Tag Archives: Catherine Daley

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Bed-in-a-box – one size does not fit all

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Bed-in-a-box – one size does not fit all

Shopping for a car can elicit a great deal of angst. There are so many choices, and we want the best price, an awesome warranty, the perfect colour (of course), as well as state-of-the-art safety features and an impressive stereo for in-car karaoke. Today, shopping for a mattress can provoke similar anxiety. On average, we spend one third of our day sleeping – so by the age of 75, that’s 25 years of sleeping, or 9,125 days. It’s doubtful that we give as much thought to a mattress purchase, as we do to a vehicle.

The players

The first ads for Casper started popping up on billboards a few years ago. While they were very good at creating brand awareness, it took awhile to figure out what they were selling. Was it a memory foam mattress topper? How could a substantial mattress be in a box? Shortly after, came Endy – the all-Canadian alternative. In 2009, Novosbed Inc. launched Logan & Cove. Once you start searching, there’s a great deal of competition.

Casper
Casper

Making it easy

Buying a mattress was referred to as a dull shopping experience, and Casper wanted to modernize it with simplicity and transparency. They rolled out their mattresses here, shortly after launching them in the U.S. in 2014, according to Nicole Tapscott, Vice President and General Manager of Casper Canada.

Co-founders of Endy, Mike Gettis and Rajen Ruparell, set out to create a sleep company by Canadians, for Canadians – one that would offer comfort, quality and convenience.

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Logan & Cove

Cradling considerations

Both Endy and Casper promote an open-cell foam, which they claim is temperature neutral and reduces motion transfer. Below the open cell layer of foam, Endy has two additional layers of foam of varying densities. Casper claims to include a support foam framework that contours to each area of the body for pressure-relieving support.

What’s true about both of these options, is that the top layer of foam does cradle the body and helps to reduce pressure on sensitive areas. However, depending upon your age and weight, getting out of that cocooned position isn’t so easy, nor is the mattress firm enough to support you when rolling over or attempting to get up. The profile of these mattresses is generally thinner, ranging between eight and 12 inches in depth. Measure the height of your frame, as well as the foundation and the mattress that you choose, to determine if you can sit on the side of the bed, and get in and out easily.

Endy and Capser come in a box about the size of a hockey bag, and it’s quite fascinating to watch it grow after the shrink wrap has been removed. Unlike Casper and Endy, the Logan & Cove brand is a spring and memory foam hybrid. They have added a heat dissipating gel memory foam, as well as silk and eucalyptus-derived fibres, to help with natural temperature regulation. Not many hybrids are delivered in a box, so this one is larger and the full length of the product. Plus, the depth of this mattress is 14 inches.

Endy
Endy

Trial and error

While all name-brand mattresses come with a warranty, it’s difficult to determine what you might like, even if shopping in a bricks and mortar store. You may lie down on half a dozen for a few minutes, and then decide on the one that you’ll be lying on for the next 10 to 15 years. All these bed-in-a-box products come with a 90- to 120-day trial period. “We know that it can take some time to adjust to a new mattress,” says Sarah Feldman, Director of PR and Communications for Endy. “So, we give customers 100 nights to have it in their sleep environment.”

If you don’t like the mattress after the trial period, all companies say that they recycle or donate them to local charities.

Expanding choices

The split (two-piece) box spring/foundation, used for a king-size bed, often creates a hump in the middle, and this gets worse as the mattress ages. Endy does not offer support frames at this time, but Casper offers an engineered, solid wood foundation, with perfectly spaced slats, that provides optimal support and eliminates this problem.

Novosbed carries other bed-in-a-box products, but found that their Logan & Cove brand appealed to a more-mature market because of its hybrid construction. However, their first release proved to be too firm for some, so they recently added a medium/plush alternative. Casper now offers three options, and both Casper and Endy are adding to their bedding line-up with pillows and linen.

“As we age, it’s important to consider a mattress with strong support that has the right amount of pressure point relief around your hips and shoulders,” says Kleyne. “This will ensure proper spinal alignment, which is imperative for a continued, rejuvenating, sleep.”


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BUILDER PROFILE: Marz Homes

BUILDER PROFILE: Marz Homes

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BUILDER PROFILE: Marz Homes

by Catherine Daley
Photography, courtesy of Marz Homes

Four decades of homebuilding excellence

Historically, the cornerstone (foundation stone) was the first stone set in the construction of a masonry foundation. The entire structure was determined by this stone, as all the other stones would be set in reference to it. Over time, it became a ceremonial stone that was set in a prominent position, and was often inscribed with the construction date, architect or builder. As with any work of art, the creator should be recognized. Marz Homes has made a tradition of signing the completion of each home that they build with a brick bearing their name.

