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COVER STORY: Playground Condominiums at Garrison Point

COVER STORY: Playground Condominiums at Garrison Point

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COVER STORY: Playground Condominiums at Garrison Point

Part of a vibrant mixed use King West community from Cityzen, Fernbrook and Greybrook, residents will have a four-acre park at their doorstep

Playground Condominiums at Garrison Point couldn’t be more aptly named. Not only will residents have a signature four-acre public park on their doorstep, they’ll be able to live, work and play in the trendy King West and Liberty Village neighbourhoods that Garrison Point abuts.

Thanks to the spectacular new Garrison Crossing pedestrian/cycle bridge to open this fall, they’ll enjoy connections to the waterfront and Coronation Park to the south, Stanley and Trinity Bellwoods Parks to the north, and Fort York to the west. Playground Condominiums is part of an exciting new mixed-use community from Cityzen Development Group, Fernbrook Homes and Greybrook Realty Partners, on Ordnance Street just east of Strachan Avenue.

The 35-storey tower is under construction, with first occupancies slated for summer of 2019. The Garrison Point site was originally a landlocked industrial triangle separated from the surrounding neighbourhoods by rail lines. Cityzen and its development partners acquired the site from Build Toronto, an agency that manages the City of Toronto’s real estate assets.

“What turned me on to this location was it was always close to Liberty Village on the other side of Strachan, and on the doorstep of King West and the waterfront,” says Sam Crignano, president of Cityzen Development Group. “That’s the beauty of this site. It’s on the fringe of all these neighbourhoods.”

Garrison Crossing, built as two bridges over the rail corridor south of King St. and Liberty Village, will provide links between those neighbourhoods. It’s the first stainless steel structure of its kind in Canada and in North America. It creates an interesting visual response with its spans that arch in opposite directions.

At Crignano’s suggestion for a solution that would yield the best design at the lowest cost, the city opted for a non-traditional Design-Build approach to get the bridge built. The Design-Build model uses private sector expertise to get large public infrastructure projects off the ground; the Dufferin Construction Company team won the contract to design and build the bridge.

The new park at the base of Playground will provide much-needed greenspace in this area of the city. Residents of the towers or those from the adjacent neighbourhoods can relax, recharge or socialize in the four-acre expanse of green, or use Garrison Crossing to venture to the other nearby parks. “Our architects (Hariri Pontarini) recognized the importance of being on the park and did everything they could to maximize access and views,” says Crignano. “They did an awesome job and people who live in the towers will have a bird’s eye view. There are amazing views of city skyline from the west, looking out over the rail corridor. There are unobstructed views towards the east and south to the lake and of Fort York.” The stylish glass and steel highrise features distinctive modern architecture and curvilinear accents.

Residents will have direct access to the park through Playground and from a pedestrian walkway between two towers leading to the park and Liberty Village beyond. Those who purchased ground floor townhouses will front directly onto the park. Playground residents will have plenty of ‘play’ opportunities in their own building, with desirable amenities such as a fitness centre and spa, residents’ lounge, party room, children’s lounge, home theatre, outdoor pool and terrace with barbecues and fire feature.

Units range from 350 to 1,000-plus square feet, priced from the $300,000s to the high $800,000s. Suites include studios, one-bedrooms and two-bedroom layout with or without dens. Amenities include a fitness centre with spa, resident’s lounge, party room, children’s lounge, home theatre, and outdoor pool with barbecue.

Garrison Crossing is a pedestrian and cycle bridge built over the railways that run south of King Street and Liberty Village. The bridge is the first ever stainless steel structure of its kind in North America. Designed as two bridges, with spans that arch in opposite directions for a dynamic visual experience, the bridge will allow pedestrians and cyclists to access Fort York to the west, the waterfront to the south.and South Stanley Park Extension to the north, as well as the future Ordnance Park.

Visit the Sales Centre and model suite, located at 25 Queens Quay East. For further information visit the website.



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Cover Story: Molly Johnson

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Cover Story: Molly Johnson

Self-identification for women seems to be somewhat more complicated than it is for men. And for Molly Johnson, her list of accomplishments can’t be distilled into one word. Johnson is an artist, a singer, a songwriter, a mother and a philanthropist – to name a few.

Photo, Chris Nicholls

By Cece M. Scott www.cecescott.com

Molly Johnson is also a five-time Juno nominee, and in 2009 she received a Juno award for vocal jazz album of the year (Lucky). In 2007, Johnson was named as an Officer of the Order of Canada in recognition of her contributions to Canadian music, as well as for her work with the Kumbaya Foundation – an AIDS charity that she co-founded in 1992. She is also a Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal recipient (2012). Johnson has performed for the likes of Nelson Mandela and Princess Diana, and alongside many notable artists, such as Tom Cochrane, Anne Murray and Peter Appleyard.


At the age of 59, Johnson’s career has spanned more than five decades. By the age of four she was appearing in musicals, including Porky and Bess at the the Royal Alexander Theatre in Toronto. Performing was a family affair, and her brother, Clark (age seven), and her sister, Tabby (nine), were in a number of productions alongside her. When Johnson and actress, Cynthia Dale, were both seven years of age, they appeared in South Pacific and Finian’s Rainbow, and a lifelong friendship ensued. “I remember the props, especially in Candy Man, the orchestra pit, the music, and my beloved Ed [Mirvish] and his beautiful theatre,” says Johnson.

