One Family’s Journey Across

Canada: Part 3
don’t forget to visit us at
Travel: Come out and play in Miami.
Real life: Not your run-of-the-mill relocation
Living with Osteoporosis
Did you hear the
one about the
bathroom reno?.
Motoring: this months test drive
The Volkswagen Tiguan.
Quick guide to your financial ABC’s
Discover Your Canada
Canada Magazine issue 42 jun 09
Muchmor Media
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sources and this publication is
supplied on the basis that it
believes the to be correct and
accurate at the time of publication.
Muchmor Media does not however
warrant its accuracy or
completeness and to the full extent
of the allowed by law excludes
liability for any loss or damage
sustained by readers arising from
or in connection with the supply or
use of this information. If errors
occur and are brought to our
attention it is our policy to correct
any errors of fact whenever we can.
The opinions of readers and
contributors are not necessarily the
opinions of Muchmor Media, and
we cannot be held responsible for
their comments.
2 Editorial
From the Editor
At last it’s June and we can finally look forward to long
summer days and the smell of grilling in the air. Speaking
of grilling, check out some great recipes on pages 20
and 21 - my mouth is watering already.
If you fancy grilling in even more exotic locations they
read all about what Miami has to offer as a summer
destination. Prefer to stay in Canada? Read the story of
Marie-Julie and her family as they continue their journey
across Canada. This is part three of their story and if you
missed parts 1 and 2, you can read them in our March
and April issues.
Mark Atkinson test drives the Volkswagen Tiguan to
see if it lives up to its claims on page 38.
This month we treat you to not one, but two real life
stories of relocation. One from Stephanie who moved
from southern to northern Ontario and another from
Birgit who moved all the way from Germany in the late
Osteoporosis can be a very debilitating disease and we
get first hand information and advice from Osteoporosis
Canada on how to live with the disease as well as ways
of preventing it in the first place.
If you are thinking of renovating your bathroom, you
will find our story on page 60 interesting as well as funny.
On the home front we also take advice from Doug Wilson
of TLC's "Trading Spaces fame about incorporating
technology into your home.
Until next time.
Jane Toombes
Contents 3
Journey across Canada - part 3 4
You belong in Brandon 10
Come out and play in Miami 14
Grilling with skewers 20
Praize and be praized 22
Passport required to enter U.S. 23
Top Canadian 24
Top kids stuff 25
The slightly unusual 26
Stand out and get more ROI 28
Canada’s workplace taboos 29
Email marketing: Developing your
email content 30
Financial ABC’s 32
Financial tips for parents and teens 37
Test Drive: Volkswagen Tiguan 38
Real Life: Not your run-of-the-mill
relocation story 41
Real Life: From city life to country wife 44
Which route to use to immigrate
to Canada? 46
Flying high 49
Health & Wellness
Living with or without osteoporosis 50
The positive side to no 54
Home & Garden
Technorating tips 56
Property in Alberta 58
Did you hear the one about the
bathroom renovation? 60
Real estate today 62
Business Finder
Muchmor Business Finder 63
4 Discover Canada
Follow Marie-Julie
and her family on
their journey
across Canada.
Part 3
Marie-Julie Gagnon, Joseph Sarr
and their daughter Maya aged 20
months continue their journey
across Canada
On to the Rockies!
Flight AC8056. We are about to
leave British Columbia for Alberta.
Maya, who is now accustomed to
falling asleep in one place and
waking up in another, is still sleeping
as we head to the airport.
Being able to take the stroller to
the departure gate (or in this case,
right up to the small plane) makes
our lives so much easier (we simply
have to register the stroller when we
check in). Maya continues to snooze
in her “home on wheels” between
flights, while we relax over breakfast
in the Maple Leaf Lounge. We make
a mental note: morning is an
excellent time for us to travel.
Flight AC208. We land in Calgary,
and board the minibus to Banff. The
closer we get to Canada’s oldest
national park (and the third oldest in
the world), the more impressed we
are by the landscape. And the town
is just as stunning. The first thing we
notice is the abundance of
chocolate shops. I count at least
three on our way to the Mount Royal
Hotel (a reminder of our little “hill”
back in Montreal).
When we get off the bus, we
realize that no matter where we look,
the Rockies shape the landscape.
The next morning, we visit the
Cave and Basin National Historic
Site and learn a little more about the
history of Banff. The town was
created after three railway workers,
in search of silver deposits, looking
to make a fortune, discovered
thermal springs instead. Today you
cannot dip so much as a toe in
these sulphurous waters because
human bacteria could harm the
Banff Springs snails, a protected
The castle-like Fairmont Banff
Springs Hotel really piques our
curiosity. William Cornelius Van
Horne, Vice-President of the
Canadian Pacific Railway Company,
decided to build a deluxe hotel for
wealthy tourists interested in the hot
springs. The building opened its
doors in 1888 and soon became one
of the most popular hotels in North
America. It is probably one of the
most photographed spots in Banff,
as it can be viewed from so many
different angles.
“Naminals! Naminals!”
Maya is ecstatic. Just a few
metres away, some bighorn sheep
are watching the cars go by. When
we board the minibus, we can see
them strolling past us. It is not
unusual to spot black bears,
grizzlies, wolves, elk and the
occasional moose either.
Maya is in such good spirits that
we decide to join a tour group
headed to Lake Louise. Although we
only spend half an hour there,
Joseph declares it to be the most
beautiful place he has ever seen. It’s
not surprising that this is one of the
most photographed sites on Earth.
We are also thrilled by nearby
Moraine Lake and its “beware of the
bears” signs. Is this my chance to
finally see one?
From Banff to Edmonton
Travelling all the way to Alberta has
taken me back to my parent’s living
room. These same snow-capped
mountains used to grace an entire
wall of my childhood home in the
My parents have redecorated
since then, but the Rockies continue
to draw tourists from around the
world, including from Quebec. Some
come as visitors, and other young
people come as seasonal workers.
“There used to be a lot more of
them,” our taxi driver informs us on
the way to the cable car. “Lots of
them would party into the wee hours
of the morning and then would not
show up for work the next day.”
On the cable car ride up Sulphur
Mountain, we watch the Fairmont
Banff Springs Hotel gradually
disappearing into the vast expanse
of green. We can spot a few hikers
below us. Maya is delighted with the
view, while I madly snap photos to
drive out thoughts of the
catastrophes that could occur as we
dangle between heaven and earth…
When we reach the top, we get
out and explore. A hiking trail climbs
even higher, but there are too many
stairs for a stroller, so we decide to
stay at the main observation area.
Discover Canada 5
Back at the bottom, we take a dip
in the Upper Hot Springs. There are
old-fashioned women’s bathing
suits (skirts and all) for rent, and I
am always keen on playing dress-
up. If the suit came any higher, it
would be a turtleneck. People give
me strange looks when I get into the
pool, but a few minutes later, two
other women show up in the same
“It’s hot!” complains Maya, who
loves swimming. “It’s great!” I reply,
happy to have finally found a pool
that doesn’t give me hypothermia
after five minutes. Open year-round,
this site must be especially magical
in winter, with Mount Rundle in the
We do some shopping in town
before boarding the bus. Banff is
truly delightful. A place to relax and
forget your worries. And with its
wealth of winter and summer
activities, it is never boring.
On paper, exploring Alberta from
Calgary to Edmonton in four days
seemed like a great idea. But we are
proven wrong on the five-hour trip
from Banff to Jasper. From my
window, I can see dozens of
landscapes reminiscent of the one
on the wall of my childhood home.
Breathtaking panoramas. But
despite the incredible landscape,
five hours on a bus with an
impatient infant is too long. To make
matters worse, we arrive in Jasper
just after the cable car has closed
for the day. Exhausted from trying to
convince Maya to have a decent
meal (the story of our life), we go to
bed without even exploring the
area. The next morning at 7 a.m.,
we’re back on another bus. Our
impressions of Jasper? It seems
The ride from Jasper to
Edmonton is much less scenic, but
we are relieved to finally arrive in
Edmonton. Although we’ll be
catching a plane at 1 a.m., we’ve
taken a room at the Fantasyland
Hotel in the famous West Edmonton
The hotel’s 120 theme rooms
transport guests to Hollywood, the
Victorian era, the Arabian Peninsula,
Africa, Rome or Polynesia. Our
“Western” room creates just the
right mood for the Stampede, which
will soon be in full swing in Calgary
(from July 4 to 13).
As soon as we enter, Maya jumps
onto the “stagecoach” bed. She
loves climbing up and down the
ladder and finds her reflection in the
overhead mirror absolutely hilarious.
As our time is short, we have a
quick bite at Café Europa (an
excellent buffet) and head for
Galaxyland. I soon realize that our
daughter is in not in the mood for
“thrills and spills”. She clings to me
when I lift her onto the carousel
horse, and cries and calls for her
daddy on the little train that winds
through the amusement park.
We decide to return to our
fabulous hotel room, with its
whirlpool bath. Ah, la dolce vita!
A bit of shopping and we’re on
the bus to the airport… In just a few
hours, we’ll be in the Maritimes.
P.S.: I never did get to see that
In the footsteps of Anne of
Green Gables
It was my friend Julie who talked
me into reading Anne of Green
Gables. We must have been 13 or
14, I can’t quite remember. What I
do know is that the story of that
outspoken orphan forever captured
our imaginations.
As we headed for Green Gables
in Cavendish, I was thinking of
Anne, but also of Diana, Gilbert
(how could anyone forget him),
6 Discover Canada
Discover Canada 7
Sign in Churchill
Marilla and Matthew. These
characters had always seemed so
real to me; I almost expected to see
them around the corner of Lover’s
Lane (where you can still go for a
stroll). I was also thinking about my
friend Julie; how was it possible for
two teenagers who had vowed to be
best friends forever, like Anne and
Diana, to have been out of touch for
so many years?
These thoughts continued to run
through my mind as I watched Anne
of Green Gables — The Musical at
the Confederation Centre of the Arts
in Charlottetown. “Don’t give up all
your romance, Anne,” Matthew tells
the redhead with his dying breath.
Staying true to yourself, despite the
passage of time is one of the
messages that continues to strike a
chord with me from this tale that has
been translated into 36 languages.
“Many couples tie the knot here,
the same place where Lucy Maud
Montgomery was married,” Maureen
Campbell, co-owner of the Anne of
Green Gables Museum, informs us.
“Especially Japanese couples.”
I have heard about their
fascination with Anne, and seen
busloads of Japanese tourists at
Green Gables and Avonlea Village
(tourist sites recreating the period of
the novels), but do they really GET
MARRIED in the same setting as the
“Absolutely. In fact, there’s a
wedding here tonight. I play the
wedding march that was played at
Lucy Maud Montgomery’s wedding,
on the very same organ, in the very
same room…”
I still can’t get over it
Flight AC1138, July 4, 2008. It is
after midnight but Maya is running
all over the place. We brace
ourselves for another hectic flight.
“We’ve decided to put you in
Business Class,” the boarding agent
tells me.
I almost kissed him.
A journalist perk? Whatever the
reason, we accept this unexpected
offer. Between Edmonton and
Montréal, the three of us doze
comfortably in our roomy seats.
Nothing could have convinced us to
stay awake, not even Air Canada’s
state-of-the-art entertainment
system (I am totally hooked on the
multi-function, individual seatback
screens — available even in
Economy! — that let you pause,
advance or replay a movie or
At Pierre Elliot Trudeau Airport, we
get lost speeding through the maze
that leads to the departure gate.
They do not call our names on the
intercom (as I had always imagined
it), but we are the last ones to board
the plane that will take us to
Less than an hour later, we are
greeted by Grant MacRae from
Tourism PEI. On today’s schedule: a
visit to Avonlea Village, the site of
numerous activities celebrating the
100th anniversary of the famous
redhead. When we arrive, I give in to
temptation and head straight for
Anne of Green Gables Chocolates,
where fudge, chocolate-covered
caramels and chocolate-covered
potato chips (I kid you not) beg me
to indulge. I spot a pile of straw hats
with red braids attached. I will be
seeing THIS souvenir everywhere
over the next few days, both in
stores and on tourists’ heads
(including Japanese tourists — an
incongruous image that amuses me
for days). I fight the overwhelming
urge to buy one for myself (okay, I
might be exaggerating a little bit),
and settle instead for four little
chocolate caramels. A more subtle
way of expressing my admiration for
the character (Maya approves of my
Avonlea Village in Cavendish has
a line-up of activities spanning the
entire summer: plays, potato sack
races, musical performances, magic
shows, etc. A petting zoo along with
a horse and wagon ride bring smiles
to the faces of even the most unruly
children. Actors play various
characters from Lucy Maud
Montgomery books and mingle with
the crowd, to the delight of the little
ones. It is an ideal spot for a family
Sequoia Club
8 Discover Canada
The presence of the beloved
orphan is felt all over PEI. In
Charlottetown I find a branch of
Anne of Green Gables Chocolates.
At Cows, a shop known for its ice
cream as well as its t-shirts and
knickknacks bearing the image of a
cow, I come across a Holstein
sporting a straw hat and red braids.
Anne beverages and potato chips
are also sold everywhere.
Excessive? Not for diehard fans.
True Anne enthusiasts must
include a visit to the Anne of Green
Gables Museum in Park Corner on
their agenda. This is the house
where Lucy Maud Montgomery’s
beloved cousins lived. Now owned
by one of their descendants, George
Campbell, it is full of information
about Montgomery’s life as a
woman and a writer. The rooms
have remained nearly intact since
the turn of the last century, and the
many photographs provide an idea
of the “real-life characters” that
inspired the novelist.
Maybe I should call my friend
In PEI, the living is easy
In the glacial waters off Cavendish
Beach, 20-month-old Maya says her
very first swear word; she parrots
the impressive three-syllable word
uttered by her father as he plunges
into the icy Atlantic. Despite the
water temperature (a mere 14
degrees Celsius at the time), they
both emerge with big smiles from
their brief dip.
While they were braving the cold,
I was listening to some of the
conversations on the beach (which
is spectacular, by the way). A
teenager was casually inviting her
pals to a barbecue with “hotdogs
and shrimp.” Shrimp? This is
definitely a seaside town.
The first thing you notice is the
colour red, apparently, the result of
grains of sand that solidified and
were transformed into a layer of
sedimentary rock (sandstone),
containing iron (thanks 275-allô!).
The soil of Prince Edward Island is
rust-coloured because the iron
contained in it oxidized in contact
with the air. Maybe the red has
something to do with Anne Shirley’s
hair, but I suspect that Canada’s
smallest province just blushes really
easily. The Micmac have praised its
beauty for thousands of years. They
called it Abegweit, “Cradled on the
Waves.” In 1534, Jacques Cartier
described it as “the most beautiful
place one can imagine,” according
to Ulysse’s Fabuleuses Maritimes,
published in 2007 (for an English
guide, see Ulysse’s Atlantic
Canada). Since then, visitors
rediscovering the island have raved
about its beaches, its charming
fishing villages and the pure lines of
its landscapes. With so many
compliments, how could it help but
Prince Edward Island is more
than just the birthplace of Lucy
Maud Montgomery and the setting
for the adventures of her redhead
character (although the sites related
to the novelist and to Anne are well
worth a visit). Through our
excursions and random stops,
Joseph, Maya and I discover the
island and take in the landscape. I’m
not surprised that so many artists
have been inspired by these vistas.
Discover Canada 9
I fall in love with the picturesque
fishing villages, with their old-
fashioned lobster traps and brightly
coloured cabins. The sea lapping
against the red sand, the pure green
of the valleys, and the people
themselves clinch the deal. I am
mesmerized, and can tell that
Joseph is too: just two days after
our arrival, he starts noticing houses
for sale!
Charlottetown. With its terraces,
green spaces and various shops,
the capital seems as idyllic as the
countryside. There are 56 kilometres
of paths for cyclists and
pedestrians. A boardwalk, starting
from Victoria Park, lets you walk
along the water. And Peakes Wharf,
by the waterfront, is full of charming
little shops.
I treat myself to a double dip
chocolate ice cream at Cows, the
best ice cream parlour in Canada,
according to Reader’s Digest (I do
not need any more convincing). “Life
seems good in PEI,” I think to
myself as I wander through the
bustling streets (and the ice cream
is to die for).
While Maya takes a nap, Grant
MacRae, our delightful guide/
entertainer (officially representing
the tourist bureau for the project)
and I (Joseph is with Maya), taste
Isle Saint Jean red wine at the
island’s first commercial winery, the
Rossignol Estate Winery, located at
Little Sands, a 70-km drive and 10-
km ferry ride from Charlottetown.
There are some sheep grazing
blissfully around the estate, which
overlooks the Northumberland
Strait. The setting is as delicious as
the contents of our glasses. I buy a
bottle for my father and mail it
quickly to avoid temptation. We
don’t have the time to see more, but
note that you can take a guided tour
of the grounds, if you schedule it
To end our visit, Grant takes us to
Fisherman’s Wharf in Cavendish for
a “World Famous Lobster Supper,”
as described by our placemats. It
will be the first of a long series of
lobster dinners in the Maritimes.
P.S.: There are no bears in Prince
Edward Island.
In our next issue we continue the
journey with Marie-Julie and her
family as they visit the New
Brunswick, Nova Scotia and
Newfoundland and Labrador .
Courtesy of the Canadian Tourist
Marie-Julie has worked in the
communications field since 1994. She is
a freelance journalist, a columnist, a
researcher and a reporter for print,
broadcast, and online media. She is also
the author of a travelogue, Cartes
postales d’Asie
published in 2007 by Mémoire d’encrier,
and a book for young travellers,
Embarquement immédiat (Stanké, 2004,
CodeProduit=295687). She has set
down her backpack in twenty or so
countries and has been keeping a blog,
Taxi-brousse (, since
spring 2008. She admits to knowing
Asia better than her own country. But
that is about to change!
10 Discover Canada Advertorial
1he sophisIicaIioh o! ciIy li!e ahd Ihe charm
o! small Iowh livihg: you wahI iI all.
lrom uplown lo down-lo-earlh,
you belong in À>˜`œ˜.
Economic DeveIopmenI
Advertorial Discover Canada 11
We invite you to discover Brandon, Manitoba more
closely throughout 2009 monthly editorials, each
focusing on a unique topic. This month’s focus is
recreation and leisure. Brandon’s diverse, world-class
recreation facilities provide those who want to play for
enjoyment or compete at an elite level, the surfaces
on which to excel – whether it be hockey arenas,
swimming pools, indoor and outdoor soccer pitches,
baseball diamonds or boxing rings. As a host of many
major, national events, Brandon has the legacy
facilities that continue to support a strong recreation
environment in our community. In addition, many
sporting organizations are well developed to support
and develop individuals at every age, from recreation
leagues to elite athlete development.
Recognizing the importance of providing residents
with a superior quality of life, the City of Brandon is
working towards developing a series of recreation
hubs throughout the community to enhance existing
leisure opportunities. Recreation hubs are being
designed to function as gathering spots for families,
youth, seniors and anyone who wishes to be active.
Each hub will offer elements unique to their location.
The hub located at 3
and Aberdeen Avenue contains
a water spray pad, a beach volleyball court, paved
pathways, washrooms, a community garden, a
children’s play structure, a BMX park , extensive
landscaping, picnic areas, a gazebo and parking.
Multiple indoor fitness centres offering a full range
of services and equipment as well as personalized
trainers are located throughout the city for the
convenience of residents. Several racquet ball and
squash courts, an outdoor running track and
numerous indoor and outdoor swimming pools,
including a waterslide and an olympic sized pool, are
readily available in the city. For those that are a little
more adventurous, there are a variety of more
challenging recreational opportunities available
including; pilot lessons, parachute jumping, and
several rock-climbing walls to name a few.
The City of Brandon is great for the outdoor
enthusiast with an extensive trail system that ranges
You belong in Brandon
Activities on the
Assiniboine River
Close your eyes, picture a vibrant, growing city nestled in the scenic
Assiniboine River Valley, surrounded by alluring landscapes, rolling
hills, enormous skies, quaint towns and unspoiled countryside.
Welcome to Brandon, a city of promise, in which our children wish to
stay and raise their own children.
12 Discover Canada Advertorial
from natural river bottom forest to paved, lit walkways
and links to sports venues, downtown shopping and
dining. The Assiniboine River Corridor stretches 17
km through Brandon and is the ideal setting for
canoeing, water sports, fishing, picnic spots and a
host of other activities. It is not uncommon to see
wildlife such as deer and rabbits in the river corridor
area as well as in the undeveloped land in the City.
The Power Smart Waterfall of Lights is a wintertime
oasis offering skating and cross country skiing
through beautiful light displays. This popular winter
venue is illuminated from December through the end
of February each year, weather permitting. The public
park is complete with a warm-up shack, music, fire
pits, benches and onsite bathroom facilities.
Hiking and cycling are extremely popular in
Brandon and the nearby Brandon Hills. Brandon
offers a nice mix of man made and natural scenic
trails perfect for walking, hiking, biking, rollerblading,
horseback riding, skiing and snowshoeing.
Golf is another sport that is extremely popular.
Brandon offers multiple 9 and 18 hole golf courses
and driving ranges, each offering it own distinctive
feature or flare. For those that like a bit of variety, over
30 beautifully groomed golf courses are located in
southwestern Manitoba, a short distance from
As a long-time Communities in Bloom competitor,
Brandon’s parks and boulevards are well-maintained,
showcasing beautiful blooms throughout the city in
the summer months. Brandon also has a wide variety
of arts and cultural performances and showings as
well as unique shopping and dining experiences.
Brandon is near some of Canada’s most amazing
natural attractions including the Spirit Sands - a
One of Brandon's many
golf courses
Paved trails throughout Brandon
Advertorial Discover Canada 13
Power Smart Waterfall
of Lights
prairie desert phenomenon, the spectacular Riding
Mountain National Park, several downhill ski resorts
and countless lakes, forests and provincial parks.
With Manitoba’s abundant natural landscapes and
wildlife, thousands of rivers and streams, 100,000
lakes, countless parks and forests, the area provides
endless outdoor recreational opportunities.
Riding Mountain National Park is located 100 km
north of Brandon amidst a sea of agricultural land.
The park rises dramatically from the prairie landscape
offering visitors a panoramic view of the beautiful
prairie landscape. The park is home to a variety of
wildlife and vegetation with numerous hiking trails
Several spectacular downhill skiing facilities are
located a short drive from Brandon offering over 40
downhill skiing runs, snow tubing runs, as well as
snowboarding. The facilities are equipped with
chairlifts, tow bars, rope tows and certified ski and
snowboard instructors and offer licensed dining and
equipment rental.
If you’ve been thinking about making a lifestyle
change, we recommend you take a closer look at
Brandon, Manitoba. Brandon is well-equipped with
the recreation facilities, organizations and attitude to
provide residents and visitors the opportunity to play,
learn and relax. Whether coming for a visit, or coming
to live, you will soon discover that you belong in
Stanley Park
14 Travel
Come out
and play in
If you want sun, sea, sand
and sports then Miami,
Florida is the recreation
destination of choice.


