Family Trip to the Eastern Townships

By Stephen Johnson

This past summer,  we took a family trip to the Eastern Townships.  One day, we had some extra time on our hands so decided to check out the Bombardier Museum of Ingenuity.  I thought we might see a few old snowmobiles and perhaps spend forty-five minutes or so checking out the exhibits.  Instead, we found engaging interactive displays that showcased leading-edge technology. We were so impressed we spent the better part of five hours at the museum.  

We started our visit with a multi-media presentation about the life and times of Joseph-Armand Bombardier.  His most famous invention was the snowmobile. We learned about the challenges Bombardier faced in his life and also bringing products to market.  

Once done the film, we moved on to the passion for innovation exhibit.  The exhibit covered everything from how a new product is developed to what it is like to work as an engineer for Bombardier.  There were plenty of interactive elements including being able to step onboard a Bombardier light rail vehicle and doing a computer simulation of flying an airplane.  

Continuing with the high-tech theme,  we checked out the maker space. Again there were many interactive elements including being able to build various structures.   

I look forward to visiting the museum again in a few years to see what other innovations they have brought forward.

By the time we were done at the museum,  it was already mid-afternoon thus time to head to our hotel.  We chose the Hotel Cheribourg since it had got rave reviews online and was relatively close to the museum.  The first order of the day was to take a dip in the outdoor pool. The outdoor hot tub was also nearby so we shuttled between the two at least four times. 

All of our exercises had worked up our appetite.   We wanted to try the hotel restaurant, Les Sommet.  The restaurant offered a table d’hote, meaning our appetizer, main course and desserts were included.  Our son, David, is the most adventurous in our family, ordered snails as an appetizer, duck breast as a main course and an ice cream sundae for dessert.  David loved everything, especially the snails. My wife, Sandy and I have more conservative food tastes chose the caesar salad, fish n chips, and mousse cake.   All three were delicious.  

After supper,  it was still light outside so we set out to explore more of the hotel.  One thing the Hotel Cheribourg has done a great job at is preserving the natural environment.   There were large green spaces on the hotel grounds. David has a deep fascination for all things reptiles so he immediately went to the pond area.  Almost immediately, David heard sounds that he thought were a bullfrog. Sure enough, after some investigation, David found a couple of large bullfrogs.  He wanted to catch them but they were always just a little too fast for him. 

The next morning, we had a delicious buffet at Les Sommet restaurant.   Fueled up, we were ready to slowly make our way back to Ottawa. It will not be our last visit to the Eastern Townships.   Perhaps next time, David will catch the frog.  

For more information about the Eastern Townships, visit


Quebec City

By Stephen Johnson….

Sometimes, it is important to spoil yourself.  With winter weather making an early appearance it was time for our family to take a trip.  We decided upon a visit to Quebec City and the Chateau Frontenac.  

Driving into Vieux Quebec, it felt like we were entering into a different century.  We encountered two horse-drawn carriages giving tourists a unique guided tour before we reached the Chateau Frontenac.  

Checking in, our old-world feel continued.  The lobby could be a film set from the 1920’s.  Gorgeous wood panelling, ornate chandeliers and detailed carpeting added to the ambiance.  Not surprisingly, the hotel has been featured in a number of movies including Alfred Hitchcock’s I Confess.  

We did not find any movie stars as we settled into our room.  We did find spectacular views of Vieux Quebec. One thing Quebec City does in a big way is Christmas.  Festive lights adorned many of the local businesses.  

After spending five hours in a car,  we were looking to relax. A visit to the indoor pool and hot tub was the perfect solution.  The pool area was decorated in a classy art deco style. Even though it was snowing outside, the hot tub made us feel like we could be on a Caribbean beach.  My son, David and wife, Sandy, switched to the pool where they had a contest to see who was the faster swimmer. Of course, David was the winner.  


The next morning,  I was eager to try out the breakfast buffet.  On the way to breakfast, we discovered a mini-museum in the hallway leading to the restaurant.  Since the Chateau was built in 1893, it has been home to many famous guests and events. Guests have included Queen Elizabeth II, Grace Kelly of Monaco and heads of state too numerous to mention.  The Chateau also hosted the Quebec Conferences during World War II where President Roosevelt, Winston Churchill and Prime Minister Mackenzie King plotted strategy.  