Molly and her brother, Clark, at the 2018 Canadian Screen Awards. Photo courtesy of Molly Johnson and the Canadian Screen Awards

In addition to acting, Johnson aspired to be a choreographer, and attended the National Ballet School of Canada until the age of 15. While at the school, Johnson learned more about how to use, and enrich, her diaphragm as it related to modulating her singing. “I would creep into the back door of the Colonial where the brother and sister team of Shawne, and Jay Jackson of The Majestics were singing. I would watch Shawne sing her own songs, and she made her own clothes. And, I realized that I could make other things, too. I could make songs,” says Johnson.

Childhood photo of Molly and Cynthia Dale. Photo courtesy of Molly Johnson

Johnson became a guest singer of the disco group, Chocolate Affair, then went on to perform gigs with Billy Reed and The Street People. By the late 1970s Johnson was writing her own material and had formed the eclectic funk-rock group, Alta Moda. Her interpretive, smoky voice earned her the nickname – Diva of Queen Street.

Molly performing with JUNO award-winning bassist Mike Downes. Photo courtesy of Molly Johnson


Johnson doesn’t drive, and walks everywhere. She considers herself extremely fit for someone who doesn’t go to the gym, and says that her life is her gym. She does admit that she’s had to make some accommodations as she’s aged. “I drop my songs a semi-tone to accommodate my vocal range. I call it my old lady key,” says Johnson. “And while I miss a lot about my youth, I am really tired of the attitude that women are past their prime at 26. How can I talk truth and be authentic if I colour my hair? When I turned 50, I felt like I had arrived.”

Photo, Chris Nicholls

While fiercely private about her family, Johnson is extremely proud of her sons. Henry recently graduated from grade 12, and Otis is in his third year at the University of Ottawa. “They are both beautiful, kind, empathetic gentleman – that was my goal.”

Released this past spring, her new album, Meaning To Tell Ya, reflects Johnson’s attitude towards life, as well as her musical explorations. The title references the positivity that Johnson emanates in terms of her intention of wanting to ‘tell ya’ how brave you are, or how fabulous you are, or that when you walk into the room, you own it. The album is a mix of funk, soul, groove and jazz, and includes a Marvin Gaye song, Inner City Blues. The album was produced by Larry Klein (once married to Joni Mitchell). “I couldn’t believe that I had the opportunity to work with Larry,” says Johnson. “Marvin was the master of telling stories that are both relevant, and still very meaningful, in today’s world. That, in itself, is a strong message, not just about how far we’ve come, but also for how far we still have to go.”


Johnson is also a consultant and story teller for the TD Bank’s Black History Project (an initiative she co-founded with TD). She uncovers interesting, and impactful, stories that relate to Canada. “This country is rich with black history,” Johnson says. “In fact, Canada abolished slavery 76 years before the States.”

She recounts the story of Viola Desmond (featured on the Canadian 10-dollar bill). Desmond was a successful black Nova Scotian businesswoman who challenged racial discrimination by sitting in the main level of New Glasgow’s Roseland Theatre, an area supposedly reserved for white people. “Desmond was dragged out of the theatre and put on trial,” says Johnson. “Her stand against racial discrimination actually happened ten years before Rosa Parks took her stand.”

Johnson is advocating to have The Book of Negroes, by Lawrence Hill, included in the grade 11 curriculum.

In 2016, Johnson started the Kensington Market Jazz Festival – an extensive undertaking that involves programming 400 Canadian musicians in more than 12 venues. The 2018 festival runs from September 14th to the 16th. “It’s a community vibe with curated busking,” says Johnson. “Tom Mihalik, of Tom’s Place, is the patron saint of my festival. He also pays for piano lessons for kids in the neighbourhood.”

A huge supporter of both established, and aspiring, musicians, Johnson does not perform at the festival. “This is about others – my community and my talented friends.”

Photo, Chris Nicholls

“A good song can change your mood, and in fact, your whole day.”
– Molly Johnson

Johnson has upcoming concert dates scheduled in Canada, the United States and Europe. When not touring, recording or working on her many philanthropic initiatives, Johnson loves to hang out with her kids. Gardening is a favourite past time – both vegetables and flowers – especially the Oscar Peterson rose with its creamy white blooms.

The creative and inspiring people of Toronto, along with its diverse cultural, food and musical events, keeps Johnson centred. “Toronto is like a charm bracelet around the lake,” says Johnson. “And every charm is a neighbourhood with its own flavour.”

Feisty, self-deprecating, witty and always the optimist, friends tease her of being a Mollyanna. “I’m definitely a yes person. I like a challenge.”


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Life your best life in Niagara

The principals of Lucchetta Homes know a good thing when they see it. As a result, purchasers benefit from their keen eye and their appreciation for only the finest locations in Niagara.

Bottom line – buying a home in Niagara is a fraction of the cost of those in the GTA, and the quality of life is far superior, according to Kim Kopyl, director of sales and marketing for Lucchetta Homes.

Last year alone, Lucchetta Homes won, or were nominated for, more than 20 awards by all levels of builders’ associations – local, provincial and national. It’s this recognition, that inspires them to keep upping the bar, and it’s what new homebuyers desire when seeking out the best in quality.


Due to be released this July, Lucchetta is touting Davis Heights as Niagara’s finest new address. This luxury development will feature a limited release of bungalows and bungaloft towns, overlooking a ravine and the Niagara escarpment. In respect for a rare chestnut tree, Lucchetta will be building around those trees, in order to preserve them. This type of care is also evident in the attention to detail that they invest in each, and every, home.

