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SUMMER 2022 VOLUME 29, ISSUE 5
1 CONTRIBUTING1 Matthew St. Amand WRITERS1 Alley L. Biniarz
PUBLISHER/EDITOR Robert E. Robinson
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1 ART DIRECTOR1 Michael Pietrangelo PRODUCTION 1 George Sharpe PHOTOGRAPHERS1 John Liviero,
CREATIVE DIRECTOR Carol Garant
1 Sooters Photography 1 Michael Pietrangelo 1 Oluwatobiloba Olawale, 1 Mactools Visual
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Estate plans can help you answer questions about the future The word “estate” conjures images of great wealth, which may be one of the reasons so many people don’t develop estate plans – after all, they’re not rich, so why make the effort? In reality, though, if you have a family, you can probably benefit from estate planning. Here are a few of these questions: What will happen to my children? With luck, you (and your co-parent, if you have one) will be alive and well at least until your children reach the age of majority (either 18 or 19, depending on where you live). Nonetheless, you don’t want to take any chances, so, as part of your estate strategy, you may want to name a guardian to take care of your children if you are not around. You also might want to name a Trustee – sometimes called a “guardian of the estate” – to manage any assets your minor children might inherit. Will there be a fight over my assets? Without a solid estate strategy in place, your assets could be subject to the time-consuming, expensive – and very public – probate process. During probate, your relatives and creditors can gain access to your records, and possibly even challenge your will. But with proper planning, you can maintain your privacy. As one possible element of an estate plan, a living trust generally allows your property to avoid probate and pass quickly to the beneficiaries you’ve named. Who will oversee my finances and my living situation if I become incapacitated? You can build various forms of protection into your estate planning, such as an enduring power of attorney, which allows you to designate someone to manage your financial affairs if you become physically or mentally incapacitated. You could also create a power of attorney for personal care, which allows someone to handle health care decisions on your behalf if you become unable to do so yourself. Will I shortchange my family if I leave significant assets to charities? Unless you have unlimited resources, you’ll have to make some choices about charitable gifts and money for your family. For example, you could establish a trust, which provides financial support to your chosen charities for a period of time, with the remaining assets eventually going to your family members. A charitable remainder trust, by contrast, can provide a stream of income for your family members for the term of the trust, before the remaining assets are transferred to one or more charitable organizations. As you can see, careful estate planning can help you answer many of the questions that may be worrying you. Be aware, though, that certain aspects of estate planning, especially those related to living trusts and charitable trusts, can be complex, so you should consult your estate-planning lawyer or qualified tax professional about your situation. Edward Jones, its employees and financial advisors are not estate planners and cannot provide tax or legal advice. You should consult your estate-planning attorney or qualified tax advisor regarding your situation.
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ON THE COVER R&B artist, DVO, is set to release his second album, Hearts Retired.
Photography by Oluwatobiloba Olawale, Mactools Visual See page 18
Zachery Dereniowski on His Social Media Rise
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CAN-AM POLICE FIRE GAMES
THERE WILL BE FISH
THE UNIVERSAL GAME
Jeremy Renaud Elevated to GM of Dodgeball Canada
LIFE IS GOOD HERE
The Town of Tecumseh Celebrates Centennial 58
Peter Hrastovec Paints Pictures With Poetry 50
PEACE AND PARTNERSHIP
A History of the Ambassador Bridge
Windsor Police Constable to Compete in Swimming Events
Local Stock Car Racer Making His Mark on the Sport 30
NEW & NOTICED
Grace and Elegance Set This Home Apart
DVO Talks About His Career 24
SLEEK AND SOPHISTICATED
Plenty To Do In Tecumseh Throughout The Year 66
WHAT’S PAST IS PROLOGUE
A Look at the History of Tecumseh
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What a great time for our area. With things quickly returning to normal it seems that we all are enjoying life again but in some cases in a different way. To me it seems we are embracing the outdoors more. The restaurant patios, expanded to meet the conditions caused by the pandemic, seem to be staying in place. The outdoor festivals, missing for some time, are back and bigger than ever. And, the city is experiencing an industrial growth not seen in decades. It all started with the announcement that LGES-Stellantis would invest 5 billion dollars in a new EV battery manufacturing plant in Windsor. That started the ball rolling and there has been a lot of good news since then. Invest Windsor Essex seem to have been hard at work for some time and now things are really coming together. The announcement of LGES-Stellantis had barely sunk in when it was announced that South Korean Dongshin Motech Ltd will invest 60 million dollars in a feeder plant for the EV battery facility. Then, Stellantis announced that the Windsor Assembly Plant would be converted to be able to build vehicles on multiple platforms, securing the future of automobile production in the area for many years. All these announcements are great for our community. They will most certainly contribute to an already growing population. One doesn’t have to go too far to see the development of new housing nearly everywhere in Windsor and surrounding area. With the new residential and industrial development comes a large growth in new and expanding businesses. Businesses that are owned, managed and operated by our neighbours. Businesses that need our support. So let’s do just that. Support local businesses both new and old. Put the uncertainty of the last couple of years behind us and look toward a future that I believe has never been brighter. Get out and enjoy it.
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IN AND AROUND AMHERSTBURG A quick ferry ride across the water from Bois Blanc and you’re in charming Amherstburg. Wander the town and its waterfront and discover the delights of lovingly preserved historic sites, gourmet restaurants, and pubs with character. Just a bit farther afield, you can play golf, tour wineries, and relax on the beaches of Lake Erie.
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In This Issue It seems like only a few weeks ago we battled winter. Now, the official first day of summer is just around the corner. Time is flying. As we move into everyone’s favourite section of the calendar, it’s worth slowing down and reflecting on what the past two years have asked of us, and what the coming summer months will bring. Homeowners are taking a second look at their open concept homes and deciding that there is value in secluded, private spaces within their domiciles. Windsor Life Magazine has a look at a breathtaking example of a traditional home-as-sanctuary built by Windsorland Homes. Windsorite Zachery Dereniowski talks about growing a multimillion-person fan base on TikTok by helping others, and telling their stories. A once-fierce competitor in the swimming pool returns after decades away, competing in the 2022 CAN-AM Police Fire Games being hosted by Windsor in July. Dodgeball Canada names a new General Manager: Windsor native Jeremy Renaud. Jeremy talks about unique challenges of formalizing and growing a “fringe sport” like dodgeball. The Ambassador Bridge has been a part of the Windsor/Detroit skyline for nearly a century, and yet so many city residents may not know its full history—until now. DVO is the stage name of 24 year-old Amir Haghparast, a Windsor born Syrian Canadian. He talks about healing through trauma and the pandemic to become a better musician. Windsor poet Peter Hrastovec has released an expressive and vivid volume of poetry titled There Will Be Fish. The book celebrates life, love, family, friendship, hopes, dreams and discoveries. The poems embrace eclectic themes and locations (baseball stadiums, jazz clubs, a doctor’s office, street scenes both across the street and across the world). Fifteen year old racing phenom, Chase Pinsonneault, talks about what it’s like to graduate from Micro Sprint cars to Super Stock. The Town of Tecumseh celebrates its centennial this Canada Day Weekend. Windsor Life Magazine focuses on our neighbour to the east with a three-part series of articles: Events & Tourism in Tecumseh, Life in Tecumseh, and a brief History of Tecumseh.