Sequoia Club
Travel 15
The world's most famous fun in the
sun playground, Greater Miami,
lures visitors year round with perfect
weather and award-winning
beaches, whimsical architecture and
a celebrity-driven nightlife scene
that grooves to an only-in-Miami
beat. On any given day, however,
many visitors to this urban tropical
resort are far more interested in
where the fish are hiding out than in
J Lo's purported whereabouts. In
perfect synch with all of its other
charms, Miami is a sought after
international recreation destination
by virtue of its mild climate and
unrivaled water access.
In 2008, Miami ranked #1 on’s America's Cleanest
Cities list, and the #3 Fittest City by
Self Magazine in 2005, Miami caters
to action-oriented visitors from
around the globe with some of the
world's top golf, tennis and sporting
facilities. Add sparkling waters that
are a magnet for boating
enthusiasts, fishermen, divers and
water sports aficionados to the
equation and it is easy to see why
Miami is a number one choice for
active travelers of all ages and skill
Flanked by the mighty Atlantic
and the beautiful azure waters of
Biscayne Bay, and warmed by yearly
average temperatures in the 70s,
visitors who want to get their feet
wet never need look far to organize
a day on the bay. Meanwhile,
landlubbers have plenty of onshore
activities from which to choose. In
the mood for afternoon tee?
Courses created by the world's
top designers make Miami a golfer's
paradise. Tennis more your racket?
The Crandon Tennis Center hosts
the Sony Ericsson Open each
March, while the rest of the year
its immaculate courts are open to
the public, along with innumerable
other well-kept facilities throughout
Miami. Bicycle and jogging trails,
beachfront yoga classes, even ultra-
light airplane rides beckon the
playful child within.
Water, water everywhere
Whether it is from the deck of a 50-
foot luxury yacht out for a pleasure
cruise on Biscayne Bay or astride a
rented wave runner, Miami looks
magnificent from the water.
Opportunities to experience this
privileged vantage abound, with
multitudes of marinas and waterfront
concessions offering visitors dozens
of different ways to experience the
calm, tranquil waters of Biscayne
Bay and the ocean beyond.
If you have a passion for fishing,
Haulover Beach Marina, home to the
largest charter/drift fishing fleet in
South Florida is probably on your
vacation agenda. Nestled between
the Atlantic Ocean and Intracoastal
Waterway in Sunny Isles Beach, the
180-acre Haulover Beach Park also
houses a popular kite rental
concession, bicycle rentals, a 9-hole
golf course and tennis courts, with
an underground walkway leading
directly to world-renowned Haulover
Beach. Those who want to pilot their
own course through the waters will
find plenty of choices at Miami's
many marinas that dot the coastal
landscape. Here, knowledgeable old
salts are quick to advise where the
breezes are blowing and the fish are
hiding. Black Point Marina in
Homestead provides access to
Biscayne National Park's treasure
trove of wildlife, while Dinner Key
Marina in Coconut Grove
and the idyllic Matheson
Hammock in Coral Gables have
popular cityside access and
Want instant gratification? Rent a
motorboat for a few hours and zip
around Biscayne Bay, exploring
uninhabited islands and communing


Water sports in Biscayne Bay
16 Travel
with local wildlife, including dolphins,
sea turtles and sea birds. Looking for
a more long-term commitment? Stop
by the Miami Beach Marina and
charter a sailboat, complete with
captain and provisions if you prefer,
and set course for the Florida Keys or
Bahamas. A very special community
is served by Shake-A-Leg Miami,
South Florida's only adaptive sailing
program. Adults and youths with
disabilities and at-risk youth, enjoy
sailing programs, while events like the
World Blind Sailing Championships
event bring international attention to
this important non-profit organization.
Perhaps the greatest testament to
the city's love affair with the waters
that surround it is the yearly Miami
International Boat Show. Taking place
at the Miami Beach Convention
Center and other locations for over 60
years, the show brings together more
than 2,300 of the world’s leading
marine industry manufacturers to
display the newest powerboats,
engines and accessories. The latest in
sailboats and related accessories are
on display at Strictly Sail Miami, the
sail-only portion of the show.
Parasailing is a great way to see
the city from above, while Key
Biscayne's Hobie Beach gets its
name from the proliferation of Hobie
catamarans and other multi-hull
sailboats that push off daily from the
popular beachside launch. Thrill
seekers have many avenues for
adventure: surfers catch waves at
South Pointe Park at the tip of South
Beach and points further north, while
kitesailing, a relatively new sport is
catching on like wildfire all over
Miami. Requiring equal parts
balance, skill and nerve, kitesailing is
the Gen X version of windsurfing. Kite
boarders are pulled through the surf
and sky, riding the wind and
manipulating a massive kite in to skim
the water's surface at high speed.
One moment the board is on the
water's surface, and the next moment
the boarder is aloft, hang-gliding over
boats. Instruction and equipment
rentals for both windsurfing and
kitesailing are available at locations
throughout Miami.
Divers and snorkelers are spoiled
with the choice of a plethora of
natural reefs, as well as one of the
largest artificial-reef programs in the
world. Fish flock to the more than 30
ships, tanks, concrete, limestone and
other structures that have been sunk
over the past 20 years off Miami's
coast, as far south as Florida City and
north to Sunny Isles Beach. Most are
located just a few miles offshore, in
less than 130 feet of water, providing
great diving for all levels. One of the
most popular routes is the Wreck
Trek, located off Miami Beach, just
north of the Art Deco District. Here,
divers can explore the 85-foot tug
Patricia, the 100-foot steel fishing
vessel Miss Karline, and an old radio
antenna welded into 19 pyramids. In
shallow waters off of Key Biscayne,
the Half Moon and Germania form a
fabulous underwater archeological
preserve. Natural reefs are also found
off Key Biscayne, Miami Beach,
Surfside and Sunny Isles Beach.
Kayaking is another great way to
navigate the waters of Biscayne Bay
and Miami's inland waterways. The
Miami-Dade Parks and Recreation
Department offers a variety of
naturalist-led eco-adventures. Key
Biscayne is the setting for a wide
range of tours - with hammock walks,
kayak, snorkel and canoe trips, and
bike trips for all age groups and skill
levels. Canoe trips are popular - and
there seems to be one for every
conceivable interest - along the Coral
Gables Waterway, at sunrise, sunset
or by moonlight, along the historic
Oleta River and through hidden
waterways of Key Biscayne. For
more information, visit
For those with time to venture
further from the city, there’s the option
of traveling along Everglade National
Park’s 99-mile Wilderness Waterway.
Adventurers can paddle all day
without seeing another soul, and
spend the night camping out on
remote chickees - raised platform
campsites accessible only by water.

Tee Time
Golfers from all four corners of the
globe are making a beeline for Miami
Beach, eager to check out the Miami
Beach Golf Club. Designed by Arthur
Hills, one of America's foremost golf
course designers, the course features
papsalum turf, the perfect ecological
answer to Miami Beach's sand-and-
salt-heavy topsoil. The challenging
course features plenty of hazards,
however the wide fairways, groomed
roughs and gentle breezes make a
trip to these links memorable.
Travel 17
Golf is the main event at the Doral
Golf Resort and Spa, which won
Travel + Leisure Golf magazine's
2006 "Best of Florida Golf Resort"
award and hosted the 2008 World
Golf Championship. The 650-acre
resort offers five 18-hole
championship golf courses that can
cater to golfers at every skill level.
The renowned Blue Monster, host to
the PGA Tour since 1962, is
considered one of the most difficult
courses in the world. The Greg
Norman-designed "Great White,"
opened for play in 2000, features the
only triple green in South Florida --
holes 11, 13 and 17 share a putting
surface of 25,000 square feet. The
Silver, Gold and Red (host to LPGA
event) Courses complete the
equation, while professional
instruction provided by the Jim
McLean Golf School is considered
among the tops in the nation.
Fisher Island, a private residential
and resort community just a half mile
south of Miami Beach, is one of
Miami's most exclusive
environments, accessible only by
boat, helicopter, seaplane or auto
ferry. Here, golfers can luxuriate at
The Links at The Fisher Island Club
on a par-35, nine-hole golf course,
designed by architect P. B. Dye. Don
Shula's Hotel & Golf Club in Miami
Lakes boasts two tree-lined courses
complemented by native plants and
wildlife that are accessible to all
levels of golfers. The landmark
Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables has its
own 18-hole, par-71 course, which
first opened in 1925 and has since
been redesigned by renowned golf
architect Donald Ross with a $5
million upgrade completed in 2007.
In Aventura, the 300-acre Turnberry
Isle Resort and Club is a world onto
itself. Golfers can choose from two
Robert Trent Jones Sr.-designed
courses, notable for graceful
fairways and deceitfully tranquil
hazards and traps.
Miami-Dade Parks and Recreation
Department operates several top-
notch public golf courses, including
the Crandon Park Golf Course. With
water views, the course is
considered one of the most beautiful
and difficult par-72 courses in the
state and has been rated in the top
10 courses by Golfweek and one of
America's top 75 upscale courses by
Golf Digest. Other public courses
include International Links and
Miccosukee Golf Club in South Dade
and Greynolds and Haulover, further

Greater Miami covers over
2,000 sq miles
Miami has a population of
over 2 million
The average January
temperature is 20℃
The average July
temperature is 28℃
Average annual rainfall
142 cm
Average annual days of
sunshine: 250
More than 800 parks
Over 460 hotels and motels
with 50,000 rooms
Over 60 languages spoken
One of the cruise ship
capitals of the world
Over 1,200 golf courses
Over 12 million visitors
every year
Miami Facts
18 Travel
Tennis Anyone?
Tennis ranks with golf as a top
recreational pursuit in Miami.
Indeed, many of the world's top
ranked players got their starts early
through youth tennis programs at
the many fine public facilities
throughout the county. Foremost
among them, the Crandon Park
Tennis Center is home to the U.S.
Tennis Association's Player
Development Program and the
National Junior Tennis Team. The
Sony Ericsson Open draws
thousands of visitors when it plays
host to the world's top players
every March.
Over 50 locations operated by
the Miami-Dade Parks and
Department offer more than 200
courts to serve every corner of the
county with amenities that
encompass private and group
lessons, courts lit for nighttime play
and pro shops offering equipment
rentals and sales. People with
disabilities can also enjoy playing
wheelchair tennis at various
For visitors who stay at one of
Miami's luxury resorts, there is no
need to leave the premises to enjoy
top-notch tennis facilities and
instruction. Among the many
upscale properties that make
scheduling court time as easy as
ordering room service: Grove Isle
Resort in Coconut Grove, the Ritz-
Carlton Key Biscayne, the Fairmont
Turnberry Isle Resort & Club, the
Mandarin Oriental, and Acqualina
Resort & Spa in Sunny Isles Beach.

