Over 1,000 guests came out to support Three To Be, a charitable foundation for children with neurological disorders, at the 3rd Annual Stems of Hope Gala: Heroes Among Us. When guests arrived at Kool Haus on Sept. 29, they were immediately transported into the pages of an animated comic-book story, featuring retro decor, live action heroes, sumptuous “super” foods and non-stop entertainment, including incredible performances by the Heroes of Hip Hop.
Anne Mroczkowski and Leslie Roberts of Global Toronto were the hosts for the evening. Honouring the heroic efforts of individuals making a difference in the lives of children, Three To Be’s Community Hero Awards were presented by founders Dana and Jared Florence and paralympian Josh Cassidy. The winners included Heather Hamilton for the Families category, Jacob Trossman for the Champions category and Yaffi Ulman-Scheinberg for the Believers category. The $500,000 raised at this year’s gala is supporting The Hospital for Sick Children’s Stem Cell program, led by the renowned Dr. Freda Miller, as well as Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital’s research in brain-computer interfaces and the March of Dimes Canada Academy of Conductive Education (ACE).
Unwind in a beautiful space full of colour and surrounded by art.
1. HOME IS WHERE THE HEART IS The award-winning firm Atmosphere Interior Design is known across North America for its striking work and visionary team. Using rich textures and bold furniture, designers Trevor Ciona and Curtis Elmy join project manager Heather Whyte to make clients’ dreams of a beautiful home come true. www.atmosphereinteriordesign.net
2. A LONG SHELF LIFE Choose a shelving unit that also stands as an art piece. This Chicago 8 unit is available in a variety of hardwood finishes and beautifully complements a modern home. www.urbanmode.com
3. TIME AFTER TIME 1212 Décor in Toronto will give you timeless interior design. Offering home consultations and a spectacular showroom Read more
When we were children, we looked at the world with enchantment in our eyes. We wore gowns, crowns and capes and imagined ourselves as pretty princesses and noble knights. Now, years later, we have traded those imaginations for steady jobs and serious-looking suits. Breaking away from this norm is Sean Delaney. He has chosen a path that still allows him to play dress-up.
Ever since Grade 10 drama class, Delaney knew he was passionate about performing. “I liked working on plays and just entertaining others.” With this same motivation, Delaney went on to study theatre in university and is now head knight at Medieval Times. “One of the things that I love about performing is that every day I’m given the chance to take people out of the humdrum of their daily lives,” says the 35-year-old actor. Read more
Spending most of his time in a wheelchair with open but unresponsive eyes at the Hospital for Sick Children’s Critical Care Unit, Noah Facecchia is not living the life of an average seven-year-old. On the morning of Jan. 9, 2011, tragedy came down on his family as he was rushed to the hospital with persistent and uncontrollable seizures in his brain. The condition, idiopathic refractory status epilepticus, was brought on by an undiagnosed life-threatening disease, leaving Noah’s loving family confused and with very few answers. Noah remains unresponsive.
On Oct. 20, 2012, Shoppers Drug Mart at 4000 Highway 7 in Woodbridge, Ont. is hosting a gala in honour of Noah. Fifty per cent of $10 ticket sales will be donated to the family, helping them find a cure and raise money for all of his care-giving needs. Doctors have Read more
FIRST PLACE: T2 LOUNGE This resto-lounge has given our readers the best of both worlds. With delicious dishes made by award-winning chef Domenic Chiaromonte, and an appealing bar-like atmosphere, T2 Lounge received an overwhelming response and came out on top as Vaughan’s Best Restaurant! Year-round, this front-runner caters special events. Many private areas are nestled into this spacious restaurant, such as the decadent dining room that overlooks the bar and dance floor. The heated patio features live entertainment and mingling patrons, changing the pace after diners have enjoyed an impressive Chiaromonte creation.
The Italian fusion cuisine may be one reason our readers have named T2 their favourite place to wine and dine. Owner Enzo Commisso recommends sharing an appetizer platter with friends. The innovative Italian sushi starter made with risotto, prosciutto, bocconcini, basil olio and spicy sriracha crema has people coming back for more. Unsurprising after years of experience, Chiaromonte’s dishes are complimented daily. “He has basically travelled the world and he’s won many awards,” says Commisso of his business partner. “He’s a fantastic chef. The food presentation and plating is phenomenal.”
Since its doors opened almost three years ago, T2 has been giving clients an unparalleled experience. An astonishing 650 people attended the restaurant’s grand opening, which was a big indication of the success that would follow. “It was an accomplishment,” says Commisso of the turnout. From that day forward, T2 continued to offer good food, a good time and good music.
“A common compliment is that people think they’re downtown,” he says. Romantic interior décor, including mirrors and chandeliers, adds a luxurious element to the restaurant. T2’s atmosphere is what sets it apart from the rest. Unlike regular restaurants, it keeps its doors open and the party going until 2 a.m. The lavish lounge makes people feel right at home. “We’re not big on turning over tables — once you’re here, we don’t want you to leave,” says Commisso, who was born and raised in the restaurant industry.