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DEVOTION TO YOUR CRAFT
DVO Talks Healing Through Trauma to Become a Better Musician STORY BY RYAN PERCY PHOTOGRAPHY BY OLUWATOBILOBA OLAWALE, MACTOOLS VISUAL
WITH THE PANDEMIC SLOWLY GOING AWAY and with nearly two entire years of it affecting our lives the scars of it are still deep and raw for many. DVO is the stage name of 24 year-old Amir Haghparast a Windsor born Canadian Persian who found a way to express himself through his music. It all really started in 2017. An incident in DVO’s home life shook him to the core and a part of him yearned for an avenue to cry out through. His gung-ho dive into the music world and way to work his creative endeavours around it was how he got his name. “Music was my way to escape,” DVO says of beginning his career and finding his voice and name. “I started kind of devoting myself to this career style and coming up with different names.” The names were things like Real Flow 519, a way to emphasis both his talents and being able to represent the town he called home. However, it was a mouthful and for DVO it had to be something quick, simple and snappy. He wanted it to roll off the tongue. “My team and I sat down and came up with a bunch of variations of words and letters,” he says of the naming process. “We ended up going with devotion and took the three letters from that.” While it may have been just a stage name it has become an integral part of
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his identity, to the point most of his friends now even call him DVO. In 2017 he opened his YouTube channel and started doing music covers while working on his own music. Style-wise he found himself covering fellow Canadian singer-song writer Abel Makkonen Tesfaye, better known as The Weeknd. Listening to the two the voices are almost eerily similar, DVO’s first video being a harmonious cover where he duets along with The Weeknd’s track Nomads. These covers even turned out to be the secret to the start of his success. But at the time, while covering tracks from other artists, DVO was still looking for his own personal voice. In 2018 his first major release hit streaming platforms, his EP Genesis, the start of his story. It is a strong first outing though you can tell he had not found himself yet, a part of his voice feels shackled, as if he was holding back something inside. Come 2019 he set out to release his first album, the self-titled Devotion. The album starts with the track Chapter 1 invites the listener into a 15-track serenade of happy go lucky R&B and pop with a dash of house music and EDM. It brings up the feeling of driving through Windsor’s downtown late at night while out partying with your friends. The music banging and everyone having a good time. Unbeknownst to DVO, at the same time a fellow YouTuber with around half a million subscribers made a video comparing various covers of The Weeknd’s song in a contest. He did not know he was a winner until subscribers and comments started to pour in along with a partnership that lit the fuse to boost DVO’s career. “Pretty much all of a sudden a very well renowned DJ in Italy named Kharfi reached out to me,” DVO says. “He heard my voice on The Weeknd’s Too Late cover and told me he wanted to recreate a beat and rerelease the song under our names.” DVO and Kharfi’s version of Too Late released in 2021 and is currently sitting at over 200,000 plays on Spotify. From that point on other DJs from across the world have reached out for DVO’s vocals and song writing talents to collaborate with. With him teaming up with Leggiero and Pop Mage to create solemn Save Your Tears sitting at over 420,000 plays and The Hills with Harddope and LexMorris which sits at 1.2 million listens. “It’s emotional,” DVO says of when he got the message, he’d cracked the million
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mark. “Your mindset has never really been wired to understand you’re going to get millions of streams. I was tearing up because I never expected it.” It helped DVO and his team earn respect in the music industry, opening doors to talent he had never expected. There was a dark shadow looming over DVO and the rest of the world. When 2020 rolled around and things started to shut down, venues closed, gatherings were put on hold, it began to weigh heavily on him. “It got rocky for me, I was on the verge of quitting,” DVO says of how the COVID-19 Pandemic affected him. “I couldn’t have studio sessions, and everything pretty much came to a stop.” But thankfully there was a supportive voice in his corner, Sik from Six Vision Media. He told DVO not to quit and to keep putting covers out and releasing content he recorded at home. This reignited DVO’s passion and he dove in, putting out covers, teaming up to feature on tracks from various artists. With his voice and range so similar to The Weeknd, he found himself snapping up tracks producers and artists previously designed with The Weeknd in mind. The weirdest of which happened in late 2020. “We had a crazy breakthrough, Nickelodeon reached out to us,” DVO says. “If you go and watch the 2020 HallowScream advert that’s me singing their rewritten lyrics for The Weeknd’s Blinding Lights. It caught me by surprise.” He continued song writing and let his experiences and emotions come through. What it led to was Hearts Retired, the second album and chapter of his story following Devotion. “It’s dark, very dark,” DVO says of the new album due out at the end of July. “A lot of the lyrics are very heartfelt to what I was feeling during the pandemic.” In storytelling, act two is usually the low point. It’s the same here but shows how technically and lyrically DVO has matured and grown. With Chapter 3 in the works already it seems the sky is not even the limit for the young artist. An attitude he wants others to remember as well. “Always pursue your dream, don’t let people stop you,” DVO says. “When you know you have a talent, go for it. Do what makes you happy.” Listen to DVO on your favourite streaming service or visit him on Instagram @dvo_music. WLM Back to Contents
DESIGNING THE PERFECT engagement ring. Restoring a precious family heirloom. Creating a unique piece to commemorate a date. Transforming jewellery visions into reality. As Bednarek Jewellery owners Piotr Bednarek and Lauren Bering anticipate their store’s 4th anniversary, they reflect with pride on the success of their bustling Dougall Avenue business. “Jewellery is often very sensitive or sentimental—like a ring or watch passed down by families through generations,” says co-owner Lauren, who wears many hats—from diamond and gem buyer to creative designer to marketing and business manager to in-store sales and service. “Piotr and I both thrive on happy customers—there’s no better feeling!” Piotr Bednarek has been working on a jewellery bench since he was 16 years old—more than 40 years. In Windsor, his experience and attention to detail “on the bench” compares to none. Emigrating from Poland to Windsor with his wife and children in 1995; Piotr immediately found work as a jeweller. He recalls being recruited by the prestigious Swiss headquarters of Tiffany & Co. but “even though I felt some hesitation, I respectfully declined because Canada had become home for my family and me.” Today, with more than four decades of professional jewellery experience—from casting to diamond and gem setting to hand engraving to custom jewellery design to all repairs—Piotr is true to his craft, consistently perfecting his work and keeping current on all modern industry advances. So, what sets Bednarek Jewellery apart?
Lauren is quick to answer: “Piotr is 100% at your disposal. He’s in our store six days a week, ready to listen and interpret your vision. He’s an expert at determining what customers want after only a brief conversation.” She continues, “The fact that so many of our customers are loyal and bring their family and friends to meet us, tells me that we are creating and sustaining relationships based on trust, communication, intuition and expertise. Some people may find jewellery stores intimidating when they first visit, or some may feel unsure of the right questions to ask.” “Piotr is both a master of precise execution and of putting anyone at ease. Whether you come in having done your own research and a clear idea of what you envision, or you walk in not knowing much at all—we get it and we are here to help!” Lauren emphasizes. “We know and understand jewellery; if it’s important to you, it is JUST as important to US. For Piotr and me, jewellery is very personal—it symbolizes you, your life, your loved ones, your family. It’s simple: we want to make you happy and when it comes to quality jewellery, we know how to do that! People often leave our store overwhelmed with joy because we go above and beyond their expectations. It is so rewarding for us that we can do this.” A quick look at Bednarek Jewellery’s social media shows stellar reviews from those happy customers that both Piotr and Lauren thrive on. Lauren concludes, “Piotr and I are so grateful to live and work in Windsor. On July 3, 2022, we will celebrate 4 years of success at our Dougall Avenue store.” www.bednarekboutique.com S u m m e r
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AN OASIS OF LEARNING IN LAKESHORE From fifteen students in 1978 to more than three hundred today, the Lakeview Centre for Academic Learning has a robust history of educational excellence, innovation and growth. THE MONTESSORI experience begins with a deep respect for children as unique individuals and an accredited, internationally developed hands-on curriculum comprising five main pillars: practical life, sensorial, math, language and cultural learning. The goal is to prepare young leaders who are fully qualified for post-secondary academic studies. Lakeview Montessori was founded by Ms. Janice Mayhew more than 40 years ago. Since its inception, growth (more students, more space, more programs) has been an ongoing, overarching goal. Lakeview was the first accredited Montessori Elementary School in our region. Now with more than 50 staff members
providing education to 300+ students (from Infant to grade 8) and a lengthy wait list for each new school year, Lakeview sustains the highest standards. Both a Canadian Accredited Independent School (CAIS) and a member of the Canadian Council of Montessori Administrators (CCMA), it’s the only school of its kind from here to London. The Lakeview curriculum is broad, intended to foster individual creativity and independent thought, as well as respect and appreciation for others. Class sizes are small and offer exceptional child-teacher ratios at every level and Lakeview students maintain a 100% acceptance rate into local International Baccalaureate programs.
“I never could have imagined how connected I would be to this school. Over the years everyone here has truly become a part of my family - the friends I have made, the experiences, the people. It is so bittersweet to have to move on to high school….” – Tatiana, 2021 grade 8 graduate
To be successful takes creativity, flexibility, self-control, and discipline. Central to all those are executive functions, including mentally playing with ideas, giving a considered rather than a compulsive response, and staying focused. The Montessori approach is shown to meet more criteria for the development of executive function for a more extended age group. – Diamond & Lee, Science, 333(6045), 959-964.
When Professor Maureen Harris was appointed Head of School (HOS) in 2012, she made it her mission to put Lakeview at the forefront of modern education. She believed in pushing boundaries to promote academic excellence and propel students to become active, engaged, successful leaders. Under her visionary leadership and commitment—bolstered by the support of Lakeview’s Board of Directors and enthusiastic energy of the faculty—Lakeview expanded to include 3 new classrooms, a robotics room, a gymnasium, arts performance venue, atrium and healing garden. The new Middle School Enrichment program embraced the future of global technology (coding, robotics) in its curriculum. In 2018, Lakeview was recognized with
“It’s a lot to take in: just saying goodbye to all of my teachers and mentors. But every moment is a fresh beginning, and we have to embrace that…” – Matthew, 2021 grade 8 graduate
Mrs. Renee Ryerson, Interim Head of School (left) and Prof. Maureen Harris retiring Head of School.
“From the moment I stepped through the doors of Lakeview, the school welcomed me like I was family, and right after my first day, I knew this school would be a second home to me…” – Sofia, 2021 grade 8 graduate two major national accreditations by the Canadian Accreditation of Independent Schools (CAIS) and the Canadian Council for Montessori Administrators (CCMA). The Lakeview Montessori Teacher Training Program also acquired global accreditation (MACTE), providing faculty with opportunities to collaborate with Montessori colleagues in China. Early in the pandemic, Lakeview’s advanced technology program ensured the school was well-equipped to effectively pivot to online learning. After ten inspiring and productive years as HOS (which saw school key indicators— such as student population, school finances and physical spaces—double) Maureen, believing the time was right for the fresh ideas and perspectives that new leadership brings, announced her retirement.
Mrs. Renee Ryerson (Montessori Lead Teacher, LMS Montessori Teacher Education Program Educator and Academic Advisor for more than 20 years) has been appointed Interim HOS. Throughout her longstanding career at Lakeview, Renee has consistently played a significant role in the school’s ongoing success. Lakeview Communication, Outreach and Development Coordinator Kristin Barone says, “Both my kids (now 9 and 11) are 100% Montessori children. They respect the world around them, and I credit Lakeview teachers. They continue advancing Lakeview’s mission—to learn, lead and succeed together. Their dedication—to the academic, social and emotional growth of every child—is the magic ingredient.” Find out more about Lakeview’s past, present and future at lakeviewmontessori.ca.
For further details Lakeview Montessori School at 519-735-5005 or firstname.lastname@example.org www.lakeviewmontessori.ca 13797 Riverside Drive East, Tecumseh, N8N 1B5
Children in a Montessori school, as compared with children in the other types of school, showed significantly greater gains on measures of executive function, reading, math, vocabulary, and social problem-solving. – Rathunde & Csikszentmihalyi, American Journal of Education, 111(3), 341-371.
