Windsor Life Magazine Autumn 2023

Page 1

PlaySmart. 1-866-531-2600 ConnexOntario Problem Gambling Services. Must be 19 years of age or older to enter the casino and all other outlets. Those who have been trespassed from Caesars Windsor and/or self-excluded from any OLG or Caesars property are not eligible to attend Caesars Windsor or related outlets, participate in promotions or redeem offers. The Caesars brand and related trademarks are owned by Caesars License Company, LLC and its affiliated companies. Used with permission. ELEVATE YOUR THURSDAY NIGHTS Take hold of an unforgettable experience. Our Seafood Thursday special offers an ocean of discovery with your choice of appetizer, entrée, and dessert for $74.95. Enhance your culinary journey by adding a bottle of wine, carefully selected by our in-house sommelier to complement your seafood entrée. Reserve your table today at 1-800-991-8888 or AWARD-WINNING WINE SELECTION AND CERTIFIED IN-HOUSE SOMMELIER.
Proud recipient of numerous Landscape Ontario Excellence Awards, with an additional 8 in 2022. Achieving the pinnacle of landscaping success.

Moving Forward without Moving Out

Accessing your home equity can help boost your retirement income, ease pressure on your pensions and investments, and help you stay put.

IN A RECENT SURVEY of Canadian homeowners, while some Canadians felt in control of their desired timeline for retirement, more than half the respondents don’t know what their retirement income will be. 1One reason may be that investment values fluctuate, and for many, a significant portion of their wealth at retirement is tied up in their home. And selling their house to free up that money simply isn’t what they want to do.

If that sounds like your situation, you may want to consider accessing the equity in your home to help boost your retirement income. One of the most common ways to take income out of your home without selling it is through a secured line of credit (also called a home equity line of credit). A secured line of credit lets you borrow what you need, when you need it, at a very favourable interest rate because your loan is secured, or guaranteed, by your home.

In addition to helping you stay in your home longer, there are other potential advantages. When you access your home equity:

Your withdrawals are tax-free, unlike withdrawals from registered accounts such as Registered Retirement Savings Plans and Registered Retirement Income Funds

You may be able to avoid cashing out other investments and locking in losses when markets are volatile

You can ensure ready availability of funds to meet unexpected home or health care expenses

You can reduce the cost of other debts by transferring those balances to the secured line of credit (if the interest rate is lower than your other loans)

Keep in mind that you may need to have enough cash flow from other sources to cover the monthly interest payments on the secured line of credit. The best time to apply is before retirement. To protect yourself and keep interest costs from becoming a burden, it’s a good idea to put a cap on the amount you borrow – for example, 20 per cent of the value of your home.

Your home is an important asset that should figure in your overall retirement planning. Schedule a no-cost appointment with me to find out how well this approach fits your personal situation. And plan to enjoy your retirement knowing that reaching this milestone with less saved than you hoped for doesn’t necessarily mean you need to sell the home you love. n

12023 Manulife Financial Health Survey,


CONTRIBUTING Matthew St. Amand

WRITERS Ryan Percy

Michael Seguin

Alley L. Biniarz


ART DIRECTOR Michael Pietrangelo

PRODUCTION George Sharpe

PHOTOGRAPHERS John Liviero, Sooter’s Photography

Michael Pietrangelo

Michael Evans

Alex Marentette -HomesByAlex

John Barnes

Shayenna Nolan

University of Windsor

Spike Bell, M.Photog. CPP MPA

Gene Schilling


VICE PRESIDENT ADVERTISING SALES Charles Thompson 519-818-7352


WINDSOR LIFE MAGAZINE 318-5060 Tecumseh Road East Windsor, Ontario N8T 1C1 Tel: 519-979-5433

Windsor Life Magazine is published by Campbell McGregor Garant Publishing Incorporated. Articles and art may not be reprinted without written permission from the publishers. The publishers assume no responsibility to return unsolicited editorial or graphic material. Windsor Life Magazine is a registered trademark of Campbell McGregor Garant Publishing Incorporated, Suite 318-5060 Tecumseh Road East, Windsor, Ontario N8T 1C1. Telephone (519) 979-5433, Fax (519) 979-9237. All rights reserved. ISSN 11955694. Canada Post Canadian Publications Mail Product Sales Agreement No. 43512513.

Windsor Life Magazine is published 8 times per year. Mailed delivery in Canada is available for $40.00 per year including H.S.T. A $150.00 charge is required for mail delivery anywhere outside of Canada. Send cheque along with address information to Windsor Life Magazine, 318-5060 Tecumseh Road E., Windsor Ontario, N8T 1C1.

appointment. The information contained herein was obtained from sources believed to be reliable; however, no representation or warranty, express or implied, is made by the writer, Manulife Securities or any other person as to its accuracy, completeness or correctness.

INTERESTED IN LEARNING MORE, PLEASE CALL OR EMAIL Barbara Allen, HBA, CFP Senior Financial Advisor Manulife Securities Incorporated Life Insurance Advisor Manulife Securities Insurance Inc. Direct Line 519-250-0515 Office: 519-250-5190, ext. 409 2255 Cadillac Street, Windsor, ON, N8W 3Y2 Stocks, bonds and mutual funds are offered through Manulife Securities Incorporated. Insurance products and services are offered through Manulife Securities Insurance Inc. Banking products and services are offered by referral arrangements through our related company Manulife Bank of Canada. Please confirm with your Advisor which company you are dealing with for each of your products and services. FINANCIAL PLANNING FOR ALL LIFE EVENTS SINCE 1995
n n n n Manulife, Manulife & Stylized M Design, Stylized M Design and Manulife Securities are trademarks of The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company and are used by it, and by its affiliates under license. This is not an official publication of Manulife Securities. The views, opinions and recommendations are those of the author alone and they may not necessarily be those of Manulife Securities. This publication is not an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy any securities. This publication is not meant to provide legal, accounting or account advice. As each situation is different, you should seek advice based on your specific circumstances. Please call to arrange for an
SOUND HEARING CARE 519.979.3300 13310 Lanoue St., Tecumseh / 962 Old Tecumseh Rd., Belle River / OPENING SOON! –1275 Walker Rd., Windsor, 519-962-3300 / Tina Stafferton doctor of audiology Kristina Spencer audiology assistant Donna Ellis patient coordinator Nicole Drew speech - language pathologist outloud speech and language services 519-350-8532 Justyna Lorenc doctor of audiology Diva DeBenedictis doctor of audiology Give us a call to set up your hearing test today! Hearing Tests • Hearing Aids • Hearing Aid Servicing • Earwax Removal New Windsor Location Due in October!
76 Talbot St. S., Essex ph: 776-6316 • 776-8611 • 776-9788

Received an inheritance? Here’s what to do next.

According to estimates, about $1 trillion will be transferred from one generation to the next between 2016 and 2026.1 Have you thought about what you’d do if you received a lump sum inheritance?

Before you start spending the cash, there are many factors to consider. You don’t have to decide on your own — working with your financial advisor, as well as your tax and legal professionals where appropriate, can help you determine a strategy that makes the most sense for you.

Pause and take time to think - First, it’s important to allow time to mourn your loved one. Making financial decisions in an emotional state is never a good idea. This may mean putting the money aside while you grieve. Consider how your family member would have wanted you to spend that money. This might give you some ideas.

Pay off debt - An inheritance may provide an opportunity to make a fresh start, debt-free. Begin by paying off high interest rate credit cards and loans, including any student loans.

Set up an emergency fund - If you’re still working, we recommend having six to 12 months of living expenses in an emergency fund. If you’re retired, we recommend setting aside three months of living expenses for emergencies.

Invest for your retirement - You could use part of your inheritance or lump sum to contribute to your Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) or Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA) for the year.

Save for children’s education - It’s never too soon to save for the high costs of a child’s education. Consider investing in a Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP).

Make a major purchase - Would your loved ones like the idea that you took the trip of a lifetime or put the pool in the backyard that you’ve wanted for years?

Review your own estate plan - An inheritance may alter your own gifting plans or just serve as a great reminder to review and update your own Wills, powers of attorneys and beneficiaries if appropriate.

Your financial strategy is likely a great roadmap for how to put your inheritance to work. Your financial advisor can help you evaluate your situation.

John Atkinson Riverside East 519 944 9080 Chris Horovenko Tecumseh Rd. at Norman 519 944 2971 Diane Santing Tecumseh Centre 519 979 7334 Dean Doster St. Clair Beach 519 979 5555 Elias Doskoris St. Clair Beach 519 979 5555 Theresa King Belle River 519 727 1041 Mark Szarek Leamington 519 324 0144 Dennis McDonald Kingsville 519 733 6186 Colin Duggan Belle River 519 727 1041 Matthew Sears Windsor St. Rose 519 945 6165 Don Harris LaSalle Centre 519 969 3825 Alok Tomar LaSalle 519 969 3825 Cameron Sinclair LaSalle 519 969 3825 Julie Charrette LaSalle 519 966 5046 Steven Kidd LaSalle 519 734 8599 Jayson Bastien LaSalle 519 966 5046 Dave Freeman Cabana Near Howard 519 967 0084 Jennifer Johnson South Windsor 519 969 1419 Sean Hunt South Windsor 519 972 6389 Member - Canadian Investor Protection Fund
This article was written by Edward Jones for use by your local Edward Jones Financial Advisor.
DISCOVER. EXPLORE. EXPERIENCE. Ensuite Bath and Kitchen Showrooms offer affordable luxury for every lifestyle, providing extraordinary service and quality products from leading bath and kitchen manufacturers from around the world. Welcome to our premier plumbing showroom... where your options are endless. 2663 Temple Dr., Windsor 519.948.8131 Top brands and the latest trends make for great kitchen & bath ideas at
12 Windsor Life 34 26 44 FEATURES DEPARTMENTS 18 FREE FOR ALL WALLS Daniel “DENIAL” Bombardier Brings Mural Festival to Windsor 26 FARE THEE WELL Feather Hat Guy Made an Impression on Everyone 30 ENGINE NO. 7 A Vital Piece of Windsor Fire Fighting History Restored 34 BELLS AND WHISTLES Home Offers The Perfect Open-Air Sanctuary 44 POSITIVE VIBES Local Band Stereobabe Provide Tunes for Windows-Down Cruising 48 RESTORATION PROJECT Rehabilitating Freshwater Systems And Helping Biodiversity Recover 55 FROM HOBBY TO OBSESSION How a Local Author Wrote a Book About the Solace of Cycling 58 ATLANTIC GETAWAY A Photographic Trip to Canada’s Youngest Province 64 BEING A BRICKLAYER Advice From Community Builder Richard Peddie 42 NEW & NOTICED 52 BON APPETIT! ON THE COVER Windsor’s Daniel “DENIAL” Bombardier is bringing the first Free For All Walls Mural Fest to the city this October.
Pietrangelo See page 18
Located in Corner of County Rd. 46 and Manning Actual Project By appointment only. email: • website: Every kitchen deserves a custom design. Visit our showroom 519.723.4111 | Fireplace Xtrordinair® is dedicated to the quality, beauty, and performance of innovative hearth products that keep you and your family warm! EXCLUSIVELY SOLD AT SCOTTS FIREPLACE
UNIVERSITY PLAZA 2650 Tecumseh Rd W Windsor, ON 519-252-7743 EAST END 8505 Tecumseh Rd E Windsor, ON 519-948-8111 WALKER ROAD 4150 Walker Rd. Windsor, ON 519-966-3650 visit our website at All Your Fall Essentials From leaf blowers to outdoor decor and grills, we’ve got what you need to make the most of Autumn days.
1455 Matthew Brady, Windsor 519-94GLASS ( 944-5277 ) Actual Project Custom-designed solutions to fit your every need.
Eric LaMarre Owner

Concept to Completion

Showroom Hours: Mon.-Fri. 8 am-5 pm

Publisher’s Note

Autumn. A great time of the year. For many this year, it is more than welcome. The summer has been, to say the least, a very warm one. At this writing, the temperature has dropped from the high 30s to the teens in a 24-hour period.

Time to get out and enjoy our communities. Seems like I say this every year but we have a tremendous number of places and attractions that, although we may have been here a very long time, are still new.

Our communities are growing and changing at a record pace. Yes, there are still the established areas like our tremendous river and lake front parks and beaches, but new excitement as well. It was just announced that a Gordie Howe International Bridge observation area is being constructed in Malden Park in Windsor’s west end. As you read this, construction of the area will be just finishing up.

I have seen numerous comments from people who didn’t know the bridge was even being built, let alone already reaching its finished height. Don’t miss the opportunity to see this tremendous structure being built.