Some 60 years ago, Mike (Marzio) Pompeani started his career as a masonry contractor. In 1968 he built his first single family home in Hamilton – the original residents still reside there today. In 1978 he founded Marz Homes. In keeping with Pompeani’s original vision, little has changed when it comes to an unwavering commitment to build the best, possible, homes.

South Coast Village
South Coast Village

A GUIDING PHILOSOPHY

A generation later, the family has maintained Pompeani’s core philosophy, which is to build every home as if they were building it for themselves. This benchmark has left them in good standing with their customers. The recipients of many local, provincial and and national awards that recognize their designs, communities and community service, the one that stands out is the Homeowner Mark of Excellence, which is a national honour bestowed upon the builder that maintains a high level of customer service in a Canada-wide satisfaction survey. In addition, Marz Homes has been awarded the Hamilton-Halton Homebuilders’ Association Consumer Choice Award for two years in a row. “This is the type of recognition that matters,” says Dan Gabriele, president. “Our customers are the ones that we have to impress.”

You’re only as good as the people that you have working for you, and it’s here that Marz shines. As a builder and developer, Marz is able to maintain a hands-on approach to ensure that every component fits perfectly into the final vision.

A company can say that they are committed to customer service, but how they treat their own employees and contractors speaks volumes. Many trade contractors have been loyal to Marz Homes for as long as the company has been in business. This allows Marz to guide them through the best construction practices, in order to meet their customers’ expectations.

SPECIALIZED NICHE

Marz Homes has witnessed incredible changes over the last four decades, especially as it relates to Hamilton. “Hamilton is great,” says Gabriele. “It offers a bevy of amenities. You have the urban aspect, as well as gorgeous, mature communities on the perimeter, in addition to wonderful natural features, like the escarpment, the lake and farmland. Whatever you want, Hamilton has it – and it’s affordable.”

The Lakewood model at Smithville Station
The Lakewood model at Smithville Station

Focusing on the areas that they’ve come know, Marz Homes recognizes the heightened potential, and popularity, of southwestern Ontario. Their demographic includes those who are starting out, and those who are now looking to downsize, and want less hustle and bustle. Towns, like Grimsby, Stoney Creek, Hamilton, Crystal Beach and Cambridge fit the bill.

Dan Gabriele, president (left), presents the Arts Education & Community Arts Award at the Hamilton Arts Awards.
Dan Gabriele, president (left), presents the Arts Education & Community Arts Award at the Hamilton Arts Awards.

COMMUNITY AWARENESS

A sense of loyalty is reinvested back into the communities in which they build, and they feel a strong sense of obligation to give back. As a local employer in Hamilton, Marz supports the Canadian Cancer Society, Mac Kids, An Instrument for Every Child, Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra and arts-related initiatives. Of particular significance, Marz has helped to raise more than $700,000 for the Canadian Cancer Society, and was awarded Corporate Citizen of the year for their continued efforts.

In support of McMaster Children's Hospital
In support of McMaster Children’s Hospital

Along with their long-standing trade and supply partnerships, Marz Homes strives to build the best quality homes. “We develop and build communities,” says Gabriele. “We offer complete neighbourhoods.”

marzhomes.com


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The Sheet Quandry

The Sheet Quandry

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The Sheet Quandry

by Catherine Daley

Everything you’ve always wanted to know about bedding.

In his recent book Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life…And Maybe the World, Admiral William McRaven says that if you make your bed every morning, you will have accomplished the first task of the day. It will give you a small sense of pride, and it will encourage you to do another task, and another, and another. He goes on to say, that making your bed reinforces that the little things in life matter.

SIZE DOES MATTER

Thread count refers to the number of woven (horizontal and vertical) threads per square inch. A higher thread count correlates with longer wear, as well as increasing softness. Between 200 and 800 is common, but you might find sheets with 1,000 threads per inch.

Egyptian cotton refers to the country of origin, but it does not necessarily mean quality. Often described as the best cotton in the world due to its extra-long staple, which produces a soft, supple weave. Check the labelling to ensure that it says 100 per cent Egyptian cotton, as some manufacturers advertise their sheets as such, but they may only contain a few per cent.

Supima cotton is grown exclusively in the western and southwestern parts of the United States, and is known for its quality, strength and softness. Only three per cent of the cotton grown each year is worthy of the Supima name. Supima cotton is both lustrous to the eye and luxurious to the touch.

Percale refers to a plain weave fabric made from both carded, and combed, yarns, which can include cotton, polyester or other blends, and gets high marks for durability and coolness.”

