All posts by Dave Gray


The View From Inside: Have Your Say!

Latest News

The View From Inside: Have Your Say!

Why voting in municipal elections is important

Canadians lives are greatly affected by the policies of, and decisions made by, our governments. Fortunately, we live in a country where we can express our views at all levels – by voting.

The upcoming municipal elections across Ontario offer an opportunity to influence local outcomes, and many feel, as I do, that voting is both a privilege and a responsibility. Municipal councils are elected to make decisions that affect us directly. Among these are the delivery of important services such as water, sewage treatment, waste collection, public transit, land use planning, emergency services, economic development, libraries, parks design – all of which have a lasting impact on our communities.

At Geranium, we see the effects of municipal election outcomes firsthand. Over 20 per cent of the cost of a new home is comprised of government fees and charges, which are set by elected officials.

A 2018 study by the Altus Group found that average government charges for a single-detached home in the GTA amount to $186,300, representing 21.7 per cent of the cost. Since 2004, development charges have increased across the GTA between 236 and 878 per cent. Of course, this is affecting the affordability of new homes.

Elected officials are also responsible for approving official plans, which provide guidance on where and what type of homes can be built. They approve zoning bylaws that control the standards for new home construction. These cover elements such as how far from the street a dwelling should be set back, how much of the lot can be covered by buildings and the spacing between houses.

The length of the process for these approvals affects the time to deliver new homes to the market. Local governments have an opportunity to streamline approvals, remove duplication and waste to facilitate timely home construction. They can also work with the building and development industry to meet the variety of needs in the community: people renting, first-time homebuyers, and those ready to scale down, to name a few. Ensuring there is an adequate supply of serviced land for the construction of new homes is an important role played by municipal councils. The complex development process requires careful planning and timely processing to ensure homes can be built in response to market need.

Local councils are also responsible for approving official plans that guide change in our neighbourhoods. They may identify new greenfield areas for development that require the extension of municipal services. They determine density targets to achieve intensification goals and earmark locations for intensification and redevelopment that can utilize existing infrastructure. They also set locations of parks and schools.

Whether or not you are in the market for a home, decisions are being made that may affect you now, or in the future. Each year, the building, development and professional renovation industry creates thousands of jobs and contributes billions of dollars to our local, provincial and national economy. Find more information at Take time to research the candidates running for election to find out whose values you share. Voting is a way of having a direct say about the future of our communities.

Cheryl Shindruk is executive vice president, land development for Geranium. Celebrating over 40 years in business Geranium has created master-planned communities including more than 8,000 homes in Ontario.


Featured Products


Cottage Country: Great Canadian Cottages

Latest News

Cottage Country: Great Canadian Cottages

Designers and TV hosts Colin and Justin discuss their new show, which airs, this fall, on Cottage Life

By Colin McAllister & Justin Ryan • Photography By Sandy Mackay

Twenty-four vacation retreats. Twenty-four sets of homeowners. And twenty-four entirely different stories. Aye, welcome to Great Canadian Cottages, our all-new, eight-part docu-series that charts the way in which those seeking escape from fast-spinning worlds have created thoroughly inspiring bolt holes.

Okay, so our typical TV oeuvre sees us navigate the makeover genre in style-negative domiciles where, with wild ambition, tight budgets and an unstintingly loyal team, we conjure brand new interiors, tailor-matched to the expectation of each TV client. And hey: we love that genre. We’ve simply sidestepped it, for a moment, to appraise the transformative abilities of others.

Indeed, during our exciting adventure, not one moment of valuable, episodic air time is consumed by jeopardy, messy builds or lock off shots depicting rooms being born or disasters unraveling. Every scene, in fact, literally froths with designer afterglow, and a veritable ooze of top tips and design counsel enticed from each proud homeowner.


So what can you expect? Well, for starters, three glossy nests per episode, with enough property porn to send Instagram into meltdown. One such dream abode is the live/work space of Canadian photographer Larry Williams. Perched dramatically over Stoney Lake in Peterborough, and built almost entirely from glass, it’s a spectacle of modernity that’s attached, stealth-like, to a stunning outcropping of heavily veined granite.