On the other side of Windsor, the NextStar electric vehicle (EV) battery plant is back on track and the company is already in the hiring mode to fill the hundreds of new jobs being created. Windsor/Essex, Chatham/Kent is once again one of the fastest growing areas in Canada.

According to Canadian Financial Experts, Windsor/Essex is poised for an economic boom over the next few years with all of the significant investment which has created construction jobs, followed by permanent employment as well as hundreds, if not thousands of spinoff opportunities.

There is a renaissance in our downtown with the completely new Downtown Windsor BIA. The arts culture in our city’s core is vibrant. There is a desire to attract new investment, increase and improve amenities, solicit more activities and performers as well as improve the overall security for everyone.

This has been a great Summer for that area with the Ouellette Avenue Car Cruise, the addition of beach volleyball, adding musicians and buskers and more. The upcoming Mural Fest, the Windsor International Film Festival (WIFF) as well as the FIREFEST are all very exciting events which cater to a wide range of patrons.

2744 Jefferson Blvd. | 519-945-3000 Actual Project
At Highway 3, Essex 519-776-5553 Monday-Friday 9:30-6 / Saturday 9-5 / Sunday 11-5 VISIT EHF’S NEWLY RENOVATED DECOR-REST STUDIO Making Furniture Fun & Fabulous
18 Windsor Life
Clockwise from above: Free For All Walls Mural Festival coordinator and artist Daniel “DENIAL” Bombardier; mural by DENIAL located in the ally off University Ave, across from the Capital Theatre; mural by David “DERKZ” Dorkatz.

The Way of the Sword

Local Artist DENIAL is Bringing a Band of Artists To Windsor To Re-Imagine The Space Around Us

THE ARTISTS ARE COMING. Windsor’s own Daniel “DENIAL” Bombardier is bringing the first Free For All Walls Mural Festival to the city October 3rd to October 10th.

Mural Fest’s main event, Part Art Part Party, occurs on Saturday October 7th, starting at 2 pm, going until midnight at Windsor Eats at 400 Erie Street.

Artists from around North America—from as far away as Seattle—and even one from Cuba, will converge on Windsor to create giant works of art on the walls of buildings around the city. Art Alley, just off Maiden Lane in Windsor’s

Autumn • 2023 19 s

downtown core, will serve as one of the focal points, though murals will be painted on empty walls—with property owners’ full approval—throughout downtown Windsor and on Drouillard Road.

“The idea for Mural Fest came from my ongoing project ‘Part Art Part Party’—a series of events I’ve put on for years to raise money to create murals,” DENIAL says. “Mural Fest is partly funded by this, and by local sponsors and donors. The artists we invited are helping by waiving their usual artists’ fee. This is super generous and really special.”

20 Windsor Life
Clockwise from right: Mural by Dubai artist Just One; two murals by DENIAL; large art piece of multiple signs by DENIAL; artwork by Montreal artist Omen. All murals are located in Artist Alley off Maiden Lane.

Part Art Part Party events—several each year—have happened in Windsor for the past 13 years.

“By now we’ve commissioned about sixty murals through these events,” DENIAL continues. “I got the idea to bring all the artists we’ve had in the past to one single event: Free For All Walls Mural Fest.”

As of this writing, 46 of the 60 artists have confirmed their attendance.

“A few Mural Fest murals will be created in Art Alley,” DENIAL says. “There are two that they will be fixing. Three other murals will be painted over—they’ve been there a long time, it’s time for a change. It’s the way of the sword! When you paint in the street, you understand that nothing lasts forever!”

DENIAL grew up in west Windsor and has created art for more than 20 years. Although he makes his home here in the city, now, DENIAL has lived in Toronto, Vancouver, Whistler—“I visited a friend there, once, and stayed for six years!”—before returning to Windsor and starting a graphic design business with his brother.

How did he become interested in graffiti art?

“I love the challenge,” DENIAL says. “The tallest mural I’ve painted was a hundred-foot train trestle for City of St. Thomas, at Elevated Park, on a decommissioned train bridge. It shows the final scene of the Gary Cooper/Audrey Hepburn movie, Love In the Afternoon, where they’re standing on the train platform.”

DENIAL says that 99 percent of Windsor citizens with whom he’s interacted enjoy the murals on empty building walls around the city. Among the admirers is newly elected Downtown Windsor BIA (DWBIA) chair, Chris MacLeod, one of the property owners of The Hive on Pelissier, a five-story luxury apartment.

“Chris has been a big supporter of this,” DENIAL says. “I painted their foyer in The Hive and the back of the building. Windsor artist Meaghan Claire Kehoe will be painting The Hive’s north wall during Mural Fest. People can go and watch her work.”

“DENIAL did a very unique piece of artwork for The Hive,” Chris says. “We created a brick wall in our lobby just for that purpose—to bring the street art inside.”

Chris goes on to say: “I love the work [DENIAL] is doing, and I think that it enhances our downtown. He’s definitely an asset to the downtown business community.”

The DWBIA showed its support for Mural Fest with $10,000. Chris also says that

Autumn • 2023 21
QUALITY • RELIABILITY • SERVICE COMMERCIAL • INDUSTRIAL • RESIDENTIAL • Tear Offs & Repairs • Built Up Roof Systems • Metal Roof Coating • TPO & PVC Roof Systems • Maintenance • Commercial Siding • Modified Roofs/Shingle Roofs • Roof System Analysis • Single Ply Rubber Systems CALL TODAY FOR YOUR FREE ESTIMATE 519-256-8474 | | In-home service since 1992 519-735-5515 Design • Delivery • Installation HARDWOOD • CARPET • TILE & MORE Ready for New Flooring? Let us come to you! Bill Wellings & Pam Wellings-Kasana s

Now offering Digital Dentures.

DENIAL has been asked to create a mural on the Downtown Mission for the DWBIA in a continued effort to beautify the downtown core.

DENIAL agrees that street art not only beautifies urban spaces but spurs economic growth.

“I have seen this happen in Miami, in Brooklyn, in Atlanta,” he says. “It’s amazing—to return to a place where I did a project a few years before and see now that everything is painted and there are businesses, that the place has grown.”

Local sponsors of Mural Fest include Tesonics (main sponsor), the DWBIA (secondary sponsor), Windsor Eats, Visible Graphics, Tandem Engineering, AW4U Realty, Pete’s Pipes, Coach Worx, Tourism Windsor Essex Pelee Island, Kingsville Brewery, Hytt Films, and Lessor More Properties.

October 3 will see Windsor artists begin their work, opening Mural Fest. The out-of-town artists arrive on October 5th and 6th, building up to the main event on Saturday the 7th at Windsor Eats on Erie Street, which DENIAL says will be a good day to see active painting.

“Windsor Eats is also a main partner,” DENIAL says. “An art show component of ‘Part Art Part Party’ will happen there on October 7th, starting at 2 pm and going until midnight. There will be a live art battle, kind of like MCs, like Eminem, battling, but with art. They each have a panel and, sort of, attack each other visually, making fun of the other artist. It’s all in good fun. That event starts at two. There will be music all day. We have DJs and live performances. We will have sixteen murals being painted. And then we’ll have two panels where members of the public can try spray painting or using markers like the artists around them.”

DENIAL definitely disproves the cliché that artists are not organized. Putting together Free For All Walls Mural Fest had a lot of moving parts. DENIAL believes it is time an event of this nature came to Windsor.

“Mural Fest is also a great chance for younger artists to learn,” he says. “Many of the artists are pretty ‘naked’ about their processes, meaning they’re willing to share a few of their secrets. Anyone can do art. Everyone is creative. It’s a muscle you have to work out. The more time, more energy, the better you’ll get. It’s my pleasure to put this together—even the hard parts.” WLM

22 Windsor Life Your smile is our passion. 375 Cabana Rd. E. • 519-997-7799
Barry Parisien dd owner Daniela Ferro dd denturist
The latest in Denture Technology. Digital dentures use computer-aided design and manufacturing technology to create dentures from scanned impressions and bite registrations. Give us a call today at 519-997-7799 to book your FREE consultation
Back to Contents
Autumn • 2023 23 Business Law ~ Wills & Estates ~ Commercial Leasing ~ Real Property ~ Condominium Law and Development Employment & Labour Law ~ Civil Litigation ~ Education Law ~ Administrative Law ~ Human Rights Main: 519-969-9844 Toll Free: 1-866-422-7988 Web: 2510 Ouellette Avenue, Suite 301, Windsor, Ontario N8X 1L4 * Andrea Thielk practising in association with Shibley Righton LLP and not as a partner, associate or employee of Shibley Righton LLP.
Jessica Koper Brian Nolan Sheila MacKinnon Wanda Shreve Frank Saroli Andrea Thielk John Jedlinski Jerry Goldberg Jacob Benson Peter Hrastovec Mary-Ann Keefner
Upgrade your Jet Ski storage with individual lifts. No more fuss with the old two-on-one lifts. Enjoy effortless operation with dedicated remotes for each unit, ensuring peace of mind through enhanced safety, security, and customized convenience. Elevate your PWC experience today!
a no obligation quote, please fill out the Contact Us form on our website. You Deserve Better
Donald Leschied
Customized Individual Lifts



ESSEX HOME HARDWARE BUILDING CENTRE is celebrating the Grand Opening of their new location from Thursday, September 21st to Sunday, September 24th.

The new location—at 340 Maidstone Avenue—will allow the team to better service Windsor and Essex County.

And, according to Owner Kimberly Seguin-Gauthier, at Essex Home Hardware Building Centre, service is what they are all about.

“We focus on customer service,” Kimberly explains. “We focus on customer service above all else. Currently, we don’t feature self-checkout machines. I was questioned on this by my POS company. And I just strongly believe in the necessity of human interaction in our business.

I want customers to have the opportunity to make those connections and ask any questions they might have.”

Essex Home Hardware Building Centre’s focus on the human element has paid off exponentially over the years. In addition to thousands of satisfied customers, the team has retained some employees for over a decade.

“We have a lot of fun here!” Kimberly states. “If you follow us on social media, you see that we can be silly. Some of our employees have been with us for years. We try to be open-minded and flexible. We do a lot of cross-training and development. We promote within.”

Essex Home Hardware Building Centre’s dedication to serving their community—both externally and internally— has not gone unnoticed.

“We probably have more employees than most retailers,” Kimberly explains. “Very frequently, customers will comment on how great our staff is. One customer just commented on one of our social media videos saying that, in her humble opinion, we have the best customer service in town.”

And now with the accessibility of the new location right off #3 Highway, Essex Home Hardware Building Centre has the opportunity to help thousands of more customers across Windsor-Essex.

“This has been in the works for a very long time,” Kimberly explains. “We’ve been fighting to get this 12-acre property for years and years and we finally won it. It’s located right on the corner of a busy intersection. We’re excited to be front and center in the Windsor-Essex area! There’s a Tim Hortons and a McDonalds and a Canadian Tire nearby.

– Kimberly, Larry, Brent –

A lot of people traveling to Leamington or Kingsville will pass right by us. We’ll be able to help many, many more people.”

The new store also comes equipped with two new exciting features:

“We have a new Home Expressions department,” Kimberly states. “We had a very small Home Expressions at our old store, but the layout was not ideal. But this one? When you walk in, it’s the first thing you see. There’s also smaller displays scattered about.”

The new location also comes equipped with an M&M Food Market Express.

“It has nine coolers of M&M product,” Kimberly reports. “Customers have been very excited by these features!”

Essex Home Hardware Building Centre opened their new location on August 21st.

“We opened at seven in the morning!” Kimberly recalls. “I wasn’t sure how smoothly everything would be running. I wasn’t even sure if we were ready, but we had a full crew and the vibe and the hype were extraordinary! It was a beautiful day. People were coming into the store with big smiles. The parking lot was consistently full throughout the day. It was an amazing feeling!”

Kimberly admits that this new location will allow her team to better service Windsor and Essex County.

“We want to encourage everyone to come by our new location,” Kimberly states. “The lighting is beautiful. We have a new design gallery with light fixtures, showers and vanities all on display. We are ready to help customers find what they need. We want to help you.”

Essex Home Hardware Building Centre will be hosting their Grand Opening Thursday, September 21st to Sunday, September 24th.

“We open our doors at nine in the morning that Thursday for a little ceremony,” Kimberly explains. “We have lots of fun things planned. We have a live band. We have different characters coming. There’s going to be a food truck and a barbeque.”

Check out their Instagram and Facebook pages to see more.