David is an amateur historian and soaked up all the information found in the displays.

We were seated for breakfast and enjoyed all the small luxuries like the cloth table napkins.  We also had an excellent view overlooking the Terrase Dufferin and the Saint Lawrence River.  

Of course, the food was the true highlight of the experience.  David loved the eggs benedict while I eyed the charcuterie and Sandy savored the french crepes.  It was a welcome break from my normal routine of toast and coffee.  

Once we were done breakfast, we set off exploring Vieux Quebec.   Walking the cobblestone streets is an experience unlike any other in North America.   Most of the restaurants and coffee shops are not chain stores. We ambled along the side streets enjoying the European vibe and decorative Christmas lights.  

Our ultimate destination was the Museum of Civilization.  The museum had a number of fascinating exhibitions including one called Curiosities of the World.  The exhibition featured displays from the Natural History Museum of London.  My favorite was the skeleton of a saber-tooth tiger.  

David loved the special exhibit about poison, Venenum.   The exhibit traced the history of poison and had on display some of nature’s most venomous animals including snakes and tarantulas.  

Our final activity of the day was to take the fifteen-minute ferry ride from Vieux Quebec to Levis. Hands down, if you want an award-winning photo of the Chateau Frontenac, the deck of the ferry is the best place to take it.  The port area of Levis has also been updated with fountains and park benches installed. Understandably, there was not much going on late afternoon in mid-November but during the summer, it is filled with activity.

After the ferry ride,  we made our way back to the Chateau Frontenac.  Sadly, it was soon time to leave the Chateau and head back to the real world.   At least, we can always return whenever we want.  

For ideas about things to do, where to stay, events, etc. in Quebec City, visit,

For more information about the Chateau Frontenac, visit,


Explore Buffalo

by Stephen Johnson 

I love it when a city surprises you.  A trip to Buffalo, New York did exactly that.   I was expecting to find diehard sports fans, friendly people and the birthplace of Buffalo chicken wings.  Our family did find that but also so much more. We also found a city filled with amazing architecture, a vibrant waterfront and a music scene with a rich history.  

Here are a few of the top attractions we enjoyed in the city.   

Buffalo Architecture Tour – One of the best places to start any visit to Buffalo is taking an architectural tour.  At the turn of the 20th century, Buffalo was one of the wealthiest cities in North America and had the architecture to prove it.  Luckily, much of this architecture has been preserved through the efforts of groups like Explore Buffalo.

We decided to take their American master’s tour which covered some of the great buildings in the downtown core.   Sandy, David and I arrived at our rendezvous spot for the tour, the Hotel Lafayette and met our friendly tour guide, Bernadette.   Our introduction to architecture started even before the tour left.  The Lafayette was designed by the first recognized female architect in the United States, Louise Bethune with doors opening in 1904.  Today, the hotel has been faithfully restored to its original condition.  

Once everyone had assembled,  Bernadette led us around downtown Buffalo.  We saw impressive buildings like the Guaranty Building which was one of the earliest skyscrapers in North America,  the Ellicott Square Building who’s ornate interior could easily fit in any capital city in Europe and the Old Post Office which has been converted into a space for the Erie Community College.

Bernadette provided interesting information about the buildings and the architects.   We arrived back at the Hotel Lafayette and were ready for our next activity.  

Buffalo River History Tour – The perfect way to complement an architectural walking tour is with a historical boat tour.  Much of Buffalo’s early wealth can be credited to the completion of the Erie Canal in 1825. The canal allowed goods to travel all the way from New York City to the Great Lakes via Buffalo.  

It is only fitting that a large part of Buffalo’s recent re-emergence has come from the development of its waterfront called Canalside.  There are multiple restaurants, hotels, and attractions that have opened.  