At the Races
Those with a "need for speed" will
want to check out the races at the
Homestead-Miami Speedway.
Dedicated in 1995, the 1.5-mile oval
race track on 600 acres has
grandstands that hold 65,000 and a
Champions Club Tower that has 16
luxury skyboxes. The speedway is
home to the Ford Championship
Weekend, where NASCAR crowns
its season champions. The Ford
200/Craftsman Truck race runs on
Friday, the Ford 300/Nationwide on
Saturday and the weekend
culminates with Sunday's Ford
400– the final race in the chase for
Festivals Galore
In a city known for great outdoor
parties, one of Miami's most
colorful events, the Miami-Bahamas
Goombay Festival takes place in
the city's oldest black community,
Coconut Grove, every June.
Settled in the 1890s by Bahamian
immigrants, the "Grove" celebrates
its roots with an annual week-long
party that transforms Coconut
Grove's Grand Avenue into
Nassau's Bay Street.
The annual event sends brilliantly
costumed junkanoo groups into the
streets, dancing to Caribbean
rhythms to the accompaniment of
rake n' scrape instruments ranging
from drums and whistles to
cowbells and combs. A wide variety
of arts, crafts, food and drink from
more than 400 vendors line Grand
With its legendary nightlife, top-
tier celebrity scene and non-stop
party atmosphere, South Beach
hosts Urban Beach Week each
Memorial Day Weekend. The huge
event transforms the Art Deco
District into a hip-hop paradise.
Celebrities such as Allen Iverson,
P.Diddy, Janet Jackson, Nelly,
Homestead-Miami Speedway
Ludacris, 50 Cent, Lil Kim, Beyonce,
Sean Paul, Jay-Z, L.L. Cool J., Cash
Money, R. Kelly and countless
others have made the scene, joining
stylish revelers from across the
United States. Hotels and
nightclubs are packed to capacity,
while street traffic on Ocean Drive is
brought to a standstill. Part hip-hop
extravaganza, part beach blast,
Urban Beach Week brings close to
250,000 revelers together to enjoy
top musical acts, great weather and
unprecedented people-watching in
a safe, festive environment.
Miami sizzles all year long with
hot events and one of the most
scintillating is Zo's Summer Groove,
a weekend-long slate of sports and
entertainment events spearheaded
by Miami Heat basketball star and
local philanthropist Alonzo
Mourning. The weekend offers a
jam-packed roster of events
designed to celebrate the spirit and
culture of South Florida. Zo's high-
profile friends in the basketball and
entertainment communities join him
for a "Mega Groove" concert/
comedy show, celebrity gala/auction
dinner, Zo’s “BLOCK” Party and the
grand finale – an All-star Basketball
Game at the American Airlines
Arena, featuring some of the NBA's
top stars. All proceeds from Zo's
Summer Groove are donated to the
Children's Home Society, 100 Black
Men of South Florida and the
Overtown Youth Center.
Shop till you drop
A far cry from the days when a half
bushel of grapefruit and a Greetings
from Miami Beach snow globe were
de rigueur tourist purchases, Miami
has become a red hot retail
destination: a tropical treasure trove
of trendsetting fashions, cutting-
edge home décor and great values.
Serious shoppers from around the
world travel to Miami to check out
designer showrooms displaying the
latest styles and innovations, and
visit funky boutiques trumpeting
homegrown talent.
As celebrities and fashion-savvy
editors fall in love with South Beach
all over again, a shopping
renaissance is underway. A steady
stream of trendy new boutiques and
stores continue to open along the
pedestrian-only Lincoln Road and in
the Collins Avenue fashion district.
Lucky Magazine, the glossy that
serves as the bible to those who
view shopping as a calling, labels
South Beach “a great shopping
option with the same kinds of stores
you find in New York or Los
Lincoln Road’s eclectic mix of
funky boutiques, restaurants and al
fresco cafés now includes such hot
brands as Diesel, Earl Jeans, Steve
Madden, L’Occitane, and Kiehl’s. In
its first heyday in the 1950s and
1960s, "the Road" was known as
the Fifth Avenue of the South:
stomping grounds for jewelry-laden
matrons shopping at Saks Fifth
Avenue and Harry Winston. Today,
Lincoln Road serves as the true
heartbeat of Miami Beach, as
evidenced by the constant parade
of shoppers, rollerbladers, parents
pushing baby strollers, and people
walking dogs and making the scene.
In the heart of the Art Deco
District, on Collins and Washington
Avenue between 5th and 9th
Streets, lies South Beach's bustling
fashion district, a collection of hip
designer stores including Betsey
Johnson, Cynthia Rowley, Hugo
Boss, Versace and Armani
Exchange. Funky, youthful fashions
are the rule at Urban Outfitters,
Benetton and Kenneth Cole, while
Spec's offers a great selection of
music and DVDs. On nearby Ocean
Drive, intrepid shoppers will be
rewarded with several interesting
shops and one of the best people
watching spots in the world.
Another area that has been
percolating with activity in recent
years is the Miami Design District.
With a synergistic blend of art,
architecture and design, the district
is a compelling 18 blocks of interior
design showrooms, home
furnishings and furniture studios
that are open to the public.
Yet another renaissance in the
making is the rebirth of downtown
Coral Gables. Traditionally a tranquil
shopping and business district,
Miracle Mile has been transformed
into a bustling, hip Mecca for
shopping, dining and entertainment.
More than 170 designer boutiques
and specialty stores now line the
boulevard. With nearly two dozen
bridal boutiques, wedding cake
galleries and invitation stores,
Miracle Mile has also become a
preferred shopping destination for
brides from all parts of the world.
The Village of Merrick Park,
800,000 square feet of high-end
retailers and restaurants in Coral
Gables, illustrates just how much
shopping has become part of the
Miami experience. Beautifully
landscaped with fountains, tropical
foliage and serene gardens perfect
for reflecting and relaxing between
The prestigious Bal Harbour
Shops, located one block from the
ocean at the northern end of Miami
Beach, set the standard for upper
echelon shopping centers when it
opened in 1965, with a reputation
for the finest quality shops and
Two other Miami-Dade shopping
centers are hot destinations for avid
shoppers. South Miami's Dadeland
Mall is a traditional enclosed
shopping mall featuring an excellent
retail mix of 185 stores. At the
opposite, northern end of Miami-
Dade, Aventura Mall has recently
completed a comprehensive
renovation project that brings a
fresh and contemporary look to the
Savings is the lure at Dolphin
Mall, located just five miles west of
Miami International Airport. A
mélange of reasonably priced
specialty stores and bargain outlets,
Dolphin Mall has been designed to
reflect Miami's rich multicultural
Prime Factory Outlets in Florida
City is worth the drive. About 35
minutes south of downtown Miami,
bargain seekers will find Nike, Gap
Outlet, Mikasa Factory Outlet and
other brand name stores in a
colorful Caribbean-style
marketplace chock full of great
The Greater Miami Convention &
Visitors Bureau (GMCVB) is an
independent not-for-profit sales and
marketing organization whose
mission is to attract visitors to
Greater Miami and the Beaches
for leisure, business and
conventions. For a vacation guide,
visit our website at or call
1-888-76-Miami (US/Canada only)
or 305-447-7777.
Travel 19
20 Lifestyle
Chicken and Bacon
Shish Kabobs
60 ml soy sauce
60 ml cider vinegar
30 ml honey
30 ml canola oil
10 large mushrooms, cut in half
2 green onions, minced
3 skinless, boneless chicken breast
halves - cut into chunks
225 g sliced thick cut bacon, cut in half
1 (8 ounce) can pineapple chunks,
In a large bowl, mix the soy sauce, cider
vinegar, honey, canola oil, and green
onions. Place the mushrooms and
chicken into the mixture, and stir to coat.
Cover, and marinate in the refrigerator at
least 1 hour. Preheat grill for high heat. Wrap the chicken chunks with bacon, and thread onto skewers so that the
bacon is secured. Alternate with mushroom halves and pineapple chunks. Lightly oil the grill grate. Arrange skewers
on the prepared grill. Cook 15 to 20 minutes, brushing occasionally with remaining soy sauce mixture, until bacon is
crisp and chicken juices run clear.
Get grilling with skewers
Basil Shrimp Skewers
40 ml olive oil
55 g butter, melted
1.5 lemons, juiced
45 g brown mustard
20 g minced fresh basil
3 cloves garlic, minced
salt to taste
white pepper
1360 g fresh shrimp, peeled and deveined
In a shallow, non-porous dish or bowl, mix
together olive oil and melted butter. Stir in
lemon juice, mustard, basil, and garlic,
and season with salt and white pepper.
Add shrimp, and toss to coat. Cover, and
refrigerate for 1 hour. Preheat grill to high
heat. Remove shrimp from marinade, and
thread onto skewers. Discard marinade. Lightly oil grill grate, and arrange skewers on preheated grill. Cook for 4
minutes, turning once, or until opaque.
Lifestyle 21
Honey-Mustard Beef
120 ml Dijon mustard
60 ml honey
5 ml Worcestershire sauce
2 g salt
0.3 g pepper
340 g beef sirloin steak, cut into 1 inch
In a bowl, combine the mustard, honey,
Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper.
Pour half of the sauce into a large re-
sealable plastic bag; add beef cubes
and toss to coat. Set remaining sauce
aside. Thread beef onto metal or soaked
wooden skewers. Discard marinade from beef. Grill, covered, over medium heat for 8-10 minutes or until meat
reaches desired doneness, turning once. Serve with reserved sauce.
Chili-Lime Chicken
45 ml olive oil
20 ml red wine vinegar
1 lime, juiced
3 g chili powder
1 g paprika
1 g onion powder
1 g garlic powder
cayenne pepper to taste
salt and freshly ground black pepper to
455 g skinless, boneless chicken
breast halves - cut into 1 1/2 inch
In a small bowl, whisk together the
olive oil, vinegar, and lime juice.
Season with chili powder, paprika,
onion powder, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, salt, and black pepper. Place the chicken in a shallow baking dish
with the sauce, and stir to coat. Cover, and marinate in the refrigerator at least 1 hour. Preheat the grill for
medium-high heat. Thread chicken onto skewers, and discard marinade. Lightly oil the grill grate. Grill skewers for
10 to 15 minutes, or until the chicken juices run clear.
Sequoia Club
22 Lifestyle
Praize and be praized
Do you know a business that deserves to be praized? Do you have a business yourself that you want to
praize, or want others to praize? If the answer to any of these questions is yes then you will want to check
out Muchmor’s new online business finder - Praized.
You can search for any vendor type e.g. retail, plumber etc, in any location to check out what others
think - both good and bad and to give your own opinion. Simply use the search function to find the
business, click on the (up or down) arrow to praize good or bad, you can also leave a comment for others
to see. Virtually every company in Canada is in the system.
The more people who use this service the more information will be available to others.
Your donations will have a lifelong impact!
The Children’s Aid
Society of Brant
Endowment Fund
By sending a child to camp who otherwise would not be able to attend.
By helping us finance post secondary educations for children who have
grown up in care & overcome numerous challenges in their short lives.
Your donations & estate gift giving will
help us invest in a child’s future!
Call: 519-752-9094 Fran Welsh
Thank you.
Lifestyle 23
Passport now required
to cross U.S. border
Canadians are now required to show passports, or
equivalent documents, to enter the United States by
land, sea or air. As of June 1 2009, the Western
Hemisphere Travel Initiative will take full effect,
meaning most Canadians will need to produce
passports, NEXUS cards or enhanced driver’s
licences, when entering the U.S.
Previously, such documents were only required for
U.S. air travel.
Under the new rules, all Canadian travellers aged 16
and up will be required to present a valid passport, or
other WHTI-compliant document to enter the U.S.
Canadians aged 15 and under will be able to travel
by presenting proof of Canadian citizenship, by using
a birth certificate or citizenship card.
Additionally, Canadian citizens aged 18 and under
are only required to present proof of Canadian
citizenship when traveling with a school or other
organized group that is under adult supervision.
The new travel rules also require Mexican,
Bermudan and Caribbean travellers to carry the same
type of documentation as Canadians when entering
the U.S. as of June 1.