340 Maidstone Ave West 519-776-4646


Windsor Says Farewell To A Local Legend

HE WALKED THE STREETS of Windsor like an Old Testament prophet. His iconic cowboy hat, festooned with feathers, was visible from blocks away and was instantly recognizable. He was known by everyone as “Feather Hat Guy.” Brand Dead T-shirt Co. created a “Feather Hat Man” action figure (sharing funds from sales with the man himself) and Craft Heads Brewing brews Feather Hat Guy-PA beer in his honour. Artist Daniel “DENIAL” Bombardier painted a wall-sized mural of him off Maiden Lane.

Local legend, Feather Hat Guy, passed away on August 5th. His name was Ron LaDouceur and he was born in Windsor seventy-five years ago. Not only was he known for his unique hat and endless walking, but Ron was universally regarded as a kindly soul, a wandering gentleman, an enigma who shared scattered fragments of his personal history with anyone who

Rumours about Feather Hat Guy abounded. A few were shared with this writer on Facebook:

One person wrote: “I do believe he and his parents were once wealthy people and once owned a jewelry store.” Untrue.

Another wrote: “I’m not sure if it’s urban legend that the reason he wore the feather in his hat was because he conquered abuse of either drugs or alcohol or both…” Undetermined.

Someone else offered: “Ron grew up in East Windsor in

26 Windsor Life
Clockwise from top: Ron “Feather Hat Guy” LaDouceur taking in Windsor’s cold-weather ambiance; can of Feather Hat Guy-PA beer brewed by Craft Heads Brewing; Feather Hat Man action figure created by Brand Dead T-shirt Co.; Mural of Feather Hat Guy by Daniel “DENIAL” Bombardier in Art Alley.

the Central Ave area. Believe he went to Herman Highschool. Worked at Hiram Walker in his younger days.” The Herman High School and Hiram Walker details are correct.

One person who knew Ron was Windsor filmmaker, Mike Evans, creator of the “It Happened In Windsor” YouTube channel.

“I was bartending at the Honest Lawyer on Ouellette in 2000 and saw him walk by all the time,” Mike recalls. “We didn’t know anything about him. I was a huge documentary film fan—especially the work of Michael Moore—so when I caught a glimpse of Rockin’ Ronnie ‘Feather Hat Guy’ in Bowling For Columbine I knew I had to meet him.” It was during an interview between Michael Moore and a Detroit resident at Windsor’s Freedom Festival that Ron and his distinctive hat passed by in the background.

That sighting inspired Mike to make the first of two documentaries about Ron LaDouceur. The first is less than six minutes long.

When asked if other people told him they saw him in Bowling For Columbine, Ron said: “Hundreds of people.”

Mike asked if Ron had any kids. “No… no, I got no kids,” Ron said, “but I got blamed a couple times when I was really young.”

When Mike asked: “What’s your favourite thing about this city?” Ron answered: “I like the people with their open-mindedness.”

Contrary to what many people believed, Ron was not homeless. He resided for years in various rooming houses near the downtown core. His final home was Bruce Villa Manor.

“Ron had odd jobs over the years, working for a time for Hiram Walker,” Mike continues. “He handed out flyers for people because they would see him walking all over the place.”

His main source of income, however, was panhandling. He didn’t hold up a sign or hassle random people on the street, but whenever someone stopped to talk with him—which was all the time—Ron ended each encounter with: “Eh, you gotta couple of bucks for a coffee?” Some people didn’t. Most people did. Ron didn’t care either way.

Ron was always amenable for a chat, but he had places to go. After a few minutes’ conversation, Mike remembers that he would say: “Yeah, I gotta go…” and walk away.

When people tried buying Ron a pack

The reality is hunger exists for those living in Windsor-Essex County, and we need your help to ensure hungry individuals can access healthy, nutritious food.

the UHC - Hub of Opportunities in partnership with the Culinary Federation of Windsor for the first-ever Try pasta prepared by numerous restaurants, vote on the best dish, enjoy live music and help fight hunger in your community! Proceeds go to the UHC - Hub of Opportunities Plentiful Harvest Food Rescue Program Tickets can be purchased online at in advance or at the door. For more info contact June or Maxine at 519-944-4900 or 11:00 A.M. TO 3:00 P.M. TUES. OCT. 17 2023 CIOCIARO CLUB 3745 N TALBOT RD, OLDCASTLE TICKETS $15 s

of cigarettes, he refused, but would accept a single smoke if it was offered.

Later in the first documentary, Ron accepted Mike’s offer of a Whopper at Burger King. As Mike filmed in the restaurant, two of Ron’s friends from the street appeared. When they saw Mike’s video camera, they regaled him with stories of life on the street. When they eventually left, Ron turned to Mike and said: “You made me feel important in front of my friends.” Mike was surprised—that was just how he felt about Ron taking time to sit down and talk with him.

A few years later, Mike made a twenty-minute documentary about Ron titled Finding Feather Hat Guy. He found Ron still traversing the city, meeting people, doing his thing. One small detailed that struck this writer: in all of the footage of Ron, he was always clean shaven and his eyeglasses were in good shape. The man knew how to take care of himself.

Finding Feather Hat Guy premiered at the Windsor International Film Festival in 2019. During the Q&A, Mike was asked by an audience member: “What do you hope happens from making this documentary?”

Mike replied: “I don’t know, I just want something good to happen for Ron.”

“And at that moment,” Mike remembers, “Vincent Georgie, who was standing next to me said: ‘Why don’t we make something good happen for Ron, folks?’ and a popcorn bucket was passed around. People filled it with cash.”

The audience contributed $800 that evening. The money was transferred to Mike who gave Ron $100 a week for the next eight weeks.

After Ron passed away, Mike spoke with an administrator at Bruce Villa. The administrator said: “I have Ron’s hat here and I don’t know what to do with it.”

“I know what to do with it,” Mike said. “Contact Matt Pritchard at Chimczuk Museum and get it in there as part of their collection.”

Mike connected the administrator with Matt and as of this writing, arrangements were being made to transfer Ron’s hat to the museum’s collection. Along with the hat, Ron’s action figure will be added to the exhibit along with a can of Feather Hat Guy-PA beer.

Windsor lost someone special on August 5th. Ron LaDouceur is fondly remembered by the many people who knew him.

Watch Finding Feather Hat Guy at @MikeEvansWindsor on YouTube.

28 Windsor Life
519-944-6006 Custom Built Sunrooms • Year Round Additions • Motorized Screens SEATON SUNROOMS
A Beautiful Resting Place For all Faiths and Cultures Call us for more details 519-969-4146 | 1100 Division Rd., 2 KM South of Devonshire Mall WLM Back to Contents
4600 Rhodes Dr. Unit 2, Windsor EC Row Exit
Central South
Actual Projects


The Ussoletti family proudly celebrates Dante Ussoletti, who was officially called to the Ontario Bar in June of 2023. Dante’s journey from completing his undergraduate studies at the University of Windsor, through law school and his ensuing articles at Bartlet & Richardes LLP, to returning to the firm as an associate, is a testament to his determination and dedication to the legal field.

He is currently practicing as a civil litigator with a focus on commercial litigation, labour & employment law, and insurance defence. Dante has earned two Juris Doctors after graduating from the University of Windsor and University of Detroit Mercy Dual JD program. His journey has been a blend of learning and hands-on experience, and he is eager to continue to sharpen his legal skills as he begins his career.

Born and raised in Windsor-Essex, Dante is not only an emerging legal professional, but a proud member of his community whose heart lies in giving back. He is looking forward to serving the community not only as a proud advocate, but as a compassionate, competent, and ethical professional. Dante’s appetite for learning stems from countless family dinner table discussions revolved around advocacy, innovation, and standing up for what you believe in. These conversations furthered his resolve to pursue a career in the legal field. Dante is also pleased that his younger sister, Ceana, is following in the same path!

Dante’s recent call to the Ontario Bar signifies his readiness to serve the legal needs of Windsor-Essex. Dante, know that your family is proud of this incredible achievement and stands behind you as you embark on a promising journey.

With much love and congratulations, Your family: Mom, Dad and Ceana

welcomes Dante can be reached at 519-253-7461 ext#317 or

Engine No. 7: The “Elcombe”

An Irreplaceable Piece of Windsor Fire Fighting History Was Rescued From The Scrap Heap

HISTORY MATTERS. That is certainly what vice-president of the Windsor Professional Fire Fighter’s Association (WPFFA)—and thirty-year fire fighter—Wayne Currie, believes: “History helps us appreciate what we have today. We believe in preserving our history and having it for the future. Generations from now, people will look back and still have a fire truck that works”

The WPFFA have just completed a fiveyear odyssey restoring a vintage fire truck with the help of 401 Truck Source.

Today’s fire trucks are outfitted with an array of safety features, as well as high tech extraction equipment. Back in its day, fire fighters hung off the back of Engine No. 7—otherwise known as the “Elcombe” after the plant where it was refurbished in 1959—as it raced to fire scenes. The Elcombe’s equipment amounted to a length of hose and two axes.

“The life of this particular truck began in May 1927, when Walkerville Fire Chief Hedley G. Coates signed a purchase order for the Walkerville Fire Department’s first motor-driven pumper,” Wayne explains. “Over the years, this pumper underwent a number of refurbishments, with the biggest done in the late 1950s by Sandwich-based Elcombe Engineering Ltd.”

30 Windsor Life
Top to bottom: Engine No. 7, the Elcombe Fire Truck; the team from 401 Truck Source who refurbished the Elcombe.

The Windsor Fire & Rescue Services website picks up the story from there: “In 1958, Engine No. 7 was delivered to the Elcombe factory on Russell St., near the foot of Mill Street. The 31-year-old pump er was stripped down to its bare frame. A modern canopy style cab and body which utilized some International Harvester truck body panels was designed and built. An Elcombe script nameplate was affixed to the top of the handsome new radiator grille. Now barely recognizable as its former self, the ‘born-again’ Engine No. 7 was placed back in service at Station 5 in mid-1959.”

The WPFFA membership thought the most recent refurbishment was so import ant that they voted to fund this project, which cost approximately $150,000.

“We assessed all of our members and took money from everyone’s pay to fund this project,” Wayne says. “We did this, also, for the monument down at the river that honours fire fighters who have died. That’s who rides on this truck. It is reserved for the people who pay the ultimate price.”

Over the course of Windsor Fire & Res cue Services’ history, thirty-one fire fighters have died in the line of duty or as a result of work-related injuries/illnesses.

How did Engine No. 7 come to need such tender loving care?

“The truck was coming back from a fire truck show in Chatham,” Wayne explains, “and one of the rods went through the en gine block, destroying the engine. That was in 2016. We could not find a replacement engine. Even trying to find parts was diffi cult. The City of Windsor had maintained the truck for parades and as the official funeral truck. The City determined that it wasn’t economically feasible to repair the vehicle after the engine damage. We didn’t see it that way.”

The WPFFA expressed interest in taking possession of the truck, buying it from the City of Windsor at scrap metal cost. That was the easy part. Finding an outfit to un dertake such a complex retool was another story.

“There are places around North America that do this, even one in Hamilton,” Wayne says. “We wanted a local company to handle the job, just as the fire chief did in 1958 going to Elcombe. That’s why we turned to 401 Truck Source. After meeting with the ownership and hearing their ideas about how they’d complete the project we had confidence they could do the job. More than that, they understood what this meant to us.”

“We take the stress out of changing your address.”

Autumn • 2023 31
Windsor/Essex 519-984-2111 Chatham/Kent 519-365-5754 FULL SERVICE MOVE EXPERTS Move • Pack • Unpack • Set-up • Space Design Professional Organizing • Long Distance Move • Downsize Online Auctions, Estates and Clear Outs Home Staging • Help you find a new home and more! SPECIALIZING IN SENIOR MOVES SENIORS | PROFESSIONALS | FAMILIES s
Carriere senior move manager

With the fire fighters funding the restoration project, every means of cost savings was pursued. Local suppliers offered better pricing, in some cases donating parts and helping with labour costs.

“Everyone became a part of this project,” Wayne notes. “401 Truck Source, their hands, their workmanship are part of this. Engine No. 7 is a gem. It’s a one of a kind. It’s history on wheels. The chassis and hard suction screen are from the original 1927 truck.”

Wayne continues: “So many of our retirees say, ‘That was the truck we all got broken in on!’ This project has touched so many different people. It really brings back a flood of memories.”

The truck began life almost a century ago. Its chassis was made in the Gotfredson Truck Corporation plant on Walker Road a few blocks up the street from the Walkerville Fire Hall. Interestingly enough, the former Gotfredson factory was destroyed in a spectacular fire on June 30, 1985.