PASSING THE TORCH
A Third Generation Auto Racer Has Entered The Super Stock Racing World STORY BY MATTHEW ST. AMAND / PHOTOGRAPHY BY JOHN LIVIERO, SOOTERS PHOTOGRAPHY THERE WAS ONLY ONE caveat about contacting this racing phenom, Chase Pinsonneault, for this story: “You have to call him after three o’clock in the afternoon,” my editor said. “Why is that?” “Because he is still in high school.” Chase Pinsonneault is the third generation of the Pinsonneault racing family of Essex County. At 15 years of age, he is a tenth grade student at Belle River District High School, where he enjoys math and science with an eye toward studying engineering after graduation. Chase has been involved in organized racing for more than half of his life. He began competing at age six. In the Micro Sprint division at Grand Bend Speedway, he was named Rookie of the Year in 2014. During his seven years in Micro Sprint, Chase drove in more than 100 races, won 27 of them, had more than 75 podiums. In 2019, he won the Junior Sprint Championship. In April of this year, Chase graduated to full-sized stock car racing. Although the word “stock” is in the name of the racing division, there is nothing stock about the car Chase drives. “The car is purpose-built from the ground up,” says Chase’s father, Alan Pinsonneault, who drove for a time, but ultimately found his niche working on racing cars. “The body is
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a Chevy Camaro made of fibre glass. The engine is a GM 602 Crate engine with 350 horse power.” That’s quite a step up from the Micro Sprint cars in which Chase began racing. Since starting in Super Stock in April, Chase has competed in a half dozen races. Although some of the drivers he goes up against are in their twenties and thirties, with years more experience, Chase’s finishes have improved with each race. How does it feel to be a ways away from getting one’s G1 driver’s license, but flying around a race track at 90 mph each weekend? “It’s a combination of adrenalin and exhilaration,” Chase says. “I always feel exhilarated, but not really scared. When I’m in the moment like that, the fear never gets to me. I don’t have time to think about it.” Following in the footsteps of his grandfather, Alec Pinsonneault, Chase’s feelings about racing mirror Alec’s experience. “I began as a sponsor of Bob Merrifield’s in the mid-1980s,” Alec says. “In
Opposite top: Alan, son Chase and grandfather Alec Pinsonneault. This page clockwise from left: Alec, Alan and the entire ASA Championship team; Proud grandfather Alec, 6 year old Chase and father Alan. Chase had just won his first race in a mini sprint car; Alec in front of his American Speed Association racecar. Photos courtesy of CPMotorsports; Chase with his new Super Stock racer.
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the second year of the sponsorship, Bob let me take the car around the track. I was hooked!” Soon after, Alec took up auto racing and competed until 2000. “When I was in that car, I forgot about everything,” Alec continues. “That was my stress relief from being in business. I went to a pretty high level in ASA, in the States, racing against professionals. That was the only thing that got me out of work.” Chase says that he is so focused when racing that he is barely aware of his competitors. “I have a spotter in the stands who communicates with me by radio,” he says. “He tells me who is coming up from behind. If there is a wreck on the track, he says whether I should go high or low to get around it.” Chase continues: “I try not to pay too close attention to the other drivers. I’m looking for points on the track that I call my ‘braking markers’ and ‘turning markers.’ I’m also watching my oil and water gauges, to make sure they are not higher than normal. I don’t really use the mirrors in the car because they vibrate so much, I can’t see anything in them.” One thing race car drivers do not get enough credit for are the physical demands they endure. “It’s a different kind of physical,” Alan explains. “You can’t be out of shape, and you have to be sharp mentally.” Alan goes on: “There are summer days when Chase is in the car, it’s 90 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit outside, humid, and he’s wearing a double layer fire suit. In those conditions, the temperature in the car can reach 150 degrees Fahrenheit.” There is a fan built into Chase’s helmet, which does provide some relief. Alan recalls a recent race: “It was the second race of the night and Chase was running third. He was so focused on pacing the cars in front of him, he got into the wall. He just focused too much on the cars in front of him and forgot where the wall was for a second, and brushed it. As it gets hotter, it’s difficult to maintain focus. Stamina really comes into play. The G-forces are hard on your body. The seat helps. It’s a full containment seat that does not bend. It holds him in there properly.” Safety is paramount in racing. Chase is secured by his full containment seat, a sixpoint seat belt harness and Head and Neck Restraint System to prevent injury. As a rookie, Chase started at the back of the pack in his first few races. Rather
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than psyching him out, he viewed everything happening on the track as a learning experience. In his second ever race at Delaware Speedway, Chase qualified 8th in the 23-car field and moved forward to a 5th place finish by the end of the 50 lap special event in May. “It’s daunting to start in the back, but I don’t absolutely hate it,” he says. “I’m faster than everyone I pass. Going up through the field, you see what works from track to track. I watch other drivers and see how they handle the track.” Chase races primarily at Flamboro Speedway in Hamilton and Delaware Speedway near London. The racing season consists of 25 races. Chase and his family keep his future in racing in perspective: “We have stressed to him ‘If there is ever a time you don’t want to do this, you can walk away,’” Alan says. “It’s a lot of money, time away, effort, commitment, but if Chase doesn’t want to be doing it, we can pull the plug.” As for the family’s elder statesman, Alec says: “There is a lot of potential in Chase. He loves racing. He understands it. He basically built the car he’s driving. He is still in school, but he can focus on this situation. I’m really enjoying it.” Alec goes onto explain that Chase’s Super Stock car is a manual transmission. This was Chase’s first experience with a clutch. To get Chase used to manually shifting gears, Alec brought out an old dune buggy his father had owned, and let Chase practice with that, going up and down Alec’s driveway. “He learned to do it really quickly!” Alec remarks. “I’m really enjoying racing,” Chase says. “I am very grateful to everyone who made this opportunity possible.” Success does not occur in a vacuum. Chase’s sponsors have been an integral part of his journey: FCF Custom Fab, Windsor Life Magazine, Integrity Tool & Mold, KMJ Industrial Contractors, Apex Auto Group, Wilds Printing, Lakefront Marine Sales & Service, Industrial Tools & Supplies, McColl Racing Enterprises, and Connor’s Cookies. Distracting as racing could be to a young man, Chase remains attentive to his studies at school. As for his immediate future, he says: “I am hoping to go from this and grow my racing career into a great big thing.” Visit cpmotorsports22.com for more information about Chase, his racing and to view a slide show of his current car being built. WLM
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J&B AUTO RECYCLERS HAS YOU COVERED WHILE ON HOLD with an out-of-town recycling yard, Max Winkler, owner-operator of J&B Auto Recyclers heard his own business philosophy: “Our product is used car parts. Our business is customer service.” Another core belief Max holds is: “If you’re looking for car parts, it’s always worth calling J&B.” For more than 45 years, J&B Auto Recyclers has been the source of hard-to-find car parts for area vehicle owners. Paul Winkler started the business at age 21 and has passed decades of knowledge and experience to his son, Max, who has worked in the industry most of his life. Car owners in the area have never needed this knowledge and experience more than they do right now. “There is a shortage of car parts across North America,” Max explains. “We have been supplying body shops and dealerships with parts because they are so scarce.” The old images of the “junk yard” and “auto wrecker” are as outmoded as the automobile running board. Yards such as J&B Auto are great places to locate hard-to-find car parts. According to the Ontario Auto Recyclers Association (OARA), more than 80 percent of a vehicle, by weight, is reused, remanufactured, or recycled. Cars are much greener than many believe. And that translates into the “green” drivers can save by getting their car parts from J&B Auto. “Not only do we sell used parts, but have access to new aftermarket parts,” Max says. “Specifically, body panels, headlights, tail lights, mirrors, provided they are not on back order.” He continues: “We test every part to the best of our ability, and our car parts come with a sixty-day parts-only warranty. Depending on the item, extended warranties are available for purchase.” Max notes: “Our inventory is always growing. We may not have the part today, but we may have it tomorrow.” If J&B Auto does not have the part, Max and his team have access to the Powerlink system, which networks auto recyclers across North America. With a few keystrokes, Max can locate the part elsewhere and have it shipped. “We ship and receive parts of all sizes,” he says. “Parts as small as electrical plugs, right up to full truck frames, half cars, front ends, rear clips. I’ll cut a car in half and ship the whole front portion of it.” J&B Auto makes an effort to bring in rust-free vehicle frames from areas such as Texas and California. “They’re used,” Max points out, “but they are like new. Often, they’ll cost a fraction of what a dealer will charge for a new frame.” J&B Auto also buys end-of-life vehicles. “If someone has an end-of-life or scrap vehicle, J&B is paying top dollar for these,” Max says. “We can pick it up and we pay.” There is no reason for drivers to be sidelined by the current parts shortage affecting North America. J&B Auto Recyclers has its finger on the pulse, Max and his crew know where to source the parts area car owners need. “It is always worth calling J&B,” Max concludes. “No matter the size of the part, if we have it, we’ll attempt to remove it and sell it. If we don’t have it, we’ll try and get it.” To learn more about how J&B Auto can help you, visit them online at www.jbautoparts.com.
3 generations: Max with Harvey, and paul Winkler
1637 Provincial Rd. 519-969-0300
ZACHERY DERENIOWSKI Building a Career on Helping Others
BY RYAN PERCY / PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY OF MDMOTIVATOR
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HAVE YOU EVER FELT LOST? Felt you had no purpose? Like you are not doing what you were meant to do? If you said yes to any of those you and Zachery Dereniowski have a lot in common. Most people who know Zachery see the stardom, a person who has gathered over 11 million followers and subscribers across TikTok, YouTube and Instagram. But his goal was not to become famous, that is just the side effect of him trying to connect with others and make the world a better place in the process. It started a decade ago, at 18 years old when Zachery failed out of the University of Windsor. “I always knew I wanted to help people,” Zachery sighs as he dredges up those old memories, “But now I had this new sense of trying to prove people wrong. So, I thought what better way to combine helping people and prove others wrong than to combine them and become a doctor?”