Fiction hardbacks
Fiction paperbacks
TV shows
Top Canadian…
1. American Idol 8 (Tues) - 2.46
2. Grey’s Anatomy - 2.42
3. American Idol 8 (Wed) - 2.21
4. Amazing Race 14 - 2.16
5. C.S.I. New York - 2.07
6. House - 2.06
7. Survivor: Tocantins - 1.95
8. C.S.I. Miami - 1.85
9. Desperate Housewives - 1.71
10. C.S.I. - 1.66
1. Fais-moi de la Tendresse,
Ginette Reno
2. Quiet Nights, Diana Krall
3. Mille Excuses Milady, Leloup
4. Passione, Paul Potts
5. The Hannah Montana Movie
6. Ailleures Volume 1, Eric
7. Together Through Life, Bob
8. Annie Villeneue, Annie Villeneue
9. Only by the Night, Kings of
10. We Sing We Steal We Dance,
Jason Mraz
1. Taken (14A)
2. The Curious Case of Benjamin
Button (PG)
3. Paul Blart: Mall Cop (PG)
4. Valkyrie (PG)
5. New in Town (PG)
6. Outlander (18A)
7. Underworld: Rise of the Lycans
8. Bride Wars (PG)
9. Killshot (14A)
10. What Doesn't Kill You (18A)
1. The Shack, William P Young
2. The Book of Negroes,
Lawrence Hill
3. The Guernsey Literary and
Potato Peel Pie Society, Shaffer
& Barrows
4. Careless in Red, Elizabeth
5. The Cellist of Sarajevo, Steven
6. Water for Elephants, Sara
7. Angels & Demons, Dan Brown
8. The Private Patient, P D James
9. Still Alice, Lisa Genova
10. Pride & Prejudice & Zombies,
Austen, Grahame-Smith
1. The Winter Vault, Anne
2. Tea Time for the Traditionally
Built, Smith
3. The Host, Stephanie Meyer
4. The Guernsey Literary and
Potato Peel Pie Society,
Barrows & Shaffer
5. The Sweetness at the Bottom
of the Pie, Shaffer & Barrows
6. Through Black Spruce, Joseph
7. The Children’s Book, Byatt
8. Dead and Gone, Charlaine
9. Going Ashore, Mavis Gallant
10. The 8th Confession, Patterson,
24 Lifestyle
Movies in theatres
Video games
DVD rental
Bestselling books
Top kids stuff…
1. Percy Jackson & the
Olympians 5, Rick Riorden
2. New Moon, Stephanie Meyer
3. Eclipse, Stephanie Meyer
4. Breaking Dawn, Stephanie
5. Twilight, Stephanie Meyer
6. The Awakening, Kelley
7. Love You Forever, Munsch &
8. Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Munsch
& McGraw
9. Warriors Power of Three, Erin
10. Betrayed, Cast & Cast
X-Box 360
Halo Wars (T)
Tom Clancy’s HAWX (T)
Need for Speed: Undercover (T)
Tom Clancy’s HAWX (T)
Street Fighter IV (T)
MLB 09: The Show (E)
X-Men Origins: Wolverine (T)
Super Smash Bros: Brawl (T)
Mario Party 8 (E)
Nintendo DS
Pokemon Diamond (E)
Pokemon Pearl (E)
New Super Mario Bros (E)
1. The Ghosts of girlfriends Past
2. Monsters V’s Aliens 3D (PG)
3. Star Trek (PG)
4. Obsessed (14A)
5. Terminator Salvation (14A)
6. X-Men Origins: Wolverine (PG)
7. Angels and Demons (14A)
8. 17 Again (PG)
9. Earth (G)
10. The Soloist (PG)
1. Paul Blart: Mall Cop (PG)
2. The Curious Case of Benjamin
Button (PG)
3. New in Town (PG)
4. Dora the Explorer: Super
Babies' Dream Adventure (G)
5. Dr. Dolittle: Million Dollar Mutts
6. Bride Wars (PG)
7. The Wrestler (PG)
8. Scooby-Doo: Where Are You?
Vol. 2 (G)
9. Killshot (14A)
10. Taken (14A)
Lifestyle 25
Sequoia Club
26 Business
The slightly unusual
We continue our series of unusual jobs with Christine Raynor who is
the president of Home or Away Property Services based in Whitby,
Ontario. Her company will look after you home when you can’t, so
read on to find out more.
So, Christine, tell us a it
about your business.
Home or Away Property Services are
fully insured, professional house
monitors that provide a
comprehensive property
management service for your empty
home. We check the security of your
home, cut grass, water gardens and
indoor plants, shovel snow, take in or
forward mail and perform any other
task that our clients require to enable
them to remain worry free about their
most expensive asset during their
time away from home. As well as our
regular services, we offer pool or hot
tub maintenance, gardening, small
animal care and house cleaning and
our clients are greeted upon their
return home with milk, juice and fresh
bread in their refrigerator.  
Emergency visits after power
outages, severe weather or alarm
calls are also included for no extra
We sit down with our clients to
customize our services, bearing in
mind the terms of their home
insurance policy. Insurance
companies now require regular,
frequent visits to the home, by a
responsible person, during the
owners’ absence or they may refuse
a claim for anything that occurred
during that absence. Our job is to
maintain insurance compliance,
make the home look lived in and take
great care when you can’t be there!
Our commercial department
specializes in landlord’s services, real
estate management, power of sale
and probate properties, corporate/
individual  relocations and services
for travel agents.
How did you get started in
this business and when?
The business was started in 2007.  I
had been working for a local court
reporting service and my job was not
very fulfilling at all. I had always
wanted to start my own business
and had completed a course at
Durham College in 2006 to give me
the tools to do that. I was also
accepted into the Ontario Self
Employment Benefit program, run by
Essential Communications in Whitby.
My background was in commercial
property management and I
managed retail plazas and office
buildings in London and Manchester,
England. I saw an opportunity in the
market, due to insurance legislation,
for a home monitoring service for
residential properties and now my
business seems to be going from
strength to strength. In fact, I am
currently working on a franchise
model and will be offering franchises
throughout the GTA within the next
12 months.
How do you market your
My marketing has been based on
creating a good, strong branding  for
Home or Away Property Services, so
I have been working with On Top
Marketing, to create the image that I
had envisaged. My business is built
on trust and professionalism and my
branding has to echo this. My
company provides a new service to
homeowners and my biggest
challenge is to get the word out there
that there is a professional, security
conscious, fully insured and
surprisingly affordable alternative to
‘having your neighbour’s son pop
over’ to check on your most valuable
asset – your home.  I advertise
locally; I visit real estate agents,
insurance brokers, travel agents and
other relevant businesses; I blog,
write articles, network up a storm,
deliver flyers and appear on the
television. I do what I have to do to
get the word out about my business
and then I also have my favourite
way of obtaining business – through
word of mouth.
My clients that come to me by
word of mouth are very special to me
and I go out of my way to ensure that
they will be more than happy with
our services. I build a relationship
with many of my clients that goes
beyond purely a business one and
have many testimonials and letters of
referral to show that relationship.
I guess you don’t do all the
work yourself?
I could not do my business well
without an extensive network of
support services such as
Business 27
landscaping, snow removal services,
carpentry, painting and general
repairs, just to name a few.  I am a
member of Durham Relocation
Services, which provides a free
service to staff of local companies
who have corporate relocation
needs. DRS also provide relocation
information to individuals relocating
into or out of the Durham Region.  I
am also a proud member of the
Whitby and Oshawa Chamber of
Commerce and the Durham Home
and Small Business Association.
Give us some unusual facts
about your business.
My business is evolving and I find
that I am being asked to provide
increasing amounts of services
because of the demographics of the
Durham Region. Sadly there has
been an increase in power of sale
properties in this area and Home or
Away Property Services offers a
service to banks and real estate
agents to help keep these properties
looking maintained. We can also
arrange for painting or landscaping
work to be carried out to increase
curb appeal and help these
properties to sell as quickly as
possible. We provide a service for
families of people in long-term
hospital or nursing home situations,
whereby we maintain and regularly
visit the home, allowing it to keep
insurance compliance. We cut grass
or shovel snow, forward mail and can
even feed the cat! Our probate
service provides similar coverage
and we can even arrange for our
invoice to be paid through the lawyer
when the estate is settled. Our
services can be a great help to the
‘sandwich generation,’ caught
between taking care of young
families and older relatives and trying
to hold down a job and keep house
at the same time.
What are the best and worst
aspects of your job?
I love my job! It enables me to
interact with my clients on a daily
basis and build relationships that are
mutually beneficial with other
business owners. Is there anything I
don’t like? Paperwork! But I’ve
learned that you sell your strengths
and hire your weaknesses, so I have
someone to do that nasty
You can contact Christine via her
website at or call
her on 905-448-0808. Alternatively you
can send her an email at
If you are an MBN member you can
view Christine’s profile using this link.
Sequoia Club
28 Business
Stand out and get
more ROI!
By Darcelle Runciman
Standing out from the crowd can be the best thing for
your investment property and a way to gain outstanding
tenants. There are many ways to use “out of the box”
thinking and get those quality tenants, great rents and
more value for your money and yes even in Ontario’s rent
controlled market. Turning over your vacancies quickly
and efficiently takes a system, good marketing, and
great relationships.
What are you doing to stand out! 5 Ways to
do just that!
1. Look at what you can do to attract the quality
higher paying tenants. Attracting the right tenant is
easy with a clean, well cared for unit, a location close to
amenities, schools, transit, and good value for the
money. Advertising and the words used are keys to
promoting your property as the best thing since sliced
bread. Showing the tenants that you care about them
and that it should be treated as well as if it was their
own, is vital to the success of maintaining a long term
relationship with that tenant. A business relationship
based on mutual respect is what you are going for.
2. How can you attract long term equity building
tenants? Having quality units, one that you are proud to
say you own. You don’t need to spend thousands of
dollars to make a property look good, just some
attention to the unit while vacant is the best time to get
those minor repairs done.
3. Where can you reduce costs to spending for the
unit? Property management fees could be one way. If
your tenants are paying for their own utilities great if
not...they should be. Do you have any leaks in
bathrooms or kitchen that may be increasing your water
bills? Are your mortgage rates been looked at and
decreased? Now is the time to talk to your banker to
negotiate a better rate.
4. What can you improve on for the unit to build
equity and get those quality tenants? Curb appeal,
curb appeal, and curb appeal! The next item is having a
sense of Security of the area, unit, then quality of the
home, then price. Renovate strategically to achieve
higher ROI.
5. Is your system replicable? Are you verifying the
information the tenant gives you? Is your system
working for or against you? Check into what the
tenant is telling you. Check references, and treat your
investments as a business. This individual will be
renting from you for a long time and you will want to
ensure you have the best possible candidate in your
Curb appeal, renovated suites, and a systematic tenant
approval process will get high quality people and lead
you on a path of getting what you want while creating a
win/win for everyone involved. Your tenants will be
happy, your investors or you will be happy, and most
importantly you now will have an investment that
increases in value and cash flow over the long term.
Darcelle Runciman is the COO (Chief Operations Officer) of
Hemlock Investments a real estate investment company, a
Business Mentor and a Contributing Writer of The Power of
Women United a book about Confidence, Success, and
Networking. Hemlock Investments works hard for you so you
don’t have to. Visit her website at or call 613-921-2535.
Hemlock Investments is a real estate investment
company that specializes in purchasing residential
investment real estate with joint venture partners who
may not know where to start, or may not have the
time. We invest in properties generating positive cash
flow or high appreciation with a proven system and a
goal of helping others achieve success.
Looking for Cash Flow? - Looking for
Appreciation? - Want to Own
Investment Property?
Hemlock Investments A Professional Team,
A Proven System, A Winning Combination!
Call Now!! 613-921-2535 - Or visit our
website! -
Sequoia Club

