Windsor Life Magazine May/June 2022

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Your one step to a successful renovation starts here!

Achieving a beautiful home is about more than selecting attractive flooring and finishes. It requires careful consideration to balance many factors: An intelligently designed layout that promotes flow in shared areas and privacy in the bedrooms and home office. Storage spaces designed to keep everything organized in the kitchen, bedrooms, bathrooms and family room. Age in place strategies, including wider halls and doorways and an accessible shower. Large windows and garden doors to let sunshine naturally brighten your rooms and your mood. Family Home Improvements is ready to help you build these elements and more into your remodeling plan. Serving Windsor and Essex County for over 40 years, the award-winning renovation experts know which trends and products withstand the test of time. The design and construction team can show you what is possible in your home. Catering to both do-it-yourselfers and homeowners who want Family Home Improvements’ pros to take care of design and construction, the team tailors the project to your needs and budget. Your go-to source for the renovation products, sound advice and expert service you’ve been looking for, Family Home Improvements provides convenient one-stop shopping in its large retail showroom. Now that you know where to begin, partner with Family Home Improvements and transform your home!



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May is Better Hearing and Speech Month MAY/JUNE 2022 VOLUME 29, ISSUE 4

Having trouble understanding exactly what was said?

1 CONTRIBUTING1 Matthew St. Amand WRITERS1 Cameron Chappus


1 Alley L. Biniarz 1 Ryan Percy 1 Karen Tinsley 1 Kim Willis

1 1 PRODUCTION 1 George Sharpe PHOTOGRAPHERS1 John Liviero,


No it’s not. It’s Thursday!

It’s windy today!

ART DIRECTOR Michael Pietrangelo

1 Sooters Photography 1 Michael Pietrangelo 1 Kristine Verbeek 1 Marty Robinson 1 Joe Termini 1 Curt Clayton 1 Christopher Underwood 1 Nigel Dickson 1 Yanick Maltais 1




Leslie Campbell 519-567-0603

Contact Sound Hearing Care today to schedule your hearing test! We have implemented and continue to maintain COVID-19 protocols in the office and are committed to ensuring everybody’s health and safety.

Tina Stafferton

Donna Ellis

Justyna Lorenc

doctor of audiology

patient coordinator

doctor of audiology


13310 Lanoue St., Tecumseh / 962 Old Tecumseh Rd., Belle River /


Mel Monczak 519-551-0072 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. PLEASE RECYCLE THIS MAGAZINE

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Corner of County Rd. 46 and Manning


Titan Group Expands To Include Hazardous Material Abatement TCI TITAN GROUP is celebrating their silver anniversary and are proud to have provided service to the businesses and residents of Windsor-Essex for over 25 years. With a quarter century of reliable work behind them, the team at TCI Titan Group has established themselves as a trustworthy and results-oriented team. It is with great pride that Titan Group is announcing the formation of a new division: Titan Environmental. This new segment is designed with the goal of aiding residents and commercial owners alike in hazardous material removal. “What we frequently noticed in our larger commercial and industrial projects is that we would run into hazardous materials,” says Art Ussoletti, owner of TCI Titan Group. “We saw a need for this type of service and realized that we could provide removal services for other companies, clients, and owners as an efficient solution to their abatement needs.” With these ideas in mind, Titan Environmental was born. Through collaboration with their existing teams, Titan Group was able to form a new team, boasting years of experience in the field, to add to the ever-growing Titan Group family.

Two of the most common hazardous materials one could expect to encounter while on a job site—through demolition, renovating, or additions to existing buildings—are asbestos and lead. Asbestos was primarily used due to its heat resistance and insulating properties. Further, the way that asbestos bonded together also allowed for thinner materials to be made stronger. Lead was mainly in paint and piping; it was used to increase durability and fight water corrosion. “These hazardous materials are present in over 3000 products that were placed in buildings from the late 1920s to early 1990s,” Ussoletti says, “You can find them in materials like caulking around windows, insulation, and even in flooring.” Thankfully, Titan Environmental has you covered. With over 18 years of experience in biological decontamination as well as certification in hazardous waste removal, asbestos abatement, infection control and more, Titan Environmental is well-equipped to remove any and all troublesome hazardous waste. Titan Environmental takes their slogan, Built on Pride, extremely seriously and assures professionalism from the beginning of the job until completion. “We are committed to maintaining our high standards,” Ussoletti says of the pride his team takes in their work. “We ensure that whoever sees the finished product, for any of our jobsites, can proceed knowing that all potentially hazardous waste was dealt with safely, thoroughly, and professionally.” While the construction aspects of hazardous material abatement are most typically considered in the industry, Titan Environmental possesses two specialties that set them apart from the competition. “We frequently undertake specialty bloodborne and biological clean-ups. Whereas most companies tend to shy away from things involving trauma, illegal drug labs, or even crime scene clean-up, we feel as though we are equipped to confront even the most daunting of challenges,” Ussoletti says. The vast majority of hazardous waste removal, though, will come from standard commercial or residential situations; Titan Environmental aims to have someone to a proposed jobsite within 24 hours to do the testing. “We recognize the need to build on the safety and professional standards we have become known for. With Titan Environmental, we acknowledge that our clients gain important peace of mind knowing that a Titan team member will always be on the job,” Ussoletti says. For further information or inquiries, visit or call 519-977-1125.

Asbestos and Lead Abatement • Mould Remediation Hazardous Material Removal • Trauma and Crime Scene Clean Up

TEL: 519-977-1125 • FAX: 519-977-0352 2489 SEMINOLE STREET, WINDSOR, ON •

Are you still planning to retire early? Have your retirement plans changed because of COVID-19? If so, you have plenty of company. Nearly eight million Canadians say that COVID-19 has caused them to reconsider their retirement timing. Even without a crisis, it’s not a bad idea to review your important life goals from time to time. So, in thinking about the possibility of early retirement, consider these factors: Your retirement lifestyle — If you think you’ll be traveling extensively or pursuing expensive activities, you might not be able to afford to retire as early as someone with more modest ambitions. Of course, there’s no “right” or “wrong” way of living in retirement – we all have our own dreams and preferences. But be aware that different lifestyles do carry different price tags. Sources of retirement income — Obviously, a key factor in knowing whether you can retire early is the amount of retirement income you can rely on. So, you’ll have to assess all your sources: including government pension plans (CPP/QPP and OAS) as well as your own investments and an employer sponsored plan if you have one. For government pension plans, the longer you wait until collecting, the larger your monthly payments (although they will “top out” when you reach 70, excluding cost-of-living adjustments). In regard to your investments and retirement accounts, you’ll need to establish a withdrawal rate that’s appropriate for the length of time you expect to be retired. Your feelings about work — Your goals are not static – they can change in response to any number of reasons, both external and personal. When you first decided you wanted to retire early, you might have been motivated by, among other things, a weariness of your current job. But has that changed over time? Have you found new challenges that interest you at work? Or, if you were forced by the pandemic to work remotely, did you actually enjoy the arrangement and want to continue it? In any case, if your feelings about work have changed in some way, leading you to think you could work longer than originally planned, you’d likely gain some financial advantages. You’d make more money, for starters, but you’d also keep building your Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) and Tax Free Savings Account (TFSA), and you could even possibly delay taking government pension benefits. The pandemic may lead to a reevaluation of many financial goals. By thinking carefully about your situation and your options, you can come up with a course of action that’s right for you. * Source: Edward Jones/Age Wave Four Pillars of the New Retirement study

This article was written by Edward Jones for use by your local Edward Jones Financial Advisor. Edward Jones, Member Canadian Investor Protection Fund.

Don Harris

Julie Charrette

Steven Kidd

Colin Duggan

Matthew Sears

Dave Freeman

Jennifer Johnson

Chris Horovenko

John Atkinson

Diane Santing

Dean Doster

Theresa King

Mark Szarek

Mitchell Shields

LaSalle Centre 519 969 3825

Tecumseh Rd. at Norman 519 944 2971

LaSalle 519 966 5046

Riverside East 519 944 9080

LaSalle 519 734 8599

Tecumseh Centre 519 979 7334

South Windsor 519 967 0084

St. Clair Beach 519 979 5555

Windsor St. Rose 519 945 6165

Belle River 519 727 1041

Cabana Near Howard 519 967 0084

Leamington 519 324 0144

Windsor on Howard Ave. 519 969 1419

Leamington 519 324 0144

Sean Hunt

South Windsor 519 972 6389

Dennis McDonald Kingsville 519 733 6186

Member - Canadian Investor Protection Fund

50 years, three generations of expertise, and a few hundred homes later...

New Construction Opportunities Custom-Built Single-Family Homes – Heart of South Windsor | Kingsville 2023 Lapico Custom Townhomes – LaSalle | Spring 2023

Style & Sales for the last 30 years with Lapico Custom Homes “We are so thrilled for this next chapter. Doris & The Real Group look forward to servicing their valued Lapico Custom Homes partnership. Offering exciting new construction townhome and single family home opportunities across Windsor-Essex.”



ON THE COVER Rocker Avril Lavigne has a new album and a new tour. Windsor is among her first stops.


Photography by Joe Termini See page 18








The Wonderful World of KordaZone


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Lakeshore Couple Turn Their Backyard Into A Private Oasis


Windsor Native Left Policing To Pursue Laughs Intead of Suspects 70


Hiking 904.6 km Through The Ontario Escarpment 73

Creating A Lasting Legacy In Your Community

One Man’s Love For Underwater Diving and Photography 34


Local Builder Bends the Rules When Building His Dream Home 50



Cooking Homemade Pizza With Chris Lewis, MP-Essex

Twenty Years At The Top of The Rock Scene 28


38 46


Putting Disc Golf On The Map 75


How Kyle Prepolec Made It To The UFC

Insurance Made Easy

Publisher’s Note

If the pandemic has taught us anything, it is that we all need to be prepared: prepared for the unexpected! Unfortunately, people tend to focus on investments, bank account balances, or paying down debt. Insurance protection can sometimes get put on the back burner, often because of misconceptions: it’s not fun to think about, it seems difficult to get or it’s assumed to be unaffordable. Well, insurance is changing – and today’s solutions not only make getting the coverage you need faster and easier than ever before – they can also play a big part in helping you reach your financial goals.

Tailored for your needs

Insurance is an important part of a financial plan – even those who are young, don’t have children, or are not the main breadwinner of a family, should have some form of protection. That said, choosing the right type of insurance for your life stage and financial needs is key. For example, young professionals may want to consider critical illness or disability insurance to help manage expenses if an illness or disability prevents them from working, whereas middle-aged consumers might benefit most from a permanent life insurance policy. I can help you find the right protection for your life and wealth stage.

Applications are easier

It used to be that applying for insurance was a complicated process involving face-to-face meetings, lengthy applications and the need to provide blood and urine samples. Now applications are simpler. Many can be completed online without having to meet in person and can also be signed electronically. In most cases, medical exams and fluid samples are a thing of the past. Today, approvals are quick and coverage can be in place in as little as 48 hours after you apply.

It’s more affordable than you think

In a recent survey consumers revealed the top two reasons they hesitated in buying life insurance: 1. It was a low priority 2. They felt it wasn’t affordable.1 But the truth is, the right coverage can be designed to fit comfortably into your life and financial plan. Term life insurance for example, is a cost-effective solution that can provide protection for a specific length of time. And some new programs allow consumers to earn premium reductions and other rewards, based on making healthy lifestyle choices. When you consider the advancements and choices available, it is clear that getting the necessary protection may actually be one of the easiest parts of implementing a financial plan. I will work with you to help determine how much, and what type of insurance is best for you. 1 2

Source: Solutions Magazine March 6, 2019


Barbara Allen, HBA, CFP Life Insurance Advisor Manulife Securities Insurance Inc. Senior Financial Advisor Manulife Securities Incorporated Direct Line 519-250-0515 519-250-5190, ext. 409 2255 Cadillac Street, Windsor

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.

Our community never ceases to amaze me. The hard working people are noticed. So much so that two new giant facilities have been announced. First, Stellantis, also known to us as Chrysler, will make the largest automotive investment in Canadian History. A plant to build batteries to power electric vehicles will be built in the city of Windsor. Then, Amazon announced a new distribution facility will be built here as well. These new ventures will cause employment for thousands of people for many years. Great news! On other fronts, Spring seems to be having a hard time getting started. Accumulated snow in mid-April? Another thing that is having a hard time getting started... us. After two years of on-again off-again restrictions, we finally have freedom to live our lives without limitations. But it is a slow process. Looking around, I see that some are unmasking and some aren’t. I, for one, am still wearing a mask most of the time in public. Not because of any reason other than I check most of the boxes of risk factors and quite frankly don’t want to have come this far only to be a late bloomer to COVID. To the young and healthy, enjoy your freedom. You deserve it. We all do. The more we do to get rid of this mess the better. Enjoy life while we can. It is not a given that it will always be great but it should be as good as we can make it. Do the things that make you happy and surround yourself with the people that make you happy. Time to make up for lost moments. Time to rekindle relationships. You will find that those people who were your friends still are. You will also find that some things have changed. Embrace the changes. Get caught up. Listen. Some have endured more hardship than others. Some have cruised through with little, if any change in their lives. Be good friends and neighbours and enjoy each other regardless of circumstances. On another note, patience has never been more important. For multiple reasons things are not able to happen as quickly as before. Business people, in all walks, are working hard to supply you with goods and services and in some cases that is proving difficult. As the restrictions lift everyone wants to do everything, now! In many cases “now” is not possible. You may have to wait a little longer for your requested goods or services. This is where the term “all in this together” is appropriate. We are all facing the reality that is more difficult to reopen than it was to close down. Sincerely,

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 through referral.