Canalside is also where we boarded our boat for the river cruise.  The day we boarded, it smelled of Cheerios near Canalside. Rather than thinking a tanker of Cheerios had spilled into the Buffalo Harbor, our guide explained that Cheerios were in fact produced in Buffalo so it is common to smell your favorite breakfast cereal. This was a perfect segue way for our guide to talking about Buffalo’s rich history as the world’s largest grain port.  The industry has now changed so many of Buffalo’s huge grain elevators no longer serve their original purpose. True to form, resourceful Buffalonians have repurposed some of the grain elevators into the complex Silo City. The area is home to a bar, performance space and film shoots.  

Jazz in Buffalo – The Colored Musicians Club of Buffalo is one of the most unique places I have visited in my life.  In today’s context, the name is not at all politically correct. The name of the club references its history.  Initially in Buffalo, musicians unions were all white and refused to allow African-American members. A separate union was formed and within the union, a social club was formed where African-American musicians could go and play and eat.   

In 1934, the club found a permanent home at 145 Broadway.  It became a vibrant place where jazz musicians would often go after a gig to jam.   

Fast forward to 2019,  the Colored Musicians Club is still open and holds a jam open to everyone Sunday nights.   I am on the bottom floor and ring a buzzer to get upstairs. There is a small stage up front where musicians are playing.  Along the walls are photos of jazz musicians. The place is about three-quarters full and is made up of all ages and races. I see George Scott at the back of the room manning the sound controls.  Scott is the president of the club and is also the leader of the George Scott Big Band.  

We quickly engage in easy conservation where George fills me in on the history of the club and jazz music in Buffalo.  We hang out for about forty-five minutes listening to music and chatting. Talk turns to the jazz museum on the 1st floor of the club.  George takes me down to the museum and I am blown away. The museum is very interactive where a person can learn about various styles of jazz music and musicians.  George mentioned the museum had been set up to encourage people of all ages to learn about jazz.  

Sadly, it was time for me to leave but George gave me a few momentos from the club before I left.  Since visiting the club and museum, I have been getting into jazz borrowing CDs from my local library.  

Where to stay  – We had an excellent stay at the Embassy Suites.  The hotel was located in downtown Buffalo close to all the major attractions.   We enjoyed the view from our room which offered full glass windows offering an incredible view of downtown Buffalo.   We appreciated the free buffet breakfast and the made to order omelet station. We also enjoyed the complimentary evening reception where drinks were served along with light snacks.

For more information about Buffalo, visit,


Good Habits for Healthy Teeth That You Should Follow

Do you want to keep your teeth healthy with good habits?

Good oral health needs good habits. If you want to keep your mouth clean and healthy, then you need to add some good habits in your daily routine. Good habits include daily brushing, flossing, regular dental checkups, and much more. If you are searching for the best info, then you are in the right place here you will read about the good habits for healthy teeth.

Here are 12 good habits for healthy teeth:


Don’t forget to brush your teeth. It is necessary to brush your teeth daily two times a day. Don’t sleep before brushing your teeth. It is good to brush for two minutes. Many people don’t brush their teeth at night. Brush before going to bed can remove plaque and germs.

Brush Your Teeth well

The method of brushing is very important. So, brush your teeth properly with the right technique. Brush your every tooth in the round motion and brush smoothly. If you are brushing your teeth in the wrong way, then it is bad for your teeth.


Flossing is also a good habit you need for your healthy teeth. It can remove the tiny food particles holding between the teeth. Flossing can also eliminate the bacteria under the gumline.

If you don’t floss your teeth, then plaque converts into tartar which is very hard to remove and then you will need a doctor to remove the tartar. You can remove plaque easily. Dentist suggests their patients that smoothly floss their gum line before flossing the sides of the tooth.

Fluoride Toothpaste

Using fluoride toothpaste is also a good habit. It includes fluoride, which helps to stop cavities in kids and adults. Fluoride toothpaste can strengthen weak teeth and opened roots. Brushing daily with a fluoride toothpaste can stop cavities in the early stages. Children can use pea size fluoride toothpaste under the age of 6.

Scrape Your Tongue

Scrape your tongue with a tongue scraper add this good habit in your daily routine to keep good oral health. Scraping can remove build up plaque on your tongue and refresh your breath. Bacteria on your tongue can cause bad breath so clean your tongue daily. You can use a toothbrush for scraping your tongue but using a tongue scraper is more beneficial.