At Davis Heights, the LUXE Collection will be custom curated by the renowned interior design firm Raphael Gomes Interiors. Two gorgeous model homes (opening in July), will feature a glass-encased wine cellar in the staircase filled with local wines. Homes will be priced from the $800,000s for floorplans that range from 1,600 to 3,000 square feet. The VIP Grand Opening for Davis Heights will be July 28 and 29, 2018 from noon to 5 p.m.

Riverside at Hunters Pointe has just launched in June 2018. There are two new stunning Model Homes to view. The Net Zero-ready Model Home features chic accents, contemporary architecture and sumptuous great rooms with 12-foot ceilings where Lucchetta’s signature luxurious quality is eminent. For a limited time, there is $25,000 off for any new purchase.

Riverside, features luxury bungalow towns and single detached luxury, custom homes. Homes are priced from $499,900. This limited release includes private waterfront, water-view canal lots.

To accommodate current needs and trends, Lucchetta Homes offers an array of newly designed exterior elevations. “We wanted to give our homeowners more choice. We listened to their needs and provided three different exterior elevations for every floorplan. There are contemporary, transitional and traditional plans to choose from,” says Kopyl.

When they’re not busy building homes, Lucchetta is involved in strengthening the neighbourhood.

“As we develop the area, giving back to the community is very important to us,” says Rob Lucchetta. “We are actively involved with many charities in the Niagara region.”


While all homes are built to superior standards, it’s the Niagara area that fuels their passion. Kopyl, an industry expert, can attest to that. She is quick to mention all of the advantages of living in the area, which includes lower living costs, award-winning restaurants, worldclass wineries, beaches, designer outlet shopping, casinos and the Shaw Festival, as well as its proximity to a plethora of other attractions and amenities.

The GO Transit train is well on its way to Niagara. There are also fifteen-minute flights from Toronto to Niagara. And for those who like to travel, the Buffalo and Niagara airports are a convenient and inexpensive way to do so.

With an abundance of green space, outdoor activities include hiking, canoeing, kayaking, swimming, boating, fishing, paddle boarding, cycling, horseback riding and golfing.

“Simply put, this is a lovely place to live a very balanced, and fulfilled, life,” says Kopyl.


Ugo Lucchetta started the company more than 60 years ago and it quickly became known for its quality construction, craftsmanship and unparalleled customer service. Sons, Robert and Ed Lucchetta, are now at the helm and they carry on the traditions started by their father. Their hard work has paid off with ongoing recognition, in addition to the loyalty and word of mouth praise expressed by their customers.

“Our attention to detail, along with our goal to exceed our clients’ expectations, has culminated in luxury homes and resort style communities that exude both class and functionality,” says Ed Lucchetta.


Go online for more information on any of Lucchetta Homes’ communities.



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Cover Story: Living In Colour

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Cover Story: Living In Colour

Designer Rebecca Hay puts her fail proof colour formula to the test in her own vibrant living room

By Rebecca Hay

Photography By Stephani Buchman

Most of us love a space that has just the right pops of colour, it feels inviting and lively. However, many of us find it intimidating to decorate with colour. Where do you start? How do you ensure you don’t “overdo” it? Decorating with colour can be oh-so-rewarding. After all, life is meant to be lived in technicolour, not in black and white. Here are my tips on how to live and work with colour.


With every space I design, including my own home, colour is an integral element to creating the right mood. My goals are always to create spaces that are warm, unique and inviting. Colour allows me to do this every time. The psychology behind colour is a fascinating study. There’s no surprise that yellow is a cheerful colour that promotes optimism. Blue, however, is suggested to be the preferred colour for men. Blue is associated with tranquility and reliability, providing a sense of security and stimulates productivity. Before delving into designing any space, think about the mood you want to convey. Is it a cool, relaxing space or a warm, inviting one where dinner parties end in dance parties? You don’t need a degree in psychology to figure out which colours are right for you. Trust your gut and you will never go wrong, but it’s important to be mindful of the mood and energy you are trying to evoke.

I chose this fun contemporary Jonathan Adler Kravet fabric to add further colour and life to the space. The contemporary chevron contrasts nicely with the traditional moldings and historic features of the home.


In our living room, it was essential that it appeal to both men and women. I wanted it to be bright and energizing as this is the main sitting and socializing area of the home. The drapery fabric was our inspiration and starting point. I knew we wanted to energize the space with yellow and we already had the retro navy chairs to work with, so I chose to balance the navy of the chairs with bright-yellow custom drapery. The yellow creates a wow-factor and sets the tone for a playful and cheery mood.


Finding the right balance of colour is also key in achieving a cohesive design. It’s important to balance any bold colours with lots of neutrals. A little trick that I like to use is the 60-30-10 rule. When decorating a particular room, divide the colors into percentages: 60 per cent of a dominant colour, 30 per cent of a secondary colour, 10 per cent of an accent colour, and you will never go wrong. The neutral walls, sofa and rug make up the largest percentage, followed by the yellow of the drapery, pillows and art, which provide visual interest. Finally, the navy chairs and small pops of blue throughout round out the 10 per cent, creating a little extra pop. When the right balance is achieved, the design feels harmonious and comfortable.


We also added a little extra pop. In addition to the three dominant colours, we chose to complement the blues with hints of orange. Adding a few “bonus” colours adds a little extra interest and variety. I found an old traditional wingback armchair in desperate need of TLC, and recovered it with this bold contemporary Jonathan Adler orange fabric. It’s cosy, warm and inviting while adding some traditional sophistication to the space. To add cohesiveness, we repeated the orange hue in the custom toss cushions by using a modern ikat fabric that has a blend of yellow and orange.