Bob Robinson

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CANADIAN ROCKER, Avril Lavigne, performs at the Colosseum at Caesars Windsor on Thursday May 12. For many, the experience will be like time travel. After two years of health mandates and restrictions on gathering, attending an actual rock concert feels like a throwback to another time. So, it’s particularly appropriate that Avril is among the first acts to play Caesars Windsor following the “new normal.” After all, her first album, Let Go, was born into a world of flip phones and Netscape Navigator. YouTube didn’t exist at the time. The year was 2002. MuchMusic and MTV still played music videos at that time, and Avril lit up the charts like a flamethrower with her debut musical effort. This year “Complicated,” “Sk8tr Boi,” and the rest of their sonic siblings are twenty years old. How can it be? More surprising to the naysayers, who figured most of the teenaged rock stars from the early 2000s would be “one hit wonders,” Avril Lavigne is still around. Bigger, badder, better than ever. Avril has a new album called, Love Sux, released through DTA Records with Travis Barker. She also has a year-long, multi-nation tour planned—the Colosseum at Caesars Windsor is among her first stops along the way. To look at the star, herself, it’s almost as though no time at all has passed since she first burst onto the scene. Avril leaves the aging to others. She remains an indomitable figure in her music videos, with her sphinx-like stare and her seismic vocals. Avril spoke with Windsor Life recently, answering questions about life, work and the road. Asked how she has remained a major force in contemporary music for the past two decades, she says: “By keeping it real, being a songwriter. It’s been important to me, writing about what I go through. Sometimes I make it funny…” She continues: “Like with this album, poking fun at the crazy things that love does to us. Being as real and honest and raw as possible. I think people connect with that.” When Avril speaks of “crazy things,” she means crazy things. Among other visual oddities in the official music video for her song “Bite Me,” the viewer finds a gang of four very upset strong men clad in ballerina tutus. One of the strong men wields a chainsaw. Others smash plates of food and break cartoonishly large liquor bottles over their heads.


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I’m a solid stable person. I take what I do seriously. I’m focused. I stay in the zone. It’s a huge responsibility —you book a tour, you don’t want to let anyone down! You give it all you have. You go out there, try to keep a good balance…

M a y / J u n e

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The target of their anger is a guy who has presumably wronged the song’s narrator. An online pop culture scholar suggests the strong men embody Avril’s interior rage. True or not, Avril’s performance in the video swings between coquettish and ferocious. Avril’s concert tour will see her performing across Canada, during the first leg, followed by dates in Brazil, the United States, Japan, and Europe. Performing songs like “Bite Me” and “Love It When You Hate Me” require the endurance of a triathlete. Where does she find the energy? “I just lose myself in the music and let it take me over,” she says. “I love these songs so much and have so much fun playing them live. Recently, I jumped on stage at The Roxy on Sunset Strip, and played some new songs from the album, along with some older ones.” She reflects for a moment and says: “Singing is something I can do in my sleep. Performing is like walking and talking.” She laughs. “Putting on a full concert is like cardio!” One look at her new music videos tells the viewer that Avril takes no prisoners. That said, she is more than simply a spectacle. On the Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson in 2007, legendary actor, Ian McKellen, described her as “a punk chanteuse, a post-grunge Valkyrie, with the wounded soul of a poet and the explosive pugnacity of a Canadian’”. In the midst of the maelstrom of her career, what has kept Avril grounded? “I won’t do anything without my older brother. He’s been with me from the beginning,” she says. “I won’t tour without him.” Considering Avril was all of sixteen years of age when she burst onto the music scene, having a protective older brother was definitely a necessity. “Having family… keeping solid, sane people around me,” Avril continues. “I’m a solid stable person. I take what I do seriously. I’m focused. I stay in the zone. It’s a huge responsibility—you book a tour, you don’t want to let anyone down! You give it all you have. You go out there, try to keep a good balance… eat well, sleep well, stay in good shape, travel the world.” Living in the glare of the media’s spotlight isn’t easy for anyone, particularly a teenager. Fans and the media form opinions and expectations for performers. How different is the public Avril from the private one? “I don’t know,” she says, pondering the question. “People only see one side of the

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Business Law ~ Wills & Estates ~ Commercial Leasing ~ Real Property 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.

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- Loyal Customer Dr. Monique Siara

Ph. 519.254.2020 3893 Dougall Ave.


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performer, so they have my music videos and stage persona to go off of. I’m actually, sometimes really shy and soft spoken… introverted, chill. With my music… that brings out the fiery side of me. When people meet me, they say: ‘You’re so sweet!’ They think I’m the person they see in the videos!” Avril is quick to express gratitude for her life and career. “I make music,” she says. “I feel really, really grateful… very blessed, to still be making music. It’s because of my fan base, they are awesome and passionate.” Avril’s Love Sux tour kicked off on Saturday, April 30, at Casino Rama Resort in Orillia, Ontario. She says she looks forward to connecting with family and friends from high school along the way. As for the Colosseum at Caesars Windsor, all systems are GO, and the venue considers its shows in May to be its grand re-opening. “We will be at full capacity, masks are now personal choice, not mandated,” says Tim Trombley Director of Entertainment at Caesars Windsor. It is hard to believe that it has been nearly twenty-six months since the last show at the Colosseum. Except for REO Speedwagon, who appeared in December 2021, the Colosseum has put the safety of its patrons first and abided by all restrictions imposed by the Ontario government. “We are very excited about our grand re-opening,” Tim continues. “We think of it as ‘Entertainment 2.0.’ And I think the line-up we have in place has something for everyone: pop and rock with Avril Lavigne, the Black Crowes, and Shinedown. For country music lovers, we have Brad Paisley coming. For comedy fans we have Chelsea Handler, and Steve Martin and Martin Short at the end of May. Paul Anka appears in June. There are many others. Coming back after two years, we wanted to have a very strong and diverse line-up.” Tim notes that between 70 and 75 percent of the 2022 calendar year is booked. Comedian Bill Burr will perform in October. The Colosseum is confirming shows into November and December. “We have some great holiday shows that are yet to be announced,” Tim says, “all ages, family friendly.” To learn more about Avril Lavigne, her music and tour, check out For ticket information about her show in Windsor on May 12 and to learn more about other shows at the Colosseum, visit WLM Back to Contents


Taking Families Boating For Over 70 Years!

Welcome to Maple City Marine! We pride ourself on having the friendliest and most knowledgeable staff in Chatham, ON. It is our goal to help our customers find the perfect watercraft to fit their lifestyle, along with just the right parts and accessories. If you need help in making your selection, feel free call or stop in—we’re always ready to serve you. We offer a full line up of watercraft to suit your needs including: Beneteau Yachts, Bennington Pontoon Boats, Crest Pontoon Boats, new for 2022: Fountain Centre Console Powerboats, (arriving in late summer 2022) Kingfisher, Lund, Mastercraft, NauticStar, Ranger, Regal and Scout, plus motors by Mercury and Yamaha Outboards. In addition, we offer YETI—the best premium coolers and accessories. Ultimate in design, performance, and durability.

Scout Dorado 240

Three Generations to Serve You. Left to right: Grant, Bob & Rob Rule.

Maple City Marine is family-owned and operated and conveniently located in Chatham, ON. We can provide you with the latest and best in marine products to make your outdoor living more enjoyable. We specialize in offering the latest innovations in boating technology. We combine a wide variety of products with a friendly and knowledgeable staff to meet all of your boating needs. Our goal is to make Maple City Marine your one-stop dealership for sales, service, and fun! We recognize that our customers have a variety of needs when it comes to their boating lifestyles. That is precisely why we are committed to serving each customer with excellence. From the minute you walk through the door, exceeding your expectations is our top priority. Call or stop by, you’ll be glad you did.

M a y / J u n e

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Your Home is Your Sanctuary SINCE 1974, Seaton Sunrooms has brought the outdoors inside to the residents of Essex County. “So many of our clients say their sunroom is their favourite room in their house,” says Brooke Watorek, who operates Seaton Sunrooms with her husband, Jason. “Sunrooms have never been more popular. They’re a place where you can go out, enjoy your wine at night, enjoy your coffee in the morning—relax with books, games or TV.” Some of the most popular styles offered by Seaton include motorized Talius screens, screen rooms, three-season sunrooms, and four-season sunrooms. A custom three-season or year-round sunroom instantly enlarges a home. The Talius motorized retractable screens allow homeowners to enjoy their outdoor living space. Founder Vern Seaton says in a video on the Seaton Sunroom website: “We design everything in-house with the homeowner in mind. We make sure that our units fit your house, not your house fitting our units. We don’t order these things and then try to modify them. We build them to spec, each and every time.” Sunrooms are fabricated in Seaton Sunroom’s shop. As Jason explains: “Our products are made with our own proprietary aluminum extrusions that won’t rot or rust. All glass and roof panels are cut to order by Seaton Sunrooms professionals, which allows us to create the perfect design to complement your home, rather than trying to retrofit a kit sunroom.” Any sunroom can be equipped for comfort with Seaton Sunrooms’ installation of optional heating and cooling systems and solar blinds. The “Products” page of the Seaton Sunrooms website offers a glimpse at the various custom styles they have installed over the years. Screen rooms


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installation went as planned “ The and on time. The quality of work was exceptional.”

– Brian & Joyce

allow homeowners to enjoy outdoor lounging, reading or eating without the hassle of insects. This space allows people to keep their patio furniture outdoors year-round, eliminating the need for additional storage. Three-season sunrooms continue to be a popular choice, especially given the southwestern Ontario climate. Three-season sunrooms are constructed with single pane glass and insulation in the roof panel. A door can separate this space from the rest of the house for the coldest days in winter. With a little planning, an effective space heater can make the area quite pleasant during the darkest days of winter. The four-season sunroom is a full addition to a home. It is constructed of glass and vinyl, double-pane windows, it has a thicker roof and is fully insulated so that the door between house and sunroom can be removed if the homeowner desires. “A sunroom adds value to your home,” Brooke says. “It allows a homeowner to feel outside with all of the comfort of the interior. Sunrooms have a calming effect on people and they offer a lot of natural light.” Seaton Sunrooms gives homeowners the ability to receive a free quote right from the website. On the “Contact Us” page there is a fillable form where homeowners provide their contact information and have the option to upload photos of their property. Seaton Sunrooms will reply with a rough quote and photos of similar jobs. If the homeowner is interested, a rep will come out to get exact measurements and finalize the quote. For more information about Seaton Sunrooms, and to view examples of their work, visit them online at

SEATON SUNROOMS 4600 Rhodes Dr. Unit 2, Windsor, ON EC Row Exit on Central South



Are You Looking For A Great Career With A Great Future?

IT’S NO SECRET that carpenters, plumbers and electricians earn good salaries, but did you know that trained roofers in the construction industry do too? When you think about the simple fact that most of the time a roof is one of the largest and most important components of any building, it just makes sense. Ken Quinn, co-owner of Quinn Roofing Solutions says, “Roofing is a great career for any individual looking to work in an industry in high demand—in part because most roofs must be replaced every 15 to 25 years. This requires the services of a highly skilled and trained team of dedicated roofing experts.” He continues, “New technologies and innovation in 21st century roofing materials and installation are constantly evolving and improving to provide customers with better solutions for their roofing needs. Being knowledgeable about the various types of roofing systems is essential to a successful roofing company; Quinn Roofing Solutions has always provided the mentorship, training and education needed to achieve and sustain success. Our team of highly skilled roofers are trained in-house as well as by our manufacturers. They are certified with the roof system manufacturers, providing our customers with superior roof installations.” A NICHE TRADE Some might be surprised to learn that roofing is a highly technical profession. A good roofer must know how to detect and diagnose potential problems and deficiencies; a good roofer must also possess the precision of a fine craftsperson—

Ken and Sue Quinn of Quinn Roofing Solutions

because at the end of the day, a roof is the only barrier between Mother Nature and the precious valuables underneath in homes and businesses. SUSTAINED GROWTH AND STABILITY The Canadian roofing industry is stable and growing year over year, offering a multitude of career paths providing: • Steady employment • The opportunity to earn while learning and grow into various supervisory, technical and leadership roles • Great compensation and benefits • Training to work in a safe environment A dynamic part of the institutional, commercial and industrial (ICI) construction industry, roofs not only protect buildings; they are also an integral part of building design, including energy efficient and green roofs. Roofers work on crews, typically teams of 5-8 with a foreman, journeymen, material handlers and apprentices. Working as a roofer in the ICI industry means being part of the construction or renovation of buildings that will stand the test of time. ICI buildings support Canada’s economic activity and important work— whether it’s small businesses, corporations, hospitals, educational establishments, hospitals, entertainment facilities, data centres, seats of government and other important locations. Qualified roofers are in demand more than ever. There are a variety of positions from labourer, apprentice, journeyperson and foreperson, with wages comparable to all other sectors of the construction industry. Ken Quinn concludes, “The roofing industry in Canada is innovative, dynamic, respected and successful. At Quinn Roofing Solutions, we hold ourselves to the highest professional technical standards; we pride ourselves on offering a modern, safe, high quality, healthy workplace. If you or someone you know is looking for an exciting career with a secure future, we want to talk!”