Use Fluoride Mouthwash

Using a fluoride mouthwash is best for good oral health. Wash your mouth with a fluoride mouthwash which helps to shield your teeth from cavities. It can also keep your mouth and breath fresh.

Avoid Sugary and Starchy Foods

Don’t eat sugary foods; it can cause cavities in your teeth. Candy and sweet dishes are rich in sugar. Bacteria in your mouth shift sugar into acid, which removes tooth enamel.

Starchy foods like bread, crackers, chips, and pasta, can cause tooth decay. These foods stay in the mouth and convert into simple sugars which produce acid and cause tooth decay.

Add Healthy Foods in Your Diet

Eating healthy foods is great for your overall health. Eating healthy food daily keep your teeth and gums healthy. Add these foods in your diet fruits, vegetables, lean, grains, meat, and dairy.

Brush with Baking Soda

Brushing with baking soda is very effective. It is best to brush your teeth with baking soda once a week. It can whiten your teeth by removing stains from teeth.

So, make your smile perfect white by brushing your teeth with baking soda. Make a paste of baking soda and brush your teeth with it and get excellent results.

Drink Water

Drinking water is very important for good health. Make it your habit to drink a lot of water daily. You need to drink 8 glasses of water daily.

Avoid sugary drinks and soda drinks instead of these, drink a lot of water daily. Because sugary drinks are rich in sugar and acid. Drinking water can remove bacteria and acids from the mouth which cause tooth decay.

Eat Crunchy Fruits and Vegetables

Eat crunchy fruits and vegetables daily. Fresh and crunchy fruits and vegetables are rich in healthy fiber. Crunchy fruits can scrub your teeth while chewing so it good for your teeth.

Stop Smoking

Smoking can affect your teeth and overall health. It can make your teeth yellow and also cause bad breath. So stop smoking if you want to keep your teeth healthy. Smoking can cause heart and lungs diseases. It can also result in mouth cancer.


It is necessary to brush your teeth daily two times a day. The method of brushing is very important. Flossing is also a good habit you need for your healthy teeth. So, brush your teeth properly with the right technique. Using fluoride toothpaste is also a good habit. Scraping can remove build up plaque on your tongue and refresh your breath.

Using a fluoride mouthwash is best for good oral health. Don’t eat sugary foods; it can cause cavities in your teeth. Eating healthy foods is great for your overall health. Brushing with baking soda is very effective. Avoid sugary drinks and soda drinks instead of these, drink a lot of water daily.

In the End

Very thanks for your precious time and moving with us hope you enjoy reading the article. Here you read about the good habits for healthy teeth. Must follow these good habits and also share these good habits with your friends and family. Before leaving us kindly share your views so comment below.

Author Bio:

Evie Harrison is a blogger by choice.  She loves to discover the world around her. She likes to share her discoveries, experiences and express herself through her blogs. Find her on Twitter:@iamevieharrison

Fees, fees, fees!

What are investors paying for investment management services in Canada?

by Stephan Desbiens, Partner & Associate Portfolio Manager at Exponent Investment Management Inc.

I often get asked about investment management fees. “How much am I paying?” or “How much will you charge to manage my money?” are the 2 most often asked questions. Of course it would be nice to receive any advice or service for free, but to quote Stephen King: “You pay for what you get, you own what you pay for… and sooner or later whatever you own comes back home to you”. This is especially true with investment fees in Canada.

Here’s a rundown of the fees you can expect to pay for the most common types of investment strategies in Canada:

For the “Do-it-yourselfer” or DIY
This type of investor has the time, interest, knowledge and inclination to tend to their portfolio through all market conditions, as well as, the decisiveness to execute their chosen strategy. Like constructing a home, DIY is the most cost-effective way to build, but the above factors will determine the quality of the construction of your home and how well you will sleep in it at night.

Do-it-yourself Fees: Self-directed annual administration fees between $0 and $59 per year. Trading fees ranging from $0 to $30 per trade for stocks and exchange traded funds (ETF). ETF fees range from a few basis points to slightly over 1% annually.

“Robot”, “Smart” or “Simple” Portfolios
The target market for these relatively new products are millennials who are fee sensitive and do not require or believe in the value of the traditional advice channel.