Business 29
Canada's workplace
By Rachel Zupek,
Certain activities, words and topics just aren’t for the
workplace. For example, sleeping, drinking alcohol and
kissing co-workers are all things to be done behind
closed doors – or at the very least, outside of the office.
But a recent survey says workers are
embracing these taboos – and others – in the workplace.
“Things that are considered ‘taboo’ in the office have
changed as workplace environments have evolved over
the years,” says Rosemary Haefner, vice president of
human resources for “Employees need
to be more aware of what is and is not OK in a
professional setting to avoid negatively impacting their
Nearly half (46 per cent) of workers have fallen asleep
at work, according to the survey. Thirty-five per cent of
those surveyed have kissed a co-worker and 31 per cent
have consumed an alcoholic beverage while on the job.
Other workplace taboos that Canadian workers have
committed include:
• Stealing from the office (28 per cent)
• Spreading a rumour about a co-worker (26 per cent)
• Snooping after hours (22 per cent)
• Lying about an academic background (9 per cent)
• Taking credit for someone else’s work (4 per cent)
Boys versus girls
Men engage in every office taboo more than women,
according to the survey. For example, while women are
stereotypically the usual suspects in office gossip, only
19 per cent of females have spread a rumour about a
co-worker, compared to 31 per cent of males.
When it comes to drinking, 37 per cent of men have
tipped the bottle at work compared to only 21 per cent
of women. Additionally, one-third (33 per cent) of men
have stolen something from the office, while only 21 per
cent have women reported having sticky fingers.
Over half (51 per cent) of males surveyed have fallen
asleep on the job, compared to 40 per cent of females.
Six per cent of men have taken credit for someone else’s
idea versus just 1 per cent of women having done so.
Moreover, when it comes to kissing co-workers, 36 per
cent of males have puckered up, as opposed to 33 per
cent of females.
Age ain’t nothin’ but a number
Young workers are presumed to engage in off-limits
behaviour more frequently than older workers.
Nevertheless, the survey says that while higher
percentages of younger age groups commit taboos,
baby boomers are anything but innocent.
Twenty-six per cent of Canadian workers over the age
of 55 have snooped around their office after hours
compared to 16 per cent of workers age 18-24.
Additionally, 24 per cent of workers 55 and older have
consumed alcohol while working, compared to 13 per
cent of 18-24 year-old workers.
The younger workers seem to have sticky fingers –
and brains. Thirty-five per cent of both 18-24 and 25-34
year-olds have stolen something from the office. While
fewer than one per cent of Canadian workers age 35-44
have taken someone else’s idea and presented it as their
own, 6 per cent of workers 18-24 have done so.
Finally, 14 per cent of young workers (18-24 year-olds)
have lied about their academic background compared to
only 5 per cent of both 35-44 year-olds and workers age
55 and older.
Careers 33
CareerBuilder® is one of
Canada’s top job sites
allowing you to get the best
and most up-to-date
employment information
Sign up completely free to
receive job
recommendations or add
your resume to allow
employers to search for
Subscribe to Muchmor Magazine and
not only will you be reminded when
every new issue is published but you
will also be placed into a draw to win
a $50 TimCard™
read muchmor for the latest winner
and to subscribe at
Duties of this fast-growing profession
include writing and editing text, creating
graphics, converting photos and drawings
into digital images, designing page layouts
and developing presentations.
Data Entry Clerk
Like administrative assistants, job
prospects should be best for those with
expertise in computer software
applications. By typing text, entering data
into a computer, and performing other
clerical duties, these workers ensure
companies keep up with information and
Insurance Underwriter
Insurance underwriters serve as the
main link between the insurance carrier
and the insurance agent. Underwriters
analyze insurance applications, calculate
the risk of loss from policyholders, decide
whether to issue the policy and establish
appropriate premium rates.
Market Research Analyst
Market research analysts, whose job
numbers are expected to grow 20 percent
by 2016, gather data on competitors and
analyze prices, sales, and methods of
marketing and distribution. They often
design surveys, compile and evaluate the
data and make recommendations to their
client or employer based upon their
While lawyers assume ultimate
responsibility for legal work, they delegate
much of their work to paralegals.
Paralegals not only assist in preparation
for closings, hearings, trials, and corporate
meetings, they also perform a number of
other vital functions including draft
contracts, mortgages, separation
agreements, trust instruments and may
assist in preparing tax returns and
planning estates. With employers reducing
costs by replacing duties once tended to
by lawyers with paralegals, growth of this
profession is expected.
If you want to make the case to a
potential employer or your boss to let you
work from home, keep a few things in
mind. If possible, provide concrete
examples of how this arrangement was
successful in the past or how it will
succeed. Suggest that you ease into it --
spending a few days to a few weeks in the
office at the outset, meeting people and
getting to know procedures. Then, during
the first three to six months on the new
job, make frequent visits.
Kate Lorenz is the article and advice
editor for She
researches and writes about job search
strategy, career management, hiring
trends and workplace issues.
Sequoia Club
30 Business
Email Marketing:
Developing your email
content – part 2
By Penny
Olorenshaw -
In my last article, I
discussed some of the
types of content you
might include in your
permission-based email
program. Newsletters,
product promotions and
special offers are just a
few of the ways you can maintain and develop your
connection with current customers and client prospects.
The most important thing is to make sure people want to
hear from you, either by asking new contacts if you may
add them to your mailing list or by adding a sign-up form
to your website.
There are a few other types of content that might fit
well with your business.
Opinion or analysis of industry-relevant topics –
particularly if you are in a technical business,
commenting on new research or interpreting the details
of a report can be invaluable to your subscribers.
Industry trends – keeping your readers in touch with
the changes in your industry helps keep you top of mind
and positions you as an expert they can rely on for up-
to-date and relevant information.
Case studies – showing how your business has
solved a problem or provided a service for one of your
clients will give readers insight into your business
methods and practices and get them thinking about
ways you can help them.
Product news & reviews – in this era of unlimited
choice and new product introductions every day, readers
appreciate hearing from a trusted voice. Evaluations of
new products help readers make informed choices and
cast you in the role of advisor.
Remember that people like having useful information
that helps them wade through the mass of data available
to them now. As long as you continue to engage your
readers with relevant, trustworthy information that helps
them in their lives or businesses, they’ll look forward to
hearing from you and will pass your emails on to friends
and colleagues.
So now let’s look at some places where you might find
some of this content, both within your business and
First of all, what’s your area of specialty? What are
you an expert on? Share what you know with customers
and clients (of course, you’re not going to give away
trade secrets because you never know when your email
will end up on the desk of a competitor – more on that
later), explain how things work in your industry, show
how to distinguish a product of value from one that’s
‘just okay’ (assuming that your product falls into the
‘value’ category). You can even expose a dirty little
industry secret as long as it won’t backfire on you – if
there’s a sales strategy that less scrupulous competitors
employ, make sure your own tactics will stand up to
Frequently Asked Questions – companies often
provide a list of frequently asked questions (FAQ’s) on
their websites to answer some of the most common
concerns raised by customers. FAQs give web visitors
more information about how to use your product and
give you another opportunity to subtly reinforce the
features and services you offer. If your website doesn’t
include an FAQ, talk to your front line people about the
kinds of questions people ask. You can use these
questions as a basis for newsletter articles or just include
a Q&A section in your regular messages.
What are your readers interested in? – your email
service provider should provide you with reports on the
links that readers click on to visit your website. Those
reports can give you a pretty good idea of the types of
information your readers are interested in, whether it’s a
particular type of product or an article on a special
service you offer. Compare that with your sales and client
contact statistics – did those clicks turn into sales or at
least more inquiries? With that knowledge in hand, you
can include more of those successful links in the future.
Or try some different links and compare results from one
campaign to another.
What is the competition writing about? – You have
signed up for newsletters from your competition, right?
This is a great way to keep up with what others are doing
and telling their clients. There is nothing to stop you from
signing up for a newsletter – your competition is
probably reading yours (see note above about not
Sequoia Club
Business 31
revealing trade secrets). You’d never want to copy from
another’s newsletter but you can find out the kinds of
issues similar companies are discussing or the
products they’re promoting. If you’re uncomfortable
about signing up for a direct competitor’s email, look
for a company in another city who’s in your line of work
and subscribe to their newsletter to get ideas.
What are people Twittering and blogging about? –
the world of the web is all about connecting with others
and finding new ways to promote your unique brand to
the world. Even if you don’t want to get caught up in
the Twitter craze, there are a lot of great ideas and
trends making the rounds through social connection
technologies, so you might be missing out on the next
big thing. If there is someone in your industry you
consider a guru, chances are they’re Twittering and
writing a blog; the things they’re talking about will likely
have relevance to your clients, either now or in the not-
too-distant future.
Invite a guest author – you don’t always have to
write everything. Is there a complementary business
that would be of interest to your readers? Offer to
exchange articles; this lets you introduce a new
company to your customers and gives you an
opportunity to reach a new audience.
Ask your readers – invite your readers to tell you what
they’d like to hear more about. In your email, place a link
to an online form on your website to solicit ideas for
future articles. That way, you’re encouraging two-way
communication; customers love to feel that they’re
connecting with the companies they deal with.
So there are many places to find inspiration for your
email campaigns. Next issue, I’ll talk about structuring a
successful email message.
Penny Olorenshaw is the owner of poloDesign, located near
Brighton, Ontario, and offers graphic design and web services
to clients in eastern Ontario and the GTA. See her website at for further information or if you’re a member of
The MBN you can view Penny’s profile by clicking here
32 Money
By Heather
Money 33
A Advisors: Who to trust and do I
have enough money to warrant
using the services of an advisor ?
When people say to me we have
no money, we don’t need an advisor
I counter with - you have no money
because you don't use an advisor!
An independent advisors duty is to
provide the right advice to the client,
they act on your behalf not the
companies they do business with or
the bank. Consider an advisor as a
financial coach or translator helping
you negotiate the complicated and
often confusing world of personal
finance. has a special
section on what to look for and how
to find a good financial advisor.
B Bonds: In the recovering
market to come, real return and
corporate bonds are being highly
recommended by many industry
experts as a great opportunity to
participate in growth.
Be careful in the BEAR market,
selling at a loss destroys your ability
to recover - remember you want to
buy low and sell high . Invesco
Trimark has a great site to help
negotiate the recent market
C Compounding interest can be
your friend or your enemy! Credit
card and Line of Credit interest can
be a killer - pay off this type of debt
first. The best kind of debt is a
Check out Manulife’s unique
Manulife One calculator . What’s your
number ?
Contribute early, now and often
to your RRSP or better yet TFSA.
The trick is to start - even a very
small amount grows substantially
over time.
D Debt is dangerous to your
financial health - see C.
Diversify Diversification in an
investment portfolio reduces your
risk and increases your exposure to
more growth, exposure across
sectors, geography and investment
styles are all important to consider
but also look at the actual products
used in building your financial
program. Stocks, bonds, mutual
funds, segregated funds, exchange
traded funds , guaranteed minimum
wealth bonus products, high yield
savings accounts and real estate are
all building blocks to look at when
planning your financial present and
E Estate planning: You’re never
to young to start, and starting can
be as simple as having an up to date
will, living will and power of attorney.
We can never determine or chose
when exactly we will need all this so
like the Boy Scout motto says Be
For many of us who are dealing
with aged parents this is an
important conversation to have with
family. Too many of us share too
much of our hard earned life savings
with the government and not our
own family or community. For a
Free will kit see
F Forced savings: Pay yourself
first - how many times have we
heard this message and not acted
on it? It doesn’t have to be hard.
Any automatic chequing (PAC) or
pay check deduction directly into a
high yield savings account (TFSA)
will do the trick. Very few of us can
successfully budget our way to
wealth, making a savings program
simple and automatic allows us to
forget it and reap the rewards in
retirement or time of emergency .
see or Manulife Advantage.
G Goals: Great to have - harder
to achieve. Make them realistic and
SMART specific measurable
actionable realistic timed. Write
them down as it makes you more
Gold: When markets crash or
inflation is deemed a risk investors
flock to gold - not a bad strategy
but once again, don’t put all your
eggs in one basket.
H Home: For many people their
home is the first big purchase and
the building block for retirement.
Today’s environment is a great time
to buy - historic lows for interest
rates and a dip in the real estate
cycle. A house can also be a source
of cash, re-financing (with a
mortgage broker of course), using
built up equity can help fund all
manner of projects or goals from
home renos, debt consolidation to
long term care insurance for when
you can no longer live in it.
I Insurance: Most people have too
little, start too late to acquire it and
can't get it when they need it the
most. Insurance can be like a multi-
purpose tool in your financial tool
box. Everything from protecting
income and retirement savings to
providing a tax shelter for
investment growth can be done with
an insurance product. Using an
independent insurance broker is
your guarantee of getting the right
product at the right price for your
individual situation. See for
an affiliated broker.
J Jobless rate: Used as an
indicator of national economic
health by many forecasters, 2009
February's rate of 7.7% was an
increase from previous months and
approaching the last recession Aug
2003 rate of 8%. Still, these
numbers are short of the double
digit rates posted in the 1980s. So
what does it mean? Some are
suggesting a shorter length and
quicker recovery from our present
financial crisis. Like many of the
stories in the media it has to be
taken with a grain of salt - bad news
sells and keeps the media and
forecasters both employed!
K Keep your money yours: Using
tax efficient strategies like corporate
class funds for open or non
registered money. Invest as much as
possible in your Tax Free Savings
Account and/or RRSP, sheltering
money in a Universal Life insurance
policy are all good tactics. Using a
good accountant for the basic tax
return may be worthwhile, however,
any small business or corporate
filing should be prepared by a
certified accountant. Estate planning
should consider many options
including gifting heirs before
charitable contributions of
investments or insurance and the
use of segregated funds.
L Leverage loan: Using other
peoples money is a strategy used
frequently to top up RRSP holdings
and jump start investment
programs. While the numbers
almost always work out in favor of
the investor realize this is a fairly
34 Money
aggressive tactic and only the the
truly sophisticated investor with time
(to allow the numbers to work)
should use this. One advantage is
the interest charged on borrowed
money to invest is tax deductible.
The majority of home owners already
use this in the form of a mortgage a
much safer option and one that in
todays interest rate environment is a
great deal.
M Mutual Funds: There are over
5000 funds available to the retail
investor. Basically a mutual fund is a
basket of stocks and bonds
managed by a professional money
manager. When you purchase a fund
you buy a unit, units change in value
over time generating a loss or growth
( in the form of interest,
dividends ,capital gains or return of
capital) time is the factor here the
average fund should beheld between
5 and 8 years to see a profit. This
makes them great to hold in long
term investing scenarios like
retirement savings.
N Notational value: This is a key
factor in the make up of the new
Guaranteed Minimum Wealth Benefit
products offered by many insurance
companies. For those looking to
generate income, these segregated
funds with perks have guarantees to
provide a steady income no matter
what the market does with original
investment, still offering the
opportunity to participate in market
highs and resets to lock in those
market highs.
O Open money: This refers to
investment money not in a registered
program RRSP RESP RDSP or Tax
free account. Returns generated are
taxed fully. The best form of growth
for open accounts is a Return of
Capital ROC no tax. These returns
are offered with many Corporate
Class funds. The next preferable is
capital gains - only 50% of growth is
taxable. Dividends offer the next
lowest rate with interest being the
most taxed form of investment
P Pay Yourself first: One of the
easiest ways to do this is with an
automatic pay roll deduction directly
into an RRSP or other savings
vehicle. Budgeting is a near
impossible feat, the government
knows this and to ensure taxes are
paid automatically withholds money
till April filings. You can do the same.
Most people quickly learn to live on
what remains in their bank account.
Q Quick rich schemes: If it
sounds too good to be true, it
probably is! The recent news is full of
Ponzi rackets, corrupt financial
professionals and inept managers.
Your best defense is research and
trusted personal referrals. Look into
professional associations and
licensing bodies to ensure the
person you are dealing with is who
they say they are.
R Real Estate: An essential part of
any financial plan. If you own your
own home it’s a great start. As part
of a plan Real Estate can provide an
inflation hedge, great diversification,
conservation of principal and it can
be very simple and accessible. You
can purchase directly or indirectly
through many of the real estate
REITS and funds available.
S Savings: See P - Consider
savings as a first step toward
investing. One of the best vehicles
Money 35
around to do this is the virtual bank
account, higher interest and no fees.
Many companies such as Manulife ,
Presidents Choice, MRS and ING
(Save your money) all offer these
with the ability to bank on the phone
or the internet/computer. To get an
even better return consider doing
one of these as a Tax Free Savings
T Tax Free Savings Account: Do
you have yours yet? A super
government registered program
allowing all Canadians 18 and older
to invest up to $5,000 a year and not
pay any tax on the growth. Any
unused contribution room can be
carried over to the next year.
Withdrawals can be made for any
purpose, any time without incurring
tax. Great for any kind of savings
project from a house down payment
to education or retirement savings.
W Withholding tax: This is what
you will pay (on top of regular
income tax) on any early withdrawals
from your RRSP. How much depends
on the amount withdrawn. Up to
$5,000 10%, $5,000 -$15,000
20%, and funds greater than
$15,000 30%.
All the more reason to look at
Critical Illness and Disability
insurance as well as S and T to have
an emergency fund or benefits to
avoid situations where you might
have to withdraw early.
X eXchange traded funds: EFT’s
are a new financial product
becoming more available to the retail
(you and me v’s instituions or
pension funds) investor. They are a
cross between traditional stocks and
mutual funds. More transparent than
mutual funds but traded daily like
stocks these are becoming more
attractive due to lower fees and
predicted higher returns .
Y Youth is wasted on the young!
I can’t remember who said that but
teach good financial habits early. If
you don’t have the money to pay for
it right away, save and wait, or walk
away. Every young person should
have a savings and a chequing
account and learn how to use them.
Like brushing your teeth every night
good financial habits do not make
sense to the younger set right away
but pays off in spades later in life.
Z Zig Ziglar is a motivational
expert who uses the term “stinking
thinking” you know that negative talk
we often engage in. Thinking
negative is not only bad for your
mental health it can make you
physically sick as well. The news
these days is full of negative news
and predictions, sometimes we need
to just unplug from it all and focus on
the really important things in our
lives like family and friends.
Heather Lang is an independent
financial advisor in the Quinte region of
Ontario. Her company Cedarlane
Financial Consulting can be found at
If you’re a member of The MBN you
can view Heather’s profile by clicking
Over 1 million Canadians can’t afford both. The high cost of
housing forces many people to make choices no one should
have to make. You can choose to help. To donate, participate or
advocate visit
Sequoia Club
36 Money
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Careers 33
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Duties of this fast-growing profession
include writing and editing text, creating
graphics, converting photos and drawings
into digital images, designing page layouts
and developing presentations.
Data Entry Clerk
Like administrative assistants, job
prospects should be best for those with
expertise in computer software
applications. By typing text, entering data
into a computer, and performing other
clerical duties, these workers ensure
companies keep up with information and
Insurance Underwriter
Insurance underwriters serve as the
main link between the insurance carrier
and the insurance agent. Underwriters
analyze insurance applications, calculate
the risk of loss from policyholders, decide
whether to issue the policy and establish
appropriate premium rates.
Market Research Analyst
Market research analysts, whose job
numbers are expected to grow 20 percent
by 2016, gather data on competitors and
analyze prices, sales, and methods of
marketing and distribution. They often
design surveys, compile and evaluate the
data and make recommendations to their
client or employer based upon their
While lawyers assume ultimate
responsibility for legal work, they delegate
much of their work to paralegals.
Paralegals not only assist in preparation
for closings, hearings, trials, and corporate
meetings, they also perform a number of
other vital functions including draft
contracts, mortgages, separation
agreements, trust instruments and may
assist in preparing tax returns and
planning estates. With employers reducing
costs by replacing duties once tended to
by lawyers with paralegals, growth of this
profession is expected.
If you want to make the case to a
potential employer or your boss to let you
work from home, keep a few things in
mind. If possible, provide concrete
examples of how this arrangement was
successful in the past or how it will
succeed. Suggest that you ease into it --
spending a few days to a few weeks in the
office at the outset, meeting people and
getting to know procedures. Then, during
the first three to six months on the new
job, make frequent visits.
Kate Lorenz is the article and advice
editor for She
researches and writes about job search
strategy, career management, hiring
trends and workplace issues.
Money 37
Are you a parent of a teenager?
Does your teen expect you to dole
out cash like an ATM? Does your
child know the word "budget?" As
many families take a hard look at
their finances in light of the current
economy, many are seizing the
opportunity to instill money
management skills and financial
responsibility in their children.
Now is the time to talk with your
kids about money. With the end of
the school year approaching, along
with milestones like graduation,
summer jobs and preparing for
college in the fall, it is the perfect
time to make money matters part of
the dinner table conversation. The
fact is, whether you are 13, 30 or 90,
no one is immune to financial stress,
especially given today's economy.
"It’s important that parents have
the ‘money talk’ with their kids first --
even if you feel like maybe you
haven’t always made the best
financial decisions as a parent, older
children learn from our candor,” says
Matt Boss who heads up the mass
customer strategy, including
students, for Bank of America. “By
talking candidly about money and
finances with your child, it will be
easier for them to take the reins and
head down the path to a successful
financial future."
Here are some basic steps for
providing your teen with a better
understanding of how to manage
their money:
Talk openly and honestly

The first step in educating your
teenager about finances is to create
an open and honest relationship
when it comes to money. Sit down
and explain the importance of money
management and ask them what
steps they think they should take to
get their finances in order. Discuss
any questions or problems that they
have. Once trust is established, it
leaves the door open for effective
Set a budget and
stick to it
Sit down with your
teenager and help
them hash out a
realistic budget plan.
Record monthly
income totals,
including paychecks
and allowances. Then
record all expenses -
spending like food
and insurance, and
spending like movie
tickets and CDs.
Don't forget about
savings - try to set
aside 10 percent each
Understand and
actively manage
a chequing
A chequing account is the
foundation of your teen’s financial
world. If they don't have one already,
help them open one and explain how
it works. Make sure they understand
the importance of a balanced
account and consequences
associated with not keeping track of
that account. Talk about the pros
and cons of debit cards and how
they work. Finally, utilize your bank's
online tools for managing a checking
account including online banking,
mobile banking, account alerts, bill
pay and transaction records. Using
Mobile Banking, students can check
account balances, pay bills, transfer
money, view transactions, and
receive mobile alerts when their
balance falls below a set minimum,
helping them avoid fees.
Take advantage of
educational seminars in your
It's not uncommon for schools or
banks to hold short, educational
classes to help younger generations
comprehend different aspects of
financial basics. Contact your bank,
local community groups or your
teenager’s school to see what is
available. Make it more fun by
attending with them or finding out if
you can recruit their friends to go.
"Taking the first step today will help
your child learn financial
management information that will
benefit them for the rest of their life,"
concludes Boss.
Courtesy of ARAcontent
Smart financial tips for teens
and parents