Following its 1958 refurbishment, the truck was still in service in late July 1967 when riots broke out in the Detroit. The Detroit Fire Department put out a call for assistance to help with the massive number of fires set throughout the city.

“The Windsor fire fighters taped the windows so they wouldn’t shatter if they were shot by snipers,” Wayne explains. “This truck battled fires all over the city, sharing hydrants with engines from fire departments from as far way as Toledo, Ohio.”

The truck was pumping when Windsor fire fighter, Len Bondy, lost his life during a blaze in 1971.

“Seeing this project start and finish during my watch was incredible,” says Wayne. “We were a small committee, ultimately just two of us working on this— people retired along the way and we didn’t replace them. We have voted that the WPFFA retain money in the budget to maintain this truck.”

Windsor residents will see Engine No. 7 in parades and large community events, such as FIREFEST 2023.

“We snuck it into the Canada Day parade,” Wayne says. “We needed to get that truck back to what it used to be. People will love seeing that truck, experiencing it. Our next project is a 1947 Mercury ambulance. We want to do our bit to preserve our history.”

Learn more about Engine No. 7 and other fascinating Windsor fire fighting history at WLM

32 Windsor Life
Back to Contents
Autumn • 2023 33 Every day, every way Takin’ care of business As a leading full-service advisory firm, we’re all about saving you time, stress and money. Case in point: Baker Tilly Advantage. It’s our customizable, all-encompassing cloud accounting solution. Bookkeeping and payroll help? Done. Need a CFO? No problem. Bottom line: we take care of it. So you don’t have to. See what Advantage can do for you Get started Baker Tilly Windsor | 519.258.5800 Now, for tomorrow


Lakeshore Home Offers a Perfect Blend of Space and Comfort

FROM A DISTANCE, it shimmers. When you step into this stunning Lakeshore home, the first thing you notice is the scale. The home is 4,200 square feet from one end to the other, allowing for plenty of space. Such dimensions should be intimidating.

And yet, the second thing you’ll notice about the home is how close—how intimate—everything feels. The house—built by Matt Evola with Evola Home Builders and designed by Philip Fernandes Custom Residential Design—was constructed with an open-air aesthetic in mind, meaning that no matter what end of the property you’re standing on—and no matter whether you’re a resident or guest—you’ll always feel like you are home.

And home is just that, a home. It comes equipped with four bedrooms—each of which feature an ensuite and a walk-in closet. The entire house is entirely custom-made and custom-designed, featuring a striking black steel rail system and glass doors.

The house contains all the bells and whistles of a contemporary home, allowing you the opportunity to lean back and soak in the music.

So, with that in mind, let’s begin the tour:

34 Windsor Life

The centerpiece of this residence is, of course, the Living Room. It is a warm, contemporary chamber with a 20-foot-tall ceiling. Furnished by Lionheart Home Interiors, the massive white couch faces a mounted television. Two separate bucket chairs stand nearby, allowing for the perfect amount of seating when guests come over. It’s where the family gathers when entertaining, watching sports events, or consuming the latest movies.

A towering gas fireplace—designed by Forest Glade Fireplace—takes up the middle of the room, flanked on both sides by built-in cabinetry—each containing four shelves. The large, black steel-rimmed windows allow for a stunning view of the backyard, while also admitting plenty of natural light. An oak wood inlaid rests overhead, composed of the same materials as the floor. The tiles for the floor were themselves supplied by Rose City Tile.

As with much of this residence, it is purely open concept. While sitting on the couch, the family can monitor what is going on in the Kitchen behind them and the Flex Room at their left. Which takes us to the next part of the tour…

To the left of the Living Room is the Flex Room. It’s called the Flex Room because it’s just that: “flexible.”

Right now, the Flex Room is used as an office. A white couch sits near the windows, which look out into the spacious backyard. A black wooden desk takes up the center of the room, allowing the occupants to work away while nearly glowing in a sea of natural light.

But again, the Flex Room is bursting with opportunity. The large room can be altered to fit all sorts of purposes. It could be turned into a second dining room, a yoga studio, an art studio, a workout room, a child’s playroom—whatever the homeowner desires! It’s a wide enough space that can fit all sorts of designs and all sorts of future purposes.

But right now, we have more rooms to see…

Autumn • 2023 35
Clockwise from above: An alcove off the kitchen; the main kitchen, with all the modern conveniences; a view into the flex room; the sprawling living room. s
36 Windsor Life
Clockwise from right: The master bathroom, complete with a standing tub and LED mirror; one of the bedrooms with a tray ceiling; the majestic walk-in closet of the master bedroom; the flex room, which is currently an office.

The Kitchen is as open as the rest of the house. Designed by Frank Cremasco Kitchens, no barriers separate the chef from their guests, meaning that everyone can hear the laughter and enjoy the smells of dinner completely unobstructed.

The countertop—sourced by Dimanti Stone Works—is quartz with a waterfall detail, with a matching backsplash along the wall. The Kitchen also features all state-of-the-art equipment—including a stovetop, an oven and a refrigerator. The appliances themselves were provided by Essex Appliance.

Near the kitchen is a cozy walk-in pantry and bar. With a sink, cabinet, and a mini-fridge, the family has all the space they require to prepare any drinks or snacks their guests might require. The walls are fronted with dark tile, that compliments the lighter aesthetic of the house beautifully.

Opposite the bar area is a floor-to-ceiling, wallto-wall expanse of shelving. The storage space is 10-to-12 feet deep, offering them plenty of room for all kinds of food or cooking materials.

As well, the Kitchen leads to an Outdoor Terrace, which also comes equipped with an external s

kitchen as well as its own bathroom. The backyard is perfect for entertaining, featuring speakers, a fireplace, a pool, and an outdoor change room.

But that’s enough of the first level. Let’s take a stroll up the custom stairs—designed by Custom Steel Designs— and see what the second floor offers…

The home’s Bedrooms might just be the coziest part of the home.

The walls raise into 10-foot boxed-out ceilings. Each comes equipped with speakers, an ensuite, and a walk-in closet. The large windows admit a swath of natural light, allowing guests the opportunity to rise with the sun each and every morning.

But the true showstopper is the Master Bedroom. It contains a truly staggering walk-in closet that turns at an L-shape, with a separate custom-designed shelving area for shoes and purses. It also features plenty of gold and chrome hardware, which stands sharply against the wooden interior.

The Master Bedroom also opens into the Master Bathroom. Two hardwood cabinets rest underneath two half oval-shaped mirrors. An LED mirror stands in between the two, perfect for morning applications or touch-ups throughout the day. A freestanding black soaker tub waits under the windows. Wires are set in place along the wall, allowing for the easy installation of a future television.

Near the bathtub is a water closet, where the toilet and shower await. The large, luxurious shower comes equipped with a bench and multiple niches. It also contains three separate showerheads, each of which runs off a single valve.

The tiles themselves also feature in-floor heating. Speakers are installed in the walls.

And that’s the quick tour of this Lakeshore home. A true masterpiece of design and architecture, of steel and glass, of space and intimacy.

This house is currently on the market through Andrew J. Smith and can be viewed at

Windsor Life Magazine is always searching for interesting homes, landscaping, gardens, patios and water features to show our readers what others in the community are doing with their living spaces. If you have a home that you feel would be interesting please email photos to Photos need to be for reference only. If your home is chosen we will arrange for a complete photo shoot. If you wish, you may remain anonymous and the location of your home will not be disclosed.

We Measure. We Install. We Do It All! Buy Factory Direct and SAVE! LET US BRING THE STORE TO YOUR DOOR 519-999-9898 Commercial | Residential
Michael Campoli owner
38 Windsor Life WLM Back to Contents
Steven Caruso sales manager

This Fall Turn up the heat


Meet The New Director of Education

VICKI HOUSTON TOOK OVER LEADERSHIP of the Greater Essex County District School Board on September 1st. She has had 25 years of diverse experience in the GECDSB as a teacher, administrator and superintendent. Before that, she worked in the local hospitality industry and is the first female Director of Education in Ontario to come from a technical teaching background.

“I’ve had a variety of different opportunities in my career both outside of education and out in industry. I’ve had several opportunities to be in management roles and I think pursuing the top level within an organization is important. I have all the leadership skills to fulfill the role. Right now, we are definitely in need, in education, for forward-thinking, changes and some new and exciting opportunities. I can’t wait to embark on all of those.”

“Student success, in my mind, is about the individual student and their success. So, it’s not just about the report card mark or it’s not just about whether they’re graduating on time or taking the additional year to graduate from secondary school. It’s not about whether they entered kindergarten, reaching all the milestones that they should have met by that point. It’s about that individual student and realizing their potential, their success and their sense of belonging and then I’d say that we’ve achieved student success.”

Most recently Vicki was the GECDSB’s Superintendent responsible for Human Resources, and her experience there will have a profound impact on her organizational leadership.

“Going into HR was a tremendous learning experience and it really set the stage for me about the importance of our employees, because we tend to be very student focused. And we should be! But my firm belief is that if our staff are not well, then our students won’t be well. So, we really need to focus our attention on our staff and what their needs are too. We have some great things coming forward in terms of our employee rewards and recognition, some attendance support programs… mental health and well-being will be a focus beginning next year. Our staff have had tremendous changes to deal with over the last number of years and I’m not sure we really took the time to recover and move forward from what we’d just been through, and just take care of our own well-being.”

She recognizes that there are a number of external influences that are affecting the way the school board goes about its business, and she plans to deal with them fairly.

“We need to be open to listening to others’ opinions and views. We need to be open to, sometimes, changing our minds about a path we have been headed on because of input we have heard from others. What we can’t do is let distractions take away from the work and learning that is happening in classrooms.”

Her lived experience gives Vicki a unique perspective on education and a real enthusiasm for building on the board’s initiatives in the skilled trades.

“We already have some excellent partnerships with people in the community, but I look to expand on those and build more. When I was at Walkerville as the principal and vice principal, guidance would often send students to talk to me who maybe were interested in going into a trade. Sometimes parents don’t view a trade as an outstanding career, so I’d have lots of conversations with students about the possibilities within the trades and with the parents about how important and critical they are.”

The board, she says, under her leadership, will maintain its acute focus on overall student success.

Vicki intends to enhance the GECDSB’s already positive reputation on a number of levels.

“I want us to be the school district that is looked upon by all other school districts in the province, in Canada and in international education as the epitome of what great education looks like. We need to be very involved in our community, and partner in other areas that we may not have examined yet. It is imperative that our entire organization feels safe, included and can be who they really are and feel comfortable in that.”



• Financial advice based on your reality

• Access to an extensive network of partners1

• Protection for your business1

• International trade solutions

As a seasoned professional in commercial banking, Leo Novakovic leads Desjardins’s innovative initiatives in automotive and manufacturing financing. With over 7 years of experience in the field, Leo has a keen eye for identifying new business opportunities and fostering valuable referral relationships within the thriving mid-market auto sector. As a dedicated member of the Canadian Association of Moldmakers (CAMM) and the Automotive Parts Manufacturers’ Association (APMA), Leo remains at the forefront of his industry and actively contributes to its growth and success.

Autumn • 2023 41 755 Morton Drive, Windsor | 519-734-8289
automotive industry Tailored solutions for your business
extensive network gives you access to a team of account managers in
who are
businesses in the
team share its wealth of knowledge and skills
you. Meet with our professional to access a range of Desjardins products and services. Leo Novakovic Director, Automotive Industry Financing 226-724-2725
automotive industry, regardless of their size. At Desjardins, everyone is important! We provide advice and guidance
well as solutions that cater to your specific business needs. Let our
1. With the help of various Desjardins or external partners, as needed.
and advisory services to help your business succeed:
Team of professionals to help achieve your business goals



After 10 successful years with the National Basketball League of Canada (NBL), The Windsor Express Basketball team have opted to join the Basketball Super League (BSL). Team owner and President Dartis Willis says that the move means the Windsor Express will now compete against teams from both Canada and the U.S. Details on ticket announcements will be announced later.


Lakeview Montessori School is thrilled to announce that Renee Ryerson has officially been promoted to Head of School. After many years of dedicated work, Renee has proven to be an invaluable member of the community, having served the school since 2001 in various roles. She has consistently contributed to the success of Lakeview Montessori School.


Erie Shores Health Foundation has appointed Penny J. Bellhouse as the Foundation’s Executive Director. ESHF, through the generosity of our community, raises funds to support Erie Shores HealthCare and the Hospice, Erie Shores Campus to enhance the quality of health care in Essex County.