Robot Fees: Usually these are held within a fee-based platform which means they charge a percentage on your assets under management. The fee range is usually between .50% and 1% per year depending on the chosen service levels.

Big Bank Advisors
Bank clients are usually dedicated to their bank’s brand and the perceived security represented by it. Banks host a small army of portfolio counsellors, investment advisors and mutual fund sales people. You’ll find the widest range of products and solutions with banks. Advisor work experience and knowledge base will also vary greatly, as will the client experience.
Bank Fees: Portfolio Counsellor all-in fees range between 75 basis points and 1.25% annually on managed portfolios. Investment Advisors can charge per transaction from 1% to 3% or make fee-based arrangements with clients. Fee-based programs range mostly between 50 basis points (5M+) and 1.5% per year. Add administration, custodial, sub-advisor and/or other fees as negotiated with your Advisor. Bank in-branch advisors usually focus on the bank’s smaller investment clients. They mostly use mutual funds or ETFs and charge fees which are imbedded in the product (clients don’t see the charge as it is drawn from the fund itself). These typically range between 1.5% to 3% annually. Account size minimums usually apply with banks, so checking with your bank and being in the appropriate channel is an important aspect of investing within banks.

Insurance Agents
When you think insurance, think insurance premiums. Just like auto or home policies, premiums are charged to insure your portfolio. Insurance clients are typically people that need life, disability or critical illness first. Insurance company investment product line-ups are often complex and expensive. An insurance agent’s investment knowledge and business focus varies greatly.
Insurance Fees: Fees for investment products typically range between 2% and 4% annually. Most insurance agents make use of sub-advisors (where someone else manages the money I.e. Mutual funds). Annual administration and other fees may also apply.

Portfolio Managers
Most Portfolio Managers (PM) hold CFA or CIM designations. Portfolio Managers typically work directly with private clients or as sub-advisors for institutional clients, like pension funds and mutual funds. They are often smaller boutique type firms where the lead PM will be an owner in the firm.

PM Fees: Portfolio Managers usually work within a fee-based program ranging between 50 basis points to 1.5% on assets managed by the firm. Administration, trading and custodial fees may also apply.

How does it add up?
The illustration below is based on a $100,000 investment earning 6% over 25 years (income taxes are not factored).

Stephan Desbiens, Partner & Associate Portfolio Manager at Exponent Investment Management Inc. in Ottawa.

Heart of the Rideau Canal

Grounded in history Smiths Falls does not disappoint the day-tripper


By Madeline Kallio | Jan/Feb 2019

As the major centre between Ottawa and Kingston, Smiths Falls enjoys a “small-town” ambience that is very sought after. A town steeped in history, coupled with the nearby beauty of the Rideau River and the Rideau Canal, this area is a pleasure to visit.

In 1784 Major Thomas Smythe, a United Empire Loyalist, received a Crown Grant of four hundred acres from the Royal Commission as a reward for loyalty. A sawmill was built by Smythe, his two sons, Terrance and Henry, and his son-in-law, William Merrick of Merrickville. In 1826, Lieutenant-Colonel John By of the Royal Engineers was sent to Upper Canada to build the Rideau Canal. Within a short period of time the village had a sawmill, a gristmill, a flour mill, a blacksmith shop, two stores, a tannery and houses. It grew so quickly, that it became a major commercial centre, which was given an added boost when the Canadian Pacific Railway ran its main line through town. The town was originally called Wardsville, then Smythe’s Falls, which was modified to Smith’s Falls. In 1968, the apostrophe was officially removed.

Smiths Falls boasts three very active and exciting museums which give visitors glimpses into the past. Joshua Bates original home, built in 1861, is now the Heritage House Museum (613 283-6311), 11 Old Slys Road. The classically-styled Victorian home has been restored with eight period rooms, a two-storey privy and a working brick bake oven. The museum hosts a variety of events and exhibitions. The Canadian Northern Railway Station (later the CNR) is the site of the Smiths Falls Railway Museum of Eastern Ontario (613 283-5696;, 90 William Street West, which has an extensive collection of rolling stock and inspection vehicles, and offers train rides, including the North Pole Express in December. The Rideau Canal VisitoCentre (613 283-5170), housed in a 19th century stone mill at 34 Beckwith Street South, takes you back through the incredible six years from 1826 to 1832 when Colonel By planned and built the canal from Kingston to Ottawa.