Sequoia Club
38 Motoring
Test Drive
Story and
photos by
Mark Atkinson
Motoring 39
Talk about being late to a party.
During the Cute-Ute revolution of the
late ‘90s, Volkswagen stood back
and laughed. ‘Why would anyone
spend money on a tall station wagon
when you could just buy a regular
station wagon instead?’ it asked.
Over a decade and millions of sales
later, it seems Vee-Dub has a case of
corporate amnesia, finally
introducing its Tiguan compact SUV
last fall.
Its competitors from Honda and
Toyota have gone through three or
four generations apiece by now, so
you’d hope that with that much time
to plan, the Tiguan would be the
outright champion in the class,
Hmm. Not quite.
I’ve seen it before you
The Tiguan is based on the same
Volkswagen platform that underpins
the Golf, Jetta, Eos and Passat, and
shares just about everything
mechanically with one of those rides.
The 2.0-litre turbocharged direct-
injection, “TSI” engine and
transmissions are ubiquitous
amongst the Vee-Dub family, as is
the optional Haldex-based 4Motion
all-wheel drive hardware normally
found in the Audi TT and Golf R32.
While the Tiguan’s engine
produces a pretty sedate 200 hp, it’s
the torque that makes it sprightly:
206 lb-ft from 1,700 to 5,000 rpm.
That makes for a very flexible
delivery, although there is some
initial turbo lag followed by a big
surge of power, which can make
stop and go driving interesting. Only
the base model comes with a six-
speed manual transmission; all
others get the familiar six-speed
The benefit to using the
turbocharged engine is its
reasonable fuel economy – 11.2/7.6
L/100 km city/highway with the
manual, and 10.4/8.1 for the more
popular automatic versions.
The Tiguan uses MacPherson
struts up front with a four-link
independent setup in the rear, and
even the base suspension is tuned
for more sporting tastes. Four-wheel
disc brakes with ABS and ESP are
standard, meaning even the front-
wheel drive versions are easy of
control. The turning circle is small for
this class, which helps around town.
Customers in Europe and
elsewhere can order a Tiguan
prepped for serious off-roading,
including skid plates and hill-hold
systems. For North America, though,
Volkswagen’s focus is completely
A tall golf?
From the outside, the Tiguan apes
many of VW’s styling themes, and
the front shares more with the sleek
Passat CC than its bigger Touareg
SUV brother. The rear would be
familiar to a Golf/Rabbit owner, if
only a little taller. Standard dual
exhaust, roof rails and heated side-
mirrors lend an upscale touch.
Once you climb in the cabin, the
Tiguan moves beyond the expected
conservative German vibe, but not
by much. Switches and gauges all
come from the (admittedly very nice)
parts bin. However, the radio, HVAC
controls and center console are all
different enough to be satisfying.
The rear seats are intimate,
although they do recline and adjust
for either more leg room or increased
cargo space. And the front-
passenger seat folds flat to help
when hauling long loads.
Little value here
Unfortunately, like most
Volkswagens, value isn’t really part
of the equation. The range starts
with the front-wheel-drive Trendline
at $27,575 and moves through the
$33,975 Comfortline to the $38,375
Highline. That’s without even
40 Motoring
considering selecting the optional
all-wheel drive, which adds nearly
$2,000 to the SE or SEL.
Standard equipment includes 16-
inch alloy wheels with all-season
tires, an eight-speaker AM/FM/CD
playing with aux-in, air conditioning,
eight-way adjustable front seats, and
head-curtain airbags.
The Comfortline adds all-wheel
drive, 17-inch wheels, fog lights,
privacy glass, upgraded ‘partial
power’ front heated seats, a huge
panoramic sunroof, and some
leather and chrome bits strewn
about to liven the place up.
Finally, the Highline tries to justify
is sky-high price tag by bringing all
the luxury car touches to the
masses, including 18-inch wheels,
xenon lights, 12-way power seats,
dual-zone climate control, leather
seats, rain-sensing wipers and
ambient lighting.
Popular options include a quite
excellent HD-based navigation
system with music server, a rockin’
DynAudio sound system and rear-
view camera for $3,450, while rear
passenger side thorax airbags are a
reasonable $450.
Premium prices
What you’re left with is a premium
SUV without a premium badge. The
full-blown Highline is $3,500-$5,000
more than either the Honda CR-V
EX-L or RAV4 Limited V6 AWD. A
new Subaru Forester XT tops out at
$29,995, and it’s much more
capable on and off-road than the
Tiguan. Even an entry-level Audi Q5
based on the same mechanicals is
only $5,000 in the other direction.
The Tiguan’s ace in the hole will
be its materials and build quality,
which trump the Japanese
competitors. And reliability,
previously a dirty word when
considering Volkswagens, has also
improved dramatically in recent
years, meaning customers can’t
immediately take it for granted that
the Honda or Toyota will be out of
the shop any less.
But that still doesn’t help answer
the question of why not just buy a
Jetta Wagon and be done with it?
Unless you desperately need all-
wheel drive, the Wagon offers the
same engine, better handling, a
lower-step-in height and more cargo
room, all for thousands less than the
Tiguan. You could even put the extra
money towards a set of snow tires if
needed, and still have enough left
over for a trip somewhere warm.
Mark Atkinson has nearly 10 years
experience as an automobile journalist
working for publications like Inside Track
Motorsport News, Carguide, World of
Wheels, Canadian Auto World, the
Hamilton Spectator Wheels section,
Metro Carguide, Suburban Life and West
of the City. Besides writing for Muchmor
Magazine, Mark also has his own blog,, and appears in a
number of other print and online
41 Moving to Canada
By Birgit Wartenberg
When I met Jane, your editor, we
discussed our mutual moves to
Canada. After she told me her story, I
mentioned that ours is “just a bit
more” interesting than others! I know
you will say, well that’s what
everybody is saying. Wait … read
about two immigrants in there forties,
that decided out of the blue with one
phone call across the ocean to
switch countries, lifestyle and move
away from family and friends.
Remember we were not teens who
are entitled to do strange things!
But let’s start from “THE
BEGINNING”. We lived in
Duesseldorf, Germany and one day
in 1995 my husband Wolf surprised
me with a “New Years Eve” in New
York. We decided that after New York
I would fly home to Germany, as I
worked in my husbands company at
that time, and he would fly to
Canada to visit his sister for the last
time as the property she lived on was
for sale.
My sister in law is a swami, an
Indian monk, always wearing orange.
She lived with her spiritual family on
what was called an “Ashram”, where
old & young live together, but they
had decided to sell the place as it
didn’t work out so well. At this point I
had never been to Canada before,
but my husband was always very
enthusiastic about it.
So, two days after he arrived in
Beaverton at Lake Simcoe, Ontario
he called me and said, quote: “I’m
standing here, it’s 35 Celsius below,
the sun is shining, lot’s of snow and
I’m thinking why don’t we buy the
property my sister is selling?”
I was speechless, which doesn’t
happen very often - after a couple of
seconds my husband said “are you
still there?” Yes, I’m still here, can I
think about that?” I asked. “Sure,” he
replied, “let’s talk again tomorrow.”
The next day he called and said, “it
make’s no sense to think about it,
book a flight and come over, you
have to see it!”
That’s what I did. I made different
arrangements, booked a flight and
arrived the next Friday at Toronto
airport. My husband and my sister-
in-law picked me up and we drove
two hours north. I have to tell you,
upon arrival I was in complete shock!
When I entered the house, it was
dark, not very clean, run down - in
fact everything I hated. I started
crying and couldn’t stop all night
long. I questioned my husband, what
was he thinking, he always said it’s
so beautiful over there! There was
nothing “beautiful!” There were four
buildings on the property and the
next morning we did another tour,
this time with the sun out. Unable to
cry any longer I saw potential in all
these run down buildings. What
really sold me was the 50 acres and
the Beaver River.
Not your run-of-the-mill
relocation story!
Birgit Wartenberg and her husband Wolf have become Muchmor regulars. Wolf
featured in our March 09 issue and Birgit in our Feb 09 issue. I first met Birgit last
year and it was obvious from her accent that she, like me, was not from around
these parts. So, now Birgit shares how they first decided to move from Germany to
Canada in the late 1990’s and how the move wasn’t what could be classed
as “conventional”.
Relocation 41
Sequoia Club
I had to fly home on the Sunday
and Wolf’s flight was a week later.
My head was spinning… I have to
admit, at that point in our lives we
were talking about changes in our
lifestyle, what to do, where etc. So, I
said to myself, maybe this is our
chance for change. Knowing that
opportunities only pass by once and
it’s not always the best timing, but
sometimes you have to jump on that
At that time we were based in
Germany but had purchased a
property in Spain which we were
about to move to. The architect had
already completed the plans for the
renovation when we decided to
move to Canada - after we talked to
our lawyer, tax advisor,
accountants .. you name it.
At the end of February 1996 we
made all the arrangements we
thought we had to do in order to
move to Canada, not knowing that
this was a long, long ….!
We applied for landed immigrant in
Bonn, Germany, did our medical
tests and translations. In the
meantime we had an appointment
with our lawyer in Toronto and found
out that we couldn't buy farm land as
we were not “landed immigrants.” As
my sister-in-law wanted to close the
sale, our brother-in-law bought the
property for us. We started to
renovate our house and in the
meantime we sold our house in
Spain and were looking for a buyer
for the company. One of us was
flying constantly, picking up tiles,
wood, finding a kitchen builder etc.
The best I remember was when the
construction guy called me and
asked if I wanted the outlets on the
east or north side of the living room?
How would I know were east or north
is in my future living room? Anyhow
we managed it very well and we were
very pleased with the outcome!
Our problem was the permit, my
husband couldn’t get one because of
his high blood pressure, they didn’t
say yes, but they didn’t say no either.
He had to go and get even more
medical tests. I flew over in October
with our dog, direct flight from
Frankfurt so the dog had less time on
board, and stayed in the little cabin
we had on the property, approx. 300
sq.ft., no furniture and in the
meantime 2 dogs. My husband came
in December and our 40 foot
container arrived in the middle of
December 1996 in Montreal. We had
to truck the container over to Toronto
and had to appear at customs with
our papers, keep in mind, we still had
no permit! I said to my husband
“what if they don’t allow us to keep
the container here, what’ then?” His
answer was “we have to put the
container in storage or ship it back to
Germany!” Great !!!
Here is what I love about Canada!
We walk towards the customs officer,
he looks at our papers and said “I
assume you bought a cottage and
needed some European furniture,
right?” With our yes he endorsed our
papers and we walked out with his
best wishes and a “welcome to
Canada”. I started crying as soon as
we left the building still expecting
him to be calling “come back, I made
a mistake!”
So, our 40 foot container arrived
and we unloaded it with eight hard
working people in a couple of hours!
It was raining cats & dogs - or should
I say raccoons and beavers?
Our constructor was stunned
when he came back after the
holidays. The house looked great,
most of our boxes unpacked, books
in the shelves, pictures hanging,
fresh flowers on the dining table. I
think we worked 14-16 hours a day,
just the two of us.
On New Years Eve 1996 we were
sitting in front of our open fire place,
but still sleeping in the cabin. Four
weeks later the second floor was
done and we moved in completely.
We started to renovate our guest
house, bought furniture from IKEA,
our favorite store, which we then had
to assemble. At the end of February
our first yoga group came - our new
venture had begun.
My husband was still running his
company from Canada, flying over to
Germany every other month. Once,
whilst he was on one of these trips
and I was alone in Canada I fell
whilst taking the dogs for a walk. It
was about ten at night and I knew
instantly that I had broken my wrist,
just by the sound. I called our
neighbor and he and his wife drove
me, in a snow storm to the hospital
in Port Perry. However, it turned out
they only did x-rays until 7 pm, so we
went home and had to return the
next day to the hospital in
Newmarket. After 7 hours waiting I
got my cast and my neighbours
picked me up again. My husband
came back two days later and we
continued to host more and more
yoga groups whilst continuing with
the renovations.
After being in the country as a
visitor for over six months I got a
letter asking me to leave - I still had
no permit. We decided to drive to the
U.S. Border and come back through
thus giving me another six months as
a visitor. However, at that time they
just waved the cars through and I still
had no stamp in my passport. My
42 Relocation
Sequoia Club
husband decided that it was time
to go to an immigration lawyer as
we needed to hear a definite yes or
no from the government.
We made an appointment and
were a bit shocked when we had
to pay $500 at the door as a down
payment, but what can you do?
During all these months of
waiting I remember that in our first
summer the liner from the pool
broke, the tractor broke and in the
fall the furnace in the guest house
developed a hole and had to be
replaced. Our chef quit in the
middle of a 14-day workshop and
we had to take over, literally over
night! I started baking German
cakes as desserts (I had never
baked before in my entire life) But
still no permit!
We adapted to porcupines,
skunks, raccoons and snakes in
the basement, snapping turtles on
the driveway or in the pool,
coyotes, wolves and bears at the
front porch, blue herons eating our
frogs in the pond, beavers playing at
the river, minks, a dead emu,
squirrels you name it…..
We still continued our renovations,
we had a to-do-list for both outdoors
and indoors, our guest list was
growing but still no permit!
In spring 1998 we were so tired of
waiting for the permit that my
husband said, “if we do not get it by
June 30, 1998, we will move back to
Europe, not Germany, but directly to
Believe it or not the note that our
permit was ready for pick up in
Germany was finally in our mail box
in May 1998. We had to collect our
permit from the Canadian Embassy
in Bonn, Germany as our first
residence was still Germany, and the
rule is to enter the country and get
the landed immigrant status at the
border. What we did, was that we
organized a courier service to
Canada, and than we crossed the
border to the states and came back
20 minutes later to get the “status”.
At long last we were officially
residents of Canada.
During the following twelve years
we created a very peaceful retreat
center which was very successful.
The people loved it and some groups
come back over ever year for ten
years. Our guest always said that
they entered a different world when
they turned into our driveway.
I have to say, after we decided to
host workshops (yoga,
enlightenment, talking to nature,
drum crafting, meditation, NIA dance
etc) we met some amazing people
Very kind, funny, some of them may
be different (that could be another
article), but we had a great, great
In 2008 we felt it was time to move
on and we sold the place. We now
live in Prince Edward County, Ontario
and have new business ventures
which you can read about using
these links. Birgit and Wolf.
Maybe we are able now to slow
down a bit!

Relocation 43
to read all our back issues
and find muchmor.
Sequoia Club
44 Relocation
From city life
to country
by Stephanie
Relocation 45
As summer fast approaches us here
in the north, we hear the fascinating
sounds of the songbirds, bees
buzzing on the newly bloomed
flowers, and tractors tilling the farm
fields. Each morning, I wake up and
have the pleasure of looking out my
window to see the serene sights of
the deciduous trees beginning to bud
and sometimes if I am lucky I will see
the occasional animal scamper by.
Only in the country can you
appreciate such idealistic things to
Being born and raised Central
Ontario I would have never pictured
myself living here in rural Northern
Ontario and especially for this length
of time, I really have gone against all
the odds on this one. Its no doubt
my husband has had a hard time
breaking this city girl into a country
wife. However, I am gradually getting
used to this new found life of dial up
internet, the coexistence with bears
and moose, not to mention to the
numerous unknown bug bites. I
simply wasted no time getting used
to having so much privacy; all of a
sudden there was no need to worry
about going outside in my pajamas
or sun tanning around the pool, since
no one is around to disturb you. So
when you do get a visitor whew it’s
quite a surprise.
You learn to incorporate new and
stimulating things with your time in
the country; no more of running to
the malls or restaurants, as we no
longer have that luxury and it’s
probably for the better, it provided
absolutely no benefit anyway, and
needless to say, my baking and
cooking skills have vastly improved.
Now our ideas of excitement consist
of taking the girls out on the property
and exploring every unturned rock,
examining the mysterious claw
marks on the trees and checking out
many different types of animal
I will openly admit that over the
years I have done a lot of
complaining about living so rurally
and sometimes wonder if the impulse
decision we had made to trade in our
life from the rapid pace of city to the
much slower pace of country living a
short 4 years ago was actually for the
better, but when it comes down to it,
I truly believe it has been a blessing
in disguise, while living here in what
my children refer to as the “boonies”
I have had the opportunity to be able
to sort out life’s issues and discover
new passions in life such as writing
and enjoy nature at its finest. Have
you ever laid under the blanket of
stars or seen a falling star so close it
felt like you could reach out and grab
it, you just get those experiences
living in the city. It still amazes me to
this day how small wonders provide
us with so much gratification.
Regrettably, one serious drawback
to country life is that loneliness can
come quickly knocking at the door
as a mysterious house guest and the
chances of becoming a recluse draw
closer and closer. Although it can
happen to anyone, it tends to fall
much easier in the hands of the
country dweller. Believe me I have
first hand at this, after many trials
and tribulations, I have finally realized
that country life is something that
just takes time to adapt to and
despite the trivial matters of country
living such as having to drive
thousands of kilometres each year to
visit family and friends and the odd
power outage it kindly repays us in
the end with its ever changing beauty
and abundance of wildlife.
Stephanie Brown is a freelance writer
who lives with her husband and three
daughters in Northern Ontario. She
writes for pleasure donating her articles
to community newspapers. She can be
contacted at stephaniestevens-