Paint PICK: Gray Mist 962, Benjamin Moore


The last key to decorating with colour is repetition. Repetition is key to creating a cohesive design. By repeating a colour multiple times in a space, it feels purposeful and comforting. The warm wood of the vintage teak coffee table and the bamboo roman blind add warmth, and layer in another shade of orange to the space. It’s not enough to have a large amount of colour in one piece of furniture or on accessories. It’s the repetition of this colour throughout the space in varying quantities that unifies the design and makes it feel purposeful.

In our living room we have found a comforting and beautiful balance of colour. It’s a family space that feels modern and sophisticated. Contemporary fabrics and traditional bones make it an inviting and fun place for social gatherings or curling up by the fire with a book. It’s proof that by taking the plunge and designing with colour, you can create a space that is visually beautiful, intriguing, and at times surprising.

SOURCES FABRIC- Kravet; PAINT- Gray Mist 962, Benjamin Moore; CARPET IN LIVING ROOM West Elm; CARPET IN DINING ROOM Dominion Rug & Home; DINING TABLE – custom by RHD; CHAIR – clients re-purposed; ARTWORK – clients

Designer Rebecca Hay, Principal Designer of Rebecca Hay Designs Inc., is a Toronto-based boutique design firm offering complete design & renovation services for residential, commercial and vacation properties for over a decade. Known and celebrated for her design work and appearances on various acclaimed HGTV shows, Rebecca and her team design classic, livable spaces that reflect the homeowner’s personality. Servicing clientele throughout Toronto, the GTA and Canada. rebeccahaydesigns.com


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Cover Story: Holly Cole

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Cover Story: Holly Cole


By Cece M. Scott www.cecescott.com

Raised in a creative family, alto soloist, Holly Cole, fell in love with jazz at a very early age. Her father, Leon Cole, a classical pianist, composer and Halifax-based broadcaster, also hosted two popular radio programs on CBC. Her mother, Carolyn Cole, was an arts’ curator in New Brunswick. And her brother (and best friend), Allen, was her co-conspirator in much of her musical journey.

A two-time Juno Award winner, including Best Contemporary Jazz Album for Don’t Smoke in Bed (Holly Cole Trio,1994), and Vocal Jazz Album of the Year for Shade (2004), Cole has also won two Geminis, two Japanese Golden Disc Awards, and is the recipient of the Montreal Jazz Festival’s 2013 Ella Fitzgerald Award.

Shooting live at the Glenn Gould Studio – Photo By, Tim Martin

Cole describes herself as a rebellious, free-spirited teenager, who hit the road at the age of 15 with $20 in her pocket. She hitchhiked from New Brunswick to Boston to visit her brother who was studying at Boston’s Berklee College of Music. “Allen had long hair at the time and so did I,” says Cole. “He was staying in the dorms. He’d go in, give his ID to his friend, who would then come out and give it to me, so I could sneak in. I slept on the floor of Allen’s dorm for weeks. While I was there, I was exposed to this rich culture of jazz music. I was mesmerized by the whole thing.”

For Cole, jazz provided her the freedom to express her individualism. “To me, jazz seemed like classical music for people who were bad, which totally appealed to me,” says Cole, with one of her never-far-from-the surface, smoky laughs.

It was Allen who was responsible for Cole’s first public singing gig. “I was 17 at the time. Allen, who was playing at a local New Brunswick coffee house, called me up on stage. I was so scared that I announced to the audience, ‘OK, I’ll sing, but I have to stand behind my brother.”’

Originally from Fredericton, New Brunswick, Cole and her family spent several years in Nova Scotia, before she, at the age of 19, and Allen (21) moved to Toronto in 1983. Holly was enrolled in Humber College’s vocal jazz program. The improvisation of jazz music appealed to Cole. “I love to interpret songs,” says Cole. “My best friend is subtext, which allows listeners to hear, and to imagine, whatever they want. It’s a subtle thing – sexy, exciting, mysterious, emotional. Subtext is always there. It’s part of my personal life as well.”

Photography, courtesy of Holly Cole; (Holly and Allen) Bob Johnson

Cole has many anecdotes about her and her brother sharing on-stage time, including performances of German cabaret music in the 1980s – A Weill Evening with Allen and Holly Cole, which featured the music of Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht. “We performed the show in art spaces and clubs, mostly along Queen Street. We would push an old upright piano onto the stage, and Allen would play and I would sing.”

One of Cole’s popular songs, Onion Girl, acts as a personal metaphor for the many layers she has peeled back in her life. “I had an epiphany when I was 26,” says Cole. “I remember the day vividly. My ex-boyfriend asked me why I always had to be right – why I always argued and never discussed things. It was then that I realized that the world is not black and white. There are many subtle layers to this thing called life.”

With age, and life experiences, a mellowing attitude often follows. With more than 15 albums to her credit, both as the Holly Cole Trio and as a soloist, Cole’s approach to her 2018 CD, Holly, took her in a new direction.“I hired Larry Goldings to do the arranging. He also plays the piano and organ,” says Cole. “It was hard for me to give up the reins. I’m used to steering the ship. But I wanted the experience of working towards someone else’s aesthetic. Once I relaxed, I loved it.”

In 2016, Cole took a sabbatical to care for her mother. “It was one of the most important decisions I’ve made in my life – to take time off from my music to look after mom,” says Cole. “I got to know so many things about her that I didn’t know. It was beautiful. My advice is to spend time with your parents – you will never regret it.”

While she was on hiatus, Cole studied hypnotism, with a focus on pediatric hypnosis. “As a tool, it enriched my life so much. It helps me to stop doing things that I don’t want to do.”