If you’re a hot potato in the sack (temperature wise), linen, silk and bamboo are cool choices. On the cosier end, flannel sheets are known for their softness. A blend of wool, cotton or synthetic fibres may be used, and the nap of the fabric is often brushed to create the fluffy surface.

Tencel is a branded fabric made from lyocell, which is a form of rayon consisting of cellulose fibres dissolved from bleached wood pulp. While still botanic in origin, Tencel sheets are silky, breathable and less prone to wrinkling.

Polyester and microfibre are typically made from synthetic fibres, and are on the lower end of the sheet spectrum. While less expensive, these sheets don’t breathe well, tend to hold the heat and may pill after multiple washings.

TOP IT OFF

Duvets are generally filled with feathers or down, which generate different warming, and cooling, properties. If you have allergies, natural silk is a good alternative, as well as synthetic fillings. It’s desirable to have interchangeable covers for different seasons, and for different reasons. But, ultimately, it comes down to personal preference when dealing with layered add-ons. Blankets, quilts, coverlets, or a matelassé (a weaving technique that yields a quilted or padded-like pattern) cover – all provide varying benefits as it relates to comfort and decorative ornateness.

You’ve made your bed – now lie in it!

Catherine Daley is Editor of Active Life magazine, HOMES Publishing Group.


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Travel: Road Trip Northeastern Ontari-ari-o

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Travel: Road Trip Northeastern Ontari-ari-o

By Catherine Daley

Skip the line-ups at the airport, pack the car and hit the open road. Stop where, and when, you want, and shrug off that nonexistent timeline – there’s nothing more freeing.

I did just that this past fall, spending nights in North Bay, Tekmiskaming Shores, Cochrane, Timmins and Sudbury. It was during this time that the passing of Gord Downie was announced. At the Best Western Hotel in Cochrane, I was told by the manager that Downie often checked in, and then would board the Ontario Northland Polar Bear Express to Moosonee, where he’d write and relax. For miles of unspoiled northern environs I listened to Downie tributes on CBC – the landscape, itself, was a fitting tribute.

As you venture north during the fall months, the hardwood colours diminish and a softer colour palette prevails – eventually becoming predominately green and gold. The rich hues of evergreen trees, combined with the gilded needles of the larch and yellowing birch leaves, make for a soothing backdrop.

Plan now for a summer trip. If camping, dozens of provincial parks, endless forests, lakes and rivers are yours to explore. If you’re looking for comfort, suite-style hotel options, with kitchenettes, are plentiful and convenient.

Devil’s Rock, Lake Temiskaming

DAYS 1 & 2

I used an old-fashioned, paper map folded to reveal my next destination. There’s something about that visual reference that makes you appreciate how far that you’ve traveled in relationship to the surrounding area.

North Bay is considered to be the gateway community to Northeastern Ontario, and is located on the traditional territory of Nipissing First Nation peoples. The name was derived from its position on the shores of Lake Nipissing, and was the site of the main canoe route west from Montreal. There was little activity in this area until the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) moved west in 1882.

Today, North Bay has a vibrant downtown core with an abundance of shops, restaurants and art studios. If you have a sweet tooth, check out the Opera Bakery Cafe. For an amazing spinach salad and pizza, place an order at Greco’s Pizza.

West of North Bay, along Highway 17, is the Duschesnay Falls and trails, where a 70-metre-high waterfall cascades down the rocky escarpment.

Haileybury – part of Temiskaming Shores

Two hours north of North Bay is Temiskaming Shores, which was created with the amalgamation of the towns of New Liskerard, Haileybury and the township of Dymond in 2004.

Side trips from this location include Caribou Mountain where you can climb a fire tower overlooking the village of Temagami. The Thornloe Cheese Factory is a local favourite, and Cobalt is a Parks Canada National Historic Site. Here you can visit the Mining, Firefighters and Bunker Military Museums.

Cobalt Mining Museum

DAYS 3 TO 5

It’s in Cochrane where you book a round-trip ticket on the Polar Bear Express, operated by Ontario Northland Railway. Year-round, this train transports passengers and supplies to Moosonee five days per week (with an additional train on Sunday during the summer), as there are no roads connecting the two towns.

Also located in Cochrane is the Polar Bear Habitat for orphaned and rescued bears. Tours and programs are available.

Every patriotic Canadian, who enjoys a good cup of coffee, should visit the Tim Horton Museum in Cochrane – his birthplace. A member of the Hockey Hall of Fame, Horton co-founded the doughnut and coffee shop chain in 1964.