Smiths Falls Railway Museum of Eastern Ontario. PHOTO: SMITHS FALLS AND DISTRICT CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

The Rideau River brings boaters from the water and interested spectators from the land. The Rideau Canal System has three locks within the Town of Smiths Falls: The Smiths Falls Detached Lock on the west side of town; the Smiths Falls Combined Locks, a hydraulic lock built in 1973 to replace three of Colonel By’s locks and the largest single chamber lift on the Rideau (25 feet); and Old Sly’s Locks on the east side of Smiths Falls. There are picnic facilities alongside the locks and you can watch the Parks employees opening and closing the locks by physical effort and a pulley system installed in the early 1800s by Colonel By.

The former Hershey chocolate plant is now Canopy Growth headquarters, growers of medical marijuana. The Tweed Visitor Centre, offers interactive educational displays, and a catwalk that overlooks the cannabis manufacturing and grow rooms. In keeping with the history of chocolate making, a chocolate factory has opened up on the premises.

The town has a variety of types of accommodation to please the visitor. The Econo Lodge (613 283-5150), 33 Centre Street, sits overlooking the Rideau River. The Best Inn Motel (613 284-0464), 241 Lombard Street, offers quality accommodation. Roger’s Motel (613 283-5200), 178 Lombard Street, has a whirlpool. All rooms are tastefully furnished with antiques at Montague House Bed and Breakfast (613 283-4198), 482 Queen Street, which serves a full breakfast. Best Western Colonel By Inn (613 2840001), 88 Lombard St, serves a complimentary breakfast. Katmor’s Bed and Breakfast (613 2051102), 26 Willow Lane, serves a delightful, gourmet breakfast.

Smiths Falls offers a variety of restaurants. The Ger-Bo’s Steakhouse Family Restaurant(613 283-4940), 11 Beckwith Street South, serves Canadian and Italian cuisine. Rob Roy’s Pub (613 283-9093), 33 Centre Street, specializes in English pub fare. The Roosteraunt (613 283-7151), 60 Lombard Street, specializes in breakfasts and home-baked menu items for lunch. International fine cuisine is the order of the day at Chuckles Jack (613 2051400), 23 Russell Street East. The Country Diner Restaurant (613 283-8635), 23 Union Street, serves home-cooked food. European cuisine is the specialty at My Place Restaurant (613 284-4696), 2 Main Street West. Café Whim (613 2833008), 7 Russell Street West, offers artisan sandwiches, soups, wine, craft beer and more.

C’est Tout Bakery (613 2840774), 14 Beckwith Street South, serves great coffee, tea, breakfast, lunch and sells daily madefromscratch baked goods. Matty O’Sheas Pub (613 2836363), 12 Chambers Street, is a sports pub with food and entertainment. Breakfast, lunch, coffee and drinks are offered at Perfect Thyming Restaurant (613 2839577), 17 Chambers Street. The NOAL Pantry (613 706-2188), 6 Russell Street, specializes in breakfast, lunch and coffee. A large selection of dishes is offered at Wongs Restaurant and Chinese Buffet (613 283-2828), 60 Lombard Street. King Star Oriental Buffet (613 283-5798), 15 Greig Street, Man Ling (613 284-2626), 28 Main Street West, and the Lotus House (613 283-2777), 12 Main Street West, all serve Chinese food. Two Guys for Lunch (613 284-2202), 91 Cornelia Street West, serves an eclectic menu of home-made soups and sandwiches, quiches and more. A number of other restaurants and fast-food outlets are scattered throughout the town.


