s why in 2008, along with fellow teacher Robert Fiore, he set out to bring football to Vaughan so kids would not have to travel to Markham, Brampton or Newmarket. “They’re not that far away, these cities, but at the same time it makes it a little bit harder,” Brusco said. “You have to get driven by your parents during rush-hour traffic twice a week, and it detours a lot of kids. “They were having a lot of trouble playing football outside of school and they’d never played football before they came to high school.” The goal is to build up their house league to three divisions, with four teams in each. “This way, when they get to high school they can basically excel there, but eventually we’d like to form rep teams,” Brusco said. “We just want to do as much as we possibly can — basically give the kids of this community what the other kids of other communities are currently receiving.” An advertisement filtered through schools, and teacher Felecia Marinis came across it, knowing right away it was what her 11 year old son Luca had been looking for. “As soon as my son saw that, well, out went the guitar lessons, out went everything else and into football he went, because he loved it,” she said. “Loved it” is an understatement. The Marinis’ dog is named Dallas, for “America’s Team”, naturally. Felecia organized a year-end tailgate party for the inaugural season. But Luca admits it wasn’t love at first sight. “I had never really liked the sport of football and I sat down and watched one episode; I’m pretty sure it was the Redskins and Cowboys,” he said. “My dad said, ‘See, it’s cool, so stop all that criticizing’. “I started to watch it and I actually started to like it.” Now, the dream of following in the footsteps of quarterback Tony Romo has became more of a reality for Luca. Decorating his room in full Cowboys paraphernalia, the next step was
to seek out a league to sharpen his skills. He’s ready for next season, as is Brusco, who’s hoping a little help from the city will garner them field time. “We have a lot of youth in our city,” Brusco said. “Field space is an issue, no doubt about it. “But I think the city is working on that.”
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Vaughan Today on the Web
Dan Hoddinott/vaughan today
FAMILY FUN: Kids and families were enjoying Vaughan’s 22nd annual Winterfest on Feb. 6 at Vellore Village Community Centre. Milena Tricarico, 3, went skating with dad John; Nicholas Lotta, 5, met Bucky the YRP mascot and got to see the inside of a police cruiser; and when they weren’t taking in the singing, dancing, juggling or star appearances on the main stage, parents got to watch their kids on a chilly midway ride!
Representatives of Veolia and Amalgamated Transit Union Local 113 agreed less than an hour before the midnight Sunday deadline to meet again on Tuesday and try to hammer out a lasting deal.
FEB. 18: Come, just as she was. The McMichael Canadian Art Collection in Kleinburg has a whole raft of intriguing extras planned to celebrate this weekend’s opening of two exhibitions about Marilyn Monroe: Life as a Legend: Marilyn Monroe and Marilyn in Canada. But the real show stopper is an opportunity to get free all-day admission on Sunday by showing up dressed like Marilyn.
FEB. 10: Works from the COLOURblind art collection will remain on display at Dufferin Clark Library until the end of February, while other public libraries in Vaughan continue to hold special events in recognition of Black History Month. Drumming, dance and storytelling by published authors have been part of special events to explore African and Caribbean culture.
ollowing is a sampling of the stories that generated the heaviest traffic last month as folks flocked to VaughanToday.ca in search of breaking news and community events:
FEB. 17: Union boss Bob Kinnear warns that Vaughan commuters can expect a strike by York Region Transit workers on Monday if a new agreement is not reached with Veolia Transportation Services Canada by midnight Sunday. More than 200 bus drivers and mechanics represented by the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 113 on Wednesday rejected a tentative agreement reached last weekend between their union and Veolia Transportation, one of four contractors servicing York Region Transit. A strike would impact some 28,000 commuters, mostly in Vaughan. FEB. 13: Bluesy Monday didn’t arrive for some 28,000 Vaughan area commuters, after all. The sides in the labour dispute between transit workers and Veolia Transportation Services Canada, one of four subcontractors operating York Region Transit buses, decided to have a heart — at least for Valentine’s Day.
JAN. 31: Tommy Longo, eldest of the three founding brothers of Longo Brothers Fruit Markets, passed away on Sunday after a brief battle with leukemia. Born in 1934, ahead of brothers Joe and Gus — who would become his business partners — Tommy Longo was considered the patriarch of the family for more than 50 years. The fruit market opened in 1956 in a 1,500-sq.ft. store in Toronto. It developed into a full-fledged supermarket chain, employing some 4,000 “team members” in 23 Greater Toronto Area locations. Vaughan has four Longo’s locations. In keeping with the giving spirit friends cite when describing Tommy Longo, the supermarket chain has an established record of active participation in community initiatives aimed at promoting health.
Tweeter readers: On renewed YRT strike threat:
@frankgreco1 Frank Greco: Who will give YRT’s 7 riders a lift if YRT strikes? On the future of a hospital in the city:
@frankgreco1 Frank Greco: A hospital for Vaughan will not come easy. Will take much work and push by everyone. Prov. must commit. Aiming for construction in 2013! @esilverstein Elliott Silverstein @StevenDelDuca @richardlorello @frankgreco1: Well said. Doing it fast is vastly different from doing it right. On Marilyn in Vaughan:
@VaughanAgent Carl Minicucci @VaughanToday: Lately, I’ve become quite impressed with the work of Marilyn ... only not the Norma Jeane kind Follow us on Twitter @VaughanToday
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Published on Mar 2, 2011
March 2011 issue of monthly news and community information, distributed in the city of Vaughan, Ontario. Inside: local Woodbridge resident g...