Just west of Cochrane is the beautiful Rene Brunelle Provinicial Park with great fishing, two hiking trails, four sandy beaches and seasonal site rentals.

The Big Nickle in Sudbury

DAYS 6 TO 8

Natural resources are plentiful around the City of Timmins. From lumbering to the mining of zinc, copper, nickel, silver and gold, Timmins is the fourth largest city in the Northeastern Ontario region. Archaeologists’ research indicates that there has been human settlement in this area for at least 6,000 years.

Today, Timmins prides itself on its hospitality, and is branded as the city with a heart of gold. For fabulous fish n’ chips, try the Fishbowl Restaurant, as well as The Voyageur Dining Room at Cedar Meadows. The Cedar Meadows Resort & Spa offers special packages that include accommodation, spa treatments and nordic baths. Also at this location is the Wildlife Sanctuary, where you can get up close and personal with moose, bison, deer and elk.

Gogama Heritage Museum

Gas up before you set out for Sudbury from Timmins. There are few service stops along Highway 144, but many magnificent photo opportunities. A call of nature had me looking for a rest stop along this stretch, and it was in Gogama that I found a small diner. With a population of 277, this community looks like something from a movie set and relies heavily on eco-tourism. It’s here that you’ll find The Gogama Heritage Museum, which is housed in a Hudson Bay Company store built in 1922.

Laurentian Conservation Area

In The Tragically Hip’s song Fly, the lyrics include, “There’s Mistaken Point, Newfoundland, There’s Moonbeam Ontari-ari-o, There are places I’ve never been, And always wanted to go.”

northeasternontario.com

Photography, courtesy of Northeastern Ontario Tourism

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Builder Profile: Briarwood Homes

Builder Profile: Briarwood Homes

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Builder Profile: Briarwood Homes

by Catherine Daley

A personal commitment to quality

Sixty years ago, Enzo Di Giovanni’s family immigrated from Italy. With them, they brought hand-crafted construction techniques derived from a long legacy of home building. Di Giovanni’s relatives were masters in masonry and concrete, and those skills were passed down to him at a very young age. “I’ve lived most of my life on a construction site,” says Di Giovanni.

While it may be a slight exaggeration, it isn’t far from the truth. Di Giovanni has an extensive background in a number of trades as a result of being on site since his youth – and he’s learned to master the artistry that goes along with them. His passion is shared with everyone who works on each new home building project – from start to finish.

Briarwood Homes is now in their 28th year in Canada, and they have focused their expertise on the Southern Ontario area. “We’re all about developing, and building, all-encompassing communities,” says Di Giovanni. “They’re built to a master plan that often includes a full range of amenities and retail services, as well.”

Quality features and finishes are evident in every Briarwood home.
Quality features and finishes are evident in every Briarwood home.

It’s this forward-thinking philosophy that continues to put Briarwood on the top rung of the building industry ladder. They are developing more sustainable communities that are also environment-friendly. Green roofs are being incorporated on top of their high rise buildings, and rough-ins are included in garages to accommodate super-charged, electric vehicles. “It’s all about anticipating what our homebuyers are looking for today,” says Di Giovanni. “And what they might possibly need for generations to come.”

Our customers have come to expect hands-on attention and hand-picked options.

Extending from Kingston in the east, to the northern climes of Muskoka, as well as the south/western region of Fort Erie (and everything in between), Briarwood Homes has an extensive portfolio of high-, low- and mid-rise communities in Newmarket, Brampton, Milton, Angus, Sutton and Prince Edward County, to name a few.

The Briarwood team prepares for another new home community.
The Briarwood team prepares for another new home community.

New projects currently in production, or recently finished, include Pretty River in Collingwood, Fletcher’s Meadow in Brampton, Mill Street in Tottenham and Havelock Town Manors in Markham, as well as a limited edition of luxury towns on the water in Jackson’s Point.

An in-house designer is available to assist new home buyers with a selection of finishes and upgrades to best represent their personal style.

When Briarwood is designing a model home or a new condo lobby, they outsource the decorating to the best in the business. Nothing is left to chance.

Homebuyers appreciate the hands-on attention and unparalleled customer service that they’ve come to expect from Briarwood Homes, because they know that nothing will be overlooked. All departmental employees, along with the trades and manufacturers that Di Giovanni deals with, respect this level of commitment. Only the highest quality materials are sourced, and a wide selection of options are hand-picked. “It’s what our customers want,” says Di Giovanni.