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EMBRACING THE BLUE Making Memories Beneath The Waves STORY BY RYAN PERCY / PHOTOGRAPHY BY MARTY ROBINSON THE GREAT BLUE EXPANSE of the ocean. For many, the idea of water stretching out in all directions can be terrifying, but under the waves there is a great deal of beauty. Reefs, fish, octopi and others, a marvel of colour to take in. While many people might only get a chance to see such things on a nature documentary, there are others that go out and dive down to take in nature for themselves. Enter, Marty Robinson, a 59-year-old retiree. When you picture a scuba diver you likely imagine someone much younger. But Robinson is almost more at home in the water than he is on land. “I’d always wanted to do scuba diving,” Robinson says with a slight laugh. “But every time I went to a resort I was with my ex-wife or girlfriend at the time and they didn’t want to do it. So, I didn’t want to leave them on a resort by themselves while I went out, so I never got around to it.” But what finally gave Robinson the push might be one of the things you would least expect. In 2014, sitting on his recliner, an episode of The King of Queens came on the TV. The main character decides to go and try out scuba diving. It rekindled something in Robinson, and he went looking for options in Windsor. “I found Benthic, a local dive shop and they were starting a class that afternoon, so I bought my basic equipment and started my open water course,” Robinson says with a smile as he recalls the memory. “I got hooked immediately.” Robinson’s joy of scuba made him dive even deeper, completing several


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Opposite top to bottom: Caribbean Reef Shark, Exuma Cays; a Spanish Dancer; Caribbean Lobster. This page clockwise from above: Marty and Carrie. A good dive buddy is hard to find; Choriaster sea star, Bohol, Philippines; Clownfish; beautiful Feather Star; a Green Sea Turtle rests with two Remora attached to its shell.


certifications for different kinds of diving and even ended up becoming an instructor. By the time 2020 rolled around he had over 400 dives under his belt. But what kept him coming back? What made him strap on his dive suit and equipment over and over? “Tranquility,” he says. “It’s so calm and peaceful, the only thing you hear is your bubbles. You get down there and it’s so colourful and beautiful.” Robinson does not dive out into the ocean, swimming down to wrecked ships where you can no longer see the sun shimmering on the top of the waves.

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“We don’t dive places like that, there’s nothing to see,” Robinson says of open ocean, called pelagic waters. “There’s almost no life to see there. Life is on the reef.” While he was diving and seeing the bountiful life on the reef the idea came to him to start taking pictures to keep and share the memories. “It’s the same as you going on a trip somewhere and taking pictures of what you see or the people there with you,” Robinson says of how he picked up underwater photography. “I just see different things. If you’re in Rome you take one of the Colosseum, I’m doing the same with sharks and coral and cool things I see.” Marty’s diving has taken him across the world. From the diving quarries in Gilboa, Ohio where he was trained and trained other divers, to the Bahamas and Philippines. He still dreams of diving in the Galapagos and a few other places, but money becomes an issue. He also is not the only one going diving in the home. His wife, Carrie, is also one with the water with over 100 dives. “Some people are really comfortable underwater, some aren’t,” Robinson says of how Carrie started diving about five weeks after him. “It took her a little bit of time to get used to it.” Not long after their trips started to focus on diving, every place they ventured to was a new chance to plunge into the blue and explore. What this has lead to is a wealth of experiences that he talks about as if they were almost religious. One stood out especially, seeing whale sharks in the Philippines. “It’s like you can’t blink, you can’t look away,” Robinson says with awe. “They’re graceful and gentle. The pictures that you see in magazines or on TV doesn’t do them any justice. They’re enormous and truly spectacular.” Another came in the Caribbean, when Robinson was diving along the reefs and a six-foot-long reef shark approached and swam alongside him. He had no real fear of it since, as he puts it, you would not walk into a field to bite a cow. While he does warn that scuba diving is not a sport for the limit-pushers and adrenaline junkies he says he wished he had taken the plunge sooner. “I fell in love with it and I just want to do it forever,” Robinson says with a smile. “I wish I had started 30 or 40 years ago. Because hearing from people diving back then the sea life was even more beautiful than it is now.” WLM Back to Contents

BUILDING A TRIBE FOR HALF A DECADE Feeling The Burn And Making Friends At The Tribe Gym IT IS 5:30 AM and while most Windsor-Essex residents still sleeping or just waking up, a parking lot on the south side of Manning Road is packed. The building those cars are in front of is alive with a community gathering to become their best selves. The Tribe Gym is a gathering place for people from every walk of life, from the humble beginner to pro athletes. There is no pressure. No judgement. People follow along at their own pace. Standing at the head of the class and leading everyone through exercises is Tiziana Sofikitis, owner and trainer, but everyone calls her Tiz. During workouts, Tiz guides everyone through proper form and offers altered versions of moves she is using for those who are not able to perform more intense actions. By matching workout intensity to what a client can do, Tiz pushes and inspires them towards a healthier lifestyle, both physically and mentally. “Fitness and health have always been a passion of mine,” Tiz says of her over 20 years of experience in the field. “My father always said find your passion, follow it and you will never work a day in your life. That stuck and here I am today, loving what I’m doing.” Gym owners Tiz and Laz Sofikitis in Zoe’s Café Corner

To the many people who take part in The Tribe Gym’s classes it does not feel like a traditional workout. Tiz specializes in high intensity interval training, or HIIT for short. While more traditional gym workouts would last an hour or two, a HIIT session is roughly 35 minutes. The goal is to provide a workout hitting cardio and weight training at the same time. “I’ve had professional athletes as well as people who have never picked a weight up before,” Tiz says of the clients she trains. “Seeing them progress and getting stronger is just amazing.” The pandemic did not even stop Tiz. With her husband, confidant and biggest supporter, Laz, they looked for new avenues to deliver fitness options. What this led to was The Tribe Gym’s YouTube channel. Tiz posts 5 to 25 minutes free HIIT workouts you can follow along anytime and anywhere. Subscribing is always free and new videos are constantly being added. Every day is different at The Tribe Gym, but regardless of the day’s moves you always get an intense workout in. “I focus on the full body during workouts but love to isolate different muscle groups to sculpt the body,” Tiz says. For some it is a strong start for the day and for others their time at The Tribe Gym allows them to unwind and destress from their day. Post-workout coffee and tea is brewed fresh at Zoe’s Cafe Corner, named after their daughter. The added option to gather round for a drink after an intense workout Pantone 109 CP C=60 M=40 Y=40 K=100 C=0 M=9 Y=100 K=0 makes the space feel less like a gym and more of a social space.

“What has grown out of this is incredible,” Tiz says. “We’ve made great friendships and met wonderful people. They aren’t just my clients, they’re my friends. They’re my tribe.” You can find Tiz on Instagram at thetribe_leader or on at The Tribe Gym. Classes are weekdays starting at 5:30 am, 6:30 am, 7:30 am, 9:00 am, 10:00 am, 4:00 pm and 5:30 pm while Saturdays are 7:00 am, 8:00 am, 9:00 am and 10:00 am. To learn more about how The Tribe Gym can change your vibe head to, call 519-979-4441 or visit at 1855 Manning Road in Tecumseh.

1855 Manning Rd 519-979-4441 /


Leading the Charge

THERE IS POWER IN NUMBERS. Nobody knows this better than Scott Dupuis, the managing partner of local accountancy firm, Baker Tilly Windsor. Scott’s work at the firm was recently recognized when he was appointed chair of the board of Baker Tilly Canada and made a member of Baker Tilly Global’s international board of directors. He will serve in these roles for the next three years. The Windsor office is an independent member firm of the Baker Tilly Canada Cooperative, which is a member of the global Baker Tilly International network. Scott is involved in all three levels. Each member firm is independently owned and operated, but work together, sharing knowledge and resources. It’s quite a powerful network when one considers Baker Tilly International extends across 148 territories, with 39,000 people working out of more than 706 offices. There is a very good reason why Scott was chosen by other members on Baker Tilly Canada’s board of directors to fill his new role: “They liked what we’ve done in Windsor,” Scott said in a recent media interview. “They’d like to do that right across Canada.” Scott Dupuis Scott is a lifelong resident of Essex County and a graduate of the University of Windsor. As a student, he did a co-op placement in the local office of an internationally known accountancy firm. When he graduated, they hired him full-time. Working for a large operation with a centralized decision-making apparatus, Scott recalls: “It was a great learning ground. I was there for twenty years, and eventually became a partner. But over time, I became a highly paid employee. I couldn’t do things, and my hands were tied.” Ten years ago, Scott joined Collins Barrow Windsor, which ultimately rebranded itself as Baker Tilly Windsor in 2019. There, he helped cultivate a much different environment. “We’re able to do things at Baker Tilly that I could never do before,” Scott continues. “If the partners and I decide we want to do something, we meet in the afternoon, and it’s done. We don’t have mothership and all that.” Baker Tilly Windsor is a mid-market firm whose clients are business owners who run the gamut, from dentists, lawyers, to manufacturing, construction, real estate, and other entrepreneurs. The Windsor office being in a border city, Baker Tilly also has a substantial international tax practice.


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In one media interview, Scott said: “There’s a crazy amount of U.S. companies coming to Canada… There’s been 400 to 500 companies that have become clients in the last five years. We do a lot of cross-border work and most of my clients are in two or more countries.” So, how does a mid-market firm in Windsor, Ontario handle such complex and diverse challenges? The network. “The firms that join us are allowed to be entrepreneurial and do their own thing,” Scott explains, “but you have these resources that you can access.” An example of the collaboration and connection across Baker Tilly International involves Baker Tilly Advantage, an accounting software tool created by a U.S. member firm. When the Windsor firm asked if they could use it, their network partner said: “No problem. Here you go.” “That probably saved us two years of development,” Scott points out. “Even better, firms in two countries are now using the same software.” Baker Tilly Canada has network members across the country. The latest member firm to join is located in New Brunswick. The network of experts continues growing, and the best thing about it—there is always room for more. To learn more about Baker Tilly Canada, visit them on line at


Top: Christopher Lawrence Menard as Sweeney Todd; Tracey Atin as Mrs. Lovett. Photo courtesy of KordaZone Theatre. Above: KordaZone partners Joe Cardinal and Tracey Atin.


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THEATRE—that age-old, beloved art form—faces unprecedented challenges in today’s rapidly evolving entertainment landscape. The digital age has spawned an array of new media—from 3-D movies to crowd-sourced video to YouTube to streaming to smartphones. These now compete with the stage for audience attention. Korda Artistic Productions—a home-grown theatre company dedicated to offering extraordinary live shows that are provocative, challenging and original—strives to promote local artists in a supporting and stimulating environment. Productions are mounted on stage at the 115-seat KordaZone Theatre, located at 2520 Seminole Street. Founder and Executive Director Tracey B. Atin—a diminutive, flaming-haired dynamo with greasepaint flowing though her veins—grew up immersed in the arts; her mom, Dorothy Sherkey Atin, planned to be a movie star named Korda Walker (the theatre’s namesake). Her prolific late father’s vibrant oil paintings adorn the theatre walls. Tracey herself is also an accomplished film and stage director and performer. When she invited us for a tour and a chat, we asked her about the state of live local theatre in a time of distracting technologies and COVID. Tracey reflects, “I think it’s safe to say we’re in an entertainment flux. It’s not just about distracting technologies; it’s reality television, where happy amateurs force themselves into the limelight so all the world can watch them fail. For many people, being “voted off an island” or “not getting a rose” is where dramatic tension is


being generated—not from the minds of playwrights, trained actors, and independent filmmakers.” But according to Tracey, “Live theatre demands that we question life, culture and society. The live actors performing something like Spring Awakening or Sweeney Todd is extremely disruptive. I believe there will always be an audience for that!” In the past, theatres were very proprietary, but now, there is a lot of sharing and co-producing. “Like our brand-new partnership,” Tracey adds. “Cooperation and collaboration among theatres is the future.” Korda Artistic Productions and Cardinal Music Productions have joined forces to share risks, resources and overcome the devastating impact the pandemic has had on the performing arts. The two companies now share the Seminole Street theatre. Tracey says, “Today, partnership is the name of the game in live theatre. We are excited to welcome the Cardinal family back to share our home as we all continue navigating through these frustrating times. As we begin to emerge from this pandemic—fingers crossed—we’re so thrilled to be entertaining our loyal audiences again and offering them even more magic under one roof.” Joe Cardinal, founder and owner of Cardinal Music Productions agrees. “The pandemic has certainly highlighted the need to build sustainable spaces. Partnerships are a way to do that. More than ever, we need to be there for one another, as people and as artists; we need to create welcoming, safe spaces for our artists and audiences to return to. That’s what it’s all about!” Tracey adds, “Over the years the “Korda Boarda” (our hardworking board members), players and artists have been passionate about building a welcoming, quirky place to explore, play, and create together. Theatre is something that must be felt and experienced—not just read, watched or seen. After more than two years of isolation, physical distancing and restrictions, people are craving experience. Live theatre allows you to feel humanity. It’s palpable, it’s visceral, it’s collective.” Cardinal describes the Seminole Street theatre a “magical” place. “People want to come because the shows are unique, beautiful, challenging and surprising. Cardinal has produced some fantastic work on the KordaZone stage, and I’ve been able to help my Korda friends with tech and production needs for their