Expanding their business, Commisso and Chiaromonte have opened up a sister company called C2 Catering Couture with Jeff Berg and Alison Kadlovski of Double Chocolate Fountain and Fun Foods. Now crowned Vaughan’s Best Restaurant by our readers, T2 will continue to impress Vaughan residents with impeccable food and irresistible festivities.
SECOND PLACE: MOTORINO ENOTECA For our readers, Motorino is that home away from home. With a convenient and cosy location, this Italian restaurant has touched the hearts of Vaughan residents and become a popular dining destination. The enthusiastic staff at Motorino describes the atmosphere as relaxed and European. Sitting in a restaurant category of its own, Motorino creates classic Italian food in a young and trendy environment.
Authentic cuisine, which includes stuffed focaccia, wood-fired Neapolitan pizzas and handmade ricotta gnocchi have made this eatery a family favourite. “We sponsored our chef from Italy,” says Nancy Babochian, who has been around the restaurant business since she was a young girl. “It doesn’t get anymore authentic than that.” Motorino only opened its doors a year and a half ago, and since then, has seen clientele fall in love with its cuisine.
Motorino brings classic Italian dishes to a homey environment in Vaughan. Patrons are often impressed with the wine list and the freshness of each dish. “Everybody loves the food,” says Babochian. “We’ll be changing the menu every year.” Keeping Vaughan residents interested with new dishes and satisfied with old favourites, Motorino has been awarded the position of first runner-up by City Life readers and loyal customers.
THIRD PLACE: ZIZI TRATTORIA This rustic Italian restaurant prides itself on friendly service and traditional dishes. “We’re not pretentious at all,” says Ara Iskender, co-owner of Zizi Trattoria. “I treat people the way I want to be treated when I go to a restaurant.” This business approach, along with the delicious cuisine by chef and co-owner Bill Zaya, has won over many City Life readers. Known for its gnocchi, veal marsala, homemade pasta and daily fish specials, Zizi uses quality ingredients and knows what it takes to satisfy its customers. “There’s a big Italian community [in Woodbridge], and they appreciate good food, good Italian meals.” Heartfelt tradition and authenticity is felt throughout this establishment.
After a decade in Toronto, owners Iskender and Zaya decided to move north to a neighbourhood they knew and loved. Now in business for 17 years, Zizi has made a mark in the restaurant industry. As a family-oriented trattoria with a great reputation in Vaughan, it was voted second runner-up in this contest. Zizi has made an impression on customers, new and old. “I would say the best compliment we ever received was from an 80-year-old man,” says Iskender. “He said our tomato sauce is better than his wife’s.” Let’s hope she’s not reading this.
This summer, Vaughan held its 18th annual series of concerts in the park! Free of charge, residents came together as a community and enjoyed fun-filled musical events, including The Game: A Live Tribute to the Queen, Hollywood: Live Musical Production of Michael Bublé featuring Paul Schwarz and The Toronto All-Star Big Band. The final concert, Elevation: International U2 Tribute Band, was held on Aug. 7, 2012, at the Outdoor Amphitheatre of the North Thornhill Community Centre. On Canada Day, the City of Vaughan held an exclusive concert at Mackenzie Glen District Park in Maple, with performances by Platinum Blonde, JRDN, Talk, Tamika Soul and Bridge 6.
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Anthropologie Bracelet Designed by Athens-based designer Dimitriadis and handcrafted in Greece, this canary yellow bracelet sparkles with porcelain roses and Swarovski crystals. www.anthropologie.com
Cottonfield From Cottonfield’s autumn 2012 collection, this navy blue sweater is a great addition to a fall wardrobe. Wear a plaid shirt underneath to give your look a touch of sophistication. www.iccompanys.com Read more
Eugene Strauss is one of those rare cases: he’s a man who has a love affair with learning and believes in knowledge for knowledge’s sake. Greeting people with a sweet smile and gentle handshake, Strauss makes everyone feel instantly comfortable. What are his goals for the upcoming year as a student at Ryerson University? “To survive,” he laughs. Strauss is 87.
Born in 1925, his work experience is vast, ranging from waiting tables before the outbreak of WWII, to moving up the ranks with the Ontario government years later. Along the way, his thirst for education gave way to degrees in economics, public administration and psychology. “I wouldn’t have done anything much different. I have no serious regrets,” he says. One thing that keeps Strauss feeling vibrant in his elderly years is his constant curiosity about the world. Read more
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Sephora Makeup Bag
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For Paul Raff, standing the test of time involves two sacred aspects. As an architect and artist, you can say he’s quite familiar on how to feed longevity. “Good works of art and architecture are both of their time and timeless,” he says. With an eponymous full-service studio based in Toronto, he’s been awarded the public contract for Vaughan Metropolitan Centre Station (VMC), with a mission to bring light to the underground masterpiece set to run by 2015.
The VMC Station will redefine the lifestyle of Vaughan citizens, connecting the developing urban area with hot spots like York University and Union Station. Whether commuting to and from work, or going to Toronto’s core to enjoy the bustling nightlife, the subway will make living in Vaughan more appealing.
When Raff first moved to Toronto in the late 1970s, he was taken Read more