He buckled down, hitting the books harder than ever, diving into studying for six years. This eventually brought him to Melbourne, Australia as part of a student exchange program. He fell in love with Australia and decided to finish medical school there and become a doctor. “So, January 2020 I started medical school at the University of Sydney,” he says. “Then several weeks in I went through a six year relationship breakup, then two weeks after that I tore my knee and needed surgery so I couldn’t work out or play sports.” This had happened during the onset of the COVID pandemic, leading to isolation from others, Zachery was left effectively alone with no one to lean on. No friends, no outlet, just his thought forming a dark cloud around him. “I went for a walk and ended up crying hysterically in the middle of this busy Sydney intersection,” he says, “These busy businesspeople were walking by me and at that moment I felt like air, I was invisible to them.” It got darker. Thoughts of suicide. But he went and sought help. He got told to start journaling his thoughts to work through it. “I bought a five-dollar journal and wrote in it,” he says with laughter in his voice, “After a couple days I thought somebody else is gonna feel the same as me. I want to find a friend who’s either experienced in this or better yet is a few steps ahead of me already.” This led to Zachery making his TikTok account, mdmotivator, and putting out his first video. After posting it he went about his day of med school but was not prepared for the response he got. “I come back, and I have like half a million views and thousands of comments,” he says with a stunned expression. “There’s people from eight years old to 80 sharing their stories. I was blown away that people were so open to sharing their stories with a stranger.” He had found a niche he finally felt he could fill. He made more videos, more content, cataloguing his own experience with mental health through medical school and helping others be open and cope with their own issues. What this led to was Zachery eventually starting the Mental Health Movement, a production company creating podcasts and branded clothing to help lead philanthropic endeavours and giving money to help support high school and college students. “I created a formula,” Zach says of starting his business, “vulnerability equals relatability equals empowerment. When we’re vulnerable together we can relate and when we can relate, we can empower others to feel comfortable in their own skin.” As time went on, he realized he had found a path, but it was quickly branching off from the original root idea of becoming a doctor. He had to make a decision. “In August of 2021, almost halfway done medical school I called my parents,” he says, “I told them what I was thinking, and we went back and forth and I came home.”
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He teamed up with his friend Patrick Glaz and they went filming. It came from a place of vulnerability, during the pandemic nobody hugged him for two years. So, he went around carrying a sign offering free hugs to anyone regardless of their vaccination status or sitting down with people to just talk about their problems. This element of getting to know someone and reaching across the perceived aisles in society on various topics to deliver unconditional love struck a chord. The views came in like a tidal wave. From hugs it eventually led to finding the least fortunate and helping them. Some of Zach’s detractors might view what he does as a kind of litmus test. He sits down with someone unfortunate, learns their story then asks for a quarter for bus fare. If they give it to him, he hands them back much more in return. But Zach says it is to prove something more important. “The people who have the least always seem to give the most,” he says with a smile. Zach’s goal is to take his philanthropy and take it a step further. “I’m in the process of starting a nonprofit,” he says, “The next step is to take these emotional viral videos of people telling their stories and combine it with a transparent charity so people can donate and see where the money is going to.” One of his most memorable moments happened just recently in Harlem. While walking down the street he met a man named Michael, out trying to get enough money just to pay rent. After talking with him for a while and asking for a quarter for bus fare he handed Michael back $500. But he did not stop there. “I went back and put up a story on Instagram saying if anyone in Harlem wants to help out get back to me. Seven people from the same block he lives on came and met me,” Zach says teary eyed. “All these people, Hispanic, African American, Caucasian, came together to help Michael out. But what’s more important than the money was he and I both made friends from this.” While the money is certainly a part of helping there is one thing Zach wants others to realize most of all. “Speaking up is the direction to get out,” he says, “It takes a lot of vulnerable confidence to speak up. But once you do, and you find that support, there’s hope and you can get through whatever you’re going through.” See his videos @mdmotivator on TikTok, WLM Instagram & YouTube. Back to Contents
Three Lambs Registry & Baby Boutique is your exclusive one-stop shop for everything baby! “All of our staff members are highly trained in product knowledge,” Owner Jeanine Jodoin explains. “It’s a very nonjudgmental and non-opinionated environment. We’re not saying, ‘I have this. You have to have this!’ We know the right questions to ask to help you navigate the process and find the perfect product for you.” And in terms of finding the perfect product for you, Jeanine will soon be taking her vast catalogue to the next level. “Answering the needs of our customers, we’ve had a new website in development for a year now,” Jeanine states. “There aren’t very many local options when it comes to baby registries, and most of the ‘big guys’ don’t have the soughtafter brands or aesthetic that is offered at Three Lambs”. “It’s true…” Jeanine admits, “…there are several online options to build registries, but they lack the human interaction. New parents hope to see products and access experts when making important decisions during this stage in their lives.” Jeanine proudly explains.
Or: ‘We noticed you don’t have a variety of pacifiers in your cart.’ All these improvements should help make the task of building a baby registry much less daunting.” Jeanine has decided to launch an upgraded website in order to bridge these gaps for her valued clients. “Our new website 2.0 functions like an app,” Jeanine explains excitedly. “It’s very user-friendly. It loads extremely fast. People can come in, use their phone as a scanner, and build their registry. No one other stores in the area are doing it like this!” As well, the new website comes equipped with the same customer focused guidance that Three Lambs is famous for. “When you scan a UPC on a product, numerous resources will come up,” Jeanine states. “Information. Photos. Perhaps a video. You can read up on it and decide whether or not it’s right for you and with a click add or omit it from your registry. #mindblown This new game-changing site will also help you assess your registry and offer guidance, making the process that more helpful! Prompts like: ‘We noticed you don’t have any hooded towels in your registry. We typically recommend two to four hooded towels.’
When it comes to building your registry, Three Lambs’ selection has never been more impressive. In addition to furniture and various developmental toys, the store also features a massive clothing and shoes section, stocked with the latest hard-to-find fashion brands, including Ryley & Crew and Quincy Mae.
“We try to have a variety of product to suit everyone’s style and budget,” Jeanine states. “These are great quality soughtout brands made with natural fibers. Some of them aren’t available at the big box stores, they’re only available online. We are the largest stock list for some of these brands in all of Canada. And you can find them all at our store on the east side of town. There’s no other children’s boutique in the area for clothing and shoes.”
TAYFOUR-EMARA RESEARCH AND EDUCATION FUND A pair of long-time staples in the Windsor-Essex medical community are planting the seed for a new initiative aimed at putting the region on the world stage when it comes to health care research. Dr. Fouad Tayfour and Dr. Barry Emara have come forward with a $250,000 donation which will see the launch of the ‘Tayfour-Emara Research and Education Fund’. Presenting the cheque on June 1st was Lisa Tayfour. wrh.on.ca
LAVISH HAIR CONCEPTS Owner Jenn Wilson is celebrating her 15th year in business at her Manning Road location. To commemorate this milestone, on June 18th they are donating a portion of their services to Hospice with a goal of $1,500. Jenn is proud of her committed team and prides herself on exceptional customer service. lavishhairconcepts.com
INFUSE MEDICAL ESTHETICS Registered Nurse, Niki Grady, has moved her business to 3201 Marentette Ave., Unit #2. Infuse Medical Esthetics provides the Windsor area with the preventative and proactive healthcare. Infuse Medical Esthetics specializes in IV Therapies specially formulated to provide the body with the vitamins, nutrients, fluids, electrolytes and antioxidants it needs. They also provide additional services including Botox, Fillers, Mesotherapy, Microneedling, PRP, Vitamin Infusions and Body Sculpting. infuseme.ca
16TH ANNUAL 24 HOUR DRUM MARATHON Once again, drummer Jeff Burrows held his 16th Annual 24 hour Drum Marathon on May 27 and 28 to raise money for local causes. This year, they were expected to raise over $60,000 to go towards local mental health initiatives. Local duo Mark Mailloux (left) and Jen Knight joined Jeff for an hour session to assist. You can still donate on Facebook to “16th Annual 24 Hour Drum Marathon for 6 local charities”.
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The Lakeshore Canadiens won the Schmalz Cup (Provincial Junior C Hockey Championship) on May 15, beating the Clarington Eagles 3-2 in overtime in the final game. This is the fifth time the Canadiens have won the Schmalz Cup in their history. Pictured from left are Ethan Galvan, Trevor Heslop, Aedan Sullivan and Sebastien Tronchin (in street clothes).
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Sales Representative Amy Bailey has been with Team Brad Bondy for five years. She brings excellent customer care, exceptional market knowledge, and one thing more: seventeen years in the financial industry. “I worked for the banks,” Amy explains. “My goal is to educate people so they have the knowledge to choose what’s best for their personal situation.” Amy is a lifelong resident of Essex County. Growing up in Amherstburg, she was part of the first ninth grade class at Villanova high school. She excelled in her finance career, but came to a crossroad where she sought a new challenge. She says: “I was drawn to real estate because it’s an industry that worked well with my financial background.” With the support of her husband Randy, and her daughters, Taylor and Jamie, she knew it was time to take a leap. Having a passing acquaintance with Brad Bondy, Amy reached out to him for advice. “Brad told me to look at other companies,” Amy says, “to see where I wanted to put myself.” She followed Brad’s advice, but it led right back to him. “There are many top professionals in the area,” Amy continues, “but I just liked Brad as a person. I thought to myself: ‘This is the kind of energy I want to be around.’ As you get older, you become selective about the people you have in your life.” Amy’s philosophy for success is simple: “Treat people like people, not transactions. I’m very fortunate to be part of this team.” Outside of real estate, Amy is active in the community. She is particularly involved with the House Youth Centre. For more information about how Team Brad Bondy can help with your real estate needs, find them online at www.bradbondy.com.
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A HOME OF IMPECCABLE TASTE Where Unique Design And Contemporary Style Converge STORY BY KAREN TINSLEY / PHOTOGRAPHY BY MICHAEL PIETRANGELO
FOR THE PAST FEW YEARS, we have been forced to slow down and spend more time in our homes—hence the new build/home renovation boom that isn’t showing signs of stopping anytime soon. When “sheltering in place” took hold, homes quickly became schools, gyms, playgrounds and offices, practically overnight. Now, the enduring popularity of the “open concept” floor plan appears to be on the wane. Being at home 24/7 made it clear for many that there were not enough quiet places to work, reflect, or take a break from the chaos of family life. A new demand for secluded, private spaces is burgeoning. Individuals and families alike are re-imagining the functionality of their existing homes, with a view to better serving everyone’s needs.