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shows. We have found new, inventive ways to create truly memorable productions.” Both Tracey and Joe invite you to experience the wonderful, wacky world of KordaZone! Just a sampling of some of the incredible stories told through unforgettable performances and award-winning music: Korda Artistic Productions presents: SPRING AWAKENING MAY 26, 27, 28 and JUNE 2, 3, 4, 9, 10 & 11, 2022 A daring, angsty, rock musical adaptation that won eight Tony Awards (including Best Musical). Exploring the journey from adolescence to adulthood with illuminating, unforgettable poignancy and passion, this electrifying fusion of morality, sexuality and rock and roll has exhilarated audiences like no other musical in years. Cardinal Music Productions presents: 9 TO 5 THE MUSICAL July 8-10, 15-17 and 22-24, 2022. Music and Lyrics by Dolly Parton. Based on the 1980s hit movie. Set in the late 1970s, this hilarious story of friendship and revenge in the Rolodex era is outrageous, thought-provoking, and even a little romantic. Pushed to the boiling point, three female coworkers concoct a plan to get even with their sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot boss. SWEENEY TODD: THE DEMON BARBER OF FLEET STREET November 11-13, 18-20 and 25-27, 2022. Music and Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim. The musical masterpiece and triple Tony Award®-winning musical about a vengeful mad barber and his ghoulish mistress, who slash throats and bake pies in the slums of 19th century London. Christopher Lawrence Menard and Tracey Atin reunite as Sweeney Todd and Mrs. Lovett; they performed in the Cardinal/Korda co-production of this musical in 2015. For Korda Shows: $25 General Admission for Plays; $30 General Admission for Musicals Box Office: Call 519-562-3394

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For Cardinal Shows: $30 General Admission Box Office: Call 519-944-5800 Tickets for both Korda and Cardinal Shows are also available (unless sold out in advance) at the theatre door, one half hour before shows, on show nights. The KordaZone Theatre is located at 2520 WLM Seminole Street, Windsor. Back to Contents

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Join your fellow riders on Sunday, June 26, 2022, as the Hôtel-Dieu Grace Healthcare Foundation hosts the 10th Annual Bob Probert Ride. While donations are appreciated, registration is free and starts at 10 am with kickstands up from Ciociaro Club at 10:30 am. New Classic Car Show this year with a $10 registration which includes entry to all contests and a complimentary poker hand for the ride. Funds raised for the 10th Year Bob Probert Ride will go towards supporting mental health programs at Hôtel-Dieu Grace Healthcare.


Floor Coverings International is celebrating 30 Years in business. Bill Wellings (center) and his wife Denise (right) started their business out of a former gas station garage in Emeryville and then grew the business with bigger and bigger stores until his present 6000 sq. ft. location with more than a dozen staff on County Rd. 42. Their daughter Pam Wellings-Kasana (left) is running the office and ensuring the legacy of quality flooring for people who want to shop, instore or at home. Their professional staff, full installation or cash and carry products are sure to satisfy any customer.


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Myles Jeun (15 years old) and Ainsley LaPorte (4 years old) are excited to make new friends and build self-esteem at the Miracle League of Riverside Baseball which removes barriers to participation that keeps anyone with a disability off the baseball field while enabling a quality experience. Opening Ceremonies and baseball in the new park will begin play on Saturday, May 14 on The Solcz Family Foundation Field at Farrow Riverside Miracle Park with a rain day of Sunday, March 15.

Following the loss of her infant son Michael to cancer nearly 40 years ago, Anita Imperioli has dedicated herself to advocating on behalf of patients and families seeking supportive care and treatment. Founder and President of In Honour of the Ones We Love, a charitable organization with a 25 year history of supporting patients with cancer, life threatening illnesses and different abilities, Anita Imperioli’s far reaching impact on our community is why she has been selected for the Multicultural Council Of Windsor and Essex County’s Herb Gray Award, which she received at their May. 5 gala.


Van Niforos is the recipient of the 2022 Believe Windsor-Essex Award during the Windsor-Essex Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Awardson May 19th. The owner of The Penalty Box is being honoured for over 30 years of success in the restaurant business, the positive adjustments made to his operation in response to COVID restrictions and his commitment to sourcing local, farm fresh ingredients. Van is also well known for his generosity to numerous local charities, fundraisers, and organizations. Back to Contents


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Cooking At Home Honorable Chris Lewis, MP of Essex Essex-Windsor knows and loves pizza. We have some of the finest locally sourced ingredients around. “The food is amazing but quite frankly, it’s never been about the food, it’s about the family. Mom and Dad host the entire family at every available opportunity. You can have the greatest toppings in the world, but the most important ingredient is love. That’s where the magic happens.” When you are dealing with a large gathering, there is no point in taking time and energy to make homemade dough, just buy your favorite pizza dough and spend the time with your guests gathered to make individual pizzas—the greatest comfort food. For the complete recipes, visit Back to Contents

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MODERN LIVING A Local Builder Let His Creativity Fly When Building For Himself STORY BY MATTHEW ST. AMAND PHOTOGRAPHY BY MICHAEL PIETRANGELO THE AGE-OLD MYSTERY of “Who cuts the barber’s hair?” may still persist, but there is no secret behind “Who builds the builder’s house?” For Anthony Lapico, building his 4,400 square foot dream home was a passion project filled with collaboration and experimentation. “The house was built from the ground up on Old Tecumseh Road,” says Anthony. “We designed the house around the lot.” The design work was a team effort. Anthony’s son, Andrew, was instrumental in offering ideas and insight, as well as Anthony’s ex-wife, Doris, whose seasoned design eye has given many past projects each a special flourish. From start to finish, the project took approximately one year. As with most projects of this nature, the design process took the longest. Andrew, who has worked in the family business for the past three to four years, says: “The meetings were the fun part. I learned a lot from both of my parents.” “The process was definitely push-pull,” Anthony reflects. “Doris and I are both artsy in our own ways. The design phase always takes a few months. Personally, I think it’s the most important.”


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Clockwise from above: Stairwell with a painting of Buddy Holly by local artist Eric Faraci; main living room—fireplace inspired by the lobby bar at the Shinola Hotel; dining room with a 7 foot custom circle mirror; main kitchen with 20 foot island.


The design process has been so meticulous, the mailbox has yet to be picked out. In building the home for himself, Anthony took liberties and experimented in ways he would never consider when working on a customer’s home. For starters, the exterior of the house is traditional, yet the interior of the house is modern with a number of personal touches. “We are really focused on the kitchen,” Anthony explains. “Everyone lives their life in the kitchen, so it’s big, but doesn’t feel big. It feels cozy. The black walls bring the size down. The kitchen is a combination of modern and traditional.” “We got rid of the kitchen table and focused on the island,” Andrew adds. “It’s about twenty feet long with a cooking side, sink, cutting board, and then the other side where we eat. The idea came from restaurants in Toronto that had these farmer tables. We’d be eating next to strangers, and it sparked conversation with them. We wanted to informalize the eating aspect of the kitchen.” One of the many experiments in the house are the archways. There is one between the kitchen and dining room. It is an old school touch, from 1970s North America, back when Anthony’s father built homes in the area. “We brought the arches back for the first time in a long time,” Anthony says. “We did it ad hoc, at the last moment. It is a way of elevating the space—making the next room a focal point. The trades guys thought it was funny when they first saw the arches but had to admit they suited the house when they saw them finished.” “The Shinola hotel in Detroit was a big inspiration for the arches,” Andrew says. Anthony admires the work of famed American architect Frank Lloyd Wright, and the ways Wright utilized opposing

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Clockwise from right: The music room— where Anthony and guests listen to vinyl records; bedroom with a collection of GQ magazines behind and a picture of the Kennedy brothers; master bedroom ensuite—designed to feel like a hotel bathroom suite; Speakeasy club inspired by Studio 54.


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design philosophies for the interior and exterior of homes he designed. “Wright also did many arches,” Anthony says. In the living room, Andrew found himself going against a long-held belief: no TVs above fireplaces. “We’ve always been anti-TV over the fireplace,” he says. “Growing up, I knew that it was an Architectural Digest no-no. But we brought it back with a framed TV by Samsung. When not watching television, it’s an art piece.” In the bar area, Andrews says they were striving for the feel of an old speak easy. This space was site of another experiment in design. “We wanted to bring back massive exposed stereo speakers throughout the house,” he says. “I saw a documentary about Studio 54, and they just had these massive speakers everywhere.” This is definitely a step out of the norm in an era where builders are always looking for new and creative ways to hide speakers and other facets of technology, so they can be enjoyed, but not seen. “The speakers add to the charm of the room,” Andrew says. “The room is made for entertaining.” There are doors in the bar area that lead outside

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to the pool area, so in the warmer weather the room’s entertainment factor is both indoor-outdoor. The front room is the music room. A piano is the centerpiece—but it is not just any piano. “It’s the piano my kids learned to play on when they were young,” Anthony says. “They have, unfortunately, stopped playing—though my daughter will grace us once in a while with a song. It just holds a great memory.” Referring to the lower level of the home as the “basement” does the space a disservice, however, for the sake of clarity: the basement is the fitness room. “We’re health freaks,” Andrew admits. “We’re big into biking, studios, fitness centers, so we brought those elements to our fitness room. We also have massive speakers down there.” “Going to the fitness area in the basement, it’s a welcoming space,” Anthony says. “It’s an important facet to the house. We can’t just hang-out in the kitchen, all the time, eating! The space has a great feel.” One experiment that didn’t work out was adding a coffee bar area to the master bedroom. “It was too big,” Anthony says. “On a Saturday, walking around, I noticed that it just didn’t work. When mistakes occur, you correct them.” For the most part, the walls of the home are white. Anthony wanted them monotone so that the art and furniture could speak for themselves. Among the art is a vintage photograph—said to be one of his final photographs—of American rock singer, Buddy Holly. Anthony has lived in the home since December 2021. “I built it according to what I like,” he says. “With this house, we went eclectic. Simple, yet classic lines on the outside with modern twist on outside. We have floor to ceiling windows, which you don’t see in many modern homes. It felt like home right away.” WLM 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. Back to Contents • (519) 969-7822 • M a y / J u n e

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APPETIT! 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. Capri Pizzeria - Check out our take-out menu and be tempted by our famous pizzas, great pastas, fresh salads and much more! Penny more, penny less, Capri Pizza is still the best! 3020 Dougall Ave. 519-969-6851 Carrots N’ Dates - A health-forward restaurant & bake shoppe that offers delicious meals made with whole foods. Full-service bar, coffee, juices, baked goods, breakfast-dinner menu items and more. Famous for our Pad Thai Sauce! Open Mon-Sat 9am-9pm. 519-735-0447 1125 Lesperance Rd., Tecumseh


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1637 Provincial Rd. 519-969-0300

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 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. 12000 Tecumseh Rd. E., Tecumseh, ON 519-956-9822 Fratelli Pasta Grill - Offering flavour drenched “woodfire” grilled steaks, seafood and pasta dishes. A fresh and healthy selection of modern and time tested classics. Located behind McDonald’s on Manning Rd. in Tecumseh. Take-out, catering, private parties. For reservations call 519-735-0355. The Hungry Wolf - The Hungry Wolf serves up Windsor’s best Greek, Canadian, Mexican




Paul & Max Winkler

Casa Mia Ristorante - Experience authentic Italian food, local wines and homemade desserts served in a casual, completely handicap accessible setting. For many years, chef and owner Frank Puccio has been making lunch and dinner fresh to order. Gluten free options. Takeout available. Closed Sunday and Holidays. Follow us on Facebook. 519-728-2224 523 Notre Dame St., Belle River.

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Joe Schmoe’s Eats N’ Drinks - Family friendly restaurant in LaSalle. Handcrafted burgers, sandwiches and salads. Fresh ingredients and house made sauces. Local wines; 12 Ontario craft and commercial beers on tap. HDTVs. Fast, cheerful service. 5881 Malden Rd. (behind Rexall). 519-250-5522


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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 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.

Every Wednesday in 2022 Fresh Greens tossed in our House Vinaigrette Penne Pasta with Meat Sauce Your Choice of: Chicken Parmigiana OR Veal Parmigiana Rolls and Butter

Nola’s, A Taste Of New Orleans - Located in Historic Walkerville. Cajun and Creole cuisine with the New Orleans Twist. Lunch dinner and lots of parking. 1526 Wyandotte Street East. 519-253-1234.

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and Lebanese food. Home of the best gyros in Windsor! 3422 Walker Rd., Windsor 519-250-0811. 25 Amy Croft Dr., Tecumseh 519-735-0072.