Then there’s a fairytale cottage in Madoc, fashioned from straw bales, mud and sweat equity. Designed and built by visionary Chris Magwood for his doting mom Sandy (with the hands-on assistance of friends, family and neighbours) its construction was preempted by only a few simple prerequisites: the new house should be super cosy, manageably sized and, erm, devoid of right angles.


The resultant fantasy is testament to Chris’s construction prowess and his ability to observe a brief. The softly undulating mud-clad terracotta and cream-painted walls (which undulate across the aforementioned straw bale framework) are sublimely curved—and precisely devoid of corners. In the absence of perpendicular constraints, they create a somewhat cave-like esthetic, the soothing nature of which delivers a sense of calm decompression.


Later in the series, we visit an architect who shipped building materials by helicopter (as you do) to his water access Georgian Bay from the ground up cottage. And we call by a stunning modern-rustic respite, a monolithic abode built within the walls of an old whisky cooperage. Oh, and the 8-by-10-foot tiny log cabin home of Mara. Ensconced, happily, in her doll-sized residence, life changed suddenly when Mara won the 649 Lottery. Keen for a little more space, but determined not to build a faceless McMansion, she hired an architect to build a lavish home around her original Lilliputian cabin. Yup, her tiny wood shack now sits inside the new structure. Literally. Think Hansel and Gretel on steroids. It’s magical. Follow our trail of televisual breadcrumbs when the episode airs.

Another escape that grabbed our attention was that of Scottish builder Scott Young and his lovely wife Lynn. Fashioned to echo the Scottish longhouse style (where, during ancient times, animals lived at one side with humans at the other), the rectilinear fantasy is clad in dramatic, jet-toned siding and set under a slick, steel roof. Internally, the longhouse boasts crisp white-painted drywall, stunning wood floors, a contemporary chef’s kitchen and a host of vibrant colour pops sequenced via accent walls and jaunty upholstery.


Scott’s vision, sitting as it does, roadside, in beautiful Clarksburg, is literally a traffic stopper. The polar opposite of the area’s vernacular (red-brick century homes and quaint tiled roof farmhouses), it has quickly become the stuff of folklore: an average day sees curious onlookers hovering, snapping selfies and asking questions, none of which are a problem for Scott.

“In such stark contrast to neighbouring homes, our place was always destined to be of interest to passersby, so we’re always happy to inform.

“Building this house has delivered a tremendous sense of satisfaction and achievement,” explains Scott. “My son, Ben, a carpenter, is planning a similar place and it’s going to be fun recreating elements of this property with him. We’re really looking forward to getting started.”

It’s fair to report that filming our new show afforded an amazing opportunity to navigate some of North America’s most beautiful landscape. Each stop on our incredible journey revealed the lengths to which builders, architects and visionaries will go to create singular, fascinating homes. But as much as they’re all different, there’s a common denominator that threads them together: whether humble or overt, contemporary or traditional, each fascinating prospect is a great Canadian cottage.*

Great Canadian Cottages airs, weekly, from 18th October on Cottage Life. Check TV listings for precise timings.



Featured Products


Re-Crafting Craftsman: The iconic brand has been re-launched by Stanley Black & Decker

Latest News

Re-Crafting Craftsman: The iconic brand has been re-launched by Stanley Black & Decker

With the slow and ongoing demise of the Sears retail empire, it was inevitable that the company’s iconic tool brand, Craftsman, would be up for grabs. Early in 2017, Stanley Black & Decker (SBD) stepped in and bought the Craftsman brand for an eye-popping $900-million USD. This August, SBD held a re-launch event for the brand, unveiling more than 1,200 new product SKUs, including hand tools, storage units, and a lineup of 30 cordless tools built on a new 20-volt battery pack. All will be sold in Canada at Rona and Lowe’s stores.

The V20 tools include a brushless ½” drill/driver, an 18-guage finish nailer, and a 7¼“ sliding mitre saw. Corded tools include a variety of saws, routers, sanders, and radios.

On the hand tool side, keeping with Craftsman traditional, there’s a heavy focus on mechanics’ tools, including 72- and 120-tooth ratchet sets. There are also tape measures with an 11-foot standout, a number of utility knives – including snap off blade models made specifically with the Canadian market in mind – hammers, drivers, and more.

