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July 2015

The jazz was great. The acrobats were wonderful. And the Barbu Foire Electro Trad was like nothing I’d ever seen. I spent a long weekend in Montreal earlier this month, mostly checking out festivals during the night and exploring neighborhoods during the day. It was, as always, an extraordinary trip to one of the world’s great cities. We started out with a show by Jesse Cook at the Montreal International Jazz Festival, which wrapped up July 9. Cook and his band were utterly sensational; playing a mix of Spanish/Flamenco style guitar with marvellous percussion work, as well as a great ... continue reading →

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GRAVENHURST, ONTARIO – It’s intermission, and members of the band Pretzel Logic are standing on a patio outside a Gravenhurst concert venue called Peter’s Players. There’s nothing unusual about that, perhaps, but in this case they’re mingling with members of the audience on a perfect late spring night in Muskoka. A couple band members are drinking from bottles water. One is nursing a beer. But they’re all chatting with audience members about their favourite songs or about music in general. One of the singers is trying to rustle up a fishing trip for the next day. A few feet away, ... continue reading →

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I didn’t know a lot about Saskatoon prior to my first visit late last summer. What I found was a surprising city with wonderful people, sophisticated dining, great shopping areas and a lovely setting with a huge variety of things to do. Here’s a photo essay from a memorable trip to Saskatchewan.

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WOODSTOCK, ONTARIO – Shep Ysselstein makes some of Canada’s best cheese at Gunn’s Hill Artisan Cheese. They get their milk from handsome, contented cows that dot the rolling hills around the cheese shop and factory, just south of Woodstock. But if anything were to go wrong, Ysselstein says he knows who to blame. “My Dad,” he says with a laugh. “My parents own the dairy farm and provide our milk, so I don’t have to go very far if there’s an issue.” Gunn’s Hill is on a dirt road about five minutes south of Woodstock. But it’s only a short ... continue reading →

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Three very different settings. Three great places to enjoy the bounty of Southwest Ontario. I recently spent a day in the London-St. Thomas area, checking out two fabulous craft brewing spots and a quiet, lovely winery I hadn’t heard about before. Ontario has fully embraced the craft beer scene, and Southwest Ontario has some of the best in the province. One of the newest ewest guy on the block is a sleek, attractive and already wildly popular spot on Richmond St. in London called Toboggan Brewing Co. Locals Ricky Doyle, who owns a wine agency, and Mike Smith, who owns ... continue reading →

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