Marie-Rose Music Studio’s owner, Jordyn Severin, is excited to announce the opening of her second location in LaSalle coming January 2024. Offering private music lessons in piano, guitar, drums, voice and violin, they also offer Music for Young Children and The Music Class programs for ages 0-8.


The city of Windsor recently honoured Mark Baker, the creative force behind The Rum Runners Tour. Mayor Dilkens personally commended Mr. Baker for his exceptional contributions to the industries of Tourism, Culture History, and Performing Arts, spanning an impressive tenure of 15 illustrious years. Pictured from left are Rum Runner Tour owners Glen Bacarro and Mark Baker along with Windsor Councillor Renaldo Agostino.

42 Windsor Life


The S’Aints recently played an amazing free show at Seacliffe Park and Beach in Leamington, with support from St. Clair College, LIUNA625, and Sunset Produce sponsors, raising funds for local food banks. Some of the members from left are Kay Howl (Keys), “Mr. Chill” Kelly Hoppe (sax), Jeff Burrows (drums) and Jody Raffoul (guitar). Photo by Gene Schilling. #sleighinghunger.


Owner Dan Wells began Biblioasis 25 years ago as an oasis for book lovers in Windsor and has since grown to include Biblioasis Publishing, a literary press committed to publishing the best poetry, fiction, and non-fiction. Over the years his independent bookstore has provided the community with great books, welcomed local and national authors, hosted book clubs, and more.


Owner Tina Stafferton and her team are proud to announce the opening of their new location at 1275 Walker Rd. in Windsor, providing the same great services as in her Tecumseh and Belle River locations including hearing tests, hearing aids, hearing aid servicing and ear wax removal.


Lakeshore Horse Racing is enjoying another exciting season of events at the Leamington Raceway until November 5th. See live racing daily with events and giveaways. Post time 1:00 pm.


Local comic book author Jeff Lemire recently released his latest comic book called Fishflies, a new tale of small-town surrealist horror in a special extra-length debut issue. When a brutal and violent crime puts the life of an innocent teenage boy in the balance, it sets off a chain of events in bucolic Belle River, Ontario that will permanently change several residents’ lives.

Autumn • 2023 43
Back to Contents


Local Band Stereobabe Is All About The Positive Vibes and Tunes That Are Perfect For Windows-Down Cruising

WE’VE ALL HAD that bad day, bad month, or even bad year(s) where it seems like nothing can turn it around… until you hear that catchy tune that plays exactly the words that you needed to hear. Local band Stereobabe’s latest single, Better Days, details a time just like that.

Band members Leann Banks and Ted Lamont say the song was written during lockdown where they were picturing the better days that came before and the ones that lay ahead. “It’s all kind of about coming out of difficult

times and moving towards something better,” the two recount. The music video, produced by local photographer and filmmaker Syx Langemann, captures perfectly how quickly a bad day can transform into the best day through the power of music and community. This universal feeling makes the song incredibly relatable to listeners, while Windsor locals will love the tributes to the YQG area within the video. This fun and retro song pairs well with some Windsor classic spots seen in the video like Leann’s

44 Windsor Life

Dr. Disc mug or when they’re hanging out jamming at Phog Lounge. You can also spot some new views like the additions to the Riverfront Festival Plaza and Cafe Amor’s first location down Ottawa Street.

“We like to take inspiration from everyday experiences,” Ted and Leann say about the songwriting process. “When it comes to a message for our songs, it would really be about wanting positive things.”

Stereobabe takes the saying “Good Vibes Only” seriously; you can feel the positivity vibrating through their tunes. You’ll find yourself being pulled towards cranking their songs at full volume in your car with the windows down, cruising around without a care in the world. Their sound is a mix of Indie-pop, retro vintage, combined with a lot of harmonies. Both Ted and Leann have been influenced by 60s and 70s Brit pop bands and have pulled from their previous musical experiences to bring together this collective sound.

“My dad was a musician so I took some piano and guitar lessons at first, and then picked up the bass and loved it,” Leann says. “I spent high school playing the bass and have played with numerous bands— most notably The Von Bondies.”

Leann spent the late 2000s touring all over the world with the band and says that a highlight for her was when she played on David Letterman in 2009. She says that this experience, plus touring around Europe for the first time, were personally the coolest things she’s ever done. “Touring is unique from traveling and these are experiences you otherwise wouldn’t have had. Of course it’s difficult, you’re worn out and tired, but when you look back, it’s some of the best times.”

Ted laughs and says although he hasn’t toured as broadly as Leann, he’s had a few musical highlights of his own including opening for The Tragically Hip and playing with Meat Loaf back in the day. Most of his career has been in Windsor; he moved here in the 90s and played with the band Blasternaut where they released three full albums, an EP and did some touring around Canada and the US.

He’s always been into music, having also come from a musically-talented family. “My mom was the choir director at church, dad sang in a barbershop quartet and all of my siblings played piano or guitar. I even played in a band in my late teens with my older brother,” Ted shares his early days.

It was in 2020 when Leann and Ted s

Autumn • 2023 45 Phil Bonadonna BRANCH SUPERVISOR 519-974-8855 For more information, please contact: Michael Marotte INSIDE SALES 519-974-8855 The PPG Logo is a registered trademark and the PPG Paints Logo is a trademark of PPG Industries Ohio, Inc. ©2018 PPG Industries, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 519-979-6600 Pat Soulliere LLD Generational Wealth Preservation Strategies CALL ME Let’s have a conversation how my ideas from experience can help you protect yourself and plan your estate.

Hosted by Arlene Van Doom, RN, Advance Foot Nurse and Foot Care Educator, this day will be a unique and dynamic one to inspire you to achieve optimum health & wellness for your clients through a variety of methods, such as:

• Listening to the experts and your peers presenting

• Asking the questions you have pondered yourself

• Visit with out exhibitors and vendors who are here to support you in your practice

• Network with your peers over breaks and lunch

• Learn how and where you can get more to grow as a foot care professional

met online through their shared love of music and decided it was time to merge their sounds together. “Leann was bored during quarantine and was posting videos every day. She would sing a song, talk about a favourite album or about her dog. When she shared her top 10 favourite albums, I was like…I have to talk to her!” Ted shares his first impressions of Leann.

Leann lives in Michigan, so Ted says they started jamming together online before they were able to cross the border. “Eventually I was able to cross because of my work visa and I knew I had to immediately come over and meet her,” he adds. Along with becoming a couple, the two started playing music together right away and with a few bars starting to open up, they picked up gigs where they could.

That was the beginning of things. They both say that although it was a slower start, they remember having lots of time to record new material and to submerge themselves in the creative process. “Initially when we were coming up with songs we shared ideas over the internet. It seems so easy, looking from the outside. But it really is difficult to write a song. We try to do it together: play off of each other and jam those ideas out,” Leann says. “All of our music is a collaborative release done in an organic way. We try to blend our minds together; our personalities and music as one unit,” Ted adds.

Along with pulling from everyday experiences to get the creative juices flowing, they also love to travel and adventure because it leads to more musical inspiration. It was after they were finished writing their song “Tumbleweed” that they started planning a road trip to the American southwest. From Michigan to California, the duo filmed along the way and released a home movie type of music video to capture the essence of this song about life, love, and adventure.

Today they say that they’re much busier; Stereobabe has recently played in New Jersey with more weekly gigs lined up through December. They both continue to sing lead vocals while Ted plays guitar and Leann plays Bass. The goal is to do more, play more tours, and to definitely hit some more road trips. Adventure is always something they’re striving for — whether that’s to find their next great song or for the chance to experience Better Days.

You can hear their music on Spotify, YouTube, or check out their Instagram or Facebook pages to see their upcoming gigs to watch them live.

46 Windsor Life
Located at the Greenwood Centre 3200 Deziel Dr. Suite 208 Call today to reserve your spot in one or more of our workshops! 226-674-4335 6TH IFCN CONFERENCE & WORKSHOPS FOR FOOT CARE PROFESSIONALS SATURDAY, OCTOBER 14. 2023 WINDSOR, ON
SIGN UP NOW! CONFERENCE: 0800-1600 WORKSHOPS (2): 1730-1830 / 1845-1940 2022 WLM Back to Contents


Local Researchers Take Action to Clean Up Our Freshwater Systems While Helping its Crucial Biodiversity Recover

OUR FRESHWATER biodiversity in the Great Lakes is in danger. As many other species in the world face the same narrative, it can feel challenging to keep up with, or to muster up the energy, to know what to do about these issues. Unlike many stories about species decline, this one is a story of hope, optimism, and collaborative effort towards greater change.

The recent research project Application and Assessment of Recovery Actions for Species at Risk Fishes and Mussels in the Lower Great Lakes, led by researcher and professor Trevor Pitcher along with a team of dedicated researchers and institutions, goes beyond academic documentation. They are committed to taking action— action that will show positive outcomes long after their careers are over.

“I’ve been doing research for 25 years and after 15 years in the

field a switch turned on. I thought, ‘I don’t just want to document this loss,’” Trevor Pitcher shares the shift that happened within his career at the Department of Integrative Biology and the Great Lakes Institute for Environmental Research (GLIER).

Although the idea is over a decade in the making, the project took off a few years ago after receiving $850,000 in funding from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ Canada Nature Fund for Aquatic Species at Risk. From there, he and the team have been actively researching this critical threat on several species of fish and mussels and what they could do about preventing the continued loss of both the species and their habitats.

Dr. Pitcher explains the benefit of the grant and its ability to allow them to assess which methods work and which don’t. “With this grant we’re taking that next step beyond documenting decline

48 Windsor Life
Trevor Pitcher, student Bri Curtis, and Catherine Febria stand in a stream in the Greater Toronto Area home to the redside dace.

and doing something to bring them back. We are working to restore some of the damage and taking the next step into restoration.”

There is a delicate balance between allowing Mother Nature to recover, while also lending a helping hand to the fatigued species. Dr. Pitcher says they’re looking at how they can restore the ecosystems without getting too involved. The good news is that they’ve already seen shifts in these ecosystems and that they’re being restored to some really good states. “We’ve researched an area like a farm field, opened it up to water, and looked at the after-effects. There are drastic changes in a short amount of time, just a year. But the animals aren’t coming back, they went down so hard.”

This is where the importance of captive breeding comes in. While the researchers work to allow the ecosystem to regulate, they give the fish and mussels a break from their stressful environments by placing them into their Freshwater Restoration Ecology Centre located in LaSalle, which is a collaboration between the town and the University. Once the ecosystem comes back into balance, they can release the species back into a healthier environment after they’ve regained their strength. “The answers are really so simple; we just have to give them and the environment a chance to heal. The species are stressed so often, so the captive breeding allows them some reprieve from that,” he explains.

One of the beautiful things about this research work is that the outcomes apply to so many species beyond the aquarian. Whether someone is interested in birds or butterflies or other species in danger, the documentation applies. Other divisions can look at their research, avoid the steps that don’t work effectively, and have the ability to impactfully improve situations to help a variety of species bounce back.

Unlike ocean ecosystems, freshwater biodiversity hasn’t received the same attention in the past, which Dr. Pitcher has been working to change. He shares that we depend on our Great Lakes systems for drinking water and if the biodiversity becomes unstable, we lose that incredible ecosystem service that helps keep our local waters clean. “You don’t see all of the work that native mussels do underwater to filter our waters. Since we don’t see it, we don’t think about it. If we take them for granted, all of that could be gone.”

Will the species come back? Dr. Pitcher says that even in a short time, they have s

Autumn • 2023 49 519-972-8388 2785 Howard Ave. Windsor Serving Windsor & Essex County for over 29 years WINDSOR 2023 PLATINUM WINNER Blinds and Window Coverings See retirement with an IG Living Plan™ Chad McPhedran SENIOR CONSULTANT INVESTORS
SERVICES INC. At IG Wealth Management, we synchronize your retirement goals with an IG Living Plan™, including RSPs, TFSAs, investments and pension, so you can explore everything retirement has to offer. Call Chad and his team today. Detailed Personal and Corporate Financial Planning Personal and Corporate Insurance Needs Estate Planning | Mortgage Planning Retirement Planning and so much more 1 Riverside Dr. West, Suite 102, Windsor, ON N9A 5K3 Chad McPhedran, Senior Consultant Investors Group Financial Services Inc. ph 519-253-3553 | c 519-791-6727 Patrick Dobmeier, Associate Consultant Investors Group Financial Services Inc. ph 519-253-3553 | c 519-566-3233 Trademarks, including IG Wealth Management, are owned by IGM Financial Inc. and licensed to its subsidiary corporations. Insurance products and services distributed through I.G. Insurance Services Inc. Insurance license sponsored by The Canada Life Assurance Company.

already. They have and will continue to come back quite readily when we give them the chance to, and that leaves him feeling confident that we can make a difference. The animals are responding to the restoration, and that’s the message he wants to relay to the public.