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Tuesday-Thursday, Saturday

519-727-5757 834 Lakeshore Rd. 107 RR3, Essex

The Parlour Ice Cream Co.- Satisfy your sweet tooth with premium Canadian made ice cream. 24 flavours, 15 Belgian chocolate dips to drizzle, ice cream cakes, milkshakes and so much more! Open Year Round. 5881 Malden Rd. Unit D3, LaSalle 519-970-9665 River’s Edge Tap & Table - Discover what is so delicious in the Harbour District of Riverside. Relaxing patio on the water, wine bar lounge, dining with private room available. Enjoy seafood, steaks, chops, pastas, burgers and more! 494 Riverdale Ave. 519-915-0200 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. Vito’s Pizzeria - Rustic Italian restaurant serving woodfired pizza, fresh pasta, veal, chicken, grilled steaks and seafood. Wonderful wine selection. Private party spaces. Food truck and portable pizza oven for offsite catering. 1731 Wyandotte St. E., Windsor. 519-915-6145. For information on listings and advertising in Bon Appetit! please call 519-551-0072. Back to Contents

AAR Aircraft Services


AIRCRAFT SERVICES: few air travelers would even know what that means. Luckily, there are people who do—and some of the best in the business work right here in Windsor. AAR Aircraft Services occupies a 143,000 square foot hangar next to Windsor Airport. The hangar was built in 2012 and AAR came to Windsor in 2017. AAR is the largest independent MRO (maintenance, repair, overhaul) provider in North America. AAR performs heavy maintenance on aircraft, which includes inspection and repair, airframe modifications and upgrades, avionics service and installations, structural repair, as well as exterior and interior refurbishment. “Approximately one hundred sixty employees and twenty-seven contractors work in our facility,” says Michelle Balga, Director of Human Resources. “We are a family here. We’re small enough that we can operate that way.” “When an aircraft comes in, we take it all apart,” says Brenda Baker, Director of Operations, “make sure they’re still conforming to its type spec.” From there, AAR technicians inspect the aircraft, fix any issues they find, and then reassemble it. The aircraft then undergoes extensive testing, ensuring that it is safe for the customer and the flying public. Aircraft maintenance occurs on strict schedules dictated by the Federal Aviation Administration in the United States and Transport Canada. “Aircraft maintenance is based on cycle counts—the number of take-offs and landings,” Brenda says, “as well as flight time. Whichever comes first.” There is a reason why aircraft maintenance work happens here. “Windsor is a prime location,” Michelle adds. “The flight patterns here are among the busiest in North America, yet Windsor Airport’s traffic allows our customers to come in and out.” “The people working on the aircraft are vital,” Brenda says, “but they would not be successful without the support of our ‘functional groups,’ such as Quality, Health and Safety, Information Technology, Continuous Improvement, Training, Tooling, Stores, Purchasing, Planning, and HR. These groups engage with supervisors on the floor, asking: ‘How can I support you so you can meet your deadline?’ The ‘welloiled machine’ only happens because of the people.”

The stakes are high. Missing a return-to service date by even one day means inconveniencing thousands of travelers in numerous cities. On the flipside, when it comes to air traveler safety, there is no compromise. AAR’s motto is “Doing It Right.” To do this, they need strong values and to “walk the talk.” Their values include: “Quality First. Safety Always. Inspire Trust. Work as One. Be Inclusive. Ideas Matter. Own It.” To achieve this, AAR requires a highly skilled workforce. “We’re always working to build our homegrown talent,” Michelle notes. “Windsor has many skilled trades, and we have partnered with local high schools and post secondary institutions to get the right programs and training to have our local talent pool.” Over the years, AAR has brought skilled people into the area and invested in Windsor-Essex. It’s a great place to work, especially in a border city. AAR team members are empowered to meet their individual professional development goals through AAR’s global learning and development program, mentorship program leadership training, continued education, network and much more. To learn more about career opportunities, AAR’s values, and the next level work occurring there, check them out online at

For more information, please email

Canadian Association of Gift Planners

Lisa Kolody

Kelly Gosselin

Peggy Winch

Patricia Valleau

Sandra Presland

Camille Armour

Chair, Executive Director, WindsorEssex Community Foundation

Vice-Chair, Education Co-Chair, Treasurer, Major Gift Officer, University of Windsor

Secretary/Education Co-Chair Manager of Fund Development, Alzheimer Society

Past-Chair Principal, Valleau Fundraising Consulting

Marketing & Communications Marketing & Fundraising Manager, Transition to Betterness

Member Major Gift Officer, University of Windsor

Michael Flanagan

Gemma Grey-Hall

Shae Harasym

Tim Jones

James Krestick

Katie Mazzuca

Member, Relationship Manager, United Way/Centraide Windsor-Essex County

Member, Major Gift Officer, University of Windsor

Member, Director of Advancement, University of Windsor

Member, Financial Advisor, Rock Harbour Wealth Management Inc

Member, Gift Planner, Lutheran Foundation Canada

Member, Major Gift Officer, University of Windsor

Karen Momotiuk

Gisele Seguin

Martin Sobocan

Kim Willis

Member, Major Gift Officer, University of Windsor

Member, Director of Philanthropy, Windsor Regional Hospital Foundation

Member, Advisor, Sobocan Insurance and Financial Services

Member, Director of Communications, CMHA Windsor-Essex County

Create a Lasting Legacy in Your Community do not have a signed will. According to the survey, 29% of Canadian adults do not have a will because they either do not know how to get started or believe they cannot afford one. Not having a will is more problematic than you think. This “little” oversight can cost thousands of dollars in legal bills, bitter family disputes, as well as legal battles between siblings and/or their spouses. All of this would be avoided with the drafting of a proper will.” One of the key pieces of Your Will is naming an Executor. This is the person you’ve assigned to take care of your estate, including the distribution of assets according to the instructions in your Will. With a named Executor in place the estate administration can proceed smoothly. A Will ensures that your final wishes are respected and can also provide comfort and reassurance knowing that your


Spring feels a little different this year. After two years of a global pandemic the sense of growth and renewal is particularly apparent. As we move forward in this “new normal” it’s a perfect opportunity to ensure that you are planning for the future. If nothing else the pandemic showed us that life can be very fluid. As humans we feel most comfortable operating in an environment of safety and certainty. And while many things remain uncertain, planning for our retirement is one part of our lives that we can control. One of the first things anyone should do when planning for retirement is a Will. Surprisingly the majority of Canadians do NOT have one. “According to a survey released by Lawyers’ Professional Indemnity Co. (LawPRO), the majority of Canadian adults (56%)

P 33-13 C C=40 M=55 Y=61 K=35

P 170-7 C C=54 M=50 Y50 K=0

We provide opportunities for people with disabilities in Windsor and Essex County to receive physical, emotional and cognitive therapy at the farm. We rely on the generosity of our community members and volunteers to buildP sustainable equine programs for nearly P 33-13 C 170-7 C C=40 M=55 Y=61 C=54 M=50 Y50strength, K=0 200K=35 people each week. Participants gain self confidence and renew their optimism for life through the eyes of a horse! Leaving a Legacy Gift to WETRA will ensure life long, equine interaction, friendship and bonding for people with disabilities.

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family and causes important to you are taken care of. Without a Will there are no instructions on how you would like your assets distributed. Instead, your assets will be dispersed according to the “intestate distribution” laws of your province, which are highly unlikely to match your true intentions. For example, many provinces exclude common-law partners. Some provinces exclude step-children as well. And only two provinces have the entire estate passing to the spouse. A Will can be an ideal way to leave a lasting legacy for charities and causes that are most important to you. And this can be done while still ensuring that your family is cared for. Interestingly, an increased number of Canadians wrote or updated their wills during the pandemic. According to the Canadian Association of Gift Planners (CAGP) Canadians are very generous, with 82% reporting that they give to charity each year. However, only 5% choose to create a gift to charity in their Will. CAGP has recently partnered with Will Power, a national public education campaign designed to inspire Canadians to think differently about charitable giving, and empower them to create positive change through their Wills. Leaving a gift in a will to charity turns the ordinary Canadian into an extraordinary philanthropist. For example, for an average estate valued at $845,000 a donation of 5% is $42,250. Not only will a family be taken care of, a charity would greatly benefit from a donation of this size. A bequest made through a will allows an individual to make a formidable impact for a cause that is near and dear. There are many reasons to consider a legacy gift. It’s a great way to ensure your memory lives on, acknowledge an organization that has impacted your life or the lives of those important to you. Additionally, there are financial benefits associated with charitable contributions. When you die your estate is likely to receive a hefty tax bill. A charitable gift in your Will can reduce the taxes owed, and in some cases even eliminate them, while leaving the same amount of money to heirs. A will is an effective way of gifting assets and transferring wealth to future generations. A key consideration is how debts, liabilities and taxes will affect the amount that will be left in your legacy to your family and future generations. Liabilities associated with your death, such as taxes, are

Let your compassion live on. You know it feels good to give a helping hand. Imagine just how great you’ll feel when you leave a gift in your will. This act of kindness will inspire your family and touch future generations. The work we do helps keep Windsor and Essex county healthy – our programs foster a sense of community, provide dignity and independence to seniors and those living with chronic diseases, and provide care and compassion for our most vulnerable. Consider making a lasting gift to VON. By choosing to leave a gift, you’ll support health and wellbeing in Windsor-Essex for years to come. Visit or call 519-254-4866 to learn more!

Transition to Betterness (T2B) is dedicated to providing

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More information about T2B's programs, initiatives or how to make a donation contact us: 519-944-5143

Show your UWindsor pride by leaving a legacy gift. For more information on legacy giving to the University of Windsor, contact the Advancement Office at or 519-253-3000 ext. 3229

GENERATIONS OF SUPPORT The Erie Shores Health Foundation relies on the generosity of COMMUNITY DONATIONS to fundraise for Erie Shores HealthCare to purchase high-priority medical equipment vital for patient care. With your help we are able to save lives, fight diseases, and provide ground-breaking treatments and care.

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Although the concept of giving to a charitable organization seems straightforward,


unavoidable but can be mitigated. Working with your professional advisors can help you determine the best methods to give. A charitable donation tax credit can be claimed when gifts are made in your will to qualified charities. Notably, relatively new tax rules implemented provide increased flexibility to executors to apply these credits to income in the year prior to death, the year of your death or future years if your estate meets specific criteria. There are numerous ways to set up legacy gifts that ensure your family is cared for, a donation is made to your favourite charity and also ease the tax burden. Will Power shares this scenario: Benoit and Julie are both in their mid-60s. They work hard, pay their bills, and are diligent with their tax planning. Working with a financial advisor they have determined that their estate will be close to $3M when they die. They were ecstatic until they learned the tax bill on their estate would be $734,000. They were going to hand over more than a quarter of their hard-earned money to the government! Benoit and Julie had never really thought about a charitable gift beyond the ‘cheque book’ types of donations they were accustomed to making. When they would hear about a cause that touched them, they would open up their wallets and make a gift. So when it was suggested gifting a large chunk of their estate to charity, they were horrified. They had just been told that they were giving a quarter of their estate to the government. This very much sounded like disinheriting their daughters, Joelle and Sophie. Fortunately, they were informed about the ways you can structure charitable giving so that you give less to the government. One option involved leaving a large gift to their favourite charity in their Will and replenishing their estate with a life insurance policy. Quite simply, they would plan to make a charitable gift of $750,000 in their Will, which would generate a donation tax receipt that would reduce taxes by $334,000. In the end, their daughters would be the beneficiaries of a $750,000 tax free life insurance policy. The result? They make a significant contribution to their beloved Montreal area hospital, reduce the taxes on their estate, and their daughters will receive a slightly larger inheritance than if their parents had not made the donation.

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issues can arise. These may include: the organization is not recognized as a qualified charitable organization by Canada Revenue Agency; the gift does not satisfy strict requirements to constitute a gift by will; and disputes may arise amongst your family regarding their entitlement to the amount gifted to a charity from your estate. It is essential to create an estate plan with your professional advisors that encompass charitable giving and fulfills your wishes to maximize the benefit of both your community and loved ones. It is always recommended that you speak with a financial advisor to find the best legacy giving option for you and your family. IN SUMMARY: There are many reasons to consider a legacy gift. It is a great way to ensure your memory lives on. It is also a way of acknowledging an organization that has impacted your life or the lives of those important to you while helping the charity. Also, there are the financial benefits associated with charitable contributions. For some, including a charity in your will can increase the amount of money your spouse or children inherit because it helps offset taxes. Here are some tips to consider as you plan your legacy: • Talk to your family about your wishes. End-of-life conversations can be challenging but discussing your wishes ahead of time makes decisions much easier for your loved ones after you pass away. • Get professional advice. A financial advisor can help you explore various legacy options to find the best fit for you and your family. Once you have made your decisions, a lawyer can put together the nuts and bolts of a will. For more information about Legacy Giving or the Windsor-Essex County Chapter of the Canadian Association of Planned Giving, contact Lisa Kolody, Chair at DID YOU KNOW? You may be aware that when you make a donation to charity, you receive a donation tax credit to help pay down the taxes you owe. But did you know that for gifts over $200, your donation tax credit can be almost half the size of your donation? This can go a long way towards paying down your taxes, particularly on your estate which will likely receive a hefty tax bill.


1. Prepare a will 2. Leave a gift 3. Be Specific 4. Consider assets 5. Name an alternate beneficiary 6. Existing life insurance 7. New life insurance 8. Memorial gifts 9. Encourage others 10. Ask your advisor

END HOMELESSNESS Thousands of friends in our community are living in poverty. Help us provide them with food, supplies and support.

FEEDING OVER 400 HOMELESS AND HUNGRY EVERY DAY. Providing sleeping bags, backpacks and hygiene products as available. Daily food bank and hot meals for local families in need. Donations of stocks, bonds, shares in companies and mutual funds to Street Help can be processed through! Just type STREET HELP on their website. Thanks for all YOU do to help us help the homeless and hungry!

SUPPORT OUR VISIONS 519-977-9200 964 Wyandotte Street E., Windsor

Imagine your gift helping children with disabilities for years to come... Your commitment to children in our community will ensure that Family Respite Services can provide direct support for families who have children with disabilities and valued community connections for children. Family Respite works with 1200 families caring for children with a Developmental Disability, Physical Disability, Medical Health Challenge and Mental Health Disorder across Windsor/Essex County.