Of course, the Craftsman brand had long ago expanded beyond tools and tool storage units and SBD keeps that tradition alive with everything from garage door openers and riding lawnmowers (including one with a 5”-turning radius). There even showed off a compact beer fridge. For use after you’ve put down the tools of course.


Featured Products


Garden Expert: Tree Of Life

Latest News

Garden Expert: Tree Of Life

Highway of Heroes Living Tribute

During the war in Afghanistan, Canada lost 159 men and women in the conflict. Once repatriated at CFB Trenton, their bodies were driven to the coroner’s office in Toronto.

A very Canadian thing happened during those years: hundreds of people turned out to stand on bridges at points along Highway 401 to quietly reflect on the meaning of this sacrifice, hold flags and salute the fallen heroes passing by in hearses. This was a very personal experience for all. Since then, the 170-km route has been known as the Highway of Heroes.

As the volunteer Chair of the Highway of Heroes Living Tribute, I am passionate about a living tribute to our fallen, and those who volunteered to serve during times of war.


We are planting 2,000,000 trees between Trenton and Toronto, one tree for every Canadian that has served during times of conflict since Confederation and including the war of 1812. 117,000 of the most prominent trees will be planted along and near the stretch of the 401 known as the Highway of Heroes, one tree for every life lost while serving in the Canadian Armed Forces and protecting our country.

This tribute offers an opportunity to tell the story of those that have served in the Armed Forces, and remind travellers along the highway of the great debt we owe these courageous Canadians. It will also provide a myriad of environmental benefits for generations to come. Here at the Highway of Heroes Tree Campaign, we are grateful for every Canadian who has supported our efforts to plant a tree for each of Canada’s war dead.


In the spring of 2018, we completed the first planting season of the year and we are happy to report that we planted over 3,000 trees on the Highway of Heroes, bringing us that much closer to our goal. We now have over 17,000 in the ground on the highway and over 100,000 planted just off the highway. We are currently preparing and planting at sites that will ultimately be home for up to another 15,000 trees this autumn.

And these are still the “early days” with many more tree-plantings to come beyond this year.


Volunteer-planting events near the highway educate Canadians about the benefits of reforestation, the importance of native trees, and why, as a nation, we need to embrace measures that protect our environment from the impacts of climate change.

As Canadians, we’re proud of our values that guide us to respect green spaces and wilderness, yet too few of us realize we have the highest carbon footprint per capita in the world. We can and will do better. Those who serve in our military protect our land and our freedom. I feel that we have a responsibility to protect the land that many Canadians have defended over generations.


The goal of the Highway of Heroes Tree Campaign is to raise $10 million by 2020. To date, nearly one-third of that has been raised or about $3.2 million. Hitting this goal will ensure that our final trees are planted by 2022.

As we approach Remembrance Day and the 100th anniversary of the end of the Great War, let us ensure that we never forget the many courageous Canadians who enlisted to serve during this time. During the First World War, over 600,000 Canadians would join the battle overseas and over 66,000 paid the ultimate sacrifice. For a young nation of just under eight million people, this contribution is nothing short of remarkable.

Please consider making a donation to ensure that a living tribute can be built to honour these brave Canadians who helped pave the way for us to live in this great country we share today.

Details and free monthly newsletter at

Mark Cullen is an expert gardener, member of the Order of Canada, author and broadcaster. Get his free monthly newsletter at Look for his new best seller, The New Canadian Garden published by Dundurn Press. Follow him on Twitter @MarkCullen4 and Facebook.


Featured Products


Condo Market: The Evolution of the Condo

Latest News

Condo Market: The Evolution of the Condo

Bigger is often better

I guess the old adage that ‘what goes around, comes around’ is right on. It spans into our universe — the condo universe. Right here in the centre of the condo universe. I was fortunate enough to work with the pioneers in the business, starting right out of university about 35 years ago.

Condos represented about 10 per cent of the new housing market; slowly creeping up over the years, to 15 and 20 per cent at best. The suites were big; two-bedrooms almost always. I remember selling them at $120 to $150 a foot in some pretty good neighbourhoods. Those now hit upwards of $1,000 per foot in North York, Thornhill, places like that.