With the loss of family and friends, Cole has changed the way that she views her life priorities. Her loved ones come first, followed by her passion for music and, of course, some out-sized fun. She feels that everyone needs to have personal interests – ones that nurture self-actualization and a sense of wellbeing. “People around you want you to get what you want – to have your own thing,” says Cole. “It makes them happy for you.”

Photography, (top right) Jonathan Warden; (in red dress) Edward Gajdel; (right middle and with Rhoda) Andrew MacNaughtan

The lens in which Cole sees herself through has also shifted. Within a short time frame, she experienced a broken wrist and then a broken kneecap. “If I had fallen off my bike when I was 22, I don’t think my wrist would have broken,” says Cole. “But at 55, my bones aren’t made of rubber anymore. Breaking my kneecap last summer was brutal. I sure miss being resilient – not having to be careful.”

In an effort to maintain a healthy stamina, Cole incorporates a three-hour exercise regime into her day, which includes 90 minutes of physical exercise, and 90 minutes of breathing and vocal exercises.

“My voice, which is a muscle, has become more resilient,” says Cole. “I’m feeling a lot stronger and I’m really enjoying it.”

Cole is currently involved in an extensive renovation project on her 1845, south shore, Nova Scotia home. “It’s a big old house that feels like a friend – it’s so cathartic,” says Cole. “It was originally a barrel factory, and then a coaching inn – kind of like a Motel 6 before there were cars. My concept for the house’s aesthetic is old meets new, which is very much like my music – the craft of bringing disparate elements together.”

With a large, grassroots fan base in Japan, Cole will be touring there, as well as Canada, Europe and the United States this year. “I love performing live more than anything. I never, ever forget where I came from.”



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COVER STORY: Edge Tower 2

COVER STORY: Edge Tower 2

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COVER STORY: Edge Tower 2

Solmar Developments prepares to launch Tower 2 of Edge Towers

With the successful sale of Edge Towers, Solmar Developments is beginning construction of Tower 1, the first of three Towers that are zoned to be built on the strategically located property that is just steps south of Burnamthorpe Road and Hurontario Street, in Mississauga.

And as construction begins on Tower 1, Solmar Developments is preparing to launch the sale of Edge Tower 2. The 40-storey Edge T2 will set a new standard in elegant living in Mississauga.

Being just steps from Square One and shops like Holt Renfrew, Armani, Hugo Boss, Gucci, and the Rolex Boutique, Edge T2 is set to be an exciting place to live. The Living Arts Centre, Celebration Square, the Hazel McCallion Campus of Sheridan College, Wholefoods, Chapters, Earls Restaurant, and Bier Market are also close by.

With the new LRT at their doorstep, future residents of Edge T2 will have easy access to travel locally, or the opportunity to take an express trip to Union Station, Pearson Airport, or anywhere else in the GTA, on the Metrolinx transportation network.

For those who prefer to drive, access to highways 403, 401, 407, 410 and QEW could not be more convenient. “There is a huge difference in value being located in a prime location right on the main public transportation system versus being a 10-minute drive west, down the highway,” says Scott Davie, the listing Broker of Edge Towers.

In addition to location, value is determined by a number of factors, and Solmar considers the quality of the finishes to be one of the most important ways to define value. The first impression at Edge T2 begins in the elegantly appointed lobby, with its marble finishings and hand crafted, Venetian plaster columns.

It is the gateway to the timeless elegance theme that defines the style of Edge Towers, the timeless elegance that Solmar is known for.

The luxury condominium lifestyle means that the Concierge will be available 24/7, and amenities include the use of the state-of-the-art gym, yoga studio, Wi-Fi lounge, movie theatre, billiards room, guest suites, and the party room with a walk out to an amazing terrace with a fire feature and barbecues.

Edge T2 was designed by the award winning Rosario “Roy” Varacalli, of Cusamano Architects. The Solmar team worked closely with the architect and, recognizing the changing needs of the market, has designed even more efficient suites, with typical sizes ranging from 493 to 721 square feet.

Edge T2 will include 424 one-bedroom, one plus den, and two-bedroom suites. Quality is defined by the level of the workmanship, and the level of the finishes, in the suites. Suite finishes include 9 foot smooth ceilings, fully integrated or stainless steel, superior quality, kitchen appliances, separate showers with frameless glass doors, and premium plank laminate flooring.

Solmar Developments is a traditional Italian builder that has taken a special pride in delivering the highest quality residential highrise, lowrise, and commercial projects across southern Ontario, over the last 30 years.

Choosing the right developer can make a big difference in quality, customer service, and future resale value. Savvy new condominium buyers recognize that the key elements that will lead to a making a successful decision when buying a new condominium are:

  • Superior location;
  • Proximity to public transit, local amenities, and highways;
  • Fine quality finishes and workmanship from a reputable and experienced builder;
  • Attractive building and floor plan designs; and
  • A full range of luxury amenities.

Today, the majority of Ontario residents count the equity in their home as their biggest source of their wealth. Real Estate is the gateway to personal wealth for the majority of people. Now more than ever, consumers have to make the right choice, not only to buy, but which property to buy.


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Cover Story: In The Zone

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Cover Story: In The Zone

The designated areas of Leigh-Ann Allaire Perrault’s backyard makeover add up to countless hours of summer fun

By: Leigh-Ann Allaire Perrault

Photography By: Larry Arnal

There aren’t many things more boringly Canadian than talking about the weather, but now that warmer days and balmy nights are in the forecast, I have to tell you…I’m doing cartwheels across the lawn at the thought of summer patio season!