Connect with us today to learn more: Canada Helps online:

ASSUMPTION CHURCH IS REBORN Story by Kim Willis It’s a time of renewal at Assumption Church. After several years of uncertainty, including the possibility of permanent closure, the 294 year old church has opened its doors again to the community and held its first Easter service in eight years last month. Recently the historic church has been declared “saved” by the National Trust for Canada. As recently as 2015 this organization had declared that Assumption was endangered. The building closed in 2014 after being deemed unsafe. A new copper roof, new hot water heating system, removal of asbestos and work restabilizing the structure have now been completed. Paul Mullins, a parishioner and lawyer, has been the driving force behind the renovations and fundraising campaign with a total cost of $10-$15 million. The goal is to get everything completed by 2028, the 300th anniversary of Ontario’s oldest parish. As work continues on renovations, Mullins and his team are equally interested in restoration including reclaiming Assumption’s history. This includes the history of the Huron and Wendat First Nations. Assumption began with a request from the Huron asking the Jesuits to send a “Black Robe” to minister to them. At the time the Huron were refugees forced off their own territory by the Iroquois. The Hurons found refuge as guests of the Three Fires Confederacy, an alliance of Ojibwe, Odaway and Potawatomi peoples who defended their territory at the south end of the Great Lakes against the Iroquois. This work includes conversations with local Indigenous people, primarily the Walpole Nations First Peoples. London Bishop Rob Fabbro says the Assumption restoration project is at the centre of his diocese’s hopes for reconciliation. “They were working together, celebrating in this little mission church together. That’s the roots of this church, this parish…This is about now building our relationships with the Indigenous all over again.” Assumption Church has applied to Parks Canada for a National Site designation with Indigenous partners endorsing the application. With this designation Assumption moves beyond just being a denominational parish to one that’s nationally significant. For more information about Assumption Church visit, Back to Contents

ASSUMPTION CHURCH RESTORATION Assumption Church sits on the traditional territory of the Three Fires Confederacy. The Huron, who were given refuge by the Three Fires Confederacy, shared this land with Assumption Parish in order to establish the first Catholic parish in Canada west of Montreal.

MAKE A DONATION – MAKE A BEQUEST Be Part Of The Legacy 1728: Mission to the Hurons established 1767: Assumption Parish created 1845: Assumption Church built 1867: Confederation of Canada

DONATE at For more information: 519-982-3300 Donate shares and receive full tax credit without incurring any capital gains tax. All donations are used exclusively for the restoration/preservation of Assumption Church. This ad is sponsored by Woodslee Estates Inc.




IT WOULD HAVE BEEN EASIER to do nothing. The homeowners purchased a stately home in Lakeshore, complete with a regal courtyard. “Safe” and “easy,” however, do not often equal “memorable.” In order to make this house their home, the residents decided on an extreme makeover—of the backyard area. “One thing they knew for sure,” says Shawn Kelly, owner of Creative Homescapes, who oversaw the transformation, “is that they wanted a swimming pool.” As one decision was made, more questions arose. Let’s install a swimming pool, but wouldn’t it be nice to see it from inside the house? That’s not possible with the courtyard and its trees and enclosing wall.


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Clockwise from below: Composite Adirondack chairs around fire pit; Aluminum pergola with motorized louvers; 16 x 40 foot fibre glass pool with built-in spa.

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“The wife wanted to keep the courtyard, and it was easy to see why—it was a private, romantic setting,” Shawn recalls. “But the husband wanted to blow it wide open.” So, Shawn did what he does: listened, drew upon his experience, enlisted the help of trusted designers, and put together photo realistic concepts of how the backyard might look. “As part of the process, I’ll show photographs of existing projects,” Shawn continues, “and ask the homeowners to pick out four or five pictures of what they like. And then I’ll have them pick three or four showing what they don’t like. From there we tailor the design to the home and customer.” Beyond the courtyard, the home’s backyard was very natural, with lots of trees and berms. Eventually, the first step was taken: the decision to take out the courtyard was made. A pine tree at the center of the courtyard, however, was retained. The homeowners ultimately felt good about this and reflecting upon it at the end of the process, were happy with their decision. Although the architecture of the house could be described as classic, the design of the backyard was contemporary with clean lines. Since the pool was the first detail agreed upon, the homeowners selected The Exquisite from Image Pools, a top-of-the-line 16 x 40 foot fibre glass swimming pool. With a space-saving built-in spa, tanning ledge, and wide steps, its fibre glass construction is impervious to the destructive freeze-thaw cycle of the southwestern Ontario climate. With no liner to rip, pets are free to use the pool, as well. The next addition to the backyard oasis was the fire pit. The design for this was inspired by a vacation destination the couple had recently enjoyed: the Arizona Biltmore in Phoenix. “So, we got them the Mack Daddy fireplace,” Shawn explains. “Normally, homeowners install a 45,000 to 60,000 BTU unit, but our clients opted for the 180,000 BTU unit.” Set in a shady corner of the yard, opposite the swimming pool, guests enjoy each other’s company seated upon the four composite Adirondack chairs. The outer structure of the fire pit was custom built with Unilock brick pavers. The fireplace unit is robust enough to make it pleasant sitting in the area even in the dead of winter, creating a zone of comfort that is approximately twenty feet in diameter.

The next design feature of the backyard renovation was the outdoor kitchen. Comprised of an outdoor cabinetry unit manufactured in St. Catharines, there are three comfortable chairs for guests. The Crown Verity grill was also manufactured in St. Catharines. How will it stand up to the elements? “The outdoor kitchen is meant to be outside,” Shawn says. “It looks like interior cabinetry, but it’s synthetic. The manufacturer does jobs from Florida up into Northern Ontario. And the granite countertop? It’ll hold up. After all, it used to be part of a mountain.” The outdoor kitchen is shaded by a pergola with motorized louvers by StruXure. The louvers are completely adjustable— the homeowner can fully open or close them or select an angle that merely cuts the glare of the sun. The entire project took approximately two and a half months to install. Upwards of twenty professionals were brought in at various times to complete the work. Other work performed in the backyard project was the installation of synthetic turf by Rymar. A series of Ontario grown cedar trees were planted. An ornamental fence by Montage was constructed, enclosing the yard like a frame on a piece of fine art. As is sometimes the case, the design process took longer than the actual install. When the residents were asked how they felt about the finished product, the wife said: “I enjoy the space very much!” “These spaces are meant to be enjoyed,” Shawn says. “They are not just to appear as pictures in a magazine. To hear the customer enjoys their space, that’s what it’s all about.” The homeowners have two dogs who really enjoy the water. “They love the tanning ledge,” the homeowner told Shawn. “They walk into the pool at will.” WLM 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. Back to Contents

Actual Projects Eric LaMarre, Owner

1455 Matthew Brady, Windsor 519-94GLASS ( 944-5277 )

Call us at 519.988.8888 because YOUR SUCCESS is what Matters!

Tim Campbell Broker

Shyla Seth

Dave Hunter

Sandy Perreault 226-350-4490

Sales Representative Office Management



Susan Piskovic

Cynthia Padilla

Janice Levang



519-89 0-1396


Sales Representative

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Todd Burn

Sales Representative

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Meaghan Campbell



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Gail Hollingsworth Samantha Holmberg Sales Representative


Administrative Assistant


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Tory Campbell

Administrative Assistant


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FROM THE STREET TO THE SCREEN After Leaving A Career In Policing, Windsor Native, Joel Lacoursiere Found A New Role For Himself STORY BY MATTHEW ST. AMAND PHOTOGRAPHY BY NIGEL DICKSON

SEATED IN A WINDSOR POLICE cruiser one Sunday morning, completing paperwork, police constable Joel Lacoursiere thought to himself: “There has to be more to life than this.” It was 2007, and Joel had been with the Windsor Police for six years. In his mind, he turned over a late-night scene from a few weeks before when he and his partner pursued a B&E suspect into a darkened alley. When the suspect stopped and turned midway up the alley, the constables stopped, wondering if the person was about to pull a weapon. Amid the multi-layered stenches of the alley, Joel detected the odor of gasoline. In the partial glare of a backyard light, the constables saw the suspect appeared to be soaking wet. The figure reached into his pocket. There was a flash of light—the suspect was suddenly engulfed in flames, standing before the constables like a human torch. Joel’s partner tackled the burning man and they extinguished the flames with their jackets, saving his life. Turned out the man wasn’t breaking into homes. He was mentally ill and suicidal. That experience and others similar stood shoulder-to-shoulder in Joel’s mind, like a jury presenting a verdict: You need to do something else. “Within a month of that Sunday morning,” Joel recalls, “I put my house up for sale, resigned from the police force, and moved to Toronto to study stand-up comedy.”


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How did superiors and fellow police officers react to Joel’s new life plan? “They were supportive,” he says. “It was like a jailbreak mentality: ‘Someone is escaping! If one of us gets out, we all do!” Soon, Joel received an audition notification from Humber College, where he applied to the “Comedy: Writing and Performance” program.

Billboard advertising Shaw Media near Toronto’s Pearson Airport, 2010. Photo courtesy the Joel Lacoursiere Collection.


“I auditioned for Joe Flaherty of SCTV fame, and Robin Duke from Saturday Night Live,” Joel explains. “Intimidating, to say the least!” He passed the audition and was accepted into the program. It was a lesson in “careful what you wish for.” “Stand-up comedy is all about performing,” Joel continues. “It was fun preparing material, but the two-week run-up to a performance was like presurgery anxiety. No turning back.” Joel did ten three-minute sets during the program, enduring the ego-bruising aspect of stand-up that few audience members ever experience. Humber College also requires its comedy students to attend acting classes. That’s where Joel met acting instructor Lewis Baumander. “Lewis said to me: ‘You can play a very convincing cop. Why don’t you go down this road?’” Joel found acting a much better fit than the threshing floor of stand-up comedy. After an apprentice period working as an extra in large productions, and acting in student films, Joel began landing roles in re-enactments shows, such as Ghostly Encounters, Cold Blood, and F2: Forensic Factor. “You have to understand, for me, acting is a hobby and an apprenticeship,” Joel explains. “Being a Canadian actor, I’m lucky to just make it onto the set. I have no illusions about becoming the next Liam Neeson.” During these first years acting, he worked part-time as a police constable in Orangeville. Following that, Joel became a paralegal specializing in mitigating traffic offenses for trucking companies. “That’s my main focus,” he continues. “My business provides me with the means to have a life, and the acting is an enjoyable pastime.” It’s a pastime that has seen Joel rise through the ranks, into better, more high-profile roles on television and in movies. By 2012, he had accumulated enough screen credits to become a member of the Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists (ACTRA)—the Canadian trade union that represents over 25,000 members working in film, television, radio, and all other recorded media. That year, Joel landed a speaking role in the blockbuster, Suicide Squad, where he portrayed “Cop At Rail Terminal.”

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“I was getting better at the audition process,” Joel says. “Suicide Squad was a cattle call. I showed up wearing a cop uniform and stood in the hall with a hundred other actors wearing police uniforms. We all auditioned for the director, David Ayers. I was called back three times before getting the role.” This was followed by speaking roles in TV shows, such as Warehouse 13, Urban Legends, and Nikita. The roles kept coming, even as the COVID-19 global pandemic hit. During that time, Joel underwent more COVID testing than anyone outside the medical field and became a master of auditioning via Zoom, the video conferencing tool. Among his most recent projects, Joel completed filming the ABC Signature TV miniseries Five Days at Memorial, a drama about the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005. The story centers in a hospital with no electricity and dwindling resources, filled with desperate patients, and exhausted caregivers. “I play a Search Team Leader,” Joel says. “My parts were filmed in a giant water tank in a parking lot somewhere in Hamilton. Lots of CGI will be added!” Joel also had a speaking role in the dystopian TV show The Handmaid’s Tale, where he had extensive interaction with the show’s star, Elizabeth Moss, and veteran actor, Bradley Whitfield. “They were both very gracious,” Joel recalls. “They came over and introduced themselves to me and thanked me for being part of the production. Later on, Brad asked me to run lines with him, which was pretty cool.” Joel’s most recent role is Kiley Guard in the Star Trek prequel TV series Strange New Worlds. “I was heavily disguised in prosthetics as the guard,” he says. “That involved my head being encased in hot latex for forty-five minutes, having a Life Cast mold made.” In this role, Joel has lines with the actors playing Spock and the Captain. The ride has been enjoyable, once-in-alifetime experience, but Joel keeps things in perspective: “I have my day job, which I appreciate, and consider acting to be an exciting hobby. I’ll stick with it because I enjoy it. I may try acting full-time once I retire.” For more information about Joel Lacoursiere and his full acting resume, check out his page on the Internet Movie WLM Database. Back to Contents

AT THUNDER ROAD HARLEY-DAVIDSON, IT’S “TAKE TO THE HIGHWAY” SEASON! Cycling is one of the few silver linings of the ongoing pandemic. Not only can it actually be done safely, but Windsor/ Essex County also offers boundless, cool options for short, medium or long rides!

Thunder Road General Manager Rob Reeb says, “While the pandemic has affected our retail supply chain, I’m excited that both the Pan America 1250 Special and Street Bob are in stock right now, unlike many other models which have long delivery wait times.” Rob is also proud to share that “we’ve been investing in inventory to ensure we have the best chance of not disappointing our customers.”