46 Relocation
When people get the idea of moving
to Canada for good, they may initially
think it will simply be a case of filling
in some paperwork, waiting a short
while and off they go. This is
absolutely not the case.
In order to immigrate to Canada
from any country there are rules to
follow and only a few select methods
of immigration to choose from. If
you find you do not fit the criteria of
one method, you can look to another.
Many people will find a route suitable
for them, but there will always be
some who, however determined they
are o get to Canada will not be able
to do so. This might be because they
do not have the right skills or
perhaps the right experience. Here
we take a look at the various options
available to potential immigrant
Skilled Worker
The most popular route into Canada
is the Skilled Worker Class. This
route allows people to immigrate to
Canada as permanent residents
based on their education, work
experience, language skills etc.
The criteria for immigrating using
this route was recently amended and
now the principal applicant needs to
not only score enough points in the
selection factors, but must also have
experience and qualifications within
certain industries and job
descriptions as specified by the
government of Canada.
In order to apply under this
category you must either have an
arranged offer of employment, or be
a foreign national living legally in
Canada for one year as a temporary
worker or international student or
have at least one year of experience
in one or more of the following:
Financial Managers, Computer and
Information Systems Managers,
Managers in Health Care, Restaurant
and Food Service Managers,
Accommodation Service Managers,
Construction Managers, Financial
Auditors and Accountants,
Geologists, Geochemists and
Geophysicists, Mining Engineers,
Geological Engineers, Petroleum
Engineers, Specialist Physicians,
General Practitioners and Family
Physicians, Audiologists and Speech
Language Pathologists,
Occupational Therapists,
Physiotherapists, Head Nurses and
Supervisors, Registered Nurses,
Medical Radiation Technologists,
Licensed Practical Nurses, University
Professors, College and Other
Vocational Instructors, Chefs, Cooks,
Contractors and Supervisors,
Pipefitting Trades, Contractors and
Supervisors, Carpentry Trades,
Contractors and Supervisors, Heavy
Which route to use to
immigrate to Canada?
Relocation 47
Construction Equipment Crews,
Electricians (Except Industrial and
Power System), Industrial
Electricians, Plumbers, Steamfitters,
Pipe fitters and Sprinkler System
Installers, Welders and Related
Machine Operators, Heavy-Duty
Equipment Mechanics, Crane
Operators, Drillers and Blasters –
Surface Mining, Quarrying and
Construction, Supervisors, Mining
and Quarrying, Supervisors, Oil and
Gas Drilling and Service or
Supervisors, Petroleum, Gas and
Chemical Processing and Utilities.
If you qualify under this criteria
you must then score at least 67
points in the selection factors which
include education, French and
English language skills, work
experience, age, arranged
employment in Canada and
You must then be able to show
that you have enough money to
support you and your family.
Citizenship and Immigration Canada
(CIC) set proof of fund figures for
different family numbers and you will
need to prove you have this money
available at the time of application.
An example would be a family of
four would need to have at least
$20,130 CND as proof of funds.
If you satisfy all of these criteria
you may apply for permanent
residency under the skilled worker
class. Ore details about this class of
immigration can be found on the
Citizenship and Immigration website
using this link.
Applicants wishing to immigrate to
Quebec will need to use the Quebec
Skilled Worker Immigration route.
Experience Class
This route of immigration can be
used by people who are temporary
foreign workers or foreign students
in Canada and who wish to reside in
Canada permanently. This route
does not apply to people who wish
to reside in Quebec.
In order to apply through this route
you must either be a temporary
foreign worker with at least two
years experience of full-time (or
equivalent) skilled work experience
in Canada. Or you can be a foreign
graduate from a Canadian post-
secondary institution with at least
one year full-time (or equivalent)
skilled work experience in Canada.
In either case you must also
possess the ability to speak either
English or French.
Full details of this class of
immigration can be found using this
Investor Class
If you are an experienced business
person willing to invest in Canada
you may qualify under this category
of immigration.
You must have at least two-years
business experience and have a net
worth of at least $800,000 CND and
be able to invest $400,000 CND.
I addition to this you must also
score at least 35 points in the
selection factor criteria and have
enough money to support your
family as per the proof of funds
amounts set by CIC.
Full details of this route can be
found using this link.
Entrepreneur Class
This class os for people who have
money to invest in a Canadian
business and can successfully
manage a business which
contributes to the economy and
creates jobs.
You must have at least two-years
business experience and have a net
worth of at least $300,000 CND and
must score at least 35 points in the
selection factor criteria and have
enough money to support your
family as per the proof of funds
amounts set by CIC.
Full details of this route can be
found using this link.
Self-Employed Class
This class of immigration attracts
people who are looking to become
self-employed in Canada, but may
not be exactly what you think, so
read the rules carefully.
You must have relevant
experience in one or three
categories: participation at a world-
class level in cultural activities or
athletics, farm management
experience or self-employment in
cultural activities or athletics.
I addition to this you must also
score at least 35 points in the
selection factor criteria and have
enough money to support your
family as per the proof of funds
amounts set by CIC.
Full details of this route can be
found using this link.
Provincial Nominee Program
This class of immigration is
determined by each individual
province or territory based on the
Tel: 001 403 932 5670
Contact Helen Parnell a property relocation
specialist who has helped many
expats settle here after making
the move herself.
Free assistance on • Accommodation
• Real Estate • Insurance
• Mortgages • Airport meet and greet
• Serving Calgary and South Alberta
48 Relocation

needs of the area regarding skill
shortages etc.
All Provincial Nominee
Programs (PNP) are based on the
applicant having a secured job
offer from an employer within the
province or territory.
Each has its own rules and
regulations and criteria, so you
should check out each to see if
you might qualify.
Newfoundland and Labrador
British Columbia
New Brunswick
Nova Scotia
Prince Edward Island
Yukon Territory
Family Sponsorship
If you have family in Canada who
are permanent residents or
Canadian citizens they may be
able to sponsor you to immigrate
to Canada. This is dependent
upon your relationship to them
and the sponsorship must be
initiated by them.
Spouses, conjugal partners and
common-law partners of opposite
or same-sex can be sponsored as
can dependent children.
Other relatives that can be
sponsored include parents,
grandparents, brothers or sisters,
nephews or nieces,
granddaughters or grandsons who
are orphaned, under 18 years of
age and not married or in a
common-law relationship or
another relative of any age or
relationship if none of the above
relatives could be sponsored, and
you have no other relatives who
are Canadian citizens, persons
registered as Indians under the
Indian Act or permanent
Full details of the family
sponsorship class can be found
Everyone looking to move
permanently to Canada will be
required to meet medical and
security requirements. You and
your family members must pass a
medical examination and security
and criminal checks. This is
relevant to all immigrants
regardless of the route used to
enter the country.
Details of all routes into Canada
including temporary foreign
workers and study permits can be
found using the Citizenship and
Immigration website.
to read all our back issues
and find muchmor.
Relocation 49
Air Canada expands flights to
and from Spain
Air Canada and fellow Star Alliance partner Spanair
today announced they have entered a codeshare
agreement that expands their networks between
popular business and leisure destinations in Canada
and Spain. This follows the re-introduction May 1, 2009
by Air Canada of non-stop flights between Toronto and
Madrid, the only scheduled service between Canada
and Spain.
Under the codeshare agreement, Air Canada's
network has expanded to serve six destinations in Spain
on codeshare flights designated by the AC code that are
operated by Spanair between Madrid and: Barcelona,
Palma de Mallorca, Malaga, Alicante, Bilbao and
Valencia. Spanair customers in turn, benefit from an
expanded network including non-stop codeshare service
designated by the JK code between Madrid and Toronto,
operated by Air Canada, with convenient connections in
Toronto to and from: Montreal, Calgary and Vancouver.
Both carriers thus offer services between popular
destinations in Canada and Spain, each one using its
own code throughout the entire itinerary. The new
codeshare flights are now available for purchase.
Air Transat specials
Air Transat are currently offering special deals between
Canada and European destinations such as the UK,
France and Germany.
Great offers from Canadian
Travellers searching for a summer holiday bargain need
look no further than Canadian Affair. The UK’s largest
tour operator to Canada commences its summer
schedule this week with return flights to and from eight
For summer 2009, the operator will offer a choice of
over 60 direct services each week from 10 UK & Ireland
airports – London Gatwick, London Heathrow,
Manchester, Birmingham, Exeter, Newcastle,
Edinburgh, Glasgow, Dublin and Shannon.
With flights available to eight Canadian cities -
Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Calgary, Ottawa, Halifax,
Edmonton and Fredericton.
American Airlines new travel
According to American Airlines booking travel through
their website just got easier. Their new
DealFinder℠ downloadable desktop tool gives
information and control over your travel planning. The
new DealFinder gives you quick and easy access to all of
the great information available on The tool
works with most Windows® computers, but is not yet
available for Mac users.
Flying high
50 Health & Wellness
Whether living
with or without
– your bone
health is
Health & Wellness 51
Throughout generations, parents
and guardians have made their
children’s health a top priority.
Whether they exposed their children
to the right foods, or perhaps
encouraged them to pursue physical
activity, parents have understood
the need to help children build
strong and healthy bodies. Yet even
if one were to eat all of the right
foods and maintain a healthy and
active lifestyle, the risk of
developing osteoporosis still
In Canada alone, one in four
women and at least one in eight
men over the age of 50 have
osteoporosis. It is estimated that as
many as two million Canadians may
be at risk of osteoporotic fractures
during their lifetime. The reduced
quality of life for those with
osteoporosis is enormous. This
disease can lead to disfigurement,
lowered self-esteem, reduction or
loss of mobility, and decreased
Consequences of osteoporosis
are frightening, and though many of
us may feel that we do not need to
worry about osteoporosis, we must
still pay close attention to our eating
habits and lifestyle in order to
ensure that we reduce our chances
of acquiring the disease later in life.
Osteoporosis Canada, the first
national organization of its kind to
focus on raising awareness of and
promoting education about
osteoporosis, is on a mission to help
the public decrease their chances of
developing the disease, as well as
helping those already living with
osteoporosis to learn how to
manage it safely, thereby regaining
their quality of life.
Decrease your risk of
While the most common fractures
associated with osteoporosis are
those of the hip, spine and wrist, not
everyone diagnosed with this
disease breaks bones. Whether or
not you have had a fracture,
everyone with osteoporosis should
attempt to modify their lifestyle in
order to minimize their risk of
breaking a bone. The essential
elements in maintaining bone health
are an adequate intake of calcium
and vitamin D and physical activity,
particularly weight-bearing activity.
(This is any kind of activity where
you are bearing your own body
weight, such as walking.) If you have
been diagnosed with osteoporosis,
your doctor may prescribe an
osteoporosis medication. There are
several that have been approved by
Health Canada. Even if you are on a
Bone Density Scanner
52 Health & Wellness
medication, don’t ignore calcium and vitamin D. For
those 50 and over, Osteoporosis Canada recommends
1500 mg of calcium and at least 800 IU vitamin D daily
from all sources. In the winter months, October to
March, vitamin D is not created by the action of the sun
on the skin, and there are not many food sources of
vitamin D, so a supplement is in order.
In addition to drug therapy, exercise, calcium and
vitamin D, it is very important to understand how to
move in a way that is safe for your bones. The practical
advice that follows is designed to help you understand
what are considered safe movements and to pay
attention to the details of daily living so that you don’t
compromise your bones.
Guidelines for safe movement:
Do not bend forward, as it puts you in danger of
breaking the bones in your spine. Use your knees
instead of bending at the waist.
Avoid twisting your torso – it will put pressure on your
When lifting objects that are not too heavy, bend your
knees and keep your back straight. Avoid lifting objects
above shoulder level and do avoid reaching over your
head to retrieve something from a shelf or cupboard.
Avoid activities that overload your spine when you
are in a bent position, e.g., putting a roast in or out of
the oven, putting wet laundry in the dryer, lifting the
mattress to tuck in sheets, shovelling the driveway. Ask
for help.
Think, then do. Don’t do something dangerous in a
moment of impatience. Don’t be in a hurry to catch a
bus, answer the phone or respond to a doorbell. Haste
may create more problems than it’s worth.
Stick to moderate weight-bearing exercises. Jogging
jars the spine and puts you at risk of injury.
Take extra care if you have a poor sense of balance,
poor eyesight, or if you wear bifocals.
Tips for daily living
In your home:

Don’t bend to pick up a child (or anyone else you
may be caregiving). Sit and let the child climb onto
your lap.

Get in and out of bed carefully. To get in, first sit on
the edge of your bed. Then lie on your side and
gently roll over. If you sleep on your side, a pillow
between your knees will help support your hips and
lower back. To get out of bed, lie on your side, ease
yourself to the side of the bed, then push yourself up
Health & Wellness 53
with your arms so that you are in
a sitting position at the side of
the bed with both feet on the

Avoid reading in bed. To read
comfortably, sit in a chair, place a
firm pillow on your lap, and
support your arms and book on
the pillow. Keep chin tucked and
neck straight. Raise your feet on
a low stool, keeping knees bent.
In public places:

Request a comfortable chair
when dining out. Don’t feel you
have to explain your illness, just
say “I have a bad back problem.”

Do avoid crowded public places
because it is easy to get knocked
off balance and fall. If using
public transit, travel during off-
peak hours if possible.

Take care not to jolt your spine
when climbing stairs or stepping
off a curb.

Take a pillow with you for back
support in cars, offices, etc.

When getting in and out of a car,
sit down facing the door, then
swing legs inwards. Reverse the
procedure to get out of the car.

If you drive a car, use rear view
mirror extenders and your side
mirrors to check traffic behind
and beside you to avoid having
to twist around. Watch out for the
blind spot.
If you have been recently
diagnosed, here are some ideas
about where to begin:

Educate yourself: learn all you
can about osteoporosis.
Osteoporosis Canada operates a
toll-free information line. Our
information counsellors discuss
your concerns, send you relevant
information and, if there is one,
refer you to a Chapter or support
group near you.

Consider adding your name to
COPN, the Canadian
Osteoporosis Patient Network.
They publish a regular newsletter
with helpful tips and information
on living with osteoporosis.
Please visit our website (another
great resource tool!) for more

Review your treatment options
with your doctor. You have
several choices.

Review necessary lifestyle
changes with your doctor as well.

Ask your doctor to refer you to
other professionals. Although
your physician is your primary
medical resource, there is a wide
range of professionals who can
be involved in helping you care
for your bones.
This article was prepared with
collaboration from Osteoporosis
Canada; for more information about
osteoporosis, please visit or call

Naturopathic Chiropractic Massage Therapy Psychotherapy
2443 ! Yonge St, Toronto ON M4P 2E7
54 Health & Wellness
The positive side of no!
I was
with a
who felt
overwhelmed by all her commitments
and the things she had to do in a
day. As we talked I started to
suggest that she needed the word
‘no’ but before I could finish she cut
me off.
“No is a negative and I don’t invite
it in.”
In the moment my thought was to
reframe what I was about to say but
her statement has stuck with me
simply because I could hear her pain.
There was a definite disconnect
between her belief and what she was
experiencing in her life. I felt it as she
said it but it eluded me until later
when I had time to think about it.
I realised that there was a basic
assumption being made. It’s one I
hear often, particularly from those
who are striving to live a conscious
life. Simply, that the word ‘no ’ itself
carries a negative charge. The
disconnect occurs because this
assumption creates a powerful
consequence. By refusing to use the
word “no”, we relinquished our
power of choice.
So I am challenging that
assumption here. I believe that ‘no’
possesses some very positive
aspects, such as protecting our
boundaries which in turn support our
mental and physical wellness. The
perfect example of this is how ‘no’
protects our children from predators.
You would never take the power of
that word from them.
In the same way, ‘no’ protects you
from the predators that prey on your
time and energy. Without the option
to say “no” we are at the beck and
call of everyone else’s agenda as
well as our own ego’s demands.
It’s not the words – yes/no – that
carry a positive or negative charge
but rather the intention with which
you use them. Consider this:

Are you saying ‘yes’ or ‘no’
without thought to the
consequences? Either answer is a
negative influence in our lives if
we operate on autopilot.

Are you saying ‘no’ because the
request steps on one of your core
values? In this case your ‘no’ is
positive because you are
maintaining healthy boundaries.

Will you answer ‘no’ in order to
say ‘yes’ to something that is a
higher priority for you? Creating
balance in your day, week and
year is a huge positive, reducing

Are you saying ‘no’ because of
fear? Definitely a negative charge
but again, it’s not the word that
carries it but the fear itself. Often
closely related is replying with a
‘no’ because a request takes you
out of your comfort zone.