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An abundance of oversize windows, strategically placed art objects, creative light fixtures and opulent minimalist décor make this home a palatial haven.
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From all indications, it appears that more people will work from home in the future—period. Post-pandemic, the return of doors is on the residential radar—especially for dedicated home offices and places where kids can keep busy and safe while the adults work. These factors are driving a strong desire to create spaces that bring peace and comfort while awakening our senses. A breathtaking example is this traditional 3,600 square foot sanctuary, customdesigned and built by Windsorland Homes. Britni Goulet, a real estate agent with RE/MAX Preferred Realty Ltd. who represents Windsorland Homes says, “There’s something about the furnishings, fixtures and finishing touches these homeowners chose; not only do they shine the spotlight on the distinctive design elements of this home—they also set it apart.” The homeowner recalls, “We drove by the house and instantly fell in love with it. We bought it new before it even went on the market.” One or more of the airy, spacious bedrooms could easily be repurposed into a home office, study area, workout room, hobby room or recreational space. The tastefully appointed living room features a 2-storey high ceiling. This design feature helps to elevate the overall aesthetic, with several strategically placed windows that complement the oversized picture window. Classic grommet drapes hung over translucent woven accordion blinds in this room, the dining room and family room pull everything together. The grommet drapes can either be tied back to let light in, or partially or fully drawn for varying degrees of shade or privacy—while elegantly framing and enhancing architectural details to their full effect. Intermittent pops of tropical turquoise (a favourite hue of the homeowners) have been infused into the overall décor: from LED under-cabinet lighting and countertop accessories in the gleaming contemporary kitchen, to boldly patterned throw cushions and fireside glass lanterns in the living room, to overhead lighting in the main floor master bedroom. Suggesting tranquil summer sea and sky, these hits of breezy blue “bring the outside in.” A design resurgence of stone surfaces is again underway. While the raw, imperfect yet luxurious look of marble may be the ultimate in upscale home decor, porcelain, ceramic and quartz effectively
mimic its opulence. Unlike marble, floors and counters crafted from quartz or nonporous, man-made materials do not require sealing and cannot be scratched, scraped or stained. In this home, the foyer, kitchen and bathrooms feature premium quality porcelain/ ceramic floors and quartz countertops—all bearing a most convincing resemblance to Carrara and Statuario marble. The juxtaposition of fancy, formal crystal chandeliers against a minimalist kitchen design is striking. Creamy white honeycomb ceramic backsplash tiles add dimension and texture. When the female member of the household was asked what her favourite room was, she said, “the kitchen, because it’s the heart of any home. I spend a lot of time in our kitchen, so the big picture window over the sink makes it easy to enjoy the view. Also, from the kitchen, I can also observe what’s happening in the adjoining areas.” Featuring the best of both worlds, this home offers both openness and privacy, for a variety of ever-evolving lifestyles and activities. In the formal dining room, an exquisite brass-trimmed tempered glass table, ivory damask-draped Parsons chairs and an oversized rectangular raindrop chandelier provide contemporary grace. Charcoal grey walls, white wainscotting, wood flooring and bold wall art exude upscale elegance. In the family room, a tempered glass coffee table on a ceramic pedestal and a pair of twin glass and ceramic end tables evoke an art gallery vibe; decorative accents like metallic gold side lamps and swan bookends impart an air of style and sophistication. Eclectic art amps up the gallery ambiance. From the moment you step inside the foyer, the interesting L-shaped staircase, picket-style railings, white wainscotting and pot lights seem to calmly say “welcome WLM home”. 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 email@example.com. 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
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*prev. off. **sales record ***2013 property values of approx. 30 million *prev. off. **sales record ***2013 property values of approx. 30 million
LIVING THE WATERFRONT LIFE SOUTHWESTERN ONTARIO’S waterfronts are some of the most gorgeous places to look out over the lapping blue waves on a hot summer day. There is almost nothing better in life than being able to step out into your backyard and onto your deck then down to your waiting boat for a day on the waves. Waterfront living is not just a wonderful experience, it is a way of life. Freedom to hop in your boat and head out with friends and family to experience all that the great lakes have to offer. The owner of Breakwall Specialists, Dave, has been interested in and lived that lifestyle for decades. Now, with years of experience, Dave’s company is helping waterfront property owners embrace that lifestyle as well. “Everybody we come across that is new to the water we try to explain what waterfront living is all about, the good and the bad,” Dave says of helping first time home owners to the majestic shores of the great lakes. The first time a storm rolls in it can be a bit harrowing as you realize those light deck chairs are just going to be pushed around by the wind coming off the lakes. But unlike a flimsy chair that the wind buffets around, the decks, patios and docks made by Breakwall Specialists are built to last. “Everything we do boils down to our personal experiences living on the water,” Dave says. “Our business model is turnkey. You get the dock, paver deck and wave deflector all from us.” When Breakwall Specialists first opened they installed breakwalls and wave deflectors, but while those are required protections for your property, they are not the aspect most people care about when they live on the water. Dave says the reason Breakwall Specialists expanded out to doing docks and decks on top of their previous breakwall and wave deflector installation was for two reasons. They were battling supply chain issues and they found it was just easier to install everything together. “We’re 100 per cent full service,” Dave says, “We had no choice, we couldn’t control the supply chain. So now instead of having to stack three or four subcontractors together we just do it. We’re in control and now you’re just dealing with us and it’s only one phone call to get things done.” For those with a boat, Dave points to the fact that building your own dock may cost a bit more upfront than docking at a marina; it generally is a better investment. “What we’ll typically see is if you keep your boat at home you use it 50 to 75 per cent more often than if you had kept it at a marina,” Dave says. “So now you’re getting usage out of both investments by docking your boat at home.” With years of experience and feedback from clients Dave and his team have worked on creating a standardized package for their docks. While each dock, deck and breakwall is built to unique specifications all come with a standard suit of features many clients asked for over the years. Dave’s goal is that at the end of construction you are left happy and able to use your new waterfront addition without any work or hassle on your own end. Just sit back and enjoy the sun and waves. “Breakwall Specialists is not just another construction company,” Dave says, “we’re a lifestyle company.” To reach Dave and his team so you can live the waterfront lifestyle call 226-345-7201.
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For a no obligation quote, please contact Mike Morris at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 226-344-2706.
RISING FROM THE ASHES Senior Constable Richard Howitt Competes in the 2022 CAN-AM Police Fire Games
Story by Matthew St. Amand Photography by Todd Ternovan
THE CITY OF WINDSOR hosts the 2022 CAN-AM Police Fire Games July 25 to 31. Venues around the city will be site of events, which include basketball, bowling, cycling, darts, golf, halfmarathon, ice hockey, slow pitch softball and submission grappling, to name a few. “These events will take place at Malden Park, St. Clair College, WFCU Centre, the University of Windsor and Mic Mac Park, among other locations,” says the event’s general manager, Jan Wilson. “There is no charge for spectators to attend.” The Games began in 1977 and are held every two years. They were first organized to promote physical fitness and camaraderie among emergency and protective services personnel and their agencies. “The opening ceremony will happen on Tuesday, July 26, at the Riverfront Festival Plaza,” Jan continues. “The event will feature Taste of Windsor food, live entertainment, and fireworks.” One local resident who is competing in the Games is Windsor Police Senior Constable, Richard Howitt, who is entered in several swimming events. That was his sport in his youth, swimming for the Windsor Aquatic Club and Walkerville high school. At first glance, it is not particularly noteworthy that a former swimmer is venturing back into the pool. When one considers, however, that Richard is fifty-seven years old, a twenty-eight year veteran of the Windsor Police Service, and is registered to compete in five swimming events—all in the same day: 50 meter freestyle front crawl, 50 meter back stroke, 100 meter freestyle front crawl, 100 meter back, and 200 meter freestyle. This, only two years after a second knee surgery and feeling generally dispirited about the state of his physical conditioning. These swimming events are part of a larger, more personal narrative. In 2010, Richard underwent his first knee replacement. When he returned to work, he went on light duty, but his knee continued to
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bother him, making exercise or any activity, painful and cumbersome. As his physical activity decreased, a cycle of poor diet choices saw his weight climb to an all-time high of two hundred thirty pounds. “When I was active, I could get away with poor diet choices, but when it became my routine, I gained weight,” Richard observes. The knee operation that was supposed to fix his leg left him limping and in constant pain following each shift. By 2019, things still didn’t seem right, but he managed to whittle his weight down to two hundred five pounds. His sore knee continued to plague him, and he was unhappy with his level of fitness. “Following the second knee replacement surgery in 2019, my motivation to get in shape started with the thought: ‘If I can make my leg stronger so that it holds the knee, maybe lose some weight, I wonder if some of my knee pain would go away?’” He continues: “I called the Human Resources department at Windsor Police and asked what I weighed when I joined the service.” The answer was: one hundred eighty-five pounds. “That became my target weight.” And so began an esoteric regimen of “body hacking” that Richard undertook with a variety of health resources. These included seeing a chiropractor. “I asked them to test me to see which foods I should be eating, and which ones I should avoid,” Richard says. The results jibed with his other research: cut sugar and flour. As he perfected his workout routine, Richard cut sugar and flour, and switched to a keto diet, which he augmented with intermittent fasting. He also turned to “red light therapy.” “I came across an interesting problem NASA was studying,” Richard explains. “If you cut yourself in space, it won’t heal. Wounds require gravity to heal. At the same time, NASA was experimenting with growing plants in space using different frequencies of light: red
light, near-infrared, etc. They found that any astronaut working around a red light healed while in space. Our bodies naturally have all of these photo receptors.” The red light is said to promote healing, so Richard bounces back faster from his workouts. It also helps with the fat burning process. The Internet can be a morass of conflicting information, and it seems that every day a new article comes out advocating some new diet or therapy or debunking an established diet or therapy. The fact is, six months after Richard embarked on his body hacking odyssey, he reached one hundred eighty-five pounds. The program he created for himself worked. “After hitting one-eighty-five,” he says, “I had to set new goals.” He is currently a lean and mean one hundred sixty-eight pounds. “I got back into swimming at the Vollmer Centre, but switched to the new Aquatic Centre, downtown,” Richard says. “That moved the needle. I felt like a swimmer again.” He goes on to say that he set himself four goals: “I want people to consider me ‘cut’—whatever that might mean. Get to where I can do one hundred push-ups in a row—my current personal best is eightyeight. Want to do sixty dips. I’m now up to seventy-five. And I want to do a fifty-metre free style in thirty seconds. Right now, I’m at thirty-three seconds.” So, when Richard saw that Windsor was the host city of the 2022 CAN-AM Police Fire Games, he went on the website to look at the swimming events. He doesn’t feel that he’s taking on too much by entering five of them all in the same day. “I’ll be racing against men my age,” Richard points out. “I’m racing against myself, anyhow. Typically, swimmers slow in the second half of their race. My goal is to have a negative split race: to swim equal to, or faster, than the first half.” Richard was nineteen years old the last time he swam competitively. His events take place on July 27th at the Windsor International Aquatic and Training Centre, in downtown Windsor. To see a full list of events, visit windsor2022.ca/sports. Volunteers are needed. Anyone interested in volunteering can find more information at windsor2022.ca/volunteer. WLM Windsor Life Magazine does not endorse any type of dietary regimen. Please consult with a medical professional before beginning any program. Back to Contents
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Cheesecake On A Stick - Dessert shop offering gourmet cheesecake dipped in chocolate and various toppings. Take out or delivery offered with Jubzi.com. Open Thurs-Sun 12-9 pm. Kingsville location open Sat-Sun 12-9 pm. 13300 Tecumseh Rd. E., Tecumseh 519-999-9116. cheesecakeonastick.ca 460 Main St. E, Kingsville 519-999-6024
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. fratellipastagrill.com The Hungry Wolf - The Hungry Wolf serves up Windsor’s best Greek, Canadian, Mexican
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. casamiabelleriver.com
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
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For information on listings and advertising in Bon Appetit! please call 519-551-0072. Back to Contents
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THERE WILL BE FISH
Peter Hrastovec’s Expressive and Vivid Volume of Poetry Will Real You In STORY BY KAREN TINSLEY PHOTOGRAPHY BY TED KLOSKE
Chance is always powerful. Let your hook always be cast; in the pool where you least expect it, there will be fish.