The Pan America 1250 Special is also in stock! The Pan America™ 1250 Special motorcycle is a premier two-wheel multi-tool that’s designed and built to last and engineered for adventure. The Pan America 1205

Introducing the 2022 Harley-Davidson Softail Street Bob 114 When it comes to “best bang for your style buck,” the Street Bob is among the best of all Harley-Davidson motorcycles. If you’re wondering where the name Street Bob originated, it references the ‘bobber’ fashion inspired by the post-WWII movement—where ex-military Harleys were chopped down with low seats, fat tires and Ape hanger bars. The Harley-Davidson Softail Street Bob, based on the ubiquitous Super Glide, takes this minimalism to the limit with a low seat and classic Fat Bob tank. The epitome of cool.

2022 Harley-Davidson Softail Street Bob 114

However, because the Softail Street Bob is a minimalist cycle, don’t expect any frills—there aren’t any. What you get are two custom blacked out (fat) wheels, one 114 cubic inch engine, 2-up seat, custom paint and not much else. Paint and build quality, durability and overall reliability are amongst the best anywhere. New for 2022: Annihilator cast aluminum wheels with Gloss Black finish replace laced wheels. Loads of torque and pure sound with a soul-satisfying rumble.

Rob says, “It’s called Special for good reason. Designed to compete with top-of-the-line ADV bikes, it’s loaded with premium features,” including: • Semi-Active Front and Rear Suspension with Vehicle Load Control • Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) • Centre Stand • Multi-Position Rear Brake Pedal • Brush Guard • Aluminum Skid Plate • Daymaker™ Signature Adaptive Headlamp • Hand Wind Deflectors • Heated Hand Grips • Steering Damper • Factory Installed Option: Adaptive Ride Height • Factory Installed Option: Tubeless Laced Wheels The motor is a stressed member in the chassis, helping to reduce weight considerably, which is felt on the road. Ground clearance is also much improved. Rob concludes, “I have to hand it to our Thunder Road customer service team. Their focus and commitment to our customers has never wavered, despite all the challenges we’ve faced over the past couple of years.” “I must also hand it to Harley-Davidson. Their comprehensive customer care approach to Thunder Road has always been—and continues to be—outstanding, which really bodes well for our customers.” Thunder Road invites you to discover—or rediscover—the joy, adventure and freedom of cycling. Visit or call 519 966 1520 to book a test ride on the bike of your dreams!


CREATIVE HOMESCAPES’ BACKYARD LIVING STORE FOR OVER 30 YEARS, Creative Homescapes has been the go-to backyard expert when it comes to enhancing outdoor spaces: building fences, decks, landscaping, hardscaping and pools. When there is an exciting, high-end project happening in the Windsor-Essex area, odds are that Creative Homescapes is at the center of it. “We do a lot of high-end work,” says Mike Myers, Creative Homescapes’ retail manager. “There is a perception that is all we do, but we can just do your fence, or just build your deck.” More than that, Creative Homescapes retails all that it installs. This means that area Do-It-Yourselfers are free to go into the showroom and purchase everything they need for their own projects. “If you want to build your own fence, we’ll sell you the lumber,” Mike continues. “If you want to build your fence or deck, but aren’t comfortable sinking the posts, we can refer you to a contractor who does that. We connect DIYers with people we’ve worked with. We have a contractor board in the store. Pick a card from there. These are people we know, whose work we’ve seen.” The professionals at Creative Homescapes are keen on educating customers on how to put their projects together. “We can help you size your deck, so there is less material waste,” Mike adds. He goes on: “If someone comes into the store, we can go online and measure their property for their fence and then price it out as retail—or, as a full install. In fifteen minutes, we can give the customer an accurate price on materials or installation. That way, there’s no sticker shock later on.” There are things in life that we can purchase online. A new fence, deck, or interlocking brick patio are not among them. It is a product of the digital age—surfing the Web, or just calling around. Mike regularly receives calls from people shopping for barbecues. “It’s really something you need to see in person,” he says. “We carry

eighteen different barbecues. Many things people want for their homes are items they really should come in and see.” Area DIYers owe it to themselves to visit the Creative Homescapes showroom. “Come into the store,” Mike says, “all the materials are here, you can touch and feel them. We have all kinds of displays. You can see how the product looks installed. If you’re new to DIY, we’ll help you understand what you’re looking at, and we’ll explain what you will get.” One of the most common things customers say once they come into the showroom is: “I had no idea you guys did that!” Creative Homescapes will also help you accessorize after you have completed the project. From barbecues and hot tubs to patio furniture, umbrellas, pizza ovens and much more, they have everything needed to complete your outdoor living space. “We don’t just design the backyard, we can accessorize it,” Mike says. “We deal with so many retail products, so we can help you with all the finishing touches to create your own backyard masterpiece.” Creative Homescapes also hosts open air events. In the past, there have been cooking classes and product seminars. Even more events are planned for the 2022 season. To learn more about what Creative Homescapes, check out their website at

NATURE CONNECTIONS Mother-Daughter Duo Spent 20 Years Hiking the Bruce Trail STORY BY ALLEY L. BINIARZ / PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY KRISTINE VERBEEK AFTER 20 YEARS, 904.6 kilometres and 60 days of hiking through the Ontario escarpment from Niagara to Tobermory, local mother-daughter duo Mary and Kristine Verbeek officially completed the entire Bruce Trail on September 16, 2021. Their final hike was a three-hour trek from Little Cove Provincial Nature Reserve through Fathom Five National Marine Park, and as they reached that final Southern Terminus Cairn, they were filled with immense emotion. It was a mixture of overwhelming joy, relief that they’d accomplished their goal and a huge amount of gratitude for their bodies (and support systems) for getting them there. Kristine says that the end prompted the entire journey to come rushing back to them: the planning, the discoveries and how much their lives had changed in the span of 20 years. The two weren’t seasoned hikers at the start; Mary was just a mother looking for a way to bond with her adult daughters. “I was really missing my girls and I wanted to find a way that our relationship could move forward that wasn’t just sitting down for a meal,” Mary says, having chosen viewing local plays at University Players with her daughter Heidi, but needing a way to bridge the distance with Kristine who was living up in Oakville at the time. She had heard about the Bruce Trail from Dr. Tony Barton, a retired chemistry teacher from Kingsville District High School, who had taught both Heidi and Kristine. He had been coming into Mary’s office and art supply store multiple times to copy nature photos from his recent adventure, and it was his influence that planted the seed for the Bruce Trail. After purchasing the guidebooks, mapping out their

Clockwise from top left: Martin, Mary & Kristine - Northern Terminus Kairn, Tobermory, Sept 16, 2021; The Grottos, Tobermory - Sept 2021; Kristine- Sydenham fields, June 2018; Inglis Falls- June 2018; Mary showing the trees some love at Mary- Beaver Valley, Oct 2016.


routes and B&Bs and arranging for Mary’s husband and Kristine’s father, Martin, to pick them up at endpoints, the two felt prepared to take off on the first stretch of their adventure on September 9, 2001. Since Mary and Kristine lived far apart for the first trek and were two busy women running their own businesses, they had much to catch up on and endless wisdom to share along the trails. “Through 20 years, you can imagine the life transitions we have gone through and it was wonderful to hike and talk with my mom, someone who I could be completely honest and open with,” Kristine adds. “Whatever issue I was trying to figure out at the time, by the end of the hike we’d always have it all figured out.” These mini escapes into nature were critical for them both, especially for Kristine who was living in a concrete city of the GTA. Submerging into nature left them feeling balanced, calmed, and refreshed, and they say it served them well for those beautiful mental breaks from business. When they’d first started hiking the trail, they were able to get away for two to four weekends a year. By the time Kristine moved back to Kingsville, and the drives to the hikes were nearly five hours, they took two full weeks in the spring and fall to finish the trail off. Their hikes varied between seven to 18 km/day, but there were a few that stretched beyond 20 kilometres. “Our walks definitely didn’t break any speed records, but we had determination and time on our side,” Mary says. “Though, if I could have kept the sun shining and done it in more time, I would have gone slower and stopped even more.” She says that her favourite days were those where they dipped their feet in waters, chased frogs and butterflies with their cameras, and enjoyed every step. The distance, incline and pressure on their feet and bodies encouraged Mary and Kristine to keep themselves in shape through the years. Kris complemented her competitive volleyball training with more hill workouts and Mary dedicated herself to walking and exercising several times a week. “It’s important to keep in shape not only for yourself, but also for your hiking partner. You want to be aware of your vulnerabilities and be reliable for your buddy,” Mary says. They also learned to take note of their speed and how long it took them to complete a trail based on the overall difficulty of the trail. This helped them to plan

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for future longer hikes and to be prepared for any scenario. “We suggest starting to hike early in the morning, that way if you hit a technical area or get tired, you can take it at your own pace,” Kristine advises other aspiring hikers. “Plan ahead, review the route online and check for weather in the area you’re hiking in for the week before and after.” The two learned this after a weather blip on their hike in Collingwood, where the area experienced an unexpected early snowy season. “You learn how easily people can get into trouble when they’re not in their environment,” Mary says. “But I also saw how when one of us was feeling weak, the other would take over and have their back. You really see what you’re made of when you’re challenged physically.” Mary and Kristine felt fortunate to share the breathtaking valley lookouts and views of the clear bay with friends and family along the way. They were joined by Kris’ friend Sarah Barber, another friend Joanna Martens, and then their Uncle Ben, Aunt Jody and their daughter Rose. Dr. Tony Barton even tagged along four times through the peninsula section and as he worked with the Bruce Trail Conservancy, Mary and Kristine enjoyed his stories about the lands and nature. Though all of the trail connections were special, it was especially memorable to have Mary’s parents, Ray and Mickey Haserodt, join them for one of their first treks. “I think they would have been tickled pink that we finished it,” Kris says about her now late grandparents. “I think of my grandpa every time we hike or whenever I’m submerged in nature. He was on the Blue Bird Society and a nature lover and would take me for long hikes whenever I went to visit them. It was an incredible bond we shared and I like to dedicate those hikes to him.”


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As a graphic designer, illustrator and photo fanatic, Kristine captured these memories with artistic flare. Not only did they serve as a surprise memory book gift for her mom at Christmas, but their journal documentations allowed them the privilege of adding their names to the 4,000 people who have proudly completed this trail. This particular trail may be finished, but that doesn’t mean their entire route is over. Kristine has a personal goal of seeing all the National Parks across Canada (and is about half-way through) and says that her mom has expressed interest in joining her for some. “I’m sure we’ll keep the quality time and nature bonding going for as long as humanly possible,” Kristine says. Without rushing to get to that end point, Mary and Kristine are open to wherever the route takes them and will enjoy all of the little steps in between. A packing list from Kristine and Mary for those planning to hike the Bruce Trail or others: 1. Buy the maps, guidebooks or app and start planning! 2. Get proper hiking shoes with good grips and break them in beforehand. 3. Pack a poncho, rain jacket, an extra fleece and clothing for all weather possibilities. 4. First aid kits and moleskin (blister prevention). 5. Sunscreen, bug spray and protective hats/layers. 6. Extra food and water in a sturdy and comfortable backpack. 7. Phone, and a back-up charger are critical. 8. Wear pants/gaiters to protect from poison ivy, etc. 9. Pack waterproof matches and dryer lint in a paper bag for fire starter. WLM 10. Hiking sticks are great for technical rocky terrain. Back to Contents

CHANTEL BUDINSKY One Players Journey Of Discovering Disc Golf Paves The Way For Others To Explore The Sport STORY BY ALLEY L. BINIARZ PHOTOGRAPHY BY CHRISTOPHER UNDERWOOD

played,” Chantel explains her pre-tournament nerves. Although once she played through a couple of days, she thought she might actually have a shot at this. By the third round she was in first place, but then every time she would be doing well, she says those nerves would rise up and sabotage her score; the following day she didn’t end up on the lead card. The funny thing was, as soon as she was at the bottom again, Chantel would regain her confidence and work her way back up. “I never played many sports before now and never felt that pressure to perform, so that was an adjustment. I feel like that was what was holding me back: the mental part of it.” In that last round, she wasn’t sure if she would make it to the top four. “My legs and arms were jello from playing a few days straight, yet somehow I made it and placed third. Ever since then, that feeling of adrenaline and wanting to get better is what has motivated me,” Chantel adds. Chantel has played tirelessly in her first full year in the female professional division, having worked her way up from throwing a beginner length of 150 feet to her personal record of 385 feet. Since transitioning into pro, she has been trying to play as many professional events as she can afford. Many of the events are in Michigan with there being as many as one per week,


BEFORE 2019, Chantel Budinsky had never heard of disc golf. Now, she’s on her way to making it pro. Disc golf is played similarly to golf with an objective to complete each hole with the fewest throws, except instead of using a ball and clubs, disc golfers use a flying disc or frisbee. Chantel and her fiancé Christopher first noticed the sport in July while walking their dogs in Lakewood Park, where there are baskets located around the green area. They were completely intrigued by it; and by August, they were already buying their starter pack. “It was actually the perfect sport to go play socially distanced during the pandemic,” Chantel explains that disc golf is a more solitary sport. They started by playing the course in Windsor only to continue looking for more courses all over Ontario until it slowly started taking over their lives, she says. Now, they even have a portable basket in their house for daily practice, especially as Chantel transitions into the professional division. Chantel tested her skills for the pro league last August when she went to Amateur Worlds. “I didn’t really know what to expect since the Canadian scene is much smaller. When we got to Florida and saw the major tournament, I wasn’t sure how I was going to place. I practiced a lot and I went to win, but I wouldn’t know until I