He wants to echo that the issue of biodiversity loss in our freshwater supplies affects us directly here in Windsor-Essex; we are fortunate to be in close proximity to the Great Lakes, and it’s important not only to know what’s happening within our waters, but to continue to take action ourselves.

“When people are volunteering, planting trees, or cleaning up garbage they think they aren’t making a difference. All of these efforts that people do seems symbolic but we’re there behind them following those trees and we’re seeing an impact,” Dr. Pitcher says.

From high school kids volunteering to professionals cleaning up all the way to the sophisticated work that is done by researchers, it’s all important. These common issues collect towards the larger picture; any form of change helps in the mission to restore biodiversity. In fact, it depends on it.

“This isn’t an academic issue. Our project isn’t just compiled of academics and researchers, we have people on the ground doing the work and we couldn’t do it without them: the farmers, the volunteers, our partners, and everyone who is involved. This is an ‘us’ issue, and we need to work together,” Dr. Pitcher adds.

We may not see the change today, or even a year from now, and that’s why climate work is inherently both selfless and selfish. It’s “selfish” work because by saving these different species, we’re ultimately helping to save the human species down the line. The selfless part is that the big picture change is made up of thousands of individual acts taken today—of planting trees “knowing that they shall never sit in the shade of their foliage; knowing that only others will enjoy the shade.”

This is what Dr. Pitcher and his team are all about: creating positive experiences and knowing that they may never see the largest outcome or impact of their work. But someday, someone will. And we have to start somewhere.

Readers can look forward to updates on the outcomes of the grant in the coming months at their open house, which will be located at the Freshwater Restoration Ecology Centre in LaSalle. More information is available at

50 Windsor Life
LOCATION. EMERYVILLE 516 Blan chard Dr., Windsor | 519-727-3486 4.9 out of 5 Google Reviews Passport Photos 519-944-1141 3215 Tecumseh Rd. E. • Visa • Permanent Resident • Citizenship • Immigration Ready in 5 minutes 226-674-1127 | 3869 Dougall Ave Didn’t purchase your device from us? You can still take advantage of our “Adoption Program” to receive your ongoing care and support. DESIGNED FOR YOUR INDIVIDUAL HEARING HEALTH • Hearing Evaluations • Hearing Protection • Hearing Aids & Repairs • Tinnitus Care • Ear Wax Removal • Virtual Care EFFORTLESSLY CONNECT TO BETTER HEARING JASON DION Hearing Instrument Specialist/Owner Reg. AHIP, H.I.S. Scan me to book your appointment! WLM Back to Contents

An Evening of Catholic Fellowship and Celebration

This October, practicing Catholics are invited to attend the 17th Bishop’s Dinner.

“For the first time since the pandemic, the Bishop’s Dinner has returned,” Dr. David Howie, Executive Director of the St. Peter’s Seminary Foundation, explains. “The aim of the dinner is to bring together Catholics and supporters from all over Windsor and Essex County.”

The purpose of the dinner is to come together as brothers and sisters of the faith in harmony for an evening of fellowship and celebration, in support of Bishop Fabbro, and St. Peter’s Seminary in London of which he is president.

Most significantly, the dinner will honour the establishment of a new faculty teaching chair, the Toldo Chair for the Advancement of Human Formation.

“As well, Bishop Fabbro will deliver a keynote message during the dinner,” Dr. Howie states. “He typically provides a ‘state of the union’ of our church and highlights emerging priorities.”

Funds for St. Peter’s Seminary—the Roman Catholic seminary of the Diocese—help underwrite the Seminary’s operating expenses. A fully accredited member of the Association of Theological Schools and affiliated with King’s University College, St. Peter’s Seminary provides education, formation and residence facilities for candidates to the priesthood, permanent diaconate and lay ministry.

As well, this year a share of the proceeds will be donated to the Second Chance Ministry, which will use the funds to aid in their charitable activities with the poor and vulnerable. Founded by Deacon Michael Rovers, the Second Chance Ministry is an outreach ministry to those in our community who are in immediate need of practical and spiritual assistance.

“We’ve likely raised over $1,500,000 since the dinner’s inception,” Dr. Howie explains.

The 17th Bishop’s Dinner’s aim is to gather 350 guests and raise over $100,000.

But Dr. Howie is not too concerned about meeting these targets. After all, Windsor’s Catholic community has already demonstrated their charity time and time again.

“We have a very committed Catholic community,” Dr. Howie explains. “And Windsor in particular has strong Christian identity. We have deeply-entrenched French Catholic roots, followed by waves of immigration throughout the 20th century. And now, the region become home to many distinctive cultures, a number of which have brought their Catholic faith traditions with them.”

The atmosphere at the Bishop’s Dinners is always one of joy and common purpose—to celebrate a shared faith.

“It’s like one big family dinner!” Dr. Howie states. “It’s almost a civic holiday. It’s a celebration of our community’s relationship with their bishop and their church. The atmosphere is casual, but respectful. And the food is always outstanding!”

The star of the evening, Dr. Howie stresses, is always the Ciociaro Club’s cooking staff.

“We may have a special announcement this year, too!” Dr. Howie exclaims.

Interested? Seats are still available! The event will take place on October 26th at the Ciociaro Club. Doors open at 5, dinner is served at 6!

For more information contact Frances Barnard




Deluxe with fries, coleslaw or soup


Comes with one side. Choose between fries, coleslaw or soup.


One order of Salt & Pepper ribs paired with a half order of our delicious wings. Comes with one side. Choose between fries, coleslaw or soup.


1 Piece Halibut or 2 Piece Halibut

Served with fries and coleslaw.


Please ask your server for details.


(Available for Dine-In and Takeout) Order a full order of wings with a side and beverage, get another order of wings free.


dining & nightlife guide

Antonino’s Original Pizza - South Windsor, Tecumseh, LaSalle. Multiple-award winning pizza with the money back guarantee! Fresh salads & authentic Sicilian Cannoli that even your Nonna will love! Google our menu.


Cheesecake On A Stick - Dessert shop offering gourmet cheesecake dipped in chocolate and various toppings. Take out or delivery offered with Open Thurs-Sun 12-9 pm. Kingsville location open Sat-Sun 12-9 pm. 13300 Tecumseh Rd. E., Tecumseh 519-999-9116.

460 Main St. E, Kingsville 519-999-6024

Cotta Food Bar - Let us be your place for private events, holiday parties, weddings, dine-in, takeout, catering and more! With a wealth of experience, our talented chefs pride themselves in creating delicious contemporary Italian food. Friendly service. 3891 Dougall Ave., Windsor. 519-915-6882.

Cramdon’s Tap and Eatery - South Windsor’s friendly gathering place. Offering great food at affordable prices. Satellite sports and billiards in a pub-like setting.

2950 Dougall Ave. 519-966-1228

Erie St GastroPub - Located in the heart of Little Italy, this hidden gem offers elevated pub fare and a scrumptious Asian-fusion menu. The bar features local Ontario wines, a constantly rotating craft beer menu, handcrafted cocktails as well as alcohol infused ice cream.

839 Erie Street, Windsor. 519-252-3743

Fourteen Restaurant & Skylounge - Experience dining with a panoramic riverfront view of the Detroit skyline from the 14th floor. For both casual and special occasions. Private and semiprivate rooms available. Live music in our lounge most Saturday nights. Open for dinner Wednesday through Sunday at 5pm. Reserve online or call 226-526-7214.

14th Floor – 100 Ouellette Avenue

Frank Brewing Company - FRANK is pure, straight-to-the-point, old-fashioned beer crafted with dedication and pride. Beer-loving folk enjoy FRANK’s small-batch brews made with only four natural and simple ingredients: water, hops, grain and yeast; and foodies enjoy the small plates, pizzas and sandwiches for pairing, and all the peanuts you can shell. 519-956-9822

12000 Tecumseh Rd. E., Tecumseh, ON s

52 Windsor Life
Manning Rd. Unit D206 (E.C. Row @ Manning) 519-739-9933
NEW PATIENT SPECIAL Free Teeth Whitening or Mouthguard with every new patient exam, x-rays and cleaning. CALL TODAY!
Now Open Monday to Friday 8:30am-4pm
519.972.9876 We Service All Your Plumbing Needs! 30 Years of Quality Service NEED A CAR PART? NEW & WARRANTIED USED PARTS 1637 Provincial Rd. 519-969-0300 3 generations: Max with Harvey, and paul Winkler
Back: Susie, Dr. Ed MacMurdo, Sarah. Front: Jenny, Rachel, Jade.
Get your FREE Digital Subscription for a chance to WIN ... Enter to Win! OR 1. Go to 2. Click “FREE Online Subscription” 3. Enjoy Windsor Life Magazine on your favourite device Scan this QR Code No purchase necessary. Winners will be drawn randomly from Windsor Life’s Online Subscribers list, no less than 8 times per year. Winners will be contacted via the email address provided to Windsor Life Magazine and will have 24 hours to respond to receive their tickets. After 24 hours, the win will be voided and another Subscriber email will be selected. Winners must agree to allow their names to be published. *Win 12 (twelve) $30 discount certificates, each valid for one month throughout the year ($360 maximum value). Certificates have no cash value—valid for product only. Windsor Life Magazine employees and their immediate family members are not at all eligible. 2 TICKETS TO AN UPCOMING SHOW at CAESARS WINDSOR! A PIZZA A MONTH FOR A YEAR * from ANTONINO’S!

Georgia Rae’s Hot Chicken & Barbecue - Serving Nashville Hot Chicken (Available in 6 different spice levels) & House Smoked Barbecue (Brisket, Ribs, Chicken Wings) with scratch made sides and desserts. Open Wed-Sun at 4pm. 400 Manning Road, Tecumseh. 519-735-9305

Johnny Shotz - Tecumseh’s #1 roadhouse and home of the Chicken Deluxe. Serving Halibut every Friday. Everything cooked from scratch. 37 HD TVs, 15 beers on tap. Follow us on facebook. 13037 Tecumseh Rd. E. 519-735-7005

Original Guys Pizza Pies - The “Windsor style” thin crust pizza skillfully rolled and hand tossed is cooked to perfection in a stone baked oven. With vegetarian and vegan options, pizzas are tailored to each customer’s individual taste. Also offering wings, salads and subs. 3335 Banwell Rd., Windsor. 519-979-8808

Mamo Burger Bar - Burgers made with local beef are piled high with creative topping combinations at this casual spot. Recently voted 9th best burger in the world. Kids menu also available!

1515 Ottawa Street, Windsor. 519-973-1234

Neros Steakhouse - Indulge in the finer things in life at Neros where modern upscale dining meets traditional steakhouse fare. Fresh, local ingredients, an incredible wine selection and superb service. 1-800-991-7777 ext. 22481.

SONA Ristorante & Taverna - An upscale casual dining experience inspired by cliffside restaurants of the Mediterranean. Spend an evening in our ristorante, featuring seasonal cuisine and international wines for your enjoyment.

11 Queens Ave, Leamington. 519-974-7664.

Thirteen At The Inn - Casual/finer dining with a comfortable, modern ambiance. Carrying on traditions of Thirteen Russell Steakhouse, enjoy old favourites or something new. Prime Rib, fresh Lake Erie fish, steak and seafood. Cocktail lounge. Waterfront patio. Private parties. 40 minutes from Windsor/Detroit. Reservations recommended: 519-324-9266 Ext 215. 388 Erie St. S., Leamington.

Twigg’s Bar + Grill - Family oriented local establishment offering freshly prepared pubfare. We take pride in providing prompt service in a unique atmosphere with craft beer, specialty cocktails, daily specials, live entertainment, catering and more.

1207 County Rd 22, Emeryville 519-727-8704

For information on listings and advertising in Bon Appetit! please call 519-567-0603.

54 Windsor Life
2885 Lauzon Pkwy 519-945-4267 Thanksgiving is October 10. Don’t miss out. Order your Honey Bee Ham early! Second location opening January 2024 in LaSalle! Register today! 1700 Sprucewood Ave, LaSalle YOUR TRANSPORTATION SPECIALIST US DOT 1761199 Event transportation for up to 20 people Luxury SUVs & Sedans Executive Vans Limobuses~Minibuses CONCERTS, SPORTING & SOCIAL EVENTS Back to Contents


THERE IS A REASON why the first words of my cycling book, The Kilominator, are: “Why, exactly, am I doing this?” I’m still trying to figure that out.