I marketed thousands of new homes concurrently. They were everyone’s first choice — the backyard, 2 and one half kids and a dog, the right school district and all those other things. Really, that was everyone’s first choice. Prices per square foot were lower, sticker prices were higher. That part hasn’t changed much, even today.

As the world evolved, and Toronto became a destination for so many new Torontonians, we went condo crazy. Had no choice. The Greenbelt was frozen, the lake remained and we went east and west, and further north. Condos were it. But it no longer was necessarily an affordable alternative to housing. It became, as it is now, a first choice for many.

The average new condo still is hundreds of thousands of dollars less than its detached counterpart, despite the rising costs of development and construction in recent years. And those have been whopping.

We saw not so long ago the micro suites, the quantity of components, i.e. bedrooms and bathrooms, becoming more important than the sizing of the rooms themselves. Critical dimensions we used to use in creating spaces became downsized considerably. The 600-square-foot two bed/two bath condo came of age. And it continues to exist appropriately in some locales.

But as the world has turned, and as sexy condo locations are being filled and becoming harder to find, some of the great new offerings are being found right in the neighbourhoods that people value and want to stay in, places where they didn’t have opportunities to downsize without compromising their lifestyle in terms of suite design particularly. I personally moved last week from an 800-square-foot two-bedroom condo to a 950-squarefoot condo. Same components, but very different spaces. Night and day in many ways. Both serve and will serve a purpose; different costs of course.

Look for these types of things in many of the great new projects that will be entering the market this time of the year. One particularly good example of this is coming this fall to the Kingsway; I’ve had the privilege to work on the design, architecture and the planning of this great soon to be master planned community — 293 The Kingsway. This is a redevelopment consisting of five new buildings in a rare private enclave setting in an outstanding established valuable neighbourhood. The suites very much reflect the upsizing of things in all categories — one bedrooms, one plus den, two-bedrooms and two pluses.

It’s a reflection of just how far we’ve come as an industry, and just how integral condo living is in our great town. No longer an alternative choice; it has become very much our first choice.

MARK COHEN is a founding partner of The Condo Store Marketing Systems, a firm specializing in the design, marketing and sales of condo and new home communities in and outside of the GTA.


Featured Products


Design Lesson: Powder Room Prowess

Latest News

Design Lesson: Powder Room Prowess

The design details that pack the biggest punch in the smallest room in the home

By Beka Knight • Photography By Colin Perry

The powder room can be one of the most exciting rooms for designers to work on during a project. It can be an opportunity to have fun with materials and colours, be creative, and let the design speak for itself without anything unnecessary cluttering the space.

The tall vertical mirror adds loftiness and sophistication to the modern design.

The powder room is an important part of any home design because, while it is often one of the smallest rooms in a home, it is also one of the most used. What makes a powder room unique is that it is primarily a place for guests, but much like any room in your home, it must blend both form and function. The design of the powder room can be show-stopping, or it can be a place for guests to feel calm and relaxed. Fortunately, either way, it can be beautiful.

Guidelines for Designing a Powder Room


If you are working with a small space, think vertically. In our projects, we look for tall mirrors or long, elegant lighting to draw the eye up and give the illusion of more space.

The floating vanity and a statement vessel sink are the design features we love for a modern powder room. The smooth softness of a backpainted glass top, next to the textural character of natural stone in the sink, creates a harmonious contrast in this bathroom.


Continuing with the theme of small powder rooms, we often consider doing away with a bulky vanity in a small space. A lesser need for storage means we have more creative options like a floating countertop or sink, perhaps even a pedestal sink or wall-mounted faucet and fixtures.

Because the powder room does not require very many elements, we like to go bold with the sink. A beautifully crafted sink can be a work of art that will delight your guests. Consider using a vessel sink, even if you haven’t in your other bathrooms. A wall-mounted faucet system is another creative idea and a modern and elegant way to save space, and add a luxurious feel to a powder room.

These two powder rooms are both small in scale, but in each design we go big with colour and print. We utilized small vanities and long, elegant mirrors to create height and we allow the wallpaper to make the statement, keeping all of the other details simple and tasteful.