Are you responding ‘yes’ to
please someone else? Or
perhaps to please your own ego?
Again, this so-called positive reply
usually carries negative
There are plenty of other scenarios
we could explore but the bottom line
is this - when we make up the rule
that we can’t say ‘no’ we remove our
own freedom of choice, one of the
most valuable freedoms we possess.
At the extreme end of this spectrum
is something like a Stepford Wife!
We can even trace the current
economic crunch to this flawed
assumption. When we stopped
saying ‘no’ to our wants because
credit was easy to obtain, negative
energy built up until we could no
longer sustain the illusion. Now we
are being forced to say ‘no’ because
a universal law states that for every
action there is an equal and opposite
Without choice, our lives become
busier and busier, filled with the
demands of others. We build up time
and energy debts that must
eventually be paid. Then, like the
economy, we crash and burn under
the strain of trying to do it all and
please everyone.
In the end you’ll find that a few,
well-spoken nays are vital to the
balance of your life.
Aprille Janes is a certified life coach,
author, inspirational speaker and a
champion of women who long to live the
life they were meant for! She teaches
that the best way to reclaim that Bolder
Woman inside of each of us is by
connecting to our irresistible core of
passion. Download her free Ebook -
Passion, Purpose and Values - at http:// . It's a great place
to start your own journey.
If you’re a member of The MBN you
can view Aprille’s profile by clicking here
Health & Wellness 55
56 Home & Garden

Downtown Calgary
Techorating tips:
new technology
in your home
Home & Garden 57
Monty the cat
In the current economic
environment, many people are
refocusing their priorities on family
and home. Experts say more
Americans are creating a home
theater experience in their home
instead of going out. Perhaps you're
thinking about using your tax refund
for a new HDTV. Or maybe you're
getting a new home theater system
in time to invite friends over for the
summer baseball season or to enjoy
this fall's football games in big-
screen style.
But do you know how you're
going to incorporate this new
technology into your home decor?
LG Techorator Doug Wilson, from
TLC's "Trading Spaces" and
"Moving Up," has some tips to
streamline your space and cut out
the clutter. Techorating means
combining technology and interior
design so that a room works as one
unified space.
Recycle the old technology
You don't need your old box TV or
huge computer monitor anymore, so
why not be environmentally
responsible, get it out of your house
and recycle it? Companies like
Waste Management and LG
Electronics offer nationwide
recycling programs for unwanted
electronic products at 150
designated "eCycling Centers"
across the country. Visit to find out
more about the programs near you.
Pick a focal point
Now that the old stuff is gone, find
your room's focal point and work
your way out. "In large rooms, make
sure you don't go overboard with
one particular theme, pattern or
technology," says Wilson. "With just
a few integral pieces, the room can
be made to feel spacious, yet
Remember to streamline by
removing unnecessary clutter and
installing shelving units or wall-
mounting your new HDTV.
Consider your space
This is a case where bigger is not
always better. Technology needs to
fit the space you have; otherwise it
can overwhelm a room. While large
flat-screen HDTVs are a nice
upgrade, they can overpower the
room if the screen size is too large
for the space. You need other items
on the wall to offset the presence of
the TV. If you're still shopping
around, take measurements of your
wall space along with you to make
sure you get the perfect sized
Practice cord control
Nothing causes more headaches
than trying to hide all the cords
behind furniture while still trying to
reach the available outlets. "Go
wireless," says Wilson. "Many
leading technology companies,
including LG Electronics, offer
wireless speakers and TVs, giving
your living space a crisp, modern
Use digital accents
Digital photo frames placed
throughout the room and house can
hold family photos during the regular
year, but bring a reminder of your
favorite team's great season when
you have everyone over to watch the
games. The photos can help get the
conversation going, especially if
everyone has just met. Plus, this is a
decoration you don't have to clean
up -- either reprogram the frame or
take it on the road to the next game
Whether you're equipping a tiny
den, medium-sized bedroom or
expansive media room with the
latest in consumer electronics, TLC's
Wilson recommends techorating as
a way to get the most from your new
equipment and your new digital
lifestyle. For more techorating ideas,
58 Home & Garden

Helen Parnell
Tel: 403-932-8888
You will be impressed by this 3520 sf two storey on private 1.8 treed
acres in Waiporous. Water not an issue 30+gpm. This home built by
Saddlebrook Homes has a 24x32 double attached garage, large
front veranda with metal rails & the same at the rear of the
home.Four large bedrooms on the upper level with 2-4pc bathrooms
each with a skilite. The master bedroom has a walk in closet and 4pc
ensuite with soaker tub & 4' shower stall.There is a bonus room with
scissor cut vaulted ceiling(also in master) that is used as school
room for home schooled children. Wrought iron railing on main
between Kitchen & livingroom. Open concept with large country
kitchen with maple cabinets, island, walk in pantry, tile flooring. The
livingroom has laminate wood flooring with corner airtight
woodburning fireplace, stone front. There is also a RI for fireplace in
master bedrm. The office is on the main as well as the laundry room(sink, cabinets, folding counter), mudroom with
cabinets, bench seat. Dark room finished in lower.
MLS: C3376533 Price: $790,000 Province: Alberta City: Waiporous
Bedrooms: 4 Bathrooms: 3 Vaulted ceilings, skylight, deck, 1.8 acres, wooded views
INVESTOR ALERT! FIRST TIME BUYERS! Bright 3 bedroom,up-down,
nicely upgraded condo walking distance to town. (Total living space:
1268 sq ft.) New carpet, tile, and fresh paint throughout. Main floor
laundry. Newer furnace and hot water tank. Private corner yard with
large spruce trees and south facing balcony. MUST SEE!
MLS: C3353410 Price: $217,000 Province: Alberta City: Cochrane
Bedrooms: 3 Bathrooms: 2 Condo, updated, south facing balcony
This Calbridge built home is great for any growing family. You can
feel and see the upgrades as you walk into the home. The kitchen is
bright with south facing windows towards Cochrane. Ceramic Tile
and lighting put a classy touch on this kitchen. The family room has
upgraded carpet plus a gas fireplace for when the nights get colder.
There is a walk though pantry to a large mud room and garage.
Upstairs you have the bonus room plus a loft area. 3 good size
bedrooms and 4 peice ensuite to the master. There is plenty of room
for all the family in this house. The walkout basement has still to be
developed, so just bring your plans and finishing touches.
MLS: C3371769 Price: $499,900 Province: Alberta City: Cochrane
Bedrooms: 3 Bathrooms: 3 9ft ceilings, walk-out basement, pantry, mudroom
Home & Garden 59
Charlotte, Debra & Carl hiking in Arnica Lake
Monty the cat
Helen Parnell
Tel: 403-932-8888
First time for sale, immaculate 3-bedroom house backing on to the
reserve. Walk in and you are greeted to a large family room, which
is exceptionally bright and warm. To one side there is a sitting room
separated by a 3 sided gas fireplace. The kitchen has oak cabinets,
which overlooks the yard and deck. The deck was recently
completed with Dura deck, covered gazebo and smoked glass. This
house backs on to the RESERVE you will have NO ONE overlooking
you. Back to the house and you have one bedroom on the main with
full bathroom, the master bedroom with ensuite (with deep soaker
tub) and walk-in closet is just a few steps up and then down in the
basement we have a large rec room, 3rd bedroom and 3rd full
bathroom. This is a no smoking, no pet home. This house is
perfect, for anyone who wants to live in town and also have the
feeling they are living on an acreage!
MLS: C3375491 Price: $379,900 Province: Alberta City: Cochrane
Bedrooms: 3 Bathrooms: 3 Environmental reserve, rolling land, gazebo
What a great home. This fully upgraded 2-storey home has
everything a growing family needs. It is situated on a quite street with
views of Cochrane and Bill Hill. There is hardwood through out main
floor. Family room has built in shelves and fireplace. Kitchen has nice
size island and nook. Out side there is a nice large deck to sit down
and watch the city lights. On the main we have a den or possible
dining room, the choice is yours!! Upstairs we have a large bright
bonus room with vaulted ceilings and 2nd fireplace, which leads to 3
good size bedrooms and 6-piece ensuite off the master bedroom.
The basement has in floor heat and 4th bedroom. The walkout
basement is currently used as a MIL suite but could easily be
converted to large family room with wet bar. To finally finish the
upgrades we have knock down ceilings, rounded corners and extra
large insulated and dry walled garaged. Call today.
MLS: C3369944 Price: $459,900 Province: Alberta City: Cochrane
Bedrooms: 3 Bathrooms: 3 Views, fireplace, walk-out basement, fenced yard
Helen Parnell
Associate Broker
# Certified Condominium Specialist,
# Bronze medallion holder for real estate sales in 2006 and
# Diamond award holder for customer service in 2007 and
60 Home & Garden

Did you hear the
one about the
Join us on a journey of how one
couple renovated their bathroom
and lived happily ever after…


Home & Garden 61
Monty the cat
“It was time…the ceramic tile had been falling off the
shower surround one by one for years, the sink faucet
had a constant drip that was almost rhythmic
sounding…almost! And the toilet, well the water was
just flushing away our money…every time we had to
“Go”! So, I approached my Husband…we NEED to
renovate our bathroom…he concurred! So, now what…
we bought numerous décor magazines and visited the
home centers but still did not know where to start…can
we do the work ourselves, what colour do we want to
paint the walls, do we use ceramic tile on the floor, vinyl
flooring or something else!? What about all the choices
when it came to fixtures: toilets, sinks, taps, tubs and
lights! How much should we budget for? Do we need a
permit? Who can we get to do the plumbing, electrical,
carpentry!? Oh, did I mention…my Husband is not
handy at renovating and although I love him, he is not
great at finishing projects that he starts either!
After being overwhelmed by all this and knowing we
should NOT do the work ourselves, we made a decision!
Call a designer…what a huge help! She directed us
through the process and balanced both our desires for
the décor of our bathroom! I wanted something calm &
relaxing for our new bathroom but my Husband was
afraid it would be too “girly.” But, I am getting ahead of
First, we started out having the designer come for a
home visit…a free one-hour consultation to discuss our
goals! We liked her, along with her portfolio of projects &
list of referrals…so we paid a retainer to have her
proceed with a design and arranged for our next visit to
go shopping…this was exciting…we were on our way to
getting this bathroom done!
We decided that the placement of the fixtures was fine
and that would also help our budget. We did think that a
closet in the adjacent bathroom was not needed so we
reclaimed that space…. allowing us to expand our vanity
and make the room feel larger!
With our new plan in hand, our designer there to guide
us…we visited the plumbing supply store and picked
out our fixtures. Who knew there was so much to learn
about toilets – elongated bowl, round front, low water
consumption, one/two flush systems, lined tanks and
colour…we chose linen to go with our relaxed spa feel.
For the faucets, our designer suggested brushed
chrome, as maintenance won’t be such an issue with
our hard water.
We decided on an under mount china lavatory sink to
go in the quartz counter top our designer
recommended…the counter has a mix of creams, blacks
& blues! This works wonderful with our ivory coloured
cabinets that our designer is ordering for us direct from
her supplier…a great cost savings – no middleman!
Next, the ceramic tile store…we decided to go with
in-floor heating and a tile floor! It is a bit of a splurge but
we opted out of the whirlpool option with our new tub,
as the electrical upgrade would have been a huge added
expense. And the in-floor heat will be awesome on those
cold winter mornings.
A few final touches…paint (a beautiful soft slate blue),
lighting (square brushed chrome with frosted glass
shades) & accessories (brushed chrome, of course and
linen coloured towels).
Our designer ordered everything, scheduled the
trades needed and supervised the project from start to
finish…we were fortunate to have another two piece
bathroom for late night “emergencies” and our
membership at the local gym for showering worked out
too. After two weeks of planning, two weeks for ordering
of material and two weeks of actual renovation time we
were enjoying our new bathroom…this went so well we
may tackle another project, with our designers help of
Thanks to Cindy L. Dow of Interiors by Cindy for
making this a great experience.”
You can contact Cindy Dow of Interiors by Cindy at She offers custom cabinet design
and installation, kitchen and bathroom renovations, furniture
and lighting floor plans, colour consultations and decor
workshops. With over 20 years experience Cindy will help you
create the home decor of your dreams while working within
your budget. If you’re a member of The MBN you can view
Cindy’s profile by clicking here
62 Home & Garden
Real estate today
You would have to be living with
your head in the sand not to have
noticed the economic downslide.
One of the best indicators of this
has been the real estate market
which has certainly seen better
days. We asked Realtors across
Canada how their local market is
fairing and what the past year has
been like for them. We also look at
the future to see if the trend is now
getting better.
Let’s start with Canada as a
whole. According to the Canadian
Real Estate Association (CREA) the
average selling price across the
country is currently $306,366. This
compares to the same time last
year when it was a little higher at
$316,438. They also reported that
seasonally adjusted sales activity
rose 11.2% compared to the
previous month. This is the largest
month-to-month increase in more
than five years.
In Vancouver we spoke with Frank
Gerryts of MacDonald Realty who
said the market is less hectic than it
was last year. He went on to say,
“After years of boom times we have
seen prices come down and sales
volumes reduced. The winter months
were particularly quiet but with
spring here, market activity has
increased markedly, though still
below that for last year.”
In Vancouver the average sale
price is down around 12% on last
year. Single family homes are selling
for an average of $675,268
compared to $771,321 in April 2008.
Townhouses are selling for an
average of $431,759 and apartments
for $340,203. In the same month last
year these sold for $477,900 and
$389,070 respectively.
Over on the other side of the
country Realtor Mark Spindloe in
Halifax, Nova Scotia said “The
market started off really slow in 2009
with a double figure reduction in the
number of listings. This had the
positive effect of putting a floor
under prices as the supply dried up.
Since then the market has been
steadily improving with people not
seeing the feared catastrophe
forecast in the media, and so willing
to move forward with their plans.
“In the Maritimes we never had a
boom market so are not experiencing
a bust. However, we are not immune
from the impact of the global
downturn and must expect a soft
market going forward. I feel we will
see less effect than the rest of
According to the CREA the
average price of a resale house in
Nova Scotia in April 2009 was
$245,412 compared to $231,895 for
April 2008.
In Ontario the Greater Toronto Real
Estate Board reported seasonally
adjusted April figures 3% lower than
last year at $385,461. Sales also
remain lower (7%) than last year
however month-on-month they are
increasing. “Conditions in the resale
housing market have improved
markedly this spring,” says TREB
President Maureen O’Neill.
Further east the Quinte area of
Ontario is also seeing lower prices
than last year. Realtor Claudia
Hancott of Century 21 said,
“according to the latest statistical
report the average prices in the
Quinte area year-to-date are
$199,067. This compares to the
same time last year when prices
were averaging $205,185.
“It is also worth noting we actually
have areas within Quinte where
average sale prices have increased.
So far, May has been a very busy
month, so we have to wait and see
what the statistics will tell us.”
Helen Parnell, a Relator from
Calgary reports “The market is
starting to pick up in the Calgary
area but has not stretched as far as
the outer towns and rural acreages. It
has picked up compared to last
month, but compared to this time
last year the number of houses for
sale has dropped by 5% and the
average price has dropped by 10%
from April 08 to April 09.”
Single family homes in Calgary
now sell for an average of $426,311
compared to $474,564 in April 2008.
The average selling price for a condo
in Calgary is now $277,593, 11%
lower than the $312,586 of 2008.
So, what does the future hold?
Helen says, “I feel that real estate is
going to level off by the end of this
year and then stay level for at least
another year. The time of big price
increases or decreases are gone for
now. Our net migration is down
which was one of the main causes of
house shortages and of big price
In Vancouver Frank agrees that
prices are unlikely to rise this year
but add, “Vancouver continues to be
a popular destination for immigrants
and this puts pressure on our
housing supply, especially as there is
limited land on which to build more
Over in Halifax, Mark thinks Nova
Scotia benefits from the west. “The
Maritimes is buoyed by locals
returning as cash buyers from the oil
rich provinces that have been taken
down by the commodity crash as
well as a significant influx of
immigrants from Europe and the U.S.
TREB’s Maureen says “Home
purchases have increased as
households have taken advantage of
low interest rates and slightly lower
home prices. I see this trend
Frank Gerryts - MacDonald
Mark Spindloe - Exit Realty
Claudia Hancott - Century 21
Helen Parnell - GMAC Real
Greater Toronto Real Estate Board
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65 Business Finder
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66 Home & Garden
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32 Working Life

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