Maybe it’s the fact that after a decade of living with a lacklustre backyard, my husband and I FINALLY invested in a complete outdoor overhaul, starting with a new low-maintenance concrete patio that has turned our once-underutilized patch of suburban grass into a multi-functional extension of our home. Early in the planning phase, we discussed how we envisioned spending time in our then-blank-canvas backyard, and determined that we wanted to include dedicated zones for lounging, dining, and cooking, as well as a fun zone for outdoor games.


For the lounging zone, we opted for a modular, maintenance free woven resin sectional that is perfect for relaxing with our feet up on lazy days but can also comfortably seat up to 10 guests when we’re entertaining. We defined this zone by introducing a substantial outdoor area rug that adds softness underfoot and is large enough to sit under the front legs of the furniture to anchor the area.


When we were shopping for the lounge set, we searched specifically for neutral beige, gray, and black finishes that would complement the existing exterior brick façade, trim, and fixtures of our home to create a cohesive look.


We then introduced touches of colour through affordable outdoor cushions and potted annuals, and I even transformed kitschy hot-pink plastic garden flamingos into a pair of flirty fowl with a quick coat of Universal spray paint in Copper Rose.


Another major consideration for our lounging zone was staying cool on sunny sweltering days. Our backyard gets direct afternoon sun, and I often felt like a sizzling strip of bacon when I sat out for more than five minutes, so I included a large free-standing market umbrella in the space that can be tilted to shield us from the rays.


For the dining zone, I had visions of creating a relaxed al fresco environment complete with comfortable seating and a self-serve beverage cart, but after searching high and low for the perfect piece, I decided to flex some DIY muscle and make my own! With less than $200 worth of materials and an afternoon of construction, I created a mobile drink station that features a mounted bottle opener, folding sides that lift for extra prep surface, and an insulated cooler inside to keep beverages cold. To finish it off and complement the dining set, I added a quick coat of Varathane Ebony Stain and an exterior clear-coat to protect it from the elements.


Like most exterior dining tables, our cast aluminum set has an umbrella in the centre, which makes it difficult to display a centrepiece, and any potted plants that I leave out on the tabletop often blown over with a gust of wind. So, I decided to craft an upcycle solution by adding a fresh coat of high-gloss black paint to an old Bundt pan from my kitchen, and then I planted a collection of fresh annuals inside it. Now, with the umbrella through the centre, I have no worries of it blowing away, and it creates the perfect focal point on the table.


Our biggest backyard splurge was creating an outdoor cooking zone! We installed a simple stacked-stone peninsula to house a built-in BBQ, and topped it with a solid slab of granite featuring a breakfast bar overhang at the back. As the saying goes, “the party always ends up in the kitchen”… and well, the “burger bar” is inevitably where everyone tends to gather now when we entertain.


And when it came to creating the “fun zone,” it didn’t take much more than a few outdoor games of ladder golf and badminton to set the tone for family activities. On weekends when the neighbourhood kids come over to play, I even whip up a quick DIY giant checkerboard using a square cardboard template, a can of YardArt spray paint, and a collection of red and blue dollar-store Frisbees to act as the game pieces, and it makes for hours of afternoon fun.

By designing our outdoors with distinctive zones in mind, we now have a multi-purpose space that not only maximizes the style and function of our once-bland backyard, but also extends our living space exponentially during the warm weather months.


OUTDOOR FURNITURE: DOT Furniture; PILLOWS, AREA RUG, DINING ACCESSORIES: Canadian Tire; BBQ: Napoleon; Universal metallic spray PAINT and YardArt PAINT: Rust-Oleum

A self-proclaimed DIY ninja, Leigh-Ann believes that great design has little to do with how much money you spend, but rather how creative you can be with your budget. As an expert on CityTV’s Cityline, Leigh-Ann embraces every opportunity to spark creativity and instill confidence in others who strive to “DO IT YOURSELF.” For more information, visit huelala.com @leighannallaire


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Cover Story: Making it Work HAL EISEN and ANDREW BOTTECCHIA

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Cover Story: Making it Work HAL EISEN and ANDREW BOTTECCHIA

By Cece M. Scott www.cecescott.com

WHEN YOU LOOK AROUND the sun-splashed condo of Hal Eisen and Andrew Bottecchia, you can’t help but be struck by Eisen’s outsized collection of eclectic art. Located in an 1873 heritage building in the west end of Toronto, the couple’s penthouse also includes a spectacular 1,200-square-foot, wrap-around terrace.

On the wrap-around terrace of their condominium. Photo, Steve Russell

Partners in business, and in life, Eisen ( 61) and Bottecchia (54) met some 16 years ago. True to his acting roots, Eisen is gregarious and animated, while Bottecchia is the gracious parenthesis. When speaking about their relationship, Bottecchia says, “It took a while to figure things out. We had to set some boundaries.”

The couple’s personal commitment was cemented when Eisen was performing in a play in Ottawa called It’s All True, which won the Governor’s General award. “I knew Hal wasn’t in a good place, mentally,” says Bottecchia. “So, I got up on at 2 a.m. on a Saturday and drove to Ottawa. I called Hal from outside his house and said, “Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have breakfast together this morning?”

“Talk about a big romantic gesture,” says Eisen. “Andrew’s visit gave me the opportunity to let go, and to step away from the role for awhile. I had a whole new energy. Of course, it didn’t hurt that he was good looking, funny and charming. His goodness is what you fall in love with.”