While the CEO of Briarwood Homes, Enzo Di Giovanni, may have a bricks and mortar office located at the company’s head office in Richmond Hill, it’s more likely that his car is command central. “I’m completely hands-on,” says Di Giovanni. “I get personally involved – it’s in my DNA.”

briarwoodhomes.ca



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Travel: The Oxford Experience

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Travel: The Oxford Experience

BY CATHERINE DALEY

Pirates, Adventurers and Fortune-Seekers; The Enigma of Stone Henge; The Meaning of Life; Broken Genes; The Arts and Crafts Garden; 200 Years of British Murder; Lewis Carroll in Oxford; Political Thinking in the 20th Century; Upstairs, Downstairs in the English Country House – these are only a sample of the 60-some courses being offered over a six-week period during the summer of 2018.

Photography, courtesy of Oxford University and participating students

Areas of Study

Created in 1991 by Trevor Rowley, The Oxford Experience is just that – an experience. Using much of their same words, The Oxford Experience is a residential summer programme providing one-week courses in a variety of subjects aimed at non-specialists in the areas of archaeology and early history; art; music; houses and gardens; literature and creative writing; modern history and philosophy; natural and social sciences – plus it provides you a unique opportunity to sample life in Christ Church – one of the university’s most beautiful, and impressive, colleges.

Small study groups (approximately 12 people) are taught by experienced tutors. Your fee includes the course, which runs from approximately 9:15 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. Monday through Friday (plus a field trip), as well as three meals per day in the Hall and accommodation in a study bedroom of Christ Church. Each participant is invited to sit at the High Table one evening during the week, and on the final night, a celebratory dinner is held.

Captivating Dining

After attending an orientation meeting in a lecture hall on the Sunday evening prior to our course, a few hundred of us strolled through the Tom Quad to the staircase of Bodley Tower, and made our way up was The Buttery, which is home to one of the college’s oldest bars, where students and guests can enjoy wines, whiskey and beer – some specially produced for Christ Church.

Lawn and garden behind Christ Church

The Hall is the finest surviving section of the college’s original foundation. Completed alongside the kitchens in the 1520s, the Hall has been in almost-constant use since the sixteenth century. It was the Renaissance splendour of this Hall that charmed the makers of the Harry Potter films to build a replica in their London studios.

Tom Quad

At the appointed time, an attendant struck a wooden board three times with a gavel, and announced that dinner was now served. The sheer grandeur of the Hall was irresistible, but I had to pay attention to those who had been there before me and take my cue as to what to do next. We stood behind our chairs until the gavel was struck again and a scholar recited a shorter version (in Latin) of the pre-dinner grace. The efficient staff immediately began to serve, and in no time at all we were breaking bread with fellow participants from around the world – many of whom had been coming back year-after-year, and took more than one course per summer.

Dinner table setting (by class) on the final evening.

Student Life

After a buffet-style lunch, the afternoon is yours to enjoy. As part of the programme experience, you can choose to attend special guest lectures and cultural events, attend an evening of whisky tasting, book guided walking tours or additional outings, and play a round of croquet (weather permitting) on the grounds of Christ Church. Every evening at 6 p.m., Evensong is spoken or sung in the Cathedral, which is the oldest part of the college and located next to the Hall.

Dinner table setting (by class) on the final evening.

Enjoy a picnic in Christ Church Meadow, stroll the gardens or soak up some atmospheric knowledge in one of the more-than 100 libraries in Oxford – the largest library system in the UK.

For some additional atmosphere, grab a pint at The Eagle and Child (nicknamed The Bird and Baby) pub. It was here that The Inklings (a literary discussion group), which included the likes of Charles Dodgson (Lewis Carroll), C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien and Charles Williams, met for lunch during the 30s and 40s in a lounge at the back of the pub known as the Rabbit Room.

The dreamlike world of Oxford is a bit like going down the rabbit hole and, definitely, worth the experience.

Courses fill up quickly and early booking is recommended. conted.ox.ac.uk/about/oxford-experience

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Travel: Fly Fishing

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Travel: Fly Fishing

By Catherine Daley

A Sporting Obsession

I have lasting memories of the 1992 movie A River Runs Through It, and I can honestly say that it has nothing to do with Brad Pitt. Images from the movie stayed with me because of the beautiful fly fishing scenes. And, in 1993, the academy agreed with me and awarded it an Oscar for best cinematography.