In a powder room where we want to create impact, we love using bold colour or statement wallpaper. It’s amazing how effective bold wallpaper can be at creating conversation, and the small size of the powder room is the perfect place to wow your guests. A print that may seem overwhelming in a living or dining room can be perfect in a powder room. We encourage you to keep the rest of the design details simple and elegant when going for a show-stopping wallpaper or colour.


Another great design feature that works so well in powder rooms is textured wall panels or 3D tiles. This is a feature we like to use in a more modern, subdued space. A textured wall can take the place of art and the repetitive pattern creates a soothing and relaxing atmosphere for your guests.

This powder room is from a luxury project where we utilized beautiful textured stone tiles on the walls, softening the modern space and adding a creative element to the room without the addition of artwork. We were also able to float a bright-white vanity in order to keep the room airy and sophisticated. The
glass-vessel sink is a piece of art itself, which creates harmony and balance in the room by adding texture, reminiscent of water.


Sometimes, all a powder room needs to be truly exceptional are beautifully chosen fixtures and finishes. We recommend that you pay special attention to the lighting in a powder room, and if the space allows it, consider a pendant or other specialty lighting to create luxury and elegance in the room.

The powder room can have a unique style or it can blend seamlessly into the rest of the design. It can be a chance to use an unexpected colour, material or fixture, and it can be one of the most creative rooms to design. Just remember that the design of your powder room requires just as much care and attention as the rest of your home. Do that and it is sure to have your guests feeling pampered and delighted.

With over 20 years design experience, Negar Reihani is known for her elegant and simple approach to high-end, polished interiors that celebrate the tastes and lifestyle of her clients.


Featured Products

Renovators' Roundtable

Reno Contractor Announcement

Latest News

Reno Contractor Announcement

While we have made the decision to cancel (rather than postpone) the event, we are exploring other ways that we can bring together our valued readers and supportive sponsors in other ways. We will keep you posted as we move forward with some alternative ways of helping the renovation and custom homebuilding industry to continue to thrive.

-Renovation Contractor Magazine


Featured Products


Skiers can’t pass up Switzerland’s Andermatt

Latest News

Skiers can’t pass up Switzerland’s Andermatt

By Marc Atchison

ANDERMATT, SWITZERLAND — I don’t give the bartender a chance to finish pouring my midday glass of wine before asking: “Which chair did Elvis sit on?” The congenial Swiss-American named Kevin, who has been asked the question countless times, surveys the crowded aprés ski bar he runs in the boutique Di Alt Apothek (River House) Hotel and points to a nondescript wooden bar stool with the faded green cushion where someone has discarded a backpack.

“That’s one of the three he sat on — the other two are being repaired right now,” says Kevin as he finishes pouring the remarkably good Swiss wine.

I quickly snap a picture of the “living memorial” to legendary rock star Elvis Presley, who stopped by the charming River House Hotel and Bar when he visited this fairytale Alpine village on several occasions.

“He (Elvis) first came to Andermatt when he was serving a stint with the U.S. Army in Germany (between 1958 and 1960),” Miriam Schuler, an official with the Andermatt Tourism Board tells me later. “And then he came back here with his daughter Lisa Marie when she was learning how to ski.”

Elvis isn’t the only entertainer who has walked the neatly-kept streets of Andermatt’s historic Old Town.

“Sean Connery also stayed in Andermatt when he was filming the James Bond movie Goldfinger (circa 1964) in the (nearby) Furka Pass. The scene where 007 fills up his Aston Martin was shot at the former gas station (now the Aurora Hotel) just down the street (from the River House Hotel),” Schuler tells me.

This idyllic 13th-century village, which sits cradled in the breathtaking Urseren Valley surrounded by jagged snow-capped peaks, is the perfect backdrop for a movie. It’s Hollywood good looks, Alpine charm and dramatic landscape make it one of the loveliest towns in Europe — a place of myths and magic — but it was off limits to tourists for many years.

“Andermatt was a Swiss Army base since World War II and the town relied heavily on the military for our survival,” says Schuler. “When they decided to close the base (around 2004), we all feared people would start moving away because there would be little work in the valley.”

That’s when an unlikely hero came to Andermatt’s rescue.