— Ovid, From the face page of There Will Be Fish
While many poets are influenced and inspired by society and world issues, the evocative words and imagery in There Will Be Fish originate from deep within the heart and mind of Peter Hrastovec. And while Edgar Allen Poe said, “Poetry is the rhythmical creation of beauty in words,” Hrastovec’s poetry nurtures and nourishes the soul. Much like fish, his words vary in shape, size, colour and texture. They float, frolic and soothe with a sense of awe and wonder. There Will Be Fish is Hrastovec’s third volume of poetry, all published locally by Black Moss Press. The first, In Lieu of Flowers was published in 2012; the second, Sidelines was published in 2015. In 2017, Hrastovec was one of Windsor’s “Group of Seven Poets” published in the anthology Because We Have All Lived Here (created to commemorate Windsor’s 125th anniversary). The delicate, colourful fishing lure gracing the front cover gives just a subtle hint of the substantial, satisfying words within. Hrastovec credits the late Louis K. “Kim” MacKendrick, Ph.D., his English Professor at the University of Windsor, “a wonderfully gifted teacher who came alive in the classroom”, for defining poetry for him as “a high energy construct”. “This made sense to me and fueled my thinking and passion for this literary art form”. Peter’s undergraduate degree is in Honours English Language and Literature where he was present on the President’s Role of Scholars each year. At the University of Windsor Law School, he received accolades and recognition as a member of the outstanding class of 1982. He credits his parents, dad Stjepan and mother Antica, who immigrated to Canada from the former Yugoslavia in the 1950s, for his work ethic. Stjepan, a journalist and himself a poet, fled the country amid disturbing political upheaval. The family, including Hrastovec’s older sister, re-established themselves in Canada, where Stjepan was forced to take on janitorial work. He later became head of housekeeping at a local hospital where Antica worked as a clerk. “We lived very modestly, but I always felt like I was the richest
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guy in town because of my parents’ love of the arts, literature and culture. There was always something exciting going on at home,” Hrastovec recalls. He was called to the bar in 1984; after a progressively successful career in practice Hrastovec joined Shibley Righton LLP as an associate partner in 2014. Most of his work is focused on employment and labour as well as commercial litigation. “It just so happens, I fell in love with workplaces,” he laughs. A prolific writer, Hrastovec not only writes poetry. He was a frequent contributor and editor of Caveat (a local law journal) and other publications. He has lectured on behalf of the Law Society of Upper Canada, Osgoode Hall Law School (York University) and other legal institutions and is a sessional instructor at the University of Windsor and University of Detroit Mercy. In September 2009, he was honoured by the Law Society of Upper Canada with their Law Society Medal for his contributions to community and legal practice. Hrastovec is fluent in both English and Croatian. He and his wife Denise, who is a Partner at Baker Tilly Windsor LLP, have three children. He is enthusiastic about supporting his community; he is past president of the Windsor Symphony Society, Past President of the Rotary Club of Windsor (1918) and was Honorary Co-Chair of the local United Way Campaign and many other local organizations. Hrastovec and Denise were recognized by the Jewish Nation Fund as recipients of the Negev Award in 2013. A true Renaissance man, in addition to writing poetry, Hrastovec
has performed in local community theatre productions and coached soccer. There Will Be Fish celebrates life, love, family, friendship, hopes, dreams and discoveries. The poems embrace eclectic themes and locations (baseball stadiums, jazz clubs, a doctor’s office, street scenes both across the street and across the world). Drawing upon the recent past, from pre-pandemic travels to Croatia and the islands of Dalmatia to the pleasures (and pitfalls) of cottage life on Pelee Island, Hrastovec takes you on an exciting emotional journey—comprising the joys of skinny dipping, coming of age moments and poignant memories of love, loss and landscapes. You can almost feel the sea mist on your face as the title poem transplants you to the deck of an Adriatic fishing vessel, complete with all the sights, sound and smells: When we awoke, the sea had been at work, secreting its oily scents under a searing sun, while gently nudging our buoyant vessel, breezy, unhurried. In the galley of delights, cook reinvents breakfast, while the crew above deck scrub away the daily saline, primed for captain’s orders and plotting to pirate their next shore leave. The steward works in solitude, polishing to perfection his family of wine glasses. Sleep sober, I stumble in with my daily query: “Hoće li biti ribe?” “Will there be fish?” “Naravno!”, his reply. “Of course!” “Bit će ribe... i veći dio toga.” “There will be fish…and much of it”. In “This Is a Poem to Say I’m Sorry” Hrastovec chronicles his deep, abiding love for his parents and his late sister Jadranka; “Slip Rock Song” is a heartwrenching ode to his cousin and friend Damir. The slower pace of the past few years has afforded this Windsor-born-and-raised bard the opportunity to pause and reflect on what is truly vital in his life. Hrastovec has crafted personal reflections with language and imagery that “hook” a reader’s attention. Peter Hrastovec has a lust for life and a generosity of spirit that shines through every poem. WLM Back to Contents
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Jeremy Renaud Named General Manager of Dodgeball Canada
New General Manager of Dodgeball Canada, Jeremy Renaud.
STORY BY MATTHEW ST. AMAND PHOTOGRAPHY BY JOHN LIVIERO DODGEBALL IS A GAME that is so universal that when life on another planet is finally discovered, it’s a near certainty that we’ll find they also play dodgeball. Everyone remembers it from gym class and the schoolyard. The game is so brilliantly simple, combining the agility of fencing, the hand-eye coordination of squash and the sudden-death intensity of musical chairs, but without the malice. Dodgeball has it all. Dodgeball Canada, the federally incorporated not-forprofit organization that represents thousands of dodgeball players across the country, has just appointed Windsor native, Jeremy Renaud, its new General Manager. Among his many duties, he has direct oversight of Dodgeball Canada’s national teams. “I was very honoured to be offered this position,” Jeremy says. “Mine is a dual role—operational and team services—leaning more toward management of our six national teams. I manage the coaches, they manage their teams, I hold the coaches accountable to managing athletes and dealing with infractions.” Photo by Hubert Gaudreau
YOU KNOW THE GAME, NOW MEET THE SPORT
He continues: “Currently, in Markham, we’re going through a selection process for people to be on the Team Canada squads. Then, there is the logistics for team travel, food, and compliance.” There are upwards of 80,000 competitive and recreational dodgeball players in Canada, from Victoria, British Columbia to St. John’s, Newfoundland and numerous points between. Approximately one million people in thirty-two countries play dodgeball, worldwide. Read the complete story at windsorlife.com.