My daughter was a rower when she was in university. For some reason I equate the timing and fluidity of fly fishing with the choreographic nature of rowing – watching a crew of eight sweeping their oars in perfect unison. Fly fishing is all about the fluidity of the waves (referred to as loops) as the line unfurls during the cast. Unlike other casting methods, when you’re fly fishing you’re casting the line rather than the lure. Apparently there’s a great amount of physics involved in performing the proper cast, but photographer, fly angler and co-host on So Fly Podcast, Gabriel Bizeau, says that you can liken it to mastering a perfect stroke when playing golf – it takes a lot of practice. During the off-season, you might find Bizeau honing his technique in an empty field. “Consistency is the main skill – you have to be precise. You want to make your loop as small as possible when you’re swinging. If you deviate from your path with your arm, you get tangled and that’s when you start swearing,” laughs Bizeau. “It’s not as peaceful as everyone thinks. It’s about keeping focused – it’s a mind game.”

Bizeau started fly fishing with his father at a young age. He attended a hunting and fishing club in his home town in Quebec when he was around the age of five, and in the winter he took fly tying classes.

A box of trout candy.

Tying flies is an art form that anglers have been trying to perfect for hundreds of years. Unlike other types of fishing where you drop a lure into the water and a bobber signals that you have a fish, fly fishing is about enticing the fish to strike (bite the fly). Artificial flies are made by fastening hair, fur, feathers and other natural (or synthetic) materials onto a hook. Flies are tied in different sizes, colours and patterns to resemble local terrestrial and aquatic insects, baitfish or other prey that are attractive to the species of fish that you’re trying to target. “It’s a very personal thing, but you’re trying to replicate, and animate, a fly, so that it looks alive to the fish,” says Bizeau. “You can work from old patterns or invent your own flies. When I’m making fl ies, I’m always thinking about how it’s going to swim. Will it float well? And what kind of fish can I catch with it?”

Bizeau’s favourite hand-tied mouse fly.

Like many anglers, Bizeau is adamant about preserving our resources, and is strictly catch and release. The barb on the hook is flattened so that it’s easier to remove from the fish and does less damage.

The trout of Bizeau’s dreams.

The sport of fly fishing is becoming increasingly popular, and Bizeau admits that, for him, it’s become an obsession. “When I’m tying flies in the winter, I’m dreaming of going fly fishing in the summer. You have to stay focused. If you’re not ready and you lose a fish – it’s the worst.”

Many of us would probably be better fishermen if we did not spend so much time watching and waiting for the world to become perfect.
– Norman Maclean, A River Runs Through it and Other Stories

You don’t have to drive far to find great fly fishing spots like this in Southern Ontario.

Southern Ontario is packed with tributaries, streams, rivers and lakes with wonderful fly fishing opportunities. For catching giant brown trout Bizeau suggests the upper Credit River. The lower Grand River is great for largemouth bass. And for a feisty fight (one of Bizeau’s favourites), Lake Ontario is teaming with carp.

Rob Cesta, owner and operator of Drift Outfitters, lands a big one.

For more information visit DriftOuttters.com in Toronto, or Grand River Outtting & Fly Shop in Fergus at OntarioFlyFishing.ca.

Photography, Gabriel Bizeau, GabBizeauPhotography.com

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Builder Profile: Lucchetta Homes takes home top awards

Builder Profile: Lucchetta Homes takes home top awards

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Builder Profile: Lucchetta Homes takes home top awards

by Catherine Daley

Number One in Canada

It’s been quite the year for Lucchetta Homes and it’s not even over yet. On May 2nd, they were named Builder of the Year by the Niagara Home Builders’ Association (NHBA) 2017 Awards of Excellence. And on May 12th they received the top award for the Best Community Development of the Year from the Canadian Home Builders’ Association (CHBA) for their development called the Residences of Hunters Pointe.

Director of sales and marketing, Kim Kopyl, expressed her enthusiasm prior to the CHBA win simply because Lucchetta Homes had been nominated. As a result of a new program, CHBA received a record number of entries for the 39th National Awards for Housing Excellence, and had to pare down thousands of entries to 700. This, alone, was an unexpected victory for Lucchetta. Over a two-week period, 80 judges evaluated all of the entries. “To have been selected as a national finalist was already an immense accomplishment,” said Kopyl.

NHBA Awards: Kim Kopyl (director of sales & marketing); Robert Lucchetta (co-principal); Dora Lucchetta; Brenda Lucchetta, Ed Lucchetta (co-principal).
NHBA Awards: Kim Kopyl (director of sales & marketing); Robert Lucchetta (co-principal); Dora Lucchetta; Brenda Lucchetta, Ed Lucchetta (co-principal).

CHBA Awards: Eric DenOuden (president CHBA); Kim Kopyl (director of sales & marketing); Brenda Lucchetta; Ed Lucchetta (co-principal); Robert Lucchetta (co-principal); Dora Lucchetta; Wendi Pelfri (designer).
CHBA Awards: Eric DenOuden (president CHBA); Kim Kopyl (director of sales & marketing); Brenda Lucchetta; Ed Lucchetta (co-principal); Robert Lucchetta (co-principal); Dora Lucchetta; Wendi Pelfri (designer).