Enter Samih Sawiris. The Egyptian billionaire businessman, who developed the hugely successful El Gouna holiday resort on the Red Sea, was urged by a former Swiss ambassador to Egypt to fly over the Urseren Valley to see if he thought it had potential as a holiday resort.

It was love at first sight for Sawiris and he quickly committed his time, huge sums of money and his boundless energy to returning Andermatt to its tourist roots — from the middle of the 19th century to the beginning of World War II when the army arrived, the Urseren Valley was a hotspot for well-healed holidayers.

Andermatt is now a beehive of activity with workers hurriedly building six hotels, 42 apartment blocks and upwards of 30 luxury villas on the edge of the Old Town. When the new infrastructure is ready, Andermatt will become the largest ski resort in central Switzerland and a four-seasons destination thanks to its new 18-hole championship golf course, which was completed last year.

In all, the Egyptian businessman has invested 1.8 billion Swiss francs ($2.4 billion Cdn) and intends to spend another 130 million Swiss francs ($173 million Cdn) on connecting Andermatt’s world-class ski runs with neighbouring Sedrun, thus creating one of the most exciting venues for skiers in the world.

The crown jewel of Andermatt’s new hotels is the remarkable Chedi, a five-star wonder and member of the Swiss Deluxe Hotels group. The Chedi Andermatt, which opened in 2014, is situated within walking distance of the town’s lovely train station — it, too, will be updated as part of Andermatt’s renaissance — and lies just a few metres from the Gemsstock cable car.

The Alpine-style resort is a unique property with lots of Asian touches throughout its sleek interior. Those influences also flow into the oversized rooms and restaurants — the hotel’s Japanese dining room would not look out of place in Tokyo.

With 196 fireplaces and a world-class spa at the Chedi — the Thai word means temple or Buddhist stupa — there’s plenty of cozy places to warm up and relax after a day on the glorious ski slopes surrounding Andermatt. And Andermatt offers some of the most affordable skiing in Europe.

“A one-day ski pass in Andermatt costs about 51 Swiss francs (about $70 Cdn) and that’s a great value when compared to other popular ski resorts,” Schuler tells me as we pass the lovely Parish Church of St. Peter and Paul (circa 1602), whose steeple dominates the Old Town skyline. The tiny cemetery outside the church, which looks like it belongs in a Swiss fairytale, contains many of the original settlers of the Canton Uri, the county in which Andermatt is located.

Looking up into the mountains that surround Andermatt, I see the famed Swiss huts dotting the landscape. They are utilized during the summer months by the many hikers and climbers who invade the Urseren Valley. The handsome huts cling to the mountains and offer shelter and food to the hikers.

“We call the mountains here Swiss cheese because there are so many holes in them,” laughs Miriam. “When the army was here they dug tunnels in the mountains for security purposes.”

Being in the heart of the Alps, Andermatt is surrounded by famous mountain passes, which helped in the early development of the Urseren Valley. The roads that zig-zag through the passes are some of the most fun to drive in all of Europe. The Furka Pass, at 2,436 metres in elevation, was the one on which 007 (Sean Connery) raced the Mustang convertible, driven by a beautiful female lead, Tilly Masterson, in the Bond classic Goldfinger. Equally famous is the Gotthard Pass, which connects Italy with this amazing Swiss ski region.

“Milan is just a two-hour drive from Andermatt and many Italians come here to ski,” says my guide. “Andermatt was originally a trading post between Switzerland and Milan.”

The streets of the Old Town are lined with many handsome hotels and restaurants, all offering exceptional value and service. One of the loveliest on the cobbled main street is the Hotel zur Sonne, which, according to Miriam, “is owned and operated by an 80-year-old woman.”

The cozy Sonne is, like many of its neighbours, a timber-lined building whose peeked roof compliments the Alpine scenery surrounding this incredibly beautiful town of 1,300 permanent residents.

Everywhere you look in Andermatt, you see water.

Glacial streams cut through the Old Town and Miriam proudly tells me “Lake Toma, which sits above Andermatt, is the source of the Rhine,” Europe’s most important river.

“Andermatt is the water castle of Europe,” boasts the guide.