Since May 2020, when I started recording my cycling data, I have pedaled 60,000 kilometres around Essex County. The mania remains as much a mystery to me now as it was when I first embarked on this journey.

There was certainly a practical aspect to taking up cycling. Although I was busy collaborating on a book, Gas of Tank, with a friend and neighbour during 2020, the lockdowns of that year opened huge swaths of time. As a person with a natural propensity toward worry, I knew that I had to occupy those empty hours otherwise my anxiety would gnaw me to the bone.

It wasn’t long before the bicycle rides became adventures. Living in LaSalle, I challenged myself, one day, to cycle all the way to my old west Windsor neighbourhood. Such a palpable sense of nostalgia and remembrance unfurled in me during that ride, passing the home on Queen Street where

Autumn • 2023 55
How a Local Author Found Solace in Cycling

On another occasion, expanding my exploration, I rode to Walkerville, passing my grandfather’s old house on Lincoln Road. Recalling family folklore, when my mom was twenty years old, in her first job as a social worker, borrowing Grandpa Ted’s car to visit her clients. Grandpa coming home from the Ford foundry one day, saying: “I got you a car.” Mom hurrying excitedly to the garage at the other end of the backyard to see it, heart sinking at the sight of it: a banged-up old wreck with a cracked windshield, missing a few windows, stuffing bursting through holes in the seats. She opened the driver’s side door and found the car had no floor. Evening after evening, Grandpa worked on the car, installed a new floor, mended the seats, replaced the broken and missing windows, repaired and repainted the body, tuned up the engine.

The old garage, the magic laboratory, remains to this day.

Another day, pushing myself to my outer limits, riding to Jefferson Avenue where Grandma St. Amand once lived. She was devoutly religious and so I was surprised when my mom shared a story with me about Grandma reading everyone’s tea leaves following a dinner at our home before I was born. Her prognostications came true. Weeks later when my mom told her, she remembers Grandma seemed surprised, and never read anyone’s tea leaves again.

It was somewhere around that time, months into my riding, that I decided to write a book about the experience—how the kilometres intertwined with time and memory. As I lost weight—trimming down after years of sedentary existence as a cubicle-bound technical writer—I realized that exercise was the seventh or eighth reason why I cycled.

My book, The Kilominator, begins on the morning I rode one of my first metric

56 Windsor Life 1602 Sylvestre Dr, Tecumseh / 519-956-0123 / SUBARU WINDSOR Order your New Subaru Today! 2024 Outback 2024 Crosstrek 2023 Ascent Call today @ 519-962-6062 | Fred Corp owner
Butch Laframboise sales ATTIC AND CRAWLSPACE EXPERTS Rebates up to$10,600
Jason Kiebert sales my father was born, where his father died, past Bridge Avenue where my mother was born, along the riverfront where I had spent so much time as a kid. Rolling into Cameron Avenue, by my old grade school, my old home, I had traveled more than physical distance. Time had affected everything. My old school was empty and unused, my old home looked different; inexplicably the fire hydrants had relocated to the opposite side of the street. My memories filled in the gaps, and I caught glimpses of the old faces, heard the old voices, remembering running through sprinklers, as a kid, playing catch on the front lawn and the barely controlled chaos of the old schoolyard.

centuries: 100 kilometres. There was only one destination for it: Emeryville. So, one August morning, when the weather report stated with certainty that a rainstorm was on the way, I embarked to ride clear across the county. The promised storm hit when I was at my halfway point. Soaked to the bone, questioning my ability to make decisions about when to ride, I trudged through the thunderous downpour. I got my first metric century and the first chapter of my book out of that experience.

My exploration of Essex County has been fascinating, and writing about the experience has been as much about explaining it to myself as sharing it with others. In a culture obsessed with exercise and weight loss, longevity and quality of life, it is interesting to realize that I finally found exercise when I wasn’t really looking for it. I cycled for other reasons; exercise was a side benefit.

Three full years and 60,000 kilometres later the mystery and enjoyment of cycling remains. My book is not a how-to manual about riding, but an attempt to explain what I found in cycling. If other people find encouragement in that, wonderful. As a person given to over-analyzing situations, deconstructing jokes until they are no longer funny, I’ve learned not to overthink my cycling. I do not dwell very long on “why?” It is a hobby not unlike building bird houses. Recording my data from each ride, I see my progress, plan rides of varying distances based on how many kilometres I need to get to the next milestone. My cycling app provides an endless procession of milestones. I strive for them all.

Among the best feedback I received about The Kilominator is that a person need not have any interest in cycling to enjoy it.

Another reader commented: “Some books can be a slow burn and you need to be patient with them for a chapter or two. Not the case with The Kilominator. Right from the first few words, you feel drawn in as the author describes his experiences of trying to cycle through a massive storm while stuck out near Puce! The book is immediately engaging.”

The rides, as well as the book, are all about stories.

To learn more about The Kilominator, check out Signed copies of the book are available at Juniper Books and Storyteller Bookstore on Ottawa Street, and River Bookshop in Amherstburg.

Autumn • 2023 57
FIREPLACES PLUS 171 St. Clair Street, Chatham 519-397-1161 FOREST
Rd. E.,
107 Erie St. N., Leamington 519-326-8585 WLM Back to Contents
Photo by J. Amlin Photography


Master Photographer Spike Bell Captures the Warm Spirit of the Cold Atlantic Province

IT ALL STARTED WITH an advertisement on television. A 30-second-long video that highlighted the beauty of Canada’s youngest territory.

“It was the greatest ad I’ve ever seen on TV,” Spike Bell says about when he first saw it. “Iceberg scenery, whales, people and kids. It was so well put together with kids running up a hill and beautiful scenes of a cliff. My wife Christine loved that, so we got our money together and said let’s do that.”

Spike Bell is a retired member of the Royal Canadian Navy, having served during the Korean War. After retiring from the navy, he took up photography. Over a long career he photographed historical figures like Rosa Parks and former US President Dwight D. Eisenhower. Bell’s work led to him even being awarded medals by the Governor General.

Now retired from the photography business for the most part, Spike and Christine have been more thoroughly enjoying their time together. However, with so much time on their hands now, they are always looking for something to do.

They booked a twelve-day excursion with McCarthy’s Party Tours, a family-run Newfoundland and Labrador based tour company that offers

guided trips of the province. It was a twelve-day event that would see them travel across the coastline of Newfoundland, into Labrador with expeditions to numerous places of scenic beauty.

“We flew from Windsor to Toronto to Deer Lake,” Spike says with a laugh. “Air Canada was on the ball for once, and it was airbus all the way. Once we got there, it was a van to Corner Brook. Beautiful places to stay, and they had the best rooms and food the next day then off we went.”

Spike and Christine joined 34 other Canadians

Autumn • 2023 59
Opposite top to bottom: Point Amour lighthouse in Labrador; Terry Fox Monument commemorating the start of his run; Cabot Tower on Signal Hill.
This page clockwise from above: Puffin Chairs in Elliston; Icebergs in Strait of Belle Isle; Puffin Colonies in Witless Bay Ecological Reserve; exploration Oil Rig in Bay Bulls; Whaling Boat in Red Bay Basque Whaling Museum.

who came from as far away as Victoria for the trip.

The first days were spent at Gros Morne National Park & UNESCO World Heritage Site and then L’Anse aux Meadows. The latter was the point where Leif the Lucky settled down with his viking adventurers and would later make contact with the indigenous inhabitants of North America.

This last point is something Mark McCarthy, president of McCarthy’s Party Tours, says makes L’Anse aux Meadows one of the most impactful World Heritage Sites when it comes to the shared history of humanity.

“As humans came out of Africa, we hear some went east to Asia and some went northwest to Europe. They occupied those lands and some went across the ice to the Americas,” Mark says. “When the Vikings landed in Newfoundland and met the indigenous people, it meant the circle of Earth had closed for the first time as we met our relatives again.”

From there the couple and their fellow tourists took a boat over to Labrador, during the time they were able to not only see the beauty of the landscape but also one of the joys of coming there during the summer.

“I asked our guide, where are the icebergs?” Spike says of when they were on their boat ride. “He says ‘you’ll see them’ and he was right, they were everywhere. They float and then they get hung up on a ridge or rock and sit there and gradually melt. So you need to be there at certain times, since they’re not there year round.”

But with Newfoundland and Labrador being so tied to the Atlantic itself, the icebergs were not the only things relating to the water they viewed.

Along the way the group saw plenty of lighthouses, the weather blanketing the island in a misty haze which persisted but did not dampen their spirits.

From there they went to Red Bay Basque Whaling Museum and were able to come face to face with the history of the whaling industry that sent untold gallons of whale oil back to Europe.

“The museums are beautiful,” Spike says of how history is preserved in Newfoundland. “The museums we went into that were run by the government are first class, beautiful and clean.”

But museums and icebergs weren’t the only things to be seen and experienced during their almost two-week-long excursion.

60 Windsor Life
Riverside Dr. E.,Tecumseh ON | Open by Appointment Only
Autumn • 2023 61 3234 Dougall Ave 519-915-5151 | Toll-Free: 1-844-915-5151 Michael Piccioni CEO of CanAm Currency Exchange GOLD AND SILVER The Ultimate Hedge Against Inflation Speak to one of our precious metals experts today! We are an authorized dealer with the Royal Canadian Mint. Precious metals available in-store from Canada, U.S., Austria, Australia and many more. For more information call 519-981-1417 Plan Your Fall and Winter Getaways Now! We have what you are looking for. From family visits to fall winery tours and right into winter ice fishing, ice hockey and sledding for the kids. Please reach out to us so we can help you with anything you may need to make your visit more enjoyable.

During their trip there was also ample time to observe the wildlife, both on land but primarily by sea.

“We got to see the whales,” Spike says with a smile, holding a photo he got of a whale just barely coming out of the water. “The tour boat guys are pretty good and cut the motor and slowed us right down for the whales. They didn’t come diving out of the water, but sort of just swam alongside us.”

On top of whales, they were also taken on a boat tour to the Witless Bay Ecological Reserve where they were able to view the many birds that make the sea cliffs their home.

While they had been engaging with the Newfoundland and Labrador locals throughout the trip. Spike points to the importance of the pride the people take in their culture, but also their opening and loving hearts.

One of the best examples of that came in St. John’s.

“I started to walk downtown and my legs started acting out,” Spike says. “And Christine goes over to a cab and asks if he’d bring me back to the Sheraton. He says absolutely and brings me back with her riding with me. He told her he’d take her back downtown at no charge. That’s the kind of attitude these people have.”

Mark McCarthy, points to the limited size of tourism in Newfoundland and Labrador as one of the reasons trips there tend to work so well but also are why the people of Newfoundland and Labrador seem so inviting of tourists.

“One of the things that helps the whole process is we’re still a small tourism destination,” Mark says. “There’s limited accommodations, so there’s limited amounts of people that can actually visit, so the tourism doesn’t get overwhelming. That’s for both the people who are visiting and the people that live there. It leads to a really healthy flow of people.”

Despite there only being a small flow of people, Spike says he and his wife are excited to go back. Though, they would prefer to take a trip at a slower pace next time to explore areas they hadn’t before.

“The people are so nice, I said to Christine maybe we should go back,” Spike says. “I don’t think we want to put the money down to do the whole tour again. But that whole trip, every day we had fun and it was a lot of laughter back and forth joking with each other. We’ll never forget it. It was beautiful and I could not think of even one thing that was wrong with the trip.”

62 Windsor Life
Put some heart into your landscape with a EuroShed HeartScape! CALL FOR AN APPOINTMENT 519-978-1111 2697 FRONT ROAD, LASALLE WWW.EUROSHEDS.CA 6555 Malden, LaSalle 519-734-7911 | Trusted by Contractors and Homeowners *prev. off. **sales record ***2013 property values of approx. 30 million *prev. off. **sales record ***2013 property values of approx. 30 million REALTY INC. Plus **Visit **Unprecedented Sales Record Need good advice?... Let’s talk 519 972-1600 24Hrs. LESCANEC *prev. off. **sales record ***2013 property values of approx. 30 million **Visit deerbrookplus Need good advice? ... Let’s talk 972-1600 519 24 hrs Call Custom white-page design that makes your new home uniquely yours. 519.990.9115 C U S T O M ARCHIT E C TURAL DE S G N PHILIP F E R N ANDES P H I L P FERN A N D ES CUSTOM A R C HITECTUR A L D E S NG
WLM Back to Contents
House photo by Alex Marentette, HomesByAlex


BK Cornerstone Makes Homebuilding a Family Tradition

ON AUGUST 14TH, BK Cornerstone hosted a golf tournament at Essex Golf and Country Club. The purpose was twofold: to raise money for charity and to honour the late Frank Klundert.

