Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Time to move on...

After 9.5 years at OSL, I am leaving to pursue another adventure.
I have made great friends, have had great times, great conversations and many many laughs (usually at inappropriate times!) but nonetheless...it's a bittersweet farewell.
Thank you to everyone who has enriched my life both personally and professionally.
See you on the other side!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Oprah's Life Class: 10 life-changing lessons I learned

1. Practice gratitude. Oprah keeps a gratitude journal, where she writes down at least five things she’s grateful for every day. Research shows that writing down and appreciating the things in your life will help you see the good in things and be a happier person.

2. Delete the negative. If you constantly feel frustrated, annoyed or pissed off or you’re always blaming others for your bad mood, it might be time to re-examine and reframe how you view things. Consider your role in things before you immediately put the blame on someone or something else.

3. Change is good. If life throws you a curve ball, choose to look at the experience as an opportunity, no matter what.

4. Decisions, not conditions, determine your destiny. How you live your life is your choice. You decide what drives you and what destroys you. You have 100 percent control over every action you make and you’re 100 percent responsible for every emotion you feel. No one else. Nope. No one.

5. Everybody has a story. Your story is the set of beliefs and experiences you carry with you and tell yourself. “I’m not good enough. I don’t deserve success because [fill in the blank].” Tony Robins says if you want to change your life, you have to change your story.

6. Trade expectation for appreciation. As soon as you put expectations on someone or something else, you are setting yourself up for disappointment. Appreciate what others do or don’t do for you, but never expect it.

7. Pay attention to the energy and emotions YOU bring to every experience. If you're filled with anger, ask yourself what's missing in your life. Then try to reframe experiences to see the positive or the learning in it. Be more than your circumstances.

8. Happiness is contagious. Surround yourself with happy, positive people, and watch your own happiness levels grow. But remember misery also loves company, so steer clear of people and situations that bring out the worst in you.

9. Failure is the result of a lack of resourcefulness. No it’s not the people or the deadline or the lack of money. Failure happens when there’s a lack of creativity, passion, determination or commitment. Look inside, not outside and see the opportunity for yourself in failure.

10. Live in PAIN. That’s right: Pay. Attention. Inward. Now. Examine and re-examine how you live, and how you feel emotionally, physically and mentally. If you live on purpose, it will be easy and you’ll feel great. If not, start to peel away the layers of your story, your belief system, and make room in your life to be your best you.

Laurie Jennings is the executive editor and health editor of Chatelaine magazine.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Friday, March 16, 2012

This is the Distillery District

By Sandra M. Pereira

TORONTO, Ontario --- The Distillery District looks like any other group of brick buildings in downtown Toronto. A passerby wouldn't look twice at the Victorian-inspired architecture. What makes this particular group of buildings unique is attributed to the work and passion of the CityScape Holdings and Dundee Property Companies who purchased the buildings in 2003. Their mandate was to create an auto-free community of shops and cafes, a space where local artists can show their craft. Today, the Distillery District is known as a 'pedestrian-oriented arts, culture and entertainment neighbourhood'. The uniqueness of the Distillery District is due largely to its rich history.

In 1831, an experienced miller named James Worts and his brother-in-law, William Gooderham, emigrated from England to build upon a successful milling business. This became the first venture for the Gooderham and Worts partnership, which comprised of grounding up wheat into flour and selling it to local bakeries. Two years later, James Worts’ wife dies during childbirth and he takes his own life by throwing himself down the company well. William Gooderham chose to continue the business by partnering with James Worts’ eldest son. During a year where they saw an increase in the harvest of grain, they were inspired to make their own whiskey. It was so successful, brewing and distilling became their primary business.

This led to the addition of several buildings to the area: an icehouse, a cooper shop, a dairy, a wharf, flourmills, and two red-brick storehouses. In 1862, the Gooderham and Worts Distillery, in its first full year of production, made some 700,000 imperial gallons of spirits. It was considered to be a quarter of all the spirits produced in Canada at that time. By 1871, they were producing half of the total spirits production in Ontario and the Gooderham and Worts Distillery had become the largest distillery in the world. It was considered to be one of Toronto's largest employers at the time.

By 1882, both William Gooderham and James Worts Jr. had passed away and the Distillery was passed onto Gooderham’s son, George. George Gooderham continued to build on their success until World War I forced him to convert the Distillery's operations to manufacturing acetone. Once the war ended, the prohibition era brought production of alcohol beverages to a standstill. This effectively shut down the Distillery until 1923 when Harry C. Hatch purchased the business and re-focused its energy into making the Canadian Club brand of whiskey, which resulted in the addition of the tank and rack houses whose facades are still intact 100 years later.

The Distillery changed hands a few times over the course of the next 70 years and it shifted production from whiskey to rum. After 153 years of continuous production, the Gooderham & Worts Distillery ceased operations in 1990. Throughout the 90's to 2001, The Distillery became the number one film location in Canada. Many film studios sought to use the Victorian architecture as background in their films which included The X-Men: Part 1, Cinderella Man, Chicago, The Recruit, and television series Kung Fu: The Legend Continues, Due South, and The Murdoch Mysteries.

In 2001, CityScape Holdings and Dundee Property Companies partnered together to restore the Distillery. In 2003, the Distillery Historic District re-opened as the largest pedestrian-only village for arts, culture and entertainment. The new owners refused to lease any of their space to national brands or franchises; therefore, the majority of the buildings are occupied with unique boutiques, art galleries, restaurants, caf├ęs and their own microbrewery, the Mill Street Brewery. Here, you will find unique experiences such as the Sake Brewery, Soma Chocolate & Gelato (who make their own chocolate on-site) and a new theatre, the Young Centre for the Performing Arts, which serves as the home of the Soulpepper Theatre Company.

Today, the Distillery District's 14 acres is home to 18 retails stores and boutiques, five cafes, seven restaurants and 22 art galleries. You will also find 17 performing art companies and 4 educational facilities. The Distillery District is a National Historic Site and has been designated for protection under the Ontario Heritage Act since 1976. It represents the largest collection of Victorian-industrial architecture in North America. It is home to the most unique festival line-ups in Canada, arts festivals, farmers markets and beer tasting events.

The Distillery District may look like any other group of brick buildings in the downtown area but its Victorian-inspired architecture shows us a window into the early days of Toronto’s history. An important contributor to the growth and wealth of Toronto, the Distillery District helped create the vibrant city it is today.

Monday, January 16, 2012

MI4 Delivers Bigtime!

For someone who originally did not want to see MI4, I'm surprised at how much I enjoyed it. It's an action-packed ride from beginning to end with more laughs than an MI movie should have but meh. It was highly entertaining and am actually hoping for an MI5 after seeing this one. Two thumbs up!


Monday, January 9, 2012


Smiling is infectious; you catch it like the flu,
When someone smiled at me today, I started smiling too.
I passed around the corner and someone saw my grin,
When he smiled I realized I'd passed it on to him.
I thought about that smile then I realized it's worth,
A single smile, just like mine could travel round the earth.
So, if you feel a smile begin, don't leave it undetected.
Let's start an epidemic quick, and get the world infected!!

*Found on Internet.