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along with practicing every day, and participating in three or four day tournaments. On top of her existing work schedule, she says it’s been a busy but exciting lifestyle so far. “It’s hard. It’s very expensive if you don’t have a sponsor helping out. I’ve now been approached by Prodigy Disc and am happy to say I’ve signed a 2-year contract with the company. They believe in my future and will help support my tour these next coming years.” Chantel says that with the growing traction of the sport since the pandemic and its gaining popularity on YouTube, there will be a lot more opportunities found in playing disc golf. She adds that the female division is still small compared to the men’s. Her local league currently has four women but seeing the size of Toronto’s division growing gives her hope for the sport. She would love to see more people become involved in disc golf, as it’s a great sport to get into for all ages as it’s not demanding on the body and is an inexpensive hobby. “You don’t have to go out and get a special disc—although those make the throwing a lot more fun. You can just grab a frisbee and go out with friends and family and have a lot of fun for free.” After that, if anyone wants to take it up a notch, Chantel suggests to contact the league and see if there are discs available for purchase or perhaps a used one that can be borrowed. “Everything else you can find through videos. Just quickly Google some techniques, get out there, and have fun!” “When you first start, it’s pretty tricky. The course we have here in Windsor is beginner friendly because of how open and short the holes are. Some courses we’ve played are more wooded than the others, and you have to throw your disc through a tunnel of trees to the basket,” Chantel says these are her favourite courses, despite being more challenging. “Along with the one in Windsor/Tecumseh, they’ve also installed a six-hole pitch and putt course in Amherstburg that’s very beginner friendly and great for anyone looking to explore the sport.” You can watch Chantel’s progress through her YouTube channel, Miss Frisbees, which her fiancé Christopher helps run. He enjoys capturing the background footage of her journey, where you can find all her practice clips, behind the scenes work, and watch Chantel take on the professional division of disc golf. For more information on how to get involved, visit WLM Back to Contents


with his high school’s wrestling team, sticking to it until he graduated. With both disciplines under his belt, Kyle ended up eventually making his leap into MMA. “After high school wrestling I went to my first MMA gym and then eventually made the transition to Maximum Training Centre,” Kyle says of how he ended up at one of Canada’s top ranked MMA gyms. “It’s where I’m still at now because they have everything and they’ve helped in developing and nurturing me to where I am today.” Kyle got his first taste of an actual bout in 2008, at Fighting Spirit MMA’s Superfights in Oneida.


IN A HOUSE ON THE EAST SIDE of Windsor, Kyle Prepolec lives like any regular guy, no real glitz or glam. He is wearing a UFC t-shirt, but unlike most people who wear branded gear, he does so because he has stepped into the octagon multiple times. It takes a lot of courage and tenacity to decide to make a career out of fighting and step into an arena. Something Prepolec’s humbleness would not let him brag about. Growing up an athletic kid, Kyle dove headfirst into team sports. Hockey still is his favourite. But as he got into his teen years something did not sit right with him. “I kind of got sick of the team aspect because people weren’t putting in the same effort,” Kyle says with a sigh. “It’s like, we’re all trying to accomplish the same goal, why aren’t you hustling? Most of us are actually trying and the rest are being lazy.” While the team aspect of team sports annoyed him, there were other factors that pushed his interest towards combat sports. “My family and friends, we’d always watch UFC back then on satellite,” Kyle laughs. “We also had video games and watched boxing and finally went ‘you know what, let’s do this.’” On the road to mixed martial arts, boxing was his first step. Inspired by MMA legends like Matt Hughes and Georges St-Pierre, he trained and got his boxing licence before he started competing. But after some bumps in the road, things were not meant to last. “My parents didn’t want me to box anymore,” Kyle sighs. “When you think about it, no parents want to say ‘yeah, we’re gonna have our kid go fight.’ No parent wants their kid getting hurt on purpose.” This setback was an opportunity to pivot to another fundamental aspect of MMA, grappling. Kyle took the chance, joining up

Above: Kyle (right) fighting the Samourai MMA on November 19th, 2021, where he won the Samourai 155 Title. Photo by Yanick Maltais. M a y / J u n e

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“You see this cage set up and all these people shouting.,” Kyle reminisces. “Then you’re going up against your opponent and you’re like ‘I’ve heard of you but I don’t know anything about you.’ Now we’re here.” With two athletes in their physical prime Kyle says the biggest thing is you never know how a match will play out. Everyone is tough, the fight could go quick or drag out to a judges’ decision. Kyle’s first bout ended in the former, his arm raised in victory after only 30 seconds into the first round. “When it ended that quick this whole roller coaster ride of emotions takes over you,” Kyle says with a laugh about his first victory. “You’re excited, over excited. You’re so pumped you don’t know what to do with yourself. That’s why you see guys just hop around and go crazy.” The fight launched his career, leading to a current record of 15 wins to eight losses. As he got more experience his family also began to embrace his career. “The more fights and competitions I started doing they started to see I was going to be okay, I took care of myself and was doing well,” Kyle smiles. “It put them at ease even though they still get nervous, but they aren’t as nerve racked as when I was a teenager.” Kyle worked hard climbing the ladder, taking fights when he could, moving back and forth between promotions. Then one day, while he was eating chicken wings at John Max, his phone rang. He got the call. He was going to the UFC. “They told me I’d made it,” Kyle says, face lighting up at the old memory. “I couldn’t believe this was real life. You never know what’s gonna happen, then all this hard work pays off.” That strive for hard work and dedication is what Kyle is most

about. Whether it is training while listening to music or running his property management business he makes sure to take every opportunity to get the job done. While those opportunities have taken him far and wide across the US and Canada he always comes back home to Windsor. “It’s the family and people,” Kyle says. “Windsor deserves a lot more credit than what it’s given. There’s a lot of hardworking people here and a lot of good hearted people here.” Kyle even found the loves of his life here, his fiancee Emily and his adorable adopted beagle, Mac. While he does say his career is far from over, he does know eventually he will have to throw in the towel and step back from the ring. This is especially the case with the sport’s history with concussions “I think a lot of fighters don’t recognize that enough,” Kyle says of knowing when to finally call it quits and hang up his gloves. “It’s better to go off healthy instead of trying to keep going and end up with something like severe post concussion syndrome.” While Kyle still has a lot of fight left in him, he says the goal is to know when to step back and reevaluate. But until then, he wants to keep shooting for the top so he can inspire others like he was. “I want to be one of those guys people look up to,” Kyle says with a grin. “I want upcoming Canadian fighters to not just want to be like me, but want to surpass me. My goal is to become champion until my time’s up and I pass the torch.” His lifestyle of dedication, hard work and grasping for every chance has led to Kyle having chances few have ever gotten. “At any moment you never know what could happen,” Kyle says. “So say yes now and then figure out the opportunity after, that way WLM you don’t miss out.” Back to Contents

Brian Bondy

Sales Representative

One of the stars of RE/MAX Preferred Team Brad Bondy, is Brian Bondy. “I grew up on a farm,” Brian says. “There is no substitute for waking up at five o’clock in the morning and working with my dad in the field!” Beyond the farm, Brian worked at Fox Glen Golf Club for two decades. “I was the club’s tournament coordinator for ten years,” Brian says. “It was a point of pride that tournaments returned, year after year. This has led to success in real estate—I’m providing a service.” It’s no wonder his brother, Brad, recruited him for Team Brad Bondy seven years ago. “It was the right time for a change,” Brian recalls. Not only was Brad an important advisor, but Brian also credits other mentors with guiding him along the way. “I have to say, Diane Schultz and Lawrence Cote were great to work with,” Brian says. “To me, every day is an opportunity to learn.” For Brian, there is no “secret” to success, it’s about going the extra mile for his clients. He also credits the love and support of his family as making it all possible: his wife, Michelle, and their sons Tyson and Zayden. “Without them, I couldn’t do what I do,” Brian says. So, what keeps him motivated and enthusiastic on behalf of his clients? “It’s the variety. Every day is different,” Brian says. “As we said at the golf course: ‘There are no problems, there are only solutions!’” For more information about how Team Brad Bondy can help with your real estate needs, visit



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Heather’s Helping Hand Fund HEATHER MCFADDEN worked at the John McGivney Children’s Centre (JMCC) for more than twenty years, most recently as the Manager of Finance. In January, Heather passed away suddenly, leaving family, friends and colleagues stunned, and distraught. “Heather was family,” says Jessica Sartori, JMCC CEO. “She went above and beyond to help her fellow staff and the children receiving services through JMCC. Heather had a very special place in her heart for our families, often helping with special events and activities.” In the depths of his grief, Heather’s husband, Eric Gajda wanted to be sure that JMCC kids continued receiving support, so he created the Heather’s Helping Hand Fund. The funds will support families struggling to make ends meet. There are many out-of-pocket and unexpected expenses for JMCC families. “In addition to driving their children to local therapy and medical appointments,” Jessica says, “JMCC children need to go out of town for specialized treatments, medical appointments and/or surgeries. Fuel costs are very challenging for families. The cost of groceries adds up quickly, too.” Heather’s Helping Hand Fund will provide pre-paid gas cards and grocery cards to families experiencing these challenges. Often, too, families struggle with the costs of non-prescription items such as Tylenol, as well as diapers, clothing and food essentials. There are plans to also provide gift cards from large retailers to help families in need purchase these items. JMCC has always been close to the community’s heart, so it is no surprise that donations have already been made by her many friends and family members. The Charles and Ethel Cohen Family Foundation also donated $5,000, and will match donations up to another $5,000 until May 31, 2022. Allan Cohen, Charles and Ethel’s grandson, has been a long-time supporter and board member of JMCC. For every $1 you donate, JMCC will receive $2 thanks to the generosity of The Charles and Ethel Cohen Family Foundation. “Heather was happy and proud to work at JMCC and was always ready to help,” says Eric. “Heather’s Helping Hand Fund is such a beautiful way to help others. She would be so pleased and thankful that it will help the families and children at JMCC whom she so deeply cared about.” Heather was an active member of the Windsor-Essex community, volunteering her time with the Knights of Columbus, where proceeds from fundraising activities were donated to JMCC.

Heather McFadden

“Mom loved working at JMCC,” says Heather’s son, Dr. Richard McFadden. “Growing up, she would tell me about her day and it always included when she went in the building, in the morning, and saw the kids. She always felt great about what JMCC was doing and would be elated to know this fund was started in her honour to help the JMCC families.” Jackie Etches, Heather’s daughter, adds: “It’s hard to sum up how great a mother, and how amazing a person my mom was. She was always there for us growing up. My brothers and I played sports and she spent countless hours watching our games. When I had surgery, she was by my side during my recovery. She would be so happy to know that Heather’s Helping Hand will help moms do the best they can for their children, like my mom did for us!” For anyone unsure what to get mom for Mother’s Day, consider donating to Heather’s Helping Hand Fund at

3945 Matchette Road 519-252-7281 |

It Feels Good to Give

How One Man Came To Canada With Nothing, Thrived And Is Now Helping Others o’clock. They pushed me back and forth between people. But I said to myself I’m not going home without it.” With his card he started work, first finding odd jobs before focusing on gaining a skill trade. In his case, it was brick laying. From there Viecelli built up a strong team and was able to put an entire house up in a month. His business grew and he built more and more houses in Windsor-Essex. The money started to come in. He was thriving, his family was supported, but something was still missing. He figured it out one day when he was driving down the road. “I was working in Sarnia and driving when I saw a woman in a wheelchair,” Viecelli says with softness in his eye at the memory, “I said once I retire, I’m gonna take all the old people with my car to the doctor’s or the grocery store to do this and that.” When he got old he realized driving every single person in need would not work, but there was another option, philanthropy. “I have enough money and now I want to help the people,” he says with a smile, “That’s the best thing to do. The best gift that will make me happy is when someone calls me and tells me they only had to go to the hospital once instead of three times because of what my donation did.” John had previously donated $250,000 to Windsor Essex County Cancer Centre Foundation and another $200,000 to Hôtel-Dieu Grace Healthcare to help construct a rehabilitation centre. But while Viecelli has retired from his regular job it has not stopped him from working to help others who need it. “If you have a garage to do, I’ll do it for you as long as you give me a hand and you don’t sit there drinking a beer,” he says with a laugh. “I’ll do it, I’ll help. But if you pay me I won’t do it.” IT TAKES TENACITY, grit and gumption to come to a new country with practically nothing and build up a life for yourself and your family. But it takes love, compassion and warmth of soul to take your earnings and turn around to give back to the community which helped you grow to be the best version of yourself. John Viecelli is one of those people.

He says he does not want to be paid, he has enough and now he wants to give back to the community and country that helped me. He wants to be remembered for the work he did to help, not the money he earned to get there. “I want to be remembered as a dedicated family man,” Viecelli says. “My life’s lesson would be to dream big and don’t be afraid. Any dream can be achieved.”

Despite being 90 years old, John still has the bright eyes and sense of joy and humour of the 17-year-old boy that came with his family from Italy all those years ago. Viecelli faced adversity at nearly every step of the way. When he came to Canada, he was poor and could not even speak English. Facing adversity as an Italian immigrant in the late 40s with no real government assistance he had to fight tooth and nail to find his place in society. “I went by myself to get my green card and employment insurance,” Viecelli says. “I was there at eight o’clock in the morning. I got out at four


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