Often referred to as the ‘Oscars’ of housing, 39 awards recognized the best in the industry. With stiff competition from builders across Canada, representatives from Lucchetta Homes made their way to St. John’s, Newfoundland to attend the coveted awards. “We are beyond humbled and ecstatic over our recent accomplishment at the CHBA awards,” said Kopyl. “It’s a tribute to all of our purchasers who entrusted us as their preferred builder.”

The Residences of Hunters Pointe not only captured the imagination of the homeowners who have chosen to live there, but also the judges as well. Resortstyle living is part of the community’s appeal. An impressive 14,000-squarefoot, amenity-filled community centre offers a state-of-the-art gym with a personal trainer, a registered massage therapist, fitness classes, a hot tub, a library and more.

The Residences Of Hunters Pointe, Bristol Model
The Residences Of Hunters Pointe, Bristol Model

Located in the heart of the Niagara Region, The Residences at Hunters Pointe benefit from a truly unique setting, overlooking the Welland Canal. Depending upon the home’s location, residents can relax in their yard and watch ships slowly cruise by, and all can enjoy strolling along the canal hiking trails.

The community is rich with activities and amenities – whether it’s swimming in the saltwater pool, playing tennis, unwinding in the fitness centre, or simply gardening in the backyard, residents have the choice to be as busy as they want to be.

The freehold environment is ideal for snowbirds and staycationers, as homeowners don’t have to worry about security features, cutting the lawn or shovelling the snow.

Ugo Lucchetta started the company more than 50 years ago. Lucchetta Homes quickly became known for their quality construction, craftsmanship and unparalleled customer service. Sons, Robert and Ed Lucchetta, are now at the helm and carry on the traditions started by their father, while upping the ante to be one of the best. Their hard work has paid off. “We are very honoured and proud to be a CHBA National Awards winner, and we sincerely congratulate all nominees and winners from the event.” said Ed Lucchetta. “Our attention to detail, along with our goal to exceed our clients’ expectations, has culminated in a luxury home and a resort-style community, exuding both class and functionality.”

The Residences Of Hunters Pointe
The Residences Of Hunters Pointe

The CHBA distinction is the latest in an impressive collection of awards garnered by Lucchetta Homes. In addition to receiving high, local praise from the NHBA as Builder of the Year, they were also awarded for Most Outstanding Production Home Over 1,800 square feet, Excellence in Green, and Best Website. Lucchetta Homes has also been recognized as the R-2000 Builder of the Year, the Energy Star Builder of the Year, and received national recognition for building Canada’s first Net Zero Ready Qualified Home under the CHBA guidelines.

Lucchetta Homes continually raises the bar. This commitment to excellence is reflected in the high ratings that they receive from Tarion Warranty Corporation, surpassing customer satisfaction levels with astounding referral rates. “Not only do we share this award [Best Community Development of the Year] with the proud owners who call Hunters Point home.” said Rob Lucchetta. “But we are also honoured to share this extraordinary acknowledgment with our tremendously talented team, trades, suppliers and purchasers.”

LucchettaHomes.com


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Destination Ontario – Viamede Resort

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Destination Ontario – Viamede Resort

Unwind and Rewind

By Catherine Daley

On our 150th anniversary it’s quite fitting to highlight a resort that’s been around for almost as long as confederation. Since 1885, Viamede Resort has been a favoured holiday destination.

Located on the shores of Stoney Lake in the Kawarthas, Viamede encapsulates everything that you imagine a northern resort should be – and still is. It has a time-worn feel that immediately transports you back to simpler times, but includes all the amenities that go into making illustrious summertime memories.

On the 30th anniversary of the movie Dirty Dancing, Baby would not be left in the corner at Viamede. This resort shares a similar spirit to those in the Catskill Mountains or The Hamptons, but is less than two hours from Toronto.

Tasting Menu

Indoor/Outdoor Pool

HONOURING THE PAST

Viamede Resort has gone through many incarnations over some 130 years. Fires and natural disasters have influenced its transformation. In 2010, Ben Sämann purchased the property. With a family background in the hotel and restaurant industry, and a Swiss education in Hotel Management, Sämann dreamed of returning Viamede to its original glory as one of the finest resort destinations in the Kawarthas.