“My grandfather immigrated from Holland in the 1950s,” Brent Klundert, the Owner of BK Cornerstone, explains. “He worked as a farm hand for a time before he got into construction. He was a very intelligent man. As with many immigrants from Holland at the time, he only had a grade 8 education. But he still came over here and made something of himself.”

Frank built his first home shortly after arriving in Windsor. The results were so extraordinary that he was asked to duplicate it.

From there, the Klunderts have been homebuilders. Frank taught his sons John, Brian and Ben the business, who then passed it down to their own children.

Which is where Ben’s son Brent, Frank’s grandson comes in:

“I first came on as an Owner in 2014,” Brent recalls. “But, like my Dad and my uncles, I’ve spent my whole life in the business. Some of my earliest memories are going to jobsites with my Dad. Of course back then, my ‘payment’ was a trip to the candy store after work.”

With Brent, the Klunderts have been developing homes for three generations—almost a total of 80 combined years in the business.

And BK Cornerstone’s extensive legacy stands alone. Their team’s dedication to quality has earned them recognition and respect across Windsor and Essex County and beyond. Over the years, they have developed several gorgeous subdivisions, including Forrest Hill

“It’s humbling to be part of this heritage in the homebuilding industry,” Brent states. “I admit, sometimes there’s a bit of pressure to keep the tradition going strong and to keep our decades-long reputation intact! But that has never intimidated me. It’s always inspired me—to keep raising the standard that my grandfather and my Dad have already set so high.”

The Klunderts also believe that a community is more than just brick and tile. BK Cornerstone has been one of Windsor’s most generous benefactors, sponsoring various different charities and foundations.

As well, the proceeds raised by their annual golf tournament, held this year on August 14th, were donated to children’s mental health treatment center Maryvale.

“We feel that mental health services is an area that needs improvement in our community,” Brent states. “If we can help in any way, we will continue to do so.”

BK Cornerstone was able to sponsor Maryvale through their involvement with In Honour of the Ones We Love.

“In Honour is a fantastic organization,” Brent explains. “The Imperioli family have done incredible things for our hometown. They make sure that every dollar they raise stays within Windsor and Essex County. They make sure that all those funds reach the hands that need them.”

BK Cornerstone’s partnership with In Honour of the Ones We Love stretches back years. In particular, BK Cornerstone donated the proceeds from an entire house to the nonprofit in 2019.

BK Cornerstone is proud to leave a legacy of building homes. With the help of In Honour of the Ones We Love, they intend to continue to grow towards their goal of building a stronger community throughout Windsor and Essex County.

Interested in working with three generations of homebuilders? Reach out to BK Cornerstone at or 519-728-3664.

and Coopers Mill in Belle River, Kimball Estates in Essex and Fairview Estates & Strawberry Gardens in LaSalle.
13405 Desro Dr, Tecumseh | 519-728-3664
Left: Brent Klundert, Anita Imperioli and Ben Klundert at the Annual Charity Golf Tournament hosted by In Honour of the Ones We Love and BK Cornerstone honouring Frank Klundert (below left).

Four Pieces of Advice

Wisdom From Businessman Richard Peddie

IN A COMMUNITY with as many stars as Windsor and Essex County, few shine brighter than Dr. Richard Peddie.

A graduate of the University of Windsor, Richard first enrolled at the school in 1965, graduating in 1970.

“I received a great education from my hometown,” Richard states. “I learned from some wonderful professors and wonderful classmates. In those days, classes were smaller, so we stuck together. A bunch of us recently celebrated our 53rd-year reunion since graduation!”

(And while at university, something curious happened. Richard wrote in his journal that he wanted to own a men’s basketball team, but more on that later.)

“I learned a lot during my time at university,” Richard explains. “I became very self-sufficient and independent. I picked up good, functional academic skills that helped me out later in my career. It gave me a strong foundation to stand on.”

From there, Richard’s career was a distinguished one. After university, he immediately began working in Marketing at Colgate. He later worked at General Foods (now Kraft Foods), becoming President of their Hostess Potato Chips division at 35. He then became President and CEO of Pillsbury/Green Giant.

“I worked at Pillsbury four years,” Richard recalls. “And I had great success there. I worked with some wonderful young men and women who all went on to do very, very well. I think you can judge the quality of any institution or university by what the graduates go on to do.”

After that, Richard served as the President and CEO of the SkyDome (now the Rogers Centre). The job demanded much of Richard, who had to learn how to run a venue that would entertain thousands of people many times a week.

Four years later, Richard later won the Stadium Manager of the Year in North America.

All of this led to Richard achieving his dream of running an NBA team.

“Larry Tanenbaum called me up one day asking who I knew that could help bring a team to Toronto,” Richard recalls. “And I said: me!”

64 Windsor Life

Richard unfortunately lost his first bid for a team, but was undeterred. Later, in November 1996, Richard Peddie was named President and CEO of the Toronto Raptors.

“All this was 28 years after I said I wanted to run a basketball team!” Richard states.

Richard then took control of the new Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment in October 1998, and served as President and CEO for 14 years until his retirement in 2012.

And now, 11 years after retiring, Richard is a philanthropist. He believes in giving back to the community that has nourished him. He currently supports everything from the Windsor Symphony Orchestra to Art Windsor-Essex.

He is also helping to redefine Amherstburg. His bookstore, the River Bookshop, first opened its doors in 2020.

“I’m a longtime bibliophile,” Richard states. “My Dad got us reading at a young age. I never really had a mentor per se throughout my career. I certainly had people I worked for who I learned good and bad things from, but my real mentor was always books. I read voraciously. It helped me become a better leader.”

Richard has also authored two books: Dream Job: My Wild Ride on the Corporate Side with the Leafs, the Raptors and TFC in 2013 and 21 Leadership Lessons: Successes, Failures, and Discoveries from a Life in Business and Sports in 2015.

That said, when considering his adopted hometown, Richard realized something was missing.

“My wife and I started looking at what we could do to enrich Amherstburg,” Richard states. “Being a reader and having experience writing books, I realized that all great small towns have their own independent bookstore. And we didn’t! So, we opened the River Bookshop.”

And when it comes to those people reading who might be looking to turbo-charge or change their career, Richard offers the following fours pieces of advice:

First, Richard stresses the importance of a driving vision.

“Whether you’re a business or an individual, you have to have a dream,” Richard states. “What’s that statement of intent? What’s the vision for your company? Start with that. Write it down. It’s been proven through research that if you write down your dream, the chances of it coming true increase exponentially. That doesn’t mean you will succeed, but the statistical probability increases dramatically.”

Autumn • 2023 65
Highly recommended throughout Windsor, and Essex and Kent counties for Personalized Service and Exceptional Quality since 1963. Contact Ed Cope, P.Eng. for a no obligation quote today! 519.945.2361 Trust our experience, professional credentials and knowledge beyond the bricks and mortar. • Tiny Homes • Additions & Renovations • Kitchen & Bathroom • Outdoor Patio • Additional Dwelling Units • Garages....and more Join the Sechopoulos Valente Group of RBC Dominion Securities for a complimentary presentation on estate planning. Enjoy an exclusive dinner presentation and gain expert insights on creating an effective estate plan that’s right for you. Live for today. Plan for tomorrow. RBC Dominion Securities Inc. Please RSVP by September 25, 2023 to Stella Dhono at or 519-252-3178. We look forward to seeing you. RBC Dominion Securities Inc.* and Royal Bank of Canada are separate corporate entities which are affiliated. *Member-Canadian Investor Protection Fund. RBC Dominion Securities Inc. is a member company of RBC Wealth Management, a business segment of Royal Bank of Canada. ® / ™ Trademark(s) of Royal Bank of Canada. Used under licence. ©2023 RBC Dominion Securities Inc. All rights reserved. 23_90621_MT6_003 Tuesday, October 3, 2023 | 5:30 p.m. Essex Golf & Country Club 7555 Matchette Road, Windsor, ON Hosted by: Sechopoulos Valente Group Speaker: Ilias Kiritsis, LL.B., J.D., Mousseau DeLuca McPherson Prince LLP, Barristers and Solicitors s

Richard quotes Jack Canfield, the co-author of Chicken Soup for the Soul: “Decide what it is you want, write it down, review it constantly, and each day do something that moves you toward those goals.”

Second, Richard suggests determining your own personal values.

“Your vision is the what, your values are the how,” Richard explains. “Ask yourself what you value as an individual or leader. And if you’re leading a company or working for one, find out what their values are. All the companies I worked for—whether SkyDome or Pillsbury or the Raptors—had their own values I could work within.”

Third, Richard encourages readers to put in the time required to gain experience.

“There’s an expression I’m fond of: get your ticket punched,” Richard states. “In the old days, when you got on a train or a bus, you got your ticket punched. When I was young, I got my ticket punched lots of times. I learned about marketing and sales from working at Colgate. I got my ticket punched when I led people at Pillsbury and General Foods. I got my ticket punched learning how to run a stadium.”

And perhaps most importantly, Richard describes how to learn from failures.

“Everyone will have setbacks,” Richard explains. “The company will be bought. The company will close. The company will merge. You’ll work for a boss you don’t get along with. There’s a lot that can go wrong. It’s the nature of the business environment today.”

When faced with overwhelming hurdles, Richard quotes an old friend, Pistons Coach Dwane Casey:

“Get back into the gym.”

“When I lost my first bid for an NBA team, I got back into the gym and switched careers and got into broadcasting,” Richard recalls. “When you have that setback, always get back into the gym. Re-strategize and find a way.”

And despite the turbulent times we’re living in, Richard believes in the power of every person’s individual voice.

“Everyone has a voice,” Richard stresses. “And make sure it’s an educated voice. That you’ve done your homework, that you’ve done your reading. There’s a great book by Roger Martin, the former Dean of the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto. He uses the metaphor of bricks—we can either take bricks away from a business or we can add bricks to a business. You can be a bricklayer and add to the robustness of your business and community.”

66 Windsor Life
CLASSIC DETAIL WASH START FROM $189.99 +TAX 1611 Manning Rd, Tecumseh CAR WASH 519-735-2795 LUBE SHOP 519-735-1988 Buy TEN GET TWELVE Washes start from $139.99 +TAX BARB’Z TRIMZ Professional Grooming For Dogz Your Best Friend’s Friend Our grooming shop is a home environment: Smoke Free • Flea Free • Sedation Free Tuesday-Thursday, Saturday 519-727-5757 834 Lakeshore Rd. 107 RR3, Essex 1251 OTTAWA ST. WINDSOR, ON • 519.253.7206 • WWW.STEREOLAND.CA Complete Custom Home Theatre & Automation In our 30th year Windsor Life Magazine is delivered to every business and select residential addresses in Windsor/Essex, Chatham/Kent exclusively through Canada Post. Contact one of our experienced advertising representatives to discuss publication dates and effective use of your advertising budget. CHARLES THOMPSON Vice President Advertising & Sales 519-818-7352 LESLIE CAMPBELL Advertising Sales Account Executive 519-567-0603 WINDSORLIFE.COM | Back to Contents
281 Grand Ave. East, Chatham | 519-351-8080 2610 Pillette, Windsor | 519.258.4481 | Visit us at our NEW WINDSOR LOCATION 2610 Pillette 25,000 sq ft of New Product and Displays Carpet | Luxury Vinyl Plank | Laminate Flooring | Porcelain Tile | Canyon Stone Veneer | Rymar Synthetic Grass | Outdoor Carpeting Top Quality Products | Largest In-stock Selection | Cash and Carry | Prompt Installation All at the most competitive prices....GUARANTEED! LARGEST IN-STOCK INVENTORY in Essex and Kent Counties for all your Fall renovation needs.

That’s the Rose City Ford

At Rose City Ford, we treat our customers like family, so when you smile, we smile.

We're committed to providing exceptional service and creating a welcoming atmosphere, so you can feel at ease when you visit us. Your SMILE reflects the trust and loyalty you have in us, and we're grateful for the opportunity to serve you. Thank you for choosing Rose City Ford as your trusted dealership.

We love to see you smile because we’re Rose City Ford proud!


Rose City Ford. Rose City Proud • 6333 Tecumseh Rd. E, Windsor • 519.948.7800