Many interesting shops and boutiques open their doors to the visitor. Browse through the downtown area or visit the 30 stores and services in the Settlers Ridge Centre (613 205-1418), 275 Brockville Street. Every Sunday, year-round, the Sunday Flea Market (613 205-1537), 65 Cornelia Street East, offers crafts and treasures. Greeting cards, souvenirs, postcards and plush toys are featured at Special Greetings and Gift Shop (613 283-2244), 8 Russell Street East. Modern Thymes Natural Foods (613 283-3612), 11 Russell Street East, carries a variety of bulk foods, specialty food, and vitamins. Gemmell’s Garden Centre (613 2836371), 11862 Highway 15 North, has an incredible selection of plants. Gemmell’s Flowers Ltd. (613 283-7666), 39 Beckwith Street North, sells both live and artificial flowers, as well as gifts for every occasion. The Gilded Monarch (613 283-3008), 7 Russell Street West, sells Fusion Mineral Paint and supplies.

Arlie’s Books (613 2830116), 32 Market St, has been in operation since 1981 and has an impressive selection of new and used books. Elizabeth Interiors (613 2837581), 8 Chambers Street, is a repository of fine home decor. The Garden Market (613 2834821), 115 William Street West, offers fresh produce, groceries and a garden centre. Yarns, pattern books and accessories are available at Yarns Aplenty (613 285-9315), 12 Russell Street East. The Rideau Candy Shoppe (613 7956203), 20 Russell Street, offers an incredible selection of sweets and treats, Kawartha ice cream and more. Rideau River Music (613 2831410), 11 Main Street West, stocks musical instruments and accessories. Sweet Scoops (613 283-7707), 1 Chambers Street, is an ice-cream store which also has chocolate and candy. Toy Heaven (613 8833636), 14 Russell Street East, is chock full of toys and games. Vinnies Used Furniture and Treasures (613 5529292), 25 Beckwith Street North, carries a little of “everything under the sun.” Valley Custom Cutting (613 205-1111), 159 Lombard Street, sells meat of all sorts and will custom cut for the customer. The Mercantile (613 283-3008), 7 Russell Street West, is a general store offering gourmet culinary products and gifts.

Smiths Falls has a number of clothing stores. Marianne Style (613 283-6202), 45 Beckwith Street, is a high-end ladies’ classic clothing store. Michele’s Doorway to Splendour (613 2839942), 10 Beckwith Street South, stocks women’s brand-name fashions and high-quality consignment items. The Score (613 2051240), 55 Beckwith Street North, is a thrift store, as is Jewels Gently Used Clothing (613 2839723), 18 William Street East, which also has consignment goods. Smith’s Shoes Comfort and Corrective Footwear (613 2830577), 12 Beckwith Street North, carries a large inventory of name-brand shoes, socks and accessories.

Smiths Falls has a number of annual events, including the following. The end of March is the Annual Downtown Easter Egg Hunt. The third Saturday in June is the Annual Healthy Living Festival. The third week of August is Trainfest at the Railway Museum as is the Smiths Falls Creative Arts and Fair. The month of December is the Celebration of Lights. From the beginning of November to mid-December, the Heritage House Museum hosts the Annual Art Show and Sale (613 283-6311).

The Smiths Falls Community Theatre (613 2830300), 53 Victoria Avenue, in the old CPR Station, provides a full slate of live theatre, concerts and movies. 

There are many places to visit in Smiths Falls and this article does not attempt to include them all but has left many exciting attractions for the visitor to discover. It is meant to give potential visitors a glimpse into the community. Once you have tasted the hospitality of Smiths Falls, you will surely want to stay and enjoy the full fare. More information is available from the Smiths Falls and District Chamber of Commerce in the Town Hall at 77 Beckwith Street North (613 283-1334;, which also houses the Welcome Centre.

Happy Time

Suzart’s new production, Elf the Musical, delivers holiday family fun onstage and behind the scenes too.
by Pam Dillon

Ellen Séguin is pumped. She’s directing the Ottawa premiere of Elf the Musical, the Suzart Productions show happening December 5 to 9 at Centrepointe’s Meridian Theatres. And with days to go until curtain time, her enthusiasm is captivating. “This show is going to be about happiness,” she declares. It’s based on the beloved holiday film that’s always part of the December television lineup. In the movie, Buddy the Elf (played by Will Ferrell) sets off from the North Pole on a merry quest to discover his real identity

Read the full story at

Feeling Off Kilter? Use Yoga to Ease Vertigo


 We often hear the word “balance” and think of the seemingly impossible goal of achieving that smooth transition between work, home, family, fitness, healthy eating, and so on (good luck with that!). But equally important is the simple ability to stand on your own two feet. Many of my senior yoga students have told me that the most significant benefit they’ve received from the consistent practice of yoga is the massive amount of confidence that comes with feeling steady. They’ve taken up (or returned to after a period away!) skating on the canal with their grandchildren and other activities that they’d either stopped or not even considered.  