The main lodge at Viamede, as well as a hilltop building, houses 24 guest suites. Each room includes an open balcony – the perfect place to sit back with a cool drink and enjoy the impressive scenery. For the ultimate family gathering, or a guys or gals getaway, there are 18 pet-friendly, lakeside cottages, complete with a red tin roof. Patios and barbecues are also included with the cottages.

Viamede has been returned to its original glory as one of the finest resorts in the Kawarthas.

Mount Julian Restaurant

LUCIOUS LOCAL FARE

The weekend I was at Viamede, a group of guys from the United States were fishing for, and cooking up, sunfish. They came back to the resort every year for their annual escape – and loved it. I told them that I remembered fishing for sunfish when I was kid with my dad and my grandfather, but I had never eaten them. I spoke too soon. That evening we took a short stroll over to the Mount Julian Restaurant – a beautifully preserved historic house. Here we experienced an incredible nine-course tasting menu, that included sunfish, rabbit and other rare treats sourced locally from the lakes, forests and farms in the area. The presentation of each dish was just as appetizing, and each course was paired with a carefully chosen wine, spirit or beer. The popcorn-flavoured gelato was a memorable treat, as was the whole evening.

The Boathouse Restaurant

Also on site is The Boathouse. This dockside restaurant positions you along the water’s edge and serves up hearty fare, again driven by the resort’s locavore philosophy. In addition to Viamede’s guests, local cottagers come by boat to enjoy the sunset and an evening out.

Viamede’s main lodge

CHECK OFF YOUR WISH LIST

Whether you’re looking for a tranquil retreat, a more adventurous holiday, or perhaps something in between, there’s no shortage of things to do. If it’s an inclement day, borrow a book or a movie, unwind in the sauna and indoor pool, or retreat to the yoga studio and historic wedding chapel. But when the weather is good, Viamede is all about enjoying what the area has to offer.

Take a trek along six kilometres of woodland trails, wander through the landscaped gardens and on-site farm, then grab a kayak or simply take in the wonders of Stoney Lake. A sand beach, plus an outdoor pool and other water-sport activities are all available to guests. Close by are wineries, golf courses, the lift locks and Petroglyphs Provincial Park.

Recapture your youthful memories, or make some new ones for your kids and grandchildren. Viamede Resort is one of those special kind of places. Turn off technology and reconnect with loved ones, while having a hell of- a-good time.

Viamede.com

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READ MORE MAGAZINES!

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READ MORE MAGAZINES!

IT’S NO SECRET that the publishing world has experienced trying times. Advertising revenues have declined, while competition from Internet media has challenged many print publishers.

As an avid reader I was loathe to switch to a tablet, as I felt like a traitor. I love the weight, smell and feel of a book. I now admit to having a Kindle, only because it weighs less when travelling – it’s convenient.

Convenience is what it’s all about these days.

You can have access to more than 100 magazines with online subscriptions to sites like texture.ca. But just like books and newspapers, there’s nothing like actually opening the cover, unfolding the paper or flipping through a magazine – all of that is lost online. It’s akin to watching a movie on your phone. There’s no way you can fully appreciate the cinematography, sound engineering or special effects – you need the big screen and surround sound for the full experience. As with magazines, the photos jump out at you, and the glossy paper is tactile and pleasing to the eye. Creative people worked on writing and editing the copy, and photographers, production specialists and graphic designers all contributed to the layout.

This is where I show my age, but as part of the demographic for magazines like Active Life, I believe this audience has a greater appreciation for how far we’ve come. One of my first jobs was with at a small printing house. Not only did I do the typesetting, but I also did the layouts using Letraset, an exacto knife and a waxer. Once approved, I operated a process camera to make the negative and then burned the plate for the printing press. If a line of waxed type slipped after I set it up on the camera, I had to redo it.

When I was the advertising production manager for Sears Canada, we used couriers to go back and forth between our office and the typesetter’s. If we made a change, a courier had to be called again. There were times when a traffic jam delayed our printing schedule. Now, if I make a correction to the text, or suggest a colour or photo change, the art director sends the revised layout back to me by email within minutes. If I hadn’t lived through it, I could never have anticipated how the print world would evolve.

The younger generation likes sound bites – a quick synopsis of a story. And in a way, that’s what magazines still offer. It’s a collaboration of specialists sharing pertinent information, along with accompanying photos that we can relate to. I like nothing more than to leaf through a magazine, no matter where I am. It’s enjoyable entertainment – and people read the ads.

As with most progressive companies, HOMES Publishing Group is changing with the technological times, and has expanded their online presence with MyHomePage.ca. You can read all of our publications there, or you can contact our office and we’ll mail you a free hard copy – because there’s nothing like the real thing – and you can share it with a friend.

Catherine (Cat) Daley

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