Bottecchia is president of Bottecchia Artistic Group Inc., and has worked on such shows as The Designer Guys, This Small Space, and on Life T.V. and The Food Network. At the height of the SARS epidemic in 2003, major film productions were being pulled out of Toronto and acting opportunities were scarce. Bottecchia, who was the art director on Love by Design, recommended Hal as the show’s host. “They wanted someone who had done interior design and was also familiar with television,” says Eisen. “I had experience in both, as I’d put myself through acting school by doing design work.”

By the end of 2009, both Bottecchia and Eisen stepped away from lifestyle T.V. and immersed themselves in their individual careers. However, the door was never really shut when it came to collaborating on design projects. “We don’t even know how we agree on stuff,” says Eisen. “We each have strong opinions and we filter things through our own aesthetic. But, ultimately, the client decides.”

Eisen has been acting for four decades in theatre, movie and television, and has appeared on Saving Hope, DeGrassi and Murdoch Mysteries. Eisen admits that the opportunities for auditions for his age group are dwindling. “It’s not like when I was in my 20s and 30s. I went out there knowing I’d get the roles – I just expected it. There’s a lot more competition now,” says Eisen. “But the good thing is, I am at a point where I can turn down a role that doesn’t speak to me. That’s why it’s wonderful to have another creative outlet.”

Bottecchia established his design company in 1994. What he’s now noticing is that he’s designing for the offspring of the families that he initially designed for. “It’s exciting, and an honour, to be working with the next generation,” says Bottecchia. “We’ve become part of their families.”

Both Eisen and Bottecchia are aware of the pros and cons of being self-employed. “When you have a relationship with someone who understands the freelance life, it certainly helps,” says Bottecchia. “Hal gets the hardships of it. He’s my rock – my mushy rock.”

“You’re fighting time – your mind says one thing and your body says another.” – Andrew Bottecchia


The opposites attract theory holds some merit with regard to the way that they each approach life. Bottecchia sees the glass as half full, while Eisen is a self-declared worrywart. As a child, Eisen says that he was overweight, and had glasses and big teeth. “I was never the first choice, so I spent a lot of my life achieving things.”

Whereas Bottecchia says that he could be sitting in their lovely home with only a nickel in his pocket, and would consider himself rich. “I call him Pollyandy,” says Eisen. “Andrew always looks at the good side of everything. He’s incredibly loyal.”

On their off hours, Eisen likes to swim, and Bottecchia enjoys going to the gym and roller blading. When at a cottage in Haliburton, Bottecchia hikes and kayaks, and Eisen reads and sleeps. “I’m a city guy, and Andrew is the country boy,” says Eisen.


Eisen is now the same age as when his mother passed away. Aging is on his mind, as are his aches and pains. “I miss that gung-ho ability to throw myself into everything. And, I miss the realization that not everything is possible.”

“I haven’t found any aging challenges, yet,” says Bottecchia. “But when I do, I am going to deal with it like I do everything else, which is basically screw this, I’ll handle it. There’s nothing I miss about my younger years – it’s all in how you set your mind.”

Their retirement dream is to secure an eight-bedroom guesthouse in Barbados. It will be a bed and breakfast, as well as an art gallery that features Bajan and Canadian artists. Bottecchia will reside there, while Eisen will travel back and forth. “I need to be around my acting, and my city friends,” says Eisen. “I need my six months in Canada.”

Photo, Jake Martella

“You come to an age when you either get it or you don’t,” says Bottecchia. “When we are young we aspire to material things. I’ve achieved all that, and now I am thankful for the wisdom, gratitude and understanding. I say prayers every morning. Everybody needs something that they can connect to.”

Eisen interjects and says that he connects with their dog (Boy), and the couple breaks into laughter. Both are grateful that they live in a country that is so accepting, and where seniors are not a throwaway generation. “I feel there is more that I can do,” says Eisen. “In many ways – to teach and to share.”

Photography, courtesy of Hal Eisen and Andrew Bottecchia.


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Cover Story: Editor's Choice: Fieldgate Homes

Cover Story: Editor’s Choice: Fieldgate Homes

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Cover Story: Editor’s Choice: Fieldgate Homes

Discover the GTA’s most spectacular residences when you visit Fieldgate’s many fine communities

Over the past six decades, Fieldgate has worked hard to provide the finest quality family homes and communities to thousands of satisfied homeowners across the GTA and beyond. This year we’re offering an exceptional selection of new homes to choose from at our many fine community locations.


Located at the southwest corner of Mayfield and Chinguacousy Roads, Upper Valleylands in West Brampton brings the signature look and feel of Fieldgate’s celebrated Valleylands community to a new highly desirable location on the Caledon/Brampton border. Discover a beautiful selection of semi-detached, 30-, 38- and 41-foot detached homes and freehold townhomes in a complete master-planned community setting. Register today at Fieldgatehomes.com for your preview purchasing opportunity. The sales centre is located at 8676 Chinguacousy Road, just north of Steeles Avenue West.


Since it opened, Valleylands has been a top choice among homebuyers in West Brampton. At an ideal location on the west side of Chinguacousy Road north of Steeles Avenue West, this is a place where the valleys surrounding the Credit River offer a breathtaking outdoor playground of lush green parkland with major urban conveniences all just moments away. With a limited number of homes remaining, this is your chance to own a model home in this picture perfect setting.

Valleylands is also offering a collection of inspired live/work units. Discover an amazing business opportunity plus all the luxury you’d expect with a Fieldgate home. These stunning units provide a beautiful Fieldgate residence on the upper floors and a retail/office unit on the ground level. Start your own business or enjoy added rental income.