THE AMBASSADOR BRIDGE A History of Peace and Partnership STORY BY LAUREEN LESSARD PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY WAYNE STATE UNIVERSITY DIGITAL COLLECTION SHE’S A GRAND OLE’ DAME who stands in aquatic glory and a beacon to mariners and landlubbers for almost a hundred years. The Ambassador Bridge was built as a toll bridge and an international transportation link between Sandwich (Windsor), Ontario and Detroit, Michigan. Planes have flown under and over it, marriages have taken place at or on the international boundary, men have climbed to the top of the towers, dancers have danced across it, groups have walked across it, rumrunners used it during prohibition and protests have taken place on her and she has always been open 24/7, 365 days per year. Prior to the bridge, the only transportation between the Windsor and Detroit ports was by ferry. The Ambassador Bridge was the first privately funded international bridge in North America. The cost of building The Ambassador Bridge was $23.5 million, a stark
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Above: The Ambassador Bridge opening day ceremony.
comparison to the $5.7 billion cost of the new Gordie Howe bridge targeted to open in 2024. On July 20, 1927, McClintic-Marshall Co., an Engineer & General Contractor, signed the contract to build the mammoth project. They were also the largest producer of steel at the time. The contract stipulated that construction was to be completed in 3 years. If construction was completed earlier, the firm would receive a bonus of half the revenues of the bridge until the original construction deadline. If it was not completed, the firm would pay the interest on the securities until the bridge was complete. It was completed nine months ahead of time. Read the complete story at windsorlife.com. Back to Contents
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Town of Tecumseh Celebrates Its Centennial STORY BY MATTHEW ST AMAND PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY THE TOWN OF TECUMSEH
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Tecumseh LIFE IN
THE WORD is getting out: Tecumseh, Ontario is the place to be. “We are contacted on a daily basis by outside sources to see if there are any commercial buildings available here,” says Denise Pelaccia, Coordinator Town of Tecumseh Business Improvement Area (BIA). “There is construction happening everywhere. The Community Improvement Plan is in full swing. It’s as though Tecumseh is getting a facelift—so many new business owners are setting up shop here. Many of them are young, huge on social media. It’s an exciting time!” The BIA has put together a series of videos with local business owners describing why they think Tecumseh is a great place to live and do business. “I’ve been here in Tecumseh 19 years as a resident,” says one business owner. “Tecumseh offers its residents, its families... great recreational services. It has all the necessary amenities for shopping, and groceries. If you live in Tecumseh, you really don’t have to leave the town at all. You can find everything right here.” One great advantage Tecumseh has is its BIA. “There are a lot of places around here that are dying for exposure,” Denise continues. “We had a business in LaSalle call us, saying they wanted to join our BIA. These places don’t have the help that a BIA can provide.” One way Tecumseh BIA assists businesses is that it has an agreement with the town to receive a portion of business taxes, which are used to fund the BIA promotions. “These take the form of parades, promotions, outside media,” Denise explains. “We subsidize advertising to make it affordable for our businesses to be featured in local media. During COVID-19, people really wanted our services. Social media is free, but it’s not easy. Many consumers don’t even use it, and just watch TV and read the newspaper.”
Clockwise from above: Tecumseh Cenotaph, located in front of Town Hall; Lakewood Park tree wood carving of two French explorers, Antoine de Lamothe Cadillac and René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de LaSalle that are tied to the area; Tecumseh Arena and Recreation Complex; the thriving agricultural industry in Tecumseh; Ste Anne’s Church at Tecumseh and Lesperance Roads; Tecumseh Town Hall.
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CONGRATULATIONS ON YOUR CENTENNIAL
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One such promotion is Tecumseh Dollars. According to the BIA website: “These Dollars are redeemable for merchandise and/or services at businesses that are within the Tecumseh BIA boundaries… The purpose of the Tecumseh Dollar program is to promote our Business Members in the Town of Tecumseh BIA and to attract visitors and residents to shop, dine and play in the Town of Tecumseh.” “This is like monopoly money that can only be spent in Tecumseh,” Denise says. “You get $300 in Tecumseh Dollars for $240.” There is a list of approximately 80 businesses on BIA website that accept Tecumseh Dollars. The list is continuously updated—businesses always being added or taken off. There was a time in the not-so-distantpast when the idea of there being 80 business in Tecumseh was an incredible notion. In 2000, this writer had occasion to spend a great amount of time in and around the Green Valley Plaza on Manning Road. Back in the day, there were a handful of shops aside from a few tent post businesses in the area, such as a pharmacy, gas station, and grocery store. Fast forward two decades and the explosion of commerce and housing in the area is just mesmerizing. The town boasts an enviable roster of restaurants, retail shops and services. “Everything’s so handy,” says one resident. “You have everything here. We’ve got a big time medical center, a gym, all kinds of eateries. We have our pick of grocery stores and there’s even a hotel—even though it’s technically in Lakeshore. It’s extremely handy to Tecumseh.” “There are lots of parks for kids and families,” says another resident. “There are all kinds of condos for people who are downsizing. We have a great many schools: English, French, French immersion, grade schools, secondary schools. The Tecumseh Library is a particular gem. Their online services are excellent. I make requests on their website and within days, the library gets back to me with what I’m looking for.” Other aspects of life in Tecumseh that the town gets right are the nuts-and-bolts services that make modern life livable, such as snow removal, waste and recycling pick-up. “Our streets are cleared right away after a snow, when other locations are still a mess,” says a resident. “Our snow removal is second to none. We have a lot of newer
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affordable neighbourhoods. There are the pickle ball courts—they’re putting in ten more courts at Lacasse Park. We even have a really great bike shop.” The Town of Tecumseh is also home to a plethora of physio therapists, chiropractors, osteopaths, and specialists who treat foot issues. “There is take-out food of every variety: Chinese, Lebanese, Italian, in addition to eating-in,” says a sixteen-year resident. “We have all the fast food favourites. There are facilities for older people, residences, ranging from assisted living to full nursing care. We have every denomination of church you can imagine, too.” More than a few people remark about the sense of community that exists in Tecumseh. “You’ll see neighbours joining up, putting on yard and garage sales together,” another resident remarks. “And the Tecumseh Historical Society is a great resource and available to anyone who cares to drop in.” In recent years, Tecumseh has implemented its own transit system. Now known as the Tecumseh Transit Service (TTS), it’s an on-demand system that began servicing residents on March 28 of this year, replacing the fixed-route service that previously operated. This new on-demand transit is a shared-ride public transit service without a fixed schedule or route. According to the TTS web page: “The route is optimized by computer software and it is based upon rider trip requests. On-Demand Transit operates within the existing transit service area allowing riders to travel from stop to stop more directly.” Amid all of the recent construction, new homes and businesses entering the area, are prominent remnants of Tecumseh’s past. The old Green Giant canning factory— now Bonduelle—still stands, as does Ste Anne’s Church on the corner of Tecumseh and Lesperance Roads. The bonds that hold the community of Tecumseh together are its residents. “There are no neighbours like Tecumseh neighbours,” says Marilyn Prior, President of the Tecumseh Area Historical Society. “There is a great sense of pride in this area. We look at where we’ve come from and think: ‘We built this. We did this.’ The people of Tecumseh look after one another.” For more information about the Tecumseh BIA and how it supports local business, visit them online at tecumsehbia.com. Further information about the Town of Tecumseh can be found at tecumseh.ca. WLM Back to Contents
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Events and Tourism There Is Always Something Going On In The Town of Tecumseh STORY BY MATTHEW ST. AMAND / PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY TOWN OF TECUMSEH
THERE IS ALWAYS something going on in the Town of Tecumseh. Its Events calendar is as busy as Miss Tecumseh’s dance card. In the month of June, alone, there are nine community activities. The events the town is known for are the Taste of Tecumseh, Christmas in Tecumseh, and the Tecumseh Corn Festival. This year, however, is Tecumseh’s centennial anniversary. Regarding this achievement, Tourism Windsor Essex Pelee Island CEO Gordon Orr commented: “We certainly recognize this milestone and welcome Tecumseh as one of our regional partners. Tecumseh has a history of putting on quality events and bringing people to the region. We congratulate the Town of Tecumseh on their centennial and celebrate this great event with them.” As anyone in the area is aware, Tecumseh knows how to throw a party. From Saturday July 2 to Monday July 4, the town will celebrate its hundredth anniversary with activities across the three historic communities that comprise the Town of Tecumseh today. At sunrise on July 2, at Lakewood Park North Beach, a First Nations Sunrise Ceremony will take place. This is among the most ancient and revered rituals practiced by Indigenous people today. These ceremonies often include participants expressing what they are grateful for and why while smudging themselves and their ceremonial instruments with burnt herbs is a way to purify themselves of negativity. The opening ceremonies of the centennial celebrations will occur at Tecumseh Town Hall at 917 Lesperance road at 10 o’clock in the morning.
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Clockwise from above: Maya Fuerth enjoys a cob of corn at a past Tecumseh Corn Festival; the Tecumseh Area Historical Society; tulips at Colonel Paul Poisson Park; Brendan Fuerth at St. Mary’s Park (Maidstone); the pavilion at Lakewood Park North.
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The day’s events wind down with a First Nations Evening Ceremony at Lakewood Park’s North Beach at 8 pm, which will be followed by a fireworks display at Lakewood Park. On July 3, the celebrations begin at the Royal Canadian Legion, Col. Paul Poisson, for the unveiling of a mural honouring the Canadian armed forces. This will be followed by a pancake breakfast at the Legion Hall. At 10:30 am, the Tecumseh Area Historical Society hosts an open house and historical exhibit. At 1 pm, at Fire Hall #2 at 5520 Walker Road, the Firefighter Combat Challenge will take place, with firefighters from across Essex County facing off in a skills competition that demonstrates the demands of real-life firefighting. Optimist Park plays host to an exhibit about St. Clair Beach from 4 to 7 pm. This will be followed by community bike rally beginning and ending at Optimist Park, led by Bike Windsor Essex. At 8 pm there will be a Truth & Reconciliation Conversation occurring at Optimist Park, offering the opportunity for Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples to understand our past, rebuild trust and respectful relationships, and focus on bettering future generations in Canada through dialogue. The conversation will be led by Tecumtha Ogitchada Society, Caldwell First Nation and the Can-Am Indian Friendship Centre. The night ends with two movies: Indian Horse will be shown at Optimist Park, and a more family-friendly movie will be shown at the arena. Monday, event visitors can enjoy a free swim at Tecumseh Leisure Pool in Lacasse Park, Ste. Anne’s Church hosts an open house, and the Windsor Symphony closes the festivities with a performance at L’Essor High School Theatre. Beyond the milestone of its centenary celebrations, Tecumseh is already a wellknown destination in the area. Whether its golfing, boating, walking nature trails, playing pickle ball or simply picnicking and lounging in one of its scenic parks, Tecumseh has something for everyone. The beauty and leisure possibilities of Lake St. Clair often eclipse Tecumseh’s other invaluable natural resource: its parks and trails. The area boasts more than 200 acres of parkland spread among 37 parks throughout the town. The gemstone among Tecumseh’s outdoor spaces is Lakewood Park.