One of the most famous tourist spots in Andermatt is the remains of Devil’s Bridge, located a short drive from the centre of town. The legendary bridge, which hangs over the Schöllenen Gorge, has one of the region’s many mythical stories connected to it — it was reportedly built by Satan in just three days.

Devil’s Bridge was part of the original Gotthard coach road, which opened the region to the world. A famous battle between 40,000 French and Russian troops was apparently fought on the tiny bridge on Sept. 25 in 1799. Another myth?

One sure thing is that Andermatt’s future is as solid as the mountains that protect it. In the next few years, it will become a superstar of ski resorts. Elvis would be proud.


Marc Atchison is a veteran journalist and a seasoned traveller with more than 20 years of travel writing experience and is editor-in-chief and senior writer for TraveLife magazine (Canada) and


Featured Products


Working with a dietitian

Latest News

Working with a dietitian

(NC) If you have someone in your family who suffers from a nutrition-related condition, such as diabetes or heart disease, you may want to depend on reliable and safe advice from a qualified dietitian.

The College of Dietitians of Ontario regulates these professionals. This means that the college works for the public to ensure that their members are qualified to offer safe services that you can rely on for your family. Below are the benefits of this model:

Accountability: All regulated health professionals are accountable to regulatory health colleges for the quality of care provided to patients. Dietitians, for example, are accountable to the College of Dietitians of Ontario for safe, competent and ethical practice. Each dietitian participates in quality assurance programs. The college monitors dietitians to ensure that they are competent throughout their career. Under certain circumstances, dietitians and employers have an obligation to report anyone to the college who is not practicing ethically, safely or competently.

You can get help: If you have questions or issues with the services you received, you can call the college for help. It has a professional advisory service and has a complaints process in place for anyone who has a concern or a complaint about nutrition services received from a dietitian.

Enforceable professional standards: The college establishes and enforces standards for entry into the dietitian profession and for safe, ethical and professional conduct throughout their career. Dietitians have access to professional advice to make sure they are knowledgeable about the laws and practice standards that apply in their practice.

The dietitian title is restricted: Only members of the College of Dietitians of Ontario are authorized to use the title dietitian in the province. Individuals who are not members of the college cannot use this title. If you find that someone claims to be a dietitian and they are not registered with the college, please contact the college. The public register: Anyone registered to practice as a dietitian in Ontario is listed in the Register of Dietitians. Use it to find if your dietitian is registered to practice, where they work, the languages they speak in their practice and any discipline history.


All healthcare providers in Ontario, including dietitians, are required by law to obtain informed consent from their clients before they can perform any non-emergency treatment. But what is informed consent and why is it important for your healthcare? Informed consent in healthcare means that you have all the information you need before you willingly agree to any health treatment. For example, if you are consulting a dietitian for help with a condition like diabetes or heart disease, you have a right to understand the nutrition treatment proposed before you agree to it.

It is the responsibility of the dietitian to make sure you have all the information you need for an informed consent.

In the consent process, you should be given enough time to ask questions and get the answers you need to understand the treatment. It is your right to know what will be done to you and to understand its risks and the benefits. You should also know whether there are reasonable alternative treatments available.

Giving consent is not about filling out forms and checking boxes. It’s about having an open conversation to get all the information you need. Here are some questions you can ask:

  • Why is this treatment being proposed?
  • What exactly is the nature of the treatment or assessment?
  • Who will be following up with me?
  • How will the treatment help me?
  • Are there any risks and side effects I need to consider?
  • Are there any other options? How would they help and what are their risks and side effects?
  • If I decide not to do this, what could happen to me? Are there risks to not having the treatment?

Once you have all the information, you can make an informed decision. You can choose to consent to or to refuse any treatment proposed. You can also change your mind and say no after you have given your consent.


How can you tell when a health professional, like a dietitian, crosses a professional boundary? A boundary crossing happens when personal feelings develop between you and your dietitian that might interfere with the quality of your healthcare. Here are four examples of professional boundary crossings to watch for:

Exchanging gifts: Your dietitian provides you with excellent nutrition care and you want to show your appreciation with a gift. Should the dietitian accept your gift? Accepting gifts can be a slippery slope. While a small token to show gratitude may be fine, the gift could also mean that a personal relationship is developing, like becoming friends or a romance. A gift might even imply that preferential treatment is expected in exchange. Although accepting a gift can sometimes be okay, your dietitian may choose to not accept gifts to avoid misunderstandings.