At Cobblestones South, just south of Steeles Avenue West in West Brampton, you can discover an exquisite selection of new 36-foot designs, many of which feature optional lofts that will bring the total interior space up to over 3,400 square feet! With a wonderful collection of solid brick and stone homes to choose from, you are certain to find something that is perfect for your family here. Enjoy Brampton’s most convenient lifestyle with many major amenities nearby, including parks, schools, shopping, dining, easy access to Highways 400, 401 and 407, Brampton Transit, GO Transit and more.


GTA homebuyers have already fallen in love with this new master-planned community of Richlands at Elgin Mills Road and Leslie Street in Richmond Hill. Fieldgate is excited to be offering 36- and 43-foot singles over 4,600 square feet, semis over 3,000 square feet and freehold townhomes over 3,100 square feet at this spectacular family community. Register today for priority access.


Whitby Meadows is a master-planned community that offers West Whitby’s best lifestyle. Discover an exceptional new selection of 30- and 36-foot singledetached homes in west Whitby’s finest natural setting. This community truly has everything you’ve been looking for.


Stouffville’s Blue Sky is the new home community you’ve been waiting for — a refreshing way of life full of old-fashioned charm, set in a dynamic, modern and convenient community of mostly detached homes just five minutes north of Markham. Over 1,300 families already call Blue Sky home, and with this latest release of 30-, 36- and 40-foot singles, there has never been a better time to call Blue Sky your home, too!


The new release at Impressions will feature an excellent selection of all new home designs, so there’s never been a better time to discover this acclaimed Kleinburg community. Discover an exceptional master-planned community setting that features over 70 acres of greenspace, community parks, ponds and two proposed community schools. Featuring an ideal location minutes from the heart of the historic village of Kleinburg, this is without a doubt one of the finest new home communities in the GTA. The next release at Impressions will feature a collection of 36- and 44-foot detached homes of unparalleled style and distinction. With a number of acclaimed Fieldgate floorplans to choose from, homebuyers will find something that meets their families’ lifestyle and needs.


Go online for more information on any of these remarkable communities, Sales Centre locations, phone numbers, floorplans, or to register for upcoming communities.



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Cover Story: Bianca

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Cover Story: Bianca

Tridel’s Luxurious Addition to the Annex

The Annex is one of Toronto’s oldest and most charismatic neighbourhoods. Endearingly known for its industrial roots, the northern border of Dupont Street is about to undergo an exciting transformation from its former factory glory, into the city’s newest urban destination for arts, food and entertainment.

Tridel’s Bianca will be the first residential condominium to arrive along this coveted Annex corridor. The luxurious midrise building will bring renewed poise to this rejuvenated stretch of Toronto’s downtown, dubbed ‘The New Dupont’.

Located on Dupont, west of Spadina at Howland Avenue, the luminous nine-storey residence is designed to make a profound architectural statement. The distinctive white façade and gently sloping exterior of expansive terraces and balconies are the hallmark of Teeple Architects’ design for Bianca.

“Bianca is truly one of a kind, with spacious suites and distinctive architecture,” says Jim Ritchie, executive vice president, sales and marketing at Tridel. “This is a unique opportunity to live in a luxury condo residence in the coveted Annex neighbourhood, while still having private outdoor space to entertain or simply relax.”

The generous outdoor spaces at Bianca offer residents extended living space, inviting the opportunity to grow fresh plants and herbs, relax and unwind for some private leisure time, or host an afternoon barbecue to enjoy time with friends and family.

Bianca offers suite collections in a variety of thoughtfully conceived layouts. Open concept living and dining spaces flow out onto terraces and balconies with views of Casa Loma to the northeast and the downtown skyline to the south.

For those seeking large suites with both indulgence and privacy, Bianca’s Terrace Collection includes exclusive luxurious north-facing suites. These expansive residences are available in two-bedroom, two-bedroom plus den and three-bedroom layouts that overlook the community’s private landscaped courtyards.

Beginning from 1,015 square feet, these coveted suites are priced starting from $1 million, include a parking space, and boast luxury finishes such as Miele appliances, a natural stone or quartz waterfall island, and plank engineered flooring.

Bianca’s stunningly rich interiors and sophisticated, urban amenity spaces have been artfully crafted by the award-winning designers at II by IV Design. Bianca will boast a striking rooftop terrace with panoramic views of downtown and Casa Loma, complete with an outdoor pool, cabanas, barbecues and an outdoor fireplace lounge. Indoors, Bianca has a welcoming two-storey lobby with fireplace lounge, a state-of-the-art fitness centre with yoga and stretching studio, and is also home to multi-function entertainment spaces including a sophisticated European-inspired party lounge and bar, and an elegant private dining room.

“Rich with robust lifestyle options, the Annex and Dupont Street have an exciting, vibrant energy that Bianca residents will enjoy,” says Jim Ritchie. “The introduction of new residential condominiums coupled with the lively, eclectic mix of cultural hotspots and community green spaces make ‘The New Dupont’ an attractive choice for everyone.”

Inarguably, one of the area’s biggest draws is the growing restaurant scene along Dupont. The street is home to a seemingly endless choice of popular eateries including French brasseries, Italian ristorantes, Mexican cantinas, burger joints and other grab ‘n’ go options for local foodies.

The Annex also features an exciting list of high-end shops, heritage buildings, art galleries and cultural escapes such as Artscape Wychwood Barns, Casa Loma, and the Royal Ontario Museum. Additionally, the area is home to an inviting expanse of greenspaces and parks for the enjoyment of Annex pedestrians.

Visit the Presentation Centre, located at 408 Dupont Street. The Presentation Centre is open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday to Thursday, and from noon to 6 p.m. weekends; closed Friday. For further information visit the website.



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