Our balance can start to decline as early as age 50 and steadily so from there. This is a big deal because as we move into our 60s, compromised balance is a primary cause of falls; falls account for a large percentage of hospital admissions, and the aftermath of a fall can significantly impact our quality of life thenceforth. Even a fairly common injury for all ages, like a pulled hamstring or twisted ankle, can take months to recover from, let alone a broken hip! Research shows that our balance does suffer to some degree in the natural process of aging, but there are things we can do to stop the momentum and even reverse the loss already incurred.

Not Just an Old Folk’s Issue!

A close relative of balance is dizziness. An extensive epidemiological study stated that “as many as 35% of adults aged 40 years or older in the United States—approximately 69 million Americans—have experienced some form of vestibular dysfunction.1 (Arch Intern Med 2009;169:938-44.) Although the causes underlying a vestibular disorder, like vertigo, are likely very different, they both share the common frustration of feeling unsteady. 

Get Vertical to Ease Vertigo

 Do you remember partying a little too hard in college and, the next morning, putting your foot on the floor to “stop the room from spinning”? Unlike someone having a dizzy spell or experiencing post-party repercussions, people who suffer from vertigo have the sensation of spinning or floating, but without the wild night before. It’s about as far from a party as you can get!

Studies have shown that placing the head in a specific position can help dislodge crystals of the inner ear canal which can contribute to dizziness. You’re best to consult your doctor on that. But in the meantime, there are ways to ease the dizzying and disconcerting effects of the condition.

The grounding effects of postures such as Paschimottanansa and Balasana (Child’s Pose) can help calm the mind and ease feelings of dizziness. An anonymous Iyengar Yoga teacher published an article on vertigo, recommending that, “If you’re experiencing spinning sensations, mentally focusing on those body parts that are in touch with the earth can dramatically reduce the length of the spinning and the associated anxiety.”

You can find the full article here.

In Child’s Pose, press the tops of your feet into the floor; in Paschimottanasana root down through the sitting bones and press your calves and heels in the earth.

Many people have noticed that stress contributes to their vertigo. If you’ve found the same, make Savasana (or Legs-Up-the-Wall Pose) part of your daily routine. For best effect, cover your eyes with a heavy cloth to allow them to rest deeply. 


Eryn Kirkwood is a local author and yoga teacher who specializes in classes for students aged 55 years and older. She offers a full schedule of classes at Barrhaven United Church in Nepean, along with workshops and other offerings! See for more information.

This article is not intended to diagnose any issues or to impart medical or therapeutic advice! It is always best to consult with a doctor before initiating these or any other exercise programs relating to your condition. This article was previously published in Sweat Equity

Salamander Theatre For Young Audiences


2 Daly Avenue
Ottawa, ON
K1N 6E2


Salamander Theatre – 2016 Summer Drama Camps
Offering young people interested in exploring theatre arts the opportunity to receive comprehensive training in an outdoor setting from our company’s seasoned professional artists since 1993!
Taking place at the picturesque Billings Estate Museum, Salamander Theatre offers Ottawa’s only outdoor drama summer camps for youth ages 10 to 18. Both the July Shakespeare Camp, and the August Musical Performance Camp will give emerging performers the opportunity to act, sing, dance, move, and work within an ensemble to bring the characters of their respective fun-filled plays to life! Both camps culminate in a beautiful outdoor evening performance for family and friends. To ensure the quality of the training and the experience, space is limited to 20 participants per program. A complimentary Salamander t-shirt is provided to each registered participant.

Camp Speciality:
Drama – Shakespeare’s All’s Well That Ends Well (July 4th – 22nd) & Musical Performance – Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Mermaid (August 8th – 19th)

Recommended Ages:
10-18 years old
Billings Estate Museum & Grounds (Camp is held on the grounds & in the Gatehouse)




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