Relationship advice: During a session with your dietitian, you tell her that you have relationship problems and ask for her advice. Should she give you advice? Dietitians can only provide nutrition advice. The dietitian would be giving you relationship advice that she or he is not qualified to give. Giving that advice would be crossing a professional boundary. For your safety, dietitians should always refer you to a qualified professional if you need help for something not related to nutrition.

Being friends: You are friends with your dietitian: you share on social media, you talk about your personal lives when you meet and you even receive treatment sessions in restaurants and coffee shops. Is the dietitian crossing a professional boundary? Dietitians should be careful about crossing the line into friendship. These activities blur the lines between your professional relationship and friendship. Dietitians need to keep their focus on your nutrition care, so you receive the best possible recommendations. Dating: Dietitians are never allowed to cross this line. Dating or having a romantic or sexual relationship with a client, even when the client consents, is professional misconduct.

Registered dietitians are accountable to the College of Dietitians of Ontario to maintain professional boundaries at all times. Your nutrition care always comes first. Find more information at

Source: News Canada


Featured Products


Homework can be fun

Latest News

Homework can be fun

By Lisa Canning

I recently created a gorgeous bedroom space that incorporated a home office. Here are my top tops when creating multi-use spaces.

Start with a Beautiful Bed

All hard-working mamas and papas deserve a beautiful bed. After a hard day of raising kids, working outside and inside the home, moms and dads are tired. So invest in a beautiful bed.

This Wayfar bed does not disappoint; it is soft, plush and elegant. I love the tufted headboard and the drama the wingbacked headboard adds. Plus, this was a great value; I have spent upwards of $4,000 on custom upholstered, storage beds so getting this one for less than $2,000 all in is just fabulous.

A beautiful bed needs a quality mattress. Here we used the award winning Casper Mattress. This mattress offers ZonedSupport, an innovative foam framework that contours specifically to each area of the body for comfort, anatomical support and spinal alignment. I also chose Casper’s sheet and duvet set in a crisp white. A bonus, they deliver right to your door and arrive within days of ordering.

Designate a Spot for the Office

Once your bed is taken care of, designate the area you want to set up your office. I opted for custom millwork to utilize every square inch of storage I could. Going custom allowed us to paint the desk this gorgeous turquoise colour, Benjamin Moore Waterfall 2050-50. Take note of the brass hand-cast cabinet pulls from Toronto entrepreneur Shayne Fox. They’re like jewellery on this desk.

Every desk needs a chair, and this one is a game changer. It literally felt like a hug for my lower back and pelvis. The CoreChair is an ergonomic chair that provides support while introducing movement into your workday, meaning you kind of wiggle when you sit in it, which keeps the muscles active, helping us to avoid lower back pain. This chair needs to be in homes and offices everywhere.

Add Your Personality

This is important, regardless of the kind of space you are creating; it has to reflect you and your unique personality. Here I just had to add elements like the Metrie door painted Benjamin Moore Yellow Highlighter 2021-40. To ensure this was the focal point, we kept the adjacent Metrie sliding closet doors in white to ensure some balance.

Again, to ensure the space didn’t feel too overwhelming with all the vibrant pops, I wrapped the room in Metrie’s tongue-and-groove paneling and painted it Benjamin Moore Decorator White CC-20. I love interior mouldings; they provide such a beautiful textural element to any space.

Every bedroom needs to feel cozy and comfortable, which is why I added ample blankets and pillows in a variety of textures, all within our colour palette to stay harmonious, and displayed them on the ladder from Bouclair. Lighting also makes a big impact in the room, with a stunning modern chandelier from Bouclair adding an architectural element.

Lastly, the fun accessories. I picked up the tray and yellow pen holder at Bouclair, where it’s easy to come home with a carful of fun, well-priced accessories. I love the painterly element of this tray and on trend rope detail.

Lisa Canning is a busy mother of seven children and the founder of Lisa Canning Interiors.

Photos by Dann Tardiff


Featured Products