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“The waterfront is a big draw, and Lakewood Park has really developed over the past few years,” says Brett Palmer, Senior Manager Recreation Services for the Town of Tecumseh. “It’s a beautiful setting. Photographers are out there taking pictures at night. The south end of the park, the trail sees a tremendous amount of traffic, families, people walking dogs, it’s a wonderful scene. The Park is 65 acres of manicured turf, paved walking trail, outdoor fitness equipment, 10-foot climbing boulder, winding water channel, pond and an 18 hole disc golf course.” To those “in the know,” disc golf is the pickle ball of walking sports. Lakewood Park Disc Golf Course is the only disc golf course west of St. Thomas. The best part of this disc golf course is the price of admission: it is free. There are six community parks: Buster Reaume, Optimist, Tecumseh Soccer Fields, St. Mary’s, Weston, Tecumseh Centre Park, and three regional parks: Lakewood, Lacasse and McAuliffe. On Friday June 17 and Saturday June 18, the town hosts the Taste of Tecumseh Festival in conjunction with the Optimist Club of St. Clair Beach. The event begins at 5 pm and runs until 1 am at 13451 Riverside Drive east. It’s difficult to think about now that the warm weather has only just gotten here, but Christmas in Tecumseh is one of the cornerstone events on the Events calendar. “Christmas in Tecumseh has evolved over the years,” says Brett Palmer. “It started as an Optimist Club event and over the year the Town and the Business Improvement Area (BIA) has become involved. Everyone loves the parade which ends in front of Town Hall. There is skating, characters in the lobby at the arena. And in the park between arena and town hall, movies are shown, with popcorn available and hot chocolate and hotdogs being served by the Optimist Club.” “The number one reason for visitors to come is visiting family and friends,” says Gordon Orr. “These events get the family out, exploring. It’s all about bringing the community together and being grateful for who we are and for what sets us apart— our diversity, food and drink.” The tecumseh.ca has a galaxy of ideas for things to do all year round in the Town of Tecumseh. Check it out and see why, after 100 years, Tecumseh seems like it’s only just getting started. WLM Back to Contents
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WHAT’S PAST IS PROLOGUE The Winding Road The Town of Tecumseh Traveled to Reach Its First Centennial STORY BY MATTHEW ST. AMAND PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY TOWN OF TECUMSEH ARCHIVES THERE IS a phenomenon in the Town of Tecumseh that is reasonably new: rush hour. In the crush of traffic at Manning Road and the E.C. Row expressway, at certain times of day, it’s nearly impossible to imagine a time that was pre-automobile, pre-electricity, back when the area was nothing but a sea of trees and a network of waterways. Before the Detroit River was an international border. Stopping and considering the growth the town has experienced in the past two decades, it’s a dizzying mental exercise to consider that European settlers have lived in the area since the late 1700s. Indigenous people have been here much longer than that. On Canada Day Weekend, the Town of Tecumseh will celebrate its first centennial as an incorporated town. It all began with Bill No. 45 “An Act to Incorporate the Town of Tecumseh” in 1921, which read in part: “Whereas Malcolm Clapp, of the Township of Sandwich East, in the County of Essex, Farmer and others
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Top: A postcard by J.B. Renaud produced in the early 1900’s. 1. Laramie’s Hotel became Paris Tavern, Steeples, Pat & Hanks Fish & Chips. House and Store that functioned as a postal station prior to 1951. Moved south on St. Anne Blvd. and is still there today; 2. Southwest corner of St. Anne Blvd. This block burned to the ground in 1928. Parent Brothers General Store, rebuilt as Canadian Hotel, Kingers, is a Real Estate Office today; 3. Parent house/store. Became E.J. Drouillard Hardware and is a gym today; 4. Became an empty lot after the fire of 1928. Later became a tennis club and was long time home of Lacasse Printing & Tecumseh Tribune. It is now home to offices; 5. Maurice Renaud home, became home of Senator Gustave Lacasse and former Mayor Hector Lacasse. It is still in family today; 6. Removed to become a gas station, then Riverside Rentals and is a parking lot today; 7. Was a hotel removed to make way for Bistany’s store/restaurant/barbershop. Today is a restaurant and seamstree. Above: A photo featuring Tecumseh Town Hall.
have by their petition represented that a considerable portion of the lands here-inafter described as suitable for the purpose of summer residences and are becoming greatly in demand…” Residences… becoming greatly in demand… As Shakespeare once wrote: “What’s past is prologue.” Although the town was named after Tecumseh, the great warrior of the Shawnee nation, the name came to the area long before the town founders set forth with Bill No. 45. “The Great Western Railroad came to this area in the mid-1850s,” says Marilyn Prior, President of the Tecumseh Area Historical Society. “They built a train station and named the station ‘Tecumseh,’ after the great warrior. People traveling to this area said, ‘I’m going to Tecumseh,’ meaning, the train station. It’s my opinion that that’s how the area came to be known by that name.” History, however, is fluid, and there are few distinct lines of demarcation. When the first European settlers came to the area, they went to Land Registry offices, such as the one at Fort Pontchartrain du Détroit, which existed between 1701 and 1796. There, they were allotted a parcel of land and provided with blue prints for building a log cabin. Still, life was unimaginably difficult in that time and place. If it weren’t for the indigenous people of the region advising the settlers on which plants were good to eat, which animal pelts offered the most warmth in winter and countless other ways to survive, very few would have made it through. One of those early settlers was Charles Lesperance, after whose family Lesperance Road was named. “Charles Lesperance built his log cabin in 1799,” Marilyn explains. “In 1800, he married Marie Pitre and they raised their family on that parcel of land.” Nearly two centuries later, as Tecumseh resident, Brian Campeau, renovated his home, he came upon what appeared to be materials from a very old log cabin that were incorporated into the structure of the house. Brian had the presence of mind to retain these old pieces of timber and to number them so that they could be reassembled. These were from the Lesperance log cabin. “We have the land registry deed from that time identifying that as the Lesperance log cabin,” Marilyn continues. “Three of the four walls were found. The log cabin
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was reassembled at the Tecumseh Area Historical Society, where visitors can tour it.” This is sometimes how history is uncovered—accidentally. “Much of history is not written down as it happens,” Marilyn says. “It begins as word-of-mouth and is passed from person to person. We learned our history by going to the Post Office records, the Land Registry records, the Great Western Railroad’s records, among other sources.” Two factors that helped open the area for settlement were the creation of Tecumseh Road in 1838 and the establishment of the Great Western Railway nearly 20 years later. It wasn’t long before the town became an important railway depot and stopover for travellers, according to Wikipedia. The main industries were agriculture. Some of the first businesses included Arthur Cecile’s grocery store, Joseph Breault’s cheese factory on Banwell Road, John Dugell’s bakery, as well as a few butcher shops, the canning factory, and the Carling Brewery. Before the Town of Tecumseh formally incorporated in 1921, it was known as East Sandwich. By the time of its incorporation, the town’s population was 978 souls. Bill No. 45 installed Col. Paul Poisson as the first mayor of Tecumseh until the first election, which was held in 1925. From Bill No. 45: “3.—(1) The council of the town shall consist of a mayor, reeve and five councillors. Paul Poisson shall be the first mayor. Malcolm Clapp shall be the first reeve and Adhelme Jacque, A. Thomas LeBoeuf, Dennis St. Louis, Everiste Prince and George Cannelle, the first councillors.” Col. Poisson served in World War I as a medic. Before becoming Tecumseh’s first mayor, he was the town doctor. The medical equipment from his office is on display at the Tecumseh Area Historical Society. According to the Town of Tecumseh website: In 1922, a fire chief was appointed although no fire department was in existence. Fires were fought by town volunteers. The Ontario Provincial Police began policing the Town in 1948 with two constables. One Tecumseh resident, Bernadette, who spent her childhood and young adulthood in the area from the mid-1940s into the early 1960s recalls: “At that time, Tecumseh was a little village where everybody knew everybody. You had a difficult time getting into trouble. If someone saw you getting into something, they came over and said: ‘Does your father know you’re doing this?’ Everybody was everybody’s parent and everybody was everybody’s kid.”
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She remembers the Town of Tecumseh of that time as a small, close knit community. “It was a good, safe place with families,” she says. “There were just a few stores, just basic necessities. There were two hardware stores: Robinette and Drouillard. Mrs. Robinette had dry goods next to the hardware store.” As a child, Bernadette attended St. Antoine school, which was located behind Ste. Anne’s Church. She was educated by the Ursuline sisters, who resided in a convent located directly behind the church. “Mother St. Mark taught grade one,” Bernadette continues, “who was barely taller than the children in her class. They loved her. She was one of them.” Across Lesperance Road from the church was the movie theatre. “The guys in high school were the ushers,” Bernadette recalls, “and on Saturdays they were the ones yelling at you: ‘Sit down! Be quiet! Don’t spill that!’ As teenagers, the girls all had crushes on them. No matter what movie played—a western, musical or cartoon—the theatre was packed.” There were two diners in the town at that time: Michigan Lunch and Tasty Lunch. Michigan Lunch stood on the corner of Tecumseh and Lesperance Road. Like something out of a James Dean movie it had a line of booths along one side and a lunch counter with stools along the other. Michigan Lunch catered to an “older” crowd: people in their 30s and 40s, as well as families. On Fridays, the diner did a bustling trade with their fish and chips, 50 cents an order with cars lined up down the street picking up orders. “Tasty Lunch is where the teenagers hung out after school,” Bernadette remembers. “It was like the diner in the show Happy Days—ringed with booths that had jukeboxes and a few tables in the middle.” The residents of that time could not fathom the future that would on day arrive in the town. Pondering how Tecumseh has grown over the years, Marilyn says: “I grew up here. Tecumseh has always been a little town to me.” That little town is now 100 years old. To learn more about its history, visit the Tecumseh Area Historical Society at the original location of the Tecumseh train station at 12350 Tecumseh Road East, just east of Lesperance Road. For more information about Tecumseh’s centennial celebrations visit the town’s website at tecumseh.ca. WLM Back to Contents